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Plumbing

Standard Water Heater repair

Water heater repair: Common problems and fixes

By | Blog, Plumbing

We all take electric water heaters for granted until they no longer work. The life expectancy of a water heater can vary depending upon the quality of the unit, how often it’s used and the amount of minerals in your water. If you are experiencing no hot water, too much hot water, strange odors or rumbling noises, there are a few things you can troubleshoot to determine the source of the problem. Remember, if you can’t locate the problem or don’t feel comfortable making repairs, you can always consider find a plumber to complete a water heater repair in Vancouver, WA.

No Hot Water

If your electric water heater has been functioning properly for quite some time but you suddenly find yourself without hot water, there could some repair issues. A heating element may have gone out, or there could be a problem with the electric thermostat. It is also possible that you may have blown a fuse or tripped the circuit breaker. Replacing a fuse isn’t that difficult, and you can easily check to see if the circuit breaker is tripped. However, if the thermostat or heating element needs to be replaced, you might need to call for water heater repair in Vancouver.

Too Much Hot Water

Too much hot water can present a real danger to anyone living in a home. The first thing you’ll want to check is the thermostat on the unit. Make a note of the current setting and reduce the setting to a lower temperature. If the water temperature coming out of the faucet improves, you’re all set. However, if you hear the sound of boiling water in the water heater or see steam coming from the faucet, you may have a faulty pressure relief valve that will need to be replaced.

Strange Odors

Cold water can sometimes develop a strange odor due to minerals in the water like copper or iron. Installing a water filtration system could resolve the problem. However, if you determine there is a rotten egg smell coming from the hot water, you may need to flush the water tank or have the anode rod checked.

Rumbling Noises

Hard water accumulations, minerals and contracting metal can cause noises in your water heater. It may be time to have your Vancouver hot water heater flushed by a professional.

A Shortage of Hot Water

The most common reason for a shortage of hot water in a home is because of lifestyle changes or an increase in the demand for hot water. For example, if one or more kids have moved in or you’ve rented out a room, your demand for hot water has just seriously increased. It’s possible you simply need a larger unit with more capacity.

If these situations don’t apply, you may need to increase the temperature setting on the thermostat if cooler weather is affecting the water heaters ability to maintain temperature. You may also need to flush the water tank if you live in an area with high amounts of mineral deposits.

Need a Vancouver Plumber for Water Heater Repair?

Replacing and troubleshooting electric hot water heaters can be a big job. If you need professional help from an experienced plumber in Vancouver, WA, contact Simpson Plumbing today.

Plumbing setup with Simpson Plumbing, including sewer repair for the home.

Sewer repair: When should I call a plumber?

By | Plumbing

Most people can handle the occasional clogged toilet or shower drain themselves. It’s great if you’re handy with tools and can replace a clogged sink aerator or a faucet washer to stop leaks. Making small do-it-yourself repairs is tempting to save money when it comes to sewer repair. However, when you get in over your head and don’t really know what you’re doing, you could cause more costly damage.

Often times, it is cheaper and quicker to let a professional plumber evaluate the situation and make the sewer repairs than trying to make them yourself. Water pipe damage, low water pressure, hot water problems and new construction projects related to plumbing are just a few examples that may require Vancouver sewer repair by a qualified plumber.

Blocked or Frozen Pipes

Blocked pipes can occur when sediment and minerals build up in pipes, tree roots grow into pipes, or when items that are not meant for sewer system disposal are flushed down the toilet. Regardless of the situation, most homeowners don’t have the knowledge or the equipment to make these kinds of repairs correctly.

Burst or frozen pipes are typically caused by water freezing during the wintertime, in the pipes somewhere in the home or in the home’s foundation. Just to locate the source of the damage can be challenging, and it’s best left to a professional to make repairs to prevent additional damage to the foundation, drywall and flooring.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure in one or two faucets is often just a matter of a little routine maintenance like cleaning the faucet heads. However, if low water pressure is occurring throughout the home, this could be a serious sign that you need to investigate further. It’s possible there could be a problem with your well system if you live in a rural area. Water supplied by city services could be another issue. Serious breaches or leaks in your home’s piping could also cause a reduction in water pressure and damage the foundation or infrastructure of the home.

Hot Water Problems

Undoubtedly, most people’s first reaction when they have no hot water is to assume that there must be a reset button they can adjust to get the hot water back on. However, hot water heaters can be a little bit more complicated than that. Hot water heaters can be affected by sediment buildup in the water, which means the unit may need flushing periodically. They could also malfunction due to a bad thermostat, blown fuse, circuit breaker problems or a bad heating element. Hiring a Vancouver sewer repair company may be a cheaper alternative than diagnosing the unit yourself.

New Construction

On the surface, installing a new dishwasher, adding a bathroom or installing a hot tub may seem like easy projects for the do-it-yourselfer. However, if you don’t have the expertise, tools, equipment and permits, you could damage existing plumbing or fail to meet necessary safety building codes.

If you’re looking for help with sewer repair in Vancouver, WA, contact Simpson Plumbing for professional services to get the job done right.

Understanding Your Home’s Plumbing Anatomy

By | Blog, Plumbing

Woman builder with special tool.As a homeowner, the inner workings of your house can be mystifying. However, it is important to understand the basics of how your house works, including how your house’s plumbing system is set up. This is especially important for maintenance and prevention issues–after all, a small problem, if left unaddressed, can turn into big, expensive problem over time, so it’s best to understand how things work in order to be able to tell if something is amiss. Here’s a brief guide to your home’s plumbing anatomy.

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South Korean Man Invents that Best Toilet Unclogger Yet

By | Blog, Plumbing

puntuIf you’re like most people, unclogging your toilet is low on your list of enjoyable activities. However, when those pipes clog, they need instant attention to prevent further clogging, overflowing, and unnecessary house calls to remedy any damage.

Despite the technological advancements we enjoy in the modern world, no one has dreamed up a technology that solves the problem of a messy, clogged bowl without the help of a trusty, if somewhat primitive, plunger.
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Seven Ways to Make Your Plumbing Last

By | Blog, Plumbing

DishesWhether your house is new, newly piped, or old but in good condition, keeping your plumbing healthy and functional is essential to efficient management of your home and your finances. However, besides participating in regular maintenance, there may be actions that you are taking that are harming your plumbing without your knowledge. The following list includes many “don’ts” and a few “do’s” to help you get clear on the best way to treat your pipes.

1. Scrap the Draino

Walk. Slowly. Away. From the chemical cleaners. Chemical cleaners rarely complete the job the way you’d hoped, and always damage your pipes in some fashion. The chemicals included in these cleaners are dangerous for most users to handle and only serve to bore a hole through tough clogs, rather than removing the blockage in question. You’ll have better luck with an auger and drain traps to prevent these hairy, gucky clogs from developing in the first place.

2. Tossing every “flushable” down the drain

Feminine hygiene products, cleaning wipes, makeup removing pads and cat litter, among other items, are NOT flushable! These items, no matter how they are labeled, do not disintegrate quickly enough to move smoothly through your drain pipe.

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What if My Pipes Burst This Winter?

By | Blog, Plumbing

frozen-pipesWith one of the coldest winters in recent memory upon us, the threat of pipes freezing and bursting is real. Pipes that freeze and then defrost have an increased chance of bursting, causing water leaks that can lead to floods that damage the structure of your home as well as your valuables. One way to avoid this hassle is to educate yourself so you are ready in the event of a plumbing emergency.

Why Pipes Burst

While it may seem counter intuitive, it is not usually the ice forming in the pipe that causes it to break. Rather, the expansion inside the pipe caused by the frozen water increases water pressure between the ice blockage and the closed faucet. Due to this pressure buildup, pipes most often burst in areas that have not yet frozen, which results in an immediate leak of icy water.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

It’s not too late to take measures to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. Your best bet is to insulate the pipe and keep the surrounding area warm using building insulation. You can learn all about How to Insulate Your Pipes in our blog post of the same name.

If you suspect you have a frozen pipe, don’t panic, but do take action. Call a trusted plumber immediately to report the issue. Do not attempt to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. This process can be dangerous and inefficient. Instead, you may be able to thaw the pipe with a hand-held hair dryer. Simply open the faucet and apply heat to the pipe slowly, beginning close to the faucet end and moving toward the frozen area. Throughout this process, be sure you are not standing in water. Doing so while working with electrical items can cause electrocution.

If Your Pipe Bursts

In the case of a burst pipe, do the following:

  • Turn off the water main shut-off valve, which is usually located at the water meter or where the main line enters your home. Leave the faucets open until your plumber has had a chance to repair the damage. If you have your own private well, be sure to use the shut off located near or on the well holding tank. Note: If you’re unsure where your shut off valves are and your pipes have not burst, do yourself a huge favor and find them now to save time in an emergency.

  • If your home or basement has flooded, consider whether you have any live electrical cords or outlets submerged before stepping into the standing water. If in doubt, wait for your plumber or call your local Public Works Department for assistance.

Burst pipes can cause a great deal of stress. Because they increase in likelihood during freeze-and-thaw cycles, now is the time to locate your shut off valves and take note of Simpson Plumbing’s contact number so you’ll be ready for the worst, while hoping for the best.

Top 3 Reasons to Invest in a Tankless Water Heater

By | Blog, Plumbing

tankless-in-laundry-roomSwapping the bulky water heater that lurks in the back corner of your storage closet or basement for a streamlined model that provides hot water on-demand may seem like a no-brainer. However, any important household upgrade requires a clear-minded assessment before investing. Consider the following benefits of flipping your overworked, outdated water heater for a more energy-efficient, portable version.

1. You save space: If you live in a small apartment or house, you may want to consider tankless options. Tankless water heaters weigh approximately 25 pounds, depending on the model, and can be conveniently stowed in a closet, inconspicuously in the corner of your living room, or even mounted on your wall.

2. You save money over time: While traditional water heaters work hard to keep water hot as more enters the tank, tankless models heat water as you use them so you do not need to expend household energy constantly heating the water in your tank, waiting for someone to take a shower. While startup costs for tankless water heaters can run high, the long term savings far outweigh the initial investment costs.
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