Not long ago a reader commented on the How To Series — thank you very much, by the way — but we, unfortunately, didn’t answer his question.
Plumbing, we cordially explained, is so immense that we’re only getting started. Plumbing isn’t like, say, HVAC — heating, ventilation, and air conditioning — that is essentially a system outside (the AC), one inside (the furnace for heat), and vents that deliver cool or heated air to each room.
Plumbing is an entire ecosystem of pipes, fittings, and connections that attach to all sorts of fixtures and plumbing “appliances” throughout the home. It’s complicated and something that most homeowners rarely mess with.
Some repairs or upgrades Do It Yourselfers (DIYers) can do themselves and some are better left to professional plumbers or plumbing contractors. We raise various topics here in order to inform homeowners and aspiring DIYers and let them decide if it’s something they want to tackle or if it’s better to call the a plumber.
So, that said, we return to the How To and answer the dear reader’s question of how to install a shower stall.
Hard water isn’t the end of the world, but it is annoying — those crusty deposit on faucets, that nasty scum on shower doors and tiles (no matter how hard you scrub), and the constant dry-feeling skin.
So, if you’re tired of dealing with hard water and the temporary fixes you’ve tired to deal with it, it may be time to consider a more permanent fix.
In this post we look at water softeners, what they are, what you should consider when buying one, and how they work.
The most common plumbing problems are clogged toilets, sinks, and drains. These usually happen at the worst possible time: in the evenings or over the weekend.
But the biggest of all common plumbing problems may be finding a plumber in the area to do the work, especially when you’re under the gun in an emergency situation. Plumbers, especially if they are any good, are booked solid and in demand. Will they be available when you need them? If not, what do you do next?
In this post we look at finding a good, responsive plumber or plumbing contractor — there is a difference between the two — in our area and provide a few basic questions to ask.
In the next post we’ll examine the types of plumbers, and the differences between plumbers and plumbing contractors, available to meet your specific needs. Not all plumbers are created equal.
Homeowners often ask what’s the difference between plumbers and plumbing contractors. Aren’t they the same?
The terms are used interchangeably, casually, and can get confusing.
But there is a difference.
If you have a common plumbing problem — a clogged toilet or sink, a leaky faucet — a plumber is someone you call. That person may work for a plumbing contractor or he may own his own small business. He may or may not have the training or licenses needed to be a plumbing contractor.
A plumbing contractor — an individual or company — deals almost exclusively with new construction, remodels and renovation, and handles plumbing tasks that involve water supply, septic systems, and so on. A plumbing contractor holds additional training and licenses and may work for a larger plumbing company in an expanded capacity.
Many small companies in the area are likely owned by a plumber. He, or she, may or may not have the experience, depth of knowledge, or licenses required for new construction, remodeling and renovation, and advanced plumbing needs.
In this post we look at plumbers vs. plumbing contractors and specialty plumbers.
Face it. Upgrading plumbing fixtures isn’t cheap.
In the previous post we looked at popular plumbing upgrades for homeowners available at area home improvement centers, plumbing supply stores, or directly from plumbers.
But how much will those upgrades cost? In this post we examine the costs of typical upgrades, helping homeowners plan for future purchases.