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3 Critical Areas That Require Regular Inspection And Maintenance In A Plumbing System

The success of any plumbing system is the product of the success of all its individual components. To put it in an illustrative way, the system only works well if its constituent parts or sections are in tiptop condition. It’s referred to as a system because it’s a coherent entity made up of several independent but interrelated elements or components all working together to ensure your plumbing wellbeing. But just like in any other complex ecosystem, some of these elements are more important than others. The following plumbing areas are of particular importance and should hence be afforded extra care.


The System Control Section


One of the most important functions of a plumbing system is the supply of clean water to the home or business premises. Your home plumbing system is connected to the utility mains by an inlet/supply pipe. In order to control, monitor, and bill the amount of water consumed in your home, the utility company installs a monitoring gauge called a water meter, which continuously records the amount of water flowing into your homestead. The utility company also installs a shutoff valve for opening and closing your entire water supply. As you can see, these two gadgets serve a very critical role in the management of your plumbing system. As such, you should always ensure that they are in perfect condition. Ensure that the meter is billing well by shutting off all water supply for a few hours with the main valve and then check for any changes in its original reading. You can also use the meter to evaluate your plumbing system for water leaks by shutting off all consumption for some time and then comparing readings.


The Sewerage & Drainage Section


Sewerage systems are elaborate plumbing installations, which are mainly used for the disposal of soluble waste in the home. Sewage systems consist of drainage pipes and various waste disposal installations like the septic tank. Drainage pipes are basically used to dispose of waste water in a home plumbing system. You are supposed to inspect the sewer system before you even buy a house in order to note its size/volume, age, maintenance record, and feed piping (sewer lines) system. This should be followed by regular system inspection and maintenance routines by qualified plumbers. Sewer systems are usually installed underground; hence you need to hire specialists to do the inspections. And anytime you notice any anomaly in your sewer system, do not hesitate to call a licensed DC emergency plumber for a professional fix. You should pay special attention to the physical layout of the sewer lines so that you can monitor their underground network from the surface.


The Water Heating Section




The home water heating system is one of the most integral areas in a plumbing system. The water heater provides warm water to the entire household and it is especially critical during cold weather conditions. It is also a major consumer of energy and water and should hence be kept under close watch to ensure optimal efficiency. The water heating section includes various inflow and outflow pipes, an electrical heater, and some models come with a water storage unit. You should be conversant with all its design specifications and functional elements, such as its construction type, age, size, and energy source (electricity, gas or solar). All faults should be reported to professional plumbers specializing in this field as soon as possible.

3 Major Types Of Plumbing Pipes And Their Applications

Pipes are used as the main transportation medium in plumbing systems. They are used to link and connect all the different sections of a plumbing system and hence to move water and dissolvable wastes around the system. Compared to a human body, pipes act like blood circulation vessels — veins and arteries. Water supply pipes can be considered as the arteries of plumbing system whereas drainage and sewerage pipes act like the veins, except that in this case they take the waste water away from the system for physical disposal. Plumbing pipes are mainly classified according to their construction material. They can all be broadly classified into the 3 main categories; metal, plastic and concrete.


Metal Pipes


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There are three common types of metal pipes according to their construction material: copper, galvanized steel, and cast iron pipes. Copper and iron do not corrode easily corroded and galvanized steel pipes are coated with zinc to prevent them from corroding. Some of the distinct differences between these metallic pipes include the fact that cast iron is chemical resistant and has very high tensile strength. These pipes are made by spinning or sand casting and they are either cast horizontally, vertically or centrifugally. Galvanized steel pipes are not easy to install because they need cutting and threading and are hence becoming unpopular. Otherwise, all these pipes share a few metallic properties in that they are all very strong, versatile, durable and very reliable. This means that they can all be used to transport or distribute hot and/or cold water, plus refrigerated distribution in HVAC systems. They can all be installed both underground and above the surface for a myriad of plumbing applications from DC commercial sewer repair to water supply and distribution to ground water drainage.


Plastic Pipes


This category contains all pipes that are made from plastic and plastic polymers. They include PVC pipes and PEX pipes. PVC pipes are split into several types, including unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (UPVC), plasticized polyvinyl chloride, and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), according to the chemical composition of their plastic construction material, which dictates their ability to withstand high temperatures. PVC pipes are used in all kinds of plumbing systems for all kinds of applications including fresh water supply, distribution, waste water drainage, sewage drainage, irrigation etc. Their material strengths include chemical resistance, eco-friendliness, ease of use for plumbing installation, cost-effective, and extended longevity.


PEX pipes are among the newest plastic pipes. These are cross-linked polyethylene pipes or tubing made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). They are produced by the extrusion process and they are very flexible and string. They can withstand extreme cold and hot temperatures and are hence used from hot and cold water transmission in all plumbing systems and also in HVAC systems. They are very cheap, easy to install, flexible, and very durable, which makes them more popular than copper and PVC. They have only one weakness, they are damaged by UV rays and hence cannot be exposed to direct sunlight outdoors.


Concrete Pipes


Depending on their manufacturing process, concrete pipes are usually classified as either Reinforced or precast. They are all made from concrete, which is basically a mixture of cement, water and aggregates. The cement paste is used to bind the fine and coarse aggregate and also to coat the surface of the pipe. Concrete pipes are incredibly strong, abrasion resistant, environmentally friendly, very durable, and resistant to most chemicals. They are mostly used to drain flood/ground water in culverts and storm drains and also in sewerage systems.

3 Green Ideas For An Eco-Friendly Home Plumbing System

The first step towards sustainable living is the creation of an eco-friendly plumbing system in your own home. Such a system ensures minimal loss of energy or power by implementing various energy saving solutions. It also translates into responsible water usage by curbing all water wastage practices. You can even go a step further and create a sustainable home water system by installing a home water recycling or purification system. By combining all these green strategies and implementing them in your home, you will be playing a very significant role in environmental conservation and honoring our home planet in the process. Consider the following easy-to-implement green ideas and try to adopt as many as you can.


Energy Conservation


Energy consumption at Home produces one of the highest utility bills at the domestic level. The plumbing system constitutes a significant share of energy expenses in a typical residential electrical system. We use all kinds of electrically powered appliances and installations in our plumbing systems. One of the most notorious energy consumers in a home plumbing system is the water heater system. In order to minimize energy loss in your home water heating system, you should start by installing an efficient model. Although I will not go into detail about the various types of water heaters here due to space limitations, I have to mention that solar models are often the most efficient water heaters as compared to all the rest. An efficient water heating system saves both water and electrical energy. You can even take the whole energy conservation thing a notch higher by insulating the heater and all its pipes to reduce heat loss during and after heating. You should also install energy efficient appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines. If you would like some professional opinions regarding these hacks, you can always reach out to any qualified residential and commercial DC gas plumber who specializes in water heaters.


Water Conservation


Water is the essence of life. This means that we should be extra careful about water wastage, especially nowadays, when there is a looming global warming catastrophe that threatens to dry all our natural water sources. As a responsible homeowner and business owner, you should embrace eco-friendly residential and commercial plumbing innovations and water saving tactics. Start by replacing all your water appliances and fixtures with low-flow eco-friendly models, which are certified and approved as water-efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You should also install low-flush toilets and then reduce the flow rate of your faucets using flow reducers. Low-flow faucets and showers will minimize the amount of water lost in splashes and sprays. And last but not least, inspect and repair leaking pipes immediately and keep water taps off when not in use.




Install A Home Water Recycling System


This is one of the most innovative and effective green ideas for creating an eco-friendly plumbing system. It involves the installation of an efficient water purification system to create purified home drinking water from your waste water. Modern technological advancements have led to the creation of innovative water recycling solutions like the reverse osmosis water purification system, which purifies waste water to create a sustainable plumbing system. And to ensure that your home is as healthy as the environment you are trying to protect, you should install activated carbon filters on your taps and showerheads to absorb all water pollutants before consumption.


A Practical Planning Guide For Home & Office Remodeling Projects

Getting your home renovated is as exciting as buying a new house. And although a remodel sounds like a modest undertaking, it can end up costing just as much or even more than a new home. It all depends on what you want and how you plan for it. The good thing with home remodeling projects is that they can be done partially or in full. A partial renovation focuses on a specific section(s) of the building whereas a full makeover overhauls everything. Partial remodels can be done on certain rooms in the house, such as a kitchen remodel or a bathroom renovation. They can also be about changing a certain feature(s) in the house, such as a floor or wall makeover. Regardless of the size or scope of a remodeling project, its overall success always depends on proper planning on your end and skilled implementation on the contractor’s end. The following guide summarizes some of the most crucial success tips for any home renovation project.


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In-depth Research & Proper Planning


The first and most critical step towards a successful home remodel is project research. You have to hit the market, visit the relevant websites, and talk to friends and colleagues regarding your upcoming project. You need to learn as much as you can about all the design and implementation aspects of your renovation project. Take for example the issue of replacing plumbing pipes. You have to decide the best pipes for various applications by considering their cost relative to their functional suitability based on their physical and functional attributes. And just so you know, Metallic pipes include copper, galvanized steel, and cast iron pipes whereas plastic pipes are either PVC or PEX pipes. Luckily for you, the internet is filled with lots of building and construction resources. You will use all this knowledge to plan and budget for your project.


Professional Consultation & Informed decisions


In order to get some real life insight regarding your project, you will have to consult some professionals in this field. This means contacting practicing plumbers for some professional input on all the project details. Let us use pipes as an example again. Again you have to decide. So which pipes do you install where? Metallic pipes can be used anywhere, they are strong, durable, but they are also a bit costly and not very easy to install.


Plastic or PVC pipes are of many different material characteristics including unplasticized PVC (UPVC) rigid pipes, which are used for cold water supply and distribution. Plasticized PVC pipes, which are plasticized with rubber, are used to transport moderately hot water while chlorinated PVC (CPVC) pipes are used to carry very hot water. PEX is cross-linked polyethylene tubing and it’s currently more popular than copper and PVC pipes. This is because it is flexible, cheap, strong, and can transport very hot and or very cold water. You need this kind of information to make an informed choice.


Good Contracting & Project Implementation


And last but not last, you need to hire a pro for your remodel. I am talking about contracting a high trained, experienced, insured, bonded and licensed plumber for your project. Before you contract a plumber for kitchen remodeling or water heater replacement or sewer services in DC, you will need to vet all potential candidates according to your project needs. This includes verifying their credential s and qualifications, confirming their competence and experience, and checking on their reputation, cost, and project timeline.


How To Hire A Good Plumber Using The 3-Step Vetting Approach

Regardless of its size or nature, any plumbing project is a serious undertaking that requires careful planning and execution to ensure its successful completion. Among other factors, the plumber plays a very crucial role in the successful implementation of any project. That is why you have to be extra careful when contracting a plumber for such an endeavor. In order to hire the best plumber for the job, you should subject all prospective plumbers to a rigorous vetting process. This is to ensure that your choice plumber is armed with all the right qualifications and skills, and also to make sure that you are offered the best contracting deal. The most effective vetting approach is the 3-step verification process. This is a simple but very thorough vetting exercise that involves 3 separate assessments for every potential contractor. The 3 steps are discussed below.


best plumber in DC


Step 1: Social Vetting


Social vetting refers to all your independent informal assessments of prospective plumbers. This kind of vetting occurs indirectly, that is without the direct confrontation or involvement with the plumber. Social vetting involves conducting an independent background research on plumbing companies. You can use a variety of social channels to research and access information regarding the subject. The only condition is that all your research should be informal, meaning that all your sources should be nonofficial. One of the most resourceful social channels that you can use in this step is the World Wide Web. You can start by Googling for plumbing companies in your region offering the kind of service that you need. Most professional plumbing companies offer a wide range of residential and commercial services and you have to specify whether you are looking for a professional plumber for a home renovation project or for a water heater repair in DC so that you can get various regional options to choose from. The internet also features various industry review sites and consumer advisory platforms like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, which can assist in identifying the highest rated plumbers in your region, and last but not least, you can consult your friends, colleagues, and relatives regarding this issue for some referrals and general insight regarding your plumbing needs.


Step 2: Official Vetting


The second stage involves the use of official channels to vet your subject. The most useful source of official information in this instance is the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) of your home state. You can either visits the official premises of this regulatory body or you can just access their database on the internet. The CSLB is mandated with the certification and licensing of plumbers and other building contractors in their respective states. Before issuing a practicing license, the CSLB subjects a plumber to a rigorous vetting process that involves the verification of academic, technical, and regulatory credentials and qualifications, and a criminal background check to ensure legal conformity. Other official assessments focus on whether the plumber is insured and bonded and on any filed client complaints.


Step 3: Personal/Direct Vetting


The third and final vetting step is a direct assessment of the prospective plumbers. This happens in the form of in-depth consultation interviews with plumbers in their offices or at the project site. You will then query him accordingly to learn all the relevant aspects and traits of his practice in relation to your project. This includes details about his billing policy, project schedule, work history, operating policy, scope & performance capacity, client referrals, competence and experience, communication policy, emergency services, special offers and discounts, warranties and guarantees, and any other relevant details.





Everything You Need To Know About Sump Pumps And Basement Flooding

A literal interpretation of its name tells you that a sump pump is simply a pump in a sump pit, which is quite accurate. A sump pit is a drainage excavation for collecting floodwater and it is usually located in the basement of a house. The sump pit accommodates the mechanical device that is used to pump out or remove excess groundwater after a heavy storm. Flooding occurs when ground water rises past the surface due to excess precipitation. For areas with a high water table, heavy storms usually cause groundwater to seep or rise past the foundation thereby flooding the basement. In such areas, sum pumps are critical installations because they remove the water automatically after sensing the increased pressure. And it’s also important to note that one sump pump is not enough for your home. Read on to learn why.


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Main And Backup Sump Pumps


Most houses have a main sump pump buried away in the depths of the basement. Some people do not even know that they have one. Main sump pumps are usually installed during construction as part of the storm drainage system in the plumbing system. Although they are quite functional in nature, main sump pumps have one major downside. They are powered by electricity from the main house. The problem is that heavy storms go hand in hand with power blackouts or outages. The intensive precipitation showers coupled with violent lightning flashes usually result in total electrical failure. This means that while the thunderstorm continues ranging, there is no pump to remove the accumulating flood water in the basement. That is why you need a backup battery powered sump pump to replace the main pump in case of a power outage.


Flooding Hazards


You might not be aware of this but flooding is very hazardous and destructive to a building. After the basement floods, the whole house becomes damp and very cold because the excess water absorbs all the heat from the interior environment. But the coldness is just but a minor concern. The real problem lies in the foundation. The seeping water permeates and weakens the house foundation and this can result in severe damage to the structural integrity of the building. As the flood level rises, the water eats away at the floor and wall paint and any other coatings or coverings causing the paint to peel off and other items to corrode and decay.


Choosing A Sump Pump


There are two main types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. Submersible models are installed underground inside the sump pit. Submersible sump pumps are mainly used as the main pumps and they usually have more horsepower. They are also relatively quiet because they are usually buried and covered, hence less noise pollution. Pedestal sump pumps on the other hand are usually placed on the surface. They are especially appropriate for narrow sump pits. But although they are easy to install, pedestal sump pumps are not as powerful or as long-lasting as submersible models. They are also very noisy due to their exposed deployment.




Submersible sump pumps are quite hardy and durable unlike the pedestal models. The only problem with submersible models is that they are not as easy to install, repair, and/or maintain as the pedestal pumps. Buried beneath the ground and sometimes covered with concrete, these devices demand a lot of work before being accessed. For professional drain services in DC, you should always hire a certified plumber to fix your sump pump issues.



How Your Local Plumber Can Help You

Many folks are wary of calling plumbers. They find them expensive, and don’t want to spend their day waiting for someone else to come to their home, only so they are left holding a bill. However, there are so many things a quality plumber can do in order to help your home run smoothly. Here are a few ways plumbers can ensure you get the most out of your kitchen and bathroom.


Cleaning Out Drains


DC Plumber kitchen drain


Drains are an important part of any household. If you run into issues, such as hair being plugged down the drain, causing water to back up, or a weird smell coming from the drain, call a plumber right away. Even if the issue starts out small, it will continue to grow over time. A DC drain plumber can fix the problem for you, before it gets worse, enabling you to take baths and showers without further issues.


Changing Water Heaters


Water heaters come with a lot of responsibility. They have to be installed correctly, some locations require permits, and there are even inspections, to make sure everything is up to code. Installing a water heater is not necessarily difficult, but you don’t want to deal with endless inspections or other issues that may arise from one that was not put in properly. Instead of dealing with the frustration on your own, let a qualified professional help you.


Dealing With Leaks


Leaks happen to just about anyone. While they sometimes cause major problems, and often start out as a mere annoyance, plumbers are skilled in finding the leak, determining the problem, and getting it fixed before it gets out of hand. When left unattended, leaks can rot a floor, cause problems with pipes, and even create further damage for a home. Experienced plumbers will work with you to find solutions, so you don’t need to worry about how to fix it, or what can be done to prevent further problems.


Installing New Items


Putting in a jacuzzi tub or a dishwasher is exciting for any homeowner. But do you feel skilled enough to handle the installation yourself? Rather than feeling forced into putting in your own equipment, get help from a plumber who has done multiple installations several times over. You’ll be able to rest comfortably, knowing your appliances were installed correctly, and won’t have to worry about having a plumber back out again, to fix an issue you didn’t know you had, thanks to faulty installation.

There are many ways a qualified drain plumber can help you keep your home running properly. From ensuring drains remain clean, to changing water heaters correctly the first time, using a plumber saves you a lot of time and headache. They can fix problems related to leaks within your plumbing, so further damage doesn’t occur to your house. If you ever need new appliances installed, such as a hot tub or dishwasher, have a plumber come out, so you can remain confident things were put in correctly.

Why You Should Hire A Plumber And Not Do-It-Yourself

DIY, also commonly known as do-it-yourself, is something many people try to do in an effort to save money. While DIY is fun when it comes to crafting or making something yourself, you shouldn’t take your chances on your plumbing fixtures, while trying to follow along from a book. Regardless of what room you are working in, or how easy the problem appears on the surface, you’ll save time, money, and a headache when you hire a plumber. Here are a few benefits of why you should leave plumbing to the professionals.


You Can Create Problems Without Realizing It


It doesn’t matter what you are trying to do. From installing a dishwasher to fixing a leak, there are several problems that can occur when you work on an issue yourself. You might fix something, and not realize a deeper, underlying problem. Or, your untrained eye is capable of catching a problem, but you don’t think to investigate the source, and see what is happening. Rather than relying on a book or video to help you understand what is happening, get help from someone such as a DC kitchen plumber. Their trained eye can assess what is wrong, and give you a correct estimate of what the problem is, and how long it will take to fix it.


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It Takes Time Away From Your Day


If you’re a busy person, it’s hard to carve out extra time in your schedule to work on a plumbing problem. Your time is likely already stretched thin between work, family, and cleaning. Taking time to understand what the problem is, and what you need to do to fix it take away from the little free time you have. Instead, hire a professional who knows what to look for, and can get it done in half the time.


Plumbers Can Offer Advice


By having a professional come out and evaluate your problem, you’ll be able to find out what the underlying cause is. In some cases, a DC plumber skilled in kitchen repairs can offer advice on what changes you could make to your plumbing, in an effort to prevent further problems. Although you can make a diagnosis on your own, if you aren’t skilled, you don’t know what to look for. A plumber can offer plumbing advice on how to fix the issues surrounding your plumbing, or if it is related to your water supply.

If you are experiencing issues with your plumbing, always seek the help of a skilled plumber, rather than attempting to do it on your own. The plumber can offer advice on how to handle the problem. You won’t have to take time out of your day to fix the plumbing issues, freeing up your schedule. You also won’t create bigger problems because you don’t know what to look for. Although the thought of saving money sounds tempting, you are better off having someone experience help you with your plumbing, rather than run into more issues later.

The Most Common Water Heater Problem And How To Solve It

There are many different issues that can stem from having a water heater. It’s too small or doesn’t create enough hot water. Perhaps your family uses it frequently, or maybe it’s old and needs to be replaced. Water heaters have a limited lifespan, just as any appliance does. However, there is one problem that affects them, and creates problems for families of all sizes: hard water. Read on to learn about the connection between hard water, how it affects your heater, and what you can do to prevent further issues from occurring.


Hard Water Causes Problems With the Element In Your Heater




As any DC water heater plumber will tell you, hard water creates problems with the elements inside the heater. The water can cause buildup, making it difficult for the elements to do their job of heating the water tank properly. Throughout all this, the water heater is constantly trying to engage. This causes your heating bill to run up, creating further problems. You don’t have enough hot water to do everything you need to do, and now you’re experiencing problems with your water and electric bill, as the element in the hot water heater works overtime.


You Don’t Have Enough Hot Water


Because the element is working to create hot water, but can’t engage correctly, the hot water heater can’t fill up all the way. This means halfway through your bath or shower, you start to get cold water. Your dishwasher isn’t cleaning the dishes properly, because it runs out of hot water before it is done. You may even resort to boiling water to clean your dishes or wash your hands, to kill germs. This might sound like a suitable workaround for a little while, but it gets old.


Have A Water Softener Put In


If you experience problems with hard water because you have a well, or simply because of the area you live in, it’s time to let a DC plumber help you. Ask them about having a water softener put in, and see how easy it is to have water that is cleaner. It won’t dull up your dishes, or cause problems with your hot water heater. Although you may still run into issues from time to time, using the water softener as a preventative measure is the best thing you can do to prevent further problems.

If you are looking for ways to solve problems with your hot water heater, consider what sorts of issues you run into. Hard water is one of the main causes of water heater problems. It can ruin elements, preventing them from fully heating up the water, as they become caked up over time. This runs up your electric bill, as your heater works overtime to make hot water. You’ll find difficulty in washing dishes and doing other tasks to stay clean. A water softener can prevent many of these problems. Even if it sounds intimidating to put one in, a plumber can assist you, making sure its done right the first time.


Three Different Types Of Plumbers You Should Be Aware Of

Plumbing is something everyone needs, regardless of where they live. Many people don’t understand the variety of plumbers they can choose from. From a residential plumber to a gas plumber, there is no shortage of different plumbers to choose from. Here are the most common ones folks call on when they’re having issues and need their plumbing fixed right away.


Commercial Plumbers




These are the folks you call when you have a problem with your office plumbing, or need help with plumbing problems in a large setting, such as a mall. Commercial plumbers are skilled and equipped to handle extreme situations that come along with commercial plumbing. They know that bathrooms at restaurants, gyms, and others business is used more, and thus takes a greater toll on the plumbing. Based on their skill and expertise, they are able to fix the plumbing quickly, allowing a business to go back to running normally in a short amount of time. It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small, if you need your kitchen or bathroom up and running normally in a short amount of time, let a skilled commercial plumber help you.


Residential Plumbers


These are the plumbers that everyone thinks of when they have problems related common household plumbing issues. If you need help with your tub, your toilet is leaking, or you have problems with your dishwasher, a residential plumber is the person to call. They are skilled at assessing damage to water heaters, and can even make suggestions about which type is best for your house, based on your needs. If you’re having certain problems that leave you unsure, speak with your plumber and see if they can help. Some plumbers specialize in certain areas related to residential plumbing.


Gas Plumbers


Many people think of plumbers as folks who know about everything related to water and piping. There is a third type of plumber thought of less commonly, but just as important, known as gas plumbers. These folks specialize in natural gas lines, often associated with your stove and even heating. A gas plumber in DC must be educated and licensed in their trade. Many take continuing education, so they can keep on top of changes made in their profession.  If you experience problems related to your gas line, a plumber skilled in this trade can help you.

There are various types of plumbers, with the three main ones being residential, commercial, and gas line plumbers. If you have problems with plumbing in your home or business, it helps to know where to turn to and who you can call. Commercial plumbers are skilled in handling plumbing that is frequently used as it would be in a commercial setting. Residential plumbing can include a wide variety of issues, from replacing a hot tub to leaking toilets. Gas plumbers can solve problems related to natural gas lines. No matter what your needs are, there is a plumber to help you solve the issue.