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You could save yourself from many expensive plumbing issues just by sticking to certain basics. Unfortunately, most homeowners fail to pay heed to these basics and end up running into huge plumbing bills. Here are five important plumbing mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Ignoring Minor Plumbing Issues

Whenever there should be a minor plumbing issue, give it the attention that it requires. At times, you will be able to fix the issue yourself in just few minutes but at other times, you may have to call a professional plumbing company. Delaying your call to the plumber will only aggravate things leading to unnecessary expenses.

2. Trying To Cut Corners While Hiring Plumbers

Whenever you should hire a plumbing company make sure that you are calling a professional service provider. Do not try to cut corners by calling unqualified plumbers. One of the reasons why people go for such service providers is because they think that they could save a few bucks. However, this could prove to be most expensive mistake that you could make. Imagine losing your insurance and getting into liability issue just because you wanted to save a few dollars. Before you summon any plumber, check their credentials and their license.

3. Failing To Take Winter Precautions

Plumbing companies get more business during and just after the winter. Why? It is simply because homeowners totally ignore the winter precautions that they are supposed to be taking. If you are not sure what are the plumbing precautions that you should be taking during winter you could talk to your local plumbing company to get tips and recommendations. It is also not a bad idea to call your plumber to inspect the entire plumbing system before every winter. If there are no issues, you will be spending only for the visit and if there were any issues, you would have attended to it in a timely fashion before the winter starts and thereby saved your plumbing system from expensive damages.

4. Excessive And Wrong Use Of Drain Cleaners

You need to keep your drains clean but at the same time, if you use excessive drain cleaners then your pipelines will be corroded as drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals to breakdown the dirt and the blockage. You need to be therefore cautious in selecting the right drain cleaners and use them correctly.

5. Choosing Wrong Fittings

In case, you are venturing into your own DIY plumbing repairs, make certain that you are choosing the right fittings. Wrong choice of fittings and size mismatches could result in leakages, which again could prove to be expensive. Rather than running into such issues, it is better that you contact your local plumber who could take care of your plumbing needs.

If you review the above listed most common plumbing mistakes, they could be categorized into two categories namely carelessness and cost cutting efforts. As far as the cost cutting efforts are concerned, you could save a great deal of money by carefully reviewing and selecting the right plumbing companies that offer their services at reasonable fee.

Contact Pathmaker Plumbing for professional plumbing services in Charlotte, NC.

 

Life could become complicated if something should go wrong with your water heater, especially during the winter. One of the mistakes that most homeowners make when it comes to water heater repair is that they try to postpone their call to a plumber as long as possible thinking that the problem will disappear on its own. However, this does not happen even on your luckiest day. If there is an issue with your new tankless water heaters installation or with the operations of your equipment then you need to call your plumber at the earliest possible time.

Sometimes homeowners give into the temptation and try to handle their own water heater repairs. Is it a good idea to attempt DIY water heater repairs? Before we could answer this question, first we should try to understand why people attempt DIY water heater repairs. Firstly, it could be to save some money and secondly to get the issue fixed faster without having to wait for the local plumber to visit you. Does your attempt to resolve the water heater replacement or repair issue really help the situation and help you achieve the intended goals? Unless you are a qualified technician, the odds are that your attempt is only likely to make things worse. Rather than saving money, you could end up spending more money on rectifying the issue. Added to that, you will also be delaying the whole process of getting your water heater fixed when you aggravate the issue.

Therefore, it is best to find a reliable plumber in your area, establish long-term association with the plumbing company so that whenever there should be a problem, you could get their quick service. Regardless of whether it is a minor repair, replacement or new installation, it is important to call a certified technician. When you try to repair your water heater yourself, you could break a component or you could damage the insulation or the entire water line. It is not safe to attempt a DIY repair. Moreover, you could also be ending up with liability issues and problems with the insurance companies when something goes wrong. In case of mishaps, you cannot make valid insurance claims if you do not use a licensed plumber.

You need to be mindful of all these risks before you attempt any DIY efforts on water heater repair, replacement or installation. Try to screen your local plumbers, identify the most reputed and competitively priced plumber so that you could call them up as soon as you notice that something is not alright with your water heater. Giving timely attention to water heater repairs will save you from unnecessary hassles and it will also help you keep the bills low.

Do not wait for things to go wrong to shortlist your preferred water heater installation or repair company because during such times, you will be under great pressure and you will not have time to review multiple service providers and to pick the best service provider.

Learn more about water heater repair at Pathmaker Plumbing  or call (704) 733-7507.

The best way to avoid significant plumbing issues is to attend to maintenance and small problems before they grow into something more. Pathmaker Plumbing is dedicated to serving the Charlotte, NC area with professional residential plumbing services that increase the life of your plumbing system with innovative and affordable solutions.  We take care of your plumbing problems as soon as possible to save you the expense and stress of major plumbing work.

When you notice a leak or clog, Pathmaker Plumbing will provide a full inspection and repair to ensure that damage is minimized and your water service is restored. There are several symptoms of plumbing problems that may not seem important but should be analyzed to ensure that a failure hasn’t occurred. Contact Pathmaker Plumbing if you notice:

Any of these may not seem like a problem on their own, but damage to your pipes could be more severe than you realize. By locating these leaks and clogs before they become more serious, Pathmaker Plumbing can save you money and reduce the time your household spends waiting for repairs to be made. Any time something with your plumbing simply doesn’t seem to be working quite right, call Pathmaker for honest service you can count on.

Professional Plumbing Inspections

Pathmaker Plumbing can determine the source of your plumbing problems using state-of-the-art technology and tools that enable non-invasive diagnosis of your issues. Camera pipe inspections enable us to locate areas where pipes have shifted, broken, or become pierced by roots without digging or causing any collateral damage. With this ability to pinpoint problem areas, we can fix leaks and clogs quickly and minimize the time and budget required for repairs.

It is essential to use a licensed professional plumber when you need plumbing repairs. Our work is guaranteed and insured to give you peace of mind. Pathmaker Plumbing wants each of our Charlotte, NC area clients to be thrilled with our work. We understand that few home repairs are as immediate needs as when a bathroom or laundry room is out of order. We strive for quick response and complete customer satisfaction.

Professional Installations

At Pathmaker Plumbing, we don’t just repair plumbing systems, we also can install vial equipment in your home. If you are ready for a new garbage disposal, water heater, dishwasher, toilet, sink, or water softener, call us today. We can replace an old, ineffective unit with equipment that is effective and energy efficient. Even if you do not already have equipment in place, we can create the necessary connections and electric supply to install the garbage disposal that you have been dreaming of. With professional installation, you know that your fixtures will work properly, without leaks or problems that can go hand in hand with do-it-yourself installations. Save your time for more important tasks and leave installation to the professionals at Pathmaker Plumbing.

When you need help NOW

It can be scary to find your basement full of water or realize that nothing is draining. That is why Pathmaker Plumbing offers 24 hour emergency response service. The promptness of drying water damage can mean a difference of thousands of dollars when it comes to water damage. We want you comfortable in your home with as little stress and expense as possible, so we get there as fast as we can.

We have experts on staff to quickly solve your plumbing emergencies. Call us if you are experiencing any of the following:

We use high tech solutions to ensure your problem is resolved as soon as possible.

Tips for avoiding plumbing problems

Proper maintenance and use of your home’s plumbing system is essential to avoiding serious problems with your plumbing. Follow these tips for trouble free plumbing

  1. Have repairs made promptly. Don’t let little problems become big ones.
  2. Have your septic tank regularly inspected and emptied.
  3. Take care of leaks and clogs as soon as you notice them.
  4. Have all fixtures professionally installed.
  5. Do not dispose of large waste down your drains.
  6. Turn off water when you are away from home for an extended period.
  7. Periodically inspect beneath sinks and around visible pipes for leaks.
  8. Do not set water pressure too high.
  9. Keep the entrance of drains clean.
  10. Replace leaky fixtures.

Contact Pathmaker Plumbing

We are happy to assist you with plumbing system maintenance, fixture installation, pipe inspections, and repairs. Contact us to schedule your professional plumbing service today. Pathmaker Plumbing proudly serves Charlotte, Ballantyne, Pineville, Matthews, Weddington, Waxhaw and surrounding areas.

Winter is just round the corner and it could prove to be an expensive time of the year when it comes to residential plumbing. You certainly would not want to channel your holiday budget into plumbing expenses. You could save a lot of money on your plumbing repair and plumbing maintenance by taking certain precautionary measures. Here are five important winter plumbing maintenance tips that will help you prevent unnecessary plumbing expenses this winter.

#1 Find a reliable local plumbing contractor for an inspection of your plumbing system.

Many a times homeowners think that calling a plumber for pre-winter inspection as waste of money. However, those who get a plumber for such inspections regularly know how it could save the day for them. Fixing minor plumbing issues prior to winter is important. What might seem to be a minor crack or leakage could prove to be a massive disaster if not taken care in a timely fashion especially during the winter. Therefore, never underestimate the importance of pre-winter plumbing inspection.

#2 Detach the garden hoses from the outdoor faucets.

It is important to detach the garden hoses from the faucets and the connected valves should be shut off. You should also remember to drain the hoses and if you forget, the water remaining in the hosepipe will freeze and it will damage the hose.

#3 Keep your drains clean.

Regular cleaning of your drain pipes is very important. You do not want to clogged pipes and the associated nightmares during winter. If you should notice signs of water clog in your drain pipes or bathtubs do not wait for too long before you call your plumber. Identifying the clogs at the initial stages will keep the plumbing bills low.

#4 Check your insulations.

One of the areas that requires your attention is the insulation of the pipes that carry water. As long as the pipeline that carries water is buried under the ground the water in the pipe retains temperatures that are above the freezing point. However, the pipeline that is above the ground level is exposed to very low temperatures. If the insulation is not effective it will not only affect the efficiency of your heating system but it could lead to further issues such as freezing of the water in the exposed areas and cut off of water supply to the entire house.

#5 Do not postpone any minor plumbing repairs to be made.

If you need to undertake any minor plumbing repairs which you have been postponing all along then you should not postpone it any longer. Get all your plumbing issues fixed before winter however small you might think they are. You just need to make sure that you are calling a credible plumbing contractor in your area to take care of your plumbing issues. It is always best to establish long term association with your local plumber so that they have a better understanding of your home’s plumbing system, which will in turn help them in offering you with faster and effective solutions.

As far as residential plumbing issues are concerned most of the problems could be resolved at a very low cost easily if only the homeowner calls the plumber at the right time. Most people just hope that their plumbing issues such as a leaking faucet or a poorly performing heater will resolve itself. As a result, they just turn a blind eye to the issues and frantically look for a plumber for water heater repair or leak repair in the last moment by that time the problem would have aggravated resulting in a huge plumbing bill.

Plumbing issues will not disappear on their own unless you do something about them. You should plumbing issue yourself or call a plumber to do it for you. Waiting for too long will only make things worse resulting in a huge repair or at times expensive equipment replacement. Do not put yourself in such risky situations.  As soon as you notice some issue with your plumbing system act on it immediately. While it may be true that not all plumbing issues will need a professional plumber, it is also important to know that not all the issues that look simple are not what they look. A leaky pipe could be something more than just a leaky pipe. It is therefore important that you know when to call a professional plumber.

One of the reasons why many people hesitate or postpone their call to the plumber is that they find the whole process of finding the right plumber for their plumbing needs to be a complex process. All the plumbing companies claim to offer the best services and how do you know whether a plumbing company is reliable or not? This is what makes the whole process of finding the right plumber a complex process as a result, homeowners try to postpone going through this process for as long as possible.

You could handle this problem more effectively by screening your plumbing companies well in advance. Do not wait for things to go wrong to start searching for your plumber. Invariably, the plumbing system in every home and commercial building is likely to run into problems some time or the other just due to the wear and tear. You will therefore find it useful to have someone already screened. The advantage of screening your plumbing company ahead of time is that you can review your service providers in a relaxed way, as you will not be under the pressure of needing to resolve a frustrating plumbing issue overnight. When you have identified your preferred plumber you could call them whenever you should run into issues.

It is always best to call a professional plumber even when the issues look small. Let your plumber diagnose the problem and find the actual cause of the problem. This is a safe approach rather than you trying to resolve the problem yourself ending up with a completely broken pipeline, flooding of the entire floor and the related liability issues.

For more information contact your Charlotte Plumber at Pathmaker Plumbing.

 

If you were to review your annual expenditure you will be surprised to see the amount of money that you are spending on plumbing repairs, maintenance and new plumbing installations. Every household invariably spends hundreds of dollars each year and you should be surprised only if you do not have plumbing repair bills on any given year. The skyrocketing plumbing bills harass homeowners. Amidst such situation some homeowners manage to keep their plumbing bills to the minimal. How do they manage to spend strikingly lower amounts on their plumbing repairs every year? You sure do want to know the secret, don’t you? Here are three important tips that will help you reduce your annual expenses on plumbing maintenance, repair and installations.

#1 Find A Reputed Plumber In Your Area And Establish Long Term Association

If not all, most of the homeowners that managed to keep their plumbing repair costs low called the same plumber each time when something went wrong with their residential plumbing system whether it is a leak repair or drain repair. How does using the same plumbing company for your plumbing needs help reduce the costs? When you use the same plumbing company, your plumber develops familiarity with your residential plumbing system and is able to deliver you more cost effective solutions because they know already what has gone into your plumbing system. The problems are diagnosed fast and the correct solutions are recommended by your regular plumber. Rather than providing temporary fixes when you call your plumber for leak repair or drain repair, they tend to provide lasting solutions that work out to be cheaper on the long run.

#2 Regular Plumbing Inspections

Regular plumbing inspection is another money saving habit that most of these homeowners had in common. Whenever there is a plumbing issue, we try to postpone our call to the local plumber for as long as possible meanwhile things get worse. What could have been a simple repair turns out to be a complicated repair job with a huge bill. Regular plumbing inspection helps you catch the problems in their early stages and address them effectively. You save yourself from huge plumbing bills. You too can adapt to this healthy habit. If you have a preferred plumber, you can sign up for monthly plumbing inspections and this will ensure that your residential plumbing system is in perfect working condition.

#3 The Use Of High Quality Plumbing Equipment & Genuine Plumbing Spare Parts

If there should be a need to replace any equipment or any spare parts, these homeowners always went for the best quality products and stayed away from cheap, second grade products. Initially, it might look like that they have spent more money on the equipment but what finally counts is how much you save on the long run. Cheap products resulted in frequent maintenance and repair issues. You end up spending more than what you actually saved by choosing the second grade products. Avoiding such mistakes will not only save you a lot of money but will also save you from unnecessary hassles.

Are you installing new water heaters or replacing the faulty water heaters in your home? Today there are multiple options for the homeowners when it comes to residential water heaters. Before you select your water heaters, you need to know your options, their advantages and disadvantages. Three main factors have to be taken into account when it comes to the selection of the right type of water heater for your home.

  1. Initial cost of the water heater
  2. Recurring costs / Energy or electricity bills
  3. Maintenance

You will have to assess each type of water heater carefully and select the most cost effective water heater. When you are making your decision, it is important that you do not decide just based on the initial cost. Two most common and popular types of water heaters include tankless water heater and hybrid heat pump water heaters.

What are the factors that one needs to take into account while deciding between tankless water heater and hybrid heat pump water heaters? The key factor to be taken into account here is your water consumption. Discuss your requirements with your local plumbing company and get their suggestions on selecting the most energy efficient option. When compared to the regular storage type water heaters, tankless water heaters can save you up to 30% on your energy bills. Hybrid heat pump water heaters can save as high as 60% of your energy bills.

Looking at the initial costs, storage type water heaters are less expensive when compared to tankless water heaters. Hybrid heat pump water heaters are pricier when compared to tankless water heaters. However, going for energy efficient options will pay up for the water heaters over the years through the cumulative energy savings that you enjoy month after month. However, you should not lose sight of another important factor that is the maximum life expectancy of each type of water heater. For example, tankless water heaters are said to last for ten to fifteen years. The question is will the energy savings compensate for the additional expenses that you are likely to incur while buying your tankless water heater. This is where your regular water consumption rate will play an important role. It is always best to get professional help while deciding what type of water heaters to choose for your home. Your plumbing company will also be able to give their input on the general maintenance challenges that very likely with each type of water heater.

You will find different types of even within the tankless options such as gas-fired and electrical water heaters. When you set out to explore different models of water heaters you are likely to be confused. The bottom line however is that you should choose the most energy efficient water heater with low maintenance hassles.

Try to obtain quotes for different types of water heaters for your residential requirements. When you are comparing the quotes make sure that the quote also includes the installation charges for each type of water heater.

Learn more about water heater repair and replacement in Charlotte, NC at Pathmaker Plumbing.

Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time to anyone. If you should find yourself in the midst of such emergencies, how do you deal with them? Here are few important residential plumbing tips that will help you handle emergencies effectively.

# Do not panic. Most people panic as soon as they realize that they are in a plumbing emergency. If you panic, you will lose the ability to think clearly. You will need to act quickly and correctly. Residential plumbing emergencies can take place in numerous ways.

# In most cases plumbing emergencies are not really sudden but they happen gradually and if you continue to ignore the signals, you will be faced with an emergency. So as soon as you see a leaky plumbing line, act on it immediately. Do not wait until those small leaks turn into a huge flooding issue. If it is something that you cannot handle call your residential plumbing company.

# If there should be a plumbing emergency, you need to immediately try to isolate the problem. Every minute that you waste will only aggravate the issue at hand. Do not every presume that the emergency will fade out on itself.

# Cut off the water supply to the problematic area. This will give you some time to think and to take necessary action. Depending on the plumbing lines, you may have to turn off the water supply to the faulty appliance or the faulty section of your house. If required do not hesitate to shut off the main water supply valve. You can restore the water supply once things come back to normal.

# Call a professional residential plumbing company for your assistance. You should get immediate help to save yourself from flooding damages and expensive repairs.

# When you are faced with an emergency, you may not have time to review multiple plumbing companies or to get quote from multiple service providers. It is therefore important to find reputed service providers in your area when things are still normal. Review multiple plumbing companies and ensure that your preferred residential plumbing company offers round the clock emergency service.

# When you are calling your plumbing company, try to explain the problem as clearly as possible so that they can come prepared. Time is of essence here and you cannot afford delays of any sort.

# Experienced residential plumbing companies will be able to identify the issues quickly and provide you with fast but lasting solutions. It is therefore important to work with an experienced plumber.

# It is always best to use preventive approach, as it will save you from unnecessary frustrations. Call your local plumbing contractor for regular maintenance visits. Let your plumbing company inspect your plumbing system at least once in six months. This will help you identify the problems well in advance and take corrective measures before the issues turn into emergencies.

# Without fail you should have your plumbing system inspected fully before winter. Make sure that your plumbing lines are well insulated to avoid frozen pipes which often results in cracks and leaks in the plumbing line.

A cursory search of Google will tell you that the average lifespan of a water heater is 8-11 years. While one shouldn’t believe everything that’s stated on the internet there is some truth to this statement. But only some.When I first started my plumbing career in the 90’s I remember removing water heaters that were installed in the 1950 and 60’s.
Some of those were still heating water the day I removed them. I don’t see water heaters that are still working 30 or 40 years later anymore. Very rarely will I find one that is still kicking after 20 years. But that doesn’t have to be the case.Much to the chagrin of conventional wisdom water heater manufacturers haven’t cheapened the quality of the units produced these days.They really do still “make ‘em like they used to”.With the constant threat of lawsuits these days they may even be making them better. But the problem doesn’t lie in how modern water heaters are made. The problem lies with how they are installed and maintained, or more appropriately, how they aren’t installed and maintained.There are five layers of protection water heaters have against failure and leakage.

The first two are provided from the manufacturer.

First, is the anode rod. The anode rod is a long piece of metal which runs almost the full length of the water heater and its job is to disintegrate from the reactive materials and electric current in the water BEFORE your tank does. In most areas and for many water conditions they last about five years before they are completely depleted. If you read the manual that comes with your water heater you will see the manufacturer recommend that the anode be inspected at least annually for deterioration.

Second is the glass lining. Just imagine the inside of your water heater tank being glazed like a piece of pottery. This is a similar process for protecting the steel of your tank. Once the anode rod deteriorates, this glass lining is the only thing preventing the tank from rusting out. On its own, this lining doesn’t last very long.

The other layers of protection are provided by the installer of the water heater and mandated by most plumbing codes.

The primary one is from proper piping connection. Dielectric unions provide a buffer zone between the steel of the water heater tank and the copper piping which connects the tank to the rest of the plumbing system. When steel and copper are connected and water run through them they begin to share electrons at a rapid rate. We refer to this sharing of electronic bonds as corrosion. Dielectric unions/connections are often overlooked or ignored by installers to the detriment of the water heaters longevity.

The fourth layer of protection is also provided by your water heater installer. In many scenarios a water heater is required to have a thermal expansion tank. If you have a pressure reducing valve, or a back check valve at your meter (most municipalities do) you are required by code to have a thermal expansion tank. This device gives a safe place for the extra volume created by heating water to go. Without this device, every time the water heater turns on to reheat the stored water, it will produce excess pressure/volume which is a stress on the water heater, water piping, and fixtures attached to it (toilets, washing machine hoses, ice maker, etc.).

The fifth layer of protection is provided by you, the operator of the heater. Again, referring to that handy manual which the manufacturer provided you will find all water heaters should be flushed out and drained to remove build up and sediment at least annually. Some manufacturers recommend this every six months! This not only keeps the water heater at full heating capacity, it also prevents minerals and deposits from attaching to the inside of the tank and solidifying causing future damage.Unfortunately most of the water heaters I see these days are improperly installed. BIg box stores and do it yourselfers just don’t have the know how of a licensed professional. As a result a water heater that should be running for 15 to 20 years is dead and gone in only ten. Just because its heating water and not leaking does NOT ensure a plumbing fixture is installed correctly, especially a water heater. The manufacturer recommendations and the municipal codes are there to not only keep people safe but also to ensure they get the full benefit of a properly installed unit.

Learn more about Charlotte NC plumbing services at Pathmaker Plumbing – 704-733-7507.

The holidays are upon us! With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner kitchens in Charlotte are abuzz with activity, and for us plumbers, that means just one thing; drain clogs. Often, homeowners rely on a caustic (acidic) drain opener to get them flowing again.These materials can be very hazardous to your health and the health of your loved ones (just read the warning labels). They can also take a toll on your pipes. When a caustic drain opener goes into a pipe and hits organic material (squishy drain gunk) it begins a chemical reaction that produces excess heat and pressure inside the pipe. Not good for plastic piping! If you have an older home with steel or cast iron drains, this acid can (and does) eat through the metal over time until eventually the bottom of the pipe is gone. The acid of chemical drain openers can also eat away at the finish of your sink connections taking the chrome, brass or oil rubbed bronze finish off and leave the metal with a flat looking, dull finish (not to mention without its protective coating).

So what is a homeowner to do?

Well, if your clog is just below the surface of the drain opening such as in the bathroom lavatory or tub drain you can try to clean it with a simple plastic device like this one .

These little devices are cheap, safe and if the clog is near the surface, effective.

Another good method is to keep your drains treated with a good enzymatic drain cleaner. These won’t open clogged drains, but rather if applied regularly when the drain is open, will eat away at the sludge before it builds up and develops a clog. Bio Clean is a good product and many reputable plumbers carry and sell it.

If you do come across a clogged drain this holiday season it really is best to let the pros handle it. A licensed plumber should have all the tools necessary to open a clogged drain in your home without using any materials which are caustic and dangerous to your family and your piping. A rotary cable machine is the tool of choice for most plumbers because it is safe, effective and, unlike chemical drain cleaners which can only poke a small hole through the gunk it gets the pipe clean all the way around the inner circumference of the pipe, so the drain stays open longer.

Jetting is also a good option that a licensed plumber can offer. This tool uses pressured water to safely blast away the gunk on the inside of a pipe; especially handy for greasy drains!

Also, a good plumber will inspect your piping in the crawl space or basement and under the sink to see that they are plumbed with the appropriate amount of downward pitch. A wide open pipe won’t drain well if it is running uphill.

Often times as an older home settles the walls and foundation shift causing the pipes to level off or even start running uphill. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of to see homes built like this from day one either. A shoddy plumbing subcontractor can (and often does) bring a lot of trouble to a home even years after he finished plumbing it.

If you need us, Pathmaker Plumbing can help get your drains open this holiday season. Whether you would like for us to come out and do a preventative cleaning or you’re already in full holiday swing, you can trust us to get you flowing again.

Learn more about Charlotte NC plumbing services at Pathmaker Plumbing – 704-733-7507.