How Do You Know If A Gas Line Is On Or Off

fire on gas stoveWhen it comes to your safety, absolutely nothing else should matter – except it contributes to ensuring it! If your house uses natural gas, then it is important you know where your gas shut-off valve is located. It could mean the difference between life and death – literally. How can you tell if a gas line is on or off? Read on to find out more.

What Signs Tell Me That My Gas Line Is On Or Off?

The position of the handle of your gas shut-off valve is a clear indicator whether your gas line is on or off.

  • If the handle of your valve lies parallel to your gas line, then your gas line is “open” and gas is flowing through
  • If the handle of your valve lies perpendicularly (at right angles) to your gas line, then your gas line is “closed” and gas is not flowing through.

Where Can I Find My Gas Shut-Off Valve?

Your home’s gas shut-off valve controls the supply of natural gas to your home. Turning them off should only be done when there is an emergency. It, therefore, makes a lot of sense to know where they are located so you can easily access them in a pinch if you need to. If you suspect a gas leak from an open gas line, turn off the gas shut-off valve and exit the house. Remember, safety first.

When it comes to locating your home’s gas shut-off valve, you shouldn’t expect to find it in an area of the house that sees a lot of traffic (for obvious reasons). Shut-off valves are located either outside or inside the home. Some likely places to find them include:

  • Inside The Home

This shut-off valve is also called the “house-side valve” and this ball valve is usually connected to a black iron pipe that supplies gas to your home. The house side valve can be found in the area inside your home where the gas lines from outside feed into the house. This is the gas-shutoff valve you should ideally turn off in the case of a gas leak.

  • Outside The Home

The gas shut-off valve located outside your home is also called the “street-side valve.”  You usually find them near your gas meters either at the front of your house or by the side. They are often rectangular-shaped and are encased in a cabinet. This is the valve your gas company would likely turn off when they come for their rounds.

Once you’ve turned off your home’s gas shut-off valve, you should call the gas company – or a qualified plumber – to come take a look at your gas lines.

If you are unsure of where to find a good plumber near you that specializes in gas line repairs, then your best bet would be to contact us here at Captain Plumber

We have a team of seasoned plumbers ready to resolve any challenge you may have with your gas lines, including repairs and maintenance.

What To Do When You Lose Water Pressure

brushing teeth with no water pressureWho doesn’t enjoy a good bath after a hectic day? We certainly do! And we are sure you do too. And this is all due to water flowing at the correct pressure. So, it certainly feels alarming when the water suddenly trickles down from a steady flow in the middle of a refreshing shower.

What could have happened? Here are four common reasons why you may suddenly experience low water pressure.

  • Your Water Supplier Cut The Flow

Before you reach the plumber, you might want to check in with the neighbors if they’re also experiencing some “downtime” in the showers. If the low water pressure is not peculiar to you, then the issue might be from your water supplier. There may be some repair work going on. Or there may be a problem with the supply pipes. Either way, you need to notify them as soon as you can so they can look into the matter.

  • Your Shut-Off Valve is Half-Shut

Every house has a main shut-off valve. It may take some searching to locate, but you must find it. Why? Well, that’s easy to answer. Your Shut-Off Valve is your first (and sometimes only) link to your water supplier. It controls the amount of water you get from the main supply lines. If it’s turned off or halfway shut, you won’t be enjoying jet-spray showers in the bathroom.

  • Your Pressure Regulator Is Sending An ‘SOS’

Pressure regulators modulate water pressure coming into the house. Not all homes have one. But if you do and you notice that the water pressure is too low, you might want to check it out. There may be something wrong with your pressure regulator that makes it challenging to regulate incoming water pressure. If this is the case, you’d need the services of an experienced plumber near you. Luckily for you, Captain Plumber is just a call away!

  • There’s A Clog In The Pipe

Clogged pipes reduce the amount of water that can pass through them. And a reduction in water flow equals a drop in water pressure. So have a rethink about tossing the remains of last night’s greasy dinner down the drain. Even if you have a “clog removal” solution at home, you can’t tell what effects such a chemical would have on your pipes in the long run. Your best bet? Call a professional plumber to help unclog your pipes.

So what do you do when you notice a drop in water pressure the next time you are in the shower?

Two things!

First, drink a glass of water. No, that doesn’t magically raise the water pressure. That’s to soothe frayed nerves.

Secondly? See if all the valves that ought to be open are open. Or off if they need to be.

If all else fails, you can always call Captain Plumber for a speedy home inspection.

What Is A Faucet Stem?

person turning on cold water and filling glassFewer sounds can be as distracting (or soothing depending on your point of view) as hearing water drip-drop down the sink, especially when you’re in the middle of a meditation pose! You mentally schedule a call to a plumber near you to have it checked out.

However, if you know how to do some essential plumbing work, you might not need to call one after all. Some plumbing repair works are simple to do yourself. Fixing a leaking faucet stem falls under this category of “easy-to-do” plumbing repairs.

But first, what is a faucet stem?

In layman’s terms, a faucet stem refers to the connectors attaching the faucet to the water pipes embedded in the walls. You can quickly identify the faucet stem by counting the number of splines on the broach and comparing the count against a particular chart designed solely for this purpose.

Stem faucets are known as “washer-type faucets’’ or “compression faucets.” They typically have two handles – one for cold water and the other for hot water.

Faucet stem repairs or replacements are some of the more common plumbing repairs homeowners would have to make periodically.

So how do you replace a faucet stem?

Steps In Replacing Faucet Stems

If you are dexterous and can follow instructions, then these tips would be beneficial to you in replacing a faulty shower stem

Turn off the water supply to the faucet. Do this by shutting the supply valve controlling the water supply to that particular faucet. Or shut off the main valves that supply water to the house.

After shutting off the water supply, open the faucets so trapped water can drain out from the lines.

Remove the faucet handle. To do this, begin by removing both the screw and the cap covering the faucet handle with a screwdriver or a pair of pliers.

After removing the faucet handle, your next step will be to loosen the packing nut (or lock nut) with an adaptable crescent wrench.

Now, after removing the packing nut, remove the stem from the faucet by threading it out.

The stem usually has a washer fastened to its underside with a screw. These washers are susceptible to wear and tear as time goes by. There will need to be periodic replacements.

Install the replacement faucet stem by threading it back into the faucet.

Fix the packing nut (lock nut) next. Ensure the lock nut fits just right. Too tight, and it won’t be easy to turn the faucet. Too loose, and water would end up leaking from the faucet stem.

Turn the water back on and check if there are any leaks around the faucet stem. If there are none, you can fix any decorative caps or bonnets previously removed.

If any of the above steps prove too challenging for you to follow, do not fret! Sometimes all you have to do is get expert help.

If you need a qualified plumber near you, call us today at Captain Plumber.