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Water heaters work constantly, and they are a household appliance all of us have come to rely heavily on each day. It is also an appliance that most people take for granted. Conventional water heaters should be drained an inspected each year and failing to do so could lead to a myriad of problems.

water heater

Why drain your water heater?
One of the top reasons to drain a water heater has to do with the buildup of sediment. There is no telling how much sediment is in your water heater without draining the tank. A build of sediment could result in the production of less hot water than what should normally come out. It can also lead to a bump in energy bills because the water heater has to work harder. And it could even lead to a leak in your water heater, which could cause costly damages to your home. Too much sediment could cause the unit to overheat and wind up cracking the lining.

Another benefit of annual draining is that it will get rid of any noise produce by a buildup of limescale. If your water heater is making strange noises, then it may be time for a professional to flush the system and take a look at what is amiss.

Why call a professional to drain your water heater?
There are certain home improvement projects that can be done by watching a quick online tutorial. However, water heater draining and inspection is not something that should be done by someone who is not a trained professional. It involves turning off either the gas or electricity and properly turning off the water. That is just the preparation phase as more detailed inspection follows. It’s best left up to a professional plumber.

What other benefits come with draining and inspection?
There are a lot of working parts on a water heater and inspection does not necessarily mean finding faulty parts and replacing them. Inspections can also identify issues like a bad setting on the pressure reducing valve. Adjusting that setting to the right psi can eliminate the chance of damaging household appliances, such as a washing machine, dishwasher, or ice maker. If there is no pressure reducing valve, then the water pressure should be adjusted to the correct psi.

All these services can be done by a trained and experienced Charlotte, NC plumber like the ones employed at Best Rate Plumbing.

Toilet issues are one of the leading causes of all residential plumbing repair. But there are ways to stay ahead of those problems as regular toilet inspections and maintenance can identify issues before they can turn into a catastrophe. Here is a closer look at why having an annual toilet inspection should be on every homeowner’s checklist.

Silent Problems

Most leaks in toilets are slow ones and do not just pour out water all through a home. The only way you may suspect a leaky toilet is by noticing monthly increases in your water bill. Leaks are simple to overlook and that is why a trained and experienced plumber can help identify those silent problems.

Water Conservation

The government mandated Clean Water Act helps to preserve water. As a result, modern toilets now feature a 1.6 gallon flush or 1.2 gallon flush. These options will help conserve water and will also lower your water bills. Water is our most precious natural resource and it’s integral to use it with discretion. Talk to your plumber about more ways you may be able to save.

Regular Plunging

A toilet that needs to be plunged on a regular basis is an indication that something is off. Chances are there is something obstructing the flow deeper down in the drainpipe or trap. That could even be emblematic of a problem in the main line. Whatever the reason, you should not be stuck having to plunge your toilet on a regular basis.

Older Toilets

People typically do not consider purchasing a new toilet until something falters with their current one. But the reality is that old toilets are subject to a myriad of problems and homes that are equipped with these models definitely need to have an annual inspection. Doing so could prevent major water damage inside a home.

Hard Water

Homes that have hard water present a problem for toilets. Hard water can lead to clogged pipes and it can also wear out the parts of a toilet. For example, the seals in a toilet can break down much faster when hard water continuously passes through. As a result, your toilet repair problems may lie with the installation of a water softener.

Trickling water in the bowl or tank of your toilet are other warning signs that some form of a repair is needed. There are lots of little things to look for and a trained plumbing technician can identify those issues with annual maintenance checks.

One of the most important rules for all homeowners is to never pour grease down your sink. Pouring grease down your kitchen sink will cause the sink to drain slowly or not at all. Here are some more helpful insights on how to deal with grease and your kitchen sink.

Ignore The Hot Water Myth
There is also a misperception that pouring grease down your sink, along with hot water, is okay. This is indeed a myth. While the hot water may appear to break up the grease, it will not remain in that state. Grease will congeal at room temperature and that means it is not likely to make it all the way out of your home plumbing. The end result could be a nasty clog somewhere in your piping.

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What To Do If Grease Is Poured in Your Sink
There is always the off chance that someone in your home winds up pouring grease down your kitchen sink. If this should happen try using a method that is non-corrosive to remedy a grease or oil clogged drain. Get a hold of a ½ cup of baking soda and put it down the drain. Then, follow it up by pouring a ½ cup of white vinegar into the drain. This will create a fizzing. Cover the drain as soon as that commences and let it last for around 10 minutes. Next, pour a pot boiling water down the drain to slush it out.

Garbage Disposals Do Not Help Break Down Grease
Having a garbage disposal is not an insurance policy that protects grease from clogging your pipes. It should be noted that pouring grease into your kitchen sink can lead to an eventual sewer clog. When scraping grease out of plates or pans, do so into a garbage can and not the garbage disposal.

Dispose Of Grease Properly
The best way to dispose of grease is to do it in the proper state. Let the grease sit out and congeal. Then, scrape it into a trash can and dispose of it accordingly. And be sure to wipe away any residue instead of rinsing it off in the sink. It is a good idea to keep an old jar in the kitchen to hold the grease. Also, refrain from composting the grease as it is likely to draw animals.

If you have are experiencing a drain clog in Charlotte, NC or the surrounding areas, contact Best Rate Plumbing.

When the coldest days of the winter are about to set in, it is a good idea to prepare your home’s plumbing. This is not as difficult as it may initially sound as there are simple tasks any homeowner can do to ensure their pipes are not impacted by the harsh winter weather.

Close All Foundation Vents

The foundation vents in a home are located on the lowest level and their purpose is to allow air to pass through for the purpose of reducing mold and moisture in crawl space areas. But when the weather turns frigid, that air that passes through has the potential to freeze pipes. A cold breeze may also impact any existing air leaks, so it is a good idea to keep those vents shut on the coldest days of the winter.

Let the Water Drip

When you learn that cold air is coming your way, leave hot and cold water dripping especially on plumbing fixtures that are located on an exterior wall. The exterior walls will get very cold, but even a drip will keep water moving through the pipes and make it more difficult to freeze. When the temperature dips below freezing, this is an excellent precautionary measure to take to protect your plumbing.

Insulate

Crawl spaces, garages and windows in a basement are all susceptible to letting the chill of winter into your home. Insulating all those areas adds a protective layer against the impending chill of winter. This is important because the more frigid air you let in, the more susceptible your pipes are to freezing. Insulating those areas also has the added perk of improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Keep the Temperature High

Many homeowners will look to save on heating costs by raising the temperature inside their home at night and lowering it during the day. Programmable thermostats make this a simple task. But when it is very cold, keeping the temperature at that higher setting will protect your plumbing. This will keep the pipes warmer at all times.

Turn off Outdoor Faucets

Outdoor faucets and hoses should be turned off for the winter. It is suggested that homeowners disconnect all hoses because they could still contain some water. If that freezes, it could create larger plumbing problems. Part of winterizing your home means attending to the outdoor water system. Any sprinkler systems should also be drained and shut down.

When a homeowner discovers a leak, the first thing to do is turn off the home’s main valve. Also, use extreme caution as standing water can be a dangerous electrical hazard. Residential and commercial plumbing repairs Fort Mills SC are fast and efficient when Best Rate Plumbing is called on. The quicker you act on the problem the better.

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Illustration of a plumber in a bathroom.

Plumbing repair is something that can cause immediate panic to set in. Homeowners generally fear the moment that their home springs a leak and that is usually because of the great unknowns that come with plumbing problems. Most homeowners are unaware of how to fix the problem. One way to stay ahead of those issues is to conduct an annual whole house plumbing inspection.

A whole house inspection takes a look at all of the plumbing inside a home. This is a form of preventative maintenance, as well as a chance to identify any problem areas. It is a multi-step process that takes a comprehensive look into the state of a home’s plumbing. Here is a glimpse of the advantages that come with a whole house plumbing inspection.

Check for water leaks
While a whole house inspection looks for more obvious signs of water leaks, it also inspects for any sign of a hidden leak or problem with house sewer pipes. Examining all pipes for possible corrosion will also identify a problem that could cause a leak in the not so distant future.

Water pressure check
Low water pressure is a sign of some type of problem and that could be due to a high accumulation of sediment or pipes being corroded internally. Meanwhile, high water pressure can spring tiny leaks that will expand over the course of time. Too much water pressure can also inhibit the lifespan of home appliances. Water pressure can be adjusted to the correct setting during a whole house inspection.

Drainage Check
Signs of slow drainage can signal something other than a clod in the drainage system. It could also be a sign that a vent pipe is blocked. Slight clogs can steadily develop into a blockage which could cause quite a bit of damage.

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A residential master bathroom.

Water heater inspection
Sediment could build up in both a tankless or conventional water heater and needs to be cleaned out. There are several other issues that could impact water heaters and it’s important to make sure none are a danger to the safety of those within a home. A whole house inspection should examine water heaters to determine what type of maintenance is needed.

Most whole house inspections are much akin to getting a vehicle serviced every year. It will function better with a detailed inspection and subsequent repair. Best Rate Plumbing is ready to provide you with a Charlotte, NC whole house plumbing inspection.

The design of a tankless water heater is completely different from that of a tank heater, which means the upkeep is also unique. There is no actual combustion needed to heat the water and while problems are less frequent in tankless water heaters, an annual service check is strongly recommended.

Once a year, a tankless heater should be flushed out. The purpose of this is to remove the accumulation of limescale and minerals. It will also allow the tankless heater to operate with a higher level of efficiency. Flushing an electric heater is one of the most highly recommended forms of preventative maintenance.

Another that should be addressed is the air filter. There are certain manufacturers that recommend routine cleaning. Many homeowners get caught up in the busyness of their daily lives and the end result is a dirty air filter. However, annual service can remediate such problems.

It is important to note that warranties on tankless water heaters are not guarantees that the unit will be immune to breakdowns. Warranties are there for protection in case something goes wrong, but that does not negate the need for preventative maintenance.

There are several forms of preventative maintenance which can help to extend the lifespan of a tankless water heater. The life expectancy is about 20 years, but that is made possible through upkeep and maintenance. There are many preventative maintenance tasks homeowners do not know how to do.

For example, the inlet water strainer should be kept clean and there is also a need to give the sediment trap a good cleaning. Preventative maintenance on an annual basis will also focus on inspections of the water or gas shut-off, as well as the condensate drain. If there is a problem with any of these components, even a minor one, it could result in more expensive repairs down the line.

The presence of hard water is also something that could accelerate problems with a tankless water heater. If you live in an area where hard water is prominent, then it’s a good idea to service your tankless heater once a year.

Purchasing a tankless water heater is an investment and with any investment comes the responsibility to ensure it is protected. Call Best Rate Plumbing to schedule a tankless water heater annual service check. We will make sure your unit is running efficiently while also eliminating the chance for minor issues to turn into major ones.

More and more homes are now equipped with a tankless water heater. New construction is continually featuring this variety while a vast number of homeowners are also upgrading. Here is a closer look at why this has become such a popular option as there are many advantages to using a tankless water heater.

Hot Water on Demand

There is no waiting for water to heat up when using a tankless heater. Water is heated as it is used, which means there is no waiting on a chilly morning for the water to heat up. There is also no worry when it comes to someone flushing a toilet and turning your nice hot shower into a temporary cold one.

Endless Supply

There is nothing worse than enjoying a nice, hot shower, only to have the water suddenly go from warm to lukewarm to cold in an instant. Tankless heaters do not rely on a water tank and that allows them to continue to pour out hot water.

Decreased Monthly Bills

Tankless heaters or more energy efficient than tank heaters. While tankless heaters cost more upon their initial purchase, they have a longer life span. They also decrease monthly energy bills making this a very affordable option over the long term.

More Space

A water heater that comes with a tank takes up a sufficient amount of room. A tankless heater fits neatly onto a wall and does not clog up a room. In a home that is limited in square footage, a tankless water heater could make a big difference.

Standby Loss

One of the top features of a tankless water heater is its capability of eliminating standby loss. The process of reheating water is done on a repeated basis and it increases energy bills. And when no one is there home, a tank water heater still continues to use energy as it continues to prepare to reheat water.

Extended Warranties

The purchase of a water heater typically comes with a warranty. The cost of repairs is then covered by the manufacturer. Tankless water heaters usually last upwards of 20 years and, therefore, come with longer warranties. That means no untimely repair bills in the foreseeable future.

No Risk of a Flood

Water heaters with a tank have the potential to spring a leak. That could lead to extensive damage, although there is not even the threat of that happening with a tankless heater.

Contact the professional team at Best Rate Plumbing Rock Hill SC & Surrounding areas today!