PREVENTIVE INDOOR PLUMBING MAINTENANCE

Written by United on . Posted in Plumbing, Residential Plumbing

 PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE FOR INDOOR PLUMBING

A little tender loving care for your larger plumbing fixtures goes a long way toward extending their lifetimes and avoiding big, messy and expensive catastrophes. Only a qualified professional plumber in the Kansas City area should perform detailed or dangerous maintenance.  However, homeowners can do a few things to extend the life of your indoor plumbing. Doing so can reduce emergency plumbing situations, costly repairs and replacements.

Water heaters get more action than most people realize. Every time you take a shower, turn on a faucet, do laundry, or even just brush your teeth your water heater is working hard. Every six months to a year, you should figure out how to flush out your water heater. Sediment accumulates at the bottom forcing the water heater to heat water through the muck. That means more strain to the unit and more gas to heat, which drives up utility costs. Unless cleared away occasionally, the sediment can travel up through pipes and create clogs in aerators and shower heads.

Flushing your water heater is pretty simple:

  • Make sure other plumbing fixtures are turned off.
  • Attach a garden-variety garden hose to the drain. It’s down by the gas control valve. Lead the other hose end to the floor drain.
    • Be careful during this step. Older model water heaters often have plastic drain spouts, while newer models have brass. Plastic gets brittle due to the constant heat exposure. If you have a plastic version, be careful not to break off the piece. If yours is plastic and feels brittle, consider calling a plumber out to handle it for you.
    • Give it a few minutes, allowing all the sediment to drain out of the bottom till water is running clear.
    • Remove the garden hose.
    • If you have a bathtub, open its faucet wide and let the water run to clear out any remaining sediment. Your tub faucet has the strongest pressure.

Not only does this simple plumbing maintenance help the water heater, but it also helps clean floor drains. The hot water draining from the unit helps flush out debris from your floor drainpipes. Two birds with one stone!

Pull the lid off and pour some water down the pit to check whether or not it’s operational.  During heavy rains, you need to make sure your basement isn’t going to flood. Unfortunately, people assume the sump pump works until they have to call their insurance agent and file a claim to clean up and repair their soggy basements. A back-up battery sump pump is a smart investment for those who tend to forget to put plumbing maintenance on their to-do lists.

Is your garbage disposal louder than usual? It could be a sign that it’s simply pumping stuff down the drainpipe, which will lead to a major drain clog. Also, remember to run water down the drain after you turn off the disposer to flush the food debris all the way through the pipes.

Preventive maintenance is just as important for your indoor plumbing as it is for your car. With that said, sometimes it’s just easier to call a professional local plumber. Give us a call anytime, or schedule an appointment today!

PREVENTIVE INDOOR PLUMBING REPAIR

Written by United on . Posted in Plumbing, Residential Plumbing

PREVENTIVE PLUMBING MAINTENANCE NOW MEANS FEWER EMERGENCIES LATER

A little tender loving care for your larger plumbing fixtures goes a long way toward extending their lifetimes and avoiding big, messy and expensive catastrophes. Only a qualified professional plumber should perform detailed or dangerous maintenance, however, homeowners like you can do a few things to extend the life of your indoor plumbing. Doing so can reduce emergency plumbing situations, costly repairs and replacements.

 Water heaters get more action than most people realize. Every time you take a shower, turn on a faucet, do laundry, or even just brush your teeth your water heater is working hard. Every six months to a year, you should flush out your water heater. Sediment accumulates at the bottom forcing the water heater to heat water through the muck. That means more strain to the unit and more gas to heat, which drives up utility costs. Unless cleared away occasionally, the sediment can travel up through pipes and create clogs in aerators and shower heads.

 Flushing your water heater is pretty simple:

  • Make sure other plumbing fixtures are turned off.
  • Attach a garden-variety garden hose to the drain. It’s down by the gas control valve. Lead the other hose end to the floor drain.
    • Be careful during this step. Older model water heaters often have plastic drain spouts, while newer models have brass. Plastic gets brittle due to the constant heat exposure. If you have a plastic version, be careful not to break off the piece. If yours is plastic and feels brittle, consider calling a plumber out to handle it for you.
    • Give it a few minutes, allowing all the sediment to drain out of the bottom till water is running clear.
    • Remove the garden hose.
    • If you have a bathtub, open its faucet wide and let the water run to clear out any remaining sediment. Your tub faucet has the strongest pressure.

Not only does this simple plumbing maintenance help the water heater, but it also helps keep your floor drain clear. The hot water draining from the unit helps flush out debris from your floor drainpipes. Two birds with one stone!

 Pull the lid off and pour some water down the pit to check whether or not it’s operational. It never rains as much as we think or expect, so do this periodically. During heavy rains, you need to make sure your basement isn’t going to flood. Unfortunately, people assume the sump pump works until they have to call their insurance agent and file a claim to clean up and repair their soggy basements. A back-up battery sump pump is a smart investment for those who tend to forget to put plumbing maintenance on their to-do lists.

 Is your garbage disposal louder than usual? It could be a sign that it’s simply pumping stuff down the drainpipe, which will lead to a major drain clog. Also, remember to run water down the drain after you turn off the disposer to flush the food debris all the way through the pipes.

Preventive plumbing repair and maintenance is just as important for your indoor plumbing as it is for your car. With that said, sometimes it’s just easier to call a professional local plumber. Give us a call anytime, or schedule an appointment today!

3 SIGNS YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR PLUMBING

Written by United on . Posted in Plumbing, Residential Plumbing

Let’s say you flush the toilet and the bathtub drain gurgles. A toilet has a whoosh of water flowing through it. A flush disperses air out and comes through the tub when there’s an obstruction somewhere in the toilet’s way.

 That means your main plumbing line is getting ready to back up and cause a big mess—usually in your basement where a puddle might be forming already around the floor drain. Most people notice a basement drain back up when the HVAC unit pulls a sewer smell from the return air and circulates it throughout the home.

 Sewer lines used to be much longer than the 3-4 feet they are now. Every joint is another weakened area where it is vulnerable. A camera inspection looks for the cause, which could be tree roots or flushed baby wipes, something ran down garbage disposal or a Barbie doll’s head.

 If you have a ghost flushing your toilet, you need plumbing repairs.

The ghost flush—the toilet runs when no one is in the bathroom. That’s the sound of your toilet filling. Either the fill valve or flapper is failing. The tank is losing enough water to cause it to refill itself. If the fill valve breaks and the flapper is still in place, the toilet overflows from back of tank. So don’t ignore the ghost flush, get it fixed soon. You don’t want to come home from work to find your toilet has been flooding your home all day.

 If you turn on a fixture and pipes all over the house rattle, you need plumbing repairs.

Bathtubs and washing machines pull many gallons a minute, taxing pipes with volume. If you turn on a fixture and the pipes rattle loudly, it’s a sign the washer on the stem is bad. That horrible racquet is your pipes vibrating—vibration strong enough to break a pipe. Loud rattling pipes need to be checked immediately. Otherwise vibration can break pipes elsewhere especially at vulnerable connection areas.

Some plumbing repairs can be handled before any water damage is done to your home, if you know what to look for. And then there are plumbing emergencies that demand a plumber fast. Troubleshooting or coming to the rescue, United’s plumbers are always on call any time, day or night.

WATER DAMAGE? YOUR PLUMBER COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS

Written by United on . Posted in Residential Plumbing

Ugh. Plumbing breaks and problems are a pain to deal with. When there’s water damage involved it just adds insult to injury, doesn’t it? Not to mention extra costs for clean up. First of all, everyone should have a trusted, experienced plumber who they can call on a moment’s notice. Second of all, a plumber can give you priceless insights that can save you thousands of dollars and help avoid water damage associated with plumbing problems.

Here are a few tried and true tips from a veteran plumber who has tackled every plumbing problem imaginable.

If your home or building already has a sump pump, make sure it’s a sump pump with battery back up power. The power can go out during severe weather. Torrential rain isn’t the time you want your sump pump to lose electricity. A sump pump with battery back is able to keep up with rising water until the power is restored. This can save you a lot of money, time and hassle by avoiding water damage caused by a dead sump pump.

Make it a priority to check your sump pump for debris and ensure it’s operating. This is an easy plumbing tip that can save your home or business from water damage. Run water into the sump pump to make certain it’s functioning. Check the pipe outside and remove any debris blocking the flow of water to the outdoors. A blocked pipe forces water back inside and creates a mess.

Check your exterior downspouts for debris and clear out the muck. This is important any time of year in the Midwest. Melting snow from the roof in winter and spring and summer rains put your downspouts to the test. If the spouts are blocked, the water can run into your basement creating more water than your sump pump was designed to handle. The extra water has nowhere to go except your basement floor, which causes water damage.

Do a walk through in your basement like you’re a plumber. You’re looking for plumbing valves showing signs of discoloration and deposit build-up. If you see any of these problems, call a plumber to fix the issues sooner rather than later. Plumbing valves in these conditions can burst, creating expensive water damage.

indoor-plumbing-maintenance

5 THINGS TO KNOW BEFOR E CALLING A LOCAL PLUMBER

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial Plumbing, Residential Plumbing

That’s just great. Not only have you spilled coffee on your shirt, but now you’ve got a major plumbing disaster on your hands. Think sewer lines backing up, toilet overflowing and the valve breaks off, etc. If you don’t get a plumber pronto, there’s going to be a lot more ruined than just your day. Think carpet, flooring, sheetrock, ceiling damage, etc.

Unless you have a trusted family member or have a local plumber on speed dial, your first response is probably searching Google. Calling the top or first fewlocal plumber listings on the page is the second thing you doYou know you’re taking a big chance on a plumber you don’t know, but come on! You have water gushing in your home or business!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes that’s the best you can do in an emergency. However, if that local plumber’s work falls short of your expectations, chances are you’ll be on the hunt for another plumber.

Here are five things to know before hiring one:

1. Check license and reviews A license doesn’t guarantee quality and skilling plumbing work. But at minimum, at least you know the plumber has had some training and passed a plumbing skills test. Take the time to read reviews, but don’t base your decision on them. Use reviews to get a general sense of the local plumber’s reputation.

2. Getting a few estimates will help you get your money’s worth The tricky part about comparing estimates is determining what price to pay for quality plumbing work. Remember, if it’s sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The best plumber isn’t going to be the cheapest. Maintaining quality tools, licensing, proper insurance, bonding and the like has its cost and this isn’t where to skimp.

3. Check how the plumber rates on the cleanliness scale Granted, plumbing is a dirty job. But a professional knows this and is always prepared with a fresh shirt in the truck. A plumber who pays attention to appearance will most likely clean up after the job and leave your home clean too.

4. Gauge the level of professionalism This plumber will be working in your home. Maybe when you’re away. Perhaps in your bathroom. Trust your instinct, and if something tells you that they aren’t trustworthy, find someone else. This is your home, and you deserve peace of mind!