Have a Water Heater Leak? Here’s What to Do

A small water heater leak can quickly become a big problem. Damage to your floors, sub-flooring and walls can occur with even minor leaking – and damp, wet areas are the ideal environment for mold and mildew. The spores can grow within days, and an accumulation can cause further damage and lead to a host of health issues.

Furthermore, plumbing and appliance leaks only get worse over time. Eventually, leaking can cause the unit to completely fail, flooding your home and leaving you with huge repair bills.

If you have a water heater leak, addressing the problem now can save you from costly damage and stave off the health risk to your family. Here’s what you need to do.

Water heater repair Provo UT

Turn Off the Power Supply

Stopping the flow of power to your water heater is the first step.

If yours is an electric model, head to the electrical panel box and switch off the appropriate circuit breaker. If gas is the source of power for your unit, look for an on/off switch or dial near the bottom of the tank.

Turn Off the Water Supply

Next, you need to prevent any more water from flowing into the tank.

To do so, find and close the cold water shut-off valve at the top of the unit. For most models, closing the valve is as simple as pulling down a handle or turning a dial clockwise. If, however, you cannot safely reach the valve, locate and turn off your home’s main water shut-off valve.

Call a Plumbing Repair Service

To deal with a water heater leak, you need the expertise of a professional plumber.

Depending upon the severity and nature of the leak, you will either have to repair the unit or install a replacement. An experienced local plumber can evaluate the situation and determine the necessary course of action.

Remember Routine Maintenance

Whether you get repairs or install a new unit, regular maintenance is recommended.

If you’re handy, you can handle the tasks yourself. Simply drain the tank twice a year, and periodically test the temperature-pressure-relief (TPR) valve. But for a more thorough inspection – and to prolong the life of your water heater – you may want to leave the maintenance to a professional local plumber.

For expert advice and plumbing repair solutions in the greater Salt Lake City area, call on the professional team at American Plumbing Services.

Based in Provo, American Plumbing Services is a northern Utah industry leader. We have over ten years of experience completing plumbing repairs and installations for homeowners throughout Utah and Salt Lake Counties, and we’re known for quality workmanship, stellar customer service and fair, competitive pricing.

If you need help with a water heater leak or any other plumbing problem, contact American Plumbing Services for a free consultation today.

A Utah Plumber’s Advice About Common Plumbing Noises

If you’re hearing unusual plumbing noises, contacting an experienced Utah plumber is in your best interests.

Strange sounds coming from your pipes and plumbing aren’t just annoying – they’re a cause for concern. Hold off on calling a plumber for too long, and you could face serious problems. To give you an idea of what type of repairs to expect, we’ve compiled a list of common plumbing noises and their typical solutions.

What does that strange plumbing noise mean

Banging

A loud banging sound – otherwise known as a water hammer – can occur when a valve quickly shuts off the flow of water. Obstructions in the plumbing or improperly secured pipes can also create thudding noises. A professional plumber can pinpoint the source of the noise and resolve the problem.

Rattling

It isn’t unusual for pipes to shake when water is running through them. But if the plumbing noise is loud enough to notice, chances are the pipes aren’t secure. Tightening their mounting straps may be an effective solution, but your Utah plumber might also need to replace worn parts.

Gurgling

Do your drains gurgle? A plumbing clog, air bubbles in the pipes or a drain venting issue could be to blame for this plumbing noise. To identify the culprit and correct the problem, you’ll need the expertise of an experienced Utah plumber.

Whistling

If your showerhead is making a whistling sound, it could be clogged. Removing the showerhead and cleaning any buildup can help put a stop to this plumbing noise, but you may need to consider installing a replacement. In either case, a professional plumber can take care of the problem.

Hissing

When you turn on a faucet and hear a hissing sound, the water pressure in the pipes may be too high. An experienced Utah plumber can evaluate the pressure level and make adjustments or install a special valve to maintain the proper water pressure.

Screeching

A high-pitched squeal or loud screech that happens when you use a faucet usually signifies a loose or defective part, such as a washer or valve. Your professional plumber may be able to replace the problematic part, but the most effective way to eliminate this plumbing noise is to install a new faucet.

Ignoring any unusual sound or symptom in your plumbing is never a good idea. Problems don’t fix themselves, after all – they only get worse over time. For expert advice and repair solutions from an experienced Utah plumber, turn to the professional team at American Plumbing Services.

A local industry leader for more than ten years, American Plumbing Services offers free consultations and estimates to homeowners in the greater Salt Lake City area and the surrounding communities. Contact our Provo office and schedule an appointment to discuss your plumbing noises with a professional Utah plumber today.

How Putting Off Plumbing Repairs Can Cost You

You might have a good reason for postponing plumbing repairs. But whether your budget is a bit tight or you’re too busy to deal with the issue, hesitating to call a professional plumber could put you in a bigger bind.

Right now, your clog, leak or plumbing malfunction might seem like a minor inconvenience. But without prompt attention, small issues can cost you. Here’s why you should take care of plumbing repairs as quickly as possible.

Take care of plumbing repairs promptly

Water Waste

Drippy faucets and leaky pipes might not seem like huge problems, but think about how they affect your water bill. According to the EPA, homeowners can cut their monthly bills by 10 percent or more by fixing water leaks. So, when you put off plumbing repairs, you’re basically throwing money away.

Mold and Mildew Growth

Plumbing leaks aren’t just bad news for your water bills – they can also seriously affect your family’s health. Moisture around a toilet, tub or sink promotes the growth of mold and mildew, which can lead to respiratory problems and irritation of the throat, eyes and skin. In addition, the woodwork near the leak can rot and lose its structural integrity.

Major Plumbing Repairs

Left ignored for too long, small plumbing issues can grow much worse. A drippy leak can turn into a trickle, for example, or a clog can build up to the point where it causes a pipe to burst. So, while you might not like the idea of calling a professional plumber now, you don’t want to risk facing the costs of major plumbing repairs down the road.

Do You Need Plumbing Repairs?

Think you should try repairing your plumbing yourself? Taking the DIY approach might not be the best plan. Pipes and fittings are designed for specific applications, and if you aren’t careful in selecting your replacement parts, your repair could result in corrosion or even pipe failure. Or, you could begin the project and realize you don’t know how to put the parts in the proper places – this happens more often than you may think. In either case, by not calling a professional plumber at the start, you’ll end up paying more to fix the problem.

If you have a plumbing problem and you live in northern Utah, contact the professionals at American Plumbing Services.

As a Salt Lake City area industry leader for over a decade, American Plumbing Services has a well-earned reputation for exceptional workmanship, top-notch customer care and fair, affordable pricing. For a free consultation to discuss your plumbing repairs, contact our Provo, Utah, office today.

Do You Need Gas Line Repair? Watch for These Warning Signs

If you need gas line repair, you need to take quick action. Broken or leaking lines can pose a serious threat to your family’s health and safety, so addressing the issue immediately is essential.

In many cases, damage in underground gas lines goes undetected until the situation becomes quite hazardous. Regular inspections and routine maintenance are key to preventing problems, but you should also be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of a potential gas leak. If you notice any of the following, don’t hesitate to contact American Plumbing Services for professional gas line repair.

Signs of a gas leak

Rotten Egg Smell

If your home stinks like sulfur or rotten eggs, you may have a gas leak. The odor tends to dissipate rapidly, however, so it can be rather subtle. Whether you can smell the stench or not, prolonged exposure can cause dizziness, nausea and fatigue.

Hissing Noises

When you hear a hissing sound coming from behind a wall, it’s likely due to a gas leak. Closing the valve connected to the line can prevent the danger from spreading to other parts of your home, but the damage requires prompt repair.

Dying Plants

A gas leak in an underground line outside of your home can affect the vegetation growing above. If you spot an area where the grass and plants are withering, you may be in need of line repair.

Rising Gas Bills

Keep careful watch over your monthly utility bill. If you notice a spike, you need to have your lines checked for damage. A gas leak may not be to blame for the increase in charges, but when it comes to the safety of your home and family, playing it safe is always best.

Appliance Problems

A number of home appliances – including your furnace, stove, water heater and clothes dryer – require a regular flow gas to work properly. If one of your appliances is making strange sounds, taking a longer time to perform its job or simply malfunctioning for no clear reason, line repair may be the solution.

How to Approach Gas Line Repair

If you suspect you have a gas leak, don’t attempt to take on the dangerous repair work yourself. Instead, leave your home and call 911 and your local utility company for further instructions.

Sometimes, natural gas providers take care of line repairs. But more often than not, homeowners are responsible. For a fast expert fix in northern Utah, turn to American Plumbing Services.

Our highly-trained service technicians have the expertise to ensure the operational safety of your gas lines. We’re available around the clock, and our team is fully licensed and insured to carry out gas line inspection, maintenance, repair and installation.

To schedule an immediate gas line repair consultation with American Plumbing Services, contact our Provo, Utah, office.

How to Deal with a Garbage Disposal Leak

You may have a garbage disposal leak if you discover moisture under your kitchen sink or a puddle of foul-smelling water on the floor nearby.

A garbage disposal leak can be a major inconvenience or, left unaddressed, it can cause extensive water damage and mold. Although some handy homeowners manage to work the problem out on their own, you’re safest calling on an experienced plumber to resolve the issue.

How to deal with a garbage disposal leak

Locate the Source of the Leak

The first step to garbage disposal repair is figuring out exactly where the disposal is leaking.

Unplug the unit and turn off the power at the breaker to prevent electrical shock. Then, follow these steps:

  • Remove everything under the sink
  • Wipe the disposal completely dry
  • Plug the sink drain with a watertight stopper
  • Fill the sink with a few cups of water
  • Mix in a few drops of food coloring
  • Remove the sink stopper and use a flashlight to find the leak

If the source of the leaking isn’t readily apparent, call a licensed plumber to identify the location of your garbage disposal leak.

If the Leak is at the Dishwasher Connection…

When leaking occurs in the area where the disposal connects to the dishwasher, the repair is usually relatively simple. Check the hose. If it’s dried out or cracked, you’ll need a replacement. If you try this repair yourself, carefully tighten the clamp to ensure the connection is secure. Otherwise, you could end up with a major water leak and subsequent damage.

If the Leak is at the Top of the Garbage Disposal…

A leak at the point where the sink, drain and disposal meet, the sink flange may be loose. Make sure the mounting bolts that connect the flange to the drain are tight. Take a look at the plumber’s putty used to create the seal. If it has deteriorated, you’ll need to detach the disposal, add new putty and put the unit back in place.

Or you can call a plumber to make sure the repair is done correctly.

If the Leak is at the Side of the Garbage Disposal…

A faulty or worn gasket is the probable cause of a leak on the side of the disposal. The solution is to remove the old gasket and install a replacement. To complete the repair, you’ll need to disconnect and remove the disposal. After installing the new part, make sure all three mounting grooves are locked in position.

Again, this sounds like a simple repair. However, many homeowners get as far as removing the old unit before getting stuck, leaving them without a working kitchen sink. Call a plumber and you’ll never have to worry about this hassle.

If the Leak is at the Bottom of the Garbage Disposal…

We’re not going to beat around the bush – if you have a leak at the bottom of your disposal, you need to replace the entire unit. Leaking at this location indicates that at least one of the interior seals has failed. And when one seal is compromised, the others are likely to follow. So, installing a new garbage disposal is usually the only option.

Play it safe and have a professional plumber handle your disposal problems or any plumbing problems you experience. When trouble strikes, call on the expert team at American Plumbing Services.

A trusted northern Utah industry leader, American Plumbing Services offers free consultations to homeowners in the greater Salt Lake City area. To schedule an appointment to discuss repair for your garbage disposal leak, contact our Provo office today.

5 Ways to Check for Hidden Plumbing Leaks

Are hidden plumbing leaks driving up your monthly water bills?

While clogged toilets, burst pipes and many other plumbing problems are rather obvious, leaking frequently goes undetected. According to the EPA, the average household has leaks that waste 10,000 gallons of water every year. Worse, in 10 percent of homes, leaking accounts for 90 gallons of water waste each day!

Hunt down and repair hidden plumbing leaks, and you can stop paying for water you aren’t using. Here are five ways to identify invisible leaking in your home.

Finding hidden plumbing leaks

No. 1: Review Your Monthly Water Usage

Look at your household water usage in the colder months of the year. As a guideline, a family of four typically uses no more than 12,000 gallons per month – if your usage is greater, your home likely has hidden leaks.

No. 2: Monitor Your Water Meter

Record the number on your water meter, then turn off all of the faucets and every water-using appliance in your home for two hours. Look at the meter again – if the reading has changed at all, you probably have a plumbing leak somewhere.

No. 3: Take a Look at Your Plumbing

Visually inspect your pipe fittings and faucet gaskets, looking for water or moisture on the outside. If you spot any, leaking is occurring at the fixture or within the connected plumbing system.

No. 4: Test Your Toilets

Not all toilet leaks are readily apparent. To detect unseen leaking, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait a half hour (don’t flush!), then check the water in the toilet bowl. If it’s tinted, you have a hidden leak.

No. 5: Watch for Other Warning Signs

A few other clues can point to the existence of plumbing leaks. For instance, you may have leaking if you notice a persistent odor of mold or mildew in your home or if you see water stains on your ceilings, walls or floors. A decrease in water pressure, puddles in your yard and foundation cracks are also warning signs of leaking.

Think your home may have hidden plumbing leaks? If you can’t locate the source of the issue – or even if you can – calling in an experienced licensed plumber is the best course of action. A professional can find and fix every plumbing leak, ensuring that your household plumbing is no longer wasting any water.

If you live in northern Utah, call on American Plumbing Services for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Our expert team can make sure your household is leak-free, and we’ll do so for a price that makes you smile. Contact our Provo, Utah, office and schedule a professional assessment for hidden plumbing leaks today.

How to Identify & Repair Frozen Pipes

Without prompt repair, frozen pipes can rupture and wreak havoc on your home. Hundreds of gallons of water can spew out per hour, and the resulting damage can be catastrophic – even a single burst pipe can create a mess that take tens of thousands of dollars to clean up.

So, how can you tell if your pipes are starting to freeze? And what should you do if you spot a potential problem? Here, we explain the warning signs to watch for and the steps to take if you need to thaw or repair frozen pipes.
How to deal with frozen pipes

Warning Signs of Frozen Pipes

During cold periods, you need to be on the lookout for clues that your pipes may be starting to freeze. If you notice any of the following, you may have a problem:

  • Little to no water coming from the faucet
  • Toilets that don’t refill after a flush
  • Frost build-up on visible pipes and water lines
  • Water supply lines that are bulging
  • Strange odors from the drains

Tips to Safely Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you suspect you have a frozen pipe, you need to act quickly. Depending upon the location of the blockage, you may be able to thaw it out and resolve the issue yourself, without involving a local plumbing service.

To thaw a pipe that has frozen, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the main water valve
  • Open all of your faucets
  • Turn up your thermostat
  • Wrap the pipe with towels soaked in hot water

You can also use an electric hair dryer, but be extra careful to keep the cord away from dripping water. Do not use a blow torch to heat the pipe, as this can cause additional damage.

As you thaw the pipe, have a mop, bucket and extra towels at the ready. The frozen water may be acting as a plug, and thawing the blockage could result in a gush flooding out.

Contact a Professional Local Plumbing Service

If you think you might have frozen water pipes, but aren’t able to locate or access the source of the blockage – or if your efforts at thawing prove ineffective — contact a professional local plumbing service immediately. Don’t wait for normal business hours to repair frozen pipes, or you may end up facing costly water damage.

For expert routine or emergency plumbing repair in northern Utah, call the professionals at American Plumbing Services. Our team can provide a fast fix for an affordable price, and we guarantee customer satisfaction with all of our work. Plus, we’re always happy to share insider tips to help you avoid future plumbing problems.

American Plumbing Services offers free consultations to homeowners throughout Utah, Salt Lake and the surrounding counties. To schedule an appointment, or to have our professional team come out to repair frozen pipes any time of the day or night, contact our Provo office.

Water Heater Replacement – Pros and Cons of Going Tankless

When it’s time to go for water heater replacement, should you go with a tankless model or a traditional tank heater?

Neither option is necessarily better than the other – both types have plusses and minuses. The decision really comes down to your household needs and your personal preferences. Here, we weigh the pros and cons of choosing a tankless water heater.

tankless water heater

Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters

Also called on-demand heaters, tankless units don’t store hot water – they quickly heat it as needed. This design offers several benefits to homeowners, including:

  • Unlimited supply of hot water – Everyone in the household could take hour-long, back-to-back hot showers, and the supply still won’t run out.
  • Reduced energy consumption – Because tankless models heat water on demand rather than continually, they’re much more efficient than traditional tank heaters.
  • Smaller appliance size – Instead of taking up a large amount of floor space, a tankless model can be mounted on small section of the wall.
  • Longer warranty – On-demand heaters typically come with a 12 to 15 year warranty, while traditional tank models are generally covered for a shorter period of time.

 

Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters

When it comes to water heater replacement, going tankless isn’t all gravy. The disadvantages of installing a tankless model include:

  • Higher upfront cost – On-demand heaters are more expensive than traditional tank units, and the difficulty in installation further drives up the price.
  • Increased time to deliver hot water – Because tankless models heat water as it passes through, household members may be left waiting for longer.
  • Flow limitation – In colder climates, small on-demand heaters may provide a lower flow of hot water
  • Need for regular flushing – Scale and mineral buildup can make tankless models malfunction, so units must be flushed regularly to prevent an early demise.

 

Should You Go Tankless?

As you can see, making a decision on whether to install a traditional tank or tankless water heater requires careful consideration.

If you opt for a tankless model, you’ll pay more for water heater replacement. But, you’ll also enjoy significant energy savings every month – and with proper maintenance, the unit can remain in good working order for decades.

 

In contrast, a tank heater is likely to need replacement within 10 to 15 years. However, the cheaper upfront cost may outweigh the benefits of going tankless.

For expert help deciding if a traditional tank or tankless model best meets your needs, turn to the professionals at American Plumbing Services. As a trusted northern Utah industry leader, our team is committed to customer satisfaction – and we understand how important it is to make an informed decision.

To schedule a consultation on water heater replacement, contact our Provo office today.

How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

If you haven’t already prepared your plumbing for winternow is the time to do so. Without proper seasonal maintenance, the frigid weather could wreak havoc on your pipes and plumbing fixtures.

To prepare your plumbing for the brutal cold and prevent costly emergency repairs, take the following steps.

prepare plumbing winter

Find and Fix Plumbing Leaks

A small leak or slow drip might not seem like such a big deal now. However, if water freezes inside a pipe, the problem will grow much larger – and so will the cost of your plumbing repair. If you see any moisture behind the toilet, under the sink, in the tub or along a nearby wall, contact a local plumber immediately.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

Pipes that are exposed to the frosty winter winds need protection, or they may freeze and burst, causing extensive damage within your home. To protect exposed pipes, wrap them with plumbing insulation coverings. Simply cut the foam tubes to fit, put them in place and secure with duct tape.

Protect Your Outdoor Faucets

Shut off the water to your outside faucets, then remove and drain the attached garden hoses. For further plumbing protection, or in the event that your home doesn’t have a dedicated shut-off valve for outdoor fixtures, use foam covers to insulate the faucets and hose bibs. 

Purge Your Sprinkler System

If you have a lawn sprinkler system, you’ll need to prepare the pipes for winter – otherwise, they may freeze and burst. To keep that from happening, turn off the water flow and turn on the sprinkler valves to purge any water that remains in the plumbing.

Check Your Septic Tank Level

Checking the level of waste in your septic tank now is highly recommended, as you don’t want to experience an unpleasant backup during the winter. Digging into the frozen ground to fix the plumbing problem will be much costlier than having the septic system serviced now.

Flush Your Hot Water Heater

Winter may just be the worst time to have a hot water heater fail. Flushing it out to remove gunk and mineral deposits helps ensure that the unit operates efficiently. A local plumber is best suited to perform this task, as properly flushing a water heater can be a challenge.

Do you need to fix a plumbing leak before a deep freeze hits? Or would you like professional help preparing your pipes and fixtures for the cold season? If you live in northern Utah, the American Plumbing Services team can meet your needs.

A trusted industry leader throughout Utah, Salt Lake and the surrounding counties, American Plumbing Services is known for expert workmanship, affordable pricing and a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. 

For a free, no-obligation repair consultation or service estimate to prepare your plumbing for winter, contact American Plumbing Services in Provo, Utah, today.

Plumbing Service Tips for Pet Owners

We all love our cats and dogs, but plumbing service calls caused by your furry friends are not something anyone enjoys

As a pet owner, you’ve probably already pet-proofed your home but, chances are, you may not have given much thought to how your four-legged family member can put a strain on your plumbing.

To avoid pet-related plumbing problems and make sure your home is safe for your pets, follow these tips from the professionals at American Plumbing Services.

plumbing for pet owners

Keep Toilet Lids Closed

Drinking toilet water isn’t just unsanitary – chemical residue from cleansers and drain cleaners can make dogs and cats quite sick. Get in the habit of closing the toilet lid, and this won’t be a concern.

Put Chemicals in a Safe Place

Plumbing services advise against using chemical drain cleaners, as they’re damaging to pipes. Besides, ingesting them can be harmful to your pets. If you have chemical drain cleaners in the home, keep them completely out of reach. The same goes for chemical cleaning supplies, as they’re also poisonous to pets.

Cover Exposed Pipes

Dogs love to chew on things. And if Fido bites through a pipe, you’re not only in for a trip to the vet, you’re also facing a potentially costly plumbing problem as well as water damage in your home. Take time to cover any exposed pipes, and you can protect your house, your plumbing and your pet.

Watch Backyard Digging

Water and sewer lines aren’t always buried deep underground – sometimes, the lines are under two feet from the surface. If your dog likes to dig in the backyard, keep watch to make sure the holes don’t reach the plumbing lines. Otherwise, you may end up with serious damage.

Rinse Dirty Pets Outside

Does your dog like to roll around in the mud? When pets get muddy, washing off the muck in the bathtub could easily cause a plumbing clog. To prevent clogs from muddy and matted fur clumps, give Fido a rinse outside first, then head to the tub to finish the job.

Use a Drain Stopper at Bath Time

Speaking of the tub, make sure you use a drain stopper when you give your pet a bath. Pets tend to shed at bath time, and if the fur goes down the drain you may end up with a plumbing clog. Use a stopper, and you’ll prevent pet-related drain clogs. 

Don’t Flush Any Cat Litter

Professional plumbing services caution against flushing cat litter – even brands that are labeled as “flushable.” Cat feces and litter can build up and clog the drain, and if you’re flushing to a septic system, you may need to have the septic tank pumped.

If you live in northern Utah and have a plumbing problem – pet-related or not – call on the experienced professionals at American Plumbing Services.

As the leading plumbers in Utah, Salt Lake and the surrounding counties since 2005, the American Plumbing Services team offers both emergency and scheduled repairs. We take great pride in providing expert workmanship at a competitive price, and we guarantee customer satisfaction with all of our professional plumbing services.

For a free, no-obligation consultation and repair estimate from the expert plumbers at American Plumbing Services, contact our Provo, Utah, office today.