Follow our HVAC Maintenance Tips to avoid costly air conditioning repairs.

Prevent Costly Repairs With These HVAC Maintenance Tips

Shifting from the air conditioner to the furnace and vice versa can put a heavy strain on your HVAC system. Even if the air conditioner worked fine over the summer and the unit turns on when you switch to heat, the system may not be functioning to its full capacity, which can result in higher energy bills and possibly cause the system to fail. Follow our HVAC Maintenance Tips to avoid costly air conditioning repairs.

HVAC Maintenance Tips That Will Save You From Costly Repairs

This is why it’s so important to have your furnace, thermostat and ductwork inspected. This check will ensure all of the components and parts of the HVAC are working as they should. By addressing any issue at the first sign of a problem, it can help to reduce more severe problems in the long run. Although it is recommended that you have a professional HVAC company inspect the system, there are a few DIY maintenance things you can do to help keep the furnace running at its best.

Clean the Condenser or Heat Pump

An outdoor air conditioner or heat pump can get extremely dirty, which will cause the system to work harder to create the degree of cold and warm air you want in your home. A clean system will be much more effective and it will help to reduce the risk of damage to any internal parts. It is essential that you make sure there is no debris on the top and sides of an outdoor air-conditioning unit or the heat pump. Frequently check to make there are no leaves, pollen and/or twigs on the unit and there should be at least a 2-foot clearance around outdoor heat pumps and air conditioning units.

Check the Filter

One of the most common reasons for furnace repair in Denver is a dirty air filter. Changing the filter is one of the easiest types of HVAC maintenance you can do to improve the efficiency of your furnace as well as reduce the energy costs for heating your home. The filter should be checked once per month to make sure it isn’t dirty and/or clogged. Change your filter about once every three months, but if it looks dirty, change it as often as necessary. If you have pets, the filter may need to be changed monthly.

Get a Tune-Up

A tune-up consists of an on-site visit from an HVAC technician who will check the system to ensure it is providing optimum performance. In most situations, there is a multi-point inspection done by the technician which may include:

  • Checking (or changing) the air filter
  • Checking refrigerant levels
  • Cleaning the coils
  • Checking for leaks in the heat exchanger
  • Making sure the fan is working correctly
  • Cleaning drain lines.

A tune-up can be a one-time event or it can be provided yearly as part of your regularly scheduled maintenance. Lakewood Plumbing’s Air Conditioning Tune-Up starts at $129!

Control the Thermostat

One of the easiest ways to save money on your heating bill is by controlling the thermostat. If you notice the house doesn’t get warm regardless of how high the temperature is set, you may have a faulty thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a great option because it allows you to adjust the settings according to when you need the most heat. For example, it can be programmed to automatically reduce the temperature while you are sleeping and raise it just before you get out of bed. Most programmable thermostats are pre-programmed for the average household, so it’s essential that you check the settings on a programmable thermostat to make sure it is adjusted to your specific needs.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

The best way to ensure your HVAC system is operating efficiently is with regular maintenance. Scheduling regular preventive maintenance ensures peak performance and trouble-free operation. Having the furnace and ductwork inspected will also help prevent costly energy bills as well as expensive, unexpected repair bills.

We’re happy to answer any question or provide a FREE estimate on any major project or equipment replacement for your plumbing, heating, and cooling.

Please give us a call at 303.233.7007 or send us an email at info@lakewoodplumbing.com.
You’re also welcome to use the form below to let us know what you need. We’ll get back to you within 1 business day.

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Plumbing problems in Colorado

Plumbing Problems That Occur in Colorado During the Spring

Colorado in the springtime can definitely have its ups and downs. One day its 70 or 80 degrees and the next 32 degrees and snowing. These types of weather changes can cause many plumbing problems for Colorado residents. Read more to find out what types of plumbing problems you can expect this spring and what you can do to solve some of your Colorado springtime problems.

You may already understand that your heating and air conditioning equipment needs annual HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) maintenance, but were you aware that you also should have an expert perform your annual plumbing maintenance? Plumbing is hidden, so you would never know that you had a problem unless you had literally no water.

Plumbing problems that happen in Colorado during the Spring

While you should definitely call immediately for plumbing problems and schedule your plumbing maintenance yearly, here are a couple ways to get your home in great plumbing shape for spring.

Plumbing problems in spring

Weather in Colorado is day to day. One day it could be sunny, the next a foot of snow. These weather up’s and down’s lead to serious plumbing problems in Colorado.

Look for Plumbing Leaks: Look at both your faucets and toilets for any leaks. Confirm there is no water dripping out of or around the connections when you shut off your faucets. If there is, installing new fixtures or repairing the leak could help better the faucet’s function and may even lower your water bill.

After the faucets, inspect any accessible pipes for evidence of leaks. You can often see visible pipes in basements and below sinks. Extreme weather can cause pipes to freeze and sometimes crack so spring is the ideal time to make sure the winter weather didn’t cause any damage that would result in plumbing problems.

Don’t neglect your water heater maintenance:  If a stench seems to be coming from any of the drains in your home, it may be a sign that plumbing maintenance is necessary. A properly running drain shouldn’t release odors into the air. Check to make sure there are strains placed in all your drains to prevent hair and other debris from spoiling in the pipes and resulting in a clog. After you’ve treated with a common drain cleaner, pour eight pints of water into drains that are not used frequently. This will fill the trap and help to stop odors from sneaking in and smelling up your home.

Your water heater takes excellent care of you so be sure you’re returning the favor. Don’t forget that newer water heaters have more energy efficiency, so if yours is over 15 years old, it may be about time to start looking into a new one to be sure you don’t have that sudden burst of cold water for multiple days. Whether or not you plan on investing in a new water heater, there are a couple things you can do to help keep it running properly.

Verify that the temperature is set no higher than 120°F. This will help lower your energy use (and help lower your bills) while also avoiding scalding. For safety sake, you will want to relocate any items from around the water heater. Lakewood Plumbing recommends tankless water heaters over traditional water heaters, however, we install and maintain both tank water heaters and tankless water heater. 

If you are having plumbing problems this Spring, contact Lakewood Plumbing today! 303-233-7007 or email us at info@lakewoodplumbing.com or fill out the form below.

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plumbing problems

Common Plumbing Problems and How to Deal With Them

There are some common plumbing problems that all homeowners experience. For many people, common household issues mean calls to the local handyman or endless weekend hours attempting to fix some seemingly minor issues. Fortunately, some of the common plumbing problems that we all experience can be fixed with a little know-how and can-do spirit. Always know that Lakewood Plumbing is right in your backyard to help with any plumbing problems.

Common Plumbing Problems Include:

  • What happens in your house when the faucet starts leaking or the toilet starts running?
  • How about when the kitchen sink clogs or pipe drips?

If you want to know if your plumbing question or plumbing problem is simple or complex, then there are great online resources that are helpful and comprehensive.

Here are some common plumbing problems and questions

Why does my drain clog?

A common question around the plumbing industry relates to clogged drains.  Generally, clogged drains occur because people are not careful, particularly in the kitchen, about what goes down the drain.

For example, make sure to avoid:

  • pouring cooking oil (or fat) down the drain.
  • putting poultry skins (chicken, turkey), starchy (potato peels, rice), stringy (celery) or fibrous waste (coffee grinds, corn husks) down the drain.

Also, take some common sense and proactive steps, such as

  • have the water running when you use the garbage disposal.
  • let the garbage disposal “catch up” after waste is poured down the drain.

To avoid clogged drains, be conscious and careful and you should avoid a clogged drain nightmare.  If a clog occurs, then there is always baking soda and vinegar. The natural chemical reaction will help break up clogs.

How can my hot water heater last longer?

Many plumbers receive questions about hot water heaters because they are one of the more expensive (and vital) home appliances.  Ultimately, to extend the life of a hot water heater, then preventative maintenance works best. Take the time to have an annual inspection to ensure the hot water heater is working efficiently. A tankless water heater is also a good solution to having an endless supply of hot water.

In particular, there are some water heater essentials that will help your hot water heater live a long and prosperous life.

  • Flush the Tank
  • Inspect the Anode Rod
  • Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
  • Inspect the Expansion Tank

Why does my toilet constantly run?

Homeowners that experience running or leaky toilets is one of the most frequent questions that people ask plumbers.  The typical reason that toilets run is the flap in the bottom of the tank is not sealing shut. Ever wonder why jiggling the handle generally works to stop the running water? To fix a running toilet, take the top off the tank and flush the toilet while watching the rubber flap.

Does it completely close?

If not, some of the water that is entering the tank is flowing out through an unsealed flap. The unsealed flap means water continues to run because the float ball trigger is never activated to stop the flow since water never reaches the fill line.

That jiggle? The handle is connected to the rubber flap with a chain, and jiggling it will reposition the flap so that it may seal more securely.

Are you facing a plumbing problem? Contact Lakewood Plumbing & Heating today.

Please give us a call at 303.233.7007 or send us an email at info@lakewoodplumbing.com.
You’re also welcome to use the form below to let us know what you need. We’ll get back to you within 1 business day.

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air conditioning Tune-Up Colorado

3 Reasons to Schedule Your Spring Air Conditioning Tune-Up Now

We know that a Colorado hot summer is right around the corner. Springtime is the best time to schedule your air conditioning tune-up. The best part is that when you schedule in March for your air conditioning tune-up you can get in before the hot season, and get a great deal at the same time. Call Lakewood Plumbing & Heating today for your spring air conditioner tune-up.

Most people try to take great care of their vehicles. Between oil changes, repairs, simple maintenance, fluid checks, and part replacements, your vehicle gets a lot of love. Routine maintenance is an important part of making sure that your car works properly and it also helps you prevent more costly repair needs further on down the road.

Now think about how often you use your air conditioner. Don’t you think this important home comfort system deserves some love too? Spring is the perfect time to schedule a seasonal maintenance visit for your HVAC system. Showing your air conditioner a little love before the biggest cooling season of the year is the best way to ensure that it treats you well this summer.

3 reasons to schedule a spring air conditioning tune-up

It’s important to keep up with routine maintenance to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently so that it can help keep your family comfortable year-round. Here are just three reasons why spring is the perfect time to schedule an AC tune-up:

1. A tune-up can help increase your HVAC system’s efficiency.

When was the last time your HVAC system was cleaned and inspected? Your air conditioner tends to get dirty over time. The dirtier it gets, the harder it has to work to keep your home comfortable. This not only puts wear and tear on your HVAC system, but it can also impact your monthly electricity costs as your system needs more energy to keep your home cool. During your spring tune-up, an HVAC technician will clean your system to increase efficiency just in time for summer.

2. A spring tune-up will help prevent summer emergencies.

One of the greatest reasons to get a pre-summer air conditioner tune-up is for preventative maintenance. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check your system for any repair needs. Repairing issues early on can help prevent more costly repair needs. For instance, your HVAC technician might find a small refrigerant leak during your tune-up. By fixing this issue right away, he or she is helping prevent your compressor from burning out, which costs significantly more to fix. By getting a tune-up in the spring, you are helping prevent emergency issues and avoiding an AC breakdown during one of the hottest seasons of the year.

3. Most HVAC companies provide flexible scheduling in the spring.

Summer is one of the busiest times for HVAC companies because they are often called to fix emergency AC repairs. This can make it difficult to squeeze in an air conditioner tune-up once summer hits. However, many HVAC contractors are a bit less busy in spring, which means that they will often have a more open calendar that allows for flexible scheduling. This makes spring the perfect time to schedule a tune-up appointment that is convenient for your own schedule.

So what are you waiting for? The sooner you get a spring HVAC tune-up, the sooner you can rest easy knowing that your home comfort system is ready to keep you comfortable during the warmest times of the year. Call us today to schedule your spring air conditioner tune-up: 303-233-7007 or fill out the form below and we will be with you within 24 hours.

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backflow issue

What Are the Signs You Have a Backflow Issue in Your Plumbing

Have you ever heard a plumber tell you, you have a backflow problem? There are few tall tale signs that you have a backflow issue in your home.

What is Backflow?

Backflow is the term we use to describe when water reverses flow in its plumbing pipes. Your plumbing system is only designed for water to move in one direction, but if there’s a sudden change in pressure inside the pipes, it can cause the water to flow the wrong way.

If a backflow occurs, it can pose a significant health and safety risk. This is because dirty wastewater from bathing and toileting can contaminate your clean drinking water, causing any number of illnesses—some of which are severe enough to kill you!

Thankfully, almost all homes are fitted with backflow prevention devices to protect against water contamination.

What Are the Signs of a Backflow Problem?

The sewer system in your home is designed with an “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy. You aren’t supposed to have to deal with your actual sewer system at all, just send waste for disposal. So if you ever do find yourself being affected by your sewer system, chances are that something is very wrong.

Have a look at some of the signs that your sewer is in need of professional attention. The sooner you can recognize that your sewer system has a problem, the faster you can get it repaired.

Bad Smells

If you have bad smells coming up through your drains, especially multiple drains, it’s usually a sign of a problem with your vent system. Your home is designed with a sewer gas vent, likely on the roof, to give the gas a way to escape the building. If the vent becomes blocked, though, it forces the gas back into the home. From there, the only place the gas can go is through your drains and into your home. So if you think you may have sewer gas trapped in your home, call a professional right away.

Backflow

Backflow is when sewer water travels backward through the system and up into your home. The wastewater contaminates the pipes meant to be used for clean water, making it necessary to clean out the whole pipe network. Most homes are equipped with backflow prevention devices by law, which protects against backflow. If the one-way valve in the device becomes stuck, though, backflow can still occur. If you’re experiencing backflow, call a professional right away. You’re going to need your entire plumbing network sanitized, to be safe.

If you are facing a possible backflow issue. Call Lakewood Plumbing right away. 303-233-7007.

Or fill out the form below.

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Lakewood Plumbing Emergency

Signs You May Have a Plumbing Emergency

A plumbing emergency is no joke here in Lakewood, Colorado. At Lakewood Plumbing and Heating we see so many different types of plumbing emergencies.

It is very common for every household to encounter a plumbing issue; however, some may not be aware that an emergency has already occurred. Awareness is essential to detect any kind of plumbing trouble at home. Whether small or big, both issues can lead to severe trouble so you need to recognize and fix them early. This time, you badly need to call an emergency plumber right away.

Homeowners must always keep an eye on their plumbing system because even a simple sign can tell that there are complications with the plumbing lines. Don’t just ignore small issues since matters like these need an immediate action. It may not be serious for you, but these kinds of plumbing issues appear when you least expect them. Here are 5 signs you need to be aware that your home has plumbing emergencies.

1. Increased water bill

Have you ever thought why there is a fast-paced increase with the water bill at home? There is a chance that your home has leaking pipes (or faucet) that you may not have noticed. There is a big possibility that with this leak, your house can be filled with water and turn your house into a terrible swimming pool. As a homeowner, you should be a keen observer every time you pay your water bill expenses. Make it a habit to track them and if you noticed a bill change, you need to check your pipes and faucets immediately then call a plumber.

2. Discolored water

This is by far the most common sign that can be recognised right away. Obviously, everyone knows what the natural colour of the water is. If you notice a single discolouring of water that comes out from your faucet, this is one possible indicator that you need to call an emergency plumber. This is an urgent issue and needs to have a prompt resolution before it can lead to serious health issues. The discolouring might be due to corrosion, rust, or even a blocked drain.

3. Blocked drain

A blocked drain is a leading plumbing issue at home. This is most likely the result of food scraps that are not supposed to be flushed down the drain. This may be a plain sign but when not resolved earlier, your drain can be filled with much water and look like a bathtub. Inches of water will appear in your drain and takes a longer time to disappear. The worst result: the water from your drain might overflow and reach the floor.

4. Weak toilet flush

Since the toilet is the most used area at home, you should always make sure that it works properly all the time. Besides, experiencing a weak flush in your toilet is truly disturbing. It is a common policy to clean the toilet as you go. For sure, it will be a bad experience to the next person who will see a mess that you leave. Do not suffer from this kind of burden at home because this is already a tell-tale sign that you have an emergency plumbing issue already.

5. Foul odour

A single unpleasant and often sewer-like smell at home is a fatal sign that must not be ignored. The smell can also be described as gas, a musty odour or foul smell from your drain. Issues like these must be checked urgently because these can lead to corrosion when you least expect it. This is by far the most threatening sign that your home has an emergency plumbing trouble and in need of a quick fix.

As a homeowner, you should always welcome every tell-tale sign that you have plumbing complications. Don’t hesitate to call an emergency plumber right away if you want to save and protect the foundation of your home.

6. Frozen Pipes

When we get an arctic blast from the north, we often times see frozen pipes as a major plumbing emergency. The best thing to avoid frozen pipes is to leave your cabinet doors open where the pipe is at, and leave your faucet on a slow drip. A frozen pipe can lead to broken pipes.

If you have any of these emergencies in Denver, and the metro areas, please give us a call at 303-233-7007 or schedule online with the contact form below.

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heating an older home. 

3 Tips for Heating an Older Home

Older homes are filled with character and charm. The unique architecture tells a story about previous residents and about life in Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, and Surrounding Neighborhoods. While preserving a part of local history is great, older and historic homes also come with their challenges. One of the most common challenges is maintaining a comfortable warm temperature during the winter months.

Like most parts of the country, Lakewood is no stranger to winter weather extremes. Maintaining a comfortable indoor environment is a challenge for many older homes. Thankfully, there are a few tricks and tips for heating an older home.

3 Tips for Heating an Older Home

1. Replace Furnace or HVAC Filters Regularly: Your HVAC system requires filters to run, and if you use the same one all year, it has a direct impact on how well your system functions. The filter traps dirt, dust, and debris so these items don’t clog the ductwork and other parts of your furnace. But if the filter itself gets clogged, then you might have a system not running as smoothly.  The resolution to this is easy. Just change the filters! If you have a permanent filter, clean it regularly. If you have pets, allergy or asthma sufferers in your home, consider buying electrostatic filters that trap allergens. However, if you have a regular filter, replace it monthly. This is easy to do yourself, and filters are readily available at grocery and home improvement stores.

2. Remember the Whole House Approach:  If you own an older home, you might already know that your home’s utilities don’t run as well as newer equipment. That’s why you might want to invest in the “Whole House Approach,” which is a form of building and renovation that creates the most effective method for optimizing home energy.  Consider this: the cost of heating a home consumes roughly 42 percent of a household’s yearly utility costs. If you’re heating your home with equipment that isn’t up-to-date, you might just see those prices skyrocket.

Here are small ways you can apply the Whole House Approach to your older home:

  • If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, invest in one. These help control the temperature of your house as well as help you save money when it comes to heating and cooling.
  • When not at home, turn the heat off. Unless you have pets, there is no need to keep the place warm if no one is there to enjoy it. Think about all the money you’ll save!
  • Look at your windows and doors to see if there are gaps that are allowing hot air to escape. This might be a sneaky way your older home continues to be cold. If you are noticing drafts, hardware stores sell weather stripping that you apply to areas around your windows and doors to prevent cold air from seeping in.

3.  Invest in a Furnace and Air Conditioner Maintenance Plan:  If you want to have the confidence knowing your HVAC system will always be taken care of, the best way to do that is through a maintenance agreement from the experts here at Lakewood Plumbing & Heating.

Keeping your older house warm doesn’t have to be a struggle. When it comes to making sure that your home is safe and comfortable all year long, trust the experts at Lakewood Plumbing & Heating.  (303) 233-7007

 

home heating colorado

5 Ideas for Better Home Heating

Would you like to save money on your home heating bills? Or ensure that your home is well heated on the those really cold Colorado nights. Lakewood Plumbing and Heating has put together 5 ideas for better home heating.

5 Home Heating Tips

  1.  Turn the Heat Down:  During the winter, the DOE recommends setting your thermostat “as low as is comfortable,” when you’re awake to reduce energy costs. Around 68 degrees is ideal for both savings and comfort. You can save even more money by reducing the temperature when you’re asleep or out of the house: “Turn your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours (a day) and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills,” advises the DOE.  Upgrade to a programmable thermostat to make adjusting the temperature in your home easy, so you don’t have to remind yourself to turn the heat down every time you leave the house or go to bed. “Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program,” says the DOE.
  2. Get a Humidifier:  In the winter, the air inside your home can become very dry. Adding moisture to the air makes it feel warmer, allowing you to turn your thermostat down and save money on heating costs.  A whole-house humidifier is an ideal option for many homes.
  3. Give Your Heating System Some Love: If you want your heating system to operate at maximum efficiency, then it’s important to properly maintain it. If you haven’t already, schedule an annual inspection and tune-up of your heating system. Our expert service team will address any potential problems they find and ensure that your system is running smoothly and at peak performance levels.  In addition to scheduling an annual tune-up of your heating system, you also should be performing regular maintenance tasks. If you have a furnace, for example, you should replace the air filter at least once a month.
  4. Upgrade Your Heating System:  If you’re relying on an outdated heating appliance, such as a 15-year-old furnace, you can significantly improve your home’s heating efficiency by upgrading to a newer model.  Consider investing in a heating system that has earned the Energy Star label—these appliances boast the highest efficiency ratings on the market and are vastly superior to older appliances. Energy Star qualified furnaces, for instance, are 15 percent more efficient than most older models, while Energy Star qualified heat pumps can save up to 20 percent on heating costs.

Lakewood Plumbing & Heating provides Colorado residents with the best heating and cooling systems from American Standard. Contact us today for a free consultation on a new furnace or cooling system.

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Heater problems in Colorado

It’s Still Winter, How’s Your Heater?

Here in Colorado, the last month hasn’t really felt like winter. But as we saw this week, temperatures plummeted. We may have had to kickstart our heaters to get our homes nice and warm again. Did you notice any problems with your heater? We sometimes forget, living in Denver that even though last week it was in the high 60’s and this week it’s in the teens.

Some Issues You May See With Your Heater

We’ve put together a list of the most common problems that we see with heaters. These problems are ones that we look for initially, and if we don’t find a problem with any of these things, we’ll start looking into more complex issues.

Dirty Filters

This is such an easy problem to fix, but too many people let their filters get disgustingly dirty before they make any attempt to replace them. Dirty filters make it very hard for your heating system to pull air in and push it through your home. You will end up replacing your heating system much too early if you continue to strain it this way.

Taking good care of your heating system means replacing the filters often. You may need to change them once just before winter, or, if you run your system a lot, you may need to replace them more often.

Normal Wear

It’s a fact of life that moving parts will wear down over time. Even if you take perfect care of your heating system, it will begin to need minor repairs after several years. Belts, bearings, and motors can tear up, causing the system to overheat or for you to lose heating control within your home.

Generally, these are not hard issues to fix. Your heating repair company will simply replace the broken parts. But a really good company will still do a follow-up evaluation to make sure that the damage was limited to the part they replaced.

Ignition Control Malfunctions

The ignition control within your furnace is responsible for igniting the burners inside your heating unit. If there are issues with the ignition control, the entire system could be confused about what it’s supposed to be doing.

Your system either has a hot surface ignition or an intermittent pilot system. Both are electronically controlled, so the problem could be coming from inadequate electrical connections on the way in or bad signals being sent back out. Both are fairly easy for a professional to repair.

Thermostat Issues

Thermostat issues can be isolated, or they can be connected to some other problem. Often, you may think you have a thermostat problem when it’s actually coming from somewhere else.

It’s possible to recalibrate your thermostat yourself. This fixes many thermostat problems and is worth trying before you call out a professional heating repair person. If your thermostat doesn’t respond to recalibration, there may be another issue or your thermostat may need to be replaced.

Leaks

Leaks can be dangerous and downright deadly. Don’t stay in a home where you think there may be a gas or carbon monoxide leak! Get out and then call 911 to alert the authorities of a possible hazard.

You should have your heater tested for leaks each fall before you ever turn the system on Lakewood Plumbing & Heating has special testing equipment that can identify harmful gasses in the atmosphere, even if they are odorless and colorless. The company can then repair the leak and have your system back to normal in no time.

plumbing problems

The Most Common Plumbing Problems and When to Call a Lakewood Plumbing & Heating

Almost every homeowner or renter has a few essential tools on hand to cope with minor plumbing emergencies. Many times, a clogged toilet or slow drain may only need a little elbow grease and a plunger to work as intended. If you’re handy around the house, you can generally tackle a small repair such as changing out a worn washer or replacing a drain cover. However, bigger plumbing problems need professional attention. Trying to repair some common issues such as slow drains or leaking toilets could lead to bigger problems later.

Plumbing Maintenance

One way to prevent costly repairs to your home is a regular maintenance schedule. Because many issues with your pipes sneak up on you, a thorough inspection is a key to catching small problems before they grow. Hidden leaks in sink drains or below water heaters are more than just a nuisance; over time, they can cause structural damage. Water that seeps into sheetrock or plaster contributes to mold growth. Porous tile or wood flooring can discolor or warp when wet.

Routine DIY Maintenance Tasks

Many routine maintenance tasks are simple do-it-yourself jobs. An inspection is the foundation of any maintenance schedule. You may use your sinks and tubs daily, but you might not notice minor concerns unless you set aside time for an inspection. Go through your home and take a look at your plumbing. Examine all exposed pipes, including under sinks and behind toilet tanks, for any signs of moisture. On a humid day, some condensation on a cold metal pipe is normal, so note any dampness and check the pipes again when the home is cooler. Check for signs of corrosion on brass or copper fittings; corrosion occurs more rapidly on damp metal, so corroded connections could reveal a slow leak.

Turn on water faucets in sinks, showers, and tubs to monitor water pressure. Some variation between different faucet styles and purposes is normal, but all of them should have a steady flow. Note how quickly the water drains after you test the faucet, too; slow drains could mean a clog waiting to happen. While you’re making your rounds, flush toilets to ensure they don’t run or leak at the base, a sign of a faulty wax seal.

Professional Plumbing Inspections

Inspections from a certified Lakewood Plumbing and Heating Plumber give you a more in-depth look at your home’s pipes and drains. Your inspector will check the water heater, garbage disposal and every area of your home’s plumbing system. More thorough assessments might include remote video inspection of pipes, lead testing and filter system inspection.

After a thorough inspection, remove and clean aerators on faucets and showerheads. Sediment can build up and slow water flow. If you opt for professional plumbing maintenance, your plumber will take care of this step and others for you. Some of the maintenance duties a licensed plumber can perform include:

  • Drain treatment to maximize flow rate
  • Cleaning of garbage disposals and water heaters
  • Pressure tests to detect hairline leaks
  • Water pressure assessment and adjustment

Common Plumbing Repair Jobs

Even the most thorough plumbing maintenance inspection won’t prevent the occasional clog or leak, especially in older homes. Many of these common issues have equally common solutions.

Dripping Faucets

If you’ve ever tried to fall asleep with a dripping faucet in the next room or wrestled with a kitchen sink that didn’t know when to stop, you know how annoying this common problem can be. A dripping faucet also drives your water bill higher. A single faucet can send hundreds of gallons of water per year down your drains a drop at a time.

Water entering your home is under pressure to move it through the pipes. When you turn off the tap, rubber or silicone-based washers form a water-tight seal that prevents more water from pushing its way through the pipes and out of the faucet. Over time, washers can become stiff, torn or dislodged, allowing a tiny trickle of water through and creating that annoying drip. While you can replace washers yourself, the repair job can be more of a challenge than you might expect without specialized tools. If the leak has gone on long enough, the valve seat may have become worn or corroded, necessitating a more involved repair that’s best left to a professional plumber.

Not all sinks have washers to hold back the flow of water. Ceramic taps also called disc or canister taps, use durable ceramic plates that fit together to form a seal. Although they need maintenance less often than rubber washers, the repair job is more complex than a simple washer replacement. If you have a lever-operated sink or tub instead of one with separate knobs, you probably have a ceramic disc or canister tap.

Low Water Pressure

When water that should gush, only trickles from the tap, you have low water pressure. This plumbing problem might not be related to the pipes in your house but to the municipal water supply. It’s rare, but a break in a mainline can temporarily reduce your water pressure. A more common cause of this problem is a build-up of deposits or sediment on faucet aerators.

The water entering your pipes carries dissolved minerals in it that eventually deposit themselves on metal surfaces. If you have a filtration system, these deposits wind up in the filters and get changed; without such a system, these mineral deposits collect on inner surfaces of aerators and shower heads, clogging screens and slowing flow. Most kitchen faucets have easily removed aerators that just unscrew from the tip of the faucet for easy cleaning. Taking off the aerator and soaking it overnight in a vinegar solution will generally dissolve the calcium deposits common in Florida water supplies. Shower heads and bathroom faucets may not be as easy to remove, but you can affix a plastic bag filled with vinegar to the shower head overnight to clean it.

If you still notice low water pressure after cleaning aerators and shower heads of sediment and deposits, you might have a more complex issue. A leak or breach in pipes leading into your home is an emergency that could damage your home’s infrastructure or foundation. Sudden and significant reduction in water pressure with no known cause merits a call to a licensed plumber who can pinpoint the reason for the change.

Running Toilet

If you’re tired of jiggling the handle to make your toilet behave after flushing, it might be time to replace its inner workings. Toilets typically run when the flapper valve that lets water pass from the tank to the bowl no longer fits properly, the float is imbalanced or the fill tube comes loose. Toilet repair kits work for most models and require little effort to install.

Occasionally, though, toilets run for more complex reasons. If you’ve replaced the flapper, float apparatus and fill tube, you may have sediment that’s affecting proper flushing and filling. Higher water bills could also indicate a silent leak. To detect a silent leak in your toilet, add a few drops of food coloring to the upper tank and wait 15 to 20 minutes. Look in the bowl for any hint of color; if you see tinted water, your flapper valve isn’t working as it should.

Leaky Pipes

Whether your regular inspection reveals a puddle under a pipe or you get an unpleasant surprise when you reach under your sink, leaks can be a costly nuisance. Leaks usually happen at joints, which is why commercial joint fillers and fitting compounds occupy plenty of shelf space in your local hardware store. These products are a temporary fix, though; a permanent plumbing repair may mean replacing a length of pipe or its fittings.

Although replacing a leaky U-joint under your sink isn’t a complex repair, it is a messy one. You may want to have a professional handle it for you to save the clean-up time. Until the plumber can get to your leak, use a compression clamp and a rubber sheet or leak tape. These temporary repairs keep water from spraying but are easily removed when it’s time for a permanent solution.

Slow or Clogged Drains

When the water that goes into your sink, tub or toilet won’t go out, you probably have a partial or complete clog. In many cases, your trusty plunger can fix the problem. Plungers use air pressure to dislodge a clog, but they can’t remove it entirely. Commercial drain cleaners and clog removers are safe for most drains for occasional use, but these caustic materials can damage some pipe materials if used too frequently. If you’re dealing with clogs on a regular basis, it’s time to call a pro.

Even if you don’t have a complete clog, debris in pipes can slow drainage to a trickle. Shine a flashlight into the drain and see if you can spot the problem. A pair of pliers or tweezers might be able to reach a clump of hair or fallen bottle cap that’s obstructing your pipes. Installing drain screens can prevent detritus from finding its way into drains.

Do-It-Yourself Plumbing Repair Tips

  • Before tackling any repair, turn off the water main.
  • Dress to get wet. Even if you’re careful, plumbing maintenance and repair is a messy task.
  • The adage to measure twice and cut once applies to pipes, washers and other fittings as well as to carpentry. When possible, take parts to be replaced to the hardware store with you to be sure you’re buying the right item.
  • Keep a professional plumber’s number handy. You may not need the number, but if you snap off a valve and have a geyser in your kitchen, you’ll be glad you kept it near your phone.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

Some issues are too dangerous or complicated to tackle alone. Hire a certified Lakewood Plumbing & Heating professional plumber for the following tasks for your safety and the integrity of your home:

  • Installation of new pipes, sinks or tubs
  • Water heater problems
  • New construction that requires building permits
  • Septic tank leaks
  • Sewer line breaks or leaks

If you have questions, want to schedule a maintenance visit or have a repair emergency, contact Lakewood Plumbing & Heating. 

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boiler for your homes heating source

The Benefits of Having a Boiler for Your Homes Heating Source

Boiler heating systems work by heating water and dispersing heat via a radiator. The system converts water to either hot water or steam which then moves through the pipes to radiators to release heat inside the home. As this happens, the water is simultaneously rerouted back to the boiler where it is recycled and reheated for future heating. There are many benefits of having a boiler for your homes heating source.

Benefits of Having a Boiler for Your Homes Heating Source

One of the main benefits of having a boiler for your homes heating source is a clean form of heating that doesn’t produce dust particles and other allergens. Since heat in a boiler system radiates out from the radiator into air that already exists, no new air is entering the space. In forced air systems the new air is what oftentimes causes dust and allergens to infiltrate the atmosphere.

Another benefit of having a boiler for your homes heating source is a comfortable, high-quality heat is what you get from a boiler system. Heat from a radiator infuses the room, opposed to being forced through ductwork and out a vent. This gives radiator to heat a different, fresher feeling than forced air systems and disperses the heat more evenly.

Special features like user-friendly programming and zoning capabilities are a major benefit.  Users can distinguish various heating zones within the home based on living space usage patterns.  Programmable thermostats enable the automating of start-stop heat delivery as well.

Quiet operation is another perk of boiler systems. Unlike forced air systems that produce noise as air circulates out the vents, a boiler heating system’s operational noise is confined to inside the boiler. The rest of the system is virtually silent.

Longevity of a boiler heating system depends on several factors. The system must be well-maintained and annually serviced to keep it performing efficiently. Some boiler systems last only 10 years, others may last several decades. It’s all about the regularity of service and inspections to keep a system maintained for the long run.

How Important is Maintenance?

Just like forced air systems, boilers require inspections, maintenance, and the occasional part replacement to extend lifespan and maintain efficiency. If you are considering upgrading your system, it’s possible to keep your existing unit. Lakewood Plumbing and Heating has experience installing new boilers and retrofitting original systems in areas of Lakewood, Colorado which boosts efficiency as well as increases the safety of the home. For more information on service and repairs for boiler heating systems, or to learn more about retrofitting equipment, Contact Lakewood Plumbing & Heating today.