Archive for the ‘Plumbing’ Category
Here are five inventions that would make medieval royalty envious of our luxurious living:
The flushing toilet was first proposed by Sir John Harrington in the sixteenth century but didn’t become mainstream due to a lack of sewage disposal piping in England. Thomas Crapper came up with the modern version of the flushing toilet when he invented the valve and siphon design in 1891. Since then, innovations have made the “crapper” more efficient in terms of water consumption.
Water heaters became a fixture in the household thanks to Edmund Ruud who, in 1889, improved on the previous design by Benjamin Maughan. Ruud’s design added safety features like flue gas venting to Maughan’s water heater which burned natural gas to heat water entering a tub. Prior to that, people would boil water in a pot and pour it into a basin for bathing and washing. Water heaters are fundamental for washing machines, dishwashers, and warm showers.
The air conditioner was invented by Willis Carrier who worked at a printing plant that needed a way to control humidity and temperature to protect the paper. His initial design consisted of a fan blowing air over coils filled with cold water. In 1933, his company created the basis for the modern version of the air conditioner with a condensing unit, evaporator coil and proper controls.
Central furnaces became a mainstream appliance in the 1800s, but due to a lack of proper oversight and standards for building and rating furnaces, they fell out of favor in the early 20th century. The National Warm Air Heating and Ventilation Association was created in 1914 to address this and now the majority of homes in North America are heated with furnaces.
Thermostats are vital for keeping the temperature in your home at the set point you desire. Imagine having to go down to your basement six times a night to adjust valves, dampers, and fan flow so you can stay comfortable. Believe it or not, this was what people did before several thermostats were invented, starting with Andrew Ure’s bimetallic thermostat in 1830. Modern electronic thermostats allow us to program temperatures to save energy and still keep cozy warm in winter and cool in summer.
Fortunately for us, technology keeps growing by leaps and bounds. To upgrade your home with the latest of these inventions, give us a call today!
Your household plumbing system can be defined as fresh water in, dirty water out. Sounds pretty simple, but big problems arise when the lines blend and waste water ends up mixing with fresh water.
At the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair 98 persons died of dysentery and hundreds more took ill due to a cross-connection between water supply and waste lines at a downtown hotel. That’s how serious the problem can get.
Pressure fluctuations are the main cause of backflow incidents, along with cross-connected plumbing lines. Normally your household water supply is under 35-40 pounds of pressure. If this pressure gets interrupted – perhaps by a water main break in the street, a power failure, fire fighters battling a nearby blaze or other causes – then water can flow backward in the system. Then it may come in contact with waste water from drain lines.
A fairly common type of backflow occurrence is when a garden hose gets submerged in polluted or contaminated water. If the pressure in the water main drops, the water in the garden hose could be sucked back into the pipes connected to your drinking water. This could be very dangerous if you are using your garden hose to spray lawn fertilizer or weed killers. Household cleaning products and the soapy water from your laundry tub also could be hazardous if swallowed, as could water filled with bacteria from a pool or waterbed.
The simplest way to eliminate backflow hazards is simply to leave a physical air gap between faucets or garden hoses and standing water. Never submerge a hose in a tub of water or swimming pool.
Sometimes it is impossible to use an air gap to prevent water mixing. So for additional protection, our plumbers are adept at recommending and installing various types of mechanical backflow prevention devices.
One of the simplest forms of protection for your home is an anti-siphon toilet float valve. Many of the cheap float valves sold at local hardware stores and home centers do not have sufficient anti-siphon capability. Our plumbers install only professional-caliber products that protect your health and safety.
Another simple type of backflow preventer is an atmospheric vacuum breaker. Ask our plumber to make sure you have a hose bib vacuum breaker where you attach your garden hose. Never use spray attachments with your garden hose without such a device. Lawn chemicals are extremely toxic and can even be fatal.
Other forms of backflow prevention are more complicated. These include pressure-type vacuum breakers, double check valve assemblies and reduced pressure principle backflow preventers.
If you have an underground lawn sprinkling system, the pipe feeding this system should have one of these. Otherwise contaminants can enter the water supply through the sprinkler heads in your lawn.
Plumbing may look simple at times but it involves a reckoning with the laws of physics. That’s why you always want to call on our fully trained plumbers to deal with issues that impact the health and safety of your family.
You won’t hear our plumbers speak wistfully about the lazy days of summer. This time of year we tend to get exceptionally busy.
Water usage and plumbing problems peak during summertime for most homeowners. Sometimes that’s due to lawn sprinkler systems. In other cases it’s because the household expands with kids home from school or vacationing house guests. This means additional use of bathrooms, kitchens and washing machines. Also, backyard summer barbeques often lead to garbage disposal or drainage system blockages.
Whatever your situation might be, here are some tips to help you prevent summertime plumbing problems or deal with them in a timely manner:
- If you have an automatic lawn sprinkler system, keep your eyes peeled for water oozing in spots. Also, look for pop-up sprinkler heads that get stuck in the “up” position or partially up. This happens a lot, especially in areas with hard water. This can present a safety hazard for kids running around in the yard. Occasionally a lawn mower will rip off the head. Then you will have not only a broken mower blade, but a miniature version of “Old Faithful” every time the system activates. Get in the habit of inspecting your sprinkler heads. Watch the spray patterns for signs of disarray. If you can’t fix the problem yourself, give us a call.
- Trees enjoy growth spurts in summer and their roots can wreak havoc with water mains and sewer lines. Mother Nature is stronger than even the sturdiest pipes, so give us a call immediately if you notice a sudden drop in household water pressure. Also keep an eye out for puddles accumulating in certain parts of your property.
- Summer cookouts are loads of fun, except we often get called to fix garbage disposal problems afterward. Avoid putting corn cobs, watermelon rinds and any other fibrous or stringy foods down your disposal. Oils, grease and fat may also lead to clogs. And don’t overload the disposal by putting a party’s worth of scraps down at once. When using your disposal, be sure to flush it with cold water for at least 15 seconds after shutoff to wash away any remaining food debris. Never put instant potatoes or any other instant packaged food down your disposal. Added water will cause it to expand and clog the drain.
- Toilet clogs also increase with added use from kids and house guests during summer. You can plunge most clogs away yourself but if the plunger doesn’t do the job, better call us as soon as possible. There could be something stuck in the drain line that will render your toilet unusable until it gets cleared.
- Expect to use more water than normal during summertime, but you can keep your water bills in check by getting in the habit of turning off water at the source when done using a water hose.
Call us to ask about our annual plumbing service plan that will save you money and extend the life of your plumbing systems.
You’re in the shower and unexpectedly, just as your body’s all lathered, the water coming out of your showerhead slows to a trickle. You scream downstairs … SHUT OFF THE DARNED WASHING MACHINE! Or stronger words.
You are singing the low water pressure blues. You are joined by a chorus that rings out in millions of American homes.
Is it just your problem, or are your neighbors experiencing it too? If so, the cause may be a blockage or leak in a community water line. Notify your local water department to check it out and fix the problem at no cost to you.
More often, though, low water pressure stems from an issue inside your home, especially if it’s an older house. Low water pressure is common in older homes for a couple of reasons. One is lime calcification inside metal water pipes. As years go by, just as with outside water mains (or human arteries), deposits build up on the inside of your home’s water pipes. Our plumbers have encountered ancient pipe so clogged up you can barely see through to the other end.
Our plumbers sometimes can remove this kind of blockage by blowing high-pressure air through the water line. This is a relatively inexpensive task. Unfortunately, more often than not the scale on the inside is too imbedded to be cleared in this manner.
Another common problem found in older homes is undersized water pipe. Many homes were built in an era when the typical house had only a single bathroom. Back in those days three-eighths-inch diameter water pipe was the standard.
Since then many households have added a bathroom or two and many more water-using appliances. Nowadays half-inch water pipe is the minimum you will find in modern homes, and three-quarters of an inch is often specified, especially for multi-story homes.
This means repiping may be the only way to permanently cure your water pressure blues. I won’t kid you, a repipe can run into big dollars, although our plumbers know some techniques to help cut costs. Sometimes we can save you money by replacing only the horizontal piping, which is most susceptible to build-up of deposits. If the risers also are involved, it becomes more complicated. That’s because to get to the risers our plumbers usually have to poke holes in walls. If possible, we will try to cut your expense by getting at bathroom risers from outside the bathroom. It’s cheaper to replace plaster and wallboard as opposed to tile.
The good news is that repiping shouldn’t be required more than once in a generation. If you can take the pain that one time, you can avoid decades of blood-curdling screams from that second-floor bathroom!
If you suddenly experience slow flow out of a single faucet or showerhead, before you call us, check to see if it might be caused by granules in the aerator or showerhead openings. If so, you can easily remove the aerator or showerhead by hand or with a small wrench and clean them out.
We look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with you.
Hello and welcome to the company blog of RPB Inc. ! We wanted to take a few moments to welcome you to our website. Here at RPB Inc., we pride ourselves in providing superior plumbing services, heating and cooling services to Los Angeles CA, Orange County CA and surrounding areas. Our licensed technicians are trained, certified and experienced in a wide range of services in the plumbing industry.
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The main goal of our blog is to share with you, our valued customers and readers, different information and tips that can help you gain knowledge of commonly feared plumbing problems in the home and actions you can take to try to avoid them… or fix them if necessary. We also will talk about healthy system maintenance, how to improve the comfort and convenience or your home, and many other things. Our aim is to cover a broad range of topics monthly and are always open to suggestions if there is anything you’d like to learn more about or if you have any questions for our experienced technicians.
“We pride ourselves in customer satisfaction and quality work.”
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From common household problems to seasonal tips and tricks, we’d like to share our education and experience with you to ensure that your plumbing system, and your life, remains running smoothly. And we feel the same way about the services that we provide.
With RPB Inc. you are guaranteed:
- 24-hour emergency service
- Flat rate, AFFORDABLE pricing
- 1 year guarantees on labor and parts
- Licensed, experienced, professional technicians
- Coupons, discounts and specials all year round
- Over 22 years of experience and industry knowledge
- A family-owned, family-operated feel
- Senior discounts
- Certified “GREEN Plumber”
Now that you know a little bit about us, we are hoping that you’ll visit our site again to see what interesting information you can learn in the days, weeks and months to come! Thanks for stopping by!
Contact us today with any questions you may have.
562.925.2838 | 714.994.0254