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

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

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

Plumbing Problems

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water Pipes Groaning Noise

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

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

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

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!

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!

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!

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/

To Flush or Not to Flush? That Is the Question…

Our toilets can sometimes seem like magic. You turn the flush handle, the bowl fills up and whatever is inside disappears down into the sewer. But being careless about what you send down can have serious ramifications. A clogged toilet, a call to the plumber, and not to mention damage to the city’s water treatment system and the environment, are all possible outcomes.

flushing-medicationThe answer to the question of what can be flushed is very simple: human waste and toilet paper. Anything other than that should be disposed of in a trash receptacle. Here’s a list of some common and uncommonly flushed items that should NEVER be sent down the toilet.

  1. Wipes: Pre-moistened baby wipes and adult wipes may seem like good candidates for flushing, but they don’t break apart like toilet paper. This can lead to clogging and damage to sewer systems.
  2. Medication: Flushing medication may seem like a good way to get rid of it, but filtration and water treatment systems don’t always remove them, leaving them to affect water supplies and harm wildlife.
  3. Feminine Products: Tampons and pads are designed to absorb moisture, meaning they can expand and cause massive blockages in your plumbing. Make sure to throw them away.
  4. Cat Litter: This one might make sense, because it’s waste, but the particles in kitty litter are designed to suck in moisture and clump together, a perfect recipe for a clog.
  5. A Snake: Hard as it may be to believe, an Australian man was surprised one day to find a python nearly ten feet in length in his toilet! This should go without saying, but snakes or other live animals should never be flushed!

 Of course, should any clogs arise, don’t hesitate to call MET Plumbing! You’ll be glad we met!

How to Tell You’re Ready for a New Toilet

Your toilet is one of the most critical installments in your home, and having one in disrepair can be very distressing. Knowing when it’s time to call a plumber and replace it doesn’t have to be a mystery, though. There are a few things to look out for to clue you in on when it’s time to upgrade your throne.

toilet-replacement

The most obvious sign is damage to the toilet itself. Are there any cracks in the bowl or tank? Even a tiny crack will eventually get larger, leading to serious water leaks and potential damage to your floors. An investment in a toilet replacement today will pay dividends when it saves you from more expensive repairs down the line.

Another easy tell is age. An older toilet, even an older low flow toilet, will use much more water than a modern toilet. Your bathroom uses the most water of any room in the house, and your toilet is responsible for much of that. Switching to a newer, more efficient toilet will pay for itself in the long run.

More subtle signs can let you know when it’s time to make a change. Do you spend a lot of time on maintaining your toilet? Do you find yourself unclogging it every week, or needing to make multiple flushes after each use? Is it always running, making hissing and trickling noises, or leaking from the bottom? These are signs of worn out components. This might be as simple a fix as replacing the specific parts, but costs can quickly add up, and upgrading to a newer toilet might be your best option.

Creepy Crawling Creatures That Can Crawl Up Your Toilet!

For most of us, the thought of skittering creatures being anywhere near our bums is pure nightmare fuel. If you’ve spent time browsing the internet, chances are you’ve seen some terrifying pictures of toilets containing uncomfortably large spiders and other unwelcome hangers-on.

Plumbing

Unfortunately, it’s not all urban legends and internet memes. The following are a few examples of real pests that can actually show up in your toilet.

Drain Flies

One of the most common bathroom drain pests is the aptly-named “drain fly,” which reproduces in stagnant water. To get rid of them, clean the toilet thoroughly, snake out any grime, and swat any remaining adults.

Rats

There have been numerous examples of rats getting into sewer pipes and escaping through a toilet. Unbeknownst to many people, rats are excellent swimmers, capable of making their way up full drains rather quickly.

Frogs

As amphibians, frogs are naturally adept at swimming. Of course, toilet drains aren’t their ideal environment. According to the Tampa Bay Times, toilet frog sightings can be prevented by putting a mesh screen over the toilet vent and leaving nearby house lights off at night.

Snakes

Just as a plumber can snake a drain, a real snake can do it, too. So long as the snake is able to get into an open sewer and swim comfortably through the system, it’s entirely plausible (though rare) to find one sitting in the bowl.

Want to know more about how to prevent and deal with unexpected toilet critters? The experts at Met Plumbing can help! Call us at (281) 599-3336 to ask questions or make an appointment.

How to Prepare for Plumbing Emergencies

We’ve all been there. One day the plumbing works just fine and the next day it doesn’t. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent unnecessary maintenance on your plumbing. Keep this handy checklist around the house as a friendly reminder of what to avoid so you can save some money in your pocket.

Plumbing emergencies

  • Keep the garbage disposal free from large chunks of food and other debris. Run the disposal daily to keep the drain clear from food and water backups.
  • Do not pour grease down the drain; dispose of it in the trash bin instead.
  • Stay away from or minimize usage of “flushable” wet wipes. Contrary to popular belief, they are not very friendly to septic tanks.
  • Check the hose behind the washing machine for any kinks in the line and straighten if necessary. It’s also best to opt for the durable stainless braided hoses over cheaper rubber types if it’s time for a replacement hose.
  • Avoid drain cleaners with heavy toxic chemicals. They are bad for the environment and there are better ways to unclog a drain.
  • Unclog drains with a snake or plunger. Wire hangers can also be used for small or shallow clogs. Finish up with some good old fashioned salt and vinegar to cleanse the drainage pipe.
  • In colder climates during the winter, turn faucets on occasionally or let them drip a little while away for longer periods of time. This will help prevent frozen pipes and bursts.

 

When all else fails, give MET Plumbing a call for your plumbing emergencies at (281) 599-3336.