How to Prevent Water Lines From Freezing

Common Reasons Your Washer Won’t Drain

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The last thing a homeowner wants to discover is a washer that is not draining water. Water standing inside of your washer can lead to mold, mildew, and a putrid smell. Not to mention the fact that it prevents for your clothes from getting washed. If you find yourself with a washer that will not drain, it is helpful to know what could be causing the problem and how to drain it manually. 1. Drain Pump and Hose Your drain pump is the main part involved in draining water from the washer. First, check to see if you have any clothing stuck in the drain pump blocking the water from getting out. Do you find yourself wondering where a lot of your socks disappear to? It is extremely common for socks to end up stuck in a washer’s drain pump. While most people assume “the washer ate their socks” is a joke, it does attempt to eat it. Water will be unable to leave the drum of your washer if the hose gets bent, blocked, or punctured. This can cause water to leak out of the washer and onto the floor. Whether the washer’s hose works or not is easy to test. Just remove it, place it in a sink, and try to run water through it. Just be prepared for the possibility of water leaking everywhere. You can disconnect and check all of the hoses that connect the pump to the washer to make sure you do not have a leak.   2. Lid or Door Switch If the lid or door switch is not working properly, it is not going to allow the washer to spin. You should not try to fix this problem by disconnecting the switch or the switch’s pins. The lock switch on the door or lid is a safety mechanism. This is to prevent the washer from running while the door or lid is opened.  You Can Drain Your Washer Manually Before diagnosing the washer (and before repairing it), you may need to drain the washer manually. Fortunately, this is very easy to do if you follow the following steps: Unplug the washer Remove the front panel Depending on how bad the water backup is, you may need a bowl to bail out the water and dispose of it. Otherwise, you may be able to lead the hose to a bucket and drain it out As you can see, a washer that will not drain could be as simple as a clog, a hole, a puncture, or a bend. Either way, it is a problem you can fix (or get fixed) without it costing too much money. For further assistance, contact a local plumbing service, such as Aalco-The Drain...

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Your Water Heater: Placement Matters

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During your new water heater installation, pay attention to where the water heater is placed. May homeowners tend to have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to their water heater until something goes wrong. There are several areas in a home that this important appliance can be placed, and just exactly where it’s located can play a big role on the impact to your home if it fails or leaks. The Attic While it may seem counter-intuitive to place a water heater in the attic, many homes keep them stored there. Houses that are built on a slab with no extra storage or basement area and attached homes like townhouses both tend to have the water heater located in the attic. It’s definitely nice to have your water heater out of your way but if it leaks or breaks, the damage can be catastrophic if not caught in time. As water leaves the heater, it can leak through the attic floor and into the ceiling of the rooms below, causing serious damage to your home. Unfortunately, people who live in small spaces may have no other choice than to store it here, so it’s important to check it regularly for potential signs of leakage. The Basement Most homes with a basement will use this area to store the water heater. In a basement, the water heater should be placed on a platform to keep it off of the ground. This platform will help protect your basement and foundation in the event that the water heater leaks. It is also a requirement in order to be up to code since a water heater placed directly on the ground could cause a fire if it explodes and comes in contact with combustible materials in your basement like gasoline or paint. If the water heater is gas-heated, there must be adequate ventilation in your basement to provide good air flow. A Garage Or Shed Many homeowners prefer to keep their water heater in an outside structure like a shed or garage. If the water heater leaks, there will be minimal damage to the interior of the home. The downside to placing it here is that the path of water has a longer distance to travel to your bathroom and kitchen. This means it can take longer for your water supply to heat up and could cause you to waste a large quantity of water. Just like in the basement, all water heaters in your garage or shed should be placed on a platform and have good ventilation if they’re gas powered. Think about the different places in your home where a water heater can be placed so you can decide on the best location for your...

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Is Your Skin Becoming Irritated By Your Home’s Water?

Posted by on 9:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Skin Becoming Irritated By Your Home’s Water?

Many people rely on skin moisturizer to prevent their skin from becoming dry, but the water in their home could be what is causing the problem in the first place. By knowing what hard water is, you can understand what problems it can cause, and how to fix it. What’s Hard Water? Hard water has a higher than usual concentration of minerals, which typically include calcium, magnesium, and iron. Hard water can cause problems such as limescale buildup on faucets and white spots to appear on dishes even after you clean them. There are tests available at your local home improvement store that test for hard water if you are unsure if you have hard water in your home. Will Hard Water Cause Skin Irritation? A common association with hard water is that it causes skin irritation. While that is an ultimate side effect of hard water, it is not as simple as your skin reacting to your water in a bad way that causes irritation. Hard water will tend to dry out your skin, which is actually what leads to skin irritation. The water itself is still perfectly safe for drinking and bathing, even if it leaves your skin very dry in the end. If the water itself was directly responsible for the irritation, it would not be safe to drink. How Does Hard Water Cause Dry Skin? Water is a universal solvent that is great when it comes to dissolving materials. Unfortunately, water has a limit to what it can dissolve before the water becomes oversaturated. Hard water already has those additional minerals in it, which include calcium, magnesium, and iron. This is what makes it difficult for shampoos and soaps to lather when using hard water, and do not let them rinse off your body properly. A side effect of hard water is that soap will not lather very well, which often causes people to use more soap in response. This will cause it to be difficult for hard water to rise off the soap on your body, and soap residue can cause your skin to dry out if not rinsed off immediately. Soap residue can also clog pores, as well as cause rashes and itchiness. What Is the Solution To Prevent Skin Irritation? In addition to not using as much soap when showering, you can also have a whole home water softening system installed. It will remove those excess minerals in the water, causing your water to clean soap more effectively. Water softening systems can be installed by a plumber, with the end result being softer water coming out of every faucet in your home. For more information, contact a professional like those at Knights Plumbing &...

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Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

Posted by on 5:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

If you are pondering a furnace upgrade, then you want to weigh all of your factors before proceeding. This is not usually a decision to be taken lightly and you want to make sure that you will save money or experience a higher quality of life after the upgrade. To help you decide on the best course of action, here are some ideas to think about: How much would an upgrade really cost? First of all, you want to consider all of the costs that are involved in a new heater. Of course there is the upfront cost of purchasing and installing the heater, but you also need to question how much your heating will cost after the new furnace is installed. On top of that, you need to determine just how much more or less you would expect to pay in repairs and maintenance fees. If you have an older furnace that uses heating oil, then you might be able to save a lot of money in the long run by switching over to a newer natural gas heater, simply because the cost of heating will be so much lower going forward. This will also depend highly on the availability of given types of energy in your area, since it would be silly to buy an electric heater when you don’t have easy access to a power grid that can supply you with electricity. Are you properly maintaining your current heater? If you are going to upgrade because your heater is having a lot of problems, then you should think about whether or not those problems were caused by a lack of maintenance on your part. If you neglected your heater and didn’t clean out the filters at their recommended intervals or didn’t address problems before they became too serious, then that same cycle might repeat again in the future. Your new furnace might go down the same road as your old furnace, which could result in some wasted money. Instead, you will want to make an effort to change your maintenance habits going forward in order to make the most out of your new furnace. Cleaning out the filters as often as recommended is a start, but you also want to be vigilant about any potential changes in heating costs and efficiency. By paying close attention, you can squeeze quite a few extra years and dollars out of your furnace. For more information and advice, contact a representative from a company like Washam Plumbing Heating & Air...

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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...

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Keep Your Feet Warm With Radiant Heat

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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...

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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...

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Is Your Water Heater Failing? How To Bathe Without It

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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...

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How To Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

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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...

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Leak Repair For Slab Houses

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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...

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