How to Fix an Annoying Leaky Faucet

how to fix a leaky faucet and save water

A leaky faucet can definitely be annoying, but it can also be very wasteful. According to Popular Mechanics, one drop a second from a faulty faucet sheds 2,300 gallons of wasted water a year. That’s a lot of wasted water! If you have a leaky bathroom or kitchen faucet, the team at Herrmann Services put together this basic tutorial to help you fix it. If you get in over your head, just give us a call.

Causes of Leaky Faucets

Sometimes faucet components get old, calcium buildup causes seals to leak, and seals get brittle and crack. These are fairly easy to rectify with new parts and a little cleaning and replacing. For major leaks, especially behind the wall, or damage to faucets, you’ll want to call one of our professional plumbers to fix the problem.

Related Reads: Is not only your faucet leaking, but your furnace too? See the reasons why here.

Tools Needed for Faucet Repair

tools needed to fix a leaky faucet

You’ll need the following basic tools:

  • A large wrench
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliers

Kinds of Faucets

Typically, there are two kinds of faucets – washer-type (also referred to as compression) and washerless (non-compression) faucets. Since compression faucets are the most commonly found faucets, that’s what this tutorial will focus on.

Leaky Faucet Diagram

Steps to Fix a Compression Faucet

  1. Turn off the water supply.
  2. If you have both a cold and hot water type faucet you’ll only need to fix the handle that is leaky. It may be worth fixing them both at once if the leak seems like it’s due to aging parts.
  3. Remove the handle and take out the faucet components.
  4. Remove the handle and unscrew packing nut with an adjustable wrench. Protect nut with tape. Turn the nut counterclockwise.
  5. After removing the packing nut, unscrew the stem of the faucet by turning it in its “on” direction. It is doable by hand but if it’s hard to turn, remove the handle to get an extra grip on it.
  6. Usually, just one screw holds the old seat washer to the stem. Remove both the screw and the washer.
  7. Lift out the old seat washer and fit a new one the same size into the recess. A worn or grooved washer could have caused the leaks. If the screw is corroded, replace it with a new brass one.

Related Reads: Want to stop the problem before it begins? Check out our 5 preventative plumbing tips!

And there you have it! You fixed your dripping faucet. Since you just saved gallons of wasted water and restored your faucet to pristine condition, you’ll probably sleep better at night.

Want to become a pro at your fixing your home’s plumbing? The experts at Herrmann Services have compiled a FREE guide to DIY plumbing! Download it now to learn plumbing secrets from the pros:

drain cleaning guide for diy

5 Reasons Why A Furnace Tune-Up Is Worth Every Penny

cozy weather is comingAt Herrmann Services, we like to keep our customers happy. That means we keep their furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and other equipment running flawlessly. Unfortunately, like any mechanical piece of machinery, these items won’t run forever without regular maintenance. That’s exactly the reason we encourage all of our customers to get an annual tune-up on furnaces, ACs and water heaters. For obvious reasons, spring is the best time for an AC tune-up, and fall is the best time for a furnace tune-up.

Benefits of a Furnace Tune-Up: More Than Just Warmth!

There are many benefits to getting a furnace tune-up. The team at Herrmann Services has broken it down for you to show you how a furnace tune-up now will more than pay for itself in repair savings, comfort and convenience:

1. Avoid Inconvenient Breakdowns and Freezing Toes

Does your furnace ever stop working on a mild day? No. It’s always the coldest day of the year. That’s because if your furnace has a part that’s struggling to work, is loose or cracked, etc., it will break when it is under the most stress. If it’s a cold day, your furnace will be working extra hard and extra long cycles to keep your home comfortable. Rather than suffer in the freezing temperatures waiting for a repairman to show up (probably on one of the busiest days for furnace repair) if your furnace has had a tune-up, it would be very unlikely to break down. Tune-ups prevent most breakdowns from occurring.

2. Increase Energy Efficiency and Save, Save, Save!

heating and cooling costs

A furnace that has parts that are cleaned, oiled, tightened, repaired and running smoothly will run much more efficiently than one that is neglected. Considering that heating and cooling costs account for roughly 50% of the average home’s energy bills, this can add up to some significant savings.

3. Keep Your Home and Your Family Safe from Fire Hazards

Furnace tune-ups will catch problems that could lead to fire hazards. During a furnace tune-up, the the technician will check things like electrical wiring, burners and safety controls. A furnace can produce carbon monoxide because of a mechanical failure or as the result of a cracked heat exchanger, flue or burner problems. Incorrect installation, damage caused by basement flooding, and even pilot lights can also produce deadly carbon monoxide. A technician will check all of these safety concerns.

4. Extend Life of Your Furnace and Make Your Furnace Last

Let’s face it, replacing a furnace or air conditioner is not cheap. No one wants to replace them. We only replace them when they are broken (like when they’re leaking water!) or are nickel and diming us to death and it just makes more sense to purchase a new one. Obviously, regular maintenance and cleaning will keep your system running more smoothly and efficiently and help it to last as long as possible. Plus, a small repair caught early will cost you much less than the major repair it may lead to later.

5. Keep Manufacturer Warranties Up to Date and Valid

Many systems come with a manufacturer’s warranty which covers certain parts and large repairs for a particular amount of time. No one wants to find out their warranty has been voided because they didn’t keep up the maintenance required in the warranty contract.

If you haven’t scheduled a furnace tune-up this season, give us a call and we’ll send one of our skilled technicians to your home to make sure your furnace runs smoothly and keeps your family warm all winter long.

Call us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online to make an appointment.

Is Your Home Safe? Do This Room-by-Room Safety Sweep

Home Safety Tips Room by Room

At Herrmann Services, we care about our customers. While we know a lot about heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical services, we know many of our customers don’t. That’s why we thought this blog about home safety was worth sharing. Please read it and share it especially with anyone you know who has small children in their home.

Common Home Accidents

According to the CDC, each day over 300 children between the ages of 0-19 are treated in emergency rooms for burn-related injuries. These injuries are often caused by burns from hot liquids or steam, or from electrical items like curling irons or coffee pots. Electrical shock is also a common injury.

Tips for Protecting Children in Every Room of Your Home

Hidden dangers lurk in every room, so be sure to check all of the things on this list to make sure each room is safe.

Kitchen Safety Tips

Kitchen Safety Tips

  1. Prevent scalding by setting the water heater’s maximum heat at 120 F/49 C.
  2. Prevent electrical burns by keeping small appliances out of the reach of children, and away from the kitchen sink.
  3. Prevent scalding and burns by keeping the handles to pots and pans on the stove turned away from where little hands can reach them.

Bathroom Safety Tips

Bathroom Safety Tips

  1. Never leave a small child or baby unattended in the bathroom.
  2. Unplug hair dryers, curling irons, etc., when not in use, and keep away from the bathtub and sink.

Bedroom & Living Area Safety Tips

Living Room and Bedroom Safety Tips

  1. Make sure all cords from window blinds are out of the reach of children. These pose a strangulation hazard.
  2. Place outlet covers over all electrical outlets that are not in use.
  3. Make sure all electrical cords are undamaged, and replace them if they are.
  4. Avoid using extension cords.
  5. Avoid using space heaters.
  6. Keep curious babies away from outlets, cords, and electrical items, large and small, including televisions.

Overall Home Safety Tips

Home Safety

  1. Install a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on every level of the home. Test it and change batteries regularly (at least twice a year). Learn more about protecting your family from carbon monoxide here.
  2. If you notice an unusual odor, flickering lights, or power surges, have the home’s electrical system checked.
  3. In case of fire, develop an escape plan, establish a meeting point, and communicate and practice the plan with all family members.
  4. Teach your children proper emergency contacts, as well as how and when to call 911.

We hope these safety tips help keep your home and family safe from injuries and fire. Feel free to print these off for any first-time parents you may know.

Please call Herrmann Services if you need any heating, cooling, plumbing, or electrical help. Call us at (513) 407-5177 or contact us online to request service.

5 Preventative Plumbing Tips from the Pros

cartoon of man with flooded roomWhen plumbing emergencies happen, they are rarely convenient. The surprise expense, the mess and destruction of your things, not to mention the time it takes out of your workday for a professional to come in and fix it, all add up to frustration and aggravation.

Luckily, many plumbing emergencies can be avoided. Because emergencies don’t usually happen completely overnight, but rather are a buildup of small problems which eventually cause meltdown, most can be prevented. Our five tips for preventative plumbing will help you steer your pipes away from meltdown mode, so you don’t have to waste any more of your time waiting for the plumber to show up.

Tip 1: Invest in Metal Hoses for Your Dishwasher and Washing Machine

One of the biggest sources of flooding in a home is due to burst hoses on the dishwasher and washing machine. The truth is: the traditional black rubber hoses are just not enough. When they burst, they can cause leaks of up to five gallons per minute! That’s five gallons for every minute you’re not home!

If you want to avoid having an unexpected pool party in your living room, your best bet for plumbing safety is to invest in stainless steel braided hoses, which don’t burst as easily because they are pressure resistant and don’t age as quickly as rubber hoses.


Related Reads: Sump Pump Check: 5 Things to Check to Avoid Water Damage

Tip 2: Don’t Ignore Your Leaky Toilets. They’ll Only Get Worse

It can be tempting to ignore a minor problem when it doesn’t cause much inconvenience or doesn’t seem important enough to call a professional. Leaky toilets are one of those often-ignored small problems that can cause bigger issues down the road, like overflow or constant running of your toilet. This usually happens because there is a buildup of gunk around the valve seat and flapper, which prohibits the flapper from sealing correctly and eventually can result in a broken toilet.

If you know your way around toilet plumbing, you can try to clean the valve yourself. Otherwise, hiring a professional is a very quick and inexpensive process, compared to a completely broken toilet. Plus, if there is anything else wrong with the toilet, the professional plumber will be able to diagnose it correctly for you.

Tip 3: Prevent Pipes from Freezing with Insulation

Prevent frozen pipes by wrapping any pipes on outside walls with insulation. When temperatures dip below zero, as they often do during the winter in Cincinnati, the pipes on the outside walls get the coldest and may freeze. You can pick up pipe insulation very affordably at your local home improvement store.

bonus tips for drain cleaning

Tip 4: NEVER Put Fats or Cooking Oil Down the Sink!

Putting fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink is a recipe for disaster. Although you may think it’s the most efficient way to get rid of oils, it actually causes lots of harm to your plumbing system. The now-liquidy fats can solidify in your cold pipes, which creates clogs and big problems for you in the future.

However, it’s impossible to keep completely ALL oil out of the sink– we know that. To maintain your kitchen sink, pour near boiling hot water down the drain occasionally. This should melt any leftover oils from last night’s dinner pans in a jiffy.

Tip 5: Become Friends with Your Main Water Shut-off Valve

The main water shut-off valve is the valve which controls all of the water intake into your home. Knowing where it is and how to turn it off could save you lots of heartache in an emergency situation. The best way to prevent emergencies when you are away from home for an extended period of time is just to shut off your main water valve.

Also, to make sure your main water shut-off valve is operating correctly, open and shut it occasionally so that you know it’s not stuck and that, in an emergency situation, it will work.

Related Reads: Why You Need to Inspect Your Home’s Plumbing

Doing little things to prevent emergencies may seem time-consuming and inconvenient, but it is nothing compared to the cost and time-suck that a real plumbing emergency creates. In the end, we think it’s definitely worth it.

Stop the plumbing disasters before they start! Download our FREE guide 14 Plumbing Don’ts When Unclogging a Drain. If you’re a DIYer, this checklist will save you time and help you avoid these common drain cleaning mistakes.

 

drain cleaning guide for diy

Why You Need to Inspect Your Home’s Plumbing

home plumbing inspectionThink about all of the plumbing equipment in your Cincinnati area home. From the water heater and sump pump to the toilets and sinks, there are a lot of things that could go wrong and ruin your day. Checking your home’s plumbing is one way to keep disaster at bay, so you won’t have to come home to find your kitchen turned into a swamp.

See these 3 reasons to regularly check your plumbing from:

Avoid A Basement Catastrophe

People like surprises, but finding water in your Cincinnati basement when you expect your sump pump to work is not one of them. Over time, your sump pump may wear out, or the float may get stuck on the side of your sump pump pit.

It’s important to periodically check your sump pump to make sure it is working to avoid a wet basement. It’s also a good idea to install a sump pump battery backup, so your sump pump will work even when the power goes out.

Steer Clear of a Toilet & Faucet Meltdown

As your home’s toilet and faucet get older, it is more likely to need a repair here and there. Before doing repairs yourself, it’s a good idea to check the shut off valves for your toilet, kitchen, and bathroom faucets. That way, if you ever need to shut off the water in the event of an emergency, you will know where they are located and how they work.

You can also inspect the inner workings of your toilet for wear and tear. Over time, the valves in your toilet can wear out, and eventually cause a running toilet. This can cost you money on your water bill in addition to the annoying noise it creates.

Related Reads: 7 Items to Never Put Down Your Drain!

Never Step Into a Freezing Shower Again

Avoid stepping into a freezing cold shower by checking your water heater. This important piece of plumbing equipment is responsible for heating the water in your house. Keeping tabs on it will prevent it from going out when you least expect it to. You’ll want to check it for leaks, but also look for signs of rust near the bottom of the tank. A water heater that decides to fail can be a real messy problem.

These are just a few of the important pieces of plumbing equipment in your home that you need to inspect on a regular basis. For more information about plumbing inspections or to schedule one by a professional, contact Herrmann Services today.

Wait, Why Is There Water Under My Furnace?

water under furnace

When it comes to odd places to find water in your house, under your furnace would probably top that list. While finding water under your furnace can be a cause for concern, it doesn’t always mean costly repairs. There are a few reasons why you might have a wet floor under your furnace, and luckily some of them can be easily fixed without calling a repairman.

Find the Source of Water

The first thing you want to do is to find out exactly where the water is coming from. Making sure that it’s not standing water that has leaked from pipes, your foundation, or something else (like your water tank or washing machine) will make things easier for you to pinpoint and repair. Once you’re positive it’s coming from the furnace, it’s time to look at the possible causes and solutions.

Reasons Why Your Furnace is Leaking

  1. The floor drain may be clogged. It may be something as simple as a clog in the drain around your furnace where condensation is drained away.  Clear the floor drain of dirt, debris, and obstructions regularly to help reduce backups and flooding.
  2. Pipes may be improperly insulated or taped. If it’s been awhile since your condensation-bearing pipes have been checked, cleaned, and repaired, the insulation or tape around them may be wearing out, allowing condensation to form. Routine maintenance and checking of these pipes can help keep things running smoothly, and prevent water from pooling.
  3. Your A/C’s internal drain may be clogged. If your A/C shares an internal drainage pipe or system with your furnace, a clog can be a good possible cause of standing water on your floor. These clogs can form easily without regular service, and do require a professional to check them.
  4. You may have an issue with your flue pipe. If your flue pipe is in bad shape or is improperly sized, this can allow condensation to build up inside the furnace system itself and then pool on the floor. Problems with your flue are best checked and serviced by a professional to ensure everything is done properly and reduce future issues.

These are some of the more common reasons why you might have water pooling under your furnace. Doing regular maintenance can help tremendously in decreasing the likelihood of costly repairs in the future. Having tune-ups and regular servicing can help increase your system’s efficiency, reduce utility costs, and save you money in the long run!

Still unsure about the cause of water under your furnace? The professionals at Herrmann Services are experts that can help! Contact us online or call us at (513) 407-5177 for a professional inspection that’ll keep your furnace running at peak conditions.New Call-to-action

3 Ways To Get the Most Out of Your Ceiling Fan

black fan with gold fixtures in a homeAhh, ceiling fans. While not the most exciting fixture in our home, they provide such a necessary function, particularly as the summer months arrive. However, these home must-haves are often overlooked as boring install-and-leave fixtures. But if you know these three simple ceiling fan facts, you can increase your fan’s utility, lower your energy costs, and even connect certain fans to an app, getting the most out of a once static fixture.

 

1. Summer Heat Got You Beat? Change Your Fan’s Rotation

Many homeowners are not aware that your fan’s rotation is meant to be changed every summer and winter. During the summer, fan blades should be pointed upwards, usually moving in a counterclockwise rotation, so that air can be pushed down to the floor and result in a cooler feeling room.

During the winter, fans should rotate with their blades turned downwards, in a clockwise motion. Because heat rises, warm air usually gets trapped on the ceiling, leaving you shivering down below. With a properly rotating ceiling fan, it will help circulate the warm air to the bottom, resulting in a more evenly-temperatured feeling room. Usually, a switch is provided on the fan itself that can change the direction. If not, contact our knowledgeable electricians for more consulting help.

2. Save Money By Doing The Unthinkable: Turning Your Fan Off

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, shutting the fan off when you leave a room will help save  on electricity bills and it won’t really affect the temperature of the room. Here’s how this works: fans never actually lower room temperature, they only circulate air. This air is pushed down onto your skin, drying your perspiration, and leaving you feeling naturally cool and refreshed.

But if you aren’t there, then the fan simply runs for nothing and eats up electricity. So next time you feel like saving some money, remember to shut the fan off before you leave a room.

3. Pay Less, Get Smarter: App-controlled Fans

Did you know that even your ceiling fans are becoming “smart”? With companies making digitally-integrated ceiling fans, you are now able to set timing schedules, control spin speed, change blade rotation, and even have motion sensing technology that turns on and off when you enter or leave a room. All of this from your phone!

Having a smart ceiling fan may seem like overkill, but the savings you will get from such an efficient machine may be worth your while.

Are you thinking about installing a new ceiling fan that meets all of your summer needs, or need help changing your fan’s rotation, contact us at Herrmann Services for professional and reliable services!

7 Items to Never Put Down Your Drain!

 

There are a lot of myths out there about what is okay to flush down your toilet or put in your garbage disposal. At Herrmann Services, our plumbers have seen it all. That’s why we came up with this list of items to never flush down your toilet or wash down your garbage disposal. Follow these suggestions and keep your drains clog free.

    Don’t Flush These Items:

  1. Hygiene Products: Even if the packaging on feminine products claims they are “flushable”, don’t do it! Some companies may not test their product in real-life conditions, leading to products safe in laboratories but not so safe in actual septic tanks or sewers. Always throw them in the trash instead.
  2. Baby Wipes: These are one of the absolute worst items to flush down a toilet. They do not degrade easily and end up gathering together to make large obstructions that require professional help.
  3. Cotton Swabs: If you are applying cosmetics or cleaning out ears, these tiny, non-threatening sticks with bits of fluff are not going to make it through the necessary twists and turns of a plumbing system.
  4. Toilet Paper: But it’s made to be flushed, right? Um, not always. If you go for the super-plush mega ply brands, you may want to be careful about how much you use. The higher the grade, the higher the risk. If you want to pamper your bum, make sure to only use as much as necessary.

    Don’t Put These Down Your Disposal:

  5. Grease: After traveling a few inches down the pipes, the heat effect wears off, the grease quickly cools and a buildup of residue clings to pipes which bits and bobs and other particles become trapped in. Not only will a clog eventually develop, but it will be a very smelly process.
  6. Coffee Grounds: They seem harmless, right? Surely those fine particles won’t clog the drain, right? They might also mask nasty odors emanating up from pipes, right? Wrong, on all accounts. These particles continue to retain moisture and, in effect, become like a cement alternative. Toss them in the garbage.
  7. Certain Food Scraps: But you’ve got a disposal installed in the sink, you say. That’s what it’s made for, you say. Then you end up with a terrible clog. Vegetable peels and pasta should never be put down a disposal. Pasta expands and vegetable peels are never shredded into small enough particles. It will take next to forever for even a small piece of potato peel to biodegrade. And it will stink until its final demise.

No Clog Is a Match for Our Hydro Jet Clog Buster

If you do get a clog, call the expert clog removers at Herrmann Services. We’ve got the latest equipment including our Hydro Jet clog remover. This tool uses a high-pressure water jet inside your pipes to remove everything from hair and grease to roots and rocks!

Call us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online when you need your drains unclogged.    

Hydro Jet – The Fastest Drain Cleaning Solution

Herrmann Services in CincinnatiAt Herrmann Services, we pride ourselves on our fast, fixed-the-first-time plumbing services. That’s why we invest in the latest and greatest plumbing solutions – like our hydro jet drain cleaning tool. We have always provided full-service drain cleaning for homes in the Cincinnati area, but now, we’ve upped our game.

 

Hydro Jetting Clears Every Clog Fast

Hydro JettingThe hydro jet system uses high pressure water jetting inside your pipes to clear anything in its way. Grease, hair, rocks, roots, you name it – they don’t stand a chance against this state-of-the-art drain cleaning tool. Combine that with our video technology that lets our plumbers pinpoint the clog, and your plumbing problems are over.

No Drain Is a Match for Our Hydro Jet

Our plumbers have years of experience, and you will always get the same professionalism every time we enter your home. Our philosophy is to always provide upfront pricing, so you will know exactly what your drain cleaning will cost before we ever start the job. We use the camera to identify broken or collapsed pipe, blockages, corrosion, leaking joints, and even tree root infiltration. This prevents costly digging or damage to your pipe system. Our plumbers can handle:

  • Drain Cleaning CincinnatiKitchen Drain Cleaning
  • Bathroom Drain Cleaning
  • Main Sewer Pipe Cleaning
  • Toilet Drain Cleaning
  • Floor Drain Cleaning
  • Window Well Cleaning
  • Downspout Cleaning
  • Residential and Commercial

Say goodbye to clogged or slow-running plumbing! Just call Herrmann Services and our hydro jetter, the ultimate drain cleaning tool, will have your pipes clean as a whistle in no time. Contact us online or call us at (513) 737-8423.

Is Your Family Always Running Out of Hot Water? Consider a Tankless Water Heater!

Navien Tankless InstallBefore tankless water heaters existed, homeowners had one choice – a traditional water heater. Traditional water heaters have numerous drawbacks, from slow heating times, to high energy consumption, to finite supplies. In the past, tankless water heaters were small and inefficient. Today, improved tankless water heaters are gaining popularity for a number of reasons. A tankless water heater represents a wonderful way to minimize inconveniences such as cold showers for the last member of the family to wake up. If you’re contemplating an upgrade to a tankless water heater, this list of FAQs can help you make an informed decision.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is what it sounds like: a water heating system that does not require a large holding tank to operate. Instead, water is quickly brought to temperature on an as-needed basis. In this way, a tankless water heater is able to meet an entire home’s hot water needs while taking up a fraction of the space of a traditional water heater. A tankless water heater is about the size of a small suitcase and is mounted on the wall, taking up much less floor space than a traditional water heater.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Many people have a hard time believing that a relatively small box mounted on their wall will really be capable of providing the same hot water supply as a traditional water heater. Yet, thanks to the high powered heat exchangers inside of a tankless water heater, it is actually able to surpass the output of a normal water heater. Tankless water heaters are capable of providing a virtually limitless supply of hot water, by providing only as much hot water as is needed by your hot water fixtures or appliances. The only way you could run out of hot water is if you ran out of cold water!

What Are the Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater?

By now, you are already acquainted with two key advantages of tankless water heaters: their small physical footprint, and the fact that they are not hampered by a fixed capacity. This reliability is a huge advantage to busy families. There are also safety advantages to selecting a tankless water heater. There is also no danger of the tank leaking and ruining your lower level since there is no water being held.

If you’d like to learn more about tankless water heaters, or need one installed in your home, call the experts at Herrmann Services at (513) 407-5177. We’ll answer all of your questions and get you set up in no time!

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