Categories Commercial Plumbing, Residential Plumbing

Choosing the right plumbing contractor

Choosing the right plumbing contractor can be easy if you follow a few simple tips. A good place to start is to choose three companies and get estimates. Be sure to include at least one local company. Choosing three large corporate owned companies may leave you with a false perception of what the going rate is. Then, go to myfloridalicense.com and look to see if these contractors hold a valid plumbing license. Ask to see a copy of their insurance. Most plumbing contractors will have a 1 million dollar per occurrence policy. New plumbing parts do fail, we install the parts, not manufacturer them. From the three estimates you should have a good idea of what the high and low rates are for your project. From here it is up to you. I know the cheapest could save you some hard earned money but they are usually in the business of being the cheapest. They will commonly use inferior products and rush through your project to get it done faster. We are talking about the services here in Southwest Florida, not retail. When you buy a retail product from Walmart, you get the same product with the same warranty at a better price, here cheaper is better. With contractor services, cheaper usually gets you less of a service or bad customer service after the sale. Your high estimate will most likely come from a large corporate owned company or franchise. They have more overhead and may have a hard time competing with the locals.

Once you have chosen a plumbing contractor, ensure they are obtaining permits for your project and that the company license holder will oversee the project. Here in Southwest Florida, a licensed plumbing contractor can legally hire unlicensed technicians to work under his license. Some of these companies will send all un-licensed technicians and never check on your project. There are competent un-licensed technicians here but the company is only as good as the technician they send you. If you’re going to hire a licensed professional, get a licensed professional.

Categories Residential Plumbing

The importance of your water heaters temperature and pressure relief valve

Some of the earliest water heaters were not equipped with a temperature and pressure relief valve. These manufactures soon realized just how dangerous a water heater can be without one. During a catastrophic tank failure these early water heaters were literally shooting through the roof like a missile. Not to worry, all modern day water heaters are now equipped with a temperature and pressure relief valve. The T&P valve is a small brass valve usually located at the top middle section of your water heater. It is a safety valve designed to relieve pressures above 150 psi and temperatures above 210 degrees. During a catastrophic tank failure, your T&P valve would automatically open relieving the pressure. This ensures your water heater stays where it was installed. This can still make a mess if your T&P valve is not piped to the outside but usually will not involve anyone getting hurt. We have encountered homeowners in the past who have capped this valve off or connected a garden hose to the T&P to wash down the garage. If your T&P valve has a small drip, contact a professional to inspect your water heater and replace your T&P valve. Although capping off this valve stopped the leak, it created a much more dangerous problem.