Plumbing Maintenance

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.

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?

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.

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.

How to Put Your Plumbing on Vacation While You’re Away from Reading, MA This Winter

Detail of water attachment to the washing machine.Everyone knows that winters here in the Northeast can really be a doozy. Just look at how harsh last winter was! With that being said, winter is a perfect time for a little, or a long, getaway. Between trekking over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house or making your way to warmer weather, there’s plenty to see and do during the winter. But the most important thing to do is to take proper care of your home’s plumbing before you go!

Regardless of how long it is, we want you to enjoy your well-deserved winter vacation with complete plumbing peace of mind. Let our dedicated team of experienced plumbing professionals help you get your plumbing ready. We provide a variety of plumbing services to ensure things keep flowing smoothly, even when you’re not around!

Use these simple vacation plumbing tips and you’ll have peace of mind while you’re away!

Never turn off your heat

If you’re looking to save a few bucks while you’re away this winter by turning off your heat, don’t!
You can bet your bottom dollar that the cost to repair frozen or burst piping will be way higher than even your most expensive heating bill! You can turn your heat down low, but as a precaution never keep it below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Inspect washing machine hoses

While you’re doing that last load of laundry before you go, take a moment to carefully inspect your washing machine hoses. With a life expectancy of only 3 years, washing machine hoses can develop cracks and potentially problematic build ups of calcium over time, causing leaks and other issues. If you find anything noteworthy, don’t put it off! Just give us a call because the problem won’t go away until we fix it!

Even your water heater could use a vacation

Did you know many water heaters have a vacation mode that can be activated specifically for times like these? This helps to save on energy costs as well as prevent water damage in the unfortunate event that the pipes leading to and from your water heater burst. A dry or empty water heater can damage the heating element and cause it burn out! If your water heater doesn’t have a vacation mode, turn it off instead.

Turn off the main water valve

One of the best ways to really nip issues with flooding and frozen pipes in the bud is to shut off your main water valve. This helps to prevent these issues by stopping the flow of winter into your home’s pipes. That way, it won’t even get a chance to freeze! You can help drain any water left over in them by opening your hot and cold water faucets. Disregard this step if you have a boiler, as it requires water to continue heating your home!

Prevent unpleasant drain odors

No one likes to be welcomed home by the stench of rotting food wafting up from your kitchen sink or garbage disposal, or worse, that infamous sewer smelling coming from a bathroom. Give your drains a proper cleaning before you leave or call us for professional drain cleaning. For bathroom drains, piping hot water, vinegar, and baking soda are tried and true natural ways to get rid of odors, but bleach will also do the trick.

After serving the greater Reading, MA area for over a century, we’ve learned a thing or two about preventative plumbing maintenance. With all that experience, you can always trust the skilled plumbing professionals at Waldman to handle any job the right way on the first time!

Fall Plumbing Maintenance in Boston Prevents the Need for Winter Plumbing Repairs

Residents of Boston know just how cold winter can be. Last year had record highs for snowfall and below freezing temperatures. Sadly, some families had their water heaters break down right in the middle of the coldest weather. This year, Waldman Plumbing wanted to offer a few fall plumbing tips to help our Boston clients avoid winter plumbing problems such as frozen pipes.

Fall Plumbing Maintenance Tips:

  • Plumbing Insulation
    • Styrofoam faucet insulation can cover any exterior faucets. They’re available at most home improvement stores.
    • Inspect all exposed pipes in basements, crawl spaces, and along exterior walls. Insulate all pipes that may be exposed to cold or freezing temps.
  • Routine Plumbing Maintenance Inspections
    • Be sure to have your water heater, sewer/septic system, and furnace inspected. These units provide vital services to your home, and you don’t want any to break down in the dead of winter. Routine maintenance inspections help spot problems before it’s too late.
  • Debris and Clogs
    • Be sure to clear your HVAC system, gutters, and downspouts of all leaves and debris. Failing to do so could cause serious problems for your roof, gutters, and more.
  • Exterior Plumbing
    • All hoses, sprinkler systems, and faucets should have attachments removed. You should also shut the water off and drain off any excess water. This helps eliminate water in the pipes, which prevents freezing and bursting throughout the winter months.

These are just a few of the tips that can help you stay warm all winter long. For more information, feel free to give us a call. Our licensed technicians are prepared to help you with any plumbing problem or winterization question.

Why Plumbing Inspections Are Important

Maintaining your home or commercial plumbing is essential to efficient operation. Some customers don’t know why we recommend regular plumbing inspections, but they mean the difference between receiving simple plumbing maintenance and requiring an expensive plumbing repair. Let us answer some common questions regarding inspections to help you better understand why they’re an integral part of your home or facility maintenance.

What is a Plumbing Inspection?

During an inspection, a licensed professional from Waldman Plumbing & Heating will examine your plumbing system. This examination will cover pipes, drainage both indoors and out, fixtures & appliances (like your water heater), and waste systems.

What is the Inspector Looking for During an Inspection?

The main focus is potential leak detection, assessing drainage systems for clogs and corrosion, determining the water heater meets operational standards, checking pipe insulation, and ensuring the water meter is functioning properly. We will also inspect your sewer system using state of the art video inspection.

How Often Do I Need an Inspection?

Waldman Plumbing & Heating offers service agreements and annual inspection plans to ensure your plumbing system is properly maintained. If we find any problems during our inspection, we may be able to conveniently fix them in the same visit.

What Happens After the Inspection?

Our inspection should be followed by routine maintenance and cleaning. This can include repairing leaky faucets or running toilets, cleaning garbage disposals, and flushing plumbing traps to remove debris.

Properly maintaining plumbing is a vital part of standard home or facility care. Having a pipe burst or a drain back up can cause problems requiring costly repair. The repair often involves more than just your plumbing system, since drywall and flooring commonly require replacement due to water damage. You can ensure your home is protected by scheduling regular maintenance and inspections with a Boston plumber to keep your system operating efficiently. If you have any more questions, or would like to schedule an inspection, please call Waldman Plumbing at (781) 780-3184 to speak with one of our technicians.

How to Go Green with Your Plumbing

As homeowners strive to save money and decrease the size of their carbon footprints, green plumbing is growing in popularity. In fact, making the switch to water conserving fixtures is easier and less expensive than many homeowners think. At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, our plumbers offer the latest in plumbing fixtures and teach you how to go green.

Low-Flow Fixtures

Low-flow fixtures are a simple and inexpensive way to go green with your plumbing. From low-flow shower heads to dual-flush toilets, these devices can lower daily water use by up to 50% without impacting your quality of life. That means extra savings for you, too!

Tankless Water Heaters

A traditional water heater must always keep a supply of hot water ready to be used. As a result, it constantly draws on electricity or natural gas to keep power. However, a tankless water heater only uses electricity or natural gas to heat water when how water is needed. These tankless systems provide nearly instantaneous heating and can supply an essentially limitless supply of hot water for household needs.

Solar Hot Water Systems

Take water and energy conservation to the next step using solar power. Solar hot water systems use the energy of the sun to heat water.

Active solar heating systems use some electricity or other fuel to perform some of the functions of heating water.
Passive heating systems do not use any outside energy resources.

Either option has the potential to heat enough water for your daily needs, including showering and washing dishes.

Go Green Today

Our Boxford plumbers offer plumbing installation with eco-friendly green fixtures to help you save money and protect the earth’s precious resources. Whether you switch over one plumbing fixture or your entire household, you can rest assured knowing that your choices are making a real difference.

Call Waldman Plumbing and Heating today at (781) 780-3184.

The Importance of Regular Carbon Monoxide Testing

Odorless, colorless, and tasteless, carbon monoxide is one of the most dangerous pollutants found in home environments. High levels of carbon monoxide exposure can result in loss of consciousness and death. Even low-level exposure can cause symptoms like nausea, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Regular carbon monoxide testing from an experienced Beverly plumber from Waldman Plumbing and Heating helps protect you and your family from the harmful effects of carbon monoxide inhalation.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The red cells in the human body’s circulatory system absorb carbon monoxide faster than they absorb oxygen. When there is sufficient carbon monoxide in the air, oxygen in the blood is gradually replaced with the harmful substance. Oxygen deprivation causes damage to tissue and can result in death. Children, seniors, and those suffering from heart disease or respiratory conditions are particularly susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide naturally occurs during the combustion process in products such as fuel-burning furnaces, water heaters, and appliances. These household fixtures are engineered with venting systems designed to carry the gas safely outside your home. If not properly maintained, however, leaks, gaps, and obstructions can develop that cause carbon monoxide to back draft into your home.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Exposure

All combustion products require regular maintenance to ensure safe and efficient operation. The following organizations all recommend that consumers install UL-listed carbon monoxide monitors in their homes and have their fuel-burning systems regularly serviced by a qualified technician:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • American Lung Association (ALA)

Serving Beverly and the surrounding communities for over a century, Waldman Plumbing and Heating offers services like carbon monoxide testing that enhance your family’s comfort and wellbeing. Testing is also included in our HVAC maintenance programs as well.

To schedule a carbon monoxide test for home, call us today at (781) 780-3184.

How to Protect Your Pipes from Freezing

One very important element of preparing your home for winter is to protect your pipes from freezing. While this isn’t always foremost in a homeowner’s mind, it is extremely necessary. Water that is frozen in pipes can cause the pipes to crack or leak, leaving you with a costly mess that can disrupt your entire plumbing system. At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, we can protect your pipes and winterize your system, saving you a lot of stress and hassle.

Frozen pipe prevention is a job that is best done by a professional, since no one wants to run the risk of unknowingly doing an insufficient job. When you call us, we will come in and can evaluate those pipes that are at most risk of freezing. Your pipes will be thoroughly insulated with foam pipe insulation and electric fans may be set up to blow hot air from the furnace onto pipes that are most at risk. The area between the wall or floorboards and the pipes will also be insulated in order to prevent cold air from affecting your pipes.

When it comes to your pipes, a bit of prevention is much more efficient and less costly than a plumbing repair job. If your pipes freeze, you run the risk of your household’s whole plumbing system faltering. Water that seeps through a burst pipe can destroy your possessions and pose a health hazard to your family. Taking the necessary precaution of properly insulating your pipes can prevent a big headache in the future.

Don’t run the risk of your pipes freezing during this cold winter. Call your local Boxford plumber Waldman Plumbing and Heating today at (781) 780-3184 and let us take care of protecting your pipes.

Waldman Plumbing and Heating

Waldman Plumbing and Heating provides affordable and high-quality plumbing and heating services to people in the North Shore region of Massachusetts. Located in Lynn, Massachusetts, our company has been helping North Shore residents with their plumbing and heating problems and installations for more than 100 years. Jacob Waldman established our company, and today his grandson and great-grandson run the business. The third and fourth-generation owners are just as dedicated to providing high-level workmanship to people north of Boston as Jacob Waldman was when he came to America and started the business. Our company works hard to provide a superior customer service experience and leave you feeling secure after our technicians have performed a repair or installation.

Our company provides a wide range of plumbing services to residential and commercial customers. If you need a plumbing installation in Boxford or new plumbing fixtures, our technicians can perform the installation in a timely and efficient manner. They will even leave your home looking cleaner than when they first arrived. You can trust our technicians to come in and do an excellent job at cleaning, fixing or installing a water filtration system, water softeners, sewer lines, garbage disposal or plumbing features. When you have a major problem such as a frozen pipe, a water blackflow or a sewer blockage, you can trust that one of our staff members will come out and work on the problem until it has been resolved.

At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, we understand how much of an inconvenience it can be when you have a heating or air-conditioning problem during the coldest or hottest months of the year. We provide a wide range of services, including fixing and installing heat pumps, furnaces, air conditioners and boilers. We install energy-efficient equipment so that your home uses less energy during the winter or summer. Whenever our technicians come into your home, they use state-of-the-art tools and equipment so that you won’t have problems down the line.

Waldman Plumbing and Heating is a member of Quality Services Contractors and the Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors Association, two of the top membership organizations in the heating and plumbing industry. Our company works with you to make sure that you receive personalized service and a high caliber installation or repair. To reach us, call (781) 780-3184 or 978-666-4356.

Repairing a Leaky Faucet in Your Bathroom

A leaky bathroom faucet is more than a minor annoyance; it can waste tens of gallons of water each day, leading to high water and sewer bills. A basic bathroom faucet fix only requires a few basic tools and less than an hour of your time. However, a more complicated leak is best left to our professionals at Waldman Plumbing and Heating. Our professionals explain how to repair a simple leaking faucet in your bathroom and how to know when it is best to call for plumbing repair in Lynnfield.

1. Locate the water shutoff valve for the sink and turn off the water supply.

2. If your faucet head has a decorative cap, cover a flat head screwdriver with a microfiber cloth and pry off the cap.

3. Use the screwdriver to unscrew the handle’s nut.

4. Remove the screw that holds on the washer.

5. Inspect the washer. If it is worn out, replace it.

6. Use mild dish detergent to clean the rod, cavity and handle.

7. Check the rod for signs of damage and replace it if it’s worn. Reinsert the new rod.

8. Reattach the screw that holds the washer in place.

9. Reinsert the stem and screw it into place.

10. Reattach the faucet handle and replace the plastic cap.

If your faucet is still leaky, the problem may be more complicated than a worn out washer or rod. You may need a new faucet or even a water pipe replacement. At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, our professional plumbers will assess the situation and provide you with a detailed report of our findings and an estimate for repair.

At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, no plumbing problem is too big or too small for our team of professional plumbers. Whether you need someone to perform leak detection or to do a complete bathroom repiping job, our team of dedicated professionals can do it all. Call us at Waldman Plumbing and Heating day or night at (781) 780-3184 and 978-666-4356 to schedule your bathroom faucet or any other type of plumbing repair or service.

A DIY Guide to Drain Cleaning with an Auger

When you have a clogged drain, getting it back to working order is of utmost importance. Instead of using caustic or environmentally harmful chemicals to get rid of the clog, cleaning out a clogged drain with an auger is a more ecologically conscious choice and a cost effective one as well. Drain augers require a bit of elbow grease to use, but they can get through most minor clogs. Our team of professionals at Waldman Plumbing and Heating explains how to use a drain snake or auger to clean out stubborn clogs.

1. Remove the drain cover. You may need a screwdriver to unscrew it.

2. Put on safety goggles and thick rubber work gloves. The auger may loosen messy clogs that could splash into your face.

3. Use firm pressure to guide the auger down the drain, twisting it as your feed it. Once you feel it stick, you have located the clog. Push and twist the auger as vigorously as possible to break through the clog.

4. Once the auger is all the way through the clog, remove the auger and clean it. Turn on the hot water and allow hot water to flow through the drain for 5 to 10 minutes. This will rinse away any clog remnants.

5. Maintain clog-free drains by using sink traps to catch solid and stringy debris, avoid sending items such as hygiene products, tissues and fibrous food waste down the sink and auger each of your drains about every three months to keep it clean.

If you have tried to clean your drain with an auger yet you are still having plumbing problems due to a clogged drain, our team of professionals at Waldman Plumbing and Heating will get your drains running in no time. We offer same day and emergency drain cleaning service in Beverly. We are dedicated to providing you with the best plumbing and heating services in the area. When you need professional assistance getting your drains to properly work, call us today at (781) 780-3184 and 978-666-4356 to schedule your drain repair appointment.