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.

How to Flush & Drain Your Hot Water Heater to Prevent Corrosion

Over time, your hot water heater may accumulate sediment, which leads to corrosion. It is smart to occasionally flush and drain the system for optimal results. Few homeowners know how to complete this process, though, but learning to do so will help ensure your hot water heater lasts longer and runs more efficiently.

How Often to Flush the Water Heater

There are a few variables that determine the frequency with which we flush a hot water heater, like the size of the tank and amount of water being used throughout the house. It is a smart idea to refer to your manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, the more hot water being used in the house, the more often you should flush the system during regular maintenance for your water heater.

Over time, water heater sludge accumulates as minerals and sediment begin to gather. Flushing these deposits ensures the system lasts longer and operates more efficiently, helping to prevent pesky cold water bursts throughout.

The following is a general guide for flushing the system:

  • 1-2 people: Inspect the heater every 6 months, drain every 12 months.
  • 3-5 people: Inspect every 4 months, drain every 8 months.
  • 6 or more: Inspect every 4 months, drain every 6 months.

How to Flush & Drain a Hot Water Heater

The following steps are designed to flush and drain a hot water heater to prevent corrosion:

  1. Turn the water heater off
  2. Turn the cold water valve off
  3. Let the water cool down
  4. Attach a drain or garden hose to the drain valve on the tank
  5. Place the opposite end in a bucket or drain
  6. Turn on a faucet
  7. Drain the tank by twisting the drain valve with a screwdriver
  8. Once the sediment is removed, turn the drain valve off, remove the hose, turn the cold water valve on, and the heating elements back on.

Contact Us

Schedule water heater maintenance in the Little Rock area with Whitten Plumbing by calling 501-607-6596 today. We’ll ensure your hot water heater remains efficient and clean!

Finding Affordable Plumbing Repair Services in Little Rock, AR

If you are hoping to save money on your plumbing repair services, you’re not alone. Few other homeowners want to be nickel and dimed by their plumber. They want professional plumbing services at an affordable rate. That’s not a difficult wish to receive, thankfully, if you know what to look for.

Shop Around

You may have heard that when shopping for any type of service provider, you want to secure two or three quotes before beginning any work. You never want to trust a plumber who refuses to offer a quote before beginning a project.

The quote you receive should be a realistic amount based on what needs to be done. Some plumbing providers even offer free consultations, where an expert will come to your home and assess your needs thoroughly.

Check Out Online Reviews

We are living in the modern age. Almost everyone has access to a computer or smartphone, where they can leave reviews and share their thoughts on a business or service. Use these online reviews to your benefit. You can explore a variety of affordable plumbing services and their Google or Yelp reviews to locate someone affordable, that meshes with your needs.

Do Not Fall for Rush Jobs

On occasion, although rarely, a plumber will urge you to pay a premium for speedy service. While tempting, especially for a homeowner tired of a leaking pipe or low water pressure in the shower, this service is a scam. For most jobs, quality requires an expert taking their time to complete the task. If someone rushes the job, they are taking half, or sometimes even less, time to complete the work. Often, they cut out the quality control process, which means costly repairs and worse problems may ensue.

Contact Us

To speak with an experienced, affordable plumbing repair service serving Little Rock, AR, and the surrounding areas, contact Whitten Plumbing at 501-607-6596. We will provide you with a quote for our services promptly!

Residential Plumbing Tips

While plumbing has been around since the days of the Romans, and perhaps even before in some capacity, these systems still require a bit of finesse and hard-work to function correctly. Your home’s plumbing system must undergo scheduled inspections, prompt repairs, and thorough cleaning/maintenance on a regular basis. Foregoing any of these tasks could lead to extensive, and quite costly, repairs. Here are a few residential plumbing tips from your local plumbing experts!

Repair Early

A leak in your home’s plumbing is not just an annoying task to add to the to-do list; the moisture releases from the pipes put additional wear on fixtures and encourages mold and mildew growth. Remain on top of plumbing repairs to cut down on costs and prevent further damage. Keep a clean household, and you’ll be rewarded with a functional plumbing system.

Watch for Signs

With a residential plumbing system, the smallest leak can quickly escalate into a big deal. Be aware of common signs of impending plumbing issues, including:

  • Leaking faucets
  • Damp walls/cabinets
  • Shifting toilets
  • Dripping appliances
  • Higher-than-average water bills
  • The sound of dripping water
  • Gurgling noises

Scheduled Maintenance

A plumbing system is designed to be maintained. That means checking pipes and fixtures, replacing loose bolts, and cleaning the entire system thoroughly. Over time, whether due to heavy use or outside conditions, plumbing systems often acquire mineral buildup. This buildup will then cause strain on the system. If not carefully monitored and cared for, the mineral buildup will lead to leaks and burst pipes. No one wants that.

You can schedule preventative maintenance with your local plumbing experts for reasonable prices. A technician will visit your home once or twice per year, depending on your preferences and schedule, and examine the entire system. Potentially troubling issues will be repaired then and there!

Contact Us

To schedule plumbing maintenance or repairs, contact Whitten Plumbing by calling 501-607-6596. We’re here to help homeowners keep a clean and functioning home!

Dangers of a Flooded Basement

flooded basementAs every homeowner must know, it’s crucial to take care of your home’s plumbing system. By disregarding proper maintenance and repairs, we invite further damages and costs. It’s best to tackle issues with your plumbing system promptly. This is especially true with leaks. The dangers of a leak, especially in the basement, are profound. We’re talking about extensive, costly repairs, structural damage, and adverse health effects. Don’t let a flooded basement destroy your household!

Mold Growth

In nature, microscopic mold spores are everywhere, including within our homes. However, these spores typically remain dormant and are considered harmless until they’re fully activated. Activation requires moisture, such as that from water damage in a home. Once mold spores are active, the clock is ticking. Aggressive, growing mold will spread throughout the floors and walls of an average household. It only takes a day or two.

If you have a flooded basement, it is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Evaluation and decontamination, both time-sensitive processes, should be part of your repair process.

Structural Damage

As water builds up and sits for extended periods, it may damage the foundation of your home. This damage is not always immediately apparent, though. A flooded basement exerts a tremendous amount of weight on the foundation, causing cracks in the floors and walls. You typically won’t notice these cracks until the next heavy rainfall, when water starts seeping indoors.

Furthermore, removing water from a flooded basement must be done gradually. You cannot simply remove all the water at once, or you risk further structural damage. Pumping out the water immediately flooding, while heavy soil surrounds the foundation, exerts additional pressure on the basement.

Contact Us

If heavy rains have caused a flooded basement, contact Whitten Plumbing by calling 501-607-6596. We’ll handle the issue before damage worsens and more costly repairs are incurred!

Pipe Repairs Repiping Little Rock AR

What Type of Pipe is Right for Your Home?

Pipe Repairs Repiping Little Rock AR

The right pipe will efficiently carry water, waste and, on occasion, natural gas to and from your home. When the pipe cracks, a replacement is needed as soon as possible. With so many options on the market, selecting the right pipe is crucial. It’s not a decision to take lightly. Often, you’ll want to speak with a professional plumber on the matter.

Types of Piping

There are a few choice options regarding household plumbing, including:

  • PEX – Useful for hot and cold water; interior pipes; easy to maneuver around obstructions; available in 100-foot rolls.
  • PVC – Commonly used in irrigation systems; used for cold water applications primarily; available in 10- and 20-foot lengths
  • Copper – Used with hot and cold water; lightweight and extremely durable; easily fits into place; available in 10- and 20-foot lengths.
  • CPVC – Typically use for hot or cold-water applications in homes; often replaces copping piping; available in 10- and 20-foot lengths.

The Most Common Choices

PVC is one of the most commonly used pipes in a residential home. The white piping is mostly used for internal plumbing systems, not waste. The primary benefits of PVC are its affordability and versatility, with numerous fittings and sizes available to select. Overall, PVC is the right choice for home plumbing; the material does not rust or corrode. This means less money spent on replacements down the line.

Alternatively, copper piping has been the industry standard for most plumbing applications in the average household. The extended lifespan and increased durability make it a popular choice. However, copper has its drawbacks, and that is the price. Copper is expensive, and typically at risk for theft on a job site or vacant home.

Contact Us

If you require new plumbing in your home, contact Whitten Plumbing by calling 501-607-6596. When your home needs new pipes, we’re here for you. In fact, we’re awaiting your call today!

Dripping Showerhead: Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure Problems

water heater repair little rock

There is nothing more annoying than coming home from a long day of work to an awaiting shower, but discovering the water pressure is off. If you cannot enjoy high water pressure, then there’s no point. It’s a standard issue amongst households, though. Don’t stand for a weak shower. Troubleshoot the issue, then call in a professional to solve the problem altogether.

Low-Flow Showerhead?

Often, homeowners purchase the cheapest product they can find in the store. This goes for showerheads, too. We often buy water-restricting showerheads, which are deemed “low-flow.” These showerheads are designed to save you money in the long-run, but will significantly reduce your water pressure.

The fix is easy. Simply swap out the low-flow showerhead for a new model. It’s that simple!

Sediment

Over time, our showers can grow dirty and accumulate sediment, especially around the showerhead. If this is the case, you may notice the buildup upon closer inspection. Remove the head and let it soak in a bowl of vinegar for up to 8 hours.  If the vinegar does not remove all the sediment, try using a toothpick to poke out the remaining particles.

Curb-Side Main

If you’ve recently purchased a home, chances are you’ll locate little nuances the previous owner left behind. An older couple, for example, may enjoy low water pressure. But you don’t. The curb-side water main, which enters your property from the street, may not be turned completely on. If this is the case, you’ll want to call your water provider. Homeowners are not permitted to tamper with the water main. It’s dangerous and may lead to considerable damage. Call for professional help.

Contact Us

If you suspect low water pressure from your showerhead, contact Whitten Plumbing for prompt service. You can schedule repairs or maintenance by calling 501-607-6596. In fact, you can call us anytime for professional service!

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.

Contact Us

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.

Contact Us

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!