contact@parasol.properties

(321) 800-3377

Office Hours: Weekdays 8AM-4PM

Plumbing

Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines

Your plumbing system has many parts, most of which require little maintenance. Proper cleaning, occasional minor attention, and preventive care will assure many years of good service from this system.

 

Aerators

Even though your plumbing lines have been flushed to remove dirt and foreign matter, small amounts of minerals may enter the line. Aerators on the faucets strain much of this from your water. Minerals caught in these aerators may cause the faucets to drip because washers wear more rapidly when they come in contact with foreign matter.

See also Dripping Faucet.

 

Basement Construction

If you perform any construction in your basement, ensure that the plumbing lines in the basement or crawl space are not isolated from the heating source without insulation being added.

Cleaning

Follow manufacturer's directions for cleaning fixtures. Avoid abrasive cleansers. They remove the shiny finish and leave behind a porous surface that is difficult to keep clean. Clean plumbing fixtures with a soft sponge and soapy water (a nonabrasive cleaner or a liquid detergent is usually recommended by manufacturers). Then polish the fixtures with a dry cloth to prevent water spots. Care for brass fixtures with a good-quality brass cleaner, available at most hardware stores.

 

Clogs

The main causes of toilet clogs are domestic items such as disposable diapers, excessive amounts of toilet paper, sanitary supplies, Q-tips, dental floss, and children's toys. Improper garbage disposal use also causes many plumbing clogs. Always use plenty of cold water when running the disposal. This recommendation also applies to grease; supplied with a steady flow of cold water, the grease congeals and is cut up by the blades. If you use hot water, the grease remains a liquid, cooling and solidifying in the sewer line. Allow the water to run 10 to 15 seconds after shutting off the disposal.

You can usually clear clogged traps with a plumber's helper (plunger). If you use chemical agents, follow directions carefully to avoid personal injury or damage to the fixtures.

Clean a plunger drain stopper—usually found in bathroom sinks—by loosening the nut under the sink at the back, pulling out the rod attached to the plunger, and lifting the stopper. Clean and return the mechanism to its original position.

 

Dripping Faucet

You can repair a dripping faucet by shutting off the water at the valve directly under the sink, removing the faucet stem, changing the washer, and reinstalling the faucet stem. The showerhead is repaired the same way. Replace the washer with another of the same type and size. You can minimize the frequency of this repair by remembering not to turn faucets off with excessive force. (Please note that some manufacturers do not use rubber washers.)

 

Extended Absence

If you plan to be away for an extended period, you should drain your water supply lines. To do this, shut off the main supply line and open the faucets to relieve pressure in the lines. You may also wish to shut off the water heater. Do this by turning off the cold water supply valve on top and the gas control at the bottom. Drain the tank by running a hose from the spigot on the bottom to the basement floor drain. If you leave the tank full, keep the pilot on and set the temperature to its lowest or "vacation" setting. Check manufacturer's directions for additional hints and instructions.

See also the Extended Absence checklist.

Fiberglass Fixtures

For normal cleaning, use a nonabrasive bathroom cleanser and sponge or nylon cleaning pad. Avoid steel wool, scrapers, and scouring pads. Auto wax can provide a shine and restore an attractive appearance.

 

Freezing Pipes

Provided the home is heated at a normal level, pipes should not freeze at temperatures above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the heat at a minimum of 55 degrees F if you are away during the winter months. Keep garage doors closed to protect plumbing lines running through this area from freezing temperatures.

Unusually frigid weather or if you will be gone more than a day or two, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes. Use an ordinary hairdryer to thaw pipes that are frozen. Never use an open flame.

 

Gold or Brass Finish

Avoid using any abrasive cleaners on gold or antique brass fixtures. Use only mild detergent and water or a cleaning product recommended by the manufacturer.

 

Jetted Tubs

If your home includes a jetted tub, follow manufacturer directions for its use and care. Never operate the jets unless the water level is at least one inch above the jets. Be cautious about using the tub if you are pregnant or have heart disease or high blood pressure; discuss the use of the tub with your doctor. Tie or pin long hair to keep it away from the jets where it might become tangled—a potentially dangerous event.

Clean and disinfect the system every one to two months, depending on usage. To do this, fill the tub with lukewarm water and add one cup of liquid chlorine bleach. Run the jets for 10 to 15 minutes, drain and fill again. Run for 10 minutes with plain water, drain.

Auto wax will help seal and preserve your tub's surface. Avoid abrasive cleansers.

 

Laundry Tub

If you have a laundry room tub, the faucet does not have an aerator. This is to allow the laundry tub faucet to accept a hose connection.

 

Leaks

If a major plumbing leak occurs, the first step is to turn off the water supply to the area involved. This may mean shutting off the water to the entire home. Then contact the appropriate contractor.

 

Low Flush Toilets

We want to draw your attention to a water-saving regulation that went into effect in 1993, which prohibits the manufacture of toilets that use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. In searching for a balance among comfort, convenience, and sensible use of natural resources, the government conducted several studies. The 1.6-gallon toilet turned out to be the size that overall consistently saves water.

As a result of implementing this standard, flushing twice is occasionally necessary to empty the toilet bowl. Even though you flush twice on occasion, rest assured that you are saving water overall, and we have complied with the law. Similarly, flow restrictors are manufactured into most faucets and all showerheads and cannot be removed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Low Pressure

Occasional cleaning of the aerators on your faucets (normally every three to four months) will allow the proper flow of water. The water department controls the overall water pressure.

 

Main Shut-Off

The water supply to your home can be shut off entirely in two locations. The first is at the street and the second is at the meter. We will point both of these out during your orientation.

 

Marble or Manufactured Marble

Marble and manufactured marble will not chip as readily as porcelain enamel but can be damaged by a sharp blow. Avoid abrasive cleansers or razor blades on manufactured marble; both damage the surface. Always mix hot and cold water at manufactured marble sinks; running only hot water can damage the sink.

 

Outside Faucets

Outside faucets (sillcocks) are freeze-proof, but for this feature to be effective, you must remove hoses during cold weather, even if the faucet is located in your garage. If a hose is left attached, the water that remains in the hose can freeze and expand back into the pipe, causing a break in the line. Repair of a broken line that feeds an exterior faucet is a maintenance item. Note that Parasol does not warrant sillcocks against freezing.

Porcelain

You can damage porcelain enamel with a sharp blow from a heavy object or by scratching. Do not stand in the bathtub wearing shoes unless you have placed a protective layer of newspaper over the bottom of the tub. If you splatter paint onto the porcelain enamel surfaces during redecorating, wipe it up immediately. If a spot dries before you notice it, use a recommended solvent.

 

Running Toilet

To stop running water, check the shut-off float in the tank. You will most likely find it has lifted too high in the tank, preventing the valve from shutting off completely. In this case, gently bend the float rod down until it stops the water at the correct level. The float should be free and not rub the side of the tank or any other parts. Also, check the chain on the flush handle. If it is too tight, it will prevent the rubber stopper at the bottom of the tank from sealing, resulting in running water.

 

Shut-Offs

Your main water shut-off is located near your meter. You use this shut-off for major water emergencies such as a water line break or when you install a sprinkler system or build an addition to your home. Each toilet has a shut-off on the water line under the tank. Hot and cold shut-offs for each sink are on the water lines under the sink.

 

Sprinklers

You should routinely inspect sprinkler heads and provide seasonal service to maintain proper functioning.

See also Landscaping-Sprinkler.

 

Stainless Steel

Clean stainless steel sinks with soap and water to preserve their luster. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or steel wool pads; these will damage the finish. Prevent bleach from coming into prolonged contact with the sink as it can pit the surface. Occasional cleaning with a good stainless steel cleaner will enhance the finish. Rub in the direction of the polish or grain lines and dry the sink to prevent water spots.

Avoid leaving produce on a stainless steel surface since prolonged contact with produce can stain the finish. Also, avoid using the sink as a cutting board; sharp knives will gouge the finish.

Local water conditions affect the appearance of stainless steel. A white film can develop on the sink if you have over-softened water or water with a high concentration of minerals. In hard water areas, a brown surface stain can form, appearing like rust.

Tank Care

Avoid exposing the toilet to blows from sharp or heavy objects, which can cause chipping or cracking. Avoid abnormal pressures against the sides of the tank. It is possible to crack the tank at the points where it is attached to the bowl.

 

Water Filter or Softener

If you install either a water filter or a water softener, carefully read the manufacturer's literature and warranty for your specific model.

If your home includes a septic system, discuss with the vendor whether the system you are considering will adversely affect your septic system before installing a water softener.

See also Septic System.

 

Troubleshooting Tips: Plumbing

No Water Anywhere in the Home

Before calling for service, check to confirm that the:

8  Main shut off on the meter inside your home is open.

8  Main shut off at the street is open.

8  Individual shut-offs for each water-using item are open.

 

No Hot Water

See Water Heater

 

Leak Involving One Sink, Tub, or Toilet

8  Check caulking and grout.

8  Confirm shower door or tub enclosure was properly closed.

8  Turn the water supply off to that item.

8  Use other facilities in your home and report the problem on the next business day.

 

Leak Involving the Main Line

8  Turn the water off at the meter in your home.

8  Call emergency number for service.

 

Back-Up at One Toilet

If only one toilet is affected, corrections occur during normal business hours.

8  Shut off the water supply to the toilet involved.

8  Use a plunger to clear the blockage.

8  Use a snake to clear the blockage.

8  If you've been in your home fewer than 30 days, contact Parasol or the plumber listed on your Emergency Phone Numbers sheet.

8  If you've been in your home for over 30 days, contact a router service.

 

Sewer Back-Up Affecting Entire Home

8  If you've been in your home fewer than 30 days, contact Parasol or the plumber listed on your Emergency Phone Numbers sheet.

8  If you've been in your home for over 30 days, contact a router service.

8  Remove personal belongings to a safe location. If items are soiled, contact your homeowner insurance company.

Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.

 

Parasol Limited Warranty Guidelines

We will confirm that all plumbing fixtures are in acceptable condition, functioning properly and that all faucets and drains operate freely during the orientation.

 

Clogged Drain

Parasol will correct clogged drains that occur during the first 30 days after closing. If a household item is removed from a clogged drain during this time, we will bill you for the drain service. After the first 30 days, you are responsible for correcting clogged drains.

 

Cosmetic Damage

Parasol will correct any fixture damage noted on the orientation list. Repairing chips, scratches, or other surface damage noted after the orientation list is your responsibility.

 

Exterior Faucets

Parasol will repair leaks at exterior faucets noted on the orientation list. After orientation, repair of a broken line to an exterior faucet is your responsibility.

Freezing Pipes

Provided the home is heated at a normal level, pipes should not freeze. Set heat at 55 degrees F if you are away during the winter months. Keep garage doors closed to protect plumbing lines that run through this area.

 

Leaks

Parasol will repair leaks in the plumbing system. If a plumbing leak caused by warranted item results in drywall or floor covering damage, Parasol will repair or replace items that were part of the home as originally purchased. We do not make adjustments for secondary damages (for example, damage to wallpaper, drapes, and personal belongings). Insurance should cover these items.

 

Noise

Changes in temperature or the flow of the water itself will cause some noise in the pipes. This is normal and requires no repair. Parasol will repair persistent water hammers. Expect temperatures to vary if water is used in more than one location in the home at the same time.

 

Supply

Parasol will correct construction conditions that disrupt the water supply to your home if they involve service from the main water supply to your home, provided your actions have not caused the problem. Disruption of service due to the water department system's failure is the water department's responsibility to correct.