A&A Plumbing

Call us now at (402) 932-3899!
Call us now at
(402) 932-3899!

winter plumbing

Plumbing Checklist For Home Buyers

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We don’t have to tell you that buying a home is a huge investment – it’s usually the biggest investment you’ve ever made! That’s why we recommend you get a whole home plumbing inspection done by your trusty plumbers (hey, that’s us!).

Sure, the home inspector will go through the home and find a lot of the flaws. But, we’ve seen more than a couple cases where there were plumbing issues that should have been found, but weren’t.

Not only is that scary, who knows what could be going on in those pipes, but it’s a missed opportunity. Knowing what kind of pipes and drains you have, and what condition they’re in can be a very useful negotiation tool.

To avoid any surprises down the road, inspect these three things before purchasing a home.

Main sewer line

It’s always a good idea to have a plumber perform a camera inspection on the main sewer line. Not only will it alert you of any clogs, but it can show you the overall condition of the line. If your line is severely deteriorated, this inspection will make you aware of a hidden, costly issue.

Water heater

The rule of thumb is that a water heater will last about ten years. Granted, that estimate is dependant on the water quality, how the heater is being used, maintenance, and installation. For example, if it heats your home and delivers hot water to all of your faucets, there’s a good chance it won’t make it a full ten years.

Having a plumber inspect the water heater to see what condition it’s in and if it’s a good fit for your water needs is a must. A lot of times, families will downsize their water heater after the kids move out, because they’re using less water. So, it’s important to ensure the home’s water heater will meet your family’s needs.

Toilets

A lot of toilets leak at the base. It’s an insignificant problem most of the time, except for when the issue persists. Over time, it can cause serious damage and in some cases, it can make your floor rot.

Luckily, identifying a leaky toilet base is fairly simple:

  1. Look for discoloration or warping around the toilet base.
  2. With your foot, check if the floor moves or feels soft at the base.
  3. Check to see if the toilet bowl will rock from side to side. If it does, it signals that the seal is bad, the toilet isn’t properly secured to the flange, or the flange itself isn’t secured.

We’re not trying to scare you out of buying a home. In fact, we’re trying to inform and empower you. If you have a house you’d like us to inspect or any additional questions, just give us a call!

Frozen Pipes: What You Need To Know

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We’ve all heard them – horror stories of pipes bursting in winter, causing hundreds of dollars of damage. Those stories are exactly why it’s so important to understand what happens when a pipe freezes and how to prevent it from ever happening in your home.

We’re sure you remember learning that water expands when frozen. It’s a lesson every kid in grade school learns, and remembers when a frozen water bottle bursts in their car years later. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands and causes the pipe to crack, no matter how sturdy the pipe was before.

Generally the most vulnerable pipes are those exposed to the outdoors such as hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and pipes located in higher or unheated areas like attics, garages, crawl spaces, and outside walls.

One of the most noticeable signs of a frozen pipe is a drastic decrease in water pressure. More times than not, if your water pressure suddenly decreases in the winter, it’s probably due to a frozen pipe.

There has to be a way to prevent pipes from freezing though, right? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a fairly lengthy list below to try and save you the trouble of calling us, even though we love hearing from you.

  • Installing your pipes in either an insulated or heated area can help to keep them warm.
  • If your pipes are already installed in an uninsulated area, you can fit them with insulation sleeves or wrapping. You can also install a heating cable to run alongside pipes.
  • Burying outdoor pipes lower in the ground, specifically below the frost line, can be very effective.
  • This one seems obvious, but turning up the heat indoors can help. We know you want to save money on your heating bill, but is a few dollars of savings worth hundreds in repair?
  • Believe it or not, opening cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom can help the heat reach pipes nestled in the wall behind them.
  • If you have pipes in your garage, make sure to keep the garage door closed at all times to help retain as much heat as possible.
  • Never let your thermostat reach below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, this even applies when you’re going out of town.
  • In extremely cold conditions, and we mean extremely cold, letting a faucet drip can help prevent a pipe from freezing or a frozen pipe from bursting.
  • Outdoor winterization is extremely important. Before the first freeze, make sure to remove, drain, and store all outdoor hoses. Close the inside valves supplying water to the hose bib and then open the outside bib to allow any remaining water to drain. You can even leave the outside bib open throughout the winter. That way, if there is any water still in there, pressure is never able to build and cause a pipe to burst.

We know it’s a lot to take in, but taking five minutes to learn about frozen pipes can really save you a lot of hassle in the long run. If you suspect a frozen pipe, please call us immediately! Acting quickly can help to prevent any further damage.