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Showing posts from 2018

Was Your Austin-Area House Built 1950-1986? Then Your Sewer Pipes May Be In Big Trouble.

If you have an older home in Austin, you may have a ticking time bomb under your slab in the form of cast iron sewer pipe.  All cast iron sewer pipe will need to be completely replaced before your house turns 50 years old.  If your house was built 1950-1969,  it's already time to replace before your house is flooded with sewage! Houses built in the 1970s will need complete replacement in the next 10 years.   It's not a question of IF, it's a question of WHEN.  Why?  Cast iron sewer pipes only last 50 years before they deteriorate beyond repair and start leaking raw sewage into your yard or living room. If you have an older house in Austin, call us to come out and do an inspection. We'll let you know if you can wait a few years, or if the pipes are already starting to leak sewage into your yard or house. Why completely replace, not just repair the pipe as needed ?  Each repair causes the cast iron on either side of the break to turn into TWO new

How Do I Hire the Right Person for My Plumbing (or Water-Related) Problem in the Round Rock/Austin Area?

Not all plumbers are alike! Each plumber has different specialties and areas of expertise within plumbing, just like doctors, lawyers and other professions. If you call a Round Rock plumber asking for a certain job to be done, they may refer you to another plumber or water professional, since we all know and refer to one another. It's not a dog eat dog competitive world in the Round Rock plumbing scene like you may imagine - we all want each other to be successful and to do our best work! So who is the best person to call in Round Rock for each type of plumbing or water-related job? Here are our recommendations: *Leak Location and Repair - The Plumbinator Got a slab leak, yard leak, wall leak, or a mystery leak? Got Kitec water pipes that need repair or replacement? The Plumbinator is your one-stop-shop for both expert leak location AND repair. You could call a company with "leak location" in the name, but they will only FIND the leak, not fix it. The Plumbinator

Do I Need To Hire a Licensed Plumber? Your Common Questions Answered!

Help! I have a plumbing problem! Should I try to do it myself, hire a handyman or call a licensed plumber?  In Texas, there are only TWO legal options when you have a plumbing issue:  1) As the homeowner, you can fix your own plumbing, OR  2) You can hire a state-licensed, insured plumber who is working under a valid Master Plumber's number.  If you have your plumbing work done illegally, it could be a costly mistake, since damage from illegal work isn't covered by your home insurance. Read more below. Question 1: Should I Try to Fix My Own Plumbing? It depends. If the project involves natural or LP gas, NO you should not. Working with gas and gas piping can be very dangerous and anyone who works on gas must be licensed. As far as non-gas related plumbing, whether you should attempt a fix depends on how large and/or complicated the project is. In Texas, homeowners can legally do certain types of things to their plumbing without a permit, like replacing a to

7 Trees That Cause the Most Plumbing Damage - Are Any in Your Yard?

What kinds of trees do you have in your yard? You need to find out! To protect your plumbing you must know what kind of trees you have and where they are planted in relation to your sewer lines, since some trees are more trouble than others for your plumbing. Tree roots can exploit tiny cracks or holes in your sewer pipes, and use them to invade!  It's a very common problem in Central Texas to have tree roots clog, crack and even completely destroy parts of sewer lines.  Did you know that tree roots can be 2-7 times as long as the tree is tall? These roots will travel long distances seeking water. Roots can actually sense water vapor, and will follow the trail of leaking moisture straight back to small cracks, badly sealed joints, or pinholes in your pipes. Was your home built 1950-1986? Then you very likely have cast iron sewer lines which are very deteriorated and especially vulnerable to root invasion. Read more here. As you can see in the diagram above,  roots will invade

DIY Plumbing Tips and Tricks for Sinks, Toilets, Disposals and More

If you've got a plumbing problem, don't hesitate to call The Plumbinator to come fix it. But by using this guide to preventative plumbing maintenance, you might have to call us less often! Read on for DIY plumbing do's and don'ts. Garbage Disposals: DO  Run  cold water, not hot water, when the disposal is running. Cold water at full blast from the faucet helps grease to solidify and move with the water down the drain. Hot water will melt grease and could actually push it further down the drain and create a clog. DON'T Grind ice or eggshells in your disposal to "keep the blades sharp". There are no blades in a disposal, only blunt impellers. Ice won't help, and egg membranes can get wrapped around the impellers and damage them.  Water Heaters:  DO  flush your hot water heater through the drain valve at least once per year to remove sediment build up. The sediment could harden, which makes your heater run less efficiently. If sediment conti

Help! I've Got a Mystery Water Leak!

There's a wet spot on your ceiling that keeps getting bigger and bigger! You've clearly got a water leak. But wait a minute...there's no bathroom, kitchen or other water source above that spot. Hmmm you've got a plumbing mystery on your hands. Time to call The Plumbinator, the expert in solving plumbing mysteries without tearing up your house. When you've got a mystery leak, you need to find the leaking pipe and fix it, ASAP, before it starts to damage your house or form black mold that can harm your health. So, you call a discount plumber and he can't figure it out either, but wants to start hacking open your walls in different places, or digging holes all over your yard, or worse, busting out the concrete under your carpet on an exploratory mission that may result in nothing except an expensive, ruined house and yard!  We get called to houses all the time where the plumber charged an arm and a leg, ripped up the walls or ceiling and never even found th

Four Kinds of Yard Leaks - How to Spot Them and What to Do

It hasn't rained for a while, but suddenly your dog comes in from the yard with wet, muddy paws. When you look outside you see a huge puddle on the lawn. You might have a yard water leak! Luckily, The Plumbinator specializes in pinpointing the source of yard leaks and fixing them right. But for now, let's learn more about yard leaks. What kinds of pipes are running under your yard that may have sprung a leak? In the  front yard, there are four kinds of pipes: Main Water Line (Service Line) Sewer Line Gas Line Irrigation (Sprinkler) System Signs of a Main Water Line Leak Water travels into your home from the City's water main to your water meter in the yard, then underground through the main service line to your shutoff valve. If your water bill is suddenly sky high, and you see puddles of standing water in the front yard, you probably have a main water line leak. We can pinpoint exactly where along the pipe  the leak is occurring, since it may not be wh

Meet our Plumbing Apprentices: Learn a Trade - Get Paid to Learn!

The trades are a great career for those who don't want to take out a bunch of loans for college. In plumbing, your Master Plumber pays YOU to learn, and you get cumulative licenses that will serve you for life. Plumbing is also an awesome career for those with college degrees who want to work with their hands and eventually become their own boss. Welcome Shad, our newest plumbing apprentice! When Shad makes it to Master Plumber, he can own his own business. But before then he'll spend years learning the whole system network of plumbing from the ground (literally) up! Shad comes to us fresh from a stint working at Skokomish Park in Washington state. Before that, he earned a Bachelor's degree and spent years in IT. He couldn't wait to get out from behind a desk and start working with his hands. Meet Britanny - Apprentice for 1 year When we met Bri, she was working as a manager at a storage facility, here in Round Rock. She was so hard working, honest an

Want Endless Hot Showers NOW? Five Signs a Tankless Water Heater is Right For You

Water heater leaving you out in the cold?        A tankless might be the answer! 1) Do you have a large family and/or often run out of hot water? If you've got four or more people who like to take showers or baths every day, then you've also got plenty of dishes and clothes to wash too, so you're using a ton of hot water and probably running out often. Large families need a tankless water he ater because it heats water ON DEMAND. Regular water heaters heat a few dozen gallons of water and when it's gone, it takes a while to heat more, leaving you out in the cold. With a tankless, special coils heat the water at the time you need it, so you never run out! No more staggering showers for family members and scheduling when to run the washer. 2) Do you have a bulky heater in a small space? Regular, tanked water heaters take up a lot of room in a small house, often squatting in a big chunk of floor, closet, or attic space.  Tankless heaters are smaller and last