Author Archives: Contributor

Common Plumbing Issues and How to Fix Them

Deal with common plumbing issues promptly or call an expert.

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On average, homeowners call for professional plumbing repair once every three years. Obviously, some households require plumbing service far more often. An old house, for example, likely has old plumbing that requires more frequent repairs. A residential plumbing system is far more intricate than most people imagine; it is not just pipes and water or waste. There are numerous plumbing issues that require the expertise of a technician. As a homeowner, you should know how to perform a basic inspection of your plumbing and perform minor repairs. Otherwise, call a plumber for all other services.

Common Plumbing Issues

In any type of home – new or old – there are common plumbing issues that may arise. Some are more common than others, such as a clog or leak. Most are quite easy to resolve with the correct tools and know-how. Here are a few common plumbing issues and how to fix them:

  • Low Water Pressure – If you have ever experienced low water pressure from your faucet or showerhead, then you understand the hassle. First, check if the low water pressure is affecting the hot and cold water. If both are affected, the cause is likely the aerator. A calcium buildup may be affecting the faucet. Simply remove the aerator, clean the debris, and reinsert it.
  • Slow Drainage – A sink or bathtub that is slow to drain is likely caused by a clog. Over time, it is quite common for both the sink and bathtub drain to fill with soap scum, hair, and calcium deposits. You can remove the clog or pull out the pop-up and clean it thoroughly. Do not use chemical drain cleaners, though. Always use natural methods or specifically-designed plumbing tools for the job.
  • Running Toilet – A constantly running toilet is more than a mere annoyance; it is a waste of money, too. To stop a running toilet, you need to figure out the cause. Once you know which of the parts is the issue, you can replace it. The most common reasons for a running toilet are the fill valve, flapper, or flush valve. Examine each and replace or repair as necessary.
  • Clogged Disposal – A clogged or jammed garbage disposal occurs when foreign objects are jammed into the disposal unit. A garbage disposal is designed for small food debris; nothing else. Do not put egg shells, bones, grease, or coffee grounds into the disposal. If the unit is clogged, use an Allen wrench to open the unit and unjam the system.

Some other common plumbing issues may occur with your home’s water heater or gas lines. These are complex systems that require the expertise of a certified plumber. Do not risk injury or expensive repairs by attempting to handle either system. Always call a professional.

If you are tired of residential plumbing issues, schedule plumbing repairs with experts who care in Little Rock, Arkansas. Call Whitten Plumbing at 501-607-6596. We hire expert plumbers who are ready and willing to tackle any situation in your home. From drain cleaning to water heater installation, we do it all for homeowners like yourself!

Five Signs That You Need a New Water Heater

A dying water heater will warn you with a few common signs.

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Your home’s water heater is not designed to last forever. Despite the advances to water heater technology, today’s top systems do have a finite lifespan. For most water heaters, the lifespan tops out around 10 years. Once you hit that mark, you’ll start to notice decreased efficiency and constant symptoms, including odd noises or plumbing leaks. To avoid long-term trouble, you need to know the tell-tale signs of a broken water heater. Once you start to notice such signs, it is time to schedule a replacement. Trust in a professional plumber for water heater replacement!

Signs You Need Water Heater Replacement

For the most part, your water heater works without so much as an odd rumbling sound. But then when something goes wrong, it hits fast and hard. Everything seems to happen all at once. Watch for these five signs to schedule prompt water heater replacement:

  • Age – Traditional water heaters are designed to last around 10 years. You may be able to squeeze one or two more years out of the system with professional maintenance and thorough cleaning. However, around the 10-year mark, you’ll start to notice an increased need for repairs, more water leaks, and gurgling noises.
  • Noises – Speaking of noises, as a water heater ages, it will begin making odd sounds. Over its lifespan, a water heater will accumulate sediment at the bottom of the tank. Too much sediment leads to banging or rumbling sounds as the heating element interacts with the sediment buildup.
  • Rusty Water – If you notice rusty or muddy water coming from the hot water heater, chances are the interior of the water heater tank is beginning to corrode and rust away. Unfortunately, there is no repair for this issue. At this point, the entire system must be replaced. Otherwise, you risk illness from rusty water.
  • Lack of Water – Over time, you may find yourself fighting to receive any hot water whatsoever. As a water heater ages, the sediment building up in the bottom of the tank takes up more space. Then, as you turn on the faucet for hot water, the system is fighting to supply enough to the entire house. That, or your water heater is not sized properly for your home. Either way, a replacement is within the near future.
  • Leaks – Finally, we have one of the most common signs of a dying hot water heater: leaks. A leaking water heater cannot be fixed easily. If you notice a leak or standing water around the tank, take action – have it replaced immediately by an expert. Also, check for signs of leaking around the fittings or connections before installing a new water heater. You don’t want to endure further leaks on a new system because of a loose or faulty connection.

If the time has come for a brand-new water heater, trust in the experts backed by many positive reviews to handle your water heater replacement. Contact Whitten Plumbing by calling 501-607-6596. As the leading experts in water heater installation, repair, maintenance, and replacement, we look forward to hearing from you!

Things to Do to Stop Your Sink From Clogging

Prevent pesky drainage clogs with professional drain cleaning and maintenance services.

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You’ve likely endured your sink clogging on occasion. It happens. If you’re not paying attention, you may stuff coffee grounds into the drain or drain a cup of grease from breakfast. Whatever the cause, a clogged drain is no fun. In fact, it can be harmful to your plumbing system. If the issue continues or recurs, the resulting clog could cause the pipe to burst or form a leak. You’re then looking at expensive repairs and replacement parts. Instead, opt for prevention. They say prevention is the best cure. Well, the age-old saying is correct when it comes to plumbing clogs

Drain Cleaning Tips from the Pros

If you’re aiming to prevent a drainage clog, then know that you’ve likely got the tools in your home already. There’s no need to go out and buy expensive equipment or chemical cleaners (they don’t work). Here are a few tips from professional plumbers:

  • DIY – Often, preventing a clogged sink can be accomplished by cleaning the drain on occasion. Using a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water, you can ensure squeaky-clean drainage systems in your home
  • Maintenance – Your home’s plumbing system requires occasional maintenance to operate efficiently. The same goes for the kitchen drain (it’s part of your plumbing system, after all!). On occasion, clean the drain using a little bleach. Let it sit overnight, then run water down the drain
  • Avoid Grease – It’s all too common for homeowners to take the easy route when cleaning the kitchen. For instance, many throw their used grease down the drain. There, the grease solidifies and causes a blockage. Instead of tossing grease down the kitchen drain, save it in a jar and throw it away.
  • Keep it Hot – Letting the hot water run down your kitchen drain at least once per week can help remove any build-up along the interior of the pipes and drainage system. In the kitchen, hot water (be careful!) can melt away light grease buildup.
  • Wisely Use Cold Water – Alternatively, cold water should be used wisely. When running the garbage disposal, for example, use cold water instead of hot. Cold water prevents oils and grease from solidifying in the drain. Only use hot water to remove grease deposits after the fact.

Professional Drain Cleaning

On occasion, consider scheduling professional drain cleaning services. In doing so, you’ll hire an experienced plumber who is equipped and trained to keep drains from clogging. The tools a plumber brings to the job are better suited for a healthy drainage system.

If you want to save money, do not knock professional services. Consider it an investment. By scheduling drain cleaning today, you’re preventing a costly repair down the line. Drain cleaning reduces the risk of severe clogs, burst pipes, and leaks. It’s the best option!

For professional drain cleaning services, consider Whitten Plumbing for your household plumbing needs. We’re available for plumbing services in Little Rock, AR. Call us at 501-607-6596 today!

How to Install a Garbage Disposal

Professional garbage disposal installation helps avoid any headache or troubles.

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Your average garbage disposal is designed to last for 12 years, give or take. Now, this lifespan can vary depending on a few factors, including the quality of the unit, appropriate maintenance, and professional installation. It’s highly likely you’ll need to replace a disposal within your lifetime, whether it’s the garbage disposal in your current home or the next one. Unless you have experience with both wiring and plumbing, you may wish to hire an experienced plumber to handle garbage disposal installation. Otherwise, follow our advice below.

Tools & Materials

First, let’s break down the exact tools and materials you’ll require for garbage disposal installation. You’ll need:

  • Garbage Disposal Unit
  • Channel-Type Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Plumber’s Putty
  • Mounting Ring and Drain Fitting
  • Plug-in Power Cord
  • Hammer

With these tools, you’ll find installation is a breeze.

Selecting a Disposal

A crucial step in installing a brand-new garbage disposal is first selecting the replacement. Before ever taking the old model apart, you’ll want the new unit nearby. If you choose to buy a replacement from the same manufacturer, you may be able to skip a few steps in the installation process. For example, you may not have to replace the waste assembly and mounting flange.

When choosing a new garbage disposal, opt for a high-efficiency, quiet-operation model. There are plenty on the market that are both powerful and quiet to operate. However, know that the quiet, powerful models are often quite large in size – factor this in when making your purchase.

Garbage Disposal Installation Steps

Next, if you’re confident and prepared to handle the installation yourself, adhere to the following steps closely:

  1. Shut off all electrical power to your garbage disposal.
  2. Disconnect the electrical cable from the underside of the unit.
  3. Unbolt the drainpipe.
  4. Loosen the locking ring to remove the old garbage disposal.
  5. Unscrew the mounting ring from underneath the sink.
  6. Remove the locking ring using a screwdriver.
  7. Push the sink flange from the drain hole in the sink, and remove any old putty.
  8. Apply a small bead of plumber’s putty around the sink flange; set it in the drain hole.
  9. Attach the mounting ring to the underside of the sink, and tighten all screws.
  10. Remove any excess putty from the top of the sink flange.
  11. Reconnect the electrical cable.
  12. Attach the disposal directly to the locking ring – tighten properly with a screwdriver.
  13. Connect the final tailpiece and rubber gasket to the drain line of the disposal.

While these are numerous steps to complete in order, the overall installation is relatively simple and straightforward. Of course, at any time if you feel uncomfortable, simply schedule a professional installation with an experienced plumber. It is highly recommended for your peace of mind.

If the time has come for a brand-new garbage disposal, opt for professional installation to avoid any headache or long-term issues. Whitten Plumbing is the top provider of garbage disposal installation in the area. Give us a call now at 501-607-6596.

Three Reasons to Do Maintenance on Your Plumbing

Professional plumbing maintenance will keep your home’s plumbing system running smoothly year-round!

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Your home’s plumbing system is a bustling network of pipes, drains, and flowing water or waste. It’s a system that is both intricate and simple, yet requires extensive work and craftsmanship to function properly. On occasion, you’ll have to pay for repairs. It’s unfortunate but inevitable. Of course, you can reduce the need for repairs, and the total cost, by scheduling regular plumbing maintenance. Preventative maintenance, as it’s known within the plumbing industry, is specifically designed to prevent major issues now, well before they become a serious problem.

Plumbing Maintenance Prevents Expensive Repairs

First, homeowners like yourself schedule maintenance to prevent expensive repairs. It’s the number one reason any professional plumber is called out. But it’s quite easy to ignore minor plumbing issues in your home. Each day, in fact, most people do. A small leak, or uneven water temperatures – sure, it’s easy to ignore for now. Unfortunately, such issues are indicative of a larger, more severe problem. If left too long, that problem is going to rear its ugly head and cause damage and further expense.

Let’s look at a dripping faucet as an example. The drip is an annoyance, we all agree. However, if left ignored, that single dripping faucet may damage the plumbing fixture and force you to purchase a new tap. It’s an unnecessary expense that could have been resolved in one maintenance appointment!

Avoid Plumbing Emergencies

No one deserves to endure a plumbing emergency. It does happen, though, and the damage could be crippling and expensive. The thing about a plumbing emergency is that it’s usually avoidable. Typically, an emergency occurs due to an ignored problem. Thankfully, there are warning signs to watch for.

So what’s the most common plumbing emergency we are called out for? It’s for a burst or broken pipe. A sewer line backup is another very common issue, and both are costly and troublesome. A sewer line backup often deposits contaminated wastewater in your home – nobody wants that! Of course, such a backup does not just occur overnight. It takes time for a clog or leak to form in the pipe. Before then, you’ll notice odd smells, recurring drainage clogs, and other telltale signs. Maintenance can catch such signs and resolve the problem before you need to call us at midnight.

Prolong the Life of Your System

We briefly mentioned how a leak in your bathroom faucet could lead to replacing that fixture completely. Well, it’s true. Maintenance, however, will reduce the need for costly replacements. Maintenance prolongs the lifespan of your entire plumbing system – and not just the fixtures, but the pipes, too.

Extending the lifespan of your plumbing system is obviously ideal. The longer it lasts, the less money you’ll spend on new installations, replacements, or emergency calls. The cost of regular maintenance is minor in comparison. It’s truly an investment that pays off. Replacing a pipe is inconvenient, time-consuming, and expensive in comparison, so extending the lifespan of your plumbing is your priority.

Schedule top-rated plumbing services with Whitten Plumbing. We provide preventative plumbing maintenance, new plumbing installations, and plumbing repairs for when the time comes. Schedule service by calling 501-607-6596!

Plumbing Issues That Require Immediate Attention

Sometimes when it comes to plumbing issues, you can wrangle up a DIY fix that will keep things working temporarily. Other times, your plumbing system needs professional help ASAP. In the following scenarios, you should probably drop everything and call a plumbing company immediately.

When You Spot a Damaged Pipe

At some point during your time as a homeowner, you’re going to come across a pipe that’s either corroded, leaking, or just plain busted. You might even find that plant roots have invaded a pipe and left it damaged. As soon as you realize that a pipe has been broken, call in a plumber immediately to assess the extent of the problem. Leaving it unattended could eventually result in a broken pipe and/or severe water damage.

When Your Water Heater Isn’t Functioning Properly

Every year, many homes are seriously impacted by a leaking water heater. The problem may seem small at first, but eventually even a small leak can turn into an expensive issue. Shut off the fuel source to the water heater and call in professionals to assess the leak immediately.

When You Notice Leaking Water in Your Home or Yard

Warped floorboards inside or large puddles outside often suggest that there’s a broken pipe hidden somewhere. Just because you can’t see the damage doesn’t mean it’s not there, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and call in the pros to find the source of the excess moisture.

Looking for a reliable plumbing company to handle your problems in the Little Rock area? Contact Whitten Plumbing. Their expert staff members have been trained to deal with everything from regular  plumbing maintenance to emergency plumbing repairs. When you hire them, you know that they’ll address your concerns quickly and thoroughly.

Schedule your next plumbing repair or inspection by calling Whitten Plumbing at 501-607-6596.

How to Keep Your Water Usage Low Next Month

Sunny, summer days spent outside and by the pool mean one thing: more water usage. Everyone in the family will be showering more, as well as using water to keep the yard green and the pool full.

If you want to keep your water bill from dramatically increasing, then you’ll need to follow these helpful tips in your efforts to keep your usage at a reasonable level.

  • Ensure that there are no leaks on your property. It’s easy to rack up a hefty water bill when you have a hidden leak in your yard or somewhere in your home. Check your faucets, pipes, and lawn for signs of moisture. If you do spot a leak, have it fixed ASAP.
  • Only run the washing machine when it’s full. As tempting as it is to wash your favorite swimsuit immediately after wearing it, it’s best to only turn the machine on when you have a full load to wash.
  • Be smart about turning on your sprinklers. It’s best to water your lawn during the morning or evening when it’s cooler, so less moisture will evaporate. Remember to check to see if your sprinklers are watering the lawn, not the sidewalk or driveway! Also, make sure you’re not one of those people letting their sprinklers run on rainy days.
  • Keep everyone’s showers short. No one wants to sacrifice their relaxing shower or bath after a long day outside, but by minimizing shower time, you’ll cut down on your water bill substantially.

To learn more about how you can lower your water usage and save money over the summer, contact Whitten Plumbing today. They’ve been serving the Little Rock area for years, and are experts when it comes to affordable plumbing techniques and solutions. Give them a call at 501-607-6596 to schedule an appointment or speak with a representative.

Tips for Selecting a Commercial Water Heater

Choosing a new water heater isn’t as simple as you might think it is. There are many different things to keep in mind depending on your business needs and preferences. Plus, you’ll need to pick one that’s both right for your budget and hot water needs.

To help you decide which new commercial water heater is the best fit for your business or commercial property, here are three questions you should ask yourself while evaluating the options.

  • How big do I need the water heater to be?

This answer will vary depending on the size of your business operation, and how many people work there, shop there, visit, and so on. Purchasing a water heater that’s too big will cost you extra, and buying one that’s too small will leave your employees, customers or tenants without enough hot water. Therefore, it’s important to research exactly what size your space requires.

  • Do I care if it’s energy-efficient?

Purchasing an energy-efficient commercial water heater is a great way to help the environment and save money on your electric bills. However, the prices of these water heaters may vary, so you’ll need to check out the price tags and determine how important it is for you to snag an energy-efficient model.

  • Would I rather pay more upfront or spend money on repairs later on?

Some water heaters are more expensive to install at first, but will be more reliable through the coming years. Others are cheaper to install, but can call for regular maintenance and occasional repairs as they age. Depending on your budget, you may prefer one type of commercial water heater over the other.

Need help deciding on the best commercial water heater for your business or property? Contact Whitten Plumbing Solutions. They’ll walk you through the process of selecting a new water heater and conduct the installation quickly and safely. Before you know it, your employees and visitors will be equipped with enough hot water for every situation. Call 501-607-6596 today to learn more.

Bathroom Plumbing Basics – Practical Planning Before You Begin

So, you’ve finally decided to take on the big project you’ve been dreaming about for years: a complete bathroom renovation. Good for you! However, before you start ripping up tiles or picking out new sinks, it’s important to take some time to develop a smart renovation plan. There are many things to take into consideration, and you don’t want to get ahead of yourself.

Here’s the first five things you need to think about as you begin your bathroom makeover.

  1. How Much Money Can You Spend on this Project?

Budgeting is a key part of any renovation. Between replacing fixtures and making necessary adjustments and repairs as you go, you could wind up with a pretty large bill for the entire makeover. Do some research beforehand to come up with pricing estimates, then figure out how much you can actually afford to spend on the project.

  1. Will You Need to Deal with Water Damage?

Many homeowners are surprised to find hidden problems in their bathroom while doing a renovation. Now is the time to determine if you’ll need to deal with water damage and other underlying issues, including non-waterproof materials, bad plumbing, and structural deficiencies.

  1. Do You Know Where All the Current Plumbing Pipes and Electric Wiring Is Located?

Before beginning a renovation, you should know the current layout of your bathroom like the back of your hand. This will make picking out new appliances and designs far easier and prevent you from running into unforeseen problems.

  1. What are the Measurements of Your Current Set-Up?

How can you pick out a new bathtub if you don’t even know what will fit in your bathroom? Take measurements of everything, from your vanity to your shower.

  1. Are You Taking the DIY Route or Hiring a Professional?

Most importantly, you’ll need to determine what you can accomplish on your own and what will need to be handled by an outside contractor. Although placing tiles or installing new sinks might sound like simple tasks, they may actually be more complicated than you think.

If you’re in need of a plumbing expert to help with renovations, contact Whitten Plumbing. Their trained experts have been helping people redo bathrooms in the Little Rock area for years, and their customers praise them for superior skills and customer service. Call 501-607-6596 today to schedule all your plumbing repairs or improvements.

What Will Cause Your Water Heater Reset Button to Trip and Next Steps to Take

If you know very little about your water heater, you might not know why that red button keeps making a fuss and asking to be reset. There are actually a few reasons that could be causing this problem, all of which are fairly easy to handle on your own.

The Water Temperature Is Too High

In most cases, the reset button is triggered because the water inside the heater has become hotter than 180 degrees. In this case, the button is tripped to protect your home from being damaged by scalding water. If this is the problem you’re dealing with, you’ll probably need to check the thermostats connected to your electric water heater. Perhaps one of them has gone bad and isn’t monitoring the water temperature properly. In this case, call in the professionals to repair the thermostat.

The Wires Are Loose

There are wires that connect to your electric water heater’s thermostats and generate the heat. If those wires are damaged or loose, this can cause a bad connection that eventually trips the reset button. Check to see if you can easily fix one of the wires before calling in professional assistance.

The High-Limit Switch Is Malfunctioning

The reset button, AKA the high limit switch or “Energy Cut Off,” might be causing its own problems. In this case, you’ll need to have a plumbing professional determine what the problem is or maybe even replace the reset button.

Although you might be able to stop your water heater reset button from tripping too much, some problems won’t be fixable without the help of a professional. Whitten Plumbing Solutions has been helping homes in the Little Rock area deal with their plumbing problems for years, including issues with electric and gas water heaters. To schedule a plumbing installation, repair, or service, call Whitten Plumbing Solutions at 501-607-6596 today.