Frequently Asked Questions
When you need a trusted residential plumber, you can always count on Canyon Plumbing & Heating.
For over 20 years, the experts at Canyon Plumbing & Heating have provided dependable plumbing and heating installation and repair for the residents of Boulder and beyond. Whether it’s a water heater installation, or a whole-home repipe, we’re your one-stop shop.
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What Are The Signs That My Water Heater is Failing?
When you think about it, the average household water heater works continuously to provide you and your family with hot water whenever you need it. And the greater the demand, the harder the system must work to keep up.
All of that work has consequences, however. Your system may fail prematurely, especially if you’re not diligent about maintenance — and whoever thinks about their water heater until there’s a problem, anyway?
So how do you know that the water heater is going bad before it completely fails? Well, here are a few signs to watch for.
- Inconsistent Water Temperature - If you get water that’s sometimes too hot or too cold, it could be an issue with the heating element. It can also mean that your water heater is losing efficiency because of its age and can’t perform like it did when it was new.
- Leaks - Water leaks can be as simple as a worn-out gasket or as severe as a compromised tank. Check to see if the water is leaking from the tank's bottom before you call a plumber.
- Discolored Water - Water that comes out cloudy or rust-colored from the hot water fixture could mean the tank is rusting out, or it may be a corroded anode rod. A corroding tank requires replacing, while an anode rod is easy to swap out.
- Odd Sounds - As water heaters get older, sediment builds up inside the tank and solidifies, leading to strange sounds coming from the tank-like rumbling or popping. Most times, this problem is fixed by flushing the tank to remove the sediment.
What Causes Sewer Line Clogs?
One of the last things a homeowner wants to deal with is a clog in their sewer line. Sewer line clogs can cause raw sewage to back up into the house and often require excavating the yard to repair.
You can avoid most sewer line clogs by paying attention to what goes down the drain. Below are the most common reasons sewer lines become backed up.
- Items from the House - The most common cause of sewer line clogs is that homeowners flush down the toilet or put down the drains. Many people flush paper towels, personal wipes, and feminine hygiene products down the toilet, which are notorious for causing clogs. Also, cooking grease and food waste are other culprits that cause clogging problems. To solve this, make sure you only flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet and pour cooking grease and food debris into the trash instead of down the drain.
- Tree Roots - Trees and shrubs on your property naturally seek out accessible water sources, so if you have a leak in your water or sewer line, the roots will find it and burrow into the pipe, creating a thick, stringy clog. Consider upgrading your aging pipes with materials that resist tree roots, or remove the trees that are close to the line.
- Damage - It’s not uncommon to see older homes with outdated plumbing have problems when the pipes collapse. If the pipes are weak and the ground shifts, it’s often enough to cause the pipes to fall apart. If your home is 50 years or older, contact a plumber to find out about replacing that old sewer line.
- Heavy Rain - Sewers have a limit as to what they can handle at a time, and when heavy rains come, they can become overwhelmed. When this happens, the water overflow finds its way into residential lines, causing clogs and backups.
What are the Most Common Kitchen Plumbing Problems?
Besides the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in the house. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks put a lot of strain on the plumbing and fixtures. Here are the most common plumbing problems you’re likely to see in your kitchen.
- Low Kitchen Water Pressure - If you have a weak water stream coming out of your kitchen faucet, it could be something simple like a clog in the line or aerator. Many residents deal with hard water, which causes mineral deposits to build up in the system, leading to clogs. If the problem lies with the aerator, you can fix this by removing it and cleaning it with vinegar or a scale-removal product.
- Leaking Faucet - Sometimes, a leaking faucet requires a professional to fix or replace, but check for these common causes of leaks before you call. If the faucet leaks at the base of the spout, it’s likely a worn O-ring seal, which is easily replaced.
- Clogged Kitchen Drain - Most kitchen sinks use a P-shaped trap designed to stop sewer gas from coming into your house. Water flows into the curved section of the pipe through gravity to block these gases. However, when soap scum, food debris, and grease build up in this trap, it obstructs the water flow causing a leak. You can check the P-trap by loosening the slip nuts at each end, and removing the trap.
- Leaking Dishwasher - Common causes of leaking dishwashers are broken float switches, bad gaskets, and damaged spray arms. Fortunately, these are easily replaced using a screwdriver.
- Clogged Drains - Most homeowners experience clogged drains, especially in the kitchen. Be careful about what goes down your kitchen sink. You can prevent most clogs by putting food scraps and cooking grease into the trash or a compost heap rather than putting them down the drain. If you do experience a clog, try a homemade remedy like vinegar and baking soda before calling a plumber.
When do you Need Gas Line Repair?
The gas line is one of the most important parts of your home’s plumbing system if you have gas-powered appliances. Getting to know the signs saying that you need gas line repair is crucial for protecting your home and family, and getting help before disaster strikes.
Here are the most common signs that you need gas line repair.
- Foul Odors - Perhaps the most significant sign pointing to a broken gas line is the odor of rotten eggs, which is a chemical put in by the gas supplier to alert customers of the presence of gas. If you smell this, call for help immediately.
- Hissing Sounds - Do you hear hissing noises coming from a gas appliance? If so, it could be a slow leak.
- Dying Vegetation - Many gas lines run through the lawn, so if you notice portions of your lawn that are dying, it could be a leak in the gas line.
- Rise in Gas Bill - If your gas bill suddenly spikes, you should have a professional check your gas line for leaks.
No matter what plumbing issue you have, contact us
What Do I Do When Gas Leaks in the House?
Even gas lines installed by professionals are prone to leaks because of age, moving soil conditions, damage, and tree roots. Sometimes, homeowners don’t know they have a gas leak until it’s too late.
If you know the signs of gas leaks, and you detect them, here are the proper steps to take to ensure everyone’s safety.
- Get out of the house quickly.
- Don’t use any electrical devices or turn on any electric items in the house.
- Leave your doors and windows open to allow gas to escape.
- Call the gas company, emergency services, and a plumber.
- If you feel nauseated, lightheaded, have a headache, blurred vision, dizzy, or any other symptom associated with carbon monoxide poisoning, seek medical attention immediately.
Are Gas-Powered Appliances Better Than Electric?
These days, everyone wants to buy energy efficient appliances, if not for the environment, then for the savings on their energy bills.
Many residents have the choice of buying gas or electric powered appliances, so it’s worth asking: Which fuel source is less expensive to use?
During the energy shortage back in the 70s, electricity was the preferred source for many new home constructions; however, this trend is shifting back to natural gas. The average cost for natural gas is $2.59 per million BTu. The average homeowner can save anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 on their yearly energy bills by switching their furnaces from electric to gas, and the same holds true for gas water heaters, washers, dryers, etc.
Today, natural gas prices are so low that using it as your primary fuel source is a no-brainer if you have the option.
Another reason natural gas appliances are preferred is that they operate more efficiently than their electric-powered counterparts. For example, the average electric stove uses three times as much energy to do the same job that a natural gas stove does. Also, gas water heaters heat water twice as fast as the electric models.
If you have the option for both gas and electric-powered appliances and can’t decide which way to go, call our experts for help.
For professional plumbing help, you can rely on the experts at Canyon Plumbing & Heating. Call us today at 720-480-6228!