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3 Spring Plumbing Maintenance Tasks to Tackle

3 Spring Plumbing Maintenance Tasks to Tackle

Spring is officially here! As excited as you are to spend more time outside, there is some plumbing maintenance you’ll need to put on your to-do list before the fun can begin. Here’s what you’ll need to do.  Check Sump Pump April showers bring, well, lots of things, including a wet and soggy basement. Most of us don’t have the luxury of a dry basement, but we do have the blessing of a sump pump to assure that our basement is dry and our houses don’t get musty. To ensure that your sump pump is working properly, you will need to check it in early spring. Unplug the pump and then plug it in again. If the pump doesn’t start you’ll need to call a plumber. Another way is to pour enough water to raise the float until the pump kicks on, make sure it drains. At Crawford Mechanical Services, we suggest having a backup sump pump just in case your main sump pump fails, or you lose power to your house; this will help you guarantee that a potential flood won’t happen in your basement. Give Your Drains More Attention You shouldn’t have a bog of stench in your drains or slow draining water. With a bit of attention and checking to clear the debris from your drains, your pipes can flow smoothly once again. Check to make sure there are strainers placed in all your drains to prevent hair and other debris from spoiling in the pipes and resulting in a clog. This can be solved with a drain cleaner, but sometimes a plumbing snake handled by a plumbing professional is required. Outdoor Faucets...
Why is My Hot Water Running Out So Fast?

Why is My Hot Water Running Out So Fast?

Has your hot water started turning cold? Does it seem like your hot water just isn’t lasting long enough anymore? After checking to make sure no one is taking extra-long showers, it’s time to consider other causes. Here’s why water heaters suddenly become stingy with their hot water. Your Tank is Too Small This often happens after a major renovation or if you just moved into a new home. Hot water tanks vary based on how many gallons they can hold or keep heated. If your tank is smaller than your current needs, you will find that you run out of hot water too quickly and may need a tank upgrade. Keep in mind that switching to a tankless water heater also takes some getting used to, and if you now have a tankless (or solar powered) model, it may be operating differently compared to a traditional water heater. New Appliances are Causing Issues Do you have any new appliances that are suddenly demanding more hot water? Some of these appliances can be quite obvious, like a new tub with hot water jets — those can take up a lot of hot water sometimes, and cut down on the water available for everyone else. Other appliances are more subtle, like a new showerhead that allows more water to flow through and decreases the hot water in your tank much more quickly. You Could Have Sediment Build-Up Sediment that is distilled from water tends to accumulate in hot water tanks over time. In older tanks, sediment can build-up; sometimes, there is so much build-up that it keeps the tank from holding the...
What Causes Low Water Pressure in Your Home?

What Causes Low Water Pressure in Your Home?

Nothing is worse than heading to your bathroom for a nice, hot shower after a long day at work only to find that you barely get a measly trickle instead of the usual flow of water that you expected. After an un-refreshing bathing experience, you start looking for reasons why your water pressure dropped off so suddenly. It may be that when you think about it, you realize that your water pressure has been dropping for quite some time — meaning you’ve got a bigger problem than a broken or frozen pipe. Fortunately, Crawford Mechanical Services has the solution to your low water pressure issues!  Debris in Your Pipes Two of the most common issues with water pressure all tie back to some sort of buildup in your water pipes — either corrosion or debris that gets stuck and holds up the progress of water. If you’re experiencing overall lowered water pressure past a certain point in your home, suspect that the problem is a clog in the pipes. While it can sometimes work itself out, it often takes working with a licensed professional plumber to blast the debris out and restore the flow of water. At Crawford Mechanical Services, we use a high-powered tool called a Hydro Jetter to clear the debris from pipes. Time to Clean! If you’re experiencing low water pressure only in certain rooms, it’s time to consider getting out your gentle scrubbing cleansers and get to work on the shower head or sink aerator screens. This is not necessarily a part that you would consider cleaning on a regular basis, but it can catch significant...
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

No one wants to wake up from their nice warm bed to the sound of water plinking (or spraying!) throughout the house, especially during the cold winter months. If you live somewhere that’s being hit by freezing weather this year; there’s a good chance that you’ll be dealing with frozen pipes at some point during the winter season. Whether you performed the recommended maintenance to get your pipes ready for winter or decided to give it a pass this year, there are some steps you’ll want to take quickly when your pipes freeze — or risk getting stuck with a massive mess both on your floors and throughout your plumbing systems.  Keep Pipes Flowing If you goofed and didn’t leave your sink dripping last night and woke up to frozen pipes, it’s not too late to open up that faucet! Even if nothing is dripping immediately, allowing the water pressure to continue coming through the pipes will help to get the ice melted more quickly. Next time, leave a tiny dripping of water going through the pipes to keep everything from freezing solid. Carefully Apply Heat Let’s start out with what NOT to do — never use a propane heater, blowtorch or any other method of open flame on your pipes in an effort to do a quick defrost. Not only is this dangerous to yourself and your home on many levels, but it’s not going to do your pipes any good either! Instead, look for ways to slowly reduce the ice within the pipes, such as a small portable space heater that is a safe distance from any materials...
Drain Cleaning Myths

Drain Cleaning Myths

Have a clogged drain? It’s a common issue for all homeowners, but it’s important to not make the assumptions that too many people believe when confronted with a clog. These myths aren’t just untrue, but they can also lead to bad decisions that can make your plumbing problem even worse — and more expensive to repair. So when confronted with a drain problem, don’t fall into these thinking traps! Here’s why they’re wrong. All My Drains Work the Same Your home actually has several different sets of pipes! They are not all connected (although some of them are), and they have different tasks and features. Drain pipes, for example, collect all the water you pour from faucets (typically “gray” water) and safely dispose of it. Waste pipes collect polluted water from toilets and similar sources and route it to septic tanks and sewers. Vent pipes are designed to remove nasty gases created by the other pipes, giving them a way out through a roof vent or similar vent. All this means that a clog may affect some parts of the house, but not all your plumbing, depending on where it originates and what it does. Sometimes clog effects can be very difficult to predict if you don’t know how your plumbing works. Drain Cleaners Can Fix the Problem Liquid drain cleaners are usually designed to “burn” through a clog and restore proper water flow. This can work on very mild clogs, such as a bundle of hair that won’t quite get washed away. However, any substantial clog is unlikely to be affected by drain cleaners, and they can cause...
What is the Difference Between Conventional and Tankless Water Heaters?

What is the Difference Between Conventional and Tankless Water Heaters?

While the conventional, tank-based water heater has been popular in residential houses for decades, a new type of water heater is on the rise. These are called “tankless” heaters, and they’re focused on saving money, conserving energy, and delivering faster hot water. Let’s dig in deeper and look at what separates conventional and tankless heaters. Conventional Water Heaters Conventional water heaters use large tanks to store and heat water so that it is available at any time, which is why they are often called storage water heaters. The water in the tank is heated to a specific temperature, typically through a gas burner or heating element. Sensors detect when the water is the proper temperature (with some variation in settings), and the water heater holds that temperature throughout the day. When you turn the hot water on, the water is siphoned from the top of the tank. Most tanks tend to have a capacity between 20 and 120 gallons, but only a portion of that is typically available as hot water. This option has been a popular choice because it works. The tanks have enough room to store plenty of hot water, and that water is always available, particularly for larger projects (or long hot showers). However, there are also some downsides. If a family is too large for a hot water tank and has already cut back on water use, the only solution is to upgrade to a larger tank size. Also, remember that storage water heaters need to continually use energy to keep the water in the tank at a high temperature. Over time, that can waste...