Common sewer line drain problems and how to deal with them

In this YouTube era of DIY repair tutorials, homeowners are now able to learn to fix some of their own plumbing problems without the help of a professional. There are certain repairs that an average homeowner can fix, but some problems are too big to fix with just the basic knowledge that you have. Knowing when to deal with the issue yourself and when to call an expert is pivotal.

Here, we’ve assembled a helpful guide with the most common sewer drain issues. In this blog, we’ll review how to settle the little ones yourself, and when to call a trusted professional at Wagner.

There are four common sewer line issues that you may experience. If you are a homeowner or property manager, it will be beneficial to know what you are dealing with and have a game plan on how to tackle the issues head-on.

1. Roots developing into a sewer line

One of the most widely recognized sewage issues that you will face as a homeowner is roots developing into a sewer pipe. This also occurs frequently with clay sewer pipes; however, they are more cost-effective. When owning a home, you are left with the decision to purchase the more expensive materials or going the cheaper route.

When dealing with the choice of sewer line piping—whether it’s new or a replacement line—sometimes it’s better to rely on the best materials for the job. Purchasing cast iron piping is definitely more expensive than a clay mainline, but a new cast iron sewer line is going to be less a lot less likely to succumb to any root infiltration that could occur in the future. This could save you thousands in repairs down the line.

2. Drain line problems

A drain line relies on the laws of gravity to function. So, in this case, the use of any man-made devices such as pumps to pump the water through the pipes is not needed. When the pipes are clogged, this is referred to as a back-pitched sewer line.

This can occur for two different reasons. The first is that there can be the collection of sediment in an area. Second, when the home was built, there wasn’t a sufficient amount of pitch for the sewage line when it was all installed as the house was being put together.

3. Sewer gas issue

Even though this issue can be the one that brings the most alarm to homeowners, it is also the issue that can be the most easily fixed. The reasons why a sewer gas smell may occur in the home is because of a house trap that has had its caps come loose, or perhaps the cover for the trap is missing. The function of the house trap is to essentially create a barrier that is going to stop any of the putrid gasses from going anywhere near the noses of any inhabitants in the home.

So, if there is a sewer gas smell lurking in your home simply check the house trap and make sure the cover is not missing and the caps are tightened.

Call Wagner for help with plumbing or sewer line issues!

These types of sewer line problems that you will most likely face as a homeowner should be assessed by a highly skilled, authorized repair company such as Wagner. We’re Albuquerque’s professional plumbing company.

Call Wagner now! We are experts in diagnosing, fixing and or replacing your sewer line. Our team is ready for you 24/7.

To schedule service, contact us online, or give us a call at (505) 340-2669.

Here are four signs it’s time for a replacement water heater

You and your family rely on a functioning water heater for, well, just about everything: laundry, showers, and dishes. However, how do you know it’s time for a new water heater? If your water heater is getting up there in age, keep an eye out for these four signs that it’s time for a replacement water heater.

#1. Your anode rod is spent

Standard water heaters contain a key element called the “anode rod.” This is a metal rod designed to attract all the rust and corrosion in the water heater tank. It “sacrifices” itself to prevent rust and corrosion from attacking the tank walls.

However, at a certain age, your anode rod is most likely spent. This means that it’s completely corroded, and unable to take more of the rust burden away from the tank itself. It’s that point at which it might be a good idea to replace your water heater.

(You should also note that the hard water here in Albuquerque can mean that your water heater will probably go through the sacrificial anode rod all that much faster!)

It’s also possible, at a certain point, to have the professional plumbers at Wagner replace your anode rod. To learn more about whether or not this is an option for your unit, contact us!

#2. Your water heater tank is showing its age

After years and years of being subjected to extreme temperatures, water, and corrosion, you may notice that your water heater tank is beginning to show its age. Inspect the outside of the unit: if there are even tiny, hairline fractures, it’s time to replace the unit.

After all, these tiny cracks can eventually lead to a tank burst and a flooded home. That’s certainly a scenario you’ll want to avoid.

#3. Your water heater isn’t heating water like it used to

After time, the heating element in your water heater—the device that quite literally makes the system work—can experience problems. This can be related to the buildup of sediment or corrosion at the bottom of your water heater tank. Either way, the results are the same:

  • Reduced available hot water supply
  • Reduced overall heat in the water

If you’ve been experiencing either of these symptoms of an old water heater, it’s time to call Wagner and talk to our team about a replacement water heater.

For a replacement water heater, call Wagner

Wagner is Albuquerque’s professional plumbing company. From water heater replacement and repair to our award-winning HVAC and electrical services, our team is here for you and your home.

To schedule service, contact us online, or give us a call at (505) 884-2822.

Here’s how Wagner can help with Albuquerque hard water treatment

Many homeowners here in Albuquerque have been dealing with hard water problems for years. That’s because Albuquerque hard water levels are higher than in most cities in the United States.

In this blog, we’ll review the dangers of hard water to your home, and why you should call Wagner to learn more about our water softeners.

Hard water is prevalent in Albuquerque

Hard water is water that contains a greater proportion of minerals than standard surface water. This typically happens when drinking water is retrieved from underground aquifers—as the water moves between rock for years in massive underground lakes, it scrapes off minerals and sediment, making it harder.

The Albuquerque Water Utility Authority states that most of the water in the metro area is considered between “moderately hard” and “hard.”

Different zones in the city have different water sources, and, therefore, different water hardness levels. Follow the link below to learn what zone your home is in:

SEE WHAT ZONE YOU’RE IN

What can hard water do?

Hard water is safe to drink and bathe in, although some people either like or dislike the taste. It will leave cosmetic damage on your faucets and fixtures in the form of water stains or calcium deposits.

Damages your plumbing

However, the main problem with hard water is that, over time, it can cause damage to your appliances and start to clog your home’s plumbing, choking out water and leading to the need for major repiping work.

If your home is more than 20 years old, there’s a risk that years of hard water moving through your pipes has started the process of scale buildup. As the minerals leech out of hard water, some of them stick to the interior walls of your pipe. Over days, weeks, months, years, and decades, this builds up into a layer of buildup that clogs the pipe.

Damages your appliances

Of course, hard water’s negative impact isn’t just limited to your pipes. Any fixture, faucet, or appliance—including your dishwasher, water heater, and washing machine—can be negatively impacted by hard water moving through it and scaling building up inside feeder lines and internal pipes.

How can scaling be prevented?

By softening your water, you can prevent the addition of more minerals to any existing scale buildup. Wagner offers whole-home water treatment services right here in Albuquerque that can do just that.

Our expert plumbers can install a water softener that will remove “hardness” from your water, thereby protecting your pipes and appliances.

To learn more about our plumbing services or to schedule service, contact Wagner today.

Why you should hire a professional for drain cleaning and clearing clogs

When you have a clogged kitchen sink drain, call Wagner’s plumbers for 24/7 drain cleaning services here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In this blog post, we’ll make the case that you should hire a professional for drain cleaning instead of using home remedies. Call Wagner for plumbing repair!

#1. We have the right tools to clear clogs

Professional plumbers carry a variety of tools specifically designed for cleaning clogs and removing obstructions from drains. This includes snake tools, rotary tools, water pressure tools, and more.

More than just having this equipment on-hand, our plumbers know how to use it without causing damage to your pipes. Speaking of which…

#2. Store-bought chemicals don’t always work

Your local hardware or grocery store here in Albuquerque no doubt has chemicals designed specifically for clearing clogs. For many homeowners, this is the first thing they go to grab when they have a clog.

Here’s the thing: these chemicals really should only be a last-resort for clearing clogs. Most are bad for pipes, bad for the environment, and dangerous to have sitting around your home.

The experts even note that some chemicals, combined together purposefully or on accident, can react, creating fumes or even exploding.

In addition to all that, drain cleaners aren’t even really that effective. They’re attempting to acid-wash away a physical block, when it’s much easier to just physically remove the blockage.

#3. You don’t know what’s down there

Here’s another reason to not reach for the drain cleaner. Often, homeowners are surprised by what’s stuck in the pipe. It’s not always grease and grime, and it can be valuable.

In fact, ask a plumber: they’ll be able to tell you about everything they’ve found over their years of working. This ranges from the precious (diamond rings, necklaces, bracelets) to the adorable (action figures).

That’s why a gentle approach with a snake tool is typically a better place to start than pouring chemical down the drain.

#4. Clogged drains could indicate other problems

If your home’s drains are all clogging simultaneously, it could indicate that something is wrong with your sewer line.

Over time, many things can eventually cause a blockage in your sewer line—the line that carries waste water away from your home to municipal sewers. This includes everything from grease buildup (which is why you should never dispose of grease down your kitchen sink) to tree roots that have broken through, and grown into, the pipe.

A sewer blockage is a major problem. Your home is at risk of a sewer backup. Turn off the water to your home and call Wagner immediately.

Call Wagner for 24/7 emergency drain cleaning in Albuquerque

Wagner’s plumbers are available 24/7 for your emergency drain cleaning needs. If you’ve got a clogged drain, contact Wagner for service, or call us at (505) 884-2822.

Here’s what demand-type waters are, and how they work

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your water heater as part of your spring cleaning, you should really consider a demand-type water heater. Also known as “tankless” water heaters, these systems have a lot of advantages.

In this blog, we’ll review just some of the reasons you should make the switch to tankless. If you have any questions, or you’re interested in getting quotes for installation, contact the Wagner team.

What are “demand-type water heaters”?

Tankless water heaters, also commonly known as demand-type water heaters, function similarly to regular (or “standard”) water heaters. They heat water for you to use throughout your home, from your sink to your shower and your washing machine to your dishwasher.

Here’s the difference: while standard water heaters heat water ahead of time and store it in a tank, tankless water heaters don’t store water at all (hence, the name). Instead, by running water past burners, they rapidly heat water as it’s needed (which explains the “demand-type” name).

What are the advantages of this type of system?

First, since tankless systems provide you with hot water as its needed, they can constantly “refresh” the supply of hot water as its used at the faucet. The result? You have hot water that effectively can’t run out.

Any homeowner with a family understands just how much this matters. When everyone’s getting ready in the morning, standard water heaters can run out, leaving someone with a disappointing, cold shower.

In addition, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than standard systems. Overall, in a home that uses 41 gallons or less of hot water, these water heaters can save 24-34% more efficient. Add that up over the course of a year, and you’re effectively saving quite a bit!

A final difference: many tankless systems can be wall-mounted. This frees up the “footprint” taken up by a large water heater tank, which an be an obstacle in garages or utility closets.

Why should I upgrade to a tankless water heater?

Something we didn’t mention above: while standard water heaters only last about a decade (sometimes, more), tankless water heaters can last two decades or longer.

If you’re at the point where you need to replace your old water heater, consider upgrading to a tankless system for these benefits:

  • Energy savings for decades to come
  • Increased home value of having a tankless water heater
  • Unlimited hot water
  • No risk of a water heater tank burst

Call Wagner to learn more about demand-type water heaters

If you’re a homeowner in Albuquerque and you’re looking to upgrade your water heater this spring, give Wagner a call. Our expert plumbers are demand-type water heater installation pros!

To get started, contact Wagner. And be sure to check out our current coupons and specials.

Don’t neglect your hot water heater

hot water heaterYou and your family rely on your hot water heater to shower, wash the dishes, and complete your laundry. Without a functioning hot water heater, you’ll soon find that your morning routine has become a mess. Unfortunately, your home’s hot water heater is often out-of-sight, out-of-mind. You don’t mean to neglect it. It’s just that they don’t come equipped with a bright, flashing light that says “pay attention to my maintenance.”

Your friends at Wagner want to remind you that, yes, it is a good idea to keep close tabs on your water heater, especially as it nears the end of its life expectancy. In this post, we’ll share some quick maintenance tips that you can do at home, and explore some situations in which you need to put down the wrench, pick up the phone, and call us for 24/7 emergency service.

Maintaining a hot water heater

First, do you know where your hot water heater is located in your home? In most newer homes, the system is located in the garage, but the location may vary in older homes, or be placed in a basement if you have one. Next, you need to know what kind of water heater you have. Most older heaters are going to be storage tanks, but newer ones may be tankless. This matters: tankless systems are very different than their hot water counterparts, and their maintenance requirements will be different. You’ll also need to figure out if your system uses electricity or gas.

There’s some important safety steps you should consider first. Wear gloves and goggles, and always makes sure the power source is off and that the cold water intake is shut down. Make sure you’re familiar with the location of these switches. The last thing you want is to desperately need to shut the water off in the event of a leak, but not be sure where the switch is.

Here’s a handy, detailed guide from Lowe’s on how to maintain various aspects of your water heater, from flushing the tank to dealing with leaks. If you have any questions about the steps contained in this guide, let Wagner know. We’d be happy to help.

When to call the professionals

If you get stuck at any point in your water heater maintenance, don’t hesitate to call the Wagner Mechanical team. Our plumbers can either talk you through the process or come out to your home to fix the problem. If, at any point, you feel uncomfortable with the maintenance process, stop what you’re doing and call our team.

If you followed the safety steps above, you shouldn’t have any potential for a major leak. However, if you encounter a water heater problem that you can’t solve, call Wagner immediately before it gets worse.

6862680_l (1)Signs that you need a new water heater

Maintenance can only get your water heater so far. As time passes, eventually all water heaters begin to succumb to age. Most standard, tanked water heaters should be replaced soon after their 10th birthday. But, here are two other signs you should replace your water heater:

  • If the water coming out of your faucets is rusty when you turn the faucet to the hot setting. The presence of rust may be an indicator that the interior of the hot water heater has begun to start the rusting process. This can eventually lead to a burst if not treated by a professional immediately.
  • If your hot water heater has begun to leak, even if only slightly. As tanked water heaters age, the continual process of heating and cooling will cause the tank to expand and contract. After doing this for a decade or more, hairline fractures begin to form in the metal tank.
  • If all the connections are dry but you hot water heater is still leaving water on the floor, you’ll want to call the Wagner team to determine what’s gone wrong.

Ready to get started?

Wagner Mechanical is here to guide you through the process of maintaining your water heater. Whether you’re a DIY expert who is ready to jump right in, or you need some help from our team, Wagner has the expertise to help you keep your water heater running right. Give us a call to learn more!

What To Do During Plumbing Repair Emergencies

Plumbing repairThe plumbing in your home is crucial to your family’s comfort; however, plumbing repair emergencies are often the most common type of issue our homes encounter. Too often, we find ourselves coming home to a flooded kitchen or bathroom and wondering what to do next. Plumbing issues can sneak up on you at any given time, so it is important to know what plumbing repair issues you can tackle on your own and which ones you need to call in the experts to help.

The most common type of plumbing repairs

Whether you own or rent your home, it is safe to assume that you have come across at least one plumbing issue while living there. Sometimes these repairs can be small and handled on your own, but there are larger problems that can occur where you will need to call in the professionals to handle the task.

Before you can handle your plumbing repair emergency, you must be aware of the common plumbing issues that can creep up on you in your home, so you are ready to tackle the emergency when it hits.

Minor Repairs – do it yourself

Plumbing repairs are unavoidable, and they often present themselves when you are least expecting it. If you are lucky, you will encounter a smaller issue that you can handle on your own without having to call in a plumbing professional to help you. If you find yourself faced with any of the repairs listed below, you most likely will be able to tackle the job by yourself.

  1. Clogged drain
  2. Clogged toilet
  3. Low water pressure
  4. Dripping faucets

Major repairs – call the expert

Unfortunately, not all plumbing repairs are going to be small. When you are faced with a massive leak or break, we suggest that you bring in the big guns to help you and to avoid further damage to your home.

  1. Broken water heater
  2. Busted pipes

What to do if you are faced with a plumbing repair emergency

It is not a matter of if you have a plumbing issue but rather a matter of when you will have a plumbing issue. When you walk into that flooded room or lack of water, you may not know what steps to take next. That is why we are here to share our crucial steps to follow when you are faced with a plumbing emergency.

  1. Shut off water: This is a no-brainer. The very first thing you should do is turn off the water supply to your home to prevent any further damage. If you don’t, you could continue to see more water damage to your home. You can usually find the main water supply to your home near your water meter.
  2. Assess the problem: Once you know that there is no more chance of water leaking, take a look at the damage and try to see what caused the problem. This will help later on when you call a plumber to come out and fix your work.
  3. Call your water company: Not every massive plumbing issue is the homeowner’s fault. If the issue stems from the sewer main, a blocked sewer line, or the main water line, try giving your water company a call to see if they could send someone out to fix the issue.
  4. Call an expert: Know when it is time to call in backup. Not every plumbing issue can be fixed by the homeowner, and that is okay. Call a reputable plumbing company to come out to your home, inspect and repair the problem,  

Plumbing repair experts

Plumbing repair trainingWhen you are faced with any plumbing issue in your home, you want to hire a team you can trust and a team that can get the job done right the first time. When hiring a plumbing repair contractor, it is important to keep these three things in mind.

  1. Certified technicians: You want to hire a team that is trained in their field especially when it comes to the safety and comfort of your family and home. Do not find yourself hiring Joe Shmoe, interview your potential company to ensure they only employ certified technicians.
  2. 24/7 service: When you encounter a plumbing issue, you want someone who can come out to your home as soon as possible. That is why you should research companies that offer emergency service and are able to come out to your home to repair any issues. At Wagner Mechanical, we are available to take your calls 24/7 and will get one of our technicians out to your home as soon as possible.
  3. Guaranteed work: You hope that all repairs are done correctly and that no further issues occur; however, if something were to happen after your plumbing contractor left you will want to know that you hired a company that has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  

air conditioning repair Albuquerque NM coverWe have been providing the Albuquerque area exceptional plumbing services since 1928 and only employ certified and trained technicians. Not only is all of our work guaranteed but we promise to do the best possible job every time, if we do make a mistake we promise to do everything possible to make it right!

Schedule your plumbing repair today and take advantage of our current repair special  today!