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Plumbing Repairs

Repairs and Service

Plumbing systems require maintenance and service from time to time. Below is a list of some of the plumbing maintenance and service issues. Pipes last longer than components that have moving parts. Moving parts do wear out and need to be serviced or replaced. Drains over time become clogged and require drain cleaning. You can make an annual list of any problems you have around your house including plumbing. When you call a plumber have the plumber go over the list, most plumbers will do a free plumbing inspection during service calls.

Do it yourself plumbing can turn into expensive and time consuming projects, especially if you do not have the proper parts, tools and experience. Be aware of the location and condition all the shut-off valves before starting a plumbing project. Also beware of gate valves, aged gate valves have a tendency to not completely shut off water, gate valves also break, or stay in the closed position and then you cannot turn the water back on. For safety and security it is recommended that gate valves be replaced with ball valves. For gas systems it is recommended that an Earthquake Safety Shut Off Valve be installed on your home, and that your water heater be properly strapped to the wall. A natural gas earthquake shut-off valve automatically shuts off your gas service when an earthquake of a sufficient magnitude occurs at your home's location. After the quake has stopped and you have determined that it is safe to do so, follow the manufacturer's instructions for restoring your gas service. You will need to make sure no gas leaks exist and re-light your pilot lights. You must ensure that your appliances are safe before operating them. The Gas Company or a service agency can restore your gas service, but remember that it may take many days or even weeks before someone can come to your location in a major emergency. (The Gas Company charges a fee to reset valves and re-light pilot lights).

Earthquake Valve Installation Requirements

If you choose to have an earthquake gas shut-off valve installed, or are mandated to have one by your insurance company or the local building code, the valve must be installed on the downstream side of the meter. The downstream side is the customer side of the meter (see picture - Southern California Gas Company).

NOTE: When you hire a licensed contractor to install your valve, it is important that you ensure that the valve is installed on the downstream side (that is, the customer side of the meter). Earthquake valves are not permitted in utility curb meter vaults. Earthquake valves are not permitted in utility curb meter vaults.

Plumbing Maintenance

Here is a plumbing maintenance checklist that you may find useful.

Water Heater
* Perform water heater Flush-Out
* Check temp. & pressure relief valve
* Check for signs of leaking or corrosion
* Check burner area on gas water heater
* Check exhaust pipe condition
* Locate Emergency water shut-off valves
* Place Instruction sticker on water heater
Laundry Area
* Check emergency shut-offs
* Watts valve operation explained
* Check laundry drain
* Laundry tub checked
* Laundry tub drain checked
* Laundry tub pump checked
* Laundry tub check valve
* Check under sink drain piping
* Check emergency water shut-off valves
* Check drains for proper function
* Check faucets for general appearance
* Check garbage disposal
* Place Instruction sticker on garbage disposal
* Check water meter
* Check emergency water shut-offs
* Show customer where valves are
* Check operation of sewage ejector pump
* Check sewage ejector valve
* Check operation of sump pump
* Check sump pump valve
* Examine exposed lines for leaks
* Check shower head for proper operation
* Check bathtub drain
* Check trip lever
* Check for dripping faucets
* Check general appearance of faucets
* Check internal parts of toilet tank
* Check & Tighten toilet seat
* Check toilet grout/caulking
* Check lavatory p-trap
* Check aerator on lavatory
* Check function of pop-up drain
* Check emergency water shut-off valves
* Check hose bibs
* Check vacuum breakers for dripping
* Check water softener
* Explain how to put water softener on bypass
* Show curb stop location to customer

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