Plumbing

Video: Differentiating Backflow Devices

Posted on July 09, 2019 by James Florence

SAUSALITO — Host, Sarah Rutan: Did you know that most homes have more than one type of backflow device? To learn more, we’re in Sausalito with Chris Fricke of Burkell Plumbing, speaking on behalf of Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Jake Newman Jr.

Chris Fricke: Hi. A common phone call we get from a customer will be calling to say that they’re having an issue with their backflow device. My first question is, which backflow is it? It’s important to know most houses have two different backflows. And we want to know which one it is so we can send the right technician to service it.

So, the one backflow that’s common is the sewer backflow. Read more

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How to Flush a Tankless Water Heater

Posted on July 09, 2019 by James Florence

CAMPBELL — While more technologically advanced than conventional water heaters, tankless water heaters still require ongoing maintenance. One crucial step is flushing your water heater one or two times per year, which removes sediment buildup in its heat exchanger to prevent reduced water flow/operating efficiency.

The process of flushing a tankless water heater is very different from flushing a conventional one. Before you get started, you’ll need the following items:

• A bucket

• A submersible pump

• 2 hoses (must fit the intake/outtake valves on the pump and your water heater)

• 2 gallons of vinegar

 

Once your items are ready, Read more

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Differentiating Backflow Devices

Posted on July 03, 2019 by James Florence

SAUSALITO — Plumbers often receive calls from customers who are having issues with their backflow devices. However, did you know most homes have two types of backflow devices? Knowing the difference (and specifying the type for your plumber) can be helpful when calling to request service.

The first (and most common) type is the sewer backflow device. This device sits on top of the sewer pipe outside of your home. If the sewer backs up, the device will pop up and allow the sewage to spill out onto the ground instead of inside your home.

The other type of backflow device has to do with your home’s drinking water. Basically, this device ensures proper sanitation by preventing drinking water that enters your home from going back into the general water supply. Read more

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Video: Understanding Supply Valves

Posted on May 16, 2019 by James Florence

BENICIA — Host, Sarah Rutan: Supply valves may be a minor part of your plumbing system, but ignoring them can lead to costly consequences. Today we’re in Benicia with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor James Burton of Oak Plumbing to learn more.

James Burton: One of the quick tips for homeowners that we like to focus on is these. These are the valves that supply water from the system that’s inside of your walls to all of the fixtures inside of your home. This one is a supply valve that is used. It’s called an angle stop. We use them to take care of toilets or faucets. Comes out of the wall, Read more

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Understanding Supply Valves

Posted on May 16, 2019 by James Florence

BENICIA — Supply valves facilitate the distribution of water from the pipes in your walls to your home’s various plumbing fixtures. One common type of supply valve is called an angle stop, which is used to deliver water to sinks and toilets. You can usually find these valves on the wall near your toilet or underneath your sink.

An angle stop allows you to shut off water to an individual plumbing fixture as needed, whether for repairs or in an emergency situation (an overflowing toilet or broken faucet, for example). That way, if there’s an issue with one fixture, you don’t need to shut off the water to your entire house.

One thing to keep in mind about angle stops (and supply valves in general) is they don’t last forever. Read more

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Video: How to Flush a Water Heater

Posted on February 27, 2019 by James Florence

NOVATO — Host, Sarah Rutan: The simplest way to increase your water heater’s operating lifespan is to flush its tank annually. Today we’re in Novato with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Daniel Gagne of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing to learn how this is done.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Daniel Gagne: Hi, my name Daniel Gagne, and today I’m going to show you how to flush a water heater. The reason we flush water heaters – and it needs to be done at least once a year – is because there’s a lot of sediment in the water and sediment tends to sit at the bottom of the water heater tank. And if you don’t maintain your water heater or flush it yearly and take a look at certain components, Read more

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DIY Water Heater Maintenance

Posted on February 01, 2019 by James Florence

NOVATO — A crucial aspect of plumbing system maintenance is to drain your water heater’s tank at least once a year. This is important because of all the sediment in the water, which tends to collect and sit at the bottom of the tank. If you don’t flush the tank regularly, your water heater will gradually become less efficient and may even develop a leak at its base.

Fortunately, flushing your water heater’s tank isn’t difficult. Just follow these steps:

1. Shut off water to the unit. Locate the shut-off valve (usually on top of the tank) and turn it to the “off” position (since it’s already “on,” just turn it all the way in the opposite direction). Read more

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