Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions
How often should I flush my water heater?
Never flush out the water heater! The water in Southern California is so hard it leaves too much scale in the tank to ever be flushed out. You will just agitate the scale and when you fill the water heater again the scale will be pushed into all of the fixtures in your home causing them to clog.
How to figure out if I have a slab leak?
The best way to find out if you have a slab leak it to make sure that there in no water running in your home and then check the water meter which is usually located in the meter box in front of your home. There is a small dial on the meter that will spin clockwise if there is a leak. If the dial does not spin then it is likely that you do not have a slab leak. If you notice water in your home call a professional.
Are most water claims covered by insurance?
Typically the damage caused by the water leak is covered by insurance. This means that any damaged furniture, flooring, or drywall would be covered under the loss. The actual plumbing repair typically is not covered by insurance. The damage caused by the plumbing repair is covered which would be any holes that needed to be cut to access pipes, cabinets that had to be removed or flooring that had to be torn up.
If my faucet won’t stop dripping do I need a new faucet?
No. If your faucet is dripping, you need to replace the seats and washers or the ceramic cartridge. The faucet will not drip once this is done.
How do I turn off the water to my house?
The water main will come up in the garage or on the perimeter of the house. The main will be a large copper pipe that comes out the ground. It will have either a circular handle on it that will spin or a lever that will turn a ¼ turn. These are the shut offs to the home. You need to spin the circular handle clockwise until it stops or turn the lever handle until it stops. Then open a faucet in the house and a hose bib on the exterior of the house to drain the water out of the house.
My water heater won’t work. What should I do?
First check to see of the gas is turned on to the water heater by checking the valve that is near the water heater. Check the viewing glass located on the bottom front of the water heater to see if the pilot light is running. You will see a small blue flame that is on if the pilot light is running. If the pilot light is not running then turn the dial on the water thermostat to the pilot position and click the button that ignites the pilot. Once the pilot light is on follow the instructions on the water heater to finish the process. If the pilot light won’t stay on then you need a new part. It is best to call a plumber at this point.
I’m only getting hot water or cold water out of my shower.
The shower valve does not need to be replaced but the cartridge inside the shower valve does. Look for the makers mark on the splashguard of the shower trim. Once you have found the makers mark then you need to locate the cartridge that correlates to the shower valve. Replace the cartridge and the shower should produce the correct water temperatures again.
How do I shut off the gas to my house?
You need to locate the gas meter, which should be on the perimeter on your house. On the left hand side of the meter there will be a pipe coming out of the ground that feeds into the meter. This pipe is the feed pipe from the city. There will be a small inline valve on the pipe. Use a crescent wrench to turn the valve so it is no longer in line with the pipe. That will turn off the gas.
Tankless water heater vs. traditional water heater. What's the difference?
A tankless water heater uses a heat exchanger to heat the water. The heat exchanger is a series of copper loops that carries cold water through them and delivers it to the showers. As the water passes through the heat exchanger it is heated by a series of flames. The water is only being heated as water is passing through it. Water only passes through the heat exchanger when a fixture is turned on in the house and water flows to it. In this way a tankless water heater only heats water as it is needed. A traditional tanked water heater is a large metal container with a burner at the bottom of it. The burner heats the water to a certain temperature and then shuts off. When the water temp drops the burner turns back on and heats the water again. A traditional tanked water heater is always working to make the water hot whereas a tankless water heater only runs when a fixture is being used. A tankless water heater will save you in gas costs each month because it consumes much less gas.
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