Friday, February 15, 2019

5 Common Causes of Plumbing Leaks

If you have a water leak, it may seem like a minor problem. However, left untreated, even small leaks waste water and can also cause costly water damage to your home. That's why you should be aware of what causes water leaks. Here are five of the most common causes.

Clogged Drains

A clog is one of the most common reasons for pipes to leak. While most people consider drain clogs to be a minor inconvenience, untreated clogs can cause serious plumbing issues. You should not try to treat a clog with chemical drain cleaners. These products do not always remove the whole clog, and may damage your pipes further. If you have a clogged drain, contact a plumber for assistance.

Broken Seals

Wherever your pipes connect to plumbing fixtures, a rubber seal keeps the connection watertight. These connectors can start to degrade over time, much like old pipes. Old seals can become corroded and cause plumbing leaks.

Corroded Pipes

If your plumbing system is older, you may have pipes made from galvanized steel or copper. These older pipes are more susceptible to corrosion and rust, which can eat away at your plumbing over time and cause leaks. If you notice signs of corrosion, call a plumber for help.

Tree Roots

Tree roots will always seek a source of water. Plumbing leaks can be caused by tree roots intruding on your pipes. Even a small crack in your pipes allows tree roots to get in.

Excessive Water Pressure

All pipes are constructed to withstand a certain amount of water pressure. If your water pressure is too high, it will strain the pipes, causing them to crack and leak. If the water pressure in your home seems inconsistent, have your plumbing system inspected by a professional. It will save you from a more costly plumbing failure down the road.

If you're experiencing water leaks, contact us to schedule plumbing repair.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

How to Choose a Plumbing Service

As a homeowner, you want to be confident that any plumbing service you hire has the knowledge and experience to fix your problem. You need them to be able to solve not just the most immediate issues, but also to keep those issues from recurring in the future. Being in the hands of the right plumbing service can give you peace of mind. Keep reading to find out how you should go about evaluating a plumbing service.

Inquire About Licenses

According to the NJ Licensing and Certification Guide, master plumbers in New Jersey are required to be licensed. Before hiring a plumber, ask about his or her license. A license is evidence of a plumber's training and experience. If they have a license, make sure that it is still valid. Asking to see a license can help you to find a professional who takes their work and reputation seriously.

Find Out About Insurance

Plumbers should be insured and should be willing to give you proof of insurance upon request. Insurance will provide both you and the plumber with protection in the event of an accident. Ideally, you should make sure that they have more than just general liability insurance. Make sure that they also provide workman's compensation for their employees who will be working on your property.

Look At Their Website

A plumbing service's website will most likely be your first point of contact with them. It is the image that the company presents to its prospective customers. While their web presence may not tell you anything about a plumber's competence or integrity, you will be able to see how seriously they take their brand. By offering useful web content, a plumbing service can show their sincerity about providing excellent service to their clients. Useful content includes the basics, like hours of operation and the communities they serve, as well as informative blog posts that provide readers with valuable plumbing-related information.

If you are looking for a plumbing service that is licensed, insured, and staffed by knowledgeable professionals, contact us at The Polite Plumber for more information today!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Water Heaters

Water heaters are essential to many of our day-to-day domestic functions, such as bathing, washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, and even washing our hands. However, you've probably never thought twice about how they work and other important maintenance information.

The Parts of a Water Heater

Water heaters utilize a heating element—often a burner of sorts—to raise the temperature of the water before it ever even reaches your faucet or shower head.

A water heater is comprised of multiple elements:

  • The Tank is the inner shell of the water heater, with a capacity of somewhere between 40 to 60 gallons of hot water at about 50 to 100 lbs per square inch.
  • The Dip Tube allows water to travel into the tank and down towards the heating element.
  • A Shut-Off Valve, as its name implies, is a separate component that stops all water flow into the water heater.
  • A Thermostat not only measures the temperature of the water, but allows you to set the maximum heat to somewhere between the range of 120-180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The Heating Element is a mechanism that electrically raises the temperature of the water. Gas water heaters, on the other hand, utilize a burner and chimney in place of electricity to raise the temperature.
  • A Drain Valve is located near the bottom of an exterior casing, allowing the tank to empty sediment and easily replace elements.
  • A Pressure Relief Valve is a safety device that keeps water pressure within a safe operating limit.
  • A Sacrificial Anode Rod is constructed of aluminum and magnesium with a steel core. It is suspended within the water heater to prevent corrosion.

Additional Water Heater Facts

  • The general lifespan of a water heater is 8 to 12 years. However, some situations may warrant a sooner replacement. Even if your water heater is in good condition towards the end of its lifespan, it is still recommended to replace it, to be on the safe side.
  • A professional should inspect your water heater once every 6 to 12 months.
  • A water heater consumes about a quarter of the energy used within your home.
  • The first water heater was conceptualized by a painter in London in 1868.
  • Exploding water heaters are a myth, as it almost never happens. However, it can still happen, technically. As long as you follow through with regular maintenance and replace your water heater every decade or so, you shouldn't have to worry.
  • The average person will use between 6 and 8 gallons of water while showering. Those who bathe, on the other hand, will use about 15-20 gallons of water.

For more plumbing tips, head on over to our blog. If you are interested in learning more information about The Polite Plumber, our team of experts, as well as our services, please contact us.

Friday, November 2, 2018

How to Fix a Running Toilet in 5 Simple Steps

Do you have a toilet that is running constantly? This plumbing problem is more than just a nuisance for the ears; it’s also an indication that your toilet's functions aren't operating properly. Fortunately, by taking several simple steps, you can get your toilet back to flushing and flowing as it should. If you’re someone who would like to try and resolve the issue on your own before giving us a call, the following tips will help you out. However, please never hesitate to contact us about a plumbing issue that you’re facing – we’re here to help, and we’ll never ask how it happened!

1. Turn Off the Water

To start, flush the toilet to let the water drain and switch off the water supply. You can do so by turning the valve located either behind or next to the toilet on the wall. By turning off the water, you can remove the tank lid without getting sprayed by any leaks!

2. Check the Chain

Often, toilets run because the chain is not properly attached to the flapper. You may also notice a knot or break in the chain. For older toilets especially, there could be some rusting causing the chain to break or weaken. If this is the case, the chain will need to be replaced.

3. Adjust the Flapper

When a toilet flushes correctly, the flapper opens and closes fully. This allows the tank to fill and drain without leaks. But when the flapper isn't able to close, your toilet can run. Check whether the flapper is out of place and adjust accordingly.

4. Inspect the Fill Valve

Leaky fill valves can also be a culprit of running toilets. Turn the water supply back on and flush the toilet. If you see the valve spray or leak, water isn't flowing through your tank properly. The valve will likely need to be repaired or replaced.

5. Call a Professional

After checking the above components and making any temporary adjustments, it's important to call a plumbing professional to address the root problem. A plumber can fully inspect your toilet, pinpoint the cause of the running, and offer a complete solution.

For a running toilet and all other plumbing needs, The Polite Plumber is here to serve you. We strive to provide exemplary customer service and results that last. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

Monday, September 24, 2018

3 Reasons why you’re Always Running out of Hot Water

Your water heater probably doesn't cross your mind very often, at least not until the water runs cold in the middle of your nice hot shower. Do you find that you're running out of hot water more quickly than you used to? If so, here are some possible causes.

Simple overuse of hot water.

There is a limit to how much hot water your water heater can supply at a time. If you are running multiple appliances while you take a shower, or if multiple people shower at the same time, you will run out of hot water fairly quickly.

Your water heater isn’t the right size for your home.

If several people live in your household, it's possible that your water heater is too small for your needs. This is especially likely if you have a tankless on-demand water heater. Some electric tankless water heaters are only adequate for households of one or two people. Gas-powered models often handle larger households better. If you're considering a tankless water heater, ask your plumber to recommend the best one for your home.

There is sediment buildup in the hot water tank.

In areas with hard water, mineral deposits build up in your water heater tank. The sediment accumulates in the tank if it's not cleaned out on a regular basis. After several years, the buildup can even occupy several gallons, leaving less space for hot water. If you hear cracking or popping sounds coming from your water heater tank, it's an indication of sediment buildup. Hard water doesn't only affect your water heater. The mineral deposits left by hard water can damage your pipes. If your home has hard water, consider installing a water softener to address the issue.        
The Polite Plumber is here to help if you find yourself running out of hot water. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Did Someone Say ‘Plumbing Permit’?

One of the best ways to tell if a plumbing technician is a legitimate expert in their field is to inquire about any permits that are required to perform the work on your home. Granted, the regulations that require prior permitted approval vary from one municipality to the next; however, a legitimate contractor should always be aware of what permits are required to perform work on the plumbing system in your home.

Some homeowners see the permitting process as a nuisance, an added expense, or even an infringement on personal privacy. After all, why should your bathroom remodel be of higher concern?

Think of the permitting process as a system of checks and balances. Yes, they can be a costly nuisance, and city code enforcers can be seen as intrusive at times, however the process is designed to protect and benefit residents, contractors, and the city.

Ways the Permitting Process May Protect & Benefit You

The requirement to obtain proper permits for plumbing projects helps to ensure that only licensed contractors, who have a full understanding of their craft, are overseeing the work done on you home. This protects you from being taken to the cleaners by someone who really does not understand the intricacies of a residential plumbing system.

The requirement to obtain proper permits for plumbing projects also protects you, as the consumer, because it requires that any work performed will be inspected by a city code inspector. This extra set of eyes may prove to be an invaluable resource, should an error be made.

Furthermore, this requirement may help protect your family's health, without you ever realizing it. Years ago, it was common to use lead solder when connecting water lines. Over time, lead that was being leached into the drinking water began to affect the health of the general public. Plumbing permits now require the use of lead-free solder.

A great plumbing contractor will always know exactly what permits to pull for your project, and how to get those permits approved quickly so that your work can be completed in a reasonable period of time.

For more information about the permitting process, or to request plumbing service, please contact us at The Polite Plumber!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Be Sure to Check the Plumbing System within a Vacant Rental Property

Although you might want to get a tenant in your rental home as quickly as possible, you should understand how important preventive maintenance is when it comes to avoiding having to deal with problems once you have a tenant living inside the residence. For instance, you should most certainly get the plumbing system checked out! Some issues might not be apparent enough to detect them with a quick inspection and using each appliance and fixture.

Mark an Item Off of Your Checklist
When a rental property goes vacant, you should have a full checklist of things to do. A plumbing inspection should be at the top of your list, and getting your system checked out will help you mark off an important item.

Check for Profitable Upgrades
Although your main goal should be finding out if the plumbing system has any problems, you can also have your plumber provide you with details regarding profitable upgrades. For example, something as simple as updating the fixtures can help you increase the value of the rental property.

Determine the Condition
Eventually, a plumbing system, or at least part of the system, will need to be replaced. Instead of waiting until the entire system is having routine problems, before considering replacement, you should learn about its overall condition. Learning about the overall condition will provide insight as to when it should be replaced in order to avoid costly problems.

It is not extremely uncommon to deal with minor leaking issues with a tenant living in your home; however, you’ll want to avoid substantial problems such as a burst pipe, for example, which can cause all sorts of damage!

Feel free to contact us at The Polite Plumber if you have any questions about plumbing or our services.