Dealing With Emergencies: What To Do For Unexpected Plumbing Damage

wrench under sink fixing leaking plumbing

Unexpected plumbing damage can be stressful, but knowing how to respond promptly can minimize the damage and potential costs. Here’s what to do for unexpected plumbing emergencies:

  1. Shut Off the Water: The first step is to locate the main water shut-off valve and turn off the water supply to your home. This valve is typically located near the water meter or where the main water line enters your house. Shutting off the water will prevent further water damage while you address the issue.
  2. Assess the Damage: Quickly assess the extent of the damage. Is there flooding? Is water leaking from pipes, fixtures, or appliances? Identifying the source of the problem will help you decide on the appropriate course of action.
  3. Address Minor Leaks: If the damage is minor, such as a small leak from a pipe or fixture, you can try to contain it temporarily. Use towels, buckets, or a wet/dry vacuum to soak up water and prevent it from spreading.
  4. Turn Off Utilities if Necessary: If the plumbing emergency poses a risk to your electrical system, such as water coming into contact with electrical outlets or appliances, turn off the electricity at the main breaker panel. This will help prevent electrical shocks and fires.
  5. Call a Plumber: Contact a licensed plumber as soon as possible to assess and repair the damage. Make sure to choose a plumber who offers emergency services, especially if the situation is urgent. Provide them with as much information as possible about the problem.
  6. Document the Damage: Take photos or videos of the damage for insurance purposes. Documenting the damage will help support your insurance claim and ensure you receive proper compensation for repairs.

Clean Up: Once the water has been turned off and the plumber is on their way, begin the cleanup process. Remove excess water using mops, towels, or a wet/dry vacuum. Open windows and doors to ventilate the area and help dry out any moisture.

Prevent Mold Growth: Mold can start growing within 24-48 hours of water damage. Use fans or dehumidifiers to dry out the affected area as quickly as possible. Consider using mold inhibitors or professional mold remediation services if necessary.

Inspect for Structural Damage: After the immediate damage has been addressed, inspect your home for any signs of structural damage. Look for sagging ceilings, warped floors, or cracked walls, and address any issues promptly.

Follow Up: After the plumbing repairs are complete, follow up with your plumber to ensure everything is working correctly. Keep an eye out for any recurring issues or signs of water damage in the future.

By taking quick action and following these steps, you can minimize the impact of unexpected plumbing emergencies on your home and prevent further damage.

Dealing with Hard Water: Solutions for Cleaner, Healthier Plumbing

What is hard water?

Water is considered to be “hard” when it has a fair amount of calcium and magnesium mixed into it. While trace amounts of these minerals are essential for human health, they cause limescale buildup, soap scum, and reduced appliance efficiency. Fortunately, there are several solutions available to address hard water problems and maintain cleaner, healthier plumbing. Here are some hard water solutions you can implement today.

Hard Water Solutions in Dallas, TX

Water Softeners

Water softeners are one of the most commonly used systems for treating hard water. These systems use ion exchange technology to remove minerals like calcium and magnesium, which cause water hardness, and replace them with sodium ions. This process results in softer water that is gentler on plumbing fixtures, appliances, and skin.

Water softeners are generally installed at the point of entry, treating water for the entire household. They need periodic maintenance, including replenishing salt in the brine tank and occasional cleaning the resin bed.

Electronic Water Descalers

Electronic water descalers, also known as electronic water conditioners or water descaling systems, offer an alternative to traditional water softeners. These devices use electromagnetic fields to alter the physical properties of minerals in hard water, preventing them from forming scale buildup.

Electronic water descalers are usually installed on the incoming water supply line and require very little maintenance compared to water softeners. However, their effectiveness may vary depending on water hardness levels and specific water conditions.

Chemical Water Treatments

Chemical water treatments, such as polyphosphate or sequestering agents, can help prevent scale formation by binding to minerals in hard water and preventing them from precipitating out. These treatments are typically injected into the water supply through a chemical feeder or applied directly to plumbing fixtures.

Chemical water treatments are relatively easy to apply and require less maintenance than traditional water softeners. However, they may not provide the same level of water softening as other methods. And you’re adding chemicals to your water. Yuck.

Magnetic Water Conditioners

Magnetic water conditioners use magnetic fields to alter the molecular structure of minerals in hard water. This inhibits them from adhering to surfaces and forming scale buildup. These devices are typically installed on the exterior of pipes or water lines.

Although magnetic water conditioners are relatively low-cost and easy to install, their effectiveness in treating hard water is debatable, with limited scientific evidence to support their efficacy.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis (RO) systems can effectively remove minerals and other impurities from water, producing high-quality, softened water for drinking and cooking. These systems use a semipermeable membrane to filter out contaminants, including hardness minerals.

While RO systems are highly effective at producing softened water, they are usually installed as point-of-use systems for drinking water and may not address hard water issues throughout the entire household.

showerhead with limescale build up

Call Your Local Plumber in Dallas, TX

If you’re having issues with hard water in Dallas, TX, give your local plumbers a call. We have decades of experience assisting with a range of plumbing needs. Connect with us online, or give us a call at (214) 402-5454

By implementing these solutions for dealing with hard water, homeowners can enjoy cleaner, healthier plumbing systems, improved appliance efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs in the long run. 

How Do You Fix a Toilet Fill Valve that Keeps Running?

A Toilet

It’s kind of like the water heater, always there and doing its job. Until it isn’t! We’re talking about the toilet folks. You get up in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, or any time of the day or night, it is sitting there waiting for you. And when it isn’t working right, all you can think about is getting the toilet repaired and working right again. 

How do you diagnose a bad toilet?

There is a delicate balance in the working of a toilet, and there are four factors that must be in balance with each other: 

  • The water level in the tank
  • The speed of the water
  • The air pressure
  • The amount of water in the bowl 

What are the most common problems requiring toilet repair? 

Most toilet repair needs fall under one of the following 7 reasons: 

  • Constantly Running

A constantly running toilet can be annoying and expensive. This is usually when water is flowing through the fill valve into the tank.  through the fill valve, it wastes water and costs money. There are two possible toilet repairs for this problem: 

  • If the water in the tank is dropping, replace the flapper. If this doesn’t stop the constant running water, then replace the flush valve assembly. 
  • If the water level in the tank isn’t emptying or if the water is spilling into the overflow tube, replace the fill valve. 
  • Leaking Toilet

Any time there is water pooling up around the base of the toilet, it needs to be addressed immediately. This water can damage the flooring and subflooring, as well the hazard of wastewater sitting on the floor is a concern. Try tightening the blots to the toilet and if that doesn’t help, the next toilet repair step is to replace the wax seal under the toilet. You’ll need help or hire a professional plumber. 

  • Flushing Isn’t Right

If your toilet isn’t flushing all the way, it most likely is clogged. However, it could be the flapper, flush handle, or lift chain, all possible toilet repairs you can do yourself. 

  • Slow Filling Toilet

A slow-filling toilet can be a problem with the water supply valve. This toilet repair would be better addressed by a plumber.

  • Noisy Toilet 

If you hear water running from the toilet and it hasn’t been recently flushed, it needs toilet repairs by replacing the flapper, flush valve, refill tube, or water supply valve.

  • Loose or Stuck Toilet Handle

A toilet handle that is too loose or too tight will cause problems. Simple toilet repairs are to either loosen or tighten the mounting nut.

  • Rocking Toilet

If a toilet moves or rocks when it is sat on, the flange and/or the wax seal have moved, weakened, and simply need to be replaced. 

How can you improve a toilet’s flush strength?

Maybe your toilet has a weak flush – can you give it steroids? No, but there a few things you can do that will make its flush stronger: 

  • Clean The Rim Jets

Most homeowners clean their toilets once a week, but they aren’t always getting under the rim. 

  • Unclog It

Even the most minor toilet clog can weaken the flushing power of a toilet. If you don’t see evidence of a clog in the bowl, it could be further down into the drainpipe or toilet trap. Use a plumber’s snake and push through any clog that may be there. 

  • Water Refill Tube Adjustment

The job of the water refill tube is to control the amount of water filling the tank after a flush. The refill tube causes the float to rise with the water until it reaches a preset level, then it turns off. If the refill line is too low, there isn’t enough water in the tank to give you a strong flush. Simply adjusting the refill tube or unsticking the float arm is a quick toilet repair anyone can do. 

  • The Flapper

A rubber flapper covers the opening where water goes from the tank to the toilet bowl when the handle is pushed. After the tank empties, the flapper lowers back over the hole, and the tank refills. Over time, the chain can get tangled or tighten, and a quick, easy toilet repair is adjusting the chain. Or, the flapper may be worn out, simply replace it.  

It’s All Going Down The Drain! 

So, if these toilet repair tips and tricks don’t work, and your toilet is over 10 years old, it is time to replace it!  How much does a new toilet cost? Well, like a car, it depends on how fancy a toilet you get and if you do your toilet installation or have it installed.  

The base price of toilets typically starts at just under $200 and can go upward to $500 or more. If you have it professionally installed by a plumber, you can expect that cost, including the toilet, to start around $400 to $500 and go upwards of $800 or more. 

Is it Worth Repairing a Faucet?

Bathroom faucet in need of repair

Do You Need Faucet Repair?

There is nothing more annoying, or worrisome, than a bathroom or kitchen faucet that is dripping or leaking. For experienced homeowners, faucet and sink repairs are almost second nature, but not every homeowner is a handy DIY person. For those homeowners, calling a professional plumber or a handyman is their go-to when there is a problem.

How much do plumbers charge for faucet and sink repairs? 

Plumbers have varying rates and billing methods. This can range from a flat rate or by the hour plus parts, which can vary based on the model of the faucet and sink repairs needed.

A basic faucet installation can start around $150 for the first hour and go upward to $300 per hour, plus parts. This will include the plumber disconnecting and removing the defective faucet, and then installing the new faucet.  The removal process includes not just removing the faucet but disconnecting the water lines. 

If the sink is being replaced, this has more details involved and is heavier than the faucet.  The faucet and sink repair rates for a sink may still start at the same hourly rate, typically in the Dallas, Texas area is around $150 for the first, plus the cost of the new sink.  

How much does a handyman charge to replace a kitchen faucet?

In most cases, a handyman is less expensive than a professional plumber for faucet and sink repairs. However, a plumber is required to have certification, insurance, and licensing. Their higher cost is justified to cover their career investment. Much like a dentist, doctor, mechanic, or other careers that take education and investment.  

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a faucet?

If the repairs are simple, faucet and sink repairs are the less expensive way to go. However, if the repairs are complex, upgrading to a new faucet and sink may be the better option. When it comes to dollars and cents, it is mainly a personal decision based on budget and desire. 

How do you fix a sink faucet?

If you’re ready to venture into DIY homeowner repairs, you can do your own faucet and sink repairs. There are different steps based on what type of faucet you have. The following are steps to the most common type of faucet:

A Ball-Type Faucet

There are many parts to this type of faucet, fortunately, there are kits available that have the parts available at your local home improvement store or hardware store. The steps for this faucet and sink repair job are: 

  1. Pry the small index cover off the faucet so the hex screw is revealed.
  2. Using a hex-key wrench, loosen the screw and lift the faucet handle off.
  3. Using adjustable pliers, remove the faucet cap and collar.
  4. If you purchased a faucet-repair kit, there is a special tool enclosed. Use it to loosen and remove the faucet cam along with the cam washer, and rotating ball out.
  5. Use needle-nose pliers to get inside the faucet body and take the rubber seats and springs out.
  6. Insert the new spring and rubber seat using a pencil tip. 
  7. Repeat this process with the second seat and spring.
  8. Reinstall the stainless-steel ball aligned with the corresponding tab.
  9. Install a new rubber gasket on top of the stainless steel ball. 
  10. Align the keyway with the corresponding slot on the cap and hand-tighten the top cap assembly onto the existing faucet.
  11. Using a spanner wrench, install the nut, tightening to the right tension on the stainless steel ball.

A Cartridge Faucet 

Faucet and sink repairs for this type of faucet is much easier. There are less parts and fewer steps: 

  1. Remove the decorative cap off the handle, then remove the handle screw.
  2. This will allow you to tilt the handle back and lift it off. 
  3. With needle-nose plyers, remove the threaded retaining clip that holds the cartridge. This will allow you to life the cartridge up and out.
  4. Remove the spout and with a utility knife, cut off the old O-ring. Then using a heatproof plumber’s grease, coat the new O-rings. 
  5. Make sure the replacement cartridge is the same size as the old one and then insert the cartridge into place. 
  6. Then reconnect the faucet in reverse how you dismantled it. 

How many years should a faucet last?

A quality faucet and sink, repairs done as needed, can last up to 20 years. However, if you live in an area with hard water, the mineral deposits can wear any type of faucet out faster than anticipated. 

In Conclusion

After reading this blog, you may decide that faucet and sink repairs need to be left to the professionals, and that’s okay!  It is better to have the job done from the start by a professional, get the job done right, and have a warranty on the work.  If you start a faucet and sink repair yourself, as soon as you find yourself in trouble, call the plumber! The further you get into the repair, the more you could be damaging. Now is the time to call us at (214) 402-5454 if you need faucet and sink repair in Dallas, TX.

How Do Plumbers Detect Hidden Leaks?

a leak in a moldy ceiling

How Do Plumbers Detect Hidden Leaks?

The unknown and unseen are what worry homeowners the most, especially when it comes to issues such as plumbing leaks. Leak detection needs to be done immediately when you suspect you have one, and repairs should be done immediately afterward to prevent much more serious problems from arising. 

Why are plumbing leak detections so important?

Let’s admit it: the subject of plumbing is boring, but when there is a leak, detection can save you a lot of problems, such as the following:

1. Increased Water Bills

As the leak continues, your water bill increases. It may start as a small leak, but that leak can grow, and as it does, more water is wasted. Even if it is only $10 a month more, that adds up to $120 over a year. There are also problems such as damage to appliances, the foundation of your home, and the structure of your home to consider. The sooner you have professional leak detection services performed and repairs made, the sooner you’ll start saving on the water bill! 

2. Water Safety

Depending on where the leak is located, a plumbing leak can contaminate the water coming into your home. This can put your family’s health in danger, especially if the leak detection finds it is from the sewer lines. This makes it easy to see why plumbing leak repair is so necessary!

3. Exterior and Interior Damage

As mentioned above, a plumbing leak can damage your home in several ways, from the appliances to the ceiling, walls, and foundation, depending on where the leak is coming from. Getting leak detection is essential before the leak gets more extensive and causes more damage, leading to even more costs.

4. Procrastination Costs

As stated above, a small leak can get more significant the longer it is ignored. If you suspect you have a leak, detection by a professional plumber should be sought immediately. Putting off the expense of a plumber will only cost you more in the long run. 

Can you DIY leak detection?

While it won’t be as exact as a professional plumber’s leak detection process, your water meter is your best tool. Turn off all the water inside and outside the house, then take a reading from the water meter. Wait an hour and get another reading. If it increases, you have a water leak and should call a plumber immediately. 

 How does a plumber perform leak detection? 

The first thing a plumber will do before doing any leak detection is walk around the exterior of your home. They will inspect the interior and under the cabinets to look for obvious signs of leaks. Next, they will perform the water meter leak detection method described above. 

Next, they will likely use the following leak-detection equipment: 

  • Video Equipment: Video pipe inspection will give the plumber the most precise location of any leak. This process involves a small camera mounted on a long, flexible fiber optic cable. This is inserted into the faucets and any plumbing outlets. The camera sends pictures to a monitor, and the plumber can see the interior of the pipes. 
  • Listening Disc: A listening disc and ground microphone are essential equipment for a plumber performing leak detection. This equipment lets a plumber locate any water leak through cabinetry, drywall, and other obstacles by amplifying sound. 
  • Ground Probe: If a leak is suspected from the sewer line or waste main, an experienced plumber will likely use a ground probe. This method can detect leaks underground without damaging the lawn.  
  • Thermal Imaging: Thermal imaging is a leak detection process that uses cameras or heat scanners when the plumbing leak is located in the hot water plumbing. Thermography identifies areas of warm moisture under flooring or in the walls. 

How much does a professional leak detection service cost?

Every plumber’s rate for leak detection service will vary. Some factors include the method they use, the difficulty of reaching the location, and the time it takes. Leak detection services can cost up to $1,000 or more in DFW. 

What are the signs of a slab leak?

Knowing the signs of a slab leak can help you identify when there are clear signs of a leak underneath your home’s foundation. There are five ways you can tell if you have a slab leak: 

  • Increases in the water bill
  • Hot spots on the flooring
  • Standing water in the yard and around the foundation
  • Cracks in the ceiling and walls
  • Sounds of running water when no water is turned on

Watering It Down

If you suspect a leak in your home, you should focus on getting leak detection and having the necessary repairs as quickly as possible. Remember that the longer you let a leak go, the more damage it causes and the more it will cost you. If you need leak detection in Dallas, TX, or any surrounding areas, our team can help. Call us at (214) 402-5454 today. 

How Do You Know If Your Gas Line is Bad?

Gas line

Recover the Integrity of Your Gas Line

Most of the homes in the Dallas, Texas area have natural gas power for cooking and heating. While natural gas is a clean and safe energy source, it can be dangerous when there is a leaking gas line. Repairs should never be ignored and only be performed by a professional plumber. 

What is the life expectancy of a gas line?

A natural gas line can last as long as fifty years, even longer. But, being buried underground, they will corrode, become worn, and start to crack as the metal weakens. This can often start between 20 and 30 years. When you begin noticing a leak, the gas line repairs should be done by a local plumbing professional. 

What type of material is used for gas lines?

There are several different materials used for gas lines. Depending the area where you live, there may be restrictions on which material to use. Those different materials include: 

  • Black iron
  • Copper
  • HDPE (high-density polyethylene) 
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • Steel

What are some indications of a gas line leak? 

Natural gas is available in abundance. It burns cleaner and heats faster than electricity. But this doesn’t override the dangers of a gas line leak.  If you notice any of the following, you need to schedule a plumber immediately that provides gas line repair services: 

  • Rotten egg or sulfur smell: Natural gas is colorless and odorless in its original state. Gas companies add mercaptan, a chemical that makes it smell like rotten eggs or sulfur. The stronger this smell, the bigger the chance there is a gas leak.
  • Hissing noise: When a gas leak is large enough, a gas leak will create a hissing sound. A homeowner needs to check the gas lines throughout their home on occasion which will enable you to find where connections need to be tightened.  This will usually stop the hissing sound, but if not, you’ll need to call a plumber for proper gas line repairs. 
  • Air bubbles: If a natural gas line is leaking underground piping outside the home, it can cause bubbles in any standing water.
  • Plants: Plants can be a strong indication of a gas leak. When you have several plants dying or have died. Plants require oxygen and when it is contaminated with gas, it begins killing the plants. 
  • Higher gas usage:  During the winter, if your home is heated by natural gas, it is normal to see an increase in the monthly bill.  If you’re noticing it is higher than the winter before, or it is higher throughout the year, you should have a plumber inspect your home for gas line repairs.  
  • Physical symptom: Natural gas can be poisonous to the human body. When exposed to a natural gas leak, you’ll experience dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nausea and/or trouble breathing, you should have a plumber inspect every gas line, repair as needed immediately. 

What does a gas line repair cost? 

This can vary based on the complexity and extent of the gas leak at hand. A plumber may charge by the hour, plus parts, or for a simple gas line repair, like a connection, they often charge a flat rate. You could expect to pay between $100 and up to $ 1,000 for a gas line repair.

Can I repair a gas pipe myself?

If you’re a handyman around the house, you may feel that you’re capable of doing gas line repairs, but you shouldn’t!   A DIY gas line repair can be dangerous, placing your family and home at risk of an explosion and fire. A professional plumber has had rigorous and specific training in gas line repairs and they have the proper tools to ensure your gas line is no longer a danger. 

Do you need a plumber to change a gas line? 

Yes, it is always better to err to the safety factor and have a plumber do any gas line changing, gas appliance or gas line installation, and gas line repairs. Again, they are trained and have the proper tools needed for the job to be done right, keeping you and your family safe.  

Is natural gas better the electricity? 

After the ice storm we experienced in 2021, Texas homeowners learned quickly that having an electric-powered home may not be the most reliable.  Those homes with natural gas power, the gas travels into the home through underground gas pipes, there isn’t any chance of heavy snow and ice knocking down power lines or straining the power grid.

In Closing 

If you have a strong smell of natural gas in your home and can’t find the immediate cause, evacuate the premises immediately. Once everyone is in a safe place, call 911 and then the gas company. Do not hesitate!  This can not only be a danger to your home and family but other homes around yours.

If you’re not sure how old the existing gas lines are in your home, schedule a plumber out to inspect them. They can determine if any possible problems can lead to potential gas leaks, making gas line repairs or replacing them if needed. If you need gas line repair in Dallas, TX, please give us a call at (214) 402-5454!

Is Hydro Jetting Better Than Snaking?

Hydro Jetting

There probably isn’t a homeowner in the Dallas, Texas area that hasn’t experienced a clogged bathroom or kitchen drain. You’re busy cooking a holiday meal, or a busy household that keeps the bathroom busy with bathing, shaving, and teeth brushing. All of this can add up to a clogged drain, but a basic household plunger gets them flowing again … most of the time anyway. 

Sometimes though, those clogs are stubborn and tough, requiring professional plumbing services. When you have to call in the pros, there are different ways they have to bust those clogs apart. The most common way is snaking the drain, aka using a plumber’s snake, or today, there is the hydro jetting method. 

What is a plumber’s snake?

A plumber’s snake is a tool that will remove clogs and get that drain flowing again. No, it doesn’t look like a snake, but its shape is similar to a snake or hose. It is a flexible, long, metal cable that has an uncoiled spring, referred to as auger, on one end. The other end has a handle that operates the auger end. 

How does this tool remove clogs? 

There are plumber’s snakes available at your local hardware store that will enable you to clear the clog yourself. However, they aren’t as durable and powerful as a professional plumber has on their truck. It will come with instructions that start by inserting the spring end down the drain or into the P-trap. 

Then using the handle end, uncoil the spring, aka the snake, pushing firm but not too hard, slow and steady. When you feel pressured resistance, you’ve hit the clog. Next, wiggle the snake back and forth so that it grabs onto the blockage, and then slowly, turn the handle in the other direction, and it should pull up what was causing the block. 

What does hydro jetting do?

When the plumber doesn’t have any luck with the plumber’s snake, they will use their hydro jetting method. The name tells us that this method will use water to break the clog apart. The technique of hydro jetting cleans the plumbing lines by removing the clog by scouring the sewer line with high-pressured water. 

How does the hydro jetting method work? 

First, the plumber will inspect the inside of the sewer line using a small camera on a flexible cable inserted into the sewer line. This camera will record a video and send the pictures to a computer that shows the plumber the precise location and problem causing the clog. 

Clogs can be caused by clumps of solid waste that have accumulated or by tree roots. With this image, the plumber then determines the best method or may use a combination of plumber’s snake and hydro jetting to clear the clog. 

For the hydro jetting method, the plumber will insert a jetter, aka nozzle, into the sewer line at the cleanout. They turn the water on and the jetter sends a blast of water at a high-pressure blast into the sewer line. This high pressure of water travels down the sewer line, forcing the blockage to clear and flush the sewer line out. 

After the hydro jetting is complete, the plumber will send the camera into the line again to look for any damage that could have been caused by the clog. If there is damage, they can repair this by one of two methods: Pipe bursting or pipe lining.

What are the benefits of the hydro jetting method? 

Hydro jetting will cost a little more than the traditional plumber’s snake method, but the benefits make it worth that extra expense. Those benefits include: 

  • Effective: A plumber’s snake works great for minor clogs, but when the clog is severe or deeper in the sewer line, hydro jetting is more effective in opening the sewer line and clears any buildup and debris inside. 
  • Saves Money: While hydro-jetting costs more, it sufficiently clears the sewer line, preventing future clogging that requires the plumber to return too soon. 
  • Sanitary: Keeping your home healthy and sanitary is crucial, and when the drains and sewer lines are clogged, it can be unhealthy. With hydro jetting, those blockages and clogs are removed so that wastewater can drain away, keeping your home clean and healthy. 
  • Environmentally Friendly: Hydro jetting doesn’t use any harsh products like over-the-counter products that get into the wastewater. Using nothing but clear water at a forceful rate is all hydro jetting uses! 
  • Versatile: Hydro-jetting works for plumbing in homes and businesses. It is one of the most versatile plumbing tools on the market today. 

In Summary

Not only is hydro jetting an environmental way of clearing clogs, but it is also safer for the pipes. However, if the pipes are old, there is a chance of hydro jetting damaging them. This is why it is important to have a professional plumber do the job is recommended. They inspect the drain and sewer lines before they begin, and will know when hydro jetting isn’t the right solution. 

Is a Leaking Water Pipe an Emergency?

leaking drain pipe woman calling plumber

Learn About Emergency Plumbing

It is obvious you need plumbing repairs with a dripping faucet or a running toilet, and for the most part, those are simple repairs you can do yourself. But what about a leaking water pipe, does that constitute to be an emergency plumbing repair?

What is considered an emergency plumbing situation?

As much as 10,000 gallons of water are wasted annually in the average household from leaking pipes, does that make all leaking pipes a plumbing emergency? Nationwide, that is over one trillion gallons of water going to waste that could be used with purpose in over 10 million homes. But, before you make that emergency plumbing service call, you need to ask yourself if you have a true plumbing emergency.

Why does it matter if it is an emergency? The first reason is your bank account. Emergency plumbing calls can cost three times what a normal plumbing call does. The next reason is something similar to calling 911 to get your cat out of the tree takes first responders away from a true emergency, like a house fire. 

 So, what are the signs of an emergency plumbing issue? A few examples would be: 

  • Water Leaks

Not every water leak will constitute an emergency, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Even the smallest leak can turn into an emergency plumbing matter in time. A water leak can have an effect on your home’s structural integrity, even silent leaks. 

Mildew and mold form, creating health issues like asthma, itchy eyes, and respiratory symptoms. A water leak can create a fire hazard if it comes in contact with electrical wiring, short circuits, and wires. So yes, a water leak that you can’t repair yourself right away is an emergency plumbing matter.

  • Water Stains

Water stains on the ceiling aren’t a copy of the Sistine Chapel and its famous Renaissance art. These types of stains usually show up once a water leak has been happening for some time, and the same is true with water stains on the floor. If you’re concerned with water stains on the ceiling or floors, especially if you’ve had an increase in your water bill, you have an emergency plumbing matter. 

  • Busted or Damaged Pipes

Busted or damaged water pipes that have caused a flood is a viable emergency plumbing matter. Left unattended, it can damage your home’s structure with gallons of water flowing. The ceiling, floors, wall, furniture, and other personal belongings can be damaged, and the safety of your family is in jeopardy.  When you discover these situations, especially when accompanied by sagging ceilings or buckling floors, shut the water off and make that emergency plumbing service call. 

  • Water Pressure Decrease

If you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, it can indicate you have a busted or damaged water pipe, whether it is at one faucet or every water feature. This can also indicate you have a clogged aerator, but that would typically affect only one faucet. Multiple outlets with low water pressure would dictate an emergency plumbing service. 

  • Toilet Overflowing

A toilet overflowing can be caused by a variety of reasons from an issue inside the tank to a clogged sewer line. Either way, this can quickly become a nightmare and if you can’t get the problem fixed immediately yourself, turn the water off to the toilet and call for an emergency plumbing service call. 

  • Drains Clogged 

If your home has never had a clogged drain, just wait. This is an inevitable problem that every home will have at some point. You can do your part to avoid this from happening by watching what you flush down the toilet and pour down the drains. But they still happen. 

So, when is a clogged drain dictate an emergency plumbing service call?  When you have slow drains, bubbling water, or puddles of water in the house or yard, and you’ve done everything you have in your arsenal that hasn’t helped, call a professional plumber and request an emergency plumbing service. 

  • The Water Heater 

Having hot water isn’t just an expected luxury in the home. Today, it is a necessity to kill bacteria, germs, and viruses. If you wake up one winter morning and there isn’t any hot water for a shower, you probably have frozen pipes and this can lead to bigger problems. 

  • If this lack of hot water is accompanied by the smell of gas, this can be an extremely serious issue that needs immediate attention. Make that emergency plumbing service call immediately and if the smell of gas is all through your home, evacuate everyone to a safe place and call 911.
  • Sewage Back-Up

Your sense of smell will be the biggest indicator that there is a problem. If you’ve not noticed a smell but you’ve noticed backed-up water in the kitchen sink or bathtub, this is a health hazard and should be addressed sooner than later. Make that emergency plumbing service call, the ROI will show in your family’s health and well-being.

Close-up Of A Woman Calling Plumber On Mobile Phone While Cleaning The Sink With Plunger

What are the common causes of emergency plumbing problems?

The top six reasons that plumbers are called for emergency plumbing service are: 

  • Busted Pipes
  • Major Water Pipe Leaks
  • Gas Leaks
  • Clogged Drains and Toilets
  • No Hot Water
  • Toilet Constantly Running
  • Sewer Backing Up

How can emergency plumbing be prevented?

One way to prevent emergency plumbing issues is to have your home’s plumbing regularly inspected by a licensed plumber. This will include having all plumbing-related appliances, drains, equipment, faucets, and plumbing lines inspected, including the water heater. 

Additional things you can do is to avoid flushing things down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed. This includes diapers and wipes, food, hair, animal waste, and female hygiene products. Avoid pouring FOG (fat, oil, grease) down the kitchen drain is a big step to avoiding emergency plumbing service calls for sewer line problems.

When It Is All Watered Down

If you simply walk away from a busted water pipe, an overflowing toilet, or a clogged drain you can’t clear, what are the potential risks? Extensive water damage! From the flooring and walls to the ceiling and the foundation, as well as your personal belongings. Additionally, you’re putting your family’s health and safety at risk with mildew, mold, wet flooring, and more.

Tribeca Plumbing, Inc. offers 24/7 emergency plumbing repair in Dallas, TX. Call us at (214) 402-5454 to set up an appointment.  

What Is Considered Commercial Plumbing?

A line of faucets seen in a clean public bathroom

Learn More about the Heavy-Duty Nature of Commercial Plumbing

Plumbing is plumbing, right? What comes out must drain and go away, right? Not necessarily! A general description of commercial plumbing is a complicated faucet and pipe installation. It covers a variety of businesses and large residential complexes with water supply systems and waste removal. 

Commercial plumbing has clogged drains, busted and leaking pipes, and water heaters problems just like residential plumbing, commercial plumbing is designed for heavier workloads. 

What are the Specific Differences Between Commercial Plumbing and Residential Plumbing?

  • The Daily Usage 

The daily usage of commercial plumbing is greater than residential plumbing due to the amount of traffic. From employees to customers, commercial plumbing has more fixtures and piping. 

  • Durability and Size

Because commercial plumbing has more usage, it has more durable and larger fixtures. This minimizes the number of breakdowns and problems. Residential plumbing systems are smaller, with low-grade pipe fixtures that have the same amount of frequency use.

  • Complexity

Commercial plumbing is installed in multiple floor structures with numerous sinks, toilets, and urinals. Residential plumbing is simpler and has easier navigation. 

  • Efficiency

No plumbing system is perfect, damages are possible at any point and time. A commercial structure with a clogged toilet or sink can affect many people and repairs need to be done quickly. Where residential plumbing can often be fixed by the homeowner, a commercial plumbing problem must be addressed by a professional commercial plumber.

  • Damage Probabilities

The complexity of commercial plumbing is more apt to be damaged than residential plumbing because of the higher number of people using the system. 

  • Water Heaters

Commercial plumbing requires water heaters with larger storage tanks with higher gas input levels compared to what residential water heaters do.

  • Health Concerns 

Commercial plumbing is used by more people and is subjected to more bacteria and germs. Proper hygiene is a must in commercial structures like hospitals and restaurants where residential plumbing can be less demanding. 

What Kind of Structures Need Commercial Plumbing? 

We have discussed the large scale that entails commercial plumbing, but to better understand where commercial plumbing is needed, here are some examples: 

  • Private or Public Offices — Commercial bathrooms typically have multiple stalls. So, when one toilet backs up because of a clog, the flooding can have an effect on the other toilets. Even a breakroom sink being backed up can cause problems for the employees. 
  • Hospitals or Restaurants — Faulty equipment in a hospital or restaurant kitchen can put the beverages and food at risk. They can also impede the chef’s preparation of the food by not being able to rinse the fruits, pasta, or vegetables. 
  • Apartments and Hotels — If you’ve never experienced an upstairs neighbor leaving a sink or tub filling, feel fortunate! There is nothing worse to come home to a downstairs apartment or hotel room to have a bathtub sitting in the living room. 

Can You Live in a Commercial Building with Commercial Plumbing?

In Texas, yes, as long as the commercial property has zoning that permits living in the structure. Throughout The Lone Star State, every city and county has different regulations, so you’ll want to confirm with the powers that be if habitation in a commercial structure is allowed. Commercial plumbing is heavy-duty and meant for heavy-duty use, but you can accommodate yourself to live in the facility too if the zoning regulations permit.

What Type of Material are Commercial Plumbing Pipes? 

In the old days, most residential or commercial plumbing was either copper or galvanized iron. Today though, there are other options that have proven to be more cost-efficient and reliable: 


Polyethylene, aka PE, is the least expensive and this makes it a common commercial plumbing material. This pipe material efficiently handles cold water distribution and works well with low-temperature applications. 


HDPE (High-density polyethylene) commercial plumbing pipes are denser products than the classic PE pipe described above. Because it is a flexible pipe, it is ideal for replacing old steel pipes. HDPE is impermeable, making it ideal where the water is at high pressure. 


Commonly referred to as PEX, this is another version of the polyethylene pipe that is manufactured to handle both cold and hot liquids. Because of that, its flexibility, and minimal maintenance, it is the perfect choice for a commercial establishment. 


PVC isn’t as flexible as the other materials available for commercial plumbing, but polyvinyl chloride is still a common choice in commercial plumbing.

In Closing 

In addition to those 4 commonly used pipe materials for commercial plumbing, other options include Chlorinated Polyvinyl, PVC ducts and conduits, Polypropylene Random Copolymer Plastic, Polybutylene, and Polyvinylidene Fluoride. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

If you’re building a commercial structure from the ground up, a professional commercial plumber is the best to advise the right type of pipe to use. And the same is true with renovating a commercial structure’s plumbing. 

What are the benefits of water softeners?

close-up of a clean glass of water in hand

Why We Need Water Softeners

Why do we need water softeners? First, let’s discuss the terms “hard water” and “soft water”, but what do those terms mean exactly? Water is wet, so how can it be either hard or soft? There are many different minerals in water naturally. Among those minerals are calcium and magnesium. It is the amount of the different minerals in the water that give us “hard” or “soft” water, with fewer minerals making it “soft: water. Thus, the more minerals, the harder the water. This is more minerals and other contaminants in the water, which can damage water-based appliances and fixtures. Hard water is also harder on our bodies and can cause health issues for some. To extend the appliances and plumbing in your home, to have healthier water for consumption, water softeners are needed.

What does a water softener do?

The water softeners for homes are often referred to as ion exchange units. These devices remove the minerals that make can make water hard, like calcium and magnesium. What are the benefits of water softeners? 


Water softeners will give you softer skin, and silkier by removing the unneeded chlorine and other minerals that are making your water hard. This will minimize the amount of body and hand lotion you need. 


You’ll need half as much soap with water softeners installed, which is a money saver in the long run. 


Water softeners reduce scale and scum buildup, reducing the scrubbing time for cleaning your bathtub, shower, and sinks.  You’ll use less water, another money-saving feature. 


Water softeners will eliminate annoying spots on dishes, fixtures, and shower doors by removing the minerals that create the hardness in water. 


Hard water creates soap curd which finds its way into the fibers of our clothing. This leads to fading and stiffness, and when chlorine levels are high, they fade even more. Your clothes last longer and look better longer by installing water softeners in your home. 


When you have hard water, the minerals from that build up inside your appliances and plumbing, damaging them and making them less efficient. The chlorine causes the rubber parts to dry out and become brittle, requiring to be replaced or more repairs. 


Water softeners and filters make hard water taste better and that makes us drink more, making it a healthier choice overall. 

What does it mean to soften water?

The process of water softeners is to remove metals, calcium, magnesium, and other unnecessary contaminants from the water. The things that make water hard are removed and the water becomes soft, easier to digest, and easier on clothing, dishes, plumbing, and more. 

How do you soften water?

There are different water softeners you can use that will stop the clogged drains and spotty glasses, and quit drying your hair and skin, or wearing your clothes out faster. Some of the methods are: 

Kitchen Water Softeners

Install a small ion exchange filter on the kitchen faucet or purchase a pitcher that you can keep in the refrigerator for drinking water. Also, remember that boiling hard water will remove some types of hardness temporarily. 

Laundry Water Softeners

There are non-precipitating water conditioners that you can purchase and add to each load of laundry. They trap some of the minerals that make water hard and won’t leave scale and scum on your clothing or in the washing machine. Hard water spots and stains can often be removed with distilled white vinegar mixed with an equal amount of water and gently scrubbed. 

Whole Household Water Softeners

The first thing that should be done is to test the water. You can purchase self-test kits and test strips or take a sample of your water to a testing center. This will tell you what type of chemicals and minerals are in your water, then you know what type of water softeners you need. Among the types of water softeners to choose from are ion exchange water softeners, which are the most effective and comes in two types themselves. The most common is sodium chloride water softeners, which add a small amount of sodium to your water. This is not recommended for anyone with kidney issues or potassium issues. The other type of system is RO (reverse osmosis), which removes all the unnecessary minerals without adding salt or potassium. 

Is soft water a danger?

And can you drink softened water? Soft water is safe for most people to consume. There is a higher amount of sodium in soft water, and anyone on a low or no-sodium diet should use one of the water softeners that are potassium-based.

Is soft water better for your skin?

Yes, because it doesn’t dry skin or hair out, leaving the natural oils that are needed. This leads to clear skin, fewer breakouts, and silkier hair. 

Are there any downsides to water softening?

A major downside is the added sodium for any person on a low or no-sodium diet. Calcium and magnesium are also removed, which can affect some people’s diets. 

a whole house water softening system

At The End Of The Pipes

Is soft water a problem for plumbers?  When it comes to plumbing, water is water, and whether it is hard or soft, they can both create problems.  For homes that have lead pipes, soft water is more likely to draw out unhealthy contaminants in the pipe, including lead, and it flows and mixes in with the drinking water.