Every article we provide to homeowners looking to do a fix at home on their plumbing fixtures includes a recommendation to first turn off the shutoff valve to either your home or the fixture being worked on. The purpose of the shut-off valve is to cut the water off from the home so that, during a repair or replacement, the room you are working on does not become flooded causing major water damage.
What should one do, however, if the shutoff valve does not work or is damaged itself? Read below for tips on how to work with a compromised shut-off valve.
A common brass shutoff valve, called a stop, is prone to oxidation. There is a waste that opens and lets the water out of the valve for the purpose of preparing the stop for freezing weather. When the water is let out of the waste, it rests on the outside of the valve. When the water and air meet on the surface of the valve, it begins to oxidize. That results in the corroded looking blueish green color on the surface of the stop. Some might think that using a wire brush to clean off the oxidation and repacking the unit would fix the problem, however, it is most often best to replace the stop valve entirely.
First, you will want to take an emery cloth and remove the oxidized surface as close to the valve as possible. This will make cutting closer to the pipe easier. A mini hacksaw is the tool of choice for the best results when cutting pipes at custom measurements. There is an arrow on the service valve that tells you which way the water should flow, so be aware of that orientation when installing the new valve. If installed incorrectly, it will not allow the water to travel from the water meter to the fixture as intended.
Place the valve between the two newly cut pipes and insert the pipes in the opening on either side. Using a crescent wrench, tighten each bolt in the direction they require, both clockwise and counterclockwise, respectively. You want to tighten them so much so that you might feel like you will split the pipe, but it is harder to damage the pipe in this way than you might think. The tighter you pull the bolt the better seal the feral inside the valve will be able to make on the pipes.
There you have it. You have successfully replaced your shut-off valve, one of the most important pieces of plumbing when it comes to preventing major water damage from plumbing emergencies such as leaks or broken pipes. If you would feel better asking a professional to complete the job, or have a separate plumbing issue that is a concern, give Jack Ward & Sons a call at (615) 227-2811 today.
Do you find that the more you use the toilet in a particular bathroom in your home that it is to wobble more, feeling like a ride on the playground? Some temporary fixes, like sticking a screwdriver under the base to keep it from wobbling, won’t do the trick. The fix lies in the plumbing mechanisms and tools in place to keep the toilet working properly.
A wobbly toilet is the result of a problem that can be found somewhere in the base of the toilet, specifically the two bolts and the wax seal underneath. The plumbing for this fixture is neatly housed and kept hidden underneath the ceramic base, so the first order of business will to be to remove the fixture. Before removing or tampering with any plumbing fixture, you want to turn off the shut off valve so as to cut off the water from being provided to the fixture.
Next, you need to flush the toilet to get some of the remaining water out of the bowl and the tank. A sponge will help you rid the toilet of the last of the remaining water. After this step is complete, remove the coverings for the two closet bolts found at the base of the toilet. If the bolts are not intact with the washer, if they are broken, or if the surrounding china is worn or broken, the bolts will not be able to do their job properly. Proceed to remove the washer and bolt even if you see obvious damage or problems with the bolt, as removing the toilet will still play an important role in determining how to fix the wobbling problem.
Take a look at the condition of the wax seal, does it look worn and weathered, or is it in pretty good shape? A deteriorated wax seal could further cause problems for the plumbing of your toilet. Next, remove the wax seal to expose the closet flange underneath. The closet flange is the metal ring that should properly screwed into the floor just below the wax seal. The flange is what connects the plumbing to the toilet at the floor of the house. If there is any problem with the security of the flange to the floor, the toilet will also be affected.
Another way this connection can be affected is if the floor itself is damaged. For example, the flange may be secured to the floor, however, the floorboard has sunken down or broken entirely, meaning the toilet does not have the support it needs to rest flush and keep sturdy. In the event your floor is creating a problem, you can use shims to help create support where the previous support has failed. Once you have singled out that the lack of support of the floor is the problem, you replace the was ring, the bolts, the toilet itself, and then the closet bolts. Once the toilet is secured properly, you can drive the shims under the base of the toilet using a level to determine the correct amount of shim needed to hold the toilet up flush with the rest of the floor.
Your toilet will now be secure and there will be no leaks. You can use some caulk or putty to hide the shims at the base of the toilet if desired. If your toilet is presenting with more serious problems than just wobbling, or if you prefer a professional get involved with the repair, give Jack Ward & Sons plumbing a call at (615)-227-2811.
This post today is going to talk about the care, feeding, and selecting of the garbage disposal for your family. We all know that the loud, and sometimes smelly, things help making kitchen cleanup after meals more convenient, but there is more to your garbage disposal than just the surface we see. Underneath our sinks are machines that require the right kind of care and maintenance to keep it working well for our purposes.
Your selections start at the lowest end with some of the least expensive models, which are not much more than a motor and a grinder with no insulation at all. These models have about a third of the horsepower that you will find as you start moving up the line of disposals. The middle of the road models have can have ¾ thick insulation, making them much quieter. Another feature of this range of disposals are their anti-jam features. This means that the disposal goes into auto reverse when there is a problem inside instead of going until it causes the motor to break or overheat. Some batch feeder models will not run unless a specific mechanism is activated. Other models work off of a wall switch. The models that only work when you make contact with the specific mechanism provide a great safety feature, especially for those who have children that could possibly find their way to the wall switch and turn it on easily enough. An interesting addition to the variety of garbage disposals is a model designed specifically for use in homes with septic systems. You cannot normally have a disposal on a septic system because all of the organic matter doing down the drain is bad for your septic tank. Whether it grinds down the matter or not, the food the tank captures will still cause problems for the balance of bacteria and the like that can be found there doing its job for your home. What makes these disposals special is that they discharge an enzyme every time they are used, which helps to break down the food products that are going down.
Here are some tips on how to prevent your disposal from jamming. The inside of the disposal is comprised of a stainless steel wheel with teeth on it that will spin. It is either going to purée or liquefy the food products and drive them down through small holes found in the bottom of the disposal. The holes will direct the food out through the drain.
Out of all the foods that end up going into the disposal, you will want to be especially careful about stringy vegetables. Corn husks are terrible! Celery strings are also a problem because they get jammed up around the plate wheel. Disposals could never pulverize a stringy vegetable enough to get it down into the small holes.
The plate is going to cause all of the grinding, so that is the piece that is going to end up jamming. There is a long list of things that can cause a jam, but one of the most frequent causes is a spoon or other utensil that makes its way down inside, only to come out like a pretzel! Another one is any sort of coin or jewelry, like a ring. Foreign objects have no place in a disposal for some real damage can be caused to both the object and the disposal.
If your disposal jams, it could overheat and cause damage. There is usually a reset button located on the bottom that pops out, indicating the motor has jammed and also prevents overheating by cutting off the function to the entire unit. When repairing the disposal, you hit the button and try to clear the jam. After trying to clear the jam, you can oftentimes use an Allen wrench to access the bottom of your disposal. If you use the tool to move the wheel back-and-forth, you could possibly make the jam come free.
You never want to stick your hand down the disposal to remove the blockage that is causing the jam. There are a bunch of ways you can try different tools to achieve this goal safely. A cool tool you can use is called an extractor. The extractor allows you to get down into the tight space and try to pull the blockage out with the claw like end of the tool. Any other long and durable tool or item, like the end of a broom handle, could be used for leverage in unjamming the wheel.
These tips will help keep your garbage disposal in good shape and running for a long time. If you need help installing a new garbage disposal unit in your home or if your current unit has broken down, give us a call to take a look and perform a repair to get your kitchen moving smoothly once more.
You’re looking forward to unwinding after a difficult day and want to run yourself a hot, relaxing bath. After soaking for a bit, you finish up and after pulling the stopper, you notice the water is stuck at the drain! The tub isn’t emptying, and there isn’t any sign of it going anywhere soon. You may not be sure what caused the clog, but you can be sure that it needs to be fixed. The following steps outline how to clear a clogged bathtub drain.
The first step is to get the round plate off that is located below the spout. You may have to use quite a bit of force, as the fixture can be difficult to work with if it has never been removed before. Once it is dislodged, you remove the plate and any connecting parts. This next step requires that you use a form of household drain snake. Advance the wire down the overflow (the hole that was left behind the plate being removed) and continue to feed the wire through. When you feel resistance, measure the wire from the snake tool itself until you have about six inches of wire exposed between the tool and the overflow. Then you tighten the thumb screw and begin to turn the drum steadily as you apply force to the wire through the drain.
Next you loosen the thumb screw and expose another six inches of wire. Continue this process a few times until a couple of feet of wire is through the drain, this will ensure that you have snaked through the trap of the drain where clogs commonly take place. Loosening the thumb screw once more, begin to draw the wire back into the drum. You might want to hold a cloth over the wire as you pull it back in to keep the tool, and your hands, clean.
The wire might reveal a plug of hair or lots of soap residue buildup, or it might come back clear. This means you could either have removed what was clogging the drain or possible have pushed the blockage through. Now it is time to test the result by running a little bit of water. If the drainage has improved, you can run the wire through the overflow once more while riveting it back and forth through the drain to be sure that all of the blockage is cleared. If the drain is still failing, you may want to call your local professional to look for a possible, more serious issue.
Once you reinstall the overflow plate and connecting parts, you will be good to go! If your efforts have not been successful, give Jack Ward and Sons Plumbing a call at (615) 227-2811.