How to Prevent Water Lines From Freezing

DIY Gas Tankless Water Heater Installation

Posted by on 11:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on DIY Gas Tankless Water Heater Installation

Tankless water heaters have become a popular alternative to traditional tank styles. These small and compact water heaters do not require the use of a water containment tank, resulting in no worries about leaking or floods in your home. Tankless water heaters can also heat the water up much more quickly and save homeowners on energy costs. If you want to install this type of water heater yourself, here are some steps to help you complete the installation. Install A Gas & Water Line You will need to install a gas line to connect to the water heater. Be sure that you’re following the proper building codes, and it may be best to have your local gas provider complete this step in the process for you. If you have an existing line, you can add a T valve to it that will divert the gas to the new water heater. You’ll also need to tie in new water lines for the heater. Copper is the best material to do this, and you can use hanger brackets to hold the pipes in place and keep them away from the wall. Use flux to clean the ends of the pipe and then solder them together.  Build A Platform You will need to create a platform where the tankless water heater can be enclosed. Simple make a box large enough to house the heater, and attach it to the wall using long screws. Make sure the platform and enclosure is attached to the studs in the wall so that it’s properly secured and will be able to handle the water heater safely. Then, hang the heater inside of the covered platform. For now, you can use a single screw to keep it in place temporarily. Later when the installation is complete you can finish the job screwing down the holes included on the attached mounting bracket. Connect The Lines Now you should be ready to connect all of the lines so you can use the tankless water heater. You will need to connect the gas shut-off valve, the sediment trap, and the water supply line. Be sure to tighten all connections with an adjustable wrench until they’re securely in place. After all of your lines are securely connected, use a gas sniffer to make sure there are no leaks. You can rent one of these sniffers from a local hardware store if you do not own one, and this test is extremely important to make sure everything has been attached properly. Using The Heater Once you’ve secured the heater and attached all of the corresponding pipes, it’s time to plug the water heater into the electrical power source. This will turn on the water heater’s thermostat and help it maintain the proper temperature. You should also go ahead and insulate the water pipes while you’re here so they will be protected in the colder months. Turn your gas on, and press the start button on your heater. Within minutes you should have hot water running without the worry of a reserve tank leaking. For more information, contact companies like Mr...

read more

Keep Your Feet Warm With Radiant Heat

Posted by on 7:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep Your Feet Warm With Radiant Heat

If you’re tired of having cold feet whenever you’re in the bathroom or basement, consider installing an under floor radiant heat system. These systems are invisible once installed in the room. The system can be placed on a timer so the bathroom floor is toasty warm when you use it to get ready for work in the morning. Here are some of the common under floor heating systems and how they will keep your toes comfortably warm. How Radiant Heat Works Versus Forced Air Heating Traditional forced air heating systems use a furnace to heat air and blow it into the room through ductwork. Rooms will have one or more vents in the floor or wall from which the warm air flows. These systems can have hot and cold spots in the room, depending on where the vents are located. The air forced into a room quickly rises to the ceiling, creating a cushion of warm air up high in the room. The floor may stay cool while the middle and upper areas of a room are warm. Under floor radiant heat warms the air resting on the floor. This air slowly rises, warming the middle of the room as it flows toward the ceiling. By the time the air has reached the ceiling, it has cooled enough to settle back down to the floor, and the cycle starts again. A gentle flow of air from floor to ceiling and back is characteristic of under floor radiant heating systems. Types of Under Floor Radiant Heat Systems The heat under the floor can be created by electrical coils or warm water. One of your local heating contractors will install these units, depending on the type you choose. Electrical Heat Cables – The contractor will lay cables out on the subfloor with space between them to give you the most efficient heat in the room. This system can be used under wood, tile or stone flooring. The cables come in 120 or 240 volts, depending on the amount of heat required to keep the room comfortable. The system connects to a standard thermostat and can be placed on a timer to warm rooms before you enter them. Electrical Heating Mats – Similar to the cable system, these use electrical wires woven into rolls and mats that can easily be laid out on the subfloor. The mats are thin and the wiring is low-voltage. This system is best used in small spaces, such as the bathroom. All types of flooring can be placed over this radiant heating system. These systems take longer to heat a room so you may find a timer to be useful. Hydronic Heating Systems – This heating system uses small tubes carrying warm water under the floor to warm the air. The tubes are placed in a grid pattern to get good coverage in the room. This system produces moist heat, which can be helpful in a dry house or room. Because of the moisture, a hard upper flooring must be used, such as hardwood or tile. The water in the tubes can come from an existing water heater or a standalone heater built for the system. Contact a business, such as Mitchell Plumbing & Heating Inc, for more...

read more

4 Signs Your Bathroom Plumbing Needs Professional Care

Posted by on 10:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Signs Your Bathroom Plumbing Needs Professional Care

Your bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the house, and when plumbing issues arise, you can have a real trial on your hands. Here are 4 signs that your bathroom plumbing needs professional assistance so you can catch minor issues before they become large ones. Tub and sink won’t drain If you’ve already cleaned out your bathtub’s trap to remove the hair and gunk that gets clogged in there and it still won’t drain, or if you notice that your sink also won’t drain and you have no reason why, then you should have a plumber inspect your plumbing for deeper-rooted clogs. Often the main trap for these fixtures may be clogged, which is hard to reach on your own. Before your drains clog completely or the clog moves further down your pipes, you should have a plumber inspect the issue. Water comes out dirty There are many reasons why the water in your bathroom may all of a sudden take on a less than savory color or odor. Red or brown water, an egg-like odor, or stains appearing in your tub or sink are all indications that your water is not as pure as it should be. The most common reason for this type of issue is rust in your pipes or issues with your water heater. Have a plumber inspect your pipes and water heater to help rule out just what is making your water foul. Weeping walls If your walls appear to be dripping water when you run the shower, it may not be caused by water simply splashing on them. You may actually have a leak behind your tub that is made apparent every time you turn your water on. To keep this problem from getting worse and destroying your walls, you should have a plumber inspect the source of the weeping to fix any leaks or replace broken pipes. Lack of water pressure If you used to have great water pressure in your sink or bathtub and have noticed the pressure becoming increasingly poor, then a clog or broken pipe may be your underlying issue. You never know where water pressure is lost in the home, so a plumber should be called as soon as possible to diagnose and repair issues so you can keep further damage from happening. Your bathroom will let you know if there is a plumbing issue that needs immediate attention. From poor water pressure to foul water output, you should always call your plumber if you notice issues with your water or drains to quickly repair problems before they become severe. For plumbing services, contact a company such...

read more

Is Your Water Heater Failing? How To Bathe Without It

Posted by on 4:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Water Heater Failing? How To Bathe Without It

Sometimes people take things like a warm shower for granted. But your water heater can go out, leaving you cold and frustrated. The following guide will show a few warning signs of a failing water heater and how to shower without heat if necessary. Warning Signs To Watch Out For Be sure you pay attention to some of the following: The first sign you should consider is your water heater’s age. Most experts say that the average lifespan of a water heater is about ten years. So make an appointment with your water heater specialist if your unit is old. You can also check the age of your appliance by looking at the manufacturer’s sticker, which usually sits somewhere near the top of the water heater. Your owner’s manual should show you how to read the date, although it is usually represented by the first three characters of the serial number. The first character or letter is the month. So, an A will equal to the first month or January. The next two characters are the last to digits of the manufacturing year. Rust around your water heater, or rust colored water, is a sign of a water heater problems. Rust is the result of corrosion that simply was untreated. Rust also means that the metal is brittle and is in danger of developing a leak. A leak is also a sign to look out for. You might also hear strange noises coming from your water heater. These noises could be rumbling or banging, which may be the result of a buildup of sediments floating water heater. The sediments boil and begin to act erratically. You can talk to your water heater specialist about other warning signs to look out for because it is better to catch these issues before they leave you with freezing water. Tips To Bathe Without Your Water Heater You might not have seen the signs, and now you’re stuck with cold water until your water heater specialist comes to resolve the issue. You can prepare by turning on your heater. Shut the door, and allow the heat to fill the room. Now you can consider the following: Fill your tub half-way up with cold water. Boil a large pot of water, and pour it in the tub. Check the temperature to make sure it’s okay, and jump in. Clean yourself as you normally would; just remember that the warmth of this water won’t last long, so be quick. Now you know how to catch potential water heater failure before it happens and what to do about bathing should your heater give out on...

read more

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

Posted by on 7:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

Freezing temperatures can cause all kinds of nasty trouble, from dangerous driving conditions to unwanted home repairs. One of the most common homeowner headaches of the winter are frozen pipes. But this unwanted Merry Christmas migraine can be prevented if you follow five easy steps. Step #1: Drain It Chances are you’ve drained the swimming pool. That’s a no brainer. But what about your unused water supply lines? Any amount of water sitting in them could cause a frozen pipe, and as the water expands a crack or break could result. Your sprinkler system is out of commission during the winter months. So drain your water sprinkler supply lines and any other water supply lines that aren’t in regular use. Step #2: Button Up All exterior hoses should be removed, drained, and stored for the winter. Be sure to close all inside valves supplying exterior hoses. If left open during a freeze, you could find yourself managing frozen or busted pipes. Outdoor valves should likewise be cleared, but leave these open. If any water is still inside during a freeze, having left them open will allow the water to expand without causing a break. Step #3: Scout the Lines Do you know how many water supply lines are found in unheated areas? Pipes located in the garage, basement, or a crawl space are especially vulnerable to freezing. Any pipes in unheated areas should be well insulated to protect against freezing temperatures. Step #4: Keep the Heat On Planning on spending the holidays out of town? Don’t forget to keep the heat on. As tempting as it may be to turn off the furnace for any extended vacation, resist. A home with no heat is at major risk for frozen pipes. Set the thermostat no than 55 degrees, turn off the main water supply, and be sure the system is thoroughly drained by opening all faucets and flushing the toilet. Step #5: Set the Faucet to a Trickle A trickle from a faucet can save you from an expensive repair. Prevent frozen pipes by starting a slow drip from the hot side of the faucet with a faster drip on the cold side. You don’t need to use a lot of water, just enough to keep a steady, slow trickle. Freezing temperatures are usually accompanied by snow. Now that you know how to prevent frozen pipes this winter, you can kick back and enjoy the prettier side of wintry weather. Contact a plumber, like Watson Plumbing, with any...

read more

Leak Repair For Slab Houses

Posted by on 12:31 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leak Repair For Slab Houses

When your house is on a slab, you have to deal with difficulties that those lucky folks with a basement do not have. One of these difficulties involves your plumbing. When most of your plumbing pipes are under a pile of concrete, repairs can be a serious problem. If you suspect that you have leaking pipes underneath your home’s slab foundation, you have some important decisions to make on diagnosis and repair.   Signs of a Leak If you have a slab home, you might have a serious leak if you notice certain signs. For instance, you may find warm and/or wet spots on your floor. You water meter is another indication. If you are inexplicably using more water than usual, that is often a sign of a significant leak. You may also hear water constantly running even when all the fixtures are turned off. You might even see cracks in the walls or floor. When you notice any of these signs, you need to contact a plumber (such as one from RooterGuy® Plumbing) as soon as possible. Plumbing Access Your plumber may offer you several different ways to access your plumbing. The most direct method is to break through the slab using a jackhammer to reach the pipes where the leak is suspected. Of course, this method causes a great deal of damage to both the concrete foundation and your flooring. Before you choose this option, you will want to get an estimate for your floor repair.  Another route is to have your plumbing company tunnel under your house to reach your pipes. The noise and disruption of this method are less than that of breaking into your foundation. Also, it’s less important to have the source of the leak pinpointed. Plumbers have more flexibility in locating any leakage when they use tunnels. Prices for both methods vary. Tunneling may be more affordable if your flooring is expensive to replace, but each repair situation is different. Only your plumber and other contractors can tell you which method will cost you less.  Having a home built on a slab can make major plumbing repairs more difficult. A leak in the wrong spot can mean an expensive and disruptive repair. If you suspect you have this problem, call your plumber immediately and have your system diagnosed. Allow your plumbing professional to explain your options and then choose the one that is best for you and the structural integrity of your...

read more

Potential Fixes For A Window Air Conditioner Leaking Inside Your Home

Posted by on 4:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Potential Fixes For A Window Air Conditioner Leaking Inside Your Home

A window air conditioner offers convenient cooling without the need for a central system. Window units are relatively low maintenance and require few repairs due to the smaller number of working parts than a central unit. But a window unit’s potential for leaking water inside your home can cut down on some of the cooling charm. If your window unit has started leaking inside your home, there are a few potential problems and fixes. Note that water is supposed to leak outside your home as a drainage method. Call a heating and cooling services technician if you have any more questions or need professional repair assistance. Improper Installation Improper installation is a common cause of water leaking out of your window unit and onto your floor. Window units are designed to sit in the window sill balanced by expandable wings on each side. The unit has to be tilted slightly to allow condensation, which is a natural byproduct of the cooling process, a way to drain out of the unit. Check your user’s manual to make sure your unit was installed with the recommended level of tilt. If the unit isn’t tilted out far enough, try to install the unit again to better match the manufacturer’s instructions. Or call in an HVAC installation company to perform the installation. Clogged Condensate Drain The condensate in a window air conditioner arises from the evaporator coils becoming cold as they transform refrigerant from liquid to gas. The cold coils make it possible for you to have cold air but they also drip off some condensate in the process. In the bottom of your window air conditioner, there is a drain pan that catches the condensate. The drain pan has some way to move that condensate on out of the unit so you don’t end up with a flood. The disposal route might be a hole or other small opening on the bottom of your unit. Check the hole or opening for any dirt or mineralization buildups that could have clogged the path and caused water levels to rise inside your unit. Clean the hole or opening with a bottle cleaner or pipe cleaner soaked in a cleansing fluid.   Faulty Evaporator Coils  If your drain pan opening isn’t clogged and the air conditioner has the proper tilt, you might have evaporator coils that are getting a bit too cold and putting off more condensate than normal. What cause evaporator coils to become overly cold? The coils can become dirty due to dirt and other particles in the air. You can clean the coils by taking apart your unit and using a no-rinse foaming coil cleanser – or by calling in an HVAC tech to perform the job for you. The tech might be required anyway, since another cause of coil problems is an inadequate level of refrigerant, which is a chemical that only a professional can replace. To find out more, speak with someone like Pompeii’s Custom...

read more

Learn About These Important Shut-Off Valves To Avoid A Home Plumbing Disaster

Posted by on 4:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learn About These Important Shut-Off Valves To Avoid A Home Plumbing Disaster

When a plumbing disaster strikes, the first step is often to turn off the water supply so that you don’t experience flooding. Your home’s water supply is controlled with a system of shut-off valves that can turn off all of your home’s water, part of your home’s water, or simply the water to whatever fixture is having problems. You need to learn how to find and operate the shut-off valves in your home even if you plan to call in a plumber. Turning off the water until help arrives can save you hours of cleanup, water damage, and headaches. Outdoor Main Shutoff The main shutoff turns off your home’s entire water supply with one twist of a valve. Where that valve is actually located can differ between houses, but it is usually with your water meter. Still don’t know where the shutoff is located? There are a few places to check. Start by looking along your exterior walls for an affixed meter or along the ground for a closed metal box. If you see the meter out in the open, you should see one valve on each side of the meter. You want to turn the one closest to your house. If the valve looks like a little handle, you only need to turn it in the opposite direction until it stops, which will be about 90 degrees from where the handle started. If the valve has a circular or washer-like handle, turn the handle clockwise several times, then check an outdoor spigot to make sure the water is off. Found a metal box instead of an exposed meter? This is called a Buffalo box and the meter and valve are inside. Can’t find the meter or a metal box regardless of how many times you circle your home? Your shut-off is likely inside your home. Indoor Main Shutoff Check your basement, utility room, or under-home crawlspace. Some homes have an indoor shutoff valve and water meter, but the setup is usually very near an easily accessed entrance such as exterior basement stairs so that a water worker can get to the equipment quickly if necessary. The shutoff process works the same way as the outdoor shutoff procedure. How do you determine what valve is closest to your home when the valves are inside your house? While the correct choice is usually the rightmost valve, it is best to call your water company to make sure. Otherwise you can turn off the water supply from the city to your meter rather than from your meter to your house. Fixture Shutoff Did your toilet suddenly start overflowing? Don’t waste the time running for your main water supply. Locate the shutoff valve behind the toilet near the floor and turn the valve to turn off the supply to only the toilet. Every water-using fixture in your home has a shutoff valve, though the valve isn’t always easy to access. Sink valves are usually located under the sink and resemble a toilet shutoff valve. Your bathtub and shower will also have a shutoff valve, but this is sometimes buried in an actual wall, which means you are better off turning off the entire water supply until a plumber can come in to work on the problem. Contact a service like Midwestern Plumbing Service...

read more

3 Dishwasher Problems You Can Troubleshoot

Posted by on 8:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Dishwasher Problems You Can Troubleshoot

Many households have a dishwasher that is a part of their daily routine. The ease of loading dishes into it and pressing a button is convenient and time saving. That’s why it can be frustrating to have a dishwasher that is not working. If you are experiencing any of these 3 problems, try troubleshooting them on your own. Below are three problems you can fix. Dishwasher Isn’t Filling With Water Properly If you hear your dishwasher going through the cleaning process, but the dishes are not getting clean, it can because it is not filling with the proper amount of water. There can be two potential reasons why this is happening. Start by checking the water supply line going into the dishwasher, and ensure that it is completely open. If the dishwasher is not getting the water fast enough, it may be starting prematurely. You also should find the float inside the dishwasher and clean it. The float could be stuck, showing that there is more water in the dishwasher than there actually is. Consult your owner’s manual for information about removing the float and cleaning it. Dishwasher Isn’t Draining It’s normal to have a little bit of water on the dishwasher’s basin after finishing a cleaning cycle. You need to be concerned when a large amount of water has collected on the bottom of the appliance, because it is an indication that the drain is not functioning properly. It could be from a drain line that is backed up or a pump that is not working correctly. Use a small wire brush to clean out the opening of the dishwasher’s drain hose. You may need to replace the drain hose if it is completely clogged, since it may not be possible to clean deep into the hose. Then look for a blockage inside the dishwasher’s sink trap. Sometimes a broken glass or food waste can cause a clog that prevents the pump from removing the water. Dishwasher Has A Leak A dishwasher that leaks can cause mildew, mold, and rot damage. Start by making sure that your dishwasher is completely level, since water can collect against the door and find its way out. Then look at how you load the dishwasher, since improperly loading a dishwasher may cause water to leak out of the vent in the door. Still can’t fix your dishwasher? It may be time to call a local plumber like Alexander’s Plumbing And Pumps that can fix the problem for...

read more

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