Tips for how to fix Plumbing problems and when to call Henry Plumbing.

How Much Hot Water Do You Use?

If you’re thinking of buying a new tankless water heater, you’ll want to know how much hot water your family uses.  Here’s a simple chart to give you an idea of how much hot water your household uses.

For the chart below, GPM (gallons per minute) measures the steady flow of hot water that each fixture will require.

For example, If you run a bathroom faucet with a flow rate of 1.0 GPM and shower head with a flow rate of 1.5 GPM at the same time, the total flow rate through the water heater needs to be at least 2.5 GPM.

To determine the capacity of the tankless water heater you will need, add up the GPM for the major fixtures and appliances that you expect to use at the same time.

Gallons Per Minute / Flow Rate

Fixture / Appliance Typical Flow Rates
Bathroom Faucet 0.5 – 1.5 GPM
Low Flow Kitchen Faucet

1.0 – 2.5 GPM

Shower

1.0 – 2.0 GPM

Dishwasher 1.0 – 2.5 GPM
Clothes Washer 1.5 – 3.0 GPM

 

How to Tell There Is a Leak in Your Bathroom Plumbing

Fixing Bathroom LeakAn untreated plumbing leak can lead to serious issues that can end up costing you big time. Water damage to your walls, paint and floor are nearly impossible to repair and often require a complete renovation to restore.

To figure out if you need a plumber to investigate whether or not you have a pipe leak, consider the following.

Mold Growth

One of the more obvious signs of water leaks is mildew. If you find that regardless of how often or well you clean your bathroom you still have mold throughout it, it could mean there’s a hidden leak. Mold lives in dark and moist areas. A sprung leak could cause an all-out mold infestation. The faster you detect the leak, the easier it is to reverse the process.

Bubbling Paint or Wallpaper

Steam from a hot shower shouldn’t lead to your wallpaper or paint bubbling up. If and when water gets behind the wall, it prevents the bond from sticking to the surfaces and causes it to fall off. This process is the same for wallpaper.

Problems with Flooring

Your bathroom floor shouldn’t have any cracking or stains unless you’ve allowed water to sit on it for an extended period of time. Hidden water under flooring often leads to these and further issues. However, it is also possible that moisture migrated under your floors from a pipe leak or burst.

If you’ve noticed a rapid or unexpected buckling of your flooring, it’s possible that there is a plumbing leak.

Unpleasant Smells

Water that has accumulated in your pipes, in the walls, or in the flooring has a strong and unpleasant smell. It’s a combination of mold and old water, and it’s unmistakable. Most plumbing leaks take time to identify, but if you notice an unpleasant smell accompanied by any of the aforementioned, you could have a leak.

Any of these signs and symptoms could point to a major leak in your bathroom plumbing. Should you suspect or notice these signs in your bathroom, it might be time to hire a plumber. Don’t leave your leak untreated, or you could be left with an even larger plumbing bill.

Leaky Pipes

Common Signs of a Hidden Leaky Pipe in Your Home

Leaky pipes can be hard to detect. They can lie dormant for months before their grand entrance – through your floors, in your walls or down from your ceiling. Identifying the source can be challenging, but if left unchecked, a hidden leak can do major damage to your home and leave you and your family vulnerable to illness.

Sure, a little dripping from a closed faucet can be a bit of an inconvenience, but anything more than that can be a major problem. It’s prudent to check all the rooms in your home periodically (once a month) and look out for these 5 telltale signs of a hidden water leak.

1.      Water Pooling

Any time you notice water pooling anywhere inside your home where it shouldn’t; it’s never good. Here are some common areas water can pool in your home:

  • Sinks
  • Bath tubs
  • Toilets
  • Laundry rooms
  • Basement sump pumps
  • Hot water tanks

If you see unusual wet spots on your floors, a leaking pipe could be the culprit.

2.   Mold, Mildew or any Rotten Odor

Mold and mildew have an unmistakable, musty smell and can be a sign of a hidden water leak. Mold needs a moist environment to grow. Your leaking pipe hidden in a wall is mold’s idea of heaven. Be it a break in your sewage line, a leak in your toilet or a laundry drain issue, our expert plumbers at Henry Plumbing Company will find it and remedy it fast.

3.   Higher Than Usual Water Bill

A water bill that is higher than it needs to be is a sign of a water leak inside your home. Leaky pipes can be the cause of a soaring water bill, and we can help. Try to keep track of your water bills from month to month; if you see a spike from one month to the next with no change in your habits – give us a call.

4.      Foundation Cracks

All houses settle and can develop small hairline cracks. If you notice a new crack in your foundation, it may be due to a hidden leak. Any water that is constantly in contact with a foundation can weaken it and cause serious damage. If you see bathroom tiles lifting, you may have a burst pipe underneath your floor and a potentially significant repair job on your hands.

5.      Squeaky Faucets and Other Noises

A faucet that makes a funny squeak when you turn it on or off can be an alarm bell too; a dripping tap is a relatively easy fix but left unchecked can corrode your sink terribly.

Any bubbling or unexplained groaning noises could mean a toilet leak. Be vigilant, check everything once a month and if you hear or see any of the above (or below) give us a call.

  • Sound of running water
  • Rust around pipes
  • Low water pressure
  • Damaged Paint/Wallpaper  

Only knowledgeable, local, experienced Savanah plumbers – like the team at Henry Plumbing Company – can fix leaking pipes for good. We are proud to be a part of Buy Local here in Savannah because we believe that everyone deserves high-quality work at a fair price that benefits our community. We have been proudly serving the Savanah region for over 35 years. Contact us today at 912-352-9827.

DIY Leaky Pipe Repair

Risks of DIY Leaky Pipe Repair

There are multiple dangers to DIY leaky pipe repair. Choosing the DIY approach to pipe repair can hurt you, your family, your wallet and your home. Sometimes it’s best to know when to quit – or not start at all – and leave it to the pros at Henry Plumbing Company.

So what are the dangers that come with repairing your own leaky pipes?

Health Concerns for Your Family

Perhaps the scariest consequence of a DIY leaky pipe fix is the damage it can do to your loved one’s health and wellbeing. Your plumbing is primarily designed to deliver clean, fresh water into your home and drain waste water away. It’s an intricate system that when tampered with or not fixed properly can lead to dampness, fungus, and mold.

Damp can lead to mold which in turn can trigger asthma – children and the elderly are most at risk from this serious ailment. A damp, mold-ridden home is also a magnet for insects and mites who thrive in such conditions. If you have a leaky pipe in your attic (or you tried to mend one and didn’t isolate the true problem), various types of fungus and bacteria can move in and cause a range of health problems. Mold and other dangerous spores cannot live without water. We can find where it’s coming from and get your family breathing safe air again.

Making Matters Worse Before We Get There

A small leak in a pipe can quickly turn into a torrential disaster if you are not careful. Only the right tools and years of experience can satisfactorily address leaky pipe issues. The last thing you want to do is complicate what may have been a simple problem. Fixing a leaking pipe can also be treacherous due to the close proximity of telecommunication wiring, electrical or gas lines.

DIY Leaky Pipe Repair Can Lead to More Costly Issues

The first problem you can run into when trying to fix your own leaky pipe is simply the lack of experience to do so. Plumbing is a skilled trade, and there are so many things that can go wrong.

Without proper training in any task, you’re behind the eight-ball, and leaky pipe repair is no different. By calling in a professional plumber from Henry Plumbing Company right away, you can be sure we will isolate the problem and deliver the most cost effective solution. Structural damage from a poorly mended or incorrectly diagnosed leaking pipe can be a very expensive fix and extremely hard to locate by yourself.

If your water meter is running 24/7, then your water bill is going through the roof. Why take the chance? We have all the latest tools and techniques to locate where the leak is, and we’ve been saving Savannah, Georgia residents money since 1968.

We’ve been tackling all kinds of plumbing issues in the Savannah region since 1968 at Henry Plumbing Company. Take advantage of our free verbal or written estimates. We are proud of the trust our customers have in us. Let us earn yours. Call us anytime at 912-352-9827.

Hurricane Matthew

Important Plumbing Elements to Check After a Hurricane

Hurricanes and other major weather disasters can wreak havoc on your home and neighborhood. In addition to downed power lines, uprooted trees, flooded streets, and damaged roofs, there could be many major issues that are not immediately obvious. Problems with your plumbing system are common after major weather events.

After a hurricane, make sure you check the following plumbing elements in your home:

Schedule a Sewer Line Inspection

Sewer lines are located in the ground. Any type of major storm can cause the ground to shift, creating potential problems with the sewer line. If the line becomes detached or ruptured during the storm, you may notice sewer line problems such as difficulty flushing the toilet, water and debris backwashing into your sink or tub, or bad smells coming from your drains. Any number of these issues indicates a sewer line problem that requires professional attention.

Check Gas Lines

High winds, strong precipitation, and debris flying through the air can also damage your gas lines. In the event of a hurricane, always check your gas lines for potential leaks. Signs of a gas leak include smelling rotten eggs or noticing a hissing sound coming from the line. A gas line leak is dangerous because natural gas is flammable and toxic to humans. If you suspect a gas leak, call for a fast repair and inform the gas company right away to keep your family safe.

Keep an Eye Out for Water Leaks

It’s common for leaks to spring up after a hurricane. If the pipes were under stress or if parts of your home were damaged, the pipes could also burst or sustain damage that causes leaks. Inspect your pipes for any potential cracks or leaks. Keep a special eye out for slab leaks, which are located underneath the concrete slab of your home. These water leaks require immediate attention from a professional.

Inspect Your Sump Pump

Sump pumps are designed to move excess water away from your home’s foundation and pump it away from the house. With the intense precipitation that comes with a hurricane, it’s important to make sure your sump pump has done its duty and is still working to protect you during the next storm. If your basement or crawlspace did not flood during the storm, you probably have your sump pump to thank. After the storm, check the sump pump over and ensure there is no damage to the motor or tank. A professional inspection is also a good idea to make sure all your bases are covered.

For further help with your after-hurricane plumbing checklist, call the experts at Henry Plumbing. We can help make sure your plumbing systems are working safely and efficiently after a major weather event. Call 912-352-9827 for an appointment today.

Related Plumbing Articles:

Signs of Leaky Pipes or a Water Faucet Leak

Leaky Pipes and Drips

It’s not uncommon or necessarily a problem to see a few drops of water leak from a closed faucet.  But if it’s more than a few drops or the faucet is hard to turn off, you may have a problem.  If there are rooms in your house that you don’t go to very often, make a point to check for signs of leaky pipes or moisture about once a month.  

Rust Around Pipes

Rust around pipes is often a sign of corrosion caused by a small leak.

Water Puddles

Even if a sink drips a bit, it should not leave a puddle.  If there is a puddle present, it might be time to call Henry Plumbing.

Higher Water Bill

No one wants to pay a bill that’s higher than necessary.  If your water bill seems to be going up for no reason, there may be leaky pipes somewhere in your home. That can be a good reminder to check around your house for signs of leaks.

Squeaky Faucets

Faucets that make noise when you turn them on or off may be showing signs of damage.  If a faucet is hard to turn off completely, it may be costing your extra money and corroding your sink.

Smells of Mold or Rotten Food

You may smell a leak before you see it.  If there is a moldy or mildewy smell in your home, and you can’t find a source, this may be a sign of a leak somewhere that you can’t see it.

Signs of a Leaking Toilet

Noises

Hearing a bubbling noise or groaning noise coming from the pipes behind or beneath your toilet?  The good news is that it’s probably not a poltergeist.  However, you probably want to call Henry Plumbing to have them check for a toilet leak

Water on the Bathroom Floor

If you see water pooling around the base of your toilet you are probably seeing the early stages of a toilet plumbing problem. This might be a small amount of water where the toilet meets the floor.

Uneven Floor Tile

Sometimes a leaky pipe or toilet leak will cause floors to warp or bumps to appear in bathroom floors. If floor tiles become loose near the toilet or you notice a bump in the bathroom floor this may also be a sign of a plumbing leak.

Mold or Sewer Gas in the Bathroom

If odors in your bathroom seem to linger longer than normal, this may be a sign of a break in a sewage line or other leak in your toilet or bathroom.

We’re Here to Help

Leaky pipes and plumbing fixtures can be annoying, and they can also be destructive.  A leaky pipe or other plumbing fixture can lead to high water bills and can cause corrosion.  If you have noticed water dripping from your faucet in the kitchen, bathroom sink, bathtub, laundry room or elsewhere in your home, call Henry Plumbing.  Henry Plumbing is Savannah’s favorite plumber year after year for over 30 years.

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Natural Gas Water Heaters

Atlanta Light Advantage Dealer

Henry Plumbing Savannah, GA is proud to announce that we are an approved Atlanta Gas Light Advantage Dealer. This means that we can provide comprehensive gas services for your home or residence and offer generous incentives when you switch from an electric to a natural gas water heater.

Residential Properties Get up to $500 Per Appliance When They Switch to Natural Gas

Get up to $500 per appliance when you switch a residence from electric to a natural gas water heater.  Homes using an electric water heater will get up to $400 per appliance when switching to a conventional tank-style natural gas water heater, and up to $500 when switching to a tankless water heater.

These savings come on top of substantial tax breaks for switching to a tankless natural gas water heater.  These tax incentives are only available for switching to a tankless natural gas water heater.  They are not available for an electric water heater or for a conventional tank-style natural gas water heater.

Commercial Properties Can Get Up to $600 Per Appliance

A commercial property can get up to $600 per appliance for switching from any electric water heater to a natural gas water heater.  Changing to a natural gas tankless water heater brings a rebate of up to $600 per appliance. Changing to a conventional tank-style water natural gas water heater brings a rebate of up to $500 per appliance.

About Atlanta Gas and Light

Atlanta Gas and Light is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the Southeast.  They provide natural gas delivery service to more than 1.5 million customers in Georgia.  Atlanta Gas and Light does not sell natural gas directly to customers.  They operate to maintain the infrastructure that delivers the gas to customers of certified natural gas marketers. Click here for a list of marketers who supply natural gas in the Savannah Area.

Tax Credit for Home Improvement

Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Water Heaters

Save money on your home energy expenses and on your taxes by switching to a tankless natural gas water heater. We mentioned saving money on taxes for having a solar water heater in an earlier blog article.  Here are some other ways to save money on your income taxes by making your home more energy efficient.

Energy Efficient Water Heaters

You don’t have to get a solar energy system to get tax discounts in 2016.  Electric and gas water heaters with an Energy Star certification qualify for a tax credit of $300.  The tax credit is effective through December 31, 2016.  In order to be eligible, your Energy Star water heater must be installed between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2016.

What is an Energy Star Qualified Water Heater

You’ve probably seen the Energy Star logo before on all kinds of products.

Energy Star

Energy Star is a program of the US Environmental Protection Agency. It partners with 18,000 private and public sector organizations to inform consumers of products that follow energy-efficient solutions.

Energy Star Qualified water heaters can be gas condensing, heat pump based, gas storage, solar, or tankless water heaters.  According to the Energy Star website, electric storage tank water heaters and even electric tankless water heaters can not earn an Energy Star qualification.  Electric tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than standard water heaters, but not “better enough” to qualify for the Energy Star rating. The best electric tankless water heaters will save you about 8.7% per year.

You can read more about the different types of Energy Star qualified water heaters on the Energy Star Qualified Water Heaters page here.  You can also call Henry Plumbing ask for one of our plumbers to help you select an energy efficient water heater for your home.

How to Get Tax Credit for Your Energy Efficient Water Heater

If you get an Energy Star rated water heater, or you had one installed between 2011 and 2016, you can claim your tax credit by filling out an IRS Form 5695 (don’t they give these forms the best names!).  You can see both the form 5695 and its instructions page here.

garbage disposal

All About Your Garbage Disposal

How Your Garbage Disposal Can Change the World (Seriously!)

Your garbage disposal could help cut down on your household waste.  Students at Rice University in Houston built a system to convert your kitchen waste into garden compost and bio-fuel (gotta love idealistic college students!).  The system hooks up to your regular garbage disposal and separates the food waste from water.  Water goes to the municipal water system, and the food waste is ground up and separated for use in your home garden or available to use as a fuel.  You can learn more about this magic green garbage disposal here on Huff Po or in this video:

Stuff to Never Put in Your Garbage Disposal

  1. Your hand (or anyone else’s)
    This kind of goes without saying, but we thought we should mention it.  If you lose something important, try using a chopstick or a fork to get it out.  If something gets really lodged in there, you might want to give us a call.
  2. Celery and other stringy stuff
    Stringy foods can tangle up the garbage disposal.
  3. Bones
    Bones tend to go round and round and get stuck in the grinding wheel.  Best to put them straight in the garbage.
  4. Nut Shells and Fruit Pits
    These are usually too hard.  Like bones, they are likely to get jammed in the grinding wheel.
  5. Grease
    Grease is not as bad for your  disposal as it is for your pipes.  Grease can congeal in pipes and cause a clog.
  6. Coffee Grounds
    You can put coffee grounds down the  disposal, but it’s best to keep it to no more than a few teaspoons at a time to avoid choking your pipes.

How to get rid of Garbage Disposal Odors

It’s a good idea to grind cut a lemon in to halves and grind each one in your disposal. It well make your kitchen and your garbage disposal smell much better.

A Word on Eggshells

Eggshells can be great for your garbage disposal.  They are easy to grind and can even help sharpen grinder blades.

 

Reliable Plumber in Savannah, GA

Owners of Henry Plumbing

Todd and Tonya Reed
3rd Generation Owners of Henry Plumbing

Proud to Have Earned Our Reputation as the Most Reliable Plumbers in Savannah, GA

Henry Plumbing works hard to be Savannah’s favorite plumber year after year.  We are committed to being the most reliable plumbers in Savannah.  We hold ourselves to the same high ethics as our founders when they established Henry Plumbing in Savannah in 1968.  We have been in Savannah long enough to have earned our reputation as reliable plumbers in Savannah, GA. We have also been in the business long enough to know how to spot an unreliable plumber. We think you should be able to spot one too.

How to Spot an Unreliable Plumber

A lot of us hate calling the plumber out when something goes wrong, and this is especially the case if you don’t have a reliable plumber who can work with you to fix the problems you are experiencing. Of course, there are a couple of plumbers out there who might not always give you the best result and they may even try and overcharge you. If you want to know how to spot unreliable plumbers, simply take a look below.

Working when Unlicensed

If a plumber is unlicensed and uninsured then there is a high chance that they will charge you less but it is important to understand the huge risk you are taking when you hire them. A lot of cities require that you hire a licensed contractor, even if you don’t actually need a permit. That doesn’t mean to say that you can’t have a DIY handyman come and do your jobs for you, but it does mean that when it comes to structural, plumbing and electrical work, you need someone who is trained.

Estimating a Job that Hasn’t Been Seen

Another major problem that people experience is when they hire a plumber, they estimate a job that they haven’t seen. How can someone possibly give you a price when they haven’t seen what work needs to be done? Always remember not to accept a quote unless they have come to you in person and seen it. You will also want to get this in writing if possible because this is the best way for you to make the most out of the situation.

Lowballing

A cheap plumber probably means that there is something wrong, especially if they are seriously undercutting all of your other offers. A lot of plumbers, who aren’t entirely reliable, may give you a low estimate for a job but this won’t cover all of the job. They may charge you for additional labour as well and this can cause even more problems for you at a later date.

Showing Up Without Being Invited

If a so called “plumber” shows up and tries to get you to hire them, don’t. This is otherwise known as a tip-off and it could even be a burglar who is trying to gain access to your home. The elderly are usually the victims of this con. If you are not sure if your plumber is reputable or if you don’t know if they can be trusted or not then do your research and look them up online. This is the best way for you to understand the situation and it could provide you with the insight you need to truly make the best decision.

Bait and Switch

The bait and switch is actually quite a common method when it comes to deceptive practices. A company will advertise their products and then they will switch it out for an inferior version. If you suspect that your company is doing this then do your best to end all contact or look up the various products they are offering you. This is the best way for you to understand what is happening and it could save you an absolute fortune later down the line.