Category Archives: Plumbing

The Trouble with Tree Roots and Your Home’s Sewer Line

Plumbing
Massachusetts trees are a thing of beauty; at least until they interrupt your plumbing.

The beautiful trees throughout Massachusetts serve many purposes. They provide natural wind breaks, offer cooling shade and add beauty to your landscape. But they have a not-so-secret system at work underground that can secretly wreak havoc on your plumbing.

Tree roots branch out incredibly far from the base of the trunk. For some larger, older trees, you might find roots halfway across your yard. They’re determined, too. They grow year after year. And they’re so strong, they can break clean through asphalt, concrete, and your home’s sewer line.

If you have slow-moving drains or notice an unpleasant-smelling area outside the home where the ground often feels damp, the roots from a tree might be the cause. The tree doesn’t have to be planted anywhere near the line. If there’s a tree (even a smaller one) in your yard or on neighboring property, it’s worth checking out.

Sorting Tree Root Myth from Reality

There’s a longstanding belief that the size of the tree branch canopy is a good indicator of the root structure. That’s not really true. Tree roots can and do extend much farther than that. What’s more, the majority of the root system is near the top 2 feet of soil.

According to the Morton Arboretum, tree roots often extend 2-3 times wider than the branch canopy above. And you’ll find more within upper 18 to 24 inches of soil than deeper down. Unfortunately, sewer lines sometimes share the same space.

Plumbing In some cases, a bit of digging is required to find and treat the problem.

Sewer Lines Might Attract Roots

Tree roots can naturally grow through a sewer line, causing a break or completely obliterating it. The sewer line might be in the natural path that the root wants to grow. Or the root might grow toward a sewer line that’s already leaky because it’s looking for moisture. After all, providing moisture to the tree is a large part of the root’s job.

Either way, roots are a major problem when they come in contact with your plumbing. Roots will push straight through sewer lines made of clay and other materials, and what you’ll be left with is a mess that requires some excavation and repair.

Rodenhiser Repairs Tree Root Damage

It’s never a happy day when you find out that a tree root has broken through a sewer line. They’re not the cleanest part of your plumbing system. And if yours are clay, as many older homes have, they’re inherently leaky. To make a repair, the plumber must first access the line. That often requires digging.

Fortunately, it’s not as enormous a problem as it might seem. Plumbing is a relatively straightforward operation, even under the worst of circumstances. We’ll assess the situation, determine whether a root is the cause of your problem and then set about making it right. The old line may be repaired, although this is relatively rare. More likely, the section will be replaced. There’s also a chemical treatment that can kill nearby creeping roots before they make it into the line again. In some cases, an auger is used to grind out the offending root to keep the plumbing system flowing.

Massachusetts homeowners who have a recurring tree root problem might want to reconsider the vegetation on the property. Trees are lovely and they benefit the environment. But they can also be the source of a lot of headaches if the roots refuse to grow away from the sewer line.

Call Rodenhiser today if you live in the in the Route 495 / 128 area and have slow-running drains or suspect that a tree root has made its way through your sewer line. Problems such as these don’t correct themselves. They only worsen over time. But we can find the real cause, make the repair and get your plumbing in good working order again.

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3 Reasons to Repair Plumbing Leaks Right Away

Plumbing
Don’t wait until you need a life raft.

You wouldn’t let a leaky plumbing supply line at the kitchen sink send water throughout the room unchecked. But leaks can be sneaky things that don’t show their true nature until a much greater damage is done.

Every leak should be stopped in its tracks ASAP. Even a minor one can cause major headaches. And the longer they go without repair, the more expensive and damaging they become. Here are 3 reasons why leaks in your home should always take top priority.

#1: What You See isn’t Always What You’ve Got

A dripping drain under the bathroom sink makes itself known pretty quickly. But what about a supply line inside the wall or under a toilet? By the time you know that there’s a problem, the damage can be widespread. That’s one of the biggest reasons why a known leak should never go without repair.

A damp spot on the ceiling might look like a tiny problem that can wait. But in reality, it takes a lot of water to leak through the upstairs bathroom floor and then on through the ceiling below.

The leak might be small but persistent. Or you might have a major leak under the toilet, shower or sink. Even the small indicators of water need attention. That’s especially true if the damp spot never really dries.

#2: Sometimes Bad is Very Bad

Some leaks really are minor. They can cause a quarter-size stain on the ceiling or along a baseboard but require only a small repair. But you won’t know until it’s checked out. A larger leak can lead to mind-boggling problems.

Mold is a major issue with a longstanding leak. There might be a few specks on the drywall, but a huge colony of spores behind it. Structural damage is another possibility. Interior wood isn’t treated to resist water. So where damp conditions persist, you might require significant structural repair. In some cases, whole floors require replacement because the entire subsystem is rotted. A spongy floor is a bad sign that water damage has gone too far.

Water and electricity don’t mix, at least not with a happy ending. But leaks can cause electrical problems and even electrocution. When a spot appears on a wall or ceiling, just remember its proximity to ceiling and wall electrical fixtures. Don’t wait to make that call.

Plumbing The sooner you call, the better off you and your home will be.

#3: Water Leaks Add Up

In addition to the physical damage to your home, leaky plumbing wastes precious natural resources and drains your bank account. They say that small leaks sink ships. That’s because it all adds up over time. And the longer a leak is allowed to exist, the more water and money you lose.

How much? You might be surprised. According to the EPA, a faucet that drips at a rate of one drop per second wastes 3,000 gallons per year. Now imagine a leak that drips at the same rate inside a wall that’s gone unchecked for a month. That’s 250 gallons of water that’s been added to an area where it was never meant to be.

Fortunately, you know a plumber who can find and fix leaks before they cause major headaches. Rodenhiser has helped Massachusetts families in and around the Route 495 / 128 area since 1928. We’ve got the skills and experience to correct every problem and keep your home safe and healthy.

Don’t let a plumbing leak continue to damage your home and put your health at risk. Call Rodenhiser today.

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Plumbing Leaks Lure Thirsty Pests

Plumbing
He’s only cute if he’s outside.

As if a plumbing leak wasn’t bad enough on its own, now look what it has attracted. Living things of all shapes and sizes mainly have one thing in common, and that’s the need for water. Some creatures, such as humans, puppies, tigers, and bears, need a lot of it. And some, such as mice and insects, only need a little.

Unfortunately, a plumbing leak might leave just enough water to attract all sorts of invasive varmints. You might not find a bear in your kitchen when you flip on the light, but you might have a similar reaction to cockroaches scurrying across the floor. When that happens, the only way to keep them out for good is to locate and stop the leak.

Plumbing Leaks Can be Anywhere

Virtually anywhere you have drain and water supply lines, you have the potential for a leak. Some lines run under floors, some are found inside walls, and some run through the ceiling.

If you see a rodent or insect, think about whether there’s a water supply close by. Sometimes it’s obvious. If a cockroach runs under your kitchen sink cabinet, there’s a good chance that a leak in the sink drain line or one of the water supply lines is the culprit. It could also be a leaky disposal or dishwasher.

Sometimes you can’t find the source, but a plumber can. If the leak is under the floor, around the bathtub or behind your washing machine, a bit of investigation on the part of your plumber will suss it out. The E.P.A.‘s Marcia Anderson says that the presence of rust on any fixture is a good clue that there is a water problem.

Plumbing Some spots are famous for water leaks.

It Doesn’t Take Much Water

Don’t be fooled by the notion that a leak means a major pool of water. Because insects and rodents are so small, it doesn’t take much to make them happy and comfortable setting up housekeeping inside your home.

Your leak might only amount to a few drops a day. It might not even pool, but soak into the subfloor or drywall. As long as the dampness is relatively consistent, critters will know where they can wet their whistle.

Kitchens are a special problem because of the amount of plumbing plus the smorgasbord of crumbs. When you consider ample water plus the available food source underneath the kitchen stove deck or under the fridge, you might as well have hung out the welcome sign.

With warm weather upon us, it’s more important than ever to find and repair plumbing leaks. Insects and rodents thrive in spring and summer, multiplying at a rate that might boggle your mind. They all need water, and your home is a great source for it. Then when fall arrives, whole colonies may have established themselves as permanent residents.

But you can issue their eviction papers by calling Rodenhiser plumbing experts. We know where to look for pesky water leaks, and we can repair them to make your home less inviting to pests. Contact us today for plumbing repair that seals leaks permanently.

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How to Fix a Washing Machine That Won’t Drain

Fix a washing machine
The only time you learn that your washing machine won’t drain is also the worst time — in the middle of a load.

You’re halfway through a load of laundry with several other things on your list of things to do for the day. Naturally, that’s when your washing machine fails to drain and you’re left with a tub of soggy clothes trying to sort out why. You might resolve the problem on your own. Some issues are common and fairly straightforward. But for some problems, you’ll either need an appliance repair person or a plumber.

A Clogged Drain Line Stops Some Machines

There are three possible locations where a non-draining washer might be hung up. First is the drain line leading away from the machine. In most homes, this is a plumbing pipe, often PVC, that runs vertically behind the machine. The rubbery drain tube from the machine drops down inside the drain line.

If there’s water on the floor around the machine or water around the drain pipe, you probably have a clog inside the drain. As water tries to drain from the machine, it will spill over if it can’t flow freely through the line. If you can locate the P trap in the drain line behind the washer, that’s a likely location for a clog. You might be amazed by what makes its way through a drain hose and pipe. All of those missing socks have to go somewhere. Disconnect the trap and clear the line, and your machine should work like it should. If you can’t, a plumber can do it for you.

A Blocked Drain Tube Has the Same Effect

As with a clog in the washing machine drain line, a clog in the drain tube can also prevent the washer from draining properly. Foreign objects such as tiny toys, socks and even a buildup of pet hair can block the hose and stop the water from running through.

You can test the hose by disconnecting it from the back of the washing machine and running water through it at a sink or bathtub, but use caution. If a clog is in the hose, disconnecting it could let water from the machine tub flow out into the laundry room. It’s smart to bail out the water from the machine first, just to be safe, and spread out plenty of absorbent towels. If water doesn’t flow through when you test the hose at the sink, you’ve got a blockage that needs to be fished or rinsed out. If it does flow through, the problem is elsewhere.

Fix a washing machine
If you can’t resolve the problem on your own, a great technician can get the situation sorted out.

A Broken Pump Needs a Repair Person

So there’s no blockage at the drain line or inside the drain tube. Now what? The problem is probably inside the machine, and likely at the water pump. The pump switches on at specific points in the wash cycle. Its job is to force water out of the machine, through the hose and into the drain line.

Water pump replacement is no small job. Depending on the machine, it might require removing the entire machine housing or turning the machine around to gain access through a rear panel. If you’re confident that the problem is at the machine, then it’s likely the pump. And if it’s the pump, you likely need a repair person.

There’s another possible reason for a washer that won’t drain, and it’s a simple one called a suds lock. A suds lock happens when too much foam is produced by the detergent and agitation inside the machine. If it looks like a bubble bath inside, the chances are good that you’ve got a suds lock. Too much detergent and using traditional detergent in a high-efficiency machine are common causes. Turning off the machine and waiting for the suds to break up should resolve the problem.

Washing machines never stop working at a convenient time. By nature, it always happens in the middle of a load. Fortunately, blocked drains are common enough to be simple fixes for a licensed plumber. In many cases, the situation will be fixed and you’ll be ready to continue your wash in short order.

If your water isn’t draining from a washing machine or anyplace else, you probably need the good plumbers at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more.

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Who are the Most Trusted Plumbers in Massachusetts?

Plumbers in Massachusetts
Life’s big and small plumbing problems are a lot less stressful when you know who to call.

When looking for the best and most trusted plumbers in all of Massachusetts, you really need look no further than Rodenhiser. For more than 87 years and counting, we have built a reputation for excellence that’s unsurpassed.

Our customers agree, and you will, too. We’re the local Massachusetts experts, and your satisfaction is always guaranteed.

We’re Superior, Since 1928

Few plumbers can claim a sterling reputation that dates as far back as Rodenhiser. Without generations of satisfied customers, we couldn’t have remained in business so long. Our goal then was the same as it is now: offer a superior level of service, and make that our guarantee.

This is a family business, and we take pride in it. We offer convenient service – now on Saturdays at no extra charge – and everything that we do is backed by a solid warranty. You can rest assured that Rodenhiser will be polite, and treat your and you home with the utmost respect.

We Offer No-Worry Pricing

One of the chief concerns when working with Massachusetts plumbers is whether the bill will even remotely resemble the price that was discussed in advance. With Rodenhiser, you get peace of mind. That’s because we have firm up-front pricing that lets you relax.

Our pricing policy lets our customers make an informed decision with a full understanding of cost and without any nagging concerns about the unknown. Our payment options are straightforward and convenient, too. We accept all major credit cards, plus cash or checks, and we also have a financing option.

Rodenhiser Stays on the Cutting Edge with Technology

For all of your repair work, and installation too, you can trust that the latest technology and advancements in the industry are second nature with us. We’re at the forefront both with technology training and implementation, which means the work that we do for you is always cutting edge.

This commitment means that you always get the best. Our team provides the best service, repairs, and plumbing installations for both residential and commercial properties. We’re nationally recognized as industry leaders who always strive to identify the finest in new technology and embrace it for the benefit of customers like you.

Plumbers in Massachusetts
We’re on time, and we treat every customer with respect.

Our Customers Say it Best

The greatest confirmation of our commitment to customer satisfaction is the sincere words that our customers use to describe their experience with Rodenhiser. Here are just a few examples:

May 6, 2016: Rick P. did an excellent job of explaining to me the replacement alternatives as well as as giving me an easy 1-2-3 guide to get the MassSave credit!!

May 4, 2016: I have had 4 other companies come into my home to give me quotes, and Ross’ professionalism and depth of knowledge blew everyone else out of the water. I was beyond impressed with the level of detail and care that Rodenhiser puts into their consults. I would highly recommend them to any friends or neighbors. Thanks for your exceptional service!

April 20, 2016: Brian H is always a welcome sight at my door. He came to install a new kitchen faucet. He discovered a potential problem with the main water meter. The city was notified to turn the water off while he adjusted the meter. He is an astute professional and a pleasure to work with.

Rodenhiser’s 87-year reputation for excellent service and customer satisfaction means that of all Massachusetts plumbers, we’re the one you should call. We take our responsibility seriously. And to prove it, we ensure that all of the work to your satisfaction. That’s a promise, and it’s our guarantee.

For repairs, updates, new installations and more, contact us today and you’ll receive prompt, courteous service that’s the best in Massachusetts.

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Here’s How You Get into the Plumbers Hall of Fame

Plumbers hall of fame
Hire the best plumbers, and you’ll always get what you pay for.

It’s good to be king. Or at least it’s good to have an honorary spot in the Plumbers Hall of Fame.

OK, so it’s not a real place (yet), but the level of skill and professionalism that sets some plumbers apart from the rest makes a darn good case for trophies, plaques, or at the very least, a distinctive badge.

Some plumbing jobs are minor, and some make homeowners quake in their shoes. Regardless of whether a job is large or small, those few and legendary plumbers make everything OK again. They go where no one wants to go, repair what few people can repair, and treat their customers with the utmost respect.

Here’s what makes a legendary plumber different from any old average guy with a pipe wrench.

Strive for Constant Improvement

Everyone who works as a licensed plumber has at least some plumbing education. After that, there’s often an apprenticeship. That’s where skills are fine tuned and the plumber learns from a master in the industry. But the top plumbers always strive to become better and never stop learning and perfecting their craft.

Give Reasonable Quotes

A plumber’s quote is his word, and it’s all that the customer has to rely on. Those with the highest level experience issue an accurate quote every time because they know their job, the cost of materials and parts, the time required to complete the work and sometimes most importantly, how to account for the unexpected.

Stay Reliable and Trustworthy

Most customers have a vague idea about plumbing, but that’s about the extent of it. A lack of knowledge and familiarity puts customers in a vulnerable position where they might be easy to take advantage of. That’s why reliable and trustworthy plumbers are worth their weight in gold. Plumbers with a reputation for showing up on time, performing quality work that lasts and charging reasonable rates get the most referrals because they’ve earned them.

Plumbers hall of fame
Hall of famers build on their good reputation by doing great work and respecting that homes that they work in.

Respect Customers’ Time and Home

There’s a reason why so many people make jokes about repair people arriving late, quitting early and leaving a big mess behind. That’s because the few bad plumbers in the industry leave such a bad impression that customers grew a bit leery. Respect for customers’ time and home helps good plumbers earn a spot in the hall.

Offer Credentials

No customer should have to ask for credentials. Moreover, no customer should be made to feel intrusive for doing so. If a plumber shies away from presenting licensure, insurance, and other credentials, he’s not the best choice. Those who have a higher station in the industry know that credentials give homeowners peace of mind, and they’re happy to oblige.

Plenty of people can repair a small leak and install a kitchen faucet. But what if you have a mysteriously slow drain that no amount of effort has been able to resolve? Or what if you’re building a new home or addition and want everything perfectly reliable from the start?

The plumbers hall of fame might not have a corporate headquarters or hold annual banquets, but some plumbers have certainly striven to rise above the crowd. That’s what we at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning aim for every day.

If you’ve got a plumbing problem, we have the answer. Contact us today and learn more about what makes Rodenhiser the right choice for your home.

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5 Plumbing Problems That Start Out Small, Then… Watch Out!

Plumbing problems
When you see or suspect a problem, a pro can find it and protect your home from further damage.

“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Plumbing problems can mount up in unexpected ways and cost you a great deal of money, at least if they’re left unattended. Some issues are clear, but might seem mostly harmless. Some hide until the damage is extensive, leaving you with a major repair on your hands. Either way, plumbing that doesn’t work like it should needs attention.

If something seems like it’s not quite right, listen to your instincts. Here are five issues that seem small but could cost you dearly.

#1: That Expensive Little Drip

If you’ve dealt with the drip-drip-drip of a leaky faucet, you know how frustrating it can be. Maybe you’ve attempted a bit of DIY repair, only to have the drip return just as you’re trying to drift off to sleep. If the drip is in the bathtub, the sound can be even louder. But what you might not realize, at least not yet, is how much a dripping faucet can cost.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, a single dripping faucet can add up to 34 gallons of wasted water per year. And that’s if it’s a slow drip. If the tap leaks around the base instead of a drip from the spout, it’s impossible for you to calculate how much water is lost every day. Did we mention that a leaking faucet can slowly erode porcelain or acrylic from a sink or tub?

#2: Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure takes all of the joy out of a long, hot shower. It makes filling up the washing machine and bathtub a bit of a challenge, too. And forget about washing the car or hosing off the walkway or front porch. But this problem might be more than a nuisance, and the issue could lie inside your home instead of with the city’s service.

Older water supply lines made of galvanized steel develop corrosion inside over time. That corrosion builds up where you can’t see it, which restricts the flow of water. If your home has galvanized supply lines, the problem can only worsen. Replacement with new lines will restore the water pressure and make your morning shower a lot nicer.

#3: Annoying Slow Drains

Nearly every home has a slow drain once in a while. But if your slow drains are more of a chronic problem, the culprit is probably more than a small blockage. Drain openers and plungers can only do so much to help if the problem is something bigger. And you should never use drain opener to help a slow toilet. You’ll end up with a cracked bowl for your trouble.

Tree roots can inch over and ultimately break then infiltrate the sanitary sewer lines buried in the ground. Another possible problem is a plumbing vent. All homes need vents, which help water flow through the lines effortlessly. But if your vents are inadequate or blocked from leaves or a bird’s nest, you could spend an inordinate amount of money and time trying to open a clogged drain that’s not really clogged.

Plumbing problems
Catch it in time, and your expensive cabinetry will stay intact.

#4: Small, Persistent Leaks

A small puddle of water under the kitchen sink or beneath the toilet tank means you need repair service. But some homeowners make do with an old towel to catch the drips. The problem with that approach is the towel stays wet. And where there’s water, there’s the potential of widespread damage.

A chronically wet floor won’t stay sound for long, especially around the base of a toilet. Moisture eventually seeps into the subfloor under the base of the toilet or through the opening for the water supply line. When that happens, warping and wood rot isn’t far behind. The same applies to a wet cabinet floor under the sink. And where there’s water, there’s also mold.

#5: Oddly High Water Bills

Are you paying more for water service lately? If you haven’t experienced a rate increase and your habits are the same as they’ve always been, you could have a significant problem lurking someplace in, under or around your home.

Hidden leaks can cause widespread damage and cost a fortune in water bills, plumbing service and even structural repair. By the time you see evidence of a leak, the damage might be done. A soggy spot in the yard is an indicator that a supply line has burst underground. Soft floors in the bathroom, mold along the base of the wall and yellowish spots on the ceiling are clues that you have a leak inside a wall, ceiling or floor, depending on where your supply lines run.

Plumbing doesn’t seem like a dangerous problem, so some homeowners deal with annoyances and high bills much longer than they should. After all, water won’t cause you physical injury if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, plumbing issues can multiply, sometimes unseen, until they’ve done considerable damage.

If you’ve noticed a leak or something seems not quite right, Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning can make it right. Contact us today before your little annoyance becomes a major problem.

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Why You Should Update the Plumbing Fixtures in an Old House

You live in older home with older plumbing fixtures. Those fixtures work well enough. You may be thinking, “Why should I update the plumbing fixtures in my home if they are all working?” Before you learn how to update the plumbing in an old house, you need to know why it is important.

Why You Need to Update

plumber
Source: iStock.com/Ridofranz

Here are 7 reasons why updating your home’s plumbing is important:

  1. It makes things look new again. There is no reason why your old home needs to look old. New faucets and drains can make your bathrooms and kitchen look more modern and up to date.
  2. It is more hygienic. Older drains often do not let waste flow away efficiently. This can leave standing waste within inches of your drain opening. That is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microbes.
  3. It is better for the environment. Adding aerators to your faucets and replacing your old showerhead with a low flow model will help reduce the amount of water you use drastically, which is environmentally sound.
  4. It is better for your wallet. While you are saving water, you are saving money at the same time. If you upgrade your old water heater for a new one, you can save on electrical or fuel costs also.
  5. It can prevent property damage. Old leaky pipes can do a lot of property damage if not repaired or replaced. Wood rot, a corroded foundation, and damaged drywall are just a few examples.
  6. It can improve the quality of your water. If you have lead pipe or galvanized steel pipe in your home, you likely have high levels of poisonous contamination in your drinking and cooking water.
  7. It can prevent indoor air quality issues. Many older homes have mold and mildew caused by leaky pipes. Mold spores are a major contributor to poor indoor air quality in many homes.

You can see why updating your plumbing is so important. If you want more advice on how to update your plumbing in an old house, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Let Professionals Install Plumbing Systems

Calling in a plumber often sounds like a waste of time. DIY shows and online videos make it sound like plumbing systems are something a homeowner can do without the help of a professional. The reality is a bit different. There are certain advantages of professional plumbing installation that make it well worth the investment.

Why Leave It to the Professionals

plumber
Source: iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Here are five reasons to leave plumbing issues to the professionals:

  • Prevent water damage. If an installation or repair is done incorrectly, the chances of a leak occurring is quite high. What may start out as a minor, occasional drip can gradually lead to a major water leak or burst pipe. That can lead to water damage inside walls, through the ceiling below, and eventually
  • Doing the job right the first time. Many homeowners find that trying to do the work themselves ends up costing them more in the long run. For example, cutting the hole for a new sink in the countertop requires precision. One wrong cut and you either have to replace the countertop or get a new sink.
  • Prevent gas leaks or electrical shocks. Some plumbing-related jobs involve natural gas lines or electrical wiring. If the work is not done properly, the potential of a deadly gas leak or a fatal shock is quite significant.
  • Get the work done within code. Local building codes are there to prevent potential problems. Our professional plumbers knows and follows these codes. Not only it is the smart thing to do, it is also the legal thing to do.
  • Keep the water and waste flowing properly. If you do not have drain lines installed at the proper slope, you can end up with slow drain lines and waste backing up into your house. Improperly installed water lines can bang around due to air in the lines. Those are just a few of the plumbing problems that can happen if the pipes are not installed and secured properly.

If you want the advantages of professional plumbing installation, give us a call at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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How to Choose Plumbing Fixtures for Your New Holliston Home

Learning how to choose plumbing fixtures for a new home starts behind the scenes. While you may be focusing on the finishes and styles of your faucets, it is very important to consider what is going on behind the walls and under the floors first. That is where the majority of your plumbing runs. And you want the plumbing to work with minimal problems for decades to come.

In the past few decades, plumbers gave homeowners two choices: galvanized steel or copper pipes. Today, there are a number of choices available, many of which are more reliable than those stand-by choices.

There are three things to consider when selecting your pipe material.

How will it be installed?

galvanized steel pipes
Source: iStock.com/curraheeshutter

Copper pipes are joined together with pipe fittings sealed with solder, which is melted using a torch. Many house fires have been associated with misuse of a torch. Modern plumbing materials do not need the use of a torch, instead joining with solvent cement instead.

How long do you want it to last?

Hard water or corrosive soil conditions can erode metal pipe, especially those made with copper. To avoid the need to replace your plumbing system in just a few years, you need to go with plumbing materials that can stand up to potentially corrosive conditions. CPVC, for example, has a proven track record for being able to withstand decades of extreme water and soil conditions.

Will the pipe material affect drinking quality?

Lead piping used to be a common fixture in many older homes. Today, it is completely banned because the lead leaches into the water, poisoning the people who drank it. Pipes made from other metals, like copper or steel, can start leaching into the water as they begin to corrode. Going with a material that doesn’t corrode is the better choice for your water quality over the long term.

Before you learn how to choose plumbing fixtures for a new home, learn a bit about the pipes to be installed in your home. Contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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