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Common Winter Plumbing Problems

Winter certainly isn’t your plumbing and pipes’ favorite season. You have to make sure that your pipes are ready to withstand temperatures below freezing. The team at Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc., your plumber in Annapolis, MD, points out some common problem issues you should watch out for this winter.annapolis, maryland plumber

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common winter plumbing issues. If you have pipes that aren’t well-insulated and exposed, they’re prone to freezing. This is especially true for many basements, sheds, or garages. These areas are usually less insulated and aren’t heated consistently, either.

When pipes get frozen, they’re prone to bursting. This can lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of damage that needs to be taken care of. It’s important to stop this problem before it starts. Do a survey of pipes in vulnerable locations. If you notice frost on the outside of the pipe, it’s likely that there’s water frozen inside it.

Other indicators of a burst pipe include troubles with water flow, faucets acting oddly, or strange odors coming from your drains. If you notice a frozen spot, you can attempt to thaw it with a hairdryer or heat lamp — but definitely not an open flame. If you don’t feel confident or want a professional opinion, we can do a video inspection of your pipes to find any problems.

Clogged Drains

Everyone experiences a clog in their pipes at one point or another. Small things that may accidentally get washed down drains, like hair and food debris, build up over time. While this may not be a huge problem for warmer months, anything that’s stuck in your pipes can freeze up when colder weather hits.

For a quick solution, you can pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. This can help your drain become usable again and provides a temporary fix. You’ll want to hire a plumber to come out and do a further inspection of your residential plumbing to help you with a long-term solution.

Water Heater Issues

Water heaters are working extra hard in the winter months. People are more likely to take steaming hot showers, and you still have the tasks of dishes, laundry, and other household things. If you’re noticing your shower has been colder lately, or you notice any signs of leakage around your water heater, get it inspected ASAP.

Hire a Plumber in Annapolis, Maryland

Make sure your pipes are going to stand up against the cold. Call us today or get a quote online.

Things You Don’t Know About Plumbers

While plumbers are something we all need, we don’t often interact with customers that much. There are a lot of things you may not know about plumbers and plumbing services. Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc., a plumber in Annapolis, MD, offers some insight into things you may not know about your plumber.commercial plumbing in annapolis, maryland

Every Day is Unexpected

When you’re a plumber, every day is something different. We work with both residential and commercial customers. Something that may seem like a simple fix may turn out to require hours of work. You never know what you’re going to get. We want to make sure we make things easy for you and fix your problem right, no matter how big or small it is. We’ll tackle it with the same gusto.

Kitchen Waste is a Nightmare

Many people focus on the fact that plumbers often have to deal with human waste in their job. But that’s not even the worst of it. We’d take human waste over kitchen waste any day. The grease that accumulates in the kitchen is the thing plumbers like dealing with the least. Particularly if you own a restaurant, it’s crucial to keep up with routine maintenance for kitchen waste and avoid the catastrophes of a grease buildup.

Plumbing Can Be Dangerous

Danger is probably not something you think about when you think of plumbing. The pressure that happens when pipes burst is no joke. It’s the equivalent of a fire hydrant spraying directly at the person trying to fix it. Plumbing also requires the use of heavy-duty equipment, chemicals, and exposure to some pretty gross stuff. Safety is essential for us as plumbers and also why we advise calling the professionals when something goes wrong.

It’s Easier to Fix it Now

Keeping up with regular maintenance for your plumbing is going to be both easier and cost way less than something big happening down the road. If you have a septic tank, get it pumped regularly. If you have an industrial kitchen, make sure you’re cleaning out drains and aren’t dumping grease where it shouldn’t be. A little bit of money and time now can save you a lot of both down the line.

Try to Avoid the Garbage Disposal

Many people hear the words ‘garbage disposal’ and think they can dump anything they want down it. They’re very wrong. If you have any questions about putting something in the disposal, don’t do it. They should be used very minimally, if at all.

Your Annapolis, Maryland Plumber

Learn something new? We’re always happy to answer your questions, too. Call us today!

It’s Time to Think About Winterization

As the colder weather hits, it’s time to make sure your plumbing is ready for the freezing temperatures that are coming. Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc., a plumber in Annapolis, MD, discusses what you need to know about winterization.annapolis, maryland plumber

How Do I Know if I Should Winterize?

Plumbing needs to be winterized in any property that’s going to be vacant for long periods of time in the winter months. If you’re a realtor, property owner, or live your winter in warmer parts, you’re going to need to winterize your plumbing. Without winterization, your pipes are more likely to burst. This can cause problems with insurance and may even involve your property being condemned.

Each property is unique and we’re determined to find the best price for each of our clients. We’ll give a free estimate based on the details of your property and also offer competitive pricing. Winterizing isn’t something you should try to handle on your own. Professionals are used to handling this regularly and can perform services quickly and accurately.

What’s Included in Winterization?

All of the water lines in the property will be properly drained. If we find areas that require drain valves to help the winterization process along, we’ll do so as needed. Then, an antifreeze solution is added to all of the plumbing traps. This is what prevents your pipes from accruing ice buildup and bursting.

Next, we’ll make sure to tag and label all of the water shut-off valves to the hose bibs and main line. All of these need to be clearly labeled and mark in the event that something goes wrong and to keep things organized. It’s a lot easier to monitor the cause of a problem when everything is clearly labeled and you can find things instantly.

Many people forget about their dishwasher and washing machine in the winterization process. These appliances are part of your investment and you want to make sure they’re protected with the rest of your property. We won’t skip over your appliances when winterizing your property. They’ll be winterized so they’re set for next spring.

What to Do for Winter

To protect from winter issues, always make sure your garden hose faucets are turned off both outside and inside. Keep your home heated to at least 60 degrees at all times. If your heat fails, turn off the main water valve. Open up all of your faucets so that the water has a place to expand and go instead of bursting a pipe.

If you suspect that a pipe has burst, turn off the main valve immediately. Don’t try to thaw out a pipe on your own, especially with an open flame. Wait for the plumbing company to check out the damage. If there’s water damage, make sure to contact your insurance.

Winterization Services at Your Annapolis, Maryland Plumber

Make sure your property stays safe over the winter months. Call us or contact us online.

Prepare Your Plumbing for Fall

As the weather gets colder, your plumbing can suffer. During the fall, the temperature changes can be drastic, which puts more stress on your plumbing. Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc., a plumber in Annapolis, MD, discusses what you should check on this season.annapolis, maryland plumber

Unhook Outdoor Hoses

You don’t want to forget about the hoses you have hooked up outside. Make sure you take care of them before the temperature drops below freezing. If the water in the hose freezes, it can cause a lot of damage to your pipes. Even if it’s a small crack that develops in your pipe, it can still cost a lot to repair or replace.

Clear Out Your Gutters

As the leaves fall, they can accumulate in the gutters and drainpipes of your house. You may not consider them to be plumbing, but clogged gutters definitely have an impact. Particularly in autumn, you should make sure they’re cleaned out regularly as the leaves keep coming. Clogged gutters can cause damage to your house and cause water to get inside since it can’t go through the drainpipes.

Get Your Water Heater Serviced

Before winter comes, you want to make sure your water heater is up to speed. Winter is the last time you want to lose access to hot water. If you get your water heater serviced regularly, it can save you money in the long run. It’s much cheaper to pay for servicing your water heater than it is to fix a problem with it if something goes wrong.

Water heater servicing involves multiple things. We’ll flush it out and remove sediment buildup. Too much sediment can cause corrosion, shortens the lifespan of the water heater, and can impact how well it heats. The pressure will be set to the setpoint required by the manufacturer. The pressure valve will be tested to make sure it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

Insulate Pipes if it’s Needed

Outdoor pipes in particular are prone to freezing during the cold winter months. It’s important that these are insulated at the very least. Putting foam rubber insulation around pipes can help make sure you’re getting warm water flowing year-round.

Check Your Sump Pump

Depending on where your sump pump is located, it may freeze up and render it unusable during a time when you may need it. Clean out both the pump and the pit. Get your sump pump inspected as well to make sure it’s working the way it should.

Services From Your Annapolis, Maryland Plumber

At Guardian Plumbing, we can make sure your plumbing is ready before the weather gets too cold. Call us or contact us online.

How to Choose the Right Plumber

When you need plumbing work done to your home, you want to make sure you get someone you can trust. They should know what they’re doing, while also being personable and able to reassure you while the work is being done. Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc., a reputable plumber in Annapolis, MD, lets you know what you should look for.annapolis, maryland plumber

Make Sure They’re Licensed

While some states don’t require it, in Maryland, plumbers have to have a license to practice. Check to make sure that your plumber is a licensed professional and not a random guy with a toolbox. Guardian Plumbing is a fully-licensed plumber that’s family-run and offers years of experience.

Make Sure They’re Insured

Plumbers should be insured to protect both the client and their business in the case of an injury or accident while working. While we think our testimonials speak for themselves, there’s always the risk that something could go wrong while we’re working. Insurance gives you peace of mind that you’ll be covered if something should ever happen.

Research How Long They’ve Been in Business

You want your plumber to have years of experience taking on residential plumbing work for you. A plumber that was just listed and has no reviews or testimonials means that you’re taking a risk on someone that may not be up to the task. Plumbing is part of the foundation of your house and it’s important that anyone servicing it knows what they’re doing.

Look for References or Testimonials

Past customers are the best way to find out what a business is really like. With the internet, it’s made it easier to see reviews on their website, Google, or Facebook. You should also be able to ask the company for references. If they refuse to give you any, that’s a red flag that they may not be the most reputable choice for your residential or commercial plumbing needs.

Inquire About Pricing

Estimates should be accurate and they should know how much time it will take them and what to charge for quality work. Get estimates from a variety of companies so that you can see how they compare to each other. If you notice that one is much lower than all of the others, that’s not a good sign. They may be cutting corners in order to get jobs with their cheaper estimates.

Test Their Communication

They should be able to respond to you promptly with information for your plumbing services. It’s also a good way to judge how professional they are and how they’ll treat you as a customer. If they’re rude or unable to give you quality information, those aren’t good signs for a future relationship.

A Quality Plumber in Annapolis, Maryland

Guardian Plumbing is ready to give you all the information you need, as well as references and testimonials to our business. Call us or contact us online today.

Do I Need Backflow Device Testing?

If you have a backflow prevention device in your plumbing, it’s required that you get it tested regularly in the state of Maryland. Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc. is both a full-service plumber in Annapolis, MD, and a Certified Backflow Technician. Learn more about backflow device testing and why it’s necessary.annapolis, maryland plumber

What is a Backflow Prevention Device?

If you’re connected to city water and sewage, or the municipal water supply, there’s a backflow prevention device on your incoming water supply. It’s used to make sure any water in your plumbing won’t be returned to the municipal water supply. You don’t want the entire water supply to be contaminated by backflow from your plumbing system.

What is Backflow Testing?

Backflow testing is performed by a Certified Backflow Technician to ensure your backflow device is working properly. It’s done to make sure that your water is flowing in the correct direction and back-siphonage or back-pressure aren’t returning the water in your plumbing system to the public water supply.

Backflow is caused when low-pressure cross-connections are interacting with high-pressure water systems. When these conditions are present, there’s an increased risk of contamination and backflow. If your tester finds that there’s backflow that isn’t being prevented by your device, you may have a faulty valve that’s causing contaminants to get into the public water supply.

If you live in or own an older building, backflow testing is essential. For commercial and industrial locations, you should be getting your backflow device tested every year. For residential locations, we recommend getting the testing at least once every three years.

Since we’re a Certified Backflow Technician, we’ll test your device and make sure that it’s working properly. We’ll fill out the proper paperwork that certifies that testing was completed, and file it with the required agency for your area.

If we find that your backflow prevention device is faulty, our technician will do a detailed examination of your device to find the problem. We’ll determine if your device can be repaired or if you’ll need to completely replace your backflow prevention device. We can give you a quote on the spot for our device repair or replacement services.

Backflow Device Testing From Your Annapolis, Maryland Plumber

Are you due to get your backflow device tested? Call us today or get a quote online for backflow testing or any other plumbing work that you need to be done.

Plumbing Tips to Follow This Summer

Summer usually means doing more laundry and using more water than normal. This means you want to make sure you’re doing what you can to make sure your plumbing is staying healthy. Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc., a plumber in Annapolis, MD, offers some tips to follow this summer.annapolis, maryland plumber

Be Vigilant With Your Garbage Disposal

There are certain things that you should never put down your garbage disposal. And summer is the time of cookouts and family gatherings, so it’s important to keep watch. Grease and used cooking oils should never be dumped down the drain or put into a garbage disposal. It can damage the garbage disposal, your pipes, and the sewer as it builds up.

You should also be careful about things that are hard, as they can damage the blades of the disposal. Be careful with produce, as things like corn are harder and can cause more problems. Bones from your cookout should also never be put down there and should be disposed of in a different way.

Take Care of Your Washing Machine

Particularly if you have kids, washing machines can see more action in the summer. Kids play and get dirty, and you may be doing more outdoor activities than normal. Make sure that you’re giving your washing machine a frequent break. You also want to check the hoses if you know you’re going to be running it heavily. If you see any cracks or bulges, make sure it gets replaced.

Get a Sewer Inspection

Guardian Plumbing offers video inspection services so you can make sure your pipes are all working the way they should. If you’re a homeowner, your pipes are something you want to keep an eye on. Roots from trees can cause issues, as can backups from things like flushing feminine products.

Pipes can also back up during heavy summer thunderstorms if there are cracks in them where extra water can get in. You want to make sure that your pipes and systems are all working properly throughout the summer and before winter comes. Fixing a mild problem in the summer is much better than having a severe issue happen come wintertime.

If Guardian finds any issues during the sewer inspection, we’re also able to make sewer repairs. We’ll give you a quote with no obligation so you can make the decision freely. We have people on call 24 hours a day so that if any further problem arises, we can send someone out to your home as soon as possible.

Your Annapolis, Maryland Plumber

If you think summer is already causing a problem with your plumbing, it’s time to get it taken care of. Call us or contact us online.

Struggling With Cold Showers?

If you’re taking a shower and feel the water go cold all of a sudden, there’s a good chance there’s something wrong with your water heater. Hot water heaters are essential to have maintained and it can be hard doing that yourself. Are you struggling with cold showers? Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc., a plumber in Annapolis, MD, can help get your hot water heater fixed and teach you the warning signs for problems in the future.annapolis, md plumber

What Goes Into Water Heater Maintenance?

Regular checkups and maintenance are needed for your water heater to continue to run the way it’s supposed to. Many homeowners may not realize that it’s something that needs to be done on a regular basis. Your pressure relief valve needs to be checked to ensure that it’s working properly. You should also have your water heater flushed at least once a year.

If your water heater isn’t flushed out regularly, sediment builds up in it. This can make your tap water taste bad, have a strange smell, or be a color that looks off. None of this is going to make a shower or doing the dishes a pleasant experience.

The pressure relief valve is an important component and should always be checked to make sure it’s functioning properly. If a buildup of pressure occurs in the hot water heater and the valve is defective, serious problems like flooding and even a full explosion of the water heater can occur.

Our Homeowner Protection Plan

Our Homeowner Protection Plan is designed for the individual homeowner. This service contract gives you a bi-annual inspection and other plumbing services. These customers get priority attention and don’t have to pay anything but regular labor rates, even if they have an emergency that’s on the weekend or after-hours. You also receive a 10% discount on all parts and materials if a repair is necessary and you approve it.

Our bi-annual inspection under this plan includes multiple services for hot water heaters. In addition to checking the pressure relief valve and flushing it out, we’ll ensure that it’s set to the correct temperature for your home. We’ll check all of your water pipes for leaks, ensure that your drains are functioning properly, and ensure your toilets have no leaks and the correct water level.

We also assist in checking your natural gas and propane lines for any leaks. All emergency shut-off valves are checked to make sure they’re working and tagged so they’re easily identifiable to anyone. Faucets are checked for leaks and they’re repaired if any are found. We also check the water pressure in your lines and assist with winterizing and de-winterizing hose bibs.

Your Plumber in Annapolis, Maryland

As your trusted plumber, we want to make sure you don’t have to worry about any cold showers in the future. If you think your water heater needs maintenance, call us or contact us online!

Why You Should Get a Video Inspection

As with many industries, the plumbing industry is advancing with technology daily. Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc., a plumber in Annapolis, MD, takes pride in making sure we’re up to date with the latest and greatest. That’s why we offer things like video inspection services to our customers. But why should you get a video inspection for your plumbing issue? plumber in annapolis, maryland

What is Video Inspection?

Video inspection utilizes a specialized tiny camera. This camera is sent down through the pipes of your home that you want looked at so that the plumber can get a look in there without taking anything apart. The plumber will be able to see any clogs or issues that are causing your plumbing troubles. Then they’ll know exactly what tools and techniques they’ll need to use to get this problem fixed for you.

Why is Video Inspection Beneficial?

Video inspection is the easiest way to figure out your plumbing issue. We don’t have to tear up your yard or remove any drywall in your home to access the pipes to diagnose the problem. If you have a clog, leak, or another issue with your pipes, a video inspection can help find the area that needs to be accessed. This way, they can fix it with minimal disruption of your home and yard.

Video inspection isn’t just beneficial for emergencies like clogs. If you’re doing renovations on your home, you don’t want to accidentally hit any plumbing pipes. With video inspection, we can map the pipes underneath the concrete slab of your home. This ensures that you can do renovations while knowing exactly where your pipes are. You won’t be calling us with an emergency when you accidentally burst a pipe!

This is a useful tool for realtors or home sellers, too. Prospective buyers want to know about the sewer system. People rarely want to buy a home where they have to replace or repair the plumbing. They want to know that it works and isn’t something they have to worry about. We can film the results of the video inspection so that you can have the data available for anyone looking to buy the house.

Lastly, insurance agents can benefit from this technology. When houses suffer from fire or flood damage, there are often issues with the plumbing system. These things may go unnoticed and lead to big problems with the pipes down the road. Utilizing a video inspection shows that you’re willing to go above and beyond for your clients. Reassure them and let them know that you have their best interests always at heart.

Your Plumber in Annapolis, Maryland

Guardian Plumbing Services, Inc. always wants to make sure that your plumbing is taken care of. If you think that video inspection services can be beneficial to you, call us or contact us online!

What is Hydro-Jetting?

Hydro-jetting is a revolutionary plumbing technique that can help clear up your plumbing. Guardian Plumbing Services, an experienced plumber in Annapolis, MD, discusses the practice of hydro-jetting and how it can help you clean out your plumbing system.plumber in annapolis, maryland

What is Hydro-Jetting?

Hydro-jetting involves utilizing high-pressure water to help clean out your plumbing and sewage systems. Using pressure up to 3,500 psi, the inside of your pipes can be completely free of debris. This is ideal for getting out large blockages and return your system to proper function. What used to take days of labor to restore can take less than an hour with hydro-jetting techniques.

Hydro-Jetting for Preventative Measures

While hydro-jetting can be used to get rid of clogs, it may work even better for preventative issues. It can help make sure that you don’t have costly problems in the future. Getting hydro-jetting services for your plumbing system regularly will wipe out any debris or issues that are developing in the pipes.

We particularly recommend hydro-jetting for restaurants and apartment buildings. With restaurants, grease often gets in the pipes, coating the inside of your plumbing system. Grease is hard to get rid of, especially when it builds up. For apartment buildings, there are so many people using the same system. You don’t know how all the tenants are using their systems, so there could be issues developing.

For single-family properties, you don’t have to get hydro-jetting services as often. For restaurants and apartment complexes, we recommend getting it done about once a year. For single-family properties, you can get away with every other year or so.

The Hydro-Jetting Process

Before doing any hydro-jetting, a thorough examination should be performed. Utilizing video technology, we’ll snake through the pipes and determine where the problem is. This lets us know what to expect and how much pressure we’ll need to use for the job.

This also lets us know if the problem can’t be solved with hydro-jetting. If your sewer line has been infiltrated by tree roots or has a hole somewhere in it, hydro-jetting won’t help. It may only make the problem worse, allowing dirt and more material to get in your pipes.

Once we examine the pipes and determine we’re good to go for hydro-jetting, the plumber will adjust the pressure to the appropriate amount for this specific job. We work from the bottom up, sending the water upstream through your system. Because the pipes utilize gravity to function, the jets of water cause any debris to be loosened and flow down and out of the system.

Hydro-Jetting From Your Annapolis, Maryland Plumber

Whether you’re the owner of a restaurant or business, or just a regular homeowner, hydro-jetting can help keep your pipes clear and functioning properly. Call us today or contact us online to get an estimate!