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Old 03-08-2011, 05:51 PM   #1
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


This is an invitation to the plumbers and homeowner to list important things to check up on soon.

I'll start with Hose bibs--(outside faucets)
Every winter someone ends up with a frozen and split frost free hose bib.

When they fail--the leak is inside the house! The water pressure might seem low but water will still come out---all the while flooding your basement.

Good plan (especially if you forgot to take the hose of last fall)
Have someone stand under the pipe in the basement and listen for water gushing--(make it someone who needs a shower,just in case.)--Mike--

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Old 03-09-2011, 07:47 AM   #2
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


This is the time of year to make sure that your sump pumps are in good working order.

Cleaning the screen of debris every year is a good idea.---Have an extra pump waiting to go in is handy.

A spare float switch can save you from a wet basement.

If you have a battery back up pump and the battery is 3 or more years old--Get a fresh battery.

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Old 03-09-2011, 08:53 AM   #3
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


This is a great idea for a thread Mike.

My sump pump is down inside of a pit. How do I check it?

It was installed in 1997 or 98. Is there a certain number of years they're expected to last? It goes on when the washing machine is draining, so it is used every day.

Thanks

Barb
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #4
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Quote:
Originally Posted by gma2rjc
This is a great idea for a thread Mike.

My sump pump is down inside of a pit. How do I check it?

It was installed in 1997 or 98. Is there a certain number of years they're expected to last? It goes on when the washing machine is draining, so it is used every day.

Thanks

Barb
Usually the pit has a cover and when you force the pump to remove as much as possible, you can then access the pump and clean it or lift it and support it on a 2x4 over the pit to save yourself from drips all over. A wet/dry vac could come in useful here.

You're lucky to get more than ten years in my opinion on a residential grade pump. As Mike mentioned, having a spare is a good idea. If you're caught in a storm and it breaks, that trip to the hardware store or wholesaler will seem like an eternity while your basement is filling with water.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


That pump is getting old----I suggest changing it soon--save the old pump as a spare.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:45 AM   #6
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Thanks Mike and cschwehr. Is this something I should hire a plumber for or are they pretty easy to replace?

Barb
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:11 AM   #7
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Quote:
Originally Posted by gma2rjc
Thanks Mike and cschwehr. Is this something I should hire a plumber for or are they pretty easy to replace?

Barb
Usually it's not too hard to do... The fittings are rather standard. The only issue would be if you're pumping it into the sewer system (Not allowed anywhere I've lived - but I see it nonetheless). Then a plumber or contractor should be hired to fix the issue if it's not allowed in your area.

You mentioned it pumps out the when the washer runs though... So I clearly don't know the codes in your jurisdiction or if you're simply pumping grey water outside... Which would be something a lot of people are adopting nowadays. If in doubt or you're uncomfortable - a trusted plumber with recommendations would be able to do it easily I imagine.

Mike? Any input?
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:15 AM   #8
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike
This is an invitation to the plumbers and homeowner to list important things to check up on soon.

I'll start with Hose bibs--(outside faucets)
I turned mine off, but let's see if the Poly B in my house is going to fail this year... :D

I always enjoy the process of shutting off and draining lines to replace them as I get time... It let's my wife know I'm still handy.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:18 AM   #9
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cschwehr

I turned mine off, but let's see if the Poly B in my house is going to fail this year... :D

I always enjoy the process of shutting off and draining lines to replace them as I get time... It let's my wife know I'm still handy.
You could add for people with basement floor drains to check for a working, clean backflow preventer. I never seem to see a working clean one when I enter a home... Nothing like a basement full of sewage to remind you to check.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


You are describing a sewage pump---That will go into the sewer drain---Check the type of pump--

Could be a sump pump or a sewage pump.

Replacement is easily done by a homeowner---Buy a threaded pvc fitting for the pump--a length of pvc pipe the same size as the existing--and a new back flow valve--primer and glue.

Add fitting and pipe to the new pump---pull old pump--cut pipe a little long on the new pump

drop pump and pipe into hole--add backflow--trim pipe to size--make sure float switch is clear and not bumping side of tub---Get the lid back on (this is the hard part)---write date of install on the pipe---

plug it in and test it.

That's it in a nut shell----Mike---
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:32 AM   #11
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Quote:
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You are describing a sewage pump---That will go into the sewer drain---Check the type of pump--
In my case, it's been legitimate sump units pumping into the city system.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:53 AM   #12
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


As Spring unfolds many start thinking about outdoor type projects. i.e. landscaping, porches, decks, patios, retaining walls, ponds, water features, new trees, shrubs, etc. Keep in mind however, and be extra cautious around septic tanks, drain fields, leach fields, and sewer and septic lateral drain lines. Avoid a potential disaster by having them located prior to beginning your Spring landscaping projects.

Everyone knows it's the law to call before you dig. National 811 service however, does not locate private utilities like sewer lines, septic lines, tanks, etc.

To most; underground utilities are just that, underground = out of sight, out of mind. If you don't already know the location, depth, and layout of your septic system, this is the perfect time to find out. By having a video inspection and locate of the lines and tank, you'll not only gain valuable information to help with future periodic septic system maintenance, potentially detect "underlying" problems before become an issue, and make more educated design decisions for your project.

Most plumbing companies, septic companies, and state and government entities recommend having a septic system serviced (pumped and inspected) every 3-5 years dependent on the size, capacity, and type of system you have on site. To better accommodate regular and necessary maintenance have poly risers installed on your septic tank to eliminate the need for future excavation.

If you're on city sewer, you may or may not already understand that you; as a homeowner, are responsible for the proper care and maintenance of your own private sewer lateral (main line) from the house to the street. In many municipalities, you're responsible all the way to where it ties into the city main (under the street).

In some cases sewer or septic lines can be quite shallow. Thus a simple excavation for a landscaping project like planting a tree, or installing an automatic sprinkler system could lead to damage of your sewer or septic system. Likewise, planting a tree too close to your sewer or septic lines or drain field, regardless of the depth, may cause future problems with infiltration from tree roots. Inevitably leading to a back-up.

Spring is the time when trees start come out of that semi-dormant winter state and start searching for water and nutrients from the soil. If you have a break, crack, or offset joint in your sewer or septic lines or a leaky septic tank; you're not only allowing untreated wastewater into the aquifer and nearby lakes and streams, but you're providing an incredible source of nutrients for your landscape. Sure the trees, shrubs, and lawn may look lush, green, and great, but the sewer back-up that occurs when a blockage happens will quickly turn that beauty to beast.






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Old 03-10-2011, 07:55 AM   #13
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Along the lines of septic maintenance-- This is a good time to locate your tank--
(important to know if you need it pumped)

Often the tank location is easy to spot on a frosty morning---the frost on the grass will melt first above the tank----leaving a square imprint of unfrosted grass.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:35 PM   #14
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Washing machine hoses should be replaced if they are over 4 years old.

The hot water hose tends to get soft and can fail----Big mess.

I had one blow in my own home years ago---I was making that last check of the house before heading on vacation,Kids and suitcases already in the car----Heard a little 'Hiss" in the laundry room.

No harm done---2 weeks of vacation??---glad I spotted that.--Mike---
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:02 PM   #15
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Spring time plumbing tune up!


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike
Washing machine hoses should be replaced if they are over 4 years old.

The hot water hose tends to get soft and can fail----Big mess.

I had one blow in my own home years ago---I was making that last check of the house before heading on vacation,Kids and suitcases already in the car----Heard a little 'Hiss" in the laundry room.

No harm done---2 weeks of vacation??---glad I spotted that.--Mike---
You can get a replacement box that integrates an auto shutoff too - if you want to spend the $100. :D

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