Air Date: 12-10-2010|Episode 189
Indoor environmental professionals typically find bad indoor air quality in buildings where there are plumbing problems…
Indoor environmental professionals typically find bad indoor air quality in buildings where there are plumbing problems. Winter is here and so are the plumbing problems associated with the season such as frozen and busted pipes. How are common plumbing problems diagnosed and repaired? Why is a properly designed and functioning plumbing system important to indoor air quality? What simple and inexpensive step should all homeowners take to possibly prevent prevent against water damage in the laundry? What are the recommended methods for maintaining proper flow through drains and sewer lines.
Plumbing and IAQ
Today’s guests on IAQradio Beth Dobkin and Don Glovan from Mr. Rooter Plumbing provided our listening audience with many useful facts, fixes and tips.
Some nuggets mined from today’s show:
•Excessive incoming water pressure is problematic. “High water pressure is like high blood pressure, it causes damage to the system.” For single family residences an incoming water pressure of 75 PSI is recommended.
•Shutting off faucets hard and fast may contribute to the sound of clanging pipes known as water hammer.
•Both hot and cold weather take their toll on components of a plumbing system. Freezing pipes expand and can rupture and ultraviolet rays from sunlight cause degradation.
•Replace rubber washing machine hoses with wire braided hoses.
•Water lines to refrigerator icemakers can kink or rupture and fittings can crack. Remember that when you move your refrigerator.
•Run dishwashers periodically to prevent drying out of seals.
•Draining water heater annually prolongs life and increases efficiency by flushing out sediment. Check pressure relief valve to insure that it shuts off. When excess pressure cannot be released from a water heater, the heater may explode.
•Adding a little mineral oil to water in drain traps will slow evaporation during low humidity dry periods.
•Water naturally seeks a neutral pH by reacting with materials with which it comes into contact. Poor water quality takes a toll on plumbing systems. Green staining is an indication that the water is acidic.
•Sewer lines get clogged by both soft blockages and hard blockages. Spiral cables (snakes) and high pressure water jetting are the most common systems used to clear clogged sewer lines. Tree roots seeking a water source penetrate the joints on clay (terracotta) sewer pipes and form hard blockages. Hard blockages are effectively removed with attachments fitted to spinning spiral cables (snakes). Soft blockages may re-congeal during and after snaking and are most effectively removed by water jetting.
•Acid drain cleaners can damage metal sewer lines. Enzyme drain cleaners can cause blockages down the line and are frowned upon by sewage treatment plants. Bacterial based products are recommended.
•Plastic plumbing pipes such as PEX are recommended in situations where aggressive water flows. PEX is designed to installed loosely to allow flexing.
•New plumbing system components offers opportunity for water and energy conservation without giving up performance.
Today’s Music: The Plumber is the Man Performed by: Ann Zimmerman
Z-Man Signing Off