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Plumbing Tips & Advice

Plumbing Tips & Advice (5)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 13:38

Plumbing Maintenance Tips For Spring

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Spring is a great time to check your home's plumbing systems and perform preventative maintenance to protect your home against plumbing problems.

Spring plumbing maintenance

MR Plumbing offers these tips:

Plumbing Fixtures

  • Check faucets for drips or leaks and repair parts as needed to save water
  • Clean mineral deposits from faucets and shower heads. Unscrew them and soak them in vinegar overnight
  • Cycle water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking

Drains

  • Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent debris from clogging your drain lines.
  • Pour about a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.

Sump Pump

Test your sump pump for proper operation. Pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the basin of your sump pump. Pour slowly until the sump pump turns on and begins to pump out the water. Do not pour in more water than the basin will hold. Expect the sump pump to begin pumping out water when the water level reaches approximately 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor.

Appliances

Washing Machine
Washing machine hoses should be inspected for leaks or bulges. If the hoses are older than 10 years, they should be replaced. Consider using braided stainless steel hoses rather than rubber hoses.

Toilets
Check your toilets for cracks or leaks. Add several drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, it has a leak that should be repaired.

If the toilet handle has to be held down in order to flush properly, or jiggled to stop from running, you may need to replace the tank parts.

Water Heaters
Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.

If you have a tank water heater, drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.
Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits. Always check with your water heater manufacturer for specific instructions regarding maintenance of your specific make and model.

Ensure there are no flammable materials stored near the water heater or furnace.
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 13:52

What to Do In a Plumbing Emergency

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Plumbing emergencies can range from leaking pipes and clogged drains to a faucets that won't shut off and leaking water heaters. It's important that everyone in the household know the location of the shutoff valve for every plumbing fixture and appliance, as well as the home's main shutoff valve.

What to do during a plumbing emergency

Water Shutoff Valves

If a specific plumbing fixture or appliance is leaking or malfunctioning, first look for its shutoff valve and turn it clockwise to turn off the water supply just to the affected system.

The shutoff valve is usually located underneath the toilet or sink. Clothes washers will have two shutoff valves, one each for hot and cold water, often located behind the appliance

If the problem is not with a specific fixture or appliance, or you cannot locate the shutoff valve, locate the main shutoff valve to turn off the water to the entire house.The main shutoff valve will be on the inside where the main water supply pipe enters the house. Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off. If the valve is difficult to turn, keep a wrench near the valve for emergencies.

Have a plumbing emergency? Call M/R Plumbing. Our professional plumbers will be there in minutes to help fix the problem.
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 16:03

How To Drain a Water Heater Tank

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How to Drain a Water Heater

One way to extend the life of your water heater and ensure that it operates efficiently is to flush the tank annually to remove sediment buildup. The process is straightforward, here are the steps:
  1. Shut off the water supply - Locate the cold water supply valve at the top of the water heater and turn it to the off position. 
  2. Turn off the water heater - If you have a gas water heater, simply turn the thermostat knob to the “pilot” setting. If the water heater is electric, turn off the power at the breaker panel. 
  3. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve - located near the bottom of the tank. Place the other end of the hose near a floor drain, in a bucket (have several large buckets to empty into and rotate them if needed) or outside the home. 
  4. Open a hot water tap - Open a hot water tap on a floor above that is nearest the water heater. This will relieve pressure in the system, helping the water drain from the tank. CAUTION: Even though a water heater may have been turned off for hours, the water in the tank can still be hot enough to scald.
  5. Open the drain valve - After all the water has drained from the tank, turn the cold water supply at the top of the tank back on for a moment. This will clear out any remaining sediment. Repeat this step until the water runs clear. 
When you're finished draining the tank, return it to operating condition by following these steps:
  1. Close the drain valve.
  2. Remove the hose.
  3. Turn on the cold water supply to refill the tank.
  4. Return to the hot water tap you opened earlier. Once cold water begins to flow from the tap, turn it off. 
  5. Turn the gas valve back on from the pilot position or turn electricity back on to the tank. 
  6. Check the valve opening to ensure it's not leaking. 
IMPORTANT: Always read and follow all manufacturer’s directions and warnings for your particular water heater. Some water heater tanks must be completely full to avoid damage to the gas burner or heating elements.
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 18:08

Preventing The Most Expensive Home Plumbing Repairs

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Plumbing problems are not always readily apparent, but they can cost you money in long-term damage to your home if they are not addressed. That little drip below your kitchen sink that goes undetected can lead to mold problems or rot.

Preventing Plumbing Problems

We've put together some tips to help you detect some of the plumbing problems that can cause serious damage to your home. By fixing these minor problems you can prevent bigger problems in the future.

Screeching Faucets - If you hear a screeching sound when your faucet is turned it can indicate that the air "bleed-off" system is not working correctly.

Low Water Pressure - Low water can have a number of causes, including clogged pipes, leaks in the plumbing or pipes that are inadequately sized to provide sufficient water pressure.

Rattling Or Pinging - These noises from can indicate that air has become trapped in the pipes.

Hidden Leaks - Enclosed areas of your home like crawl spaces and cabinets under sinks should be inspected for wet spots or mold, which can indicate a leak.

Gurgling Drains - If your drains gurgle, it could be a sign of blockage in the pipe. Once the blockage is removed, the gurgling should stop.

Backed Up Toilets - If your toilet frequently backs up it could be a sign that your septic tank needs to be emptied or that tree roots are obstructing the pipes and are causing blockage.

The water heater should be inspected for any signs of rust or corrosion on the tank or the pipes. If you have a gas-powered water heater, check the gas lines by putting soapy water on them and watching for bubbles, which could indicate a gas leak.

If you notice brown or discolored water coming out of your faucets, you may have an old water heater that needs to be replaced.

When the faucets are turned on, they leak water. This generally indicates that the O-rings or washers need to be replaced. If the faucets drip when not turned on, they may have a mineral build-up or need to be replaced altogether.

A drain that is slow is generally a sign of a blockage in the pipe. You might be able to remedy this by using a commercially available drain cleaning solution to dissolve the blockage, or you can try using a plumber's "snake" tool to break up and dislodge the blockage.

If possible, locate your main water shut-off valve and turn off the water to your home. When the water is turned off, check the meter to see if it is still running. If it is running with the water turned off, this may indicate a leak. 

Have plumbing problems? Give MR. Plumbing a call, we can help.
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 17:13

Home Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

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Most of the plumbing emergencies we see are caused by a simple lack of maintenance. By paying attention to the symptoms of potential problems and fixing the small problems immediately, you can keep your plumbing system working reliably. Here are some maintenance procedures to follow at least once a year.

Home Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

1. Repair drips and leaks. That leaking faucet is more than just an annoyance, it's costing you money over time on your water bill. Replacing worn out washers is easy and inexpensive. If a leak is under a sink or in a wall it can cause mold and damage to your home and should be fixed as soon as possible.

2. Unclog slow drains. Eventually that slow floor drain or kitchen sink is going to stop completely, leading to a major clog that will require professional help to clear. 

3. Clean faucet aerators and shower heads. If water pressure has reduced over time the culprit may be mineral deposits that have built up in faucets and shower heads, reducing water flow. Remove faucet aerators and soak them in vinegar to dissolve mineral build up.

4. Schedule a sewer line inspection. One of the most expensive plumbing problems a homeowner can experience is a backed up sewer main. A video sewer line inspection will find potential problems, including breaks, misaligned pipes, and tree root intrusion that can lead to sewer line failure. 

5. Flush your water heater tank. Flushing your water heater tank will remove rust and sediment from the bottom of the tank that can reduce heating efficiency and shorten the life of the water heater.Have a tankless water heater? Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the line filter. 

6. Fix that flapper. A running toilet can waste a lot of water. Replacing the flapper is inexpensive and simple to do.

Have plumbing problems? Give MR. Plumbing a call, we can help.

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  • "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."
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    Guild Quality Review
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