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.