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Three Steps To Help Maintain Your Water Heater

Water heaters are such an essential part of everyday life considering they provide heated water to all parts of your home whenever and wherever you need it.  Unfortunately, these vastly used and important units get neglected and forgotten about too often, until a problem arises.  Replacing your water heater because of failed maintenance or misuse can be very costly.  Not to mention the major inconvenience of not having any hot water until the issue is resolved or a new unit has been installed.  Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can increase the years you get out of it as well as better and more efficient performance while in use.  Let’s examine three well-known tips for getting the most out of your water heater.


Setting The Thermostat To The Proper Temperature


The temperature you decide to set your water heater at will have a constant impact on several daily activities.  The average recommended temperature to set the thermostat at is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  This will properly heat your water for all major and minor uses throughout your home along with not putting strain on the life of the tank.  If you notice your water having an unpleasant odor, this may be a sign of higher bacteria levels and require an increase in temperature to 140 degrees to kill the bacteria.  The same outcome will be true if you are having trouble getting your dishes clean in your dishwasher, an increase in temperature on the water heater may be necessary for your circumstance.  Changing the temperature of a gas-powered water heater is simple, just turn the dial located on the front of the gas control valve.  If you have an electric water heater, you will need to turn off the breaker, remove access panels and locate the thermostat to adjust.  It is often the safest bet to allow a professional plumbing company to adjust and maintain your water heater, especially if you are unfamiliar with them.


Drain The Sediment Build Up Every So Often 


Over time, the micro amounts of sediments in the water get deposited in the bottom of your tank and can accumulate if left untreated for too long.  Luckily, there is an easy trick you can do periodically to help avoid any unwanted build-up.  First, drain the remaining water in the tank into a bucket.  Next, stir up the sediment by opening the cold-water supply valve.  Then you will drain the water and repeat the process until the water is looking crystal clear.


Use Some Pipe Installation


A simple, quick, and inexpensive method to help you get the most out of your water heater is installing some 3/8-inch-thick self-stick pipe installation.  You will want to cover the pipes leading away from your heater as far as you can see.  This will be multifunctional, helping keep the hot water warmer and cold-water cooler with less condensation in the summertime. For any other concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to contact a professional that offers DC water heater repair services.

Three Excellent Bathroom Remodeling Tips For Success

Choosing to remodel your bathroom can be a very exciting yet overwhelming feeling. A lot of things will need to happen correctly, and in order, to achieve your vision of what you want your bathroom to look and feel like.  Even doing small simple projects can make drastic improvement throughout the entire atmosphere of your bathroom.  With enough creativity and persistence, you can turn your older styled outdated bathroom into a highly aesthetically pleasing area that will bring you pleasure every single day.  Below are three outstanding tips to help get you on your way to your new bathroom paradise.

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Form A Plan With A Budget


Nothing halts progress on a project faster than running out of available money to use for completion.  It may seem like a waste but hiring a professional to help you plan and properly budget your project will provide you with much greater success in a more organized and realistic time frame.  A professional can lay out an elaborate plan of specific action to help you complete your desired goals in the most realistic fashion possible.  It’s best to get a general idea of what you wish to change and then further discuss your plans with an expert so they can help get you on your way as soon as possible.  Another benefit of planning and using a budget is that you will actually save money, in the end, considering you’ll only be purchasing the essentials for each stage of completion, as opposed to guessing and buying things that may not do the job.  Save yourself a headache, guesswork, and costly errors by hiring a professional plumber to help you get the most affordable and efficient plan of action for your new bathroom.


Redo Your Lighting


One of the most noticeable aspects of a bathroom, really any room for that matter, is the lighting.  A bathroom that is too light or too dark can deliver an uncomfortable and unpleasant feel from the start.  Changing old traditional lights for new led bulbs of your choice can make a huge improvement in visibility right away.  Removing, adding, or changing the placement of light fixtures will make a drastic impact on where the light is shining, as well as how much.  There are many unique lighting options that can literally help brighten your day when you find what is right for you and your bathroom.


Adding Or Replacing Mirrors


The third useful tip on the list of ways to remodel your bathroom is having a better mirror.  If you have a small bathroom that is tight on available space, you may want to replace your protruding wood framed mirror with a larger and sleeker flat mirror that will hug the wall.  This will not only give you more space at eye level but also make the bathroom feel larger with more space for reflection.  A new mirror will also make the bathroom look more modern and you can measure to hand pick the appropriate size to fit each area nicely.  If you have any other questions, you can always reach out to a professional that offers DC bathroom remodeling services.

Three Essential Plumbing Tips

Educating yourself as much as possible about the plumbing in your home can make a crucial impact on how often annoying and expensive problems arise.  When you are more aware of the processes happening in your home each day, you can better predict and react when an issue may come up with your plumbing/pipes.  Sometimes you might stumble across small minor issues that you don’t want to pay a professional to come out and fix every time.  If so, you will need to have some basic knowledge of what may be causing the problem and how you properly fix it before it develops into a more series issue.  Fortunately, there are three excellent tips to always remember when dealing with a plumbing repair issue in your home.


How To Locate Non Visible Pipes


Sometimes you may experience a problem with one of your pipes however, things may be more difficult if you cannot see the pipe and what may be wrong with it.  Instead of breaking through floors and demolishing areas of your home to locate the problem area, try using a high strength magnet to locate hidden pipes.  For pipes under the floor, attach a rare earth magnet to a fishing line and feed it down through a drain to see where the pipe leads underneath.  You can then track the magnet down through the floor using an ordinary compass which will turn accurately with the magnet’s placement.  This is a much quicker, easier, and less expensive way than tearing up floors throughout your home in search of pipes.


The Power Of The Picture        


Whether you are rebuilding the walls and structure of your home, or in the process of building your new home from scratch, one important tip to always remember is to take a picture.  More specifically, take a number of high-quality photos with good visibility and lighting of all major plumbing and electrical fixtures throughout your home before they get covered up with walls and floors.  Once you have several good pictures of what kinds of important features there are and where they are located, be sure make note of them in writing or digital storage as well.  It would be very disappointing to find out a few years down the road when you want to remodel the kitchen and can’t remember where major pipes and wires are.  Breaking through walls with pipes can result in extremely costly repairs, as well as more time and hassle to complete the project with a new problem to deal with.  Always take pictures so you can document and reference down the road where crucial plumbing and electrical elements are located in your home.

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How To Use The Toilet During Plumbing Projects 


During the time of changing or fixing pipes and anything involving plumbing in a home, you will most likely have the water shut off which means you can’t flush the toilet.  The good news is a very simple and easy way to still use and flush the toilet whenever necessary does indeed exist.  If you have a two-gallon bucket of water and dump it in the bowl before you flush the toilet, it will work properly each time you repeat this process.  For any other concerns or questions, contact an expert that offers DC commercial sewer repair services.

Three Important Winterization Measures

One of the most crucial aspects to remember and do correctly is winterizing your pipes when necessary.  If you live in a region that experiences different seasons and temperatures that dip down below freezing, chances are you will need to winterize certain aspects of your plumbing at some point.  Failing to prepare your pipes for frozen temperatures can lead to a host of small and large-scale problems.  Frozen pipes can end up cracking or busting, leaving you with a costly but necessary plumbing repair to regain full functionally of your plumbing.  Be sure to always be aware of expected temperature and weather patterns as sometimes frozen temperatures can arrive sooner than normal and catch people by surprise; leaving them urgent and costly issues.  Below are three essential tips for properly winterizing your plumbing and always staying one step ahead so you can avoid catastrophic problems.

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Remove Any Water


The first step in preparing your pipes for any freezing weather is shutting off the main valve that allows water into that pipe or pipes.  Next, you will want to open all of the drain valves and taps to ensure that no water is stuck, which is caused by a vacuum effect.  After you have ensured that water is no longer being supplied and the valves and taps are open to remove any remaining water, you can start to use air to your advantage.  Using some type of appropriate air compressor or blower, hooked up to the pipe, will allow you to push out the last bits of remaining water so that nothing can freeze inside.


Winterizing Appliances


If you wish to winterize other aspects inside your home, such as toilets or sinks, other precautionary measures will be necessary.  If you are preparing your toilet, you will want to flush it several times, getting rid of as much water from the tank and bowl as possible.  After you have removed as much water as you can, you can add some antifreeze liquid which will prevent any remaining water from freezing and breaking through a pipe. To prepare a kitchen sink for example, just add antifreeze to the drain trap so any remaining water down inside can’t freeze.


Inspect And Insulate


Once you have accomplished all of the necessary measures to remove water from pipes/appliances along with adding antifreeze where necessary, you can proceed to the final steps for good measure. Taking a good look outside of your home in edges and corners will allow you to see any cracks or areas where cold air could come in and harm parts of your home.  If you find any exposed areas, be sure to get them closed up and properly insulated as soon as possible.  You can also further protect exposed pipes that might experience colder air than usual like in garages, barns, or basements with insulation.  If you have any other preparation or general plumbing questions don’t hesitate to ask for help from an expert plumber.  If you do have any frozen pipes, contact a plumbing service that offers professional DC pipe thawing services immediately.


Three Things To Understand About Frozen Pipes

Above all, avoiding frozen pipes is always the main goal for any plumbing/winterization situation if at all possible.  Many easy to follow steps can be taken early on to avoid the chance of having any pipes become frozen and eventually cracked.  If winterization is done early enough and correctly, you should be in the clear for the entirety of any winter or freezing temperature period.  Unfortunately, accidents and improper winterizations can happen, which lead to a pipe becoming partially or completely frozen before you can reverse the situation.  There are many different possibilities and specific circumstance involving pipes that have ultimately succumbed to the freezing temperatures.  Knowledge and caution must be applied whenever dealing with this type of situation.  Let’s examine three important aspects when approaching any kind of frozen pipe.


Safety First


First off and always the most important aspect is understanding the severity and potential risks of attempting to solve the problem without a professional.  When the water inside of a pipe becomes frozen and solid, the pressure is vastly increased since water expands and pushes outward when it freezes.  This buildup of pressure can lead to explosions and pipes breaking violently if thawed incorrectly.  If you are in anyway unsure as to which pipe is frozen, how badly it is frozen, or how to approach the situation, call a professional that specializes in DC commercial pipe thawing services.  This may seem like a more expensive route, but it will not only ensure your safety, it will also prevent further accidental damage to your problem area and plumbing in general.

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Locating And Opening A Frozen Pipe


With most homes having multiple pipes leading in different directions and some being exposed while others are not visible, locating a frozen pipe may seem like an overwhelming near impossible task.  However, this is far from the truth and can be scoped out rather quickly if the right measures are taken.  Try each faucet, appliance, and any unit that receives and expels water in your home to see which ones are working and which ones are not.  If you stumble across something that is not releasing any water or just a small drip, you can bet that the pipe leading to it is indeed frozen.  Once you locate the fixture that the frozen pipe sits behind to be sure to open the faucet/handle.  If there are hot and cold handles be sure to turn both of them to open so pressure can more easily be released.


How To Approach The Thawing Process   


Exposed pipes can be thawed with a hair dryer, space heater, hot towels, or heating tape.  Be sure to always start the thawing process at the end of the open faucet so pressure and melted water have a place to continuously escape.  You will also need to perform this action consciously of any electrical outlets or wires.  Melting water in plumbing and electrical areas could trigger a very dangerous electric shock.  If you experience any situation that appears potentially dangerous in any way to you or your plumbing, seek professional plumbing help before progressing.



Helpful Tips For Gas Pipes And Appliances

Natural gas is a commonly used source of fuel for many of the appliances and units that power our homes, day and night, year after year.  It’s also a relatively inexpensive route to take for the cost per month, while being a very efficient source of fuel. With that being said, there are some very important aspects to always be aware of regarding things like safety, proper use, and the many options that it offers.  The best mindset to have when regarding the use of natural gas is that safety always comes first and hooking up/installing appliances and units must be done properly.  In order to become more familiar with certain specific uses, safety precautions, and valuable information let’s take a look below at three key aspects of natural gas and its use by plumbing professionals in the plumbing world.


What Is Natural Gas And How Can It Be Dangerous


Natural gas is a naturally occurring element found underground that is highly flammable, consisting largely of methane and other types of hydrocarbons.  A sulfur smell known as mercaptan is added to natural gas before it commercial and residentially used so we can always identify it by smell.  A small amount of this odor may be present when attaching or unstitching new appliances and pipes even when the valves are closed and turned off since a small amount remains in the pipes that have been used.  The time to be alarmed is when you smell the gas inside your home during normal operation This can be a sign of a gas leak which can become very dangerous if too much is breathed in.  It is ideal to have a gas, smoke, and carbon monoxide detector installed in your home so you are alerted long before it could become harmful to you and your family.  Always be sure you have the proper up to date safety detectors installed in your home.


Installing And Connecting Gas Appliances   

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Whatever gas-powered appliance you are trying to install, there will be several necessary steps to take to ensure it is done safely and properly.  The first thing to always do is turn off the valve allowing natural gas to the pipe or appliance before dethatching any pipe or old appliance in preparing for something new.  Next, be sure to read all the directions very carefully on whatever appliance you are installing.  You will then want to assemble any parts that need to be added to the appliance so it’s complete and ready for hookup.  Once you have read and assembled everything correctly, you can focus on the gas connection and line to make sure it there are no leaks and the threaded connection will be a very snug fit.  When you’re sure that your gas line, connection, and the appliance is ready to be safely hooked up, use the necessary tools to properly make the connection.  When everything is tight, in place, and complete, you can turn the gas on and try out your new appliance.  Always read all instructions and use proper safety equipment whenever dealing with gas appliances.  If you have any concerns or problems, you can always call a professional who specializes in DC gas plumber services to help get your issue resolved.

Conventional Storage Vs. Tankless Water Heaters, Which Is Better?

One of the basic considerations when buying a water heater is its functional and operational nature based on its basic design. You can either choose a model with an inbuilt storage tank or on without. Each of these designs offers a number of benefits and limitations. While still focusing on their functional and operational nature, you can further classify or categorize water heaters according to the kind of energy they use. Commonly referred to as the fuel type subcategories, most water heaters are either electric, gas, solar, or hybrid. Again the different fuel types come with different advantages and disadvantages. Due to space limitations, we won’t be able to cover all these design and functional variations here. We will only look at the two main water heater designs — storage and tankless — in this article. But you can always visit our blog for a full coverage of this topic.


Conventional Storage Water Heaters


As the name implies, conventional storage water heaters have a storage tank or reservoir for holding water before and after heating. Water flows in and out of the pipe via connecting pipes and heating is facilitated by either electricity, gas, or even solar.




According to industry reports, conventional storage water heaters are the most popular models in the United States. Their popularity emanates from the following financial, functional, and operational benefits:


  • They are the cheapest or the most affordable water heaters.
  • They are very easy to install especially with the help of a professional DC commercial plumber.
  • They are functionally reliable and dependable even for multiple/simultaneous hot water needs.
  • With proper maintenance, conventional storage water heaters are very durable.




As mentioned above, all water heater models and designs offer the consumer various advantages and disadvantages. The major limitations of conventional storage water heaters are:


  • They are highly inefficient, due to standby heat loss in their reservoirs.
  • They require regular inspection and maintenance.
  • Compared to tankless models, conventional storage water heaters are very expensive to operate and maintain.


Tankless Water Heaters




Unlike the conventional storage models, these water heaters lack a water storage tank or reservoir. They use gas or electrical power to heat water instantaneously or on demand without storing any.




The functional suitability of tankless water heaters depends on a number of factors, including the size of the heater, energy efficiency, operating & maintenance costs, fuel type & availability, and so on. Some of the benefits of acquiring, installing, and using tankless water heaters are:


  • They are more energy efficient than conventional storage models.
  • They have lower operating costs and their replacement parts are tough and long-lasting.
  • Due to their simple design, tankless water heaters are quite small and hence require less installation space than conventional storage models.
  • They maintain constant hot water flow without getting exhausted.
  • Their cumulative energy savings are huge making them the cheaper model in the long-term.




Tankless water heaters are not as popular as conventional storage models. The following limitations undermine their adoption.


  • They are more expensive to purchase and install than conventional storage models.
  • More than one tankless water heater is needed to fully furnish simultaneous/multiple hot water consumption especially in large residential or commercial settings.
  • Their instantaneous water heating process requires a brief lag time to heat the water to the required temperature.
  • To enhance their functionality and energy efficiency, tankless water heaters need special and expensive maintenance.

3 Effective Marketing Hacks To Boost The Success Of Your Plumbing Business

The plumbing industry is one of the most competitive technical fields in the business world. Like any other service industry, all plumbing professionals are defined by the special skills they possess following rigorous industry defined academic and hands-on training and exams. In competitive service industries like this one, business success does not come easy. As any successful professional DC plumber will tell you, it takes more than the ordinary business approach to earn a seat at the high table. In addition to the usual service delivery merits, you also have to adopt a dynamic marketing strategy/plan to propel yourself to the top. A plumber’s success is mainly determined by his market/industry reputation, which is a matrix of various operational and contractual considerations including the quality of his services, customer satisfaction, performance reviews by industry analysts & reviewers, marketing strategy, billing policy, and any other character defining-business attributes. The following innovative marketing hacks will boost your reputation immensely paving way for your plumbing success.


Extensive Industry Skills


The moment you decide to pursue a professional career in the plumbing industry, you should develop and adopt a value-driven professional development strategy. In service industries, one of the most effective ways of enhancing your professional appeal is by arming yourself with the highest and most diverse academic credentials and technical skills. Simply put, you should train and earn certifications in as many plumbing specialties as possible. Your comprehensive service catalog should span all residential, commercial, and gas plumbing markets and cover all plumbing installation, repair, replacement, and maintenance services. You can even take it a notch higher by offering innovative customer-oriented complementary treats like 24/7 DC emergency plumbing services at no extra cost, free planning consultation, eco-friendly plumbing solutions like solar water heaters, and so on.


Your Interactive And User-Friendly Website


Now that you are capable of performing all the services mentioned above, the next step is to tell the whole world about it. It’s totally wrong to have all these skills and then keep quiet about it. You need a dynamic marketing or advertisement platform to inform everyone about your impeccable and wide-ranging academic and technical credentials and qualifications. And here’s where the World Wide Web comes to your rescue. Start by creating and launching a nice website where you can share all your career capabilities and competencies with a global audience. The site should be designed professionally with an excellent user interface to ensure easy navigation, user engagement, and universal appeal. The user-friendly site should be easy on the eye, highly functional, and interactive. You should post your extensive service catalog here for everyone to see, along with other important business details like your contacts, physical address/location, business bio etc. You can spice up your online portal with an informative blog featuring a variety of factual plumbing articles; to lure more online users.


Enhancing Brand Awareness And Reputation


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In addition to using your own website to enhance your professional image, you should also try to influence other key stakeholders in the same direction. There are many useful marketing tools and solutions for ranking plumbing firms including customer/client ratings, reviews, feedback, testimonials, referrals etc. Other important character references are featured as reviews in trusted industry sites and publications like HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List. When dealing with independent opinion-makers, you should always emphasize your commitment to customer satisfaction through exemplary service delivery.


To enhance your customer appeal further, you should consider offering some promotional freebies to your clients. These could be presented as periodical coupons and discounts on regular service charges — all heavily advertised on your website and on third-party media platforms.



3 Financing Guidelines For Large Residential Or Commercial Plumbing Projects

In addition to their academic and technical qualifications and credentials, career plumbers are also rated according to their legal and regulatory standing, compliance, certification & licensing, professional competence & experience, range of service specialties, regional reach, and their overall industry reputation. Although we have already covered most of these professional attributes in previous articles, we still need to revisit the issue of project financing before we conclude our insightful take on plumbing projects. All professional plumbing projects cost money, and depending on the size, nature, and complexity of the project, the financial expenses can be quite tremendous. When a plumbing project is described as being “large,” the basic insinuation is that it requires significant financial resources. In order to ensure that all project development funds are used properly and accountably towards the successful completion of a plumbing project, the project owner or sponsor should plan his finances according to the following guidelines.


Create A Realistic Budget Estimate


The very first step in financial planning is budgeting. There are two fundamental rules for creating project budgets; the budget should be realistic and also flexible/adjustable. In order to create a realistic budget for your large residential or commercial plumbing project, you will need relevant and up-to-date market and industry information and data. This means that you have to do some in-depth market research regarding various project-related financing issues. But doing the research, you should first define the project scope and nature, plus all other key determinants of initial project cost like inflation, taxes, procurement processes etc. You will now be able to specify various project financing details like the quantity, type, and cost of required materials. You will get all the information and data you need from the internet. You will also have to consult a professional plumbing company for a real world opinion on the subject. For insightful financial advice on DC kitchen renovations, you will need to talk to a licensed plumbing contractor specializing in home and office renovation and remodeling.


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Risk And Contingency Planning


As much as he would like to assure you that your project will run smoothly and conclude successfully, any experienced plumber will have to warn and advise you about unprecedented risks during project development. You should plan for these risks and allocate a reasonable fraction of the project budget for contingencies. Project risks cause unexpected changes to the estimated project cost and timeline. Some common project financing risks/issues include exchange rate fluctuations, poor project management, design alterations, inflation, unexpected worksite problems, incompetent contractors, resource constraints (materials, equipment, workforce & financial shortages), and various natural factors. You should have an ample financial nest for special risks, design, and construction contingencies.


Project Financing


Before launching the project, the owner should have an appropriately defined source of money to cover all project development expenditure, including the aforementioned risks and contingencies. You can finance your project with funds from various sources including personal savings, home equity loans, refinancing arrangements, personal loans, retirement/pension plan loans etc. It is advisable that you choose the most cost-effective and convenient financing option in terms of low interest rates, availability/qualification, processing charges and period/duration. Home equity loans are a popular choice because they are exempted from tax and they have relatively low interest rates. Based on your contractual agreement, you can remit project development funds to the contractor as the project proceeds, after a major milestone, or upon the full completion of the project. Project owners should avoid pang their project costs in cash or settling the full bill before the project is completed.


3 Crucial Factors To Consider When Shopping For A New Sump Pump

A sump pump is a specialized mechanical device that is used for pumping flood water from the lower levels of a building. Usually installed in a sump pit in the basement, this pump plays a critical role in the prevention and mitigation of flood-related hazards and damages to the foundation and lower floors and walls of a house. This plumbing installation comes with water pressure sensors, which trigger or turn on the sump pump automatically when the flood water reaches a certain level. There are many different types and models of sump pumps with different installation, application, and functional designs. There are several factors that you should consider before buying a new sump pump. These considerations will help you choose the most suitable sump pump in the market in line with your functional needs. One key consideration is the type or place of installation: underground or above the ground. The other important factor is the intended functionality or purpose of the pump: main or backup. Other concerns are mainly about the overall/total cost, including the initial/purchase cost, installation, and maintenance fee, a certain type of sump pump. All these important considerations are discussed below. It is also a good idea to talk to your DC plumbing services company for advice specific to your situation.


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Nature Of Installation/Application


The nature of application or installation defines the type of sump pump needed. There are two main types of sump pumps, namely submersible and pedestal pumps. And as their names suggest, submersible sump pumps are installed below the ground whereas pedestal models are placed above the ground. Submersible types require a fitting underground excavation to house or accommodate the device and they are usually burrowed and covered up in a deep sump pit. Pedestal sump pumps are installed on the surface of the basement, especially when there is no sump pit or if it is too narrow. Due to their underground location, submersible sump pumps are usually quieter than the pedestal models.


Intended Functionality


The second crucial factor to consider when sourcing for a new sump pump is your functional requirements/needs. As you already know, sump pumps are used to drain away flood water from the basement. Most houses are equipped with two sump pumps; a main pump and a backup. The main pump is mostly installed under the foundation slab during the construction of the house. Main sump pumps are usually connected to the main electrical system in the house and are hence susceptible to functional failure during a power outage. That is why you need an additional battery powered backup sump pump to pump out flood water during a blackout. Submersible sump pumps are more powerful, in terms of horsepower and more durable, than pedestal models. The former is usually installed as the main pump while the latter usually serves as a complementary backup.


Initial Costs, Repair And Maintenance


Submersible sump pumps are usually more expensive or costly to acquire and install than pedestal models. This is due to the fact that submersible models are more powerful, more long-lasting, and they are installed underground. And when it comes to paying for DC plumbing repairs and maintenance services for these underground pumps, the cost is far much higher than for the pedestal types. The hired professional endures a hard long dig before reaching the pump, which is burrowed beneath a taxing layer of foundation stone and concrete. And although they are more hardy and durable than pedestal models, submersible pumps can require expensive replacement parts.