Your technician whistled as he came up the walk and also while he worked! He must be happy to work for Putman Plumbing. E. Guenthener
As we bid February goodbye, we’d love to think we’re nearing the end of winter in Middletown. If so, spring is just around the corner, and that means lots and lots of rain — which means your sump pump needs to be in working order. We love it when you call us for help, but we’d rather our customers do whatever they can to prevent a plumbing hazard. So take a break from what you’re doing to read up on important sump pump information you should know.
You’ll know your sump pump isn’t working as soon as you walk into a wet basement. But here are some ways to tell before that happens:
Storms in Frederick County have been known to knock out electricity, and since sump pumps usually run on electric power, this can be a problem if you don’t have one of these backup plans.
If your old sump pump worked well until it quit, you’ll probably want the same kind you had before. If you’re looking into getting a sump pump for the first time, there are several types available:
There is a theory that pedestal pumps last longer since they motor stays dry, but quality submersible pumps made of cast iron often outlast their plastic counterpart.
A 1/3 horsepower sump pump (which is the most standard) costs can cost from $100 to $200 and removes about 2,000 gallons of water per hour, which is the amount that can build up in rainy months in Frederick County.
If you live in a flood zone, you may need a 1/2 horsepower sump pump which can pump 3,000 gallons in an hour. These cost between $150 and $350.
If there’s even a chance your sump pump would need to handle 5,000 gallons in an hour, it needs to be 3/4 horsepower which costs from $175-$350.
Water and electric wiring are a combination that typical homeowners don’t know how to safely handle, so it’s important to have a licensed plumber remove your old sump pump and install your new one. We can recommend the right model and components such as the sump pit liner, and we back up our work so you can rest assured knowing if something goes wrong with it, we’ll fix it.
Don’t wait until you have sopping wet belongings in the basement and have to call a plumber in the middle of a storm. Call us if you suspect your sump pump isn’t working properly so you’re ready when the rain comes!
Spring rains are doing their job to make Frederick County lawns beautiful, but they can do a lot of damage to your basement if your sump pump isn’t working. Before you find your belongings under water, here’s how to know if your sump pump is working correctly, and what to buy if it needs to be replaced.
Talk to your trusted licensed Middletown plumbing company about which model is right from your home.
Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. We at Putman Plumbing know how to install and repair sump pumps safely to keep your family safe and your belongings dry. If you think your sump pump is on the way out or has already quiet, we can recommend the right model and install it before the next big rain.
Don’t wait until your basement is flooded! Call Putman Plumbing today.
It’s still winter in Frederick County, and we haven’t had to worry about a lot of melting snow causing flooding problems — yet. But even if we do make it through to March without much snow, there’s an imminent rainy season ahead. To prepare now, make sure to consider the age of your sump pump and that it’s working well so you won’t have to deal with any surprise flooding in the basement this spring.
After a hard rain, it’s a shock to feel water on your feet at the bottom of the basement steps. A working sump pump is the only thing that can save your belongings if rainwater enters your basement. A sump is a reservoir below your basement intended to fill up when groundwater levels increase. The sump pump moves that water up to ground level away from your house where it can drain properly, instead of sitting in your basement and making it moldy.
If your sump pump isn’t working well, you might notice:
Your sump pump may need to be repaired or replaced. Here are some things plumbers look for when examining a unit that isn’t working right:
Working with an electrical appliance in water can be very dangerous, so don’t try to fix or install a sump pump yourself. We have the knowledge to diagnose and fix the problem safely, so give us a call and we’ll have your basement dry in no time.
Just as the weather folks predicted, we got a lot of snow in Maryland. Winter Storm Jonas packed a punch in Frederick County and the snow looked pretty as it fell, but now that it’s piled up in our yards and will soon melt, it’s time to think about something not so pretty: water in our basements.
Let’s look at a few things you can do to reduce potential problems.
A 10-foot high pile of snow that’s about 20 feet in diameter contains about 2,600 gallons of water. So if the snow near your house melts and starts to run down along the basement wall, your basement could take in some major water. Move the snow about 3-5 feet from your house to try to avoid a flooding disaster.
Snow melts quickly around the foundation of your home (if you haven’t moved it away from the home as suggested above). Listen to how often you hear the sump pump running. The sump pump’s check valve only lets water flow one way and keeps pumped water from returning back through the line. If the pump running seems to be running very frequently, the check valve could be bad, allowing pumped water to return through it and leading to water in your basement. If you don’t think it sounds right, call a plumber at Putman Plumbing so we can take a look before your basement floods.
It’s still cold in Middletown, so make sure you take all the precautions to keep your pipes from freezing. Leave the heat running, open those cabinet doors, and insulate pipes in the garage or basement that you haven’t gotten to yet to avoid pipes from freezing and bursting into your home. Winter Storm Jonas may be gone, but winter isn’t over yet.
Enjoy the snow as much as you can. If you have plumbing problem, give Putman Plumbing a call.
As much as we love your business, the best way to show our appreciation is to tell you how to prevent plumbing problems from happening in 2016. We can’t predict what weather will come to Maryland in the year ahead, but we can turn to experts at The Old Farmer’s Almanac for an idea about what to expect.
According to the Almanac, winter will be colder and snowier than normal in the north, with the coldest periods in mid-January, mid-February, and early March. In extreme cold, it’s important to prevent pipes from freezing so they won’t burst and cause damage to your home.
April and May are expected to be cooler than normal, with below normal amounts of rainfall. This will be a good time to do some spring cleaning.
The Almanac predicts that summer in Maryland will be hotter and rainier than normal, with the hottest times in late June, mid-July, and much of August. A lot of rain could take place in the form of a tropical storm or hurricane from early August to mid-September.
September and October are expected to be warmer than normal, with above-normal rainfall.
All of us at Putman Plumbing wish you a safe and blessed New Year! If you need any plumbing advice, a new water heater, drain cleaning or anything else in 2016, give us a call.
Hopefully Frederick County has seen the last of winter storms. With spring right around the corner, most of us are ready to get our homes back in order and looking clean. But while it’s tempting to make cosmetic improvements first, it’s important to check that all of your plumbing is functioning properly. That way, you won’t find a newly renovated bathroom or sparkling clean basement under water.
Water should flow freely when you first turn on outside faucets or hoses. If a faucet drips or you notice leaks inside your home the first time the hose is turned on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.
Grab a ladder and climb up on your roof to clear out all of the gunk that’s accumulated over the winter. If drains and gutters are free of debris, you won’t have to worry about damage-causing clogs when heavy spring rain begins.
You can do this by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. When the water level reaches 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor, the pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then shut off. If it doesn’t turn on, you’ll need to call a plumber to see what the problem is.
In the tub, you should have strainers in place to prevent hair and other debris from clogging the drain. You can also clean your shower head with vinegar to remove mineral deposits that prevent proper flow.
To check toilets for hidden leaks, add five drops of food coloring to the tank. If the toilet has a leak, you’ll see color in the bowl within 30 minutes. Also check around the base of the toilet for any leaks.
If you find any problems while checking on your home’s plumbing, give Putman Plumbing a call.
Many of us in Frederick County enjoy watching the snow fall, but as it starts to build up inch by inch around our homes, it’s important to think about the damage it can cause when it melts. Let’s look at a few things you can do to reduce potential problems and claims on your homeowners insurance.
After it snows, it’s tempting to stay warm inside and leave the snow piled on windows, doors and the rest of the home for days. But it’s always best to clear the snow from doors and windows so that the snow doesn’t melt, enter your home and cause serious water damage. A home damaged by heavy snow may be covered, but a home damaged by the result of melting snow may not be.
Rapidly melting snow will saturate the soil around the foundation of your home. If that water gets into the basement or lower floors, it can ruin belongings, and it doesn’t take much water to cause serious structural damage. By regularly checking your sump pump, you can make sure it’s running correctly — that the check valve is properly fitted. A check valve only lets water flow one way and keeps pumped water from returning back through the line. If you hear the pump running too frequently, the check valve could be bad, allowing pumped water to return through it.
As the snow melts, pay attention to how often you hear your sump pump running. If you hear something that doesn’t sound right, it may be time to call a plumber before damage occurs.
This should be done before the storm hits. Make sure drains and gutters are clear of dirt and debris to prevent melting snow from getting trapped and causing clogs.
You may be tempted to turn your heat off or down very low to save on bills when you’re away from home, but to protect against plumbing accidents, leave the heat running at all times. If you don’t, pipes can freeze, causing them to burst and flood your home. And that damage would certainly cost more than a slightly elevated electric bill.
Enjoy the snow, but if you run into a plumbing problem, give Putman Plumbing a call.
We’re crossing our fingers that we’ve seen the last of snow and ice, but that means we’ll be moving on to Mother Nature’s next challenge: Rain!
After a hard rain, it’s always a shock to feel water on your feet when you step into your basement. A working sump pump is vital to preventing this from happening and to save any of your belongings kept down there. A sump is a reservoir below your basement that’s intended to fill up when groundwater levels increase. The sump pump moves that water up to ground level away from your house where it can drain properly, preventing your basement from becoming wet and moldy.
When there’s a problem with your sump pump, you might notice:
Depending on what the problem is, your pump might need to be repaired or replaced.
Before you think about removing the pump yourself, keep safety in mind. Working with an electrical appliance in water can be dangerous. We at Putman Plumbing have the knowledge to diagnose and fix the problem safely. Give us a call! We’ll have your basement dry in no time.