Five unrelated questions

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by t-hak, May 21, 2006.

  1. t-hak

    t-hak New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Okay, I have some general, even silly, questions:

    1. I thought I saw a thread about general homeowner plumbing maintenance items that plumbers wished everyone would do, but don't. Sorry, I can't find the thread now, but what would these things be?

    2. Related to #1: I have a slow-ish shower drain. About every 6 months or so, we put Liquid Plumr/Drano in the shower and it speeds it up for a while, but I fear that the problem will eventually lead to a bad clog. What is a good drain cleaner for this situation? The house is about 3.5 years old, and the drain in question is PVC. The shower is usually used at least twice a day, or over 700 times per year.

    3. I've seen it in both PVC and copper: Why do they call them "street" elbows?

    4. What is best for securing pipe to framing? Copper straps are what I like, because they really hold the pipes securely. While finishing my basement, I used copper straps at the last point for the stub-outs, and also at other points where I would think straps would be better than plastic hangers. For long straight runs, I used the plastic jobbies. But I see that the existing pipes in my house use (as far as I am able to see) only the plastic pipe hangers have been used.

    5. We have ongoing construction in my neighborhood, which consists of several builders. My house, which was built by what I think is a quality builder (plug for Christopher Companies, from whom I would buy another house from in a heartbeat!), used copper plumbing throughout the house.

    To see what the plumbers are currently using, and to see how my work compared, I went into a house under construction by a different builder, who shall remain nameless. I was surprised. They used plastic pipe, which didn't surprise me, but the installation was pretty shoddy, I thought. For example, in a vanity stub-out, they had a 2x4 placed crosswise between studs, and the cold water was mounted to the bottom of the 2x4, while the hot side was on the top side of the 2x4. Center to center, the H and C will be about 4" different in height. I thought they were supposed to be level with one another? The 2x4 was also short by about 1/2", and was only secured with nails on one end. Is this okay? I wouldn't think so....

    I also saw the plastic piping bent around corners, with one or two pipes having been bent so much that I think it was kinked pretty badly.

    What do you pros think?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Chemical drain openers should not be used.....period. As you already found out, their effect is minimal and short lasting. Drains get built up with hair, grease, soap scum, etc. The only truly effective cleanout is with a proper drain cleaning tool ( "snake" ). The so-called "Drain Care" products are worth using as an ongoing preventative treatment. They contain enzymes which tend to break down the scum over time.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    1. I thought I saw a thread about general homeowner plumbing maintenance items that plumbers wished everyone would do, but don't. Sorry, I can't find the thread now, but what would these things be?

    A. Every plumber would have his own list, but the things that you should do are somewhat intuitive, such as clean your faucet aerators periodically, and flush the water heater occassionally, (although few people actually do it).

    2. Related to #1: I have a slow-ish shower drain. About every 6 months or so, we put Liquid Plumr/Drano in the shower and it speeds it up for a while, but I fear that the problem will eventually lead to a bad clog. What is a good drain cleaner for this situation? The house is about 3.5 years old, and the drain in question is PVC. The shower is usually used at least twice a day, or over 700 times per year.

    A. The best cleaner is a plumber with an electric snake to remove the accumulation. If a drain cleaner works at all, it only opens a big enough path so it can flow past the stoppage.

    3. I've seen it in both PVC and copper: Why do they call them "street" elbows?

    A. Historically the answer has been that they were used to connect to water and gas mains in the street.

    4. What is best for securing pipe to framing? Copper straps are what I like, because they really hold the pipes securely. While finishing my basement, I used copper straps at the last point for the stub-outs, and also at other points where I would think straps would be better than plastic hangers. For long straight runs, I used the plastic jobbies. But I see that the existing pipes in my house use (as far as I am able to see) only the plastic pipe hangers have been used.

    A. It is a personal choice.

    5. We have ongoing construction in my neighborhood, which consists of several builders. My house, which was built by what I think is a quality builder (plug for Christopher Companies, from whom I would buy another house from in a heartbeat!), used copper plumbing throughout the house.

    To see what the plumbers are currently using, and to see how my work compared, I went into a house under construction by a different builder, who shall remain nameless. I was surprised. They used plastic pipe, which didn't surprise me, but the installation was pretty shoddy, I thought. For example, in a vanity stub-out, they had a 2x4 placed crosswise between studs, and the cold water was mounted to the bottom of the 2x4, while the hot side was on the top side of the 2x4. Center to center, the H and C will be about 4" different in height. I thought they were supposed to be level with one another? The 2x4 was also short by about 1/2", and was only secured with nails on one end. Is this okay? I wouldn't think so....

    It is all cosmetic. The board will not come loose, and the water lines were installed the easiest way for the plumber.

    I also saw the plastic piping bent around corners, with one or two pipes having been bent so much that I think it was kinked pretty badly.

    A. That is why they use plastic, so it will bend around corners. It is faster, and cheaper, to do it that way.

    What do you pros think?[/QUOTE]
  4. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    Regular elbows have slightly larger diameters than the pipe they accept; they're 'females'. Street ends are 'male', so they can fit directly into another fitting. Good when you're builiding up multiple fittings in confined spaces.

    Not sure where the name came from, though. Ask Mr. Street, the inventor.
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