Your main water shut-off is located on an exterior wall of your home as well as in the front of your meter box. This is helpful to know if you install a sprinkler system or if you plan an addition to your home. It is also important to know and remember the location of the shut-off for emergencies such as a water line freeze or break. Other water shut-offs are located under the sinks in the bathroom
and the kitchen. Each toilet has a shut-off valve behind the toilet bowl on the wall.
Do not tamper with or add to your plumbing system. For any modification that is needed, contact a plumbing contractor that is listed on your “Neighborhood Information” section of this manual. Tampering with the plumbing system will void your warranty. If any changes are made to the plumbing system, we must assume that any warranty issues that arise are the result of the changes made and the responsibility will fall on the person or contractor who made the changes.
Debris in Pipes
Even though your plumbing lines have been flushed to remove dirt and foreign matter, small amounts of minerals may enter the line. Aerators on the faucets strain much of this from your water. However, minerals, etc. caught in these aerators may cause the faucets to drip because washers wear more rapidly when they come in contact with foreign matter. Any tampering or alterations to the plumbing will be considered the cause of the debris in the pipes and will not be covered by the limited warranty. See “Dripping Faucets” section of this manual for additional information.
Care and Cleaning
Follow manufacturers’ directions for cleaning fixtures. Avoid abrasive cleansers as they remove the shiny finish leaving behind a porous surface that is difficult to keep clean. Clean plumbing fixtures with a soft sponge and soapy water, (a non-abrasive cleanser such as Spic-N-Span or a liquid detergent is usually recommended by manufacturers) then polish with a dry cloth to prevent water spots.
Many plumbing clogs are caused by improper garbage disposal usage. Always use plenty of cold water when running the disposal. This applies to grease also. Supplied with a steady flow of cold water, the grease congeals and is cut up by the blades. If hot water is used, the grease remains a liquid and then cools and solidifies in the sewer line. Allow the water to run a minimum of 15 seconds after shutting off the disposal. Any charges for sending the plumber to unclog a drain that have been caused by the homeowner will be the homeowner’s responsibility to pay.
Clogged traps (P-traps) can usually be cleared with a “plumber’s helper” (plunger). If you use chemical agents, follow directions carefully to avoid personal injury or damage to the fixtures.
Clean a plunger drain stopper, usually found in bathroom sinks, by loosening the nut under the sink at the back, pull out the rod attached to the plunger and lift the stopper. Clean and return the mechanism to its original position.
The main causes of toilet clogs are various domestic items such as disposable diapers, excessive amounts of toilet paper, sanitary supplies, Q-tips, dental floss, toys, etc.
A dripping faucet may be repaired by shutting off the water at the valve directly under the sink, then remove the faucet stem, change the washer and reinstall the faucet stem. The shower head is repaired in the same manner. Replace the washer with another of the same type and size. You can minimize the frequency of this repair by remembering not to turn faucets off with excessive force.
Provided your home is heated at a normal level, pipes should not freeze at temperatures above 0 Fahrenheit. Heat should be set at 65 if you are away during the winter months. Keep garage doors closed to protect plumbing lines that may run through this area from freezing temperatures.
Do not load the disposal unit with food items before turning it on. For proper operation, turn on the cold water and start the disposal unit. Then, drop the food items slowly into the unit.
When the unit sounds clear, turn it off and leave the water running for several seconds. This allows the food waste to be carried into your sewer lines.
Only foods that are non-fibrous and easily pulverized should be placed into the disposal unit. Examples of foods not to place in the disposal unit are corn husks, celery, onion skins, olive pits, bones and solid or liquid grease. These items may cause your unit to overload or jam. If this happens, follow these corrective measures.
Turn off the disposal unit and the cold water. Wait three minutes for the disposal unit to cool, then press the reset button usually located on the bottom of the unit. If this does not correct the problem, your disposal unit is probably obstructed. Follow these steps for proper removal. Aways verify that the disposal unit switch on the wall is in the “off” position before attempting a repair yourself.
If your disposal unit has a service wrench, insert one end of the wrench into the bottom of the unit. Work back and forth until the disposal unit turns freely. If your disposal unit does not have a service wrench, insert a broom handle or mop handle into the throat of the unit and rotate the impeller back and forth. The obstruction will be loosened so that it can be removed.
After verifying that the disposal unit switch is in the “off” position, remove the obstruction, press the reset button and proceed with the above steps for proper use.
If you have a laundry tub, the faucet does not have an aerator. This enables the tub faucet to accept a hose connection.
If a major plumbing leak occurs, the first step is to turn off the supply of water to the area involved. This may mean shutting off the water to the entire home; then contact the appropriate plumbing contractor. If possible, the water should be gotten up a quickly as possible. Any delays in contacting AB Hospitality Limited Liability Company or allowing water to stand will reduce our liability for repairs.
If a leak is noticed under a sink or toilet, turn off the water to the fixture by using the shut-off valves located under or behind the unit. The next step would be to arrange for service.
If you notice a leak in the tub or shower, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and do not use the shower or tub until service can be provided.
If there is a leak in the water heater, turn the shut-off valve on top of the heater to “off”. Turn off the gas if your water heater is powered by gas or the circuit breaker if you have an electric water heater; then drain the water heater.
If you notice water spots (darkened areas) on your walls or ceilings, you may have a water leak. Determine the source of water if possible and take steps to prevent further damage. If the leak can be traced to one location (one toilet, sink or tub), turn off the water to that particular fixture. If the leak cannot be isolated, turn off the main water service to the home.
It will occasionally be necessary to remove and clean the aerators on faucets to allow the proper flow of water; normally every three or four months is sufficient.
Marble or Man-made Marble
Marble and man-made marble will not chip as readily as porcelain enamel but can be damaged by a sharp blow, scratched by items sitting on them and burned by items such as curling irons. Equal care should be given, however. Avoid abrasive cleansers or razor blades on man-made marble; both will cause certain damage to the surface.
Outside faucets are not freeze proof; therefore, it is recommended that you remove garden hoses during cold weather and leave faucets open to drip. If a hose is left attached, the water that remains in the hose can freeze and expand back into the pipe causing a break in the line. Repair of a broken line that feeds an exterior faucet is a homeowner maintenance item. AB Hospitality Limited Liability Company does not warrant exterior faucets against freezing.
A sharp blow from a heavy object can damage porcelain enamel. It can also be scratched. Do not stand in the bathtub wearing shoes unless you have placed a protective layer of newspaper over the
bottom of the tub. If paint is splattered onto the porcelain enamel surfaces during redecorating, it should be wiped up immediately. If some spots are dry before being noticed, use a recommended solvent. Clean porcelain finishes with a non-abrasive cleanser designed for bathroom usage.
To stop running water, check the shut-off float in the tank. You will most likely find it has lifted too high in the tank, preventing the valve from shutting off completely. In this case, adjust the set screws on top of the valve until the shut-off float stops the water at the correct level. The float should be free and not rub the side of the tank or any other parts.
Also check the chain on the flush handle, if it is too tight it will prevent the rubber stopper at the bottom of the tank from sealing, resulting in running water.
Stainless steel sinks should be cleaned with soap and water to preserve their luster. Avoid abrasive cleaners; these will damage the finish. An occasional cleaning with a good stainless steel cleaner will enhance the finish. Avoid leaving produce on a stainless steel surface since prolonged contact with produce can stain the finish.
Toilets are made of vitreous china, a glasslike material that is almost impervious to staining. Clean your toilets with a toilet bowl cleaner and a brush or cloth. Vitreous china is brittle and will easily break or shatter if hit with a hard object. Do not stand on your toilets. Uneven pressure applied to the toilet can break the wax seal at the base of the toilet, thereby causing a leak.
Toilets which are designed to use less water, approximately 1.6 gallons, have been installed in your home in an effort to reduce the amount of water used and the amount of wastewater treated and returned to our water sources. All of this result in a lower utility cost to you and an improvement to our environment.
Since these toilets use approximately 50% of the water that older, traditional toilets use, you need to be aware of a few inconveniences you may experience. The toilets have a tendency to become clogged more frequently than a traditional toilet because of the newer toilet’s reduced water flush capacity. On the occasions where one needs to dispose of a large amount of tissue, it is advisable to flush the toilet prior to the disposal of all tissue. Educating your family members as to the capacity of the toilet will help avoid unnecessary stoppages. Do not place objects other than toilet paper in the toilet.
Always keep a plumber’s plunger on hand to use in the event of a stoppage of a toilet. If a stoppage occurs, close the shut-off valve on the back side of the toilet. Usually a few vigorous pumps with the plunger will free the obstruction. Stoppages that are not construction related are the homeowner’s responsibility. If you are unable to clear the obstruction yourself, we suggest that you call a plumber.
Do not use drain cleaners in toilets. The harsh chemicals in drain cleaners can damage the toilet seals and cause a leak.
The flush valve in your toilet should last for many years. If it fails or begins to leak, a new flush valve can be purchased at a home center or hardware store. If you are not entirely comfortable with this do-it-yourself project, a plumber can perform this task.
Toilet Seat Cover
Do not stand on the toilet seat cover. It is not designed for this purpose and may crack.