How to Prevent Water Lines From Freezing

What To Do When The Furnace Goes Out In Winter

Posted by on 10:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do When The Furnace Goes Out In Winter

Even if you have your furnace checked before the winter season begins, sometimes it will break down anyway, usually in the middle of a cold snap or winter storm. You may have to wait for a day or two before you can get your furnace up and running again. In the meantime, you can take steps to keep yourself warm and/or prevent your pipes from freezing. Backup Generator For most people with a natural gas furnace, an electrical outage will render it unusable. Most furnaces will not turn on when the power is out. The only safe way to use a furnace under these conditions is to employ a backup generator. These generators come in portable models that can be attached to your home’s system in the event of a power outage. They are a particularly good investment if you live in an area prone to windstorms.  Alternative Heating If your furnace is not working, you can use alternative sources of heat that are meant for indoor use. Provided you still have power, space heaters are a lifesaver as long as you take a few precautions, such as keeping them away from furniture and drapes. Try to have several models on hand. Do not use the oven for heat. Using a gas stove for heat can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. You can suffer fire and/or burn injuries from electric models. Do not bring any outdoor heat sources inside. Kerosene heaters and camp stoves also pose the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. They are meant to operate outdoors or in large, well-ventilated areas, so bringing them into your home can be extremely dangerous.  Protect Your Pipes If you have no power at all, you may be uncomfortably chilly, but your biggest problem can be the threat of frozen pipes. To help prevent that problem until you get your furnace repaired, close the doors to all rooms without plumbing. Also, open the kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets to expose the pipes to as much heat as possible. Remember to keep a slight trickle of water running from each faucet to help keep the lines from freezing up. Even being without a furnace temporarily during the winter can make life difficult. If you have to endure a power outage or wait for a professional to repair your heating system, you can take steps to minimize your discomfort while keeping your home safe and your pipes unfrozen. Proper maintenance will help keep things running smoothly during the winter, but situations can still arise. Have a backup plan in place and call your HVAC technician as soon as you notice a problem.  To learn more, contact an HVAC company like Kook & Son...

read more

Signs Of Sewage Line Trouble

Posted by on 8:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Signs Of Sewage Line Trouble

Knowing the signs that indicate issues with your sewage line allows you to get it fixed before the problems get out of hand. Take a few moments to check out the following signs of trouble so you know when you need to call in for professional assistance. All Drains Are Slow Moving A single slow moving drain is generally not a reason to panic. You might have simply sent too much food or hair down the drain by accident, which has caused a clog in that one line. Cleaning a clog that sits between the drain and the main septic line is generally as easy as using a store bought liquid meant to unclog lines. However, if you have begun to notice that all of the drains in your home are taking a lot longer than usual, there is most likely a problem further down into the main sewage line that carries your waste water away from your home. A store bought cleaner will not be enough to tackle such problems. You may need to call in a professional sewage line professional who will have an easier time locating and performing the sewer cleaning for you. You Smell Rotten Eggs A rotten egg smell that is coming from your drains is not a sign that should be ignored. In fact, it should be an indication that you need to quickly make a phone call to a reputable sewage line repair technician. This is because that smell is usually a sign of methane gas, which comes from raw sewage. The fact that this smell is now making its way into your home means that the sewage that you have tried to flush away from the house is not going where it needs to go. There could potentially be a severe clog or break in the sewage line, which is causing sewage to start to back up in the line. It could very well end up backing up all the way through your drains and onto your floors if you do not take immediate action. There Is A Gurgling Sound When You Flush The Toilet An unclogged and correctly installed sewage line will allow your waste water to be flushed through without any indicators of something being wrong. Therefore, if you are starting to hear gurgling sounds coming from the toilet when you flush it, you will want to call in a sewage line professional as soon as possible. There could be a break in your line, which is causing the sewage water to have trouble passing...

read more

A DIY Guide To Replacing Your Washing Machine Hoses

Posted by on 10:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A DIY Guide To Replacing Your Washing Machine Hoses

Washing machines are among the most useful and beloved of contemporary appliances. Yet when not properly maintained, they can represent a significant risk of flooding to your home. If you would like to improve your plumbing skills while learning how to take care of your washer, read on. This article will teach you how to replace worn out washing machine hoses. Step 1: Preparing for the job. Begin by unplugging your washing machine and turning off both water valves. Now pull the machine out from the wall so that you can access the back panel. If the hose attachment points aren’t immediately accessible, you may need to remove the metal panel from the back of the machine. This can usually be done with little more than a screwdriver. Consult your owner’s manual if you’re not sure how.  Step 2: Removing the old hoses. Using a pair of slip joint pliers, remove the old hoses by rotating them in a counterclockwise direction. You may want to spread some old towels on the floor before doing this, as some water will probably leak out of the hoses once disconnected. Remember that ultimately you’ll need to disconnect the other end of these hoses at the water supply valve as well. Step 3: Cleaning the filters. Once the hoses are off, take a look inside of the threaded attachment port. You should notice that there is a small metal filter. This is responsible for keeping sediment and other particulate matter from entering the machine, where it can cause all sorts of problems. Before proceeding, be sure to remove any debris from this screen using a stiff bristled brush. Step 4: Installing the new hoses. This is a good time to mention that not all washing machine supply hoses are created equal. Rubber hoses, though the least expensive option, are notoriously prone to tearing, cracking, and other forms of degradation. Braided metal hoses, on the other hand, offer a number of distinct benefits. Save yourself future stress by making these your hoses of choice. Installing the hoses is easy. Simply screw them on as tight as you can with your fingers, then gently tighten the rest of the way using your pliers. Don’t forget to attach them to the water supply valve while you’re at it, making sure that you’ve got the hot going to the hot and the cold to the cold. Now you can open the valves, and your washing machine should be ready for action again. However, if you’re having any other troubles with your washer, consider contacting local plumbing services to discuss your...

read more

2 Potential Reasons Your Water Bill Just Quadrupled

Posted by on 6:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Potential Reasons Your Water Bill Just Quadrupled

You receive your monthly water bill, open the envelope, and see a number that is four times higher than average for your home. Assuming everyone didn’t start taking three hour long showers in the past month, there is likely a leak or malfunction that caused your bill to jump up so high so fast. Here are three potential reasons your water bill can suddenly quadruple. Call in a plumber and/or your water company to help solve the problem. Running Toilet Believe it or not, a running toilet alone can use up enough water alone to cause the water bill spike. The toilet would need to be running most of the time for the bill to get so high or you might have more than one toilet running. “Running” with a toilet simply means that the water from the tank continuously leaks into the bowl rather than shutting off as soon as the bowl finishes its post-flush refill. The water is leaking out at such a slow rate that the bowl isn’t in danger of overflowing, but the water in the tank is still gradually moving down. When that water in the tank reaches a low enough level, the float triggers more water to enter the tank from your home’s water supply. This cycle will continue endlessly until you fix the problem. A running toilet is typically easy to fix. Take off the tank lid and look inside to find a rubber disc that’s on the bottom of the tank floor. This disc is called the flapper and it is meant to form a seal in the hole between the tank and the bowl. When you flush the toilet, the flusher pulls a chain attached to the flapper to lift the seal and allow water through. Once the flusher relaxes, the flapper is supposed to fall back into its seal position. An incorrect chain length can prevent the flapper from closing properly. A long chain can become stuck under the flapper and keep it raised while an overly short chain can prevent the flapper from falling all the way back down into the hole. You can fix this problem with a simple trip to the hardware store for a flapper with a better chain length for your toilet. Broken Pipe or Meter Error If your toilets aren’t leaking, there might be a leak in one of your main water pipes or your water meter could be malfunctioning. Call a plumber and your water company if you suspect either of these issues to make sure professionals checks to see what is going on. Need to check if the problem is a broken pipe while waiting for a service call? Turn off your main water shut-off valve. Watch the water meter. Is the meter still indicating high levels of use? You either have a water line problem or your meter is on the...

read more

2 Choices When You Need A Water Softener And Are On A Very Low Sodium Diet

Posted by on 3:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Choices When You Need A Water Softener And Are On A Very Low Sodium Diet

If you need to be on a very low-sodium diet, but you live in an area with hard water, it can be challenging to meet both of those needs. Although sodium is the most common type of water softener, there are other options. Examples include potassium chloride, which functions much like sodium does and exchanges itself for the high levels of magnesium and other hard minerals. Another choice to consider when sodium in the unit is not possible is only using the water softener on hot water, leaving untreated cold water available for daily use. Do You Know Enough About The Use Of Potassium Chloride? Potassium chloride is not a type of sodium, and therefore is usually a safe choice for individuals who follow a very low-sodium diet. Although it is safe to use in a water softener, there are changes you can expect from using it. For example, it is not used as efficiently as sodium is, and that means that the unit will need to regenerate more frequently. In addition, you will need to adjust the settings on the water softener. Although you should refer to your owner’s manual to verify the specifications of your unit, the presence of potassium chloride in lieu of sodium often requires increasing the water hardness level by 20%. Using potassium chloride in your water may improve your health, since it can provide about 11% of the recommended daily allowance for this important substance. Have You Considered Only Softening The Hot Water In Your Home? Since the results of hard water can be seen on spotty glasses, dingy clothing and even your dry, irritated skin, softening the water is obviously necessary. If the extra expense of potassium chloride bothers you or if you simply prefer to use sodium, another option is to just use the potassium chloride to treat your hot water. By doing so, your washing machine, dishwasher, toilets and showers have access to the treated water, while you can drink from and cook with untreated, cold water. That reduces the ugly mineral buildup associated with hard water, which makes it easier to keep the areas that come into contact with the water cleaner. By using potassium chloride, you will also be using less of the sodium, allowing you to save money. In conclusion, a low-sodium diet can often make it impossible to use a standard water softener on all of the water that comes into your home, since sodium is the main ingredient in a typical unit. Fortunately, there are alternatives, and you do not have to choose between using the water in your home and staying healthy. Visit a website like to learn...

read more

3 Signs That Your Sump Pump Isn’t Powerful Enough

Posted by on 6:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs That Your Sump Pump Isn’t Powerful Enough

If you have a basement in your home, you may rely on a sump pump to help keep it nice, dry and protected. However, if you have had the same sump pump for a long time, there’s a chance that it just isn’t doing the job right anymore. In fact, there is a chance that your sump pump has always been wrong for your home, such as not being strong or large enough. Ignoring a sump pump that isn’t sufficiently powered for your home can cause problems later on. Along with using up more electricity and causing your electric bill to rise, a faulty sump pump can put your basement at risk of a serious leak. These are a few signs that your sump pump isn’t powerful enough and that it needs to be replaced. 1. It Turns Off and On Constantly You can expect your sump pump to turn on regularly when you are dealing with periods of a lot of rain. If you find that your sump pump turns off and on over and over again, even when the rain is mild and there isn’t a lot of water to deal with, then it might not be strong enough to deal with even small amounts of water. 2. It Runs for a Long Time Your sump pump should do its job pretty quickly. If you find that it’s running for several minutes at a time, it could be because it’s not working powerfully enough and is not getting rid of the water as quickly as it should be. It might not be a cause for alarm if it runs for a while when there is a lot of water on the ground, but this isn’t something that should happen often. 3. Your Sump Pump is Loud When It’s Running You should barely be able to hear your sump pump when it’s running — if you’re listening to music or watching TV at a reasonable volume, you should have to turn it down to hear your sump pump. If it’s making a lot of noise instead of just barely humming, it could be working too hard to try to do its job. This could be the sign of a problem with it, or it could be overheating due to overcompensation. Either way, you should have it looked at ASAP. If your sump pump isn’t powerful enough, then it’s not going to do a good job of keeping your basement dry. If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to consider having it replaced with a stronger and more powerful system. For more information on plumbing issues, talk to a company like AA...

read more

Pros And Cons Of A Whole House Flow-Through Humidifier

Posted by on 5:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of A Whole House Flow-Through Humidifier

A whole house humidifier can help reduce effects of dry air caused by frequent use of your heating system. Dry air can cause a variety of uncomfortable side effects including cracked lips, dry skin, and bloody noses. There are a few different types of whole house humidifiers that can help with these problems. One of the more common types is a flow-through humidifier.  What are the pros and cons of a whole house flow-through humidifier? Pro: Low-Maintenance Humidifiers often spread moisture through your home’s ductworks by routing the warm air from the furnace over a moistened pad and out into the ducts. In a drum-style humidifier, the pad circles around and dips into standing water. That standing water can lead to mildew buildup and makes that type of unit higher maintenance. A flow-through humidifier has a moistened pad but the moisture comes straight from the water supply line rather than a standing pool of water. The constant use of fresh water makes mildew buildup less likely and makes a flow-through unit relatively low maintenance. Consult your owner’s manual for maintenance tips but generally cleaning the pad once or twice a year should be sufficient. Pro or Con: Requires the Heater to be in Use  A flow-through humidifier moistens air coming in from the furnace so the unit does not work when the furnace is turned off. Whether this feature is a pro or con depends on your personal needs. This requirement could be a pro if you only need moisture added while the furnace is running and your house maintains adequate moisture when the furnace isn’t running. The humidifier would switch off with the furnace and save you some money on your water bills. If you need more moisture even when the furnace isn’t running, you should look into other types of humidifiers such as steam or power humidifiers. Con: Inefficient Water Use The constant use of new water means that the unit doesn’t use up all of the moisture on the pad before fresh water comes into the humidifier.  So there can be quite a bit of water waste associated with this unit particularly if you run your furnace non-stop during the winter. If water efficiency is a major concern for you, consider a drum-style humidifier, which has very little water waste. Contact your local heating services company for advice, assistance, and installation options for whatever type of humidifier seems likely to suit your...

read more

When DIY Isn’t Enough And You Need Professional Plumbing Help

Posted by on 11:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When DIY Isn’t Enough And You Need Professional Plumbing Help

Nobody enjoys paying an unexpected plumbing repair bill, which is why many homeowners are turning to DIY for their plumbing repair needs. Sometimes, however, plumbing issues may be more involved than what a homeowner can handle and require the help of a professional plumber. Below are three such situations and why they should be handled professionally. 1. Sewage Backup If you’re dealing with sewage backup, whether from your toilet or your septic tank, it’s important to call in the professionals immediately. Sewage harbors bacteria and viruses that, when handled by the untrained, can cause serious illness. When sewage backs up into your home or yard, getting the problem taken care of immediately is vital not only for your health, but also for the integrity of your property and safety of your home. The cause for the backup can also be more difficult to fix, so even if you try to figure it out on your own, it’ll likely require a plumber’s experience down the line anyway. 2. Frozen Pipes A burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars in damage and leave you with no proper plumbing. If you suspect a frozen pipe, it’s time to call in some professional help. No matter the reason for the frozen pipe, getting it properly thawed and looking for signs of breaks or cracks on the pipes is your top priority. Your plumber will know exactly what to look for, as well as how to effectively thaw it out with minimal damage to your home and plumbing system. While there are many successful DIYers who manage to thaw their pipes just fine, your plumber will have the equipment best able to handle the thawing process and can also ensure that the pipe’s integrity hasn’t been compromised during the freeze. 3. Pipe Leaks or Breaks If you suspect a leaking or broken pipe within the walls of your home, it’s not advised to handle it yourself. Improperly handled broken pipes can cause serious water damage to your property and belongings and can cause mold and mildew to grow over time. If the pipe that you suspect is leaking is behind a wall, calling a plumber is the only way to get the situation properly assessed and fixed. Your plumber will know exactly where to look based on your observations and the clues they pick up through inspection. If wall panels need to be removed for repairs, your plumber will have the proper equipment and know-how to do so. While it’s certainly important that homeowners learn the basics of plumbing repair, some situations cannot be handled without the help of a professional. The above examples are just three of the most common, but if you’re facing an issue that seems to be out of your range, contact a plumber like Mike Hensley Plumbing...

read more

Tired Of Slow Drains? 3 Ways To Prevent Stubborn Clogs

Posted by on 10:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tired Of Slow Drains? 3 Ways To Prevent Stubborn Clogs

You can save yourself time, trouble and money by keeping your drains clean. Each time you turn the water on, drain your tub or flush the toilet, water and waste products are washed through the drains to your sewer or septic tank. Over time, those drains can get clogged with hair, grease, food and even human waste. You’ll know you’re drains are filled with grime when you start experiencing frequent clogs. One way to keep your drains flowing properly is to have them professionally cleaned once a year. In addition to that, you should be doing home maintenance at least once a month to keep them flowing properly throughout the year. Here are three simple ways to keep your drains cleaned. Hot Water Hot water is a simple and effective way to keep all the drains cleaned throughout your home. This is especially effective at removing the greasy buildup that can develop in your kitchen drains. Simply pour a gallon of boiling water down each of your drains at least once a month. To keep your drains smelling fresh, try adding a ¼ cup of lemon juice to the water each time you flush your drains. Bleach Bathroom drains are notorious for clogs. Each time you take a shower, or wash your hair in the sink, you shed some hair. That hair gets stuck inside the drains, where it will eventually start causing clogs. You can use household bleach to dissolve the hair and flush it through to the sewer. Pour ¾ cup of chlorine bleach down the bathroom drains and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Run cold water through the drains for a few minutes to flush the hair out of the drains. If you have a septic tank, you shouldn’t use bleach to clean your drains or you could harm your septic system. Rock Salt You probably don’t think much about your drains when you flush the toilet, but you should. Each time the toilet is flushed, particles of toilet paper and solid waste get deposited along the sides of the drain pipes. There’s a simple way to get rid of that debris. All you have to do is flush a cup of rock salt at least once a month. Not only will the rock salt dissolve human waste that’s clogging your drains, it will also dissolve small tree roots that might be growing in your drain pipes. For more information, contact a plumber in your...

read more

3 Reasons To Update Your Plumbing System During Home Remodeling Projects

Posted by on 6:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Update Your Plumbing System During Home Remodeling Projects

Remodeling projects in your home offer a great time to update the plumbing pipes hidden away in your walls, and this is something that can be especially important in older homes. If your plumbing pipes are old and failing, you could hire a plumber to replace all of them at once, or you could have this done a little at a time. Choosing to have a little done at a time is often easier to afford, and it is easier to do if you are in the middle of remodeling certain parts of your home. Here are three reasons it is easier to do this during your remodeling projects. Your Project Might Involve Plumbing If you are slowly renovating an old house and are working room by room, some of the projects you may do could involve plumbing. For example, if you are remodeling a bathroom, there will be plumbing work to do. If you are adding a bathroom in the house, there will also be plumbing work. Any work that involves bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms will always involve plumbing. As you complete these types of projects, you can have all new plumbing added to these rooms. This can include new faucets and fixtures, and it can also include replacing the plumbing lines coming and going to these fixtures. Your Project Might Involve Work To The Walls If any of your projects involve work being done to the walls in your home, it offers the perfect time to replace the plumbing pipes in the walls affected by the project. There are a number of different projects you may need to do that will affect or involve the walls in your house, including: Adding new walls Removing walls Moving walls Building closets in open spaces Removing the old plaster or drywall so you can replace it When your remodeling project involves any of these things, replacing the plumbing at the same time also offers the opportunity to improve the way the plumbing works. New Plumbing Can Make Your Plumbing System Function Better When a plumber replaces old pipes during remodeling projects, he might be able to eliminate unnecessary runs and turns in pipes. If you can shorten the distance water travels, the water may travel faster through the lines, which will improve water pressure. Eliminating unnecessary pipes and connections can also reduce the chances of water leaks forming, because there are fewer connections attached to the pipes. As you prepare for your next home remodeling project, you may want to consider hiring a plumber to make some changes and updates in the plumbing found in the areas affected by the remodeling project. To learn more, contact a plumber...

read more