Four Plumbing Resolutions for the New Year

It’s hard to believe 2017 is gone and 2018 is here. 2017 seemed to fly right on by, and you may have fallen short on your prior year’s resolutions. As you reflect and look ahead to 2018, adding some plumbing resolutions to your list is a great way to start the New Year off.

  1. Give your hot water heater some TLC.

Your hot water heater provides hot water when you take a shower, do dishes, and do laundry. If you have a tank-style water heater, sediment can build up in the bottom of the tank. It is a good idea to have your hot water heater inspected, cleaned, and flushed by a professional plumber.

If your water heater is more than five years old, it could be the right time to upgrade to tankless water heaters, which are much more energy efficient. In addition, a new tankless heater can help reduce your energy bills.

  • TIP: If you opt to keep your tank-based water heater, have it wrapped in a special insulating blanket. This blanket helps slow heat loss from the water heater and how often the heater runs to maintain the desired water temperature inside the tank.
  1. Take care of any water leaks, dripping faucets, and slow-draining drains.

If you notice water under your crawl space or in your basement, it often indicates a water leak. Ignoring leaks will not make them go away and can lead to more costly repairs. It is better to have a plumber check for leaks and fix them before they damage the interior structures of your home.

Dripping faucets waste water and indicate a problem with the fixture. Have the existing fixture replaced with a new water-saving one. Not only will the leak be fixed, but you will also notice a reduction in your water bills.

Slow-draining drains indicate a problem with a blockage in the pipes. If you choose to wait until it becomes a clog, it can create a bigger mess in your home. You won’t be able to use your sink, tub, shower, or toilet until you have the clog removed.

  1. Upgrade your toilet with low flush toilet.

You can convert your existing toilet into a low flush style by having the interior flushing components replaced. If the toilet is older, you may want to just upgrade to a new style that already includes these features. Using less water per flush cycle will help lower your water bills.

  1. Have the drain pipe on your AC unit

Most central air conditioning units have a drain pipe where the condensation from inside the unit drains away. This drainage pipe can get clogged with dirt and debris. It is a good idea to have it professionally cleaned once a year.

  • TIP: Remember to also schedule an annual AC and heating system tune-up at the same time, to ensure your AC and heating unit are operating optimally.

To schedule service for any of the above plumbing resolutions or AC tune-up service for your Houston area home, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

Is Your Toilet Running? Here’s What We Suggest

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

test toilet for leak

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

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

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

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

Plumbing Companies Can Resolve Your Toilet Trouble

common causes toilet leaks

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

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

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

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

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.

Vinegar: The Magical Drain Cleaner

It’s not always feasible to call a plumber for a clogged drain, and although there are a variety of drain-cleaning products on the market, some chemicals can be harsh on your pipes. Fortunately, there’s a DIY option that most homeowners already have on hand: plain vinegar.

drain cleaner

Whether it’s a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or shower drain that’s giving you trouble, the acidic nature of vinegar—especially when combined with baking soda for a foaming reaction—packs a powerful punch. Not only can the baking soda and vinegar combination break down clogs, but according to Heinz spokesperson Michael Mullen, a 5% solution of vinegar can kill up to 99% of bacteria.1 This makes vinegar a natural deodorizer!

To clean a drain with vinegar and baking soda, try the following2:

  1. Pour approximately ¾ to 1 cup of baking soda into the drain. You may need to push some of the powder into the drain manually.
  2. Next, pour ½ cup of vinegar into the drain. To keep the reaction from foaming out of the drain, cover it immediately (a small plate is fine for this purpose).
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for one half hour (without using the sink).
  4. When finished, uncover the drain and turn on the hot water. The heat and pressure should help push everything through.
  5. Repeat as necessary for especially difficult clogs.

By keeping a bottle of vinegar and a box of baking soda on hand, you can easily unclog, sanitize, and deodorize your drains on a regular basis without fear of damage.

Sources:

http://www.frugalfun.com/vinegar.html

http://tidymom.net/2011/unclog-drain-with-baking-soda/