J. Downs Plumbing LLC - Plumbing Heating and Drain Cleaning, All in one plumbing services
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Frozen Pipes & Broken Pipes

                                           Frozen Pipes

One of the largest concerns during the winter is frozen pipes. Non-insulated pipes within exterior walls or in crawl spaces can freeze during days with sub-freezing temperatures. As you may know when water freezes it expands. This expansion presses against the walls of the pipes and if it continues the pipes may burst! This bursting can allow hundreds of gallons of water into your home, causing severe damage to walls, carpets, ceiling, etc.

In order to avoid frozen pipes in the winter be sure that all of your exposed waterlines are properly insulated before temperatures drop. Types of insulation you can use include heat tapefoam rubber sleeves, or fiberglass insulation in either roll or sheet form. Also, make sure all garden hoses are detached and sprinkler systems are turned off and blown out. If you are concerned about freezing being a problem and would like to have a professional inspect your home and get it prepared for winter we would be happy to come out and take a look. Just give us a call at 609-815-5144.

                             What if I Have a Broken Pipe?

If you have a pipe that has burst, immediately cut off the main water supply. This will prevent the water from continuing to gush out into your home. Once it’s been shut off immediately call your preferred plumbing service provider to set up an appointment to have the pipe repaired.

                             Thawing a Frozen Pipe

You may be able to thaw your frozen pipes before an emergency arises. First, identify which pipe is frozen. You’ll know a pipe is frozen if on a faucet and no water comes out or only trickles out. Follow the pipe from the non-working faucet and search for any sections in which appears to have frost or exterior ice. If you feel the pipe, the frozen section will be much colder than other areas. Look closely at the section for any bulges and feel for cracks. If there is a crack, you will need to call J Downs Plumbing for repair.If you’ve escaped a pipe break so far, you may be able to thaw it out – even without having to tear out walls or paneling. Simply crank up the heat in your home to a higher setting and wait. You can also direct a heat lamp, space heater, or infrared heat lamp at the section of wall where the pipe is located. Be careful not to place heat lamps too close to the wall or unattended, they may cause spontaneous fires. Leave your faucet in the “on” position, and once you hear running water, you’ll know the pipe is thawing.If the frozen pipe is located outside your home, or if it’s otherwise exposed, do not turn off the water supply to your home before you begin thawing the frozen pipe. You also should start the thawing process from the tap back to the frozen section. If you begin thawing behind the ice, the water that’s released will have nowhere to go because it will still be blocked by ice in the frozen pipe.

How to Flush a Water Heater

Flushing a water heater is a simple, but effective maintenance task that will extend the life of your Water Heater, and also increase it’s operating efficiency.  As the years pass, Sediment gets trapped in your Water Heater, which over time can build up and eventually prevent the drain valve from working.  Also, Iron, Magnesium and Calcium can build up on the bottom of the water heater, which will discolor, or rust your hot water taps.How to Flush Your Water Heater

1.  Turn off the Power (if the tank is electric), or set the Gas to the lowest setting, or Pilot if you have a Gas Water Heater.

2. Turn of the Cold Water Supply to the heater, which is usually at the top of the Water Heater.

3.  Attach your garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the Water Heater.

4.  Open the Hot Water Faucets in the house, to let the tank drain quicker.

5.  Open the drain valve on the Water Heater and let it drain completely.  This could take some time as the drain may be slowed by sediment.  Also, be careful when opening the drain that you don’t use too much force, and break the valve.

6.  After the Water Heater has completely drained, close the drain valve, and open the Cold Water Supply.  Fill the Water Heater about half way, and then close the Cold Water Supply.  Repeat Step 5 again.  If the water coming out of the Drain Host is clear, you can stop.  If not, repeat this step again.

7.  Once the Water draining out of the Water Heater is clear, you can  close the Drain Valve, and open the Cold Water Valve to let the Water Heater Fill up.

8.  Open up all of the Hot Water Faucets in the house to let any air out of the system.

9.  Turn the electric back on to the Water Heater, if it’s electric, or turn up the gas to the original position if you have a gas Water Heater.That’s it, you’re done!  These simple steps have added years to your Water Heater and increased it’s efficiency.  If any of these tips of steps are above your DIY comfort level, please call the professional plumbers at J. Downs Plumbing.

Winter Plumbing Tips:

Taking a little time now to properly get your plumbing ready for winter can you save you a lot of money during winter.  The winter months are especially hard on plumbing.  Pipes can freeze and burst, heat can be lost, and the cold weather makes your plumbing systems work harder.  Here are a few tips to get your plumbing ready for winter.  If you’re not comfortable doing any of this work yourself, please call our professional plumbers at:609-815-5144 

Winter Plumbing Tips:

1.  Insulate your Hot Water Heater.  Using a Hot Water Heater blanket is a great way to insulate your Hot Water Heater. Doing this will cut down on your energy consumption, leading to lower energy bills, and will extend the life of your Hot Water Heater, because it doesn’t have to work as hard.

2.  Insulate your Water Pipes.  Most homes, especially in the South East are built on crawl spaces, which means a lot of water pipes run through the crawl space, and are subject to freezing in the winter.  Simply insulating the pipes will reduce this risk, and also keep your energy costs down.

3.  Turn off Water going to your outside Faucets, and remove hoses.  Putting an insulator on the spigot also helps.

4.  Perform Water Heater Maintenance.  Performing Water Heater Maintenance is a simple and cost effective way to extend the life of your water heater.  Having this done by a professional plumber, like J. Downs Plumbing  , will also give our professionals the opportunity to check your system, and make sure it’s ready to survive the winter.  

5.  Purge the water from your sprinkler system.  Having air blown to purge water from your sprinkler system, will prevent costly repairs due to a frozen system.

6.  Learn where your main water shutoff valve is.  This will let you empty the pipes if you are away on vacation, so you won’t come home to frozen, or busted water pipes.While some individuals might imagine they don’t need help repairing things around the home, there are occasions when hiring a professional plumber can’t be avoided. So to make your life easier, build a relationship with a good plumbing company, knowledgeable to assist you when problems occur. Below are a few key times when you should hire an expert Plumbing Company, like J. Downs Plumbing.

First sign of problems

Is your toilet flushing at a slower rate than normal? Do you have a water line that leaks water? Don’t let a small issue turn into a much larger problem. Contact your plumbing company the moment you notice something is wrong. That way, he can pinpoint the problem and do what’s essential to repair it in a timely manner. It’s always cheaper to fix a small issue, before it turns into a much larger problem.
 
An issue is only temporarily fixed

A temporary fix may turn into a disaster if you continue to ignore it. You may potentially have a pipe burst or a clogged drain over flow and you will be in for an even bigger mess than you imagined. Instead of trying to put a band-aid on the situation, call a plumbing expert, 
fast, to ensure you don’t wind up dealing with more than you can handle.

You are planning a remodel

Redoing your home may be lots of fun, and will add value to your most precious asset. But, remodeling a bathroom without consulting a Professional Plumber could mean you’re sure to run into a number of problems you never would have expected. Give J. Downs Plumbing a call to help in your remodel, and let us add value to your home.

You don’t have the time or skill:

Let’s face it, typically you simply don’t the time or skill to tackle a plumbing job. Although it may be possible for you to handle the job, plumbing work can get extremely messy. So make your life easier, hire a professional plumber, so you can get on with the more enjoyable things in your life.

THINGS YOU CAN DO AROUND THE HOME TO MAINTAIN YOUR PLUMBING












Now is the right time to learn about plumbing. You may have thought of doing it before, but never had the time to do so. The advice in the following article will help you to better understand plumbing, and give you the ability to solve some plumbing issues on your own.If you have pipes that sound as if they're squeaking or hammering, it's an easy fix. Anchor exposed pipes to get rid of noises. If these pipes are located in the floors, ceiling or walls, you are probably best calling a profession plumber to take over the project.Pump your septic tank about once every five years, to make sure it is working well. This keeps the tank from developing a buildup of sediment, thereby preventing the septic system from backing up or failing altogether as a result. In this case, the cost of prevention definitely outweighs having your septic backing up into your house or failing.To maintain a clean, well-functioning septic tank, it is recommended that you clean it out once every five years. This stop sedimentary particles from accumulating in the tank, and in the worst cases, flooding your home or making the entire system to fail. Although it is somewhat of an expense to pump out a septic tank, it is nothing compared to what you will have to spend on cleaning up a backup of sewage or repairing or replacing your septic system.Use a strainer over your sink drain to catch food and other bits of material. If you treasured this article and you simply would like to be given more info go to  http://www.jdownsplumbingllc.com
 
 Otherwise, you will likely get a clogged drain. Whenever large particles become trapped in the strainer, remove them. Keep the bathroom drains cleaned out too.To make sure your garbage disposal last a long time, clean it regularly. By regularly incorporating a routine using a combination of dish soap, lemon rinds, and even cherry pits, you can keep your disposal running smoothly and smelling as fresh as the day it was installed.The key towards maintaining low plumbing repair bills is prevention. Clogged drains are a major problem that often requires professional help. Drains are easily clogged by hair. You can prevent this from occurring by using a drain cover or a screen that is meant to keep the hair out of the drain and pipes. Make sure you clean the hair from the screen regularly. This should be much easier than cleaning a drain.Enzyme based pipe cleaners should be a first choice when you are trying to unclog a pipe that is blocked or draining slowly. These will utilize natural bacteria to transform sludge into a liquid that can be removed. The best options on the market now are enzyme cleaners.When your pipes have clogs and you are thinking of using a pipe cleaner, choose a cleaner that is enzyme based. Enzyme based pipe cleaners utilize natural bacteria to attack the clog and dissolve it so it can be washed away. The best cleaner available on the market are the enzyme ones.It is important to check the background of any plumbers you are looking at hiring, and get referrals if possible. Hiring a plumber who is not experienced enough for your problem could make the situation worse. Check reviews, and ask your friends and family for recommendations.Be sure to check that your faucets on the outside of your home are free of leaks as winter approaches. If they are dripping or leaking, you are going to have to have them repaired before winter actually arrives. Freezing water can and will crack pipes, whether they are made of copper, steel, or plastic. Even a tiny crack can leak enough water to flood your home.Plumbing problems can be very troublesome, but with some work and some patience, you can fix them. Knowing what to do yourself, and when to call a plumber will quickly get things fixed. Keep the above tips handy to save time, money and effort.

    How to maintain your plumbing system in the winter months

    If you are not prepared, the winter can hit your family hard and cause massive problems to your home’s plumbing system. It is best to be ready for that temperature drop so you do not experience frozen pipes and broken water lines.

    Leak Problems
    The first step to winterizing your plumbing is fixing any leaks. What might seem as a small problem, can end up cause big problems when the temperatures drop. This includes lines that just seem to have water seep out slowly. When the temperatures drop, that water will then freeze. It will also freeze on the hose and cause it to become brittle. Even if you insulate your pipes, check for any and all leaks prior to winter arrival.

    Insulation
    The next step is to make sure all of your lines have been insulated. You will need to go up in your attic and under your crawl space to make sure those lines are insulated, as they are at the greatest risk to freeze. Insulating is very simple, just wrap insulation foam around the pipe and you are good to go. The foam is inexpensive and is found in most retail locations.

    Sprinkler Systems
    If you have a swamp cooler or sprinkler systems, these will also need to be dealt with prior to the cold weather coming. With swamp coolers, you will want to turn off the water and power, the drain all the water out. Do not forget to drain the supply line as well. Then simply cover the cooler and wait for spring. With sprinkler systems, you will want to turn off the water and then turn on each valve to release any collected water in the line.

    Water Main
    You will want to make sure you know where your water main is in case you do have a water line break. If you do not know where this is, you will be left panicking when you have a burst pipe and cannot shut the water off. The longer it is before the water is turned off, the more damage the burst pipe can do.One great preventative measure you can take is by insulating the pump house. This will prevent your lines from freezing. To insulate the pump house, you will want to make sure that all exposed pipes are insulated and to install a heat source to keep the temperature of the pump house above freezing all winter long.With these simple steps, the likelihood of you having winter problems with your plumbing lessens. This is never a guarantee, but you will have protected yourself against anything catastrophic. The most important thing during the winter is if you experience a burst pipe, do not panic, but rather shut the water off and locate the source. Winterizing your house to protect your plumbing does not mean you do not need to take precautions before going on trips, such as having your faucets drip. You do not ever want to turn the water off prior to vacations because it will cause the lines to freeze.

    When to replace a hot water heater

    Most people don't give much thought to their hot water heater. It's usually just some appliance down in the basement that takes up space — until it doesn't work properly, that is. Then suddenly it becomes all a homeowner can think about!

    Do you know how old your hot water heater is? As much as we rely on them for everything from cooking and cleaning to showering and doing laundry, hot water heaters don’t last forever. And if you’re not careful, you may not notice you need a replacement until your floor is soaked and your hot water heater is completely useless! Fortunately, there are a number of warning signs you can lookout for, that will let you know when your hot water heater is compromised:

    Your Hot Water Heater’s Age

    Age is the biggest factor in determining your hot water heater’s performance. A gas water heater will last about 10 – 12 years (depending on your water quality). Electric water heaters will last about 10 – 15 years. (Note: Age is not the only factor in determining whether you need water heater replacement, but it helps to start thinking about getting a new one once your system reaches the 10 year mark.)

    Rusty Water

    Debris, water scale and rust inevitably collect and build up along the bottom of the tank. While you can’t see inside your tank, you will be able to see rust colored water as some of the gunk starts affecting the water in your taps. If you notice rust colored water, or rust stains left behind in your sink or bathtub, try to flush your hot water heater, or call a licensed plumbing contractor to determine whether or not you will need to have your hot water heater replaced.

    Puddles on the Floor

    This is one of the clearest signs that you need to have your hot water heater replaced. Whether you’ve got a small bit of moisture around the base of the tank or a huge puddle all over the floor, a leak in your tank will only get bigger until it completely compromises your hot water heater. If you see ANY signs of leakage under your hot water heater tank, call a licensed plumbing contractor right away. 

                             Call J. Downs Plumbing LLC 609-815-5144

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         Burlington County, Willingboro, Burlington New Jersey Plumbing Service Bordentown, Browns Mills nj plumber,
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                     Services provided include:
    Pipe Installation, Repair & ServicesWater service repaired or installed Sewer Inspection & Cleaning Water and sewer dig upsWater lines Sewer Pipe RepairSewer lines Drain Cleaning & RepairsDrainsClogs Sump Pump Installation & Repairs Hot water heater Installation & Repairs Heater or boiler service and repair Hot water or Steam boilers, repair or replacedBasements pumped out and water clean upHeater CertificationsChimney Certifications tubs, toilets and sinks Hose connections Washer - DryerLaundry tubsDishwasherKitchen sinksChimney CleaningChimney LinersGas lines & air testAnd much More 

    Call a Plumber

    There really isn’t anything more annoying in the home than a water/plumbing leak no matter it’s location within the house. Besides being annoyed by the leak, there is always the cost of repair to consider. What about the structural damage that can lead to even bigger issues? If not taken care of, a slab or other major leak in the home structure can be the most damaging. Whether you have a small, plumbing problem related to an appliance/fixture or a hidden leak problem, contact J Downs Plumbing immediately.
    Many people in desperate need of plumbing assistance fall victim to less than honest companies which are quick to overcharge yet very often under perform. J Downs Plumbing is certainly not one of those companies!
    When you work with J Downs Plumbing, you will be treated fairly and given the most information possible in an honest manner. Our plumbing technicians are experienced in all facets of residential as well as commercial plumbing. Using the latest technology, J Downs Plumbing can diagnose the problem and present you with the best options for correcting the problem. Whether for your home or business,  J Downs Plumbing is the #1 choice for quality, professional service in the Browns Mills Burlington  and Trenton areas.

    Have you heard from your toilet lately? If you’ve heard anything at all from your toilet recently, it is probably not a good thing. A single leaking toilet could be costing you big dollars on your water bill. Would you believe that a leaking or continuously running toilet could be wasting around 200 gallons a day! That’s a tremendous amount of water.
    If your toilet is making noise, if it overfills the bowl and flushes itself sometimes or if jiggling the handle is a regular thing in your bathroom, you have got yourself a leaking toilet for sure. The professionals at The Plumbing Rooter Company can help. If you’ve been hearing from your toilet lately, have an expert plumbing technician chat with your toilet to see exactly what’s going on. It could save you a great deal of money on your water bill.
    Call J Downs Plumbing LLC in Browns Mills NJ at 609-815-5144 

    Plumbing Maintenance

    Plumbing problems can present an emergency situation. You should maintain your water lines on a regular basis to avoid emergency repairs. When you have a backed up kitchen drain your plumbing is not working properly. You should have an inspection of your plumbing at least once a year to ensure that you do not run into costly plumbing repairs.
     
    To ensure that you are taken care of promptly when an emergency arises , you should present yourself as a priority to the plumber of your choice. By doing this you will be taken care of in a timely manner when a plumbing issue arises. Costly plumbing issues can come on unexpectedly. You will want to be at the top of the list when an emergency occurs.
    Getting a good plumbing professional can be difficult without references. The best thing to do is ask your friends and family members for a reference of a good plumber. With a reference from a trusted friend or family member you can rest assured that your plumbing contractor will maintain your water lines properly.

    Preventative Plumbing Drains

    t is common to only call a plumber when there is a plumbing emergency. You can avoid costly repairs by having your plumbing inspected once a year by a licensed plumbing contractor. Having a licensed plumber inspect your plumbing is the best preventative measure that you can take.
     
    A plumber should check the operation of pipes under all sinks and at the main water valve. In the winter months all exposed pipes should be wrapped for protection from freezing. This will prevent a pipe from bursting if the pipes freeze. If there is a leak you will know before damage sets in by doing this. If your drain becomes clogged you can use over-the-counter plumbing products to try and unclog it yourself. However, some clogs can be deep within your water lines. In this case you will need to call a plumbing contractor to snake your pipes and remove the clog.
     
    Being sure that your plumbing is in good working order all year round is the best preventative measure that you can take. Inspecting all exposed pipes for leaks will help you to maintain your plumbing system. It is important to maintain your water lines on a regular basis so that you do not have to pay costly repairs made by a plumbing contractor.