Troubleshooting & Information


It has never been easier to find out information on companies, materials, fixtures & products you are interested in. By using the very fast fingertip world of the internet you can become informed very quickly. Although downloads and E-mails can bring malware and spyware issues, a simple search often brings a lot of valuable information on any subject and keep you educated while in negotiations for almost anything.

There is something to be said for hands on, and when it comes to plumbing, some things are just not what they appear to be in a picture, so research is key!  Learn which companies are good companies, determine quality makes and models of fixtures or materials and above all Ask For Referrals.  Now days, “word of mouth” is as instant as it gets!  A quick text to a friend, check Facebook, or Linkedin networks, or at the very least the use of  a paid subscription to Angie’s List and like kind companies, could save you a lot of time and grief.

It seems simple, and it is,  however, it takes time and sometimes we are to busy for our own good. Even a small amount of information can give you a much happier result whether it be picking a kitchen faucet or remodeling your home, buying a car or selling a house. Become an informed consumer.

All my Best,

Mark Sands,

President of Sands Plumbing


Plumbing Troubleshooting & Diagnostics

Checking for Leaks – Have you noticed evidence of moisture or unusual sounds of running or dripping water in your house? Are your faucets dripping? Did you know a running toilet not only wastes water, but could cost up to $100.00 extra per month on your water bill? Un-repaired leaks can also cause damage and mold related issues. Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water each year. Not sure if you have a leak? Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.

Water Heater Diagnostics – The average life span of a water heater is 7-10 years old, if your heater is approaching that age, it is advised to be proactive and have it replaced before it has the potential to cause damage. Signs of an aging water heater are leaks, inefficiency in heating, and popping noises.

Determine A Water Heater’s Efficiency – Before purchasing a water heater for your home, find out how energy efficient it is. Here you’ll find information about how to determine the energy efficiency of solar water heaters, storage, demand and heat pump water heaters, as well as tankless coil and indirect water heaters.

EMERGENCY Water Heater Shut Down Instructions

1.) Locate the Source of the Gas Leak – you may smell gas, but you may not hear it due to residential gas pipes having such low pressure. Take a spray bottle filled with soapy water and squirt down the fittings and valves. Look for clusters of small bubbles, like fish eggs. (if your water heater is electric, skip this step)

2.) Turn Off the Gas or Electric – For gas, twist the dial on top of the thermostat/temperature control unit from “on” to “off” or twist the gas valve until it forms a 90 degree angle against direction of the gas pipe. For electric, turn off the power supply at the breaker box.

3.) Turn Off the Water Supply to the Water Heater- Twist the handle at the top of the water heater clockwise until it stops. If it does not stop, turn off the house main water supply (at the front of the house or curbside).

4.) Drain the Water Heater if necessary to avoid water damage. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. Place the opposite end of the hose in a lower location than the bottom of the water heater. Open the temperature and pressure relief valve (on the top side of the water heater) by lifting the tab.

5.) Call Sands Plumbing for the quick and reliable service you have come to expect.

Water Pressure Diagnostics – Is your water flow too high or too low? House plumbing fixtures are designed to operate at a pressure of 50 to 65 psi. Pressure that has reach 70 psi is in the beginning stage of “too high” and can cause excessive wear of plumbing fixtures and premature failure. If prolonged high pressure exits, it can lead to flooding issues.You may need your pressure regulator serviced/replaced if you are seeing these symptoms.

Green Plumbing Ideas

Water saver shower heads: full volume low fixture units use less then 2 gallons a minute. Many styles are available to choose from, such as IE Mist, waterfall, massager, or rain rinse delight.

Hot water re-circulating pump: another way to conserve energy and lower wait time for water to heat. There are many types to fit your home budget.

Waterless Urinals: Odorless Urinals which are easy to professionally install. Visit Waterless for more information.

Low-flow aerators: An easy way to save water is to install low flow aerotors to your existing faucets. Water saving aerators screw right on to your faucet head and reduce water flow while still maintaining pressure. Installing faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads will cut water heating costs by 50 percent and save up to $300 per year.

Solar Water Heaters: Harness the natural power of the sun to heat your water, saving you tons of money on your electricity bill while also saving energy! To find out more, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver site.

Water Saving Toilets: Save water and money one flush at a time! Toilets made prior to 1982 used 5-7 gallons a flush, depending on model and make. Today, high efficiency toilets use less than 1.6 gpf.(Gallons Per Flush). The EPA estimates that you can save up to $90.00 per year on your water bill with water saving toilets. Some toilets offer 1.29 Gallon flush, while others offer a Dual flush system that can cut your water use down to 0.08 gpf. The cost of buying and installing water saving toilet will be returned to you in savings on your water bill! There are many choices, brands, and styles of water efficient toilets that look great while using much less of our most precious resource, “Water”. Low flow 1.6 and 1.28 gallon water closets come in many designs with gravity flush and pressure assist. All top leading name brands are available, like Kohler, American Standard, ToTo, Mansfield, Gerber, Sloan, etc. In addition to saving money on your water bill, many local water authorities offer rebates or other incentives for upgrading your toilet. Contact Mark Sands / Sands Plumbing or your water municipality to find out more.