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3 Important Plumbing Facts Every Homeowner Must Know

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

If you have a plumbing problem, it’s better to call a professional plumber immediately rather than try to fix it on your own. Even so, there are a few things every homeowner should know about their home’s plumbing system. Here are three of the most important plumbing facts to be familiar with.

1. How to Find and Turn Off the Main Water Valve in the House

It’s good to know this fact before there’s an emergency. If you own your home, find your home’s inspection report. This report will clearly note the location of the main water valve inside the house. Write down the location and post it on your home’s refrigerator door or in some other handy location. Make sure everyone in the house knows where this valve is located and how to turn it off.

If you’re standing in water and desperate to find the valve, look around the perimeter of your home. It’s likely to be at ground level. If you really can’t find it, you will probably need to turn off the main water valve outside the house, which is significantly more challenging than turning the interior water valve.

If you are in the midst of a plumbing emergency, turn off the home’s main water valve by turning the valve clockwise. Depending on the type of valve you have, you will need to turn the valve more or less. Just keep turning until the water stops flowing while you wait for your plumber to arrive.

2. How to Find and Turn Off the Main Water Valve Outside the House

If you can’t find or turn off the main water valve inside your house or if the leak is outside your home, you will need to turn off the home’s exterior water valve. To find this valve, look for a round, square or rectangular lid in your yard. Remove the lid and then carefully remove any dirt or sand inside.

The valve you need to turn will be on the house side of your water meter, and you will probably need a wrench or some other tool to turn it. The valve should be turned clockwise to shut off the water. This is another valve that it would be good to find before you are in an emergency situation.

3. How to Shut Off Water Close to the Source

Thankfully, you don’t have to shut your entire home’s water supply off if you have a leak or some other small problem. You can find water valves close to your home’s sinks, toilets, bathtubs and even in the laundry room. These valves will stop the water supply to specific areas so that they can be repaired or replaced.

The toilet valve is usually behind the toilet, sinks valves are typically behind the sink or in a cupboard and laundry room and bathtub valves are usually in highly visible locations. Simply turn the knob to the appropriate device clockwise to shut off the water supply.

When you’re familiar with key plumbing facts, you’ll be better prepared to deal with any problems that arise. However, sometimes you simply need a professional. The Pink Plumber specializes in emergency plumbing repair as well as regular plumbing maintenance. We provide 24/7 services, use only the best tools and offer experienced workmanship to ensure your plumbing remains in good working order at all times. Contact us anytime you need a hand and we will be happy to repair problems, replace parts and offer advice that can prevent future plumbing issues.

How to Tell If a Water Main Leak Is Your Responsibility or the County’s

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Residential properties and commercial businesses depend on service lines to bring water to their buildings nearly every day. Sometimes these service lines need to be maintained or repaired. A water main leak can occur for a variety of reasons, including lack of maintenance, weather changes and even old age.

As a homeowner, a leak can fall under your responsibility or the county’s, depending on where the leak occurred. When it’s your responsibility to fix a water main leak, it’s important to have a trusted plumber who understands the importance of the job. Here’s a brief primer on how to tell who will likely need to deal with the leak.

When a Water Main Leak Is the County’s Responsibility

Your front yard might have a manhole or similar structure that houses meters designed to measure water use. There’s a pipe going from these meters out to the water main, and it usually runs underneath the street. A water main is simply a large pipe that connects to your service pipe, which carries water from the main to your home.

When a leak occurs, the county usually is responsible for any leakage that occurs between your water meters and the water main. The only exception would be if you don’t maintain the area in and around your water meters. These meters are crucial to ensuring your water supply, and they must be accessible for the county at all times.

When a Water Main Leak Is Your Responsibility

Did you know that as a homeowner you own the water service lines running through your front yard? In that respect, you’re responsible for the part of the service line that extends from your water meter to your home. If you detect a leak anywhere in your yard, it’s usually your responsibility to have the issue taken care of. That means calling a plumbing expert to get the job done.

Some signs of a water main leak in your front yard include wet spots or pools of water on the ground, sinkholes, rust or dirt in your water supply at home or even an unusually high water bill. If you detect a leak, shut off your water main and call a plumber as soon as possible. The earlier you catch a leak, the more time you have to avoid damage to your home, your property and your neighbor’s property.

Thanks to the high-tech equipment and high standards of professionalism at The Pink Plumber, you can rest assured that if you detect a leak, we will solve your problem quickly and efficiently. To learn more about our services or get answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

5 Water Saving Tips for the Average Household

Monday, February 19th, 2018

It is always frustrating to open an unexpectedly large water bill. But you can lower your water costs by taking some simple steps. Plus, saving water has become increasingly important as the need to conserve water becomes ever more apparent.

Here’s a list of five helpful water saving tips anyone can do. Whether you embrace one or more, you can save hundreds of gallons of water. Not only will you lower your utility bill, but you’ll also help conserve one of our planet’s most precious resources.

1. Turn Off the Tap

This is an easy one! Think of the times you’ve left the water run while brushing your teeth, lathering your hands or washing dishes by hand. Just turn off that tap, and restart it only when it’s necessary. Simply shutting off the water while brushing your teeth can save 3,000 gallons of water per year. Obviously, this is a learning process, but you’ll get used to it if you’re consistent each time you use the faucet.

2. Take Shorter Showers

Everyone loves a warm shower in the morning, and no one is suggesting you give that up. However, a couple of water saving tips can make a world of difference. First, consider installing a water-saving showerhead, which can save the average family 2,900 gallons of water per year. Think of how much better your water bill will look after that! Also, consider using a shower bucket. That way, you can catch water while warming up your shower and use it to water plants afterward.

3. Conserve Toilet Water

You probably flush your toilet several times a day. Consider the old saying: “If it’s yellow, leave it mellow.” This obviously shouldn’t be the case after every bathroom visit, but don’t underestimate how much water can be saved. Use your best discretion with this rule. Also, speak with your plumber about installing a low-flow toilet. The average household could save up to $100 a year simply by upgrading to a low-flow model.

4. Reuse Water

Most people believe that water is spent after its initial use. But a few water saving tips can help you correct that assumption. For example, consider saving the water you’d normally discard after boiling pasta. You can use it in your sauce, or let it cool and use it to water your garden or houseplants. Additionally, consider installing a rain barrel. Collecting rainwater is a great way to conserve water in your home and save a few extra bucks. Finally, see if your locality allows the use of “greywater.” This involves salvaging relatively clean water from spots like washing machines, tubs and showers to use for irrigation. Only do this with the help of a plumber.

5. Be Smart About Planting

Who doesn’t love a beautiful garden? Thankfully, there are ways to make your plants just as beautiful while saving a bit of H2O. Tend to your plants in the morning, when the weather is cooler and less likely to evaporate the water. Also, consider washing the dog outdoors so your lawn gets some of that precious water.

Even one of these water saving tips can help you cut your water usage. For help saving even more water and keeping your utility bill low, contact The Pink Plumber today.

4 Reasons to Have a Plumbing Inspection After Winter

Monday, February 19th, 2018

A freezing, harsh winter can be hard on your home and particularly, your plumbing. The worst part is that much of the damage caused by blustery winds and icy temperatures can go unnoticed until you encounter a disaster come spring.

Rather than waiting and worrying about what might happen, it’s a good idea to be proactive and schedule a plumbing inspection after a hard winter. Below, discover four problems that can commonly occur after winter. In these cases, a plumbing inspection could save you time, stress and money.

1. Leaking Pipes

What is the most common worry of homeowners when the temperature gets low? The fear of freezing pipes, of course. A frozen pipe occurs when water builds up, freezes and bursts pipes. If a pipe bursts completely, this is a plumbing emergency and will be obvious. However, a small leak, which is also a serious situation, may only be found with a postseason plumbing inspection.

2. Water Heater Malfunction

An especially cold winter means your water heater has to work much harder to keep your water hot. Once winter is over, it’s a good idea to have your water heater inspected to be sure it is working properly as you head into spring.

3. Sump Pump Problems

As you go about your daily life, major plumbing elements like the sump pump are often out of sight and out of mind. This means any flooding can occur without notice until it becomes a major problem. In cold weather, any water that may be standing in your sump pump can freeze and damage the pump. If this happens, much like a frozen pipe, once the water thaws, you may have a costly leak. A post-winter inspection can help prevent a costly basement flood.

4. Sewer Line Damage

Heavy snow and hard winter weather can do a number on the ground itself. This means whatever is underground (including your sewer line) can feel the effect. That’s why it is vital to schedule a home inspection. Tree roots, flooded ground and other unseen variables can cause significant leaks and cracks in your sewer line.

Cold temperatures can leave a damaging mark on your indoor pipes and plumbing that you aren’t able to see. To avoid headaches following a big chill, schedule a plumbing inspection. The Pink Plumber can inspect your plumbing, make necessary repairs and answer your toughest plumbing questions.

5 Plumbing Myths That Might Be Costing You Money

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Social media posts and idea-sharing sites can sometimes dispense some good advice. On the other hand, those same sites also spread misconceptions that are not just wacky, but also downright damaging. Below, we’ll debunk five widely believed plumbing myths that might be costing you money.

1. Myth: Putting Lemon Down the Drain Can Clean Your Drains

Reality: We’ve heard this one a million times. Sure, squeezing lemons down your drain might make the sink smell nice for a few days, but it will not clean your drain or protect it from clogs. In fact, the opposite is true: Doing this too much can cause the citric acid from the lemons to corrode your pipes, meaning that you will require maintenance more frequently.

2. Myth: Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tablets Save Time and Effort

Reality: Toilet bowl cleaner tablets are designed to clean your toilet with minimal effort from you. But the effort saved on these bleach-based cleaners will likely have to be repaid with more significant repairs. Toilet bowl tablets contain ingredients that can destroy your flushing mechanism over time. Instead of using these cleaners, spend the extra effort to clean your toilet with a brush

3. Myth: Ice Cubes Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

Reality: Ice cubes are not a bad method for keeping your garbage disposal blades clean. However, it is an old plumbing myth that throwing the cubes down the drain will keep blades sharp.

4. Myth: Liquid Cleaners Efficiently Clear Clogs

Reality: Liquid cleaners are often advertised as a quick way to clear clogs from your drains. While these cleaners may clear minor clogs, they can also harm your pipes and your septic system. Further, they might not actually clear the clog for the long term, especially if you have a more serious issue. For significant drain problems, no bottled solution will cut it. You need to call a professional plumber for a video inspection that will pinpoint the source of the problem.

5. Myth: If Your Drains Run, They Don’t Need Cleaning

Reality: You may think that the only time your drain needs cleaning is if you have standing water in your sink, shower or washing machine. But if you have a clog that severe, the reality is that you’re far past the need for a cleaning. Pink Plumber’s Hydro Jetter removes debris and buildup from your pipes. Regular removal of the materials that cause clogs can help prevent drainage emergencies.

Don’t be fooled by these plumbing myths. Many of these tips and tricks sound too good to be true because they are too good to be true. Keeping your plumbing system working well requires solid maintenance. And with The Pink Plumber’s hassle-free service, you won’t have to work too hard.

5 Signs Your Water Heater Is Failing

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Have you noticed that your water heater isn’t working as well as it used to? Perhaps you have been searching for solutions or trying to find the right plumbing service to diagnose the problem. Here are five signs that indicate you may need a new water heater.

1. Leaks and Water Pooling

As your water heater ages, the metal on the inside of the tank may start to rust and crack from wear. When this happens, water is forced out of the tank and could end up causing major flooding around your water heater. Cracks in the tank often result in minor leaks at first, which gives homeowners time to call a plumbing company.

2. Rusty or Contaminated Water

Sediment buildup is a common issue. However, if you notice tiny specks of rust in your water or if your water is giving off a metallic smell, it likely means that vital parts of your tank, such as the inlet and outlet connections, have rusted over and won’t last much longer.

3. Odd Noises

Consider replacement if you’re hearing strange noises coming from the area around your water heater. As one of the most trusted plumbing services in the Atlanta area, we’ve received numerous calls from homeowners who have reported odd rumbling noises in their basement. What’s the cause? Over the years, residue tends to build up at the base of a unit. When this residue solidifies, it will frequently move around and make noise.

4. Lukewarm Water

If your thermostat is set to 120 degrees or higher and you still can’t get water that’s hot enough, you may need a new unit. While you might be able to repair the water heater, age will dictate how close your water heater is to the end of its lifespan. Repairing the unit rather that replacing it can become a costly mistake.

5. Frequent Repairs

Has your plumber been visiting a little too frequently lately because of your water heater? It might be time to get a new one before you encounter a major leak that could damage your home. To give you a better sense of a water heater’s lifespan, most of them are designed to last for 8 to 10 years.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you should have a professional plumber assess the situation. The Pink Plumber offers affordable plumbing services designed to meet your needs.

5 Signs You Need Drain Cleaning Services

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Don’t wait until a drain is completely clogged before giving it attention. Even if it’s still functioning somewhat, drain cleaning likely needs to top the to-do list for your home. Here are five ways to determine if it’s time to have your drains cleaned.

1. Slow Draining

Do you notice that water drains more slowly than usual? Monitor your washing machine, your kitchen drains and your shower to see if the drainage seems extra sluggish. If so, you likely have a buildup in the pipe. Schedule a drain cleaning before a slow drain turns into a full-blown clog.

2. Standing Water Accumulation

While a slow drain signals a potential issue, standing water in your shower, washing machine or sink demonstrates that your drainage problem has worsened. If you notice that any of these places are often filled with water that never drains, it’s time to call a plumber immediately.

3. Unusual Noises

If a drain is clogged, the water running through the surrounding pipes will not behave as it should. Instead, the water will have to change course or push itself through small spaces. If you hear gurgling or bubbling sounds when you flush the toilet or turn on the sink, for example, you likely have a draining issue.

4. Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are a real nuisance, and it seems they suddenly materialize overnight. If you see a sudden increase in the number of fruit flies in your home, they are likely attracted by the food waste building up in your drain. Drain cleaning can likely take care of the problem (and banish pesky fruit flies).

5. An Unpleasant Smell

If your drains are functioning improperly, then sewage and waste can build up in the pipes. Especially in the hotter months, this waste can fester in the pipes, sending a strong odor into the adjacent rooms. Any gas smell coming from your drains should be investigated immediately.

The Benefits of Professional Drain Cleaning

You may think that you can clean a clogged pipe yourself. However, these methods of cleaning pipes are often only short-term or inadequate solutions. Some solutions may help you remove minor clogs, but without expert assistance, you’re never sure if you’re truly eradicating the problem. What if the clogged drain returns in a few days?

For greater peace of mind when it comes to drain cleaning, call in the professionals at Pink Plumber. Our video inspection lets us know exactly what’s causing your clog, whether blockages, cracks or collapsed pipes. After we’ve inspected your system, we may offer the Hydro Jetter to remove excessive buildup from the drain. Hiring a professional is the difference between wondering whether a DIY solution actually worked and knowing your clogged drain issues are gone for good.

Septic Tank Pumping: 5 Services Pros Should Include

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

More than one-third of the homes in the Southeastern United States rely on septic systems. When they are installed and used correctly, septic systems can be a clean and efficient way to manage your home’s waste. Regular pumping is an integral part of maintaining your home’s septic system. How often you need to have your tank pumped depends on several factors, including the size of your tank and the size of your household.

Be sure to hire a trusted plumbing service to perform maintenance on your septic system. Even a task as routine as a regularly scheduled tank pumping can become a serious problem if it’s not done using the proper techniques or tools. Here are five elements that should be included when you hire a plumber for septic tank pumping.

1. A Thorough Evacuation of Your Tank

If you are paying for septic tank pumping service, you should expect the entire tank to be emptied. Because septic tanks come in different sizes, it’s important to read the fine print and make sure the price you were quoted includes the entire volume of your tank. If your tank is 1,500 gallons and the price includes only 1,000 gallons, find out ahead of time what the extra charges will be.

2. Excavation

Because your septic tank is located underground, be sure your plumbing company’s pumping fee includes the digging it will take to access it. Look for an offer that covers up to 18 inches, which should be enough to reach the covers of most tanks. If your septic system is especially deep, additional charges may apply.

3. Solid Waste Removal

Besides pumping the liquid waste matter, some additional work may be required to get rid of accumulated sludge inside your tank. Failing to clean it out can mean less time between pumping and can eventually lead to problems with your septic system. Be clear with your plumber that you want to have your tank thoroughly cleaned out.

4. A Septic Tank Inspection

Another task your plumber should offer with your septic tank pumping service is a thorough inspection of the tank to ensure that everything is in good working order. Detecting issues early can help prevent costly problems in the future.

5. A Licensed and Qualified Professional

When you pay to have any kind of maintenance, repair or inspection performed on your septic system, always contract with a credentialed professional. An experienced plumber will know the safest and most efficient methods for septic tank pumping, as well as have the ability to properly diagnose any issues. A qualified plumbing service will carry insurance against any potential property damage that may occur, so be sure to confirm your plumber is fully insured.

Pumping a septic tank is a job that should always be left to the professionals. If you have questions about your septic system or want to schedule any type of plumbing service, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Water Filter Choices: Faucet Vs. Full-House Filtration

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Homeowners concerned about the water quality in their home or neighborhood have myriad options when it comes to purifying their water. Some homeowners choose a refrigerator that dispenses filtered water, while other homeowners rely on a water filter pitcher that requires refilling several times a day.

But there are better options you may not have considered. Many homeowners consider installing filters on their faucets, while professionals often advocate for whole-house water filtration systems. What are the differences between these two systems, and how can you decide which is right for you? Here are a few basics of home water filtration.

Faucet Water Filters

Faucet water filters are probably the better known of the options. They can range from low-end to incredibly expensive and promise to purify tap water so that you can drink straight from the faucet.

Unfortunately, since this type of water filter varies in quality, it can be hard to know exactly what you’re going to get. Some faucet filters result in reduced water pressure; some leave the water warm after the purification process; and some are unsightly enough to transform a beautiful sink fixture into a clunky eyesore.

Moreover, if you want other fixtures in the house to dispense purified drinking water, such as in the bathroom where you brush your teeth, the cost can really start to add up. Not only will you pay for faucet water filters on every faucet where you want purified water, you’ll also pay for filters and potential replacement costs.

Whole-House Water Filtration

Whole-house water filtration is a system installed by a professional plumbing service that ensures that the entire water supply of your home is filtered. That means all your water for bathing, cooking and drinking is free of chemicals, pollutants and other contaminants. Having professionals install a whole-house filtration system can be surprisingly affordable and easy. In addition, you are less likely to face recurring costs for batteries, frequent replacement filters or installation down the road. A whole-house water filter system is an easy and effective way to ensure all your water will be clean and safe.

The Bottom Line

A faucet water filter is a fairly effective solution to ensure that tap water from at least one source in your home is good for drinking. However, if you prefer greater flexibility and utility within your home’s water system, whole-house water filtration is likely the solution you’re seeking.

If you’re trying to decide between filtration systems, be sure to get a quote from the experts at The Pink Plumber today. They can lend their expertise to help you decide which system makes sense for you and your home.

3 Signs of a Septic Tank Drain Field Problem

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Your septic tank drain field (sometimes called a leach field) is a key component of a septic system. It serves to remove contaminants from the liquid wastewater coming from your septic tank. This liquid, referred to in plumbing-speak as “effluent,” may reach the drain field by force of gravity or through the use of pumps, depending on how your system is set up. Drain field failure is a common cause of septic system issues. This can happen for a variety of reasons, from improper septic system installation to old age.

Here are three ways to tell if you may have a septic tank drain field problem at your home.

1. A Bad Smell

If you notice a foul odor around your yard and property and can’t find any other explanation for it, the odds are good that you have a septic tank drain field problem. When the effluent is not draining properly, it collects in the soil near the surface and creates an unpleasant smell that’s readily detectable by anyone with a nose.

Don’t wait to address any suspected issues with your septic system. Keep in mind that getting your tank pumped is only a temporary solution to a drain field issue. If your septic system isn’t draining the way it should, your backup issues will return soon enough.

2. Standing Water

If you discover puddles of water in your yard and it hasn’t rained lately, schedule a septic tank inspection immediately. After a long enough period of effluent buildup from poor drainage, the liquid runs out of room and overflows the soil. You definitely don’t want your children or pets to play in these puddles.

3. Drainage Issues in Your Home

An improperly functioning septic tank drain field can cause clogging and backups inside your house, too. If the drains in your sinks, bathtubs or showers are very slow, you could have drain field issues. A slow-flushing toilet could also point to the need for a professional septic system inspection. If your septic issues are to the point of causing backups in your house, you’re at risk of an expensive and unhygienic overflow issue if you don’t fix the problem quickly.

If you are experiencing these problems, even if you’ve recently had your septic tank emptied, it’s likely that drain field failure is at fault. Ignoring the symptoms or trying to solve them yourself can lead to more trouble. If you suspect septic issues at your home, call in an experienced plumbing service to inspect and diagnose the problem before it gets worse.

For answers to your questions about your septic system and other plumbing issues, contact The Pink Plumber today.