Latest Posts

How to Fix a Dripping Shower Head
November 17, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

Few things in life are more annoying than the incessant drip, drip, drip of a leaky shower head. For some reason, the human brain cannot tune out the sound—the more you try, the louder it seems to get. And beyond the irritation it causes, a leaky shower can also be expensive over time, especially if the drip is from the hot water valve. Shower Head Leaking? Think Again While it may seem like your dripping shower head is the root of the problem, it’s not. A leaky shower is usually due to an issue with the faucet valve stem and/or valve cartridge. Your shower head is likely fine. Replacing a faucet valve stem and/or valve cartridge can be difficult. Below we have included step-by-step instructions for attempting the job on your own. If the project seems too difficult, it’s always smart to contact a professional plumber who knows exactly what needs to be done and how to do it correctly. Before you begin, shut off the water supply to the shower. There may be a shut-off valve in the bathroom, or you may need to shut off the main water for the whole house. Keep in mind that there will likely be some water remaining in the shower lines, so be prepared for a slight downpour when you begin. Place a towel over the bottom of the tub/shower, covering the drain. This will protect the surface from damage if you drop a tool and will keep small parts out of the drain. How to Fix an In-Wall Faucet Valve Here’s how to fix a dripping shower head by repairing the in-wall faucet valves in ten steps: Turn off the water supply to the tub/shower, and cover the drain with a towel. If you have a two-valve system, determine which side is causing the shower leak. If the stem is warm and/or the drip is hot, it is likely the hot side. Remove the handle or knob. Then remove the faceplates and sleeves that cover the valve and valve body. Set these aside. Now that you can see the valve and valve body, unscrew the valve stem and/or cartridge from the valve body with an adjustable wrench. In some cases, you may need to use a cartridge tool specifically designed for your faucet brand. Take the valve stem and/or cartridge to a hardware store to purchase the appropriate replacement parts. All

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Lime Green Van With the Big Red Bird
November 1, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

It’s a bird, it’s a – yep, it’s a bird, a big red bird on a bright green box van!  We have become known for our lime green vans with the big red bird, and that is often what people associate with us first.  It is so fun getting calls asking “Are you the company with the big green vans with the bird on the side?  I see your vans everywhere!” When we started Robins Plumbing, Inc in 2004 we had some big decisions to make, not just the name of our company but the look. We knew how we wanted to do business and now we had to decide how we would best market ourselves affordably while branding our image and name. The lime green – We call this green Robins Plumbing Green and this green represents energy to us. This green is energetic, bright, and eye-catching. The walls in our office are even Robins Plumbing green to bring zest and energy to the environment we work in each day. The big red robin – We wanted a character that reflected a little about who we are. A robin seemed like a no-brainer considering the name Robins Plumbing but rather than a traditional colored robin we wanted something more eye-catching and fun that also showed our love for the Arizona Cardinals. Box vans – We chose to drive large box vans rather than panel vans for several reasons, mostly the convenience of our clients.  There are few things clients value more than their time, and no one wants a plumber at their house all day because they had to make multiple trips for parts or for someone to come with specialty equipment. Our large box vans may seem heavy on fuel use but we actually use dramatically less fuel than using a traditional panel van because we are a shop on wheels and rarely need to run for parts or equipment. Robins Plumbing, Inc – Our company name is simple, it is the last name of the owners and while we could have chosen many names that were catchier we chose our last name because we are signing our name to the work we perform. When you sign something you’re committed, and that is who we are, committed to the satisfaction of our clients and to our reputation. Mini-Me – We also have little Scion’s that are lettered like the vans, and

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What Is the Proper Toilet Flange Height?
October 27, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

When your toilet flange is unlevel or not set to the right height, the toilet may wobble or even leak at the base. To eliminate these issues, it’s important to ensure your flange is set to the right height, and if it’s broken or damaged in any way, you’ll also want to replace it. If you’re unsure what exactly is a toilet flange is, it’s what your toilet sits on. This little device connects your toilet to your home’s waste line. This is why it’s so important for the flange to level. An unlevel flange-like already mentioned, can make your toilet wobble or leak at the base. If you think your flange is not set to the right height, or it needs to be replaced, then you’ll want to do that right away. For those that don’t already know, the proper toilet flange height is when it’s flush with the top of the finished floor. The optimum height is about ¼ inch. It’s easier to get your flange flush with the floor if you first lay your flooring before you install the flange. If you’ve already laid your flooring, and the toilet flange is too high or unlevel, there are a few things you can do. First, you can pack grout into the gap between the floor and the flange. Give the grout 24-hours to dry and sand down the rough edges. Second, you can raise your floor by laying down thicker tile. This is quite a job and takes a while. Third, you can take off the flange as well as the toilet and trim down the waste pipe that comes up through your bathroom floor. This opening of this pipe should be level and flush with the floor. You’ll need some sort of a saw to do this. Your last option is to simply replace the flange. Replacing or adjusting the height of your flange Standart wax ring When you install your toilet flange, it should be installed on top of the finished floor, and it should also be installed perfectly level. If your flange sits even or below the floor, then it’s wrong. It has to sit evenly on top of the finished floor. This is very important. The reason being is because the toilet recesses into the flange when fully installed, but when the flange sits even or below the floor, the toilet can’t properly recess into the flange. As

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How to Replace a Shower Diverter
October 14, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

Switching on your shower should be as simple as the flip of a switch. But when your shower diverter breaks, showering is not so easy– water continues to put from your tub’s faucet after you have actually changed the diverter. Thankfully, repairing a shower diverter fasts and relatively basic. Shower Diverter Spout Type What is a Shower DiverterA shower diverter is the mechanism that reroutes the water from your tub faucet to your showerhead. Many shower diverters are managed by a pin knob that you pull, but there are numerous types. Possibly yours is switched on with a button or with a 3rd faucet handle in between the bathtub’s hot and cold knobs. Finding Out if the Diverter is BrokenThis one’s simple. If, after you activate your shower diverter, water continues to leakage out of the tub spout rather than the showerhead, the shower diverter is not working appropriately. This might suggest that the inner rubber stopper isn’t creating a good seal to totally block and reroute the flow of water, or it could be another problem. Follow the actions listed below to troubleshoot and address the issue. Repairing the Shower DiverterAs soon as you have actually determined that your shower diverter is broken, don’t postpone in repairing it. It may be a simple job to put off, a damaged shower diverter wastes water and creates a bad shower experience. Repairing a shower diverter is a DIY job that you can complete in simply one day. Here’s how to repair a shower diverter in 7 easy actions: Shut off the supply of water to your shower. Seal your drain with tape so that small screws or other vital parts are not lost down the drainpipe. Tighten the screws behind the faceplate of the diverter valve. If you try this fix but the water continues to pour or leakage slowly from the bathtub spout after the shower diverter has been engaged, proceed to the next action. Disassemble the shower diverter. If your diverter has a rotating valve, loosen the nut at the stem of the diverter and get rid of the entire valve. If it has a gate-type valve, unscrew the threaded tub spout. Change the diverter. To be sure you acquire the appropriate 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. Utilize a wrench

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Bathtub Parts You Should Have On Hand Just In Case
October 1, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. The bathtub is one place you may take for granted. Being able to enjoy a bath for hygienic purposes as well as relaxation is vital for a healthy body. However, even bathtub parts are susceptible to breaking down or could use replacement on occasion. Just in case, it is a good idea to keep specific bathtub parts around the home, in case the need for them arises. Most bathtub parts are affordable and easily accessible at your local hardware store. If a specific part needs replacing, chances are that you can fix it yourself instead of having to call a professional. When you need to replace a part, it may also prove a good excuse to upgrade the look and feel of your bathtub. Sometimes, the standard parts that make your tub function can look a little lackluster and could use a little sprucing up. Common Bathtub Parts That Break Or May Need Replacement Thanks to repetitive use, age, and the risk of corrosion from water damage, hair, and other debris, individual parts for your bathtub may eventually require replacing. Handles Image Source: Pexels The handles to turn on the tap for a bathtub may vary; your tub may be outfitted with two separate knobs to control the temperature and force of water that comes through. Other bathtubs may have a single fixture with only one knob to turn the water on and off, as well as set the temperature of the water. If you are looking for a simple way to update the look and feel of the handles for your bathtub, you can find a plethora of handle types at your local plumbing or hardware store. Handles are relatively inexpensive depending on their materials. If you end up having to replace the handles, you can choose from clear snap on faucet handles to lever style handles in a mirror polish. You can enjoy a lot of freedom with the aesthetics of a set of handles, which is sold singly or in a pair. There are also handle kits available for purchase at retailers, so you have all the parts necessary to install a new set of handles, depending on the style of your toilet and tap. Valves

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Cold Water Not Coming Out of the Shower
September 15, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

The only thing worse than a cold shower is a scorching-hot one. If there’s no cold water in your shower, you’ve come to the right place. Lack of cold water is usually caused by a defective pressure-balancing valve in a cartridge. This part is located inside the shower faucet. So, are you feeling handy? With a few tools and some patience, you may be able to replace the valve cartridge on your own. No Cold Water in Shower Begin troubleshooting by checking other faucets around the house. If these all don’t have cold water, you can begin to trace the problem. Look for the shutoff valves in your basement or wherever the main water supply line is. A valve may have been accidently turned off. Hopefully, you can just turn the shut-off valve back on and be good to go. If this isn’t the problem, you should call a professional. If the other faucets around the house do have cold water, then the problem is most likely the pressure-balancing valve. Why Is My Shower Cold? Has your shower become far cooler than normal? There are several possible causes of a cold shower. The first and easiest thing to check is the other faucets in your house. See if they run hot and cold water. If the other faucets around the house do have hot and cold water, then the problem is most likely the pressure-balancing valve in your shower. Why Pressure-Balancing Valves Fail Pressure-balancing valves regulate both pressure and the ratio of cold and hot water that flows out of the showerhead. Over time corrosion and mineral buildup can ruin a cartridge, especially if the faucet is not turned on very often. Replacing a faucet valve cartridge isn’t hard but requires taking the faucet apart. The hardest part of this repair is getting the old cartridge out. This is a good time to call a professional if you don’t feel comfortable with this repair. Feeling confident? Keep reading: How to Replace a Shower Cartridge The first step is purchasing a new shower cartridge at your local hardware store. The best way to find an exact replacement cartridge is to remove the old cartridge and bring it with you to the hardware store. This job is easiest with a cartridge puller, which you can purchase at the hardware store. Shower Cartridge Replacement Tools Flat head and Phillips screwdriver Cartridge puller or tap with matching

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8 Steps to Cleaning Your Sump Pump Properly
September 1, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

Sump pumps are an integral part of maintaining a dry basement. Due to the nature of this helpful household appliance, sump pumps require regular cleaning to keep their systems functioning properly. We suggest annual sump pump cleaning, including removing and washing off the pump, clearing the check valve, removing water and debris from the pit, and more.  If it has been a while since you’ve cleaned your sump pump, or this is the first time you’ve even considered it, continue reading for seven steps to clean your sump pump correctly. What you’ll need First, it’s important to gather the necessary materials and items for cleaning the sump pump.  A tarp or plastic sheeting A tool useful for scraping debris A large bucket A garden hose A wet/dry vacuum for final cleanup How to clean a sump pump Before anything, make sure it’s not rainy outside, or you don’t have any appliances that drain into the sump pump basin. It’s important that there is no water coming into the area as you are working on the sump pump.  Disconnect the sump pump from the power supply. Unplug the sump pump or turn off the circuit breaker at the power source. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Attempting to repair or clean a sump pump while connected to the power source is extremely dangerous. Wrap the pump. Save yourself from extra cleanup by wrapping the bottom of the pump itself in the plastic tarp/sheeting. Set the pump in an area that will allow you to access all sides for easy cleaning. Clean the pump. Now for the fun part. Start the cleaning process by spraying the pump with the garden hose. Once the pump is sprayed and all loose residue has been removed, use the scraping tool to remove any stuck-on debris. Rinse the pump. Spray the pump again with the garden hose, rinsing off any last residue that might be remaining. Drain the check valve. Keep your bucket handy while draining the check valve. Any water from the check valve will be caught in the bucket.  Use the wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water from the sump pit. This step is self-explanatory. Use your shop vac to remove excess water from the sump pit. You’ll also likely need the shop vac to clean up any water or residue that might have made a mess of the cleaning space.  Reconnect the pump. Reconnect the sump

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Summer Is Here! Is Your Plumbing Ready?
August 23, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

It’s summertime! The last thing you’re thinking about is your plumbing, right? I mean, you made it through winter without any pipes freezing. The water heater held up. You didn’t have to use your sprinklers, so they’ve got to be good. Plumbing problems and summer do not go together, right?Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  As is the case with most plumbing problems, you can rarely predict them. However, there are steps you can take to prevent issues from occurring. Or at least catch a possible problem before it escalates into a disaster. Sprinklers. Like it’s stated above, you went the winter and probably most of the spring without having to use your sprinklers. A little rain and a sun that isn’t baking everything help keep those sprinkler heads in the ground. However, it doesn’t mean they still didn’t experience some wear and tear during their off-season. The best thing to do is run them at the beginning of late spring or early summer to check for damaged heads, leaks and make sure your timer is operating as it should. Often, non-use can be just as damaging as overuse. Checking your irrigation system early and fixing any issues will ease most concerns if you keep your sprinklers on a timer and go out of town on vacation. Dishwashers. Summer equals more kids around the house since school is out. More friends over. Cookouts and holidays with friends and family. Which also means more dishes and more dishwasher cycles. Get up-to-date on your dishwasher manufacturer’s recommended maintenance and upkeep and ensure it’s ready to rock. Also, climb under the sink and inspect the supply and drain lines, ensuring everything is tight and there are no weeps that may become full-fledged leaks. Garbage disposal. With all those extra dishes from all that extra food you’ll be grilling comes grease. The easiest way to deal with it is to drain it off your cookware or soak it up with paper towels and dispense it into the trash. Do not just rinse it all off into the sink’s disposal or put the dishes into the dishwater covered in grease. Grease can gunk up your disposal and drain line. It also serves as a nice resting place for food debris to build up. Slow and clogged drains are sure to follow. Air conditioning. As the summertime heat kicks up, so will the use of your air conditioning.

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Do It Yourself Plumbing: 5 Mistakes to Avoid as Beginner
July 20, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

Did you know you can fix yourself those dripping faucets, water hammer, overflowing toilets, or puddles of water in basement? Yes, that is right – you can become a do it yourself plumbing expert today and save hundreds of dollars, but you have to be careful. Let’s be clear – minor plumbing problems come up almost on a daily basis. On the other hand, the biggest plumbing issues are most of the times result of carelessness. If you root out that leak or clog in time, you won’t need a plumbing professional. However, some people simply get too excited about being their own plumbing superheroes, they mess up everything and end up with a plumber. Today, we will give you a couple of valuable instructions will prevent turning your do it yourself plumbing adventure into a disaster. Trust us, when you know how to handle the materials properly and use the right tools, you will have so much fun fixing things around your house. Do It Yourself Plumbing – Instructions  In this part, we will talk about the initial steps towards a repair, then will mention the most common mistakes in do it yourself plumbing, and move on to a couple of incredibly interesting and easy do it yourself plumbing tricks. Preparation 1. Locate the Valves Always remember this when making any steps towards a do it yourself plumbing project – locate and shut off the valves. Take this seriously, even when performing the least important and least risky fixes (tightening toilet seat for example). If you have a nice and modern plumbing system in your home, there is a great possibility you have shutoff valves in each bathroom. When building a plumbing system, experts locate valves in the basement most of the times but don’t rely on this only. It is always better to check if there are any hidden shutoffs behind access panels. The best test to check if you have turned off the right valves is to turn the faucet on or to flush the toilet. If there is any water running, then you should inspect the valves a bit better.Does this seem complicated? We have another great tip for saving the day with your do it yourself project. The most reliable way to turn off the valves is to shut down the main one. You will find it easily, as the main valve is always located where the water line gets into your

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Plumber Skills List and Examples
July 6, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

Beyond using a plunger on an overflowing toilet or using some liquid drain cleaner, real plumbing work is not one of the easiest do-it-yourself home projects. A call to a plumber is most likely going to be one’s best bet when pipes freeze or other residential plumbing issues arise. And, as long as people continue to have indoor plumbing (the outlook is good), skilled plumbers will always be in demand. Plumbers repair and install the pipes and drainage systems that are connected to appliances, machines, and water fixtures. Some plumbers concentrate on residential plumbing, while others specialize in commercial. Some focus on installing systems in new construction, while others are adept at repairing existing systems. Top Skills Needed When you’re applying for jobs, there are certain skills that employers expect applicants for plumbing jobs to have. Here are a few of the top skills needed to succeed as a plumber. Manual Dexterity and Physical Demands Working with pipes, usually in tight, confined spaces, requires the strength to hold up pipework, appliances, or toilets, and the ability to hold pipe fittings steady, while having good control of your hands to manipulate small objects. You will need to have good vision to thread fittings, read small gauges, and interpret blueprints. Some of the physical tasks and abilities required of plumbers include: Accessing Confined Spaces Applying Adhesives, Sealants, and Caulk Cleaning Sewer Lines Hand and Arm Strength Installing Appliances Like Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Water Softeners, and Water Heaters Installing Pipe Systems for Gas, Water, Steam, and Other Liquids Manual Dexterity Precision Tolerating Potentially Dangerous, Noisy, or Unpleasant Working Conditions Using Soldering Techniques Utilizing Tools to Assemble Components Welding Mechanical Know-How When dealing with water pressure, you must have an understanding of how plumbing systems work. Training for plumbing jobs is available from trade schools, community colleges, and on the job as an apprentice. Most states require a plumber to be licensed to practice on their own. Though requirements vary by location, two to five years of experience and successful completion of a test covering trade knowledge and knowledge of local code and regulations is usually necessary before a license will be issued. Mechanical know-how enables plumbers to perform activities such as: Applying Algebra Applying Geometry Applying Principles of Hydronics Choosing the Right Tools for the Job Fixing Leaking and Clogged Lines Installing Sinks and Faucets Interpreting Blueprints Mechanical Reasoning Performing Pressure Tests on Pipe Systems

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