Avoid the “Pinch” of a Sky-High Water Bill This St. Patrick’s Day

How to Go Green and Save on Your Water Bill This St. Patrick’s Day

Wearing green isn’t the only way to avoid getting pinched on St. Patrick’s Day. Homeowners facing the rising costs of most goods and services can also save themselves from the “pinch” of a higher-than-normal water bill by making small changes to their homes and routines. Here are three examples of water-saving changes homeowners can easily make to help save on water bills. 

Don’t Leave the Faucet Running

tapA tap left running is one of the worst offenders of wasted water in the home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), turning off the water while brushing teeth can save about 8 gallons a day, and homeowners can save around 10 gallons per shave if they turn off the water when shaving. If done with the tap running, these two activities alone could waste almost 5,700 gallons of water a year. 

These numbers reflect the impact of these seemingly harmless activities on water usage, so homeowners who seek to conserve water can do so by turning off the tap while washing hands or dishes, brushing their teeth, and the like. The good news? They can most certainly save money while they’re at it.

Switch to Water-Saving Appliances and Fixtures

Technology has come a long way in making homes more efficient regarding resource consumption. The modern home can now be equipped with appliances and fixtures that save water and cut down on costs. Fixtures that will help homes conserve water include:

  • Low-flow faucets: By limiting water flow to 2.2 gallons a minute or less, these faucets drastically reduce the amount of water used every time the tap is turned on. Most faucets on the market today already have this technology, and homes due for a faucet upgrade will benefit from a lower water bill.
  • Faucet aerator: If low-flow faucets are not in the budget, attaching a simple faucet aerator to an existing tap will do practically the same thing at a fraction of the cost. The only downside? Aerators may not fit older faucets. Those would be better off upgrading to newer, low-flow water taps.
  • Dual flush toilets: These toilets save water by giving homeowners two flushing options. One button activates a full flush, usually for solid waste, while the other button uses less water, usually for liquid waste, saving water and money. 

Watch What You Flush

toiletToilet clogs are another way homeowners are flushing water down the drain. When toilets are backed up, more water is used in futile attempts to clear the blockage. To prevent water from being wasted by toilet clogs, homeowners should keep certain items from getting flushed down the toilet. 

Items like wipes (even those marketed as flushable), feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, paper towels, medications, and even kitty litter should all be kept away from the toilet. They can cause clogs that wastewater and sewer line clogs can lead to more water-wasting problems like leaks and burst pipes. Practicing this simple habit could go a long way in helping with water conservation efforts and preventing unexpected high water bills.

About Fixt Plumbing

Fixt Plumbing has award-winning service and serves Bethany, OK, and the surrounding areas. They provide transparent pricing, same-day service, and 24-hour emergency plumbing services. Call them today for emergency or kitchen plumbing services in Bethany, OK.

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A Drip, Drip, Dripping Faucet is the Worst Valentine’s Day Surprise

Stop the Leaky Faucet Before it Ruins the Mood! 

The sound of dripping water can get into one’s head and cause feelings entirely the opposite of the ones that the romantic Valentine’s season is supposed to invoke. Perhaps the average homeowner thinks that’s the worst part of a leaking tap. Unfortunately, that is not the case. A leaking faucet can cause its own problems, and it won’t get better if ignored. It will only continue to worsen.

Problems That Arise From a Leaking Faucet

faucetIf a person has ever put a bucket under a roof or pipe leak, they probably know how quickly even drops of water add up. A leak means wasted water and money on the water bill paying for water that is not being used. Even a drip as slow as once every second wastes around 3,000 gallons per year. 

Constant wetness also tends to be a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which is unsightly and can cause health issues for the people living in the home. In addition to mold, leaks can cause other forms of water damage to the house, so once a leak is noticed, it should never be ignored.

Common Reasons Faucets Leak

As fixtures age, they can experience issues from normal wear and tear. The same is true of a faucet or tap mechanism. The O-ring or rubber washer that helps seal the water behind the valve may become loose or break, allowing water to leak out of it. 

Corrosion within the fixture or pipes can cause similar problems, usually getting into the valve or the faucet cartridge and hindering a complete seal. In either of these cases, a plumbing technician can easily replace the cartridge and its components for a complete leaky faucet repair.

7 Steps to Fix a Leaky Faucet

faucetWhen it comes to fixing a leak of any kind, it is always best to call the professionals, but replacing a sink cartridge can be done with tools that most people have in their homes. The key to the process is to purchase the correct faucet cartridge. Each manufacturer and many individual faucet models have their own unique cartridges that must be installed. There is no universal fit. If a homeowner can ensure they have the correct cartridge, then the replacement process is relatively simple. 

  1. Turn off the water supply to the faucet. 
  2. Remove the decorative covers from the handle or handles.
  3. Unscrew the bolt underneath and remove the handle or handles
  4. Take out the old faucet cartridge, O-ring, and spring.
  5. Replace the new spring, O-ring, and cartridge.
  6. Reassemble the handle.
  7. Turn the water back on.

About Fixt Plumbing

Fixt Plumbing is BBB accredited and a NextDoor favorite serving Bethany, OK, and the greater Oklahoma City area. They offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, and 24-hour emergency plumbing services. Call them today for water leak services in Bethany, OK

Frozen Pipes: Know the Signs

Signs That Indicate Pipe Freezing 

The extreme weather this winter has been nothing short of startling. Record temperatures, both high and low, have left even Oklahomans’ heads spinning. These harsh conditions are not easy on plumbing. Frozen and burst pipes are sometimes the unfortunate collateral damage of these winter conditions. Homeowners should know the indicators of frozen pipes so they can quickly respond to the problem.

Inconsistent Water Pressure

faucetWhen pipes freeze, there can be a sudden increase in water pressure followed by the flow slowing to a trickle or drip or nothing at all. This is a sure sign that the water has gotten too cold and frozen in the pipes. When the lack of water flow is noticed, problem-solving and mitigation come into play. Below are some suggestions for getting the water flowing again.

  • Leave the sink faucets on. Those that are not frozen should be left dripping to prevent further freezing.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow for warmer air to circulate 
  • Place a space heater near the frozen pipes and direct it toward them. 
  • If a drain pipe seems frozen, pour hot water down the drain to help melt it.

These steps will help prevent the pipes from bursting, but the most effective solution is calling a plumber.

Exposed Pipes Showing Visible Evidence of Frost

The pipes most vulnerable to freezing are those exposed, usually in an unfinished basement or crawl space. If a homeowner can see ice or frost on the outside of the pipes, then it is certain that there is ice within the pipe. The best way to prevent this from happening is to use pipe insulation. There are two main types of pipe insulation: foam and fiberglass. They are both easy to install and work best for different parts of the pipes.

  • Foam Pipe Insulation: This type of insulation looks like a pool noodle split down one side. These come in various sizes according to the size of the pipes that they are meant to insulate. They slide over long, straight pipe sections and are secured with special tape.
  • Fiberglass Pipe Insulation:  Fiberglass pipe insulation is just like the rolls of fiberglass insulation put in the walls and ceilings of homes, except that it is thinner like a roll of tape and is backed by a layer of metallic tape. This insulation is perfect for the bending and twisting sections of pipes like drain pipes under sinks and tubs and areas with spacers that prevent water hammering.

The Bathroom Smells Like Sewage

smellIf the bathroom starts to carry a foul smell that seems sourceless, there may be a frozen sewer pipe or, worse, a burst one. When sewer pipes freeze, they can become blocked. This blockage prevents the usual flow of water and waste material, causing pressure to build up inside the line. As a result, sewage gases such as methane, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia can escape through small cracks in the pipes or vents, leading to a home and causing unpleasant odors. 

In addition, frozen pipes are prone to bursting, which can cause further property damage and health risks. It’s important to insulate the pipes or contact a plumber for professional help to prevent sewage gases from entering a home. If homeowners notice any strange odors coming from their sewer lines, it’s vital to investigate the cause immediately because pipes could be frozen or burst.

About Fixt Plumbing

Fixt Plumbing provides Bethany, OK, and the surrounding areas with 24/7 emergency service. They also offer same-day service and flat-rate pricing. Call them today for water leak detection and burst pipe repair in Bethany, OK.

Three Ways to Prevent Sink Clogs

Say Goodbye to Clogged Drains 

There are few things more stressful than a clogged drain. At first, homeowners hope that the clog will go away on its own. They may try using over-the-counter drain cleaners (which can damage the plumbing) or even sticking things into the drain, hoping to dislodge the obstruction. Then, there comes a time when there’s no getting around it: they need to call in a professional. 

So, are clogged drains inevitable? Not quite. There are many things homeowners can do to prevent these issues. Some considerations include the following: 

Scheduling Drain Cleaning and Maintenance Visits

Homeowners should schedule regular plumbing maintenance and drain cleaning visits with a qualified plumber. Here, a professional can clean a drain to prevent clogs from forming, assess one’s system, and look for potential problems. They may: 

  • Snake the drain to remove any pesky clogs 
  • Use hydrojetting to clear clogs and remove debris in the pipes to prevent future clogs
  • Inspect the plumbing and look for any potential issues like corrosion
  • Locate any leaking pipes and patch them 
  • Insulate pipes to prevent them from freezing 
  • Recommend additional measures to avoid future plumbing problems 

Many plumbing companies offer membership plans that include all the necessary maintenance visits and additional exclusive benefits like discounts and preferred scheduling.  

Getting a Mesh Drain Screen

meshOnline, mesh drain screens cost less than $10. However, in the long run, they can save homeowners hundreds of dollars on preventable repairs. Mesh drain screens keep food waste, hair, and other debris from going down the home’s drains in the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, and showers, leading to clogs. 

If homeowners don’t have mesh drain screens, they are at a higher risk of clogs developing. Some signs of clogged drains include: 

  • Backed-up sinks 
  • Foul odors coming from the drain 
  • Slow-draining sinks 
  • Gurgling sounds coming from the sink  

Avoid Putting Certain Items Down the Drain

foodNobody’s perfect. Sometimes, certain things go down the drain, no matter how hard homeowners try to avoid it. Still, homeowners should be especially careful when washing dishes, cooking, cleaning the kitchen, or otherwise using the sink. They should be especially vigilant about not allowing these items down the drain: 

  • Cooking grease or oil 
  • Food scraps
  • Paper towel pieces or napkins 
  • Medications (including liquid medicine) 
  • Paint 
  • Expandable food, like pasta 
  • Produce stickers 
  • Coffee grounds 
  • Flour 

These items can all contribute to the formation of clogs. If someone wonders whether it’s safe to put something down the drain, they should err on the side of caution and throw it in the trash. But if a clog does occur, homeowners should be wary about using over-the-counter drain cleaners. The chemicals in them can corrode pipes over time, causing leaks and other concerns. 

About Fixt Plumbing 

Fixt Plumbing is an award-winning business serving Bethany, OK, and the surrounding areas and providing 24-hour emergency plumbing services. They also offer flat rate pricing, same-day service, and a beneficial membership program. Call them today for drain cleaning services in Bethany, OK.

How to Avoid Cold Showers This Winter

Warning Signs the Water Heater is Failing

Nobody wants their water heater to break down in the dead of winter, leaving them stuck taking cold showers until it’s fixed. However, there are warning signs homeowners should watch out for so they can call a professional for repair. Some problems a water heater may encounter are discussed below, along with signs to tell if it’s necessary to repair or replace the water heater.

Issues With the Water Heater’s Temperature

shower Most homeowners initially want to raise the temperature of their water heater if it takes longer for the shower to warm up. However, they might want to consider alternative options and whether the issue with their hot water isn’t related to the weather outdoors before taking action.

Colder weather causes lower air and groundwater temperatures, making it more difficult to get warm water in the shower. The water heater must work harder to reach the proper temperature because the water is colder when it first enters the system. More cold water enters as the cycle continues, cooling things down once more. Older heaters could struggle to maintain this cycle. Sediment buildup may also be an issue with water heaters struggling to maintain warm temperatures. It may be necessary to have the water heater inspected by a professional if the house runs out of hot water too quickly or the water never gets warm enough. 

Connection Issues and Leaks

leaksThe following are some of the main reasons for water heater leaks:

  • Broken drain valves: These will result in water leaks from the bottom of the tank. Professionals can quickly rectify this by changing the damaged drain valve.
  • Corrosion: An accumulation of sediment can result in cracks, perforations, and corrosion in the tank. When too much corrosion occurs, a new water heater may be needed.
  • Water lines with loose connections: The inlet or outlet water pipes may become slack due to normal wear and tear. The loose, worn water lines can be tightened or replaced to solve this issue.
  • Broken temperature/pressure valves: These valves monitor and control the temperature and pressure inside water heaters, as their name implies. When they crack, a water heater tank’s sides may start to leak water.

Water heater leaks can, of course, be caused by various other factors, and occasionally they are the consequence of several individual problems. Contacting a professional is the best approach to figuring out what’s causing the water heater to leak and getting the best solution.

Time and Use

A water heater with a lot of wear and tear is a sign that the water heater is old. It might be worth checking the water heater’s interior for damage, even though it may not be compromised. If the water heater is more than ten years old or requires frequent repairs, replacing it may be the best course of action.

With age, corrosion can occur in the tank. The only option in that situation may be to replace the tank as soon as feasible. Once too much corrosion is present, there is no way to save the water heater. If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should contact a local professional before their water heater sustains additional damage.

About Fixt Plumbing 

Fixt Plumbing has trustworthy technicians serving Bethany, OK, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, 24-hour emergency plumbing services, and same-day service. Call them today for water heater repair and installation in Bethany, OK.

Stay Safe From Plumbing Emergencies This Halloween

Prevent a Plumbing Emergency

There are many scary things that a homeowner will have to deal with. Homes can experience problems and expenses that can cause frighteningly high repair bills. A plumbing emergency is no different. As the weather cools off and everyone takes some time to enjoy the start of the season, the last thing that homeowners need is a trick from the plumbing during Halloween trick-or-treating. 

This year, before festivities begin, take a moment and assess the health of the plumbing in the house. Plumbing issues could derail Halloween plans, so homeowners should follow this advice to prevent problems and preserve Halloween fun. 

Keep Drains Clean 

Halloween parties and scary movie nights are the highlights of this season. Instead of stifling summer cookouts, homeowners now prefer to host cozy feasts to celebrate the change of seasons. However, no host wants to deal with a kitchen or bathroom sink that won’t drain. The haunting sounds of a gurgling drain are enough to strike fear into the heart of every party host. 

Drains clog for various reasons, but homeowners would do well to keep things besides water from going down drains. Two things, in particular, are common causes of clogged drains: hair and grease. Hair enters plumbing through sinks and bathtubs and can easily clog the drain if not dealt with periodically or stopped with hair traps. On the other hand, grease typically enters the plumbing through the kitchen sink but should instead be discarded in the trash. 

After clogs have formed, actions can still be taken to restore peace to the home. Professional drain cleaning can get rid of stubborn clogs, as well as be used to prevent them. Additionally, homeowners may try to prevent clogs with baking soda and vinegar. Avoid chemical drain cleaners since they contain dangerous chemicals that often do more harm than good. 

Prevent Clogged Toilets 

toiletAnother Halloween party foul that every host dreads is a clogged toilet. Clogged toilets are a common problem, especially when hosting guests, because it leads to more traffic in the bathroom. Clogged toilets are usually the result of misuse when too much toilet paper is flushed, the sewer line is clogged, or items other than toilet paper are flushed and forced into the sewer line. 

Homeowners can help prevent clogs by offering a wastebasket to keep non-flushable items out of toilets and encouraging guests to flush multiple times if necessary to avoid flushing too much toilet paper at once. A professional drain cleaning method, hydrojetting, can also help prevent clogged toilets caused by sewer line clogs. When a sewer line is clogged, it can cause the toilet to clog frequently, so by cleaning out the sewer line, clogs in the line can be avoided.   

Water Heater Maintenance is Important 

maintenanceWhat could be more chilling than a hot shower that quickly turns cold or a shower that won’t heat up in the first place? Homeowners should never neglect water heater maintenance to avoid being forced to take cold showers. Water heater maintenance is a professional service that can help homeowners get the most from their water heater. After a plumber performs water heater maintenance, homeowners can expect benefits like:

  • More hot water availability
  • Quicker recovery of hot water
  • Cheaper utility bills
  • Longer lifespan of the water heater
  • Fewer repairs 

About Fixt Plumbing

Fixt Plumbing is a reliable and affordable plumbing company serving Bethany, OK, and the surrounding areas. They offer flat rate pricing, same-day service, and 24/7 emergency service. Call them today for drain cleaning or water heater services in Bethany, OK.

Prevent Pipe Corrosion With 3 Easy Tips

Why is Corrosion a Problem in Piping?

Corrosion is a natural process that degrades materials, like the metal pipework in a home. Since metal piping has been used in plumbing, corrosion has been a pervasive problem that must be dealt with.

So how do homeowners protect their current piping from corrosion? Luckily there are several ways that new and old metal pipes can be restored and protected so homeowners can expect to get decades more service from them. Here are the three best tips to prevent corrosion in a home’s pipes.

How Do Coatings and Protective Linings Work?

coatings and protective liningsCorrosion is all about how the metals of a pipe interact with oxygen. In most cases, oxygen in the presence of water reacts faster than just atmospheric oxygen. Rust is a good example of this. So, the key to preventing corrosion in a pipe or repairing corroded lines is to put a barrier between the metal pipes and oxygen or water. This is accomplished with coatings and protective liners.

Coatings and protective liners are often done by applying epoxy to corroded metals. In some cases, epoxy can be applied thick enough in the field that it can repair some pipes. In other instances, epoxy or different types of barriers are used inside or outside the pipes to protect them before they are even in service.

What Do Water Softeners Do to Help Prevent Corrosion?

water softener A common misconception exists about mineral scale and corrosion. Most people think they are the same when, in reality, they are different. A mineral scale is simply a deposit of calcium and magnesium that is from the water. While this isn’t corrosion, the presence of these minerals can greatly speed up corrosion.

The minerals dissolved in water act as a catalyst for corrosion. A catalyst is any compound that speeds up a chemical reaction like oxidation. Removing these minerals can lessen the likelihood of corrosion. This is accomplished by installing a water softener.

Water softeners remove minerals that cause hard water and deposit inside piping, speeding up corrosion. Water softeners are easy to install and cheap to operate in every home. Stop a host of plumbing problems quickly by installing these handy devices. By preventing corrosion and mineral deposits in and on the piping, the plumbing’s lifespan will improve, and homeowners can save money.

Is Plumbing Maintenance a Good Choice?

A plumbing system is complicated. Piping, fixtures, and appliances are located all over the house, which means there are virtually an unlimited number of places where failures could occur. Annual plumbing maintenance done by a trusted local company year after year allows professionals to keep an eye out for growing problems.

Corrosion can be a slow process, so having a seasoned professional watch for it every year can save big headaches later on. Maintenance saves homeowners money and keeps the plumbing lasting longer without unnecessary repairs. Find a reliable local plumbing contractor and get on a maintenance schedule to gain the protection plumbing maintenance offers.

About Fixt Plumbing

Fixt Plumbing is an award-winning plumbing company serving its neighbors in Bethany, OK, and the surrounding areas. They offer flat rate pricing, same-day service, and the latest technology. Call them today for plumbing services in Bethany, OK.