leaky-faucet-repair-portland-orHere at the Meticulous Plumbing blog, we’ve written about a good many things. From diagnosing water heater problems to choosing the perfect kitchen sink, we try to cover a broad range of topics.

Still, there are some things that escape our notice because, well, they’re just not the kind of topics or questions that most of us think about from day to day. We decided it would be fun and instructive to write a blog post covering some topics that people don’t really think to ask about.

Off we go!

How deep are water lines buried?

Most of us never have to think of the system of pipes that bring water into our homes and businesses. It’s really a marvel of engineering and good ol’ fashioned know-how. Plumbing problems can still crop up, but quality service is just a phone call away. That’s because for every plumbing issue — whether it’s a malfunctioning garbage disposal or a lack of hot water — there’s a plumbing repair that can solve the problem.

Ever since Neolithic humans began digging permanent water wells, we’ve been perfecting systems of water delivery. How do we do it? By burying a series of pipes.

But how deep do we have to bury them? The answer varies depending on the pipes’ location, the slope of the land, and the climate. In Oregon, the law requires that piping be buried “a minimum of 18 inches below grade” and “at least 12 inches below the frost line.”

Municipalities have their own requirements, and most pipes are at least 12 inches down — with some locations requiring depths up to 10 feet!

How much water is wasted by a dripping faucet?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.” That adds up to about 1 trillion gallons of leaked water nationwide every year! Meticulous Plumbing can fix your leaks, by the way.

Where does the word ‘plumber’ come from, anyway?

The Romans invented a lot of things — including the word “plumber.” They used lead in many public works projects, such as drain pipes. Since the Latin word for lead is plumbum, a person who worked with lead was called a plumbarius (eventually shortened to plumber). Speaking of lead, Meticulous Plumbing can help with that, too.

Are there drugs in my water?

Probably. It’s true that more and more pharmaceuticals are showing up in our water supply due to people flushing pills down the toilet. However, Raymond M. Hozalski, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, says “the levels coming out of the tap are usually barely detectable, if at all.” Fish, on the other hand

Can I rid my tap water of contaminants by letting it run?

Yes! Again we turn to Hozalski. He says, “Before you drink from your tap, let the water run a few minutes until it’s cold — this essentially flushes out anything that may have accumulated.” If you’re concerned about wasting water — as you should be — then collect the water in a can to use on your plants.

Can boiling water unclog a drain?

Maybe — but probably not.

Is low water pressure a problem?

Low water pressure can indeed cause problems — but they’re usually of the annoying variety. Low water pressure is unlikely to cause any damage to pipes or fixtures. But if you live in a neighborhood with low water pressure and then run a lot of appliances, they may not work as well as intended.

Are flushable wipes flushable?

Yes and no. It says they’re flushable on the package, but that doesn’t mean you should flush them. (Marbles are also flushable, and you wouldn’t start throwing those in the toilet, now wouldja?)

So-called “flushable” wipes are the scourge of city water treatment systems the world over. And the problem is only getting worse.

Avoid flushing them if at all possible — especially if you have septic systems. In the meantime, here are some other things you should never flush down the toilet.

Is there an optimal water heater temperature?

Yep! Most experts suggest a setting somewhere between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do galvanized pipes cause trouble?

Sometimes. Galvanized plumbing, or iron pipes, were popular prior to the 1960s. However, they may cause low water pressure due to corroded or plugged-up pipes. And when galvanized plumbing goes bad, the fix can be expensive.

What questions would you like to see answered at the Meticulous Plumbing blog? Get in touch with us today and let us know!

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