What are sump pumps, and why does every Chicago home need one?

Water is one of nature’s most unstoppable forces. Chicago homeowners deal with moisture incursion year-round thanks to powerful summer storms and melting winter snow. Here’s a look at what sump pumps are and why they are an essential part of your home here in Chicagoland.

For sump pump services—including replacement pumps and repair—contact our team. We offer free plumbing inspections here in Chicago’s South Side.

What are sump pumps? Generally installed in the basement at the lowest point in the home, these pumps help prevent flooding and water damage.What are sump pumps?

A basement sump pump sits at the lowest point of your house in a pit that fills as moisture enters the building. When the water level rises, a float switches it on, and the unit pumps the liquid out of your home through a discharge pipe.

Now you know how these devices work, here’s why you need one.

What do sump pumps do?

#1. Prevent basement flooding

Most flooded basements aren’t the result of catastrophic floods, as it only takes a large snow melt or damaged gutter to allow water to accumulate against your foundation. Without a sump pump, the moisture could eventually build up to the point where structural damage occurs.

#2. Reduce mold and mildew growth

Even if your basement doesn’t flood, the increased moisture can be the perfect breeding ground for harmful growths such as mold and mildew. Not only can these fungal blooms cause significant health problems, but they can also affect the resale value of your property if they’re detected during a home inspection.

#3. Increase your home’s desirability

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future, it’s a good idea to make it as desirable as possible. With Chicago’s year-round precipitation, a sump pump is something many homebuyers look for. Get a leg up on the competition by having us install one of our high-quality pumps before listing the property.

#4. Get alerted to flooding

Even if you have a fully functional sump pump, it’s possible for moisture to come in faster than the device can handle. While basic pumps can emit an audible alarm if the water level gets too high, more advanced models can send an alert to your smart phone to warn you that extra attention is needed. If you’re interested in upgrading to a new sump pump, call King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

Do you need a plumber to install a sump pump?

Yes. Sump pumps are complex because they require the pump itself to be installed right, along with its pipes and drainage. As with any plumbing project in your home, the consequences—including extensive water damage and flooding—and potential cost of improper installation just aren’t worth the risk of treating this like a do-it-yourself project. Leave your sump pump installation to the experts.

How much does a sump pump generally cost?

This depends on the specific details individual to your home, as well as what pump needs to be installed. Generally speaking, homeowners nationwide pay between $2,500 and $6,000 for initial sump pump system installation. This includes the pipes, drainage, pump, and everything else. After that, if the pump fails in the future, it’ll cost around $500 to $1,300 to replace. In most cases, all the plumbing and drainage does not need to be replaced along with the pump.

If you need a new sump pump in your home, call us at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to get an estimate from our team.

Do sump pumps need maintenance?

Yes. Given the sump pump’s importance to your home, regular maintenance is always a good idea. We recommend having a plumbing professional out to your home every year to inspect your sump pump ahead of winter. However, you can perform your own checkup even more often. For a complete review of what to look for, check out this article. However, here’s a quick overview:

  • Sump pumps should start automatically when they sense water. Pour some water on the pump to ensure that it gets going as expected.
  • Sump pumps generally work only when upright. In a basement, it’s easy for the pump to accidentally get knocked over, so make sure it’s in place.
  • Check the discharge pipe to make sure that it’s clear. Otherwise, the sump pump will have nowhere to, well, pump.

Again, if you have questions or you suspect something might be wrong with your sump pump, the time to call King is now. It’s far better to have us address sump pump issues before rain and snow arrive and your home desperately needs its sump pump to be running.

Call King for sump pump installation, repair, and other services

If you’re a Chicago homeowner, let King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing help you keep your basement dry all year. Take advantage of our 50 years of experience by scheduling your appointment for sump pump services today.

What are the signs of trustworthy HVAC companies?

Most people tend to go for the price or the age of the company when selecting an HVAC service provider. However, cost or age are not the only signs of trustworthy HVAC companies.There are actually a number of things you should look for when selecting a HVAC business.

In this blog post, we’ll review six qualities that all trustworthy HVAC companies share in common. We’ll also explain what makes our business fit those criteria, and why you should call us for your heating, cooling & plumbing needs.

Here are the 6 signs of trustworthy HVAC companies

Here are four important factors that you should consider when hiring an HVAC company. Thinking about these tips ahead of time will ensure that you hire the right professionals from trustworthy HVAC companies who won’t dupe you when it comes to maintenance and repair of the HVAC unit.

1. Most quotes / estimates cannot be given over the phone

You should be wary of HVAC companies that say they can provide you an estimate for a new air conditioner over the phone.

Even when it comes to repair or maintenance, a lot of factors need to be considered that can’t be seen over the phone. Some of these include: What is the condition of the ducts? Is the motor fan working properly? How dirty are the filters? What is the condition of the condenser coil? Is the thermostat working properly?

King is proud to be one of Chicago's most trustworthy HVAC companies. Call us for all your cooling, heating, and plumbing service needs.

King is proud to be one of Chicago’s most trustworthy HVAC companies. Call us for all your cooling, heating, and plumbing service needs.

Installation, however, is where you really need to draw a line in the sand and insist on a free in-home estimate. That’s because air conditioners and furnaces come in a variety of sizes and settings, and a good technician will measure your home to make sure you’re getting the system that’s right for you and your family’s comfort.

Shady HVAC repair companies will provide the lowest possible quote for the job without even carrying out an inspection. Without an upfront and honest quote, the bill at the end of the repair may come as a shock to you.

That’s not how we do things here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We provide upfront, honest pricing on all of our services, and we provide free in-home estimates on new air conditioners and furnaces.

2. Check with the Better Business Bureau

Another important tip is to search for the company on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) site. This website rates companies based on their online reputation. You should select a company with a good BBB rating. A company with a very good BBB rating—like King Heating—is more likely to be reliable and trustworthy.

3. Read online reviews

You should also read online reviews for the business to know about the reputation of a company. Online review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, SuperPages, and Yellow Pages contain reviews written by actual customers. Read the reviews and then use your judgment. This will also help you in selecting a trustworthy HVAC company.

Interested in seeing reviews for King? We have multiple customer reviews on Facebook, Google, and Yelp.

4. Choose based on reliability, not just cost

A common mistake people make is selecting the company that offers the lowest quote for a repair or replacement work. The company that quotes the cheapest price may not be the most trustworthy, or the best at what they do. Look for a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Do they stand by their work like King does?

When you need 24/7 cooling, heating, and plumbing service here in Chicago and Northwest Indiana, call our team at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

When you need 24/7 cooling, heating, and plumbing service here in Chicago and Northwest Indiana, call our team at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

You should be especially beware of companies that offer unusually low price. When it comes to price, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. If you have doubts, call other companies and ask them if they’re willing to match that quote.

Something else to note: with our King Royal Treatment Plan, we offer our customers additional peace of mind and reliable service.

5. Certified technicians

Our HVAC technicians are NATE-certified professionals. NATE, or the North American Technician Excellence program, is the premier training and testing regimen in our industry. Only the best cooling and heating technicians are NATE-certified, which is why King puts ours through the program. We want our people to be ready to help with your home’s comfort needs—whether it’s for an emergency repair, a seasonal tune-up, or new system installation.

6. Dealer affiliation

We’re proud to be your Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer here in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. This means more than just installing the top Carrier air conditioners and furnaces. It means that our technicians and the equipment they use are certified by Carrier.

Call King for HVAC and plumbing services you can trust in Chicago and Northwest Indiana

If you want to get in touch with a reliable and experienced HVAC company in Chicago’s south suburbs and Northwest Indiana, contact King Heating Cooling and Plumbing. We have been serving these areas with complete dedication and integrity for decades.

You can reach us by phone at (708) 687-6898 or by contacting us online.

Can switching to a water-efficient toilet really conserve water in the home?

Here in Chicago, we don’t think too much about fresh drinking water—after all, we have one of the world’s largest lakes right next door. However, conserving this precious resource is still important, and the easiest way to do just that is by cutting down on unnecessary water waste. In this article, we’ll discuss how just one action—switching out your older toilets for water-efficient toilets and dual-flush toilets—can make a sizable difference in how much water your home uses.

Is household toilet use really a big deal?

Yes. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 24% of all the water used in the the average American home is used to flush the toilet. That’s more water than is used showering (20%), doing the dishes (19%), or washing your clothes (17%). In other words, if you want to do your part to conserve water here in Chicagoland, making changes to your bathroom is a good place to start.

How water-efficient is your current toilet?

Since 1992, the U.S. federal government has required that all toilets use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. That’s a marked decrease from many toilets manufactured before that date, which may have used upwards of 8 gallons per-flush! If your home has a toilet from 1990 or earlier, chances are that it’s far less water-conserving than even standard toilet models today. In other words, it’s time to think about replacing it.

A water-efficient toilet, recently installed by the King team.

Replacing a pre-1990 toilet with a water-efficient toilet can make a world of difference when it comes to reducing your home’s water waste.

Water-Conserving Toilets

1.6 gallons per-flush might be the ceiling for toilets, but it’s certainly not the floor. Many toilets today use far less water than even that lowered number. The EPA has a special program for this class of toilets known as WaterSense. To be a WaterSense toilet, the fixture must use 1.28 gallons per-flush or less, without compromising on, well, their ability to flush.

Not many of your neighbors are planning to strike up a conversation about toilets with you. However, if you asked around, you’d probably be surprised at the number of homes that have made the switch to water-efficient toilets in recent years. Beyond helping to conserve potable water and our environment, changing out toilets can greatly lower your home’s water bills. In that way, this upgrade is a win-win for everyone.

Dual-Flush Toilets

Some homeowners hang onto their older toilets due to concerns about just how well the new WaterSense toilets flush. After all, no one wants to have to use multiple flushes—that defeats the entire point of making the switch. There’s actually a compromise you should know about, and it’s called the dual-flush toilet. This toilet essentially has two mechanisms: one for a low-volume flush and one for a high-volume flush. We’ll leave it to your imagination which flush gets used for what, but we think you get the picture.

Dual-flush toilets are incredibly popular because they, in a sense, give homeowners the best of both worlds. A vast majority of trips to the bathroom can utilize the water-conserving low-flush option, cutting down on water waste and environmental impact.

Have our team replace your older toilet with a new, water-conserving one

If you have a toilet from when your home was originally built, there’s a good chance that it’s pretty wasteful. Ready to make the switch to a water-conserving toilet? Our team of plumbers can certainly help with that. At King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we specialize in toilet replacement. Our plumbers can find the right-sized toilet for your space and then make the switch—no mess or hassle included. You’ll cut down on your water bills and put your home on the path to being smarter about its water use.

To schedule service with our plumbers, give us a call today. Or, contact us online and we’ll get back in touch with you soon.

Here’s what you need to know about sump pump upkeep this winter

If your home has a basement, there’s a good chance that it has a sump pump. Here in the Chicago area, sump pumps are essential to the protection of basements from water incursion. Yet, many homeowners take their sump pump for granted. In reality, you should be checking your pump regularly to ensure that it’s functioning properly and protecting your home. In this article, we’ll provide a guide to sump pump upkeep and some signs you should call us for sump pump services and a free plumbing inspection.

Why is a working sump pump so important?

Sump pump upkeep can help keep your basement dry and safe during times of heavy rain here in Chicagoland.

Sump pump upkeep can help keep your basement dry and safe during times of heavy rain here in the Chicago area.

During the winter and spring months here in the Chicago area, heavy snow and rain can saturate the ground with excess water. Since many basements are below the water table, water will begin to seep up from the ground into the basement. The sump pump, being located at the lowest physical point in the home, is the first line of defense. When it senses water intrusion, the pump kicks on, sucking in water, and pumping it through pipes to places where it can safely drain off.

During times of heavy rain or snowmelt, a basement sump pump is the only thing preventing your basement from flooding, causing significant water damage and leading to needed mold remediation.

There are many different types of sump pumps and ways that sump pumps can be set up. However, here’s what is true for all of them: a working sump pump is essential. In the next section, we’ll review how you can confirm that your pump is working as expected—and what to do if it is not.

How can you make sure your sump pump is working properly?

You should periodically check your home’s sump pump to ensure that it’s working as it should. Here are some quick and easy ways to test that your pump is operational and diagnose any potential issues:

  • Since they pull in water from the bottom, most sump pumps only work properly if standing upright. Many sump pump disasters occur because the pump has been accidentally knocked over.
  • The pump should automatically turn on when it senses water. Take some water in a bucket to the sump pump and confirm that the device turns on and is actively draining the water. If not, you’ll need to give us a call.
  • The pump has to put water somewhere. Make sure that the discharge pipe is free of any blockages, including leaves or rocks. These can prevent the pump from effectively removing water from the basement.
  • Take a look at the sump pump’s electrical cord to ensure that it isn’t damaged or fraying. A sump pump needs to be plugged into a grounded outlet with its own breakers. If the sump pump doesn’t turn on during your test, try resetting the breakers and seeing if that resolves the issue.
  • If your sump pump relies on a backup power supply—such as a propane generator—you should also confirm that the generator is working before the start of winter.

Again: when in doubt, call in one of our plumbers for a free inspection. When it comes to a sump pump and the prospect of your basement flooding, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

When should you call the experts?

At King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we specialize in sump pump upkeep, repair, and installation. No matter what your sump pump needs are here in Chicagoland, we have you covered. Call us today for 24/7 emergency plumbing service and a free plumbing inspection. We’ll send one of our experienced, friendly plumbers out to your home to diagnose the issue with the pump and make the right fix.

Remember: proactive, fast action can be the difference between a dry and flooded basement this winter. When in doubt, call us.

Preventing frozen pipes in your Chicago area home this winter

Every year, every winter, thousands of Chicago-area homes and businesses fall victim to the same disaster: frozen pipes bursting, sending water flooding through the building. This causes a ton of property damage, and can ruin your holiday season. Preventing frozen pipes needs to be your top priority this winter.

In this blog, we’ll run through the best ways to prevent your pipes from freezing, both before winter and during it. To schedule a furnace tune-up or plumbing services with King, contact us online.

Preventing frozen pipes

Preventing frozen pipes in your home means scheduling heating maintenance and insulating pipes.Pipes freeze when the water within them is exposed to consistent, freezing temperatures for a sustained period of time. The most common cause of frozen pipes is your furnace breaking down in the middle of the night, causing the temperatures in your home to plummet.

Our first recommendation? Schedule a furnace tune-up in the fall with King.

With that out of the way, here are some other tips for protecting your pipes from the deep freeze.

Preventing frozen pipes before winter starts

  • Insulate your home properly by insulating unprotected pipes. Try not to leave any gaps during the process. If it’s unavoidable, use pipe sleeves. Seal the joints and the slits with tape if you have to.
  • Check your basement, attic, and crawlspaces for cracks or air leaks, and seal any you find. (This will also help make your home more energy-efficient!)
  • Have a contractor install heat cables that can be controlled with a thermostat. Follow the instructions given in the manual to ensure you install the ones meant for your pipes correctly. At the end of the season, unplug the cables to preserve energy.
  • Replace single-pane windows with storm windows or ones that are more energy-efficient.
  • Contact the team at King for a FREE plumbing inspection to examine your plumbing beforehand. We’ll tell you what can be done to ensure your pipes do not freeze during the chilly weather.

Preventing frozen pipes during the winter

When the coldest nights of the year arrive and the blizzard hovers over Chicago, follow these tips to further protect your home’s pipes:

  • Cut off the water supply to faucets and plumbing outside your home by closing the valves.
  • Make sure your garage doors are closed at all times to protect the pipes located there from the cold.
  • Keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open sometimes to allow warm air to circulate inside. The warmth will help keep the pipes from freezing over.
  • Allow pipes that are susceptible to the cold drip a little. This includes both hot and cold water pipes. This subtle water movement—even at the pace of a drip—makes it harder for the water to freeze.

Here are some more tips from The Chicago Tribune on how to avoid frozen pipes.

Here are long-term solutions for protecting your pipes

These probably aren’t things you’ll be able to do in the middle of a blizzard, and they’re above-and-beyond the DIY tips shared above. But, they’re a good idea for the Chicago homeowner who is interested in protecting their pipes, above all else.

Install fiberglass insulation

Installing fiberglass insulation is one of the best ways to ensure those pipes remain warm during the winter. Professional plumbers know how to install these without damaging your property. This includes examining the insulation requirements in your home’s crawl spaces, attic, basement, and other places that are hard to reach.

With this process, pipes that do not have adequate insulation will be insulated to keep them from freezing over once the cold weather hits.

Call King for plumbing repair and more advice on avoiding frozen pipes

As a company that provides both heating and plumbing services to the Chicago metro, King knows a thing or two about preventing frozen pipes. After all, we’ve been serving you for more than 45 years!

To schedule your furnace tune-up, your free plumbing inspection, or just talk through the state of your home’s pipes, contact us online.

Here’s why a water filtration system is a good choice for your home

Do you know what’s in the water you drink and use every day? Our tap water here in Chicagoland comes from Lake Michigan and is generally clean. But, that doesn’t mean it’s purified. In fact, recent reports have shown that several water quality issues—including higher-than-recommended levels of lead—continue to plague Chicago area homes. The best way forward is a whole-home water filtration system that both removes potentially harmful contaminants while also softening your water.

In this article, we’ll review the exact nature of our water here in Chicago and why a filtration system makes sense. For a free plumbing inspection or to learn more about your water filtration options, contact our team here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

What’s in your home’s water?

Purify the water your family uses every day

Depending on where your home is, unfiltered tap water could contain trace amounts of contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, prescription medications, and more.

This 2018 Chicago Tribune article raised the alarm about a different threat: lead exposure. The aging infrastructure and piping under many homes here in Chicago has resulted in higher-than-average levels of lead. When service lines are replaced, this problem can often worsen.

In addition to replacing these pipes if possible, homeowners here in Chicagoland should consider adding a whole-home water filtration system to their home to filter out lead. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe threshold for lead exposure.

Soften your home’s hard water

Here in the Chicago metro and all of Northern Illinois, our groundwater resources are considered extremely “hard.” In essence, this means that the mineral content of our water is higher than the national average. While this problem may sound academic, hard water has a number of real impacts on your home that you should know about:

  • Hard water is a leading contributor to scale buildup inside of your home’s pipes, water heater, and boiler. Over time, scaling can constrict the flow of water in pipes and disrupt your water heater or boiler’s ability to efficiently heat water.
  • The useable life of water-using appliances—such as your dishwasher and washing machine—can be reduced due to the additional wear-and-tear imposed by hard water. In addition, these appliances require more soap to effectively clean your dishes and clothes.
  • Hard water causes scale buildup and potential discoloration on faucets, fixtures, sinks, and countertops.

Why add a water filtration system?

Stopgap methods for filtering water just do not work. There’s only so much that the tiny carbon filter in your fridge or in-fridge water carafe can do to purify your drinking water. Units that fit on or under a kitchen sink purify the water used for dishes and cooking, but do nothing for the rest of your home.

Without a whole-home water filtration system, no matter where you get your drinking water, you’re still cooking, washing, and showering with unpurified tap water.

What about bottled water? Well, that not only costs money every time you go to the grocery store, but it carries a high environmental price tag, as well. Bottled water is a significant contributor to landfills and is rarely recycled properly here in the state. In an ironic twist, the improper disposal of plastic bottles can lead to microplastics in our domestic fresh water supplies, further compromising tap water quality. You cannot shower with bottled water, either.

The only way to address the quality of the water used in your home holistically is by upgrading to a whole-home water filtration system. There are several advantages to switching to a whole-home water filtration system. They potentially include:

  • Better-tasting water
  • Water that is safer to drink
  • Softened water that does not harm your pipes, appliances, faucets, or fixtures.

The benefits of upgrading

In addition to purifying the water your family uses everyday, a whole-home water filtration system will provide you with water that:

  • Tastes great
  • Enhances the natural flavor of cooked meals
  • Works properly with soap and detergents for better cleaning
  • Leaves your skin and hair feeling great

To learn more about the ways a water filter system can benefit your home, contact our team here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We’re your plumbing repair, service, and installation experts here in the Chicago area. Get a free plumbing inspection by calling us today!

What is the water heater pressure-relief valve and what purpose does it serve?

Year after year, your water heater serves an important role in your home. Your morning routine just wouldn’t be the same—or nearly as comfortable—without hot water. Yet, water heaters and their components do not last forever. Preventative maintenance is the key to ensuring that your water heater continues to safely provide your home with hot water. In this article, we’ll review a critical safety component of your water heater, the water heater pressure-relief valve. We’ll discuss what it is, what it does, and how to ensure it’s still working and protecting both your water heater and your home.

Too high of a temperature setting can also cause excess pressure in your water heater. Talk to your King plumber about what temperature your water heater should be set at.

What is the water heater pressure-relief valve?

The name is actually quite literal. It’s a valve that relieves excess pressure in the water heater tank. By doing so, it can prevent excess pressure buildup that has the potential to cause a tank burst and flood your home. It’s an unheralded but essential safety mechanism for your water heater.

What leads to excess pressure in the tank?

As your water heater heats up the water in the tank, the water expands and steam is generated. The greater the heat, the more expansion that occurs. This expansion puts pressure on the exterior walls of the tank, but this is to be expected. Some degree of excess pressure escapes through the water pipes connected to the water heater. In the event that it cannot, the pressure-relief valve triggers. By releasing some of the hot water and air, the valve lowers the pressure back down to safe levels.

For reference, the normal pressure of the water inside of the water heater tank is 50-100 PSI.

What can go wrong?

If the pressure-relief valve is unable to open, the pressure can continue to build inside of the tank past that 100 PSI ceiling. The heavy metal tank can withstand a lot of pressure buildup, but it eventually has its limits. The results are explosive, as the tank gives way, sending hot water flooding outward. If your water heater has an emergency shutoff valve installed, the burst will be detected and the water supply will automatically shutoff. If not, you’re potentially looking at a flooded home with significant and costly water damage.

So, what causes the pressure-relief valve to fail? In many cases, the valve gets stuck or frozen in place due to the buildup of rust and corrosion inside the tank. Or, the valve is stuck due to a prior instance in which it released hot water. A broken valve is something that should be fixed right away, but—unless you’re examining your water heater closely on a regular basis—may not be something most homeowners notice. That’s why regular testing and maintenance is important.

Testing the valve

We recommend that homeowners here in Chicago test their pressure-relief valve when they flush out their water heater twice every year. Bundling your water heater maintenance tasks together makes sense, since each of these tasks takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Start by positioning a large bucket underneath the valve. You are going to release some hot water during this process, so you want to make sure you’re wearing safe clothes to reduce a scalding risk. Remove the drain pipe attached to the pressure valve. Then, gently lift the valve switch so that hot water begins to come out of the valve and into the bucket. For the purposes of this test, don’t push the switch all the way up.

So long as water and air are coming out of the water heater during this test, your water heater pressure-relief valve is working as intended. On the other hand, if you’ve flipped the switch up and you’re not seeing any release, that could indicate a problem with the valve. You should call our plumbing team at King immediately for service so that we can diagnose the problem and replace the valve, if need be.

We’re here for your plumbing and water heater needs

This goes without saying, but if you’re not comfortable flushing your water heater or checking the valve, don’t just ignore this crucial maintenance need. Give our team a call and have us out to your home to perform this service for you. Remember, this preventative maintenance can help prevent a tank burst and major water damage.

What impact does water pressure have on your home?

Did you know that most people use between 80 and 100 gallons of water every day? From using the restroom and showering to cooking and cleaning, your water usage is a crucial part of your daily home routine. Here are just a few daily tasks most homeowners do without thinking, and the corresponding amount of water it takes to complete them:

  • Flushing a toilet: 1-3 gallons per flush
  • Showering: 17 gallons per shower (8-minute average shower)
  • Dishwasher: 4-6 gallons per cycle
  • Washing machine: 5-30 gallons per cycle, depending on your machine’s efficiency

This doesn’t take into account washing your hands, taking a bath, or watering your lawn. Your water use may also skyrocket during the summer, when you’re drinking more water or cooling off in the sprinklers. Taking all this into account, it’s crucial that your water systems are working at their full capacity. Your water heater delivers hot water to your home, and your water pressure needs to be sufficient for your appliances to work and for your showers to be comfortable. For all your daily tasks to run smoothly, water pressure is especially important. Imagine not having enough water pressure to flush a toilet or take a shower. There are other consequences to having water pressure that is too high.

To get your water pressure checked and adjusted by a professional, call the team at King Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing in Chicago, Illinois. We’re the experts on all home systems and can make sure your home is running at 100% capacity.

Low water pressure

It’s been a long day at work, and you want to come home, take a hot shower, and relax with the family. You turn on the shower to see a small stream of water—or droplets—‚coming from the shower head. Even when you turn the shower handle to full capacity, only a small amount of water drips out. What’s the problem?

Your water pressure is likely too low. This can be an annoying setback for many homeowners, who depend on high water pressure to shower, clean, cook, and more. How can you properly shower or wash your hands when only a few drops are coming out of the faucet?

Water pressure impacts how much water comes out of your home's shower heads.

High water pressure may make for a refreshing, fast shower, but too high of water pressure can put additional stress on your pipes and water heater.

High water pressure

On the opposite side of the water pressure spectrum, high water pressure can pose a danger to you and your family inside the home. When water pressure is too high, pipes can become damaged and systems can overwork themselves to bring that water to you. It’s just like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: you don’t want your water pressure too low or too high—you want it just right.

Low water pressure is usually just a nuisance to homeowners and doesn’t pose a serious problem. High water pressure, on the other hand, can damage fixtures, seals, joints, and more. Water pressure that’s too high can also waste a lot of water in the home, leaving you with a higher utility bill at the end of the month.

Getting to comfortable water pressure

As it comes from the municipal water supply to your home, residential water generally ranges from 40 to 80 PSI (pounds per square inch). Anything above or below this range could be considered too low or too high. Some experts will say that any level above 60 PSI is too high of water pressure for your home. It’s best to speak with a professional plumber to get your water pressure checked and to learn more about what level is right for your home. Your PSI range can be affected by elevation, house size, water needs, age of your home, and other factors.

If you haven’t checked your water pressure level in a while, it may be time to call King for a free plumbing inspection. Even if you feel your water pressure and water heater are working great, there could be hidden efficiency problems lurking underneath the surface, such as a water heater that is running too hot and wasting energy. Only a true plumbing professional can get to the bottom of the issue and help you save money, month-over-month.

Call a trusted plumber today

A friendly and trustworthy plumber can test your water pressure, tell you the level it is at, and properly adjust it to fit within the recommended “Goldilocks” range. The team at King Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing has been in the plumbing business for decades and our plumbers have seen and fixed it all. We can dispatch a plumber to your home, diagnose the problem, and find a solution in no time. To get your water pressure checked or to schedule a plumbing repair, call today for a free plumbing inspection.

Here are King’s best tips for avoiding plumbing issues in your home

There aren’t many things that are much scarier for homeowners than an unexpected plumbing issue. In fact, avoiding plumbing issues is a major priority for most homeowners.

Some plumbing issues can be very minor in nature and relatively easy for the homeowner to address with basic tools and some quick YouTube learning. A few of these “simple” issues include changing out sink fixtures to upgraded versions, or fixing a leaky faucet. However, there are many other plumbing problems that require the assistance of a professional. That’s where we come in: when you need plumbers in the greater Chicago area, call the team at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing!

In this article, we’ll share 4 of our best tips for avoiding plumbing catastrophes as a homeowner, and what you should be looking for when it comes to your home’s plumbing needs here in Chicago area. Before examining the types of plumbing issues that only a trained plumbing expert can solve, it can be helpful to understand the ways you can avoid said repairs. It makes a world of difference to be aware of a few basic preventative measures.

A new water heater, installed by King, can help you with avoiding plumbing issues in your home.Our tips for avoiding plumbing issues in your home

1. Be aware of specific plumbing issue areas

There are a few key areas around your home that you should keep an eye on year-round to be able to catch any potential plumbing problems before they actually happen. These areas include your toilets, your water heater, and the state of outdoor faucets. All of these areas should be periodically inspected to ensure there are no leaks, cracks, or other visible damage.

We recommend that you set up a home maintenance checklist that includes checking these key plumbing areas. Go through your checklist monthly, or—if you don’t have time for that—at least quarterly. A little preventative maintenance on the front-end can prevent a huge plumbing headache later down the line. Or, at the very least, this will give you a chance to catch a big problem so you can call the team at King to deal with it before it becomes larger, more complex, or more expensive.

2. Pay close attention to your aging fixtures and pipes

Depending on your home’s age, your pipes might be getting to the point where they could start having problems. It’s especially important to keep an eye out for small pipe leaks in an older home. Leaks can originate from several different sources. One common scenario in older homes is when the actual pipe material has started to break down or corrode, which means that you’ll probably need to repipe your entire home in the near future.

Another issue many homeowners encounter is a clogged pipe, or—even worse—a clogged sewer drain. This happens because years of grease, oil, and other food waste has formed a clog in the pipe. In return, this causes all kinds of problems for your home, from increased pipe pressure to the worst-case scenario: a sewer line blockage and ensuing sewer backup into your home.

If you suspect that your home’s pipes are having any issues, your best course of action is turning off the water immediately and calling King so that our plumbers can come out, inspect the issue, and determine exactly what the problem is. Pipe repair and replacement are not projects you want to DIY, seeing as even the smallest mistake could cause a major water damage disaster inside of your home.

3. Replace old water heaters

As water heaters begin to age, there are many problems that can start to become apparent. The first thing you need to inspect is the anode rod. It’s very possible that the anode rod has been spent and that corrosion is now going to the water heater walls. This will weaken the tank structure, putting your water heater at risk for leaks, or worse, a burst.

Our plumbers can help with all of these issues. If your water heater is less than 10 years old, an anode rod replacement may be the best solution. However, if the corrosion is bad enough to be attacking the tank walls, we’ll probably recommend a water heater replacement. When it comes to choosing a new water heater, you have two options. First, you can either switch to a new, standard tank replacement unit, or you can upgrade to a tankless water heater that is more energy-efficient and can provide your home with unlimited hot water.

4. Call professionals when you need help

Honestly, one of the most important things you can do to prevent a plumbing catastrophe is to realize when you’re in over your head. Many homeowners can tackle simple plumbing fixes like unclogging a drain. But, anything more complicated than that should really be looked at by a professional first. We have friendly, certified plumbing professionals right here, ready to serve you. Sometimes, trying to fix a plumbing problem on your own can cause more harm than good.

When you are faced with a plumbing problem that needs a fast resolution, call the professionals here at King! We are ready to help you with any plumbing issue, from faulty water heaters to leaky pipes.