Category Archives: Saving Money

Plumbers Are Unsung Heroes

The plumbing profession is one of the highest paid jobs in the construction field. These jobs require an individual to have an open schedule. They will need to be available for emergency calls, nights, and weekends. Most states will require plumbers to hold a license to perform their jobs.

 

Austin leak detection

 

What Do Plumbers Do?

 

Plumbers are responsible for maintaining and repairing piping systems in homes and businesses. If you have ever had a clogged drain, busted pipe, or broken toilet, you understand why plumbers are referred to as heroes. Plumbers not only deal with broken toilets and clogged drains, they also deal with other serious issues.

They are accountable for repairing and installing the water supply lines, disposal systems, appliances and fixtures. Any pipe that delivers water into your home will require servicing from plumbers in Austin. Holding a job as a plumber is manual labor. It requires the person working in the field, to exhibit strength and stamina.

They must be able to work in various environments. The job will require squeezing into tight spaces and some common sense. Plumbers are used to detect plumbing problems, explain the issue to the homeowner, and fix the issue. Most people will call on the services of a plumber, only when they need them. It is advised to avoid severe plumbing issues in the future by having a plumber perform general maintenance on your lines at least once per year.

 

Education Requirements

 

Plumbing is a skilled trade. Due to the skill that is required to complete a plumbing job, training is required. Training is available through trade schools, community college, or through on the job training. An apprenticeship can last for four to five years, in comparison to going to school to learn the trade. A benefit of becoming an apprentice is that you will be paid while you learn.

An apprentice will need to obtain at least one hundred forty-four hours of classroom time per year, while working on the job. Requirements for receiving a license vary by location. Usually, after two to five years, an apprentice can take the licensure exam to be promoted to a master plumber.

 

The Future Of The Plumbing Industry

 

Plumbing is one job that will always be needed. Due to the demand for skilled plumbers, the sector is expected to grow. Plumbers can specialize in various aspects of the field. Plumbers may elect to also be pipefitters, pipe layers, or steam fitters. Water is an essential component of life. With it being so, it is important that the water that is delivered into your residence is delivered adequately and safely.

Advances in technology will continue to be seen in this sector. With technological advances, the skills that will be required of future plumbers will change. Certification tests may be set up to allow the plumber to progress in the field. Just like with any skilled trade, the more you know the more valuable you will be to your organization. Plumbing services are necessary to keep piping systems running properly. Mankind depends on safe and clean water for health and sanitary reasons.

How To Find A Hidden Leak In Your Home

Early detection of a water leak can save you time, money, and potential disaster. There are some things that you can do to detect a leak before the problem escalates. To determine if you have a water leak, you should check your water meter, review your water consumption, monitor your water bill, check exterior fixtures, and use common sense.

 

Check Your Water Meter

 

The best way to determine if you have a water leak in a part of your plumbing system is to check your water meter. To check the meter, you will need to turn off the water supply to your home. Make sure all faucets are off and that nothing is running.

Locate where your meter is located outside of your home. If the meter continues to run, after the water supply has been turned off, then you have a leak somewhere in your home. The leak can be anywhere, underground or in the piping system in your residence. A professional plumber that offers Austin leak detection can determine where the leak is located.

 

Review Your Water Consumption

 

It is recommended that you check your winter water usage to find out if there is a leak in your home. If a family of four people is consuming more than 12000 gallons of water per month, this could signify a serious leak. If you notice that your water consumption has escalated, but you are not doing anything differently, the problem needs to be evaluated.

 

Monitor Your Water Bill

 

You work hard for your money, and you should not have to throw it away. If you have not changed your water usage habits, but your bill keeps increasing, this could signify a leak somewhere. Gather a few bills and review over the totals. If you are seeing a drastic change in your statements, have your plumbing checked promptly.

 

Check Exterior Fixtures

 

Leaks are not restricted to where they occur. They can happen indoors and outdoors. To ensure that the leak is not being caused by something outdoors, check all the spigots located outside of your dwelling. If the water seeps through where the connection to the hose is located, consider replacing the gaskets.

 

Use Common Sense

 

austin-tx-plumbing-repair

 

Practice basic maintenance tasks within your home. Check the back of cabinets, and look under basins for any foul odors or mold. These two things can indicate that there is a leak somewhere in the area. You can always schedule an annual inspection of your homes piping system with a plumber of your choice.

If your home is over twenty-five years old, your plumbing systems decline may be due to the end of its life expectancy. Make sure that all fixtures that are connected to the water supply are checked. This will include checking the water heater, washing machine, hoses, sinks, tubs, faucets, showerheads etc. Anything that uses water in your home should be included in the list of these to check.

Once a leak is detected you must be vigilant. Call on the assistance of a professional immediately, to eliminate the issue from getting worse. Do not wait until water is flowing throughout your home, and you have reached the point of no return.

How Hard Is Hard Water?

Central Texas is beautiful, particularly this time of year with Ladybird’s wildflowers dotting the landscape with color. But the same rugged limestone terrain that gives us the sudden appearance of waterfalls during a rainstorm also gives area homeowners something else: hard water.

 

water conditioning in Austin

 

The Cold Hard Facts

 

According the the Water Quality Association, for a water supply to be considered “hard water,” it must contain high levels of dissolved minerals, usually calcium, magnesium, or iron. While it is estimated that around 85% of the United State’s fresh water supply is considered “hard water,” a number of central Texas communities are considered by the association to have water that is rated “extremely hard”. In any case, hard water can have a number of persistent and expensive effects upon home owners and their property. Aside from causing dry skin and hair, hard water can damage almost anything it touches, including silverware and glassware, clothing, and home appliances.

 

Damages & Reductions

 

Calcium and magnesium, while good for healthy bones, are culprits when it comes to certain appliances in your home, cutting their effectiveness and eventually making them end up in a landfill before their time. In addition to making water hard, calcium and Magnesium are also responsible for what’s known as scale buildup or mineral deposits. Scale from hard water can clog plumbing, and it damages your water-consuming appliances, wearing them down over time. They become less and less effective until eventually they break down.

 

If hard water is being run through those appliances, their efficiency is going to decrease dramatically as months and years go by. That means you aren’t actually getting the energy savings you think you are.

 

Water Conditioning Installations

 

A qualified Austin plumber such as Rogers Plumbing can help you get the most efficiency and life out of your appliances by installing a water conditioning system in your home.  Treated water will not leave behind the scaly build up that harms appliances. In addition, this system will:

 

  1. Help retain and lengthen the original factory efficiency rating with softer water.
  2. Maintain the warranties for high efficiency models. (Many times appliance manuals will specify using soft water.)
  3. A water softener can also reduce your home’s carbon footprint. That’s because they not only help appliances run on less energy, the treated water allows you to use less soap and detergent as well.
  4. By using less detergent, you reduce a number of negative environmental effects, including water pollution.

 

Call us today and allow us to explain all the advantages of a water-conditioning system for your home.

 

 

Harboring An Energy Hog?

Water heaters account for nearly 17 percent of a home’s energy use, more than all other household appliances put together! Here are some ways to make sure your water heater isn’t making you take a bath financially!

 

Have The Family Talk

 

One easy fix? Adjust your family’s behavior. Turn water off while you’re washing dishes or shampooing in the shower.  The same goes for when you are brushing your teeth.  Going on vacation? Set your water heater to vacation mode when you’re away for an extended time. You’ll be surprised at how much water you can save, helping the planet along with your checkbook.

 

Upgrade to Low-Flow

 

Finally, make upgrades here and there, such as installing low-flow fixtures in your shower and sinks.  You can get new water efficient toilets that use less water, too.  And if your water heater isn’t currently insulated, wrap it in an insulation blanket.

 

Considerations Concerning Water Heaters

 

austin-water-heater-repair

 

If it’s time to invest in a new water heater, select one that is energy efficient.  Also consider the different types of water heaters available in order to choose the right size and fuel source for your home.

 

Conventional water heaters with built-in storage tanks offer an immediate supply of hot water. Tankless or demand-type water heaters don’t utilize a storage tank, but rather heat water directly.  Tankless coil and indirect water heaters use a home’s space heating system to heat water. Solar water heaters utilize the sun’s energy and heat. And heat pump water heaters move heat from one place to another.

 

Weigh The Pros And Cons

 

The fuel type you use for water heating will be proportionate to its operational costs. One type of water heater may use a fuel type more efficiently than another type of water heater. For example, an electric heat pump water heater typically is more energy efficient than an electric conventional storage water heater. Also, an electric heat pump water heater might have lower energy costs because of its higher efficiency than a gas-fired conventional storage water heater, even though local natural gas costs might be lower than the electricity rates.

 

The size you’ll need should also be taken into consideration. The expert team at Roger’s Plumbing will gladly help you size up the sort of water heater you’ll need for your home and assist in comparing operating costs with various models.   They can also assist with any water heater repairs in Austin you may need.

 

 

Living In Austin For Less

As great and exciting as Austin is, it can be expensive. We have a fantastic dining scene, but all of those meals at restaurants and food trucks can do a number on your wallet. Our live music scene is one of the best in the country, but concert tickets can add up very fast. When you combine that with increasing real estate prices, costly services, and rising gas prices, you might start to wonder how you’re going to pay for it all! The good news is that there are some simple, easily-accessible ways that you can live the good life in Austin without leaving a Texas-sized dent in your wallet.

 

Tip 1: Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!

 

Austin Tx plumbing repairs

 

As an Austinite, coupons are your friend. Honestly, the variety of coupons that you can find in this area boggles the mind. Sure, we all know that we can use coupons at the grocery store to ease the sticker shock at the register, but that is just the beginning. Whether you are in need of delicious Austin restaurants, fabulous Austin spas, or necessary Austin plumbing repairs, chances are there is a coupon that has you covered. Many Austin shops and services offer coupons on their website in order to promote their business. Similarly, there are many websites devoted to coupons, where Austinites can find deals on all kinds of goods and services throughout the area. There are often fees associated with these websites, but a little money upfront can lead to big savings.

 

Tip 2: Sign Up For Rewards Cards

 

Many restaurants and stores in the Austin area offer rewards cards for regular customers. Different cards offer different savings benefits: some might offer a 5% discount every time you shop, while others might offer you a free meal on your tenth visit. Think of some Austin-area locales that you tend to frequent, and see if they offer such an incentive…after all, every little bit helps!

 

Tip 3: Look For Free Activities

 

One of the coolest things about living in the Austin area is that there are many incredible things you can do for no money at all! Austin is an amazing city for outdoors enthusiasts: parks and lakefronts are never more than a quick bike ride away. Instead of shelling out for a movie or a trip to the amusement park, try hiking on one of Austin’s many beautiful trails. Also, while seeing a touring band at one of Austin’s many concert venues can easily break the bank, there are many places in Austin where you can catch a great band for cheap—sometimes even for free! Try looking for bars and coffee shops that offer live shows with no cover charge. One of the perks of living in a city with so many up and coming musicians is that nearly every establishment in this town seems to have a stage. You can even make an evening out of watching a street performer! This town is big on talent and, as an Austinite, you have the privilege of being able to catch the next big thing, without paying big prices.

Signs It May Be Time For a New Commode

Does it appear your toilet came from another era? Is it a lovely hue of sky blue, or peachy pink, or even olive green?  Has the toilet needed a lot of repairs or has your water bill gotten higher? These are all questions you ask when it comes to the decision of purchasing a new commode. A new commode could mean a more comfortable visit when you are using the facilities. It might be time for an upgrade and a visit with one of the professional teams of plumbers in Austin, especially if you have any of the following issues.

 

Too Many Repairs

 

If you have made too many repairs over the past several years, the toilet might need a replacement. As a tank gets older, the parts can become damaged from minerals or other deposits in the water. Depending on how old the tank is, you might not be able to get the parts for it anymore. Making so many repairs can add up quickly, and it might be much easier on your budget if you replace the entire toilet fixture.

 

Poor Water Efficiency

 

You may notice a substantial rise in your water bill during the year. Is the toilet using too much water when it flushes?  The toilets manufactured before the 1980s have a tank of approximately 3.6 gallon capacity for each flush. The size of the water storage was lowered under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to a 1.6-gallon standard capacity. The development of low-flow toilets or high-efficiency toilets (HET) was mandated by the act for water conservation.

 

A Cracked Toilet

 

The toilet is damaged with cracks and dings. The age of the tank begins to show with a small crack in the surface. It might not seem like much when you notice the crack or ding, but it could lead to leaks that can damage the flooring as time passes. If you see mold growth around the base, it is probably time for a new commode unit.

 

An Outdated Toilet

 

toilet repair Austin

 

The toilet is old and outdated with a color scheme or coral or avocado from the 1960s and 1970s. Unless you are going for a dated look, it is time for a replacement. You will find the older models also take more water to flush and take longer to fill.

 

A Clogged Toilet Again

 

If it takes more than one flush to get the job done and you are spending extra time plunging the tank, it could be time for a newer model.

 

The Water Is Constantly Running

 

All you can hear in the middle of the night is running water. If you get up and shake the toilet handle, it might stop. Unfortunately, the real issue is the flapper which is not expensive but can cause a lot of concerns. It may take a trained eye to see the tiny leaks around the edges of the float which can cause your disrupted sleep.

These are just a few signs you might need a new toilet. If you are not good with DIY projects, contact a professional plumber.  Installing a new toilet might be best left to a licensed plumber unless you have sufficient knowledge of how it is done.

Knowing The Location Of Shut-Off Valves Saves In Many Ways

Here’s a basic question that might catch you off guard; in an emergency situation do you know where to go and what to do to turn your home’s water off? That’s some knowledge every homeowner needs to have almost as soon as they sign their sales documents and get their keys, but it’s an easy thing to overlook and forget about until an emergency pops up. That’s why we like to remind our customers at Roger’s Plumbing that there are some steps they need to be able to take to mitigate an emergency situation on their own, before they reach for the phone and call out one of our crews.

 

Locate Main Shut-Off Valve

 

So the most important thing to know is where the home’s main water shutoff valve is located and what needs to be done to stop water from flowing into the property if there’s a major break or leak happening. This will save time, cleanup, damage repair, and money.  The quicker it is turned off, the more savings there will be in all of these aspects.

 

plumbers in Austin

 

Know Where All Shut-Off Valves Are Located Exactly

 

It’s also beneficial to locate the shutoff valves to toilets and sinks so you can stop the water flow headed to kitchens and bathrooms in the event of an emergency. Knowing where those critical points are ahead of time can help keep you calm when the pressure is on, and that’s critical because the wrong move with a major leak can cost thousands of dollars to repair later.

 

Locate The Main Drainage Cleanout Valve, Too

 

Another thing that’s easy to overlook is knowing where your main drainage cleanout valve is – it’s typically a white pipe on the edge of the yard about three feet away from the house and positioned so drainage can flow into the street toward a drain sewer. That way you can open it up and let waste water flow out, preventing any drainage backups from causing waste water to flow throughout the house.

 

Stop Using Water When Plumbing Issues Arise

 

And one simple thing to keep in mind when a major problem happens is to stop using any water at all until the source of the issue is located, the water flowing to it is stopped, and work starts on getting it fixed. People forget sometimes, but that includes turning off washing machines, dishwashers, and stop flushing toilets.  As a general rule, the most important thing to do as a homeowner with a plumbing problem is to do whatever you can to stop the water from flowing before you call an Austin plumber.  It doesn’t happen often, but we know that if we can hear water gushing in the background when we pick up the phone, then it’s going to be a long day ahead for everyone involved.

 

Water Conservation Tips For Your Bathroom Usage

With today’s economy, it is advisable to save money every way possible. Water conservation should be on top of that list to protect our natural resources. What could you do to your bathroom that would save water in the long-term? Have you got money in your budget to add some new appliances such as a water efficient faucet or a new toilet? If so, you could use some of these suggestions to improve your home and save money at the same time.

 

Purchase WaterSense® Products

 

WaterSense ® and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) partnered to provide you with water-efficient products. The label ensures you are purchasing products which have been tested and are at a minimum of 20% more proficient in comparison to other products on the market.

 

Check The Pipes

 

Perform a visual inspection of your pipes in the bathroom under the sink, tub, shower, and toilet. A small pinhole leak can add up quickly. Up to 90 gallons of water can be wasted daily from leaky pipes and valves. You can reduce your water bill approximately 10% by repairing the damaged pipes. It is possible to waste over 3,000 gallons annually if a leak continues to drip at the rate of one drip per second.

 

Replace The Showerhead

 

plumbers in Austin TX

 

If you are living in an older home, chances are you have a showerhead unit that can consume 5.5 gallons of water each minute. Technology provided a unit in 1992 which would only use 2.5 gallons per minute. By replacing the showerhead, you could easily save 2,900 gallons of water annually.

 

Replace The Toilet

 

The comparison of using an older toilet that will use a minimum of 3.6 gallons to flush versus 1.6 for a newer model is a no brainer.  Annually, you can move away from the possible total of 26,000 gallons to around 11,000 gallons for toilet flushes alone.

 

Become More Conservative

 

After you have remodeled your bathroom space with water-efficient products, you should attempt to change some of your usage patterns. You could begin by turning the water off while you shave or brush your teeth. Consider placing a low-flow aerator in your sink. Older faucets consumed approximately 3 gallons each minute. A new model low-flow faucet uses approximately 1-1/2 gallons of water per minute.

Consider taking a shower versus a bath. A five-minute shower will use approximately 9 ¼ gallons of water, whereas a full bath could take over 21 gallons. That is a huge savings for such a small gesture. If you are in an older home with nothing but a tub or a hand-held shower attachment; it might be time for a new shower installation.

Times are changing and over the past fifty years, the population has doubled in the United States. On average, in one day a person can consume between 80 to 100 gallons of water. By making several home improvements in your bathroom, you can save on water consumption and appreciate a lower water bill. If you don’t think you can handle the installation or replacement jobs yourself, there are always dependable plumbers in Austin TX to call on for help.

 

 

What Will They Think Of Next? Plumbing Innovations To Get Excited About

Right up there with the wheel and pizza delivery, the tankless water heater might have to be regarded as one of mankind’s greatest inventions. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but in all seriousness, we get nothing but raves from Roger’s Plumbing customers who have made the decision to get a tankless water heater installed in their homes. Those units are one of many new offerings in the world of plumbing that are making lives easier for homeowners everywhere.

 

austin-tankless-hot-water-heater

 

No More Running Out Of Water

The benefits of going tankless are many; first on the list is the fact that the days of running out of hot water in the middle of a shower or bath are gone. For large families with high-volume water use, that’s an especially big relief.

Utility Savings Really Add Up

There’s also a considerable energy savings since you’re not paying to keep a tank of water hot all day long, even if no one is is there to use it. And there’s even more benefit with certain hybrid units that have a heat pump module that gets installed into the attic of the home and acts as a sort of free air conditioner that keeps the home cool. With those units, we see the energy usage of homes with electrical heat reduced by up to half what there bill had been previously with a traditional water heater. As an Austin plumbing company, we know how important keeping your home cool is here in Texas. And because tankless units are so small, you can put them in a smaller space, in an attic or outside, making them more flexible for the space you have available.

Hands-Free Hot Water!

One other product innovation we’ve just started seeing that we’re very excited about is the installation of a foot pedal device for the kitchen sink that will turn hot water on the faucet. That means no worrying about juggling or shifting food and dishes around in your hands when they’re full to turn on the water. It’s a simple gadget but it’s one that we know people are going to love, because of how easy it will make those busy moments in the kitchen.

Plumbing Myths That Could Cost You A Lot Of Money

When you find out that you need some plumbing work done, you may not know how much it will cost you. There are quite a few ways that you can protect yourself from having a very large plumbing bill. A lot of the things that you do around the house can determine just how much money you will spend on plumbing. Your local plumber has some great advice on some plumbing myths that you may think work, but will cost you more money in the long run.

Myths About Your Water Heater And Other Fixtures

When you need to have your water heater repaired, you can call on your local plumber for Austin water heater repairs, but did you know that there are many myths that you may have heard about your home’s water heater? One of these myths is that by buying a hot water heater that is sponsored by EnergyStar, you will save a lot more money on heating bills. This could work for your energy bills, but you need to make sure that it is set on just the right temperature before you see any sudden changes. Your local plumber will be able to assist you with this and although you may not see the changes soon, you will see them eventually.

Hands Soap is A No-No

Austin TX plumbing company

Many homeowners have also heard the myth that you can clean your plumbing fixtures with regular hand soap. This is absolutely not true. Some types of hand soap can actually damage your plumbing fixtures. For example, if you have brass fixtures, you should clean it with a solution that is lemon based or with baking soda. Regular hand soap will certainly damage these types of fixtures.

Disposal And Drain Myths

For homeowners with garbage disposals, you may think you should put lemons down the disposal to help clean it. This is false! Lemons may make the drain smell nice and refreshing, but they can actually do major damage to the drains of the disposal. You should only put small pieces of citrus down the disposal at a time, and run the water and the disposal thoroughly when doing so. There are different cleaning products that your local plumber can suggest for your disposal that will not cause harm.

Along with this myth, many homeowners think that their drain is not clogged if debris is still going down it. Many times you will not know that your drain is clogged until it is too late. Be sure that you are making sure that excess food and debris are not getting caught. This will save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

Avoid Myths And Save Money

By following all of these very useful hints and tips, you can avoid having to pay an arm and a leg for your next plumbing job. Your local plumber will be very happy that you have been taking care of your plumbing fixtures, drains, and hot water heaters. What is most important is that you do not fall into believing these myths because they can cause your plumbing serious damage in the long run.