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Plumbing problems are one of those unavoidable facts of life. You can’t live anywhere for very long without having some kind of issue with the plumbing, from the everyday and mundane to the truly scary. There are some things that can be fixed with DIY skills and the right tools. Then again, there are some things that only a plumber should handle. Learn how to tell the difference.
Even a small
Before you call a plumber for a slow or clogged tub or sink drain try to manage the problem on your own. Plumbers will charge their usual fee for this issue which may only take a few minutes to fix. Don’t ever pour chemical drain cleaners into your pipes. These chemical mixtures can damage your pipes and create even bigger plumbing problems. Use a snake to either pull out the clog or push it down and out of your pipes. Don’t be too aggressive with the snake and take your time. You can work your way through many sink and tub clogs.
Having a clogged toilet is a nightmare, but in many cases you can fix this issue on your own with a plunger or a toilet snake. However, you need to make sure this is a simple clog and not a sign that your sewer system is backing up. A backed-up sewer system is usually accompanied by a strong smell, and will often create multiple drain problems in the house. If your sewer system is clogged, you need to contact a plumber immediately. They have sewer cameras and specialized equipment designed to manage this problem.
Not getting any hot water? Unless you have a pilot light that’s out, you need to call a plumber. Sometimes the fire will go out on gas heaters, which means they only need to be re-lit. But for any other problem, you should consult with a professional. Water heaters can be dangerous when they build up too much pressure due to a malfunction. Don’t take any chances; seek out a professional.
There are some plumbing problems you can easily fix on your own, but then there are some you shouldn’t even mess with. Know how to tell when to DIY and when to call the plumber, and you’ll spend less time and money on all your plumbing problems.
Any building or remodeling project needs to be undertaken by experienced, qualified professionals. If you’re doing work on a home or are building a new house, make sure you’re turning to Autry Plumbing, LLC for plumbing renovation services in Buncombe County, NC. While you focus on the building logistics, we’ll make sure any and all plumbing is completed properly.
You can start by calling our team today at (828) 253-4269. We offer free estimates to our locations in Asheville & surrounding cities!
Kitchen and bathroom renovations require special insight when it comes to plumbing. With so many fixtures and amenities, it’s best to trust the experts.
Our Bathroom & Kitchen Renovations are our specialty. Our plumbing crew has an extensive amount of experience when it comes to creating your dream bathroom and kitchen just the way you want it. We provide only the highest quality appliances and fixtures when it comes to renovating your home. Don’t bother paying high prices to these large corporations, let our family owned business transform your house in a price that you can afford. Financing options are available up to $10,000! Call us today and talk to Marlene about how we can get you approved in as little as 15 minutes.
Blog Posted by www.ehlenanalytics.net
Water can contain dirt, minerals, chemicals and other impurities that make it smell and taste bad. Some of these contaminants can endanger your health, especially when they include microscopic organisms and bacteria that can cause serious illness. Filtering water can help purify water, removing these impurities and making it safe to drink, while often improving its taste.
Mechanical filters are used to remove leaves and other debris from water, along with dirt, silt and clay particles in water. Mechanical filters may be made from metal screens, fabric, ceramic or paper. These impurities, called sediment, can cause an unpleasant taste but aren’t usually a health risk. Most home water filtration units use replaceable paper filters that screen out fine sediment.
Iron and other minerals, such as calcium and manganese, are not hazardous to human health, but they can cause drinking water to taste metallic or just unpleasant. Iron or manganese can cause clothing stains on when wash water contains these elements, and they can even discolor porcelain and other dishes washed in the mineral-rich water. These minerals can build up in water pipes, gradually clogging them and reducing water pressure, possibly causing plumbing problems.
Filtering water is essential to keep harmful bacteria and parasites from drinking water. Giardiasis is a type of illness that causes diarrhea and can last as long as six weeks. The microscopic parasite that causes the disease is Giardia intenstinalis, an organism that can survive in the environment for many months. It can be ingested from water that has become contaminated with animal or human feces. Another parasite that can cause similar symptoms is cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium is resistant to chlorine and must be filtered out with mechanical filters. These pathogens are effectively removed by passing water through filters listed as micro-, ultra- and nano-filters.
Most municipal water utility companies use chlorine to treat drinking water because it’s inexpensive, easy to use and highly effective at killing many of the bacteria found in water. It can also eliminate some viruses. While it’s a good disinfectant, chlorine can make drinking water smell and taste unpleasant, and it can also react with some metals to form hazardous compounds. An activated carbon filter removes the chlorine smell and taste from water.
Lead is toxic when ingested, and it’s essential to remove it from drinking water. Lead commonly gets into drinking water when it seeps into the water supply from old plumbing pipes or the solder used to join them together. It can be removed from water through reverse osmosis filters, distillation and carbon filters designed specifically to remove the metal. If you rely on well water, health agencies recommend that you have your well tested at least once a year for lead and other contaminants.
Before the 1940s most common pesticides contained heavy metals that did not readily dissolve in water, but today pesticide residue in drinking water may be on the rise because modern organic pesticides dissolve in water and can easily get into the water supply. Activated carbon filters can remove pesticides and volatile organic compounds from drinking water.
Nothing lasts forever, including the pipes inside your house. Over the decades, the tubing gradually corrodes, rusts, and decays. Unless you replace plumbing, you’re eventually going to get leaks—and possibly a flood of water or raw sewage into your home that causes thousands of dollars in damage to your building and belongings.
But is a plumbing disaster imminent or just a concern for the distant future? Replacing old pipes in a 1,500 square foot, two-bathroom home costs $4,000 to $10,000, and requires cutting open walls and floors, so you certainly don’t want to do the job before it’s necessary. Here’s how to assess your plumbing system and know when it’s time for replacement.
The type of plumbing in your house determines how long you can expect it to last. So review the home inspection report you got when you bought your home to see what kind of pipes you have—or bring in a trusted plumber to do a free inspection of your plumbing system.
|Your Pipes’ Lifespan|
|Supply pipes (under constant pressure and therefore most likely to cause water damage when they leak)||BrassCopperGalvanized steel||80-100 yrs70-80 yrs80-100 yrs|
|Drain lines||Cast ironPolyvinyl chloride (known as PVC)||80-100 yrs25-40 yrs|
If your pipes are older than these guidelines, it doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be replaced. Well-maintained pipes may last longer, and poorly maintained ones or those in areas with hard water (meaning it has high mineral content), may fail sooner, says Passaic, N.J., plumber Joseph Gove, who supplied the lifespan estimates.
So, no matter what kind of pipes you have and how old they are, you need to keep an eye on them.
There are two other types of water supply pipe that should be removed immediately no matter how old they are.
Lead pipes, used in the early 1900s, have a life expectancy of 100 years, but they can leach lead into your drinking water, a serious health hazard.
Polybutylene pipes, used from the 1970s through the 1990s, are extremely prone to breakage.
If your house is more than about 60 years old, make it an annual ritual to look at any exposed pipe—in basements, crawlspaces, and utility rooms—for telltale signs of trouble. Check the tubing for discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples, or flaking, which are all indications of corrosion. If you find irregularities, bring in a plumber to do an inspection.
You’ll want to keep a watch for leaks too, of course. Even small ones that are easily repaired may be indicators that the time for whole-house replacement is approaching. After all, the original pipes in your home are the same vintage, they’re made of the same material, and they’ve been subjected to the same water supply and usage patterns.
“So if you’ve got sporadic leaks in some places, they’ll start showing up throughout your system soon,” says Philadelphia plumber Joseph Emanuel. “It’s time to change your water lines.”
Also, when you fill your bathtub, look at the color of your water—especially after a vacation when it has been sitting in the pipes for a while. If the water looks brown or yellow, what you’re seeing is rust, a sign of decay inside the pipes. Consider replacement soon.
Related: 8 Smart Tips to Stop Plumbing Leaks
Ultimately, you’ll need to rely on a trusted plumber to advise you whether it’s time for a pipe replacement. And it’s always good to get a second and even third opinion before you embark on a replacement project. But there are a few ways you can mitigate the cost and hassle of the job.
Replace what’s exposed. For a home with plaster walls, wood paneling, or other features that make it difficult to gain access to in-wall pipes, consider at least replacing pipes that aren’t buried in the walls. Although it’s a big job, replacing exposed pipes in a basement, crawlspace, or utility room is fairly straightforward, because the plumber can easily get at the pipes.
And depending on the configuration of your house, the plumber may be able to access the vast majority of your system this way. For a 1,500 square-foot, two-bathroom home, you’ll pay between $2,000 and $6,000 or more to replace just the exposed plumbing.
Replace when you renovate. Whenever you remodel a portion of your house, take the opportunity to inspect—and if need be, replace—any plumbing lines that you expose when you open up the walls and floors. This includes not only the plumbing in the kitchen or bathroom that you’re remaking, but also any pipes passing through the walls to feed upstairs bathrooms.
Because the pipes are exposed during the project and because the plumber is coming on site anyway, the added cost may be only $250 to $1,000—a bargain, considering you’ve eliminated a hard-to-get-at problem area when you have the chance.
If you have inside-the-wall supply pipes that require replacement, your plumber may be able to limit the wall demolition he needs to do by using an alternative piping product: Cross-linked polyethylene tubing, also known as PEX, is a flexible plastic hose.
It can often be snaked into walls in much the way electricians feed their wires behind the wallboard or plaster with relatively minimal surgery—not an option with rigid copper pipe.
PEX meets building code nearly everywhere, comes with a 25-year warranty, and puts a smaller hit on your budget than copper. Replacing all of the plumbing in a 1,500 square foot, two-bathroom home with copper piping costs between $8,000 and $10,000.
But using PEX would cost just $4,000 to $6,000, according to Gove. That’s because of lower material and labor costs. “If it takes you two days to re-plumb a house with copper, you can do that same house in a day with PEX,” says Emanuel.
Still, some environmental groups worry about as-yet-unknown health risks of plastic water supply lines. And since PEX has only been widely used in the U.S. for about a decade, it doesn’t have enough of a track record to indicate how long it will last—in other words, how long it’ll be before the plumbing has to be replaced again.
If this is a concern to you, consider an alternative pipe material.