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  • Glossary of Commonly Used Plumbing Terms: Part 1

    I hate going to the car mechanic and having them throw around a bunch of jargon I don’t understand. In the end, I have no idea what I paid for and always leave feeling like I was ripped off. In order to prevent that from happening with Rooter Experts Plumbing in Los Angeles, here is a glossary of common terms.

    Apprentice Plumber: An entry-level person working to become certified. An apprentice will often be training under the watch of a professional.

    Auger: Used to clear clogs in toilets and drains, this flexible metal rod is a common tool for most plumbers as it can wind deep into pipes.

    CPVC: Short for chlorinated poly-vinyl chloride pipe, which is a plastic piping used for both hot and cold water.

    Energy Star: The international rating system for measuring energy efficiency; used on washing machines and dishwashers.

    Float Valve: This type of valve shuts down water flow at a certain level. The most common example is the hollow ball in the back of a toilet tank.

    GPM: Gallons per minute; a measure of how much water a fixture needs to operate.

    Hose bibb: The fitting on a hose that connects it to a spigot or faucet.

    Journeyman: A plumber who has completed an apprenticeship, but still requires more training to achieve “master” status, typically taking 4-5 years.

    Licensed, insured, & bonded: The three certifications that a plumbing company must possess in order to legally operate.

    Overflow: An additional drain that prevents a fixture from overfilling and causing flooding. As an example, the small hole located at the top of a sink.

    PEX (piping): A new and superior type of plastic piping, made up of hose barb connections and compression rings. It is easier to install around corners because it is flexible.

    Pilot light: The small gas flame used to ignite a burner when activated.

    Pressure gauge: A device used to measure the pressure in a water system.

    Pressure tank: This tank controls water pressure so that you receive water on demand. When a faucet is turned on, the pressure forces out the water and when the water level reaches a predetermined level, the pump is started to raise water pressure.

    Next week, we will continue part 2 of this glossary with additional terms you should know when hiring a plumber.

  • Rooter to the Rescue!: The Ugly Side of Valentine’s Day

    Valentine’s Day is all about love and romance… or at least that’s what it is supposed to be about. But last Valentine’s Day, Rooter had a different experience.

    We got the call around 6 p.m. on February 14, 2012 and quickly headed over to the apartment address. The tenant buzzed up our plumber and he expected the basic clogged toilet, but was completely surprised when the door opened.

    A male, around 25-year-old, was at the door, eyes red from crying. He sniffled and let in the Rooter Expert’s plumber, who said he immediately smelled a burning odor. As he was led to the bathroom, he saw a table set for a romantic candlelight dinner, except the food was spilled, plates were smashed, and the white tablecloth was scorched by the overturned candle holder.

    As they neared the bathroom, he could see water stains on the carpet near the door. The tenant opened the door, and the bathroom was drowning in an inch of water, dotted with Sweethearts candies.

    The plumber lifted the lid of the toilet and saw a white stuffed bear holding a heart, more candies, and roses crammed inside the bowl, which was slowly dribbling water over the rim.

    The fix was relatively simple; a quick plumbers snaking got everything unclogged and operating properly, so the plumber packed up his tools and wrote up the work order.

    As the tenant was signing it, still sobbing uncontrollably, our plumber couldn’t resist asking:

    “So, what exactly happened here?”

    “Um… well,” the tenant stuttered. “I gave my girlfriend a Valentine’s gift, and… ummm… it had the wrong name on the tag so she broke up with me.”

    OUCH!

    Hope the rest of you have a better Valentine’s Day than that!