Causes of Common Plumbing Disasters: A Tip From Frederick, MD

What are some of the costliest repairs in your Frederick home? Costly can be characterized by lost money or lost time – or both. You may have experienced some of these so-called “disasters” and wondered what you could have done to prevent them. In particular, let’s talk about disasters of the wet variety – plumbing problems.

It goes without saying that nothing is built to last. Parts and products will eventually wear out and need to be repaired or replaced. But the rate of repair or replacement has a lot to do with how well things are maintained, especially common plumbing fixtures and appliances in the home. In order to identify some of the disasters caused by plumbing fixtures and appliances, let’s identify the source of the problems – and their location in the home.

We spend a lot of time ikitchen bathroom plumber frederick mdn the bathroom so let’s start there first. What disasters happen in the bathroom? At least three come to mind: running toilet, leaking shower head, and clogged sink (also found in the kitchen so let’s kill two birds with one stone here). First, the toilet.

Bathroom Plumbing in Frederick

A running toilet is annoying and wastes several gallons of water by the hour. It is often caused by a defective flapper inside the tank, not properly sealed and causing water to leak from the tank. Next, the shower head. Leaks often occur when something as simple as a small rubber washer is worn out, breaking the seal and allowing water to leak. Lastly, the clogged sink. The most common culprit of a clogged sink is something that will not decompose or wash away, namely human hair, bits of plastic or fingernails, etc. All of these bathroom backups can cause extensive water damage to walls or floors. In the most severe cases, a bathroom’s structure can be compromised by something as small as a dripping faucet – if left unchecked over time.

Kitchen Plumbing in Frederick

The next place we spend a lot of time is in the kitchen, another prime area for plumbing disasters. Two appliances that drive homeowners nuts (when malfunctioning) are garbage disposals and refrigerator ice makers.

First of all, garbage disposals are not made to dispose of everything. Utensils, plastics, bones and other goodies do not grind up but rather, bind up a disposal. A backed up disposal can shut down the sink drain and spill over its top. Just as annoying is a refrigerator icemaker, which depends on a plastic or copper tube for its water source. A break in the tube or crimp in the copper line can back up the water and cause a major leak behind or below the refrigerator. And like the bathrooms disasters, damaged flooring and walls can be the result.

Water Pipes & The Danger of Frozen Pipes

Maybe the biggest plumbing disaster of all comes from something unseen by the naked eye: frozen water pipes in crawl spaces or attics. Water pipes in uninsulated areas can freeze when outside temperatures fall below the freezing mark. Often, homeowners are unaware of the problem because they are away from the home for extended periods of time or have failed to properly insulate pipes, crawl spaces, or attics. Frozen pipes can burst, causing extensive damage and lead to an even more dangerous situation: mold growth.

How can you avoid common disasters? Make sure your fixtures and appliances are maintained and if needed, serviced by a professional plumber. You may also want your plumber to give you a whole-house inspection, which can pinpoint potential trouble spots where your next plumbing disaster might be brewing. When you need a plumber in Frederick, MD, contact Larry & Sons! Click here to get an estimate now!

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Hagerstown Water Heater Tip: How a Storage Water Heater Works

For decades, people in Hagerstown have used storage water heaters to heat and store hot water for future use. These tanks are very simple and in many cases have become much more energy efficient, but you probably are wondering how they actually work. Here is a quick overview of a storage water heater tank and how it works.

The Basics

A storage water heater is exactly as it sounds. A large volume of water is funneled into a storage tank of between 20 and 80 gallons and heated for future use. When you turn on a hot water tap, water from the top of the tank is removed through the hot water outlet and cold water enters the tank through the cold water inlet – replacing the displaced volume and heated by the gas burner beneath the tank.

Water heaters can be electric, gas, propane or oil depending on what is available in your area. When the water temperature falls (as hot water is pulled from the tank), the thermostat opens and the gas burner ignites, heating the water until it reaches the preset temperature of the thermostat and it closes.

The Tank

When a tank is turned on, it is constantly heating the water supply. As a result, standby heat loss occurs. However, modern tanks are being built with exceptionally high insulation ratings (up to R-25) to minimize the loss of such heat. Additional heat loss occurs in gas and oil water heaters that must vent fumes and gasses through an internal flue. Fan assisted gas tanks and sealed combustion tanks reduce this type of energy loss in gas water heaters.

 Determining the Best Water Heater for You

If you want a new water heater for your home, make sure you do your research and learn what types of water heaters will minimize heat and energy loss without reducing your comfort level. Modern tank water heaters are surprisingly efficient, but only certain ones. Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning can help you determine which option is best for your Hagerstown home.

Myersville Plumber’s Tip: What You Need to Know About Point of Use Water Heaters

For years, most people in Myersville have used the same system to heat their water. A single tank that heats and stores water at a set temperature for whenever it is needed. That system, as well as it works, is not very efficient, and with costs for gas and oil rising so much in recent years, many people are looking for better ways to heat their water.

That’s where point of use water heating comes in. These tankless water heaters are designed to heat your water when you need it heated instead of filling a tank of 50 or 60 gallons and heating it continuously even when you don’t.

How Point of Use Water Heaters Work

A point of use water heater works by directly heating the water supply to a single fixture. So, you would install a point of use water heater on your kitchen sink and only one water supply pipe would go to that heater. When you turn on the hot water faucet, the point of use heater would turn on (using electricity) and heat your water to 170 degrees F.

These devices only work on a single fixture at a time but they are much less expensive to purchase than a whole house tankless hot water system. Additionally, you can control where hot water is available.

The Advantages of Point of Use Hot Water

A tank hot water system can cost hundreds of dollars of year extra to run, especially if your family doesn’t use much hot water. Imagine what happens if you have four children that go off to college. Your “just big enough” tank suddenly becomes way too big and your bill stays unnecessarily high.

Point of use heaters allow you to decide where hot water is available and have instantly available hot water as you need it. The cost of the units and installation is affordable for most Myersville homeowners and you don’t have to commit to a whole house system if you are not ready.

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