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The Importance of Plumbing Maintenance in Your Home

With a newly built home and within the first few years of being occupied, it is rare to see mechanical failures manifest causing you to get major plumbing Sugar Land TX done. It isn’t until around the 4th year that the smaller issues like smelly sink garbage disposers, clogged drains and minor leaking of toilets and faucets start to develop. Around the 6th and 9th year is when things such as water heaters, sewer drains, gas pipe and water pipe leaks appear. When it comes to plumbing maintenance and repairs, one thing that most customers usually concern themselves with is the cost. Kae Edward Plumbing is not a fly-by-night run-of-the-mill plumbing Sugar Land TX company. We do charge for our plumbing services and we are worthy of our pay. That being said, there will always be another competing plumbing company that charges more than we do for a particular task or plumbing service as well as the opposite where we are found charging more than they do for the same or similar task or plumbing service. The differences are because each company has its own outlook on how to conduct business; those considerations involve a whole range of considerations such as the size of their service area, the type of customer they are seeking, the level of service they will be offering, warranties, benefits and payroll for employees, insurances, building lease and utility bills, legal and financial consulting fees and the list goes on until there is a reasonable expected yearly cost to do business; profit is added and then that number is then divided into the number of active service trucks they will be fielding. Clear as mud, right?

Fair & Affordable Pricing

It is rare to find a plumbing company that charges by the hour now. Some will charge you are service fee while others will not; however, it usually all comes out in the wash at the end. Most plumbing Sugar Land TX companies will be charging by a task from a price book. A task covers the overhead, labor, material and profit all in one. Think of a task like a loaf of bread at the store. The price of that one loaf of bread will not pay for the needs of the store, but many loaves sold at that price throughout the day along with other items for sale, what we call add-ons, will. Tasks are guides for the technicians in the field to protect the company from under charging as well as protect the consumer from being overcharged. Again, like the loaf of bread, most stores offer different brands side by side, and each brand is a different price. Some brands are double if not triple the price of others. The cheaper brand may be longer in length and weigh less while the more expensive brand may be half the size of the cheaper brand, but three times the weight. Are the companies for those higher priced loaves of bread overcharging? Consider the quality of the ingredients.

From Small to Large Problems We Tackle Them All

We at Kae Edward Plumbing strive to keep our prices fair and competitive for the level of service we provide. Some have said our prices are too high while others have said we are much lower than the previous companies they have used for similar services, but the majority of our repeat customers are very happy with the quality of our parts, our prices and overall plumbing Sugar Land TX services. Our plumbing services range from simple repairs like replacing toilet fill valves and supply lines to more involved services like gas leak repairs and sewer drain replacements. Preventive maintenance will help you to make things last longer as well as aid to prevent water damage in your home.

Food Waste Disposers Maintenance

There really is not a whole lot of maintenance you can do for sink food waste disposers. One thing you should try to avoid at all times is using caustic chemicals to clean your sink garbage disposal. Many homeowners buy cleaning products to “freshen ” smelly garbage disposers, but most of those will eventually eat away at the interior metals even to the surrounding exterior jacket causing for the disposer to leak and need replacement. The best thing you can do to help scour away food waste build-up in your disposer is to periodically throw ice into it and turn it on; yes it is usually very noisy, but effective. As far as freshening up odors in the disposer, throw a few small slices of orange with the peel in there and give it a whirl. All disposers should have some type of protective baffling installed. Some are easily removable from the top of the sink, others will require the entire disposer to be dismounted to remove. If the baffling is bending excessively inward into the disposal chamber or pieces of the baffling are broken off, then you should consider replacing it for your own safety. If yours is removable from the top, then you should be able to simply find a replacement at the nearest hardware store. If it requires you to have to dismount your disposer, then you should consider having a plumbing Sugar Land TX professional assist you.

Food Waste Disposers Care

If your garbage disposal stopped working, before calling a plumbing Sugar Land TX professional first check to see if there is something obvious inside the grinding chamber that can easily and safely be removed, then check to see if it does in fact have power by verifying it is plugged in properly. You can also check to see if the outlet is working by simply unplugging the disposer and plugging in a hair dryer or something else to see if it works. All disposers come with a built-in protective electrical reset button that will pop if the motor gets too hot. Look or feel for a small red button either at the very bottom of the disposer or around the outer lower side of the jacket area. If it pops or clicks when you press it, then run some water and attempt to turn it on. If you only hear a small humming sound, then immediately turn it off; it is jammed. Depending on the disposer, you can try to clear the jam with a ¼” Allen wrench using the slot at the very center of the bottom of the disposer; push and pull in both directions until you feel it moving without much difficulty; again, run some water and turn it on. It may initially make some loud grinding noises, but so long as the jam was not related to a foreign object it should quiet down fairly quickly. Disposers that do not have an Allen wrench slot are harder to clear. One method you can try is to use the end of a broom stick and force the grinding wheel to move. If you have done all you can do, then you should consider calling the Kae Edward plumbing Sugar Land TX professionals to assist you.

Signs Your Toilet Needs Repairs

Is your toilet making noise? If it is, then it is one of the first signs that maintenance is required. Depending on how old it is a toilet that hisses softly is usually because the fill valve is taking too long to “close.” There are several things that can cause that issue and you can easily check to see if it is something within your power to fix before hiring someone to do your plumbing Sugar Land TX. First, before doing anything… OBSERVE! Does it go away after a few minutes or is it constant? What do you see? Is the toilet handle stuck in an unusual position? Carefully lift and remove the lid. Is the flush handle chain stuck under the flapper? If so, then shorten the length and trim the excess to prevent this from happening. Lift up on the float arm of the toilet fill valve. Does the sound stop? If so, does it start again after you let it go? If the hissing stops after several minutes, then you may just need to have a new fill valve installed to bring your toilet back to normal. If you see that the water level is continuing to spill into on open tube (flush valve tube) in your tank, adjust the float downward so the level of the water is about ½” to 1” below the top of the flush valve tube opening or lined up with the water line mark on back wall of your toilet tank. If you find or hear your toilet “flushing” periodically throughout the day, then you are losing water in your tank and the toilet is actually refilling itself. Simplest and usually the primary fix we see while doing plumbing Sugar Land TX is to replace the flapper. Some newer toilets have canister flush valves. These seals are not usually difficult to replace, however, the older they are the more they tend to become difficult to repair without breaking the plastic shaft. Use caution with canister flush valves. If, after replacing the flapper or flush seal, the toilet is still periodically filling, then you will more than likely need to replace your flush valve tank seal. Kae Edward Plumbing professionals have the skills and experience to assist you with your toilet repairs and replacement needs.

Leaks, How Serious Can They Be?

Leaks at sink faucets as well as tub and shower valves are usually attributed to water quality. Water softeners and conditioners improve the longevity of the seals and gaskets that keep faucets water tight and leak free. How important is it for you to fix a faucet that is dripping at a rate of 1 drop every 30 seconds? To most homeowners the answer boils down to how much water that equals over the span of one month and how much impact it has on their overall water bill compared to the maintenance cost to repair it back to leak free status. Our job as plumbing Sugar Land TX professionals is to fix leaks, so naturally we will point out the failures and offer recommendations to address the problems. A few small leaks at faucets here and there may seem insignificant until you experience a slow hard-to-find leak in a wall or ceiling that is causing water damage. It is then that you realize that putting off those repairs has come full circle. Now, because the leak source is difficult to find, the plumber must perform a pressure test on the house water piping to determine if it is losing pressure. A pressure test usually doesn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes to determine the integrity of the piping, however, a dripping faucet will automatically cause the test to fail. So now you must first address the dripping faucet, then perform the pressure test. You will be surprised how many times this happens all to find that the actual leak source is due to a roof leak or something else like a clogged or sweating AC drain. Being able to rule out the water piping as the source of the leak gets the plumbing Sugar Land TX professional one step closer to the actual problem and hopefully before he has to cut unnecessary holes into your walls or ceiling.

Slow Drains Turn Into Clogged Drains

Slow drains are also on the list of things that homeowners are willing to live with until they clog up completely. The quickest and easiest way to determine if your drain is slowly developing into a full clog is to fill up the sink at least half way, then, as the faucet is still continuously running, release the water into the drain to empty the sink. If the water drains faster than it is filling, then it is relatively safe to assume that your drain is in good condition. If the water drains but the sink does not empty, then it is considered a slow drain. If the sink continues to fill while the drain is fully open, then you have, or are going to have, a clogged sink very soon. This can be applied to tubs and showers as well. Clogs related to bathroom sinks, tubs and showers are usually hair related. Taking precautionary measures to keep hair from entering the drain system goes a long way in preventing clogs. Clogged kitchen sink drains are usually fats, oils and grease (F.O.G.) related. Sink garbage disposals and dishwashers are a big part of the problem as well. If you run your disposer and you see the sink on the other side start to fill up, then you have a problem with your drain. If you hear gurgling, that is also a sign of a slow or clogged drain. As tempting as it may be to try to clear the drain yourself by using a bottle of “drain opener” we suggest you call a plumber and have it cleared professionally. Drain cleaning chemicals may help in the short term by removing hair or other things susceptible to caustics acids, but they do not usually get rid of the excess F.O.G. buildup that led to the clog in the first place. And, depending on how aggressive the drain cleaning chemicals are, they can also destroy your drain piping with long term use. The vapors alone are considered a health hazard so let a plumbing Sugar Land TX professional take care of the issue for you!

Reliable Hot Water Year Around

Do you enjoy hot water when you shower? Water heaters need occasional maintenance too. Whether you have a gas or electric water heater, they both provide the same thing… hot water. When a water heater stops working properly, it is usually the home owner’s top plumbing Sugar Land TX priority to get fixed immediately. Just like faucets, water heaters are affected by the condition of the water entering into it. Hard water will almost erase a water heater’s efficiency within about 2 years. Water heaters have a safety device installed called a Temperature and Pressure Relief (T&P) valve. T&P valves are designed to release excessive hot water and pressure from the water heater tank in case a gas control valve or heating thermostat fails to regulate the temperature properly. T&P valves should be tested at least once every year and replaced every three years. Flushing and draining a water heater is helpful, however, we recommend that the drain valve be full port before doing that type of maintenance because the manufacturer installed drains tend to get overwhelmed with sediment and hard water debris that can cause the drain valve to clog or not fully shut-off. Anode rods are also things to consider changing… again, water conditioning is a factor and when it comes to anode rods be sure to install the one most suitable for the type of water entering your water heater. Kae Edward plumbing Sugar Land TX professionals are able to provide you with expert advice as to what type of anode you need for your water heater.

Don’t let your home’s plumbing become a burden. Let Kae Edward Plumbing assist you maintain your home. Schedule with us for your free home plumbing safety inspection.