The Plumber's Blog

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!

The Importance of a Licensed Plumber

We’ve all got that dad, uncle or friend who considers themselves a DIY expert — we all know that guy. The second you have any issue with your home, they’re on the phone, telling you that it’d be easy for them to fix whatever problem you have. Our Tampa plumbing experts know it’s tempting to let them take care of your plumbing issues, but we strongly discourage that. You should always hire a fully licensed plumber to take care of any plumbing concern or issue you have.

Your Safety Guaranteed

The most important reason to hire a licensed plumber in Tampa is to ensure the safety of your family and your property. First of all, a licensed plumber is going to know the appropriate safety codes and building codes and conditions required by the state and your area.

If a permit is needed, they will know and obtain it before beginning. They will also ensure that any necessary inspections occur throughout the process. Each of these requirements exists to keep you, your family and your home safe and a licensed plumber understands their importance and complies completely with them. Your friend Larry probably doesn’t know most, if any, of the state’s safety codes.

The Right Materials

In addition to following safety codes and requirements, each plumber from The Pampering Plumber knows the best materials and products to use for your particular job’s needs. We take the quality of our products and our work very seriously, so you know we will provide you with the very best.

The Work Is Insured

To be fully licensed by the state of Florida, you have to be properly insured. This means that if there is any issue with the Tampa plumbing services we perform, you will not have to pay to fix the damage. Your Uncle Joe can’t promise the same if his toilet installation springs a leak.

Resolving Low Water Pressure Issues at Home

There are few things more annoying than needing to rush out of your house for an important business meeting or returning from a long workout at the gym only to jump in the shower and stand under a trickle of water instead of the refreshing surge that you have come to expect. Barring any construction or repair work that your municipality is carrying out in your area, below are a few things you can do to resolve low water pressure in your house.

Go to the Source

Check the position of your main water valve to make sure it has not been accidentally turned off. Sometimes, valves get loose or slip (through age or carelessness) and are nudged to a semi-shut position. This restricts the amount of water entering your house and can affect the water pressure throughout your home.

Trace the Problem

You may be experiencing low water pressure in isolated areas (like your showerhead) and not everywhere in your house. In this case, cleaning or replacing the aerator will usually solve the problem.

Check for Leaks

A simple way to find out if you have a leak is to turn off the main water valve in your house and note the meter reading. If the reading goes up after two or three hours, you have a leak. You can then check the pipes leading into and inside your house as well as your appliances to determine the source of the leak.

As a successful residential and commercial plumber in Tampa, we enjoy the trust and business of hundreds of customers all over the region. We take our responsibility of installing, maintaining and repairing our customers’ plumbing systems very seriously. Helping to maintain a sustainable and reliable source of clean water is a service we are only too glad to provide to all our customers. Trust your plumbing system to one of the most experienced and professional licensed plumbers in Tampa and safeguard the health of your loved ones.

How Hard Water Can Affect Your Florida Home

Hard water impurities, typically consisting of calcium and magnesium, leave deposits as they travel throughout a house. The deposits are left not only inside the pipes, but on everything the water touches including shower heads, sinks, bathtubs and faucets.

Household appliances such as dishwashers, hot water heaters and washing machines also end up having a deposit of calcium, magnesium and other impurities over time.

What Hard Water Does

As the impurities build up, appliances work less efficiently, use up more energy and break down sooner. You also end up consuming more detergent, fabric softener, dish-washing liquid, shampoo etc. to counter the effects of the impurities in the water.

Plumbing fixtures clog and fail; everything that we wash with hard water (such as cars, shower doors, china) ends up with a scale-like substance, a residue that is left when the water has evaporated.

Hard water even affects your morning coffee or tea. The impurities in hard water dulls flavor, causing you to add more ingredients (more coffee, another tea bag, more sugar that you probably don’t need) in order to get a fuller taste.

Get Rid of the Impurities and Save Money

There are four ways that removing the impurities in your water saves you money.

First, you end up using less detergent, shampoo, coffee, etc. because water works more effectively without impurities. Second, your appliances last longer. Third, you end up paying a lower energy bill precisely because your appliances are working more efficiently. Fourth, your plumbing does not suffer a build-up of calcium and magnesium which can be costly to fix. You therefore protect and preserve the value of your biggest investment.

How to Treat Hard Water

Installing a water softener system is the best way to get rid of impurities in your water.

As a respected name in Tampa plumbing, Pampering Plumber knows all about the installation and repair of water softener systems. In fact, if you have questions or concerns about hot water heaters, drain cleaning or even commercial plumbing in Tampa, call us; we can help you there too. We have all the plumbing answers and solutions you seek.

Make Sure Your Garbage Disposal is Functioning Properly

Garbage disposals are the workhorses of the modern kitchen. They take a ridiculous amount of solid waste that would normally clog your sink and pulverize it into a fine liquid that can easily pass through your drain. Having a garbage disposal that operates correctly is essential to having a kitchen—and there can be trouble if yours isn’t. How can be sure your garbage disposal is functioning properly? Our Tampa plumbers recommend performing simple maintenance like regular cleaning and removing items that do not belong.

Clean It Regularly

Your disposal may be a powerful chopping machine, but it can also fill with solid debris and sludge that can slow it down or keep it from being able to properly grind your waste. Our Tampa plumbing experts encourage you to give your disposal a good cleaning on a regular basis by placing two cups of ice in the disposal, pouring a cup of rock salt over the ice and running the unit while cold water is on until the ice breaks up. Cut-up citrus peels or vinegar can also work in the place of rock salt.

Remove these Items Immediately

Your Tampa drain cleaning team reminds you that your disposal can’t grind:

• Glass

• Metal

• Rubber objects

• Highly fibrous food materials like peach pits, avocado seeds, bones, shrimp shells, and corn husks.

These items must be physically removed for your garbage disposal to operate properly. To remove something, you should turn off the fuse that supplies power to your disposal to keep it from being able to turn on while you are working. Use tongs or pliers to remove the offending item. If you MUST use your hands, be absolutely certain that the power is completely off to the unit.

Grease is also bad for your disposal in quantities more than a tablespoon or two. It is impossible to remove grease the way you would the previous objects, so instead you must run your disposal with cold water and several tablespoons of a grease-fighting dish soap if it gets clogged with grease.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

For a typical American household, water heating usually accounts for about 18 percent of the monthly utility bill. Next to the cost of heating the entire house, this is the largest energy expense for most families.

To pare water heating bills down to a more manageable level, you can use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on the water heater and insulate the water heater as well as the pipes that deliver hot water to the rest of the house.

There is also another way to save on water heating charges: install a tankless water heater in your home. The benefits of taking this step are quite numerous:

  • Because a tankless water heater only heats water on demand, you end up saving energy. Less energy use means a lower utility bill for you to pay each month.
  • Most regular water heater tanks have an average life span of 10 years, depending on usage and quality of materials used in its manufacturing. The life span of a Tampa tankless water heater is 10 to 15 years. Some units can last up to 20 years before needing to be replaced.
  • A regular water heater stores hot water in a tank. Over time, the impurities contained in the water builds up. This can affect the quality of your water and cause problems such as clogging and tank deterioration. Since a tankless water heater does not store water, you get only clean hot water every time.

Pampering Plumbing can help you maintain and repair your current water heating system or assist you in selecting and installing a newer, more efficient product. As a leading and trusted Tampa plumber, we are committed to helping our customers in finding the most cost-effective solutions to their all plumbing problems. For any questions or concerns about plumbing services in Tampa, call us. We’re here to help in any way we can.

Using Open Cut or Trench Sewer Line Repair Methods

It is a known fact that exposure to the organisms and germs in sewage can pose serious risks to your health and impact the environment. This is why when your sewer pipe system breaks in Tampa, The Pampering Plumber highly recommends repairing the sewer line as quickly as possible because raw sewage that is not cleaned up promptly can lead to a build-up of many harmful microorganisms.

Choosing a Sewer Line Repair Method

Traditionally, to fix a damaged sewer line, plumbers have used the open cut or trench method of repair. While there are other methods to repair a damaged sewer line, none have had the same staying power as the traditional approach. Plus, with the new technology available, plumbers in Tampa can snake a camera through your plumbing prior to digging and find out exactly where the issue originates from to minimize the disturbance of your house and property.

Excavation May be the Only Effective Solution

Depending on the severity of the sewer line damage, and where it is located, excavation (or trench)  repair could be the only effective option. For example, if your sewer lines are completely collapsed then you have to hire a licensed plumber in Tampa to excavate, remove and replace that part of the sewer line.

Also, if a pipe has a severe break with jagged pieces, extensive erosion, compression or severe offsets, then the most efficient and safest option is excavation. That way, the plumber can ensure the durability of the repair by ensuring there are no components left behind that may cause a break down the road.

Cost Variation

The cost of Tampa sewer line repair varies based on factors above and below ground. Depending on the location and extent of damage, labor costs for newer techniques can cost up to 50 percent more than digging a trench, even if it’s for the same pipe length. On top of that, the PVC pipe installed in an open cut repair can offer a lifetime guarantee against root damage, while other repair methods only guarantee durability for a certain number of years.

So, if you are experiencing problems with your sewer line and need advice from an expert plumbing company in Tampa don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of our courteous, knowledgeable technicians.

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