The Plumber's Blog

7 Tips to Detect Slab Leaks

Slab leaks are leaks that are typically found under the floors of your home. These leaks are normally seen in older homes where age is beginning to affect the pipes and plumbing joints. If you suspect that you might have a slab leak, our Tampa plumbers recommend following these steps to find the leak and its source.

Look for Water on Patio Floors

One of the most obvious signs of a slab leak is finding water on your patio floor. Try drying the water and seeing if it returns. If it does return, you may have a slab leak.

Look for Water Coming out of the Walls

Leaks will drain however they can. Sometimes, that means that the leak will find its way through a wall and onto the floor. Water coming out of the walls or showing up underneath cabinets without sinks can be indicators of slab leaks.

Determine the Leaking Water’s Temperature

If you do find a leak, determine what the temperature of the leaked water is. If it’s hot or warm, it’s probably coming from your hot water heater.

Check for Hot Floors

Is there an area of your flooring that is warmer than other areas? Hot water slab leaks will often show no sign other than a warmed floor area.

Is Your Water Heater Not Turning Off?

Your hot water heater should cycle on and off throughout the day as it needs to warm the water in the tank back up to an ideal temperature. If it is not turning off, that’s a sign that either the tank has become inefficient or that there is a leak that is keeping the tank from holding the warmed water in.

Test Your Water Meter

Have everyone in the house stop using water — no laundry or dishes being washed, no toilets being flushed, etc. — and go outside to check your meter. It should not be spinning if no water is being used, so if it’s spinning, you can feel confident that there is a leak somewhere.

Watch for High Bills

If your gas and/or water bills are notably higher than normal, you almost definitely have a leak of some kind. Watch for spikes on these bills to catch leaks you might not otherwise be able to see.

If you find that you have a slab leak or suspect that you do, call us today. We will help you to find the source of the leak and eliminate the problem.

Hard vs. Soft Water: What You Need to Know

Knowing the type of water you have in your house is crucial in maintaining your plumbing system properly. Below are a few basic facts on hard and soft water that can help you take the right steps towards a well-functioning plumbing system.

Hard Water

Hard water contains high amounts of elements such as calcium and magnesium. Before it finds its way to hundreds of millions of homes throughout the country, water flows over rocks and soil where it picks up traces of these elements. In the United States, 85 percent of the water is classified as hard water.

The minerals in hard water interact with soaps, shampoos and detergents, preventing these cleaning agents from tackling dirt, stains, grime and other particles effectively. You may find that washing dishes and clothes or taking showers and shampooing your hair takes longer when using hard water.

Over time, hard water can cause scale and mineral buildup in shower heads and faucets, as well as in the plumbing pipes all over your house. When unchecked, this will clog your plumbing system, which in turn impedes the water flow in your house. Clogged pipes are also quite costly to repair or replace.

Soft Water

Unlike hard water, soft water contains only trace amounts of extra elements or none at all. Soft water can occur naturally or it can be produced by a variety of water treatment devices that remove the elements in hard water.

With no extra elements to interact with soaps and detergents, soft water reduces the need for cleaning agents by as much as 50 percent. Clothes washed in soft water using the cold water setting yields the same result as clothes washed in hard water using the hot water setting. In terms of energy consumption, washing clothes in soft water means more efficient energy use, which can help lower your energy bills significantly over time.

Soft water also means greatly decreased mineral or film buildup in your home’s shower heads, faucets and pipes. This keeps them functioning much more efficiently for a longer period of time. This also means the water flow throughout your home will remain at optimum levels longer.

To find out whether you have hard or soft water in your house, call us here at Pampering Plumber. Our plumbing specialists can determine the kind of water you have in your home and assist you with all your Tampa water softening requirements. As a long-time residential and commercial plumbing company in Tampawe can install, repair and replace any type of water softener or water heater plus a whole range of other plumbing services. You can depend on us to make sure your plumbing system stays healthy and reliable for many years.

Congratulations to Our Latest Winner, Mr. Manzelmann!


Top Reasons to Consider Calling a Re-piping Specialist

First-world country residents are spoiled when it comes to water supply in their homes. When we turn on our faucets, we expect water to come out – it’s that simple.

Many homeowners don’t give a second thought about the plumbing systems in their homes, that is, until they start experiencing water problems. Sometimes it takes longer for the water to flow, while at other times, the flow comes as a trickle instead of the normal healthy gush we have come to expect.

Below are three reasons you should think about calling us here at Pampering Plumber to find out whether or not the plumbing system in your home needs to be re-piped.

Impeded Water Flow

The common culprit behind a slowdown in your water flow is scale formation in your pipes. Over time, mineral buildup accumulates on the inside of the pipes, decreasing its diameter and impeding the normal flow of water. Sometimes you can remedy the situation by replacing only the blocked pipes. However, if you discover widespread scaling, it may be time to consider a complete overhaul of your plumbing system.

Recurring Leaks

Metal pipes naturally corrode over time. This can lead to pinhole leaks that can affect water flow throughout your house. When left undiscovered or unchecked, even tiny water leaks can cause big problems down the line.

Repairing water damage to your home can be very costly. Most homeowners spend between $2,000 to $3,000 in repairs, depending on the extent of the damage and the size of their homes. Catching leaks early is the key to preventing a huge repair bill later on. However, after three or four leak repairs, re-piping may be your only long-term option.

Major Renovation

If you’re planning a big remodeling project that includes your kitchen and one or all of the bathrooms in your house, it may be worthwhile to re-pipe your entire system at the same time. The last thing you want to do is dig up a newly renovated portion of your house to deal with leaking pipes. Ultimately, re-piping can end up saving you money when you do the work at the same time as a remodeling project in your home.

Pampering Plumber offers a complete range of professional Tampa plumbing servicesOur plumbing experts can help you with the installation, maintenance, repair and replacement of your entire plumbing system. We are the industry-recognized experts in residential and commercial plumbing in Tampa. Call us. We’re here to help.

Congratulations to Our Latest Winner, Mr. Anderson!


The Lowdown on Low-flow Toilets

High water bills can be a major annoyance, especially when you unable to locate the source of the problem. Our Tampa plumbers know that sudden spikes in monthly usage are usually indicative of a leaking or broken pipe, so if your bill has been consistently high for an extended period of time (or if the usage in your new home is higher), an inefficient toilet could be at fault.

Your Toilets Could Be Costing You Hundreds

Flushing does not require nearly as much water as most standard toilets use, at least at factory settings. The drain spout on some newer models can be adjusted for minimal flow, but the majority of older toilets are notorious water wasters.

The average per flush rate of seven gallons may not seem a whole lot, but a simple calculation will demonstrate just how much water and money this adds up to. Say the typical family of four flushes the toilets in their home eight times a day (approximately two flushes per person). This equals roughly 3,000 flushes a year.

Take into account the fact that low-flow toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, which is the quantity needed to avoid re-flushing, the difference equals 16,000 gallons of water every year. Granted there are times when a single flush on a low-flow model will not always be efficient, the annual cost-savings are worth stressing.

While homeowners can save between $50 to $100 per year or more, public restrooms are where the ROI of low-flows truly shine. Think of how many people use these toilets every day and the expensive water bills incurred by commercial businesses and municipalities.

The first low-flow toilets were not nearly as efficient as those made today. Developments such as pressure-assisted flushing (pressured air is utilized inside the tank to push the water down more forcefully) and wider trapways allow for more powerful flushes that use much less water than in conventional toilets. Some now feature mini motors (such as Kohler’s Purist Hatbox) that are equipped with an electrical pump to further reduce water use.

The Tampa plumbing pros at The Pampering Plumber can help you install new low-flow toilets in your home. Call us today for more information on what products are available.

All About TDS Testing

As a homeowner living in Florida, it’s probable that you have heard at least one of your neighbors talking about having a Tampa plumbing service perform a “TDS” test on their water. TDS testing is the most common way to test for water quality, but few homeowners actually know what it’s all about.

TDS stands for total dissolved solids, which is the complete content of inorganic and organic materials found on a molecular, ionized or microgranular level within your water. Basically, TDS are the additional things in your water that you can’t see, including salts, minerals and even metals.

When you test for your water’s TDS, you learn how pure the water coming into your home is. It’s a quick, easy and free test for our licensed plumbers in Tampa to perform, and it can help you to determine whether you will need a water filtration or purification system for your home.

Your home’s TDS is typically measured in parts per million, meaning that there are so many parts of non-water material per million parts. When we come to your home to test your TDS, we will bring a TDS meter with us that measures the electrical conductivity of the water coming out of your tap. This will provide us with a reading for your TDS level. Water itself does not conduct electricity well, but the particulates dissolved within it do, so this simple test is a fairly accurate read of your water’s purity.

High levels of TDS should be a concern for Tampa homeowners. High TDS affects your drinking water and all of the people, animals and plants within your home that consume that water. Our Tampa water softening experts warn that it also is a major contributor to excessive scaling in pipes.

While it can be healthy to have some dissolved salts and minerals in your water, levels that are too high need to be brought down through system-wide filtration.

Pampering Plumber Offers Commercial Plumbing

Plumbing problems are certainly inconvenient and annoying, but they can be much more than that. Some plumbing problems, even a relatively simple one such as a slow undetected leak, can end up costing a lot of money, not to mention wasting a precious resource.

Other plumbing problems can have more serious consequences. Corroded pipes or backed-up sewer pipes are potential health hazards that can threaten the well-being of your family.

You can imagine how much more complex and dire a plumbing problem can be when it occurs in a commercial setting such as a multi-family building or a large business establishment like a shopping mall. As a leading commercial plumber in Tampa, we believe in being proactive when it comes to providing plumbing services to our residential customers, but more so to our commercial clients.

Preventive Maintenance Services

Here at Pampering Plumber, we recommend all our commercial clients have regularly scheduled maintenance service not only for their plumbing system, but also for their electrical, mechanical and technical systems as well.

A disruption in any of these key service areas is not just a major inconvenience for tenants; it can also lead to a substantial loss of income for them. More importantly, it can lead to a breakdown of trust between the client and service provider, which can be much more difficult to repair.

Save Energy While Saving the Planet

We can take care of all your commercial plumbing needs as well as help you save money and improve your business. We have energy-saving solutions for your commercial establishment that will not only be good for your business, but also for the environment as well.

An energy-efficient client, whether residential or commercial, is a responsible client and one that we want to encourage and support in every way possible. Come to us for eco-friendly plumbing solutions for your business. Our energy-efficient products will save you money and help preserve the environment at the same time.

Pampering Plumber has the answers and solutions to all your Tampa plumbing questions and problems. Visit us for all your residential and commercial plumbing needs.

Pampering Plumber Wins Super Service Award

As a leading authority on Tampa plumbing, we provide a wide range of reliable plumbing services to our customers. You can always count on us for the installation, repair and maintenance of your commercial or residential plumbing system. Our knowledge, experience and expertise in this field are quite unmatched in the industry and something of which we are very proud. We are a team of consummate professionals who are dedicated to looking out for all your plumbing needs.

Customer Recognition

We take great pride in the fact that our many satisfied customers recommend our services to their friends and family. This tells us that we are doing excellent work and inspires us to do even better with each job we undertake.

Industry Accolades

Our latest award from Angie’s List is another feather in our cap. In fact, make that six feathers in our cap. For six years in a row, this popular and respected consumer ranking site has awarded Pampering Plumber its prestigious Super Service Award.

Over two million households all over the country use Angie’s List to find reliable service providers in over 700 categories. Their Super Service Award is a coveted distinction that not many of their providers earn once, let alone six times running. It is recognition of our commitment to customer service and satisfaction as well as of our expertise in the industry and an honor that we are proud to call our own.

Pampering Plumber can help you with tankless water heater installation, sewer and drain cleaning, repiping, garbage disposal and water softener repair in Tampa. No matter what your plumbing concerns may be, we can help. Our SEI-certified technicians are knowledgeable, experienced and highly trained to handle any plumbing emergencies or provide regular plumbing maintenance service to your commercial or residential property. Our work, and your satisfaction, is always guaranteed.

Remodeling on the Rise

With a booming economy, an increasing number of homeowners are now able to tackle remodeling projects that once seemed impossible. The housing market is alive and well, which means people are getting ready to dive into seasonal renovation projects.

If you are planning on putting some money into your home and want to make it real-estate worthy, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help maximize your investment. A lot of people tend to naturally gravitate towards cosmetic upgrades, and this is completely understandable. Buyers like houses that are up to date and that feature modern amenities. However, if your home’s “guts” are not up to par, then it will likely stay on the market far longer than you want it to.

Guts Before Glamour

Before tackling any of the aesthetics (we know it’s tempting to swap out those kitchen countertops and cabinets), hire an inspector to assess the condition of the electrical wiring, the plumbing lines, and the insulation. Although these are not considered hot-ticket items by realtors, they are what will sell your house.

Above all, homeowners want a sense of security and peace of mind that they are not going to need to spend thousands in repair costs. Hiring a Tampa plumber to fix a burst water pipe can easily cost this much.

Even if you need to sell quickly and do not wish to pour a lot of funds into the property, telling buyers the house has all new wiring and pipes will give you quite a bit of leverage, essentially allowing you to sell for a much higher price.

Other important areas to address include patching mortar and tuck-pointing bricks on older chimneys (to maintain structural integrity), fixing foundation cracks and ensuring the Tampa plumbing fixtures are all in good working condition. New bells and whistles won’t distract from leaky faucets and clogged drains!

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