Tips to Extend the Life of Your Plumbing System

Like many other areas of life, a little bit of maintenance goes a long way. The same can be said for your plumbing system. From bathroom plumbing in Northbrook, Il to sewer rodding and water comfort, rely on our team at BMW Plumbing Inc. to take care of all things plumbing in your home! Because your system takes on a lot of strain on a daily basis, keep the following tips in mind to further extend your system’s functionality. 

Prepare for Winter

With frigid temperatures around the corner, you’ll want to start taking action to make sure your pipes not only survive but thrive. If your property has any outside faucets, make sure the water supply is shut off before winter hits. Water that is still running can cause a frozen build up inside of the pipes, even causing them to burst in some scenarios. That’s the last thing you’ll want to deal with this winter. 

Insulate Your Water Pipes

Although the up-front cost of insulating your pipes may be on the pricier side, in the long run, you’ll save a lot of money by avoiding expensive winter pipe repairs. This is especially important to consider if you have water pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as your crawl space or garage. The preventative step of insulating your pipes will also give you and your family peace of mind. 

Keep Drains Clean

To reduce the risk of clogging your pipes, make sure that you are keeping your drains clean. It’s tempting to pour the excess gravy or stuffing down your pipes, but this will result in expensive repairs when you least expect them. 

Allow our team to provide you with an affordable inspection before cooler temperatures hit! From bathroom plumbing in Northbrook to inspecting your water heaters, our team is equipped for it all.

Determining If You Need Sewer Rodding

Have you heard of sewer rodding in Northbrook? It’s a specialized method that’s used to help clean drains, pipes and sewer lines, resulting in clean, clear pipes that are ready to take on anything that comes their way. Our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. can help determine if and when you’re in need of sewer rodding. 

Signs You Have Blockage

Blockage in your pipes will be fairly obvious, as water will drain from your sink or shower slowly or not at all. This could also be a sign that something more serious is wrong with one of your main lines. The bottom line: if you notice any sort of blockage, it is best to call our team right away! You don’t want the blockage to become progressively worse with time. 

How It Works

The process of clearing your lines uses a drain or sewer rod. To start, several rods are screwed on each end and guided into a pipe or drain. These rods work to loosen whatever is causing the blockage and can be used in rooms like your bathroom or kitchen as well. 

Consider Whether Trees Could Be the Issue

If you live in a house and have large trees in your front yard, the roots could end up causing damage to your pipes. Roots are known to grow into the main sewer line and cause major damage, so this is something to consider as well. 

Our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. wants to make sure your system is working exactly as it should be. Contact our team if you’re in need of sewer rodding in Northbrook!

The Difference Between Hard and Soft Water

Water plays an integral part of our daily routines; from brushing our teeth to showering to drinking, water is extremely important to our health. However, if you’re like most Chicagoland residents, you haven’t spent much time thinking about the type of water that is dripping from your faucet. As providers of residential plumbing services in Northbrook, Il, our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. can help explain the differences you need to know. 

Hard Water

The first type of water is referred to as hard water, and it has not gone through any type of chemical processing. The only type of filter that this water goes through is all-natural, as it is filtered by stones or mineral deposits. Hard water deposits may build up inside of your pipes and cause corrosion, resulting in your boilers or hot water heaters to not work as effectively as they should. 

Most homeowners are not aware that hard water could potentially be causing issues inside of their pipes. Be on the lookout for the following warning signs:

  • A crusty, white buildup on the head of your shower or around faucets
  • A sulfur-like smell
  • Stiff clothing after it has been washed
  • The buildup of soap scum in your sinks or showers
  • Dry skin and dull hair

Soft Water

The other type of water is soft water, and, unlike hard water, it has been processed to remove mineral deposits. Soft water is better for your pipes and fixtures because it does not leave any buildup or cause damage. One facet of our residential plumbing services near Northbrook, Il is water softener installation to help your appliances last longer, your skin and hair to look healthier, and an overall cleaner home. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for more information on hard vs. soft water!

Garbage Disposal Maintenance and Care

It’s not until part of your garbage disposal malfunctions that you realize how important it is to have one that is fully functional. Many customers call our plumber near Highland Park, Il in a panic when they realize that their disposal isn’t working. After all, your garbage disposal is responsible for shredding your food into smaller bits and liquefying waste that doesn’t make it to the trash bin. Here are some tips on how to properly take care of your garbage disposal. 

Stay Ahead of Problems

Maintenance plays a huge role in how well your garbage disposal works. A disposal that works properly and is regularly cared for can last up to 10 years. For at-home care, try mixing baking soda and white vinegar together to create a solution. This is an easy way to help keep your disposal’s blades sharp and working well. If you realize that there is a large buildup in your disposal, try mixing a gallon of water with a teaspoon of bleach. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it with cold water. 

Repairing Your Disposal

The most important rule regarding your garbage disposal is that you should never put your hand down it to retrieve something. Instead, try pressing the reset button and running it again. If you still don’t have luck, you’ll want to call our plumber near Highland Park, Il for professional assistance. The last thing you want to happen is for a clog to become more serious by tampering with it. Our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. has the tools and experience required to safely and efficiently remedy the issue. 

Rely on a professional to get your issue fixed the first time! To schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Why Do Pipes Burst in the Summer?

We are all accustomed to the idea that pipes may burst in the winter if temperatures are extremely cold, but did you know that it is possible for pipes to burst in the summer as well? BMW Plumbing, Inc. is well-versed in all areas of residential plumbing in Northbrook, Il, including pipes that burst when you least expect them to.

Here are some reasons why your pipes may burst in the summertime.

An Increased Demand

Hot summer temperatures mean an increased amount of water on all fronts; watering the lawn, your kids running through sprinklers, tending to the garden, filling swimming pools, etc. If your system isn’t prepared for this increase, it may result in a burst pipe. 

The Extreme Heat

Illinois has seen temperatures break into the triple-digits this summer, and your pipes may be paying the price. Extreme heat can cause dry soil, allowing your pipes to shift in the land. Older pipes may break if they shift around more than they normally would. To combat this, try cutting back on how much water you use to give your system a break. 

Clogged Pipes

Sewer problems are all-too-common in the Chicagoland area, and this is one of the most common reasons a pipe may burst. Plus, if water pumps also become clogged, the pressure will build and your pipes will eventually pay the price. 

Tackling residential plumbing services in Northbrook, Il should be left to a professional to make sure that you and your family stay safe! Contact our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. for a professional and affordable fix to your summertime plumbing issues.

Emergency Plumbing Solutions

If you’ve never been the victim of a plumbing emergency, consider yourself lucky. It can be scary to think about a simple flush triggering a series of expensive mishaps. As providers of residential plumbing services near Northbrook, Il, our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. has seen it all, from bad to worse. Here are some DIY emergency plumbing solutions that you can use in a pinch.

Helpful Supplies

Grab a bucket from your home – it will be helpful to not only hold the tools that you are using, but it can also be beneficial in catching water that is leaking as well. Always make sure that you have paper towels and old rags in your “emergency plumbing toolkit” to clean up excess water that your bucket cannot catch. Wrenches are also a good idea, as they are versatile and can cover almost every plumbing-related job. If there is a small but manageable leak, you may want to have a roll of duct tape on hand, as it can help block the leak until a more permanent solution can be made.

Helpful Tips

Make sure that you turn off the water supply as soon as you realize a pipe burst. This will help reduce water damage until one of our professionals can come to your home. When it comes to using wrenches, twist them in opposite directions to help absorb the stress from the plumbing.

For quality residential plumbing services in Northbrook, Il, contact our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. today!

Taking Care of Your Sump Pump

You’ve heard of a sump pump, but do you know exactly what it does or how to take care of it? Sump pumps are located in your basement and they are responsible for getting rid of the accumulated water that may be the result of a flood. Sump pumps funnel the water away from your home so that there is minimal damage to both your home’s interior as well as its structure. Here are some tips from our plumber in Northbrook, Il to help you stay one step ahead of potential sump pump problems.

Clean the Screen

You should be checking the screen to your sump pump, called the inlet screen. If this is clogged or blocked in any way, the sump pump as a whole will not work when you need it to! Water should be able to flow without any sort of strain. Ideally, you will be checking the screen of your sump pump once every three months.

Check the Power Cord

It seems simple, but checking your power cord every three months can make or break your experience with your sump pump. You may assume that your sump pump is plugged in, but factors such as pets and children should be taken into consideration as well. A simple check once in a while will give you peace of mind. After all, the last thing that you want to happen is to unexpectedly have your basement flood only to have your sump pump be unplugged the entire time.

The Bucket Test

Finally, you should complete the bucket test once every three months as well. Just as it sounds, fill a bucket with water and dump it into the sump pump basin. Once the water level reaches a certain height, your sump pump should automatically turn on. If this doesn’t happen, contact our plumber in Northbrook, IL.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a sump pump! Feel free to contact our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. with questions or concerns.

DIY Plumbing Problems

Water may seem harmless, but it can quickly turn into a destructive force in your home if it is not handled the right way. While there are some common plumbing problems that you may be able to fix on your own, some fixes are best left for our professional plumbers in Northbrook, Il. Here is a simple guide to plumbing and the different problems that you may encounter.

Basic Repairs You Can Fix

If you notice the following issues, you can try to fix the problem on your own:

  • A running toilet: When you flush your toilet, does water keep going into the bowl? This is a sign of a running toilet and it is typically a quick fix. Remove the lid from the tank and look for the chain; there is a chance that the chain has sunk to the bottom. Reattach the chain to the lever. If your chain is damaged, it needs to be replaced in order for the problem to go away.
  • A trickling shower head: The water flow from your shower head should flow in consistent directions rather than spraying in different directions. This could be a sign that there is a lime scale buildup on either the shower head or the spray plate. Take the time to clean the shower head.

When to Call a Professional

It is important to call our plumber in Northbrook, Il if you experience more serious issues, as you don’t want to cause more harm than good.

  • Water heater malfunction: A functioning water heater is an essential part of your home. If you notice that it is emitting a strange smell or sound, make sure to call our plumber in Northbrook, Il. If you don’t properly fix the water heater it can pose a risk to your safety.
  • Sump pump failure: If there is a large amount of rain or snow, your sump pump is responsible for keeping your house protected. A failed sump pump can result in a lot of damage to your home.
  • Burst pipes: If there is an extreme temperature change, it can have a negative effect on your pipes. If this occurs, make sure to turn off your main water line right away!

When in doubt, contact our plumber in Northbrook, Il to help address your plumbing problems.

What’s Clogging Your Bathroom Sink?

Bathroom plumbing in Northbrook, Il is no exception to clogs. Unlike kitchen sinks, you may not know exactly what is clogging your bathroom sink. After all, the only things that go down your bathroom sink are water and hand soap. Unfortunately, there are four common reasons that your bathroom sink may clog that you may haven’t considered.

Hair

The most common reason that your bathroom sink is clogged is because of a buildup of hair. When hair is wet, it clumps together in the perfect way to catch on the side of your pipes on the way down. To make matters worse, the more pressure that water in your drain produces, the more the hair will clump together. This essentially creates a net that catches other particles that are sent down the drain.

Regardless of the type of hair that goes down the drain, it will still clog it. To combat this, install a drain straining device to keep hair from building up.

Soap Scum

Soap scum is a chalky, filmy substance that attaches to the sides of your bathroom pipes. It develops when the chemicals in the soap react with calcium and magnesium ions that are in the water. Over time, this soap scum can build up as well as get caught in hair within the pipes. Removing soap scum from the sides of your bathroom sink pipes can be tricky, so it may be necessary to call our team instead.

Damaged Pipes

Damaged pipes may also be the culprit behind problems with your bathroom plumbing in Northbrook, Il. Corroded pipes can restrict water flow significantly. If your pipes aren’t fastened properly, they may shift over time and cause water flow blockage as well.

No one wants to experience a clogged sink every time they use the bathroom. Contact our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. as soon as you notice a problem.

Signs Your Water Heater is Broken

In the middle of winter, there aren’t many things more important than having a functional water heater in Highland Park, Il. The last thing that you want is to get into the shower only to have it never warm up. Unfortunately, water heaters don’t last forever, so it is important to be aware of the signs that something is wrong.

Leaking

If you find a pool of water close to your water heater, this is a sign that it might be time to find a replacement. This is common for water heaters that are at least 6 years old. Unfortunately, there is not an easy fix, and your best course of action is to replace the heater altogether.

Valves & Corrosion

When it comes to water heaters, valves are typically the first part of the machine to wear out. When the valves are worn out, it is impossible for the tank to produce water at normal temperatures. In addition to this, tank corrosion can become an issue if you have to manually adjust the tank.

Odd Sounds

Constantly hearing a strange sound coming from your water heater is never a good thing. You might hear creaking, knocking or whining noises that signify that you should get a new water heater in Highland Park, Il. These sounds may be a result of built-up sediment at the bottom of the tank.

Your Water Doesn’t Heat Up

This is likely the most obvious sign that your water heater is not working properly. Please call our team at BMW Plumbing, Inc. if your water hasn’t been warming up this winter.