Lutz Plumbing, Inc. Blog : Archive for November, 2019

Low Water Pressure: When Should I Call a Professional?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

There are a seemingly endless amount of annoyances when it comes to owning your own home, but one that frequently nears the top of the list is low water pressure. In some cases, it’s possible to adjust by yourself, but it’s often a better idea to call a professional plumber. How do you know which situation you’re in? There are a few common causes of low water pressure. Let’s take a look at them and determine which are possible to fix on your own and which you should call in the experts to handle.

DIY Fixes

Water Valve Problems

Locate your shut-off valves near your water meter – there is usually one on the street side of the water meter and one on your home’s side. Find them and make sure they are fully open. If either is even somewhat closed, that could be the root of your low pressure problems. Valves that aren’t open all the way block the flow of water, causing low pressure out of your pipes. Open them up and you’ve found an easy solution!

Check on Your Fixtures

Another quick and easy fix is to service your water fixtures. If you’re getting low pressure from just one or two locations in your house, e.g. your shower head or kitchen sink, but the rest of the house seems fine, those particular fixtures might need some attention. Check them for built-up limestone, dirt, grime, or rust and ensure that the faucet’s screen is clear. You can clean them up by following this method, but if they’re too gunked up, you may need to replace them. Don’t sweat it, though – replacing faucets can be an easy DIY day job. Just be sure to turn off your water supply beforehand, or you’ll be dealing with quite a mess.

Call In The Pros

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Problematic Pipes

If your fixtures look good and your water valves are both fully open, it’s probably time for you to call in a professional plumber. They can take a more in-depth look at your pipes and figure out where the problem is. If your home is older, there’s a good chance you have a clog somewhere; they can take a while to build up and become noticeable. A plumber can bring in a scope to find the clog and get rid of it for you.

Another unfortunate cause could be that your pipes have corroded. Corroded pipes can cause a number of serious problems like leaks and contamination, so keep your fingers crossed that this isn’t the cause of your low water pressure. The solution to corrosion is simply to replace your plumbing, which is an expensive and time-consuming solution. Pipe corrosion can cause a number of health problems, so if you suspect that it’s the cause of your low water pressure, call in a professional right away.

Faulty Pressure Regulator

If your home’s plumbing has a pressure regulator, low water pressure may indicate that it is failing. Pressure regulators do exactly as their name implies – they regulate the water pressure. Too high or too low water pressure means that the regulator isn’t working properly and needs to be replaced.

Inadequate Water Supply Line

Your main water supply line has been in place since your home was built, so if you have done remodeling and added any water fixtures to your home, your main line may be insufficient for the demand you now have. Call up a local plumber or contractor to pull up records verifying the size of your main supply line and they’ll be able to determine if it’s still acceptable or if it’s causing your low water pressure.

If you have low water pressure in your home, you don’t have to “just deal with it” and wait for the problem to get worse. Try out our DIY solutions and if they don’t seem to be the cause, contact us today at Lutz Plumbing for a trusted professional opinion.

 

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When to Replace Your Water Heater

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

How Serious is the Problem?

The water heater is one of the most important parts of a home that people tend to forget about. But when it’s not working, it’s the only thing people can think about. There are a lot of things you can do to better maintain your water heater. Some things are possible to do yourself, but for many issues, you will want a professional to repair them. Paying to have things fixed can get pretty pricey. Many times, you are better off spending a little bit more to get an entirely new water heater. In the event of a water leak, you will definitely need a new water heater.

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Some Minor Problems You Can Fix

The following are examples of some minor issues that you can take care of yourself without having to bother with the expense of hiring a professional:

  • Water isn’t the desired temperature
  • Leaky pressure valve
  • Hissing noise

Each of these involves a few steps that you may be able to take care of yourself. Many people don’t have the patience or the desire to handle these types of problems. A plumber can fix any of these problems easily, without the need for a whole new heater.

An Ounce of Prevention

The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is definitely true when it comes to water heater maintenance. Lowes identifies some maintenance tips for water heaters to include the following:

  • Periodically check the pressure-relief valve. To do this, lift the valve handle and let it snap into place. You should get a burst of water in the overflow drain pipe. If this doesn’t happen, you will need to install or have someone install a new valve.
  • Twice a year, drain the water heater. This will prevent corrosion to the inside of the tank, making it work more efficiently.
  • Reduce damage to your tank due to overheating by setting the temperature of the heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Time to Replace

While maintaining your water heater will make it last longer, there are issues that absolutely signal that a replacement is necessary. A ten-year-old water heater is living on borrowed time. Watch for leaks around the tank as well as sudden changes to water temperature. When these problems begin to occur, it is time to replace the unit. Once you’ve made the decision, you have a number of options available for your new unit.

Options to Consider When Replacing

How large is your family? How much money are you currently spending on electricity monthly? How quickly do you need more water heated after running out of hot water? These questions are all important when determining what type of replacement water heater you need. The most common size tank is between 40 and 50 gallons, though you can go larger or smaller. Today, energy efficiency is more important than ever before. With this awareness, there are now more efficient units available. Check the annual operating costs before purchasing.

Install Yourself or Not?

If you are interested in replacing your water heater before it breaks, you can do this yourself or contact a plumber to handle the installation. Keep in mind that you will need to properly dispose of the old water heater according to the law. (You can’t just shove it in the dumpster.) The installation is an involved process where you can’t cut corners. You need the right tools for the job, so verify that you have just what you need before beginning. If you decide this isn’t quite the job for you, contact us today. We are ready to help with any of your water heater needs.

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