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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Common Sump Pump Problems

As we prepare for April showers to bring May flowers, we know that sump pump maintenance and repair is crucial for a dry basement during excessive rain. If you haven’t done some routine maintenance recently or got your sump pump checked in the last two months, we recommend scheduling a check up with us right away to avoid any potential problems.

See below for some of the most common sump pump problems and what you can do to avoid a basement flood:

  • Unpowered pump – Like other household appliances, without power your sump pump is useless. Invest in a high quality back-up sump pump to prevent problems.
  • Switch was Stuck – There are several different kinds of sump float switches (vertical and tethered are the most common). The tethered floats tend to get stuck on the side walls of the sump put resulting in a basement flood.
  • Pump was Overwhelmed – You at least need a 1/3 horsepower sump pump capable of pumping 35 gallons of water per minute. If you have anything less that that, your sump pump may not be able to keep up with the water flow.
  • Frozen Discharge Line – A fairly common problem, if water collects in the pipe it can potentially freeze, forcing water back into the basement.
  • Old Age – Sump pumps should be replaced every 5 – 7 years to be reasonably safe.

Do you have questions or concerns with your sump pump system? Contact your favorite repair expert at Patterson Plumbing and Heating today! A specialist will come by, diagnose the problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises. Call 719-544-4922 Now!

Spring Cleaning Checklist: Check Your Plumbing

Winterizing your home plumbing system is to prepare it to survive the harsh, winter months. Likewise, de-winterizing is preparing your plumbing system for regular, every day use. As we welcome the new season, now’s the perfect time to de-winterize your home to guarantee safety of its plumbing and fixtures.

See below for ways to include a plumbing check up on your spring cleaning checklist this year to ensure a summer free of hassles:

Check your drains, spouts and gutters – We want April showers to bring May flowers, not damage. Having your drains, downspouts, and gutters blocked can bring water damage, leakage and mold growth! Clean out any leaves or debris that may have settled in your gutters over the winter.

Check your hose bib – leaks are common, especially if the hose has been left on the hose bib throughout the winter. Check your water supply pipe – if it froze during winter months there’s a good chance it has expanded and cracked. This can cause major leaks and should be replaced ASAP!

Have a sump pump? Make sure it’s ready to do some work. Test it by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit; it should kick on in a few seconds to allow the flow of water and then turn off automatically. If it doesn’t do this, give us a call!

Be sure to check for leaks in the home, like faucets and your toilet. Repairing even the smallest leak will save you water AND money. See our previous blogs for more details: Leaky Faucet » and Leaky Toilet »

Prevent clogs – Keep filters on each drain to prevent hair, soap, or other debris from causing clogs. Make sure your shower head is clean as well! Hard water mineral deposits left on your shower head eventually will lead to a clog. Try putting some white vinegar in a zip-lock bag and placing it on your shower head. Wrap the bag with a few heavy rubber bands to hold it in place and leave it on for 24 hours to break down the mineral deposits!

Once you’ve successfully given your home a once-over – call one of our experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating to take care of any problems you may find. A specialist will come by, diagnose the plumbing problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises. Give us a call at 719-544-4922!

Causes of a Leaky Faucet

When you hear the word leaky faucet, what do you think of? Chances are those annoying dripping sounds. What you’re probably not thinking about is how much money is going down the drain the longer you let those noises continue.

But before you stop the drip, you need to know exactly what’s causing it. See below for some common causes of a leaky faucet you should look out for:

Broken Parts – Chances are this is the biggest reason your faucet is dripping. A washer inside the tap may need to be replaced and the seals inside compression faucets are likely to become damaged as they are under pressure to keep water from flowing.

Damaged Cartridge – The cartridge can wear after prolonged use. Good thing is this can easily be replaced as long as you have a matching cartridge that can fit the gap left by the original. Measure carefully both before and after removal.

Water Pressure – If your leak occurs at certain times of the day or during certain behaviors, your water pressure may be too high. This dropping isn’t serious but you may wish to reduce the force of your water pressure slightly to prevent future problems.

Busted Plumbing – A crack can develop in a pipe, which causes a leak to happen below the sink area. You will need to make an appointment to get your water pipes examined immediately.

The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. In honor of National Fix a Leak week, we encourage everyone to check for leaks in their home to save water and money. Give us a call at 719-544-4922 to take advantage of our promotion for a FREE comprehensive plumbing inspection and leak search for homeowners.

Common Causes of a Leaky Toilet

#TipsTuesday – Did you know a leaky toilet is one of the most common reasons for water leaks in a home? In honor of National Fix A Leak Week we want to give some tips in spotting these water leaks so you can avoid them:

  1. Worn Washers or Bolts: This is what keeps the tank attached to the bowl and if any of these components falter, water may start leaking on the floor
  2. Corrosion: Impurities in the water, age, chemical reactions, or a combination of these can cause pipes or your toilet assembly to corrode. This is potentially the most physically damaging thing that could happen to your plumbing fixtures and pipes since it happens from within.
  3. Cracked Tank or Bowl: Should this happen to either area, you must replace it immediately. A cracked bowl especially can cause property damage and waste a lot of water.
  4. Improper Float: The float assembly consists of a large plastic ball attached to a long metal rod that floats in the tank of the toilet. When this stops working, you’ll hear the toilet running continuously which can cause it to overflow.
  5. Damaged Feed Line: This is the pipe or tube that supplies water to the toilet once you flush. A leak may develop if the connection becomes loose or worn out over time.

Read more on common reasons for a leaky toilet here ». If you discover you have a leaky toilet, contact your favorite repair expert at Patterson Plumbing and Heating today! A specialist will come by, diagnose the plumbing problem, make recommendations and prepare pricing by the job – not the hour – so there are no surprises.

Give us a call at 719-544-4922 to take advantage of our promotion for a FREE comprehensive plumbing inspection and leak search for homeowners.

Finding a Leak in Your Home

Being handy around the house doesn’t have to be complicated. You can do your part by simply checking your home for common leaks. Not fixing these problems in a timely fashion not only can affect your home but your wallet as well.

In preparation for National Fix a Leak Week (March 17th – 23rd) we want to encourage everyone to check for leaks in their homes to save water and money.  Not sure how? See below and get started:

Check Pressure on the Hot Water Tanks – Spotting these kinds of leaks may not be visible. If you hear a hissing sound (which normally happens from a leak) it may be time to give us a call!

Leaky Toilet – Remove the top of the tank and listen closely for any hissing noise. If nothing is noticeable, try dropping food coloring into the tank (not the bowl). If color is found in the bowl minutes later, it means you have a leak in the flapper.

Check the Meter Line – Shut-off the valve and watch the dial on the top of the meter to see if it’s turning. If turning, the leak may be between the meter and the house. Look for obvious signs such as soft muddy areas, greener grass, or higher grown grass, and then give your plumber a call.

Locate the Hose Bibs – When located, take a screwdriver and put the metal tip on the hose-bib. Place your thumb on top of the screwdriver and move your ear next to your thumb. The screwdriver should work like a stethoscope. There might be a loud noise that comes out, if so you have located the problem. If no sound, go into your house and follow the same process to you faucet, shower valves, washer and hot water heater.

Other Leaks to Check For – Test out hoses, taps, drip irrigation systems, shower head and swimming pool for any leaks.

Can’t Recognize the Problem? – Not all leaks can be found, it’s always safe to get Patterson Plumbing & Heating’s option in case you missed something!  Give us a call at 719-544-4922 to take advantage of our promotion for a FREE comprehensive plumbing inspection and leak search for homeowners.

World Plumbing Day & Fix a Leak Week Promo

This week we celebrated World Plumbing Day and next week we are looking forward to National Fix a Leak Week. In honor of these observances, Patterson Plumbing & Heating is running a special, limited time offer! Now – March 23rd, you can contact us for a FREE comprehensive plumbing inspection and leak search for your home!
Did you know household leaks can waste more than 1 TRILLION gallons of water annually nationwide? The harsh winter we’ve had doesn’t help. Many homes have experiences busted and leaking pipes due to the weather, causing major damage to both the home and the wallet.

So let us help you save. We encourage everyone to check all household fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks, or give us a call and let our experts give a thorough look over. Give us a call today for more information: 719-544-4922

Is Your Shower Hot Enough?

Many people enjoy stepping into a hot, steamy shower, it’s the perfect time to de-stress and relax at the beginning or end of your hectic day. So it’s not hard to imagine the frustration that comes from standing in a shower that just isn’t hot enough. So what’s the problem?

More than likely, a faulty water heater causes the issue. Here are some common signs that you may need a new unit:

Temperature problems – if your water is too hot or doesn’t reach your ideal temperature, try adjusting the thermostat on the unit. Most households set the temp between 120 and 140 degrees. If there is no hot water coming from the tank or if temperatures are constantly fluctuating, give us a call right away so we can help.

Very low water pressure – Another sign of a water heater issue is having love water pressure. Hotter water temperatures should not equate to low water pressure.

Hearing popping sounds – Yes, water heaters make noises from time to time, but if you hear a constant popping sound, indicative of hard water, this can be detrimental to both your pipes and water heater.

A hasty installation by a local home project store – often times, these water heaters are inappropriately sized for your home.

If you’re experiencing any of the above give us a call today! Our plumbers are gas and electric water heater repair experts, able to fix all makes and models of hot water heaters. For over 25 years we’ve been helping families keep hot water flowing in their homes.

Schedule a water heater repair or replacement appointment at your convenience today 719-544-4922!

Plumbing Tips Before Hosting a Gathering

Image Source: Making It Lovely

Image Source: Making It Lovely

Whether it’s a Mardi Gras celebration, a family get together, or hosting a gathering with friends this spring – you don’t want to spend your free time tackling plumbing problems, especially with a house full of guests.

Check out some of these tips for staying one step ahead of potential plumbing issues:

  • Sinks – Slow drain? You may have a clog, which can easily be removed by yourself. You’ll need to use a gloved hand to fish out any obvious build up in the first few inches of the drain. Use our previous TuesdayTip and take some baking soda or Alka-Seltzer tablets mixed in hot water to get the job done.
  • Toilets – You may find your guest bath toilet showing signs of “lazy flush.” The condition when new solid waste is introduced, alerting you to an existing obstruction. In order to best repair the issue, you must deduce whether the obstruction is located in the toilet or is a drain/venting issue. Try the toilet paper test: tear some toilet paper off the roll, drop it into the toilet and flush if the paper doesn’t easily disappear in the first flush, the obstruction is likely located in the toilet.  Replacing the toilet is the fastest way to address the problem whereas snaking the toilet is the slower option requiring skill and patience to complete properly.
  • Faucet Pressure – If the end of your faucet unscrews, remove it and change out anything visibly rusty. The washer right inside is usually the first to rust, impeding the flow of water. Aerators assist faucet flow, but when your aerated faucet produces only a trickle, consider changing the entire faucet.

For any of the above issues it’s a good idea to contact one of our trained experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating to accurately assess the problem. We can check your clogged drains for other causes, like an undersized trap drainpipe, an improper drain slope or ineffective venting, as well as replace toilets and faucets.

Our friendly, courteous and trained experts can handle any plumbing installation for your home. Give us a call today: 719-544-4922