A woman is on the phone as she sits on the floor with a wrench; there is a kitchen sink behind her.

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. 



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.

April is Earth Month, So Consider Ways to Be Ecologically Friendly With Plumbing

Celebrate Earth Day with These Tips for being more “Green”

Most people want to have ecologically sound habits, but many are under the mistaken impression that being eco-friendly means extra expense. Striving for a home that conserves water and is energy efficient can save the household a good deal of money. There are many options for reducing water and electricity usage on the market today. 

This article will discuss a few ways a home’s plumbing system can be made more friendly to the planet.

Efficient Water Conserving Fixtures

toilet There are several ways to decrease water usage in a home easily. While having members of a  household who are mindful of their water usage is the first step, several modern fixtures can assist with this endeavor. Several types of toilets, faucets, and washers can help in a homeowner’s quest to save the earth.
  • Pressure-Assisted Toilets: These toilets use less water by delivering it at a higher pressure and assisting with the flush. They are perfect for a guest bath or powder room.
  •  Dual Flush Toilets:  These toilets have a flush that uses approximately half the usual amount of water for one flush and has a flush to take care of, ahem, larger problems.
  • Touch Faucets: While this may seem like an innovation of convenience, this is an ecologically sound method of saving water. The faucets that touch on and off use only the precise amount of water necessary, and one does not lose a little bit every time they turn off the tap.
  • Smart Washing Machines: These washers use only the amount of water necessary for a load of laundry by using sensors that measure the weight. This prevents water waste and saves money by using less detergent.
water heater

Energy-Saving Water Heaters

Energy and water conservation don’t always converge, but it is in appliances like water heaters and the washers mentioned above when they do.  Water heaters have been around for a long time, but technology continues to improve to make them more efficient. 

One of the more recent developments in the tankless water heater or instant water heater. These highly efficient units save energy because they heat the water quickly as it goes through a short series of pipes, not by heating a large tank of water and maintaining that temperature which takes quite a bit of energy.

Does A Pipe’s Material Make a Difference?

When it comes to the maze of pipes that course the water around a home, the material that composes those pipes can be a pretty big deal for water and energy conservation.  Listed below are four types of pipes and their benefits:

  • Copper: Durable, great for hot water, recyclable, 50-year lifespan.
  • PVC: Inexpensive, easy to install, can be used for water supply mains, indefinite lifespan unless damaged
  • CPVC: Strong and somewhat flexible, good for hot water delivery, good for indoor use, and not subject to corrosion
  • PEX: Flexible and easy to install, good for hot water delivery and indoor use, not subject to corrosion

About G.F. Bowman, Inc.

G.F. Bowman, Inc. is a family-owned and operated company that has served its community for over 50 years. They believe in being honest and upfront with their customers and offer permanent solutions to plumbing, heating, and air conditioning problems. Call them today for plumbing services in Harrisburg, PA.

Three Plumbing Issues That Can Put a Damper on Summer Fun

Plumbing Issues Can Hamper Summer Fun

Outdoor barbeques, backyard volleyball, and a whole lot of get-togethers are just some of the many fun activities that homeowners and their families are gearing up for this summer. With lasting warm weather on the horizon and the sun soon shining bright, there is every reason to smile. But not if homeowners have to deal with the headaches of home plumbing issues!

Several different plumbing issues can wreak havoc for homeowners, and these can hamper the summer fun. Homeowners must understand the common issues to look out for to identify any problems early on, seek professional help to address the issues immediately, and keep the party going!

Broken Sprinklerssprinkler

Broken sprinkler systems are the first major issue to watch out for. Often, debris can get stuck in the sprinkler valves that sit above-ground. Typically, when sprinkler systems turn on, these valves spray water that has traveled underground. But if debris is stuck, then these valves cannot properly move up and down, which throws off the whole system.

As for other sprinkler issues, so many other problems have to do with damage to this underground structure. First, the sprinkler lines can break due to pressure from the surrounding soil or other causes like tree roots. In severe cases, there may also be burst pipes that result from colder weather conditions.


Faulty Hose Bibs

In addition to the sprinkler system, homeowners need to watch out for their hose bibs. These hose bibs connect a hose to a water source – they are essentially “outdoor faucets.” Often, hose bibs connect directly to the side of the house.

Many different issues can result from the hose bibs, such as structural damage to the bib itself, water leaks or puddling in or around the hose bib area, debris buildups, or rusting strange sounds during use. All of these may be signs that there is a faulty hose bib.

So why exactly do these issues matter? Well, if not addressed early enough, homeowners may end up having a bigger problem on their hands. Since the hose bibs often connect to the side of the home, continued leaking can potentially lead to cracks or other sorts of damage to the home foundation. This is definitely a no-no that homeowners will want to avoid at all costs!

Worst of All: Sewer Line Issues

Homeowners must beware of sewer line issues, as these can be extremely unpleasant and hugely problematic. Sewer line issues can occur for all different reasons, including corrosion or backups in the pipes, tree root issues, or drastic fluctuations in temperatures.

There can be other downstream issues like draining problems, water flow issues in plumbing fixtures, highly foul odors, and more when there is damage to the sewer lines. Homeowners must watch out for these signs and call for immediate help should they suspect issues with their sewer lines. Failure to do so will most certainly hamper the summer fun!

About G. F. Bowman, Inc.

G.F. Bowman, Inc. of Cleona, PA is a family-owned and operated business providing trusted plumbing solutions for over 50 years. Their team of experts offers high-quality workmanship, permanent solutions, and top-notch customer service for each of their clients. Call them for plumbing help today!

Guide to Outdoor Plumbing Blockages

What Are Plumbing Blockages?

A plumbing blockage is usually first noticed when there is a backup in the plumbing somewhere in the house, usually the kitchen or bathroom. The sink or the tub may refuse to drain, or the toilet bowl could be filling up for no reason. Whatever sign it is that is noticed, a plumbing blockage is a serious problem that needs to be fixed right away.

Fixing a blockage can be difficult, but professional plumbers have the training and knowledge to make it happen safely. If there is a blockage in the home, fixing it right away is essential because a blockage could lead to bigger problems for the homeowner in terms of damage. The entire plumbing system can be affected if there is a large blockage somewhere, and built-up pressure can even cause a burst pipe which could be expensive to fix and cause dangerous water damage.

How Does Outdoor Plumbing Work?

outdoor plumbingThe plumbing of the home is often located somewhat outside. The pipes to the inside of the house will be connected to pipes under and around the house. People often forget about outdoor plumbing because “Out of sight, out of mind.”

But outdoor plumbing needs maintenance too to work correctly and is actually more prone to problems than indoor plumbing. Tree roots and plant roots can grow into the pipes of outdoor plumbing and cause problems.

The water pressure from heavy rain is another common problem that can affect outdoor plumbing. Many people have outdoor plumbing in the form of a faucet or another water source outside that is meant for use in a garden, etc.

How to Fix Clogged Outdoor Pipes

If the outdoor pipes are clogged the best thing to do is call in a professional to unclog them. In serious cases a clog can cause a pipe to burst and end in a lot of property damage, so fixing it right away is ideal. There are ways to prevent clogs in pipes, such as simply doing regular maintenance on everything, making sure that things are clean.

outdoor pipes

If the pipes have loose parts it can cause cracks where dirt can come in, causing further clogs, so tighten all the pipes accordingly. When it comes to outdoor toilet plumbing, be sure to never flush anything down the toilet other than toilet paper, because this is a super common cause of clogs.

How Do Hydrojetting Services Work?

hydrojettingA professional plumbing company can provide hydrojetting services for outdoor and indoor plumbing. For large clogs, hydrojetting is one of the only ways to get rid of the clog effectively. Hydrojetting includes using high-pressure water to clean blockages out of the pipes.

This is only to be done safely by a professional. If there are constant clogs in the plumbing, it may be necessary to use hydrojetting to remove any obstacles from the pipes that are causing the blockage.

Hydrojetting is very effective and can quickly remove a clog that has been causing problems. If you’re not sure what is the best way to handle plumbing blockages, contact your local plumbing company for help!

About G.F. Bowman, Inc.

G.F. Bowman, Inc. provides heating, cooling, and plumbing services in Harrisburg, PA since 1967! For home repairs, maintenance, and installation they have the expert's knowledge, tools, and services that homeowners need. For trusted services and affordable prices look no further than the experts at G.F. Bowman, Inc.

The Unwanted Effects of a Water Plumbing Leak Inside Your Home!

What a Water Leak Can do Inside Your Home

Unfortunately for many homeowners, not all plumbing leaks are going to come in the form of large floods that are easily spotted. While that may sound like a good thing, small leaks can cause just as much damage over time.

In many cases they go unnoticed for weeks and sometimes months, damaging your home and costing you thousands in the process. In this article, you will see some of the essential ways that homeowners can get the upper hand on leak detection.

Plumbing Leaks Can Waste Thousands Of Gallons Of Water Per Year

Plumbing leaks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and most importantly visibility. While a large leak can potentially cause a flood in the home, a small leak can cause just as much damage (if not more) over time. This is why it is crucial to have some understanding of what to look for when you suspect a small plumbing leak may be at work.

Small leaks in a homeowner’s plumbing can waste thousands of gallons of water and cost hundreds of dollars more per year. Not only that, but there are also detrimental health risks to be aware of, as well as potentially costly repairs to damaged fixtures outside of the plumbing itself.

The best defense against small but harmful leaks is to keep an eye on three specific things; water costs, mold, and odor. These three may not seem as though they would be able to indicate a plumbing leak, but they are the most common symptoms of the issue.

Look For Increased Water Costs

The first sign of a plumbing leak is an increase in your water costs. Generally, this will be a noticeable spike in the amount of water consumption per month. When water consumption is elevated without a cause, chances are it could be the toilet.

A toilet is behind almost 40% of a home's water consumption. When a toilet is not working properly, it will continue to run using almost double the amount of water it normally would. If you find this to be the case, a professional is the best bet for a quick and accurate solution.

high water bill

In the meantime, however, you can turn the water valve off when the toilet is not in use. This will keep the toilet from running and wasting precious water down the drain. Just remember to turn the water back on before use, however.

Wet Spots Are Also Mold Spots

Wet spots on the ceiling or walls are most likely on near water pipes that run through the walls. When you detect these spots, it usually means there is a leak in the pipe located in that area. Unfortunately, the leak is not the only issue in this case. The water spots are going to produce different types of mold and mildew that can be harmful to your health.

There are many health concerns associated with exposure to mold. Some of the symptoms include:

  • mold spotsSore and itchy throat.
  • Coughing and wheezing.
  • General increased breathing problems.
  • Increased allergies.
  • Sore, itchy, and watery eyes.
  • Nose bleeds.

There are several other symptoms that can occur; especially when conditions are already present.

Mold Also Causes Musty Odors

Another unfortunate side effect of mold is the musty odor it gives off. This is caused by any time water is left standing while in contact with any porous material. The musty odor will affect the olfactory senses the most; meaning the sense of smell.

While a musty odor can be hard to live with, getting rid of it can also be very difficult. When a musty odor has found its way into clothing or any textiles, washing it several times can help, but usually the item is thrown away.

musty smell

When the musty odor attaches itself to the walls, ceiling, and floor of a home, the homeowner can face costly re-construction to correct the issue.

Luckily, the musty odor, along with the health risks, can all be prevented by being aware of the warning signs of plumbing leaks. If you detect a musty odor in a specific location, call your local experts to investigate the problem.

G.F. Bowman, Inc.

G.F. Bowman, Inc. has been the plumbing and indoor comfort experts for over 50 years in the Cleona, PA area. With a professional plumber on call, there is no problem too big or too small. As community leaders, G.F. Bowman, Inc. is dedicated to the well being of each and every resident.