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.

Here’s why fixing a dripping faucet or showerhead matters

Drip. Drip. Drip. Every homeowner, at one point or another, has experienced a leaking faucet or showerhead. But, you’d be surprised at just how many proceed to ignore the problem for weeks, months, and even years. Take it from our plumbers: it’s much better, easier, and cheaper to just address these kinds of leaks right away. In this article, we’ll review the reasons you should deal with your dripping faucet or showerhead and some of the common ways to go about fixing the problem.

King is proud to be your local plumbing team here in Chicagoland. For a free VIP plumbing inspection, call us today!

Is a dripping faucet that big of a deal?

The short answer is yes. A dripping faucet—even one with what seems like a relatively minor drip—can be a major, headache-inducing waste of water and money. Here’s how:

A dripping faucet can be a major waste of water and money in your home.You’re wasting more water than you think

According to a water waste calculator from the USGS, a single dripping faucet losing water at the rate of one drop every minute (pretty slow, if you think about it) will waste a whopping 34 gallons of water over the course of a year. A faucet or showerhead that is leaking faster than that (say, 30 drips per-minute) will waste more than 1,000 gallons in a year. That’s a lot of water just being wasted—this use doesn’t even include the water your family uses on a daily basis.

Higher water bills

Yes, there’s a lot of water in Lake Michigan, and you’re probably not going to run Chicagoland dry. But, beyond the environmental impact, you’re probably inflating your water bills unnecessarily. Water isn’t free and it isn’t cheap: here in Oak Forest, our water rates and costs are higher than many other parts of the Chicago metro area (you can see where your community’s rates fall in this interactive survey from the Chicago Tribune).

Up all night

For many homeowners, the primary motivation to address a leaking faucet is that constant, obnoxious drip-drip-drip. Even sound sleepers might be kept up at night by this unending sound. Trust us: it gets old after awhile.

Take all these things into account, and there’s no real reason to waste the water—especially when the fixes are typically easy. Let’s dive into that subject in the next section.

What causes dripping faucets, and what should be done about them?

In most cases, fixing a dripping faucet or showerhead is a relatively straightforward task that homeowners can take on themselves. In some cases, you might need to give us a call—we offer free plumbing inspections here in the Chicago area.

Sink faucets

Most sink faucet drips are caused by a worn-out rubber washer. As the faucet is used continually over the course of many years, the washer is continually worn through until eventually it is no longer able to keep the water completely inside of the fixture. As a result, water begins to leak out. The fix here is easy: handy homeowners can take apart the faucet and replace the washer with a new one from your local hardware store. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, be sure to call in one of our plumbers here at King to help.

In some cases, a corroded valve seat could also be to blame. The valve seat is vulnerable to long-term corrosion that can cause the spout of the faucet to leak water.

Showerheads

Similar to sinks, many shower leaks can be caused by a deteriorating washer. This washer is located inside of the showerhead. With the shower turned off, take apart the head and inspect this rubber washer. If it’s cracked or otherwise coming apart, try replacing that—this might be the source of your leak.

Many modern showers rely on a cartridge to control the flow of water as the shower’s user turns a handle. Over time, these cartridges may need to be replaced. This can be trickier: the exact method for taking apart the handle assembly and removing the cartridge from the pipe can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, and specialized tools—such as pliers capable of getting all the way around the cartridge—are often required to remove the assembly from the pipe. If you’re not sure how to proceed or worried about damaging the plumbing behind your shower, be sure to call in an expert from our team.

No plumbing problem is too small. Call King for your VIP plumbing inspection!

At King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, our experienced plumbers love helping local homeowners with their plumbing problems. We’re proud to be the team that offers free VIP plumbing inspections here in Chicagoland. If you’re dealing with the aggravation that is a leaking faucet or showerhead, don’t just wait around for it to magically fix itself—it won’t. Instead, call us for fast service you can count on.

Here are 3 easy steps for regular water heater upkeep

If you’re like most Chicagoland homeowners, hot water is pretty essential to your daily routine. From showers to washing dishes and doing laundry, your home relies on a properly working water heater. In this article, we’ll review some relatively straightforward ways that local homeowners can engage in regular water heater upkeep and help prevent common water heater problems, especially as the tank starts to age.

For professional water heater services here in the Chicago area, contact the plumbing professionals here at King Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We offer free VIP plumbing inspections, which means you can have an expert plumber out to look at your water heater if you suspect anything is wrong or if you think it might be time to replace it with a new model.

For water heater upkeep here in the Chicago metro area, call the friendly plumbers at King!Our tips for regular water heater upkeep here in Chicago

1. Inspect the pressure valve

All water heaters have a temperature pressure release valve that can release pressure from the tank if it gets too high. It’s essential that this valve is working correctly to avoid serious problems. You can inspect the TPR valve by lifting the valve to let a little bit of water out of the tank, then close it. If water continues to flow from the valve, you’ll need to have one of the professional plumbers here at King replace it.

2. Check the anode rods

Regularly checking on your water heater’s anode rod is essential in preventing the tank from rusting. This small rod consists of a steel wire surrounded by either zinc, magnesium, aluminum, or all three. The anode rod attracts the corrosive materials in your water so that the interior tank walls don’t corrode. If you don’t replace the rod regularly, you may have to replace your tank sooner.

To check on the status of the anode rod, unscrew it from the top of the tank. If it has been corroded down to less the one-half-inch thick or has a thick coating of calcium, it’s time for a replacement. Call King for anode rod replacement services here in Chicagoland.

3. Flush the tank

For optimal functionality, your water heater needs to be flushed at least annually. This removes the sediment that builds up in the tank, reducing its efficiency and even clogging the water lines.

Perform a tank flush by turning off the cold-water inlet to the tank. Attach a hose to the drain valve and open the TPR valve. Drain the water out of the tank into an area that can a large amount of hot water, such as a floor drain. After all the water is out of the tank, close all the valves and turn on the hot water faucets in your home and the cold-water inlet. Once water flows back through the faucets, close each one and turn your water heater back on, lighting the pilot light carefully.

Call King for our water heater services

If you’re unsure about how to proceed or uncomfortable doing this on your own, please call in the professionals at King. Our experienced plumbers can quickly and safely manage your water heater upkeep—including pressure valve, tank flush, and anode rod check—and ensure that your system is ready for the year ahead. Call us today!

Here are the 6 signs you need tankless water heater repair

Tankless water heaters offer you a lot of advantages in terms of size, efficiency, longevity, and more. However, like standard water heaters, they occasionally do need to be repaired by a professional plumber. That’s one of the reasons why King offers tankless water heater repair in Chicago. We’re your go-to team for Chicagoland plumbing services, and we offer free VIP plumbing inspections.

If you’re noticing any of the following signs coming from your tankless water heater or your home, you need to call us right away for plumbing service.

Here are the signs you need tankless water heater repair in Chicago

1. It’s making strange or unusual noises

When your tankless water heater is working properly, its operation should be nearly soundless. In contrast, strange noises like hisses, groans, or gurgles are indications that it is malfunctioning. Before calling a repair professional, turn off the water heater. You don’t want the problem to get worse while we’re driving to your home.

Call King for tankless water heater repair in Chicago, for both commercial and residential buildings!

We work with tankless water heaters in both residential and commercial buildings.

2. You’re getting insufficient or inconsistent heating

Your water heater may provide hot water as expected one minute and then cold water the next. Conversely, your water heater may consistently provide water that is lukewarm, rather than hot. Either issue is cause for concern: tankless water heaters heat water as it’s needed in your home, and should be able to meet most of your hot water needs.

3. There’s low water flow

When the flow of water is reduced, it may be a sign of mineral build up inside your water heater. If you already know that your area has hard water, it should be easy to pinpoint the cause. Removing the buildup, however, can be a much more difficult matter and should be handled by a professional.

4. You experience a sudden lack of hot water

When this happens, it usually means that the computer system that runs your tankless water heater has shut it down as a safety precaution due to the detection of a possible problem, such as a buildup of exhaust gases. This happens when gas venting somehow becomes restricted.

5. Your appliances stop working

Appliances that use hot water, such as the dishwasher or washing machine, may not operate properly if they are not receiving a sufficient supply due to a malfunctioning tankless heater. You can attempt the tedious process of adjusting the water temperature manually, but that may only be a temporary solution.

6. Your water heater is leaking

It is rare for a tankless water heater to leak, since there is no tank that can become corroded. However, if you do notice a leak, call a plumber right away, as this is a sign that your water heater needs immediate service and repairs.

Call our team for tankless water heater repair in Chicago

King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing provides tankless water heater repair in Chicago, among of many other home services. If you suspect that your tankless water heater is having issues, contact us for a free plumbing inspection today.