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Professional Plumber: Qualities to Consider When Hiring One

Professional Plumber: Qualities to Consider When Hiring One

Imagine waking up to a flooded bathroom or discovering a massive leak threatening to destroy your prized possessions! What do you do? You’ll want to find a professional plumber as soon as possible. But, while it’s easy to recognize the work of a professional once you see the outcome, how do you know which one will do the best job? A plumbing expert possesses more than just piping skills and repair work–they have certain personality traits that you should consider.

9 Traits of a Good Plumbing Repair Professional

Here are the qualities to look for when hiring a plumbing repair pro:

#1. Proper Licensing

Before hiring a plumbing technician, you’ll want to know if they have a license. Most states in the US require them to have a valid license that allows them to work legally in the state. It also needs to cover their work because some plumbing tasks, like roof plumbing, could be covered by a separate license in your state. A license means the technician has undergone extensive training and is qualified to do plumbing work.

#2. Has Insurance

Hiring a plumbing technician with proper insurance coverage can be a blessing in case of an accident or injury. However, the most essential one to look for is liability insurance. That protects the tradie if they damage the property or injure themselves while working in your premise. Without it, you may have to foot the bill for any damage caused or medical expenses if they are injured on your property.

#3. Experience and Expertise

Experience matters. A service tech with years of experience under their belt is likely more skilled and knowledgeable than someone who’s just starting. However, it’s vital not to focus solely on how long they have been in business. Instead, consider their expertise in addressing specific plumbing problems similar to yours. For instance, if you have a leaky faucet, you want to choose a tradesperson with experience fixing faucets. Additionally, they should know how to deal with various common issues that this specific fixture may present.

#4. Good Communication

The last thing you want is a plumbing professional who can’t communicate effectively. From finding out what’s wrong to providing feedback throughout the job, you should be able to have an open, constructive dialogue with them. They should also be able to explain, in simple terms, what needs to be done and why. If a plumber speaks in technical jargon you don’t understand, it’s best to avoid them altogether. That’s because not understanding the issue can leave you vulnerable when it comes time to pay.

#5. Availability and Response Time

Plumbing emergencies can strike at any time. That’s why finding a plumbing company that offers 24-hour emergency services is essential. It will also help if you understand how long they take to respond. Are they available for same-day service? Or do you have to wait a few days before they can arrive? Answering these questions will help you determine if they’re the right fit for your needs.

#6. Reputation and Reviews

A technician’s reputation can give insight into the quality of their work and customer service. However, you can’t blindly trust what the handyman says, either. So before settling on one, you need to gather customer feedback. That’s where online reviews come in. Check the plumbing company’s website and social media profiles to see what others say about them. If all you see are complaints, you should think twice before hiring them for your project.

#7. Punctuality

When entrusting someone to handle a task for you, punctuality and courtesy should never be overlooked. Regardless of the profession, timing is critical, and in fields like plumbing, it can make or break an emergency situation. Therefore, it is crucial to hire someone committed to meeting deadlines and willing to apologize when things don’t go as planned. In addition to punctuality, a reliable plumbing tech should also treat your property with respect and care.

#8. Do They Provide a Warranty?

A reliable plumbing service provider should stand by their work with a warranty. This guarantees their work is of the highest quality and will last years. Review their warranty policy before signing off on any contract to know what’s covered if something goes wrong.

In addition to a warranty, a trustworthy plumbing service provider will have a clear and concise contract outlining the scope of work, materials used, timeline, and cost. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and clarify any uncertainties before agreeing to the terms.

#9. Provide All the Necessary Paperwork

Before work begins, you can tell if you’re dealing with a reliable plumber by the kind of paperwork they present. The tradie should provide all the documentation you need to decide whether to hire them and what to expect from the project. Generally, an experienced pro will offer the following paperwork:

  • A precise estimate: This should include the cost of labor, materials, permitting fees, taxes, and any additional fees associated with the project.
  • Insurance documentation: Proof the tradesman has general liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage.
  • A work schedule: Include the estimated start and completion dates and a list of any specific tasks that need to be completed.
  • A contract and scope of work agreement: An official documentation detailing in-depth work done, their responsibilities, and any problems or considerations for which they do not assume responsibility.

Get Professional Assistance

Hiring an experienced plumber isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Researching and comparing technicians will ensure that you’re hiring a qualified and experienced individual. With these tips, you’ll be able to find the right plumbing professional for the job and trust that they’ll do a quality job.

Get the best plumbing pros by contacting our team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. We use our years of experience and knowledge to provide the best plumbing solutions for your home or business.

See our most recent blog on this topic here.

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Plumbing Repair in Old Homes: Unique Challenges and Solutions

Plumbing Repair in Old Homes: Unique Challenges and Solutions

If you live in an old home, you most likely already have a deep appreciation for the unique character and charm that comes with its age. While these homes often boast beautiful architectural details and a sense of history, they may also have unique plumbing challenges. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean no solutions to these problems. This guide aims to uncover old homes’ most common plumbing issues and explain how plumbing repair can help.

Remember: Though it may be tempting to try DIY plumbing repair, we strongly recommend hiring a professional plumber to handle these complex issues. Not only will they expertly diagnose and fix the problem, but they’ll also be able to identify any underlying issues that may have gone undetected.

That said, let’s explore the most common plumbing issues in old homes and their solutions:

Outdated Plumbing System

Old homes are often made of more solid and better materials than their modern counterparts. However, as time passes, pipes, fixtures, and other components may have aged to the point where they need replacing. The materials used in these houses are also susceptible to wear and tear, which inevitably start causing issues like leaks and corrosion. Additionally, they can pose a challenge, as they may no longer be designed for today’s more powerful water pressure or comply with U.S. building codes.

A professional plumbing inspection and assessment can help identify problem areas that may need repair or replacement. Experienced plumbers are well-versed in the unique needs of older homes and can recommend the most suitable solutions for your situation.

The Materials Used

The type of materials used in a home’s plumbing system is crucial in its functionality. Older homes typically feature pipes made of materials that are no longer in use today. If these homes have been renovated within the last few decades, some or all of the pipes may have already been replaced. Nevertheless, it’s best to have a professional assess the current plumbing system and determine if further replacements are necessary.

Some of the most common materials used in older homes include:

  • Galvanized Steel: Many older homes have galvanized steel pipes prone to rusting and corrosion. These corrosive issues can lead to leaks and clogs and, eventually, the complete failure of the line.
  • Cast Iron: Cast iron pipes were widely used for drainage systems in older homes. These pipes can break or deteriorate under stress, making them susceptible to leaks, blockages, and unpleasant odors.
  • Lead: Lead was a popular choice for plumbing in homes built before 1960, but it has since been discovered to cause serious health issues, including lead poisoning. Any lead pipes in your home’s plumbing system should be replaced with non-lead alternatives for safety.

Many of these materials can be repaired or replaced with more modern, durable ones. For example, copper can be replaced with modern, corrosion-resistant PEX piping, while galvanized steel can be swapped out for PVC pipes. Professional plumbers can help you determine the best materials for your home and install them correctly.

Failing Plumbing Fixtures

Another common yet neglected problem with older homes often come with outdated plumbing fixtures such as sinks, faucets, and toilets. These fixtures are usually made of cheap materials that easily wear out over time, causing issues. Potential Problems include:

  • Leaking faucets: Gaskets, seals, and other internal components in older faucets can wear down, causing leaks and potential water waste.
  • Inefficient toilets: Older toilets consume more water per flush and may lack efficient flushing systems, leading to higher water bills and frequent clogs.
  • Outdated water heaters: Old water heaters are less energy-efficient and may have sediment buildup, leading to poor performance and higher energy costs.

A professional plumber can replace outdated fixtures with new, energy-efficient models that save water and perform better.

Tree Root Intrusions

As trees grow, their roots can extend outward; in some cases, they may find their way into the sewer lines of older homes. This intrusion can cause blockages or slow drains. In addition, the roots can obstruct the flow of water and waste through the sewer line, leading to backups and slow-draining fixtures. The root intrusion can cause significant damage to the sewer line. 

Signs of a root intrusion may include:

  • Gurgling or bubbling noises when water is flowing
  • Slow draining fixtures
  • Sewage smell in your home or yard
  • Multiple clogged drains throughout your home
  • Sewage backups 
  • Wet patches on your lawn
  • Sinkholes developing in your yard

If you suspect a root intrusion, it’s essential to call for expert plumbing repair immediately. Licensed plumbers use high-grade equipment to identify and remove tree roots in the sewer system and, if necessary, repair or replace the affected parts.

Aging Sewer Lines

Sewer lines in older homes are made from materials such as clay, cast iron, or even lead, all of which can become vulnerable after some time. These pipes can crack or collapse with age, leading to severe sewer backups and costly repairs.

If you have an older home, inspecting the sewer lines regularly is vital. Professional plumbers can use specialized tools such as video cameras to inspect the sewer lines and identify potential problems.

If an issue is identified, the plumbing technician can recommend repairs or replacements to ensure the sewer lines function correctly.

Trust the Professionals

Plumbing repair in older homes can present unique challenges, but with the help of an expert, these issues can be identified and resolved quickly and effectively. Whether you require pipe relining, replacement, or fixture repair and replacement, professional plumbers have the experience and skill necessary to get the job done right.

For any plumbing issues in old homes, including root intrusions, sewer line backups, or aged fixtures, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing today! Our professional plumbers offer outstanding customer service and rely on the latest techniques to provide top-notch care for your home’s plumbing.

Please book an appointment today, and let us handle all your plumbing needs! We look forward to hearing from you!

See our most recent blog on this topic here.

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Signs You Need Plumbing Repair Service

Signs You Need Plumbing Repair Service

Does your plumbing system seem a little off? Plumbing repair services can’t wait, especially when they involve leaking water. Noticing the signs of an issue early can protect your home from serious water damage, mold growth, or an escalating problem that costs much more to fix.

Some plumbing problems are obvious. A gushing pipe in your unfinished basement is easy to spot, and you’ll notice quickly when your water heater stops working — especially if you’re taking a shower at the time. Other issues are subtle or hidden behind finished walls, so you might not spot them as quickly. Your plumbing system could still be sending you signals about a problem, though. Look for these signs of a plumbing problem to know when to call a plumber.

1. Fluctuating Water Pressure

Your water pressure should remain fairly consistent when your plumbing is working correctly. You might notice an occasional fluctuation if you’re running multiple water sources at once, but ongoing pressure issues, especially in multiple faucets, could be a sign of trouble. If the issue is limited to one sink, the aerator could be clogged.

If the water pressure is lower everywhere, it could be due to a system-wide issue. Sometimes, your supply from the municipal source comes in at varying pressures. Within your home, there could be several issues causing changes in your water pressure.

2. Unusual Noises

It’s normal to hear water running through the pipes when you’re using it, but some sounds in your plumbing system could tell you it’s time for a plumber. A banging or knocking sound usually means you have a water hammer, which vibrates the pipes and can damage them. Gurgling when you flush your toilet could indicate a sewer backup problem. If you notice whistling, it could mean the air in the pipe or the water pressure is low. You might notice a hissing sound if the water pressure is too high. It’s a good idea to call a plumber if you hear any unusual or new sounds coming from your plumbing system.

3. Discolored Water

Your water can turn a variety of shades when something’s wrong. Cloudiness can happen if your pipes have air in them. Yellow and brown shades usually mean there’s rust in the water, which can come from corroded pipes. If you have copper pipes, the water could look green if you have major corrosion. The corroded areas have a higher risk of breaking or leaking, so you should have them checked out immediately if you see discolored water.

4. Sewer Smells

When you flush or send something down the drain, you shouldn’t have to worry about it again. So smelling a sewer or rotten egg smell usually means you’re dealing with an issue. The smell could mean there’s a dry trap somewhere in your home. That can happen if you don’t use a toilet or shower often, but it could also mean a leak or loose pipe connection. Let a plumber sniff out the cause of the smell to fix it safely.

5. Slow Drains

Clogs are one of the most common plumbing issues for homeowners. It’s easy for little pieces of food, grease, hair, and other things to slip down your drain and get stuck in the pipe. Each time something goes down the drain, it gets stuck and grows into a larger clog. You’ll often notice the water draining slowly when this happens. Eventually, it could stop draining completely.

If all your drains are slow, the issue is probably deeper in the system. A blocked sewer line could slow down all your drains.

Don’t be tempted to reach for a liquid drain cleaner. They’re full of dangerous chemicals that can harm you and your plumbing. Plus, they’re usually not very effective. Calling for a plumbing repair from a professional plumber is the best long-term solution. Plumbers use special tools to clear drains safely.

6. Water Stains Or Moisture

Hidden leaks often take longer to notice. By the time you do, there could already be water damage happening. Water stains or bubbles on your ceilings and walls could indicate a hidden leak. You might notice moisture in other areas as well. Your carpet could be wet, or the drywall might feel damp. A musty smell and mold growth can also indicate water leaks.

7. Increasing Water Bills

You might always think your water bill is too high, but seeing an increase in it could be more than just an annoying bill. It could mean you have a leak in your system. The increase could be sudden or gradual. Before you assume it’s a leak, consider an explanation for a one-time increase, such as filling your pool for the season or watering new sod frequently. If nothing unusual happens, your system is losing water somewhere. Toilets frequently leak, so that’s a good place to start. Leaks can happen anywhere in your system, so it’s not always easy to track down the source. A plumber can use leak detection tools to find the problem and fix it.

8. Puddles In Your Yard

Puddles are normal after a rainstorm, but unexplained pooling water or soft spots in your yard shouldn’t be ignored. It could mean that you have a water main or sewer line break belong the grass. Sewer line breaks might also appear as extra green, thick grass due to the nutrients it receives from the sewage.

If you notice these signs or any other unusual issues, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing immediately. Catching the issue early makes fixing it easier and can prevent major damage. Our licensed and trained plumbers can respond quickly and diagnose plumbing problems correctly, making the repairs on the same visit to get your plumbing back in working order. Call us as soon as you notice an issue with your plumbing.

See our most recent blog on this topic here.

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Understanding Water Heater Installation Costs From Your Trusted Plumber

Understanding Water Heater Installation Costs From Your Trusted Plumber

The need for hot water is slowly changing from a luxury that only a few homes could afford to a necessity to get most households through the most brutal winters. As weather patterns change due to the fast rate of global warming, having regular hot water in your home is one way to get through the extended winter seasons. Therefore, water heater installation by an expert plumber will facilitate important aspects such as a healthy lifestyle and your family’s health. Unfortunately, conventional ways of heating water used in most homes recently are exorbitant as they require a lot of energy. Studies indicate that about 20% of a home’s energy consumption is by the water heater. However, newer technologies in the market offer better advantages than conventional water heating systems. But what do you need for a new water heater installation? What are the cost implications? Below is a guide on what you need to know about water heater installation costs.

What is the Water Heater Installation Cost?

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer when it comes to the question of the overall cost of installing a water heater. This is because water heater prices vary widely depending on some factors. For example, the installation fee and additional materials a professional needs. This will include additional pipes, isolation valves, and other materials required. Also, additional installation materials vary in size from one home to the next.

Remember that these additional materials are not part of the water heater purchase price. Therefore, having a section for these materials is advisable when planning your budget. In contrast, the other cost to consider during the budget planning phase is the running cost. Once a water heater is installed, there will be an electrical bill, water bill, and regular maintenance fee. Although these costs may play a minor role during purchase and installation, they play a crucial role in the daily running of the water heater. Therefore, you should consult a skilled plumber to effectively answer how much you need for a water heater installation. The plumbing technician will investigate your home and give you a definitive number.

What Factors Will Affect the Cost?

Water heater installation costs are divided into the water heater specifications and the additional installation costs, including:

The Type of Water Heater

The type of water heater you choose for your home contributes to the installation’s overall price. The market has three types of water heaters: electric water heaters, gas water heaters, and solar water heaters. Electric water heaters are the cheapest compared to other times. They are generally less expensive than the other option since they are readily available and do not require special requirements like the other two. Additionally, their source of power is readily available in most homes. Notably, although their initial buying price could be much higher, their running price is high.

On the other hand, gas water heaters are more expensive to install and purchase. The plumber will also need to install an exhaust vent in your boiler room for the safety of your home. The exhaust vent helps move the gas released outside your home, preventing indoor buildup. Therefore, during its installation, you may need extra pipes. Notably, although a gas water heater has an expensive purchase price, it is a lot cheaper to run than an electric water heater. Therefore, you save a lot in the long run.

Finally, solar-powered water heaters are the most expensive type to buy and install. However, the type might also offer solar rebates depending on your location. In addition, their operating cost is relatively low compared to their counterparts since it reduces the energy cost considerably.

Conventional or Tankless

The other factor you need to remember when looking for a water heater is if you want a tank or tankless water heater. The significant difference between the two systems is that a tank water heater system heats a lot of water at once and stores it until you need it, while a tankless system heats the water as it is being used. Although the tankless water heater is more expensive, its main advantage is never running out of hot water. In addition, it tends to be smaller such that it can fit in a small space, unlike the tank water heater.

Size and Energy Factor

The other factor that significantly affects the price of a water heater is the size and energy factor of the heater. Therefore, before purchasing a water heater, you need to check the energy factor rating, EF, as it plays a critical role in both the initial purchase price and the operation cost of the water heater. The higher the EF, the more expensive the water heater will be. In addition, with a high EF, you will save more on energy usage no matter the water heater type.

The size of the heater means how many gallons of water it provides. Therefore, consider the hot water needs of your family and choose a water heater that is ideal for your setup. Your perfect water heater should give you enough hot water on your home’s peak usage time and, at the same time, not waste energy heating water you will not use. Hence, ensure you consult a plumber before purchasing a unit. They will help you choose one of the right sizes.

Installation Team

While planning your budget, you should also include the plumbing service fees. Find a skilled company to do the installation and help you through the planning and purchasing of an ideal water heater for your home.

Always Inquire About Installation Costs Before Hiring a Company

Searching for the ideal water heater for your home is a challenging and confusing task because of the available varieties in the market. Therefore, you need a reliable professional to walk this journey with you. Contact us at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for any water heater installation questions and services.

See our most recent blog on this topic here.

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Plumbing Problems? Call A Plumbing Repair Professional

Plumbing Problems? Call A Plumbing Repair Professional

You likely don’t think about your plumbing system often when it functions correctly, and it isn’t until something goes wrong that you start to panic. Plumbing problems can affect your daily life, and not knowing what’s wrong or how much the repair will cost can be very stressful.

Fortunately, hiring a plumbing repair professional immediately will eliminate the stress, and your plumbing system will start working again.

If your plumbing system experiences any of the following problems, you should call a plumber.

Drain Problems

Your home’s drainage system allows water and waste to leave the house, and if it doesn’t work correctly, simple daily tasks can be challenging. As careful as you are with what you put down the drain, grease, food, hair, and soap scum can get into the drain and cause a clog.

If the water drains slowly, it indicates a small clog, and running the water for too long can cause the sink to overflow. If the problem isn’t addressed immediately, the clog will escalate to a complete clog.

There’s a significant drain clog if the water won’t drain at all, and there’s standing water in the sink or tub. You won’t be able to use the sink or tub until the clog is removed, and bacteria growth can occur in the standing water, creating a health hazard in your home.

When multiple drains clog simultaneously, it isn’t coincident and indicates a clog in the sewer line. This is a serious problem because the clog will continue to escalate, and eventually, the water and waste won’t be able to pass the clog and will back up into the house, which is the last thing you ever want to happen. A sewage backup in the home will cause a nasty, smelly mess that can be difficult and unpleasant to clean up, so it’s best to address the problem immediately.

Plumbers have the tools necessary to eliminate any size clog in the drain or the sewer line, allowing the water to flow quickly down the drain.

Poor Water Pressure

Adequate water pressure is essential to perform basic household tasks. For example, insufficient water pressure will make washing the shampoo and conditioner from your hair challenging, causing your morning routine to take longer. Also, rinsing the dishes will take longer if the water pressure is poor. Your water-based appliances also rely on adequate water pressure to function correctly, so it’s best to schedule an appointment for plumbing repair if the water pressure is reduced.

If just the hot water pressure is poor, the issue is with the water heater. When sediment clogs the unit’s waterline, it will affect the water pressure. A plumber will try to flush the sediment from the tank, but if this isn’t possible, the unit must be replaced to restore the water pressure.

If the hot and cold water pressure is poor, the problem is with the plumbing system. A few issues can affect your water pressure, including:

  • A problem with the water meter valve
  • A problem with the water shutoff valve
  • Corroded pipes
  • A significant clog in the pipes
  • The pressure regulator is broken
  • Plumbing leaks

A plumber will inspect the plumbing system to determine what’s causing the problem so they can fix it to restore the water pressure.

Brown or Rust-Colored Water

The water coming from the taps should be clean and clear. If you turn on the water and it is brown or rust-colored, you should call a plumber immediately. Discolored water indicates contamination, so you shouldn’t use the water until the problem is resolved.

The problem is with the water heater if it’s just the discolored hot water. When a significant amount of sediment builds up in the water heater tank, the hot water will break it up, causing contamination. The unit must be replaced if the plumber cannot flush the sediment.

If the water heater is over ten years old, the tank could break down inside, causing tiny metal shards and sediment to contaminate the water. This problem cannot be fixed, and the only option is to replace the unit.

If the hot and cold water pressure is poor, the issue is with a pipe in the plumbing system. Older pipes can rust and corrode as they age, contaminating the water. A plumber can replace the affected pipes so the water will run clean and clear again.

It’s best to schedule an appointment for plumbing service immediately because you need water all day, and it isn’t safe to use contaminated water. If you must use it, boiling the water first is best.

Dripping Faucet

A dripping faucet may not seem like a problem, but it’s more serious than you think. Ignoring the problem will cause you to waste 11 or more gallons per day, up to 330 gallons of water per month, causing your water bills to increase significantly. Also, the dripping can escalate to a steady stream you can’t stop, and you’ll waste much more water.

A few problems can cause the faucet to leak, such as a worn-out gasket or washer, a loose O ring, or corrosion in the valve seat.

It’s best to call a plumbing repair tech when the faucet starts dripping to keep your water bills down.

Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Today

If you need to schedule an appointment for plumbing repair, look no further than Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth, TX. We’re a full-service plumbing company, proudly serving customers in the area for years.

All of our plumbers have undergone a plumbing apprenticeship program consisting of five years of technical schooling to ensure they can handle the most challenging jobs in the industry. They have also passed drug tests and background checks, so you can feel comfortable allowing our plumbers into your home. Also, We have a plumber on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you need emergency plumbing service.

The plumber will be in a fully-stocked truck when they arrive at your home, allowing them to make most repairs on the same day, making things easier for you.

If you need to book an appointment, call us, or request an appointment online.

See our latest blog on this topic here.

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