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How do I prevent drain stoppages?

Practical Prevention Tips for Avoiding Clogged Drains

An unpleasant surprise may await you when you finish washing your dishes and discover that the water refuses to drain out of your sink. Most people tend to leave it overnight in the hopes that it will eventually drain, but you can expect to wake up to a sink that is still full of water that has no doubt turned cold, greasy and smelly. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent clogged kitchen drains and clogged shower drains in your home.

Avoid Grease

It's a common myth that you can drain grease into your kitchen sink as long as you run hot water down the drain with it. The truth is that grease can create a nightmare in your kitchen sink. To avoid a clogged kitchen drain, pour your grease into a large bowl, let it sit until it solidifies and spoon it into the trash instead.

Keep Food Out of Drains

Unless you own a garbage disposal, you must resist the temptation to push the food off of the dishes you are washing and down the drain. It may seem like only a small bit of food, but it can accumulate and cause a clogged kitchen drain. Make a practice of scraping off all the dishes before they make it to the sink. You may also consider having a plumber install a good garbage disposal to make things simpler.

Catch That Hair

If you leave giant clumps in your bathtub or shower, you can almost guarantee a clogged drain. If your bath water begins to drain slowly or not at all, then you should first suspect that hair to be the reason. You can’t avoiding shedding hair, but you can save yourself a clogged shower drain by placing a filter or screen over the drain every time you bathe.

Good Plumbing Practices

There are a few simple tasks that you may implement that may help you prevent clogged kitchen and shower drains. Try running extremely hot water along with a bit of baking soda through all drains when you clean the kitchen and bathrooms. You can also call us at Continental Plumbing for plumbing maintenance services in order to avoid bad clogs, pipe back up and flooding.

Get Your Clogged Drain Fixed

If you still find yourself with a backed up sink or shower despite your best efforts, then don't hesitate to contact Continental Plumbing for a free estimate. We serve Florida's New Port Richey area and all of Pasco County. You can expect quick, professional service when you call us to fix your clogged drains.

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What are the benefits of tankless water heaters?

Tankless, or on-demand, water heaters operate by supplying heated water only when it’s needed. With tankless technology, the system warms water to your desired temperature immediately. To do this, water flows through tube like pipes that the system heats with gas or electricity. Reduced energy costs, increased efficiency and constant access to clean water are a few of the benefits of tankless water heaters.

Lower Energy Bills

Since tankless units do not store a large amount of heated water, they decrease your energy costs. In fact, a tankless system could lower your energy bill by as much as 40 percent. This type of heating system uses an exact amount of energy to warm the water being used in the moment.

Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly

An on-demand hot water unit is about 30 percent more efficient than a traditional tank that stores 50 gallons of water. By installing a tankless system, you will be aiding the environment since you'll be using less energy. Furthermore, if you purchase an electric model, you’ll have a device that does not generate greenhouse gasses.

Delivers Clean Water

When water originates from a hot water tank, it has been stored with rust and scale unless it's new. All traditional hot water tanks accumulate debris over time. A tankless hot water heater is able to deliver cleaner water because the heating system is not using stored water.

Why Buy a Tankless Water Heater

By upgrading your home’s plumbing network to include tankless hot water heaters, you’ll avoid the possibility of flooding, which can occur with traditional hot water tanks. Also, on-demand systems feature safety controls to prevent water temperatures from reaching unsafe levels. When you request exterior installation, the heating devices come with freeze protection to avoid system damage.

Tankless hot water systems generally last longer than traditional containment units. In fact, tankless devices frequently function for 15 to 20 years while hot water tanks typically last for about 10 years.

Tankless Water Heater Installation

Why buy a tankless water heater? Once you replace a traditional hot water tank with a tankless one, you’ll have access to a constant source of hot water. Tankless units also take up less space in your home, and you can have it mounted on an indoor or outdoor wall. If you’re looking for ways to make your home more environmentally friendly, then consider the many benefits of tankless water heaters. Contact us today and upgrade to a tankless water heater to start saving money every month!

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Why is My Water Heater Leaking?

Traditional water heaters are rugged and dependable, but water is corrosive, and the components inside the unit will eventually start to rust and wear. A leaking water heater requires immediate attention since unaddressed leaks can cause property damage and will significantly raise utility costs. A small amount of water on a garage or basement floor may be an early warning sign of a much more serious problem.

The Common Causes of Water Heater Leaks

In many instances, you can pinpoint the cause of a leak by determining exactly where the water is coming from. The most common reasons for a hot water heater leaking include:

The Tank

If water is leaking around the base of the unit, the tank itself may be compromised. Look for damp insulation and water on the seams of the metal jacket. There may also be some moisture inside the heating element inspection panel. Regular maintenance can help extend the life of the unit, but a leaking water heater tank will have to be replaced.

The Drain Valve

A compromised drain valve usually begins to leak immediately after routine maintenance. Since it isn’t used much, opening the valve to drain sediment-rich water may expose corroded gaskets and seals. If the drain doesn’t close properly, a steady trickle of water may continue to leak from the spout. You can try to open the valve to clear accumulated debris, but if it still leaks, the valve will have to be replaced. A qualified plumber can remove the faulty unit and install a full-port brass valve to help eliminate future problems.

Pressure Relief Valve

One of the more common components that can cause hot water heater leaking is the temperature relief valve. Also known as the TPR or T&R, this critical safety device releases water and steam if the temperature inside the tank exceeds safety design parameters. The TPR is made of brass and is located at the top of the water heater. A discharge pipe runs to the outdoors or to another safe location. After many years of operation, the TPR may fail and begin to leak. If lifting the valve to release a small amount of hot water fails to clear accumulated sediment, the valve will need to be replaced by a professional plumber. If the valve is periodically discharging jets of hot water, it may be a sign of a more serious plumbing issue.

Inlet and Outlet

Another source of water heater leakage is the inlet and outlet on the top of the unit. The connections on the tank are made of steel while the pipes are usually made of copper. An ongoing chemical reaction takes place that eventually may corrode the steel pipes. A slow, steady leak can be identified by unsightly corrosion and rust growing around the connections. If you detect corrosion and moisture around the inlet or outlet pipes, it is advisable to have them replaced before a serious leak develops.

Complete Water Heater Repair and Replacement Services

Water heater problems can be costly and destructive if left unaddressed. If you have a leaking water heater, call the plumbing professionals at Continental Plumbing Services. For over 25 years, we have provided complete water heater repair and replacement services for residents of Pinellas County and the surrounding area.

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When Do I need Plumbing Pipe Installation or Repair?

A plumbing pipe failure can cause substantial structural damage and create a variety of different health hazards. Uncontrolled water leaks can destroy walls, ceilings, floors and personal belongings. Hidden leaks can be even worse as the damage continues to escalate while remaining undetected.

When a Piping Problem is Uncovered

Homeowners often discover they have a piping issue when they receive an unusually high water bill. Other signs you may have leaking pipes include a steady hissing or dripping sound that appears to be coming from behind the drywall in your walls or ceiling.

According to the EPA, fixture and piping leaks result in over 10,000 gallons of wasted water annually in the average home. Almost 10 percent of homes in America have serious leaks that result in more than 90 gallons of wasted water every day. In fact, it is estimated that over a trillion gallons of water is wasted every year because of neglected water leaks.

Corroded Pipes

Galvanized pipe was the most popular material used in older homes and commercial buildings. These pipes tend to corrode from the inside because of the rust that accumulates over several decades. The corrosion eventually narrows the interior diameter of the pipe, which restricts the water flow. Ultimately, the pressure in the line due to the blockage causes the pipes to burst. Tap water that is brown or rust color is a warning sign that your galvanized pipes are compromised. Before the system completely fails, a new residential water pipe installation is recommended.

Most people are unaware that copper pipe has a design life of no more than 25 years. In areas with harsh water, some copper piping systems fail much earlier. Minerals and chemicals in hard water combine to penetrate the inside surface and cause pitting corrosion. If a piping inspection reveals deep interior wall pitting and scaling, you may need to consider a new residential plumbing pipe installation.

Repiping Solutions

In many instances, the best solution for solving copper or galvanized piping problems is to arrange for a new water pipe installation. Old pipes are removed and replaced with fresh extruded copper or a chlorine and chemical resistant thermoplastic piping material.

A residential plumbing pipe installation requires drywall removal, and your contractor should know how to cut into walls and ceilings while being minimally invasive. Floors and walls should be properly masked, and the replacement plan must center on preserving the framing, HVAC and electrical systems. Backing material should be used to support drywall cutouts, and the color of the patch matched in a way so that it blends in with the surrounding ceiling or wall.

Complete Plumbing Services

If you need to replace leaking or burst pipes, call the professionals at Continental Plumbing Services. We provide complete plumbing installation and repiping services to residents in the New Port Richey & Pasco County. Call us today for more information!

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What Causes Low Water Pressure?

Many homes to suffer from low water pressure. This can be annoying, especially when you are trying to fill the bathtub, clean the dishes or wash your hair. Here is a look at the most common causes of low water pressure and ways to increase it.

What Causes Low Water Pressure?

When one or more of your home's fixtures are experiencing low flow, there may be multiple reasons for the problem. When the low pressure is only at one faucet, it is wise to check and see if the supply valve is fully open (it should be!). If this is not the problem, you should check for kinks or cracks in the pipes. If your bathroom's shower has low pressure, the shower head may be blocked.

When all your fixtures have low water pressure, more serious issues may be present. It is common for pipes to be corroded. There also may be problems with the municipal water flow.

How to Increase Water Pressure

Learning how to increase water pressure does not have to be complicated. Some simple tips may help you correct the issue. At first, you should check the water meter and main shut-off valve. If both of these units are operating correctly and fully open, it is time to clean the faucet aerators. Soaking them in white vinegar effectively dissolves minerals that tend to deposit over time. For the bathroom tub, it is possible to purchase a high-pressure shower head as well.

When these ideas fail to correct the situation, it may be time to call a plumber. A professional knows what causes low water pressure and has the equipment necessary to fix your problem. If sediment or dirt has built in your lines, this expert will be able to effectively clean the pipes. Depending on the extent of the blockage, it may be necessary to re-pipe your home.

If you live in Pinellas County area and need plumbing assistance, call Continental Plumbing. For over 25 years, we have efficiently dealt with a number of plumbing issues. To make an appointment or get a free estimate, contact us today.

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Do I Have a Clogged Sewer Line?

It's a dreaded scenario: the sewer line that your home uses gets stopped up. All kinds of materials can plug up a sewer, including the roots of trees and the thick items, like paper towels, that people sometimes flush.

As a result of this problem, all of your house's sewage and waste water won't be able to flow away, and those liquids will start to build up. If left unchecked, that clogged sewer line will lead to the nightmare of plumbing backflow, in which much of that offensive water will come gurgling up through your sinks, showers, and toilets.

In order to prevent backflow, it's vital to detect a clogged sewer line as early as you can. Therefore, look for the following three warning signs of an obstructed sewer.

1. Strong Odors

One piece of evidence is obvious. If you notice the horrible smell of sewage when you walk by your drains, you might be facing a clogged sewer.

2. Water Bubbling Up

Another signal to look for is water that emerges from places that it shouldn't. For instance, you might find that water comes into your toilet whenever you're doing laundry. A second example is water that enters your bathtub immediately after someone flushes a toilet.

3. At Least Two Malfunctioning Drains

If the water is going down slowly in just one drain in your home, it's likely that you have a clog in that drain. However, if the water is draining gradually in more than one sink as well as in your showers and toilets, there's a good chance that a blocked sewer line is to blame.

Are you noticing any of the above signs? If so, it makes sense to locate your home's water shut-off valve at once. This will temporarily cut off your water supply. As soon as you handle that task, please feel free to contact us at Continental Plumbing.

If we get to your home soon enough, we can help you to avoid a major plumbing backflow and the costly damages that such an event can cause. After all, we know exactly how to prevent backflow, and our work is always swift, thorough, and efficient.

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What are the Most Common Plumbing Problems?

Your plumbing system is one of the most important parts of your home. It is also the system that is most likely to present problems periodically that typically require the help of a reliable plumbing company. Here are the 10 most common issues that you are likely to encounter with your plumbing system.

1. Water Heater Problems

Plumbing issues with a water heater are one of the most common plumbing problems reported to plumbers. Whether your water heater is gas or electric, a service professional should be called as quickly as possible to diagnose and repair your water heater. Working on a water heater should never be a do-it-yourself project.

2. Clogged Drain Problems

Clogged drains are often caused by the improper disposal of materials into the drain piping. Particular caution should be taken with the kitchen sink and the toilet, as these are typically the most used fixtures, making them prone to plumbing issues if not properly used and maintained. If you cannot clear the clog with a plunger, call a reputable plumber, but avoid the use of caustic drain openers that can damage your plumbing.

3. Toilet Leaks

A leak within the toilet tank caused by broken or worn components can cause excessive loss of water and a sizable addition to your water bill over time. Exterior leaks from the water supply line or from around the base can result in floor or sub-floor damage and can eventually cause structural damage to your home requiring costly repairs. Because many leaks are hard to detect, you should ask an experienced plumber for help.

4. Leaking Pipes

When a leaking pipe occurs within a wall or under the house, a plumber should be called immediately to prevent structural damage. Often, common plumbing problems involving leaking pipes will appear under a sink at the drain connection, trap or at the other fittings connecting the drain line under a cabinet. Minimize the use of any fixture that develops a leak at these locations and place a bowl or basin under the leak until a plumber can arrive to repair the problem.

5. No Water Pressure at the Faucet

This plumbing issue is often caused by a clogged aerator but can also be a more serious problem originating from the water cut-off valve that controls water flow to the fixture. Low water pressure to your home that originates from the municipal water supply should be diagnosed by a plumber.

6. Garbage Disposal Problems

A garbage disposal must be installed correctly, especially if a dishwasher is present. Because of the complexity of the installation and servicing of the unit, which also involves electrical connections, a licensed plumber should perform any work involving this appliance. When using a garbage disposal, turn the faucet on first and gradually add refuse to avoid clogging.

7. Faucet Issues

A dripping faucet at either the spout or around the handles indicates a valve problem and will require internal troubleshooting of various components for proper repair by a professional plumber.

8. Slow Draining Problems

Slow draining of sinks, tubs, showers or toilets could indicate a partial clog or a drain line problem involving collapsed, disconnected or corroded pipes. This could also indicate an obstruction outside the house from tree roots. Call a plumber for proper inspection of the drainpipes.

9. Back Ups

If water is backing up into your tub or shower after running the water in a sink or flushing a toilet, this may indicate a blockage within the drain line that will require proper diagnosis to locate the obstruction and remove it. Plunging the fixture will probably not clear the clog, so your best bet is to call a plumber immediately.

10. Replacing Fixtures

The replacement of existing fixtures will require a wide assortment of tools and knowledge to accomplish the job safely and correctly. To ensure the proper removal and installation of all components within code requirements, contact a professional plumbing contractor.

Professional Help for Plumbing Issues

Continental Plumbing has been providing outstanding services to customers throughout Pinellas County for more than 25 years. Your satisfaction is guaranteed when you ask us to help solve your plumbing-related problems.

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Why should I install a reverse osmosis system?

If you're in the process of researching reverse osmosis systems for your home we can help! Having served New Port Richey for many years, we understand that water quality in this area varies. Some areas have an extremely high salt content while others have excessive amounts of chlorine in the water. The plumbers at Continental Plumbing have experience installing both whole house reverse osmosis systems and under counter reverse osmosis systems. Either type of water purification systems will improve the water quality in your home or business significantly. After installing a reverse osmosis water system, all of the water that enters the home will go through a cleaning process that removes over 99% of the contaminants, regardless of its source – rain water, private well, or municipal water.

Both whole house and under counter reverse osmosis systems effectively remove:

• Lead

• Bacteria

• Chlorine

• Mercury

Please use the form below to contact us if you'd like more information about reserve water osmosis systems.

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