Plumbing Details

There are many plumbers in Nanaimo that can install a water heater, but do they do it correctly, and safely? This Blog will talk about water heater safety and common mistakes.

Yesterday I went to replace a standard water heater. When I was cutting it out, I noticed that the Temperature and Pressure relief valve (T&P) was jammed up against a 2×4. To the untrained, not a big deal. but in reality, it’s a huge deal.

The T&P is a safety device responsible for relieving excess pressure (Over 150psi). It’s also discharges steam/water when the temperature reaches over 210 degrees. The basic reasoning for this is to keep the tank within a safe limit. Without this device, your tank a could implode or explode, causing great damage. When I installed the new tank I made sure to install it so the T&P valve could open easily if needed.

Another thing I noticed was that the previous installer had the tank spun around so the drain at the bottom was near the back where it was not accessible. To the homeowner, it’s no big issue. But to the next installer, your setting them up for a challenge. I couldn’t get a hose on it to be able to drain the tank, luckily the piping was PEX, o i was able to spin it around. These little details might not mean much on their own, but together they separate the pros from the beginners.

Along with making sure the drain valve is accessible, is making sure the electrical elements or gas valve is accessible. Sometimes these parts fail and only they need to be replaced. If they’re easy to access, then the serviceman doesn’t have to drain the whole tank and spin it around to service the tank, which saves time and money for the homeowner.

These small details come with experience, and Norms plumbing and heating has that experience. We have been operating for 50 years right here in Nanaimo, and you don’t get there without the small details. If you ever need a new water heater, you can count on us. And remember, every water heater we install we donate directly to the Nanaimo Ladysmith School Foundation, which provides lunches for children in need.

To read more about our Tanks for lunch program, visit:

Tanks For Lunch

Home Plumbing and HVAC Inspection

The real estate marketing is still strong, and with interest rates dropping down to 1.99%, houses are going to be selling fast this summer. A house is an investment, you’re putting your hard earned money into a home for you and your family; the worst thing to happen is you find out your home is a money pit. We always recommend a home plumbing and hvac inspection done by a certified plumber & gas-fitter to ensure its proper functionality.

Plumbing Inspection

There are a few things that a general home inspector might not pick up on when they do their building inspection. Your hot water tank is the first thing we would look at. We want to know the date of it, the condition, and whether or not upgrading to a high efficiency tank is best for your situation.  It could be possible your tank is in fact leaking or very close to it.

Next we want to look at the type of pipe your plumbing has. Poly-B piping is the worst to have as it is very common for leaking. It is also difficult or expensive to get insurance if your home has this type of piping. If your home does have Poly-B, we can give you a rough estimate to change it out for new piping.

Your main water shut off valve is very important, not only to know where it is, but to know if it works. If you have an emergency leak in your house, knowing where that valve is and being able to turn in off can save you thousands of dollars in potential restoration costs.

HVAC Inspection

Having your homes’ HVAC system inspected is a quick process that if ignored, can leave you cold and stuck with a non working heat source. When we conduct an inspection on your hvac system, we will check what heat source you have. You may have an oil furnace, electric furnace, gas furnace, heat pump, or electric baseboards.

No matter what source of heat you have, we need to make sure it’s in good working order, and that it isn’t ready to break. Furnaces have many working parts and processes. If a furnace has been neglected or is very old, it’s not only more likely to have issues, but its not going to be an efficient heat source compared to modern furnaces.

Electric baseboards & furnaces are something to note as well. Electric baseboards are a very inefficient way to heat your home, especially if your home has natural gas available. Even if it doesn’t, there are other products to heat and cool your home, such as a ductless heat pump. If natural gas is available to your home, we can evaluate whether or not upgrading is right for you and your family.

natural gas nanaimo

If you have a Heat pump in your potential home, we can have our licensed HVAC technician inspect it to again ensure it is working properly and efficiently. Or, we could look at potentially adding an Air conditioner to your home for efficient cooling in the summer.



After reading this article, we hope you now consider having Norms Plumbing and Heating do a home plumbing and hvac inspection on your potential new home. Hopefully you learned more about what to look for when viewing a home, and know which questions to ask your real estate agent, too.

Nanaimo top plumber



How To Increase Your Indoor Air Quality

Ductless Heat Pumps in Nanaimo

The Valve That Could Save You Thousands

Coming into your home is about 100 PSI of water. Without a valve placed on that line, there would be no stopping that pressure and volume of water should there be a leak. You might know where you valve is and how to operate it, but some people don’t. The purpose of this blog is to educate our customers and explain the risks of not knowing where it is, and also the benefits of knowing where it is.

Why you need to know where your main water shut off is?
  1. Emergency situations: In the case of a plumbing emergency, such as a water leak, knowing where that valve is could save you tons of money on your restoration bill. Just imagine water leaking in your home, and you scrambling around not knowing where to shut it off. Now your waiting for someone from the city or your plumber to come out and shut your water off from the street. Now you’re having to deal with huge water damage restoration, an insurance claim, and a big avoidable mess.

Another situation is you have a water leak, you go to your main water shut off; subside the issue until your plumber comes to fix it. The potentially huge water damage is minimized to a small drywall repair and a small plumbing bill.


2.  Easy for plumbing upgrades: If you have a plumber at your house, it’s a huge relief for us when we don’t have to go searching throughout your house to find your shut off.

So where is you’re valve and does it even work?

You’re main water valve usually located on the ground floor or in you’re basement, or near you’re hot water tank. It will also be beside your homes Pressure Reducing Valve, which reduces down the city pressure of up to 150psi down to about 70psi.

Even though you have a main water shut off, and you know where it is, doesn’t mean it works! We come into a lot of situations where these valves actually wear out and don’t work.

Types Of Valves
  1. Straight stop valve

This type of valve isn’t as common as valves replaced in residential homes today. This is the valve more commonly found in your home if it hasn’t been replaced yet. It’s harder to turn, and commonly fails after a long time.

2. Ball Valve

This valve is the most common valve that replaces straight stop valves. It is more effective, easier to use, and less likely to wear out and fail. The reason we use this valve for the main water sut off valve is because it wont stick and its so easy to turn off in the case of an emergency.


I hope you found this blog educating and valuable, as knowing where your main water shut off is can save you thousands of dollars. If you need help locating your main water shut off, or want a 1hr home evaluation on your plumbing and heating systems, give your local experts a call!

Norms plumbing and heating is a family owned and operated company. We have been operating in Nanaimo since 1971 and are Nanaimo’s largest residential plumbing and heating service crew.

Bath Reno’s and Why You Should Choose Norm’s

There have been lots of companies offering bathroom renovations in Nanaimo lately, and sometimes we have to shake our heads on the process on how they convert you into a new tub or shower. Just to clarify somethings, we have a lot of experience in bath and shower renovations and work closely with contractors, landlords, renters, and property managers; we know a thing or two when it comes to your Nanaimo bathroom renovation.

The Difference

There are some companies that won’t remove your existing tub, however, will place a new one over it, making it look pretty. While this is less messy, it’s also a good way to cause more issues. By doing that, they’re simply putting a band-aid over your tub and leaving old pipes, valves, drainage, and maybe even rotten boards underneath your tub.

As a professional in the trade, this is the correct way to reno your bathroom. Leaving your customer with an old problem causing pipes and drainage is not good practice.

The professionals at Norm’s Plumbing and Heating will completely remove your old tub. We will ensure the floor underneath is strong and not rotten, as well as no mold behind the walls. We’ll also install a new shower valve, shower head, and waste and overflow for your drainage. We guarantee our work; we often complete the job in a day, and work with you to ensure your happy and completely satisfied with the work –  without just covering up the problem.

If your interested in renovating your bathroom, or have any other plumbing, heating, or air conditioning projects, feel free to call us for a free quote.

Norm’s Plumbing and Heating

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All About Tankless Water Heaters

Have you heard about a tankless water heater? Wonder what it is or how it works? What are the benefits of a tankless water heater are?

Then this blog is for you!

Tankless water heaters, or on demand water heaters, are simply a home water heating appliance that doesn’t store your hot water, however, heats the water as it passes through it.

Tankless water heaters are very popular, and they should be. They have so many benefits and last twice as long as a conventional tank; more if maintained properly.

How does a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater Work?
  • When the need for hot water arises by turning on a shower, washing machine, dishwasher or faucet, cold water flows into the Rinnai Tankless Water Heater from the inlet pipe at the bottom of the heater.
  • The flame is ignited and heats the two heat exchangers that are included in the Super High Efficiency models.
  • Water is preheated as it passes through a stainless steel heat exchanger, capturing any extra heat (or latent heat) before it escapes into the vent system.
  • Water continues to be heated as it passes through the heat exchanger, and exits from the hot water outlet pipe to travel through the pipes of the home to the water fixture where hot water is needed.
  • The tankless water heater will adjust flame output as needed to ensure the temperature set point is maintained.
  • As the hot water fixture shuts off, cold water stops flowing into the tankless water heater and the flame extinguishes. The tankless water heater is now off until the next time hot water is needed!
So what are these benefits of a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater
  1. Endless Hot Water

When demand is high, a traditional tank can leave you cold, or having to wait 1 hour before getting hot water again. The Rinnai Tankless Water Heater heats water as it passes through the pipes, allowing you to have endless hot water. Plus, Rinnai’s technology allows you to have no tank, no storage, no pilot light, but gives you ultra-efficient heating coils – you have the power to use up to 40% less energy than a traditional water heater!

       2. Save Valuable Space

Traditional tanks take up valuable space is closets, garages, attics, or basements. With the Rinnai Tankless Water Heater you get that space back. The Rinnai Tankless Water Heater is about the size of a suitcase and gets hung on the wall, conveniently, safely, and out of sight.

       3. Affordable, Efficient Savings

Trading up to a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater is an investment in your home and your comfort. Thankfully FortisBC is offering grants regarding installation of a Tankless Water Heater in replacement of a traditional tank. Plus Rinnai’s Tankless Water Heater is energy efficient and cuts CO2 emissions compared to a traditional tank. Since it only heats water when you need it, it saves you tons on your water heating cost, especially if your upgrading from electric.

      4. Total Confidence

You expect the best for your home, so it makes sense to trust the #1 selling gas tankless water heater brand in North America. With a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater you’ll enjoy the total confidence that comes with over 30 years of innovation, support, and integrity. Plus, when you choose Norms Plumbing and Heating, your choosing a Rinnai Ace Dealer, specialized to install and service your Rinnai Tankless Water Heater.


Why Rinnai Is The Leader In The Industry!
  • Fully Stainless steel Heat Exchanger = No Rust, Ever!
  • Self Developed Gas Valve Resulting In Not Needing A Buffer Tank; And Eliminates The Water Sandwich Effect
  • Each Unit Can Meet The Demand Of 1-24 Bathrooms
  • An Impressive 15 Year Warranty (Plus 5 More When We Install It)
  • Endless Product Innovation & Expertise

As always, Norm’s is a family owned and operated company that has been serving Nanaimo and area for over 45 years. We strive to lead the industry in expertise, product knowledge, and customer satisfaction.


Link to Rinnai’s Webiste

FortisBC rebates page






Tips to check your Homes Plumbing

We often get calls from customers sincerely curious about the proper function their homes plumbing systems. Most of the time the homeowner can do a general check of their system on their own. But what does this check look like? It’s as easy of looking as looking at pipes, but can involve a tiny bit of hands on too.

  1. Main Water Shut Off

One of the most important things to check in your home is the main water shut off. This is usually located in a basement, or near the hot water tank. Once located, shut it off and ensure it actually works. Once shut off, just turn on a tap and see if water continues to come out. If it works, great! Next step is to label it and make sure your whole family knows where it is. Knowing where your main water shut off is and ensuring it works can be the difference between a small leak and a flooded house.

If it doesn’t work, please call us to have it replaced immediately.

2. Hot Water Tank

Another part of your homes plumbing system that should be checked is your hot water tank. You should be checking for signs of leaking. The signs of a leaking tank are water underneath it or rusting drips coming out of the panels or seams. A leaking tank should be replaced sooner rather than later. It’s one of those things that if you don’t do it now, it’s only going to cause more damage left alone. Also, nobody likes to be left without hot water. For peace of mind, you should also check the age of your tank. Depending on the tank, they usually last 8-10 years. Most tanks come with a date embedded in a code on the rating plate. Most of the time you can google the brand on the model/serial number. If you aren’t able to decode it yourself, feel free to call us.

3. Drains

Checking drains is more of a preventative measure. It’s less of an emergency, but still, good practice to maintain your home. What you can do is visually inspect under your kitchen sink and also your bathroom sinks. If you notice water underneath then you should have us come and fix your drains. You can also check their function by plugging the drain, filling up your sink, tub, then pulling the plug and watching how fast/slow they drain.  A very slowly draining basin can indicate a plug downstream. You can keep a note of it or get your drains cleaned by us. We do not recommend using chemical cleaners as they can deteriorate your pipes.

4.  Valves

An important one to check every month or so are your valves. These include the valves on your supply lines leading to your sinks and toilet. They will most likely be small chrome valves, and what you’re checking for is simply water underneath them. These should be changed as quickly as possible since behind these valves are full pressure from your main valve – lets hope that’s working.

If you are unsure about any of the topics mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’re always happy to assist you over the phone, or if need be we can come to check your home’s plumbing for you. We hope you learned something new, and maybe we helped you prevent a future disaster.

Norm’s Plumbing and Heating is a family owned and operated company since 1971. We’re staffed with 9 journeyman Plumber/Gasfitters and can make it to your house the day of your call on most occasions.

You can email us Here, or find us on Facebook Here.