Do I Need Commercial Sewer Line Repair?

worker providing sewer line repair

Taking Care of the Sewer Line

One of the worse things that can happen to a business, especially a restaurant, is sewer backup! As a business, the public doesn’t want to know that it can have the same issues they have at home! But, alas, they do and that is why, along with grease trap service and on-time deliveries, you should have a routine sewer line inspection

What does a sewer inspection consist of?

Any business in a city or town is going to be connected to the city sewer system, and if your business is located outside of the city limits, you’ll probably be on a septic system, which we will address later in this article.

A sewer line is typically 5 to 6 feet deep under the structure. So, how is a sewer line inspection going to inspect this line? Today, sewer inspection companies have new sewer inspection equipment and technology that makes this process so much easier, the inspector may not even get dirty!  A sewer inspection and cleaning are usually done at the same time. 

That equipment includes a specifically designed camera that connects to a flexible cable. It is placed into the sewer line, usually at the clean-out point, and is pushed through the sewer line. Inspection will come from the camera relaying pictures and/or video back to a computer. 

If you’ve been wondering, “How do I know if there are roots in my sewer line?”, once this cable and camera have been inserted into the sewer line, the plumber will know quick because the camera won’t be able to pass through the sewer line, inspection halts as they remove whatever is blocking the line, including tree roots.  

At this point, the plumber is going to get dirty as they start digging where the camera has stopped. Once the blockage is removed, they’ll continue with the sewer line inspection until they have reached the end of the line. 

Before the plumber starts their sewer line inspection, they’ll ask you if you’ve been experiencing any problems. You can help by letting them know if you’re having any of the following issues: 

  • Frequent clogs in the bathroom or kitchen sink
  • Frequent backed-up toilets
  • Gurgling sounds as sinks drain or from the toilets when flushed
  • Slow draining bathroom or kitchen sinks
  • Sudden drop in water pressure
  • Banging or whistling sounds from water lines
  • Puddles of water around the building or landscaping
  • An offensive odor around the exterior or inside the building

What is a sewer scope inspection?

A sewer scope inspection is visible on a video as described above with the camera and flexible cable. The inspection is done of the lateral sewer line that leads from your place of business to the city tap. 

How much is a sewer line inspection?

The pricing for sewer line inspections varies from city to city, county to county, there isn’t any set pricing to quote. As a business owner, you should get a few estimates by phone before scheduling this service. But keep in mind that whatever the cost may be is cheaper than having to shut your place of business down for sewer line repairs. 

Even if you can keep your business open while sewer line repairs or replacements are being done, chances are your customers are going to be steered away by the odor and mess, especially if your business is a restaurant.

What does a septic inspection consist of?

There are four main components to a septic system and the septic inspection will include all four of the components and more. Those three components are: 

  • The Septic Tank
  • The Drain Field
  • The Drain Lines
  • The Distribution Box
  • The Soil

A professional contractor trained and experienced in septic inspections will perform the following after locating the septic tank: 

  • Remove the tank covers.
  • Inspect the inlet, outlet baffle, and partition wall.
  • Inspect the operation level of sewage.
  • Locate the chamber of the pump, CK pump, alarm operation, and the float.
  • Dig test holes in the septic bed area to determine the below-grade effluent level.
  • Inspect the condition of the drain lines and trenches.

How long does it take to do a septic inspection?

A thorough septic inspection should take a maximum of 2 hours. If there are any issues or problems, it could take longer, but worth the expense and time if the issues and problems can be addressed then and save you any downtime later. 

close-up of a worker providing a sewer line repair

In Closing

As a business, you need to keep your business in operating mode, and a septic or sewer line inspection is key to letting that happen. Schedule this a minimum of once a year, twice a year if your building has previous issues with the plumbing. 

Always get a signed inspection certificate and keep it readily available for any possible city inquiry. It isn’t unusual for a city health inspector or code compliance officer to drop by and request these types of documentation. 

Is it Worth it to Repair a Garbage Disposal?

Under the sink garbage disposal unit.

Garbage Disposal Repairs

It is always there, waiting for you, never fails to answer your needs, until the most inconvenient bad time possible. Don’t worry though, yours isn’t the only one!  We’re talking about garbage disposals. They only seem to quit working in the middle of the holidays or cooking a fancy meal for the in-laws. So, does this mean a new one is needed, or is there such a thing as garbage disposal repair

Unless you have an ancient garbage disposal, repairs are possible, depending on the problem. How do I know if my garbage disposal is bad and how do you fix a garbage disposal that isn’t working? While some problems with the garbage disposal, repairs are possible, some by you and some need a professional. The following is a list of problems that garbage disposal repair probably isn’t going to be possible: 

1. Abnormal Noises

If you have ever had a spoon fall into the garbage disposal drain, you know that noise!  For these kinds of issues, you can turn the unit off, unplug it and reach in with your hand and remove the item. If that doesn’t stop the noise, the blades and other components may be misaligned, which should be done by a professional plumber. Do not use the unit anymore until your garbage disposal repair is complete or you will need a replacement.

2. Frequent Resetting

Every garbage disposal unit has a reset button that recovers the unit when it shuts down from a large load or a clog, but it shouldn’t need this very often. If you’re having to reset the unit more and more, then it probably needs to be replaced, but an electrician can inspect the wiring and make sure there isn’t another issue. 

3. Baffling Clogs

You know that you should only put in small amounts of food to avoid clogging your garbage disposal. But if regardless of how small the amount, the garbage disposal is still clogging, and you may need to replace the unit with a higher capacity model. First, you should try to clear the clog. How do you unclog garbage disposal?

Here are three ways to try to unclog the garbage disposal, which are the same steps you can use to unclog the drain without garbage disposal: 

  • 1. Manual Checkup: Use a flashlight and see if there is anything in the drain where the garbage disposal is located. With the unit off and unplugged, use pliers or tongs and remove anything you see, which may require several attempts to get everything. 
  • 2. Baking Soda and Vinegar: Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain followed by half a cup of white vinegar. Place the stopper over the drain and wait 20 minutes. Then pour boiling hot water into the drain. 
  • 3. Plunger: Using a sink plunger, cover the drain opening and plug up the other drain. Fill the garbage disposal side with water and start plunging up and down. You may need to do this for several minutes until the clog loosens. 

4. No Power

A garbage disposal that won’t turn on or shut off while you’re using it could be a problem with the circuit breaker. Check the circuit breaker box and make sure it is on, and if not, turn it back on then try using the unit again. If it is still without power or shutting off, you should call a professional plumber to inspect the unit and see if a garbage disposal repair is possible. 

5. Persistent Smells

Garbage disposal smells are one of the most unpleasant and typically are because of wet food that hasn’t broken down flushed on through the drain. Thorough cleaning and rinsing should get rid of those smells, but if not, you may need a professional plumber to perform a garbage disposal repair. They will take the unit apart, remove any trapped food particles and hook it back up. Once a week you should grind up lemon peelings to keep your garbage disposal smelling clean and fresh. 

6. Poor Performance

If the loads you’re putting into your garbage disposal aren’t running through as quickly as they should, you may be asking, “Why won’t my garbage disposal grind?” and it could be that the blades may need sharpening or replacing. Do garbage disposal blades wear out? Absolutely, think about all the food you’re putting into the unit and expect it to grind up to wash on down to the sewer system! 

7. Water Leaks

Between where your garbage disposal connects to the plumbing, it isn’t unusual overtime for water to seep through. By the time it has become noticeable, garbage disposal repair isn’t possible. If you are starting to notice small leaks, garbage disposal repairs may be an option.  How do you fix a leaky garbage disposal?

The first thing you should do is determine where the leak is coming from, and if it is coming from the bottom, there isn’t any garbage disposal repair for this, it is time for a replacement. If it is leaking from the top of the unit, you can replace the seal, or check the plumbing connections and simply tighten them. 

disposer food waste machine for your kitchen

Why is my garbage disposal humming and not working?

Humming garbage disposal is usually because there is an object jamming the blades and they can’t rotate. Usually, a DIY garbage disposal repair can be done by turning the unit off and unplugging the power cord. Use a flashlight to see what is in there and remove it. If that doesn’t fix it, then you’ll need to call a plumber.

Can I use the sink if the garbage disposal is broken, can I run the dishwasher if the garbage disposal is broken?

If the problem is electrical or mechanical with the dishwasher, yes, you can still use the dishwasher and sink. If the problem is with the plumbing, like a clogged drain, it should not be used. 

In Closing 

Once your garbage disposal is 8 to 10 years old, garbage disposal repairs are going to get more expensive. At this point, consider replacing the unit. 

Westside Plumbing provides help with garbage disposal repair in Fort Worth, TX. Call (817) 560-4144 for assistance.

How does a water fountain work?

boy drinking from a water fountain

Understanding Water Fountains

Until you need a drink of water, you may wonder why are drinking fountains good to have in public places. It doesn’t matter if you’re inside or outside, you never know when the need for a drink of water may happen. This is especially true on a hot summer day in Texas! To keep clients, employees, and visitors comfortable, a working water fountain is important, which brings us to the subject of water fountain repair

Having public water fountains encourages everyone, adults, and children, to consider a drink of water in place of grabbing a sugary drink. Water is healthy for all of us, aiding in a healthier lifestyle and can help decrease a national problem: obesity.  

By keeping a public water fountain repaired and providing fresh, healthy water, it also provides encouragement to get children to engage in healthier ways. An additional benefit of keeping your property’s water fountain repaired, it can minimize the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, lakes, and oceans. 

How do you sanitize a drinking fountain?

If your company has one, keeping a water fountain repaired and in good working order is important. Maintaining a clean drinking water fountain will keep your employees healthier and a well-hydrated staff is more productive too. 

But a water fountain can also be a germ incubator if not kept clean. A daily routine to clean the water fountains in your place of business or a public structure is important. The following steps are recommended process to keep your water fountain repaired and clean: 

  • One: Using Sanitizing Wipe- Twice a day, use sanitizing wipes on all exposed surfaces, including the button or handle, bowl, mouthpiece, and side panels. During cold and flu season, you may consider 3 to 4 times a day. 
  • Two: Hot Water – Fill a bucket with hot water and dip a clean, lint-free cloth in the hot water, then rub over the bowl and mouthpiece. This will remove any dust or grime on the water fountain. Be sure to get the corners and creases, any area where bacteria hides and spreads. 
  • Three: Bleach or Sanitizer – Use bleach or sanitizer and coat the bowl and mouthpiece, wait 5 minutes, then using a soft-bristle brush, scrub the same areas you coated. 
  • Four: A Dry Cloth – Take a dry cloth and rub the bowl and mouthpiece to remove any grime left behind. 
  • Five: Empty the Bucket – Slowly empty the bucket into the drinking water fountain and over the mouthpiece. This will remove any bleach residue.  

How expensive is a drinking fountain?

The cost of a water fountain can start around $1,000, going up to $6,000 and a professional installation can start around $500 and go up to $3,000 per unit. Keep the benefits in focus when budgeting the addition of water fountains. Repairs aside, a water fountain will provide healthy water with a built-in purification system. Additionally, you’re helping with eliminating additional plastic bottles in the landfills. 

Do drinking fountains have to be recessed?

There are many questions when it comes to how to install a drinking fountain, which is why using a professional, licensed plumber to install any water fountain is smart. Water drinking fountains with a leading edge taller than 27″ are required to be recessed in an alcove or installed otherwise not to protrude more than four inches in the circulation pathway.

What are the ADA requirements for water fountains?

A water drinking fountain that is installed on an exterior site or an interior floor is required to meet the Federal accessibility code. Including having one at a high level and the other at a low level at a minimum of 27” above the floor and meeting the alcove or recessed requirements above.  These are referred to as a hi-lo water fountain. A floor space clearance of 30” x 48” is required to meet ADA compliance, including a 38-1/2” wide access panel. 

Why has my water fountain stopped working?

Drinking water fountains aren’t the only type of water fountains. There are water fountains installed for decorative purposes and to provide a tranquil setting. These operate by a water pump that brings water up from a basin. It then circulates it through another opening through a hose, then the water trickles down into the basin. This process repeats itself over and over, recirculating the same water. 

When this water isn’t circulating as described, water fountain repairs can include any of the following issues. How do you fix a broken water fountain? The following steps could save you from having to pay for professional water fountain repairs. 

  • The power supply could be turned off to the water pump. Checking the circuit breaker should be the first step. 
  • Check the impeller on the water fountain pump. This is done by placing your hand on the pump while it is running. If there is a whirring feel and sound, the impeller is working. If not, there is probably debris causing a blockage. This can often be removed by running the water backwards. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to schedule a water fountain repair.
  • Check the adjustment dial and adjust upward to increase the flow or decrease it if water is splashing out. 
  • Add water to the fountain to the fill line. Make sure the hose is immersed in the water. If the pump is making loud sounds, there may not be enough water. 
  • Turn off the water fountain and examine the hoses and pump screen for debris. If this is an outdoor fountain, over time, it will accumulate debris, dirt, and leaves that can clog the fountain. Once the screen is cleaned, it should work correctly. 
boy drinking from a water fountain

At The End Of The Day – How long do drinking fountains last?

Keeping your water fountain repaired and well maintained will give you up to three years of service. Providing healthy drinking water or a beautiful outdoor fountain of tranquility.

How Do You Detect a Gas Leak?

gas stove burner

The Benefits of Natural Gas

Natural gas is one of our best fuel resources. It is clean and one of the best methods of heating our homes, for bathing, and for cooking. It comes from under the surface of the earth, generated from millions of year old fossils. Yet, it can be dangerous, which is why gas leak detection is important. 

What happens if there is a gas leak?

Because natural gas is dangerous, to provide your family protection, learn the cause of gas leaks, hot to prevent gas leaks, and most important, have in-home gas leak detection equipment. If you discover or suspect a gas leak, evacuate the house. Then call 911 and the gas company. Finally, call a licensed plumber that works with gas lines to repair or replace the problem appliance or pipe. 

If you don’t have any gas leak detection equipment in your home, some indication that there may be a gas leak would be: 

A Rotten Egg Odor

“What does gas smell like?” Like the kids missed one Easter egg you hid behind the couch. Yup, leaking natural gas smells like rotting eggs because of the Mercaptan that natural gas suppliers add to the raw product. This is a chemical that creates a noticeable odor, so when you smell rotting eggs and you know you haven’t hidden any eggs lately, evacuate your home immediately.

Dead or Dying Houseplants

An undetected natural gas leak will consume the oxygen in your home, depriving your house plants, and your family, of the oxygen they need. In short time, you’ll notice your plants are looking poor and dying. Next to a rotting egg odor, dying or dead plants are a great form of natural gas leak detection. 

Fatigue and Sickness

Just as a natural gas leak detection includes dying or dead houseplants, your family can begin having showing symptoms of a natural gas leak. If anyone in your family has sudden fatigue, nausea, weakness, headaches, or feel like they are suffocating, call 911 and advise the operator you may have gas poisoning exposure. 

Dead Bushes, Grass and Shrubs 

For natural gas to get to your home, there are pipes running under your lawn. When there is a break or crack in those lines, you’ll notice your bushes, grass, and shrubs are dying. Just as your indoor house plants need air, so do outdoor growths. 

Skin Irritations

Any individuals in your home that have a sudden issue with skin irritations may be showing a symptom of hidden gas from behind a wall or in the ceiling. Those skin irritations can appear as blisters, a rash, or numbness. The carbon monoxide poisoning from a natural gas leak can cause discoloration of the skin too. 

Discolored Flames

Gas appliances should have a blue flame when turned on, and if the flame is yellow, it is usually an indication of poor ventilation with the appliance. Call a professional plumber for natural gas leak detection and repair. 

What should I do if I smell gas?

Quickly check all the burners on your stove. If any were left on, open up all the windows and give it time to air out. If there are no burners on, evacuate the premises immediately and call 911 from a safe location. Then call the gas company and a professional plumber that works with gas lines. 

Do not open furnace doors or the pilot light cover on the water heater or other gas appliances. The air could cause an explosion. Do not turn on anything electrical to assure there isn’t any spark, and again, evacuate the premises immediately. 

What is a gas leak detector?

Gas leak detection equipment is designed to detect a leak of one of the following gases: 

  • Natural gas leaks
  • Propane gas leaks
  • Carbon monoxide leaks

So, you may be asking how a gas leak detector works? Considering the dangers of a gas leak to your family, gas leak detection equipment is a must for every home using gas. A gas leak detector monitors the different gas levels in the surrounding air. They are usually battery operated and when gas leaks are detected, they sound loud beeps that can’t be missed, much like a smoke alarm.

Will a carbon monoxide detector detect a gas leak? 

No, a natural gas leak can’t be detected by a carbon monoxide detector. CO (carbon monoxide) is a toxic gas that is created when fuel burns and when the oxygen level is low. A natural gas leak is methane and requires different gas leak detection equipment. 

close-up of gas valve

In Closing 

Got a gas leak – who do you call? Well, it isn’t Ghostbusters! So – do plumbers fix gas leaks? Yes, you will need to call a professional plumber that is licensed for gas line repairs and installation. Not all plumbers are experienced at gas leak detection and repair, so confirm they offer gas leak detection and gas line repair services. 

How can you tell if you have a gas leak in your house?

Close-up of a valve on a gas line.

The Hidden Dangers of Natural Gas

While natural gas is one of our cleanest and most efficient sources of energy, there is always a concern about gas leaks. A gas leak can be dangerous until gas line repairs are done and the entire system is checked by the gas company. If it wasn’t for the chemical mercaptan that is added to natural gas, it would be more dangerous because it doesn’t have an odor. 

Mercaptan is a harmless chemical that creates the distinctive smell of rotten eggs. This is a measure to make natural gas safer. However, sometimes people don’t notice that particular odor. 

Common Signs of Gas Leaks

So, what are the symptoms of a gas leak? The following are possible indicators that you have a leak and need natural gas line repairs as soon as possible:

  • Rotten egg smell
  • A hissing sound around gas appliances
  • Air bubbles coming from the puddles of water outside your home
  • Dying or dead plants
  • Higher-than-normal gas bills, especially when it’s not the season for furnace use.
  • Meanwhile, physical symptoms poisoning by natural gas can range from any of the following: 
  • Breathing problems
  • Dizziness
  • Eye irritation 
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Pale skin or blisters (These occur when the skin has come in contact with natural gas in its compressed or liquid form.)
  • Throat irritation

Natural gas leaks change the level of oxygen in the air, leaving less for you to breathe in, thus the breathing problems we listed. When you have more trouble breathing because of less oxygen, the other symptoms will start to develop. 

If any person in your household experiences any of the symptoms we’ve listed, whether that rotten egg smell is present or not, you need to evacuate the house immediately and call 911 as well as the gas company. Once they have turned the gas off, call a plumber that is licensed for gas line repairs. 

What do you do if you suspect a gas leak?

It cannot be stressed too much! Any indication or suspicion there is a natural gas leak in your home, everyone should evacuate the area promptly. Once you’re in a safe place, call 911 and the gas company. DO NOT GO BACK INSIDE! While inside the house or near it, do not light matches or turn anything electrical on inside the house. An unseen spark can cause a fire. 

Who is responsible for gas line repair? 

If the gas line leak is on your side of the meter and within your home or property lines, the gas line repair responsibility is yours. The gas company or 911 officials will turn your gas off and it will not be turned back on until the gas line repair has been made and inspected. 

What happens with a gas leak?

Natural gas is a clean and safe energy source. There are over 70 million businesses and homes using natural gas today. However, gas leaks do occur. If gas line repairs aren’t made in a timely fashion, it creates CO (Carbon monoxide) poisoning, leading to the physical symptoms we’ve mentioned.

In fact, an unattended gas line leak can be deadly due to the CO poisoning or fire. Between the years 1999 and 2010, over 5,100 people died from CO poisoning. This doesn’t include the number of animals that have died from the CO poisoning, nor from the explosions and fires caused by a gas line repair not done. 

Do plumbers repair gas lines?

Yes, they can, but not all plumbers do gas line repair jobs. Like doctors, plumbers have specialties, and gas line repair and installation is one of those specialties. When you need gas line repair in a house or a business, call several plumbers for quotes and ask if they are certified, licensed, and insured to complete gas line repairs. 

How do plumbers check for gas leaks?

Professional plumbers that service gas lines and make gas line repairs are equipped with detection equipment that homes in on the specific area of a gas leak. They will inspect all gas appliances and the gas lines running to the appliances, as well as inspect around the gas meter, using this device. From the smallest pinhole, this equipment enables them to find any leak and make the gas line repair needed.

Close-up of a lit stovetop burner.

In Closing

Again, we cannot stress the importance of caution when there is a suspected gas leak. Line repairs are needed immediately to keep your family and home safe. If anybody in your home is exhibiting any of the physical ailments we have discussed, or you’re hearing and seeing any of the signs of a gas leak – evacuate! 
Get everyone to a safe area, and then call 911 as well as the gas company. Once they have given the all-clear sign, call a plumber that is certified to do gas line repair. Annually, you should have a gas-certified plumber check your home’s gas lines and gas appliances for safety, especially in older homes. You can get the help you need with gas line repair in Fort Worth, TX by reaching out to Westside Plumbing at (817) 560-4144.

How Much Does it Cost to Repipe a Whole House?

plumbing pipes

What does repipe mean and why repipe a house?

If you are a “rehabber”, do you know how to repipe a house? There are a lot of fixer upper houses in and around Ft. Worth these days, all over the country actually.  Those TV shows has a lot of people thinking they can either fix and flip or fix and live in some of the worst houses, and maybe they can. 

However, there is so much more to fixing up a house than slapping on a coat of paint, update the tile in the bathroom and new countertops in the kitchen. There is the electrical and the plumbing and so much behind the cameras you don’t see.  It is the plumbing and the process of plumbing repipe we’re talking about today. 

To repipe a house is to replace older pipes and materials with new pipe and materials.  To repipe a house, the following areas are affected: 

  • All the water lines in the home and the lines to each plumbing fixture.
  • New plumbing connections.
  • New valves at every sinks and toilet.
  • New water supply lines.
  • New main shut off to the house  and the water heater.
  • New laundry box,  ice maker box and the valves at each.

In the natural progression of things, a home ages, there is shifting of the ground and foundation movement will damage the existing pipes. The plumbing pipes and fixtures simply gets old and worn, you may even have numerous plumbing calls because of busted pipes and connections. A plumbing repipe job will replace all those things, giving you better water pressure, even better tasting water. 

When should you repipe a house?

Times to consider a plumbing repipe job would any of the following: 

  • If your home has undergone severe damage like consistent busted pipes. 
  • Your home is over fifty years old, a plumbing repipe should be something to consider.
  • Other examples of when plumbing repipe is needed is when you have consistently low water pressure, or the water pressure varies between rooms for no reason. 
  • The water coming from any of your pipes is brown or red, strong indication either your water heater is going out or your home needs plumbing repiped. Either way, you are getting a clear message of contaminated water! 

How much does repipe cost?

The cost to repipe a house can vary from city to city, area to area. The size of the house will be a huge factor in the cost as well as the type of material used for the repipe job. 

How much does it cost to repipe a whole house?

 A home with 1,500 square feet getting copper repipe job can start around $8,000 and go up as high as $10,000. The cost to repipe with pex for the same repipe job, you can cut that cost down to $4,000 to $6,000 because it takes less labor and less material. Maybe you’re just doing the kitchen remodel and update, what is the cost to repipe kitchen sink? Labor and materials per drain can range between $250 and $275. 

A Final Word Of Caution – Polybutylene 

Polybutylene pipes were cheaper for builders and contractors, but they were disastrous when it all came around.  Are polybutylene pipes bad? Yes!  The plastic that was used by the three major companies that manufactured them reacts to chlorine, disinfectants, and oxidants found in public water supplies.  Polybutylene creates flaking and scaling within the pipes and they would eventually burst.

This type of pipe was marketed as “the pipe of the future” and was found to be strong and cold weather resistant. This was a versatile plumbing material that was cheaper than copper plumbing and quicker to install. It was installed in approximately 10 million homes during the 1980s through the 1990s all through the Southern United States.  

Experts recommend that if your home is equipped with polybutylene piping, you should have a repipe job done sooner than later.  How do you know if you have polybutylene pipes? It can be hard if they’re buried in the ground or inside your walls. Having a professional plumber inspect your pipes is recommended, but if you want to find out yourself, look for plumbing that matches these descriptions:

  • Half inch or one inch flexible pipes
  • Blue, cream, gray, or silver colored
  • A stamp with “PB2110” on the side of any pipe

If you do find any of the polybutylene piping in your home, contact your homeowner’s insurance agent. There isn’t much chance you’ll have any recourse there, but it won’t hurt to ask. If there isn’t any recourse from them, they may be able to direct your other sources to offset the repipe expense. Even if the expense of a repipe job will come out of your pocket, that expense is less than the catastrophe that could be awaiting you in the unknown future of pipe bursting. Call (817) 560-4144 today for your whole house repiping needs in Fort Worth, TX.

Is backflow testing necessary?

backflow damage

Preventing waste backflow

Backflow testing certification is required by most cities and states today and while it seems to be a waste of time for a property owner, it is in the interest of having clean, healthy water.  Backflow testing assure that there isn’t any siphoning within the water system that could contaminant the water supply to your business or home. 

What happens that allows contaminants in the water to start with?  A loss in water pressure is the most common reason, which can happen from a busted water line. When a city establishes a boil water order for the residents, it is usually because of a busted water line. Once the line is repaired, the city will perform backflow testing before lifting the boil order. 

Is backflow testing required by levels of the government? Yes, states today will require cities to perform their backflow testing not only when a water line has busted, but every 2 to 3 years as well. There can be undetected leaks in a water line contaminating the water. Every 2 to 3 years, backflow testing allows the city crews to confirm their water is meeting state levels of cleanliness. 

What is backflow testing for?

Because backflow testing is the law, business owners are required to schedule their backflow testing and service with a professional plumbing company that is certified to perform backflow testing on an annual basis. Backflow testing makes sure that the drinking water coming into a building is clean and clear of contaminants that could get into the water as it flows through pressurized water taps.

 In essence, backflow happens when water is able to run backward through the water system, usually because of a waterline leak.  When water does run backward and makes its way to a water tap where it can be consumed, it could be hazardous. 

What happens during a backflow test?

Backflow testing typically takes between twenty and thirty minutes if there isn’t any repairs needed. All water valves are opened and closed as the crew checks for irregularities. They are required to complete a form that is then submitted to the local governing offices, usually the city. The information is then reviewed to ensure the water is meet the require standards of clean drinking water and no code violations were discovered. If backflow testing and repair are both needed, the time it takes for the repair will depend on what repairs are needed. 

How often should backflow be tested?

For a business, most cities and states require backflow testing every year. For residential settings, backflow testing is required every three years, although some cities and states will require it annually. The more frequent backflow testing is required when a history of problems has been present with the water supply or busted waterlines. 

Recent stories in the news about contaminated water in Flint Michigan are proof that backflow testing is needed. Not only for busted water lines, but for water contaminated by outside sources like industrial dumping. 

leak under a door

What does a backflow device look like?

For a home, a backflow preventer device is installed on an outside water pipe. It allows water to flow out but and keeps it from flowing back, hence the name ‘backflow preventer’. The purpose of the backflow device it prevent your home’s drinking water being contaminated from any bacteria that comes with backflowing water.  Example would be keeping your wastewater from the shower, sinks, or toilet backing up into the water coming out of your faucet. 

A  backflow preventer device consists of the following that are usually located in a green irrigation box just below the ground. Sometimes they are located in a home’s basement, crawl space, or garage. 

  • Two check valves
  • Four test ports
  • Two shut-offs 

Now, by knowing what is backflow prevention tester is and why they exist, you can rest a little easier knowing that your water is clean and safe.  Backflow prevention devices are equipped with the components we listed above and will automatically detect any abnormalities of backflow in your water.  Backflow testing devices also detect any air gaps which indicate a separation between the potable water and contaminated water via vertical air space.

Cross connections that can cause contamination that backflow testing checks are: 

  • Chemical or metal processing plants. Chemicals or metals in solution can come into contact with public water supply.
  • Commercial or residential gardening products like chemical injectors, garden hoses, and irrigation systems connected to public water supply.
  • A water hose left running in a container or planter that has fertilizer, pesticides, or other chemicals.
  • Car wash facilities that have a rinse cycle and scrubber that allowed recycled water into the public water supply.

These are incidents that rarely happen, but they do and this is why backflow testing is crucial to your business, home, families, and the general public. While cities and states do all they can to keep our drinking water safe, it is helpful to have your own water filter in place as well to catch the minute specs the big water treatment plants miss. Need help with backflow testing for your home in Fort Worth, TX? Call (817) 560-4144 today.

What Damage Can a Slab Leak Cause?

slab leak

How serious is a slab leak?

Every homeowner’s goal is to keep their home in good condition and keep the utility bills low. So when the water bill begins to creep up more than normal each month, you may realize there is a water leak somewhere, but you’re not able to find anything obvious. You call the water company and request a meter check, and that turns out okay. Unfortunately, at this point you need to consider it may be a slab leak

For the most part, Texas homes are built on a concrete slab foundation with the plumbing running underneath. A slab leak occurs when one of those pipes breaks or cracks, and water begins leaking under the foundation, causing it to crack. 

This can create several concerns if the slab leak isn’t detected and repaired, starting with the structural integrity of the house. Because a concrete slab is vulnerable to water, it will begin to buckle, crack, shift, and sink. This can cause more water pipes to break and leak, as well as create health issues the occupants. 

What kind of health issues? When a slab leak is undetected or unrepaired, mildew and mold form from the leaking water. Everyone in the house is then breathing in that mildew and mold, and that can lead to respiratory issues, or for anyone with respiratory issues already, it can make it worse, possibly leading to more doctor appointments or hospital stays. 

Is slab leak an emergency?

At first no, a slab leak isn’t an emergency, but it can create an emergency, and that is usually when you realize you have a slab leak. That is also when you need to take action immediately and call a professional plumber.

How do plumbers detect slab leaks?

Slab leak detection isn’t always an obvious issue, it can be a complex process when the plumbing is under the home’s foundation, with concrete all around. 

  • The first step a plumber does is verify there is a leak by turning off  the main water source to the house and checking the meter. If the meter is moving, there is definitely a leak. 
  • With a leak verified, if it isn’t apparent, like water flowing from under the house, then the plumber inspects the different individual sections of the plumbing. It is helpful if the homeowner has the blueprints to the house, but if not, an experienced plumber will know the typical places where plumbing is located. 
  • Next, the plumber will use the technology available today, leak detection equipment. This includes acoustic disc and ground microphones that enable the plumber to hear sounds deeps inside the concrete foundation. This helps the plumber to further pinpoint the location of the busted pipe. 
  • With the sound narrowing down the location, the plumber then uses pressure sensors, a technology of detectors that scan for temperature changes and pressure in the concrete foundation. 
  • Last, they use a video camera designed to go through water or sewer pipes. With optic cables, the pictures travel to a small television screen and allows the plumber to determine the problem area and the size of the pipe. They then know how they need to repair the line. 

How do you stop slab leaks?

To actually stop a slab leak, you’ll need a professional plumber. However, you can do things to minimize, even prevent it from happening again: 

  1. Lower the water pressure at the meter. High water pressure is preferred by most people, but it puts a strain on the water lines from the meter and through your home. Especially in an older home with older pipes. 
  2. Install a water softener if you live in an area with hard water. Hard water will wear your pipes down, and the older the pipes get, the closer you come to experiencing a slab leak. 
  3. Do not use commercial chemical drain cleaners. Chemical drain cleaners may be the most commonly used way to clear clogs, but they are harsh and damage the pipes. There are several natural ways to clear pipes like baking soda and white vinegar. Or purchase as plumber snake at a local big box home improvement store. If those don’t clear a clog, before you decide to go with a chemical, call a plumber. 

How long does it take to repair a slab leak?

Depending on where the slab leak is located, how severe the break or crack of the pipe, and the difficulty of getting to the area to repair or replace, most slab leak jobs are done within 1 to 2 days. Some can take up to a full week. You want to get the estimate in writing for the amount and the time frame when getting quotes from plumbers. 

Can a slab leak cause foundation problems?

A slab leak within your home’s foundation will affect the soil under the foundation. There are a few different issues that can damage your foundation when you have a slab leak. 

  • A large slab leak can soak the supporting clay soil and wash it away. This will result in the slab cracking, shifting, or sinking. 
  • A slow slab leak will boost the cycles of soil contracting and expanding under the foundation. The foundation will start bulging and cracking. 
  • Moisture from a slab leak will seep into any existing cracks in the concrete, making the cracks bigger and the foundation to shift, all weakening the foundation. 
  • In any of these situations, the slab foundation is damaged, and the structural integrity of your home is damaged, unstable, and the value of your home drops. 

Are slab leaks covered by insurance?

In general, no, but every insurance policy is different. Insurance companies will usually see slab leak as a homeowner maintenance responsibility or the pipes as aging and worn from wear and tear. In that case, no, they will not pay for repair of a slab leak or any damage caused by the slab leak. However, you should always check your policy or call your agent. 

slab leak

Is a slab leak covered by home warranty?

It could depend on if you’re the original owner, but a home warranty may cover a slab leak that was caused by any of these three issues: 

  • Poor design
  • Poor construction
  • Damage to the water pipes during construction

A slab leak isn’t anything that a homeowner wants to be faced with, but good chance in some parts of the country it will happen.  Just how common are slab leaks? Slab leaks are the most common where improper construction of a house (developments that were rushed and the inspection was subpar), or if any outside pressure has been applied that impacted the water pipes.

That outside pressure can happen from an earthquake, underground stream,  and a common issue is soil erosion. In areas where these things are factors with the neighborhood, you can almost guarantee you’re going to have a slab leak. Call (817) 560-4144 today for slab leak repair in Fort Worth, TX.

What To Do If You Have a Burst Water Pipe

A Plumber Works on a Burst Pipe.

What to do if you have a burst water pipe

When it freezes in Fort Worth, TX, burst pipes are always a possibility. If you’ve had a pipe burst, you want to take care of it as soon as possible to minimize water damage while you’re waiting on your plumber for repairs. The first thing to do is shut off the water. Once the water is shut off follow these steps to save your home from serious water damage:

  • Clean up the water already there to prevent property damage and mold growth.
  • Drain faucets and flush toilets to clear out water that’s left in the system.
  • Warm the pipes to gradually unfreeze them. Do this by opening doors to keep warm air circulating, especially where pipes are exposed. Use a hair dryer to warm pipes if the warm air isn’t heating them quickly enough.

When you have a burst pipe, you can get 24/7 emergency plumbing service in Fort Worth, TX by calling Westside Plumbing at (817) 560-4144. Don’t hesitate to call. We’ll get you on the schedule and respond promptly with fast, effective repairs.

How do you know if your pipes burst?

Freezes are typically the time when people discover they have a burst pipe. Unless water suddenly comes bursting through a wall, it might not be apparent that your pipes have broken. Some things to look for include:

  • Frost or icicles on the exterior of the pipe. The pipe is frozen and could burst if it defrosts too quickly or may have already burst.
  • Stains suddenly appearing on your walls or ceilings. Any discoloration usually means water is leaking from your pipes or possibly from your roof.
  • Low water pressure or no water coming from pipes.
  • Foul odor coming from the pipe. This often happens if a clog has caused the pipe to burst and has prevented the odors from escaping.
  • Rusty or discolored water coming out of your faucets. This usually means your pipes are corroded and may break.
  • Higher water bills often indicate a leak is present in your pipes.

What happens when a pipe bursts?

Burst pipes typically occur when your pipes freeze. What happens to cause the pipe to burst?

  • Water freezes inside the pipe, and as it expands, it puts pressure on the pipe’s walls.
  • The pressure builds up between the faucet and the blockage of ice.
  • The pressure build-up causes the pipe to break, especially if it has frozen several times and the walls are weakened by expansion and contraction from rapid heating.

Can a leaking pipe burst?

You might not think a small pipe leak is such a bad thing. It hasn’t broken through the wall or stained your ceiling. You think to yourself it’s probably OK to leave it alone a little longer. Meanwhile, the water keeps steadily flowing through your pipe and wearing it down. Additionally, pressure from the hole in the pipe and all the extra water is building up. As the pressure builds up and the pipe weakens, you’ll have a burst pipe on your hands.

How long does it take to fix a burst pipe?

A frozen pipe burst repair can take anywhere from two to four hours to complete and could take as long as 24 hours. Much of the time it takes to repair the pipe will be consumed in finding the location of the break—very few are bursting through walls—and determining the size of the break.

Repair burst pipe in wall

More often than not a burst pipe repair will require plumbers to get behind your walls. You may have discovered that a pipe has burst behind a wall because it’s left a stain on the wall. Once you’ve discovered that stain, to stop further water damage, you want to shut off the water and open a faucet to drain off any remaining water. Also get as much water cleaned up as possible and call a great plumbing professional like those at Westside Plumbing to get fast, effective repairs.

How to fix a burst pipe outside

Whether you have a burst pipe inside or outside, if you can get to the pipe, you can take these steps to make a quick temporary fix that will minimize damage until plumbing professional gets there.

  • Shut off the water at the main valve.
  • Get a piece of rubber to place over the leak.
  • Take a small block of wood and place it on the piece of rubber.
  • Surround the block and rubber with a C-clamp, placing the stationary part of the clamp against the pipe and the screw against the wood block.
  • Tighten the C-clamp over the wood block. Make sure the fit is snug.

A Burst Pipe

Burst pipe repair near me

If you’ve discovered a pipe has burst and you need fast burst pipe repair in Fort Worth, TX, turn to the experts at Westside Plumbing. We are available 24/7 for emergency plumbing repair. All you need to do is call (817) 560-4144.

How Do You Fix a Bidet Toilet?

How Do You Fix a Bidet Toilet?

Is your bidet broken? If so, researched methods for fixing your bidet toilet would benefit you. Generally speaking, there are ways to troubleshoot the issue. Let’s first begin with the steps that should be followed pertaining to how bidet toilets are installed. Please review the following list to review the procedure for installing a bidet.

  • Turn off the water supply.
  • Remove the existing water in the tank by flushing the toilet.
  • Remove the existing water hoses.
  • At this point, you will want to check your shut off valve size. If the size is ⅜, you will use the ⅜ conversion nut. If the size is a half-inch, you can use the standard t-valve. 
  • You have two water hoses that will be applied. The shorter one connects from the top of the t-valve to the toilet water tank fill valve. The longer hose will attach to the bidet later on.
  • Remove the old toilet seat.
  • Install the mounting gear on the porcelain toilet according to the instruction provided in the kit.
  • Install the new bidet toilet seat. It should click into place if you have installed the mounting gear correctly.
  • Connect the water supply hose to the bidet connect. Please make sure that you aren’t over-tightening the connections.
  • At this point, you can open the water connection valve, and your installation will be complete.
bidet repair

Why is My Bidet Not Working?

Toilet and bidet repair is a plumbing service that can be critical in instances where your bidet isn’t working. Before you call a professional, however, you may want to clean your toilet and see if that alleviates any of the issues you are seeing. After that, you will want to review the bidet remote. If the remote is wireless, you will want to replace the batteries and see if that resolves the issue. By contrast, if your bidet is connected to an outlet, then you may check the plug and see if there are any issues stemming from that.

Are Bidets More Sanitary?

Are you interested in investing in a bidet because it could be more sanitary? If so, it will be vital for you to review what the experts state. According to a leading health magazine, bidets are apparently gentler and more hygienic than toilet paper. This is because toilet paper can just smear the waste while water actually cleanses the area. Bidets are capable of emitting a small stream of water and that water will rinse off any leftover fecal matter.

How Do You Keep a Bidet Clean?

If you have a bidet, you will likely want to keep it as clean as possible so that you can enjoy it for years to come. You can keep your bidet clean by removing the bidet and the toilet lid. At that point, you can wipe them down with a soft, damp rag and neutral kitchen dish soap. Alternatively, if your bidet has a deodorizing filter, you will want to remove it and clean it with a toothbrush and water. Once you are finished, you can rinse it and let it air dry.

How Do I Reset My Bio Bidet?

Do you need to reset your bio bidet? If so, there are several things that you can do. The first thing that you should do is unplug the unit. After you unplug your bidet, you can wait around ten to fifteen seconds before plugging it back in. If the issue still isn’t resolved, then you can hold the STOP button on the side panel. You will want to wait six to seven seconds for that particular procedure. That process will hard-reset your bio bidet.

How to Repair Bidet Spray

If you need to fix a bidet spray, the first thing you will need to do is close the water valve. You will need a pair of pliers and a wrench to open the spray valve. Open the spray valve with the wrench. After it has been opened, you will likely see build-up. Clean it out, and retighten the valve. If there is still leakage, then there may be another part of the hose that is slowly leaking and needs to be tightened. 

How to Repair Bidet

It is always best to refer to a plumbing professional when it comes to repairing your bidet if the repairs are more serious than previously thought. When troubleshooting does not reveal the source of the issue, a plumber will be able to tackle it expertly and safely.

Bidet Repair Near Me

If you are looking for a plumber who specializes in bidet repairs and installations, you can use your smartphone to find plumbers near you. Use relevant search terms and don’t be afraid to call up multiple plumbers if you are not satisfied with your first response.

bidet repair

Bidet Repair

Bidet repair is an important service. As more and more homeowners invest in wellness, bidets become a sincere part of the plumbing industry in America.

Bidet repair in Fort Worth, TX is something we are entirely passionate about. Please feel free to reach out to our company today at (817) 560-4144. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner we can reach you!