Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Common Water Line Problems in Lacey

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Everyone needs water in Lacey. It keeps us clean, provides us with a clean drinking source and helps us cook food and wash clothes. So, when a problem occurs with the water line, it can be disruptive to every aspect of everyday life. Here are some common water line problems and solutions you can implement to solve them as fast as possible:

  • Burst Pipe - The biggest problem you can have is a burst pipe. This is a major problem and one that needs plumbing maintenance immediately. If your pipe bursts or starts to leak, turn off the main water supply immediately and call an emergency plumber. You’ll want to have it patched as soon as possible to return normal water service to your home.
  • Noisy Pipes – Noise in the pipes is a slightly less disastrous problem but it can lead to bigger problems down the road if not dealt with. Usually, it is due to air in the pipes which can create a loud banging sound. If your pipes are vibrating or banging, the easiest solution is to turn off the water supply and drain your pipes completely, then fill them back up to remove the air build up.
  • Water Pressure – Low water pressure can be due to a number of problems, from a small leak somewhere to an issue in the incoming water supply. If you notice water pressure dropping in your home, call a professional to inspect the problem and offer potential solutions.
  • Sediment in the Pipes – If suddenly you are seeing excess sediment, rust, or other debris in your water it is probably from an aging pipe. While this doesn’t necessarily signal that your pipe is about to burst, it can be a sign of potential problems in the future. Build up from hard water or erosion can both be major problems if not fixed right away.

Water line problems can range from small nuisances to major disasters that threaten your entire home, but they should all be treated with equal import. If something happens to your water line, don’t waste time trying to track down a solution. Turn off the water supply and call a professional right away.  Please call Brooks Plumbing with any questions.

What Size Water Heater Do I Need for My Lacey Home?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

When installing a new water heater in your Lacey home, it is important to get one that is the appropriate size. Of course, one that is too small will not handle the capacity you need, so you will be stuck with water that is not quite hot enough.

You may think to just buy one that you are sure can more than handle the capacity you need, but there are drawbacks to this strategy. A water heater that is “too big” will also draw more power, resulting in waste and unnecessarily high bills. Plus, it will cost more up front than you really need to spend.

The trick is to get a water heater that is the correct size for your needs. For a conventional water heater with a tank, the metric you will need to refer to is the unit’s first hour rating, or FHR. To determine the necessary FHR, you first need to determine during which hour of the day your home uses the most water. Typically, this is either first thing in the morning or later in the evening, when most people are bathing. Once you know this, determine what the water usage is during that hour based on average usage for each task. For example, let’s say a typical morning in your home consists of:

  • 3 showers (average of 12 gallons each)
  • 1 food preparation (5 gallons)
  • 1 hand dishwashing (4 gallons)

That’s about 45 gallons of hot water needed during that hour, so you need a unit with an FHR somewhere in that ballpark. The U.S. Department of Energy has a good worksheet to use for these measurements, which includes average usage rates for common household hot water tanks.

If you are looking at getting a tankless water heater system, the process is a little more complicated. The important figure to know in that situation is the maximum temperature increase possible for a particular flow rate. That means adding up the flow rates for all the various appliances you may use at once, then figuring out how much you need to increase the temperature.

If you find any of this confusing, consider a professional consultation during the selection process. That will ensure you get the water heater that is right for you.