Will Lowering Hot Water Temperature Save on Energy?

Your hot water heater can contribute a sizable amount to your energy bills each month. Tank water heaters keep dozens of gallons of water hot and ready for use, but this comes at a price. One way to reduce the energy used by your water heater is to lower the temperature setting. However, it is not the only way to lower your hot water bill. Here are some tips for reducing the cost of hot water in your home.

Reset the Water Temperature

You can set the water temperature on tank water heaters, which can reduce energy use. An efficient setting is 120 degrees. This is hot enough to kill bacteria yet takes less energy to maintain.

Use Less Hot Water

Simply using less hot water is a good way to reduce your energy costs. Shortening showers, using cold water for laundry and not running hot water down the drain can all help reduce the amount of hot water used and decrease energy bills.

Use Insulation

An insulating blanket over a hot water tank can help reduce heat loss. This can be helpful when trying to conserve energy.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Like most appliances, hot water heaters work more efficiently when they are maintained. Flushing once a year and replacing components when needed can help reduce energy use. Keep in mind that water heaters that are 10+ years old are most likely less efficient than newer models. Replacement can help with lowering energy bills.

By keeping the water temperature setting lower and following these tips, you can see a difference on your hot water energy costs. Talk to your local plumber about scheduling routine water heater maintenance or explore replacing your old heater with a new, efficient model.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Danger of Tree Root Sewer Line Invasion

Safely snuggled under your lawn are your sewer lines, whisking away the water and waste from your home. You depend on your sewer lines to keep doing their job day in and out, but they may be in danger. There could be an enemy stealthily moving underground to attack your sewer pipes. Are your sewer lines in danger of tree root invasion?

The beautiful trees in your yard that offer shade, windbreaks and privacy can be a big problem for your sewer lines. Trees need moisture to survive and their roots stretch out from their trunk base to find the moisture they need. Sewer lines are an enticing source of water, especially those made with jointed pipes. Tree roots can find tiny cracks in joints to squeeze through and access the interior pipes. Once a small root is inside, it can grow and apply pressure to the pipe, causing serious damage. In addition, the roots can clog the inside of your sewer lines, causing sewage backups.

Do You Have Tree Root Problems?

If you have large trees in your yard and older jointed sewer lines, you may want to have your pipes inspected. Many sewer/septic companies offer digital camera inspections. This method can view your sewer lines from the inside and detect any tree root issues. If there are tree roots that have infiltrated your sewer lines, hydrojetting performed by your sewer professional can remove the roots and clear the pipe.

It is important to understand the danger of tree roots to sewer lines. Avoid planting new trees near your sewer lines and proactively have your pipes inspected to detect any root penetration before it causes serious damage.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Save Water and Energy with a Hot Water Recirculating System

Do you need to run your hot water for your shower a few minutes before it you finally can enjoy a hot shower? If you have a larger home, the pipes coming from your water heater can be long, filled with cold water. All that water is wasted when it goes down the drain. A solution to save on water waste and help lower energy costs is a hot water recirculating system that can be added to your existing plumbing system.

How Do Recirculating Systems Work?

There are a few different types of hot water recirculating systems. There are pumps that can be installed under sinks or over water heaters that deliver instant hot water to selected fixtures. A cross-over valve at the point of the fixture can be also used to deliver the hot water. The benefit is quick access to hot water when you need it, without wasting cold water in the hot water lines. The water in the lines is recirculated by the pump, keeping it in your plumbing instead of going down the drain.

There are on-demand, instant and traditional hot water recirculating systems. All offer quicker hot water without wasting the water in the lines. This can save thousands of gallons of water every year and help reduce energy costs. For those who want to save money off their utility bills or just care about limiting water waste, these devices can be an excellent addition to their plumbing system.

If you are interested in learning more about hot water recirculating system options, contact your local plumber. They can discuss the different options available and find the best solution for your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471

Long-Term Plumbing Problems from Unexpected Freezing

Not all plumbing problems from unexpected freezing weather are immediately noticed. In areas unaccustomed to cold weather, many homeowners may have frozen or burst pipes during the cold snap. These usually cause major leaks and flooding that require emergency plumbing repairs. But there may be other long-term plumbing problems that could cause problems down the road.

Outdoor Spickets

Outdoor spickets that were not covered or insulated during the freezing weather may have had water freeze in the pipes. This can cause small cracks that may not cause issues until the spicket is used. Once the cold weather is gone, check outdoor spickets for leaks.

Pipes in Garages or Crawl Spaces

Like outdoor spickets, pipes in unheated areas like the garage or crawl space could have damage from freezing. Inspect these pipes and look for small leaks that need repair.

Sewer Lines and Septic Equipment

Pipes and septic equipment underground can be damaged from freezing. It is important to look for signs of underground leaks or sewer line problems. Wet spots, soil erosion or bad odors in the yard near sewer lines, septic tanks or drain fields could alert homeowners of pipe damage.

Irrigation, Pools and Other Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures

Any outdoor plumbing that was not completely drained and prepared for cold weather could be damaged during freezing weather. Inspect all pumps and equipment for damage when it is time to start using pools, spas, water features and irrigation systems.

Many people may not realize they did have damage to their water line from unexpected cold spells during the winter until spring. It is important to watch for signs of issues and call an experienced plumber if repairs are needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

5 Ways to Reduce Clogs in Your Plumbing

When your kitchen sink or bathtub are slow to drain, it is usually a sign a clog is forming in the pipes below. Sticky residue builds up on the inside of the pipes and food, hair and other items collect in these spots, slowly creating a blockage. To reduce the occurrence of clogs in your pipes, make a few changes how you maintain your drains. Improve the drains in your home and reduce calls to your local plumber with these five tips.

  1. Add drain strainers. Use strainers in your kitchen sink and bathtub/shower drains to keep hair, pieces of soap and food debris from going down the drain.
  2. Stop using bar soap. Most bar soaps are made with congealing fats. Switch to liquid soaps to keep the fats in bar soaps from coating the inside of your pipes.
  3. Add a garbage disposal. If you do not have a garbage disposal, consider adding one. Those with 1/2 to 1 HP are the best at grinding food finer to reduce clogs in your kitchen drain pipes.
  4. Keep grease out of your drains. Never rinse out a greasy pan in your sink. First, pour the grease into a container and then wipe the pain with a paper towel. Grease is usually the culprit when it comes to kitchen drain clogs.
  5. Be careful what you flush. Do not flush cotton balls or swabs down the toilet, or anything with plastic, cardboard or rubber. Anything that is not biodegradable should not be flushed.

Make sure to educate everyone in your family on how to reduce clogs to keep your plumbing pipes clear. If you do get a clog, let a plumber handle the removal to protect your pipes from damage.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Red Flags to Look for When Hiring a Plumber

Whenever you hire someone to work in your home, you want to know you are hiring a trusted, experienced professional. Plumbing companies are plentiful, but not all offer the same quality of service. If you are researching plumbers, there are a few red flags that can alert you to possible issues. These red flags can help you avoid hiring the wrong plumber for the job.

No Local Phone Number

If the plumber has an out-of-town area code or only has a 1-800 number, look a little closer. Where is the company based out of and are they local? There have been instances where companies come into a town, posing as local contractors, scamming people out of their money before they quickly leave town. Make sure the company you hire has a local address, phone number and location.

Bad or No Reviews

Check out the reviews online for a company. Keep in mind that one bad review can happen, even to the best contractors. However, if there are no good reviews or a pattern of bad reviews, this is a bright red flag to avoid this plumber.

Licensed and Insured

You want to make sure any plumber you hire is legitimate. They should have a contractor number through the state and carry insurance to cover their employees and any damage. This is quick to check – most reputable plumbers have their contractor license number on their website that you can verify through your state’s business licensing agency.

Checking a plumber’s background can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. Make sure to vet your plumber to avoid hiring the wrong company to perform your next plumbing project.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Preventing Plumbing Flooding Problems

Flooding can create disastrous problems in your home. From damaging walls, floorings and furnishing, to the mold issues left behind, flooding is something you want to avoid. While you cannot prevent natural disasters from occurring, flooding from plumbing can often be prevented or quickly handled. Knowing the possible causes of plumbing flooding can help you look for the signs to avoid this disaster in your home.

Leaking Pipes

A small plumbing drip or leak never stays small. Any leaking plumbing needs to be fixed before it becomes larger. Look for water stains on walls or ceilings; bubbling or soft flooring can also be a sign of leaks. Get these issues fixed before a pipe bursts and causes serious water damage in your home.

Water Heater Tank Leaks

One of the most common causes of plumbing flooding is tank water heaters. The interior of these tanks deteriorates over time from mineral buildup. Eventually, the tank can corrode or the release valve can stop working, releasing dozens of gallons of water into your home. Keeping up with maintenance and proactive replacement for your water heater can prevent leaks and expensive flood damage.

Frozen Pipes

Freezing pipes can cause damage that can lead to a burst pipe either during the freeze or down the road. Make sure all exposed pipes are insulated to prevent freezing. If a pipe does freeze, call a plumber to inspect the pipes for damage to prevent leaks later.

If you have a water heater or leaking pipe problem flooding your home, turn off your main water valve and call your local plumber. The quicker you can catch, stop and fix the leak, the less damage that will be done to your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Does Your Water Heater Need Maintenance?

Has your water heater tank been flushed in the last year? Do you know if your anode rod needs to be replaced? Tank water heaters need routine maintenance to prevent premature wear and tear on components. If you are not sure when your water heater received preventive maintenance or if it has never been serviced, it is time to schedule a flush and inspection.

Why Flush a Water Heater?

Tank water heaters hold water heated to around 120 degrees 24/7, 365-days a year. The minerals in the water can collect inside the tank, causing corrosion. Flushing the tank once a year can allow some of these minerals to be released, helping lower corrosion in the tank. This is simple to do – most homeowners can flush their heater as a DIY task – but it can also be completed with routine maintenance.

Inspection of Components

If you schedule routine maintenance through your local plumber, they can flush your tank and do a complete inspection. This will include checking the anode rod to see it needs replacement. It will also include inspecting the pressure release valve – this is a common component that can fail and cause a major leak that can flood your home with hot water from your tank. Annual inspections can identify components that need replacement, reducing the chance of a water heater tank leak or other emergency repairs.

Routine maintenance can help extend the life of your water heater. With regular service, a tank water heater can last well over 10 years, even close to 20 years in some cases. Make sure to schedule your next water heater service if it has been more than a year since your unit has been flushed or inspected.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471

Quick Fixes to Update Your Guest Bathroom

Is your guest bathroom in need of an update? Whether it is a half, three-quarter or full bath, you want a nice room for those who visit or stay in your home. If you are planning to have guests to your home, there are some quick ways to improve the look and function of your extra bathroom. Here are some fast fixes to update your bathroom before your guests arrive.

Painting

A quick paint job can make your bathroom look like new again. Choose a trendy new color to bring an updated style to your guest bath, such as blue-greens, berry-inspired colors and black/white décor. Bathrooms are small, and painting can only take a few hours, making it a project you can do in less than a day.

New Accessories

If you change your wall color, you will want to buy new accessories for the new look. Choose matching towels, soap dispenser, garbage can and shower accessories to match your new color scheme. Add some guest soaps, shampoos and hygiene items to make your guests feel at home.

Replace Your Fixtures

You can make a big difference in the look of your bathroom by replacing the old faucet, shower fixtures, towel racks and mirrors. Finishes like oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel are popular in bathrooms over the old shiny silver fixtures. Your local plumber can install your sink and shower fixtures to ensure they will work correctly.

It does not take long to give your guest bath an update. For more extensive remodels like a new shower, tub or toilet, you will need to plan for more time and have a professional plumber for installing new plumbing. Improving your guest bathroom can enhance the beauty of your home and add value, while leaving a favorable impression on visitors to your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

What to Do If You Have Frozen Pipes

Most people know that freezing temperatures can lead to plumbing problems. Unfortunately, circumstances can occur where a pipe becomes frozen unexpectedly. If a cold snap starts before you insulate exposed pipes or you are away from home when the cold weather hits, you may find yourself with frozen pipes. Here are some steps to take to minimize the damage to your plumbing and home.

  • Is there damage to the pipe? If water has leaked or you can see pipe damage, shut off the main water valve and call a plumber right away. Make sure to keep electrical appliances away from the leaked water to avoid electrical shock until you can effectively dry the surfaces in your home.
  • No leaks? Turn on the faucets. Turn on the heat and open the faucets. In some cases, the water can begin to thaw and if caught early, the pipes can be undamaged. However, if there are any signs of leaks, shut off the main valve and contact a plumber to repair your plumbing.
  • Do not apply direct heat! Using a space heater to close to a frozen pipe or torch to thaw pipes can be dangerous and cause more damage. Bring up the indoor temperature and keep the faucets open to allow the pipes to thaw if there is no damage.

Insulating pipes and keeping buildings warm can help prevent frozen pipes in cold weather. However, if you find yourself with frozen plumbing, be careful to avoid burst pipes and water damage to your home. Contact a plumber to inspect your plumbing and repair any pipes that are damaged at the first sign of frozen plumbing in your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471