How to Prevent Your Pipes from Bursting (Video)

 Low temperatures greatly increase the risk of water a pipe bursting. Broken pipes caused by cold weather can cause significant property damage. Always protect your pipes, especially in unheated interior spaces like basements and attics. Interior water damage can cost you thousands of dollars to repair after the fact. For the best protection and peace of mind, apply the following tips to defeat the cold. Investigate Pipe Insulation Options: Pipe Insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at the hardware store Keep Garage Doors Closed: Keeping the cold away from water supply lines in the garage helps to protect pipes. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors: This allows warm air to circulate and around the plumbing. Let the cold water drip from a faucet: Even a trickle of water through the tap can prevent cold pipes from freezing solid. Keep the thermostat set at a fixed temperature: Avoid turning the thermostat down at night even if it saves you a few bucks. Add insulation in the long term: Insulating attics, basements, and crawl spaces help maintain a safe temperature for pipes. If you have frozen or busted pipes, make sure to: Turn on the faucet Apply heat until the full water pressure is restored. Remember that an extra expense or effort often outweighs a hefty repair bill. For more information on protecting or repairing pipes, call the experts at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview,...
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How to Test for a Gas Leak

Natural gas is one of the safest, most efficient, and useful sources of available energy. More than half of US households use natural gas daily to perform a variety of important tasks. That said, an improperly installed or maintained gas line can be extremely hazardous if left untreated. Gas leaks are not something to put off or take lightly. Allowing a gas leak to linger can make your home dangerously toxic, potentially flammable, and in the worst of cases, result in an explosion. If you suspect you have a gas leak in your home, turn off the pilot light or gas meter immediately. Then, contact a professional. Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX has help hundreds of homeowners track down and repair gas leaks before those leaks had the opportunity to cause real damage. While gas leak repair should always be left to the professionals, for your safety and the safety of others, you should systematically review the following list which highlights the most common indications of a potentially dangerous leak: Hissing or Whistling Sound: Listen for subtle noise near the gas pipe, while remaining completely still and quiet. This may indicate a leak. However, be careful when pinpointing the exact source of the sound. It can be difficult to rely exclusively on this sound when determining whether or not a leak exists. Potent Oder: Even though gas is naturally odorless, suppliers add a potent rotten egg odor to alert occupants of a potentially dangerous leak. Smelling an overwhelming scent similar to rotten eggs or sulfur in your home can indicate the presence of a leak. Visible Gas line Damage: If your gas line or connection is visible, try to locate a point where the hose may have broken or worn down enough to cause a leak. Change in Flame Color: A gas stove burner should generally produce a blue flame that indicates enough oxygen in the air for the gas to combust. An orange or red flame, even after the stove is lit, can be problematic. Trouble With Indoor Plants: If indoor plants are struggling to grow, continually wilting or dying, a gas leak may be the culprit. Any of these common signs of a gas leak requires the immediate support of a professional that can work to safely resolve the issue. Never take chances when it comes to a gas leak. For more information on gas line repairs,...
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How to Find a Hidden Water Leak in Your Home

 Early detection of a water leak on your property can significantly cut repair costs. In our years serving the communities in and around Longview, TX, we’ve seen too many homes experience thousands of dollars worth of damage, either because a leak went unnoticed or because a homeowner didn’t think the leak was a big deal. In fact, it’s always a big deal, and there are simple steps you can take to try to detect a leak if you believe you may have one. View today’s video for a quick and simple tricks. Immediately contact your Longview, TX plumber if you notice the following signs of a house leak. Check your water meter. Shut off all water in your home, and watch the activity on the meter. The visible movement on the meter can indicate the size of a potential leak. Verify your usage. If a family of 4 is using more than 12000 gallons of water per month. That may indicate a potential leak somewhere in the plumbing system. Monitor your water bill. A leak often means your bill is rising without an increase in use. Make sure to compare bills from month to month. Use food coloring. Add a small amount of food coloring into your toilet tank. Wait a few minutes, and see if color flows from the tank to the bowl of the toilet. Check outside. Oftentimes, a dated irrigation system or hose can be the source of a leak. Consider calling a plumbing professional to investigate. Use common sense. Make a practice of being extra vigilant. Regularly check inside cabinets or basins for any signs of mold or leakage. If you suspect a leak or notice one or more of the following signs, contact a plumbing expert at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX. We specialize in Leak Repair and all other plumbing services. Give us a call or visit our website...
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Pros and Cons of a Gas Pool Heater

In-ground pools are an amazingly convenient and beneficial investment, as long as they are well functioning and usable. A natural gas-powered heater is one of the most common and potentially profitable pool features worth investigating. The water temperature of your pool can significantly drop during the winter months, or even cold evenings. Unless you are keen on swimming in brisk water, a heater may be worth investigating. Like any major investment, installing an in-ground gas-powered pool heater certainly presents a range of pros and cons that you should be fully aware of before making a decision. Rapid Heating: Natural gas pool heaters are significantly more powerful than electric or solar pump heaters. If you want your pool to heat up as quickly as possible, natural-gas heaters are the best and most efficient option. Rapid heating is especially handy if you don’t use your pool regularly. Not to mention the freedom it allows when welcoming guests or throwing an unplanned pool party, independent of weather and climate conditions. Purchase Price: Purchasing and installing a natural gas-powered pool heater can be less expensive than competing electric, solar, or heat pumps. That said, gas heaters come in a wide variety of sizes and models that can cost anywhere from $900 to $2500. Electric and solar pumps can reach much higher prices, running anywhere from $2000 to $4000. Be that as it may, depending on the use, operational costs linked with gas-powered pumps can make them less cost-effective in the long run. Energy Cost: It’s essential to assess and consider all costs, including the price of running a gas-powered heater compared to other industry alternatives. Natural gas heaters are generally more expensive to operate, however, this depends on the fluctuating market price of electricity, compared to gas at the moment. Solar heat is certainly the most energy-efficient option, next to heat pumps which, utilize existing warm air to heat the water. Lifespan: Natural gas heaters are durable, however, in the long run, they tend to accumulate more wear and tear than other heating options. They typically last five or more years, requiring some minor maintenance along the way. That said, the lifespan of a gas heater depends on average use, weather conditions, and the desired temperature of the water inside your pool. Heat pumps and electric pumps tend to last 8-10 years, while solar can last up to 20 years in comparison. Hopefully,...
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How to Make the Most of a Small Bathroom

 Small and  poorly located bathrooms can be painfully difficult to design and use.  Choosing functional and appealing bathroom features in a small space is vital. Here at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX, we have over 15 years of experience. At times, restrictive building codes and guidelines can derail your plans. Despite the challenges, installing a small bathroom, when needed, is a great investment. The following renovation tips will help you bypass frustrating roadblocks and challenges along the way. Install a corner or trough sink. This will ease the flow of traffic in and out. Choose to install a shower curtain. This will help to save what space you have to use inside the bathroom. Mount the vanity. This will help the bathroom appear larger and free up floor space. Use large scale patterns. These patterns make the bathroom look large and spacious. Skip the shower door. Consider installing a shower curtain or a glass panel to free up space. Expand the mirror. Having a large mirror creates space for more than one person. Mount the towel bar. Install a towel bar on the wall or glass shower panel. Install a vanity with storage shelves. Vanity storage helps the bathroom stay neat and tidy. For more information on plumbing or bathroom renovations. Contact Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX...
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