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How to Prevent Sink Clogs

Posted by on May 19, 2020 in Clogged Drain Longview TX, Plumber Longview TX | 0 comments

Sink clogs are an incredibly frustrating problem for all homeowners. Nearly everyone has dealt with a clogged sink at some point, and the first question they always ask is “How did that happen?” Over our 13 years of experience, we have seen more clogged drains than you can imagine. Bird Dog Plumbing knows what causes them, how to prevent them, and most certainly, how to clear them.  If you have a clogged drain, we will be happy to come out and take a look at it for you, but here are some ways that you can prevent those clogs from happening in the first place.   Preventing Kitchen sink clogs Grease- Never, EVER, pour grease down a drain. Even small amounts will build up over time and eventually cause a clog. Instead, pour the liquid grease into a sealable, disposable container, to be thrown out once it is full. Coffee Grounds- Like grease, coffee grounds need to stay out of the drain. They will build up over time and cause severe clogs and problems later on.Avoid Putting troublesome foods down the drain (with disposal) – Anything that your disposal cannon easily grind up, should not go down the drain. Some examples are banana peels, eggshells, potato skins, or bones.Run cold water while using the disposal – Running cold water while using the disposal helps ensure all of the waste is washed out of the disposal and through the system.Avoid putting any food down the drain (no disposal) – If you do not have a disposal, you should never pour food down your drain. Instead, use a removable drain strainer.Use hot water once a week. About once a week, slowly pour hot or boiling water down your drain. This will help melt away any grease or sticky foods that could be building up in your drain.   Preventing bathroom sink clogs Clean stoppers – Make sure you frequently clean your drain stoppers in your sink. The stoppers catch lots of hair, soap, and other nasty gunk that can eventually clog your sink. So every few months, remove the stopper and clean it. At this point, you know everything that you need to know to keep your drains clean. However, sometimes no matter what you do, you still get that clog. If that happens, that is where we come in. Bird Dog Plumbing has been helping Longview homeowners, solve every plumbing problem imaginable for over 13 years! That includes clogged sinks! So if you have a sink that keeps getting clogged or a clog that just will not go away, we are the ones to call!  For clogged drains, or any other plumbing needs give the experts at Bird Dog Plumbing a...

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When should Homeowners Repipe Their Homes

Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Plumber Longview TX | 0 comments

Dealing with your home’s plumbing can be a pricey and complicated task. That is why it is important that homeowners understand what actually needs fixing, and what can wait. At Bird Dog Plumbing, we always want our customers to understand this distinction. When it comes to plumbing repairs, the one that every homeowner dreads even thinking about is pipe replacement. Re-piping a house can be expensive, so know when it is actually needed is important. Especially when it involves replacing more than one or two leaky pipes. There are a couple of different aspects to consider when it comes to major plumbing repairs:    Age of the House:  The general rule of thumb when it comes to pipes is that they need to be replaced if your home was built before 1970. If the home still has original pipes, they are probably made out of out-dated metals. Many of these metals corrode quicker, so replacing saves money, and also helps make sure your water is clean. Having this done also adds value to the house.    The Telltale Signs: When taking a look at your home’s plumbing, there are a few tell-tale signs that signal it being time to get your home repiped. Noisy Pipes: If your pipes are making banging or squeaking noises, that is a pretty good sign that they need to be replaced. This is typically a sign that the pipes have warped or are corroding.Corrosion or Rust on Pipes: Checking your pipes for corrosion can be difficult, especially if they are difficult to access, but this is one of the easiest ways to see if your pipes need to be replaced.Leaky Pipes: The most clear-cut sign of pipes needing replacement is a leak. If your pipes are leaking, especially if it is in more than one area, it is time to replace them. Leaking pipes not only mean you are wasting water, but leaks can also cause water damage to the areas surrounding the pipe over time. Water Discoloration: If the color of your water has a reddish or brown tint, that is a sign that your pipes are rusty. Off-Smelling/tasting Water: Similar to discoloration, bad-smelling/tasting water is another sign that the pipes are rusting and need to be replaced.Water Pressure Problems: If you notice a significant decrease in water pressure, or if you have an older home and it was never that good, to begin with, that could be a sign that your pipes need replacing. Rusting or corrosion could have caused a small leak to start in the pipes.    We Are Here to Help! If you are experiencing any of these problems, or have an aging house in the Longview, TX area, it is time for the plumbing experts at Bird Dog to come take a look. Re-piping a house is a difficult process that requires professionals. Luckily for you, we have been doing it for more than 13 years. For more information on the services we offer for both residential and commercial properties, please contact us right...

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Should I Buy a Solar-Powered Water heater?

Posted by on Apr 23, 2020 in Plumber Longview TX, Water Heater Installation Longview TX, Water Heater Repair Longview TX, Water Leak Repair Service Longview TX | 0 comments

Solar energy is a fast-growing form of energy collection for homes across the North Texas area. This is leading many people who already have solar-powered homes, or are looking into making the switch, to wonder “should I buy a solar water heater?” There are quite a few misconceptions when it comes to buying hot water heaters, and it is important to sort out the truth from the myth when it comes to making a purchase and commitment as big as a solar hot water heater. Price: While not so much a misconception, it needs to be understood that solar water heaters are by far the most expensive type of water heater. They typically cost upwards of $3000 in installation costs. Energy Costs: Solar water heaters are the absolute best way to save money on your hot water bills. Solar water heaters have the potential to decrease a household’s carbon footprint by at least 50%. Colder areas: In areas that have the potential to freeze from time to time, (North Texas) heaters will need an anti-freeze system installed. Another additional cost upfront. Home location: The location of your home is extremely important when deciding if your home would be a good candidate for solar water heating. Making sure you live in a location that gets relatively consistent sun is important. In our area, the main concern would be houses that have a lot of large shady trees. Bad Weather: Typically, another upfront cost is a backup energy supply. This will come in handy if you have an extended period of cloudy, bad weather. Maintenance costs: Since solar water heaters are so complicated, the water heaters require much more maintenance. If you think a solar water heater is right for you, or have any more questions, please contact the expert Longview plumbers at Bird Dog. Our technicians are always ready to help find the water heater that fits your household’s...

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How Do Instant Hot Water Heaters Work?

Posted by on Apr 9, 2020 in Water Heater Installation Longview TX, Water Heater Installer Longview TX | 0 comments

Switching to an instant (tankless) water heater is a fast-growing trend in the US right now. Instant water heaters are smaller, last longer, and are more efficient than their tank counterparts. As great as all of this sounds, it is important to understand how they work before deciding if a tankless water heater is right for your home.   How do instant water heaters work? One of the most important things to understand is the water heater does not have a tank to store the hot water in, so it must “instantly” heat it up. One advantage of not storing the water is instant water heaters have a much higher lifespan than tank heaters. Not having water constantly sitting inside the system prevents rust from damaging the system, increasing the life span by nearly 2-5 years. In order to heat the water, it flows through a pipe in the heater, and is heated by a heating element as it flows through the heater. There are two main ways this is achieved: Electric – When using electricity, water heaters use a coil that heats up around the pipe, warming the water inside. Electrical units are more efficient in terms of lost heat, however, they require a lot of energy. Electric instant water heaters also are generally able to heat less water at a time, making them more attractive as a point-of-use heater. Gas – Gas instant water heaters work by using gas burners placed around the pipe to heat up the water as it flows through the heater. Gas instant water heaters provide more heat over a period of time, making them better for whole-house heaters. The water is then pushed to the open tap. One drawback to this is that the heater must be constantly be heating the water until the tap is turned off because the water can lose its heat as it makes its way to its desired tap. Typically, instant water heaters require extra, special ventilation since they use high-powered burners. Gas heaters also usually require a larger gas pipe than the rest of the house has. Due to these reasons, installation costs can be high.   How much do they cost? Speaking of costs, instant water heaters are expensive upfront. In fact, some models are up to 3 times more expensive than tank water heaters. Installation costs are also relatively high. Gas models especially require a lot of work to install. Due to the complexity of instant water heaters, professional installation is almost always required. However, in the long term, instant water heaters are the way to go. Instant water heaters are way more efficient than tank heaters, namely due them not requiring stand by heat. Standby heat loss occurs when tank water heaters have to continuously heat the water in the tank. This is not a problem that instant water heaters have. Remember, instant hot water heaters only heat the water when it is needed. Instant water heaters are complex, but the advantages that they have over tank heaters are huge. Luckily at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX, our expert team is ready to assist you with your installation! If have you have any questions about instant water heaters, or want to know if they are an option for you, please contact us...

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What Type of Water Heater is Right For Me?

Posted by on Mar 25, 2020 in Plumber Longview TX, Water Heater Installation Longview TX, Water Heater Installer Longview TX, Water Heater Repair Longview TX, Water Leak Repair Service Longview TX | 0 comments

When your water heater is starting to reach the end of its life cycle, many customers have a hard time figuring out which type of water heater is right for them when they need a replacement. There are many different types of water heaters which makes this such a daunting task. Luckily the experts at Bird Dog Plumbing are here to help make your search as simple as possible!   Fuel Types One of the first things to consider when selecting a water heater is what type of fuel will be used to power it. The two most common types are Gas –  Gas is used to heat most conventional forms of water heaters. It is widely available and has a relatively low energy cost. Gas also re-heat very quickly. This really comes in handy if you have a large family and know that multiple people will be using hot water at the same time. Electricity –  Like Gas, one of the major pros of electricity is that it is widely available. A major pro is that it does not have really any of the safety concerns that come with using a gas system. Electric water heaters are also smaller and easier to connect. Typically electric water heaters work best for smaller households. They are slightly slower at heating up water, and use more energy; so using them if you use lots of hot water is not super economical.   Types of Water Heaters There are a lot of different types of water heaters. This is why figuring out which one fits your house best is so difficult. However, knowing which kind of fuel you are going to use narrows down the options. Here are some of the most common types of water heaters: Storage– Storage water heaters are probably the most common, and the ones that everyone pictures when they think about water heaters. They are basically large tanks that hold hot water from the top and heats up the cold water at the bottom. The biggest pros of theses are that they are so inexpensive to purchase. They are also really good for households that use lots of hot water at the same time. However, they waste a lot of energy due to the fact that they are always on standby. Tankless– Tankless water heaters are also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters. This type of heater does not store hot water. Instead, when someone turns on hot water, cold water runs through a heating element, which heats it instantly. However, since it heats water as it flows, the output is significantly lower than a storage water heater. Tankless water heaters are also much more expensive initially; however, they can be significantly more energy-efficient. The last major pro is that they last 5-10 years longer than storage heaters. Hopefully, this blog has helped you figure out which type of water heater best fits your family. If you have any more questions or need us to come out to install that new heater for you, please contact the experts at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview,...

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How Do I Clean My Garbage Disposal

Posted by on Mar 11, 2020 in Plumber Longview TX | 0 comments

Few things are less inviting in the kitchen than a stinky garbage disposal. Despite the fact that most of us them every day, garbage disposals are easy to overlook when it comes to basic home cleaning. Doing dishes is not fun as it is, but doing them when your disposal stinks makes it ten times worse. Fortunately, getting rid of that odor coming from your garbage disposal is not a difficult task. Here are a few tips from the expert Longview, TX plumbers at Bird Dog Plumbing to make this task as easy as possible. Remember, before you start cleaning or put your hands anywhere near the garbage disposal, remember to unplug it, or turn off the disposal’s breaker.    Clean the visible portion of the garbage disposal Using some dish soap and a brush, clean the areas around the disposal, such as the joint where the disposal meets the sink. This area is particularly susceptible to food getting trapped, making it a haven for mold to grow.   Clean under the baffle The rubber baffle at the bottom of your sink is a prime location for food particles to get stuck in the folds. Using a brush be sure to scrub this area.   Clean the grinding chamber Use a soapy sponge or brush, scrub around the grinding chamber where food particles could be stuck in the grinder or the walls of the chamber. Make sure you are rinsing the sponge and sink and continue this process until the sponge comes up clean from the disposal. Here are a few more things you can do which require that the disposal be running, so remember, hands out!   Citrus Using citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, or oranges is a really effective way to give your disposal a fresh scent. Simply throwing the peels, or the entire fruit (chopped into wedges) into the disposal does wonders. The oils that come out of the peel coat the disposal and help keep the disposal fresh for an extended period of time. Interestingly, the rough peels actually help pull gunk off the blades and walls.   Ice and rock salt Ice and rock salt are great for scraping food and waste of the inside of the pipes and blades. The best way to keep your disposal clean is the easiest of all. Routinely flush your disposal with water after each use. This keeps food from getting stuck to the walls as the pipes and disposal dry. If none of these tips help and you are noticing that your disposal is still not getting as clean as you like, please give us a call. This could be a sign that you are in need of a garbage disposal repair or replacement. The expert Longview plumbers at Bird Dog plumbing are always here to help make sure your plumbing is working properly. For more information or to schedule a service please contact us...

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How to Prevent Your Pipes from Bursting (Video)

Posted by on Feb 24, 2020 in Plumber Longview TX, Plumbers Longview TX, Water Heater Installation Longview TX, Water Leak Repair Service Longview TX | 0 comments

 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

Posted by on Feb 13, 2020 in Gas Leak Longview TX, Gas Leak Repair Service Longview TX | 0 comments

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, leak-tests, or re-piping jobs, make sure to contact the experts at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview,...

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How to Find a Hidden Water Leak in Your Home

Posted by on Feb 4, 2020 in Leak Repair Service Longview TX, Plumber Longview TX | 0 comments

 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

Posted by on Jan 6, 2020 in Plumber Longview TX, Plumbers Longview TX, Water Heater Installation Longview TX, Water Heater Installer Longview TX | 0 comments

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, understanding these different variables and elements will help you better understand whether or not installing a gas-powered pool heater is the best option for you. That said, it’s always important to consult the pool and plumbing experts before the fact. For more information on installing or choosing the most suitable water-heating option for your property, contact us a Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX...

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