Gas and Plumbing

Electrical and Plumbing – September 2023

Fashionable sinks haven’t sported S-traps for over 100 years. Like wearing white shoes after labor day, S-traps simply aren’t done.  Of course, the lack of a high loop at the dishwasher drain is also a sad error. These mistakes will make little difference, however, to the poor soul who reaches a wet hand under the sink to turn on the disposer, only to [...]

2023-08-31T13:22:45-07:00September 1st, 2023|Electrical, Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Trap for Plumbing – March, 2023

This plumbing work stinks. Each plumbing fixture in a home connects to a drain/waste/vent (DWV) piping system that takes wastewater to the municipal sewer or a septic tank. Those sewers and septic tanks produce gases and foul odors that (unsurprisingly) we want to keep out of our homes. To do that, each fixture’s drain should have a trap that holds a small plug [...]

2023-06-14T16:54:33-07:00March 1st, 2023|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Gas Range (electric to gas conversion) – January, 2023

So You Bought a Gas Range... Our intrepid homeowner switched from an electric range to a gas range. To accommodate the new range, any electrician could easily have changed the old 240-volt circuit to a 120-volt circuit, but our hero came up with a better way: Mangle the old range cord to make an “adapter.” Why is that a problem? Let us count [...]

2023-07-31T14:48:11-07:00January 1st, 2023|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing vents and B-vents – December, 2022

A Sirius Problem? A few things are wrong here. The most obvious is the plumbing vent pipe that supports a satellite dish. Our plumbing code calls this “flagpoling” and prohibits it outright. Plumbing vents shouldn’t support any other objects, including television aerials, satellite dishes, and, of course, flagpoles. Flagpoling can cause the horizontal portion of the vent (in the attic) to sag and [...]

2023-06-14T16:54:09-07:00December 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing drain system and test plug – November, 2022

The Plumber Knows He Forgot Something. He Just Can’t Remember What. When plumbing a new house, plumbers must pressure-test the waste pipes to ensure that the system doesn't leak. Leaks might allow waste water or sewer gas to enter the house. So, when the drain piping is complete, the plumber inserts a test plug and fills the drain system with water all the [...]

2023-06-14T16:54:04-07:00November 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Basement floor drains – October, 2022

Basement floor drains are supposed to *remove* basement water, not bring it in. One of the reasons that home inspectors run so much water during an inspection is to reveal problems like this one. The basement floor drain is connected to the main sewer line, which doesn’t drain fast enough. As a result, some water backs up into the basement. While this might [...]

2023-06-14T16:54:00-07:00October 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

TPR valves – September, 2022

Temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valves are critically important safety devices. When one fails or is improperly installed in a way that prevents it from doing its job, a traditional tank-style water heater can behave like a bomb (or a rocket). Here, a flush kit for a tankless water heater is installed upside down, placing a shut off valve between the hot water [...]

2023-06-14T16:53:56-07:00September 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing – July, 2022

A trombone comes to mind. . . Or maybe miniature golf. Drainpipes under a sink should be simple: a small U-shaped bend called a “trap” holds a plug of water to prevent sewer gas from rising out of the drain. This plug of water should never be more than 4” deep and the remaining drainpipes should be as short and direct as possible. [...]

2023-06-14T16:55:20-07:00July 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing – May, 2022

Toilet Fill Valve A toilet fill valve performs the thankless task of refilling a toilet's tank after each flush. They come in a variety of configurations, based on the size, shape, and design of the toilet. A malfunctioning one can make the toilet run continuously or fail to refill the tank with the right amount of water. When they're installed too low in the [...]

2023-06-14T16:55:29-07:00May 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|
Go to Top