Water Heater Maintenance: Preventing Sediment Buildup

When water is heated in a water heater, minerals that are naturally present in the water begin to come together to form a precipitate, or sediment. The lime sediment is much heavier than the water, so it all tends to sink to the bottom of the water heater. It is not uncommon to have 5-10 inches of sediment sitting at the bottom of your tank, completely encasing and insulating the heating element. At Reeves Family Plumbing, our plumbers know that unless the sediment is removed, it can potentially cause homeowners some serious headaches. Luckily, some simple water heater maintenance can keep this common issue from becoming a big problem.

Use a Water Softener

Water softener works by replacing the damaging magnesium and calcium ions that causes hard water with sodium ions, which are harmless. Adding a water softener to your system may help break down the sediment and help your heater work like new again.

Drain the Water Heater

The most effective water heater maintenance tip on preventing the buildup of sediment in your tank is to drain the water regularly. The flow of water out of the tank will take the sediment with it and help reduce the amount of buildup in your tank. Removing the sediment will help extend the life of your water heater, so it is worth the time and effort required to schedule regular drains according to the tank’s manufacturer’s instructions.

While these preventative water heater maintenance steps should significantly slow the accumulation of debris at the bottom of the tank, some sediment will remain and accumulate over time. Eventually the sediment will result in an ineffective or broken water heater and your tank will need to be replaced. Our Coppell plumbers at Reeves Family Plumbing are happy to help resolve any water heater issues you have, whether it is regular maintenance or a serious problem. Call us at 214-989-4906 to schedule an appointment today.

3 Signs You Are in Need of Pipe Repair

One of the things homeowners dread most is a leaky pipe. Not only can a single leaky pipe or hose cause a lot of damage in a small amount of time, it can also lead to health problems for a home’s inhabitants. At Reeves Family Plumbing, our plumbers in Carrollton understand how devastating a leak can become, so we invite you to take note of the following warning signs that you may be in serious need of pipe repair.

1. High Water Bills

This if often the first thing people notice with hidden leaks. If your water bill is so high that you can’t believe you could have possibly used that much water, you probably didn’t and a leak is to blame.

2. Leak Registers on the Water Meter

Your home’s water meter is usually located beneath a metal covering in your yard or close to the street. Examine the meter’s leak indicator. If it is spinning, it means that there is water moving through the system and you have a leak. If you have no leak indicator, examine the location of the analog dial and then return after a half hour to an hour. If the dial has moved, you are in need of pipe repair.

Changes in the Walls, Ceilings and Floors

Any kind of dramatic change to the surfaces of your home may indicate leaky pipes. If you notice any of the following signs of water damage and cannot locate the source, a hidden leak is likely:

  • Bubbling
  • Warping
  • Sagging
  • Staining
  • Mold or mildew

Although some of these symptoms alone are not enough to prove there is a leak, when two or more combine, it is almost guaranteed. If you find a leak, contact us at Reeves Family Plumbing by calling 214-989-4906 to get your pipe repair job done completely and efficiently.

How to Quickly Clear a Clogged Drain

Clogged DrainClogged drains are, unfortunately, just a part of everyday life. Although the situation may be nearly unavoidable, many homeowners can prepare by learning how to handle minor clogs on their own. With only a few simple tools and some elbow grease, a clogged drain can be back to normal in no time. At Reeves Family Plumbing, our Carrollton plumbers are always ready to help deal with difficult clogs when they are just too much to handle.

Prepare Your Tools

The first step in any DIY project is to prepare your tools. The most basic plumber tool is the plunger, and it can be used to clear a clogged drain on various fixtures, including toilets, sinks, and tubs. They are generally inexpensive and can be found at any home improvement store and even some grocery stores.

Attack the Clog

To clear a clogged drain on any kind of fixture, first add a little water to the reservoir. If you have a double sink, stuff a wet rag into the drain you are not plunging, ensuring it covers the opening completely. If your bathroom sink is clogged, stuff the wet rag in the overflow hole. To begin, take the plunger and place the large, rubber inverted bowl over the mouth of the drain and start pumping the handle up and down directly toward the drain. Do this vigorously for a few seconds and then quickly remove the plunger. If the drain is clear, the water will quickly start to retreat. If you notice that some but not all water is getting through, a few more pumps should finish the clog for good.

If a clog seems to be stuck and doesn’t respond to your efforts after a few attempts, our plumbers at Reeves Family Plumbing would be happy to handle the job for you. Schedule an appointment today by calling 214-989-4906.

How to Unclog a Drain With Household Ingredients

Unclog a Drain

No one likes to find out that their drain is clogged. Unclogging a drain can be an annoying task, and many people decide to wait until the drain is completely stopped up before they try to do anything about it. At Reeves Family Plumbing, our expert plumbers know how to get the job done quickly and can help correct other plumbing problems as well. With a few simple homemade remedies, you can learn how to unclog a drain before seeking professional help.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

If your drain is moderately clogged, there is a simple drain cleaner that you can make at home with ingredients you probably already have. The following are the steps you can take to unclog a drain on your own:

  1. Take ½ cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain.
  2. Pour ½ cup of vinegar immediately after the baking soda.
  3. Allow the ingredients to interact. There will be foam and fumes.
  4. Place the drain cover loosely over the drain and allow it to sit for approximately three hours.
  5. Run hot water down the drain.
  6. Repeat if necessary.

Is grease causing the clog? Use this homemade recipe to get rid of the it:

  1. Put ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of salt into the drain.
  2. Pour boiling water down after it.
  3. Allow this mixture to work overnight.

Keep Your Drain Unclogged 

With these easy homemade drain cleaners, you can take care of some of the simple clogging issues you may run into. For severely clogged drains, or other maintenance and repair jobs, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals. Our Carrollton plumbing technicians are here to unclog a drain that’s giving you problems. Contact us here at Reeves Family Plumbing by calling (972) 247-3763.

How to Properly Take Care of Grease Disposal

Grease Disposal

Some of the most delicious food items are made with cooking oil or leave extra grease in the pan. After you make your bacon or fries, grease disposal can be difficult. The one thing you should remember is to never pour the leftover grease down the drain. Once it solidifies, it can clog the drain and cause all kinds of issues. If your drain does become clogged or you have other plumbing issues, our technicians at Reeves Family Plumbing are here to help.

Three Steps to Properly Dispose of Grease

If you want to know how to properly handle your grease disposal, follow these simple steps:

  1. Allow the pan to cool. Before you remove any oil from your pan or other cooking equipment, you should let the oil cool first. Hot cooking oil can cause severe burns if it is accidentally spilled on yourself or someone else around you.
  2. Choose a container. If there is just a small amount of oil left, you can just wipe it out with a paper towel. However, if there is quite a bit of oil, you need to choose what container you would like to pour the leftover grease into. It is best if you avoid glass jars, which could break if dropped. Peanut butter jars or tin cans work great.
  3. Throw the container away. Once you have poured the leftover grease into the container of your choice, it is a good idea to let it solidify. You can even reuse the container until it is full of solid grease before throwing it away. Make sure you screw on the lid tight before it goes in the trash.

A clogged drain is the last thing you want at the end of the day. Avoid this issue by following these steps for proper grease disposal. At Reeves Family Plumbing, our plumbers in Carrollton are standing by to help you with any problems you come across. Contact us today at (972) 247-3763.

 

Things You Shouldn’t Put Down the Garbage Disposal

 

Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are one of those things that you don’t really appreciate until you live in a place that doesn’t have one. This appliance is the perfect way to get rid of the leftover food on your plate. However, despite what you might think, not everything can be put down the garbage disposal. It should not be mistaken for a trash can. At Reeves Family Plumbing, we can take care of any plumbing repairs or maintenance you may need.

 

Three Things to Avoid Putting in the Disposal

In order to avoid costly repairs, it is important that you are aware of what items you should not put down the disposal. Here are three things to avoid:

 

  1. Pasta and Rice. When pasta and rice come into contact with water, they swell. Even if you run the water for a while or run the disposal, pieces of pasta and rice cannot be broken down small enough. These pieces end up together in the trap and close off the pipes.
  2. Grease. Although grease is liquid and seems like it would go down the drain without a problem, eventually it solidifies. This creates a clog in part or all of the drain. No amount of running the disposal can fix this problem.
  3. Animal Bones and Vegetable Peels. The disposal is not strong enough to break animal bones into small pieces to fit down the drain. Tough vegetable peels such as potato peels can also be hard on the disposal if they are in a large amount. Both of these items could jam in the disposal and possibly break it.

 

Qualified Help for Plumbing Problems

By making an effort to not put these items down the drain, you can avoid breaking your garbage disposal. At Reeves Family Plumbing, our Carrollton plumbers are here to help with all of your plumbing needs. Give us a call today at (972) 247-3763.

Fixing Leaky Sinks Yourself

Leaky SinksAt Reeves Family Plumbing, we understand the frustration that leaky sinks can cause. The constant drip, drip, drip is enough to drive even the most patient person insane. The good news is that little leaks can often be taken care of quickly. You just need a little bit of know-how. When you can troubleshoot your own leak, you may not have to call on plumbers in Carrollton for what seems like a very small problem. Of course, if the problem is large, it’s always a good idea to call in the professionals. Here are some tips for trying to fix that leak yourself.

Locate the Problem

The first thing you need to do is determine where the leak is actually coming from. Water in the cabinet or on the floor under your sink is the first indication of a leak. If you have standing water, chances are high that the leak is located somewhere right above that. The leak may be anywhere from the water supply to the drain or the faucet. Once you pinpoint the location, you can start to fix it.

Tightening or Replacing

Many leaky sinks just need a little bit of tightening down here or there to fix the problem. In some cases, it could be that certain seals or fittings have become loose or are not the proper size. In these cases, you will need to replace the object to cut off the leak. If the leak happens to be in your faucet, you may need to disassemble it in order to replace some of the washers or gaskets. The disassembly differs depending on your faucet, but it is still a fairly simple process to do on your own.

Leaky sinks are annoying, but it’s something that you may be able to handle on your own if you can locate the problem. If you’ve done all you can and still have questions or need help with your leak, contact Reeves Family Plumbing at 972-247-3763.

No Grease in the Drain and Other Drain Cleaning Tips

No Grease in the DrainWhen it comes to taking care of your drains, the first thing you should do is review which items you should avoid putting down your drain. No grease in the drain is the basic rule of thumb. This includes cooking oils and fats. At Reeves Family Plumbing, we know that learning to take care of your drains now could save you an emergency call to the plumber later. Here are some additional drain cleaning tips.

Simpler Is Better

If you’re worried about harsh chemicals in your household, simpler is better. Cleaners that you use should be easy and relatively safe to use around your family. When in doubt, use baking soda and cider vinegar for quick and simple drain cleaning. For clogs, try using your toilet plunger at first, or using a drain cleaning solution like salt, Borax, and vinegar.

Take Preventative Measures

Egg shells, potato skins, and sunflower seeds have something in common; they can cause clogs. If it’s been a while, review your owner’s manual for what is and is not appropriate to put down your drain. Even some grease in drain can cause problems. While you may pour it out as a liquid, it can solidify and clog things up. Take preventative measures by not putting these things down your drain in the first place; remember, no grease in the drain is a good thing.

Hot Water Is Worth a Try

If you have been putting things down your drain that you probably shouldn’t, it’s not too late. Hot water can liquefy solidified grease in drain and help it to move through the pipes. If you believe grease might be the culprit, try flushing your drain with hot water for a few minutes and see if things improve.

Taking preventative measures like no grease in the drain is the best solution, but if you’re still having drain troubles, call our experts at Reeves Family Plumbing at 972-247-3763.

 

Tips for Summer to Prevent Plumbing Woes

Tips for SummerContrary to popular belief, the summer time is when many homeowners encounter some of their worst plumbing problems, and will turn to the professionals for summer tips. Plant and root growth can lead to basement flooding and property loss. The pipes in your home may also be in need of some TLC after a brutal winter. We at Reeves Family Plumbing believe that you can prevent the need for costly plumbing repairs by utilizing these tips for summer.

  1. Check your pipes for sweating and condensation. Excess moisture can cause leaking that can lead to the growth of toxins, such as mold.
  1. Do not pour grease, fibrous materials, or foods down the drain. These items can accumulate and lead to blockages further down the pipeline.
  1. Right before and immediately after you use the garbage disposal, run the cold water for a few minutes. Cold water helps to flush the waste through the system.
  1. If you enjoy watering your garden with a hose, do not pull too hard or yank on the hose. This can cause the hose to rip and separate the hose bib from your home. Once that occurs, you are going to have a watery mess on your hands.
  1. The summer season is when the washing machine gets more action. This can lead to additional stress on the hoses. Check the hoses periodically to ensure that they are secure and in good shape. This is one of the most important tips for summer we can recommend.
  1. Inspect the insides of your cabinets and shelves for water damage and leaky pipes. Common indicators include warped paneling and water stains.

Keep in mind that there are other tips for summer that you can use in addition to these tips to keep your plumbing system up to par for the summer. If you have questions, concerns, or simply want information, be sure to contact us at Reeves Family Plumbing by calling 214-989-4906.

Replace Store Bought Chemicals With a Natural Drain Cleaner

Natural Drain CleanerAt Reeves Family Plumbing, we are committed to sharing solutions with our customers that will save them money and protect their appliances, such as the use of a natural drain cleaner. There are many important benefits to replacing chemical cleaners with natural options. For example:

  • Keeping the family safe is a top priority for many homeowners. Simply switching from chemical-based cleaners to natural options is an easy way to protect children, pets, and the whole family from dangers posed by store-bought cleaners.
  • Normal store bought drain cleaners often have harmful chemicals and particles that make their way through the drain and out into the environment. Hopefully, the bulk of this waste is contained through the established waste water management program, but the use of a natural cleaner can prevent contamination.
  • The long and complicated instructions on the back of typical cleaners should serve as a warning when it comes to cleaning out the drains. Mixing chemicals or using the cleaner incorrectly can have very serious consequences. This won’t be a concern when a natural drain cleaner is used.

What Are the Top Natural Options?

As plumbers in Coppell, we are glad to lend a hand when our customers have plumbing problems. We are also happy to provide these suggestions for maintaining clean drains and pipes:

  • Baking soda is probably the most popular of all the natural drain cleaning options. Simply pour one cup of baking soda into the drain and follow this with one cup of cider vinegar. It’s easy to see the cleaner at work as it foams up. Follow this step by letting lots of hot water flow into the drain. (Lemon juice could be used in place of vinegar.)
  • A mixture of salt, Borax, and vinegar can clear out a clogged drain. Use ¼ cup of salt, ¼ cup of Borax, and ½ cup of vinegar. This mixture may take some time, but will usually clear the drain.
  • Homeowners can pour boiling water into the drain in order to clean up coagulated fats, grease, and oils.

If a natural drain cleaner hasn’t done the trick, call us at Reeves Family Plumbing:  214-989-4906.