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Plumbing Questions and Answers

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Have a question about plumbing? Our plumbers have the answers.

Here are some of the common plumbing questions and answers. While we cover the most searched plumbing questions, please reach out to us with additional questions. We will answer any plumbing questions you have for free.

Why plumbing needs to be vented?

The venting on a plumbing waste system serves three primary functions. The most important function is to balance the air pressure in the waste line to allow it to drain correctly. 

As water flows through a drain, positive pressure builds up in front of the water.  This positive pressure could ultimately slow and stop the flow of the drain. 

Venting the drain system allows the pressure to balance behind the water flow, so it does not slow down and drains as it should. 

This effect also prevents the build-up of negative pressure behind the water, which would push water out of the p-traps in a system. 

P-traps are U-like bends under almost all home plumbing fixtures designed to constantly hold water to prevent harmful sewer gas from entering the home. 

The second function of waste venting is that it allows for the harmful gasses built up in our sewer systems to vent outside of the home. 

The third function is to introduce oxygen into the sewer system, promoting the growth of “good” forms of bacteria that eat human waste and allows drains to flow at their best.

Which plumbing device prevents a backflow?

Plumbing systems are composed of three different independent but equally important systems: water, drainage, and gas. 

Backflow devices exist for both freshwater and drainage systems, and both are protective measures necessary to keep properties and people safe. 

The most important and common type of backflow device is on the freshwater system. 

Backflow devices only allow water to flow one way, and they prevent contaminants from entering the freshwater plumbing system. 

A backflow device is most commonly used at irrigation connections or for independent properties or facilities so that if contaminants enter a freshwater system, they will be isolated to that particular property or part of that system without putting more people or properties at risk of contamination. 

The less-known type of backflow valve exists in sewer systems and is more accurately called “back-water valves.”

These valves are installed at properties where the city/county utility holes’ elevation is higher in elevation than the foundation level of an individual property. 

In those cases, if the main sewer line were to back-up, waste would flood out the properties lower in elevation than the utility holes. 

The back-water valve is a flapper installed underground. The valve is designed to close if water from the main sewer attempts to back-up into individual properties. 

Unfortunately, many of these valves were buried underground with no top-side access during construction.  When this happen, the back-water valve needs to be serviced. The valve will need to be excavated and replaced with a proper set of cleanouts and a back-water valve that includes top-side access with a separate cleanout riser for the back-water valve.

Can plumbing and electrical be in the same wall?

During the new home construction process, builders and their installation crews will make decisions based on the easiest and cheapest choice. 

That being the case, electrical, water, drainage vents, and even gas are often in the same wall and possibly located closely to one another depending on where the fixtures for each respective system are located. 

Before drilling or cutting into the wall, locate the fixtures for each system to avoid hitting an unseen line or connection. 

Homeowners and professionals are often too quick to identify the issue with a lack of strapping on the piping system. However, we must remember that even if the piping is not strapped properly, something wrong with the system must be causing the pipe to move in the first place. 

Calling a professional like Al Coronado Plumbing is vital in these situations to avoid unnecessary or unsuccessful repairs and solutions.

Do you install water heaters?

Yes. Our team of experts can install gas and electric tank-style units; tankless; solar; hybrid heat pump units, and much more! 

If you have a water heater, Al Coronado Plumbing is proud to service, repair, or install any type of water heater on the market. Call us today for more information.

Why do plumbing pipes make noises?

Plumbing pipes make noises for lots of reasons.  Some noises are perfectly normal and unavoidable, like hearing the water flow through the drain line in a laundry room wall. However, other noises signal an issue with the operation of the system.  These noises are often forms of something called: “water hammer.”  Water hammer occurs when water is moving inside of a system in unexpected ways.  Water hammer can present with a periodic or continuous thumping, knocking, screeching, or higher-pitched tone. Often, water hammer is caused by excessive pressure or malfunctioning valves in the system. If your pipes are making a sound that concerns you, don’t hesitate! Call Al Coronado today.

Why is plumbing important?

The plumbing system is comprised of three separate and independent systems: water, drainage, and natural gas. 

In today’s modern age, it often becomes easy to overlook the importance of these systems in our daily lives. 

The water system delivers safe and drinkable water to any fixture in the home for our consumption and bathing. 

The drainage system provides a safe way to carry hazardous waste away from our homes, avoiding public health concerns or issues with disease spread. 

Natural gas heats our water and air.  The use of natural gas also heats medical gas delivery systems, which allows medical procedures to be performed safely. 

Since these systems contribute to our health, safety, and daily comfort, you need to work with a plumbing company you can trust. Al Coronado takes this responsibility seriously. Give us a call today for a free on-site consultation.

Are plumbing services taxable?

In Arizona, plumbing services are not taxable, and therefore, customers will not be charged any taxes for services rendered.

Can you do plumbing on mobile homes?

Yes. Al Coronado Plumbing is proud to offer plumbing services for a wide range of structures and homes, including mobile homes.

Tucson residents and business owners turn to us to work on their private residences and commercial operations. We are your go-to plumbers for any job.  There is no job too big or too small for Al Coronado Plumbing to handle!

What plumbing work requires a permit?

Uniform plumbing code requires work permits to be “pulled” before various plumbing system projects can be completed.  Technically, you should also obtain plumbing permits before a toilet or faucet installation. However, most homeowners and professionals would agree that would be excessive and unnecessary. 

Remember, it is important to find a balance between code requirements and logic to avoid unnecessary costs. 

As a good rule of thumb, obtain plumbing permits for any water heater installation, gas installation, water line, or sewer line replacement. It would be best if you also had a permit for plumbing work that needed to be done underground or in walls or significant monetary value over $5,000. 

Using a permit will keep such installations safe and ensure the homeowner is protected and that the work performed meets current code standards. 

Al Coronado Plumbing includes permits on all such projects to protect the homeowner. We also want to ensure that each job reflects the professionalism and quality standards we are known for throughout SW Arizona.

Do you offer free estimates?

As a courtesy to our customers, Al Coronado Plumbing provides estimates free of charge within our service area. 

We often receive phone calls asking for pricing on various repairs. However, it will always be necessary for a trained technician to evaluate each situation in person to give an accurate price.  The need for an on-site inspection is true even for “small” or “simple” repairs.  The reason for this is to provide an accurate price that will not change. We understand how stressful and inconvenient plumbing issues are, and we want to avoid causing any financial surprises.

Many companies will provide “foot-in-the-door pricing” over the phone to gain an opportunity to complete the repair.  However, after the contractors arrive on-site, the “I didn’t know” enters the picture, and the pricing changes. 

At Al Coronado Plumbing we know this approach is unfair to customers, so that is why we offer free estimates to all our new or repeat customers.

If you have any more plumbing questions that we haven’t answered here, please feel free to contact us.

Have you ever wondered what some of the terminology used in some of the plumbing questions mean? Home Reference has an excellent glossary of the plumbing terminology used.

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