5 Easy Ways to Maintain Your Water Heater

Your water heater is an appliance that you may not give much thought to – until one day you find yourself without hot water. We rely on hot water throughout the home for things such as showering and bathing, clean clothes, and dishwashing. With some regular maintenance your water heater will service you for years, so read on for 5 tips to maintain your appliance and avoid costly repairs.

  1. Insulate your water heater. The colder weather we experience during the Winter months can cause water pipes anywhere in your home to freeze. Frozen water pipes can burst and result in expensive repairs, including the purchase of a new water heater. Insulating the tank itself helps keep water warm throughout the day and stops pipes from freezing.
  2. Change your Anode Rod. You may not know what an anode rod is, or may not be aware that it prevents your heater from corroding. Through a process called electrolysis the anode rod attracts calcium and mineral buildup and keeps the water heater from rusting inside.
  3. Adjust the temperature setting. The temperature of hot water is very much a seasonal preference, as most people prefer it hotter during cold winter months. During summer months, using a lower setting will not be as hard on the tank and as a bonus you’ll save some money.
  4. Check your TPR valve. The temperature release valve is there to prevent the water from becoming too hot by releasing some water to relieve pressure inside the tank. Simply place a bucket under the valve, open and close it once, and if the tank continues to drain the valve need replacing.
  5. Clean the tank. Even if your Anode Rod is doing its job it doesn’t hurt to flush the tank periodically. To clean the tank, open and close the water supply continuously until the water runs clear. Follow by opening the water supply to refill the tank and turn the power back on.

By carrying out the above maintenance suggestions, you can certainly extend the life of your water heater. Eventually your water heater will need replacing or you may require the services of a plumbing contractor in Victoria BC.  Plumbing emergencies can happen anytime, so it’s reassuring to know the professionals at Goodsense Plumbing and Drain are there 24/7 for you.

5 Warning Signs of a Clogged Drain

As a homeowner you know that a sewer pipe carries the household wastewater from your home to a main sewer line. You may take it for granted and never give it a thought, unless of course you discover sewage coming out of your drain.

Any homeowner who has experienced this first hand is aware of the tremendous damage it can cause. Having a single clogged drain is inconvenient, so imagine the damage to your personal belongings and costs of repairs due to a clogged sewer line.

While you want to take care of any plumbing problem, there are some ways to determine if you are dealing with a secondary drain problem or a main sewer drain clog:

  1. The number one warning sign of a sewer line problem is a gurgling toilet. Should you notice a toilet gurgling after using any water in the house, particularly after doing laundry or using the dishwasher, you have a sewer line problem.
  2. Anytime you use any water in the house and it not only causes the toilet to gurgle but comes up the bathtub and/or floor drain, it’s an indication you have a clogged sewer line.
  3. If any drain is slow to drain it’s likely that only that drain is clogged, but when all your drains are slow AND your toilet gurgles you have a clogged sewer line. The most likely culprits are a buildup of grease or roots.
  4. If your kitchen or bathroom sinks are clogged but you can still flush toilets without water coming up in the tub and/or floor drains, the problem is just a single clogged drain. You may notice the water level in a toilet rising and then dropping, which is a sure sign there is a problem in the system. It could be only that one toilet, or the beginnings of a bigger problem.

If you’ve narrowed the cause to a clogged sewer line, it requires immediate attention from a plumbing contractor. In Victoria contact Goodsense Plumbing for prompt drain cleaning service.

How Often do I Need to Replace My Water Line?

Since the 1950’s copper has been the primary material used to bring water from the street to your home. Under normal conditions copper can last as long as 100 years, however sometimes problems arise that may result in a need to replace your waterline. Make yourself aware by reading below:

Corrosion

Although copper pipes are resistant to many kinds of corrosion, there are 2 types to which they are susceptible. Formicary and pitting corrosion are caused by the presence of formaldehyde and chlorine particles in the soil and air. Over time these types of corrosion can degrade the copper and result in leaks. If left unchecked, the pipe will be damaged and require replacement.

Tree Roots

Everyone enjoys having trees for the privacy and shade they provide, and having trees on your property even increases the value of your home. It may come as a surprise to realize that tree roots are a major threat to your water lines. A tree anywhere near your waterline means the root system could grow into the pipe, as roots will naturally seek out any source of moisture. Catch the problem early and cut the roots out to prevent further damage and save you from replacing the whole pipe. If left unchecked, the root system could end up obstructing the flow of water through the pipe and possibly crack the pipe, causing it to need replacing.

Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs

There are some warning signs that your waterline may have been damaged by a tree root system or by corrosion and they should not be ignored. For example, a stammering faucet could be an indication that your waterline is leaking. Uncovering and fixing the problem as soon as you suspect an issue can save you money.

If you have concerns about your waterline or other plumbing issues, residents searching for Victoria BC Plumbing Companies can call upon the professionals at Goodsense Plumbing Heating & Drain Cleaning.

How to Lower Water Bills in The Winter

The winter months are a time when families and friends gather to enjoy the holidays, visit and share time together. This extra company can lead to higher utility costs in the winter months, including water bills. Below are some tips that could help lower those bills.

Maintenance

Leaks that you may not be aware of can easily add up and result in higher water bills throughout the winter months. One of the best ways to prevent leaks is to schedule regular maintenance, both for your main plumbing as well as for the various plumbing appliances. Regular maintenance allows the technician to find and fix any problems with the system which can prevent water waste and save money in repair costs if caught early.

Prompt Repairs

Any time you notice a problem with your plumbing, it’s wise to address it quickly as an issue can escalate and cause further damage to your system and appliances. Prompt attention will save you money on your water bills over time and lower repair costs as mentioned above.

Replacement

Everything from water heaters to plumbing pipes have an expiration date and will need to be replaced eventually. When part of your system is getting old or too worn out to operate properly it’s a good idea to replace it now. Older plumbing systems are more prone to develop leaks and malfunctions up to and including full breakdowns. The new low flush toilets and low flow shower heads available can help lower water bills not only in the winter, but all year round. Older shower heads put out 4-5 gallons/minute while a low flow shower head has an output of 1.5 gallons/minute and still provides a forceful shower. Low flush toilets use 4.48 litres less compared to the 6 litres needed in older models. Both will provide savings over the year.

If you suspect your plumbing systems are in need of replacement, contact our plumbing contractors in Victoria BC.

Winter Plumbing Tips

As a homeowner plumbing problems are bad news and even bigger problems happen as the temperature drops here in Victoria BC. Spending time to go through the following checklist could prevent some unexpected problems this winter.

  • Fix all plumbing leaks. Add freezing temperatures to any water leaks and you have a recipe for disaster. To prevent future problems do a visual check of all pipes indoors as well as outside. Stopping any leaks now can save your plumbing as well as money.
  • Insulate pipes. Check the attic, crawl space, garage, anywhere pipes might be subject to freezing temperatures. If you can see them wrap them in plumbing insulation foam, insulating pipes is very effective when it comes to preventing frozen pipes.
  • Outdoor taps. It’s very important to protect taps outdoors that are even more exposed to cooler temperatures. Remember to disconnect garden hoses in the event water left in the hose freezes which could affect the tap. Drain any water from the garden hose itself before storing it for the winter.
  • Sprinkler systems. Winterize the underground sprinkler system by turning off the water then flushing out any collected water. Lastly turning on each individual valve in the system will rid the system of water that could freeze.
  • Locate your water main. Do you know where your main water shutoff is located? This one piece of information could save you tens of thousands of dollars in water damage restoration and flood cleanup. In the event you experience a burst water pipe you’ll be able to quickly turn off the water and minimize damage. You might choose to ignore the tips listed above or follow through with all of them. If you only do one thing on the list make sure you know where the water shutoff is located keeping access free of clutter.

If you have any questions regarding these tips or if we can be of service, call us today.

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Cleaning Your Drains

Sooner or later it happens and you wind up with a clogged drain in one of your sinks. Let’s face it those drains are subject to all manner of things whether it’s hair, grease, lint or even some unknown object that can create a clog. In a misguided attempt to save a few dollars we try to deal with the problem ourselves with mixed results. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid.

  1. The garden hose. Some people believe the added pressure of a garden hose will clear the clogged drain. So they drag that dirty garden hose inside connect it to the tap and blast away. Apart from the mess this DIY fix creates you could wind up damaging the pipes.
  2. Drain augers. This equipment can be useful but probably best left in the hands of a professional. Otherwise you could end up damaging your pipes and this tool is not very useful for larger piping.
  3. Chemical drain cleaners. Commercial drain cleaners rely on harsh chemicals to clear drains and all too often don’t deliver as promised. If an obstruction is the problem they are completely useless.
  4. Coat hangers. It should go without saying using a wire coat hanger you’ve straightened out is a no, no. An ineffective solution to clearing drains it’s possible for it to become stuck and cause more damage.
  5. Fix it yourself. Dealing with plumbing problems is better left to an experienced plumber. A qualified professional can diagnose and fix the problem quickly and could save you money in the long run.

Having your pipes cleaned and inspected on an annual basis will spot problems with your drains. We’d like to be the company you call when you require reliable plumbing and drain cleaning services, contact us today. Besides yearly maintenance we’ve got you covered anytime for any emergency situations that occur.

Is It Time To Replace Your Toilet?

Homeowners often don’t give some things we use many times a day such as the toilet a second thought. Built to last you probably haven’t considered replacing a toilet when it’s not causing any problems. Still time can take it’s toll and it’s possible things can start to go wrong and unnoticed that require attention. Here are some signs that may signal it’s time to replace old faithful.

Cracks and leaks

A closer look might reveal hairline cracks in the toilet tank. Once tiny cracks develop they can expand and grow enough to allow water in the tank to leak. That tank of water has the potential to cause serious moisture problems if not repaired. Some cracks can be fixed by a Victoria plumbing company or they may advise you a replacement is the best option.

Wobble, wobble

You may have noticed your toilet tends to wobble and could be easily fixed by tightening the bolts anchoring it to the floor. A leak over time could mean it’s a more serious issue due to a rotten floor. The only way to determine the cause is to remove the toilet and check it out.

More efficient flushing

Recent changes in the design of toilets means they now require less water in the tank to flush efficiently. Some models have a dual flush system with a full flush for solid waste and a partial flush for liquid waste. Conserving water is a very important topic so these changes are there to comply with new standard.

Comfort and style

A bathroom remodel might have you replacing the toilet to colour match the other new fixtures. Sleeker designs and smaller tanks mean less space is needed to accommodate the new commode.

Whether it’s time for a complete bathroom remodel or some other plumbing issue you want a plumbing company you can trust. When you’re looking for a company with experience Goodsense Plumbing in Victoria BC is here 24/7. Contact us today for more information.

Water Pressure Problems Are Worth Fixing

Anyone who’s experienced low water pressure trying to rinse off in the shower knows how frustrating it can be. It may come as a surprise that even water pressure that’s too high can pose a problem. The wide range of what’s too high or low is quite generous when it comes to household water pressure. While you might believe it’s out of your control there are several reasons your pressure is out of that range and deserves investigation.

A good reason to find out why the water pressure is above the acceptable range is the serious damage it could be doing to your plumbing. Annoying as low water pressure problems can be the issues are far more serious. With this in mind finding out what the underlying cause or causes might be and dealing with it is a good idea.

How low is too low?

Besides the problems with showering as mentioned before, if it takes a long time to fill a pot or if you hear a whistling sound from the tap may signal a problem. Check by purchasing a water pressure gauge and attaching it to your hose spigot. Readings below 30 psi is problematic. A leaky pipe or mineral buildup from hard water could be the reason. Buried pipes can cave in and our Victoria BC plumbers can easily diagnose the issue with a camera inspection.

Pressure buildup

Water pressure that’s too high will flow with too much force and you may hear a thumping sound when you turn the fixture off. The resulting strain on a continual basis can result in damage to your pipes, fittings and fixtures.

You might be like the majority of homeowners and would rather trust a plumbing company to check your water pressure. Give us call today and get ahead of the problem before any further damage occurs. With Fall already here and winter around the corner in Victoria, heavy rainfall can cause flooding and we’re available 24/7 to provide emergency service.

5 Questions to Ask a Victoria Plumber

It’s a great idea to have an established relationship with a plumber. You’ll want to shop around and do a little bit of an interview before hiring. If you’re building a new house you’ll have time to do a little research. If not, you may want to start looking for a reputable plumber in Victoria right now, before emergencies happen.

Here are 5 questions you’ll want to ask a plumber before hiring them.

  1. Do you have insurance and license.

It’s always better to go with the a professional plumber than a moonlighting part timer. Plumbers are required to have licenses and they should have insurance. If not, you’re liable for anything that goes wrong while they’re on your property.

  1. Do you charge for estimates

Every plumber, situation and location is a little different. So never assume your estimate will be free. Some charge travel time and some work the cost of the quote into the final cost when or if you go ahead with the work. Be sure you’re clear on how it works. You don’t need any surprises.

  1. What is your response time?

This is important to know, because when plumbing emergencies happen you don’t want to be left waiting. You need someone onsite as soon as possible. Do they have a plumber set aside just for emergencies? What is their after hours policy? Do you get charged more? The more details you have now, the more informed decision you can make when things go wrong.

  1. What is your area of speciality?

Most people don’t realize the scope of the plumbing trade. And every plumber has something they’re better at. So be sure to ask and plan accordingly. The job will go smoother and quicker if you’ve got the expert working on it rather than the toilet guy working on the hot water tank.

  1. References

It always a good idea to check references to ensure quality work. Most reputable plumbers are willing to give references.

We hope these questions help you in finding the right plumber in Victoria BC.

When To Call A Plumber

Sometimes it’s obvious that it’s time to call a plumber and sometimes the signs are a little sneaky. There are a few tasks a keen do it yourselfer can tackle quite well. However, if the jobs are complex or problems seem to be reoccurring it may be time to call in the professionals. Also handling some issues can be dangerous and unsafe, so make sure you have a certified plumber for these tasks. Here are a few guidelines on when it appropriate to ask for help.

New Construction

With any new builds you’ll need to pass a inspection by the City of Victoria building inspector. You will want to have this new plumbing put in properly, not just so it will pass the inspections but also to prevent issues down the road. Nothing is worse than a brand new house with plumbing problems. Suddenly your brand new house smells like an outhouse.

Any Renovations that require a permit

Your Victoria plumber will know all the building codes for the area and this is a huge advantage. The plumber also knows the process for permit application and approval very well, making one less thing for you to worry about.

Water Heater Problems

Dealing with a hot water tank when you don’t have the skill or knowledge can be dangerous. You could end up spending more money, when it could be a simple quick for for an experienced plumber.

Septic or Sewer Line leaks

Trust us, you don’t want to handle these without the proper training and equipment to protect yourself. You could end up with a very smelly problem on your hands if you try to do it yourself. This is one I’d definitely leave to the professionals.

Reocurring problem

This is a sign that something is off with your plumbing, it’s best to have it assessed by someone who is used to dealing with these kinds of issues, to resolve the issue completely.

If you are experience any of the above issues, it’s time to call us today.