Robert Lamoureux: Garage and plumbing maintenance

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]
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Question No. 1

Hi Robert,

My son and I did some of the plumbing work ourselves on a bathroom remodel in our home. We had two shower valves and went down to a single valve but the problem with that is that once I set the temperature, the volume of water coming out is sometimes too much.

What can be done at this point, to control water volume now that we are using a single valve?

Gayle J. 

Answer No. 1 

Gayle,

This will require a volume control.

Hopefully on the back side of this shower, you may have a closet where you could cut into the drywall and access. You can purchase a volume control knob assembly at any big box store, and this will need to be installed.

The front of the valve will have to be opened (assuming you have tile) using a diamond bit hole saw that is the same diameter of the volume control knob assembly. Once you have this in place, it will do exactly what you are looking for, give you the ability to control the amount of water volume throughout your shower time. You’ll end up with two knobs, one for water volume and the other will control the temperature.

Problem solved! Good luck with this project, should be doable for you both, since you’ve already done a similar install with the original.

Let me know if you have further questions. 

Robert

Question No. 2 

I live in Canyon Country and in my garage, there is a large board that is cracked. I’ve attached a photo for you to see. Should I be concerned? I have a bedroom and theater above this, in case that information is also helpful with your input.

Josh G. 

Answer No. 2 

Josh,

This is absolutely a crack/split that is concerning.

If it were only “checkered” where the crack followed the horizontal grain, it wouldn’t be as concerning. This, however, is a solid crack that is diagonal starting at the bottom and going diagonal to the top.

Assuming this goes all the way to the top and is through the entire beam (I cannot confirm in this photo), this beam needs to be shored up immediately to avoid any possible catastrophes. From this moment forward and until this is repaired, there should be no persons or vehicles that enter this area other than a licensed and insured contractor that has experience in structural beam repair.

This is a potential life-threatening issue, and should be taken very seriously. This beam needs to be shored up immediately, meaning that a contractor will come in and literally set equipment up to hold this beam into place until a permanent repair can be made.

The shoring equipment will also aid in the replacement process, but a structural engineer needs to weigh in on this to call out the proper repair based on the rest of the structure/loads. The other thing is that if there is a second or third beam in this garage, those additional should have the drywall opened and these should be inspected, as well.

Once one is damaged, the stress of the load can damage additional beams also, which if left unrepaired, could leave you in the exact same predicament with life- safety issues.

Please heed this warning and advice and get this repaired immediately. 

Sincerely, 

Robert 

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