Home Repair Plumbing
Plumbing home repairs are some of the most frustrating ones that homeowners deal with. The reasons are many. The source of the frustration and anxiety is the destructive nature of water supply leaks, and the disgusting leaks that result from drainage-line leaks. I’ve been a licensed master plumber for nearly 25 years, and am here to tell you that dealing with plumbing leaks doesn’t always have to be tough or frightful. It’s a matter of having the right tools and certain skills that are not too tough to master.
A shower repair is very common. This is a plumbing fixture that’s used possibly multiple times per day in the average home. Shower plumbing leaks can be drips from a faucet or a drain line seal that’s worn out. A crack in an acrylic shower base can also create a leak. Low water flow from a shower head can be caused by hard-water deposits that clog the tips of the head. Sediment from the interior of the water-supply lines can also clog the small openings in the flow restrictor in the shower head.
Plumbing and home repair go hand in hand. This you’ll discover quite soon once you take possession of your first home. A water heater may need to be replaced, or you’ll discover something wrong with the toilet plumbing. Water heaters and toilets are absolutely at the top of the list when it comes to home repair plumbing!
When you start a job, be sure to look for home plumbing repair parts at stores other than the home centers. In almost every town and city there are amazing stores that just sell plumbing parts. These businesses are where a plumber will go on a regular basis to get his parts.
In certain cities, you’ll discover specialty plumbing-supply businesses that just sell parts for older fixtures. Just recently, I went to one of these stores to get a replacement knob for a Kohler sink faucet that was 24-years old. A home center would never have had this part. You can also find old plumbing parts at many online retailers.
Faucet repair is not too hard at all. A kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet can sometimes be repaired within 30 minutes. With modern faucets, all you typically do is install a new valve cartridge. These devices take the place of the traditional valve stem, washer and valve seat. You just have to be careful not to scratch the fine finishes on the plumbing faucets as you gain access to the hidden cartridge. Always refer to the manufacturers’ websites for instructions on how to remove the cartridge.
Water heaters are somewhat easy to deal with. You’ll discover that you often need soldering skills in case the water-supply lines feeding the heater are copper. Be sure that you only put a shut-off valve on the cold water incoming line. Never put a valve on the hot-water line leaving the heater. The hot water line leaving the heater acts as a secondary pressure-relief pathway in case the heater malfunctions. Most codes require an expansion tank on the heater as well.
Drainage line repairs can be more problematic as the pipe sizes are larger, and they can be buried in ceilings, walls and floors. Common leaks under sinks and tubs happen in the P-traps and tubular piping that’s visible under most sinks and behind access panels of tubs and showers.
Be aware that drainage line repairs are mission critical. Serious health issues can result from faulty repairs. This is one reason that plumbing is a regulated vocation. The public health and well being is at stake when a person starts to fool around with drainage lines or the potable water-supply system.
Imagine what could happen if a person made an incorrect connection and polluted water flowed backwards into the public water supply. You don’t think this is possible? Talk to a fire chief who has a powerful pumper. He can hook up at a hydrant in front of your home and in certain situations suck the water from your home’s water pipes.
What if I told you that years ago champagne flowed out of homeowner’s faucets in Silverton, Ohio? A local winery left a critical valve open in a wine fermentation tank. The pressure of the fermenting wine was greater than the water main pressure. It forced champagne into the public water supply. Yes, it’s possible for crazy things like that to happen.