A&A Plumbing

Month: May 2016

Four Signs Your Water Heater Is Acting Up

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No homeowner looks forward to replacing appliances but, unfortunately, it’s a necessary aspect of the American dream. No appliance will run efficiently forever, no matter how well built it may be. The problem, however, isn’t always replacing the appliance; it’s knowing when it needs to be replaced.

As plumbers, we’ve seen many water heaters go bad and want to educate you to the warning signs to ensure the quality of your water.

Your water heater is more than ten years old.

As a general rule, plumbers suggest you start monitoring your water heater’s efficiency when it gets to be about ten years old. While some water heaters may fail before then, and others after, ten years is when the majority begin to go bad. That being said, if you notice any of the following warning signs before the ten-year mark, don’t ignore them and wait for the magic number ten.

Your water looks rusty or muddy.

If your water quality has deteriorated due to your water heater, it’s time for a replacement. How do you know your water heater is to blame for lower quality water? If your water quality only decreases when the hot water is on, your water heater is likely to blame. The heater is essentially rusting from the inside out, causing impure water to flow to your faucet. If left untreated, the water heater will eventually begin to leak. And, in the meantime, no one likes using dirty water.

You hear an unusual noise coming from the water heater.

Are you starting to hear strange rumbling or clanking noises from your water heater? That’s not a good sign. Over time, sediment builds at the bottom of the water heater’s tank and, after being heated and reheated repetitively, the sediment will harden. Not only is the noise annoying, it will also lead to less efficiency and more damage.

The water heater is leaking.

Any standing water around your water heater indicates that you need to contact a professional right away. The constant heating and reheating of the tank causes tiny fractures to form over time, allowing water to leak out. We hope you have a drain nearby or you may have a flooded basement on your hands.

As you can see, there are multiple warning signs your water heater may be going bad. If you still aren’t sure, always make sure to contact your local plumber to have the heater looked at by a professional.

Five Plumbing Myths That Just Aren’t True

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No one really knows how these plumbing tall tales began, but you’ve probably heard at least one. As your friendly plumbers, we feel like it’s our duty to inform you that these are all untrue, no matter how much your grandmother swears it works.

Myth: Throwing ice cubes down the garbage disposal will sharpen the blades.

Throwing ice cubes down the garbage disposal will not sharpen the blades, but it also won’t hurt anything. In fact, the ice cubes may help to clean the blades of your garbage disposal. So, if your sink is a little smellier than usual, throw a couple of ice cubes down the garbage disposal to help freshen it up.

Myth: Placing a brick in your toilet tank will help to save water.

We’re not really sure how this myth started, but putting a brick in your toilet’s tank will not help to conserve water. In fact, putting a brick in there could harm your toilet. The brick will deteriorate over time and possibly cause other parts of the toilet tank, like the flapper, to break. It can also displace too much water, resulting in you having to flush the toilet twice, defeating the purpose of the brick in the first place.

Myth: Toilet tablets containing bleach are safe and will keep your toilet clean.

A tablet containing bleach designed to sit in your toilet tank for an extended period of time is not safe. Within six months of using the tablet, all working parts of the toilet would be destroyed. Don’t shy away from using bleach to clean your toilet bowl, however. Just make sure to not let the product sit in the bowl for more than ten minutes.

Myth: Flushable wipes are safe to flush down the toilet.

Regardless of their misleading claim to be flushable, flushable wipes should not be flushed down the toilet. These wipes can cause major clogs and are wreaking havoc on city sewer systems all over the world. For more information on the impact of flushable wipes, please read our previous blog on the topic.

Myth: Based on which hemisphere you’re in, the toilet will flush a different direction.

The direction in which a toilet flushes is based on the way your toilet is designed, not the hemisphere you are in. This myth was most likely based on the Coriolis effect, which applies to much larger bodies of water not toilet bowls.

Have you heard any additional DIY plumbing tips that you think might be untrue? Comment below for an answer!