Spring is here and the outdoor chores will be starting. A common issue this time of year is a broken outside faucets. Especially if not winterized properly. Give us a call to help you get your outdoor watering projects flowing
All posts by Jessica Schoeffling
The Ins & Outs about Your Water Shutoff Valves
Knowing about your water shut off valve can help you prevent a serious leak in your West Norriton home. And a serious water leak is one of the fastest ways to significantly damage your home.
West Norriton storms can cause flood damage and can take a real toll on a home and the family that lives there. However, as long as your own water supply is the issue rather than an outside source, such as a natural flood, you should be able to quickly and easily put a stop to the problem. And this is thanks to some handy things called water shutoff valves.
While water shutoff valves won’t protect your West Norriton home from the effects of a serious natural disaster, they are powerful tools against any other plumbing disaster. There are a couple of different types of water shutoff valves that will be in different places on your West Norriton property. These control different parts of your system. Understanding what they do and where they are can be immensely helpful in the case of an emergency.
Main water shutoff valves
Water damage to your home can be a major financial drain on your bank account. According to industry sources, every day about 14,000 people experience a water damage emergency, either at home or work. And on average, water damage repair costs people about $2,400 and can be as much as double that. Knowing about your water shut off valves can be the solution to this problem for you. West Norriton residents are unfortunately sometimes part of those unfortunate statistics. John Schoeffling Plumbing is in hopes of changing that fact.
Every home has two main water shutoff valves: one inside the house and the other by where your West Norriton property meets the street. The simplest way to shut off all water running through your house is to know where the main valve is located inside your house. In the event of an emergency, you can rush to shut it off and immediately prevent any significant damage that the water could inflict.
If you do not know where your valve is located inside your house, you can normally find it on the inside of the perimeter wall that faces the street. All water pipes run in a straight line from the street, so the valve is most likely somewhere against that wall. It won’t be above ground level, so look either somewhere along the bottom of the first floor or near the basement ceiling.
If you cannot find the main water shutoff valve inside your home, head out to the street to see if you can find the metal or plastic utility box at ground level. It should be right at the boundary line of your property and the street. When you find it, remove the lid to see what you are working with.If you are still confused or unable to locate it, John Schoeffling Plumbing is the right guy to call!
There may be sand or dirt inside if you live in an area of the country where it freezes in the winter; this is there to prevent the pipes from freezing. Dig around the dirt or otherwise temporarily remove it so you can see the water meter and two valves. The one on the street side is for the water company — do not turn it! It should be designed so that only the water company can turn it, but even if you think you can, avoid the temptation because there may be legal ramifications for doing so.
There will be another valve on the side facing your house, and this is the one to turn. It should have a knob — or maybe a nut — and you can turn it yourself. However, if you are unclear about anything, you can call the water company or John Schoeffling Plumbing, we can either walk you through it or send someone to help.
Shutoff valves closer to the source
While the main valve shuts off water to the whole house, there may be situations where just shutting off a portion of your home’s water supply is better than shutting down the whole system. Try using the local water shutoff valve on the source for a leak in your toilet, sink, washing machine or bathtub with exposed plumbing.
Most of these household devices have exposed valves that should be easy enough to find. Turning it will shut off the water supply to whatever it is attached to without disrupting the water running throughout the rest of the house.If you think you have a leak or are having any plumbing issues, it is best to have a service professional check it out. John Schoeffling Plumbing is that plumbing professional that you need.
Tips to Prepare your Plumbing for the Summer!
John Schoeffling Plumbing looks forward to the summer weather just like everyone else, but we know there is also plumbing work to be done that comes with it. With the warm summer months slowly moving in, it’s time to go through your home’s maintenance checklist and take proactive measures to ensure everything is up for the task of taking on the heat. A big part of this process should include an examination of your home’s plumbing system. So, we’ve created a brief list of things you should look into that will help get your home ready to take on the challenges of summer.
Here are some summer plumbing tips to keep in mind before temperatures start to swelter:
- Schedule a plumbing system inspection – Now is a good time to have your pipes inspected by a trusted professional. With people spending more time outdoors and sweating in the hot temperatures, more baths and showers are to be expected to keep your family cool. So, make sure your pipes are up to the challenge of working overtime. Pipes and drains can easily become blocked if you don’t take proper care, so consider scheduling an inspection to make sure your system isn’t facing any lurking blockages and potential issues.
- Clean your gutters and downpipes – The long summer months can bring unpredictable weather and rain. So, to ensure that your piping system is able to capture as much water as possible, you’ll need to make sure your gutters and downpipes are clean and clear, as they are highly prone to clogging up with all kinds of debris. This will help with water catchment and keep water from pooling and possibly leaking into your home.
- Check pipes, taps and sprinkler systems for leaks – Unknown leaks can lead to nightmare scenarios for homeowners, both in terms of potential damage and also for your water bill. More water is used during the summer than at any other time of year. So, you’ll want to ensure that you are only paying for the water that you are actually using. We strongly advise scheduling a routine check with John Schoeffling Plumbing. Just so we can make sure that your system is leak-free and operating under optimal conditions so that you don’t have to worry about billing and repair hassles down the road.
- Turn down hot water heaters – Again, with hotter temperatures, many take longer showers more often to cool often and stay clean. In fact, in the summer, it’s not uncommon for people to take a couple of showers a day. This kind of water use can, of course, add up, so consider ways you can cut down on your monthly water bill. For example, one suggestion is to turn down the hot water temperature on your hot water system. After all, you’re not likely to be using as much hot water in the warmer temperatures, so why pay to keep it hot all day?
Beat the heat and the hassle of unforeseen plumbing issues this summer, and contact one of our friendly staff today to schedule a routine inspection before the heat really sets in. John Schoeffling Plumbing will ensure that your home stays safe and ready to take on any plumbing use challenge.
Are Your Drains Clogged with Excess Hair?
It’s a simple question. If your drains are clogged with excess hair, you’ll need to do something about it. The longer you ignore the problem, the worse it can get. Your shower drain is more complicated than it might seem from the other side. Luckily, you can do a few things to keep the clogs from happening in the first place. We will also show you some nifty tricks for removing the clogs yourself. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to give us a call! John Schoeffling Plumbing can sort the problem out for you! We have been happily serving Montgomery County residents for over 20 years and have dealt with this problem more times than we could ever count.
Install a Drain Cover
Installing a drain cover can stop those pesky hair clogs. These screens are easy to find and even more affordable. Make sure you put them where they belong – in all of the tubs and sinks you have inside your home. With enough patience, you’ll even be able to find screens that are designed to be placed underneath the drain screen to catch any hair that does manage to elude them. These will stop the clog in your drain before it can even get there! The best type of fix is one that prevents the problem all together and saves your drain from the jump.
Get the Hair Out
Too late for that cover? No worries, John Schoeffling plumbing always has a fix. Our next piece of advice involves extraction. But trust us, this isn’t as painful or unpleasant as you might expect. Grab a brush and brush your hair so that loose strands won’t get into the tub’s drains. If you do spot any hair that has escaped you, simply brush them away from the drain instead.
Try Flushing the Drains
Alternatively, you could try flushing the drains. This approach calls for some teamwork, so it might be harder to do if you live alone. Make sure that all of the bathtub, shower, and sink drains are closed. Then go around the house and fill each tub or sink with warm water. Post someone by each location to watch the drains and toilets. After that, give the order for everybody to simultaneously open drains and flush the toilets, so hopefully, the clog can be blasted away by the combined pressure. Team work makes the dream work as John Schoeffling Plumbing likes to say!
Use a Sturdy Plunger
In some cases, you’ll have no choice but to get your hands dirty. While natural solutions, such as vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water can speed up a slow drain, a blocked drain is a different kettle of fish entirely. Plungers can unblock whatever debris is stopping your drains from working normally. A good ole plunger is the forgotten hero for all you drain and plumbing needs.
Any other Plumbing needs
For anything else plumbing or drain related give us a call at John Schoeffling Plumbing. We can be reached at 610-630-4596 or through any of our social media pages! We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and our service is unparalleled. Give us a call today—you won’t regret it!
Spring Cleaning Plumbing Check List
Spring has finally arrived after a dreary winter. If the sun and warmer weather have you motivated to clean, it would be a good time to check the condition of your outdoor plumbing too.
At John Schoeffling Plumbing, we want to provide you with a few tips so that you can feel comfortable turning your outdoor plumbing appliances on for the first time this spring. Follow these steps to be sure you’re prepped for warmer weather.
1. Inspect Your Water Heater
Your water heater probably got a lot of use throughout the cold winter. Now that the warm weather is here, it’s a better time to do a quick inspection and drain the system out as part of regular maintenance.
Check to make sure the temperature is set at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the unit from making scalding hot water and ensure peak energy efficiency.
Next, you’ll want to flush your water heater. Water that passes through the heater, especially water with more minerals, will deposit sediment in the tank. These deposits can make your heater less efficient and force it to work harder to do its job, shortening its lifespan. Draining some of the water out of the tank will rid it of some sediment.
2. Turn on Outdoor Water Valves
When you were going through your home and winterizing before it got too cold out, you probably turned off your water valves. Now, it’s time to turn them back on.
When you go to open these valves, do so very slowly. If you fail to do so, you can create a water hammer, which is caused by a quick change in water flow. A water hammer can burst fittings, damage valves and pop off sprinkler heads.
3. Prepare Your Sprinklers and Irrigation System
Now that you have turned your main water valve back on, you can start preparing your sprinkler system. First, open the valve that allows water to flow to your sprinklers. Do so slowly until you can hear the water moving through the device.
Make your way to the backflow prevention system and ensure that it is working properly. Then, go to the main control panel and turn it on. You can choose your settings for start and end time as well as the irrigation zones to be used. If your panel has a battery backup system, now is a good time to change the batteries. Wipe away any dirt or grime from the control panel that might have built up over winter.
Finally, clean off your sprinkler heads and make sure they are oriented the way you like them.
4. Outdoor Faucets
Once you have your outdoor water main valve turned on, it is time to check the faucets. As always, turn them on slowly.
When the faucets are running, check for lower water pressure. Let the water run for a few minutes. It is normal for the pressure too seem low at first, as air may have gotten into the lines while they were turned off. If you notice sustained low water pressure, however, it’s a sign of a leak and requires a professional inspection.