And When to Call a Professional Plumber

Most of us would love to save money whenever we can.  When it comes to plumbing, however, it’s generally better to call in the professional; especially when you may be in over your head or you just don’t have the time.

Some of the smaller plumbing jobs, however, can be done at home without the risk of causing a massive flood.  Here are 5 plumbing tips that you can use in order to get the plumbing job done.  When it comes time, however, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is here to serve all of your Lake and Mendocino County plumbing needs.

Know how to Keep Sewer Lines Clear of Root Issues

If you live in a house that’s over 40 years old, your sewer lines are prone to tree root damage.  As the trees mature, their roots go deeper and seek out water.  What’s the wettest area around your house?  Probably that aging pipe that is transporting all the wastewater to the city sewer!  Fortunately, there are no tools required to keep this line clean.  There are a few different brands of root killer which you can flush down the toilet.  This foaming compound enters into the pipes and grabs on to the tree roots that are creeping through the pipes.  It kills the ends, and creates a bond so the roots won’t grow back any time soon.

Why most DIY Sewer lines will require a professional plumber

Root killer is a preventative measure though.  If you haven’t been keeping those pipes clear, you will need someone to clean out the sewer pipes first so that everything can function just how it’s supposed to.

Know how to Replace a Shower Head

Tired of your old shower head?  Or do you have one that dumps out far too much water and you want something to help keep utility costs down?  Replacing a shower head is one of the simpler plumbing jobs you can do.  Using an adjustable wrench, simply unscrew the old fixture, clean the threads, wrap with plumbing tape, and screw the new fixture back on.

Why a professional plumber is a better option to replace a shower head

When you’re working with the pipes there is always the chance that you could do some damage.  Even though it’s a simple job, you may want to have a professional plumber come by to ensure it all goes smoothly.

Know how to Stop a Constantly Running Toilet

A toilet that won’t stop running is pretty annoying.  But do you know how much water you’re wasting?  Your running toilet could be draining thousands of gallons of water each month; costing you hundreds of dollars per year.  The repair is often little more than a minor adjustment on the components.

Take the back off the toilet tank.  Most running toilet problems are due to a damaged or warped flapper.  Turn the water off to the toilet, and then flush to clear the water from the tank.  Remove the old flapper and install a new one.  But what if it’s not the flapper?  If the toilet is leaking through the overflow, simply adjust the float just turn the float adjustment so that the water stops about 1 inch below the overflow tube.

Too many trips to the hardware store can save you a lot of time if you hire a professional plumber

Toilets aren’t actually as complicated as we often think they are.  But they can be overwhelming if you don’t know quite what to look for.  Combine that with multiple trips to the hardware store because there are so many different parts means a plumber can save you a lot of time when stopping a running toilet.

Know how to Turn off the Water to the House

Many houses are getting older, and so are the pipes.  Those pipes will eventually wear out and fail.  What do you do if one breaks and water is shooting into the house?  First, turn the water off!  After that, call the punctual plumber to get the problem taken care of.

Near where the water comes into the house, there will be a water meter and a water shut-off valve.  Most are a quarter turn ball valves.  When the handle is in-line with the water pipe, the water is on; when the handle is perpendicular to the water pipe, the water is off.

If you find it hard locating the main water pipe shut off you will be better off calling a plumber

Prevent as much damage as possible by killing the water to the house quickly.

Know how to Clear Out a Slow Shower Drain

One of the worst feelings in the world is to be taking a shower and the water starts to pool up around your feet.  That slow drain is generally caused by hair going down the drain and getting stuck.  The clog is worsened when soap latches onto the hair creating a big gunk of a mess.

There’s no need to rip the whole drain apart.  Instead, grab a zip it drain cleaning too and push it into the drain.  The “teeth” will slip into the drain easily, and grab the hair on the way back out.  The mess that was slowing your drain is cleared out in just a couple of minutes.  Note: not for the faint of heart!  The gunk pulled from the drain can be pretty gross.

That hairball you pull out might solve the issue… but the issue might be further down the pipes.  In order to really get things cleaned up, a plumber will have to come and “snake” out the drain.  That’s where we can help.

 

Call a Plumber if You’re Not Comfortable

These 5 DIY plumbing tips aren’t the most difficult tasks, but what if it’s a bigger project you want to take on?  Whenever you tackle a DIY plumbing project you have to keep a few things in mind.  First, do you know how to do the entire project the right way?  If not, find a plumber near you.  Second, will you be able to do the job without messing anything else?  If not, a plumber can.  Third, do you have time to tackle the project?  Most of us are busy, if you don’t have time, your local plumber will save you the headache.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing serves Lakeport, CA and the surrounding areas.  We offer emergency plumbing services for all of Mendocino County and parts of Lake County.  Give us a call at 707-263-1629 to schedule your service.

It can be tempting to handle some of the repairs around your house on your own to help you save money. However, in the long run, this isn’t going to save you much, primarily because most people don’t have the expertise and knowledge required to complete some of the most complex repairs, let alone some of the simpler ones. This is why it’s often best to work with the professionals. A professional plumber can ultimately save you money on your water heater repairs, ensuring you have an operational water heater at all times.

Lower Your Energy Bills

One of the biggest complaints homeowners have is how much their utility bills are. Both electric and gas water heaters will come with a rating that indicates how much energy they use when they are operating at peak efficiency. Over time, these units will begin to operate less efficiently, which will cause the unit to begin using more energy than it previously did. This is why it’s important to pay close attention to your energy bills. If you begin to see your bills rise, you will need to determine which appliance is the cause. One of the best ways to do this is to call on the professionals to conduct an inspection of your water heater. They will be able to identify any problem that may exist and then resolve it quickly so you can experience lower utility bills again.

Reduce Your Water Bill

Did you realize if your hot water heater requires repairs, it could actually be wasting water? This typically happens if the water heater springs a leak. While it would seem like you would be able to easily identify the presence of a leak, sometimes the location of the issue or its severity can impact whether you will notice water pooling around your water heater. If you don’t notice a problem, you will be wasting water without giving it another thought. Professional water heater repair will ensure these leaks are handled quickly and efficiently. In addition to leaks, there are other reasons an inefficient water heater increases your water bills. Think about your habits when you use your faucets and want hot water. If you’re like most people, you have to run the water until the hot water reaches the taps. If your hot water heater is struggling, this will take longer, causing you to use more water and thus increase your bills.

Prevent Further Damage

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to turn to the professionals for your water heater repairs is because they have the experience necessary to complete the repairs properly the first time around. Many people mistakenly think they can diagnose and correct any problems their water heater may have. After all, there are many tutorials online that show you what to do and how to do it. Unfortunately, these are often difficult to follow and things aren’t as easy as they may appear to be. If you don’t perform a repair correctly, you will ultimately do more damage to your water heater, which will require you to either hire professionals to redo your incorrect repairs or replace your water heater entirely. Completing any repairs in their earliest stages will ensure no further damage is done and you are able to continue using your current water heater without worrying about needing a replacement in the near future.

Save on Parts

It isn’t always easy to diagnose the problem when it comes to your water heater. If you misdiagnose the issue, buy the wrong parts and spend the time replacing them, only to find the problem persists, you have not only wasted your own time, but you have wasted your money and will need to pay even more to either buy the right parts or hire the professionals to make sure the problem is properly managed. Not only will you save money knowing the professionals have purchased the correct parts for the job, but in many cases, plumbers have access to discounted parts and will pass those savings along to you. This can also make for a much cheaper repair than doing it yourself, even if you do have to pay the labor costs.

Prolong Its Lifespan

In most cases, water heater repair is often significantly cheaper than replacing the entire unit. While you will need to replace it at some point in the future, hiring the professionals to repair any problems you encounter will keep you from having to pay for a replacement long before it is due. This is why it’s important to request regular inspections to identify minor problems before they become more serious issues. Unfortunately, many serious issues will require a full replacement to ensure it is properly fixed. However, if you make these repairs when they are still small, you will be able to save money by keeping your water heater operational for a longer period of time.

As a homeowner, it’s important to find as many ways as possible to reduce your regular bills and keep your budget under control. With all of the appliances in your home, it’s critical to make sure they all operate efficiently. Unfortunately, there are some homeowners who feel they can save themselves money by performing repairs on their own. However, when it comes to something as complex as your water heater, it is often best to hire the professionals to complete the work for you. Few people have the experience and knowledge to perform plumbing repairs, which means they may waste their money buying the wrong parts. Hiring professional plumbers can be a great way to reduce the risk you will waste money performing repairs that aren’t necessary, as well as reducing your energy and water bills, prolonging the lifespan of your water heater to put off replacement as long as possible and preventing further damage due to incorrect repairs. The goal is to make sure your water heater is operating as efficiently as it was designed to so you can enjoy the hot water you need on a daily basis.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing serves Mendo Lake, CA and surrounding areas. We have technicians trained to repair, install, and tune-up water heaters of all makes and models. Give us a call at (707)-263-1629 or visit us online at Benjaminfranklinplumbingmendolake.com.

*We have 24/7 emergency services available in Lake & Mendocino Counties

Toll Free: (877)-236-1776.

Hot water dispensers can be very convenient – both for home use and for industrial purposes. However, there is still some confusion about what, exactly, a hot water dispenser is, how it works, and the different types of hot water dispensers available on the market today.

Let’s take a look at the basics now, starting with what hot water dispensers are.

What Is A Hot Water Dispenser?

A hot water dispenser is an appliance that integrates a faucet or some kind of water container with a heating element. This heating element allows water to be heated to a certain temperature instantly, or heats a specific volume of water, and maintains that level of heat. Usually, water is heated to about 201° F, or just under the boiling temperature.

This makes it easy to get hot water for just about any application – whether it’s for hot beverages such as coffee or tea, for cooking food, for cleaning laundry or dishes, or any other reason. Hot water dispensers eliminate the time-consuming process of constantly boiling water in electric/stovetop kettles, or in pots and pans. 

The Different Types Of Hot Water Dispensers

There are three primary types of hot water dispensers that are used in the home today. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Integrated hot water dispensers – Integrated hot water dispensers are the most expensive, power-hungry type of hot water dispenser. However, they are also the most convenient.As the name suggests, these hot water dispensers are integrated directly into your home’s sink and plumbing, and usually can dispense hot water directly from a faucet in the sink.Typically, integrated hot water dispensers consist of an insulated tank, a heating element, and a faucet, and link directly with the water supply of your home. Water is drawn into the insulated tank, where a heating element brings it to the desired temperature. Then, the water is maintained at this temperature until it must be used.After water is dispensed, the insulated tank will fill with cold water, and the entire process will be repeated. Though these dispensers do use a fair amount of energy, they are very convenient, and integrate seamlessly into an existing sink.

  These units also often integrate a filtration system, allowing for a more high-quality water supply.

  Instant, “tankless” hot water dispensers are also available. These are usually more expensive than      units with tanks. They use an extremely powerful heating element to rapidly bring cold water to a        boil on-demand, and they don’t need an insulating tank.

  This allows users to save money on power costs, as the unit is only activated when hot water is            dispensed.

  • Boil-on-demand water dispensers – Boil-on-demand water dispensers are, essentially, supercharged electric kettles. These devices do not require installation, and are usually small enough to fit comfortably on a kitchen counter.These water dispensers are able to heat a small volume of water – usually not more than a pint or so – in a very short time, usually less than a minute. Because water is not constantly heated and kept at a steady temperature, they are more energy-efficient than comparable integrated hot water dispensers.However, they do have some drawbacks. They take longer to boil water, as the process is not instantaneous. They also require regular refilling by the user, making them somewhat more inconvenient. Finally, only a small volume of hot water can be boiled at once.Despite these drawbacks, these units are very inexpensive, making them popular for consumers on a budget.
  • Thermo-pot hot water dispensers – These standalone units are quite similar to integrated hot water dispensers, but do not require installation in a sink. They are usually quite a bit larger than boil-on-demand water dispensers.Thermo-pot hot water dispensers essentially combine an electric kettle and an insulated hot water flask. The boiler brings the water to the desired temperature, and the built-in heating element and insulated tank allows the water to maintain that temperature until the water is used.These dispensers usually have a capacity of between 2-5 liters, making them a better choice than boil-on-demand water dispensers if a large volume of water is required. However, these units must still be refilled by the user, and do use up a fair amount of electricity maintaining proper water temperature.

The Benefits Of A Hot Water Dispenser

Hot water dispensers have a number of benefits, compared to alternative sources of hot water such as the sink, stovetop kettles, or dedicated electric kettles.

  • Higher temperatures – Most home water heaters limit temperatures in sinks and showers to about 120° F. This is done for safety reasons – you don’t want to accidentally use boiling water in your bath, or for cleaning your dishes.Still, sometimes you may need higher-temperature water to cook, or make hot beverages quickly. Hot water dispensers usually bring water to temperatures in excess of 200° F, so they’re perfect for these applications.
  • Convenience – Having hot water on demand is much more convenient than going through the process of filling a kettle and boiling it – so a hot water dispenser can save you quite a bit of time!
  • High capacity – Your standard kettle can only boil 48-64oz of water at a time, and boiling a large volume of water takes time. In contrast, high-capacity hot water dispensers can often boil and heat a gallon or more – providing you with a high-volume water heating solution.

Hot Water Dispensers – Safe, Convenient, And Affordable

Because hot water dispensers come in so many different types, there’s sure to be a dispenser out there that’s perfect for you. So think about how you can benefit from the convenience of a hot water dispenser, and shop now.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing serves Mendo Lake, CA and surrounding areas. We have technicians trained to repair, install, and tune-up water heaters of all makes and models. Give us a call at (707)-263-1629 or visit us online at Benjaminfranklinplumbingmendolake.com.

*We have 24/7 emergency services available in Lake & Mendocino Counties

Toll Free: (877)-236-1776.

Small plumbing problems can often be fixed with a bit of knowledge. However, people sometimes overestimate their abilities, and some end up performing tasks that are better left to professionals. Here are a few reasons to consider hiring a plumber if you’re in need of plumbing repairs.

Save Time

Repair work has a tendency to take more time than anticipated, and a task you predict might only take an hour or two can quickly occupy a day or more. When you hire a plumber, you can avoid wasting hours of time on a task that a professional can complete quickly. Calculate how much your time is worth compared to how much a professional charges; it’s often well worth the money spent.

Making the Problem Worse

Too often, people trying to fix a problem end up making it worse. In some situations, a problem that would take a professional minutes to fix can turn into a much larger, and more expensive, project due to damage caused by fault repair work. Hiring a professional comes with a guarantee, so consider the cost of mistakes before performing plumbing work yourself.

Hidden Damage

In addition to providing repair work, a plumber will also look for signs of damage. Leaks can wreak havoc on your home by causing mold and rot, and this damage can occur from even the smallest of leaks. Perform repair work without proper training increases the likelihood of causing this type of damage dramatically, so long-term damage needs to be considered when you perform your own plumbing repair work.

Legal Considerations

Rules vary, but most areas require that certain plumbing work only be performed by a licensed professional. In some places, even seemingly minor work must be done by a professional plumber, and failing to have the work certified can cause major issues, especially if an inspector notices the discrepancy. In some situations, agencies might even demand the work be redone by a plumber, negating the benefit of do-it-yourself work to begin with.

General-purpose repair skills are useful, and they can save money if used properly. Some tasks, including plumbing and electrical work, require expertise, and choosing to stretch your skills might lead to disastrous results. Be cautious when it comes to plumbing, as small mistakes are easy to make and costly to fix.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is headquartered in Lakeport, California, and we offer services throughout all of Mendocino County and parts of Lake County. We offer 24/7 repairs, and our installation services help you get new dishwashers, water heaters, and other equipment up and running quickly and safely.

The water heater is probably one of the most widely used – yet under appreciated – common household appliances. The average person will take for granted the privilege of having instantaneous hot water delivered throughout their plumbing system.

Power: Gas or Electric?

Where their power and energy come from has both pros and cons. Gas units cost more to install up-front than electric. However, within the first 1-3 years, they likely will make up the difference in cost-of-use by being less of a burden on your utility bills. Electric models are cheaper up front and better for the environment, but over time they cost more to operate.

How Do I Know My Water Heater Is Properly Functioning?

Simply put, if there is no hot water coming out of your faucet, it is likely a faulty unit – but it can be more complicated than that. Your water may seem warm, but just not hot enough. American families, on average, keep their hot water temperature somewhere between 125 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit which is very hot to the touch.

Noises are also a good indicator that it is not functioning properly. Over time, sediment can build up inside of the unit, causing it to bang, creek, clank, and knock. Another sign of strange noises can be an indication that the heating element may be burning out.

Age is also a factor. On average, these appliances are sold with a warranty of anywhere from 5 to 10 years. After this time, the manufacturer does not guarantee the product will still work. If your water heater is 5-10 years old, it may be beneficial to have an expert come out and ensure everything is still running fine. It’s better to take action before getting stuck in a cold shower while trying to get ready for work!

When In Doubt, Check The Water!

The water itself can also be a good indicator – aside from just the temperature of it – the way it looks and smells will also give you an idea of whether or not everything is functioning properly. Cloudy or murky water is a bad sign. The smell of rust or iron is also not so good. If your water looks or smells not like water should, you should have a specialist come out as soon as possible.

Whether you are looking to fix your current heater, purchase a new one, or simply get reassurance that your current one is running fine, we encourage you to contact a specialist in your area who has been professionally trained to take on any issues that may arise.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing serves Mendo Lake, CA and surrounding areas. We have technicians trained to repair, install, and tune-up water heaters of all makes and models. Give us a call at (707)-263-1629 or visit us online at Benjaminfranklinplumbingmendolake.com.

*We have 24/7 emergency services available in Lake & Mendocino Counties

Toll Free: (877)-236-1776.

A home plumbing system has a variety of components. Each of these components has to be in peak condition in order for this system to run efficiently. Just like any other part of a home, eventually, your plumbing system will begin to show signs of wear. In some cases, worn out components can lead to plumbing emergencies. When these emergencies occur, the first thing you need to do is call in a reputable and experienced plumber. Read below to find out about some of the most common plumbing emergencies you may experience in your home.

Leaking Water Heaters Can Be Very Problematic

Getting a hot shower is something most people do to wake up in the morning. In order for you to get the hot water needed for this morning ritual, your water heater will have to function properly. As time goes by, your water heater’s tank may start to rust. If this rust makes its way through the tank, it will cause water to spill in the floors of your home. Instead of dealing with the water damage this can cause, you should call in a plumber as soon as these leaks are detected. The plumbing professional will be able to install a new water heater in a hurry.

Broken Plumbing Pipes

The plumbing pipes in a home perform a very specific and important function. If one of these pipes breaks or cracks, it can lead to an excessive amount of water being dumped into your home. The best thing you can do when experiencing plumbing pipe damage is to cut off the main water supply to your home. After this is done, you will have to call in a plumber to replace the damaged pipe.

Plumbing problems? Call us today and find out how we can help or visit our website at Benjaminfranklinplumbingmendolake.com.

Due to the complexity involved in maintaining and repairing a home’s plumbing system, allowing professionals to perform this work is important. Some homeowners think they can save some money by doing their own plumbing repairs, but this will usually backfire. When the time comes to replace your home’s water heater, finding experienced plumbers to help is vital. The money paid to a plumber for this work is worth it due to the damage they can help to prevent. The following are some of the reasons why hiring professionals to perform this job is wise.

Removing the Damaged Water Heater

The first thing a professional will do when hired for this job is to remove the damaged water heater. While this may sound relatively easy, it is anything but. Without the right tools and experience, removing a damaged water heater can turn into a disaster. If you insist on doing this job alone, it may lead to extensive water damage. Rather than increasing the amount of the repair bill for a job like this, you can find the right plumber to do the work for you.

A Faster Turnaround

Being without hot water for days on end can be inconvenient, to say the least. Instead of having to suffer without hot water, you can hire a plumber to get a new water heater in place. They will be able to get this job done in a hurry without you having to lift a finger during the process. Taking the time to do a bit of research will make finding the best plumber in your area much easier.

Be sure to contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing to find out more about the plumbing services we can provide. Our team is dedicated to providing customers with the best service and price around. Allowing us to handle your plumbing repairs will ensure they are done correctly.

If you have an older home, you should be aware of some of the issues that older homes may possess. One problem that you might not be aware of in your older home is issues with plumbing due to the type of pipes used. We’ll cover some of these issues here, but if still in doubt, contact a plumber.
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