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Plumbing Repair Service

5 Benefits of Regular Drain Cleaning

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Drain cleaning may not be the most glamorous chore, but the benefits of doing so are entirely worth it. Considering the process of cleaning them is not too tedious, you should try to make it a part of your weekly routine. Here are five great benefits of cleaning your drains regularly.

1. Reduce Pipe Blockage

The most obvious benefit of cleaning your drains regularly is seeing a reduction in the number of times your pipes become clogged or blocked. While you’re probably familiar with pipe blockages causing a clogged toilet or reduced water pressure in the shower, a more severe clog can cause serious damage to your drainage system. Failing to clean your pipes can allow solid matter to accumulate in your pipes, which could end up causing a pipe bursting or a blocked sewer line, both of which are expensive problems to fix.

2. Eliminate Foul Odors

If you’ve ever noticed your sink not draining properly and, thus, leaving behind yucky remnants of food, you’ve probably had the displeasure of smelling the odors that come with it. When your drains remain uncleaned for an extended period of time, unwanted waste can accumulate and sit in your pipes. The odors from this unwanted waste will inevitably creep up your drains and into your home. Be sure to clean your drains on a weekly basis to ensure your home doesn’t end up stinking!

3. Save a Small Fortune

As mentioned previously, clogged or blocked pipes can lead to serious damage being done to your drainage system. If you’ve experienced this in the past, then you are well aware of how costly this damage can be to repair. As opposed to spending the money needed to repair your faulty pipes, spend your money on the necessary cleaning supplies needed to reduce clogs in your drains. Baking soda and vinegar are much less expensive than paying a professional to restore your broken pipes.

4. Clean Drains, Clean Home

plumbing inspection

After cleaning your drains on a regular basis, you will surely see an increase in the level of cleanliness in your home. We’ve made it clear that clogged pipes can cause foul odors to seep their way into your home. Cleaning your drains will rid your pipes of all things filthy, leaving your home smelling like it should! The benefits of cleaning your pipes are not limited to just the inside of your home. Ensuring your drains remain unblocked will help you avoid standing water accumulating in your lawn. Once this occurs, righting this wrong can cost you precious time and money, so be sure to clean your pipes to keep your drainage system running smoothly.

5. Avoid Disasters

Speaking of standing water in your yard, cleaning your pipes regularly will ensure that your home is not at risk for major sewage problems down the road. Failing to clean your pipes can eventually lead to major flooding in parts of your home, as well as leaving your home without running water. Simply clean your drains regularly to avoid dealing with such a disaster.

 

A Buyer’s Guide to Water Heaters

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

When you’re shopping for a water heater, it’s best to select a unit that efficiently gives you hot water and saves on your energy costs. You will need to consider the different types of water heaters and what works best for you. Here’s a guide to different types of water heaters.

Tankless Water Heater

This type of water heater is ideal if you use natural gas to heat your water. Heating coils are utilized to warm the water when you need it. In comparison to a typical storage tank, they use less energy. Keep in mind, the stream of hot water is restricted.

Heat Pump Water Heater

This type of unit takes heat from the air and transfers it into your water. In comparison to the traditional electric water heater, these consume approximately 60 percent less energy. These must be situated in a space where temperatures remain between 40 and 90 degrees since the unit cannot handle extremely cold places. You must have at least a seven-foot space since the heat pump is on top.

Storage Tank Water Heater

This water heater is common in most households. This is comprised of an insulated tank where the water is stored and heated until you need it. Additionally, there is a pressure relief and temperature valve which opens up if there is an overflow.

Condensing Water Heater

plumbing inspection

These water heaters are an ideal option if you need a unit with a high capacity and you use gas. The condensing water heater has a tank similar to a standard water heater. The gases flow through a coil on the base of the unit which is where the incoming water absorbs most of the heat.

Solar Water Heater

This is a water heater that is situated on the roof. The water heater takes in the heat from the sun and transfers it to a closed-loop system that flows through the water tank. Having this type of water heater could give you huge savings during the warm months, however, you may not save as much during the colder temperatures. Also, it’s possible that you could end up waiting for many years to win back the costs, even if you receive local and federal rebates.

Things to Consider When Buying a Water Heater

  • Brass VS. Plastic Drain Valves – These valves are located close to the base of the water heater. It’s best to look for brass drain valves since they have more durability.
  • Digital Displays – Digital displays assist you with customizing the heater operation and monitoring levels. There are a few electric/heat-pump water heaters that allow you to set a vacation status. With a vacation status, the unit will only use the heat pump for maximum efficiency while you are out of town.
  • Warranty – The warranty for most water heaters are usually between three and 12 years. Even though you may pay more for extended warranty units, they have the tendency to contain larger elements that may heat up your water faster. It’s best to select a water heater that has the longest warranty.

If you’re thinking about a new water heater installation and are unsure of your options, contact the professionals at The Pink Plumber today!

Garbage Disposal Maintenance: How to Deal with Common Issues

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

The garbage disposal is a modern-day convenience that makes cleaning up while cooking and after a meal a breeze. As wonderful as this kitchen appliance is it does have a tendency to act up every now and again, especially when it’s misused. A common misconception about garbage disposals is that they can grind up anything under the sun. In fact, garbage disposals aren’t meant to dispose of much other than small food scraps, a little at a time. (more…)

5 Important Tips for Summer Plumbing Preparation

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Summer is the ideal time to give your plumbing system a thorough inspection. The weather is warm and you have plenty of daylight hours to look over any parts of the system that are outside the house. It’s important to keep plumbing systems maintained year-round, but even more so during summer months when kids are on summer vacation. Using lots of water and flushing your toilet too often increases your risk for plumbing issues. Here are five tips to make sure your home plumbing system is prepared for summer.

Prepare for Clogs

Every home needs a plunger to take care of routine clogs. Plungers are inexpensive and can be stored in a linen closet or basement. The worst time to need a plunger is when you don’t have one and have to run to the hardware store to get one. Plungers can handle most normal clogs. If not, it’s time to call the plumber. Aside from keeping a plunger handy, there are several other proactive things homeowners can do to be prepared for clogs.

Take Care of Your Drains

Be cautious of what goes down the drain. Even the best kitchen garbage disposal can’t process every type of food waste. Purchase mesh or plastic drain filters for each kitchen sink. Hair build-up in the sinks and bathtubs eventually results in clogged bathroom pipes. A pair of tweezers may help pull hair build-up out, but you can also buy drain filters for the tub and sink. If you have kids, help them understand how much toilet paper to use, and what things don’t go in the toilet.

Inspect for Leaks

Summer is the best time to check for leaks. Even temperate climates can experience cold temperatures in winter, which may affect plumbing.  It’s best to detect and take care of any leaks that may have occurred over the winter. Start outside of your house and inspect water spigots. Inside, look carefully at faucets, shower heads, and pipes under sinks. Pay attention to rust on pipes and evidence of moisture inside cabinets. Check toilets for leaks. Some issues with toilets can be easily fixed but if you’re not confident in your plumbing skills, call a professional.

Check the Hot Water Heater

The hot water heater is sometimes forgotten unless you wake up to no hot water. In many homes, it’s installed in the basement, out of sight and often out of mind. Take a few minutes when you’re inspecting the basement pipes to look at the hot water heater. Watch for rust and corrosion. Feel underneath for signs of water leaking. The average lifespan of hot water heaters today is 10-15 years. Maximize the life of yours by making sure it gets regular maintenance.

Check Your Sump Pump

Summer not only brings warm weather fun, it also brings summer storms. You should test your sump pump at the beginning of summer, or prior to the rainy season. It’s easy to run a test of the sump pump. Make sure it’s turned on and has power, then pour a bucket of water in it. If it’s working properly, the pump should begin working and pumping the water. Most new homes, especially in flood-prone areas, have a sump pump installed during the building process. If you don’t have one, and any part of your home is below ground level, consider installing one. Your plumber can install one in a short amount of time and the cost is usually around $300-500. It’s a good and necessary investment to protect your home from flood damage.

These are just a few important tasks to help prepare your plumbing system for summer. Summer is also an excellent time to schedule a routine plumbing inspection. You can prevent many plumbing problems yourself during your inspection, but a professional should look at certain parts of your plumbing system. Don’t forget to call your plumber today!

Your Pre-Vacation Plumbing Checklist

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Are you and your family looking forward to a relaxing vacation? While you’re getting ready to head out of town, don’t forget to take care of any last many plumbing issues. You don’t want to get home from your getaway to find the basement flooded or other plumbing problems. Take a moment to check out this list of plumbing must-dos before you head out of town.

Turn off the Water

All day, every day water runs through various points of your home. Most people don’t realize how much water is sitting in their pipes until a washing machine hose breaks or a pipe bursts. If you’re going on an extended holiday, do yourself a favor and turn off the water supply to the following:

  • Washing machine
  • Outdoor faucets
  • Water heater

Some water heaters have a vacation mode. If your water heater is equipped with this, simply adjust the settings.

What about the main water valve? Should I shut this off?

It depends on how long you’re going to be traveling. If you’re out of town for the normal one or two-week vacation, then it’s probably not necessary. However, if you’re traveling for a month or more, turning off the main water line provides additional protection and peace of mind.

Check for Leaks

Checking for leaks ensures that you won’t have any water damage in the house. However, not all leaks are visible. Slab leaks, which exist in pipes beneath the foundation of a home, often last for weeks or months before any visible damage happens. Call your local plumber to perform slab leak detection to make sure there isn’t going to be a problem while you’re away.

plumbing inspection

Call for a Water Heater Inspection

Even if you turn the water supply off to the water heater, there are still parts that can cause problems if they’re faulty. For example, make sure the T&P relief valve (temperature and pressure) is working. This is valve releases pressure when it builds in the tank. If the valve isn’t working correctly, the tank could explode if pressure increases.

Also, have the tank checked out for leaks. Corrosion is a serious problem for older tank water heaters. You don’t want to deal with this mess when you get back.

Test Your Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump in your home, make sure it’s working. Heavy rainstorms that happen while you’re away can flood your basement if the sump pump doesn’t work. Consider installing a battery or water-based backup sump pump for added protection.

Schedule an Inspection

Annual inspections are a great way to ensure all the parts of your residential plumbing are working correctly. Scheduling this inspection yearly right before your vacation is ideal and lets you fully relax knowing everything is okay.

Leave Plumbing Information

Is someone watching your house while you’re away? Give this person the name and number of your plumber. If anything would happen plumbing-wise to your house while you’re away, the problem can get taken care of immediately.

For more tips to get your home’s plumbing vacation ready, contact your area plumber.

Choosing a Septic Tank Cleaning or Replacement

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

The thought of septic tank replacement creates panic in even the calmest person. Replacing this waste management system isn’t cheap and it takes a considerable amount of time. While there are instances where you have no choice but to replace your septic system, other times a simple cleaning might get rid of your problems. Here’s how to spot the difference.

Clogged Toilets a Problem?

Most people notice a problem with their septic systems when toilets clogged frequently. If you’ve been plunging and nothing is happening, you need to call a plumber. Chances are that something is clogged in the system and need professional septic tank cleaning.

When was the last time you had your tank cleaned? If you’re experiencing clogs or leakage around the tank site, the tank might be overfilled. It’s recommended that residential septic tanks get cleaned and pumped once every 3-5 years. However, the recommendation is fluid and should be based on your home’s particular needs.

For example, how many bathrooms do you have? How many people are in the household? The more bathrooms there are and the more times they are used throughout the day means more frequent cleanings might be needed. Likewise, if you’re a single person living in a smaller home with one bathroom, you might get away with cleanings once every 5 years.

It’s best to speak with a licensed septic contractor who has the experience to guide you in the right direction.

What If Septic Cleaning Doesn’t Solve the Problem?

There are situations that septic cleaning just won’t solve. If the drainfield or leach lines are damaged, they might need replacement or repair. This job doesn’t require the whole septic system replacement, but is still pricey.

It’s when the tank breaks down and fails, causing raw sewage to leak into the soil, that a major problem exists. At this point, you might need to replace the tank. If you think this is something that’s happening at your home, contact a septic tank company right away for immediate assistance.

Protect Your Septic Tank from Damage

Septic tanks are a great option for homeowners who don’t want to or can’t connect to a city sewer system. With proper care, the tank and its components can last a long time without major repairs. Of course, you have to stay on top of the little things.

Here is a quick checklist of dos and don’ts to extend the life span of your septic tank:

  • Do invest in regular septic tank cleaning. Have the tank cleaned according to recommendations from a local plumber.
  • Don’t use chemical drain cleaners. The chemicals in these cleaners have bleach that messes with the natural processes in the tank. Instead, if you have frequent clogs, call for drain cleaning service.
  • Do have the tank’s parts inspected annually. Make repairs when problems pop up.
  • Don’t install a garbage disposal. Although this small appliance makes kitchen clean up convenient, it’s a no-no for septic tank systems.

If you’re concerned about your septic tank, call a plumber near you right away for a complete inspection.

Pro Tips to Deep-Clean Your Bathroom Efficiently

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Your bathroom is a room that you use several times a day, each time making the room a filthier and filthier environment. This is only natural. A bathroom can’t help but become a bacteria-infested, moldy, wet, and dusty room. That is, unless you’re committed to keeping it clean.

But bathrooms need a little extra attention, especially when compared to other rooms in your home. There’s cleaning, and then there’s deep cleaning. Bathrooms need the latter in order to stay sanitary and odor-free. Here are some efficient, low-cost ways to deep-clean your bathroom, provided by bathroom maintenance professionals.

Give Your Shower a Bath

A dirty showerhead will spray dirty, dingy water onto the floor and walls of the shower. Clean it up with this one simple trick. Fill a sturdy plastic bag with white vinegar, then tie the bag around the neck of the showerhead so that it’s submerged in the vinegar. Let it rest for a few minutes, then remove the bag and turn on the shower to rinse the vinegar away. White vinegar will kill pathogens and remove dirty buildup that forms on the openings over time.

Clean Toilet Brush

Bleach is every bathroom’s best friend. Bleaching your toilet is probably the only way to guarantee that it gets clean. However, many people skip the step of cleaning their toilet brush. While you may swish it through the bleach, it will hold waste particles and pathogens until your next cleaning session. That is, unless you clean the brush, too. Once you’ve cleaned the toilet, pour a little more bleach into the bottom of the toilet bowl. Then, submerge the brush and give it a few twists in the water, being careful not to create a splash. This will disinfect the brush and remove anything stuck in the bristles, so it’s completely clean for the next scrubbing session.

Clean and Re-Seal Grout

Bleach and a scrub brush can do wonders for grout, which is where many pathogens and fungal growths reside. Dilute bleach in water and use a tough scrub brush to clean between tiles on the floor, countertops, walls, and shower.

However, one of the best ways to keep bathroom grout clean is to reseal it on occasion. Re-sealing will prevent mold, bacteria, and other odor-causing gunk to seep between your tiles. Also, you should avoid pouring bleach on colorful tile or grout. Bleach can ruin certain dyes, paints, and natural colors. Only bleach white or off-white surfaces. Otherwise, you can use a standard disinfectant liquid plus a scrub brush.

Hire a Plumber

Sometimes, a professional touch makes the difference between a neat bathroom and a completely clean one. For instance, if your bathroom drains are slow-draining or clog easily, the result can be soap scum, mildew, and other nasty deposits on your bathroom fixtures. Leaking pipes or running faucets can result in odorous standing water in your bathroom. If water leaks from your pipes, it can even lead to moldy cabinetry and flooring, a problem that may be too intense to clean. Hiring a professional plumber in your area to inspect your plumbing and repair minor issues can help you keep your bathroom clean all year long.

The Plumbing Checklist for New Homebuyers

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Buying a new home is an exciting adventure, but it also comes with its fair share of uncertainty. If you’re buying a pre-owned property, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re getting into as far as possible plumbing repairs. Unfortunately, many pre-closing home inspections don’t include a thorough examination of the plumbing system. Buyers need to be aware of this and consider hiring a licensed plumber to inspect all parts of the plumbing systems.

However, if you’re walking through a property and want to do a little DIY plumbing inspection, consider the following checklist:

  • Turn on the faucets to check for leaks.
  • Flush the toilets and check for clogs.
  • Listen for toilets that run.
  • Turn on the garbage disposal to make sure it works.
  • Check for loose faucets, shower heads, and other taps.
  • Pay close attention to how plumbing smells. Does anything smell like rotten eggs?
  • Look for water stains on walls and ceilings for possible hidden leaks.
  • Test the sump pump, if one is installed.
  • Inspect basements for puddling and other signs of water.
  • Look for mold.
  • Check for wobbly toilets.
  • Go outside and test the outdoor spigots. Make sure there aren’t any leaks.
  • Look under kitchen and bathroom sinks for water damage.
  • Run the water and watch for any drips under the sink.

These are easy things that any buyer can test for when touring a home. However, if you’re serious about making an offer on the home, you need an in-depth inspection.

Professional Plumbing Inspection

Hiring a local plumber to inspect the home’s plumbing allows you to buy with confidence. You know that you aren’t going to be sidelined by major plumbing problems before the ink is dry on the closing papers.

Professional plumbing inspections for new homebuyers should include the following:

  • Sewer line inspection service: This service involves using a sewer camera to look for any abnormalities in the sewer line that might lead to failure. Potential problems include cracks, tree root intrusion, bellied pipes, brittle pipes, and large blockages.
  • Water main line: Sewer lines aren’t the only exterior pipes that cause problems. If the water main line is corroded or otherwise damaged, you’ll end up with leaks and a huge water bill. These problems must be fixed.
  • Slab leak detection: Some leaks can’t be seen with the naked eye, and these leaks tend to be the worse. These are the leaks that affect the structural integrity of your home and lead to thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs. Hiring a plumber to perform electronic leak detection for hidden leaks is a must.

After the Inspection

Once the inspection is complete, the plumber should go over the cost to make repairs or replacements and provide you with a list of the problems. New homebuyers can give this list to their Realtor to negotiate for repairs or money to make repairs after the home is bought.

Don’t be afraid to inspect the plumbing of any home you’re interested in buying. Although there are the upfront costs involved in hiring a plumber, it’s money saved in the long run. Call yours today.

Water Softener vs Water Conditioning

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Are you trying to decide between buying a water softener or purchasing an electronic water conditioner? Many people think there’s no difference between the two, but this is not correct. A water softener is not the same as a water conditioner. They work very differently and depending on your needs, one might be better for your home than the other.

A water softener adds salt to the water to replace excessive amounts of calcium. Generally, calcium amounts are higher in hard water. Too much calcium leads to buildup that harms plumbing fixtures and pipes. An electronic water heater differs from a softener because it doesn’t add anything to the water. Instead, it works with the substances in the water and conditions it, like its name suggests.

Why People Choose Conditioning over Softening

In the past, people often chose water softeners to solve their hard water problems. These days, more and more people are choosing conditioning. The following are just a few reasons why homeowners choose water conditioning:

  • Less expensive to maintain: Water softeners require continuous maintenance. They need to have salt added to the tank as often as once a month. While salt isn’t very expensive, it’s inconvenient to remember to buy the bags. Also, you need at least two to four 40-pound bags of salt each time you fill it. It can be a pain lugging the bags from the car to the softener depending where it is in the home. Most softeners are in the basement.
  • Longer lifespan: Softeners last between 5-10 years
  • Harmful: Does someone in your home have a salt-restricted diet? If so, you probably don’t want to use a softener. While you won’t notice the salt in your drinking water or cooking, it’s still present. Individuals with sodium issues could be affected adversely by the added salt.

Benefits of Water Conditioning

Conditioning doesn’t add salt or get rid of calcium. Instead, it works as a limescale remover. Limescale coats pipes and causes fixtures to breakdown fast. By getting rid of limescale, residential plumbing works better for longer. Also, since it’s a salt-free conditioning product, it’s considered a healthier alternative.

Contact a Local Plumber

Are you interested in learning more about the advantages of water conditioning? If you’re still on the fence about purchasing a water softener or installing a water conditioning system, a licensed plumber can help you make this choice.

Both options require an upfront purchase that is significant. So, if you’re on a budget, it’s important to make a choice only when you’re fully informed. Many homeowners want to know which type of water treatment will add value to their home. This is a huge concern and a great question to get answered.

Working closely with a licensed plumber who understands the difference will help you make a purchase you’re comfortable with now and in the future. Regardless of which one you choose, conditioning or softening your water goes a long way toward preserving pipes and fixtures. These plumbing appliances are a great way to keep repair and replacement costs at bay.

How to Avoid Costly Water Damage

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Water damage is a hassle. You don’t want to blow your budget on repairs and spend your summer worrying about finances! Read the following to learn more about simple steps you can follow to keep your house safe from water damage and your wallets flush with money to spend!

Get Outside

  1. Hoses: A super easy thing you can do today that will prevent water damage tomorrow is to disconnect hoses when not in use. Standing water can pool at the base of the house causing unnecessary and unavoidable damage to your home. If you aren’t using it, empty out that hose!
  2. Pipe Lines: You need to become intimately familiar with the layout of your house. Find out where all your utility pipes are located and ensure that your landscaping isn’t obscuring or overtaking them. While your yard looks luscious and beautiful when it’s overgrown, your pipes don’t appreciate it. Roots can crowd and strangle your pipes causing severe damage and sometimes breaking them entirely. Try to keep your yard well pruned or eliminate landscaping around utility pipes.
  3. Gutters: In order for your gutters to do their job, you have to help them out a little bit. Cleaning out your gutters roughly twice a year helps to prevent standing water, which can damage the gutters and even your roof! Not only that, but too much gunk in the gutter can cause overflow leading to puddling at the base of your house. This can lead to expensive foundation problems. Incurring the small cost of having the gutters cleaned, or putting the time in to clean them yourself, twice a year is much more manageable and less anxiety inducing than breaking the bank over foundation repairs.
Water damage

Know the Main

Do you know where your water main is? The water main is responsible for bringing water into your house. If you’re away for an extended period of time, do you really need water pouring into your house and potentially leaking out of faucets? No, you don’t. You can shut off the main when you’re away to banish any possibility of leaks in your absence!

Be Proactive

It’s easy to dismiss a small water spot here or there and tell yourself that you’ll get around to addressing that issue later but waiting will make the problem worse. Water damage leads to mold, dry rot and other unpleasant and expensive problems that are totally unavoidable! Call a professional at the first sight of water damage to nip that problem in the bud before it spirals out of control.

Water Detection Devices

These little machines are your saving grace. You more than likely have smoke detectors in your house that are there to monitor your living situation and ensure that you are safe in your home. Water detection devices do the very same thing! They are able to detect minimal levels of moisture and alert you to the presence of slow leaks that often go unnoticed until they’re a bigger problem. Place these devices near water heaters, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers so that they can detect a problem before it’s a disaster and you can keep your home safe from damage!