Frequent Summertime Plumbing Dilemmas and How to Solve Them

Even though homeowners often think of wintertime hazards, such as frozen pipes or bursts, when they imagine plumbing problems, the fact is there are plenty of plumbing issues that happen in the summertime as well. While you may not have to be concerned with frozen pipes during the warmest period of the year, there are some additional issues you should be aware of to prepare for the summer months. Below is a list of the most prevalent summertime plumbing problems to further your awareness of prospective problems this season.

Blocked Drains

People love to spend time enjoying the outdoors in the summertime. Regardless of what outdoor activities you and your family prefer, more time outside tends to create an extra layer of dirt to clean off when the day is done. Keep in mind that your sinks and tubs weren’t made to handle large volumes of sand, dirt, wood chips, or other outdoor debris that people often track inside during the summer. These materials are prone to causing build-ups and blockages, so make a point to hose off before you hop in the shower or bath. This will help ensure your drains remain clog-free throughout the season.

In addition, summertime is shedding season for pets, so be sure to give your family pet a good brush before a bath to prevent excess hair from getting into your drains and leading to a clog.

Garbage Disposal Malfunctions

The summer comes hand and hand with a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables many families like to enjoy. However, there are several seasonal summer foods with the capacity to wreak havoc on your garbage disposal. High-fiber food waste like corn cobs, watermelon rinds, mango pits and banana peels can do major damage to your disposal and result in a steep repair bill. Protect your garbage disposal during your summertime barbecues and special events and ensure that people place these items in your trash bin instead of into your sink.

Like high-fiber foods, make sure your family and seasonal guests understand that they should not dump bones, grease, oil, and fats down the drain into your garbage disposal, because they can damage it. Taking these protective actions can keep your appliances functioning properly throughout the entire season.

Will You Be Without Hot Water This Fall?

36778918_sYour water heater is an important piece of your plumbing system – especially when the temperature outside starts to get cooler. Now that we are in the fall season, it is reminder that the winter temperatures are not far away, and a winter day without hot water could be very difficult.

While it might seem that your water heater wears down from simple wear and tear, in actuality the cold weather is much more damaging to the system. In fact, when the temperatures begin to drop outside your water heater has to work even harder than any other time of year.

Luckily, there are a couple of things that you can do to protect your water heater from breaking down during the cold weather:

  • Purchase an insulated blanket and wrap it around your water heater. This extra layer of protection helps to keep the heat inside of the tank and the cold outside. When the temperatures drop in the room where your water heater tank is installed, the water inside of the tank is subject to that temperature. This makes the water heater have to work harder to keep the water hot. But, with an insulated blanket, the water is kept hot.
  • Have the pressure valve on your water heater checked. Because the water inside of your water heater tank is hot, it releases steam and creates condensation. This causes pressure to build inside of the tank, and that pressure must be released or the tank will burst. The pressure valve measures the amount of pressure in the tank and releases enough to protect it from damage. Making sure this valve is working properly is very important to the overall safety and integrity of the tank.
  • Have your hot water heater tank inspected by a professional. Before we go into the most difficult season for your hot water heater, have the unit inspected by a professional to make sure that it is working properly and there aren’t any areas that could be hazardous.

Keeping your water heater in top working condition could make the difference between a good winter and a very inconvenient and cold one. The winter temperatures are very damaging to your water heater. Make sure to follow these tips and get your water heater protected.

Ways to cut down the energy consumption in your home

Ways to reduce your water heater’s energy consumption

 

Broomall Water Heater MaintenanceWater heating can account for over 10 percent of the household utility bill. Aside from a few no-cost habit changes, such as taking shorter showers, there are a few steps a plumbing company can take to help you cut down on your water heating bill. Here are five ways to reduce your water heater’s energy consumption:

1) If your water heater is over five years old, and especially if it is over 10 years old, have a new high efficacy water heater installed by a reputable plumbing company. Technology is continually evolving and the new high efficiency hot water heaters cut water heating bills by as much as 50 percent over an old and inefficient model.

2) Have plumbing leaks fixed. Just a simple leak of only one drip per second from a hot water faucet can add significantly to your hot water heating bill. That may not seem like a lot, but the American Water Works Association reports just a little drip, at 60 drips per minute, will waste over 8 gallons of hot water per day, or over 250 gallons per month, totaling over 3,150 gallons per year! That’s a lot of hot water, and money, going down the drain. So, call a plumber and get those leaks fixed!

Broomall Plumber3) Have your plumber install low-flow faucets and shower heads. Enacted in 1992, federal law requires that all new faucets and shower heads have low flow rates of 2.5 gallons of water per minute. As fixtures that predate 1992 can use over twice the amount of water, the newer low-flow fixtures can offer a water savings of up to 60 percent.

4) Installing a heat trap on the water heater tank can save as much $30 a month on your water heating bill. Installing a heat trap on an existing hot water heater is best left to a professional, and many of the new storage hot water heaters include heat traps.

5) Have your pipes and hot-water storage tank insulated by a professional, as improperly covering the thermostat on an electric heater or the burner compartment, thermostat or air intake or exhaust on a natural gas hot water can lead to damaging or dangerous situations. Insulating the water pipes leading from the water heater will reduce the amount of heat lost as the water travels to the faucets and can significantly reduce your water heater’s energy consumption.

In need of Broomall water heater maintenance? Call John McCuen Plumbing Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. at (610) 325-9395 and schedule a service call today!