Fall Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

Did you know that your home’s plumbing system accounts for approximately 15% of the property’s total value? It’s also probably one of the systems that you personally value the most. As such a vital component of your home, it only makes sense to take proper care of it. Keeping up with maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure that your home’s plumbing system will provide you and your family with fresh, clean water and remove waste and wastewater from your property in a safe, efficient manner.

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t give their plumbing systems much thought until trouble arises. With the temperatures beginning to fall and the days getting shorter, now is the time to

start thinking about fall plumbing maintenance. Because winter really takes a toll on residential plumbing systems, it’s important to take steps to ensure that your property is ready for the months ahead. Here are a few tips for taking care of your plumbing system this fall.

Outside Plumbing Maintenance

  • If you have a garden hose, remove it from the outdoor spigot.
  • Cover all outdoor spigots with insulation covers.
  • If you have shut-off valves for your outdoor faucets, turn them off and drain the water from the lines.
  • Have your irrigation system winterized.
  • Check outdoor faucets for leaks.

Inside Fall Plumbing Maintenance

  • Check all water lines and faucets for leaks. Have any problems repaired immediately.
  • Inspect, test and clean out your sump pump.
  • Set your water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Flush the water heater’s storage tank to remove sediment.
  • Test the water heater’s pressure relief valve. To do this, simply lift the lever and allow it to snap back. If it is working properly, this will allow a burst of hot water to enter the drain pipe.
  • Insulate hot and cold water lines in cold areas like crawl spaces, basements and garages.

If you need assistance with fall plumbing maintenance in the Hagerstown, Maryland area, contact Larry & Sons. To schedule an appointment, please call 301-733-5428, or schedule online here!

3 Shower Mistakes to Avoid

You aren’t necessarily a pro just because you’ve been showering regularly since you were a kid. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that you are making shower mistakes that could have negative impacts on both your body and your plumbing system. Check out these common shower mistakes and find out why you should start breaking these bad habits right away.

Common Shower Mistakes

shower mistakes
Shower flickr photo by puddy_uk shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Leaving Your Loofah Hanging in the Shower

Do you leave your loofah hanging up in your shower for months on end? If so, you could be scrubbing yourself down with bacteria. Your shower’s damp environment provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Instead of leaving your loofah in the shower, hang it to dry in an area that is free from moisture.

Letting Hair Go Down the Drain

When you shower, you lose a lot of hair. That hair falls to the shower floor, and if you aren’t careful, it ends up in your drains. While a few strands of hair may not seem like a big deal, they build up over time and form clogs that can be difficult to get rid of. Save yourself a lot of hassle by investing in a drain cover that’s designed to keep stray hair from shower drains.

Taking Super Long, Hot Showers

We know everyone loves a long, hot shower from time to time. It’s a great way to relax after a long day or to warm yourself up on a chilly winter morning. Unfortunately, taking showers that are too long and hot can cause itchy, dry skin. Long showers also result in a lot of wasted water. Cranking up the water temperature in a poorly ventilated bathroom ups your risk of mold as well. Take care of your skin, lower your water bill, and keep mold at bay by sticking to moderately warm, 5-10-minute showers.

If you need help with your home’s bathroom plumbing, contact Larry & Sons today. From drain cleaning to bathroom remodeling, we do it all!

 

Do You Know What Your Home’s Plumbing Pipes Are Made Of?

Do you know what materials were used to make the plumbing pipes inside your home? If you don’t you are at a bit of a disadvantage. The material your pipes are made from affects your entire plumbing system. Some materials last for several decades while others need to be replaced more frequently. Let’s take a closer look at some of the materials used to make plumbing pipes.

Plumbing Pipe Materials

Lead

If you live in a home that was constructed prior to 1930, you could have lead pipes. Because we now know the dangers of lead, it is no longer used to make residential plumbing pipes. However, this type of pipe is still found in some older homes. If you have lead pipes, we recommend having your water tested. If it contains high levels of lead, consider having a lead filtration system installed or replacing your pipes.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel pipes became popular once lead fell out of favor. They are strong and can last for several years, but eventually, they rust. This reduces your water quality and can cause blockages in your plumbing system.

Copper

copper pipes hagerstown md

Copper pipes have been one of the most popular options since the 1960s. Because they are smaller in diameter and lighter than steel, they are much easier to work with. They can last for several decades before they need to be repaired or replaced. Copper pipes are expensive though, and since some have lead solder, they can pose a health hazard.

PVC

PVC pipes are cheap and easy to install. They also won’t corrode or rust. Some types of PVC are unsuitable to transporting hot water, though. As a result, this material is most commonly used for drain pipes.

PEX

In the last 20 years, PEX has become the go-to plastic pipe. It is more expensive than PVC, but it is extremely durable and easy to work with. The material is flexible, making it ideal for most residential applications. The flexibility makes it prone to bursting, though, if the pipe freezes.

At Larry & Sons, we are equipped to work on all types of plumbing pipes. When you need a Hagerstown plumber you can depend on, give us a call!

How to Avoid Christmas Plumbing Catastrophes

With Christmas just a few short days away, the last thing any homeowner wants to deal with is a plumbing catastrophe. Whether you are hosting a houseful guests or just enjoying a quiet holiday at home with your immediate family, there are several things you can do to prevent plumbing problems this holiday season. Keep reading to discover how you can avoid Christmas plumbing nightmares.

Preventing Bathroom Plumbing Problems

Your bathroom will likely see increased use this holiday season, especially if you are hosting guests. Encourage those guests not to use your toilet as a trash can by placing a small bin in the bathroom. Remind young children that nothing should ever be flushed other than human waste and toilet paper.

Make sure there is a plunger in each bathroom. They made dealing with minor clogs a breeze and can help you avoid a visit from a plumber.

Install screens in shower and tub drains to catch hair and prevent it from entering your pipes.

Space out baths and showers to avoid running out of water. You may also want to consider turning the temperature up a few degrees to help avoid running out of hot water. Just remember not to

christmas plumbing
sink flickr photo by Dean Hochman shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

turn it up to scalding temperatures.

Avoiding Kitchen Catastrophes

Your kitchen is the other room that likely sees increased use during the holiday season. If you have a garbage disposal, remember to avoid putting in fibrous foods, bones, grease and non-food items. Flush with cold water after each use.

Never pour grease, oil or fat down your drains. Doing so is a good way to cause disgusting clogs that can really put a damper on your day.

Install a screen on your sink drain. This prevents non-food items from finding their way into your drains and causing clogs.

Christmas Plumbing Repair

If you need plumbing repair this holiday season, Larry & Sons is always here to help. We will have technicians on call throughout the season – including on Christmas Day – to handle plumbing emergencies. From the entire team at Larry & Sons to you, we would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

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