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What Are the Signs of a Broken Sewer Pipe?

Sewer Line Replacement Taking Place

Finding and Addressing a Broken Sewer Line

Every residential property has a line that connects their home to the overall city sewer system. This is known as the main sewer line and is often one of the most neglected parts of a home. Very few homeowners think to regularly clean or maintain their sewer line thinking it is the cities responsibility. It is not, which means when something goes wrong it will fall to you to take care of repairing or replacing the damages. Replacing a sewer line can be a very expensive process, which is why it’s important for homeowners to recognize signs of damage before it’s too late. That being said, replacement sometimes can’t be avoided. For sewer line replacement in Huntsville, AL, rely on Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC. Call (256)-885-4333 for more.

Backed Up Sewer Drain Indicates Need for Sewer Line Replacement

What Causes a Sewer Line to Break?

Something that almost every homeowner is going to have to deal with is sewer line problems. They are inevitable, but serious problems can be avoided if you know what to do. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t often think twice about the sewer line that connects their home to their city sewer system. At least, they don’t until something happens. Sewer lines are designed to last for a while, but certainly not forever. What can actually cause a sewer line to break? Several things, such as:

  • Old Age: The older pipes get, the less effective they are. They corrode, they rust, the move, they shift, and generally stop providing the most effective service. This can result in leaks, clogs, damage and more.
  • Sagging Pipes: Ground and soil shifting can cause certain sections of your plumbing to sag. When this happens, water and waste can leak, resulting in regular backups because the water or waste can’t move where it needs to.
  • Tree Root Infiltration: One of the most common causes of sewer line issues is tree root infiltration. If this happens, you’ll experience many backups and clogs. That is either because the roots are literally blocking the path or they have severely damaged the pipes.
  • Grease: Possibly the number one cause of sewer line issues and damages is grease. Too many homeowners pour it down the drain thinking nothing of it. But once grease solidified, it creates a sticky situation for dirt, silt, and more to cling to, resulting in clogs that block the flow of water and waste.

There is a lot that can negatively affect your sewer line, which is why it’s so important to recognize and act on the signs of damage as soon as possible. You wouldn’t ignore the need for a commercial roof repair, so why ignore the need for a sewer line replacement in Huntsville, AL? Addressing signs when they happen can be the difference between sewer line repair or replacement.

Signs of a Broken Sewer Line

Now that you know what can cause a sewer line break, it’s time to understand the signs of damage. Being able to recognize the signs can help you get ahead of major problems. Even more so, sewer line replacement costs can get up in price very quickly. Finding problems before they become major can ultimately help to save you some money. 

  • Frequent Backups: Drains that are constantly clogging could be an indication of a broken or damaged sewer line. Rather than use a liquid drain cleaner, rely on professional sewer services to effectively clean and/or repair the damaged pipes.
  • Bad Smells: If you are noticing really bad smells coming from drains, then you definitely have a sewer line problem. Specifically, the waste and water isn’t draining. 
  • Strange Reactions When Flushing: If the bathtub drain overflows when you flush the toilet, something is very wrong with your sewer line. There is a clog, break, or blockage somewhere that is pushing water and waste where it doesn’t belong.
  • Changing Lawn: The sewer line typically runs under the lawn on your property. If you notice the yard is always damp, no matter the weather, then there could be a sewer line break somewhere. 

Typical fixes for sewer line needs have always used trenching, which digs up large portions of your yard. That may be necessary when the break is flooding your yard, otherwise trenchless methods may be a better option. How does trenchless sewer line replacement work? Rather than digging up you yard, technicians feed an essentially deflated poly-pipe through the pipes to the damaged area. Then the deflated pipe is filled and allowed to cure, creating a seamless and reliable fix.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is sewer line replacement covered by homeowners insurance?
    • Unless damage to the sewer line occurred because of a covered peril, then replacement charges will more than likely not be covered by insurance. Contact your provider to get a better understanding of covered perils and your homeowners coverage.
  • Do I need to replace my sewer line?
    • It depends on the situation. Clogs or blockages may not warrant the need for replacement. But sour smells, a perpetually wet or damp yard, and sinkholes could be indications for a replacement. 
  • How long does it take to replace a sewer line?
    • The time it takes will depend on how much area needs to be replaced. Generally speaking, however, sewer line replacement can take anywhere from 3-5 days to fully complete.
  • How does sewer line work?
    • The sewer line connects your home to the cities sewer line. It is what moves waste away from your home and into, well, the sewers. Every property has one and since it is on your property, that makes you responsible for maintaining it. 
  • Is sewer line replacement expensive?
    • Yes, overall, replacing a sewer line can get very expensive. The cost to replace the line alone can cost between $3,000 and $6,000. That total does not include the cost to possibly trench, or use a trenchless method, and removal of existing pipes.
Section of Property Dug Up for Sewer Line Replacement

Connect With Us Today for More Information!

When you need reliable and efficient sewer line replacement in Huntsville, AL, contact Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC at (256)-885-4333.

Who does water heater inspection

An annual flush of sediment can help level out your water tank, providing what can feel like more water supply.

Do Water Heaters Need Maintenance?

Water heaters are one of, if not the, most used appliance in any household. We use water heaters when showering, cleaning dishes, washing clothes, etc. Hot and cold water is a necessity for any thriving household. And for many, the water heater is one of the most neglected appliances. It is only noticed when it starts to fail, but that can change with regular maintenance. Keeping with a schedule of inspections and servicing, your water heater can last longer and work better. You won’t have to give your water heater a second thought – at least until the next inspection. If you’re wondering, “Is there water heater inspection near me?” the answer is yes! Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC provide quality water heater services, including water heater inspections for Huntsville, AL and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (256)-885-4333 to schedule an appointment.

Why Maintenance is Important

Regular maintenance of your water heater can and does produce many benefits for you. Water heaters are high-demand appliances. They really are one of the most used appliances in every household, so they need consistent upkeep. One of the best things you can do is schedule an annual Water heater inspection. Through the inspection, contractors will be able to find possible problems and get ahead of them. Along with staying ahead, you’ll be able to see maintenance benefits such as:

  • Increased efficiency: The fact of the matter is, the older an appliance is, the less efficient it will be. But, when regularly maintained, appliances of any age will work more efficiently. They will work more closely to how they are supposed to instead of struggling.
  • Money saved: With the increased efficiency, your heater will not have to waste excess energy trying to do its job. That can mean some serious money is saved in your pocket. Regular maintenance also means you’re not having to pay out for costly repairs.
  • Longevity: Most water heaters have a lifespan of about 8-12 years, but many homeowners neglect their heaters causing them to fail much sooner. Scheduling annual inspections and maintenance can help your water heater to last longer and work better.
  • No surprises: When you know what is going on with your water heater there won’t be any surprises. Many homeowners can suddenly find themselves with no hot water or, even worse, with serious damages to face. Regular maintenance mean that you won’t have as many surprises to deal with.
  • Full volume: Over the course of a year, sediment and minerals build up in your water heater causing the actual amount of water your heater can hold to reduce. A simple tune-up once a year can flush the sediment out, allowing your the water levels to balance out.

Sticking with a regular and consistent maintenance schedule will make sure your water heater is always working properly. No one wants to find themselves in the middle of a shower with no hot water. Just like no one wants to find they needed repairs for hail damage in Birmingham, AL in the middle of a storm. Annual inspections and bi-annual maintenance will help to reduce surprises, reduce wasted money, and reduce worrying about your water heater.

Even between inspections, homeowners can regularly check their own water heaters to stay ahead of issues.

Water Heater Inspection Checklist

In between visits, there are several things homeowners can do to inspect their unit. While it is recommended to wait for a licensed professional to complete an extensive inspection, homeowners are still encouraged to pay attention to their units. When doing a cursory check, look for things like:

  • Checking the gas line
  • Make sure connections are tight
  • Ensure exposed vents are not clogged
  • Check the cold water line is secure and valve is not clogged
  • Check the hot water line is secure and valve is not clogged
  • Clear out any debris that may have collected in combustion vent
  • Check that pilot light is still lit
  • Make sure that gas lines are secure

During an inspection, your contractor can tell you what the pressure levels should be at for your water and gas lines. Write them down and check to make sure they stay in the appropriate ranges. Along with everything else, your water heater should run as smoothly as it possibly can in the time that you’ll have it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should water heaters be inspected?
    • Since water heaters are one of the most used household appliances, regular inspections are a must. Ideally, inspections should happen twice a year, but even once a year is enough to ensure a fully-functioning and long-lasting water heater.
  • How much does a water heater inspection cost?
    • Not including a water heater inspection fee, the service itself can cost anywhere from $70-$110.
  • Can a homeowner install a water heater?
    • Most cities allow for unlicensed people, or homeowners, to install their own water heaters. That being said, there are a lot of things that can quickly and easily go wrong during installation, which is why it’s best to rely on companies like Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC.
  • How often should water heater be serviced?
    • At minimum, once a year. That annual servicing will guarantee your water heater works for as long as it should, as well as it should.
Contact our team to start scheduling water heater inspections in your area.

Contact Us Today for Water Heater Services and More!

When you need water heater inspections in Huntsville, AL, rely on Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC. We are the leading plumbing company in our community. We are dedicated to providing quality service at an affordable price. Contact us today at (256)-885-4333 for more information.

Is it Worth Getting a Tankless Water Heater?

While an initial upfront cost, tankless water heaters have proven to be a beneficial investment.

Tankless Water Heaters in Your Area

Hot water heaters are high demand, high importance appliances within any home. When it comes time to replace your hot water heater, there are many things to consider. Like the fact that tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular. These water heating units offer a variety of advantages, including energy efficiency and space-saving properties. If you are considering a tankless water heater, there are still many things to account for. Not all water heaters are made the same and not every water heater will benefit your home. If a tankless water heater is something you want for your home, then keep reading to get an understanding of the benefits of a tankless hot water heater.

Tankless Water Heater vs. Tank Water Heater

One of the major differences between a tankless water heater and a traditional water heater is the method of heating water. A tank water heater uses natural gas or electricity to store a tank of water at a set temperature. There is a large energy output with this option, but the results are well known and desired. A tankless water heater does not store water in a tank. Instead, water is heated essentially on-demand, either with natural gas or electricity.

Tankless Water Heater:

  • Small, space saving units
  • Heat water “on-demand” – does not store the hot water
  • Long warranties
  • Longer lifespans
  • Expensive upfront cost

Tank Water Heater:

  • Larger units that take up space
  • High energy output to store hot water
  • Shorter lifespan
  • Cheaper upfront cost
A tankless water heater takes up less space and has significantly less energy output than a traditional tank water heater.

The Deciding Factors

So which is better: hot water heater or tankless? Ultimately it depends on your needs and the needs of your home. A larger the water heater may cost more, but will provide more necessary hot water. That is where a traditional tank water heater would be ideal. They are good for homes with a large need for hot water.

Whereas, tankless water heaters are designed to be compact and take up smaller spaces. They have much less energy output since they don’t store and maintain the water temperature. But, there is a downside to that. The smaller the tankless water heater, the less hot water there is to go around. If you have a larger house or a larger need for hot water, a compact tankless water heater might not be the best option.

Whatever your decision is, for tankless water heater installation in the Huntsville, AL area, Hot n’ Cold Plumbing is the company to contact, (256)-885-4333.

Tankless Water Heater Benefits

There are still many benefits to investing in a tankless water heater.

  • Energy efficient: Tankless water heaters do not store water, which means they do not waste energy storing and heating a tank of water. This will help keep your energy bills lower as will the fact that water is essentially heated on demand.
  • Space saving: Most tankless water heaters are ½ to ⅓ smaller than a traditional tank water heater. They take up significantly less space which is great for smaller homes or apartments.
  • Less water waste: Since the water is brought to temperature essentially on demand, you will ultimately waste less water. You won’t have to let the water run forever waiting for it to get hot. It will quickly get hot, so long as the unit is working within it’s capacity.
  • Double the lifespan: Tankless water heaters are valued at having a lifespan of about 20 years. That is twice the time of a tank water heater, making it a great investment that you won’t have to repurchase in a couple of years.

Really, the decision to invest in a tankless water heater comes down to your overall needs and the needs of your home. While it is not a cheap investment, it is one that has many financial returns, among others. Those that have installed a tankless water heater in their home saw lower energy bills, which helped them save money for other home projects, like repairing or replacing their shingle roofs.

Hot n' Cold Plumbing LLC can installation your tankless water heater as well as perform regular maintenance.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

When it comes to the maintenance of a tankless hot water heater, the same rules apply as if you had a traditional tank water heater. The general rule is to schedule a maintenance inspection at least once a year. These are high importance appliances that should not be ignored or neglected. Staying up-to-date with regular maintenance and repairs can ensure your tankless water heater will last the full 20 years it is supposed to. It will also mean that your home will consistently have hot water, effectively and efficiently.

For tankless water heater maintenance and repairs, Hot n’ Cold Plumbing is the best company to work with. Call us, (256)-885-4333, to schedule your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you really save money with a tankless water heater?

There is quite a bit of evidence to show that there can be large financial returns by investing in a tankless water heater. These units can help lower energy bills as well as water bills, which can save you money to be used elsewhere.

How long do tankless water heaters last?

With regular maintenance, they can last up to 20 years, which is double the lifespan of a traditional tank water heater.

Do tankless water heaters run out of hot water?

No, because it does not store heated water in a tank. But, if a tankless water heater is operating outside of its capacity, then there might be less hot water than usual.

What does a tankless water heater look like?

It looks kind of like cross between a breaker box and a compacted water heater.

What is the downside of a tankless water heater?

The primary disadvantage of a tankless water heater is the initial cost. Upfront, tankless water heaters are very expensive, so much so that it deters many potential buyers. But there are many benefits, including cost-savings benefits, to investing in a tankless or on-demand water heater.

Tankless water heaters come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs.

Local Tankless Water Heater Installation

Call Hot n’ Cold Plumbing, (256)-885-4333, for tankless water heater services in the Huntsville, AL area.

When Is a Gas Leak Dangerous?

A Pipe With a Warning Tag to Indicate a Gas Leak

Despite Its Safety When Used Properly, Natural Gas That Leaks Presents Many Dangers.

In 1937, a gas leak at the New London School in New London, Texas, triggered a massive explosion. The disaster killed 295 people, most of them children. This horrendous incident led directly to the practice of including chemical additives that give naturally odorless gas it’s distinctive, rotten egg smell. Despite this, 17 people still die every year in the United States from either natural gas exposure or explosions, while many more become ill from exposure. When asking yourself, “how dangerous is a gas leak?”, you should know that “very” is almost always the answer.

The hazardous nature of a gas leak means that you should always seek immediate professional repair in the event of one’s appearance. If the leak seems especially large or dangerous, call the gas company immediately to have your service interrupted. You can then call a certified plumbing professional for repair. If you ever need repair for a gas leak in Huntsville, AL, make sure to call the team at Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC. You can reach us anytime at (256)-885-4333, and one of our technicians will dispatch rapidly to your aid.

Gas Leak Issues and Sources

Gas leaks present a variety of issues. First and foremost, they can threaten your health. They can also threaten the health of your pets, and will even kill nearby houseplants. Gas leaks have the potential to create explosions, and even contribute to global warming. The hazards of gas leaks are so extreme, that natural gas providers the world over provide for the distinctive, rotten-egg smell through the addition of thiols, sulfur-based chemicals. This helps alert individuals to the presence of gas, and gives them the opportunity to call for safety.

Thankfully, natural gas remains completely safe when contained and burned effectively. More than 65 million United States homes employ natural gas to fuel appliances. Natural gas also burns cleanly, with condensation and carbon dioxide as its only byproducts. In terms of environmental friendliness, this makes it  much preferred over fuels like coal, oil, or even wood. Small amounts can also produce a great deal of heat. While this makes natural gas explosions especially dangerous, it makes its use as a fuel highly efficient.

As for gas leak sources, they often come from old copper piping that has corroded from age. Newer types of pipes, made from aluminum and plastic, are resistant to corrosion and less prone to leaks. Gas leaks also tend to occur in the same locations. Gas valves, which control the flow of gas, are the most common site of leaks. Gas unions, the point of connection between a gas line and a gas appliance, provide the second-most common site.

Gas Leak In House Symptoms

The faster you notice the symptoms of a gas leak, the sooner you can call for help and have this dangerous problem resolved. If you have natural gas appliances, you must absolutely familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of a gas leak. While some are obvious, others are more subtle. Regardless, the more of them you can recognize, the more likely you can detect a gas leak before it sickens you, or worse.

Symptoms of a gas leak include:

  • Bad Smells
  • Odd Sounds
  • Visual Cues

Bad Smells: A distinctive smell of sulfur provides the clearest sign you have a gas leak. Few things produce this smell naturally, so unless you have a basket of rotten eggs sitting on your kitchen counter, the scent of sulfur indicates a gas leak.

Sounds: If you ever notice a hissing sound near a gas appliance or line, you likely have a leak. In fact, gas leaks will always make some kind of sound, even if it remains faint. The appliance most commonly associated with noisy gas leaks is the stove.

Visual Indicators: There exist a few different visual cues that you may have a gas leak. If the pipe passes through water, the leak will cause the dispersion of bubbles. If you ever notice dirt or dust blown about in an area with no wind or moving air, this could also indicate a leak. Finally, if you ever see a distinctly wavy pattern in the air of a room, you have an especially large leak, and should leave your home immediately.

Gas Leak and Health

Aside from its potential to explode, the biggest threat of a gas leak comes from its effect on your physical health. When inhaled, natural gas acts as a toxin. It will cause a variety of symptoms that worsen as the time of exposure grows.

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Blurry Vision
  • Upset Stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion

Overall, natural gas exposure creates symptoms reminiscent of the flu. Unlike the flu, however, the symptoms will come on suddenly, and will affect everyone in a household.

Gas Leak FAQ

What to Do if You Think You Have a Gas Leak?

Gas Leak Specialist

For the Repair of a Leaking Gas Pipe, Call a Trusted Plumber.

If the symptoms or indicators are particularly strong, leave your house immediately. Do not flip any light switches or turn off any appliances. Find a safe place, and call 911. If the symptoms seem relatively minor, open windows to air out your home, turn off any pilot lights, then leave and call 911.

What Does a Gas Leak Smell Like?

Though naturally odorless, the addition of the chemical mercaptan lends natural gas a distinctive, rotten-egg or garlic-type aroma.

Can Fumes Make Your Sick?

Yes, exposure to gas fumes can cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, upset stomach, headaches, and blurred vision. Generally speaking the symptoms of a gas leak are similar to symptoms of the flu.

Do Plumbers Fix Gas Lines?

Yes, a trained plumbing professional must repair your leaking gas line, then pressure test the line to determine its stability.

Local Gas Leak Fix

For the repair of a gas leak in Huntsville, AL, trust the expert team at Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC. You can reach us anytime, even overnight, for an emergency like leaking gas. To do so, simply call (256)-885-4333. One of our friendly representatives can answer any questions and dispatch a technician directly to your home.

Signs You Need a New Water Heater

Plumber Preparing for Water Heater Replacement.

Our Expert Team Is Highly Proficient with Water Heater Replacement.

Your water heater likely sees more service than any other appliance. Despite the continual workload necessary to keep your hot water at a stable temperature, these devices will reliably last for up to 10 years. Of course, this span only becomes attainable if you schedule regular maintenance from an expert team like Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC. Eventually, however, even a well-maintained water heater will reach the end of its service. To avoid the consequences of a failed water heater, you’ll want to schedule preemptive water heater replacement.

Ideally, you should have a water heater replaced once the unit begins to exhibit certain signs. If you wait too long, a failed water heater can create any number of problems. A leaking tank can flood the area of installation, a consequence that will require expensive restoration services. Thankfully, if you pay attention to your water heater, especially in regard to specific operational aspects, you can schedule replacement to avoid the worst consequences. For unbeatable services from an expert plumber, call (256)-885-4333 today. We’re the local, superior choice for water heater replacement in Huntsville, AL.

Signs for Water Heater Replacement

Water heaters are highly dependable appliances, and can offer consistent service for up to a decade. You never want to push a water heater beyond this point, though, especially if it begins to display operational issues. A failed water heater is an emergency situation, as leaks or a burst tank can quickly flood the area of installation. To avoid this catastrophe and its concomitant repair costs, pay attention for the indicators that signal a need for replacement.

Old Age

This may seem obvious, but old age represents the premier signal of a need for water heater replacement. If your water heater as reached or surpassed 10 years of age, you should absolutely call our team for an inspection. Even if the device seems to work fine, an old water can fail unexpectedly. Water heater failure comes with severe consequences, including:

  • Explosions: Pressure inside the water heater can strain corroded tank walls, especially if the relief valve has failed. As the pressure builds, the water heater could literally explode, a dangerous occurrence that can severely damage your home. An exploded water heater will not only flood the surrounding area, but also leave a great amount of debris and sediment.
  • Flooding: Water heater tanks contain a lot of water. Old heaters can suddenly develop cracks as a consequence of high water pressure and age. A severe crack could leak 40 to 112 gallons of water, depending on the size of your device. This much water will severely damage not only the surrounding area, but also your home’s foundation, and can create the potential for an intense proliferation of mold.
  • Fire: It may sound counter-intuitive that a failed water heater can lead to a fire. Keep in mind, however, that electrical wires are practically everywhere in a home. The great amount of water a failed heater releases puts these electrical lines in danger. Should the flood seep into your walls or interact with another appliance, it could generate the spark that leads to a house fire.

Considering the ramifications of an old water heater’s failure, you’ll definitely want to replace your aged device sooner rather than later. New water heaters also come with pronounced benefits when compared to older devices, including enhanced energy efficiency to save you money. If you don’t know the age of your water heater, inspect the area around the warning stickers. Sometimes you will find an obvious date of installation. If not, write down the unit’s serial number and compare it against the manufacturer’s reference key. Once decoded, the serial number will reveal your heater’s age.

Water Around the Heater

Brownish Water Flowing From a Sink as a Sign for Water Heater Replacement.

Brown Water Polluted with Rust and Sediment Reveals a Heater in Need of Replacement.

This indicates that your water heater has sprung a leak, one of the first major indicators of impending failure. A crack in your water heater’s tank cannot be repaired, and necessitates immediate water heater replacement. If you delay this action, the pressure inside of your water heater’s tank will cause the crack to expand. As the crack worsens, so does the flood potential.

Unusual Noises

A water heater should operate in near silence. If you begin to hear strange noises from your unit, you probably need replacement. Bangs, pops, and other unusual sounds usually occur thanks to the presence of hardened sediment. Sediment naturally collects inside of a water heater, thanks to its presence in your water. If you live in an area with especially hard water, sediment will accumulate even more quickly in your heater’s tank. As this sediment settles, it gets heated and re-heated, again and again. This process will eventually make the sediment harden, a problem that has no repair solution. Hardened sediment can become detached to bang around inside your heater. It can also come into contact with the heating element, an interaction that creates a popping sound.

Rusty Water

If the water that appears out of your water heater has a brownish or rusty color, it likely indicates corrosion on the interior of your heater’s tank. This is a natural consequence that occurs when an aged heater begins to deteriorate. Obviously, you don’t want to use water polluted with rust and sediment. There exists no repair option for this problem, which will only worsen until the weakened tank bursts. Water heater replacement stands as the only way to avoid this catastrophe.

At Hot n Cold Plumbing LLC, we pride ourselves on the proficiency of our water heater services. For any problem or issue you might encounter, we can offer an expert solution. Pay attention to the signs of impending failure, and call us at (256)-885-4333 for water heater replacement in Huntsville, AL. Once we get your call, we’ll act rapidly to provide you with the optimized installation of a new water heater.