Butter Plumbing Blog : Archive for January, 2015

Henderson Plumbing Tip: Why Small Leaks Matter

Monday, January 26th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

A leaking pipe is a serious issue, no matter how small. Sure, there may not be any flooding in your home or yard, and maybe you’ve found that you can simply place a bucket under the sink and empty it from time to time.

But it’s important to note that even the smallest leak under your sink, from your faucet or showerhead, or beneath your property can cause some serious trouble. The environmental impact of what seems like a couple of drops of water to you may actually be quite powerful, and the potential damage to your property simply isn’t worth waiting for repairs.

Call the leak detection experts at Butter Plumbing to request plumbing service in Henderson at the first sign of leaks.

Small Leaks Take a Toll on the Environment

Today, homeowners are far more conscious about their home’s environmental impact than they once were, and many people do what they can to save water in order to benefit the earth and save on utilities. A lot of people try to conserve by taking shorter showers, watering the lawn less frequently, or washing the car sparingly. Yet few homeowners take the time to inspect their pipes for leaks. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, plumbing leaks are responsible for over a trillion gallons of water leaks annually, with the average home plumbing system leaking potentially 10,000 gallons a year. Experts recommend scheduling plumbing maintenance every year so that a professional can help you to detect leaks and repair them early on, as they may be hidden behind walls or underneath the property.

Leaks Can Damage Your Home

A pipe leak is only a minor inconvenience to you, but waiting for repairs can eventually make the problem much worse. When you wait for repairs, the problem certainly isn’t going to get any better. If the leak is due to rust, then the pipe will continue to corrode and develop into a larger hole, and if the problem has to do with a pressure imbalance, the excess pressure may force the pipe to burst. This can leave you with a big mess, some costly renovations, and the potential for mold and mildew.

Call Butter Plumbing to schedule plumbing repair in Henderson today. We’ve served the community for over 25 years and counting.

Reasons to Consider a Low Flow Toilet

Friday, January 16th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

In the early 1990s, new federal laws mandated that moving forward, toilets needed to be manufactured with a toilet tank that held no more than 1.6 gallons of water. Before this, toilets held anywhere from 3.5 to 7 gallons, which is the amount used per flush.

This translated into a lot of wasted water, hence the update to the law. These days, with the help of a professional plumber in Sun City, you can install a toilet with an even smaller tank. But creating a low flow toilet wasn’t just about reducing the tank size; there are other significant differences between a low flow toilet and a regular one.

Difference #1: The Bowl Outlet

The hole in the toilet bowl is known as the bowl outlet. If you look at a low flow toilet, you’ll see that the bowl outlet is in the center of the bowl; in a regular toilet, the outlet is typically positioned toward the back of the bowl, closer to the tank. Positioning the bowl outlet in the center of the bowl allows for less water usage and better ability to push waste out of the bowl.

Difference #2: Water Level

Not only is the water level lower in a low flow toilet, there is also more water in the front of the bowl. This helps to more effectively push waste into the bowl outlet.

Difference #3: Extra Water Supply Hole

Not all low flow toilets have this, but many do, particularly those that use less than 1.6 gallons of water. The extra water supply hole is in front of the bowl outlet, under the lip of the curve. This extra water supply hole allows water to push waste more quickly and effectively into the bowl outlet.

Difference #4: Larger Flush Valve

The output hole, which is the hole in the bottom of the tank that allows water to transfer from the tank to the bowl is larger in low flow toilets. This increases the flow of the water coming into the bowl with each flush which creates a more powerful flush.

Toilet water can total 14% of your home’s total water usage. If you are looking for ways to decrease the amount of water you use in your home, you may want to consider a low flow toilet.

New Water Heater Options for Your Home

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

It may seem as though replacing a water heater is a fairly straightforward process, but there are actually several different systems available on the market today, and any one of them may be best suited for your particular needs. While a traditional tank model is reliable and inexpensive, tankless and solar units can help you to save quite a bit of money over the years. Learn more about the different types of water heaters in Anthem in today’s guide.

Traditional Storage Tank Water Heaters

The design of a storage tank takes advantage of the most basic scientific principles, such as that heat rises. Using a small burner or electric heating elements, the water heats up at the bottom of a large tank and then rises to the top, where an outlet pipe carries it to your faucets and showers.

The traditional storage tank water heater remains the most common type of unit that homeowners have installed in the United States, even with so many other options now available. This is because they are generally reliable, lasting for many years with few breakdowns in most cases (especially when they receive annual maintenance from a skilled plumber).

Efficient Tankless Units

There are a couple of issues commonly discussed with storage tank water heaters, however, that the design of a tankless unit aims to address. For one thing, tankless water heater units take up much less space that traditional units. Also, storage tank water heaters must remain hot throughout the day, using up a lot of energy to do so. With a tankless unit, a computer powers up the system as soon as it detects that a hot water tap has been turned on and then shuts off immediately afterwards. This saves homeowners money over time, and allows them to feel better about their environmental impact.

Solar-Powered Heaters

Solar-powered water heaters draw from the reliable thermal energy of the sun. A solar collector installed on the rooftop gathers thermal radiation as a refrigerant pumps from the collector to the hot water tank. As it runs through a heat exchanger, water is heated and stored for future use. This is one of the most efficient, environmentally-sound forms of heating available.

Call Butter Plumbing to talk to a professional installer to help you understand more about your options for water heaters in Anthem.

Why Is My Toilet Running?

Friday, January 9th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

Running toilets aren’t just a nuisance, they can cost you money in excess water, which you’ll see in your water bill. Running toilets can lead to other problems, including the ability to flush, so if you start to hear the sound of running water coming from your toilet, it’s best to call for plumbing repairs as soon as you can.

Reasons Why a Toilet Runs

There are a few reasons why your toilet can start to run:

  • Problems with refill tube – the refill tube replenishes the water in the tank. The top of the tube should always stay above the water level, but if it doesn’t, you may hear intermittent running.
  • Issues with the float ball – the float ball is the small ball that sinks when the tank empties with a flush, opening up the inlet valve on the fill tube; when the tank is filled, the float ball rises, closing the valve and stopping the filling process. However, should the float be misaligned or malfunction, it may not close the valve completely and the water will continue to run.
  • Chain on flush valve is too long or too short – the chain on the flush valve is the component that pulls open the flush valve, allowing fresh water into the tank and flushing out the used water. If the chain is too long or short, it can interfere with the ability of the flush valve to close correctly.
  • Flapper issues – the flapper, also known as the flush valve, needs to seal completely after every flush in order to keep water from leaking. Flappers can age, develop mineral deposits or wear down, preventing it from sealing properly. If the flapper has mineral deposits it may be cleaned, but if it is worn, it should be replaced.
  • Gasket – the gasket is the seal between the toilet tank and the toilet bowl, and if it has worn out, it will allow water to run into your bowl.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons your toilet can develop a running problem. If you are hearing the tinkling sounds of water running in your toilet, call Butter Plumbing today and schedule an appointment for plumbing repair in Las Vegas.

When New Year’s Day Was Not on January 1st

Thursday, January 1st, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

Some holidays fall on shifting calendar days for every year, such as Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Easter (the first Sunday after the first full moon to occur on or after March 21). Other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, are fixed. No holiday has a more solid calendar date attached to it than New Year’s Day. It has to fall on January 1st because it celebrates the first day of a new year. That only makes sense…

…except that, like most things that at first appear obvious, there is a bit more to the story. The beginning of the year was not always on the first of January. As with an enormous numbers of traditions in the Western World, the establishment of January 1st as the inaugural day of a new year goes back to the ancient Romans.

The modern solar calendar is derived from the Roman model, but the earliest Roman calendars did not have 365 days in a year spread over 12 months. Instead, there were 304 days spread over 10 months. The Romans believed this calendar originated with the mythical founder of the city, Romulus. If Romulus were a real person, we can credit him with a poor understanding of the seasons, as this abbreviated calendar soon got out of sync with Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Numa, one of the Kings of Rome (probably also fictional) receives credit for creating a longer year with two added months, Ianuarius and Februarius, bringing the number of days in the year to 355. The new month of Ianuarius, named after Ianus (Janus in contemporary spelling), the god of beginnings, would eventually be known in English as January. But when this new calendar was instituted, January was not the first month. March, named after the god of war, remained the first month, and March 1st was New Year’s Day.

This extended calendar still did not keep in synch with the seasons. In 45 BCE, Julius Caesar instituted reforms to align the calendar correctly according to calculations of astronomers, with an additional 10 days distributed across the year. January also became set as the first month, and offerings to the god Janus on this day started the tradition we now know as New Year’s. The date still fluctuated during the ensuing centuries, with a number of Western European holy days treated as the beginning of the year instead. It wasn’t until the next calendar reform in 1582, the Gregorian Calendar, that the date of the New Year was fixed at January 1st.

However you choose to celebrate the beginning of the current calendar, everyone here at Butter Plumbing hopes you have a wonderful 2015!