Frequently Asked Questions
? What are the requirements to perform plumbing and be a Plumber in Georgia?
Myth: Anyone who installs, repairs, or attempts to perform plumbing work may be considered to be or referred to as a plumber.
Answer: A plumber in Georgia has a license issued from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office or a person is not a plumber. No ifs, ands, or buts! There are 3 different types of plumbing licenses in Georgia - Class II Master, Class I Master, and Journeyman plumber. To qualify to become a Journeyman plumber a person must work under the supervision of a master plumber for 3 years. After this time period, a person may take a test to become a journeyman plumber. To quality to become a Master Plumber a person must hold a journeyman’s plumbing license for 2 years and then take a test to become a master plumber. Journeyman plumbing licenses are required of persons, other than licensed Master Plumbers, who install, maintain, alter, or repair plumbing fixtures and systems under the direction of a Master Plumber. Master Plumbing Licenses are required of persons who perform or contract to perform plumbing services. Class I Master Plumber Licenses are restricted to plumbing involving single-family dwellings, one-level dwellings designed for no more than 2 families, and commercial structures not exceeding 10,000 square feet. Class II Master Plumber Licenses are unrestricted. Plumbers are also required to obtain 4 hours of continuing education each year to renew their license. Plumbing licenses are renewed ever two years. A person who holds a Master Plumbers License is considered to be a professional and may have obtained full coverage insurance to protect against any unforeseen circumstances when performing plumbing work. Most people performing the unlicensed practice of plumbing do not have insurance. To know if someone who is turning the wrenches is a plumber or performing an unlicensed practice click here!
? What can I do to use less water in my home ?
Answer; If you do not have low flow toilets, you should consider changing them. Most brands today flush well. After all, we do not care how little water is used to flush a toilet as long as it flushes well. We use Toto toilets which have a long track record of performing well. A running toilet can waste nearly 200 gallons of water a day, according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. 339 billion gallons of water are used in the United States each day.
? Where do I find the water shut off valve for my house?
Answer: The main water shut off valve can be in a variety of places. To start with, the water can nominally be shut off at the water meter if you are on a public water system. A water meter key may be needed to shut the water off at the water meter. There may be a water shut off valve enclosed in a ground valve box between the water meter and before the main water line enters the home. If your home has a basement, the valve may be located there. For homes with a crawl space, the shut off valve could be under the house were the water line enters the house. For homes on a concrete slab, the shut off is most often near the water heater in the house. If it cannot be found there, then sometimes it can be inside the laundry room. If you have your own well that provides your water, a water shut off valve is nominally installed at the well. The electricity can also be shut off to the well pump to shut the water off to the home. Be aware of the location of your main water shut off valve! If you have an emergency, and need to shut off your water, you must know how to shut off your water to avoid possibility flooding your home !!! We can install a Flo n Stop remote controlled solenoid valve to shut off your water at any time you like with the push of a button.
? How do I shut the water off to a toilet, kitchen sink, lavatory, tub/shower faucet, or water
Answer: Shut off valves for toilets, kitchen sinks, and lavatories are nominally located near or under the plumbing fixture. Sometimes you will find one was not installed. In most cases, tub/shower faucets do not have shut off valves. If they do, the shut off valves are located behind the escutcheon trim of the faucet. The water shut off valve for a water heater is located in the cold water piping at the water heater.
? How can my water pressure be increased ?
Answer: Water pressure and water flow are two different issues! A big pipe with good water pressure flows lots of water. A little pipe with high water pressure flows little water. First lets discuss water flow, for more often than not, your concern is how much water is flowing from your faucet. Water flow is determined by the size of your water piping - that is the inside diameter of your water piping plus water pressure to move the water. Average sized homes are piped with 3/4" hot & cold water mains and use 1/2" piping to supply water to each plumbing fixture. If the inside diameter of the water piping becomes smaller than when it was new, the result is low water flow. This is typical with galvanized steel water piping. Replacing the water piping with plastic or copper water piping will solve the problem with proper water pressure. Water pressure is what moves the amount of water through a pipe. Water pressure should not be over 80 PSI (pounds per square inch) as required by our plumbing code. Higher water pressure can damage the plumbing system just as high blood pressure may cause damage to you. A PRV (pressure reducing valve) may be installed in the cold water piping of your home to keep the pressure from rising over 80 PSI. Sometimes a PRV can become inoperable and cause low or high water pressure. If so, the PRV must be replaced to correct the problem. On a well pump water system, the pressure switch of the well pump can be adjusted or changed to increase the water pressure.
? Why do I sometimes hear my water piping vibrating and banging ?
Answer: This is caused by loose water piping and/or water hammer. Water hammer is the concussion and accompanying noise that result when a volume of water moving in a pipe suddenly stops or loses momentum. The water piping possibly can be strapped better to support the piping to stop the water hammer problem or Sioux Chief water hammer arrestors may have to be installed to correct the problem.
? What can be done so I do not have to wait so long to get hot water ?
Answer: When this problem occurs, most of the time the point where you want the hot water is a long distance from the water heater. A Grundfos hot water circulator pump can be installed using your existing water piping and without installing additional water piping to correct this problem.
? How many years does a water heater last ?
Answer: A water heater is not usually replaced until it leaks. Heating controls of both electric and gas water heaters can be replaced, if needed, without replacing the water heater when you have no hot water and the tank is not leaking. If the tank leaks, the water heater must be replaced. How long a water heater last depends on how often the water heater heats water and the quality of water being heating. The steel tank of conventional storage tank type gas & electric water heaters expand when water is heated and contract as water cools inside the tank. Also low PH of water and minerals in the water effect the lifespan of the steel tank. With this being said, the answer is unknown! In most cases, residential gas and electric water heaters have a 6 year tank warranty and 1 year parts warranty from the water heater manufacturer. Commercial water heaters nominally have a 3 year tank warranty and 1 year parts warranty from the water heater manufacturer.
? Are tankless water heaters better than storage tank type water heaters ?
Answer: The answer to this question is on a case by case scenario, but in most cases we say yes! We use Rinnai and have had get results with them. Factors to take into consideration are: Do you give out of hot water? Do you never want to give out of hot water? Do you want lower utility bills? Cost of converting a conventional electric or gas water heater to a tankless water heater in an existing home or business?
? Can a faucet be installed on the outside wall of my house that furnishes hot & cold water ?
Answer: Yes! Woodford Manufacturing makes a mixing faucet that provides hot, cold, or mixed temperature water. If interested in this, just give us a call. We keep these in stock.
? What is a thermal expansion tank and why would I need one?
Answer: A thermal expansion tank is used in a closed water piping system to hold excessive water created due to the water pressure being raised when a water heater heats water. Usually this occurs when a backflow preventer is installed at or near a water meter. A backflow preventer may have been installed at your water meter by the water department without your knowledge. If so, and you do not have a thermal expansion tank or a relief valve (made to use for thermal expansion) already installed, you may notice the relief valve (pop off valve) on your water heater dripping water.
? What is a backflow preventer ?
Answer: A backflow preventer is used to prevent water that has flowed from the water department's water line through a water meter from flowing back through a water meter into the water department's water line.
? What causes by sewer line to stop up?
Answer: A sewer line stoppage can be caused by several different reasons.
¹ One of the most common stoppages is caused by tree roots. A plumbing professional can usually remove most of the roots with some type of drain cleaning equipment. Problem is roots will grow back into the line. This is the time to start using RootX. RootX is the product we use and sell to keep roots out of your sewer line. The patented RootX formula foams on contact with water to reach the top of the pipe where 90% of the roots are located. Degreasing agents strip away grime so the RootX herbicide can penetrate the roots, killing them on contact. RootX sticks to the pipe walls, preventing re-growth for up to three years. Dead roots decay over time, restoring pipes to their full capacity. Annual RootX treatments keep your system root free and avoid costly sewer and septic tank repairs.
² Grease can also stop up a sewer line and drain pipes of the home. Bio-Clean is the answer to this problem. Bio-Clean is the product we use and sell to keep drains flowing and septic tanks working properly. Bio-Clean is... a blend of bacteria and enzymes. The bacteria are natural, not genetically-engineered. The enzyme concentration is the most powerful on the market. Bio-Clean is non-poisonous. It creates no heat, no fumes, no boiling. It does not attack live tissue nor inorganic materials, only organic wastes like grease, hair, food particles, paper, cotton & sewage. This makes BIO-CLEAN safe for people, plumbing and the environment. BIO-CLEAN changes the waste particles into water, carbon dioxide and mineral ash which run harmlessly out of your waste system. These elements are then available for plant life.
³ Sometimes the piping of the sewer line may be broken or distorted. In this case, a portion or the entire sewer line will have to be replaced.
? What causes my kitchen sink and washing machine drains to stop up ?
Answer: In most homes, the kitchen sink drain and the washing machine drain are connected. When the lint from the washing machine meets the grease buildup from soap and food particles, a nearly solid substance is formed to cause a blockage. Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink drain. In most cases, a plumber will have to clean the line for it to drain properly. Once again we recommend
Bio-Clean to keep these drains flowing freely.
? Why does my garbage disposer stop up sometimes ?
Answer: Too much food or the wrong things put in a garbage disposer will cause it to become clogged or locked up. If this happens, be sure to try the reset switch located on the bottom of most disposers before calling a plumber. Never dispose of very hard items like bones of corn husks. Never use caustic drain cleaners in your garbage disposer. The correct way to use a garbage disposer is: ¹ Turn the water on and let the water run through the garbage disposer. ² Turn the switch on to the garbage disposer. ³ Push the food into the garbage disposer with a wooden spoon - which will extend the life of your hands.