Think you have some leaky pipes or a clogged toilet at home? Calling a plumber may be your first option. There are quite a few available in your neighborhood, but will you really be getting your money's worth after you place the call for one? It may be a fairly small industry, but making sure you don't get cheated out of your hard-earned cash can help you get rid of your plumbing problems for good without breaking the bank.
So what's there to look for in a plumber? Quite a few things, to be honest. It's just as important to find a plumber who is especially trustworthy, in addition to having the skills and know-how to tackle any plumbing situation imaginable. A winning combination of these qualities will help you get rid of any plumbing debacle your home might have at the moment. Call up a friend and get a recommendation, if you can.
Depending on the kind of plumbing problem you have around your home, you may need a plumber to service a specific need. For this, you will need to hire a plumber who specializes in a certain kind of plumbing problem. Here are the most common kinds of services offered by plumbers in this day and age:
Plumbers will also be able to diagnose the plumbing problem in your home accurately and reliably in order to give you the service you need to get your home back in working shape.
Probably more important than any other element is the amount of trust you can put into a plumber. More often than not, people will find themselves trusting a plumber enough to give an accurate quote and efficient service, but this is not the case for many. You will be leading a plumber into the confines of your home, as well, so it's very important to find one who is especially trustworthy.
When you look for a plumber, look for the following qualities and signs of a good one:
While the mere act of hiring one can be a lot of work, you should go the extra mile to ensure reliability and safety. Plumbers of today are certainly able and trustworthy enough; you just need to know how and where to look.
Finding a plumber is not the easiest task when you need one, especially if there is water all over the kitchen. Calling the first one in a directory can lead to even more problems if they aren't as competent as they should be with your problem. Here are a few things to look for in a local plumber to hire.
Everyone is always on the look out for being cheated with the fees a plumber charges. However, if you do it yourself you might be spending more than a plumber cost. In the long run, it pays to know a local plumber before you need one.
The first rule is to listen when others talk about the plumbing job they had done. If it's a negative report, then you certainly don't want the same plumber. Finding a plumber that everyone talks about is the plumber you want. Although, plumbers do have their bad days, a good plumber will always fix the botched job, usually free of charge. Listen to word of mouth recommendations for a local plumber in your area. Be sure you have their number on hand for when you need them.
The second rule is to be sure they are licensed to do the work. Most cities and states have a test plumbers have to pass before they can work. It also allows them to be bonded, so you won't have to worry they are casing your place for a midnight marketing run. Ask to see the license or at least get their license number. You can check it out online.
The third rule is to check their reviews and feedback online. Technology brought us the Internet, so it pays to use it to find licensed plumbers in your area. If they are good, of course, the reviews will be outstanding, but with they are bad, you'll be able to find that out, too.
The fourth rule is to have them give you a written quote. You can compare them with other local plumbers, but don't go on price alone. The least expensive is not always the best. Written quotes give you an idea of what the price of the plumbing problem will be as well as being able to compare them to other companies.
Choosing the best plumber is a matter of finding a plumber before you need them. Do your homework and research the local plumber directory to find the one capable of providing you with the service you need before you need them. If you've just moved into a new area, the proceeding rules will find you the plumber that meets your needs before you have to make that emergency call.
Just about every home owner has experienced issues with the pipes in their home. It seems like it is just a fact of home ownership. Sooner or later a problem will arise concerning pipes. Home owners usually recognize that there is a problem when they receive a water bill that seems rather high. The first thought is that there must be a leak in the house or someone is taking too many showers. Fixing a leaking pipe begins with making sure that there is a leaking pipe in the home. Let’s take a closer look at the issue.
First, go through the house and turn off all the sources that use water. Make sure all the faucets are off. Turn off the ice maker in the fridge. Next, go to the water meter and take a close look at the dials or digits. Moving digits or a dial that continues to move probably points to a leak in the pipes. Finding the source of the leak might take a bit more time. It is time to put on your detectives’ hat and do some research. Often, it is easy to find the leak by listening to the pipes and following the sound.
Once you’ve discovered the source of the leak it is time to get to work fixing the leaking pipe. Often, it is easy to fix the leak with a few items that you might already have around the house. Homeowners should understand that it is important to tackle that leak as soon as possible. A leaking pipe could cause really serious water damage to the house and surrounding furnishings.
Once you’ve discovered the source of the leak turn off the water supply to stop any further damage. For example, if the leak is in the pipe leading to the tub, turn off the water supply valve on the tub. Perhaps, the leak is to a kitchen sink. Turn off the valve that supplies water to the kitchen sink. The valve should be under the sink. Turn off the main water supply vale if you cannot find the other valves.
There are a number of ways to temporarily fix a leaking pipe. First, let’s tackle the simplest way to fix leaking pipes. Take a length of electrical tape and wrap it securely around the leaking pipe. Make sure that the leak area is fully covered. Wrap a few inches beyond the leak for extra security. Now, the next way to fix a leaking pipe is a bit more complicated and requires a few more items for the repair. This repair will require a piece of rubber gasket that is slightly larger than the leak in the pipes. The repair also requires a worm drive screw clamp. Open up the clamp and slowly slip it over the leak on the pipe. Center the strap on the clamp over the rubber gasket patch which is placed on top of the leak. Next, screw the clamp device tight. This repair should last much longer than the previous repair. Still, it is wise to consult with a plumber about a permanent repair on the pipe.
Of course, there are also leaking pipe repair products on the market that are very good at fixing a minor leak in a pipe system. Many of the products are very reasonably priced. Make sure that you read and follow the instructions very carefully.
Before the water enters your faucet in your sink or tub, it’s in the ground. During this time water accumulates soluble pieces of whatever passes through it like dirt. In some cases this can make it unfit to consume. However, in most cases the water contains minerals like magnesium and calcium found in the Earth. Unfortunately, for many homeowners this makes the water hard.
That’s why you may wonder why the dishes you washed were spotless when wet, but filled with spots when dry. Hard water simply makes detergents and soaps ineffective. Instead of completely dissolving the detergent, the water makes it combines with the minerals. It’s like having two unwanted houseguest in your bedroom. Together the minerals and soap cure.
Besides making the dishes look horrible, hard water makes your skin feel sticky, your hair lifeless and your clothes trapped with dirt. Let’s not forget about your plumbing system. The magnesium and calcium build up in the pipes and reduce the flow to your faucets.
The Solution: Water Softener
To eliminate hard water, you need to get rid of the magnesium and calcium make the water hard. You have some options such as chemical treatments. However, many homeowners choose to use a water softener.
A water softener consists of mechanical device fitted into your house’s water supply system. When in use, the device infuses sodium and takes out the minerals. It’s a simple process referred to as ion exchange.
How the Ion Exchange Works
In the water softener’s mineral tank there are tiny polystyrene beads. These beads are typically called zeolite or resin. They carry a negative charge to lure the magnesium and calcium (which have positive charges) out of the water. As the water travels through the mineral tank, the calcium and magnesium cling to the beads. The sodium ions are positive, but don’t carry strong charges. That’s why a brine solution is needed. The solution is flushed throughout the tank where the beads are located. Since the beads are already saturated with the minerals, the large amount of sodium ions is good enough to eliminate the minerals from the beads. The sodium ions then travel into the water.
The water softening process isn’t completed yet because the water inters another phase called 3-pahse regenerating cycle. The first phase reverses the flow of water. It flushes out the dirt from the mineral tank. Next, the sodium gathers on the beads to replace the minerals. The magnesium and calcium are flushed down the drain. Any additional brine is flushed from the tank and the brine tank refills.
Generally, there are no health concerns regarding sodium entering the water. However, if anyone in the house is on a sodium-restricted diet plan, he or she may not want to drink the water. Also, some homeowners don’t like the taste of the somewhat salty water that’s been treated. If you or anyone in your household falls into one of these categories, you can install a water dispenser which bypasses the softener. Another option is using potassium chloride instead of salt.
Is Hard Water The Problem?
For many homeowners the answer is yes. However, if you want to make sure hard water is actually causing the problem before you buy a water softener, that are test kits. These kits help you figure out the water’s hardness which is measured in grains per gallon, or GPG. Hard water ranges from 60 to 120 GPG. When hard water is the problem, a water softener is often the solution for homeowners.