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Understanding The Basics of Plumbing

In the US, plumbing leaks waste 1 trillion gallons of water annually. That’s equivalent to 40 million swimming pools. Most of these leaks don’t even need the attention of a professional. Armed with a wrench and a few plumbing basics, you can fix some of the most persistent leak problems. Fixing leaks yourself is obviously economical, but you also need to know when to call in the plumbers. In this article, we’ll dissect the complex mesh of pipes to its most basic. You’ll learn when to go DIY, when to call a plumber, and how to differentiate the two. Let’s dive right in. How Does Plumbing Work: Plumbing Basics Home plumbing is pretty straightforward. A casual gaze at the interwoven mesh of pipes and valves may seem overwhelming but bear with me. Understanding a few plumbing basics will see you navigate the mesh like a pro. House plumbing consists of two systems: Water supply system Drain-water vent system (DWV) House Plumbing Basics: Water Supply System Water supply is a system of pipes that brings fresh water into the home. The system is highly-dependent of pressure. Water in these pipes come from one of two sources: City water Wells City water enters your house from a humongous pipe ‘the main pipe’ that’s usually parallel to your street. If your connection to the main has a problem, call a professional. Damage to the main can result in civil lawsuits and hefty fines. People who don’t have access to city water usually get their fresh water supply from wells. Water must then be pumped into the home at high pressures. Reduced pressure keeps water from reaching the furthest and highest parts of your house. Running showers and faucets are usually the first victims of low pressure. Factors affecting pressure range from leaks to blockages. If the leak is caused by a loose connection, it’s easily handled in-house. If, on the other hand, the leak necessitates re-piping, you best call for a professional plumber. You can read more plumbing problems you should leave to a plumber, here. The main pipe is connected to your water meter. There’s a shutoff valve before or after your meter. The valve cuts off the water supply system making it useful when doing repairs. Let’s look at the common problems facing the water supply system. Basic Plumbing Tips: Maintaining the Water Supply System Correctly installed piping is leak-proof. The system, however, disintegrates with time. In some cases, a plumber

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TIPS FOR FINDING THE RIGHT PLUMBER

If your water heater is acting up, the garbage disposal is backed up, and drains are clogged (hopefully not all on the same day), you don’t have time to deliberate over finding the perfect plumber. But making a rash decision about the plumber you employ could result in more problems down the road. You want to find a plumber whose advice you can trust and who offers long-term results. While you can’t avoid plumbing problems entirely, you can avoid having to fix the same problem several times. We know that price is an important part of making your decision, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Sometimes plumbing companies offer the lowest possible price over the phone but then add on charges once they get to your home and properly inspect the problem. So how do you find the right plumber for your home? Here are seven tips to help you make your decision: MAKE SURE YOUR PLUMBER IS LICENSED AND INSURED This goes without saying but is the most important factor in finding the right plumber so bears repeating.  Ask if they are licensed and make sure they carry insurance in the case of a catastrophe. ASK HOW LONG THEY HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR As with most services, you want someone with the most experience performing repairs on your home. A plumbing company that has been established for decades is likely to employ knowledgeable plumbers and have a well-known reputation. They’re also less likely to disappear on you halfway through your repair. INQUIRE ABOUT WRITTEN ESTIMATES A reputable plumber often won’t give you an estimate until they have properly assessed the problem in your home.  Once the problem has been determined but before any work is performed, inquire about a written estimate that includes labor and part costs. CHECK REVIEWS AND REFERENCES When making your decision, don’t rely on the website or advertisement of the plumbing company alone. A good aspect of the Internet is that it forces businesses to be transparent about their services. If a plumber offers subpar work, a quick Google search will reveal past customer experience. You can also check Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau for reviews. COMPARE COMPETITION You may not know much about plumbing when looking for a plumber, but you certainly know how to look for a company that delivers more than others in their industry. Check to see if the plumbing company has been

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How to Find a Good Plumber Near You With Our 7 Trusty Tips for Every Homeowner

Finding a good plumber or tradesman can be a nightmare, especially if you have an emergency that cannot wait. But it doesn’t have to be! Read further and learn our 7 tips on how to find a good plumber in your area and save yourself the hassle of dealing with cowboys and shoddy workmen. Table of Contents The Benefits of Finding a Reputable Plumber Plumber vs Heating Engineer A Service Company Vs Local Plumber How to Find a Local Plumber You Can Trust In The Case of Plumbing Emergencies How to Avoid Common Plumbing Scams The Benefits of Finding a Reputable Plumber Did you know that water waste in the UK amounts to ~460 million liters each year? The reason is that even the smallest of leaks can waste many liters of water. Leaks can not only cause damage to your and your neighbors’ homes but can also break the bank and have a negative impact on the environment. Hiring a “cowboy” to do the job of a professional will only contribute to these adverse effects. Here are a few reasons why hiring a reputable plumber in your area is worth every penny. Good understanding of the local plumbing needs – local plumbers are familiar with the area, the parking situation, the hardware stores, and the local directives. Short-notice appointments and a one-stop-shop service – hiring a local plumber often mean he can come out quickly and offer you a full-package service – from diagnosing the issue to sourcing materials and completing the job. Valuable advice – an expert can provide helpful tips on how to prevent the issue from recurring. They can help you with trusted recommendations, such as how to upkeep your bathrooms and plumbing installations. You get more value for your money. You support the local economy – buying local is a building block of any good economy. This way, you help hard-working professionals find work and you keep your money circulating locally. Plumber vs Heating Engineer Have you ever wondered what the difference between a plumber and a heating engineer is? Plumbers deal with the water fixtures and pipework around the home. If you have a leak or a drip, you call them to fix it for you. They can install or repair showers, sinks, and toilets, and unblock a sink or a toilet. However, if you have an issue with your boiler or central heating, you need a heating engineer.

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Tie-Dye Sewer Guy

Rhino Rooter wraps high-powered pipe cleaning equipment in an eye-catching package that helps generate customer calls Interested in Waterblasting? Get Waterblasting articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now. Waterblasting+ Get Alerts Residential drain cleaner John Larsen never planned to be a one-man show, but years ago he saw that’s what he would remain without equipment upgrades. These days, Larsen, owner of Rhino Rooter in Brigham City, Utah, tows a trailer-mounted tandem-axle CJ85-3600TU waterjetter from Hot Jet USA with a smart-looking 2008 Ford F-350 pickup with a KUV truck body from Knapheide Manufacturing Co. and exterior-accessible cabinets. Both carry the company’s tie-dyed rhinoceros logo. The rhino came when Larsen bought a drain-cleaning company in 2002 from Ron Rhinehart, whose nickname was Rhino. Larsen came up with the tie-dye element (he and his wife are Jimmy Buffet fans). Then the only missing pieces were a better truck and a new jetter. Larsen saved for a couple years to buy the jetter in August 2009. He had been using a cart jetter that produced 3,200 psi/4 gpm – not powerful enough to cut roots out of laterals or quickly remove grease from lines. After research that included attending the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo, Larsen chose the Hot Jet cold-water jetter, which produces 3,600 psi/8.5 gpm and carries a 330-gallon water tank and a 35 hp gasoline engine. He was attracted by the price and the size – “not too big and not too small,” in his words. Related: Best of the Decade: Can-Do Attitude “It cost me about $17,000,” Larsen notes. “That’s a lot of money for a one-man show. But I saw the work I was giving away. I’d unclog someone’s pipe, then camera it and still see roots down there. The customers would want them removed completely, so I was continually referring work to my competitors. When you see those dollars going into competitors’ pockets, you start thinking you should do something different.” With the jetter and a Warthog nozzle from StoneAge, monthly sales now average six to seven times more than during his first year in business. That’s partly because the business wasn’t full-time when he bought it, but the jetter is a major revenue generator, letting Larsen do more jobs because it unclogs lines much faster. “A jetter brings in more money because it does a better job than a cable machine, which kind of skips

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WARNING SIGNS OF WATER LEAKAGE BEHIND THE WALL

When a frozen pipe bursts or a drain backs up, you know something’s wrong right away. You quickly identify the source, pinpoint the problem and take care of repairs. When a slow leak starts inside your home’s walls, it doesn’t attract attention, but it does leave solid clues. If you know how to detect water leakage in walls, you can minimize potentially serious damage. Be on the lookout for these 10 signs of water leaks behind your drywall. 1. PERSISTENT MUSTY ODORS As the water slowly drips from a leaky pipe inside the wall, flooring and sheetrock stay damp and develop an odor similar to wet cardboard. It generates a musty smell that can help you find hidden leaks. 2. MOLD IN UNUSUAL AREAS Mold usually grows in wet areas like kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms. If you spot the stuff on walls or baseboards in other rooms of the house, it’s a good indicator of undetected water leaks. 3. STAINS THAT GROW When mold thrives around a leaky pipe, it sometimes takes hold on the inside surface of the affected wall. A growing stain on otherwise clean sheetrock is often your sign of a hidden plumbing problem. 4. PEELING OR BUBBLING WALLPAPER / PAINT This clue is easy to miss in rooms that don’t get much use. When you see wallpaper separating along seams or paint bubbling or flaking off the wall, blame sheetrock that stays wet because of an undetected leak. 5. SLOWLY WARPING SHEETROCK Over time, sheetrock wicks up moisture from a slow leak, and that can cause the wall to develop bends and curves. Warped sheetrock is a sure sign of a slow water leak. 6. BUCKLED CEILINGS AND STAINED FLOORS If ceilings or floors in bathrooms, kitchens or laundry areas develop structural problems, don’t rule out constant damp inside the walls. Wet sheetrock can affect adjacent framing, flooring and ceilings. 7. WET BLOTCHES Wet spots are sure signs of water damage in walls, but they don’t always pinpoint the problem’s location. Water can travel down a pipe and cause wet blotches on the wall below the leak. 8. ODD DISCOLORATION As a leak moves further down inside the wall, overlooked wet spots eventually dry. They leave behind splotches that appear lighter than surrounding drywall or wallpaper. 9. WET FLOORS This sign is obvious on kitchen floors, but it’s not as noticeable in carpeted rooms. If an area of carpeting

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How to Repair a Shower Diverter

Turning on your shower should be as easy as the flip of a switch. But when your shower diverter breaks, taking a shower is not so easy—water continues to pour from your tub’s faucet after you’ve switched the diverter. Luckily, repairing a shower diverter is quick and fairly simple. What Is a Shower Diverter, Anyway? A shower diverter is a mechanism that reroutes the water from your bathtub faucet to your showerhead. Many shower diverters are controlled by a pin knob that you pull, but there are many types. Maybe yours is turned on with a button or with a third faucet handle between the bathtub’s hot and cold knobs. How to Determine that Your Shower Diverter Is Broken This one’s easy. If, after you trigger your shower diverter, water continues to leak out of the bathtub spout rather than the showerhead, the shower diverter is not working properly. This could mean that the inner rubber stopper isn’t creating a good seal to fully block and redirect the flow of water, or it could be another problem. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot and address the issue. How to Repair a Shower Diverter Once you’ve determined that your shower diverter is broken, don’t delay in repairing it. Though it might be an easy task to put off, a broken shower diverter wastes water and creates a poor shower experience. Repairing a shower diverter is a home improvement project that you can complete in just one day. Here’s how to repair a shower diverter in seven simple steps: Turn off the water supply to your shower. Seal off your drain with tape so that small screws or other important parts are not lost down the drainpipe. Tighten the screws behind the faceplate of the diverter valve. If you attempt this fix but the water continues to pour or leak slowly from the bathtub spout after the shower diverter has been engaged, move on to the next step. Disassemble the shower diverter. If your diverter has a rotating valve, unscrew the nut at the stem of the diverter and remove the entire valve. If it has a gate-type valve, unscrew the threaded tub spout. Replace the diverter. To be sure you purchase the correct replacement, bring your old diverter with you to the store. Install the new diverter, making sure that the parts do not cross-thread each other. Use a wrench to

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