Joe’s Blog

Category Archive for "Plumbing"

What do we do with the big corner tub in the master?

When remodeling master bathrooms I have discovered a common theme; we are addressing repeatedly: what to do with the big soaker tub? For a while in the 70s and 80s, builders got the idea that a corner soaker tub would be just the ticket to create a spa-like feel in every master bedroom. Nothing could...

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Tankless, Point of Use Gas Water Heaters

When I found this gas tankless water heater in Berkeley California still working in the home, I had a double take. Who knew they were popular years ago? They clearly died out and are just now coming back into vogue. Billed as an endless stream of hot water emitting from a compact unit, without storing...

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My Water Just Shut Off, Help!

I got the call early evening from a client that we had remodeled for on multiple occasions, over the past 10 years. “Joe, the water was working now it is off suddenly for no reason”. Naturally, my smart ass response was, have you paid the bill? They had instinctively called United Water after hours assistance...

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Curbless, Barrier Free Showers in Turmoil

“Curbless Showers” AKA “Barrier Free Showers” or “Zero Entry Showers” or “Freedom Showers”, are a hot topic in Idaho right now. It all started when the Idaho association of building officials realized that every municipality is handling them differently. Some allow curbless showers and others forbid them. I have written about them in the past...

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What’s a Plumbing Trap ?

All plumbing fixtures have some sort of trap, otherwise they will permit foul odors to return back into the home. Traps are what made indoor plumbing possible. In order for water to move through your drain side of the plumbing system toward the sewage treatment plant, air is  needed. This is why you’ll see pipes...

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Let’s Play “Stump the Plumber”

I love to play “stump the plumber”.  There are a gazillion things that have been made over the years for solving plumbing problems. My specialty is working on vintage homes and we see some real Rube Goldberg esk contraptions in some homes. In some of the homes, indoor plumbing was a newfangled thing. The odds...

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All Advice is NOT Necessarily Good

I was at a supermarket that starts with an “A” near my home, when I caught the tail end of a conversation that made no sense. A woman was buying two large jugs of drain cleaner and the helpful perky clerk was singing the praises of a heating and air conditioning company to come out...

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Curbless Showers in Boise

After taking my UDCP training through NARI, I realized that curbless showers were going to be a great addition for anyone and everyone who wanted us to remodel their bathroom. Reflecting on my past experience, I recall having a plumbing inspector refuse to allow us to create one and citing a plumbing code that prohibited...

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Flood Hazard Awareness

This seems to be the wettest season I can ever remember so I thought I would refresh everyone on flood issues. The winter of 2016 has hit us hard with Ice and water. Levco has responded to all sorts of floods and have even been victimized by a few myself. Insurance companies have a list...

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