Today, most municipal water supplies, ours included, go through a heavy level of filtration and conditioning before they get to your faucets. And if you’re using ground water—that is, a private well—you probably have your own water treatment system on site. However, what many homeowners don’t realize is missing from their plumbing systems is protection from hard water.

What is hard water, you ask? This is the name given to water with a high concentration of the minerals calcium and magnesium in it. They’re harmless to ingest, however can do a world of damage to your plumbing system. This problem can adequately be handled with a water softener as the water enters the home, before it has a chance to put your pipes out of commission. Without a water softener, professionally installed by an experienced plumber in Englewood, NJ, you could find yourself facing the following issues and their consequences. Keep reading to learn more!

SOAP SCUM COATING THE BATH

This doesn’t mean you’re not good at keeping things clean! Soap scum can build up faster in your bathtub and other areas when you have hard water present. This is because the minerals prevent soap from dissolving easily. This is just a symptom of a larger problem though.

WATER SPOTS APPEARING ON GLASSES

We’re talking about after you wash your glassware. The water spots are harmless, but they are a sign that your dishwasher is slowing accumulating damage from the same hard water molecules that can jam your pipes and cost homeowners thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs.

WHITE OR YELLOW RESIDUE BUILT UP ON FAUCETS AND DRAINS

This is a sign of a potential plumbing catastrophe. That same type of buildup you see outside of the faucet is happening within it, too, and in your pipes. Slowly, the mineral deposits continue building up and restrict the volume inside of the pipes. Eventually, you’ll probably need to replace your faucet and your water pipes—far sooner than you expected to.

DULL HAIR AFTER A SHOWER

No, we aren’t just talking about vanity issue. This shouldn’t be ignored, as it is absolutely one of the signs of hard water. Hard water dilutes your shampoo and conditioner, causing this reaction.

YOUR SHOWERHEADS CLOG UP QUICKLY

Over time, the mineral buildup from hard water can restrict water from flowing through your pipes. In less time than that, the minerals can keep water from flowing through your shower head of faucet, clogging the showerhead or the aerator of your sink and slowing the water pressure.

To temporarily relieve this, you can typically unscrew the end of the faucet and clean out the aerator—same goes for your showerhead. But remember, this is the sign of a bigger problem, and that’s something only a water softener can really manage.

YOUR CLOTHES DON’T SEEM CLEAN AFTER LAUNDRY DAY

The same way that soap scum builds up in your bathtub, it can fail to dissolve completely in your washing machine, which can prevent clothes from rinsing off, or it can make your clothes stiff after they come out of the dryer.

Contact BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating today for exceptional customer service!

There are a number of steps and tasks involved with a bathroom remodel—from the fairly simple job of removing old fixtures and attaching the plumbing connections for new ones, to making design decisions regarding flooring and sink types.

One job during this remodel that we strongly recommend, which many homeowners don’t think about, is the replacement of the piping in your bathroom.

Sure, this may sound like one of those unnecessary professional plumbing services in Teaneck & Bergen County, NJ, but it is not as time-consuming or hard of a job as you might imagine, particularly with our professional plumbers on the job. Besides, there are some huge benefits to making pipe replacement a part of your bathroom remodel.

HOW OLD IS YOUR HOME?

Or rather, how old is your plumbing system? If you’ve reached the point where you’re considering a bathroom remodel, it’s likely because you have an older home that needs some upgrades, or at least updating the style. For a home that was built prior to 1970, the piping material is probably too old and needs replacement anyway.

Homes built before this period often used galvanized steel pipes rather than copper, CPVC, or PEX pipes—all of which are better choices. Galvanized steel may be durable, however, it’s prone to corrosion of time, and you should have it replaced at any opportunity you can. Since a remodel in your bathroom will expose the pipes, it’s far easier and less time-consuming to have the replacements done as part of the overall remodeling project.

Additionally, a planned pipe replacement allows you some wiggle room in the design process for your bathroom remodel. If you or your remodelers have to work around existing plumbing, it can limit the options for rearranging the bathroom and putting fixtures in alternative locations. If our plumbers work with you to change out the plumbing entirely, then it opens up the process to more extensive re-design concepts.

WORKING WITH PROFESSIONAL PLUMBERS

The plumbers on our team will work with you from the earliest planning stages of your remodel all the way to the finishing touches. Whatever your plumbing needs are in order to create the bathroom you’re envisioning for your home, we have the expertise and training to work with you in fulfilling that vision.

An Added Benefit

There’s another advantage to working with professional plumbers, rather than attempting to fix, adjust, or install plumbing parts and fixtures on your own. Professionals have the experience and know-how to realize exactly what your bathroom needs. For instance, do you know your current toilet’s rough-in size?

The rough-in size is a description of the opening on which the toilet is installed. If your new toilet is too big, or too small, then it cannot be sealed correctly. As a result, you’ll end up with messy leaks and potentially costly plumbing repair needs.

Another factor to consider is your shower floor. A common mistake that inexperienced home remodelers make is not slanting the floor correctly. This means that water is unable to go down the drain, and instead just stands stagnant on your shower floor.

Avoid bathroom plumbing installation problems by contacting BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. for quality service and guaranteed satisfaction!

There are certain plumbing appliances within your home that you could probably never imagine living without. Take, for example, your kitchen sink. There are some components of this plumbing fixture that are more of a luxury than a necessity, such as the garbage disposal, too. Still, even though you don’t have to have a garbage disposal system, it’s still a pretty handy part of your kitchen plumbing in Teaneck & Bergen County, NJ, if you do.

As such, you want to make sure you take care of this component and the rest of your kitchen sink as best you can, so that you can enjoy the benefits and convenience that comes from your kitchen plumbing. We’d like to help you avoid problems with your kitchen sink and its components, so we’ve provided some care tips below.

COMMON SINK PLUMBING PROBLEMS

Most likely, if you experience a problem with your bathroom or kitchen sink, it won’t be an emergency that needs to be handled immediately. However, it’s frequently a major inconvenience. Examples include:

  • A leaky faucet
  • Leaks underneath the sink
  • Leaks underneath the drain
  • A faulty garbage disposal
  • Slow drainage
  • No drainage
  • Backup
  • Low water pressure

Some of these problems will require you to call in a professional, but others you may be able to resolve on your own.

KEEPING YOUR KITCHEN PLUMBING A PRIORITY

If you fail to care for your garbage disposal and/or kitchen sink, it can lead to garbage disposal repair, damaged plumbing, as well as a compromised sewer line. There’s a common myth that the blades of a garbage disposal are sharp, and therefore can cut anything up that you put in your kitchen sink. This is just not the case, however.

True, your garbage disposal does have “blades.” However, even though they’re given this name, they are actually grinder plates that depend on centrifugal force in order to grind down food waste. Then, that waste is flushed down the drain, and the flow of water (yes, you should keep your faucet running alongside the disposal system) helps the waste move all the way down the drain. But what items should you avoid putting down the kitchen sink drain altogether, to help protect the disposal system and the drain itself?

  • Hard Items: This can include things like bones, or fruit pits. There are newer garbage disposal systems on the market that advertise they can in fact handle fruit pits, but it’s really better to be safe than sorry in this case and just dispose of them in the trash.
  • Fibrous Food Waste: We’re talking about food items such as cornhusks and celery stalks. These items get wrapped up in the moving parts of the garbage disposal, leading to system damage as it struggles to continue normal operation.
  • Pasta and Rice: Yes, your garbage disposal can handle this. No, your kitchen sink drain cannot. The problem is, pasta and rice expand when they get wet—leading to stubborn drain clogs that you will need a professional to resolve.
  • FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease): This is another one that’s a drain problem and not a garbage disposal issue. What happens is that FOG congeals as it cools. So, if it’s cooling off in your drain pipes, clogs will begin forming to the point that you may need a full on pipe replacement.

FIXING LEAKS

Many leaks are simply easier for a professional to handle, rather than for you to waste time and money buying supplies you’ll never use again. Still, you may be able to make a quick fix, with some skill. Be sure to always shut off the water first.

  • A leaky sink faucet may need a new packing nut. Prying off the decorative covers of the handles and using a crescent wrench to uncrew the fixture may give you access to the packing nut, if you know what to look for.
  • Leaks underneath the sink might be fixed by unscrewing the drain and adding some plumber’s putty.
  • A leak around the edge of the sink may just need more caulk.

UNCLOGGING DRAINS

Clogged drains in sinks should never be treated with chemicals. Drain cleaning chemicals can be quite dangerous! Moreover, they are often ineffective and may damage the inside of the drains.

Instead, clogged drains can be solved simply if the issue is small: just ½ cup of baking soda followed up by a cup of vinegar may do the trick. Wait 5 minutes, and follow this mixture up with a pot of boiling water, and see if it does the trick. Otherwise, if a plunger or home auger doesn’t work, it’s important to call in the pros.

IMPROVING WATER PRESSURE

Low water pressure? It may be no problem. Often, the sink’s aerator gets clogged up with debris and scaling from the water in your home. (This is completely normal.) When this happens, you’ll need to unscrew the end of the faucet and clean the aerator, the small screen that helps to regulate water pressure. In many cases, the faucet will be good as new when reassembled!

BZ Dependable is Here to Help

Kitchen sinks are pretty reliable plumbing fixtures. But this can only remain the case for yours if you care for it as properly as you should. Read our blog post on 3 ways to prevent drain clogs for helpful tools and methods for keeping these drain stuffers out of your kitchen sink drain.

Need reliable drain cleaning service in Bergen County? Call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating for quality plumbing services and guaranteed satisfaction.

No matter what the task, plumbing jobs are complex. We’ve seen what can happen when you have the wrong team on the job for your Teaneck & Bergen County, NJ professional plumbing needs. Even something simple like unclogging a drain can go terribly wrong without the right expertise, training, and equipment. Still, you may be tempted to save a few bucks by hiring a standard “handyman” or even a neighbor or friend who “swears it’s an easy job.”

We are here to impress on you just how important it is to hire a licensed, insured, and experienced contractor when you need any sort of plumbing work done in your home. It may seem like a nice idea to save money upfront, but in the end, hiring the wrong plumber can cost you far more.

LICENSING

For most plumbing jobs, a state contractor license is legally required. This may, of course, depend on the scope of the work, but in general, only licensed plumbers are permitted to advertise work within the trade. Licensing implies that those plumbers have had ongoing training, examination, and thorough experience to handle anything that comes their way.

INSURANCE

Licensed plumbers must also be insured to work in homes in your community. Generally speaking, licensing requires, at minimum, general liability insurance for contractors working on plumbing. What does this mean for you, though, as the end consumer?

It means that you are protected if that plumber gets injured on the job or on your property while completing the job. You are well within your rights, when hiring a professional plumber, to ask them for proof of insurance before they begin their work.

TRAINING

The fact is, professional plumbers go through years of training to be able to do what they do effectively and efficiently, avoiding problems now and in the future. Under the watchful eye of more experienced, master plumbers, they’ve learned how to diagnose and repair any plumbing problems, including those unique to your area (whether this means your area is prone to hard water, water contaminants, or even flooding).

What Can Go Wrong with Amateur Work?

Choosing a general handyman to do a professional plumber’s work could leave you with a surprise you never wanted. We absolutely understand that, off the bat, it seems like the price is right. However, there’s a reason it costs more money to hire a pro. In addition to the cost of the right materials and equipment, you avoid the mistakes that an inexperienced handyman can make, like:

  • Choosing the wrong tool to remove a clog or fix a leak, thereby causing even more damage to your plumbing.
  • Lacking the correct inspection equipment, making them ineffective at actually fixing the problem thoroughly.
  • Doing a shoddy job on a plumbing fixture or appliance installation.
  • Failing to follow local building codes, leading to problems later on if or when you decide to sell your home.
  • Doing a poor repair job that requires you to pay for professional work anyway just so they can fix the mistakes.

Call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. today for

exceptional customer service!

Most residential kitchens are equipped with a garbage disposal to easily clean up food waste. If your home is one of them, you likely can’t picture cooking and cleaning without one. Whether it’s unfinished meals or kitchen scraps, a lot goes into the garbage disposal so that you don’t have to worry about anything stinking up your trash can. However, this reliance on your garbage disposal system can get you in a little trouble.

Have you had problems with your jamming up? Have you had to call for Teaneck & Bergen County, NJ garbage disposal services too often to pull something out of the mechanism? If so, or even if you just want to be a diligent homeowner, read on to learn about how you can prevent problems with your garbage disposal.

DON’T PUT NON-FOOD ITEMS DOWN THE DISPOSAL

As plumbers, we understand that not every homeowner understands that a garbage disposal can’t actually be used for all “garbage.” That’s just not how a garbage disposal works. Many people picture this component as a “blender” and assume that sharp blades rotate around to chop up food before sending it down the drain, but that’s not quite right.

Your disposal system uses a motor that powers an impeller whose “blades” are really not sharp at all. There is a grind ring attached, though, and that is what grinds down food as centrifugal force breaks it apart.

So, things like plastic, paper, and other wrappers won’t get broken down in a garbage disposal. What they might do instead is slip through the cracks into your drains, posing a risk to your drain and sewer lines.

AVOID HARD FOOD ITEMS

Hard food items can include things such as meat bones and fruit pits. Your garbage disposal grinds down food before sending it down the drain, and won’t be very effective at all on these types of materials. Think about it this way: if you wouldn’t be able to chew it, then it doesn’t belong in the garbage disposal!

CONSIDER FOOD TEXTURE

Keep in mind the texture of the food you’re putting down your sink drain and how it might interact with your garbage disposal. Will it create problems for the mechanism?

For instance, stringy or fibrous foods are a pretty common problem for garbage disposals. Think about things like asparagus and celery. These could possibly wrap around the motor and cause it to jam up. Onion skins and corn husks also cause problems. Additionally, if something feels like paper it will act like paper in your disposal.

Beyond the Garbage Disposal

Since we’re talking about your kitchen sink, now’s a good time to mention a few other items that shouldn’t go down your drain, even if the garbage disposal can handle it. This includes:

  • Pasta and Rice: These are foods that expand when met with water—which can end up creating backup in your drains. Be sure to avoid putting these items in the kitchen sink drains.
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease: Also referred to as FOG, these create a sticky residue buildup that lines the pipes and leads to a higher likelihood of clogs.
  • Coffee Grounds: This can clump together along with other items like FOG, creating blockages in your drains.

Call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. today for quality service and guaranteed satisfaction.

Have you discovered your water bills rising with no reasonable explanation? While you can expect some fluctuation with this bills throughout the year, your utilities should never skyrocket. If they do, it’s time to take a close look at what’s going on.

Even the smallest of plumbing leaks can significantly add to your water usage. In fact, according to the US EPA’s WaterSense site, a faucet leaking at just one drop per second wastes up to 3,000 gallons of water per year! Small, dripping leaks aren’t exclusive to faucets, either. They can exist anywhere in your water line, from the pipes underneath your sinks to the ones behind walls.

So, let’s say you suspect you have a leak—is there a way to detect it on your own? The best way to find a leak is to call our professional plumbers for water leak detection services, however, you may also be able to find out if you have a water leak by detecting changes in your water meter. Keep reading to learn more.

SHUT OFF YOUR WATER

Before you go check your water meter, turn off all the water throughout your household. We don’t mean using the main shut-off valve, since this won’t help find a leak coming from an inside pipe. What we mean is shut off anything that uses water—your faucets, dishwasher, washing machine, etc.

Be sure to let your family know that you’re doing this so that they don’t use the faucet or the toilets in the meantime. Or, you could always choose a time when nobody else is home. Ensure that every fixture or appliance is off—this should include systems that might run automatically (like your sprinklers). Don’t forget about any water filters that run automatic backflow cleaning, or the refrigerator’s icemaker.

READING YOUR WATER METER

Now it’s time to take a look at your water meter. See if there is a flow indicator. This is a small, rotating dial that will move even if there is only a tiny amount of water flowing. If all your water is off and the wheel is moving, then you have a leak.

However, keep in mind that this won’t tell you how much water is leaking. If you want to find out whether it’s an excessive amount (or if your water meter doesn’t have a flow indicator), then you’ll have to wait a while. Write down the number you read on the dial or use a permanent marker to track it. Check it again after an hour.

The difference is read in gallons or in cubic feet. Convert cubic feet to gallons by multiplying the number by 7.48—this is how much your plumbing system is leaking per hour.

CHECK THIS NEXT, IF YOU DO HAVE A LEAK

Now it’s time to figure out where your leak is coming from. This isn’t always easy, and many times you’ll need to end up calling in a pro. You can check for some obvious signs, such as moisture throughout the home, including behind walls and along baseboards. You might even want to access your crawlspaces to look for moisture, and take a look around your yard for patches of moisture or greener areas of grass (this could be a sign of a sewer line leak).

If you discover that you do have a sewer line leak—or worse, a slab leak—then locating the exact spot the leak is occurring and repairing it requires specific tools and experience that you can only get from a professionally trained plumber.

Call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. today for guaranteed satisfaction and accurateleak detection service in Teaneck & Bergin County, NJ.

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