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How Long Will a Sewer Line Last?

close-up of a sewer line being worked on

An Important Part of Your Home

There are several main components important to your Marietta, Georgia home. The electricity, plumbing, foundation, and roofing. These are things you either use every day like electricity and plumbing. Then there are the things you know are there, every day, doing their job, like the foundation and roof. But what about the sewer line, sewer line repair, and the maintenance that is so important for this component of your home?

Where are sewer lines located?

When you purchase your home, there are 3 things you need to locate immediately. The circuit breaker box, the main water cutoff, and the sewer line. Here are two ways how to locate the main sewer line: 

  • In Your House: Start in the basement or crawlspace, and search for a typically 4” diameter white post with a screw cap with either a square knob or notch on top. If not in the basement or crawlspace, look in the garage. If you don’t find one, it isn’t unusual for some homes not to have one.
  • In Your Yard: If you don’t find the main sewer line in any of those places, check your yard. Exterior sewer line access points are typically located close to your foundation or close to the street. The sewer line is typically sticking up from the ground, it should be easily spotted. Some homes have a buried sewer clean out, so search around closest to the ground floor bathroom.

How do you maintain a sewer line?

Here are seven things you can do for main and secondary sewer line maintenance that can minimize the possibility of needing expensive sewer line repairs :

  • Minimize the amount of food going down the kitchen drain
  • Keep Non-Food items out of the drains
  • Use single-ply toilet paper
  • Set the toilets to a high-volume flush
  • Keep tree roots directed away from plumbing

The following instructions will step-by-step flush your home’s plumbing system: 

  • STEP ONE: Turn all hot water taps on and allow to run for 15 minutes. This includes all sinks, showers, and tubs.  
  • STEP TWO: Turn on all cold water taps for 5 minutes
  • STEP THREE: Once the hot water tank has emptied and flushed hot water through the piping, turn on all cold water taps again and flush every toilet once. Let the cold water run another 5 minutes then turn all the water off throughout your home. 
  • NOTE: Follow the owner’s manual for flushing all water-based appliances like dishwashers, ice makers, washing machines, etc. 

For a natural way to flush your sewer lines, pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar down each drain. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then flush with hot water. 

What is sewer line cleaning?

When the drains are clogged, the first initial step is to call a plumber for sewer line cleaning and possible sewer line repair. Before you max out that credit card or empty your bank account, follow these steps how to unclog a sewer line yourself: 

  • One: Using a pipe wrench, loosen the sewer drain line cap. 
  • Two: Open the cap the rest of the way so the buildup can drain out completely before taking the next step. 
  • Three: Feed an auger cable or plumber’s snake into the drainpipe, package instructions. Once you feel the auger or snake has gone as far as possible, stop.
  • Four: Run the auger to clear the clog and beyond. You’ll know this has happened when the water level decreases in the drainpipe. Keep going for a bit longer to make sure any smaller pockets of clogs are elsewhere.
  • Five: With the auger in the drain, put the garden hose down the drainpipe and spray at full blast. 
  • Six: Pull the auger out slowly, little by little, hosing off as you pull it out.  Then replace the cap on the drainpipe. 

If you’re still having problems with clogged drains, you’ll need to make that phone call to a professional plumber. You may need sewer line repair beyond what these steps can clean.

Why do sewer lines back up?

The main cause of sewer line backup is flushing things down toilets that shouldn’t be, including diapers, feminine hygiene products, and personal wipes, and often in homes with children, small toys are flushed. 

Another common problem that clogs sewer lines and will always end up needing sewer line repairs is tree roots. Tree roots seek moisture, that’s what keeps the trees green and growing. All sewer lines will have some moisture, and when tree roots sense that moisture, they grow towards it and bust through any cracks or holes. This will either clog the sewer line or bust it and you’ll need a sewer line repair job. 

Can a sewer line freeze?

Yes, water will freeze in a sewer line when the ground falls to 32 degrees or lower for any extended period of time.  As the water freezes, it expands and can cause the sewer line to burst, resulting in a sewer line repair job. 

How long do PVC sewer lines last?

PVC pipes in general do not get brittle and PVC sewer lines have been known to last up to 50 years. However, if the ground shifts a lot, it can cause them to break, which will require sewer line repair and/or replacement. 

sewer line located buried in the ground

In Conclusion – Insurance On Sewer Line Repairs and Damage

You pay monthly premiums. You expect it to be there when you need it, right? So, is sewer line damage covered by homeowner’s insurance? The pipe repair itself is not going to be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. 

However, it may cover anything damaged by a busted sewer line, like new flooring. Check your policy and review it with your agent to see what type of coverage you have. 

Why is my electric water heater not heating up?

3d rendering of white electric boiler with smart control on the  wall. Energy saving concept

Keeping Your Water Heater in Shape

Electric powered or gas powered, the water heater is an important part of any household functioning, day in and day out. The water heater is one appliance that we give little thought about until it isn’t working. Today, we’re going to focus on electric-powered water heaters and when an electric water heater replacement is the best option.

Understanding Water Heater Issues

First, though, let’s briefly review how an electric water heater works. This bit of knowledge can often answer the questions or how to address an issue or problem you’re having with your electric water heater. Sometimes, there are things you can do to get your electric water heater going again and save the expense of a new electric water heater replacement at the moment. 

A common question for plumbers is why electric water heaters keep tripping. There are five possible issues that are causing your water heater to continuously trip the circuit breaker: 

1. Thermostat is bad: There is an upper thermostat and a lower thermostat on all electric water heaters. The upper heating element is controlled by the upper thermostat and the lower heating element is controlled by the lower thermostat. The heating elements cycle on and off by design to keep the water hot inside the tank. The lower thermostat will get stuck “ON” and it doesn’t cycle on and off as designed. This causes heat to build up in the upper part of the tank, causing the reset button to trip. The good news with this, an electric water heater replacement isn’t necessary! Simply call a professional plumber to replace the bad lower thermostat. 

2. Reset button is bad: Every water heater has a reset button that trips and cuts the power off when a water heater reaches a temperature higher than 180 F degrees. This is a safety feature, but the switch can weaken as it ages and misread the temperature, cutting the power off before the water reaches 180 F degrees. A professional plumber can determine if the reset button can be replaced or if you need an electric water heater replacement. 

3. Faulty wiring: If there is aluminum wiring between the water heater and the electrical panel, it can cause electrical problems that will trip the circuit breaker. Water heaters today are made with copper wiring, and without a special lug connector, the two metals will fight each other, thus tripping the breaker. An electrician can rewire your electric panel to fix this problem and save you from having to purchase a new electric water heater replacement.

4. Break is bad: Before you assume you need a new electric water heater replacement, have an electrician check the circuit breaker assigned to the water heater. While circuit breakers are made to last a long time, they don’t last forever. Replacing the circuit breaker assigned to the water heater may be the fix you need.

5. Heating element has gone out: Remember there are two heating elements in an electric water heater, and an electrical current runs through both to heat the water. These elements will wear out over time, causing the circuit to short and the break to trip. A professional plumber can replace the bad element, saving you from needing a new electric water heater replacement.

Another common problem is an electric water heater getting too hot. Water that gets overheated can burn or scald you or a family member, and additionally, damage the water heater. If the overheating isn’t addressed, you’ll find yourself buying an electric water heater replacement. When you notice the water getting too hot, check the following: 

  • Pressure too high

Every water heater has a PRV (pressure relief valve) and when it isn’t working right, the steam will build up inside the tank and can cause the tank to burst, causing bodily and structural harm. If the water inside the tank seems to be boiling, contact a plumber immediately and turn the electricity off immediately. 

  • Temperature set high

The thermostat on your water heater should never be higher than 120ºF, but that setting can get moved by accident. When the water feels too hot, check the temperature setting and if it is higher than 120º, dial it down. If that doesn’t fix the problem, call a plumber to inspect the water heater. It is possible the thermostat needs to be replaced or you need a new electric water heater replacement.

  • Sediment buildup

Water heaters will get a sediment buildup over time and this can affect the heating elements as the sediment covers them. That causes the water heater to work harder and can often overheat the water. A plumber can replace the elements and flush the water heater to fix the problem. Depending on the age of your water heater, a new electric water heater replacement may be the cheaper option. 

Modern Electric Water Heater on the Wooden Wall with place for Your Text. 3D Rendering

 Are electric water heater thermostats universal?

No, there are variations between electric water heater thermostats. Some electric water heaters have only one heating element and one thermostat. Others have dual heating elements and dual thermostats. The difference between lower and upper thermostats keeps them from being universal. 

How do you reset an electric water heater?

Every electric water heater will have a reset button, usually red, and located by the thermostat. Some are behind insulation and a metal panel. To reset your electric water heater, simply press the red button and release it. 

How do you know when to replace an electric water heater?

There are five common indicators you need to purchase an electric water heater replacement: 

  1. The current electric water heater’s age. Typically at 10 years, an electric water heater replacement is needed, some will last 12 to 15  years if routine flushing is performed. 
  2. When the amount of hot water is getting less and less. 
  3. When the electric bill is increasing steadily each month for no obvious reason.
  4. When the TPR and water connections are corroded.
  5. When the water coming from the faucets is a brown-reddish color.
  6. If you’ve had to have more than one repair every 3 years. 

Can I install an electric water heater myself?

If you’re a hand DIY homeowner with basic household tools, yes, you could do your own electric water heater replacement. However, depending on where you live, the local municipality may require a permit for water heater installation. This will require the city to turn the water off until the installation is complete. They will then inspect the installation job before turning the water back on. 

For the safety of you and your home, having a professional plumber handle the electric water heater replacement installation is recommended from the electrical side. A wrong wire connection can damage the water heater or your home’s electrical system. 

What is needed to install an electric tankless water heater?

After you have determined the right size of electric tankless water heater needed for your home, you’ll need to address the additional amperage and voltage required. The unit will require special wiring to be installed and a separate circuit breaker. The plumbing is different for a tankless unit as well. It is for these reasons it is recommended to have a tankless water heater installed by a professional. 

At The End Of The Day – Are You Saving Money? 

And is a propane water heater cheaper than electric? There is minimal difference in the operation cost between an electric water heater and a propane water heater. A propane water heater will cost approximately $80 less than an electric water heater.

Get electric water heater replacement in Marietta, GA with the team at BDS Plumbing Solutions Inc today at (770) 672-0095.

Should I Have a Tankless Water Heater Installed?

a modern tankless water heater attached to a wall

Choosing a Tankless Water Heater

You’ve probably had a family neighbor, co-worker, or neighbor talking about their recent tankless water heater installation. It is one of the latest upgrades homeowners are choosing today. But is it worthwhile? What are the benefits of a tankless water heater? It only makes sense before you go to the expense of a tankless water heater installation, to know the good, the bad, and the ugly, right?

The advantages you can expect are: 

  • Energy efficiency: This is the bottom line for most homeowners, to cut back their energy bills with the energy efficiency a tankless water heater installation will provide. These water heaters have proven to be over 30% more efficient for a household that uses a maximum of 40 gallons of water every day. This can relate to 0hundreds of dollars annually compared to using the traditional tank-style water heater.   
  • Extended life: A tankless water heater will offer a lifespan of up to 20 years versus a 12-year average for the traditional tank-style water heater. If your future plans are to sell within the next few years, then a tankless water heater installation may not be the right investment.  
  • Less wait time: No matter what type of water heater you have, the goal is to have hot water when you need it. With a tankless water heater installation, the water is heated upon activation, with no waiting for the tank to fill and heat up.
  • Space-saving: The traditional style of tank water heaters takes up good amount of space, often a closet is built just for the unit. With a tankless water heater installation, you’ll gain floor space because most of them take up about a shoebox size. 
  • Safer: For a household with small children, safety is always a concern.  A tankless water heater installation will provide a safe environment because there aren’t any knobs at a low level for kids to “play” with. Additionally, where the traditional storage-tank water heaters have been known to overheat and explode, tankless water installation removes that possibility. 

Are there any drawbacks to tankless water heaters?

There are two drawbacks to a tankless water heater installation: 

The first is higher upfront costs. Purchasing a new water heater is usually an unexpected expense for most homeowners. This isn’t something you usually plan and budget for, so when the time comes to buy a replacement, if you’re considering a tankless water installation, be prepared. 

The cost differences between standard storage-tank water and a tankless water heater installation are significant, as much as three times more, with most of that being the installation costs. A common question a homeowner will ask is, “Is a tankless water heater expensive to install, how much does a tankless water heater cost?”

After the purchase price, between $99 and $900, a professional tankless water heater installation can start at around $200 and go up to as much as $2,000 with the average around $1,000.  Tankless water heater installation often requires replumbing and rewiring, thus the expense. The ROI will come over time with lower energy expenses.

Another thing to remember is that it can slow down when a lot of hot water is needed at once. In a large household where you may have several demands for hot water simultaneously, there can be issues of one area not getting the hot water needed. An example would be running the dishwasher while somebody is showering. For a household with several occupants, it is recommended to have more than one tankless water heater installation.   

Can you run out of water with a tankless water heater?

When a homeowner is spending $2,000 on a water heater installation, the last thing you want to be told is you could be short on hot water supply occasionally.  No, technically, you won’t run out of hot water because there isn’t a tank to hold hot water. 

However, because it produces hot water on demand, if too many units are demanding water at the same time, it can’t keep up. As we listed earlier when there are multiple demands, one of them will be shorted. 

What size tankless water heater should I get?

One of the most asked questions and the most difficult to provide an answer. Like a standard tank water heater, a family of three will need a smaller tankless water heater installation than a larger size family. What makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact size is because of the variable water inflow temperature and how your water heater is powered, either electric or gas. 

If you need to replace a 50-gallon water heater, and take about 10 minutes for your average shower time and use approximately 10 gallons, something that is about right for a household of 3 people, a rough estimate of the size of your tankless water heater installation should be about a 10 GPM gas tankless heater or 27 kW electric tankless water heater for areas in the northern part of the country and a 7 GPM gas tankless heater or 18 kW electric tankless water heater for areas in the southern part of the country.

Is a tankless water heater better than a gas water heater?

Whether you choose an electric-powered or gas-powered tankless water heater installation, you’ll save in energy cost and water waste over the standard water heater, electric or gas-powered. A tankless water heater uses under 41 gallons of water a day. This equals as much as 30% or more in energy saving compared to a standard tank water heater. 

close-up of a white tankless water heater

In Closing

So, is it worth getting a tankless water heater? If you’re in your home for the long term, yes, a tankless water heater installation is well worth the extra expense.  If you’re only updating your house with plans of putting it on the market, then stay with the standard water heater installation. 

Your Water Heater Repair Guide

water heater being adjusted

Can Water Heaters be Repaired?

It’s always there. It always gave you what you needed and wanted. How could it just quit without any warning? What are we talking about? The water heater, that appliance that sits in a closet, in the basement, or in the laundry room, quietly doing its job of heating the water… until now. Do you have to replace it, or can water heaters be repaired?

Wait a minute, are we saying that water heater repairs are possible? Most people think when a water heater isn’t working, replacement is the only option, but that isn’t true. Yes, sometimes, some water heater repairs are possible. 

So, now you ask, “Should I repair or replace my water heater?”, and we’ll tell you that it all depends on what the problem is and the water heater age. If your water heater is 10 years old or more, and the water heater is not heating, yes, replacement is your best option. The average lifespan for a good water heater on a good water quality system is 8 to 12 years old. So, by 8 years old, water heater repair is futile. 

Who do you call for water heater repair? 

A plumber is the person you need to call for water heater repairs. Or, if you’re handy with basic tools, there are some water heater repairs you can do yourself. Like, some things you can do yourself when your water heater that isn’t heating the water. Here are 5 common issues and possible DIY fixes: 

1. No Power 

If you have an electric water heater, it could be a tripped circuit breaker or the circuit-style safety switch on the water heater thermostat. Check the plug from the water heater first, make sure it is securely plugged in, then check the circuit breaker and the safety switch. 

For a gas-powered water heater, it could be the pilot is out or the gas is off. The pilot light can be relit after making sure there is gas getting to the water heater. If there is electric or gas power to the water heater, then you’ll need a professional water heater repair service, or it may be time to buy a new water heater. 

2. Thermostat

This can be a little more challenging to determine because a thermostat isn’t as likely to fail. But this is something you can check yourself when your water heater quits heating water. Some water heaters have 1 thermostat and heating element, some have 2 thermostats and 2 heating elements. 

If you have a single-element water heater and the thermostat or element goes out, there is no hot water. If you have the two-element type of water heater and the top thermostat and element go out, you won’t get any hot water. 

There is a reset button on the outside of the water heater, the high-limit switch. If the water exceeds 180 degrees, it will shut off the water heater. If that is the case, then the thermostat needs to be replaced. Test this yourself by depressing that reset button. If it pops back out or shuts the electricity off by throwing a circuit breaker, it needs to be replaced. 

For a water heater that is less than 8 to 10 years old, there are videos online that will walk you through the process of replacing the thermostat. Or you can call a professional plumber for a water heater repair job. 

Are water heater elements universal? There are three types of water heater elements. Before starting a water heater repair, you should confirm with local codes which of the three types to get and if it should be 120 voltage or 240 voltage. The three types of water heater elements are: 

  • Bolt in
  • Clamp in
  • Screw in

3. Pilot Light

On a gas water heater, in addition to the gas being turned off or the pilot light going out, it could be the thermocouple. The thermocouple enables the pilot light to stay on, and the pilot light enables the thermocouple to keep hot. This generates a small electrical current that holds the gas valve open. When the pilot light goes out, that gas valve closes and prevents gas from getting to the burners that make the water hot. It is also a safety feature and keeps the gas from building up with no place to, like the pilot light. 

If the thermocouple goes bad, it will turn the pilot light off. Sometimes the gas valve on the water heater goes out. Either of these is a simple replacement by following online videos, or you can call a plumber for water heater repair. 

4. Temperature and Pressure-Relief Valve

The TPR (temperature and pressure-relief, is a safety feature on every water heater. Its job is to relieve any excess pressure from the water heater tank if the water temperature inside overheats. If this valve isn’t working, your water heater could explode. A leaking TPR valve is not to be ignored! 

 Replacing the TPR valve is a simple water heater repair, again, follow online video instructions or call for a water heater repair with a plumber. Experts recommend testing your TPR valve once a year to make sure it is in proper working order. 

5. Water Pressure

A water heater will quit working when the water pressure is too low or non-existent. Sometimes, the water pressure can be an issue because the TPR valve opens when the pressure or water temperature is too high. 

Another cause can be the main water supply if there isn’t a safety valve to the water connection. Or if your water supplier has a leak, either the city line or your well water line. 

A quick water heater repair could be as simple as the water line fitting has come loose, which you can tighten yourself. Check the thermostat setting too, if it has been lowered too much, that will lower the water pressure. 

6. Noisy Water Heater 

If your water heater makes noises like crackling, gurgling, hissing, or sizzling this is typically from sediment build-up inside the tank. This can be prevented by flushing your water heater annually by draining the tank. If you haven’t ever flushed the tank, a water heater repair probably isn’t possible. But try flushing it, it may help, if not, a new water heater is needed. 

Can you repair a leaking hot water heater?

A leaking water heater repair may be possible, depending on where it is leaking. If the tank is leaking from the top where water connections are, make sure they are tight. If they are, you can replace the connections. If the water heater is leaking from the drain valve located at the bottom of the water tank, this can be replaced too. If it is the tank itself leaking, this is not a water heater repair issue. You’ll need to replace the unit. 

water heating system

A Final Word

So, now if you’re wondering, “What water heater do I need?”, you should replace an electric water heater with an electric one and gas with gas. You can talk to a plumber about going with a tankless unit, which will require some changes to the water lines and the electrical and gas connections, making the installation more expensive.  Or you can replace it with the tank-style water heater, using this as a guideline to the size you need: 

  1. One-to-two-person household: 30-to-40-gallon size
  2. Two-to-three-person household: 40-to-50-gallon size
  3. Three-to-four-person household: 50-to-60-gallon size
  4. Five or more person household: 60-to-80-gallon size.

Regardless of what you decide to do, we can help you! If you need a plumber to help with water heater repair, give us a call at (770) 672-0095 today!

Why is my electric water heater not heating up?

a hot water heater and its connections in a home's basement

Keeping Your Water Heater in Shape

Electric powered or gas powered, the water heater is an important part of any household functioning, day in and day out. The water heater is one appliance that we give little thought about until it isn’t working. Today, we’re going to focus on electric-powered water heaters and when an electric water heater replacement is the best option.

Understanding Water Heater Issues

First though, let’s briefly review how an electric water heater works. This bit of knowledge can often answer the questions or how to address an issue or problem you’re having with your electric water heater. Sometimes, there are things you can do to get your electric water heater going again and save the expense of a new electric water heater replacement at the moment. 

A common question for plumbers is why electric water heaters keep tripping. There are five possible issues that are causing your water heater to continuously trip the circuit breaker: 

  1. The thermostat is bad: There is an upper thermostat and a lower thermostat on electric water heaters. The upper heating element is controlled by the upper thermostat and the lower heating element is controlled by the lower thermostat. The heating elements cycle on and off by design to keep the water hot inside the tank. The lower thermostat will get stuck “ON” and it doesn’t cycle on and off as designed. This causes heat to build up in the upper part of the tank, causing the reset button to trip. The good news with this, an electric water heater replacement isn’t necessary! Simply call a professional plumber to replace the bad lower thermostat. 
  2. The reset button is bad: Every water heater has a reset button that trips and cuts the power off when a water heater reaches a temperature higher than 180 F degrees. This is a safety feature, but the switch can weaken as it ages and misread the temperature, cutting the power off before the water reaches 180 F degrees. A professional plumber can determine if the reset button can be replaced or if you need an electric water heater replacement. 
  3. Faulty wiring: If there is aluminum wiring between the water heater and the electrical panel, it can cause electrical problems that will trip the circuit breaker. Water heaters today are made with copper wiring, and without a special lug connector, the two metals will fight each other, thus tripping the breaker. An electrician can rewire your electric panel to fix this problem and save you from having to purchase a new electric water heater replacement.
  4. The breaker is bad: Before you assume you need a new electric water heater replacement, have an electrician check the circuit breaker assigned to the water heater. While circuit breakers are made to last a long time, they don’t last forever. Replacing the circuit breaker assigned to the water heater may be the fix you need.
  5. The heating element has gone out: Remember, there are two heating elements in an electric water heater, and an electrical current runs through both to heat the water. These elements will wear out over time, causing the circuit to short and the break to trip. A professional plumber can replace the bad element, saving you from needing a new electric water heater replacement.

Another common problem is an electric water heater getting too hot. Water that gets overheated can burn or scald you or a family member, and additionally, damage the water heater. If the overheating isn’t addressed, you’ll find yourself buying an electric water heater replacement. When you notice the water getting too hot, check the following: 

  • Pressure too high: Every water heater has a PRV (pressure relief valve) and when it isn’t working right, the steam will build up inside the tank can cause the tank to burst, causing bodily and structural harm. If the water inside the tank seems to be boiling, contact a plumber immediately and turn the electricity off immediately. 
  • Temperature set too high: The thermostat on your water heater should never be higher than 120ºF, but that setting can get moved by accident. When the water feels too hot, check the temperature setting and if it is higher than 120º, dial it down. If that doesn’t fix the problem, call a plumber to inspect the water heater. It is possible the thermostat needs to be replaced or you need a new electric water heater replacement.
  • Sediment buildup: Water heaters will get a sediment buildup over time and this can affect the heating elements as the sediment covers them. That causes the water heater to work harder and can often overheat the water. A plumber can replace the elements and flush the water heater to fix the problem. Depending on the age of your water heater, an new electric water heater replacement may be the cheaper option. 

 Are electric water heater thermostats universal?

No, there are variations between electric water heater thermostats. Some electric water heaters have only one heating element and one thermostat. Others have dual heating elements and dual thermostats. The difference between lower and upper thermostats keeps them from being universal. 

How do you reset an electric water heater?

Every electric water heater will have a reset button, which is usually red and located by the thermostat. Some are behind insulation and a metal panel. To reset your electric water heater, simply press the red button and release it. 

How do you know when to replace an electric water heater?

There are five common indicators you need to purchase an electric water heater replacement: 

  1. The current electric water heater’s age. Typically at 10 years, an electric water heater replacement is needed, some will last 12 to 15  years if routine flushing is performed. 
  2. When the amount of hot water is getting less and less. 
  3. When the electric bill is increasing steadily each month for no obvious reason.
  4. When the TPR and water connections are corroded.
  5. When the water coming from the faucets is a brown-reddish color.
  6. If you’ve had to have more than one repair every 3 years. 

Can I install an electric water heater myself?

If you’re a hand DIY homeowner with basic household tools, yes, you could do your own electric water heater replacement. However, depending on where you live, the local municipality may require a permit for water heater installation. This will require the city to turn the water off until the installation is complete. They will then inspect the installation job before turning the water back on. 

For the safety of you and your home, having a professional plumber handle the electric water heater replacement installation is recommended from the electrical side. A wrong wire connection can damage the water heater or your home’s electrical system. 

What is needed to install an electric tankless water heater?

After you have determined the right size of electric tankless water heater needed for your home, you’ll need to address the additional amperage and voltage required. The unit will require special wiring to be installed and a separate circuit breaker. The plumbing is different for a tankless unit as well. It is for these reasons it is recommended to have a tankless water heater installed by a professional. 

close-up of a hose being attached to a hot water heater

At The End Of The Day – Are You Saving Money? 

And is a propane water heater cheaper than an electric? There is minimal difference in the operation cost between an electric water heater and a propane water heater. A propane water heater will cost approximately $80 less than an electric water heater.

How do I install plumbing in my bathroom?

plumber installing a bathtub faucet

The Importance of Good Plumbing

There are two rooms used in virtually every home every day: the kitchen and the bathroom. And in most homes, the bathroom is used more than the kitchen, making it probably the most important room in the home. That is what makes getting prompt and reliable bathroom plumbing repair so critical. Not being able to bathe, shower, brush your teeth, and most of all, use the toilet isn’t acceptable! 

So, we know the bathroom gets a lot of use, which means wear and tear are expected. The plumbing for the bathtub and shower is just as important as the plumbing to the sink and toilet, so when something isn’t working right, you automatically know you need bathroom plumbing repairs. 

Not all problems are that obvious though. Some things may be considered “characteristic” of an old house when in fact, it is an indication that bathroom plumbing repair should be done sooner than later. Here are six signs your bathroom plumbing needs repair.

Plumbing Pipes Knocking 

If the plumbing pipes are knocking as you shower or wash dishes, there could be problems with valves being loose or the water pressure is too high. Your plumbing has support straps to the wall joist behind the walls. If these come loose, plumbing will knock. While that may not seem to be a problem, if those pipes keep knocking, they are going to come loose at the joints. Then you’ll have a bigger problem, so getting professional bathroom plumbing repair service immediately is recommended. 

Low Water Pressure

When you turn the shower on in the morning, you expect a good steady and strong stream of water. However, when you get a weak stream, a drip, or nothing at all, then you may need bathroom plumbing repair. First, make sure the water is on at the main (did you pay your water bill or is the city having issues?), and make sure the showerhead isn’t clogged. If all of that comes up good, then yes, you need bathroom plumbing repairs. 

Continuous Dripping

If a sink, shower, or tub has a constant drip, it could need bathroom plumbing repair. This can be a DIY bathroom plumbing repair like replacing washers or it could be a problem with the water pressure being too high. While these may seem to be a minor issue, it can lead to some expensive, extensive, and permanent damage if not addressed immediately. Finding a bathroom repair contractor that knows how to repair bathroom plumbing can be done with an internet search of “residential plumbers in my area”. 

Slow Drainage

A slow drain is something that every homeowner will need to deal with at some point. Sometimes, there are quick bathroom repair tips of home remedies like baking soda and vinegar with boiling hot water to fix it. Sometimes, you need to get the plunger or plumber snake. Then other times, this bathroom plumbing repair needs professional plumbing help. 

Water Doesn’t Stay Hot

This is most likely your water heater, but it could be a plumbing leak from the hot water line. A professional plumber can inspect the situation and determine what type of bathroom plumbing repairs you need, including a new water heater. 

Discolored Water

When the water comes out of your faucets, you expect it to be clear and clean. When there is colored water coming out, you have some plumbing issues that some part of your home, underground, kitchen, or bathroom plumbing repair are needed. This is an immediate issue that needs the services of a plumber sooner than later. 

How does bathroom plumbing work?

While it may seem complicated to those of us that aren’t familiar with plumbing, there are just two significant parts to your bathroom plumbing. Among these is a clean incoming water supply. The plumbing system in your home is circulated water from the main valve that is connected to the city water supply. It is located just at your property line and is buried underground. It is under high pressure that allows it to reach each water connection within your home. 

Just before the water meter on your property, there is a shutoff valve. This is there for emergency kitchen and bathroom plumbing repairs. From there is a dedicated water pipe that supplies fresh water to your water heater. The primary function for the incoming water system is to supply your home with clean water when needed. 

The plumbing for your dirty outgoing wastewater is the other major component. Used water in your home will go down the drain, or the toilet, with gravity creating sufficient water pressure to drain the system completely. All out-going plumbing is angled so gravity pulls the wastewater out. The drain-wastewater system is more complex and detailed than the incoming water supply.  There are several components involved here including cleanouts, traps, and vents. Once the wastewater has reached the outside pipe, it is then transported to the city’s main sewer line and then flows to the city wastewater facility. 

How much does it cost to install plumbing for a bathroom?

Well, that can depend on how elaborate of a bathroom plumbing repair or remodeling you need. There are plumbing lines to be installed and run to the various drains and water outlets, and fixtures to install like faucets, sinks, and toilets, among others. 

The type of fixtures, how elaborate and intensive the installation is will affect the cost, as well as how many of each of these things need to be installed. On average, nationwide, the cost can start around $2,000 and reach $10,000 or higher. The basic average is around $5,000 for a basic faucet, sink, toilet, and a two-piece shower and tub system. 

plumber working on pipes underneath a bathroom sink

It’s All About The Experience

When it comes to bathroom repair prices, it can vary from plumber to plumber. An individual plumbing contractor may not be as expensive as a nationally known plumbing company. Once they have learned the plumbing trade, including how to repair bathroom faucets, and have received their certification and license, a plumber can venture out on their own or work for a company. If you’re searching for experienced and reliable help with your plumbing, you can reach out to us.

How Often Should Sewer Lines Be Cleaned?

Sink being plunged

The Need for Sewer Line Cleaning 

What can be more frustrating, and embarrassing, than to have the toilet stop up and overflow? Not to mention the nasty mess! Or what if the kitchen sink quits draining because of a grease build-up clog. It happens to all of us at some point in life – we’re either the one the toilet stops up or we’re the one that has to clean up and handle the sewer line cleaning

Does toilet paper clog sewer lines?

There are a few ways that toilet paper will clog a sewer line. First is using too much toilet paper and large amounts of human waste. (You know what we’re talking about). Yes, you want your toilet paper to be comfortable and absorbent, but it needs to be dissolvable too. When it doesn’t dissolve, it creates a blockage, and then you need a sewer line cleaning service. 

Another issue is a sewer line clogged with tree roots. Tree roots seek water, and if they pick up any hint of a small water leak, they will see that water and bust through the sewer line. Then as toilet paper and other matters are flushed, the toilet paper will eventually get snagged on a tree root. 

It’s only a matter of flushes and time before more gets snagged on that root or that toilet paper that is stuck starts blocking other matter from flowing on through. Before you know it, you’re calling a plumber for sewer line cleaning services. 

Then there are the no-no’s of what not to flush down a toilet, yet people will still do it. Disposable diapers are NOT flushable! Feminine sanitary products are not flushable. Nor are facial wipes or paper towels. Any of these will clog up a sewer line fast and you’ll be paying a plumber for a sewer line cleaning job over and over. 

How do you dissolve toilet paper in a sewer line?

Now that you know what will cause sewer lines to clog, with toilet paper being a common issue, we have good news for you! You don’t have to pay for professional plumbing for sewer line cleaning! Yes, there are ways to try and unclog your sewer line yourself, using these following techniques: 

  • A Plunger

Your first effort should be a toilet plunger for sewer line cleaning through the toilet. With both hands, gripping the plunger, press it firmly against the hole in the toilet bowl, and plunge with all the force you can. Usually, this get your sewer line cleaning of toilet paper clogs. 

  • A Plumber’s Snake

When the toilet plunger doesn’t do the trick, try a plumber’s snake. These can be in the kitchen sink, the outside sewer cleanout, the toilet, and the tub. Simply insert the snake in the toilet bowl hole and feed it through until you feel it hit the clog. Start turning the handle, the intention is to get the snake hooked on to whatever is clogging the toilet. Slow pull it out and it should have the clogging matter on the end. You may need to repeat this process 2 or 3 more times. 

  • A Chemical Additive

As a last resort of DIY sewer line cleaning, there are products you can purchase at your local big box home improvement store that are made specifically for dissolving toilet paper. Sometimes you’ll find it marketed as a septic tank additive. Be certain to follow the directions. 

Can you do sewer line cleaning with pressure washer? 

Absolutely! When the plunger, plumber’s snake or chemicals didn’t work for sewer line cleaning, get the power washer out!  You can purchase an attachment (called a sewer jetter) and the high pressure of the water will move through the pipes, breaking the clog up and send them on to the sewer system.

While the front jets are firing that high-pressure water into the clog, the back-firing jets are propelling the hose into the drain and are scrubbing the pipe insides. This method is one of the best for a sewer line clogged with grease, just power wash through the kitchen sink.

How often should sewer lines be cleaned?

The sewer lines for commercial property should have a professional sewer line cleaning every 20 months or so. Residential sewage lines aren’t typically used as heavily, and every 3 to 5 years should be sufficient, unless you have a lot of issues, like tree roots. For older homes with old trees around them, an annual sewer line cleaning is recommended. 

How much is sewer line cleaning?

Professional sewer line cleaning can cost anywhere between $175 and $500, with an average of around $320. If the plumber can accomplish the sewer line cleaning with a professional plumbers’ snake, the cost of that is typically just the service call, averaging around $100 and upward to $250 if after hours, a holiday, or weekends. 

Worker holding pipe and cleaning sewer

In Closing

We have provided you with a few different ways you can do your own sewer line cleaning. By knowing how to clean sewer line clog yourself can be a money saver, especially when these clogs happen on a holiday or weekend! 

Of course, a common question for anything household repair related, “Does homeowners insurance cover the main sewer line?” Technically, the sewer line portion that is on your property, in most policies, is considered “other structure” and will have the same protection as your home. Maybe. 

For instance, if your yard is damaged by an explosion and the sewer line is damaged, then your homeowner’s insurance will cover minus the deductible. If damage is caused by something that was not of your control, it will usually pay. This is something that should be spelled out within your policy. If you aren’t sure you understand the terms, talk to your agent. And if you need sewer line cleaning in Marietta, GA, reach out to BDS Plumbing Solutions Inc by calling at (770) 672-0095.

What is backflow testing?

Water leaking from under a door.

Understanding the Basics

Just what is backflow and what is backflow testing? Any water distribution system is designed so that the water flows away from the distribution point to the customers. However, water lines burst and other issues can happen in these water systems to affect hydraulic operations. Things like this can be an emergency, so if you suspect backflow issues in your home or business contact BDS Plumbing Solutions Inc at (770) 672-0095 to fix your issue.

What causes backflow?

When this happens, there is the possibility for some of that backflow water to flow to the customers in an unprotected state of being, hence the colloquial term “backflow”.  The technical term is back siphonage, referring to cross-connections of water lines.  So, why is back siphonage or backflow testing necessary?

Backflow testing is necessary because of the danger of possibly contaminated, non-drinkable water getting into the water system. When backflow happens, the contaminants the water system removes can make it into the water that goes back to customers.  The water distribution system is designed to remove dangers like chemicals, fertilizers, and other materials from water that can cause illness or even death among those who use it. 

States, counties, and cities all have minimum requirements for backflow testing as well as the repair of any water lines that could be seeping contaminated water into the public drinking water system.  There are certain procedures in place with certain backflow testing tools required, and tools must be tested on a routine schedule. These backflow testing methods help the officials in charge keep water safe.

What causes backflow in plumbing?

To understand what happens with backflow in your home’s plumbing, you need to have a basic knowledge of home plumbing. Gravity and ventilation are key for most sewage removal systems in the home. The two work together to carry wastewater out of the home. Freshwater, however, is pressurized as it comes into your home. 

If the balance between those two processes changes – for example, if the wastewater develops pressure or fresh water experiences a drop in pressure – a backflow is created. This happens when waste material forces its way into your freshwater pipes. Yup – if this happens, you’ll be bathing, cleaning, cooking, and drinking wastewater! Otherwise known as back siphonage. 

When the wastewater system’s pressure increases above the freshwater system’s pressure, something is created called backpressure. This happens when there is a break with the sewer line inside the sewer system, or along the sewer line coming into the house. 

Yes, you could end up bathing, cleaning, cooking, or drinking wastewater! YUCK! That is why states, counties, and cities require public water systems to perform backflow testing periodically to keep you and your family healthy and safe!

How long does a backflow test take?

Backflow testing, done with the proper equipment and tools, can take as little as ten minutes and as long as 30 to 45 minutes. While backflow testing is important, the backflow testing process takes less time than setting up the equipment does.

How often should inspections be done for backflow prevention?         

In Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, all commercial businesses are required to have a Double Check Backflow Device, while residential properties are required to have a
Dual Check Backflow Device. These devices for backflow testing cost between $350 for a residential or small business sized device or up to $30,000 for the devices larger facilities need. 

The backflow testing of valves using these devices should be performed once a year. After the backflow testing is completed, a certified report is given to the owner of the business or property. Any new backflow device should be tested within 5 days of installation and a certified report sent to the Augusta Utilities Department within ten days, where a copy is kept.

What You Should Be Looking For

Fortunately, preventing backflow is easy, and doing this testing with a backflow device reduces the possible risks that can occur with backflow. This device is installed where water enters a business or home and can be done in a matter of minutes by an experienced plumber. 

How do you know if your home or business needs a backflow preventer? The water that comes from your faucet should be clean, clear, and uninterrupted, and it should taste good and have no foul odor. Contaminated water will have one or more of the following: 

  • Discoloration, typically in a brown, pink, or yellow color
  • A foul odor like sulphur or rotten eggs
  • An interrupted, slow, or trickling water flow
  • Rust particles and/or other sediment found in water
  • A bad taste in the water.
  • Drains work slowly while the water level in your drains has simultaneously decreased
Plumber performing an inspection.

In Closing

If you are noticing any of these things in your business or at home, call a plumber immediately and quit using your water until the matter has been inspected and addressed, including a clear backflow testing report once it is completed. This is the process a city will do when they advise all residents of a boil order for water usage. If you need backflow testing, call BDS Plumbing Solutions Inc at (770) 672-0095 today.

What Causes a Drain to Get Clogged?

drain with no issues

Clogged drain issues

One of the most frustrating things is a clogged drain. Whether it’s a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or worse, the bathtub drain, a clogged drain can stop the entire day. How does a clogged drain happen?  

In the bathroom or the kitchen, a clogged drain or blocked pipes can begin as a minor issue, but if they aren’t addressed and cleared, major problems can happen. A clogged drain not only slows or stops water draining, but it can create a flood and cause corrosion too. This all leads to expensive repairs. 

The following 8 are the most common causes for clogged drain, but they can be prevented when you know what causes a drain to clog. Just in case they still happen, we have also provided a fix for them too: 

  • HAIR: Hair doesn’t just cause clogged drains by itself. It is the culprit for collecting all things that cause clogged drains and blockages. Hair binds with fat, grease, and other sticky substances and before long, you have a clogged rain. Prevention is the best way to handle a hair clogged drain. This can be done by placing drain guards on any drain where hair is a daily thing, typically the bathroom sink, shower, or tub. 
  • SOAP: You probably thinking that soap is for cleaning, so how can it cause a blocked or clogged drain? The traditional soap bar has fat or grease in its content. When you combine fat or grease substance with the minerals our water has, it creates a hard residue, otherwise referred to as soap scum. That scum causes clogged drains and also is guilty of staining the bath fittings. An easy way to stop this is by changing to a soap free bathing product and not only will stop the soap scum clogged drains, but it will pressure clean your pipes, removing any trace of existing soap buildup.
  • DIRT: Yes, the sink, shower and tub are made to wash things in, but when you’ve been out gardening and take a shower, the excess dirt is too much for pipes and clogged drains are the results. Brush off the excess dirt from your hands, arms, and legs, and shake your clothes off before you take them off too. That same excess dirt will cause clogged drains for the washing machine too. 
  • FOOD WASTE: Yes, your garbage disposal is meant to rid food waste, but some foods aren’t garbage disposal friendly, and they aren’t drain friendly either. You can always start a compost pile with your food waste, including coffee grounds and tea leaves. These are two of the worse things you can put down a drain or garbage disposal. Other things to avoid that are known for clogged drains are fats, grease, and oil because they become solid when mixed with water.
  • MINERAL BUILDUP: All tap water has minerals, and if you have hard water, you have a higher content of minerals. Those minerals build up and creates insoluble masses that cause clogged drains. You can install a water soften which will minimize, even eliminate that from happening. If a water softener isn’t possible, have a professional plumber descale and remove sediment build up once a year. 
  • SMALL FOREIGN OBJECTS: Small foreign objects that get into the plumbing line will not just cause clogged drains but wreak a level of havoc you don’t need or want. The only thing that should be flushed down the toilet is human waste, toilet paper, and water. Other objects and substances should go in a compost pile, the recycle bin, or the trash. Usually when small foreign objects get in the plumbing, it takes a professional plumber to remove it and get the plumbing working normal again. 
  • TOILET PAPER BUILDUP: This is often common when you have toddlers and small children. Too much toilet paper can cause clogged drains and stop a toilet up fast. If the water is still getting through the wad of toilet paper, you can usually plunge it on through. But if the toilet has a major clogged drain, you need to call your plumber because it is probably going to take professional snaking to clear your toilet.
  • TREE ROOTS: As underground pipes age, they will get small cracks that being to leak a little water. That water attracts tree roots, and those tree roots will get inside the pipes. Then you have blocked pipes and that leads to clogged drains. Clearing your pipes of those tree roots is a job for a professional plumber. There will be a lot of digging and excavating in many cases, sometimes, they can do the work with a new trenchless method. 

How much does it cost to clean a clogged drain?

 Because several of the examples we listed suggest that you’ll need to call a professional plumber for cleaning a clogged drain, you probably wonder how expensive is that going to be, right?  Well, many plumbing companies charge a flat rate which can be as little as $50 and as much as $150 for the first hour.  If you’re lucky, they’ll get that clogged drain cleared quick! 

On the average, across the country, a clogged drain cleaning can cost as much as $180.00. When it really gets expensive is when there are tree roots in your underground lines. Regardless of whether the plumber has to trench your lawn, or they can go it trenchless, if there is any act of dirt digging, you could be looking at $500 or more. 

What to use to clean blocked drain?

One of the easiest ways is a mixture process of hot water, baking soda and white vinegar. Start by pouring some really hot water into the clogged drain, then add an equal amount of baking soda and white vinegar. The baking soda should go in after the hot water and before the vinegar. Then cover the drain and allow it to sit for no less than 20 minutes and no longer than 30. 

Then pour hot water into the clogged drain again. It will take a minute or two for the hot water to get through the baking soda and the clogged drain. You can use this method on a regular basis, once a month or every 6 weeks to keep your drain clean and clear.

How do you unclog a drain naturally?

The above described process of hot water, baking soda, and vinegar, you can use one of the following methods: 

  • Baking Soda and Salt: Pour half a up of each into the clogged drain and wait 15 minutes. Then pour boiling hot water and within a few minutes (even seconds) you’ll have an all-natural aggressive chemical reacting with the clogged drain. This is great for those tough bathroom sink clogs. 
  • Boiling Water: If a clogged drain isn’t too severe, hot water can clear it pretty quick. Just keep pouring boiling water into the clogged drain every 10 to 15 minutes. If the clogged drain is primarily soap scum, it will melt it away. 
  • Wet and Dry Shop Vac: Yes, that good old shop vacuum out in your garage can be an ideal way to clear a clogged drain. 
  • A Wire Hanger: This clogged drain cleaner is more involved but can usually get what the other methods describe can’t.  Straighten out a wire coat hanger and shove the curved end down the clogged drain, and “go fish”. 

Can too much baking soda clog a drain?

Yes, if you haven’t mixed it with the hot water and vinegar as suggested and never use more than a half a cup at one time! 

drain

Is Drano really bad for pipes?

Well, the makers of Drano will tell you no, it is not bad for pipes. However, experienced plumbers will tell you yes, it can damage pipes. Why do they say that?  Pouring Drano into a clogged drain creates several chemical reactions at one time.

With sodium hydroxide, the main ingredient, aka lye, which decomposes most of the organic matter like grease and hair. There are shards of aluminum in lye, which creates a strong reaction, generating near-boiling hot heat to speed up the decomposing process. As it sits there “boiling” it is continuing to generate more heat, and that heat begins to crack toilets, soften, and break PVC pipes, and if any pipes are corroded and old, Drano will eat away at them, damaging them. Call (770) 672-0095 today for your drain cleaning needs in Marietta, GA.

Who do I call if my sump pump is not working?

sump pump with water

Getting help for your sump pump

While they aren’t common and found in every home, there are many homes that plumbing and pumps go together like peas and carrots. A plumbing pump, more commonly called a sump pump, can make the difference between a basement flooding or not flooding. 

A sump pump is a device that is installed in a pit in a basement or in a crawl space. It is submersible, meaning it is made to work under water. For the post part, it doesn’t do anything, it simply is on standby, but when it is needed, it works hard. When does a plumbing pump start to work? 

A plumbing pump, aka sump pump, will start doing its job when the area it is set in becomes flooded, typically the basement, or the crawlspace. Not every house needs this because the grade of the property doesn’t allow water to soak in the rain. For a house that does have flooding issues, a plumbing pump is a bonus to have. 

Houses that aren’t on a well-graded property, the soil can only absorb so much rain, then it flows into the basement or into the crawl space. As water begins to fill the plumbing pit, the plumbing pump becomes activated and pumps out the excess water. That water goes to a plumbing drain, pumps the water off to either a dry well, detention pond, or storm drain. 

Do sump pumps need maintenance?

Yes, at the minimum once a year inspection and maintenance is recommended. However, if your plumbing pump is used more frequently, you may need to inspect and perform maintenance more often. If you’re going to do the maintenance yourself, be sure to unplug the power supply first, then follow these steps: 

  • Monthly Cleaning: If your washing machine drains into the pit for the plumbing pump to dispose of the gray water, a monthly cleaning of the inlet or screen is recommended. To clean these, remove the plumbing pump from the pit. On the bottom of the pump you’ll find a grate that needs to be cleaned. A plumbing pump will sometimes suck in dirt and small rocks, blocking the inlet. If this isn’t cleaned regularly, you’ll find yourself looking for plumbing repair pumps or buying a new plumbing pump.
  • Quarterly Cleaning: A plumbing pump that is only used for pumping out the basement or crawl space should be cleaned every four months and inspect it every 2 months. Making sure it is plugged in to a GFCI outlet and the cord is in good condition is important. If not, your plumbing pump may not be there to work for you when you need it. 
  • Annual Cleaning: The plumbing pump and the pit should be cleaned annually. Make sure the power is off and remove the plumbing pump from the pit. Clean the drainage pipes, the grade, and the inlet or screen. Then return the plumbing pump to the pit, fill the pit with water and test the pump. Never test a pump without water in the pit.
  • Annual Battery Backup Check: A plumbing pump need electricity to operate, but when the power is out, which is common during storm season, you want to make sure you have a backup battery ready to go. 

Once a year, it pays to have a professional contractor check you plumbing pump. This is an investment in your investment that protects your biggest and most important investment – your home. A professional contractor will do the following: 

  • Inspect the pit.
  • Inspect the Check Valve.
  • Inspect the backup power source. 
  • Check the alarm if the plumbing pump is equipped with one.
  • Inspect the removable cover.
  • Inspect the discharge location. 

How do you know if a pressure tank is bad?

Pumps for plumbing are all basically the same thing, different shapes, and sizes. Not all plumbing pumps have a pressure tank, but if yours does, it is important to know the signs that it is going out. You can do something about it before it happens, or your plumbing pump is rendered useless when you need it most. Indictors to be aware of are clicking and loud noises coming from the pressure tank and electric bill increases. 

sump pump in basement

How much does it cost to replace a ejector pump?

All plumbing pumps water is valuable. With out pumps, we wouldn’t get water into our home and back out again. You don’t realize how valuable until it isn’t working, or the ejector pump quits in your sump pump.  To replace your plumbing pump ejector they can range from $150 to $300 for a bottom of the line model to a more expensive model costing up to $600.

If you’re considering purchasing a plumbing pump, you want to make sure you get the right size for your needs.  So, how are plumbing pumps rated? Plumbing pumps are rated by the following factors: 

  • Horsepower
  • Volumetric flow rate
  • Outlet pressure of head
  • Inlet suction of head

Note:  The head can be streamlined by the measurement of feet it raises or lowers the water at the atmospheric pressure. Call (770) 672-0095 today for your sump pump needs in Marietta, GA.