March 24, 2017

Plumbing

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While the wonders of modern plumbing are myriad, seeing a plumber in your home is never wonderful. That’s because said visit is usually precipitated by something going wrong. Plumbing systems are complex. Add to the fact that so much of your plumbing is invisible–behind walls, between floors, and in the basement—and it’s easy to see why it’s important to call in the experts whenever trouble strikes.

What you don’t see may hurt you

We’re all familiar with the common plumbing repairs of faucets and shower bodies, leaking pipes beneath the kitchen sink, and the common running toilet. But, attached to these common household fixtures (and buried in the walls) are separate piping systems for hot and cold water distribution, waste and storm drainage, gas distribution, and the all-important ventilation–without which drainage doesn’t flow properly.

Fred Smith specializes in the repair and maintenance of all these invisible systems. After nearly a century of working in NYC buildings, troubleshooting skills are like a sixth sense to us. (One happy client once referred to us as “The Plumbing Whisperer.”) Tracking down complex problems and knowing when, where, and how to open a wall is our specialty.

Common plumbing system problems we solve include:

System Leaks

Leaks can occur at any point in a system and often are very tricky to troubleshoot because the place where the problems present themselves can be a long way from the source. Knowing when and where to open a wall — and doing it with minimal damage and expense is almost an art form. And it’s one we have mastered.

Lack of Water Pressure or Hot Water

What New Yorker hasn’t suffered this problem before work? A multitude of reasons can cause these problems – corrosion in the branch piping or defective valves, faulty fixtures or mechanical equipment, air circulating in the system, a buildup of sediment somewhere, and the list goes on. Whatever the issue, we’ve got our own set of diagnostic protocols and they always work. Faster than you can sing your favorite shower medley, we’ll find the culprit and make things right.

Broken Valves

Plumbing systems have many moving parts and valves are one of them. Valves get broken – in every system – usually just from years of use. Sometimes replacement is the only remedy and that can be expensive. To save you that expense, Fred Smith is the only company that keeps a vast supply of old valve parts in stock and ready to go. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that our warehouse is kind of like the Smithsonian of plumbing.

Installation of Water Meters

The City requires water meters on most buildings and provides strict guidelines on how to install them. Filing the work with the appropriate NYC agency is made easy by Fred Smith’s full time expediter.

Backflow Prevention

New York State and NYC are both concerned about the prevention of the reverse flow of contaminated water into a building’s water supply. Fred Smith installs backflow preventers and employs a full time certified tester who is well versed in these systems.

Gas Distribution Systems

Needless to say, special care must be taken when working on gas lines. Filings and tests must be done by both the Department of Buildings and Con Edison. Fred Smith Plumbing responds to gas problems immediately, is able to work closely with Con Edison and the City to remedy the problem quickly and in compliance with all codes and regulations. Fred Smith is considered the best in the city when it comes to managing large gas projects–we have the experience and manpower to get your building turned back on when Con Edison turns it off.

DID YOU KNOW...

Your pre-war apartment's charm also comes with pre-war plumbing. In fact, the average Park Avnue building's infrastructue is over 85 years old. Rely on us to keep it running smoothly.

"A year from now you may wish you had started today."

- Karen Lamb