Is Your Home’s Plumbing Ready for the Holiday Season?

Keep It Running Smoothly with These Five Tips!

The holiday season is a great time for family and friends to get together, visit, eat, and share in their favorite holiday traditions. This means an influx of more visitors than at any other time of the year. Plus, most people will use their kitchens more between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day for preparing holiday meals, baking holiday treats and cookies, and other festive delights.

Plumbing Ready for the Holiday Season

Both your kitchen’s and home’s plumbing will also be used more often during this time of year. If you do not plan ahead and do some preventive maintenance ahead of time, you could end up with clogged sinks, backed up drains, and overflowing toilets. Finding a 24-hour plumber who can come help, especially on a holiday, can be difficult because they are in high demand.

Tip #1: Prevent Clogged Drains

Never try to put large objects, food materials, hair, grease, and other such things down your drains. Granted, we cannot prevent or stop everything from going down the drain, but you can minimalize how much gets into the drains by using drain screens/filters. These items will collect larger objects and most hair and prevent it from becoming a potential clog.

  • Bonus TIP: If you notice you have slow draining sinks before the holiday season, this indicates a clog is developing. Call a plumber right away and have your drains cleaned, rather than waiting until it becomes an emergency house call.

Prevent Clogged DrainsTip #2: Prevent Garbage Disposal Problems

Garbage disposals are great kitchen appliances that help deal with a wide array of food waste materials. However, certain types of materials should never be put into the disposal because it can create stresses on the disposal, causing it to overheat and stop working correctly. Plus, you can quickly develop a sink clog because the materials aren’t being broken down.

  • Never put bones of any type in the disposal. Bones are hard and difficult for your disposal to break down. Plus larger pieces can get stuck in the drain openings in the disposal and create an instant clog.
  • Never put potato peelings in the disposal. Potato peelings do not get broken down that easily, and they end up creating a clog and huge mess in your sink. Not to mention, they can cause your disposal to overheat and burn out completely.
  • Never put fruit rinds, hard veggies, or other fruit/vegetable peelings in the disposal. Hard rinds can damage the blades and do not break down that well, much like bones. Fruit and vegetable peelings do not get broken down, just like potato peelings, and they create clogs.

revent Garbage Disposal Problems

  • Never pour hot grease into the disposal. Grease can cause problems in the disposal as well as your drain pipes. As soon as it cools, it hardens and eventually creates bigger problems. Furthermore, the grease will create a foul smell coming from your sink, as it does “rot” to a certain extent.
  • Always run water when operating the disposal. You need water in the disposal to help move out smaller food particles and transport them down the drain. The cold water also helps to keep the blades and moving parts inside the disposal from overheating.

Depending on how much you use your disposal, at least once a year—especially right before the holidays—have the disposal professionally cleaned by your plumber.

Tip #3: Prevent Overflowing Toilets

Your home’s toilets will be used excessively during your holiday events, parties, and family gatherings. Toilets can clog from too much toilet paper or people attempting to flush other objects down them that they were not designed to handle. In addition, some toilet clogs occur when there is not enough pressure during the flush cycle from various types of toilet plumbing problems.

  • Check around toilets for signs of water leaks.
  • Open the back cover and verify the flushing mechanism and flapper are working correctly.

If you discover problems with your toilets or already know one or more has certain problems, you do not want to wait to get them fixed. Nothing ruins a great holiday party faster than seeing water running out from under the bathroom door and into the hallway or down the stairs.

Prevent Overflowing Toilets

Since you cannot control how much toilet paper your guests will use, and you do not want to be a toilet paper Scrooge, it is best to keep plungers next to the primary toilets everyone will be using. In addition, make sure to set out trash cans in plain sight where guests can see them. Then, hopefully, they will toss waste not meant for your toilet into the can instead.

  • Bonus TIP: If you hear water running occasionally and the toilet has not been recently flushed, this indicates a bad flapper seal. You should have this fixed because not only are you wasting water, but it can also reduce the amount of pressure during each flush.

Tip #4: Fix Drips and Leaks

Check under sink cabinets and other accessible areas for signs of leaks and drips. Some drips and leaks are more evident if there is a crack in plumbing pipes or loose fittings. Others can be less subtle because they are very slow leaks.

For instance, if you notice water stains under your kitchen sink but do not notice a leak when you are running water, chances are it is a slow leak. If you ignore it, the leak will gradually become worse. No one wants to turn on their kitchen sink on Christmas Day only to have water come running out of the cabinet onto the kitchen floor.

Fix Drips and Leaks

For sinks, showers, and tubs in your home, if you notice water continues to drip when you shut off the faucet or notice water leaking from around the faucet when the water on, these two issues indicate faulty washers. The washers are no longer tight and are allowing water to leak out.

Depending on the age, type, and design of the faucet, you may only need to have your plumber replace the washer. However, for older faucets or ones that are “single-piece” designs, it is best to get these replaced with new faucets.

Tip #5: Get Your Hot Water Heater Flushed

If your water heater is a tank-style model, sediment can become an issue to the hot water heater’s performance. If you hear snapping, cracking, or popping sounds coming from the water heater when it is heating hot water, sediment could be the cause.

When a hot water tank fails, several things can and do go wrong, creating headaches for homeowners, including:

home's plumbing for the holiday season

  • No hot water to wash dishes, do laundry, or take showers and baths.
  • Water can become over pressurized and the hot water will come flowing out of the pressure release valve.
  • Tanks can develop leaks around the bottom where hot water will seep out constantly and can flood the home if there is no drain pan or drain under the heater.
  • Water can overheat and tanks can explode, causing damage to your home and potential injuries.

Having a plumbing professional flush the tank can help remove much of the sediment. In addition, your plumber will inspect the tank for other problems which could indicate the tank is nearing the end of its useful lifespan.

  • Bonus TIP: If you need to replace your hot water heater, consider tankless models for on-demand and constant hot water. You will never have to worry about running out of hot water when guests visit and stay at your home over the holiday season!

For more plumbing tips to ensure your home is ready for all of your holiday parties and guests, please feel free to contact MET-Plumbing at (281) 599-3336 to schedule a plumbing inspection or preventive maintenance services today!

Is Your Toilet Running? Here’s What We Suggest

When a toilet starts to run, it can be quite annoying. Ignoring the problem won’t do any good. Hearing your toilet when it should not be making noise means something is wrong. A leaking toilet is never a good thing because water can seep out and cause damage to your flooring, insulation, and walls. For the best possible outcome, call a plumber to diagnose and fix the source of the problem right away.

test toilet for leak

Leaks often recur without professional plumbing repairs. Here are some common causes of toilet leaks:

  • There’s a loose or worn supply line, or its rubber lining is worn out.
  • The flush handle and flapper are stuck, causing water to continue flowing into the tank.
  • The tank is cracked; water leaks while the fill valve continues to replenish the supply.
  • Watertight connections have loosened or worn away.
  • The flapper, fill valve, or float has worn out or failed.

If there’s a problem, the toilet may continue running, or it may start spontaneously by itself. To check for a leak:

  • Open the tank lid and check the water level. If it’s below the water line, add some dye and wait 10-15 minutes; you’ll see colored water in the bowl if there’s a leak.
  • Add food coloring, and wait 25 minutes to see if the color appears in the bowl; if so, the flapper may be leaking or dirty.
  • Mark the water level in the tank and come back after 10 minutes. If the level has fallen, the flush valve might be leaking.

Plumbing Companies Can Resolve Your Toilet Trouble

common causes toilet leaks

There are ways to test a toilet for a leak. The problem should be found and corrected because the water bill will go up if a leak is present. However, checking for one yourself can lead to more flooding if you have a clogged toilet. A plumber can easily address this issue with the proper equipment. Even if you check the water level in the tank, it may still be dripping out somewhere, and this doesn’t fix the problem.

A professional plumbing company can remove objects stuck in the pipe. It can also provide toilet repair services that address issues with the supply line, tank, or any mechanical elements needed for the system to work properly. If the parts need fixing, Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning will get your toilet working again. Other times, a new unit is needed, and we can quickly replace your toilet with a newer model; our plumbers are skilled at toilet installation, so your bathroom will soon be fully functional again.

A licensed plumber has the skills to safely and effectively fix a leaking toilet. If it is a routine visit, an appointment can be scheduled, but there is no need to wait if it’s an emergency. Our team is available day or night, at any time.

Last, schedule a service call on our website if you suspect a problem, or give us a call at 281-599-3336.

Environmentally Friendly Toilets for Your Home? Yes, There Are!

Toilets are an essential part of every home whether you have one shared bathroom or two or three bathrooms throughout your home. They help safely control and dispose of human waste. However, conventional toilets tend to waste a lot of water. Older toilets use six gallons of water to flush the waste down the drain.

Consider a family of four, who on average flush the toilet six times each throughout the day. This amounts to 24 flushes and 144 gallons of water each just to use the bathroom. Now, if the family were to replace their existing water-wasting toilets with new environmentally friendly toilets that only use 1.6 gallons per flush, they could help conserve water.

Environmentally Friendly Toilets

With the new eco-friendly and water-saving toilets installed, now this family of four only uses 38.4 gallons of water each day to flush their toilets. This is a 105.6-gallon reduction in water usage. Over the course of a year, this family would help conserve and save 37,171.2 gallons of water! In addition, they would notice a major reduction in their water bill each month since they were using less water.

Now imagine this family lived in a small subdivision with 24 homes and each home on average was also using 144 gallons of water every day to flush their toilets. If every home upgraded to new low flush toilets, the entire community could have conserved and saved 892,108.8 gallons of water every year!

Other Eco-Friendly Toilet Options

There are also low-flow dual flush toilets that use even less water. These toilets have two different flush opens—one for liquids and the other for solid waste. The liquid waste flush only uses 0.8 gallons of water, while the solid waste flush uses 1.6 gallons of water.

TIP: You can upgrade an existing toilet to a dual flush toilet by having your plumber install a dual flush control.

Eco-Friendly Toilet

If you want to save even more water, look for toilets with the WaterSense label. These toilets meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) criteria for low-flush/low-flow toilets and use twenty percent less water than standard 1.6-gallon flush toilets.

You can also combine WaterSense toilets with dual flush controls. This would result in using 1.28 gallons of water for solid waste flushes and only 0.64 gallons of water for liquid waste flushes.

Fun Fact: Based on the EPA’s calculations, if all homes in the United States replaced their inefficient toilets with WaterSense models, it would result in conserving and saving 520 billion gallons of water each year, which would fill approximately 10.4 billion garden-sized bathtubs!

If you want to save even more water, you can convert the lid on the back of the toilet into a small sink. When you flush the toilet, fresh, clean water flows out the faucet so you can wash your hands. Then it drains into the tank on the back of the toilet. There are conversion kits you can use on existing toilets to add this feature.

For more information about eco-friendly, water-saving toilets for your home, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

Source

  1. https://www.epa.gov/watersense/residential-toilets

Boo! Is a Halloween Ghost the Cause of Your Home’s Pipes Making Noises?

Are you hearing strange noises in the middle of the night like banging, clattering, or hammering coming from inside your walls? Have you noticed the kitchen sink drain makes a gurgling sound at different times? Or do you hear the sound of dripping water, but can’t figure out where it is coming from?

While you might initially think your home is being haunted by a Halloween ghost, these are all indications something is wrong with the plumbing in your home. The noises in water pipes at night are often more noticeable since there are fewer background noises, especially after you have shut off the TV and are getting ready for bed.

Halloween Ghost

Finding the source and cause of the problem is important because, if you say it’s a ghost and do nothing, it can lead to more costly plumbing repair services down the road. Once you identify the reason for the noises, you can then assess whether it is something you can do yourself or if you need help from professional plumbing companies, like us, here at MET Plumbing.

Banging, Clattering, or Hammering Noises

The first thing you will want to do is make sure there is no water running anywhere in the home. Next, turn on the cold water of one faucet to see if you hear any of these sounds. Then, shut off the cold water and repeat with the hot water. Repeat this process for every faucet in the home.

If only one or two of the faucets make noise when shutting off the water, it often indicates the pipes do not have an air chamber or have filled with water. Air chambers are special attachments that cushion the flowing water and prevent noise. Without an air chamber, the water is not cushioned when you shut the faucet off, and it will attempt to flow backward, resulting in a banging, clattering, or hammering noise.

Plumbing Companies

If only a few faucets make these noises while water is running, it could indicate loose fittings and attachments that hold the plumbing lines. Since there is nothing to hold the pipes securely, they can move as the water flows through them and bang the inside of walls.

If all of your faucets are making this noise, then it is probably because the air chambers have filled with water or do not have air chambers installed. It could also indicate the plumbing was not correctly installed in the home and all the water lines are not secured correctly.

Fixing Banging, Clattering, or Hammering Problems

There are a few simple things you can do yourself before calling in a plumber for help. First, check to see if there is a pressure regulator attached where the water comes into the home. If there is, you need to make sure it is set at 55 PSI or less. Anything higher, and it can create excess pressure that can cause pipes to bang and hammer and also damage appliances, like your dishwasher, refrigerator’s ice maker, and washing machine.

Clattering Hammering Problems

The other self-check you can do is to shut off the main water line into the home. Next, open the faucet at the highest point in the home, and then the faucet at the lowest point, which could be your outdoor water faucet. Once all the water has drained out, shut off the highest point faucet.

Now, turn the water back on, leaving the low-point faucet open to allow the air to flow out of the lines. If you no longer hear noises when turning the water off, this means the air chambers were previously filled with water.

By draining the water out of the lines and allowing air in, it refilled the air chambers. If you still notice noises, then your plumbing is most likely missing air chambers, and you will want to have these installed by your local plumbing company.

Gurgling Sounds Coming out Drains

For plumbing lines that are not secured, it is best to leave this to a professional because you need to make sure to use the right hardware to secure pipes in place. In addition, it could require cutting into drywall or flooring to access the water lines.

Gurgling Sounds Coming out of the Drains

Gurgling sounds could occur if water is being run in another part of the home and is attempting to draw air into the drain lines. For instance, if you flush the toilet and notice a gurgling sound coming out of the bathroom sink drain, this means the toilet is attempting to draw air into the drain from the nearby sink.

Gurgling is often indicative of improper plumbing venting or there is a blockage in the vent. Plumbing vents are those pipes you see on the top of your roof where the bathrooms are located in your home. Sometimes small objects and animals can fall down the pipes, if they do not have screens, and can cause a blockage.

Fixing Gurgling Sounds

Fixing Gurgling Sounds

You will want to make sure none of the vents are blocked. Your plumber can do this for you because it can require using a long plumber’s snake to reach all the way down and through the vent. You will also want to install screens over the top of vents to prevent objects or small animals from falling down inside the pipes.

Dripping Water Noises

If you hear what sounds like dripping water, you need to find the source immediately. This indicates there is a water leak in your home’s plumbing. The first thing to do is to make sure all water faucets are shut off and not dripping themselves. Late at night, when everything in the home is quiet, a dripping faucet can make it seem like it is coming from the walls because the sound carries everywhere.

Finding the Source of Dripping Water

An easy way to check for slow dripping faucets is to make sure the sink is dry, close the drain, and also wipe dry the end of the faucet. Wait an hour, and then return and inspect the sink and faucet. If you see water in the sink and notice the end of the faucet is also wet, this means a faulty shutoff valve in the faucet.

Have your plumber replace the shutoff valve and washers or have them install a new faucet. If none of your faucets are leaking, yet you hear water dripping, then the problem becomes more serious. It could mean a fitting between pipes has become loose or the pipes have developed a small crack.

Finding Source of Dripping Water

Depending on the location of the sound in your home, there are a few different self-checks you can perform, as follows:

  • Feel around the bottom of the wall for dampness, as well as wet spots on the floor or carpeting.
  • In basements, look around where you hear the sound for wet spots and puddles of standing water.
  • Check your crawl space in the location where you hear the sound for wet spots or puddles of water.
  • If you notice falling down or wet insulation from the basement ceiling or under the crawl space, this often points to the source of the leak.

Even if you cannot find the source of the dripping sound, it is still highly recommended to contact a plumber for assistance. Small drips and water leaks can damage insulation, cause wood rot, create mold and mildew, and damage the support structures of your home.

Crackling, Snapping, and Popping Sounds

If you notice these types of noises coming from your hot water heater tank, it is a good indication there is sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank. Sediment can form from calcium deposits and minerals in hard water, as well as be caused by rusted particles inside the tank.

Removing Sediment from the Water Tank

Contact your plumber to request that the water heater tank is drained and flushed. This is an extreme and potentially dangerous process, and it should only be performed by an experienced plumber since they will be draining out scalding hot water.

For water tanks more than ten years old, the tank could be near the end of its useful lifespan, so it may be time for a new water heater. Your plumber can advise you on your options, such as energy-efficient tankless hot water heaters.

Removing Sediment from the Water Tank

From whooshing sounds to banging and clattering, these types of noises do not mean your house is being haunted by a ghost. Rather, your home is trying to tell you something is wrong with your plumbing.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the noises your pipes, faucets, toilets, and plumbing make are all unique and indicate different types of problems. Diagnosing and troubleshooting the causes and remedies will often require the help from our expert plumbers at MET Plumbing.

Feel free to give us call at 281-599-3336 for help resolving your noisy plumbing today! Remember to ask about our current promotions and plumbing specials!

Do Homemade Drain Cleaners Really Work?

Many drain cleaners are sold commercially but aren’t always the best to use. A clogged drain can be tough to fix yourself. Although homemade solutions don’t work in every case, they’re often better alternatives to commercial options that can be corrosive, toxic, and damaging to sink and tub materials. However, some homemade drain cleaners are as effective as calling in a plumbing professional.

Drain Cleaning Tricks to Try First

There are many reasons a drain can become clogged, and probably just as many methods to resolve the problem. We’ll start with the most general first. Perhaps the most universally discussed are drain cleaners with baking soda and vinegar—and rightfully so. With the water gone from the sink or tub, perform the following steps:

  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain.
  • Add 2 cups of boiling water to the drain.
  • Pour down another cup of baking soda, plus 1 cup of white vinegar.
  • Plug the drain and wait until the bubbles start to subside.

This works because hot water is effective at dissolving pipe sludge. The baking soda and vinegar create a bubbling foam that helps dislodge any material blocking the way. Pour more water down to get all the material down through the pipe—voila! You may not need to call a 24-hour plumber.

baking soda and vinegar

Homemade drain cleaner without baking soda: Not every clogged drain can be fixed with baking soda, which doesn’t dissolve the fat, oil, and grease that commonly clogs kitchen sinks. In fact, some experiments have found hot water and detergent are better at dissolving such clogs.1

Natural drain cleaner hair dissolver: Water, vinegar, or baking soda won’t do much if there’s a lot of hair in the pipe. Enzyme drain cleaners can actually eat through the hair. Although not necessarily homemade (it’s hard to concentrate enough bacteria and enzymes on your own), these are worth mentioning. They can clear a clogged drain in an efficient and eco-friendly manner.

Another homemade drain cleaner—salt, vinegar, and borax—is effective for many types of clogs. Combined with hot water, it can clear a blockage if given enough time. If you can unclog a drain with salt and other compounds, great. You’ve found a DIY drain cleaner without baking soda. Many people still prefer this time-tested product. Combining baking soda with lemon juice may smell better than vinegar, and will foam up and can resolve your plumbing problems just as well if the hot water is run for several minutes.

Do Homemade Drain Cleaners Always Work?

homemade drain cleaners

It depends exactly what is blocking the pipe. A severe blockage is not going to be removed with baking soda or vinegar, nor is a large foreign object that’s stuck there. You may need a plastic drain cleaner to remove it.

Sometimes, the safest drain cleaner for pipes is an emergency plumber. When a homemade unclogger doesn’t work, consider a safe drain cleaner for old pipes, for example, or a professional plumbing inspection, to avoid serious damage. For prompt and effective plumbing repair, contact MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning at 281-599-3336 today!

Source

  1. https://brendid.com/why-you-should-never-use-baking-soda-and-vinegar-to-clean-clogged-drains/

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!