Learn the basics of plumbing

emergency plumberUnderstanding the basics of plumbing can help you immensely, and save you a penny or two along the way. This is especially true if you are a home owner. Regardless of whether you own your property or not the vast majority of us have encountered a plumbing problem or two in our lives. Many of these will require a professional plumber to fix whilst some can be resolved with a little bit of knowledge on your part. So let’s explore some of the circumstances in which we can apply a DIY fix.

Leaking pipes

Leaking pipes can be spotted by listening out for a dripping sound. Once you are familiar with this sound and have identified the source then it may require the tightening of fittings or the replacement of pipes.

Frozen pipes

Pipes can burst in extreme conditions. For example, in the winter water can freeze in the pipes, expand, and burst the pipe! If you suspect a pipe is frozen try opening the closest tap. This should remove some of the pressure build up within the pipes.

Blocked drains

Nearly everyone will experience a blocked drain in their lifetime. This problem can however be avoided with simple drain filters. Just remember to clean them out regularly.

Toilets are a major offender in terms of blockages. With nappies, toilet paper, sanitary towels, and a whole host of other offending items regularly causing blockages. So be sure only to flush what you should be flushing! Items like nappies and sanitary towels should be discarded appropriately in the trash.

These are just three ways in which you can apply a DIY fix to your plumbing issues or even prevent them in the first place. The important thing is that you spend some more time learning the basics of plumbing, not get in over your head attempting to fix things and know when to call your local plumber.

Finding an emergency plumber

Plumbing emergencies can arise at any time and more often than not cannot be resolved with a DIY fix. Therefore in many cases you may find yourself calling an emergency plumber. These plumbers generally offer a 24 hour a day service. So if you find yourself with a burst pipe at 2am they can come out and help.

It is worth doing a bit of research to find a reputable local plumber. Then at least you have his number handy should a problem arise. You may want to sign up to a yearly maintenance contract with him. This generally means the plumber will regularly service your homes plumbing and fix any issues as soon as they rear their ugly heads. You may also find that emergency call out charges are drastically reduced when you have a contract with a plumber which can save you a pretty penny. This is especially true for landlords with a large number of properties.

It is also worth noting that many plumbers specialise in specific fields so identify your needs and choose your plumber accordingly.

Hopefully this information will equip you with sufficient knowledge to start learning about basic plumbing and locate a reliable local plumber to help you with any plumbing emergencies you may face in your home.

How to find a good local Plumber

Pick a PlumberFor people who are new to an area and locate themselves in the midst of an unanticipated plumbing emergency, hiring a high quality plumber may be a pain. In order to avoid circumstances that are last minute, the best thing to do is not to wait until you need to call an emergency plumber, but instead, to do some research ahead of time.

Broadly, two types exist: those who deal with basic repairs, like clogged sinks and faucets that are leaky, and plumbers who focus especially on the installation of plumbing systems for new homes or remodeling jobs. Before beginning any research, make sure to understand the type of plumber so, you are looking for.

The first place to begin is by asking for references. Ask friends, work or family acquaintances who live and familiar with the place; who do they call in the case of a plumbing emergency? Also, check in with local home improvement stores and the plumbing materials suppliers found in your area. Go in and ask them for recommendations and references. If you used a realtor rent an apartment or to lately buy a home, ask the property agent if he/she would advocate any plumbers who make repairs in the house and who serve homes and companies in the area.

After asking folks about references, compose a list that comprises three to five plumbers and begin your screening procedure. Among the first steps when screening plumbers is to assess for their license. Plumbing companies or any great plumber will include a statement regarding their state license on their webpage. You could also check in your state’s licensing board, which will be accessible online for a state license for pipes. A state license ensures a plumber taken a plumbing competence test, as well as has experienced a background check.

Next, after assessing plumbing business’s or the plumber license, begin reading their reviews and feedback . The quickest and easiest way to achieve this would be to do a Google search that includes the plumber’s or plumbing business’s name and/or address. Generally, several hits include reviews related to the plumbing service. You can even do researches on websites such as insiderpages.com and yelp.com.

Ideally, in addition, you want to select a plumber who is in the local area and working within the community for years, which speaks with their standing. You should also seek a company with a permanent address, who has been operating for a number of years. This ensures you will get reputable, reliable, and experienced tradesman.

A brief history of plumbing

History of PlumbingWe all rely on plumbing for so many aspects of our everyday lives however very few of us understand how it works or how the technology we take for granted has evolved over the years.

Plumbing has gone through a wide variety of revolutions from wells, to water closets, public toilets, and chamber pots. Let’s explore some of these and see how plumbing has grown to where it is today.

In around 10,000BC humans started to use wells to collect their water. They would take their water home in vessels and this practice is still commonplace in many countries throughout the world today. It really has stood the test of time.

Fast forward a few years to 2000BC and the worlds first water closet was developed in India. This water closet had a pot of water which would be used to wash waste through pipes, into drains that were located under the streets.

Around this time we also have the first documented attempts to treat drinking water.

Moving forward to 691BC the Greeks developed the first known aqueduct, which was 34 miles long in Assyria.

In Greece around 500BC Hippocrates invented the worlds first known water filter using a cloth bag.

At 300BC we have the first Roman acqueducts placed 50 feet underground.

Just a few hundred years in 315AD later Rome had nearly 150 public toilets where everyone shared a sponge attached to wooden handle rather than the toilet paper we are used to!

During Medieval times chamber pots wer common place as were open drains in the streets through which sewage would flow.

Around 1600 we have the advent of the first flush toilet invented by Sir John Harrington.

In the 1700s washboards were created to clean clothes.

By the 1800s many large cities had pipe systems for personal use in homes.

The worlds first municipal water treatment plant was built around 1804 in Scotland to treat water for homes.

A cholera epidemic was caused in the 1830s when sewer systems became widespread but opened into local rivers.

The Brahmah was created in 1870 by Thomas Twyford. The Brahmah was a step toward a one piece toilet.

1880 saw the creation of the chain-pull on toilets in England.

By 1890 flush toilets were introduced but were not common until the 1920’s.

By the early 1900s processes were in place to soften water.

In the 1980s the worlds first sensor-flush toilet had been invented in Japan.

Today we have more portable, efficient toilets. As for the future of plumbing…where do you think it will go?

How to find a reputable plumber

Find a PlumberIf you have a blockage, dripping faucets, drainage issues, leaking pipes, or problems with your water heater then it’s sensible to call in a reputable local plumber. But, how you separate the good from the bad and hire a reliable plumber?

You are about to make an important decision as the integrity of your home can depend upon the choice you make here. So be sure to do some thorough research into which plumber you will hire. A good place to start is online. You can search for reviews of local plumbers on a whole host of sites using Google. You can also seek the advice of family and friends. See who they have used and how good they were. You can find out a lot from reviews such as which plumbers have poor time-keeping skills, who was overpriced and so on.

Once you have a shortlist of potential candidates give them all a call. Don’t be afraid to put them on their toes by asking them questions. Find out if they offer an emergency service, annual contracts, what their hourly rate is, and what equipment they use for jobs such as heater repairs and cleaning drains. Don’t forget to check for guarantees on work, warranty on parts, and always try to get some discount! It’s also worth including any questions you feel relevant given the nature of the job they are going to undertake.

It is worth noting that some plumbers specialise in specific areas of plumbing such as emergency plumbers, sewer cleaning, repairs, or water heaters so when you make your shortlist be sure to only include plumbers that can offer the services you require.

Try to get at least three quotes from different plumbers before making a final decision on who you will go with.

When you have awarded the job to your chosen plumber agree upon a start time and date for the project. It is advisable to choose a time in which you can allocate a few hours time to oversee the project.

Plumbers are well known to leave a mess behind after the complete a project and they generally don’t consider it their job to clean it up. It’s definitely worth keeping this in mind if the scope of your project means you will need to hire professional cleaners.

If you follow the aforementioned advice, with a little research and some smart questions you should be able to locate a reputable, reliable, local plumber in no time. Good luck!

What can a plumber do for you?

why-you-need-a-plumberYou may be wondering why you need a plumber? What do they do? And when will you need one? Well a good plumber can probably do more than you think…

1. A plumber can work wonders in your kitchen

Plumbers can install a full kitchen for you in your home! They can among other things; fix the water lines that run to your refridgerator, add a new sink, fit your dishwasher, and install a garbage disposal.

In terms of maintenance a plumber is also a master in the kitchen! They can repair water lines and shutoffs, repair leaking/faulty taps, unblock clogged drains, and fix your garbage disposal unit should it break.

2. Plumbers are masters of the bathroom

master plumber is able to fully install a working bathroom. This includes; installation of modern, water saving toilets, new sinks, baths, showers, taps, and multiple showerheads.

Plumbers are also able to perform a wide range of repairs in the bathroom. They are among other things able to fix; toilets that run constantly, sripping taps, blocked toilets, clogged drains, and bathtubs that will not drain.

3. The plumber is also a garden guru

Plumbers can do a lot of work in your garden too. Including; installing pool plumbing, drinking fountains, gas lines for outdoor-grilles, sewer and water laterals.

So is there anything else a plumber can do? Well…yes! Plumbers can do many other jobs around your home including:

  • Sewer cleaning, repair, and replacement
  • High power water jetting
  • Dectetion of leaks
  • Water heater repairs, and maintenance
  • Tankless water heater repair, and maintenance
  • Sump pumps

So now you have a brief overview of what a plumber can do and why you will most definitely need to call one at some stage!

 

Top 3 causes of emergency plumber call-outs

Emergency Plumber
Don’t try to flush your cat!

There are an endless number of reasons you may need to call an emergency plumber. However, more often than not the reason for the call-out wil be one of the following…

1. Burst Pipes & Fittings – There are a number of reasons a pipe or fitting can burst, ranging from pressure, to temperature changes. Pipes and fittings can burst for a wide variety of reasons however they are commonly known to burst in the Winter when water freezes, and expands in the pipes.

2. Toilet Blockage – Avoid flushing disposable nappies, sanitary towels, and paper towels down your toilet. It usually results in a pretty nasty and smelly blockage! Not something anybody wants to deal with!!!

3. Broken Water Heater – A water heater can cause a wide variety of problems, from; cracking, to leaking, and even producing smelly water. If you have a contact with your local plumber they will usually service your heater on a regular basis, meaning water heater problems are usually avoided!