Q: We can’t we use more than one plumbing fixture at a time because the pressure is too low – What can be done?
A: When you have this kind of a problem it is typically a problem with the water service or the piping inside the house. A common misconception is that the pressure is bad, however the pressure may be fine but it is more a problem with the volume of water coming out. A lot of homes built prior to 1975 had galvanized water service lines. A lot of the homes built prior to 1965 had galvanized piping throughout them. The problem with galvanized pipe is that it rusts over time and eventually the inside of the pipe fills with rust leaving only a fraction of the space that it once had. A lot of homes see a lot of benefit in replacing the water service line that will allow them to run multiple fixtures at a time without having an issue with the water volume dropping. If you are interested in having this done – give us a call we will be happy check your home and quote you a price!
Q: When I’m in the shower and a toilet is flushed, I am either scalded or frozen – Is there anything that you can do for this?
A: There is nothing more frustrating than someone flushing the toilet while you are in the shower and nearly getting burned or iced in freezing water. That is why the government mandated the use A: of pressure-balanced valves back in the early 90’s. The easiest way to fix this in most homes is to replace the shower valve or install what is called a tempura valve. Depending on how the house is laid out, we normally would recommend replacing the shower valve to correct this problem. Normally we can do this without the need to have any tile work done. Give us a call and we can happily discuss your options with you.
Q: When we use our plumbing in the house, the downstairs bathroom or bathtub is filling with water, what is the problem?
A: Sometimes a bathtub or toilet will fill with water on a lower level – unknown to you. Most people end up finding this is happening in their home by a smell or that something isn’t draining well. This is a common issue for older homes typically. The problem is caused by something blocking the sewer. We can clean it out with one of the tools in our arsenal of drain cleaning equipment; however, it is not usually a permanent fix. After the immediate issue is addressed, we will run a camera to identify the problem(s), make recommendations, and give an estimate. The most common issues we find in sewer lines are Root Intrusion and Pipe Separation.
Q: I have a high water bill this month and my usage hasn’t changed nor do I have any leaks that I’m aware of in the house. Has the water department made a mistake?
A: Most often this tends to be a leak on the water service line. In most cases it is more cost effective to install a new water service line then try to find the leak on the old one. If the line is copper, it might be worth the effort to find the leak, but mostly we recommend replacement. There are some simple tests that we can do to figure out if the water service line is leaking. Sometimes the water department will bill you based on a usage average. After they read your meter then the bill will reflect the difference between actual usage and the amount already billed. If you are unsure and need some help, give us a call and we will be happy to help you figure it out.
Q: I love my older toilets that use more water because you don’t have to flush them twice like I’ve heard about the newer low consumption toilets. Are there any good brands out there that flush really well?
A: Most of the brands have gotten much better from the early days of the 1.6 GPF requirements. Our experience with all the different brands has kept us with Toto and Kohler brand toilets. Both have an excellent reputation worldwide and they are an industry leader in their designs. We keep some of their products in stock and we can order many other products at your request.
Q: My water heater is getting older and I have seen rebates and advertisements for tankless water heaters and Marathon electric water heaters. What is the best solution for conserving energy?
A: Everyone’s situation is different when it comes to making a choice on the different options for water heating. We are able to install the Marathon Electric water heaters, and Rinnai tankless gas water heaters. Since every situation is different, it is hard to say what the best option is. We will be happy to discuss the options with you – just give us a call.
Q: I hate wasting water when I have to run my shower so long to wait for the water to turn hot. Is there any easy way to correct this?
A: A huge amount of water is wasted every day with people waiting to get hot water to their shower or faucets. The most popular solution is the Grundfos Comfort System. It can save up to 16,000 gallons of water per year, per household. It is a small pump and a special fitting(s) that we install in different places in your house to get hot water to the fixtures.
Q: I have heard bad things about polybutylene pipe. How would I know if I have it in my house?
A: Poly is common in homes built in the early 80’s to the mid to late 90’s. Primarily it was used for water service lines, however it was in some cases used for the piping inside the homes as well. To find out if you have it in the yard normally requires a hole to be dug at the county’s water meter or at the front of the house where it enters. To determine if you have it inside, the easiest place to look is on the top of your water heater where the pipes connect. If it is a plastic pipe that looks gray or light blue then more than likely it was used throughout the house. If you are unsure and want a professional opinion please feel free to give us a call!
Q: What is the typical lifespan of a water heater?
A: We see a wide variety in ages for water heaters when they fail. Typically we see gas and electric water heaters last about 8 to 12 years on the professional brands, consumer brands tend to be a little bit shorter. Electric tend to last a little longer than the gas heaters. Gas Tankless heaters are supposed to last 20 to 25 years according to the manufacture. Another big difference between a professional brand and a consumer brand is the warranty. Consumer brand heaters have prorated warranties where as professional brands have full warranties. Give us a call if you want to discuss this anymore!
Q: I have a need to use hot water outside. How can that be done safely?
A: There are some great options that are out now for having a hot and cold spigot outside. Moen makes a single handle hose bibb that uses both hot and cold water. If you are interested in this give us a call and we can get you set up.
Q: I am tired of getting those bothersome propane tanks refilled. Can we hook up natural gas directly to my grill?
A: As licensed plumbing contractors, we are able to do anything with gas piping. We normally can get the grill converted and run a new pipe if needed. If you have gas service then it is not usually a big problem to hook up a grill.
Q: It seems like suddenly a couple of my faucets started dripping and the toilet runs. Is it a coincidence or is there something that can cause this?
A: There are several factors that can cause this sort of a problem. Depending on the situation it usually has to do with the water pressure in the house. It can be caused by Thermal Expansion or high water pressure. Both conditions go hand in hand sometimes and typically these are not major repairs and they keep the rest of the plumbing in good working order by having them installed or checked.
Q: Where do I find the water shut off for my house?
A: The water shut off can be in a variety of places. To start with any home that pay for their own water and are not on a community plan can shut the water off at the water meter with a meter key. For homes with a basement or crawl space, the water line would normally come in the house on the front wall and go up to the ceiling. If you can find that there a hand valve close by that you can turn the water off with. For homes on slab, the shut off is most normally near the water heater in the house or garage. If cannot be found there, then it sometimes can be inside the laundry room. Try to be aware of where the valve is because if you every have any emergency and need to get the water off you don’t want to wait until then to try to find it.