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Trenchless Sewer Line Repair

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You can avoid this! Call us to see if your problem can be repaired without digging up your yard.

As most homeowners know, water line and sewer repair is necessary at some point.  Broken, eroded or cracked pipes happen. While you may be lucky and only need minor repairs, some homes may require a complete repiping! These types of repairs are not only costly, but the inconvenience of having your underground pipes replaced can mean lengthy repair times and tearing up your lawn. At Flat Rate Home Services, we may be able to offer an alternative.

How We Can Help

Basically, we don’t always have to dig up your property.  Trenchless sewer line repair means we can repair your sewer pipes or water lines without tearing up your lawn. The additional added benefits of trenchless sewer line repairs:

  • Faster! When there’s no large trench to dig, our customers can expect a shorter repair time! Trenchless sewer repairs are often completed in just a few days – and less for small jobs.
  • Less Expensive! Not having to dig a trench drastically reduces the amount of time, equipment and labor spent on your repairs – which saves you money.
  • Cleaner! The majority of homes have sewer lines directly under their lawn. After spending countless hours and money making your yard a sanctuary, digging up a sewer line is the last thing you want to do! Trenchless repairs requires a few small holes to reach the lines.

Will Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Work for You?

 Trenchless repairs can be done for many of the following.  Call our expert technicians today to find out more.

  • Blocked pipes (roots, debris)
  • Improperly installed pipes
  • Sewer back ups
  • Leaky lines
  • Cracked water pipes (water movement/freezing/thawing)
  • Larger line replacement

Call Flat Rate Home Services today at (262) 789-1830 or contact us online.

5 Plumbing Inspection Tips for Home Buyers

plumbing inspection

The long process of buying a home is coming to a close – you’re financing is in place, you’ve scouted and toured homes – and you’ve finally found the perfect one! All that’s left before closing is your inspection.  Having a certified home inspector go thru the home is all you need, right? Wrong.  At Flat Rate, we strongly urge you to look over your home as well- after all, this is the biggest investment most people will ever make.

Plumbing problems can be costly, and depending on the extent, cause a messy disruption in your home. It’s estimated the 44% of consumers will need to call a plumber in the first year of buying a home.  A little extra work up front can end up saving you time and money in the long run.

What to check:

  1. Hot water heater. Size, location and condition of your hot water heater is important.  Since you’ll be using hot water for showering, doing laundry, and cooking, a family of four usually needs a 40 gallon tank. Be sure the placement of the water heater is up to code in your area.  Check the age and condition, if the water heater is outdated or corroded, consider requesting the existing owner to install a new one as part of your purchase agreement.
  2. Pipes. Look for leaks or cracks. Many older homes still have lead pipes – these are an environmental hazard and should be replaced.
  3. Sewage system. Check with the city to find out if waste goes into the city’s sewage system or if you have your own septic tank. If you have your own, check to see when it was last emptied and serviced.
  4. Water meter. Be sure your shut off valve is working. When the valve is turned off, you should have no running water in your home.  If that is not the case, it will likely need to be replaced.
  5. Faucets. Check toilets, showers, sinks and drains. Make sure there are no leaks or slow drips.  Also, check the last few water bills – this is sometimes your biggest help in finding hidden leaks.

Prevent Basement Flooding

Although it may not feel like it, spring is here.  And in Wisconsin, our spring can mean torrential downpours, snow, or sunshine….sometimes all in one afternoon.  This can mean overtime for sump pumps and flooding basements.  Under these circumstances, prevention is key.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible for homeowners to prevent basement flooding 100% of the time.  Some situations are simply beyond our control.

At Flat Rate, we suggest keeping an eye on:

  • Basement Pumps: Test your pump by slowly pouring a bucket of water in during a good weather day. Scan the pit and remove any debris or stones.
  • Windows and Doors: Remove debris from window wells and check for any leaks.
  • prevent basement floodingFoundation: Check regularly for cracks in your foundation and walls – repair immediately. Make sure your basement walls are properly sealed and painted to provide added protection.
  • Roof: Remove debris from gutters. Maintain your roof properly or, even if it is the cause of a flood, your insurance carrier will likely deny your claim.
  • Landscaping: Believe it or not, your outdoor greenery is not just for looks. Landscaping can have a big impact on the interior of your home.  Trim trees and shrubbery back from the home. Soil should be higher near your house, creating a drainage spout into the lawn versus into your basement.

Noisy Pipes

noisy pipes can mean you have a clogHouses make sounds.  Quite a few sounds.  Generally, you get used to them.  You tune out the heat kicking in or that one floor board that always creaks. Sometimes, household noises start to change – and when they are the result of plumbing issues, ignoring them can be costly. Read more to find out what some of your home’s noises might mean…

Banging noises

Banging noises coming from the pipes may mean your home has pipes that flex when water stops flowing through them.  It could also mean you have a loose pipe that isn’t secured well. Both of these plumbing issues can easily be fixed by a plumber.

Dripping Sounds

Dripping sounds are generally just a leaky faucet.  It’s imperative to track the noise down, however, because it could also be any number of home appliances dripping in your walls.  Check beneath water heaters or even the icemaker water supply line to your refrigerator. Leaking water can cause serious damage and lead to mold.

Ticking

The most common ticking sound comes from your water meter.  The sound echoes through the pipes and into the house. This is a noise you may just have to learn to live with if your meter is within feet of your home’s foundation.

Gurgling

Gurgling noises might mean that there is a problem with the drain system.  It can be anything from the drain system – partial blockage, vent problems, or a failing septic system.   If you start to hear any “blub blub” or “glug glug”, be sure to call a plumber right away.

Causes of Discolored Water

discolored waterWhat are the causes of discolored water?

Cloudy or milky water: Occasionally tiny air bubbles become suspended in your water.  This may result in a cloudy or milky look. In reality, the bubble are so small that they’re almost invisible to the naked eye, but together resemble watered-down milk. Our water always has dissolved air in it, but it has more during the cold months. When the colder water warms in your water heater or inside the pipes of your home, it can no longer hold all of the dissolved air. Air bubbles then appear. Nothing can remove these bubbles, but they will clear on their own as your water warms up. By letting your water stand for a bit, the bubbles will rise to the surface and the discoloration will disappear.

Short-duration brown or yellow water from the tap: Your home’s internal plumbing may be the problem if your water is only discolored for a minute after you turn the tap on. When the zinc coating on the inside of galvanized iron pipe begins to wear thin, water becomes discolored as it comes in contact with bare iron. The longer the water sits in the pipes, the worse the discoloration will be. This is why you are most likely to notice the problem first thing in the morning or when you have just returned from being out for some period of time. After your tap is turned on, clean water from your water main or heater will replace the discolored water. Consuming this discolored water poses no health hazard.

Constant brown or yellow water from the tap: Sediments and minerals in water mains sometimes get stirred up when fire hydrants are used or when the flow of water in mains changes. These sediments may cause your water to turn brown or yellow. Wait about 30 minutes after you notice the discolored water, and try turning on the cold water in the tub for a few minutes. You’ll probably notice that it clears up right away, since sediments settle quickly back to the bottom of water mains. Discolored water due to sediments pose no known health threat, but if you don’t want to ruin your clothing, you should avoid doing laundry until the water color clears up.

Brown or yellow water from hot tap only: If there is discoloration in your hot water only, it is usually an indication that you have a malfunctioning water heater. Turn off your hot water heater and give it time to cool. When completely cool, drain and flush the heater. If the problem persists when you turn the unit back on, contact a licensed plumber.

How to Choose a Toilet

new bathroom toilet

Newly installed toilet by Flat Rate

Any Milwaukee plumber will tell you – not all toilets were created equal!   When replacing your toilet, consider it an investment; it’s one of the most important items in your house.  Let us show you how to choose a toilet that will fit your budget, your design, and you!

Toilet Flow
Low-flow toilets that use 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or less are the federal standard.  While low-flow toilets got a bad rep early on (They rarely worked with just one flush), manufacturers have tweaked the design but using larger trap-ways to prevent clogging and larger flush valves that allow more power behind the water.

Higher Quality Equals Higher Cost
You can’t expect a powerful flush from cheap toilets.  Toilets are one of the most used items in your home – you want it to last.

Unique Parts
Custom seats and unusual flush mechanisms add a cool factor, but they’ll cost you time, money and frustration if they ever need replacing.

Finding the Perfect Fit

There are hundreds of thousands of toilet designs, but the standard rough-in distance (distance from the finished wall to the center for the toilet drain) is 12 inches.  Width sizes are about as diverse as the designs, but no matter what size you choose, measure your bathroom space – twice.

One vs Two Part Toilets

In a two-piece toilet, the tank bolts to the top of the bowl.  This toilet is generally less expensive.  One-piece toilets have an integral tank and bowl.  These can cost more, but are easier to keep clean.

 

Whether you’re replacing your toilet as part of a bathroom remodel or simply because it’s broken, our experts at Flat Rate Home Services can help!  Call us or schedule online today!