New Years Plumbing Resolution List

It’s a new year, and you may be starting lists for your home projects, spring-cleaning or goals for the year. We don’t often think about taking care of our plumbing systems; they’re always there to work for us and are taken care of by professionals when the time comes. But there are several small projects that you can add to your lists that wont cost you much and will save you money in the long run.

Pressure Check

In Charlotte, city water tends to provide many homes with far higher pressure than is normally rated for in home appliances. Head out to your nearest hardware store to pick up a pressure gauge that you can hook up to your outdoor spigot in order to test your pressure. If it’s too high (80-120psi as opposed to “normal” which is 50-75psi) you can get pressure regulators for your showers and faucets, saving you thousands of gallons (and dollars!) per year.

Clean the Water Heater

Regular maintenance to your hot water heater can greatly increase the life span and efficacy. There are several simple tasks to clean and test your heater that you can add to your new years list. Test the TPR valve; drain, rinse and refill the tank; and check then replace your anode rod. These few tasks will take several hours but they’ll prevent costs down the road.

Unclog the Drains and Check the Disposal

It happens to the best of us – hair slips down the shower drain, faucets get clogged with gunk, and garbage disposals get one too many gnarly things tossed in – our day to day plumbing just gets junked up. Add to your list the resolution of these annoying little problems. You can unscrew shower drains and use a short bit of untwisted coat hanger to pull out hairballs. A toothbrush makes a great cleaner for sink drains and boiling water with a bit of vinegar poured down the disposal can breakdown organic matter and smell. Whatever you do, avoid chemical, caustic unclogging products. These will make it more dangerous for a professional to work on the clogs if you can’t work it out.

How Charlotte Plumbers ER Plumbing Services Can Help

For all of your plumbing needs, ER Plumbing of Charlotte is ready to help! Give us a call in the New Year at (704) 269.1066 to make an appointment 24/7.

 

 

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Hybrid Water Heaters

At the beginning of a new year, during the coldest part of the season in the south, you may be thinking about longer, hotter showers. You may want warmer water faster when you’re washing your hands or doing dishes. If these are things you think about often, then it might be time to switch your water heater.

You may already have a gas or electric water heater – tank or tankless – but they can sometimes run up the bills without providing you with enough consistent hot water. It could be time to consider a hybrid heater.

Hybrid heaters combine the best functions of both tanked and tankless heaters; they heat water quickly when it’s required, while still maintaining a reserve so hot water is always ready to go. The technology varies by model, but the crux is that hybrids can be 75 to 98% more efficient than a standard heater. They use less energy to get more done, faster.

Although more expensive from the get-go, hybrids can typically save the average household hundreds to thousands of dollars over the course of the year. When purchasing a hybrid heater, another consideration is size. It varies considerably by model, but some can be larger than standard heaters and others can be half the size.

Shop around for your new hybrid heater, as they are produced by many different companies and vary widely in price, size and efficiency. Always think about your long term savings – an investment up front can result in more money in your pocket five years down the road.

 Need a Charlotte Hybrid Water Heater?

And when you’ve finally decided which new hybrid heater is right for you, call ER Plumbing of Charlotte at (704) 269-1066 for professional and prompt installation services. We can install any model safely so you can get to saving!

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Plumbing Issues in the South in the Winter

Living in the South is a unique pleasure; warm springs and falls, sweet tea, porch swings and mild winters are just a few of the joys this region has to offer. But a love of the south also comes with a bit of disregard for the cold of winter, which, believe it or not, still affects people here.

You may not winterize your pipes, thinking that it won’t get cold enough to freeze them, only figuring this out when they burst and end up costing a fortune. You may not call a professional to winterize your irrigation system, thinking that it won’t suffer any damage on the 65° Southern Christmas Day.

All these and more are issues that may plague unprepared southerners and their plumbing in the winter. The simple solution is to educate yourself and take a few preventative steps to avoid damage and financial loss.

Pipes

The easiest place to start is with the exposed pipes in your home. Typically in a heated home, interior pipes shouldn’t be at risk – it rarely gets cold enough in the south to permeate interior walls. The pipes you need to be concerned about are the ones in crawlspaces, attics, basements and outdoor faucets or plumbing.

The easy solution is to insulate these pipes – simple how-to guides are available online, but it’s a fairly straightforward process involving insulated wrap and duct tape. Yes, you’ll have to clean it off come springtime, but the few hours will be well worth the intact plumbing.

Irrigation

The simplest solution is to make sure the water supply is turned off. It’s best to have the system “blown-out”. This is a process that pushes all of the existing water out so it won’t freeze and damage the pipes. It’s best to call a professional, as it’s a slightly involved process.

Charlotte Plumbers – How ER Plumbing Can Help

ER Plumbing is always happy to help with your winterizing needs. Give us a call at (704) 269-1066 for an appointment today!

 

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Charlotte Gas Logs Installation Q & A

Charlotte Gas Logs Installation Q & A

Are you thinking about a Charlotte gas logs installation? Gas logs deliver the coziness of a roaring fire without the mess and hassle of clean up. They’re also less expensive than burning real wood in the long run. Want to learn more about Charlotte gas logs? Read on!

Can Burning Charlotte Gas Logs Save You Money?

Here in Charlotte, we usually don’t deal with bitterly cold temperatures. A typical gas logs system costs approximately a dollar an hour to burn. If you install a blower (fan) with your gas logs, this can be enough to heat a good portion of your house. This can be significantly cheaper than running your furnace, and is much prettier.

Burning real wood will cost you more than a dollar per hour and will not put out nearly as much heat (most of it goes right up the chimney). Most people who switch from burning real wood in their chimneys to installing gas logs realize a savings of over $100 in heating costs during that first year alone – this adds up as the years pass. For these reasons, installing gas logs can not only add ambiance, but also save you money, especially if your gas logs are located in a part of your home where your family likes to gather.

 Reasons to Install Gas Logs

Gas logs are becoming more popular in Charlotte because they are:

  • Convenient – easy to turn on and off, with no mess. No wait time after you turn it off, no need to make sure the fire is all the way out or the ashes are properly disposed of. No cleaning, no build up in the chimney, and no need to protect your home from embers or sparks
  • Energy efficient
  •  Cost efficient
  • Easy to use. No need to buy, haul or store firewood. No dealing with splinters, wood chips, bugs or snakes in the woodpile.
  • Healthier enjoyment of a fire. Gas logs emit 35-40% less pollution than burning real wood. People with allergies notice a difference right away. The environment will thank you for cutting down on carbon emissions.

 Charlotte Gas Log Installation Experts

Are you thinking about installing gas logs in an existing fireplace? Many people don’t realize that plumbers are also gas line experts. You can read about our experience with gas line and gas log installation here.  Give us a call at 704-269-1066 or contact us using our online contact form and we’ll get you a quote on beautiful gas logs. We’ll help you choose the right gas logs for your home and get you set up right.

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Posted in Gas Logs Installation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Five Reasons ER Plumbing is Prepared to Handle Big Commercial Plumbing Jobs

ER Plumbing specializes in getting you up and running quickly and safely. That’s why it’s our motto. And you don’t have to have a residential plumbing system to retain our services – we can also manage BIG commercial jobs!

Some of the most common emergencies are our specialties. These are five reasons why you should call ER Plumbing for your next water or sewage needs.

  1. Water heaters: regardless of size, we are water heater experts. Repair, upgrades, or installation – we can do it all.
  2. Detection and repair of leaks: with all of our own leak detection equipment, we make finding and fixing leaks a quick and easy process.
  3. Clearing and unclogging industrial drains: no matter how bad the clog, we’ve got you covered. Chemical cleaners can be toxic and dangerous, and they run the risk of damaging your pipes. We’re skilled in managing drain clearing safely and effectively.
  4. Restroom repairs: no one wants to deal with a backed up sewage line or flooded toilets. We’re not afraid to get dirty, and clean it up quickly!
  5. Flood management and restoration: when a leak springs and water starts pooling up, don’t panic. We can find the problem, patch it up and clear out the standing water as soon as possible.

We have a reputation of being the go-to commercial plumbing service for Charlotte. Past clients have included big name brands like Coca-Cola, Costco, and the City of Charlotte. Our commercial services have helped apartment complexes, restaurants, hotels, and businesses. Whether it’s basic installation or emergency repair, our skilled technicians have your business covered.

We’ve repaired water and sewer lines underneath parking lots and in parking garages. With our own equipment on hand, be they backhoes or ditchwitch machines, we’re ready to tackle your biggest emergencies immediately. Our trucks are fully stocked and we’re available 24/7 so call ER Plumbing today for all of your commercial needs at 704.266.1069!

Charlotte commercial plumbing

Best Charlotte commercial plumbers

 

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Charlotte Plumber’s Advice: Safest Ways to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If your pipes do freeze this winter, you could be trapped without water for hours, even days. In addition to being inconvenient, pipes are also extremely susceptible to bursting when frozen. In order to prevent serious damage, you should attempt to thaw your pipes as soon as possible.

Firstly, your pipes are likely frozen when there’s very little or no water coming out even though the faucet is on. As soon as you note the frozen pipe, you should begin your attempts to thaw it.

  1. Turn off the entire water supply or the supply to the pipe in question so the pressure won’t build. Also leave the faucet that isn’t working on. These two precautions will reduce the risk of costly damage.
  2. Find the pipe that is frozen or blocked. It will generally be on an exterior wall or any exposed area such as a crawlspace, attic or basement. If the pipe is fractured or bulging, it is likely primed to burst. You should call an emergency plumber immediately. If there is no physical damage, it’s time to defrost.
  3. If the pipe is behind a wall, you can turn up the thermostat and wait for the thaw. Or you can hook up a lamp to warm the area. Infrared lights work best because they don’t warm the air, just the pipes behind the wall. If the pipe is exposed, you can heat it with a hairdryer. It’s important to defrost from the faucet backwards; it will enable the water to drain out as it melts. Another option is electrical heat tape, which can be wrapped around the pipe and then heated to a specific temperature in order to defrost.

If you have a certain pipe that freezes each winter, it’s best to take some precautionary steps in order to prevent possible damage. Insulation is a good strategy to protect exposed pipes. For pipes that are trapped in walls, there’s not much you can do but leave the faucet dripping overnight. The flow of water will help prevent freezing. Electrical heat tape is also a preventative measure for problem pipes – the thermostat can be set so the pipe will never get cold enough to freeze.

If all else fails and your pipes remain frozen, or even burst, call ER Plumbing immediately at 704.266.1069! As one of the best residential Charlotte plumbers, ER is able to handle your winter plumbing needs!

Charlotte plumbers frozen pipes

Prevent frozen pipes by insulating pipes

 

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Posted in Charlotte Emergency Plumbing, Plumbing Disaster Prevention, Winterizing Projects & Services | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Curious About Hybrid Hot Water Heaters?

Have you heard about the latest water heaters on the market? Learn more about hybrid water heaters from this helpful infographic below.

If you need a Charlotte water heater, call ER Plumbing Services at 704-269-1066 to learn about all your options. We carry A.O.Smith water heaters as well as a few other brands, and we can help you determine what the best option is for your household.

(source: www.hotwater.com)

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Why the 2015 Changes in Water Heater Size Will Matter to You

As 2014 comes to a close, homeowners need to educate themselves about the 2015 changes in water heater size. Why? Because this change in size is going to affect any homeowners who need water heaters installed in attics, crawl space, or underneath a furnace unit in a condo.

The following video does a pretty good job of showing how the change will affect installations, but the bottom line is this: if your current water heater is installed in a tight space, or two more inches height and width will make it impossible to install a new water heater in the existing space, you are going to have problems related to that installation that may be both costly and time-consuming.

Click here to view video about 2015 water heater changes.

An Explanation of What the 2015 Changes Are

If you will need to replace your hot water heater in the new year, there has been a recent change in how heaters are to be manufactured and installed. The Department of Energy has introduced new regulations regarding the way hot water heaters use energy, whether they’re gas, oil or electric.

In an effort to conserve the energy used in your home, heaters will be more energy efficient (which means they will do more work with the same or less energy – and decrease your power bills in the process!). Though an excellent idea, these new regulations will likely cause homeowners some stress. Across the board, no matter how your heater is powered, all new models will be significantly larger than before, and slightly more expensive. They will also require more professional maintenance over time, due to their more complex design.

How the 2015 Changes Will Affect You

Practically, this means that if your gas heater is housed in the attic, crawl space or under a furnace in a condo, it will be challenging if not impossible to replace it with a new model. You would have to tear out walls, widen doorways, or make other significant changes to your home in order to install it.

This means you could get stuck without hot water for several days if different trades are involved and coordinating those trades becomes tough to handle due to the tight space.  In many cases, a tankless heater may become the only option, and even that requires other trades and is hard to achieve the day they of, especially when homeowners are desperate to get hot water. Imagine what this could mean if your water heater goes out in February, and you have no hot water for several days!

But don’t lose hope! There are solutions to make the transition to a larger heater a more painless process. The simplest answer is to make the investment in a tankless heater. Prior to the new regulations, tankless heaters were among the most expensive on the market. While they are still pricey, they will provide the least amount of stress during installation and maintenance, giving you far more value over time. They are far smaller and less impactful on your space, they are more energy efficient overall, and they never run out of hot water. You also won’t need to widen a space in order to install the tankless water heater.

Another solution is to proactively replace your water heater before it gives out. Most water heaters last 10-15 years. If your water heater is getting old and is in a tight space, you’ll want to think about replacing it before it stops working so you can work with the plumber to find a solution before you run out of hot water.

How Charlotte Plumbers Can Help 

However, no matter which heater you choose, it will need to be professionally installed. That’s where ER Plumbing comes in – our professionals have already been trained on the new regulations and how to assess your space and install your new heater. Call your Charlotte plumber at 704.266.1069 to schedule your consultation today!

Charlotte hot water heater

New 2015 hot water heaters will be bigger

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Posted in Charlotte Residential Plumbing Services, Commercial Water Heater Installation, Hot Water Heaters, Tankless Water Heaters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charlotte Plumber Advice: Best Ways to Insulate Exposed Pipes

When winter sets in, it’s time to protect your pipes. No one wants to deal with burst pipes or serious water damage, and with a few precautionary measures, you won’t have to!

  1. Clean up – insulating material won’t stick to dirty pipes so the first thing you need to do is clean your exposed pipes thoroughly. A cloth rag and a light cleaner will serve your purpose well; just try not to use anything caustic like bleach. Ensure that all of the visible grease and dirt are removed and then wait for the pipes to dry.
  2. Pick your materials – hardware stores sell many types of insulation, but the fiberglass or foil types tend to work very well and enable easy installation since they can be wound around the pipes and slightly overlapped.
  3. Wrap it up – completely wrap and cover all of your freshly cleaned pipes. Don’t leave any part exposed, including bends and corners. If you’re using foil, double wrap with duct tape. If you’re using fiberglass, wrap plastic wrap on top to prevent condensation from dripping.

There are some extra things to consider when insulating your pipes. Instead of a foil or fiberglass wrap, you may choose a tubular sleeve set up. These are pre-insulated, form fitted foam sleeves that can be cut and adjusted to fit your pipes. They can be a bit pricier and a bit more challenging to put together, but they can be worth it if you don’t want to wrap lots of pipe. Also, you must pay special attention to corners. Whether you’re using foil or fiberglass wrapping, if you don’t adequately cover the corners they are likely to let cold or condensation in.

However, if all of this sounds a bit overwhelming then it’s time to call ER Plumbing! We are equipped to insulate your pipes for winter quickly and effectively. Just call 704.266.1069 today to schedule your appointment!

Charlotte plumbers frozen pipes

Prevent frozen pipes by insulating pipes

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Posted in Energy Saving Tips, Plumbing Disaster Prevention, Plumbing DIY Advice, Plumbing Maintenance Advice & Services, Winterizing Projects & Services | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Call ER Plumbing for Community Clubhouse Winterization

In the summer, you love your local neighborhood pool and clubhouse. It’s a meeting place and a spot to enjoy neighbors and friends. But when the colder months roll around, it’s all too easy to forget about the clubhouse til spring. However, much like your homes, a community clubhouse needs to be prepared for the season – especially because it may be largely unoccupied and therefore susceptible to damage that may go unnoticed for weeks or months.

You should speak to your Homeowners Organizations immediately about winterizing your clubhouse. Pool bathrooms or changing room pipes should either be insulated or blown out – ideally both. The water main should be turned off, as should individual fixtures.

If there is a fountain or water feature, a professional will be able to appropriately drain and configure it to survive winter. Additionally, interior spaces should be heated to a minimum of 55 degrees so as not to let pipes behind walls freeze. Many clubhouses also have sprinkler/irrigation systems to keep landscaping looking fresh. These systems also need to be blown out and prepared for winter weather.

While this all may sound like a straightforward task, it is best to hire a professional to attend to your community winterizing needs. As people who specialize in a wide array of commercial and residential plumbing and basic winterizing needs, ER Plumbing is equipped to take care of your entire clubhouse and ensure a safe winter. Our tried and true winterization checklist will get everything done quickly, correctly, and safely every time. Call ER Plumbing today at 704.266.1069 to schedule a consultation for your clubhouse – before the first freeze!

 

Charlotte plumbers frozen pipes

Prevent frozen pipes by insulating pipes

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