Category Archives: Plumbing

Your Copper Plumbing Pipes are Shot, NOT

By | Plumbing, Understanding your home | No Comments

I recently had an interesting conversation with a client that had contacted a local plumbing outfit to fix a broken tub faucet. After looking in the crawl space he made it clear that the copper plumbing pipes need to be replaced because he saw evidence of corrosion at the joints. The home was 40 years old and there were no leaks, the client is into his preventative maintenance without a doubt. My first thought was to tell him to get a second opinion. Typically copper lasts 70-80 years or more and the green patina at the joints is called verdigris….

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Whole House Water Filters

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Nothing gives a guy a warm fuzzy feeling than knowing that your home is protected by a whole house water filter. I took it one further and added a secondary filter beneath the sink that provides water to a drinking spigot and the ice maker in my fridge. All is good unless you forget to change them. Yup, I just purchased a new to me home, and there in black on white was a date that sent shivers through me. That date was 4 years ago. NO, IT COULDN’T BE! Nobody would leave a filter in that long. Turns out…

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I Bought A Cool Tool

By | Fixing things, Plumbing | No Comments

I recently replaced a Garbage Disposal for a friend and struggled to get the darn thing attached to the collar. Then once installed, I realized that I had not installed the little protective rubber piece that keeps big things from falling in and pieces from shooting out. I had to remove and reinstall it. Sweating and cursing I decided there had to be a better way. Well, I found one. I weighed a few and determined that this one was going to last longer and be able to fit into my tool bag easier with less chance of breaking. I…

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Tell Me About Garbage Disposals

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving | No Comments

These things were designed as a convenience and have essentially become a necessity. There are all kinds of them, you get what you pay for. A steel interior will eventually rust. A stainless steel one will not rust. Cleaning them periodically with ice cubes and baking soda is a good fix. Old Wives Tales: Throwing eggshells down the drain is a wise move. BUSTED. Do not send eggshells down the monster. It will clog the system. Grease down the drain is OK. BUSTED. Do not put grease hot or cold down the drain or Garbage Disposal. Grease is difficult to…

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How Come My Water Pressure Is Low?

By | Fixing things, Plumbing, Understanding your home | No Comments

One of the silliest things I see is when the incoming water line is choked down for a valve then made larger again. What the hell were they thinking? This reduces the volume of available water or gas for that matter. This one goes from 3/4″ down to 1/2″ then back up to 3/4″ Go From Big to Small It is easy to see and such a bozo no-no that I chuckle when I write about it. The ball valve is great it is just the “RONG” size. The Rule of Thumb The rule of thumb is that the more…

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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

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving | No Comments

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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