Tips & Articles
We all fear home flooding. Whether you have experienced damage to your home or have helped a friend with flooding in their basement, the process of cleaning and repairing even one room can
take months. Luckily, Ranck Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning knows how to prevent a home or business flooding disaster.
That’s right. Your home or business may be giving you some warning signs of a potential pipe break, but Ranck is here to help.
Plumbing Warning Signs Before Flooding
The plumbing in your home reacts to pressure and changes in your environment. Most home or business plumbing systems are made out of steel, copper, plastic or cast iron, all of which are susceptible to cracks and breaks. No matter the age of your home or business, pay attention to the following warning signs from your pipes and plumbing:
- Leaking pipes
- Pipes rattle/are noisy
- Sudden increase in water bills
- Water failing to drain (sinks/showers)
- Weak water pressure
- Water backing up in other appliances
- Mold around pipes
These plumbing warning signs can save you the burden of intense cleanup the sooner you attend to them. If you see any of these plumbing warning signs and live in the Lancaster area, be sure to contact Ranck Plumbing immediately.
Flooding Disaster in Home or Business
Flood damage goes beyond just cleaning up your home. Aside from draining water out, floods are a major concern to your family’s health. In the right conditions, a plumbing flood can cause the development of mold within 24 hours.
Flood damage can be toxic to humans if it’s not taken care of properly, and the search for mold and moisture continues long after the initial event. All porous materials must be thrown out as the disinfecting process begins. Depending on the severity of the plumbing flood, your home or business may require new paint, siding, flooring, drywall or ceilings.
What Causes Your Pipes to Break?
It doesn’t matter if you just moved in or got pipe replacements. Always inspect home plumbing regularly. Plumbing naturally wears down over time, and any of the following factors may lead to pipes breaking unexpectedly:
- Cracks that go unrepaired
- Uneven pressure
- Intense heat or cold
Fortunately, Ranck Plumbing, Heating & AC has the perfect solution in the event of a plumbing emergency.
The Ranck Circuit Breaker for Plumbing Systems
Installing our user-friendly circuit breaker for plumbing systems is the best way to stay on top of any concerns about your home. With advance warning technology, our circuit breaker detects leaks as soon as they start and shuts off your water source. If a pipe should break, you can feel safe knowing Ranck Plumbing, Heating & AC monitors your plumbing system 24/7.
Sometimes pipes are behind walls or otherwise out of sight. This technology helps you stay in control of your home or business before a disaster can take place.
Contact Us Today for a Free Quote
Ranck Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning wants to help keep you and your household safe from unexpected home disasters. When you contact us today, you can receive a free quote for our plumbing, heating, cooling and air quality services. You have the power to reduce your risk of flooding disasters and more. Schedule an appointment today.
Air conditioning can be an absolute life-saver during the summer. Whether you prefer things warmer or cooler, you likely benefit from having control of your home’s temperature settings. But during the summer months when outside temperatures climb to 80, 90 or even 100 degrees in some places, maintaining temperature settings for AC can get expensive.
While setting your AC temperature in the summer for your comfort level might be an ideal option, it might become difficult to afford for the whole season. So how do you decide on a setting that strikes the right balance between your comfort and your finances? What temperature should AC be set to over the summer? Consider these tips to find your perfect, personal climate.
Create an AC Budget for the Summer
You know your income and regular expenses. But the number on your electricity bill can largely depend on how you use your HVAC system. A carefully crafted budget will help you stay focused on the financial reality of how you can afford to use the HVAC.
A budget helps you maintain a good estimate of how much the AC will cost and avoid accidentally surpassing your livable means. Staying on top of your expenses is important, no matter your job or income.
Raise Temperature Settings for AC
Be frugal with your AC settings. Even if you prefer the temperature a little cooler while you’re home in the evenings, you can compensate by raising the temperature 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re not there. If no one is home, there’s no need for your home to stay at a comfortable room temperature.
You can decrease your expenses by adjusting the temperature when you don’t need AC. Small adjustments add up over time. Think about when you leave a room in your home — you probably turn the light off to conserve energy. You can use your HVAC settings in the same way to maximize savings.
Find the Best AC Temperature Settings for Your Home
While temperature preference varies between people, no one likes to be too hot or too cold. It’s distracting and can get in the way of responsibilities and activities you enjoy. That’s why you have to find a temperature setting on your thermostat that works for you.
If your home is too warm, the best strategy for finding the right temperature is to turn down the thermostat one degree at a time until you reach a level you can live with. If you drop the temperature 10 degrees to overcompensate, the HVAC needs to work much harder to adjust. Changing the temperature slowly will keep you comfortable, as well as prevent wasted energy.
Follow Professional Advice
Experts say that, from a financial standpoint, the optimal temperature to keep your thermostat when you’re at home during the summer is about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. On a comfort level, this might work for some people, but not for others. So, how do you keep yourself cool at this temperature if it’s not ideal for you?
There are several other methods you can use to keep your home cooler. You could buy fans to help circulate the air within your home. Having a fan is especially helpful if you like to feel moving air when you sleep at night. In addition, avoiding using the oven during the day can keep your home from getting too hot.
When it comes to AC temperature settings, your needs are unique. Ranck Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has HVAC system options that will keep the climate in your home under control, whatever temperature you prefer. Call Ranck now for more information about our HVAC services in Southeastern Pennsylvania!
Imagine this: you come inside after a stifling day in the summer sun and turn on your tap to fill up a glass of water. You look down and notice the water looks white and cloudy rather than clear as you expected. After a moment of surprise, you wonder what’s causing the cloudy water and if it’s still safe to drink. The good news? You’re not alone!
Millions of people in the U.S. have cloudy sink water in their homes. On the bright side, it’s most likely perfectly safe. Drinking cloudy water usually results in no health risks. That said, it’s important to understand what might be causing the cloudy water and what it could mean for the state of your plumbing.
Causes of Cloudy Tap Water
So, what does cloudy water mean? There are multiple reasons why sink water gets cloudy. Some examples include:
1. Air in Your Tap Water
One common reason your drinking water might look cloudy is air bubbles in your plumbing. Bubbles can be caused by water pressure in the pipes or any plumbing work you’ve had done recently. While it can be an inconvenient nuisance, cloudy water resulting from trapped air poses no health risk for you.
If you’re suspicious about trapped air in your water, you can easily test for it on your own. Just fill up a clear glass or a bowl with tap water and watch it for a few minutes. If the water starts to clear from the bottom up, this usually means you have air in your pipes and it’s nothing serious to worry about.
2. Hard Water
You’ve probably heard of hard water and soft water. Hard water tends to be rich in mineral content and is common in cities and larger municipalities. While hard water usually doesn’t pose a health risk, it can leave stains on your surfaces and damage hair and clothes. Hard water can also occasionally look cloudy coming out of the sink.
Unlike air bubbles, cloudiness as a result of hard water won’t clear up after left standing for a few minutes. The best solution for hard water is installing a water softener system for your home, which will remove some of the harsh minerals. If you need a water softener, Ranck Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers reliable solutions for hard water treatment.
3. A Faucet or Water Heater Issue
Sometimes cloudy water may not be related to issues with the water supply. For instance, if you have cloudy water coming out of just one faucet, you should have someone from Ranck investigate that fixture for issues.
Similarly, if cloudy water only appears when the tap is set to hot, it could be that you need your water heater repaired. If that’s the case, having someone come fix the heater should rectify the color of your water.
4. Harmful Contaminants in the Water Supply
If your tap water is cloudy and doesn’t clear up, consider having it tested. There’s a possibility the water supply could contain harmful contaminants or pollutants. While hard water and air bubbles are unlikely to pose health risks, pollutants such as methane gas could become dangerous.
While this is an uncommon cause of cloudy water, it’s better to be safe than sorry and have the water checked out before you drink it. Above all, you need to prioritize keeping yourself and the other members of your household safe and healthy.
Ask an Expert for Advice
Cloudy sink water is a nuisance, but not necessarily a danger. However, it could be a sign that you need to have your plumbing checked as soon as possible. Don’t become complacent about your water supply — call Ranck today to improve the water quality in your home!
Flooding is rarely a welcome occurrence for a neighborhood, but it happens often. While you can’t control the weather, you can take preventative measures and respond to the after-effects of flooding.
It’s common knowledge that flooding can result in significant damage to homes and appliances. But what happens if your HVAC system is impacted by a flood? Water damage to your system could be minor and require only small repairs, but it also has the capability to leave systems in need of a full replacement. Take the following steps if you suspect flooding damage to your HVAC system.
Investigate the System
The first thing you should do after a flood is investigate your HVAC or have a technician investigate it before you try to turn it on. Keep in mind you shouldn’t touch the unit until everything is dry. The system could be dangerous to use if any problems have not been properly addressed. Flooding affects HVAC systems in different ways, so when in doubt, consult an expert.
If you find that your system is submerged in water, don’t go near it. Due to the potential hazards, you should call professionals immediately to investigate.
Find Out if You Have Flood Insurance
If you’re not sure whether you have flood insurance, find out as soon as you can. Repairs and replacements for your HVAC system can be pricey, so you want to know if you have coverage on them before you pay out of pocket.
If you do have flood insurance, it can ease the burden of repairs. This is especially true if you have other water damage in your home caused by the flood. The last thing you need is a pile of hefty expenses after going through the stress of a serious storm or natural disaster.
Fix Damaged HVAC Parts
The steps you need to take to fix your HVAC system depends on the parts that have been affected and the degree of damage. If the flood has impacted it badly enough, you may need to replace the whole system. Here are some common parts that could sustain damage and need repairs or replacements:
- The furnace: Corrosion within your furnace can lead to functional problems. If the damage is minor enough, a good cleaning of the coils may suffice. Otherwise, it’s probably best to just replace the whole unit to avoid safety risks.
- The air conditioning unit: What happens when electrical units get wet? They cause shortages. Even if the units don’t exhibit problems right away, over time they can corrode and become dangerous. If your air conditioner was heavily affected by a flood, your technician will probably recommend you either replace the unit or at least replace the wires to prevent future issues.
- Ductwork: If your HVAC system’s air ducts were affected, you should have them entirely replaced. If not, they will at least need heavy cleaning and disinfecting to discourage the growth of bacteria within the ducts.
- The heat pump: Like the air conditioning unit, your heat pump contains electrical elements not built to withstand flood waters. These electrical components will need to be replaced or repaired if they were submerged in water for any length of time.
Consult With an Expert
If your HVAC system has been damaged after a flood, it’s crucial you find out the extent and seriousness of the impairment before you try to use it. Ranck Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning will answer any questions you may have about HVAC systems or how to address problems after a flood. Contact us today to discuss water damage of your HVAC system.
Your home’s extensive plumbing network is essential to you and your family’s daily comfort — from taking a hot shower in the morning to doing the laundry and cooking dinner at the end of the day. Many homeowners might assume their home’s plumbing will naturally function and perform smoothly and reliably as long as the house is still standing. While having quality plumbing fixtures and pipes that function indefinitely would be ideal and less hassle, depending on the plumbing materials your home has, its age, environment and regular maintenance upkeep, they could need replacement.
Failing pipes and plumbing are not only inconvenient, but if unaddressed, they can lead to significant and costly property damage. Knowing the expected lifespan of your plumbing and understanding the signs of plumbing failure can help local homeowners know when it’s time to replace household plumbing.
The Lifespans of Residential Plumbing Systems
The pipes and plumbing snaking throughout your home won’t last forever, but with regular care and maintenance, most pipe materials can perform for several decades before showing signs of wear and still need a replacement. Take a look throughout your home and determine which materials your pipes are crafted from — depending on the plumbing materials, any issues may indicate a simple repair need or show the pipes are nearing the end of their usable expectancy.
The lifespan for the most common residential plumbing systems are:
- Brass: 40 to 70 years
- Copper: 50 or more years
- Galvanized steel: 20 to 50 years
- Cast iron: 75 to 100 years
- Polyvinyl chloride: Indefinitely
While most of these materials have long lifespans, it’s also important to consider pipe joints, fittings and other components connecting your plumbing and fixtures that may be faulty and causing leaks, clogs and other issues.
What’s the Average Plumbing Life Cycle?
Along with the materials used, the average plumbing system’s life cycle will depend on each individual part, including:
- Water heaters: 12-year average life cycle
- Garbage disposals: 10-year average life cycle
- Toilet flappers: Five-year average life cycle
- Water softeners: 20-year average life cycle
In addition, toilets manufactured after 1992 need to flush on 1.6 GPF or less, or it’s time to replace them.
When to Replace Your Home’s Plumbing
Once you better understand the materials of your plumbing and its performance expectations, you should also know the common signs of failing plumbing and when to replace toilet pipes, leaking faucets, slow drains and other plumbing fixtures. The following are signs it’s time to replace your home’s plumbing:
- Discolored water: Water with an unusual color or brownish tint typically indicates pipe corrosion, and your water supply is likely carrying rust particles.
- Water with an odor: Avoid using any water with a strange odor, which could indicate significant bacteria buildup inside pipes.
- Leaking pipes or fixtures: Note any obvious of leaks like a broken fixture of damp spaces behind walls or around major appliance. Also, look at your water bill and see if it’s been creeping up the past few months — while you may get away with simply replacing a damaged faucet, you may need a pipe replacement.
- Slow drainage: If you have a drain that refuses to unclog no matter how many cleaning agents and snakes you use, then it could be extremely corroded and need replacement.
- Low water pressure: Persistent poor water pressure could indicate a clogged water pipe somewhere in your system, a leak downstream from the fixture or reveal a leaking pipe.
Experiencing an Issue With Your Plumbing? Contact Ranck Plumbing, Heating and AC Today
When you notice unusual plumbing performance or suspect it’s time to replace your plumbing, work with the experienced and knowledgeable plumbing experts at Ranck Plumbing. With our plumbing repair and replacement technicians, residents throughout the Lancaster, PA, area are assured exceptional quality, safe and controlled services and unmatched value. Learn more about our plumbing repair solutions and replacement services today by calling 717-397-2577 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.