Petaluma

Radiant Heat and endless hot water

Radiant heat is the most comfortable heat.  Typically, it is installed as a warm floor.  Hot water is heated via a boiler, and circulates through the floor, heating the floor.  Then, the floor radiates the heat upward, warming the home.  For advanced efficiency, add an indirect-fired water heater to heat the domestic water.  Matching a high efficient boiler with an indirect-fired water heater will deliver virtually limitless hot water for bathing, laundry, dishwashing and cooking at a lower operating cost compared to most other alternatives.  When installed as a combination unit, you'll have the most efficient and comfortable heat.  And hot water at twice the peak flow of a tankless.  The photo here shows the boiler and indirect water heater installed in combination. A recent install by Wayne Maples Plumbing & Heating. Win! Win!

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Building Sewer and Cleanout inspection and Repair at Time of Sale

Have you heard about the new time of sale requirements for testing property sewer lines?  In Norcal many municipalities are requiring that sewer lines pass a water test at the time of sale.  The concern is infiltration and exfiltration.  For infriltration, this occurs during heavy rains.  For example, root intrusion into sewer lines results in sewer pipe pentetration, or holes in the line.  When it rains, water enters the city sewer system via the holes left by root intrustion.  This causes undue over capacity at municiple treatment plants.  Simply, the plant is unneccesarily treating rainwater.  For exfiltration, this occurs when a property sewer line allows wastewater to vacate the line into the soil through the same holes left by root intrustion.  Exfiltration and infiltration can occur anytime there is disruption in the line.  This can be from roots, separation or age.  The basic test requires that the sewer line be able to hold water for approximately 30 minutes, then measured for verification.  For this test the house line to the street will need to be isolated via 2 cleanouts.  That is, a cleanout at the house, and one at the sidewalk or street using sewer test baloons.  Then, the isolated portion will be filled with water at the house cleanout until in reaches the top of the same cleanout.  Wait 30 minutes, then measure and verify.  If the test fails, then there is infiltration, and a repair will likely be required.  Stay tuned.  We'll post a video of the process in the near future.  See the March 2015 plumbing tip blog for information on how to locate your property's cleanout. 

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Plumbing tip January 2015: Stop that running toilet

Plumbing Tip: January 2015, Stop that running toilet

1. Identify the float ball and float arm inside the tank.  This is the mechanism that shuts off the water.  Once it floats to the correct level it will activate the shut-off.

2. With tank lid off, and while the toilet is filling after a flush, observe to make sure the float is reaching the proper height.  If not, the toilet will continue to run, as the water will fall down the overflow tube.

3. If your float is not reaching the correct height, simply bend the float arm down. Do this near the middle of the arm.  This will allow the float arm to travel a bit further, and reach the shut-off point.

4. Flush the toilet and observe to see if the bend did the job.

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