Main Water Lines
Main water lines that are made of pex, black poly, blue poly or grey poly (Quest) usually last between 20 and 30 years. Very often a premature breakage occurs and these are usually caused by sharp rocks or sizable and aggressive tree roots. Main water lines are expensive to replace and a repair option should be sought first. However, if one starts experiencing frequent breaks (3 breaks within 2 years), then it is time to replace the main water line. All plastic water lines lose their elasticity and become increasing brittle over time. This is a battle that cannot be won. We did not previously mention main water lines in copper, because for many people the cost is prohibitive. However, if one can afford it, then one can expect many decades without a compromise in service.
Water softeners are very often essential in many well applications. Well water although generally safe, can be high in iron, resulting in a yellowish brownish hue that is very noticeable on white colored surfaces and especially on light colored clothing. Well water can be rich in other minerals as well, and lead to build-up on shower heads, faucet aerators, inside toilet tanks, well tanks, water heaters, potable water piping, etc. Well water may also need to be neutralized to combat overly acidic water. Having a well does not necessitate water treatment. Instead, a water sample should be taken and analyzed by a water testing laboratory and not a hand held water testing device. Acid neutralizers and water softeners generally cost the same.
As plumbers, we receive a lot of requests for running new gas lines. Customers often change out their electric stoves and clothes dryers for natural gas ones. The most important point to be made on this topic is that black iron pipe should be used whenever feasible. Although we also install corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST), commonly referred to as Trac-Pipe (this is a brand just like Q-Tips is a brand), we more often recommend black pipe. Installing black iron pipe takes significantly more time, but it is a much safer pipe and in our opinion the far better choice. However, if your budget does not allow for the installation of black piping, then flexible black, as opposed to yellow, piping will work just as well. In any event, if CSST is used, the gas system must be bonded.
Natural gas has a rotten egg odor. If one suspects a gas leak inside your home or garage, then one should immediately go outside the home and call 911 and the appropriate authority (PSNC for most) and then call your plumber. Do not start your car or operate electrical switches. If you have a disabled family member that cannot leave the residence, then manually open windows and garage doors and if possible, locate the main gas valve in your utility room and turn off the gas supply.
Whole house repipe, well pumps, sump pumps, grinder pumps and much more. If you have a plumbing need and do not see it listed here, give us a call and we will be happy to help.
No one likes to discuss sanitary and sewer drains. This however, is one of the most important features of a safe and properly functioning house. Sanitary drain lines and potable water systems should never be directly connected in any way. We have noticed this code and health violation in several homes. In our experience, the most common example of this violation occurs when plumbers install whole house water softeners. Too often they pipe the discharge directly into the sanitary drain system. In this application there must always be an air gap.
We offer both internal and external drain cleaning and sewer line camera inspection services. This starts with a service as basic as a toilet auger, to a more complicated project, such as, replacing a compromised sewer line. Repairs are more common than replacement and the damage is usually caused by a lawnmower, vehicle or tree roots. As a homeowner, it is helpful to know where the sewer line exits the foundation. This will help you to identify the sewer clean-out, which allows above ground access to an otherwise buried pipe. Please do not landscape over such a critical and money saving item.