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Have a Water Leak? How to Stop the Flood

Monday, July 31st, 2017

If you’ve ever had a water leak in your home, you know that a minor inconvenience can quickly become an expensive lesson. Fortunately, a minor water leak doesn’t have to become a full-blown disaster. Here are tips to help you stop the flood in your home, before major damage and expenses accumulate.

Stop the Flow
Although it may seem obvious, the first step is to locate the leak and turn off the water at its source. Locate all of the shutoff valves in your home and turn off the water. If you cannot determine where the water is coming from, you may need to shut off water to the whole house. If your home is serviced by a well, the shutoff can typically be found on the house side of the pressure tank. If your home has a water meter, the whole-house shutoff often can be found near the meter itself. If not, it may be an in-ground valve covered by a metal plate. If you do not know where your whole-house shutoff is, it may be wise to contact your water utility or a licensed plumber to find out before you are faced with a flood emergency. If your dishwasher is leaking, the first place to look is under the sink. If you can’t find the valve under the sink and you have a basement, look between the ceiling beams just below the appliance. Is the water leak coming from your toilet? The shutoff valve is typically an oval-shaped handle underneath the toilet tank. If your clothes washer is the source of the leak, the shutoff valves are generally located where the lines that supply your house meet the washer hoses. If your roof is leaking, cover the roof with a tarp to prevent water damage in your home. If you can’t stop the water flow, call a licensed plumber immediately.

Dispose of Water
Get water removed from your home as soon as possible. Although you might be tempted to use a water vacuum and do the job yourself, many homeowners opt to use a professional water removal service. Once the water has been removed, make sure you open up windows and doors to allow your home to air out and dry. Although visible water will be removed, it’s important to address any trapped or hidden water. Hidden water can cause a mold problem, which can present health hazards. Your insurance company may be able to refer you to a disaster recovery company who can identify problem areas and remove the water quickly and efficiently.

Safeguard Your Valuables
Protect your computer equipment, important paperwork and any valuables to prevent them from being damaged. Move valuable items to a dry room or put items in storage if necessary. Be sure to keep important documents such as medical records readily accessible in case of a medical emergency.

Document the Damage
Document any water damage caused by the water leak and take photos. Talk to your insurance agent to determine the type of coverage you have. Is there a deductible? Should you wait for an adjuster before making any repairs? Does your policy require you to take steps to keep damage from getting worse before an adjuster arrives? Does your policy reimburse you for staying in a hotel if your home is uninhabitable? Regardless of your coverage, provide your agent with an accurate assessment of the damage and repairs needed.

Prevent Future Leaks
If you’ve had a water leak, it’s wise to have your plumbing inspected. Call a professional who can inspect your plumbing and make necessary repairs. If any problems are identified, get a quote so you can budget for repairs. If you have plumbing questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

The Benefits of a Home Water Softener

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Hard water is a very common problem, affecting water in many homes. But what exactly is it, and what can be done about it? Hard water has a high content of minerals and metals such as magnesium, calcium and iron. Although it is safe for you to drink, it can wreak havoc on your appliances, plumbing fixtures and make everyday housework even more difficult. Hard water treated with a water softener provides many benefits to your household. The following post will outline these benefits.

What Is a Home Water Softener?

A softener is a device and/or system designed to remove or dilute mineral concentrations in hard water. The system softens water by replacing minerals present in the hard water with salt via ion exchange. A softener is connected between your home’s plumbing system and the main water supply. This allows the system to remove mineral contaminates from the water before it enters your home.

Superior Cleaning

Hard water is known for reducing the effectiveness of household cleaners such as laundry soap, dish detergent, dish soap, shampoo and body wash. It often leaves white spots or streaks on your dishes and a soapy residue in your laundry. Because softened water enhances the cleaning ability of the cleansers, you will experience cleaner skin, hair, dishes and laundry. In addition, softened water requires less soap to get the job done, which can help reduce your household expenses.

Reduced Mineral and Scale Build-Up

Hard water causes scale and mineral deposits to build up in your plumbing system. As time passes, these deposits will reduce water flow, resulting in lower water pressure and eventually, a complete blockage. Moreover, they can cause pipe deterioration and corrosion, shortening the lifespan of pipes and increasing the chances of a ruptured pipe. If one of your pipe ruptures, your home could face severe water damage to flooring, cabinetry, walls and baseboards. It could also invite unwanted mold and mildew growth. A home water softener will also extend the life of your plumbing system, because it reduces the mineral content in your water supply.

Long-Lasting Appliances and Plumbing Fixtures

Hard water can also reduce the life of your household appliances, including your water heater, dishwasher, icemaker and washing machine. Since mineral and scale build-up will reduce water flow and efficiency, the appliances must work harder to achieve their intended result. In the end, hard water will increase your household energy costs and lead to premature appliance replacement.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Touchless Toilets Have Arrived

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

It’s a common scenario: You’re dining at a new restaurant and need to use the restroom. But when it comes time to flush, you can’t find the lever. You soon realize the restroom is equipped with a touchless toilet, and with a wave of your hand, the problem is solved. If you want one of these modern wonders for your own bathroom, you’re not alone. Touchless technology has found its way to residential applications, allowing you to upgrade your bathroom with a little stroke of genius. This post will shed light on how touchless toilets work and their many benefits.

About Touchless Toilets

Previous touchless toilets relied on a motion sensor/light beam to flush the toilet once the beam was broken. While the old technology worked, it often fell short in reliability. The new technology is a bit different. It uses electromagnetic fields to activate and flush the toilet with a simple wave of your hand over the toilet tank. The Kohler Company is the first manufacturer to introduce this new technology to the residential market. All Kohler touchless models require four AA batteries to power the electromagnetic module that’s necessary to detect hand movement and flush the toilet.

Benefits of Touchless Technology

The primary benefit of a touchless toilet is obvious; you don’t have to touch it to flush it. Toilets are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs, so anytime you can avoid touching them is a plus. Touchless technology reduces your exposure to germs by eliminating the need to touch the toilet to flush it, which is both convenient and beneficial to everyone.

Consult a Plumbing Professional

Schedule an appointment with your plumbing contractor and discuss your options for installing a touchless toilet. Because they are battery operated, no electrical upgrades are necessary. Installation requires simply replacing your old toilet with the new model. During the installation, it’s wise to ask your plumber to install a new shut-off valve and supply line as these devices deteriorate over time. This simple step may eliminate a service call down the road.

Less Expensive Alternatives

Kohler took the new technology one-step further by manufacturing a retrofit kit that adapts to most standard toilet models. The kit is ideal if you don’t want to replace your toilet. Perhaps you recently purchased a new toilet and can’t justify replacing it so soon, or there’s just no room in your current budget. In either case, you can still enjoy the wonders of touchless technology at a reduced cost.

For answers to your plumbing questions or to find out more about touchless toilets, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Dishwasher Problems: Plumbing and Your Dishwasher

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Dishwasher plumbing can be tricky – especially if you aren’t sure what’s causing the problem. Should you get a professional plumber, or try to deal with the problem yourself? Let’s take a look at several common dishwasher issues, and how you know when to make the call.

Problem #1: The dishwasher will not stop filling with water
One of the worst dishwasher problems occurs when it will not stop filling with water. Overflowing water can do serious damage to your floor and other nearby materials. Here the problem is often with the float switch, a plastic sphere or box near the base of the dishwasher that rises with the water level. Sometimes the float malfunctions – and needs to be replaced by a professional.

Problem #2: The dishwasher doesn’t fill with water
Here’s a quick tip – check a nearby sink to make sure that your hot water is working properly. Sometimes your hot water tank fails and the dishwasher cannot get any water at all. This problem may also be caused by problems with your float, or with valves that control the water flow in your system. You’ll need to have an experienced plumber take a look and see just where the problem is.

Problem #3: The dishwasher will not drain properly
There are two common causes for these types of dishwasher problems. The first is that there’s a clog in the strainer or air gap of your dishwasher. You should be able to tell this by the smell alone, but check your strainer or filter to make sure. Otherwise, the drain hose or drain valve may have malfunctioned – a more serious problem that will require a professional plumber.

Problem #4 The dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes properly
Rule out obvious causes here like poor dish placement, the wrong kind of soap, hard water, and other common culprits. If you’ve tried everything and your dishes just aren’t getting cleaned, then the problem may be with water levels or circulation. Your float, sprayer arms, or valves may have been damaged – in older dishwashers, the heating element may have also failed. These require complex repairs, so give your plumber a call.

Problem #5 The dishwasher is leaking onto the floor
After grabbing some towels, call up your plumber, because you want this problem to get solved ASAP! Your dishwasher may be overflowing or have a problem with its door seals, which will need to be fixed. A leak from underneath the dishwasher can be caused by leaking drain hoses, your pump, or your water inlet valve. With so many different potential causes, it’s important to narrow down the cause as quickly as you can – which is why a professional inspection can be so useful for this problem.

Remember, for more information and answers to your questions, head over to the Pink Plumber!

Photo Source: Flickr

Pipe Insulation: Is it Worth it in Your Home?

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Pipe insulation can be a confusing topic for homeowners: some see it as completely unnecessary, while some see it as a potential solution for almost every problem. But with a limited budget and a house full of pipes, you probably want to know if insulation is really worth it. Here are several instances where wrapping plumbing insulation around your pipes can make a real difference.

  1. Regular Freezing Temperatures: Do you live in an area that gets truly cold during the winter? Do you have a cabin or building at a higher elevation that sees a lot of snow every year? The problem here is freezing pipes: When pipes freeze with too much water inside, that water expands and can ruin valves or split pipes, causing widespread and expensive damage when water leaks out. Running water constantly through pipes can help mitigate this problem, but that’s not always feasible. If your pipes are not already insulated, then wrapping them in insulation designed to prevent freezing can help prevent this type of dreaded damage. However, this should only apply to particularly cold areas. Ask a local plumber for more advice if necessary.
  2. Demanding Hot Water Use: There’s a semi-myth about pipe insulation that says it can help heat up your water. It can’t…but it can help preserve heat. Wrapping pipes close to your hot water heater in insulation can help conserve several degrees, especially if your hot water pipes pass through a cold basement. Therefore, it saves energy and helps lower your monthly bills. If your hot water heater isn’t insulated or you find it difficult to get water as hot as you want it, think about adding insulation.
  3. Very High Humidity: If you have very high humidity levels – especially in crawlspaces or basements where your pipes are – then condensation is a danger. Water vapor condenses out of mid-air and forms on your colder pipes. High condensation eventually leads to dripping water and pools of moisture – which can cause wood rot, mold, pest problems, and other serious issues. If you notice that there’s a lot of condensation on your colder pipes, insulation can help prevent moisture problems in the future.
  4. Pipes in Specific Areas: Insulation isn’t just about controlling temperature – it can also provide important protection for your pipes in specific areas. For example, if you are burying pipes in the ground or in concrete you need pipe insulation to help protect those pipes from the elements. Generally, any underground pipe should have insulation.
  5. Noisy Pipes: If your pipes are rattling, banging, or moaning, call in a professional to take a look. It could be a problem with water hammers or poor installation methods that can be fixed. However, if there’s not much that can be done about your noisy pipes (and they are seriously affecting your quality of life), consider pipe insulation to help dampen the sound.

For answers to your questions about pipe insulation and if it is right for you, contact the Pink Plumber today!

Photo Source: Flickr

The Pink Plumber Offers More Than Just Plumbing Services—They Give Back For A Good Cause

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Sure, The Pink Plumber is widely known to provide some of the best plumbing, service and repairs in the industry. But, what you may not have noticed right away is that they are strong advocates for breast cancer research. A portion of all of their profits goes toward fighting against the disease. A recent customer, Donna K, had a lot of positive things to say about The Pink Plumber and her experience with our company. Here’s her story.

What was the main reason for contacting us? “I needed some repairs done on my two upstairs toilets. They were both flushing slowly, and one of the toilets kept running around the clock. My husband is a good handyman and he tried to fix them, but unfortunately they kept giving us issues. That was when I knew it was time to call in the pros! I chose The Pink Plumber because my neighbors have raved about them and their exceptional service.”

Here at The Pink Plumber, we strive ourselves as providing some of the best customer service in the industry. What was your first opinion of us when you spoke with us? “When I first called, your receptionist was extremely friendly and was very concerned about what our plumbing problems were all about. She asked several questions and gathered a lot of information about our plumbing issue. She quickly put together an appointment time for us for later that day. I was shocked that we could get help so quickly, but The Pink Plumber definitely pulled through.”

“The first thing I noticed when the tech, Jack R. arrived, was that he pulled up in a pink truck.” says Donna. “Of course, my first reaction was that as a woman, I was attracted to this company because of the beautiful pink colors. I quickly found out from Jack that they are pro-breast cancer research and donate part of their earnings to breast cancer research and awareness. This really hit home for me, because a close family member of mine is battling the disease.”

What do you want others to know about us, Donna? “I really want to express to others who are looking for a plumbing expert to call you guys first. You are affordable and you were able to tackle my underlying plumbing issue the same day. Now, our toilets and our entire septic drain is running and flowing better than ever.”

If you’re faced with any plumbing issue, big or small, call The Pink Plumber today and schedule a consultation right away!

Tips to Lower Your Water Bill

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Below you will discover valuable tips that not only conserve one of our most valuable resources but can also save you some money by reducing your monthly water bill. Freshwater is one of the many natural resources sometimes taken for granted. You turn on the tap and a seemingly endless supply is at your fingertips. However, the cost of freshwater has risen due to the demands placed on its supply from pollution and an ever-expanding population. Here are some ways we can conserve water in our own homes.

Repair Faulty Plumbing

Don’t drag your feet when it comes to repairing dripping faucets, leaking pipes or running toilets. A single faucet that drips 60 times a minute will waste 5 gallons of freshwater per day or 2,082 gallons per year. A professional plumber will make quick work of these simple repairs and help you to conserve water, reduce your bill and avoid costly home repairs resulting from the potential water damage.

Reduce Bathing Times

Reducing the length of your shower — by just four minutes — can conserve up to 4,000 gallons of fresh water per year. This can reflect an annual savings of $100 dollars per year on your water bill. In addition, shorter showers lead to a reduction in hot water use, which can also lower other utility bills such as gas or electricity.

Go Low-Flow

Replace dated toilets, shower heads and faucets with efficient low-flow fixtures. Inefficient toilets can use as much as six gallons of freshwater per flush. When you compare that to the 1.6 gallons-per-flush of today’s models, you can easily comprehend the potential savings. Do not use your toilet as a garbage can. Aside from the harmful effects cigarette butts, chewing gum and feminine products have on septic tanks and sewer systems, placing them in the trash does not require precious freshwater.

Do not let it Run

Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving. Many gallons of freshwater are wasted each year from this one, bad habit. When shaving, simply fill the basin with hot water to rinse your razor and keep disposable cups in the bathroom for rinsing after brushing your teeth.

No Half Loads

You can save on both your water and electric bill by utilizing the maximum capacity of your dishwasher and washing machine. If you must rinse your dishes before loading the dishwasher, fill the sink or a container with water for rinsing; do not let the faucet run.

At the end of the day, by doing your part to conserve water, you can help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint as well as save a little money on your monthly water bill.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Image source: Flickr

How Plumbing Repairs Can Make Your Life Easier

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Plumbing repairs are vital to ensuring your home runs smoothly and efficiently. When your plumbing fails, not only do you face the inconveniences presented by faulty plumbing, you also face potential additional costs for home repairs. Handy homeowners often attempt easy plumbing repair projects. However, they should leave the more difficult tasks to professional plumbers. This makes your life easier—as it gives you peace of mind. You’ll know your plumbing was repaired correctly. Below are a few common plumbing problems homeowners often face that can turn into larger problems if ignored.

Slow or Obstructed Drains

Slow or obstructed drain lines can cause many problems for your home. A slow drain will eventually fail—and will leave you with a nasty sewage backup that could potentially flood your home. Slow or obstructed drain lines can also be a real drain on your quality of life, as they will increase your workload. You’ll have to struggle to keep your sinks, toilets and tubs clean. Professional plumbers, on the other hand, can use high definition video to inspect the inside of your drain lines. This will help identify problem areas that need attention. In addition, certified plumbers carry the necessary skills and tools to restore your plumbing quickly and efficiently.

Insufficient Hot Water

Your water heater should be inspected and flushed by a professional plumber annually to maintain efficiency and top performance. A neglected water heater can drive up your energy costs and could fail, leaving you without hot water. Since tanked systems also become more susceptible to leaks and possible ruptures as they age, it is to your benefit to hire a professional plumber who can determine if it is time for replacement.

Leaking Pipes

Leaky water pipes and drains can cause severe damage to your home’s flooring, cabinetry, walls and baseboard leading to costly repairs. It could also be a sign of a more serious problem (like deteriorating pipes a simple turn of the wrench will not fix). Professional plumbers carry the experience and knowledge that allows them to identify these circumstances and make the necessary repairs to head off these potential disasters.

Professional Plumbing Benefits

The problems mentioned above are just a few of the unfortunate circumstances you may face when dealing with your home’s plumbing. Since plumbing repair can be a nasty business, professional plumbing services can make your life easier. Aside from their experience and knowledge, licensed and certified plumbers carry liability insurance that protects your home in the event of any plumbing mishaps associated with their work.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Image Source: Flickr

The Water Hammer Fix: Can You Stop Banging Pipes?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Are you looking for a water hammer fix? Is the noise starting to drive crazy? Water hammer occurs when you turn the water on and your pipes respond with an audible bang – a thundering boom that is sometimes loud enough to rattle your windows and may be followed by other disturbing noises.

Water Hammer and Your Pipes

When you first hear a water hammer, it sounds incredible – like something that shouldn’t be happening inside your home at all. But the cause is surprisingly simple: the “hammer” is made from a combination of blocked pipes and pressure waves.

When you turn on water, especially for high-demand applications like pouring a bath or turning on a shower, your water system sends in a powerful gush of water through your pipes and toward its destination. But along the way, sometimes water encounters a slow valve, a sudden turn or a loose pipe that forces a sudden change or a quick stop. But the water is moving so quickly that this sudden crash creates a powerful pressure wave as the water is suddenly compressed and released. That wave is the explosive sound that travels outward, often making pipes throughout your house rattle.

Water hammer is more common with older pipes, poorly installed pipes and pipes that carry heated water. Think about a water hammer fix that will address these problems for overall healthy plumbing.

Water Hammer Problems

The blast of water hammer does not mean that something is immediately broken – after the pressure wave, water typically continues to travel as normal. But water hammer isn’t something that you want hanging around. The shockwave can knock pipes from their brackets, cause serious valve damage, encourage leaks to develop and more.

Finding a Water Hammer Fix

There are several different solutions to water hammer issues, depending on the source of the problem. One of the easiest is air chamber maintenance – most homes use air chambers that have pockets of air in the pipes to provide some cushioning as water makes tight turns. That air can sometimes leak out over time, creating problems, but you can replace it with new air. This usually requires professional help.

If your problem is a stuck valve, this is a more immediate problem that can be fixed with a simple replacement. Sometimes there is a more far-reaching issue, such as a problem with the pitch of your pipes (the angle at which they decline over a distance), but this is relatively rare.

Water hammer can also be treated with special valves call arresters that help water slow down in better ways. If you cannot solve your water hammer problems any other way, then contact a professional and ask them about installing an arrester or similar device to help prevent future noises.

For answers to your questions or a fix for your water hammer problems, contact the Pink Plumber today!

Image Source: Flickr

6 Summer Plumbing Tips

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Need summer plumbing tips to keep you out of hot water? Neglecting your plumbing system leads to leaky pipes, costly water bills and perhaps even water damage to your home. Stay ahead of the maintenance game this summer by employing these tips:

  1. Heading out of town? Remember to shut off the home’s main water supply valve. The chances are small, but if a pipe were to burst while you were away, you’d come home to a very hefty water bill and significant water damage. Be sure that you also turn off the water heater, as even in vacation mode, the system will cycle on. With no water flowing to the unit, the chances of fire increases, along with damage to the system itself.
  2. Too much rain? Remember that your sewer line can back up when there’s a deluge of rain. Sewer lines with small cracks are particularly vulnerable, allowing the force of rainwater to infiltrate the pipes. A fresh supply of water also means tree roots are thriving. Tree roots and sewer pipes don’t mix. It’s important to ensure that you schedule regular maintenance in the summer and have a professional take a look at the pipe’s condition using a drain camera.
  3. Running the garbage disposal? In summer, this handy unit often works in overdrive, grinding up veggies and other food scraps as you prepare barbecues and other summertime meals. Avoid putting fibrous foods down the drain, as well as egg shells, oils and fats. Run the cold water for a few seconds before starting the disposal, and keep the water running until the disposal completely shuts off.
  4. Washing clothes? Keep in mind that the clothes washer often gets used more frequently, as your family changes clothes more often, you wash swimming and beach towels or you launder curtains and small areas rugs. Keep an eye on the hoses, and make sure they aren’t kinked. You should also have new hoses installed every three years or so.
  5. Have you checked the gutters? One of the best ways to avoid water in the basement involves keeping water moving away from the home’s foundation. When gutters are full or downspouts aren’t in the right place, water will seep into the ground next to the foundation and cause problems.
  6. Using more water? This is a common occurrence in the summer, with sprinklers running and outdoor plants and landscaping needing water. Scheduling a regular maintenance appointment with your plumber ensures that all of your plumbing systems are operating efficiently. A check-up also helps you avoid burst pipes and costly leaks, as the plumber can identify potential problems early on.

Use these summer plumbing tips to get the most of out the season, avoid costly water bills and prevent damage to your home. For answers to your plumbing questions and concerns, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image Source: Flickr