3 Signs That You Have Sewer Lines That Need Repairing

All households experience plumbing problems from time to time. However, what most homeowners dread is having to deal with a leak, break, or clog in the sewer line. This is because it can affect the entire household and not only the plumbing system. Worse, it can happen anywhere in the sewer line that runs through your property, right up to the municipal sewer in the middle of the street.

Sometimes, the problem is not yours alone. It can be your city’s problem as well since it may affect several households and the required repair job may be extensive. Either way, the job will require the services of highly skilled and experienced plumbers like Spartan Plumbing.

Dangers of Having Damaged Sewer Lines

The dreaded sewage backup is undoubtedly every homeowner’s bane. The worst part is that it can be quite harmful. Thus, it is imperative that you address the problem right away before the problem becomes worse.

Having said that, the following are the biggest dangers of having a damaged sewer line that results in a major sewer backup:

Family members may get sick –

If water from the sewage finds its way to your body via an open wound or your mouth, it may cause serious ailments including Salmonella, Shigella, Giardia, E Coli, Hepatitis A, and Rotavirus, among others.

Mold can start to thrive in various areas of your home –

Mold thrives in damp and dirty places. Sewers and dirty water are a perfect combination to trigger a mold outbreak or infestation.

Anyone in your household may experience breathing problems –

If you or other members of your family are already suffering from symptoms of asthma or other similar health issues, a sewage backup can significantly worsen the condition.

Signs That Indicate Your Sewer Lines Are in Need of Repair

Sewer line problems need to be addressed right away. Otherwise, you may be facing more serious problems that will require more expensive repairs in the future.

Here are the top signs to watch out for:

Drain Clogs in Various Areas of the House –

You may consider one drain clog as a minor problem, or even two clogs as an easy to fix the issue. However, if you notice slow drains and clogs in practically your entire household, then it may be an indication that breaks or blocks in your sewer lines are forcing the sewage to back up into your drains. If you also notice a foul-smelling odour coming from your drains, then you could be facing a serious sewer line problem that requires the attention of an experienced plumber. You need to have the damage fixed right away.

Smelly, Damp Spots on Your Lawn –

If corrosion or extreme pressure from tree roots cause a sewer line to break, wastewater will leak upwards and make its way to your yard. The soggy areas on the ground will emit a lingering bad odour, which will not dissipate until repairs are made.

Pests or Leak Signs in the Basement –

The lower areas of your home will be the first to be affected by sewer line problems. Thus, if you maintain a basement, a damaged sewer line may first leak water into this area before the water spreads upward. Before you know it, there are issues all over your home. Vermin and insects may likewise start to infest the area because of the excess water around the basement drains. This is another reason not to ignore a sewer line problem.

Unlike other plumbing repairs, a damaged sewer line requires the skills and experience of a professional. Call Spartan Plumbing if your sewer lines need repaired.

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What Is Back Flow Prevention?

The moment water enters your house from the water supply line, it should flow only in one direction, proceeding through your home and then back out as wastewater. However, sometimes, because of pressure changes within the pipes, water can flow backwards and run back towards the water supply line.

Backflow can happen when, for example, the main water line is broken or when a fire hydrant is used. Because pressure is lost during these activities, water is no longer pushed into your home, and instead flows back to the city water lines.

When this occurs, backflow can actually contaminate the public drinking supply with fertilizers, pesticides, human waste, chlorine (from pools or spas), soap from dishwashers, sinks, showers, and much more. And this is where backflow prevention becomes crucial.

Tucson Faucet and Sink Fixture

A backflow preventer is a machine that can be installed in your water pipes that allows water to flow only in one direction and never in the opposite. Its job is to prevent the contamination of drinking water due to backflow.

Here at Spartan Plumbing, we highly recommend that our customers in Tucson, Arizona consider backflow prevention in their homes and businesses. Without this protection, unclean and unsafe water can contaminate your water supply line, which puts the health of you and your family at risk.

There are other things you need to know about Back Flow Prevention.

How To Choose A Backflow Prevention Device

There are different types of backflow preventers available in the market as of today. Check with your local water provider, your local government, and whoever issues permits to see if the device you desire to use is authentic, effective, and legal. There are regulations that vary depending on which location you are in. Backflow prevention devices are expensive, and you don’t want to waste your hard-earned money.

COSTS

Backflow preventer prices depend on what kind of machine is used and what current situation you are in. There are 4 types of devices commonly used around the country, and here is a list of the most expensive to the least expensive:

  1. Reduced Pressure Type Back Flow Preventer (RP)
  2. Double Check Type Back Flow Preventer (DC)
  3. Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB)
  4. Anti-Siphon Valve (ASV)

Why Should I Install A Backflow Prevention Device?

Backflow preventers help keep your water drinkable and clean and prevent the addition of pollutants that can contaminate your water supply line. Because, if backflow happens, wastewater can run in the opposite direction and expose you and your family to severe health concerns.

Other Preventive Home Tips for Backflow Issues

These are things homeowners can do to prevent backflow issues from happening:

  • Check your garden hose if it has some sort of backflow preventive setting.
  • Do not submerge your garden hoses in puddles they create, which may contaminate the hose.
  • Make sure that there are air gaps on plumbed appliances like water softeners, etc.
  • Change filters often. Filters can grow bacteria and molds that contaminate drinking water as they decompose over time with use.

Your safe, drinkable water can backflow when fire sprinkler systems are used for emergencies, in commercial boiler systems, and when used for underground lawn irrigation. You don’t want this unused water to go back to your home for drinking purposes.

Although getting the opinions of neighbors and friends can be very helpful, it is better to listen to what the professionals have to say. That way you can feel comfortable choosing an option that fits your budget. The best option for you is one that works and is affordable at the same time.

At the end of the day, ensuring your home never experiences backflow is the most important thing. This is why it is very important for you to have had a functional backflow preventer for your home or business. Spartan Plumbing is always ready to serve our customers by installing a new backflow prevention device. We’re ready to help and we’re just a call away.

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What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

So, what exactly is a tankless water heater, and what makes it different from traditional water heater types?

A tankless water heater directly heats water without using a storage tank. When you turn a hot water tap on, the cold water passes through a pipe attached to the unit. The water heater’s heating element then heats the water. The heating element may either be an electric element or a gas burner.

To put it simply, a tankless water heater delivers a constant hot water supply to your home.

In most cases, homeowners do not pay enough attention to their water heater installation. After all, why bother when it’s functioning the way it’s supposed to? When you notice that its energy efficiency is deteriorating or when your unit is about to reach the end of its useful life, that tends to be the only time you pay attention to your water heater. When this happens, maybe it’s time to upgrade to a tankless – or on-demand of water heating solution.

Why Shift to a Tankless Water Heater

Following are some of the main advantages of tankless water heaters over traditional water heating solutions:

Long-lasting –

In general, a tankless water heater has a rugged construction using durable materials. Thus, it has a longer life expectancy compared to regular heaters. In addition, most of the parts are reparable, resulting in less of a long-term effect on the environment.

Endless Supply of Hot Water –

The storage tank of a traditional water heater limits its capacity to provide hot water. This is not a problem with the tankless variety as it will continue to supply hot water continuously, provided there’s energy or fuel for heating.

Energy Saver –

In a traditional model, water starts to lose heat as soon as it reaches the tank. Thus, the unit needs to continually run in order to have a constant supply of hot water. In a tankless model, the unit is turned on only when hot water is needed, making it more energy-efficient.

Space Saver –

The tankless model is ideal for homeowners with limited or tighter space. Just imagine how much space a 60- or 40-gallon tank would require. A lot of space is needed just to install a traditional water heater. A tankless water heater doesn’t need nearly as much space and can open up a lot of usable floor space in the basement or wherever it is located.

Lower Eco-Impact –

A tankless water heater does not only lower reliance on non-renewable sources of energy. Most of the parts can also be repaired, unlike traditional models that often require complete part replacements.

Cons:

Following are the disadvantages of tankless water heaters. Weigh the pros and cons in order to make an informed buying decision.

Higher Installation Cost:

By switching to a tankless water heater, you need to spend on initial costs up front, including installation. You may also need to install new vents and gas lines. However, you’ll recover the additional costs in the form of energy savings. This is because you will no longer need to heat and re-heat water in a tank on a constant basis.

Low Water Output:

Obviously getting water from a 60-gallon water tank is more convenient. This is true when you simultaneously need water in your household for laundry, dishwashing, and showers. While a tankless unit is more efficient, it can only provide a limited amount of water at the same time. Thus, you may need to install several tankless water heaters to address this problem.

When considering replacing your old unit or upgrading to a tankless water heater, you can count on Spartan Plumbing to provide the perfect solution. With a professional and skilled team, you’ll get a great customer experience from sales to installation.

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5 Causes of Low Water Pressure Causes in Your Home

Common Causes of Low Home Water Pressure

Water pressure problems in our homes can be of different types, and they are always very frustrating. It may be our faucets taking forever to fill the sink or the bathtub, our showerheads not giving us that strong spray we always want, or a washing machine taking much longer to run its cycle.

Water pressure issues that affect the whole house is something serious and will give you and your family more hassle if not taken care of. Here are 5 reasons why you might not be enjoying good water pressure in your home and who to contact to address such concerns.

1. Defective Fixtures

One of the most common causes of low water pressure is poorly installed or defective fixtures. Your showerhead or faucets at home could be very old and maybe clogged with dust, dirt, or other things. The poor flow of water also reduces water quality. You could opt to change these fixtures and see if your water pressure improves.

2. Clogged Water Pipe

A clogged, blocked, or constricted pipe somewhere within your plumbing system can also greatly affect the water pressure throughout your home. The worst part is, a clogged water pipe can also lead to leaks in various parts of your piping system and will likely require professional help to fix completely. There are many reasons a water pipe can be clogged – dirt, limestone, rust, even insects and small animals.

3. A Faulty Pressure Regulator

This is another cause of poor home water pressure. A pressure regulator controls the valves that reduce the input pressure within your plumbing system so that it stays at a safe level and doesn’t damage your pipes. Although not all homes have pressure regulators, those who have one in their lines need to have it checked.

4. Water Meter and Shut Off Valves not Fully Open

Another thing to check if your water pressure is low is your water meter and shut off valves. Water meter valves open or cut off the water supply from most areas of your home, while a shut-off valve is your water supply’s ‘main switch’. Check these valves to ensure they are open and, if your water flow is still slow, you should consider getting professional help before things get worse.

5. Corroded Plumbing

Having a corroded plumbing system is the most serious and costly reason for low water pressure. This happens when aged galvanized-steel water pipes begin to corrode, greatly restricting water flow. This type of pipe corrodes on the inside, where you cannot see. However, in the long run, the build-up of scale and corrosion gradually closes the pipe completely.

This issue develops over a long period of time, even decades. You usually don’t even notice the reduction of water flow because it happens so gradually. And, if you happen to move into an older house, this problem could already exist and may seem to show up out of nowhere.

Having good water pressure is very important to most people and will affect the quality of water you deal with every day in your home. Spartan Plumbing has helped Tucson residents in Arizona with various water pressure problems and other plumbing-related issues. We offer professional services that can help you address your water pressure concerns, and we can provide fast solutions for you.

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Reasons to Install a New Garbage Disposal

If your kitchen doesn’t have a garbage disposal unit yet, maybe it’s time to install one. Having a garbage disposal comes with a lot of benefits and can make life easier for you and your family.

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7 Top reasons Why you Should Consider Installing a Garbage Disposal

1. Convenient cleanup

You won’t need to meticulously get every bit of food off dishes before washing them if you have a garbage disposal. It’ll be more convenient to wash dishes since it can gather all food wastes while you’re washing and get rid of them all at once when you’re done.

2. Lessens landfill food wastes

Food wastes that go into your trash cans will end up in landfills. Using a garbage disposal can help the environment.

Decomposing wastes in landfills emit harmful greenhouse gases. Wastes that go into the garbage disposal often go through the septic system. This will not harm the environment.

3. Helps prevent clogged pipes

Sometimes, chunks of food scraps go into the drains. This can cause clogged pipes that’ll need cleared or repaired.

Having a garbage disposal will prevent this from happening. You won’t need to worry about food scraps that go into the drains. Simply turn on the blades of the garbage disposal and they will turn the scraps into tiny bits that won’t clog your pipes.

4. Helps water treatment plants

Some water treatment plants appreciate homes that have garbage disposals. The food wastes that go through their system produce methane. This gas can produce energy that helps treatment plants save on operational costs.

5. Quiet

Old garbage disposal models are known to be loud. This is why some homeowners didn’t want to install one in their home.

Recently, companies have developed newer garbage disposal models that are quiet. This prevents annoying noises from echoing in your home.

6. Sanitary

If you keep food scraps in a trashcan, it may lead to illnesses in your family. Bacteria and molds can quickly grow and multiply on rotting food. Pests such as flies and cockroaches can also become attracted to your trash.

Children may unknowingly play with garbage. Pets also sometimes get into trash cans, especially if they smell food inside. Even though the trash can is closed, the smell of rotten food can still linger in the house.

Having a garbage disposal can avoid all these problems. It will not only leave your house smelling fresh, but it will help keep you and your family healthy and safe.

7. Affordable and cost-efficient

You won’t need to spend a lot on installing a garbage disposal. They have a wide price range for every type of homeowner. Also, it doesn’t have much effect on your utility bills.

You’ll only need to turn on the garbage disposal when needed, though some models turn on automatically. In these, sensors trigger the garbage disposal to turn on only when it’s full.

Even if you have a garbage disposal, not everything should go in it. Here’s a list of some things you should not put in a garbage disposal.

  • Oil and grease
  • Vegetable peels
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Vegetable or fruit pits and seeds
  • Bones
  • Paper, plastic, metal, cigarette butts, etc.
  • Uncooked pasta and rice
  • Stringy vegetables
  • Large food wastes

Remember that the wastes you put in the garbage disposal will end up in the sewage system. Also, you need take care of the blades. Putting anything too hard in the disposal may damage them.

If you’re convinced that you should get a garbage disposal unit for your kitchen, call a plumbing company now. Choose a plumbing company with licensed professionals to repair or replace your garbage disposal, like Spartan Plumbing.

Trained plumbers can quickly install a garbage disposal unit with no problems. Also, you’ll be needing their help for a regular maintenance check. That’s why you should choose a company that you can trust for a long time.

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Buying A Home? Inspect The Sewer Line!

You found your dream home. It’s beautiful, and the location is ideal to raise a family. It has a nice garden with a breathtaking view. The best part is that you got it for an amazing deal. But, have you checked its sewer line?

This is an issue that most home buyers often overlook. Yet, it’s a crucial part of a home that all buyers should check before sealing the deal.

There are many reasons why you should check a house’s sewer line before buying it.

Clogged sewer lines

It’s important to check the sewer line of a house, especially if it’s over 20 years old. If there’s a large tree near the house, there’s a chance of sewer line clogging because of tree roots. Roots tend to grow toward areas where they can sense water. Since water flows through pipes, the roots may grow in their direction.

If you’re unlucky, the sewer pipe of the house could be entirely clogged by a large root. This can take time and money to repair.

Cesspools

Check if the house has a cesspool. Some old houses still have an intact cesspool. Even though your sewer line is already connected to the city septic system, the intact cesspool could be a problem.

Other sewer line damages

Any kind of sewer line damage can be expensive. There could be leaks or holes in the sewer pipes. If you don’t check it before buying the house, you may need to spend more than you expect on repairs.

Sewer Line Inspections

The only way to get a sewer line inspected is by calling a plumbing company. The real estate agent may refer to some plumbing companies, but it’s best to call one that you trust.

Get a reputable company that will give an unbiased sewer inspection, like Spartan Plumbing.

Before the inspection, it’s important to ask your real estate agent if they’ll allow a camera inspection of the pipes. A reliable plumbing company will use a camera and manoeuvre it into the sewer line. This will give you a clear image if there is any damage or blockages.

The inspector would also be able to give you the status of its overall condition. Don’t forget to ask the inspector about the material used for the sewer line. Old houses built in the 1950’s used materials that weren’t durable.

If you’re lucky, the inspector will find a reconditioned or brand-new sewer line. From the inspection, you’ll get a clear idea if you’ll need to spend money on repairing or reconditioning the sewer line.

The cost of the inspection maybe a few hundred bucks, but it’s a good investment if you’re buying a property. The cost may depend on the size of the sewer line.

Before investing your money in a house or property, make sure to inspect everything. Some homeowners and real estate agents may hide the underlying flaws of houses just to sell the property.

If you get the sewer line inspected and there’s a problem, you have two options. First, you can move on and try looking for another house to buy. Second, you can push through with buying the house and face the repair costs of the sewer line. You can ask the inspector for a quick quote of how much you’d need to spend on the sewer line. If you are still negotiating the purchase of the house, you may be able to pay less for the house based on the needed repairs.

No matter what your choice is, remember to hire inspection or repair services from someone you can trust. Choose a reputable company that has the right equipment for a thorough inspection. You may need to spend a few hundred dollars on it, but you can be sure that your money is well spent.

Buying A Home? Inspect The Sewer Line! is available on call our Tucson pros at (520) 617-1000

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Common Causes of a Noisy Water Heater

Do you hear strange noises in your house? It might be your water heater.

A water heater shouldn’t make any noise. If it does, there might be a problem. Don’t worry, because it’s rare for water heaters to make noise, but it can be very annoying and distracting.

Here are the common reasons why your water heater might be making noise.

Mineral Build-up

Popping sounds in your water heater could mean that it has build-up. The build-up can be made up of sand, dirt, and debris. The build-up accumulates at the bottom of the water heater. Then, water will become trapped under the build-up. The trapped water will heat up, develop bubbles, and explode. This is the cause of the popping sound.

SOLUTION:

Using a water softener can help remove the sediment in the water. Doing this will eliminate the popping sound from your heater. Flushing your water heater regularly will also remove the build-up. This will ensure that your water heater has a longer life.

Extremely High Pressure

A high-pitched sound could mean that there’s too much pressure in your water heater. In this case, water and steam may leak from the heater’s valve, which causes the sound. When you don’t monitor or regulate the temperature of your water heater, the pressure can increase farther than it’s meant to.

SOLUTION:

You should shut off your heater’s valve when you hear this sound. Then, call an expert plumber that can fix the problem. Only professionals with special equipment and training can properly fix it. Call a reliable water heater service company like Spartan Plumbing.

Expanded Plumbing Pipes

When you hear a ticking sound, it could be your plumbing pipes. Hot water can expand water pipes and contract your heater. This results in the water pipes rubbing against the heater’s framing and loose traps.

SOLUTION:

Placing plastic spacers on the areas where the pipes are rubbing against the heater can solve this problem. Reducing the temperature can lower the water pressure, which can minimize the noise.

Water Flow Stopping

When the water flow stops abruptly, a hammering or knocking sound may occur. When this happens, the remaining water in the pipes may be moving in reverse. This is a serious problem that can destroy your water heater.

SOLUTION:

A device called a water hammer arrestor could help prevent this problem. It can absorb sudden shock when the water flow stops.

Loose Electric Element

Your water heater’s electric element can cause a humming sound. Your heater has one heating element on top and the other at the bottom. The top heating element can vibrate, which causes the humming. This is not a serious problem. But, it may be a sign that the heating element could be loose.

SOLUTION:

If the humming noise is becoming annoying, you can tighten it. Once it’s tightened properly, the humming sound should stop.

Your water heater can create various sounds. Each sound could have a specific cause. It could be a small or a serious problem. Even if it’s only a minor issue, water heaters shouldn’t create such noises. It’s best to check your heater for any damage, depending on the sound you’re hearing.

But the best thing to do is to call a professional plumber. Reliable plumbers should have licenses and the right equipment to fix the problem.

You might think that you could save more money by fixing the problem yourself. However, incorrect repairs may cause more problems for your water heater and plumbing.

Unless you’re a licensed plumber, avoid repairing it yourself. Call a professional from a reputable service company like Spartan Plumbing. If the noise isn’t caused by a water heater problem, they can find and fix the cause of the sound to avoid further damage and annoyance.

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