Why Should You Take Pipeline Repair Seriously

Depending on the age of your home or plumbing system, pipeline cracks and blockages can happen any time.  How fast do you respond to the needed repairs?  The answer to this is critical because it will dictate the amount of potential damage you may be facing. Did you know that in reality, many homeowners neglect to act immediately?  The result is they are faced with costly repairs and huge damages.

Did you know that in reality, many homeowners neglect to act immediately?  The result is they are faced with costly repairs and huge damages.

Plumbing Leaks

plumbing leak

This is the most common and usually the start of “something big” as they say.  Unfortunately, in this case, big would normally translate to big expenses and headaches brought about by neglected plumbing problems.

Plumbing leaks are very miniscule thus giving the false impression that they would not cause much damage even when not immediately repaired.  That is not the really case though.  In fact, a small plumbing leak can also be a symptom of a bigger problem in your plumbing system.

How much would it cost you to act on it at once and start the necessary repairs?  Estimated cost of labor for a 2.5-hour repair job would be around $130 on the average.  The materials and supplies can be as low as $25 depending on what needs to be replaced.  All-in-all you are looking at a repair cost of $155, which can drastically increase as the leak begins to worsen.  So why take the chance, right?

Burst Pipes

Burst pipe

As the problem of leaks becomes more prominent, pipes will begin to deteriorate.  This means that the leak can become more pronounced.  In the winter, the possibility of frozen pipes become a real danger and eventually, what started as a miniscule leak has turned into a burst pipe problem.

Should you be alarmed?  Definitely so!  When your pipes burst, you are looking not only at the repair of your plumbing system, but also the huge water damage that accompanies it.  If you ask any professional plumbing service, they will tell you that water damage is the biggest expense that can be associated with a burst pipe problem.

When we talk about water damage, you have to consider flooding, cleanup, and of course, the rehabilitation or restoration of the affected area.  This means that you can be facing expenses of anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 on the average.

You also have to consider the very real possibility that your home insurance may not cover the cost of the repair of the burst pipe and only the water damage.  This would of course depend on the actual policy you have.

The amount and potential stress that goes with it is something that you cannot just sneeze at.  However, you have to be aware that this problem can easily be avoided by instituting immediate repairs.

Imagine how much trouble you can sidestep when you buy an emergency pipe repair kit for only $6 to $30.  And you do not even need a professional plumber to do the repair for you.  This saves you the aggravation of having to face burst pipes and the resulting water damage.

Avoiding Emergency

plumber

Did you know that if you take pipeline repair seriously, you can actually save on the cost of repair?  This is especially true for pipes that can be accessed easily like those in the basement or crawlspace of your home.  Plumbers can do the spot repair for as low as $50 to about $250 depending on the amount of work to be done.  If you neglect to call a plumbing service immediately, this amount can

If you neglect to call a plumbing service immediately, this amount can go to anywhere from $300 to $600 at the very least.  What’s the difference?  The state of the pipe that needs to be repaired.  The longer you wait to take action on the repair, the more it becomes an emergency repair situation and the higher the cost becomes; not to mention the potential damage.

So the next time you “feel” that something is wrong with your plumbing system, do not hesitate to call on a professional plumbing service immediately.  You would be very happy that you took the pipeline repair problem seriously.

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The Cost Benefits of Basement Waterproofing

Leaking basements can be very damaging and costly, which means every homeowner should take it very seriously.  Ensuring that the basement of your home remains flood-free can pose a lot of advantages.  But at what cost?  Is the amount you pay for basement waterproofing worth the benefits it delivers?  Take a look at the costs and benefits of basement waterproofing.

Waterproofing Costs

basement waterproofing cost

There are different ways that can help keep your basement clean and dry; interior basement waterproofing is one of the most effective.  This process can require significant spending on your part depending on the amount of repairs that need to be done.  This means that areas that can be affected can be waterproofed by as little as $300 or as high as $20,000.

This process can also be done to move out water that has accumulated in the basement of your home.  Interior basement waterproofing is also cheaper compared to exterior waterproofing methods; it is also more practical.  Creating a drain to move out the water using a trench or hole in the foundation with a sump pump to remove the water can cost $2,000.  This price will include the installation of vapor barrier against condensation.

Epoxy injections cost about $300, but not all contractors are in favor of using it because of the possibility of cracking.  Some may recommend sealants that costs anywhere from $4 to $8 per square foot.  However, this solution has been known to fail very easily.

Benefits of Waterproofing

basement waterproofing

For this price, there are a number of benefits that basement waterproofing can provide.  Expert from www.plumbinglongbeach.us, here are some you can appreciate as a homeowner.

  • Protection – waterproofing of basements is one of the best way to protect the foundation of your home. There is no question on the important of a strong foundation for your home.  When water gets into the basement, it can put the integrity of your home’s foundation into question and put you and your family in danger.  Aside from water, there are other factors that can affect the strength of the foundation like temperature changes for example.

Aside from protecting the foundation of your home, waterproofing also protects the other items in your basement.  Water damage can be very costly not only on your home, but its contents as well.  Imagine the amount that will go into the rehabilitation of your basement after it gets flooded.

How many appliances, gadgets, and other items stored in your basement will become useless once water rises?  Waterproofing can create an environment that will keep water and moisture out.

  • Healthier Living Space – in many homes, the basement is more than just a storage space; it is also a living environment. This means that it is extremely important to ensure that the basement remains clean and dry.  The presence of moisture can cause the growth of mold and mildew as well as other bacteria that can endanger your health.  Waterproofing is a way to protect children, elderly, and those with weak health from possible health dangers.
  • Increased Value – because basement waterproofing protects your home and its contents, it helps to increase its market value as well. Regardless whether you have plans of selling your home or not, the structural integrity that waterproofing provides adds to the overall value of your home and property.  Did you know that many prospective buyers put basement waterproofing as one of the requirements when buying a home?

With the amount of money you put into your home, it is a wise decision to protect it and increase its value further with basement waterproofing.  However, it is important to point out that only a licensed professional plumber should be called in to do the work.

This will ensure that you get the most from the money you pay for and that you will have peace of mind.  It is also your assurance that insurance companies will cover your property against possible damage.

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How to Prepare for a Plumbing Emergency

Plumbing emergencies can happen any time.  Being prepared will help you to cope with the situation and ensure that expensive damage and costly repair will be avoided.  Here are some useful tips that you may find extremely useful when faced with a plumbing emergency.

The Valves

You may not be aware of it, but valves are important components of every plumbing system.  These valves are used to control the flow of water from the supply line to the different fixtures in the various areas of your home.  During an emergency:

  • Turn off the isolation valve to stop the flow of water to the specific fixture that has a problem. This helps to control the potential damage that the plumbing emergency can do.  The great thing with isolation valves is that it does not affect the supply of water to the other parts of your home.  If you do not have isolation valves, consider installing them.  Regularly check the valves to make sure they are not stuck.
  • Another important thing about valves is that you should know where the main water shutoff valve is located so you can easily turn it off when necessary.

Tools

When I talked with plumbing los angeles staff, most of the time it is recommended that fixtures be hand tightened to make sure that it is not cracked or damaged.  However, especially during an emergency, it is handy to have at least two wrenches and a pair of pliers around.  Here’s how tools can help during an emergency.

  • You can use the “backing off” technique for hard to turn valves and pipes. Take two wrenches and turn them in opposite directions.  This frees up the pipe or valve without having the plumbing absorb the stress or pressure.
  • Collar nuts of the drain line can be easily loosened with a pair of slip joint pliers.
  • A blind cap comes in handy when a supply tube breaks; seal the leak until you can fix it.
  • Two plungers can be helpful when unclogging the kitchen sink. The second plunger will be used to cover the other drain to maximize the force of unclogging.
  • Use a forced cup plunger to unclog toilets. This can also be used for small drains like showers, bathtubs, and bathroom sinks.
  • When working with the garbage disposal or faucets, different sized Allen wrenches are needed.

Miscellaneous Tips

Other things that you should know during an emergency includes:

  • Learn how to turn off your water heater. For gas water heaters, make sure that it is in the pilot position.
  • Teflon tape is an effective way to stop leaks from scratched or dented supply tubes until proper repair is available.
  • Cracked pipes can be bound together with pipe sealing or duct tape as a temporary remedy until a plumber gets to your home.
  • To reveal the entire drain of bathtubs, you must unscrew the chrome cap. This gives you a better view of the clogging and will allow you to use the plunger better.  A second plunger should be placed over the overflow of the tub.

Emergency Kit

Just like any other emergency situation, it is important to have an emergency kit handy.  This helps you address potentially any type of emergency plumbing situation.  Your emergency kit should contain the following:

  • Five gallon bucket that can also be used as a toolbox;
  • One regular and one forced cup plunger;
  • Different types of adjustable wrenches;
  • Medium sized slip joint pliers;
  • Multi-bit screwdriver;
  • Assorted Allen keys;
  • Teflon tape;
  • Duct tape;
  • Variety of blind caps; and
  • Heavy duty paper towels and rags.

When you keep all these in mind and have your emergency kit ready, you can handle almost every type of plumbing emergency that can happen in your home.  Always call a professional plumber immediately while you do emergency repairs to control the damage.

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Keeping Water Heaters in Shape

Did you know that the efficient life of a water heater is about 10 to 12 years?  This of course can drastically shorten if you do not know how to properly take care of your water heater.  With the right type of preventive maintenance done periodically, it is even possible to extend its useful life.

Although, you must be aware that even if you extend it, there is a possibility that its efficient may have declined.  Here are useful tips you can use to maintain your water heater.

Physical Clearance

water heaterFrom the onset, you should already be conscious of protecting your water heater.  It is recommended that a physical clearance of about 2 feet around the unit is necessary, unless the manufacturer states otherwise.  This is a preventive measure to allow it to prevent accidental damage to the external surface of the unit.

Draining the Tank

Regularly draining about a quarter of the contents of the tank will help remove debris and sediments that may have settled at the bottom.  This is a great way to prevent corrosion from forming.  To do this you need to turn off the supply and hook up a garden hose to the unit’s drain valve.

Drain the water into a bucket until it is clear.  Try to open the water supply valve of the unit to stir up whatever remaining sediment is left in the tank.  This also helps the water heater to operate silently.

This practice can also extend the life of the water heater.  Read through the recommendations of the manufacturer to ensure proper draining.  Caution should be taken when draining the tank because the water can be scalding.

Temperature Control

thermostatFor water heaters, the thermostat is responsible for controlling the temperature of the water that it puts out.  The key is to set the thermostat to the “ideal” temperature so that the water is neither cold nor scalding.  For many, this is about 120 degrees Fahrenheit; although you can experiment to seek your comfort zone, which should not be a few notches up or down from this.

What is the benefit of setting it to the proper temperature?  For one, you can bring down your energy consumption by about 5% for every 10 degrees of reduction.  Second, you do not risk being burned by scalding water. And third, this helps to increase the life and efficiency of the water heating unit.

While you’re at it, take time to test the temperature-pressure relief valve.  Quickly discharge it about 2 to 3 times and check if there are any leaks coming from the valve after you test it.

Insulation

Using an insulation jacket or blanket for your water heater will help limit heat loss to keep the water heated longer.  An insulation can save anywhere from 25% to 40% of your heating cost and lessens the stress on the water heating unit.  An insulation jacket or blanket can cost around $16.17 to $21.57 depending on the type and brand.

The insulation can also be done on the water pipes to further limit potential heat loss as the hot water travels to the faucet or shower.  Insulation can help older water heating units improve efficiency, although newer water heaters come equipped with insulation.  Both the hot and cold water pipes should be insulated.

Professional Inspection

Inspection of water heaters must be checked regularly by certified plumbing technicians.  This is important especially for the anode that should be replace every five years or so.  This practice will minimize the possibility of corrosion and will extend the life of the water heater.

Replacement should be done by a certified technician if about 6 inches or more of the core wire is exposed.  When the rod is about half an inch thick or coated with calcium, you should seriously consider replacing it as well.  Buying a 13-inch anode rod made of zinc-aluminum is a good choice.  This goes for about $16.

To get more out of your water heater and maintain its efficiency, use the proper setting when going on extended trips away from home.

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How to Properly Clean Drains

You do not have to wait for your drains to get clogged before you decide to clean them.  Periodic cleaning of your home plumbing drains will do wonders in helping you save on costly repairs as well as limiting the possibility of being stressed out by a plumbing emergency.  There are some basic things that you can do to make sure that the smooth flow of wastewater is not obstructed and that you do not become victimized by backflow.

Low Cost Maintenance

low cost maintenance

Maintaining the smooth flow of your drains do not have to be expensive.  There are some home remedies that you can use, which will not cost you that much.  One of the most common is to use a brine solution.  This will help remove bad or toxic odors that come from your drains.  This would be useful especially in the kitchen where frequent use of grease and oils can cause unwanted odors. Regularly doing this can help prevent clogging of the drains.

Another solution that many homeowners swear to is the mixture of baking soda and vinegar.  This is supposedly a powerful mixture that when allowed to sit in your drain for about 15 minutes can restore functionality.  Aside from being safe and inexpensive, using it frequently will not harm your drain pipes or any part of your plumbing system.

The mixture can also get rid of strong odor that may come from your drains caused by clogging.  To use this, pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar directly into the drain.  Take a kettle of scalding water and pour it in; this serves as a natural drain cleaner as the two ingredients react with the hot water to remove blockage while protecting your pipes from damage.

If you want to use drain cleaners (usually costs around $14 a gallon), make sure that you look for those that do not contain harmful chemicals.  Also take precautions when using these types of drain cleaners by using latex or rubber gloves as well as eye protective gear.  Finally, before using the commercial drain cleaner, read through the instructions completely and follow it.  This will ensure that it will work correctly and protect you from any accidents.

Tools and Mechanical Solutions

tools-and-mechanical

Most probably you have already heard about the plunger, right?  Keep in mind when you work with drains to use a plunger that is designed for drains and not toilets.  Make sure that there is a tight seal between the mouth of the cup of the plunger and that of the drain.  Put enough water so that the mouth of the plunger cup is submerged in about an inch of water.  Do about 10 successive, vigorous plunges to force air into the vacuum created by the plunge in the drain.  Repeat this about 2 to 3 times.  This should take care of minor drain clogs.

If the plunging action does not work, consider buying a handheld mechanical snake that usually costs around $24.97 to $39.79 at your local hardware store.  Slowly thread the mechanical snake into the drain that is experiencing a problem and push the clog manually until it has been dislodged.  A force of water should allow the obstruction to flow down the drain and into the septic system.  A regular garden hose can be pushed down the drain to allow water to do its job of pushing down the clog.

If you do not want to buy a mechanical snake, you can opt to rent one.  Usually the price of renting is about $25 for a period of 4 hours or $36 a day.  Should you need it for a longer period the average cost is around $144 a week.  Normally renting a mechanical snake would require a deposit of approximately $50.

After trying these tips and you are still not satisfied with the performance of your drains, it is time to call in professional plumbers to get the job done right.

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