Author Archives: Drainmen Plumbing Inc

Is It Worth It to Fix a Dishwasher?

Man looking at dishwasher with frustration because it is no longer working.

The Convenience of Modern Dishwashers

There was a time, in a land far away, when we all washed our dishes by hand, in a river or creek even. Today, thankfully, there is a modern convenience of the automatic dishwasher that many of us can’t imagine not having. It is an appliance that has made life easier … until it isn’t working. Is there such a thing as dishwasher repair, or do you simply replace it?  

We are going to answer that question and more in this article today. So, is it worth it to fix a dishwasher? That depends on a few factors, such as: 

  • The age of the unit
  • The cost of repair
  • The frequency of repairs

You can find dishwashers for as low as $200 perhaps, and upward of $1,000 and more. In this regard, you get what you pay for! You could expect the lifespan of a $200 unit to be much shorter than the one you paid hundreds of dollars for. What does that have to do with dishwasher repairs?

If the repair is 25% or more than replacing it with a similar type unit, it would not be worth the cost for a dishwasher repair. If replacing your current dishwasher would be $500 or more and the repairs are less than $200, it’s your call to determine if it is worth the cost. Or if you’ve had several dishwasher repair calls in the past year or so, add those costs and if it comes to one-fourth of a new one, don’t have it repaired again. 

On the subject of dishwasher repair, the age of the unit should be considered too. What is the life expectancy of a dishwasher? Typically, a dishwasher’s life expectancy is around 10 years. If you need dishwasher repairs in the 10th year, then you’re better off replacing the unit. The older the unit, the harder the parts are to find, which can make it expensive to repair. 

Can I fix my dishwasher myself?

For the basics of a dishwasher, a DIY dishwasher repair is possible, such as the plumbing components, door seal, knobs, etc. There are plenty of videos online that can walk you through many of the things that can go wrong. 

However, if you have a dishwasher with a computer chip in the controls, you’re better off having any dishwasher repairs done by a brand-authorized repair technician. Especially if the unit is still under warranty. 

What is the most common problem with a dishwasher?

There are a number of possible problems that dishwasher repair service technicians are faced with. We have listed 6 of those problems and what could be the cause: 

1: Not Draining 

When a dishwasher isn’t draining as it should, it can be due to a variety of issues such as:  

  • Clogged drain
  • Malfunctioning pump
  • Broken or clogged hose 

2: Clogged Dishwasher 

A dishwasher can get clogged and not drain because of a few different reasons. The first thing to check is the filter which is located at the bottom of the unit. It could be the spray arm is clogged or damaged, or it may be the drain pump. 

3: Leaking 

A leaking dishwasher can be caused by basic wear and tear, a sign it is getting old. This can be the seal around the door, any of the hoses or pipes, or the water pump may be leaking. 

4: Odors 

When the dishwasher has a bad odor, there is definitely something wrong. Check for any food built up in the bottom and look for mildew and mold around the gaskets and seals. A thorough cleaning may get rid of the odor, or you may need to replace gaskets and seals. 

5: Not Cleaning the Dishes 

If a dishwasher isn’t cleaning the dishes, make sure it is running a full cycle. If it isn’t you’ll need a professional dishwasher repair service because it is probably a mechanical issue. If it is running the full cycle and you still have dirty dishes, make sure the detergent cup is emptied.  If that is clear, then check the water temperature is set where the owner’s manual recommends. 

6: Noisy 

A noisy dishwasher is an obnoxious nuisance and depending on where the noise is coming from and what type of noise you’re hearing will tell you what the problem is. It may be the motor if you’re hearing a loud humming sound. A grinding, rattling sound is either the door latch, pump, or spray arms. And squealing sounds are usually the bearings and/or seals. 

Is a 7-year-old dishwasher worth fixing?

Refer back to an earlier paragraph. It depends if the cost of the dishwasher repairs is one-fourth or more than the cost to replace the unit. By the 7th year, the parts may be difficult to get and could be expensive. 

In Closing

Are there signs of a dishwasher going out? A puddle of water on the floor by the dishwasher can be a strong indicator you need dishwasher repair or replacement. If you notice rust inside the unit, this means the dishes aren’t as clean as you may think and it is time for a new unit. 

And if you see cracks inside the unit, that means water is getting between the unit and the cabinet or walls where it is installed. There is probably mildew, mold, and rot started already. Get a new dishwasher! 

If you find yourself needing dishwasher repair in Pottstown, PA, please don’t hesitate to contact our reliable team at 484-366-9362!

Is Baseboard Heating Good?

hand near a baseboard heater

Consider Baseboard Heating

There isn’t any secret that the winters get downright cold and frigid here in the Pottstown, Pennsylvania area. In addition to increasing the insulation in the attic and walls, and upgrading to energy-efficient windows, many homeowners in this area are considering adding baseboard heating

What is baseboard heating?

Baseboard heating is a system that is installed at the bottom of the walls in a home. It is essential that the heating system is properly fitted to avoid loss of air. If they are not well-fitted, the loss of heat can get expensive. 

How is baseboard heating powered?

There are two key types of baseboard heating systems: 

  • Electric Baseboard Heating: This is the most popular choice in baseboard heating. There are heating elements in metal piping with its own thermostat.  
  • Hot Water Baseboard Heating: This is also referred to as hydronic baseboard heating and uses a centralized boiler that heats water that circulates through pipes in the baseboard. This is a durable way to heat your home and there is little to no maintenance required. The downside to this type of baseboard heating is that it can take a while for the heat because the water has to heat and then circulate. 
women close to a baseboard heater

How does baseboard heating work?

Baseboard heating works on the basis that hot air rises. As the baseboards heat, that heat rises up through the room. With a ceiling fan blowing downward, a home can be comfortable, cozy, and warm.

What are the benefits to baseboard heating? 

There are several benefits to baseboard heating that make it an ideal heating solution. Some of the benefits include the following: 


Baseboard heating is built into the baseboards, therefore, it doesn’t require any additional space.

  • QUIET 

Baseboard heating operates quietly. 


Baseboard heating is zone heating and can be adjusted in each room with individual thermostats. 


Baseboard heating typically requires between 300 to 2000 watts for one room, depending on the size of the room. It can heat a room as small as 50 square feet and up to 200 square feet.


Electric baseboard heating is installed under the windows. Because heat rises, it can overpower any cool air coming from the windows.  As the heat rises, it pulls in the cool air and heats it, sending it back out into the room.


Baseboard heating uses convection power that cycles to produce optimal heat temperature before shutting off. Electric-powered baseboard heating disperses the heat evenly and cleanly throughout a room. 

  • Some baseboard heating is mounted on carpet or wood flooring and doesn’t require air ducts. While it can be easy to install, the need to assure it is well-fitted to the wall is crucial. 

Are there downsides to baseboard heating?

Yes, like anything you install in your home, there will be pros and cons to baseboard heating: 

  • The Cost: Baseboard heading can be expensive to use based on your electrical kWh rates. The better this system is installed, perfectly fitting the wall, the more efficient it will be with your utility bills. If the flooring is draft, this can decline the heat coming from the baseboard heating. 
  • The Design: With baseboard heating, you need to make sure curtains and furniture are no closer than 6” to the baseboard heating. This can affect your interior design.
  • Safety: Electric baseboard heating gets very hot and can be a fire risk when anything gets close or on the unit. Children playing on the floor can be burned if they touch the baseboard heating unit. A water-operated baseboard heating system is safer to touch. 
  • Dry Heat: Baseboard heating is a very dry heat and can dry the eyes, nose, skin, and throat. Adding a humidifier to each room can relieve this dryness. 

Is baseboard heating available to use with gas?

Yes, baseboard heating is available in gas-powered along with electric and water. It is referred to as hydronic baseboard heating like water-powered units. 

Is baseboard heating expensive?

The cost to install baseboard heating isn’t any more expensive than having a central HVAC system installed. However, operating the system is expensive. 

Is baseboard heat better than central heat?

To heat a large home or a newly built home, baseboard heating would not be the best choice. Stay with the HVAC central style of cooling and heating. For a smaller home, however, baseboard heating can be more economical.

End Of The Day – Keeping Warm! 

If you’re curious about baseboard heating, schedule an appointment with 3 to 4 experts and discuss all options. From the baseboard heating to a central HVAC system or stand-alone, window units, each of these has benefits and drawbacks. By reviewing the pros and cons of each, you can make an educated decision that is right for your home and budget. 

Drainmen Plumbing Inc is here to answer any questions you have about baseboard heating in Pottstown, PA. Call 484-366-9362 now!

Can I Take Care of a Clogged Bathroom Drain on My Own?

Clogged Bathtub Drain Solutions

Not only is taking a shower with a clogged bathtub drain aggravating, but it is also gross! It is not any way to start your day or wind down for the night. You only feel clean above the ankles! So, does this mean you have an expensive plumber bill on the horizon? 

Not necessarily! In this article, we’re going to discuss clogged bathtub drains, such as the question, “What are some common causes of clogged bathtub drains?” By starting with this question, you will find out what causes the problem of clogged bathtub drains and avoid doing those things: 

  • Soap scum
  • Shampoo residue
  • Toothpaste
  • Hair
  • Bath bombs
  • Cosmetic products
  • Damaged pipes
  • Blocked drain vents
  • Sewer line issues

What should you do if you suspect that your bathtub drain is clogged?

Well, the first step is to not add to the problem! Quit running water into the tub until you clear the clogged bathtub drain. Then take steps to unclog the drain. So, how do you unclog a bathtub drain, are there any home remedies you can use?  Being environmentally friendly, the use of all-natural materials is preferred to clear unclogged bathtub drains. One common example is using banking soda and vinegar with this process while wearing plastic gloves for safety: 

  • Using a bucket, cup, or pan, remove as much water as possible from the bathtub. 
  • Pour one cup of baking soda into the clogged bathtub drain.
  • Pour one cup of white vinegar into the clogged bathtub drain.
  • Wait for fifteen to twenty minutes to allow the mixture to work. Mixing these two products together will create a chemical reaction that will eat away the debris buildup from inside the pipes. 
  • Pour boiling hot water into the drain.
  • If you still have a clogged bathtub drain, repeat these steps. 

What should you avoid when clearing a clogged bathtub drain? 

In addition to adding more water to the problem, for the safety of your pipes, plumbing experts recommend not using chemical cleaners. These are strong products that will cause pipe corrosion and even worse – they can damage the pipes and you have an even bigger problem! 

Is it possible to prevent bathtub drains from becoming clogged? 

Yes, you can prevent the problem of clogged bathtub drains with a few preventative measures. 

  • The first thing you can do once you have cleared the existing clog is following the steps with the baking soda and vinegar mixture once a month. This will keep the drain clear and smelling fresh. 
  • The next thing you can do that is inexpensive is to use a drain cover. This will catch long hair and some shampoo, soap, and toothpaste scum. 
  • Don’t use the tub or non-bathing activities like emptying your mop bucket, carpet shampoo wastewater, or bathing the dog. If you have to use the bathtub for bathing the dog, you definitely need a drain catcher in place to avoid a clogged bathtub drain. 

Are there any warning signs you’re about to have a clogged bathtub drain? 

Clogged bathtub drains are more common than you may think. It isn’t a matter of “if” you’ll experience this matter, but “when” and how to deal with clearing the matter. A few warning indications to get you in proactive mode are: 

  • STRANGE SMELLS. Clogged bathtub drains usually have a unique scent, and it isn’t pleasant. It could be the buildup of shampoo and soap with hair stuck to it. Or it could be rodent has worked into the plumbing system and got stuck. 
  • SLOW DRAINING. Slow draining is the first clue you are about to have a clogged bathtub drain. Again, the shampoo and soap scum buildup with hair stuck in it is slowing the water down from draining. You can use the baking soda and baking soda combination, and this will usually clear the clog. 
  • GURGLING SOUNDS. If you are hearing loud gurgling sounds coming from the drain, you have a clogged bathtub drain forming. If you’re hearing gurgling, start the clearing process with the baking soda and white vinegar combination. 
  • BACKED UP WATER. If you see water backing up as you shower, or in the sink, you may have more than a clogged bathtub drain. This could be an indication of sewer line issues and should be inspected by a professional plumber. 

 When The Clog Won’t Clear

You’ve tried everything we have discussed here, including you got the plunger out and even trying a plumber’s snake, and you still have a clogged bathtub drain. What should you do if your unclogging attempts are unsuccessful? Call a professional! 

They will likely try some of the same things you’ve done, like a plunger process, and even get a plumber’s snake out (theirs is probably longer and stiffer). If that doesn’t work, they’ll inspect all the drains, including taking the P-traps off. If nothing is found there, they will check the sewer cleanout and try to clear the clog from there. After that, they may discuss more detailed sewer line work with you. If you are having problems with a clogged bathtub drain in Pottstown, PA, we would be happy to help! Please give our company a call at 484-366-9362 today!

What Are the Benefits of Having a Tankless Water Heater Installed?

A Tankless Water Heater

What are the benefits of having a tankless water heater installed?

The water heater is one of the most underappreciated things in our homes. It’s always there, ready at the helm until it just can’t anymore. Meaning, the unexpected cold shower. But, if your current water heater is working fine, other than it takes a while for the water to get hot, maybe you need to consider upgrading to a tankless water heater system. 

What size tankless water heater should I get?

Buying a tankless water heater system isn’t as simple as buying a standard tank-style water heater. There is some mathematics involved beyond the basic price.  And because of this complexity, it is recommended to use a professional tankless water heater installation service that will assist you in determining the correct size. 

Because, like the traditional tank-style water heater, size will matter with the tankless water heater too. Too small, you’ll still be running out of hot water. Too large, and it is a waste of money for something you may never use.  An overview of choosing the right size for your tankless water heater involved 2 factors: 

  • GPM (Flow Rate): This is how much hot water is needed in your home at any time. 
  • Temperature Rise: The difference between the desired temperature and the incoming cold-water temperature. 

The first thing the professional installer will ask you is how many fixtures in your home use hot water. Obviously, all the sinks, showers, tub, dishwasher, and washing machine. 

The flow rate is measured in GPM (gallons per minute). This rate is needed to determine the amount of hot water your tankless water heater will need to produce. 

Next, the temperature difference between the groundwater and the desired water is needed to determine how much the tankless water heater needs to heat the water. 

The faucet temperature is typically between 110° F and 120° F, and groundwater temperature averages around 57° F in most of the country. In the southern portions of the U.S., it is in the range of 70° F, but in the northern part, it is closer to freezing. The more range difference, the fewer fixtures a tankless water heater can supply. 

What are the benefits of a tankless water heater?

The many benefits you can expect from your tankless water heater installation include: 

  • Energy Efficiency: The traditional tank-style water heater is continuously heating the water. With a tankless water heater, it will only heat what is needed and when it is needed, meaning you’re using as much as 34% less energy! 
  • Lower Water Bills: Because you won’t be running water “waiting” for it to heat up before stepping into the shower, you’ll save 100s of dollars annually. 
  • Life Span: Tankless water heaters last up to ten years longer than the standard tank-style water heater. Keep the recommended maintenance, and you could get 20 years from your tankless water heater. 
  • Hot Water Endless: A standard home with a full family often runs out of hot water frequently because everyone is trying to shower, wash clothes and run the dishwasher. The heating element just can’t keep up with the demand. Because a tankless water heater only heats the water when needed, it won’t run out. 
  • Save Space: The traditional tank-style water heater holds between 40 and 60 gallons of water. They are around 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. In many homes, there is a closet just for the water heater, or it is taking up space in the basement or laundry room. A tankless water heater is much smaller, taking up less ‘real estate’ inside the home with basic measurements of twenty-eight inches high by twenty inches wide and ten inches deep. 
  • Less Maintenance: A standard tank-style water heater has recommended annual maintenance, and if you’re in a hard water area, that maintenance is every 6 months. With the tankless water heater system, there is minimal upkeep and can usually go 5 years before any type of maintenance is needed. If you live in a hard water area, having a water softener installed is recommended to help make that 5-year plan.   

Are there any drawbacks to tankless water heaters, can you run out of water with a tankless water heater?

There are six drawbacks to a tankless water heater system that you should consider before making this investment: 

High Upfront Cost: A common first question is, is a tankless water heater expensive to install? And the answer is, yes, a tankless water heater costs more because of the installation factor. Most homes will require special wiring, sometimes the plumbing or gas lines needed altering.  by far is the high upfront cost of the unit and installation. How much does a tankless water heater cost? On average, a tankless water heater system that is replacing a 50-gallon tank-style water heater will cost up to $3,000, maybe more. 

Hot Water Takes Longer: This is confusing since the tankless water heater is often referred to as “on-demand”, but one downside is it takes this type of water heater longer to generate the hot water and get it delivered where needed. This is because they do not keep water hot in a tank as the traditional style does. They are not instantly heating the water as most people picture.

Cold Water Sandwich: A cold water sandwich has become a common term used in describing a tankless water heater system. That is because the surge of hot water initially received is followed by a surge of cold water, with hot water returning.

Water Temperature Inconsistent: Yes, we have touted that a tankless water heater system allows everyone to take a shower, one right after the other. But that doesn’t mean altogether while the dishwasher is running too. When there are multiple showers taking place at the same time, the tankless water heater isn’t going to be able to stay with the demand. This is where the mathematics comes into being used when purchasing your tankless water heater system. 

Is a tankless water heater better than a gas water heater?

When you consider a tank-style gas water heater is going to have a tank of water heated and ready to go, while the tankless water heater will need a bit of time to get the water heated and delivered, then no, the gas water heater is the better option. If you’re on gas power and considering switching from tank-style to tankless, consider the expense of the gas line being rerouted too. 

A Tankless Water Heater in a Shower.

When The Faucet Is Turned On

Is it worth getting a tankless water heater? If energy efficiency is your goal, then yes, a tankless water heater is the smart move to make. If ease of having heated water is important, you might be better off staying with the traditional style. 

Are you looking for tankless water heater installation in Pottstown, PA? Count on the pros at Drainmen Plumbing Inc and schedule an appointment by calling 484-366-9362.

Which Type of Water Heater is Best?

3d rendering of white electric boiler with smart control on the  wall. Energy saving concept

About Water Heaters

The water heater isn’t something we give too much thought to, but we certainly use it every day. So, when your water heater isn’t working at top-notch, is water heater repair the best option? Or is time for a new water heater installation? The first question should be, “Is it worth repairing a water heater?” and depending on a few things, a professional plumber can give you advice. 

The “rule of thumb” as they say, is 50/50. Meaning if the water heater repair cost 50% of what a replacement water heater will cost replacement is the better choice financially. Or, if you have had several repairs over the past year, or the plumber advises you of possible future water heater repairs within the next year, consider replacement instead. The age of your current water will have some impact on whether you should repair or replace it.

How do I know if my water heater thermostat is bad?

Other than the 50/50 “rule of thumb”, what are some other indications when to replace a water heater? There are obvious indications that water heater repair isn’t an option, but like all appliances in your home, the water heater will come to an end of life too.  The following are strong indications: 

  • Rusty Water: A water heater is made of steel, considered the strongest material possible. But it has two weaknesses: Corrosion and Rust. When a steek surface gets corroded, it slowly spreads, eating the steel, and then rust forms.  

If you’re getting rust from the hot water faucets, you probably have a water heater with a rusted interior.  This usually starts to happen between 8 and 10 years. 

  • Noise: Another indicator that your water heater is about to quit is a noisy tank. As a water heater ages, they begin growling and rumbling. These noises will get louder and louder, especially if your home has a high level of hot water requirements. 

This is often caused by sediment build-up in the tank, caused by mineral deposits from the water. You can flush the tank and see if that quietens the noise. If not, you need to schedule a new water heater. 

  • Leaking: If your water heater is leaking from the top at the connections, easy water heater repair is simply tightening the connections. If the water heater is leaking from the bottom or sides, it needs to be replaced. 
  • Not Heating: A water heater not heating can bring your morning to a stop. Three possible causes of this are:
  • Thermostat misadjusted
  • Heating element broke
  • Too small water heater

Easy water heater repair for the thermostat issue is to raise the thermostat setting. The heating element can often be replaced, by you or hire a plumber. If the water heater is too small for your home’s needs, then it is time to upgrade. 

Which water heater is most efficient?

Most homeowners are looking for energy-efficient appliances to save money. Another upside that energy-efficient appliances provide is carbon footprint is reduced, helping the overall environment. In the past, High Efficiency was the rating manufacturers used to describe appliances’ energy efficiency, including water heaters. Today, the new industry-wide standard is UEF (Uniform Energy Factor).

Today, the industry states that the UEF rating for conventional electric and gas water heaters should be between 0.65 to 0.95 and certified by Energy Star. The heat pump water heaters have a 2.75 UEF rating and used 60% less energy than the conventional electric and gas water heater units. With that information, it is easy to see which water heater is the most energy-efficient type.

Tankless water heater in the bathroom

Is a tankless water heater worth it?

Full disclosure: Cost more upfront to have a tankless water heater installed vs a traditional storage-tank water heater. There is often the need for plumbing retrofitting and upgrading to the electrical or gas. The upside: Once you have the installation done, you can see saving immediately on your monthly water bill and energy bills.

Can I use an instant water heater for showers?

Yes, with limitations. While these give you on-demand hot water, if there is to much demand at the same time, the water need that is farthest away will be the last to get hot water and have it in the shortest amount of time. The best solution is to schedule dishes, laundry, and showers at alternating times.

Which water heater lasts the longest?

This is an upside to the tankless water heater system.  They have an average lifespan of 20 years versus the eight to 10 years for electric or gas water heaters. And, they have very little need for water heater repair service calls, another plus. 

Watering It All Down

Can a water heater leak gas? If it is installed correctly by a professional plumber, there shouldn’t be an issue with a gas leak. If you notice any gas leak, check the connection and if it is tight, evacuate the house and call 911, then call a plumber.

Drainmen Plumbing Inc provides professional water heater repair in Pottstown, PA. Call 484-366-9362 for assistance.

When to Call an Emergency Plumber

woman dealing with a leak under her sink

When is a problem an emergency?

We all have a different level of what is an emergency, whether its electrical, mechanical, physical, or plumbing. So, when you ask anyone, “What is considered emergency plumbing?”, their response may be different than yours. You may think you need an emergency plumber for an overflowing toilet. Another person may see it as inconvenient but not an emergency. Yet, somebody may consider it reason to move!  

Seriously though, what is considered emergency plumbing?

With winter here, that can cause emergency plumber needs that you may not have in the middle of summer here in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Anything that can cause damage to your home, like the floors and walls, even ceilings if it is an upstairs plumbing issue, that is considered a plumbing emergency. 

No, a clogged toilet or slow shower drain isn’t necessarily qualifying as a plumber emergency, unless it is spilling wastewater over on to the floor. Other causes that calling for an emergency plumber service are any of the following: 

  • A busted frozen water supply line
  • A major faucet, plumbing fixture, or sink leak
  • Water pipes Leaking ceiling, floors, or walls
  • A broken or clogged sewer line
  • Slab leaks
  • A drain clog that is backing up
  • A clogged toilet that is backing up
  • Water heater leaking
  • Gas powered water heater producing carbon monoxide
  • A failing or non-working sump pump

Is a leaking pipe considered an emergency?

If you can see the plumbing leak, it is probably an emergency!  Rare occasions that it is not are the small dripping leaks under the sink.  That leak needs to be addressed sooner than later, however, it would not warrant paying for emergency plumber rates. 

Is a clogged drain an emergency?

A slow drain isn’t uncommon and often, a minor issue. It can usually be cleared with drain cleaner or a plunger. However, when the drain cleaner and plunger don’t clear the drain, or you have repeated problems with a drain clogging, it may need professional plumber service. 

If there is flooding from a clogged drain or toilet, that simple overflow could indicate you have a sewer line problem and that will need an emergency plumber service call. When wastewater, especially from a toilet, is overflowing into the floor, it can be come a health hazard and should be addressed quickly. 

What are the most common plumbing problems?

We rely on our plumbing more than we realize. It takes a plumbing issue or emergency to realize how important. Maybe a dripping faucet or a slow drain is a DIY repair, but other plumbing issues must be handled by an emergency plumber because of possible dangers and other problems it can cause. 

Some of the more common emergency plumber calls are for the following: 


Once you have called an emergency plumber, they can advise you ways of preventing plumbing emergencies. Among those recommendations are: 

  1.  Do not pour fats, grease, or oils in a sink
  2. Never flush anything more than human waste and toilet paper. Flushable diapers, feminine hygiene, or wipes are not flushable!
  3. Don’t use exposed pipe for hanging rags or cleaning products, etc.
  4. Don’t use drop-in toilet bowl cake cleaners
  5. Use stainless steel reinforced clothes washer hoses
  6. Use the garbage disposal wisely.
  7. Know where the water shut off valve is located
  8. Don’t use harsh chemical drain cleaners
  9. Flush water heater tank annually 

What happens if you have a burst pipe?

A burst water pipe will cause water to flow into and through your home until it is stopped. This flooding will damage the floors, walls, even the ceiling if the burst pipe is from an upstairs bathroom. Water is an evil force to the structure and electrical wiring of your home. What the water doesn’t damage, the mildew and mold will. As soon as you notice a burst water pipe, contact an emergency plumber and while waiting on their arrival, turn the water off the main water valve. 

How do you deal with plumbing emergencies?

There are very people that will never experience a plumbing emergency. What can minimize the emergency is knowing ahead of time the steps to take when it happens.  Yes, panic can reign, but keeping your cool is the best thing you can do!  As you’re calling for an emergency plumber service, take the following steps: 

  1. Know how to find an emergency plumber
  2. Shut the water off at the main.
  3. Check the water heater for leaks.
  4. Address any small leaks.
  5. Open all the drains, faucets, and spigots.
upset woman sitting next to a leaking sink


How much should an emergency plumber cost? The basic all during business hours will typically cost $45.00 per hour up to $200 per hour plus parts.  An emergency plumber can cost as much as triple those hourly rates, plus parts. 

Can a homeowner repair a gas line?

close-up of a gas valve

Is gas line repair needed?

Natural gas is touted as being one of the most economical and eco-friendly ways to cook and heat. It also has its dangers, but thanks to the chemical mercaptan that is added to it, this odorless substance smells like rotten eggs, that can minimize the dangers by making us realize there is a gas line repair needed. 

How do you repair a broken gas line?

So, as a homeowner, can you patch a gas line yourself? If you have basic tools and skills, yes, but it isn’t recommended. A gas line leak is dangerous, and a gas line repair can be catastrophic. However, if you choose to do your own gas line repair, here are 10 steps to doing this safely: 

  • Step One – Turn the gas off at the meter! Wear eye protection and gloves while working with gas lines.
  • Step Two – Remove gas line covers, usually plastic.
  • Step Three – Slowly detach the low-pressure gas line. 
  • Step Four – Remove residue gas pressure by cracking the line fittings to the high-pressure line using a wrench.
  • Step Five – Clean the high-pressure gas line of any impurities with acetone.
  • Step Six – Scuff the gas line surface with sandpaper to even it out and use acetone to clean again. 
  • Step Seven – Attach the repaired gas line loosely so that you don’t create another gas line leak. Take gas line repair procedure and seal any leaks with rubber tape, making certain the angle is correct and the high-pressure gas line doesn’t interfere with the low-pressure gas line.
  • Step Eight – Apply the epoxy, hold it firmly and allow it to cure. Then tighten the high-pressure line fittings and reinstall the low-pressure gas line.
  • Step Nine – Test the gas lines to ensure your gas line repair was successful by turning the gas on and checking for any leaks. If you discover any leaks, repeat the gas line repair process, and seal the leaks until there aren’t any remaining. 
  • Step Ten – Reinstall the plastic covers after you have taken all gas line repair steps and have confidence there aren’t any more leaks. 

How do I find the gas line to my property?

Anywhere in the United States, call 811 for natural gas line locations. Call 811 no less than two working days prior to your digging of natural gas, buried electrical or other buried utility lines. This number was established by Congress to prevent damaging underground utility lines that could endanger those in the vicinity.

Can I install a gas line myself?

If you’re an experienced DIY person, you can probably do your own gas line installation safely and successfully. If you haven’t done many DIY projects around the house, it is recommended to hire the job out to a professional, or at the minimum, have an experienced DIY friend do it for you while you observe and learn. This is true for electrical, gas, or plumbing work. With natural gas line installation or gas line repairs, the margin for error is extremely narrow. Caution is an absolute must.

What size gas line do I need for my house?

The standard size of gas lines for most homes is 3/4 inch diameter, which supports most major appliances. There are homes that may have a mixture of one-inch, half-inch, and three-forth-inch gas lines. The following steps can be used to find out which appliances use the 3/4″ gas line: 

  1. Check the BTU ratings. British Thermal Units, BTUs are how thermal energy is measured. Every appliance should have a label showing the BTU output. Write the BTU rating for every appliance that you want on the same gas line and add them together. 
  2.  Determine the gas line length. The longer gas pipe will support fewer BTUs. 
  3. Determine the number of gas line “branches”. The more gas line branches, the lower the BTU capacity of the gas line. 
  4. Refer to a pipe sizing chart. With all of these numbers collected, refer to a gas pipe sizing chart.  
  5. Get professional service. For safety, have your gas appliances professionally installed. 

How deep is a gas line supposed to be buried?

This is regulated by local governing bodies. In Pennsylvania, 12 inches is the required depth to get approval. 

What type of line is used for propane gas?

The propane gas line is generally copper or plastic polyethylene piping. The local laws should be followed when installing or doing any gas line repairs

What happens if your gas line freezes?

Gas is too dry to freeze as it is conveyed to your home. A natural gas main freezing, flexibly or remotely, would indicate there was water in the gas line. It would also need to accumulate in a low spot before it could freeze. 

gas meter and pipes against a brick wall

When It Comes To Gas Line Repair Costs ….. 

Like anything else around your home, you’re hoping that your homeowner’s insurance would cover the cost of a gas line repair. So, does homeowner’s insurance cover gas line repair?

Homeowner insurance policies typically do not provide coverage for repairs or service on electric, gas, or water lines. The purpose of this insurance policy is to cover any damages to your home, not the landscaping or any underground lines.

What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency

distressed woman sitting next to a leaking pipe

Dealing With Your Plumbing 911

One thing that we all take for granted to be there and work for us is the plumbing. We take our shower, wash clothes and dishes, cook, flush the toilet, and water the yard, never giving it any thought. That is, until something goes wrong, and at that point, we make a quick decision on whether we need an emergency plumber or not. 

Knowing what counts as emergency plumbing and when to call an emergency plumber is important because the cost of an emergency plumber service is double, even triple that of a normal plumber service call. So just when is a plumbing leak considered an emergency?

Well, it could be determined by a matter of opinion. If you’re the one standing ankle deep in water, you need an emergency plumber. A professional plumber, on the other hand, will determine the issue and can declare whether it is an emergency or inconvenience. 

Applying logic to this debate simplifies the question. If a leak is visible, then it is an emergency; plumber services are needed pronto! Why the urgency? Consider that what is a small drip to you right now could have been leaking all along, causing more damage. Let that leak go unaddressed and you’ll have more expense and inconvenience sooner than later. So, what do you do in a plumbing emergency?

Follow these steps: 

1.    Turn the Water Off Immediately: Now, before you have the need for an emergency plumber, find the main shut off to your water. Then when you do have an emergency, you can go right to it and immediately shut the water off. This will stop the flooding and any further damage. What if you can’t turn the water off? Then you need to call an emergency plumber service. 

2.    Document, Document: This is for insurance purposes and needs to be done as soon as you notice you have a plumbing leak, BEFORE the clean-up and repairs are started. Documentation should include your notes, pictures, and if possible videos. 

3.    Contact Your Insurance Company: With the water off and the documentation started, call your insurance company and request to file a claim. They will ask questions, get your contact information, and will have instructions for you to follow. Some insurance companies have a list of emergency plumbers for your area. 

4.    Find the Source:  Try to find the source, and if possible do your own repairs. If not, call an emergency plumber to come as quickly as possible. While the leak may be an easy and quick fix, in the meantime, you’re without water. 

What are the most common plumbing emergencies?

A plumbing emergency can make even the calmest person panic. In addition to the leak getting fixed, there is the concern of what other damage is going to be found, because we all know that water is a house’s worst enemy. 

One of the best ways not to find yourself out of that panic is knowing how to avoid plumbing emergencies, and if you do have these happen, to know how to respond to them. This is because not every plumbing emergency requires an emergency plumber service.  


This may be the biggest panic of all – an overflowing toilet. Of all the rooms in a house, the bathroom is the one used the most, so when a toilet overflows, it can temporarily shut down the entire house. As soon as you notice your toilet isn’t flushing correctly, take steps to unclog it. Often, a few rounds with a toilet plunger will do the trick, or if you have a plumber’s snake, you can try that if the plunger fails.  If there is no improvement, call a plumber now – before you need an emergency plumber service. 


You may think a clogged drain isn’t an emergency, but when it is severely clogged and can’t drain, it can quickly become an emergency plumber situation. Once a drain begins slowing down, use a plumber snake or plunger and work the clog loose. If that doesn’t work, call an emergency plumber service; never use a chemical drain opener. 


A busted pipe happens because of a water pressure build-up in a weak pipe or at a joint. You can sometimes catch that before it happens if you notice a popping sound. Otherwise, you’ll know when the pipe has burst, and in this case you need an emergency plumber service. 


A leaking faucet or toilet are more than a plumbing issue – they are increasing your water bill too. The longer they leak, the higher the water bill. Then there is the structural damage they cause that leads to mold growing and becoming a health hazard. 


When the water that comes into your home can’t drain or flush, then you have a backed up sewer. This is usually caused by toilet paper or other items that have been flushed and clogging the pipes. A bathroom sink gets clogged from hair and soap; the kitchen sink gets clogged by fats, foods, and grease. The main sewer line can also become clogged because of tree roots.  


When your water has become discolored or has an odd odor as it comes through the faucet,  it could be that the tank on the water heater is corroded. Or perhaps you’ve walked into the garage and found yourself walking in water – the water heater has leaked, usually an indication that you need an emergency plumber to replace the unit. 

Is emergency plumbing more expensive?

There are more emergency plumber calls than normal hour calls, and yes, they are more expensive. Emergency hours are usually after the normal business hours of 8am to 5pm, any holiday or weekend. And just like the rest of us, plumbers like their downtime with family and friends too. 

An emergency plumber will have a trip fee that can cost up to $300 or more in addition to their hourly rate. The hourly rate can run as much as $400 per hour, double on holidays and weekends. Then there is the cost of parts to be added to that bill. To compare, a basic plumber call can range between $70 and  $120 per hour plus the trip fee and materials. 

woman calling an emergency plumber and cleaning up after a leak

In Closing 

If you find yourself in need of an emergency plumber, you don’t want to be searching “how to get emergency plumbing services” then. Take the time now to find out who to call in a plumbing emergency by scheduling a plumbing checkup. This will serve two purposes: getting you and a plumber familiar with each other and giving you an emergency plumber number on hand.

What is a Plumbing Inspection?

worker with tools inspecting pipes under sink

When is a plumbing inspection required?

It is a standard routine to have your HVAC system, roof, and gutters inspected, but what about a plumbing inspection? Why would you want to have a plumbing inspection? Well, plumbing issues like the drains being slow or backing up are the most common reasons for this service. 

If you are a potential buyer, you should want this kind of inspection, and mortgage companies will typically require a plumbing inspection of the home you’re considering. For the mortgage company, every inspection they require, including a plumbing inspection, is essential. Why? 

During a plumbing inspection, an inspector will find any possible issues, allowing you to request the seller fix it or negotiate a lower price. Finding problems before you close the deal could save you a lot of hassle and money later. 

So, should you have a plumbing inspection If you already own your home? Absolutely! By getting a plumbing inspection annually, it serves the same purpose of finding potential issues before they become big problems. Plumbing can cause a lot of expensive damage in a short time. Getting a plumbing inspection on a routine basis will provide you with the following: 

  • Identify issues before they become problems and cause excessive damage
  • Improve the efficiency of your water usage
  • Locate clogs if you’re having problems
  • Locate leaks you may not know you have
  • Identify pipe that are on the border of failing

What happens during a plumbing inspection?

There are a lot of components to a house, and for a homeowner, overlooking things that need repair or replacing can be easy until they finally quit. Like appliances, the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems matter. A plumbing inspection, like an HVAC inspection, lets you stay on top of things, keeping them running smoothly. Find a problem now before it becomes a major expense! 

A professional plumbing inspection will include checking any place that has water connected to it and running. This includes:

  • Bathroom, kitchen, laundry room sinks
  • Toilets – including inside the tank
  • Tubs
  • Water heater – including the PRV and if the unit needs flushing
  • Washing machine plumbing
  • Dishwasher plumbing
  • All water lines
  • All water pipes
  • All plumbing connections

A thorough plumbing inspection will be inside, outside, and under your home. All outside water hydrants will be checked, and if your plumbing inspection is done prior to winter weather, they will make sure the plumbing is anti-freeze protected.

How much is a plumbing inspection?

This will depend on the size of your house and the number of plumbing connections. For an average size home, a plumbing inspection will generally cost around $200 to $250. For a larger home with or plumbing, the price could be as much as $500. Other factors that can affect the cost will be if the water heater needs to be flushed. 

What is a sewer line inspection?

 A basic plumbing inspection as we have described can, and should, include a sewer line inspection. This is done with a waterproof video plumbing camera. Inspection is done by pushing this camera attached to a fiberoptic wire through the sewer lines. The images are then relayed back to a small computer/television screen.

This allows the plumber to see inside all the sewer lines and other hard to reach plumbing pipes to find breaks, clogs, and cracks. This includes sewer and plumbing inspections of underground pipes, plumbing that is encased in concrete, that’s inside the foundation, and plumbing behind walls. The potential problem makers that can be found are: 

  • Tree root intrusion
  • Cracked pipes
  • Punctured pipes 
  • Corroded pipes
  • Misaligned pipes 
  • Obstructions and grease buildups

How long does a sewer inspection take?

A plumbing inspection will typically take longer because there are more components to be inspected. An average sewer inspection could be between 30 minutes to an hour, the time it takes being affected by the accessibility of the main sewer line. 

What is a rough plumbing inspection?

A rough plumbing inspection is done when a house is being built from the ground up or when a house has been gutted for remodeling. The plumbing is placed “roughly” where it will go, and the final connection will be finalized when the inspector approves the rough-in. 

worker's hand opening a sewer cover

In Closing 

If you aren’t sure how to get a plumbing inspection, simply search the internet for plumbers in your area and ask if they do plumbing inspections. If they do, ask about the cost and inquire if a plumbing inspection report is included. Once you have a good rapport with a local plumber, you can use them for emergencies and standard repairs or installations. Having a good, honest, and affordable plumber in your directory is always a good thing. As they do your annual inspections, they will learn your house and the plumbing circuit and your home. If you find yourself in need of a plumbing inspection in Pottstown, PA, you can reach out to Drainmen Plumbing Inc by calling 484-366-9362.

Is dishwasher repair worth it?

Close-up of dirty dishes in a dishwasher.

Do I need to repair or replace my dishwasher?

In your kitchen, you can find many important appliances you use daily. Some aren’t used as frequently, and others are used rarely, if ever. Then there is the dishwasher. You probably don’t give it much thought as you load and unload the dishes – not until you’re faced with the need for dishwasher repair or replacement.

If you live alone or if there are just two of you, when the dishwasher quits you probably just use it for storage. However, if you have a spouse, kids, and friends all eating and drinking at your house, you probably go into a panic. However, there’s no need to stress. If you need a dishwasher repair in Pottstown, PA  right away, call Drainmen Plumbing Inc at 484-366-9362. Meanwhile, read on to learn more about how to know when it’s time to repair your dishwasher.

Repairing Your Dishwasher – Can it Be Done?

Dishwasher repair or replacement is key at that point, but do you know who to call to repair the dishwasher? Or do you need to simply replace the unit?Of course, your first question before all that may be, “Can dishwashers be repaired?”

The following are three of the most common issues that require dishwasher repair. When you know which dishwasher repair you need, you’ll see these are simple maintenance tasks that will get your dishwasher running again, all without the need for an expensive professional dishwasher repair service. So which dishwasher repair do you need right now? 

Dishwasher Repair One: The Dishes Aren’t Clean 

A. Review these dishwasher basics

  • Is your dishwasher overloaded? Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  • Are there items such as silverware or utensils hanging below the basket? This can keep the spray arm from spinning. 
  • What dishwasher detergent are you using? Check your manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Is food getting scraped rather than rinsed from the dishes before they are loaded into the dishwasher?
  • Do you have hard water? If so, are you using a rinse agent as recommended by most manufacturers? 
  • Is the water temperature hot enough? This could be the water heater, but we’ll address that another time. It should be under 120 degrees F, and most dishwashers will boost that up to 140 degrees. 

B. The dishwasher spray arm 

Make sure the spray arm can spin easily and freely with the dishwasher empty. Remove the arm and check for any debris blocking the holes. Clean it if you find anything. Check the pump for any broken glass or other debris lodged in the way of it working. 

C. Clean the float switch

Open the float switch and clean it, even if you don’t see anything obvious. The smallest debris can cause the float switch to stick, keeping water from filling the tub. 

D. Clean the valve screen

A clogged intake valve screen is a common problem. If there is a low water level during the wash cycle, it can’t take on the water it needs for a clean job. 

Dishwasher Repair Two: The dishwasher door is leaking.

A. Locate the leak source

A door that doesn’t seal is a common problem with leaking dishwashers. Check the seal around the door and if you find any tears or areas where the seal is missing, you’ll need to replace it. If there isn’t a torn or missing seal, then check the hoses and other areas where water can leak. 

B. Simple door leak fixes

With an all-purpose cleaner and sponge, clean the gasket and float switch, using only the dish detergent the manufacturer specifies. 

C. Tweak the door

Close and fasten the door; if it can be jiggled it is loose. Next, turn the dishwasher on, let it run, and push on the door. If the sound from the dishwasher lessens, the door is loose. There is an adjustable latch on most dishwashers located in the center of the door frame. Adjust this plate by tightening the door so the gasket can seal better. 

Dishwasher Repair Three: Humming sound, no water, won’t start

A. Check the power shutoff

All dishwashers should have a shutoff either at the sink or under the sink. Unplug the power and plug it back in. If it is still not starting, check the circuit breaker and if it has tripped, turn it back on.

B. Spin the motor

Sometimes a dishwasher motor will stick; this is especially common with a unit that hasn’t been used in a while. Remove the lower panel and reach in to give the motor a spin by turning the fan blades after you made sure the electrical power is off. If the blades aren’t turning with ease, you’ll need to call a professional plumber. 

A Few More Tips on Dishwasher Repairs

The corrugated hose on a dishwasher is a common problem, causing issues ranging from clogs to leaks. But have no fear – this is probably the easiest dishwasher repair you may need, and you could even do it yourself with these tips and a few basic tools. By knowing how to repair a dishwasher drain hose you could potentially save a lot on dishwasher repair costs: 

Step 1: Open the dishwasher and check the drain. Remove any food and debris, which is an indication there is debris clogging the drain hose. 

Step 2: Take the service panel off so you can see the drain hose and after that, unplug the dishwasher from the power. Close the door and remove all the screws holding the service panel. 

Step 3: Inspect the drain hose for leaks, which are usually located at the bends. If there are cracks, then you’ll need to replace the hose.

Step 4: Take the hose off the dishwasher so you can make sure it is thoroughly clean of clogs. Disconnect the hose from the sink line with pliers. After this, check for any debris that could be clogging the hose. You can do this by pouring water in one end to see if it flows easily out of the other end without any leaks in the U-section. 

On a side note, if your problem is the dishwasher repair for the pump, this will need to be done by a professional. Choose one that is authorized by the brand of dishwasher you have. They will have the proper methods of dishwasher repair and parts recommended by the manufacturer. 

Man repairing a dishwasher.

In Closing 

Knowing when to repair a dishwasher or buy new can save both time and money. So, when it comes to dishwasher repair vs replacement, how do you know which is the way to go? A basic rule is if your dishwasher is a few years old and the cost for a professional dishwasher repair is less than half, have it repaired. If your dishwasher is 10 years old or older, then replace the unit. When you need dishwasher repair in Pottstown, PA, you can contact Drainmen Plumbing Inc at 484-366-9362 to get help from professionals.