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Water heater repair Pueblo CO: how can you tell your boiler is breaking down?

If you’ve been noticing that your boiler isn’t it’s usual self, it might be breaking down. But how can you tell the difference between it needing a little TLC, and breaking down for good? Here’s how! These six points are the best way of determining whether your boiler is on its last legs, and that its days are numbered.

Water heater repair Pueblo CO: Have you needed more repairs than usual lately?

The first and most obvious point is this: if your heater has needed repair after repair, it’s likely to not last much longer. Repeated breakdowns could be because of a number of factors. It could be either the fact that your boiler is getting too old; or it could be that you had a poor quality model installed. Whatever the case, having repeated repairs is a bad sign, not to mention a waste of money.

It’s a good rule of thumb that if your current repairs cost more than half of what a brand new boiler would set you back, then repairs are a waste of time. But even if the cost of a repair is relatively cheap, if we have to keep making service calls to fix your boiler, that’s just as bad. If you aren’t sure whether you should repair or replace your boiler, don’t be afraid to ask a professional- we don’t bite!

Water heater repair Pueblo CO

How long does it take the water from your faucet to heat up? running faucet | originally posted on minimalistphotography1… | Steve Johnson | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/artbystevejohnson/6307672876Author: Steve Johnson https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Water heater repair Pueblo CO: Is your water not as warm as it used to be?

Moving on from the obvious signs, and onto the subtle ones: have you either noticed that your water isn’t as warm as it used to be, or that it takes longer to get warm? Alternatively, have you noticed that some faucets take much longer than they used to to turn hot, and some which won’t warm up no matter how long you wait? These can be difficult changes to spot, since they generally happen over a long period of time. But if you do realise that your water isn’t as warm as it ought to be, that’s a surefire sign that your boiler is playing up.

There are a few reasons why your boiler might not be heating your water properly. It could be something simple, like low pressure. Or it could be something more complex to do with how fuel reaches the burner, or how easily the heat transfers to your water supply once it’s produced. Again, though, it could simply be that your boiler is coming to the end of its expected lifespan.

Water heater repair Pueblo CO: Are your heating costs ballooning?

If your boiler is needing to use more and more energy just to heat your water, this might be difficult for you to notice. But where you might see the effects of this problem are in your utility bill. Whereas a fully efficient boiler might only take a matter of minutes to heat a certain amount of water, one that’s the wrong side of twenty years old might take a lot longer. In other words, it takes older and less efficient boilers far more energy to do the same job as a lovely modern one. But there’s no way for you to notice that unless you keep a close eye on the amount of money you’re shelling out every month for utilities.

Again, this is another great argument to have your boiler replaced rather than repaired. While a repair might help solve the problem for now, it’s no better than sticking a bandaid on a broken bone. It’s far better to bite the bullet and have your boiler replaced now, instead of needing repair after repair, and burning a hole in your wallet. Our heating bills are already expensive enough as it is!

Water heater repair Pueblo CO

If your boiler is making noises like a gurgling drain, it might need to be repaired. A Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Drain | Aqua Mechanical | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/aquamech-utah/24445425653Author: Aqua Mechanical https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Water heater repair Pueblo CO: Is your boiler making strange noises?

Another sure sign that your boiler is struggling is that it starts to make strange noises. Now, there are a few noises that a boiler might make: many of them are perfectly natural and normal. For instance, it’s normal to hear your boiler turning on just after you turn on your faucet or shower. But it’s unusual to hear it working all the time, as this might be a sign that your boiler needs repairing or replacing.

And apart from everyday humming, there are a few noises to look out for. If you can regularly hear rattling or clanking, there might be something mechanically wrong with your boiler. And if you can hear unusual popping, hissing or gurgling noises then this might be a problem with the water pressure coming from your boiler. Low pressure, one of the most common problems in steam boilers, is caused by a leak somewhere in the system. So it might actually be possible to repair the problem in just one service call. The trick is finding the leak!

Water heater repair Pueblo CO: Think… How old is your heating system?

If your steam boiler is getting on in years, this can easily lead to your boiler breaking down. It’s like growing old. Your joints start to ache, your knees pop when you crouch, your back aches all day if you don’t sleep just right… And maybe you start to lose your hair, or go gray. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with you that a doctor could disagnose: you’re just getting on in years. Boilers and furnaces are the same.

Furnace repair Pueblo CO: repair or replace?

So your furnace has broken down. You’ve got no warm air, and no hot water. We’re sure that all you’re thinking about is getting warm again! But rather than jumping straight in to have your furnace repaired, have you considered having it replaced instead?

It’s worth thinking about, because this could be an opportunity to get a better or more fuel efficient model. Or it could be saving you money in the long run. Here are five things to consider when you’re trying to choose between repairing or replacing your old furnace.

Furnace repair Pueblo CO

If your furnace is looking this old, it might be worth having it replaced. Repairing it will only mean spending more money down the line. File:Octopus-style-heating-furnace-Snow-Hill-Maryland-USA.jpg – Wikimedia Commons : taken from – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Octopus-style-heating-furnace-Snow-Hill-Maryland-USA.jpghttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Furnace repair Pueblo CO: Consider the age of your furnace

The first thing that you should think about when considering furnace repair is the age of your furnace. An in-depth study by the National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America back in 2007 came to the conclusion that furnaces typically operate at near-optimum efficiency for the first 15 to 20 years of their lifespan. After this point, you’re going to start needing repairs more and more often. So if you choose to have your furnace repaired this time, then all you’re doing is consigning yourself to wasting money in the future. Realistically, it’s far better to spend more now on a full replacement, in order to save money on keeping your age-old furnace in working order.

Of course, that doesn’t apply to every single home in America. Some furnaces can last a lot longer, and others won’t make it that long. But as a rule of thumb, if your furnace is already twenty years old and it’s starting to show signs of breaking down, then getting it repaired won’t be the end of your headache. So once your furnace or boiler does get to that age, choose replacement over repair.

Furnace repair Pueblo CO: How much would the repair cost versus a complete replacement?

It stands to reason that if you’re going to spend more money having your furnace repaired twice, than just having it replaced once, then you should have it replaced. Right? Of course! Naturally, though, it’s more difficult to judge this problem in real life. The simple reason being that we can’t predict the future perfectly: a repair might mean that your 15 year old boiler has another 10 years of life, or another 1. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell.

A good guideline to follow is this: if your repair is going to cost between a third and a half of the cost of a replacement, then you shouldn’t opt for a repair. The odds are that you’ll end up paying more over time if you just have one or two expensive parts replaced. Again, it’s better to pay more now, because you’ll be saving money in the future.

Furnace repair Pueblo CO: When your furnace breaks down, this is the perfect time to consider alternatives. What about boilers? Or super efficient models of furnaces that can save you money? Valliant EcoTec Plus 831 High Efficiency Condensing Combi … | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/cookies_world/2948199354Author: j0hncooke https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Furnace repair Pueblo CO: Are you waiting to change the kind of system you have anyway?

This is another reason why it might be best to replace your furnace rather than repair it. There are all sorts of home heating solutions out there. Boilers, combination boilers, single point of use water heaters, fuel efficient models, industrial strength models… The list goes on! There’s something to suit everybody, whether cost effective heating or power are your main concerns. So before your decide to stick with what you have, it might be worth looking into the options that are available to you. You might just find that you would prefer something new!

If there’s anything you don’t like about your furnace, then the next time that it breaks down might be the best time to replace it. You can say that you got the most that you could out of your old workhorse, and had it replaced when it just couldn’t cut it any more. And of course, after you have a replacement fitted, you can enjoy either savings or better heating- or both.

Furnace repair Pueblo CO: If you aren’t sure, why not ask us?

As you can tell from what we’ve been saying, choosing between replacing and repairing your furnace is difficult. But just like you wouldn’t want to replace your entire furnace yourself, it’s not always best to make the decision to do just that on your own either. Our contractors have seen it all, and repaired it all. We’ve been there, done that, and got the T-shirt- so to speak. So when it comes to making those educated guesses about having your furnace repaired or replaced, you can always ask us.

When you’re booking a service call with us, either online or over the phone, simply tell us what you’re thinking. Let us know that you aren’t sure what to do with your broken furnace. You can book in a service call to have one of our contractors come out and take a look for you. They can either repair whatever’s wrong with it there and then, or provide you further advice. Or, if you do decide to have your furnace replaced, they can book you in for as soon as they possibly can. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Plumbing in Pueblo CO: How do you know who to pick?

Whether you need a new bathroom installed, or you’ve got a leaky pipe in the basement, you want to know that you’re hiring the best. And we understand that. But picking between the dozens of plumbers in the local area, as well as the wider metropolitan area including Colorado Springs and Denver, can be tough.

To help you get the very best service you can, we’ve posted the list below. We’ve thought long and hard about the most important things to think of when you’re picking out a plumber! So, without wasting any more time, here’s what we think you should look for.

Plumbing in Pueblo CO

The internet gives people a voice that they- we- have never had before. Reviews are a powerful way to find the best possible service out there. Free vector graphic: Megaphone, Shouting, Voice, Loud – Free Image on Pixabay – 150254 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/p-150254/?no_redirecthttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

Reviews for plumbing in Pueblo CO

The very first thing that you should look for are reviews. Every single business in every single industry craves reviews. And that’s for a very good reason. They’re the simplest and easiest way of choosing between businesses, whether you have a shortlist of two or a long list of twenty to consider. So if you need plumbing in Pueblo CO, head for sites like Y

Of course, you can find your reviews anywhere. Many businesses, like ourselves, have reviews and testimonials on their own websites. This is a great way of seeing whether they get the basics right: are there a significant amount of reviews on there, and are they mostly good? Five stars, or ten out of ten? If so, they probably deserve to be on your shortlist.

Another point to consider is this: how long are the reviews? If a business gets a lot of five star reviews, but they don’t provide any detail, that’s not a bad sign in and of itself. But if there’s another business, and each of their reviews goes into lengthy detail about what makes them great, then they should win hands down. It’s so common to find five star reviews for average service, simply because they did what’s expected of them. Long, glowing reviews show that a business and their contractors go above and beyond the call of duty, and that’s a great sign.

Word of mouth

So, once you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, what do you do then? You can start asking around among friends and neighbors, for a start. Word of mouth reviews are a great tool for picking a company that you can trust. Why? Because online reviews could be from anyone. If your friends, neighbors or even your own mother recommend a business, it’s coming from somebody you can trust.

Local businesses for plumbing in Pueblo CO thrive on word of mouth. If somebody has a negative experience, they’re sure to tell their friends. They’re sure to tell their family. And word spreads around town pretty quick! That’s why we’re careful, in every single service call we make, to provide the best possible plumbing in Pueblo CO. If we didn’t, we’d quickly be out of business. Word of mouth can quickly help you narrow down your list.

Expertise

Of course, when you’re hiring a plumber, you have to think about their level of expertise. If a plumber has been plying their trade for twenty years, then you can rest assured that when you call them in, they’ll know exactly what they’re doing. This is the case whether your plumbing is new or old. If you have an old fashioned boiler and radiators, this can be a challenge for a plumber who hasn’t regularly encountered that. They might not understand what is stopping your system  from working, whereas a more experienced plumber would.

One thing you can do is to ask your plumber before you hire them whether they’re used to dealing with a certain problem. The vast majority of plumbers are honest, and will tell you if they don’t. Many will even recommend somebody else for you. The reason is that they don’t want to waste your time, or their own, trying to fix a problem that they might simply make worse!

Alternatively, you can always check their registration with the State Plumbing Board of Colorado. Every plumber needs a license to operate, and must go through a practical test before they receive it. and depending on their level of experience, can be either a Residential Plumber, a Journeyman Plumber or a Master Plumber- Master Plumbers of course being the most experienced. So when you’re making your shortlist, you can pick only the most experienced!

Plumbing in Pueblo CO

Before you make your final choice, gathering quotes from a number of shortlisted choices is a powerful tool. Make use of it! Money | Money I am the designer for 401kcalculator.org. I ha… | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6355360253Author: 401(K) 2012 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Get quotes

Finally, once you’ve selected just a few plumbers to choose from, you have one last way of picking the right one for you. Before you have work done, every plumber should tell you roughly what their work will cost. Of course, it’s impossible to be exact; perhaps a problem turns out to be bigger (or smaller!) than anticipated. Or perhaps the cost of parts goes up as more and more things have to be replaced. Or, simply, the job could take longer than it normally does for any number of reasons.

But when you talk to a plumber over the phone, or in person, you can always ask how much something normally costs. Say you know exactly what the problem is: you need a tankless hot water heater installed. Now, based on previous experience, your plumber should be able to tell you how much a job like that would cost. You can ask each plumber on your shortlist, and take the quoted price into account when you make your final decision. That should be enough to decide who to go for when you need plumbing in Pueblo CO!

Plumbers in Pueblo West CO: What Makes an Expert Plumber?

There are so many plumbers to choose from in Pueblo West. You’ve got a whole range of local plumbers, as well as those from the wider metropolitan area. And then, just up the road, you’ve got Colorado Springs and Denver! Across this area there are dozens of plumbers, so how do you know which to choose?

The point of this post is to give you some hints and tips on finding the real expert plumbers out there. Because there are plenty of plumbers in Pueblo West CO, you don’t have to settle; you can have the best. Here are the things which we believe make a plumber a real expert. Starting with:

Qualifications

First and foremost, you have to make sure that your plumber is properly qualified and certified. This involves checking that they’ve met the state licensing requirements for plumbing. The State Plumbing Board of Colorado conduct regular checks, and require that every plumber renew their license regularly. This ensures that every single plumber working in Colorado- and the same goes for every U.S. state- is trustworthy, accountable, reliable and knowledgeable.

The State Plumbing Board have different levels of qualification that a plumber can achieve. These are Residential Plumber, Journeyman Plumber and Master Plumber. Each of these grades of qualification requires more and more hours of experience to achieve, with Master Plumber of course being the most experienced. To become a Master Plumber, a plumber must be able to prove that they have at least five years’ full time experience.

Of course, not every plumber has experience; we all had to start somewhere. But at Patterson Plumbing, we have plenty of master plumbers who have the experience and knowledge to help you with whatever repair or installation you might have.

Plumbers in Pueblo West CO

Your bathroom or kitchen shouldn’t look like it’s been bombed from above after a service call. Super messy room | Abandoned building | George Alexander Ishida Newman | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/takoyaki_king/26905158532Author: George Alexander Ishida Newman https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Respect

You shouldn’t just expect expertise when you hire a plumber, however. A plumber can be as knowledgeable as you like, but unless they’re professional and courteous too, then you’re going to have a bad experience! There are so many ways that a plumber can show disrespect to you and your home, but a good plumber avoids all of them.

Take for example a plumber who leaves a whole room full of mess for you to clean up. Good plumbers in Pueblo West CO like ourselves will tidy up after themselves, and leave your house as they found it. And when you ask what one of our contractors is doing- and why- they’re always ready to share their knowledge with you. Having plumbing work done can be a stressful experience, and little bits of respect like that help to calm worried customers!

Experience

Experience isn’t just about qualifications, though. It’s about being able to say- I’ve been there, done that, and got the T-shirt! Today’s world of plumbing is far more complicated than in years gone by, and trends come and go over the years. This means that any expert plumber who’s truly worth their salt will have worked on systems new and old, and can use their knowledge to diagnose and repair almost any problem.

Needless to say, our plumbers in Pueblo West CO fit the bill. We’ve been servicing the local area for just over thirty years now, which gives us the experience and detailed knowledge we need to provide stellar service. You can rest assured that we won’t waste your time!

Plumbers in Pueblo West CO

It takes a lot more than a few rusty tools to fix everything that’s thrown at our contractors! File:Rusty tools.JPG – Wikimedia Commons : taken from – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rusty_tools.JPGhttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Working efficiently, and using modern techniques

Now, for this point, we were thinking of saying that working quickly is important. But that’s not entirely true, simply because some jobs just can’t be done properly if you rush through them. If you’re trying a temporary fix, then DIY plumbing hacks might work for you, but professional plumbers have to balance speed and reliability when they work. This is so that jobs don’t drag on for longer than expected, costing you money, and so that any fix stays fixed.

Having the latest equipment is just as important, for DIY plumbers and experts alike. This helps plumbers in Pueblo West CO, and across the country, to fix systems new and old quickly and reliably. And ultimately, that’s what makes the good service we pride ourselves on. Speaking of which…

Taking pride in their work

Last, but definitely not least, a plumber has to take pride in their work. Some plumbers don’t care whether you have to call them out again in a month. After all, it’s more money for maintenance and repair! Others are simply too lazy to put in the effort needed for good installation or repair. It’s the same as any walk of life, from the office to the highest offices of the land!

The best way of determining whether a plumber truly cares about what they do is to check their reviews. If you check ours, you’ll see that they’re almost all five star reviews, and that’s because we do anything it’s in our power to do to make our customers happy. We take pride in working here in Pueblo West. And we know that any bad experience is passed on to friends and family. Building a good reputation is what keeps businesses like ours afloat.

So if you like what we’re saying, and if you need expert plumbers in Pueblo West CO… Give us a call! One of our friendly receptionists will be happy to help you. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Home water filtration systems: what are the pros and cons?

Considering one of the many home water filtration systems you can have installed? You’re not alone! But it can be a significant investment, so you should consider the pros and cons. Here’s a short list of the reasons for and against having a whole house water filter installed.

Home water filtration system

Water from your faucet should smell and taste better with home water filtration systems. Free photo: Glass, Water, Drink – Free Image on Pixabay – 2619011 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/glass-water-drink-2619011/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

Pro: Drinking water smells and tastes better

The most obvious benefit of having a whole house water filter is that your drinking water will be higher quality. This is the reason why most people choose to have them installed. The reason is that the filter purifies the water that comes from your faucet… Just like regular filters you might have on your faucet, or in a jug you can pour water from.

The reason why your drinking water should smell and taste better is that home water filtration systems remove all sorts of horrible stuff from your water supply. This includes physical debris, like dirt and mud. But, perhaps even more importantly, it includes the chemicals and waste that many people are concerned about.

Now, the jury is still out on exactly what’s wrong with having fluoride in the water supply. Fluoride is a toxic chemical in large doses, there’s no denying that. But people are more concerned about the long term effects of the small doses we consume every day. The same goes for chemical waste from industrial concerns, which can make its way back into the water supply. You only have to hear those words to think of Flint, Michigan which has been and still is going through a water crisis. You can avoid problems like mercury, lead and the like in your water through a whole house water filter.

Pro: Home water filtration systems are highly convenient

But these filters aren’t just useful for purifying your drinking water. They supply water to the whole house, which includes the water you wash with and cook with too. This offers much better convenience than faucet filters. So, if you have a traditional filter on just one tap in your home, that might be great for drinking and washing dishes. But if you want to brush your teeth with nice, pure water, you have to go to the kitchen. Having a water filter that pre-filters all of the water in your home means that you can enjoy that extra convenience.

Con: It costs more as an initial investment

The first, and most obvious drawback of installing an at-source filter is that they tend to be expensive. Even the cheapest, at just around $500, is costly. But the most expensive can demand an amazing price tag of $10,000. The exact cost depends on the features of your water filter, and what it’s designed to filter out. Some only filter dirt and debris, some filter certain chemicals but not others, and some are supposed to filter everything. Others ‘remineralize’ the water, by adding back in beneficial minerals once the bad stuff has been taken out.

This initial investment is daunting when you talk about any sort of home renovation. You might have to pay for both hot water and central heating, an air conditioner, even a dehumidifier, as well as every other cost related to running a home. And the more of these kinds of devices you have, the more you’ll have to have them repaired. There are quite simply dozens of costs you have to think of when you own your own home, and adding in a whole house water filter ‘just’ to purify your water might seem like an additional and unnecessary one.

Home water filtration systems

Home water filtration systems cost a lot to install, but can save you money over individual filters.

Pro: Having a home water filtration system can be cost efficient

Like we said, whole house water filters provide water for everything you need, from washing, to cooking, to bathing, and- of course- drinking. Now, if you don’t want one of these filters, you only really have one other option. You can have faucet filters installed! These attach to, or are a part of, your faucet, and filter the water as it comes through. Now, these are easier to install than whole house water filters. We’ll admit that.

But having two, three or more faucet filters means that you have two, three or more things to repair when things go wrong. If you have a whole house water filter? You only have one thing to repair! That’s more cost effective, in the long run, even despite the initial costs you’ll have to pay.

Con: If all you wanted was clean drinking water…

One of the main draws of having a whole house water filter is that it purifies all your water. This includes drinking water, sure. But it also includes the water you bathe the dog in, and the water you clean your car with. And what about all the water that your washing machine uses? You can have that hooked up to the filter, too. You might want clean drinking water, but you might also feel that you don’t need pure water to mop the floor with. And you have every right to take that view.

If that’s all you’re worried about, far better than having a whole house water filter is just having one or maybe two smaller faucet filters. They give you the same pure water, but don’t (always) need to be installed by a plumber. So, if all you want is pure drinking water, then these might be a better option for you.

Tankless hot water heater cost: What should I expect to pay?

If you’re moving into a new home, and you’re looking at a new water heating system, you may be looking at a tankless hot water heater. So how much should you be paying for a new one? Our guide breaks down the cost into parts and labor, compares the price to other heating solutions, and looks at whether it could actually save you money in the long run. Read on to find out more!

Tankless water heater cost

Tankless water heaters typically cost more than larger boilers and furnaces. SMIMG_0080 | House Updates – Tankless Hot Water Heater | John Eisenschenk | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/johne777/5449753272Author: John Eisenschenk https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tankless hot water heater cost: Heaters come in a range of prices

First things first, the exact cost of your water heater will depend on the kind that you would like to buy. There are two kinds of tankless water heaters. You can buy either electric or gas powered. Gas powered heaters cost less to run, but more to buy. Electric powered is the other way around.

If you want to buy an electric tankless water heater, you can pick one up for as little as $100. Mid range heaters are around $800 to $1500, and the most expensive are north of $2000. The price is a reflection of both quality and the amount of water a heater is able to provide. The cheapest tanks might be able to power just your shower, or no more than your bathroom, and are typically installed at the ‘point of use’. That makes them a great option for anybody who needs that flexibility. For a heater that can provide water for your whole house, you would have to pay $250 minimum for the device.

Gas heaters are a little more expensive. You can find the same smaller PoU units which can power one or two sources for between $150 and $200. But the mid range and top of the range models are more expensive than their electric counterparts, even up to $3000 for heaters that provide water for the whole house.

Tankless hot water heater cost: Installation is typically fairly expensive

You’re welcome to try and save money by buying a mid-range model, or even a model which is only for one source at a time. But if you do, bear in mind that installation is going to cost money too. In fact, since tankless water heaters are not plug-and-play appliances, installation is actually usually more expensive than the cost of the heater itself.

Your HVAC technician can work either for an hourly rate or a flat fee. If you agree a flat fee, this will mean that the cost will still be the same even if you encounter unforeseen difficulties installing the heater. Even so, the cost is expensive. Depending on where you live, you can have a heater installed for anywhere between $300 and $4000. Typically you’ll pay around $1500 to $1700 for installation, not including the cost of parts.

Tankless water heater cost

If your ancient boiler or furnace broke down, your ancient pipes might too. This can add to the cost of having a new system installed. Free photo: Rust, Weathered, Pipes, Rusted – Free Image on Pixabay – 975078 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/rust-weathered-pipes-rusted-steel-975078/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

Tankless hot water heater cost: What about the rest of your plumbing system?

Before you choose to have a tankless water heater installed, you should consider whether your entire plumbing system is up to scratch. What do we mean? Well, if your boiler or furnace has broken down, that doesn’t just mean that the heater itself isn’t up to par. Typically, if your boiler or furnace was clanking, groaning and inefficient because of age then your pipes are probably just as old. And that’s the problem.

There’s no point plugging a brand new water heater into an old or ageing system. If your faucets and pipes are full of limescale and other mineral deposits, if the joints are leaky and corroded, and the seals are worn away, then you should probably think about replacing them too. Your heater will probably work fine even if you don’t, but when the rest of your plumbing fails, you’ll have to call us out again, and again, and again! This can mean that there are still costs to consider even besides the installation and labor for your tankless hot water heater.

Tankless hot water heater cost: How does the price compare?

Tankless hot water heaters are a reasonable price compared to other water heating solutions. Most tank water heaters- which are basically huge barrels filled with water, if you’re completely unfamiliar- cost between $300 and $600. Furnaces on the other hand cost much more, at between $1500 and $3000 for a regular model. But do bear in mind that furnaces can heat both water and your home. Tankless hot water heaters only provide hot water, and can’t heat your home like a furnace can. So you should factor in the cost of home heating, which you’ll have to pay for separately, further increasing your spend.

Moreover, tankless water heaters often require more time to install than the kind of boiler or furnace they’re replacing. If you replace like for like, installation is normally a (relative) breeze. So in terms of both parts and labor, tankless water heaters aren’t the most cost effective option.

Tankless hot water heater cost: Could it save you money in the long run?

Tankless water heaters can save up to (about) 30% of your energy bill. That’s because they only heat the water you absolutely need. Sounds good? Well, you know what they say about things that sound too good to be true.

The first thing to say about the supposed long term savings that a tankless heater could earn is that you now have two appliances that can break down: your water heater and your central heating. They’re also costly to repair, since they’re less common than furnaces and regular tank boilers. So will you save 30%, as advertised? Probably not.

Do I need whole house water filtration?

Whole house water filters are a great solution if you need pure water for both cooking and cleaning. But is that all there is to them? Let’s find out in our guide on whether or not you need a whole house water filter.

Whole house water filtration removes physical contaminants

The first thing that whole house water filters do is to remove physical contaminants from your water. This includes large debris like leaves and even worms which can form blockages in your plumbing, if they can access the system. Of course, it’s rare that these kinds of contaminants will actually make it out of your tap and into your sink or- God forbid- your food. But even so, this is one of the many things that whole house water filters can completely prevent. Which brings us onto our next point…

Whole house water filtration removes chemical pollution through reverse osmosis

Not only can they remove physical debris, but whole house water filters can actually remove chemicals which have dissolved into your drinking water. This is through a fairly simple process called reverse osmosis, which sounds more complicated than it really is. Basically, the water is passed through a series of filters which gradually account for and filter out most unwanted chemicals. This can include chemical pollution from factories or waste facilities. But it can also remove the chemicals added to drinking water by municipal and state government.

This includes chlorine, chloramine and fluoride. While research shows that these chemicals are safe at the level found in drinking water, people are nonetheless concerned. With whole house water filters, you can remove these chemicals quickly and easily from your water. When you have a water filter installed, be sure to ask that it removes both chloramine and chlorine. Chlorine is fairly easy to filter, whereas chloramine isn’t- so not all filters can.

Whole house water filtration

Whole house water filters clean all the water that’s used in your home, not just drinking water. Free photo: Shower, Shower Head, Water – Free Image on Pixabay – 1502736 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/shower-shower-head-water-1502736/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

Whole house water filtration means you have clean water for cooking and cleaning

Having a whole house water filter means that all of your water, not just some, is clean. Having a water filter on your kitchen tap is great if you just want water for drinking and cooking. But what about your dishwasher, your washing machine and your shower? So all of the contaminants that you wouldn’t want to drink are fine if you just bathe in them instead!? That doesn’t sound right.

These filters can completely remove contaminants before the water enters your plumbing system at all. That means that all the water used in your home is completely purified.

Whole house water filtration extends the lives of your appliances

Since some whole house water filters can remove minerals from hard water, they can also extend the life of your appliances. If you don’t live in an area with hard water, you might not know what we’re talking about… But in some areas, the water contains what’s known as limescale. Limescale is made from naturally occurring minerals, so your water is perfectly safe to drink. But over time, tiny sediments of limescale stick to the inside of your plumbing. Think of it sort of like fat clogging up an artery! The only difference is that limescale is a lot harder to get rid of.

Whole house water filters stop this problem before it starts. They can remove limescale at source, so that it never enters your plumbing at all. This extends the life of your appliances, since it will be longer before they have to be replaced. Washing machines are a great example of this, since limescale and other minerals can build up in your washing machine, and even stop it from working completely. Filters also get rid of the need of having a separate water softener, which is like a whole house water filter, but specifically for filtering out limescale.

Whole house water filtration

Your glasses should come out of the dishwasher sparkling clean. Whole house water filtration removes the minerals which leave streaky finishes on glass and metal. Free photo: Clean, Clear, Drinking Glasses – Free Image on Pixabay – 2178902 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/clean-clear-drinking-glasses-glass-2178902/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

Whole house water filtration makes cleaning easier

Since whole house water filters remove minerals from your water, they also make cleaning easier. You’ll especially notice the difference on glass, which should no longer look smeared and stained after washing. That’s because the minerals and chemicals, such as limescale, are the cause of imperfections after cleaning. The same goes for your kitchen sink, your taps, your shower head, and any other metal appliances in your home.

There are a few reasons why you might not need one

One reason why you might not need or want whole house water filtration is if you only plan on filtering your drinking water. If you only need water for drinking and cooking, then we recommend a water filter which fits on your tap instead. Or, alternatively, you could buy a water filter jug. The reason why we recommend these options is that they’re cheaper to replace or maintain, since whole house water filters are larger and require a more expensive filter. If you have a whole house water filter, but you don’t care about washing dishes or taking a shower in pure water, then you’re simply wasting money.

Running all of your water through a whole house water filter can also lower the water pressure. This is because the water supply can only run through the filter at a certain speed. So, for instance, if you’re running your shower, your tap and your washing machine at the same time, it might be too much for your filter to handle. This won’t necessarily cause a fault, but it will most definitely lower your water pressure.

What is a steam boiler, and what does one do?

If you’ve Google searched ‘What is a steam boiler?’ then you’re probably thinking of having one installed. But before you do, it’s vitally important that you actually understand how they work and what their advantages and disadvantages are. That’s because steam boilers aren’t all that common here in the U.S., so they can be something of an unknown quantity, unlike furnaces and heat pumps.

So before you go ahead and have a steam boiler installed, go ahead and read our ‘What is a steam boiler?’ guide first! Here’s everything you could possibly need to know about steam boilers. Starting with…

What is a steam boiler?

There’s no better place to start than jumping right in. What is a steam boiler?

A steam boiler is basically a larger version of a steam kettle. The idea is so basic and easy to understand that it’s been around for a couple of hundred years already. Steam boilers were actually one of the first home heating solutions! The boiler heats water to higher than its boiling point, so that it produces steam. But where a steam kettle would release steam into the atmosphere, a steam boiler doesn’t. Instead, the steam is routed around the home, and released through convection heaters- also know as radiators.

A steam boiler is therefore not so different to a common furnace. But whereas the furnace releases warm air directly into your home, steam boilers normally don’t. The hot steam is always kept contained inside the pipes and radiators used to distribute the heat around your home. Well, that’s a lie- it’s vented outside through an outlet. If it wasn’t, the pressure would keep building and your boiler would explode. But what we’re trying to say is that the steam is never released into your home, so no, it won’t be like having your own sauna. If you don’t have an outlet outside your home, you may have release valves on each of your radiators, which work periodically and automatically.

What is a steam boiler

Steam boilers are really simple to understand. The same mechanism for producing power and heat was used in all sorts of applications, from steam trains to factories. Free photo: Steam Locomotive, Passenger Train – Free Image on Pixabay – 1352338 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/steam-locomotive-passenger-train-1352338/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

How does a steam boiler heat your home and water?

Like we said, steam boilers heat your home through a system of pipes and radiators. The pipes are simple for a technician to install around your home. There are two kinds of piping system: one pipe and two pipe. In a one pipe system, one pipe delivers steam to the radiator and also collects condensed water. Two pipe systems use two pipes to do the same thing.

Steam boilers were a common solution to home heating in older houses. So, if you do have an older house, you may already have had them installed when you moved in. But for more modern houses, you would have to install both pipes and radiators so that a steam boiler could heat your home.

Is a steam boiler a safe option?

Alright, now that we’ve covered ‘What is a steam boiler’, we can move on to ‘How can I control my steam boiler, and is it safe?’ Well, aside from being able to set the temperature, there isn’t much you can do to control your boiler. Or, perhaps more accurately, there isn’t much that we recommend non-experts trying to do. But there are four basic safety controls which make boilers as safe home heating option.

  1. A pressure gauge and a pressure regulator, which monitor the amount of pressure in your system. It will shut of the supply of fuel to your boiler if it detects too much pressure.
  2. A pressure relief valve, which is separate to the regulator, and is intended as a fail safe. If the gauge and regulator fail, the relief valve will release pressure once it gets dangerously high.
  3. A water level sight glass, which will allow you to check the water level inside the boiler, to see if it’s too high or too low.
  4. A low water cutoff system which will stop your boiler from burning fuel once the water level is too low.
What is a steam boiler

Steam boilers need radiators in order to spread heat around the house. The radiator itself is heated by the movement of steam. Ornate Cast Iron Radiator – Brian Eno Speaker Flowers Sound Installation | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dominicspics/4626123560 Author: Dominic Alves https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ 

What are the advantages of having a steam boiler installed?

‘What is a steam boiler’ was easy, but now we should think about why you should actually have one. Well, there are a few reasons why steam boilers are better for your home than furnaces. The first is that boilers are generally safer than furnaces, especially when it comes to carbon monoxide and other toxic fumes.

Boilers are also less likely to break down. There are very few moving parts in a steam boiler, and there is no fan or pump which can break down like in a furnace.

Are there any common problems with steam boilers?

There are a few reasons why boilers aren’t perfect. Starting with:

  1. It takes longer to raise or lower the temperature in your house using a steam boiler. That’s because the water which turns to steam can hold onto heat for a long time.
  2. Steam boilers are typically more expensive to install and maintain than furnaces. That’s because most plumbers aren’t used to dealing with them (although we are!), and parts can be more difficult to obtain. They are also more expensive to run, since boilers operate at a higher temperature than furnaces.
  3. This might not be too important to you… But boilers can be noisy! Unless you have a modern and well maintained system, your radiators and pipes will occasionally decide to clank. This can be the case if your boiler isn’t in full working order.

Tree roots in plumbing: what’s the harm?

Have you found out that there are tree roots clogging your plumbing? They can be a pain to get rid of. But what’s the harm? Do they have to be removed?

Take it from us: you should deal with the problem as soon as possible. It takes more than regular maintenance to get rid of them, too. Read on to find out more.

Tree roots in plumbing are a sign that there is a pre-existing fault

The first problem with having tree roots in plumbing isn’t actually caused by the roots themselves. Rather, the problem is that the roots are a sign of a problem that already exists. There are a number of faults that can lead to tree roots in plumbing, such as:

  • Leaking pipes: the tree roots are attracted to the leaking water, and colonise the pipe through the gap
  • Blocked pipes: again, blocked pipes provide a ready source of standing water for tree roots to enjoy. Ideally, the water should flow freely, so that the tree roots are discouraged from setting up shop.
  • Deteriorated seals and failed joints: these factors again can attract tree roots with the promise of water. In a closed system, the tree roots would never ‘know’ that there’s water close by. But where the roots are allowed in, or where water is allowed out, tree roots (and plants generally) will thrive.

As you can see, tree roots in plumbing are caused by existing damage to your pipes. It’s actually very rare that tree roots or other plants can break their way in to your plumbing system.

tree roots in plumbing

If your sink or toilet is blocking more frequently than it used to, this could be a sign of roots in your plumbing.File:Kitchen sink drain.jpg – Wikimedia Commons : taken from – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kitchen_sink_drain.jpg https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

What are the warning signs?

There are a number of signs that your plumbing may have been taken over by tree roots. Unfortunately, you can’t always easily see that roots have taken hold in your plumbing, unless you actually break open the pipe and look for yourself. That’s why the problem can go unchecked for a long time before you realise there’s anything wrong. That being said, there are a few warning signs that you’ll have to look out for. In no particular order:

  • Slow flowing drains indicate that the water is being held up by something. Often, that could be limescale caused by hard water. But in this case, there are tree roots in the way!
  • Strange gurgling noises in your pipes can be a sign of many things, tree roots among them. This is because the water is draining erratically- moving through and around the roots in your pipes.
  • Recurring problems with your toilet or other drains clogging is an obvious sign. This is because the water, debris and waste being flushed away can easily get caught among the roots.

Tree roots in plumbing can therefore cause problems in your home. But what exactly do they do to your plumbing system, and why are they a problem?

What’s the harm of tree roots in plumbing?

Letting tree roots colonise your pipes is a problem that only gets worse over time. If you let it keep getting worse, your pipes will suffer extensive damage because of the force of the roots expanding.

If you’ve ever walked down the sidewalk, and there were trees planted on one side, you might have noticed the concrete looking buckled and broken. Why? That’s the force of the tree roots! They can’t move quickly, of course, but over time they can push their way through almost anything. Your pipes included.

Because of the force of their growth, tree roots in plumbing can cause cracks and fractures in your pipes in extreme cases. In turn, that causes leaks and low pressure. But hold on, because it gets worse! The leak from that crack or fracture actually attracts more tree roots and plants to your pipes!

But if you have strong pipes, particularly if they were only recently installed, they’re probably strong enough to withstand tree roots. In that case, the worst problem you’ll encounter will most likely be reduced water flow and increased blockage frequency, especially if you use a garbage disposal.

tree roots in plumbing

Tree roots are sturdy- but not sturdy enough to stand up to us and our professional grade drain clearing equipment! Free photo: Root, Old, Tree Root, Nature, Log – Free Image on Pixabay – 1227266 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/root-old-tree-root-nature-log-1227266/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

So what can I do to fix tree roots in plumbing?

To unblock your drain, you’ll need the help of a professional drain clearing company like ours. We use our skill and experience dealing with problems like these every day, and we can use the top quality equipment at our disposal to clear your drain in no time.

The best way of clearing your drains is by using a method called drain jetting, which is exactly what it sounds like. Basically, a high pressure jet of water is shot straight down the drain. Hopefully, this blast of water will be enough to completely clear your drain, roots and all. This is something that you quite simply can’t do at home, because the water pressure required is extraordinary.

If the tree roots can’t be cleared by drain jetting, or even by physically trying to remove them from the pipe, a full refit may be necessary. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. It also might be preferable, because the damage that actually allowed the roots to take hold might be extensive. In that case, you should have your pipes refitted anyway.

After the work is done, you should schedule regular maintenance, and keep an eye on the trees in your backyard and your neighborhood. They’re always on the lookout for more pipes to colonise!

The history of plumbing in America: 4 facts you might not believe

History of plumbing in America

The Native Americans may have lived in surprisingly big cities and had complex cultures, but they didn’t have plumbing. Public Domain image according to https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:Native_American_Chiefs_1865.jpg

These days, we might be annoyed if we have a leaky faucet.  We might be especially annoyed if our sewer line needs repairing. But what about if we had no plumbing at all? Or we had to use outhouses? Or if the city didn’t even have a sewer for our sewer line to connect to?

We’ve got it pretty good, if you think about it. So let’s get a little perspective with our history of plumbing in America.

The history of plumbing in America: plumbing isn’t as old as you think

You might already know, or may have assumed, but the Native Americans had no plumbing system whatsoever. But what’s more remarkable is that they still lived in cities of up to 40,000 people! The city of Cahokia grew to be one of the biggest in pre-Columbian America, and existed for up to eight hundred years between around 600 and 1400 AD.

In cities like Cahokia, archeological evidence suggests that some communities even lived in condo style apartments over a number of stories. But even so, they never invented or considered inventing running water or plumbing. Instead, the people would collect water from the rivers, lakes and wells in the area.

In fairness to the Native Americans, what you might not realise is that nowhere in the world had plumbing at that point! Not in Europe, not in China. In fact, the first running water systems were only re-invented in the last few hundred years. Why do we say re-invented? Because the Romans actually had running water for heating, washing and waste. It only took us almost two thousand years to think that running water might have been a good idea.

The history of plumbing in America: The pilgrims used hollowed out logs for sewerage

So, before we began to use true running water plumbing systems, what did we use? Well, we relied on nature instead. People would connect their houses to nearby streams using hollowed out logs. Each home would have an individual system, just like how each house was built by hand for (or by) the people who lived there. It’s actually a fairly good system, if you compare it to the alternatives: basic cess pits and dumping waste in rivers and lakes by hand.

The logs would work with simple gravity and a bucket of water. Plumbers- or just general handymen, back then- would install logs at an angle so that any waste could easily run off. The idea was so popular that during Andrew Jackson’s presidency, they plumbed the entire White House with hollowed out logs. The only problem was when it was difficult to achieve the necessary grade for the waste to flow out. The logs would begin to stink fairly quickly, as you can imagine, and would become a haven for germs and all sorts of other nasty things.

History of plumbing in America

They aren’t a myth, or a joke: two story outhouses were used in some places in the U.S. Unforutunately, we couldn’t find any photos of one to share. Free photo: Outhouse, Country, Dry Toilet – Free Image on Pixabay – 1411137 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/outhouse-country-dry-toilet-toilet-1411137/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

The history of plumbing in America: The two story outhouse isn’t a myth

You will have definitely seen two story outhouses in cartoons like the Simpsons and Looney Tunes. You probably assumed that they were a joke: how could someone sit in the lower stall without… Well, you get the picture. But they were real, and people really used them. Any ‘waste’ from the top stall would go back behind the first stall through a separate compartment. It would then join the cess pit underneath, just like a normal outhouse. So you never had to plunge your toilet!

You might ask why- the reason is actually simple. Outhouses like these weren’t necessarily just used by one family living in one house. They might be used by two, three or four houses. Anybody who lives at home with their family knows the pain of waiting for the bathroom while someone shaves or does their hair; well, people back then knew all about that too. But with a two story outhouse, you could both see to your business at the same time.

There are still two story outhouses that you can visit across America. One town called Gays, Illinois is particularly proud of theirs.  So proud, in fact, that they composed a rhyme for a nearby billboard:

In England they have urinals
In Paris bidets
But nowhere on earth
Has an outhouse like Gays.

The history of plumbing in America: Salt Lake City had a population of 45,000 before they built a sewer

Salt Lake City, out in the mid west, sits on the Great Salt Lake basin- hence the name. It was built to order in 1847 by Brigham Young, the spiritual head of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and lies next to what was christened the Jordan River. Unfortunately for Brigham Young, and unfortunately for the people of Salt Lake City, the town planners didn’t think to install a sewerage system before they began building the city!

The first cities to install sewers, like London and Paris, faced the unhappy dilemma of having to build underneath the city that was already there. Salt Lake City had it easy, but still decided it was best to let everything drain into the River Jordan instead. By 1890, the city grew to the population of 45,000. At this point, the sights, sounds and smells of open sewage clogging the river were becoming too much to bear, so the town council decided to finally install a sewerage system.

The only problem with their new system was that it still ran into the Jordan River, which still flowed into the Great Salt Lake. The Great Salt Lake, big as it was and still is, is what’s called a terminal lake: it doesn’t flow anywhere. That’s why it’s so salty. All the collective sewage of 40, then 50 and then 80,000 people was flowing into the lake with nowhere to go. Not good if you were planning a boating trip.