Blog

Latest Posts

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

Read More
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

Read More
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.

Read More
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

Read More
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

Read More
HOT WATER NOT COMING OUT OF YOUR SHOWER?
June 17, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

Though it’s often always pretty warm in Texas during the winter, the last thing you want is no hot water coming out of the shower! An immediate solution would be to check your water tank, which is where the hot water is being supplied from. Water heaters (or water tanks) are usually located in hidden places like your basement, attic, garage, or even a closet. FYI, the location of your water heater also affects how quickly the water in your house gets hot. While your water tank could be the most obvious reason for finding any issues with the water heating, it isn’t the only one. There are a few other things you can look at when trying to find the reason the water isn’t heating in your household. Quarter Moon Plumbing, AC & Heating has a few tips for you if hot water is not coming out of your shower. CHECK THE TEMPERATURE Sometimes, it’s the little things. While checking the temperature of the water heater may sound like a no-brainer, there are a few other things to consider. If you have an electric water heater, check for any elements that might have burned out; water will either heat for a short period of time or not heat at all if there is an issue. If you have an older model, the cold-water supply dip tube may have deteriorated. The dip tube allows for cold water to run down to the burner to heat it up. Instead of the cold water going to the burner for heating, it escapes into the hot water feed pipe. Thus causing cold water to come out. Make sure you check the temperature of your water heater to rule this factor out. WATER TANK, INSPECT IT! As previously mentioned, your water tank can be located in either your basement, attic, garage, or closet. After locating it, the first thing you want to check is the age and condition of your water tank. Like many appliances, water tanks are subject to wear and tear over time. A second thing to look out for is leaks and checking the connections. At times, the connections on your water heater may need to be tightened or sometimes may need to be replaced. Lastly, check the anode rode (which is a steel wire coated in either aluminum or magnesium which helps prevent the water tank from rusting) and look

Read More
Plumbing Company Sees Big Growth by Just Focusing on Customers
June 14, 2021 Blogging Claude Lowe

California couple grows company from home office to large facility and increases revenue with a customer-centric philosophy Interested in Residential Plumbing? Get Residential Plumbing articles, news, and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now. Before John and Devynn Thompson started Thompson Family Plumbing & Rooter in 2013 from their home in Hesperia, California, they sketched out a vision for the company that was based on easing typical pain points for plumbing customers. As a result, the company emphasizes a peace-of-mind approach that informs all aspects of its operations, ranging from crime-free and competent technicians and transparent pricing to thorough customer communications and adoption of new technologies that increase efficiency and productivity. “We do things differently here at Thompson Family Plumbing,” Devynn says. “Our mindset is that, no matter what, the customer is always right. We always want to be sure that at the end of their experience with us, they’re satisfied. “The way I see it from my end as a customer, a lot of contractors struggle because they fail to communicate,” she continues. “We go above and beyond to make sure customers have a full understanding of what we’re doing from the start — always consider things from their perspective and do things right the first time.” The couple’s efforts have paid off. Gross revenue has increased 300% since their first year in business. Furthermore, they now work out of a 4,500-square-foot facility instead of a home office, run several service trucks and employ nine technicians. Residential service and repair work generates about 80% of the company’s revenue, while commercial service and repair work produces the balance. Moreover, the couple reinforced that customer-centric philosophy by using community service as a marketing tool to build brand recognition and client loyalty. The company also made John and his eye-catching handlebar mustache and “geek-chic” glasses the face of the company; a caricature of John is emblazoned on the company’s service trucks and logo. “John is not allowed to shave off his mustache,” she says, noting that the company has posted a popular Snapchat photo filter that enables customers to see what they look like if they “wear” the mustache. “His mustache is kind of a theme for our company. “Social media also has really helped market our company,” she adds. “John is big on Instagram in the plumbing community — he has 20,000 followers.” CRIME-FREE TECHNICIANS A primary component of the company’s

Read More
Water Usage
November 12, 2020 Blogging Claude Lowe

Water Usage If your water usage is high and you’re maybe being charged an amount that does’t seem reasonable, these are some potential tests you can do to identify any problems. Listen for dripping sounds. As simple as this step may seem, it may be overlooked in a busy, noisy home. Even though a dripping faucet may not seem to waste significant amounts of water, over the course of day, each individual drop adds up to thousands and thousands of drops, or gallons and gallons of water. Choose a time when there is little or no activity, such as early in the morning, or late at night, when the house is very quiet. Look for evidence of a leak along the base board of walls near the location of your plumbing fixtures. Pipes that contain water under pressure can become corroded, develop loose fittings, or crack because of freezing, allowing a continuous loss of water until repaired. Mildew or mold, darkened surfaces, or even puddles of water may occur below leaks. If the problem is inside the wall cavity, it may be necessary to remove the paneling, plaster, or wallboard to correct it. Pipes also may sweat when cold water passes through them in warmer interior airspaces in the home, and this water condensing on the surface of pipes may drip, causing moisture problems to appear where no leak exists. However, consistently sweaty pipes could be a sign a leaky toilet or other fixture. Look under vanities and sinks for drips or similar evidence noted in the previous step. Use a flashlight to follow the path of exposed pipes, looking for droplets of water that will accumulate at the lower section before dropping off, and run your fingertips along these pipes to feel for wetness. Listen for noises from your commodes/bathrooms, to determine if they are running at unusual intervals, when no one has recently flushed them. When there is a seal leak in the water closet (toilet), the tank will drain slowly over a period of time, until the water level drops sufficiently for the float valve to open and replenish it. Sticking flush valves and leaking seals in toilets can waste a lot of water, since, like dripping faucets, the flow, although perhaps very small, is continuous. Check the supply valves on lavatories and commodes if they are leaking. The packing, which seals the valve stem of a

Read More