Buying a new home can be such an exciting time for you and your family. While a certified home inspector should do a look through of the home before you sign any papers or put money on the table, make sure you also look around yourself to see if there are any warning signs of potential problems. Look at issues such as the roof, electrical wiring, floors, walls, and the plumbing in the home. Of the issues that could cause problems if overlooked, plumbing is one of the most devastating, and also is one of the most commonly overlooked in home inspections. It never hurts to have a licensed plumber do an inspection of the home’s plumbing system in addition to the home inspector. A little money up front could save you potentially thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are some common plumbing areas to pay special attention to as you conduct your home inspections:
The holidays are upon us and that means big holiday meals. This is the time for family and friends, fun and cheer. It is not a time for plumbing troubles and headaches. Unfortunately, the chances of plumbing issues arising are higher during this time of the year.
The main reasons for increased chances of plumbing problems are that there more people in your home during this time. More people means more toilet flushing, extra showers, and more soap or hair going down drains. A busier kitchen means more water being used and more waste going down the sink drain and disposal. This includes excess grease finding it’s way down the drain, which can mean better chances of clogging.
You can avoid these plumbing disasters by following a few simple plumbing tips. Following these simple tips during the holiday season will maximize the life of your plumbing and help you avoid the headaches caused by mishaps.
Ben Franklin once wrote “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” His observation is particularly true when it comes to your plumbing system. Simple preventative actions can save you thousands of dollars in repairs when you have water leaks. There are three critical areas where water leaks are likely to occur where you and your plumber can make a significant impact with some preventative maintenance.
A water leak can cost a lot of money to repair, or worse, cause permanent damage to your home. If you suspect a water leak you need to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible and take care of it at its source. Here are the signs of a water leak and what to do once you find it.
Increases In Your Water Bill
Compare your water bill each month. Look at what the total is compared to last month, as well as what it was at this time last year. Significant differences could indicate a water leak somewhere on your property.
When you need a plumbing repair, you may be unsure whether to call a handyman or a professional plumber. Before making that decision, it helps to understand the differences between a handyman and a plumber from a plumbing repair service. In some cases a handyman may be the appropriate choice, but for plumbing repairs specifically, hiring a plumbing repair service is really the best choice. Here’s why.
What Can a Handyman Do?
Most handymen are jack-of-all-trades, meaning that they offer a variety of services. They may not be trained in any specific area such as plumbing. Many homeowners will hire a handyman to do repairs and maintenance around their homes that they do not have time to do or may be unable to do by themselves such as:
- Cleaning gutters
- Fixing a broken window
- Replacing a door
- Putting up shelves
- Mowing the lawn or yard cleanup
- Minor carpentry or plumbing repairs
In most cases, handymen have not gone through any type of specific training or apprenticeship. They usually are not licensed and may not carry liability insurance to protect their customer in case they cause damage while making a repair. While the cost to hire a handyman is generally less than hiring a plumbing repair service, you also assume more risk. In some areas, handymen are even prohibited by law from performing major plumbing repairs.
You may be confused by the term slab leak. In construction terminology, a slab is the large concrete floor in your home. The slab, itself, is not leaking; a water pipe beneath the slab is leaking. This seepage of water is what the construction and insurance industries call a slab leak. It is important to identify any leaks and complete a slab leak repair before it causes severe damage to your home.
Many homeowners have experienced the annoying rattling or clunking sound that emanates from noisy pipes in the home when turning a faucet on or off, but have been unable to identify the cause or the location of those noises. This is a very common problem especially in older homes, but there are several things that can be done to figure out what the problem is and correct it. Some of the possible causes of these loud and embarrassing noises are discussed below, along with some recommendations on how each scenario might be resolved.
In many parts of the country, water heaters are commonly placed in the attic. This is manageable until you suspect your water heater has a leak, and accessing it to complete water heater repair is challenging to you and a professional plumber.
Why the Attic?
Homes built on pad foundations (no basement or crawl space) often have attic water heaters. While cheap to install, their attic location makes water heater repair very difficult. Garages are not good locations for gas-fired water heaters specifically, because of the proximity of flammable liquids.
By the Numbers
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety points out several factors that increase your risk of water heater repair and failure:
Slab leaks are often the culprit if you notice an unexplained increase in your water bill and have ruled out common sources of leaks such as your toilets or outdoor faucets. It is not always easy for a homeowner to determine where leaks from pipes running under your slab foundation may be located. In some cases, you might see wet spots or feel hot areas on your floor that may point to where the leak may be located.
Slab leaks usually come from one of two sources. One of those sources is the sewer lines that run under and around your home, and the other is the water lines that are under and around your home. Here are a few ways to check for signs that one of these sources is leaking under your slab: