Guide: Winter Plumbing Emergencies And Winterizing Tips For Your Home

While emergency plumbing situations can occur at any time of year, they are more likely to occur during the winter months. Cold weather and increased hot water demand amidst large holiday gatherings tend to put a strain on our plumbing systems. Common winter plumbing emergencies we tend to see this time of year include frozen or busted pipes, lack of hot water/heat, and clogged drains. To avoid the headache of navigating these common emergencies this season, we’ve pulled together this guide to winter plumbing emergencies and winterizing tips for your home.

Savings Bundle

Warrior Plumbing and Heating has bundled up our most popular (and most crucial) winter weather services to save you hundreds of dollars. We are offering a water heater inspection, sump pump inspection, and boiler service for a low price of just $350. Typically, these services cost upwards of $500 – $600.

To take advantage of this price through 2022, simply fill out our contact us form or call us at 443-967-3736. Keep in mind, this offer excludes high-efficiency water heaters and boilers. We’d be happy to give you a fair price on a high-efficiency bundle, however.

*Additional $100 Charge for Steam Boiler Service

Common Emergency 1: Frozen or Busted Pipes

When cold temperatures cause pipes to freeze, the freeze-thaw cycle can loosen connections or cause pipes to break entirely. Busted pipes are often the result of pipes getting so cold that the water inside them freezes. As a result, the pipe expands and bursts the pipe open.

Winterizing Tips

Pipe Insulation

If any of your pipes are housed in non-heated areas, such as a basement or a garage, it is crucial to ensure these pipes are insulated. This protection will help keep your pipes from freezing.

Disconnect Outdoor Faucets

Water inside outdoor faucets are often the first to freeze and expand if they are left connected during colder temperatures. To help prevent this, simply disconnect your water hoses, drain them of any remaining water, and store the hoses in a dry area.

Check for Outdoor Faucet Leaks

After you disconnect any outdoor faucets, check for any leaks or drips that may need to be fixed. A leaking faucet can lead to water damage and severe plumbing issues during a freeze. Once your outdoor faucets are fully fixed, cover and insulate the faucets to avoid future issues.

Find the Water Shut-off Valve

Do you know where your main shut-off valve is? If a frozen pipe does burst, the first course of action is to prevent further damage by shutting off the water to your home. Ensure that you and each person who lives in the home knows where the main shut-off valve is and how to turn it off.

Common Emergency 2: Lack of Hot Water and Heat

The second most common winter plumbing emergency we see is a lack of hot water and/or heat within the home caused by malfunctioning water heaters and boilers.

With cooler temperatures, the water entering your home becomes colder. This means that your water heater needs to work harder than usual. This is also the time of year when we Marylanders want to pump more hot water into our sinks, tubs, and showers to stay warm. With this increased activity, underlying issues can emerge. Faulty parts, sediment build up, or a bad winter storm can wreak havoc on your home’s water heater.

Boilers are like the motor of your home. They not only protect your family from the elements, they are needed to keep everything within your house at a temperature that it can function properly. But like anything, boilers can fail at the most inopportune moments due to faulty parts, pumps, or electrical components causing needed boiler repair.

Winterizing Tips

Water Heater Inspection

If you have a gas water heater, it’s important to keep an eye on the pilot, thermocouple, and pilot control valve. In electric water heaters, it’s important to inspect the thermostat and heating elements. A licensed warrior plumber will be able to assess these parts for faults and ensure they are working properly.

Sediment and other minerals also tend to build up on the bottom of water heaters. This causes your water heater to utilize more energy and lose efficiency over time. Your home’s water heater should be flushed out regularly to avoid build up and prevent damage.

Boiler Service

Just like your vehicle, boilers should be serviced on an annual basis to ensure they are working at optimum efficiency and properly heating your home.

Common Emergency 3: Clogged Drains

The third most common winter plumbing emergency we see is clogged drains. The winter season often consists of large holiday get-togethers and delicious foods. As a result, your drain lines may clog from time to time during the season.

Winterizing Tips

To prevent clogs, keep an eye out for oily or fatty foods and be careful of any stringy foods falling into the sink. You also want to be careful not to flush certain items, such as “flushable wipes” down the toilet, and follow these simple tips to avoid needing a garbage disposal repair.

We can be prepared if a clog does happen. We recommend always keeping a plunger in your kitchen and bathroom. In case of drains, you can use the plunger to dislodge the clog. Another handy tool is a plumbing auger or drain snake. This is an inexpensive tool that can be found at any local hardwood store. It helps you to dislodge a clog, snag it, and bring it out of the drain. If you have littles like we do, this is especially helpful to recover legos that accidentally made their way down the drain or their favorite action figure that just wanted to save the day. If you can see the object that is causing the clog but don’t have this tool, you can try to create a home-made auger by bending a hanger. Be careful though not to scratch your toilet or sink with the metal wire of the hanger.

In Need of a Baltimore Plumber? Call Warrior Plumbing & Heating

We understand that winter plumbing emergencies may still happen, despite the very best attempts at prevention. If you need us, we’re here to help – 24/7! Simply fill out our contact us form or call us at 443-967-3736.

A Homeowner’s Guide: How To Spot Bathroom Leaks And What To Do!

Finding a leak in the bathroom area is a common but stressful part of home ownership. Leaks can occur with the shower, bath, toilet, central heating, or other plumbing and can easily lead to an emergency situation. If addressed quickly though, many of these common leaks are simple and affordable to fix. We’ve put together this homeowner’s guide to identify the most common bathroom leaks and how to fix them before they become larger, more expensive issues.

Shower Leak in Bathroom

Bathroom leaks from showers can be difficult to find and can have a number of causes. These include leaks from: the shower itself, the shower waste pipe, the shower base, broken tiles/grout around the shower, the pipes feeding the shower, a broken or damaged water seal, and/or damage around the outside of the shower.

The most common form of leak caused by a shower is a splash leak. This type of leak occurs when water escapes the shower and splashes onto the walls or floor. Although this type of leak is common and often easier to address than other leaks, splash leaks can cause serious damage to your home. Signs of water damage include peeling paintwork and rotting flooring. Water puddles on vinyl flooring, for example, can cause the flooring to curl and deteriorate to such a level where it will allow water to come into contact with whatever is underneath – usually wood. These leaks can go unnoticed until water stains on the ceiling in the room below the bathroom begin to appear – highlighting a ceiling leak.

Typically, splash leaks are caused by using a bad or ineffective shower curtain, or old and worn caulking where the shower meets the floor. Even bathrooms with shower doors can be impacted though if the gasket is damaged or the frame is dislodged. These leaks can be spotted by inspecting pools of water around the outside of the shower after use. Keep in mind that water might take several minutes to appear. You might also notice damage or molding on the surrounding floor. Depending on the exact cause of the leak, a splash leak can be fixed by replacing your shower curtain, recaulking around the shower, replacing the shower door gaskets, or having a new frame installed. If severe, you may also replace your shower entirely.

If you are not aware of the cause of a shower leak or if you are in need of help, you can always consult with a Warrior professional to find the exact cause of a shower leak and get an estimate of the project cost before proceeding with next steps.

Bath Leak in Bathroom

Much like shower leaks, bath leaks can have multiple causes and be difficult to find. For example, a bath leak can be caused by: a plumbing leak to the bath, a leak from the plug or waste area, a broken or damaged overflow, damage to the seal around the bath, damage to the bath itself, and a damaged area around the outside of the bath.

One of the key differences between shower leaks and bath leaks is that, in some situations, bath leaks can lead to more emergent situations because of the volume of water involved. Often, the first sign of a bath leak is a ceiling leak in the room below. You can check all areas and seals for gaps but it is often difficult to spot leaks as the pipework can be hidden behind bathroom paneling and walls. If unable to identify where a leak is coming from or help is needed, it is best to consult a Warrior professional for further inspection and to propose an estimated cost with next steps

Toilet Leak in Bathroom

Another common source of bathroom leaks is in or around the toilet area. These leaks are typically more unpleasant as waste/sewer water can leak causing hygiene risks and bad smells. Generally toilet leaks are caused by the: plumbing to the toilet, the waste pipe from the toilet (after flushing), the mechanism of the toilet, and from a broken toilet base.

Your toilet is probably used quite often and damage can escalate quickly to become an expensive plumbing repair job. A toilet base leak can occasionally be fixed by simply tightening the bolts that connect the toilet to the floor. But you want to be careful not to tighten too much, or you can crack the base. If that does not solve the problem, you will have to remove the toilet and replace the wax gasket that connects the toilet to the flooring below.

Inspecting and replacing the base level components of your toilet is best left to a professional to ensure the issue is resolved and no further damage is done to the bathroom. Ignoring this problem can lead to water damage in other areas of your home – especially if the toilet is in an upper floor bathroom. If the leak worsens, it may be time to replace the toilet entirely.

Central Heating Bathroom Leak

A bathroom leak can occur within homes that have central heating as there is often a radiator or towel rail of some sort located within the bathroom. A radiator or towel rail located within a bathroom tends to experience daily use leading to further wear and tear. In some instances, this can contribute to the weakening of plumbing joints or connections which may then leak. Alternatively, leaks can occur from the actual radiator itself causing needed professional repair or replacement.

Need a Baltimore area professional plumber? Contact Warrior Plumbing and Heating

General plumbing leaks can surface within bathrooms where there are various connections to the water system, including the above list, as well as feeds to those items. It is no secret that ignoring these leaks in your bathroom can wreak havoc within your home, causing severe water damage and mold, which often demand large and costly project renovations in the future. If you are in need of a Baltimore area professional plumber to resolve your bathroom leak, please contact us by using our form on our website or by calling us at 443-967-3736. We are here to help with our 24/7 emergency service!

Top 5 Summer 2022 Plumbing Tips

The summer season holds a special place in most people’s hearts. It’s a sacred time to be outdoors, take vacations, go swimming, play sports, gather with family/friends, and do all the other fun things we like to do when the weather is nice.

These activities often mean an influx of traffic in the home coupled with extended vacation vacancies, which can put a strain the home’s plumbing system. We never really stop to question whether the home’s utilities are ready for the extra summer traffic though. Plumbing remains one of the most important utilities, because one unpleasant plumbing problem can cancel out the best summer day.

There are many proactive, preventative plumbing measures you can take to prepare for the warm weather so that you can spend your time enjoying it instead of worrying about potential plumbing issues. No matter the issue, it’s best to address it early before it becomes a big, expensive problem.

We’ve also pulled together this list of our top five summer plumbing tips to mitigate plumbing issues this summer and save on costs:

Check the Sump Pump

Summer often brings severe storms and, if you’re among the millions of homeowners who have a basement, you may have already experienced the aftermath of a storm.

sump pump is only activated when it is needed and is meant to pump water out of and away from your home to avoid flooding. It is often not obvious that your sump pump isn’t working properly until it is too late. Preventative sump pump maintenance allows your Warrior plumber to identify any issues before they cause any costly damage to your home. Your sump pump should be inspected regularly to ensure it works properly when it’s needed most. If you don’t have one, and any part of your home is below ground level, consider installing one. Your Warrior plumber can install one in a short amount of time and the cost is usually around $625. It’s a good and necessary investment to protect your home from flood damage.

This month, we at Warrior Plumbing and Heating are here to help you get all the benefits of a properly installed sump pump because we know just how important it is in protecting your home.

Now through the end of August, every customer of ours can receive our Warrior Summer Special of 10% off any new Sump Pump Replacement or Backup Install. To schedule, contact your licensed Warrior plumber online here or call us at 443-967-3736 today.

Inspect your Hoses and Valves for Leaks

Enjoying the adventure of the great outdoors during the summer months means that your water usage will likely be utilized the heaviest during the summer season. Loose hoses and connections can cause leaks and potential flooding. To prevent summertime leaks,

  • Inspect every hose for a tight fit
  • Turn all valves on and off to make sure they work
  • Examine your washing machine hose, which is a common summer plumbing problem

Don’t let loose connections linger. Contact a Warrior plumber for further inspection at the first sign of wear and tear so that you can avoid costly leaks.

Check the Hot Water Heater

Do you have plans to go on vacation this summer? Remember that your water heater does not have to remain on while you are away from home. Turning off your water heater will save energy and, as a result, will lower your monthly bill. The average water heater should be able to last within your home between 8 and 12 years. It is important though that your water heater is maintained to ensure its durability. At least once a year, your water heater should have the sediment removed and the unit should be cleaned. If going on a vacation, it may be a good idea to schedule such maintenance with a trusted Warrior plumber while you are gone.

Prevent Drain Clogs

The summer months often consist of family get-togethers and delicious foods. As a result, your drains may clog from time to time during the season. To prevent drain clogs, keep an eye out for oily or fatty foods and be careful of any stringy foods falling into the sink. These tend to clog small water drain lines and are easily preventable.

Consider Efficient Appliances

Certain water, gas, and electric appliances have more efficiency compared to others. When replacing old appliances, it is important to ask your licensed Warrior plumber about the durability of the new product. While it may cost more up front to purchase an efficient and reliable product, it could save you more in the long run when it comes to bill payments and probable replacements of less efficient appliance models.

Need help from a licensed Baltimore area professional plumber? Contact Warrior Plumbing and Heating

You can prepare for the summer season and avoid costly plumbing issues by following these top five plumbing tips. For help in checking that your home is in proper working order for the summer, contact your licensed Warrior plumber online here or call us at 443-967-3736 today.

Renovating Your Home In 2022

If you are a homeowner who is feeling antsy about your current home, you have two options: renovate or move. This is a tough decision, and there are many aspects to consider before deciding what is best for you and your family.

One of the most stressful life events according to 60 % of Americans is moving and, if given a choice between the two, approximately 76% of Americans would rather use a set amount of money to renovate their home instead of using the money on a down payment to move into a new home. Given our current state of the economy, we recognize that it is an incredibly expensive and difficult time to buy a home.

Warrior Plumbing and Heating has been known for its plumbing and heating expertise but we also have decades of construction experience under our MD Contracting License. If you decide renovating your home is the best option for you and your family, we can help manage your project from start to finish so that you can avoid the stress that comes along with moving and turn your home into the haven you need it to be!

Renovating your Home in 2022

Customize your Home to Fit your Needs

If you already have a house that you love, doing a remodel is the simplest way to live in a house that fits your needs. Remodeling lets you customize your current home without the hassle and stress of a big move. There are a range of customizations you can make but the most popular include:

  • Updating the current design;
  • Improving the ventilation to control stubborn mold/mildew;
  • Increasing the storage space;
  • Improving accessibility; and
  • Lowering utility bills with new, efficient fixtures and appliances.

Increase the Value of your Home

Beyond having a kitchen and or bathroom that you will be proud of, there are financial reasons that also make remodeling a good idea. Renovating is one of the best ways to strategically improve your home value. If you decide to move in the future, an updated kitchen and bathroom can help your home stand out among prospective buyers which will help your home to sell faster and for more money. Grow your house’s worth with smart projects and additions, and your net profit could skyrocket down the line.

Save Money on Moving

Moving is stressful — and it’s expensive. Why spend thousands on moving costs alone when you could renovate your bathroom and kitchen for the same price? The cost of moving is especially wasteful if you are only gaining minimal equity from your home sale.

Looking for a Professional Baltimore Area Bathroom and Kitchen Renovator?

If you are ready to tackle your next renovation project and discuss the vision for your home, contact us today by filling out our contact us form or calling us at 443-967-3736.

Garbage Disposal Repair

Garbage Disposal Repair, Replacement, and Maintenance for Summer 2022

Summer 2022 is quickly approaching, and with that, many families experience bustling activities and large gatherings within their homes. Garbage disposals are among the most popular appliances used over the summer months. These electrically powered devices located under the kitchen sink are so handy, but we often don’t realize all they do until they begin to malfunction. If not operated or maintained correctly, garbage disposals can require expensive repairs or replacement.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

When this inconvenience hits, there are a few things you should and should not do to solve the problem. For example, if you suspect your garbage disposal is broken and decide to repair it yourself, never place your hand down the drain into the disposal. Also, never pour an over-the-counter drain treatment as it can further damage the appliance. Instead, make sure the disposal is plugged in. If it is, try pressing the reset button found at the bottom of the appliance.

If resetting your disposal doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to contact a plumbing service. Not only is this a dangerous job for individuals to do themselves, but the slightest wrong move can damage your appliance beyond repair.

Is My Garbage Disposal Broken?

Consequently, some of the common signs that your garbage disposal may be broken include strange, humming like noises coming from the sink, leaks, or water that drains slowly. Damaged disposals are usually caused by improper disposal of food waste.

To avoid needing to replace your garbage disposal, avoid placing the following items inside the drain:

  • Glass, plastic, metal
  • Oils and fats
  • Large or hard food items
  • Potato peels
  • Expandable foods like pasta or rice
  • Bones, meat, skin
  • Fibrous foods
  • Apple seeds or peach pits

Garbage Disposal Repair Cost

Clogged drain lines should be looked at by a professional. Taking care of the matter yourself can not only further damage the disposal but endanger your safety. Hiring a reliable plumbing service is the best option and it does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. Reliable plumbing providers are also able to tell you if the garbage disposal is repairable or needs to be replaced. On average, repair costs are estimated at $225 and replacement costs are estimated at $425 but a higher replacement cost may be worth it given the damage and/or age of the appliance.

Hiring A Baltimore County Garbage Disposal Professional

Whatever the case may be, an experienced, licensed Warrior professional is able to repair your garbage disposal or install a brand new one for you in only a matter of hours, if needed. Maintenance is always best though as many plumbing problems can be prevented with a little knowledge and preparation. The best offense is a good defense and we’d be happy to schedule your annual plumbing inspection to keep your entire plumbing system healthy and efficient. For any future garbage disposal repair or replacement needs and to schedule your annual plumbing inspection, simply fill out our contact us form or call us at 443-967-3736.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2022: Help A Warrior

Not all wounds are visible. Veterans and military families impacted by the traumatic experiences associated with war, face significant challenges that can have long-lasting negative mental health effects. Nearly 1 in 4 active duty members show signs of a mental health condition and it is estimated that 20 veterans die of suicide every day. As a veteran-owned business, Warrior Plumbing and Heating wants to recognize May 2022 as Mental Health Awareness Month and help improve upon the obstacles faced by the over 365,000 Veteran brothers and sisters that call Maryland home.

Our own family’s veteran, Collin, enlisted in the Marine Corps where he served two tours in Afghanistan as an 0311 Infantryman. Over the course of his service, he was awarded with the Bronze Star “V” and the Purple Heart. After being medically retired and navigating his own obstacles, Collin joined the family business and, together, the family sought to give back to the Veteran community through our “Help a Warrior” program.

The Help a Warrior program was created in 2017 and provides free plumbing and heating services to a Veteran in need each month. Warrior Plumbing and Heating is able to serve Veterans who live in Baltimore and the surrounding areas of Maryland.

Are you a Warrior? Do you know of a Warrior in need? If so, please visit our website here and fill out our form for consideration.

Resources

Knowing what resources are available is critical to ensuring our Veterans and their family members get the help they need. The resources below provide critical services and information for the Veteran community.

Veteran Crisis Services:

Veterans Crisis Line

Connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. This resource is also available in Spanish.

The Veterans Call Center

An around-the-clock confidential call center where combat Veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life. The staff consists of combat Veterans from several eras as well as family members of combat Veterans. This benefit is prepaid through the Veteran’s military service.

The Military Help Line

A 24 hour, free, confidential crisis support for military service members, Veterans, and their families. This resource is also available in Spanish.

The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans

A 24/7 assistance for Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This resource is also available in Spanish.

General Resources (Including non-crisis emotional support):

NAMI Homefront

A free, 6-session educational program for families, caregivers, and friends of service members and veterans with mental health conditions.

National Resource Directory

A comprehensive website for wounded, ill, and injured Service Members, Veterans, their families, and those who support them.

Department of Veteran Affairs State Summary: Maryland

Veterans, families, and caregivers can access information about VA services like disability, pension, healthcare, eligibility, enrollment, and burial benefits, in addition to a self-service locator to find the nearest VA facility.

Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans (MCV)

A program under the Maryland Department of Health that collaborates with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, the Maryland National Guard, and the Maryland Defense Force to provide assistance to Veterans and their families to support a healthy transition to civilian life.

Military One Source

Offers a wide range of community resources and phone and text peer-to-peer support that serves all DoD, Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve personnel and their direct family members. This resource is also available in Spanish.

Objective Zero

Connects Veterans, service members, their families, and caregivers to peer support via voice, video, and text. It also provides free access to wellness resources like yoga and meditation.

Legal Resources:

Stateside Legal

Provides legal help and information for military members, veterans, and their families.

The Veterans Consortium

Operates a global, federal Veterans Pro Bono Program to represent Veterans unjustly denied benefits or compensation earned from military service. This resource is also available in Spanish.

In Need of a Professional Baltimore Area Plumber?

If you are a Veteran or know of a Veteran in need of a Baltimore area plumber, please visit our website here and fill out our Help a Warrior form for consideration. Greater Baltimore area residents can also contact us at 443-967-3736 for same day, 24/7 emergency service.

Spring Has Sprung… Check Out Our Seasonal Money-Saving Plumbing Tips!

Spring has sprung and warmer weather is soon on its way! During the spring and summer months, American families use about 50 % more water than the rest of the year in an effort to stay cool and hydrated. As a result, you may see a drastic rise in your household bills this season – especially with rising economical costs. To help you mitigate these costs, we’ve pulled together this list of our top five seasonal plumbing tips…

Spring Plumbing Tips for 2022

Inspect Your Hoses

Enjoying the adventure of the great outdoors during warmer months means that your washing machine hoses and water usage outside will likely be utilized heavily. Ensure your hoses are inspected as warmer weather sets in so that you can enjoy the season without needing to worry about possible leaks or damage within or outside your home.

Use More Efficient Appliances

Certain water, gas, and electric appliances have more efficiency compared to others. When replacing old appliances, it is important to ask your licensed Warrior plumber about the durability of the new product. While it may cost more up front to purchase an efficient and reliable product, it could save you more in the long run when it comes to bill payments and probable replacements of less efficient appliance models.

Maintain And Turn Off Your Water Heater

Do you have plans to go on vacation soon? Remember that your water heater does not have to remain on while you are away from home. Turning off your water heater will save energy and, as a result, will lower your monthly bill. The average water heater should be able to last within your home between 8 and 10 years. It is important though that your water heater is maintained to ensure its durability. At least once a year, your water heater should have the sediment removed and the unit should be cleaned. If going on a vacation, it may be a good idea to schedule such maintenance with a trusted Warrior plumber while you are gone.

Prevent Sink Clogs

Warmer weather often means spending more time at get-togethers with family and friends enjoying some delicious foods. As a result, your pipes and sinks may clog from time to time during the season. To prevent clogs, keep an eye out for oily or fatty foods and be careful of any stringy foods falling into the sink. These tend to clog small water pipes and are easily preventable.

Responsible Garden Maintenance

The best time to water your garden is either in the morning or at night. Watering in the middle of the day causes most of the moisture to be lost in evaporation whereas watering in the morning or night allows your garden to absorb most of the moisture. To save money and get the best results for your garden, you can ask your Warrior plumber to automate your sprinkler system accordingly. It is also wise to be careful about the presence of shrubs and trees in your garden. Any moisture will pull the roots further underground and may damage installed pipes around your house.

Need a Baltimore Area Plumbing Professional? Call Warrior Plumbing & Heating

You can prepare for the warmer weather and avoid costly bills by following these top five plumbing tips. For help in checking that your home is in proper working order, contact your licensed Warrior plumber today online or by phone at (443) 967-3736.

Water Heaters + Boilers: The Importance of System Efficiency in 2022

The only time we tend to think about our water heaters and boilers is when we experience an immediate problem. To avoid headaches and save more money, an important issue to consider long-term is the efficiency of these systems.

Did you know?

  • About 25 % of the energy used in your home goes toward heating your water.

  • By choosing a high efficiency water heater (instead of a standard water heater), you can cut your energy use by 10-50 %.

  • Boilers don’t waste water as they utilize a closed system. This means that they recycle heated water repeatedly and don’t use any more energy than the majority of the other available heating systems.

  • Your home could be wasting as much as 35 % of generated heat. By upgrading to a high-efficiency boiler, you can reduce wasted heat and cut fuel costs. This is a two-fold benefit. Your home gets more heat, and you save money. Some homeowners found that upgrading their boiler cut their bill by as much as 50 %.

Water Heater Efficiency in 2022

Your water heater needed to work harder than usual through Maryland’s cold winter months. As we move towards spring, it is important to resolve any underlying issues that could wreak havoc on your home’s water heater.

If you have a gas water heater, it’s important to check the pilot, thermocouple, and pilot control valve. In electric water heaters, it’s important to inspect the thermostat and heating elements. Additionally, sediment and other minerals tend to build up on the bottom of water heaters which can cause your water heater to utilize more energy and lose efficiency over time. A licensed warrior plumber is able to assess your water heater to ensure it is working properly, flush it out regularly to prevent damage, and help you upgrade to ensure efficiency over time. Not sure if an upgrade is right for you? Here are a few signs that may indicate its time:

Water Heater Age

Most water heaters begin to have problems when they’ve been in regular use for 8 to 10 years.

Water Heater Rust

Is your hot water less than clear? Or is rust visible on the storage tank or pipe connections?

Water Heater Noise

Water heaters should be relatively noiseless. If you notice rumbling noises increasing in volume it’s time to start shopping.

Water Heater Leaks

It pays to pay regular attention to your water heater. Catching a small leak can save you thousands of dollars in property damage.

Water Heater Temperature

If your hot water is becoming noticeably cooler, it may be in need of a new thermostat. If your heater is less than 7 years old, a new thermostat may be a good direction to go. If it’s older than 8 years old, odds are that more issues will start and you’ll be better off finding a replacement.

Boiler Efficiency in 2022

Boilers are like the motor of your home. They not only protect your family from the elements, they are needed to keep everything within your house at a temperature that it can function properly. But like anything, boilers can fail at the most inopportune moments due to faulty parts, pumps, or electrical components.

Just like your vehicle, boilers should be serviced on an annual basis to ensure they are working at optimum efficiency and properly heating your home. Unlike a vehicle though, it may not be obvious when to replace your boiler. Here are a few signs to look out for:

Boiler Age

Through consistent use, your boiler can experience wear and tear. Heating the metal can cause warping which can compromise the structure of the boiler. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, you likely need a new boiler. Older boilers will not only have warping, but compromised efficiency as well. They will lack safety features that keep everyone safe in your home. Replacing boilers now can save you money and it is best to get one before autumn and winter as demand ramps up during these seasons.

Boiler Inefficiency

Another reason to replace your boiler is when it starts to eat up more power or fuel. A boiler is an efficient system that relies on consistent heat to keep a higher temperature in your home. If your boiler stays lukewarm or takes hours before it can heat your home, you need a new boiler as soon as possible. There are many different reasons for a boiler going tepid and inefficient. Check if you can do maintenance or repair first. If the problem keeps coming back, replace the boiler with a fresh unit.

Boiler Leaks

Do you have leaks in your boiler? Are you noticing that the area around your boiler has puddles? If your boiler is leaking, you might want to buy yourself a new one. Leaking boilers tend to have a problem with the general structure of the entire boiler itself. This may come from the boiler itself or the pipes around it. A Warrior plumber can help inspect the general area when the boiler is off and replace it if needed.

Boiler Smells

A boiler’s entire process should not give off any type of odor. If you notice unfamiliar smells, you might want to put your boiler in for a repair. If the smell persists, you may need a new boiler. The range of odors that you may get from your boiler can come from rust deposits to dirt and sludge from the radiators. You may smell something metallic, which is rust. Also, make sure to check and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, but if you’re feeling ill out of nowhere, check if there’s a need for repairs.

Boiler Frequent Repairs

When your boiler is getting more and more repairs, you might want to consider replacing it in full. A boiler that needs consistent replacements means there is an inherent issue in the system itself. As boilers grow older as well, they get more and more expensive. Parts availability becomes an issue, until your total repairs may cost the same as a new boiler. If your boiler is having continuous issues and is starting to need 3 or 4 major repairs, consider replacing the entire unit.

Need a Baltimore Area Plumbing Professional? Call Warrior Plumbing & Heating

Stay ahead of potential home disasters and assess your home systems today. We’re here to help! Simply fill out our contact us form or call us at 443-967-3736.

Cold Weather Plumbing Tips

5 Cold Weather Plumbing Tips for Winter 2022

The arctic air has been brutal here in Maryland over the past few weeks and it looks as if the cold temperatures are here to stay for a little while, bringing ice and snow along with it. One of the top calls we receive in the winter months is for frozen pipes and, while we are here to fix any plumbing issue our clients may have, there are a few key areas of focus that can help prevent plumbing disasters caused by the colder weather:

Pipe Insulation

If any of your pipes are housed in non-heated areas, such as a basement or a garage, it is crucial to ensure these pipes are insulated. This protection will help keep your pipes from freezing.

Disconnect Outdoor Faucets

Water inside outdoor faucets can freeze and expand if they are left connected during colder temperatures. This expansion can cause connected faucets and pipes to freeze and break. To help prevent this, simply disconnect your water hoses, drain them of any remaining water, and store the hoses in a dry area.

Outdoor Faucet Leaks

After you disconnect any outdoor faucets, check for any leaks or drips that may need to be fixed. A leaking faucet can lead to water damage and severe plumbing issues during a freeze. Once your outdoor faucets are fully fixed, cover and insulate the faucets to avoid future issues.

Home Thermostat Temperature

If you are planning to head out of town, possibly somewhere a bit warmer, keep your home thermostat above 55 degrees.

Water Shut-off Valve

Do you know where your main shut-off valve is? If a frozen pipe does burst, the first course of action is to prevent further damage by shutting off the water to your home. Ensure that you and each person who lives in the home knows where the main shut-off valve is and how to turn it off.

In Need of a Baltimore Area Professional Plumber? Call Warrior Plumbing & Heating

We understand that plumbing issues such as frozen pipes may still arise, despite the very best attempts at prevention. A few common signs of frozen pipes include visible frost build-up, a lack of water, and/or sinks beginning to smell. If you notice any of these signs, we’re here to help – 24/7! Simply fill out our contact us form or call us at 443-967-3736.

Top 5 Tips to Winterize Your Home

Winter is coming! No, we are not talking about the white walkers, but rather our unpredictable, brutal Maryland winters. To prepare our homes for the season, we have put together this quick guide to winterizing your home.

With some preparation and a plan in place, we can endure this winter season feeling better than we did after watching the finale of Game of Thrones. To prepare your home for the upcoming winter season, Warrior Plumbing and Heating has pulled together a list of our top five winter maintenance tips:

Boilers

Boilers are like the motor of your home. They protect your family from the winter elements and keep everything within your house at a temperature that it can function properly. But like anything, boilers can fail at the most inopportune moments due to faulty parts, pumps, or electrical components. Just like your vehicle, boilers should be serviced on an annual basis to ensure they are working at optimum efficiency and properly heating your home.

Water Heaters

As the weather turns colder, your water heater needs to work harder than usual. This is also the time of year when we Marylanders want to pump more hot water into our sinks, tubs, and showers to stay warm. With this increased activity, underlying issues can emerge. Faulty parts, sediment build up, or a bad winter storm can wreak havoc on your home’s water heater. If you have a gas water heater, it’s important to keep an eye on the pilot, thermocouple, and pilot control valve. In electric water heaters, it’s important to inspect the thermostat and heating elements. A licensed warrior plumber will be able to assess these parts for faults and ensure they are working properly. Sediment and other minerals tend to build up on the bottom of water heaters. This causes your water heater to utilize more energy and lose efficiency over time. Your home’s water heater should be flushed out regularly to avoid build up and prevent damage.

Sump Pumps

A sump pump is only activated when it is needed and is meant to pump water out of and away from your home to avoid flooding. It is often not obvious that your sump pump isn’t working properly until it is too late. If your sump pump is exposed to any extreme temperatures, it may freeze and be able unable to operate. Preventative sump pump maintenance allows your Warrior plumber to identify any issues before they cause any costly damage to your home. Your sump pump should be inspected regularly to ensure it works properly when it’s needed most.

Pipe Insulation

If any of your pipes are housed in non-heated areas, such as a basement or a garage, it is crucial to ensure these pipes are insulated. This protection will help keep your pipes from freezing during the winter.

Outdoor Water Hoses, Outdoor Faucets, and Water Shut-Off Valve

Water inside outdoor faucets can freeze and expand if they are left connected during colder temperatures. This expansion can cause connected faucets and pipes to freeze and break. To help prevent this, simply disconnect your water hoses, drain them of any remaining water, and store the hoses in a dry area. After you remove the hose, check the faucet for any leaks or drips that may need to be fixed. A leaking faucet can lead to water damage and severe plumbing issues during a freeze. Once your outdoor faucets are fully fixed, cover and insulate the faucets to avoid future issues. You may also have an interior water shut-off valve in your home that is connected to outside faucets and plumbing. To avoid freezing, shut off the interior valve and open the outdoor faucet valve to ensure there is no remaining water in the line that could freeze.

In need of a Baltimore area professional plumber? Contact Warrior Plumbing and Heating

Stay ahead of the winter season. We’re here to help! Simply fill out our contact us form or call us at 443-967-3736.