FAQs

Hello, my name is Shawn Holdt and I’m the owner here at Prestige Plumbing LLC. I just wanted to share some thoughts and experiences with you as a professional and master plumber with more than 20 years in the trade. First of which being, I am constantly encountering people who do not know how to shut the water off to their own homes or commercial spaces. To me this is a BIG problem. In times of an emergency, knowing where and how to shut the water off to your property in a timely manner can save you tons of money in damages. I know it’s not something most folks think about, but when there’s a leak inside your home or business, and its ruining everything in it’s path, you will thank us for making this a part of your personal arsenal of knowledge. Next time a Prestige Plumbing technician comes to your home or business, don’t hesitate to ask them to show you where your water shut off is. Most importantly, does it actually function and shut off the water. If not, we can then talk about addressing your needs before they become an emergency. It’s the only kind of flood insurance I can offer you at this time. 

Here are some common plumbing questions Ive had from customers:

Can a solar hot water heating system really save us money?

Yes. Big time as a matter of fact, and a lot of people in Hawaii have already made the switch. Most folks don’t know this but most of the time, your home’s largest energy consumer is your electric water heater. For families of 3 or more, installing a solar water heater in your home is the best way to save money on your electric bill. Up to 40% as a matter of fact, and we know what electricity costs are like here in Hawaii. With Hawaii Energy’s rebate options for energy saving systems, you can save nearly 70% total cost on the system purchase price in the first year. That’s around $2000 for a typical residential installation after all rebates and tax credits are received thru them. Not to mention the money you will be saving on your electric bill… Prestige Plumbing is proud to be an Hawaii Energy partner enabling us to make that a reality for you thru us. You can find out about these rebates at their website @ https://hawaiienergy.com/for-homes/rebates/water-heating. Also, those of you that have older systems, you can do the same thing and get a whole new system for a few hundred dollars more than what it would cost you to replace a faulty portion of your existing system. Please call Prestige Plumbing for a free estimate to start saving money with solar hot water now. 

If I don’t want to install a solar hot water heating system but still want to save energy, what are some other options?

Another option to your run of the mill electric water heater would be a hybrid heater. Hybrid electric water heaters are equipped with a heat pump which works like an air conditioner in reverse. PWHs use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. To understand the concept of heat pumps, imagine a refrigerator working in reverse. While a refrigerator removes heat from an enclosed box and expels that heat to the surrounding air, a heat pump water heater takes the heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to water in an enclosed tank. During periods of high hot water demand, the heater will switch to standard electric resistance heat automatically. HPWH come with control panels that you to select from different operating modes. There are rebates for these types of heaters that are also available thru Hawaii Energy here @ https://hawaiienergy.com/for-homes/rebates/water-heating. 

Is there a better faucet brand than others?

I like to have fun with my customers, so I respond the same way every time to this one, “they all break the same”. YES, most people look at me funny when I say it, but it’s the truth. They do all “break the same”. I mean that in the sense that they all wear out and need parts eventually. Whether it’s that $2000 designer faucet from some exotic faraway place, or the fairly inexpensive Delta or Moen you’d find at any hardware or home improvement store, they do all break the same. For me, I think It just comes down to the customers individual preference and we get that here at Prestige Plumbing. However, when it comes time to service whatever fixture you end up going with, it’s usually a wise decision to buy something from one of the major brands that we all know and have come to recognize. Those would include Delta, Moen, Kohler, Etc. Otherwise, finding parts for that exotic faucet may become an issue and also could end up being pretty EXPENSIVE. I like to think of fixtures like cars. Its great to have that exotic sports car, until its time to have it repaired. 

Should I be worried about the pressure in my plumbing system?

Here in Hawaii, almost every home is equipped with a pressure reducing valve on the inlet water supply to the whole system (PRV). This device safeguards your home against the problems associated with excessive pressure buildup in the system. The supply from the city/meter can be upwards of 100 PSI in some areas depending on different factors. A reasonable or safe pressure would be somewhere around 50-60 PSI. Problems like leaking fixtures or burst water lines are a common problem from excessive water pressure. With age and time, the pressure reducing valve stops working as intended and pressure starts to build up in your water system. This does leave you at risk of something springing a leak inside of your home and creating a lot of water damage. Whether it be a supply tube under your bathroom sink, or the pressure relief valve opening and leaking on your water heater, both can create unbelievable damage in a matter of minutes. Next time Prestige Plumbing is at your home for a service call, ask our technician to test your water pressure to make sure you are safe. 

I woke up this morning to a cold shower. How can I get my hot water heater working again?

Well, depending on what kind of heater you have, it could be many different things. If it’s an electric water heater it could be the reset on the upper thermostat controls, heating elements or power supply to the appliance. If it’s a gas fired water heater, it could be the thermocouple, the gas valve, the gas pressure or venting issue. If it’s a solar hot water system, it could be your solar thermostat controller, the sensors, your recirculation pump or power supply to the appliances. Any way you slice it, it’s usually a little bit complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. Call today to have a Prestige Plumbing technician professionally diagnose the problem and get the hot water in your home working again. 

I just bought a new toilet at Home Depot. Can I install it myself?

Unless you’re comfortable with plumbing projects and have someone to help you with the lifting, you’ll probably want to leave a toilet installation to a Prestige Plumbing technician. Prestige Plumbing has performed thousands of toilet installations and is completely prepared for the unforeseen developments that often arise when replacing older plumbing fixtures. You never know what you will uncover when you pull that old toilet off the floor. I would say that at least 1/2 of the toilets we pull have anchoring issues at the floor. This is the most critical part of a sound toilet installation in terms of its seal to the floor being maintained. If its leaking from the base when flushed, there’s most likely an issue with the flange. So, in other words, leave the hard work to us and call to have your new toilet installed today. 

How do I fix a leaky faucet?

As easy as fixing a faucet may sound, each one has different parts and tricks to removing the internal parts. First thing you need to do is shut the water off to that fixture. Once you have the water shut off to the fixture, feel free to pull it apart and replace the parts as needed. If the leak persists, or you’re not confident in your plumbing expertise, call Prestige Plumbing to let our experienced plumbers fix that fixture today. We can also provide new fixture(s) if/when needed for replacement, with a wide selection including the popular Kohler, Delta, and Moen brands. We do carry a couple on the vans, but if you think you want to replace as opposed to repairing the existing faucet, you may want to pick one up before you schedule an appointment. 

My neighbor just experienced a sewer backup—should I be worried?

Not always, but perhaps. If you both live in older homes and neither you nor your neighbor have ever replaced your sewer pipes, chances are they are around the same age and operating in similar ground conditions. For instance, if your neighbor’s sewer is suffering from tree root damage, it’s likely that your yard has roots intruding in your sewer pipes as well, providing you also have trees in your yard. Prestige Plumbing can have a technician conduct a sewer pipe camera inspection which will include a video for your viewing. We’ll evaluate the condition of your existing sewer piping and determine if there are any areas of concern. Problems can include build up inside the sewer similar to our own arteries, root intrusion and back pitch or a belly which will cause the sewer to hold water when it should not. This is the only way you can really get a clear view of exactly what condition your sewer pipes are in. If you have a sewer that backs up frequently, please call us for an inspection before you experience another costly mess. 

Is a tankless water heater right for me?

Tankless water heaters save energy by only heating the water while its being used. They also never run out of hot water as they heat continuously as they are used which is what I love about them. If you like a long shower like I do to relax, a tankless may be the right fit for you. Although they are slightly more expensive than a traditional water heater to purchase initially, a tankless water heater could save you money over the life of the appliance by saving on energy costs and decreasing water wastage. They are offered in both gas and electric versions and can be mounted either inside, or outside. Tankless heaters require a routine maintenance to prevent failure of internal parts by flushing the unit with cleaning solutions anually . If you are considering an electric model, we would need to size one according to your homes needs and then check with an electrician to make sure you have sufficient wiring and/or power supply to the location of where the unit will be installed. The existing 220 electrical supplying your tank type heater is almost never enough to just throw a tankless heater in its place. Also, other things most people don’t realize, is that your home or business electrical panel and/or power service from the city may not even be sufficient either. If a tankless water heater sounds like it may fit your Ohana’s needs, please call Prestige Plumbing for some guidance in your tankless water heater selection and purchase. 

We’re going on vacation to the mainland for a couple of months to see our Grandkids. How can I be sure my house will be safe from a Plumbing emergency while Im gone?

Nothing is worse than returning home to a flooded mess of a home. To ensure that you won’t experience a pipe leak, a water heater leak or a simple supply tube bursting while you’re gone, let us turn off all the water to your home and drain things down whenever you will be gone for more than a few days. Please call us in preparation of your trip and we can handle everything for you before you leave and before you return home. If you do experience burst pipes or flooding, please call Prestige Plumbing to make any necessary repairs to get you up and running again. 

My disposal isn’t working? What could be wrong?

The unit could be jammed, and/or something stuck inside. The breaker controlling power to the plug could also be tripped and in off position in your electrical panel. The wall switch for the disposal could also be bad. If you are not comfortable diagnosing these kids of problems or you are still having problems with your disposal, please call Prestige Plumbing to have a technician examine the problem further. We carry new garbage disposals just in case you need a replacement. We stock the popular Insinkerator brand. 

How do I unclog a toilet?

Sometimes you can just use a plunger to unclog a toilet. First push down slowly, centering cup of plunger over the toilet drain hole. Push/pull up and down rapidly to unclog the obstruction. If the clog persists, call Prestige Plumbing to have a plumber examine the problem further. Sometimes it’s just a matter of experience but sometimes it’s also due to the age of the fixture hindering its performance. We can help in selection and provide you a new toilet, including the popular Toto, American Standard and Kohler brands. 

I think our grease trap needs to be cleaned—can my staff do that or do I need a plumber?

Grease traps should be cleaned regularly to prevent buildup. Depending on usage, monthly grease removal with a scoop or other tool may be sufficient. If your grease trap is hard to reach or heavily blocked, consider calling the Prestige Plumbing team to remove the grease and maintain the trap for you.

I own multiple properties—can Prestige Plumbing service all of my locations?

Prestige Plumbing can service your multiple business locations or rental properties. We service properties for multiple property managers around the island of Oahu. You as a resident manager know the importance of a quick response to a plumbing emergency at any one of your properties. Especially when the problem effects multiple tenants or suites. Our technicians have the experience and tools to handle whatever is happening inside your buildings. Please contact Prestige Plumbing to start your services today. 

Contact us at (808) 445-5070 or email to schedule a service call or a FREE estimate.