Suppose you’re a private well owner in Anywhere, USA. Perhaps you’ve moved out to the country to get away from urban sprawl and found yourself the proud owner of a water well for the first time. Or maybe you’ve relied upon a water well most your life. Either way, you probably don’t have an owner’s manual that goes with your well. That seems okay until you need help. It’s at times like those that you’ll wish you knew some basics about water well system maintenance.
Your toilet’s clogged again, and this time it’s all your fault. (Who knew flushable kitty litter wasn’t flushable?) To help you avoid any future clogs, floods or breakdowns, keep reading…
1. You reach for the Drano.
Forget using chemicals to open or clear drains—they rarely get the job all the way done. Plus, not only are the chemicals very harsh and dangerous for you to handle, they can also ruin drain pipes and the equipment used to clear the stoppage. Hint: To prevent blockages in the first place, keep notorious cloggers like grease and hair out of drains.
2. You treat the toilet like a garbage can.
Even if they’re labeled “flushable,” don’t toss feminine hygiene products, personal cleaning wipes, toilet scrubbers, make-up remover pads or cat litter into the toilet. The fact is, they don’t disintegrate quickly enough and can ultimately block the drain pipe.
3. You try to tackle the plumbing problems yourself
Don’t try to diagnose and fix a plumbing problem yourself, or hire a handyman to do plumbing work. Plumbers can find and correct a problem faster than an amateur can, which will save you money in the long run.
4. You have no idea where the main water valve is.
Don’t be in the dark when it comes to knowing the location of the main water valve and every emergency shut off valve in your house.. And while you’re at it, learn how to turn off these valves. It’s easy but if you’d prefer to have pro show you how, many plumbers will check emergency shut-off valves at no charge.
5. You use drop in toilet fresheners.
Ditch the drop-in tank toilet fresheners. You may love the blue water it makes in your toilet bowl, but these tablets often contain chemicals that wear out working parts inside the tank. Plus, as these tablets disintegrate, they can get stuck in the flush valve and prevent the toilet from flushing.
6. You forget to replace the hoses.
Water hoses don’t give any warning before they burst, so avoid a potential flood by changing out rubber hoses on washing machines and dishwashers every five years. When you do replace them, use stainless steel on all water lines, if possible.
7. You don’t have a leak protection system.
Don’t skimp on water leak protection. It only costs a few hundred dollars to get a water leak protection system that offers both an alarm and a main water shut-off should a leak occur in your water heater, dishwasher, sinks and more.
8. Your hot water heater is outdated.
Don’t think your tank water heater will last forever—the average lifespan is 8-12 years. Just like toast tends to fall butter-side down on the floor, your 20-year-old tank will inevitably fail and flood while you are on vacation.
9. You overload the garbage disposal.
Be kind to your garbage disposal: Don’t pour grease into it (the goopy stuff will eventually solidify and clog the drain), and don’t put in fibrous food like celery and artichokes. Also avoid pushing through large amounts of garbage at once. Instead, feed garbage slowly into the disposal with cold running water.
10. You fiddle with the water heater’s pressure valve.
Don’t try to drain your water heater or test the temperature and pressure valve yourself. These need to be done professionally. If the valve is not properly removed, the pressure from the tank can disperse scalding hot water that could cause serious burns as well as property damage.
When your home depends on a private well for water, it is up to you to resolve any problems that arise with the system. If you’re having trouble with your water system, look for signs that your submersible well pump is going out. Also check for anything else that might be causing the trouble. If you can’t be sure, it is time to call in a professional.
One of the first and most obvious signs that there is a problem with your well system is when you turn on a faucet and no water comes out. This can be a sign of trouble with the submersible pump, since if the pump is not working there is no way for water to get out of the well. However, a lack of water can also point to something as simple as a blown fuse in the pump house, a broken pipe or a clogged line. Check for the easiest and most obvious problems that could cause you to have no water before you suspect the submersible pump. A clogged pump will stop pumping, but in this case, you may be able to clean it out rather than replace it.
If you turn on a faucet and have some water but the pressure is not good, it could be that your submersible pump is going bad. A pump that is not running at full capacity may cause problems with the water pressure due to insufficient water being pumped. Before pulling the pump out of the well, though, check for other problems that can cause the same symptom. One common culprit in this case is a bad pressure tank. This piece of equipment is located in the well house and uses an air-filled bladder to keep the water pressure constant. If it is not working properly, pressure will drop. Look for leaks in the pressure tank or small leaks in your water pipes. If everything above ground is fine, then the problem is most likely the submersible pump.
A pump that runs constantly is most likely starting to encounter serious problems and may go out soon. When a submersible pump does not stop running, it may have a bad shutoff switch or a bad sensor, or the pump may be struggling to get enough water to the surface. The pump may also start and stop frequently, cycling on and off even when water is not needed. Frequent cycling can be a symptom of a minor problem, such as a waterlogged tank, but if it is not fixed, it will quickly destroy the pump.
So if you have questions or concerns regarding your well pump, give Yelm Plumbing and Pumps a call and lets us put your mind at rest.
Don’t let your plumbing get the last laugh on you. Broken or burst pipes can be a pain and even if it’s a tiny leak, need to be repaired right away. Thousands of gallons and hundreds of dollars can be wasted if you don’t act quickly. Give Yelm Plumbing and Pumps a call and let us inspect your plumbing and see if you have any potential problems. Our plumbing inspections are free and there is nothing to buy or sign up for. So stop letting the leak mock you…Give YPP a call
Washington is known for it’s quick dips in temperature, and this quick dip can wreak some serious havoc on your pipes.
Frozen water pipes typically happen during long stretches of sever freezing temperatures. If a blizzard takes down power lines and heat is not restored during freezing temperatures, it may not take long for exposed water pipes to freeze.
You can prevent frozen pipes or lower your chances of frozen pipes by making sure your home’s plumbing is well insulated and protected from outside temperatures. If a vacation home is not going to be occupied during the winter months in an area of the country that can freeze, people will often call on a plumber to winterize their home to prevent pipes from freezing.
A licensed, professional plumber has the skills, experience, and equipment to thaw frozen pipes without causing damage to your home. After the pipes are thawed, a plumber can help prevent future occurrences by adding pipe insulation or even relocating pipes. Finally, keep in mind that in extreme situations of freezing temperatures, if your pipes freeze, chances are many other people in your area have the same plumbing problems. At times like these, plumbers get so many calls that it could be days before they can come out to your home.