Many parts of your home follow cycles, from roof replacements over the long term to lawn mowing and landscaping that happen much more often. Even your home’s wiring can get outdated, and your hardworking plumbing definitely does. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio, a professional plumber can review the plumbing in your Boerne, TX home and check the long-cycle items like sewer lines and water lines that can take up to 50 years to need replacement, and the drains that benefit from annual whole house drain service and possibly more frequent drain service if you have an active household. Pipes corrode and degrade over time, springing leaks if not caught early. Your water heater, tank-based or tankless, has its own maintenance and replacement cycle. Style, convenience, and water usage can drive some cycles, such as replacing your bathroom and kitchen fixtures to update them alone or changing the look of the room entirely.
Getting to Know Your Full-Service Plumber with a Complete Plumbing Inspection
If you’re a new homeowner or haven’t had a chance to check out your home’s pipes, fixtures, and appliances and see how long they’ve been in service, give us a call. Our qualified plumber can perform various levels of a plumbing inspection, from a simple review that checks key items like pipe ages and materials, water heater condition and age, the presence of protection devices like water hammer arrestors, plus your water pressure and quality. For further depth of care and planning, we can use video inspection to check interior pipe condition, aging, and corrosion, especially in your water line and sewer line. In fact, knowing your sewer line condition can provide significant peace of mind, since sewer line repairs and replacement are some of the top plumbing repairs on most homeowners’ minds. They can be quite involved.
We can also use our advanced leak detection techniques and equipment on a preventive basis, listening for leaks in your pipes if they are considered at risk due to age or condition. This is especially valuable for your water line and any pipes routed under the concrete slab that is your basement floor. Repairing leaks “under the slab” is another major repair that affects homeowners, and we can help you determine the status of your plumbing if it was run beneath the slab during construction. Let’s also check your fixtures, talk about whether low-flow changes are a good idea and whether you’re losing water through leaky faucets or toilets. Does your garbage disposal clog often, or your dishwasher have issues? We can help you make a list of priorities and explain the costs and concerns involved with each.
Leak Detection Benefits
Typical pipe lifetimes can run as long as 30 years or so, but as pipes age, their materials weaken or corrode, and leaks can appear anywhere, including very inconvenient spots. Sometimes the evidence of leaks appears through walls and ceilings far from the original leak, with a defect in your paint or damp wallpaper spot showing where the water finally emerged. Pooling water in your walls can provide a home for insects or vermin, or a growth medium for mold, so the presence of these or any related odors should be cause for a leak inspection and possible repair. Leaks that occur underground can create large pools of water and eventually press against your foundation from the outside, causing cracks and water in your basement. We can help you learn ways to identify possible leaks by shutting down your fixtures and watching for any remaining water meter movement, or checking your water bill for long-term trends that you can’t account for. For larger leaks, of course, you may notice water pressure problems. Water line leaks can also allow infiltration of contaminants into your home’s water.
Water Heater Concerns
A typical tank-based water heater is good for at least ten years, maybe fifteen, and a tankless unit can last for double that. A key factor for tank-based units is water hardness which causes faster corrosion of tank material along with the plumbing in your home. Routine water heater maintenance by our plumber includes checking the anode rod that helps slow corrosion and inspecting the tank to note the degree of corrosion and damage already present. Addressing hard water-based sediment may also be necessary. If you’re concerned about water heater tank leaks, you may be alarmed by small puddles near the tank. These can be related to the pressure and temperature relief valve, a device that allows water to escape when the tank pressure rises too high, often from overheating. Puddles, or dried evidence of one previously, can indicate that there are temperature and pressure problems to be addressed, or that the relief valve itself is faulty and releasing water unnecessarily, requiring a plumber visit to replace it.
Maintenance of your water heater by our expert plumber in the Boerne, TX area includes checking this valve because there’s also the condition where it should release water and doesn’t and should be replaced for your protection. Without periodic testing by our plumber, you wouldn’t know. As a reminder, your typical hot water tank holds forty gallons of water, and any storage, furniture, rugs, or other materials near enough to be affected by a burst or even the rare explosion of the tank is at risk of damage. By the way, if you’re thinking about changing your water heater as it reaches the end of its service life, our plumber can provide information on what’s involved with a direct replacement, changing your energy source, or changing your water heater technology.
Pressure and Flow Protective Devices
There are several types of protective devices that your home should have to make sure your plumbing functions properly without damage. On the incoming water line, if city water is at a higher pressure than your home can handle, a pressure limiting device should be installed and maintained by our plumber every few years. It reduces water pressure to a level that helps avoid leaks in your pipes but also prevents damage from valves in appliances such as your washing machine and dishwasher. Water hammer arrestors installed by our plumber handle the spike in water pressure that often results when these automatic appliance valves open and close, avoiding damage to other appliances and even fixtures in your plumbing system. You may have heard the loud “bang” that can occur as your dishwasher cycles, for example. Your dishwasher also should have an air gap or other device to break the connection between it and the garbage disposal drain so that wastewater flows out from the dishwasher but doesn’t back up from your garbage disposal and kitchen sink drain when they’re combined and the drain has a clog. Our plumber can check it. It’s a small consideration, usually a little device on the back of the counter near the sink, but without it functioning properly, you could find nasty sink water appearing in the bottom of your dishwasher.
Water Quality and Hardness Protection
The Texas Hill Country Boerne, TX is home to is known for very hard water, a term that describes the amount of minerals dissolved in the water. This can affect your health to some degree, but also affects your home’s plumbing by increasing the rate of corrosion in pipes and appliances, especially your water heater. Many homes use some variety of water softeners, often salt-based, to remove or neutralize the effects of the minerals in the water. Our plumber can check yours and make sure it’s in good condition, and inform you about the type of salt to use and how often to change it. If you don’t already have a water softener, we can help you select the right kind for your home. Hard water also affects washing, showering, and cooking, even leaving a residue to be cleaned out of your coffee maker on a regular basis. You’ll find that your clothes don’t look as clean with hard water washing and regular detergent, and showers leave your hair and skin feeling as if they were not totally cleaned. Water softeners can help your family enjoy their routines more. Our plumber can also tell you about water purification systems for even higher quality water, even if you use city water. In particular, when your water source varies in quality, due to groundwater issues or city water problems, your water filtration or purification system can keep it at the quality level you prefer. Ask our plumber about what’s available, from amazing reverse osmosis systems to various techniques for filtration and purification, each with its own maintenance requirements and benefits.
Drain Cleaning Service, an Annual Scrub of Your Wastewater Pipes
When you call our plumber to clear a drain for you, the problem is often a combination of materials gathering in the trap below the sink and reduced drain flow due to developing clogs further down the pipe. In some cases, you can get strange effects such as multiple drains clogged at the same time on the same floor of your home, or times when a toilet flush results in an eruption in a nearby sink. These are signs of a main line or another common pipe blockage, and our plumber can reach down with our variety of tools and clear the deep clog to resolve the problem. A whole house drain cleaning service on an annual basis clears your pipes and helps keep the deeper clogs from forming, using augers, snakes, and powerful hydro jet technology to remove even the grease lining the pipes that gather other materials to form a clog. We often use video inspection to determine the nature of the clogs and the technique to use, and at the same time to check the drain pipe condition to make sure it’s solid enough to hold up to our hydro jet system. We’ll let you know if we see trouble, and if so our plumber can talk with you about whether your pipes are nearing replacement time.
Repiping and Other Pipe Replacement Needs
In Boerne, TX, when pipes have been installed for about 30 years, plus or minus, and perhaps less with our local hard water, they will start to get corroded enough if they’re metal, degraded enough for PVC and other plastics, that they will spring multiple leaks. With drain pipes that can mean both cleanup and disinfection are needed, and in any case, you’ll want to avoid water damage. Our plumber can perform further inspection and determine the overall state of your pipes, from the incoming water supply and any plumbing under the slab to your home’s overall plumbing in the walls. There may be some areas that are in need of replacement, others with time left, but you’ll know where you stand. Repiping takes some time and cost, but it’s a fairly common practice these days that leaves your home with fresh pipes in the walls, ends your frequent calls for leak problems, and can help with your home’s value when it’s time to sell. Since your home was usually built at one time with similar materials throughout, we know that several calls for unexplained leaks requires further investigation. If you’ve just put a nail through the wall and got a geyser, that’s a different matter.
Your Full Service, Full Cycle Plumber in Boerne, TX
At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio, we’re here to work with you to keep your Boerne, TX home’s plumbing systems and features updated throughout the years that you own your home. We can help you set up planned service and replacement schedules, budget costs, and organize updates and remodeling to freshen the look of your kitchens and bathrooms. We can also help you update your outdoor fixtures and add features to your patio as your family grows, providing more ways to enjoy recreation and hold parties without relying on your indoor kitchen. For all the ways you live with plumbing, we’re your resource for planning and getting it done!