Ever heard the quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”?
At Larry’s Plumbing, we believe that every home or business owner should be equipped with the knowledge to be able to care for their appliances. This way, our clients can mitigate potential plumbing issues, as well as the frequent need for expert intervention. This particular webpage is for YOU, complete with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and even some small tips and facts to keep your plumbing systems working perfectly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
We offer our services to clients in Gloucester, Mathews, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson and the surrounding areas.
There are a few signs that may indicate a plumbing issue going on in your home or business. Some telltale signs to look out for include: leaks, slow drains, low water pressure, noisy pipes, gurgling drains, back ups, discolored water coming from your faucets, bad odor coming from near your plumbing fixtures, an unexpected increase in water bills, wet spots on the floor, ceilings, or walls, or visible mold and/or odor of mildew.
Our bi-annual preventative maintenance inspections provide a detailed report of your home or business, performed in both the Spring and the Fall. At the low price of $250/year (price may vary for multiple water heaters) and with 10% off labor for future calls, our bi-annual inspections cover kitchens, bathrooms, outside fixtures, garages, laundry rooms, and an annual flush of your water heater.
If your water tank is 10 years old or older, it may not be very efficient and you should consider replacing it. When your tank is gurgling or popping, sediment has built up and it is only a matter of time before it leaks. When the temperature is not consistent, the components may be worn out and it is a good time to change it. Consider replacing your water heater with a 98% efficient on-demand heater.
Determine if anything else in the home is stopped up. If that is the only issue, it would appear there is a blockage in the line, or something was flushed that should not have been and is hung up in the toilet. It will probably need a sewer machine run down the drain or the toilet pulled and checked for a blockage.
Consider using the vacation mode setting on your water heater the next time you are away. You can lower the water temperature and water usage. Great for use in the winter months!
Plumbing Tips/Facts by Season:
- Check all your faucets for leaks or drips – make repairs as needed to save on your water bill.
- Turn the water supply valves located under your sinks and toilets to keep them from sticking.
- Ensure your toilets flush properly – if you notice the handle needs to be held down or jiggled to keep the water from running endlessly, you may need to replace any worn tank parts.
- Reduce your energy bills by reducing the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees fahrenheit.
- Flush out corrosion-causing sediment by draining and flushing your tank.
- Check your dishwasher and washing machine supply hoses for leaks or unusual lumps – replace any hoses showing signs of weakness or hoses older than ten years.
- Check your sump pump for proper operation and to prevent flooding from melting snow – pour a bucket of water into the sump pump pit to test it.
- Clean your outside drains, gutters, and downspouts to ensure proper drainage.
- Ensure all drains have strainers installed to prevent hair, soap, and debris from clogging your drain lines.
- Summer means high temperatures and an increase in water usage, making your water bill go up more than you’d like.
- Sprinklers, pools, washing machines, and garden hoses are often used frequently, so keeping an eye out for leaks, fixing them right away, before they worsen- is a must.
- Use your garbage disposal correctly. Summer months mean cookouts and family get-togethers, and being mindful of what goes down your kitchen garbage disposal can save you from having to buy a new one.
- Avoid pouring any greases down the drain.
- Certain foods like rice, bread, fruits, vegetables, cornhusks and celery all retain water and can easily clog your garbage disposal. Use cold water before and after using your garbage disposal to keep from clogging your drains.
- Disconnect your outside hoses. Any water left inside the hoses will freeze and expand, damaging the hose and the outdoor faucet valve. If left connected, ice will form and pressure will build up in the water lines inside your home. More likely than not, a water line leak or break will occur and cause severe damage to your home.
- Insulate exposed pipes. Pipes near the outside walls are the most susceptible to freezing.
- Insulate pipes that are not subjected to regular heat. This will protect them when the cold weather hits, so they do not freeze up.
- On nights when the weather drops below freezing, leave the faucet furthest away from the meter, dripping so that your water will not freeze. Remember, water does not freeze if it is moving.
- Service your water heater – tune up your water heater and identify any potential problems before Winter arrives.
Water Heater Tips/Facts:
- Water heaters last between 8-12 years depending on a variety of factors.
- Water heaters should be set to 120 degrees.
- Water heaters should be flushed yearly to maintain the life of the tank.
- Utilize the vacation mode on your water heater to save costs on your utility bill.