Plumbing

Are clogged pipes, leaky faucets, broken fixtures and other plumbing problems an issue for you? Knowing the basics of plumbing installation and the ABC’s of how to tackle plumbing problems will go a long way in avoiding the same. However, we know that most of you do not have the time or skill to handle common plumbing problems, which is why we believe having a directory of plumbing and heating contractors who will reach your doorstep quickly, is the answer.

Most of the material used for plumbing systems has changed and improved from clay, lead or stone to materials like brass, steel, copper, brass, plastic, or other nontoxic material. Your plumbing lines
should operate smoothly without problems. If you are having any of these common problems then you need a great plumber as soon as possible.

Common scenarios when plumbers are required:

  • faulty faucets
  • clogged drains
  • broken toilets
  • water heaters running out of hot water
  • noisy pipes
  • broken shower heads
  • kitchen drain blockage
  • sink sprays
  • frozen pipes
  • preparing your plumbing system for cold weather
  • low water pressure from tub faucets, shower heads or kitchen faucets
  • blocked drains
  • blocked showers
  • leaky pipes
  • plumbing emergencies
  • Hire only skilled plumbing and heating contractors who will fix your problems while also ensuring you do not have recurring problems. Preventing plumbing problems can save you a lot of money in the long run. A plumbing line inspection can help prevent problems that may cost you a large sum of money.

    Simple tips for common plumbing problems:

  • For frozen pipes in winter: Using hot water bottles or a blow dryer is the best way to thaw frozen pipes.
  • Buy a water hammer from your nearby hardware shop to avoid noisy after flushing sounds.
  • Periodically lower the pressure of the water pipes’ stop-cock.
  • If your faucet’s water stream is running zigzag it means your aerator needs to be cleaned.
  • Clean your shower-heads every month to avoid build-up of lime scale which will make your shower flow weaker.
  • Use water-saving showerheads. This way you will save on the water bill, save energy and still enjoy a luxurious shower.
  • Use PVC washers with PVC nuts. Do not mix PVC nuts with metal washers and vice-versa.
  • Some tools that will make your job easier are:

  • Wrench: There are many options. From a basic wrench, adjustable wrench, socket wrench, pipe wrench, and a basin wrench. These are all available at you local hardware store.
  • Pliers: Tongue pliers and groove pliers are most commonly used and are very helpful plumbing tools.
  • Pipe vises: These are used to cut, thread etc. Common ones like Yoke Pipes and Chain Vises are a good buy.
  • You may not be a plumber or have great plumbing skills, but these simple, vital tools can come in handy for simple repairs. As with everything else, remember that good-maintenance is a priority but if all else fails and you are unsure of what the next step should be, call the experts. Do not fret over costs, call recommended and skilled plumbing and heating contractors who will fix your problems while also ensuring you do not have recurring plumbing problems. Preventing plumbing problems can save you a lot of money in the long run. A plumbing line inspection can help prevent problems that may cost you a large sum of money.

    Plumbing Installation – How to Connect Copper Pipe Together

    Plumbing with copper pipes is very challenging when you don’t know where to begin. I can help you out with what I have learned through years of experience. I worked with a fellow carpenter years ago that always said “everybody has the ability, but not everybody has the experience”. That is why I am glad to help people get to the end result sooner by sharing my experiences.

    If you are planning on doing some plumbing with copper take time to check out these points and your project will go quicker and easier, with professional results.

    Planning

    Always plan your project before diving into it. You need to make sure you have all supplies needed you don’t want to get half way done and be missing some parts. Measure your pipes and cut and prefit the pipes before you start sweating your pipes.

    Also set up a work station if you are sweating more than a couple joints. I like to use 2 sawhorses set up with a piece of plywood on top to give me a nice surface to work on and lay my parts on top.

    When I remodel a kitchen I will get all my pipes cut and measured and sweat them together outside or in a garage and then all I have to do is sweat 2 joints in the sink base. If you are working on a kitchen or bathroom it is easier to sweat your pipes before the counter tops are in place.

    If you have to sweat pipes near a finished surface place a piece of flashing or thin plywood in between your flame and the finished surface. Also have a spray bottle handy with water in it, this you can use to cool down the pipes or to soak any wood in the area.

    Clean

    After your pipes are prefit mark them with a marker drawing a straight line or two across the joints. This is helpful with any plumbing because you will put your pipes back together the way you have fitted them.

    You need to make sure your pipes are clean in the area that will get sweated together. This can be done with a wire brush cleaner made for this purpose or plumbers sandpaper. The brush is very handy for cleaning the inside of fittings. Cleaning makes the surface fresh and gives the solder little microscopic grooves to melt into.

    After cleaning the end of the pipe don’t touch them even the oil of your fingers will mess with you getting your pipes sweated.

    Flux

    Flux is necessary to help the soldering process. One of the problems to a good solder joint are impurities at the site of the joint, for example, dirt, oil or oxidation. Fluxes also act as a wetting agent in the soldering process, reducing the surface tension of the solder and causing it to flow between the pieces more easily.

    Heat

    If you are going to do a lot of sweating of pipes get a tank and self lighting torch. These torches will be handy because when you let your fingure off the button the flame goes out. This is better than the other type that is always lit and you have to be careful where you set it down.

    I have found mapp gas works better than propane. Mapp gets the pipes hotter quicker making your job easier.

    Solder

    Buy solder that has no lead in it for your health. When you buy your parts and get your supplies together purchase the right kind of solder for plumbing.

    Sweating Pipes

    Sweating pipes can be quite easy if the above steps are followed cleaning is very important and then don’t forget the flux and then it is time for the heat.

    A half inch pipe joint should use about 1″ of solder, if your pipe is horizontal use enough till it drips out. Watch where you are standing so the molten solder does not drip on you, believe me it hurts. It is always best to put the heat on the coupling you want the solder to run into, the heat will help draw the solder into the joint.

    If your sweating existing pipes make sure all water is out of the line. I always turn the main water valve off and open a faucet on a lower level. I once sweated a copper line that was in the concrete slab so I turned off the water and used my vacuum to blow the water out of the lines.

    Remember to always plan ahead and you can Do It Yourself.

    Ways to Install a PEX Tubing System

    Installation of PEX plumbing systems should be carried out strictly according to the project in hand. Normally, PEX plumbing systems are installed by trained professionals with technical knowledge of the system. But if you want to install PEX plumbing systems on your own then there are certain things you would have to keep in mind before you set out to do the actual task of installing a full-fledged PEX plumbing system.

    What is PEX?

    Firstly, you have to know what PEX is. For the uninitiated, PEX is cross-linked polyethylene. These are often used for radiant heating purposes, but now these are also used extensively for hot and cold plumbing installations. PEX tubing and plumbing systems are easy to work with since they are quite flexible. This is one advantage PEX systems have over normal copper systems. Owing to its design, PEX is also more durable under temperature extremes and chemical attack. It is also highly resistant to creep deformation.
    Steps to be followed while installing PEX:

    Below is a simple step by step guideline on how to install such a plumbing system. Just follow these steps carefully and you will be able to install a PEX plumbing system at your home without the help of any technician. It will also save you some extra bucks.

    Things required for installing a PEX Plumbing system:

    • PEX piping and fittings
    • PEX crimps
    • PEX manifold with ball valves
    • Nailing plates
    • PEX stub outs

    Tools:

    • Hammer
    • Soldering machine
    • PEX cutting equipments
    • Straps
    • Hangars
    • Paddle bit
    • Crimp gauge
    • Right-angle drill

    Step-1:

    Slowly start drilling after you have placed the bit up to the stud. Increase your drilling speed as you move forward. While drilling, just make sure that each hole is at the same level so that the pipe can run parallel to the floor. Also drill through the sill plate and sub-floor for individual water lines.

    Step-2:

    After you are done with drilling, insert and run the water lines through those holes. In most cases, the water lines come through the floor. But in certain other cases, the lines may come through the wall studs. In those cases, make sure you drill the holes right at the center so that while hanging the board, the screw and nails of the board do not harm or damage the pipes in any way.

    Step-3:

    Pull the lines upwards through the holes on the sub-floor. Also, run the other end to the area where water will be coming into the home. Leave pout some extra pipes on both the ends. Now use the clamps and secure the lines to the joists. Make sure, you keep the hot and cold lines as far apart as possible to minimize heat transfer.

    Step-4:

    Now do the rough stub-outs for the sinks. You can use a right-angle drill or a paddle bit to carry out this task. Just make sure to cut-off the rough fitting cap and install finish valves after you put up the walls.

    Step-5:

    It is now time to install the crimps. For the perfect crimp set up, make sure the PEX is straight when you cut it. Now slide a crimp ring onto and then insert the pipe in the crimp fitting. Use slip-joint pliers to slide the crimp ring up. Do not do it with your fingers, or else you might hurt yourself while tightening the crimp ring. Make sure the crimp ring is 1/8 inches or 1/4 inches from the end of the pipe.

    Step-6:

    Now rough the lines to the fixtures. Do not solder around the PEX tubing or you might end up damaging the pipes. You should use a fitting called PEX 90. After it has cooled from soldering, you can fit it onto the PEX water line.

    Step-7:

    Position the valve in a way where they will face down when they are hung in their places. Solder them to their positions.

    Step-8:

    You can now pull up the water lines from the crawlspace and connect them to the manifold. Screw the top brackets to stud keeping them at eye level. Also install the bottom brackets to the manifold.

    Step-9:

    Now mark all the holes with a nail and start drilling them. Just make sure you do not damage the manifold while you are doing your drilling work. Put the manifold on the ground after you have finished you drilling work.

    Step-10:

    Now you can attach the PEX ball valves to the manifold. Screw every valve onto its port properly. Get one of the lines and pull it up to the valve to make sure it fits properly. This type of arrangement will mean that each fixture will have its own shut-off valve.

    Step-11:

    After you are done with fitting the ball valves, you can now pull up the PEX tubing from the crawlspace and attach them at their places.