Plumbing F.A.Q.’S

Plumbing F.A.Q.’S 


Plumbing F.A.Q.'sQ. How often should I inspect my septic tank system?

A: Septic systems should be inspected and pumped a minimum of once every three to four years. You may not be experiencing any problem now, but a full septic tank may allow unwanted solids to flow into the drain field, which is the part of the system that consists of a distribution box, with a series of connected pipes. Each pipe allows water to flow into a bed of stones, which drain into the ground. If paper and other solids flow into the drain field it becomes blocked and ineffective. A blocked drain field is costly to repair or replace. Make sure to get your tank inspected whenever you feel neccessary to prevent this costly maintenance.

Q. What causes the water temperature to change in the shower when someone flushes the toilet or runs another water appliance in the house?

A: At the time of install, it is important to run pipes with enough volume and pressure so that many fixtures can be used at the same time. Running only two fixtures on a 1/2″ line; so a standard bathroom would have a 3/4″ line for cold until one fixture is taken off. A 1/2″ line for the hot is fine. A nice follow guide now-adays is the plumbing code in many areas now. Get a pressure balanced tub and shower valve, which is a single handled valve that balances the hot and cold water to try to maintain a temperature range plus or minus 2 degrees.

Q. What is a pressure balancing valve and why should I install one on my shower systems?

A: It’s happened to everyone who showers: Elsewhere in the house a toilet is flushed, a faucet is opened, or the washing machine kicks on, and the once-temperate water coming from the showerhead is suddenly cold enough to make you jump or so hot you want to scream. A simple device called a pressure-balancing shower valve can help. By adjusting to pressure changes in water coming through the hot and cold supply lines, a piston in the valve automatically opens or closes small inlet ports to maintain a balance in pressure, which in turn keeps the water flowing at an ambient temperature. It reacts instantaneously. Pressure-balancing valves are now required in new residential construction in most states, depending on local plumbing codes. In addition to piston valves like the one shown above, some pressure valves use a wheellike diaphragm to trigger pistons that cover the hot-or cold-water ports. Both are priced at around $70, not including installation, which is a bigger issue with an existing shower. It involves cutting through the wall behind the shower, removing the old valve, and soldering on the new one. One of these valves will really keep you out of hot water. Give 1-800-Anytyme a call today if you would like a plumber to rush out to your residence and install a new pressure balancing valve into your shower systems.

Q. Why is the airgap for your sink, drain, or garbage dispoasal important?

A: Plumbing regulations call for a gap between potable water and a drain. This usually looks like the distance between the faucet and the top of the sink or bath (one inch or more). Without the “gap”, waste water could siphon back into the drinking supply. This “does” happen in situations where a water main is shut off causing a drain-down of the system with plumbing that has been done improperly. Sometimes it is a hose left in a muddy puddle, or maybe a hose lying in bleach water. People have died this way. The plumbing regulations help protect the general public from these dangers. Current improvements include anti-siphon faucets for garden hoses, the air gap for the dishwasher, proper installation of water heater T&P relief drains, and backflow preventers for irrigation systems.

Q. What does a vent do for the plumbing system?

A: A plumbing system vent is basically used to “vent” the plumbing system in your home or commercial building. If you would like to see a plumbing vent, look on your roof, you will see pipes sticking out of the roof aprox 12″ high. For every pipe that goes down, one needs to go up. The obvious reason we have vents is that sewer gases need to be vented outside of the dwelling. Not so obvious is what happens if they are not included in the waste and vent design. When liquid goes down a pipe, air needs to follow it. Without the vent pipe, the draining liquid will try to suck air through the P-traps on the plumbing fixtures,(tub, sink, etc.) glurp, glurp! If it manages to do so, you may know it from the “smell” coming from the now dry seal on the P-trap. Without vents, draining one fixture may cause another fixture in the house to back up. A waste and vent system should keep sewer gas out of the dwelling and drain every fixture well.

Q. As we will soon be paying for our water, what could contribute to a high water bill besides leaking Taps and/or pipes?

 A: Ninety percent of all leaks in residential plumbing systems are found in the toilet tank. Toilet tank leaks typically result from worn parts or improper alignment of some part of the flushing mechanism. It is very important to stop the leak. Stop the leak and this will stop excessive water usage every month.

Q. What makes my plumbing & drain pipes rattle all the time?

A: This problem is usually caused by the water lines not being properly isolated. It can be easily fixed but only if your water lines are easily accessible. It means that either in one or many places your water lines come into contact with the wood of your floor joists. All you need to do is get plastic pipe hangers that go between your water lines and your joists. For Help installing them please give us a call. One of our Master Plumbers is always in your area and we will do our best to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Q. What causes my hot water to smell like rotten eggs? My cold water doesn’t smell, what is the solution for this problem?

A: The most common cause of “smelly water” is a non-toxic sulfate reducing bacteria, scientifically termed Divibrio Sulfurcans. This bacteria often enters the water system through construction or a break in ground piping. The bacteria creates the energy it needs to survive by converting sulfate (SO4) to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas you smell in the water. Hydrogen sulfide gas is distinctive because of its rotten egg-like stench. Its presence can severely affect the taste as well as the odor of the water. The simplest treatment available is the shock-chlorination of the system. This is a surface treatment, and often requires repeated trials in heavily infected systems. The chlorination of a system requires that you follow each step explicitly to avoid an un-treated portion of the piping system from reinfecting another part. Longer lasting solutions include chlorination or aeration of the water supply.

Plumbing F.A.Q.'s

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