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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tips to Cut Your Water Bill

Summer is heating up and along with rising temperatures, many people are seeing rising utility bills. Families are using more and more water in an attempt to keep cool. Here are four ways to help your family reduce its water bill.

1.     Fix Leaky Faucets: A dripping tap can waste an amazing quantity of water, and a steady stream could waste enough water to service an entire family for one day. Prompt attention to any leaks would equal exponential saving. 
2.     Install Aerators: An aerator is a simple water-conserving device that connects to the tip of a faucet and restricts the flow of water while maintaining the same perceived flow rate. Many modern sinks come with aerators already installed, but older residences could benefit from this simple upgrade.
3.     Install a Water-Saving Toilet: Older commodes can use between 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. New federal law requires modern toilets to use no more than 1.6 gallons, and some use even less. The cost incurred with installing a modern high-efficiency toilet would quickly pay for itself.
4.     Have a Shallow Well Installed: If you live in an area where the water table is quite high, make the most of your good fortune! Watering your lawn and garden with water from your shallow well could drastically cut your usage and your utility bill. 

For more ideas on how to cut your water bill this summer, give The Polite Plumber a call today! We have all sorts of ideas to help you save!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Do You Need Drain Cleaning This Spring?

Spring is here and you are in the mood for spring cleaning. As you empty out your closets and clean under the bed, you might be ignoring an important cleaning job. Your pipes get a lot of wear and tear throughout the year. There is a lot of hair, oil and debris that pass through them and can build up in them. Here are some reasons to consider having a professional drain cleaning this spring.

Faster Draining Means Cleaner Sinks and Bathtubs
When there is debris and buildup in your pipes, you will notice your sinks and bathtubs drain more slowly. In the time it takes for this water to drain, the dirt and soap will begin to cling to the basin. You will find yourself constantly wiping out your sinks and tubs. After your pipes have been cleaned, the water will drain more quickly and not leave as much residue behind.

Avoid Blockages
When oil and other items build up in your pipes, you will eventually reach a point where they will not drain at all. You will find your home with standing water in the sinks and tubs and toilets that are overflowing. If the blockage is bad enough, you might require an emergency visit from your local plumber.

Bigger Issues Identified
When a professional comes to clean your drains this spring, they will inspect your pipes and faucets. If there are bigger plumbing issues in your home, they will be able to identify them and create a plan to fix them. This can save the aggravation of coming home to a burst pipe or other plumbing issues that leaves water pouring out into your home.

If you have questions related to your plumbing in Budd Lake, NJ, just call The Polite Plumber at (973) 398-0875. We’ll never ask how it happened!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tips for Preventing Freezing Pipes

Freezing pipes present a big threat to home owners. Frozen pipes not only limit water from running throughout your house, they can easily burst and damage your home.

Preventing your pipes from freezing is much easier and cheaper than fixing a frozen or burst pipe. Here are some tips for how to prevent freezing pipes:

Avoid Stagnant Water
Pipes are most vulnerable to freezing when water inside isn’t circulating. There are two important ways to avoid water sitting in your pipes and freezing.

·        First, drain pipes that aren’t used over the winter. Disconnect any hoses or sprinklers that won’t be used and close valves that supply water to these outdoor spigots. After the water is shut off for these areas, open the hose bibs to allow the remaining water in the pipes to drain.

·        As for pipes that are in use during the winter, it is important to keep water circulating during extremely cold weather. If temperatures are very cold, it is smart to let water drip from faucets throughout your home. The running water will help prevent these pipes from freezing and possibly bursting.

Prepare for Vacation
One of the most common times for pipes to freeze is while homeowners are away on vacation. However, this can be avoided by following a few easy steps.

·        Since water won’t be running at all while you’re gone, it’s important to drain your pipes before you leave. Shut off the main water supply to your home and drain pipes by opening all faucets and flushing toilets.

·        A common mistake home owners make is thinking that they don’t need to heat their home while they’re away. While the temperature certainly doesn’t need to be comfortable for living, it is important to keep the heat running low to prevent pipes from dropping below freezing.

Heating Products
There are numerous products you can use to help keep pipes in your home warm.

·        Insulation foam can be wrapped around exposed pipes in your home to keep them at a moderate temperature. Consider this for exterior pipes or pipes in your attic that are exposed to cold temperatures.

·        Similar to insulation foam, products such as heat tape and a heat cable can keep your pipes warm. Run the tape or cable along areas of pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing.

Expose Pipes to Warm Air
·        Most pipes in your home are likely running through walls or inside of cabinets. Open kitchen and cabinet doors to expose the pipes to the warm air circulating through your home.

If you have questions related to your plumbing in Flanders,NJ, just call The Polite Plumber at (973) 398-0875. We’ll never ask how it happened!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Don't Ignore These Signs of a Hidden Plumbing Leak

People think plumbing leaks are obvious. However, many leaks occur in hidden spaces such as behind walls or under cabinets. Many leaks initially go unnoticed for long periods. The longer they go undiscovered, the more damage they create.

Here are some signs of a hidden plumbing leak.

High Water Usage - An unexpectedly high water bill is a clear indication of a plumbing leak. Ideally, you want to discover the problem before this point because it means the problem existed for a while.

Paint & Wallpaper - Blistering paint or wallpaper is a good indication of a plumbing leak. However, in your bathroom, repeated hot showers and steam can also cause the same condition.

Walls & Floors - Warped and stained walls or buckling floors are telltale signs of a plumbing leak. A repair may require tearing down drywall or coming up below the floor.

Mold & Mildew - Of course, we are not talking about the kind of mold or mildew that sometimes accumulates on shower walls. If you find mold or mildew on non-shower walls or in corners leaking pipes are likely fueling the problem.

Ceilings - A leak from the second floor can create a wet spot on the ceiling below. A leak can also cause the ceiling to sag and begin cracking.

Smells - Are you familiar with the musky smell of old water? If you have a damp, earthy smell without any signs of water, there may be a leak and hidden water that is not able to dry.

If you have questions related to your plumbing in Ledgewood, NJ, just call The Polite Plumber at (973) 398-0875. We’ll never ask how it happened!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Traditional vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Your water heater accounts for a substantial amount of your home’s total energy use. In addition to reducing your hot water use, having an energy efficient water heater can help decrease your bills. Here, we focus on two of the most popular types of water heaters: traditional and tankless.

How they work


A traditional water heater is most likely what you’re familiar with. Water is stored and constantly heated to a certain temperature in a large tank. The hot water is used as needed throughout your house and new water pumps into the tank to be heated. The new water entering the tank takes some time to heat up to the desired temperature.


Tankless water heaters differ from traditional water heaters in that they only provide hot water as needed. Instead of storing hot water, tankless heaters quickly heat up water to the desired temperature.

Why choose traditional over tankless?

There are a couple of reasons why a traditional water heater may be the best fit for someone. The biggest reason may be the ease and cost of installation. Installation and replacement costs for a traditional water heater can be half as much as a tankless heater. Additionally, switching from a traditional heater to a tankless heater can be somewhat of a complicated and expensive transition.

Another reason someone may desire a traditional heater over tankless is the amount of readily available hot water. While tankless heaters heat water much more quickly than traditional water heaters, they cannot provide the same volume of water at one time. Running two things at the same time, such as the shower and dishwasher might be too much for a tankless heater to handle.

Why choose tankless over traditional?

Tankless water heaters are much more efficient than traditional water heaters. Traditional heaters constantly heat up the water tank, so a lot of energy is wasted when no one is using hot water. Since tankless heaters heat up water on demand, they don’t produce the energy losses that traditional heaters do. According to, tankless water heaters can be 24%-34% more efficient than traditional water heaters for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily. also estimates that an Energy Star tankless water heater can save users about $100 annually, which can add up to some serious savings considering the lifespan of tankless heaters.

The life expectancy of a tankless heater is greater than 20 years, significantly longer than the expected lifespan of 10-15 years for a traditional heater. The longer lifespan of tankless water heaters means fewer replacement and installation payments, which when added to the yearly savings tankless heaters can provide, add up to substantial long-term savings.

A big reason why a tankless water heater may be the best choice for a household is the amount of people living in the house. If you’ve ever been last in line to take a shower and were stuck with cold water, you know it’s not fun. A tankless water heater’s capability to heat water quickly means there is enough hot water for everyone.

If you have questions related to your plumbing in Budd Lake, NJ, just call The Polite Plumber at (973) 398-0875. We’ll never ask how it happened!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Plumbing Tips

Summer is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to be spending a lot of time outside enjoying the beautiful weather! Plumbing problems are most common during the winter, but that doesn't mean you should neglect your plumbing system this season! We're bringing you a few tips and tricks to keep your plumbing in tiptop shape this summer!

• Summer means vacations! If you're spending more than a night or two away from your home, remember to turn down your water heater to save energy. While you're doing so, it's a great time to check the manufacture date on your heater to see if it’s time to replace it!

• Be smart when it comes to watering your lawn and plants! The best time to water is when the sun is down – either in the early morning or evening. This way, you lose less water through evaporation!

• Throwing a barbeque or summer shindig? Keep in mind what can and cannot go down your garbage disposal. Oils, fruit and vegetable peels, and corn husks are all major "no nos"!

• With everyone on school vacation, the toilets in your home are subject to more use and flushing, which can mean more clogs! Common clogs can usually be solved with a plunger, but be sure to call a professional if you're unable to unclog a toilet on your own. TIP: a trash can conveniently placed beside the toilet can go a long way to preventing things like cotton swabs, hair, and sanitary products from being flushed down your toilet!

• Call for annual maintenance! The worst mistake you can make is waiting for a problem to arise to call a professional. A full inspection of your plumbing system once a year can make the difference between small repairs and a full blown plumbing disaster. If you have yet to schedule your annual maintenance for 2016, give us a call today!

If you have questions related to your plumbing in Ledgewood, NJ, just call The Polite Plumber at (973) 398-0875. We’ll never ask how it happened!