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.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Plumber

5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Plumber

Water loss is a big reason to contact a plumber. The biggest cause for residential water loss is plumbing supply line failures followed by toilet failures.

And it gets expensive. After the deductible is paid, it costs an average of $4,400 for plumbing supply lines and $5,584 for toilet failures.

When a plumbing problem happens, it’s necessary to hire a plumber. But if you hire the wrong one, you may end up paying a lot of money for bad service.

If you’re looking for plumbing contractors, keep reading. We’re sharing with you five questions you should ask before you hire a plumber.

1. Before You Hire a Plumber Make Sure They’re Licensed

Most states require plumbers to acquire a license. That means the plumber has the education, training, and has passed a written exam to ensure she/he is competent.

Licensed plumbers are also required to continue their education in order to maintain their license. And, they must adhere to specific rules and regulations set by your state’s regulatory board.

Don’t Take the Risk on an Unlicensed Plumber

Hiring an unlicensed plumber may not just result in a huge mess and create a more dangerous situation for you, but if your state requires you to hire a licensed plumber and you don’t, you may be subject to fines.

2. Ask About Their Rates

Look for plumbers near me with free estimates. But stay away from free estimate plumbers who only provide estimates over the phone.

A reputable plumber will come to investigate the problem before providing an estimate. Do not pay them entirely before the work is done.

Instead, find one willing to offer you a flat rate so you know exactly how much everything will cost upfront.

3. Find out Whose Doing the Work

Some plumbers hire contractors. And some plumbers are apprentices or journeymen.

They are still learning how to become a master plumber. Make sure whoever is doing the work is a master plumber since they’ll have the most experience.

4. Bonding and Insurance

Ask a plumber if they are bonded and insured. Then ask to see proof.

This will ensure that if someone is injured or the repair job goes wrong, you’re not on the hook to pay to fix the damages. Reputable plumbers are bonded and insured to protect themselves and their clients.

5. Find out What Happens If Something Breaks

Before you sign a contract, make sure your plumber offers a guarantee or warranty along with their work. And don’t just take their word for it, get the guarantee or warranty in writing.

This will ensure that should something go wrong, you won’t have to pay for a plumber to fix the same problem more than once.

Order a Plumber Through Us

If you need to hire a plumber, think of us. We can handle everything and we’re available for emergency repair and services.

We can also help you repair any type of plumbing issue you can think of. Don’t wait when you have a plumbing problem, contact us today.

Toilet Not Flushing Properly? 3 Signs It’s Time to Call a Plumber.

Toilet Not Flushing Properly? 3 Signs It’s Time to Call a Plumber.

It’s a feeling everyone has experienced: You try to flush the toilet and nothing happens.

The key to surviving these moments is to know how to handle toilet issues without needing to call a plumber. After all, fixing a toilet isn’t rocket science.

This article takes a look at a few tips you should keep in mind the next time you encounter a toilet not flushing properly. Keep reading to discover some common toilet issues and how to fix them.

1. The Toilet is Clogged

Let’s start with the most common toilet problem people face. A toilet clog can happen for a number of reasons.

Perhaps someone used too much toilet paper or perhaps an object was dropped into the water and got flushed, but the obstruction was too large to go down. Now when you flush, the water level begins to rise and could overflow onto the floor.

The simplest fix for a clog is a plunger. Let the water level recede enough so that the agitation won’t cause it to splash over, and then use a flange plunger to plunge the clog for about 15 seconds.

Repeat a few times if necessary. Hopefully your effort will free the clog and the water will drain on its own. If it doesn’t, fill a bowl with hot water and pour it into the toilet. This should help to loosen the clog. But if the clog still doesn’t drain, use a snake to clear the blockage.

2. There’s a Problem with the Chain or the Flapper

If you try to flush but notice there’s no pressure on the chain, there could be a problem inside the tank.

Remove the lid and you should see a plastic flapper that covers a hole in the bottom of the tank. A chain connects the handle on the outside of the tank to the flapper, and the flapper lifts to let water flow when you flush.

When you push the handle but the toilet doesn’t flush, remove the lid to see if the chain has disconnected from either the handle of the flapper. If so, it’s an easy fix to simply reattach the chain.

It’s also possible that the flapper has become stuck in the open position, causing the tank to not refill with water.

If either the chain or flapper has broken, the kit will need to be replaced.

3. The Tank Doesn’t Have Enough Water

A weak flush could mean the tank doesn’t have enough water.

Remove the lid. Most manufacturers mark the inside of the tank with a fill line to specify the recommended water level.

If you discover that the water level is beneath this fill line, this is another easy fix. Most toilet tanks feature a small float connected to the fill valve. When the water level reaches this float, the valve will shut off the water automatically.

To adjust the height of the float, manually bend the float arm as much as needed. The water should now rise to the new fill level.

Troubleshooting a Toilet Not Flushing Properly

Nothing’s more frustrating than a toilet not flushing properly. It often happens at the most inconvenient times and needs to be fixed before it causes a mess.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution most of the time. The tips in this article should help make troubleshooting your toilet a breeze!

Click here to learn how to detect a leaking pipe in your home.

Why Is Your Bathroom Sink Clogged?

Why Is Your Bathroom Sink Clogged?

While you probably clean your bathroom regularly, most people don’t pay attention the sink drain. It can be a mystery when it clogs.

After all, water is the only thing going through those pipes, right? Not always.

Continue reading to find out the reason for your clogged bathroom sink.

Trapped in the P-Trap

If you look under your sink at the drain pipe, you’ll see the part that sharply bends, or the p-trap. It stops the smell from the sewer stinking up your bathroom and supplies suction to take away incoming water.

Dropping large enough objects into the bathroom sink drain could end up stuck in the p-trap. Such things include soap chunks, rings, and more unusually, legos and cat litter. Over time, these objects build up and the clog will get worse.

Tangles of Hair

A more common reason for your sink clogging is wet hair getting clumped and tangled in the drain pipe. The water flow from the faucet doesn’t help. It actually makes the hair stick together more.

As more hair is sent down, which you may not even notice, it catches onto the hair that’s already there. Aside from hair, other objects can latch on.

You don’t need to have long hair for this to happen. Any type or length of hair will clog your sink once there’s enough accumulated.

Make sure you pick up any hair you spot in the sink with a tissue to avoid a clog.

Soap Scum

Soap scum, or lime soap, results from a chemical reaction between soap and water. Soap reacts with calcium and magnesium ions in water to form the solid substance. It’s sticky and film-like, and it can easily produce mold and mildew because of bacteria.

Soap scum is particularly difficult to remove from a sink drain. Anything else that travels down the sink will probably grab onto the scum.

Worst Case Scenario

A reason for your bathroom sink draining slow could be that there’s something physically wrong with the drain pipe. It could be old, rusted, unfastened somewhere, or dented.

Intense soap scum will lead to pipe corrosion and a layer of rust will build, diminishing water flow. A clog cause by a disconnected pipe means that the pipe has dropped down and blocked the adjacent pipe. A dented pipe will negatively affect water flow and, if it’s serious enough, could stop it entirely.

If you have an old home, you might want to think about replacing your pipes.

Preventing a Clogged Bathroom Sink

There are measures you can take to prevent a clogged bathroom sink. As said before, remove any hair from the sink with a tissue. Don’t let any animals in the sink because fur can also cause a clog.

Try to keep small objects at a distance so there’s no chance of them falling down the drain. Soap scum can be avoided by making sure excessive amounts of soap aren’t going into the sink. For example, if you use a lot of soap to wash your hands, perhaps use less.

Unfortunately, you can’t get around having damaged pipes forever, but preventing the aforementioned problems will make your pipes last longer.

Make sure to check out our plumbing services. Feel free to contact us with any questions by email or call at 844-458-8673.

Think Sump Pump and Keep Your Basement Dry

Think Sump Pump and Keep Your Basement Dry

You’ve heard the saying April showers bring May flowers, well you might also have heard your neighbors proudly talk about their sump pump, especially after a heavy rain in the spring season. They are the ones saying how their sump pump kept their basement dry while other basements in the neighborhood were flooded with water. These homes are easy to pick out, they’re the ones with ruined belongings placed curbside for garbage collection.

Sump pumps are installed underneath the floor of basements and crawl spaces to collect and pump out groundwater before it threatens your home. With heavy rains, groundwater easily swells up through the cracks in basements or crawl spaces. The most vulnerable are homes built prior to 1980 and those located within flood zones.

Has your basement or crawl space ever experienced wetness or moisture or even mold? According to the Society of Home Inspectors, more than half of the homes in America experience this problem.

Homeowners with a basement or crawl space shouldn’t just know what a sump pump is, they should have one installed! Maybe you should consider having your own sump pump to protect your home and belongings against water damage.

At Order A Plumber we’re experts in both the installation and repair of sump pumps in all makes and models. Call us (844) 458-8673 to get a Free estimate.

How To Detect A Leaking Pipe

How To Detect A Leaking Pipe

The Easy Part

Finding that you may have a leak is relatively easy. The place to start would be if you receive a much higher water bill. If your water habits haven’t changed and your water bill increases, it’s time to do some detective work.

Carefully inspect your property and home, looking for dampness and possibly water damage. Your nose can help, since leaks often produce mold and mildew.

If you can’t find the leak, there is a simple test. Turn off all the appliances in your home that use water, then write down your current meter reading and for the next few hours, don’t use any water. Check the water meter after that time and if it has changed, you likely have a water leak.

Pipe Leak Detection

If you believe you have a plumbing leak and cannot find the source, it’s time to contact
Order a Plumber. We can identify parts of your plumbing system that you may not be aware of. Plus, we can inspect every inch of pipe in your system, with the use of camera detection equipment.

Also, if you want to be proactive about leaks in your plumbing system, you can install water sensors. These devices are installed in areas where hidden leaks occur, and sophisticated models can even turn off your water supply when excess moisture is detected. Water sensors can be expensive, so if you don’t want to justify the expense, at the very least make a practice of looking for signs of water damage throughout your home on a regular basis.

Call Order a Plumber

Give us a call at 844-458-8673. We have the tools and expertise to find detect and fix your leaking pipes.