Keeping Your Plumbing System in its Top Shape
Regardless of how plumbing systems can get complex, it is always necessary to have is components checked every so often. Others may need some looking into every year, while some parts require more frequent checking. Aside from checking on some plumbing aspects by yourself, it will also be necessary for an expert to have a look into your own water ways. This is why an on call plumber would be helpful.
More importantly, you must also pick a provider with varied services in Chicagoland. One aspect which needs some annual checking would be the Anode Rode. This long metal can be found in your water heater’s storage tank, and you will need to see whether this part has already accumulated any rust.
Any system that deals with even a moderate amount of water on a regular basis must have some sort of method for dealing with rust. Otherwise, the system will rust away in short order and become completely useless. So, if your water heater is older than a year or two, haven’t you ever wondered why it hasn’t had any rust problems yet? The answer is a part called the anode rod. Let’s take a look at the anode rod, and how it serves your water heater.
The Anode Rod
The anode rod is a long metal rod that is inserted into the water heater storage tank upon installation. The rod is usually made of magnesium, aluminum, or zinc, and is forged around a steel wire. As long as the rod is in contact with the water in the tank, it will start to attract the ions in the water that normally cause rust. This causes the anode rod to degrade over time, but protect the water heater tank lining from rusting out and possibly rupturing. This is largely why the part is sometimes referred to as the sacrificial anode rod.
Checking the Anode Rod
The protection the anode rod provides is very beneficial, but it isn’t permanent. Eventually, the anode rod will wear down to the point where it will no longer be able to protect the water heater from rust. At that point, the rod will need to be replaced with a new one in order to maintain the protection. Your water heater technician should automatically check and replace your anode rod for you, provided that you schedule an appointment with them at least once a year.
Aside from checking whether your Anode Rod has rusts, another consideration would be water leaks. Being unable to fully check the leaks in your property can cost you a lot of money, due to overconsumption in water.
Plumbing issues are always a pain, both because they’re subtle and because they can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Because much of the plumbing system is hidden from view in the average home, most homeowners don’t realize that there’s a problem with their pipes until it’s too late. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to identify leaks early. Let’s take a look at a few of those things now.
1. Rising Water Bills
Your water bills are going to rise and fall over time as you use more or less water. If your bills are going up for no apparent reason, especially sharply, then it’s likely that you have a leak somewhere in your system. So, be sure to monitor your water bills and call for repairs as soon as you notice something odd.
2. Running Water Meter
If you want a more immediate method for detecting water leaks, turn off all the water systems in your home and have a look at your water meter. If the meter is still running, you have a leak somewhere in your system. This is one of the best methods to confirm that you have a plumbing leak.
3. Drops in Water Pressure
Drops in water pressure normally don’t start occurring until the leak is pretty large, but you should keep an eye out for them, regardless. Drops in water pressure, especially if they’re large or sudden, tend to indicate a rupture in your plumbing system. It’s best to turn off your home’s water immediately upon noticing this, in order to mitigate any possible water damage to the area around the broken pipe.
Upon checking for water leaks and Anode Rod rusts, another good prevention measure would be a Backflow Prevention Device. Not many may know this, but backflows should be unwelcome in your home since the water sewer can be mixed with clean water in your plumbing pipes.
Have you ever been taking a shower, or washing your hands, and noticed gross water bubbling up out of your drains? That’s called backflow, and it’s a serious problem for your plumbing system. In addition to being a very damaging issue, backflow is also quite common. So common, in fact, that the majority of municipalities in the country have made it a requirement for homes to be equipped with a backflow prevention device. Let’s take a look at why backflow prevention devices are a good idea, and why you should have one installed if you don’t already have one.
What Is Backflow?
Backflow is the result of a sudden pressure imbalance in your plumbing system. Normally, the plumbing system flows in a single direction, through the home and into the sewer system. However, if that balance of pressure between the sewer and the plumbing system is interrupted, sewer water can be sucked back up into the home. This contaminates plumbing pipes designed to only handle fresh water, making them a biohazard until they can be flushed out. That takes a lot of time, money, and effort, which is why it’s much easier to install a backflow prevention device in the home.
Backflow Prevention Devices
There are many backflow prevention devices available on the market, but the most common of these is a one-way valve installed in the sewer line. When everything is flowing as it should, the valve remains open. If backflow ever occurs, however, the valve snaps shut and prevents sewer water from entering the home. As long as you’re careful to have your backflow prevention device checked at least once a year, the system should protect quite well against backflow.
These prevention and checking measures should further help you maintain a healthy plumbing system. To make sure your water ways are always running smoothly, it would also be highly advisable for you to have a plumber on call within the Chicago area. This way, your concerns may be immediately addressed during any time of the day.
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