Category Archives: Plumbing

How Old is My Water Heater?

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A neighbor of mine had me come over to fix a supply line that had failed on his ancient water heater. Apparently, I had told him a few years ago that the supply line was failing and he needed to fix it. To my shock, he reported that he uses some Flex Seal in an attempt to fix it and ended up having a small flood. The secret is hidden in the serial number. Each vendor has a unique dating system. Look up the make and model to determine how yours was dated. It is hidden on this ID plate….

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Faulty Shutoff Valve Floods Home

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An acquaintance had her shut-off valves replaced recently from the gate valve type to the 1/4 turn shut-off style not because they were bad but because she wanted to update things and not have to worry. Talk about proactive property maintenance! The Weakest Link There is nothing in this world that can not be made faster and cheaper. My hunch is that it is a Chinese knockoff with plastic parts to make it look like metal. A licensed plumber installed them and sadly one morning as the hairdryer was on, a distinct sound of running water was heard in the…

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The Handy Man Craze Hits Boise

By | Basements, Electrical, Plumbing, Problem Solving, The Law | No Comments

I have recently come across 3 guys that have quit employment to go out on their own to become handymen for their sphere of influence. I love entrepreneurship and I encourage everyone to give it a try. I can not thank them enough to take over the small jobs that my company is frankly not able to take care of because our niche is handling far more complicated and larger projects. Let’s face it YouTube and the Big Box stores have given rise to this new industry. Where is the line? When handymen cross the line is when they start…

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The Leaky Faucet Gets the New Parts

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I have been surprised at how often new things don’t work like we expect them to. As a remodeling contractor our plumbers install lots of faucets. In a recent project we had two of them start to leak within a few months of installation at the kitchen sink. Warranty Anyone? As a warranty item this is not big deal in the big picture. That we buy from a reputable wholesale supply house makes it so much easier to resolve. With a phone call we had parts shipped to us no argument or issue. I replaced the parts myself as a…

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Faucets Should Not Leak

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Fixing them may or may not be easy. One important thing to remember is that you need to turn off the water supply to work on them with out the possibility of making a big mess. Every home has a main shut off, (I have not run into one without one) In fact you need to label it and test it before an emergency happens, (Sames goes for electricity and gas). You just need to know where to look. Some have gate valves, other ball valves. I prefer ball valves hands down. Gate valves are prone to failure and cause…

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Braided Steel Water Heater Supply Lines

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As a contractor I get into all sorts of things. It’s like the saying on the shirt. Recently I was called to attend to an emergency, the homeowner had contacted her friend and realtor who happened to have me on speed dial. They were watching water spray our of her braided steel supply line. “The home warranty people can’t get a plumber our here for days”. (Worthless insurance IMHO) I dropped everything and headed out. Damsel in distress Yes, you had a 50-50 chance, it was the hot water side. To no ones surprise both of the gals were spun…

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Failed Toilet Tank Seal

By | Fixing things, Plumbing | No Comments

Toilets with separate tanks have a seal that is usually not an issue. In this situation I was called to replace the wax ring because they found water on the floor near the toilet. Naturally I told them to stop using it until I could get there. I bought a new wax ring kit and responded on the weekend to replace it. As is often the case, I dove right in to replace the wax ring, then paused to evaluate the situation when it did not make sense. I shut off the water and flushed noticing that the tank was…

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Electric Water Heaters

By | Electrical, Plumbing | No Comments

Electric water heaters come in many sizes and shapes. (I recently found one in a basement of a 1938 home that looks like a washing machine). Most are cylindrical. They all provide years of service and have gotten much better insulated. This alone is a good reason to replace an old one. If you get over 10 years of service you have gotten your moneys worth. The sure sign of failure is a leak, usually trouble free, they can have some tricky to diagnose issues. Gas water heaters recover quicker as a rule, be sure your heater is ample for…

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Delta Shower Valve Not Getting Hot Enough

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving | No Comments

I had 2 new Delta Shower Valves installed by my plumber and the darn things would to get hot enough. Yes there was plenty of hot water available in nearby faucets. The plumber told my client that there must be something wrong with the valve. On his return they told the client they had to put a part in backwards and that it was as good as it was going to get. Well my friends, that is not good enough for me. The plumber was fired for being an idiot. I attacked the problem knowing that there was a solution…

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Sewage Ejector Pump Problem

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I installed a sewage ejector pump in a home I remodeled for myself 15 years ago. I needed it to evacuate the basement water from the laundry and a 3/4 bath. It worked fine for all that time, then it started acting up. It was staying on and not shutting off like it should. It was getting stuck on. By the time I took the cover off everything was OK. I discovered a failed float. Changing the pump would have been far more expensive. ($375.00 ish) wholesale. I ended up lifting the pump our to make sure it was free…

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