Maximizing the Life and Performance of Your Water Heater

  • By Bulldog Rooter
  • 16 Nov, 2016

With winter fast approaching, now is the time to think about your water heater and make sure it is in good operating order. Water heaters are often overlooked in our daily lives, but a little bit of preventative maintenance will go a long way towards prolonging its life and increasing its efficiency. Checking your water heater can easily be incorporated into your general fall maintenance or winter-proofing schedule.

Water heaters are the  second-largest  contributor to household energy bills, after heating and air conditioning systems. For those living in cold climates, energy bills go way up in winter, and even those in milder climates typically see an increase in their energy consumption. That’s why it’s a great idea to pay special attention to your water heater in time for winter.

Tips for winter water heater efficiency include:

  • Turning down the temperature setting. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit not only for cost-savings, but to avoid burns, especially for children. Find out more about water heater temperature settings  here .

  • Reducing hot water attrition by taking shorter showers, fixing faucet and shower leaks, and replacing out-of-date wash machines and dishwashers with Energy Star models.

  • Insulating the pipes and tank of the water heater. Check with your utility company as to whether they offer rebates or low-cost installation.  

Routine maintenance on a water heater can be performed by a licensed professional or on a do-it-yourself basis, and typically involves:

  • Checking the temperature and pressure valve every 3-6 months.

  • Flushing out the water tank and removing any built-up sediment approximately once per year.

  • Inspecting and replacing the anode rod as needed.

For more information on how to perform these routine maintenance checks at home, find instructions  here !


Do you need to repair or replace your water heater in time for winter? We offer water heater repair, as well as full-service water heater installation, customized to the individual needs of each of our residential and commercial customers. No one wants to be without their hot water on a cold day, but if that happens, Bulldog Rooter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that we can get your hot water back up and running as soon as possible.


By Bulldog Rooter 04 Oct, 2017

As summer draws to a close, it’s important to make sure our homes are prepared for the cold winter months ahead. Preparing your home can help prevent broken or frozen pipes, and save you money down the road.


  1. Outdoor Water: If you have an indoor shutoff valve for the outdoor water, make sure you shut off the valve to ensure the water drains out of the faucets. Also remember to drain and store hoses so they don’t have to weather the cold outside. Another aspect of outdoor water to keep in mind are sprinkler systems. If you use a sprinkler system, make sure you get them blown out before it freezes to prevent cracking and damage. This will keep your sprinkler running for years to come.

  1. Prevent Frozen Pipes: A great way to ensure your pipes don’t freeze is to check the foundation of your home around pipes to make sure there aren’t any cracks or gaps that would allow cold air to pass over the pipes. This helps keep the water a safe temperature, and prevent broken or cracked pipes down the road.

  1. Adjust Your Water Heater: To keep your water heater running efficiently in the winter, the temperature should be set to 120 degrees.This will allow it to perform its best and prevent burn injuries.

  1. Have a Plumber Inspect Your House: A licensed plumber from Bulldog Rooter will know where the most plumbing problems occur in a home during the winter. An inspection won’t take long, and they can also give you tips on how to keep your plumbing in tip top shape all year long.

  1. Don’t Procrastinate! Waiting to complete any of these tasks can create quite a headache, for you and your wallet, down the road. Prepare for the cold early, before you run into any problems.


If problems with your plumbing do occur this winter, or if you’d like some advice or help answering questions on preparing your plumbing for the cold, call the experienced professionals at Bulldog Rooter. We can help answer any questions, and we’d love to help you keep your plumbing in the best possible shape all year long. Give us a call today at 509-535-3447 or visit our  website .

By Bulldog Rooter 09 Aug, 2017

Trying to unclog your pesky garbage disposal? Bulldog Rooter has got you covered. We know the steps and the process of maintaining, unclogging, and repairing a garbage disposal. Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier plumbing company. Bulldog Rooter experts are well-versed in fixing plumbing problems such as repairing main water and sewer lines, clogged drains in your shower, tub, toilet, or sink. We also do plumbing inspections on your pipes, water heaters, and water softening systems. Unclogging a disposal all begins with how much water you use.


Dropping forks or spoons down the disposal are usually the main culprit for the clogging of a garbage disposal. Along with larger objects, too much food and not enough water down the drain can lead to a serious clog. Never put a corn cob, artichokes, avocado pits, or bones down a disposal. However, sometimes food bits will sneak down the drain whether you want them to or not. After washing dishes, food will fall into the disposal.  Make sure you run the water for at least 30 seconds to really make sure everything is down and everything is flowing properly. A quick cleaning tip to live by:  every month put a lemon or ice cube in the drain and it will naturally clean it by removing grease  residue and giving that fresh lemon smell in return.


Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier 24-hour emergency service plumbing company. Our expert plumbing contractors pride themselves on customer service. If it’s fixing a frozen pipe, burst pipe or leaky faucet, from the moment you call, you become Bulldog Rooter’s first priority. Bulldog Rooter experts are well versed in fixing plumbing problems such as repairing main water and sewer lines, clogged drains in your shower, tub, toilet, or sink. We also do plumbing inspections on your pipes, water heaters, and water softening systems. Plumbing remodels in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry room is another Bulldog Rooter specialty. For more information visit our website at  bulldogrooter.com  or give us a call at (509) 535-3447.


By Bulldog Rooter 06 Jul, 2017

Limescale is commonly found on faucets, tubs, and other appliances. It appears to be a chalky, off-white, mineral deposit called “Alkaline.” It’s found on surfaces where “hard water” has evaporated. The white residue left over is grey or white, leaving a chalky texture.

How to Remove Limescale

Although, it is possible to scrub off limescale, it’s the hardest way to do it. Products like, vinegar and lemon juice are recommended to soak the limescale with. The more expensive alternative is buying a brand name product specifically for limescale removal.

To clean a faucet, you will first, need to get a rag and soak it in either vinegar or lemon juice. White vinegar is the overall best choice. After you soak the rag, wrap it around the faucet where the limescale is. Wrapping a rubber band around the rag will help apply more pressure. Finally, after an hour of letting it sit, use a rag or sponge to gently clean.

Cleaning sinks and tubs involve spraying the vinegar or lemon juice on the limescale, then letting it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. After waiting said time, wash off with a sponge or rag.

Toilets are a little different when it comes to limescale removal. Once again, vinegar and lemon juice will be needed, but creating a mixture with borax is suggested. Borax is often used in detergents and dissolves in water, so it will make it a lot easier to clean your toilet. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes and then you can begin scrubbing! Softening the limescale will make it easier to remove.

Our employees and contractors at Bulldog Rooter have many years of experience and take pride in our overall customer satisfaction. Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier plumbing company and offer a variety of services. Our plumbing contractors are able to fix all your plumbing problems and drain problems, including clogged sinks, toilets, showers, disposals, and other drain clogging issues. We also install water softening systems and water heaters, and perform commercial jetting. 

For more information about Bulldog Rooter visit our website at  www.bulldogrooter.com/home  or give us a call at 509-535-3447.


By Bulldog Rooter 21 Jun, 2017

Trying to find the best way to clean your drain? Bulldog Rooter can keep your drain clean and unclogged! Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier plumbing company. We can solve all your plumbing problems and drain unclogging needs!

 

Drain cleaning and unclogging all starts with, “what type of drain do I have?” If water is involved with your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry appliances, there has to be a drain! The first two things you should do to clean a clog is to use a liquid drain cleaner or a drain snake. Liquid drain cleaners are usually the first go-to product, but sometimes they just aren’t strong enough. The drain snake goes down, your drain and collects any built up of hair or objects stuck within the drain. The auger, according to acme tools, is your next best bet. Plumbers usually have one with them. The drain snake can’t get tough materials out like the auger can, because the auger is an electric powered drain cleaner and applies more force.                  

 

In the end, though, it’s important to know how to prevent drain clogging, because it all starts with you and what you put down your drains. And you can start by preventing clogs with your basic hygiene and grooming routines. Both the sink and shower drain have various kinds of hair catchers that you can buy. For showers, it’s important to brush your hair before showering to prevent loose hairs from going down the drain. Taking these simple steps will save you money and time.

 

Bulldog Rooter can unclog any drain with our many years of plumbing expertise. We provide multiple plumbing services. Our plumbing contractors are able to fix all your plumbing problems and drain problems, including clogged sinks, toilets, showers, disposals, and other drain clogging issues. We also install water softening systems and water heaters, and perform commercial jetting. 

For more information about how to unclog drains or Bulldog Rooter visit our website at

https://www.bulldogrooter.com

or give us a call at (509) 535-3447.


By Bulldog Rooter 23 May, 2017
Choosing the right improvement project for your home requires careful consideration. It should be balanced between personal preferences as well as how the project will impact the value of your home. This is especially important if you are considering selling in the future. Plumbing upgrades are not always on a homeowner’s radar when they consider value-added improvements. There are several things you can do that are excellent investments in your home.

It’s the little things
It is amazing what small upgrades will do to the value of your home as well as the aesthetics. Plumbing is no exception to this rule. Simple improvements like updated fixtures in the bath or a new faucet in your kitchen are cost effective and easy steps to take to increase value. Consider coordinating the fixtures throughout your home for a unified look and feel. Select from the same manufacturer and design family for a similar theme in every room.

 Eco-friendly
Green homes are not a passing fad, rather they are the way consumers, contractors and manufacturers are working together to preserve our planet. Low-flow devices can be added to your shower heads and faucets to save both money and natural resources. Additionally, consider installing energy efficient, low-flush toilets in your bathroom. New designs use only 1.5 gallons of water per flush compared to older toilet models that use up to five gallons. Even the toilets from just seven years ago use up to 3.5 gallons.

Capital improvements
Older plumbing can create big expenses for homeowners. From leaks to clogs, there are a lot of things that can go wrong as it ages. One big sign that an upgrade is needed is discolored water. This can mean your pipe material is breaking down. Additionally, if your fixtures are lead or iron, it might be time to consider upgrading to PVC or copper. Lead pipes, in particular, are cause for concern as they can leach toxins into your water. Finally, low water pressure is another issue that can signal the need for an upgrade. While the culprit might be as simple as a clogged pipe, it could point to a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.

 If you have questions about plumbing upgrades, the team at Bulldog Rooter is available to talk. Contact us today with questions about the best way to update your plumbing.
By Bulldog Rooter 07 Apr, 2017
Spring cleaning, yard cleanup, and gardening after a long winter seem to mark this time of year. Spring also allows us to assess any damage our properties sustained during the harsher winter months and gets our homes in good shape so we can enjoy the coming summer. Including a quick plumbing inspection both indoors and out is easy to add to your spring maintenance list, and can catch any problems that surfaced over the winter before they become bigger repairs.
By Bulldog Rooter 10 Mar, 2017
Plumbing problems can cause questions and concerns if you are not sure what is standard. Similar to a doctor being asked about medical issues, as plumbing contractors, we are often asked questions about what is normal for plumbing systems.
By Bulldog Rooter 15 Feb, 2017

A clogged drain can be more than just a little home nuisance. It could mean huge repairs if it is not cleared promptly or properly.  Many people try to unclog a drain on their own before calling in an expert. While light clogs can be effectively cleared by homeowners, often the tools they use can cause damage to their pipes down the road. Acid based drain cleaners are highly toxic and extremely corrosive to any metal component in your drain system. They also might not get to the actual source of the clog, only clearing a small portion of the problem. This can lead to an even tougher clog down the road.

At Bulldog Rooter , our drain cleaning professionals can help you clear clogs quickly and effectively. This can include floor drains, garbage disposals, sinks, toilets, showers and tubs and washers and wash tubs. We also offer video pipe inspections to help you determine (or rule out) any underlying issues further into your drainage system.
By Bulldog Rooter 31 Jan, 2017
Winter is in full swing here in Spokane, Washington, According to the Office of the Washington State Climatologist, the current la niña is contributing to an uncommonly cold winter season for the entire State of Washington. While we are battling frigid temperatures, snow, and freezing rain it is also important to be aware of what cold conditions can do to your plumbing systems.

In our December blog, we discussed the perils of frozen pipes and what you can do to prevent them. This is probably the most common winter plumbing issue we see at Bulldog Rooter, however, there are other plumbing concerns that can cause just as many issues.
By Bulldog Rooter 14 Dec, 2016
It seems like at this time of year—just about everything is turning cold! But just because the temperatures outside are rapidly falling, that doesn’t mean that the temperature in your home also has to drop!

Did you know that unfortunately, the pipes in your home can freeze when the weather outside turns frightful? And when your pipes are frozen, that can mean a number of things for you as homeowner, and none of them are ideal! Your home can be left without water for a prolonged period of time, or even worse, your pipes can burst! What do burst pipes mean for you and your home? Expensive property damage, that’s what!

If you are like us, we’d much rather spend our hard earned money in other ways, not on expensive property damage bills caused by a burst pipe! Here are the ways that you can take preventative steps to make sure your pipes remain in the best of shape this winter.
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