How To Deal With Plumbing Issues In An Old House

Leone plumbing old house maintenance service. The good old days always bring nostalgic memories. Memories that are worth remembering especially if they happened in an old house. Older homes usually treasure cherished moments with family and friends. That is why for someone who owns an old house, it is very important to maintain each aspect of its structure including the plumbing system.

Plumbing Problems In Old Homes

Old homes are charming with their classic and rustic appeal. Attractive as it seems, the plumbing inside an old home can be as old as the structure itself which can lead to plumbing issues. But do not let these plumbing issues diminish the charm of your old house! Here are the common plumbing issues you may experience in an old house and how you can resolve them.
Obsolete Pipelines
Vintage houses constructed over 3 decades ago may contain piping materials that are considered outdated today.  The common piping material used back then was lead which was initially restricted during the 1920s and was totally banned by 1986. It was then replaced by galvanized steel pipes that became a popular option until the 60s. However, galvanized steel is prone to extensive corrosion that causes rust contamination in the water supply. Thus, polybutylene pipes became a popular choice during the 70s to the 90s. Later, it was found that polybutylene pipes have a high risk of bursting and leaking. For obsolete pipes, we recommend upgrading old plumbing to PEX piping which is more durable and can last longer. Leone Plumbing Water Piping Solution
Bellied Pipes
Over time, encased or underground pipes can be affected by the gradual movement of the house. The pipes underneath may begin to slope or “belly” which restricts water flow and creates puddles that accumulate waste. This can result in toxic wastewater seeping into your home. If left unresolved, pipe bellies may cause blockages or leaks over the course of time. Depending on the circumstance, trenchless pipe repair can be the best solution.
Old Plumbing Fixtures
Accumulation of limescale on old plumbing fixtures is common in an old house. Also, old fixtures and connections tend to fall apart causing leaks and flooding. To minimize the amount of limescale, we recommend installing a water softener system. Toilet repair and replacement are also recommended.
Root Invasion
Old sewer lines are prone to root invasion that causes severe clogs and sediment build-up. In this case, snaking the line using several snake machine tips is recommended. Trenchless pipe repair can be done if the situation calls for it.
Improper Repairs
For old homes that are standing for many decades, it’s possible that plumbing repairs weren’t done right. DIY is an affordable solution but at the same time risky. It would be best that you contact a professional plumber to assess your plumbing system for proper treatment.

Your Old Home Needs A Professional Touch!

Give yourself peace of mind while reminiscing the good old days. We are here to provide the professional touch that your old house needs! Contact us now.
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When Should I Be Worried About Pipes Freezing?

Pipes Freezing Solution By Leone PlumbingPipes freezing during the winter season can bring trouble to your plumbing system. How long can your pipes stand the freezing temperature and when should you be worried about pipes freezing? Let’s talk about the issue that freezing pipes can bring and the precautions that everyone can take.

Why Do Water Pipes Freeze And Burst During The Winter?

One plumbing issue to watch out for during the winter season is the bursting of pipes. A pipe may burst if it is not able to handle the pressure that arises from freezing water. During winter, the water inside the line expands as it slowly freezes. While it gets close to freezing, the pressure inside the pipe increases. If the water pressure gets too high for the pipe to handle, it will indeed rupture! The freezing water causes the lines to contract and the weak areas of the pipe may burst. It is recommended that you get your pipes checked and repaired before the winter season.

Should I Be Worried About Pipes Freezing?

If the outside temperature is at less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, then you should be worried about pipes freezing! Water begins to freeze as the temperature drops which causes the pipes to freeze. Cold winds can also freeze the pipes. Pipes with cracks or holes allow the cold air from the outside to blow in and may cause ice formation. Once the pipe is freezing, it is at risk of bursting, resulting in leaks and unexpected flooding. But don’t let these scenarios worry you. There are precautions that you can take to prevent your pipes from bursting.

Precautions To Prevent Pipes From Freezing And Bursting

The contraction of pipes caused by the cold weather is something that we cannot control which may cause leaks. However, there is something you can do to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Here are some of the precautions you can follow:
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe (even at a trickle) helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, and set it to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Protect Your Pipes From Bursting This Winter

The winter season can be fun without being worried about your plumbing system. Preventive measures can alleviate the concern you have with pipes freezing. If you’re dealing with a burst pipe or water leak this winter, just contact us and we are here to help you!
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The Pros and Cons of Installing a Sharkbite Fitting on Pipes

  Leone Plumbing's take about installing a sharkbite fittingSharkbite fittings have been a revolutionary innovation when it comes to plumbing repairs. Installing a sharkbite fitting is simple to use and convenient. In minutes, you can easily connect or fix leaks without soldering and replacing the pipes. However, if you ask professional plumbers, soldering pipes is still better. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of installing a sharkbite fitting to determine which is best for you.

Sharkbite Fittings vs Soldering Pipes

A sharkbite fitting may become loose over time if not properly installed. There has been cases where homeowners call because their home is flooded due to a sharkbite fitting popped off. From a professional standpoint, we strongly recommend soldering pipes since it is a proven effective option. Push-fit fittings (like sharkbite fitting) don’t have the credibility that soldering has. Soldering pipes have been around for a long time before the trend of using push-fit fittings. Some people believe installing a sharkbite fitting is much more convenient than soldering. In this case, whether you solder the pipes or use a sharkbite fitting, there are factors that you need to look at such as:
Your skill and level of experience
Soldering a pipe requires a level of skill and experience like a professional. A professional plumber have mastered the skill of soldering pipes over the years. You may do soldering yourself by purchasing the required tools, but it may lead to a low-quality output which can worsen the problem. For a non-professional, it’s the right choice to use a sharkbite fitting since it is easy to install.
Place of the repair
Installing a sharkbite fitting would be effective in easily accessible places like below the sink or on a water heater connection. Soldering is recommended for hard-to-reach places like underground or behind walls since these places are unnoticeable and we have to ensure that the pipe connections are secured. Push-fit fittings are not recommended in hard-to-reach places since their failure rate is high. Fixing pipes underground or behind walls can be challenging and you should never resort to DIY fixing.
Your budget
Installing a sharkbite fitting is indeed a quick fix and much more convenient. However, convenience always comes at a cost. For a standard half-inch pipe, it may cost you $8.00 to $10.00 per fitting. For a basic copper fitting, it can cost up to $5.00 for the same size. If there are several fittings to replace, the cost difference may add up quickly. Soldering pipes on the other hand may cost less than installing sharbite fitting and it’s a long-term solution.

Choose An Option That Fits Your Needs

Installing a sharkbite fitting is a convenient and quick-fix solution. But if you opt for a long-term solution, soldering is the best option due to its credibility and result. Copper pipes may last 50 to 70 years as long as it is installed properly and well-maintained. If you are unsure about your decision, you can contact us and we are here to help you!
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All You Need To Know About Replacing Polybutylene Pipes

Polybutylene Pipes Replacement Services By Leone PlumbingWhen it comes to house renovation, one important aspect that a homeowner has to look into is the plumbing system. In the process of renovation, you may uncover plumbing issues that have to be dealt with such as obsolete pipes. Homes that are built before 1995 may have used polybutylene pipes that are outdated and have to be replaced.

Why Does It Matter To Replace Polybutylene Pipes?

If your home is built back in the mid-70s to mid-90s, you may have polybutylene piping underground. It really matters to replace polybutylene pipes due to the high risk of bursts or leaking with this type of piping. There is even a history of lawsuits filed to stop the usage of polybutylene piping due to the damages it caused. It could be a long-term problem if this type of pipe isn’t replaced. Leaking old pipes allows water to pool up inside ceilings and walls which can be a breeding ground for molds. Aside from the health hazard due to molds, leaking pipes can also increase your water bill!

How Can You Tell If Your Home Has Polybutylene Pipes?

Polybutylene pipes are known for their blue color trademark. However, they are also available in colors black and gray. But the surest identifier of polybutylene piping is a stamp that says “PB2110”. Another way that you can find polybutylene pipes is in places where they are commonly located. They are installed as water supply lines only and you can’t find them as vent pipes or drain. These are the places in your home where you can find them. Leone Plumbing Polybutylene Pipes Replacement Services
  • At your main shutoff valve
  • Connected to your water heater
  • Attached to sinks and toilets
  • At the ceiling of your basement where pipes are exposed
 

Why Do You Need To Replace Polybutylene Pipes?

Polybutylene (Poly B) piping is known as a cheap and easy solution. However, it was later found out that polybutylene piping could not withstand harsh disinfectants in the public water supply such as chlorine. Over time, polybutylene pipes may corrode and crack which will cause leaks. Leaks caused by leaking Poly B pipes are difficult to detect immediately (since it’s underneath) until you experience the damages it brings. Since Poly B pipes have a high risk to burst or leak, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends that homes with Poly B piping get their plumbing system replaced.

Replacements for Poly B Pipes

The suitable replacements for Poly B pipes are copper pipe, PEX tubing, and PVC pipe. There are factors and considerations as well as which ones to pick. It would be best if you speak with an expert to help you assess your old pipes and what would be your best option. Contact us today so our experts can help you! We have options to offer that are easy on your budget and we even have financing options available for you.    
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Common Causes Why Your Tankless Hot Water Heater Is Leaking

Leone Plumbing Tankless Water Heater InstallationA tankless water heater is the best choice when it comes to energy efficiency. If you compare it with tank-style water heaters, it will only spend energy when a hot water tap is turned on or if there is an appliance being used. Since it doesn’t come with a tank, most homeowners believe that a tankless water heater doesn’t leak. However, a tankless water heater can still be susceptible to leaks. Proper care and maintenance still play an important role in the longevity of this appliance.

What causes a tankless water heater to leak and how can we deal with it?

Contrary to what everyone thought that a tankless water heater is leak-free, this appliance can begin to leak after years of use. Here are the common causes of leaks on tankless water heaters.
Improper Venting
If not properly vented, condensation can cause leaks on your water heater. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions before installing the appliance. The boiler should have proper venting through its roof or wall.
High Water Pressure and Flow Rates
For optimal performance, a tankless water heater requires low flow rates at 5 GPM and pressure at 30 PSI. If it goes beyond the allowed pressure and flow rates, it may cause leaks. Always monitor the pressure and flow rates and ensure that the required numbers are maintained.
Pipe Connections
Most tankless heaters are equipped with a relief valve, but some are not. Without a relief valve, there will be a build-up of pressure in the pipe joints which can cause leaks. Make sure that your water heater has a relief valve. Otherwise, our licensed plumbers can help you find and install a relief valve that will fit your heater. Tankless Water Heater Relief Valve Water Heater Install by Leone Plumbing
Hard Water
Particles such as calcium, lime, and other minerals are present in hard water. Over time, they build up like sediment that can affect the heat exchanger which will overheat the appliance and will cause leaks as well. Regular descaling can minimize and prevent sediment build-up on your tankless heater.
Acidic Water
Corroding pipes are a leading cause of leaks on tankless heaters. Acidic water can corrode pipes and creates a pinhole that grows over time. To prevent the risk, acidic water has to be monitored and neutralized.
Insufficient Gas Pipes
You need to ensure that the gas pipes have enough room to supply the necessary amount of gas demanded by the water heater. If not, leaks from gas pipes can bring a serious problem to your home! To prevent gas problems, it is recommended to have a separate line that runs from the meter to the heater without rerouting the gas main.

You Can Combat Leaks On Your Tankless Heater

Knowing the causes of leaks on a tankless heater can help you maintain your appliance so you can use it for a long time. If you need help or if you have concerns with your tankless heater, we are here for you! Contact us anytime.
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