Add a Sump Pump to Your Home Wishlist

Why Installing a Sump Pump is the Best Gift

Does a sump pump make a good holiday gift? When people think of gifts for the holidays, sump pump installation may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, a new sump pump is a gift that just keeps giving. There are many benefits to installing a new sump pump, including increasing the home’s value for years to come. 

This blog post shares insight from plumbing industry experts on why homeowners should invest in a sump pump this winter. The winter season is a good time to install a sump pump to prepare the home for heavy precipitation in the spring. Homeowners will love receiving a new sump pump as a smart, practical gift to help take care of their home. 

What Do Sump Pumps Do?pump

A sump pump is a device designed to remove floodwater from a basement or crawl space. It is common for homes with an underground basement to experience different levels of flooding from precipitation runoff and groundwater. This water can pool on cement floors and attract bugs, mold, and foul smells. 

Sump pump basins in the ground collect the water, which can then be pumped out of the home to be disposed of outdoors. A sump pump is the best way to prevent basement flooding and the damage that accompanies it. A flooded basement can cause a lot of property damage, including the risk of fire if the water reaches electrical wiring.

Submersible Sump Pump or Pedestal Sump Pump?

pumpsThere are two main types of sump pumps that homeowners can choose from. Submersible sump pumps are submerged in the water in the sump pit, whereas pedestal sump pumps sit above the ground. Each has pros and cons, but submersible sump pumps are typically the most efficient and powerful. Being submerged in water helps reduce noise from submersible sump pumps and keeps their engines cool. 

Pedestal pumps are the easiest to install and maintain, but they may not be powerful enough to handle heavy flooding. Homeowners may also prefer pedestal pumps because they typically have a smaller price tag and last longer than submersible pumps. Pedestal pumps also take up more space than submersible pumps because they sit above the sump basin instead of inside it. 

Secondary and Backup Sump Pumps

If the sump pump runs on electricity, installing a secondary or backup battery sump pump may be needed to protect the home from flooding during disasters because it’s common for electricity to go out during storms. The basement could badly flood if the sump pump shuts off during a storm with heavy rain. Combination sump pumps are a great option because they have a built-in backup. 

Another reason why homeowners may need a secondary or backup sump pump is if their home experiences such heavy flooding that one sump pump alone can not get the job done effectively. Installing more than one sump pump in the basement may be necessary to keep the basement dry and clean during periods of heavy precipitation. 

About G.F. Bowman, Inc.

G.F. Bowman, Inc. is a family-owned and operated company serving Harrisburg, PA, and the surrounding areas since 1967. They provide upfront pricing, on-time arrivals, and clean-up after every project. Call them today for sump pump installation services in Harrisburg, PA.

Prevent the Horrors of Backflow With Backflow Testing

What Exactly is Backflow?

The public plumbing system has its own set of horrors, and it’s important that homeowners not only know about them and how to spot them but also when it’s time to call a professional. When it comes to public health, it’s crucial that any potential water contamination is stopped before entire communities and even cities become sick. 

That’s what can happen as a result of backflow. But what is backflow? Backflow is when contaminated water moves in the wrong direction and ends up in the freshwater supply inside homes. It can be detrimental to public health. Homeowners must be aware of the signs of backflow, but sometimes they are easy to miss. That is why homeowners must partake in semi-regular backflow testing by a certified plumber. Keep reading for all the information that homeowners need about backflow and backflow testing. 

What Are the Dangers of Backflow?

backflowBackflow is a public health issue because of all the health problems it causes when someone drinks or uses contaminated water to wash dishes, brush teeth, or shower. However, backflow is also a menace to the plumbing system and the home as a whole. 

Here are a few things that backflow can do to the home: 

  • It can cause an overflow of contaminated water through the plumbing fixtures, which creates water damage. 
  • It can create leaks and cracks
  • Corrodes or encourages corrosion of the pipes
  • Cause water to be discolored or smell bad

Backflow can pre-age the plumbing system, lead to dirty water damage in the home, and put family members in the hospital if they unknowingly ingest the contaminated water. If any of the above effects of backflow are noticed, homeowners should take it as an indication to call a plumber immediately. 

The 411 on Backflow Testing

testingThe only way to ensure that the home hasn’t fallen victim to backflow is to have it regularly tested for backflow. Sure, sometimes the contaminated water will look darker than normal and be pretty apparent that the water is dirty. However, this isn’t always the case! 

Professionals perform a backflow test to double-check that the backflow preventers are working properly. To do this, they first shut off the water valve and wait a few moments. Then, the pressure within the system gets tested via a test kit hose. During the test, the professional looks for areas where the pressure isn’t where it’s supposed to be.  

Why is Backflow Testing Important?

Of course, the main benefit of backflow testing and why it’s so important is preventing water contamination and protecting public health. But here are a few other reasons why every homeowner should have their home regularly tested for backflow: 

  • Backflow can be hard to detect
  • Regular tests can help preserve the plumbing system and the home
  • Testing can prevent water damage and repair bills
  • It could potentially lower the water bill if the house is prone to backflow

Overall, homeowners shouldn’t hesitate to have their homes checked for backflow and maintained to ensure all their plumbing fixtures and appliances work properly and safely. Be sure to call a professional for backflow testing before it’s too late!

G.F. Bowman, Inc. Are the Plumbers to Call!

G.F. Bowman, Inc. provides the residents of Harrisburg, PA, and the surrounding areas with solutions for all their plumbing, heating, and cooling needs. They offer upfront pricing, on-time arrival, and fast service. Call them today for backflow testing and certification services in Harrisburg, PA

Why Does the Home Have Low Water Pressure?

Common Causes of Reduced Water Pressure In Homes

One of the most frustrating plumbing issues homeowners can face is low water pressure - not because it’s terribly disruptive (although it certainly can be) but because it can be so difficult to identify what’s causing it.

Temporary reductions in water pressure might be explained by too many faucets and fixtures being in use at one time, but when the problem persists, it can leave homeowners scratching their heads. But every plumbing problem has its cause, and it’s just a matter of tracking it down. This article will discuss three of the most common causes of low water pressure - and what to do about them.

Water Leaks

leaksOne of the most insidious low water pressure causes is a pipe leak. Since the water in a home’s supply lines is constantly under pressure for rapid delivery to fixtures, some pressure will escape through any opening it can get. This means there will be less pressure (and less water) when it reaches the fixtures. A slow leak due to corrosion or a loose pipe fitting can go undetected for months, especially if it’s hidden underground or behind a wall, making this both a nuisance and a potentially costly problem.

The good news, in this case, is that the low water pressure may be the clue that alerts homeowners to the leak, allowing them to fix it before it causes more damage. The solution here is to schedule professional leak detection to find and fix the source of a leak.

Mineral Buildup and Clogs

Another common cause of decreased water pressure is a pipe clog or obstruction. Bits of rust or other debris can build up over time and form a blockage inside the pipes, restricting water flow. This is particularly common in older homes with aging or corroded pipes.

Another form of this is when mineral deposits from hard water collect on the pipe's walls, effectively reducing its diameter and constricting the water’s movement. This is a fairly common problem in Pennsylvania and other regions with hard water. One telltale sign of a clogged or mineral-coated pipe is if the water pressure is normal when the faucet is first opened, but the flow gets weaker as water continues to come out.

Fixing buildup or clogs in the water supply lines is best left to a professional plumber. In some cases, the pipes can be flushed (which is no small undertaking), but in the case of severe mineral deposits or pipe corrosion, lines may need to be replaced.

Closed Valves and Faulty Fixtures

valveIn some cases, low water pressure throughout the home may simply result from a valve being fully or partially closed. This often occurs after a repair technician or utility company representative shuts off the home's water. Two common culprits are the water meter valve (located in or near the water meter box) and the home’s main shutoff valve (typically found in a basement, garage, or exterior wall where the water main enters the house). Homeowners can simply turn these to the fully opened position and see if that has any effect.

A faulty water pressure regulator (usually located just downstream of the water meter or main shutoff valve) may also cause low water pressure in the entire home. But if only one fixture has low pressure, the fixture itself is likely faulty or clogged with mineral deposits (fairly common with older fixtures). For instance, if there’s the low water pressure in the shower, but the bathroom sink has normal pressure, it’s probably time to replace that showerhead.

Homeowners may be able to tackle a showerhead or faucet replacement themselves, but replacing the home’s pressure regulator will require a professional. Even if the fixture replacement is a DIY fix, it’s still a good idea to schedule a professional inspection to determine if a larger issue like hard water deposits or corrosion was to blame for the fixture’s failure to ensure the underlying cause is being addressed.

About G.F. Bowman, Inc.

G.F. Bowman, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business with over 55 years of experience serving Harrisburg, PA, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, on-time arrival, and fast service. Call them today for plumbing services in Harrisburg, PA.

Happy National HVAC Tech Day!

Today is National HVAC Tech Day!

HVAC systems are a vital part of any home or office, especially during the summer when the heat can be unbearable. That's why National HVAC Tech Day is celebrated every year on the 22nd of June. On this day, we celebrate the hardworking HVAC technicians who keep our homes and businesses cool and comfortable.

HVAC technicians are trained in installing, repairing, and maintaining heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems. They work long hours in hot weather to ensure that our HVAC systems are running properly. So if you see a technician on National HVAC Tech Day, be sure to thank them for their hard work!

Maintain Your HVAC System

As the summer heat picks up, it's a good time to think about your HVAC system, and what better time than National HVAC Tech Day! HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and it's vital to keeping your home comfortable all year round. Not only do they keep the house cool, but they also help to circulate air and remove humidity.

HVAC systems can be complex, so it's important to have a trained technician perform maintenance on them regularly. Otherwise, the system may not work properly when it’s needed most. During the peak of summer, the last thing anyone wants is their air conditioner to break down.

By having a reliable HVAC system in place, you can avoid the discomfort of excessive heat and maintain a comfortable environment in your home. HVAC maintenance should be performed by a qualified technician twice a year, once for the air conditioning and once for the heater. However, one crucial part of maintenance that homeowners can do themselves is change the air filters. Air filters should be replaced at least every three months or more often if the home has pets or allergy sufferers.

About G.F. Bowman, Inc.

G.F. Bowman, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business with over 50 years of experience serving its neighbors in Harrisburg, PA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate pricing, on-time arrival, and permanent solutions. Call them today for heating and air conditioning services in Harrisburg, PA.

Reasons To Avoid DIY Plumbing Repairs

Three Dangers of DIY Plumbing Solutions 

Not just anyone can be a plumber. Getting licensed, bonded, and certified takes years of training. It also requires apprenticeships, maintaining a high standard of service, and abiding by Pennsylvania laws. It could take more than two years for someone to call themselves a plumber and market their skills. 

But why do plumbers need this level of training? That’s because a lot can go wrong at the hands of an unskilled professional. If homeowners try to fix their home’s plumbing problems without specialized knowledge, they risk: 

Misdiagnosing the Problem 

Imagine this scenario. A homeowner suspects that they have a clog in their bathroom sink, and that’s what’s causing low water pressure. They turn off the water main, disassemble the sink’s pipes, and remove what they think is the clog. However, when they turn the faucet back on, the water pressure still isn’t great. What went wrong? 

There are other reasons for low water pressure besides clogs. For instance, it could be a problem with the city’s plumbing system, not the home’s, or it could indicate a leak buried under the home’s foundation. Without consulting a professional, not only has the homeowner wasted valuable time, but they might have improperly reassembled the sink’s pipes, leading to future problems. 

If homeowners aren’t 100 percent sure what a plumbing issue is, they should stay far away from DIY plumbing repairs. Instead, they should reach out to a trained professional. 

 

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Wasting Time 

Plumbers rely on their specialized training and experience to promptly address problems. They don’t spend hours and hours googling solutions or watching YouTube videos. They get to the source of the problem quickly to help the next homeowner. 

Yet, wasted time isn’t the only concern for DIY plumbing work. Some plumbing problems can pose a threat to homeowners’ safety. For instance, mold and mildew can grow inside drainpipes, endangering overall health. Healthline notes that if someone ingests certain types of mold, they can suffer allergy-like symptoms and other health ailments. 

Again, this makes consulting a professional crucial when faced with a plumbing problem. They can quickly address any issues using specialized tools while limiting harm to others’ health. 

 

Losing Money cost

Here’s another scenario to consider. A homeowner has a leaking pipe. They go to the hardware store, get a pipe, then realize they have the wrong part. They go back to the store and get the right pipe. They get home and notice they don’t have the right tools. Again, they return to the hardware store, get a tool kit, and then, surprise, surprise, they get home and don’t have the one tool they need. 

This scenario isn’t just frustrating. It also wastes money. Mistakes, frequent runs to the hardware store, and possible damage could cost more than hiring a professional. An experienced plumber won’t rely on trial-and-error measures to get jobs done. They’ll know exactly what to do when faced with an issue and have the skill set to fix it. 

About G.F. Bowman, Inc. 

G.F. Bowman, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business with over 50 years of experience serving Harrisburg, PA, and the surrounding areas. They have been voted “Best of Lebanon” for ten years and provide permanent solutions, trusted staff, and honest service. Call them today for plumbing services in Harrisburg, PA.