Here are the signs you may need to re-pipe your older home

Most homeowners can manage plumbing problems like slow drains, leaky faucets, and clogged toilets. However, if your pipes are more than 50 years old or you notice any of the following signs, have them inspected by King. Call us to schedule a free VIP plumbing inspection here in Chicagoland.

5 major signs you need to re-pipe your older home

Here are just a few of the signals that your home’s plumbing needs to be replaced at some point in the near future:

1. Water discoloration

Re-pipe your older home if you notice that your pipes are starting to rust.

Rusting pipes could eventually lead to leaks. If you notice rust buildup on the exterior of your pipes, it might be time to re-pipe your older home.

This is a sign pipes are rusty or corroded on the inside. Rust flakes break off inside the pipe and give your tap water that telltale reddish-orange color. If it takes more than a minute to for your water to run clear, re-piping may be necessary. You may also want to check with your local water department to make sure that the discoloration isn’t something happening to the tap water as a whole, or the result of something environmental.

2. Low water pressure

Corrosion and mineral deposit (magnesium and calcium) buildup in your pipes can cause low water pressure. It causes a yellow-green or white buildup around water fixtures, causes clothes to fade more quickly, and causes spots on dishes after washing them in a dishwasher. These problems can impact all pipes in areas with hard water, but they become increasingly prevalent with older pipes, as the scaling begins to build up and clog them.

3. Water stains

Older pipes running throughout your house may spring small leaks causing water stains on walls, ceilings, or floors. If you find yourself repairing numerous leaks and water stains in different locations, there’s a good chance your plumbing is failing.

4. Visible rust

Rust appearing on the exterior of the piping system almost always leads to leaks along the length of the corroded pipe. When you see rust on the outside of your pipes, they should be replaced before leaks occur and cause more home damage.

5. Lead Pipes

Many years ago, lead pipes were the standard for home plumbing systems, but they were banned when it was discovered that lead poses serious health risks. However, they still exist in some older houses. If your older home has lead pipes, you should replace them immediately.

Treat your older pipes like an environmental issue!

Outdated, aging pipes present a danger to your home and your family. They can release toxic materials, like lead, into your water; they can develop leaks in walls, floors, and ceilings leading to mold and mildew growth; and they can break, easily causing major damage to your home and your wallet.

Here’s a great place to start: call King for a free VIP plumbing inspection. Our licensed, certified plumbers thoroughly inspect all aspects of your plumbing. We’ll be able to advise you on whether or not you need to re-pipe your older home. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection here in Chicagoland.

Why you should have King install anti-scald devices in your home

Water heaters that aren’t equipped with an effective anti-scald device pose a serious risk to those in your home. Water pressure changes triggered by flushing a toilet, turning on a washing machine, or other similar actions may cause a dramatic decrease of available cold water, resulting in burns from scalding water. One of the benefits of anti-scald devices is that they prevent water from reaching scalding levels in order to keep burns and related injuries from occurring.

If your home doesn’t currently have anti-scald devices installed to prevent injuries, call the team at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We install anti-scald devices throughout Chicagoland.

Install anti-scald devices to avoid injuries from hot water

A sudden influx of unchecked hot water can cause serious injuries to members of your family.

What are anti-scald devices?

Anti-scald devices, also known as anti-scald valves, tempering valves, or mixing valves, are responsible for mixing cold water with outgoing hot water in order to prevent it from scalding occupants. Two common types are pressure balance valves and thermostatic mixing valves.

  • The first type works by detecting a decrease in cold water pressure from an action such as flushing a toilet, and adjusting the flow of hot water accordingly.
  • The second type works by continuously mixing a stream of cold water into the stream of heated water to maintain a pre-determined safe temperature.

Different types of anti-scald devices work in different ways, but each serves the same purpose and needs to be installed by a professional plumber, such as King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, to ensure the device is installed and functions correctly.

Benefits of anti-scald devices

The main benefit of an anti-scald device is protection against severe burns resulting from scalding water flowing from a shower or other faucet. Children and the elderly are at particular risk of being scalded and a sudden increase in water temperature can also lead to injuries from falls, especially among the elderly, as they attempt to quickly adjust the temperature of a shower or faucet. Severe burns from scalding water can also result in other complications, such as:

  • Costly hospital stays
  • Painful skin grafts or plastic surgery
  • Risk of heart attacks, particularly among the elderly

Call King for plumbing installation

If you need an anti-scald device installed on your water heater, contact us at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We offer efficient, high-quality service to our customers and we’ll ensure that your device is installed and working correctly. Your family’s safety is our top priority, and we put our expertise to work for you.

Have a professional help you locate hidden leaks

Do you have a sneaking suspicion you have a water leak somewhere in your home? If so, it’s best that you immediately call the plumbing professionals from King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We specialize in helping local homeowners locate hidden leaks, and we can help you get to the bottom of the issue.

Have our plumbers locate hidden leaks, including those caused by frozen pipes.

Have our plumbers locate hidden leaks, including those caused by frozen pipes.

In this blog, we’ll review some quick ways you can be on the lookout for leaks, and why you should call in the experts as soon as you suspect you have a leak in your home.

3 ways to be vigilant when it comes to leaks

Keep an eye on your bill

If your water bill has gone up but you haven’t changed how much water you use, it could be a major sign you’re in need of leak detection. Rather than keep paying more than necessary or speaking to utilities representatives who can’t pinpoint what’s going on, have a plumber come out to see what’s what and help you locate hidden leaks.

That being said, it could be a long time before your next water bill. You may not want to sit that long on a leak. If you have other reasons to suspect you have a leak, you should call King for 24/7 emergency service here in Chicagoland.

Use food coloring

Another way to determine if you have a leak is to squeeze a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank. If food coloring ends up in the bowl without you flushing, you probably have a leak.

Sniff out the problem

Take a whiff of the air under basins, inside cabinets underneath the sink, and other areas where there’s exposed piping. If you catch the smell of mildew or mold, it could be because you have a leak.

Locate hidden leaks by calling our friendly plumbers

The reason to turn detection over to our expert plumbers is that they have all the necessary equipment, techniques, and expertise. Commonly used leak detection equipment includes:

  • Listening discs
  • Acoustic amplifiers
  • Plumbing cameras
  • Video inspection tools

Plug up leaks in your plumbing and in your spending

By allowing a leak to go on a minute longer than necessary, you’re wasting money. The investment made in a knowledgeable plumber and a treatment plan pays for itself over the years. Leave temporary or questionable fixes alone and invest in a genuine solution.

Stop leaks from ruining your finances, your home, and your peace of mind. Contact our team here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to know for sure whether you have a leak and plug it up if you do. We’re here to take care of all your plumbing issues, as well as any problems you may have with your HVAC system.

Here’s how to deal with frozen pipes in your home this winter

Frozen pipes are the fear of every Chicago homeowner. All it takes is one cold night, one problem with your furnace, and you’re suddenly dealing with pipes filled with ice. In this blog, we’ll discuss what frozen pipes are, how to deal with frozen pipes this winter, and what not to do when your pipes freeze.

For fast, reliable plumbing services here in Chicagoland, call your friends at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We offer 24/7 emergency frozen pipe repair services here in Oak Lawn, Frankfort, and Joliet, IL.

Avoiding frozen pipes is easy with these tips from KingWhy are frozen pipes such a problem?

As water freezes, it also expands. You may see this phenomenon when you make ice in a freezer ice tray: even when you fill the water up to the fill line, the resulting ice cubes often freeze over the top of that line.

In that scenario, the water has room to expand into as it freezes. However, in the case of your home’s pipes, there is no where for the ice to go. As the molecules expand, they push against the metal or ceramic sides of the pipe, exerting tremendous pressure on the interior walls.

Best case, the pipe walls hold, and there’s no long-term damage to your pipes. Worst case, they don’t, and you suddenly have water flooding into your home.

How to deal with frozen pipes this winter

Call us. Seriously: if you suspect your pipes have frozen, you need to call a licensed, professional plumber immediately. Doing so increases the chances that we can safely thaw out your pipes without long-term structural damage.

After you’ve called, shut off all the water to your home using the main water shut-off valve. There’ll still be some residual water in your home’s pipes, but this will at least limit the amount that can come out of a cracked pipe.

Here’s what not to do

Never try to thaw your home’s frozen pipes yourself! There’s a lot of “home remedies” out there on the Internet, from using a hair dryer to an electric blanket. At best, they just don’t work. At worst, they can actually increase the stress on your pipes, leading to a burst and other problems down the road. Or, they can present a danger to yourself and your family. Take that hair dryer, for instance. You’re using an electric appliance in a position where, if something went wrong, there could be water everywhere.

A professional plumber can help inspect the plumbing system prior to beginning the thawing, which helps identify if freeing the ice in one spot is going to cause a torrent in another damaged spot.

Call King for 24/7 frozen pipe services

If you suspect that your home’s pipes have frozen, call our team for 24/7 plumbing repair here in Chicagoland.

Here are our best tips for preventing frozen pipes this winter

On average, Chicago winters have highs just above freezing. Any time the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a risk that your water pipes can freeze. Frozen pipes can crack and leak, which is why preventing frozen pipes is so important.

To avoid the need for emergency plumbing repair this winter, call King. We offer free plumbing inspections here in Oak Forest, Orland Park, Joliet, and other parts of Chicagoland. Our experienced plumbers are ready to help you with your plumbing needs, and to help you assess your risk for frozen pipes this winter.

Avoiding frozen pipes is easy with these tips from KingEnsure you have sufficient heat

Before winter hits, you want to make sure your home is ready for the cold months ahead. A furnace tune-up in the fall is one part of frozen pipe prevention. This service ensures your home has enough heat to protect you interior pipes and prevent freezing.

Know your high-risk areas

Exposed pipes, such as those in a basement or home exterior, are at the highest risk for freezing. However, an easy fix is to look into is insulation. Pipes in a basement, crawlspace or attic can be wrapped in foam, while external faucets can be protected with faucet covers.

Let warm air circulate and keep cold air out

Keep your garage door shut to prevent cold air from seeping in. You also want to use the warm air inside your home to protect interior pipes, such as those under a kitchen countertop. Open the cabinet doors as often as possible to allow for air circulation that helps in avoiding frozen pipes.

Drain faucets for reduced risk

You won’t be watering your lawn when the temperature is below freezing, so turning off the flow of water to your exterior faucets should pose no issue. Most switches are located in a basement or similar area. Once the water’s off, open your faucet all the way to let water drain out.

Know who your local plumber is

In the event some of your pipes freeze, you need a plan of action. A licensed plumber from King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can assess the damage and determine what sort of repairs you might need. We are also available to help with your winter prep with a whole-house heating tune-up.

Preventing frozen pipes during a cold Chicago winter takes knowledge and proper planning. With our help, you can avoid common pitfalls during winter and protect your home from water damage. To learn more about our plumbing services, call us today.

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, and how do they work?

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.

#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

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.

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.

Here are the 4 signs you should replace your water heater

A water heater is a convenience most homeowners don’t fully appreciate until it stops working. If you aren’t a fan of freezing cold showers or baths (and who is, especially when it’s cold here in Chicagoland), pay attention to these signs you need water heater replacement from the pros here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

King is the premier choice for plumbing services here in Oak Forest, Joliet, and Orland Park. To schedule water heater services, contact us today!

Pictured: It might be time for water heater replacement from the pros here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.The 4 signs you need a new water heater

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to have an experienced plumber from King out to your home to inspect your water heater.

1. Your water looks muddy or sandy

If the water coming out of the tap looks muddy or sandy, you could have a buildup of sediment in your water heater tank. You may be able to rectify the problem by simply draining the contents of the tank and clearing out the sediment. However, if muddy water continues to be a problem, it may be time for a new water heater.

2. Your water heater doesn’t produce hot water anymore

When the heating element in a water heater burns out, it will no longer put out hot water. If your water heater is still fairly new, you may be able to get the heating element repaired. If it’s old, it may make more financial sense to just replace the entire unit. Your King plumber will advise you on the best course of action.

3. You have no idea when your water heater was last replaced

If you have been in your home for longer than 10 to 15 years and you have no idea when your water heater was last replaced, it’s time for a new one. Most water heaters last a maximum of 15 years, so if yours is older, it’s probably very close to the end of its operational life.

4. You frequently have to schedule repairs

One of the most common water heater replacement signs is the need for frequent repairs. If your water heater breaks down all the time, you’ll be better off replacing it. Not only will you save money in the long run by purchasing a new unit, but you’ll also have greater peace of mind that you’ll actually have access to hot water when you need it.

Call King for water heater replacement here in Chicagoland

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, it’s time to consider installing a new water heater. King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has skilled water heater replacement pros on our team, and we’re ready to help. Our plumbers have experience repairing and replacing all water heater makes and models.

To schedule your appointment, call us today!

Here are some signs you need a new water heater

Your water heater is necessary for accomplishing everyday tasks around your home, such as washing the dishes and taking a shower. However, your water heater will start to break down over time. You don’t need to wait until a catastrophe occurs to get a new water heater. Here are the common warning signs you need a new water heater.

Suspect that it’s time to switch out your water heater? Contact your local plumbing experts at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We offer 24/7 emergency service here in Chicagoland!

Here are the 5 signs you need a new water heater

#1. The water is rusty

If you see rust when you turn on the hot water, this is one of the clearest signs you need a new water heater. Rust and corrosion usually happen when the anode rod is spent and the walls of the tank are exposed to water and heat for years. If your water heater is deteriorating, it will start to rust and eventually start leaking.

Pictured: One of the signs you need a new water heater is that your anode rod is spent. In this image, you can see a new anode rod versus a completely corroded one.

Pictured: One of the signs you need a new water heater is that your anode rod is spent. In this image, you can see a new anode rod versus a completely corroded one.

#2. The unit is old

Try to find out when your water heater was made. You can usually figure this out by finding the serial number and looking it up online. If your water heater is at least 10 years old, you should consider replacing it. At the very least, you should call King for an inspection to make sure your water heater is still safely working.

#3. Your water heater is making strange sounds

Your water heater should be relatively quiet. However, it may start rumbling as it ages. As your water heater gets older, sediment will accumulate at the bottom of the tank. As the sediment gets constantly heated, it hardens and causes banging or rumbling sounds.

These noises indicate that there is a layer of hard sediment that is causing damage to your water heater and making it less efficient.

#4. It’s leaking

If you see any moisture near your water heater, it’s time to call the professionals at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. As metal heats up, it expands and it may cause the water tank to develop a small fracture. If the leaking gets worse, it may cause flooding or water damage.

#5. You don’t get enough hot water

Nothing’s worse than feeling a burst of cold water in the middle of a warm, comfortable shower. If this is happening to you on a regular basis, you probably need to replace your water heater.

Noticing the signs you need a new water heater? Contact King immediately!

If you notice any of these things are happening to your water heater, you should get it looked at immediately. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

Make the switch to a demand-type water heater!

Hot water is one of those things that you don’t truly appreciate until you no longer have it. From showering and washing your dishes to doing your laundry, there’s a lot you need hot water for. That’s just one of the many reasons you should consider making the switch to a demand-type water heater.

Demand-type, or tankless water heaters, have many benefits compared to standard water heaters. In this blog, we’ll break down some of the key differences.

Pictured: A demand-type water heater can provide your home with unlimited hot water out of your kitchen faucets.Save money by saving energy

One of the main reasons to switch out your current water heater for a demand-type system is to save money on the cost of heating your water. Among the benefits of these systems is that water is only heated when you turn on the faucet, rather than needing it to be heated and then stored in a tank.

Because of their efficiency, you’ll also be doing your part to save the environment when you install a tankless water heater. It’s easier than ever to go green, and your home’s appliances are a great place to start.

Get more years out of your system

No matter how much you’d like to save on heating, cooling, and plumbing, there’s no denying the fact that home appliances can be expensive. Another great thing about tankless water heaters is that they’ve been known to last for up to 20 years when well-taken care of.

Better water, better safety

When water is heated and left in a storage tank, there’s a chance it can collect rust and scale, which you don’t want coming out of your showerhead or kitchen faucet when you’re ready to cook. You can sidestep that issue with a tankless heater.

You also don’t have to worry as much about accidentally scalding yourself with burning hot water with a water heater that doesn’t use a tank. That’s because such water heaters have unique safety features that keep that from happening.

Call us to learn if a demand-type water heater is right for your home

Interested in learning more about demand-type water heaters? If so, don’t hesitate to contact us at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today. See for yourself how much space, money, and time you can save with an upgraded appliance.

Here are some tips for cleaning your garbage disposal

Garbage disposals provide an easy way to get rid of food waste. Sometimes, flushing that leftover lasagna down the drain is better than dumping it in the trash can.

However, one drawback of using this household device is that bacteria and food particles can build up over time, which can cause unpleasant odors. With our tips for cleaning your garbage disposal, you can eliminate the stink.

For professional plumbing repair here in Oak Forest, Orland Park, and Joliet, contact King.

Pictured: Running citrus fruits, like lemon and lime rinds, through your garbage disposal can help things smell a lot better.

Running citrus fruits, like lemon and lime rinds, through your garbage disposal can help things smell a lot better.

#1. Get fruity with it

Citrus fruits are natural deodorizers. The best choices are lemons, grapefruits, oranges and limes. These items also double as cleansers. You can use them to remove debris and food waste from the disposal’s wall and blades.

Place a few slices or the whole fruit in the disposal and hit the switch. All it takes is a few seconds of grinding and your kitchen will smell like an orchard.

#2. Mix up some baking soda and vinegar

There’s nothing quite the dynamic cleaning duo of baking soda and vinegar. Vinegar kills bacteria while baking soda neutralizes foul odors. When combined, they’re like an all-purpose cleaner on steroids.

Chances are you already have these staples in your home, so you don’t have to go out and buy a chemical-based product. All you do is fill the drain with baking soda and then pour in half a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 60 minutes. Next, run cold water down the drain for 60 seconds.

#3. Give it a good wash

Can you handle a little elbow grease? If so, all you need for this tip is dishwashing liquid and a scrubbing brush or dish wand. Apply a generous amount of soap to the utensil and scrub all the visible parts of the garbage disposal.

This removes foodstuff, trappings and debris. Giving the unit a good wash down also prevents and removes mold growth, which can develop in the joint that connects the sink basin and disposal rim.

Call us if you’re having serious problems

These garbage disposal cleaning tips are a few common DIY options for keeping that area of your kitchen fresh and tidy.

If you still smell a foul odor after following any of these tips, the unit may need a repair or replacement. Let one of our plumbers check things out for you. Schedule a service call today by calling us at (708) 687-6898.