When Should I Replace My Toilet?

Not everyone knows when their toilet should be replaced. That’s why we’ve thought of a few tell-tale signs that your toilet needs replacing, as well as why you should not wait to replace your toilet.  Signs you Need to Replace Your Toilet Age – The first sign that you should consider a replacement is the age of your toilet. The fixture itself will last for many many years, but the plumbing will not. If your toilet is more than 25 years old, consider a replacement. Puddling – Another indicator is puddling around the base of the toilet. This usually means there is a crack in the tank that you can search for yourself, but if you do not find one, call Bird Dog Plumbing, and we can inspect it for you because there may be a hairline crack that you cannot see with the naked eye. Furthermore, the location of the crack could mean two different things: you need a repair or a replacement. Bird Dog Plumbing can help you with both!Always Running – Does your toilet run all of the time? Though this might not need an immediate replacement, the idea should be in the back of your mind. It could be a simple fix or a bigger issue that could require a replacement, so maybe consider calling a plumber to check it out.Clogged All the Time – Is your toilet clogged more often than not? Sometimes, kids get excited and want to flush random things. We get it! However, if the clogging is not due to human error, this could be another indicator that your toilet has bitten the dust, depending on the cause, and you might need a replacement. Will not Flush – If your toilet absolutely does not flush, you need a replacement! Nobody has the time of day to try to revive a dead toilet. Call a plumber for assistance!Wobbling – Another indicator could be if your toilet wobbles. Maybe the screws and bolts are just loose, and in that case, a plumber can tighten those and be on their way. However, if it’s wobbling due to foundation issues, the toilet could be leaking and causing water damage, which means you could use a replacement. Need the Experts? Hopefully, now you can evaluate the condition of your toilet at one time or another and decide whether a replacement is necessary. Better yet, give Bird Dog Plumbing...
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When Should I Call an Emergency Plumber?

Sometimes, a small water leak under your sink quickly escalates into a huge problem, leading to thousands of dollars in water damage. It is always smart to make sure a plumbing problem is not a problem you can fix yourself, but sometimes you need the pros. Not every issue can wait until regular working hours, and there are times that you need an emergency plumber. Calling an emergency plumber can get expensive, but it is cheaper than dealing with extensive water damage. The important thing is to know when you need an emergency plumber, or if you have an issue that can wait until the next day or after the weekend. Here are a few of the common problems that Bird Dog Plumbing thinks qualify as emergencies. Call an emergency plumber when this happens Sewer backup When a sewer line backs up, it creates a severe health hazard for you and your family. The mix of fumes, odors, and pathogens creates a dangerous indoor environment. A sewer line backup also prevents you from using the sink, toilet, or shower. For all of these reasons, your sewer line backing up is 100% an emergency. Burst Pipe The most common cause of a burst pipe is the water freezing and expanding in the pipe. The frozen water blocking the pipe will cut off your water, and eventually, lead to it bursting. Burst pipes lead to severe water damage very quickly. As soon as the pipe bursts, the absolute first thing you need to do is shut off the water. Once that is done, call in a plumber immediately. Toilet Overflow Overflowing toilets are not only concerning because of damage the water will cause but also for the potential health hazards. There is always the possibility that the water is contaminated. If you can’t find the clog and clear it immediately, call an emergency plumber. No Hot Water If you turn on your shower or the sink, and the water will not warm up at all, there is something wrong. Usually, this points to something being wrong with your water heater. Water heater issues do not typically constitute an emergency, but there is always the risk of an older one leaking. Like most other problems on this list, leaks will lead to water damage. Anything That Causes Flooding If there is a plumbing problem in your home that has begun flooding your...
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Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Your water heater is easily one of the most important appliances in your home. Water heaters are also expensive, so you must make sure yours is maintained correctly to increase its efficiency & longevity. So, here are a few water heater maintenance tips that Bird Dog Plumbing LLC thinks every homeowner should know. Water Heater Maintenance Tips Know What Kind of Water Heater You Have – Knowing what type of water heater is essential. It will make it easier for you to maintain it, and be extra helpful if a plumber needs to take a look at it. Inspect the Pressure Valve – Water heaters can explode if the pressure valve does not work correctly. It needs regular inspections, and if it is not working correctly, it must be replaced. Adjust the Temperature – Lowering the temperature on your water heater increases the longevity of its heating component. It also lowers energy costs!Clean Out the Sediment – Too much sediment in your water heater will dramatically decrease its longevity. If you suspect there is sediment build up in your radiator, you need to clear it. Maintain the Location – Make sure there are about two feet of clearance around your water heater. This clearance ensures that there is ample space for maintenance, and makes damage less likely. With these tips in mind, you should be able to increase your water heater’s longevity and efficiency. However, when you do need the pros, Bird Dog Plumbing LLC is here. We can install, repair, or replace water heaters of every type. We have been ensuring that Longview, Texas homeowners have the hot water whenever they need it for 13 years. If you need us to come out and take a look at a plumbing issue, give us a call...
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How Does a Plumber’s Snake Work?

Everyone gets a drain-clog from time to time, and usually, they are not challenging to clear. Typically, you use some Drain-O or a plunger, and it’s okay, but sometimes that isn’t enough! That is where a plumber’s snake comes in. If you have a terrible drain-clog, a plumber’s snake should be the thing that you try before calling us in! So, what exactly is a plumber’s snake? What is a Plumber’s Snake? A plumber’s snake, also known as a drain auger, is a long, slender metal coil with what looks like an uncoiled spring at the end. When uncoiled all the way, a plumber’s snake can be nearly 50 feet in length. It is a tool that you put down the drain to clear a severe blockage. However, there is the risk that a plumber’s snake can damage your pipes. If you misuse it, it can wear down the inside walls of the pipes and even cause leaks. So, knowing how they work is incredibly important. How Do Plumber’s Snakes Work? Put on some safety equipment – Make sure you put on some rubber gloves, goggles, and some clothes that you do not mind getting dirty. The gloves and goggles are especially important if you used any sort of chemical drain cleaner before. Start inserting the plumber’s snake – When you do this, be sure to do it slowly. Inserting the auger end too fast or with too much force can damage the drain and pipes. While you only have to go a few inches into the pipe, it sometimes takes a few tries. Start Cranking – As you crank the handle, the snake will uncoil and extend deeper down the pipe. Rotate it at a consistent pace. Once you feel like you are hitting something, you have found the obstruction.Get ready to remove the obstruction – After you feel like you are hitting something, crank the auger a little further so that it either breaks up the clog or grabs ahold of it. However, if you hear scraping sounds, that means that the auger is hitting the pipe. Make sure you readjust if this happens, or you could risk damaging the pipe.Remove the Snake & Obstruction – At this point, you should have the obstruction either caught in the auger or broken up. Begin cranking the handle the opposite direction to coil the drain snake back up. Usually,...
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How to Find a Hidden Water Leak Inside A Wall

Water damage in your home is one of the most expensive repairs that a homeowner can tackle. The repairs can easily cost thousands of dollars, and the scary part is, you might not even know there is damage until it is too late! Causes of the issue like floods, sewage backup, or burst pipes are apparent to the naked eye, but others are harder to see until they have already caused a significant amount of damage. The most common culprit that Bird Dog Plumbing sees in Longview, Texas, is, by far, a hidden water leak inside the walls. Water Leaks Inside Walls There are a few things that cause water leaks inside your walls: Burst pipes are one of the most common causes of leaks inside of walls. These generally occur within exterior walls, during the wintertime. Remember to drip your faucets when it is below freezing!The older the pipes are, the more susceptible pipes become to damage. On top of that, houses that are at least 50 or 60 years old generally do not have pipes that are made from a durable material like modern dwellings do. If you are in a home that is more than 20 years old, make sure you keep an eye on your plumbing system and consider getting the house repiped. Weak plumbing is much more susceptible to leaks. If the plumbing system is not installed correctly or made up of inferior parts, the weight of the house makes it much more vulnerable to damage. Over time, all that weight will cause the pipes to crumble. No matter the cause, it is VITAL that you know how to spot the signs early. The longer the pipes leaks, the more money you will be forced to spend on repairs. Over time, the leaks rot the studs in the wall. Rotting studs cause structural damage to your home, on top of the water damage to the flooring, insulation, and walls. Signs of Damage Spotting the signs of damage sooner rather than later makes the difference between $1000 in repairs and $10,000 in repairs. Even though the leaks happen inside the walls, the issues are evident relatively quickly if you know where to look. Staining – Stains on your sheetrock or drywall are a tell-tale sign that there is a leak. Stains that continue to grow are a pretty good indication that there is a leak...
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When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

Knowing the correct time to replace your water heater is something every Longview homeowner needs to know. Water heater failures are one of the most expensive incidents that a homeowner can pay for. In fact, the water damage that results from a water heater failure can cost an average of $4,444 to repair. However, these costly repairs are avoidable. If you know the signs to look for you will know when to replace your water heater before it is too late. Signs Your Water Heater Is Getting Old: Age – In general, most water heaters in East Texas last about 6-12 years. Your water heater may seem like it is working after that 12 years, however, it is much more likely to break and cause more damage. Another way that you can tell your water heater is getting a little bit too old is if it is no longer producing hot water at adequate levels.Rusty Water – Discolored water is one of the most clear-cut signs that something is wrong with your plumbing system. Figuring out where the rust is coming from is vital for the health of your household. If you see rust around the water inlet or pressure valves there is a good chance the rusty water is because of an issue with your water heater. It can be assumed that rust around the water inlet or pressure valves means there is also rust inside the tank. If not found soon enough, the rust can eventually eat through the tank and cause expensive leaks. Noise – The louder your water heater gets, the closer it is to a major issue. Typically, sediment buildup is the cause of a noisy water heater. The sediment forms as water is heated and then reheated in the tank. The sediment not only causes a loud rumbling sound but makes it take longer for your water to heat up. The longer it takes for your water to heat up, the more brittle the metal tank becomes, which increases the likelihood of cracks forming Signs Your Water Heater NEEDS Replacement Leaks – If your water heater is leaking, it needs to be replaced right away. As your water heater ages, the likelihood of you finding water around your heater increases greatly. The older the water heater, the longer it will take to adequately heat your water supply. This extra time causes the metal...
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