When Is Repiping Your Home the Answer?

Repiping your entire house is a daunting prospect. However, sometimes it's a step that's simply necessary. There are times and signs that you absolutely should be installing new water pipes, but what are these?

What constitutes an issue you can take care of yourself, and when is it time to call a professional? You need to be able to differentiate between a repair and a repiping job. But don't worry—this article will take you through everything you need to know.

Read on to discover the situations in which you should consider repiping your home—or at least calling a professional service to get their opinion. 

You Live in an Old Home

If you live in or have recently moved into an old home, you may want to consider repiping. You won't always have to, of course. But if your home is particularly old, there could be one of several things going on with your pipes.

If your home is over 50 years old and the pipes haven't been replaced since it was built, it's most likely time for a repiping. Pipes built at this time were often made out of less than stellar materials and can be prone to burst when they reach a certain age.

Your Water Supply Is Discolored

Have you noticed that the water coming out of your taps and hose lines has changed to a dark red or brown color? If so, this could be an indication you need new pipes.

It's possible that there might be other causes, but this is sometimes a sign that your pipes have corroded. If this is the case, you'll want to have them replaced as soon as possible.

You Keep Having Pipe Leaks

A burst or leaky pipe is a natural and almost inevitable part of owning a home. It's unfortunate but it's true. However, if you have multiple leaky pipes occurring on a regular basis, this could be a sign of a wider problem.

Having multiple leaking pipes may be indicative of the fact that it's time to replace them. In this case, you can call a professional to get their opinion on how serious the issue is.

Your Home Has Poor Water Pressure

Poor water pressure is another issue that could either be a sign to repipe or not. In some cases, a simple repair will be able to fix this issue.

However, low water pressure could also mean your pipes are closing up due to mineral or rust buildup. If this is the case, your best course of action will be to repipe your home.

Repiping Your Home: When it Is and Isn't Necessary

If you're experiencing any of the above issues with your pipes, it's possible your home may require full repiping. To determine whether this is the case, you should call in a professional.

If you're in the Livingston or Huntsville, TX area, give The Plumber a call. We offer a professional and reliable service for all of our clients. Fix your water pipe issues today with The Plumber.

low water pressure

The Common Causes of Low Water Pressure In Your Home, Explained

On average, Americans use 82 gallons of water each day at home. With that amount of use, it’s important that you have a good water supply with acceptable pressure. So if you are experiencing low water pressure in your home, it can be a cause of concern.

Luckily, there are simple ways to determine what is causing the low pressure. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of low water pressure and how you can fix them in the greater Polk County area.

High Water Demand

If you are using water from multiple plumbing fixtures at the same time, it can sometimes be too high of a demand for the water pressure to be correct at all of the fixtures. This is a relatively easy issue to fix.

You’ll just need to coordinate the use of water at different fixtures in your home. For example, you may not be able to run your dishwasher, washer, and shower at the same time.

Faulty Fixtures

Showerheads, faucets, and other fixtures can become clogged or faulty. If you experience sudden low water pressure at one faucet but not at others, the problem may be that fixture.

If this happens, cleaning the screen or aerator may fix the problem. However, sometimes the fixture may need to be replaced.

Broken Water Pressure Regulator

A water pressure regulator keeps the water pressure in your home within a certain acceptable range. However, over time, the regulators can degrade. If this happens, you may experience water pressure that is either too high or too low.

A plumber can help determine if your pressure regulator is broken. If it is, they can also install a new one to correct the low water pressure in your home.

Clogged and Corroded Plumbing

Blockages caused by clogged pipes or scale buildup from hard water can disrupt the water flow. If this happens, you may experience low pressure. In order to fix this, you’ll either need to clean out the pipes or replace them, depending on the severity of the issue.

Over time, your pipe system can become corroded. If this happens, you may need to replace larger sections of your plumbing system in order to fix the issue.

Water Valve Problems

Your home has two main water shut-off valves - one at the meter and one on or in your home. You can make sure both of these valves are fully open.

A partially or fully turned off valve can cause low water pressure. However, it can be a simple fix.

How to Find the Cause

To find where the issue is coming from, you’ll need to first figure out the scope of the problem. You may want to make sure the entire municipality is not having pressure issues.

You’ll also need to determine if only one fixture is having the issue or if there is low pressure throughout the house.

You should test each plumbing fixture in both the interior and exterior of your home. Check if the problem is present for both the hot and cold temperature settings. This can help you rule out an issue with your water heater.

How to Fix Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure in your home can be caused by many different issues. If you narrow down the cause, you’ll be better able to find the solution. A professional plumber can help investigate the problem and determine the best way to fix your water pressure issues.

Call The Plumber to get your repairs in Polk County fixed today.

hiring a residential plumber

Top 5 Factors to Consider When Hiring a Residential Plumber

There are few household headaches worse than hearing the sound of leaking water, or discovering that your sink or shower won’t drain despite your best efforts. Some plumbing issues can even snowball into major disasters if left unattended, which makes it even more important to seek expert help fast. But when it comes to trusting your home to a stranger, how can you tell who to trust? After all, the last thing you want to do is aggravate the plumbing issue—or worse, fall prey to a plumbing scam! If you’re hiring a residential plumber, we’ve got you covered.

Here are five key factors to keep in mind before you make your choice.

1. Recommendations and References

As with any hired contractor, you’ll want to start by reaching out to people you know to see who they trust. Ask your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to refer you to a reputable company you can trust.

If you can’t get any references, you can narrow down your options by checking online customer reviews. You’re looking for a company that offers a stellar residential plumbing experience, so pay attention to what people say about their customer satisfaction.

2. Plumbing Fees

For many homeowners, the cost is one of the most significant factors when it comes to picking a plumber. Get a few different quotes to compare plumbing fees, and don’t forget to look for special discounts and financing offers.

Be wary of simply picking the lowest offer, however: sometimes, you get what you pay for! Look for companies with competitive rates for quality service.

3. A Valid License and Insurance

When trusting your home to a contractor, it’s important to choose only licensed residential plumbers. This means that the company in question has the qualifications needed to do the job. You’ll also want to verify that the company has relevant insurance to cover any potential damages that crop up while they’re working.

4. Relevant Experience

A license is a must-have for any plumber, but it’s not enough on its own. Experience on the job is crucial as well, especially when it comes to plumbing issues that grow more complex than they first appear.

Look for a company with at least five to ten years of residential plumbing experience, and don’t forget to check that the specific plumber working on your home has experience as well.

5. Round-the-Clock Support

No one wants to have to deal with a plumbing emergency in the middle of the night or on the weekend, but the situation can get worse if you find out your usual plumber doesn’t do emergency visits! When choosing a plumber, make sure you’re working with a company that makes itself available 24/7.

Follow These Tips When Hiring a Residential Plumber

When hiring a residential plumber, it’s always crucial to look for a reputable company with technical expertise and the right credentials. Following the steps above is an easy way to be sure that you’re partnering with a competent team, so be sure to consider each factor as you weigh your options for plumbers.

Of course, don’t forget that our team is here to cover all your bases! With affordable rates, highly trained technicians, and fast service throughout Polk County, you can be sure we’ll address any concerns you may have. For more information, contact the Plumber today.

water heater repair

5 Signs That You Need a Water Heater Repair

When you're going through a typical hot Texas summer, the last thing on your mind is your water heater. The summer temperatures may be climbing, but it's still important to keep up with water heater maintenance.

Do you think you may be in need of water heater repair? Thinking that you may need to find a water heater repair service ASAP can be stressful. Luckily for you, we're here to help you do some troubleshooting.

If you're unsure of the current status of your water heater, here are 5 sure signs that it's time to bring in the professionals.

1. Your Hot Water Seems "Off"

Does your water occasionally have a metallic taste? Have you noticed that you occasionally see rust-colored water when you turn on the shower?

Don't assume that there's something wrong with the pipes. The problem could be your water heater.

Storage tanks in hot water heaters can build up minerals over time. A quick flush by a professional can take care of buildup, but when it doesn't get taken care of, the quality of your tank can start to degrade.

2. Your Water Heater Is Old

Appliances aren't meant to last forever, and water heaters don't have a very long shelf-life. Most gas-powered heaters don't last longer than 10 years, and most electric ones can go on for about 15 years.

The problem with old water heaters is that eventually, the cost to maintain them can be greater than the cost of getting a new one. If you have an older water heater, feel free to ask a professional about their opinion on replacements, but don't be surprised if they recommend a new one altogether.

3. The Water Pressure Is Bad

This is another problem that's usually attributed to bad pipes, but could easily be caused by a faulty water heater. If you notice a drop in pressure over time or abruptly, take time to check out your water heater.

Mineral deposits can build up and cause blockages in nearby pipes. Sometimes, a kinked or deteriorating hose can be the cause of your water heater problems.

4. Hot Water Is Unpredictable

You know that you need to look for a water heater repair company when your hot water isn't working at all. However, most people don't know that there are usually signs of trouble before things happen.

Does it take a long time for your water to heat up? Have you noticed random spurts of cold water while you're using warm water? If you can't rely on your hot water now, it's a sign that you may not have it at all soon.

5. Your Water Heater Is Noisy

You expect some appliances to make noise, but unfortunately, your water heater shouldn't be one of them. You might hear an occasional sound, but consistent noise is a bad sign.

Pay close attention to the kind of sound you hear so you can tell technicians. A crackling or banging sound could be a sign that you have too much mineral buildup.

Find Excellent Water Heater Repair Help

Did you recognize any of the 5 signs of trouble we put on this list? If so, it's time for you to get water heater repair services nearby you!

We serve plenty of towns in Polk, San Jacinto, and Walker Counties. Our professionals can manage water heater repair and installation, perform gas line services, do water quality checks, and more.

Contact us today so we can solve your water heater problems.

bathroom plumbing

Common Bathroom Plumbing Repairs: A Guide for New Homeowners

It's estimated that a family of four in the U.S. uses 400 gallons of water a day. Nearly 70% of that water use is from indoors and the bathroom is where most of our water use occurs. If you're a new homeowner, and you want to save on water use, you can start by fixing that leaky toilet or other plumbing issues in your home. Some of these issues you may be able to fix yourself. Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn about common bathroom plumbing issues and how to fix them.

Running Toilet

One common bathroom plumbing issue is a running toilet. You may hear your toilet sporadically running throughout the day.

A toilet may run due to the flapper valve. It may not fit right or close right and allows water to run. You can try replacing the flapper valve.

It could also be that you have a water leak. You can check this by adding food coloring in the upper tank. If you see the color leak into the toilet bowl without flushing, then you have a leak.

Backed up Toilet

Another common, unwanted issue is a clogged toilet. Something may be causing an obstruction in the toilet. You can try to use a plunger and see if the clog dislodges.

You can also prevent toilet clogs by not flushing any objects down the toilet except toilet paper and human waste.

Any other items such as diapers, baby wipes, hygiene products, and even flushable wipes can clog your toilet or cause problems in the sewer system. Toilet paper is okay because it disintegrates.

Low Water Pressure

Is your shower experiencing low water pressure? It could be as simple as deposit buildup on your showerhead or faucet aerator. You can try cleaning your showerhead or faucet aerator with vinegar.

If that doesn't work, or if you're experiencing low water pressure in more than one faucet, you can contact a plumber to get it checked out.

Slow Draining Sinks or Tubs

You're brushing your teeth and washing up in the morning, and you realize that the sink is taking forever to drain.

Hair and soap scum could be the reason behind a clogged sink or tub. You can use a plunger to dislodge the clogs. If that doesn't work, you can use a snake drain to try to get the blockage out.

However, if the problem persists, you may want to call a plumber to get it taken care of. You also want to prevent this problem by not allowing hair to drain down the sink or bathtub.

Fixing Common Bathroom Plumbing Issues

The above are common bathroom plumbing issues that you'll encounter as a new homeowner. However, if you're experiencing frequent plumbing problems or a reoccurring problem, you can call a professional plumber to resolve the issue.

Do you need to find a trusted, experienced plumber?

We have over two decades of experience in the industry and serve customers throughout the greater Polk County area. Contact us today to schedule plumbing services.

plumbing emergency

What Is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?

If you have a plumbing issue, it can be confusing whether it needs to be fixed immediately. While many cases can be put off, some plumbing situations are emergencies that require immediate attention.

But how can you tell if your plumbing problem is an emergency or not?

While diagnosing a plumbing emergency should be left to the professionals, there are some simple guidelines to help to determine the severity of the situation.

This article will go over a few plumbing issues and whether or not they require immediate action.

Signs of a Plumbing Emergency

First, we should go over the typical signs of a plumbing emergency. Many things can go wrong, so it is important to educate yourself on the different signs.

One of the biggest plumbing issues is having a pipe burst. Most of the time, a pipe burst requires immediate plumbing service.

But how do you know if a pipe has burst in your home? There are several signs, but one of the most obvious will be the behavior of your water pressure. If your water pressure rising up and down quickly, then there could be a big problem.

Make sure to listen carefully as well. Sometimes you can hear the sounds of a burst pipe like gurgling or bubbling where you haven't before.

Leaks can also be cause for concern as well. While a drip under the sink may not be too much to worry about, it can lead to problems down the road. If you have water stains on your kitchen or bathroom walls, you should contact an emergency plumber right away.

Plumbing Problems That Can Wait

While any issue with your plumbing should be examined, some plumbing problems don't need immediate emergency attention. Most of these simple issues are easily handled by yourself with a little know-how.

Clogged drains are one problem that can be solved without the help of the plumber. Clogged drains are usually fixed by simply removing the blockage, whether that be hair or something similar.

Another easily fixable plumbing problem is a clogged toilet. Most of the time, it can be fixed with a plunger. If a plunger doesn't do the job, give a plumber a call during normal business hours. If it is your only toilet, it could be grounds for a plumbing emergency, but the risk of danger is low.

Reliable Plumbers In the Livingston Area

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what plumbing emergency will require immediate attention. If you have a plumbing problem you can wait to have fixed, be sure to call a plumber during their normal business hours instead.

If you're looking for reliable plumbing service in Livingston or Huntsville, Texas, be sure to contact us here at The Plumber for fast and reliable service.

We are the best plumbing company in the area, and we will be sure to get your plumbing system back in order in no time!

what not to put down garbage disposal

Don't Clog Your Sink! What Not to Put Down the Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are an amazing modern convenience that makes cooking and cleaning up way easier, but that doesn't mean they're a catch-all for your kitchen garbage. They are certain things that will clog your pipes and damage the garbage disposal system. How can you know what will damage it before an accident happens? Let's go over what not to put down the garbage disposal so you can keep your pipes clear and avoid costly repairs.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Not to Put Down the Garbage Disposal

Keep your garbage disposal functioning properly by never putting items that it can't handle down it.

Some of the items that you want to avoid include:

  • Eggshells: the sharp edges create a clog
  • Grease: it sticks to the inside of your pipes
  • Medication: the chemicals will leach into your drinking water
  • Flour: it combines with water and coats your pipes
  • Produce stickers: they don't dissolve and clog your pipes
  • Coffee grounds: the buildup causes blockages
  • Flushable wipes: they get caught on things and clog the pipes
  • Condoms: Latex doesn't disintegrate in water
  • Cleaning products: harmful chemicals leach into waterways and damage the environment
  • Paper products: they will absorb water and clog your drain
  • Pasta and grains: they expand in water and can clog your pipes
  • Raw meat: it will inevitably cause clogs
  • Potato and onion peels: they catch other food and create blockages
  • Fruit pits: the clanging will mess up your disposal
  • Large bones: they will also damage the disposal

When you're trying to figure out what food will clog garbage disposal, keep these basic rules in mind instead of trying to memorize this list.

How to Remember What Clogs the Garbage Disposal

First, avoid oily and fatty food that will cause clogs. This includes raw meat, cooking oil, butter, and grease.

Next, stay away from anything that clumps. If a food expands when it's mixed with water, like oats, rice, and pasta, it shouldn't go down your garbage disposal. Flour, coffee grounds, and nuts can also cause clumps.

You should also keep "catchers" in mind. Some food items, like eggshells, potato peels, and onion skins are like little baskets that catch other foods coming down the disposal, which causes blockages.

Next, remember to avoid clangers. This means anything big and tough that will damage your garbage disposal blades. Fruit pits, large bones, and crab shells all fall into this category.

Finally, keep the waterways and environment in mind. If you don't want it to end up back in your drinking water, don't put it down the garbage disposal. Cleaning products and medications make up this category.

Keeping these four categories in mind will help you navigate what you can and can't put down your garbage disposal.

What Can You Put Down the Garbage Disposal?

Foods you can safely put down the garbage disposal include:

  • Small bones
  • Most veggie scraps
  • Most fruit scraps
  • Ice
  • Cooked meat
  • Citrus rinds

If you stick to this list, your disposal and pipes should continue to function properly.

The Plumber Polk County Trusts

If you forget what not to put down the garbage disposal and your pipes get clogged, call our expert plumbers.

We're based in Livingston, Texas, and we serve many surrounding areas as well. We're the commercial and residential plumbers that Polk, San Jacinto, and Walker County trusts.

We offer complete plumbing services at affordable prices, and customer satisfaction is our biggest priority. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our highly-trained plumbers.

common water heater problems

Common Water Heater Problems You May Face During the Winter

There’s a saying that “if there’s a worse time for something to go wrong, that’s when it’ll happen.”

Not having hot water in winter is more terrifying than seeing the Light of Saratoga. Turning on the shower and getting a rude awakening from freezing water is absolutely chilling (pun intended).

The above adage is true, at least when talking about water heaters. Cold weather can, indeed, lead to common water heater problems. At the time when you need hot water the most, that’s also when heater-related troubles start to show up.

What are the winter water heater problems that you should look out for? Here are some issues that you may encounter.

1. The Heat Is NOT On!

When the hot water isn’t hot enough, the usual culprit is the thermostat. It might be faulty or not set correctly. But during the cold season, the reason why you’re not getting enough hot water may be due to the cold weather itself.

Where is your water heater located? If it’s in the basement, garage, or other areas that aren’t kept heated, your heater will be exposed to the cold. The cold air around the tank allows the heat inside the tank to escape faster.

This creates standing heat loss. This is the reason why the water that’s supposed to be hot is only lukewarm.

Your water heater also works harder which leads to other problems.

2. Parts Failure

The temperatures in Livingston can go as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the coldest months. That puts a lot of strain on your water heater.

Any machine that works harder than it has to is hastening its demise.

The heating elements may wear out or break. Key parts such as the pilot light, thermocouple, pilot control valve, and even the thermostat can break down.

If any of the important parts fail, the whole system is in jeopardy. The result is less efficient heating and the risk of shutting down entirely.

3. One of the Most Common Water Heater Problems During Winter Is Burst Pipes

The water heater tank isn’t the only victim of cold weather. Exposed pipes can also cause plumbing problems during winter.

Sub-zero temperatures can freeze the water inside your pipes. Frozen pipes are prone to cracking, leaking, or busting open. But even before the temperature of the water reaches freezing point, your pipes are already in danger of bursting.

The water inside the pipes expands as it gets close to freezing. The pressure inside builds up until the pipe can no longer contain it. Eventually, it will burst.

We don’t have to tell you that burst pipes spell trouble. It’s possible to flood your entire house and not just the room where your heater is in. You’re looking at thousands of dollars worth of water damage, possible damage to your home’s foundation, and molds!

Call Us for Plumbing Services All Year Round

What’s your best defense versus common water heater problems during winter? The answer is having a reliable plumbing company at your beck and call.

The Plumber can look at your water heater, diagnose what’s wrong, and fix the problem. Whether you have a frozen water heater or burst pipes, we have a 24-hour emergency response team to handle any situation. We also offer top-of-the-line equipment installation if it’s necessary to replace your water heater.

If you’re in the Polk County area, contact us for all your plumbing needs!

tech checking water heater

How Cold Weather Can Cause Water Heater Damage

The average tank water heater has a service life of eight to 12 years. A tankless water heater system has a service life of 20 years or more. With the right care and maintenance, you may be able to extend the life of your water heater.

Are you providing the right maintenance for your water heater? How about preventative maintenance from cold winter weather?

Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn about how cold weather can contribute to plumbing issues that may lead to water heater damage.

Cold Weather Damage to Water Heaters

Wondering what type of water heater damage can be caused by cold winter weather? Here are common issues that can occur.

Your Water Heater Might Work Harder

If your water heater is located in an unheated part of your home, then the cold weather may make your water heater work harder to heat your water. This can lead to higher energy bills due to all that energy used heating up your water.

Frozen Pipes

Extreme cold weather can also freeze your pipes. If your pipes freeze, this can result in expansion which can cause your pipes to crack and leak. What's more, frozen pipes can eventually burst.

Preventing Water Heater Damage from Cold Weather

There are things you can do to prevent water heater damage. Here are some tips for preventative maintenance.

Insulate Your Water Heater and Pipes

What you can do to protect your water heater is to insulate your water heater and pipes. If your water heater is a newer model, it might already be insulated.

By insulating your water heater you can save 7%-16% on your water heating costs. What's more, you can decrease standby heat losses by 25%-45%.

You should also insulate your pipes to prevent them from freezing.

Flush Your Tank

Another action you can take for general water heater maintenance is to flush your tank from sediment buildup. Over time, sediment can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank.

The sediment buildup ends up affecting the performance of your water heater and makes it work harder than it needs to. It can also over time corrode the inside of your water heater which can lead to leaks and water heater damage.

Provide Regular Maintenance

To keep your water heater running optimally, you can schedule regular maintenance and service. You can have a professional technician come out for maintenance and to check for any signs of damage.

If the technician does spot any water heater damage such as leaks, they can repair the water heater or recommend a replacement if one is needed.

Need a Plumber for Water Heater Repair or Maintenance?

You want to make sure your water heater is protected from extreme winter weather. The best way to prevent water heater damage from cold weather is through preventative maintenance. After all, you rely on your water heater for so many aspects of your home life including bathing, cleaning, and cooking.

Is your water heater in need of service or repair? Looking for a reliable, trusted plumber in Livingston?

We service Livingston, Texas, and the surrounding areas. Contact us for your plumbing needs today.