Water Heaters Need Cleaning Too!

Water Heaters Need Cleaning Too!

When was the last time you cleaned your water heater? If this is a task that you’ve fallen behind on, autumn is the perfect time to get back on schedule. With colder months ahead, you definitely want to make sure that your water heater is in good condition and that it will be working smoothly throughout the winter months. After all, no one wants a cold shower on a freezing winter morning!

Too often, water heater maintenance is overlooked or put off. Today we’re going to talk about some of the basics of hot water heater flushing in hopes of making sure that your water heater is clean and well maintained this fall.

How Often Should You Clean Your Water Heater?

It might surprise you to learn that you should clean your water heater at least once a year. Sediment and minerals are continually building up in your water heater. If you don’t regularly clean and flush your tank, this sediment will continue to build up and create problems for both your hot water heater and your plumbing.

By doing a flushing every year gets rid of excess sediment, which makes your water heater more efficient. Staying on top of this maintenance also extends the lifespan of your water heater and minimizes the risks of leaks or other water heater plumbing issues. To make sure that you stay up to date on this project, add water heater flushing to your fall to-do list. It’s the perfect time of year to complete this annual maintenance.

Is Your Water Heater Due for a Cleaning?

Sometimes even if you regularly clean your water heater, you will see some signs that it needs to be flushed out. If you hear banging sounds from your water heater, if you get less hot water than usual or if you see sediment in the drain valve, it’s likely time to clean out your water heater.

If you notice any of these things, it’s a good idea to clean your water heater as soon as possible to avoid damage to your unit. Being aware of the signs that your water heater needs to be cleaned is an easy way to avoid a plumbing headache or potentially a plumbing emergency.

When Is It Time to Install a New Water Heater?

Unfortunately, even if you properly maintain and clean your water heater, at some point it’s going to need to be replaced. Rather than waiting until it completely goes out or starts leaking, try to be proactive about replacing it.

There are often signs that your water heater is about to go out. If your hot water is lukewarm, cloudy or has rust in it, it could mean that your water heater needs to be replaced. Further, if you hear banging sounds from your water heater even after it’s cleaned or if your tank is leaking, it could mean that it’s time for a new unit. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to have your unit inspected to determine if it’s time to replace it.

We hope you’ll check and clean your water heater this fall. If you need any help with this process or have any concerns about your water heater, call Water Heater Medic today at (860) 896-3342.

What Causes Your Plumbing to Stink?

What Causes Your Plumbing to Stink?

What's that smell wafting up from your kitchen or near your water heater? You tend not to notice your plumbing unless there is an urgent problem, like a plumbing leak, a clog, or in some cases an unpleasant odor coming from your drains.

Some of the issues that cause your plumbing to stink may require water heater cleaning. Some may merely need you to be vigilant and practice some smart plumbing habits, like regular drain cleaning. Here are some trouble signs to watch for with smelly plumbing.

Got a Smelly Sink?

“contaminatedsink”One notorious cause of smells coming up from your sink is the buildup of residue just inside the drains.

In your kitchen, you may have an accumulation of food particles from washing dishes or food prep.

In the bathrooms, you get a buildup of hair, skin cells, shampoo, shaving cream, and more. Over time, this organic material binds to your pipes and will start to decompose.

Not only does this material have the potential to cause drain clogs, but it also smells awful when rotting. You can avoid these problems by being diligent and watching what goes down your drains.

In the kitchen put in a garbage disposal to get food debris, or put scraps in your compost. In the bathroom, place hair traps over your drains to gather debris before it has a chance to fall go down the sink.

Every month or so, as a natural deodorizer, sprinkle baking soda, followed by a generous pour of white vinegar down the drain. As these ingredients combine, they will foam, removing debris and eliminating the odor. Make sure to run lots of hot water after doing this.

Sulfur on the Pipes?

“sulfur”Would you identify the odor as the smell of rotten eggs? Sulfur might be contaminating the water or plumbing in your Vernon, CT home if certain chemical conditions in your water, pipes, or soil create sulfuric gases.

The question is, how can you know if it is the plumbing, or if you have contaminated water?

Fill a glass with water from one tap in your home, and check if it smells like sulfur. Now pour another glass from another tap. Does it smell like rotten eggs, too? If it does, your water is contaminated. If not, you can zero in on the plumbing where the smelly water is coming from.

What Can You Do About It?

“whattodo”No question, having these awful smells in your home can be very disruptive. It might lead to avoid certain rooms or entertain less often.

And you shouldn't have to do that in your own home. Your best bet is to call your plumber in right away. They have special diagnostic equipment that can help to determine the cause quickly.

Their help is also essential in keeping this problem from reoccurring. The good news is that once you discover the source of the smell, it is usually pretty easy to resolve. It is recommended that you have regular drain cleaning done to keep the odors away.

Plumbing Superheroes Know the Best Ways to Fight Unclean Water in the Home

Plumbing Superheroes Know The Best Ways To Fight Unclean Water In The Home

It is well known that plumbers are the first line of defense against contaminated water and that is certainly true in Windsor, CT where citizens trust them to bring safe water for all.

Plumbing superheroes know how to battle unclean water, no matter what the situation and they are well aware of how one contaminated source of water, such as a damaged septic system, broken sewage pipe or storm surge can cause pathogens to spread throughout an entire neighborhood.

Stomach Ache SickOnce a pipe is broken, or your backflow mechanisms have been damaged then it is quite easy for your home to become contaminated with many different types of pathogens.

These include ones that can cause Hepatitis A, MRSA, SARS, HIV, typhoid, and dysentery.

Plumbers are also the first line of defense against poisoning from industrial and chemical sources as they are able to conduct water testing to determine whether or not the water in your home in safe enough to drink.

How Plumbing Superheroes Bring Safe Water For All In The Home

Safe Drinking WaterMany of the strategies that plumbers use to battle health issues due to unclean water in the home and the community are preemptive ones.

For instance, a plumber will advise most homeowners to install low flow devices with shut off valves so that you can reduce the amount of water that enters your place.

This is important because the less water there is in your pipes, the less likely your backflow valves are to be overwhelmed causing your clean home water to be mixed with sewage.

Plumbers will install many different types of filters to help prevent the contamination of your water by toxins and pathogens including gravity filters, reverse osmosis filters and carbon slabs that filter out the tiniest of particles. UV filters that use light to kill pathogens that are invisible to the eye.

A plumber can also help you seek out and identify the presence of black mold in your home, the presence of which can make people very ill. Black mold thrives in environments that are toxic or wet. Unfortunately, this toxic mold requires that you leave the premises immediately as it is toxic enough to cause death.

How Reducing Water Use Aids Plumbers

Water Conservation The best way to help your plumber be a superhero is to follow his advice to install low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets in your home.

So, if you are subjected to some kind of storm or disaster, then you will be less likely to experience your home’s water mixing with sewage.

These new low-flow appliances are also easily shut-off preventing damage to your home and belongings. It also means that your superhero plumber will have less costly emergencies and sleepless nights and instead meet annually for necessary plumbing checks and upgrades.

Indoor Plumbing History Guide

Indoor Plumbing History Guide


It was the ancient Egyptians who first introduced plumbing to mankind, thanks to a ruler named Menes who built a series of ditches and canals to help train water towards farms and city dwellings.

Around the same time in India, rudimentary straw and clay pipes delivered water from the Indus River Valley towards farms to help irrigate crops.

However, two more centuries would pass before the Egyptians invented copper water delivery systems and built the first toilets from stone.

Five hundred years later after that, King Minos of Crete built the first simple flushing toilets, but the fact that the Minoan culture was so isolated from the rest of the world prevented the sharing of their indoor plumbing knowledge with other cultures.

As the civilized world entered the Iron Age, Romans learned from what they saw during their many invasions of Egypt and built aqueducts and pipes. These simple structures of often used the natural pull of gravity to supply homes, public baths and fountains with local river water.

However, after Visigoths invaded Rome in 365 AD, the city was demolished and stalled the evolution of indoor plumbing. The world regressed back to the days when there was no running water at all for almost a thousand years.

The Invention of Running Water and Flush Toilets


Before the invention of running water and flush toilets, even kings and queens had to put up with less than sanitary conditions, which inspired Marie Antoinette to invent a special strong smelling perfume in order to cover up the smell of 17th-century day-to-day living.

Things were even worse in the streets, where pails of human waste were sloshed onto the streets in all of the big cities in Europe, with no readily available water to rinse it away. In the eighteenth century, King Louis the XIV did build a series of lead pipes to water his garden, but living without bathing or days had become so common, that it did not occur to him to add bathrooms to the palace.

However, cast-iron bathtubs had been invented by then and water warmed in pots heated over a stove was used to fill them. Only European royalty enjoyed the privilege of being clean and most commoners living in cities such as Paris and London only bathed once a year. The godson of Queen Elizabeth 1st, a man named Sir John Harrington, invented the first European prototype for a toilet.

As it was not connected to a sewage system, it was very much a novelty. By 1775, the modern toilet is invented by Alexander Cumming and then later improved upon in 1891 by Thomas Crapper, however outhouses still predominated all over the world because sewage and plumbing systems had yet to be built. The first comprehensive operating sewer system was completed in 1885, and many other cities all over the world quickly followed suit.

Advancing Towards Contemporary Indoor Plumbing and Fixtures

By 1910, the contemporary closed toilet bowl and tank that is used by citizens of South Windsor, CT today had been invented and the basic design has not really changed since then.

However, as common as flush toilets came to be throughout the twenties and thirties, two-ply toilet paper was not invented until 1942.

Other innovations that have been added to indoor plumbing include sensor-flushing toilets, low-flow toilets that conserve almost two gallons of water per flush and toilets with inbuilt jets and dryers that forgo the need to use any toilet paper because technology takes care of your every need.

Water-Saving Guide for a Fun Summer

Water-Saving Guide for a Fun Summer

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you need to do away with your water conservation priorities to have fun. You spend the entire year consciously trying to save water, why stop when the temperature rises and the kids are out of school?

There are many amazing ways you can have fun this summer and save water at the same time.

Here are 5 ideas to get you started:

Make the Most of Lawn Irrigation

Everyone knows that keeping the sprinkler on 24/7 to protect your lawn is wasteful. Instead, make the most of your sprinkler time by letting the kids run through the water and cool down at the same time!

Think back to your childhood, some of the most precious memories are made from impromptu sprinkler jumping. This is a simple activity that requires minimal effort on your part while maximizing fun and giving your kids some amazing summer memories and the chance to have fun and be silly.

Opt for Sponges Instead of Water Balloons

Water fights are a fun part of summer and nothing is more enticing than a bucket filled with gently jiggling, colorful water balloons. But water balloons only offer a one-time use, which can be wasteful.

Instead, pass our brightly colored sponges to your water fight participants and place several buckets of water around the yard as refilling stations.

Throwing a wet sponge is effective at soaking your enemies and the ability to re-soak the sponges will cut down on the waste.

Build Your Own DIY Slip and Slide

If you find yourself in a pinch for a quick and inexpensive summer activity, try making a DIY slip and slide course out of materials found in your own home.

Here are some steps to making a slip and slide out of things you already have:


  1. Use a painter’s tarp or tape together some heavy-duty garbage bags as the course.
  2. Make sure the slip and slide area is free of any rocks or sharp edges that could hurt someone.
  3. Squirt a small amount of dish soap on the tarp or garbage bags.
  4. Pour a couple buckets of water on the plastic and enjoy!

Hose Limbo

Although it can be fun to simply spray your family with the hose, there are other ways you can make a functional garden hose fun. Hose limbo is a spin on the traditional limbo game, except; instead of a “limbo stick” participants must limbo under a stream of water from the hose.

This activity is sure to soak a few people and give hours of entertainment.

Bucket Filling

Games are always a hit when it comes to outdoor fun. Try this minute-to-win-it style game by placing a full bucket and empty bucket away from each other. Participants will have to fill the empty bucket using water from the full one.

The only catch, they must fill the bucket by wringing out water from a sponge! Although the key is to move the water quickly and efficiently without spilling any, you are sure to get soaked in the process.

Dependable Water Leak Detection Advice for Homeowners

Dependable Water Leak Detection Advice for Homeowners

Do you suspect a water leak in your home? Worried you can’t find the exact location of the problem? Do not fear!

Simply hire a professional plumber and follow these easy steps to detect, repair, and prevent water leaks in the home:

Step 1: Invest in Preventative Maintenance

The same way we go to the dentist for a cleaning twice a year, we must also invest in professional maintenance for our home.leak

Preventative maintenance on your pipes will stop leaks before they can form while saving you money in the long run.

Some highly recommended services include:

- Drain cleaning on an annual basis to clear the drains of any built-up debris and grease. Drain cleaning also promotes a healthy overall plumbing system.

- Pipe inspections to point out any weak spots or minor leaks that should be repaired before they turn into bigger problems.

- If you are constantly dealing with recurring leaks or damage to your pipes, we recommend preventative repiping to start fresh with new, efficient pipes in the home. This is often a large investment but is worth it for many homeowners.

Step 2: Call for Professional Leak Detection if You Suspect a Problem

Water leaks in the home are dangerous and inconvenient.

While you may have a general idea of the location of the leak, in many cases, they are located inside your walls or floor, making it difficult for an inexperienced eye to pinpoint the problem.

Professional plumbing specialists use the following advanced methods to detect leaks and determine the severity of the problem:

Meter Testing: A special tool is used to measure the water pressure inside your pipes. The findings are compared to a healthy pipe to determine if a leak is present.

Dig and Drill: This is a great option for homeowners in a hurry. By digging and drilling into your walls or floor, we can expose the damaged pipe for a quick repair.

Infrared Camera: Using an infrared camera, we take multiple pictures of the pipes to pinpoint the source of the leak and offer the best possible repair options.

Bonus Tip: Why are Water Leaks so Troublesome for Homeowners?

Many homeowners will notice a minor leak in their pipes and not give it a second thought.

They believe these problems are not a big deal and do not always require professional service.

However, water leaks are more than a minor inconvenience.

moldThey have damaging effects that many homeowners would much rather avoid including:

  • Mold growth that causes breathing problems and is extremely difficult to clean.
  • Structural damage and rot to the home as water rushes out of the pipes into areas not meant to get wet.
  • Rising water bills.

These issues are not good for your family, home, and wallet.

Since water leak damage can be easily avoided, it’s important for homeowners to keep their eyes open for any signs of water leaks in the home.

Useful Ideas for Kitchen & Bathroom Remodels

Useful Ideas for Kitchen & Bathroom Remodels

Have you decided to renovate your kitchen or bathroom? The summertime is the ultimate time of year to do so.

However, many homeowners only focus on how they want their new room to look and function.

What many people fail to realize is that renovations involve much more than a simple change of scenery.

Regardless of whether you’ll be cooking up some delicious food in your new kitchen, or relaxing after a long day in a newly installed jetted-tub, get the most out of your renovations with these useful ideas:

Make Sure You Plan Ahead

When you take on a major remodel project, make sure you do your research before making any financial investments.

You should know your exact plumbing needs, any necessary installations, and the existing layout of your home’s plumbing system.

This information can be found on your home’s blueprint, but these can be hard to come by, especially in older homes.time

If you cannot access these blueprints, contact your local plumber.

They can come in and provide you with a rough estimate of how your home’s plumbing is laid out by using their experience and expertise.

Depending on the fixtures that you wish to install, consider any upgrades that may be necessary to complement these changes.

For example, if you’re planning to install a new shower, you may also need to install a new water heater to keep up with the demand for hot water.

Stick to your plans once you’ve started renovations. Changing your mind during renovations can cost you serious money and time.

Try to reserve at least 10% of your budget for emergencies or unexpected costs.

How to Hire the Right Contractor

Hiring the right contractor for your specific remodeling job is of the utmost importance.

You want to find a plumber who understands your wishes, and has the expertise to deliver the results you desire.

Find a fully certified and trained plumbing professional, as they’ll have the equipment and expertise necessary to carry out the job safely and effectively.

Homeowners can also use a plumber’s website to see if their work will align with your goals.

Review their testimonials and photos of previously completed projects, and ask around your community to hear other people’s thoughts of their service.

Updating Plumbing Fixtures

When you’re updating plumbing fixtures, invest your money in high-quality upgrades that will last you for years to come.

For the most part, modern plumbing technology is also eco-friendly and more efficient than older fixtures, so you’ll save even more money in the long run.

proSometimes, your kitchen or bathroom renovation will involve having to knock down a wall, exposing your home’s pipe system.

If this is the case, have your plumber carefully inspect these pipes for weak or damaged areas.

By having them fixed when they’re exposed, you can lower your chances of having to knock down walls later on for emergency fixes.

These Top 3 Reasons for Stinky Drains and Smelly Water Need Your Attention

These Top 3 Reasons for Stinky Drains and Smelly Water Need Your Attention

Modern plumbing fixtures and the systems that connect them are designed to be odorless. Even so, issues ranging from cracked pipes to blocked vents, to water heaters set at too cool temperatures.

All of these things can allow sulfurous odors to seep into your home that are not only disgusting but can pose health problems with concentrations of bacteria and methane. Here are three common reasons for noxious odors:

1. Drain and Sewer Line Problems

Bad smells can come from leaks from rotted or cracked drain pipes, loose-fitting pipe connections and other reasons. Blocked, overflowing drains can also be culprits.blocked-drain

Sewer blockages in your private lines connecting to the main sewer lines causes water and odors to back up drains.

These blockages are often caused by flushing foreign objects in toilets, ranging from diapers and tampons to solid food and pet litter.

Cooking oil and fat poured down sinks can also create blockages.

If the main sewer line backs up, then it is the city’s or municipality’s duty to fix the problem. But often you will need to consult with a plumbing professional to determine the reason.

2. Bacteria in Water Heaters

Every metal water heater comes equipped with an anode rod, which protects the tank from corrosion and rust. As the rod decays doing its job, it can create hydrogen sulfur gas that acts with bacteria in tank sediment to create rotten smells and bad-tasting water.

The bacteria can also multiply if the heater is unused for a long time or its temperature setting is put too low, by a family, for example, that wants to protect its children from scalding water.

Water stored at temperatures under 140°F runs increasing chances of breeding bacteria, including ones that can cause Legionnaire’s disease.

3. P-Trap and Venting Issues

p-trapThe sulfurous smells can also be caused by a vent pipe on your roof blocked with bird nest or other debris.

The impeded airflow can create a vacuum that drains the water in the bottom of P-traps.

These are the curving pipes under your sink that collect water in the bottom of the U-shape, creating a seal that prevents water and odors backing up from sewer pipes.

If the water in the P-trap is whisked away by a vacuum, leak or evaporation if the drain hasn’t been used for a long time, then the seal is broken and sewer smells waft in.

Dependable Steps for Going Green

Dependable Steps for Going Green

recycle_480Earth Day will be celebrated worldwide on April 22nd. Earth Day stands to spread awareness on the importance of environmental protection, and the steps individuals can take in their daily lives to move towards a healthy and sustainable existence.

Protecting the Earth starts at home. So why not start by protecting the most precious resource this Earth provides – water?

There are countless steps that residents in a household can take to decrease their overall water usage throughout their daily lives while maintaining a healthy and happy quality of life.

Some dependable and proven techniques for going green and reducing water consumption include:

Install Eco-Friendly Plumbing Fixtures

Modern day plumbing fixtures and technologies have been developed to help individuals and families limit the amount of water that they use without directly affecting their habits and routines. Examples of some eco-friendly plumbing fixtures include:

  • save-waterLow-flush toilets
  • Faucet Aerators
  • Automatic/timed faucets
  • Dual-flush toilets
  • Low-flow showerheads

Get Rid of Water Bottles and Invest in a Water Filtration System

Water bottles are a huge pollutant in America, where people purchase more bottled water than anywhere else in the world, with over two million tons sitting in landfills today.

Water filtration systems work to remove impurities from a home’s water supply, such as dirt, clay, silt, and other sediment. This filtration process can be installed throughout an entire home, and provide families with healthy drinking water straight from the tap.

Invest in Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, are able to heat water in a much more energy-efficient way than traditional water heater tanks.

The process works by having water from pipes heated in the tankless water heater using electrical elements or gas burners that heat as hot water is necessary.

Traditional water heating units must continually be filled and heated, creating an inefficient energy cycle.

If you live in a house where large appliances, such as dishwashers or laundry machines, must be used simultaneously, consider installing tankless water heaters at more than one hot water output to ensure that you have a sufficient flow of hot water, continuously.

carbon-footprintReduce Your Carbon Footprint

Along with ensuring that your home’s plumbing system is as eco-friendly as possible, there are habits that can be cultivated to reduce your family's overall carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is a measurement of environmental impact, measured in units of carbon.

For example, washing clothes in cold water can save a family up to 500 pounds of carbon emissions each year.

Another method of reducing your carbon footprint is to ensure that your furnace is working efficiently, by performing regular maintenance and replacing filters a couple of times a year.

World Water Day Is Important for Many Reasons

World Water Day Is Important for Many Reasons

world-waterWorld Water day will be celebrated on March 22nd, 2017. This day focuses attention on our planet’s freshwater supply and its importance.

Working to spread knowledge of how humans can best sustainably manage and protect this vital resource while dealing with the surge of urbanization and diverse lifestyle changes, is the main goal of this day. With the increase in urbanization, comes an increase in the amount of water used daily.

The Water Crisis

Our freshwater resources are becoming more and scarcer, from the increased waste and use of water that sustains the North American lifestyle. This depletion is known as the water crisis and can be contributed to several factors, including:

Environmental Crisis: When water is polluted or consumed in large amounts, aquatic ecosystems pay the ultimate price. These ecosystems are delicate, and cannot be regulated once disturbed, causing the extent of pollution to increase steadily.
Increased Water Consumption: The consumption of water for irrigation purposes, agriculture, domestic households, industrial production processes, etc. compile much of water used daily. This increased consumption, along with wasteful agricultural practices, is quickly depleting the planet’s freshwater supply.

Water Conservation

Water is being wasted more now than at any other time in Earth’s history. Scientists and activists are attempting to spread these key methods towards reducing the overall consumption of water and how to protect this natural resource:

  • The overall reduction in water usage and waste, preserving existing resources.
  • Developing safe methods of hazardous waste disposal, such as human and animal waste, and chemicals.
  • Improving the management of water usage by conducting beneficial decisions on how and how much humans use water.

water-dropThe production of factory farm raised meat, and our reliance on water-heavy crops such as corn, wheat, and rice makes up a large percentage of the freshwater used.

The Importance of Water Efficiency at Home

In recent years, plumbing technology has developed to embrace the importance of conserving the freshwater supply on this planet. These water-efficient devices are affordable investments that assist individuals in limiting the amount of water used in daily life:

  • Dual-flush toilets. Equipped with two flushing levers or buttons to flush varying levels of water, dual-flush toilets use up to 67% less water than conventional toilets.
  • Automatic (timed) faucets.
  • Low-flow showerheads (also known as energy-efficient showerheads).
  • Garden hose nozzles.
  • Low-flush toilets.
  • Faucet aerators. Aerators can break up straight water flow into smaller particles while delivering the same effectiveness using less water.

In South Windsor, CT and surrounding areas, the experts at Water Heater Medic can assist you in the successful installation of water-saving plumbing technology. Call (860) 896-3342 to schedule a professional consultation.