Different Types of Plumbing Control

valve is responsible for regulating the flow of water in your pipes. If your pipes didn’t have a regulator, then your water bills would have gone through the roof. There is a variation of materials available, as well as designs. Some can only turn on or off the water flow, or adjust its volume.

Here are five types of plumbing controls to know which is appropriate for the kind of pipes in your home.

Ball Valve

The ball valves are known to be the most reliable plumbing control type. They are used mainly for main water shutoffs and branch line shutoffs. The ball valve can either allow a full flow of water or stop it completely. Inside of it is a ball with a hole in the middle, which is attached to a lever-type outer switch. If the handle is parallel to the water supply pipe, then the valve is open; if it is perpendicular, then it is closed.

Butterfly Valve

This type has a lever-type grip that opens and closes the valve. There’s a metal disc inside that revolves to adjust the flow of water. When the water revolves around it, the water flow is reduced to an extent, even when the valve is fully open. Unlike the ball valve, the butterfly type can accurately adjust the volume of flow. However, it has a gasket that can trouble you with maintenance issues after several years. The butterfly valve is primarily used in industrial applications.

Gate Valve

Gate valves control the water flow by raising or lowering the gate inside by a twist-type knob located at the top of the valve. It would be best if you don’t use gate valves to control the volume of flow. It is designed to be fully opened or fully closed. It can easily wear out if you use it to adjust the water flow.  

Its internal metal parts may get rusty, so it is common for a gate valve to get jammed in an on or off position. Gate valves should be used to shut off the water occasionally.

Check Valve

The check valve keeps water flowing in one direction only and prevents it from flowing in the opposite direction. Most of this type does not have control handles, making them less functional. Check valves use different types of inner mechanisms, including ball-check and diaphragm-check designs.

An example of an operational type is the stop-check that can completely stop all water flow in both directions.

Pressure-Reducing Valve

This type of valve reduces the overall water pressure in a plumbing system. It features a spring and diaphragm that you can adjust to a specific limit, depending on the water supply’s load. You can also use it to throttle down the overall water pressure. It is common in homes that receive high-pressure water from the source that can damage house plumbing systems and appliances.

Are you in need of plumbing services? At Goode Plumbing, our highly trained technicians will provide you the best customer service in Chicago, IL, and surrounding areas. Contact us right away!

How to Repair a Leaky Shower Faucet Valve

A leaky shower faucet or shower head can be both irritating and expensive. Beyond the annoying drip, drip, drip, a leaky shower faucet (valve) can waste hundreds of gallons of water every week. And worse, a leak on the hot water side of the shower valve can waste significant energy because the water heater must continually operate to warm the water being drawn unnecessarily.

One reader whose home was equipped with an electric water heater complained that his leaking shower valve caused his electric bill to triple.

Even more concerning is the shower valve that leaks inside the wall. Over time, water dribbling into the wall can cause dry rot, mold, and structural problems that can be both hazardous and very expensive to repair.

What Causes a Leaky Shower Faucet or Shower Head Drip?

When water drips or drizzles from a shower head, there is a problem with the shower faucet (valve). In most cases, inner seals are worn, or parts have become corroded or clogged with hard water deposits. And the rubber O-rings and gaskets that seal connections between moving metal parts wear down with time and use. When they do, water squirts or drips out. For more, please see How a Shower Works.

Advice for Fixing Leaky Shower Faucets

If you turn off a shower faucet and the water keeps dribbling out of the showerhead, a natural instinct is to crank the handle closed as hard as you can. Unfortunately, this may only make things worse. Be sure the faucet handle is turned all of the way off, but don’t over-tighten it! This may damage the valve.

When working on shower faucets, place rags in the tub or shower floor beneath the faucets and over the drain to protect the surfaces and prevent small parts from being dropped down the drain. Before opening up a shower valve, turn off the water supply. In some houses, a shut-off valve is located in the bathroom, near the shower, or in the basement. If you can’t find the shower shut-off valves, turn off the water supply to the entire house.

If you have to shut off the water to the entire house, plan and organize ahead of time. Read through all of the instructions and have the tools and materials that you’ll need readily on hand to minimize the time your home’s water will be off—and alert your family. After shutting off the house water, faucets and water-using appliances won’t work but each toilet will have one flush.

After you’ve turned off the water supply, open the bathroom sink faucet to drain any water from the nearby pipes.

How to Fix a Leaky Two-Handle Shower Faucet

A shower valve that’s operated by two faucet handles—one hot and one cold—is typically a compression faucet, as discussed in the article How a Compression Faucet Works. Leaks in a compression faucet generally occur when a rubber seal or washer wears out over time, allowing water to seep between movable metal parts.

Fixing a compression shower faucet involves disassembling the unit and replacing the defective washers and seals. It’s important to shut off the water supply to the shower, and to protect the surface of the tub or shower floor and cover the drain. Buy a faucet washer kit so you’ll have the necessary replacement O-rings and washers on hand. Browse faucet washer kits at Amazon.

First, feel the water leaking from the tub spout or shower head. If it’s warm, you know that the leak is coming from the hot-water valve. If the water has been dripping for a while and it is cold, the leak is probably coming from the cold-water valve.

1 Start by removing the faucet handle. Methods for doing this will depend upon the faucet’s design. Older or simply-designed faucets often have an exposed screw front and center or a locking screw in the side. Newer and more decorative models of faucets hide the screw beneath a cover cap. With these, you need to pry off the cover cap to expose the screw. If your faucet handle is the type with a cover cap and there is no obvious method of removal, use a very thin screwdriver or pocketknife to pry the cap off. Be careful not to scratch the finish or damage the material.

2 Once you’ve removed the cover cap, use a screwdriver to unscrew the locking screw, turning it counterclockwise. Remove it and set it aside. Then wiggle and pull on the handle to extract it from the faucet body. This can be difficult to do. You can buy a faucet puller, or improvise with a screwdriver as shown in the video below. Find faucet pullers on Amazon.

3 After removing the handle, remove the trim and the sleeve that fits over the faucet stem. You’ll need a plumber’s deep socket, as shown in the video, to extract the faucet stem from the valve body (you can find an inexpensive set online). Fit it over the stem’s hex nut and turn it counterclockwise to unscrew the assembly. At first, you may need to apply significant force to break it free. Unscrew the faucet stem and pull it out of the valve body.

4Replace all faucet washers, O-rings, seals, and the flat washer at the end of the stem (remove the screw to replaced the washer).

5 Then reverse the procedures to replace the faucet stem in the valve body. Before you put it in, lubricate the threads with plumber’s grease. Tighten it in the valve body. Temporarily put the handle back on, turn on the water supply, and test the valve. Then finish reassembly. Finally, seal the trim to the wall with tub caulk. Shop for tub caulk online.

How to Fix a Leaky Delta Shower Faucet

If your shower has a leaky Delta shower faucet, here is how to stop the leak. Before beginning, please read the information titled “Advice for Fixing Leaky Shower Faucets” above. Shut off the water supply to the shower and protect the surface of the tub or shower floor. Also cover the drain so you don’t accidentally drop small parts down it. Buy a Delta replacement cartridge on Amazon so you’ll have the necessary replacement on hand. Here’s a video that shows this process:

1 Remove the cover cap that hides the screw holding the handle, and then unscrew the handle and pull it off.

2 Remove the two screws that hold escutcheon trim plate in place, and then pull the escutcheon plate away from the wall, exposing the hole in the wall around the valve.

3 Slide off the outside sleeve (sometimes called a “stop tube”) by gripping it and pulling it outward. Then remove the brass bonnet with a pair of locking jaw pliers, turning it counterclockwise.

4 Remove the old cartridge by pulling off the plastic cap, and then gripping and wiggling the cartridge until it’s loose enough to pull off. Feel inside the valve area for any deposits or loose particles, and clean with a rag.

5 Then insert the new cartridge. Note that one side of the cartridge is marked “Hot” and should be positioned on the hot water (normally left) side. Push it firmly in place. If necessary, adjust the rotational limit stop, according to the manufacturer’s directions that come with the replacement cartridge.

6 Put the brass bonnet back on the valve and turn it clockwise to tighten it. Be sure the threads grip properly. Hand-tighten, and then use locking jaw pliers to snug it down. Clean the wall where the escutcheon plate goes, and then put the outer sleeve back on the cartridge and push it into place. Replace the escutcheon plate and handle.

7 Turn the water supply back on and, if everything works fine, caulk the perimeter of the escutcheon plate with tub caulk to seal it to the wall.

Contact us for more information.

Plumbing Repairs in Chicago

Affordable, Reliable, & Long-Lasting Repairs

Plumber Replacing ToiletTrusting your plumbing repair project in Chicago, IL, to the pros at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Chicago is a great way to receive quality workmanship in a timely manner. Our team knows you depend on your plumbing, so we’re available 24/7 if you have an issue that can’t wait.

Whether it’s an emergency or a routine drain cleaning, you can trust the professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Chicago. Our trained experts can service virtually any plumbing system in your home. We understand that you and your family depend on your plumbing, so we’re available 24/7 for emergency needs

Ready to get started? Call us at (773) 360-0378!

Common Plumbing Problems in Chicago

Whatever repair your plumbing system needs, we pride ourselves on being able to offer superior service, always at an affordable price.

Here are the common plumbing repairs we can complete:

  • Dripping Faucets – Dripping faucets are annoying at best and costly at worst! Some require only a simple repair, while others are an indication of a more severe problem.
  • Leaky Pipes – Leaky pipes can be caused by things such as stubborn clogs or pipe corrosion. Regardless of the cause, leaking pipes need a repair as quickly as possible! If ignored, they can cause serious water damage.
  • Running Toilets – Running toilets can waste hundreds of gallons of water every day. Not only is this bad for the planet, but it’s also bad for your wallet! Let’s get it fixed ASAP!
  • Low Water Pressure – When noticeably low water pressure is seen in the house, this can mean there are more serious problems lurking in your plumbing system. These problems include serious clogs, pipe corrosion, or even cracked sewer lines! This is important to solve as soon as you can!
  • Common Drain Problems – Not only can slow or clogged drains cause plumbing issues, they can also cause health issues! If you have more than one clogged drain at the same time, it may mean there is an issue in your sewer line. Either way, this is something we can help with!
  • Sump Pump Issues – Sump pump failures are some of the most common plumbing repairs we complete. If your sump pump is having issues, give us a call!
  • Water Heater Problems – Whether your water heater is leaking or producing only cold water, it may be time to have a professional take a closer look.

Plumbers are the most important contractors you’ll ever have to hire for your property. A flawless plumbing system is important to any functioning home or business. We continue to remain experts in our field as we deliver superior work that speaks for itself and world-class customer service that continues to be unmatched!

Are you looking for plumbing repairs in Chicago, IL? Give us a call at (773) 360-0378 or contact us online for a free job estimate!

Why Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Chicago?

Whether it’s an emergency or a routine drain cleaning, you can trust the professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Chicago. Our trained experts can service virtually any plumbing system in your home. We understand that you and your family depend on your plumbing, so we’re available 24/7 for emergency needs.

Here are some other things our customers love about us:

  • Flexible Scheduling – Not only do we offer our 24/7 emergency line to serve you any time of the day, but we will always find a way to work around your busy life. We make appointments at a time that’s convenient for you, not us!
  • Customer Service – Our customers make us who we are! We love what we do, and we love doing it for you. Our professional technicians will always serve you with a smile. We are so confident in our services that we will always offer our work guaranteed!
  • Professionalism – There’s a reason why they call us Mr. Rooter®. We always arrive on time with a friendly and warm attitude while keeping your home clean with mats and shoe covers.
  • Expert Knowledge – Our plumbers are experts and get routine training to provide you with quality work built to last. To date, we have repaired thousands of plumbing systems.
  • No Extra Charges – We will never charge extra for weekends, holidays, overtime, or emergencies.
  • Free Job Estimates – We will always provide a price before we start the job to help alleviate the stress that comes with choosing a company to trust. If you have any questions about our pricing, please ask!

Regardless of the service you need us to perform, we are confident that you will enjoy the time spent with us. We understand that your home’s plumbing system will require more than a few visits from a plumber, and we hope you pick us every time!

Licensed Plumbing Experts

Our technicians have the tools and training to diagnose and repair a variety of problems. If you’ve experienced difficulties with your garbage disposal, we can explain what’s needed to restore service. We routinely work with homeowners who are interested in hydronic heating systems, and we can maintain the pipes and the boiler. Our national brand has millions of satisfied customers, and our punctual staff will always treat you and your property with respect. We’ll make sure our work area is clean before we leave.

For fast service in Chicago or the surrounding areas, call us anytime. When you delegate your plumbing repair project to Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Chicago, you’ll see there’s a reason they call us Mr.®

7 Basic Plumbing Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

Local Plumber

If you’re a new homeowner, property owner, or are looking to become handier around the house, we’ve put together a list of must-have plumbing tools to keep on hand.

  1. Plunger. This one is the most important tool to have at your disposal. In fact, anyone with a toilet needs to have a plunger on hand. Whether you’re in a home, an apartment, or a mobile home, if you have a toilet that flushes, you need a plunger.
  2. Wrench. An adjustable wrench does the trick for many jobs when it comes to plumbing. Often times, a simple adjustable wrench can handle jobs like adjusting fixtures, securing toilet seats, loosening or tightening pipe connectors, and more. If you can opt for a wrench set that can help you reach more places and handle more tasks.
  3. Caulk Gun and Caulk. Caulk helps seal plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets, baths, and showers to the floor and walls. It’s important to keep the caulk in your bathroom and kitchen fresh and sealed to avoid mildew and water damage. Keep matching caulk on hand to make repairs as necessary and you can even wrap the tip with duct tape to use at a later point.
  4. Hand Auger. A hand auger is a great tool to have when your plunger cannot undo a clog. An auger works using a hand crank to snake in a line to dislodge the clog.
  5. Long-Nosed Pliers. Great for in small or hard to reach areas, pliers are a helpful tool for picking out hair or adjusting fittings.
  6. Thread Seal Tape. Thread seal tape is used for many plumbing jobs such as pipe connection and showerheads. If you’re loosened a pipe for repair, make sure you seal it back with tape, especially if the pipes are old or haven’t been maintained. That way, ensure your pipes are sealed properly to avoid leaks down the road.
  7. Duct Tape. While duct tape is not a long term or waterproof solution, it can help when you’re in a pinch. Use it to plug up a leak before the plumber arrives to make repairs.

All of the tools listed above are easily found in any hardware store and are all affordable to own. You don’t need to be a plumber yourself to use these tools. On the other hand, you should always be cautious when it comes to making your own repairs on plumbing as minor mistakes can become major headaches. Contact us for more information.

6 Methods for Finding Your Expert Plumber

7 Qualities That Make a Plumber a Good Plumber in Fort Worth, TX

Every homeowner needs to know the name of a reliable plumber or plumbing company they can reach out to when something goes wrong. Even if you have a decent grasp of the trade, and you’re able to do some DIY repairs here and there, some jobs are best left to an expert.

However, any longtime homeowner will tell you that you can’t call just anyone when your plumbing is in need of repair. You need to know that you’re hiring a professional who you can trust to assess the problem accurately, get the job done right, and do it all at a fair and reasonable rate. Unfortunately, that’s not always as easy as it sounds.

How Do I Find the Best Plumbers Near Me?

Maybe you’ve been burned before by an unsatisfactory plumbing job, or maybe you’re just a new homeowner who hasn’t had to hire anyone for repairs before. Either way, it can be tricky sifting through all the options you’ll find online for the one that best suits your particular needs.

The good news is, a little research can go a long way in finding the best fit for a plumbing job in your home. Here’s a guide to help you find the expert plumber you’re looking for.

In this guide you will find the answers to the following questions and more:

  • Who should I ask about plumbers near me?
  • What are the best resources for finding an expert plumber?
  • What are the licensing requirements for plumbers near me?
  • What does a plumber near me typically cost?
  • What do I do if my plumbing situation is an emergency?

Ask for a Recommendation

One of the most reliable ways to find an expert plumber is also one of the easiest. Reach out to friends, family, or neighbors to see if they have a plumber or plumbing company that they have experience with. Anyone who has been a homeowner long enough has had to have repairs done, and they’re likely to have a plumbing service saved in their phone contacts.

While it is likely that you’ll find a plumbing service by asking friends or family, it’s also possible that the service will not be a good one. Sometimes poor plumbing, or bad prices, can sneak by a homeowner undetected. Be aware of this fact and verify your recommendation by going online and checking some reviews. While not a perfect resource for business recommendations, online reviews can help give you a general feel for the community’s experience with the company.

Sometimes the best recommendations you’ll find come from simply entering, “best plumber near me” into whichever search engine you prefer. Online directories allow you to locate nearby plumbing services and look at their reviews.

You can also reach deeper into your personal network and seek recommendations from building contractors, real estate agents, or your insurance company. People in these professions are not only connected to plumbing services by necessity, they have a more intimate knowledge of the trade than pretty much anyone outside of plumbers themselves.

With your insurance company, you may even be able to look at reviews they’ve performed on the companies they recommend.

Look into the Qualifications of Plumbers Near Me

Every plumber has a different level of experience and qualification. Ask your plumber about theirs before you hire them for a job to give you a better idea of the level of work they are capable of and whether or not their rates are reasonable.  

There are three levels of qualification a plumber can have based on their level of training and the amount of experience they have in the trade.


These are new plumbers who are in the process of on-the-job training overseen by a plumbing company or a local union. This training, otherwise known as an apprenticeship program, lasts about 4 or 5 years. Apprenticeship programs require not only field training, but classroom education.

It’s important to note that an apprentice should never perform a job without the supervision of a more experienced, qualified plumber.


Once an apprentice has completed their training, they can apply for their journeyman license. The application process includes an exam the apprentice must pass in order to receive their license. A journeyman is an experienced plumber, but they are still limited in the jobs they can perform.

Be wary of any plumber who tells you they’ve completed their apprenticeship but do not have their journeyman license. This could signal a number of issues with their professionalism, and with the quality of care they put into their work.


A master plumber has at least 7 to 10 years of plumbing experience and education. In order to become a master, you must work as a licensed journeyman for at least two years, receive academic credentials from an accredited school, and pass multiple written exams. The education of a master is ongoing, they are required to pass annual courses in order to maintain their credentials.

A master’s level of experience and accreditation is valuable, which will be reflected in their rates.

Ask About Licensing 

Each state has different requirements for working plumbers. 44 of them require all contractors to hold licenses, but the licensing process varies depending on location; some states only require registration, while others have a more complicated process.

If you want to know what your state’s licensing requirements are, you can look online, or you can contact your state’s consumer protection agency, or your local building department.

In general, a licensed plumber has passed background checks and a licensing exam, and had their fingerprint taken. In other words, sometimes your state does a fair amount of the work for you in ensuring a plumber is qualified for the job they’ve been hired for.   

It’s also important that you ensure your plumber, or any contractor you hire, has a license that is up-to-date before hiring them for a job. If it’s not, that should be a red flag.

Some plumbing companies are members of trade organizations, such as the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. A membership with any of these organizations is a sign that your plumbing company is committed to staying informed about their industry.  

Make Sure They’re Insured and Bonded

Things can go wrong no matter how highly experienced a plumber may be, or how highly recommended they come; it’s imperative that any plumber you hire is both insured and bonded.

When a plumber is bonded, they are insured against issues that may arise with the work they’ve done. This includes, among other things, issues with permits, a job that was left unfinished, or a job that was not performed to the specifications of the homeowner. In the event of any of these situations, a surety bond ensures that the homeowner is compensated.

Insurance protects against any accidents or damage that might occur as a result of the plumbing company’s work. For example: if a pipe bursts and creates a flood that damages the homeowner’s property, insurance will cover the costs.  

Always ask to see proof that a plumber is insured and bonded before allowing them to do any work on your plumbing system. If they fail to provide proof, search for “insured and bonded plumber near me” online.

Be Aware of Average Rates 

Plumber | Plumbing services | Plumbing jobs | Kaam Ke Bande

Getting overcharged for repairs is an easy mistake to make if you don’t have a grasp of what is considered fair pricing for the services your seeking. Be sure to equip yourself with this knowledge before agreeing to any price, or having any repairs done.

If you’re asking yourself, “What is the average cost of a plumber near me?”, consider these factors:

Time Needed to Complete Repairs

Most plumbers charge an hourly rate of anywhere from $45 to $200. This constitutes the base rate before any other factors are considered. Whether they’re doing a simple repair or a complex job, you will be charged by the hour at whatever rate they offer.

Cost of Materials

You will cover the costs of whatever materials are required for the job. Prices of these materials are available online, so these charges should be fairly transparent provided you acquire a full list of what materials your plumbing job is going to require.

Services Required

Different services have different requirements, so the cost of each one is going to vary. A clogged drain or drippy fixture is usually a simple fix, so the rates are relatively low, while finding a slab leak or replacing a water heater are much bigger, more complex jobs, causing rates to be significantly higher.

Level of Experience

An experienced plumber is going to cost you more than one that is new to the field. This is based on the fact that the quality of work from someone with many years of experience is almost invariably going to be higher than that of someone with only a few years under their belt.

Level of Urgency

Repairs done outside of regular working hours come at a premium, so if your plumbing job is an emergency fix, you’re going to pay a higher rate. In the event of a plumbing emergency, remain cautious about the plumber you hire for the job. Hasty decision making may only lead to more plumbing issues down the road. In other words, don’t just search “best plumber near me” and pick the first result that pops up.

When considering a plumber’s rates, it can be useful to seek out multiple quotes that you can compare before committing to anything. If you find that one quote is unusually higher than another, it’s safe to assume it isn’t based on the quality of the work performed. The disparity shouldn’t be too high, or you may be getting overcharged.

Remember that cheap work can sometimes wind up being the costlier option in the end. It’s best to prioritize getting the job done right over saving money.

Reviews, References, and Background Checks 

Plumber in Oxford | Lynch Brother Homes

You should always look into any plumbing contractor’s background, or make sure their company has done so, before allowing them into your home. Sometimes a glance at their track record on the job is far more telling than any licenses, memberships, or qualifications they may tout.

As previously mentioned, online reviews can help you get a feel for the company you’re seeking to hire. It’s important to not only consider the ratings they’ve received, but to read the reviews themselves. A poor rating can be based on any number of incidents: an unsatisfactory job, a rude or unaccommodating technician, a monetary dispute, or even an instance of theft or misconduct. Make sure to read several reviews, as individual opinions can often be misleading.

You can also ask the plumber for references of their own, someone you can contact to get reassurance that the technician is qualified and competent. Any plumber unwilling to give you references should not be hired for the job.

When looking for the best plumber near me, you’re going to want to know if they’ve got any sort of criminal history that might make them a threat to your safety. Any good plumbing company does background checks on their employees before sending them to your home to perform a job. Ask the company about this before you agree to having any work done. If they don’t perform background checks, look elsewhere.

It’s also important to make sure any plumber you hire offers a guarantee on their work. Make sure you confirm in writing to the specific details of the job, the materials required, and the agreed upon rate.

How Do I Find the Best Plumber Near Me? 

This is a question you can now answer yourself! With all of this information in mind, you should feel confident in your ability to seek out the best plumber for the job. Just remember that every individual plumber has aspects of the trade that they specialize in, so even if they’re highly experienced, licensed, bonded, and insured, they still might not be the right hire. Be thorough and diligent, and your plumbing issues will competently be fixed for a fair price in no time.


Family having a picnic

It’s mid-year exam season in the month of May for most students here in Singapore. But thankfully, the many public holidays that fall on this month bring some welcome respite to exam fever.

Let your youngsters take a break from the books and check out these events and activities happening throughout the month!

Geylang Serai Hari Raya Light-up

Source: The Straits Times

In the month of Ramadan, take advantage of cooler evening temperatures to visit Geylang Serai and soak in the festive atmosphere of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. While everyone’s favourite Ramadan bazaar has gone online this year, be dazzled by the resplendent street lightings and colourful decorations along Sims Avenue and Changi Road. This year, the light-up focuses on neighbourliness and our community resilience in the face of the pandemic with the theme “Celebrating Our Kampung Spirit”.

Festive lights are switched on nightly from now till 23 May from 7 pm to midnight, with hours extended until 6 am on the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri on 12 May. Find out more here.

Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2021

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts

Culture vultures re

Checking the Pipes: The Chaser Tries Out Racine Plumbing in Lincoln Park

As I stood shivering last night on a Lincoln Park sidewalk, bitterly waiting for one of those waste-of-paper receipts to emit from a horrid parking box, I noticed a young couple exiting a nearby apartment building, hand in hand. “Where in the world is that girl’s coat?” I wondered, predicting pneumonia would put a damper on her holiday hi-jinks…BY AMALIE DRURYDECEMBER 15, 2010, 4:53 PM

The exterior of Racine Plumbing
The family business now . . .

As I stood shivering last night on a Lincoln Park sidewalk, bitterly waiting for one of those waste-of-paper receipts to emit from a horrid parking box, I noticed a young couple exiting a nearby apartment building, hand in hand. “Where in the world is that girl’s coat?” I wondered, predicting pneumonia would put a damper on her holiday hi-jinks. I guess she thought she didn’t need to bundle up to walk two doors over to Racine Plumbing Bar & Grill, where I soon spotted Miss I Don’t Care to Cover-Up and her beau chowing down on a basket of the bar’s Tuesday-night special, 25-cent wings (also: $6 pitchers of Bud Light).

My friend Liz and I had designated Racine Plumbing our beer-and-a-bite destination before heading to Steppenwolf to see the Edward Albee play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Tracy Letts and Amy Morton. The riveting tightly wound production comes recommended by The Chaser and, fittingly, involves the highest level of (faux) alcohol consumption I’ve ever witnessed on stage.

Anyway, back to business. I’m on a wings kick these days, and I’m not the only one: For a Tuesday, Racine Plumbing was surprisingly full. Liz and I perched on a pair of cushy bar stools, ordered two Green Lines on draft (the eco-friendly Goose Island beer; $5), and launched into our favorite catch-up topic: dudes. We don’t get to see each other very often, so when we do, the full relationship rundown is in order. The transcripts of these conversations easily could serve as fodder for the next Sex and the City movie, and since new screenwriters clearly are in order after this summer’s Abu Dhabi disaster, I hereby volunteer.

The vintage storefront for Racine Plumbing

Racine Plumbing, which opened in August, is essentially a neighborhood bar with a casual crowd of 20- and 30-somethings who no doubt live in non-bundle proximity; a cozy, wood-paneled interior and a surprisingly large backroom distinguish the tap from any other corner joint. The mini tacos and wings we ordered were fine—of the four sauces we tried, the sweet chili was my favorite; the jerk sauce left our mouths too fiery for three hours of theatre sitting—but their main appeal was the price: Our bill came to $23, including tax, for three beers, four tacos, and 16 wings.

“Racine Plumbing was the family business in Little Italy,” said Chris Owens, the spot’s owner who lives above the bar and who happened to be having dinner with his girlfriend a few stools down from us. Generations of Racine and Owens offspring kept the company going strong for 90 years, until it closed in the mid-1980s. “The family kind of switched professions. Now they’re mostly lawyers.” Chris himself tried the corporate route several times, working various desk jobs until he finally left for good to follow his true passion and open his own bar.

Which could be considered something of a Steve Brady move. Seriously, HBO. Call me.

Why You Need A Home Plumbing Inspection


Purchasing a new home is always a good investment. But what many new home buyers do not know is what steps they need to take to make sure that they get the absolute best new house for their family.  

A plumbing inspection should be one of the primary aspects of the home that a buyer should look into before making a deal. Plumbing repairs are not cheap and getting stuck with poorly plumbed or broken pipes in your new home is bound to be a frustrating experience.  

Many factors should be considered before settling on or purchasing a home, chief among them is knowing that you have not only the correct plumbing for your needs but also that your plumbing system is in great shape. So, the short answer in our opinion is yes, you do need a full plumbing inspection before you pull the trigger on buying your new home.


The cost of some of these tests/inspections can be substantial, depending on who you go with. However, I can assure you that the peace of mind and possible savings upfront is huge. If you can get a reduction in your overall home price based on the findings of home plumbing inspections you will without a doubt save money hand over fist and the small investment upfront will be negligible in comparison to the dividends that it pays. Obviously, you may not want to fork out these large sums every single time you find a house you like but once you have found “the one”, you should definitely take the plunge, for lack of a better word, and have a plumber come out and inspect your prospective residence.

How to Become a Plumber | Kay Plumbing Services

A Couple Things To Look For

It isn’t unheard of for new homes or remodeling contractors to make some mistakes when connecting water and sewer systems. So here are a few things that you can look for personally during your walk-throughs.  

Be sure to check each fixture in the home and make sure that they are fully operational. It is possible that a contractor may have cut some corners during renovation or new home building and the result is that the flow of water just isn’t all that great or perhaps these systems have deteriorated over time. Whatever the case may be, such hindrances or issues should be dealt with as quickly as possible and you shouldn’t have to absorb that cost, so be sure to use the findings in your plumbing inspection report as leverage.

Identifying the Presence of Water Leaks

Before you choose to move into any given house, it is essential that you or the plumbing inspector identifies whether there are any leaks.  

If you decide to hire a plumber to inspect your prospective new home, they will fully ensure that there are no leaks in the house by performing a battery of tests on your sewage waste system as well as your freshwater supply. Sewer leaks and in-slab water leaks are major repairs and can cost thousands of dollars. In the process of repairing any damaged pipes in your new home, you could have to tear up beautiful wood or tile flooring which would only serve to compound the repair costs. This is definitely a headache you want to avoid.  

In each bathroom, be sure to check the floor to see whether it is spongy or if it is soft, if so, more than likely there is, or at one point there could have possibly been a leaking pipe or fixture.  

Next, check the kitchen as well and look inside each of the cabinets for signs of moisture. Open each faucet and make sure that the water flow is good and not slow or discolored.  

The presence of standing water in the yard is also an indicator of a water leak. Walkthrough the front and back yard personally to see if there is water on the ground which may be a result of pipes leaking.

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Is the Water Heater Working Properly?

Hot water has become an important part of our daily lives and as such its important to make sure that your water heater is in good condition. Either you or the inspector should check to see whether or not there is any corrosion evident on the exterior of the pipes or connections  

A water heater that is more than ten years old needs to be replaced rather soon, so keep that under consideration as well. You can find the manufacturers sticker on the side of the heater that should indicate the exact date the unit was manufactured and assembled. If you do not see a relevant date then we suggest you perform a google search using the serial number to determine the units age. If the unit in the home you are looking at seems to have been there for quite a while you may want to consider its location in the home, whether its in the attic or a closet, and keep in mind that if the unit does not have a drain pan or flood stop this could lead to serious damage were it to leak in the home.

Water heaters are expensive to replace and it can be even more expensive to upgrade to a tankless unit. Be sure to keep this cost in mind if you find that the house you are looking at has an older water heater in it and make sure that you take the right steps to protect your investment.

A few things to look for on your water heater checklist are:

1. Does the water heater have any corrosion or rust on the unit itself or its connections?

2. Does the unit have a pan underneath it with a pan drain line connected? 3. Do you have a Floodstop unit or similar device installed to shut the water off automatically if the presence of water is detected in the pan?  

If corrosion is evident, you may want to have the unit inspected, and depending on the age of the unit it may need to be replaced. If the unit does not have a pan underneath it consider calling a plumber to have one installed, especially if the unit is located in your attic or inside the house in a closet. If the unit does not have a Floodstop device installed you may want to seriously consider having a professional install one for you. These devices can save you thousands of dollars in repairs in the event of a potential flood caused by water heater failure. How does it work? The device has a sensor that is placed in the drain pan and as soon as moisture is detected it cuts off the water supply to the water heater preventing any damage to your home while you are at work or doing other things.

Why Quality Plumbing Service Is Important

Inspecting the State of your Sewer

When buying a new home it is extremely important to make sure that you have the sewer system fully inspected. It isn’t unheard of for homeowners to try and unload a house on the market that has serious plumbing issues, and typically these issues have a lot to do with the sewer system because its in the ground or slab, unexposed. In some cases pipe breakages can go unnoticed or only cause intermittent but constantly recurring problems that will cause you to throw good money after bad.  

Our fully licensed plumbers will do more than give you a vague idea of what’s going on with your potential new home’s sewer system. They will perform tried and trusted tests on each section of the pipes in your home. That way our report will absolutely indicate whether or not there is a problem with your sewer system. If your home does not pass this test then we bring out our camera systems and visually inspect and retest each individual part of the sewer system in your home in order to give you a detailed report of the problems or the lack thereof.

What Type of Plumbing Pipe Do I Have?

Copper plumbing pipe

Learn what kinds of plumbing pipes are inside your home’s walls.

Do you know what types of plumbing pipe materials supply water to your home and drain it back out? Even if you’re planning to hire a plumber to maintain or upgrade your home’s plumbing system, understanding the basics will help you troubleshoot when things aren’t working properly. Get quotes from up to
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Knowing what type of plumbing materials are in your home may make that repair or replace decision easier to determine, and it can allow plumbers to give you a more accurate estimate before they arrive at your home for a service call. But it can be confusing since a plumbing system is always a mix of different types of pipe, used for different purposes. 

To get you started, here are the four most common types of plumbing pipes that keep water running in and out of your home:

plumbing pipe materials

Knowing the types of plumbing pipe material in your home can make for easier repairs and maintenance. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Maralisa E. of Lake Charles, Louisiana)

1. Galvanized steel pipe

Galvanized mild steel pipe, Galvanized Pipe

Galvanized or zinc-coated steel pipes appear thick and heavy with a gray or silver metallic exterior. Galvanized steel pipes are not commonly used in modern new construction, but if your home was built from the 1930s to the 1980s, it’s common to find galvanized pipes.

Since steel pipe is naturally heavy, it’s more difficult to work with than other pipe materials, and although it’s very durable, galvanized steel does have a limited lifespan. The zinc coating can eventually break down and cause the pipe to rust internally, which may lead to reduced water pressure and clogged water lines.

2. Copper pipe

Copper Tube | Power Steel Trading Corp.

Copper pipes began to appear in homes around the 1930s. However, it’s most common in homes built from the 1960s to the present. Copper plumbing is typically thin-walled, making it smaller in diameter than steel pipe. Over time, oxidation might change copper pipes from their original shiny reddish hue to a dark brown or green.

Copper is known for its durability, heat tolerance and long life span. One concern with copper, especially in older homes, is that the joints — where the pipes connect to various fittings — may contain lead-based solder. Another big disadvantage is that the long-term increase in the market price for copper as a commodity has made it a very costly option.

3. PVC pipe

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Polyvinyl chloride, commonly called PVC, can be found in homes built from the 1950s to present. PVC generally looks like white, hard plastic with distinctive markings down the length. These markings identify the type of PVC and its temperature rating and diameter.

The main advantage of PVC plumbing is that it doesn’t corrode, rust, or degrade over time. However, since PVC isn’t suitable for hot water supply lines, it’s mainly for your home’s sink, toilet, and bathtub drain lines or vent stacks.

4. PEX pipe

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Cross-linked polyethylene, commonly know as PEX pipe, has become the standard for home plumbing since the late 1990s. It can be found in almost any color, but most homes use red tubing to indicate hot water supply lines and blue tubing to designate cold water supply lines. PEX typically features a slight natural curve because it’s packaged in a coil. Similar to PVC pipe, PEX displays identifying markings and there is no worry of rust or corrosion. Unlike PVC, PEX is never used for drain lines.

PEX is very flexible, easy to install, and can be used in most new plumbing installations, including retrofits for existing homes. The disadvantages to PEX are that it must be kept out of direct sunlight and some fittings can be costly.

Benefits Of hiring Plumbers Bradenton For The Highest Quality Plumbing Job.

The plumbing system of your home plays an important role in ensuring that you will enjoy the highest level of safety and convenience while using your kitchen and bathroom as the water will run smoothly inside and outside your property. but if there are any issues with this system, you should never attempt to do the repairs work yourself but hire professional plumbers Brandenton for helping you deal with this situation. For this, you will need to search for the most reliable and reputable plumbing company that offers the best plumbers for completing the work in a cost-effective manner. You should never compromise on the quality of plumbers that you hire for any plumbing job because it might cause a lot of damages to your property eventually leading to long term loss. Therefore, it is important that you do proper research while hiring a plumber so that you can rest assured that you have hired someone who is skilled and qualified for this task.

There are many benefits of hiring professional plumbers Brandenton and the most important benefit is that you will have someone who has the skill and expertise for undertaking a wide variety of plumbing tasks. Moreover, you will get the best value for your money as these professionals will make use of the latest technology tools and equipment for completing the plumbing task in the best possible manner. Regardless of the severity of the plumbing issues, you should never attempt doing the repairs yourself because it might lead to damages to the pipes or any plumbing equipment. They have experience in handling all varieties of plumbing job so that you will get complete peace of mind that you don’t have to worry about anything. Moreover, you will not have to spend money on renting or buying tools for completing the plumbing repairs because these professionals are well equipped with the best tools and equipment. The training and knowledge of the professional plumbers make them the best person for resolving all kinds of plumbing issues within the short span of time so that any kind of inconvenience will be minimized. Thus, it is important that you call a plumber for assistance for any kind of plumbing problem so that it will not become serious issues and you will be able to save a considerable amount of money. For this, you will need to look for the best plumbing company that has the best team of experts who will complete this plumbing task efficiently according to your requirements. These experts will be successful in tackling all kinds of work so that you will enjoy a smooth functioning system at your home and you will also get the best quality services from a reliable plumbing company.

Hiring plumbers Bradenton means that you will have the assistance and guidance of experts who will work with the toughest of conditions which include the underground water supply lines or pipes. They have expertise in dealing with the pipes and drainage systems that are located behind the walls and underground so that the reason for the problem can be identified at the earliest. This will enable the plumbers to carry on the repairs and replacement work efficiently so that it does not lead to disasters inside your property. Hence the hiring of professional plumbers will help you to avoid the potential threats that might arise when you are ignorant of the plumbing issue or try to treat the issue yourself. These professionals will also be able to detect any gas leakage in the pipeline, connecting joints or connectors so that it does not cause any fire related issues. They have specialized tools and equipment that are capable of undertaking this task in the best possible manner so that the issue can be fixed before it turns into potential threats. There are some plumbing problems that might be more serious than you can ever imagine and this is the reason why you need to hire someone who has the skills and knowledge for identifying and fixing the source of plumbing problems. You will get the highest quality services at the most affordable prices from a professional plumber who will fix the problem quickly before it turns into a major issue.