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Basic Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Most of us lead very busy lives, and when it comes to home maintenance, we tend to think more about tune-ups for our heating system and water being wasted by dripping faucets, then we do about making sure our tank style water heater is running efficiently. Here’s a few simple maintenance tips that are not costly or too time consuming for the average homeowner.

Temperature
Do you know what temperature your water heater is set at? The Dept. of Energy suggests a temperature of 120 degrees for the average home. Water heater manufacturers often ship their units with a setting of 140 degrees. You may save yourself some dollars by checking.

Your particular unit may have a gauge easily visible on the side of the tank, or it may have a cover that needs to be removed. If it is covered, unscrew it and use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the temperature setting. Then replace the cover. Easy enough?

Insulation
A water heater produces hot water. So it makes sense that we want to keep that heat from escaping as much as possible. Pipe insulation can be added to the pipes, and water heater blankets can be found at most hardware stores. Just remember, do not cover any of the gaauges, valves, caps or covers so that you can still have easy access when you need it.

Temperature & Pressure (T&P) Valve
Your T&P valve is a safety feature that is built into your water heater and should be tested every year. It is located at the top or side of the unit and will have a discharge tube that runs down toward the base of the water heater.

Place a bucket under the discharge tube.Open the valve by lifting up on the valve. You may hear a hissing sound from the pressure being released. Hot water should drain down into the bucket. Hold this open for a few seconds, then release it. Did the water shut off correctly? Is it leaking?

Small Water Heater Flush
Empty the bucket you just used and then place it under the drain valve. You should find that near the bottom of the heater tank. Open the valve and run about 1-2 gallons of water into the bucket. Close the valve. Is the water cloudy or clear? If the water is not clear you should plan time for a more complete flush to remove sediment that may affect the life and efficiency of your water heater.

Visual
The easiest thing that any home owner can do is to make a regular visual inspection of their  water heater. Look for rusting or leaks that you didn’t notice before. They are warning signals that your water heater may need maintenance or is nearing the end of its usefulness.

Waldman Plumbing & Heating has been helping the residents of Lynn and the North Shore area for over 100 years with their water heater repair and installations. If you’d like help with your water heater maintenance, check out our coupons and then give us a call for an appointment.

What You Need to Know About High Efficiency Water Heaters

If you are thinking about an upgrade to a high efficiency water heater, think about this. 20% of our home’s utility bill costs come from our hot water heater. We take hot water in our homes for granted, but it does come with a price tag.

Save Money on Hot Water

High efficiency appliances typically come at a higher price, and hot water heaters are no exception. But over time, the extra cost will be returned in what you save on your energy bill.

Go Green

Every bit of energy that we can keep from being wasted is good for our environment. A longer life in our homes also means less waste in our landfills. They are built to be repaired, not simply replaced. With up to 15 year warranties, high efficiency water heaters are built to last.

Maintenance

Maintenance is recommended for all hot water heaters. But a traditional hot water heater is always on duty, and simply has to work harder to provide the same service.

The decision to make the change from a traditional to high efficiency water heater should always be an informed one. Waldman Plumbing can discuss your options with you and suggest a system that we think will fulfill you and your family’s hot water needs.

Waldman Plumbing & Heating has been helping the residents of Marblehead and the North Shore area for over 100 years with their plumbing repairs and installations. If you’d like to discuss your hot water heater options, check out our coupons and then give us a call for an appointment.

Frozen Pipe Prevention in Manchester, MA & The North Shore

Frozen Cracked PipeFrozen pipes stop your flow of water and you can quickly wind up with a leaky or burst pipe. To save yourself the headache, costly water damages, and pipe repairs, you’ll want to do everything you can to prevent frozen pipes from occurring at your home. The first step is to determine which pipes in your home are most vulnerable to freezing and the second step is to do something about it!

Which of my plumbing pipes are the most likely to freeze?

  • Any pipe that has frozen in the past is likely to freeze again. It doesn’t matter if you bought a new pipe or switched from one type of pipe to another; it will still need to be protected.
  • Pipes located near exterior walls, such as the plumbing pipes under your kitchen sink, may not get the heat they need to keep them from freezing.
  • Pipes located in drafty areas like basements, attics, and crawlspaces tend to have too much cold air moving over them and are therefore at a greater risk of freezing.
  • Pipes located outside your home are always susceptible.

How can I keep my pipes from freezing?

  • Get your exterior plumbing ready for winter. Make sure to disconnect garden hoses, turn off the water valve to your outdoor plumbing pipes, and drain remaining water from the faucets.
  • Insulate as much as possible to eliminate drafts. Seal up small cracks near plumbing pipes with caulk.
  • Cover plumbing pipes that are exposed to the cold air with insulating tubing or pipe sleeves.
  • Keep cabinets under sinks open and let faucets drip slowly during extreme cold.
  • Use heat tape to heat plumbing pipes that are highly susceptible to freezing.

Hopefully these tips will help you to prevent frozen pipes at your home this winter. Remember that it can be dangerous to unthaw pipes if you don’t know how to do it properly. Keep yourself and your home safe by giving Waldman Plumbing a call if you need a frozen or burst pipe fixed this winter in Manchester or the Boston area.

The True Cost of a Leak

Water leaks in a home that go undetected can lead to significant damage and costly repairs. A leak may also lead to increased costs for municipal water, if the water meter is not read each month. The true costs of a leak are not fully known until a homeowner is aware of the problem.

Water Leaks

Leaks can occur anywhere there is a water pipe in your home. Common places for a leak will include the sinks in a bathroom and kitchen. Leaks can also occur in showers, tubs, and at toilets. If the faucet in a bathroom or kitchen is leaking, then up to three gallons of water is being wasted per day. This will total 1,095 gallons of water wasted each year. Multiply the cost per gallon from your utility company to calculate the total cost of a leaking faucet.

Utility Charges

One thing about municipal utilities is the charges for the sewers is based on total water usage. This means a water leak that is undetected can lead to an increase in charges for both water and sewer. If water use for homeowners seems higher than normal, then they need to hire a Lynnefield plumber who can find a possible leak.

Detection & Repair

The process of leak detection varies based on the plumbing in a home. You can have plumbing in walls and even under the slab of your home. If a leak is found in any of your plumbing, then the plumber has various pipe repair options to consider. This includes replacing the bad section of pipe with new copper pipe or with Pex pipe. Another option is to use epoxy to rehabilitate a bad section of pipe.

Check all the fixtures in your home periodically to ensure none have any leaks. This will include toilets in all the bathrooms and any outside faucets. If you find a possible leak, then a small repair is all that is needed to prevent any unnecessary water waste and increases in your utility bills.

If you think a leak may exist in your plumbing, then contact Waldman Plumbing and Heating at 978-666-4356 to schedule an appointment.

Testing Your Air Conditioner Before Summer

Testing your air conditioner before the onset of summer is necessary to ensure that no problems exist within the unit. If the unit is not tested before it is used heavily on a hot summer day, it may break down. You should be testing your air conditioner sometime during spring.

If you have AC inspection done by a professional at Waldman Plumbing and Heating, a costly air conditioner repair can be avoided. Here’s what we check when we inspect your system.

Air Speed

Each vent of your home will be tested for proper air speed and temperature. This is done by placing the air speed temperature gauge at each vent and noting the results on the display. Inconsistent readings may indicate a hidden duct leak or a problem with the main unit.

Air Temperature

This is a reading of the temperature going into your air conditioning system. A measurement is taken of the your basement or area where the inside unit for the air conditioner is located.

Temperature Drop

The temperature drop in your home is the difference between the cool air from your air conditioner and the average temperature of the air. Subtracting the cool air temperature from the average temperature is done to determine the temperature drop.

The average temperature drop for a home is typically 20 degrees. If your home has a difference of more than 20 degrees or less than 15 degrees, the system may have a problem.

Air Flow

This is the amount of air coming out of each register. If air flow is not the same in each room, you may have a detached duct or some other issue.

Inconsistent Temperatures

A temperature reading of each room is taken while the air conditioner is running. If one or more rooms are not cooling down sufficiently, there may be a problem with cold air flow or your windows are allowing too much solar heat into your home.

Contact Waldman Plumbing and Heating if you need to have your air conditioner tested before summer. Problems found when testing your air conditioner will require Boxford air conditioning repair. Call our team at (781) 780-3184.

Green Plumbing Solutions for Lynnfield

Many homeowners are trying to make green changes to their home. In an effort to reduce their carbon footprints and become more responsible stewards of the planet, they are investing in green energy and environmentally-friendly construction methods. One area that is often overlooked is the home’s plumbing; however, Waldman Plumbing and Heating can help you make green choices in this area.

Goals of Going Green

A plumber in Lynnfield can help you reduce water usage. More importantly, you can invest in solar water systems to save on energy. Even if your home is already constructed, you can still enjoy green plumbing by taking steps to use less water. Opt for energy efficient appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine, and talk to your plumber about installing low-flow showerheads and toilets.

Solar Systems

Investing in solar water systems helps you save money. With active solar technology, solar power is used to run the pumps that move water through your home. With passive solar technology, the power of the sun’s energy is used to heat your home water. Trust the team at Waldman to provide you with the solar technology you need for your home.

Regular Maintenance

The most important step you can take towards a green home is to investing in regular maintenance for residential plumbing. Dripping sinks and running toilets waste thousands of gallons of water every year, driving up the cost of your water usage and causing unnecessary wear and tear on your plumbing fixtures. Additionally, leaky pipes and fixtures waste water from the environment, leaving less and less for future generations to use.

Waldman Plumbing and Heating is a leader in green plumbing and heating technologies, and we are passionate about helping you make your home more energy efficient. With our services, you can save money while becoming a better steward of the planet.

In addition to lowering your water bill, we can also help you lower your water heating bill and even your electric bill as you invest in solar technology and other green solutions. Call us today at (781) 780-3184 to learn more about green plumbing and how we can help you make your home more energy efficient.

Is Your Home Prepared for Emergencies?

Waldman Plumbing and Heating cares about its customers, and that is one of the reasons why we offer so many different services. We want our customers to have a plumber available for emergencies, installations, or any other water-related issue.

Our team members also do a lot of work with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that has been responsible for countless deaths each year in the United States, but our team is here to help you keep your family safe from this deadly gas. We are the Boxford plumber that does so much more than just plumbing.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. It is produced when there is not enough oxygen to create carbon dioxide. This gas is most often released from stoves and other home features that use gas as a primary means of heating. When this gas is created, it can cause grave danger if not detected. It’s important to have routine carbon monoxide testing in your home to ensure you and your family are safe from any threats. The testing is not an invasive procedure, and our plumbers will be able to determine the level of carbon monoxide in just a short amount of time.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

The signs of carbon monoxide leaks are usually only detected when a person begins to get the symptoms that are related to carbon monoxide. The best way to know if your property has carbon monoxide issues is by using a carbon monoxide detector. Unfortunately, these devices are not always 100% accurate. Instead, call our team to check out all of your appliances and home features that could produce this deadly gas. We will use our equipment and knowledge to detect leaks, and our crew will fix any problems before they become extremely dangerous.

The best way to stop carbon monoxide from poisoning your loved ones is by having us come to your home and do a complete inspection. Call Waldman Plumbing and Heating today at (781) 780-3184 to get a complete carbon monoxide assessment.

Water Softening Systems Take the Work Out of Washing

Modern washing machines and dishwashers are technological wonders compared with their earlier counterparts, making it all the more baffling when clothing or dishes come out of the wash looking dull and dingy. When a change in detergent doesn’t help, it’s time to consider the quality of your water. A water softener from Waldman Plumbing and Heating can take the work out of washing, making everything in your home easier to clean.

Defining Hard Water

The water that that flows from your faucet passes through rocks and soil on its way to your tap. Along the way, water absorbs and dissolves any number of substances, from calcium and magnesium to iron and sulfur. The water then leaves deposits of these trace elements on every surface with which it comes into contact, including your clothing, dishes, and appliances. The softness or hardness of your water is determined by measuring how many grains of these substances are in a gallon of water.

Hard Water Cleaning Challenges

In many Beverly homes, a plumbing installation is the first place to show signs of hard water deposits, making faucets, tubs, sinks, and tiling almost impossible to keep clean. While hard water rarely poses a health danger in itself, the abrasive nature of hard water deposits make them a natural magnet for particulates like bacteria, requiring more work to keep every fresh and sanitary. The abrasive substances are particularly tough on fabric. Clothes, linens, and bedding wear out faster when they’re washed in hard water.

Hard water makes it more challenging to keep your skin and hair fresh and clean as well. The deposits can leave hair looking limp and dull and can leave skin feeling irritated and scratchy. Wearing clothing washed in hard water only makes the irritation worse.

We Have Your Solution

At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, our expert Beverly plumbers are adept in countering the negative effects of hard water in local homes and business. Our pros have the experience and expertise necessary to determine the best water softener solution for any plumbing installation. Call us at (781) 780-3184 and schedule a water analysis test for your Beverly home today.

Heating Maintenance You Can Do at Home

Before the coldest and most bitter months of the year hit, it’s a good idea to ensure that your home’s heating system is prepared to work hard and keep you and your family warm over the winter. Otherwise, you could end up running into some problems and need emergency heating repair at some point. Luckily, there are some basic steps that you can take in order to keep your furnace well maintained before winter hits. Still, you should keep in mind that you always have the option of calling for the help of a qualified and experienced Beverly heating company, if needed. For example, you can always turn to Waldman Plumbing and Heating for all of your furnace needs.

What Do We Do?

Here at Waldman Plumbing and Heating, we specialize in heating maintenance and furnace repair. However, we also offer many different plumbing services that can be useful to you as a homeowner. We have been serving the local community for quite some time now and we are known for the high level of service and quality repairs that we have to offer.

If you need a furnace inspection or are in need of a complete repair, you can turn to us for help. Rest assured that we will be there in a furnace or heating emergency to begin working on the repair as soon as possible. This way, you and your family do not have to go without heat for an extended period of time.

How to Do Heating Maintenance at Home

As much as we hope that you will turn to us at Waldman Plumbing and Heating in the event of a furnace emergency, we also want to give you the right tips to keep your own furnace well maintained at home. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to make sure that your furnace filters are changed regularly. This is the best way to keep it running efficiently and to avoid having to make expensive repairs in the long run.

For more information or to make an appointment with Waldman Plumbing and Heating, be sure to call us at (781) 780-3184.

Holiday Drain Cleaning from Waldman Plumbing

Waldman Plumbing and Heating is the local expert for all things related to plumbing and heating. Every single one of our professional team members has been highly trained to give each customer the best possible experience. We have invested countless hours learning the most up-to-date techniques to provide our clients with unbeatable service and successful installations or repairs.

Holiday Drain Cleaning

The holidays are a stressful time—not just for you and your family, but for your plumbing as well. If you have guests staying at your house for the holidays, you’re putting extra stress on your plumbing system to keep up with demand. Before your guests arrive this year, make sure your home is prepared with our holiday drain cleaning.

This simple service can mean the difference when it comes to entertaining this year. Our plumbers will clean out the residue, debris, and anything else that may be lurking in your pipes, ensuring that they work seamlessly throughout the season.

Keep Your Pipes Safe

Our team also does a lot of work performing plumbing inspections. These inspections allow us to see into the interior of your pipes, and we are able to quickly diagnose any potential problems. We use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose problems, and then work to fix those problems before they create an emergency situation. We are the Lynnfield plumber that is constantly in demand, and our dedication to great customer service and great work are unmatched by our competitors.

Waldman Plumbing and Heating is a full-service plumbing and heating company. Call us at (781) 780-3184 to get your new installation, maintenance project, or inspection scheduled.