Why You Should Consider Touchless Faucets
Touchless faucets are designed to make your sinks cleaner and easier to use. They can be installed in kitchens or bathrooms, so whether you're washing your hands or dishes, you won't have to worry about spreading germs to other people in your house. If you're planning to remodel your Burnaby kitchen, bathroom, or entire home, read on to find out why you should consider installing hands-free faucets first.
Most people used to think of touchless faucets as commercial fixtures. These days, though, they're becoming increasingly popular in residential homes. Here are three reasons why you might want to jump on board with this growing trend:
Running a sink to wash hands or dishes can use up to two gallons of water per minute. Even if you're careful about how much water you use, kids, guests, or other family members may not exercise the same level of care and may leave the water running for too long. Touchless faucets eliminate this issue since they turn on and off automatically.
Even extremely water-conscious people who turn the faucet on only while they are actively using the sink can still wind up wasting a surprising amount of water over time. Remember, it takes at least a few seconds to turn the water on and off using a traditional faucet. Over the years, those extra seconds add up to wasted water and higher than necessary monthly bills. In other words, saving water isn't just about helping the environment and conserving money.
Standard faucets are often covered in germs and other contaminants, especially if they aren't cleaned as often. Remember, while people walk away from sinks with clean hands, they walk up to them and turn them on with dirty ones. As a result, the bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants people pick up when they use the bathroom or handle raw food can get left behind to be transferred to the next person using the sink.
If residents and guests can turn the faucet on without touching anything, they'll be far less likely to spread germs and grime. It won't matter anymore if you don't clean the sink and faucets every day since nobody will need to touch anything or risk coming into contact with germs.
Using standard faucets may not seem challenging to the average healthy adult. However, it can be a problem for children or elderly adults living in the household. Problems with motor control won't get in the way of using touchless faucets. Users wave a hand in front of the sensor, wash up, and walk away.
Touchless faucets are also easy to maintain. They come in many different designs, rarely leak, and require less frequent maintenance than the traditional faucet. High-quality touchless faucets also offer more control over water temperature and pressure than their traditional counterparts. Plus, if you install a touchless faucet in the kitchen, you won't even have to put down pots when you fill them up with water to boil.
Touchless faucets turn on and off when users swipe their hands in front of the sensors. The sensor detects motion and signals the valve to turn on, allowing water to flow out of the spout. These innovatively designed faucets require four components to work as intended:
The sensor picks up movement and signals the valve that activates the faucet when people place hands, cups, pots, or other objects in front of it. If the movement stops, the sensor signals the valve to shut back off. Some models use infrared light to detect movement, while others use ultrasonic energy, but they all work the same way.
The solenoid valve controls water flow by engaging in a push or a pull action. The valve then moves a rubber-like disc, allowing water to flow when needed and stopping it when it's not.
Most touchless faucets are connected to the home's electrical system, though battery-operated models are also available. Check the specifications before purchasing a new touchless faucet to ensure the right power source will be available.
You can find all the remaining parts of a touchless faucet in its spout. Spouts come in different sizes and materials, so you should have no problem finding one that matches your bathroom or kitchen's decor and your household's budget. Zinc is usually the most cost-effective option, while brass, chrome, and nickel finishes tend to be more durable and attractive but also more expensive.
Touch faucets require users to turn them on and off with their hands, while touchless ones work using sensors. Both are effective options for bathrooms and kitchens, but these days, more homeowners than ever are opting for touchless models over traditional touch faucets.
If you want better control over your tap, greater water efficiency, and a lower risk of contamination, you should consider touchless faucets. A traditional touch model might be a better fit if budget is your only concern. Either way, it's worth reaching out to our Burnaby plumbers for help choosing the right fixtures. If you live in the Burnaby, New Westminster, or Coquitlam area, you'll get all the help you need from our reliable plumbers.
Regarding faucet installation, we can do it all at New West Plumbing. We offer touchless faucet installations, repairs, and maintenance to meet your traditional plumbing needs. If you're considering a touchless faucet, reach out online or by phone for information about our plumbing services. One of our plumbers in Burnaby will help you choose the right option for your kitchen or bathroom.
Whether you're building a new home or moving into an existing house in Burnaby or Coquitlam, plumbing problems are inevitable. Here, we'll list some of the most common residential plumbing issues and the answers to frequently asked plumbing repair questions.
1. Turning the Water Off Before Going on Vacation: Is It Necessary?
You've booked the hotel, bought plane tickets and found someone to take care of your pets. Every item on the pre-trip to-do list is done, but you still need to remember something.
Many Burnaby homeowners forget to shut off their water before vacation, which can be costly. While most trips are uneventful—and homes' water systems are just fine while the owners are away—problems can still arise.
While the family is away, even a small leak or water backup can cause catastrophic damage. These issues may bring water into your home for days or weeks if left unattended. Keep water woes from ruining your vacation, and eliminate them by turning the main water supply off before departing. This simple but important step will minimize the risk of water damage and make for a more peaceful vacation.
2. Where's the Main Water Supply Valve?
Finding the supply valve may be difficult if you're shutting off the home's water supply for the first time. This is crucial information, as it may be necessary to turn off the water quickly during a crisis.
Turning off the main water supply is a logical first step if there's a burst pipe or a significant leak. Finding the shutoff valve is easier when you look around the home's perimeter. These valves are typically placed about one meter below ground level; if it's in the basement, the valve will be at eye level or even lower.
Water supply lines take the shortest route from the outside meter to the home, and the shutoff valve will be where the line and the home's exterior meet. Home inspection reports are another tip-off as to where these valves are located.
3. My Water is Cloudy. How Can I Clear It Up?
Have you ever turned on the tap to fill a glass only to notice that the water looks milky? If the home's water is cloudy, it's likely because of the following:
The team at New West Plumbing can help the area's homeowners with their water source, water heater, and filtration issues. Call today to schedule an appointment.
4. Why is Moisture Coming Out of the Ceiling Around the Light Fixtures?
It's an unnerving sight. You're enjoying a meal when the light fixture above fills with water. Why is it happening? Often, floors and walls conceal minor leaks, making them virtually undetectable. The first visible sign may come when the moisture finally finds its way into a light fixture. When this occurs, there's a leak nearby. It happens more often than you'd think and it can be fixed with the following steps.
After taking these steps, call the pros at New West Plumbing. Our Burnaby plumbers will find the leak and make the necessary repairs. It's also a good idea to consult an electrician who can determine if they should replace the fixture.
5. My Spigots Are "Frost Free." Should I Still Disconnect My Hoses During the Winter?
Winters in British Columbia can get bitterly cold, so Burnaby’s homeowners need to do what they can to prevent burst pipes. Many homes are equipped with "frost-free" fixtures, which leads some residents to assume there's nothing left to do. However, that's not true.
When garden hoses are used, water becomes trapped in the line leading to the spigot and stays once the hose is turned off. The water will freeze on a cold winter night, and the pipes may crack. With frost-free spigots, cracking will still occur, but the problem may be less noticeable, and water may get into your home before you know it.
Disrupt all garden hoses before cold weather sets in to reduce the risk of ruptured pipes and hidden leaks. For additional protection, use the shutoff valve located inside the home. If your home needs to be equipped with shutoff valves for outside faucets, one of our technicians can install them.
6. Why Is This Month's Water Bill High?
Burnaby homeowners, like many others, budget for their monthly utilities. However, an unusually high water bill can ruin those plans. It may be due to multiple factors if you've noticed a steep increase in your monthly water bill—or if you've always paid a lot for water. Some of these are major plumbing issues, and others are minor problems that are easily resolved. These issues may include the following:
While you can easily address some of these causes with DIY methods, others are more complicated. If you're dealing with a burst pipe or outdated fixtures, the team at New West Plumbing can help. Call today to request additional information.
7. Why Are My Home's Pipes So Noisy?
Does laundry day leave you with a headache? Your pipes may be to blame! Today's appliances often work so fast and efficiently that they may cause a home's pipes to move with every change in water pressure. If those pipes aren't properly fastened, they might move so much that they make banging noises. While a bit of noise isn't harmful, excessive banging can cause the pipes to wear out prematurely. Not only that, it's a real bother to hear!
To prevent pipe noise, take one or more of these steps:
No matter the cause, noisy pipes are a genuine inconvenience. Call New West Plumbing today to learn about our pipe noise solutions.
8. Why Is My Toilet Always Running?
This is a common question among New West Plumbing customers, and the answer is simple. Toilets typically run nonstop because the flap at the bottom of the tank won't seal shut. To check for this issue, remove the top from the tank and flush while observing the flap.
Does it close? If it doesn't, some water flowing into the tank comes through the flap. Therefore, the water will keep running because the float never reaches the point it stops the water flow. That's why jiggling the flush handle works. The handle is attached to the flap by a chain, and shaking it repositions the flap for a more secure seal.
9. Why Do We Run Out of Hot Water So Quickly?
There are a few reasons for the lack of hot water, depending on the unit's condition, age, and type.
When there needs to be more hot water to go around, frustration may build quickly. Save time and aggravation by calling New West Plumbing for fast, friendly, and efficient water heater repair and maintenance services.
10. My Water Bill is High, and None of My Faucets are Leaking. What Else Could It Be?
If you're trying to determine why your water bill is so high, there are a few things to check. The first step is to check the home's toilets, ensuring they're free of leaks. The water level inside the tank should be about three centimeters below the overflow valve, and the flapper should create a tight seal after every flush.
11. Chemical Drain Cleaners: Are They Safe?
While they're widely available, there are better choices than chemical drain cleaners for Burnaby homes. These concoctions are typically very toxic, which makes them dangerous in homes with pets and small children. The caustic chemicals can also damage your home's pipes, causing them to deteriorate from the inside. When this occurs, the drain lines will eventually need to be replaced.
A few products on the market in Canada contain pipe-friendly enzymes and bacteria. These options work well to keep grease and sludge from clogging the insides of a home's pipes. For stubborn clogs, though, you can always count on our Burnaby plumbing pros.
12. What's Safe to Put Down the Garbage Disposal?
Garbage disposals are powerhouses that whisk food scraps and waste away, but their power has limits. They're far from indestructible, and it's your job to keep disposals running smoothly by not putting certain items in them.
While we hope your garbage disposal functions well for years, we're here to help when problems arise. Call today to schedule disposal repair or replacement.
13. Why Is My Water Heater Rumbling?
The most common causes of water heater noise are sediment and steam in the tank. You can often address steam-related issues by turning down the thermostat. If you think the thermostat has failed, turn it down to its lowest setting. If it doesn't shut off, replace it.
To eliminate sediment in a water heater tank, open the drain valve at the bottom and let the water flow out until it's clear. Removing the sediment and checking for steam issues should reduce noise problems and allow your water heater to operate smoothly.
The Importance of Hiring a Professional Plumber for Your Burnaby Home
Is your home's plumbing past its prime? If you've recently noticed water heater issues, slow drains, or a dripping faucet, it's important to address the problem correctly and promptly. While do-it-yourself repairs may sometimes work, they're, at best, a temporary fix. Below, we'll list why hiring New West Plumbing is the right decision.
Whether you need scheduled plumbing maintenance or major pipe repairs, we offer unparalleled customer service. Learn more about our services online or call today to schedule an appointment with a Burnaby plumber.
Do You Have Plumbing Questions? New West Has the Answers!
Residential plumbing may seem simple, but a lot is happening behind your home's walls and under its floors. A small issue can quickly become a big and expensive problem, so it's best to address it before it gets out of hand.
Do you have any questions or concerns or need to request assistance with a plumbing project? Our team is here to help. Don't hesitate to get in touch with our Burnaby plumbers. Our experienced plumbers in Burnaby can help you with anything from a slow-draining shower to a stopped-up toilet.
Don't stress over when to call for plumbing help, as we're ready to help with issues of all types and complexities. Contact us to request additional information for routine or emergency service. We look forward to helping you with all your residential plumbing maintenance and repair needs.
If you live in Burnaby, where we are getting substantially colder weather, you must learn how to prevent pipes from freezing. Modern homes frequently have pipelines placed in ways to avoid issues like this, but older homes may have bare pipes near the exterior walls. If this is the case, choosing the best insulation is vital to prevent freezing and cracking. Both can make it impossible to access home water and lead to flooding and significant water damage. Read below to learn how to avoid those issues and keep the plumbing in good shape.
When Do Pipes Freeze?
Because the insulation and water will move when the faucets are used, most pipes aren't frozen when temperatures remain above -6 degrees Celsius. Although water can freeze at 0 degrees Celsius, it's usually too warm, close to the pipes, for them to start to freeze. In areas with typical cold weather, insulation is likely added around the pipelines to help prevent freezing. There may not be as much insulation in areas where the weather is typically milder in the winter, and this could mean the pipes can freeze at around -6 degrees.
How Long Does it Take for a Pipe to Freeze?
The amount of time it takes will vary based on the amount of insulation, how quickly the temperatures drop, and whether the faucets are turned on. According to recent studies, pipes can freeze in under two and a half hours. After the pipes freeze, it's not long before they will burst. When pipes are more vulnerable to freezing, the most common time for a problem is during the night since temperatures are at their lowest.
Prevent Pipes From Freezing.
Preventing pipes from freezing is always better in the long run since this can help prevent water damage. Most solutions to help prevent frozen pipes are inexpensive and work well, so it's best to try them out and help prevent frozen pipes instead of hoping for the best and cleaning up any messes that do happen.
Inspect the Plumbing System
Check the blueprints for the home to see where the pipes are located. If this isn't possible, start by looking in unheated areas of the house, like basements or garages. Follow the visible pipelines to discover where they are more vulnerable to cold temperatures. Use a temperature sensor to see which areas enable the pipes to be exposed to temperatures close to what they are outside.
Purchase Insulation or Pipe Sticks
Numerous types of insulation are available depending on the kind of pipes, whether hot or cold, and how they run. Rigid insulated tubes will slip onto the pipelines but work best when there are few joints or turns. Wrap-around insulation is easier to bend, so it's a better option if there are complex joints or bends. Other types of insulation include using cotton instead of fiberglass or opting for insulated pouches.
Install Insulation Properly
Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines when installing the insulation. Ensure the pipes are completely covered but avoid causing problems with access if a plumber needs to do any repairs. If freezing temperatures are likely, use adhesive duct tape or another type of tape to secure the insulation to the pipes.
Keep an Eye on the Insulation
No matter how well the insulation is installed, it can be undone or repaired. Before cold weather arrives, check to ensure the insulation is still secured to the pipes. If the insulation has come off or the tape is no longer attached, go ahead and replace it. Do this regularly during the cold weather to ensure the insulation stays in place properly.
Prep for the Colder Weather
You should completely drain any outdoor plumbing lines before the weather gets cold. Winterize the water lines to swimming pools, sprinkler systems, and hoses. It would be better to remove hoses altogether to help prevent them from freezing. Make sure the valves outside are turned off. Do not use antifreeze inside the water supply lines outdoors. Ensure they are correctly winterized, making them less likely to freeze during a cold snap.
Run a Little Bit of Water
In the coldest areas of the home, where pipes will likely freeze, turn on the faucets to create a water flow because a trickle of water is enough to keep the water moving, which can help prevent pipes from freezing. Turning faucets on or on all of them is optional, as most should be well protected from the winter weather.
Keep the Pipes Warm
On top of adding insulation, it is essential to keep cold air away from them or bring in warm air to help prevent freezing. Do not close off any indoor pipes from the heat inside the home. If the plumbing wall runs along the exterior wall and into a sink cabinet, leave the cabinets open at least a little bit. If the cabinets are closed, it will be colder behind them, which can increase the potential for the pipes to freeze and burst. If the doors are open a little bit, the heat in the home can get inside the cabinets and help keep the pipes warmer.
Leave the Heat On
Even if you're planning on being out of town, do not turn off the heat in the home, as this will decrease the potential for frozen and burst pipes. The temperature can be lower than it would be if you were home; keep the heat on. This provides at least some heat inside the house, keeping the pipes warmer and reducing the potential for them to freeze and burst while you're gone.
Take Advantage of New Technology
Some devices can help prevent frozen pipes even if you aren't home. Freeze alarms can be placed near the pipelines and will sound if the temperatures around them get too low. Opt for one that can send an alert to a phone, so it's possible to keep an eye on the temperatures in the home and the potential for frozen pipes even if you are away from home. There is also hot water circulating pumps that you can purchase. These pumps keep an eye on the temperature of pipes and will send warm water through all lines if the temperature drops too low.
Learn How to Handle Frozen Pipes
Despite taking precautions, it's still possible to end up with a frozen pipe. Dealing with them right away is key to minimizing the amount of water damage that can occur.
Find the Pipe That's Frozen
Briefly open each of the faucets in the home to see how much water comes out. If there's only a trickle of water, it's a sign that there's a frozen pipe somewhere between the source of water to the home and the faucet. This narrows down the area to search for the frozen pipe. Please start at the tap, then follow the line away from it to find the coldest pipes. This is likely where the ice will be in the pipes. If one pipe has frozen, it's essential to check other faucets, as they could also freeze them.
Limit the Water that Can Run Out
Turn off the water supply to the frozen pipes. This is typically done by turning the shut-off valve to the right. Do this for each shut-off valve in the home, not just the one by the frozen pipe. When the blockage thaws, the quantity of water behind the backup that is piling up may produce a leak. Grab supplies to handle any leak, such as a bucket, towels, or mop, so you're prepared if the pipe leaks.
Open the Faucets
After the water is shut off throughout the home, open all the faucets to drain any remaining water. Many of the pipes in the house are connected, so doing this can help relieve the water pressure that has built up behind the frozen line. Make sure to flush each toilet once so as much water as possible is removed.
Start Using Heat
Heat should be carefully applied to the frozen areas of the pipe. It's possible to use a hairdryer, portable space heater, or electric heating pad. It would be best to do this until the water pressure is restored. It is a good idea to start at the area closest to a nearby outlet, like in a kitchen or bathroom, to enable steam or water to escape the pipes easier. Do not use a propane heater, blowtorch, or any other open flame to heat the pipes, as this can be dangerous and increase the potential for things to go wrong.
Slowly Restore Water to the Home
Start turning on the water throughout the house one valve at a time. As this is done, keep an eye out for any leaks. Other areas may have frozen and started leaking. If a leak is noticed, immediately turn off the water supply to that pipe and contact a plumber. Make sure to turn off any faucets that are still on, as well, if they were not shut off after draining the water from the pipes.
Have the Pipe Repaired if Needed
Even if the frozen section of pipes was caught early enough and thawed successfully, a crack is still possible. Check for cracks carefully before turning the water supply back on. If part of the frozen pipe starts to leak, the water should be left off, and a plumber should repair it immediately. This will help minimize the potential for severe water damage from a leak.
Dealing With a Burst Pipe
A frozen pipe not dealt with early will expand, causing the pipe to burst. In most cases, this will mean calling a Burnaby plumber for help. Shut the water off to the pipe or the whole home. This helps minimize the amount of water that will flow out of it and cause damage to the house.
If you can locate the source of water, start cleaning up immediately. If the water is near an electrical system, shut off the main breaker until it is safe to have the electricity on again. Since this does turn off the heat, it's imperative to have a plumber handle the repair before more pipes end up frozen. At the source of the water, start soaking up as much water as possible using towels or a mop. This can help reduce the potential for more severe damage, as the water won't be there long enough to cause extensive damage.
Call a plumber in Burnaby immediately to determine the extent of the plumbing system and structural damage and whether it is covered by insurance. Document the damage while waiting for the plumber by taking many photos. If a claim is needed, the pictures will prove what and how much damage was done to the residence.
Preventing frozen pipes is often more straightforward than it may seem, and it's the best strategy for homeowners. Proper prevention includes installing insulation, which is easy and can be combined with other techniques to reduce the potential for any pipe to freeze significantly. If there is a frozen pipe, it will need to be handled carefully to prevent additional issues. If a pipe bursts, it's crucial to shut off the water quickly and contact a plumber at New West Plumbing as soon as possible to tackle the repairs.