Some homeowners aren’t aware of how their plumbing works, which is why they contact a licensed plumber if they have questions about how to get rid of a clogged drain or how to properly maintain the water heater. Don’t worry, we’ll cover your most important questions in this article. Read further to learn important plumbing tips and how to avoid expensive plumbing nightmares. If you have questions, feel free to get in touch with a professional near you.
Plumbing Questions and Answers
Below are a few of the top questions from homeowners about their home’s plumbing. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a plumber.
1. Why Do We Need to Insulate Our Pipes During Winter?
During freezing temperatures, it’s a must for every homeowner to protect their plumbing pipes by insulating them. You can just purchase a high-quality insulating material from a hardware store and make sure you cover unprotected pipes in your homes. You can also slightly open the faucets for hot water to flow through the pipes and prevent them from freezing.
The cabinets underneath the sink must be opened so that warm air also circulates in that area. If you don’t cover the pipes or outdoor faucets, chances are the water can freeze, and you know what will happen when the water freezes. The pipes can expand and then burst. You’ll be lucky when you can thaw the pipes right away and avoid flooding. Otherwise, you might end up with a flooded home.
You can save money and protect your home from water damage by insulating the pipes during winter. Should you need additional help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a plumber near you. If you have an old water heater tank, don’t forget to insulate that too to conserve energy and save money.
2. How Do We Maintain the Water Heater?
It’s easy to maintain the water heater. You simply need to drain the water heater tank to get rid of the sediment build-up. When not removed, the sediment can accumulate and cause major problems including water damage that will cost you a lot of money. You will need to flush the water heater tank at least once a year. However, if there’s hard water in your plumbing, you may have to drain the water heater tank more than once a year.
For homeowners with hard water in their plumbing, they can contact a plumber to install a water softener to get rid of the hard water. When there’s low water pressure, you may need to also drain the water heater tank twice a year. The sediment will build up faster when the water pressure is low. Also, low water pressure usually indicates a leak in your plumbing. We suggest you contact a plumber for professional leak detection especially when you notice signs of hidden leaks in your plumbing such as seeing water spots in the ceilings or on the walls.
For other issues with your plumbing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are more than happy to help out.
Proper water heater maintenance extends the life of your water heater and prevents costly repairs. Make sure to periodically check your unit for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you suspect an issue with the unit, don’t hesitate to contact a plumber immediately for an inspection. Never be complacent or you might end up with repairs that will cost you a fortune.
3. Why Are Chemical-Based Drain Cleaners Bad?
Some homeowners resort to using chemical-based drain cleaners to unclog their drains. While it can work, please know that heavily advertised cleaners aren’t the solution to clogged drains. Use vinegar and baking soda solution to help you unclog the drain. Minor clogs may also be resolved by pouring boiling hot water into the drains.
The best way to resolve a clogged drain is by calling a plumber for professional drain cleaning. You need a licensed plumber equipped with a drain camera to see the interior of the pipes and assess the damage. This is where we come in. Call us if you need help with professional drain cleaning a licensed plumber will thoroughly clean your drains and ensure it’s in excellent shape. Never use chemical-based drain cleaners as they are harmful to the pipes and can also cause health problems.
4. Why Do We Need to Install Several Shut-Off Valves
When there’s a leak, the first thing a homeowner needs to do is not call a plumber for help but to turn off the water to prevent further damage to their plumbing. When your shut-off valve is located in the basement and the basement floods, it will be a lot more difficult to turn off your water. The best solution is to install several shut-off valves. Place them near your water heater, pipes, garbage disposals and other plumbing appliances, so that you won’t have to keep going to the basement to turn them off.
Make sure to also check your shut-off valves first to ensure they actually work. It would help to hire a licensed plumber to help you install your unit. Our team can help. Call us if you need assistance and we are more than happy to assist.
5. How Do We Know It’s Time to Upgrade My Plumbing?
Do you live in an old home? You probably still have galvanized pipes installed. We suggest you contact a licensed plumber to inspect your plumbing. Older pipes are more susceptible to damage. You might wake up to a flooded basement if you don’t upgrade to modern pipes such as PVC or copper pipes. Also, it’s important to hire the right plumber to install your fixtures and avoid a costly repair down the road. Incorrect installation can also lead to other problems including water damage. Call us if you need to install new pipes and our team are more than happy to help out.
If you want to conserve water and save energy, and you have older fixtures, we suggest you consider switching to low-flow fixtures and dual-flush toilets. Replace old appliances with energy-efficient appliances, preferably with an Energy Star label to save more money. For homeowners with a basement, we suggest you install a sump pump to prevent flooding in the basement.
It’s also time to call a plumber for an upgrade if your plumbing is no longer efficient. You can avoid paying for the higher costs associated with water damage by upgrading to better plumbing. Talk to us if you need help and our team is more than happy to assist anytime.
6. When Is the Best Time to Replace the Water Heater?
How long have you been using the water heater? If you’ve been using the unit for more than 7 or 10 years, you might consider getting a new one. Older units are usually inefficient and tend to use more energy. You may also start to have more problems with them such as not having enough hot water or fluctuating water temperatures. If your water heater is no longer efficient or old, contact us today to help you install a new water heater. You can definitely save money by installing a new unit and you get to also prevent water damage.
Some homeowners who are concerned about flooding in the basement may also consider switching to tankless water heaters. Because there’s no tank, it means you won’t have to worry about flooding. Tankless water heaters also require less maintenance and most importantly, there’s no standby heat loss with the tankless water heater, making them the most energy-efficient option. For installation though, make sure to only hire a licensed plumber to avoid problems associated with the incorrect installation of your unit. If you need assistance in choosing the right water heater for your home, please get back in touch with us.
7. Should We Install a Garbage Disposal? What About a Sump Pump?
Are you having problems disposing of your food waste at home? To avoid clogged drains, we suggest you install a garbage disposal to effectively manage your food waste. Call a licensed plumber to help you properly install the unit. Don’t forget to also learn how to use the garbage disposal properly. Know what type of food to grind in the garbage disposal and what type of food to avoid. Don’t forget to also maintain your unit to extend its service life and avoid costly repairs down the road. If you need help deciding what type of garbage disposal to install in your home, call us today for assistance.
For the sump pump, we suggest you install them especially if you have a basement. Sump pumps prevent flooding in the basement and avoid costly repairs or replacements. Imagine when the basement floods and some of your appliances and important belongings are stored there. Buying replacements and calling restoration companies will cost you a lot of money in the future but you can avoid this by installing a sump pump.
Don’t forget to test the sump pump by pouring water into the sump pit. Wait for the float switch to turn on and the pump to drain water from the sump pit. If it can’t drain the water, call a professional immediately or do an inspection. You might need to get your sump pump repaired. Don’t worry, we’re just here to help. Call us anytime and we will quickly dispatch a professional to your location to test the pump or to repair it efficiently.
8. Is it a Good Idea to Install Leak Detection Devices?
Leak detection devices can help you prevent costly repairs from water damage. These safety devices will need to be installed near your water heater and other plumbing appliances and will need to be connected to your phone so that you get alerts when there’s a possible leak in your plumbing. You’ll get notifications when the device detects abnormalities in your plumbing system. Some units can also automatically shut off your water supply to prevent further damage to your plumbing.
If you ask us if they are good investments, then yes, they are. We suggest you consider installing them. For installation though, make sure to only work with a licensed plumber in the area. Contact us if you need more information about leak detection devices.
9. What Are the Signs of Leaks in Our Plumbing?
If you see pooling water near your water heater or plumbing pipes, that could be leaks in your plumbing. Call a plumber immediately for professional leak detection. You need to also watch out for hidden signs of leaks such as seeing water spots in the ceilings or in the walls. If you don’t do something about them, they can progress into a major plumbing emergency that can cost you a fortune in repairs and restorations.
Other signs to watch out for include getting higher bills and low water pressure. Both usually indicate a leak in your plumbing. Try to do a water meter test to determine if there’s indeed a leak in your plumbing. Just compare two different readings and call a professional when the readings are different as there’s likely a leak. Higher bills and low water pressure usually indicate a leak so call a professional immediately so they can do a proper inspection and recommend the best solution.
Contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio
Do you need the services of a plumber? You’re definitely at the right place. Call us at your earliest convenience or during emergencies. We will quickly send a professional to your location. We offer a wide range of plumbing services including professional drain cleaning and leak detection.
Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio today for an appointment.
See our previous blog on this topic here.