For many homeowners, what goes on in their home’s drains is a mystery. There’s much more in there than simple clogs from the material you flushed or put down the garbage disposal today. In fact, what leads to a backup today may have begun months ago. Long-term buildup can be the reason why you suddenly have an urgent drain problem that no one can explain. The development of clogs deep in your plumbing is also a common reason for some of the stranger drain issues, like when you flush and the shower drain bursts forth with wastewater. As experienced plumbers, at bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans, we understand what really goes on in your drains. Our drain cleaning service solves the mysteries and removes the clogs, getting your drains flowing beautifully once again. We rush for emergency backups and overflows and provide whole-house preventive care to stop the development of long-term clogs deep in your pipes.
Your Home’s Plumbing Is Complex for a Reason
Your home consists of several plumbing systems to handle cold water, hot water, wastewater, and venting. It’s a pretty complex system that’s hidden behind your walls! The part that handles wastewater is designed to handle both greywater and waste, ensuring that they continue flowing together down to your sewer line. The expert plumbers that provide our drain cleaning service know the challenges that exist in these pipes, such as junctions and turns that can slow the flow. Even horizontal pipes between bathrooms on the same floor of your home face challenges, and need to be perfectly aligned to keep everything flowing together. Of course, the pipe under each sink has plenty of twists and turns itself, which can lead to simple clogs from excess material trying to get down to your drains. The twists have a purpose, though, and keep you safe from harmful sewer gas that needs to escape your plumbing system. Instead, it’s released through the vent system.
P-Traps and Other Curves in Your Drains
If you have a clog in the P-trap under your sink, or inside your toilet base, clearing it can be a challenge. Still, it’s a simple clog that’s nearby, and easy to reach. Once it’s addressed, you should have good flow once again. The trick is making sure you address it properly, which is why plumbers can be very helpful. Depending on what kind of material or object is stuck, you need different techniques and tools. Pushing a plunger against a piece of plastic like a bottle cap only wedges it tighter. Powerful chemicals can loosen some materials, but if they don’t do the job, taking care of the problem becomes a hazardous material situation. In many cases, the backup or slow drain you’re experiencing isn’t a local one at all. Material that’s been accumulating deep in your pipes, in the curves, long straight pipes, and other tricky passages, can reach a critical point and stop the flow.
Quick Blockages and Slowly Growing Ones
Using the right tool, we can take care of your quick blockages, especially ones that you know were just created by something which went down the drain or toilet. For trouble that’s deeper, slowly growing over time, it’s hard to know what it consists of and where it is. There is usually a lot of grease that has stuck to the pipe wall, along with hair and other material. Wipes, plastic objects, and other materials can gather as the pipe passage narrows, and eventually flow gets slower and stops. When the wastewater flow gets slower, it’s easier for other clogs to develop up the pipes to your sink or toilet. Our plumber often has to take a look to see what’s going on. If they’re performing a whole-house preventive cleaning, looking with video is a critical part of making sure the job is done right.
Let’s Take a Look in Your Drains
A tiny video camera on a very long line can reach and identify the clog in your pipes, so that the plumber knows which techniques and tools to use to clear it. The plan is to make things better, not worse, so the right choice is critical. We’ll also make note if the pipes are getting tired, to make sure we don’t break through weak pipe walls. Breaking up an organic clog can work nicely, but one with material that doesn’t dissolve could just make another growing clog down the line worse as the material gets stuck there. In some cases, video may reveal that there’s nothing to see, especially on the upper floors of your home. In that case, an experienced plumber will think about blockages of the vent system, especially the opening above your home. In fact, this situation can be deceptive, because using a plunger provides temporary relief for vent problems. How many times have you or a plumber you called tried that? Taking a look can help.
Cleaning the Pipe Walls for Long-Term Results
Instead of chasing clogs, why not start fresh each year by removing developing clogs throughout your plumbing? That’s another drain cleaning service we provide, using our array of tools including powerful augers and hydro jetting. When the job is done, your pipes are clean and it’s tough for new clogs to cling. Our professionals use a carefully designed cleaning process, so your home remains tidy as well.
Do you have an urgent clog or toilet backup that needs expert attention from our plumbers? At bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans, we have the skills and professional equipment to take good care of you. We also offer a thorough drain cleaning service for your whole home, making clogs and cleanups something you can avoid. Reach out to schedule a thorough cleaning of your drains, and keep our number handy for those unexpected surprises. We’re here for you 24/7, don’t hesitate to call!
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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Top-Notch Technology And Methods Plumbers Use For Leak Detection
Slab leaks can be incredibly destructive and costly if not detected quickly. Old-school methods of slab leak detection were often time-consuming and inaccurate. But that’s all changed now. With today’s latest technologies and methods, detecting slab leaks is easier than ever. These technologies and methods include specialized listening equipment, frequency-sensitive computers, and other state-of-the-art electronic devices to locate leaks efficiently and quickly. They are cost-effective ways to find your leak source and promptly fix it. This article highlights the best slab leak detection technology and methodologies plumbers use today to find leaks.
Acoustic Leak Detector
Acoustic leak detection sensor technologies rely on the leaking liquids producing noise. Engineers can listen out and tell where water leaks are using highly sensitive devices. The sound of the water leak under concrete or concrete floors can indicate the scale and type of water leaks involved. Usually, acoustic energy is generated by the leak, which is then transmitted through the pipe wall and generally travels greater distances on the concrete slab. Plumbers can use acoustic leak detectors to detect this acoustic energy.
Typically, acoustic listening devices are made of an electric monitor, headphones, a microphone, and an acoustic listening stick. These detectors work by attaching them to the suspected damaged pipe to listen to the hissing sound of leaks and then pinpoint the location. These noises are too low to be detected by your ears. That is why it is crucial to call slab leak detection specialists to use acoustic leak detection equipment, and they are guaranteed to find leaks even with no noise.
Thermal Imaging Leak Detection
Experts in water leak detection use this technology, particularly when the leak comes from an underfloor or underground heating pipe. Thermal imaging enables you to see things that you cannot. Plumbing experts use a combination of advanced thermal cameras and pinless moisture meters to identify slab leaks and the extent of the damage. A thermal imaging camera reveals moisture and detects subtle temperature differences, often before any signs of leaks appear.
On the other hand, pinless moisture meters are used to detect humidity and moisture levels after thermal inspection. These devices use thermal imaging to locate and trace leaks lurking inside walls, under concrete slabs, and behind tiled surfaces. Using thermal imaging is a very effective examination method for slab leaks. Once the leak is detected, the leak detection services team can carry out careful floor excavation and repair water pipes.
Pipe Tracing Devices
With advanced technology, some pipe tracings devices such as C.A.T. and Genny systems enable plumbers to map pipes under concrete across your property. They can even indicate the depth at which the pipes are buried under the slab. Once they trace the route of the pipe, then the slab leak detection team uses the latest equipment and methods to start the leak detection process. So, if you have hidden pipes in the slap, CAT systems can be used across the area you suspect and then follow the direction of the beeping to trace the pipe direction.
It is important to note that C.A.T. and Genny do not directly find leaks. However, they are essential in water leak detection as they can be used to trace the pipes in your house.
Moisture Mapping Technology
Moisture mapping devices help to detect subtle variances in moisture levels within the slab. These high-tech tools are commonly used around the perimeter of the wet zone to understand where the dry and damp zones are. This will help to know where there are water leaks. Leak detection professionals often use moisture meters to measure dampness and moisture in concrete materials helping to narrow down the location of water leakage.
They can use pinned moisture meters by passing signal or electrical current across the pins and measuring the resistance, helping them to know the variances correlates with different amounts of moisture in slab materials shown on the meter display, analog or digital. The slab leak detection team will employ moisture mapping devices and will be able to locate a water leak in concrete floors quickly.
Tracer Gas Leak Detection
This is another great technology used by plumbers to find water leaks. In this technology, an inert gas is fed into the water pipes then the specialist sniffs or smells the air while looking where the gas leaks. The tracer gas used to find the water leaks is a safe mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen. Since these are the smallest and lightest gas molecules, they can penetrate all surfaces, including tarmac, concrete, and paving, rising quickly to the surface, making it easy to detect the leakage. This technology is used for hard-to-reach and hard-to-detect places. Tracer gas detection is also used to detect tiny leaks but is crucial in damage control. Fixing those small leaks will prevent you from spending a lot of money in the future that you could have used for repairs.
Alongside the slab leak detection technology listed above, leak detection services have a wide range of devices to assist in locating leaks in concrete flooring. They use these technologies in conjunction with each other to help find any water leaks and complement each other perfectly in the right hand. In addition, technology allows a quick and easy process to identify leaks compared to other old-school leak detection methods.
If you think your home has slab leaks, do not wait anymore. Talk to our slab leak detection expert at bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans. Our technicians can help you detect any slab leak before it causes serious damage to your home. Also, we are well versed in using modern technology to find where the leak is occurring. Once we find the leak, we will recommend the best solution to restore your piping system to a reliable state. Give us a call today. We’ll be happy to inspect your home to identify potential leaks.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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Common Water Heater Repair Scams To Look Out For
Water heaters ensure you have ample hot water to make our showers pleasant, our clothes clean, and our dishes spotless. When your heating system starts acting up, your first impulse may be to call for immediate water heater repair. With so many plumbing and water heater companies in Louisiana, you may think that finding one should be a breeze. The moment you start looking for one is when you’ll realize that this is far from the truth.
Only a handful of plumbing companies in Louisiana are worth your time. There are plenty of water heater repair scammers out there, posing as genuine plumbers and contractors. To help you sidestep them, we’ll highlight some of the most common water heater scams to look out for.
The Classic Bait and Switch
The bait-and-switch scam is the oldest trick in the book. It usually involves a plumber telling you they utilize only the best tools, products, and replacement parts for your water heater. This chest-thumping usually sets the stage for the scam.
Once you take the bait and agree to their higher price, they purchase generic, inferior products for a fraction of the price and pocket the difference. Some scammers may jack the price of usual items much higher, taking advantage of your naivety in plumbing matters.
However, thanks to the internet, you can easily avoid these bait-and-click scams by doing a simple Google search on the tools and equipment. Doing so will give you a rough estimate of the cost of these items. Any plumbing contractor who tries to upsell you isn’t worth your time. You’re better off finding another one.
Bringing Too Many Staff
You should be suspicious when the plumber brings a handful of laborers for a simple repair job. It’s not uncommon for plumbers to bring an extra person or two. This is usually an apprentice and a hand to help them out.
However, when you see different people moving in and out of your home, you’re likely the victim of a plumbing scam. The main plumber will ask you to pay each worker separately or claim they subcontracted part of the work to another company that charges separately. You’ll pay much more than you should for a simple repair job.
Door-to-Door Repair Men
It can be awkward or convenient when random plumbers advertise their services at our door. While there’s nothing wrong with a plumber offering to spruce up your heater, most people knocking on your door may not be professional plumbers.
They’ll entice you with ridiculously low prices and pressure you to pay a deposit before they fetch their equipment and start working. They seem legitimate, but once you put ink to paper, they’ll go get their equipment and disappear for good. An even worse scenario, these random people might be burglars on a reconnaissance mission.
It’s advisable to avoid taking up services from random strangers even if they’re dressed in clean uniforms and look like the real deal. You may be inviting trouble into your home and denting your bank account.
Cash-Only and Under-the-Payment Jobs
Steer clear of plumbers who only accept cash payments for their water heater repair services. The same goes for plumbing companies that insist on under-the-table payments with no receipts or banking information.
Most of these plumbing services are illegitimate and don’t hold valid licenses or insurance. It’s either that or they’re trying to avoid paying taxes. You’ll likely end up paying for substandard services that temporarily fix the problem and reduce the water heater’s lifespan.
Up-front payments are a huge red flag, especially when the plumber in question looks sketchy. The state limits the amount of upfront payment a plumbing contractor or service can ask for up to only 10% of the total cost. Plumbers asking for anything more than this are likely scammers looking to take your cash and disappear.
This is among the most common water heater repair scams that come in many forms. In most cases, the plumber runs numbers in their heads after checking out the issue but giving nothing on paper. When you ask for the actual estimate, they’ll say you’ll receive it a little later, usually halfway through the job. Finally, the estimate arrives, and it’s double or triple the agreed price. You already signed the papers, so you’ll have no option but to pay the plumber.
Another form of this scam is when plumbers do much more than repair your water heater. They might do a bit of maintenance and upcharge you for it. You’ll feel hard done, but your hands are tied since you already signed the papers.
How to Avoid These Scams
Despite these scams’ prevalence, they are all avoidable if you take the right precautions. Here are a few ways to avoid these scams.
- Know your plumber: Ensure you do your due diligence on the plumber you have in mind before hiring. Check their credentials online and read reviews to see what previous clients have to say about the plumbing contractor.
- Ensure everything is in writing: Verbal estimates and service agreements are a recipe for disaster. Ensure you get everything in writing to sidestep changing estimates and up-charging for unnecessary services.
- Check licensing and insurance information: Scammers usually don’t have licenses and insurance since they’re not actual businesses. Ask to see licenses and insurance information before signing any paperwork. Remember, an expired license is invalid.
Get a Professional Plumber for Your Water Heating Needs
There’s no shortage of scammers in Louisiana, and it’s important to be careful to avoid being a victim. Research the plumber you plan to hire, and always have a reputable plumber on call for repairs. This will save you a lot of trouble and ensure you sidestep dishonest plumbers.
At bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans, our plumbers are skilled, highly experienced, and capable of tackling issues with your water heater. Schedule an appointment for professional water heater installation, repair, and maintenance.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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How Drain Cleaning Service Can Save You Time And Money Later
The investment in drain cleaning is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain your home. The problem is many people do not know they need this service or when to invest in it. Investing in drain cleaning service could help you in several ways, including reducing the risk of a major concern down the road with flooding and backups. Here’s what you need to know.
What Can This Service Do for You?
Drain cleaning service is the process of flushing highly pressurized water down into the drains of the home, forcing all of the stuck-on material there to move through the system and out. This is important because, over time, material cakes on the interior edges and walls of the drain pipes. As that occurs, it narrows the opening through which water and debris can flow to move away from your home. As that narrows, the risk of backups becomes higher.
Here’s an example of what can occur:
Your home does not receive any drain cleaning for several years. Grease, paper, and even tree roots start to grow into the drain lines that run from your home to the larger city-maintained sewer system. As that material gets caught along the interior of the pipes, it causes a narrowing of the pipes themselves. Eventually, waste products can no longer move down the drain and lodges, blocking the opening completely. When this happens, the drains back up into your home, causing sewage and other material to come back up into the home, flooding your basement.
When this occurs, you’ll need to:
- Remove the damaged lines to allow for material to flow through them again.
- Drain any water and fluid from the home.
- Remove and toss out all damaged materials, including furnishings that have become damaged.
- Have the home remediated for mold damage if necessary.
- Have the HVAC sanitized to remove mold and bacteria spores.
- Rebuilding and renovating as needed.
That is a lot of work, and it may not be covered by your home’s insurance policy either. That’s especially the case when the damage is brought on by poor maintenance and upkeep. Drain cleaning service can resolve this problem for good.
Prevention Is the Route to Take
The better option is to invest in drain cleaning on a consistent basis. Though it may take a few hours out of your day, perhaps once a year, it can be a very beneficial experience if it helps avoid even one backup like this. Here is what you need to know about the process.
Have It Done Annually
If you have had backups in the past or your drain system is older, it can help to have a drain cleaning service completed once a year. Try to do it at the same time each year so you remember to call and schedule the process.
Protect Your Lines
Avoid allowing things like grease and wipes to go down the drain. You also want to be sure you are using a garbage disposal. That can help by reducing the size of anything that moves into the drains. That helps to ensure nothing gets lodged along the way.
Spot Problems Early On
If you have any of the following signs of drain problems, have a licensed plumber out to inspect the concern early on. Doing so can help to minimize risks to you.
- The drains seem to be moving slower than they used to. It takes longer for them to empty than it used to.
- You hear sounds coming from the drains when you use them.
- There are bubbles in the water when you are draining your sink.
Don’t Pour Chemicals Down the Drains
Another way to prevent damage to your home’s sewers and overall plumbing is to avoid using any type of drain cleaning product. These products certainly can work to dissolve a mass of material that is stuck in the lines. However, they also eat away at the pipes themselves. That makes them weaker and more likely to suffer significant damage. It’s best to never use these products but to call in a plumber if you notice any type of blockage to your lines.
Are You Just Moving In?
If you are just moving into a home, this is a good time to schedule a drain cleaning. It allows you to have a fresh start and learn a bit about the drain lines that run from your home. You can have a team not only clean out and flush the lines but also inspect them using a camera. This allows you to see any cracks or broken areas that may need more extensive repairs later. It’s often easier to repair these problems early on than to wait until you need to dig up your yard to make those repairs.
Monitor for Tree Roots
If you have trees that grow near your drain lines, be sure to have routine cleaning done for your drains. Roots can grow aggressively as they seek out water. This can lead to the root breaking into the pipe to access the moisture there. Even trees that are numerous feet away from the lines can have long-reaching roots like this. Have your plumber help you to determine if there is any damage from tree roots and if so, consider having the drain lines flushed more often to remove that potential backup from them.
Seek Out Help from a Licensed Team
When it comes to your home’s sewer lines and drains, do not overlook the importance of having them cleaned and maintained on a routine basis. With the help of bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans, it is possible for you to have the work done on a consistent basis so you do not have to worry about big risks later. Contact our team today to set up an inspection or to have your drains cleaned as a type of maintenance service for your home.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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5 Shocking Reasons To Call A Plumber
It can be stressful to be a homeowner, especially if you own an older home and it seems like everything is starting to fall apart. However, some things can really catch you off-guard, and as the old saying goes, sometimes bad things come in threes. You might be surprised to learn about some of the shocking reasons to call a plumber. However, keep in mind that no matter what happens, if you work with a qualified plumbing company, you can get through the issue with no problem and come out on the other side. Therefore, instead of worrying, focus on fixing the problem and finding permanent resolutions that will stick.
Of course, to find a resolution, you need to ensure that you first identify you have a problem. Half of the time, there are warning signs before you end up with a burst pipe or a utility closet full of water. The other challenge is calling a plumber promptly when you first become aware of a problem. The quicker you call for help, the quicker you can take care of the situation.
As an aside, you can also consider booking a plumbing inspection to gauge the overall condition of your plumbing system. As part of the plumbing inspection, the plumber will write a detailed report outlining the condition of all your pipes and major plumbing valves. This will give you a good idea of the overall condition of your pipes and if you need to worry about updating some areas of your system to avoid issues down the line. That said, for the time being, you just need to worry about identifying problems quickly. To that end, here are five shocking reasons you need to call a plumbing service.
If There Is No Hot Water
If you don’t have any hot water, it should be a no-brainer to call a plumbing expert. If you have water coming into your home, but don’t have any hot water, then there is a good chance the problem is coming from your water heater. In fact, 9 out of ten times, the issue will start with your hot water heater. Check your pilot light to see if it went out because if that is the issue, you may be able to restart it on your own. If that is not the problem, then you will need a plumbing company to come to troubleshoot the problem in more depth.
You Need Help with a Gas Appliance
A lot of people don’t associate gas with plumbing, but since gas travels through pipelines, it is actually a plumbing company that is tasked with repairing or rerouting plumbing lines. If you are having trouble with a gas appliance or need to replace an aging appliance, such as a range or oven that uses gas, you must call a plumbing company for assistance.
You Smell Rotten Eggs in Your Home
By the same token, if you smell rotten eggs in your home, you will need a plumbing company to come to explore the issue and isolate the problem. While gas is scentless, most natural gas companies add sulfur to create a rotten egg-like smell. If you smell this odor near anything in your home that uses gas, you need to turn off the gas and then call a plumbing company or the local fire department to take a look. Ultimately, once your home has been safely cleared, you will need the help of a professional plumbing company to identify the source of the leak and repair the piping or connections to make your home safe again.
While a gas leak is always troublesome, a sewage backup is one of the biggest hassles you can have in your home. There is never a good way to deal with an unexpected sewage backup. The problem with a sewage backup is two-fold. First of all, your plumbing system practically becomes unusable because any sink that you run or any toilet that you flush will just come back out of the drain where there is a backup. That means that the mess will get bigger and bigger which is not a situation that you want to deal with.
Second, if your backup gets too large you will have to start to deal with flood damage. It doesn’t make water to cause flood damage, and when you add in the fact that sewage is filled with bacteria and other harmful elements, you have a big disaster on your hands that you do not want to affect your personal property. Therefore, you don’t want to wait around and see what happens if you have any indication that you have a sewage backup. The water will not recede on its own, but instead, the situation will get even worse in most cases. With that in mind, make sure to call a plumber right away to address the issue.
Water Damage on the Ceiling
Finally, if you notice water damage on your ceiling, you don’t need to call a carpenter or a contractor. Before you do anything else, you need to call a plumbing company because they are the ones who can actually resolve the issue. Fixing your ceiling is not going to help if the leak that is causing the damage is not resolved – because it will just get damaged again. While your natural impulse might be to call a contractor, you need to talk to a plumbing company above all else.
If you are worried about any home plumbing issues, contact bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans today to schedule a visit. We will be happy to come to troubleshoot any problem you are having.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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