Thursday, May 16, 2019

Should I Hire a Plumber or Try Doing it Myself?

A working plumbing system is something many homeowners take for granted. However, if you have ever gone a day without your plumbing, that is a day you never want to relive. Do you have leaking pipes? Are you thinking about a kitchen or bathroom upgrade? When was the last time you had your pipes inspected?

Almost every homeowner has done some DIY plumbing work. Maybe you installed a new shower head, fixed a leaking faucet, or unclogged a drain. These tend to be very easy projects. However, major plumbing work requires more knowledge and skills than the typical person possesses. While a YouTube video may make replacing your toilet look easy, you can quickly discover that you don't have the proper training to complete the task.

The reason most people attempt plumbing projects is the cost of a professional plumbing service. Typically, when you receive a bill from your plumber, the bulk of the invoice is labor. The materials are often minimal. So, depending on the repair or upgrade, a person may expect to save several hundreds of dollars.

Yet, if you don't truly have the knowledge and skill set to properly complete a plumbing repair or upgrade, you could cause greater harm and drastically increase your overall cost. When you hire a professional plumber, that person will evaluate the situation and find a permanent solution. They will look for potential issues and problems that the novice DIY-er will not even think about.

If you want to minimize errors and maximize results, hiring a professional plumber is always the best choice. By relying on an expert, you will have the peace of mind in knowing that their attention to detail and talent for diagnosing problems will prevent future issues. Contact our team at The Polite Plumber today to schedule a service.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

What Your Water Color Means For Your Plumbing

Ideally, you want your water to have no color other than the bluish tint that is typical of clean, clear water. However, water discoloration can come in many shades, and none of them are particularly good. While some water colors mean you can still technically drink the water safely, any water color means a plumbing repair needs to be made.

Cloudy Water

If your water is cloudy, this can mean two things. The first culprit is that you have air in your water lines. If you let the glass sit, the cloudiness should clear from the bottom up. This can happen if you recently had your water shut off, but should be investigated if it happens often. This water is still safe to drink. If the water remains cloudy, it can mean you have an abundance of minerals in your water. This should be investigated and water should not be consumed until the problem has been identified and fixed.

Red, Yellow, Brown, or Orange Water

If your water is taking on bright shades or a shade of brown, it means that there is iron in your water pipes. Typically what you are seeing is that iron in various shades of oxidation, otherwise known as rusting. If you have old cast iron pipes, unfortunately rusty water means they need to be replaced.

While rusty water isn't dangerous to drink, it will stain your sink, laundry, and discolor your food. Therefore, it needs to be taken care of eventually to get your home running as designed again.

Black Water

Unless something is very seriously wrong, you'll never see black water coming from your tap. More commonly, you will see this coming up from your drains if you have a sewer backup. What makes it black is the mold and bacteria present in it. This can affect your health and is very dangerous to have in your home. You need intervention by a plumber quickly if black water is coming up your drain.

For more information on the plumbing services offered by the experts at The Polite Plumber, contact us today!

Monday, March 18, 2019

What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency

The unfortunate thing for many homeowners is that they have no idea what to do when a plumbing emergency strikes. What’s even worse is that it often takes being put in an emergency situation to realize this. However, whether it is frozen pipes or a leaking ceiling, here's what you can do to minimize home damage.

When is it an emergency?

Plumbing emergencies can differ from person to person. However, it is best to remember that there could be an extra cost to hire a plumber to come out after hours. You need to accurately assess your situation to decide if it is a plumbing emergency. This may mean being without plumbing function for longer than a day and not being able to get a plumber out at regular hours the next day.

Shut off the water

This should always be your first step. Leaving the water running means it can infinitely get into your home and cause huge amounts of damage. With it off, you only have to endure what is left in the pipes. While you can turn off the water at most sites, like behind the toilet or below the sink, you may want to consider shutting off the main valve.

Turn the spigot on

To clear your pipes quickly, turn the spigot or faucet at the lowest point in your house on. This will quickly remove any water in the pipes.

Call a plumber

There are problems, like a dripping faucet or a running toilet, which you are probably capable of taking care of yourself. However, for true plumbing emergencies where you are looking at a loss of plumbing function or huge home damage if you turn the water back on, you are probably not equipped to handle these situations.

If you’re in a plumbing emergency, be sure to contact us as soon as possible. Describe the problem to us and we will give you steps to mitigate any more damage until we arrive to help.

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!