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!

Frederick HVAC Tip: Washington County Saving Energy This Summer

Everyone wants to make their home more energy efficient, it not only saves you money but it also makes your home more environmentally friendly. Upgrading your Frederick HVAC equipment is a great place to start, but it can be hard to decide what to do first.

Before you start making changes, ask yourself the following questions:

How much do you spend on energy?

Paying attention to your energy bill from month to month is very important. A sudden spike could indicate a problem with your Frederick  HVAC system or other appliances in your home. If you start trying to embrace an energy efficient lifestyle, your energy bill can help you keep track of how well you are doing.

Are there benefits to this upgrade?

In addition to being energy efficient, you should discover if there are any other ways that a change can benefit your home. For instance, a new air conditioner could make your home more comfortable, or zone control could make it easier to keep every room in your home the desired temperature. You’d be surprised how many energy efficient upgrades can really improve your whole home and not just your energy bill.

What is your budget?

Budgeting is never fun, but it’s important step to figuring out what you should change first. While it would be great to replace your air conditioner and furnace for ENERGY STAR rated models, it’s a big investment. You can try the little things first, like improving you insulation, repairing air ducts, and sealing air leaks. After you have saved up and improved other parts of your home you can work on replacing your HVAC equipment.

Improving the energy efficiency of your home will make it more comfortable and lower your utility bills. If you have any questions about energy efficient upgrades you can make to your home, call Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today!

Common Problem Areas for Frederick HVAC Systems

No one wants to have to call a Frederick AC contractor in to inspect their HVAC system. Problems in heating or air conditioning tend to be costly and time consuming to fix. But, the longer you wait, the bigger the problem is likely to get. So, it’s important to act quickly when you suspect a problem with any of the following common sources in an HVAC system:

  • Power Lines – Your HVAC system uses a lot of electricity so if it stops working, turns off suddenly or frequently shuts down, it may be a power issue. If the system stops working at any point, check your breaker box for a blown fuse or tripped breaker. You should also check the electrical line to your HVAC system. If you see any damage from animals, weather or otherwise, call a professional immediately.
  • Gas Lines – if you have gas furnaces and appliances, gas supply problems can be a major issue for your HVAC system. There are a number of safety measures in place in a gas line system. The gas valve connecting the gas line to your furnace has as safety shutoff switch. Your home has a carbon monoxide detector. A pressure drop in the system will also cause a shutoff. So, the most common problem you would face with a gas line is that is stops providing gas, usually because there is a problem in a component. If this happens, call the gas company immediately to check your system, and of course if you smell a leak, leave the house and call the emergency line for your gas company.
  • Drains – Air conditioners have drain pipes that release the condensed water that builds up inside as they run. However, over time, that drain can clog up if it’s not properly maintained. If you have a central air conditioning unit, check the drain pan once every week or so to make sure it is draining properly. Frequently, this drain pipe will be located higher in your home so that it can drain properly away from the property. Call a Frederick AC professional if it continues to clog or fails to drain at all.
  • Venting – Vent problems can result in more than just stuffy air. Clogged or dirty vents are fire hazards and they can decrease indoor air quality, making it both uncomfortable and unhealthy inside. Vents and ductwork should be cleaned annually to avoid the buildup of debris and sediment. Additionally, you should do a visual inspection once a month to check for debris and vacuum the space where possible.

Most of the problems commonly associated with your HVAC system need to be checked and repaired by a professional. However, by remaining vigilant and checking them regularly, you can avoid a much bigger problem and subsequent repairs. Call Larry & Sons today if you need any HVAC service in Maryland, Pennsylvania or West Virginia.

Thurmont Plumber’s Tip: Benefits of Trenchless Water Line Replacement

If you have a leaking water line or sewer line near your Thurmont home, time is of the essence. You can’t let it continue to leak for long because at some point you may lose the pipe entirely. But, it’s good that you’re reading this because you may be able to save your property from the destructive digging that most people associate with pipe replacement and/or repair.

The trenchless technology that has been around for about 20 years allows your plumber to access your pipeline for inspection, repairs or replacement without actually digging up your yard. Yes, there are a couple of small pits dug in the yard, but these can be filled with minimal impact on your property while a trench might involve ripping up trees, shrubs, concrete or fences.

Why Trenchless is the Way to Go

Consider the benefits offered by trenchless technology for pipe repair and replacement. First, there’s the obvious benefit in that you don’t have a big ditch in your yard. This means many things. It’s less disruptive to your life and to the lives of your neighbors. It is also a relatively quick process and it rarely costs more and sometimes costs less than traditional pipe replacement methods.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your plumber can be much more accurate with trenchless technology. Instead of digging up the whole yard and replacing the pipe from street to house, they can access the pipe through a single entry point and use video inspection technology to check for the leak or clog.

In some cases, high speed jetting may be all that’s needed to clear out a clog and fix the problem. In other cases, a new liner for the pipe can stop a leak and save you a tremendous amount of money in the process.

Think of trenchless technology as a complete toolbox compared to the sledgehammer used in past instances of water and sewer line problems. Sure, you may need a sledgehammer for some repairs, but a subtler, more precise set of tools will get the job done better and with far less collateral damage. The same is true of trenchless technology – it is minimally invasive, highly effective and environmentally friendly.