6 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Riverside Home

Did you know that conserving water at home helps prevent water pollution in local rivers, lakes and watersheds? Not only is water conservation a great way to do your part to save the environment, but it can also be a great way to save money on your monthly utility bills. In this post, we’ll talk more about why water conservation is important and offer you tips for using less water in your Riverside home.

Why Conserve Water?

There are many reasons why homeowners should do their part to conserve water at home.  However, conserving water in your Riverside home can prolong the life of your septic system as it reduces the amount of soil saturation and pollution from leakage.  Relying too much on community sewer systems can encourage untreated sewage to flow to lakes and rivers, which is devastating to the environment. Reducing the amount of water flowing through these systems reduces pollution.

If you’re ready to start conserving more water in your home, check out our 6 smart tips for saving water in your home:

Conserving Water Riverside Home

Got Leaks? Call Us Today!

Another smart tip for reducing water waste in your home is to make sure there are no leaky faucets in your home. If you’re noticing an annoyingly persistent drip, then it’s time to call a plumber. Give the trusted experts at $25 Plumbing a call. Our family owned and operated business is here to help you with all your plumbing needs. Call today: (909) 786-2808

 

How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

Based on most unit’s manufacturer’s information, the lifespan of a home water heater is anywhere from about 8 to 12 years and can vary depending on multiple factors, such as the design of the unit, the location in your home, the quality of the installation as well as whether or not it has had proper maintenance and upkeep. That varies with the location and design of the unit, quality of installation, maintenance schedule and as well as the quality of your home’s water supply.

If your water heater is older than 10 years, or of you notice that it works erratically or that water leaks are noticed around the base of the tank, then it may be best to consider replacing the unit. If the unit isn’t working at all, make sure that it isn’t a blown fuse or tripped breaker causing the outage.

Common Water Heater Problems

One of the most common problems that homeowners or renters face with a water heater is that the water isn’t getting as hot as it supposed to be. Oftentimes it is caused by a faulty thermostat or a defective heating element within the unit. If your water heater isn’t getting hot enough, be sure to check for some of these common causes:

Gas Water Heater

  1. Check the temperature setting on the thermostat and raise it if needed.
  2. Insulate the hot water pipes if they aren’t already or replace worn insulation.
  3. Flush the water heater to remove any sediment from the tank.
  4. Ensure that the gas is connected to the unit and that the pilot light is lit.
  5. Replace the thermocoupler and clean the gas burner.

Electric Water Heater

  1. Check the temperature setting on the thermostat and raise it if needed.
  2. Check that the power is connected and/or reset your thermostat.
  3. Flush your water heater to remove any sediment from the tank.
  4. Insulate the hot water pipes or replace any worn insulation.
  5.  Replace the heating element of the heater.

Helpful Maintenance Tips

  • To prevent corrosion and increase efficiency, drain your water heater twice per year to rid it of sediment .
  • Check your valves. Test your water heater’s pressure-relief valve by raising the valve’s handle and letting it snap back into place—if it doesn’t release a burst of water then you will need to replace the valve.
  • Set your water heater thermostat to 120ºF and maintain it at the temperature. This will prevent overheating.

Need a Water Heater? Call $25 Plumbing!

We are proud to serve the La Verne area, and are happy to help customers choose the very best water heater for their home’s needs. We can even help estimate the overall amount of hot water your family will need at home, which will ensure that you purchase a properly sized unit for your home. Give us a call today if you’re in the market for a new water heater. We are one of the area’s best and most trustworthy dealers and can help you find the home comfort solutions to best suit your needs. Call us today at 909-786-2808.

Clogged Pipes: When to Call a Professional

We’ve all been there. Your newly potty-trained son puts a little too much paper in the toilet or your teenage daughter has been forgetting to clean her hair from the shower drain. Your pipes start to clog up, and water starts backing up into the toilet or tub.

Clogged pipes and drains are one of the most frequent plumbing issues that most homeowners experience. Whether you or your spouse handles the dirty work, there is often a way to address these plumbing issues without calling an expert. Though many situations can be remedied with a simple, DIY solution like a plunger or drain stick, some other problems are a bit more complicated, requiring homeowners to call in a professional plumber. But how do you know if your problem requires professional help?

3 Signs You Need to Call a Professional Plumber

Here are just a few signs that your clogged pipes require more than just a few moments with a plunger:

  1. You are experiencing repeated clogs.

Repeated clogs are usually a sign of something a bit more complex than a temporary obstruction. Using a snake will only provide a short-term solution as the hole will start to quickly close up again as sludge continues to accumulate deep in the pipe. Commercial drain cleaners can also introduce harmful chemicals that can ruin the pipes and start to affect your health. A professional plumber can help offer a more permanent and safe solution with professional drain cleaning services.

  1. Your drains are running slow even though you can’t identify a clog.

If you have tried looking for a clog, but your drains appear to still be running slowly, then you may have a much more complicated issue that requires the expertise of a professional plumber. Rather than trying to fix the problem by yourself without success or resulting to a dangerous DIY plumbing hack, contact a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the issue. If the issue is due to an air vent problem, then the repair will require the work of a professional.

  1. Unclogging your pipes requires professional-grade equipment.

Some clogs just will not respond to simple remedies like the common snake or plunger that you can find at your nearest home improvement store. Some homeowners may be tempted to spend hundreds of dollars on drain cleaning equipment in an attempt to clear up tough clogs. However, this is by no means professional equipment and may not solve your problem. If you find that you are not able to unclog your pipes yourself, it is more timely and cost effective to call in a professional. There is a good chance that you will actually save money in the long run by finding an effective solution the first time around and making sure that there are not any bigger issues with your plumbing.

Not sure if your problems require a professional plumber? We’d be glad to help you figure it out. Give us a call today at (909) 786-2808.

Why You Should Avoid Store-bought Drain Cleaners

The alarm goes off. Time for a nice, refreshing shower before work! You turn on the water – no issues, your water pressure is fine. However, before you can finish cleaning your body, lathering & rinsing your hair, and singing your rendition of your favorite song – you notice it. Again.

Your shower is becoming a bath. You’re standing in inches of water and the drain, while making the occasional glug, isn’t doing its job.

Most homeowners – including your dad, as it turns out – would recommend you hit the store and grab some Drain-o-tron Super-Clean liquid and send that burning down your pipes. Job well done, right?

Wrong. Chemical drain cleaners are kind of a big problem. Please review some of the problems we identify about the drain cleaners from the store:

Why Chemical Drain Cleaners are a Problem

Drain cleaners are sketchy for your health

Drain cleaners are made entirely from synthetic chemicals. These chemicals are powerful because their purpose is to break down and fully dissolve the debris inside of your drain that is stopping it up. Let’s think about that: what would a chemical compound need to be made from in order to completely break down the various materials inside of your drain? Is that the kind of chemical compound you want to make contact with on your skin, or in the air you breathe?

The dermal absorption or inhalation of these chemicals is dangerous for you because they are

Drain cleaners are chock full of powerful chemicals that work by literally dissolving away the hair and grime that’s slowing your drain’s function. Like bleach on steroids, drain cleaning chemicals leave behind vapors long after use which stick around and can harm you and your family.

Drain cleaners poorly affect your pipes

Let’s go back to the chemistry lesson. Your drain cleaner can tear through hair, coagulated hygiene products, and whatever other debris is lurking in your drain. It’s corrosive. This means that over time, your drain cleaner could also corrode your pipes. It’s a problem. Many drain cleaners are made with hydrochloric acid and other chemicals that can degrade the condition of your pipes and cause damage to the surfaces of your bathtub, sink, or other drain surroundings.

Drain cleaners just don’t work that well 

You just want a trustworthy and functional drain. So, you’re willing to face the problems listed above to get the results you want, right? Listen, before you make that choice, please know this: the drain cleaners you’re buying at the store don’t work that well. Here’s why: If you’ve got a superficial clog resulting from your long, flowing locks or lost bits of bar soap, fine. Your drain cleaner will tear through your clog and you’ll be back in business – assuming you’re okay with the problems listed above. But, what if your draining problems aren’t coming from a clog?

Your sewer line might be broken. You might have a caving pipe. How would you know? If you pour your drain cleaner into an issue like this, it may still resolve the issue temporarily. However, you’re really just applying a very unreliable fix to a problem that is probably getting worse.

There’s good news, here. We can fix your drain problems without poisoning you with chemicals. Professional drain cleaning is safe for your health and the health of your family. With us, you can also be sure that your actual drain problems are diagnosed and tended to – instead of masked with chemicals.

Contact $25 Dollar Plumbing today to take care of your problems so you can go back to singing in the shower.

Important Information About Water Heaters

Have you ever tried to imagine living without a water heater?

It probably gives you the cold chills just to think about it.

But if you’re planning to purchase a new water heater soon, you shouldn’t just buy the cheapest unit you can find. Nor should you automatically purchase a duplicate of your existing water heater. You need to put some real thought into it before you commit to anything, and you need to learn a bit more about this technology before you proceed.

 

Tank versus Tankless Water Heaters: A Comparative Analysis

The number one question you have to ask yourself before you buy a new water heater is this: do you want a traditional water heater with a storage tank, or a tankless unit that will produce hot water on demand?

In the United States water heaters with storage tanks are more common. But the tankless option has much to recommend it.

In comparison to storage tank models, tankless water heaters:

  • Will reduce energy bills by an extra 10-20 percent.
  • Occupy less than half as much space, allowing for easy installation in closets or under sinks.
  • Last five to 10 years longer (tankless water heaters suffer no interior corrosion).
  • Deliver hot water far more quickly.

And in contrast to tank-type units, they won’t run out of hot water no matter how long you stay in the shower (that’s what “on demand” means).

More Important Facts about Water Heaters

There are a few other things to keep in mind as your search for a new water heater commences …

  • If your old water heater was installed seven years ago or longer, a new energy-efficient model could reduce your annual costs for heating water by 25 percent or more.
  • Water heaters that run on natural gas will consume just one-third the energy of an electric model.
  • If you decide to stick with the traditional storage tank model you should investigate heat pump water heaters, which cost more to purchase and install but are up to three times as energy-efficient as conventional tank-type units.
  • New water heaters come with Energy Guide labels that reveal their productive capacity or size. This is measured in gallons of hot water delivered per hour for tank-type units and maximum hot water flow rate for tankless versions. These labels also tell you how much a water heater will cost you to operate over a period of one year. To properly calculate the size of water heater you need in your home, you can consult the Department of Energy website for assistance.
  • If you’re interested in renewable energy, you might want to consider a solar-powered hot water system. They are more expensive than conventional types but are quite energy-efficient over the long term.

Want to Know Even More about Water Heaters? Ask the Experts at $25 Plumbing

Inland Empire area residents, if you would like to discuss your water heater situation with professionals, please contact $25 Plumbing right away. We are an authorized dealer of Noritz Tankless Water Heaters, which are the most cost-efficient/energy-efficient models on the market today.

We think tankless is a fantastic option for most homeowners, and if you agree we could have your new tankless water heater installed and up in running in no time. But regardless, we will be happy to answer all your questions and provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family.

Please visit our blog on a regular basis for more fascinating facts about plumbing, heating, cooling and indoor air quality maintenance.

What Should I Do if My Basement Floods?

It all happens like clockwork. When spring arrives the flowers will bloom, the robins will return and basements will flood all across the land.

Flooding happens because runoff from snow melt pushes the soil beyond its capacity to absorb moisture. Basements aren’t supposed to flood, of course, but when foundations crack or window sealant fails basements can turn into wading pools right before their horrified owners’ eyes. And of course water pipes may burst and fill a basement with water before anyone realizes there’s a problem.

When the Water is Coming In …

When water starts to collect in your basement, don’t jump into the water and start splashing around until you’re absolutely sure no electric circuits or outlets have been flooded. In case you didn’t know, electricity and water make a lethal combination.

Once you’re certain its safe, call all hands on deck and remove whatever water you can as quickly and efficiently as you can with buckets, mops and/or a wet/dry vacuum, if you have one (and if you experience regular flooding you should).

After the flooding ends you may have to hire a flood cleanup crew to clean or remove and dispose of any damaged items. In the meantime you should bring everything affected by water exposure that you’d like to salvage out of the basement; if that includes electrical or electronic equipment you’ll need to have an electrician or repair person examine it to see if it is still functional or fixable. If any carpet of fabric has been soaked through by flood water you should tear it out and discard it, and don’t replace it until after your basement floor is completely dry.

Preparation and Prevention

Following a flood you shouldn’t just cross your fingers and hope the water never comes back. Here are some actions you can take to minimize or prevent possible future damage:

  • Don’t store anything truly valuable in your basement, even if you think you’ll have time to remove it later.
  • Hire an electrician to reinstall your electric outlets in higher locations.
  • Re-seal all windows and vents and test the sealant often.
  • Waterproof the basement walls on the inside with a roll-on concrete waterproofing product.
  • Investigate the possibility of installing a basement sub-pump, which drains standing water and expels it outside. Sub-pumps aren’t cheap but if flooding is an issue the expense might be worth it.
  • Check all gutters and downspouts frequently to make sure they’re unclogged.
  • Arrange gutters and downspouts so they drain at least five feet from the home’s foundation.
  • Re-landscape (or hire someone to re-landscape) the soil adjacent to the foundation so it slopes downward.
  • Put in a French drain. A French drain is a trench filled with rock, gravel or perforated pipe that channels groundwater away from a home’s foundation.
  • Hire a foundation contractor to check for damage and recommend repairs. This one should be considered mandatory, cracks in foundations will only get worse over time if you do nothing.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Estimates are that one inch of flooding in the basement of a typical American home can cause up to $10,000 in damage. This is an astonishing cost, and if you know your basement is vulnerable to flooding you should do whatever you can to reduce your long-term financial risk.

Follow us here for everything you’ve always wanted to know about heating, cooling, plumbing and indoor air quality management.

How is Commercial Plumbing Different from Residential Plumbing?

Suppose you have two plumbers. One works in single-family homes while the other provides services to commercial clients who own or manage office buildings, department stores, schools, airports, sports stadiums or government buildings. Is the work they do the same or different?

The best answer to this question is, ‘both.’ It is the same but it is also different. Plumbers are plumbers but the technological and logistical challenges faced by commercial plumbers are often distinct from those encountered by residential plumbers. There are plumbers out there trained to provide services to every type of client, but many others specialize in commercial or residential plumbing only.

Commercial Plumbing: Its Special Challenges

We are of course more familiar with residential plumbing, since we’ve all had plumbers in our home at one time or another. Commercial plumbing, on the other hand, is something few of us are ever exposed to, unless we work in that industry or are responsible for contracting plumbing companies for our employers.

Here are six unique aspects of commercial plumbing that set it apart from its domestic cousin:

#1 Number of people served

Residential plumbing is designed to serve at most a few individuals, while commercial plumbing systems may be used by hundreds or even thousands of people in a single day.

#2 Unusual working hours

Residential plumbing is Monday through Friday, 9-5 type work, and except for the occasional emergency customers are expected to adjust their schedules accordingly.

But with commercial plumbing the situation is the opposite. Businesses, manufacturers, schools and government agencies have a schedule to maintain and if serious plumbing work is needed it will have to be done during off-hours (weekends, overnights and on holidays).

#3 Hardier pipes, fixtures and appliances

Commercial plumbers work with supplies and materials manufactured for strength, heavy-duty use and performance at mass scale. Home plumbing systems are built to last as well but they aren’t nearly as rugged, durable or utilitarian as their commercial counterparts.

#4 Vast complexes of water piping

Water transport in commercial settings is handled by dense networks of interconnected piping that cut long, twisted paths through the facilities that house them. Their expansiveness and inaccessibility increases the chances of a breakdown and creates a difficult task for plumbers assigned to locate, diagnose and fix problems once they occur.

#5 Complicated rules and regulations

Unlike residential installations, commercial plumbing systems are subject to a multitude of codes, regulations, testing requirements and spot inspections. Commercial plumbers know their work will be scrutinized, and if they take shortcuts or make mistakes they know they—and their clients—could be subject to serious penalties.

#6 Greater potential for extensive and expensive damages

In commercial facilities a plumbing breakdown or malfunction can have drastic consequences that affect a significant number of people. Large-scale plumbing means large-scale problems, that is a reality that cannot be avoided.

Investigate Before You Hire

Regardless of what kind of plumbing service you need, you should always take care to ensure any company you employ has experience in the relevant specialty. If you are responsible for a commercial, industrial, educational or government facility it is especially important to identify and contract a plumbing company that has the background and resume necessary to warrant such an assignment.

Follow this blog for more information about managing and maintaining your HVAC and plumbing systems.

Steps For Getting Rid Of Drain Flies

Drain flies are pesky little creatures that make their homes in organic matter found in drains. As they lay eggs and hatch, drain flies can become quite the nuisance if they are not dealt with immediately. In fact the eggs hatch within 36-48 hours so it is easy to see how quickly drains can become infested with the pests.

The tiny flies are attracted to the gunk that causes drain clogs, including hair, grease, food and other organic matter that becomes lodged in drain pipes. Organic matter serves as food for drain flies and provides the perfect medium for flies to lay their eggs. Consider the following suggestions for how to get rid of drain flies.

Keeping drains clean and free-flowing is one way to keep drain flies moving. Drain maintenance means keeping grease, hair and other substances from getting into drains. However if an area is infested, it is important to verify that drain flies are the problem since organic matter attracts other small flies.

First, dry the drain area and place a piece of tape over the drain at night, but do not cover all of the holes. This way some flies that try to exit will get stuck on the tape. The next day, check to see if flies are on the tape. If there are no flies the first day, repeat the process for two or three more days, allowing time for eggs to hatch. When there is evidence of flies on the tape, the next step is to clean the drain.

To clean a drain, remove the drain cover and clean out any hair or other organic matter. Next run warm water through the pipe. Use a drain brush or plumbing snake to remove material that may be deep inside the pipe. Going through all of these steps should clear the pipes and prepare them for a gel cleaner. Purchase gel cleaner at a hardware store. Follow directions for using the gel cleaner. Follow the gel treatment with a plunger to remove anything that might remain in the drain. Rinse the drain well.

Keep the drain free of matter that may clog it and apply the gel about once a month to keep drain flies away. Follow us for more information on do-it-yourself home maintenance.

Everything You Need To Know About Water Heaters

Boiler roomA few years ago,the water heater was the single largest load in a typical home. Today, however, new technologies have made them more efficient, accounting for less than 18 percent of your energy bill. Water heaters provide your home with hot water for bathing and washing among other things. The following are the most popular types of water heaters.

1. Conventional Water Heaters

These are the most popular water heating systems in the world. They come with a huge tank that can hold between 20 to 80 gallons of water. They also have a heat source, which may be an electric heater, or a furnace that burns heating oil, natural gas, propane, coal or wood among other types of fossil fuels. Natural gas is an inexpensive fuel and it is readily available in most parts of the country, so it is the most popular energy source for conventional water heaters.

2. Instant or Tankless Water heaters

As the name suggests, these heaters do not have a storage tank. The heating system is usually activated on demand. For instance, if you want to have a hot shower, all you need to do is turn it on. Most tankless heaters use electricity, but some models are powered by natural gas or propane. By eliminating standby losses, these heaters can cut your energy bill by up to 20 percent.

3. Solar Water Heaters

This is one of the most cost effective water heating solutions available today. In fact, it is basically free. Once the cost of producing and setting up the solar hot water system has been offset, you can enjoy free hot water for life. The system consists of a water tank and a collector. The latter is responsible for heating water using sunlight. Solar water heaters are perfect for heating the pool. They are also best suited for use in states and countries that receive intense sunlight throughout the year.

4. Heat Pump Water Heaters

This is one of the most revolutionary technologies in the heating industry. A heat pump is basically a refrigerator working in reverse. It uses electrical energy to move heat from one location and dumps it where water needs to be cooled.

Choosing the right water heater is the key to achieving energy efficiency in your home. Call us for all heating and air conditioning needs.

Water Heater Troubleshooting Services Featured Online With Proven Results

Smiling plumber at workWhen it comes to water heater troubleshooting, there are some proven methods used by professional plumbing contractors to solve any heater repair issue. In fact, there is a longstanding point of view that it is far better to maintain your water heater now before problems arises. The common problems that occur with home water heaters are often linked to a faulty temperature control valve or not getting enough hot water.

Common water heater problems explained

Another aspect of water heater repairs and troubleshooting is linked to calling a plumber as soon as possible to sort out whatever is ailing the heater. For instance, there are proven methods used by plumbers to sort out why an electric or gas water storage heater is not working properly. The best advice is to trust your water heater maintenance and repair to someone with the skill and expertise to troubleshoot repairs or plumbing related issues.

Water heating complaints linked to temperature

While a faulty water heater is somewhat easy for a trained plumber to sort out, this is not often the case with a homeowner who thinks he or she can perform their own do-it-yourself repairs on a typical water heater that contains 50 or more gallons of super-heated water. Thus, there is a real safety issue when someone not familiar with water heater repair or servicing attempts to save a few bucks by doing it themselves. The results can be dangerous and costly, say plumbing professionals commenting online about water heater repairs that originated with the owner making mistakes.

Meanwhile, there are some practical common sense water heater maintenance tips that include:

– Getting foam pipe insulation for all hot water pipes, including those pipes leading to your home water heater.

– Ensure there is regular maintenance and periodic check-ups performed by a professional plumber to save both time and money on costly repairs related to ailing heating systems.

– Perform regular checks of the water heater’s temperature range so that it sits at about 150 degrees F or lower. This check of the temperature is a safety concern for homeowners with small children or elderly who may become injured due to super-heated water coming out of sick or tub faucets.

In general, a typical home water heater requires regular professional maintenance if it is to perform and operate properly.

Overall, there are many proven solutions to sort out any water heater problem both efficiently and effectively. Call us for all your water heater and plumbing needs.