Lifeline Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Blog

Common Causes Of Indoor Flooding And How You Can Prevent Them

October 5th, 2017

plumbing contractorOne of the worst scenarios every homeowner dreads is indoor flooding. Indoor flooding is a big problem in itself, but then it can also cause a whole slew of damage once it’s fixed. The good news is that emergency plumbing services are only a call away to come help you before your indoor flooding problem becomes a disaster.

But what causes homes to flood in the first place? After all, if you haven’t had an indoor flooding incident before, you’ll want to be prepared to keep it from happening in the future. Below are some of the most common problems that plumbers see when it comes to indoor flooding.

  1. Clogged sinks
    Possibly the number one cause of many indoor flooding incidents are clogged sinks. Although a clog can sometimes allow for water to continue to drain, your sink can still overflow if you forget about the slow drainage. The best way you can help to avoid an indoor flooding problem caused by a clogged sink is to fix the clog as soon as you begin to notice the water draining slowly. A plumbing repair company will be able to fix the problem a lot faster the earlier the problem is detected. Additionally, the earlier you detect a problem the more likely you’ll be able to save money; homeowners can save up to 10% on their water utility by fixing household water leaks early on.
  2. Clogged gutters
    It’s typically recommended that homeowners clean their roofing gutters at least twice a year. This is because when debris and leaves build up in your gutters, the water it’s meant to drain, well… doesn’t drain. Instead, it builds up, backs up, and overflows onto your roof, your foundation, and finally the inside of your house. This can result in molding as well as indoor flooding. Therefore, be sure to keep your gutters clear and regularly cleaned.
  3. Clogged drain pipes
    If the water in your shower, toilet, or sink refuses to drain there may be a problem with your main drain pipe. Depending on the size of the clog, you may need a professional plumbing contractor to swing by and remove it. A plumbing contractor can use a mechanical snake to remove the clog from your main drain pipe.

Indoor flooding is something no homeowner wants to deal with, which is why it’s so important to know the early signs of a sink, gutter, or drainage clog. Early detection and routine maintenance performed by a professional plumbing contractor can keep a plumbing problem from becoming a plumbing disaster.

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3 Common Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

September 21st, 2017

plumbing contractor

Indoor plumbing may date back to at least 2,500 B.C., but the problems that homeowners face today likely weren’t around back then. For example, needing an emergency plumber. There are several reasons to contact an emergency plumber that aren’t necessarily the homeowner’s fault like weather or just the age of a home. But mistakes happen, which may require a plumbing contractor to fix them.

To help you avoid committing one of these mistakes, we’ve outlined a few of the more common ones that homeowners suffer from. Here are a few of the more common mistakes that will lead you to call plumbing services:

Using The Garbage Disposal Too Much
A garbage disposal, despite the name, is not a place where you should put all your food waste. In truth, a lot of it simply doesn’t fit and will clog the system. The blades will stop turning, and then you’ll have to contact a plumbing contractor to get them unstuck. Items like potato peels and large or tough food scraps should never go into the garbage disposal.

Overusing Drain Cleaning Chemicals
This might come as a surprise, but drain cleaner is actually not good for your drains. They’re very strong, very heavy-duty, cleaning products. They remove clogs but can involve extremely harsh chemicals that can damage pipes and wear them away.

Don’t feel the need to use drain cleaner on clogged toilets or pipes, either. In these situations, you should contact a plumber. Sometimes things are simply out of your hands, and you’d best turn to a professional to handle the issue.

Leaving The Hose Connected In Winter
This is a very common mistake, but you should always disconnect your garden hose in the winter. You could even turn off the water line that leads to your outdoor spigot. Not doing this can lead to a pretty devastating indoor flood, as the pipes can freeze and burst.

Taking a few minutes to disconnect the outdoor plumbing and water lines can save you a disaster and a need to call an emergency plumber. Do this before the first hard freeze and you should be just fine.

Being a homeowner is a difficult thing, especially if you’re new at it. You want to make sure that you do everything in your power to avoid the little mistakes, like the ones above. Doing so will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

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3 Fall Plumbing Preparation Tips

September 8th, 2017

plumbing companiesFall is just around the corner, and that means preparing your home for cooler weather. One of the best ways to prepare your home for the upcoming season is to look at your plumbing systems.

Having a plumbing inspection performed by professional plumbing companies can be a good way to gear up for the colder months. This is especially true if you live in areas like the Midwest, which see significantly colder temperatures.

You might not think that you need to have your plumbing checked, but somewhere around 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons of water or more a day. With the risk of freezing pipes, these leaks are serious stuff for professional plumbers. Here are a few things you should do to get started on fall preparations:

Check Your Home Sewer System
You might not believe it, but the fall, winter, and spring months can actually overwork your sewer systems. If you’ve had issues in that past that might occur again in the future, or have had the same issue multiple times, then you might need to contact one of your local plumbing companies to take a look. There’s nothing worse than having to call an emergency plumber in the middle of the night because your sewer system ruptured.

Perform Water Heater Maintenance
Annual maintenance on your water heater is crucial to extending the life of the heater itself. While most water heaters will last anywhere between eight and 12 years, flushing them yearly tends to increase their efficiency. That means you can save money on your future utility bills. If you’re looking for an easy way to save, look no further than routine water heater maintenance.

Turn off Your Hose Bib
This is important. If your hose bib isn’t turned off properly, water can freeze in the supply line and burst the pipes. And that’s one of the worst situations to be in. You want to make sure that you turn off your hose bib and the inside of your water supply line. You’ll likely need a professional to do this, so contact one of your local plumbing companies. Having a frost-proof hose bib installed before the first frost is also a good idea.

Take the time to do the little pre-winter preparations on your home listed above. Doing so will save you money and frustrations down the line, and keep your home in great condition.

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Keep Your HVAC System Running Stronger, Longer

August 14th, 2017

top rated hvac systems

You probably don’t think much about it, but you use your heating and cooling system (or your HVAC system) daily to either heat or cool your home. As the seasons and the temperatures change, your system can undergo a lot of wear and tear that can hurt even top rated HVAC systems. You shouldn’t ignore this until its too late and you’re calling a local HVAC company or HVAC repair contractor.

You should try to get the most out of your system by putting together a plan to take care of it, and you can start with a few easy things:

  1. Make Sure It’s Properly Sized
    You need to make sure that you have the proper size for your unit and your capacity needed. A unit that is over capacity will not be as energy efficient, while an undersized one will result in uncomfortable temperatures, especially during climate extremes.
  2. Change Filters Regularly
    Energystar.gov encourages homeowners to change filters on the regular — at least once every two to three months. This can help keep your air quality pure and clean and keep you from getting sick. Clogged filters can also damage your system’s parts and result in costly repairs. You should check it at monthly to keep up to date on its status.
  3. Get Routine Maintenance
    Even top rated HVAC systems need routine maintenance to keep them in the best condition, and you need to do your part in this. Inspect wiring for any damages caused by wild animals and sweep away yard debris and similar things.
  4. Have Professional Seasonal Maintenance Done
    Preventative maintenance contracts are usually some of the best things that you can do for your HVAC unit. They should be scheduled semi-annually and should be viewed as a proactive approach to taking care of your system. Contact HVAC service companies to get the best plans for your unit.
  5. Understand Efficiency Ratings
    When making an investment in your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump, you should inquire about the efficiency rating. This can tell you how that unit will utilize fuel and energy sources, and how much of an increase or decrease in costs per month you can expect.

These are just a few ideas of what you can do to keep your HVAC unit in the best condition for the longest time. If you have further questions or want to make a professional maintenance plan, contact us. We’ll be glad to help.

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Why Replacing Your Sewer Line Should Be Left To a Professional

July 27th, 2017

sewer line replacementIf you’re dealing with sewer line repair, it can be difficult to know what exactly you’re up against. Sewer line replacements might not seem like a do-it-yourself project, more of something for your local plumbing contractor, but sometimes that can cost thousands of dollars. It can be tempting to do it yourself.

Sewer lines can be having issues from clogs or broken lines, and that can cause backflow water, and create a disgusting odor. You should make sure you’re ready to fix it right away.

But before you start with the repairs or a sewer line replacement, you should keep these tips in mind:

Find The Source
One of the best ways to do this is getting a camera that can be pushed into the pipes. It can cost a few hundred dollars, but it can save a lot of money in the long term. Now, there can be many issues, including the two above, so you need to find them, and address them based on what the issue is.

Get The Local Plumbing Codes First
But, before you start, you better do some research and find the local plumbing codes and safety regulations. They can have valuable information regarding regulations for plumbing repairs.

Some states, like Illinois, states that all piping more than five feet from building foundations are to be considered as part of the septic system. This kind of regulation could put a hamper in your repair plans, or change them, so you’re better off knowing.

Also, getting the advice or assistance of a professional for things like sewer line replacement can save you hassle, especially if you don’t really understand the regulations. Do it yourself might be above you, and there’s no shame in that.

Find Local Plumbers
If you feel that the project is above you for whatever reason, turning to the assistance of a local plumber can be a good idea. You should shop around for the best professional services by asking your friends, or by checking online forums. Check their years of experience and what kind of feedback they’ve gotten, primarily.

You want to get the most information before hiring anyone to fix something as vital as the sewer system of your home.

Sewer line replacement isn’t a job that just any home owner can do themselves, and should really be left to professionals. If you think you can handle it, make sure you know what you’re fixing or replacing, and know the regulations for your local area. If not, contact a plumber. We’ll be glad to help you.

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Clogged Drain? Here Are Some Methods To Help

July 12th, 2017

drain cleaning

There are a lot of reasons that your home could require drain cleaning. A chemical concentration, good product, grease accumulation — all reasons that your drain could become clogged. These clogs could require plumbing services if left alone or not prevented.

However, there are ways that you can perform drain cleaning on your own and prevent the need to reach out to local plumbers for assistance for simple matters. Keep in mind that these methods only work on clogs that are small and not yet serious.

If you have a serious issue, please call a plumbing contractor. A professional plumber spends four to six years as an apprentice in some states as a requirement to get their license, and so they are experts in these fields.

Flush With Hot Water
Hot water is an easy solution that is often overlooked due to how simple it is. You can clean your pipes by flushing them with hot water through a combination of water pressure, heat, and force.

Running hot water through the pipes for around 15 minutes is the optimal time frame for this solution. The best part is that it requires nothing more than a working faucet.

Use Your Own Tools
A plunger, a drain cleaning snake, anything that might be in the average home can be used for a DIY cleaning method. There are even specially made sink plungers to unclog your bathroom or kitchen sink drains.

A drain snake can be purchased at a local home improvement store for around $25 to $50, and it offers a return on investment after a single use. These are what most plumbers would use to do basic drain cleaning.

Using one is rather simple, but here are some techniques to try:

  1. Begin by feeding the snake into the pipes and turning the handle until you encounter resistance.
  2. Rotate the snake against the blockage, allowing it to latch on to the clogging material.
  3. Slowly pull the snake from the pipes to remove the materials and run the water to remove residue in the pipes

And there you have it — a simple, easy, and perfectly acceptable way to do drain cleaning on small blockages.

Try Liquid Cleaners
If the above methods don’t work, you can turn to liquid cleaners or chemical cleaners. If you’re worried about the damage that a commercial cleaner can have, you can try a home-made mixture instead. They break down and dislodge any drain pipe buildup affecting the pipes and don’t run the risk of pipe damage or deterioration after extended use.

A common one is a simple vinegar and baking soda mixture. They react when combined to break down materials in the pipes, and they don’t have effects on the structure of the pipe walls.

To use this mixture, pour one cup of each down the drain pipes, then follow with a pan of boiling water after five or so minutes. This should dislodge any materials in the drain.

Those are just some methods of at-home drain cleaning to consider. However, it is recommended that you call a professional if you feel that you won’t be able to properly clean your drain or don’t want to risk causing more harm than good. If you have any questions about hiring a professional plumber or performing drain cleaning, give us a call.

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Keep an Eye Out for These Common Plumbing Mistakes!

June 27th, 2017

plumbersEvery home has a plumbing system set up, so it is crucial that every homeowner does what they can to ensure their plumbing runs as smoothly as possible. However, there are plenty of plumbing myths floating around the Internet that are not approved by our Elgin IL plumbers. Here we set the record straight for you by clearing up some common plumbing mistakes that we see often.

The Mistake: Leaving your outdoor hose connected in the wintertime.
Leaving your outdoor hose on during colder temperatures can cause your water lines to freeze, and even worse, rupture completely. So when you are cleaning up your yard for the winter, be sure to remove the house and turn off the water supply to that specific faucet.

The Mistake: Using drain cleaner in your toilet.
Drain cleaners are appropriate to use in sinks and tubs, but never in toilets or washing machine drain pipes. If you need to clean these areas make sure to contact your nearest plumbers so they can do it effectively the first time.

The Mistake: Overusing the trash disposal.
Despite its name, a trash disposal is not meant for any and all trash. Only small, easily broken down items should be used with the trash disposal — so keep the watermelon and pumpkin rings, vegetable and fruit peels, and even oils away.

The Mistake: Hanging your toiletries on shower heads.
Simply put, placing too much weight on your shower fixtures will cause them to snap right off and potentially create a leak and a broken shower wall. Instead, invest in shower storage to minimize your risk.

The Mistake: Joining different metals without proper connectors.
In the world of plumbing, not all metals are created the same. Copper and silver metals, for example, can only be connected with a specific tool that minimizes leaks and corrosion. This small piece of equipment also has the potential for making your wallet happy, as it will cut down the amount of water you waste every day. Considering that 10% of all homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more a day, imagine what you would be able to save!

If you have found that you have accidentally fallen victim to any or all of these mistakes, don’t worry yet! There are many plumbers near you willing to help you out and get your plumbing back to normal in no time.

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Don’t Take The Risk Of Fixing It Yourself – Contact a Plumbing Professional

June 14th, 2017

plumbing serviceYou put a lot of money into your home. Whether that be the flooring, the walls, the appliances, or just the various pieces of furniture within it. You put a lot of your time, energy, and money into making that space a home for you.

Which is why it’s critical to protect your home and that investment from anything that could harm or ruin it. A plumbing issue is one such thing.

Your average 2,000 square foot home that experiences a one-inch flood of water from a leaking or burst pipe can face about $20,920 in total damages. That is including damages to the home, and to the property in the home.

In those key situations where your home has experienced these issues, or you suspect that it may soon experience them, you need to make the right call. You may have confidence in your ability to repair the damage yourself, but should you really risk it?

Unless you’re a trained and certified plumber, you might not have the skills or knowledge necessary to fix some issues, and it’s not as simple as replacing a pipe or taping a leak.

Plumbing service providers have the ability to work on a large scale of issues, including the advanced ones that could cause you to lose thousands of dollars. Plumbing contractors offer a worry free solution to your plumbing repair needs.

They work on your home, giving you the knowledge that a trained professional is there, doing the work, and you can feel secure. Often, they will even give advice on how to avoid the issue in the future.

Some of the benefits of contacting a professional plumbing service provider are that you don’t have to purchase the tools to do the job yourself, you don’t have to worry about making a mistake (as there’s no guarantee you’ll do the job right), and you can have many problems fixed in one visit.

There is also the knowledge that any mistakes that have been done by the plumber that may cause more damage to your home, is covered by insurance through the company you hired. Something that you couldn’t claim had it been your own hands that did the work.

If you have any questions about how a plumbing services company could benefit you, or just on general plumbing issues, contact us. We’ll be happy to answer them for you.

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Considering Trenchless Piping? Here Are 3 Benefits To Keep In Mind

June 7th, 2017

trenchless pipe repair

Plumbing is one of the oldest technologies on the planet, dating back to at least 2500 B.C. It’s also one of the most important, with an entire trade dedicated to it, with professional plumbers skilled in all manner of plumbing situations.

One of the newest and preferred methods of plumbing is the “trenchless pipe” version. These are preferred because of the lack of digging that is required in order to perform the job, especially for trenchless pipe repair. Unlike traditional plumbing repair, this is a little more complicated than your traditional home plumbing and may require a professional familiar with the technology.

If you do choose to hire a professional for your trenchless pipe repair, here are some of the benefits you can expect.

  1. Minimal Resources Used
    It may seem like the initial costs of a trenchless repair are equal, or even greater, than that of a traditional plumbing repair, but when you take multiple factors into account, that quickly appears to be false. These factors are time, labor, and post-repair costs.

    Trenchless is also more green than traditional options, as you use the broken and damaged piping as a skeleton for the new pipes in most instances. No resource wasted.
  2. Little Labor Needed
    Unlike with traditional methods of pipe repair, which can mean a lot of labor-intensive work like digging up piping and other aspects, trenchless has a far less initial labor investment. Your pro-plumber will not have to dig at all, they just need access to the entry points on the pipes.
  3. Longer Lasting Repair
    The modern pipe repair and replacement methods don’t use the metal and plastics of the past, which had a higher degree of needing replacement or breaking. Instead, there are perma-liner and epoxy resins, which have a higher performance and can last longer than 50 years in some instances.

There are, of course, other benefits like the removal of the landscaping fees from not having to dig, and the convenient nature of trenchless piping technology because you don’t have to relocate and disrupt your day due to the work needing to be done.

If you have any questions about trenchless repair and what it can do for you, or if it may be right for your lifestyle and meet your needs, contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

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3 Major Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair

May 31st, 2017

trenchless sewer repair

You have so many responsibilities as a homeowner, it can be difficult to keep up with all of them. That’s your job, though, otherwise you probably shouldn’t have purchased the house. There are certain aspects of your home that, when issues arise, you can take care of. But there are also plenty of problems that require professional assistance.

Some household plumbing issues, for example, can be quite minor, but can actually lead to serious structural damage and end up costing you a fortune to get them fixed. Contacting emergency plumbing services and having professions fix simple household water leaks can even save as much as 10% on your water bill.

Major plumbing issues, however, require a little more effort than a simple water leak might. Luckily, trenchless sewer repair is available to you as an efficient option. Here are a few benefit of trenchless sewer repair.

Much more visually appealing
Rather than having your yard or driveway dug up, resulting in often permanent damage, trenchless repair is a much better option. The technology involved in trenchless repair allows professionals to fix any drain, pipe, or sewer issue in a non-invasive way and without ruining the visual appearance of your property.

Much more convenient
These trenchless sewer jobs are finished much faster than traditional jobs that require major digging. You’ll save both time and money choosing to work with trenchless affordable plumbing companies than conventional contractors. Because these jobs are done so quickly, you won’t have such high labor payments you otherwise would have had with a more invasive approach.

A better job well done
Because the innovative technology that trenchless plumbers rely on, the tools are much more accurate and result in a higher quality repair job. The old way of doing things, after your property has been destroyed and completely dug up, often resulted in poor repair jobs because of the human error. Trenchless tools and machine, on the other hand, can get a job done with nearly 100% accuracy and precision.

If you are in need of emergency plumbing services or just want to learn more about the trenchless sewer repair industry, contact Lifeline Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today!

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