Category: Plumbing

How Much Water Does the Average Person Use?

Water is a precious resource that people need to survive. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to hydrate or properly sanitize your home and body. Just because the planet consists of so much water doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be aware of how much they may be wasting. Here is some insight from plumbing specialists about typical water use.

Daily Use

Water plays a big role in your day-to-day life. As cited by Healthline, you should have at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily; and this is the absolute bare minimum. Water is also a necessary part of cooking, cleaning, and sanitization. As a result, according to Comfy Living, the typical American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water daily.

Outdoors

Even the smallest landscape or a garden may use its fair share of water from your home. Unfortunately, some homeowners may overwater their landscape and create a lot of waste. The Environmental Protection Agency discovered that outdoor water usage often makes up about 30% of home water consumption.

Bathrooms

The EPA also found that most residential water usage is due to the bathroom, with the toilet using up to 27% of your water consumption. Luckily, a plumbing specialist can help you save your water usage, which can in turn help the environment and your overall bills. Today’s plumbers can install dual-flush toilets that only waste one gallon of water per flush, as opposed to five gallons. There is one option for liquid waste and one for solid waste. They can also install fixtures such as rainfall showers and other showerheads that use less water when you bathe.

Leaks

Leaks can happen when you have cracks or old unattended pipes. A leak can happen slowly over time while causing damage to your home structure. It’ll continue to damage your pocketbooks monthly, as water leaks are responsible for countless gallons of water wasted annually. Your local plumbing specialists can detect hidden leaks to help you save money and avoid water damage.

Water is a necessary part of life, but you should be careful how much you use. If you suspect leaks or water inefficiency in your home due to old pipes or fixtures, contact local plumbing specialists. Our team of professional plumbers is ready to assist you with your plumbing needs. Contact M.A. Williams anytime!

Why a Faucet Leak Needs to Be Fixed Right Away

If you’re a homeowner, there’s not much room for procrastination when it comes to plumbing repairs. Ignoring certain types of problems will only result in that problem getting bigger and more expensive to fix later on. One such issue is faucet leaks. Faucet leaks seem like a small thing, but they can cause big problems for your home. Let’s look at why it’s important to repair a faucet leak quickly with leak detection and repair services.

Wasting Water and Money

Any time you have a leak you’re wasting water. A leaking faucet that drips only two times per minute is still using over a gallon of water in a week, according to the United States Geological Survey. If the leak is more severe than two times per minute, then you’re wasting even more. If you’re on a monthly water bill, this adds up over time. You’re spending this money for no reason at all. This is bad for your budget and for the environment. Leak detection and repair services can help you fix this problem quickly.

Water Damage

Another problem that can arise due to a leaking faucet can be water damage. A leaky faucet is sometimes malfunctioning in many ways. There could be leaks below the sink as well. If water is leaking anywhere it shouldn’t run the risk of water damage. Water damage happens when surfaces that aren’t water resistant are exposed to water. If left unrepaired, this can result in replacement of the surfaces. This is just more unnecessary expenses that you can avoid if you fix the leaks quickly.

Mold Growth

Any time there is water leaking, there is also the potential for mold growth. Mold only needs moisture, the dark surface that is out of the way from disruption. Mold can start growing 24 to 48 hours after moisture exposure. Once mold starts growing, it’s expensive and difficult to get rid of. Not only is mold unpleasant, but it can also pose a health risk for your family as well. Mold sends spores out into the air which have a negative effect on most people when they breathe them in. This can be avoided with expert leak detection and repair services.

These are just a few reasons why you should never ignore a leaking faucet. If you’re looking for professional plumbing services in your area, please contact us today. Our team at M.A. Williams is here to help!

Common Signs You Need A Professional Drain Cleaning This Holiday Season

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It’s the holidays and you know what that means. More and more of your time is being spent in the kitchen! Not only that, but if you are hosting out-of-town guests, then chances are your bathrooms are also being occupied and utilized now more than ever. Here are 8 common signs you need a professional drain cleaning this holiday season.

  1. Slow Drainage

Are you noticing a wastewater pool in the sink, shower, or toilet? If so, this could be due to slow drainage as a result of a build-up in your pipes. By scheduling drain cleaning with a professional, you can prevent blockages from building up and causing even worse plumbing issues.

  1. Strange Sounds

Many homeowners are familiar with the sound of gurgling water, but not many people know exactly where that sound is coming from. More likely than not, it’s coming from your pipes and drains. These strange noises you hear are caused by air trapped in your pipes due to a build-up. Pay attention to these noises when you flush the toilet or turn on your faucet, as this is a sure sign you need to clean your drains.

  1. Stubborn Clogs

Are you noticing recurring and multiple clogs that just won’t go away no matter how much drain cleaner you pour down there? If there are multiple clogs happening at the same time, then it could indicate an issue with a main sewer clog. Regardless, any sign of a clog – no matter how big or small – is a sign that a drain cleaning is in order.

  1. You’ve Used DIY Methods To No Avail

Most of the time when we notice clogs, our first instinct is to run to the store and pick up a bottle of drain cleaner. However, store-bought drain cleaner can actually wreak havoc on your pipes and not work as well as one may think. If you’ve used drain cleaner in the past and haven’t had luck clearing your drains, then it’s time to look into professional drain cleaning.

 Contact MA Williams For All Your Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Needs in Richmond, VA and Surrounding Areas Today!

If you suspect you may need a professional drain cleaning this holiday season, don’t wait. Contact the pros at MA Williams today! We will clear your drains free of any clogs or blockages that are getting in the way of your day-to-day. Our background-checked and drug-tested technicians want to build relationships with all of our customers. That’s why we provide personalized service that is designed to solve all your specific and unique plumbing problems. If you are in need of professional drain cleaning services, look no further than MA Williams today! Call us at 804-250-5625 or fill out our online form 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!

How to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal

how to unclog your garbage disposal

A clogged garbage disposal is most likely caused by worn-out drains or food scraps too big for drains. Like any clog, it’s nasty business and needs to be dealt with immediately. While your first thought might be to call a plumber, it’s best you try out some DIY solutions first. To help you out, the pros at MA Williams have prepared a guide on how you can unclog your garbage disposal on your own.

1. Check Inside the Disposal

Turn the disposal off and use a flashlight to take a deeper look inside. Chances are a large scrap of food or utensil might have lodged itself in the disposal. If you notice an object, make sure the disposal is off. Then use a gloved hand to reach inside and remove any object stuck inside.

2. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you want to take the most natural and DIY approach to unclogging not just your disposal, but any drain in your home, use the tried and true baking soda and vinegar mixture. Pour ¼ cup baking soda down the disposal and follow it up with ¼ cup of vinegar. Let the mixture fizz for a few minutes before pouring hot water down the drain. Run the disposal and see if the water drains away. Repeat this process if necessary. If you find that the clog remains after this, it’s time to try another technique.

3. Use A Plunger

If you want to loosen or dislodge the clog, you can try using your handy-dandy plunger. Fill the sink with a few inches of water—this will create proper suction. Then start plunging to remove any loose pieces of food or debris stuck in your disposal.

4. Take the Manual Approach: Use an Allen Key

If you still notice that the disposal is clogged or if you hear a humming sound whenever you turn it on, you will have to take a more manual approach. Turn your disposal off and look at the bottom of your disposal under your sink—you will notice a manual operator with an opening in the center called the hex socket. Take a ¼-inch Allen wrench and insert it into the hex socket. Crank the wrench back and forth and turn the blades manually. Once you feel the wrench loosen a bit, turn your disposal back and check if there is a difference.

Do None of These Methods Work? You Might Have to Call a Plumber.

If you find that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to unclog your garbage disposal, you might have to contact a plumber. If you live in Richmond VA, in the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico or in the Tri-City area, you can reach out to the pros at MA Williams! Our team of professionals will be able to unclog your trusted garbage disposal in no time. Call us today at 804-250-5625 or schedule a service with us on our website!

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew in Your Bathroom

how to prevent mold in your bathroom

Mold is a fungus that can easily grow in your home, especially in a damp or humid area. One of the most common places it can grow is in your bathroom because of how much moisture collects there. Once mold anchors down, it can cause significant damage and will require professional remediation and removal. However, there are several ways you can prevent it from growing and spreading in the first place. If you want to learn how you can prevent mold in your bathroom, here is quick and helpful guide by the pros at MA Williams.

1. Use Your Exhaust Fan

Exhaust fans are meant to ventilate your home, especially areas where there is moisture buildup. Whenever you’re done using your bathroom, make sure you turn on the exhaust fan for a few minutes to remove any humidity in there. This will ensure the air in the bathroom is clear and as moisture-free as possible!

2. Use a Squeegee

A squeegee is essentially a tool with a rubber-ended blade that is used to efficiently wipe away moisture on smooth surfaces like walls and mirrors. Once you’re done showering, take a minute to wipe down the shower walls with a squeegee. It doesn’t take long and can prevent moisture from collecting in the grout between the tiles, which in turn prevents mold growth. Do the same to prevent moisture buildup around your sink and on your mirror.

3. Check Your Bathroom for Leaks

Leaks can cause mold build up as well. Be sure to inspect your toilet, faucet and showerhead for any leaks because these are the most common culprits for bathroom leaks. Toilet leaks are generally caused by a worn-out seal or flapper inside the tank. You can easily replace it by following this guide and by getting a new flapper from your nearest home improvement store. If you are dealing with a leaky showerhead, tighten the showerhead to the stem and use Teflon tape for extra security. Lastly, if you have a leaky faucet, replace the gaskets, as worn out gaskets are usually responsible for faucet leaks.

4. Wash Rugs Regularly

Be sure to wash your rugs regularly—preferably once a week. Mold and mildew can find its way onto your bath rugs and towels if they are left damp often.

5. Keep Shower Items Away from The Shower

When your loofahs, brushes, and sponges are not being used in the shower, keep them in a separate container. If they are left in the shower area, moisture and mold can easily build up on them. Keep them clean and dry to prevent mold!

Want more tips on how you can keep your bathroom functioning properly and in good condition? The pros at MA Williams are here to help! With a variety of high-quality plumbing services, our team of experts will be more than happy to assist you. Call us today at 804-250-5625 or schedule a service online!  

DIY Plumbing: Dangers of Doing it Yourself

dangers of diy plumbing

While there are a lot of plumbing problems you can handle yourself, there are some that require professional assistance. Certain plumbing issues can be complicated and even dangerous to do on your own, no matter how experienced you are as a DIY plumber. If you’re not fully convinced, check out this post by the pros at MA Williams listing the exact dangers of DIY plumbing.

1. Water Damage

Water damage is a very real threat posed by DIY plumbing. Whether it’s a burst or frozen pipe, a sewer or drain leak, it’s important to leave it to an actual plumber than handle it yourself. If you troubleshoot the problem incorrectly or without the right tools and experience, you might be causing serious damage to your home in the future.

Water damage can lead to a whole plethora of problems such as mold and mildew in your walls, cabinets and ceilings. In addition to that it can lead to corrosion, damage furniture and upholstery and even the structure of your home. It might be tempting to try your hand at plumbing repair after a few tutorials, but it’s best to leave it to the professionals as they will be able to provide efficient repair services without any damage to your home.

2. Expense

Saving money is perhaps the most tempting thing about DIY plumbing (or really anything). However, you’ll quickly find out that by troubleshooting problems with the twist of a screwdriver might provide a short-term solution and will still be costing you money in the long run. While some problems are easily fixed with just a screwdriver, others might require more tools and techniques to troubleshoot.

3. Damaged Fixtures

If you try your hand at DIY plumbing, you might be doing more harm to your plumbing fixtures than good. Improper repairs can cause damage to your fixtures and will hinder their performance. These can lead to frequent repairs over time, leaks, corrosion, burst pipes and cracks in your plumbing fixtures.

4. You Might Hurt Yourself

Performing DIY plumbing without the right safety precautions might not only hurt your plumbing but it might hurt you! In order to tackle some plumbing jobs, you might require complex tools and some safety knowledge, which you might not have. There is a high chance you might hurt yourself or your family if you handle certain plumbing problems on your own. Some physical dangers DIY plumbing poses are dangerous odors, exposure to sewage, flooding and tool mishaps.

Want to Know More About the Dangers of DIY Plumbing? Get in touch with the pros at MA Williams!

If you’re tired of DIY plumbing and are looking for a top-notch plumber in Richmond, VA, contact us at MA Williams! Our technicians and plumbers provide high-quality services whether you’re dealing with a leaky pipe, strange odor, faulty shower or clogged drain. We offer repairs, installations and maintenance services to ensure that every fixture in your home is in good working order. Call us today at 804-250-5625 or schedule a service online!