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!  

 

 

“DID YOU KNOW”… Shut Off Valves Are Important?

valve-plumbing-shut-off

DID YOU KNOW THAT PEOPLE DON’T SHUT OFF THE WATER VALVE TO THEIR HOMES BEFORE VACATION?  THEY MAY NOT EVEN KNOW HOW! One of the most IMPORTANT things to do as a homeowner is to find the shut-off valve and know how to use it. Most structures have a main shutoff valve near the utilities on the ground floor, such as in the garage, basement, or closet, as well as another shutoff near the street or well that may be underground inside a manhole.

The time to find this shut-off is not when water is spewing into your home!  Time will make a huge difference in the costs of repairs.  The main valve can be a number of styles, but the handle usually looks like a wheel with spokes in it or like a lever, typically black or red and sometimes marked “main.” You should turn a wheel to the right and a lever you would simply move in the opposite position. Do a trial test and see if you shut off the water so you know for next time!

Each of the water using appliances and utilities in your house will also have an individual shutoff valve of some kind. Toilets have a lever-looking handle at the base, near the wall. Sinks have a shutoff underneath, also near the wall and typically inside the cabinet or vanity. You can also turn off the water to the washing machine. Again, the idea is to be familiar with the valves and how they work, so you can act fast if needed. Some experts recommend that you turn off the water to the house or at least the washing machine and toilets before vacations or other extended absences so the danger of burst hoses or other water leaks is reduced. 

A Quick Local Story….

Septic-tank-flood-toilet-shut-off-valve

Flapper

A customer of ours went on vacation for a month knowing that his toilet flapper was acting up.  He didn’t shut off the water to the home or the appliances/toilets before he left town.  We received a frantic call when a neighbor spotted a lake in his front yard.  There must be a water main break he suggested!  We flew (literally) over to his house to see what was going on and we looked for a break in a pipe or a large issue causing this lake outside his home.  When we couldn’t find anything, we entered the home and found that one of the toilets flapper was “stuck”,  the water constantly ran and backed up literally flooding the home.  This is a perfect example of the reasons why you would shut off the water to your home and appliances/toilets prior to leaving for any extended absences from the home.  This was a costly mistake and one I am sure our customer will not repeat!  Find your shut-off valves to your home….if you don’t know please call us to ask!  If you need old gate valves (round wheel) replaced with newer ball valves give Rocket Plumbing a call!

“DID YOU KNOW”… Shut Off Valves Are Important?

 

valve-plumbing-shut-off

DID YOU KNOW THAT PEOPLE DON’T SHUT OFF THE WATER VALVE TO THEIR HOMES BEFORE VACATION?  THEY MAY NOT EVEN KNOW HOW! One of the most IMPORTANT things to do as a homeowner is to find the shut-off valve and know how to use it. Most structures have a main shutoff valve near the utilities on the ground floor, such as in the garage, basement, or closet, as well as another shutoff near the street or well that may be underground inside a manhole.

The time to find this shut-off is not when water is spewing into your home!  Time will make a huge difference in the costs of repairs.  The main valve can be a number of styles, but the handle usually looks like a wheel with spokes in it or like a lever, typically black or red and sometimes marked “main.” You should turn a wheel to the right and a lever you would simply move in the opposite position. Do a trial test and see if you shut off the water so you know for next time!

Each of the water using appliances and utilities in your house will also have an individual shutoff valve of some kind. Toilets have a lever-looking handle at the base, near the wall. Sinks have a shutoff underneath, also near the wall and typically inside the cabinet or vanity. You can also turn off the water to the washing machine. Again, the idea is to be familiar with the valves and how they work, so you can act fast if needed. Some experts recommend that you turn off the water to the house or at least the washing machine and toilets before vacations or other extended absences so the danger of burst hoses or other water leaks is reduced. 

A Quick Local Story….

Septic-tank-flood-toilet-shut-off-valve

Flapper

A customer of ours went on vacation for a month knowing that his toilet flapper was acting up.  He didn’t shut off the water to the home or the appliances/toilets before he left town.  We received a frantic call when a neighbor spotted a lake in his front yard.  There must be a water main break he suggested!  We flew (literally) over to his house to see what was going on and we looked for a break in a pipe or a large issue causing this lake outside his home.  When we couldn’t find anything, we entered the home and found that one of the toilets flapper was “stuck”,  the water constantly ran and backed up literally flooding the home.  This is a perfect example of the reasons why you would shut off the water to your home and appliances/toilets prior to leaving for any extended absences from the home.  This was a costly mistake and one I am sure our customer will not repeat!  Find your shut-off valves to your home….if you don’t know please call us to ask!  If you need old gate valves (round wheel) replaced with newer ball valves give Rocket Plumbing a call!

“Did You Know” – You Don’t Have To Have Hard Water?

hard-water-stains-issues-water-softener-solutions

Did you know 90% of households have hard water issues? Hard water can be difficult to live with. Depending on where you live you may have heard the terms ‘hard water” and “soft water.” If you are afraid you have hard water you’ll want to recognize if you have the following issues in your home in order to fix them:

  • Faded, stained, or damaged clothing
  • Low water pressure
  • Appliances break down often
  • Dry hair and skin
  • White spots/stains on dishes and plumbing fixtures

In certain areas, hard water is very common and many people see it as a ceaseless issue. You may be delighted to hear that hard water is not completely untreatable! Hard water can have devastating effects on plumbing, household appliances, your skin, clothes, and more but you can test to see if you have hard water, and treat the effects it has on your home simply!  Here are 5 hard water solutions for your home!

  1. Boiling Water- This is a temporary solution but it works if you are in a pinch! Boiling your water before you use it removes the water’s calcium content, which results in softer water.
  2. Vinegar- The majority of hard water is calcium, so it is highly reactive with acids like vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Place your small fixtures that are covered in buildup into a bowl of hot, all-natural vinegar to dissolve the calcium deposit in about an hour.
  3. Washing Soda In Laundry- Washing soda gets rid of the dissolved calcium and magnesium. The removal of these mineral ions from the water results in softer water. This helps make it easier for soaps to lather up.
  4. Pipe Cleaning- Clean your pipes using a hard water cleaning aide to remove limescale buildup inside your pipes. If you don’t feel comfortable being a plumber for the day, call a professional!
  5. Install a Faucet or Invest In a Whole-House Water Softener- All of the prior tips can be quick fixes which are great but you may be looking for long-term solutions instead! A faucet softener is a convenient and cheap way to soften your water. There are sodium softeners and salt-free softeners that you can choose from. The whole-house water softener is a bit more expensive but worth it if you want soft water throughout your whole house! Check out our recommendation for a water softening treatment company to take care of this for you on our website!

These are all good temporary or permanent fixes! Depending on your situation, you may not need to make permanent changes but they never hurt. Make these fixes a priority!

Did You Know: Drano Is Bad For Your Pipes?

 

drano-clog-clogged-drains-home-plumbing-tips

Hearing about homeowners pouring Drano “Down the Drain” when they have a clog or drain problem is the number one thing that plumbers “cringe” at!! We here at Rocket Plumbing are very passionate about our customers and making sure that they have the information available to make the correct decisions about how to treat their plumbing problems. Some customers prefer to call a plumber to fix those nasty clogs, but if DIY is your preference, Don’t Use Drano!

Drano is acidic and can literally ruin drain pipes! We have seen many pipes that have been severely damaged by the continued use of Drano. While their product label says “safe on all pipes”, they go further to say that it is best used on stainless steel and metal which most drain pipes are not made of. Instead, we have found that a product called BIO1. Bio-One is Safe on All Pipes and has a much more powerful liquid that can address drains more frequently and can help to unclog drains when they become clogged. Check out BIO1 here on Amazon for all our “DIY enthusiasts” and also feel free to take a look at this Youtube video for an explanation of “why not to use Drano.

Fall Plumbing Tips

Fall is here but don’t let your home and plumbing maintenance fall with it! Water can be damaging, especially when it’s cold! Don’t let the plumbing needs of your home fall by the wayside! Listed below are some plumbing tips this fall to help you maintain a happy and healthy home!

fall-plumbing-tips-water-home-plumber-plumbing-hacks-DIY
  • Clean out your gutters! Using a gutter shovel or just your hands to scoop out fallen leaves and debris, clean gutters are important for numerous reasons;

          -Preventing water damage

          -Protecting your roof

          -Keeping pests from causing trouble

          -Reducing the risk of a cracked foundation

          -Saving you money

  • Inspect your pipes! Check all of your home’s plumbing pipes to make sure they have proper insulation. Pay special attention to, interior and exterior pipes throughout your house, especially in the basement and garage as they are susceptible to freezing in the wintertime because they are all connected.
  • Drain your water heater! This is an important maintenance tip to extend the longevity of your water heater. Firstly, shut off the power and water supply valve. Then, connect a hose to the drain valve and run it to a nearby valve to drain your water heater. This will lengthen the life of your water heater and increase it’s heating efficiency keeping your water nice and hot for the winter!
  • Disconnect your outdoor water hose and winterize all hose bibs! Doing so will prevent interior pipes connected to the outside water faucet from freezing and possibly bursting. Check that all outdoor faucets are free of leaks and drips. Once you turn them completely off, shut off the interior valve for outdoor faucets (usually found in the basement). This will prevent them from freezing! Further, protect hose bibs by covering them with styrofoam or other insulation material.
  • Get your leaks fixed! Check indoor faucets and plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, shower-heads, etc.) for leaks and get them repaired before winter hits! Contact us and we can fix those leaks today!

Don’t google “plumber near me” we have confidence that you can do these fall plumbing tips yourself! If you are. a visual learner, check out this youtube video that explains most of the points in this article!

    Did You Know- Water Pressure Affects Our Comfort?

    Did you know water pressure affects our comfort and can cause daily annoyance if it is not set within a good range? Check out these tips to test and make sure the water pressure in your home is comfortable for you!

    water-pressure-did-you-know-low-high-plumber-near-me-help-your-home

    Most often people are frustrated by water pressure that is too low to give an invigorating shower or to fill receptacles quickly. Conversely, water pressure that is set too high can damage household utilities and appliances. You can test the pressure delivered to your overall house with a water pressure gauge. A pressure test tells you if the problem affects the entire household or if it’s isolated to one appliance or part of the home. If the gauge measures good pressure but the faucet still trickles and the toilet still fills too slowly, it could be the faucet’s aerator and the toilet’s fill valve causing the problem.

    Whether you have a public or private water supply, its pressure is regulated to enter the house and go-to appliances. For example, if a person has city water, it flows through the main pipe at a pressure so high it would literally blow out our sink, washing machine, toilet, and other utilities. Usually, you’d have a person inside or near the house to test the pressure as tiny, incremental adjustments are made to the regulator. Private wells usually have a pump that can be adjusted to increase the household pressure. A pressure regulator is a dome-shaped brass fitting that generally is found just past the main shutoff valve where the main water line enters the house. It usually has an adjustment screw on top. Inside, a water pressure regulator has a variable spring-loaded diaphragm that automatically widens and narrows depending on the amount of pressure the water has entering the valve. A water pressure regulator (sometimes called a pressure-reducing valve, or PRV) is a specialized plumbing valve that reduces the pressure of the water coming into the home through the main water line. This valve brings down the pressure to a safe level before the water reaches any plumbing fixtures inside the home. If a pressure regulator is set incorrectly or defective (broken) you could have a problem with the pressure of your water within your home.

    To determine if you need a water pressure regulator, test the water pressure of the main water supply to your house. You can buy a simple, effective pressure gauge at local hardware or a home improvement store. Screw the pressure gauge onto any hose bib or washing machine faucet and turn on the cold water tap to measure the water pressure. If the pressure is between 40 and 60 psi usually, then you should be fine, but water pressure that is frequently above 80 psi is probably causing excessive stress on pipes, fittings, and fixtures. City water pressure can fluctuate considerably, often increasing at night when the overall load goes down, so make sure to test at various times of the day. And during the test, make sure that water isn’t being used anywhere else in the house, such as at garden spigots or appliances. If you need help fixing the pressure of your water you can reach out, or use our virtual consults feature!