Lutz Plumbing, Inc. Blog

Buying a Home? You Should Get a Plumbing Inspection.

August 22nd, 2019

Buying a new home can be a stressful experience, and one worry is that you will find your Kansas City dream home only to discover that there is some structural or other problem which would cost thousands of dollars to fix.

Spotting those problems before you close on the property is a good idea. That means you need to get a plumbing inspection. Basic home inspection will cover only basic plumbing problems, and getting a plumber in to do a more detailed look before you sign is a good idea. Most people tend to wait until after they have bought the home and are on the hook for any problems found.

During a regular home inspection, the home inspector will generally make sure all plumbing fixtures work and check them for obvious leaks. They will also look at things like the garbage disposal and sump pump. However, this inspection is a bare minimum and can miss some real problems.

If the home inspector flags anything with your plumbing, you should go ahead and get a plumber to take a look, especially as they can also give you a quote on repairs. This will allow you to decide whether to move on with the purchase or whether the problem is a deal killer. You may also be able to get the seller to pay for the repair, especially if you are in a buyer’s market.
For a full plumbing inspection, the plumber will do the following:

  1. Check the water heater, including its age. They can also evaluate whether the water heater is big enough for the needs of the home, which can result in a chilly problem if not corrected. If the water heater is more than 9 or 10 years old, expect to have to replace it. They will check the heater’s venting, temperature, and pressure, and ensure the gas line is correctly installed. Problems with the water heater can be hugely dangerous.
  2. Visually inspect all of your plumbing and check the shutoff supplies. They will check for toilet leaks. Leaks at the bottom of toilets are a problem that is common and not always fixed immediately. The home inspector will also do this, but they generally do not do as thorough a job as an actual plumber.
  3. Check that your water pressure is normal. Water pressure should be between 55 and 60 psi. Be aware that this is affected by local conditions. Water pressure lower than 50 psi causes problems for showers and laundry. Over 65 is worse, as it can cause damage to your fixtures.
  4. Use a diagnostic camera to inspect the pipes under the home. This may be an extra cost, but is often worth it. Make sure they check the main sewer line, where deterioration or clogs can cause serious issues if raw sewage backs up into your home.
  5. Check for poorly-done DIY repairs that may need to be redone or may be causing more damage. For example, sometimes people will caulk a toilet leak badly and cause pooling of water that damages the floor underneath.

This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about repairs that may be needed. Of course a plumber is not there to tell you whether to buy the house or not, just to help you determine whether the problems are something you can deal with.

If you are buying a new home in Kansas City and want to get the plumbing inspected, ideally before you close, contact Lutz Plumbing to get a quote today.

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Practical Ways of Conserving Water At Home

July 20th, 2019

Water is an essential resource in everyday life yet, a lot of it may go to waste if you do not take the necessary precautions. Reports of global warming and the scarcity of water in some regions around the globe are encouraging individuals to embrace eco-friendly living as a way of reducing wastage and to promote water conservation.

Becoming conscious of how you use water around your home will bear a significant impact on your efforts to conserve this resource, and that is why this should be part of your priorities. Some of the simple best practices you embrace today as a homeowner can save several gallons of water every day, and here are some of them.

Invest in Water-Efficient Appliances

Dishwashers and washing machines are a necessity in various homes, and they are responsible for wastage of water in one way or another. If you are planning to replace a dishwasher or washing machine, opt for the variety that is water-efficient. You should also avoid turning on your washing machine or dishwasher when it is hardly full because that suggests that you will clean your clothes or dishes frequently and that will result in the wastage of water around your home.

If possible, acquire the smallest dishwasher or washing machine for your needs because the smaller the size, the lesser the amount of water you will use at home daily.

Fix Leakages

Taps, pipes, and other plumbing works wear down, break, rust, deteriorate over time, and block up for one reason or another. Failure to check the water supply pipe to your house means that there can be unseen leakages underground, which will not only increase your monthly utility bills, but such leaks will frustrate your water conservation efforts if they remain unattended.

Inviting a plumber to check the fittings around your home at least once every year is advisable. You should also check your water meter, especially when water is not running from the taps in your house, which can help you establish whether there is underground water leakage or not. Fixing a leaking pipe will tame water wastage and eliminate potential destruction of your property.

Reduce Your Shower Time

Do you ever consider the amount of time you spend in the shower? Spending a lot of time showering while your mind is wondering contributes to wastage of water. A starting point for cutting down the amount of time you spend showering can be using a timer that will help you acquire the necessary discipline for saving water in this case.

Showering is a daily routine, and occupants of individual homes can conserve a lot of water by reducing the time they spend in the shower.

Turn Off The Faucets

You may not leave the water running from your home faucet when washing your hands, face, or when cleaning your teeth because you are conscious of the same. However, if you have a habit of cleaning fresh produce with running water, quite often you may leave the water running for a considerable period, and that may not strike your conscience at that moment.

Ensuring that each faucet within your house is off every time you are not using it can help you save several gallons of water each day, and that is one of the best practices that is worth embracing.

Reuse, Reuse, Reuse

It is quite uncommon to find homeowners reusing water where this is an option, especially if they do not have a water recycling system. Today, several industries and establishments are recycling wastewater, as part of their initiatives for supporting an eco-friendly environment. You do not have to set up an expensive water recycling plant within your home to save water because you can adopt a cheaper alternative that can help you achieve the same objective.

Instead of draining some of the water you can reuse consider collecting it in a bucket for use on your yard or lawn, which will reduce unnecessary wastage of water around your home. If you need more information on tips for conserving water at home, contact us today!

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6 Items You Should Never Put Down Your Kitchen Sink

June 28th, 2019

If you’re like many Kansas City homeowners who own kitchen garbage disposals, you probably know how useful these appliances can be. However, you can’t just toss anything down the chute without hurting your disposal or damaging your plumbing. Here are six foods and items you should never put down your kitchen drain, along with a few considerations and warnings. 

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1. Greasy, Oily or Fatty Foods 

High on the list of foods that should never go down a disposal chute are those that contain grease, oil or fat. Grease that sticks to the interior of sewer pipes can accumulate, which results in blocking pipes. Consider that your garbage disposal won’t keep out grease from your plumbing system since it’s designed to shred only solid substances into small bits. Even worse, it lets grease descend down your drain, which creates more problems.

Fatty meats should never be dumped into a drain as well as oily foods. Thus, never throw shortening, cooking oil, lard, questionable food scraps, butter, margarine, sauces, dairy products, and baking goods into your garbage disposal.

2. Coffee Grounds

Unfortunately, too many people think they can use a disposal for getting rid of coffee grinds. Don’t dump coffee grounds down your drain because they can hurt your plumbing, although they won’t affect your disposal. Consider that eventually, coffee grinds can get into your plumbing, which can lead to clogs.

3. Stringy or Fibrous Veggies and Fruits

Never put stringy vegetables, such as celery and asparagus, down your disposal. This is because the strings of these veggies can easily wrap around the moving parts of a disposal and cause damage.

Also, don’t toss fibrous fruits and vegetables down your chute. Avoid vegetables with layered bulbs, such as onions. In addition to causing damage by wrapping around a disposal’s moving parts, they can weaken or even ruin the motor of a disposal.

4. Rice and Pasta

Rice and pasta should stay out of a disposal. These types of food are prone to expand in a disposal when coming into contact with water. As a result, they can easily block your disposal’s trap or clog your drain.

5. Shells and Nuts

You may have heard the old wives’ tale that eggshells can be used to sharpen disposal blades, but this is just isn’t true. Egg shells can be hazardous because of their filmy membrane that can wrap around the moving components of a disposal. Rather than throwing shells down your disposal, use them as compost.

Shells from seafood aren’t meant for a garbage disposal, as they are exceptionally hard. On the other hand, there are some disposals that can take their hardness. But it’s still not a good idea since it can cause blades to become dull. What’s more, your disposal won’t last as long. Furthermore, don’t throw nuts down your disposal.

6. Items That Aren’t Biodegradable

Non-food items, such as tissues and napkins, should not be allowed in a disposal. A good rule of thumb is that if an item isn’t biodegradable, it’s a no-no. These items include those such as plastic, paper, metal, glass, wood, and others. Simply recycle these materials, if possible, or just toss them in your garbage.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Never throw animal bones into a disposal. Bone is an extremely hard substance, so it’s not intended for a disposal. Even though some garbage disposals can process bones, throwing animal bones into a disposal can still cause wear and shorten lifespan.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean out your disposal. Instead, clean it out by pouring a small amount of dish detergent into it. Throw down a few ice cubes, because ice can clean the walls and blades, while the soap breaks down oil and grease as well as gives it a pleasant scent.
  • Keep cigarette butts out of your disposal because they can expand, causing clogs. Again, a kitchen garbage disposal isn’t intended for any man-made materials.
  • Don’t throw down too much stuff at the same time. In other words, put only a small handful of a substance down the chute instead of tossing everything down at once. You don’t want to put excess stress on your disposal’s motor because this can wear it out quickly.

 

Sometimes, drains get clogged or need repair even if they are used properly and maintained. For all your home drain needs, you can depend on Lutz Plumbing. Please contact us.

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Lutz Plumbing’s Loyalty Club Helps to Prevent Major Plumbing Leaks

June 14th, 2019

When it comes to plumbing, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is very true.

Water leaks waste water and money. Additionally, they will typically develop into a bigger problem that will cause more extensive damage. Checking your plumbing for leaks or other potential problems should be one of your most important routines. Below we will discuss the cost of leaks in the long run and what you should do if you discover a leak.

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Household Leaks

There are many possible places in the home from which leaks can develop. These include:

  • Toilet (internal and external)
  • Sink
  • Water Heater
  • Washing machine
  • Pipes that are behind the wall

These leaks can cause very little damage or major damage that will necessitate extensive repairs. However, even small leaks should not be ignored. They can be the first sign of a major problem to come. Most of these leaks, if left unaddressed, will cause mold which can cause major health problems and is expensive to remove.

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4 Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

May 28th, 2019

Whether taking a shower, washing your hands, or cooking, your water heater makes these everyday activities possible. As a homeowner trying to cut costs, you may want to save on bills as much as possible, and your energy (or gas) bill is one of them. Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, heat water only when it’s needed, reducing wasted heat and energy. If you’re thinking about replacing your current water heater, a tankless water heater could be the solution for you.

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Below are 4 benefits of tankless water heaters:

1. ENERGY-EFFICIENT

Compared to traditional, tank-style water heaters, tankless water heaters save more energy. Tank-style water heaters experience what is known as standby energy loss. A burner heats the water and water is stored within the tank, waiting to be used. The thermal energy dissipates during the time it stays in the tank. In other words, hot water stays in the tank whether it’s being used or not, which means that you could be wasting energy. This is especially true if you’re away from home while the traditional water heater is constantly firing up to reheat the water in its tank.

In contrast, tankless water heaters eliminate standby loss as they only produce hot water on demand. When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit and is heated by an electric heating element or a gas burner. That means that no hot water is wasted, which saves energy and helps families to reduce energy costs. For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, tankless water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than traditional, tank-style water heaters. They can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water, which is around 86 gallons per day.

Also, you can receive a $300 federal tax rebate if you purchase an ENERGY STAR certified gas tankless water heater. Electric tankless heaters are also eligible for the rebate.

2. SAVE SPACE

Tankless water heaters take up less space than traditional tank-style water heaters. Tankless water heaters have a compact design and can be mounted on a wall. So they are an ideal option for small spaces as they take up less room.

3. ENDLESS HOT WATER

Tankless water heaters offer a continuous supply of hot water at a preset temperature level, which is great for filling up a large tub or whirlpool. They can produce as much as 5 to 7 gallons of hot water per minute. This means that you would have more than enough hot water for multiple showers and for appliances to run simultaneously. Tankless water heaters simply never run out of water. With traditional, tank-style water heaters, when hot water runs out, it could take a long period of time for the tank to fill back up with hot water. Not to mention the high energy costs that come with storing hot water that may not be used.

4. LONGER LIFE EXPECTANCY

Tankless water heaters can last twice as long as conventional water heaters. They typically offer a longer warranty as well. So if anything goes wrong with your tankless water heater, you won’t have to pay for repairs or replacement. This can help homeowners save money in the long run. Warranties can last up to 20 years, which is the average lifespan of a tankless water heater.

Do you own a home in the Kansas City area? Are you looking to install a tankless water heater to reduce energy costs? Contact Lutz Plumbing to get a quote about tankless water heater installation for your home.

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Should You Be Filtering Your Tap Water?

May 16th, 2019

Great tasting water straight from the tap is what we all want when we reach for a glass. The water used for cooking and drinking should be sparkling, fresh, and just great tasting. How can you achieve this? With the wide selection of water filtration systems available and the experts at Lutz Plumbing, it is much easier than you may think.

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Why Filter Water?

Water quality varies from one local utility to another, so you want to make sure you select a filter that catches the contaminants in your area. You can order a report from your local utility to find out what contaminants are common in your water.

Filtering water is especially important if you are pregnant, older, or if someone in the home has a suppressed immune system. Bottled water is an option, but bottled water is not as strictly monitored as municipal water, and environmental groups discourage its use because of all the plastic waste generated. Not only that, but it is also much less cost-effective.

Using fresh filtered water also has health benefits, with the reduction in bacterial contamination and chlorine. Some water filters also provide an even more comprehensive range of contaminant removal, producing healthier water for cooking, drinking, and with some filters, bathing.

Types of Water Filters

Water filters are designed to remove specific contaminants, so check the packaging to make sure the filter you purchase meets NFS certification for substances of concern in your water. Also, check for NSF certification for the removal of lead and organic contaminants.

Calculate how much water your family uses and consumes. Factor in cooking water and your budget and you’ll get an idea of which type of water filter would work best in your home. Below is a list of the types of water filters that will introduce fresh, sweet tasting, water into your home.

Carafes work well for individuals or couples who don’t use as much water as larger families. Most of these do an excellent job of removing lead and chloroform

Faucet mounted water filters can switch between filtered and unfiltered water, but their water flow can be slow, and they don’t fit on all faucet types. (like a pull-out sprayer)

Countertop water filters sit on the counter and allow you to filter large amounts of water without altering your plumbing. They can take up a lot of space on your counter and they also don’t fit on all faucets.

Under Sink water filters take up space under the sink, but are able to filter large amounts of water. They filter all the water from your tap while remaining out of sight.

Reverse Osmosis water filters remove a wide range of contaminants from the water using a semi-permeable membrane and filters.

Whole house water filtration systems are the most comprehensive option for filtering water entering your home. They are considered point- of-entry filters because they are installed where water first enters your home and they filter all your water, both hot and cold.

Kansas City Water Concerns

According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), Kansas City area water is polluted by industry contaminants, agricultural products, general runoff, and other naturally occurring pollutants. Lutz Plumbing recommends a whole house water filtration system for the most comprehensive contamination removal, allowing your family to enjoy healthful, clean water for bathing, cooking, and most importantly, drinking!

With the help of professionals at Lutz Plumbing, you will be enjoying healthful, sweet-smelling water in your home in no time at all. Contact us to get your water tested and find out what is in your water. We will work with you to find the best water filtration system that suits your specific needs.

 

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When to Call for Emergency Plumbing Services

February 18th, 2019

plumber-wrenchSometimes homeowners are unsure what constitutes an “emergency,” so we’re here to clear things up a bit. Emergencies don’t always have to mean that your home is bursting at the seams with water, sometimes an “emergency” is just a clogged toilet. We’ve listed some of the most common emergencies below, if you find yourself running into a problem like this below make sure that you contact our team here today. We have a team full of conscientious, educated technicians and we always provide 24-hour emergency service for our customers. If you need emergency service in Kansas City, MO then contact our team today.   

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How to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter

February 4th, 2019

plumber-repairing-hot-water-heaterWinter in Missouri has been remarkably cold this year. The frosty windchill and teenage temperatures are enough of a problem on their own, but the side effects of these temperatures are even more of a problem. A big issue we see a lot during this time of year are frozen pipes.

Frozen pipes are an inconvenient problem (imagine turning on your faucet and getting no water) and they become an even bigger issue when the frozen pipes lead to other issues like pipe burst. Your plumbing system is so complex and delicate that it’s important to act quickly and proactively. If you do run into a problem and need plumbing in Independence, MO you can rely on our trustworthy team.

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A Guide to Choosing the Right Water Heater

January 21st, 2019

Plumber repairing an hot-water heaterNow more than ever there seem to be limitless options for technology in your home. When you’re in the middle of moving into a new home or just upgrading the appliances in your own home, there are so many options that make even simple tasks complicated. If you need help choosing the right water heater, we understand, and we can help you through this process. We offer a wide variety of water heaters, and if you need repair or maintenance services we offer service on any make and model water heater system.

If you want a great water heater in Shawnee, KS then make sure that you choose to consult our team before you buy a unit for your home. We can make sure that you pick a unit that’s the best for the needs of your home.

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Water Contaminants vs. Your Home: Why You Need Water Treatment

January 7th, 2019

water-handsYour water quality is a big issue in the overall quality of your home. Although we heavily rely on water in our daily lives, its healthfulness probably isn’t something you lose sleep over. Although it’s not a hot topic, we’re encouraging you to think about this issue.

It’s important that your water supply stays clear of contaminants and pollutants that are common to your home. When you need plumbing in Mission, KS make sure to contact our team. We’re the best in the area for all your water treatment services because we understand the science behind water treatment and the importance of clean water in your home.   

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