- Why does it take so long to get hot water through my faucet?
A. In many homes, piping can be quite long. In some cased the fixture is not far from the hot water heater, however the length of the pipe can be substantially longer. We recommend a “Re-Circulation Pump System” installed to eliminate this problem.
- How do I get a higher toilet surface?
A. There are two options. One option is to raise the toilet itself or the second option is to raise the toilet seat. By selecting one of the following options will provide a higher toilet for comfort-ability.
- Do I need a Green Tag on our appliances?
A. Green Tags must be used whenever any new system is installed or any system is changed in any way. We will install Green Tags on appliances.
- Why does the water have a rotten smell?
A. This is caused by a non-toxic sulfate reducing bacteria that can enter the water system through a crack in the construction or a break in ground piping. The bacteria will create the energy it needs by converting sulfate (SO4) to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Hydrogen sulfide gas is distinctive because of its rotten egg-like smell. This gas can alter the taste as well as the smell of the water. The solution is a shock-chlorination treatment of the water system. This treatment is through the surface, different water systems may require multiple treatments depending on how heavily infected the system is. Chlorination or aeration of the water supply may be used for longer lasting solutions.
- How much lead can a faucet or plumbing device contain?
A. A plumbing device can only contain up to 8.0 percent lead when used in the installation or repair of any plumbing providing water for human consumption (as stated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and 1996 amendments). The lead content in a plumbing product can be analyzed by sending the product directly to a laboratory. Unfortunately, this may not be practical because the cost of the lab may be much more than the purchase price of the product.
- Clogged Shower Drains?
A. The first approach that I would recommend is trying chemical product specifically designed for cleaning your drain, i.e. “Liquid Plumber” or a similar product. These products can be found at your local grocery store or hardware store. Although these products are safe for your pipes, care should be taken when used around the kitchen sink and dishwasher drains. If these chemicals do not work, then you can try renting a small power snake. These had drum snakes can be found at the hardware store and they do a great job.
- High Pressure Makes My Toilet *Run* Why?
A. A pressure regulator is recommended if your pressure to the house is more than 60 pounds (code 80 throughout most of the U.S). In some cases, water pressure is so high that it leaks past the toilet fill valve – then a pressure reducing valve is needed. If a pressure reducing valve is not installed then your hoses, washing machine, connectors, and your water heater could leak or more seriously, break.
- What Do I Do with Rattling Pipes?
A. There are several reasons why pipes can rattle; the most common is that a loose piece exists in the washer or in the valve. A little more serious case is that the pipe can be touching another pipe or a hard surface on the wall. If just the hot water makes a serious rattling sound when turning on any hot water tap, the rattling may be caused by the energy saving nipples that are located on the top of the water heater. They have a ball in them that acts like a check valve. It could be that the soft copper water supply is hitting a hard surface or the machine itself is not tight in the opening.
- Leaking Bathtub Drain Right at the Drain Hole?
A. If you have a drain that has “crosshairs” or the small bars that are inside of the drain flange (the chrome part) you’re in luck! First is to unscrew this part with a tool called a “pickle” – it has a fork at one end and crossed slots at the other. A “dumbbell” can also be used; this tool is tapered and has crossed slots at both ends. Pliers will work as well, stick the handle end down into the drain, until you catch the “crosshairs” and unscrew. The next step is to clean off the old plumbers putty, then slide a new washer between the underside of the tub and the “shoe” (part with female threads) and put putty around the chrome flange and screw it back in.
- The Drain Pipes Under the Sink Keeps Coming Loose?
A. A common mistake is to mix PVC washers and nuts with metal washers and nuts. It is best to keep these consistent. The plastic washers (ferrules) go with the plastic pipe and washers. The thicker side faces the nut and the thinner side the “cup”. The same goes for metal, the metal pipe uses metal nuts and square cut rubber washers. Lastly, make sure to fit the pipes down into the next pipe as deeply as deep as possible.
- The Faucet CLUNKS When We Turn It On?
A. Almost all of the time this clunk sound you hear is when a faucet is turned on/off. This is caused because a loose washer exists in the faucet. Be sure to get the old washer and screw when you take this apart otherwise the missing part will be flushed when the water is turned back on.
- Is Replacing a Tub a Big Job?
A. It can be, but here are a few pointers to make it easier on you. First, the old cast iron tub can be broken out with a sledge hammer and a metal tub can be cut out with a Sawzall. First, I recommend replacing the waste and overflow and if possible, the tub/shower faucet. Second, tub surrounds can be found in two pieces that till fit through door easier. Three, the brand you choose may make a big difference, the Sterling brand surrounds are nice, American Standard makes an “Americast” tub that is similar to cast iron but a lot lighter. The Kohler cast iron seems to be the most durable.
- How Do I Fix My Garbage Disposal?
A. Three things can cause Garbage Disposal problems; they are plumbing, electrical or appliance. Turn on the Garbage Disposal to see if there is a “hum” sound, if you cannot hear it then push the red reset button located on the bottom of the disposal. If pushing the reset button does not fix your problem, check the breaker in the electrical panel. If it does “hum” but will not turn on, then you can try un-sticking it. Some Garbage Disposals come with a wrench that you can use to turn the cutter flywheel from the bottom. If your unit did not come with one then an Allen wrench will also work. Also, you can grab a broom handle or something with a handle, and stick it in the disposal and try to turn the cutting wheel around to un-stick it (make sure that the garbage disposal is off when attempting to un-stick). If that still does not work, a repair man or an entire replacement of the garbage disposal is required.
- Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell?
A. The easiest way is to put ice cubes in the disposal (about ½ way), turn on the disposal, rinse out with cold water. Cut up a ½ of a lemon and then turn on your disposal until the lemon is gone, rinse and your disposal should smell fresh!
- What is Air Conditioning?
A. Air conditioning’s purpose is to control the filtration, air movement, temperature and humidity of an atmospheric environment. This is associated with the cooling and dehumidification process of air so it is always identified with refrigeration equipment. Air conditioning should not be confused with “ventilation” as refrigeration equipment is not provided with ventilation equipment.
- What is Mixed Flow Ventilation vs. Air Conditioning?
A. The process of mixed flow ventilation / air conditioning describes a method of air distribution from an air conditioner or ventilation system. This is the most commonly used method of supplying air into an atmosphere that is being air conditioned by use of ceiling diffuses or wall grilles at a high level. This air handling equipment is widely available and very competitive because of the multiple manufactures throughout the globe. However, because of the comfort and cleanliness of the displacement air distribution system, it has become very popular. The displacement ventilation air is introduced into the air conditioned room at a low level and low velocity. The displacement market is still quite smaller than that of the mixed flow market and on most cases is made to order making this system more expensive.
- What is Air to Air Heat Pump?
A. The equipment comes in a package containing one fan that is connected to duct work to cool or heat the indoor air and one fan to reject heat to the outdoor air. These are usually placed externally or less commonly, internal.
- What is a Heat Pump?
A. The purpose is to provide heating and cooling by direct expansion equipment consisting of a compressor, coil, and the reversing valve and fan.
- What is Central Air Conditioning?
A. Central air conditioners come through your vents like a heater does. They are made up of two separate components: the condenser unit, located outside the house on a concrete slab, and the evaporator coil above the furnace.
- What is Heating or Air Conditioning Filters?
A. Air filters can provide many benefits including cleaner air and reduce the amount of allergy symptoms. The air filters also work to keep your air conditioning and heating system working efficiently. Make sure the air filter is matched to the unit and is clean.
Function – The filter was initially created to keep the air filter’s components (evaporator cooler and blower” clean. An added bonus is the fact that the filter provides cleaner air to breathe.
Condition – A filter that is the incorrect size (too small) or dirty can cause many negative effects including:
- Increased blower power causing more consumption
- Less efficient cooling or heating
- Compressor Failure
- Result-higher cost, shorter equipment life
- What are Snow melt Systems or “Heated Driveways”?
A. These systems provide an alternate to shoveling, salting, and snowplowing or any other snow-removal systems. Salt can eat and crack your drive way, with this system your driveway will last longer. These systems install tubing that is run under the driveway, walks, patios and porch steps. Heated water mixed with an anti-freeze (glycol) is pumped through the tubing. The heat radiates from the tubing to the surface of the driveway, melting all snow and ice. Drains catch the liquid and direct the flow away from the driveway.
- What Type of Driveway is Compatible for Installation of Snow-Melting Systems?
A. Concrete driveways and asphalt driveways are most commonly used for the installation of snow-melting systems.