Plumbing Maintenance for Spring

As the weather warms up in Erie CO, and more time is spent outdoors, now is the best time to perform plumbing maintenance and inspections that you have been putting off all winter. Think of it as a part of your spring maintenance.

These maintenance tasks will protect your home against plumbing problems and ruin the sunny days to come. Plus, performing thorough tests shouldn’t take too much of your time.

Consider these plumbing maintenance tips to help you get your home ready for spring.

Inspect for leaks

Check the sinks in the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen for drips and leaks. You may also want to look around toilets, drains, showers and bathtubs. If left unaddressed, this may lead to water damage and costly repairs. Call a plumber if you notice visible leaks or any damp spots.

Check sump pump

As the days warm up and the threat of winter snowfalls turns to spring showers, your plumbing system is yet to face another set of challenges – snow and heavy rains. Because of these, the threat of basement flooding increases.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to test your sump pump before the spring thaw to make sure that it is primed and ready for some hard work.

Check outdoors

While performing your spring plumbing checks, you may also want to take the time and effort to check the areas surrounding your home.

Check your outdoor pipes and faucets. Turn on the faucet to confirm that water can freely flow from them. Also, make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of leaves and other debris.

Drain water heater

Minerals like calcium and magnesium can build up on your water heater over time. This can cause corrosion inside the tank and reduces the heating effectiveness of your water heater. Worse, it may even shorten the lifespan of your water heater. The good news is that you may be able to restore at least some of its vigor by draining your water heater.

Spring is a great time to drain and flush your water heater.  This helps gets rid of the sediment from the tank that can cause it to work harder and cost more to use.

If you’re experiencing plumbing problems or you’re worried that you won’t be able to perform spring maintenance on your own, please do not hesitate to call Paradigm Plumbing.

Tips to Keep Your Home’s Plumbing in Good Condition

The plumbing system is one of the most important and frequently used systems in your Boulder home. We use it for doing laundry, washing dishes, taking a shower and using the toilet. As a Boulder homeowner, it is your responsibility to look after your plumbing system and keep in top shape.

Here’s what you need to do to keep your Boulder home’s plumbing in good condition.

Repair problems early

Sudden increase in your water bill, slow drain, damp cabinets and leaking faucets are just some of the most common signs of impending plumbing failures. Little problems can eventually lead to a costly plumbing disaster. Keep an eye out for trouble and stay on top of plumbing issues to help keep your plumbing dry and happy.

Keep an eye on your drains

Small bits and pieces of food, hair and other materials may seem harmless, especially if they fall down the drain in small quantities, but they can add up and eventually cause blockage. A simple drain screen will catch them and prevent these foreign materials from going down the drain.

Pay attention to your drains and address the problem as quickly as possible. Don’t ignore a suspected blocked drain. Otherwise, it may lead to expensive repairs and replacements.

Prevent frozen pipes

When outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, the water inside the pipes can freeze. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on your pipes and may cause it burst later on. Being prepared and informed may help you avoid the consequences brought about by frozen pipes.

Frozen pipes are inconvenient and costly to repair. To relieve built-up water pressure in the pipes, let both hot and cold water faucets drip. Also, consider wrapping pipes in the attic, basement, crawlspace and exterior walls with foam insulation.

Take it easy on the garbage disposal

Garbage disposal is an essential part of our everyday life. It makes it easier for us to dispose of leftover food. Unfortunately, it is one of the most abused appliances in the kitchen. Treat your garbage disposal well and it will keep working smoothly for several years.

Avoid dumping fibrous foods such as potato peels, corn husks, celery, broccoli and banana skins. These things can tangle and stop the blades of your garbage disposal. Also, avoid pouring fat, oil and grease down the drain as they can clog the drain and create leaks and back-ups. These simple precautions can extend the life of your garbage disposal.

Tips to Avoid a Plumbing Disaster This Thanksgiving

thanksgivingplumbingThanksgiving is usually synonymous with family gatherings, feasts of epic proportions and of course, fun. But with a major meal being prepared and all your relatives in the house, this holiday can be stressful for Erie household drains. In fact, the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for Erie plumbers all over the country.

Here are some helpful suggestions to avoid a plumbing disaster this thanksgiving.

Take care of minor clogs

Unless your plumbing is bad shape, your pipes won’t get clogged in one day. Plumbing problems usually build up over a period of weeks. The added stress on thanksgiving only makes the situation worse. If you have a problematic drain, we recommend that you call a plumber and take care of the issue before Thanksgiving or before your guests arrive.

Don’t throw grease down the drain

We all know the consequences of throwing grease and fat down the drain. But for harried cooks who need to prepare several dishes within the day, the easiest way to get rid of fat is down the drain. But if you do, you may have to spend the day after Thanksgiving stressing over a clogged kitchen sink rather than Black Friday shopping.

Fats, grease and cooking oil can congeal and solidify in your pipes, causing it to clog. When disposing fats and grease, place it in a plastic bottle and then dispose of it in the trash can. We also recommend wiping off greasy pans and plates before putting them in the sink.

Use the garbage disposal wisely

It can be tempting to send large pieces of food down the garbage disposal. Keep in mind, though, that overloading the garbage disposal can lead to serious plumbing problems.

Given that there will be large amounts of waste and food peelings, it is best to put them in the trash can. Avoid throwing potato peels, cranberry sauce, bits of turkey fat, bones and gravy down the drain.

Don’t treat the toilet bowl like a trash can

With a wide mouth and a relatively powerful drainage, a lot of people are tempted to throw things like tampons, cigarette butts, condoms, medications and others down the toilet. Remember, anything that is not created by your body should not be flushed in the toilet. You have your trash can for that.

Wait in between showers

If you are planning to have the whole family to stay in your house over the holiday, advice guests to wait 10 minutes between showers to give drains time to clear. It is also a good idea to put drain strainers to keep hair and small items from slipping down the drain.

Tips to Make Your Water Heater Last Longer

Tips to make your water heater last longerWater heaters play an important role in our everyday lives. Without hot water, you’ll be forced to use cold water for bathing, washing clothes and washing dishes. However, a lot of Longmont homeowners don’t give their water heater much thought until something goes wrong.

As with most appliances, it is important to maintain this appliance to keep it in top shape. Although water heaters usually last for 8 to 12 years, proper maintenance can extend the life of your unit.

Here are some tips to keep it running efficiently and last for a very long time.

Flush it

Your Longmont water heater collects sediments with regular use. These sediments settle at the bottom of the tank and build-up over time. This may cause rust to develop inside the tank, which will decrease the efficiency of your water heater.

Flushing sediments from the tank should be done annually. This simple task will not only help eliminate dangerous sediments; it will also increase your water heater’s efficiency and longevity.

Reduce heating load

Water heaters are usually set to operate at 140 degrees. This setting will put a strain on your water heater and may run the risk of scalding you or someone in your family. As such, we recommend that you set the temperature at 120 degrees.

A water heater set at 120 degrees will cost less to operate. Plus, it will help reduce the amount of calcium carbonate sediment to precipitate and sink to the bottom of your tank.

Keep the area around the unit clear

Considering that most water heaters operate at 140 degrees, it can get very hot. As such, it is important to keep the area around the unit free of clutter. Leaving things such as paint thinner, gasoline, or anything with flammable vapors near a gas water heater can be a fire hazard.

 

Signs It’s Time to Call a Plumber

Signs it Time to Call a Plumber Even if you are skilled at home repairs, you shouldn’t lull yourself into believing that you won’t need the services of a Erie plumber. There are plumbing problems that are ideal for the DIYers, but there are others that are too big to tackle on your own. In this case, hiring a professional is your best option.

Save yourself some time and trouble. Call a Erie plumber as soon as possible if you experience any of these problems.

Frozen or burst pipes

Frozen or burst pipes are considered as plumbing emergencies. That said, you need to call the Erie plumber as soon as possible. But before you do that, make sure that you shut off the main water valve first to prevent further damage.

Water heater problems

Since water heaters use electricity or gas, we recommend that you call a plumber when you need to have your water heater repaired or replaced. Trying to replace a gas water heater without experience or proper guidance is more likely to blow up the house than fix it. Pick up the phone and let a certified plumber take care of the job for you.

Leaky pipes

DIYers would use a rubber sheet, compression clam and a leak tape when they notice a puddle under a pipe. Others would head to the local hardware store to get some fitting compounds and commercial joint filers to keep the water from spraying. While these things can help, they are only temporary solutions. The best way to address the problem is to replace a length of pipe or its fittings. This task is best to be left in the hands of a professional.

You have no water

You’re supposed to wash the dishes, but you don’t get anything beyond a drip. The first thing you need to do is to call the neighbors. Find out whether or not they have water. If they do have water, this could be a sign that something has gone terribly wrong. Backups, major leaks and frozen pipes are possible causes. Call an Erie plumber immediately to help you determine the source of the problem and fix it as well.

Clever Ways to Reduce Your Water Bill This Summer

waterBillThe average American household consumes about 300 gallons of water per day in Boulder County. This usually doubles or even quadruples when the hot sun blazes. People would shower more and change their clothes a few times. Some would even fill their bath tubs to combat the heat. As a result, you get a water bill that is significantly higher than usual.

Reducing your water bill doesn’t require sacrificing your sanity or spending money on green power gadgets.  Here are some clever ways to reduce your water bill this summer in Boulder County.

Water the lawn efficiently

The best time to water the lawn is in the morning; preferably between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. Much of the water can be lost to wind and evaporation on a hot afternoon. Meanwhile, watering at night invites fungus and mildew. Save time and money by watering the right way.

Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge

Cold water quenches your thirst better than tap water. This is especially true during the summer. Instead of running your tap until the water gets cold, consider storing cold water in the fridge.

Replace shower head

When we shower, we consume around 5 to 10 gallons of water per minute. When you take a 5-minute shower, you’ll use 25 to 50 gallons of water. Your water consumption will be reduced to 2.5 gallons per minute by switching to a low flow shower head. Once you make the switch, you’ll save as much as 37.5 gallons of water every time you take a short shower.

Run the dishwasher only when fully loaded

Contrary to popular belief, washing the dishes using the dishwasher requires less water as compared to hand washing them. High efficiency dishwashers use as little as 6 gallons of water per cycle; while we usually end up using up to 27 gallons of water when hand washing dishes. This can be higher if you usually leave the water running as you wash.

Want to save even more? Never ever run a half load. Whether you run it a partial load or a full load, you’ll still be using the same amount of water.

 

Common Plumbing Emergencies

paradigmYour plumbing is one of the most important systems in your home. Plumbing is needed in many aspects of your home such as cooking, washing dishes, taking showers, flushing the toilet and a lot more. Sadly, a lot of homeowners don’t give their plumbing system much thought until a problem arises.

If you’ve ever had a plumbing emergency before, then you know how important it is to handle the problem fast. Call a certified Firestone plumber immediately if you experience any of these plumbing problems.

Leaky or burst pipes in Firestone, CO

Burst pipes can cause extensive damage to your home and personal belongings as well. If not addressed immediately, this may also encourage mold growth. To prevent this from happening, it is important to address leaks while they’re small. Don’t wait for the problem to worsen before calling a plumber. Also, drain the pipes in winter to prevent water from freezing during the winter, which leads to burst pipes.

In this case, the most important thing you need to do is to shut the water off. Find your shut off valve and turn off your main water supply.

Firestone sewer system backup

This is probably the worst plumbing problem one could ever face. Just imagine the horror of sewage water pooling inside your house, along with the nasty smell that comes with it. Disgusting! This will not only lead to expensive repair, it can also cause health hazards. Because of this, be sure to vacate the affected areas immediately.

Clogged toilets

You’re still pulling your pants up when you realized that the water is rising closer and closer to the rim. Your toilet is clogged, now what? I know it’s difficult, but try not to panic. What you need to do is to stop the water from going into the bowl. Turn off the water using the valve behind the base of the toilet. Another way is to make sure that the rubber flapper is in place. Take off the lid of the tank. Reach in and push the flapper back into place. Now, you can call a plumber to address the problem.

Clogged drains

Clogged or backed up drain is one of the most common problems homeowners face. This is often the result of flushing large items down the drain. The good news is that, it can easily be avoided by being careful about the things you put down the drain.

Spring Plumbing Tips

plumbingspring_3.8

Plumbing problems in Longmont, CO are one of homeowner’s biggest nightmares. Unfortunately, they seem to rear their sludgy heads during the spring months. Plumbing problems that went unnoticed during the cold, winter months suddenly become evident as all the snow finally melts.

Now that spring has sprung, it is time to get ready for the warmer weather. Keep your plumbing humming all year with these tips. By following these tips, you’ll have much more time enjoying the beautiful weather in Longmont.

Check for leaks

Spotting a leak early can help you save thousands of dollars on plumbing repairs. Not only that, it can also help you save money on your utility bill.

A leaky faucet can waste as much as 5 gallons of water a day. Check your faucets, toilets and shower heads for leaks. Make sure to have it fixed before it turns into a major plumbing issue.

Check your sump pump

Flooding in Longmont, CO is common during this time of the year as a result of melting snow and warm rains. We hate to see your basement get flooded because of this.

If you haven’t checked your sump pump in a while, you might want to do so now. Pour a bucket of water into the basin of your sump pump to see if it is working properly. Your sump pump should turn on, start pumping out water and then shut off on its own.

Check pipes for leaks

The winter months can take a heavy toll on your pipes. Some pipes freeze and crack during the winter, and homeowners only find out about it in spring.

Check exposed pipes in the basement and under the sinks for signs of leaks. If there’s a leak somewhere in the pipes, then a good amount of water is wasted. Replace damaged pipes to avoid expensive water damage.

Biggest Threats to Your Plumbing System

Drain in a bathroom. drain plugThe plumbing system is considered as one of the most integral systems in your home. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most overlooked. Lack of maintenance can cause damage to your plumbing system and an inconvenient interruption to your daily life.

The best way to avoid a plumbing emergency in Erie, CO is to identify potential risks and then take measures to prevent them. Keep reading to learn more about the biggest threats that can wreck your plumbing system.

Tree roots

Your water line plays an important part in your enjoyment of modern day conveniences. It is the source of all fresh water that you use in your home on a daily basis.  The problem is that tree roots penetrate the water line and wrap around the pipes when they grow; thereby, causing your pipes to burst.

To prevent lasting damage in Erie, CO, it is important to have your water line inspected annually. If the tree roots are obstructing the flow of water into your home, then you should have them removed.

Hard water

Hard water in Erie contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals, particularly magnesium and calcium. These minerals can build up over time, creating limescale. This can wreak havoc all over your plumbing system. If allowed to build up for too long, it becomes large enough that it restricts the flow of water through the pipe, reducing water pressure.

Mineral build up can also cause your pipes to rust. The pipes may look fine on the outside, but the inside may be rotting away in a mass of rust.

Grease

Pouring grease down the drain is a classic plumbing error that will come back to haunt you when the drain gets clogged. Grease may be liquid when you pour it down the drain, but it will eventually harden when it cools down. This creates a really nasty mess that can lead to a blockage.

How to Detect Water Leak in Your Home

Paradigm_2.16

The problem with small leaks isn’t just about the annoying sound that keeps you awake at night. The problem is that they tend to turn into a bigger, more complicated problems in your Firestone home without you even knowing it.

A water leak can be very costly. Not only will it result to a lot of water waste, it can also cause a significant amount of damage to your home; thus, leaving you with a hefty repair bill on hand.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to detect leaks early.  Here’s how to trace a water leak in your house.

Check your water meter

This is one of the easiest ways to check if a leak is present in some areas of your Firestone plumbing. Start by turning off all the faucets in your home. Make sure the washing machine and dishwasher are not running. After you’ve done that, check your meter. If it does change despite the water being turned off, then that’s a clear sign that you have a leak. If it doesn’t change, check back again after a couple of hours to make sure you don’t have a slow leak.

Check the pipes

A lot of homeowners do not check their pipes, until they notice a puddle of water appears. Take a quick look at any visible pipes in your Firestone, CO house. If you notice drops of water, buckling or rusting, you know something is wrong.

Check the toilet

Remove the cover of the toilet tank and add a few drops of food coloring. Wait for about 15 to 30 minutes. You know there’s a leak if you see colored water on the bowl.

Another way to check is to listen for leaks. Open the toilet tank and listen very carefully. If you hear the sound of running water, then it’s positive. You have a leak in your toilet. Try to locate where the sound is coming from. This is likely where the leak is coming from.