Mallick Plumbing & Heating Blog

What Is Causing That Drain Clog?

January 15th, 2018

bubbling-drainOur plumbers handle a huge number of different jobs, from installing new piping for homes to extensive commercial plumbing services. But we know that when most people think of “plumbers,” the first job they think of is “drain unclogging.” Drain clogs are the most common plumbing hassle, and drain cleaning to fix clogged or slow drains is one of the most important parts of our day-to-day operations.

A reason clogs are so common is that there are so many different things that can cause them to start in drain pipes. Below we’ll try to answer this most frequently asked of all plumbing questions, “What’s clogging up my drain?”

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Should I Turn Up the Water Heater Temperature?

January 9th, 2018

thermometer-going-redAlthough you rely on your water heater throughout the year, probably every day, it does more work for you during the winters. On a chilly morning, a hot shower feels better than ever—and it can also be a wonderful relief to soak in a hot bath at the end of the day.

So what do you do if the water heater isn’t as warm as it should be? The simple answer would seem to be an adjustment to the thermostat for the water heater (which is called an aquastat). The default temperature for most water heaters is 140°F, although homeowners often lower it to 125°F or 120°F to help conserve energy. If you’ve lowered the temperature during the rest of the year and wouldn’t mind having it back up to the default, then it’s fine to put it back to 140°F.

However, if the reason you’re thinking of raising the aquastat is that the water heater’s performance has dropped, you’re putting yourself at risk of scalding hot temperatures!

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A Tankless Water Heater Also Needs Occasional Repairs

January 1st, 2018

tankless-water-heaterThe tankless water heater is a fantastic invention. Although the first tankless systems for heating water were invented more than a hundred years ago, the innovations that allowed them to become cost-effective for homes is a recent development. But those innovations have made a tremendous difference. A tankless water heater uses much less energy than a standard storage tank water heater, it won’t run out of hot water, takes up less space, has a longer service life, and runs into few repairs.

Of course, a tankless water heater isn’t magic. Even with the best regular maintenance service for one, it can still run into malfunctions and even a full system breakdown. Let’s take a look at ways a tankless system might run into troubles requiring the help of professionals to fix.

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A Tankless Water Heater Also Needs Occasional Repairs

December 18th, 2017

tankless-water-heaterThe tankless water heater is an excellent option for modern homes: they can keep up with the demand of the majority of households (provided they’re sized correctly), cut down on energy bills, and won’t run out of hot water the way standard storage tank water heaters do. We are proud to offer top quality installations of tankless water heaters in Bethesda, MD and throughout our wide service area.

A special advantage of tankless water heaters is that they require fewer repairs over their lifetime on average than storage tank water heaters. That doesn’t mean no repairs, however! Any type of water heater can encounter problems that require the assistance of professionals to fix. We’ll take a look at some potential water heater malfunctions below.

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A Reminder about Frozen Pipes (What to Do and NOT to DO)

December 11th, 2017

frozen-metal-pipeAs we head into the seriously cold weather of the winter, a concern you may have about your plumbing (and a concern you should have) is pipe freeze. We’ve previously written about what causes frozen pipes to burst, and it’s definitely something you want to watch out for. We recommend taking precautions now to help prevent pipe freeze, such as disconnecting outside hoses, insulating hose bibs, and checking to see that exposed pipes have insulation sleeves.

What do you do, however, when you do end up with frozen pipes? We have some advice on what you shouldn’t do…

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Avoiding Emergencies with an Automatic Shut-Off Valve

December 4th, 2017

leaking-pipeWe know that if at all possible you want to avoid calling for an emergency plumber in Rockville, MD—or wherever your house is in our service area. We understand, of course. Our expert plumbers are always ready to come to your assistance, and we offer 24-hour emergency plumbing service because we know that plumbing problems don’t obey schedules and calendars or care much what time of night it is. When you need that burst pipe or gushing broken faucet fixed, you can count on us to be on the job.

But let’s talk prevention, because as we said above, you don’t want to be in a situation where you’re calling up a 24-hour service plumber. And you’d also like to have peace of mind about plumbing problems striking when you can’t call for a plumber, such as a broken fixture creating flooding while you’re off on a vacation (something that’s a big concern at this time of year).

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Is It Time to Replace Your Old Kitchen Sink?

November 20th, 2017

kitchen-sink-pouring-waterIf you’re reading this, you have some reason to have the current sink in your kitchen removed and replaced. There are a couple of reasons you might be debating this change:

  • You’re just tired of the look of the old sink. It’s been there for years—probably since before you moved into the house—and you’d like a fresh kitchen look without having to do an extensive remodel.
  • The sink isn’t flexible enough for your cooking needs. You’d like multiple bowls, better faucets, more space, etc.
  • You’re looking to have the current material of the sink replaced with something more durable.
  • The sink has damage, such as cracks or leaking around the sides, and it’s not damage that a localized fix will remedy.

Whatever the reason, you’re ready to have the old sink tossed out and a new one put in. To handle this type of sink plumbing in Bethesda, MD, you’ll want to look to experienced plumbers to help you through all the steps so you end up with a great new sink.

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Quick Garbage Disposal Reminder for the Holidays

November 14th, 2017

thanksgiving-cornucopiaThe big holidays are coming up, and for many households that means hosting guests and enjoying big feasts. And that also means a lot of work for the kitchen plumbing. In fact, Thanksgiving time is one of the highest periods of the year for emergency plumbing calls! The #1 part of the plumbing that can go wrong during Thanksgiving is the kitchen garbage disposal.

We’re always glad to help out with plumbing needs—it’s why we offer 24-hour emergency plumbing service—but we also want you to enjoy as trouble-free a holiday season as possible. So here are some tips for your garbage disposal in Chevy Chase, MD to see that it doesn’t run into any major snags:

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Bathroom Plumbing Jobs to Leave to a Plumber

November 6th, 2017

toilet-plumbing-concerned-womanNo other room in your house has more plumbing concentrated in it than the bathroom(s). The kitchen may seem like it has more fixtures and pipes, but not only does the bathroom contain more plumbing, it can account for more than 50% of all freshwater use in your home. When it comes to taking care of plumbing issues, from repairs to new fixture installations, the bathroom is the place where most of the work in your house will be done.

And the people to do those jobs are usually licensed plumbers. Yes, you can sometimes unclog a drain or toilet using a basic plunger. A simple hand-crank drain snake can remove hair from a shower drain. You can replace a washer in a leaky faucet. But any bathroom plumbing job more complicated than these requires calling an expert plumber with the best equipment. Below are some of these important jobs you should let a plumber take care of.

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How to Know You Need a New Commercial Water Heater

October 23rd, 2017

question-mark-blueThere are few commercial buildings that can get along without a water heating system, even if just for their bathrooms. For many enterprises, the water heater is an essential component, such as in restaurants and throughout the hospitality industry. Commercial water heaters must be reliable, powerful, and have the water volume necessary to handle the needs of the building.

Eventually, all the strain placed on a commercial water heater will wear it down past the point where standard repairs and regular maintenance can do anything to reverse the deterioration. At that point, you’ll need the water heater (or one of the water heaters if your building relies on multiple ones) replaced.

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