Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it is time to tackle that home maintenance to-do list. This includes inspecting your home plumbing to identify potential problems that can easily turn into costly repairs if not addressed.

Inside Your Home:

You should start by checking for hidden water leaks. Even a small drip or leak can add hundreds of dollars to your water bill over the course of a year. This is a simple process that does not require any specialized equipment.
  • Inspect all indoor faucets and readily accessible pipes. Be sure to remove items from your under-the-sink cabinets to check for signs of mold, dampness, puddles, or watermarks.
  • Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the tank of each toilet. Check the bowl in about 30 minutes. If you see color in the water, your toilet is leaking.
  • Read your water meter and then avoid using any water for at least two hours. At the end of that time, take a second meter reading. If the numbers have changed, you have a leak.

Outside of Your Home:

Winter weather can take a toll on outdoor plumbing fixtures, so they should be inspected to ensure that they are ready for the spring and summer gardening season.
  • Test all of your outdoor spigots to make sure that they function properly and are free of leaks.
  • Check any plumbing vents to make sure that they are free of leaves and other debris.
  • If you have a lawn irrigation system, inspect the sprinkler heads to ensure that they work properly.

General Maintenance:
  • Check your washing machine, dishwasher, and other water-using appliances for any hoses that are worn, cracked, or bulging.
  • Flush your water heater, replace the anode rod, and test the pressure relief valve. Since this involves dealing with extremely hot water, this job is best left to a professional.
  • Clean your faucet aerators and shower-heads by soaking them in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove the mineral buildup.
  • Replace any dried out or missing caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks.

Have questions? We encourage you to contact us here at The Polite Plumber with any questions and service needs you may have.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tips on How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency

Plumbing emergencies are bound to happen. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage caused by a burst or leaking pipe. Staying calm and following the steps provided below will help you take control of an out-of-control situation.

What Every Homeowner Needs To Know

As a homeowner, you should always know where the main water shut-off is located. When a plumbing emergency hits, this information can save your home and your bank account from serious damage.

Turn Off The Water

Even the smallest of leaks can lead to large repair bills when they aren't taken care of in a timely manner. If your toilet or sink is leaking, shutting off the water line that runs to the fixtures should alleviate the problem while you wait for a plumber to arrive. However, if you spot a puddle of water in the middle of your dining room, and you have no clue where the leak is coming from, you'll need to head to your home's main water supply and turn that off. While this may seem like an easy step, it's one of most crucial actions you can take when you're dealing with a serious leak.

Evaluate The Damage

Before making any phone calls take a minute to assess the situation. Having a general idea of where the leak is located and the damage it has caused will help you clearly deliver important information to your emergency plumber in Ledgewood NJ.

Call A Plumber

Getting a plumber to your house as soon as possible is crucial to minimizing the damage. Describing the situation as best as you can over the phone will help the plumber determine whether or not they need to bring any special equipment to repair the problem. You should also ask for a quote, however, some plumbers won't supply one without evaluating the issue in person.

We encourage you to make the smart decision and give The Polite Plumber a call. We’re always happy to help and/or answer any question you may have!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Subtle Signs You Might Have a Leaking Pipe and Need a Plumbing Repair

In your day-to-day life, you probably don’t give the pipes in your home a second thought. As long as you get water when you turn on the faucet and water isn’t pouring out onto the floor, you figure things are great with your pipes. However, pipes wind through the walls and all around your home. Here a few small signs you might have a leaking pipe that you cannot see, and it is time for plumbing in Flanders NJ

High Water Bill

It’s that time of the month again, and your water bill comes in the mail. If this month your bill is significantly higher and you don’t have a good reason why it might be, it is possible that you have water leaking somewhere in your home. It can be anything from a faucet dripping throughout the day and night or a pipe hidden out of sight leaking.

Low Water Pressure

You get into your shower and adjust the temperature but the water pressure isn’t at the normal level you enjoy each morning. It could be a temporary thing, or it might be that water is being redirected somewhere else in your home, such as a leaking pipe in or dripping faucet.

Water in Unusual Places

When you walk into your closet, is there a little dampness on the carpet or a stain on the wall behind your child’s bed? If you find water or water stains in places where you don’t have water or a faucet, it might be a sign of a leaking pipe. We encourage you to call The Polite Plumber in Ledgewood NJ with any questions or services you might need. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Stuffing More Than Just the Turkey: 6 Ways to Avoid a Thanksgiving Plumbing Disaster

Did you know that one of the most popular weekends to call the plumber is over the Thanksgiving weekend? The stress on the garbage disposal and the pressure of guests using the toilets, showers, and sinks can be distressing. Don't become another Thanksgiving statistic. Abide by these tips instead of hosting a Thanksgiving plumbing disaster this year.

1.      Save your plumbers number to your phone so that you aren't scouring the phone book or Internet in case the toilet is overflowing onto your beautiful floors.
2.      If you know in advance that you will be hosting the big meal, call your plumber in Ledgewood NJ for some preliminary examination. Your goal is to make sure that your pipes are in good enough condition to handle the influx of guests you will be entertaining.
3.      Put fats and oils in the trash, not the sink. These items should never go down the drain because they can create clogs when they ultimately solidify. You can use paper towels to wipe grease into the trash. You should also keep anything stringy, bony, or starchy out of the garbage disposal. This includes chicken or turkey skin, potato peels and celery. These items do not break down easily, eventually leading to clogs.
4.      Never flush food (of any size) down the toilet. The toilet is not designed to handle the stress of food, and you may find that it is backed up. It is certainly not a good alternative to the garbage disposal.
5.      Try to keep guests from taking showers back to back. It is better to provide your pipes with a short break, allowing items like hair to disperse rather than clog your drains.
6.      Anytime you use the garbage disposal while cooking the big meal, keep the motor going when you start to put the food in. Don't allow the disposal to fill up before you hit the switch. Additionally, be sure to keep the water running while you do this.

Don't you want to spend more time with your loved ones and less time hanging out with the plumber on Thanksgiving? We encourage you to follow these steps and to call us at The Polite Plumber with any questions or service needs you may have.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Don't Fall for These Common Plumbing Myths

Many homeowners underestimate the complexity of plumbing and try to find solutions to their plumbing problems online. Unfortunately, many of these "quick fixes" are based on incorrect information and can even cause further damage to your plumbing system. The following are a few of the myths that we hear most often.

Low Water Pressure Is Nothing to Worry About:

Low water pressure can be a sign of a water leak. Not only will this hit your wallet in the form of higher water bills, but an undiagnosed leak can cause damage to your home and property that you may not see right away.

Drain Clogs Are Inevitable:

A few preventative steps can prevent most kitchen and bathroom drain clogs. In the kitchen, use a filter or strainer in your drain to prevent food particles from going down the drain. You should also use a filter in the shower or bathtub to catch the hair and run hot water down the drain regularly to help remove soap scum. Finally, never flush anything down your toilet other than human waste and toilet paper. Feminine hygiene products and wipes, even if they say they are flushable, can cause clogs.

Commercial Drain Cleaners Are the Best Way to Unclog a Drain:

Liquid drain cleaners are ineffective against clogs caused by solids. They also contain harsh chemicals that can corrode and damage your pipes. Your best option is to call a professional plumber who can make sure that the clog is removed completely without harming the rest of your plumbing system.

Putting a Brick in the Toilet Tank Will Save Water:

While it is true that the brick will displace water so that the tank will take less water to fill, it is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. First, bricks deteriorate when placed in water for an extended time. The sediment can end up damaging various components of your toilet. You also run the risk of displacing too much water and having to flush twice, which negates any potential water savings.

My Water Is Flowing Fine, So I Do Not Have to Worry About a Clog:

Clogs often develop over time. For example, leftover rice may go down the drain quite easily; however, it will absorb water and bloat over time. Eventually, the clog will reach a size where the water can longer pass and therefore create a nasty backup. Having your pipes inspected once a year is the best way to identify potential clogs before they can cause a major headache.

We encourage you to call The Polite Plumber in Ledgewood NJ with any questions or service needs you may have.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

3 Reasons to Trust Your Home to a Professional Plumbing Service

With the myriad of home improvement shows and all kinds of plumbing solutions available at the click of a mouse, it is easy to understand why the average homeowner may want to try and fix their plumbing issues themselves. After all, if Chip and Joanna can do it in under an hour, can't the average homeowner?

The truth is, while reality TV shows make any repair seem effortless, the truth is that home repairs rarely go as planned, and plumbing repairs are no exception. So while you may be tempted to try to perform a plumbing repair yourself, here are three valid reasons why hiring a professional plumbing service is a smart decision.

It's Hassle-free

A professional plumber can save you the hassle of trying to perform maintenance or repairs on your own plumbing system. Such maintenance may be a clogged pipe, a leaky connection, or a backed up sewage tank. When trusting your home in the care of a professional, you are taking the guess-work out of figuring out the best plan of attack, while at the same time, saving yourself a myriad of frustrations if you are uncertain of the best way to properly address specific plumbing issues.

It's Cost-effective

While it is true that times are tight financially, hiring a professional plumber to perform routine service on your home's plumbing system may seem like an added and unnecessary expense. Consider for a moment, the cost of trying to do it yourself. Not only might you need to purchase additional tools, but the cost to fix any damage you may accidentally cause when attempting a repair for which you have no knowledge or training, may send you to the poorhouse. If the extent of your training is an article you read on the internet, hiring a professional may, when it's all said in done, prove to be much more cost-effective.

It Comes With a Guarantee

Any professional plumbing service that is worth doing business with will have written guarantees regarding both their work, and the fixtures or equipment they install in your home.

We encourage you to make the smart decision and give The Polite Plumber in Ledgewood NJ a call. We’re always happy to help and/or answer any questions you may have!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Helpful Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners

As a first time homeowner, you have a ton of new responsibilities, and learning to properly care for your recently purchased house is just one of them. Luckily, when it comes to your home's plumbing, following a few simple tips can help you protect your house from costly repairs.
  1. Make it your mission to find the water's main shut off valve immediately after moving in. If a major plumbing emergency does occur, knowing where the valve is located can save your home from serious water damage.
  2. Avoid using a liquid drain cleaner. While pouring a bottle of drain cleaner into a clogged sink or bathtub seems like an easy solution, in reality, the cleaner can damage the pipes in your home. The main chemical in a store-bought drain cleaner is hydrochloric acid, which will eat away at your pipes as it sits in them. Instead, buy a snake from your local home improvement store, and if that doesn't get rid of the clog, calling a plumber is the next best option.
  3. If you live in an area where winter temperatures fall below freezing, winterizing your pipes is a must. Adding insulation tubes to pipes in unheated areas protects them from freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, leaving your pipes uncovered can lead to the water in them freezing and the pipes cracking. Also, during extremely cold nights, allow all faucets on exterior walls to drip slightly. This alleviates any pressure caused by an ice blockage and can potentially stop a pipe from bursting.
  4. Find a trustworthy plumber before an emergency hits. Having to frantically search for a plumber as your basement floods is not ideal and can lead to you hiring an unreliable plumbing company. Instead, do a little research before you're caught in a desperate situation. That way, you can choose a plumber you feel confident about.
If you're a new homeowner and you're looking for a dependable plumber to help maintain your home's drains and pipes, please contact The Polite Plumber in Ledgewood NJ today. We're happy to help you.