How Do Plumbers Replace Leaky Pipes?

July 18th, 2014

It’s often difficult to know that you have leaking pipes because the pipes are usually located behind building material like drywall and floorboards. You need to keep a sharp watch for signs of leaks, such as warped sections under the carpet, spots of discoloration on the wall, and increases in humidity.

But if leaking pipes are hard to reach, how to plumbers take care of replacing them? We’ll look at the process of pipe replacement that professional, skilled plumbers use when a customer has a household leak.

Because pipe replacement involves excavating through building material, you must rely on a San Antonio, TX plumber with expertise for this job, or else you might end up with extensive and ugly damage done to your home. Call up Simply Water Heaters, any time of the day of night, for service from plumbers with the training necessary to get the job done right.

Pipe Replacement

The first step in replacing a leaky pipe is for the plumbers to narrow down the area with the leak. After a visual inspection, they use leak detection equipment, such as listening devices and pressure sensors, to pinpoint the spot in the wall or ceiling closest to the leaking pipe section. If necessary, they will make use of video pipe inspection equipment. They will make sure they know exactly where to find the pipe they are replacing.

Next, the plumbers shut off the water and open up the tap nearest the pipe to completely drain it so there is no danger of making a mess from water flooding into your home.

To reach the pipe, the plumbers use precision instrument to dig through the drywall. (If you have pipes in the floors, the plumbers will attempt to access them from below through the drywall.) Where amateurs might use a hammer to crudely smash through the building material, professionals will instead use a drywall saw to cut out an area that fits exactly with the pipe for removal, limiting the damage to the wall to the smallest zone possible.

The plumbers then remove the leaking pipe section with wrenches and put in the replacement. They will already have a good idea of the size of pipe needed to fit into the spot, but will come with a variety of pipe options to make sure that the right one goes in. Once the pipe is securely in place, they turn the water back on to make sure there are no leaks from loose connections. To finish, they replace the drywall section and repair the damage to the wall so that it looks like it did before.

Call the Plumbing Experts

For a plumber in San Antonio, TX who can replace your leaking pipes fast and with minimum disruption to your home, call on Simply Water Heaters. We believe in nothing but 100% customer satisfaction.

Replacing Your Entire Plumbing System

July 11th, 2014

There are times when you need to take extensive measures to improve your home. One of these is whole house repiping, where expert plumbers replace the entire plumbing system in your house. This requires an enormous amount of work and a significant outlay of time, but sometimes it is the best solution for your plumbing problems and for your house in general. If you find the right plumbers to handle this job, it will go faster and with fewer problems than you might imagine for such a large undertaking.

Simply Water Heaters has an excellent staff to satisfy your needs for plumbing in San Antonio, TX, from cleaning grease traps to whole-house repiping. Contact us first to find out if a whole-house replacement of your plumbing is the best solution, or if there are smaller repairs that will benefit you.

The necessity of a complete plumbing replacement

A whole-house repiping is something you should consider for an older home. With a house built pre-1970, the plumbing may consist primarily of galvanized steel. This is strong material, but it is also prone to corrosion over time, something that does not affect copper, CPVC, or PEX piping. If your home is pre-World War II, then it definitely has steel pipes—and they are probably in danger of corrosion and whole-house repiping should be a priority.

You can also tell if whole-house repiping is necessary based on how often you encounter repair needs, and if your plumbing is capable of efficiently doing its job. If you encounter leaking on a regular basis, loss of water pressure, or sudden spikes in water pressure, you need to investigate the possibility of replacing the plumbing entirely. In many cases, it is much more cost-effective to have full repiping done rather than constantly needing to schedule expensive repairs just to keep the plumbing system operating.

Find professionals for this work

Replacing all the plumbing in a home is a substantial task, and one you should never entrust to amateurs: only call on experienced plumbers with a history of successful repiping jobs to their credit. These plumbers will first assist you with making the choice about whether to do the complete replacement; afterwards, they will handle the extensive and labor-intensive work without causing serious disruption to your home.

Simply Water Heaters can handle a full replacement for your plumbing in San Antonio, TX with minimum damage to building material. When we are finished, you will have the finest new pipes in your house, and almost no trace that we were there in the first place. Contact our staff today to learn more about whole-house repiping and its possibilities for your home.

Leading the Way with Independence Days!

July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at Simply Water Heaters hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

How a Plumber Uses a Drain Snake to Clean Your Drains

June 27th, 2014

You have a major drain clog… quick, what’s the best way to get rid of it?

a)      A sink plunger
b)      A bottle of drain cleaner
c)      Calling your friend who once said he knew something about plumbing
d)      Calling a professional plumber
e)      a and then d
f)       a and then b and then c

The answer is: e. It never hurts to attempt to use a sink plunger to clear a clog. But if that technique doesn’t work, you should never resort to acidic and toxic chemicals from a store that could harm your drains; nor you should you look to amateurs to solve the problem. Always make a call to experienced, licensed professional plumbers to handle the job so it will get done quickly and without damaging your pipes.

When you call Simply Water Heaters, we’ll send a trained San Antonio, TX plumber to clear out your drain. The tool he or she will probably use for this task: a motorized drain snake.

How a drain snake takes care of cleaning your drains

A drain snake, also called a drain auger, is a basic tool of the professional plumber that can “snake” down your drains and drill down into clogs to remove them or break them up.

The standard motorized drain snake consists of a long coil of flexible wires connected to an auger that can spin the coil around. Manual drain snakes have a hand-cranked auger, but for more serious clogs, a plumber will use an electrically-powered auger for the necessary power.

The plumber inserts the end of the auger down the drain, and pushes it through the curves in the drainpipe until it collides with the clog. The plumber then activates the motor, and this drills the end of the wires into the clog, much like a corkscrew. Once the end of the snake is secured in the obstruction, the plumber can either pull the plug out of the drain or move the coil around to break up the clog and then run water down the drain to wash it away.

Hand-cranked drain snakes are often available through hardware stores and online merchants, but we advise that you don’t try to use these devices on your own. Improperly handled drain snakes can cause damage to the lining of a drainpipe. Call a skilled San Antonio, TX plumber to take on the job and finish it fast without harming your plumbing.

At Simply Water Heaters, we perform a variety of plumbing jobs, including drain snake work to unclog toilets, show drains, and kitchen sinks. You can trust us for all your plumbing problems: we’re only a phone call away, and ready 24 hours a day.

What’s Involved in Storm Drainage Services?

June 25th, 2014

A storm drain is one of the best protections your home can have from flooding and standing water on your property due to heavy rains. Water that strikes hardscape surfaces like concrete and asphalt doesn’t sink down into the ground, so it instead needs drainage to eliminate it. Proper storm drainage on your property can prevent water damage from entering your yard, patio, driveway, or even home.

However, private storm drains will occasionally need service to make sure they properly drain water and remove it into the city sewer system. The utility company is only concerned with the storm drains located on the street; you will need to rely on a private contractor for your property’s drainage system.

Whether you have storm drainage on your patio, driveway, or elsewhere, you will eventually need to call for plumbing service from a San Antonio, TX specialist to maintain it. At Simply Water Heaters, we offer full installation, maintenance, and repairs for storm drains, and are ready 24 hours a day when you need emergency attention.

What Does Storm Drainage Service Do?

The most important part of servicing a storm drain is to keep it clean and free from any blockages that might defeat its purpose of draining excess floodwaters. After a major rain storm, a storm drain will collect a large amount of leaves, dirt, gravel, and other debris caught in the water. This accumulation of blockage will not only slow down the drain, the buildup of water can lead to damage to the drain system that will require repairs.

When servicing a storm drain, plumbers generally take care of two tasks. First, they must remove all the debris that has collected from the rainwater. Second is to repave areas of the drain that have sustained significant damage. This can include jobs such as sealcoating asphalt, filling in cracks using hot rubber, or even laying in concrete. Sometimes the grate over the drain will need to be replaced if it has suffered damage and is no longer doing the job of preventing large debris from entering the drain.

You should schedule storm drainage service after any period of extreme weather or flooding to make sure the drain has gotten through intact and to clean out leaves and other organic debris. If you do not have a storm drain and have encountered problems from standing water, contact a professional plumbing company that offers storm drain installation for homes and have drainage put in.

Make sure that your property and home has the best protection from flooding and standing water: maintain and service your storm drains with the help of Simply Water Heaters and our skilled San Antonio, TX plumbing team.

How Much Water Does a Leaky Faucet Waste?

June 20th, 2014

The slow drip drip drip of a leaky sink faucet can keep you up at night if it comes from your bedroom’s bathroom. Although this is annoying and can cause you to lose precious sleep, that’s not the main reason you should have concern about a leaky faucet. If somewhere else in your house there’s another leaking faucet or showerhead, such as the kitchen, guest room, or laundry room, it may not disturb your sleep… but it will upset your bank account and cause a massive waste of water.

You may not believe a leaky faucet could waste enough water to make a difference—but it can and it does. If you have leaky faucets that won’t stop, call for plumbers in San Antonio, TX right away, before any more money goes down the drain. Simply Water Heaters has a team ready 24 hours a day to take care of any plumbing woes you have, from leaks to water line breaks.

How bad could a leaky faucet be anyway?

Bad. Seriously bad. When you add up the numbers, the water waste from a leaking faucet is staggering. We’ll give you an example, courtesy of the USGS Water Science School:

Although there is no definition of the size of a “drip” from a faucet, the average based on numerous samples is approximately ¼ milliliter per drip. To give you a sense of how much this is, it would take 15,140 drips to equal one gallon, and 4,000 to equal a liter. Seems small, right?

But when we add up those drips from a faucet of time, the water waste quickly starts to accumulate. One home with three leaky faucets that allow one drip per minute (slow as far as leaks go) would waste one liter per day, and 104 gallons in a year. If we restrict it to one faucet, but it drips twice a minute, it would still waste 70 gallons of water a year.

Thinking beyond your home alone, imagine a town with 50 homes with 2 leaky faucets each leaking 3 drips per minute. That equals 28 gallons of water per day, or 10,414 gallons of water per year—right down the drain.

That’s a lot of wasted water.

Allowing a drip from a faucet to continue will cost you a great deal more money than you think, and it’s detrimental to the environment as well. Call for plumbers in San Antonio, TX if you have a leak in your home that won’t go away. Our plumbers at Simply Water Heaters will help make sure that you have water-tight faucets that don’t waste money while you sleep.

3 Ways to Detect Slab Leaks

June 12th, 2014

Slab leaks rank among the trickiest and most difficult plumbing issue to address. They’re leaks that take place beneath the floorboards of your home, or perhaps beneath a concrete patio: anywhere that the plumber can’t readily access. Even worse, those locations make detecting a slab leak very difficult, costing you time and money before finally becoming apparent. Here in San Antonio, TX, plumbers have ways of solving the problem, but first you need to spot the issue and give them a call.

Here Are 3 Ways to Detect Slab Leaks That You Should Learn If You Suspect Trouble

  • Running water. A leak will continue to leak water regardless of what’s happening in the rest of your plumbing. Turn off all the faucets in your home and then listen for the sound of running water.  If you detect it, and yet can’t pinpoint the location, chances are you’ve got a slab leak.
  • Ground evidence. Since you can’t look beneath the floor or patio with x-ray vision, you’ll need to look for signs of a leak that show through. One of the biggest is the emergence of cracks in the walls or floor, caused by the pressure of the running water. Leaks also have a way of attracting mold, especially in our muggy Texas summers, and strange mildew growths can suggest water appearing somewhere it shouldn’t. In some cases, you are able to detect puddles or excessive moisture springing up without an apparent source, and if the slab leak is coming from a hot water line, it will announce itself with a hot spot in the floors.
  • High bills. Perhaps the surest sign of detecting a slab leak is to monitor your monthly water bills for any unusual spikes. If your bill goes up despite the fact that you’re not using any more water than normal, you may have a slab leak.

San Antonio plumbers like the kind at Simply Water Heaters know different ways to detect slab leaks, and then repair the breach with confidence and professionalism. If you think you may have a slab leak, give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

Common Plumbing Problems with Sinks and Faucets

June 5th, 2014

Here in San Antonio, plumbing services are used to dealing with all kinds of problems. Most of them handle sinks and faucets, which see more activity than showers and toilets and thus experience problems more frequently. You may be tempted to try and solve such issues yourself, but in fact a professional is always the best way to handle common plumbing problems with sinks and faucets. We’ve listed some of the most prominent below.

Drips and leaks. Drips can be a recurring problem, and because they don’t seem to cause much damage on the surface, many homeowners will just leave them be. This can cost you a surprising amount of water, as well as increasing the strain on your faucet. Leaks are often the same, especially when they take place under the sink or out of sight. Fixing such issues is very easy with the right training, but it takes a plumber to know exactly what to do.

Clogs. Few problems are more common than clogs, where the sink backs up with water and won’t drain. Clogs can be caused by soap or food particles dropped down the kitchen sink, or soap and hair dropped down the bathroom sink. (Beware of hot grease and fat in the kitchen, which can cool in the pipes and create a particularly stubborn back-up.)

Cracks. Cracks or fractures in the sink itself can be caused by external damage or simply by a very old sink that has undergone an inordinate amount of strain. Unfortunately, any repairs made are usually temporary measures at best. You probably need to replace the whole sink.

For help with these and other common plumbing problems with sinks and faucets, Simply Water Heaters is standing by. We have years of experience dealing with big matters and small, and our trained experts are ready to handle your issue right the first time every time. Our San Antonio plumbing services are ready for anything. If you’re experiencing trouble with your sink, don’t trust just any company. Pick up the phone and give us a call to make an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

What Sewer Odors from Your Drains Could Mean

May 23rd, 2014

No one likes to smell something bad coming up from their sinks and drains. Unfortunately, it usually means something more than just a bit of rotten food stuck in the pipes. Modern plumbing is designed to prevent serious odors from leaking up into your home, so when you smell a stink, you probably need a plumber to make it right. Here in San Antonio, plumbing services are readily available to correct the problem.

Here’s What Sewer Odors from Your Drains Could Mean

The good news is that it’s usually a case of a dried-out P-trap, AKA that funny u-bend in the pipe underneath the sink. That bend is in place to keep sewer smells from running up your pipe. A little water gets caught in the bend, which forms a seal keeping the smells out. If the water dries up, the seal is broken and the smells waft upward. You often see this in vacation homes or in sinks that haven’t seen a lot of use. It’s a little gross, but pretty easy to correct.

A more serious problem can occur in the case of backflow where, for various reasons, the flow of water reverses itself. This creates a reverse flow in which contaminated water moves back up the pipe to mingle with supposedly clean water. In these cases, a plumber can correct the problem by installing a corrective valve in your plumbing system or by hunting down the cause of the backflow in your system. You may also be getting the smell because your roof vent is blocked somewhere along the line (these vents are designed to remove offensive odors before they reach your sink.) A clog in the vent somewhere could cause it, as could a more readily correctable issue like birds’ nests and other detritus on top of the pipe.

No matter what sewer odors from your drains could mean, you want a trained professional plumber to handle it. Professional plumbing services in San Antonio are provided by the expert plumbers at Simply Water Heaters. If you pick up a strange smell from your plumbing, don’t hesitate to call on us. We’ll get the problem corrected with speed and efficiency!

What are Slab Leaks and How Can They Be Detected?

May 23rd, 2014

If you’ve dealt with plumbing problems, you may have heard the term “slab leak” used before. It’s a tricky and difficult problem typically requiring professional plumbers to address. Numerous plumbing services offer modern leak detection in San Antonio, but what are slab leaks and how can they be detected? We’ve provided a quick primer below.

Slab leaks are basically any leaks that occur below the floor of your home. Sometimes slab leaks can also occur beneath the porch or concrete sides to your swimming pool, but the end result is the same: water is leaking out of a pipe that is extremely difficult to reach. Slab leaks can cost you hundreds of dollars in lost water, and often prove very difficult to repair.

The good news is that there are a few common symptoms signaling a possible slab leak. They can include the sound of running water despite the fact that you’ve turned off all of the faucets in your home, puddles or drips showing up in unexpected locations, the growth of mold or mildew beneath your carpet, the appearance of cracks in nearby walls or flooring, and most importantly a spike in your monthly water bills. If the leak involves a hot water line, you might also detect it by noticing an unusual hot spot in the floor or concrete.

If you suspect a slab leak, call in a plumber to perform a more formal detection. Plumbers can use modern techniques such as electronic amplification equipment that can detect the sounds of the leak through the concrete. That allows the plumber to figure out where the leak is without having to drill thought your floor. Once he spots the leak, you can determine whether you can repair the pipe or if rerouting it is the best option.

The experts at Simply Water Heaters have years of experience with leak detection in San Antonio, and we’re standing by to help.

We can explain what slab leaks are, and how they can be detected, then undertake repairs with courtesy and care. Pick up the phone and give us a call today.