Mountainview Home Owner Manual


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Plumbing and Sump Pumps

New low-volume toilets, which are required for new homes by the Ontario Building Code, use less water to flush waste than older models, making their operation more sensitive to the effects of the amount of waste and paper as well as the volume of water in the tank. As a result, multiple flushes may be required or alternatively if one were to hold down the lever, this would allow more water into the bowl to give the flush some extra power.

It is recommended that toilet bowl cleaners that discharge from the toilet tank not be used. They have a tendency to erode the rubber seals of the toilet which may cause the toilet to continuously run.

All exterior taps must be shut off in the winter time. This includes shutting off the tap on the interior and draining the pipe via the drain cock. Failure to do this will result in frozen and burst water lines. Repairs will be the home owners responsibility. All garden hoses must be disconnected in the winter time as well.

Variations in water pressure may be a result of variations in the municipal services. Pressure variances can occur during peak usage times or from broken watermains. This is generally not a result of any problem within the house. The best way to compare water pressure from house to house it to connect two identical hoses to the garage taps in both houses, (remove the back flow preventers temporarily) and compare how far the water shoots out of both hoses.

Condensation on water supply lines should not be mistaken for a leaking pipe. This generally occurs when there is high indoor humidity and the warm moist air in the house comes into contact with the the cold water lines.

Sometimes an item goes down the sewer or grease builds up and causes a blockage that home owners may not be aware of it until it is too late. This may be the case if all of the drains in the house are slow to drain, or if there is a wet spot at the sewer clean out on the basement floor. Home owners must not allow the accumulation of greases and/or fats in the drains.

Some municipalities require that sanitary sewer back flow preventers be installed where the sanitary sewer exits the house in the basement (Welland/Baden/Fort Erie/Ridgeway). The back flow preventer is usually covered by a rectangular green cover in the basement floor. Back flow preventers should be cleaned twice a year to ensure the unit will close in the case of an emergency.

Sump pumps must be inspected on a regular basis. They should be tested to ensure that they are still working and that any moving parts are free to move. The bottom of sump pump pits should be cleaned of debris that could clog the pump. All sump pumps eventually fail to operate. They may last two years or they may last 20 years but they all break down eventually. Mountainview strongly recommends that all home owners get an alarm system and install a sump pump monitor in the sump pit. The alarm company can then alert home owners of a sump pump failure before water reaches the floor level. Mountainview also recommends that home owners buy a spare sump pump to keep as a backup in case their sump pump breaks down. If the sump pump pit has a clear lid, the sump pump inside is a Little Giant TSW submersible pump (available from Bardon Supplies) which can be replaced in two minutes using only an adjustable wrench. Other types of sump pumps may fail to turn on if the float gets stuck to the side of the pit (TSW pumps don’t have a mechanical float) or may fail to turn on if the float fails to trigger (in which case the float must be pushed down and allowed to float up and re-trigger again).

All houses are now equipped with temperature regulators to prevent water over 120 degrees Celsius from getting to the taps and scalding people. If there is no hot water, it may mean that the temperature regulator has worn out and needs to be replaced. Most plumbers can do this simple repair as it is a standard maintenance item.

Sewer smells at sinks are often the result of a build up of hair and soap in the drain, or mildew in the overflow. To clear hair and soap from the drain, the drain cap must be removed, and then a wire with a hook can be used to pull out anything stuck in the drain. To remove mildew from the overflow, a bottle cleaner can be used. For an actual sewer smell to come from a sink, the trap below the sink would have to be dry. For this to happen there would have to be a leak at the bottom of the trap. If there is water dripping in the cabinet, there may be a leak at the bottom of the trap that would have to be fixed.

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