FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
SERVING THE VALLEY SINCE 1983
Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions and Answers Cave Creek, Arizona | Holder Plumbing, Inc. Phoenix, AZ
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN A FAUCET IS SAID TO HAVE 8-INCH CENTERS?
The faucet mounts with the fixture holes set 8 inches apart. It’s important that you buy the right size faucet to fit.
MY SHOWERHEAD HAS A BUILDUP OF A WHITE SUBSTANCE AROUND THE SPOUT. WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THAT?
The white substance is actually mineral deposits. To remove the mineral deposits from the showerhead, pour a cup of vinegar into a plastic bag and then place the bag over the showerhead fixture and leave it in place overnight. The next day, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to scrub off the deposits.
WHAT IS PLUMBER’S PUTTY?
It is a sealing putty used for a variety of tasks including to seal basket strainers, garbage disposal rims and tub drains.
I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM UNDER MY SINK TO GET THE FAUCET NUT OFF. WHAT DO I DO?
A basin wrench is a tool designed especially for that.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF PIPE JOINT COMPOUND OR TAPE?
They reduce friction in assembly and provide a watertight seal.
WHICH IS BETTER FOR SEALING - TEFLON TAPE OR THREAD JOINT COMPOUND?
They do the same job, but Teflon™ tape is easier to work with and makes a cleaner joint.
WHAT KIND OF SOLDER DO I USE ON A WATER LINE?
Health codes require lead-free solder.
DO YOU RECOMMEND PLASTIC PIPE CLEANERS AND PRIMERS?
These are applied to a pipe and fitting before applying the solvent weld glue to ensure a strong bond. Their use is always a good idea, especially if it’s for a water supply line or the connection is going to be somewhere that will be difficult to get to in the future.
WHAT DOES FLUX DO?
It cleans the surface prior to soldering. It prevents the oxidation of the metal. And it allows the solder to flow freely.
IS THERE A WRENCH I CAN USE THAT WILL NOT DAMAGE THE BRASS, ALUMINUM OR OTHER SOFT MATERIAL?
Yes, a strap wrench grips the pipe without teeth.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PVC AND CPVC PLASTIC PIPE?
CPVC can be used on hot and cold lines, while PVC is for cold water only. PVC is usually used as a drainpipe.
HOW SHOULD I CUT PLASTIC PIPE?
Any fine-tooth saw will work, but make sure you remove any burrs.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO JOIN GALVANIZED PIPE TO COPPER PIPE?
You should use a dielectric union. This will prevent electrolysis from occurring, which deteriorates the copper tubing.
WHAT CAN I USE TO REPAIR A CRACKED COPPER PIPE?
There are three ways to repair cracked copper pipe. One is to use plumberfs epoxy putty on the area. Two would be to solder the crack and third, if you have enough, cut the bad section and put in compression fitting.
ARE ALL ELECTRIC HOT WATER HEATER ELEMENTS THE SAME?
There are three types: screw in, bolt in and clamp in. They all have different wattage ratings and can work on either 120 or 240 voltage.
THERE IS WATER LEAKING FROM MY WATER HEATER. WHAT’S THE CAUSE?
The pressure relief valve could be leaking. Try operating the valve to see if it will stop. It also might need tightening. A gasket around the heating element may need to be replaced, or the tank could be rusted out, which requires a new hot water heater.
WHAT SIZE WATER HEATER SHOULD I BUY?
Most people base their purchases on the size of the storage tank, but a better method is to first estimate how much hot water you will need during the peak hour of use. This is referred to as the first-hour rating (FHR) on the Energy Guide label posted on new water heaters. Typical hot water use is:
- Showering 3 gallons/minute
- Bathing 15-25 gallons per bath
- Shaving 1-3 gallons
- Washing hands 1-2 gallons
- Washing dishes 4-6 gallons
- Running dishwasher 5-20 gallons
- Running clothes washer 25-40 gallons
- Cleaning house 5-12 gallons
- Food preparation 1-6 gallons
WHWHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE ON A WATER HEATER?
This is a safety device that will open in case of high pressure or temperature.
WHAT DIAMETER TRAP DO I NEED FOR MY KITCHEN SINK?
These are almost always 1-1?2 inches. The 1-1?4 inch traps are for bathroom lavatories.
WHAT IS THE CORRECT SIZE OF GARBAGE DISPOSAL THAT I SHOULD PUT UNDER MY SINK?
If you are replacing an existing unit that has worked well for a number of years, the old size should work fine. Otherwise, 1?3 horsepower will handle limited use once a day. A standard 1?2 horsepower will normally suffice for general use. Heavy-duty 1?2 horsepower units and larger are designed for a large volume of garbage.
WHAT ARE THE WORKING PARTS OF A TOILET?
The refill valve, the flush valve and the trip lever.
HOW DO I REPLACE A DAMAGED REFILL VALVE?
Turn off the toilet’s water supply valve, flush the toilet and sponge out any remaining water in the tank. The refill valve is usually removed by turning a nut that holds it in place. When the nut is off, the refill assembly can be lifted out. Install the new assembly by following the manufacturer’s directions.