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

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

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

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

Fix Your Water Heater

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

Problem 1: Not Enough Hot Water

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

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

Problem 2: The Water Is Too Hot

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

Problem 3: The Water Is Cold

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

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

Water Heater Installation

Problem 4: The Water Smells or Is Discolored

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

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

5 Struggles for Texans During the Summer Heat

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

fry an egg

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

Exhausted runner

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

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

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

Summertime Perfect for Cost-Saving Plumbers’ Projects

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

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

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

Why Summertime Is the Right Time

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

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

Six Summertime Plumbing Projects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Choosing the Right Plumber

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

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

summertime home repair and maintenance projects

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

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

Sources

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

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

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

Stop a Leaking Faucet

What Causes a Faucet to Drip?

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

Finding the Source of the Leak

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

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

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

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

Faucet Repair

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

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

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

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

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

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

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

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Replace Traditional Water Heaters with Tankless Models

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

Maximize Your Dishwasher

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

Store Cold Drinking Water in the Refrigerator

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

Switch to Low Flow Faucets and Fixtures

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

Install Aerators on Faucets

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

Cool Off with Showers Rather Than Baths

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

Reuse Graywater

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

Cooling Off Outdoors

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

Swimming Pool Maintenance

Swimming Pool Maintenance

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

Watering Grass, Plants, and Shrubs

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

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