Tureks Plumbing Services Blog: Posts Tagged ‘plumbing in fox valley’

Plumbing Maintenance for Fall

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Plumbing Maintenance for Fall

The fall season brings memories of brilliant, lush colors, and cool, comfortable temperatures. It is a period of reprieve after the intense heat of summer and before the winter’s frigid cold rolls in. However, as the leaves start to fall and the heat of the summer dissipates, homeowners everywhere should be aware of how the cold of winter will affect them. The sudden drop in temperature will wreak havoc on their plumbing, especially if they are unprepared.

Although a lot of us take it for granted, plumbing plays a crucial role in modern society. It allows us to properly dispose of waste material and keep our homes clean and sanitary. That’s why plumbing maintenance is important in the weeks leading up to the winter. The prolonged cold weather can be extremely hard on your plumbing fixtures, especially if you aren’t prepared. 

If you’ve neglected regular plumbing maintenance and didn’t address minor issues throughout the year, they will most likely be compounded in the winter months. At Turek’s Plumbing Services, we are committed to keeping your plumbing in top shape all year round. But before we look at some of the ways you can prepare your plumbing for the winter, let’s discuss what the cold does to your pipes.

How Cold Weather Causes Plumbing Problems

Winter temperatures in the U.S. usually average just above freezing at 33.2 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can hit lows of 2.6 F in places like Alaska. When the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the chances of exposed pipes or poorly insulated pipes in garages, basements, and crawl spaces freezing increase exponentially. And whether it’s clean water or waste material flowing through those pipes, you definitely don’t want them to burst, especially during the winter.

A burst pipe will cause water damage, requiring thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs, and it creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. What’s more, burst pipes aren’t always conspicuous, and it may be long before you actually discover it, and this may weaken structures and possibly lead to health problems. That’s why plumbers in Appleton, Wisconsin, recommend you regularly inspect pipes you suspect are at risk of freezing, especially exposed or cracked pipes in exterior walls, attics, and basements.

If there isn’t any water coming out of the faucet or it only trickles at low pressure, one of your pipes may be frozen. Also be on the lookout for:

  • Frost, on the pipe, especially those that can be seen and the ones under the sink.
  • Strange or odd smells from a faucet or drain

If you can find the spot where a pipe is frozen, you can thaw it out by applying heat on the frozen section of the pipe. Try wrapping an electronic heating pad, heat the area with a hairdryer, or use towels soaked in hot water. However, don’t use a blowtorch, kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove, or any other open flame device as they represent a severe fire hazard. If this doesn’t work, contact a plumber in Appleton, Wisconsin. Now let’s look at some plumber approved tips on plumbing maintenance as the winter approaches.

Plumbing Maintenance Tips for the Fall

Your plumbing fixtures will be especially vulnerable as the temperature drops. Here’s what you can do:

  • For outdoor hoses, the water inside them can freeze and expand in cold temperatures. This expansion will cause them and any connected pipes in the house to freeze and break. Disconnect the water hoses, drain them of any remaining water, and store them in a dry area to prevent this.
  • Outdoor faucets that leak or drip can lead to water damage and severe plumbing issues in the winter. Make sure the faucets are fixed during the fall, and once the outdoor hoses are disconnected, cover and insulate the faucets with a Styrofoam insulation kit. 
  • If your house has an interior shut off valve that is connected to the outside faucets and plumbing, Orange County plumbers recommend shutting it off and opening the outdoor faucet valve. This will ensure that there is no remaining water in the line that could freeze during the winter.
  • Make sure you insulate any pipes in non-heated areas like the crawl space or the garage. This will prevent them from freezing. 
  • At the spot where a pipe enters your home, gaps can easily develop between the pipe and the wall over time. Cold air can enter through these gaps. Gilmore Heating & Air, a heating and cooling company in Placerville, says HVAC systems work a lot harder and even freeze the pipes. Seal any gaps you find with weather stripping, caulking, and insulation.
  • Your water heater will be working a lot harder in the winter months, so make sure you completely flush it in the fall. This will remove the sediment buildup, which blocks proper heat transfer, ensuring the water heater runs more efficiently in the winter months. 
  • Additionally, make sure your sump pump is properly cleaned and insulated. This will ensure it doesn’t freeze in the cold temperatures. Appleton plumbing maintenance professionals can help if this task is difficult for you.

Take advantage of the fall to winter-proof your plumbing. Integrating these tips into your plumbing maintenance routines will make sure your plumbing operates efficiently during the coming winter months. At Turek’s Plumbing Services, we are committed to keeping your plumbing in good shape all year round. Contact us for your bathroom renovation, pipe repair, pipelining, sewer pipe repair, and trenchless pipe repair needs in Appleton Wisconsin today.

Continue Reading

Water Heater Facts Homeowners Should Know

Monday, June 12th, 2017

 Top Water Heater Facts Homeowners Should Know

Often, plenty of homeowners take their hot water heaters for granted. They usually forget about them until they run out of hot water. To beef up your knowledge about the important home features, here are some water heaters facts you may not know about:

Facts About Water Heaters

1. The idea of using a water heater first emerged in London in 1868. A painter discovered how to heat cold water by putting gas burners below the water pipes. Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer, took inspiration from this idea, so he created the first tank-type water heater.
2. One-fourth of your home’s energy usage often comes from using a water heater for taking showers, doing laundry, and washing dishes.
3. On average, an American household makes use of around 80-120 gallons of hot water on a daily basis. About 6-8 gallons of water are used for showers, 15-20 gallons for taking a bath, 20-30 gallons for a load of laundry, 2 gallons of water per minute for washing the dishes, and 6-10 gallons per load if you use a dishwasher.
4. Be cautious in dealing with water heaters because in less than 5 seconds, the human skin may suffer 3rd-degree burns when it comes in contact with water that has a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
5. Tank water heaters usually last for 10-12 years while tankless water heaters can last for 18-20 years.

How Water Heaters Work

Water heaters will look like huge metal cylinders that are consigned to a basement or a laundry room. Some of the latest styles offer some interesting features. Water heaters exploit the heat rising principle so they can provide hot water to your faucet conveniently.
In a traditional water heater system, there is a big tank that will hold and heat the water. The dip tube will feed cold water to the bottom of the tank’s interior, where it starts to warm up. The heating mechanism remains on until the water reaches the desired temperature. The heated water then rises to the top of the tank. The energy used in order to keep the water hot even when no one is using it is known as standby heat loss.
For tankless water heater systems, standby heat loss is avoided because it only heats the incoming water when you need it. As such, they are also known as on-demand water heaters.
A tankless heating system makes use of a powerful heat exchanger, which is only activated by the incoming flow of water. So if you turn on your faucet, the incoming water will circulate through the exchanger, which then heats the cold water to your desired temperature. To schedule an appointment call us today!

Continue Reading

A Guide to Locating Leaky Pipes

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Appleton Plumber Provides Advice in Locating Leaky Pipes

Isn’t it just annoying when you find a puddle in your house and you’re not sure what or who created it? Before you conduct your sleuthing, tough, you better wipe it up first lest somebody slips on it.If water no longer reappears after wiping up the area, it’s quite likely that somebody just spilled something on the floor. However, if a new puddle forms, one of the possible causes is a leaky pipe.

If you suspect that you indeed have leaky pipes, the plumbers trusted by Fox Valley and Applegate residents have an easy guide, provided below, that you can follow to locate where the leaks are.

How to take care of the problem

  1. Wipe up the puddle again and then place paper towels or bags around the area where you found the puddle. The leak may be coming from under the floor or from the pipes located on the walls or overhead. If a drip falls, it will surely leave a spot and it’s going to be easy finding where the drip came from.
  2. Do check supply lines or water-using appliances around the area as well. They may have rips or splits, or hoses that have come loose. Turn on the water to see if there are leaks anywhere and then turn the supply off once you see a puddle forming somewhere. It helps to perform this task to establish whether your damaged plumbing system or something else causes the puddle.
  3. Once you identify where the leak is coming from, see if you can perform a remedial job that can control the leak until you can get a plumber to carry out a proper repair.
  4. Now, if you no longer see a puddle after wiping it up, this doesn’t mean that there’s no leak. Observe the area for the next few days because it may just be a slow leak and it only creates a puddle when certain activities at home increase water pressure. You also need to take care of slow leaks because over time, they may get worse. Have your plumber have a look at them so preventive work can be carried out.

If you simply cannot find where the accumulation of water is coming from, set an appointment with your plumber right away. Leaks are no light issues; they can be the cause of accidents, they can attract moisture-loving pests (cockroaches, moths, spiders, and rodents), they can encourage the proliferation of harmful bacteria and molds, they can cause damage to other structural elements of your house or to your furniture, and they can create a spike in your water bill. Contact one of our Appleton, WI plumbers today!

Continue Reading

What to do when you have an overflowing toilet

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Toilet Overflowing? Here’s What You Need to Do to Stop It

You go to the bathroom to do some personal business. But lo and behold, the toilet is overflowing.

The toilet overflowing is a serious plumbing emergency that requires prompt action. Otherwise, if you allow the toilet to continue to overflow, you will be left with a bigger mess to clean up. Furthermore, you risk damaging your property.

Here are some of the things that you need to do.

The first and most important thing that you need to take care of is to stop the flow of the water going to the toilet bowl. To do that, you will need to find the main shutoff valve of the toilet. This is usually found on the bathroom wall, next to the toilet.

In some cases, the main shutoff valve is found beneath the tiles on the bathroom floor or wall. If you cannot see any visible shutoff valve near the toilet, it is highly likely that it is embedded on the wall or floor. The next best thing that you can do is to shut off your home’s main water valve. When your plumber arrives, be sure to ask him about relocating the main shutoff valve of the toilet to a more visible and convenient location.

Once the main shutoff valve has been turned off and the water has stopped from overflowing, the next thing that you can do is to clear the clog and accumulated water.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to turn the main shutoff valve because it is rarely used and because of the accumulation of rust. You can prevent this by turning the valve every time you clean the bathroom. It also helps to apply lubricant to the valve.

If you can’t find the main shutoff valve, it won’t budge, or if you do not want to turn off all of the water supply in your home, the next best thing to do is to open the toilet tank.

If the flapper is open, close it. This should stop the water from overflowing. However, if the flapper is closed or if you are unable to close it, the next thing you need to do is to find the float ball and lift it. The main function of the float ball is to stop the flow of water once it reaches a certain level. You may need to prop it up to allow it to stay in position and stop the water from continuously overflowing.

If you have an overflowing toilet, contact one of our Appleton, WI plumbers today!

Continue Reading

What Not To Put Down Your Drain

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

There are simple things that you do can do to prevent a clogged drain.

In a landmark study undertaken by the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2002, it was discovered that wastewater coming from residential, agricultural and industrial sources contained low levels of human and veterinary drugs, natural and synthetic hormones, insecticides, fire retardants, detergent metabolites, and plasticizers.

Of these chemicals listed, one or more were found in 80 percent of the streams which were a part of the study. Furthermore, half of the streams were found to contain seven or more of these chemicals. Roughly a third of the streams contained 10 or more of the aforementioned chemicals.

Quite simply, this means that homeowners, farmers, and industries have contributed greatly to water pollution which does not only undermine water quality, but also adversely affects fish and wildlife.

In the residential setting, plumbers regularly caution homeowners about throwing foreign objects down the drain as these can clog pipes and cause unnecessary damage, not only to the plumbing system but in other parts of the house as well.

But according to the Watership Environment Foundation, the consequences of throwing foreign objects down the drain causes far-ranging effects beyond your home. According to the foundation, throwing foreign objects down the drain can also lead to health problems and environmental problems.

Plumbers say that homeowners should not treat the drain like a trash can and list what not to put down your drain.

These include:

  • Sauces
  • Dairy products
  • Baking goods
  • Food scraps
  • Lard
  • Shortening
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter and margarine

Throwing these down the drain facilitates the blockage in the sewer pipes when grease sticks to these. And once the grease continues to build up, it can block the optimal flow of water.

Expert plumbers advise against throwing grease down in either sinks or toilets. Homeowners should also make it a habit to scrape off food particles and grease from plates, pots, pans and other cooking utensils and implements. Invest in a strainer or basket and install one in the sink drain to catch solids and empty these into the trash can.

Other items that should not be thrown down the drain or toilet include:

  • Used oils
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grinds
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • Condoms
  • Flammable substances
  • Medications
  • Acidic or caustic substances
  • Rags
  • Solvents, paints, polish remover, turpentine and similar products.

If you have a clogged drain, contact us today to set up an appointment!

Continue Reading

Why Should You Choose a Tankless Water Heater?

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Tankless Water HeaterWhy Choose a Tankless Water Heater

Need a new water heater? Whether you are investing in a new one for your recently built house or thinking of replacing the current one installed in your home, there are plenty of reasons you should consider a tankless water heater installation.

More space

Using tankless water heaters, as the name implies, means that you do not have to worry about finding a space for the tank. Typically, conventional water heaters have tanks that measure 20″x13″x3″ and can thus take up a considerable amount of space in your home. Just imagine what you can do with that amount of space freed up.


If you are currently using a conventional water heater in your home, you have probably experienced being scalded with hot water at some point. That won’t happen with a tankless heater because there is no hot water stored. Instead, the hot water is processed on demand. That also means that you do not have to worry about losing hot water or waiting long to get hot water as this can be produced when you need it.

Apart from that, the risk of explosions or accidents related to steaming water are practically eliminated. Plus, you do not have to worry about pets and kids getting near a spigot. These can all give you greater peace of mind.

Reduced heating costs

A tankless water heater can allow you to reduce your water heating costs by as much as 50 percent.

With a conventional water heater, you can lose a significant amount of heat through standby losses. This occurs when the heat evaporates either through the sides of the tank or through the flue.

Less water loss

Unlike conventional water heaters, tankless systems do not leak. That means extra savings for you as there is no water wasted. Additionally, you can save more money through reduced maintenance and repair costs.

Other advantages

These water heaters are known for their superior reliability. In terms of parts, should your water heating system need parts replaced, sourcing these is fairly easy.

And even if you run two or three showers simultaneously, you do not have to worry about running out of hot water. With adequate planning, running out of hot water becomes a thing of the past.

A few downsides

However, before you commit to buying a tankless heater, you have to be aware of a few considerations. Depending on your usage, hot water may gradually emerge. If you have been accustomed to conventional water heaters, you may have to adjust a little. For one, you will need to find a reliable contractor in Fox Cities who has adequate experience in maintaining and servicing tankless heaters.

If you are thinking about installing a water heater in Fox Cities, contact the plumbing professionals at Turek’s Plumbing to schedule an estimate and learn more information!


Continue Reading

When is the Best Time to Remodel a Bathroom?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Bathroom Remodeling in Fox ValleyThe Best Time to Remodel Your Bathroom

A remodeling project demands efficient preparation to avoid different hassles and to control costs. So, 

Bathroom Remodeling in Fox Valley – Timing

One of the most important things to direct attention to is the time for the remodel. You need to consider when it’ll be physically and mentally convenient for you. Likewise, you have to find out if the schedule you’re setting for the project to be carried out will “help” the budget you have; that’s because there are certain times of the year wherein you can get huge discounts on products you want to use for remodeling your bathroom (or another room in your house).

According to bathroom remodelers in Fox Valley and Applegate, Wisconsin, the best time to remodel your bathroom is after Thanksgiving and right before Christmas. For a lot of homeowners, this time period doesn’t seem like a logical choice because everybody’s so busy during the holiday season. The pros, however, point out that with a clearly set plan, the project can be completed really quickly so it woudn’t be too big a hassle for families.

Best Time for Bathroom Remodel Savings

Bathroom remodelers also say that during Black Friday you could find incredible deals on decor, appliances and more! You can save as much as 70% on all of your purchases. If you buy items in bundles and you demonstrate strong haggling skills you could save even more. 

It’s worth noting as well that Christmas discount gift cards are also released on Black Friday so even if you’re unable to buy certain items on this day, you can still get good deals for items you need as Christmas approaches.

Bathroom Remodeling in Fox Valley During the Holidays 

Here’s another reason: Since you’re going to have family over during Christmas, it’s good to really make your home pretty. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is enough for a bathroom remodel to be carried out.

It’s a good idea to schedule your bathroom remodel after Thanksgiving and just before Christmas. A bathroom remodel between the holidays really does present a lot of advantages, particularly in terms of cost. So, think about it – going with this schedule may just work out really well for you.

Are you thinking about a bathroom remodel in Fox Cities? Contact Turek’s Plumbing, and allow professionals to take on your next remodeling project.

Continue Reading

DIY Plumbing or Hire a Professional?

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

DIY Plumbing

DIY Plumbing or Should I Hire a Professional?

The DIY route’s main charm is the promise to save you money; by not hiring the pricey services of the professionals, you truly can prevent a heavy cash outflow. But, here’s something everybody should know about DIY projects: They do not always go as planned, especially if it’s your first time undertaking such work. It doesn’t matter if the task is a simple or a complex one; if it’s your first time, you can bet that things will not go as smoothly as the YouTube tutorial you might be following.

Now, if you already have some experience with repairs or you simply have the special gift of “tinkering” with things successfully, then by all means, go and DIY! However, before taking on any project, be sure to evaluate the task thoroughly; know your limits and recognize when to hire the pros.

For example, with plumbing, you should be able to differentiate the difficulty of certain repairs and installations to be carried out. Say, you need to replace a faucet or an old washing machine hose, or fix toilet hardware; ask yourself, “Are they the DIY plumbing or hire-a-professional type of tasks?” Actually, those are plumbing jobs that you can do yourself because there aren’t too many risks surrounding these issues.

Hire a Professional Tasks

Hire-a-professional tasks, according to the plumbers that Applegate and Fox Valley residents turn to, are for big ticket projects such as remodeling and renovations because experience and highly technical skills are required for these. Other tasks only pros should take care of are sump pump repair, backed up toilets, and other gnarly issues that can compromise safety and living conditions.

Plumbing tasks that truly should never be done through DIY are anything involving gas appliances or lines. A Fox Valley plumber says that you should never take risks with anything that involves gas. A misstep with a gas appliance or pipe can be very dangerous. Experienced plumbers have a tried-and-tested safe procedure for installation and repair; you can have the assurance that the job will be completed properly.

So, here are the rules of thumb in determining if a DIY plumbing job is something you can do or if it needs a professional:

  •         If the job is something that you don’t want to pay for twice, hire the pros.
  •         If it’s a big-ticket item, call the pros.
  •         For replacements of small plumbing hardware that you’re familiar with, take the DIY route.
  •         If a repair doesn’t require special skills, tools or require strict safety standards, you can DIY.
  •         For anything that involves gas, call the pro.
  •         If you want to restore the proper working order of your plumbing system as soon as possible, call the pros.

If you have a plumbing problem in Fox Valleycontact the plumbing experts at Turek’s Plumbing today!


Continue Reading