Water Heater Repair – When to Call a Contractor

Your hot water heater is in place for one purpose… to supply hot water in your home. If it isn’t, there might be one of many reasons why it isn’t doing so. In some cases, it’s not as grave as calling the repair technician immediately or replacing the water heater. But, there are some surefire signs that indicate it’s time to contact a local repair technician for your water heater repair service needs. If nothing else, they can assess and perform the appropriate fixes, giving you the peace of mind in knowing your hot water heater hasn’t given up on you just yet.

When You Don’t Have to Call

Some issues may arise that shouldn’t give rise to you having to call a water heater repair technician. For example, if the water heater is producing hot water, it just isn’t hot enough, it might be something as simple as turning the thermostat dial-up on the water heater. If it is a simple fix, such as adjusting the temperature settings, you’re good to go. If, however, it’s something like sediment buildup, issues with coils or connectors, and other more severe problems, it might be time to let the specialist come in.

No hot water might be another simple fix. For example, if it is a gas heater, and you see the pilot light is turned off, it’s not going to produce hot water. The same on an electric heater, if the thermostat and heating elements aren’t properly adjusted or on, the heater won’t produce hot water. If it’s something more than a quick peripheral check of your water heater, and all knobs/pilot lights are on, don’t attempt to open up the water heater. It’s also time to call the professionals at this point.

Signs Your Water Heater Needs Repair

If you’ve completed those basic checks, and it still hasn’t kicked into high gear, it might be time to call a water heater repair technician. There are also certain issues that indicate you need to hire a repair technician immediately.

The Water Smells Rusty

If the water running from your faucets smells rusty or appears to have an orange hue to it, this can be an indication that there’s sediment build-up in your water heater. It might also mean that the pipes and connector valves are corroded. In some cases, it is a plumbing issue, where pipes below the sink are rusted (in which case a plumber should be called). Your water heater repair technician can check the water heater for sediment buildup, rust on the connectors, or even rust in the drip pan. Every case is different, but it’s best to call a professional if you notice the water smells or appears rusty.

It’s Making Weird Sounds

Some noise or low humming might be normal. But, if the water heater is cracking, popping, or making jumping noises at all hours of the day, that’s not so normal. It is a sign that something is working too hard, or something is not working as it should and has to be repaired. In many cases, it is as simple as replacing a part that is damaged in the water heater. In other cases, it might be mineral deposits clogging the water heater and overheating the appliance, making it work harder than it has to, in order to produce hot water.

Proper maintenance and regular flushing can help reduce this issue. But, if it has already occurred, don’t try to flush the water heater, call the appropriate repair personnel to your home to do the job for you.

Low Hot Water Pressure

Mineral deposits are likely the culprit here. These deposits can buildup reducing the water heater’s efficiency over time. This ends up costing you more money for hot water since your water heater is working harder to produce it. Sediment buildup in the pipes can reduce the rate at which water flows. A repair technician can clean the water heater, sediment buildup, and help improve efficiency with a quick service check.

Fluctuating water temperatures is also a problem that is caused by sediment buildup in many cases. As detailed above, if there’s no hot water at all, it’s sometimes as simple as connections not being plugged in/turned on. But, if the water temperature fluctuates regularly in the shower or the sinks, this might be a sign that buildup, kinked piping, or other issues might be contributing to those changes in hot water temperature. In such a case, hiring a repair technician to check the water heater is advisable.

Leaking

Don’t try to repair it yourself. If your water heater is leaking, a water heater repair technician should be contacted immediately to determine the source of the leak. In many cases, a quick scan of your water heater will indicate where the leak is coming from. It doesn’t mean, however, that repairing that leak is just as easy as spotting it. Make sure you have a repair technician visit your home to assess your water heater, and determine how to stop the leak and prevent future issues with the water heater.

It Just Looks “Off”… the Water, That Is

If the hot water doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. For example, a metallic appearance, or a cloudy appearance, can indicate something that’s off with the water heater. It can be a sign of corrosion and mineral deposits somewhere in the piping or in the water heater. Apart from looking off, the hard water doesn’t clean as well. Oftentimes, a water heater repair technician can easily spot the issues with a quick glance of the water heater, in other cases, they’ll have to open it up, check nearby pipes and connectors, to best determine the approach for repairing and cleaning it.

There’s no single answer to the question “What’s wrong with my water heater?” But, a water heater repair technician can assess and best determine the right approach for repair. If you notice any of these issues, make sure to call a professional, as opposed to trying a DIY job yourself, and causing more issues than you are resolving by attempting to open up the water heater.

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Emergency Services Offered By Bel Air Plumber

The construction brings a variety of plumbing problems. From the repair of the pipes to the maintenance and repair of the various pipe systems, the skills of the installer are necessary for the proper operations of the system.

A variety of jobs performed by a Bailey Bros Plumber in Bel Air make the plumber’s career one of the most flexible. In most cases, plumber problems occur unexpectedly, which means that one of the most important services the plumber can provide is an emergency service.

When the water pipe leaks

If you notice a leaking tube in your home, first turn off the water source. This prevents further damage to your property. If a device, such as a toilet or a sink leaks, the water source must be shut off immediately.

You should try to assess the damage before contacting the plumber so that you can have a clear idea of the situation on your property. You need to know how much the plumber charge for a service call. You can also try to provide as much information as possible so that the plumber can give you a rough idea of what you may be charged.

Kitchen Sink

Kitchen sinks are prone to failure and can be damaged at any time without prior notice. In most cases, the aquarium can be operated very slowly due to the intensive use of kitchen sinks due to residues of food, sludge, grease, and other particles, which eventually leads to a complete blockage. One of our technicians will use 35 years of experience to identify and repair the problem and get the sink to operate properly as it was before blockage within a very short period.

Gas Leak

Gas leaks on your property can be very dangerous due to the risk of explosion. You may discover that there is a gas leak when you smell the gas in the building or notice an unusual intensification in the windows. Gas leakage can also cause nausea and dizziness that disappear when you get in contact with fresh air.

If you suspect a gas leak, you must close the gas source immediately. You can then open doors and windows to allow fresh air. Do not touch the electrical devices or the switches. Then you can leave the building and immediately contact the Bel AIt plumber to come and rectify your gas problem. It’s good not to go back to the building until the plumber arrives.

The heating is faulty

If you have a heater broken in the winter, you are sure to have an emergency in your hand. If you have children in the building or if you are old or sick, you need to repair the heating as soon as possible. When the heater shuts off, you should check the heat regulator to make sure it is not switched off or turned off. You must also make sure to turn on the burner key. If the heater is on and does not work, you should consult the Bel-air plumber immediately.

The leaking water Heater

The leakage of spilled water can damage property and increase energy bills. If the water heater valve leaks, it can easily be replaced by a plumber. However, the wall of the water heater may get hot due to a leak. In this case, the installer may recommend buying a new water heater. If the water heater fails, this can be an electrical problem that must be addressed.

Cleaning drainage

It must be the most important pipeline, and it needs maximum attention if necessary. It can fail at any time due to intensive use. It is easily clogged with mud, oil, mud, dust particles, food, and sometimes other soap or other things. Sudden blockages can impede the normal flow of water to the drainage system and cause problems. Plumbers and experienced technicians can open and repair bathtubs, sewer mains, washing machines, dryers, and yards. To solve the drain cleaning problem efficiently, they use the video positioning techniques of the camera to easily detect the issue.

Bel Air plumber is a reputable company that has the latest equipment, experience, and knowledge to solve all the commercial and residential plumbing problems quickly and with minimal disruption for you or your family. Experienced technicians recognize and appreciate the importance of the family, and treat your possessions, property, and home as if they are their property.

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Top 9 Causes of Copper Corrosion in Home Piping Systems

How do acids corrode copper? | Socratic

According to some estimates, copper corrosion costs the United States more than $1 billion a year.

Copper corrosion in home plumbing systems is a common phenomenon that can have many causes.

Besides actual piping failure, the telltale blue stains the oxidized copper leaves on sinks, tubs, and fixtures can identify copper corrosion.

Often laundry and even blonde hair can be tinted blue. Copper can be toxic, and water-containing levels over 1.0 mg/L should not be used for drinking.

If there are iron pipes present, the water can be colored rust or reddish and contain metallic or sulfur odors and sediment.  Corrosion can cause the piping to fail, sometimes in less than 10 years!

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion - Wikipedia

Corrosion is “the deterioration of a substance or its properties due to a reaction with its environment.” In plain words, the metal from the piping dissolves into the water as a result of various causes, causing pipe failure and corrosion of water heaters, appliances, and fixtures.

In plumbing systems, corrosion is due to physical and chemical reactions between the pipe material and water.

(If want to learn more about Copper Corrosion and water, check this post out.)

Top 9 Causes Of Copper Corrosion Problems

1. Low pH (acid water less than 7.0)

2. High pH (alkaline water greater than 8.5)

3. High levels of dissolved oxygen

4. High levels of salts dissolved in the water (total dissolved solids)

5. Corrosion-causing bacteria such as sulfate or iron bacteria

6. Electrochemical causes, such as improper grounding of electrical appliances to the copper piping, and/or lightning strikes through utility poles grounding wires

7. High velocity of water, relative to the size of piping, causing hydraulic wear on the piping, sometimes found in circulating hot water systems using pumps

8. Sand, sediment, or other grit in the water causing hydraulic wear on the piping

9. Improper installation of copper piping by failure to properly de-burr or ream the ends of the pipe and/or the use of excessive acid flux when soldering the pipes.

What Can Be Done to Stop Copper Corrosion in Homes

  1. Identify the source and severity of the problem by inspection of the piping system and getting an accurate water analysis, especially if you are on well water.
  2. Verify if there are unnecessary electrical appliances or wiring connected to the piping and if the piping system is properly grounded to earth ground. Verify to make sure that there is electrical continuity throughout the piping system. For instance, the copper piping should not be separated electrically by plastic water filters, sections of plastic pipe, plastic water softener bypass valves, etc. Install jumper cable around these items.
  3. Get a Corrosion Test Kit with Copper TestsCheck for pH, hardness, alkalinity, temperature, and total dissolved solids, and calculate LSI (Langelier Saturation Index) to see if the water is aggressive or corrosive.
  4. Cut out sections of the copper piping, cut in half, and inspect the type of corrosion present and for signs of poor workmanship by the installers. Replace copper pipe if necessary.
  5. Install a calcite neutralizer tank, or a soda ash feeder to raise the pH to 7.2 to 8.0 to correct for low pH and increase the alkalinity in the water.
  6. Set up a phosphate feeder before the copper piping. Phosphate can coat the piping and reduce corrosion effects by coating the interior surfaces of the piping with food-grade phosphate, causing an insulation surface to be built up.
  7. In case of high total dissolved solids (over 1000 ppm) install a whole house reverse osmosis system, followed by a calcite neutralizer.
  8. Install a chlorinator or ozone system to disinfect the water before it enters the home if your water has bacteria and/or sulfur odors.
  9. On City Water?  If your water is supplied to you by a municipal utility, then the first place to start is by calling your water utility and reporting the problem. If this is an isolated case and none of your neighbors are having a corrosion problem, you should suspect that the cause is either improper grounding, stray currents, or improper installation of the copper pipe.  Get a good home test kit with copper tests so you can do your own testing at home.
  10. On Well Water?   The first task you should do, if you take your water from a private well, is to get an accurate water analysis. The water analysis should be for pH, total hardness, alkalinity, total dissolved solids, iron, manganese, nitrate, chloride, sulfate, and copper. Measure temperature as well.

More ways to prevent corrosion

Plumbing engineers and system designers can significantly reduce pipe corrosion by making simple design adjustments.

  1. Minimize velocity. Use larger diameter piping to keep velocities low:

Cold line velocity should be less than 8 feet per second

Hotlines should be less than 4 feet per second.

  1. Minimize hot water temperature. Make sure return lines in a circulating hot water system have the same diameter as the supply lines.
  2. Avoid stagnant sections; minimize direction and size changes.
  3. Specify low-corrosivity water-flushable fluxes
  4. Avoid stagnant sections
  5. Minimize direction and size changes
  6. Prevent electrical currents by grounding directly to a copper rod driven into the earth. Do not attach a grounding wire to water pipes other than the main pipe ground. Route wires away from water pipes and don’t use galvanized nails that touch copper piping.  CAUTION: This may need to be done by a qualified electrician.
  7. Avoid induced stresses – provide enough pipe support and allow for thermal expansion.
  8. Consider non-copper pipe (e.g., PEX or stainless steel) wherever its use is permitted.
  9. Use non- or low-lead faucets, valves, and appurtenances. Use low-flow fixtures and appliances and aeration faucet outlets.
  10.  Choose fluxes that meet ASTM B813 standard.
  11. Specify that copper tube and fittings be installed according to ASTM B828-92 standards
  1. Emphasize careful reaming of the cut ends to reduce turbulence. Plumbing inspectors and the Copper Development Association both report that un-reamed tubing corrodes and fails much more quickly than tubing which is properly reamed.
  2.  Use correct  ASTM B813 fluxes. Using excess flux or a corrosive flux cause early pipe failures.
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Handy Plumbing Tips and Tricks

Here are nine of our favorite simple tricks and tips to save you plumbing headaches around the house.

FH0511_002_PLUTRI_04-2To save you time, money and headaches down the road, we collected our favorite tips and tricks for solving common household plumbing problems. Most of these tips make use of things that cost less than $20 and these tips could save you an expensive service call.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Stop sink-sprayer hang-ups

Use pipe insulation to prevent sprayer snarls

If you have to jiggle the hose as you pull out your kitchen sink sprayer, chances are the hose is catching on the shutoff valves. For smooth operation, slip 1/2-in. foam pipe insulation over the pipes and shutoff handles. Tape it if it won’t stay put. Get the insulation at home centers for about $3.

Silence creaking pipes

Wrap pipes in adhesive-backed felt

Running hot water can cause copper pipes to expand and grind against pipe hangers and joists. So pick up some adhesive-backed felt at the hardware store and cut it into strips. Then remove each hanger and wrap the pipe before refastening the hanger.

Quiet loud sinks

Deaden sounds with expanding foam

Fill the space between two stainless steel sink basins with expanding foam. The foam deadens vibrations and lessens the gong effect. It’s possible to do this with the sink in place but much neater and easier before installation. Either way, let the foam harden and then trim away the excess with a knife.

Drain vacuum

Use a shop vacuum to remove hard objects

When a hard object like a toothbrush, comb or toy plugs a toilet or drain, a plunger may not be the solution—it might only push the obstruction in deeper. Instead, suck out the water and the obstruction with a wet/dry shop vacuum.

Pipe orienteering

Use a strong magnet to find hidden pipes

When trying to locate a pipe under the floor, attach a rare earth (neodymium) magnet to an electrical fish tape and feed it into drain lines through the cleanout plug. Locate the magnet (and the pipe) under the floor using an ordinary compass, which will turn wildly when it finds the strong magnet.

Bucket flush

Use a bucket of water to flush the toilet

You don’t have to run to the neighbor’s bathroom during a plumbing project. Before you turn off the water supply, fill 2- gallon buckets with water. Flush the toilet by dumping the water in the bowl. You’ll get one flush per bucket. Works just as well as the usual method, although it won’t refill the bowl.

Next best thing to X-ray vision

Take a picture before closing up walls

Your walls may not have much inner beauty, but it’s a good idea to take pictures of what’s inside during remodeling. The same goes for floors and ceilings. When your next remodeling or repair project rolls around, you’ll know where the framing and the electrical and plumbing lines are.

Empty the trap

Plunge water first before removing the trap

Before you remove a sink trap, give the drain a few plunges with a toilet plunger. This will push most of the water out of the trap, lessening the mess when you pull the trap. If you have a double sink, be sure to plug the other drain to contain the air pressure. If the strainer isn’t a screw-down style, you’ll have to hold it down while you plunge the drain.

Inside view

Get a look at hidden spaces

Whether you’re remodeling or just running wire, knowing what’s inside the walls is helpful.

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How Air Conditioning Works

June 4, 202

An air conditioning unit outside the home.

Before 1902, humans adopted creative ways of staying cool during hot summers. The ancient Egyptians hung wet reed mats in their windows that created a cooling effect when the wind blew through. Ancient Romans went so far as to pump cold water from aqueducts through the walls of elite homes.

These days you need only turn your thermostat dial for sweet heat relief in your home. But what exactly happens when you turn that magic dial? And how do you fix your AC when it doesn’t click on? Mike Diamond is the fresh smelling man with the answers to all things cool. We’ll cover the parts of a home ac system and explain how the air conditioning system in your house works. If your AC isn’t working, we’ll troubleshoot the common reasons why.

Who invented Air Conditioning (and the summer blockbuster)?

The man credited with inventing air conditioning as we know it is Willis Carrier. At the turn of the 20th century, he had an epiphany while standing on a train platform. He realized that humidity could be removed from air causing it to feel colder. Willis built a system of ice chilled coils that kept mills and printing companies cool during hot industrial workdays.

A dark movie theater interior.

Stuart Cramer invented a ventilation device around the same time that was used in textile plants to distribute cool vapor to hot air. He was also the person to coin the term “air conditioning.” In 1925 he invented a more efficient version of his device for a movie theater. Soon his device was in theaters across the country. Ever since, Americans have flocked to the movies to escape the summer heat and thus was born the summer blockbuster season.

How Does Air Conditioning Work?

Modern air conditioning works via the physical principal of phase transition. This law states that when a liquid converts to a gas, it absorbs heat energy. Like when you boil water to create steam.

The liquid in this instance is a refrigerant or chemical compound that evaporates and condenses over and over to cool your home. The refrigerant starts as a liquid that travels through an evaporation coil inside your home. As the liquid evaporates it absorbs heat and, in this case, that heat is from warm air from your home. As the heat is removed, the resulting cool air is distributed back into your home.

The used refrigerant gas is then sent to your air conditioner compressor – that’s the big unit outside – where it is compressed back into a liquid. The hot air that is a byproduct of the process (remember phase transition) is vented outside and the condenser aids the compressor in sending the liquid refrigerant back to the evaporator coil where the cycle begins all over again.

How HVAC Systems Work

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Your home’s central air takes advantage of the existing ducts and vents in your home that are also used by your furnace during colder months.

After warm air travels over the evaporation coil and is cooled, fans blow the chilled air through your ducts and vents to reach every room of your home. This network delivers cold air evenly and efficiently throughout your home.

The thermostat connected to your HVAC system regulates all temperatures for both your heating and air conditioning. Each system responds based on the setting you input. Having one central control makes it easy to stay comfortable all year long.  

Why Won’t My Air Conditioner Work?

Like any piece of equipment, air conditioners are subject to break down and failure. Common reasons air conditioners malfunction include:

A repairman examines a air conditioning unit.
  • No power.
  • Blown fuse or tripped circuit.
  • No signal from the thermostat.
  • Too hot outside to keep up.
  • Dirty or blocked air condenser.
  • Dirty air filter.
  • Broken fan.
  • Problems with refrigerant.
  • Unit not the right size for your home.
  • Older unit (10+ years).
  • Leaky air ducts.

Some of these issues are easier to address than others. If your air conditioner is not working, make sure its receiving power. Check that the circuit isn’t tripped and that your thermostat has fresh batteries. Then make sure your filter is clean and check your compressor for obstructions like brush or grass. If you’re still having problems, it may be time to have a professional technician look at it.

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