Summer Plumbing Woes!

Why do we have so many problems with plumbing in the Summer Months?

The summer tends to be some of the highest instances for Plumbing Issues because the kids are out

of school, the home is getting more use than normal and things we have been putting off tend to rear their ugly heads this time of year…..

1- Clogged Garbage Disposals

Cookouts = Trouble!!  We typically eat a lot of ears of corn, fruits and vegetables in the Summer Months which are all very hard for our garbage disposals to handle.  Tip: Throw all the leftovers in the trash and dispose of or compost. Keep all Fruits and Vegetables out of the Disposal or  you will find it may break!

2- Sewer Line Backups- Besides the adults working from home, kids are out of school and the tree roots are growing, The toilets are getting over used and the early freeze thaw of the spring can cause cracks in the sewer pipes.  Do yourself a favor and have your lines Hydro= Jetted in early summer so you don’t experience sewer line back ups.  Camera the lines to ensure that you have a clear flowing drain line!!  Summer can be a great time to relax and take a breather but not if you don’t have a toilet to use!!

3- Washing Machine Maintenance Issues- Our washing machines take a beating in the summer time~  Sandy Towels, Extra Clothing and Sweaty Athletic Wear are all bulky items that go in the washing machine.  All this additional stress on the washing machine creates a perfect storm for the washing machine to break.  Take the time to schedule a maintenance check up for your washer to avoid shut downs and repair costs!

4- Toilet Clogs- Household toilets are more regularly used thanks to the kids using the bathroom more often.  Please do not use wipes and do not flush anything down the toilet other than toilet paper.  Teach kids how to use a modest amount of toilet paper.  If your toilet clogs typically we would suggest trying a plunger before calling a professional like Rocket Plumbing and Drain.

5- Hose Bibs and Sprinklers- If you have lawn sprinklers, be sure they are inspected and cleaned before opening them for the season.  Moving and lawn care can reak havoc on them.  Most people do not winterize their hose bibs therefore in the summer months they crack and need to be replaced.  If you find yourself with a cracked hose bib, contact a Professional like Rocket Plumbing and Drain as they will best be able to assist you in replacing these.  They are not meant for Homeowners to tackle.

Take your Summer Plumbing Seriously and Call the Professionals if you need HELP of any kind!

Do You Think Hiring a Plumber Is Expensive? We Bet You Will Be Surprised!

Plumbing isn’t a profession that everyone wants to spend their life doing. It’s dirty, smelly and let’s face it during COVID, who wants to play in raw sewage for a living?

Other than the “obvious” reasons that plumbing doesn’t entice most the way people pour into professions like becoming a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, an engineer, or IT tech, Plumbing requires skills much like a teacher needs a masters degree to advance or an engineer to design a building. These skills are needed to solve complicated waste and vent systems behind walls, water lines snaking through your house and streets, gas lines in the attic, walls and basements, sewage pipes, cleanouts, complex drain systems, pumps, equipment and so much more that requires licensure and skills/expertise that doesn’t come overnight. Every house, building, and commercial space is different. Years of experience that isn’t in a book or school cost plenty. That all comes at a price.

There are many “on-demand” professions like plumbers that work nights, weekends, and the like. But, companies that operate 24/7 like a hospital or nursing home are hard to find, and to operate that business 24/7/365 is an expensive undertaking. When you need them the most, on weekends and nights, Plumbing is not cheap. Let’s look at the facts….

Plumbing Service Calls tend to occur in the evening and on the weekends when the Family is home and stressing the plumbing systems the most. When you are at home enjoying some family time or relaxing with some friends, your plumber cannot drink a beer, has to stay in a 10-mile radius, cannot “commit” to doing anything “social” or go on vacation because he needs to be here to help you when you need him most- on the weekends and at nights.

-Plumbing is not an easy job. It can be downright scary at times. Plumbers come into contact with sewage and other harmful materials such as mold, bacteria, toxic chemicals, and more. Some tasks can even be “physically dangerous” like excavating and underground plumbing. Despite the dangers to plumbers, they are essential and do it knowing the risks.

-Tools and Equipment at a local home store or hardware store are generally made with cheaper parts and a one size fits all approach. Most plumbers purchase their supplies from a professional plumbing supplier in order to be fixed properly. The equipment needed is high-tech that requires special training to use and costs thousands of dollars to purchase and operate such as full-color sewer cameras, high-pressure jetters, snakes, and pro press devices. These pieces of equipment break, get stuck and require replacements often. Thousands of dollars can go “down the drain” on one single job with a broken video camera or drain snake. This equipment must be maintained and cleaned. Someone has to take the time to repair and wash the equipment in their “spare time”. The jetter truck can take 2 hours to fill depending on the water source. Let’s not forget the expensive COVID supplies plumbing companies have been purchasing to keep customers and staff healthy and safe. The best parts and equipment are mandatory. Warehouses must be stocked and Van’s must be readied for the day. Plumbers cannot afford to get it wrong. The best parts and equipment equals the BEST job done.

-Travel is not cheap. With gas of Diesel Trucks rounding $3.50 a gallon, getting to your home is no small sum of money. When you call a plumber they come to your home in a fully stocked and insured vehicle. They can easily drive 100 miles in a day and the gas evaporates. The maintenance to repair and maintain those trucks is expensive as are the replacements needed much sooner than your average “vehicle” for work purposes. Between purchasing a truck with all the necessary installed equipment, fueling and maintaining these trucks, plumbers pour thousands upon thousands of dollars into transportation costs alone.

-Marketing/Advertising/Staffing….how do you find us? At Rocket, we answer our phones 24/7/365 without getting an answering service, our social media staffer lets you know we exist across multiple digital platforms. She spends hours upon hours educating you with important facts and tips, promoting our business and services as well as making sure that the community knows how to reach us. Writing blog posts such as this for “information purposes” to keep the consumer educated and informed takes valuable time. Google is the way people find you in 2021….if you don’t run Google Ads, Google puts you to the bottom of page 51 and no one will find you. Marketing in the digital age isn’t cheap. Facebook, Instagram, and Google are how most people look for a plumber in 2021 and they know it. 5 Star Reviews come with sacrifices and late nights and weekends without our children or our spouses. Vacations are non-existent because you need us. We cannot just kick back and relax on a Saturday night after working all week because invariably we will get a call that sewage is backing up or water is pouring in and we cannot say “no”. Always being “on” comes at a price.

-Insurance- Anyone that knows anything about the trades knows that they are at high risk for Liability issues therefore insurance costs for Plumbers is extremely expensive. It’s one of the highest of all the trades. It’s no stretch to think that a valve can break and flood a home in minutes or a fitting is defective and water comes pouring into your home. It’s for these reasons that Insurance Companies charge oodles of money to ensure a plumbing company. Workers Compensation is at an all-time high in the Plumbing Industry due to the inherent nature of dangers involved in Plumbing tasks. Steps, High Ceilings, Underground Pipes, and the like are all reasons why the dangers of the Plumbing Industry cause insurance companies to jack up the rates.

The trades are a dying industry. No one wants to go into the trades anymore. Skilled plumbers are in High Demand and Plumbing Companies must offer competitive pay, benefits, and a piece of the profits to retain and empower new recruits. The people that work for a Plumbing company do so in excess of 60 hours a week because reliable, responsible plumbers are not available to hire. Plumbing is a risky sport. If you have a good plumber that you trust, show up, and takes good care of you, say thank you with a smile even though it doesn’t feel good to spend your hard-earned money on plumbing repairs and problems. They do this because they love what they do and put everything they have into it. We get it, plumbing isn’t “sexy” ….its, not a comfy couch to prop up your legs, it’s not a vacation with the family nor a gift you enjoy giving to a loved one. But, it’s a necessary evil, and the people that bring it to you, do so because they love what they do not because they are getting rich doing it.

National Water Heater Shortage- Pay Attention!

The National Water Heater SHORTAGE has taken everyone by surprise. The worst part is just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it has. Rocket has certain water heaters I cannot get for customers for 3 months! The water heater shortage has not only caused problems for us but for millions without hot water. The pricing has gotten out of control due to steel shortages, the ability to get a water heater is an everyday challenge, but most of all, we cannot service our customers the way we used to. The ability to keep water heaters in stock is becoming more challenging as well as getting parts to service them. As soon as we re-stock, they are sold. This is no joke, this is real and people who once “had a choice” of what water heater they install, now have no choices. If your water heater is nearing 10 years old, just replace it as soon as possible. Once it goes it goes and we cannot guarantee you can get a replacement quickly. No one wants to go without hot water and with the scarcity of water heaters right now, there has never been a more important time to look at a proactive water heater replacement. CALL US TODAY for advice on whether or not you should consider a water heater replacement now! This is no laughing matter and in a year when just about everything has gone wrong, it would be smart to take control of something that you can control! Check your water heater now! DON’T WAIT!

Plumbing Myths “Busted”

 

As Homeowners ourselves, we have done our share of “DIY” projects that we really had no business trying to do or tackling ourselves. I recall about 15 years ago attempting to install an HVAC system in our rental property.  We are plumbers right?  This should be simple.  Run some duct work, install a unit and make sure it has some vents and BAM its done.  Not so fast!  We found out really quickly that our “attempts” at installing an HVAC system ourselves ended up costing us double what we would have spent initially if we had just hired someone to install it instead of doing it ourselves.  We have tackled all sorts of projects around here from excavation to fence building and quite frankly most of it went ok but I can honestly say that in our attempts over the years to “save money” by DIY’ing it, we have never really saved that much and it would have been better left to the professionals!

Plumbing isn’t something that most people can do on their own.  Most can change a faucet or install a toilet if necessary but when it comes to more complicated tasks like Drain Clogs, Water Heater Installations and Pipe Work, homeowner attempts usually fail and often end up costing more money than it would have initially. We thought we would share some Plumbing “Myths” incase you wanted to attempt a plumbing fix or repair yourself! Check out these Plumbing Myths so you don’t make an unnecessary mistake!

1. Grease is ok if you flush with hot water

Grease cools quickly once it is inside the pipes. When it does, it sticks to the inside surfaces and stays there. Grease and cooking oil will continue to build up until the pipe is completely clogged. To avoid trouble, wait for the grease to harden in the pan and then wipe it away with a paper towel. Then throw it in the trash. Never put grease down the drain!

2. A Wire Hanger Is a Good Substitute for a Plumbing Snake

An unfolded wire hanger certainly looks like it might work!  And, in an emergency if it’s the only available option, it’s better than nothing. BUT a wire hanger can damage pipes from the inside. If a hanger is the only option in an emergency, wrap it in a cloth, secured with a rubber band, so you don’t scrape the pipe.  If you cannot get the clog to resolve, there may be an issue farther down the pipe.  A plumbing snake that professionals use is designed for clearing pipe blockages. This is not a machine that homeowners typically have the know how to use even if they can rent one at a local store.  The snake drain line can easily get stuck in your pipes and with improper use, can be very costly to retrieve when they break.  The line will need to be dug up and pipe replaced which is thousands to repair.  Don’t attempt this yourself.  Leave it to the professionals!

3. Flushable Wipes Are Safe to Flush

Despite their branding, flushable wipes should not be flushed down the toilet. These include baby wipes. They are a common cause of drain blockages, as are paper towels and feminine hygiene products. Even if something looks flushable, read the label for any special disposal instructions. I know I have said this in the past, only flush toilet paper down the toilet.  Nowadays with the eco friendly toilets using less water, there is less flow going downstream.  Most toilet clogs we see are the result of homeowners or guests flushing things in the toilets like Flushable Wipes that are just simply Not Flushable.  Do not do it. Save the cash and just use toilet paper.

4. A Brick in the Toilet Tank Helps Save Water

No, it doesn’t. A brick placed in the tank will force the toilet to work harder, can cause parts to break, and may require you to flush more often and use extra water. Exposure to water will cause the brick to break apart after awhile and the brick will ultimately end up in your drain and clogging your lines. Believe it or not, people still do this.

5. Lemon Peels Are Good for Your Garbage Disposal

While we all love the smell of lemon, the idea of putting something down the disposal that would make it smell good is very enticing.  The scent of lemon peels may be pleasant, but throwing them into the disposal won’t do the impellers any good (they’re not blades that can be sharpened). In fact, the acid can trigger corrosion, while the peel itself can clog up the unit. Running the disposal with some ice cubes or pouring a mix of water and vinegar into it can help clean the impellers. NO lemon peels!!

6. Bleach Tablets Will Help Clean Your Toilet

Bleach tablets contain chemicals that can damage sensitive toilet components. Never put them in the toilet or the tank. Always use cleaners that are labeled for use with the toilet.

Don’t take plumbing issues into your own hands. At Rocket Plumbing and Drain, our licensed plumbers use the latest technology and repair methods to troubleshoot and fix problems. We are available 24/7 in case of an emergency, and can provide drain cleaning, plumbing work, sewer line repair, and even inspections. Call Rocket’s Response Team at 484.986.5517 TODAY!

What Can I Do If My Water Heater Leaks?

YES calling a professional to act FAST and diagnose the issue is the BEST option however what if I want start to tackle this myself?  Here are some great starting points!

First…..Shut off the Power Supply to the Water Heater.  In order to do so, follow the steps below:

Gas Water Heater- Find your thermostat.  Switch it to OFF or Pilot to shut off the gas and make the water heater safe to work on.

Electric Water Heater- Go to the breaker box and find the breaker labeled “water heater” and flip the switch to shut the breaker off.

Second….Shut off the Water- Turn off the valve leading to your water heater.  Turn it to the right until it closes.  This will shut off the water and allow the heater to be worked on.

Third…Drain the water tank.  If you have a standard tank water heater, draining the heater is the most essential step.  To drain the water heater, you need to find the drain valve at the bottom of your heater and attach a hose to it.  Run the hose outside or to a sump pit.  With the hose in place, open the valve.  Sometimes the water doesn’t flow very well so open up any hot water faucet and this will let air into the tank and allow it to drain more easily.  Once you get good water flow, it usually takes about an hour for this to drain.

Once the water heater is drained we suggest giving our Rocket Response Team a call, but if you wanted to try to diagnose further, here are some tips below to help you “start” the diagnostic process yourself!

A number of things can be wrong with the heater.  But lets explore some different scenarios that my give you a clue…

Broken Drain Valve– While these will cause water to leak from the bottom of the tank, it is easily fixed with a replacement of the broken drain valve.  Contact the Manufacturer of the Water Heater and ask where you can purchase a new drain valve.  Once purchased, technical support can walk you through the replacement.

Corrosion- Sediment builds up on the bottom of the water heater and over time it can cause the tank to rust.  A Water Heater Replacement is needed and if you aren’t comfortable trying this yourself, call Rocket’s Water Heater experts!

Loose Water Line Connections- Double check that there are no loose water lines.  If there are, you may be able to tighten the connections.

Broken Pressure Valve or Pressure Relief Valve Leaking- If water is coming out the pressure relief valve there could be a number of reasons why.  One reason could be that the expansion tank to the Water Heater is broken and therefore too much pressure is getting to the water heater causing the relief valve to overflow.  Because there are many reasons why this can happen, it is probably best to schedule either a Virtual Consult Visit or make an appointment with our team to evaluate!

Call Rocket’s Water Heater Experts for FAST SERVICE Today!! 484.986.5517

8 Helpful Spring Plumbing Tips

 

1) Add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Try to avoid red as it can stain your toilet.

2) Check your toilet handle. If the toilet handle must be held down through out the flush or jiggled to stop the water from running you may need to replace worn out tank parts. The tank parts don’t cost much plus you’ll save money in the long run by lowering your water bill.

3) Clean out yard drains, gutter, and downspouts. The winter can wreak havoc and make a mess. Don’t forget to clean out yard drains, gutters and downspouts that may have got in there over winter.

4) Strain your drain. Drain strainers are a great way to stop clogging and clean your drains. They keep stuff like soap, hair, and food out of your pipes.

5) Check your water heater. Make sure to check that the temperature setting on the water heater is not too high. If it’s higher than 120°F turn it down a bit to prevent your skin from scalding. Doing so will also save money and energy.

6) Check your sump pump, make sure it’s working how it should. These heavy spring rains can cause a flood if it’s not working correctly.

7) Check for slow leaks. Checking for leaks is as easy as taking a reading on your water meter before bed, and then the next morning when you wake up. Without using any water overnight, the reading should be the same. If the reading is not the same something is wrong.

8) Call us! If you are too busy you can always give us a call and we will give your house a thorough walk-through to make sure everything is working up to par!

Toilet Clog Hacks!

 

Have you ever been at someone’s house and you just clogged the toilet with no plunger in site?  Or did you just clog your own toilet and your handy plunger isn’t working?  If you don’t want to call a professional and want to try it yourself, these nifty toilet clog hacks may just do the trick!  While they aren’t guaranteed to work, they work enough times that they are worth trying before spending your hard earned money on a professional!

Dish Soap

Dishwashing soap can be your best friend!  Soap dissolves grease on your dishes and it can do the same thing for your toilet.  If you can get your hands on a cup of dishwashing liquid and a couple cups of hot water you could be back in business.  Pour both into the toilet bowl and let sit for 15-20 minutes and try to flush again.  Bleach is also another option if dishwashing liquid isn’t available.  (Do not use bleach in connection with the next hack because the chemicals in both do not mix well)

The Toilet Clog Volcano

The science experiment you did in 5th grade can be used to unclog your toilet!  Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and pour some white vinegar over the baking soda and watch how they react to one another! Wait approximately 15-20 minutes and pour some hot water into the bowl and wait a few more minutes.  Flush once.  This is GREAT for really stubborn clogs.

Wire Coat Hanger

Get a wire coat hanger out of your closet.  Straighten it as much as possible.  Tie a rag around the wire hanger so it doesn’t end up in the sewage system.  Using rubber gloves, gently put the wire hanger in the bowl and try to unclog the toilet.  This is the quickest “make shift” toilet snake you can use in an emergency. 

 

Most toilet clogs can be cleared by the average homeowner using the above methods.  When the above methods do not work, you may have a blockage in one of the lines or in your main line of your home.  If your home and toilet it still blocked, call our plumbers here at  Rocket Plumbing and Drain to clear that stubborn clog for you!

In Home Water Heater Estimates…Are They Really Necessary?

Regular Tank Water Heaters typically DO NOT require in home estimates!  Tank Water Heaters are usually replaced with other “tank” water heaters that are of the same size and type.  Unless you are changing fuel sources or going with a tankless water heater, more than likely you won’t need an in person visit.  Typically, photos of the water heater label, areas surrounding the water heater and any expansion tanks will do!  When doing a water heater estimate, we try to review the photos of your current set up for a baseline for the quote.  We look for things like inappropriate fittings or other items that may cause us some concern as well as whether or not you have an expansion tank on your water heater.  We talk with our customers about whether or not they want to keep the size that they have or size up or down based on how the current water heater is functioning for them in terms of the hot water supply.   We may or may not recommend changes to the size of the tank depending on your life/home usage situation.  Firstly, we look up your model number and serial number and see how old your water heater is and if it is under warranty.  If the tank is leaking, we advise immediate replacement.  If your water heater is more than 10 years old we generally advise replacement as most water heater manufacturers warranties expire after 6-10 years.  We will typically discuss how the existing water heater has functioned for the homeowner and if they ever noticed issues with a lack of hot water.  Based on that discussion, we will recommend sticking with the existing size or changing it and the reasons for our recommendations. If a customer elects to go with a tankless water heater, Rocket Plumbing and Drain will recommend an in person visit.  There are certain electrical requirements for tankless water heaters and we need to verify the availability of the proper electrical resources for installation.

Our Virtual Estimate option is another great way to get a visual on your existing water heater set up.  We can arrange a Facetime or Zoom call to meet our customer and visually look at the existing water tank and piping configurations to determine the best course of action with replacement.  Either Virtual Consultation or Photography is a great way to get an estimate without having to schedule an in person estimate in your home.  With COVID we have all had to adapt to new ways of doing business and we have created some innovative ways to get you the quote FAST and Safely!  Call Rocket Plumbing today for your FREE Estimate on your Water Heater TODAY! 484.986.5517

Bradford White Corners the Market as the Most Reliable Residential Water Heater!

The name Bradford White is synonymous with the words “respected” and “reliable” as they manufacture, in our opinion, the best residential water heaters. They have been around since 1851 and offer a wide variety of products that satisfy every need. Rocket Plumbing, unless specifically asked to install another brand of water heater, exclusively sells Bradford White for Residential use.

Bradford White is a Premium Product without the BIG price tag

They use only the best materials and components to manufacture Bradford White water heaters but don’t charge a hefty price tag for it. You’ll find that these water heaters are very fairly priced and offer the best in terms of quality. Bradford White water heaters represent great value for money, meaning the performance you receive will hugely exceed the low price you pay.  They last longer than any other water heaters hands down and offer the least service calls in the industry.

Quality and Reliability

Each and every product that’s made by Bradford White is the result of the continued examination, analysis, and improvement. This is how the company ensures the highest standards are met across the board. It’s why the company has such a fantastic reputation for quality and reliability. Every Bradford White water heater is built to be the best as they are built for daily operation over the course of many years.

Highly Efficient Water Heaters

More and more people are concerned about the efficiency of the appliances in their homes and rightly so. If you want to make sure that your home is as efficient as it can be, take a look at Bradford White’s Energy Star range of water heaters. They’re designed with efficiency in mind and they’re suitable for all kinds of homes and homeowners. And best of all, you’ll save some money over the long-term.

Hydrojet Total Performance System

Bradford White water heaters all come with the Hydrojet Total Performance System, which is exclusive to the brand. The system prevents the buildup of sediment, which is important to keep the water heater efficient. It will also aid overall performance and ensure the user gets value for money from their Bradford White water heater. You’ll get more hot water without having to pay more for it.

Defender Safety System

The Defender Safety System is a feature of Bradford White’s gas-fired water heaters and it is there to offer protection to you, your family, and your home. It ensures that flammable vapors can never ignite from a spill outside the water heater. This is done by detecting those vapors and shutting down the water heater to ensure there’s never a risk of ignition.

A Selection of Ultra-Low Nox Water Heaters

Lots of people are concerned about their impact on the environment, and that’s why Bradford White offers a selection of ultra-low Nox water heaters. They make use of cutting edge technology to ensure the burner produces lower emission levels. By choosing Bradford White, you can reduce your carbon footprint and still experience the best in terms of water heater performance.

Six-Year Warranty

No one wants to be endlessly worrying about their water heater breaking at an inopportune moment in the future. Well, you don’t have to when you choose a water heater from Bradford White. You’ll receive a six-year warranty for all parts and the tank. That’s because we know the quality of these products and are sure they’ll serve you well. You can also upgrade to a 10-year warranty if you wish.

Exclusive Control Technology

Bradford White has an ICON System that uses an Intelligent Fast Control Valve. It’s an exclusive control technology that offers the most advanced temperature controls and keeps water temperature levels consistent. It can even help plumbing professionals fix any problems you experience faster and more easily, which is a nice bonus for owners.  Bradford White has a great technological support line and can assist in any support items necessary.

Vitraglas Enamel

All Bradford White water heaters are protected against deterioration thanks to the Vitraglas enamel lining that’s used. It’s the best and most advanced water heating lining, offering reliable protection, and ensuring your water heater lasts as long as it possibly can. Without it, steel tanks can become irreversibly damaged by the hot water that’s stored inside them and that’s not what you want to happen.

American-Made Products

All of Bradford White’s water heaters are made in America, so when you buy one of these water heaters for your home, you’ll be supporting an American brand and a team of the very best American workers. Bradford White allows you to support an American brand while accepting nothing but the best in terms of quality.

If you’re looking to improve your property’s water heater, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Rocket Plumbing and Drain where our team of water heater experts will help you find the Bradford White water heater that’s right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions! (FAQ’S)

How quickly can you service our plumbing problem?
For emergency repairs we can usually get to our customers within 2 hours.  For jobs that can be scheduled, we can typically do same day or next day service as long as our schedule allows.
Can I get a quote for my plumbing repairs?
Most plumbing repairs require either a Video or On-Site Inspection/Diagnostic to see what the most cost effective solution for your home or business is.
Plumbers do not come out and do diagnostic work for free so typically there is a Service Call Fee involved in figuring out what is going on with your plumbing problem.
What areas do you service?
We worked in the greater Philadelphia area in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Lehigh County, Lancaster County, Philadelphia County and the Upper State of Delaware.
What type of Payment do you Accept?
We Accept Visa or Mastercard and we offer consumer financing on anything over $100 and up to $15,000.
Are you licensed and insured?
We are licensed in each State that we work in.