Common Plumbing Problems in Winter

winterplumbingPlumbing problems are bound to happen any time of the year. But with the freezing temperature and snowfall brought about by the Colorado winter, there’s a higher chance of enduring plumbing problems in your Erie Home.

Here’s a list of some of the most common plumbing problems Erie homeowners face in winter, along with some suggestions on how to prevent them.

Water heater breakdown

During the winter months, when the temperature drops below zero, your Erie water heater has to work extra hard to meet the demands of your family. Considering that you use hot water for different activities throughout the day, don’t be surprised if you experience some problems with your water heater in winter time.

To avoid this inconvenience, we recommend that you have your water heater serviced before the cold weather kicks in. Flushing your water heater annually is an important task. It helps get rid of sediments and mineral deposits that accumulated at the bottom of your tank. Plus, it helps your water heater to function more efficiently.

Frozen pipes

Pipes are at risk of freezing when the weather gets extremely cold. Without immediate thawing, the pipes may burst eventually.

Keep your pipes protected and heated by installing insulation tubes. It is also a good idea to let water run through your tap constantly to prevent your pipes from freezing. Yes, this may increase your water bill, but it can save you from the hassle and expense of a frozen or burst pipe.

Water line break

Water inside the pipes will expand when subjected to extreme temperature. This can cause blockage in the pipes and may lead to a leak or break over time.

Prepare your outdoor plumbing for winter by draining all outdoor pipes, making sure it is clear of water. Also, detach the garden hose and store it inside the house. For added safety, we suggest that you shut off the valves as well. If done properly, this can prevent potential problems and costly repairs.

If you’re not comfortable handling these tasks on your own, please do not hesitate to call Paradigm Plumbing. Our friendly and reliable plumbers will be more than willing to help.

 

Signs Your Water Heater is About to Fail

Hot Water HeaterAs with most appliances, water heaters break down over time. A failing water heater is an inconvenience. Nothing is worse than hopping in the shower and realizing there’s no hot water.

A few telltale signs will tell you that your Erie water heater is about to fail. Here are a few things to watch out for.

You’ve sprung a leak

If you notice moisture or water around the Erie water heater, this may indicate the presence of a leak in the tank. This is may be a sign of an internal failure. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for a Erie leaking water heater. Turn off the gas to the unit or disconnect the electricity and call a plumber immediately to address the problem.

Unusual noises

There is nothing worse than a Erie water heater that whines, knocks, creaks, or bangs. This is mostly attributed to the sediments that settle on the bottom of your water heater tank.  In most cases, flushing the tank will help solve the problem. But if you still hear unusual noises after flushing, this may be a sign that the water heater has reached the end of its useful life.

Rusty water

You noticed rusty water coming out from the faucet. If it only comes from the hot side piping, then it means that the tank is starting to rust and corrode. Unfortunately, you can’t repair the tank once it starts to rust or corrode. That means water heater may be on its way out.

Your water heater is more than 10 years

Most Erie residential water heaters come with 5 to 10-year warranty. Whether you have an electric or gas water heater, we recommend replacing your water heater if it is more than 10 years old. You may not be experiencing problems now, but is likely to leak or fail to produce hot water in the near future. It may lead to a bigger problem if you wait too long.

No one enjoys taking a cold shower. You can avoid the damage and disruption of a failing water heater by getting a new before the cold weather kicks in.

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.

 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Water Heater

Things to Consider When Choosing a Water HeaterMost Firestone homeowners won’t start looking at water heaters unless their current one fails. Because no one wants to take a cold shower, they are often in a hurry to get a replacement in the soonest possible time. Some would just settle for anything that is available in the store.

In order to help you make an informed decision, it is best to do some research before you are faced with an emergency purchase. If the time has come for you to buy a new Firestone water heater, then we urge you to read this blog post before you head out and buy a new one.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a new water heater.

Type of water heater

Storage tank water heater

If you use a lot of hot water and need an immediate replacement, then this one’s for you. Conventional storage water heater offers a ready reservoir – from 20 to 80 gallons of hot water.

Tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters heat the water directly without the use of a storage tank. The unit only heats water as you use it. This means you’ll never run out of hot water, but you may have to wait for a few seconds before hot water comes out.

Heat pump water heater

If you are looking for something that is less expensive to operate, then this would be a great option. This type of water heater works by pulling heat from the environment and then pumping it into the tank. If you decide to install it in a hot garage or attic, it will suck out some of the heat. The conventional coils will function only when the heat pump can’t satisfy the demand.

Gas or electric

Electric water heater uses electric resistance recoils to heat water, while a gas water heater uses the heat from burning fuel. About 40% of homes in the United States uses electric water heater, while 60% are gas-fired.

Energy efficiency

Heating water accounts to approximately 15% of a home’s energy use. With the rising cost of energy, homeowners are looking for ways to save money.

Among the water heaters on the list, heat pump water heater is has the lowest operating cost. In fact, they can be 2 to 3 times more energy efficient than conventional water heaters. Since tankless water heater only heats water at the time it is being used, it is also more energy efficient than traditional ones.

Money-Saving Plumbing Tips

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Plumbing is a major cost to homeowners. Knowing how to maintain your plumbing and keep your disposals and drains in good shape can help prevent the need for costly repairs.

To save you money, time and headaches down the road, we have listed some tips to protect your home against plumbing problems.

Fix leaks

People assume that little drips are not that big of a deal. As a result, they just ignore it until it gets worse. A leaky faucet will not only keep you up at night, it also wastes gallons of water in a matter of minutes. A slow, steady drip can waste as much as 50 gallons of water a day. Call a plumber immediately to save money and water.

Check toilet for hidden leaks

To check for leaks, add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank. Don’t flush it. Come back after 15 to 30 minutes. You know there’s a leak if the color appears in the bowl. Address this problem by replacing worn components in your toilet tank. It’s an easy and inexpensive fix.

Lower the temperature of your water heater

Your water heater accounts for more than 17% of your energy consumption. Don’t let your water heater drain away your savings. Save money by lowering your water heater’s temperature setting to 120 degrees. This simple step will you save 4% of your energy bill. Plus, it can prevent you from scalding yourself in the shower.

Perform regular maintenance

A plumbing system that works well will not only save you money on your utility bill, it will also save you from unnecessary costs from damages. Your home’s plumbing can become a real money-eater when not properly maintained and cared for. Take care of your home plumbing by doing a little maintenance.

Send some ice down the garbage disposal to clean out any grease that may have accumulated inside. Keep an eye out for any potential leaks. Be sure to address it sooner rather than later. Lastly, know where your shut off valve is. Make sure that it’s free from corrosion and damage. Also, test the shut off valve to make sure it functions correctly in the event that you need to shut off the water in your home.

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Importance of Flushing Your Water Heater

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Water heater manufacturers recommend flushing your water heater at least once a year. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t even bother to maintain their water heater and decide to skip this step altogether. They would take it for granted until it stops working or end up with a cold shower.

Here are some reasons why you should flush your water heater.

Extend the life of your water heater

Over time, small bits of rock, dirt, minerals and other debris can work its way into your water heater. As a result, your water heater works harder and takes more time to heat the water. Eventually, your tank may rust and slowly be eaten away until you have no choice but to replace it.

Flushing your water heater can help the unit last longer by flushing out debris that can cause it to malfunction. Compared to the cost of new water heaters, routine flushing is a bargain.

Prevent sediment buildup

Every year, thousands of gallons of water enter your water heater. As water is pumped into the tank, tiny amounts of sediments, dirt and minerals such as lime and calcium settles at the bottom.

While small accumulations of sediments are not considered a serious problem, too much of it could impede your heater’s performance. Flushing helps control sediment buildup and keeps it running efficiently.

It is important to flush your water heater regularly before it can do any harm to your water heater. Sediment build up can clog the drain valve and potentially decrease the amount of hot water the tank can hold.

Reduce noise

You’re about to fall asleep and you suddenly hear some bubbling, crackling or popping sounds. It’s late at night and you’re wondering where the noise is coming from. The culprit is your water heater. If you hear these sounds, we bet you haven’t flushed the heater before. If you want the noise to go away, your best move is to flush your water heater.

 

Erie, Boulder, Louisville, Longmont, Lafayette, Firestone, Colorado Plumbers

Easy Ways to Winterize Your Erie, Colorado Home

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It’s never too early to prepare your home for winter. Make your home feel warmer without turning up the heat. Follow these tips to help you save money and make sure that you still have money left in your pocket for holiday shopping.

Change furnace filters

Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. It is important to clean or replace your furnace filters every month. Many of us tend to forget about this very important step, so be sure to mark a monthly check on your calendar. You can also use a permanent furnace filter to keep your air clean without the hassle.

Caulk any gaps

You want to make sure that your windows and doors are airtight during the winter. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting money and your home won’t be as warm and comfortable.

Windows are one of the major ways heat leaks out of your house. About 30% of your home’s heat escapes through holes or cracks around the windows and door. Make sure you repair or caulk those gaps.

Dodge the draft

Warm air is rushes out of your door while cold air is rushes in. The draft snake is one of the easiest ways to cut back on energy waste. It is actually very easy to create one yourself. You can use scrap fabrics and fill it with kitty litter or sand for heft. You can also use a rolled bath towel and place it under a drafty door.

Lower water heater temperature

Most manufacturers set water heaters at 140˚ F.  But the truth is, we don’t really need that much steam.  Add to that, it also poses a safety hazard – scalding. Lowering the water heater temperature to 120˚ F can help you save money; while still allowing you to enjoy a relaxing shower.

 

Water Heater Maintenance from the Longmont Plumbing Experts

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Water heaters are one of those appliances we rely upon everyday. It provides you with warm baths, sparkling pots and pans and clean clothes. Unfortunately, water heaters often go unnoticed until it stops working and you wind up in a cold shower.

Very few people know that water heater has to be maintained to keep it running efficiently for a long time. A little preventive maintenance is necessary to keep the hot water flowing.

Follow this simple maintenance routine to keep your water heater running efficiently and reliably for years.

Drain the tank

Sediment buildup can clog your water lines and reduce your water heater’s efficiency. Avoid this problem by flushing the tank every 6 months to a year.

Shut off the circuit breaker, if electric and turn off the gas, if gas. Also, turn off the cold water supply. Drain about a quarter of the tank to get rid of sediments and debris. Then, connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve.

Next, turn on the water drain to release the water from the tank. Let the water flow for about 30 minutes to remove the sediment and dirt that has built up in the tank.

Flush the tank

Turn the water back on to remove sediments at the bottom of the tank and flush the tank with clean water. Turn of the valve once the water runs clear.

Refill the tank

Turn off the water drain at the base of the tank. Disconnect the hose from the valve. Turn on the cold water inlet to the tank and turn the power to the water heater back on.

Check the anode rod

The anode rod should be inspected and replaced every 2 years. Some pitting and corrosion are expected but if the anode rod is coated with calcium or is less than ½ inch thick, it should be replaced.

Common Longmont Water Heater Issues

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You woke up early, stumbled into the bathroom and expect a hot, steamy shower only to jump into a frigid wake up call. We’ve all been there before, and it’s definitely not a pleasant experience.

Water heaters are such important amenities in our homes. They are generally reliable but they do have problems occasionally. If the water doesn’t seem to get hot enough, then the entire home is going to devolve into chaos.

Here are some of the most common water heater problems and what you can do to solve the problem.

No hot water

When your water heater is not producing any hot water, it might be because the thermostat isn’t working properly or the gas flame is out. Fixing the problem usually involves adjusting the thermostat of the unit. If the thermostat is set at a reasonable temperature yet you still get cold water, then you probably need to replace your water heater thermostat.

Inadequate hot water

Your water heater will produce less and less hot water as it ages and nears the end of its useful life. Inadequate hot water is often linked to faulty thermostat. Sediment buildup in the water heater tank is also a probable cause. In this case, you will need to drain your tank and flush it with water.

Unpleasant odor

If the water has an unpleasant odor, then it probably has some bacteria buildup. To solve this problem, you will need to drain and flush the tank. Then, apply a little chlorine on the water heater to clear up the bacteria.

Noise problem

There is nothing worse than a water heater that whines, knocks, creaks or bangs. The water heater tends to make a loud, rumbling noise due to sediment build up. Alternatively, it can be caused by the heating element slowly burning out.

Draining and flushing out the tank may eliminate the problem. If this doesn’t work, you might need to replace your water heater.

Tips for Choosing a New Water Heater in Firestone, CO

During the cold winter months, many of us would seek comfort in the piping hot confines of the shower.  As the warmness of the water find its way down your body, your muscles starts to relax. Then suddenly, a burst of ice water hits you. You tried to crank down the cold water, but nothing happens. Reality hits you, your water heater needs replacing.

When the time comes that you need to replace your old water heater, it is important to educate yourself about the options available so as to be sure that you’ll get a unit that would meet your needs.

Here are some tips when choosing a new water heater for your home.

Compatibility with your home

If you are considering buying a natural gas-fueled water heater, check to see whether your home has access to natural gas lines. If not, you’ll need to spend a lot of money just to install a gas line in your home.

Water heater size and capacity

To maximize efficiency and provide you and your family with enough hot water, you need a properly sized water heater. Now that you’re replacing your old water heater, be sure to consider whether or not it provided enough hot other. Otherwise, you’ll need to upgrade to a larger size.

Energy efficient

While we all enjoy a soothing hot shower, water heating is typically the second largest user of energy in your home. In fact, it accounts for about 14% of your monthly utility bill. So when choosing a new water heater for your home, we suggest that you go for the ones that are energy efficient.

If you live in an area that receives significant sunshine year-round, consider getting a solar water heater. It may cost more initially, but it can help you save money in the long run as it reduces your bill by as much as 50 to 80%.