Essential Tips for Keeping Your Home’s Plumbing in Top Shape

Plumbing maintenance

Your home’s plumbing system is an intricate network of pipes, fixtures, and appliances designed to provide clean water and efficient wastewater removal. To ensure the longevity and proper functioning of this essential system, performing regular maintenance is vital. With this comprehensive guide to residential plumbing maintenance, you can learn the necessary steps to keep your home’s plumbing in top shape. Moreover, entrust your plumbing needs to the experts at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, who have been providing quality services in Portland, OR, and surrounding areas since 1927.

It’s crucial to understand the common issues that may arise in residential plumbing systems, as well as the preventative measures homeowners can take to avoid costly repairs. From inspecting your plumbing fixtures to learning the importance of regular maintenance, this article will help you make informed decisions and ensure a dependable, efficient plumbing system throughout your home. So, let’s dive into the world of residential plumbing maintenance and discover essential tips to preserve the integrity of your home’s plumbing system.

Recognizing Common Residential Plumbing Issues

Understanding the common problems that affect residential plumbing systems is the first step toward effective maintenance. Here are some issues that homeowners frequently encounter:

  1. Leaky Faucets: A persistent drip from faucets can lead to increased water bills and cause damage to your fixtures. Leaks usually occur due to worn-out washers or valve seats, which a professional plumber can easily replace.
  2. Clogged Drains: Hair, soap scum, and foreign objects can clog your drains, causing slow water flow and unpleasant smells. Regularly clean your drain stoppers to prevent blockages, and avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the pipes.
  3. Running Toilets: Faulty flappers, fill valves, or an improperly adjusted float could all be causes for a constantly running toilet. If not addressed in time, this problem can result in wasted water and higher utility bills.
  4. Low Water Pressure: Sediment buildup, corrosion, or leaks can cause low water pressure in your home. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can prevent low water pressure from becoming a persistent issue.

Essential Residential Plumbing Maintenance Tips

  1. Inspect for Leaks: Regularly check your faucets, toilets, showerheads, and exposed pipes for any signs of dripping water. Quickly addressing minor leaks can prevent wasting water and costly damage to your fixtures.
  2. Insulate Pipes: Insulate your exposed water pipes to prevent freezing during the colder months. Frozen pipes can burst and require significant repairs. Insulating your pipes can also increase the efficiency of your hot water system and save on heating costs.
  3. Keep Drains Clear: Regularly clean drains to prevent blockages. Use a drain strainer to catch debris and avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain. Schedule professional drain cleaning services if you notice recurring clogs.
  4. Maintain Your Water Heater: Flush your water heater annually to remove sediment buildup that can cause corrosion and reduce efficiency. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends setting your water heater’s temperature to 120°F to save energy and prevent scalding accidents.
  5. Test Sump Pumps: If your home has a sump pump, test it annually by pouring water into the sump pit. Ensure the pump activates, clears the water, and turns off automatically.

Importance of Regular Plumbing Inspections

Regularly scheduling professional plumbing inspections is a proactive approach to maintaining your home’s plumbing system. Here’s why regular inspections are essential:

  1. Detect Hidden Leaks: Professional plumbers use advanced tools to locate leaks hidden within walls, ceilings, or floors. Early detection can prevent further damage and save on costly repairs.
  2. Identify Corroded Pipes: Inspection can reveal corroded pipes that can lead to low water pressure and water discoloration. Timely replace rusty pipes to avoid unexpected pipe failures.
  3. Monitor Water Pressure: Maintaining optimal water pressure is crucial for the plumbing system’s longevity. Professional plumbers can measure the water pressure and recommend appropriate adjustments if needed.
  4. Evaluate Fixture Efficiency: Regular inspections ensure your plumbing fixtures are functioning efficiently, preventing water wastage and conserving energy.
  5. Extend System Lifespan: Proper maintenance, including regular inspections, helps extend the life of your plumbing system, saving you money in the long run.

How to Choose a Reliable Residential Plumbing Service Provider

Selecting a trustworthy and experienced plumbing service provider is essential to keep your home’s plumbing in top shape. Follow these tips to find the right plumber:

  1. Experience and Skills: Look for a plumber with proven experience in residential plumbing who can handle diverse issues and has the vital skills required.
  2. Licensing and Insurance: Ensure the plumbing provider is licensed and adequately insured to protect you from liability in case of accidents or damage during the plumbing work.
  3. Reputation: Seek recommendations from friends or family members, and check online reviews and testimonials to assess the plumber’s credibility.
  4. Customer Service: An excellent plumbing service provider should prioritize customer satisfaction — addressing your concerns and providing clear communication.
  5. Emergency Services: Choose a plumbing company that offers emergency services, ensuring prompt attention during unexpected plumbing issues.

Eco-Friendly Plumbing Practices for Homeowners

Adopting environmentally friendly plumbing practices can help conserve water and energy and reduce your utility bills. Some green plumbing tips include the following:

  1. Install WaterSense-labeled faucets and showerheads to reduce water usage without sacrificing performance.
  2. Opt for dual-flush or low-flow toilets to save water with each flush.
  3. Fix leaks promptly to prevent water wastage.
  4. Upgrade to an Energy Star-certified water heater to reduce energy consumption.
  5. Use eco-friendly drain cleaners instead of harsh chemicals to keep your drains clear and protect the environment.

By implementing these residential plumbing maintenance tips, you can maintain a reliable and efficient system in your home, avoiding costly repairs and ensuring the comfort of your family.

Your Reliable Partner for Residential Plumbing Maintenance

Keeping your home’s plumbing system in top shape is essential for the comfort, convenience, and well-being of your family. By understanding common plumbing issues, implementing essential maintenance tips, scheduling regular inspections, and choosing a reputable plumbing service provider, you can prevent costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your home’s plumbing system. For the ultimate in residential plumbing care, turn to the trusted professionals at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in Portland, OR, and surrounding areas. With decades of experience and proven expertise, our team will work tirelessly to ensure your home’s plumbing system is reliable, efficient, and eco-friendly.

Schedule your residential plumbing inspection with D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today and experience the difference that a dedicated, professional team can make in preserving the integrity of your home’s plumbing infrastructure. Contact us now and invest in the well-being of your home.

Understanding Commercial Plumbing: An In-Depth Guide

Commercial plumbing

Plumbing is an integral part of modern infrastructures vital for maintaining the health and hygiene of commercial spaces. With diverse building designs and assorted plumbing requirements, understanding commercial plumbing is essential for businesses. Dive into this comprehensive guide to gain in-depth knowledge of commercial plumbing and how experts at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling can help you maintain your plumbing systems in Portland, OR, and surrounding areas.

Since 1927, D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling has been the trusted choice for businesses looking for efficient and reliable plumbing services in the area. This article aims to familiarize business owners, facility managers, and property owners with the essential aspects of commercial plumbing. From identifying key plumbing services to the importance of regular maintenance, this guide covers everything you need to know about commercial plumbing essentials. So gear up to explore the world of commercial plumbing and learn how to achieve optimal plumbing performance within your business or commercial property.

Importance of Commercial Plumbing Systems

A well-maintained commercial plumbing system is essential for the smooth functioning of any business. Commercial plumbing involves designing, installing, and maintaining plumbing systems in commercial properties such as office buildings, restaurants, retail spaces, and multi-family residences. Proper plumbing systems ensure the supply of clean water and the efficient removal of wastewater, preventing potential health hazards. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), inadequate plumbing can lead to the contamination of drinking water and the spread of waterborne diseases. Moreover, a poorly maintained plumbing system can lead to problems like increased utility bills, mold growth, and property damage.

Key Services Offered by Commercial Plumbers

  1. Installation and Design: A well-planned plumbing system installed by a licensed commercial plumber is crucial to providing clean water and efficient drainage in commercial properties. Commercial plumbing systems are generally more complex than residential ones, requiring expert knowledge and skills. D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling specializes in designing and installing plumbing systems that meet the specific needs of your commercial space. They work closely with contractors, architects, and engineers to ensure that the plumbing system is integrated seamlessly during the construction process.
  2. Maintenance and Repairs: Regular maintenance of commercial plumbing systems is essential to prevent minor issues from turning into costly problems. Commercial plumbers at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling offer services such as routine inspections, cleaning the drains and grease traps, checking for leaks or corrosion in pipes, and repairing any plumbing devices or fixtures. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can prevent downtime for your business and save on long-term expenses.
  3. Upgrades and Retrofits: Commercial properties constantly need to stay updated with building codes and water efficiency standards. It is crucial to have a plumbing expert who can help you make informed decisions about upgrading or retrofitting your plumbing system according to new regulations, including touching on water-saving technologies. D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling is well-versed with industry standards and offers retrofitting services that modernize your plumbing system while improving both water and energy efficiency.
  4. Backflow Prevention and Testing: Backflow is the reverse flow of contaminated water into the clean water supply, posing serious health risks to occupants. Commercial properties are required by law to install and maintain approved backflow prevention devices that protect the potable water system from contamination. Qualified plumbers at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling can install, test, and repair backflow prevention devices to ensure compliance with local regulations and guarantee a safe water supply.
  5. Emergency Plumbing Services: Commercial properties can experience sudden plumbing emergencies such as pipe bursts, severe drainage problems, or malfunctioning plumbing fixtures. Prompt attention to these issues is essential to keep your business running smoothly. D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling offers 24-hour emergency services to address any unexpected plumbing issues efficiently and effectively.

How to Choose the Right Commercial Plumbing Service Provider

Having a reliable commercial plumbing partner is crucial for maintaining a hassle-free and efficient plumbing system in your commercial space. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right plumbing service provider:

  1. Experience and Expertise: Look for a plumbing company with proven experience in handling commercial plumbing projects. They should be familiar with local regulations and industry standards and have the necessary skills to manage the complexities of commercial plumbing systems.
  2. Licensing and Insurance: Ensure that the plumbing company you choose is licensed to provide commercial plumbing services in your area. Adequate insurance coverage is also essential to protect you from liability in case of accidents or damage during plumbing work.
  3. Reputation: Seek recommendations from other businesses or property owners with similar plumbing requirements. Check online reviews and testimonials to gauge customer satisfaction with the company’s services.
  4. Availability: The commercial plumbing company you choose should be accessible and reliable, responding promptly to your needs. Look for a company that offers 24-hour emergency services to handle unexpected plumbing issues.
  5. Customized Solutions: Your plumbing system is unique to your business. Choose a plumbing provider that listens to your concerns and requirements and offers tailored solutions to meet your specific needs.

Preventative Strategies for Optimal Plumbing Performance

It is crucial to follow preventative strategies to maintain an efficient commercial plumbing system. Here are a few preventive measures you can implement in your commercial space:

  1. Schedule regular plumbing inspections and maintenance to catch any potential issues before they lead to major problems.
  2. Educate your staff on the proper use and maintenance of plumbing fixtures, appliances, and drains.
  3. Establish a schedule for grease trap cleaning, especially in commercial kitchens, to prevent blockages and maintain hygiene.
  4. Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean drains as they may corrode pipes and harm the environment.
  5. Install water-saving devices such as low-flow faucets, toilets, and urinals to reduce water usage and save on utility bills.

A Trusted Partner for Your Commercial Plumbing Needs

Commercial plumbing systems are essential for the smooth operation of your business and for maintaining the health and safety of your employees and customers. By understanding its importance, key services, and preventative strategies, you can take the necessary steps to ensure optimal plumbing performance. Partner with the trusted experts at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling to take care of all your commercial plumbing needs in Portland, OR, and surrounding areas. With a dedicated team of experienced and licensed professionals, they will provide comprehensive services, from installation and regular maintenance to emergency repairs and preventative measures.

Don’t leave the well-being of your business and the comfort of your occupants to chance. Get in touch with the team at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today, and let them help you build a dependable and efficient plumbing system for your commercial space. Ensure your peace of mind by choosing the right plumbing partner – call D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling now.

Leaking Pipes: What to Avoid

blue pipe leaking water

blue pipe leaking water

Every day your pipes work to move waste out and transfer clean water in. The average home’s plumbing system works well enough that, at its very best, you hardly notice it at all. But when something goes wrong, suddenly the state of your pipes is all you can think about. Some may be tempted to put off plumbing repairs, especially if the leak appears minor. However, even the smallest drip can waste up to eight gallons of water a day, and that excess moisture can cause a variety of costly and frustrating problems.

At D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, we can help you avoid wasting money on your water bill, while also preventing damage to your home.

How to Find a Water Leak

Not all leaks look the same. And since a good portion of your plumbing reaches into places that you cannot easily access, it’s important to know the signs of a leaking pipe. To do this, it can be as simple as looking back at your past handful of utility bills. Consider the size of your family – a household of four uses less than 12,000 gallons per month on average. Take that statistic and adjust it for the size of your family, and if you use far more than that then you may have a hidden water leak.

You can also detect leaks using your water meter. You can check the meter before and after a two-hour period of using no water in the house, and if the reading differs then you likely have some kind of leak.

What Do Leaking Pipes Damage?

Water waste caused by leaking pipes is a big environmental issue. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that over one trillion gallons of water in the United States goes to waste every year due solely to plumbing leaks. On a much smaller, but still substantial scale, a leaking pipe can also cause a great deal of property damage – enough to render a home unsafe to inhabit.

Walls

Your plumbing spider webs behind the walls of your home, and if there’s a leaking pipe you run the risk of damp drywall. This deteriorates the structure of your home over time, and it may attract insects or the development of mold. You can catch this early by detecting a musty odor in certain areas of the home or looking for discolored patches on the walls around you.

Flooring

Much like the walls, excess moisture from plumbing leaks can also damage the flooring of your home. The water that escapes your pipes travels downhill to your floors, resulting in misshapen and discolored boards, or tiles that detach altogether. You don’t want the expense of a full floor replacement, so call a licensed plumber and they can fix the issue before it gets that far.

Fixtures

Leaks in your plumbing don’t only concern drains and pipes – they can also damage the faucets around your home. Faucets and showerheads are especially vulnerable, and if a leak lowers your water pressure it can result in reduced performance. When left unchecked for a long enough period of time, you may have to pay upwards of $500 dollars to replace the broken fixture.

Mold

Mold loves moisture. So, if there’s a leak in your plumbing, that invites mold spores to gather inside the structure of your home. Mold can result in several long-term health issues, as well as immediate irritation to those with allergies or sensitive immune systems. That’s why it’s so important to address leaking pipes sooner rather than later. 

Slab Leak Repair

A slab leak occurs when there’s a water leak in the plumbing underneath your concrete foundation. This could be the result of shifts in the ground, mistakes during insulation, or erosion – and it’s a very serious problem. It can cause flood damage to personal belongings, as well as foundation damage due to the movement of the soil. Many plumbing companies in Portland don’t offer slab leak repair, as it can be very labor-intensive. But with D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling it’s easy, and our team knows how to reline your pipes without cutting into your concrete at all. What matters most is that you call us as soon as you suspect a leak, because that initiative just might be the thing to save you time, money, and a lot of trouble.

Fix Leaking Pipes With D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling boasts 95 years of satisfied customers, and when you look at what we have to offer it’s easy to see why. Unlike our competitors, we’re able to diagnose, detect, and repair a leaking pipe, all in the very same session. We have a team of Journeyman Plumbers that are all licensed, bonded and insured – ready to handle scheduled appointments as well as emergency calls. Our customers trust us to support their homes in much the same way that their foundation does, and we think we can support you too. So stop ignoring that strange smell or new stain in your home. Contact D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today and we’ll get things flowing right again.

Brown Friday: Why Plumbers Are So Busy After Thanksgiving

Plumber holding a toilet plunger

Plumber holding a toilet plungerEveryone looks forward to Black Friday shopping deals. But plumbers have an entirely different experience on the Friday after Thanksgiving!

Our experienced D and F Plumbing team knows better than to make big shopping plans on “Brown Friday” because we’re sure to be busy. Today, we will talk about common plumbing emergencies that happen on this notorious day. Enjoy!

Big Family Gatherings Put Extra Pressure on Your Plumbing

All year long, your Grandma’s plumbing has the “duty” of disposing of gray water, waste and solids for one or two people. (See what we did there?) Slightly clogged drains and plumbing don’t act up, and no one suspects a problem. Maybe Grandma only runs the dishwasher a few times a week, and she has a small appetite.

Everything seems fine! The toilet flushes and the sinks and showers drain normally. All is well at Grandma’s house.

Then, after a magical day of cooking for 20 family members, feasting, cleaning and overindulgence, the added strain is suddenly too much. Toilets back up, sinks get clogged, and Grandma doesn’t know what to do.

Grandma needs to call a plumber.

Grandma, You’re Not Alone

The day after Turkey Day is almost always our busiest day of the year. We don’t make plans to watch the Macy’s Christmas Parade or stampede the local Walmart for cheap electronics.

Like the professional football players on TV on Thanksgiving Day, we’ve been training for this all year long. Brown Friday is our time to shine!

What Causes Plumbing Problems on Brown Friday?

Every household is unique, and every plumbing job has challenges. On Brown Friday, we usually find ourselves dealing with:

  • Clogged toilets and pipes because someone flushed feminine products, diapers, wipes and the like.
  • Sink problems and garbage disposal issues caused by turkey bones or tin foil in the system.
  • Bathroom drain issues that went unnoticed until five extra guests spent the weekend.
  • Guest bathroom issues that no one noticed because the room hasn’t been used much since last year.

If you’re like Grandma and need emergency plumbing services on a holiday, contact the “Plumbers in Plaid.” We’ve been training hard for this all year and are ready to serve the entire Portland Metro area.

Your next question is, “How can I prevent Brown Friday emergencies?” Let’s find out.

How to Prevent Holiday Plumbing Problems

Grandma has an old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And, as usual, she’s not wrong!

During the pre-holiday scramble, be aware of your water use. You may wash more laundry — think drapes and guest bedding — and run the dishwasher more often after making all those pumpkin pies. Keep an eye on your drains, and call a licensed journeyman plumber if you notice any slowness. Sometimes a quick “snake” can solve problems before they happen.

If you have a guest bathroom that’s rarely used, take it for a test drive! Spend some quality time there before Turkey Day. (You can even use the little fancy guest soaps and embroidered towels. We won’t tell.) Instead of fleeing your personal aromas immediately, stick around to ensure everything drains and flushes quickly and quietly.

Warning Signs

The best way to prevent Brown Friday mishaps is to maintain your plumbing before the holidays. Watch out for these warning signs:

  • Toilets that need plunging often, even when you’re not flushing a #2.
  • The kitchen sinks drain slowly.
  • The dishwasher backs up into the kitchen sink.
  • Any water backs up into your bathtub or shower.
  • Gurgling sounds are coming from a faucet.
  • Poor water pressure.
  • Unusually high water bills.
  • Any wetness in your basement or a puddle around your sump pump.

Hopefully, your Thanksgiving weekend will go off without a hitch. But emergencies don’t always happen during regular business hours. And if you need emergency plumbing on a holiday weekend, you can count on the team at D and F Plumbing. We’ve been training for this all year.

Fall Plumbing Tips

A rainstorm soaks the roof of a house and a tree

A rainstorm soaks the roof of a house and a tree

Vibrant colored leaves, pumpkin spiced everything, and oddly early Christmas decorations in stores. Yep, it’s fall alright- and while we can’t wait to down our apple cider and dig in to some pumpkin pie, we also can’t forget that a new season brings new challenges to our home’s plumbing. Here are some tips to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape this fall.

Keep Your Gutters Clear

Fall means brilliantly covered leaves scattered everywhere- and by everywhere, we also mean the places you don’t want them. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can collect in your gutters, causing them to become clogged and overflow. Instead of water finding its way through the gutters and downspout, it’ll pour over, pooling around your house. This can erode your foundation and potentially cause flooding. Sections of your gutters could even collapse under the weight of all that water. Make sure you inspect your gutters each year in early fall, or even late summer, to make sure they’re clear of any major blockages.

Winterize Your Outdoor Faucets

The changing of the seasons means lower temperatures, so you’ll want to make sure your outdoor faucets are drained and properly insulated. First, shut off the interior valve to the outdoor faucets. With the valve turned off, next you’ll want to turn the outdoor faucet on to drain out any residual water that could potentially freeze and cause a burst pipe. Then, cover the outdoor faucets to insulate them from the cold weather.

Drain Your Water Heater

Did you know sediment will build up in your water heater? This can greatly reduce its heating efficiency- and when the weather starts getting colder, you’ll want all the efficiency you can get. You’ll want to have your water heater periodically drained and inspected by professionals so the warm water will keep flowing when you need it most. 

Check Your Sump Pump

They have an amusing name but sump pumps serve an important function. They are responsible for pumping excess water away from your home. Fall brings rain in the Pacific NW. This can cause flooding if you have a sump pump and it isn’t functioning properly. There’s plenty of water in a Pacific Northwest winter, so you’ll want to take the time to inspect your sump pump. You can test your sump pump by pouring a bucket of water into the sump basin and watching to see if it pumps the water away. If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to call a professional to have it repaired or replaced.

Local Plumbing Experts

Proper preparation can potentially help you avoid thousands of dollars worth of damage and provide you with peace of mind. This fall, call the plumbing experts at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. We have convenient locations in both Vancouver WA, and Portland OR. We’ve provided quality local plumbing services to the area for over 95 years! We’ve seen a few autumns, so we know how to protect your plumbing from the hazards that the rainy Pacific Northwest can present. Don’t wait- contact D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today!

Go Energy Efficient and Get a Huge Tax Credit

The sun shines on rooftop soalr panels

The sun shines on rooftop soalr panels

Just a few weeks ago, the Inflation Reduction Act was passed and it will have a big impact on your wallet as a homeowner.

While it’s yet to be seen if this new act will have an impact on the cost of gas and groceries, it will make transitioning to an all-electric, energy-efficient lifestyle more affordable.

We wanted to share all the details, and highlight how we can help you make the switch with ease. Here is the best info we have at this point:

What is the Inflation Reduction Act? (IRA)

The Inflation Reduction Act is a new act that was passed with the intention of reducing inflation in the United States. Some of the ways it can attempt to do this is by offering incentives for people to switch to more energy-efficient systems in their homes, like heat pump water heaters.

These incentives will come in the form of tax credits and rebates for the purchase and installation of new clean energy technology.

What home improvements will be incentivized?

The IRA will incentivize a variety of home improvements, but one that will have a big impact on your plumbing is a new water heater. If you upgrade to a high-efficiency all-electric heat pump water heater, you could receive up to $1,750 in tax credits and rebates.

Here are some other non-plumbing-related home improvements you can make to receive similar incentives:

Installing rooftop solar: The IRA provides 30% off the cost of rooftop solar, which amounts to average savings of $7,000, according to estimates from the Sierra Club. The bill also offers 30% off the cost of home batteries for the first time.

Switching to electric appliances: The Inflation Reduction Act offers homes up to $14,000 in rebates to switch over to electric appliances — covering up to 50% of the costs for moderate-income households and 100 percent of the costs for low-income households.

This includes up to:

  • $8,000 for a heat pump, which serves as an air conditioner in the summer and heater in the winter

  • $1,750 for a high-efficiency, all-electric heat pump water heater

  • $840 for an electric induction cooktop

  • $840 for a high-efficiency all-electric heat pump clothes dryer

  • Up to $9,100 for enabling improvements to the electric panel, wiring, and home insulation

Improving energy efficiency: An alternative rebate option offers to cover more than 50% of the cost of whole-home energy efficiency retrofit or more than 80% in the case of homes occupied by low to moderate-income households.

Households that do not participate in either rebate program can still claim a variety of home energy tax credits, which are improved and extended for 10 years by the bill.

And if you invest in rental homes or apartments: The IRA’s investment incentives aren’t just for individual homeowners. The bill provides rebates of up to $400,000 for whole-building energy efficiency retrofits in large multifamily apartment buildings as well as grants and loans worth $1 billion in total for improving efficiency and installing zero-emission equipment in affordable housing units.

There are also other credits for purchasing new and used electric vehicles.

Benefits of upgrading to a heat pump water heater

Water heaters usually only last 8-12 years, so if yours is nearing the end of its life, you might be due for an upgrade anyway. And with the IRA, there is no better time to switch to a more energy-efficient water heater. Here are 5 benefits of heat pump water heaters:

1. Save money on your energy bill: Heat pump water heaters are 4x more efficient than standard electric water heaters, so a typical family can save around $300-400 per year by switching. This helps offset the cost of installation, which is generally higher for these much more efficient pieces of equipment.

2. Longer lifespan: Heat pump water heaters tend to last longer. Between 10-15 years, while a standard water heater will only last 8-12.

3. Less wear and tear: Since heat pump water heaters don’t use as much electricity to heat water, there is less wear and tear on the system overall. This means you can go longer without needing repairs or replacements.

4. Environmentally friendly: Heat pump water heaters don’t use as much electricity, which means they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, when compared to gas water heaters, studies have shown a reduction in emissions by 50% and more!

5. Functions as an A/C: If your water heater is located inside your home, the heat pump water heater can also help with cooling in the summer. By moving heat from the water in the tank to the air around it, the water heater takes on a dual role as an air conditioner.

Can I start taking advantage of these benefits now?

Starting in 2023, tax credits and rebates will be available for many of the home improvements listed above. So if you’re thinking about making any upgrades to your home, it may be worth waiting just a little longer to receive a bigger discount.

In the meantime, our Plumbers in Plaid can help make sure your water heater is in good shape to last until it’s time to upgrade in 2023.

Fall is quickly approaching, which means now is the perfect time to schedule a check-up or maintenance appointment for your water heater. We can also show you the options available if you want to upgrade to a new water heater in the new year. Here’s to saving money and energy in the years to come!

The Plumbers in Plaid

P.S. Want to learn more about high-efficiency heat pump water heaters? Click here.

Preparing Your Plumbing for the Rain

Rain drops spilling out of a gutter

Rain drops spilling out of a gutterApril showers bring May flowers, and… plumbing issues? With the rainy season right around the corner, it is essential to prioritize the comfort of your home, and nobody wants to clean the muck out of gutters in the middle of a storm!

Your plumbing fixtures are especially vulnerable to rain when it hasn’t rained for more than a month – here in the Pacific Northwest, that usually means late summer or early fall. Plumbing problems usually happen around this time because over the dry months of summer, layers of sediment are able to build up inside of drainage pipes. Once it starts raining again, this sediment can disrupt the flow of water and cause mass blockages. To avoid expensive problems like clogging, leaking, or flooding, it’s important to prepare your plumbing for the rain.

Clogged Gutters

Gutters are an essential part of your home’s plumbing system. They collect debris and water and guide it down the perimeter of your home. A good set of gutters not only protects your home from damage but also protects the terrain around your home from erosion. Before we transition into the rainy season, you should inspect and clean your gutters to ensure they’re performing at their full potential.

Ruptured Pipes

Nobody wants to deal with broken pipes. Unfortunately, they’re more common than people think, and they can be very difficult to locate or repair. Ruptured pipes often happen when it rains because the soil surrounding the plumbing fixtures becomes saturated with water and pushes on the pipes. Tree roots can also cause ruptures by growing through pipes and disrupting the flow of water.

Ruptured pipes can be particularly damaging because they allow soil and debris to enter the passage and disturb the flow of water throughout your system. It’s important to get regular inspections to ensure your pipes are prepared to withstand the rain and contact a professional right away if you notice a problem.

Signs You Need a Professional Plumber

Overlooking the signs of a serious plumbing problem could land you with a plumbing emergency. Leaking, flooding, and other problems can be expensive if you don’t catch them right away. Here are some crucial signs that you need a professional plumber:

  • Sewage backflow smell
  • Slow water drainage
  • Septic flooding
  • Visible leaking
  • Water pooling

Local Plumbing Experts in Portland OR

A little bit of effort could spare you the headaches of flooding, leaking, and other expensive damage. If you’ve noticed some warning signs or just want to make sure your plumbing system is in tip-top shape for the rainy season, D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling can help!  Your home’s safety is our top priority, and our skilled technicians provide personalized recommendations to get you the best results and emergency plumbing services. Whether you need help preparing your pipes for the rain or have an emergency in the middle of a storm, we have you covered – just contact us today to get your free estimate!

Summer Plumbing Tips

Water trickling out of an outdoor water spigot

Water trickling out of an outdoor water spigotWith the soaring temperatures, a reliable water source is crucial during the hot summer months. We need it to water the lawn and the flowers, wash vehicles, and fill pools. Plumbing issues that interrupt your water usage are never convenient but they’re especially problematic during the heat of summer. While looking for potential plumbing issues in your home may not be top of mind, it can protect your plumbing from costly damage and disruption. Here are some summer plumbing tips to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape all summer long.

What to Look For

During the spike of summer heat, most homeowners are probably thinking about fun in the sun, not their pipes and drains. Here’s a list of things you can check to avoid any interruptions to your water supply during the dog days of summer. 

  • Clogs and buildups: For many of us, the summer weather may mean more showers (or baths, for the kids). If you’re using a shower or bathtub and water is draining more slowly than usual, it’s most likely due to an accumulation of debris. Don’t wait to unclog your drain. The longer you leave a blocked drain clogged, the worse it will likely get, especially with increased summer usage. 
  • Water pressure: The optimal water pressure is between 40 and 60 PSI. A water pressure gauge can tell you if the pressure in your plumbing is outside this range, which can indicate a problem. If your pressure is outside this range, you should consider calling a local plumber.
  • Leaks or broken pipes: Summertime is a great time to inspect pipes and plumbing fixtures in and around your house. Homeowners should check for cracks and leaks in pipes, faucets (indoor and outdoor), shower heads, toilets and sprinkler systems at least once per year.
  • Water heater issues: You’ll want to inspect your water heater for any signs of leaking, like rust or water pooling around or underneath it. Also, if you have a summer vacation planned, most water heaters have a dial or switch for ‘vacation’ or ‘low’. Changing this setting before you leave can save you some money.

Your Local Plumbing Experts

If you find leaks or damage while inspecting your pipes or plumbing fixtures in the Portland OR area, you can count on the experts at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling! We’ve proudly served homes and businesses in the area since 1927. We’re dedicated to providing you with fast and dependable services that you can rely on. From pipes and drains to water heaters and other plumbing appliances, our team has you covered! Give us a call today to get your personalized quote.

How Inflation is Impacting Plumbing Projects

Plumber performing plumbing project in Portland OR - D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

Plumber performing plumbing project in Portland OR - D&F Plumbing, Heating and CoolingIf you’ve ever listened to your grandparents reminisce about how low prices used to be when they were younger, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of inflation. While it can be fun to hear about the days when you could get a cheeseburger for under a quarter, the reality of inflation has had a detrimental effect on many households today – especially when it comes to home improvement projects.

If you’re planning a plumbing project, then you’ve probably noticed how prices have been gradually rising over the last several years. Understanding how inflation is impacting plumbing services and products can help you anticipate prices while lowering the overall cost of your project.

Why Are Plumbing Projects Getting More Expensive?

While inflation has definitely contributed to the steady rise in plumbing prices, it isn’t the only factor at play. Another big reason why home improvement projects have gotten more expensive in recent years is COVID-19. The global pandemic worsened trade labor shortages and sparked supply chain issues, resulting in much higher prices for products and services alike.

How to Save Money on Plumbing

Plumbing is a crucial part of your home, and some repairs or improvements are essential. Though inflation and rising project costs can be overwhelming, there are a few ways you can make plumbing more affordable. Here are a few tips you can follow to save money on your plumbing projects:

  • Plan ahead: A little bit of planning can go a long way. Scheduling service far in advance will ensure your project is completed on time even if there are labor shortages. Buying parts ahead of time could also save you money and stress if there are supply chain issues that would otherwise cause delays.
  • Work with a professional: While it may be tempting to cut costs by DIY-ing your projects, large plumbing projects are best left to the professionals. Small errors could lead to leaks or breakdowns, which could cause significant damage to your home and lead to even more expenses than if you had worked with an expert in the first place.
  • Ask for a full quote: Requesting a detailed quote in writing allows you to anticipate expenses and avoid surprises. This not only allows you to plan ahead, but it also provides you with the opportunity to discuss costs with your contractor before they begin work.
  • Work with local plumbers: Local plumbers generally offer faster and more cost-competitive services than national companies. Most local contractors are responsive and willing to deliver personalized services tailored to your individual needs. They are also well-versed in local codes and regulations, which helps projects move along seamlessly.
  • Look for discounts: Some plumbing companies offer special deals to make their services more affordable. When shopping around for a plumber, try looking for coupons or asking about discounts to see where you could save money.

Your Local Plumbing Contractors

If you’re looking for quality plumbing services in the Portland OR area, you can count on the experts at D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling! Our experts have proudly helped homes and businesses since 1927, and we are dedicated to providing you with fast and dependable services that you can rely on. From pipes and drains to water heaters and other plumbing appliances, our team has you covered! Just give us a call today to get your personalized quote.

Your Spring Plumbing Checklist

Your springtime plumbing checklist in Portland OR & Vancouver WA - D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

Your springtime plumbing checklist in Portland OR & Vancouver WA - D&F Plumbing, Heating and CoolingSpring has sprung, but hopefully a leak hasn’t! With the warmer weather rolling in, it’s time to tackle that to-do list that’s been piling up all winter – and that includes taking a look at your plumbing system. To make sure your system is in great shape for the new season, go through this spring plumbing checklist:

Check for Leaks & Clogs

Winter can wreak havoc on your plumbing system – particularly on the pipes or fixtures that are located outdoors or near external walls. To make sure nothing is leaking and causing damage throughout your home, it’s a good idea to check around your property for any leaks or clogs. If you notice any issues, a professional plumber can help identify and fix the root cause of the problem while preventing any further damage to your home.

Change Your Hoses

While you’re checking your pipes and fixtures for leaks or damage, you can also take a look at the condition of your hoses. Check the hoses to your dishwasher, washing machine, fridge, and other appliances. Keep an eye out for any bulging or discoloration in addition to leaking and cracks. You or a professional can replace any damaged or worn out hoses to keep your appliances functioning flawlessly.

Clean Your Storm Drains

If your storm drains are clogged, you could face some serious flooding during springtime rain. Taking the time to remove any leaves, sticks, or other debris from your storm drains will keep things flowing properly, which will protect your property while preventing other issues like soil erosion. If you run into serious blockages or drainage issues, then it may be useful to invest in an outdoor drain cleaning service to keep everything in good working order.

Test Your Sump Pump

Your sump pump plays a big role in preventing basement flooding, particularly during times of heavy rain. That’s why spring is the perfect time of year to check in on your sump pump and make sure it’s functioning properly. To test your sump pump, first look to make sure that it’s plugged in correctly. Then, pour a bucket of water into the basin to see if the pump is able to clear it. If your sump pump is unable to clear the water, or you notice any signs of moisture issues in your basement, then it may be time to contact a professional.

Adjust Your Water Heater

Water heaters get a lot of use in the cold winter months, which is why spring is the perfect time of year to perform any maintenance and check in on your system. An expert can flush your tank while also screening for any potential issues to make sure yours is working wonderfully for the new season. Now is also a good time to turn down the temperature, which will save you money during the spring and summer.