Plumbing Installation - Plumbing Questions
1.20 Plumber or Heating Contrator? Gas Tankless Water Heater Installation?

Q. I'm seriously considering purchasing one of these soon and I see that both licensed plumbers and heating and cooling pros offer installation. I wanted to know whom should I lean towards (even if it may cost more) and what type of questions should I ask in order to ensure I get a real pro?

A. Call a reputable plumbing and heating contractor for an on site estimate. Do not accept a price quote over the phone. Ask estimator to bring out brochures of various brands. Prices vary primarily due to warranties and installation materials. Heating and Air contractors install forced air units and employ sheet metal workers to do duct work. Plumbing and Heating contractors install plumbing and also install boilers for heating which involve piping. Check with Better Business Bureau prior to calling for estimates. Ask for references from potential contractor prior to signing work contract. Do not buy extended warranties on heater. Manufacturers warranty do not cover labor costs. The contractors installation warranty should be one year from date of installation.

1.20 What information is needed in order to get an estimate on plumbing cost?

Q. I am looking to buy a property, mobile home on land. All it needs is new plumbing work, it used to have it but no longer does after its been sitting What all information do I need to call to get estimates on how much it will cost for plumbing? I cannot have somebody go out there since it is in the middle of no where and I do not own it yet..... I checked everything else it only needs plumbing

A. The first respondent is absolutely correct. If you can contact a local plumber, tell him / the company what you need to have installed, as in how many fixtures, drains, etc. You may be able to get a ball park price on the plumbing installation. Keep in mind however, that in order to install the plumbing (water supply) to all the fixtures, the walls and crawlspace will be torn apart all over the mobile home. The repair costs of these are rarely included in any plumbers' bids. If you want to have expensive repair costs, ALWAYS have your plumber do your sheetrock repair. The other consideration is the crawlspace repairs. In order to get access to all the water piping in the floor, the vapor barrier and insulation must be cut and removed for access. The resultant mess is repairable, but usually it takes somebody who really knows their stuff to put a vapor/ rodent barrier back correctly so that it protects the system and the house from freezing. I have seen more than a few cases that wasnt done, and I ended up chasing the frozen piping the full length of the house, repiping the whole house in the dead of winter. The cost of doing the plumbing work and repairs afterwards will probably cost nearly half the cost of moving another mobile home/manufactured house to the lot. I hope the PROPERTY purchase is a good one, at a great price for you. Good luck.

1.00 Water heater vs. tankless system?

Q. Our gas water heater is going out and needs to be replaced. Our insurance will cover the water heater and installation, but not the additional costs to bring it up to code, about $900. We can take the cash out and make our own arrangements to get it fixed instead of having it replaced with an equivalent unit. We are thinking about a tankless system. I presume we would put it in the water heater closet, and we do want gas, not electric. Most of our plumbing is in the "core" of the house, so none of the hot water lines are more than 20 feet, and only the kitchen sink/dishwasher line is that long. If it matters, our house was built in the early seventies, and the current water heater is about 14 years old. If you have replaced yours this way, what do you think? How do the costs of the two systems compare? Is there a difference in your gas bill now? What about maintenance/repair/reliability? Would it still have the same code requirements, or would most of that stuff not apply? Would it still need the new thingamajig to cut off the water if there were a leak? Would it still need a pan installed? (Either way, we're going to have to change out a couple of gas lines.) Are there any brands much better/worse than others? What else do we need to know? All words of wisdom appreciated! Thanks!

A. I only know what my plumber told me about these when we were building our house and considering the tankless heaters. He said the gas was the best/fastest/most reliable and that we would would need one for each bathroom that had a shower/bath and one for the kitchen/laundry. We opted for a large electric hot water tank and do not run out of water, and are very happy with it. (I don't mean a huge tank, just one capable of handling our needs). You might want to check to be sure your needs can be met when you want hot water, and not have to stagger what you wish to do to ensure enough hot water.

1.00 Why would running a gas line from the meter to a gas fireplace cost $365?

Q. I got a fireplace installation estimate. One of the items was running gas line to the fireplace. The gas is about 30 feet from the fireplace with the gas meter inside the basement and the fireplace on the next floor. The ceiling is partially open like an unfinished basement for 15 feet and then a drop ceiling on the finished part for the last 15 feet. A possibly tricky part would be drilling a hole through a brick wall where the fireplace goes in a wood frame room addition added on to a brick house. I know I need a person who is certified to work on gas lines for safety reasons but this one part of the bid seems high and this is ONLY for the gas line installation, not anything else as those things are listed separately (and by the way are also high). This guy is the only dealer of the brand I want in my area and if you don't buy locally they aren't obligated to service your fireplace. Who else is qualified to install gas line?

A. Thats actually a pretty good price. You have to consider, ESPECIALLY, with installation of a gas line, the liability they are taking on doing the work. Not to mention the cost of materials, permits, inspections, and overhead to run the business. You are much better off to pay a little more now than to look for a cheap altenative. If any thing goes wrong who would you rather blame? Yourself for saving a few bucks or the guys with the insurance? Think wisely here!!!

1.00 2002 volkswagen passat starting problem?

Q. I have a 2002 volkswagen passat with 120k miles on it. I have had the 100k mile service done during the winter and it drove ok then. Well one day it just stopped in traffic. I took it to a shop and they said that it was because of an inproper installation of the aftermarket radio. They fixed it and the epc light doesn't come on anymore. Now my car won't start in the mornings without me reving up the engine a bunch. The car will start fine the rest of the day. I also noticed that the floor in the back of the passenger side was wet, and I cleaned out the sunroof drains that are where the door open. There are no error codes coming from my car, but it still has a lot of trouble starting in the morning. Any help?

A.

1.00 Can coaxial cable send HD signals?

Q. Please read this short story: my dad subscribed for HD service. We had it installed, and unfortunately, I was not there to witness the installation. Here is what the guy did: he took the coaxial cable from the wall and plugged it into our new HD converter box. He then took an HDMI cable out from the box and left it on the floor (thinking we wouldn't notice?). He then took another coaxial cable, and connected it to the coaxial cable out from the box and plugged it into the VHF/UHF input on our DVI-HDTV (hence why he had no where to plug in the HDMI). So my question is, am I watching HDTV? I believe I am just watching standard TV with the current hookup. If I am not mistaken, I'd like to solve the problem obviously. The box has component video out. Would you recommend I get a component cable out from the box and into the HDTV, or get a female HDMI adapter with male DVI (more expensive)? If it does not matter, I will buy the component which is extremely cheaper. Thanks for your time.

A. You are not watching HD. For HD you either need a component cable or HDMI/DVI cable hookup between the converter box and the TV.

1.00 Should I caulk the edges of tile kitchen floor?

Q. We're having a new tile floor put into the kitchen. They are about to grout, and a week later they said they would seal it. In the interim we are having the baseboards put in. Is it a good idea to put some caulking on the edge, between the tile and the wall, before putting the baseboards in? Just thinking when we wash the floor, don't want the water going down the edges, between the tile and the wall. I'd done that when I tiled the bathroom floor. Also, is it ok to put the baseboard in BEFORE the grout is sealed? The installer made it sound like he was sealing the tile ... it's the grout, isn't it? Or both? I'd wait for the trim, but we are on a tight schedule because we are finishing up a construction loan (the rate is locked, need to have it inspected to get things done in time). Thanks It's too late to put the baseboard on before the tile. So should I caulk the tile end / wall? Any negative to it?

A. You can top set the base boards for a nice clean look. The grout is what the guy will seal unless you have an unglazed tile of some sort. Then it had better have been sealed before installation,, As far as the caulking goes, you won t hurt a thing by doing so but really isn t needed. You really shouldn t be getting that much water on the floor when mopping to have to worry about it going under the baseboards.. Any questions you can e amil me through my avatar and check my qualifications there, GL

1.00 How do I take up carpet and install hard wood floors in my house?

Q. We've got some old dirty burbur carpet-there's a subfloor but I'm not sure what its made of-what's a good price for real wood hardwood floors? Thanks for any help.

A. For real hardwood, prefinished about $3.99 to Exotic at 18.99 per sqft. For pro installation expect about $3. to $4. Remember its expensive, pro installation makes it perfect. Also cheap berber is less than $2.00 installed with pad complete. Example 12 x 12 room in berber is $288.00 in hardwood cheap is over $1000. to exotic $3100.

Plumbing Installation

 Plumbing - Plumbing Installation Plumbing installation is a complex process, and should preferably be undertaken only by a professional. If you have more than adequate DIY skills, you may even be able to install a faucet, or even a kitchen or bathroom sink or minor kitchen plumbing. For major plumbing installation, like installing a toilet, installing bathtub plumbing or shower installation, it's always best to hire a seasoned professional. These tasks require a mastery over plumbing skills that an amateur might not possess.

Installing a faucet is one of the most simple plumbing installation jobs. You need simple tools like locking pliers, a slip joint, an adjustable wrench and some plumber's putty. Bottom mounted faucets are easy to remove and replace, but top mounted faucets are screwed in place by nuts that are positioned under the sink. Once you manage to remove the old faucet, place the new faucet in place (in case of a bottom mounted faucet), and then place the washers and nuts. Finally, tighten with a wrench, and use plumber's putty to seal the base of the faucet.

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