How old is your water heater?
It may be time to flush the sediment from your storage type water heater.
Sediment is sand, grit or mineral deposits that exist within your water system. Over time, your water heater can accumulate this sediment, reducing the amount of water it can hold. It also reduces the efficiency of the unit, and can create a variety of noises.
Here are the steps to take for cleaning out the sediment:
Whether your water heater is gas or electric, turn off the system before working on it. For a gas heater, set the gas valve to pilot to prevent the burners from coming on. For an electric, turn off the circuit breakers.
Connect a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. Drain the water into a safe location, as the water can be scalding hot.
Close the shut off valve to the cold inlet. Open up the pressure relief valve located at the top of the tank.
Open the drain valve and allow the water to flow out through the garden hose. If the sediment clogs the drain valve, you may need to break up the hardened chunks. A long screw driver should do the trick.
When the water supply from the hose runs clear, you are finished.
While this process is fairly straight forward, it can be messy. Your experienced plumber can take over the job for you, giving you the freedom to do other things.
In 1995, the National Energy Policy Act mandated that all new toilets installed were required to use 1.6 gallons of water or less. As water efficiency and green initiatives continue to be a top concern for many, other plumbing fixtures have also been adapted to conserve water.
- The toilet continues to be at the top of the list for efficiency. Reducing a flush from as high as 7 gallons down to the 1.6 gallons of water can save thousands of gallons per year.
- Conventional water faucets increase water usage with the amount of pressure you desire. With new technology, you can now receive the same amount of water pressure, regardless of the amount of water used. Low flow faucet aerators can cut water usage from as much as 4 gallons per minute down to around 2 ½.
- Showerheads use similar aerator technology, and often have multiple flow settings, allowing you to control the amount of water used in each shower. A low flow shower head uses around 2 ½ gallons of water per minute, compared to up to 5 gallons per minute used by conventional shower heads.
The key to conserving is being aware of how much water you use, and controlling your usage as much as possible. A green plumber can help your home function at a much lower water rate. Call for your energy audit today.
For little items, you might not think twice about asking for a guarantee. But what about large items that have an impact on your life?
Like a backup in a sewer line.
Or a newly installed water heater.
In both of these cases, if the work isn’t done correctly, it can cause major damage to your home.
A reputable plumber will offer guarantees on all of his work.
When you call a plumber, ask for the guarantee.
- Does the company stand behind their work?
- What do they do if something isn’t corrected?
Know before you entrust a company to work on your plumbing needs.
[Quality 1st Plumbing stands behind all of its work. They’ll be there on time, or give you an instant $25 discount. And they’ll solve your problem, or there’s no charge (conditions apply).]
Whether you have a plumbing emergency, or are planning work sometime in the future, how do you know if you’re hiring a reputable plumbing service?
Head online and start searching.
Visit a potential plumbers’ website. Is it professional? Does it make you feel comfortable with hiring them?
From there, head into the search engines and type in your potential plumbers name. What kind of information comes up on other websites?
A company that offers quality service, and is well known in the industry will have information on a variety of sites.
If you’re in Colorado, chances are you’ve heard of Tom Martino’s troubleshooter website.
By looking up your potential plumbers name, you can find out if they’ve made Tom Martino’s referral list, and how people rate his services.
The more reviews, the more comfort you should be able to have with that particular company.
Whether you’ve been following our blog since the beginning, or just recently found us, we’re dedicated to helping you with all your plumbing needs.
Here’s a second look at some of our top blog posts:
Instead of just a quick cleaning, why not change the way your house looks, and also start conserving. This is the year of “going green”. Take a look at these plumbing tips, and get started today.
1. Start with the inside. Look for leaky faucets in the kitchen and bath. Whether you fix up and replace old parts in your existing fixtures, or head out to buy new ones, this is the easiest way to begin conserving water.
2. Evaluate your water heater. How old is it? How long since its been checked for cracks or leaks?
3. Replace old appliances with new energy efficient appliances. Washers and dishwashers use a large portion of a home’s water supply. Look for appliances with high energy efficient ratings.
4. Replace old toilets and showerheads with water conserving fixtures.
5. Then move to the outside. Test sprinkler systems for cracks and breaks.
6. If your home has large trees surrounding it, consider a sewer inspection. We’ve had very little snow/rain fall this year. Tree roots are vulnerable in these conditions, and may have moved over the past few months looking for a water supply. If they found your sewer or water pipes, fixing the problem now can save you a considerable amount of money down the road.
[For all of your spring cleaning needs, your local plumber can help you now before your small problems become big. We’re here to help, and look forward to working with you.]
Take a look at these 5 ways to evaluate a plumbing service before you hire them.
1. Know the job before you call. Sure, some jobs turn into much bigger problems than anticipated. But for the majority of calls, you should have some idea of what the problem is. Be honest and upfront with the plumber when you’re calling to ask for a quote. Give him an idea of how long the problem has been building up, what the cause is, and what the effects are.
2. Avoid emergencies. When you have an emergency, you may end up taking the first plumber that can make it to your home. With a little bit of anticipation and maintenance, you can avoid the big problems, and concentrate on keeping things running effectively. It’s much easier to find a qualified plumber for routine maintenance – one you can trust for his expertise and knowledge – than relying on the first one to answer the phone.
3. Think green. If you’re starting to change the way you live, and incorporating more green living tips into your life, think green when it comes to plumbing too. Maybe you’ve started using stainless steel water bottles, and microwaving in glass bowls instead of plastic. Now think about the chemicals you’re using to clear clogged drains. Your plumber can make suggestions to avoiding dangerous chemicals, and still leave your sinks running smoothly.
4. Plan and save. If you’re thinking of updating a bathroom, do your shopping and price comparisons before the date of the project. Choose your faucets, showerheads, and new toilets. A reputable plumber will be happy to install your purchases, and give you the added service of clearing and maintaining your drains and pipes while making the installations.
5. Spend five minutes doing research online. If a company is reputable, they will have a quality web presence. Look at their site and read through their pages. What associations do they belong to? What guarantees do they have? It’s easy to form an opinion about a company within just a few minutes. Trust your instincts, and do your research.
But as the weather continues to warm, and we go weeks without moisture, it may be time to head outside, and begin watering your landscaping.
Preventing damage and flooding in the spring actually requires winterization methods in the fall. During the warm months, the lawn sprinkler system is used regularly. Hoses remain attached to water spigot for ease of use.
If you don’t winterize the system and remove hoses, the water will remain in the system and can freeze, crack, or rupture the pipe walls. And if the water freezes in the backflow assembly, it can damage and can even crack the body of the internal components.
If any damage occurs during the winter months, it may not become apparent until the spring, when things began to thaw and you begin using your system for the first time of the season.
To winterize your system:
1. Turn off the irrigation water supply.
2. Open the manual drain valves and drain the mainline.
3. Drain the water still remaining between the irrigation water shut off valve and the backflow device.
If you didn’t properly drain the sprinkler system in the winter, and you notice cracks, drips or flooding when you turn everything on for the first time in the spring, it may be time to call in your plumber.
Your plumber can assess the complete damage, fix the problem areas, and provide advice for avoiding the same problems in the coming year.