Signs That the Water Heater Needs Replacing

Three Signs That It May Be Time for Water Heater Replacement 

Nothing lasts forever––and that also goes for water heaters. Standard storage water heaters only last around 10 to 15 years. But how can homeowners know when it may be time for a replacement? Here are some common signs that water heater replacement is needed. 

There’s Corrosion 

old water heater Once there’s corrosion of the water heater, the entire unit generally needs replacing. That’s because: 

  • A rusted tank compromises the entire unit’s integrity: With a corroded water heater, homeowners could find themselves dealing with chronic leaks, low water pressure, and high energy bills. 
  • It can lead to water damage: As noted, a rusted storage tank can cause leaks. This does more than wastewater. It can also damage homeowners’ property, including flooring and sideboards. 
  • Rust can lead to safety hazards: Rust can damage the tank’s integrity, causing the system to leak or burst and flood the home. This does more than damage property. If the water comes into contact with electricity, there could also be an electrical hazard, making the home unsafe. 


It Doesn’t Heat Water as Well 

cold shower There’s no use in having a hot water heater if it doesn’t do its job properly. While some reasons for cold, lukewarm water, or hot water that runs out quicker are fixable, some issues causing them may warrant replacing the entire system. A plumber can determine the best solution for the water heater. Some possible causes of water heating issues include: 

  • There’s an issue with the heating element: While this component could be replaced, if the system itself is more than 10 years old, it’s more cost-effective to just replace it. Water heater life expectancy plays a critical role in when it’s time to replace it. 
  • There’s a problem with the pilot light: The pilot light turns on the heating element and heats the water inside the tank. If there’s something wrong with the pilot light, chances are, there are other components that need replacing. 
  • There are gas supply problems: Many water heaters rely on gas to operate. If there’s a gas leak, not only does this make a home unsafe, but it can affect how the appliances that use them operate. 

It’s Old or Constantly Needs Repairs 

It’s not uncommon for a water heater to need repairs now and then. Yet, if it always seems like a plumber is needed to fix a problem with it, this could warrant replacing the system. It can save money since older water heaters are less energy efficient, and the repair and energy costs add up.

Additionally, if a traditional storage water heater is past the 10-year mark or a tankless water heater is nearing the 20-year mark, it should be replaced. This can be beneficial as a new energy-efficient water heater will cost less to operate, and homeowners won’t have to deal with the problems of an aging water heater or a loss of hot water. 

About Scott Plumbing 

Scott Plumbing is a local family-owned business serving Huntsville and the surrounding areas. They offer straightforward pricing, same-day service, and always on-time service. Call them today for water heater installation and repair services in Huntsville, AL. 

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It's Not a Halloween Haunting. It's a Water Hammer!

How to Deal With the Noisy Pipes Behind Your Walls

It may be the appropriate season for haunted houses, scary movies, and spooky sounds, but while most of these are for Halloween, that loud banging sound behind the walls is not. They are likely the result of a plumbing phenomenon called a water hammer and should be fixed before they cause damaging consequences.

Water Hammers Explained

The sounds of banging pipes indicate a water hammer, which is often a result of increased pressure that occurs when the quick-moving flow of water is stopped or forced to change directions abruptly. Water hammer can be caused by issues such as fast-acting valves, worn valves, clogged air chambers, and loose pipes that aren't properly secured.   

In plumbing systems that are correctly installed and regularly maintained, this hydraulic shock doesn’t often occur because devices like water hammer arrestors and air chambers cushion the shock and prevent the vibration of pipes. However, when these air chambers become clogged or filled with water, or water hammer arrestors break, the buffer that prevents water hammer from occurring becomes nonexistent.

Hazards of a Water Hammer

water hammer While the first symptom of a water hammer homeowners notice, noisy pipes, may seem like a minor inconvenience that can be easily ignored, professional plumbers caution against neglecting this plumbing problem as it can lead to much worse problems for the pipes. 

The hazards of a water hammer are severe enough to warrant immediate attention because the stress it causes on the pipes can cause them to crack or burst. When a leak or rupture occurs in the piping, homeowners could find themselves with significant water damage to their homes, which can be costly and time-consuming to repair. 

Fixing a Water Hammer 

water hammer service Fortunately, fixing water hammer is something that plumbing professionals can do in a number of ways. One method for solving this problem is simply adjusting the water pressure-reducing valve to decrease the pressure in the pipes if high water pressure is causing it. 

Another potential fix is the installation of water hammer arrestors. A water hammer arrestor is a device that contains air-filled cylinders that are designed to absorb the hydraulic shock of a sudden valve shutoff. Air chambers filled with water will need to be drained to fix the water hammer if that is a cause.

Other possible methods to get rid of water hammers include fastening loose pipes with straps and screws to decrease movement or buffering pipelines with insulation to absorb shockwaves. Any number of these methods should be able to fix the problem, and plumbers can determine which needs to be done in a home to stop water hammers. 

About Scott Plumbing

Scott Plumbing has nearly ten years of expertise serving Huntsville and the surrounding areas. They offer straightforward pricing, on-time service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services in Huntsville, AL

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Keep an Eye Out for Water Leaks

Tips for Identifying a Leak Early

A water leak in a home’s plumbing is an issue that isn’t entirely unavoidable. Most homeowners will have dealt with a water leak at some point, and the best thing for them to do is to catch it early before it becomes a full-blown plumbing emergency that causes extensive water damage that requires significant time and money to resolve. To find leaks early, homeowners must know what to look for. 

Common Symptoms of a Leak at Home 

Some leaks at home will be visible and easy to spot, such as dripping faucets, leaking toilets, and puddles of water around fixtures. However, some leaks aren’t as apparent and require homeowners to know some of the common signs that point to a leak. 

Some indicators of a leak include poor water pressure from plumbing fixtures, mold growth, the sound of water running when nothing is using water, and signs of water damage, such as water stains, peeling paint, sagging ceilings, and damaged or warped floors. 

Monitor the Water Bills

billWhile most signs of a water leak rely on a homeowner’s senses of sight and hearing, another important sign of leaks requires homeowners to develop a habit. Homeowners should track how much they spend each month on water costs, as a spike in the water bill can also indicate a leak.  

If the water bill is higher than what the household is usually charged, barring any drastic changes in water consumption, then chances are high that the cost difference is due to a leak. Even small leaks like a dripping faucet can waste significant amounts of water, which is reflected in the water bills.

Watch the Water Meter

water meterHomeowners can also use their home’s water meter to determine the presence of a leak. Some water meter models have a built-in leak indicator, which usually takes the form of a red or blue triangle that moves or spins when it detects a leak. But even without this built-in leak detector, water meters are still a helpful tool for homeowners to identify a leak. 

A homeowner should first shut off all appliances and plumbing fixtures that use water and then take note of the water meter reading. After a few hours, the water meter should be rechecked, and if the reading has changed, it means that water has continued to run even when it wasn’t being used, which points to a water leak. Then, homeowners can move on from confirming its presence to scheduling professional services for water leak repair. 

About Scott Plumbing

Scott Plumbing is a family-owned and operated business serving Huntsville and the surrounding areas since 2014. They offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, and on-time service. Call them today for water leak detection and repair services in Huntsville, AL

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Get Back to the Basics With This Primer on All Things Plumbing

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Your Home’s Plumbing

A home’s plumbing system is one of its most vital components. The network of pipes that snake in and out of the house is its lifeblood, delivering clean water and removing waste and sewage. The importance of plumbing makes understanding how it works and how to take care of it one of the things that homeowners should take the time to do to keep their homes running smoothly.

Water-Saving Plumbing Fixtures at Home

tubWhile we often think of plumbing as the system of pipes that allow water and sewage to flow in and out of the house, the plumbing system also includes the fixtures through which water enters and exits the home. Plumbing fixtures include showerheads, bathtubs, faucets, and toilets.

The best kinds of plumbing fixtures feature water-saving technology that can reduce a homeowner’s water bills. Water-saving devices, whether they’re water-saving toilets, water-efficient faucets, or low-flow showerheads, not only conserve water but also help homeowners save money by lowering their water costs. This is why plumbing experts advise homeowners to install water-saving fixtures when replacing their older fixtures.

How to Tell if You Have Plumbing Problems

billTaking care of a home’s plumbing means being aware of and attuned to the little problems that may occur occasionally and calling a plumber at the first signs of trouble. Some signs that there could be issues in a home’s plumbing include:

  • Low water pressure: When water pressure drops, water coming out of fixtures may slow down to a trickle. This is usually caused by a clog or leak in the fixture or within the piping system.
  • Slow drains and standing water: This is usually caused by clogs and blockages that prevent water from draining correctly.
  • Unusually high water bills: High water bills without a change in water usage are usually caused by water leaks.
  • Discolored or foul-smelling water: This could be due to corrosion in the pipes or water heater or a sign that the water supply has been contaminated.

Maintenance Is the Key to Healthy Plumbing

Nipping a plumbing problem in the bud is always a good thing. But an even better way to keep homes running smoothly and avoid the unnecessary headache of a plumbing problem is to engage in routine plumbing maintenance. Plumbing maintenance should be conducted by a plumber about once a year.

Regular plumbing maintenance has many benefits for homeowners, including preventing issues, extending the life of the plumbing, and saving money. Maintenance can save money by catching problems and inefficiencies that can raise utility bills, preventing the need for early plumbing replacements, and preventing issues that would have needed repair. Homeowners can also help do their part to maintain a healthy plumbing system by practicing correct disposal habits, keeping drains clean, and being proactive about solving plumbing issues as they occur. 

About Scott Plumbing

Scott Plumbing is a local family-owned and operated company serving Huntsville and the surrounding areas. They offer award-winning service, straightforward pricing, and same-day service. Call them today for plumbing services in Huntsville, AL

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When Does a Home Need Garbage Disposal Repair?

Three Signs of a Failing Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are one of the fantastic modern tools that makes it easier to keep the kitchen clean. This hidden appliance grinds organic waste, allowing it to be put down the drain and travel safely through the pipes instead of going into the trash. With faulty garbage disposals, the food waste going down the drain may not be ground enough and cause problems for the plumbing, such as clogs. 

Like any other part of the house, a garbage disposal may occasionally need repair or may give out completely. Homeowners should not settle for half-functioning garbage disposals and get garbage disposal repair or replacement if the symptoms that are discussed in the following paragraphs are noticed.

Humming, Screeching, and Other Unusual Noises


While these appliances are not known for being quiet when they are operating, the garbage disposal that normally makes a grinding and whirring sound may change its tune if something has gone wrong. Some sounds indicating problems with the garbage disposal are:

  • Clanking: This can mean that a utensil has fallen into the disposal. A homeowner should quickly turn the disposal off and remove the silverware.
  • Humming: Garbage disposal humming usually happens when it is turned on, but it does not seem to be working. This typically means that it is jammed, and the blades cannot move. This safety feature can sometimes be fixed by hitting the reset button on the bottom of the appliance.
  • Screeching: This loud metallic sound usually means something is out of place or broken inside the unit or the motor has a problem. Homeowners should not use their disposal if it makes noises like this, as it could make things worse.

Slowing Down and Not Functioning Well

Poor performance is a sure sign that the garbage disposal has an issue or is nearing the end of its functional life. Several scenarios can signal poor performance of the unit. If it is taking longer than it should to do its job, it is frequently becoming clogged, or a homeowner must use the garbage disposal reset button often, then the garbage disposal in question should be looked at by a professional. 

There is no reason to put up with partially functional and ineffective garbage disposals when a professional can fix or replace them. When the garbage disposal is experiencing these performance issues, it can also cause problems for the plumbing, so fixing them quickly is important. 

Bad Odors


A garbage disposal that is experiencing problems can also stink up the kitchen. Bad garbage disposal smells can be attributed to several things, and sometimes it is just a matter of cleaning them to remove any food stuck on the blades. Still, sometimes there is a more significant problem that needs addressing. 

Bad smells could indicate the garbage disposal is jammed or clogged with food or could point to a clog in the piping below the garbage disposal that may have been caused by the garbage disposal not working well enough to grind food waste sufficiently to travel through the pipes. 

About Scott Plumbing

Scott Plumbing is a local family-owned and operated business serving Huntsville and the surrounding communities. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day service, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for kitchen plumbing and garbage disposal services in Huntsville, AL

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