Below you will find tips and tricks that could save you costly repair bills and waste of energy/water. More information will be added from time to time to help our customers cut done on repairs and save money.
Winter Plumbing Tips
There are many plumbing tips for the winter season. We would like to pass on some of these tips to our customers and viewers. These tips can help save you money, time and headache for the future months to come.
With temperatures getting to near or at freezing many problems can occur:
It is a great idea to disconnect all water hoses outside. When the water freezes it can build back into the home causing pipe breakage.
If water lines are exposed it is necessary to insult them to protect them from the exterior conditions. You can also buy small insulator cups that cover hose bibs.
Closing vents around the foundation of the house will help keep the cold air from penetrating under the house which could freeze the water lines.
A first sign of pipes freezing or breaking is low water pressure. Keep an eye on how hard the water comes from faucets and valves. If you feel that your water lines are not insulated enough or want to be on the safe side you can leave faucets to slightly run to keep the water lines from freezing. If this is your position then a stream no wider then a pencil lead width will suffice.
If leaving or not using certain rooms in home where water lines are located please be sure that the temperature is around 55 degrees.
These are some tips to help make these months easier on your pocket and plumbing. If you notice leaking or wish for your pipes to be inspected please feel free to contact us. We are here to help prevent problems with your plumbing.
With the summer here, home activities are buzzing. We always seem to accumulate more dirty clothes during these summer months. It may be time to check your washer hoses and connections for leaks, bulges or cracks. Also check your dryer vents for lint build-up.
Be careful with what is put down your disposal. Many popular cookout style foods can harm them such as cornhusks, banana peels, and other stringy foods. Do not put fats or cooking oils down your drains as this can cause build up in the drain pipes and cause a clog.
If you go on vacation you may want to turn off your water heaters power source and water source as this will save you from heating water while you are away and stop the chances of the water heater having a leak while you are gone.
Faucets, Sinks, and Hose Bibbs
Small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water annually with as much as 150 gallons a day being wasted!!! Be sure to check under sinks for moisture or small leaks. Repair leaky faucets as soon as possible to avoid paying for wasted water and also to avoid water damage to your fixtures and pipes. Water leaking under cabinets can create corrosion on pipes and damage to wood/molding. The cost to repair leaking piping is minimal compared to the cost of replacing damaged wood and cabinets!
Over time metal water lines will build up rust and mineral deposits. This is especially evident in older homes. Debris can also build up in water lines over time. Remove and clean your faucet aerators annually to ensure an even flow of water.
Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanities are clear and open to prevent water damage to floors and ceilings. These overflows will help keep tubs and sinks from overflowing onto the floor.
At least once a year, drain water from the hot water storage tank. Over time sediment/mineral deposits will build up at the bottom of the water heater. This can lower water heater efficiency and cause damage to heating elements in electric water heaters. Continued sediment/mineral deposit buildup in your water heater will also cause damage to the storage tank itself over time resulting in lowering the life of your water heater.
Water heaters that show any signs of rust either at the top or especially the bottom of the water heater is a sure sign that your water heater is going to leak at some point in time. Many times we have been called to homes during holidays, etc to replace rusted out water heaters. The old saying that "if it can happen, it will" is a word to the wise when facing a rusting water heater!!! These should be replaced to avoid waking up to a flooded house from a busted or leaking water storage tank!!!!
At least once every two years, have your water heater inspected by a service technician. He or she will also check the drain valve for signs of leakage.
Gas Water Heaters
You should also periodically inspect your water heater burner. The flame under the heater should appear blue with yellow tips. If it's mostly yellow, or if it's sooty under there, your flue may be clogged, which is a dangerous situation. You can turn off the gas and make sure the pilot light is not lit and blow out the gas chamber with pressurized air or you can contact a professional to check it out.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are quickly becoming a growing trend with homeowners. Many of our customers are doing away with costly water storage tank type water heaters and replacing them with the more efficient tankless ones. These heaters are not instantaneous water heaters but they do heat water as you use it. This keeps from heating storage water over and over again. These types of water heater can be electric or gas.
All tankless water heaters, gas and electric regardless of brand name, need to be serviced annually. Servicing consists of flushing mineral deposits out the water heater. If these mineral deposits are not flushed out they can build up and cause irreversible damage to the heater and internal mechanism which controls the operation of the Tankless water heater.
Toilet leaks can be wasteful and expensive. At least once a year, check your toilet for leaks by adding a small amount of red food coloring to the tank, and then check the toilet bowl later. If the toilet bowl water is colored red, water is seeping through the tank. If it is leaking, you should replace the Flapper in the tank.
To help prevent clogs, fit all your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips, and clean the strainer regularly. Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats solidify in the drain pipes and create clogs. Avoid using caustic liquid drain openers (like Draino or Liquid Plumber) on a drain that is completely clogged. The caustic ingredients are trapped in your pipes, and it can severely damage them. If you can't snake the drain yourself, contact a professional to do so. You can extend the life of your garbage disposal by: Using plenty of cold water when running it. Making sure you avoid overloading it. Don't dispose of things like bones, potato peelings, shrimp shells, rice, or corn husks. Never use a caustic drain opener. Once every three months, use 1/2 cup clean cooking oil to help lubricate the inside of the garbage disposal.