Maintenance Tips for Water Heaters

Water Heater Maintenance TipsTo a lot of people, water heaters are essential as cold showers are anything but fun and relaxing. However, very few people know that in order for them to keep their heaters in tip top shape, they need to know simple maintenance procedures. The funny thing is, these maintenance instructions often come with the heaters but are overlooked most of the time.

Why is There a Need for Maintenance?

Looking at the way water is pumped into the water heater, you will see why it is important to know these maintenance tips. For one, when water is pumped into the heater, various minerals and sediments sink to the bottom and add up over time. This will decrease the efficiency of your water heater and will cost you a lot of money in the long run. Should you not do anything, your water heater will not just not work, but will also rust and will eventually develop leaks. If this continues, your whole water heating tank has to be replaced, which costs a lot of money.

What are the Maintenance Steps?

  • Locate the heater –First, you need to locate your heater, which is very easy. Most of the time, it is just located in the garage. Be very careful with it since you will not only be dealing with electricity/gas, but also steam and very hot water.
  • Determine what kind of heater you have – Just look around the tank and look for warnings and labels. If you can’t find anything, look for a pilot light since that is an indication that your water heater is most probably gas.  Read the instructions on how to turn on the gas and electricity to ensure your safety.
  • Locate the valves – The shut off valve for the water should be located on the top part of the water heater. It looks like a circular water valve like the ones found in back and front yards. The pressure release valve should be on the top as well and it usually has a label near it. The water drain is placed at the bottom and looks like a simple spout with threads for a hose to be attached.
  • Gather your materials –This means taking out your bucket and gloves so that you can collect the water or scum that was collected in the bottom without making a mess. The gloves protect your hands from hot water.
  • Drain water and scum –The water that comes out of your heater will be dirty at first, but do not worry. That is just all the dirt and sediments escaping. In fact, you want the water to be dirty so you know the dirt is escaping from your tank.

Once that is done, all that is left for you to do is turn on the valves and make sure all the connections are in place. This whole process is very simple, will not take up too much of your time and can spare you from a lot of trouble in the future.

5 Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Kitchen

kitchen plumbing remodelingRemodeling a kitchen can be a lot of fun especially when you have your eyes on the prize which is in the form of a newer and better kitchen. However, before you dive head-long into the remodeling project, there are some things you need to consider or you might just find yourself in deep trouble or stuck in a situation that you cannot get out of. For those who are planning on remodeling their kitchens and want to make sure they do not commit unnecessary and costly mistakes, below are some tips to consider.

Considerations to Make

  • Layout –This is the first thing you need to do and it is to consider the functionality of the space you want to remodel. The kitchen is the heart of the home so it is important to really consider what will come out of the kitchen remodeling project. You need to ask questions such as, “Will the kitchen be a place where daily meals are taken?” “Will the great room be integrated into the space?” and so on and so forth. For those who want to alter the footprint of the kitchen, consider talking to a kitchen designer or an architect.
  • Appliances –When a pro is hired to help with the layout, they will almost always ask about the appliances you will use. This way, the designer can come up with several options regarding the space and how it is to be used. Most homeowners do not think about this from the get-go but it can make all the difference in terms of food quality, efficiency, and even energy savings.
  • Storage –Kitchens can become very crowded very quickly especially if the family is growing. This leads to the need for the newly remodeled kitchen to come with storage spaces that do not detract from its overall look. A designer will work with you to plan the most effective storage designs as well as to look for the most effective and space-efficient storage tools and furniture and will ensure that you have the budget to match.
  • Re-sale –Most homeowners will not be thinking of this but it is really important to consider how your remodeling project will affect the resale price of the home. You need to think about this very carefully because it can make all the difference in the design that you choose. For instance, if you plan to live in that home for just 3-5 years, you need to choose a design that will fit a variety of lifestyles and try to keep your personal tastes and unique elements at a minimum because what you like may be repulsive to future buyers and that will affect the value of your home.

These are four of the most important things you need to keep in mind before you remodel. They might take some fun out of the project but with something as major as a remodeling, you really do not want to take any chances and make mistakes that will cost you a lot of money to rectify.

Signs You Might Be In Need Of Plumbing Repair Services

signs you might need plumbing repair servicesIt really isn’t all that rare for homeowners to ignore or even not notice leaks and other plumbing problems until they are knee-deep in water overflowing from their sinks and faucets or if they are trying their best to live with a clogged toilet. For the most part, small plumbing problems can be dealt with in a DIY manner but there are just some problems that you cannot (and should not) deal with on your own especially when it comes to your pipes. You might just make things worse and repairs could cost an arm and a leg at that point.

Below are some signs that you need to pick up that phone and call in the plumbing services to come and bail you out.

Signs to Never Ignore

You might be tempted to ignore these signs and just blame them on something or another but do not—you might just regret it.

  • Unusually high water bill – This may just be the easiest sign to spot. If consumption of water has not changed dramatically but the number on your water bill has increased by leaps and bounds then you know you have a problem. Save yourself some money in the long run by calling on a plumbing expert ASAP.
  • Wet spots on walls –If you are absolutely sure that nothing has been split yet you still find wet spots on your walls and floors, keep a close eye on the area. If after a couple of days the wet spots do not dry or just keep getting worse, call on your plumber because you have a hidden leak and you want that fixed before it becomes an even bigger and more expensive problem.
  • Musty odors – If you detect musty smells in your home, you could have water hiding in places where it shouldn’t. Musty smells indicate that you have a need for plumbing services, and fast because such occurrences can also affect your health due to the fact that dangerous types of molds can grow in the hidden areas with water and negatively affect your health.
  • Faulty water meter – For those homeowners who suspect they have a leak, what you can do to know for sure is to check your meter. Turn off all your appliances that use water and leave it that way for at least an hour. Then, you take a look at the water meter and if it is still running with all the appliances off, there is water going to places where it has no business going.
  • Mushy yard – If it hasn’t rained in weeks yet your yard is still soft and mushy, you may have a broken water line. You need to fix this ASAP since leaving it to just leak can bring extensive damage to the foundation of your home.

Professional plumbing services do not come cheap—that much is true. However, you will be saving more money and preventing more problems for yourself in the future if you reach out to them the moment you spot these signs and have them fixed.

 

Thanksgiving Day – Preventative Maintenance

THE DAY OF (AND AFTER) THANKSGIVING IS ONE OF THE TWO BIGGEST DAYS OF THE YEAR FOR PLUMBING PROBLEMS.

Overloaded garbage disposals and overused dishwashers during the holiday season cause break downs at crucial times. Now is the perfect time to do some preventative maintenance to help ease this holiday season stress, and un not when your home is full of guests.

The most common plumbing breakdown during the holidays is blamed on the garbage disposer. Consider having you kitchen drain line snaked approximately every two years as preventaive maintenance. If your food waste disposer is over 7 years old it might be beneficial to consider having it replaced. The money is saves in plugged up drains may be well worth it.

HERE ARE SOME HELPFUL HINTS TO KEEP YOUR HOLIDAYS HAPPY AND STRESS FREE

  • Hot water is needed for your dishwasher to clean and sanitize your dishes properly. In some cases it may take some time to get hot water to your dishwasher. Try turning your kitchen faucet on until hot water is flowing steadily, then your dishwasher is ready for optimal use.
  •  Turn on a medium to strong cold-water flow before you start your disposal. Continue running the cold water for approximately 15 seconds after grinding has ceases to flush the drain line and the disposer free from food particles.
  • Do not put liquid far down the drain.
  •  Never put large bones in the disposal and if possible throw all bones in the trash.

Following these helpful tips will help reduce you plumbing repair cost.

We will be open Thanksgiving Day to service you!

Met Plumbing, Your Local Katy Plumbing Company, Wishes you a safe & wonderful, stress free holiday season.

Met Plumbing Repair Tip

Katy Plumber | Water HeaterWater Heater Awareness:

It’s important to know the age of your water heater. The average warranty of a water heater is six years. In our experience we have seen water heaters last as long as fifteen years, but letting the heater get this old is a gamble and we do not recommend it. This is an appliance that you should not wait until it fails before replacing it.  A water heater going out can range from the inconvenience of not having hot water when you want it, to the tank leaking and causing devastating property damage. Most water heaters in our part of Texas (Katy, Houston) are located in the attic, so you can see how this could get out of control if a leak accrues. If your water heater is ten years or older we highly recommend having it inspected by a licensed professional plumber. To find out how old your water heater is you can find the name of the water heater (usually at the top of the unit) and the serial number (often located on a sticker about half way up on the heater).  Look up the manufacturers name online to get their 1-800 phone number. You can call the 1-800 number and give them the serial number and they will tell you how old your water heater is.

Here are a few helpful links for some common water heater manufactures:

Bradford White:http://www.bradfordwhite.com/

Rheem:http://www.rheem.com/

A.O. Smith: http://www.hotwater.com/

State: http://www.statewaterheaters.com/

Katy Plumbers | Seminar

mqdefaultOn Wednesday September 14thour plumbers went to a local Katy plumbing supply company for a water heater training seminar.  The Bradford White water heater reps from Houston were there to talk to all the Katy Plumbers about trouble shooting any and all possible problems we might come across with their water heaters. Keep in mind that it is possible for all water heaters to have unforeseen mechanical problems, fortunately Bradford White is an industry leading manufacturer; therefore the problems are few and far between. Bradford White manufactures the only American made water heater and has a long successful history dating back to 1881. Today Bradford White is one of the most technologically advanced manufacturers of water heating, space heating, combination heating and water storage products in the world. The seminar was very informative. All the Katy Plumbers were provided a bar-b-que dinner and it was fantastic! The other companies seemed to be enjoying this function as well. As your local Katy plumbing company we at MET Plumbing pride ourselves by staying informed on current information pertaining to the products that we install and or service.

Helpful tip when choosing the best water heater for your home.

An important factor in choosing a water heater, the 1st Hour Rating is an indicator of how much hot water a particular model can provide. The rating, in gallons of usable (desired temperature) hot water is reached by combining the amount of usable hot water stored in the tank plus how many gallons of usable hot water the water heater can generate in one hour of operation. For example, if a 40-gallon natural gas water heater will store 31 gallons of usable hot water and can deliver 41 gallons of usable hot water in the first hour, its 1st Hour Rating is 72 gallons.