Preparing the Home to Prevent Frozen Pipes During the Winter

Professional Tips for Protecting Pipes 

Winter is almost here, and most people approach the season with excitement. However, after a few months of being locked indoors and dealing with winter weather, people may not be so enthusiastic. Winter can bring all sorts of hazards that leave homeowners scrambling to prepare. 

Winter can be hard on people and property. One serious hazard it presents is to a home's plumbing and pipes. Subzero temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst, leaving homes without water service and dealing with the fallout of flooding. Here is a quick guide from local experts to help homeowners better prepare their homes for winter weather and prevent frozen pipes

Why Are Frozen Pipes So Bad? 

burst pipePipes exposed to freezing temperatures can freeze. This prevents water from flowing through the pipes, causing a loss of water to whatever fixtures the frozen pipe feeds. However, the main danger of frozen pipes is the damage they can cause. As water freezes in pipes, it expands, putting tremendous pressure on the walls of the pipes. Plastic and metal pipes can succumb to the pressure and burst or crack and leak. 

When pipes burst, they can cause flooding in the home. Sometimes, the flooding happens immediately, and sometimes, it occurs after the lines defrost. Burst pipes and leaks can cause various problems, such as water damage, foundation issues, and mold growth. Repairing the damage caused by burst pipes can be very expensive, so it’s best to prevent them.  

Can Pipe Insulation Help? 

pipe insulationInstead of risking substantial water and repair bills, take steps to prevent frozen pipes. The best thing a homeowner can do to avoid frozen, and burst pipes is to ensure that vulnerable piping is insulated. Homeowners can install insulation on pipes, but a local plumber can help by inspecting the plumbing to find lines that are more likely to freeze. Then, the pipes can be protected using pipe insulation. 

Pipe insulation is a cheap solution that can help protect pipes from freezing. Of course, that is not their only benefit. Pipe insulation also helps extend the life of piping by protecting it from condensation, and insulating the hot water pipes can reduce energy bills by reducing heat loss. Insulating pipes is a cheap and easy DIY project to ensure pipes don’t freeze during the winter. Be sure to insulate pipes in attics, crawl spaces, and outdoor areas. 

More Tips to Avoid Frozen Pipes 

Besides pipe insulation, there are other steps that homeowners can take to prevent the disaster that could come with frozen pipes and burst pipes. Some other ideas to help homeowners protect their plumbing during the winter are: 

  • Always leave the thermostat set at a consistent temperature, even when away from home, to keep the house warm and prevent pipes from freezing
  • Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate to the plumbing and pipes 
  • Leave faucets dripping during freezing temperatures to avoid freezing

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has been serving Somerset and the surrounding areas for more than 15 years. They offer straightforward pricing, same-day services, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services and burst pipe repair in Somerset, MA. 

Why Is Water Heater Maintenance Important?

Don’t Lose Hot Water This Winter 

Of all the problems homeowners will have to deal with during their homeownership, one of the worst is losing hot water because of a broken water heater. Surprise repairs and replacements are expensive and can stress the budget, but a loss of hot water feels like being sent back to the Stone Age. 

Most water heaters last about ten years, so a water heater will likely need to be replaced multiple times during the typical mortgage period. But water heaters that aren’t properly cared for can break down sooner and don’t last as long. Luckily, adding years to the life of a water heater and reducing the operating costs is simple. Water heater maintenance is a manufacturer-recommended service that stops the causes of premature failure and allows them to last longer. Here is a complete guide to water heater maintenance from local professionals. 

Benefits of Water Heater Maintenance 

save money When a water heater is well-maintained, it lasts longer, performs better, and uses less energy. Some advantages of scheduling annual water heater maintenance with a plumber are: 

  • Reduces the likelihood of problems
  • Extends the unit’s lifespan
  • Protects or improves energy efficiency
  • Lowers operating costs, saving homeowners money
  • Ensures adequate hot water is always available 
  • Prevents corrosion and leaks
  • Verifies safety devices to protect the home 

Steps Taken During Water Heater Maintenance 

water heater In an age where everyone considers themselves a DIYer, as soon as most people hear about water heater maintenance, they take to the internet to figure out if they can do it themselves. While it’s true that some DIYers can successfully perform the necessary tasks, most people decide to let the professionals handle it since they can do it quicker and more precisely. Some of the tasks that the professionals will do during a water heater maintenance visit are: 

  • Drain and flush the tank to remove solids and sediment
  • Check safety devices for proper operation
  • Look for leaks or signs of corrosion
  • Inspect the anode rod and replace it if it’s time
  • Clean the burner 

It’s important to note that even tankless water heaters need maintenance, not only traditional storage water heaters. 

When Is Water Heater Repair Necessary? 

Hot water heaters don’t last too long, especially when they are neglected, but one of the things that causes them to age prematurely is ignoring problems. Water heater repairs are necessary to keep the whole system running smoothly, so it is crucial homeowners know the signs that repairs are needed. Some symptoms that can prompt homeowners to call for professional water heater repairs are: 

  • Unusual sounds like thumping or hissing
  • Leaks around the tank or nearby plumbing
  • Corrosion
  • Leaking safety devices
  • Not enough hot water
  • Slow recovery period
  • Higher utility bills 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has more than 15 years of expertise serving Somerset and the surrounding areas. They offer flat rate pricing, rapid service, and the latest technology. Call them today for water heater services in Somerset, MA.

Distribution Links +

Do You Need to Install a Water Softener?

What Is Hard Water?

Most people have heard of hard water, but many don’t understand its meaning and importance. Isn’t water pretty soft, being a liquid? Hard water doesn’t refer to the physical properties of water but rather the chemical properties. 

Every drop of water a home uses is taken from a natural source, be it a river, reservoir, or aquifer. These natural water sources are subject to extensive cycles and can expose water to different geological features. As water interacts with the geology it comes into contact with, it can pick up sediment and minerals from the bedrock. 

These minerals contribute to undesirable qualities that are connoted with the term hard water. Put simply, hard water refers to the amount of minerals like calcium and magnesium ions dissolved into the water. These sediments and minerals have huge implications to the point it may be advantageous to remove them. Here is a quick article about water softeners, how they work, and why they may be necessary for the plumbing in a home. 

How Do Water Softeners Work? 

water softenerWater softeners are the system of choice for reducing the mineral content of hard water, which can be saturated with calcium and magnesium. Water softeners use a special resin that attracts the calcium and magnesium ions. The resin binds the ions so that it is deemed soft as the water flows out of the resin bed. 

In a typical water softening system, the resin bed is contained in a tank, through which all the water in a home will flow through. This allows people in the house to always have access to higher quality water and protect their plumbing from the consequences of having too many minerals in the water. 

Signs of Hard Water in a Home 

waterNow that hard water has been discussed, why must it be avoided? Most homes in the U.S. have water that is deemed hard. While some minerals in the water are okay, too many can be harmful to the home’s plumbing, the household, and residents. Some of the signs of hard water in homes that indicate the need for water softener installation are: 

  • Water tastes or smells off
  • Spotted glasses and dishes in the dishwasher after washing
  • Faded or rough-feeling clothes after washing
  • Premature failure of the water heater or other water-using appliances
  • Crusty, white buildup on plumbing fixtures 
  • Dull or dry hair and skin

Whole-Home Water Softeners and Their Benefits 

Removing sediment and minerals from the water supply in a home with a whole-house water softener can be a great thing. Some of the advantages of installing a water softener are: 

  • Reduction in plumbing repairs
  • Restoring water pressure by removing the scale buildup inside pipes
  • Prolonged life of water using appliances and plumbing fixtures 
  • Longer lasting clothing
  • Cleaner dishes after washing
  • Healthier and more hydrated skin and hair 

If the signs of hard water are present or plumbing repair costs have gotten too high, a water softener may be able to help. For more information, contact local plumbers who can explain the advantages of a water softener to combat the effects of hard water. 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has more than 15 years of experience serving Somerset and the surrounding areas. They offer straightforward pricing, rapid service, and the latest technology. Call them today for water softener installation in Somerset, MA.

Distribution Links +

Back to School With Plumbing 101: Learning the Basics of Your Home's Plumbing

Important Plumbing Basics for Homeowners to Know

By understanding how plumbing works and knowing some essential information about it, like how to recognize issues, individuals can make more informed decisions and better care for their plumbing systems. Whether someone is a new homeowner or simply seeking to expand their knowledge, this article aims to equip readers with essential plumbing insights. Let's dive in and explore important things to know about a home’s plumbing that can help prevent plumbing emergencies and save money.

Energy and Water-Saving Plumbing Fixtures

tubPlumbing fixtures serve as the unsung heroes of homes, working tirelessly to deliver the water necessary for daily tasks and moments of relaxation. From the refreshing shower head that greets you in the morning to the comforting warmth of a water heater on cold nights, these fixtures play a vital role in everyday life. The plumbing fixtures in homes have evolved into more water-saving and energy-efficient models, enabling homeowners to conserve resources and save on utility bills. Some examples of plumbing fixture upgrades that can help homeowners save on water and energy costs include the following: 

Symptoms of Plumbing Problems

billThough mostly tucked away behind walls and under floors, the home's plumbing system can sometimes provide subtle hints of trouble. Spotting these warning signs early on can save homeowners from more significant issues in the future. Common red flags that indicate potential plumbing problems include poor water pressure, slow draining, high water bills, foul smells, and changes in the appearance of the water. When encountering these signs, seeking the expertise of a skilled plumber becomes essential to address the underlying issues effectively.

  • Poor Water Pressure: When the once-strong shower stream or water pressure from the tap transforms into a feeble trickle, it could indicate underlying plumbing issues such as leaks or pipe blockages.
  • Slow Draining: If sinks or bathtubs take an eternity to empty, it's often a symptom of clogged pipes, necessitating professional intervention to keep the plumbing flowing smoothly.
  • High Water Bills: Unexplained spikes in water bills can be puzzling. Plumbing leaks, even minor ones, might be the hidden culprits causing water wastage and inflating costs.
  • Foul Smells: A musty or foul odor from drains can signal potential sewer line issues. Ignoring this unsettling signal may lead to worsening sewer line blockages or other problems.
  • Changes in the Water’s Appearance: Sudden changes in the color or taste of tap water may be a warning of pipe corrosion or contamination. Prompt investigation is essential to maintain the safety and quality of the water supply.

Plumbing Maintenance

Regular plumbing maintenance is vital in ensuring the optimal functioning of a home's plumbing system. By investing in routine check-ups and expert care, homeowners can proactively prevent plumbing issues before they escalate into costly problems and extend the plumbing’s lifespan. 

Skilled plumbers can conduct thorough inspections of pipes, faucets, and fixtures, identifying and addressing potential issues and leaks to prevent water damage and high water bills from becoming a significant concern. Moreover, cleaning drains and testing water pressure are essential maintenance tasks that promote efficient water flow and help prevent disruptive clogs and damage to the piping.

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving Somerset and the surrounding areas. They offer straightforward pricing, rapid service, and the latest technology. Call them today for plumbing services in Somerset, MA.

Distribution Links +

A Failing Garbage Disposal: What Are the Signs?

Indicators of a Malfunctioning Garbage Disposal in Need of Repair

One of the most convenient devices in the kitchen is the garbage disposal. It makes quick work of food scraps and is a close ally of the plumbing, grinding up food small enough that it won’t disrupt the plumbing and cause problems. Like any other appliance, however, it cannot last forever and may need repair. This article will discuss what a home’s garbage disposal may be doing that indicates it may need garbage disposal repair or replacement.  

Symptom #1: Unusual Noises

noiseGarbage disposals are not quiet machines. They make a rather noticeable grinding sound even when they are working correctly. However, if they begin making other strange noises, there is likely something wrong that may require repairing or replacing the garbage disposal. Some unusual noises a garbage disposal may make when something is wrong includes the following:

  • Humming: If the disposal simply hums when turned on and the blades are not rotating, something is likely stuck inside. It can also be that the blades have just stopped working. Sometimes pushing the reset button will correct this problem.
  • Whining or Screeching: A loud screeching akin to a metal-on-metal sound may mean that something has been knocked out of place or something like a utensil has been dropped inside. 
  • Other Sounds: Other sounds like gurgling may indicate a clogged garbage disposal, and clanging can indicate that something is caught in the disposal's blades.

Symptom #2: Poor Performance 

This symptom may seem obvious, but people tend to deal with an item struggling for a while instead of repairing or replacing it when they should.  This can mean that the garbage disposal doesn’t work as quickly as it should or has trouble grinding up waste. If the garbage disposal’s reset button has to be used frequently, it also shows an issue with the garbage disposal unit, like the machine is wearing out. Some examples of problems that can cause poor performance are:

  • Corrosion on the blades.
  • Dull blades.
  • A jam in the system.
  • Internal problems with the machine.

Symptom #3: Foul Odors

smellsGarbage disposals are famous for not having the best smells when having issues. They can usually be kept fresh with simple maintenance, like using baking soda and vinegar to keep them clean and ice to dislodge food. However, foul garbage disposal smells sometimes indicate a problem with the appliance itself. 

If the machine is worn out, it will not grind up the food as well as it should, leading to clogs, jams in the device, constant resetting, and a bad-smelling drain. A foul smell from the kitchen drain could also be due to a clog in the piping which can indicate issues like garbage disposals not grinding up food waste enough. If homeowners notice these signs, it shows a need for professional help.

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving Somerset, MA, and the surrounding communities. They provide same-day services, straightforward pricing, and the latest technology. Call them today for kitchen plumbing and garbage disposal services in Somerset, MA.

Distribution Links +