Warning Signs My Plumbing May Need Repairs 

Warning: Bad Plumbing Ahead!

warning-signs-plumbing-repair-help-emergency-issues-fix-home

Can you spot the signs of a bad plumbing system in your home? Our experienced plumbers in Chester County want you to know the TOP 8 WARNING SIGNS of an underlying major plumbing problem so that you know when it’s time to call a plumber near you.

  1. A drop in water pressure – Your homes’ water pressure may become lower unexpectedly. Check with your neighbors and if this is not an area-wide issue and only specific to your plumbing, you need to look into the cause of this. If the problem occurs throughout your home you can have an issue with your water main.
  2. High water bills – If you have not made any big changes in your water usage and your bill randomly spikes in cost that is a pretty good indication that you have an issue, specifically a leak, somewhere. Many leaks, even significant ones, occur in walls and other areas where you don’t have good access.
  3. Unreliable Water heater – If the hot water in your home is not reliable then you have to look into what is causing the issue. There could be sediment in the heater or in your water lines or both. Your water heater could be undersized also.
  4. Stains and damp areas on ceilings and walls –  This issue could be a leak in the roof or exterior walls in your home or it could be an issue with your plumbing specifically in Chester County. Don’t just wipe the water away and forget about it. Since the leak is out of sight of could be a bigger issue than you think.
  5. Leaks – You might tend to overlook a small leak. But leaks usually get worse over time. Small leaks become big leaks. This could lead to huge repair bills and early plumbing replacement.     
  6. Cracks – At times you might find a little crack in your plumbing system. While this may not be an issue at the time it generally gets worse as time goes on. Cracks will lead to more and bigger cracks. Your problem won’t get smaller; it will only get bigger.
  7. Uneven water levels in toilets – This issue is warning you that there is a problem with a sewer line. The line could be broken or trees roots may have grown inside of it. See what trees are more likely to infiltrate your plumbing here. If left alone this issue could grow to affect your basement and your home’s foundation.
  8. Greener grass – There may be a portion of your grass that grows faster, greener, and lusher than the rest of the lawn. This could be an indication of a leak in a sewer line. There might be a peculiar odor in the area also.

These warning signs of underlying plumbing issues are so important to pay attention to. Remember to call a plumber if you notice one or more of these issues in your home because these issues are likely just the tip of the plumbing iceberg!

Thanksgiving Vs. Garbage Disposal

thanksgiving-bones-garbage-disposal-food-clog

Spoiler Alert: Thanksgiving Wins!

As we all know Thanksgiving is a wonderful day of feasting and being thankful for the people and things we have in our lives. Somewhere between you looking at that tasty food with eyes that are bigger than your stomach and being slumped on the couch after finishing cleaning your plate, we want you to keep your plumbing in mind! Many people will be tempted to throw bones and other food down the garbage disposal, but this can cause a lot of serious, costly issues! We get the most calls for clogged drains during the holidays, so try not to become part of that trend by following these tips!!

  • Never put large animal bones in your disposal.

    Large bones can easily get stuck and cause a jam in your disposal.

  • Don’t throw any greasy food, fat, or oils down the drain.

    Grease slowly accumulates and will inevitably clog your drain.

  • Avoid putting fibrous fruits/vegetables down the drain.

    The tough fibers from these foods can tangle and jam the disposal motor and block the drains.

  • Eggshells go in the trash, not the drain.

    Eggshells can stick to the sides of your pipes, leading to clogs.

  • Don’t put too many potato skins in the disposal.

    The starch in the potatoes can turn into a thick paste, which could cause your blades to stick.

  • Rice and pasta don’t agree with the garbage disposal.

    These carb-filled foods expand with water and can cause clogs.

Remember, Rocket Plumbing and drain will always try to guide you to making smart plumbing choices. But if your cousin accidentally throws his turkey bones down the drain, we will be there for you so do not hesitate to call!

Happy Thanksgiving!

What Do I Do When A Pipe Bursts? 

water-damage-leak-plumbing-what-to-do-if-pipe-burst

A pipe bursting can be a scary/messy thing to happen in your home. It can be a very stressful dilemma and you might scramble to figure out what to do and where to start in dealing with this mess. Luckily we are professionals and we have put together a step-by-step list of what you need to do from start to finish to prevent a ton of water damage.

First:

Turn off the water at the main valve- Make sure to turn off your water supply right away to stop more flooding from entering your home! If you cannot do this for some reason, call a plumber.

Second:

Turn off the power to your home- If you suspect your electrical system has been compromised, you cannot be “too safe” with this step.  Water mixed with electricity can cause shocks, electrocution, and even death. If water is running out of your ceiling or walls, chances are that water has affected your wiring. Go to your meter box, shut down the power in your house, and call an electrician if you need professional help. We have a local recommendation page with an awesome Chester County electrician linked here.

Third:

Evaluate the burst and the surrounding area to the best of your ability- If the pipe burst has occurred on an upper level, see if the water has already moved (or can move) to a lower level. See what you can do to minimize the effects with buckets, trashcans or other water catching devices.  

Fourth:

Open all doors and windows- After assessing the pipe burst you will want to make sure it has somewhere to go other than more areas of your house by giving the water openings. Open doors to let pools of water out if there are any and windows will help any wet areas of your house dry faster preventing further damages or mold.

Fifth:

Remove your belongings- You will want to move your belongings to a safe space allowing the soaked areas to dry faster while saving them from (further) water damage.

Sixth:

Take photographs of the damage- You will want to begin fixing everything immediately, but take a few minutes to take pictures of the damages or take pictures as you work. You will thank yourself later as you will need them when you submit an insurance claim.

Follow this list of “Post Pipe Bursting Steps” to Ensure the LEAST amount of damages to your home hit your wallet! 

 

Aquor Water Systems

aquor-water-systems-hydrant-house-plumber-plumbing

As plumbers and homeowners, we are always seeking the most efficient, long-lasting ways to access and use water for our homes. As temperatures are decreasing the likeliness of your plumbing having issues is increasing. Frozen outdoor pipes, frozen indoor pipes, clogged kitchen drains, water heater troubles, outdoor drain damage, etc. are some of the expensive nuisances that you are potentially facing this winter. That’s why we are excited to talk about Aquor Water Systems‘ new House Hydrant which is “reinventing the way people access water outdoors.”  

Functional-

In traditional hose bibs, the friction of rotating and compressing a rubber washer onto a brass valve seat causes gradual wear. Over time, this unavoidable wear causes wasteful leaks and dripsAquor Water Systems materials play a huge part in its success. The House Hydrant uses heavy-duty, eco-friendly, marine-grade materials. Aquor uses stainless steel in its hydrant body which is a much better insulator than brass. Steel is durable, non-toxic, rust-resistant, and pretty! Unlike the conventional tap, the chance that your pipes with freeze and burst with Aquor are significantly less likely (they can withstand down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit). Aquor’s 5° downward pitch design prevents water from remaining in the faucet so freezing weather does not affect the faucet. The hose connectors are made of wear-resistant, crush-proof, and UV ray-resistant resin. The House Hydrant is always pressurized. This means that it uses water pressure to keep its valve closed, therefore it will not leak. It requires little to no maintenance and is guaranteed to last you.

Easy Install-

Call a professional to install the Aquor hydrant in your home. Then you will want to attach the Aquor Connector to your garden hose by twisting it on. After this, you will take the connector, align the grooves from the hydrant to the lines on the connector and push while turning the connector into the hydrant. In order to disconnect push the connector forward and turn counter-clockwise. After you unplug, the hydrant self drains automatically to prevent freezing.

“Did You Know” These Tree’s Ruin Your Pipes?

Trees are vital to our lungs and lives but unfortunately, they can be detrimental to our septic tanks and sewage systems! The root system of a plant is designed to track down moisture, and that’s exactly what plumbing transports, moisture. We get calls all of the time from customers who have trees in their yard with roots that have infiltrated their plumbing systems. These root infiltrators can be expensive to cut down, and some customers don’t want to discard a tree because of sentimental value. Before you decide to plant or keep a tree in your yard, make sure you know which ones have plans to invade your pipes and pose the greatest threat to septic tanks and sewage systems! If you decide it is too expensive to get rid of one of these trees, or you simply don’t want to lose the tree because you love it too much, make sure to get your lines jetted at least twice a year to avoid root infiltration and cause thousands of dollars in damage down the road!

The worst trees for your Plumbing Systems are:

  • Sycamoretree-root-infiltration-sewer-lines-plumbing-plumber-near-me
  • Willowtree-root-infiltration-sewer-lines-plumbing-plumber-near-me
  • Oaktree-root-infiltration-sewer-lines-plumbing-plumber-near-me
  • Fig
  • Aspens
  • Elms
  • Birches tree-root-infiltration-sewer-lines-plumbing-plumber-near-me
  • Gums
  • Cypresses tree-plumbing-roots-infiltrate
  • Silver maplestree-root-infiltration-sewer-lines-plumbing-plumber-near-me
  • Walnuts
  • Poplars
  • Liquid Ambersinfiltrate

Some trees that are way less likely to infiltrate your sewage systems are:

  • Mediterranean fan palmsinfiltrate
  • Many fruit tree species
  • Cedars
  • Sabal palmettotree-plumbing-roots-infiltrate
  • Japanese Maple
  • Amur Mapletree-root-infiltration-sewer-lines-plumbing-plumber-near-me
  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Smoketree
  • Eastern Redbudtree-plumbing-roots-infiltrate

You should never plant a tree closer than 10 feet (3 m.) from the foundation of a home, and those with invasive roots may need a distance of 25 to 50 feet (7.5 to 15 m.) of space. Slow-growing trees generally have less destructive roots than those that grow quickly. If it’s already too late and you have a blocked drain or your plumbing has already been infiltrated by roots, Rocket Plumbing and Drain’s High-Pressure Water Jetter and drain cameras can locate and blast away any blockages in no time. Contact your local Chester County plumber today.

11 Wallet Draining Plumbing Issues

Plumbing problems are always a nuisance. Sometimes you just do not feel like dealing with a seemingly small plumbing problem; so you let it go and procrastinate getting it fixed. Some plumbing issues that seem insignificant can secretly be draining your wallet! Don’t let a clogged pipe rob you of your hard-earned money! Learn which plumbing issues you should get fixed as soon as they occur.

plumbing-plumber-leak-leaking-pipes-save-money-wallet
  1. Clogged Toilet– The decisions you make in the moments after you realize your toilet is clogged are major. You must NOT try to double flush in hopes that it will go down, as this could cause the toilet to overflow and damage your floors possibly causing a flood! Instead, let the water sit and see if the water level drops. If it does, put towels around the toilet in case any water overflows and plunge the toilet. See how to do this properly by watching this “How To” video.
  2. Running Toilet– If you notice your toilet is running there are a slew of problems that could be causing this issue unbeknownst to you. The most common issues of a running toilet are a faulty overflow valve, broken flush valve, cracked flapper seal, leaky fill valve, broken flapper chain, or a disconnected toilet handle. A leak that causes a toilet to constantly run can waste 250 gallons of water per day. You will probably want to call a professional to diagnose the issue.
  3. Low Water Pressure– Low water pressure may seem like a harmless, albeit annoying, issue. But, low water pressure is often caused by a clog or a leak in your pipes! As we have read previously, clogs and leaks can cost you money. Before you call a professional you can try to troubleshoot the issue on your own. If you cannot pinpoint the leak, simply call an expert!
  4. Dripping Faucet– A dripping faucet can be an extra thousand gallons of water per year that shows up on your water bill. That’s absurd! You can try to fix a dripping faucet on your own but if you are not confident, call a plumbing professional.
  5. Slow-Draining Sinks– Chemical-free alternatives for a slow-draining sink include using a hair-clog tool, cleaning the stopper, and combining baking soda and vinegar to help clean accumulated gunk off the pipes. If you have multiple slow drains in the house, or drains smell bad or make gurgling sounds, this could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as a partially clogged sewer line.
  6. Clogged Bath/Shower Drain– Hair and soap scum are the usual culprits of a clogged bath or shower drain. There are a plethora of remedies you can try yourself including pouring boiling water down the drain or using a plunger. The severity of a clogged drain, as well as how deep down the clog is in the pipe, will determine whether you need professional plumbing service. Try using drain stoppers to prevent this potentially expensive hassle!
  7. Faulty Water Heater– If it’s leaking, rumbling, or running cold, your water heater may need fixing or replacing. Water Heaters generally last 10-15 years so if yours is getting to that point, it is more cost-effective to just buy a new one instead of spending thousands on repairs.
  8. Garbage Disposal Jam– When a disposal is clogged or overheats, it can shut down automatically. Find the reset button and try resetting it first and foremost! If this does not work, you might be able to clear a jam by inserting a hex wrench into the underside of the disposal. The right size hex (Allen) wrench should come with the disposal and, if not, you can buy one at your local hardware store.
  9. Leaky Hose Bib– A leaky hose bib can be very expensive because if you run water through the hose and you have a leaky hose bibb, you’re paying extra on your water bill. You can fix a leaky hose bib yourself, or you can call a professional.
  10. Sewer Backup– If it’s not clogged with hair or soap or something of that nature, a sewer backup could be caused by a collapsed pipe or the intrusion of tree roots. Signs that you may have a sewer backup include
    • Sewage-Like Odors Coming From The Drain
    • Bubbling Drains Or Toilets
    • Slow Draining in Multiple Fixtures
    • Clogs In Multiple Drains At Once
    • Sewage Coming Out Of a Cleanout Pipe
  11. Leaky Pipes Pipes that are leaking can be caused by corrosion, fixture cracks, bad seals, joint damage or a number of other factors. The leaks can create a mess and damage your home and wallet, so the repairs are often best left to a professional plumber.

Did You Know?- URGENT for Electric Water Heater Users!

hot-water-heater-aerotherm-peco

IF YOU HAVE AN 80 GALLON ELECTRIC WATER HEATER YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO READ THIS NOW!

For as long as they have existed, 80-gallon Electric Water Heaters have been the most popular in the Chester County Area due to the sizes of the homes. Recently, Peco Energy has decided the popular 80-gallon electric water heaters require two elements drawing too much electricity.  By the end of this year, 2021, they will be phasing out the traditional 80 Gallon Electric Water Heater and only be manufacturing their 80-gallon Aerotherm Hybrid Water Heaters. (NOTE: All of the other regular electric water heater sizes will still be available.)

Although the Aerotherm is energy-efficient and designed to save energy costs, you may want to call your local plumber to install the older version before it is too late. Bradford White’s new Aerotherm is 2 1/2 times the cost of the classic electric water heater. The Aerotherm uses heat pump technology to pull air into the water heater for heating purposes with “one” element instead of two. This means that your water will take a bit longer to heat than normal. Because of the new energy-saving technology the water heater requires you to have 7″ of extra space surrounding all sides of the heater. So, if you need to have your water heater in a closet, you may need to renovate your closet with louvers for air draw and make it bigger. If your water heater is in a hallway or a small room, it’s going to take air from its surroundings making that room or area colder.

The 80-gallon heat pump water heater IS eligible for a $350 rebate from PECO Energy.  There’s a form online that you will need to fill out to receive it.  (linked here)  Also, you could be eligible for another $300 federal tax credit.  The Energy Star website will show you all the efficiency incentives and credits available by zip code.  (linked here 

Call us your local Chester Springs, PA Plumber to get your “Classic” Electric 80 Gallon before the regulations take place on December 31, 2021!!  Time and supplies are running out!

Is Your Shower Temperature Too Hot/Cold?

water-temperature-plumbing-plumber-near-me-shower-too-hot-cold

Some showers seem to only understand two settings: “hot” or “cold.” This causes the shower owner to have to choose between getting burnt or freezing! Many homeowners have trouble adjusting their water heater to the perfect temperature.  Luckily we can give you some tips that will help you diagnose the issue yourself before calling a plumber, and you can regulate your water temperature right at home!

Wrong Water Heater Temperature- In general, 120 degrees is the optimum temperature to have your hot water heater set at. This may be too hot for some people so you can turn it a few degrees down. You can find out how to adjust your hot water heater temperature here.
Old Cartridge-  The problem may lie in the shower or sink cartridge. Many manufacturers guarantee their cartridges for life, and they’ll ship you a new cartridge for free. To replace a cartridge you will need to identify what kind of faucet you have and then follow these steps listed here.

Shower Valve Needs Adjusting- The mixture of hot water and cold water available in a shower or tub can be adjusted at the shower valve stem, the part found under the faucet. The exact process for adjusting the hot and cold water will depend on the type of faucet in your shower or tub, but the general idea is as follows:

  1. Remove the handle. You may need a screwdriver to do this.
  2. Take off the metal cover beneath the handle, exposing the valve stem. You’ll see a plastic part around the valve stem. This plastic part is known as the “rotational stop limit,” (RSL). This is the part of the shower that controls the mixture of hot and cold water coming out of the faucets. The directional controls will probably be noted on the RSL, but in general a counter-clockwise turn will release more hot water, and a clockwise turn will release less hot water. To turn the RSL, you may have to pull out the RSL cover to reveal the teeth that hold the RSL in place.
  3. Turn the RSL two notches in whichever direction desired, then put the RSL back in place.
  4. Replace the faucet handle, then test the mixture of hot and cold water. If the temperature is still not correct, repeat steps 1 through 3.

One of these three things should do the trick, depending on the type of fixtures you have on your faucet or shower the processes may differ slightly. If you are not the handy type or you tried these options and your water temperature is still not regulated, feel free to give us a call!

 

“Did You Know” What Kind Of Pipes You Have?

According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the average American home loses between 2,000 and 20,000 gallons of water per year due to leaks. The pipes used to transport drinkable water in a home plumbing system use dissimilar materials than those used for the pipes carrying drain water like from your washer, toilet, etc. The plumbing system in your home might use all one type of material for the water supply pipes, but don’t be surprised if you find several types of pipes, especially in older homes that have seen many repairs or updates.

Having the knowledge of what kind of plumbing pipes you have in your home (and there may be several different kinds) can help you prepare for issues, know how prone they are to leaks, and save you from spending thousands on potential water damage if a leak does occur. Check out some ways you can detect damage in pipes early here.

copper

Copper– Copper pipes are not prone to leaks, are extremely durable, stay fitted tightly, have a long life span and can be recycled, are resistant to heat, and won’t pollute your drinking water. Copper pipes are mostly used for hot and cold water distribution. It can be used in both underground and above-ground applications, but it should have a protective sleeve if used underground because certain soils can affect copper. Copper has many pros, but it is expensive and can attract thieves if it becomes known your home has copper pipes!

pex

Pex (Cross-linked polyethylene)– PEX pipes are extremely versatile, they can extend long distances and snake through walls effortlessly. PEX is temperature tolerant, and heat resistant, and can be used for hot and cold water supplies. PEX is semi-permeable, which means liquid can enter the pipe and it can be damaged pretty easily by other factors as well.

Steel-pipe

Galvanized Steel– Galvanized pipe is steel pipe that has been treated with a zinc coating. This galvanized coating keeps the water from corroding the pipe but, had a dangerous lead in them. If you have a pre-1970s house, you could still have galvanized water lines in your house. You can easily go to the hardware store and get fittings for repairs. It was once the most common type of pipe for water supply lines, but because of labor that goes into installing galvanized pipe and the lead, it is no longer used much.

cpvc-pipe-leak

CPVC (Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride)– This type of pipe can stand temperatures up to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit or so (this depends on the schedule), so it can be used for both hot and cold water lines. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), CPVC and PVC pipes generally last for 50 to 80 years under perfect conditions. They will split if they freeze, so they must be well insulated, and they are not recyclable.

PVC-pipe

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)– PVC is a plastic pipe that has a wide variety of plumbing uses, from drainage pipes to water mains. It is most commonly used for irrigation piping, home, and building supply piping. PVC pipes won’t rust, corrode, or degrade over time, are excellent for the sink, toilet, and bathtub drain lines or vent stacks, can handle high water pressure, and are inexpensive and easy to work with. Their biggest drawback is that they can only be used for cold water.

PB-pipes-leak-plumbing-plumber-near-me-water

PB (Polybutylene)– This plastic piping was used frequently as a water supply line in homes from the 1970s up until the mid-1990s. It was originally used as a substitute for copper piping because it is inexpensive, flexible, and easy to install. PB pipes have become an expensive replacement for copper, being easy to work with and install; however, these pipes are prone to leaks.

 

Some signs that you have a leak in your water system are:

Water spots on walls and ceilings, low water pressure, listen for drips, check underneath your sink, check wobbly shower heads, if there are any odors and smells or overactive water meters.

If you suspect you have a leak, be sure to call a plumber like Rocket Plumbing and Drain and we can use our diagnostic steps to fix the problem for you!  

 

 

“Did You Know” What Kind Of Pipes You Have?

According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the average American home loses between 2,000 and 20,000 gallons of water per year due to leaks. The pipes used to transport drinkable water in a home plumbing system use dissimilar materials than those used for the pipes carrying drain water like from your washer, toilet, etc. The plumbing system in your home might use all one type of material for the water supply pipes, but don’t be surprised if you find several types of pipes, especially in older homes that have seen many repairs or updates.

Having the knowledge of what kind of plumbing pipes you have in your home (and there may be several different kinds) can help you prepare for issues, know how prone they are to leaks, and save you from spending thousands on potential water damage if a leak does occur. Check out some ways you can detect damage in pipes early here.

copper

Copper– Copper pipes are not prone to leaks, are extremely durable, stay fitted tightly, have a long life span and can be recycled, are resistant to heat, and won’t pollute your drinking water. Copper pipes are mostly used for hot and cold water distribution. It can be used in both underground and above-ground applications, but it should have a protective sleeve if used underground because certain soils can affect copper. Copper has many pros, but it is expensive and can attract thieves if it becomes known your home has copper pipes!

pex

Pex (Cross-linked polyethylene)– PEX pipes are extremely versatile, they can extend long distances and snake through walls effortlessly. PEX is temperature tolerant, and heat resistant, and can be used for hot and cold water supplies. PEX is semi-permeable, which means liquid can enter the pipe and it can be damaged pretty easily by other factors as well.

Steel-pipe

Galvanized Steel– Galvanized pipe is steel pipe that has been treated with a zinc coating. This galvanized coating keeps the water from corroding the pipe but, had a dangerous lead in them. If you have a pre-1970s house, you could still have galvanized water lines in your house. You can easily go to the hardware store and get fittings for repairs. It was once the most common type of pipe for water supply lines, but because of labor that goes into installing galvanized pipe and the lead, it is no longer used much.

cpvc-pipe-leak

CPVC (Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride)– This type of pipe can stand temperatures up to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit or so (this depends on the schedule), so it can be used for both hot and cold water lines. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), CPVC and PVC pipes generally last for 50 to 80 years under perfect conditions. They will split if they freeze, so they must be well insulated, and they are not recyclable.

PVC-pipe

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)– PVC is a plastic pipe that has a wide variety of plumbing uses, from drainage pipes to water mains. It is most commonly used for irrigation piping, home, and building supply piping. PVC pipes won’t rust, corrode, or degrade over time, are excellent for the sink, toilet, and bathtub drain lines or vent stacks, can handle high water pressure, and are inexpensive and easy to work with. Their biggest drawback is that they can only be used for cold water.

PB-pipes-leak-plumbing-plumber-near-me-water

PB (Polybutylene)– This plastic piping was used frequently as a water supply line in homes from the 1970s up until the mid-1990s. It was originally used as a substitute for copper piping because it is inexpensive, flexible, and easy to install. PB pipes have become an expensive replacement for copper, being easy to work with and install; however, these pipes are prone to leaks.

 

Some signs that you have a leak in your water system are:

Water spots on walls and ceilings, low water pressure, listen for drips, check underneath your sink, check wobbly shower heads, if there are any odors and smells or overactive water meters.

If you suspect you have a leak, be sure to call a plumber like Rocket Plumbing and Drain and we can use our diagnostic steps to fix the problem for you!