What I Learned from a Master Plumber

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In general, I believe people underestimate the complexity of plumbing. I was one of them. We see a few running pipes, drains and sinks and think that’s it. Hook this pipe to that pipe. Turn the water on. Voila!

The truth is it’s more complicated. I can say this from my own experience, a lot more thought goes into plumbing than I ever imagined. We all use running water, but once you sit and talk with a master plumber, you get a better idea of how that water finally ends up in your bath tub.

Recently we sat down with Will Thomason. Will is the General Manager of Asheville’s ProSource Supply, as well as a licensed Master Plumber. He grew up in the business, so going on jobs with his dad was just part of life. For Will, the topics below are basic. To the average person, they are rather eye opening.

So, here are a few things I learned:

  1. Test Your Well Water - Especially up here in the mountains in beautiful, but remote, areas. You need to check your well water. There are naturally occurring substances that can contaminate your water, so get it tested.

  2. Check for Springs - The mountains are notorious for underground springs. Well, springs are a good thing, but not if you’re looking to build in these areas.

  3. No Copper Pipes - If you’re building out in the mountains and using well water, make sure you’re not using copper pipes. Well water can cause the copper to corrode. And that’s not good.

  4. Get a Perc Test - You’ve found a great place to build a home. Amazing views. All checks out. Since you’re in the country and not on city sewer, you’ll need a perc test to make sure your property can maintain a proper septic drain field or infiltration basin.

  5. Design - If you plan on having a shower with six shower heads, your general contractor and plumber need to know this ahead of time. Why? They need to make sure they’re using the proper size pipes to ensure consistent water pressure and volume.

  6. BONUS TIP - Every fixture in your home should have a shut off valve. For instance, if you’re going out of town for a week, simply shut the valve off to the washing machine. Valves are cheap insurance and could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

In a perfect world, your builder/general contractor will know about these different things. However, as a homeowner it’s always good to be educated and aware.

Next time you turn your water on, you can stare in wonder.