Keeping Those Pipes Running Smoothly

Why Is Your Water Bill Suddenly So High?

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Is Your Water Bill Suddenly So High?

Leaks can be sneaky. They may show up in places that appear to have no relation to the actual source of the leak, or you may not have any visible signs of a leak at all, but your water bill seems unusually high. What’s a homeowner to do when they’re experiencing leaking without an obvious source? How to Tell if You Have an Active Leak You can conduct a home leak detection test to find out if you have a leak that’s active. First, turn off all water-consuming appliances. If your refrigerator has an ice maker, make sure that’s not being used. Don’t run any water in the home for approximately a half hour. After that half hour has passed without anyone using any water in the house, go to your home’s water meter. Check the needle’s reading on the dial and take a note of it and the time. After another 15 to 30 minutes of no water use, go back and check the meter again and verify the meter’s reading.  Has it changed? If so, you most likely have an active water leak. You think you may have a leak–now what? Toilet tanks are frequently a source of leaks, so it makes sense to check there first. A leaky toilet can squander hundreds of gallons of water a day. To find out if the toilet is the source of your high water bill: After the last flush, wait about 10 minutes Take off the tank cover. Does the water level look higher than it should be? If it’s spilling into the overflow drain, you likely have a leak. Put food coloring into the tank water until there’s a visible color change. Check the toilet after 30 minutes. If the colored water has found its way into the bowl, there’s a leak.  If the toilet doesn’t seem to be the source of the leak, look over any exposed pipes in the house for signs of water and touch them to check if they feel wet. If you find a small leak, the pipe joint may need to be tightened or sealed, a task many homeowners can carry out on their own. If you’re unable to find a leak source but your water bills continue to go up inexplicably, you may have a service line leak that’s underground. A plumbing service, like Sunset Professional Plumbing, can conduct a leak detection service to locate leaks in the home. In addition to a general visual inspection, they can perform a video pipe inspection or use high-quality listening equipment to find the source of the leak. Once it’s found and stopped, you can have your water bill back under control in no...

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How To Lower Your Water Bill

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Lower Your Water Bill

Spiking utility bills can wreak havoc on anyone’s household budget. Gas and electric bills certainly do their damage, but water bills can also be a drain on your bank account. If you believe your water bill is higher than it should be, you can try a few ways to remedy the problem. Checking for Leaks Plumbing leaks are one of the main causes for high water bills. Some leaks may require the services of a plumber to find and fix, particularly leaks in buried or concealed pipes. In some instances, you will be able to detect problems on your own. One simple leak detection test for a “silent” toilet tank leak is to put food coloring in the tank and let it sit for approximately 30 minutes. After that time, check to see if any color has leaked into the bowl. If it has, you probably have a flapper leak, something you can fix yourself. Leaking faucets can often be corrected by replacing O-rings. You can also check your water meter by turning off all the water in your house. If no water is running but your meter continues to spin, you know you have a water leak somewhere.  Water-Saving Methods If you are interested in reducing your water bill, you can employ a variety of do-it-yourself methods. For instance, you can greatly reduce the amount of water you use for washing your clothes by avoiding the permanent press setting cycle as much as possible since it uses up to one-third more water than some other cycles. Also, do not wash small loads of clothing if you can possibly help it. Wait until you have a full load. If you urgently need an item or two, handwash it.  Taking shorter showers can help make your water bill more manageable as well. If you are truly dedicated to saving water, you can turn off the faucet while you soap or lather up and then turn the water back on to rinse off. Often, you leave the water running for no reason except convenience. Everytime water goes down your drains for no reason, you are giving away your money. If your water bills have gotten out of hand, you can take steps to get them back under control. Check for water leaks and consult a professional if necessary. Be mindful of how much water you are using for laundry and personal hygiene. Simply paying attention to your water use can significantly reduce your water...

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Tips For Preventing Septic Tank Overflow

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Preventing Septic Tank Overflow

You absolutely do not want your septic tank to overflow. It will cause the area around your septic tank to smell very bad and will pollute the soil in which your septic tank rests. Here are some tips for making sure that your septic tank does not overflow and you don’t have to deal with either of these problems, or any other problems that a septic tank overflow could cause. 1. Maintain Your Drain Field The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your drain feel is well-maintained. The drain field is the area of rocks and gravel that surrounds your septic tank that effectively disperses the water that comes out of it into the ground, allowing you to only keep the sludge in your septic tank. You need to take care of this drain field because it is going to be the reason why you have a lot of soupy waste around the septic tank or do not have this soupy waste.  To keep your drain field safe from harm, make sure that you never park cars on it or put anything heavy near it. This is because when heavy items are put on the drain field, it compacts the rocks and the soil that is holding them together. This can be a major problem because it will reduce the amount of liquid that the field is able to disperse. Keep any plants with deep root systems far away from the field because you don’t want their root systems inadvertently halting the water dispersion process. Grass is completely acceptable because it has a shallow root system. Finally, make sure that your gutters are not directing rainwater to the drain field and causing the field to become saturated with liquid that is not coming from the septic tank. 2. Get a Large Enough Tank Count the number of people that are going to be using the septic tank in your home. Then, multiply that number by 125 to 175 gallons, depending on how much rainwater your area usually gets. This is the total volume that your septic tank should be able to hold. If you don’t get a tank that is large enough, you will suffer an overflow, especially on days when it rains hard.  3. Set a Maintenance Schedule At least once a year, make sure that you have a professional waste removal company come to remove the waste from your septic tank and repair anything that might have been damaged. Pay for these services in advance whenever you have the money to make sure that you don’t have to worry about saving up money for the specific time that you have scheduled. For more information, talk to a company that specializes in waste...

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How To Clean Plugged Burners On A Gas Furnace

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Clean Plugged Burners On A Gas Furnace

If your furnace is not starting properly and warming your home, you should check the burners. Dirt and rust can build up inside the burners and clog the pipes moving gas from one burner to the next. You have to remove the burners so you can clean them out and restore the flow of gas necessary to heat your home. Keeping the burners clean means you’ll avoid hefty furnace repair down the road. Here is how you can remove and clean the gas burners on your furnace. Step One: Turn off Electricity and Gas You want to turn off the utilities going to the furnace to prevent electrocution or an explosion due to a gas leak. Turn off the circuit breaker or remove the use for the furnace at the main electrical box. The switch for the gas line is located on the gas pipe going into the furnace. Turn the switch on the handle so it is set perpendicular to the gas line. Step Two: Remove Burners Take off the panel on the front of the furnace. Usually, you can lift up on the panel to slide it out of the grooves on the face of the furnace. However, some panels are screwed into place. Remove the screws securing the panel to the front of the furnace. Remove the panel. The burners are located just above the chamber that holds the blower. In some cases, you’ll have to move another small metal cover to gain access to the burners. Remove the screws to the cover and take it off of the furnace. Gas burners use a clip to hold them in place. Open the clip and carefully remove the burners from inside the furnace. Step Three: Clean Burners Put a soft-bristled brush onto the wand of a vacuum cleaner. Run the brush over the surface of the burners to break off hardened pieces of dust and rust while you are vacuuming. You can blow out the inside of the burner using a can of compressed air. You should also clean out the gas jets. The jets are located on the end of the gas line on each burner. The jets control the flow of gas into each burner. Unscrew the jets from the gas line and push a thin wire through them to clean them out. Tip the burners upside down and tap the sides of them. This will help to dislodge any dirt and rust you can’t reach with the brush or wire. Step Four: Replace Burners Screw the jets back onto the gas line. Insert the burners back into the furnace and clip them in place. Put the cover back over the front of the burners (if you had to remove one). Turn on the gas and electricity. Turn on the furnace. Watch to make sure a steady blue flame is emitted from each burner – the blue flame signifies the burners are working properly. Put the main panel back over the front of the...

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Tips For Diagnosing Causes Of Septic Or Sewer Odors

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Diagnosing Causes Of Septic Or Sewer Odors

It’s dangerous to have sewer gases leaking into your house. They have a pungent smell, are a health risk, and may also lead to an explosion. Here are a few tips to help you diagnose the source of sewer gases in your house: Drain Cap Left Off If you are lucky, then the problem may be nothing more than a cap left off. The sewage effluent is supposed to flow through a closed system from their origins in your plumbing fixtures to their final destination. A gap may appear, for example, when a cleanout port isn’t closed off after a service session. If such a gap appears near the house, for example where the main waste line exits the building, the sewer gases escaping it may find their way back into the house. A physical examination of your sewer line should help you determine if this is the case. Damaged Drain Line If the cause is not a cap left off, then it may be due to a damaged drain pipe leaking gases into the house. What is worse, it doesn’t take a big crack to leak sewer gases, even a small fissure that doesn’t leak much wastes can let considerable gas pass through.  Moreover, the crack can occur inside a ceiling or ceiling cavity, which may be difficult to discern with your naked eye. Therefore, you may need the intervention of a plumber to help you diagnose hidden cracks. Damaged Vent Plumbing vents are installed to direct foul gases safely outside the house. Therefore, a damaged vent will leave your house foul smelling, for example, if the crack occurs within the wall or the ceiling cavity. Such damage may occur, for example, if you carry out a DIY repair on a vent and fail to seal a connection properly. Improperly Vented Fixture An essential role of a plumbing vent is to provide the plumbing system with atmospheric pressure so that the pressure inside the plumbing system is equal to the one outside it. If there is an imbalance in this pressure, then the water in the U-shaped trap of the affected fixture gets sucked away. This allows the obnoxious gases in the sewer system to leak into the house. Here are two other signs that point to improper venting of fixtures: The smell emanates from a single plumbing drain A plumbing fixture or drain makes gurgling noises when in use These are the common reasons sewer gases may leak into your house. Call a plumber if you can’t pinpoint the source of the leak, or to fix the problem once you have identified...

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Preventing Plumbing Problems

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Preventing Plumbing Problems

As a homeowner, it is your duty to do your best to take proper care of your plumbing system. There are things you can do, or not do, that will increase the likeliness that you will have to call a plumber out to repair your plumbing. The information provided here will help you learn about some of the things that can be damaging to your system and ways you can avoid problems. Protect your pipes from freezing If the temperature in your region gets below freezing, then it can cause your pipes to freeze. If this happens then they can burst, and this means costly plumbing repairs and possible damage to your house and your belongings. To prevent your pipes from freezing, you should have them insulated. Also, turn off your sprinkler system for the season and disconnect and store your garden hose. If you have sinks or tubs that have plumbing pipes close to the outside walls of the house, leave those taps running a little. You want to have a stream of water about the thickness of a pencil lead coming from the taps. Keeping your home warmer than it is outside will also help. Prevent clogs and damage to your garbage disposal Don’t put anything down your garbage disposal that can cause clogs or other damage to the disposal. Grease and oil can harden along the pipes and lead to clogging. Fibrous foods, such as celery, lettuce and asparagus can cause tangles to happen in the disposal. Hard foods, such as fruit pits, can damage the blades of the disposal. Prevent toilet clogs There are only two types of things that you should be flushing down your toilet. These things include natural human waste and toilet paper. Anything else, including cotton balls, feminine products and even baby wipes, can cause your toilet to become clogged and they may even cause problems further down in your plumbing if the items travel through your system.  Prevent damaged shower faucets If you don’t have enough shelving in your shower, then you may have a shower rack that hangs from the showerhead. Make sure the rack isn’t putting too much weight on the showerhead or it can cause damage to it and to the attached pipes inside the wall. Prevent your pipes from becoming week and brittle Putting harsh chemicals down your drain can lead to your plumbing pipes getting brittle and breaking in the future. For this reason, it’s best to clean your sinks, toilets and tubs with vinegar, baking soda and other natural products. Following the tips here will help to keep your plumbing in better shape for...

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When To Replace Your Septic Tank

Posted by on Dec 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When To Replace Your Septic Tank

With the proper care and maintenance, your septic tank should work well for years. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and septic tanks are no exception. Before your septic tank or system quits on you entirely, there will be signs of its deterioration. If you pay attention to these signs, you will know when to replace your septic system. Leaks If you examine your lawn above your drain field, that area above and around your septic tank, and find that it is constantly wet, even if the weather has been dry, your tank is probably leaking. In some cases, the leaks may be from the ports, a problem your septic tank professional can fix for you. However, if the tank itself has developed a leak, you are looking at a large repair bill, one that may not be worth it if your tank is old. You may want to consider replacing your old tank with a new one at this point. Sewage Backup Having sewage back up into your house is not only unpleasant: it’s a health hazard. Sometimes this problem is caused by a simple clog or by your septic tank being full. However, if you have had your tank pumped regularly, this backup may be a sign that you have outgrown your system. You may need a new and larger tank. Another obvious sign of sewage backup is the smell. If something literally stinks, then you have a septic problem, one that may indicate a replacement is in order. Beautiful Grass If your drain field and the surrounding lawn is a beautiful dark shade of green while the rest of your yard is just its normal color, you may have a serious problem. While “gray water” is supposed to be dispersed from your system into the drain field, solid waste is not. If your grass is being deeply fertilized in spots near your septic tank, you can be sure that you have some sort of issue with your system, one that may signal the need to replace it.  If you notice these signs of trouble, contact a professional such as AAA Septic Tank Service and arrange an inspection. You need to know as soon as possible if the problems can be repaired or whether you need to replace your system. Ignoring your septic tank problems is never a good idea and can lead to a complete system failure. It’s certainly better to take care of the issues before your home is damaged by excessive sewage backup or you suffer serious lawn...

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Comparing Electric And Gas Water Heaters

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Comparing Electric And Gas Water Heaters

Gas and electric water heaters are the two most common type of water heaters available on the market. They both provide hot water on demand to your home, yet their different fuel sources means that each type of water heater carries a distinctive set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding what each type of water heater has to offer can help you choose the one that best fits your home’s needs. Electric Water Heaters Electric water heaters are safer than their gas counterparts, as there is no danger of an explosion in the event of a fire, and there is no pilot light that can go out and fill your home with gas. This is an extremely important consideration, especially in areas where wildfires and drought are common. Furthermore, electric water heaters represent a more affordable option to most homeowners. This is partly because electric water heaters tend to cost less when compared to a gas water heater of a similar size, but also because their installation does not require the installation of a vent or flue for the exhaust from the gas. Finally, electric water heaters can be fitted with a programmable thermostat, which controls when the water heater actually turns on and off, saving you energy and money. However, electric water heaters have the major drawback of not working during a power outage, which can be a significant downside for those living in rural areas. Additionally, electric water heaters work slower than their gas counterparts, which are able to quickly refill their tanks after they’ve been emptied. Gas Water Heaters Gas water heaters are much more efficient when compared to electric water heaters, and are able to refill their water tank much quicker. This can be a huge advantage for those that need hot water at multiple points throughout the day. Additionally, gas water heaters will continue to work even in the event of a power outage. Furthermore, natural gas can actually cost less than electricity (though this will obviously depend on the area and the difference will vary), which means that you will save money over time choosing gas over electricity. However, gas carries with a serious safety concern, as it is combustive in the event of a fire. Additionally, gas water heaters cost more upfront than electric water heaters, which can be restrictive to homeowners who are operating under a tight budget. Finally, gas water heaters tend to be much more bulky and take up way more space, because in addition to a vent and flue, they need a storage tank and piping for the fuel supply, which electric water heaters do not have. For more information, talk to a professional like Brother’s...

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Keeping Your Septic Tank System Working Properly: Tips For You

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keeping Your Septic Tank System Working Properly: Tips For You

Owning a home with a septic tank system rather than a plumbing system that flows into a central city sewage system can be challenging for homeowners who are not used to it. However, if you get to know how your septic system works and what needs to be done to maintain it, having a home with a septic tank system can be simple and easy. Get to know some of the key steps you can take to keep your septic tank system running smoothly, and you will be well on your way to having a well-maintained home without major plumbing issues or incidents. Be Sure Your Water Does Not Run Excessively One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you have a septic system is to allow your water to run or leak excessively. This can be as simple as having a toilet that continues to run after it has been flushed, or having leaky faucets or pipes that constantly add small amounts of waste water to your septic tank. While all homeowners, whether they have septic systems or not, should be vigilant about excess water use, when you have a septic system, higher water bills are not your only consequence. If a toilet runs for hours after being flushed or faucets leak constantly, your septic tank may overflow causing your backyard to become a smelly sewage-filled mess. If this happens, you will need plumbers to come out and drain the tanks and try to clean up the potentially hazardous mess in your backyard, as the septic tank treatment chemicals will also have been released into your lawn and the environment. Get Regular Septic Tank Treatment and Maintenance Your septic tank system will need maintenance and treatment on a regular schedule to keep everything working properly and running smoothly. Having your septic system checked and treated every year can help you to prevent any major issues or repairs that could cost you a great deal of money and involve messy cleanup. Septic tank maintenance and treatment can include ensuring that the chemicals in the tank are at the proper levels, there are no leaks or cracks in the system, and everything is up to code and standards for safety and health. In addition to regular checks, you will need to get the solid waste pumped from your tank on a regular basis. Usually this can be done every few years, although some households may need septic tank pumping more frequently. If you have your system inspected and maintained every year, your septic tank servicing company will be able to advise you on a pumping schedule that will work best for you. With these tips in mind, you can be sure that you keep your septic tank system working properly starting right now. To learn more, contact a company like Tyler Contracting...

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Simple Tips To Keep Your Kitchen’s PVC Plumbing Pipe From Freezing Up

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Simple Tips To Keep Your Kitchen’s PVC Plumbing Pipe From Freezing Up

If you experience freezing pipes in your kitchen every winter no matter what you do, it’s time to take action. When the temperatures drop outside, some rooms in your home may stay colder than others do, especially if the rooms sit under trees. The water inside your kitchen’s plastic plumbing pipe stays cold as a result. You can keep the plumbing warm with the tips below. Open Up the Cabinets Although cabinets protect your sink’s plumbing from dust and other issues, they can make the space beneath your sink cold. By opening up the sink’s cabinets, you allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing pipe. The warm air heats up the plastic pipe and water sitting inside it.  You can also leave your cold water tap running to help keep the water inside the plumbing pipe flowing. However, instead of letting the water pour out of the faucet, only allow a thin stream of water flow through it. The stream of water will push any ice that forms inside the pipe through to the sink. If the space beneath the sink still feels a bit cold, place a portable heater in the center of the room and direct it toward the sink. Turn the heater to low and give it 30 minutes to heat up the space. You don’t want to leave the heater in the kitchen overnight unless you expect to be up. Unattended heaters can start fires. After you complete the tips above, take time to insulate the plumbing pipe. Insulate the Pipe With a Blanket The plastic housing of your plumbing pipe can contract when it’s cold and break open along the elbow joints. If these things happen, water can flow out of the pipe and flood the kitchen. Insulating the pipe with a cotton blanket on extremely cold days and nights may keep the plastic from contracting. Cotton is a great heat insulator, because the material contains molecules that hold on to air. Cotton also absorbs moisture. If the temperatures in the home or outside become warmer, the plumbing pipe can form condensation or moisture on its surface. Once the weather becomes cold again, the pipe develops ice on it. Before you insulate the pipe with the blanket, you may want to cut the material into long strips, then wrap them around the pipe individually. You may cover more areas of the plumbing pipe by doing so. Also, secure the strips of cotton with tape to keep them in place.  If you need more tips on how to keep your kitchen’s plumbing pipe from freezing, contact a plumber today through a site...

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