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Tuesday, 20 November 2018 15:57

Is Your Sump Pump Working?

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Sump Pumps - The Appliance You Never Think About

Your home's sump pump is one of those appliances you don't think about very often, out of sight... out of mind. However, the reality is your sump pump is one of the hardest working and most critical mechanical devices in your home.

The Chicago area receives well over a foot of rain during a typical spring and summer season. During a severe storm, heavy rains can cause your sump pump to work at peak performance to keep your basement dry. A sump pump can be called upon to remove hundreds of gallons of water per minute.

If your sump pump fails, your basement can quickly be flooded, causing expensive damage to your appliances, flooring and your personal possessions.v

Testing Your Sump Pump

Don't wait until a heavy rainstorm to learn that your sump pump has stopped working, check it for correct operation a couple of times per year. Simply pour some water into the sump pit until the unit cycles.

The average sump pump has a lifespan of roughly ten years. Switch failure is the most common cause of sump pumps failing to work properly.

Battery Backup Sump Pumps

For an extra layer of protection and peace of mind, consider a battery backup sump pump. Because severe storms can frequently cause power outages, a battery powered sump pump will run even when the power goes out, keeping your basement dry for hours until the power is restored.

Chicago's Sump Pump Specialists

M/R Plumbing offers a variety of quality sump pump systems, including: Commander, Zoeller, Aquanot, Hydromatic and Tramco sump pumps. To find out which sump pump is right for your home, call M/R Plumbing. We'll help you choose the right unit and professionally install it to protect your home from expensive water damage.
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 15:50

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

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Extend the Life Of Your Home's Water Heater With Routine Maintenance

Water Heater MaintenanceConventional tank-style water heaters are designed to last for many years. However, sediment and rust will accumulate over time and reduce the efficiency and lifespan of the water heater.

To keep your conventional water heater working reliably and lasting longer, follow these regular maintenance steps:

  • Drain the water heater tank annually to remove sediment and rust buildup. This is particularly important if you have hard water. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Ensure the opposite end of the hose is placed outside, in a sink or near a floor drain. Be careful, as the water can be extremely hot and cause burns. If you are not sure of how to flush your water heater, call M/R Plumbing Mart. We'll advise you on the best way to drain your particular hot water heater.
  • Inspect the outside of the tank for leaks and rust.
  • For gas water heaters, check the exhaust flue to make ensure that air is escaping outside by striking a match near to the bell housing. The smoke should exit out the flue.
  • Check the relief valve by placing a bucket underneath the extension pipe and turning the valve to the open position. Water should flow freely when the valve is opened.
  • Make sure the thermostat is set to between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend not setting the water temperature above 120 degrees Fahrenheit if you have have young children.
  • Always keep a pan under the water heater tank to make it easier to spot leaks.
  • If you have a gas water heater, check the pilot light flame to ensure it is burning blue and steady.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Tankless water heaters offer an energy saving alternative to conventional tank-style water heaters with the water only getting heated when it's needed. Because there is no storage tank to heat, you'll never run out of hot water as long as the unit is been properly sized for your hot water needs.

Like traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters need to be maintained properly to operate at peak efficiency and to realize their cost savings over conventional water heaters. So, spending some time on maintenance yourself — or calling M/R Plumbing for regular maintenance — will ensure that you are taking advantage of all the benefits of your tankless water heater.

1. Check and Clean the Screen Filter
Periodically inspect and clean the filter located on the water inlet side of your tankless water heater. It's best to have a licensed plumber do this job. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, please learn the correct procedure before attempting this task. Never use chemical solutions to clean your water heater, since it will enter your drinking water. Vinegar is a safe, effective cleaner.

2. Flush the System
To prevent the a harmful buildup of lime and scale, flush your tankless water heater periodically. M/R Plumbing Mart can help you flush your water heater. As noted above, please be sure to flush it with vinegar and not chemicals that could contaminate your water supply.

Sunday, 04 November 2018 00:25

Signs It's Time For a New Water Heater

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A traditional tank-style water heater has a lifespan of around 8-10 years. Depending on how much use it has had over that time and whether it has been properly maintained, it may last significantly longer or need replacement a lot sooner. So how do you know when it's time for a new water heater?

Water Heaters

Water Heater Leaks

Some water heater leaks may are the result of a faulty valve or leaking pipe. If this is the case, it may just need a simple repair to keep it operating. If the water heater is leaking because of corrosion, it may be time to replace the unit.

The Water Heater Heating Slowly

First, check that the thermostat on the water heater is set high enough. If demand for hot water has increased in the home, you may just need a larger capacity tank installed, or a tankless water heater. Slow heating can also be caused by a build-up up rust and sediment. Flush the tank to remove the sediment. If the water heater is still not heating fast enough after flushing the unit, it may be time for a new water heater.

Malfunctioning Water Heater

In some cases the water heater may be have broken parts that need replacement. A plumber can check the heating element (electric water heaters) thermostat, gas burner and thermocoupler to make sure they are functioning. Consider the age of the unit against the cost of repairs when deciding whether to repair the unit.

Have water heater questions? MR Plumbing can help.
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What Our Fans Are Saying About Mr. Plumbing!

  • "M & R were very professional. The bathroom came out great - looks like a bathroom in a brand new house. All work was done on time and the workmen were extreme professional throughout the entire project We would highly recommend M & R Plumbing."
    – Diane C.
    Guild Quality Review
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