The Plumber's Blog

Tips To Save Water This Summer

Everyone wants to do their part to conserve water even if it’s just to save on their water bills. Summer can be a particularly difficult time to do this though, because the heat means we need to use more water to keep our plants alive and ourselves clean. Our Tampa plumbers have a few tips on how you can save water despite the heat this summer.

Water Your Plants at Night

During the summer, plants need a little extra water to stay green and lively. However, if you water them in the middle of the day, much of the water you are trying to get them to absorb ends up evaporating instead. Our licensed plumbers in Tampa explain that watering them at night before you go to bed will give them the maximum time to soak up water from the ground without the sun’s rays evaporating it.

Drip Irrigate

You can also conserve water in the yard by using a drip irrigation system to water your plants. Our Tampa plumbing service contractors explain that you can make your own drip irrigation system by simply making small holes in a lawn hose, placing the hose near plants you wish to water, and turning it on at a trickle. The hose will drip water on your plants throughout the night, giving them the water they need without wasting.

Reuse Water

It may seem a little crazy, but did you know that you can reuse water? Used, or “gray,” water is often great for the plants in your garden or home. Consider saving the water after you boil food like pasta or eggs, steam veggies, or make tea or coffee. Let the water cool to room temperature, then use it to water your plants. If you really want to save on water, our Tampa plumbers recommend putting a bucket in your shower to catch the water as you wait for a good temperature.

Turn Off the Shower

During the summer, you can save water by turning off the shower while you soap up. The warm weather makes it much easier to do this in summer because the room will stay warm and the water will too. Tampa hot water heaters also use a lot of energy to operate, so you will save money by not using as much hot water.

Throw Away Instead of Flushing

Another easy way to save on water is to throw trash away in a trash can instead of flushing it down the toilet. We know how tempting it is to flush a tissue, but you waste several gallons of water each time.

How Do Plumbers Detect Leaks?

Sometimes, a leak is obvious. You open up your sink cabinet to find the pipes are dripping or you come home to find water on your floor. However, a leak is often hidden behind the walls of your home or underneath the concrete of your walkway, porch, or even foundation. People usually discover the existence of these leaks only after their water bill starts to skyrocket, which makes them expensive from the start.

It used to be very hard to determine where hard-to-find leaks were. Plumbers in Tampa, Fla., had to infer the exact location of the leak before they could drill through the concrete to access it. These days, modern technology has taken much of the guesswork out of the process to make finding hidden leaks much easier for your Tampa plumbing company and for homeowners.

Sonic Detector

One of the most common leak-detecting methods used by Tampa plumbing services is a sonic detector. Sonic detectors can sense the sounds that leaks make through concrete so that the plumber can pinpoint the precise location of the leak. No matter how small a leak is, it will always make some kind of noise, and these detectors are fine-tuned to pick up that noise without needing to dig up the concrete first.

Hydrostatic Testing

Hydrostatic testing is another way that your licensed plumber in Tampa is able to detect leaks without destroying the concrete that hides them. Hydrostatic testing involves having the plumber insert an inflatable ball in the pipeline. The ball is inflated to stop up the pipe, then the system is filled with water. Any line that can’t seem to be filled or that loses water over time is almost guaranteed to be the source of the leak.

Video Cameras

Many of our Tampa plumbers like to use tiny video cameras to be able to visually inspect pipes from the inside. These cameras are sent through your pipes on a flexible line or are attached to small sets of wheels so that they can be navigated through the plumbing system. They offer feedback in real time so that your plumber can see exactly where a leak is and whether there is any other trouble lurking in your pipes.

These leak-detecting technologies help us to keep the damage to your concrete to a minimum. They also speed up our ability to find the source of your leak, and they are significantly safer and more accurate than old-fashioned detection methods. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you find your hidden leaks.

Do You Have a Smelly Sink Drain?

A smelly sink drain is one of the worst things to discover in your home. Its odor typically fouls up the room and possibly your entire home. Usually, there is no way to see what is causing the odor, and you often will need the expertise of one of our licensed plumbers in Tampa to find and eliminate the cause of the smell before it gets worse.

What Causes Smelly Sink Drains?

There are a variety of different reasons why your sink drain could smell bad. The two main causes of the issue are accumulations of gunk and odors coming up from the sewers.

Gunk can easily accumulate within your drains and cause an odor to arise over time. In bathrooms, this is usually caused by soap scum, mineral build-up, or hair clumps. In kitchens, the smell is typically caused by food particles that begin to rot or grow mold, both of which smell atrocious. Our Tampa plumbing services experts recommend that you first try to clean the gunk from a kitchen sink by running your disposal if you have one. If this doesn’t work, you may need to clean your sink trap, which will require calling a plumber.

Sewer gas is a completely different issue altogether. You will need to call one of our plumbers in Tampa, Fla., immediately if you smell sewer gas. This foul stench will continue to enter your home after you’ve cleaned your drains, and it’s a sign of a serious problem within your plumbing. Every one of your drains should have a trap installed on them that prevents sewer gas from entering your home by rising up the pipes, but these plugs can experience issues. There may have been a problem when the original plumber installed it, or the plug may have malfunctioned in some way. Either way, it will probably need to be replaced by a professional plumber.

What Should I Do About My Smelly Sink Drain?

By and large, smelly sink drains can only be fixed by a Tampa plumber. They will be able to determine what the cause of the odor is and what the appropriate course of action is. We do not recommend that you try to pour chemicals down the drain to fix any smells as you can severely harm your plumbing and possibly create a toxic gas in the process. Please, call one of our plumbers in Tampa instead to keep yourself and your family safe.

Top 5 Residential Plumbing Problems

No matter what kind of home you own, problems with the plumbing can arise seemingly out of nowhere. When a plumbing problem does present itself, it’s crucial for you to have one of our skilled plumbers come out and address the issue to save you from high water bills, damaged property, or even more damage to your plumbing system.

Hot Water Problems

Issues with Tampa hot water heaters are some of the most annoying and most common problems a homeowner can face with their plumbing. Pilot lights can go out. Water pressure issues and faulty temperature gauges can keep you from getting hot water. If your water heater is old or damaged, it can even begin to leak and quickly flood your home. Regular maintenance checks and immediate service from The Pampering Plumber can help to keep your showers hot and your home dry.

Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are the second most common problem our plumbers in Tampa see. They will happily diagnose and remove any clogs you may have, or they will help you to find the real cause behind your apparently clogged drain. Often, roots and debris will gather in plumbing over time, and this can cause regular blockages. If this is the case, you may need to have some of your plumbing replaced to keep from having further issues in the future.

Faucet Leaks

A leaky faucet is typically nothing too severe, but it can add significant money to your monthly water bill. There are several different reasons why leaking faucets occur, but our Tampa commercial plumbing experts can find the problem, fix it, and save you that money.

Dripping Pipes

Dripping pipes can be one of the most damaging and costly Tampa plumbing issues that homeowners can face. They can cause overall leaks or standing water that can destroy personal belongings, your floors, and your walls. If you notice a pipe is dripping, call one of our plumbers as soon as you can.

Toilet Issues

Toilets can come with a variety of issues — everything from clogging to running water and overflowing. These issues can increase your water bills, damage your home, and make life extremely difficult. If you are having issues with your toilet, have one of our licensed plumbers in Tampa take a look at it. One-off problems can be an easy fix, but repeat problems may signify that your toilet needs parts or to be replaced.

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.

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.

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.

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