September 2017

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.New Call-to-action

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.