4 Signs of Water Damage in Your Basement
How to Tell When You’re in Need of Basement Waterproofing in Rochester, NY
Water damage in your basement can go undetected for a long time, especially if you don’t use the space often or you don’t know what to look for. Here are a few of the more subtle signs that you have a water problem. If you see any of these, call G.T. Campbell, your plumber in Rochester, NY, to get the problem fixed fast.
Water can cause significant damage to your basement. Noticing these signs means you’ll be able to solve the problem before it does any more damage than it has already done. Catch the problem early and you may be able to avoid doing other repairs.
Mold and/or Mildew
The presence of mold and mildew always indicates the presence of moisture because water is necessary for the survival of these pesky organisms. If you see mold or mildew in your basement – whether it’s on the ceiling, on the walls, or in cracks, it’s time to call your plumber in Rochester, NY. It’s essential that you take care of mold and mildew quickly because some types can cause health problems for you and your family if left to grow unchecked.
Cracks in the Walls or Floor
When your house shifts as it settles, it can cause cracks in the pipes that run through your foundation. Over time, these will leak water, which can eventually cause cracks in the foundation itself. If you start to see cracks that weren’t there before or that you haven’t had checked out before, it’s time to call in a plumber. We’ll get things fixed fast so you don’t sustain any more damage to your home. You may have to repair the foundation, too, depending on the amount of damage that’s been done.
A Musty Smell
Standing water can quickly lead to a musty or “off” smell in your basement. If you smell something and you can’t pinpoint the cause or location, it’s time to call in a plumber. We’ll test your pipes to see if you have a leak that may be causing that bad odor. Call us as soon as you smell something to make sure it gets taken care of quickly.
Do you have an insect or a rodent problem in your basement? While there can be many causes for these types of problems, the pests may be looking for water that is pooling in basement crevices you can’t see. If you’ve eliminated other causes or you want to be sure, call your plumber in Rochester, NY if you find swarms of insects or have repeated rodent problems in your basement.
You don’t have to live with water in your basement. Your G.T. Campbell plumber can talk to you about waterproofing in Rochester, NY so you can avoid further problems in the future.
Redoing your bathroom or your kitchen can be a lot of fun, especially if you’re finally getting the kitchen or bath of your dreams. Some homeowners think they can save money on their remodel by doing most of the work themselves. While this can be a great idea in some areas, you’ll still want a plumber. After all, you want your new kitchen or bathroom to work well and last for a long time.
What Can a Plumber Do?
Hiring a plumber will save you a lot of time on your project. It can also save you money because the project will go faster for the plumber and he or she will know how to work efficiently and what materials would be best for your needs.
Here are just a few things that a plumber in Rochester, NY can do to make your remodeling project easier:
- Move your drain lines
- Move your pipes
- Install spa-like fixtures in your bathroom
- Install a rainfall showerhead
- Install a new bathroom sink and plumbing lines
- Install a new kitchen sink
- Move your dishwasher line
- Install a new garbage disposal
Your plumbers in Rochester, NY will know how to get everything done right, the very first time. They’ll make sure that their work is up to code and use the latest technology so you can be sure that your new kitchen or bathroom will work the way you need it to. If the work requires permits, your plumber will take care of that so you don’t have to worry about anything.
At G.T. Campbell, our plumbers would love to help you with your remodeling project. Call us today to get started building the house of your dreams!
How to Prepare Your Home For the Rainy Season
Rain is coming and it’s important that your house is ready. It might not seem like much, but a little bit of rain can do a lot of damage to your home. Making sure your home is rain-proof can go far towards keeping you and your family happy and stress-free this spring. Here are a few easy things you can do to protect yourself.
Check Your Sump Pump
Your sump pump is designed to keep water from flooding your home in case of excess rainfall. As long as it’s working, your basement and lower floors should be relatively safe from water damage. Check your sump pump by filling up the tank until the float reaches the designated level. If it pumps the water out fast, everything is working well. Otherwise, it’s time to get someone to look at your plumbing before the next rainfall.
Clear Your Gutters
If your gutters aren’t working, all of that water can end up in your home or pooling around your foundation. Make sure your gutters are free from leaves and other clutter. Ensure that there aren’t any holes in it so that water falls elsewhere than designated places. You should also make sure that your gutter extenders are in place and that they drain properly in order to remove water from your home’s foundation.
Ensure There aren’t Any Leaks
Check your windows and doors to ensure they are waterproof. If any waterproofing materials show signs of tearing or damage, you’ll need to replace it so rainwater doesn’t pour in through these openings. Replacing waterproofing materials is usually easy and you can get supplies at your local hardware store.
Trim Your Trees
Those big, beautiful trees are wonderful, but they can be a danger to you when the rains come. Overhanging limbs can get waterlogged, then snap or even get uprooted. These can put holes in your roof, break windows, or damage your gutters so they can’t drain your roof properly. You don’t have to cut them down. Just getting them trimmed means that you can keep the tree without risking damage to your home.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is the obvious entry point for water to get into your home. If there is damage there, or to your flashing or other parts of the roof, water will be able to get in. The best way to do it is to hire a professional to do the inspection because roof damage can be tricky to spot and hard to find unless you know what you’re looking for. Most pros can also help you make repairs before any damage is done.
Think About Storm Doors and Windows
If you don’t have storm doors and windows, it’s time to think about getting them fast. These can protect your home and help you stay more comfortable inside. They may seem like an extravagance, but they are actually worth the cost when you are warm and comfortable inside, no matter how the storm rages outdoors.
Consider a Generator
If you are concerned about losing power and having your sump pump or more shut down, consider installing a generator. Whole-home generators ensure that you will be able to have power no matter what happens. They can also ensure that your comfort systems continue to work so your family won’t get too hot or too cold.
Prepare For a Flood
If you live in a location that is likely to flood, get ahead of it by preparing now. Have sandbags on hand to divert water, cover and protect any outdoor furniture that you can’t move inside, and make sure you have an emergency kit inside. You may even want to set your sandbags up before the next storm comes, in case you’re away or something happens suddenly.
Consult With an Expert
If you’re concerned about how your home might get damaged in a storm, talk to a plumber or another expert. They don’t just do drain cleaning or repair busted pipes, they can also tell you where your home is the most vulnerable. These assessments are affordable and can tell you exactly what you need to know to protect your house and your family this rainy season.
If you need some help preparing your house for the rainy season or you need to have some repairs done on your sump pump, give us a call at GT Campbell. We’ll make sure you’re ready for anything Mother Nature can throw at you.
Spring Cleaning: Why You Should Include Your Plumbing
Spring is coming! Even though the Polar Vortex might be a more recent reality, the truth is that warmer temps are just around the corner.
This puts many people in the mind of spring cleaning. All that fresh air makes us want to fluff the pillows, beat the rugs, and get winter’s mud out. As you start to list everything that you want to do to your home this spring, don’t forget your plumbing.
That’s right, your plumbing!
Just a few hours of TLC could help you avoid plumbing repair all year long. No one really loves to call the plumber, and taking care of these things can mean keeping him far, far away all year long.
Here are a few tasks where a little investment can go a long way to keeping your plumbing working well.
- Clean out your downspouts, vent pipes, gutters, and anything else on your roof that could cause a plumbing problem. Many folks don’t think these are part of the plumbing, but they actually do a lot to keep your home safe from water damage.
- Check your faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely and doesn’t spray or leak. If you it continues leaking even when you have the hose off, it’s time to look for a pipe that froze and burst over the winter.
- Make sure your sprinklers are working well. Check for damp patches of the yard that could indicate a leak in the line.
- Ensure that your sump pump is draining to the proper location and that this is well away from your home and its foundation.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
- Employ a bacterial drain cleaner to make sure there’s no crud in your drains. Follow the directions on the package to ensure correct usage. This can help you avoid drain cleaning later on.
- If you have drains that continue to back up, get them snaked now so they don’t continue to cause problems, or find the root cause of the issue and take care of it. We can always help you with drain cleaning if you need it.
- Clean the traps under all of your sinks. This can prevent a clog later.
- Clean the mineral buildup that can happen around your faucets and shower heads. Removing this not only looks better, but it also helps ensure that these fixtures will last for a long time.
- Test your garbage disposal. Clean it and get it repaired if it’s not working well, or it could cause a bigger problem later this year.
- Put strainers over all drains, especially in the shower. These will collect hair and other things that can cause major problems when they go down the drain.
- Check your toilet for leaks. Do this visually, but also listen for leaking water sounds. You can always put several drops of food coloring into the tank, then wait a few minutes. If the water in the bowl is colored, there’s a leak that needs fixing.
- Test your water supply valves under your sinks and behind your toilet. Make sure they move easily and that they effectively stop the flow of water to the sink or toilet.
The Rest of Your House
- Check the temperature setting on your water heater. Most people keep theirs at 120 degrees, to reduce the risk of scalding. The most important thing is that it is set where you want it.
- Test your sump pump. Poor water into the container until it trips the valve. If it’s not working, have it checked out to see if the mechanism has gotten corroded.
- Check the water supply lines to any appliances that use water. If you see tears, bulges, or leaking water, replace the line.
- Drain a few gallons of water from your water heater. This helps remove sediment. You should consult your user’s manual for exactly how to do this on your model.
- Check for slow leaks in your home. Read your water meter just before you go to bed, then again in the morning before you use water. If the readings aren’t the same, call us for water leak detection.
We are happy to help you with any plumbing repair you might need to have done as you go through your spring cleaning. We’ll do sewer cleaning, drain unclogging, toilet replacement, and more. Whenever you need a plumber, call for an appointment at G.T. Campbell.
Most of us make resolutions for the New Year. We might decide to lose weight, exercise more, meditate regularly, and more. As homeowners, one resolution to consider is performing regular maintenance on your house. Sure, it isn’t glamorous, but you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress simply by attending to your house regularly. Here are a few things you can do to keep your plumbing working well in 2019.
Many of these tasks involve the ways you choose to use your plumbing every day. If you use your pipes as they were designed to be used, then you run a much lower risk of plumbing problems that require the skills of a professional plumber. Build these into your day as new habits, and you’ll be able to take care of your plumbing without even thinking too much about it.
For the Bathroom
Most plumbing repairs in the bathroom happen because drains get clogged. While drain cleaning is usually straightforward, keeping your drains clean in the first place can save you the hassle of calling a plumber. Here are a few things you can do:
- Keep bath oils out of your drains. They can become sticky and cause clogs.
- Put screens over your drains to collect hair.
- Never use your toilet as a trash can. Ideally, only human waste and toilet paper get flushed down the toilet. Anything else can go in the trash can or get taken outside immediately.
- Avoid using corrosive chemicals on your drains. If they clog up, use a plunger or give us a call. These chemicals can eat away at some types of piping, causing bigger problems later on.
- Wait a few minutes between showers. This helps your system maintain proper water pressure, which takes some of the stress off your pipes.
For the Kitchen
Drains can clog in the kitchen, too. For most of us, having a garbage disposal adds one more thing that needs to be taken care of or something will go wrong.
- Never put oils down your sink. They will slide down fine, but they can cling to the sides of your pipes and stick to anything that goes down the drain.
- Always turn your water on before you put anything down the garbage disposal.
- Run cold water for 10-20 seconds after you turn off your disposal. This helps flush foods all the way to the main line.
- Avoid putting fibrous or other difficult foods down your garbage disposal. Just because it can get through them doesn’t mean it was designed to do so, and too many of these can cause big problems.
Weekly Maintenance Tips
Once you have these daily guidelines in place and you are using them regularly, you can add weekly plumbing maintenance to your calendar. A lot of these steps have to do with testing for plumbing leaks. Leaky pipes – even ones with tiny leaks – can waste up to 1 trillion gallons per year across the nation. That’s a lot of water that we could use somewhere else! Leaks can happen because you have loose pipe fittings or broken valves, worn-out toilet flappers, shower heads that drip, and more. To prevent leaks and other plumbing problems, you can:
- Go looking for leaks. Search under sinks especially, looking for standing water or evidence that it was recently there. If there is evidence of a leak, turn the water on and see if you can find where it’s coming from.
- Turn on each faucet. If water is spraying or dribbling out of it, it’s time to fix it or get a new one.
- Test your drains. If water drains slowly or you see bubbles, there’s a good chance you need a drain cleaning soon.
Each new season brings new challenges to your plumbing system and the possibility for new plumbing repairs. Taking care of your plumbing will help you avoid big things, like sewer cleaning or repiping.
- In the fall, disconnect your outdoor hoses, flush your sprinkler system, and insulate your pipes and your water heater.
- In the winter, run your taps regularly (even ones that see little use), make sure your basement stays warm to keep your pipes from freezing and call a plumber if a pipe does freeze.
- In the spring, check for leaks and turn outdoor water on carefully, in case something went wrong in the winter.
- In the summer, make sure your sewer is working well and regulate water use according to local laws.
Keep your home going all year long with these simple plumbing maintenance tips!
5 Things to Check when Hiring a Plumber
When you need a service provider like a plumber, you need someone who is honest and qualified for the job. This is often a daunting task for homeowners who do not feel comfortable welcoming just anyone into their home. When you need a plumber in Rochester, you need someone who is equipped to get the job done right and has insurance in case something goes wrong. You also need someone you can feel safe allowing near your family.
Here are a few things you should always check before hiring a plumber in Rochester:
In the State of New York (and most other states), all plumbers must be licensed. A plumber who is licensed is one who has completed the proper job training and knows how to protect and maintain your home’s water supply and drainage system. Always ask to see a license before hiring a plumber to complete a project in your home.
If something goes wrong, you don’t want to get stuck holding the bill. Make sure the service provider you choose has liability insurance to cover any damage to your home as well as workman’s compensation insurance in case he or she is injured on the job.
All the classroom training in the world can’t make up for years of on-the-job experience. Look for a company that has been around for a while and has built a strong reputation. Companies that have been in business for a while are also more likely to be reputable than those that recently opened their doors.
A company with a good reputation will have plenty of online testimonials that you can check out. Talk to your friends and neighbors as well. They may be able to tell you about their experience with a particular company and help guide you in the right direction.
Checking out a plumber’s pricing isn’t as simple as just looking for the lowest price. This is one of those situations in which you often get what you pay for. Instead of shopping around for the lowest price, look for companies that provide upfront pricing. This helps you avoid unpleasant surprises when the time comes to pay the bill. Get estimates from multiple companies, but don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder. Often mid-priced companies provide the best balance of service and affordability.
Plumber in Rochester
If you are looking for a trusted plumber in Rochester, we can help. At G.T. Campbell Plumbing, we offer a complete range of expert plumbing services, and our customers turn to us time and time again for honest, high-quality work at affordable prices. To learn more or to request an estimate, please contact us today. You can reach us by filling out our convenient contact form or by calling 585-294-2140.
Common Reasons Water Heater Reset Buttons Trip
You may already know that 120 degrees Fahrenheit is the recommended temperature setting for water heaters. What you may not know, though, is why this temperature is seen as the sweet spot by experts. Many homeowners choose this setting as opposed to a higher one to save on their energy bills, but that isn’t the only reason. When the water in your water heater gets too hot, it trips the emergency cut off, or ECO. In other words, water that is too hot will cause your water heater’s reset button to trip.
If your water heater is tripping the ECO repeatedly, there is likely a problem with the system that needs to be repaired immediately. The water inside the tank may become dangerously hot for many reasons, but most often, a failed component is to blame. Let’s take a look at some of the most common culprits.
Your water has two thermostats, and either one can go bad. Each controls one of the heating elements used to heat the water in your tank. Once the water reaches the desired temperature, the thermostat turns off the heating element. If one or both thermostats fails, however, it can cause the heating element(s) to run constantly and overheat the water.
Faulty Heating Element
Heating elements can also go bad with time. They usually stop heating altogether, but they sometimes develop electrical shorts that cause them to receive power even after the thermostat tries to turn it off. This can also result in overheated water and a tripped reset button.
The ECO itself sometimes goes bad. This most commonly occurs as the result of wear and tear from repeated overheating, but it can also happen spontaneously. A failed ECO switch that trips constantly is annoying, but it won’t cause your water to overheat. It will need to be replaced to solve the problem, though.
If your ECO, thermostats and heating elements are all functioning properly, a wiring problem could be to blame. Loose connections may create another source of heat. In addition to tripping the reset problem, this type of problem poses a risk of electrical shock or fire.
No matter what is tripping your water heater’s ECO, it is a problem that needs to be addressed right away. If you are having trouble with your water heater, contact G.T. Campbell Plumbing today for expert water heater repair in Rochester and the surrounding areas. To schedule an appointment, please call 585-416-2243.
Protecting Your Plumbing System During Frigid Weather
The Rochester area is in the grips of a deep chill. With temperatures dropping into the single digits and wind chills reaching well below zero, this cold snap could take a serious toll on your home’s plumbing system. Just a few days of extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on pipes and plumbing fixtures. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you protect your plumbing system during frigid weather.
Protect Your Pipes from Freezing
Frozen pipes are one of the biggest concerns when the temperature plummets. When the water inside plumbing pipes freezes, it expands and can cause pipes to burst. Avoid this disaster by insulating pipes in cold areas like basements, garages and crawl spaces. Leave water dripping on cold nights, and leave the cabinets under your sinks open.
If you already have a frozen pipe, here’s what to do.
Put Your Garden Hose Away
If you haven’t already done so, disconnect your garden hose and make sure the faucet is turned off properly. If possible, close the shut-off valve that leads to your outdoor faucets. Install insulation to protect your outdoor plumbing from the cold.
Locate Your Main Shut-Off Valve
Do you know where your main shut-off valve is located? If not, now is a good time to find it. Knowing where it is ensures that you will be able to respond quickly in the event of a plumbing emergency like a burst pipe. You may also want to find out where the shut-off valves are located for individual rooms and appliances.
Know Where to Turn for Help
Frigid weather is hard on residential plumbing systems, and sometimes disasters strike despite your best efforts to prepare. If you have a plumbing emergency in Rochester, you need to know where to turn for fast, affordable help. At G.T. Campbell plumbing, we are equipped to handle any plumbing problem in the Rochester area, and we take pride in the work we perform. When you need plumbing repair in Rochester and the surrounding areas, please call G.T. Campbell.
Is a Tub to Shower Conversion a Good Idea?
When remodeling their bathrooms, many homeowners desire spacious walk-in showers. In many homes, the only way to make this possible is by removing an existing bathtub. What happens, though, when doing so means getting rid of your only tub? Is a tub to shower conversion really a good idea if it means no longer having a bathtub in your home?
Generally speaking, if you won’t miss having a tub, go for it! If you only on selling your home, though, the lack of a bathtub could deter some buyers. Before you make a final decision, here are a few things to consider.
Tub to Shower Conversion Impact on Selling a Home
Since large walk-in showers are popular features, having one already installed could entice some buyers to make an offer. For others, though, the lack of a tub may be problematic. Many adults find themselves too busy to take baths, so sacrificing a bathtub isn’t a huge issue.
Couples with young children, however, may see the lack of a bathtub as a deal-breaker. If you live in an area that is appealing to young couples, you may want to reconsider replacing your only tub with a walk-in shower. Even pet owners may consider a bathtub a must-have.
If your home is located in an area that is mostly popular among retirees and single people, though, getting rid of your bathtub may not have as much impact when trying to sell your home.
If you’re thinking about investing in a tub to shower conversion project, schedule a consultation with a licensed plumber, such as G.T. Campbell. If you plan on selling your home in the next few years, it may even be a good idea to meet with a real estate agent in your area to discuss what – if any – impact the remodel will have on your home’s resale value and appeal to homebuyers in your area.
At G.T. Campbell, our licensed plumbers can help you determine the best way to add a spacious walk-in shower to your home. Whether we replace an existing bathtub or you have enough space to install the shower in another location, we will help you turn your vision of your dream shower into a reality. We’ll also be mindful of your budget and work closely with you to provide you with the bathroom you want at a price you can afford.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and update your bathroom, contact us today to schedule a consultation. For tub to shower conversion in Rochester and the surrounding areas, please call 585-355-1463.
Plumbing emergencies often strike without warning and at the worst possible times. While no homeowner wants to imagine facing one of these costly situations, it is important to know what to do if and when disaster strikes. Because plumbing emergencies tend to happen without warning, you need to know what to do to prevent further damage to your home. In the event of a plumbing emergency, here are a few important plumbing emergency tips to follow.
Plumbing Emergency Tips
- Turn off the water. At the first sign of trouble, turn off your water supply. Make sure you know where your main water shutoff valve and shutoffs for individual fixtures are located. If you are having a problem that is isolated to a specific fixture or appliance, such as a toilet, you can simply turn off the valve on that line. If, however, you are having a more widespread problem or you are unsure of where the problem is, turn off your main water supply.
- Switch off your water heater. When you turn off your main water supply, pressure and hot water build in water heater storage tanks. If the pressure exceeds the limit of the unit, it could burst, leading to another serious plumbing emergency and water heater repair costs.
- Open your outside faucets. After you turn off the water in your home, open all outside faucets. This helps drain pipes and prevent water from being directed into your home.
- Stop leaks. Leaks may still continue for a while even after the water is turned off. Use plumbers tape, rags of buckets to deal with the remaining water leaking from your pipes until help arrives.
Once you’ve turned off the water and found a way to deal with the problem temporarily, call a licensed plumber. Plumbing emergencies need to be dealt with as quickly as possible, and at G.T. Campbell, we can help. We offer emergency plumbing in Rochester and the surrounding areas, and we are here to help homeowners deal with these unexpected disasters.
When you’re facing a plumbing emergency in Rochester, follow the steps listed above then call G.T. Campbell Plumbing at 585-355-1463.