The EPA has been working to remove lead from drinking water for decades, yet it can still exist in trace amounts in municipal drinking water, or come from sources inside the home.
If your home was built prior to the 1980s, it's likely to have lead solder connecting the copper water pipes. Lead found in tap water often comes from corrosion of plumbing fixtures or the solder connecting the pipes. Today's plumbing fixtures must pass rigorous tests and be certified to contain levels of lead that are below safety thresholds.
Some major U.S. utilities use lead pipes to supply water from to homes and businesses. Because the pipes have been in use for a long time, they have formed a natural oxidation barrier that prevents lead from leeching into the water. Utilities will often add lime or orthophosphates as an additional barrier to prevent lead from getting into drinking water.
If you're concerned about lead in your home's drinking water, regular testing can help ensure that levels are safe to drink. In addition, EPA has an online guide called “How to Identify Lead Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Products” that can help you choose the right plumbing fixtures for your home.
Allentown, Pa, January 13, 2017: Who’s Who in Business, a consumer market research firm has announced that Maitz Home Services, a Lehigh Valley based Plumbing HVAC & Electrical company has been named as the winner in the Plumbing category for the top business in the Lehigh Valley for 2017. Who’s Who in Business contracts with an independent market research firm to conduct objective, unbiased surveys of Lehigh Valley residents to determine the market leader in each category.
Says Dave DeWalt, president of Maitz Home Services, “What started out in a barn on the east side of Allentown many years ago, has now grown into a regional business with 34 employees managing 10,000 service calls a year. I am proud of the accomplishments of my associates, and grateful to our customers that place their trust in us”
Maitz Home Services provides Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, Electrical, and Water Treatment services to homeowners in the Lehigh Valley, Pocono’s, Berks, Bucks, and Montgomery Counties. They offer extended hours 7 days a week with no additional charges.
For more information contact Dave DeWalt, 610-797-8722 ext 311
One way to extend the life of your water heater is to flush the tank annually to remove sediment buildup. Over time sediment can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, making heating less efficient and increasing the likelihood that corrosion will damage the tank. The process of flushing the tank is straightforward, here are the steps:
When you're finished draining the tank, return it to operating condition by following these steps:
IMPORTANT: Always read and follow all manufacturer’s directions and warnings for your particular water heater. Some water heater tanks must be completely full to avoid damage to the gas burner or heating elements.
Need assistance maintaining your water heater? Call Maitz Home Services, we can help.
Appliances that use natural gas for fuel, like your furnace, water heater or clothes dryer, rely on combustion to create heat. These appliances have traditionally utilized atmospheric combustion, or from air drawn inside the home, often from the basement. The combustion exhaust gases are then vented out of the flue or chimney. With sealed combustion appliances the supply and return air flow is tightly contained, so it does not have to rely on the air inside the home to convert fuel into heat.
The main advantage of sealed combustion is improved efficiency. To achieve an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 90 or higher, furnaces utilize sealed combustion. With sealed combustion, the furnace connects to the outdoor air through a supply and a return pipe. Because the air supplied to the furnace is outdoor air, and the flue gases are exhausted back outside furnace efficiency is increased because it is not heating air only to vent it outside.
Another advantage of sealed combustion is safety. Without an exposed flame, there is no risk of flammable materials near the appliance catching fire. Burning natural gas can also generate dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) gas, which is more likely to enter the home through backdraft in an sealed combustion chamber.
When smoke is visible coming from your oil-fired boiler, you may have what's known as "puffback". Puffback is the explosion of un-burned oil in the combustion chamber. If the quantity of oil is high enough, it can cause damage the boiler, the flue vent and can cause soot to enter the home.
There are several reasons that un-burned heating oil fuel can exist, including:
Faulty outlets are a common cause of electrical fires and electrocutions in the home. Outlets can present a danger for a number of reasons, including:
By inspecting your outlets for any of the conditions above you can protect your home and family from the risk of accidental electrocution or fire. If you need help, Maitz Home Services is here to answer all your electrical questions.
Whether you're considering buying an older home or renovating an old bathroom or kitchen in your current home, it's important to understand some of the unique problems that older plumbing systems can present. Pipes, sewer and drain lines and plumbing fixtures will often require upgrades to operate reliably. Before buying an older home, it's a good idea to have a professional plumber inspect the home to ensure it is up to code and all system are operating safely.
Other areas that should be inspected in older homes include:
Need help upgrading plumbing systems in your older home? Call Maitz Home Services. From water heaters to sump pumps and showers, we can help with all your home plumbing needs.
The slow filling toilet can be a real headache. It's one of the most common plumbing problems and can have several causes. With normal water pressure a toilet tank should refill in about three minutes.
If the toilet tank is slow to fill, first check the shut-off valve located behind the toilet. If work has been done on the plumbing system recently it may not have been reopened fully. Make sure it is all the way open for maximum flow. Next, try cleaning the pump and valve inside the toilet tank. Mineral buildup can cause the parts to stick in the open position or prevent the valve from closing tightly. If the toilet has an older-style ball cock assembly, we recommend that it be replaced with a new fill valve and float cup design.
If none of the above fixes work, call Maitz Home Services. We can can solve all your plumbing problems quickly.
One of the concerns we hear from homeowners when deciding between a conventional tank-style water heater and a tankless, or on-demand water heater, is whether the tankless unit will get the water hot enough. The short answer is yes.
Most tankless water heaters have a thermostat that can be adjusted between 100° to 140°, depending on the brand and model. By comparison, most tank water heaters have the temperature set around 120°.
The key to ensuring the water heater can supply a consistent 120° or higher is the climate and number of sources the tankless water heater will need to supply. It is critical that a tankless water heater is sized based on a household's needs. If the unit is too small for the amount of flow it’s being asked to produce it may work fine for a shower, but not work as needed when a washing machine and a shower are in use at the same time.
Tankless water heater ratings are based on the rise in water temperature they produce. The colder the temperature of the incoming water supply, the lower the maximum temperature of the heater. This means in a colder climate like the Northeast, you’ll need a larger tankless water heater than someone living in a warmer climate, like Georgia.
Have questions about which water heater is right for your home? Call Maitz Home Services. We're here to help.
Installing low-flow toilets is a great way to conserve water and reduce your water bill. By using about half the volume of water as a standard toilet, you can save around a gallon and a half of water per flush. That adds up to thousands of gallons of water saved every year.
Many states and municipalities now require low-flow toilets on new homes or when replacing a toilet when remodeling a bathroom. For most homeowners, the process is simple and straightforward, but what if your home is 50 years old or older? Can your plumbing system handle a lower flow toilet?
The key to whether a low-flow toilet will function in an older home is the waste drain pipe slope. The waste pipe beneath a toilet needs a slope of between 1/8-in. and 1/4-in. per foot for the water to carry solid waste to the sewer. If it's too steep or not steep enough, the flow of water could allow waste to collect, causing a clog.
In some older homes the slope may not have been carefully planned. Since older toilets had plenty of flushing power with 3 gallons of water to work with, it may not have been a concern.
If you have an older house, here are some things to be aware of if you decide to install low-flow toilets.
If you're concerned that your older plumbing system may not be able to safely handle a low-flow toilet, consider installing a unit with a pressure-assisted flush that uses water pressure to charge a compressed-air tank inside the toilet tank. When flushed, it will use the compressed air to drive water out of the bowel fast, forcing it down the drain and into the waste line with enough force to remove solid waste.
Have questions about low-flow toilets? Call Maitz Home Services. We can help answer all your plumbing questions.
The sump pump is one of those plumbing systems that most homeowners don't think about. A sump pump is designed to turn on automatically when the basement begins to flood. If it malfunctions and doesn't turn on, it can cause expensive damage to your home. By following a few simple maintenance steps you can reduce the chances that your sump pump will fail when you need it the most.
IMPORTANT: Before removing the pump always disconnect the unit from the power supply, and reconnect it after cleaning.
Quarterly Sump Pump Maintenance
1. Clean the pump screen or inlet opening. If your sump collects the discharge from an washing machine, cleaning will be required for often.
2. Pour enough water into the sump pit to cycle the pump and ensure proper functioning.
Annual Sump Pump Maintenance
Remove and and clean the pump. Clean the pump pit also. Do not lubricate or perform any other maintenance unless the pump's instruction manual says to do so. Ensure that the float arm is able to smoothly move up and down to active the pump.
Have sump pump questions? Call Maitz Home Services, we can help.