Advocate Blog

Lee’s Summit Plumbing Calls

Lee’s Summit Plumbing calls can introduce me to some of the greatest people. The customers are always very nice or as I say, “Just good folks.” As their plumber I find myself in some unique and interesting situations. They always start with a story that is their plumbing emergency. The story inevitably involves a tidbit about a family member and the families history. As a transplanted Missouri residence I always enjoy talking with my customers.

A bit of history

First, lets begin with a bit of history. I’m originally from Phoenix. I moved out here about 20 years ago to finish my apprenticeship in the Plumbers and Pipefitters union, make the most beautiful daughter in the world and get married a couple of times. (The last one took.) In the middle of all that was a lot of really hard work in the plumbing industry. There was also a lot of schooling. But fortunately there was also a bit of good fortune. Put that all in a bowl and mix it up and you get Advocate Master Plumbing.

My Experiences With Other Plumbing Contractors

Next, lets briefly (I promise) list some of my experiences with other plumbing contractors. The local plumbing contractors in this region can be very cutthroat with their business models. Your average plumbing technician is working 50 to 6-0 hours a week. They’re all being pushed to sell products with an extreme sense of urgency. It’s pretty difficult to have a family in that atmosphere. They’re pushed pretty hard.

I’ve worked with some of the biggest contractors in the Kansas and Missouri areas. I migrated every few years because I work very hard and expect my paycheck to reflect that. That’s hard to find. And it always seems to change depending on the economy and business environment. But it’s hard for everyone.

The bulk of my early plumbing work was with the union. Then I spent 15 years working for other contractors learning customer service and plumbing diagnostics. The focus of my work in the industry was:

  • Water Heater install and repair
  • Drain cleaning
  • Sump pump install and repair
  • Garbage disposer install and repair
  • Water pressure regulating valve install
  • Leak detections in water pipes, gas pipes and drain pipes
  • Water, Sewer and gas utiliities service installation and repair
  • Faucet install and repair
  • Toilet install and repair
  • Water pipe install and repair
  • Gas pipe install and repair
  • Backflow prevention install and repair
  • Water softener installs
  • Reverse Osmosis drinking water systems
  • Instant hot water dispensers

Some Favorites

Carol R. lives in the central Lee’s Summit area. She called me after dealing with 3 other plumbing companies. She came home one winter after a 10 day business trip to find water in her basement, huge icicles hanging from her homes exterior directly outside her kitchen and no water leaks. After suffering over it for a while I finally concluded that her Moen kitchen faucet had been pushed open with excessive pressure building in her water pipes as they started freezing.Lee's Summit Drain Clog, This prevented the pipes from completely freezing. It also flooded her home. The water splattered on her kitchen counters enough to fall through a hole in her wall and create the icicles. As the excessive water pressure dropped the faucet fell back shut. It was an older style single lever kitchen faucet with the heavy brass lever. If you lubricate the faucet cartridges too much water pressure can push it open.

DIY Plumbing Tip: To avoid frozen pipe issues keep your heater running and your home exterior sealed and insulated. It’ll save you high utility bills and even higher plumbing repair bills.

Eileen T. lives in the North Lee’s Summit area and had a dual water heater system with a hot water heater leaking to beat the band.Lee's Summit water heater repair and install I only replaced one of the hot water heaters to save her and her family some money. The thing that stands out the most to me is how very nice she was and what a beautiful family she had. That family included 2 crazy and a little spoiled dogs. I’ve been back once since for a grease clog in her sewer.

 

DIY Plumbing Tip: If you’re water heater is leaking check the insulation around the burner chamber between the outer housing and tank. If it’s wet then you probably need a new tank. If the drain pipe attached to the relief valve is leaking it can be repaired.

Melissa E. lives in southwest Lee’s Summit. She stands out because she and her husband were both as nice as they were highly intelligent. They lived in a newer home in a revitalized area.

Lee's Summit MO Back Up Sump Pumps

Syphon Jet Water Powered Back Up Sump Pump

Because it was so quickly built and the houses were crammed so closely to each other, there were ground water issues. After dealing with a flooded basememnt she asked that I install a battery back up sump pump system with a new primary sump pump. I told her I’d do her one better. I’ll install a great primary pump with a water powered back up sump pump system that is less of an investment, no maintenance and needs no repairs. She had me back for a leak in one of the plastic glue joints. That happens sometimes when you have to put the freshly glued pvc discharge piping in service too quickly for it to fully cure due to rain. They were very understanding and kind.

DIY Plumbing Tip: If you have ground water issues make sure the ground around your home is graded so water will naturally flow away. Keep your gutters clean and downspouts extended away from the home foundation.

Mike H. lives in northwest Lee’s Summit. He called with a badly leaking garbage disposal and a leaking shower valve.

Garbage disoposal repair and installation, Lee's Summit emergency plumber

I told him on the phone that if water is dripping from the bottom of the garbage disposal then please carefully unplug it. The usual culprit for this kind of leak is damage from a previous jammed grinder chamber or drain cleaning acids compromising the seal between the grinder chamber and the motors electrical wiring and windings. I also replaced the cartridge in the leaking shower valve.

 

DIY Plumbing Tip: I’m not a fan of garbage disposals. They clog drains. I prefer garbage be put in the garbage can. But if you have to have one then I recommend one with a stainless steel grinder chamber. It’ll last longer. And don’t put drain cleaners in the garbage disposal. It will compromise the seal between the grinder chamber and electrical chamber. At that point, you need a new one.

Shari K. lives in north Lee’s Summit. She and her husband had recently purchased their home only to find multiple plumbing issues ranging from leaking toilets, running toilets, and a leaking water shut off.

I pointed out an old and leaking water pressure regulating valve. I ended up replacing her toilet with an inexpensive high efficiency toilet, replaced the water shut off and returned the next day at her request to install a new water pressure regulating valve.

DIY Plumbing Tip: A water pressure regulating valve lowers excessive water pressure. Excessive water pressure will wear out and damage the plumbing pipes, fixtures and appliances. This is my favorite repair. It save my customers so much money.

Jessie L. lives in central Lee’s Summit. A very poorly plumbed kitchen sink had clogged. They had just moved in and knew there were issues. Unfortunately, many of my customers are the victims of a poorly performed home inspection. Their kitchen drain clog was very avoidable. They were such nice people and I hate giving bad news to people. But they don’t hire me to pull punches. I got the clogged kitchen drain unclogged and recommended a kitchen drain repipe.

DIY Plumbing Tip: There are ways to unclog a drain without tools. I’ve unclogged kitchen drains by plugging one side and running the disposer multiple times until the vibration and increased water pressure opens the drain. Then I run hot water down the drain for a while to make sure it stays open.

Your local Lee’s Summit Plumber

In my 25 years of experience in the plumbing contractor business I’ve learned many things. The most important is to earn your customers. Take care of their needs instead of your pocket book. The success will happen if you focus on ethical customer service and fair pricing. At Advocate Master Plumbing you’ll get that. Jerry Miller is the owner and operator of this family owned business. He’s also the only employee. If the job is done right, he is rewarded. If it’s done wrong he has to go back for free. He loses and gains depending on the service he provides. There are no answering services or office workers. You call and you get him. He’ll look you in the eye and shake your hand.

 

And, as always, check out our 5 STAR REVIEWS on Facebook, YELP and Google!

6 Common Plumbing Inspection Issues

I’ve had many plumbing customers tell me there should be a class for new home buyers before purchasing a home. Unfortunately, they say this after signing on the dotted line. “But my home inspector was my friends uncle!” There are many very good home inspectors. But they only work for you once every 7-10 years statistically. They work for real estate agents every day. A conflict of interest can arise for some of them. Because I try to see my business as a holistic plumbing company I try to inspect all homes I enter if time permits. If I can’t help I’ll try to refer another contractor, in my trade or otherwise, that I find to be ethical. But for now lets discuss 6 common plumbing inspection issues for new home buyers I often find.

Grading Issues

The first thing I look at when I walk to a customers front door is the exterior home grading, landscaping, gutters and downspouts. I know this doesn’t sound like plumbing but it is. Foundation ground water problems can cause a lot of problems. And foundation repairs seem to cost $20,000 and up. Most of these problems can be fixed with some landscaping, gutter repairs and maybe concrete mudjacking. Some problems that can arise due to poor grading are:

  • Cracked and settling concrete walks, stoops & driveways.
  • Foundation cracks and heaving walls.
  • Water & sewer service breaks.
  • Flooding basements.
  • Lawn, tree & landscaping damage.

If you’re ever concerned about drainage at a new home purchase try placing a garden hose in the trouble spots against the exterior foundation and turn the water on. Letting the water run for a while you’ll be able to see where the water flows during a heavy rain. It should always flow away from the house at every point around the exterior foundation.

If the home has a sump pump the discharge piping should extend to the ground and at least 3 feet away from the house above ground. If it’s underground the pipe should be at least 3 inch pipe. This is due to freezing water in the pipe possibly plugging the line during a quick thaw and burning up a sump pump motor. I prefer it to be rigid pipe instead of black corregated pipe. It’s less likely to collapse.

And every home that has a sump pump should have a clean sump pump pit free of rocks, mud & construction debris. You should always have a back up sump pump system. Because all pumps fail. It isn’t worth gambling thousands of dollars in water damage and future insurance premium hikes.

Burst Wall Hydrants (Spigots)

Many homes being sold have damage from the previous home owners neglect or forgetfulness. If a garden hose connection, or hydrant, is left on during the winter it has likely frozen. If it’s frozen it’s likely cracked. This problem is elusive. The leak will only show itself if you’re outside and turn the hydrant on. The water leak will be inside your basement wall or ceiling. Most new home buyers don’t discover this problem until long after they’ve purchased the home and after running the hose for a long time and flooding their basement.

Lee's Summit Wall faucet, leak in basement, frozen spigot

A wall hydrant is designed to stop the flow of water from inside the house. It then drains itself so that no water can come in contact with freezing temperatures. If a hose is left attached the hydrant won’t drain itself. It will freeze. When water freezes it builds pressures up to and exceeding 100,000 psi if allowed. A capped hydrant with a wye splitter will plug it in the same way.

If the home has an unfinished basement you can usually find the hydrant inside the basement. If so, simply run your hand over the faucet housing and feel for cracks or bulges. Even then I’d probably have someone turn on the faucet while you watched from the inside. Sometimes the crack is too well hidden. If the home has a finished basement you can cap the hydrant outside by putting a hose on it with a triggered attachement and turn the water on. With no water flowing out of the attachment you shouldn’t hear flowing water. If you do it’s burst.

Sewers

The sewer is such an expensive replacement that I always recommend having it camera’d by a professional prior to purchasing a home. The average cost to replace a sewer is $5,000 – $10,000. Why not spend $200 for an inspection. I say replacement rather than repair because it’s incredibly irresponsible to try and patch a broken sewer. There’s so much pressure at those depths underground that removing dirt in one spot will create pressure changes throughout the length of the sewer. Once a “sewer repair” is covered up the dirt will shift and break the sewer in other spots.

Some superficial signs of sewer problems are:

  • A settled line in the yard from the house to the street
  • A large tree above the sewerpointLee's Summit drain, clogged drain, sewer
  • A sewer clean out plug thats been replaced or obviously removed at some
  • Spots on the female threads of the clean out that have been rubbed off.
  • White flakes of paper stuck to the floor near the floor drain or sewer clean out.

 Excessive Water Pressure

Too much water pressure is considered a good thing by those that don’t know. “I have great pressure in the shower.” I hear it often. But it’s not a customers job to know that any water pressure that exceeds 80 psi will prematurely wear out a plumbing pipe system, plumbing fixture and plumbing appliance. You can purchase a $15 water pressure gauge at a home store and check the water pressure at an exterior hydrant. Simply thread it onto the hydrant, confirm no water is being used, and turn on the hydrant.

Some signs of excessive water pressure are:

  • Past leaks at the water heater pressure relief valve drain pipe
  • Noisy pipes when water is turned on
  • Multiple drippy faucets
  • Refrigerator icemaker or water dispenser breaks
  • Washing machine solenoid valve breaks
  • Dishwasher problems
  • Toilet makes excessive noise when filling with water
  • Banging pipes during water flow
  • An old water pressure regulating

Water pressure regulating valves are installed just above the entrance valve.Lee's Summit, water pressure regulating valve, excessive water pressure The entrance valve is the water shut off for the whole house located where the water service first enters the house.The water pressure regulating  valve is a bell shaped valve with a bolt at it’s apex. If it’s old or plastic you probably have issues. They need replacing about every 10 – 15 years. This is the single best investment you could make into your home plumbing system. It will  prevent many future plumbing issues.

Water Heaters

A cold shower is a motivating moment. I’ve never been man enough to try one. But I’m told. When inspecting homes this plumbing appliance is critical. It’s an expensive replacement cost. I don’t want that for my customers. Lee's Summit water heater installation and repairIt’s also one of the first places a home seller will try to save money by either disguising the age of the hot water heater or replacing it with a cheap one

Some signs of needed hot water heater replacements or repairs are:

  • Burn marks around exhaust piping at top of water heater
  • Burn marks around the outside of the burner chamber
  • Electrical ground burns
  • Moisture anywhere on or near the water heater
  • Inconsistent water temperature
  • Rust on the water heater
  • Rust in the hot water
  • The brand Whirlpool

The life span of a water heater is generally 12 – 15 years. To find the age of the hot water heater find the manufactured date. If there isn’t one look up the brand online and determine the age using the water heater serial number. It will tell you how to determine the age. The replacement cost of a water heater is between $1,300 – $1,800 on average.

Bad Odors

A smelly house is a concern. Different smells can mean different things. Anything from gas leaks, methane from the sewer, mold and mildew or just plain filth. Some are common sense stuff that your average home buyers will figure out. Earthy smells can mean mold and mildew. Onion odors can imply gas leaks. The most common of these is definitely sewer odors. The following is a list of plumbing issues that could cause sewer odors:

  • Dry p-traps in plumbing fixtures (floor drains, sinks, showers, toilets)
  • Missing clean out plug in the floor drain
  • Cracked vent pipes
  • A dry toilet wax seal
  • An improperly terminated or abandoned drain

Clean out plugs can easily be replaced. Just as a toilet wax ring can be. A dry p-trap can have water poured into it.Lee's Summit drain, dry ptrap, clean out plug But a cracked pipe or improperly terminated or abandoned drain should be addressed by a professional.

Always Call A Plumbing Professional

Buying a home can be a stressful time. Don’t get caught up in the excitement and make concessions you’ll regret. If you find yourself doubting your home inspector call the professional plumbers at Advocate Master Plumbing. We’re a family owned and operated local plumbing business with a holistic approach to serving our neighbors. We offer free general plumbing inspections with all paid plumbing service calls.

 

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11 Things In A Plumbers Home You Should Have

As a plumber I get asked a lot of plumbing questions in both my personal and professional life. I’m a bit of a plumbing nerd so I kind of like it. And nobody has every accused me of not talking enough. So I thought I would make a list of the 11 things in a plumbers home you should have.

11 Things

Whenever I need to purchase something that I know little about I ask the salesman what they have in their home. This way I can be sure it’s a quality product. So that’s the reason for this post. These are the 11 things I have in my own home about which as a plumber I feel very strongly. I hope it’s helpful.

1) Water Pressure Reducing Valve

The water pressure reducing valve is probably the single most important plumbing item I install. As it’s name implies, it lowers the incoming city water pressure to a more manageable and less damaging level.

All this means is that all the pipes, fixtures and appliances that are attached to your water system are rated for a certain amount of water pressure. If the pressure is too high it could lead to early failure. Some of these things are:

Water Pressure Reducing Valve

  • Faucet
  • Toilet
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Ice Maker
  • Water heater
  • Water softener
  • Any water filtration system
  • Water pipes

I install the highest rated brand and model that I can find. It’s just too important to go cheap on this item. I always prefer the Watts 25AUBZ3 water pressure reducing valve. It lasts longer. If you’re not sure if you have one in your home check by the whole house water shut off or as we call it the entrance valve. It’ll be just above the entrance valve. If you’re not sure if you need one, call your water company and ask them what the city water pressure is in your area. If it’s 80 psi or higher, you need one. And set it as low as you can tolerate. The lower the water pressure, the longer everything lasts. That means you won’t need to call a plumber as often.

2) Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System (R.O.)

A R.O. system is a water filtration system that purifies your drinking water to it’s absolute purest level. It’s essentially bottled water without the bottle. With all that’s been on the news about Flint, Michigan I would think that this would be a no brainer. If your plumber installs one in his home, what does that say about the confidence he has in your local governments ability to deliver clean drinking water.

reverse osmosis water systems, R.O. System, Lee's Summit plumber

There are those that argue that it takes flouride out of the water. Well, I won’t fight that fight. I would just say that in all of human history there has never been chemicals in our drinking water until the industrial age. And while I’m not antigovernment, I don’t trust them enough to tell my daughter to drink up from the tap. Read your annual water report that’s mailed to you. It mentions how much of the awful things that are allowable and how much there is in your drinking water. I prefer none.

3) High Efficiency Hot Water Heater

A high efficiency hot water heater is high on the list because I like my comforts. I love a long shower without worrying about the washer running or my daughter showering at the same time. A good quality hot water heater will give you all the hot water you could ever hope for with a minimal rise in energy usage.

There are those that want to be green and save mother earth. I feel the same way. We recycle all plastics, cardboard and tin in my house. I even save old copper and brass and recycle them once every couple of years. But lets face it, a long luxurious shower is the main reason.

Hot water heater, High efficiency, Lee's Summit plumber

I have an A.O Smith Vertex tank style hot water heater. It’s 96% efficient. That means that only 4% of the heat generated is lost. The exhaust flu is plastic drain pipe. It’s awesome. But why don’t I have a tankless water heater? Because I’m lazy. I don’t want to circulate vinegar water through my hot water heater every 6 months. That’s what the big corporate entities don’t tell you. A tankless water heater heats water so quickly that sediment build up is accelerated. While they don’t have a conventional tank they do have copper coils that close with hard water deposits quickly. If you don’t do the maintenance routine they’ll clog up and that $3000 or more hot water heater you bought will have to be thrown away.

4} Water Softener

After 25 years of telling people water softeners are an unneccesary luxury I have one. I’m a total hypocrite. I’m also in love with my water softener. It helps so much with dry skin. Soft water saves a lot on soaps for cleaning. And the ladies love what it does for their hair. It’ll make their hair come alive with body. It does prevent scale build up in and on all your plumbing pipes, fixtures and appliances, as well.

Water Softener installation, Lee's Summit Plumber

As a plumbing professional, I don’t trust new plumbing products. I want everybody else to beta test on themselves and their plumbing customers. So I prefer the conventional salt pellet style water softener. I don’t think the ultra expensive water softening systems are worth the gamble that they actually do more than the conventional style. I could be wrong. But my water is soft. And I didn’t spend a fortune. You can pick one up at Sears or a box store. They’ll work great. Just get used to adding a $10 or so bag of salt every month or two.

5) High Efficiency Toilets

A toilet probably uses the most water of all your plumbing fixtures. A switch to the newer 1.6 gallon flush toilets will save you significantly. And mother earth won’t mind too much either. The stuff you’ve probably heard about them not working as well is true, unless you get a high efficiency toilet. High efficiency simply means it uses the water more efficiently. Not just that it uses less water. You can find a few of them that work great. They use that little amount of water very well.Toilet repair and installation

I prefer either the Toto Drake or Gerber Maxwell, Gerber Viper or Gerber Avalanche toilets. There are other brands out there that are good, as well. I like these specificly because of their simplicity. Some models are switching to a flush tower style mechanism instead of the simiple flapper. I feel, right or wrong, that this is the manufacturers attempt to sell overpriced parts. The flapper system works fine. Why reinvent the mouse trap?

I prefer the taller toilet bowls. That couple of inches in extra hight really helps the old knees when getting up and down. And if there are boys in the house you have to have an elongated bowl rather than a simple round bowl. As I tell my plumbing customers, “8 to 80 all men dribble.” Not eloquent but true.

6) Moen or Delta Faucets

A faucet is another plumbing fixture that should remain simple. And the manufacturers should give you a great warranty on their products. Moen and Delta make a great faucet. They also back them up with a lifetime warranty. You just can’t get better than that. And as for price, I feel they’re your best value. They’re moderately priced, simply built and backed with a great warranty. And yes, you can find them in the pretty style you found on the internet.

Kitchen faucet repair, kitchen faucet installation, Lee's Summit Plumbing company

For a kitchen faucet I prefer the single handle gooseneck pull down spout style. See the picture above. It’s really popular now and for good reason. As for bathroom sink faucets I prefer the 2 handle mini gooseneck style that swivels. I hate having my hands touch the sink when I wash them because the faucet spout is too close. And I like the option of moving the spout out of the way to wet my hair in the mornings. For shower valves I only install one model: the Moen Positemp single handle pressure balancing shower valve. It’s simple which means it’ll work well for a long time and it’s easy to repair. It’s compact which means it’s easy to install inside small wall spaces.

7) Stainless Steel Garbage Disposals

I don’t like garbage disposals. Let me say that again. I don’t like garbage disposals. If you have garbage put it in the garbage. If it’s slimy garbage either store it in the freezer until garbage pickup day or flush it down the toilet. You can also compost. But using a garbage disposal is like eating a donut every day. Yeah, they taste good. But you’ll clog an artery eventually and that leads to heart attacks. Well, that’s what a clogged kitchen sink is…a clogged pipe having a heart attack.

Garbage disoposal repair and installation, Lee's Summit emergency plumber

Ok. Ok. I have a wife too. We have one. But we have a stainless steel one. It’s not super quiet. It doesn’t slice and dice 5 different ways. It’s a simple Insinkerator Badger 15 stainless steel garbage disposal. The stainless steel is the grinder chamber. The usual badger 5 or less models have a galvanized steel grinder chamber that rusts and fails much sooner. The Badger 15 is the simplest model that just plain works. It’s a great value.

8) Zoeller Sump Pumps

I technically don’t have this one. But it’s worth mentioning. I won’t have a house that needs a sump pump system. I feel that if you have ground water in your foundation then the home builder failed. No house should have water in the foundation if it’s constructed correctly and the ground is sloped properly. But sometimes you can’t squeeze that extra home in a development and have all houses with proper grading.

Blue Springs Sump Pump Repair, Lee's Summit Sump Pump Repair

If you have to have a sump pump I prefer the Zoeller sump pumps. They have the best mechanical switch on the market. That’s the part that usually fails. They have cast iron bodies that make it sturdy and keeps the motor cool. And even the lowly M53 1/3rd horsepower Zoeller sump pump will shoot a half inch rock through it’s impeller without jamming. They’re thermally protected so if they start to overheat they’ll shut down to protect themselves. And they have power. A 1/3 horsepower M53 is usually enough for us average homeowners. If you have a larger home or at the bottom of a hill you may need the M98 Zoeller 1/2 horsepower sump pump. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. They’re a good value.

9) Liberty Siphon Jet Water Powered Back Up Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump you should have a back up sump pump system. I don’t mean an alternative power source. That won’t help if a rock jams up your sump pump or just gets old and fails. You need a secondary pump with an alternative power source. I’ve installed the battery backup systems for years. They’re over priced and twitchy. They have a lot of design issues and are enormously expensive for the average home owner to maintain. That new battery every 3 to 5 years can cost a lot. The Siphone Jet water powered back up sump pump system runs on water. And it’s been around for about a decade. It works.

Grain Valley Missouri back up sump pump system

Like I said earlier, I don’t like new gadgets. I suffered through with the battery back up sump pumps for a long time before I’d even look at these. But they have been working pretty much flawlessly for a long time. If I had to have a back up sump pump system this is the one I’d have.

It works much like the lawn fertilizer sprayers that attach to the end of your garden house work. A “venturi” , see the link above, is created to draw the fluid out. The Siphon Jet back up sump pump system uses 1 gallon of water to draw 2 gallons of water out of your sump pit. Sounds like nonsense but it works. And it only uses water in an emergency which hopefully is never. The better the water pressure and water flow in your house the better it works. The only flaws I see in it is that it doesn’t pump as fast as the bulky battery back up systems. On average it’ll pump about 18 gallons per minute. The battery back ups will pump anywhere from 16 to 40 gallons per minute. And the other kink is you can’t shut your water off when leaving the house for a vacation. That shuts it off. And I wish everyone would shut their water off when leaving their home for more than a day. But I’ll leave that soap box in the closet for another sermon.

10) Burst Resistant Frostless Hydrants

A frostless hydrant is just your garden hose connecion on the side of your house. The burst resistant part comes into play because it’s a faucet outside. In cold winters you don’t want water to freeze so this faucet empties itself out so that the only water remaining is inside the conditioned space of your home. But none of that will work if you forget to take your garden hose of in the winter.

Leaking spigot, frozen pipes, hydrant installation and repair, Lee's Summit water leak

It can’t empy itself with those still attached. A burst resistant frostless hydrant means it shouldn’t break if you forget to remove your garden hose when winter comes. A little pressure valve is built inside this model to allow water to go backwards into the home plumbing system if it overpressurises like when water freezes.

I prefer the simple Woodford Model 19 burst resistant frostless hydrant. It’s a good value. It works. And why would you replace a frozen burst hydrant with one that can do it again? This is the only model I install. It makes me look good. And I need all the “look good” I can get.

11) Quarter Turn Water Shut Off Valves

For most plumbers this is a no brainer. The old water shut offs to our faucets, toilets, water heaters and even homes were the compression style. This means they were a screw with a peice of rubber on the tip. You turn the handle one way and the rubber pushed against a hole inside the valve that effectively stopped water flow. You turn it the other way it pulled away from the hole that allowed water to flow again.

Water shut off installation, stop valve, Plumber

The problem is the rubber would wear out or even worse crumble and clog your fixtures. Quarter turn water shut offs have a stainless steel or brass ball inside them with a hole drilled though it. You turn it one way and the hole lines up with the water pipe to which it’s connected and allows water to flow. You turn it 90 degrees and the hole no longer lines up with the holes in the water pipe which stops water flow.

It has teflon seals that are cleaned each time it’s turned on or off. It’s an elegant and simple design that makes sense. And again, these are all I install. If you’re a DIY kind of person and decide you want to install your own faucet or toilet always replace the water shut off if it’s the old compression style that you have to turn a full 360 degrees to shut off. If you don’t you’re very likely going to get a bunch of rubber bits stuck in that pretty new faucet or toilet fill valve.

Give Us A Call

I love my do it yourselfers. They’ll tell you that I’m always good for some free advise on the phone. I’ll even talk many customers out of hiring me because it’s such a simple repair and I hate to charge someone for something simple if I can instruct them over the phone how to do it themselves. But most things you really should call a plumbing professional. If you find yourself needing a new water heater, sump pump or garbage disposal give us a call. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. We’re honest. We’re reasonably priced. And we’re neighbors. So call Advocate Master Plumbing at 816-888-0599. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

And, as always, check out our 5 STAR REVIEWS on Facebook, YELP and Google!

What Customers Think Of Us – Reviews

Here are some reviews that reflect our dedication to customer service & their overall experience when they invite us into their homes.

Facebook Reviews


YELP Reviews

 

Read Michael O.‘s review of Advocate Master Plumbing on Yelp

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Lee’s Summit Plumber Near Me

Lee’s Summit plumber near me is what my customers type when they need someone fast. Sometimes being a 24 hour emergency plumbing company can be an adventure. The work is hard but rewarding. One of my greatest joys is the people. I especially enjoy my lee’s summit plumbing customers.

I’ve had hot water heater installations at midnight. A garbage disposal repair on a Sunday afternoon is common. And a sump pump repair on a spring evening is expected. Clogged drains are the most common. But it’s always the people I remember.Lee's Summit plumber near me, Water Heater installation

Jim

Lee’s Summit is a big city with a wide range of people and cultures. I remember this one slow Wednesday morning I responded to an elderly gentleman’s leaking plumbing call. I was fortunate it was a slow day. His name was James. He had a leaking kitchen drain pipe and quite a few other things that I found. He asked me to fix them and I obliged.

Now what you need to know about my job is that I work around a lot of elderly people. They’re my favorite kind of customer. They have a lot of miles on them and a lot of stories. While I worked Jim started telling me a story. The story of his city.

Jim’s Story

In the latter half of the 19th century there was a small town called Strother. It was, like most small towns then, next to the railroad tracks. This railroad was the Missouri Pacific. Strother was only about one and a half square miles and boasted a robust 100 residences. Lee's Summit plumber near me, old Lee's SummitOf course, today that town is Lee’s Summit, it’s over 65 square miles and has over 95,000 people. It was founded by a fella named William B. Howard. A few years later the name was changed to Lee’s Summit.

Now the “Summit” portion of the name comes from the fact that Lee’s Summit is the highest point on the railroad line between St. Louis and Kansas City. But the origin of the “Lee” portion of the name is disputed by historians. Some say it comes from Robert E. Lee since the founding of the city was so close to the end of the civil war. Others say the name is in memory of an early settler, Dr Pleasant Lea. The misspelling is supposed to be due to railroad sign painters.

Leaking Water Pipe Fixed

I interrupted him briefly to let him know I had finished repairing the leaking water pipe. It was a relatively simple soldering job. But I had to explain to him that his hot water heater was leaking from it’s rusty base. It was probably time to replace it.

He smiled at me knowing from my pained expession that I hated giving him bad news. And he told me he’d be happy to have a new hot water heater installation.Water heater installation, garbage disposal repair, sump pump repair, kitchen drain clog I appreciated his quick response. Sometimes people don’t react so well when you have to give them bad news. I started my next task and Jim got back to his story.

Back To Jim’s Story

Lee’s Summit’s most infamous citizen was Cole Younger, called “The Last of the Great Outlaws” by author Homer Croy. Apparently, soldiers drove Younger to a life of crime after his father was killed. While Union forces were enforcing Order #11, the command issued in 1862 to burn homes belonging to those with Southern ties, Younger and his brothers were credited with saving many of the homes in Lee’s Summit, one of which belonged to William B. Howard. Order #11 helped to unify the southern population in Missouri and compelled Younger to join the Confederate guerrilla band known as Quantrill’s Raiders. Cole Younger was arrested after an attempted bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota. After 25 years in prison, Cole Younger was paroled in 1901. Three years later, Younger returned to Lee’s Summit where he lived as a model citizen until his death in 1916. His grave is located in the Lee’s Summit Historic Cemetery.

Garbage Disposal Replacement

Jim stopped for a moment and asked if I had time to for a garbage disposal repair since I was about finished with his hot water heater replacement. The phone wasn’t ringing today so I had time. But really I was enjoying his company and his history lesson of Lee’s Summit. So I cleaned up my work area and moved to the kitchen sink. I noticed water leaking from the bottom of the garbage disposal and knew what that meant. The seal between the grinder chamber and the electrical components of the disposal had been compromised by either drain cleaner or some previous jammed grinding chamber. He needed a new one.

I recommended either the Insinkerator Badger 5 or the stainless steel Insinkerator Contractor 333. He opted for the upgraded version saying he didn’t want to have to mess with it again. Then he began his tale once again.

Jim’s Story Continues

On a Sunday morning in 1885 while most of the people were in church the dry wooden structures of the downtown area burst into flame. A detailed account of the fire, as printed in the April 16, 1885, issue of The Lee’s Summit Journal, stated the buildings burned “…like greased wood”. Virtually the entire business district was destroyed and the losses were $87,000 and 25 buildings. But the citizens being of hearty stock soon began rebuilding.

Drain Cleaning and Sump Pump Repairs

I dropped my pliers loudly in the middle of his story. It startled Jim to the point of briefly stopping his story. This gave me an opportunity to mention the obvious kitchen drain clog he’d been living with and the failed sump pump I’d noticed during the hot water heater replacement. Jim smiled and with a patient wave of his hand said, “This will hopefully be the last time I have to call you.” Then snickered slyly and relented with his story.

Jim’s Tale Comes To An End

A Kansas City lumberman named R. A. Long began building his dream almost 30 years later. That dream became Longview Farm. In 1912, Mr. Long purchased approximately 1,700 acres in the southwest portion of Lee’s Summit.Plumbing company, Toilet repair, Faucet repair, gas leak repair The farm included five major barn groups and 42 buildings. When completed and functional, Longview Farm became internationally known for the horses and livestock contained within its white rail fences and was one of only three dozen such showplace farms.

A Conclusion

With the sump pump replacement completed and the kitchen drain clog unclogged, Jim wound down his story. He thanked me. I thanked him for his company and enthralling story of the hard working and resilient people of Lee’s Summit. I cleaned my work space, completed all paperwork, shook hands with the old man and went on my way.

I still think about Jim and the time we spent together. I don’t wish plumbing problems on anyone. But I do hope to hear from Jim again.

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Local Plumber near me

Looking for a local plumber near me! It’s never a good thing when you’re typing this into your search engine. My Blue Springs plumbing customers have come to trust me enough over the years to rely on my experience and ethics. My Grain Valley plumbing customers and Lee’s Summit plumbing customers are still discovering me. But I don’t wish the need for an emergency plumber on anyone. We’re not the large corporate entities with thousands to blow on television commercials and internet website marketing. We’re actually a locally owned and operated home plumbing service company with hundreds to spend on those things.

24 Hour Emergency Plumber

24 hour emergency plumbers are few and far between. At Advocate Master Plumbing we’re happy to offer this service. local plumber near me, handshakeWe understand that you can’t plan for a water heater repair. And a garbage disposal repair doesn’t announce itself before it creates a clogged kitchen sink. So call us when the basement floods because your sump pump isn’t pumping or your sewer drain clogs.

It’s What We Do

I get many calls each week regarding many varied home plumbing issues. As a business owner/operator I have to find a balance between profitability and advocating for my friends and neighbors in my community. This is why I actively work to help my community by teaching my callers how to make repairs themselves. I also try to share my 25 years of experience in the plumbing industry with each caller when giving plumbing repair or replacement options to allow them to make an informed decision. I’m not the only plumber that does this. But there aren’t many of us. The large corporate entities can’t. They have a bottom line and stable full of employees that dictate their approach to their customers.

So in the following paragraphs of this blog I’ll be listing what we do at Advocate Master Plumbing. It will be stated, as were the preceding paragraphs, in the usual seo optimized nomenclature. This will allow you to find me more easily on the internet.

Plumbing Services We Provide

When you’re typing, “Looking for a local plumber near me”, in your favorite search engine it’s usually for an emergency plumbing need. In the rest of this blog I’ll be listing the primary emergency plumbing services we provide. I’ll also try to provide some helpful information I regularly share. I hope it’s of some use to you.

Hot Water Heater Repairs and Installations

I have fun with my friends when they tell me they need a local plumber near me for an emergency hot water heater repair. You see, there’s no such thing as a hot water heater. It’s a semantic joke between plumbers. local plumber near me, burst water heater repair There’s no need to heat hot water. It’s already hot. The correct way to say that is emergency water heater repair. It doesn’t really matter though when you’re shower goes cold. And it really isn’t funny. But I have to use the term hot water heater because the internet tells me that is the way most people search for that particular service on the internet. And if I want to reach as many people as possible I have to speak their language.

Hot Water Heater Tips

  • Don’t drain your hot water heater. In a perfect world that’s what you’d do. But in our region of the country our water is very hard. If you drain the hot water heater you’re likely to cause a problem that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. Such as the drain valve won’t shut off. Most home owners move before the end of the life of the hot water heater. Do what most plumbers do; leave it alone.
  • Don’t exercise the relief valve. It’s the brass valve with the drain pipe going down the side of your hot water heater. It protects the tank from rupture due to too much pressure or a failed temperature sensor. It’ll tend to stick open when exercised.
  • Don’t turn it up too much! I can’t stress this enough. The more you heat water the faster it calcifies the tank. That’s how you kill a hot water heater. Line the arrows up on the gas valve temperature setting. This sets your hot water heater at the optimal 120 degrees. Each step up in temperature setting is another 10 degrees. I recommend turning it up 10 degrees in the winter only. This is to adapt to the colder water coming into your home at that time of year.
  • Don’t make your own hot water heater repair or hot water heater installation. I recently replaced one for a customer whom had installed the previous hot water heater. He was a contractor himself in his younger days. A smart guy. The hot water heater had been installed backwards for 41 years. It had been working poorly that whole time.

Garbage Disposal Repairs and Installation

Again with the plumbing terminology! I’m calling it a garbage disposal because that’s what it is generally known as. local plumbers near me, garbage disposal repairBut if you look on the box or any advertising you’ll see that they’re actually called garbage disposers. But again, you won’t find me when you type “Looking for a local plumber near me” into your favorite search engine. So here we are.

Oh and by the way, I hate these awful inventions. I understand their a convenience that most of us just can’t do without. But as a plumber I can tell you, I never get calls from plumbing customers for a clogged kitchen sink drain unless they have one of these. I equate having a garbage disposal to eating a donut every day of your life. It’ll clog an artery eventually. In this case, a clogged drain. by the way, I have one. The wife likes it.

Garbage Disposal Tips

  • Don’t put too much in them. Your disposal may not clog but your kitchen drain under the house will. That pot of pasta or beef stew will plug underground where it’s cool year round.
  • Use the toilet! That’s right. If it’s something you don’t want to put in your garbage then flush it down the toilet. It empties into a larger drain. What we use it for is a lot more likely clog it than what you’re throwing away.
  • NO GREASE!!! We clear? Restaurants have to install grease traps on their sink drains per code to protect the city sewers. That’s how bad grease is for drains. Don’t even flush it. Wipe pans with a paper towel and throw them away. If you have a deep fryer to empty put the oil in the freezer and throw it away on garbage day. Otherwise, you can call me when you have a kitchen drain clog.
  • Put coffee grounds in the garbage. You can also spread them on your lawn or in your landscaping. It’s great for the grass and plants.
  • Run a little cold water when using them. It prevents grease build up and odors on the blades.
  • If you have to have a garbage disposal make it stainless steel. They don’t rust like the cheaper ones. So they last longer.
  • If you have garbage disposal problems check my previous post.

Sump Pump Repair and Installations

When my wife and I were looking for our home I had only one veto option. There couldn’t be any drainage issues. Blue Springs Sump Pump Repair, Lee's Summit Sump Pump RepairI don’t want one more thing in the house to maintain if I can avoid it. A sump pump has a motor. And if it has a motor, it needs maintaining. A house can be built without the need for a sump pump system if the foundation is graded properly and the gutters kept clean.

Sump Pump Tips

  • Zoeller brand sump pumps are the best. They have the best switch on the market. That’s what usually fails on a sump pump. It has a cast iron body. This allows the water in the sump pump pit to keep the motor cool. That extends the motor life. It has an impeller that will shoot a half inch rock through the pump. That means its less likely to get jammed.
  • Let a plumber install or repair your sump pump. It’s easy to mess up a sump pump system because it looks so easy. It isn’t. The tiniest thing can cause a flood in your basement.
  • If you have a finished basement, small basement, or store valuables on your basement floor you need a back up sump pump system. You don’t find out your pump has failed until thousands of dollars in water damage have occurred. Don’t gamble.
  • If you need a back up sump pump system don’t get the old battery back up systems. They’re expensive and take a lot of regular maintenance. I’ve also found them to be glitchy. Get a Siphon Jet water powered back up sump pump system. There’s no electricity. It works solely on your home water pressure. I waited almost 10 years to make sure it works. It works. And it’s less expensive.
  • Code dictates that you have a ground fault circuit interrupter on the sump pump electrical outlet. I disagree with this. The gfci outlets fail more often than a standard outlet.
  • Test your sump pump once a year.

Drain Clogs

Yeah. It’s pretty much the bread and butter of our industry. Drain clogs are also the most preventable. But it’s also the most common emergency plumbing call and the reason most of you are typing “Looking for a local plumber near me” on your computers and phones. I unclog toilets. I unclog kitchen sinks. I never warranty these services. It’s not because I don’t have faith in the quality of my work. It’s because drains are pure physics. There are no moving parts in a drainage system. They clog for only one of three reasons:

  1. Improper drain installation
  2. Broken drain pipe
  3. Misused or abused drain pipe

Most of us can’t afford a drain pipe repair. Especially when you’re talking about a sewer drain repair. Unclogging the pipe is usually just a temporary fix. Comparable to duct taping a leaking pipe. And the big corporate entities will warranty the heck out of a sewer rooter service. But they do it only to keep their foot in the door.

Over 10 years ago the average sewer rooter service would cost $240. It’s dropped to about $100. Does that sound odd. It should. You’re not getting the same thing for less. In our region a discounted drain cleaning is considered a loss leader. That means that the big corporate entities only unclog the blockage. They don’t cable your sewer until all the roots are gone. That means you’re left with a sewer full of roots that will clog again and they have an opportunity to get their foot in the door again to sell you something you probably don’t need. And they’ll come out one more time under warranty to cut a hole in the roots. Then offer you an additional “Sewer Cleaning” for $250. But what they really like to do is put a camera down your sewer drain and alarm you with a lot of talk about collapsing sewers. Then they can sell you a new sewer drain installation for around $10,000. It is technically the correct repair to make. But most of us can’t afford it. And I don’t begrudge a business man making a profit. But it’s unconscionable what some will do in the name of profit.

Drain Pipe Tips

  • If you have a dual compartment kitchen sink clog try this. Plug the side without the garbage disposal with the disposal drain plug. Fill the disposal side about a third of the way with water. Hold the drain plug down with one hand and with the other turn the disposal on. Let it run for about 10 seconds at a time then turn it off. Do this as many as 10 times. You might get lucky and the pressure and vibration of your garbage disposal will unclog the drain.
  • If you have a clogged floor drain you can usually get it drained by removing the clean out plug. Then take a wet vac and a screw driver and clean the sand and rocks out of the floor drain p-trap. Wiggle the long screw driver around inside the p-trap to loosen the debris. Then suck it out. When you feel you have it draining, replace the clean out plug, fill a large bucket with hot water, hold the full bucket about 3 feet above the drain and drop the water directly into the p-trap as quickly as it’ll take it. Do that a few times if needed. This will blow all the loose debris out preventing future clogs.
  • Clogged tub drains with a lift and turn tub drain are usually easy. Remove the lift and turn portion of the drain. Remove the hair and debris with a pair of needle nose pliers or a coat hanger. Reinstall the lift and turn portion of the drain.
  • Clogged bathroom sink drains are relatively easy. Loosen the pop up assembly pivot rod nut. Remove the pivot rod and pull out the pop up. Reinstall the pivot rod with nut. Put a small bucket under the drain. Remove the p-trap. Roll up some toilet paper and stuff it into the drain from above. Push the paper the rest of the way through with that long screwdriver from before. Inspect and clean the p-trap. Reinstall the p-trap. Test the drain for leaks. This will usually unclog the bathroom sink drain.
  • If you have a clogged toilet it’s usually very simple.
    Grain Valley toilet clog, plumber

    Toilet Auger

    First, throw away the plunger. Next, buy a toilet auger tool at your local hardware or home store. Lastly, use it. There should be clear instructions on the product packaging. Don’t buy the cheaper small one. You’re getting what you pay for with tools. Always buy the best.

What If That Doesn’t Work?

If none of these suggestions work then type into your favorite search engine, “Blue Springs Plumber” or “Grain Valley Plumber” or “Lee’s Summit Plumber”. And scroll down the page of paid ads until you come upon your real local plumber near me. That’s Advocate Master Plumbing. We’ll get you fixed up. But don’t take my word for it. Check out one of our many 5 STAR REVIEWS on Facebook, YELP, or Google.

Copper Pipe Water Leak Repair

Cold weather usually means water leak repair time for plumbers. The pipes freeze and burst then down comes the ceiling and up floats the carpet. But water leak repair is necessary all year round.

Types Of Water Leak Repair

There are various types of water pipes. So it stands to reason that there are many types of water leak repair. Let’s discuss copper pipe water leak repair.

Copper Water Pipes

Copper water pipes are the most common type of water leak repair. That’s because they’re the most common type of water piping used. Twater pipe repair, Blue Springs plumberhere are a number of reasons for a copper pipe water leak.

  • Failed solder joint. Probably poorly soldered.
  • Friction from metal hangers.
  • Screws into pipe during remodels
  • Freezing and bursting
  • Transition to different types of pipe

Copper Pipe Water Leak Repair

To make a proper copper pipe water leak repair you should always cut off the leaking section of pipe or pipe fitting and replace it. As a rule, you always want to replace it with the same type of material. This is so it looks uniform and professional. But it’s also to minimize internal water agitation. Too much agitation and the water could cut holes in the pipe.

Here are a few ways to make a copper pipe water leak repair:

  • Quick Fittings A quick fitting is a large brass connector that is pushed onto a clean piece of copper, cpvc or pex pipe.The most common brand is Sharkbite. It comes in all the same fitting types as copper fittings. This is probably the best option for the average homeowner. They’re easy.Water pipe leak repair, quick fitting, sharkbite, blue springs plumbing
  • Soldering – If you’re properly trained then soldering is the best and most professional way to make a copper pipe water leak repair.
  • Pipe Repair Clamps – Another way to make copper pipe water leak repair is to simply use a repair clamp. These are generally considered a temporary repair. You simply seal the leak by clamping over the leak. It buys you time.
  • Propress Repair Fitting –  Propress is a way of joining copper pipes with a clamp style wrench similar to the pex tool. I don’t recommend this unless you’re a professional doing a lot of copper pipe water leak repair. These tools are very cost prohibitive as are the fittings.
  • Call A Professional – I highly recommend you call a professional when ever needing a copper pipe water leak repair. Water is the #1 insurance claim. It’s second only to fire for being such an all encompassing home tragedy. Just don’t.

More To Come

This has been a brief overview of water leak repair options on copper water pipes. I really can’t stress how big a deal it is when attempting to make a repair of this type. A professional master plumber is what you need. Otherwise, you may have a very upset family with no toilets, showers or drinking water for a weekend.

In the coming weeks I’ll discuss other types of water pipes dealing with water leak repair. I only discuss this so that my customers can make an informed decision when hiring your local master plumber at Advocate Master Plumbing. Where your best value is our motivation.

And as always, don’t forget to check out our 5 STAR REVIEWS on Facebook, YELP and Google.

 

Shower Valve Repair – Moen

My favorite shower valve repair is Moen. It’s a well built and simply designed faucet that works well. It rarely needs repairs. There are two models that are by far the best.

Moen Shower Valve Models

There are many models of Moen shower faucet. But the most common take the standard Moen 1225 cartridge and the pressure balancing Moen 1222 cartridge.

To identify yours reference the following illustration.

Moen shower valve repairs, Moen, DIY instructions

In the illustration you’ll notice the different screw pattern on the shower faucet escutcheons. The standard Moen single handle shower valve escutcheon has two screws next to each other in a horizontal pattern.

The pressure balancing Moen single handle shower valve escutcheon screw holes are in a diagonal position. This is a quick way to identify which faucet you have.

Why Is This Important

The escutcheon screw pattern tells you which type of valve you have. With this information you can identify the cartridge you need without shutting down your home water system. In the next picture you’ll see the different style Moen cartridges for the two most common Moen single handle shower faucets.

local plumbers, standard Moen shower valve carteridge 1225

Moen 1225 standard shower valve cartridge

First there is the standard Moen cartridge model 1225. This is for the older style shower faucet that isn’t  pressure balancing. If you have to pull the handle on your faucet to turn it on, this is the cartridge you need.

local plumbers, shower valve repair, Moen shower valve

Moen 1222 pressure balancing shower valve cartridge

 

Next you’ll see the Moen 1222 pressure balancing cartridge. The shower valve escutcheon screws are in a diagonal pattern. This is most commonly called the Positemp cartridge.

Knowing which replacement cartridge you need is half the battle when making a shower valve repair on the two most common Moen single handle shower valve.

One More Thing

This particular shower valve repair is relatively simple. But you will need a special tool for it. This is the only shower valve I know of that needs a specialty tool. But don’t worry. It’s still very doable. It can be difficult to pull the old cartridge out of a Moen valve. Hard water deposits will seize it to the inside housing of the valve. This tool works similarly to a gear puller for automotive repair. I always have one with me.

Faucet repair, Moen shower valve repair

Moen faucet cartridge tool

To use this tool follow these instructions:

  1. First unscrew the small screw on the top of the T handle part of the tool almost all the way out.
  2. Next place the tool on top of the cartridge to be removed with the two tool barbs lined up with the indentations on either side of the cartridge.
  3. While holding the tool steady, start turning the screw on the tool until it’s fully threaded into the screw hole in the cartridge stem where the handle screw normally is.
  4. Now start turning the large nut on the tool clockwise. Once it comes into contact with the valve continue turning. You may need pliers to turn it all the way. This will pull the cartridge almost all the way out of the shower valve.
  5. The last step is to pull on the T handle of the tool until the cartridge is out.

The Shower Valve Repair

Finally we can make the shower valve repair. Follow these steps.

  1. Turn off the water.
  2. Remove the faucet handle cover. A slim pry bar or flat-bladed screw driver works well.
  3. Unscrew the faucet handle screw — usually flat blade.
  4. Remove the faucet handle.
  5. Pull out and save the retaining clip.
  6. Use the white plastic tool that comes with the new cartridge to twist the cartridge left/right loose. The “ears” on the tool sit between the “ears” of the cartridge inside the valve body to let you rotate it.
  7. Use the extractor tool on the stem to pull out the valve cartridge.
  8. Examine the valve body and use vinegar (and a toothbrush) to clean out any lime and mineral deposits.
  9. Slide the cartridge into the valve body until it clears the retaining clip slot. The ears on the cartridge should be aligned with the slots, not opposite to them.
  10. Slide the retaining clip in. Seat it so it’s flush with the outer valve body, with just the tab exposed. You can use the plastic white tool to rotate the insert to align the two.
  11. If there was a spacer sleeve, re-install it by sliding it back into place.
  12. Slide the faucet handle back on.
  13. Turn on the water
  14. Make sure hot/cold are in the correct directions. If not, use the faucet handle to rotate the valve stem 180 degrees to make hot/cold properly oriented.
  15. Screw the faucet screw back in.
  16. Press the handle cover back in.

Hire Your Blue Springs Plumber

As always, I don’t recommend a homeowner attempt this repair. Shower faucet repairs should be done by a professional plumber. If you find yourself needing this repair done please don’t hesitate to call us at Advocate Master Plumbing. We’re your local plumbing professionals that are licensed and insured. Check out our customer reviews on Facebook, YELP, and Google.

 

Shower Faucet Repair – Newer Single Lever Delta Monitor

In a previous blog post we discussed how your local Blue Springs plumber would approach a shower faucet repair on an older model single lever Delta Monitor shower faucet. In this post we’ll discuss the newer Delta Monitor shower faucets. They are a bit easier.

Identify Your Shower Faucet

The first step in a shower faucet repair is properly identifying the model. If I’m unfamiliar with the shower faucet and can’t find a match online, I always have my plumbing supplier help me identify it. To do this you must:

  1. Shut your home water supply off at either the entrance valve or water meter. Be sure to turn off any appliances such as an ice maker, dishwasher, washing machine or hot water recirculating pump prior to shutting down your water system.
  2. Drain your water system by opening a faucet lower than your shower faucet repair. Then turn on the damaged shower faucet. If draining into a sink, be sure the sink isn’t partially clogged. You’ll have a mess waiting for you when you return from the plumbing supply store.
  3. Remove the cartridge following the steps below and take it to your local professional plumbing supply store.

Common Models

If you aren’t as experienced at shower faucet repair as I am, you’ll need some frame of reference from which to begin in identifying the model. Here are some common models of single lever Delta shower faucet cartridges.

Blue Springs plumber, shower faucet cartridge

 

 

Blue Springs plumber, shower faucet repair

Step by Step

Now let’s break down each step of the repair.

  1. Identify the brand and model. Then purchase a complete rebuild kit or cartridge.
  2. Shut off the home water system at the entrance valve or water meter.
  3. Drain the water system by turning on and leaving on a outside wall hydrant or lower level faucet. Then turn on the shower faucet you’re repairing.
  4. Remove the handle. Your handle could be crystal with an index button in the middle covering a set screw or a brass lever with a set screw. Blue Springs Plumber, shower faucet repair
  5. Then unscrew the bonnet nut. If it’s seized lubricate it with penetrating oil or WD40 and let it set for 10 or 15 minutes and try again. This may take a couple of attempts. If it still won’t budge, stop and call a professional.
  6. Remove the cartridge.Blue Springs Plumber, shower faucet repair
  7. Inspect the inside of the faucet housing for calcium build up or cracks. To remove calcium, gently pick at it with a wire brush or small pick. Be careful not to score the brass.
  8. Lubricate the new cartridge rubber seats and seals with plumbers grease or vegetable oil. Don’t use petroleum jelly.
  9. Install the new cartridge. Be sure the hot and cold are on the correct sides and the small slot on the side of the cartridge engages fully with the indention on the shower faucet housing. If this is difficult return to step 7.
  10. Thread the bonnet nut back on.
  11. Reinstall the handle.
  12. Shut off all faucets. Turn on one tub faucet on the top floor of your home.
  13. Turn the water to your home on about a third of the way to allow it to slowly fill the pipes. Don’t rush this. You want all the air to escape through the top tub faucet. But you don’t want to stir up too much calcium debris inside the piping that could clog faucets.
  14. Once the tub no longer has any air coming out, shut it off.
  15. Purge all other interior faucets of air starting on the top floor and beginning with tub and shower faucets. Then purge sink faucets. And finally flush toilets.
  16. The last step is to purge the lower level home plumbing fixtures and test your shower faucet repair for leaks.

In Conclusion

Shower faucet repairs aren’t for the novice plumber. This may look simple but there are many things that can go wrong. If you’re trying to save a few bucks by doing it yourself you’re probably doing it on a weekend. Bad idea! If you get in a jam it’s going to be difficult and expensive to get a plumber to your home. Your significant other may smother you in your sleep if they have to do without water for a night. And it’s very easy to create more problems than you had to begin with.

Why Call Us

Call your local Blue Springs plumber at Advocate Master Plumbing. The main reasons I tell people to call me instead of the big corporate entities are:

  • I’m local. That makes us neighbors & keeps the money you spend local.
  • It’s just me. I have no employees. If it’s done right the first time, I have everything to gain. If something goes wrong, I have to go back for free.
  • I’m not a salesman. I really do have your best interest in mind. I talk my Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Lee’s Summit friends and neighbors out of hiring me all the time. Usually all they need is a simple adjustment which I can instruct them to do over the phone.
  • My pricing is fair. I don’t bait you with a lower water heater replacement price so I can nickel and dime you with extra’s that you may not need or are usually included in the price.

Don’t Believe Me

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Shower Faucet Repair – Older Delta Monitor

Shower faucet repair can be a pretty simple do it yourself project. But there are a few surprises for the inexperienced. Shower valves come in a lot of different shapes and sizes but the newer models are pretty straight forward. Let’s explore some of the most common brands.

Shower Faucet Repair – Delta

Delta shower faucets are one of the best value faucets you can buy. They are designed simply. The parts are easily found. And they come with a lifetime warranty. Just be careful how you treat the faucet finish. They don’t usually cover the faucet finish on the warranty.

Older Model Delta Monitor Shower Faucet Repair

Before beginning any shower faucet repair I confirm the brand and model. Then I purchase all parts necessary for the job. If I’m unable to identify the model of the shower faucet I’ll take the old cartridge out and have a plumbing supply sales person identify it for me. It’s always a good idea to take a picture of the faucet handle and trim with you.

The older model Delta Monitor shower faucets were very well made and easily repaired. But they had, in my opinion, one major flaw. The faucet is constructed of two heavy brass sections connected by three soft copper tubes. So, if the bonnet nut seized, which it does often, an impatient or inexperienced person can break the valve and shut the home water system down until the faucet is replaced.

Step by Step

Now let’s break down each step of the repair.

  1. Identify the brand and model. Then purchase a complete rebuild kit or cartridge.
  2. Shut off the home water system at the entrance valve or water meter.
  3. Drain the water system by turning on and leaving on a outside wall hydrant or lower level faucet. Then turn on the shower faucet you’re repairing.Shower faucet repair, Blue Springs Plumbers
  4. Remove the handle. Your handle could be crystal with an index button in the middle covering a set screw or a brass lever with a set screw.
  5. Then unscrew the bonnet nut. If it’s seized lubricate it with penetrating oil or WD40 and let it set for 10 or 15 minutes and try again. This may take a couple of attempts. If it still won’t budge, stop and call a professional.
  6. Remove the cam and ball assembly. That’s the stuff under the bonnet.
  7. Then, using a small pick or tweezers, remove the rubber seats and springs inside the faucet housing.
  8. Inspect the inside of the faucet housing for calcium build up or cracks. To remove calcium, gently pick at it with a wire brush or small pick. Be careful not to score the brass.
  9. Lubricate the new rubber seats with plumbers grease or vegetable oil. Don’t use petroleum jelly. Shower faucet repair, Delta, Blue Springs Plumber
  10. Insert the springs into the rubber seats small side in.
  11. Slide a small pick or screwdriver inside the rubber seat and spring and insert it gently back into the faucet housing. You may need to work at the seat with your finger to get it to go all the way in.
  12. Lubricate the ball assembly and insert it into the faucet housing. There may be a small tab inside the faucet housing that accepts a slot in the ball assembly for proper alignment.
  13. Place the cam on top of the ball assembly with the little tab on the side fully inserted into the slot of the faucet housing on the side.
  14. Thread the bonnet back on while holding the cam down with your finger.
  15. Reinstall the handle.
  16. Shut off all faucets. Turn on one tub faucet on the top floor of your home.
  17. Turn the water to your home on about a third of the way to allow it to slowly fill the pipes. Don’t rush this. You want all the air to escape through the top tub faucet. But you don’t want to stir up too much calcium debris inside the piping that could clog faucets.
  18. Once the tub no longer has any air coming out, shut it off.
  19. Purge all other interior faucets of air starting on the top floor and beginning with tub and shower faucets. Then purge sink faucets. And finally flush toilets.
  20. The last step is to purge the lower level home plumbing fixtures and test your shower faucet repair for leaks.

In the next blog post we’ll look at the newer model single lever Delta shower faucet repair. I hope this is helpful to those weekend warrior home repair folks out there. I would caution you to reconsider before attempting this repair in your home. This is the job for a plumbing professional. Otherwise, you could end up with no water in your home.

Your Local Blue Springs Plumber

I’ve often been asked why I chose to name the company Advocate Master Plumbing. The reason is because I want to be considered the master plumber that works in the best interest of my customers. The big corporate entities are chasing dollar signs. I’m working to improve the lives of my friends and neighbors. So the next time you have a leaking shower faucet or need a water heater repair or sump pump repair, call the plumber that’s in your corner. Call your advocate. You won’t be disappointed.

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