After a year or more at home, many Virginians are venturing out on family vacations and trips. The fastest way to ruin a fun vacation is to return home to a plumbing surprise. Follow these few tips to protect your home while you’re traveling.
Check faucets and appliances.
Before you leave home, take one final lap around the house to make sure all the faucets are turned off and no appliances are leaking. Even the smallest drip can cause water damage if it’s left for several days.
Check your water heater.
It’s not recommended to turn your water heater off when you leave town, but you can lower the temperature. This will prevent it from cycling on and off, saving you money in the long run. Some newer models have a vacation mode setting that you can utilize when you go out of town.
Check your drains.
Make sure the drains are free of debris and clogs before you leave the house. When something sits in a drain, it not only prevents the drain from working properly when needed, but it can cause very foul odors in your home. It’s also a good idea to run the garbage disposal before you leave to make sure nothing is stuck.
Have a neighbor check-in.
It never hurts to have a trusted friend or neighbor check on your home while you’re away. If a problem were to arise, catching it early is the best way to prevent extensive damage.
If you’ve noticed something that needs to be repaired before a trip, contact Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Our experienced plumbing technicians are available to quickly assess the situation and make the necessary repairs. We also offer 24/7 emergency plumbing service when needed, so you can have peace of mind about your home while you are traveling.
When most people think of plumbing problems, they don’t attribute them to water pressure but this often-overlooked issue can cause serious problems in your home.
Water pressure refers to how hard and fast water travels through the pipes in your home. It is measured in pounds per square inch, commonly referred to as “psi”. The higher the psi, the more force the water is putting on your pipes. The ideal water pressure range for most homes is between 60 and 70 psi. If your water pressure is 80 psi or higher, you’re likely going to run into some serious plumbing problems.
Here are a few common signs your water pressure is too high:
High water pressure can quickly wear down pipes and appliances. Water lines, water heaters, washing machine hoses, and other fixtures are all at risk when the pressure is too high. It’s also important to note that water pressure above 80 psi is a code violation, meaning insurance companies may not cover water damage that was caused by high water pressure. It can also void any warranty you have on an appliance or fixture.
You can test your home’s water pressure by purchasing a water pressure gauge at any home store. If you’re concerned your home’s water pressure is too high, you can also take preventative measures by having a licensed plumber like Gilman Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing install a water pressure regulator. Gilman plumbing technicians are familiar with most water systems in the area and can correctly install the valve for you.
No one wants to deal with plumbing issues this summer – especially when they can be avoided by following simple guidelines. While high water pressure may feel good in the shower, it’s not worth the headache in the long run!
If you’re in need of plumbing service this summer, call the experts at Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing! You can put your trust in our experienced plumbers to quickly assess the situation and make the necessary plumbing repairs.
The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house. It’s also the location of a lot of pipes, fixtures, and appliances that can be susceptible to developing issues. In order to avoid major issues and improve the longevity of your home’s plumbing system, it’s important to follow a few simple maintenance tips.
1. Keep an eye out for leaks.
Hidden leaks are a common plumbing problem and one of the most expensive to fix. That’s why it is important to keep an eye out for any leaks originating from your kitchen sink, faucet, or other appliances. At the first sign of trouble, contact a local plumber to investigate and fix the problem before major damage can occur.
2. Take care of your faucet.
Plumbing issues can arise with the kitchen sink faucet simply due to the amount of use it gets. One way to ensure a longer-lasting faucet is to keep the faucet’s aerator clean. Over time, lime buildup or sediment can block the small openings in the aerator and result in lower water pressure or leaks. To clean the aerator, carefully unscrew it from the faucet and use a small brush to remove the sediment.
3. Prevent clogs.
Wherever there’s a drain, the potential for clogs exists. The kitchen sink is no exception. The best way to prevent clogs from forming is to be mindful of what goes into the sink. The most common culprits for kitchen sink clogs include coffee grounds, eggshells, fat, grease, oil, and starchy foods like rice and potatoes. There is a common misconception that it’s safe to send these items down the drain if they go through the garbage disposal first. In reality, these items can still cause clogs in a drain line even if they’ve been chopped into tiny pieces. Periodically cleaning your kitchen sink drain with dish soap, warm water, and vinegar will help break apart any debris before it can form a large blockage.
Keep making happy memories in the kitchen this summer without the plumbing issues! If you do find yourself in need of plumbing service or repair, contact Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to address all your residential plumbing problems. We’re even available 24/7 should an emergency arise!
It may seem like most plumbing problems occur in the winter season when temperatures plummet and the weather gets extreme, but the summer months can bring their fair share of plumbing issues as well. One thing is for sure, there is never a convenient time to experience plumbing problems.
Luckily, most summer plumbing problems can be avoided or remedied with some easy fixes. As always, the technicians at Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing are on hand to provide plumbing service whenever you need it. No project is too big or too small!
Summer downpours can quickly turn into unexpected flooding problems, especially here in the South. If your home uses a sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition as we enter the summer months to avoid flooding issues in your basement or cellar. The master plumbers at Gilman have the knowledge and expertise to detect, diagnose, and fix a wide range of plumbing problems when it comes to sump pumps. If you’re experiencing sump pump issues or just want to prepare for the summer months, give us a call!
2. Clogged kitchen disposals
Backyard barbeques, fresh produce, and grilling out are just a few of the summer bonuses we get to enjoy now that warmer weather is here! The downside is that all of the hard fruit and vegetable scraps can wreak havoc on your garbage disposal. To avoid any major clogs, make sure you’re tossing things like melon rinds, corncob husks, and greasy foods into the trash and not the disposal. Running cold water for a few seconds before and after using the garbage disposal can also help clear out any remaining bits of food and prevent clogs.
3. Washing machine issues
Summertime fun often comes with extra loads of laundry in the form of sweaty clothing and wet towels. Before placing any extra strain on your machine, make sure the machine’s hoses are in tip-top shape. A Gilman plumbing technician can examine the hoses for leaks, cracks, or bulges that could result in a burst line. If possible, try not to leave the house while the washing machine is running. The amount of damage from a burst line can accumulate quickly if no one is home to address the issue immediately.
4. Sprinkler problems
If you have a sprinkler in your yard, be sure to check it for wear and tear. Sprinkler heads are easy to damage – especially when mowing the grass – and undetectable leaks can lead to a massive water bill! By examining the sprinkler heads and lines before use, you can avoid an expensive utility bill down the road. If you do notice damage to your sprinkler, a local hardware store can provide all the replacement parts you would need to fix it!
5. Clogged drain lines
As the temperature rises in the summer, trees spread their roots under the ground searching for water. Unfortunately, they’ll often go straight to underground pipes or drain lines. Older sewer lines are especially vulnerable since rust and cracks can allow roots to do significant damage. They can also let water from heavy rains seep into the pipes and back up into your toilet or tub. Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is always on call for these types of stinky emergencies.
Whether it’s an overflowing toilet, a broken pipe, or a clogged drain, plumbing issues can put a damper on the summer fun. It’s important to always address plumbing problems as soon as possible in order to prevent major property damage. The experts at Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing understand how much plumbing problems can disrupt your summer plans. Call us for exceptional plumbing service any time this summer!
It's almost Memorial Day Weekend, which marks the unofficial start of summer in Virginia. Whether you are enjoying time at the river, beach, or a backyard cookout, we hope you have a wonderful time. With summer on the horizon, we wanted to share a few tips to get your air conditioning ready for the warmer weather!
1. Check the outside unit. Over the winter and spring, it is likely that some debris has piled up around your outdoor AC unit. Be sure to clear that away and inspect it for any damage that may have occurred.
2. Don't forget about your filters. Make sure you start the season with clean filters.
3. Inspect your ductwork. Check the exposed ductwork for any signs of damage.
4. Check your indoor vents. Make sure they aren't being blocked by furniture, rugs, etc.
5. Have a maintenance check. It's always a good idea to have regular maintenance checks for your unit.
If you are in need of a maintenance check or have questions about your air conditioning, please contact us today!