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Common Questions

What do you mean by “trenchless” plumbing?
     The word trenchless is used at Keever to define new, high tech methods or clearing or replacing water and drain lines that no longer require us to saw cut concrete or asphalt or dig up a parking lot or front yard. These new methods are horizontal directional drilling, adapted from oil exploration, pipe bursting and simultaneous pipe replacement or video inspections coupled with high pressure water jet clearing or vacuum evacuation.

How soon can you answer my call?
     Most service calls are handled and the plumbing problems fixed on the same day we receive your call. Keever’s service vehicles are rolling warehouses stocked with over a ton of equipment and 6,000 parts, which means that our licensed, service technicians are prepared to fix your problem with one visit. In the case of emergencies, the knowledgeable Customer Service Representative who takes your call is in radio contact with all our technicians and can re-route the appropriate professional as priorities demand.   
How can it cost that much?
     Keever’s charges are extremely competitive. In evaluating the total amount of your invoice, it is important to keep in mind not just the salary paid the service tech and the parts and material used, but the overall cost of getting him/her to your door. For example, the service tech came to your business or home in an expensive, well maintained, state-of-the art service truck with thousands of dollars of equipment and parts on board. Before it rolled to your call, it was fully insured for damages and liability and its tank was topped off with expensive diesel fuel. The cost of training and education for the fully licensed service tech were paid by the company to insure that you received only the best in professional service. On top of these costs are government required workers compensation insurance; health/medical insurance, the company’s share of 401K retirement plans, and the administrative costs or essential support staff, facilities and utilities.

What is a PRV; what does it do and where is it located?
     The PRV is the pressure regulating valve that keeps the “street” water pressure from exceeding recommended limits. It is usually located near the entry point of the water line into the facility or house and near the main shut off valve. In a commercial setting, the pressure will depend upon the engineered specifications for the property. For a house, the pressure, which is set by the manufacturer and can not be adjusted by untrained individuals, should not exceed 80psi. For more information on the PRV see the appropriate section on the Maintenance Tips page.

What is the difference between Time and Materials pricing and Flat Rate pricing?
     All divisions of Keever, Dalton, Johnson Inc., use actual time and materials expended for calculating the cost of a job, but many plumbers use flat rate price books to determine your cost. These flat rate books are printed by independent publishers that use regional or national averages which factor “worst case scenarios” into the pricing equation. For this reason, time and materials pricing is in most cases fairer to the customer, because you are paying for actual factors not hypothetical ones.

Are your service techs paid a salary or are they on commission?
    All (100%) of Keever’s service technicians are licensed professionals who are well paid, salaried employees with many years of experience. Unlike commissioned service technicians, they have no incentive to talk you into unnecessary work. 

How long does a water heater last?
     In a commercial or business setting the life span of a water heater will vary depending upon its usage. For example, in a beauty shop, the life might be three years as opposed to 10 in a small office setting. For home use, the average life span is 12 years. To insure the maximum life span of the water heater, they should be checked at least once every two years by a professional plumber.

What is a thermal expansion tank for?

     The Clean Water Act passed by Congress several years back requires the installation of a backflow device at the water meter. This device is basically a check valve that prevents the flow of possibly contaminated water from the business of home back into the municipal water system in the event of a loss of pressure on the main lines. The backflow also works to prevent fixtures such as a malfunctioning water heater from venting pressure and water back into the main. The thermal expansion tank, usually blue in color and mounted above the water heater, therefore, becomes a safety device in the event of excessive pressure build up.

How do I shut off the water to my home or sink or toilet?

    In most homes, especially newer ones, the main shut off value is in the garage, basement or utility room near where the water lines enter the house. For older homes with a crawl space, it is probably located near where the line comes through the footing underneath the house. Shut off valves for sinks, lavatories and toilets are usually located near and underneath the fixture. Remember…. in manipulating the valve that “righty is tighty” (off) and “lefty is loosey” (on).

Can I increase the water pressure in my bathroom facets?
     First, check the shutoff valve under the sink to make sure it is fully open. Next, remove the small, screw on strainer at the faucet opening and clean out any accumulated debris. Deteriorating washers and seals can also cause a loss of pressure, so check these. If the problem persists, call Keever at 770-717-1945.

Can I replace my two-handled faucet with a single-handled one?

     Most likely, because faucet dimensions and sink openings are standard throughout the plumbing industry. But there are a few exceptions, so check the size of the sink opening before you buy new fixtures.

Why do I hear a vibrating noise in my pipes?

     Noise can be fairly common in plumbing supply lines. If you hear a rattling or knocking when you open and close faucets rapidly, it generally means that pipes are loose. This can be corrected by anchoring pipes more securely. If the problem still exists after taking this action, the remedy will probably require Keever professionals to install air chambers at the end of long pipe runs.

Are liquid drain openers harmful to pipes?
     For minor clogs, they’re fine. However, never use them on a drain line that is completely clogged, because the caustic agents are trapped in the pipes for a long period and can cause major damage. Caution….never use a caustic drain opener in a drain line that has a garbage disposal attached.

Why doesn’t my old water heater work as well as it used to?
     It may have accumulated sediment build up in the tank. If these deposits are not removed periodically, they can create a barrier between the water and the burners thereby reducing the heater’s performance. At least once every three months, drain about a gallon of water from the heater to remove the sediment.