Author: VS Content

Top 5 Fall Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

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Top 5 Fall Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

  1. Insulate Your Pipes

Are your pipes located in non-heated areas, such as your basement or garage? If so, then make sure they are insulated to prevent freezing this winter. Insulating your pipes in the fall have several benefits, including:

  • Preventing heat loss from the pipes
  • Saving energy and decreasing your heating bill
  • Keeping pipes from freezing
  • Controlling condensation
  • Reducing the expansion and contraction of pipes due to temperature changes
  • Preventing burns when hot water pipes are exposed
  1. Check Your Outdoor Faucets

A leaky faucet that drops at the rate of one drip per second could waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year, according to the EPA. Even though it is essential to fix any household leak, it is especially important for outdoor faucet leaks this time of year. As we enter into the colder months, leaky outdoor faucets could be especially problematic. Costly water damage, high utility costs, and other serious plumbing maintenance issues are just some of the things that can take place when the temperatures get at or below freezing this winter.

  1. Check Out Your Water Heater

When it gets colder outside, your water heater has to work harder to provide you with the same amount of hot water. To keep your water heater running as efficiently as possible throughout the fall and winter months, make sure to have it flushed. Flushing your water heater can remove any sediment buildup and blockages that have accumulated overtime.

  1. Clear Your Gutters

We often forget just how important our gutters are, until they get clogged or break. This fall, make sure to give your gutters some love. Falling leaves can cause serious problems for your gutters and drainpipes. Gutters are designed to prevent overflow of water. Without a fully functioning gutter, rainwater has nowhere to go. Not only can this cause clogs, but this can also add excessive weight to the system, resulting in separation of joins, cracks, and other problems.

  1. Inspect Your Sump Pump

Last but not least, make sure your sump pump is clean and in good working condition this fall. One way to do this is to pour a bucket of water on it and see if it turns on and pumps the water out or not. If you notice it isn’t working as it should, or it has foul odors, contact a plumber right away. A sump pump is less likely to freeze this winter if it’s well-maintained.

Need Professional Plumbing Assistance? Contact The Pros At M.A. Williams For All Your Plumbing Needs in Richmond, VA and Surrounding Areas!

If you’re needing an experienced, professional plumber for your hot plumbing needs, look no further than MA Williams. Whether you need help with your pipes, leak detection, water heaters, sump pumps or something else, we have you covered. To schedule your appointment today, contact us at 804-250-5625 or fill out our online form here so a team member can be in touch with you soon.

5 Tell-Tale Signs It’s Time For A Hot Water Heater Replacement

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5 Tell-Tale Signs It’s Time For A Hot Water Heater Replacement

While water heaters are designed to last several years, they won’t last forever. They are bound to experience issues at some point like any household appliance. Here are 5 tell-tale signs it’s time for you to replace your hot water heater.

  1. Old Age

According to the Department of Energy, water heaters can usually last anywhere from 10-15 years. Once you reach that 10-year mark, you should consider a replacement – even if it hasn’t shown signs of failing. The last thing you want is for your water heater to fail one day, leaving you with no hot water unexpectedly. Needless to say, the older your water heater is, the more you’re at risk of it acting up.

  1. Rusty Water, Valve or Pipes

In order to keep your home healthy and sanitary, any signs of rusty water should be addressed quickly. Sometimes rusty water can come from your pipes, but other times it can come from your water heater. One way to know for sure is schedule an appointment with your local plumber to assess the situation and give you a solution. Not only can rusty water be a sign it’s time for a water heater replacement, but if you have a rusty valve, this can also be a sign. Once rust enters the tank, the only option is to replace it.

  1. Strange Noises

If there is noise coming from your water tank, then you have a problem. As the heater ages, rumbling noises can start to get louder and louder as the tank tries to heat up water. Usually, noises coming from your water heater indicate sediment buildup. One way to fix this issue is to flush your water heater on an annual basis.

  1. Leaks

If your water heater is reaching the end of its expected life, then you have an increased chance of seeing water leaking from your tank. You may notice you have a leak when you see wet spots on the floor around your water heater. A leak can not only be an inconvenience, but it can also be damaging depending on where your water heater is located in your house.

  1. No Hot Water

No hot water when it comes to your hot water heater is never a good sign. Without warm water, you can’t take comfortable showers, run your laundry machine, or do basic household tasks you normally could. Sometimes, this just means your water heater needs to be repaired. However, depending on how old your water heater is, you may be looking at having to get a replacement.

Are You Needing Your Hot Water Heater Replaced In Your Richmond, VA Home? MA Williams Is Here To Help With All Your Water Heater Needs!

If you’re needing an experienced, professional plumber for your hot water heater needs, look no further than MA Williams. To schedule your appointment today, contact us at 804-250-5625 or fill out our online form here so a team member can be in touch with you soon.

Top 6 Summer Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

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Top 6 Summer Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Summer isn’t over – yet. It’s not too late to give your plumbing a little TLC before saying goodbye to the hot weather. Here are the top 6 summer plumbing tips every homeowner should know.

  1. Inspect Your Home For Leaks

According to the EPA, the average household’s leaks account for 10,000 gallons of water lost per year. Even the smallest leak can waste a lot of water – and cause your water bills to increase. Get ready to enter the fall season completely leak free and inspect your home for leaks – big and small. Consider hiring a leak detection company, like MA Williams. You can also do a visual inspection yourself by making sure the most leak-prone areas in your home (toilets, faucets, and showerheads) are dry.

  1. Prevent Toilet Clogs

Toilet clogs can be super frustrating. As life returns somewhat back to normal after the Coronavirus pandemic, chances are the traffic in and out of your home has increased. Make sure you don’t have any major toilet blockages by avoiding flushing anything that’s not toilet paper. Despite the name, even flushable wipes aren’t safe for your toilet because they’re harder to break down than simple toilet paper.

  1. Prevent Garbage Disposal Clogs

If you have kids, it’s likely you’ve found popsicle wrappers in your sink this summer. If you’ve hosted a BBQ recently, you may have even found some bones in the sink from those delicious hot wings you made for everyone. Be mindful of what is safe to go down a garbage disposal – and what is not. Avoid garbage disposal clogs by making sure you dispose of the following items in the trash: bones, wrappers, eggshells, lemon peels, pits and seeds, grease and oil, coffee grounds, and more.

  1. Try To Save Water

Try to save water as best you can. Water usage often increases during the summer months, so make sure you’re using it only where you need it most. That means try shortening your showers, turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth, or fully loading up your dishwasher when using it instead of washing only a few dishes at a time. Make those small changes will make a big difference in your next water bill.

  1. Clear Your Drains

The fall seasons brings with it lots of fallen leaves. In order to prevent bigger clogs, make sure to clear your outdoor drains and downspouts so that they’re free of dirt and leaves this summer. That way, it’s clean before fall has a chance to take over. If you don’t clean your drains, they could clog up and cause damage. The last thing you want to deal with is cracks and leaks.

  1. Schedule An Appointment With A Plumber

While there are a lot of plumbing tasks you can handle on your own, there are some that require the help of a professional. Schedule an appointment with a plumber so they can inspect your plumbing system and ensure it’s ready to handle the rest of summer – and the changing of seasons. A professional inspection can save you money in the long run.

Want To Schedule An Appointment With A Richmond, VA Plumber? Contact MA Williams Today!

MA Williams is here for all your plumbing needs. Contact us today at 804-250-5625 or contact us online here so a team member can be in touch with you shortly.

Top 5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Garbage Disposal

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Top 5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Garbage Disposal

Many homeowners don’t realize how much they need their garbage disposal – until it breaks down. Garbage disposals can last up to 15 years if properly maintained. However, sometimes it experiences problems and can’t get the job done for you. Here are 5 signs it’s time to replace your garbage disposal.

1. Strange or Unusual Sounds

Your garbage disposal may be loud, but it shouldn’t be making strange sounds. If you’re noticing a new sound that wasn’t there before, it’s usually an indication that there’s a problem with your garbage disposal. First, check if anything is blocking the unit. For example, there could be a small piece of silverware or something else causing a blockage. Before checking, however, make sure your garbage disposal is off.

2. Bad Odor

Does your garbage disposal have a bad smell that you can’t seem to get rid of, no matter how much you clean it? Then it may be time to replace it. Sure, old food and waste carry bad odors with it, but if your garbage disposal is properly functioning, then this shouldn’t be an issue. A bad odor that you can’t get rid of is usually an indication that you have particles trapped somewhere in the unit. If your unit is already old and having these problems, it may be worth the investment to get a new one versus trying to repair it.

3. It Won’t Turn On

A garbage disposal that won’t turn on usually indicates a serious problem. A few things homeowners can do include:

  • Check If It’s Turned On
  • Press The Reset Button On The Garbage Disposal
  • Check The Circuit Breaker

If all else fails, then it’s time to call a professional plumber for assistance. A plumber can help you detect the cause of the issue and give you solutions to fix it.

4. Frequent Resets

If you’re having to frequently reset your garbage disposal to get it to work properly, then it may be time to look into a replacement. The reset button is intended to help the garbage disposal recover from unusual situations, like clogs. However, if your garbage disposal is in otherwise good shape, you shouldn’t have to use the reset button that much. If you’re having to reset it every time you turn it on, there may be a serious issue with your garbage disposal.

5. Water Leaks

Sometimes water leaks can range in severity. These leaks may leave puddles underneath the sink, a pool of water on the floor, or persistent dripping from under the garbage disposal itself. If you’re noticing water leaks, you should have a plumber take a look. Not only can water leaks indicate a need for possible garbage disposal replacement, but it can also lead to higher-than-usual water bills.

MA Williams Is Here To Help With All Your Richmond, VA Plumbing Needs!

Got garbage disposal problems? MA Williams is here to help! Give our pros a call today if you’re experiencing issues with your garbage disposal and we can have a professional plumber out to your home to assess the situation. Call us today at 804-684-8300 or fill out our online form here.

Common Signs Of A Plumbing Leak

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Common Signs Of A Plumbing Leak

Sometimes, plumbing leaks can be hard to find – but they can be costly and even damaging. According to the EPA, a leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second, for example, can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. There are a few common signs you may be dealing with a hidden plumbing leak in your home.

  1. Low Water Pressure

If you turn on the water to your faucet or shower and notice the water isn’t rushing out like normal, this means you’re dealing with low water pressure – which could be a sign of a plumbing leak. Usually, this means that water is leaving through the leak before it reaches the fixture.

  1. Damage To Your Walls, Ceilings, and/or Floors

Wet spots that appear to have come out of nowhere are most likely caused be a leak in your home. For example, if you notice a damp spot in your carpet that is unexplained, or visible signs of water in your walls, it’s time to call a plumber.

  1. Higher-Than-Usual Water Bills

Unless you have guests coming and going frequently, your water bill will remain fairly consistent. If you notice that your bills are skyrocketing and there’s no explanation, this could be an indication of a plumbing leak. Even the smallest leaks can be a contributing factor to your high water bills.

  1. Mold Or Mildew Growth

Did you know mold only takes 24-48 hours to grow? If there’s a water spot left for any longer than that, mold will start to make itself at home. If you see mold or mildew growth where there should never be mold or mildew, you may have a leak in your pipes.

  1. Strange Odors

If you have a musty smelling room, you might have a hidden water leak on your hands. You  may not be able to see visible signs of mold growth, but a musty smelling room may be an indication of a plumbing leak behind your walls or under the floors.

  1. Structural Damage

Worst case, your plumbing leak is so severe that it causes damage to the foundation and structure of your home. While homes naturally settle and crack over time, sudden, unexplained cracks or gaps in your foundation are not a good sign. If you notice cracks in your structure, you shouldn’t wait any longer to call a plumber.

M.A. Williams Is Here For All Your Leak Detection And Repair Needs!

If you need help repairing and/or detecting leaks in your home, M.A. Williams in Richmond, VA is here to help! We are your one-stop-shop for all your plumbing needs. Our main priority is to keep you and your family comfortable and safe. We understand that leaks can be tough to detect. That’s why we come equipped with the proper tools and skills to accurately test and repair leaks. Contact us today at 804-250-5625 or fill out our online form here.

Common Tub/Shower Valve Installation Issues

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Common Tub/Shower Valve Installation Issues

Changing a bathtub or a shower valve can be one of the most challenging and complicated plumbing tasks for people who don’t have experience with plumbing projects. People who try to DIY this, often run into issues that require the help and expertise of a professional plumber.

It’s not uncommon for tub and shower valves to experience issues overtime. Common issues include normal wear and tear, lime scale and dirt buildup, and changes in hot water pressure. When it comes to tub/shower valve installation, there are three common issues DIYers frequently come across.

  1. No Access Panel

Replacing your tub or shower valve would require you work within the walls – but what happens if you can’t reach the old pipes? Then, you’re unable to successfully connect the new valve. While having an access panel isn’t required, it’s a good thing to have. If you don’t already have one, then you can cut a hole through your wall. However, there are many things you should consider before doing so. To eliminate stress and save you time, call a licensed plumber for assistance.

  1. Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized steel pipes can cause a lot of issues. Some of those issues include low water pressure, uneven distribution of water, water discoloration, and leaks. Not only that, but galvanized pipes can also be dangerous to your health. Studies have shown galvanized piping has been linked to elevated levels of lead in drinking water. If you come across these pipes when installing a new tub or shower valve, consider a complete or partial re-pipe.

  1. Replacing Handles

The goal to a successful valve replacement is to make sure you don’t ruin the tile while attempting this project. If you’re replacing a two-handle shower valve with a single-handle, there is a way to do it without having to tear through your wall – but it’s not easy. The best way to replace handles is to use a conversion plate. This plate will cover the old holes and allow you to do this job through the hole already in your tile.

When In Doubt…. Call Your Friends At MA Williams For Tub/Shower Valve Installation Support

Replacing tub and shower valves is not an easy feat. As you begin your project, you might run into challenges such as loose tiles, rusty pipes, and many other problems. To eliminate stress, save you time, and make your life easier, turn to the professional, licensed plumbers at MA Williams to assist. Whether it’s 1 a.m. or 1 p.m., you’ll always be connected to someone who can help quickly and efficiently. MA Williams is here for all your plumbing needs. Give us a call today at 804-684-8300 or contact us online here.

How to Clean Underground Gutter Drains

how to clean underground gutter drains

Your home consists of many systems that protect it and keep it in good condition. An example of such a system is your underground gutter drainage system. Your underground drains drive water away from your house to prevent a deteriorated foundation, flooding, and water damage—in other words, they are incredibly useful!  Like any complex system, your gutters and drains need to be maintained and cleaned. However, many homeowners don’t know how they can clean their drains, particularly the hidden ones. To help you out, the pros at MA Williams have prepared a guide on how to clean your home’s underground gutter drains.

First Things First: Don’t Hesitate to Call for Help

If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with underground pipes and drainage, don’t hesitate to call for help. Get in touch with a plumber you trust to either ask for advice or assistance. They will be more than happy to help you out! You might also have to call for professional help if your drains have a more complex issue such as leaks or extreme water damage.

A Step-By-Step Guide on Cleaning Underground Drains

  1. Find Exit Point for Drain

Look for the exit point for your drainage system—you can either find it in your yard or driveway or at a sidewalk close to your home.

  1. Use an Auger

The best way to clean your underground is to check for clogs. A clogged drainage system can lead to water damage, which can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. To check for and remove a clog in your underground drainage system, insert an auger or plumbing snake into the exit point of your drain. Crank the auger handle clockwise—if it becomes hard to turn, that is because the plumbing snake has hit something. Crank the handle counterclockwise to reverse the auger as this will clear the debris from the drain.

  1. Flush Water Through the Drain

Flush water throughout your drain and see if water flows past the exit point—this indicates a cleansed drain.

When to Clean Your Drain?

Different sources have all kinds of recommendations about when you should clean your drain. You can either go bi-monthly or monthly, it is up to you. If you aren’t sure, ask a plumber you trust to make a suggestion. However, don’t wait till you get a clogged drainage system to clean your drains, although this is common for a lot of homeowners. By waiting, you will simply end up stressing yourself out and might have no other choice but to spend some money on hiring a professional.

Still unsure how you can clean your underground water drains? Get in touch with the pros at MA Williams! Our team of expert plumbers will be more than happy to help you out.

Call us today at 804-684-8300 or schedule a service with us on our website. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Plumbing Snaking vs Hydro Jetting

plumbing snaking vs hydro jetting

Most clogs are generally small and can be fixed with either a plunger or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. However, some clogs are stubborn and might require more thorough methods. This is where plumbing snaking and hydro-jetting come in. It might be a little difficult to decide which one is the best option and that is why the pros at MA Williams are here to help you out. For once and for all we are going to settle the plumbing snaking vs hydro jetting debate!

What Is A Plumbing Snake?

A plumbing snake is a metal drain auger that reaches down into pipes to remove clogs and blockages in drains. A plumbing snake is good for clogs that might not easily go away with a plunger or a baking soda and vinegar mixture. Unlike plungers, plumbing snakes require a bit more technique. They need to be used correctly, otherwise it might damage your pipes. Check out this guide on how you can safely use a plumbing snake to remove a clog from your drains.

What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting is considered a non-invasive procedure. It involves the use of high-pressure water jets to completely clean out clogged or blocked up drains in your plumbing system. Hydro jetting is offered by professional plumbers and used when your plumbing system is clogging up frequently, creating risk of sewage backups.

Which is Better?

This is a bit of a difficult question and the answer is: It depends. Consider what your needs are. Do you notice that your drains are slow draining and need to be unclogged frequently? Do you notice an odd odor around your drains? Do your drains make gurgling noises constantly? If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you might need professional hydro jetting services. Contact your plumber and see if they offer hydro jetting services and if they can inspect your plumbing system to ensure that hydro jetting is the best solution.

If you simply have a stubborn clog that does not budge with a plunger or the use of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water, you might need a plumbing snake. A plumbing snake is a bit more effective than a plunger, but it isn’t as intense as hydro jetting. It’s a good tool to use if you haven’t had any issues with frequent clogging.

So, in short, hydro jetting is a better option for intense, frequent clogs that cause risk of backups. On the other hand, plumbing snakes are better for clogs that require a little more than a simple plunger job.

If you have any more questions about the plumbing snake vs hydro jetting debate, get in touch with the pros at MA Williams! Our team of professionals will be more than happy to answer your questions, assist you with your plumbing issues and troubleshoot any problem you might have efficiently and quickly. Call us today at 804-684-8300 or schedule a service with us on our website!

How Often Should I Replace the Plumbing in My House?

replace the plumbing in your house

Your plumbing is an important component of your house and any problem with it could cause even greater issues in the future. It’s important to keep your plumbing well-maintained and clean to prevent any malfunction. However, it’s also important to consider the age of your pipes and fixtures and whether you need to repair them or replace them entirely. To help you decide, the pros at MA Williams have prepared a guide on whether you should repair or replace the plumbing in your home and how often you should do so.

How Often Should You Replace Your Plumbing?

To find the answer to this question, it’s important to consider the average lifespan of the plumbing components and fixtures in your home.

  1. Supply Pipes
  • Copper pipes can last for 50 + years
  • Brass can last from 40 to 45
  • Cast iron pipes can go from 75 to 100 years
  • PVC supply pipes can last indefinitely

 

  1. Drain Lines
  • Cast iron drainpipes can last from 80 to 100 years
  • PVC drainpipes can last from 25 to 40 years

 

  1. Toilet

Your toilet can last from 10 to 15 years while its wax seal can last from 20 to 30 years. Other components like the toilet flapper can last from 4 to 5 years.

  1. Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal can last all the way up to 10 ears with proper maintenance.

  1. Water Heater

Traditional water heaters can last from 10-15 years, but tankless water heaters can go all the way up to 20 years with proper maintenance.

Next, Figure Out How Well-Maintained Your Plumbing Is

However, a long life span does not mean that your plumbing is durable, long-lasting, and far from needing replacing. Other factors to consider are how well-installed your pipes and fixtures are, how much maintenance (both professional and DIY) they have received and whether they are constantly clogging or leaking or not. Maintenance plays a major role in deciding whether it is better to simply repair or replace your plumbing components.

Have You Undergone a Renovation? You Might Want to Replace Plumbing

According to The Spruce, if you have renovated your kitchen, bathroom, or basement, it might be a good idea to replace your plumbing while you are at it. You won’t need to replace any other parts save for exposed piping. However, if the walls have been removed too, it can’t hurt to look for leaks and cracks in the normally hidden plumbing as well.

Signs Your Plumbing Needs Your Attention

Sometimes plumbing problems aren’t as obvious. For example, leaks can be hidden away and clogs might build up over time in the mainline without showing up in your fixtures. So, it is important to keep an eye for these signs that you might have a plumbing problem:

  • Water stains on walls or bubbling paint and wallpaper
  • Increasing water bill
  • Mold or mildew in certain areas of your home like under your kitchen sink or in your basement
  • Your water meter increases even when water is not being used in your home
  • Fittings around your toilet or tub (caulking or sealing) are loose
  • Your yard has odd green or damp spots

Have anymore questions about replacing the plumbing in your home? Contact MA Williams at 804-250-5625 or schedule a service online.

 

 

 

Handy Plumbing Checklist

handy plumbing checklist

Unexpected plumbing problems are frustrating and rather messy to deal with. The best way you can prevent these problems is to keep your plumbing system as well maintained as possible. To help you out, the pros at MA Williams have prepared a handy plumbing checklist to guide you in monthly plumbing maintenance.

1. Check for Leaks

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons lost every year. To prevent excess water loss like this and to save on your water bill, make sure you inspect your home for leaks. Specifically check your sinks and faucets in your kitchen. In your bathroom, make sure you inspect your toilet, sink, showerhead and bathtub. There are various ways to check leaks in your home—follow this guide to learn how!

2. Don’t Flush Anything but Toilet Paper!

Most toilet clogs can easily be prevented by simply avoiding putting foreign objects down the toilet. Only human waste and toilet paper should go into the toilet. Even flushable wipes shouldn’t go in the toilet, because they take longer to break apart, according to Consumer Reports.

3. Be Careful What You Put in Your Garbage Disposal

Just like you should be careful what you put in the toilet, you should be careful what goes in the garbage disposal. Make sure you don’t put these items in your disposal: grease, coffee grounds, pasta, stringy vegetables, large animal bones and eggshells. You can put smaller amounts of small bones, cooked meat, ice and veggie scraps down the disposal. Make sure you clean it often using baking soda, vinegar and some running water.

4. Professional Maintenance

DIY plumbing maintenance is great, but it can only go so far. Ultimately, it is best to have a plumber come in once a year and do a thorough inspection of your plumbing system. This way, you can prevent major plumbing problems and expensive issues in the long run.

5. Inspect Your Drains

Take a moment to look in your bathtub drain and make sure its clean and lacking in buildup. If you notice anything like hair or soap scum, you can either use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and equal parts baking soda to clear it out. If you notice the buildup is near the surface of the drain, you can use a gloved hand to pull it out. To prevent hair from clogging up your drain, you can use a hair-catcher. This object, which resembles a plastic or metal sieve, is to be placed over the opening of the drain. Any hair or even small foreign objects that go into the drain will be caught by this hair catcher.

Do you have any more questions about our plumbing checklist? Get in touch with the pros at MA Williams! Call us today at 804-250-5625 or schedule a service with us on our website! We can help you with a variety of plumbing services such as drain cleaning, faucet repair, water line repair, troubleshooting leaks and much more!