Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of gushing water. A real life nightmare. Your home depends on a properly functioning plumbing system. But as a homeowner you know a lot can go wrong. Clogs, leaks, broken pipes, burst washing machine hoses and sewer backups can lead to costly repairs and damage to your home. Here are some preventative steps you can take to make sure that your plumbing doesn't keep you up at night.
Burst washing machine hoses are a common cause of catastrophic water damage. A braided steel hose can prevent leaks. Look for drips, leaks and mold build-up around your dish washer, under sinks, and around the water heater. These areas should be dry. Catching a water problem early can be an easy fix.
Install a water shut-off device. When it comes in contact with water it automatically shuts of your home's water. Pretty cool.
Finally, know the location of your main water shut-off valve. It could be in your basement, or in your yard. And be sure to mark it with a tag. Knowing where to shut of your home's water could save you a lot of damage.
You can avoid unexpected plumbing problems. Have Anthony's Plumbing perform a whole house inspection so that those drips don't turn into disasters. If you would like more information on these preventative steps, give us a call.
Hard water in the home can cause a range of problems that can make keeping your home clean more difficult, while also causing potential damage to your plumbing system.
Doing laundry with hard water can make clothing look dingy and feel rough and scratchy. The minerals in hard water combine with soils to form insoluble salts, making them difficult to clean. It can take more detergent to get clothing clean in hard water. Continuous laundering in hard water can damage cloth fibers, significantly shortening the life of clothing.
Bathing in hard water leaves an unpleasant film of sticky soap scum on the skin. This film can prevent the removal of dirt and bacteria. Soap curd can also interfere with the skin's natural PH balance, aggrevating conditions like eczema and dermetitis. Soap scum on hair can make it dull and difficult to manage.
When washing dishes, especially in a dishwasher, hard water may cause spotting and filming on your crockery. The minerals from hard water are released faster when it comes into contact with heat, causing an increase in the amount of spotting and filming that occurs. This problem is not a health risk, but it can be a nuisance to clean and reduce the quality of your dishes.
Hard water also contributes to inefficient and costly operation of water-using appliances. Heated hard water forms a scale of calcium and magnesium minerals (limescale deposits) that can contribute to the inefficient operation or failure of water-using appliances, such as water heaters and dishwashers. Pipes can become clogged with scale that reduces water flow and ultimately requires pipe replacement.
If your home has hard water problems, give Anthony's Plumbing a call. We have efective solutions that can help improve the water quality in your home.
Undetected water leaks can cost you money not only on your water bill, but in unseen damage to your home. The most common types of leaks we find are worn out toilet flappers, dripping faucets, leaking valves and pipes. Repairing these leaks can pay for itself in water savings alone.
When checking for leaks around your home, you first need to determine whether you're wasting any water, and then identify the source of the leak. Have a look at your water meter before and after a couple hour period when water is not being used. If the meter shows any increase at all, you probably have a leak somewhere.
You can identify toilet leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak. The most common reason toilets leak is an old or worn out toilet flapper, also called a valve seal. Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build up minerals or decay over time. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix for your water loss. Also examine the toilet gaskets and fittings for any water leaks on the outside of the toilet.
The most common cause of leaking faucets are old, worn faucet washers and gaskets. While a few drips a minute may seem like no big deal, it can add up to hundreds of gallons of water wasted every year.
Old water heater tanks can rust and develop leaks over time. Inspect the area around the water heater tank for signs of water leaks or stains. If you are still experiencing water loss after checking the plumbing fixtures around your home, call Anthony's Plumbing. We can help you solve the more difficult water leak problems.
Your water heater is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. It works all day, everyday to keep water hot for your entire home. Life without a water heater would be pretty cold.
Let's have a look inside. Your water heater is a storage tank for hot water.As hot water is used, it's replaced by cold water. A heating element heats the water so it ready to provide more hot water. This continual heating and reheating takes a toll. Years of use, rust and sediment build-up inside the tank. Rust and sediment would normally corrode the lining of the water heater. However, your water heater has a built-in safety device called an anode rod, sometimes called a sacrificial anode rod. It attracts the corrosion process, protecting the metal lining of the tank. Eventually the anode rod corrodes away. The loss of the anode rod means the inside of the water tank will begin to corrode, seriously reducing its lifespan.
How do you know if your water heater might be starting to break down. It gives off some obvious signs:
Less hot water available
There's no hot water at all
Water is leaking onto the floor
You hear a crackling noise while it's heating
According to manufacturers, the average lifespan of a water heater is 8-12 years. You can extend the life of your water heater and help it heat more efficiently by flushing the tank annually to remove sediment.
If you have questions about your water heater, give Anthony's Plumbing a call.
Buried deep beneath your front yard is a very important part of your home's plumbing system. It's the sewer line. When you flush a toilet, drain a sink, or run the washing machine the plumbing system inside your home sends waste water into the sewer line. Where it's removed from your home.
Over time, sewer lines can become damaged. There are many reasons a sewer line might fail. Tree root, looking for water and nutrients are drawn to the moisture in the sewer line. Small roots can grow into the pipe through joints, sometimes causing the drain to slow or clog. As the roots grow, they weaken the joints and waste water escapes, eroding the surrounding soil. The end result, the pipe collapses and the drain fails.
Shifting ground can result in pipes becoming mis-aligned. The result is the same, sewer drain failure. If your home was built before 1972, there's a chance you may have Orangeburg pipe. Orangeburg pipe is made from asphalt and wood pulp, esentially it's tar paper. Lightweight and brittle, this pipe material absorbs moisture and deforms under pressure.
The warning signs of a compromised sewer line include:
Gurgling sounds from pipes
Sewer waste backing up into the home
Frequent calls for rooter service
If you suspect you have a problem with your sewer line, give Anthony's Plumbing a call. We use video technology to inspect your sewer and drain lines to accurately locate and diagnose any problems. If problems are found our advanced sewer line repair technology can repair the lines with minimal disruption to your yard and landscaping.
Does your shower start out nice and hot, then rapidly run out after just a few minute? If the problem is only happening while taking a shower, it could be the shower mixer. A plumber should check the pressure balance and temperature control faucet. When they are not working properly, you will notice a reduction in the hot water pressure as when using a faucet. Temperature control shower faucets have a spring that turns the hot water supply down when it detects a change in the water temperature. As the spring ages and wears out it results in a loss of hot water temperature.
Another common cause of rapid hot water loss is a broken dip tube. This dip tube is a pipe inside the water heater that passes cold water through the hot water to the bottom of the tank so the burner can heat it up. If the dip tube falls off, the cold water empties into the top of the water heater and overruns the hot water outlet, sending cold water to the shower.
To determine if the dip tube is the cause of the problem and to stop the loss of hot water your plumber will need to pull the cold water inlet pipe out ot the water heater to check the condition of the dip tube.
A water heater will typically last around 10 years. Over time sediment can build up leading to corrosion. The burning will gradually become less efficient and will produce less hot water in the same period of time as it used to. Consider the age of the unit when deciding wether to repair or replace the water heater.
Have water heater problems? Call Anthony's Plumbing. We can help diagnose the cause and recommend effective solutions to get the hot water flowing again.
A backed-up sewer line can cause a big mess and result in extensive damage to your home, in many cases requiring expensive repairs to your plumbing system. It's important to know the warning signs of sewer and drain problems to prevent the small problems from becoming drain disasters.
A home's sewer and drain system is designed like a tree, with branches of drain pipes leading to main trunk line that runs out of the house to the sewer main. If there is a clog in a secondary line it's going be isolated to that line. For example, if your bathroom sink is clogged and the toilet flushes normally, it's isolated to the sink drain. However, it the problem is with the main line, the toilet may percolate and waste water may come up from the shower or tub drain or floor drain in the basement.
Slow to empty drains and gurgling noises from toilets are often the first warning signs that your sewer system is obstructed. It's important to have a sewer line inspection as soon as possible to identify and correct the problem.
Most home owner's insurance policies do not cover sewer line problems and repairs and in most cities, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sewer line that runs form the house to the sewer main by the street.
You can reduce the potential for sewer and drain clogs by keeping materials like cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, baby wipes and other waste products out of toilets. This would include products marketed as "flushable".
Pouring paint, grease and oil and other chemicals down the drain is not only harmful to the environment, it can cause problems inside the pipes.
Among the most common cause of sewer line backups and damage is tree root intrusion. A sewer and drain line inspection is cheap insurance and can find potential problems with tree root intrusion, broken or disconnected pipes, debris build-up and more. If problems are found your plumber has many tools to help clear or repair the line, including rodding, water-jetting, and trench-less sewer line repair. A follow-up video camera inspection will help to ensure that the repair was successful.
Have questions about your sewer and drain lines? Call Plumbing. From video camera inspections to sewer and drain line cleaning and repair, we can help.
Dropping a piece of jewelry down the drain can be heartbreaking. But if you know what to do, there's a good chance you can get it back yourself. First, you'll want to shut the water off and leave it off. You don't wha to push the jewelry further down the drain. If the jewelry hasn't completely washed away it will be in the bent section of pipe called the p-trap. Every sink has one and it's designed to hold a small amount of water and keep sewer gas odors from entering the home. It also can help trap objects dropped into the sink, like an earring or ring.
Before removing the p-trap, place a bucket underneath to collect the water inside the pipe. In most cases the slip nuts connecting the u-shaped pipe can be removed by hand without any tools. Slowly lower the trap and drain the water from the pipe. If you're lucky the jewelry has stayed inside the trap. Before putting the p-trap back on clean out any muck inside to ensure the water drains freely. After screwing the p-trap back on fill the sink and check the connections for leaks.
If it has made it's way past the p-trap, stop using your home's plumbing and give Anthony's plumbing a call, we have video camera technology that can help locate the jewelry.
Chances are you'll never have a plumbing catastrophe, like a burst pipe. If you do, you can't afford to waste precious minutes searching for the main water shutoff valve. That's why it's crucial for every homeowner to know where this valve is and how to shut it off. The first thing you need to do is find your water meter. The main water shutoff valve is usally close to it. Now, where the meter is located can vary. In colder regions, where pipes could freeze in the winter, the water line usually enters through the floor of the foundation. locate the line entering your home, follow that line and you'll find your water meter. Keep following it and you'll see the shutoff valve. To stop the flow of water turn the valve handle clockwise, so the handle is perpendicular to the pipe. In older homes the shutoff vlave is closed using a circular handle. Turn the valve clockwise to shut of the flow of water. In warmer climate like Arizona, the shutoff valve will be outside of the house often near an outside faucet. If it's more cconvenient, you can have an inside shutoff valve installed.
Because there's no standard location for main water shutoff valves, you may have to do a little searching to find yours. Once you find it, make sure everyone in the household knows where it is. If you need help finding your shutoff valve, give Anthony's Plumbing a call. We'll be happy to locate it and apply a visible tag to make where it is.
Sewer lines can fail for many reasons, and the older the line, the greater the risk of damage from tree root intrusion, ground shift, and cracks. Because the connection from the house to the main utility connection in the street is the homeowner's responsibility, and is not covered by most homeowner's insurance policies, it's important to ensure that the line is in good condition. Keeping large tree roots away from the sewer line is one way to minimize potential damage.
In some cases you may get lucky and have early warning signs when there is a problem with your sewer line. The symptoms may include slow drains throughout the house, or unusual gurgling sounds when flushing toilets and using faucets. If left unchecked floor drains and toilets can start to backup, leading to expensive repairs and a big mess in your home.
To find out if your sewer line is clogged or damaged it's best to have a sewer line video camera inspection. A small camera is inserted into the line so a technician can view the inside of the pipe on a video screen and determine if there is an obstruction or damage.
If the sewer line is simply clogged, high pressure water jetting can often clear obstructions in the line. Depending on the severity of damage and whether the pipe is cracked or ruptured it may be possible to repair the pipe without digging. Trenchless sewer line repair is a permanent method of fixing broken sewer lines.
For your peace of mind, call Anthony's Plumbing to schedule a video sewer line inspection today.