How To Fix a Leaky Faucet

 

It’s the annoying reality of being a homeowner. You will have issues you need to address, and there isn’t a landlord to take care of it for you. Plumbing is a common area in which homeowners see problems — especially, the trusty leak faucet.

So what steps can you take when you have a leaky faucet? First, turn your water off to all parts of the sink and take off any decorative parts of the handles/knobs.

Next, loosen the screw that connects the handle to the stem of the knob. (You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver.) Once you remove the screw, you can use WD-40 if needed to help take the handle off. After that, unscrew the packing nut with a wrench. Then remove the stem. (Some pop off easily while others need to be twisted.)

If everything so far looks good, take a look at the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat, as they are commonly the cause of leaks. Remove the washer and put in a replacement. Make sure the replacement washers and O-rings fit exactly. Check to see if the sides fit a flat or cone-shaped washer. It’s not a bad idea to take the old O-ring to the store to make sure you get the right size. Another option is to buy a packaged set that includes many different sizes.

You’ll then put everything back together—washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, handle. Then test to see if you have fixed the leak. Turn the water back on and turn the knob slowly.

If the faucet is still dripping then it may be corrosion in your valve seat. If time has passed and it has not been cleaned it can lead to leaks near the spout. Other common issues include loose parts or worn-out seals. If you cannot figure out the issue, or even if you can, but know you cannot fix it, call a professional plumber. It is best to not wait too long as these issues only get worse.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Save on Your Water Heating Bill

 

images-4Heating your water accounts for the second largest part of your electric bill, after space heating and cooling. For most consumers, that amounts to about 12 percent of their monthly bill. But most people love hot showers, particularly when it is cold out! So, how can you reduce your bill?

  • Unfortunately, you may want to give up your weekly bubble bath. Taking a shower — a short one, at that — will save a lot in the long run. You may even consider turning off the water for a minute while lathering up or shaving. (This is also a good idea while brushing your teeth or scrubbing dishes.)
  • If you’re already thinking about buying a new clothes washer or dishwasher, look into ENERGY STAR items. These dishwashers use 31 percent less energy and 33 percent less water. The ENERGY START clothes washers save families on average $135 per year. Look for post-holiday sales at a time when stores are likely not selling as much as they were a month or two ago.
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is this safer, especially if you have young children, but it also saves you money. For every 10-degree reduction, you can save up to 5 percent on your water heating costs.
  • If your shower head or faucet is old, it may use twice as much water as newer models. Look into installing low-flow shower heads and faucets.
  • Installing a heat trap on your water heater tank can save you up to $30 on your bill. It is best to get a professional to do this.
  • Insulate your water pipes and your hot water tank.
  • Install a timer to turn off your electric water heater at times when you don’t use it.
  • Use cold water for most of your laundry loads. Wash only full loads in the clothes washer and the dishwasher.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Bathroom Makeover for Less

On average, a bathroom remodel costs about $9000, but the range can be significant. Here are some ways to update yours without spending too much.

  • imagesChange your sink faucet. Turn off the water supply (valves are typically under the sink). Next, turn on the faucet to relieve any water pressure. Disconnect the supply lines from
    the faucet and the lift rod, and then remove the nuts from under the faucet. Unscrew the slip nut on the P-trap. Put a bucket underneath to catch water. Disconnect the drain flange from the tailpiece. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for the new faucet.
  • Change your tub faucet. Again, turn off the water supply. Open the faucet and drain the water. Unscrew the screws that attach the handles. Pull the handle away from the wall to expose the valve. Unscrew the entire stem from the bathroom pipes. You’ll want to take the whole faucet to the store to pick out a new one.
  • Put in some new hardware—a curved, double-rod shower curtain, towel hooks, or cabinet handles can make a big impact.
  • Add in some storage space to reduce clutter. Look for unused areas on the wall or between things.
  • Paint and/or add crown molding.
  • Change your vanity light fixture.
  • Create a new frame for the mirror.

Remember, if you run into any issues with your plumbing or electricity during the renovation, this will add onto the cost. If, however these are things you’re not comfortable with doing yourself, it’s best to hire a professional from the beginning to avoid further complications once you’re in the middle of a project.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Winterize Your Sprinkler System

 

 

images-3Did you know that water can remain in your irrigation system even after you’ve drained it? If that’s the case for your system, that means it could potentially freeze and expand during the cold winter months, then crack the PVC piping. Even with the more flexible polyethylene pipe, it can still expand under pressure and water inside can rupture the pipe walls.

To avoid this happening, implement the winterizing techniques like those listed below. If you don’t know what type of system you have its best to use the blowout method.

Manual Method and Automatic Method: 

  • If manual valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation piping, use the manual drain method. Shut off the irrigation water supply and open all the manual drain valves.
  • If automatic drain valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation piping, use the automatic drain method. Shut off the irrigation water supply (in the basement) and activate a station to relieve the system pressure.
  • In both methods, after the water has drained, open the boiler drain valve (or the drain cap on the stop and waste valve) and drain all the water that remains. Open the test cocks on the backflow device. If your sprinklers have check valves, pull up on the sprinklers to let water drain out of the bottom of the sprinkler body. When all the water has drained out, close the drain valves.

Blow Out Method: 

This method involves blowing out an irrigation system with compressed air. It is best to hire a professional to perform this type of winterization method as it takes particular knowledge as well as stringent safety precautions.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Common Plumbing Mistakes

 

drainYour whole plumbing system is a major part of your home and needs to be taken care of properly or you can face some expensive repairs and replacements. Luckily, if your system is already in good shape, it’s easy to keep everything in good shape. Below are some common mistakes and what you can do instead:

Regularly clean out your drain traps. Poor drainage — especially clogging — can be a hassle and is not good for your pipes. Be cautious, though, not to overdo it when it comes to chemicals you pour down the drain, especially if you have a septic system. Drain snakes can also be also helpful.

Grease, paint and any construction materials down the sink are big “no-no’s”. Let the grease cool, then pour it into a jar or can and throw it away. As for paint and construction materials, use the proper disposal protocol in your area. Usually there is a specific place to take these materials so that you’re protecting your plumbing and the environment.

Don’t overload the garbage disposal or put things down it that should not be. This would include items such as old rice, coffee grounds or melon rinds.

Use your faucet handles with care. Twisting and pulling on them because there is a drip you’re trying to shut off is not the way to go. This will strip the washers and make things worse. Furthermore, if you’re doing your own plumbing work, don’t over tighten the parts.

If you need plumbing work done by a professional, get it done sooner rather than later. Not only can problems get worse, but also mold can grow if things are leaky.

Don’t turn on a water heater too soon. If you install a new water heater, let it fill completely before turning it on so you don’t burn it up.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Reduce Holiday Water Bills And Plumbing Strains

With fall upon us, you’re likely already planning for the upcoming holidays, especially if you don’t live near your relatives. Although it can be an enjoyable time of year, it also means lots of planning and preparation if you’re the host. It can also mean a strain on your plumbing system with extra people staying in your home, for days or even weeks. So how can you keep your water bill low and your plumbing in good shape?

  • Have everyone keep his or showers short. Not only will less water be used — which is good for your bill — but everyone will enjoy a hot shower.
  • Consider installing a low-flow showershowerhead head before everyone arrives. This can reduce the amount of water used while showering by up to 50 percent. In addition, you’ll continue saving long after everyone heads back home.
  • Make sure to keep hair out of the shower drains and leftover food out of the kitchen drain. This will help keep your system running smoothly and is especially important if you have a septic system.
  • Don’t wash dishes by hand. You’ll typically use less water by running a full dishwasher—and it’s less work for you! If you want to rinse the dishes first, it’s better to fill the sink partially with water instead of running the tap.
  • Don’t run dishwasher or washing machine until you have full loads. This reduces the number of times you’ll have to run them, thus saving money.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!