Jose Villarreal in Cypress, TX on Houzz
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Cypress: 281-256-2239
Houston: 346-319-2029

Plastic and Copper Plumbing Pipes

  • By proadAccountId-361762
  • 10 Apr, 2017

Copper is the top choice among homeowners for about 85 percent of new home construction. But as the price of copper continues to rise, plastic pipes are becoming more popular (Plastic tubing PVC (polyvinyl chloride), ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) PE (polyethylene) and PEX (cross-linked polyethylene.)

Plastic plumbing pipe: is relatively stable, resists corrosion, is strong and flame-retardant and is flexible, so there’s rarely a problem with “water hammer”, that banging and knocking noise you sometimes hear in metal pipes when you turn the water on or off. It could reduce pressure leaks at solder joints and is easier than copper for the handy do-it-yourselfer to repair and install.

Some drawbacks to plastic pipes: some people complain that they give their drinking water a plastic taste. The inside of the pipes could be more susceptible than copper to growing bacteria. Some homeowners are shying away from plastic water piping citing health concerns.

Copper plumbing pipe: is durable as long as the water isn’t highly acidic, is fire resistant and even earthquake tolerant, every building code accepts copper plumbing, its joints aren’t bulky, its small external diameter means it can fit into tight spots, could increase the resale value of your home.

Some drawbacks to copper pipes: they’re expensive because the price of copper fluctuates with the demand for raw materials. Some homeowners report a metallic taste to their drinking water. Pinhole leaks in copper pipes can spring when a home’s water is too acidic. In fact, copper is best suited for use when the pH of the water is between 6.5 and 8.5. They can be difficult to install, especially if the job requires the use of a gas torch.

Which one is right for your home?

Your best bet is to ask a professional plumber to help you decide.

Your choice will depend on your budget, the acidity of your water, how long you intend to live in your home and which material your trusted Arizona plumber has the most confidence in.

If your home already has copper pipes, for instance, the plumber might advise you to stick with copper for repairs; same with plastic replacements if your home already has plastic pipes. And if you live in an older home with galvanized steel pipes, your plumber almost certainly will advise you to leave repairs to a pro.

As one of my plumber friends likes to say, homeowner’s who tackle galvanized pipe problems on their own are “treading where angels fear to go.” Same goes if you live in a house with a polybutylene plumbing system. That’s one you want to replace, not repair. If it isn’t leaking yet, it’s just a matter of time before it does. If your home’s PB plumbing was installed between 1978 and 1995 and it leaks, you may qualify for free replacement as the result of a class-action lawsuit.


By proadAccountId-361762 17 Aug, 2017

Building inspections are conducted to insure buildings are constructed to minimum required building codes. These codes differ from city to city and state to state. Some municipalities require energy efficiency standards and some do not. There are also different degrees of code enforcement. You may find that your inspector is a real stickler for details. While this might be a hassle, it will help insure that your subcontractors do not cut corners.

Building Codes

Municipalities and Building Departments nationwide have adopted a variety of building codes as their standard. There are several that top the list are likely in use where you will be building your home.

The UBC ( Uniform Building Code ) has been the building code standard for many years. While it is still very much in play throughout the country, many cities and counties are phasing it out for the more recent IBC (International Building Code). They are very similar so don’t be overly concerned which has been adopted in your area. In addition to these standard codes, each community may adopt additional building codes to suit their particular area. Ask your inspector if there are any unique situations that you should be aware of as an owner builder.

There are also Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Codes that your individual subcontractors will have to follow.

Recently, many building departments have adopted or are in line to adopt the IECC (International Energy Conservation Code). Be sure to ask whether or not these codes are in use in your municipality and if there are basic guidelines for design and construction or additional requirements for building inspections.

Underground Plumbing Inspection

Underground Plumbing inspections are conducted to test the seal of waste lines underneath the slab. Plumbing lines will be put under air or water pressure. There will be an air pressure gauge or an open pipe filled to the top. The gauge is normally set at a predetermined PSI. If the inspector checks it and it is not still at that number, there is a leak. If it is a water pressure test, the inspector will shake the pipe. Water should be at the top and splash out, indicating there has been no leakage. The building inspector will also check the fall or drainage of the waste lines. If the waste lines do not flow properly, they will back up inside the house. Shading material such as sand or rocks should support the lines. This helps prevent damage when the trenches are backfilled. Normally, there is also a Sewer Line inspection at this time. This building inspection is to verify that the waste lines from the house have been connected to the city sewer. If both inspections pass, the owner builder can backfill all their open trenches.

Septic Inspection

Sometimes this is categorized as the sewer inspection and is conducted at the same time as the Underground Plumbing Inspection. However, the municipality may require a building inspection to verify waste lines to the septic and an additional septic system field inspection, where they check to insure the septic field has been installed to meet the engineered specifications that have been written for the septic. Septic systems are complex and will impact your project a great deal. To read more about septic systems click here.


The main item that is called on a plumbing inspection is leaks. If your plumber waits till the day of the inspection to put the house plumbing under pressure, you run the risk of failing. Have the plumber put the lines under pressure for a full day before the inspection, any weak joints or leaks can be addressed. It is also important to protect any lines that pass through wood members.

Water leaks, incomplete work, toilets that do not have proper clearance or an unlit gas water heater are just a few of the items that can fail a plumbing inspection. Be sure to walk the house and test all faucets for hot and cold water, toilet flushing and light your range and fireplace.

Gas Inspection

The plumber will put the finished gas lines under air pressure. A building inspector will check to see if the air pressure gauge is holding pressure and then double check all the different gas stubs to make sure that they are not buried in the walls. The owner builder will receive a tag that authorizes the local gas company to hook up a gas meter.

Final Building Inspection

The final building inspection is an overall review of construction. Steps may be measured for proper height. The garage door is normally tested to make sure it is self-closing. Smoke detectors will be tested as well as all items already passed in the previous 3 inspections. Don’t be offended if the final inspector fails you on an electrical item. He is there to double check everything.

Your municipal building department may have other inspections than those listed here. It is imperative that you consult with them prior to building your home.

By proadAccountId-361762 15 Aug, 2017

Acrylic caulk and silicone caulk have very different qualities and are designed for specific purposes. Caulking has many applications, and these products are designed to meet these separate needs. Caulking can be applied to seal cracks in painting applications, for prevention against moisture, and lastly, to insulate against cold air coming into a house, or hot air from leaving a house.

Acrylic or Silicone Caulking

For most caulking applications, homeowners will either use an acrylic latex caulking material or one made from silicone compounds. Acrylic caulking is more popular because of its ease of use and because it cleans up well. It also provides a clean, neat seal. This caulking works very well for painting applications as it fills any gaps between walls, ceilings, and woodwork trim. It can also seal gaps around windows, doors, and electrical switch plates, preventing heat loss and guarding against cold drafts. Although acrylic caulking can be used to guard against water penetration, due to its propensity to shrink and distort over time, it is not the best choice.

Silicone caulk, often referred to as rubberized silicone caulk, remains flexible for most of its lifetime without peeling, cracking, or distorting. It will maintain and keep a waterproof barrier against moisture much longer than acrylic caulking as a result. This trait makes silicone the caulking of choice around showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets. Additionally, due to its long-lasting nature and its ability to retard moisture and maintain its strength, silicone caulking is an excellent choice for outdoor use and for protecting the home from outdoor wet-weather conditions. It should be noted that due to silicone caulking’s moisture repelling feature, paint will not adhere to it.

Applying Caulking

The main purpose to applying caulking is to fill a gap. Although bathrooms, kitchens, and most outside applications require silicone caulking, and interior applications require acrylic caulking mostly for sealing unsightly gaps, most of the same rules apply for applying either of these.

Be sure to cut the tip of the caulking gun at a 45 degree angle and the right size for the appropriate application. Usually cutting the tip smaller rather than larger will produce better results, but the tip can always be cut larger if initially cut too small. This will eliminate messy clean up, save material, and allow a neat, small bead of caulking to be applied.

Apply a small bead of caulking evenly and swiftly. Plan on layering the caulking through multiple passes, rather than using big globs all at once. Whether using acrylic or silicone caulking, clean up will be quicker and easier when there is less spillage to worry about, so also clean and wipe as you go. Have sufficient scrapers, cloths, or rags to wipe caulking into place and remove excess.

You'll also want to keep the area, tools, and equipment clean as the job progresses. This will ensure professional results and limit cleaning time to a minimum.

By proadAccountId-361762 26 Jul, 2017

The tank is among the 2 main components that form a tank toilet. It is connected and housed on the rear of the toilet bowl and contains mechanisms that force water into the bowl. The action allows water flow to flush waste through the toilet bowl and water trap. The tank of a toilet bowl has several parts that are usually unknown to the average person.

Intake Valve

Water enters the toilet tank through the intake valve. A water supply pipe feeds the intake valve, which allows the toilet bowl to fill with water. The valve is linked to the refill tube of the bowl, which is responsible for refilling the tank with water after every flush. The tube is located above the overflow pipe. Water that is in the overflow pipe is channeled to the toilet bowl, which is then drained.


The tank flushing mechanism is mostly inside the toilet tank, with the handle being the only piece outside the tank. Once you push the handle down, the lift arm raises. A metal chain connects to the flapper, which is located on the opening at the tank base. Once this flapper is lifted, water inside the tank flows with a strong force into the bowl, flushing its contents into the waste line.

Ballcock Assembly

The ballcock assembly is linked to the intake valve and set at a specific water level height. The end of the assembly is connected to a float, which rises with the water level as the tank fills up with water. Once the right level is achieved, the ballcock assembly stops the water flowing into the toilet.

Toilet Base Tank Connection

There is a large extension hole located on the exterior, into which water flows. A large rubber gasket is fitted around the hole extension. The bolts which pass through the tank base secure the tank in place. These bolts go through the 2 holes that are on the topmost part of the toilet base rear. Nuts are then used to secure the bolts from the underside. You will also find the water feeding line linked to the water feed under the toilet tank.

Toilet Bowl Connection

The bowl is the part of the unit that you use when you go to the toilet. It is linked to the flange, which is linked to the closet bent pipe drain. The flange is set on the same level as the toilet floor. You will find it fitted with holes to accommodate the bolts for the toilet bowl. A wax ring is utilized in order to make the toilet flange and seat connection air tight.

By proadAccountId-361762 26 Jul, 2017

More outdoor fun means more dirty clothes. Be sure to check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks or cracks and be sure to remove dryer lint regularly. Remember-—washing machine hoses should be replaced approximately every three years.

Move your washing machine at least four inches from the wall to prevent hose kinking and damage, and never leave your home while the washer is running.

In humid weather, your ductwork may sweat from condensation. This can cause a backup if the drains are not clear. Leaks in the seams can also cause condensation. If you have an attic installation, be sure there is no water in the drain pan. If there is water, call ARS / Rescue Rooter today, as it could save your ceiling.

Be careful what you put down your kitchen disposal after your cookout. Most are not equipped to handle cornhusks, celery, banana peels and other fibrous or “stringy” foods. Some other items to stay away from are fats or cooking oils because they form clogs in the pipes. Run cold water at full pressure for 15 seconds before and after you put anything down the disposal to flush it through. Never put instant stuffing, potato mixes or similar “just-add-water” foods down the drain—they'll create an instant clog when you add water. Pasta, rice and eggshells should also be avoided.

One of the best home tips for saving money and energy while on your vacation is to turn down the temperature of your water heater and turn up the temperature of your refrigerator. Of course, you should remove highly perishable foods, like dairy, produce and meat first.

The best defense to ensuring your plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule annual maintenance inspections, and keep on top of your systems before it’s too late, or when you need them most.

By proadAccountId-361762 07 Jul, 2017

When it comes to simple kitchen plumbing repair, you don’t have to be an expert plumber. Not to take away business from the plumbers but it would be a waste of money to hire an expert to come in and fix a small leak that could be fixed by a simple tightening of the pipes or a simple replacement. Here are 5 tips to make the job as easy as possible.

Tip 1: Know Your Kitchen Sink Plumbing Parts

You will have to become familiar with the components that drain the water down your kitchen sink before you can begin to repair it. This understanding will give you the knowledge to be able to troubleshoot problems.

It starts by a strainer that is fitted into a strainer body that’s sealed with putty into the sink hole. Below that a rubber gasket and metal washer, which helps seal the connection, is tightened by a large retainer or locknut. A threaded coupling mounts a tailpiece to the strainer.

At the tee in the drainpipe, a short threaded nipple and the main parts of the trap are connected by slip-joint couplings. The trap, which is a curvature in the piping, has the purpose of preventing sewer gases from coming up the piping and into the home and is always filled with water. The water along with the curvature acts as a water seal. The waste water will flow through the trap to the main.

If there is a garbage disposal, it will be connected above the trap and mounted to its own special strainer. There are different types of disposals and set ups. You should refer to the owner’s manual of the garbage disposal to become familiar with the set-up to better understand possible problems.

Know that the plumbing will be directly below the sink. Take care not to confuse the plumbing with gas supply pipes.

Tip 2: Examine the Leak

Different types of leaks require different repairs. There is a difference when the leak is around the base of the spout as opposed to a spout that drips. A spout base leakage is caused by O-rings that are worn out. They can be easily removed by pulling up on the spout and wiggling it free. You may also need to remove other parts such as the handle. The O-ring can be lodged into place pretty good so it may take some determination to remove it.

Tip 3: Turn Off the Water Supply

There are usually two valves underneath the sink that turn off the water supply, one for cold water and one for hot. You will have to shut off your main if there are no valves under the sink. This will prevent a horrible mess and the need to rent a wet/dry vacuum.

Tip 4: Repair Leaks Timely

The floorboard beneath your kitchen sink will most often be made of wood. Wood will be warped and damaged when exposed to water or a long period of time. In addition to the warping, there is also the trouble of mold and buildup of waste water sediment that will give your kitchen a foul odor.


Tip 5: Know When to Get Help

While most repairs can be done by you with the only cost being a replacement part or the energy it takes to tighten a bolt, there are other repairs that require a professionally trained person. If you find yourself fixing the same problem over and over again, you may need bigger repairs and a more thorough replacement of your kitchen components. Damage caused by you may be more than the original cost of having somebody repair the initial problem.

By proadAccountId-361762 29 Jun, 2017

In case of a plumbing emergency, it is always a good idea to educate yourself on how (and where) to turn off your main water supply – as well as the isolation valves on your various plumbing fixtures. A ruptured line, burst pipe, or sewage backup can wreak havoc on your home and potentially cost you thousands in water damage and water bills.

In severe cold weather, the water in your pipes can freeze. When water freezes, it expands and can burst the pipe, not matter how thick or strong it may be. But, if it’s too late and the pipe has already burst, turn off your main water valve as fast as you can to prevent further damages.

Being able to contain the situation as soon as possible will greatly help with damage control and allow a wider window of time for help to arrive (if the situation calls for it). Everyone in your home should know exactly where the water shutoff valve is located and how to turn it off.

Additionally, if you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time, it is highly recommended that you turn off the main water valve.

Where is the main water shutoff valve located?

This is the million-dollar question. Your main water shutoff valve could be located in several different areas. If you have a home with a basement and crawlspace, it is probably located on an interior wall near the front of the house, where the water comes in from the water meter. In this case, it is most likely hiding in plain sight. If your home was built on a slab, the valve might be located near the hot water heater or inside your garage.

WARNING : Never touch the pressure regulator, located just above the shutoff valve. Only a licensed plumber should adjust your water pressure.

If the valve can’t be found inside the home, the next location to check is near the end of your property line (or street) in a covered box within a “pit” underground. This is normally a cement box buried in the ground near your front curb; however, you may need a special “meter key” (available at local hardware stores, like Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, and Home Depot) to open the box.

Once you fit the meter key into the “lock,” turn it counter-clockwise, and then tilt the key toward the outer edge of the box to lift the lid open. Be careful when opening the box. Sometimes, small critters, reptiles, bugs, and other surprises are waiting for you.

Let's watch the video to know how turn off your Water Meter:

By proadAccountId-361762 20 Jun, 2017

Why Won't My Dishwasher Drain?

By Timothy Dahl


If you've recently installed a new garbage disposal, that might be why your dishwasher is plugged up.

A clogged dishwasher that won't drain is a common and disgusting kitchen issue, but the problem might not be the dishwasher itself. Rather, it could be your newly installed garbage disposal.

If you've got a water sitting in the bottom of your dishwasher, the first thing you want to do is check the drain plugs for blockage in the dishwasher pan. Large chunks of food and other items may be preventing the dishwasher from draining. If the drains are clear, then move along to the draining tube which often dumps into your garbage disposal.

The top rubber tube drains the dishwasher into the garbage disposal. The port on a new garbage disposal will have a plastic plug inside. If that plastic plug isn't popped out, then the dishwasher won't drain and the water will pool back into the washer.

Unplug your garbage disposal before working on it. To remove the plastic plug, simply release the clamp holding the rubber tube and pull it off.

Then take a screwdriver and feel for the plug. If the screwdriver pushes all the way into the disposal, you've got a blockage somewhere else. But if you can feel the plastic plug then you've found your issue.


Use a hammer to lightly bang against the back of the screwdriver and punch out the plastic plug. Make sure you've removed it around all of the edges. Reach into the top of the disposal through the sink and pull the plug out and any remaining plastic pieces. Then reattach the hose and your dishwasher should now drain properly.

Need help?

Contact us at Joe the Plumber . We wake care of all your plumbing needs!

By proadAccountId-361762 19 Jun, 2017

By: Light Foot Mechanical

You invested in a water filtration system to ensure that you can easily get clean, safe and healthy water for your whole family at home. You can rely on your water filters for quick and easy drinking water when you’re in a rush, and it has become part of your daily routine. However, without regular and proper maintenance, your filtration system can become less effective at removing contaminants from your water, leaving a less pleasant taste in the liquid you drink every day.Water Filtration - Clean Water

It is quick and easy to get in the habit of cleaning and maintaining your water filter system on a regular basis, which will help to enhance the effective and efficient performance, making it last longer. Consider trying some of these hints and tips to improve the lifespan of your filtration system.

Regular cleaning routine

Cleaning the inside of your water filter system frequently and thoroughly is important to avoid a build-up of minerals, contaminants or dirt in the filter. Try not to use any harsh cleaning products and gently rinse the system with warm water. You do not want to add any harmful toxins to your system that could be absorbed into the water that you and your family drink. Make sure to clean all elements of the system, preferably on a weekly basis. Ensure you sanitize the different parts of the system when cleaning your water filter, including the water dispenser, line, and cap assembly.

The water softener that you use may contribute to a build-up of salt in your water filter, meaning you will need to clean your system more often. Newer water softeners are efficient in how salt is used in the water, causing the excess to sometimes form a blockage within the system. When cleaning out your water filter, simply switch off the system, remove the majority of the salt and use hot water to dissolve the blockage.

Remember to monitor your water filter whenever you use it, looking out for signs that it may need cleaning. There is often also a monitoring system on your water filter, which can differ depending on the brand or type you have.

By proadAccountId-361762 05 Jun, 2017

Where and When

There are several things that could cause your toilet to make gurgling sounds; a blockage in the toilet or drain for that toilet, a blockage in the vent stack leading up to the roof that may have a nest or leaves in it, or most commonly a main sewer drain blockage. The gurgling sound you hear is from air that escapes backwards into the toilet and is the first sign of a more serious issue occurring and a messy disaster waiting to show itself at the most inopportune time. - See more at:

Not all gurgling sounds are caused by problems in the plumbing draining/venting system. It is normal to hear these sounds in the toilet at the end of every flush because of air suction into the toilet bowl.

Gurgling sounds are not normal when we flush the toilet and hear the sound coming from a nearby vanity sink or bathtub drain.

By proadAccountId-361762 01 Jun, 2017
What is a galvanized pipe you ask? Prior to the 1960s and through the 1980s, new homes were being built using galvanized pipe. It was a very popular and effective way to transport water throughout the home and a great alternative to lead pipes. A galvanized pipe is a steel pipe dipped in molten, naturally occurring zinc allowing us to safely drink water without the risk of contamination of rust or metals from the steel. Naturally occurring zinc is impure so these pipes may also have been contaminated with lead and other impurities.
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