5 Tips for Choosing The Right Plumber

Plumbing repairs can be a tough problem to deal with, especially if either your sink is backed up, or you’re having problems with a toilet. Finding the right plumber doesn’t have to make the situation more difficult than it has to be. By keeping in mind these 5 simple tips, you can find a plumber that provides the high-quality service you need.

1. Make sure your plumber is licensed – Licensing is an essential criterion that any trained and skillful plumber should have. In many states, a license is required to practice plumbing professionally. You want to look for a plumber with these qualifications so that you’re guaranteed a professional level of service.

2. Experience – Having experience means your plumber has a positive track record with other customers.  References and recommendations from former customers provides you with some insight into the quality and satisfaction of a plumber’s work. To find out more about a plumber’s experience, read testimonials and reviews about them on their website and on Google.

3. Warranty – Make sure that your plumber ensures that all of the installations and repairs made are under warranty. Not only does this ensure the reliability of his services, but also repairs are free if any part should break unexpectedly.

4. Insurance – Find out if your plumber has insurance. Insurance is useful in the event that there is a mishap. Insurance will not only protect your home from any damage, but the plumber as well, should he suffer any injuries during the repair process.

5. Quality – The last tip for choosing the right plumber is making sure they provide quality work. Feel free to ask them about the products they use when completing a project. While a plumber may fix a problem, if they don’t use quality parts, it may not help you out in the long run.

Finding the right plumber should be an easy solution to your home plumbing problems. You shouldn’t have to struggle with inexperienced or unprofessional plumbers charging you exorbitant prices for their work. Weed out the rabble and you’ll find a caring professional plumber like one of our professional plumbers.

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Common Plumbing Problems for Older Homes

Old plumbing is notoriously unreliable and generally fraught with problems. Any house older than fifty years old is likely to have plumbing made from galvanized steel, which corrodes easily and collects dirt and debris, leading to clogs and ruptures. Though old houses are most likely to have old pipes, older homes with new pipes may also have a number of problems.

Corrosion

The older the pipes are, the more likely they are to be corroded, especially the pipes responsible for hot water. Corrosion is caused by metal reacting with water, so it is common in all kinds of pipes, but is especially bad in galvanized steel. As the water eats away at and reacts with the metal, it creates areas for debris to collect, as well as weak points in the pipes that can turn into ruptures during the winter if the pipes happen to freeze.

Poor Planning

Sometimes, it was impossible to plan for the future, when the house might be remodeled or need repairs. However, sometimes, the way that plumbing used to be installed can create serious problems. If pipes doubled as a support structure for the house, the weight of the materials and time may take its toll on the plumbing. The only real fix for this is replacement with a better system.

Leaks

Just as with anything, as plumbing ages, it can develop weakness and leaks, especially where two pipes come together. If these pipes were not properly sealed or have worked themselves loose over years and years of use, you may be experience leaking in your walls and not even know it. If your house is prone to mold or rot, you may have leaking pipes. The older your house and plumbing are, the more likely this is.

The Size of the Pipes

The pipes used to run water today are usually larger than the pipes used to run water even twenty years ago. This can cause a problem if you are trying to renovate your home, as new plumbing may not match up to old plumbing.

For information about how to repair these plumbing problems, contact Kirkland and Shaw today!

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Tips to Extend The Life Of Your Water Heater

There’s nothing quite like running a hot bath, or taking a long hot shower after a hard day. Hot water is not only a great comfort, and a great means to help you get squeaky clean, but also necessary to run some of your most valued appliances like your washer and dishwasher. So, what do you do when your water heater either goes out, or you start to notice your once hot water is now only lukewarm? To avoid this situation, consider the following tips that will help extend the life of your water heater.

Clean your Tank

After years of use, water heaters accumulate sediment and other forms of build up. When the sediment builds up, it can affect the way your water heater works. In order to keep your water heater running smoothly, either clean or flush your tank regularly.

Install a PVR Valve

A PRV valve (pressure regulating valve) will help moderate the wear and tear on both your water heater and your water-using appliances. The PVR valve works by making sure your water pressure doesn’t get too high. This is a great way to extend the life of your water heater. 

Get a Water Softener

There really is a huge difference between hard and soft water. Hard water has a very high mineral content that is extremely hard on appliances. Soft water is a quick solution to reduce the wear and tear that result from water with a high mineral content.

Properly Maintain your Water Heater

Some people think that you can buy your water heater and let it sit until it breaks. Most water heaters will eventually break, but you can prolong that situation by years if you simply take steps to properly maintain your water heater.

For more information on how to maintain your water heater, contact us today at Kirkland and Shaw.

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Kirkland & Shaw Is Ready to Tackle Any Sink or Faucet Repair

When it comes to sink repairs and replacements, there is no one better than Kirkland & Shaw. Our team of experienced plumbers has the knowledge and tools necessary to make any sink-related issue disappear. Whether you just need a leak fixed or the faucet or sink completely replaced, we can do it.

Repairs

Faucets are not made to last more than a decade. Because they are made of metal, there will be rusting and corrosion, no matter how clean you keep the sink or how hard or soft your water is. Eventually, the faucet will begin to leak, as the seals begin to wear away from regular use. Sometimes, this is a simple fix, which only requires a few parts to be replaced, but sometimes, it requires a massive overhaul of the entire system.

In some circumstances, leaking from the faucet may indicate a more serious problem, one that necessitates a skilled hand. While some people are capable of repairing their own faucets, this should only be done when you are sure you know what you are doing. It is important not to make the problem worse, or to create an additional problem down the line.

If you have a spraying or significantly broken faucet, be sure to switch off your water supply and give us a call, so that we can make the necessary repairs and your house will not get soaked while you are waiting.

Replacements

Unless your house was very recently built, chances are that you do not have the most up-to-date, efficient faucets on the market. These new kinds of faucets can help your home be more environmentally friendly, and with a number of different styles and materials, to compliment any room in your house. If you do not want to install one of these new faucets yourself, you can give us a call and we will replace your current faucet with a more efficient one.

All you have to do is pick the model you want, and we can take out the old model and install the new one. A new faucet can help you save money, as this replacement can help to eliminate leaks, both from the faucet itself and from the underlying plumbing.

For more information about sink and faucet repair and installation, call Kirkland & Shaw today.

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How to Detect a Leaky Pipe

Having a leak in your home can make it a haven for termites, rot, and mold, not to mention the strain it puts on your utilities bill. Even a slow, gradual leak that does not do much structural damage can cost hundreds of dollars a year in excess water bill, especially if your city runs on a metering system. If you suspect your home has a leaky pipe, there are a few ways to find them and fix them before they create a more serious problem.

Start with the pressure relief valve. This is one of the most common areas for leaks, and if you find one here, the fix is actually fairly easy. Even if you cannot actually remove the drain to physically see if there are any leaks, you may be able to hear a faint hissing, which could indicate a leak.

Check the toilets. Toilets are another common area for leaks, as they have lots of connections and deal with a lot of water pressure on a daily basis. Again, listen for that hissing noise. If you cannot hear a hissing noise, you might want to drop some food coloring into the toilet’s tank. After a few minutes, if the food coloring has leeched into the bowl, you probably have a flapper leak.

Find the water line. After checking your hot water heater and the toilets, your next stop is the water lines themselves. Of course, your water lines are underground, making it impossible to check them without digging them up, right? There is actually an easy way to check and see where your leak is in these lines. Start by shutting off your water, and then looking at your meter. If the meter is still running, you have a leak in the pipes in between your house and the meter. There may also be signs on the surface, like a wet spot.

Other leaks. If the meter does stop running, then the leak is likely inside your home somewhere. Start checking faucets in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as outdoor taps. If any of these are dripping, it could be costing you hundreds of dollars. Look at all the walls inside and outside your home. If any show noticeable signs of damp, your problem may be with a pipe in that wall.

While some people feel confident to fix leaky pipes themselves, if you are not sure exactly how to make the fix, it is vital that you call a plumber who knows how to locate and stop the leaks. For more information about leaky pipes and how to fix them, call Kirkland & Shaw today!

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How Plumbing Repairs Can Save You Money

Most people don’t want to spend the money up front for what seems to be minor plumbing issues, but doing so could save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long run. It is always best to take the initial financial hit than to deal with the much bigger problems you could face by ignoring the situation. Here are a few ways plumbing repairs can help you save a lot of money in the long run.

Save money on bills

A small plumbing issue, such as a leaky sink may not seem like a big deal, but it could be costing you big. If this is an issue you have let go for a while, you may not even realize how much extra you are paying on your monthly water bill. In the long run, you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water. That is money literally going down the drain.

Save money on repairs

Sure, it will cost you some money to fix a minor plumbing issue, but it is next to nothing compared to the cost of fixing a major issue. If you ignore something like freezing pipes or a blocked pipe, you could be facing disaster. Those pipes that keep freezing will likely end up bursting. Now instead of just paying a little to get them insulated, you will be paying a lot to replace them and possibly the wall or floor in part of your home as well.

Take that blocked pipe as another example. It may seem okay to just let it go unfixed, but it could end up causing a serious issue down the line that could result in major repairs to both your plumbing and your home – especially if it bursts or completely backs up when you aren’t home.

Save time and hassle

If a minor plumbing issue turns into a major one, you could end up with a serious headache on your hands. With something like a burst pipe, you could end up having to find somewhere else to stay during repairs. This will be inconvenient, but could also cost you even more money if you have to stay in a hotel.

Bottom line, it is a much wiser decision to pay the initial costs to fix a minor plumbing problem rather than wait for it to become a bigger and much costlier issue. You will be saving yourself money both on repairs and your monthly bills. You will also save yourself a lot of time and hassle that could happen with a major problem.

For more information about how to save on plumbing, call us at Kirkland & Shaw Plumbing & Heating  today.

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Your Hot Water Heater: What It Is And What It Does

It is one of the most important appliances in your home or apartment. But most people don’t give it a second thought, until it stops working. No, we aren’t talking about your furnace or your dishwasher. While those are important too, today we are going to talk about your hot water heater.

Your hot water heater has a very important job in your home. Most hot water heaters look like very tall drums, with pipes running in one side and out the other side. Most hot water heaters are found in the basement, sometimes it may be installed in the laundry room, if you are lucky enough to have one.

When water comes into your house, it is usually cold, or at best lukewarm. This is certainly not water you want to bathe in, unless you are a fan of cold showers. The water passes through the intake pipes and into the central part of the cylinder. There, it is heated by the heating element and passes back out of another pipe to wherever you are using hot water.

There are now water heaters that don’t use a tank at all, but most homes still have the drum style water heating unit. These units are either powered by gas, or by electricity. But the end result is the same. Once the water reaches a certain temperature, it is passed back out and you have hot water.

Gas heated water heaters have a few advantages over their electrically powered cousins. They are a bit cheaper to use, and they don’t stop working when the power goes out. Natural gas is usually available in most homes, it is run in through pipes underground. The cylindrical water heater is most common in the United States. It can also be found in parts of Europe as well.

If and when your water heater breaks down, it is not advisable to try and fix it yourself, unless you happen to know a few things about plumbing and electricity. The area around where a water heater is stored should always be kept free of clutter and debris whenever possible. It is also a good idea to make sure your water heater is maintained often and in good repair.

More modern water heating systems use the tank less version, this can be a benefit when the water heaters are placed in certain places around the house where they can draw hot water from the central unit. This system keeps the water heated longer than the cylindrical style unit, which saves time and money, and also means there is very little chance of a cold shower when you don’t want to take one.

When you rent, maintenance of the hot water system is up to the landlord. But when you own your home, that task falls to you. It is a good idea to talk to professionals when you have questions. Better to ask the question, then to not ask and have something catastrophic happen when you can least afford it.

For more information about your hot water heater, call us today at Kirkland And Shaw Plumbing & Heating.

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