Robert Lamoureux: Replacing window seal simple, but costly

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 name is Michael J. I’m in Stevenson Ranch, and my home is about 15 years old.

Two of the windows in my home have what looks like water in between the panes. Do I have to remove the entire window to repair this or can the damaged pane be fixed?

This is driving both my wife and I crazy, so we’d like to get it fixed as soon as possible.
— Michael H.

Answer No. 1
Michael,

This is a simple one. The large rubber seal between the panes has failed, allowing the gas to escape and moisture to enter.

Call a glazier, which is a window company, and they will come out to measure, remove and replace the panes. They will fabricate new glass and reinstall, which is costly, but it is by far less than to install a whole new window.

This will take care of the problem and you will be good to go for a long time.
I am happy to offer a local referral should you need one, just reach back out.

Good luck.
— Robert

Question No. 2
Hi, Robert,

We have enjoyed your column for many years and have submitted questions several times.

We now have a new one for you. Within the past few months, we have periodically heard a high-pitched squealing noise. We noticed it when the washing machine in the garage is filling with water, and I noticed it recently early in the morning and saw the front sprinklers were finishing cycling through the last station.

We also notice it in our downstairs bathroom, where it is the loudest, which is right by the door to the garage.

It does not seem to do it every time. For example, I just turned on the front sprinklers, and there is NO sound.

Thanks so much for any explanation and hopefully a fix to this.
— Bob and Donna B.

Replacing the pressure reducing valve (PRV) is likely to stop the squealing noise a reader hears from time to time when water is running, according to contracting expert Robert Lamoureaux.
Courtesy photo

Answer No. 2
Bob,

I’d start with the pressure reducing valve (PRV). If it’s restricted that could be the source of the squealing throughout the home. The PRV is either in the garage and or in front of the house.

You can get a water pressure gauge at a big box store and check the pressure by installing the gauge on any of your exterior water bibs that are attached to the house.

The pressure should be between 55 to maximum 80 psi. I would recommend that the PSI be set at around 60 pounds.

The reason for 60 pounds or so is it allows a good pressure and less volume loss than if you go to 80 pounds of pressure, which loses a lot of volume of water and is wasteful. Hope that explanation makes sense.

The screen at the bottom of the PRV may also be dirty. Open up the bowl at the bottom and make sure the water isn’t being restricted by a dirty screen.

Let me know if that doesn’t work.
— Robert

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