I came home from work expecting to find a mess to clean up from drilling holes in my tile wall. There was nothing! What a pleasant surprise! V. Guyton
You pay for every drop of water used in your Frederick County home, so you may as well do all you can to reduce that amount. We’ve suggested turning off the faucet as you brush your teeth and limiting sprinkler usage in the yard, but there are even things you can do beyond those traditional ways to save water.
Look for products with the WaterSense label, backed by the Environmental Protection Agency, that are certified to use at least 20% less water to improve the efficiency of your plumbing system.
It’s always best to take a shorter showers, so you’ll notice a savings if you limit everyone in your home to 10 minutes (you could even set a timer). Beyond that, low-flow shower heads can lower utility bills by reducing both water flow and water heater usage. Try an aerating shower head which mixes air into the stream of water for even pressure, or a non-aerating unit which pulses with rapid pressure variations for a great massage.
If you have an older toilet, it could be using 6 gallons of water per flush. Considering that the current federal standard toilet uses 1.6 gallons and some even use 1.28, you’re wasting a lot of water. A new toilet could save you a lot — and imagine the savings if you have more than one bathroom!
Not ready to purchase a new toilet? Consider a new flapper. An old, leaky flapper may be wasting water, so a new adjustable flapper can save a significant amount of water every flush.
A toilet tank bank is another low-cost way to reduce water consumption. It’s inexpensive and simply clips onto the side of the tank, and takes up space in the tank not as much water is required to raise the float.
Want a faucet that uses 30% less water than the standard one you have? Look into a WaterSense faucet. You can also retrofit your older faucet with a more efficient low-flow aerator. By replacing your 2.2 gallon per minute aerator with a newer one, you can save more than 18,000 gallons of water per year.
We know all about the newest products that lower water consumption, so talk to our plumbing experts about ordering and installing your new toilet or faucet. We can also detect leaks that may be causing your water bills to stay high, so be sure to give us a call if you’re interested in lowering your water bill.
Some of us prefer to wake up in the morning with soft music coming from our alarm clocks, some like to open the curtains and let the sun in, and some simply prefer a strong cup of coffee. But no one we know likes to wake up to the shock of freezing water in their shower, so if this is happening to you, keep reading.
Even though water heaters don’t last forever, we don’t think about replacing it until it stops working. But since we rely on hot water for clean dishes, laundry, and hot showers, it’s easy to be hasty about choosing a new one as soon as the old one goes out. Water heaters account for 20% of a home’s utility costs, so it’s important to consider which water heater will not only last the longest, but be the best for your budget. Here are some questions to ask yourself when shopping for a new water heater for your Frederick County home.
A traditional water heater is called a tank water heater and it can be powered with gas and/or electric. Tank water heaters offer a large volume of hot water that can be dispersed to your entire home. They typically keep the stored water at a temperature near 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can buy them to hold from 20-80 gallons, depending on your household size.
A tankless water heater heats cold water with a gas burner or electric element as it passes through the water heater. These are more expensive than tank water heaters, but they use up to 30% less energy. They can be installed close to the point of use or can supply a whole house.
Hybrid water heaters use advanced heat pump technology to pull in ambient air and extract heat to warm the water.
You should select a water heater based on the number of people living there as well as how often you use other appliances that use hot water. If you have five people in your house who all get up and take showers in the morning, you’ll probably want at least a 50 gallon tank, which allows for 10 gallons per person. On the other hand, if you have kids who have grown up and moved out since your last hot water heater purchase, you’ll probably want to downsize into a 30 or 40 gallon tank.
A water heater manufacturer who is confidence in their product will offer a longer warranty. Some offer essentially the same models with different warranties, such as 6 and 12 years. This may mean the model with a longer warranty has an extra anode, brass fittings, or a better type of tank lining. Some warranties cover parts only. Talk to your trusted Frederick County plumbing professional about the different types of water heater warranties.
You should only allow a licensed professional plumber to install such a vital component of your home. A licensed trained plumber is experience in working with gas, electric, water pressure, and high temperatures. You can also bet that your water heater’s warranty will specify that it is valid only when installed by a professional.
We are licensed, insured, experienced plumbers who can help you choose the best hot water heater for your home and we can install it right away for you. Just give us a call!
Instead of waiting until something goes terribly wrong, it’s a good idea to look and listen for a few things in your home that might indicate a future plumbing problem. It’s a lot easier to fix a small issue than to end up with a big headache.
When you hear the sound of water filling up the tank in the toilet when no one’s even using it, it’s important to call a plumber. There could be an internal water leak, the toilet flapper could have decay, or the toilet tank float ball or arm could be working incorrectly. Even though it’s not making a visible mess, a running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. Get it fixed, and you’ll like your water bill much better.
This might happen more often if you have an older home, but it could also happen in a new home if the right problem occurs. Low water pressure could mean you have a hidden leak in a pipe somewhere, there could be corrosion in your pipes, or it may be time to change your showerhead. A licensed Frederick County plumber can investigate to find the problem and offer solutions for better water pressure.
If your shower is cold by the time you’re rinsing off, you should ask a plumber why. The average life of a water heater is 8-12 years, so if yours is newer than that, it may need to have sediment drained or other maintenenace performed. If it’s getting older than 10 years, it’s definitely time to consider a new purchase before yours goes out all together.
It’s easy to ignore a slow drip, but that dripping wastes water AND money. It could be an easy fix that just requires a quick visit from a plumber.
If you see a wet spot on your ceiling, call a plumber ASAP. Pipes start to leak at the joints and can get worse as time goes on. The longer they leak, the more damage they can cause to your home.
When your sump pump is too quiet during a heavy rain, stays on for too long, cycles on and off too quickly, or the motor hums too loudly, there could be a problem. Before you find yourself in a flooded basement, give a Middletown plumber a call.
Whether you have a small issue or a big plumbing problem, we can help. Just give us a call!
In heavy spring downpours, your sump pump can keep your basement from flooding. Pour a few buckets of water into the sump pit and make sure it turns on, runs for a couple minutes, then turns off. If it doesn’t turn on, keeps running, or makes strange noises, call a plumber since it may need to be replaced.
You could reduce your water bill by fixing these. Check your faucets and around the base of your toilet for signs of water. To see if there’s a leak in your toilet tank, add several drops of food coloring to the tank. If it’s leaking, you’ll see color in the bowl within the hour.
Check outdoor faucets and hose bibs to make sure the water flows freely. If the faucet drips or you notice leakage inside your home, it may be the result of a frozen pipe over winter. Have this replaced or repaired to prevent damage.
Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris to prevent too much water from pooling around your house and in your yard.
If you notice leaking faucets or toilets, a broken sump pump, or see standing water in your yard after a heavy rain, give us a call. It’s always a good idea to address plumbing concerns before they get too serious and cause damage to your home. We love to keep families in Middletown happy, so give us a call today!
Most of us are aware of the benefits of limiting water usage. It’s better for the Earth, and it can cut down on your water bills. If it’s time to replace your toilets or if you’re just looking to install a water-saving toilet in your Frederick County home, here are a few that you might want to consider.
A power or pressure-assist toilet works with a combination of water and compressed air for greater flushing power. There’s a pressure tank inside that works like a big water balloon: Water fills the tank and stays there under pressure, and when the flush valve opens, pressure and gravity create a strong flush. This type of toilet does the best job of clearing the bowl of solid waste, but it’s noisy and more expensive than some of the other water saving options.
You’re probably familiar with the way a gravity toilets works since it’s very similar to the type that most of us have been using all our lives. Gravity toilets rely on gravity to pull waste and water into the sewer system. When you flush, a valve opens and the water inside the toilet tank moves into the toilet bowl. Water and waste move down quickly out of the toilet, past the drain and into the sewer system. The difference between a standard toilet and a gravity toilet comes in when it comes to water usage. The newest gravity toilets have an adjustable water level allowing you to change the flushing power as needed, but they can clog easily so you have to make sure nothing gets flushed besides toilet paper.
These models cost slightly more than gravity toilets but are not as expensive as pressure-assist toilets. Their biggest plus is that they provide a powerful flush using vacuum technology. In the porcelain tank, there’s a vacuum tank that connects to the trapway. When someone flushes, water flowing from the tank creates suction in the vacuum tank and trapway to help suck waste out of the bowl. In lab tests, vacuum assist toilets cleared more waste than gravity toilets but not as much as pressure-assist models.
Putman Plumbing technicians can give you advice on the water-saving toilet that’s right for your home and your budget. Just give us a call to speak to a trusted Frederick County plumber today.
Building a new home is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and a little scary. Chances are you’ve been working hard to afford your dream home, and it would be a shame to let that go to waste by not hiring a trusted plumbing company. Even if you think adding plumbing to a new house seems like a simple “water in, water out” task, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
In a new home, the plumbing system features three main components: the water supply system, the drainage system and the appliance/fixture set.
First, sewer accommodation stubs are set before pouring the concrete foundation.
After the foundation is poured, tub/shower units are often set since they are too large to set once walls and doorways are framed.
After framing, rough-in plumbing is installed at the same time as electrical wiring and duct installation. This is when we install main drains in floors and connect them to the stack. Rough-in drain fittings are also installed now for sinks and tubs, and this is also when we install water supply pipes or tubing and set toilet flanges.
The main pressurized water supply line enters the house, then splits into two lines; one that supplies cold water and one that connects to the hot water heater. From there, the two lines supply hot and cold water to each fixture or appliance.
As we said before, if you don’t have an experienced plumber installing your plumbing system, things can go wrong in no time after you move into your home.
A main vent-and-soil stack, which is typically 4 inches in diameter, runs vertically from beneath the ground floor to above the roofline. Waste drains connect to the stack, directing waste downward to the main sewer drain, which exits the home and ties into the municipal sewer system or runs to a septic system. If your drains aren’t properly installed, this can lead to sewer backups that you don’t want to mess with.
Without constant air, water locks form in drain pipes and cause clogs, so all drains require ventilation. Vent pipes connect to the vent-and-soil stack in the attic. It’s critical that vent pipes are located where they need to be in order to prevent annoying clogs.
You’ve seen drain traps in the bottom of your bathroom or kitchen sink. A trap is a U-shaped pipe that retains a small amount of water and prevents smelly sewer gasses from backing up into the house. All plumbing fixtures require drain traps except the commode, which comes with an internal trap in its base. If traps are not properly fitted and sealed, dangerous gases could cause health problems to your family.
If you’re planning to build a new home in Frederick County, Maryland, call the plumbing experts at Putman. We look forward to hearing from you.
There’s a lot of excitement in the air as we approach summer in Frederick County. The kids will soon be home every day getting more sleep, eating more of your food, and…we have to say it…causing more potential plumbing problems.
Let’s take a look at how to prevent some of these issues.
On an average day, every person in your home will be flushing at least five times, so clogs are a big concern. You can prevent clogs from happening by showing your kids how much toilet paper is appropriate to use, and teaching them not to flush paper towels or sanitary napkins. If you use flushable wipes in your home, make sure to tell everyone not to flush more than one at a time since many brands don’t dissolve after flushing and can get stuck in your pipes.
Dirt from the baseball field, sand from the sandbox and who knows what else will be going through the wash this summer. Make sure to rinse as much debris as you can out of clothes before they go into the washing machine, and check pockets for gum, candy, and other sticky stuff. If you notice any leaks around your laundry room, be sure to call a plumber. This is not the time of year to have to be running back and forth to the laundromat.
Playing in the sprinkler or hose is summer fun that will never get old. But keep an eye on how long the outside water has been on since it can really drive up your water bill. Maybe set a timer to make sure you turn the water off in case you end up getting busy and forgetting.
We all love a good summer storm, but a whole lot of rain can wreak havoc on our basements. Since this is where many of our kids hang out to take refuge from the heat, it’s important to keep as much water out as possible. So start listening to your sump pump during spring showers and make sure it’s working right. If it seems like it’s running nonstop, is making funny noises or doesn’t turn on at all, call a plumber to inspect it.
Pouring cereal and milk down the garbage disposal every morning is fine, but remind your kids not to ever put hard or chunky stuff into it. And tell them not to pour any greasy or oily liquids down the drain since they will harden and get stuck to the pipes.
Enjoy your time with the kids, and let us know how we can help your summer go more smoothly!
Millions and millions of flushes – requiring an amount of water equal to seven minutes of water flowing over the Niagra Falls.
So can all that flushing at once wreak havoc on our sewer systems? Well Frederick County has never experienced such a problem, but after a 16-inch pipe burst in Salt Lake City in 1984 during half time, there is a theory that lots of simultaneous flushing can cause big problems with municipal sewer systems. According to city workers in Utah’s capital that year, however, the pipe was old and probably would have ruptured regardless of the time of day.
The truth is that our city sewer systems are made to withstand large volumes of water that are used every day. Each weekday morning, we all get up and take showers and flush toilets in the same time span, and there are no pipes bursting or other major problems caused from that. So no, everyone flushing at once is not going to cause most plumbers on call to miss the rest of the game.
We at Putman Plumbing see the same problems after the Super Bowl game as we see after every large gathering.
Try to avoid these problems and hopefully you won’t need us!
Enjoy the party on Sunday, but if you run into any big problems, give us a call. We’ve been a trusted Middletown plumbing company for many years, and we’ll be happy to help.
It’s hard to comprehend that things you’ve been told for years about home maintenance could be wrong. But when it comes to the plumbing system in your Frederick County home, it’s best to believe the experts in order to prevent damage.
Here are a few assumptions our Putman Plumbing customers have had that simply aren’t true.
Truth: The most important thing about this is that some things don’t ever belong in a garbage disposal, whether you run water or not. Hard, course waste such as eggshells and celery can cause damage to your disposal so they should always go in the trash. If you do want to put thicker foods down the disposal, you should break them up and mix them with water beforehand so they aren’t so hard.
Truth: Lemon rinds can make your disposal smell great, but they don’t really clean it, and can actually clog it. A better choice is to mix a cleaning solution of mild soap and warm water into a spray bottle, spray it into the disposal, then after a few minutes scrub the disposal with a cleaning brush. Just make sure you disconnect the disposal before you start to clean.
Truth: Hand soap can be damaging to some surfaces, and are not effective enough to disinfect others. Brass should be cleaned with gentle solutions, like lemons and baking soda, and toilet bowls need disinfectant to kill germs.
Truth: If you displace too much water, your toilet bowl won’t fill up enough to carry waste away, so you’ll actually have to flush twice as often. And since bricks deteriorate, components in the tank such as the flapper can break. So the brick doesn’t end up saving you money at all — it just leads to higher water bills and broken pieces that need to be replaced.
Don’t believe everything you hear. Instead, give us a call and ask us before you end up with a big problem!