4 Signs You Need a Bathtub Valve Replacement

Many homeowners take a shower and bath system for granted. The inner workings of a tub run hot water and cold water and can instantly send the water to either the tub itself or up through a showerhead. With so many elements, the parts may wear down over time. Before things go from bad to worse, check out some of the signs that you need a valve replacement.

When a plumber replaces your bath valves, you will have increased pressure and more accurate temperatures and help reduce water waste in the home. Check out some of the signs and know when to contact a plumber.

1. Faucet Leaks

One of the easiest signs to spot includes a faucet leak. With a tub faucet shut off, you may notice a slow drip still escapes the faucet. The drips showcase an issue with the valve. Wear and tear over time can result in the leaks, and the leaks may expand as the problem worsens.

A valve replacement will remove the worn parts and prevent leaks in the tub. If water continuously drips from the faucet, you will waste energy and could see higher bills as a result.

2. Shower-to-Tub Transition Issues

A leak may not occur just when the tub remains off. If you switch from the tub faucet to the shower, then you may notice a leak through the tub faucet while the shower runs. The leak most likely occurs due to a worn-out diverter spindle. The spindle itself can wear down along with the rubber washers and filters that block out water.

Eroded parts wear down over time, and a plumber can securely replace the parts to ensure the shower does not leak. When the leak occurs, the water pressure out of the showerhead may reduce, and you could have wildly uneven water temperatures if only hot or cold water goes through the leak as opposed to the showerhead itself.

3. Tight Shut-Off

When you turn off a bath or shower, the handle should easily glide into place and provide a secure shut-off. The lube on rotating parts could have worn away, along with the parts themselves. If you need to use excessive force to shut off the water completely, then you may need new parts.

A whole new valve system will change the way you operate the water and provide you with much smoother control. If you struggle each time to force the water off, then you could do even more wear to the valve system and create bigger issues. For example, the hot water seat or the cold water seat could crack and cause a non-stop leak.

Contact a plumber when you notice any signs of change to the shut-off process. Sometimes, just extra lube will help if no damage has occurred on other parts.

4. Irregular Temperatures

Inside a bathtub valves are two parts known as seats. The valve typically contains a hot water seat and a cold water seat. Those parts control the flow of the specific water directly to the tub. Over time, the seats may loosen or wear down. If worn, then you may notice irregular temperatures in the tub.

Some days, a shower may feel burning hot. On other days, a tub may only supply cold water. A plumber can replace both hot and cold water seats to ensure the temperatures remain consistent. You do not want to play a guessing game each time you go to bathe. The part replacement can also help reduce the amount of water you waste as you find a good temperature.

Make an appointment with us at First Class Plumbing, LLC, to fix your shower. The earlier you address the problem, the fewer issues you will run into in the future.

3 Common Faucet Problems

You probably don’t think about your faucets much, but they are some of the most important fixtures in any home because they provide direct access to clean, potable water. Unfortunately, you may find that the faucets in your home don’t always flow as smoothly as they should.

Despite their apparent simplicity, your average household faucets have several small components inside where issues may arise, and not all faucets are made the same. This guide will explain three common faucet problems and their solutions.

1. Slow or Stopped-Up Faucets

Do you feel dismayed when you turn a faucet to full blast and what comes out is hardly more than a trickle? A slow or stopped-up faucet is a problem that usually happens because of a clog in the faucet itself.

The water that goes to your home will naturally contain small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. Water with a high concentration of these minerals is known as hard water. Even if your home doesn’t have hard water, minerals can gradually build up inside your faucets and clog them over time.

The aerator is the most likely location for a clog to form inside of a faucet. The aerator is a thin metal mesh that covers the opening at the tip of a faucet spout. The aerator adds air to the water from the faucet to limit splashing, preserve water, and provide a comfortable stream of water.

Unfortunately, the aerator mesh is also small enough to trap mineral particles until a layer of sediment forms and clogs the faucet. Some faucets allow you to remove the aerator quickly to clean it by simply unscrewing the tip of the faucet. Homeowners who don’t want to try disassembling their faucet at all can leave this repair task to a plumber.

2. Dripping Faucets

A dripping faucet is more than a nuisance: according to the EPA, a single faucet that drips one time per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water each year. Most faucets start to drip when the parts inside them that stop the flow of water wear down.

The two main types of faucets are compression faucets and washerless faucets. Compression faucets stop water by pressing a rubber washer against the valve seat in the base of the faucet. When these rubber washers tear, water can start to leak around the valve and drip out of the faucet.

Washerless faucets include several subtypes of faucets that don’t use washers. Two-handle faucets are a common type that fall into this category, and they are usually cartridge-style faucets. In these faucets, the cartridge turns when the handle is turned to open or close a valve that controls the flow of water. Replacing the cartridge is usually all that’s necessary to repair leaks in these faucets.

3. Noisy Faucets

Your faucet can make many unusual noises depending on what’s wrong. For example, a clogged aerator as mentioned above may cause your faucet to sputter until the aerator is clean. The good news is, you may be able to diagnose your faucet by learning to recognize a few distinct sounds.

Whistling or screeching noises from your faucet can be alarming, but they are often the result of scale buildup in the faucet. Disassembling and cleaning the faucet can resolve the noise and prevent a clog from forming.

If you hear a booming sound when you turn your faucet off, you may have water hammer. Water hammer occurs when highly pressurized water slams into the faucet valve and suddenly comes to a stop.

Faucet valves have rubber washers or an air chamber to mitigate water hammer, but these can wear and become ineffective with time. Your plumber can solve water hammer issues by replacing the faucet valve or installing a water pressure regulator.

Whether you have slow, leaky, or noisy faucets, the pros at First Class Plumbing, LLC, can help. Get in touch today so we can help you get the most out of your home’s plumbing.

Tips for Choosing a Garbage Disposal

Repair or service can solve many garbage disposal problems. However, a time will come when you have to replace your garbage disposal. That might be the case, for example, if the garbage disposal is old and has suffered catastrophic damage. Below are some tips to help you choose your next garbage disposal if that time comes.

Type of Feed

Garbage disposals feature two forms of feed.

1. Continuous Feed

The continuous feed type allows you to add food wastes to the disposal while it is already running. This type of feed is common, relatively inexpensive, and available in different brands. Continuous feed disposal requires either a powered wall switch or an air switch; the former requires professional installation.

Since the disposal can run with its drain open, small objects (such as a spoon) can fall into it and cause damage. Bits of wastes can also fly out of the disposal if you run it with the drain open.

2. Batch Feed

You cannot add wastes into batch-feed disposal while it is running. Rather, you must follow these steps to add wastes to the disposal:

  • Stop the disposal
  • Open the drain
  • Add the wastes
  • Close the drain opening
  • Turn on the disposal

That means you cannot accidentally drop something into the disposal while it is running. However, the disposal requires a more significant investment than the continuous feed variety.

Motor Size

The motor’s size determines how powerful the disposal is. A powerful motor can grind more waste than a less powerful motor within a given time. A powerful motor can also handle tougher wastes than a less powerful one. The garbage disposal motor rating is in terms of horsepower (HP). You can get anything from 1/3 HP to 1 HP motor for your garbage disposal.

Get a powerful motor if:

  • You have a big household
  • You cook daily
  • You cook food with tough wastes, such as chicken bones

Note that big motors also tend to be more durable than smaller ones.

Chamber Size

The garbage disposal chamber holds the waste during grinding. The larger the chamber size is, the more wastes you can grind at once. Thus, a big chamber size saves you time since you can feed all your wastes and grind them at once. Disposals with big motors typically come with big chambers.

Grind Stages

A garbage disposal grinds wastes into tiny sizes for easy drainage. The grinding can take place in a single or multiple stages. You can buy a system with:

  • Single-stage grind that grinds the food once before draining it away
  • Two-stage grinding that grinds the wastes twice; the first stage leaves the waste in fine particles while the second stage liquefies the waste.
  • Three-stage grinding that grinds the waste thrice; the third and final stage handles waste particles that might have passed through the first two stages.

Multi-stage grinding reduces the risks of clogging. Clogging typically occurs if relatively big waste particles remain after grinding. Thus, you should also get a disposal with multi-stage grinding if you regularly handle tough wastes.

Extra Features

Like other plumbing appliances, garbage disposals come with different extra features. Some of the extra features may include:

  • An anti-jamming design that automatically reverses the grind table to loosen jammed waste
  • Stainless steel chambers that are durable and don’t corrode
  • Moving parts, including motors, that produce minimal noise
  • Cartridges that inject microorganisms into the disposal to help waste decomposition in the septic tank

Evaluate these features and choose those that you want and your budget can accommodate.

First Class Plumbing, LLC, has extensive experience with garbage disposal installation and repair. We handle both residential and commercial systems. Contact us for a quote on garbage disposal service or any other plumbing service you need.

Is Your Plumbing Up to Code?

If your plumbing system is older, it may not be up to code. This can be a concern when it comes to plumbing repairs or remodeling. Just because you own your home or business doesn’t mean you can do anything you want with it. Local building codes dictate what you can and cannot do when modifying the plumbing system.

This is where do-it-yourselfers can run into trouble, and why it pays to hire a professional plumber. Did you know that when making repairs or home improvements, your new plumbing is required to be up to code? If you or an unlicensed handyman installs plumbing without bringing the existing plumbing in that room up to code, you could be in trouble when you try and sell your property, and an inspector discovers plumbing issues.

If you have an older home or business with the original plumbing, there is a good chance your plumbing may not meet current code. Many municipalities update their laws/codes every three years, mostly based on the International Plumbing Code published by the International Code Council in Washington, D.C.

Some of the more common problems in older buildings include lead pipes, not installing shield plates where pipes pass through the studs, not burying the plumbing deeply enough underground and not having the proper shut-off valves in place. Inadequate drain slopes can also be a problem, making it easy for pipes to clog because the escaping water leaves behind solid materials. Improper venting can also cause problems down the line.

Older buildings may be protected by grandfather clauses, so there’s no need to worry about replacing your entire plumbing system. But if you need plumbing repairs or are thinking about bathroom remodeling or kitchen remodeling, it’s a wise decision to hire a licensed plumber who is familiar with all of the latest code changes.

First Class Plumbing offers plumbing service 24/7, 365 days a year. Our trucks are fully stocked with all of the necessary tools, parts and piping needed to complete any plumbing repairs, drain clearing and more.

Call us today at 866-989-2837 or contact us through our website to work with licensed plumbers you can trust to get the job done right the first time!