As winter approaches, many homeowners start to worry about potential plumbing problems. While some issues may be specific to colder weather, others can occur at any time of year. Here are four of the most common plumbing problems and how to fix them.
Four Winter Plumbing Problems to Watch Out For This Season
1. Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are a common plumbing problem in the winter. If the water in pipes freezes, it can cause them to burst. To prevent frozen pipes, you can insulate them or wrap them in heat tape. You should also make sure that your home is properly heated during the winter. If you do experience frozen pipes, you can use a hairdryer to thaw them out. However, if the pipes have already burst, you’ll need to call an Indianapolis plumber.
2. Clogged Drains
Clogged drains are another common plumbing issue in cold weather. They can be caused by food particles, grease and soap buildup, or leaves and other debris. To prevent clogs, use screens over your sinks and shower drains and avoid pouring grease or food down the drain. You can also use a plunger to clear out any minor clogs, but if it doesn’t work you should call a plumber for help.
3. Leaky Faucets
Leaky faucets are often caused by worn out washers or old valves. To fix them, you’ll need to replace the washer or valve. This is a simple repair that you can do yourself, but it will require some basic plumbing tools and knowledge.
4. Water Heater Issues
Water heaters can be temperamental in cold weather. If your water isn’t heating up properly, make sure that the thermostat is set to the desired temperature. You should also make sure your water heater is well insulated, as this will help prevent it from freezing. If you don’t feel comfortable inspecting or repairing the water heater yourself, you should call a plumber for assistance.
With these tips in mind, you can be better prepared for any winter plumbing problems that may arise. With a bit of proactive maintenance and quick action, you can keep your plumbing system running smoothly this winter.
Your in-ground sprinkler system can be an important part of your garden’s health and beauty. But during the winter months, when temperatures drop, it’s important to remember that your sprinkler system needs some special attention before the cold hits.
Continue below to review a quick and easy guide to blowing out your inground sprinkler system for winter, plus where to get the best seasonal plumbing service near you.
Winter Maintenance for Underground Sprinkler Systems
Blowing out your inground sprinkler system is one of the best ways to protect your pipes against freezing and can help you avoid costly plumbing repairs come springtime. Here are the simple steps to getting the job done right the first time, every time:
How to Blow Out an In-Ground Sprinkler System:
The first step in blowing out your inground sprinkler system is to locate the main water shut off valve. This will usually be located close to where the water supply enters your home. Once you’ve found this valve, turn it off completely until spring when you’re ready to use your sprinkler system again.
Next, you’ll need to connect a garden hose to one of the last sprinkler valves in your system. Run the other end into an area where it can safely drain without causing any damage (such as a grassy area). Finally, turn on all your sprinkler valves, starting with the first one closest to the main water shut off valve.
Once you’ve done this, turn on an outside faucet and let it run until nothing but air comes out of your sprinkler system pipes. This will help clear the remaining water from your pipes and ensure that they don’t freeze during the winter months. Once you’re done with the faucet, turn it off and close the shutoff valve you opened earlier.
Winter Sprinkler System Protection and Plumbing Maintenance
By following these steps, you can ensure that your in-ground sprinkler system is well-protected during winter months. If you have any questions about blowing out your inground sprinkler system or need help with other seasonal plumbing maintenance tasks, contact a local Indianapolis plumbing company for trusted assistance.
There’s nothing quite like the crisp autumn air and the changing leaves. But as the weather cools down, there’s one thing that can ruin the perfect fall day: plumbing problems. From leaky faucets to clogged toilets, plumbing issues can pop up when you least expect them. While some plumbing problems are inevitable, there are a few things you can do to prevent them.
Continue below to learn the top 4 plumbing problems experienced by property owners in the fall, plus how you can prevent them all.
Fall Season Plumbing Damages to Watch Out For
Here are some of the most common fall plumbing problems and how to avoid them:
1. Leaky Faucets: A leaky faucet can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. To prevent leaks, make sure to tighten all the screws on your faucets and replace any washers that are worn out.
2. Clogged Toilets: As the weather gets colder, the water in your toilet tank can freeze and expand, causing the toilet to clog. To prevent this, add a little bit of antifreeze to the tank.
3. Slow Drains: As the temperatures cool, grease and oil can solidify in your drains, causing them to clog. To prevent this, pour a pot of boiling water down your drain once a week.
4. Burst Pipes: As the water in your pipes freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipes, which can cause them to burst. To prevent this, insulate your pipes and let the water drip from the faucets during cold weather.
Schedule a Home Plumbing Inspection for Fall and Winter
Many people only think about their home plumbing when there is a problem. However, it is important to have regular inspections to ensure that everything is working properly and nothing needs repair. Plumbing problems can cause a lot of damage and be very expensive to fix, so it is best to catch them early. They will check for water leaks, corrosion, drainage issues, poor water pressure, and more.
If you are preparing to buy a new home or office space in Indianapolis, be sure to have the plumbing system thoroughly inspected by a licensed master plumber who retains the proper and legal certifications in both past and current state plumbing codes. That would mean that Weilhammer Plumbing Company is the right call to make for home plumbing inspections in Indianapolis!
Home Buyer Plumbing Inspection Services
Although you can hire a home inspection company prior to buying a home, these professionals are not qualified nor proficient in current and historic state plumbing codes in Indiana. From unsafe conditions like gas piping and gas vents that are damaged, to illegal installations and modifications that are not up to code, only a licensed Indianapolis master plumber is capable of unearthing visible and foreseeable problems within any plumbing system.
Without the knowledge and skill of a state-certified master plumbing contractor, you risk buying a home or building that requires thousands upon thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs or structural repairs caused by plumbing problems. If you identify these issues before you finalize, you can negotiate the cost of repairs into the sale of the home!
Why Choose Weilhammer Plumbing
Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. is your neighborhood master plumbing company that provides economically priced plumbing services for both residential and commercial properties throughout Indianapolis and the surrounding Central Indiana areas. You can rest assure that your plumbing needs are met with the highest level of professionalism and integrity, including your budget, your safety, and your comfort.
If you are closing on a home, hire the state-licensed master plumbers and licensed plumbing contractors (#106214) at Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. today! We are experts in state plumbing codes and can locate issues within any plumbing system. Not only do we have more than 60 years of hands-on experience, but we also retain the knowledge, skills, and resources to accurately reveal the truth behind a home’s plumbing.
Whether you are a first-time homeowner or have owned your house for a long time, it is vital to stay up to date with your plumbing systems. Reviewing some common tips and general information from time to time can refresh your memory and help you do a better job of taking care of your home. Continue reading to review some unique, but important, frequently asked questions about home plumbing.
Home Plumbing FAQS You Want to Know
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that is polluted with high levels of contaminates, such as iron salts, calcium, and magnesium. If you are starting to notice subtle changes in your dishes, skin, laundry, and plumbing fixtures, it may be related to a hard water issue. A water filtration system, coupled with a quality water softener, can eliminate these mineral ions plus reduce the level of hardness in your home’s water.
Why Does My Water Take So Long to Heat Up?
There are some common reasons why your water heater might be taking too long to heat your water up. Most often, the water heater is just too old or defective. Otherwise, you could have too much sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank, low volume restrictors installed on your plumbing fixtures, or too much distance between the location of the water heater and your point-of-demand. To fix this problem, you will need to contact a professional Indianapolis plumber who specializes in hot water heater repair and service.
How Do I Unclog a Backed Up Toilet?
Large debris can get stuck, like toilet paper, hair ties, and more. In this case, you will need to use your plunger to plunge the toilet bowl for 30 seconds. But before you do, be sure there is not too much water in the toilet bowl. If there is, empty as much water as needed with a separate cup or bowl. Try flushing the toilet to see if the plunger loosened up the clog. If it didn’t, try again or check to see if the flapper is the issue. If you cannot clear a clogged toilet bowl with a plunger, then you will need to call a licensed plumber for help.
How Do I Remove the Crusty Substance on the Shower Head and Faucet?
Remove the shower head by unscrewing it from the spout. Place it in a bowl with hot water and one cup of household vinegar. Leave it overnight then scrub it clean the next morning. If you cannot screw the shower head off, put the vinegar solution in a plastic bag and place it over the spout, attaching and securing it with a tie. If the substance does come off completely, re-do the process using less water and more vinegar.
How Do I Get Rid of Odor in My Garbage Disposal?
The odor most likely is coming from an accumulation of food scraps and other debris. To remove the smell, you can put a mixture of ice cubes and lemon peels down the disposal and run it, then with disposal still running, flush it with cold water for a minute. If this does not do the trick completely, add a few drops of dish soap with cold water for another thirty seconds. This household remedy is a popular solution to foul smelling garbage disposals.
How Often Should a Septic Tank Be Pumped?
An inspection or cleaning should be done once every few years or so, depending on the size of the make and model septic system in place. In smaller systems, once every three years is sufficient; however, a large tank would require an inspection once every two years or less. The larger the system, the more often it will require service.
Am I Smelling Natural Gas in My House?
Natural gas smells like rotten eggs. If you smell this in your home or building, first, turn off all appliances that use gas. Then open a few windows or doors to let the gas air out. Once you have done this, check the range, water heater, and furnace pilot lights; if one light is out, relight it. If they are not the issue, call your local gas provider and report the smell right away.
Why Did My Plumbing Pipes Go Bad?
There are several reasons why plumbing pipes go bad. It can be due to old age, poor installation, incompatibility, material quality issues, corrosion, external structural damages, and much more.
Should I Re-Pipe or Repair the Plumbing?
In many cases, plumbing pipes do not require replaced, but rather repaired. If one or two plumbing pipes burst or incur some sort of damage, they can simply be replaced through trenchless piping or other repair techniques. However, there are other cases in which the whole house plumbing system should be re-piped. Talk to in Indianapolis plumber to determine the best course of action for your plumbing pipe renovation needs.
How Do I Know if I Have a Plumbing Leak?
As someone who regularly pays your water and energy bills, you know when something is a little off. Suddenly higher utility bills are one of the first signs of a hidden plumbing leak in the home. If you are utility bills are higher than usual, or have seen a sudden spike in cost, it could be an indication that you have a hidden plumbing leak somewhere in your system. First, contact your utility company to confirm that your bill is correct, and if it is, your next step is to contact in licensed plumber for a home plumbing inspection in Indianapolis.
As a homeowner, it is imperative to cooperate with your home’s maintenance needs. Part of maintaining your home is caring for the plumbing systems. Checking for leaks is one key strategy to protecting your plumbing system from sustaining major damages. This can be a simple DIY solution with a little research.
Continue reading to learn how to check for leaks in home plumbing systems; or where to contact a professional for advice on repairing leaky faucets and plumbing pipes in residential properties.
Leak Detection Tips
The plumbing system is one of the most expensive components in your home. Any damages or repairs can cost a substantial amount of money; but you can avoid these unexpected expenses with regular maintenance and care. To spot leaks, you have to look in certain areas. Leaky copper pipes will show a small white circle around it. This is a prime indication of water damage and leakage. It is not a huge problem at this point; so don’t worry. As long as the issue is resolved right away, and not neglected, it will be a simple and inexpensive fix.
When it comes to kitchen and bathroom sinks, it is important to check the structural integrity of the pipes first. Be sure to clear away any clutter so you can get a true view of the plumbing pipes. Check for moisture and leaks. It is typically not recommended to use cabinet space beneath bathroom and kitchen sinks. Clutter combined with moisture can grow mold and other harmful spores; as well as, attract pest infestations Hard objects under the sink can know into the pipes, causing damage and potential leaks too. Take precaution when using these types of spaces for storage.
Once you have inspected the bathrooms and kitchen pipes, take a look at the valves in your home. If you have any trouble at all shutting off the valve; stop trying. This excessive force can break it. Instead, you will need to consult with a licensed Indianapolis plumber for help. Another area to inspect is the water meter. Be sure all your faucets are turned off; then go to your meter and see if the dial is moving at all. If it is, this could be an indication of leaks within your plumbing. To properly locate these leaks, you will need to hire a professional plumbing company.
Many environmentally and budget-conscious property owners are choosing copper plumbing these days. Even properties with plumbing systems constructed with conventional materials have a few copper pipes somewhere in the works, especially in water heaters and boilers.
Although highly-durable, fire-resistant, and less harmful to the environment, copper plumbing can encounter some frustrating drawbacks, like turning green. If you have noticed that your copper plumbing pipes have taken on a green crust or color, you may be concerned, and you would be right to be.
Continue below to learn why your copper plumbing pipes are turning green, plus what you can do to prevent this from happening in the future.
Copper Pipes are Prone to Oxidation
The greenish, or sometimes blue-ish, powdery tint on copper pipes is the result of oxidation, which is a type of corrosion. When copper is exposed to moisture (water or humidity) and oxygen (air) for long periods, it will begin to oxidize. Although harmless and non-toxic, oxidation will disintegrate copper plumbing pipes over time, making it a plumbing problem that requires urgent attention.
Copper is Excellent at Conducting Heat
If you think your property is void of copper plumbing, think again. Any plumbing appliance or water line that circulates hot water will require copper piping, including water heaters, boilers, dishwashers, washing machines, and even radiant heating systems. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat, capable of withstanding high temperatures.
What To Do About Oxidized Copper Plumbing
Like rusty steel, oxidized copper plumbing will eventually corrode and fail. The problem is, most copper plumbing is hidden behind walls or beneath flooring, which makes it hard to spot a corrosion issue. Look at the areas where the pipe meets the wall or opening and check for signs of oxidation. These areas tend to be higher in moisture, giving way to oxidation.
If your copper plumbing is already experiencing oxidation, your first step is to contact a licensed Indianapolis plumber for guidance on plumbing remediation or replacement. You could have a hidden water leak or dampness issue inside the walls, thus causing the copper plumbing to oxidize. A licensed and insured plumber can identify the issue and make the proper adjustments to ensure no future corrosion.
How to Prevent Oxidized Copper Pipes
The best way to prevent copper plumbing oxidation and similar corrosion issues is to have your property’s plumbing system inspected by a licensed and insured master plumber on an annual basis. This annual service will help catch plumbing problems early on before they can turn disastrous or costly.
Who doesn’t want to save a little money? More importantly, who doesn’t want to save A LOT of money? Well, with the right plumbing practices and choices, you can save loads of your hard-earned income on monthly energy and water bills, plus all sorts of other expenses, like soap, laundry, detergent, clothing, shampoo, super expensive plumbing repairs and replacements.
Continue reading to learn some money-saving plumbing tips you don’t want to miss out on, then share them with your friends and loved ones so they too can enjoy the savings!
Cost-Effective Plumbing Tips
Most people are not aware that plumbing plays a significant role in so many different elements of your quality of life. After all, without indoor plumbing, we might as well be living back in the stone ages! From drains and faucets to dishwashers, sinks, washing machines, showers, bathtubs, water heaters, water softeners, boilers, and more, plumbing is a part of our lives in almost everything that we do at home. For this reason, it is worth your while to pay close attention to your plumbing practices and choices. Not only can you modify your habits, but you can also replace current systems with more energy-efficient models too.
Here the top plumbing tips that are guaranteed to save you money:
Get To Know Your Plumber
Routine plumbing maintenance is an important part of saving money and preventing future plumbing disasters. The sooner you get a plumbing problem, the cheaper it’ll be to resolve. Not only should you retain the services of a licensed and insured plumber with extensive experience in the industry to perform such maintenance, but you should really get to know them too. The more you get to know your plumber, the better you are able to communicate your plumbing concerns and troubles with them, and in turn, this allows them to have a comprehensive understanding of your home’s plumbing needs.
When you take good care of all of your plumbing systems and appliances, you can expect them to perform well and last a long time. It is important to have your home’s plumbing systems checked every 3 to 5 years, while water heaters and water softener should be inspected and serviced annually. Talk to your local Indianapolis plumber the best routine maintenance schedule for your home or office.
Consider Lowering Your Water Heater Temperature Setting
Generally, a safe temperature setting for a water heater is between 115 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Homes with young to middle-aged adult occupants can safely increase the temperature up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you’re interested in saving some money, it is recommended to turn your water heater temperature setting down. Although this might not seem like much, the slight change in temperature drop can decrease your monthly energy bill.
Insulate Your Plumbing Pipes
When plumbing pipes are not adequately insulated, a home can experience a significant amount of heat loss, which ultimately costs money. By insulated your plumbing pipes, you can instantly stop heat loss, and therefore, retain your conditioned air longer. This reduces the need to continue running your furnace or central heater, which costs a lot of money. Furthermore, properly insulated pipes protect against standby energy loss from your water heater tank.
Incorporate Energy Efficient Plumbing Appliances and Fixtures
There are many types of plumbing appliances and fixtures that incorporate efficiency into your plumbing practices. For instance, you can replace your toilets with high-efficiency models, such as a dual-flush toilet, which gives users two options for flushing: low flush mode for liquid waste and a higher flush mode for solid waste. These toilets use a mere 1.6 gallons of water per flush!
You can also install low-volume restrictors in your shower heads and faucets, which can also decrease the amount of water you waste while brushing teeth or washing hands and dishes. Additional energy efficient plumbing systems to consider for money-saving purposes include solar water heaters and tankless water softeners.
Today, April 22, 2022, is Earth Day! There are many ways to show your support for this very important and special day, and we hope that you find joy in whatever you choose! As for plumbing, you can save money and back the Earth Day cause by adopting some new plumbing-related systems and practices!
Continue below to learn more about the meaning of Earth Day, plus how you can make the switch to Eco-friendly plumbing in support of the environment and your bank account!
What Does Earth Day Mean to You?
Earth Day was officially established in 1970, following a tremendously damaging oil spill in Santa Barbara, California that got the attention of Senator Gaylord Nelson. He came up with the idea after seeing how destructive the oil spill was to the local Eco-systems and dependent economies. He wanted the nation to realize just how important it is to preserve and protect our natural resources. Back then, the nation did not pay much attention to the damaging effects of industrial and societal pollution. Rachel Carson’s 1962 publication of “Silent Spring” was one of the first considerations of such environmental threats.
So, with gusto, Senator Nelson decided to gather up a group of trusted colleagues to brainstorm ways to increase such awareness. The result was the proclamation of April 22nd to be a “national teach-in on the environment.” Of course, we know this as Earth Day now. In fact, Earth Day was one of the catalysts of the environmental movement that lead to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and even the passing of important acts, like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.
Eco-Friendly Plumbing to Support Earth Day and Environmental Protection:
Tankless Water Heaters
By making the switch from a traditional, tank-style water heater to a tankless water heater, you can preserve natural resources and save money for years to come. According to the Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can reduce energy consumption by 25% to 50% compared to tank-style units.
Tankless water heaters are highly energy-efficient, and a trusted alternative to on-demand hot water. Water is only heated when prompted, like when you run a bath or shower. That way, you are not wasting precious energy to keep water hot in the tank. These water heaters come in electric or gas.
Water Heater Temperature Setting
Having a water heater temperature setting that is too high poses a lot of safety risks, but also wastes energy. Set your water heater at a safe and comfortable 120° Fahrenheit to conserve energy and prevent burns and scalding accidents.
Water-saving toilets save more than just water. They also save you money on utility bills, potentially hundreds of dollars a year. Consider installing a dual-flush toilet to increase the level of water preservation in your home or office. These toilets are specially-designed to provide an option for a light flush or a deep flush. Think light for liquids and deep for solids. If your toilets were installed back in the 90’s, you are likely using up to 3 gallons of water per flush. That’s too much water!
By adding aerators to your sink faucets, you can significantly reduce water wastage in your home or office. Also called low volume water restrictors, these tiny plumbing devices do what they claim: they mix the flow of water with air, thus aerating it, which reduces the volume of water flow. This can save up to 2.2 gallons of water! Plus, they are easy to install, as they simple screw onto the end of your faucets, and they come with an inexpensive price tag.
Additionally, you can swap out your old shower heads for a low-flow showerhead, which basically works in the same way as faucet aerators. A low-flow showerhead can potentially save the average family thousands of gallons of water each year. When shopping around, look for the WaterSense label.
If you have a slow drip coming from a faucet, bathtub spout, or showerhead, it is money-wise to have it repaired right away. Whether a slow drip or a continuous one, this plumbing defect can waste a lot of water. In turn, your monthly utility bills take a hit.
If your pipes are not properly insulated, whether lacking insulation or fitted with the wrong type of insulation, it can cause massive heat loss in your home’s water. By improving or repairing plumbing pipe insulation, you can better conserve energy and water.
We are constantly faced with strange and concerning noises in various aspects of our lives, from hungry belly growls and loudly idling cars to busy internet connections, phone dings, weather alerts, smoke alarms, and much more. Most of these sounds are something we are familiar with, so we aren’t as urgent to address them. However, there are some sounds you should never wait to address, like the ones made by your plumbing.
Your plumbing system, if neglected or defective, can lead to very serious water damage and structural destruction. It can also rack up your water and energy bills, hugely. For these reasons and more, the need for plumbing repair should be taken seriously on all levels because a small plumbing issue can very quickly evolve into something much worse.
Continue reading to learn the top three plumbing sounds you should never ignore, plus what to do if you are experiencing strange plumbing noises in your home or business.
What Does Your Plumbing Sound Like?
Your plumbing system in whole is widespread, including all sorts of appliances, water lines, fixtures, drains, devices, and more. All of these elements can make noises, most of which are fairly normal. It is important to decipher the difference between a concerning plumbing noise and a normal one. When in doubt, contact a licensed Indianapolis plumber for quick, over-the-phone assistance.
Troubleshoot Plumbing Noises
For help understanding how your plumbing systems should sound, keep your ears open for these noises that indicate a need for repair:
Bubbling noises are certainly strange to hear when they are coming from your plumbing. Usually originating from the drains or toilets. If you hear bubble-like sounds when you flush or when water drains in the sink, bathtub, or shower, it could be due to air trapped inside some pipes, a sewer issue, or even a bad clog. Do not let this noise continue without having it checked out by a licensed Indy plumber, otherwise, it could lead to serious water leaks and water damage.
Dripping can be normal under some circumstances when it comes to plumbing, but when you hear drips coming from inside the walls or floors, it could be something more serious. Dripping sounds are indicative of water leaks, which are not an issue you want to ignore even for a day. When you hear bubbling noises, look for an increased water bill to confirm that it is in fact a water leak.
Whining and squeaking can sometimes be heard coming from plumbing pipes, both indoors and outdoors. If you are hearing the same types of sounds coming from pipes, especially high-pitched ones, it may indicate that there is a broken or faulty pressure-reducing valve somewhere in your system. Do not ignore these kinds of noises. Broken or malfunctioning valves often lead to burst pipes, overflows, and much more. Contact a plumber in Indianapolis immediately if your plumbing sounds like this!