What to Expect When You Repipe/Replumb Your Home

Undertaking an entire home repipe/replumb project is not something you will want to attempt on your own. It requires the use of plumbers with experience in repiping/replumbing, like the experts at MET Plumbing.

Repipe Replumb Your Home

Why Would You Need to Repipe/Replumb Your Home?

Just like other things in life, the pipes that deliver hot and cold water throughout your home, as well as drain water and sewage away, do eventually wear out and need to be replaced. They have a useful lifespan, which can range from 25 years to eighty years. However, there are certain signs you should watch for, as these could shorten the anticipated lifespan of your home’s plumbing.

If you notice a drop in water pressure, rusty or cloudy water, or are springing water leaks in pipes in different areas of the home, these are all potential signs you are due for a repiping/replumbing. Other reasons you will want to consider getting your home outfitted with new plumbing could include:

  • You bought a fixer-upper. Since you are already planning on renovations and remodeling, this is a good time to get the entire home replumbed. As most renovations typically require tearing out drywall and other parts of interior walls, it provides easy access for our plumbers.

plumbing inspections

  • Your home is more than fifty years old and still has the original plumbing. The pipes are either getting near the end of their usefulness or have already exceeded it. At this stage, you will want to make sure to have annual plumbing inspections performed to identify potential problems before they become major home repairs.
  • You have had problems with broken and bursting water pipes, and they keep occurring. As pipes wear out, they are not able to handle being under constant water pressure. This will cause fittings to start to leak and could even cause weakened sections in the pipe walls to burst.
  • Dripping and running water inside the walls of your home, basement, or crawl space is not good. Not only can it lead to problems with mold and mildew, but also damage wooden support structures, insulation, and electrical wiring.
  • Problems with pipes freezing on those few cold winter days. While it doesn’t get too cold in Houston that often, every now and then we do have a day or two where temperatures dip down below freezing. When pipes freeze, the ice inside expands and, if they don’t burst or break, could weaken and damage the interior walls as well as the fittings.
  • The entire home has polybutylene plumbing. This is a type of plastic resin that was widely used by builders for homes built in the 1970s through the 1990s. The problem with this type of plastic piping is it can become brittle and break easily, especially if your water is chlorinated or chemically treated.
  • The home still had lead pipes. Homes built in the first part of the 1900s were plumbed using lead pipes. At that time, people had no idea that the lead in the pipes could leach into the drinking water, let alone the health hazards associated with lead.

Replumbing Your Home

What Are the Benefits of Repiping/Replumbing Your Home?

Depending on the type of materials used to repipe/replumb your home, you may only need to do this major type of renovation once during your lifetime, especially if you keep the home. On the other hand, if you will eventually sell the home, updated plumbing could potentially increase the value and selling price since the new buyer will know they do not have to worry about this type of home repair project.

Other benefits you might gain could include:

  • Reduced water bills if you have city water.
  • Increased water pressure if you currently have low pressure.
  • All leaks, worn out fittings, and other plumbing problems will be resolved.
  • Better quality and safer drinking water.

What Type of Plumbing Pipe Materials Are Available?

Two of the more popular choices for repiping/replumbing projects are copper pipes and PVC/PEX plastic pipes. Copper has a longer life expectancy than PVC/PEX. In addition, copper has natural antibacterial properties.

Plumbing Pipe Materials

However, the costs for copper can push entire home replumbing costs up higher compared to using PVC/PEX pipes. PVC/PEX pipes cost less and are flexible. This means that entire replumbing project can be completed faster since fewer sections of walls have to be removed.

To determine what materials would be best for your home, we recommend scheduling an in-home plumbing inspection with one of our plumbers. This will allow us to see what concerns and issues you currently have, as well as answer your questions. In some cases, an entire replumb is not always necessary.

How Is a Home Repiped/Replumbed?

There are several detailed steps to the entire process. To give you an idea, the following is a general overview:

  • Step 1: The water is turned off and all water lines drained out of the faucets as best as possible.
  • Step 2: Drop cloths, tarps, and other protective coverings are put over flooring and furniture.
  • Step 3: Precise cuts are made into drywall where the pipes run and are required to access and replace them.
  • Step 4: The new pipes are installed and connected to the appropriate locations: i.e., toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, and so on.
  • Step 5: The water is turned back on and water lines tested for leaks.
  • Step 6: If there are no leaks, or once any leaks have been corrected, the drywall is replaced.
  • Step 7: The drywall is sealed and painted.

Home Repipe Replumb

On average, it takes between three and seven days to do an entire home. The amount of time it will take to repipe/replumb your home depends on the size of the home, amount of water lines that need to be replumbed, the type of piping materials being used, and other such factors. In some cases, it may only take a day or two, especially if you have a much smaller home or the majority of pipes are easily accessible from your basement or crawlspace.

What if I Cannot Afford an Entire Home Repipe/Replumb?

If your home needs to be repiped/replumbed but you have budgetary concerns, MET Plumbing can work with you to develop an effective solution to address your needs and budget. For example, we could start with replacing essential incoming water lines that we can access without having to remove drywall.

Since the pipes are easier to access and replace, it costs less to do the work and takes less time. Then, as your budget allows, we can address other areas of the home and gradually replace all of the pipes over a period of time, rather than all at once.

Cases Where Repiping/Replumbing May Not Be Required

There are a few different cases where your plumbing problems may suggest you need to get the entire home repiped/replumbed but are actually being caused by some other issue.

Rusty Water – If you have an older hot water heater, there could be sediment and rust in the bottom of the tank. This would make your water seem reddish or brownish in color anytime you ran hot water. If this is the only cause for rusty water, then a replumb would not be needed. Instead, you would just need to get a new water heater installed, which our plumbing company can also do for you.

Reduced Water Pressure – If you have well water, mineral and calcium deposits from hard water can build up inside the pipes. There are different methods we can use to descale the pipes and attempt to restore water pressure. Again, if this were your only problem, then a full repipe/replumb might not be required. However, badly scaled pipes may need to be replaced.

plumbing servicesFor more information about repiping/replumbing your home, your different options, and different plumbing services we offer, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

We also offer hot water heater installation and repair, toil installation and repair, clogged drain cleaning, garbage disposal repair, faucet installation and repair, and air conditioning services and installation in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Why Are the Pipes Making Groaning and Other Noises in Your Home?

There can be several different underlying causes for noises coming from the water pipes within your home. It is important to determine what type of sound the pipes are making to better diagnose and troubleshoot the problem.

Water pipes that make a groaning or hissing noise are often indicating a constriction somewhere in the water line. As the water flows through the narrower section, it will create this noise. This problem commonly develops in faucets and toilets as washers and internal fixtures wear out.

Plumbing Problems

To determine the source of the problem, you will want to check both the hot and cold water lines. Start by turning on just the cold water. Then shut off the cold water and turn on just the hot. If the sound is evident with either just the hot or cold water on or is persistent with both water lines, the faucet needs to be replaced.

TIP: If you notice the noise occurs in all the faucets of your home, chances are there is a restriction somewhere in the plumbing lines.

With toilet hissing sounds, the flapper and/or ballcock valve could be worn out and need to be replaced. Remove the back toilet cover, flush the toilet, and watch how the tank refills. If it continues to fill with water past the desired shutoff and runs down the overflow, this, too, could create a hissing sound.

Another type of noise your pipes can make is a pounding or banging sound. This noise occurs when the force of the water flowing through the pipes is abruptly stopped. For instance, as your washing machine is filling with water, you may notice this type of sound when it stops filling.

You may also notice this sound if the pipes inside your walls are not secured in place. As the water flows through the pipes, it can cause movement and a “banging” against the interior wall. To remedy loose pipes, have your plumber secure them in place using different methods.

For more persistent banging noises, there are special “shock absorbing” devices that can be incorporated into your home’s plumbing. These devices contain air and are added as “T” sections in different areas. When the water is shut off, rather than “bang,” it will attempt to force itself into the “T,” and the noise will be stopped.

Water Pipes Groaning Noise

In addition, depending on the type of plumbing used in your home, hot water lines can make different noises as the water goes from cold to hot. This is referred to as thermal expansion. There are different ways to resolve this problem. Again, you will want to consult with a professional plumber to determine the most appropriate resolution for your home.

TIP: Do not ignore the noises your pipes are making. In many cases, your home’s plumbing is alerting you to a problem that needs your immediate attention. Ignoring it and not getting it checked out could lead to more costly plumbing repairs later.

To schedule a plumbing inspection for your Houston-area home, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

How To Manage Water Damage

Owning a home or business property can be one of the most satisfying experiences, but it comes with a variety of responsibilities and risks. In addition to taking care of general building and property maintenance, there is also the possibility of damage. While structural damage can take many forms, one of the most common and frustrating sources of damage is the presence of excess water.

Manage Water Damage

Common Causes and Repercussions of Water Damage

Whether it’s standard rainfall, flooding, or an old water heater leaking, there are several ways in which unwanted water can cause problems on a given property. The following are just a few common causes of water damage to homes and businesses:

  • Roof leaks
  • Foundation cracks
  • Poor soil grade around foundation (leading to pooling and leaking into the basement)
  • Flooding
  • Broken or burst pipes/fixtures due to freezing, poor maintenance, existing damage, etc.

The possible repercussions of water damage can vary dramatically, depending upon where the water damage occurs in the structure, how much water was/is involved, what kind of air movement there is in the affected space, and numerous other factors. Damage may be as minor as slight staining or as major as significant, potentially hazardous black mold growth.

How to Tell if Your Home or Business Has Been Damaged

Sometimes, water damage is obvious: A pipe bursts, turning your floor into a wading pool. Other times, the presence of water goes unnoticed, damaging your walls or floors slowly in ways you may not be able to see for some time. Because it’s best to address water damage as soon as possible, there are a few key things you should keep an eye out for:

  • Water spots on the ceiling or walls (especially if they continue to grow)
  • Yellow or copper-colored stains along room or basement walls (may indicate previous flooding)
  • A musty smell, particularly in the basement or crawl space
  • Black spots, which can indicate mold growth
  • Visible pooling of water in the house or around the foundation
  • Warping floorboards
  • Foundation damage
  • Roof/shingle damage that may allow rainfall to leak in

Repercussion of Water Damage

If you notice any of these things (especially if you notice more than one at a time), you may have a water leak or other unseen concern that needs to be addressed before you can correct the damage you see. Even if the staining or spots are small, the situation behind the wall may be much more severe than it appears from the outside.

What to Do if You Find Water Damage

If the cause of the damage is ongoing, like a broken pipe that continues to leak water, the first thing you’ll want to do is shut off the water main. There should be an easily accessible shut-off main somewhere on your property. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the location of this valve and know how to operate it before an incident like this ever has a chance to occur.

Broken old pipes

Once you’ve stopped the flow of water, you can begin attempts to dry out the area and salvage any affected belongings. At this point, it’s a good idea to call a professional plumber to fix the leak so that you can restore water to your home.

If you’ve just noticed a water spot, staining, or possible mold growth, you’ll want to contact a professional plumber, roofer, or water damage restoration company to take a look at the situation and determine whether there is an ongoing issue. Obviously, if the damage appears to be coming from the roof, you may want to contact a roofing company. If the damage seems to be around the base of your toilet, call a plumber.

It’s also a good idea to take a look at the original inspection report from when you purchased the property. It may turn out that something you requested be fixed was not properly addressed, or that the previous owners were likely aware of an issue they did not disclose. Of course, you should also reference your insurance policy and contact your agent if you suspect the damage may be covered.

Addressing the Damage

The first thing a professional will do when they arrive on your property—aside from addressing any emergencies like continued water flow—is to assess the nature and extent of the damage. This may involve entering the attic, crawl space, or other unusual locations, so be prepared to provide access to these areas as needed. Once he or she has completed the inspection, you can discuss a game plan.

If there is staining, warping, or flooding due to leaking pipes or fixtures, a plumber will replace any damaged pipes or parts to prevent future water damage. If there is standing water present, he or she may also assist with its removal. When it comes to mold growth, misshapen floorboards, or ugly wall stains, you’ll need to schedule specialized removal and repair work with an appropriate contractor. Mold, in particular, is especially important to address, as its presence can cause allergies, illness, and/or further damage.

Ceiling Water damage

Prevention Is Key: Avoid Leaks and Fix Existing Damage with the Help of MET Plumbing

Once water damage occurs and things like mold, stains, and floor buckling take hold, the cost of repairs can add up rather quickly. As with any other risk, prevention and regular maintenance are the most important aspects of management. To prevent water damage from occurring in your home or business, you should make sure that all of your plumbing and water-connected fixtures (toilets, sinks, washing machines, showers, etc.) are in good condition.

At MET Plumbing, we know that even if they appear normal, old pipes can rupture or leak at any time. In addition to fixing damage in emergencies and providing maintenance to specific fixtures, our plumbing experts can also replace all the old pipes throughout your home or business for a long-lasting, reliable plumbing system.

As a family-owned, 24 hour plumber with more than 20 years of experience in the plumbing industry, and we’ll put our expertise to work to give you the best plumbing solutions no matter what the situation. To learn more about how we can help you prevent water damage from ever occurring in your home or business, contact us today at (281) 599-3336!

Why do Pipes Burst? We’ll Tell Ya!

When most people think about pipes bursting and water rushing out and into their homes, they picture cold winters in northern climates where temperatures drop below freezing. While this is one of the more common reasons for burst pipes, it is not the only one. Before we look at other reasons for burst pipes, let’s discuss why and how freezing temperatures cause this problem for homeowners.

Pipes-Burst

In areas of the home where there are exposed pipes on the exterior, under the crawl space, or in the basement, and which are not properly insulated from the cold, the water inside the pipes can freeze in the colder winter months. As the water freezes, it restricts water flow, causing an increase in pressure inside the pipes.

Any water in front of the ice blockage is slowly pushed forward in the pipes. If water is not running, it has nowhere to go. As a result, the pressure slowly starts to build in the area in front of the ice in the water lines—until it becomes so strong that it blows out a section of the pipe.

Normally, the blowout occurs in a weakened area, like a connection, fitting, or even weakened part of the pipe. Granted, here in Houston, we do not have to worry too much about freezing temperatures that often. However, you should still take precautions, as we never know when we will have another cold winter with record lows, which could include temperatures below freezing.

plumber service

Ideally, you should have your plumber make sure all exposed pipes along the exterior of the home, as well as under the crawl space or in your basement, are wrapped in protective insulation. This way, if we do have a record cold winter with freezing temperatures, you will not have to worry about ice forming in the pipes and causing the lines to burst.

Insulating your pipes also has benefits during the hot Texan summers, as it will keep water temperatures cooler inside cold water lines. This will help conserve water, too, because you will not have to run the cold water as long to get warmer water out of the water lines.

Now that we have discussed how uninsulated water lines can freeze in colder weather, let’s turn our attention to other causes of burst pipes that could affect your home here in Houston at any time during the year.

Hard Water

If you get your water from a well, it is almost always hard water. The hardness of water refers to the calcium and magnesium contained within the water. While these minerals are not harmful to drink, they can cause damage to water lines and faucets in the home. Plus, hard water leaves a white residue on tubs, showers, and dishes.

Over time, the minerals in the hard water will start to build up on the inside walls of the pipes in your home. Eventually, the water flow will become constricted, much like it is when water freezes. Since the water cannot flow correctly, pressure starts to build up in the pipes and will eventually burst.

water treatment system

Solution: If you have hard water, you should consider getting a water treatment system installed that can soften the water and remove the excess calcium and magnesium. This will help prevent the buildup from forming on the interior walls of the water lines and faucets inside the home. Here at Met-Plumbing, we install whole house water filtration and treatment systems, depending on what type of solution you need for your home.

TIP: Investing in a water softener system will help save you money over time. Soft water requires using less soap and detergent to do dishes and wash clothes. Plus, you will find you are using less soap, shampoo, and conditioner and notice your skin feels softer.

Rusty Pipes

If you have an older home with metal steel pipes, rust can be a problem and cause burst pipes. As the pipes corrode, the metal becomes thinner, resulting in weakened pipe walls. If there is a sudden increase in water pressure, it can cause this section of the pipe to blow out.

In addition, eventually, the rust will eat all the way through the water line and create a water leak. While not an actual pipe burst, this small water leak can quickly become your worst nightmare. As the water slowly drips out of the pipe, it is eroding and removing rust from the pipe, making the hole bigger and bigger.

pipes bursting and water rushing

As you might have already guessed, as the size of the hole increases, more water flows into the home, creating more severe water damage. Not only will you have to replace the broken water line but, also, fix any water damage, like replacing rotting wood, dry wall, and damaged insulation.

Solution: To avoid costly water damage repairs, the best solution is to inquire about plumbing repiping services. Repiping your home with modern plumbing pipes will stop the corrosion and rust, as well as get rid of rusty, smelly drinking water. Feel free to contact us to arrange a home consultation appointment to learn about different types of repiping solutions for your home.

Improper Installation/Plumbing Repair

Pipe bursts can occur if they were not installed correctly by a non-professional. While some people might attempt to save money replacing pipes or doing minor plumbing repairs around the home, there are several things that can go wrong.

One of the more common problems we have encountered is the improper crimping of water line connections. If the connections are crimped too tightly, they can restrict the flow of water. This can create a higher water pressure on the other side of the crimp and cause the pipe on that side to burst. Even if you installed PEX pipe, connections must be properly crimped to the right tension without restricting the water flow.

Plumbing Repair

Solution: To ensure repairs to water lines, faucets, and other plumbing is done correctly, it is highly recommended to use one of our professional plumbers.

Worn Out Appliance Water Lines

The water lines used to connect your dishwasher or washing machine do wear out over time. These types of water lines are typically made of wire mesh or rubber, both of which deteriorate. Eventually, the side walls on either type of water line can weaken and result in a burst section.

Solution: You should get into the habit of inspecting your washing machine hoses at least twice a year and replacing them every five years. After five years, the likelihood of the rubber hose bursting starts to increase significantly. For dishwasher water lines, you should replace mesh piping with either copper or PEX piping and have this installed by a professional.

Improper Water Pressure

Improper Water Pressure

Many newer homes have a water pressure gauge—a pressure switch that can be manually adjusted. Sometimes, people will turn the water pressure up, like if they are power washing their driveway, siding, or pool deck, and then forget to turn the pressure back down. The increased water pressure on interior water pipes inside the home can cause pipes to burst unexpectedly.

Solution: Avoid turning up the water pressure, and you will not have to worry about this problem. If you need increased water pressure for outdoor tasks, we would be happy to discuss viable solutions, like splitting a water line and installing a separate pressure gauge you can use on exterior lines, while not risking damage to interior piping.

affordable plumbing services

To summarize, burst pipes are not only caused by ice forming inside water lines in the cold winter months but, also, a variety of other reasons, which can occur year round. For emergency plumbing repair, home repiping services, water filtration and softeners, hot water heaters, and other affordable plumbing services in the Greater Houston Area for your home, please feel free to contact Met-Plumbing at 281-599-3336 to request service or to schedule a consultation to obtain a free quote today!

Trying to Fix Your Water Heater? Why It’s Best to Leave It to the Professionals

Water heater repair and installation is something that should be left to professional plumbers. There are many different types of connections required for the hot water heater to work correctly, including:

  • Electrical Wiring
  • Hot and Cold Water Supply Lines
  • Electrical Shutoff Switch
  • Gas Lines
  • Venting
  • Overflow Plumbing/Draining

Most of these are well beyond the scope and abilities of even the most seasoned DIYer (Do-It-Yourselfer).

Fix Your Water Heater

Here at MET Plumbing, you can rest easy knowing your new water heater is installed correctly and safely, and that it meets your hot water demands. However, there are certain troubleshooting and diagnostic tasks you can complete ahead of time before calling a plumber.

Problem 1: Not Enough Hot Water

If your hot water needs have changed recently—for instance, you have house guests, new roommates, or are using more hot water—your water heater may not be keeping up with your demand. The first place to start is to check the hot water temperature dial and the heater.

If it is set too low, then this could be the cause, so you want to turn it up about five or ten degrees and see if this resolves the issue. If you are still running out of hot water, you may need a bigger tank or need to upgrade to a tankless heater to meet your hot water demands.

Problem 2: The Water Is Too Hot

With this problem, simply check the temperature gauge on the tank and turn it down five to ten degrees. If you notice it sounds like the water is boiling inside the tank, then you need to shut off the water heater and contact a plumber immediately. It is recommended to stay away from the area where the water heater is located, as pressure is building inside the tank, and it could explode.

Problem 3: The Water Is Cold

For gas water heaters, verify the pilot light is lit. If it is not, shut off the gas and ventilate the room if there is a strong gas smell. Wait several hours before attempting to relight the pilot. Once relit, if it does not stay lit or keeps going out, call a pro to get this fixed.

With electric water heaters, check to see if the breaker switch has blown, and reset it. Next, check the electrical switch, which should be located near the water heater, to make sure that it did not get shut off. After making these checks, if you still have no hot water, the heating elements may have failed and need to be replaced.

Water Heater Installation

Problem 4: The Water Smells or Is Discolored

If both your hot and cold water have this problem, you may need a whole house water filtration system installed. If it is just the hot water, there could be mineral deposits and other sediments inside the tank, indicating the tank needs to be flushed. Flushing should always be done by a professional because of the risks of pressurized scalding hot water.

If you have other problems not mentioned above, or your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

5 Struggles for Texans During the Summer Heat

The Texas summer heat poses struggles for everyone and can make it feel like we just stepped into an oven. The heat can make it almost impossible to enjoy outdoor activities, like spending time in the pool, visiting your favorite water park, or a day at one of the Gulf area beaches. Here at Met-Plumbing, we look at our “Top 5” struggles and offer some tips for overcoming these to make summer days more bearable.

fry an egg

  1. Hot Pavement – It gets hot enough to fry an egg. Never go barefoot on extremely hot summer days. You need to protect your bare feet from getting first-, second-, or third-degree burns by wearing shoes, sandals, or flip-flops with thick soles. You can cool down pavement around your home by spraying cool water on it and wetting it down, like around your pool.
  2. Heat Advisories/100+ Degree Days – Heat advisories that extend well into the evening hours are quite common. It is important to remember, even 90 degree days could have heat indexes into the 100s. On these days, limit your time outdoors and find things you enjoy doing inside in the cool air conditioning. If you need to go out, try to do your errands early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
  3. Intense UV Rays – The sun’s heat is not the only struggle Texans have to deal with, and the UV rays can cause your skin to burn quickly on the hottest days. Always put on sunscreen with a high UV protection rating before heading out and keep a tube in your purse, backpack, or briefcase to reapply throughout the day.
  4. Humidity – When humidity levels are excessive, merely stepping outdoors results in becoming sweaty, damp, and wet. Unfortunately, if you have to work, avoiding the humidity is not possible. Get in the habit of packing a change of clothes, a towel, and personal hygiene items so you can freshen up when you arrive at work and not look like you just stepped out of a sauna.

Exhausted runner

  1. Hot Cars – Interior temperatures can reach 125+ degrees or more inside a closed car. Try to park your car in shaded areas, covered parking structures, or your garage at home. It is also helpful to leave the windows slightly cracked about a half inch to allow the heat to escape.

Before getting into the hot car, open the doors and allow the heat to escape for a few minutes. When you start the car, turn the AC on and let it run with the windows down to force the hot air out before shutting them for a cool ride home. Take care when reaching for the seatbelt and grabbing the steering wheel, as these items can be extremely hot and burn your fingers and skin.

Even though the hot Texan summer heat can be a struggle, the summertime is a great time to have plumbing maintenance and repairs done around your home because we are less busy. Please feel free to contact Met-Plumbing at 281-599-3336 to discuss your plumbing needs and request a free quote today!

Summertime Perfect for Cost-Saving Plumbers’ Projects

Summertime is the perfect time of year to take care of important plumbing inspection, maintenance, and repair tasks, as plumbers’ schedules are less busy, and temperature Cost Saving Summer Plumbing Projectsand other conditions are more conducive to their work. By taking action on these issues, property owners can spend more of their summers having fun and less worrying about emergency repairs.

According to AAA, about 80 percent of families polled by the organization said they were planning a road trip this summer, up from 2016. The last thing anyone wants to deal with when they hit the road with their family or friends is a call from the neighbors telling them that they need to return home to deal with a serious issue like a septic system failure. Not only do they lose vacation days and money spent on hotel and other accommodations, they also end up with big bills a little preventative maintenance could have allowed them to avoid.

By working to ensure tasks like kitchen faucet repair, sink drain maintenance, and water heater repair are taken care of, you can hit the road with no worries.

Why Summertime Is the Right Time

Summertime is ideal for hiring a plumber to perform maintenance and repair for a number of reasons. For starters, plumbers are less busy in the summer months, as most emergency repair work occurs in the spring and winter. Plumbers with wide open schedules that aren’t likely to be interrupted by urgent calls for help are more likely to accommodate requests for large-scale maintenance and repair work. Because of their slower summertime schedules, property owners may be able to catch a break on labor costs for summer projects, too.

Summer weather and ground conditions make plumbers’ work easier. In the winter, water can freeze overnight, making pipes more difficult to work with. Frozen ground can also pose a big challenge to plumbers who have to dig to access water lines and other pipes. Cold weather conditions can also create icy patches outside, increasing the chance of plumbers getting injured in slip and fall accidents. Days are also longer in the summer, giving plumbers more hours of daylight to ply their trade.

Six Summertime Plumbing Projects

  • Inspect for leaks – Checking for leaking pipes is one of the most important services plumbers can provide. Plumbers have a variety of tools they can use to inspect forSprinkler System Inspection leaking pipes. They’ll start by visually inspecting your property, searching for damp spots, mildew growth, warped floorboards, and other telltale signs of leaking pipes. From there, plumbers can move to using high-tech options such as listening devices that can detect dripping sounds, infrared sensors to find moisture, or miniature cameras attached to fiber optic cables that plumbers can run through drains and pipes.

Once plumbers find leaks, they can resolve the issue. Fixing leaking pipes is important because the leak can grow and cause pipes to fail, leaving a big, expensive mess for emergency plumbers to fix.

  • Inspect sprinkler system – Cracks or leaks in sprinkler system pipes can result in costly repairs if they become severe. Summertime is an excellent time to have your outdoor sprinkler system inspected by a professional plumber. Plumbers can find and repair leaks and advise you on upgrades to your sprinkler system.
  • Install a new dishwasher – If your home doesn’t have a dishwasher or if you have an older model that needs replacing, summer is a great time to take on this project. New Dishwasher InstallationAccording to CNet, Energy Star-certified dishwashers are 12 percent more energy efficient than models without Energy Star certification.

 If you’re using a dishwasher manufactured more than 20 years ago, you’re likely losing $35 per year in utility costs. Plumbers can help you find the new energy- and water-efficient dishwasher that’s right for your kitchen and install it. Dishwashers can save you a lot of time and work in the kitchen, so they’re definitely a good investment.

  • Pump septic system – If you think your septic system needs pumping, it’s best to have it done ASAP. Nothing can ruin a summer like having to deal with a septic system that’s backing up. It’s gross, expensive, and time-consuming.

About a third of homes use a septic system. Septic tanks capture waste water from kitchen sinks, toilets, washing machines, etc. When the wastewater enters the septic system, fats, oils, proteins, and other heavy particulate matter separate out and are stored in the septic tank as sludge.

 Gray water is discharged into the leach field, a set of pipes that releases the water into the soil. Organic matter left in the gray water fertilizes the area around the tank, so, Pump Septic Systemsin most yards with a septic tank, you can find the tank by finding the area where the grass is greenest.

 Over time, the sludge in the tank will fill to capacity and a professional will need to pump the tank and remove the sludge. Property owners with septic tanks should have their tanks inspected once a year to see if pumping is necessary. Most septic systems require pumping every one to three years.

  • Test and install sump pump – For homes with basements or ones that are located in areas prone to flooding, sump pumps are a must. Sump pumps remove water from low-lying areas and transfer it to storm drains, dry wells, or other places. The summer season brings heavy rains in some parts of the country, so it’s a good idea to check your sump pump or install one if needed. Plumbers can inspect an existing pump to make sure it works and check lines or pipes used to transport water collected by the pump.
  • Install a solar water heater – Solar water heaters are great for outdoor hot tubs or heated pools. Some models can also be great for providing hot water for your wholeSolar Water Heater Installation home. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates a solar water heater can cut energy costs associated with heating water by up to 50 percent. While a new solar hot water heater will cost more than a new traditional hot water heater, over time consumers will recoup these costs from lower power bills. Tax incentives may also help to make these devices more affordable.

 

Choosing the Right Plumber

By taking care of all your summer plumbing tasks, you can enjoy the rest of the season traveling and relaxing. Whether it’s a trip across country or a staycation at home, knowing your home’s pipes and other critical infrastructure in good shape will allow you to pursue your summer vacation goals with peace of mind.

People who own vacation property or rental homes far away from where they reside can also benefit from being proactive about having plumbers make an inspection and maintenance call each summer. Getting the call that the septic tank in one of your properties is backing up or a pipe has burst is a headache that no landlord wants in any season.

summertime home repair and maintenance projects

To ensure you get the best help for your summertime home repair and maintenance projects, you need to find a plumber with the right experience and skills. Checking online reviews, asking friends, and inquiring into certifications and references are great ways to background potential plumbers.

Met-Plumbing, a full-service, family-owned plumbing company, serves the greater Houston area, including communities like Katy, Richmond, Cypress, Fulshear, and West Houston. The company offers an experienced staff with training in the latest plumbing products and solutions. For help with drains, pipes, gas lines, water heaters, sewage lines, and more, call Met-Plumbing today for a consultation.

Sources

  1. http://www.post-gazette.com/life/travel/2017/03/29/AAA-travel-summer-gas-prices-road-trips/stories/201703290029
  2. https://www.cnet.com/how-to/dishes-still-dirty-you-may-need-a-new-dishwasher/

How to Stop a Leaking Faucet from Keeping You up at Night

You are just drifting off to sleep and then you here a sound that wakes you back up: Drip, drip, drip. The faucet on one of the sinks in your home is dripping water and making enough noise to keep you awake. While you might close the bathroom or bedroom door, or wrap a towel over the dripping faucet, this solution is not the right way to fix a leaking faucet.

Stop a Leaking Faucet

What Causes a Faucet to Drip?

There can be all sorts of reasons for a dripping faucet, based upon the style and model. One of the more common causes is because the washers used in the mechanisms to turn the faucet on and off wear out and are not sealing correctly. Another cause for leaky faucet is the washer in the sink outlet cover has worn out.

Finding the Source of the Leak

There are several things you can do to try to pinpoint where the leak is coming from before calling a plumber. You could unscrew the outlet cover and replace the rubber washer to see if this resolves the problem. Another option is to start by shutting off the hot water first, wait and see if the dripping stops, and if not, turn the hot water back on, and then shut off the cold water.

If the drip persists, shut off both hot and cold water lines. Now, if the leak stops, it often indicates the mechanisms inside the faucet are worn out and need replaced. This can also be a sign you need to replace the entire sink faucet if it is older, as fixing the mechanisms that turn the water on and off may not fully resolve or stop the faucet from dripping.

What If I Hear Dripping and Water Is Not Leaking Out of the Faucet?

Sometimes, the cause of leaks occurs underneath the sink and faucet. You will want to open the cabinet doors and see if water is pooling or any items stored here are wet. For this type of leak, it could be the result of a faulty connection to the faucet. You can try tightening the water lines to the underside of the faucet to see if this stops the leak.

Faucet Repair

For more complicated leaks, like where water is dripping out of the faucet and under the sink, then you will want to call a professional plumber. There could be multiple causes and each one will need to be addressed to fully resolve leaks and dripping faucets. For instance, both the faucet and the water lines under the sink could all need to be replaced.

Ignoring a dripping faucet will not make the problem go away and it can worsen, causing your water bills to increase significantly. Plus, fixing the drip will help you get a good night’s rest. For dripping faucets, water leaks, and other plumbing problems, contact the Houston plumbing experts at Met-Plumbing by calling 281-599-3336 today!

Texas Summers: How to Stay “Cool” Without Running Up Your Water Bill

When you think about the hot Texas summers and energy usage, your initial thoughts are not always about how to better manage your water bill. Many people take water for granted and do not really think about different ways they could stop their water bills from skyrocketing over the summer months.

Let’s take a look at some different money-saving tips and suggestions that could potentially reduce your water bills, not just during the scorching summer days, but also year-round.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

While it might sound funny since it is summertime and you may not use much hot water, your water heater still needs some maintenance and care. Consider turning down the temperature on the water heater during the summer months. You should also insulate the water heater to help stop heat loss.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Replace Traditional Water Heaters with Tankless Models

If your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life—between 10 and 15 years old—consider a tankless water heater replacement instead. The hot water is heated on demand, and you will run less water waiting for it to heat up.

Maximize Your Dishwasher

Modern dishwashers use a fraction of the water it takes to do dishes by hand. Plus, you only need to scrape off excess food and no pre-rinsing is required before loading the dishes. You should also only run the dishwasher when it is full.

Store Cold Drinking Water in the Refrigerator

Instead of running the tap until the water flows cooler, keep several pitchers and eco-friendly water bottles full and stocked in the refrigerator.

Switch to Low Flow Faucets and Fixtures

Replace water faucets and shower heads with low-flow models that use less water.

Install Aerators on Faucets

Aerators help reduce the flow of water but maintain the current water pressure.

Cool Off with Showers Rather Than Baths

A cool shower uses less water than filling up the bathtub.

Reuse Graywater

Save the water from cooking, bathing, or leftover drinking water and use it to water plants, shrubs, or your grass. You can even collect water in the shower as it is warming up.

Cooling Off Outdoors

It can be tempting to play in the sprinklers to cool off. However, this is a big water waster and will run up your bills. A much better solution is to cool off in a swimming pool because, once it is filled, you only need to add water periodically to maintain the right level.

Swimming Pool Maintenance

Swimming Pool Maintenance

For pools with filtration systems and pumps, you should inspect these for leaks and fix any you find.

Watering Grass, Plants, and Shrubs

If you use our tip to save your graywater, you should not need to water as often. For automatic sprinkler systems, make sure watering heads are working correctly and not over-spraying into the road or sidewalks, and only water for about ten minutes every other day.

For more tips and suggestions on how to reduce water usage, water heater repairs and replacements, and whole home plumbing solutions, please feel free to contact Met-Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

Eight Reasons Everyone Should Love Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have come a long way in the last decade, with new innovations solving many of the problems of early models and bringing down the cost of these devices. Home and business owners looking for a new hot water heater should discuss tankless options with their local plumber to determine if this solution suits their needs.

Tankless water heaters heat water directly as it is used, rather than pre-heating water and storing it in a tank until it’s needed. When someone turns on a hot water tap, cold Reasons Why You Should Love Tankless Water Heaterswater travels through the pipe into the unit where either a gas burner or electric element heats it. Tankless water heaters come in two varieties, point-of-use heaters and whole-house models.

Point-of-use tankless water heaters are smaller than whole-house systems and provide hot water to just one or two outlets. For example, a point-of-use model might provide hot water to just your shower or to your kitchen sink. Whole-house systems are larger and can operate more outlets. Point-of-use systems are typically electric-powered, while whole house systems usually run off of natural gas or propane.

The first tankless water heater was invented in the 1920s by Stiebel Eltron, a German company founded by Dr. Theodor Stiebel. Stiebel, a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur, founded his company in 1924 and it remains involved in manufacturing central heating products to this day.

While quite popular in Japan and Europe, it wasn’t until the last few decades that tankless water heaters began gaining popularity over traditional water heaters in the U.S., as the technology to make them affordable and reliable took time to develop. Advances in technology have helped reduce the lag time between faucets being turned on and hot water flowing from them and other issues that have held back tankless water heaters from greater acceptance. The market for electric tankless water heaters is expected to grow by 8.7 percent between 2016 and 2024. The combined market for both gas and electric tankless water heaters is set to grow at 8.88 percent over the same time period.

Why are tankless water heaters taking up an increasing share of the water heater market? Consider these critical advantages:

  • In most circumstances, tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than storage tank water heaters. Conventional storage tank water heaters must heat and store Hot Water Down The Sinksufficient water to meet user needs. Because heated water is stored, some of the energy used to heat the water is lost. Tankless heaters only heat water as it is needed, meaning little energy is wasted. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that tankless water heaters are typically 24 to 34 percent more energy efficient than traditional storage tank water heaters. The efficiency savings are less for homes that use a lot of hot water, however. The Energy department estimates that in a home that uses around 86 gallons of hot water per day, tankless water heaters are only 8 to 14 percent more energy efficient.
  • Reduced energy usage translate to lower electricity bills. The Energy Department estimates the average home will save about $100 per year in energy costs by installing a tankless water heater. Should energy prices spike, homeowners who act now by installing tankless water heaters could realize even greater savings.
  • Conventional storage tank water heaters take up quite a bit of space. In urban areas or in small homes, space is at a premium. By installing a tankless water heater, valuable space that can be repurposed for closet storage or to increase the size of a room is saved. Tankless water heaters can be installed under cabinets or in small spaces within a closet. Some models can even be installed outdoors with an antifreeze kit.
  • Tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan than conventional storage tank water heaters. In many cases, a tankless water heater will last five to 10 years longer than a Critical Advantages of Tankless Water Heaterstraditional water heater. This increased longevity should be weighed when you’re considering the larger upfront cost of purchasing a tankless water heater.
  • Tankless water heaters are environmentally friendly. Because they use less energy, they help overall electricity conservation efforts. Also, if you’re using an electric model, your unit will produce no greenhouse gases.
  • Tankless water heaters often provide cleaner water than that supplied by conventional water heaters. Storage tanks will accumulate sediment and rust over the years which can contaminate water. Tankless heaters provide water free of these contaminants.
  • Various governments offer tax incentives for consumers to purchase tankless water heaters. For example, the federal government gives a $300 tax rebate toward the purchase of most tankless units.
  • With a tankless water heater, you’ll never run out of hot water. Conventional storage tank water heaters only provide the amount of hot water stored in the tank. When it runs out, users must wait for the device to heat up more hot water. Tankless water heaters provide a continuous supply of hot water. The flow of water may be lighter than that provided by a conventional storage tank heater, but the supply is constant.

Signs It’s Time For A New Water Heater

Water heaters are one of those vital household appliances that we never think about until they stop working. However, not paying attention to your water heater can cost you Tankless Water Heaters with Longer Life Spaneven if it’s still functioning. Older models often have a long decline before they finally quit working, and during that time they perform less efficiently than they did at their peak. Here are a few warning signs that your traditional water heater is getting on in years and may need replacement:

  • It’s more than 10 years old – Traditional water heaters have a lifespan of a little more than 10 years. If your heater’s more than 10 years old, it may function just fine for several more years, but it is worth having it checked for leaks or decreases in efficiency.
  • Noise – If your water heater makes a lot of noise, it’s often a sign of sediment build-up on the bottom of the tank. Accumulation of hardened sediment will reduce efficiency and may cause eventual leaks.
  • Water around the tank – If there’s water around the tank, that’s evidence of a small leak or fracture. In time this will expand and cause more leaking, which may cause water damage to your home. If your tank is leaking, you need to replace it soon.
  • Unexpected spike in hot water bills – If your hot water bills have climbed in recent months, but your usage has not and your electric or gas company have not adjusted rates, chances are that your water heater may have a problem and needs repair or replacement.
  • Decrease in available hot water – If you notice that the hot water runs out quicker or that you’re getting warm water, but not hot water, this can indicate problems with your water heater that require repair or replacement.

When choosing a company to provide water heater installation or repair services, it pays to find a firm with a good local reputation and years of experience. For consumers When You Need a New Water Heaterpurchasing a tankless water heater, it is certainly worthwhile to find professionals with experience in these types of water heaters, as they differ significantly from traditional water heaters.

Met Plumbing provides a full range of plumbing maintenance and repair services, including tankless water heater installation, to customers in the Houston, TX area. Property owners seeking more cost-effective, earth-friendly water heating options should contact Met Plumbing today for a consultation regarding plumbing solutions that will meet their needs and their budget.

Sources: https://energy.gov/energysaver/tankless-or-demand-type-water-heaters