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Main Water Shut Off

Maintenance Tips

Main Water Shut Off

The main water shut off is a valve that shuts off all water coming into your house from the public utility  (water company), or private supply (your well).  It is important to know where this valve is and just as important to know if it works.      Since most plumbing codes require all fixtures (toilets, faucets, showers, tubs etc.) to have an individual shut off valve, the main water shut off is very rarely used.   Fixture shut offs are important and if there is a leak on a toilet or sink the water can be shut off to that fixture.   The big problem is when there is a leak in the water piping system or when a fixture shut off does not operate properly.   In this case you will need to shut off ALL water coming into the house until the problem can be resolved.


We should all know where the main water shut off is in your house, condo, townhouse or apartment.   In houses there are a few common locations.   A water loop in the garage with a valve is very common.   A pipe coming out of the ground running up to an outdoor hose bib is another common scenario.  In some cases a valve box in the yard with the valve buried is another possible location.   If you happen to have a water softener, filter or other type of water conditioner there will be a valve located at that device which should shut off all water coming into the house.   In attached homes such as condos, townhouses or apartments the main water shut offs can be outside near your unit or at the end of the building in a group.  Another common location in attached buildings are in the laundry room,  closet or kitchen cabinet.

Now that you have located the main water shut off, we must determine if it will work when needed because devices and equipment that are rarely used tend to rarely work as designed and the reason you will need to use this valve is generally an emergency.  ie: water pouring out of the ceiling onto grandma’s antique china cabinet.   Keeping this all in mind, now is the time to test the main water shut off.   Not NOW if you are reading this at 7:00 PM on a Sunday evening, but now meaning a weekday during business hours because then in the event the valve does not work ,  help is only a phone call away.

To be clear,  help is only a phone call away any time night or day, any day of the year with The Pampering Plumber, but why create an emergency when this test can be done at your leisure at a more convenient time for everyone.


If your main water shut off has a round handle, turning it clockwise should shut the water off.  If the valve is a lever type, turning the lever so it is perpendicular to the pipe it is attached to should shut off the water.

No matter what type of valve you have once it is in the off positon opening faucets should only produce residual water which should stop flowing in a few seconds.    Once the water has stopped flowing, shut off the open faucets and wait a few seconds then open a faucet.   If you get a full faucet stream,  even if it slows and stops again, the valve is not holding.   You can repeat this test again and unless opening the faucet produces no water,  there is a problem with the main water shut off.


If your main water shut off does not work,  or if you cannot locate it,  or if you are not comfortable testing it on your own,  simply call The Pampering Plumber at 727-232-8400 or 813-926-0707 and they will help you find it,  test it and if there is  problem they will be right there with any necessary materials and tools to repair or change out the valve.

6 Simple Ways to Update Your Bathroom

  1. Cabinet or Vanity Hardware – Changing out your cabinets knobs or handles can make a huge difference in the appearance of your bathroom. You can purchase knobs and cabinet pulls for as little as $0.84 each! Try incorporating your bathroom fixture finish
  2. Bathtub Re-glazing – Bathtubs tend to get worn and lose their glossy finish, but changing them out can be pretty pricey depending on the type. Did you know that you can get them re-finished or re-glazed?  Yup!
  3. Faucets and Fixtures – There are thousands of different brands, finishes, and styles of faucets. Looking to switch from your traditional look to a more contemporary style?  It’s easy to do by simply swapping out your faucets and fixtures!
  4. Matching Accessories – You can match the light fixtures with the mirrors, and the mirrors with the towel bars, and the towel bars with the light switches! Try coordinating them your bathroom faucets.  Maybe choose one accessory to be the main focus, like your mirror!
  5. Paint – This is always the “go-to” simple way to update any room! Typically the bathroom has the least amount of wall space for painting so, it may not take long at all.  Try doing a yellow to bring more brightness and light into the room, since there tends to not be windows in bathrooms.6. Frame your Mirror – Try framing your mirror with some painted wood trim! It’s an easy way to make the mirror your bathroom’s focal point.

Hope you enjoyed these quick tips and ideas!  Have fun spicing up your bathroom and be sure to contact The Pampering Plumber for all of your plumbing needs!  You can reach us as 813-926-0707 or www.pamperingplumber.com

Taking Care of Your Garbage Disposal: Holiday Edition

It’s that time of year again!  Don’t overwork your garbage disposal or you may cause them to wear out, get clogged, etc. Here’s some tips on what NOT to do with your garbage disposal when entertaining this Holiday season.


Avoid putting any grease or oil down the disposal.  It could solidify inside the drain, causing a potential clog.
Don’t put potato or squash peels down the garbage disposal. They tend to get stuck within the drain and could potentially cause a stoppage or cause your sink to drain very slowly.
Avoid putting rice or pasta down the garbage disposal.  The rice and pasta could potentially expand within the drain.
Don’t put fibrous materials such as celery, corn husks, etc.  They could get stuck around the blade, causing the disposal to jam and potentially wear our your motor.

We all know that it can be chaotic when entertaining in your home for the holiday’s, so make sure you have The Pampering Plumber’s phone number just in case you run into any problems! We service the entire Tampa Bay area and have a professional, highly qualified on call for emergency scenarios 24/7/365. Visit pamperingplumber.com or call 727-232-8400

The Difference Between Vent Stacks and Stack Vents


There are many differences between a vent stack and stack vents. To make sure you’re up to code, our Tampa plumbing experts have outlined these differences and the requirements that are essential to meet with each.

Click here to read more »

What Are Plumbing Vents and How Do They Work?


Plumbing vents are essential because they lead from your plumbing appliances in your home to an outdoor area. Rather than water, plumbing vents carry sewer gases safely and effectively outside of your home since they are dangerous to breathe. Plumbing vents also bring oxygen in through the vents so that they can break down waste more quickly.

Click here to read more »

Do’s and Dont’s: Garbage Disposals

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this time of year is when garbage disposals are typically overworked causing them to wear out, get clogged, etc. Here’s some tips on the “do’s and don’ts” for this Holiday season.

Do locate your “reset” button and the disposal key in case your garbage disposal becomes jammed while entertaining during the holiday season
Don’t pour any grease or oil down the disposal as it could solidify inside the drain and cause a stoppage
Do use cold water when running the disposal, instead of hot
Don’t put all your potato peels from the potato casserole you’re baking for 50 guests in the disposal at once. Vegetable peels are generally not recommended to be put down the garbage disposal at all, but you may be able to get away with it if it’s just one or two items at a time
Do use a disposal cleaner or grind citrus peels. This will help get rid of any odor or buildup within the garbage disposal
Don’t put rice or pasta down the garbage disposal. They can expand and stick within the drain, potentially causing a nasty backup (Typically happening during the clean-up of your holiday soiree, Murphy’s Law right?)
Do run the garbage disposal regularly. Like any machine, it may seize up or rust if it’s not used regularly.
Don’t put any stringy vegetable (like celery or lettuce), bones, or pit and seeds (from cherries, peaches, etc) The stringy vegetables can get wrapped around the blades causing it to jam and the pits and seeds, well, they can destroy the blades
Do try to cut items into smaller pieces before putting down the garbage disposal
Don’t put garbage – even though it’s called a “garbage” disposal, it doesn’t want the junk mail either
Do make sure you have The Pampering Plumber’s phone number on your fridge just in case you run into any problems this holiday season! We service the entire Tampa Bay area and have a professional, highly qualified on call for emergency scenarios 24/7/365. Visit pamperingplumber.com or call 727-232-8400

Toto Washlet: A Spa For Your Bum!

What is a Toto Washlet?  In 4 words, a Toto Washlet is a Spa… For… Your… Bum!  Yup, that’s what it is.  Now some people might cringe at this but, that is essentially what it is.  Why not have a spa for your bum?  Think about it, this is a plumbing fixture that you will use every day.  It washes your potty parts with a gentle warm stream of water, set to the temperature and flow that is most comfortable for you.  When you’re ready, you change it to the “dryer” setting to finish the job.  You know when you’re first on the potty in the winter, when the seat is a little chilly?  Not the Toto Washlet, it’s got a heater and is set to the temperature that you appreciate.


Folks, I’m in the plumbing business so discussing this sort of thing is something I’ve been doing for nearly 30 years.  I have a Toto Washlet and have had one for about 10 years.  You can bet your bottom dollar that after having one for so many years, I would never go without one for as long as I have a choice.  It’s that good.  Temperature settings, pressure settings, angle setting, pulsation settings; folks, this thing will even cook you dinner!  Just kidding on that one, but it is most definitely something you will appreciate.


Please keep in mind that the water is there for this product, but you will need to have an electrical (GFI) outlet installed near your toilet.  If you’d like more information on the Toto Washlet, contact the professionals at The Pampering Plumber (www.pamperingplumber.com).  We’ll get you set up and we guarantee that you will love it.      Call us today at 727-232-8400!


Watch this video from Toto USA Inc:



Erik Suojanen, CEO

The Pampering Plumber

Why Hire a Licensed Plumber for your Water Filtration Needs?

Many people think of Tampa plumbers as expensive laborers who simply do a dirty job.  Truth be told, plumbing is very technical and requires ongoing continued education.  Plumbing is expensive.  Responsible contractors have to have good, well-maintained equipment.  They need to carry all the proper insurances and they need to provide ongoing training programs.  Most of all, they need to have good, dependable people who care about the job that they do.  All of these things are expensive.  But, how valuable is your time and your family’s health?  Plumbers protect the health in society.   This is why it is so important to make sure you are dealing with a licensed contractor.  Especially when dealing with water filtration and purification.  Saving money is always good, but if it is potentially compromising your health, is the few dollars you might save worth the risk?

In Florida, one can install water filtration equipment, legally, by simply acquiring an occupational license.  It requires no real training by the government, yet the government requires a licensed plumbing contractor to install a water heater.  Makes no sense right?  Water that is ingested requires no training or proven expertise and anyone can install it.  Plumbing contractors must pass a very difficult test to obtain a license and they must have proven years of experience to even take the test.  A water filtration installer simply requires the $25.00 it costs for the occupational license, a few tools, and basic transportation to and from the point of installation.

Consider reverse osmosis and water softening for a moment.  Both systems require a drain that typically ties into the home drainage system.  If the system is not installed properly, cross contamination is very likely.  Cross contamination is the siphoning of sewer water into the potable water supply.  It introduces sewer water into your drinking and bathing water.  This is much more common than you might think.

Consider all the factors when deciding on any home service like water filtration.  If you want someone who will do the job properly, show up on time, and treat your home as they would their own, call professionals at The Pampering Plumber.   We have been serving the Tampa Bay area since 1990.  We know what we are doing and we will be here when you need us.  More than 60,000 customers would attest to that.

Pure Water: Reverse Osmosis

A Reverse Osmosis drinking water system that removes total dissolved solids (TDS). It works by pushing the water through a semipermeable membrane that acts as a filter and is stored in a tank. This membrane allows only water to pass through, leaving any impurities and dissolved solids behind.   It removes particles as little as .001 microns. That is about the size of a human hair split a hundred times!

Advantages of Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water

  • Tastes and smells better – Water bottle companies such as Aquafina and Dasani use reverse osmosis water treatment in their products.
  • Safer – It filters out many different contaminants, bacteria and viruses that could be sitting within your pipes or coming from your water supplier.
  • No Electricity needed – It uses the water pressure to pump through the different filters and membrane and doesn’t have to plug into an outlet.
  • Cost Savings – You’ll no longer need to purchase water bottles and can get your drinking water straight from the faucet at your kitchen sink!
  • Easy to Maintain – Depending on usage, you only have to replace the filters once a year and the membrane, two years.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Did you know that it takes over 17 million barrels of oil to keep up with American’s water bottle demand? That’s enough to keep 1.3 million cars fueled for an ENTIRE YEAR! (source: Ban the Bottle)

Reverse Osmosis Process on a Wider Scale

The reverse osmosis process is used in desalination plants to help make salt water safe for consumption. The military uses a form of the process to filter virtually any body of water. Another interesting production process that uses a reverse osmosis is maple syrup production. (source: Wikipedia)

Where Can You Get a Reverse Osmosis System for Your Home?

Call your local licensed Tampa plumbing company, like The Pampering Plumber at 727-232-8400 or visit www.pamperingplumber.com. It’s strongly recommended to go through a licensed plumbing contractor since they are dealing with your drinking water and cross-contamination is a possibility if not installed properly.

Tips for Avoiding Stoppages


Have you ever come home to sewage bubbling up in your shower drain? It’s not the ideal plumbing scenario to come home to. Here are some pointers and tips for dealing with your sewer drain plumbing stoppages in Tampa.

What NOT to Flush

There are some household items that you may think are okay to flush down your toilet, but they’re not! Paper towels, Feminine products and believe it or not, the “flushable” wipes sold at your local grocery store. In fact, these “flushable” wipes have been wreaking some havoc in city and county sewer systems and one of the leading causes of stoppages in Tampa, because they don’t break up like toilet paper does. They are made from a more fibrous material that doesn’t break-apart as easily.

Don’t use your Garbage Disposal as a “Catch-all”

Grease or oils should be collected in a sealed container and disposed of in your trash. If dumped down the sink drain or in the garbage disposal, grease and oil can solidify in your drain, causing a build-up and a potential stoppage. Potato peels are generally okay to toss down the garbage disposal, but can build up in the drain after time or if you’re putting large batches in there at once. Rice, grains and pastas shouldn’t be put down the garbage disposal either. These items can still expand within the drain, causing a slow drain and/or potential stoppage.

Tree Root Destruction

Tampa oak trees are a common factor of plumbing stoppages, when their roots grow and break into your sewer line, they cause a barrier within the pipe, stopping any toilet paper and waste from going down into your septic or sewer. If roots are the obstruction in your sewer line, it’s best to get it taken care of right away. The portion of pipe that the roots intruded generally needs to be replaced or rerouted away from the trees.

If you have a constant reoccurring stoppage happening in your home, it may be beneficial to have a camera run down your sewer line to be sure that there isn’t any underlying issues. Call your local Tampa plumbing company, The Pampering Plumber to schedule for your sewer drain cleaning or sewer line camera job at 727-232-8400 or visit www.pamperingplumber.com