ABC Blog

The Signs Your Water Heater Is Going Bad

a water heater

The middle of a shower or load of dishes is a bad time to learn your water heater has stopped working. As unpleasant as that would be, the reality is that a water heater gives signals before it quits working altogether. It’s a good idea to know the signs that your water heater is going bad.

Not Enough Hot Water

If you start having to plan showers around whether you also need to get hot water for other tasks soon after, you probably already know your water heater isn’t producing enough of the hot stuff. The problem might be as simple as a need to turn up the temperature a bit, which you can do and then see if that helps.

If you’re still running out of hot water faster than before, your tank might have a sediment buildup. This often happens in areas where the water contains a large amount of sediment. … Read Full Post »

How To Find a Water Leak

how to find water leaks

Water is essential in a home. We use it to drink, cook, bathe, wash our clothes and dishes and water our yards. Unfortunately, things go wrong sometimes: Pipes crack or break, and water leaks out where it shouldn’t. Sometimes water leaks are obvious, but not always. It’s important to know how to find water leaks because, occasionally, they stay hidden for days or even weeks at a time.

For some people, the first sign of a hidden water leak is when they receive an astronomically high water bill and wonder how it got so high. Water usage and bills often fluctuate month to month, especially in the summer. Most people use more water when it’s hot outside, both to bathe on sweaty days and to keep the yard green. But sometimes, it’s a shock when the utility bill arrives, and they find out they unknowingly used far more water than usual.

A … Read Full Post »

Do I Have Hard Water?

a shower that has been turned on

Both seasoned and first-time homeowners have asked the pros, “Do I have hard water?” It’s hard to know if you have hard water if you don’t know the signs to look for. Homes on well water or city water can have hard water. The signs that you have hard water include everything from dry, itchy skin after a shower to spots on your dishes and silverware after running the dishwasher.

Many people don’t even know exactly what hard water is. Put simply, hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals. This specifically means minerals like calcium, limestone or magnesium. But, hard water can also have trace amounts of other minerals as well. These minerals are naturally occurring, and they are safe to drink. Their tiny particles dissolve into the water and typically aren’t visible to the naked eye.

As tiny as they are, though, they are abrasive. These particles become … Read Full Post »

Types of Toilet: There’s More Than Meets the Eye

a bathroom with a single flush type of toilet

Sometimes, it is pretty obvious a new toilet needs to be on the to-do list. Maybe the bowl is cracked, or it backs up too often for your comfort. It could be leaking and causing damage to your bathroom floors. No matter what is going on, there are a few things you should consider before giving your current fixture a final flush.

If you have checked the basics of your current commode, from the water level in the tank to any easy-to-remove material that could be causing a clog, it is time to contact a professional. Toilet components do wear out over time, and if you have signs of hard water in your home, the lifespan for those parts is even shorter. A licensed professional can give you the real picture on whether the toilet is fixable or ready for removal.

Some issues are more problematic than others. If your toilet leaks … Read Full Post »

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

a shower that has been turned on with hot water coming from a tankless water heater

You might have heard your friends and family talk a lot about tankless water heaters lately. These are a newer type of appliance that can have many benefits for your household. But, before you decide to convert to a tankless water heater, it is good to know what you are getting into.

Regular water heaters work by heating water and then storing it until you are ready to use it. Tankless water heaters also heat up your water, but they work a little differently. These appliances are also called instantaneous or demand-type water heaters.

With a tankless water heater, the heating process happens when you turn on the tap. It is at this moment that cold water starts to flow through your home’s pipes to the water heater. This heater is typically located close to the place where you use it, such as near the sink. When water reaches the appliance, it … Read Full Post »

Toilet Tank Not Filling but Water Is Running

a toilet tank that isn't filling but the water is running

It can be confusing to find your toilet tank not filling but water is running. Why wouldn’t the tank fill up when the water is running like it’s supposed to? This is a problem because when the tank doesn’t fill, the toilet can’t flush. If you live in a house with other people, that’s a situation that needs fixing fast. Fortunately, it can be easy to diagnose this type of problem if you have basic plumbing knowledge.

This problem could involve one or several different components. Here are the different components of your toilet that could malfunction and cause this problem.

The Water Supply Line

If there’s a leak in the water supply line that runs to your toilet, the tank will still fill, just slowly. If the leak isn’t fixed, however, the tank will start filling more and more slowly over time. This is something that a plumber should look at as … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Toilet Running?

a running toilet

A toilet that constantly runs can cause all sorts of issues for your household. The sound is annoying and concerning, especially when you do not know what is causing the problem. Plus, a running toilet can also cost you a lot of money in excess water bills and waste water in the process. The last thing that any of us wants to pay for is water that we are not using!

Unfortunately, a running toilet is a typical problem that affects people in all kinds of homes. Pretty much any issue that allows water to leak out of some part of the toilet’s system can result in the toilet running. Here are some of the most common reasons this happens.

An Issue With the Lift Wire or Chain

Inside your toilet’s tank is a wire or chain that connects the toilet’s handle to the flush valve. It also controls the water that flows … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Water Softener Leaking?

a kitchen with stainless steel appliances

A leaking water softener is an irritating problem to have in your home. Not only can the leak cause quite a mess, but it can also impact the appliance’s ability to do its job. Without a properly working water softener, you may start noticing signs of hard water again. For example, your home’s water might leave spots and residue on your glasses and faucets, and start to dry out your skin and hair. This is why it is important to identify the source of the leak before it becomes an even bigger problem.

As with any kind of appliance, water softeners only last for a certain amount of time. Their typical lifespan is around 10 to 15 years. At this point, the water softener can start to have issues like leaks or could stop working altogether. However, having a leak does not necessarily mean that it is time to buy a … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Water Bill So High?

a home with a slab leak

When homeowners notice a spike in their water bill, it can often lead to finger-pointing and frustration. Maybe you’re just noticing that your water pressure isn’t as great as it used to be or your toilet won’t flush all the way. Most homeowners find that an increase in their water bill is due to a leak or change in water use. If you have kids home from college or a new garden that you’re watering more, you also may see an increase in your water bill. And, did you know something as simple as a dripping faucet can waste more than 20 gallons of water a day?

Other common high water bill culprits include:

  • A leaky toilet
  • Filling or topping off a swimming pool
  • A leaking or malfunctioning sprinkler system
  • Malfunctioning humidifiers attached to a furnace
  • Hosting guests
  • Large leaks, … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Tankless Water Heater Not Heating?

a cold shower because the tankless water heater is not heating up

In normal circumstances, tankless water heaters usually have many benefits. These types of heaters are known for saving homeowners money and providing hot water more quickly than other kinds of water heaters. But, when your tankless water heater is not heating properly, it can make for a really bad day—especially if it stops working when your friends or other guests are visiting.

There are several different reasons why a tankless water heater would not be heating.

Sediment Buildup

Over time, mineral sediments can build up in your water heater and throughout your plumbing system. This holds especially true if the water supply in your area is “hard” or has a high concentration of minerals. When this happens, water leaves behind particles of magnesium, calcium and other minerals wherever it goes. This includes your water heater, pipes, water filter and other parts of your home’s plumbing system.

If a thick layer of minerals builds up, … Read Full Post »