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How to Find a Good Plumber Near You With Our 7 Trusty Tips for Every Homeowner

A plumber with a hose next to a sink

Finding a good plumber or tradesman can be a nightmare, especially if you have an emergency that cannot wait. But it doesn’t have to be! Read further and learn our 7 tips on how to find a good plumber in your area and save yourself the hassle of dealing with cowboys and shoddy workmen.

The Benefits of Finding a Reputable Plumber

Did you know that water waste in the UK amounts to ~460 million liters each year? The reason is that even the smallest of leaks can waste many liters of water. Leaks can not only cause damage to your and your neighbors’ homes but can also break the bank and have a negative impact on the environment. Hiring a “cowboy” to do the job of a professional will only contribute to these adverse effects. Here are a few reasons why hiring a reputable plumber in your area is worth every penny.

  • Good understanding of the local plumbing needs – local plumbers are familiar with the area, the parking situation, the hardware stores, and the local directives.
  • Short-notice appointments and a one-stop-shop service – hiring a local plumber often means he can come out quickly and offer you a full-package service – from diagnosing the issue to sourcing materials and completing the job.
  • Valuable advice – an expert can provide helpful tips on how to prevent the issue from recurring. They can help you with trusted recommendations, such as how to upkeep your bathrooms and plumbing installations. You get more value for your money.
  • You support the local economy – buying local is a building block of any good economy. This way, you help hard-working professionals find work and you keep your money circulating locally.

Plumber vs Heating Engineer

How to Vet a Good Plumber

Have you ever wondered what the difference between a plumber and a heating engineer is? Plumbers deal with the water fixtures and pipework around the home. If you have a leak or a drip, you call them to fix it for you. They can install or repair showers, sinks, and toilets, and unblock a sink or a toilet. However, if you have an issue with your boiler or central heating, you need a heating engineer. They maintain, install, and repair boilers, gas appliances, and radiators. Some plumbers are also heating engineers and vice versa. The same can’t be said about a handyman vs plumber, though.

All heating engineers have completed specific training and are legally required to be on the Gas Safe Register, which allows them to work on boilers and other gas appliances. But you can’t trust every boiler engineer that knocks on your door. Some tradespeople may appear to be unqualified for specific tasks and cause further damage to your home.

A Service Company Vs Local Plumber

While it is tempting to hire a local tradesman from the yellow pages and pay a lower rate, it is worth examining the idea from all sides. For example, a one-person business would find it difficult to complete a complex project on time because they would work on their own. You would have less control over their work and no way to verify if they are as good as their ad claims or if they have proper insurance.

Hiring a recognized company comes with a lot of benefits. Foremost, it is certainly much easier to check the company’s reputation and track record online. Companies have large teams of experts, working not only Monday to Friday, but weekends, late nights, and bank holidays included. So you can rely on them whenever you need any help. In addition, it is easier to communicate with companies, since they have a dedicated Customer Service department. They can arrange your service and handle any requests or specific issues. You could easily hold them accountable for their work as opposed to individuals that become difficult to find if things go south. Not to mention that companies are committed to improving their services at all times.

You can expect your plumber to have the required certificates, qualifications, and proof of licenses and be up to date on the newest skills and trends in the plumbing world. Professional companies have strict control over their tradesmen’s health by providing personal protective equipment, guidelines, and regular checks.

How to Find a Local Plumber You Can Trust

1. Ask another tradesperson

Have you had tasks done by a handyman or an electrician, whose work you were happy with? Ask them to recommend a plumbing specialist. People in the trades business often know each other and sometimes work together on complex projects. Professionals enjoy working with other professionals, so they are likely to recommend someone reliable.

2. Look for a trusted company

Choosing a reputable plumbing service company over a relatively new and unknown one is the better option in most cases. The company’s reputation often speaks for itself, and you can’t just ignore other people’s opinions.

3. Plumbing Trade Associations

Most knowledgeable plumbers are members of a trade association. A trade association membership is a sign of quality and dedication to the craft, as they encourage focus on technical ability, customer service, and delivering top results. Being a good plumber is more than being technically adept and doing the job. It’s about communication, reliability, and trust. There is no use for a plumber who doesn’t respect your home. Good tradesmen deliver all-around professional services.

The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) are two of the most well-known associations in the UK. Tradesmen, members of these trade associations are unlikely to jeopardize their good reputation by doing shoddy or shady work.

4. Ask friends and family

Another great source of plumber recommendations can be your friends and family. Chances are they have experienced similar issues and can recommend a tradesman you can count on. Word-of-mouth recommendations are still important and can carry a lot of weight. Plus, a personal account is a more persuasive tool than a hype ad without a customer review to back it up. If you want to find a local plumber, perhaps consider inviting your neighbors over for a cup of tea. Find out who they look up to for plumbing repairs and installations.

5. Search through directories and rating pages

Perusing through directories and rating pages improves your chances of finding a plumber you can trust. It is less likely to find a “cowboy” or wanna-be plumber listed in there. When searching, look for authenticity. Always take anonymous reviews with a grain of salt, as they cannot be verified either by you or the rating pages. Some of the most popular and credible directories and aggregator sites are:

  • YellowPages.com – one of the biggest directories
  • Yelp.com – another great directory with a rating system
  • Truspilot.com – search by rating
  • Threebestrated.co.uk – best 3 plumbing service providers in your area
  • Trustatrader.com – qualified professionals registered with a trade association

Don’t rush the decision unless you are in an emergency. Search the second and third pages, since forward placement doesn’t guarantee better service quality.

6. Read reviews and testimonials

Most advertisements claim that you get the best service for the best price. These ads are catchy to hear on the radio or read on the internet, but they rarely provide more than brand recognition. While this is important, it does not give you the security and peace of mind that your home and family are in good hands. Take the time to carefully evaluate reviews and testimonials on aggregator pages or the company website. It is important to look for authenticity and honesty, so better look for the following information:

  • What was the project?
  • When was it carried out?
  • Were there any issues?
  • What is the result?
  • Would the customer consider hiring the same plumber again?

7. Compare rates and collect quotes over the phone

Like with any other service, it is best that you receive 3 or more quotes to compare the costs and the service perks. The more complex the job is the more quotes you need to get, and the more questions you should ask. Depending on the requirements of a specific situation, they might give you a quote over the phone or after a survey. Beware of suspiciously low rates. Most good plumbers know what their work is worth. It’s unlikely that they will charge either too little or too much. A low price might mean a lack of licenses or specialized knowledge. Another trick to watch out for is quoting only for part of the job and then charging extra for “the additional work”. To avoid these situations, you need to have the following information:

  • Does the plumber have Public Liability Insurance?
  • Is the tradesman a licensed professional?
  • What is the

6 ADVANTAGES OF HIRING A PLUMBER IN CARROLLTON, TX

6 Advantages Of Hiring a Plumber In Carrollton, TX

Plumbing may seem easy to many people who try to master the craft by watching online tutorials and fixing minor issues, but in reality fixing, even a single water pipe requires extensive training and focus to make sure that it is properly repaired.

Many homeowners when experiencing any water fixture issue, try to resolve it themselves to save the extra cost. However, this approach may lead to a cheap repair becoming a much costlier improvement later on.

For people who still wish to fix their broken water pipes without the support of a local plumber in Carrollton, TX, below are a few major advantages to change their minds.

1.     SAVE HIDDEN FUTURE COST

Since all the pipelines, faucets, and other fixtures are installed in a way that they are not visible to a homeowner; many minor problems can build up into bigger ones. Plumbing issues if left unresolved can not only cause more damage and inconvenience but also leave a heavy dent on your budget.

A professional plumber will not just resolve the issue they have been called for but can also detect other faults in the process. For example, a skilled plumber can identify a fault in the overall piping arrangement while fixing a water faucet.

It is also often seen that many residents aren’t aware of water heater problems until something goes terribly wrong. A capable plumber in Carrollton, TX will be quick to determine any problem in your heating system, even if they are only there to inspect the heating ventilators or boiler temperature. By seeking the support of specialized plumbing service in Carrollton, TX, you not only get the best service but are also able to save money by detecting errors before they turn severe.

2.     COMPREHENSIVE DIAGNOSTICS

Many people who move into a new house in Carrollton, TX don’t really know much about their fixtures and water systems. The first instinct of any person who encounters a clogged drain is to unclog it with a snake pipe, but this can only be a momentary solution and in some cases cause more harm.

A big benefit of hiring a plumber is that they are able to provide a detailed and exhaustive diagnostic report that includes an explanation of all the fixtures and hidden pipes. This effort will not only help the residents in determining the cause of any problem they shall encounter later but also familiarize the plumber with that home’s plumbing network.

A qualified plumber will maintain this report in their records and refer to them whenever they are contacted for any repair.

3.     QUALITY OF WORK

Although people try to repair small plumbing faults themselves and do not call for a professional plumber these DIY repairs are only temporary solutions. All plumbing problems need an expert to work on them as the water system lines are complexly arranged. For example, a homeowner may be able to unclog a toilet by plunging but it is better to leave a leaky pipeline to the experts.

Professional plumbers in Carrollton, TX not only help homeowners save the time and efforts they’ll need to put into these repairs but also give the most efficient upkeep.

They will also make sure that these problems are fixed to last for the longest duration and don’t appear again after a few days. Moreover, it is suggested to hire an expert for all your plumbing issues as they will be able to work around the delicately installed pipelines and faucets ensuring no structural damage.

4.     WARRANTEE

Solving a plumber problem yourself is always hazardous as there’s no warranty support in case the attempt fails. However, a recognized plumbing service agency in Carrollton, TX will always compensate for any damages that might be caused by them during the process. Trained plumbers also provide a guarantee that if the problem reoccurs, a homeowner can have them attend to it again to make sure that any underlying issue is successfully treated.

5.     EXPERT ADVICE

As not everyone is technical enough to understand why their pipes are leaking or why is the heating system releasing cold air, the best option for them is to call a professional plumber right away. Tioga Contractors is a renowned plumbing service that would not only fix your issues but also offer valuable advice.

In case you have a severe problem like a busted water pipe that has caused water to spread all over the room, a plumber can guide you on the phone on what you should do to control the damage until they arrive at your house.

plumber will also guide you if you have a deteriorating water pipes network that needs replacement, such recommendations save you from sudden malfunctions and extra costs. As plumbers are always updated with the latest parts and products in the market, they will help you in finding the most advanced fixtures to relieve you from any plumbing issues in the near future.

6.     INSURANCE

It is always a good idea to always look for plumbers who are registered and licensed by the local authorities to operate in Carrollton, TX. These plumbers not only are the most reliable but also provide insurance.

Insurance offered by plumbing services assures that the homeowner won’t be liable to pay for the treatment of the plumber if they injure themselves while working on their estate. That is the plumbing services’ insurance company will cover all the medical costs if the worker suffers an accident while on the job. This is a big advantage for people who worry about having to pay the medical bills if the worker gets hurt while working on risky equipment like boilers.

Professional plumbers are not only experts at what they do but also have immense command over individual plumbing parts such as toilets, heaters, and faucets. All of these parts are cautiously installed and even a single wrong move can lead to a bigger setback later. Therefore, it is widely suggested to hire Tioga Contractors for all plumbing malfunctions in Carrollton, TX.

Things That Should Never Be Flushed

16 Things You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet — Wastewater Transport  Services

The toilet and the trash can are not the same things. Everyone knows this, but when you’re in a hurry or feeling lazy, you might go ahead and toss that garbage in the toilet. What harm could it do?

In fact, trash can do a lot of damage to your home’s pipes and even the municipal sewer system. Plumbing and home improvement costs are on the rise partly due to flush items that are not regarded as trash by those who do the flushing.

Flushing non-human waste down the toilet also wastes water. Depending on the brand and model of your home toilets, you can waste about three gallons of water each time you flush. For habitual flushers of trash, this boosts your water bill.

Here are the six things that should never get flushed.

1. Food

People may think food is warm, moist, and soft when it slips down the toilet, and that’s the end of it. But it’s not. Pasta and rice regularly go down the toilet, but they don’t remain small or soft. These materials bloat with water and clog pipes. Starchy foods also damage the main city sewer lines.

Grease is another food item constantly getting flushed. It goes down smoothly but soon solidifies, lining the inside of pipes and creating major jams.

2. Condoms

The worst 4 things people flush down their toilets - are you guilty?

Condoms are not easy to flush, but somehow people manage it. Down in the sewers, they fill with air and bob on the surface. When they deflate, they stick to the lining of pipes and prevent an even flow of water, eventually contributing to major blockage.

Knowing how to care for your home plumbing system before it gets to the point of needing to call a plumber is the key to saving your house and hundreds of dollars in plumbing and home improvement costs.

3. Pets

Fish are among the most common flushable critters that receive water burials. But some families believe dead gerbils, hamsters, lizards, snakes, and others deserve to rest “at sea” as well. Unfortunately, bones of any kind do not disintegrate but get caught in the pipes and cause backups and clogs.

4. Diapers

Parents want to do the right thing, but they are often too tired and pressed for time, so diapers find their way down the toilet. But diapers are designed to be super absorbent. Because of this, it is rare a diaper makes it past the U-bend once it has been flushed. Diapers can cause a horrible pipe blockage.

5. Paint and Construction Debris

Paint is thick by design. When it mixes with grease or fat from food, it creates a large block of hardness. The paint and grease mixture blocks everything in its path, which eventually includes water. This will create extreme damage when the water backs up through your home’s pipes.

6. Medications and Drug Paraphernalia

What Not to Flush Down the Toilet

Outdated and leftover prescription medications should never be flushed down the toilet, because they are harmful substances in other ways. Medications may not affect the pipes but they will flow through your city’s sanitation and waste-water treatment plant.

This means prescription drugs could end up in your drinking water! Drug paraphernalia such as syringes and latex gloves should also never be flushed because they obviously can cause pipe blockage.

If you or a family member does accidentally send something from this list down the toilet, try troubleshooting the problem first. Plumbing repairs are expensive and maybe you can correct the problem without assistance. If you can’t fix your toilet, take a moment before you dial the first plumber listed in the search engine results.

You may be asking, “What’s left to flush?” The answer would be: toilet paper and human waste. That’s all. Unless you want to pay for expensive plumbing and home improvements the next time someone flushes a non-approved flushable item.…

WARNING SIGNS OF WATER LEAKAGE BEHIND THE WALL

peeling paint water damage

When a frozen pipe bursts or a drain backs up, you know something’s wrong right away. You quickly identify the source, pinpoint the problem and take care of repairs.

When a slow leak starts inside your home’s walls, it doesn’t attract attention, but it does leave solid clues. If you know how to detect water leakage in walls, you can minimize potentially serious damage.

Be on the lookout for these 10 signs of water leaks behind your drywall.

1. PERSISTENT MUSTY ODORS

As the water slowly drips from a leaky pipe inside the wall, flooring and sheetrock stay damp and develop an odor similar to wet cardboard. It generates a musty smell that can help you find hidden leaks.

2. MOLD IN UNUSUAL AREAS

Mold usually grows in wet areas like kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms. If you spot the stuff on walls or baseboards in other rooms of the house, it’s a good indicator of undetected water leaks.

3. STAINS THAT GROW

When mold thrives around a leaky pipe, it sometimes takes hold on the inside surface of the affected wall. A growing stain on otherwise clean sheetrock is often your sign of a hidden plumbing problem.

4. PEELING OR BUBBLING WALLPAPER / PAINT

This clue is easy to miss in rooms that don’t get much use. When you see wallpaper separating along seams or paint bubbling or flaking off the wall, blame sheetrock that stays wet because of an undetected leak.

5. SLOWLY WARPING SHEETROCK

Over time, sheetrock wicks up moisture from a slow leak, and that can cause the wall to develop bends and curves. Warped sheetrock is a sure sign of a slow water leak.

6. BUCKLED CEILINGS AND STAINED FLOORS

If ceilings or floors in bathrooms, kitchens or laundry areas develop structural problems, don’t rule out constant damp inside the walls. Wet sheetrock can affect adjacent framing, flooring and ceilings.

7. WET BLOTCHES

Wet spots are sure signs of water damage in walls, but they don’t always pinpoint the problem’s location. Water can travel down a pipe and cause wet blotches on the wall below the leak.

8. ODD DISCOLORATION

As a leak moves further down inside the wall, overlooked wet spots eventually dry. They leave behind splotches that appear lighter than surrounding drywall or wallpaper.

9. WET FLOORS

This sign is obvious on kitchen floors, but it’s not as noticeable in carpeted rooms. If an area of carpeting appears darker next to a wall, touch the fibers. If they’re damp, you probably have a wall leak.

10. DRIPPING SOUNDS

Water running down inside walls often makes a dripping sound. You’ll usually hear the plinking noise after turning off a faucet in the sink, tub, or shower. You may also notice audible clues after flushing the toilet.

TESTING YOUR SUSPICIONS

water meter
A water meter test can help you determine if there’s a leak in your house.

Figuring out how to detect water leakage in walls takes a little investigative work. If the clues add up and you want more evidence of a hidden leak, use your home’s water meter to test your suspicions by following these simple steps.

  • Make sure all faucets and appliances in the house are turned off.
  • Take a look at your home’s water meter, and note the usage numbers.
  • Don’t run any water inside or out for at least three hours.
  • Check the usage numbers on the meter again for any changes.
  • An increase in the readout means you have a leak somewhere in the house.

TOOLS THAT HELP DETECT WATER LEAKS IN WALLS

water damage moisture reader

Cutting into drywall to locate a leak doesn’t always give you access to the problem. Water could be dripping from a pipe several feet above the wet spot. Reduce the guesswork with these leak-detection tools.

  • Moisture Meter – This device analyzes moisture content in all types of materials. Locate a leak by placing the meter directly against the wall. Move it around, checking four or five different points. The spot that gives you the highest reading is nearest to the hidden leak.
  • Infrared Camera – An infrared camera detects moisture inside walls through an optical system that measures infrared energy and surface temperature. As you move the camera around a suspected area, a cooler temperature reading helps pinpoint the location of the leak inside the wall.

You can buy or rent both tools at most home improvement centers. Moisture meters and infrared cameras are just two examples of the advanced equipment used by restoration professionals to detect hidden wall leaks.

HOW TO STOP WATER LEAKAGE FROM THE WALL

Knowing what to do if your wall is leaking water saves cleanup time and reduces the chance of serious water damage.

Once you’ve located the approximate area of the leak, cut out enough drywall to reach the bad pipe. Stop the leak with a patch kit, mop up as much water as possible, and set up fans to dry the area.

Let a water damage pro take care of permanent repairs and drywall restoration. When you call in a company that specializes in this kind of work, you:

  • Leave the entire job in the hands of certified technicians.
  • Count on advanced repair, cleaning and restoration techniques
  • Know mold removal and remediation are taken care of
  • Don’t navigate insurance paperwork by yourself.

While it’s always best to let a restoration professional handle repairs and remediation, here are important steps you should also take to minimize damage.

  • Fixing a wall leaking from rain water might start with cleaning out the gutters. When they’re clogged, heavy rain spills down your home’s exterior and can seep into the walls inside.
  • Water leaks in walls when it rains can indicate problems on the roof. Make regular roof inspections part of your water leak prevention plans. Immediately replace bad shingles or flashing.
  • Stop plumbing leaks inside walls by turning off the main water supply to your home. Open up faucets inside the house to drain as much water as possible from pipes before you begin repairs.

How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

frozen pipes

When temperatures plummet, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. In fact, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage—easily $5,000 or more, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (PDF).

The pipes most at risk are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. The good news is there are some simple things you can do to keep your water running and your house dry.

“Pipe insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at your local hardware store,” says Susan Millerick, IBHS spokeswoman. “So for not much more than the cost of the aspirin you’d need, you can avoid the headaches of cleanup, loss of precious keepsakes, and the cost of your insurance deductible.” Use the pipe insulation liberally to protect any vulnerable pipes.

Both the IBHS and the American Red Cross, which is in the business of emergency preparedness, have useful advice on how to prevent your pipes from freezing, as well as how to thaw them if they do.

Insulating pipes is just one of the Winter prep steps you need to do. Here are the other Fall chores you can’t afford to ignore.

How to Beat the Freeze

Once the temperature starts dropping outside, you should take measures inside to keep your pipes warm and water running. Research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois shows that the “temperature alert threshold” is 20° F, especially if you have uninsulated pipes running through an uninsulated space.

Some of the steps experts recommend may go against your better instincts of conserving water and heat, but the extra expense is nothing compared with a hefty repair bill. Here’s what to do:

Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)

Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Again, during a cold snap is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill.

If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. “If you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees Consumer Reports’ testing of home products and power gear.

If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber.)

Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.

Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.

Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Call a licensed plumber if you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe.

HOT WATER NOT COMING OUT OF YOUR SHOWER?

No Hot Water in Shower! Why this Happened and How to fix it? [8 Effective  Ways]

Though it’s often always pretty warm in Texas during the winter, the last thing you want is no hot water coming out of the shower! An immediate solution would be to check your water tank, which is where the hot water is being supplied from. Water heaters (or water tanks) are usually located in hidden places like your basement, attic, garage, or even a closet. FYI, the location of your water heater also affects how quickly the water in your house gets hot.

While your water tank could be the most obvious reason for finding any issues with the water heating, it isn’t the only one. There are a few other things you can look at when trying to find the reason the water isn’t heating in your household.

CHECK THE TEMPERATURE

√ Why Do I Have No Hot Water? • Dream Lands Design

Sometimes, it’s the little things. While checking the temperature of the water heater may sound like a no-brainer, there are a few other things to consider. If you have an electric water heater, check for any elements that might have burned out; water will either heat for a short period of time or not heat at all if there is an issue. If you have an older model, the cold-water supply dip tube may have deteriorated. The dip tube allows for cold water to run down to the burner to heat it up. Instead of the cold water going to the burner for heating, it escapes into the hot water feed pipe. Thus causing cold water to come out. Make sure you check the temperature of your water heater to rule this factor out.

WATER TANK, INSPECT IT!

As previously mentioned, your water tank can be located in either your basement, attic, garage, or closet. After locating it, the first thing you want to check is the age and condition of your water tank. Like many appliances, water tanks are subject to wear and tear over time. A second thing to look out for is leaks and checking the connections. At times, the connections on your water heater may need to be tightened or sometimes may need to be replaced. Lastly, check the anode rode (which is a steel wire coated in either aluminum or magnesium which helps prevent the water tank from rusting) and look out for sediment build-up. If the anode rode is worn away or covered in sediment buildup, this could be the underlying reason why your water isn’t heating.

CHECK OTHER FAUCETS IN THE HOUSE

No Hot water - YouTube

To determine whether it’s a water tank issue or a shower component issue, check the temperature of the hot water in the other faucets in your home. If the temperature of the hot water cools quickly, you may have a burner problem with your water tank. If there is no hot water coming out at all, it could be a faulty dip tube. Now, if all the other faucets have running hot water, then the issue may lie in your shower components.

INSPECT YOUR SHOWER VALVE

Your shower valve might need to be checked if the only place in your household that isn’t getting hot water is your shower. The shower valve is in charge of mixing both hot and cold water to make it the perfect temperature for your shower. Sometimes, the washers or O-rings have worn out which makes the valve not properly work. This can cause cold water to come through the showerhead. You may need to replace some of these parts if there is an issue with your shower valve.

IF YOU CAN’T RESOLVE THE PROBLEM, CALL THE EXPERTS!

Here at Quarter Moon Plumbing, AC & Heating, we are always looking out for the comfort and protection of our clients. If you suspect there might be an issue with your plumbing, AC, or heating, call us today for an inspection, contact us on our website.

HOW TO FIND AND REPAIR WATER LEAKING IN THE WALL

It doesn’t set off alarms. You can’t hear it or see it. Left undetected, it can cause serious damage to sheetrock and even affect floors and ceilings. A slow water leak hidden inside the walls of your home creates a damp environment that breeds mold and rots wood.

As well as you stay ahead of repairs around the house, do you know how to detect water leakage in walls?

Through our water removal services here in Chicago, we see so many homeowner headaches caused by water leaks inside walls. When you know what to look for, it’s easier to spot a hidden water leakage problem.

10 WARNING SIGNS OF WATER LEAKAGE BEHIND THE WALL

peeling paint water damage

When a frozen pipe burst or a drain backs up, you know something’s wrong right away. You quickly identify the source, pinpoint the problem, and take care of repairs.

When a slow leak starts inside your home’s walls, it doesn’t attract attention, but it does leave solid clues. If you know how to detect water leakage in walls, you can minimize potentially serious damage.

Be on the lookout for these 10 signs of water leaks behind your drywall.

1. PERSISTENT MUSTY ODORS

As water slowly drips from a leaky pipe inside the wall, flooring and sheetrock stay damp and develop an odor similar to wet cardboard. It generates a musty smell that can help you find hidden leaks.

2. MOLD IN UNUSUAL AREAS

Mold usually grows in wet areas like kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms. If you spot the stuff on walls or baseboards in other rooms of the house, it’s a good indicator of undetected water leaks.

3. STAINS THAT GROW

When mold thrives around a leaky pipe, it sometimes takes hold of the inside surface of the affected wall. A growing stain on otherwise clean sheetrock is often your sign of a hidden plumbing problem.

4. PEELING OR BUBBLING WALLPAPER / PAINT

This clue is easy to miss in rooms that don’t get much use. When you see wallpaper separating along seams or paint bubbling or flaking off the wall, blame sheetrock that stays wet because of an undetected leak.

5. SLOWLY WARPING SHEETROCK

Over time, sheetrock wicks up moisture from a slow leak, and that can cause the wall to develop bends and curves. Warped sheetrock is a sure sign of a slow water leak.

6. BUCKLED CEILINGS AND STAINED FLOORS

If ceilings or floors in bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry areas develop structural problems, don’t rule out constant damp inside the walls. Wet sheetrock can affect adjacent framing, flooring, and ceilings.

7. WET BLOTCHES

Wet spots are sure signs of water damage in walls, but they don’t always pinpoint the problem’s location. Water can travel down a pipe and cause wet blotches on the wall below the leak.

8. ODD DISCOLORATION

As a leak moves further down inside the wall, overlooked wet spots eventually dry. They leave behind splotches that appear lighter than surrounding drywall or wallpaper.

9. WET FLOORS

This sign is obvious on kitchen floors, but it’s not as noticeable in carpeted rooms. If an area of carpeting appears darker next to a wall, touch the fibers. If they’re damp, you probably have a wall leak.

10. DRIPPING SOUNDS

Water running down inside walls often makes a dripping sound. You’ll usually hear the plinking noise after turning off a faucet in the sink, tub or shower. You may also notice audible clues after flushing the toilet.

TESTING YOUR SUSPICIONS

water meter
A water meter test can help you determine if there’s a leak in your house.

Figuring out how to detect water leakage in walls takes a little investigative work. If the clues add up and you want more evidence of a hidden leak, use your home’s water meter to test your suspicions by following these simple steps.

  • Make sure all faucets and appliances in the house are turned off.
  • Take a look at your home’s water meter, and note the usage numbers.
  • Don’t run any water inside or out for at least three hours.
  • Check the usage numbers on the meter again for any changes.
  • An increase in the readout means you have a leak somewhere in the house.

TOOLS THAT HELP DETECT WATER LEAKS IN WALLS

water damage moisture reader

Cutting into drywall to locate a leak doesn’t always give you access to the problem. Water could be dripping from a pipe several feet above the wet spot. Reduce the guesswork with these leak-detection tools.

  • Moisture Meter – This device analyzes moisture content in all types of materials. Locate a leak by placing the meter directly against the wall. Move it around, checking four or five different points. The spot that gives you the highest reading is nearest to the hidden leak.
  • Infrared Camera – An infrared camera detects moisture inside walls through an optical system that measures infrared energy and surface temperature. As you move the camera around a suspected area, a cooler temperature reading helps pinpoint the location of the leak inside the wall.

You can buy or rent both tools at most home improvement centers. Moisture meters and infrared cameras are just two examples of the advanced equipment used by restoration professionals to detect hidden wall leaks.

HOW TO STOP WATER LEAKAGE FROM THE WALL

Knowing what to do if your wall is leaking water saves cleanup time and reduces the chance of serious water damage.

Once you’ve located the approximate area of the leak, cut out enough drywall to reach the bad pipe. Stop the leak with a patch kit, mop up as much water as possible, and set up fans to dry the area.

Let a water damage pro take care of permanent repairs and drywall restoration. When you call in a company that specializes in this kind of work, you:

  • Leave the entire job in the hands of certified technicians.
  • Count on advanced repair, cleaning and restoration techniques
  • Know mold removal and remediation are taken care of
  • Don’t navigate insurance paperwork by yourself.

While it’s always best to let a restoration professional handle repairs and remediation, here are important steps you should also take to minimize damage.

  • Fixing a wall leaking from rain water might start with cleaning out the gutters. When they’re clogged, heavy rain spills down your home’s exterior and can seep into the walls inside.
  • Water leaks in walls when it rains can indicate problems on the roof. Make regular roof inspections part of your water leak prevention plans. Immediately replace bad shingles or flashing.
  • Stop plumbing leaks inside walls by turning off the main water supply to your home. Open up faucets inside the house to drain as much water as possible from pipes before you begin repairs.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO REPAIR A WATER LEAK IN THE WALL?

water leakage expert

Depending on the extent of damage from a water leak in the wall, repair costs can run between $350 and $2,000 or more.

In addition to cleanup, water remediation and restoration, the cost can also include plumbing repairs and mold removal. A reputable water damage company will give you a detailed estimate that outlines the leak repair process.…

8 Steps to Cleaning Your Sump Pump Properly

Sump pumps are an integral part of maintaining a dry basement. Due to the nature of this helpful household appliance, sump pumps require regular cleaning to keep their systems functioning properly. We suggest annual sump pump cleaning, including removing and washing off the pump, clearing the check valve, removing water and debris from the pit, and more.

8 Steps to Cleaning Your Sump Pump Properly

If it has been a while since you’ve cleaned your sump pump, or this is the first time you’ve even considered it, continue reading for seven steps to clean your sump pump correctly.

What you’ll need

First, it’s important to gather the necessary materials and items for cleaning the sump pump.

  • A tarp or plastic sheeting
  • A tool useful for scraping debris
  • A large bucket
  • A garden hose
  • A wet/dry vacuum for final cleanup

How to clean a sump pump

Sump pump 101 — Economical Insurance

Before anything, make sure it’s not rainy outside, or you don’t have any appliances that drain into the sump pump basin. It’s important that there is no water coming into the area as you are working on the sump pump.

  1. Disconnect the sump pump from the power supply. Unplug the sump pump or turn off the circuit breaker at the power source. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Attempting to repair or clean a sump pump while connected to the power source is extremely dangerous.
  2. Wrap the pump. Save yourself from extra cleanup by wrapping the bottom of the pump itself in the plastic tarp/sheeting. Set the pump in an area that will allow you to access all sides for easy cleaning.
  3. Clean the pump. Now for the fun part. Start the cleaning process by spraying the pump with the garden hose. Once the pump is sprayed and all loose residue has been removed, use the scraping tool to remove any stuck-on debris.
  4. Rinse the pump. Spray the pump again with the garden hose, rinsing off any last residue that might be remaining.
  5. Drain the check valve. Keep your bucket handy while draining the check valve. Any water from the check valve will be caught in the bucket.
  6. Use the wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water from the sump pit. This step is self-explanatory. Use your shop vac to remove excess water from the sump pit. You’ll also likely need the shop vac to clean up any water or residue that might have made a mess of the cleaning space.
  7. Reconnect the pump. Reconnect the sump pump and make sure all components are situated in the sump pit as they were before you started the cleaning process. Reconnect the sump pump to the power source, and be sure to turn the breaker to the ‘on’ position if you turned it off during step two.

Bonus step: Make a note of the date you cleaned the sump pump and keep it accessible for reference. You’ll want to add this maintenance item to your home maintenance list every year, or more often for homes with hardworking sump pumps due to severe weather.

Sump pump maintenance and installation

How to Select the Best Sump Pump Installation – All Dry Basement Systems

If you run into any issues while cleaning your sump pump – or you realize it’s time to upgrade an older unit – talk to the helpful team, just contact us for more information.…

5 Ways To Fix A Shower Diverter Pull-Up

If your bathtub has a showerhead, your shower valve redirects water from the showerhead to the tub faucet. When it’s not working, water simultaneously pours from both outlets. It’s easy to fix, so let’s learn how. Shower valves have two parts:

  • A tub spout for filling the tub.
  • A diverter gate – the little knob you twist, turn, or pull to direct your water.

The most common diverter types are:

  • Tee-valve – a single faucet with a pull-up knob
  • Two-valve – one faucet with a knob that turns water hot or cold
  • Three-valve – two faucets, one for hot water and one for cold

Option 1 – Clean Your Spout

Clean your spout

Sometimes, the diverter gate gets stuck. When you try to turn it or pull it up, it refuses to budge or makes squeaky, grating noises. If you do manage to pull it up, it may stick at the top and refuse to push back down. This is probably due to accumulated dirt, grease, and limescale.

  • Step 1: Mix a batch of white vinegar. It has to be enough to completely cover the spout.
  • Step 2: Pour your vinegar into a plastic bag. If you like, you can mix the vinegar with water.
  • Step 3: Wrap the plastic bag around your spout, submerging the spout.
  • Step 4: Hold the bag in place using a rubber band, string, or shoe lace.
  • Step 5: Leave the faucet submerged for three or four days, checking it once a day.
  • Step 6: Once the spout looks clean and shiny again, pull the diverter gate to see if it works.

Cleaning your spout with vinegar is good for the environment, because vinegar is organic and non-toxic, unlike harsh bathroom cleaners. It also saves you the cost of buying replacement parts, so it’s a pocket-friendly way to fix your shower leak.

Option 2 – Loosen Your Diverter With Cooking Spray

Loosen your diverter with cooking spray

If your diverter gate stays stubborn after your vinegar soak, try using a lubricant to make it work better. Any cooking spray will do, and you probably have some in the kitchen.

 

 

  • Step 1: Pull the diverter knob up and down a few times to loosen it.
  • Step 2: Apply some cooking spray to lubricate the knob.
  • Step 3: Try pulling it up and down again. Spray a few more times if you need to.
  • Step 4: Wipe away any excess spray and wash the oil off the bathtub.

Always use cooking spray instead of hair spray or wax. The latter two products have ingredients that could be corrosive and might damage the metal and plastic parts of your shower.

Option 3 – Soak The Whole Spout

Soak the whole spout

Your vinegar wash will only clean the visible parts of your spout. When you want to stop your handheld showerhead from leaking, you need to clean the inner parts of your diverter gate.

  • Step 1: Turn off your water supply from the main spigot. This prevents flooding.
  • Step 2: Inspect your spout to see how it’s attached to the wall. There are three common styles:
    • A single screw under the spout
    • A threaded pipe that screws onto the wall
    • A pop-in pipe that slides onto the wall and locks in place.
  • Step 3: Remove the spout according to its type:
    • If it’s a screw-on, remove the screw then pull out the spout.
    • If it’s threaded, turn it anticlockwise until it comes off.
    • If it’s a pop-on, use a screwdriver or palette knife to gently pry it off the wall.
  • Step 4: Look inside the spout and use a rasp or sandpaper to scrape off any visible dirt or stains. You can also scrape off the dirt using a paste of vinegar and baking soda. Apply the paste onto the dirty parts of the spout, let it sit for half an hour, then rinse it off.
  • Step 5: Fill a metal dish with vinegar and water. It should be enough to completely cover your spout, right up to its base.
  • Step 6: Put the spout inside your vinegar mixture and leave it for three to four days. Once a day, remove the spout and check it, using a rag or old toothbrush to scrape off loose dirt.
  • Step 7: Once it’s spotless, dry it with a clean rag and add some Teflon tape to the tip.
  • Step 8: Put your spout back onto its copper pipe.
  • Step 9: Reconnect your water supply and run your water to see if you’ve fixed the leak.

At this point, you have a shower spout that looks brand new, so if it’s still not working, you may have to throw it out and buy another shower diverter kit.

Option 4 – Replace The Valve Gate

Replace the valve gate

If you’re still having issues, it’s probably time to visit the hardware store. Cheap replacements are easily available and rarely cost more than $50. If you just want the gate, it’s even cheaper.

  • Step 1: Turn off your water using your main bathroom spigot.
  • Step 2: Cover the drain with duct tape. This prevents small faucet bits and screws from going down the drain and getting lost.
  • Step 3: Remove your shower spout from the wall and carry it to the hardware store.
  • Step 4: Ask for a replacement gate valve that fits your shower model.
  • Step 5: Take your replacement valve home and carefully read the instructions.
  • Step 6: Fix your spout back on the wall. This anchors your spout, making it easier to repair.
  • Step 7: Twist the spout so that it faces upward, but don’t remove it from the wall.
  • Step 8: Pry the plastic prongs apart then pull the white bits out of the spout.
  • Step 9: Remove the metal knob from the top of your spout.
  • Step 10: Slip the new shower diverter knob into the top of the spout.
  • Step 11: Being careful not to drop anything, insert the underside portion of the diverter valve. Start with the spring, followed by the black washer.
  • Step 12: Slip the white plastic peg and snap it into place, holding everything together.
  • Step 13: Turn the spout right side up.
  • Step 14: Reconnect your water, and test the diverter.

This option is cheaper than replacing your entire shower spout, but it’s also more complicated. Many people who try this at home still end up with a leaking diverter, so if you want to do it this way, consider having a plumber do it for you.

Option 5 – Replace The Whole Spout

Replace The Whole Spout

This seems drastic, but it’s easier than you think and is the most effective solution. Shower spouts aren’t that expensive. You can get a replacement for as low as $20. Decide whether you want to buy the same model you have or replace it with a universal spout.

  • Step 1: Shut off your water supply and remove your spout from the wall.
  • Step 2: Take it to the hardware store and buy a suitable replacement.
  • Step 3: Bring your new spout home and read the instructions.
  • Step 4: Use vinegar and a soft brush to clean any debris off the copper piping on the bathroom wall. This prevents leakage when you put in your new spout.
  • Step 5: Dry the pipe and put some Teflon tape on its edge. This reduces any potential friction and lowers the chances of leakage.
  • Step 6: Fix the spout onto the wall according to its type. You can push it in, screw it in, or hold it in position and insert the under-spout screw.
  • Step 7: Reconnect your water supply and run the tap to see if it’s still leaking.

 

 

Consider Any Variations

When you noticed your shower diverter wasn’t working as it should, you probably ran to Google and YouTube. And as you may have noticed, most online tutorials use tee-valve diverters in their demos. This is partly because tee-valves are more common than the other two types.

But once in a while, you might find yourself dealing with two-valve or three-valve bathroom spouts, especially in older houses. Luckily, they’re just as easy to fix as a tee-valve shower diverter. You can still soak, lubricate, and replace your two-valve or three-valve.

The main difference is in the piping mechanism. When you remove a tee valve from the wall, you find a single copper pipe. With two valves and three valves, you’ll find the corresponding number of copper pipes. If your shower diverter is a two-valve, focus on the temperature dial.

This is because it often doubles as a shower diverter gate. It controls hot and cold, but it also controls up (to the showerhead) or down (to the spout). On the other hand, if the shower has a three-valve diverter, focus on the middle pipe. That’s where the valve is located.

Repair Your Shower The Easy Way

It’s annoying when you’re trying to have a shower but your bathtub keeps dripping. Or when you’re filling the tub and the rain shower head keeps wetting your back. With a few …

10 Awesome Plumbing Hacks

Calling the pros for every plumbing issue in your home is time-consuming and costly. Now, don’t get us wrong: We love helping our Columbus plumbing customers with problems big and small! But if you’re feeling empowered to DIY your simple plumbing issues, we’re here to help you do that, too. From regular maintenance to clogs […]

Calling the pros for every plumbing issue in your home is time-consuming and costly. Now, don’t get us wrong: We love helping our Columbus plumbing customers with problems big and small! But if you’re feeling empowered to DIY your simple plumbing issues, we’re here to help you do that, too.

From regular maintenance to clogs to leaks, we’ve compiled 10 awesome plumbing hacks that will help you save money and headaches in the long run. 

Hack #1: The Emergency Shut-Off Valve

Let’s say you have an overflowing toilet that just won’t stop or a busted pipe in your basement. Your first step is to shut off the water at the source! Knowing where your emergency shut-off valve is can save you some costly clean-up, water damage, and mold issues.

Hack #2: Garbage Disposal 101

Knowing how to use your garbage disposal correctly helps you avoid repairs and blockages. There are several things you should never put down your disposal:

  • Fibrous foods, like celery, asparagus, or sprouts
  • Fats, oils, and greases
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grinds
  • Bones
  • Starchy food, like peels, beans, rice, or pasta
  • Non-food items

Hack #3: Clear the Clogs

While we’re talking about disposals, let’s talk about clogs. These steps can help you de-clog your disposal in record time.

  1. Turn off the power, either by unplugging or turning it off at the circuit breaker.
  2. Inspect the disposal with a flashlight. If you see an obvious clog, clear it with any long and sturdy tool. Never use your fingers!
  3. If you don’t see an obvious clog, use a sink plunger. Fill the sink with a few inches of water and start plunging.
  4. Use a DIY drain cleaner. Mix one part baking soda to one part vinegar, and pour the solution down the drain. Wait about 30 minutes, then turn on the hot water for about 60 seconds.
  5. Turn the power back on and test it!

Hack #4: Cleaning Your Disposal

There’s a pretty simple DIY tip for keeping your disposal blades sharp and eliminating those weird smells. Every now and then, put several ice cubes and a hunk of lemon peel down the disposal. Run it without water for about 30 seconds, then run some water and add a little dish soap. You’ll have sharpened blades and a lemony scent in less than a minute!

Hack #5: DIY Drain Cleaner

We can’t stress this enough: Commercial drain cleaners are bad news for your plumbing. They’re too strong and corrode your pipes over time. A DIY cleaner is safer, cheaper, and just as easy. For major clogs, try pouring boiling water down the affected drain, followed by ½ cup baking soda. Let that sit for 5 minutes. Then, pour in a cup of vinegar and wait another 5 minutes. Flush with warm water.

Hack #6: Tackling Toilet Clogs

Your first pro-plumber move for tackling toilet clogs is to have a plunger for every toilet in your home. When you’ve got an overflowing toilet, time is of the essence. You don’t want to be running upstairs for the only plunger in the house!

You can also fix a clogged toilet without a plunger! Stop the flow of water by disconnecting the chain in the tank or by turning off the water at the valve at the back of the toilet. Pour hot water—the hotter the better—into the bowl. Hot water and a little soap can also help break down a clog.

Hack #7: Finding Invisible Leaks

It’s the end of the month, and you’ve received a huuuuuuuge water bill you weren’t expecting. Next, you notice water damage, mold, and poor water pressure. Sounds like you might have a leak… but how can you know for sure?

Finding an invisible leak can be tricky, but it’s definitely not impossible! Turn off all the taps and take a water meter reading. Wait a few hours with nobody using any water, and check the meter again. If it shows water usage, you definitely have a leak somewhere, and need to call in the pros.

Another common place for leaks? The toilet! Try putting food coloring in the tank. If there’s color in the bowl after 30 minutes, you’ve got a leak from the tank!

Hack #8: Ultimate Shower Pressure

Low pressure leads to longer showers, which leads to higher bills. So why not lower your bill and have better pressure—but simply cleaning your shower head? Put a small plastic bag full of white vinegar over your shower head. Secure with a rubber band and leave overnight.

Hack #9: Tighten the Pipes

Threads on your pipes get looser over time, which can lead to small leaks. For a quick DIY pipe tightener:

  1. Turn off the water.
  2. Unscrew the leaky pipes.
  3. Wrap a single-layer of masking tape around the threads.
  4. Screw the pipes back together.

Hack #10: The Leaky Faucet

A leaky tap is the time-old plumbing nightmare. Even though it’s one of the most annoying household problems, a leaky faucet can slip to the very bottom of our to-do lists again and again and again. To stop the constant drip-drip-drip, secure a washcloth around the faucet with a rubber band. Then, when you’re ready to tackle the issue at the source, turn off the water, remove the tap body, put in a new washer or O-ring, and reassemble. Done! The same thing works for leaky pipes, but you’ll want to put a bucket underneath as well.

Want more Columbus plumbing tips?

We love helping you with your plumbing problems, big and small. Give us a call today for more plumbing tips and tricks!…