Damage Caused by Water is the Most Common for Homes

Especially when you start to smell a musty odor, you should inspect for leaks or call a plumber. Leaks however small can cause major repairs over time.

Did you know that one of the most common type of home damage is caused by water? Home owners tend to underestimate how a tiny trickle can quickly turn in to a major issue. Damage in your home can end up costing you a lot of money that could have been easily avoided if only you recognized the signs and took action. Read on to learn about the common causes of damage and how you can prevent them.

ceiling impaired by water damage.
Homeowners must take preventive water damage measures to prevent the high cost of repairs.

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Plumbing Basics From Plumbers

What is plumbing? Before you install plumbing fixtures, buy tools and equipment, or diy plumbing problems yourself, here are the basics of plumbing.

Here are some basic plumbing basics and information for you from plumbers. You probably didn’t know that the word plumbing comes from the Latin word plumbum. Plumbum means lead. The pipes of ancient times were made out of lead. Basically plumbing is a trade that consists of plumbing fixtures for drinking water systems, tubing and pipes, and handling drainage waste.

clogged bath tub drain with snake
One major category of plumbing is to ensure proper drainage.


A plumber is someone who repairs or installs equipment such as piping systems, water heaters and plumbing fixtures. The plumbing industry is an important part of any developed country due to the need for clean water and the transport of wastes.

Another definition of plumbing is a system of fixtures and pipes installed in a building to distribute water and for the removal of wastes. The basics of plumbing consists of several systems that work independently while other systems merge together in the home. Water is delivered to your home using pressure through a water system of pipes that carry water to plumbing fixtures, faucets, sprinklers and outdoor hose bibs. Moreover, the major categories of plumbing systems include: rainwater, surface and subsurface water drainage, drains and vents, traps, potable hot and cold water supply, and septic systems.

Water Heaters

Water heater maintenance is an important way to prevent problems according to some plumbers. Water heaters don’t last forever and will eventually leak. It is a good idea to place a pan under the water heater to prevent water damage to your home. Furthermore, once a year you should perform maintenance on your hot water heater. Begin by turning off the electricity and/ or gas because if the element comes on when the tank is dry it can cause damage to the water heater.

Then turn off the water supply to the water heater and drain it. Once it is drained and with the hose still attached open and close the inlet valve several times in order to flush out the sediment. Continue to do this until the water runs clear. If there are large chunks of scale coming loose, you may have to dismantle the valve to remove it.

Next, remove the sacrificial anode. The sacrificial anode is located on top of the water heater and looks like a plug. It should be almost as long as the water heater. If it or any portion of is thinner than inch replace it. Leaving the anode out, shine a flashlight into the tank to check for rust. If there is a a lot of rust in the tank then you should consider replacing the water heater now before it breaks down on you.

Normally, water heaters are lined with glass or ceramic to prevent corrosion. Once the corrosion develops the heat of the water speeds up the process. If everything looks good, put everything back in place and turn on the water. Then open a hot water faucet to let the air out. Once the hot water heater fills with water, turn the electricity back on.

Frozen Pipes

Another problem plumbers warn about is frozen pipes. In fact, some plumbers declare that, in the winter, frozen pipes can cause major damage that amounts huge expenses for the homeowner. Prevention is the best way to avoid having frozen pipes. Make a point or disconnect and drain all of your outdoor hoses before the cold weather starts.

To help prevent indoor pipes from freezing, seal off air vents, cracks and outside doors. In addition, keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees. During extremely cold temperatures open the cabinet doors in the bathrooms and the kitchen to allow the heat to keep the pipes from freezing and keep a small stream of water running from the faucets.

Plumbers are Professionals

The expert, responsible for supplying the delivery of clean water; installing sinks, washing machines, toilets, bathtubs, showers and water components and systems that distribute water, is a professional called a plumber.

Plumbers are the professionals who are responsible for installing systems in buildings and homes that are used for the distribution of clean water. They have skills that are used to construct pipes and tubes in a manner that will provide water to all of the plumbing fixtures that are in the structure. The plumbing fixtures that are directly affected by the installation of a plumbing system includes sinks, washing machines, toilets, bathtubs, showers and water components that are on the outside of a building or house.

drawing of a plumber holding a wrench
Responsible for systems for the delivery of clean water and it’s disposal of waste, is the professional plumber.

Copper piping is most commonly used as the material for plumbing systems. Copper is great for water and it does not contain any harmful lead. Other materials are also sometimes used for the pipes in a plumbing system. The tubes that are a part of the plumbing system are generally made of plastic. The plastic is commonly created by use of the solvent welding technique. Plumbers are knowledgeable in what not to use when constructing a plumbing system. Equipment that contains lead was banned many years ago in the 1930s. it was banned because it can cause a human to become sick and can also be fatal if too much of the lead is entered into the body.

Plumbers are sometimes called upon when someone is experiencing problems with their water heater. A water heater uses gas as a means for heating the water in the plumbing system. Most plumbing fixtures have valves or knobs for both hot and cold water. When the flame that is lit up in a water heater goes out, the ability for the water to be heated is not possible. Plumbers are the professionals that should be contacted when the flame goes out. Attempting to light it on your own is a very dangerous thing to do.

Although the task may seem simple, it can cause serious injuries to you and everyone in the home. This is because you will be dealing with gas and too much of it can cause your home to explode. A small mistake when trying to repair a water heater can lead to the destruction of your property or death. A water heater should also be installed by a professional plumber. The water heater has to be connected to the pipes in a way that the gas is not allowed to leak from the pipes and valves. A professional plumber is trained to install it in the safest manner.

Plumbers can repair, fix and maintain many different things that have to do with plumbing systems. This can the installation of a new plumbing systems that has to be installed in a house or building that is being newly constructed, or the cleaning up to toxic waste that is the result of pipes in the system bursting open. They are called for minor and major problems that commonly go wrong with a plumbing system. Clogged drains and toilets are some of the most typical problems that they are called to handle when it comes to homeowners.

Sometimes people fail to properly dispose of things like hair and grease. When hair and grease is allowed to go down the drains and into the plumbing system, it causes them to become clogged and backed up. If the situation is not taken care of in an exceptional amount of time, it could lead to the pipes bursting open and releasing water and dangerous toxins. Sometimes freezing weather can also result in the pipes and tubes in a plumbing system becoming damaged. This is because the water becomes frozen in the pipes, expands, and bursts open.

The Advantages And Disadvantages of Electric Furnaces

There are advantages and disadvantages of electric furnaces. They are cheaper to buy and maintain, and puts out less emissions. But, the electric furnaces costs more in fuel energy use.

The first, and perhaps the most important decision you will need to make when purchasing a new furnace is deciding what type of fuel source your new furnace will use. For most people, this will mean choosing between gas furnaces and electric furnaces. While there are certainly many other options from which you can choose, more than 90% of all residential furnaces will make use of one of these two fuel sources. Today, I would like to help you determine which of these fuel sources is right for you by sharing a bit more information with you concerning electric furnaces.

electric arc furnace unit
Electric arc furnaces do not give off dangerous emissions, but are more expensive to use.

The Advantages of Buying an Electric Furnace:

1. Electric furnaces require far less maintenance than gas furnaces. This makes them the ideal choice for people who simply do not have the time or desire to maintain their heating system on a regular basis. This will also help to minimize the frequency of furnace repairs in the event that the required maintenance does go unattended for any period of time.

2. Electric furnaces are one of the least expensive furnaces to purchase. Additionally, since these furnaces do not make use of fuel combustion, these furnaces are also one of the least expensive furnaces to install. This makes them the ideal choice for people who are looking to replace their old furnace, but must do so on a very tight budget.

3. An electric furnace does not give off any dangerous emissions that could potentially cause harm to you or your family. This is because most emissions such as carbon monoxide which are typically created by the home heating process are the result of a leak in the fuel combustion chamber. Since electric furnaces do not require this type of chamber in order to heat your home, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a leak is absolutely nonexistent with this type of furnace.

The Disadvantages of Buying an Electric Furnace

1. An electric furnace costs more to run every month than a gas furnace. This is because while electricity is cheaper per unit than natural gas, electric furnaces require far more energy to heat your home than a natural gas furnace will require. This means that you can expect to pay more each and every month in order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Choosing to invest in a ultra high efficiency furnace can help you to offset this cost some. This is because high efficiency electric furnaces do not require as much energy as standard electric models.

2. An electric furnace may be more expensive to repair than a gas furnace. While these furnaces do not require repairs as often as other furnace models, when repairs are necessary they are often quite expensive. This is because the repair contractor who performs those repairs will need to have an electrician’s license in addition to their HVAC certification. This is the only way in which repairs can be safely performed on these appliances.

3. Electric furnaces are not very efficient at heating large spaces. This means that this option may not be available to you if you own a large home or office. In fact, people who try and utilize this appliance in a large space often find that they are unable to achieve a reasonable temperature in many areas of their house due to low air pressure in their vents. In order to achieve the desired temperature, people often have to set the thermostat much higher than the temperature they would actually like to achieve. In most cases, this simply means that you will be paying twice as much in order to achieve the same temperature as you would with a more powerful heating system.

Two Home Heating Options in the Winter

In shopping businesses for heating, you have two options for your home: one is the cheaper, forced air system and the other is radiant system.

Home heating refers to the set of systems that are designed to keep your house at a comfortable temperature throughout the winter. It can come in several different types, including radiant and the traditional forced air style. The one thing that both heaters will have in common is the thermostat; it is the thermostat that is going to control when and for how long each of these heaters turns on. Here are some of the options you have for your home and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

illustration of rooms in the house
When it comes to home heating, it pays to weigh your options.

You should be aware of the fact that a forced air system is not going to be your most energy efficient heating option, mostly because the forced air system is going to be blowing hot air into every room of your house, even if no one is actually present in that room.

The first option is the one that most houses and apartment complexes utilize, the forced air system. The forced air system works by having the furnace turn on and draw in the cold air, warm it up, and then blow it through all of the ducts in the house and out the vents by using a system of fans. The forced air system has a few key advantages over the radiant option. A forced air system will warm your house at a much faster rate than a radiant system. You will feel the effects of a forced air system almost immediately. This is because the air coming out of your vents is already hot. There is no need to wait for it to get there.

However, you should be aware of the fact that a forced air system is not going to be your most energy-efficient option, mostly because the forced air system is going to be blowing hot air into every room of your house, even if no one is actually present in that room. This means that the heater is using more energy and costing you more money than is strictly necessary. Another advantage that a forced air system has over the radiant heating system is that a forced air system is substantially cheaper to purchase and install than a radiant system.

The second option is the radiant setup. A radiant heating system does not use any of the traditional support systems that a forced air heater does, it is not connected to a series of ducts, nor does it have fans or need vents to work. A radiant system involves placing panels or pipes beneath the floor and within the walls of the entire building.

Once the thermostat tells the system to turn on it will begin warming up the floors and walls of the house, which in turn will warm the air around them, and it will continue to radiate out like that until it fills the whole house and gets the temperature to the desired level.

Despite being more expensive than a forced air system, there are a few advantages to selecting this. The first advantage is that a radiant heating system tends to be more energy-efficient, so it can save you money on your utility bills in the long run. Also, it is really easy to set up in such a way that your house is split into zones, which means that you do not have to worry about wasting money and energy warming up sections the house that no one is using.

You can specify a particular area of the house to warm during different periods of the day. However, one downside that should be considered is that it will take it a bit longer to warm up your rooms due to the fact that the pipes and panels have to warm up first, then the walls, and then the air.

Tips on Maintaining Furnaces

Performing routine maintenance on furnaces prevents future costly repairs. It is best to contact a professional for this, but homeowners can usually do minor repairs themselves, such as cleaning ducts and replacing worn belts.

One of the most important elements in keeping a home warm during the cooler months of the year can be the furnace. Without it that is in good working order, the winter months can be almost unbearable in many homes. This can make it very important that a homeowner ensure that it is in good working order before it becomes too cold. Often, to keep the unit functioning well, a homeowner will be able to do some types of routine maintenance on their own. However, in some cases it may be necessary to enlist the services of a company that maintains and upgrades them.

The filter on the unit should be replaced or cleaned. The air intake sections should be cleaned from dirt, hair and other debris.
The filter on the unit should be replaced or cleaned. The air intake sections should be cleaned from dirt, hair and other debris.

One of the key factors in making sure that furnaces operate well can be proper maintenance. Taking the time to perform routine maintenance can help in making sure it does its job properly and can prevent costly repairs later on as well. Often, they can become clogged with dirt and other types of debris. If the unit is not cleaned, it can function in an inefficient manner and if left for too long, it may stop working altogether. This can cause elements in the unit to work improperly and this can lead to the unit needing to be completely replaced.

Before the weather turns too cold, it can be a good idea for homeowners to take time and check their furnaces before they need to use them on a regular basis. During such a check, it is important to check for buildup of dirt, hair, dust and other debris in areas such as the registers and air intake sections. The filter on the unit should be replaced or cleaned depending on the type of model one has. In addition, it can be a good idea to look for cracks or other signs of wear and tear in the unit itself.

In some cases, a homeowner may determine that minor repairs are needed. Often if they notice that joints in the ductwork are a little unstable, they may be able to use duct tape to reinforce the area. Worn belts can also be another element that many homeowners may be able to replace without too much work. However, for issues such as checking the condition of the blower motor or lubricating the unit it may be a good idea to contact one of the repair shops in the area to have a technician come out to do the work.

In some homes, it may also be a good choice to hire a professional company to come out and clean the ducts of the unit as well. While a homeowner can do some of this work with their own vacuum, it generally is best to have a professional duct cleaner do the job since they have heavy-duty vacuums that can clean the ducts more thoroughly. This can be a good way to ensure no clogs or other obstructions that can cease airflow are present. Duct cleaning can also be a good way to help remove mold, allergens, bacteria and other unhealthy elements from the ducts as well. This can be a great help in maintaining the health of those in the home.

Making sure that one’s furnace is operating in the best possible way before the weather becomes cooler, can be a smart move for many homeowners. By spending some time checking their unit themselves, doing some simple routine, and cleaning maintenance work on the unit one can prevent further issues from developing. However, for issues that are more complex or that require special types of equipment, hiring a team of professionals who work on them can be a wise choice. This can help in not only making sure that one’s home is warm and comfortable during the winter months, but it can also help by saving money on costly emergency repairs.

Hard Water: A Common Plumbing Problem

Scale, the product of hard water slowly accumulates in everything it touches: your dishes, your skin, your pipes, dishwasher. One way to fix it is to install a softener.

Hard water is a common plumbing problem. Of all the problems to have in your house, hard water may not be the most severe; at least not all at once. Hard water is water that is carrying heavy amounts of calcium and magnesium. These minerals probably got in your water through the rock that the water has dissolved while waiting to be pumped into your house. What these minerals do is collect on every surface your water touches. This means all of your pipes, all of your cooking utensils, and your skin are all being coated regularly with these tiny rock sediments.

Only elbow grease will remove the scummy film due to hard water.
Only elbow grease will remove the scummy film due to hard water.

Hard water is first noticeable by the tough, white film that’s left on your pots and pans, but there are other symptoms. If hard water is getting in the way of your everyday routine, a plumbing expert can manage the problem immediately.

Scale And Grain

The remnants hard water leaves on your surfaces is called ‘scale.’ This for the same reason that any scales are called scales, it leaves layers of tough material on a surface. The hardness of water is measured in grains. A grain is just about 65 milligrams of sediment, which doesn’t mean much to the average home owner. What is worth knowing is that a measurement of 3.5 or more grains per gallon of water puts your home solidly in the hard water camp. This means that your house is at an increased risk of heavy sediment deposits in your machines and for damage to your skin.

Basic Hard Water Damage

Hard water will leave scale over your dishes. Soap does not clean off scale, only elbow grease will. In fact, hard water can make soap less able to produce suds, rendering the soap run off as a kind of scummy film. This of course only makes your dishes look worse, but it also affects your skin and your bathroom as you shower. You may begin to feel like you need to use more soap to get your body clean.

The soap you are using, however, is now simply smearing all over your shower and bathtub, leaving more hard-to-clean film. The scaling process also affects your pipes. This sediment can potentially build up until it stops water flow entirely in your home, but more likely it will at least build up enough to encourage clogs. This would mean you will have to have to replace your old pipes with new pipes throughout the house.

Utility Damage

The final straw is that hard water will also settle in machines like your water heater. This can decrease the water capacity in the water heater but it can also encourage deterioration in your water heater leading to leaks or other problems that can cost thousands. The same scale runs through your clothes and dish washers.

Dealing with hard water isn’t a very hard task to do. Any plumbing expert will know how to install a water softener, which could save you a lot of money in a very short amount of time. Water softeners are the longest used and most reliable method of handling hard water. There are many other options. For the best solution for your area, be sure to ask a professional.


hard water image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons