Common Plumbing Repair Requests

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Plumbing Repair

We are experts at plumbing repair; a large part of our business is repair. We have a wealth of experience with it, both old and new. So if a guy has an old house from the 1900s, and he is afraid that if someone comes in there he is going to destroy, we're the guys you call. We are the guys who can fix it.

We get asked to do all kinds of repair. Mostly it's valves; sump pumps; kitchen faucets; old galvanized pipe, lead pipe, or cast iron pipe plumbing leaks. These are things that have been installed for a hundred years, and then they start to fail. They require a certain amount of understanding and knowledge to repair them.

Just the other day, I was looking at a job. A woman was having trouble with a drain, and I could see three-quarters of the drain had been repaired over the years in plastic. The remaining one-quarter of the pipe was galvanized. It was an old mechanical tee. I said to her, “The problem with this drain is not at the sink. The problem is where the plastic is tied into the galvanized pipe. If I took this apart right now, there would be a hole through that tee where the water drains out about the size of a quarter. The link for the washing machine keeps plugging that hole up, because you're using the set tub as a drain. That needs to be replaced.” She didn't believe me because I didn't take it apart. I assured her that that was the problem. Plumbers who do not know the old stuff experiment with it, and that creates problems. When you know what to expect because you have done it enough, you anticipate the problems before you even start the repair.

We were at another plumbing job. The second floor bathroom was leaking through the ceiling in the living room. I could tell by the age of the house and by what I saw in the basement that everything up in the ceiling to the second floor was all lead pipe. I said to her, “Once we start this, we have to re-pipe the entire bathroom, because the lead piping connects to the tub, the sink, and the toilet.” Again, how did I know that? I knew it because...I know it! This is what I do for a living! Needless to say, we cut a hole in the ceiling, and there we found the lead pipe, just as I expected to find it.

Here is the difference between repairing and replacing. I will see an old plumbing valve, and I will know that I can get parts for it because I have lots of experience repairing them. Some other guy will look at it and say, “Omigod, that valve is 60 years old. We could never to anything with it.” Then he will rip the wall down and do everything just to put a new valve in. So a $300 repair turns into a $1,500 remodeling job. That is the difference between service (repair) and random replacement of old parts. Most plumbers don't repair things. They replace things. We, on the other hand, can fix things; we don't replace things that can be repaired and that save you money, and that my friend is a lost art form.

Our experience enables us to “see” things without actually having to see them, because we have been around long enough and focused on our trade long enough that we know things instinctively and logically. There is no experimentation. We don't just start making holes in the ceiling just because we cannot physically see what is behind it!

We do the right things the first time because we have the experience. We're very good at it, and I like the fact that we do that kind of work.

The things we do the most are toilet repairs and faucet repairs. For instance, a customer may hear the toilet flushing in the middle of the night like somebody is in the house. The problem is nothing more than either a flapper that needs to be replaced on the toilet or the ball cock needs to be changed. So, it is a simple plumbing repair, but it is also a money saving repair because you stop wasting water, and it is a “piece of mind” repair because you no longer fear that someone is in your house in the middle of the night!

Another example of a frequent repair would be spray hoses built into kitchen faucets, known as “pull-out spouts”. Pull-out spouts have a tendency to leak from where the hose is connected to the spray end. You can imagine that as you pull the head out, the tendency is to twist the spray head to wash your dishes before putting it back in the spout holder. For this reason, many times the nut that connects the hose to the spray head gets loose. The call will come in, “I just put this faucet in a year ago, and I get water under the counter every time I use the faucet.” Ninety-nine percent of the time, I go over, tighten the nut, and the leak is repaired.

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Licenses: F1-FRP.0010174, S1-HTG.0303474, P1-PLM.0203774, HIC.0553849

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