Monday, July 15, 2019

3 Signs Your Water Heater is on the Verge of Breaking Down

Let's be real, the water heater in your home isn't a topic your family usually discusses, at least while the appliance is functioning properly. However, when cold showers become a regular occurrence, the health of your home's water heater quickly turns into a main talking point; especially when deciding whether the appliance needs servicing or replacing. If your water heater is displaying any of the symptoms listed below, it's time to call your knowledgeable neighborhood plumber.

Age Matters

The age of your water heater factors in largely when determining whether your appliance needs repairing or replacing. Most water heaters are expected to last 8 to 12 years. Writing down the month and year you purchased the unit in its owner's manual will help you keep track of the appliance's age. If you weren't the one to install your home's water heater, and you're not sure how old it is, go to the manufacturer's website and use the unit's serial number to find out the month and year the appliance was made. Replacing an older malfunctioning water heater with a new and more efficient unit is best for your home and your wallet in the long run.

A Noisy Water Heater

Over time, as your water heater gets older, more and more sediment falls to the bottom of its tank. Eventually, due to heating and reheating, the sediment hardens, which causes your unit to become noisy and less efficient. As the appliance's efficiency drops, the time it takes to heat the water in the tank grows longer, meaning the metal the tank is made out of acquires more wear and becomes brittle faster, which can lead to small holes in the metal. If your water heater clanks or bangs, its time to contact a professional plumber.

Rusty Water Inside the Water Heater Tank

Rust-colored water coming out of your faucets and your shower heads can mean one of two things, your home has galvanized pipes that are corroded or the inside of your water heater is rusted. If you think your hot water heater is the cause, try draining around 10 to 15 gallons of water out of the tank. Once you reach 15 gallons and you discover the water is still rust-colored, a corroded tank is clearly the issue. Unfortunately, that means it's time to start shopping for a new hot water heater.

Knowing when to repair or replace your water heater isn't always easy. Fortunately, contacting a highly trained plumber can get you the answers you're looking for. If you're worried about your units declining performance, please contact us today and we'll be happy to answer all your questions.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Drain and Sewer Cleaning Tips

When it comes to plumbing issues, one of the most common complaints from homeowners is clogged drains. From the kitchen, to the bathroom, to your sinks, bathtubs, and toilets, drains are bound to become clogged and will require cleaning out. Drains require a continuous flow of water in order to properly function and flush away to the sewer. Most often, homeowners do not realize that clogs are preventable by following a few simple tips.

Clogged Drains are Preventable

Kitchen and bathroom drain clogs are preventable. In kitchen sinks, place a filter/strainer in the drain to prevent large food particles from going down the drain. It is important to remember not to pour grease down sinks, as it will coat the inside of the pipes causing blockages. In the bathroom, a filter can also be used in the tub or shower to help drains from becoming clogged with hair. Finally, to prevent toilets from clogging, ensure that only human waste is flushed. Although there are products labeled as flushable, toilets will become clogged by continued use overtime.

Liquid Drain Cleaners

Contrary to popular belief, liquid drain cleaners should be avoided for clearing out clogs. Although pouring a bottle of cleaner down the drain sounds easy enough, in reality, liquid drain cleaners contain a harmful chemical called hydrochloric acid. This acid, overtime, will eat away and damage pipes. For minor clogs, it is best to purchase a drain snake from a hardware or home improvement store. If the drain is still not functioning properly, it is time to call a plumber. For major clogs, calling a plumber will need to be your first option so as to prevent further issues.

Preventative Maintenance

Although plumbers are helpful in an emergency, they can also help with preventative maintenance for your drains and sewer. With the ability to come out annually and inspect and clean drains, plumbers help to identify any issues before they become costly emergencies. If a problem is identified they can help you with creating a plan to solve the issue.

If your home has not had drain and sewer cleaning, contact The Polite Plumber and let us help you. With our state-of-the-art equipment, we can get things flowing smoothly again. Our drain cleaning services include drain snaking and hydro-jetting, as well as camera inspections and more. As always, we'll never ask how it happened!

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!