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Know the Signs of Winter Plumbing Damage

That sound was just the wind – right? Listen closer – that clanging probably isn’t a ghost, but it could be coming from your pipes.

Falling temperatures can pose a threat to the integrity of your plumbing system. Extreme cold causes the metal in your plumbing to contract, sometimes leading to cracks and leaks. Even worse, frozen pipes may rupture, potentially inflicting thousands of dollars of water damage.

 

As a plumbing contractor in Ivyland and the wider Doylestown area for over 30 years, we’re more than familiar with the signs of an imminent plumbing catastrophe. Thankfully, it’s easy to recognize these warnings. Even if you don’t see any of these signs, you may want to consider taking preventative action by opting for one of our maintenance plans.

 

If you recognize any of the indications of winter plumbing damage below, call us as soon as possible to avert disaster.

 

Visible Faults

 

Unnatural bending, bulging, cracks, and other imperfections that you can see on exposed pipes, water heaters, and other plumbing fixtures are some of the most obvious signs of damage. These can be symptoms of serious issues. If you already see visible deformities in your system, you should call a professional plumbing service before something breaks and wreaks havoc on your property.

 

Low Water Pressure or Leaks

 

Although leaks provide you with a clear sign that you have a plumbing problem, they are not always easy to find. Weak water flow can indicate that a pipe has already ruptured. Pay close attention to your water bill, as well – unusually high charges might serve as further evidence that something is wrong.

 

Trust Your Senses

 

Lastly, if you smell unusual odors or hear strange sounds in your home, your plumbing may be to blame. Pipe blockages can lead to sewage backups, producing foul odors and gurgling noises. Rumbling, clanging, or grinding sounds can also indicate that pipes have come loose, potentially creating points of friction and tension.

 

If you recognize any of these signs with your own system, call Ben Franklin for prompt and affordable service. In the case of an emergency, our expert plumbers are available 24/7: just call us at 267-328-4935.

For the best chance of avoiding emergencies altogether, consider signing up for one of our maintenance plans. With regular check-ups, you’ll mitigate seasonal damage while simultaneously prolonging the life of your system, saving you money in the long run.

 

To schedule an inspection or learn more about the plumbing services we provide in Buckingham and elsewhere in Bucks County, call us at 267-202-0647.

Avoid This Plumbing Disaster With a Few Simple Steps

Thermostat at 72 degrees? Check. Holiday decorations decking the halls? Check. Slippers, blankets, and cup of tea? Check, check, and check.

Could anything possibly go wrong with this cozy scene? We hate to break it to you, but if you haven’t winterized your plumbing system, the answer is most definitely yes.

Right behind frostbite, frozen pipes are the last thing any homeowner wants to deal with this winter. Not only can they wreak havoc on your plumbing system, but they can also burst and cause costly water damage, meaning you’ll spend that Christmas bonus on emergency plumbing services for your Bucks County home.

If you think that sounds like a miserable way to spend the holidays, prevent frozen pipes by taking the following steps:

Insulate pipes. There are two ways to do this: One is to insulate the exterior of your house, particularly in basements and attics, which are less likely to be insulated and more likely to hold exposed pipes. The other is to insulate the pipes directly with heat tape or heat cable, which is a relatively inexpensive DIY project. We recommend doing both.

Seal leaks and circulate warm air. Openings that let cold air in near pipes increase the potential of freezing. Be sure to seal any leaks and drafts with caulk or another sealing and insulating material. While you’re at it, if your garage houses water supply lines, keep the garage doors closed, and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to keep warm air circulating around pipes.

Be smart about your thermostat. You might balk at the idea of keeping your thermostat on throughout the night, with visions of heating bills dancing through your head. But if your home temperature drops too drastically, those visions might turn into genuine plumbing nightmares. Keep your thermostat above 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times to prevent frozen pipes – especially if you plan on going on vacation. (Now’s a good time to get your heating system inspected, too.)

Mind the tap. During cold snaps – i.e., when temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit – let cold water drip from any faucets that are served by exposed pipes. Allowing water to trickle through the pipe, instead of standing still, will help prevent it from freezing within the pipe.

But What If My Pipes Are Already Frozen?

If you see a layer of frost on exposed pipes, have trouble running faucets, or notice unusual odors from your drains, your pipes may be frozen. If that’s the case, call Ben Franklin Doylestown at 267-328-4935 for emergency services in New Hope, PA, and the rest of the Doylestown area. We are available 24/7 for your emergency plumbing needs, so act quickly to prevent the problem from worsening and get your home back into the cozy shape it deserves to be in.

3 Small Signs that You Need Your Water Heater Inspected

The temperature is starting to drop, children are going back to school, and the leaves are beginning to change colors. Fall must be officially here! Fall is one of the times of year in which we use the highest amount of hot water, and we depend upon our hot water heaters more than ever starting in September. Before you turn up the usage on your water heater, make sure your preventative maintenance is up to date!

If you notice any one of these minor warning signs, be sure to call your local plumbers in Montgomery County PA so you won’t have to go a day without hot water!

  • Water that takes a long time to heat up. If your water heater is taking a longer time than usual to heat up, it’s possible that a heating element is broken. Letting the problem go for too long can cause the issue to become more serious, eventually leading to the need for a new water heater installation in Doylestown. Therefore, please make sure you are keeping track of your water heater’s temperature time, and definitely call a plumber if you notice that something is wrong.
  • A water heater that’s leaking. If you notice that there’s moisture piling up around your water heater, it’s possible that you have a crack in your tank. This is an immediate issue that you’ll want to get taken care of as soon as possible or run the risk of having your water heater fail altogether. You definitely don’t want that to happen especially when the weather is cooling down!
  • Noises from the inside of your water heater. As your water heater gets older, sedentary material can settle in the bottom on the tank, causing a rumbling or banging sound when you run your heater. Over time, this will cause your heater to lose efficiency and take more time to heat the water. Preventative maintenance can help to remove this material before the heater breaks down.

It can also be difficult to detect these signs if you are not experienced in recognizing them. That is why it is also important to undergo regular maintenance or inspection for your water heater. Please give us a call today and we will be happy to make sure your water is always hot enough this fall.

More Efficient Ways to Heat Your Home This Fall

Don’t get tricked into paying more to heat your house this fall. Ben Franklin Doylestown has a treat for you!

Aging water heaters and boilers could be the reason your bills are increasing. Waiting for water to go from cold to hot to wash dishes or take a shower could be wasting more than just water. The more hot water that‘s used, the more money you have to pay for utilities. So instead of reconsidering your energy provider this fall, you should consider contacting Ben Franklin Doylestown for your heating needs.

Advantages of High-Efficiency (HE) Water Heaters

  • Reduced operating costs. High-efficiency units are so efficient because they extract a high level of heat energy without a lot of waste, meaning they can do more with the fuel in less time.
  • Hot water, quick! HE units can heat water at a faster rate than standard water heaters. This means no more running the water for 10 minutes before you hop in your shower.
  • Safer & more eco-friendly operation. For green-conscious households, high-efficiency is a no-brainer. Carbon monoxide and greenhouse emissions are significantly reduced since less energy is used.

To learn more about water heater installations in Buckingham, call Ben Franklin at 267-328-4935 or visit our website at www.benfranklinplumbingdoylestown.com.

Advantages of High-Efficiency Boilers

Each boiler comes with an energy efficient rating, making your decision easier. You can save up to 30% on energy bills just by switching to an energy efficient boiler. And if you’re getting spooked by odd noises coming from your boiler, now is a great time to switch!

  • Better ventilation. OIder boilers use a draft method of ventilation, while more efficient models use a method that is mechanically assisted. Since this is typically a direct-vent system, the combustion air comes in from outside, and the combustion chamber is sealed off from the house air, reducing the likelihood of fumes spreading throughout the house.
  • Lower operating costs. Just like high-efficiency water heaters, high-efficiency boilers are cheaper to maintain than older versions.

Contact Ben Franklin at 267-328-4935 to take care of your boiler installation in Doylestown before it’s too late!

The Everyday Culprits That Clog Your Drain

If your drain is clogged, it’s likely that you’ll notice. A clogged drain can put your life on hold – you just don’t have time for that!

If you see any of the following signs, you should request plumbing services for your Buckingham home as soon as possible:

– Water is backed up or takes a long time to go down.
This is common in tubs or sinks. If you draw a bath or fill up your sink with water, it’s meant to go down the drain relatively quickly. If it’s not going down at a steady rate, there is probably something blocking your drain.
– Your drains make strange sounds.
If your drains are making gurgling or bubbling noises after you turn on appliances such as the washer, it’s likely that a drain is clogged.
– A strange smell is coming from the kitchen sink.
If you have to hold your nose when you walk past the kitchen sink, that could be a sign that the drain is most likely backed up.

Now that you know the signs of a clogged drain, you might be left with an important question: But how does a drain get clogged? It’s simple. Your everyday routine can, unfortunately, cause drains to become backed up or clogged. While water easily goes down drains, solid materials don’t go down as easily. Here are some common things that can get caught in your drain and clog it up:

Food
The drains in kitchen sinks can easily get clogged with food. Even if you have a garbage disposal, there are some foods that stick to the sides of the drain or get caught and refuse to go down. Avoid putting foods such as these in the drain:
– Anything greasy
Grease clings to the sides of the drain and traps other food particles that go down.
– Anything that is difficult to grind
Eggshells
Bones
Coffee grounds
– Certain vegetables (celery, for example)
– Anything starchy that can easily expand
Bread
Pasta

Hair
Bathroom sinks and showers can easily get clogged up with hair. If someone in your home has long hair that tends to shed, or if someone in your household shaves over the sink, hair can get caught in the drain. To avoid this, try cleaning small hairs out of the sink while shaving or immediately taking hair out of the tub drain after showering.

Soap
Soap and shampoo can easily build up in shower drains and cause blockage. Also, if there is hair in your bathroom sink or shower drain, soap can cause it to accumulate and clog the drain even further. Additionally, if you use bars of soap, small pieces of it can get caught in the shower drain and stick to it for a long period of time.

As you complete your everyday routine, there are inevitably lots of ways for your drains to get clogged. You can prevent this by paying mind to what goes down your drain. However, it can sometimes be unavoidable. If your drains get clogged, it’s important to get drain cleaning service in your Lansdale home from a plumbing company.

At Ben Franklin Doylestown, our plumber contractors complete drain cleaning services to remove any substances from your drain and allow water to flow freely again and get your fixtures back in tip-top shape.

5 Signs That There Might Be a Leak in Your Home

Identifying water leaks in your home is not as simple as you might think. Sometimes, a leak is not always visible or audibly recognizable with a little tell-tale ‘drip, drip’ noise. A leak could be happening right above you, and you might not even know it.

Even if you don’t notice a leak, your house will. A water leak could be damaging your walls, floors, pipes, and especially your wallet without your knowledge.

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Why Your Water Needs Testing and Treatment

When you turn on the faucet in the morning to brush your teeth and take a shower, much more is going on than you might think. For water to enter your home, it must first be collected in various forms of reservoirs, accessed through a well drilled into the earth, pumped to the surface, treated by a facility, and then carried through numerous pipes before it ever even reaches your property. During all of this movement, the water collects bits of soil erosion, sediments, chemicals and other particulate matter. The presence of these contaminants can not only damage your home’s plumbing system but endanger the health of you and your family.

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4 Things That Can Go Wrong With the Pipes in Your Home

Every home has pipes: While sewer lines bring water out of your home, pipes bring water into it. Certain appliances in your home would not be able to run efficiently or produce water without the use of pipes. They keep everything flowing smoothly.

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5 Signs That You Should Have Your Water Treated

Even though water primarily consists of oxygen and hydrogen, there are many hard minerals that can get into the water in your home. These minerals include iron, chlorine and calcium. They can not only damage your appliances that use water, but can cause serious health issues for you and your family. The following five signs will let you know that it’s time to call a technician at Ben Franklin Doylestown for water treatment in Warminster or any other town in our service area.

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Protect Your Home From Serious Plumbing Problems This Summer With These 3 Tips

Summer is a carefree season, with kids out of school and the warm weather making it difficult to concentrate on anything but fun. However, if a plumbing problem arises, it cannot be ignored. While in the winter it’s common that pipes will freeze and burst, in the summer there’s potential for clogged garbage disposals, sewer line trouble and outdoor water line breaks.

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