How to Find Your Water Shut-Off Valve

If you had a burst water pipe gushing water into your home, would you know how to shut off the water quickly? Every homeowner – and even renter – should know how they can stop the water flow in their house in an emergency. In less than a half an hour, hundreds of gallons of water could be in your home, causing extensive damage to your belongings and house. Here is how to find the water shut-off valve in your home to prepare you in case of a plumbing emergency.

First, you should know there may be several water shut-off valves in your home. Each sink may have its own valve under the sink so you can stop water flowing to the sink while replacing fixtures. Your toilets may also have their own valves – if your toilet is continuing to run and overflow or a sink’s faucet springs a leak, you can shut off the water right at the source.

However, if a pipe bursts in a wall, you want to shut off all water to the home. This is the main shut-off valve to the home. This will stop all water coming into your home from your city water line or your well. This valve is typically located wherever the main water line comes into the home. It may be under the home in a crawl space or basement, but should be easy to reach. It can also be in a garage or by the water heater in homes without crawl spaces or basements.

It is important to know where your shut-off valves are located. If a plumbing emergency occurs, turn off the water and call your local plumber to avoid any unnecessary damage to your home and property.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 884-4678

Top 3 Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

Tank water heaters have been the traditional source for hot water in most homes for decades. Whether they use gas or electricity, they offer a supply of water that is already heated and ready for use, with average-sized tanks holding 40-50 gallons of water. However, tankless water heaters are becoming more popular due to their on-demand design, energy efficiency and small space needs. Here are the top 3 pros and cons of tankless water heaters for residential use.

Pros of Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Lower energy costs. Tankless water heaters only heat the water on-demand, saving money off energy costs. Unlike tank water heaters that keep water hot 24/7, the tankless water heaters heat water as needed.
  2. Smaller unit. Since there is not a tank, these water heaters are much smaller in size. They can be hung on a wall or even put on the outside wall of a home.
  3. Less risk of water damage. If a water heater tank springs a leak, it can cause extensive water damage in a home. No tank means no risk of a tank leak.

Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Higher initial cost. Tankless water heaters tend to be higher in initial cost than their tank counterparts, but make up the difference in long-term energy savings.
  2. Slower hot water. Tank water heaters have many gallons of hot water ready to go, while tankless must heat water as needed. This can make it slower to get hot water, but the hot water will not run out like with a tank.
  3. Not well-suited for larger homes. If there are several rooms using hot water at one time in a home, a tankless water heater may have trouble keeping up with the demand. Most tankless water heaters can heat about 3.5 gallons per minute.

If you are looking for a more energy efficient hot water source that will never run out of hot water, tankless may be the way to go for your home. Talk to your local plumber about the options available in tankless water heaters.

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

 

How to Avoid Drain-Cleaning Scams

Most plumbers are trustworthy professionals that you can count on when you have a plumbing emergency like a clogged drain. However, like many professions, there are scam-artists that can take advantage of those with a plumbing issue. Drain-cleaning scams are used by disreputable companies to gouge customers for services they do not need. Here are some tips to avoid these scams when you have a plumbing issue.

  • Are you a target? Scam-artists look for people they think will be easily deceived. Often victims are elderly, especially women, that are targeted due to the perception that they may not know much about plumbing. Be wary if they start asking personal questions.
  • Accompany the inspector. If you have someone inspecting your home for a drain problem, make sure someone you trust is with them. These scammers may place items in a basement or pipes as “proof” of a broken pipe, like dirt or rocks. Make sure someone is there to see the evidence first-hand.
  • Watch videos live. Many plumbers use video cameras for sewer line inspections. While useful, you want to make sure you are watching a video of your pipes, not someone else’s. Watch the video live as it goes down the pipe so you know you are seeing legitimate footage.
  • Hire a reputable, local plumber. The best way to avoid scams is to hire a reputable, local plumber. Check their reviews, years in business and their rating with the Better Business Bureau to ensure you are hiring an honest, reliable professional.

Most plumbers are professionals that you can trust when you have a plumbing emergency like a clogged drain or a broken pipe. Avoid scams by hiring a plumber based on their reputation and experience, not by a cheap price point or persuasive advertising.

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

3 Tips to Dealing with an Overflowing Toilet

It happens to almost everybody at one point or another. You use your bathroom, flush the toilet, and watch in horror as the toilet bowl fills to the rim instead of going down. As it begins to overflow, you need to react fast. You either need to unclog the toilet or stop the water flowing in to mitigate the mess. Here are three tips to dealing with an overflowing toilet to avoid a big mess.

  1. Shut off the water. The water from the tank is already going into the toilet bowl by the time you realize you may have an overflow issue, but most toilets have a water shut-off valve. Turn off the water to avoid more water coming into the tank and bowl.
  2. Use your plunger. Most toilet clogs are in the curved pipes of the toilet. Too much toilet paper or other waste can make a clog. Your plunger can release most clogs and clear the pipes. When it clears, the water in the bowl will disappear and you can turn the water valve back on again to fill the tank and flush again to ensure your toilet is completely clear.
  3. Disinfect your bathroom. If you’re able to unclog your toilet, but you had an overflow, make sure to thoroughly clean your bathroom before letting kids or pets near the room. Use disinfectant to kill the bacteria and remove any health risk.

If using a plunger does not stop your overflowing toilet problem, you should call your local plumber. You may have a larger clog in your plumbing that needs professional removal with a snake or possible hydro-jetting.

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

To Pump or Not Pump?

One of the main services that must be performed on your septic system is regular pumping of the tank. For some, this can be a confusing issue as it can be difficult to know when you should pump and when you can wait a bit longer. The problem with septic tanks is there isn’t a simple way to check when your tank is almost full, at least not for homeowners. Due to the gases present in the tank, it can be dangerous to try to access the tank to check the level. So, how do you know whether to pump or not to pump?

Most septic tanks should be pumped about every 2-3 years; however, this is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Many factors determine how quickly your septic tank will be filled. The size of the tank is usually based on the number of bedrooms in the home. But, some houses have larger tanks than is needed, or more people may live in the house than the number of bedrooms. The size, amount of people in the home, waste habits and many other factors contribute to how often a tank must be pumped.

The best way to stay on top of the pumping for your septic tank is to have regular service performed on your septic system by a professional. Annual service helps keep your equipment maintained and assures that everything is working like it should. This is also a good time for your service technician to check your tank level. They can let you know an approximate time when you should schedule your next pumping. This way, you are not pumping too soon or not enough, keeping your septic system well maintained.

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

Tips on What to Do if Your Toilet Overflows

An overflowed toilet can create a mess. The curvy pipes that flush down waste can get clogged, and as more water comes in to whisk away the waste, it fills up the bowl. Before you know it, it can overflow onto the floor. Usually it is a local clog, often in the toilet itself, that can be removed with a plunger. To deal with a clogged toilet, follow these steps.

  • First, use a plunger to try and release the clog. Create a seal with the plunger around the exit hole in the toilet bowl and push down, then release and push down again without breaking the seal. Keep doing this until the water is sucked down.
  • Try flushing the toilet again. If it flushes with no problems, the clog is gone. Make sure to disinfected the plunger and the floor after cleanup; overflowed toilet water can release many harmful bacteria. Use bleach or another anti-bacterial cleaner.
  • If the clog will not budge or the toilet continues to fill the bowl, you may have other sewer line issues. It could be a clog in one of your pipes or a more serious issue. You can try to “snake” out the drain to find the clog. However, it may be more beneficial to call a plumber. They can determine where the clog is and make sure it is completely removed to remedy the problem.

Most overflowed toilets are a quick, albeit messy, fix. However, if plunging does not work, you may need to call in a plumber. It could be a toilet or plumbing problem that need professional repair.

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

Why You Need an Emergency Plumber

The worst time to choose a plumber is during a plumbing emergency. When you have a broken water pipe or a sewer backup into your home, you do not have time to do the necessary research to vet a plumber. The best approach is to choose an emergency plumber that you can trust before a plumbing emergency occurs. For most homeowners, it is not if, but when, they will need to call a plumber. Here is why you need to have an emergency plumber on speed dial and how to choose the right one.

For one, not all plumbers offer emergency service. They may advertise they handle plumbing emergencies, but that does not mean they will be available at two o’clock in the morning when you find a broken water pipe. You want to ensure that the emergency plumber you choose is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Even if it is Thanksgiving Day or another major holiday, you want to know your plumber will be there when you need them the most.

You need a plumber you can trust, an experienced, reputable company that will handle your plumbing emergency quickly and affordably. Having an emergency plumber can give you peace of mind when the inevitable plumbing issue occurs. Knowing the crisis will be handled and you will not get any unexpected surprises when it comes time to pay the bill can help reduce the stress of an emergency plumbing problem.

When choosing your emergency plumber, make sure to check their credentials. How long have they been in business? Are they licensed and insured? Do they handle both plumbing and sewer/septic emergencies? Do your research when you have time to do it right; then, put their number in your phone so when you have a plumbing problem, your emergency plumber is right there at your fingertips.

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

Should You Drain and Flush a Water Heater Yourself?

Your water heater needs regular maintenance to keep it working great and to extend the time before replacement. Like most appliances, it can benefit from regular service to reduce wear and tear on the mechanisms. One maintenance service that should be done annually is a drain and flush of the tank. However, is this a DIY job or should you hire a plumber?

Draining and flushing your water heater tank is important to limit corrosion inside the tank. Minerals can collect in the tank and cause rust and corrosion. This can lead to leaks in the tank and a premature replacement of the water heater, which can cost thousands of dollars. Draining and flushing can remove these minerals and extend the life of your water heater.

You can drain and flush a water heater on your own, but it does take some know-how. There are several hundred gallons of water that must be carefully removed; a wrong move could cause water to flood your home, putting you at risk for water or mold damage. If you decide to attempt this procedure, make sure you research it carefully to ensure you do not cause more harm than good.

Another option is to schedule a tune-up or service for your water heater with a local plumber. Not only can they drain and flush the tank, they can inspect the other components on your water heater. There are many components that can need replacement over the years; proactive replacement can prevent water heater malfunctions and emergency repairs while extending the life of your appliance. If it has been more than a year since your water heater tank has been flushed, call your local plumber and schedule a service.

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

Top 3 Signs You Need New Bathroom Fixtures

The bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the home and one of the largest consumers of your water supply. Your guests visit this room regularly, making it important to keep it looking stylish; plus, you want to ensure you are not wasting water with older, less efficient fixtures. Here are three signs it is time to replace your bathroom fixtures.

  • Faucets leak or drip. Do you constantly have a shower or sink in your bathroom that drip or leak? While it may be something as simple as a washer that needs replacing in the faucet, it may be time to replace the shower or sink set completely.
  • Your water bill is high. Look at the amount of water your family uses each month. If it is too high, you may want to consider more efficient fixtures. The bathroom is a good place to start; replacing showerheads and your toilet with efficient models can save hundreds of gallons per day.
  • Outdated design. Sometimes, you just want a new look for your bathroom. Changing the fixtures in your bathroom is a cost-efficient option to improve the appearance. If the old faucet or sink is stained or outdated, opt for a newer design to give your bathroom a makeover.

If you are ready to replace your bathroom fixtures for efficiency or a new style, call your local plumber. Fixtures like your toilet or sink should be installed by a professional to ensure it is done right the first time. It can save you time and money in the long run to trust a professional plumber for your installation.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 884-4678

Do You Know Where to Find Your Plumbing Shut-off Valve?

A plumbing emergency can happen at any time. If you have a burst water pipe or one of your faucets starts spurting water, do you know how to turn off your water flow? If you don’t, a small plumbing emergency can turn into a large home repair. Water is constantly flowing into your pipes and plumbing throughout your home. If there is a break or other issue that water will keep flowing into your home, possibly causing thousands of dollars in damage, unless you shut off the main water valve.

Most homes have plumbing that has several shut-off valves and one main valve. The individual valves can be to larger water appliances like your toilet, washer and water heater. You may also have separate valves under your kitchen or bathroom sink. These can be used to shut off water to these fixtures when you need to do a repair or replace parts, or in case of a plumbing failure. Simple turn the valve to the off position and the water is stopped for that area.

When a pipe bursts or no shut-off valve is available, you need to turn off the water at the main pipe entering your home. If you have city water, this will usually be located at the front of your house or on the side nearest your water meter. For homes will wells, the main shut-off valve should be wherever the main pipe enters the home from the well.

The first thing you should do in a plumbing emergency is shut off the water to the fixture or use the main shut-off valve for the home. Then, call your local plumber for an emergency repair.

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