Stop. Gate. Ball. May the Best Valve Win

March 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Category: Uncategorized

There are three basic valve styles, making this a classic case of good, better and best (described in order as follows). All three can be used for water, oil or airflow control if the casting has “WOG” stamped on it. Your Boston plumber is well versed in all three of these types of valves and can steer you in the right direction when it comes to which will best suit your needs. Read up on the three basic types before you attempt any plumbing repairs on your own. Stop valves are closed by screwing a rubber gasket down onto a seat in the middle of the valve. Boston pros only use small versions that act as shutoff valves for fixtures such as sinks and toilets and outdoor sillcocks. Flow is inefficient because of the circuitous route the fluid (water, in most cases) has to follow. It’s important to orient the valve in the right direction with the arrow (cast into the side of the valve) aligned with flow direction. That way, water flows against the bottom of the rubber gasket. If the valve is put in backward, the flow will force the gasket away from the top of the valve. Gate valves are called “full-flow” valves; there’s a direct unobstructed path for flow right through the middle of the valve. […]

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Nothing Silly About Plumber’s Putty

March 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Category: Plumbing

Plumber’s putty is a substance used to make watertight seals between pipes and countertops. It will remain soft for a long while after it is used. This characteristic makes plumber’s putty ideal for seals you will need to reverse. Because it does stay soft for such an extended amount of time, you shouldn’t use plumber’s putty on pipes that will experience any amount of water pressure; the seals will not hold up to such pressure. The putty is fairly easy to use and can be wiped away if you make a mess. Read below to discover common uses for plumber’s putty.   Sinks You can use plumber’s putty around the rim of the sink to create a watertight barrier, but you should not use it if your  Boston countertop is granite or another kind of stone. It is compatible with Formica countertops. If you form the seal correctly, no water will be able to seep into the area under the sink and create mold or water damage. In order to install the sink correctly, apply the soft plumber’s putty to the bottom of the sink and place, with pressure to the countertop. Some sinks come with clips meant for the bottom of the sink (under the countertop). The clips ensure that the proper amount of pressure is placed on the […]

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No More Stinky Sink

March 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Category: Plumbing

Even though the garbage disposal is designed to pulverize and remove kitchen waste from food products, food particles often become trapped in the nooks and crannies of the disposal and drainpipe. This provides the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow and create unpleasant odors, as well as unhealthy spores – nothing you want in your Boston home. At first, the odors may not be noticeable. However, given enough time and lack of cleaning, the unpleasant odors may become stronger as the bacteria and mold continue to grow. Cleaning the garbage disposal at least once a week with one of the following methods will help to keep it free of nasty bacteria and unsightly mold. Tip:  When cleaning your dishes use detergents that break up grease and use hot water. Remember that kitchen grease will harden in your drains and retain odors. Put as little grease down your sink as possible. And always run water while running your garbage disposal to help keep it clear and clean. Baking Soda and Vinegar Pour one half cup of baking soda down the kitchen drain. Carefully pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain on top of the baking soda. Place the drain stopper in the sink to close off the drain. If you have a double sink, you should do […]

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Why Pick Pex Plastic Plumbing Pipe?

March 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Category: Plumbing

One of the most widely used and cost effective new plumbing solutions to hit the market in decades is pex plumbing. Pex tubing is plastic plumbing pipe that is perfect for residential use. It’s easy to install, cheaper than traditional copper plumbing, and has a great track record when it comes to performance. It is presently one of the most commonly used plumbing materials in new home building, making it the perfect choice if you’re looking for a functional, cost effective, solution to replacing or installing plumbing in your Boston home. Pex Tubing is the Best Buy on the Market Perhaps the greatest draw to using pex pipe for your plumbing needs is cost. From materials right on down to installation, it is hands down the most cost effective plumbing an Boston homeowner can buy. It’s cheaper from the get go from a materials standpoint, and because it can be installed in longer, flexible, lines, using less fittings, you’ll also save on the extra fixtures and fittings that copper plumbing requires. And when it comes to installation, there is no comparison. The flexibility, light weight, and easy fitting of pex tubing drastically cuts down on the time it takes to re-plumb a house, or install it in a new home build, translating into big savings on labor costs. Top to […]

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Something From High School You Could Actually Use Today!

March 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Category: Water Filtration

What exactly is in your Boston drinking water? Even the most high quality tap water can still harbor bacteria, viruses, and other nasty parasites that can make you and your family ill. Buying bottled water can get expensive and isn’t the most environmentally friendly alternative available. Reverse osmosis filtration systems can help keep your water supply clean and safe at a reasonable cost. What is reverse osmosis? Besides being a term from high school science class that you’ve long since forgotten, this process is an increasingly common way to filter water. In simple terms, a filter device, which varies by different products on the market, helps separate larger molecules from the solution as it passes through. Pressure assists with moving the water while removing its impurities through the filter. What comes out the other side is pure and fresh filtered water suitable for drinking and using at your Boston home. In most types of these filtration systems used in the home, the water passes through several layers of barriers to help remove impurities and sediments before it is ready to be used. Why is it important? Other than making most sources of water taste much cleaner, it is a safe way to ensure your family’s health by increasing quality of water consumed. Reverse osmosis filtration systems can’t always eliminate every […]

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Repeat After Me: Drain, Waste, Vent

February 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Category: Drain Cleaning

Drainage Systems Whether your Boston home is on a sewer or septic system, the systems within your home are essentially the same. Drainage systems do not depend on pressure, as supply systems do. Instead, waste matter leaves your house because the drainage pipes all pitch, or angle, downward. Gravity pulls the waste along. The sewer line continues this downward flow to a sewage treatment facility or a septic tank. While the system sounds simple, there’s more to it, including vents, traps, and clean outs. The vents sticking up from the roof of your Boston home allow air to enter the drainpipes. If there were no air supply coming from the vents, wastewater would not flow out properly and the water in the traps would need to be siphoned away. Traps are vital components of the drainage system. You can see a trap under every sink. It is the curved or S-shape section of pipe under a drain. Water flows from the basin with enough force to go through the trap and out through the drainpipe, but enough water stays in the trap afterward to form a seal that prevents sewer gas from backing up into your Boston home. Every fixture must have a trap. Toilets are self-trapped and don’t require an additional trap at the drain. Bathtubs frequently have drum […]

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Plumbing Pratfalls

February 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Category: Plumbing

No one wants to face expensive but avoidable plumbing repairs.  There are going to be times when calling your Boston plumber is inevitable – but to lengthen the time between housecalls, avoid these plumbing errors. Putting grease down the sink -Please don’t put grease down the drain.  Even with hot water and soap, grease can build up over time causing problems with your pipes. Using your sink as a trash can – Even if you have a garbage disposal, that does not give you a free pass to dump everything and anything down the drain.  Food chunks in the kitchen or hair and fingernails in the bathroom serve as the start of a terrible clog. Using the toilet as a trash can – The toilet has its given role, the trash can has another.  Do not confuse the two. Using too much Drain-O – Using drain cleaner too often or on the wrong type of clog could lead to erosion of your pipes or just a really nasty clog for your Boston plumber to clean out. Mixing metals – If you decide to replace the pipes yourself for a portion of your Boston home’s plumbing system, please do not mix piping metals.  This can lead to corrosion, leaks, and a number of other headaches. Lack of insulation – If you […]

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Flush Up With Upflush

February 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Category: Uncategorized

What is an Upflush Toilet? The upflush toilet is a great addition to any Boston home. It is also more cost effective compared to a standard toilet in terms of the amount of flushing water it uses. When the upflush toilet is flushed, the water level will be pressured so that it rises into the treatment tank. In the treatment tank, the grinder motor cuts the feces automatically so that it becomes macerated. The rotating blades will grind the contents in 3 – 4 seconds. The finely ground feces is pumped into a standard pipe which measures 0.75 to 1 inch in diameter. After that, the tank becomes empty so that the system can be reused. The upflush toilet is designed to solve the problem of a standard toilet. The important feature in an upflush toilet is the macerator pump and small diameter pipe. The powerful macerator contains a sharp blade which can effectively shred the feces and toilet paper so that they become liquefied in the water. Once it is mixed with water, it can easily be flushed into the upward pipe. The quiet electric pump generates the pressure for moving the slurry upward in the pipe. The narrow pipe which measure ¾ inch in diameter solves the structural problems in most homes. The finely grinded slurry will be […]

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Some Like It Hot – But Safety Trumps Heat

February 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Category: Water Heaters

Can tap water really cause serious burns? Yes. Most Boston hot water heaters are set to a temperature of 60°C (140° F). Water this hot can severely scald a child’s skin in just one second. A scald is a second-degree or third-degree burn caused by hot liquid or steam. Hot coffee, tea, soup and other hot foods are the most common causes of scalds to young children. Hot tap water is a less common cause, but these scalds are often more severe – and they are easy to prevent. To prevent tap water scalds, the hot water at all your taps should be no hotter than 49°C (120°F). At this temperature, it takes about 10 minutes to burn a child’s skin. Tap water scalds can happen anywhere that the water is too hot – not just in the bath. Children have been scalded by hot tap water when playing at the sink, or by putting their hands or feet into a bucket filled with hot tap water for household cleaning. Why are children more at risk? Children are more at risk for tap water scalds because: A child’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s skin. A child’s skin burns more quickly – so even a very short exposure to water that is too hot can cause a […]

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Hammer Time! (Sorry MC – WATER Hammer)

February 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Category: Plumbing

Water hammer is a specific plumbing noise, not a generic name for pipe clatter. It occurs when you shut off the water suddenly and the fast-moving water rushing through the pipe is brought to a quick halt, creating a sort of shock wave and a hammering noise. Plumbing that’s properly installed has air chambers, or cushions, that compress when the shock wave hits, softening the blow and preventing this hammering. The chambers can fail, though, because water under pressure gradually absorbs the air. If you never had hammering and then it suddenly starts, most likely your Boston plumbing system’s air chambers have become waterlogged. You can cure water hammer by turning off the water behind the waterlogged chamber, opening the offending faucet and permitting the faucet to drain thoroughly. Once all the water drains from the chamber, air will fill it again and restore the cushion. If the air chamber is located below the outlet, you may have to drain the main supply lines to allow the chamber to fill with air again. The air chamber will not drain properly if it’s clogged with scale or residue from chemicals or minerals in the water. The chamber always should be larger than the supply pipe to preclude such clogging. Since the chamber is simply a capped length of pipe, however, all […]

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