Just like any mechanical system, your plumbing system must be properly maintained, serviced and repaired to continue to operate correctly and efficiently. While some plumbing fixes can be completed DIY, others require the knowledge and expertise of professional plumbers. Not only do they have the experience to effectively trouble shoot problems, they are also aware of building codes and requirements when it comes to the installation and repairs of your plumbing system.
Hire the right plumber.
When your toilet is backing up or you’ve found a frozen pipe in the basement, you have no choice but to hire in a professional plumber. Even if you are planning a home renovation and need new plumbing roughed in, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional. It can be tricky finding a good, reputable contractor and you want to be careful that you are hiring a trustworthy plumber that has a proven reputation for quality work and service. Thankfully, there are resources out there that can help you weed out the shady plumbers and ensure you hire the right one.
Here is some advice on finding the best plumbers in Edmonton:
Ask lots of questions.
When you call a new plumbing company, don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions. Ask if they have proper business licensing and insurance, and if they can provide a copy of it for you to see. You should check that they have WCB coverage too. If they refuse to show you these things, do not hire them!
Check their references.
If it’s not a plumbing emergency and you have some time, ask them to provide contact information for a few of their previous or current customers. You can ask these customers if they are happy with the work that was done for them and how their experience was overall.
Check with third party organizations.
If they are a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), you will be able to find out if they have any outstanding issues. You can also check to see if that plumber is listed on RenovationFind. All companies on the RenovationFind directory have passed a stringent screening process including legal and financial background checks and have proper licencing and insurance.
Get a detailed estimate.
If it’s a plumbing emergency and your basement is flooding, you might not have a lot of time to get multiple estimates. If you do have time, make sure that each plumbing company gives you an estimate on paper that includes every cost of the job like labour, parts, permits and other fees. Though the cost is a big consideration for any home renovation, be careful not to choose a plumber just because they are the cheapest. Remember the old saying, “you get what you pay for!” Cheap, shoddy work will only lead to expensive issues in the future. Learn more in these Edmonton plumbing articles.
What services to plumbers offer?
Probably the most calls plumbers receive is for plumbing repairs. It can be anything from a leaky faucet, running toilet and clogged drain, to a frozen, leaky or burst pipe. If you require plumbing repair, you should not wait too long to get it fixed. If you have water leaking from your plumbing system, the water can damage your drywall, insulation, framing, ceiling, trim and other parts of your home. Fixing water damage is much more expensive than calling in a plumber.
If you’ve noticed that your bathtub and/or sinks are not draining properly, you could have a clog deep in your drainage and sewer system. This can also be true if your toilet is continuously overflowing. If you suspect that your sewer is clogged, call a company that offers Edmonton sewer cleaning right away. They will use special equipment that can be fed into your drainage system to remove the clog. In some case, they might have to get into the main lines that connect your home to your municipal sewer system to get the water flowing.
Depending on where along the line the issue is, it could be the responsibility of your municipality to fix the problem.
Not only can plumbers help you fix that leak under the sink, they can help you install a new sink all together for your bathroom renovation! Many plumbing companies offer full-service renovations for the kitchen and bathroom that includes running any new plumbing or moving plumbing, installation of fixtures like the bathtub and toilet and the faucets too. Depending on the company, they might hire sub-contractors to do tasks for the renovation like drywall or cabinetry installation, and they might offer an extensive showroom to help you choose the best bathroom fixtures for your personal taste and lifestyle. Find bathroom renovations and ideas.
It’s always a good idea to call in a professional plumber if you are roughing in new plumbing. Not only will they know how to do this more efficiently, they will also be aware of permits and building code requirements. A professional plumber will arrive with the proper equipment to get the job done right and you can rest assured knowing that your new plumbing was done correctly and won’t cause you issues in the future.
Most plumbing companies offer gas fitting services. If you need a new gas line installed in your home, you should always hire a professional and certified gas fitter to do the job. Working with natural gas is a very dangerous job. Not only is it incredibly explosive to work with, improper installation of gas lines can cause leaks. Those leaks can cause an explosion or might allow carbon monoxide in your living spaces. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen and has no smell, but can be deadly.
What kind of projects require a gas fitter? If you want to run a new gas line for a gas range, outdoor gas hook-up for a barbeque or want to install a gas fireplace, you should always hire a company that offers gas line installation in Edmonton. If you suspect that you have an issue with your existing gas line, contact professional immediately. If it isn’t an emergency, your local natural gas provider will offer a free inspection of your gas appliances including your furnace and heating system, gas range and fire places.
Water Heater Installation and Repair
There are specific companies that offer water heater installation, including HVAC companies, but this is something that a typical plumber can help with too. Here are some tell-tale signs you require a water heater replacement or repair services:
No hot water. If you’ve noticed that the hot water seems to run out sooner than usual or the water never quite gets hot enough, you could have an issue with your hot water heater.
Smelly or funny tasting water. Mineral build up and corrosion can cause your water to taste strange. You can flush you hot water tank or call a plumber to do it for you.
Rusty pipes. If the connecting parts on the hot water tank are rusty, it could mean that parts inside are rusty too. There is a part in your hot water tank called a sacrificial anode rod. The purpose of this part is to sacrifice itself and rust first, saving the other parts of the heater and tank. Once the anode rod has rusted right through, other parts of your tank will start to suffer from corrosion. Learn more about how to replace an anode rod in a hot water heater. If you’re in over your head, call in the pros.
Flooding in your utility room. This is a no-brainer. If there is a pool of water beneath your hot water tank, it has a leak and needs to be replaced right away. It usually means the bottom has started to corrode and if left, it can drop out completely and flood your basement. Check to see if the leak is coming from the top of the tank, if this is the case, a plumber can fix that for you and you might not need a complete replacement.
Water Filtration System Installation
Some plumbing companies offer special water filtration systems. If you’re not interested in drinking tap water and don’t want purchase bottled water, a reverse osmosis water filtration system might be a good choice for your home.
This system will take regular tap water and filter out things like fluoride, chlorine, detergents, nitrates, sulfates and other unwanted chemicals or minerals that might be present. Not only will it make your drinking water purer, it will also improve the taste of the water and how it smells.
Signs that your plumbing system needs repair.
Unless you’re renovating, your plumbing system isn’t something you give much thought to – until something goes wrong! When there is a plumbing emergency, it’s both stressful and expensive. Here are some signs to look out for that could mean you need plumbing repair:
You have low water pressure.
If you have noticed a significant decrease in your water pressure, it could mean that you have a damaged pipe somewhere in your plumbing system. If it’s leaking, it could be causing water damage. The best thing to do is to call a plumber to locate and fix the problem.
Water smells strange.
Smelly water could mean that gas from the sewer is somehow leaking into your plumbing system. A master plumber can test the system to find the leak and fix it.
One or more faucets are leaking.
Not only are dripping faucets annoying to listen to, they are responsible for more water waste than you might think. This is a relatively easy fix and something you can tackle yourself. You can find everything you need to fix a leaky faucet by visiting a store that sells plumbing supplies in Edmonton.
You’ve noticed rust staining the sink or bathtub.
If your water pipes are corroding, they could be sending rust down the line and that is causing the stains in your basins, tub and/or toilet bowl. Do not wait, call a plumber to fix the problem before it causes more damage to the pipes.
Water damage on your walls or ceiling.
Signs of water damage include bubbling, peeling and cracking paint, swelling, cracks and moisture stains. If you have these in your homes, it might be a damaged pipe leaking into the walls or ceiling. The best course of action is to call a plumber to locate and fix the leak as soon as possible.
You hear banging noises.
If your plumbing is chattering or banging around in the walls, it means that there are loose connections. Unless these are tightened and repaired, it could result in damage and leaks.
When is the problem considered a plumbing emergency?
Plumbing companies often offer 24-hour services for those emergency repairs. A typical plumbing emergency would be an issue that is causing water to flood an area of your home. That is something that needs to be remedied immediately.
When you call a plumber outside of business hours, they will come to your rescue, but it will come at a higher cost. Knowing what is an emergency and worth that cost and what you can do to hold off until business hours can save you money and headache.
If you have water leaking somewhere, the first thing you should do is turn off the main water line to your home. This might stop the problem, so you can wait until morning and call the plumber during their regular business hours. If you are unable to turn off the water, you need to call the plumber immediately.
Learn more about when it’s a plumbing emergency.
Tips for preventing plumbing problems.
Consider your plumbing system is like any intricate machine with many working parts. Just like any machine, it will last longer and runs smoother if it is well-cared for and properly maintained. There are some simple things you can do to reduce or eliminate major plumbing issues.
Don’t let everything go down the drain!
Letting debris like food scraps, paper towel, hair, wrappers and even dental floss go down the drain will likely cause a clog in your pipes. Any experienced plumber will tell you that the main causes of clogged kitchen drains is food scraps and cooking fat. Cooking fat, like oil or bacon fat, is the worst. It will solidify inside the pipes and cause blockages. You can learn how to unclog a kitchen sink, but if it’s blocked by cooking fat, you’ll have to hire a plumber to come clean out the pipes.
You can pick up drain strainers for your bathtub and sink drains. This will make sure that hair, food scraps and bits of soap are caught before going down the drain. This is a cost-effective way to protect your pipes.
Clean your pipes.
Every month or so, run a simple baking soda and vinegar solution down the drain to help keep those pipes clean. Use about a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. If you think you have a minor clog, you can try to use a household drain cleaner. Be cautious when using these chemicals. Too much use can corrode and damage your pipes.
Go easy on water use.
The more water you use, the harder your plumbing system must work. Become more efficient and conservative with your water use and you’ll give your plumbing system a break. Consider installing low-flow fixtures, take shorter showers and do one large load of laundry instead of several smaller loads. These small efforts will save your plumbing system, reduce your water usage and could even reduce your monthly utility bill.
Clean mineral build-up off your fixtures.
Over time, shower heads and faucet aerators can start to build up mineral deposits and could cause a clog or the fixtures to stop working properly. You can use a household cleaner like CLR or a vinegar solution to help break up the deposits. Then wipe clean with a wet cloth.
Don’t plant trees over your drain lines.
It might seem like a lovely tree now, but once those roots start to grow they can crack the sewer pipe! Depending on where the tree is on your property, the cost of repairs could either fall on you or your local municipality. Either way, it’s always a good idea to put a call into Alberta One Call. They’ll come to your property and mark out all your utility lines, including the sewer lines, so you can avoid them when planting a tree.
For more information on what kind of services a plumber can offer homeowners, plumbing maintenance tips and how to troubleshoot common plumbing issues in the home, read our Household Plumbing Handbook. Remember that having your plumbing system maintained, repaired and installed by a certified plumber will ensure it operates smoothly and last for years to come.