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DIY Plumbing - Advice for Do It Yourself Plumbers

Do You Must Schedule Water Testing?

Posted in DIY Plumbing on 4th February 2018

water-testing-at-sinkYou want to have clean water in your house for drinking and cooking, as well as to prevent issues with mineral build-up that can harm plumbing and appliances. The way to find out exactly what is affecting your water is to have specialists do water testing in your house. A week after the testing, you’ll receive a complete rundown on all the impurities and contaminants in the water supply so you can choose the right water treatment system to deal with them.

How Will I Know to Schedule Water Testing?

First of all, water testing is something we recommend any home get every five years or so, even if there are no outward indications that anything’s wrong. It’s simply a good precaution to take; conditions in the municipal plumbing may have changed since the last time you had testing done.

We also recommend having testing done soon after moving into a new house to ensure that you’re getting the best quality water possible. If you receive your freshwater from a well, you need to have testing done annually, since there is a high chance of contaminants entering the water supply through groundwater.

There are a number of indications to watch for that will warn you something is polluting your home’s water supply and that it’s time to call for water testing right away:

  • Cloudy water. If you haven’t had cloudy water before and it starts to show up, it can mean trouble. The minerals creating the cloudiness may be harmless, but that’s not a chance you want to take. Plus, it just looks unpleasant.
  • Discoloration. Water should be clear and colorless—that’s just what people associate water with when they think of “pure water.” If there’s any color tint to the water, don’t drink it! This shows the possible presence of excessive iron or manganese, and may be connected to drilling operations near the water supply. You may also have rusting fresh water pipes (in which case, time for repiping).
  • Rotten egg smell. This is sulfur, and traces of it are normal in drinking water. But if the sulfur levels are high enough that it’s creating this rotten egg stink, you’ll want to find out what’s wrong, as high sulfur levels can cause intestinal problems. You don’t want water that smells this bad in your house either!
  • Chlorine smell. Chlorine is used in water treatment plants to purify water, but the process may leave high levels behind. If the smell from your home’s water is like that of a swimming pool, get the water checked out.
  • Hard water traces. Hard water is damaging to plumbing, so watch for a flaky, off-white residue on your fixtures or a film left over on glass surfaces, such as in the shower. Hard water also makes it hard to develop soap lather and causes colors to fade in the wash.

If you want to arrange for water testing in Winter Springs, FL for your house, contact our plumbers. Not only do we do water testing, we install a wide variety of water treatment systems.

Modern Plumbing – 4Plumbers, Inc. has proudly served Central Florida since 1975.

What to Do When You Don’t Have Any Sizzling Water

Posted in DIY Plumbing on 3rd February 2018

showerhead-waterFlorida homes have few worries with their heating systems during the mild winters. But there is one residential heating system that works all through the season—and the other three seasons as well. It’s the water heater. You rely on your water heater to bring hot water to taps, showers, bathtubs, and appliances every day.

What happens when you switch on the hot water one day and find that there isn’t any? Is something wrong with the water heater? It’s possible you’ve got a serious water heater issue, but there are some other things to check as well.

Have you simply run out of hot water?

Over the holiday season, guests often come to stay for extended visits. This puts extra strain on the water heater in the morning when everyone is taking their showers. If you have a water heater designed to handle the needs of only a few people, it can be overwhelmed quickly. (This is one of the reasons we often recommend tankless water heaters, which continually heat up water as needed.) If the water heater is more than 15 years old, a quick loss of hot water often indicates the system is ready for a replacement.

The pilot light on the water heater has gone out

If you have an older natural gas water heater, it may use a pilot light to ignite the burners. (Newer models use electronic ignition systems.) Check on the pilot light to see if this is the case, and then relight the pilot. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, consult with a professional to repair the system.

The burners won’t light

The pilot light or the electronic ignition system is working, but the burners aren’t coming on for some reason. This could be a gas flow issue. It might also be that the thermostat that activates the burners isn’t working correctly. Either way, you don’t want to fiddle around with the burners. Have a water heater repair expert look at the problem.

A circuit breaker has tripped

This will bring an electric water heater to a halt. Because the amount of energy the water heater requires, it might overload its circuit and the trip the breaker—and you won’t get any hot water. Check the breaker and reset it. If the problem continues, have the water heater looked at. (It’s also possible the electrical panel itself is at fault.)

The water heater is improperly sized

If the water heater is a new one, the problem of it running out of hot water too soon may mean that it has the wrong size tank. Never let non-professionals install your water heater, since poor sizing is a mistake they often make. You’ll need to have a new water tank put in that better matches your household needs.

If you need service for a water heater in Orlando, FL or the surrounding areas because it has stopped working, you can rely on our technicians to identify the problem and have it fixed as quickly as possible. If you have an older water heater, we may recommend doing a complete replacement.

Modern Plumbing – 4Plumbers, Inc. has served Central Florida since 1975.

These Are the four Principal Causes of Drain Clogs

Posted in DIY Plumbing on 2nd February 2018

The year 2018 is here, and one thing we can predict for certain about it: our plumbers are going to be dealing with plenty of drain clogs.

Drain clogs are a basic fact of life in plumbing. Any home can take steps to prevent them—in fact, this post will talk about that a bit—but avoiding them all the time just isn’t possible. So much material can go down the drains in a homdrain-with-chain-pluge that may lead to stopping them up that we could make a list of drain clog sources that was just about small plastic pieces from toys and packaging material.

For this list, we’re going to limit ourselves to only the four most common reasons drains might clog. We’re focusing only on clogging that occurs right down in the drain itself, not sewer line issues such as root infiltration. We also won’t include pipe-misalignment, which sometimes occurs in older homes, because this is a pipe replacement issue, not a drain cleaning one.

1. Soap scum

It’s hard to stop soap from going down drains in the kitchen and bathrooms. Shower and bathtub drains in particular experience plenty of soap sluiced down them almost daily. Over time, soap scum will start to build-up on the drain walls, and it can become enough to slow down water flow and eventually stop it completely. Soap scum can also cause chemical reactions with the metal of a drainpipe, so cleaning it out helps protect the plumbing as well as clear the drain.

2. Hair

A drain cover will help stop hair from going down drains (just make sure you clean the covers routinely), but a hair clog can still develop down in the p-trap or the drain. Hair clogs are among the most obstinate and difficult to remove using standard plungers, and often you’ll need the assistance of professional drain cleaning to fix the problem.

3. Fats, oils, and grease

Collectively known as FOG, these cooking liquids are the bane of a kitchen drain. People often think they’re harmless, because they are in liquid form when hot. But as FOG cools down because of air from the drain vent pipes, it turns into a sticky and viscous substance that will build-up on pipe walls. Thorough drain cleaning using a hydro-jetter is the best way to get rid of this build-up. FOG accumulation is one of the reasons we recommend routine kitchen drain cleaning each year.

4. Hard water mineral build-up

If your home has hard water, the minerals from it can build-up on pipe walls—not just in your drains, but freshwater pipes around the house. The pipes will need to be descaled to fix this problem. We recommend you look into having a whole-house water softener installed to attack this problem at the root, since it causes many other types of plumbing issues.

For a plumber in Altamonte Springs, FL who can solve any drain clog you might have with quality drain cleaning, give us a call. We also work with water treatment systems, including water softeners.

Modern Plumbing – 4Plumbers, Inc. has served Central Florida since 1975.

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