All posts by johns

Full Service

Using a small business is a much more detailed oriented solution to repairs and remodeling.  And in the end your cost is much lower than paying that large company with huge overhead.  The down side may be that you have to wait a few days for your appointment,  but it will be well worth your patience.  In many case’s  working close with customers gives them what they want and need in keeping them happy with there homes plumbing system.  Too many times we see customers getting charged way over what it should cost to make a simple faucet install,  water heater install or a drain cleaning job.  So supporting small shops is not only good for your local plumber / neighbor,  but will save you money.

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Gas Supply Lines

gas log 2018

Do you have a fire place in mind?  Are you wondering who do I call to run a gas line to a gas fire place.  Well a plumber can do this.  Many times I hear people say they never knew that a plumber does this.  We sure do, and we run them to gas bbq grills  also.

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Weather Are You Prepared

Do you have a sump pump?  Do you know how old it is?  Do you have a back up system in place?  These are questions you should know the answer to.  If you don’t you may find out the hard way.  No one wants a flooded basement,  not to mention a ruined heating system, water heater and or carpet etc.  Having a back up sump pump installed usually removes the possibility.  Let’s have a look and see what type of back up you are set up for.  We can suggest whether a water powered or battery option is a fit for your home.

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Sink Sprayer Hang Ups

Is your kitchen sink faucet sprayer hard to pull out?  Chances are it’s getting hung up on your shut off valves.  For a simple solution put some pipe insulation over them.  A $3 piece of foam pipe insulation may solve this common house hold problem.

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RUST COLORED WATER

You count on the water coming from your faucets to be clean and clear.  So what if the color and taste are suddenly not right?  The culprit could be rust, and depending on the age of your pipes and water heater, it could be coming from inside your house.

There’s also a chance rusty water could come from your public water supply, especially if you live in an older city that hasn’t refurbished its water system in many years.   But before you even call your local plumber, you can collect a few clues that can help find the source of the problem.

Is It Rust?

It  doesn’t always take a laboratory test to determine if the impurity in a water sample is rust.  Rusty water will have a distinctive metallic odor and a reddish brown appearance.

The rust particles themselves are oxidized iron, and while they can leave unsightly stains in your porcelain sinks and white linens, they don’t pose a health hazard, according to the University of California.   One exception may be people afflicted with a rare disorder called hemochromatosis, which allows the body to accumulate high iron levels.

Where Is It Coming From?

The first question is whether the rusty water is originating within your home plumbing system or in the public supply.  To investigate, go to the fixture where you first noticed the rusty water and fill a glass with cold water only.   Check the sample for rusty odors or coloring, then let the cold water flow for several seconds before checking another sample. Next, run the hot water for several seconds and sample that.

If the rusty water is only present in the hot water supply or if it goes away after several seconds of running water, those are both strong indications that the rust source is in your home.  But if you have continuous rusty water in both taps, you should call your local water authority immediately to report the problem.

Your DIY test should also help you further narrow down the source if you find that it’s coming from within your home.  If rusty water came from the cold water tap, that indicates a corroding pipe or pipes in your home plumbing system.   And if it’s coming only from the hot water tap, that means your water heater is probably rusting out.

What Can I Do?

No matter the cause, the fix comes down to one word: replacement.  If an old section of the public water system is rusting out, it’s the public authority’s responsibility to replace those failing pipes.  How ever we can install a whole house filer to help keep debri from your pipes.   And if the same is happening to the pipes in your home, we at John Schoeffling Plumbing can conduct a thorough investigation to identify the rusty pipes and  replace them.

If the source is your water heater, replacement is also the recommended route.  Once corrosion begins, it will usually progress until the integrity of the tank fails completely.  But there is one important thing you can do to avoid your new water heater from suffering the same fate: replace the anode rod every few years.

An anode rod is a long, metal rod that extends into your water heater tank.  Its purpose is to attract corrosive particles so they attack the rod and spare the water heater.  But the rod itself is eaten away in this process, and when it’s whittled down to its core, there’s nothing stopping those particles from moving on to attack the tank.  The lifespan of an anode rod is typically five years, or shorter if you have a water softening system.

Do you need help investigating the source of your rusty water or inspecting your hot water heater to make sure it’s protected? Call us we will be glad to help.

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Plumbing Winter Maintenance Chores

It’s that time of year again,  old man winter is showing his face.  Time to shut off the water feed to your outside faucet.  It is also a must to disconnect the garden hose from the spigot.  Not only will bringing in you hose for the winter prolong the life of the hose, but it is essential to a frost proof type hydrant.  In many case’s I see people leaving there hose connected to there outside faucet because they are told it is the type that doesn’t  need to be winterized.  Yes there are faucets for which they have a long stem and shut off inside where it is warm.  However if the hose is still attached the water can not drain out of the hydrant.  If the hose is removed yes there is no reason to shut off the water to this specific type hose faucet.  Any other type of outside hose valve should be shut off at the water feed to it inside the home.  If there is a problem with the valve it may need to be replaced.

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How To Fix A Chipped Sink Or Bathtub

 

whitebathtub

Porcelain and enamel sinks and bathtubs are some of the most resilient fixtures in the typical home, but they’re not invincible. If you accidentally drop something hard and heavy like a cast iron skillet, you could easily chip the surface. Fortunately, the repair job is easy, too.

First Aid

Your DIY sink or bathtub repair starts at your local hardware store, where you’re likely to find a selection of epoxy repair kits. You’ll need one of these repair kits and a sheet of fine-grit sandpaper, if you don’t already have some at home.

Before you can begin repairs, you should clean and dry the chipped area thoroughly, then give it a few passes with the sandpaper. This will remove any small particles that remain and give the chipped surface a rough texture that will make it easier for the epoxy to form a strong bond.

Epoxy consists of two separate solutions. Mix the solutions according to the directions on the package, but don’t mix the entire quantity at once. If you have a large or deep chip, you’ll need to apply the epoxy in multiple thin layers that will need to dry in between, so it’s best to work with small batches.

Many kits include a small applicator brush, but you can also use a fine paintbrush or toothpick to apply the epoxy. Perform this step carefully and be sure to adhere to the package’s directions about drying times. After you’ve applied the final coat, leave the area untouched for at least 24 hours.

If the final product leaves an uneven surface, you can use sandpaper to carefully flatten it out after the epoxy has fully hardened. Wait at least a week before attempting this or any harsh scrubbing of the area.

A Perfect Match

Because most sinks and tubs are white, most of the repair epoxies you’ll find are also white. Some have a single tone, while others can be mixed at various proportions to allow for a range of shades and a closer match. Read the packaging carefully if you’re concerned about this.

If the shade match isn’t exact, you can always touch up the area after the epoxy has fully hardened by using enamel paint. Finding the right shade of enamel paint isn’t necessarily easy either, but there are a few ways you can accomplish this.

Try contacting the manufacturer of the sink or bathtub to ask about color swatches or codes. If that doesn’t provide any clues, move on to your local paint store. If you have the chip that originally broke off, bring it with you to help with color matching. If you don’t, take some paint color samples so you can make your own comparisons at home. Be sure to inquire about enamel paint and the range of available colors. Sometimes nail polish can be a better match, and also will do.

With a little luck, your chipped sink or tub will be easy to fix. But if you find that the damage is too severe, or if you decide you’re ready for a change, call John Schoeffling Plumbing to learn more about your options for replacement.

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Plumbing And Landscaping

Think before you plant.   Planting trees and shrubbery is something that should be done with thought and consideration of your plumbing.   Planting a tree near your main drain may cause root infestation into your pipes.  This will require annual drain cleaning or replacement in the future.   That little tree you plant can cost thousand of dollars to get rid of when it grows up.   Also planting shrubs and plants near  your gas meter or electric meter or especially your A/C compressor  can be very detrimental to the workings and repairs to those mentioned.   Getting to these pieces of equipment is always going to be necessary for maintenance and repairs.   Blocking them will escalate the cost of operation and services to keep them working properly.   So before you try and disguise that ugly unit or pipe, think about how ugly it is when it doesn’t provide the service it is there to perform.

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Water Heaters of Today

Many times I see water heater’s installed by unqualified handy men, or home owners that don’t realize the mechanical and technical aspects of heating water.  First off your water heater’s  of today in  most homes are required to have an expansion tank.  The only time this is not required is if you have well water with a pressure tank.  All other water heater’s need an expansion tank.  This tank is needed to take up thermal expansion that takes place when your water heater is doing it’s job, heating water.  Many times I see water heaters installed without one of these,  this will cause your relief valve to drip or even let large amounts of water out to relieve the unsafe pressure build up.  This extra pressure is also putting a great deal of stress on your water heater tank it self.  Many times home owners call and say “I need a new water heater, it’s leaking”  but the relief valve is just blowing off leading them to believe it’s the tank leaking.  After replacing the water heater doing this, the new one may also leak if the problem is not diagnosed properly.  The temperature and pressure relief valves job is to let you know you have a problem with pressure or temperature that is not safe.  So make sure you have an expansion tank on you cold water supply line preferably above the water heater.  If you don’t get one installed it will save you in the end.  And if your relief valve is leaking find out why.

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Lawn Mowing Landscapers and Plumbing

It’s  that time of year again, landscapers are out mowing lawns.  Every year we seem to get a call or so for a clogged main drain and find that the vent pipe was hit by a mower.  It is wise to let your  landscaper,husband, son, daughter, wife or whom ever is responsible for the mowing of your lawn, know that this pipe is not to be run over or hit in any way.  Marking it is very wise, you can simply place a flag or stick next to the pipe.  Maybe paint it with a bright color to make it more visible.  This pipe connects directly with you home’s main drainage system, if it is damaged it can be very expensive to repair.  And having a main drain back up is certainly no day at the beach.

 Shown here is what a typical vent pipe looks like.  

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