How to Find Hidden Leaks in Your Plumbing

Tips to find hidden plumbing leaks

Spotting signs of trouble with your plumbing is easy as long as the issues are in areas where you can see them. For instance, if water is dripping out of your sink or pouring out from around the base of your toilet, chances are you will get the problem repaired right away. Unfortunately, problems often happen behind the scenes where you can’t see them. Your home’s plumbing most likely runs through your walls, under your floors, and through your basement or crawl space. Leaks in these hidden areas can be difficult to detect. That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t need to be addressed right away. Not only does a leak anywhere in your plumbing system waste a lot of water, but it can also cause significant structural damage to your home. The following tips will help you determine whether or not your home has any hidden plumbing leaks

Keep an Eye on Your Water Meter

hidden plumbing leaksYour water meter tracks all of the water that is being used inside your home. This makes it the ideal tool for checking whether or not you have any leaks. Start by turning off all of the water in your home. Go outside and write down the number on your meter. Come back inside and wait for an hour or more. Be sure to avoid flushing the toilet or turning on any of your faucets. You don’t want to use any water during this time period. When the time is up, go back out and look at the meter one more time. Did the number move? If so, it means that your plumbing is leaking somewhere inside your home since you didn’t use any water throughout the duration of the test. If your water meter did move, you should contact a plumber to inspect your home for hidden plumbing leaks.

Check to See If Your Toilet Is Leaking

Toilets are common culprits when it comes to hidden plumbing leaks inside your home. As a toilet gets older, the tank can start slowly leaking water down into the bowl. This type of leak is really hard to detect, simply because any of the water that leaks into the bowl drains away, meaning that you wouldn’t notice a significant change in the water level inside your bowl. That doesn’t mean, however, that the problem doesn’t need to be fixed. After all, every time water runs down your drain, it is costing you money. The easiest way to determine whether or not your toilet is leaking is by adding several drops of food coloring to the water in the tank behind the toilet. Wait for a short period of time and then check the water in the bowl. If you see any signs of color in the bowl, it means that water is leaking from the tank. Just be sure to avoid allowing the food coloring to sit in the bowl for too long since it can cause staining.

DIY Plumbing – It’s Harder Than It Looks

Two basic things before doing any DIY plumbing

Plumbing systems can be quite complex and they do not always work the way they should. You might know the basics DIY plumbing such as turning off the water before you begin a job. There are also a lot of things that you do not know which trained plumbers do know after undergoing years of training and learning.

Professional plumbers have to pass tests in order to get their licenses. Their job is not for everyone, but you can probably learn to handle some basic plumbing tasks. We encourage people like you to get involved with fixing your plumbing when it comes to minor things. What we do not want to encourage is the problems that might arise when you try to fix or install something and you wind up having to call in an emergency plumber to unflood your bathroom and calm your wife down. You want to consider two basic things before doing any DIY plumbing.

The Circumstances

DIY plumbingAsk yourself how your work will affect everyone else in the home. How much of an inconvenience will it be? How long will the bathroom or kitchen you are working on be put out of commission? Ask yourself if you know what you will do in the event something goes wrong. Do you understand how your home’s water supply or pressure works?

Think about how your family will be able to get around the unavailable kitchen or bathroom. If you have two bathrooms or your family does not mind making use of the bathroom sink to do dishes, at least there is a way for them to get by while you complete the work on the DIY plumbing.

One very important circumstance you want to consider is whether your insurance company will cover your home if something goes wrong. If it does not, do you have a costly problem in the event you make a mistake. Anything that needs to be corrected will have to be done at your own expense. Even if your insurance will cover a plumbing problem you still have to pay your deductible before repairs can be done and that can be anywhere from $500 to about $2500.

The Time

When you hire a professional plumber to do some work, that plumber will give you an estimate of how long it will take to complete the job. How long will it take you to do your DIY plumbing work? Will it be an hour or a whole weekend? A professional plumber has been doing this longer than you have so naturally the plumber will take less time to do just about any plumbing job. Still, you need to have a good idea of just how much time this work will take you.

Do you have to take off time from work to do this? In this case, you might want to hire a professional plumber to do the work because it may not be the most cost effective thing to do it yourself. If you plan on working full time at your own job, will you do your DIY plumbing at night after coming home?

Think about how the project will affect your family in terms of the inconvenience the work might cause them. Think about how the project will affect you in terms of the time it will take, too.

Ready to Replace Your Furnace? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Things to consider when replacing furnace

Homes and businesses are made more comfortable when they are heated with an oil or gas furnace. These are designed to do many things: Provide heat, be controllable from a single central spot, and even keep the air inside homes or businesses cleaner. These types have earned the reputation of requiring little in the way of repairs and of lasting for very long periods of time. However, they must occasionally be replaced since they do finally wear out.

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as you might think to replace it. Before you begin, you must understand which steps to take to properly replace your furnace. Here are some ideas to take into consideration

The Total Cost Of The Furnace

furnaceThe cost is a primary consideration when shopping for a replacement. It is, after all, a high ticket item. You may want to buy the most technically advanced model on the market. Unfortunately, you can’t get one that’s too advanced if it doesn’t fit your budget. Keep in mind that cost is not the only thing you must consider when purchasing a new one.

Furnace Compatibility

The new one must be compatible with the existing structures and space used with the furnace you are replacing. Measure the space that your existing furnace uses before shopping for a new one. In addition, the fuel used by the old one will be the same type of fuel that your new one will use, otherwise, you’ll have to pay for the installation of a new fuel line. For example, select a new one that uses natural gas if that’s what your old one used.

Furnace Warranty

Furnaces are expensive and if you immediately have a problem with your new one after installation, you’ll have to pay more money to keep it working. Look for a solid warranty that will cover it for many years in the future. Reputable brands solidly back up their products with this type of warranty.

Unit Sophistication

Nowadays, many furnaces come with extensive controls. For instance, it can be programmed to shut down and start back up at various times of the day and some even allow temperature control within a single room.

The Furnace Brand

In your area, keep a sharp eye out for companies with excellent reputations. Find a good one and you’ll get service on your warranty when needed, on time installation, and problem-free operation in the future.

Installation Service

If your furnace stops working in the coldest part of winter, you want a new installation done as rapidly as possible. And, you’ll want to hire a company that will start working with little delay. This is so important that if you can’t make a decision about which one to buy or installation company to go with, your best bet is to go with the company that is the fastest.

When it’s time to replace your furnace, use this guide to help you make a solid decision.

What is the Best Air Conditioner for My Home?

Air Conditioner – What is the Best One for My Home?

When it’s scorching hot outside and the temperature inside your home is rising, naturally you will feel the need to escape the heat. Thankfully people who want to keep their homes cooler now have many air conditioning options. These include buying and installing several semi inexpensive window units, a few mid priced split air conditioning systems, or going with a total air conditioning system that is part of a complete HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) unit. The many options may soon start to be overwhelming; how are you to know what choice is best for your home? Thankfully, the answer is almost always the same: the air conditioner that is part of an HVAC system. Listed below are several reasons why this is the case


air conditionerAn air conditioner that is part of an HVAC system is placed outdoors, so it has no negative effect on the interior appearance of the home. In addition, it uses the existing hidden ductwork as the furnace. This means that there are no unsightly air conditioners hanging outside your windows, or on the walls inside your house. You will not be able to find a more aesthetic air conditioner than one that is added to your current HVAC system.

2. Efficiency

HVAC air conditioners can be a bit more expensive to run, however you will get the best and quickest cooling from them. These days, they are built to be extremely efficient, and you get a lot of cooling power for the money spent to run them. This balances most any cost difference.

3. Comfort level

HVAC air conditioners use forced air to cool the home. This is simply the best method to move cooled air into the rooms in your home. Forced air quickly, evenly, and completely fills the rooms, leaving no hot spots. You will not feel the need to sit next to the cooling source to be comfortable.

4. Ease of Installation

Adding an air conditioner to your existing HVAC system is really quite simple. The air conditioner uses the ductwork already used by the furnace, which simplifies installation greatly. The only work needed to install the air conditioner is to set it outside your home and connect it to the ductwork and electrical supply.

5. Fast cooling

You will get the quickest relief from heat with an HVAC air conditioner. As mentioned before, an air conditioner that is part of an HVAC system uses forced air to cool the home. The forced air fills the rooms more quickly and efficiently with cool air than any other type of air conditioning. This can be a lifesaver when it is 100+ degrees outside!

When it is really hot, any type of air conditioner will help a little, even if it is just a fan. However, if you have the budget, and you really want to get the best air conditioner for your home, then an HVAC system air conditioner is by far the best choice. You will get the fastest, most efficient heat relief without sacrificing the appearance of your home.

Finding a Quality Plumbing Contractor

Plumbing – Finding a Quality Contractor

There is a wide array of fixtures, pipes and other pieces of plumbing equipment which run through your house. These materials are used just as often as anything you may own, due to how much water your family utilizes daily. Given this fact, there’s no doubt that you will inevitably have plumbing problems in your home from time to time. When you’re facing a plumbing issue you may wonder how should you go about finding a quality plumber – so here are some tips that will help you find a good plumbing company who’ll be able to visit your place and provide the repairs you need, quickly dealing with the issue while providing quality customer service

1. Ask your friends and family

plumbingSince everyone needs to have their plumbing repaired from time to time, it’s a good idea to call your friends and family members in order to find out who repairs their plumbing. Ask them for the pros and cons of the company they use, and how happy they usually are with the repairs performed, or whether they felt they paid a just price. A trusted friend or a family member will give you a honest opinion on a plumber’s service, so you won’t have to keep guessing.

2. Check out a contractor reference website

There are many websites on the internet that specialize in finding out more about contractor and determine which ones are rated well and which ones are rated poorly by those who hire them. Check the web for such websites and see the reviews for contractors you consider using.

3. Verify the Better Business Bureau

This is an excellent place where you can reaffirm your decision on a contractor who you may want to hire. If your contractor has a variety of bad reports in the BBB, you’d probably want to think twice before you hire them. Just make sure you don’t judge them too harshly due to one or two bad reviews, since no one can satisfy all of their clients. A company that has no reports is not necessarily a good company, either.

4. Look for references in the internet

Just like you can search the internet for websites that specialize in displaying opinions on a contractor, you may look for reviews of the contractors you’re considering hiring, too. Both bad and good news about contractors spread fast nowadays, and searching online is an excellent method of figuring out what people think about a certain contractor and learn about the areas a certain plumbing company may want to improve upon. The internet is a very valuable knowledge resource.

Closing Thoughts

Now you know each of the tricks you may need in order to find skilled plumbers. Use these methods when searching for a good plumber, and you’re bound to find one which does great work and has excellent customer service. It is the best way to know when a plumber is good or not beforehand, instead of risking it and only finding out that they’re not that skilled when it’s too late to do anything about it.