Posts Tagged ‘Plumbing maintenance and repair’

PLUMBING TIPS FOR RENTAL PROPERTIES

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial Plumbing, Plumbing

 EASY PLUMBING TIPS EVERY LANDLORD SHOULD BE AWARE OF

One of the oldest jokes about being a landlord is that it’d be a breeze if it weren’t for tenants. Tenants are humans and humans do some pretty silly things sometimes. Maybe they don’t know how to properly take care of plumbing? Perhaps because they’re renting so any repairs aren’t their problem to fix? Either way, there are plumbing tips that landlords can use to be proactive and cut down expensive repairs and plumbing equipment replacements.

PLUMBING TIP #1

Always keep the water heaters’ temperature at the factory setting. It’s common for tenants or residents to turn up the thermostat thinking they’ll get more hot water that way. But it’s not more water they receive; it’s just hotter water. Heating the water to a higher temperature causes the water heater to run more, use more energy and shortens the plumbing equipment’s lifespan. More use creates the need for more maintenance and higher energy bills. Shorter lifespans mean landlords will be paying to replace the water heater much sooner than necessary.

PLUMBING TIP #2

Garbage disposals are the second concern for landlords. Disposals need to be checked often to ensure they’re doing their job, especially since there is no telling what tenants put down the disposal. Garbage disposals shouldn’t just chop up food, but also push debris down the drain properly to avoid blockages and back ups. Simple, regular garbage disposal check ups help landlords avoid expensive drain cleaning service and water damage repair under sinks and floors below.

PLUMBING TIP #3

Last of all comes laundry facility plumbing. Rental property laundry rooms see their fair share of usage, much like commercial facilities. Washer drain hoses must be kept clear or they’ll back up and create a huge, costly plumbing repair. Inspect washer valves for signs of wear and tear, deposits and corrosives. When plumbing valves fail, water can gush or drip down the interior of the wall, which damages sheetrock, ceilings below and more.

Visual inspection of plumbing is easy to do and can save landlords a fortune in repairs. Checking slow running drains for blockages can require a commercial plumber’s expertise and equipment. In order to catch plumbing issues before they cause expensive damage be proactive and schedule routine plumbing check ups with a trusted local plumber.

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!

Hiring a Plumber

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial Plumbing, Plumbing

PLAY IT SAFE: HIRE FULLY LICENSED PLUMBERS

We know how tempting it can be to hire any old plumber that pops up in the yellow pages or who sends you a Chiefs calendar in the mail.  They promise to fix your plumbing problems for an unbelievable price, especially in an emergency. But don’t choose so quickly. Before hiring any plumber, make sure they are a fully licensed plumber.

Think of all the other professionals you’d never consider hiring without checking their credentials first: teachers, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, etc. A plumber is no different, and a license is proof of training and professionalism in the plumbing world.

In order to be a licensed plumber, someone must pass a test evaluating deep understanding and high level plumbing knowledge. A separate test must be taken for each city in which the plumber will be working. Or he or she can opt for a master plumbing license, which most cities accept. Being a licensed plumber means he or she agrees to abide by city codes; codes put into effect to protect consumers from unsafe work and practices.

Cities like Grandview, Leawood, Independence, Kansas City, Olathe  and Overland Park issue permits ONLY to licensed plumbers. Should a city inspector stop by, and believe us they do, the inspector can shut down a job. At that point, it’s common for an unlicensed plumber to walk away from the job rather than go through the licensing process, leaving you back at square one and possibly down some deposit money. If it was a larger plumbing issue, you’ll go without service for longer than you might have planned.

Unlicensed plumbers aren’t held to city codes or professional standards, which will most likely create big headaches for a business or homeowner down the road. Not only does licensing reflect the plumber’s skill and knowledge, but also his or her dedication to a job done well. A licensed plumber will carry insurance to protect both parties and be bonded. These things don’t come cheaply, and is why some who call themselves plumbers don’t bother.

While at the beginning of their career, many plumbers can work under his or her company-wide plumbing license, sort of as apprentice to a master plumber. United’s plumbers average two to three decades of experience each, so many young plumbers choose to start their careers with us.  Working under the plumbing company’s license does not excuse plumbers from following codes enforced by city licenses however.

The bottom line is, plumbing can be a tricky undertaking and poor work can cause a lot of additional damage to a home or business that goes unnoticed until well after the shoddy plumber is long gone. Unlicensed plumbers don’t tend to last too long, so it’ll be difficult to find him or her again if something does break again or fails to operate even just a few months after it was “fixed” the first time. Be on the safe side. Financially and for peace of mind, only hire a fully licensed plumber for residential or commercial plumbing projects that you’re involved with. Sure, unlicensed plumbers are more affordable. But they cost a lot more in the long run should something go wrong.

Commercial Plumbing Services in Kansas City

Written by United on . Posted in Commercial Plumbing

United’s Commercial Plumbing Services

United has helped hundreds of Kansas City companies carry on with business as usual during and after plumbing problems and even through a few catastrophes. A plumbing problem can cause a big hassle for your staff and customers. When there’s a plumbing or drainage emergency, it’s got to fixed immediately or it could hurt your business. Our certified plumbers serve the entire Kansas City metropolitan area, are always on call and have the experience to repair or replace any part of your plumbing system.

Water Softening & Filtration Systems

United services and installs water softening and filtration systems for commercial applications. From a simple office water cooler for drinking to a commercial wide water softening and filtration for treatment purposes, our plumbers have the skill and experience to handle every aspect of water treatment.

Backflow Prevention & Testing

United tests and certifies commercial backflow devices ensuring your system remains compliant with local water authorities or districts. Once testing and certification is complete, we can forward the reports to the water district or authority. To avoid a lapse in paperwork, United can alert you when it’s time for the next inspection.

Water Heater Repair & Replacement

United’s plumbers repair, service and install water heaters from the top manufacturers. Whether it’s a gas, electric, tankless or high efficiency water heater, our plumbers are certified to troubleshoot all issues and make the required repairs. If a new water heater is required, you’ll have a wide variety of new water heaters to choose from that meets your needs and your budget.

Jetting & Camera Inspection

United is ready to tackle your problem drains of any size with the right tools and camera and locate service. For plumbing lines that are a constant problem, a camera will find the blockage or damaged areas. Cameras also pinpoint lines for tie ins when fixtures are added to existing lines.

We have a gas powered trailer jetter capable of jetting a line up to 16” in diameter. We carry the equipment to clean a small sink line all the way up to a main drain line.

Commercial Drain Cleaning

Our plumbers go beyond fixing the surface problem and find the root of the cause using sewage line cameras when necessary so that it doesn’t happen again. If you have a slow drain, we unclog it and then we look for a blocked pipe somewhere. Our plumbers look at the bigger picture of your plumbing system. It’s not just about repair; it’s about damage control that prevents more expensive problems later. The costs associated with drain cleaning decrease with regular scheduled cleaning.

Medical Gas Installations

Our certified plumbers install gas plumbing lines in a variety of medical settings including clinics, hospitals, surgery centers and medical office buildings.

Pool heaters

Our certified plumbers service existing and install new pool heaters to keep your pool warm throughout the winter.