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Plumbing Upgrades to Consider

Plumbing Upgrades to Consider

By on Jul 20, 2020 in Plumbing Blog |

If you are looking for ways to upgrade your home, either to offer valuable selling features, or to protect it against long-term damage, consider plumbing upgrades. Plumbing upgrades help prevent more expensive plumbing bills in the future and can even lower monthly bills. Here are a few to consider. An Automatic Shutoff Valve While your home may already have a manual shutoff valve that can be used in the event of repairs or plumbing emergencies, upgrading to an automatic shutoff valve is a sound investment, especially for those who may be away from the home for extended periods of time. An automatic shutoff valve monitors water pressure 24/7 and will trigger if a dramatic change is detected, effectively shutting off your water and helping homeowners save thousands of dollars if a major breakage occurs. Sump Pump Crawl spaces and basements are extremely susceptible to flooding, and even a little bit of water can do a huge amount of damage. If your home is in a low-lying area, a sump pump is a sound investment. It can automatically remove excess water before significant damage occurs. Modern sump pumps are also battery-powered, ensuring that your pump will work, even in the event of a power outage. Backflow Prevention While many new homes may already have built-in backflow prevention, older homes may face pressure disturbances between the sewer and plumbing systems. This can cause wastewater to be sucked back into the home. By installing a backflow prevention device, your plumbing will continue to work properly, avoiding the effects of changes in pressure. Tankless Water Heater Provided you install the proper size (factoring in the size of the house and the number of people), a tankless water heater provides for an unlimited supply of hot water without the costs of keeping heated reserves in a water tank. This can save families money every year on energy costs while ensuring everyone has hot water when they need it. Drain Inspections and Repairs Inspecting and replacing damaged drains ensure there are no back-ups in your pipes. Regular inspections also help keep your pipes healthy and ensures their longevity. Regularly checking for and removing the buildup of food, hair, and grease is both proactive and can...

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Different Types of Water Heaters: Which Is Best for You?

Different Types of Water Heaters: Which Is Best for You?

By on Jun 26, 2020 in Plumbing Blog |

There are quite a few different types of water heaters available and each has its own pros and cons. What’s right for your home depends on how you use your water and the size of your home. Here is an outline of each, plus their benefits and drawbacks, to help you choose. Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater This is the type of water heater most people will recognize. It features a tank that holds heated water. Its capacity determines how much water you have available at any given time. The tank itself is insulated and the water remains warm once heated up. Pros: Inexpensive Easy to install Cons: Holds a limited amount of water Takes time to refill Tankless Water Heater This type of water heater is more modern and can offer nearly endless hot water to the home – provided the unit is properly sized. This type of water heater has no tank and relies on super-heated coils that fill with water and flash-heat it as needed. It’s great for heating water quickly and works well with homes that use natural gas to power the water heater. Pros: Extremely cost-efficient Takes up less space Offers limitless hot water if sized correctly to home Cons: Expensive installation Hard to clean May require larger gas or electricity lines installed Heat Pump Water Heater  This is a hybrid water heater that can help homeowners cut down on electricity because the heater doesn’t directly generate any heat. Instead, it uses heat in the air and ground to heat water. Pros: Used 60% less electricity than typical water heaters Extremely efficient Cons: Need at least 8 ft of vertical clearance Doesn’t work well if installed in excessively cold areas Very expensive to purchase Solar Powered Water Heater As the name suggests, this type of water heater allows homeowners to draw energy from the sun and is excellent for those who have solar panels or are considering solar panel installation. Pros: The most energy-efficient option Environmentally friendly Saves homeowners money Cons: System requires a “backup” for cloudy days Expensive; takes many years to see ROI Condensing Water Heater This type of water heater takes advantage of a home’s unused gas fumes by funneling heated...

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Should I Get My Drains Cleaned?

Should I Get My Drains Cleaned?

By on Jun 12, 2020 in Plumbing Blog |

If you’ve ever had water collect at your feet during a shower, or have been washing dishes and struggling to drain the old water away, it may be time to clean your drains. In older homes especially, the passing of time means that, no matter how careful the homeowner is, pipes will begin to accumulate matter. By treating drain cleaning as any other home maintenance task, homeowners reduce the risk of unexpected clogging and drain backups. Am I at Risk for Clogged Drains? Chances are, if you have a newer home, you are less likely to have clogged drains. The piping, after all, is brand new! However, older homes have a higher risk of clogged drains, as do rental units. Lifestyle and habits can also have an effect on drains, and that affects homes of all ages. For example, homeowners who choose to wash their dishes by hand are more likely to wash debris down the sink and therefore can be more prone to clogs. How Fast Can Drains Clog? While there isn’t a hard and fast timeline that dictates just when a drain will begin to clog, it comes down to how often the drain is used and the amount of debris that collects in it. Shower drains, for example, can be quick to clog, as a certain amount of hair is washed down the drain on a daily basis. A sink that doesn’t have a grate or filter on it will also clog quickly if food is constantly washed down it. If a drain is subjected to a high volume of users, this too, will dictate how fast and how often it can clog. Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Drains Making sure your drains are working well will help you save money in the long run. That’s why, where possible, it’s important to practice preventative measures such as: Getting a drain filter Avoiding brushing food directly into the sink (scrape leftovers into the garbage before washing) Get your drain professionally checked every 2-3 years Professional Cleaning as a Preventative Measure If your drain is clogging once a month, or you notice that clogging is happening more frequently than before, it may be a good idea to...

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Is Your Toilet in Need of Repair?

Is Your Toilet in Need of Repair?

By on May 13, 2020 in Plumbing Blog |

When a toilet is in working order, no one thinks too much about it. However, if things go wrong, it’s important to act quickly. When water is involved, avoiding dealing with the problem can lead to bigger issues down the line, so it pays to be pro-active. How do you know when your toilet is in need of repair? Look for these warning signs: Water on the floor around the toilet Leaking Slow filling or emptying of water Phantom flushing Strange hissing noises These may be symptoms to larger problems that, if left untreated, could lead to a hefty repair bill. Common toilet problems A Broken Seal Standard toilets have multiple seals, each of which can potentially leak over time. If a seal on a toilet is broken, your toilet may leak and pool water onto the floor. If this collected water makes its way through the tile or linoleum and into the floor itself, the underlying floor around the toilet may suffer unnecessary damage. Therefore, it’s important to deal with the leak early and head-on. Your plumber will be able to find which seal is leaking and fix the issue before it gets out of control. Toilet Emptying Issues A toilet bowl that is emptying slowly may be the first sign of a clog somewhere underneath the rim of the bowl while a toilet overflow after a flush may be a sign of a clog further down in the drain. In either case, having someone come to take a look and remove any build-up will help your toilet run properly and protect your bathroom from disastrous water damage. Hissing Noises Emanating from the Tank Constant hissing noises from within the toilet are most likely caused by water trickling into the tank via the supply line. A plumber will be able to ensure the refill tube isn’t inserted too far into the overflow tube and can check to see if the float is sticking or in need of adjustment. Phantom Flushing “Phantom flushing” is often caused by a small leak from the tank to the bowl and is typically the result of a faulty/worn flapper valve or flapper seat. A professional plumber is able to drain the tank and...

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Spring is Coming: Five Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry

Spring is Coming: Five Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry

By on Mar 13, 2020 in Plumbing Blog |

With warmer temperatures and wetter conditions on the way, some homes are at risk of seasonal basement flooding. While you can’t control the weather, there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to help keep your basement dry. Ensure Water Flows Away From the House Occasionally, the landscaping around your home is to be blamed for water buildup around the foundation. Ensure that water is graded in such a way that it slopes away from your home to prevent the accumulation of water. Surround the Basement With Rocks and Gravel Adding layers of rocks and gravel around the periphery of the basement is an inexpensive but effective way to help water drain away from your basement quickly. It also reduces moisture accumulation around the house. Install Window Wells Around Basement Windows Basement windows can collect and retain water if they haven’t been properly constructed. However, by installing window wells and lining them with gravel, homeowners can prevent water retention and seepage through the windows that can end up pooling on the basement floor. Install a Basement Drainage System Chronic basement leaks may require homeowners to install drainage tubing below their basement floor. This drain is connected to your sump pump and will drain the water away, helping to keep your basement nice and dry. Install a Sump Pump When it comes to preventing flooding, a sump pump is one of the best options homeowners have. Sump pumps pick up water from a hole positioned at the lowest part of the basement floor and pump it away from the home’s foundation. By hooking your basement drainage system to your sump pump, excess water will be pumped away before it can do real damage to your basement. It’s important to inspect your basement and find the root cause of the leaks if your basement is taking on water. While basement floods can sometimes be attributed to elements outside the home or within the foundation (like cracks that let moisture seep through), there may also be issues with pipes as well. If your basement is finished, look for signs of leaks behind the drywall, such as stains, peeling paint, or damp plaster. If you have a bathroom in the...

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How To Identify and Prevent Potential Sewer Back Ups

How To Identify and Prevent Potential Sewer Back Ups

By on Jan 28, 2020 in Plumbing Blog |

Although the weather is still pretty frosty, spring really is going to be upon us in no time.  We all relish the warm weather and happily accept the showers that come along with it.  Your plumbing, however, can be severely impacted by the changing season.  Melting snow, rain showers and growing tree roots can all wreak havoc on your main sewer line, causing clogs and potential back ups. What Happens When the Sewer Line Backs Up? If your sewer gets blocked or clogged and is not properly cleared in time, you can end up with that sewage making its way up through your sinks and bathtubs, or even onto your front lawn!  Not only is this unpleasant at best, it is a real safety hazard to come into contact with raw sewage.  Sewer back ups can lead to costly abatement and repairs to your home – unexpected expenses and hassle that no home owner wants to deal with! So, how do we prevent this disgusting debacle?  We know you aren’t in the habit of inspecting your sewer lines on a regular basis, so here are 4 symptoms of a possible sewer back up for you to look out for: Slow drains – slowly draining tubs, showers and appliances like dishwashers and washing machines could be an important clue that the water level in your sewer is abnormally high. Smelly drains – if you notice an unpleasant smell in most or all of your drains, you could be headed for trouble. This could mean that sewage is already backing up in your lines, or at the very least, is not draining properly. Soggy or wet spots around your underground sewage or vent pipe outside – this could be a sign that the raw sewage is seeping out of cracks or vents in your plumbing. Water back-ups – if your drains back up when you use a different water source in your home, this could indicate that the sewers aren’t clearing properly. An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to call Rite Tech right away.  We will come assess your plumbing, and let you know if you have any...

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