Property Maintenance Managers and Plumbing: What You Should Know

Property Maintenance Managers and Plumbing: What You Should Know

When it comes to property maintenance, there are many aspects to your responsibilities. Not only do you have to make sure the visible parts of the property are functional, but also the hidden parts as well.

Many people think just because plumbing is out of sight, then it’s out of mind. But there are things you should do to make sure everything flows smoothly. For property maintenance managers, here’s what you should know regarding plumbing.

Be Prepared for After-Hour Emergencies

Unfortunately, plumbing emergencies won’t stick to your regular work hours. Chances are, you’ll have tenants calling about after-hour emergencies, such as a burst or frozen pipes.

These types of emergencies will warrant you coordinating with a plumber so those problems can be fixed right away. There are some things that simply can’t wait until morning, so make sure you know this is your responsibility as a property maintenance manager.

Leaks Need to Be Fixed Right Away

Someone may call about a small leak. You’ll think it can wait until tomorrow, so “just put a bucket under it.” However, leaks are indicative of many things.

For one, for it to be visible means it’s bigger than you think. The walls have water damage, and the “small” leak can become bigger at a moment’s notice.

When a tenant calls about a leak, you should get in touch with a plumber, no matter how big it is. Leaks can be a symptom of a bigger problem, so the earlier you get it handled, the better.

Get Pipes Cleaned Often

Just because there are no signs of clogs doesn’t mean your pipes don’t need to be cleaned. Getting something like hydro jetting can clear drains of blockages. This will help your pipes stay in good condition for longer, which will lessen the need for any serious repairs.

Get Regular Inspections Maintenance

There may be no actual complaints from the tenants, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to do anything regarding plumbing. Over time, hair and other debris can clog the pipes, which can then back up the drains and cause bigger issues.

Without regular maintenance and inspections, this can lead to very costly and time-consuming things to fix. Not to mention, all metals will corrode over time, so plumbers can use a video scope to check it from time to time. Keep everything in working condition with the minor inconvenience of maintenance checks.

Property Maintenance Managers Need to Be Responsible

Property maintenance managers need to be proactive about keeping the plumbing in working order. Just because you can’t see anything wrong doesn’t mean there isn’t.

Make sure you schedule regular maintenance to not only prevent problems in the future but to also save yourself some trouble as well. Any minor issues have the potential to become serious ones, so nip them in the bud before they do.

If your property has plumbing issues, get in touch with us now to schedule an appointment.

5 Things Every Homeowner Should Know Before Buying a Hot Water Boiler

5 Things Every Homeowner Should Know Before Buying a Hot Water Boiler

There aren’t a lot of appliances that you’ll buy for your home that are expensive as a new hot water boiler.

Typically, you’ll spend between $1,500 and $3,500 on a new boiler — and then add on a few thousand dollars for installation.

Before you make this kind of investment, make sure you do your homework and know what you’re getting into with a new hot water boiler.

What Exactly Is a Hot Water Boiler and What Do I Need to Know?

A hot water boiler heats your home. It’s one of the most common heating systems (aside from a furnace), and they’re often found more often in older homes in the northeast or those in areas that have cold weather.

They heat water and then distribute the hot steam or the hot water to your home through pipes. Steam goes to the radiator and hot water flows to radiators or radiant heat systems. New boilers are extremely energy-efficient (even more so than a furnace). They get their fuel from natural gas, heating oil, electricity, or propane.

Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

1. Boilers Come in Three Types

The most common types of boilers are system boilers, combination boilers, and standard boilers.

System boilers keep hot water in high-pressure, sealed cylinders. It can be distributed to multiple taps within your home at the same time, meaning there is a minimal drop in water pressure if multiple faucets are running at the same time.

Combination boilers are best for apartments or small homes. They heat water on demand, so you get hot water immediately and without delay, but the supply is limited since there is no tank holding the water.

Standard boilers work best in buildings or larger residences. Standard boilers have a hot water tank that heats the pipes that run through it.

2. Boilers Are Condensing or Non-Condensing

Boilers are either condensing or non-condensing.

One that is condensing concentrates water vapor produced during the heating process. This “waste heat” is then used to preheat the cold water entering the boiler, making these very energy-efficient.

Non-condensing boilers operate at higher temperatures and the heat gets vented outside, rather than being used to preheat the water in the boiler. The non-condensing boilers are less energy efficient as well.

3. Boilers Are Sealed Combustion or Non-Sealed Combustion

Sealed combustion units are the better option, as they bring outside air into the burner and direct exhaust gases outside. Non-sealed combustion boilers bring the heated are in and then send it up the chimney, which wastes the energy used to heat the air.

Sealed combustion boilers also won’t release dangerous gases into your home, like non-sealed ones can.

4. Boilers Should Be Serviced Annually

You should have your boiler serviced by a professional annually, just as you would a furnace.

The technician should check the boilers and the upright and baseboard radiators. They can troubleshoot any problems as well as make sure everything is working efficiently.

5. Boilers Only Provide Heat

One important thing to remember is that boilers only provide heat. So if you live in an area that gets hot enough where you’d want to cool your home, you’ll need an air conditioning system as well.

The Bottom Line

Before making a purchase as large as a new hot water boiler, make sure you understand everything there is to know about boilers. This guide will get you started on the right track.

Give us a call today to see how we can help guide your decision. We’re also available for boiler installation and repair.

Common Plumbing Problems You Can Expect During House Inspections

Common Plumbing Problems You Can Expect During House Inspections

Getting ready to sell your home and considering a home inspection? More than 77% of home sales have an inspection conducted.

The inspection finds common plumbing problems in your home. For a smooth sale process hire a plumber to find and fix these potential problems first.

We are a fully licensed and insured plumber in New York. We have the experience and knowledge to know how to address these plumbing problems.

Main Sewer Line Clog

When the main sewer line clogs waste cannot leave the home. It will also cause water to back up into your home. If the problem isn’t fixed, that standing water is going to cause damage to the flooring.

A common reason for the clog is a growing tree root. These roots need fixing or they will keep growing and make the problem worse.

Leaks in the Wall

You could have a small leak in your wall that has gone undetected. This leak will cause rot and mildew to grow over time.

When discovered, the problem is much bigger and more expensive than necessary. A plumber can trace a leak to its source and fix the problem before your inspection.

Galvanized Pipes

Before the 1960’s, homes had galvanized pipes. If you have lived in your home for a long period of time, you may have these pipes and not know it.

Galvanized pipes contain lead with a protective outer layer of zinc. Over time the zinc layer erodes. This results in the risk of lead entering your water supply.

Consuming high amounts of lead puts you and your family at risk. Too much lead can lead to cardiovascular problems, compromised kidneys, and reproductive issues.

Water Heater Issues

Your water heater can be host to a long list of problems starting with too high of pressure, a bad thermostat, or faulty gauges. The unit itself may be the wrong size for the home.

As they age they can develop sediment buildup or internal rust. If your water heater has one of these issues a burn out can happen.

Before an inspection, hire a plumber to perform repairs and maintenance needed. This will give you peace of mind that you know the water heater will pass with flying colors.

DIY Projects

Did you fix a leaking sink pipe or leaking kitchen sink drain yourself? While it is ok for you to fix some things yourself, others will cause a red flag for inspection.

Knowing when to call a plumber can save you money and frustration later on. If a home inspector determines that your DIY job doesn’t pass, you’ll have to hire a plumber to fix it then.

Common Plumbing Problems

No one wants to discover that they have plumbing issues. This is especially true when they are getting ready to sell their home.

It is better to find out now before the problem gets worse. Hiring a plumber is the best way to prevent any of these common plumbing problems from arising.

We can check your home for signs of leaks. We’ll perform any maintenance or repairs on your water heater. Our team of professionals can help ensure your home will pass inspection with flying colors.

Let us help you get ready for your inspection.

5 Plumbing Problems no Homeowner Should Fix on their own

5 Plumbing Problems no Homeowner Should Fix on their own

Hey there, Mr. DIY-Handyman-Extraordinaire.

You know that space in your newly finished basement that’s just begging for a bathroom? What about the water heater that isn’t, well, heating water?

Feel free to break out the toolbox for a leaky faucet, but there are other, more complicated plumbing issues that should not be tackled by the novice.

Luckily, there are professionals for those problems. We’ve compiled a list of five plumbing problems that you should leave to the experts.

Read on!

#1 – Plumbing Projects that Require a Permit

If your plumbing job is substantial enough to require a permit, it’s probably a job better left to the pros.

Some examples of jobs that need permits can include installing a new water heater, re-piping the building, sewer line work, or plumbing work on new construction.

Check with your county — you may be surprised by the seemingly small plumbing projects that require permits. Applying for permits might feel like a tedious extra step, but in general, these requirements are in place to keep you safe and prevent costly property damage.

#2 – Water Heater Replacements or Repairs

Respect the water heater. They may seem like straightforward appliances, but they are not for the novice.

Whether your water heater is gas or electric, it can require gas hookups, wiring, and appropriate venting.

Incorrectly installed or malfunctioning water heaters are at best headache and at worst a hazard. Don’t risk property damage, gas leaks, or wiring issues trying to save a buck. Call in a professional plumber to help with your water heater woes.

#3 – Installation of New Plumbing or Pipes

Installation of new plumbing or pipes is a job best left to the pros. Like we mentioned earlier, these projects may require a permit.

Even if they don’t, there is still a risk of improper installation. This can lead to leaks, floods, and plumbing that isn’t up to code. Even the smallest plumbing leak can lead to a huge headache down the road — think drywall damage and mold. No fun.

#4 – Broken Pipes

Broken pipes are a plumbing emergency and not a problem that an amateur can take on. If you suspect a broken pipe, turn off the water main right away if possible. Then, pick up the phone and call a plumber.

A professional plumber can act quickly to stop the potential flooding, but they can also tell you why the pipe broke — which can be important to address an underlying issue that may cause it to happen again!

#5 – Sewer Line Leaks

A leaky sewer line is no joke. In addition to the unpleasant odor it may cause, even a slow leak in a sewer line can cause harm to your walls, yard, or foundation. A clog or backup can even cause sewage to enter your home through the drains, and trust us — that’s as disgusting as it sounds.

If you suspect you may have a leak in your sewer line, call a professional plumber as soon as you can.

Check Out Our Blog for More Advice on Common Plumbing Problems

Bookmark our blog today for more helpful plumbing advice and information on common plumbing problems.

We can help you determine when it’s ok to break out the tools and DIY it, or when it’s best to break out the cell phone and call in the pros.

How to Install New Construction Plumbing

How to Install New Construction Plumbing

How to Install New Construction Plumbing

Before plumbing was a thing, we used either waterways or holes in the ground as our toilets.

In the medieval era, castles actually had toilets built into the walls. These holes hovered above the castle’s moat. No wonder nobody tried crossing a moat without a bridge.

But today we don’t need waterways, holes, or moats to do away with our wastes. We have plumbing systems.

And the miracle of modern day plumbing lets us dispose of our waste in the privacy of our own homes.

Most people don’t really think about the system that takes wastes away from their home unless something goes wrong.

Yet, when building a new home or remodeling a bathroom or kitchen, you suddenly do have to think about that system.

If you’re a DIYer, this is an exciting prospect. New construction plumbing is a fun challenge.

If you do it right (which you’ll know how after this article), you’ll have worry-free plumbing for a long time.

1. Get Familiar With The Local Plumbing Codes

Different states have different laws governing how homeowners install new construction plumbing. These codes ensure that you install your new construction plumbing in a safe way.

While codes may vary from state to state, some codes are fairly universal.

In fact, the National Uniform Plumbing Code applies to the whole country.

And while you should understand and know the National Uniform Plumbing Code, you need to check with your local building department to find out what might be different.

2. Prepare the Site For New Construction Plumbing

If you’re starting from nothing you can pretty much skip this step. You’ll have framed in the space already and planned where you will place the fixtures.

If you’re making new space in an existing house for new construction plumbing, you’ll need to identify which walls should be moved.

Remove the drywall or plaster from the areas where you will lay your plumbing. And make sure you clear space for your tub or shower.

If you have wiring that’s in the way, be sure to shut off power, test the wires to make sure they aren’t “hot,” and then remove the cables that are in the way.

Make sure you have a tape measure for careful measuring.

3. Run The Drain and Vent Lines

You will need to precisely place your drain and vent lines. Which is why you need to make sure to install them before the supply lines.

If you don’t get these right, you’ll have to completely re-do your work once it comes time to install your tub or sink.

Codes require you slope the drain pipe at a 1/4 inch per foot minimum and 3 inches per foot maximum.

Don’t be so set in your ways. Once you start laying the drain pipes, they might not lay the way you imagined.

You can start assembling the pieces and then test them for fit. You can modify your plans as you go.

When installing the vents, you might want to slope the vent pipes. Not all inspectors will insist on this, but they might.

4. Run Your Copper Supply Lines

Now that you’ve run your drains and vents, you can measure where to place your supplies.

If you’ve never run copper pipes, it’s a good idea to practice cutting copper pipe and sweating the joints before you begin your project.

If you’re running horizontal pipe, it’s easier if you install this from the crawl space or basement.

And it’s advisable that you don’t cross drainpipes and vents with your supply lines. If both leak at the same time, you’ll quickly have a puddle.

If you install your copper along the studs, make sure you place nailing plates on the pipe side of your studs. Copper tubing easily punctures, and when you’re replacing your drywall, you don’t want to accidentally puncture your supply lines.

5. Hook Up Your Tub, Shower or Sink

If you’re hooking up a tub or shower faucet, you want to use 3/4 inch supply lines to make sure you have good water pressure.

And to make sure that the water is as warm as possible, tap into the cold/hot water lines as close to the water heater as you possibly can.

You’ll also want to install shutoff valves in the lines if you haven’t already.

Make sure you read the manufacturer’s directions when installing the faucet. Each faucet is slightly different.

Make sure you measure your tub and shower. Most standard tubs are around 18 inches. You want to position the faucet a good ten inches above the lip of the tub.

And if you’re installing a shower, make sure you install it a good 30 inches above the tub lip.

A bathroom sink vanity is easier to install than a standing porcelain sink.

With a bathroom vanity, your pipes can stick out of the wall and hide in the cupboard.

With a standing porcelain sink, you have a much smaller space to work with and need to be more precise with your work.

You’ll want a high-quality vanity cabinet. The best wood to use is hardwood as it resists water damage.

If you choose a composite vanity, you’ll end up soaking through the bottom and rotting it if a leak happens.

6. Installing A Wet Wall or Tiles

Once you’ve laid your piping and installed the tub or shower, it’s time to install a wet wall or tile over your shower/tub wall.

Make sure you clean all surfaces before installing your wet wall. If you’re placing it over plaster, then make sure you seal your plaster before installing the wet wall.

When you install your wet wall, leave a few millimeters at the bottom between the tub and panel. You can fill in the gap with grout or a sealant.

Tiling takes a bit more work. But if you do choose tile and then take care of it, you’ll have a bathroom wall that will last longer than a contemporary wet wall.

Be sure you seal around your tile, however. You don’t want water leaking into your walls and causing mold and rot.

Let The Pros Handle Your New Construction Plumbing

While DIY work is rewarding, you can avoid a lot of frustration by hiring a professional to install your new construction plumbing.

A professional will know your local codes by heart and will know how to save you money on materials.

To have a plumber run your new construction plumbing, call Order A Plumber today!

5 Myths Busted About Plumbing

Many homeowners may attempt to maintain their plumbing systems on their own, however, they may realize after trying to fix a problem they have made it worse and need a professional to come repair the damage anyway. Making a plumbing repair mistake on your own can turn out to be more costly than hiring a plumber initially. If you think YouTube or Googling a plumbing fix will be able to get your problem solved properly, you may want to think again as some information may not be the best solutions. Here are 5 myths about plumbing that you should know.

Garbage Disposals Can Be Cleaned with a Lemon

Garbage Disposals get full of gunk and can be a hassle to clean. While lemons may get rid of any horrid odors, it won’t actually clean the garbage disposal. Using a disinfectant with soap and warm water can be an effective cleaning method when done right. Just spray the solution, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a cleaning brush. Repeat as many times as necessary to get all the garbage off.

Running Water Makes Things Flow Smoothly

Many people see the garbage disposal as another trash can, so they put whatever they please in it and run water to help it travel better. This is false- hard, thick foods like eggshells or banana peels actually can cause damage to your disposal and may even break it. This can cost a lot of money to repair and you may even have to replace the entire system.

Things Still Go Down the Drain- It’s Not Clogged!

Just because things are moving doesn’t mean a problem isn’t starting to arise. A slow moving drain may signal a problem brewing which you may want to check out. Same goes for and waste fragments that remain in the discharge pipe, especially if there is a lot of it. Your drain can be developing a clog and still work so it is important to keep an eye on it and regularly clean it.

Hand Soap Works as a Cleaner

Hand Soap can damage the surface or your plumbing systems. Different types of surfaces require different types of cleansers and different methods of cleaning. Brass requires gentle solutions like baking soda whereas porcelain toilet bowls require aggressive disinfectants to kill germs and bacteria.

Plumbing Systems Don’t Require Maintenance

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” doesn’t really apply when it comes to plumbing systems. If you think that your pipes are fine and don’t need a checkup you can have major problems down the road.  Plant roots, forming clogs, or old pipes and be causing issues you may not realize until it is too late. Leaving these problems unsolved can even cause other complications such as septic tanks becoming full or broken sewer lines which are even more expensive to repair.

These common myths are among the top causes of plumbing problems for the average homeowner. They can be time-consuming and very costly which is what people wish to avoid in the first place. If you want to avoid these issues, make sure to properly take care of them in the first place.