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Month: July 2016

Dangers of High Water Pressure

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Water pressure is normally referred to when there is a lack of it. You don’t often hear people complaining about their home having too much water pressure, but they should be. Your home’s water pressure is similar to blood pressure in the body. There is a range that is acceptable to keep all other systems running smoothly. When levels drop too low, there is a noticeable change. When levels climb too high, it can be detrimental to every part in the system.

When water pressure levels are too high in your home, it can cause irreversible damage to pipes and appliances, and make your water bill outrageously expensive. High water pressure stresses pipes, leading to tiny pinhole leaks that leak intermittently, meaning they are hard to detect. It can also be damaging to appliances such as your water heater and dishwasher. The damage may not be noticeable at first, but it will significantly decrease the life your appliances.

Now that you know how damaging high water pressure can be, you’re probably wondering how to tell when it’s too high. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tell by the pressure coming out of your water fixtures. Does the water seem to come out more forcefully in your home than your friends’ homes? Do overnight guests comment how great the water pressure in your shower is? Then you may have high water pressure.

Another tell-tale sign is when you can hear a banging in your pipes. This noise is referred to as a ‘water hammer’ by most plumbers and is caused by high water pressure. Toilets running intermittently when they aren’t in use is another sign of high water pressure.

Still not sure? You can visit your local hardware store and purchase a water pressure gauge. Follow the instructions included and if your water pressure is higher than 80 psi, then you have high water pressure and need to be on the lookout for the signs of wear mentioned above.

Now you may be wondering, why does your home have high water pressure? The most likely culprit is your local water company. Sometimes they have to keep the pressure higher in certain areas to accommodate increased demand, such as fire hydrants and taller buildings. Another likely reason could be because your home is located at the bottom of a hill. Water naturally runs downward, meaning the water picks up momentum coming down the hill from the main water line.

If you purchase a water pressure regulator, you can temporarily ensure the pressure in your home is at a safe level. However, you may want to look into having your local plumber come out for a consultation as they will likely have a better idea for a long-term fix. As always, we’re just a phone call or comment away for any questions you may have!

Most Common Household Plumbing Mistakes

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You’ve met them before: people who believe they can fix everything in their home, regardless of their qualifications. You may even be one yourself: a self-proclaimed DIYer. While there are many plumbing issues that can be fixed without calling in professionals, you should at least be aware of the most common household plumbing mistakes before attempting to remedy the issue yourself.

Forgetting to turn off the water.

This may seem like a no-brainer. About 90% of plumbing projects require you to turn off the water before beginning work. However, it’s easy to forget this simple task and be subsequently drenched with water when attempting to begin the repair.

Not only is being sprayed with water a nuisance, but it also creates a mess that, if left alone, could cause water damage. The last thing you want when making repairs is to create future repairs in the process.

Trying to tackle a job without the proper tools or skills.

You’re about to start a DIY plumbing project. You watch an online tutorial only to find out you don’t have the necessary tools to complete the job. What do you do?

You definitely shouldn’t try to make do with whatever tools you have around the house. Plumbing fixes require specific tools to be done correctly. A good starting place for your plumbing starter tool kit is to purchase a hand auger, basin wrench, and plumber’s wrench. Those tools will see you through the majority of plumbing repairs.

Overusing drain cleaner.

The kitchen sink is draining a little slower than usual. Your first impulse is to pour a bit of drain cleaner down to make the problem disappear. It is a convenient solution; however, using drain cleaner too often can cause damage to your pipes. The chemicals in drain cleaners slowly erode your pipes. Meaning, they’re safe to use every once in awhile but, if used frequently, can leave you with even bigger repairs than a clogged sink.

Next time your sink is draining slowly try one of these solutions as opposed to drain cleaner: hand auger (remember this tool from the short-list of plumbing tools you need?), natural drain cleaner, or a rental drain snake. Or, you could just call a local plumber!

Joining mismatched pipes.

You cannot join two pipes made of different materials and expect a long-term fix. If you do, the chances of leakage is higher meaning you’ll need to keep an eye on it in the future.
We applaud people who like to tackle DIY projects in their spare time. However, certain projects are better off handled by the professionals. When you encounter one of those problems or accidentally make one of the mistakes listed above, you know who to call.