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.
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 your bathtub is draining slowly, there are a few different things that could be causing the problem. First, check the drain for a clog. If the drain is clear, try to clean out the P-trap. If neither of these solutions works, you may have a leak in the drainpipe. Continue below to learn more about these 3 common bathtub drain problems, plus what to do about them.
Top 3 Causes of a Slow Draining Tub
One of the most common reasons why your bathtub is draining slowly is because of a clog in the drain. Over time, hair, soap scum, and other debris can build up in the drain, causing a blockage. This can cause water to drain slowly, or even back up into the tub. If you notice that your bathtub is draining more slowly than usual, you may want to check the drain for a clog.
Another reason why your bathtub may be draining slowly is because of a problem with the P-trap. The P-trap is a curved pipe that connects the drain to the main sewer line. It traps water in order to prevent sewer gases from entering the home. Over time, the P-trap can become corroded or clogged, which can cause water to drain slowly. If you suspect that the P-trap is the problem, you can try to clean it out with a plunger or a plumber’s snake.
Finally, another possibility is that there is a leak in the drain pipe. This can happen if the drainpipe is old or has become damaged. A leak in the drainpipe can cause water to drain slowly, or even to back up into the tub. If you think that there may be a leak in the drainpipe, you should call an Indianapolis master plumber to have it repaired.
Troubleshooting Bathtub Drainage Issues
Bathtub drains can be a source of frustration when they become clogged or slow to drain. Luckily, there are a few simple troubleshooting tips you can try to get your drain flowing again. If your tub drain is clogged, the first step is to try using a plunger to dislodge the obstruction. In the case that doesn’t work, you can try using a drain snake or auger to reach down into the drain and clear the blockage. If the bathtub is slow to drain, it may be due to a build-up of hair and soap scum, as mentioned earlier. Again, you can try removing this buildup by using a plumbers’ snake or a drain cleaner specifically designed to break up soap scum.
If you’re still having trouble with your bathtub in any way, shape, or form, it’s time to call in a professional plumber in Indianapolis for help. They will be able to quickly diagnose the problem and get your drain flowing freely again.
A sump pump is a vital piece of equipment that helps to protect your home from flooding. When installed properly, a sump pump will remove water that has accumulated in a sump pit and pump it out of the home to a safe location. This helps to prevent your basement or crawlspace from flooding and prevents damage to your home and belongings.
Sump pumps are especially important in homes that are located in areas that are prone to flooding or where the water table is high. If your home is located in an area that experiences a lot of rain or snowmelt, a sump pump can help to prevent flooding. Homes that are located near rivers or lakes may also benefit from a sump pump, as these bodies of water can cause flooding if they rise too high.
Installing a sump pump is a relatively simple process, and there are many different types. If you already have one, it is important to provide proper maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer. One such responsibility is knowing how to spot problems.
Continue below to review some of the most common signs that suggest you need residential sump pump repair, plus where to get the best service in the Greater Indianapolis areas.
Sump Pump Basics
A residential sump pump is a necessary appliance that helps to remove water that has accumulated in a basement or crawlspace. This type of pump is typically installed in a sump pit, which is a hole that is dug in the floor of the basement or crawlspace. The sump pump works by using a float switch to activate the pump when the water level in the pit reaches a certain point. The pump then pumps the water out of the pit and away from the home.
Types of Sump Pumps
There are two main types of residential sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. Submersible pumps are designed to be completely submerged in the water, while pedestal pumps are designed to sit above the water level. Both types of pumps are effective at removing water from the home, but submersible pumps are typically more durable and can last longer.
Sump Pumps Can Fix a Musty Basement
If you have a wet basement or crawlspace, a residential sump pump can help to keep the area dry and prevent mold and mildew from growing. A sump pump can also help to protect your home from flooding and other water damage. If you are considering installing a sump pump in your home, it is important to choose the right size and type of pump for your needs. A professional Indianapolis plumber can help you select the best sump pump for your home and install it properly.
Signs of Sump Pump Problems
A sump pump is a submersible pump that is used to remove water that has accumulated in a sump basin, typically located in the basement of a home. Sump pumps are used to pump out water that has accumulated in the sump basin, to prevent flooding and water damage.
There are several signs that indicate a sump pump may be having problems, and it is important to be aware of these signs so that you can take action to avoid any potential damages.
One of the most common signs of a sump pump problem is when the pump fails to turn on. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a power outage, a blown fuse, or a tripped circuit breaker. If you notice that your sump pump has failed to turn on, you should check these things first before assuming that there is a problem with the pump itself.
Another sign that there may be a problem with your sump pump is if you notice that the water level in the sump basin is rising. This can be caused by a number of things, such as a clogged intake pipe or an overflowing drain. If you notice that the water level in the sump basin is rising, you should turn off the pump and call a plumber to come and take a look.
If you notice that your sump pump is making strange noises, this can also be an indication of a problem. Sump pumps are designed to operate quietly, so if you notice that your pump is making strange noises, it is likely that there is a problem. You should contact a plumber to come and take a look at the pump to determine what the problem may be.
The bathroom exhaust vent fan requires annual maintenance to increase its performance value and lifespan. It is used for removing excess moisture in the air after a hot shower or bath. If never removed, this moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, which is simultaneously dangerous to our health and destructive for our homes.
Continue reading to learn how to properly clean and maintain bathroom exhaust vent fans.
How Bathroom Fans Work
Bathroom exhaust fans are powerful enough to exhaust nearly two million cubic feet of air per year if turned on for one hour each day! They draw air from the bathroom and vent it outside. As the vent draws air in, other airborne particles come with it, like dust, dander, and debris. These particles accumulate on the outer grid cover and fan motor, reducing performance value and efficiency. Both of these areas must be cleaned in order to maintain an operational bathroom exhaust vent. Dust and debris should be wiped clear every six months to a year, depending on the size of a bathroom and the number of occupants in a home.
How to Clean the Bathroom Exhaust Vent:
To get started, you will need a vacuum with a brush attachment, a step stool, and a towel. The first step begins at the circuit breaker box. Be sure to flip the fuse to the bathroom fan so it has no power. This will eliminate electrocution accidents and injuries.
Next, use your step stool to get in arms reach of the vent. Most are located on the ceiling, but some may be on the side of a wall, right beneath the ceiling.
Slowly pull the grid cover to the vent down until it is a few inches from the ceiling. At this point, you will be able to see metal spring clips on each side of the grid cover. Press them together simultaneously and release them from their slots in the fan housing, then remove the cover from the ceiling entirely.
Place the vent cover on the towel and vacuum it clean with your brush attachment. You may also use paper towel and mild cleaning solution to wipe it clean after vacuuming. Do this for both sides.
Next, using your brush attachment, gently vacuum the fan housing and blower motor. You can choose to use the crevice tool vacuum attachment to reach deeper, harder-to-reach spots.
Now you are ready to attach the cover back to the ceiling and exposed fan housing.
To do this, hold the vent cover while pressing together both metal spring clips. Slip the clips back into their slots inside the fan housing. Gently push the cover back onto the ceiling.
Are you ready to have your bathroom plumbing inspected and repaired by a licensed plumber in your area?Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for licensed and insured plumbing inspection service and plumbing repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We provide residential and commercial service throughout Central Indiana.
Contributing to the betterment of the environment is something anyone can do. In fact, it is easy, and it can save you money! If you’re interested in helping the planet Earth, a good place to start is water conservation. After all, water is precious and none of it should go to waste. Which room in your home uses the most water? Arguably, you could say the kitchen, but most often, it’s the bathroom!
Continue reading to learn 3 simple ways to conserve water in the bathroom, plus what to do if you are dealing with plumbing issues that are wasting water and increasing your utility bills.
Bathroom Water Conservation
Because bathroom water conservation is so easy to do, you can get your entire family or roommates involved too! Here are the three easiest and most cost-effective ways to cut back on water consumption in the bathroom:
Install Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures
Shower heads and faucets are plumbing fixtures that are notorious for wasting water. The flow of water ejected from these fixtures is so strong that the average showerhead or faucet can fill a 5 gallon tank every minute. You can reduce the amount of water your plumbing fixtures emit by installing low-flow showerheads or low-volume water restrictors in your faucets. These plumbing fixtures can reduce water flow down to two half gallons per minute. Not only does this help the planet by conserving water, but it also significantly reduces your water bill every month.
Reduce Bathing Time
Although it can be really challenging to do after a long day of work or a really hard week, one way you can easily conserve water in the bathroom is to reduce your bathing time. Cut back on how long you run a shower before you get in, plus how long you take a shower. Also consider ways to avoid leaving the faucet running while you do other things in the bathroom, like brushing your teeth, washing your hands, removing your makeup, or shaving. For instance, use a mug of water to rinse your razor in between strokes, and simply shut the faucet off while you’re scrubbing your teeth or face clean.
Stop Using the Bathtub
Many people enjoy a good long soak in a hot bath every once in a while, which is perfectly fine. But if you are someone who frequently takes baths, you might want to reconsider your options. The average bathtub holds and drains between 35 and 50 gallons of water. In comparison, a ten minute shower will usually consume around 25 gallons of water.
Another effective way to conserve water in the bathroom is to have any water leaks repair right away. A dripping faucet can waste a lot of water, more than you would think. In fact, a leaky faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water a day. Think about how this could impact your water bill each month.
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.
Plumbers have heard and seen it all, from haunted plumbing pipes to a dead rat in the drain, and everything in between. But there are some questions that tend to take the lead in terms of frequency. If you have questions about your plumbing situation, it is likely that one of these answers will help you. Scroll below to review the answers to the most common questions plumbers get.
Plumbing Questions and Answers
Is This a Plumbing Emergency?
When a client first calls, they often ask if their plumbing issue is something that needs immediate attention or if it can wait. Plumbing emergencies are often easy to spot, as they tend to pose a long list of potential damages and hazards. Some common tell-tale plumbing emergencies include a burst pipe, flooding, major water leak that cannot be controlled by turning off the main water supply, or gas leak. But plumbing emergencies can also come in not-so-obvious forms. For instance, if your home only has one toilet and that toilet breaks down, repairing it would be an emergency need, otherwise, you will have to use the bathroom somewhere else or get a hotel.
Examples of non-emergencies include clogged drains, no hot water, clogged toilet, overflowing toilet, dripping faucet, broken fixtures, and small water leaks.
Is This Plumbing Repair Covered Under Insurance?
Another initial question plumbing customers tend to ask has to do with insurance coverage. Each homeowners’ insurance policy is different, and therefore, contains varying degrees of coverage depending on the type of plumbing repair or need. It is important to check with your insurance carrier to verify which types of repairs are covered and which must be paid out of pocket.
Do I Need to Replace My Water Heater? My Water Softener?
When people start to experience problems with their water heaters or water softeners, the first question that often arises is whether or not they will have to replace them. Water heaters are designed to last anywhere from 8 to 10 years; so, if your unit is near or approaching that range, it would be wise to start thinking about an upgrade. Water softeners last a bit longer, ranging between an 8 to 15 year lifespan. So, if your water softener has not been replaced in a decade, an upgrade to a modern model would be wise.
Aside from age, water heaters and water softeners can experience damage that requires them to be replaced prematurely. Common irreparable damages include fires, burning, or smoke production, as well as gas leaks, major water leaks, tank ruptures, and electrical damage. If your water heater has shown signs of these types of damages or issues, contact an emergency plumber in Indianapolis, right away.
Why Does My Water Take So Long to Heat Up?
Hot showers and baths are an essential part of a satisfying quality of life. So, when they start to show signs of problems, many people start calling their plumbers. One of the most common questions is, “why does it take so long for my water to heat up?” The answer is the water, either the location, size, or efficiency.
If your water heater is too far away from your point of demand, in this case your shower or bathtub, the water can take longer to heat up compared to the kitchen sink faucet. The solution here would be to install a secondary, perhaps tankless or electric, water heater closer to the location of your shower or bath.
If your water heater is too small for the size and occupancy of your home, you can certainly expect the water to take longer to heat up to the temperature you’ve demanded. If you have recently taken in new guests or tenants, you might experience this issue. If you just moved in, you need to upgrade to a higher capacity water heater.
If your water heater is experiencing malfunctions, it may not perform as well as it should. It could cause your water to heat up slower than before.
Can I Improve the Water Pressure?
Everyone asks the plumber about water pressure. Low water pressure is not desirable, so customers always want to know how they can increase or improve the water pressure in their home. One place to focus your attention on when it comes to low water pressure is the faucets themselves. You may have low flow volume restrictors that limit the pressure delivered in the showerhead or faucet. Corroded or leaky plumbing pipes are the next two common culprits behind low or lowered water pressure.
What’s Causing These White Spots All Over My Glassware and Shower Stall?
Cloudy, spotty glassware and shower stall doors are not fun to look at. That is why so many plumbing customers ask their plumbers why this is happening. The answer is hard water. Hard water contains dissolved minerals that leave behind scale and scum. To treat a hard water problem, install or upgrade your water softener. You may also consider a reverse osmosis system.
Is you dishwasher not draining the way it should? Have you noticed a musty puddle of water at the bottom of the well after you run a load? If so, you are most definitely experiencing dishwasher machine drainage problems. Continue below to learn some troubleshooting tips for a problematic dishwasher that won’t seem to drain water.
Flooded Dishwashers are a Sign of a Plumbing Issue
We understand the frustration you feel when you expect to open up your dishwasher to a freshly-cleansed load of dishes but get a waterfall of dirty, soapy water instead. Unfortunately, there is no amount of Rinse-Aid to eliminate the excess moisture. This is a dishwasher draining issue. Before getting into the reasons why your dishwasher is doing this, it is important to note that this type of problem calls for professional plumbing inspection and repair. Contact a licensed plumber in Indianapolis for dishwasher repair and water drainage repair services you can trust.
Common Causes of Poor Water Drainage in Dishwashers
There are a number of possible reasons why dishwashers fill up with water and fail to drain properly, yet in the plumbing industry, the most common seem to be garbage disposal backups, drain hose disconnections, and dirty drain filters. Additional causes include faulty pumps, design defects, and even motherboard malfunctions. Be sure to disconnect the power to your dishwasher before performing any type of inspection, and certainly before you intend to tamper around with it.
Dishwasher Not Draining? Check These 3 Things Before Calling a Plumber:
Backed-Up Garbage Disposal
An obstruction or clogged garbage disposal can have an affect on the water drainage quality of your dishwasher. With long-term or major backups, dishwashers cannot drain properly after a cycle. Start your troubleshooting by clearing your garbage disposal. With a stream of hot water running next to the sink drain (not in the drain), flip your disposal on for 30 to 45 seconds. You can also use some liquid dishwashing soap to help loosen any obstructions.
Optional: Turn the power off to your garbage disposal. Then inspect the inside of the sink drain for any objects of obstructions.
Disconnected Drainage Hose
Often times, drain hoses that are attached to the sink or garbage disposal get knocked out of place, shifted, or even kinked. Before calling a plumber about your dishwasher drainage problems, check to see if these hoses are connected and in good condition. A worn-out or old drain hose should be replaced. This too could be the root of your plumbing issue.
Dirty Drain Filters
Drain filters, like all other filters, require routine cleaning or replacement, depending on what kind of filter product they are. If your dishwasher is not draining all the way after you run a cycle, it could be due to a dirty drain filter that is saturated with food particles, grease, soap residues, and more. Refer to your dishwasher owners’ manual for manufacturers’ instructions on how to access and clean the drain filter.