Loading...

Follow Len The Plumber on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Cupid may have put an arrow through your heart this Valentine’s Day but that’s not exactly what you need in your tool chest to take care of your home’s repairs.

Here’s a handy list of the 8 most useful things a DIY Plumber should have in your toolbox to handle your home’s minor plumbing repairs.

  1. Pliers
    A set of slip-joint pliers or water pump pliers are great because they have longer handles and can grip nearly any shape or circumference pipe.
  2. Flange Plunger
    Shaped to clear those toilet clogs more effectively than a traditional plunger.
  3. Sink Auger
    Think of it as a rotating drum snake for your drain. If you have a tough clog, you can take the first crack at clearing it with this. Your next move is to call a professional plumber to make sure you don’t damage your pipes.
  4. Pipe Wrench
    A staple in the tool box of plumbers, a pipe wrench is many times used interchangeably with the water pump pliers, however a pipe wrench is good when dealing with iron and steel pipes as they are somewhat softer metals.
  5. Hacksaw
    A versatile tool for multiple purposes from cutting through that rusted screw you need removed, to potentially sawing through pipes and more.
  6. Basin Wrench
    A handy tool for getting in tough to reach places—with a long shaft and swiveling jaw.
  7. O rings and Rubber Washers
    Always good to have on hand and you never know when you might need them!
  8. Cup or Sink Plunger
    Same idea as your bathroom variety but smaller and designed with your sink in mind.

What better to say I love you than a gift that will help your loved-one check off their honey-do list? Keep it fun and find a creative way to bundle some home improvement tools in a unique presentation:

  • Create a tool chest bouquet.
    Skip the flowers and bundle a mix of wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers into a home-improvement bouquet.
  • A tool belt of your own
    Personalize a tool belt with your loved-one’s monogram and fill it with red-handled tools.
  • Fixated on red
    Show your love with a red traditional metal toolbox or a red bucket tool organizer. GRAINGER offers both.

Armed with your fully-stocked toolbox, check out this list of basic plumbing repairs you can tackle yourself!

And if you’re all thumbs when it comes to plumbing repairs, better to leave those jobs to the experts at Len The Plumber. Tackling a job that is out of your league can lead to costly damage to your home. Troubleshooting is ok, but if your plumbing problem is out of your tool box comfort zone, call us at Len The Plumber. We have experts on-hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week and there is never a charge for same day service, evenings or weekend appointments! Isn’t that something to LOVE!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It’s a table where you need no reservation…The Periodic Table, that stumbling block in your high school chemistry class and today we celebrate its’ 150th year.

But while NaCl has made it to the top of your table, it’s what you pour down your drain that could be the chemical equation you need to know the most about. Grease, soap, hair, and last night’s leftovers— all contribute to that un-plungeable globular clog. But before you reach for that chemical cleaner to make it go away, you should take a closer look at what’s in those harsh household products.

What’s in chemical drain cleaners

Most chemical drain cleaners use sodium hydroxide (also knows as caustic soda or lye) or sulfuric acid. These chemicals are extremely corrosive to organic materials and metals. The chemicals are bases so they give electrons to the clogging substance and their hydroxide ions create the reaction that clears the clog. Their alkaline chemicals release heat and turn grease into a soap-like substance that is more easily dissolved, according to How Stuff Works. Because the drain cleaners are heavier than water, they sink through any standing water attaching to the clog.

Other cleaners use household bleach, peroxides and nitrates. These chemicals cause the organic material that is causing the clog to lose electrons and become oxidized.

What happens when you use chemical drain cleaners

Bottom line, because what most of these chemicals produce heat, they can soften the properties of a PVC pipes and can eat away at older, metal pipes.

In addition to harming your pipes, chemicals included in drain cleaners can be harmful to your health. They are dangerous to your skin if you don’t wear gloves or take precautions not to inhale them.

Chemical drain cleaners can also hide bigger problems with your plumbing system. Your clogged pipe can be just a symptom. Drains clog because of improper disposal of grease or fibrous materials in your garbage disposal or it could be something of a larger nature like a backed up sewer line, a broken pipe or a clog lodged deep in your drain.

Chemical-free ways to decalog your drain

So you didn’t memorize the periodic table, which is just fine because to clear a simple clogged drain you only need to remember baking soda and vinegar.

First, pour a pot of boiling water down the clogged drain and follow it with cold water. The combination just might clear the simplest clog. If not try treating the clog with a half a cup of baking soda followed by a half of a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit over night and then flush the drain with hot water. It’s a good idea to use this mixture once a month for preventative maintenance.

Sometimes when you’ve got a clogged drain you don’t need a chemist, you need a plumber. And the good news is our Len The Plumber experts are the best in the business when it comes to fixing your clogged drains! We have the latest in drain cleaning equipment to solve all your issues. And you can feel confident knowing that at Len The Plumber you’ll get fast, reliable service 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

As temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic plummet, the chances increase for frozen pipes in your home. Here’s what to do if you find yourself with a frozen water pipe.

Why do pipes freeze

Water expands when it freezes, even if that water is trapped in a pipe. That expansion puts pressure on the pipe that is containing it whether or not that pipe is made of plastic or metal. Anytime the weather forecast is predicting freezing temperatures, including the nighttime temperatures, be mindful of your most vulnerable plumbing.

Pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are those that are exposed to the outdoors, like pipes that serve as pool supply lines and water sprinklers. Hose bibs and water supply lines in unheated areas in your home like basements and attics are vulnerable; even kitchen cabinets that are attached to exterior walls can get cold enough to freeze.

What to do when a pipe freezes

If you open a faucet and the water does not flow freely during cold weather, you might have a frozen pipe.

When you discover you have a frozen pipe here are a few things to try:

  • Open the cold and/or hot water faucet that is closest to the frozen pipe. This can relieve some of the built-up pressure and reduce the chance of that pipe rupturing.
  • Attempt to warm up the pipe. You can do this by applying heat to the section of the pipe using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer or using towels soaked in hot water.
  • Never use a blow torch or any other open flame device to warm the pipes.
  • Sometimes the area where the pipe is frozen is not easily accessible and it is best to call a professional plumber.
  • Check all the other faucets in your home by letting them run for a minute or two. It is likely if you have one frozen pipe there may be others.
  • Know where your main water shutoff valve is located. If your pipe bursts it will be critical to turn off your main water supply as soon as possible. It’s also important to call a professional plumber right away.

Frozen pipes aren’t just an issue for homeowners. Water main breaks and frozen water meters occur often during the winter months, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. It’s a good idea to keep three days’ worth of water on hand during the winter months. That equates to about one to two gallons of water per person per day and additional water for any pets in the home.

When it comes to frozen pipes, prevention is key. Check out these tips to help your pipes to remain free-flowing this winter.

Freezing water pipes that can escalate into ruptured ones are one of the costliest winter risks to your home. Preventing frozen pipes is best, but if you find you have a frozen pipe this winter, our Len The Plumber experts won’t leave you out in the cold. We can restore your frozen pipes and complete any emergency plumbing need. Give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you can chill out knowing we don’t charge extra for weekend or evening appointments.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Water is one of the most destructive and costliest forces when it comes to causing damage to your home. That’s why it’s important to know when you can fix a plumbing issue yourself or when it’s time to call in a professional.

Here are some basic plumbing repairs you can tackle yourself.
  • A slowly dripping faucet
    Hearing a constant dripping sound when you are trying to sleep is not only annoying but it’s costing you money! A steady drip can mean the washer within the faucet needs to be replaced. Turn off the water to the faucet and then unscrew the handle. Inspect the O-ring and washer for damage. Replace with a new washer and reassemble. If the drip continues, you may have broken plumbing or loose parts. If you have a newer faucet with a lever instead of traditional separate knobs, you may need a Len The Plumber professional to replace a broken ceramic plate or fix any of your leaking faucet problems.
  • A running toilet
    After you flush, does water continue to flow into the bowl? If so, that means you have a problem with your lever located in the tank behind the bowl. To fix it, remove the toilet tank lid, find the chain that is likely sunk to the bottom of the tank and reattach it to the lever that is attached to the toilet handle. In some cases you may need to replace the chain if it has been damaged.
  • A clogged drain
    Stop! Before you pour a chemical drain cleaner down the drain to clear a drain, try using a natural alternative of baking soda, salt and hot water. Find out how to naturally unclog a drain here. Some clogs are lodged too deep in your pipes to clear or are too large for solvents. That’s when you need a Len The Plumber expert to clear up the situation.
  • A shower head trickle
    Does your shower head spray water in all sorts of crazy directions or does the water seem blocked in certain parts of it? You might have a lime scale buildup on the shower head and spray plate. Try removing the shower head and spray plate and soaking them in a descaling solution. A cleaned shower head should get your shower back on track.
  • A gnarled garbage disposal
    A garbage disposal can sometimes come to a grinding halt. There are some easy things to get it going again. Try resetting it using the reset button at the bottom of the disposal. If that doesn’t work, try using an Allen key to manually turn the disposal to dislodge the clog. If your disposal is leaking or still won’t work, call in a professional.
Here are some plumbing emergencies that are best left to the professionals!
  • Water heater malfunction
    Leaking water heaters or water heaters that are emitting an odor or making a strange sound are all cause to call in a professional. Improperly performing water heaters can be a health and safety hazard. At Len The Plumber, we are experts in gas, electric and tankless water heaters and we can help service your water heater before you have a problem.
  • Sump pump failure
    Your sump pump is your home’s first line of defense against a high water table that can happen when there is a large rain or snow event. If it fails, you could face a flooded basement and expensive water damage repairs. Sump pumps need to be properly maintained and serviced. A Len The Plumber expert can help you if your sump pump fails and also prevent it from doing so in the first place!
  • Burst pipes
    Extreme changes in temperature can cause a water pipe to burst sending hundreds of gallons of water into your home. If a pipe bursts, immediately shut off the main water valve to your home and call a professional.
  • Clogged sewer lines
    The main sewer line to your home is one of the biggest and most important pieces of plumbing. A sewer line collapse or clog is always best handled by a professional. At Len The Plumber we have the tools to diagnose and fix your sewer line issue.

Troubleshooting your plumbing problem is ok as long as you are not in over your head. At Len The Plumber, there’s no need to second guess yourself. Our experts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we never charge extra for same day service, evenings or weekend appointments.

Finding an emergency plumber you can trust in the Mid-Atlantic has never been easier. Call Len The Plumber today and be confident the job will be done right.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The New Year may cost consumers in almost all Len The Plumber Mid-Atlantic service areas more money on their water bill, making now the best time to find sources of wasted water in your home.

From Philadelphia to Northern Virginia, water suppliers have increased their water rates in most cases to help fund infrastructure improvements to their systems. Aging pipes and equipment are a constant struggle for water delivery systems as demand on the system increases with population growth.

The City of Philadelphia Water Rate Board recently approved rate changes that will increase customers’ bills in fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The results for a typical residential customer is a monthly bill that would decline slightly from $66.50 to $66.33 in fiscal year 2019 due to a reduction in the monthly customer service charge, then an increase to $67.19 in fiscal year 2020.

Baltimore residents could also face three years of higher water bills at an increase of 9 percent every year if city officials agree with a proposal from the Department of Public Works. According to The Baltimore Sun, the extra revenue generated by the increase would be used to make capital improvements to the city’s aging water and sewer systems.

The Washington Suburban and Sanitary Commission, serving Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, adopted a new water and sewer pricing system in the summer that may result in decreased water and sewer bills in homes with more occupants and increased bills for residents who live alone. The tiered system takes effect in July. According to The Washington Post, a three-person home, will see their quarterly bill drop by $5, but someone living along will likely pay $8 more each quarter.

For customers who get their water from DC Water, a Cost of Service Study and resulting rate setting already went into effect starting in October. As a result, the sewer rates were increased while the water rates were adjusted down slightly. The overall increase to the average residential customer bill is 5-6 percent higher than last year.

No matter what you pay in water bills, it’s always a good idea to check your house for leaks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Here are some leak-finding tips from WaterSense:

  • If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month on your water bill during winter, you may have a serious leak.
  • Do not use faucets, flush toilets or do laundry for two-hours and check your water meter. If it changes, you have a leak.
  • Use food coloring to check for a leaky toilet.
  • Check faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe for surface leaks.

You can find other sources of your high water bill here.

Know the rate you pay for water and examine your water bill to determine if there are ways you can reduce usage to keep costs down. Here is a list of rates for customers in the Mid-Atlantic:

Fairfax County, VA: Customers of Fairfax Water are looking at a rate adjustment that will start April 1. You can find out how much it will cost for your water usage here.

Prince William County, VA: The rate increase here started this month. According to the Prince William Service Authority, a typical residential monthly water and sewer bill using 6,000 gallons will increase $1.40 starting this month, $1.90 next January and $1.95 in 2021.

Arlington, VA: Here’s where you can find water rate information for Arlington, VA.

Fredericksburg, VA: You can find your rates here, without a rate increase this fiscal year.

Loudoun County, VA: Loudoun Water increased its user rates in 2013-2015 and have a schedule of rates that shows an increase again through 2021.

City of Alexandria, VA: The rates increase started in 2016. A typical customer’s bill went up by 61-cents. You can read about it here.

Stafford County, VA: Water and Sewer rates here increased from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018.

Delaware: You can use the UNC Delaware Water and Wastewater rates dashboard tool to compare water and sewer rates in Delaware.

Cecil County, MD: You can find information about Cecil County customer water rates here.

Harford County, MD: In Harford County, new rates increased in 2016 an average of $38, according to the county.

Carroll County, MD:  According to the Carroll County Times, the was no increase in water and sewer rates in the fiscal year 2019 budget.

Charles County, MD: You can find the Charles County water and sewer rates here.

Howard County, MD: Howard county water rates increased July 1, 2018. You can find the schedule here.

Anne Arundel County, MD: Information on water rates can be found in the 2019 budget recap.

Delaware County, PA: Water service is provided by Aqua Pennsylvania and you can find your residential water rates here.

If your water bill is climbing due to a rate change, call Len The Plumber. Let us audit your home for ways to save you money. Our licensed plumbers are here to serve customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic so you can make sure you aren’t paying for water that is leaking from your home.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The dog is out and the pig is in!

February 5th marks the Chinese New Year, this year celebrating the Year of the Pig and saying goodbye to the Year of the Dog. While Chinese tradition describes this zodiac animal as blessed with good fortune, they are also known for not being wasteful spenders.

Here are five ways you can honor the Year of the Pig and not be a water hog this year!

  1. Take your car to a car wash.

    Sounds counter-intuitive right? A standard garden hose uses about 10 gallons of water per minute. That means you could be using 100 gallons of water washing your car for ten minutes. A power washer uses half the amount of water per minutes as a standard hose, a better option as long as you are careful of the amount of pressure used on your vehicle. Professional car washes are regulated, requiring them to recirculate water usage and adhere strict water conservation regulations. Click here for some specifics from the Maryland Department of the Environment.

  2. Use your dishwasher.

    The average U.S. household has about 215 dishwasher loads of plates, cups, silverware, etc. each year! Don’t let all of those dishes pile up in the sink. The best way to get them clean while also saving water is to load up your Energy Star rated dishwasher. Energy Star rated dishwashers use just 5 gallons of water per load. Hand-washing can use up to 27 gallons of water cleaning a dishwasher load of dishes. Here is a list of Energy Star rated dishwashers on the market.

  3. Search for leaks.

    The biggest water waster is the one you can’t see! Household leaks waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water a year nationwide. Correcting water leaks from a worn toilet, dripping faucet or other leaky valves can save about 10 percent on your water bill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Knowing you have a leak is as easy as using your water meter. Here’s a six step process to see if you have a leak in your home. If you discover a leak, Len The Plumber can conduct a thorough inspection to find the cause of the leak and fix it.

  4. Switch to water-saving showerheads.

    If you can get to the second verse in your shower song, you are using gallons upon gallons of water with a traditional shower head. In fact, the EPA estimates standard shower heads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Look for a WaterSense label to help identify models that save water but still perform well.

  5. Service your hot water heater.

    We all love a steamy hot shower, but we waste gallons of water each time we wait for the water to heat up to our desired temperature. If you find yourself waiting for hot water, it may be time to call a professional to have your water heater serviced. Regular maintenance can help cut that wait time down. And if that doesn’t help, you might want to consider a hot water recirculation system or tankless water heater. Our Len The Plumber experts can help determine how you can have a hotter, more efficient shower experience.

So this year, as we usher out the Year of the Dog and welcome the Year of the Pig, find easy ways to do your part and not be a water hog. Our Len The Plumber experts are here to help assess your home on ways you could start saving money on your water bill today.

The post Celebrate the Year of the Pig. Don’t be a Water Hog appeared first on Len The Plumber.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

As temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic plummet, the chances increase for frozen pipes in your home. Here’s what to do if you find yourself with a frozen water pipe.

Why do pipes freeze

Water expands when it freezes, even if that water is trapped in a pipe. That expansion puts pressure on the pipe that is containing it whether or not that pipe is made of plastic or metal. Anytime the weather forecast is predicting freezing temperatures, including the nighttime temperatures, be mindful of your most vulnerable plumbing.

Pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are those that are exposed to the outdoors, like pipes that serve as pool supply lines and water sprinklers. Hose bibs and water supply lines in unheated areas in your home like basements and attics are vulnerable; even kitchen cabinets that are attached to exterior walls can get cold enough to freeze.

What to do when a pipe freezes

If you open a faucet and the water does not flow freely during cold weather, you might have a frozen pipe.

When you discover you have a frozen pipe here are a few things to try:

  • Open the cold and/or hot water faucet that is closest to the frozen pipe. This can relieve some of the built-up pressure and reduce the chance of that pipe rupturing.
  • Attempt to warm up the pipe. You can do this by applying heat to the section of the pipe using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer or using towels soaked in hot water.
  • Never use a blow torch or any other open flame device to warm the pipes.
  • Sometimes the area where the pipe is frozen is not easily accessible and it is best to call a professional plumber.
  • Check all the other faucets in your home by letting them run for a minute or two. It is likely if you have one frozen pipe there may be others.
  • Know where your main water shutoff valve is located. If your pipe bursts it will be critical to turn off your main water supply as soon as possible. It’s also important to call a professional plumber right away.

Frozen pipes aren’t just an issue for homeowners. Water main breaks and frozen water meters occur often during the winter months, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. It’s a good idea to keep three days’ worth of water on hand during the winter months. That equates to about one to two gallons of water per person per day and additional water for any pets in the home.

When it comes to frozen pipes, prevention is key. Check out these tips to help your pipes to remain free-flowing this winter.

Freezing water pipes that can escalate into ruptured ones are one of the costliest winter risks to your home. Preventing frozen pipes is best, but if you find you have a frozen pipe this winter, our Len The Plumber experts won’t leave you out in the cold. We can restore your frozen pipes and complete any emergency plumbing need. Give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you can chill out knowing we don’t charge extra for weekend or evening appointments.

The post Uh Oh, Frozen Pipe. Now What? appeared first on Len The Plumber.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Water is one of the most destructive and costliest forces when it comes to causing damage to your home. That’s why it’s important to know when you can fix a plumbing issue yourself or when it’s time to call in a professional.

Here are some basic plumbing repairs you can tackle yourself.
  • A slowly dripping faucet
    Hearing a constant dripping sound when you are trying to sleep is not only annoying but it’s costing you money! A steady drip can mean the washer within the faucet needs to be replaced. Turn off the water to the faucet and then unscrew the handle. Inspect the O-ring and washer for damage. Replace with a new washer and reassemble. If the drip continues, you may have broken plumbing or loose parts. If you have a newer faucet with a lever instead of traditional separate knobs, you may need a Len The Plumber professional to replace a broken ceramic plate or fix any of your leaking faucet problems.
  • A running toilet
    After you flush, does water continue to flow into the bowl? If so, that means you have a problem with your lever located in the tank behind the bowl. To fix it, remove the toilet tank lid, find the chain that is likely sunk to the bottom of the tank and reattach it to the lever that is attached to the toilet handle. In some cases you may need to replace the chain if it has been damaged.
  • A clogged drain
    Stop! Before you pour a chemical drain cleaner down the drain to clear a drain, try using a natural alternative of baking soda, salt and hot water. Find out how to naturally unclog a drain here. Some clogs are lodged too deep in your pipes to clear or are too large for solvents. That’s when you need a Len The Plumber expert to clear up the situation.
  • A shower head trickle
    Does your shower head spray water in all sorts of crazy directions or does the water seem blocked in certain parts of it? You might have a lime scale buildup on the shower head and spray plate. Try removing the shower head and spray plate and soaking them in a descaling solution. A cleaned shower head should get your shower back on track.
  • A gnarled garbage disposal
    A garbage disposal can sometimes come to a grinding halt. There are some easy things to get it going again. Try resetting it using the reset button at the bottom of the disposal. If that doesn’t work, try using an Allen key to manually turn the disposal to dislodge the clog. If your disposal is leaking or still won’t work, call in a professional.
Here are some plumbing emergencies that are best left to the professionals!
  • Water heater malfunction
    Leaking water heaters or water heaters that are emitting an odor or making a strange sound are all cause to call in a professional. Improperly performing water heaters can be a health and safety hazard. At Len The Plumber, we are experts in gas, electric and tankless water heaters and we can help service your water heater before you have a problem.
  • Sump pump failure
    Your sump pump is your home’s first line of defense against a high water table that can happen when there is a large rain or snow event. If it fails, you could face a flooded basement and expensive water damage repairs. Sump pumps need to be properly maintained and serviced. A Len The Plumber expert can help you if your sump pump fails and also prevent it from doing so in the first place!
  • Burst pipes
    Extreme changes in temperature can cause a water pipe to burst sending hundreds of gallons of water into your home. If a pipe bursts, immediately shut off the main water valve to your home and call a professional.
  • Clogged sewer lines
    The main sewer line to your home is one of the biggest and most important pieces of plumbing. A sewer line collapse or clog is always best handled by a professional. At Len The Plumber we have the tools to diagnose and fix your sewer line issue.

Troubleshooting your plumbing problem is ok as long as you are not in over your head. At Len The Plumber, there’s no need to second guess yourself. Our experts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we never charge extra for same day service, evenings or weekend appointments.

Finding an emergency plumber you can trust in the Mid-Atlantic has never been easier. Call Len The Plumber today and be confident the job will be done right.

The post DIY Plumbing Problems and When to Call in a Professional appeared first on Len The Plumber.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

There’s Taco Tuesday and Hump Day but only Cut Your Energy Costs Day on January 10th has your wallet in its best interest!

What better day to start implementing all those cost saving measures in your home than on a day dedicated to reducing energy use and finding savings right in your own home. While costs in the Mid-Atlantic for energy suppliers and water rates are going up, the best way to hold the line on your budget is to find a way to be more efficient in your home.

Let’s take a look at some simple things you can do to cut your energy costs in your home.

  1. Insulate your water tank
    If you have an older water tank, take look at its insulation. If it has a R-value of at least 24, you are in good shape. If it is less, consider insulating your tank which could reduce standby heat losses by 25-45 percent, saving you about 7 to 16 percent in water heating costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You may also consider replacing old, inefficient water tanks for more efficient models. A Len The Plumber expert can recommend the best water heater model for your home. Our Len The Plumber professionals offer repair or replacement services for all types of water heating solutions.
  2. Replace traditional light bulbs with LED
    Although more expensive at checkout, LED bulbs have a longer lifespan than traditional light bulbs. Take inventory in your home and swap out a few at a time to ease the cost of the transition. Each energy-saving bulb saves you more than $600 in energy costs over the life of bulb, according to energy.gov.
  3. Repair leaky faucets
    A dripping faucet is a drag on your wallet. All those drops add up to more than a drop in the bucket on your water bill. Chances are if you live in the Mid-Atlantic, you will be seeing an increase in the cost per gallon you pay. Why not make sure you are getting your money’s worth? A Len The Plumber professional can fix your faulty faucets and put a stop to your finance flood. Check out this drip calculator to get a real handle on how much water you are wasting.
  4. Unplug appliances not in use
    Phantom energy is the energy things, like your TV, computer and power cords, consume when they are switched off. You can save that standby power costs simply by unplugging not just powering down your appliances. An easy way to do that is by using a power strip with switches you can flip on and off as needed. Phantom standby power can cost the average household $100 each year! That’s a lot of real bucks for phantom power!
  5. Switch to Energy Star rated appliances
    An Energy Star certified washing machines uses 40 to 50 percent less energy and about 55 percent less water than standard models. Replacing it can save up to $50 a year on utility and water bills. An Energy Star qualified refrigerator uses about 40 percent less energy than models sold as late as 2001. And dishwashers with the Energy Star rating are 12 percent more energy efficient than traditional models.

So, eat that Taco on Tuesday, but take some time to look at ways you can make an impact on your energy consumption and Len The Plumber can partner with you to help get it done. Call our professionals today.

The post 5 Easy Ways to Celebrate Cut Your Energy Costs Day appeared first on Len The Plumber.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The New Year may cost consumers in almost all Len The Plumber Mid-Atlantic service areas more money on their water bill, making now the best time to find sources of wasted water in your home.

From Philadelphia to Northern Virginia, water suppliers have increased their water rates in most cases to help fund infrastructure improvements to their systems. Aging pipes and equipment are a constant struggle for water delivery systems as demand on the system increases with population growth.

The City of Philadelphia Water Rate Board recently approved rate changes that will increase customers’ bills in fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The results for a typical residential customer is a monthly bill that would decline slightly from $66.50 to $66.33 in fiscal year 2019 due to a reduction in the monthly customer service charge, then an increase to $67.19 in fiscal year 2020.

Baltimore residents could also face three years of higher water bills at an increase of 9 percent every year if city officials agree with a proposal from the Department of Public Works. According to The Baltimore Sun, the extra revenue generated by the increase would be used to make capital improvements to the city’s aging water and sewer systems.

The Washington Suburban and Sanitary Commission, serving Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, adopted a new water and sewer pricing system in the summer that may result in decreased water and sewer bills in homes with more occupants and increased bills for residents who live alone. The tiered system takes effect in July. According to The Washington Post, a three-person home, will see their quarterly bill drop by $5, but someone living along will likely pay $8 more each quarter.

For customers who get their water from DC Water, a Cost of Service Study and resulting rate setting already went into effect starting in October. As a result, the sewer rates were increased while the water rates were adjusted down slightly. The overall increase to the average residential customer bill is 5-6 percent higher than last year.

No matter what you pay in water bills, it’s always a good idea to check your house for leaks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Here are some leak-finding tips from WaterSense:

  • If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month on your water bill during winter, you may have a serious leak.
  • Do not use faucets, flush toilets or do laundry for two-hours and check your water meter. If it changes, you have a leak.
  • Use food coloring to check for a leaky toilet.
  • Check faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe for surface leaks.

You can find other sources of your high water bill here.

Know the rate you pay for water and examine your water bill to determine if there are ways you can reduce usage to keep costs down. Here is a list of rates for customers in the Mid-Atlantic:

Fairfax County, VA: Customers of Fairfax Water are looking at a rate adjustment that will start April 1. You can find out how much it will cost for your water usage here.

Prince William County, VA: The rate increase here started this month. According to the Prince William Service Authority, a typical residential monthly water and sewer bill using 6,000 gallons will increase $1.40 starting this month, $1.90 next January and $1.95 in 2021.

Arlington, VA: Here’s where you can find water rate information for Arlington, VA.

Fredericksburg, VA: You can find your rates here, without a rate increase this fiscal year.

Loudoun County, VA: Loudoun Water increased its user rates in 2013-2015 and have a schedule of rates that shows an increase again through 2021.

City of Alexandria, VA: The rates increase started in 2016. A typical customer’s bill went up by 61-cents. You can read about it here.

Stafford County, VA: Water and Sewer rates here increased from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018.

Delaware: You can use the UNC Delaware Water and Wastewater rates dashboard tool to compare water and sewer rates in Delaware.

Cecil County, MD: You can find information about Cecil County customer water rates here.

Harford County, MD: In Harford County, new rates increased in 2016 an average of $38, according to the county.

Carroll County, MD:  According to the Carroll County Times, the was no increase in water and sewer rates in the fiscal year 2019 budget.

Charles County, MD: You can find the Charles County water and sewer rates here.

Howard County, MD: Howard county water rates increased July 1, 2018. You can find the schedule here.

Anne Arundel County, MD: Information on water rates can be found in the 2019 budget recap.

Delaware County, PA: Water service is provided by Aqua Pennsylvania and you can find your residential water rates here.

If your water bill is climbing due to a rate change, call Len The Plumber. Let us audit your home for ways to save you money. Our licensed plumbers are here to serve customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic so you can make sure you aren’t paying for water that is leaking from your home.

The post Mid-Atlantic Water Rates Climb in the New Year appeared first on Len The Plumber.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview