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

How to Prevent Your Kitchen Sink from Clogging

After a long day at work and coming home to cook dinner, there is nothing worse than discovering your garbage disposal is clogged. None of the food you put down it is passing through the drain, and you’re left with tepid water in both sides of your sink. This problem is entirely preventable should you maintain your sink drain regularly.

Cleaning Your Sink

To keep your kitchen sink plumbing functioning optimally, you need to make a habit of cleaning your sink regularly. Cleaning your sink and disposal is fairly easy and can be done without using harmful cleaners or chemicals.

What You Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Sea salt
  • Lemon (or lime)
  • Ice
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft sponge

What to do:

For daily cleaning, use soap and a nylon sponge or rag to wipe down your sink. Be sure to avoid ammonia, bleach, or other abrasive cleaners on stainless steel. These can tarnish your sink’s finish.

For a deep cleaning:

  1. Wash out your sink and sprinkle baking soda on it.
  2. Scrub it until it becomes a paste.
  3. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes until it settles in and then rise with warm water.

Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal is imperative to break up food that has accumulated down there, especially grease and pasta. This will prevent what everyone dreads—a clogged kitchen sink.

What to do:

  1. Put a half cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down the sink and let sit until it fizzes.
  2. Boil water on your stove and then pour it down while the baking soda and vinegar fizz together.
  3. Add ice to the sink and run your garbage disposal until it fully grinds the ice. (You can add salt to help break up the ice.)
  4. Some people like to add chopped lemon or lime halves to the sink while the disposal runs. This helps your sink smell fresh and clean!

Prevent Your Sink from Clogging

There are several steps you can also take to prevent future sink clogging after each use.

Be careful what you put down there!

No-No’s: cooking grease, coffee grounds, anything stringy (banana peels, raw meat, etc.), potatoes, and pasta (which expands in water).

Use cold water!

Also, run cold water while you are grinding food waste, and keep it running a few seconds after you use the disposal. The cold water helps the grease in the sink solidify and break into smaller pieces. A tip for grease: put it in an old coffee container and then throw it in the trash. Whatever you do, keep grease out of your sink!

Clean every night!

Even if you’re exhausted, try to clean your sink habitually. Don’t let junk sit in your disposal overnight—it’s smelly and can cause a buildup.

These tips should help keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and keep it running optimally. If you take care of your sink and garbage disposal, you’re less likely to need a kitchen plumbing repair. And, you can extend its lifespan. In the unfortunate case that you have a clogged sink, it is best to call a plumbing company to take care of it. We know the hassle and inconvenience having a clogged sink is and can help you with this plumbing repair in no time.

Reverse Osmosis Versus Other Water Filtration Methods

If you are considering various types of water filtration methods and systems for your home, it is important to understand how each one of these works. Some people make the mistake of not consulting with a professional plumbing repair company with knowledge of water filtration systems ahead of time. This has led to purchasing the wrong type of filtration system for their homes.

Water Filtration Methods

The first thing you need to determine is what type of water you have. The vast majority of water throughout the United States, and even here in Texas, is considered hard water. Hard water is full of calcium and mineral deposits that can cause scaling on pipes and faucets. In some cases, there can be excess iron in the water, along with certain unpleasant smells and tastes, depending on where you live.

Hard water is commonly found in homes that have “well water.” The other type of water you could have is soft water. This is water that has been treated using a water softener to remove the calcium and some of the minerals from hard water. If you have “city water,” then, in most cases, the water has been softened, but not always. In addition, not all “city water” has been properly filtered. Rather, it could have added chlorine and fluoride in it.

Now that you know about the different water types, the next thing you need to do is decide exactly what is it you want to remove from the water. Do you want to remove visible particles, sediment, and other such items from the water? Does the water have an odor to it you want to eliminate? Does the water have a funny taste to it you want to correct?

It is also beneficial to ask your plumber to do a water test. The water test will show exactly what is in your water, so you can use this information to further refine your filtration system for your home.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis filtration systems filter out just about everything from the water by forcing the water through a semi-pervious membrane. This membrane has very minute openings only small enough for a water molecule to pass through, removing between 90 and 99 percent of sediment, minerals, fluoride, chlorine, and more from the water. This method of water filtration can also help address concerns over odors and taste.

Plumbing Repair

Selective/Substrate Filtration Systems

This type of water filtration uses different substrates/filters to target specific containments in the water. For instance, a layer of carbon is used to remove chlorine, heavy metals, and other organic chemicals from the water. Selective/substrate filtration systems can be customized to fit your specific needs while improving the overall quality of your water. This method will leave a certain amount of minerals in the water, but they tend to cost less compared to reverse osmosis systems.

In the end, it really comes down to your needs and what it is you want to be removed from your water. To learn more about the different filtration methods, or for assistance in selecting and installing a system for your home, contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

When to Tell Your Water Heater to Kick the Bucket!

You probably don’t think of your water heater on a daily basis, but it labors faithfully in the background, creating the steaming water that pours out of your tap for showers, laundry, dishes and more. It’s only when something goes wrong that the water heater intrudes into daily life, and at that point, you start wondering what the heck to do pretty quickly.

The main question is this: Can your water heater be repaired, or has it given up the ghost? Is it time to tell it to kick the bucket, or can you still salvage some meaningful years from this important investment?

These are good questions all. Before you set aside time and money to call in a plumber, therefore, it’s helpful to understand the issues at stake. What are the signs of trouble? What parts can be repaired, and what signals the end of the road? And lastly, what should you call in a plumber for?

Trouble in the Air

When your plumbing breaks down, it’s usually pretty obvious. A pool in the basement, a rumble or tick when there shouldn’t be one, or an icy shower at six a.m. are unpleasant wake-up calls that indicate something is wrong.

One of the main signs? If you notice the water heater leaking, which never happens when the appliance is shipshape. Another is when you simply can’t get hot water, when there isn’t nearly as much as there used to be, or when the water pressure drops significantly. If you notice any of these plumbing-related problems, it could be due to a number of factors. These include:

  • A burner or heating element fails
  • A loose drain valve, which is one of the most common causes of water heater leaking
  • A pipe or valve gets blocked by buildup or debris
  • The thermostat breaks
  • The pilot light on a gas heater goes out
  • A circuit trips
  • The thermocouple comes loose
  • The water heater simply outlives its useful life

This last occurrence cannot be overcome, and we will discuss that in later sections. First, though, which of these issues can be repaired so that you can hang on to your appliance for a bit longer?

Can It Be Repaired?

Luckily, it’s easy to replace or repair many of these parts. Valves, circuits, thermostats, thermocouples and other parts are typically quite inexpensive, ranging from $10 to $40 or so, or possibly a bit higher depending on the exact type of part you need. The water heater repair service cost to install parts, examine thermostats or relight pilots is also relatively inexpensive, usually ranging from $100 to $200 or so, depending on your individual water heater’s requirements.

If you want to avoid the occasional water leak or loss of hot water, one of the best ways to ensure this is by flushing the tank once a year to get accumulated sediment out of the system. When you do this, it’s less likely that a piece of sediment will break off and block a valve or pipe, which is one of the main reasons for a water leak. Plus, your water heater will work better, saving you money. You can do this during your water heater repair appointment, or during an annually scheduled maintenance call.

Water Heater Repair

Feel free to get in touch or request a quote for water heater service so you can get back to the life you’re used to living, hot showers and all. Of course, sometimes it’s not as easy as a repair. Sometimes, unfortunately, it’s just time to tell your water heater to take a hike.

Sorry … That Water Heater’s Done!

Conventional water heaters have a lifespan ranging between 10 and 13 years or so. If you experience a problem after or around that time, you can try to repair it, but it’s more than likely you’re going to need to call a plumber and get a replacement.

Even if your heater could theoretically be repaired, it’s sometimes necessary to replace it anyway to ensure it matches building codes specifying everything from the size of the vent system to the types of drain pipes to the water heater mount. Your plumber can walk you through these issues to help you make the best decision. You will also need to settle on many other choices as well, such as:

  • Will you get a conventional, tankless, heat pump or solar water heater?
  • What brand will you choose?
  • Do you want it to meet Energy Star efficiency standards, which can qualify for a federal tax credit?
  • How much are you able to pay?

Again, plumbing companies such as MET Plumbing can help walk you through these and other questions, so you can make the best possible decision about your new water heater. Feel free to give us a call today to learn more about your options and how we can help. Just pick up the phone and dial 281.599.3336 and we’ll set up an appointment for you right away so you can get back to the life you want to lead … hot showers and all.

The Many Benefits of Recycling and Refiltering Your Water

Most everyone today is familiar with the concept of recycling. Cans, bottles, plastic and other items are commonly recycled to preserve resources, cut manufacturing costs and protect the environment. But there is one resource that is not being recycled nearly as much as it could be, and that resource is water.

Water is wasted at an alarming rate each day in the U.S. and across the world. According to Columbia University’s Earth Institute, we only use 10% of our water for drinking and cooking, pouring the rest down the drain. Considering that one-fifth of the world does not have water that is safe to drink, and the fact that there are ongoing water shortages across the U.S., there has never been a more important time to save water.

Water recycling and refiltering are important steps on the road to sustainability, cost savings and environmental responsibility.

A Much Needed Solution – Water Recycling & Refiltering

The majority of the water discarded in homes – shower water, bath water, toilet water – is considered wastewater. For decades’ wastewater has been treated as the name implies, as waste to be thrown away as quickly as possible. But modern filtration and treatment technologies provide new ways of using wastewater to transform it into something useful. Instead of throwing out the majority of the water that comes through your home or business, you can turn wastewater into a usable resource.

While some industries use wastewater for things like irrigation and manufacturing, most households and smaller businesses do not recycle their wastewater, and thus miss out on both cost savings and a major opportunity for helping the environment.

The Benefits of Water Recycling & Refiltering

Recycling and refiltering water offers serious benefits for individuals, families, businesses and the environment. Some of the benefits include:

Cost Savings

While there are initial costs up front for installing water recycling systems and minor electric power requirements to operate these systems, the overall costs are less than the savings from using so much less water. Recycling your water means that a much greater percentage of the water you purchase goes to good use. You buy a lot less water when you recycle.

Beginning to recycle your water is also an investment for the future. Should a drought occur in your area, or water become more scarce for other reasons, it will become more expensive. The less water you use over the long term, the more money you will save.

Quality Control

The water that comes through your tap must meet minimum standards to ensure purity and quality, but you can usually make your water even better using high-quality filtration systems. When you install the right filtration systems, you can make sure that every bit of water you use meets your standards for health and safety.

Save Energy

A lot of energy is required to produce clean water and get it to your home. When you recycle your water, you cut down on your water use and therefore the energy necessary to produce more water for your needs. Some water recycling systems go even further to save energy, capturing the heat from your shower and sink water to be used in your home heating system.

Eco-Friendly

Humans are not the only creatures that need water to live. Every plant and animal, every ecosystem requires water to function in some capacity. As human populations have grown and our demand for water has increased, we have been using more and more of this life-giving resource. Not only do we use a large portion of the available freshwater, we discharge our wastewater back into the environment where it can cause considerable damage.

By recycling your water, you lessen your impact on the environment. You produce far less wastewater, and require much less fresh water because you use virtually every drop that comes through your home.

Water recycling helps the environment by:

  • Decreasing diversion of water from sensitive ecosystems
  • Decreasing discharge of contaminated wastewater to sensitive water bodies
  • Reducing the amount of pollution that is sent into the environment through contaminated wastewater
  • Reduce the need for excessive fertilizer use in agriculture

How is Water Recycled?

There are several ways to recycle water, ranging from extremely simple options to complex, multi-stage processes. For example, a basic way to recycle gray water would be to use a bucket to capture water from your shower to use later for watering the garden. A more advanced version would be installing a gray water collection system in your home that would capture the water, filter it and connect to your irrigation system to supply water to your landscape.

Some examples of water recycling include:

Gray Water for Irrigation

Gray water comes from showers and kitchen sinks. If you use soaps and cleaners that are designed for minimal environmental impact, you can use captured gray water directly as irrigation for lawns and gardens. It can be difficult to limit your soaps, detergents and cleaning products to those that can go directly on your plants, though. You can also install systems that will filter gray water before you use it for more control over what goes into your irrigation system.

Gray Water for Household Use

Gray water can also be used for things like flushing the toilet, cleaning the car or other cleaning tasks. The gray water just needs to be filtered sufficiently for whatever purpose it is to be used for.

Recycling Wastewater for Agricultural Use

Wastewater is recycled on a large scale for agricultural use, which involves filtering it to remove contaminants. As with other water recycling, the water is filtered based on how it will be used. Solids can be separated from wastewater for use as fertilizer as well.

Recycling Wastewater for Industrial Use

Some industries actively seek wastewater for industrial use and/or recycle the water they use. Typically, they will filter the water to a level of purity required for the specific application.

Advanced Treatment to Produce Drinking Water

While it is natural to have doubts about turning toilet water into drinking water, modern treatment systems are capable of producing water pure enough to exceed all water purity and safety standards. There are several different processes used on a large scale in San Diego, Singapore, Namibia and other parts of the world. In areas where water is scarce, it is increasingly common to see systems that take every drop of water used by people in the area and filter/treat that water for drinking and other uses.

Using wastewater as drinking water requires multi-step, complex filtration and treatment processes. There are several different systems in use that use different steps to produce water clean enough to drink. In general, the systems filter wastewater for contaminants, disinfect the water and use other methods to purify it to the point where it is of equal quality – or of higher quality – to regular drinking water in the area.

How Is Water Refiltered?

Water filtration involves pushing water through various filtration mediums to remove impurities. The tap water that comes through your faucet has already been filtered and treated before it gets to you, and you may put the tap water through another filter before you use it. When you are recycling your gray water, you must refilter it before you use it. Fortunately, modern filtration technology simplifies the recycling and refiltering process greatly.

Refiltering involves catching water as it is used, passing it through a filter and storing the filtered water or using it directly. The type of filter used will vary depending on what you want to do with the water you are recycling. Filtering water for use on the lawn requires simpler filtration systems than filtering water to be used for drinking, for instance.

Types of Water Recycling Systems for the Home

Gray water recycling has been popular in certain businesses for some time now, but it has only recently begun to catch on in the average home. New recycling systems are available that fit seamlessly into the modern home and are rarely noticed by the homeowner. They are easy to maintain, efficient and as time goes on they become more and more cost effective for most homeowners.

There are several different systems available, including:

  • Whole house systems – You can install a system that captures and filters all the gray water produced in your home, from every sink, shower and bathtub, then return the filtered water to your taps. Larger systems require more of an investment and a place to store the water, such as in an underground tank. However, once you have a whole house system installed, you may be able to reduce your water usage by around 50%.
  • Bathroom system– Smaller systems are available that capture the water from the bathroom sink and bath and return it the toilet for flushing. These systems are much less expensive than a whole house system, but they are still able to cut water consumption by up to 30%.
  • Bathroom system with heat capture– An upgraded bathroom system can also capture the heat from the water and return it to your home heating system.

Lessening Your Environmental Impact Through Conscientious Plumbing Services

Installing even a simple gray water recycling and filtration system means you will be reducing your water usage substantially. But there are more fixes you can make around your home that will help reduce your water usage that are often easy, but may be overlooked. Many times, homeowners do not realize that their plumbing systems are in need of maintenance and repair. You may have a water leak – or more than one – that over time leads to a great deal of wasted water.

Everything from a leaking faucet to a water heater leaking can cause waste that is unnecessary. Fortunately, many of these problems are easy to fix. Kitchen faucet repair, water heater replacement (with a more energy efficient model), sink plumbing and other services are relatively affordable and can be done in a short period of time.

At MET Plumbing, we can help you understand your water recycling and refiltration options, install a recycling system for you, and conduct a maintenance check on your plumbing system to ensure that no water is being wasted. We can make your home more efficient, environmentally friendly and affordable to live in.

Contact MET Plumbing for All Your Water Recycling Needs

As the best plumbing company in the Houston area, we are your resource for water recycling and refiltration. Please contact us today for a free consultation. We are happy to talk over the phone or meet with you to discuss water recycling for your home or your business. Our knowledgeable team can design a custom plan for your home and your specific water-saving goals.

We look forward to speaking with you!

 

Source

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/04/04/from-wastewater-to-drinking-water/

https://www3.epa.gov/region9/water/recycling/brochure.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jul/21/greywater-systems-can-they-really-reduce-your-bills

House Repiping? Benefits of Repiping Your Home

Benefits of Re-piping Your Home

Pipes, just like all other things, have a service lifespan. They are designed to serve for a given period of time, and overusing them only hurts you and the house. Regardless of the quality of your house or the strength of the materials that were used to build it, your plumbing system pipes will at one point need to be replaced. If you bought an old house, such as one that was built in the early 1900s, replacing its pipes is not an option but a compulsory task. Plumbing services are unique and diverse depending on what part of the house needs repair and the material that will be used to replace old pipes.

Due to the complexity and value that your house gets after re-piping is done, it is important to hire a very experienced plumbing repair company that will first conduct a thorough plumbing inspection before establishing which pipes need to be replaced– if not all.

The numerous benefits of re-piping include:

Good water pressure in all rooms in the house

Old and leaky pipes make the water pressure fall drastically, and so do clogged pipes. For people living in areas with salty water, clogging is a rampant occurrence. Very old, corroded pipes start leaking water if not replaced early enough. To avoid this, it is important to consult an affordable plumbing consultant to give you an estimate of how much it will cost you so you can continue to enjoy that wonderful shower every morning.

Constant supply of clean water

One of the dangers of old pipes is rust because, when rust is consumed, it causes health complications. Some lead pipes used in the early 1990s release small particles of the metal in water. Lead is known as one of the most dangerous elements if consumed by human beings. Replacing such old lead and rusty pipes gives you an assurance that the water you drink or cook with is safe for your health.

Re-piping improves the value of your home

Consulting residential plumbing experts to fix all your water and gas pipes gives you a comfortable home for as long as you live there. It also adds great value to your house. You will never have some mildew growing out of your basement just because the water leaked. And, if you ever decide to sell the house, the good water pressure will be a good selling point.

Re-piping saves money that would have been used in maintenance

Leaky pipes force you to keep contacting the best plumbing companies for repairs. If this is a repeated pattern, a lot of money goes to maintenance of these pipes every year or month. Replacing all those pipes with new ones is the best course of action in this case. It reduces the insurance rates since the claims will go down as well.

Improves the general quality of life for the occupants

Living in a house that has leaking pipes, low water pressure, and even colored water from the taps that tastes awful is not a pleasant thing. In most cases, you will be forced to wake up very early so that you can shower before the rest of the house occupants start their showers lest you be late for work. You will end up buying water to drink or treating the water at your house. The leaks can also cause mold growth, which can lead to allergic reactions. With re-piping, all these problems are solved and your home becomes the resort it should always be.

Among the plumbing services that allow you to enjoy the said benefits include:

  1. Bathroom plumbingThe problem of low pressure could be due to a localized problem in the bathroom. With proper inspection, the problem can be identified and rectified individually.
  2. Toilet, shower and tub repairs: If the pipes in your house are not very old and the problem is narrowed down to either some toilet or shower pipe malfunction, then only those specific pipes should be replaced. This is efficiently done with the help of a residential plumbing
  3. Gas pipe repairs: A gas leak is one of the most dangerous forms of leaks. Your water pipes could all be intact, but the gas pipes would need to be replaced. For gas leaks, it is important to have the contacts of a 24 hour plumbing service expert in your home to tackle the leakages as soon as they are identified.

24 hours plumbing services

  1. Kitchen re-piping:The problems with poor water pressure or water having a bad taste can be the result of the kitchen plumbing system being clogged by kitchen waste as well as by pipes being too old and rusty. Some people replace these pipes in bits. It is, therefore, important to find out if your problems originate from the kitchen and solve them from there.

Remember to contact MET Plumbing at (218) 599-3336 to help re-pipe your home and to come help you clean the drains and inspect your dishwasher hookups so that you can fully enjoy the benefits that come with re-piping.

Source

  1. http://www.americashloans.com/blog/six-renovation-hacks-will-boost-your-home%E2%80%99s-value
  2. http://www.ineed2know.org/repiping.htm
  3. http://met-plumbing.com/houston-plumber/whole-house-repiping/
  4. https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/do-you-need-replace-your-plumbing/