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What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?

a modern water heater

Dealing With a Faulty Water Heater

You’ve had a good night’s sleep – or maybe not such a good night’s sleep. Either way, you know you can always count on that hot morning shower to start the day off! At least until you find the water isn’t getting hot. Now, were there any indications before that morning that you may need to plan a new water heater installation

If you have any of the following issues, and you’re wondering, “Should I repair or replace my water heater?”, the answer is yes. You should have already had a new water heater installation scheduled, or at least you should have expected this to happen anyway. But to make things a little easier, what are the tell-tale warnings a water heater is at its end of service life? 

These are pretty obvious signs a water heater is about to call it quits. If the unit is 10 years old (or older), none of these should surprise you. 

  1. Discolored water. When the water coming out is discolored, or rusty, the water heater is probably corroded inside, which can corrode the plumbing too. A professional plumber can check your water heater and water supply and advise you if just the water heater is the problem, or if you have other issues too. 
  2. Strange sounds. As sediment builds up over at the bottom of a water heater, it hardens and causes the water heater to have knocking or rumbling sounds. The sediment is doing more than just causing these noises. It is limiting the efficiency of the water heater too, wearing it out and could cause it to start leaking.
  3. Leaks or moisture. If the base of the water heater has moisture on or around it, puddles of water around it on a regular basis, it probably is already leaking, and you need to schedule a water heater installation sooner than later. 
  4. Lukewarm water. If the water is taking too long to get water to the faucet, the water heater is probably full of sediment. It could also be the heating element or thermostat. Depending on the age of the unit, a water heater installation is the best way to fix this issue. 

Is a noisy water heater dangerous?

It could be enough noise to make you think it is about to take off to the moon, but it is rare that a water heater explodes to that level. The knocking and rumbling sounds aren’t so much a danger to the water heater. The danger is more to the walls surrounding your water heater, which could need repairing, even replacing, as well as the floor under the water heater. A noisy water heater is reason enough to either have a plumber come inspect the unit or schedule a water heater installation. 

Is a leaking water heater dangerous?

In the rare cases of a water heater exploding, or more commonly, when a water heater begins leaking, it can contain over 100 gallons of scalding water. When a leaking water heater isn’t addressed with a new water heater installation to replace the existing one, there are several possibilities of damage and more that can result. 

  • Electrocution or gas leak
  • Risk of scalding
  • Fire hazard
  • Explosion

How do I know if my water heater element is bad?

In most cases, it is the lower heating element that will go out. To find out, a DIY homeowner with some basic electrical knowledge and a multimeter can take the following steps: 

  1. Turn the power off to the electric hot water heater, if it is plugged into a wall socket, unplugging it will be sufficient. Otherwise, you’ll need to turn the breaker off at the main panel. 
  2. There are two wires at the element; remove them and push them to the side. 
  3. With the multimeter set at ohms or resistance, set the scale to the lowest reading.
  4. Touch one multimeter probe to each screw on the heating element. If there is no reading or the reading is at max, that is the bad heating element. 
  5. Touch one probe to a screw on the heating element and the other probe to the water heater metal tank. If there is a small ohm reading or a slight needle movement, you have a shorted out element.

If you’re not sure you’ve performed these testing procedures correctly, have a professional plumber inspect the unit. They will test the element as well as another factor related to the water heater. 

How do I know if my water heater thermostat is bad?

With an electric water heater, the thermostat can be found on the front of the unit under an access panel. It is the thermostat job to keep the water hot inside the tank. There is a bi-metal switch against the wall of the water heater tank and as the water heats up inside the tank, that bi-metal switch heats up within the thermostat.

Once the water has reached the recommended 120°F setting, the switch opens and turns off the electrical flow, resulting in the heating element shutting off. When the temperature gets lower, this all happens in reverse. 

There are two elements to a water heater and a thermostat connected to each one. The thermostats are wired where only one of the heating elements is on. The upper thermostat brings the top one-third of the water to the desired temperature then turns off when the electricity is redirected to the lower thermostat.

These two steps will tell you which thermostat is bad: 

  • Upper Thermostat – If the upper thermostat/heating element is defective, then the water heater won’t heat any water. 
  • Lower Thermostat – If the lower thermostat/ heating element) is defective, the water will only reach a lukewarm temp, or it will run out of hot water fast. 

What causes a pilot light to go out on a water heater?

Often it is either a dirty or bad thermocouple that will cause a pilot light to extinguish. Another cause is the unsealed combustion chamber, common for older water heaters. And if a gas water heater isn’t getting enough mixture with fresh air, that can cause a pilot light to go out. 

The thermocouple can be cleaned or replaced. If there isn’t a sealed combustion chamber, the unit should be replaced with a new water heater installation. The newer models are sealed and safer. If the water heater isn’t piped correctly to vent outside, you should have a professional plumber come inspect the unit and make the appropriate changes. 

How much does it typically cost to replace a hot water heater?

A new water heater installation in 2020 averaged between $400 and $1200, with each installation varying with requirements needed for professional install. If you’re considering going with a tankless water heater installation, expect to pay upward of $2,000. 

hot water coming from a shower head

A Few Final Words 

So, just who do you call for a water heater problem? A professional plumber with license and insurance. You’ll want to confirm they offer water heater service, as some plumbers specialize in other areas only. If you’re on a budget, you may want to do your own water heater installation, but that isn’t recommended. 

Can a homeowner install their own water heater? Yes, you may be able to do the work, however, where you live may require a licensed plumber to do the water heater installation. A permit may be needed, and a city inspector will need to check the unit once the job is complete.

Is electric heating a good option?

Young woman sitting on a sofa and watching the snow fall outside.

What is an electric heating system?

Summer and fall are both wonderful times here on the East Coast, drawing people from all across the country. And when the cold season arrives, we still have tourists that want to experience that Eastern seaboard winter – as long as there is a working electric heating system. Yes, the winters get chilly out this way, and there is nothing better than a roaring fireplace, snuggly blankets, and working heat. 

How does an electric heating system work?

An electric heating system is often a part of an HVAC system, along with air conditioning. The electric heating is created with a heating element, an electrical resistor, and other parts. The electricity is what converts the electrical energy into heating energy with a heating element. Most today are nichrome wire and ceramic insulators.

Depending on the size of the electric heating system, it will have between three and six electric-resistance elements. Those elements have between 3 and 7 kW each, which work much the same as the elements you see inside your toaster. Inside your electric heating system are other important components: 

  • Contactor: This controls the voltage to the heating element by way of the thermostat
  • Sequencer: This turns the heating element off and on, keeping the current spike low since it doesn’t take much to turn it on. 
  • Transformer: This provides power to the control circuits for the contractors, sequencer, and thermostat to work. 

Which electric heating system is best?

There are several electric heating options for homes, and if your home already had an electric heating system when you purchased it, you probably didn’t give any thought to other options. However, if you’re planning to upgrade or you’re having a new home built, give this matter some thought now because cooling and heating a home creates about 17% of our carbon footprint. That is more than all the other emissions our homes create. 

By choosing an electric heating system that is more efficient, you’ll save money each month and you’ll be helping the environment too. Here are the options to choose from and how they affect your budget and the environment.

Good Electric Heating System

An electric heating system may have 100% AFUE (annual fuel-utilization-efficiency) compared to a rating as low as 55% for a gas heating system. Gas does heat faster, so it runs less, and natural gas is cheaper in most places than electricity. A gas heating system can be rated by Energy Star, whereas electric heating systems aren’t. So, depending on the climate, electric heating is better for some, whereas gas is typically better in colder climates. 

Better Electric Heating System

When it comes to an electric heating system, there are better choices, like electric air-source heat pumps. This will draw heat from outside – yes, even in cold weather – and transfer that heat indoors. No fuel is required and minimal electricity is needed. In fact, this type of electric heating system will use less than half that of an electric furnace system. Additionally, you’ll save on cooling with the heat pump because they work as an air conditioner too. 

Another better option for an electric heating system is going with solar power. A solar heating system uses collectors that are mounted on south-facing walls. The hot air that is collected cycles with cool air inside the home and the solar thermal heat use rooftop collectors that are connected to a water tank indoors. 

Best Electric Heating System

For the most efficient electric heating system, a geothermal energy system will use up to 50% less than conventional electric heating systems. A residential geothermal heating system uses a heat pump that exchanges the heat with the earth. The cost of a geothermal heating system is more expensive, but usually within three years, it has paid for itself. 

Is it expensive to heat a house with electricity?

When looking at it from the outside and comparing natural gas and electric heating systems, yes, an electric heating system is more costly. Based on the raw numbers and comparing electric heating to natural gas heating systems, electric costs up to $800 annually versus the $600 for gas heating. If you’re doing a new build, note that a gas heating system will cost more to install than an electric heating system. This is often a deciding factor when build budgeting is concerned. 

Electric Heating System Pros and Cons

Is your old gas furnace not heating as sufficiently as it once was, leaving you thinking about replacing it with an electric heating system? Here are some pros and cons to consider when it comes to an electric heating system: 

The Pros of Electric Heating Systems

  • Cheaper upfront cost. An electric heating system is more common and when it comes to installation, it is less complex. That means the technicians are done with installation faster and that leads to savings for you with less labor.
  • Minimal disruption with installation. A gas furnace installation will require venting connected to the outside, but electric heating systems won’t. With that in mind, you’ll note you’re not limited to where an electric heating system has to be installed. 
  • Easy maintenance. Gas or electric heating systems will always need basic maintenance and routine inspections. However, an electric heating system won’t be as risky to your safety if it malfunctions.

The Cons of Electric Heating Systems

  • Slow to heat. An electric heating system takes longer to power up and heat up the element to make the air warm. 
  • More expensive over time. Because electric power costs more than gas power, over time, an electric heating system will cost more. This is true even though it offers 100% efficiency.
close-up of a woman's hand adjusting a thermostat

All Is Well and Good – Until It Stops Working

So, you forget to schedule the annual inspection which will include cleaning and maintenance. Then you wake up in the middle of the night, and it’s cold. Your electric heating system is not working, so now what? 

There are basic things you can check, like the thermostat, the circuit breaker, and even the on/off switch of the electric heating system. Even changing out the HVAC filter may be enough to get your heater going. If none of that works, you’ll need to make that phone call for electric heating system service.

Going forward, ask them about a maintenance contract so that you have less chance of these things happening. Meanwhile, if it’s time for you to call for help with your electric heating system in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, you can reach out to All About Plumbing & Septic at 828-778-2425.

How do I know if my garbage disposal is bad?

Top view of a sink drain with a garbage disposal.

Dealing With a Faulty Garbage Disposal

 One of the worst things that can happen in a kitchen is the garbage disposal breaking down. This is one well-used appliance, and we don’t think about garbage disposal repairs often – not until we need them! But if you’ve found yourself in need of garbage disposal repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, the team at All About Plumbing & Septic can be there to help. Just call 828-778-2425 to get the services you need.

How long does a typical garbage disposal last?

A quality garbage disposal that has been maintained can last up to 10 years in most cases. But if that’s the case, you ask, why does your garbage disposal keep clogging? No matter how careful you are about what goes into the garbage disposal, they can be finicky instruments and can seem to clog for no reason. But there are things you can do that will minimize clogging and prevent having to call for garbage disposal repair. Some of the problems that can lead to a garbage disposal clog include the following: 

  • A foreign object that’s fallen into the garbage disposal
  • Pushing too much rubbish into the garbage disposal too quickly
  • Not running enough water while the food is processing 

Is my garbage disposal broken?

Luckily, with many issues concerning your garbage disposal, repairs can be taken care of on your own and you can avoid calling the plumber. You’ll at the very least be able to diagnose the problem by paying attention to the following things: 

  • Won’t Turn On

It can be frustrating when the garbage disposal won’t turn on at all. Typically this is a power issue, so press the reset, which is usually located on the bottom of the unit under the sink. This is a built-in safety feature for use when the garbage disposal is jammed, or if the unit overheats. Next, make sure it is plugged in under the sink. After that, check the circuit breaker. If none of these things gets it going, it’s likely time to start shopping for a new unit. 

  • There is Power – But It’s Not Turning

If the garbage disposal is getting power but not turning on, or if you’re hearing odd sounds, you probably have a jammed garbage disposal. Unplug the unit from the power source and insert a hex wrench into the small opening at the bottom of the unit. Jiggle it back and forth and the flywheel should loosen and start to turn. Finally, plug the unit back in and try again. You may need to repeat these steps one or two more times.  

  • Not Draining

If the garbage disposal isn’t draining, you probably have a clog in the drainpipe keeping it the sewer line block. This isn’t a garbage disposal repair, but a clogged drain. First, try using a basic household plunger to loosen the clog. This may take two or three attempts if the clog is larger in size. 

If you don’t have any luck, take the drain apart at the P-trap and clear both ends of the drainpipe out. There could be a dishrag stopped up… or anything that might have made its way in! If all else fails, try using a plumber’s snake. These tools can get further down into the drain line and can often pull out things you had no idea were in there. 

  • Leaking Garbage Disposals

There are four places where you will typically notice a garbage disposal leak: the dishwasher hose, drainpipe, sink flange, or the bottom of the unit. The flange, hose, and drainpipe are fairly easy garbage disposal repairs that most homeowners can take care of themselves. But if it is the bottom of the unit that’s leaking, it is probably wearing out and you likely need to replace the entire unit. 

What should not be put into a garbage disposal?

There are 14 things that should never be put into this dependable yet vulnerable kitchen appliance: 

  • Paint – As more homeowners become DIYers, plumbers are getting more garbage disposal repair calls only to find units full of latex or oil paint that’s been poured straight into the drain and hardened. 
  • Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds may reduce odors, but they can also create bigger problems the further down the drain they go. 
  • Pasta – Pasta expands when wet – need we say more? 
  • Bones – Garbage disposals can grind up food, but they aren’t designed to grind up bones or other extremely hard items.
  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal is like pasta – it swells when wet. 
  • Nuts – When nuts are ground up, they become a paste – think about peanut butter. 
  • Onion Skins – Chopped or diced onions won’t be a problem, but the thin membrane that makes up the outermost layer of the onion isn’t going to get ground up, but wrap itself around the blades instead.  
  • Egg Shells – Just don’t. They aren’t good on the blade, contrary to popular rumors.
  • Potato Peels – Potato peels can slip past the disposal and clog the drain. 
  • Pits – Peach pits or any other type of pit should not be put into the garbage disposal. If you can’t cut it with a knife, the garbage disposal blades can’t cut it up either. 
  • Cleaning Chemicals – Just avoid harsh chemicals.  
  • Corn Husks – Corn husks will wrap themselves around the blades, just like potato peels.
  • Shells – Seafood shells should never be placed in a garbage disposal. 

When should your garbage disposal be replaced?

If you’re not sure whether a garbage disposal repair or replacement is in order, consider this – how many times have you had it repaired in the past year? If the answer is more than once, it is probably time to replace the unit. If the garbage disposal is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced because the parts are likely not still available and if they are, it will cost as much to repair the garbage disposal as simply installing a new unit. 

Apple being peeled into a sink garbage disposal

In Closing 

If you’re not a DIY homeowner and need a garbage disposal repair, who should you call for garbage disposal repair? Your local plumber or electrician can get the job done for you in most cases. On rare occasions, such as if the drain is blocked and you call an electrician at first, they may need to bring in a plumber.

This is why it’s often good to start with a plumber. There are small electrical things they can usually handle. And if you need garbage disposal repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, you can count on the All About Plumbing & Septic team to take care of you after you make a simple call to 828-778-2425.

What is trenchless sewer line repair?

trenched sewer repair

What does trenchless mean?

North Carolina is a beautiful place to call home. Until the sewer line breaks or backs up. Fortunately, one fear every homeowner has about sewer line problems can be avoided today – A destroyed lawn. Today, plumbers have a new technology, trenchless plumbing, enables them to find where the problem area is and a way to fix it – all without destroying your landscaping! 

With the new technology today, advanced trenchless plumbing means you may not have to sacrifice your landscaping to have your sewer line repaired or replaced!  Trenchless plumbing is a technology where the plumbing crew does most of the work underground with few or no trench digging on the surface.  Trenchless plumbing is the latest in plumbing technology that uses equipment and new techniques to make things happen without disturbing your lawn. 

What is trenchless plumbing?

Trenchless sewer installation is the process of connecting or replacing the sewer line from your home to the main sewer line without damaging or destroying your landscaping. The following are some details explaining a trenchless plumbing which includes pipe bursting and pipe lining:

  • The pipe bursting process is the existing (damaged) pipe is busted up by a machine with a new sewer pipe going in right behind that process. This is done with two holes, one for entry into the home and one for entry to the main sewer line. 
  • The pipe lining process is the installing a new flexible pipe that is coated with trenchless sewer epoxy resin is blown or pushed into the old pipe. Once the new pipe is in position, it is then inflated with a hardening agent that creates a new hardened pipe inside the old pipe. The diameter is minimized by a quarter of an inch, which doesn’t have any negative impact on the drainage system. 

Does trenchless sewer repair work?

There are two downsides to trenchless sewer main replacement method. One is the cost; It is more expensive because the equipment and expertise training the plumber must got through. The second downside is the trenchless plumbing method is always possible. 

For trenchless plumbing, the plumber will need access to the plumbing at the house and at the main sewer line. If they can’t access or there is any difficulty, they will need to go through the old school trenching replacement.

Let’s review the strong positives about trenchless plumbing that far outweigh the cost factor:

  • Better quality: Using this state-of-the-art equipment with quality materials by an experienced plumber, you’ll get a durable and quality pipe system that is resistant to corroding, cracking, rusting, and tree roots.
  • Time-Efficient: The new trenchless plumbing takes a few hours versus days with the old school way. 
  • Less Expensive: Yes, we listed the cost as downside, but it is overall less expensive, up to 75% for the labor costs because it takes less time. 
  • Versatile: Old school plumbing used materials that couldn’t be flexible, like cast iron, clay, concrete, or orangeburg. The new trenchless plumbing method can work with all types of pipes, making repair and replacement easier. 
  • Eco-Friendly: In addition to financial savings, you’ll be a part of saving the planet with this environment-friendly trenchless plumbing sewer line repair process.
  • Durable: Trenchless plumbing uses epoxy resin line pipes. It is an efficient and non-invasive process that will last up fifty years. 

Does pipe relining work?

Yes, the resin hardens once it has been installed then forms a pipe inside the damaged pipe. It may seem the plumber isn’t doing much because it all take place under the surface of your lawn. That is the magic of trenchless plumbing!  Little fuss and little mess! 

How much does it cost to fix a broken sewer pipe?

On average, homeowners needing sewer line repair will spend anywhere from $1100 up to as much as $4100 or more. For a complete sewer line replacement, the cost can range between $3,000 and up to $25,000. The cost is effective by factors such as how long the sewer line, where the damage is located, and how severe the problem. 

sewer line system

Ten Symptoms Of Deteriorating Sewer Line

When you start noticing any of the following, there is a possibility of a broken or cracked sewage line.  Call a professional plumber to inspect and provide a detailed quote of what it will to repair the line. 

  • Regular sewage backups and blockages
  • A sewer gas odor
  • Mold growth 
  • Slow drains
  • Patches of extra green and lush grass
  • Indentation in driveway, lawn, or sidewalks
  • Cracking, settling foundation or sink holes
  • Pooling sewage waste in yard 
  • Abundance of insects and rodents

A busted sewer line can create more problem from the above listed things. For instance, a cracked or settling foundation can lead to more plumbing breaking. The sewer gas odor can make your family ill, just as the mold can make aggravate allergies and asthma. Need help with your sewer line in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC? Call 828-778-2425 today.

What Causes a Drain to Get Clogged?

Unclogged drain

What causes a drain to clog?

In the realm of all things that can wrong, a clogged drain isn’t the worse thing to happen. Until you have a clogged drain anyway, then it is annoying and usually ill-timed. Why and how does a clogged drain happen anyway? We’re going to answer that question and a few on how to unclog that drain today, as well as offer advice on how to avoid it from happening. 

A clogged drain is aggravating and annoying, but it seems  that finding the problem and taking care of it should be simple. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy to find and fix, but what is easy is to learn the causes for clogged drains, how to keep it from happening. 

The common causes of clogged drains start with the configuration of the pipes for sewer and water draining. The pipe configuration in your home is like a tree with branches. There is the main line, like the tree trunk, the biggest diameter of all the pipes. Then there are the smaller lines, the tree branches. Anywhere within that tree, there can be a disruption in the functioning of the draining, aka, a clogged drain. 

A clogged drain can form and become lodged at any point of this drain system. Something that we don’t think about when we have a clogged drain, is that it can be affecting other parts of the branches too. So, let’s look at the most common clogged drain causes and what can be done to fix them: 

  • Tree roots: This is the #1 cause in clogged drains and blocked sewer lines. The older the home, the more likely tree roots are going to cause a problem. Tree roots seek moisture, so if there is even the tiniest of leaks in a sewer or water line, they will find it. One of the first indicator that you have tree roots closing in on your water lines is a gurgling sound. As a homeowner, you need to be observant of tree roots closing in on your pipes and take measures to redirect those tree roots. This can take the help of a professional, which may be an expense, but cheaper than having new sewer or water lines installed. Also less expensive and annoying than having a professional clear a clogged drain. 
  • Wipes: Wipes are a wonderful thing for parents, and with the pandemic of 2020/2021, we all found how wonderful they can be, except for one thing: They are advertised as “flushable”, when in fact they are not. Flushable wipes are a detriment to the branches in your home’s sewer system. The city of New York spent almost $20 million dollars within 5 years fixed clogged drains to fixed clogged drains and sewer lines caused by flushable wipes. Contrary to advertising, they do not disintegrate when flushed down the toilet. Just because something fits down the toilet, doesn’t meant it needs to be flushed. 
  • Diapers and Feminine Hygiene Products: These are two more “flushable” products that are in truth not flushable. Part of their make-up is from cotton and fibers that are not biodegradable. They are a tremendous threat to plumbing systems and cause other agents to clog drains too. Human waste is met by microorganisms that cause it to disintegrate. Diapers and feminine hygiene products are not biodegradable, and as such, they are not “flushable”, but instead, are a big problem causing clogged drains. 
  • Fat, oil, and grease: In the restaurant industry, this is called FOG, and this is why restaurants and industrial kitchens have grease traps. However, every day homes do not have grease traps and cleaning up after a meal, it is too easy to pour any fat, oil, or grease down the drain. Maybe you aren’t guilty of pouring your bacon grease down the drain, but what about other items like meat trimmings, butter, chocolate, cream, or vegetable oil? These are sticky substances and water is not going to rinse them down the drain. Instead, they are going to build up and before long, you’ll have a clogged drain. 
  • Hair: Hair is often a huge contributor to clogged drains. It accumulates, becoming a big hair ball in the drain, slowing the flow or creating a clogged drain. Our hair coming out or breaking off can’t be helped, it’s natural, but we can do things to minimize how much of hair gets in the drains. Like after each hair brushing, sweep the sink out and put the hair you collect in the trash, don’t clean your brushes and combs over the sink or in the shower either. When you notice an accumulation of hair at the drain, use the tweezers or needle-nose pliers and pull the hair out before it gets washed down the drain. 
  • Pipe scale: This is another act of nature that can cause a clogged drain from mineral deposits that water leaves behind. Those mineral deposits are from calcium and magnesium dissolving along with other metallic elements found in water. They collect in one area of the pipe, and then keep collecting and growing. Eventually you have a large mineral scale build up inside the water drainpipes. This build up will affect other appliance that use water like your dishwasher, ice maker, and washing machine, even the shower head! 
  • Food:  You never should let food go down the drain! Food chunks are often hard, sharp, sticky, or  stringy, and these things are not good for water drains and pipes. Even in your garbage disposal, be cautious what you put down them. Not all foods easily shred or disintegrate.
  • Foreign Objects: Another big culprit to causing clogged drains are foreign objects like bar soap chunks, jewelry, dental floss, condoms, and children’s toys. Remember, the only thing that should go down the shower and sinks are water and the only thing down the toilet should be water and human waste. Cat water, any pet waste, should not ever be flushed or poured down a drain! 

Is Drano really bad for pipes?

No,  Drano®  is a powerful product that can dissolved whatever is causing most clogged drains, however, it is gentle on metal and plastic pipes. The Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover product even contains a special corrosion prevention ingredient.

What to use to clean blocked drain?

Using a household plunger is always a good start, and where you have double sinks, close on up with a plug.  If the plunger doesn’t work, try a wire coat hanger, or use a plumber snake. If none of these efforts work, call a professional plumber.

How do you unclog a drain naturally?

Cleaning a clogged drain can be done with natural products that you probably have in your home already, like baking soda and white vinegar.  Simply pour hot water in the clogged drain and then baking soda followed by an equal amount of white vinegar. Cover the drain and after thirty minutes, add more hot water. 

Other natural ways of clearing a clogged drain include: 

  • Baking Soda, Salt – Pour an equal amount of both baking soda and salt, allow to sit thirty  minutes, then rinse with hot water.
  • Vinegar, Lemon, Salt – In a bowl, mix even amounts of salt and vinegar then had half that amount of lemon juice. Pour into clogged drain and wait thirty minutes for a hot water rinse. 
  • Salt,  Hot Water – Pour one-half cup of salt followed with hot water into clogged drain, wait thirty minutes, follow up with a hot water rinsing. 
snaking a drain

Can too much baking soda clog a drain?

Performing weekly drain flushing with boiling hot water mixed with a grease-fighting liquid dish soap, (Dawn is the most recommended brand) is one of the best ways to keep from getting a clogged drain. If you notice that you have the beginnings of a clogged drain, you can put in as much as ½ of the box you put in your freezer/refrigerator for odor proofing, followed up by 1 cup white vinegar, then wait 30 minutes. Finish up with a boiling hot water rinse and that slow moving drain should be clear and flowing. 

Okay, you’ve tried everything you can do to open up a clogged drain, but no success. So, now you’re going to have to call in the the professional: A license plumber. How much does it cost to clean a clogged drain?Well, first of all, try your best to work around having a clogged drain on a holiday or weekend,  because they charge double in most cases.  The national average for a professional plumber to clear a clogged drain can be as low as $130 and go upward to $180 or more. Some plumbers charge by the hour, others will have a flat rate for jobs like clearing a clogged drain. Call 828-778-2425 today for drain unclogging in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC.

How do I maintain my heating system?

HVAC systems outdoors

How often should a heating system be serviced?

Winter is getting close to being over, but that doesn’t mean your HVAC maintenance routine stops.  Your heater annual maintenance is necessary even if the winter stays in the 80s all season (yeah, not likely in here in North Carolina, but you never know!). So, do furnaces need to be serviced?

Absolutely! In fact, when you have a new furnace installed, manufacturers recommend an annual furnace or HVAC maintenance and inspection be performed by a qualified and licensed technician at least once a year or you risk voiding your warranty. A part of knowing your air will work in the summer and the heater in the winter, heater maintenance for house annually is not something to skip. 

It is recommended by experts in the field that an HVAC system should be professionally checked once a year. Professional HVAC maintenance technician have a heater maintenance checklist they follow that will assure that every aspect is inspected to be in proper working order. On that checklist, the technician will perform the following tasks: 

  • Check the thermostat and adjust as needed.
  • Verify the condenser coil is clean. 
  • Check all connections and wiring.
  • Check blower motor belt wear and tension, then adjust as needed.
  • Check motor voltage and amp draw.
  • Check compressor contact.
  • Perform a visual inspection of compressor and check the amp draw.
  • Check start capacitor and potential relay.
  • Check pressure switch setting.
  • Replace or clean air filter. 

How often should I clean my heating system?

As the homeowner, remember the heater portion of your HVAC system is also responsible for the overall indoor air quality for your home, it isn’t just for heat. When the heater isn’t working as it should, you will have an increase in your energy bills. HVAC maintenance tasks you can do every month to three months without much heater maintenance how to knowledge are: 

  • Change or Clean the Filter: This is the most basic and common thing a homeowner should know how to do, and it should be every 30 days. A dirty air filter will have a negative impact on the air quality and your energy bills. A lack of HVAC maintenance with the filter will cause your HVAC system to work harder, and this will shorten its lifespan. If you aren’t sure how to do this, have the HVAC maintenance tech show you during their next visit. 
  • Clean Debris from the Burners: Keeping the burners clean of any debris and dust as part of the HVAC maintenance plan will keep it working efficiently which will save you money each month. Even during the warmer weather, the heater will gather dirt and dust, which is why a fall HVAC maintenance appointment is recommended. While a homeowner shouldn’t attempt cleaning the burners, you can vacuum around the area of the filter and inside the open areas of the furnace, after you have turned the systems off. 
  • Unblock the Vents: It can be easy for anyone to not realize they have placed a chair or a laundry basket in front of a heating vent. Each day as you walk through your home picking up clothes or dishes, if there is any vent blocked, move the item(s) and remind everyone the importance of keeping the vents clear. Make sure that there aren’t curtains or rugs in the way of the vents either, the simplest of all HVAC maintenance steps. 
  • Check the Thermostat: Make sure the heat is selected on the thermostat if your home isn’t keeping warm. This is a common HVAC service call result and could save you that service call charge by checking it yourself. 
  • Oil the Blower Motor: This is one steps that a professional HVAC maintenance technician will do as part of their service. 
  • Keep the Professional HVAC Maintenance and Inspection Schedule: Never let your professional HVAC maintenance check overlap. This annual professional HVAC maintenance allows the technician the opportunity to find small issues and repair them before they become a major problem. 

How do I clean my furnace in the winter?

Furnaces and heaters will spontaneously stop working on the coldest night of the year. You can prevent that from happening by being proactive with furnace and HVAC maintenance on your part: 

  • Clear the Drain Tube: Small amounts of water accumulate with natural gas and propane furnaces, with some of it blowing exhaust stream and the remaining water drains into a drip pan, usually, the same one the air conditioner drains into.  Once a month or every two months, check the drain pain and empty then check the tubing and make sure it is clear of any blockage or clogs. 
  • Dust and Vacuum: Debris, dirt, and dust collect inside a furnace all year long. When left to accumulate, the furnace will be inefficient or even quit working. You can prevent this by using a small soft paintbrush and gently clean the inner components, removing any debris and dust. Then gently vacuum over the area to collect the loosened debris and dirt. 
  • Clean the Flame Sensor: If you have a gas furnace, keeping the flame sensor clean is important to void the gas furnace to stop working. This only needs to be done once a year, and you can wait for your annual professional HVAC maintenance appointment or do your own. 
  • The Filter: We can’t stress this enough for furnace or HVAC maintenance to change or clean your air filter every 30 days. 
inside a furnace

How do I test my heating system?

Turn the emergency switch on and turn the thermostat up eight to ten degrees higher than the current room temperature. The heating system should cut on in a few minutes. If it doesn’t push the reset button near the burner relay. If still not working, follow the tips we’ve outlined here and if none of those work, schedule a professional HVAC maintenance and inspection. 

By staying on top of the HVAC maintenance, you’ll minimize any surprises with the cooling or heating part of your system. The monthly things we’ve discussed will go a long way in that as well as extend the life of your furnace or HVAC system. Call 828-778-2425 today for HVAC repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC.

Is It Worth Installing a Water Softener?

water softener

Can I Install a Water Softener Myself?

Are you interested in installing a water softener yourself? If so, you are not alone. Many homeowners who take on home improvement projects are interested in installing water softeners, particularly if their water quality is diminished. While it is possible to take on this project, it’s not advisable. This is because a skilled, certified plumber will have the expertise to handle your water softener installation without causing a mess, or impacting your lifestyle in a negative way.

Is It Worth Installing a Water Softener?

Would you like to understand more about the benefits of a proper water softener installation? If so, please feel free to review the following list.

  • A home water softener will save you money in the long term. When you have hard water, your appliances and your health will feel the negative impact of all the extra minerals in your water.
  • Your dishes will be cleaner. Hard water makes it difficult for your dishes to be cleaned properly.
  • Your hair and your skin will have improved health. Hard water can have a devastating impact on your exterior.
  • Your clothes will be brighter and softer. Likewise, the benefits of having soft water extend to having better quality clothes after washing.

Where Do You Connect Water Softener?

If you have never tackled a water softener before, you will likely wonder where you are supposed to connect the water softener. According to a plumbing website on the internet, the very best location for you to connect your water softener is on level ground. It will need to be near the water’s point of entry into the home. Do you use well water? If so, the entry point will be next to the pressure tank. 

Can I Drink Softened Water?

Ostensibly, if you can drink hard water, even though it is not optimal, it’s preferable for you to drink softened water. This is because most water softeners operate by having the minerals present in hard water removed. These minerals include magnesium and calcium. This is accomplished with a process understood to be ion-exchange.

How Long Does it Take to Get Soft Water After Installing a Water Softener?

If you have recently installed a water softener, you may want to enjoy the benefits of soft water immediately. However, this is not possible. Using softened water will remove the scale from your home in approximately two weeks. In about six weeks you will see that the scale will be removed from your kettle. Due to the fact that it can take this long, it’s best to invest in a water softener as soon as possible once you discover that you have hard water.

Who Can Install a Water Softener?

Are you wondering who is capable of installing water softeners? The best answer is the professional answer. A professional plumber is the best person to call when it comes to installing a water softener. This is because all the steps that go into a water softener installation need to be done correctly and precisely. You will have some initial costs, but those costs are balanced by how long it takes and how accurate the installation is.

Where are Water Softeners Installed

If you are currently unfamiliar with water softeners, it’s important for you to understand a little more about them. After all, they are a significant solution to hard water, and hard water is a serious problem for many households. As previously stipulated, if you do not have a well, you will want your new water softener installed near the point of entry where water is delivered to your household. Generally, this means that your new water softener will be installed near your water heater where it can connect to the pipes that are located in that vicinity.

How to Install Water Softener in House

If you already have an old water softener in your home and you need to replace it, the job of installing a new water softener will be far easier for an inexperienced homeowner. As a matter of fact, a leading expert in water softener installation states that it can be accomplished in less than an hour.

water softener

When to Install a Water Softener

Are you hesitating on whether or not to install a water softener in your home? If you already have hard water, the best time for you to install a water softener is today. That is because there will be a lag time in between when you install your water softener and when you will experience the profound impact of soft water. This means that the best time to install a water softener is today.

We’d be happy to provide your water softener installation in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC. Please feel free to reach out to us today at our phone number, 828-778-2425.

How Do You Know if Your Septic Tank Needs Pumping?

How Do You Know If Your Septic Tank Needs Pumping?

Are you in need of septic pumping? Are you aware of the best way to figure this out? If you would like to discover if your septic pump needs to be pumped, please review the following signs below.

  • If your drains are backing up. The most significant sign of an overfilled septic tank is if you have sewage backing up into the drains of your home.
  • If your lawn appears soggy and more green than usual.
  • If you smell a foul odor outside in your drain field.
  • If you haven’t had your septic tank drained in recent memory.

If your septic system exhibits one or more of these red flags, it’s important for you to contact a professional plumbing company as soon as possible. The sooner that you address your septic needs, the sooner your household can return to normal.

septic tank pumping

How Often Should Septic Tank Be Pumped?

According to the leading plumbing experts, your septic tank should be pumped every three to five years. If your septic tank has received more usage, it will need to be reviewed more frequently. Still, the overall estimate remains at every three to five years.

What Happens When You Get Your Septic Pumped?

When the waste in your septic tank reaches the pipe, the waste will flow into the drain field and then be filtered through the soil. At that point, the soil will clean the water and prevent contamination of groundwater in that specific location. After the tank is pumped, the sludge in that area will be removed and the tank will be emptied. For hygienic and safety reasons, it is important for your septic tank to be cleaned on a routine schedule, which is approximately every three to five years.

What is the Average Life of a Septic System?

Are you wondering what the average life span is of a septic system? If so, it will be important for you to review the basics. The lifespan of a septic system has a wide range. It can range anywhere from between fifteen to forty years. The reason for this wide range is simple. There are plenty of reasons for the life of a septic system to be impacted, including damage from vehicle traffic, flooding by groundwater, or clogging by nearby tree roots.

Will Toilet Flush if Septic Tank is Full?

Is your toilet flushing properly? If not, the culprit could be an overfilled septic tank. One of the common symptoms of an overly-filled septic tank is that your toilet will not flush properly or it will flush extremely slowly. You may also hear odd noises or gurgling from your toilet. If you encounter any of these symptoms, it is entirely urgent for you to move as fast as possible to contact a reputable plumber.

When Septic Tank Pumping

Are you thinking that your septic tank is in need of pumping? As alluded to previously, your household septic tank will need to be pumped every three to five years. If you have a system that has electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components that they should be inspected more often. It is preferable for such systems to be inspected about once a year.

When to Have Septic Tank Pumped Out

It is important to recognize that your septic tank will have a T-shaped outlet that is attached to it. This outlet prevents sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling to the drain field area. If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, then your tank will need to be pumped. The same is true if the top sludge layer is within twelve inches of the outlet.

How Often Septic Tank Purpose

The reason why septic tanks should be pumped out every five years is to keep the disposal system working properly. If the septic system is overflowing or blocked with tree roots, for example, it will be important for you to check your septic tank with more frequency. As mentioned earlier, the reason why it is important for your septic tank to be pumped with regularity is for hygienic and safety reasons.

septic tank pumping

Septic Tank Pump and Alarm

Is your septic tank alarm going off? If so, an activated alarm can be a signifier of a septic tank issue. However, this is not always the case. The best way to find out what is going on with your septic system is for you to contact a professional plumbing company.

If you need septic tank pumping in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, you can trust us to make it happen in the best way possible. Please contact us today at 828-778-2425 to review your options.

How Do You Seal a Leaking Pipe?

A Plumber Tightens a Pipe With a Wrench.

How do you seal a leaking pipe?

While it’s usually best to leave pipe leak repair to professionals, some small leaks you can take care of yourself. Most do-it-yourself repairs will be temporary solutions, especially when you’re sealing pipes. To seal small leaks, you can use epoxy paste sold in sticks at most hardware stores. This material can only be used when the pipe is dry, so to make the repair the water must be shut off. The paste is simply rubbed over the hole to seal it. While a repair like this can stop a leak temporarily, these leaks often signify a bigger problem in your plumbing system, and a larger leak or other problem might be present. A professional can inspect your plumbing for major problems. When you need a serious pipe leak repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, turn to the professionals at All About Plumbing & Septic. We respond promptly to all service calls. Set up an appointment by calling 828-778-2425.

What is the best sealant for leaking pipes?

There are several good brands of epoxy putty on the market today. One preferred brand of sealant is Flex Seal. Another popular brand is Leak Seal Self-Fusing silicone tape. Each of these materials is used for different types of pipe leak repair.

Can you use plumbers putty to stop a leak?

Plumber’s putty is a type of sealant used for several types of a plumbing repair, although rarely for pipe leak repair. The material is very soft and pliable and forms watertight seals. It’s generally useful for preventing or stopping leaks on sinks. It’s not good to use the putty on a part like pipes where water pressure is involved. The putty just doesn’t make adequate seals over pipe threads.

Can you tape a leaking pipe?

Pipe leak repair tape is available to make temporary leak repairs. You have to use specially made self-fusing silicone or rubber tape, and you should only use it to make fixes on low-pressure lines. The tape is wrapped around the pipe, stretching and overlapping the tape to make sure it is tightly sealed over the damage. 

How do I fix a leaky PVC pipe?

PVC pipes typically develop leaks at their joints. Often pipe leak repair for PVC is fairly simple. Normally, you can use one of the following four methods to make a leak repair.

  • Wrap the pipe with silicone or rubber tape. This type of repair is effective where there is low pressure. It needs to be wrapped tightly and extended beyond the damaged area.
  • Apply epoxy over the damaged area. The pipe has to be dry and the epoxy must be allowed to cure for at least half an hour, though an hour or more is preferable.
  • Wrap the pipe with fiberglass resin. This is a special cloth that hardens after it contacts water. You have to work quickly with this material, as it only takes 10 to 15 minutes for it to harden.
  • Use rubber and hose clamps to stop a leak in an emergency. The rubber is tied around the leak itself and hose clamps are used to tighten the rubber. This is typically a better solution for straight pipes.

ABS pipe leak repair

ABS pipes are similar to PVC, but often more flexible and more resistant to extreme temperatures. They are primarily used for drain waste vent piping and you’ll often notice a sewer odor when they leak. Leaks usually occur if the pipe experiences external stress or if a joint becomes unglued. Some repairs just require you to pull the pipes apart and reglue them. You can do this if a leak has developed in a fitting. If the leak has developed in a length of pipe, the pipe will have to be cut and removed and a new length of pipe inserted to make the repair. If you have to cut into the pipe to make the repair, make sure local ordinances don’t require a certified plumber to cut into the pipe for repairs. You could be fined or even made to tear out your work and have a professional do it if the ordinance is violated.  

Drain pipe leak repair

Making a temporary repair for drain pipes is similar to a repair for any other type of pipes. Leaks can be repaired either with tape, epoxy or with clamps and rubber. Again, all of these solutions are temporary, and small leaks often indicate a bigger problem with your plumbing system. You can always get a professional to come out to make repairs and inspect your pipes.

A Leaking Pipe.

Pipe leak repair near me

Do you have leaky pipes? If you want more than a temporary pipe leak repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, you can always count on the trusted professionals at All About Plumbing & Septic. Call 828-778-2425 to book a service appointment today. We always respond promptly to service calls.

What Would Cause a Gas Hot Water Heater to Stop Working?

What Would Cause a Gas Hot Water Heater to Stop Working?

Are you in need of gas water heater repair? You may want to find out what could be causing your water heater issues. Please feel free to review the following list of reasons why your gas hot water heater would stop working.

  • A bad gas control valve.
  • A cracked or damaged burner.
  • The pilot light has gone out.
  • The thermocouple is experiencing problems.

These reasons, and more, could be contributing to your hot water gas heater failure. The best way to find out what is going on with your individual unit is to schedule an appointment with a licensed and insured plumber who specializes in water heater repair.

gas water heater repair

Can a Gas Hot Water Heater Be Repaired

As previously mentioned there are many different reasons for why your gas hot water heater may not be working. In all likelihood, unless your water heater is actively leaking, rusty, and encrusted with sediment, it is probable that it can be fixed. Water heaters are generally very reliable, but sometimes they do exhibit problems. Those problems include having little to no hot water, having rusty or smelly water, or exhibiting odd noises and leaks. In order to mitigate serious problems before they occur, it is important for you to schedule routine water heater inspections. Depending on the age of your unit, you may want to schedule a water heater inspection yearly, or once every three years. 

How Do I Know If My Gas Hot Water Heater is Bad

As with every important home appliance, it is critical that you know and understand how to treat your water heater properly, and with responsibility. Your water should be replaced in specific instances. For example, if your water heater tank is rusting either in the water or on the outside, it likely needs to be replaced. If your water heater exhibits noises, leaks or fails to heat the water, these are all signs that your water heater requires some attention from a reputable water heater repairman.

How Many Years Does a Water Heater Last?

One of the most integral questions that a homeowner can ask is how long their new water heater installation will last. The answer may surprise you. According to a leading manufacturer, standard tank gas water heaters last about eight to twelve years before they need to be repaired or replaced. Water heaters can certainly last longer with routine maintenance and necessary repairs. If you already have a water heater installed, you may consult your manufacturer’s manual to discern the average lifetime and when routine inspections are recommended.

When Should I Replace My Gas Water Heater?

According to a leading brand supplier, there are estimates pertaining to when homeowners should replace their gas water heater. If your gas water heater is over ten years old, it will be time to contemplate your next move. If your water heater repairman states that the unit is still performing well and only needs repairs, you can move forward with that pathway forward. Understandably, gas water heaters are expensive, and homeowners would be wise to seek out repairs before turning to a water heater replacement

Gas Water Heater Repair

Are you wondering who you should speak to about your gas water heater repair? The answer is actually very simple. You will need to speak to a trained, professional plumber. All plumbers achieve their titles through a rigorous set of tests, years of experience, and apprenticeships. Accordingly, you will want to find a plumber who specializes in water heater repair.

Gas Water Heater Repair Near Me

Are you looking for water heater repair near you? There are two ways for you to proceed. One of these ways is by asking a friend or neighbor for a referral. Another pathway forward is by conducting an internet search. You can use the search terms ‘gas water heater repair near me’ in your internet search engine and come up with a list of relevant plumbing companies near you.

DIY Gas Water Heater Repair

If you are thinking about taking on gas water heater repair yourself, please be assured that it is a job for a professional. If something were to go wrong with your gas water heater, you could hurt yourself, or there could be an explosion. It’s always best to consult with a professional over plumbing matters.

gas water heater repair

Can Gas Water Heater Be Repaired

If your gas water heater is exhibiting the tell-tale signs of needing repair, it will be urgent for you to contact a reliable plumbing professional right away. He or she will be able to help you chart a positive pathway forward for your household.

If you are in need of gas water heater repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, our team is here to help. You can always reach us at 828-778-2425.