Make a New Year's Resolution to Stay on Top of Plumbing Maintenance This Year!

What’s Involved in Plumbing Maintenance?

When most people make a list of new year’s resolutions and things they’d like to do this year, they probably don’t put plumbing maintenance anywhere on it. The fact is, it’s easy to forget that the home’s plumbing system even needs maintenance at all. After all, if the faucets aren’t dripping and the toilets aren’t clogging, why mess with the plumbing?

But that’s just it - maintenance helps ensure that these issues (and many others) don’t come up in the first place. The pipes, fixtures, and water-using appliances in a home see a lot of use, so without maintenance, they can develop a host of problems as they succumb to wear and tear. So this article will explain what plumbing maintenance entails, why it’s so important, and how homeowners can keep up with it - both on their own and with the help of a pro.

Cleaning the Drains

drainOne of the most important aspects of plumbing maintenance is drain cleaning. Over time, hair, soap scum, oils, and other gunk can collect in the home’s drain pipes. This not only leads to the formation of clogs but can also cause unpleasant odors and encourage mold growth, so it’s necessary to clean the drains periodically to remove this nasty buildup.

Homeowners can do a little DIY drain cleaning every once in a while by pouring equal parts baking soda and vinegar (typically about ½ cup each) down the drain, letting the mixture sit for 15 minutes to an hour, then pouring hot water down the drain. In general, it’s best not to use chemical drain cleaners, as these can damage the plumbing, produce noxious fumes, and kill vital bacteria in septic systems.

DIY drain cleaning will go a long way in keeping drains clear, but it’s still best to hire a professional to perform preventative drain cleaning every year or two. This typically involves the use of a hydrojetting machine, which can wash away debris and grime as far down as the main sewer line using a special high-pressure water hose.

Scheduling Professional Plumbing Maintenance

It's a good idea for homeowners to schedule annual maintenance with a professional plumber. They will thoroughly inspect the system, often using special video equipment, to find any signs of leaks, clogs, or corrosion and determine the best solution. They will also typically check the water pressure and adjust it if need be, secure any loose pipes with brackets to prevent vibration, and even test the home’s fixtures and values to see if they are working correctly. 

Professional maintenance can help homeowners save money on leaks and costly plumbing emergencies, extend the life of the plumbing system, and increase the value of the home (plumbing systems typically account for around 10% of a home’s value) - so it’s a service that no homeowner can afford to do without!

Maintaining the Water Heater

maintenanceRoutine maintenance is also required for the water heater. This includes flushing the storage tank to remove any sediment buildup, testing the temperature and pressure relief valve, and checking/replacing the anode rod (an anti-corrosion device inside the tank). Professionals will also clean gas burners, check gas lines for leaks, test safety devices such as the thermocouple, and inspect and clean the exhaust flue. 

There are many benefits of professional water heater maintenance. Not only does it extend the life of the unit and ensure that it’s operating at peak efficiency (both of which help save money), but it also brings peace of mind from knowing that all work is being performed safely and according to code!

About Quahog Plumbing

Since opening its doors 15 years ago, Quahog Plumbing has quickly become one of Somerset’s most trusted and highly-rated plumbers. Their licensed and trustworthy technicians are available for 24-hour emergency service and always work efficiently to get homeowners back to their routines as quickly as possible. They offer same-day service, flat rate pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every job. Call them today for plumbing maintenance, drain cleaning, or water heater maintenance in Somerset, MA.

Prevent a Plumbing Emergency From Ruining Halloween

Guard Against Plumbing Scares This Halloween

Even if someone likes the thrills and chills that come with this time of year, they likely don’t want to be startled by a sudden drain problem, clogged toilets, or cold showers.  Homeowners can help prevent all of these plumbing issues with some planning and preparation, so if a homeowner has plans for the holiday, they can be sure that everything will go off without a hitch.

Cleaning Drains

Drain cleaning is important to maintain the proper function of a plumbing system and to prevent clogs. Neglecting to clean drains can lead to serious consequences, such as flooding, water damage, and sewage backup.

Liquid drain cleaners are not recommended as they can contain toxic chemicals that can cause damage to the pipes themselves, causing corrosion that can lead to cracks and leaks in the pipes. Professional drain cleaning services can be hired to unclog drains or prevent them. Regular drain cleaning will keep the plumbing system running smoothly and avoid costly repairs in the future.

Preventing Toilet Clogs

toiletA clogged toilet is perhaps the most common plumbing problem in any household. Most of these clogs are preventable if a few bits of advice are followed. Here are a few suggestions for preventing toilet clogs:

  • Don’t Flush Items Other Than Toilet Paper: Avoid putting things in the toilet that cannot be flushed. This includes a long list of items like tampons and wipes. Even if the wipes say they are flushable, they will not break down as quickly as toilet paper and may cause clogs in the sewer line if not the toilet.
  • Conserve Toilet Paper: Using too much toilet paper doesn’t just cause clogs; it can also strain a household budget. Using only a minimal amount of toilet paper helps keep the pipes open and the waste moving.
  • The Double Flush: This is a good method if using more toilet paper is essential. The technique is flushing to break up the amount of toilet paper flushed at once to prevent clogs.  

Stay on Top of Water Heater Maintenance

maintenanceA cold shower is only good if that’s what a person wants or expects. An unexpected cold shower due to a broken water heater can be startling and uncomfortable. This is a clear reason to get water heater maintenance. A broken or neglected water heater is not just about cold showers. Rusty-colored, smelly water can also be the result. It can affect water pressure due to scale buildup and go lukewarm before it completely fails. A failing pressure release valve can even cause an explosive hazard. 

These are some of the things a professional will do when maintaining a water heater:

  • Flush and descale water heater tank
  • Check the anode rod and replace it if needed
  • Check electrical connections
  • Check plumbing connections
  • Test the pressure release valve (PRV) and replace it if needed
  • Clean and test the heating element or burner

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas. They offer same-day services, straightforward pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for drain cleaning or water heater maintenance in Somerset, MA.

Plumbing 101: Getting Back to the Basics

Plumbing Basics

It is easy to forget how complex a plumbing system can be. It’s easy for a homeowner to turn the tap on and off without thinking about how the water gets to the home and tap. This article will present the essentials of modern home plumbing and how it works. It will also cover the basics of plumbing maintenance to help homeowners extend the life of their plumbing.

The Main Supply and Drain Lines

water meterThe basic delivery method is essentially the same whether a home’s water comes from a municipal or rural water source. The clean water is pumped through a water meter and into the house through the main supply pipe. The water meter measures the amount of water that flows through it, which is how a house’s water bill is calculated.

From the main supply line, pipes branch to the house's various fixtures and water-using appliances. Wastewater goes down the various drain pipes and into the main drain pipe that leads either to a septic tank or a municipal sewer system.

Plumbing Fixtures: Everything and the Kitchen Sink

showerheadIt's amazing how many things in modern homes are connected through plumbing. Once a person starts listing the things in the house that are part of the plumbing, the list gets quite long quite quickly:

  • Kitchen Faucet, Drain, and Sink
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator (if it has an ice maker and water dispenser)
  • Garbage disposal (connected to the drain side)
  • Bathroom Faucets, Drains, and Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Showerheads, Bathtub Faucets, and Drains
  • Washing Machine
  • Water Heater

Obviously, water is an extensively used resource in the home, not just for drinking. If homeowners want to reduce their water bills and conserve water, they should consider replacing old appliances and fixtures with newer water-saving models that use less water. This is a win-win for the environment and the pocketbook.

Maintenance and Problem Prevention

Everybody wants their home plumbing to run smoothly. The best way to prevent problems is to keep up with regular system maintenance. If a homeowner keeps up with professional maintenance visits, the pipes and appliances are less likely to develop serious problems, and it can extend the plumbing’s lifespan.

Here are a few of the maintenance tasks that a plumbing professional performs during a maintenance visit:

  • Drain cleaning
  • Drain and flush the water heater tank
  • Check anode rod and replace if necessary
  • Check the pressure release valve and replace it if necessary
  • Inspect plumbing for damage, leaks, and corrosion
  • Check the water pressure

About Quahog Plumbing

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

Why Plumbing Maintenance Is Essential

Benefits of Maintenance Visits

  • Home safety 
  • Prolong life of plumbing fixtures and piping 
  • Keep the system running efficiently 
  • Lower utility bills 
  • Save money on repairs 

One of the best things homeowners can do for their plumbing systems is to maintain their plumbing with annual maintenance checks by professionals. Home plumbing systems are a complicated network of fixtures, drains, and pipes connecting to the main water line and sewer. Any problem with the plumbing could affect the overall performance of the system.  

It is best to leave maintenance up to a professional for safety reasons, as the homeowner could injure themselves or the plumbing in the process if they do not know what they are doing. However, homeowners can do a few things to help maintain their plumbing. Examples of maintenance that homeowners can do themselves include keeping the plumbing fixtures clean, paying attention to warning signs of a leak, and inspecting the plumbing fixtures for signs of damage. 

Professional plumbers go through years of on-the-job training to obtain a certificate for working on plumbing systems. This gives them the expertise needed to complete maintenance safely, quickly diagnose problems with the plumbing system, and provide the homeowner with solutions. 

Improve Plumbing Safety

homeSome safety hazards can result from skipping out on plumbing maintenance. Plumbing leaks can lead to the growth of mold due to moisture. Mold has negative effects on human health, including respiratory problems and headaches. When the water from a leak reaches the home’s electrical wiring, it can be a huge safety hazard because of the risk of electrocution or fire. 

Another common plumbing hazard is a burst pipe. There are a few reasons why burst pipes occur, including clogged drains, an imbalance of water pressure, or frozen pipes. When a pipe bursts, it can send debris and water flying. Hidden plumbing leaks underground can wreak havoc on the home’s foundation. When the water from a burst pipe underground soaks into the soil around the foundation for a long time, it can soften to the point that the structural integrity of the building is compromised. Regular maintenance checks can prevent burst pipes and other hazards by catching the issues early and allowing the plumbing to run safely and smoothly. 

Improve the Longevity of the Plumbing System

One of the reasons it’s important to maintain the plumbing system is to protect the homeowner’s investment. No plumbing fixture lasts forever, but with regular maintenance checks, homeowners can be sure they are getting the most out of their plumbing system. 

Homeowners can extend the lifespan of plumbing fixtures by keeping up with a regular maintenance schedule. Plumbing maintenance can help catch issues early on before they worsen, allowing them to be fixed before a replacement or additional repairs are necessary.  

Save Money

money During regular maintenance checks, a plumber will inspect the plumbing for signs of damage and broken parts. Repairing small problems early on prevents them from developing into more significant issues that need more extensive repairs. 

Keeping the plumbing system running efficiently also helps to save the homeowner money on utility bills. A leaky pipe or faucet can be like money going down the drain. Some leaks can be difficult to find because the pipes are hidden under floorboards or in the walls, but plumbers can easily find any hidden leaks and repair them with leak detectors. 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving its neighbors in Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day service, and the latest technology. They also guarantee customer satisfaction, so call them today for plumbing services in Somerset, MA!

Spring Plant Growth Can Wreak Havoc On Home Plumbing Systems

April Showers Bring May Flowers and New Plumbing Problems

The spring is when new plant growth can threaten underground plumbing systems. Tree roots are notorious for growing into a home’s underground pipes and causing blockages. 

Tree roots are very efficient at working their way into any crack or crevice in underground pipes that they can find. Once inside the pipes, the roots will continue to expand as they seek more hydration and nutrients from the plumbing. The intrusion of tree roots can cause pipes to crack or burst.

Homeowners should try their best to plan their landscaping with the layout of their underground plumbing in mind. But when tree roots make their way into the plumbing system, professional solutions such as hydro-jetting can help. 

How Tree Roots Affect Underground Plumbing

tree rootsWhy do tree roots invade the plumbing system? The reason is simple: trees need water and nutrients to fuel new growth, and water and nutrients can be found inside pipes. Tree roots expand in the direction of water underground, just like how tree branches extend toward the direction of sunlight above ground. 

During the winter months, most tree growth halts. As the weather heats up in the spring, trees and other plants begin to stretch out their roots in search of nutrients to fuel new growth. The sudden spurt of root growth underground can wreak havoc on home plumbing systems by causing hidden water leaks. 

Signs of Tree Root Obstruction

draining

  • Burst pipe underground 
  • Slow draining in the shower or sink 
  • Decrease in water pressure 
  • Spike in water bills 

One of the costly hazards of tree root intrusion is that it can eventually lead to a burst pipe underground. Burst pipes and leaking pipes in the underground plumbing can be challenging to locate and repair. Underground water leak repair can be very disruptive for the home if it requires tearing up the yard or the foundation. 

Other adverse effects of tree root growth on the plumbing system include decreasing water pressure because the tree roots can get in the way of water reaching the shower or sink faucets. If an underground leak is wasting a significant amount of water, water bills may increase. These signs can point to an underground plumbing leak, so homeowners should not ignore them.

Root Barriers and Other Solutions

Homeowners can ensure that they do not end up with a burst pipe underground by installing root barriers. Root barriers are preventative measures that create a wall between the tree roots and the home’s underground plumbing. 

Hydro jetting is a tool plumbers use to clear tree roots from the pipes. During hydro jetting services, the plumber shoots pressurized water through the pipes to blast away tree roots and other types of tough clogs. 

When the tree roots have caused too much damage to the pipes for hydro jetting to be an option, the plumber may need to repipe the waterline. Repiping is often the best way for plumbers to repair an underground plumbing issue without disrupting the entire yard. 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has provided the community of Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas with trustworthy plumbing solutions for over 15 years. They offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services in Somerset, MA