How to Detect a Gas Leak

Detect a Gas LeakUnderstanding how to correctly detect a natural gas leak early on is certainly a must if you use gas in your home. Discovering and fixing the leak is a matter of safety for everyone in the home, and could very well be a matter of life or death. If you’re uncomfortable performing your maintenance work, or perhaps discover leaking gas and are in a panic, it’s important that you call in the true professionals to handle the issue promptly. First off, though, you need to know how to detect gas in the home.

Detecting by Odor

Natural gas is completely odorless when in its normal state. Gas suppliers add fragrance to the substance to ensure it can be detected should there be a leak. Most people think the smell is similar to rotten eggs. Anyways, the scent is strong and highly unpleasant – there is no mistaking the smell of leaking gas.

First off, determine which appliances are using natural gas in your home and give them a sniff. The odor should be stronger around the device that is leaking. While doing this, check to ensure the pilot light for these appliances is lit. Many modern appliances do not have pilot lights, though, and instead use electric igniters. If this is the case, turn off the gas to the appliance at the angle switch on the gas supply line, then call a professional promptly.

Detecting by Sound

While the smell is the most common method to detect a gas leak, the sound is also a dead giveaway. You may notice a slight hissing sound emanating from one or more appliances in your home. While checking for gas leaks, listen carefully for the noise. If you can hear a hissing, the leak is substantial, so be wary.

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For more information on detecting a gas leak, or to schedule service, contact Whitten Plumbing at 501-607-6596. We would be happy to assist you today!

Water Heater Installation and Repair Tips

water heater repair little rockWater heaters have come a long way over the years. The units available to homeowners today are far more efficient than what they once were. Despite the advances being made, water heaters today work in the same way they have for decades. With this in mind, homeowners should know proper installation and repairs tips. With this knowledge available, you can prevent costly issues and keep your home running smoothly with hot water for everyone!

Regular Maintenance

The most efficient way to avoid costly repairs is by performing regular maintenance on your water heater. Some experts recommend draining the water tank once per year. Others suggest draining just one quart every three months, give or take. In any case, removing the sediment that builds up over time will prevent costly repairs down the road.

Some common problems a water heater may experience over time includes:

  • No hot water
  • Cold or cool water
  • Hot water running out quickly
  • Odd noises

If you experience any of these issues, the best tip we can offer is to call in a professional.

Installation Tips

If you have the right experience and tools, installing a water heater is certainly possible. If not, we cannot recommend completing the project on your own. A new water heater requires water pipe connections and potentially new pipe installations. This is a job best left to professionals.

If you do have the experience, make sure that your hot water faucets are open before you turn on the water supply, once the tank is connected to the pipes. Let the water flow from each faucet, then turn them all off.

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For more information on installing and repairing a water heater, contact Whitten Plumbing by calling 501-607-6596 for same-day service. We would be happy to help install or repair a water heater and offer our expert advice at the same time!

How to Know When Your Home Needs Repiping

Vertical image of a tap with water flowing slowly during a period of scarcity

Vertical image of a tap with water flowing slowly during a period of scarcity

If you currently live in an older home or one that has not been remodeled in quite some time, the chances are high that you have old pipes that need replacement soon. If you’re unsure whether or not your home could benefit from repiping services, call in a professional plumbing technician to examine your current system and offer their sound advice on the situation.

Signs of Trouble

For starters, take a look for any signs of trouble in your home. Exposed pipes in the basement, crawl spaces or even the pipes connected to the water heater should be carefully examined. Any signs of stains, discoloration, dimpling, or other signs of corrosion are evident reasons to have your home repiped.

If you happen to notice leaks in the pipes, there may be more than you are unaware of. A leak is a sure sign that your piping system is old and worn out. Instead of continually repairing the system, your best option is to replace the old pipes.

Best Time to Replace

As a homeowner, you need to time your investments wisely. When it comes to remodeling or home renovations, there has never been, nor will there be, a better time to replace the pipes in your home. However, if your home was constructed on a raised foundation, replacing the pipes can easily be accomplished with minimal damage, making it a sound investment to take advantage of. Homes built on a slab foundation will also benefit from repiping, though the cost for drywall patching and painting is higher.

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If you believe your home could benefit from repiping services, please call Whitten Plumbing at (501) 607-6569. We would be happy to schedule a consultation visit to your home with one of our experienced plumbing technicians. So, do not hesitate, give us a call!

Steps to Do Before Calling Emergency Plumbing

clogged-sink

Emergency plumbing services are a last resort when your home or business is experiencing plumbing troubles. Most plumbing companies offer 24/7 plumbing services for serious issues, such as a burst pipe or backflow from the sewer system – both terrible occurrences to deal with as a homeowner. Not all problems require emergency plumbing, however, and when you do need the service, it is best to have some information readily available beforehand.

Turn Off the Source

The first step to take before ever calling in an emergency plumber is to turn off the main shutoff valve and reduce any further damage. A broken water supply line can cause overwhelming amounts of damage to your home or business if left for too long. Shutting off the supply of water will mitigate the problem for the time being.

If the issue is limited to a single fixture or appliance – such as an overflowing toilet – turn off the water supply line valve behind said unit first. This will effectively stop the flooding.

Clean Up

Most homeowners assume the plumber won’t mind wading through excess water or sewage to fix the problem. While this is certainly true, it does help to clean up the surrounding area as best as possible before calling in emergency services. By cleaning up, you are removing anything that could have been damaged by the water. It will be easy for the plumber to reach the issue and solve the problem upon arrival. Mopping up excess water will minimize potential flood damage, too. Standing water in the home is a breeding ground for mold or mildew and various insects.

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If you’ve experienced an emergency plumbing situation and need the problem solved promptly, do not hesitate to call Whitten Plumbing at 501-607-6596. We’d be happy to assist you in any way possible.

What You Need to Do With Your Leaky Kitchen Faucets

a stainless steel kitchen sink drain detail

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in every home. This is the place where we prepare and enjoy food, clean the dishes, and wash up after a long day. The sink is a vital part of cooking and cleaning, so the faucet must work properly. Of all kitchen plumbing repairs, a leaking kitchen faucet should be the first task performed. If not, there will be no place to clean dishes or take care of food-related tasks.

Leak Repair

Depending on the problem, you may be able to repair a leaking kitchen faucet on your own. Just like a professional, study the inner workings of your kitchen sink, learn about the parts and systems that make it run. Some homeowners go so far as to purchase a book on plumbing from their local store to tackle the task.

Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable performing your repairs, call in a professional plumbing service. With the right tools and training, an expert plumbing technician can have a leaking kitchen faucet fixed promptly. When time is of the essence, never hesitate to call in the professionals who get the job done.

Common Tips and Maintenance

You should never allow your kitchen faucet to fall into disrepair. One way to ensure your drain is clean is to use clean the system every so often. One of the most common causes for a leak is lime build and sediment blocking the openings inside the aerator. A small brush dipped in vinegar will quickly remove the built-up residue.

A nasty clog can also cause leaks to form as the pressure begins to build up. There are various products available to remove a clog effectively.

Contact Us

Call Whitten Plumbing if you notice any leaks beginning to form in your kitchen faucets. You can reach us at any time at 501-607-6596.

Common Garbage Disposal Problems and Solutions

garbage disposalYour garbage disposal was installed in the kitchen in an effort to make your lives easier. It reduces food waste and prevents clogs in the plumbing system of your kitchen. Of course, the system can only remain effective if you follow the specific instructions that came with the disposal when it was installed. Preventative maintenance and a regular cleaning schedule can ensure the whole system continues to function as intended, too. Unfortunately, many homeowners experience a few common problems with their garbage disposal. Thankfully, there are solutions to such woes.

Common Problems

One of the most common problems a homeowner may experience with their garbage disposal is the unit not turning on properly. It should make a humming noise when the system is operating normally. Be sure the disposal is plugged in, for starters. If it is, then utilize the reset button installed on the bottom of the unit. If this does not work, you may need to replace the disposal.

Another common problem is a leaking disposal system. To fix the problem, turn off the disposal using the service panel, tighten the mounting bolts. If the bolts were already tightened, the leak is caused by failing plumbing putty. Force some putty between the sink flange and the sink itself. Go all the way around the flange to stop the leaking.

Preventative Maintenance

To ensure the garbage disposal continues operating as it should, consider utilizing preventative maintenance on a strict schedule. Whitten Plumbing can visit your home once or twice per year to examine the system and perform any necessary repairs, replacements, or just simple maintenance. This way, the entire disposal system will continue operation when you need it the most.

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For comprehensive garbage disposal diagnosis and repairs, contact Whitten Plumbing for same-day service at 501-607-6569.

Check out our new look at whittenplumbing.com

Be sure to check out our new look at whittenplumbing.com. Whitten Plumbing Solutions is your Little Rock plumber. Whitten Plumbing Solutions can do anything from unclog a toilet to completely remodel a bathroom. Whitten Plumbing offers the best prices and warranties on Rheem water heaters, as well as water heater repairs, and tankless water heater installation! We offer upfront, flat-rate pricing, so there will be no surprises when you call us for your plumbing needs. Call us today and experience the customer service only your grandparents will remember. 501-607-6596 www.whittenplumbing.com

When was the last time you changed your washing machine hoses?

hose-leakDid you know you should change your washing machine hoses every two to three years? This is highly recommended because the leading cause of plumbing insurance claims is washing machine supply hoses that burst and flood homes. Nobody wants to come home to a house full of water, so be sure to change your washing machine hoses every few years. There are hoses that have a flood stop on them—when there is a sudden flow of water pressure shooting through the hose, the emergency stop shuts off the water to the hose.
hose

 

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These hoses are pretty easy to change out, but if you don’t want the hassle of doing it yourself, just call your Little Rock plumber today! 501-607-6596 Just a little something to think about. Get instructions here.  www.plumbinghow.com

Is your toilet paper causing your plumbing problems?

toilet-paperYou flush your toilet and suddenly you are in a panic. The water is rising and not going down! Will it overflow or will it stop? Is there anything more frustrating? A great deal of damage can be caused by a simple clogged toilet, if it is not fixed right away. Toilets get clogged for a number of reasons. Young children have an uncanny ability to flush things that get stuck in the toilet. Even the beautiful tree outside your window might sneak its roots right into your plumbing pipes.

Common Cause of Toilet Clogs

Another, often overlooked cause of toilet clogs is the kind of toilet paper you are using. Most of the time, people in Little Rock do not even think about their toilet paper as a potential culprit. Manufacturers have been doing a great job of promoting their extra soft and extra strong toilet paper. But the truth of the matter is, that while these features may be of benefit to you, these same attributes may cause a problem for your pipes as well as the rest of your sewer system. The risk could be even greater if you have older pipes. You may not be aware that in some countries they do not flush anything, not even toilet paper. Of course, here in America that is not an option. We have become accustom to the cleanliness and the convenience of flushing. So for us, it becomes necessary to find the best toilet paper that protects our sewer system and pipes, while also getting the job it was intended for done.

Quality recommended for Toilet Papers

Ideally, our toilet paper needs to be strong enough to not fall apart when we use it. It should be soft to the touch and yet it needs to dissolve quickly so it will not clog our toilets. Although the ultra-soft toilet paper that is being pushed today may make you feel good, your sensitive plumbing may have a different opinion. The toilet paper may have tested well in categories of softness and strength, but it just may not dissolve quickly enough for your plumbing. If you find yourself often fighting with a plunger after a visit to the bathroom, it is time to search the internet in order to find a toilet paper that meets your needs and is gentle on your plumbing. A test was run on 22 different types of toilet paper by Good Housekeeping. They ran tests on one, two, and three-ply versions. They then ranked them each by absorbency, softness, strength, and what they deemed as “clogability.” Starting your search here would be a good idea. There are so many brands on the market today, including store brands, with a little effort you surely will find the best toilet paper for your needs. For more information on the Good Housekeeping tests and results click here. If you’re looking for a professional plumber in the Little Rock area, then please call us today at 607-6596 or visit us online at www.whittenplumbing.com .

Is your faucet dripping?

faucet waterAll homeowners will, at one time or another, encounter a plumbing problem. This can be very bothersome and disruptive. Knowing the most common plumbing problems in Little Rock that homeowners are likely to face and knowing what to do when they arise, can be the difference between a small problem and a disaster. There are many different possible plumbing problems, but dripping faucets are one of the most common.

Steps to Quickly Solve a Dripping or Leaking Faucet

The first step to quickly solve a dripping or leaking faucet is to reach under the sink (the most common location) and turn off the water shut-off valve. If your house is not equipped with shutoffs for individual fixtures, you’ll have to go to the main shutoff and turn off the entire water supply to your home. Now listen carefully. Do you hear water continuing to run? If you do, you may have a much bigger problem. Call your Little Rock plumber at 501-607-6596. If not, you can go to your local home improvement store and likely find the replacement parts for your leaky faucet. If you need help just call Whitten Plumbing Solutions.