No More Hot Water: When It’s Time To Have Your Water Heater Repaired Or Replaced

While you can try to problem solve your water heater on your own, if you go down to the basement and can’t figure out what’s wrong with your water heater, it’s time to call a professional. If your water heater is gas, the issue can be as simple as a pilot light going out. If it’s electric, make sure that the circuit hasn’t tripped to ensure the heater has a power source. If you have no hot water, your tank is leaking, or your hot water heater produces water with a weird color, you probably need some help from a place like Albert’s Plumbing & Drain Service

When Strange Noises Come From Your Water Heater

Over time, sediment can build up in your water heater. The small particles start to move around as the water inside the heater is warmed up. The sediment can hit the sides of your tank, making a banging noise. If there’s too much sediment, this can cause problems with how your hot water heater functions. You can have your water heater drained and cleaned out, if this is the only problem with your water heater at this time.

If Your Hot Water is Discolored

If the hot water coming from your tank is discolored, your tank is corroding from the inside. This is a sign that it’s time to replace your water heater because eventually the tank is going to corrode completely through, causing a big leak in your home. Discolored water from the corrosion isn’t useful and potentially hazardous to you and your family.

When the Tank is Leaking

A hot water tank can leak for a number of reasons. If the problem is a rusted out tank, you need to get a new one. If the problem is because a fitting has come loose, then your tank only needs to be repaired. Check the color of the water coming from the leak. If it’s clear, you may not need to replace your tank.

If Your Water Isn’t Hot Enough

If your water is no longer getting hot enough, the first thing you should do is check the water temperature dial on your tank. Turn up the temperature, and see if that works. There could be a problem with your tank, or your spouse could have turned down the temperature without your knowledge. When your water still isn’t getting hot enough, contact a technician who can help diagnose and fix the problem. You don’t want to be left without hot water in your home for too long.

About A Dirty Plumbing System

Does your house smell like sewage all of the time? If you are unable to get rid of the foul odor no matter what you do, it is possible that you simply need to get the plumbing system cleaned. There might be a little sewage sitting inside of the plumbing system due to debris creating a blockage. Below, you will learn more about dirty plumbing systems.

How Can a Plumbing System Make a House Smell Bad?

There are numerous things that can cause the plumbing system to develop a foul odor. The odor can become strong enough to come out of plumbing fixture drains, which is what you are likely experiencing. Letting food go down drains can eventually lead to the development of a foul odor. However, cooking oil is one of the most common food products that can accumulate inside of pipes and cause a strong odor. Human waste can also get trapped inside of the plumbing system and make a house smell foul.

What Are Signs That Sewage Sits in the Pipes?

Other than smelling a foul odor coming out of plumbing fixture drains, there are several other signs that sewage sits in the plumbing system. For example, you might not be able to quickly drain water out sinks as you were able to in the past. The water pressure from faucets can also become greatly decreased when there is sewage sitting in pipes, which will sometimes cause water to trickle out. Flushing toilets is not a smooth task with sewage in pipes, as you end up having to flush more than one time to make waste go down. In the worst case scenario, you will not be able to use a plumbing fixture at all if too much sewage sits inside of the plumbing system.

How Can a Plumber Clean Out a Plumbing System?

Several cleaning techniques are used for cleaning out plumbing systems. A plumber will likely base the technique used on the specific condition of your home plumbing system. For example, if he or she detects large amounts of sewage and debris in the pipes, a pump might be used to push everything out. For a minor case of sewage accumulating, a snake might be used as a cleaning tool. The most thorough technique used for cleaning out a plumbing system is via jetting, which can break up tough debris and release high-pressured water into the pipes.

For more information, contact local professionals like Brad’s Plumbing.

Removing Hair Clogs From Your Bathtub Drain

If you have a bathtub drain that is currently clogged and only allowing a small trickle of water through, then this is a telltale sign that you have a large accumulation of hair in the drain. Hair is difficult to remove, but you can try to get rid of it before calling in a plumbing professional. Keep reading to learn how.

Dissolve The Hair

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin and long bands of the cells make up a hair shaft. Keratin cells divide in the scalp just underneath each follicle. Within each hair bulb, the cells attach to one another. The blood nourishes the protein and hormones cause the hair to grow. When this happens, the shaft lengthens and protrudes out the follicle. The follicle will go through a phase where it shrinks and the hair will then fall out. 

Hairs are most likely to fall out when the shrinking follicle is stressed in some way. Washing your hair in the shower is one way the hair becomes stressed. When hair falls out, the proteins do not degrade like the skin cells. They stay strong and resilient, and this is why the hair can easily clog your drains. This hair can be dissolved though, and this can happen when different chemicals are poured down your drain.

Both bleach and sulfuric acid can dissolve the protein in your hair. However, you cannot mix these two chemicals together. Choose one or the other and pour a generous amount down the clogged drain. Allow the chemical to sit for several hours. You will typically see water moving more consistently through the drain as the hair melts away.

Grab The Hair

If you are not successful in dissolving the hair, then you can try to grab it and pull it out of the drain as well. If the clog is close to the surface, then this may be as easy as bending a wire clothes hanger, reaching it through the drain opening, and pulling the ball of hair out. Try this first. If this does not work, then you will need a drain snake. You can but the short, flexible, and manual snakes at your local home store. 

If you can find a snake with a hook end, then this tool will work well for your needs. The hook will grab the clog so it can be pulled up and out of the drain. If you use a snake with just a spear end, then this can force the hair clog down further into the drainage pipe. For assistance, talk to a professional like Rolling Bay Plumbing.

4 Danger Signs That Your Water Heater Is Going To Need A Plumber

A failing water heater is a big problem and one that should not be ignored. If you simply put off bringing in a plumber, you might end up with more than just lukewarm water, you might have a flooded basement, or worse yet, a big explosion. So, here are four danger signs that you should be on the lookout for. If you notice any of these issues, don’t hesitate to contact a plumber.

The Water Is Rusty

You should periodically empty out the hot water heater and flush it. This is done so that any sediment in the heater is flushed out. If you have not done this, and the anode rod was not replaced, then you might have an accumulation of rust in the tank. If you notice that the hot water is rusty, then you should head downstairs and check the tank. You can do this by draining out some of the water by opening the drain valve and letting it empty into a bucket. If, after the first few buckets, the water continues to come out rusty, then there is a good chance the inside of the tank is heavily corroded. You will need a plumber to come out and inspect it to determine to what extent the damage is done.

You Hear Banging From The Heater

If you hear banging coming from the tank, then it could be a problem with a build up of minerals. This is frequently caused by neglecting to replace the anode rod. The anode rod is made of magnesium, which attracts other minerals. If the rod is left to wither to nothing, then those minerals that don’t make it to the rod will settle and harden at the bottom of the tank and bang around. This can eventually cause serious problems to the heater and require a full replacement

Lack Of Hot Water

This is an obvious sign, but one that can be a serious issue. It might be caused by an excess of minerals in the bottom of the tank (creating a lack of space for warm water) but it could also be caused by a bad valve. It’s quite dangerous to try and work on a value on your water heater if you don’t understand the system. You should always bring in a plumber. At best, you risk resetting the vales to the wrong setting, at worst you could cause an explosion.

Leaking Pressure Release Valve

Finally, the most serious issue is a leaking pressure release valve. If the valve is damaged, and it allows a bit of water to leak out, then it needs to be fixed. This valve is crucial for preventing an explosion, and you don’t want to ignore it. Some people, when they see a leaking vale, are even tempted to put a cap over it. Don’t do this! It is incredibly dangerous and might end up killing your entire family. Just contact a plumber, like one from Erickson Plumbing & Heating.

Four Things You Can Do To Keep Your Pipes From Bursting

It’s every homeowner’s worse nightmare: on a frigid morning, you turn on your faucet for a hot shower or warm cup of hot cocoa, only to be met with silence. During the winter months, pipes have a tendency to freeze due to the cold temperatures. Frozen pipes aren’t just an inconvenience; if they bust, you’re looking at a significant repair bill. Keep your pipes from freezing by following these tips.

1. Increase the Temperature Around the Pipes

The easiest way to keep your pipes from freezing is to increase the temperature directly around the pipes. There are a few ways you can do this, depending on the position of the pipes.

A simple way to keep your pipes warm is to open the cabinets that contain the pipes. This allows heat to circulate to the pipes, keeping the pipes from freezing. 

You can also wrap your pipes with pipe insulation or heating tape. Both exterior and interior pipes can benefit from wrapping.

2. Let Your Faucets Slightly Drip

You can minimize the chance of your pipes freezing by keeping water moving throughout the pipes during extreme temperatures.

Turn your faucets slightly on so that they drip lukewarm water. Some homeowners hesitate to do this due to concerns over increases in their water bill. However, repair bills from busted pipes are generally much more costly than a slightly more expensive water bill.

If waste is a concern, collect the water using a jug or container so that you can use it for cleaning or watering your plants.

3. Disconnect Outside Hoses

Since outside pipes are prone to freezing, make sure you disconnect any outside hoses. Once the hoses are disconnected, install covers on your outside faucets.

When garden hoses are left connected, it is possible for ice to form within the hoses and their faucets. The buildup of ice puts strain on your home’s pipes, making them more likely to burst during freezing temperatures.

4. Improve Your Home’s Insulation

Keeping your home toasty helps minimize pipe freezing. As an added bonus, better insulation also decreases your utility bills. Ideally, the temperature in your home should be in the upper 60s to effectively fight frozen pipes.

Start with the windows, and check them for drafts. Install new weatherstripping in windows that are letting cold air into your home.

If the walls of your home or your home’s attic are lacking in insulation, install more to help your home retain heat. It is especially important to thoroughly insulate unheated areas and exterior portions of your home. For more information, contact a company like Garabedian Plumbing & Heating Inc.

2 Steps To Take To Keep Your Septic System In Good Condition

A septic system can often be a little bit tricky for many people to properly maintain, mostly because it has its own set of quirks and issues that don’t really come up with a traditional sewage system. Listed below are two steps you can take to keep your septic system in good condition.

Try To Flush Only Septic Safe Items

One of the easiest steps that you can take to keep your septic system in good condition is to try to flush only items that are septic safe down your drains or toilet. In most cases, septic safe means items that will be able to break down in a timely manner once they are in the septic tank. This is very important because, if items do not break down quickly in a septic tank, they can very easily cause the tank to become full earlier than normal, which can lead to the tank becoming damaged or overflowing.

Some of the most common items that you will want to keep out of your septic tank will include cloth, plastic, metals, and any type of animal bones. In many cases, the aforementioned items will either take many months or years to break down, if they break down all.

In addition, you can also consider purchasing septic safe items to use around your home that were specifically made to break down quickly once they are in the septic tank. Examples of this include septic safe toilet paper and paper towels that do not take quite as long to break down in the tank as their traditional variants or septic safe kitty litter that does not clump up as hard as traditional litter and will also break down in a septic tank. 

Hire A Pumping Service

Another important step to take in order to keep your septic system in good condition is to hire a pumping service. A pumping service will be able to come to your property and remove all of the waste from the septic tank. It is very important that you follow this step and have the septic tank pumped out fairly regularly even if you do not notice any problems with your septic system.

The reason for this is that by the time you notice any problems with your septic tank, it is usually far too late to resolve the issue inexpensively. For example, some of the most common signs that something is wrong with your septic tank include a flooded yard or sewage that has happened to back up into your home, both fairly disgusting and expensive issues to resolve. If you are unsure about how often you should empty your septic tank, speak with a septic tank service and discuss the size of your household and they should be able to provide you with a reliable pumping schedule that you can utilize.

Contact a plumber or septic service today to discuss what they would recommend that you do in order to protect your septic system. In order to keep your septic system in good condition, it is important that you try to flush only septic safe items down your drains and toilet while also hiring a pumping service on a regular basis.

2 Reasons to Use a Plumber for Drain Cleaning Rather Than Doing It Yourself

One of the worst plumbing issues that can come up with your home is a backed up or clogged drain, usually because this leads to quite a few sanitation issues, such as waste that will not exit the house or sewage backing up into your home. Listed below are two reasons why you should use a plumber for your drain cleaning rather than attempting to do it yourself.

Some Clogs Are Hard to Get to

One of the biggest reasons to hire a plumber to handle all of your drain cleaning needs is that some of the clogs that can affect your drains can often be very hard to get to. For example, the clog that is affecting your drain could actually be located very deep down inside of your pipe system, which means that traditional drain cleaners or tools may not be able to reach those drains. As a result, a lot of work may be necessary in order to disassemble your pipe network in order to reach the affected pipe in order to actually be able to remove the clog, which is a time-consuming task that is best left to a plumber.

Another example of a clog that could be very hard to get to is if the clog exists in your sewer line. In many cases, the clog can develop in the sewer line outside of your home, which means that it may be necessary to dig up the line before being able to do any work on the clog.

Some Chemicals Are Dangerous to Keep around

Another reason to consider hiring a plumber to handle your drain cleaning needs instead of doing it yourself is the toxicity of many of the drain cleaning products. While keeping caustic and toxic drain cleaning chemicals around your house isn’t really going to be that big of a danger for you, it can pose a very real danger if you have children or pets in the house as accidentally ingesting or spilling those chemicals can do a lot of damage to a person or animal. Instead of taking the unnecessary risk of keeping these drain cleaning chemicals around, you can simply hire a plumber who will bring the chemicals with him or her while cleaning out the drains and then take the chemicals with him or her when the job is done, thus eliminating the danger to your children and animals.

Contact your local plumber today in order to discuss your drain cleaning needs and how he or she may be able to help you with them. A plumber is a good alternative to cleaning out your drained yourself because some of the clogs that cause clogged drains are hard to get to and some of the chemicals that are used to clear the drains can be very dangerous to keep around the house.

4 Types of Toilets to Consider for Your Plumbing Needs

Toilets are the central fixture within every bathroom. However, though they all perform the same basic function, there are a wide variety of different types of toilets available on the market, each of which operates in a specific way. Understanding the differences between the most common types of toilets can help you choose the one that best fits your home plumbing needs.

High-Efficiency Toilets

HETs are becoming increasingly more common, though they are still rarer when compared to traditional gravity fed toilets. These types of toilets use very little water to flush away waste, making them much more environmentally friendly than their standard counterparts. These types of toilets can help you reduce your water bills over time, which helps to offset their somewhat higher initial cost when compared to traditional toilets.

Dual Flush Toilets

Dual flush toilets are almost always also HETs, as they are designed to reduce the overall amount of water that is used with each flush. Like their name would suggest, dual flush toilets have two different flush options, with one designed to take away liquid waste and another for solid waste. This allows you to maintain a highly efficient rate of water use without having to worry about your toilet clogging due to a lack of water when removing solid waste.

Wash Down Toilets

Wash down toilets are an alternative type of toilet that make use of much less water in the bowl. Instead, they make use of a wide diameter pipe to remove waste, and use the weight of the water in the tank to “wash down” the waste in the bowl. This means that wash down toilets are much less likely to clog when compared to traditional gravity fed toilets, reducing the overall amount of maintenance that you will likely have to do on your toilet. However, the lack of water that sits in the bowl means that these types of toilets will require more cleaning than traditional models.

Pressure Assist

Pressure assist toilets are another type of alternative flushing toilets. These toilets make use of pressurized air to help the water in the bowl move waste down the plumbing of your home. This makes them more efficient and less likely to clog than gravity fed toilets, but also comes at the cost of having a much louder flush. While this isn’t an issue too much of the time, it can be annoying in the middle of the night, especially for homeowners with young children. 

For more information about these and other types of toilets, contact companies like Crown Plumbing INC. 

Sources Of Energy Loss When Heating A Space

Heating a space through the winter can create a big energy bill, but it often doesn’t have to be as expensive as it is. There are a few sources of heating inefficiency that you might try to address with your heating contractor to reduce energy loss.

The Heating System Isn’t in Good Condition

HVAC and furnace maintenance is good for maintaining the lifespan of your heater and also reducing energy loss. For example, changing the filters every year is an easy step to save money. When the filters are clogged, your HVAC system and heater have to work harder to circulate air. Another example is having an HVAC system with leaks. The hot air escapes into your crawl space instead of making it to your living room. Your furnace can also run into many problems that cause it to behave less efficiently, including low combustion pressure and a weak pilot light. A heating inspection each year will help you catch these issues before they lead to heating energy loss.

There’s a One-Size-Fits-All Thermostat

Another thing to be aware of is the potential inefficiencies in a one-size-fits-all thermostat. These days, you shouldn’t have to adjust the temperature manually. There are many models of thermostat that you can use to set the temperature based on times of the day; you might have it set to come on a half hour before you get home from work, for instance. This way, you don’t need to waste energy when you’re likely to be out of the house, just to keep the home toasty for your arrival.

The Heater Is Too Powerful

The heater may also be too powerful for your space. Although this may be hard to fix if you’ve already got a heater installed, it’s something to keep in mind when you replace your heater. The capacity and energy rating of the heater should match the size of the space as well as the number of hours per year that you intend to use the heater.

All of the Air Is Mechanically Heated

Another potential missed opportunity if is you haven’t yet explored different options for heating air without using electricity. One of the most popular alternatives to a furnace is a geothermal heater, which can use outside temperatures to heat parts of your home (such as the floor). You could also consider using an economizer that pushes air throughout the space based on heating differences in each area. All of these possibilities are something to discuss with your heating contractor the next time they pay a visit.

For more information and assistance, contact a professional or visit websites like http://www.mitchellplumbing.com/.

How To Tell If You May Need A Plumber For Plumbing Issues

If you want to make sure that you are taking care of plumbing problems before they become serious issues, you need to know what to look for. This way, you will know when it is time to call in a professional. Below are a few issues to be on the lookout for:

The Faucet Won’t Stop Leaking

This might not seem like a major issue at first, but if a leaky faucet is not dealt with as soon as possible, you might find that you are going to be stuck with a very large water bill. This is because even the smallest of drips can add up to a lot of wasted water. Not only could you have to deal with a large water bill as a result of such a leak, but if the drain accidentally becomes clogged from something, you could find that the water will quickly collect in the sink until it begins to overflow on your floor. If this happens, you will need not just a plumber, but also a contractor to handle possible damage that was caused to the floor.

The Smell Will Not Go Away

It is not uncommon for there to be an occasional smell coming from one of your drains, especially the sink drain if some people in your house accidentally wash small particles of food down the drain. If the food gets stuck somewhere in the drain line, it can begin to emit a strong odor. You can try to resolve this on your own, but if you are not able to get rid of the smell through the use of various treatments, you may need to use a professional plumber. He or she can send a tool, commonly referred to as a drain snake, down the drain in order to break apart any clogs that may exist. Your plumber may also be able to neutralize the smell with a stronger chemical solution meant for such problems.

The Sounds Are Getting Louder

If you are starting to notice that there is a gurgling sound in your drain and it is getting louder and louder, it could be because there is a broken piece of drain pipe causing a clog. When the clog gets too large, it becomes harder for water to pass through. If the water is struggling to pass through, this will create a gurgling sound. It is vital that this issue is being taken care of as soon as possible because if the clog gets so bad that water is no longer able to pass through at all, the water will begin to make its way back up the pipe and into your home.

Should you find that you are experiencing any of the previously mentioned points, you will need to contact a skilled plumber from a company like Do-It-Ur-Self Plumbing & Heating Supply as soon as possible.