What to Do If Your Shower Pan Leaks?

By | Blog | No Comments

What to Do If Your Shower Pan Leaks?

First of all, the shower pan is one of the most important parts of your home’s bathroom. The large ceramic, porcelain or plastic basin at the base of your shower is supposed to collect all the water from your shower head and move it down the drain, but things don’t always go as planned.

As durable as your home’s shower pan can be, it’s also extremely sensitive to movement. This movement can lead to cracks in the foundation and water damage. Everyday wear and tear can also ruin your shower pan over time. If you notice pools of water around the base of your shower or water leaking into your home’s foundation, it’s time to call in a professional and have your shower pan replaced.

You can also check out our article on: How to find leaks in your home

Potential Shower Pan Problems

Shower pans are built to last, but all sorts of things can go wrong if the pan was installed incorrectly or if you’ve been using the same pan for decades. These are some of the most common situations that can cause your shower pan to fail. 

  • Excessive Movement

Under no circumstances should your shower pan be moving. If any movement does occur, the shower pan can crack and leak. These cracks can make room for water to slip out the sides or in between the shower pan and the drain.

Typically, a shower pan is bolted to the beams in the wall when it’s first installed, so the chances of your shower pan moving around are slim to none, but things can go awry if the pan wasn’t installed properly or if the pan is several decades old.

Concrete shower pans are extremely durable and heavy, so these won’t likely budge too much. But plastic shower pans are much lighter and more susceptible to movement. If your home has moved or shifted naturally over the years or if you live in an area with earthquakes or excessive flooding like Miami, there’s a good chance that your shower pan will move around as the years go on. 

  • Wearing Away Overtime

Shower pans can also deteriorate naturally over time. With all that water coming and going, the caulking on the sides of the pan can start to splinter and leak. This can cause water to go down into your home’s foundation. The caulking used to install the pan isn’t fool-proof, so you’ll want to keep an eye on this part of the bathroom as your home ages. 

  • Deflection

Deflection is another major warning sign that your shower pan is leaking. If you notice a slope or a curve in your shower pan or in the tile around your bathroom, there’s a good chance that you have a major leak on your hands. 

Testing Your Shower Pan

If you see some water on the floor but you’re not sure if your shower pan is leaking, you can test the integrity of your shower pan on one of your days off. The test takes around eight hours, so make sure that you have some free time on your hands.

All you’ll need is some duct tape, a bucket, and a tape measure. To start, make sure that your shower pan is completely dry. Then cover the drain with several thick pieces of duct tape so that the drain is sealed tight.

Next, fill up a bucket with water and pour some into the shower pan until the water is about 1 inch high. Put a mark on the tub or shower pan to note the water level. Over the next 8 hours if you notice the water level decreasing, your shower pan will probably need to be replaced. 

Checking for Water Damage

During the test or after you’ve taken a shower, don’t forget to inspect the floor underneath your bathroom. If your shower is on the second floor or higher, carefully inspect the ceilings in the room directly underneath the shower pan. If you notice any dripping or staining, you’ll need to have your shower pan replaced immediately. A plumbing professional can help as there may be extensive water damage between floors.

If your shower is on the first floor, you’ll need to crawl under the foundation of your home to inspect the area underneath the bathroom. Use a flashlight to keep an eye out for soggy wood, stains, and leaks. If you notice water damage, you should call a professional plumber immediately. 

Contacting a Professional

Replacing your shower pan is not exactly a DIY home improvement project. It usually involves ripping out your existing shower pan. Also you may need to remove the tile walls around the shower, and even the floor boards underneath your bathroom.

Don’t risk doing further damage to your home. Call the professionals at Hernandez Plumbing in Miami to have your shower pan replaced the right way.

How to Fix and Prevent a Clogged Toilet

By | Blog | No Comments

How to Fix and Prevent a Clogged Toilet

Clogged Toilet

Clogged Toilet

 

It happens to everyone. Now and again, you reach for the handle to flush the toilet and it feels like your entire bathroom is going to overflow with water. But have no fear; dealing with a clogged toilet is a relatively straightforward household chore.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money and most people can fix the issue themselves in just a few minutes.

All you’ll need is a toilet plunger with a rubber extension and possibly a toilet snake. Learn how to unclog any toilet in your home or office in just a few minutes. Your loved ones or colleagues will be eternally grateful. 

Using the Plunger

Not all plungers are created equal. Try to find one with a rubber overhang that extends past the bell of the plunger. This shape will help you get more power out of every thrust. Before you start huffing and puffing, wait for the water to go down as much as possible. If you just tried to flush the toilet to no avail, the water should start to recede after a couple of minutes.

To plunge out whatever’s clogging your toilet, push the plunger into the drain using a back and forth motion. As you start pushing and pulling, keep these plunging tips in mind:

 

  1. Start with a gentle push as the first wave of air can splatter toilet water all over your bathroom.
  2. Keep the plunger submerged in water as much as possible throughout the exercise.
  3. Use a combination of fast and firm strokes until the object has been dislodged.
  4. Always maintain the seal by keeping the edges of the plunger wrapped around the drain.

To find a good plunger that does the work try this resource: Best Toilet Plungers

 

When in Doubt, Use a Toilet Snake 

While using a regular plunger will get rid of most toilet clogs, some extreme situations might require a toilet snake, a long metal tool that reaches down into the drain.

Toilet snakes are usually less than $10, so you might as well keep one around the house. Right away, you’ll notice that one end of the toilet snake has a corkscrew-like feature. This is the end that travels down the drain. Feed this end of the snake into the toilet. After a few seconds, you should feel it rubbing up against the clogged object. 

 

snake to unclog a toilet

 

Now, twist the other end of the snake that you still have in your hand. The corkscrew end will either break up the clogged item or attach itself to it, giving you the chance to pull it up and out of the drain. Just be careful when you’re removing the clogged item as you’re bound to see a splash of toilet water. 

The Nuclear Option 

If all else fails, you might need to completely remove the toilet and turn off the water supply, so you can physically remove the clog, but this is rarely necessary unless someone flushed a household object down the drain.

You might be a bit squeamish about unbolting your toilet from the floor, so it’s usually best to contact a plumber in your area. 

How to Prevent Toilet Clogs 

Once the problem has been solved, you’re probably curious as to how you can prevent this in the future. While toilets are notoriously fickle creatures, you can limit the chances of something like this happening again if you take these precautions:

 

  1. The only item going into your toilet should be toilet paper. Refrain from using paper towel, tissues and other paper products.
  2. Keep the toilet lid closed, so you don’t accidentally drop something in the bowl. This is especially important if you have a small child that likes to toss their toys in the toilet.
  3. Do not dump thick compounds down the drain. Substances like spray foam, caulk, grease and wax will bring your drain to a standstill.

 

If you can’t unclog your toilet using the methods listed above, it’s time to call your local plumber. A professional will be able to get your home’s system up and running again in no time.

Of course, you can’t always wait for the plumber to come to you. That’s why Hernandez Plumbing offers emergency plumbing services to homeowners and business owners across South Florida. Whether it’s the middle of a busy workday or you’re having your relatives over for a long weekend, the team at Hernandez Plumbing will be there to fix the problem. Contact us today!

 

Is Your Water Heater Leaking?

By | Blog | No Comments

Water Heater Installation Miami

Is Your Water Heater Leaking? 

Do you think you have a leaking water heater? If you have a leak, there are some pretty quick ways to find the leak.

Are you wondering why you need to find the leak and not the plumber? Well, if you find the leak and can point it out to the plumber then you will be saving your plumber time on the job. And that saves you some money. 

Testing to see if you have a water heater leak 

If you think you have a leaking water heater, the easiest way to test for a leak is by simply placing paper towels under where you think the leak is. Wipe up any puddle or drips that you see under or near the water heater. Then place some paper towels where the water was and leave them there for a day or two.

Be sure to check on the paper towels every few hours or so. If the paper towels are still dry after a day or so, chances are you don’t have a leaking water heater and you are in the clear for now. If you start to see moisture than you will want to start looking for the leak.  

Looking for the leak in your water heater 

Looking for a leak in your water heater does not have to be very difficult. Remember that water follows the laws of gravity. One of your first steps to locate the leak is to give your water heater a good “once over”. Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom. Just by looking, you may be able to spot where the water is coming from.

If this yields you no answer, try other possible leak sites like the cold-water inlet and the hot water outlet. You will also want to check all of the plumbing connections and fittings as well as the temperature/pressure and relief valve. 

What do you need to know? 

Not all leaks mean you need a new water heater. It could be something as simple as tightening a loose fitting. Anything beyond a quick turn of the wrench means you should call a plumber. If you want to try doing it yourself, turn off the power to your water heater. If your water heater is electric, turn off the circuit breaker to the water heater.

If you have a gas water heaters, there should be a dial located on the water heater–make sure this dial is in the off position. Next, you will want to make sure that the water supply to the water heater is off. There is a valve, which is normally located above the water heater, which should also be in the off position.

Did you know that many water heaters could heat water upwards of 190 degrees? At these temperatures you can be seriously injured just by indirect contact with steam or water. 

How can you fix the leak? 

Not all leaks in your water heater are a DIY fix. Most will require calling a plumber to fix the problem. One easy fix is a loose fitting. If you have an adjustable wrench, you can make sure that all of the fittings are tight and not leaking.

If your leak is coming from a valve, either the temperature/pressure relief valve, you could replace it yourself if you have experience with plumbing. However, if you do not have much experience in the workings of home plumbing, give the local plumber a call. 

When do you need to replace your water heater? 

Is it time to replace your water heater? Look at the age of your water heater. The average life span of a water heater is roughly 10-13 years. As is the case with most appliances, they could need replacing long before they reach the ten-year mark. Or they could continue working just fine long after the thirteen-year mark.

The bottom line is you really don’t know when your water heater is going to stop working. Some signs to look for are leaks under the tank itself, the water turns cold before the end of your shower, or you have rusty water.

For the DIY people, here is an article on how to install an electric water heater.

What should the budget be? 

In order to create a budget for replacing your hot water heater you will need to do a little bit of research. Take into consideration your needs first and foremost. You do not want to purchase a hot water heater that is too small because that is what you can afford and likewise you do not want to purchase a hot water heater that is far too large for what you need just because you can afford it.

There are numerous brands of hot water heaters to choose from but there are only two main types of hot water heaters. You will either have a traditional water heater with a tank or a new style water heater, which is called a tank less or on-demand water heater. If you are going from a traditional water heater to an on-demand water heater you could expect to pay a bit more. If you want to know the best size and type for your home, contact your local plumber for professional advice for your specific project.

 

7 Things That Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Call The Plumber

By | Blog | No Comments
Call The Plumber

Call The Plumber

7 Things That Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Call the Plumber 

If you were thinking about a “do it yourself” plumbing project, you may want to think again. There are so many things that could go wrong! It may just be better to call a professional and let them tackle the problem.

Of course, you want to save as much money as possible, so you are thinking “sure I can do this myself”. However, you may want to think about a few things before you get started.

  • Do you have the knowledge?
  • You may be very handy, but does your skill set include training in plumbing?
  • Do you have the proper tools to complete the task at hand?
  • Once you have the required tools, do you actually know how to safely use them?

You could run out to the local hardware store to buy the tools you need, but that gets pricey. These are just a few of the factors you should think through before undertaking any plumbing project. Now, onto the more complicated situations that could arise when trying to complete a plumbing project on your own. 

Drain clearing liquid can cause more damage 

Clogged drains or water sitting in your sink or tub may be one of the most common plumbing issues that arise. Of course you think, “ Let me run to the store to grab a jug or two of clog clearing liquid and that will fix the problem”.

Of course it may temporally unclog the drain but does it actually correct the problem?

Think about this for a second. The liquid is made up of harsh and dangerous chemicals, which could actually be harmful to you and, believe it or not, harmful to your pipes. This type of liquid could be quite corrosive to any of your pipes. It doesn’t matter if you have PVC pipes or copper pipes.

Now, imagine what using this harsh clog clearing liquid a few times a year is doing to your pipes. Not to mention that but more than likely, it is not actually fixing the problem. At some point you will need to call a plumber to correct the underlying problem–doing so at the first sign of a problem will save you both time and money in the long run. 

You did not shut the water off at the correct location 

Maybe you know how to turn your sink or tub or washer off.

  • But can you turn off the water to your toilet?
  • How about your entire house?
  • Is there a main valve that you have to locate to turn off all of the water to your house?

The answer is, yes. You will need to locate this valve in order to shut off the whole house.

If you are asking yourself these questions, then perhaps you need to call a plumber. We have all seen the sitcom episode that shows the lead actor trying to fix the plumbing or install a new shower head. Things never go exactly as planned. Before you know it, there is water spewing everywhere and the kitchen or bathroom is flooded.

Don’t turn your life into a sitcom! 

The valve is stuck and you can’t turn it back on 

If you are smart enough to know where your main line valve is, there is no guarantee that you will be able to turn it back on once you have completed the project. Stuck valves have been known to happen. This valve is not used often, so it can get rusty or corroded. And stuck in the off position.

Again, calling the plumber in the first place may have been the easier and wiser choice. 

You have made the problem worse 

This is the real nightmare–you not only can’t fix the problem, but you have managed to create a much larger mess. You need to shut off the main source of water to the house. But you are not really sure where that valve is. In the time it takes you to find the valve to shut off the water, you have successfully managed to flood your kitchen or bathroom.

Standing in ankle deep water is not exactly the time to think about calling the plumber.

Calling the plumber now for an emergency visit is not going to save you any money. Calling the plumber to do the project in the first place would have saved you a lot of time and a lot of aggravation. 

The mess that you now have to clean up 

You do not really want to call a plumber under emergency circumstances. Sometimes doing so cannot be avoided. The easiest way to avoid calling the plumber in an emergency is to make calling the plumber your first choice. Attempting to fix it yourself may only lead to costly water damage to your floors, basement, home goods, and entire house.

If the problem occurred on the second floor, water could leak down into your walls. Now not only do you have to call the plumber, but you will also have to worry about mold in your walls.

Save the money. Call the professionals. 

Your entire weekend is now shot 

We all lead hectic, busy and stressful lives. Do you seriously want to spend your evening or worse yet your Saturday and Sunday off working on your plumbing?

A project that will likely take you hours or even days to finish, your local plumber could probably have done in minutes or a couple hours. Your time to relax or be with your family is worth more than the cost of a plumber. 

You have wasted precious time and money 

When you add up all of the incidentals such as tools, mistakes, time, and parts it may have just been a much better decision to call the professional plumber in the first place. Leave things such as clogged drains, broken hot water heaters, busted pipes, and installing new faucets to the professional plumbers.

These plumbers have the correct tools, knowledge and skill set to handle any situation that may arise when it comes to your plumbing needs.

 

Plumbing Inspection Buying Home

7 Tips For A Plumbing Inspection When Buying A Home

By | Blog | No Comments

In the excitement of buying a home, it can be tempting to overlook some aspects of a property’s history, but you should always at least invest in a plumbing inspection before buying to make sure you know what to expect in that arena.

Though it is one of the most important things to consider, many homebuyers go ahead and take the plunge before attending to this crucial step only to realize the consequences of hasty decision making, and that the hazards of a faulty plumbing system can be quite an expensive problem to deal with after the fact.

Water damage and leakage due to aging or deteriorating plumbing can occur unseen for quite some time before the symptoms become apparent, and by that time you could have a really costly mess on your hands. Here are some issues to be aware of regarding your initial plumbing inspection. 

Poorly Installed Pipes

Poorly Installed Pipes

1. Poorly Installed Pipes

The biggest problem with poorly installed pipes is water leakage, and consequently, mold growth. Mold can start to propagate in less than 48 hours, causing all sorts of respiratory health problems. You must keep the humidity level in your home lower than 50% to keep mold issues at bay, and leaky pipes will only exacerbate a mold problem. If you find mold growth you or the current owner needs to do a mold remediation, as this is a danger to all people living on the property.

Another issue that comes with poorly installed pipes are venting issues. If you notice strong sewer odors in the home, toilets that are sputtering or gurgling, or water draining very slowly in the sinks, you could have venting problems. This is due to pipe corrosion or clogged pipes preventing proper airflow. 

2. Leaky Toilets

 If there is water around the base of the toilet(s) then it means obviously there is a problem with leakage. In some cases this is an easy fix, as it could just be due to an aging commode needing some repair. It is recommended that the seals and gaskets be periodically replaced.

But if you notice discoloration and rotting wood around the toilet, then it means that this problem was left to fester and could be that there is a more serious problem waiting to be discovered.  

Blocked Sewer Pipes

3. Outdated Sewage System

 A plumbing system can be sewer or septic. A sewer system runs out to the city’s main line and that is how water waste is managed. A septic system runs into a tank or a field. Each can develop specific problems over time no matter what type of system it is.

Warning signs to watch out for in a septic tank are odors, and water seepage. On the other hand, a water main that is managed by the city can deteriorate in another way, such as tree roots growing into the line, or backups occurring due to the deterioration of the main line. A plumber will often times run a video inspection into the line to check for any potential issues. 

4. Water Heater Issues

A water heater will last about 10-15 years on average, and you can find out how old a water heater is by looking at its model and serial number.

If it is approaching the end of its life, you can factor in another $1,000 to $2,000 to replace it. A water heater can give out at the base and cause major flooding if it is left too long, so it is important to find out its status so you are prepared when the time comes to get a new one. 

 5. Clogged Drains

 In addition to faulty pipes causing clogged drains, a blockage to the main sewer line clog can also cause big problems if not attended to. This is because sewage can backup into the house and cause plumbing appliances not to work properly. Besides causing major damage to your property, clogged drains can also pose some very serious health risks.

You can determine problems in a sewer line by having a professional plumber check the main line for clogs in the main line cleanout. You can also do it yourself, and rent a machine that helps clear the clog, or use a drain snake to do it. 

Lead Pipes

Lead Pipes

 6. Lead Pipes

The problems caused by lead pipes have been all over the news in the last few years. Older homes that have not had the pipes replaced in over 50 years can have issues with lead pipes. Lead can leach into the water supply and cause major health problems for residents exposed to it.

There is no level of safe exposure to lead, and it can be especially detrimental to young children and expectant mothers. You must always have a plumber inspect the pipes to see if they contain lead, because you would most likely incur a major expense in order to replace them. 

 7. Weigh the Costs 

When purchasing a home, there are always pros and cons to consider. For example, the property might be in the perfect location, but need some general repair to become the home of your dreams.

The fact that you may be in for some plumbing rehabilitation is no reason to pass on purchasing a property, because simply being aware of the particular issues you might face will give you peace of mind as you continue your home buying process. 

Final Word

Make sure you inspect all the previous plumbing features and you hire someone with the necessary knowledge to find any hidden problems. A plumbing issue in a new home can turn the new home into a nightmare. 

 

Sewer Camera Inspection

By | Blog | No Comments
Sewer Camera

Sewer Camera

A sewer camera inspection is often used to clear a sewer line blockage, or to determine if a building’s plumbing is functioning as it should be. In this type of inspection, a mini video camera attached to a cable and is inserted into a building’s sewer line to get a reliable view of what is happening in the pipes. If there is an obstruction in the sewer line, then the camera inspection can help locate the point of blockage and give insight on where the best place to dig to fix the pipe would be. 

Sewer Camera Inspection Video

The video camera inspection can extend all the way down plumbing branch lines, which are the labyrinth of pipes that lead from various water lines throughout the building, for example from bathtubs, toilets, and sinks as well as extending into the house’s main sewer line that leads from the house to the municipal sewer line. 

The camera will show video of the inside of the pipes close up and in real time, giving an accurate, high resolution image of their physical condition. Near the municipal line, the camera inspection can also show any damage to the insides of the pipes, perhaps caused by tree roots or general deterioration due to age. Depending on where the problem is occurring, the camera can go from the trap down through the line, before it reaches any obstruction, and sometimes even push through the obstruction to the main line. 

Why Do I Need A Sewer Camera Inspection?

A sewer camera inspection is often necessary when planning a bathroom remodeling project. This is because it is important to make sure the lines can handle the increase in waste water flow through the pipes. In real estate, a sewer camera inspection is a typical order of business when purchasing or selling a home, to make sure the plumbing lines are in good shape. Still, one of the main reasons a sewer camera inspection is prescribed is to fix a sewer blockage.

It is often the thing that is recommended by professional plumbers when all else fails, including plunging, augers, and drain cleaners. In the old days, plumbers would have to make an educated guess on where to dig in order to access the pipe that was blocked, but modern technology now allows for a focused inspection that will inform a professional plumber exactly where to dig to remedy the blockage. 

How Does It Work?

A sewer camera unit is fitted with a transmitter that sends a signal letting the plumber know where exactly in the line the blockage has occurred below ground. At ground level, a locating device is used to detect the transmitted signal. The plumber will then mark the spot with paint or a flag, and then they will dig the sewer trench at this location.

If you are trying to clear out a blockage, and only need one inspection, it’s much more cost effective to hire a professional plumber than to try and do it yourself. Renting the tools to do it is an option if you have a big job, but the issue is that you also have to learn the correct techniques for using this type of specialized equipment, which can take a lot of unnecessary time. 

Can I Do It Myself?

Purchasing the tools needed to do a sewer camera inspection can be upwards of $15,000, so that rarely a feasible option for most people. If you hire an experienced plumber then you only have to pay for the labor and any parts needed.

Plus, you won’t have to deal with the learning curve of executing a sewer line inspection which could just cause you more of a headache in the long run. 

How Much Does The Inspection Cost?

Depending where you are located, a sewer camera inspection usually costs between $125-300 per visit. It is a non-invasive and efficient way to get to the bottom of your plumbing problems. It can also help detect any future plumbing problems that might be on the horizon and give you a chance to attend to them before they potentially cause bigger issues down the line. Getting a sewer camera inspection can do more than just clear out a one time blockage.

It can give you insight into how you can keep your pipes in top shape for years to come.

Get A Sewer Camera Inspection

Call Us For An Estimate

Electric Water Heater Installation

How To Install An Electric Water Heater

By | Blog | No Comments

Before installing a new water heater, consider whether you may simply need repair on your existing one. A licensed plumber can give you a definitive answer on whether or not you can get more life out of the one you have.

DISCLAIMER: Let A Professional Install Your Electric Water Heater

We recommend that you let a professional do your electric water heater installation. Installing a water heater can be a complex process and only experts should do it. You can get injured in the process.

Fast & Easy Electric Water Heater Installation

Licensed Plumbers Ready To Help

DIY Electric Water Heater Installation

So if you are ready to do it yourself, then let’s set up. A water heater will usually last anywhere from 8-12 years, so if it’s been longer than that you most likely should go ahead and replace it.

Another thing to consider is the number of people in your household using hot water.

If there are less people now, you may be able to install a smaller one or larger one depending on your circumstances. Before beginning, make sure you gather all of the necessary tools and read all warnings associated with installation for your particular model.

Let’s Get Started

Disconnect the Old Water Heater Shut off the electricity at the circuit breaker.

Make sure it’s off by using a voltage tester. This is a very important step because you could save your life by double checking if the 240 volt circuit is indeed off. For convenience when installing the new water heater, use tape to notate the wire connections, and then disconnect the wires. Let the Water Run Out Turn on a hot water faucet and let it run until the water is cool. Next, shut off the cold water supply.

This will ensure the tank is emptied of water properly. Attach a garden hose to the to the drain valve located near the bottom of the water heater. Open the valve and let the water run out either down a drain or into buckets. Remove the Old Water Heater Once the tank is completely empty, it’s ready to be removed. Simply remove the discharge pipe from the T&P (Temperature and Pressure) relief valve, and disconnect the water supply lines. Use a hand truck to remove the tank. You may need assistance from another person for this step of heavy lifting. Steps to Installing the New Water Heater

1 Place The Water Heater Higher

Place the new water heater either in a drain pan, or on top of some concrete cinder blocks. This is recommended because if there is a leak or if water pools on your floor where the water heater is located, it won’t damage or ruin it. Make sure it’s level once it’s up off of the floor, and use shims if necessary.

In case of a water heater leak, routing a pipe from the drain pan to a drain could also prevent flooding as well.

2 Get A New T&P Relief Valve

Most water heaters will come with a new T&P relief valve pre-installed, but if yours didn’t, simply screw in the new one at the appropriate location now. It’s very important that you don’t use the old T&P valve. Purchase a new one if your water heater didn’t come with one.

3 Leak Proof

Wrap plumber’s tape around the threads of the nipples on the pipes that protrude from the water heater. There should be 2, a cold water and a hot water pipe. The tapes helps to provide a leak proof seal.

4 Connect To Pipes

Connect the water heater to the pipes that carry cold water into and hot water out of the water heater. You will need to refer to your manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you are connecting them properly. Some models have color coded blue and red tubes for cold and hot water. Find out ahead of time if you will need to use dielectric fittings between the hose fittings to prevent corrosion.

5 Close The Drain Valve

Before filling the new tank up with water, make sure the drain valve on the bottom of the water heater is closed. You can now open the valve on the line that feeds cold water into the hot water heater. Next, open the nearest hot water tap, and slowly turn on the water supply. Check all connections going to the water heater for leaks. If there are any leaks, shut off the water supply again and gently tighten the connections.

6 Make Sure The Tank Is Full

When water runs out of the faucet, the water tank is full. Make sure you let the water run for 2-3 minutes to bleed any air that is trapped inside the lines. Turn off the taps. Remember, the tank must be completely full before proceeding to electrical wiring or the heating element will be destroyed and render the unit nonfunctional.

7 Find The Wires

Locate the metal plate on top of the water heater underneath which you’ll find the wires you need to connect to. Using wire strippers, remove ½ inch of insulation from each of the wires.

8 Connect Wires

Refer back to the tape you used to notate the electrical wire if needed. Connect the wires according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Connect the bare copper or green wire to the ground screw on the water heater and then wire the 2 additional electrical wires to the corresponding ones you marked with the tape. Use wire connectors to twist them together. Replace the metal plate to cover the wiring.

9 Set Thermostat

Set the thermostat on the front of the water heater according to your instructions. 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit is a standard setting used by most households.

It may take a few hours for the water heater to reach that temperature.

10 Turn Electric Water Heater On

Turn on the power to the newly installed water heater at the main electrical panel. THINGS YOU’LL NEED -hand truck -voltage tester -level -drain pan or concrete blocks -plumber’s tape -garden hose -buckets -wire strippers -wire connectors -screwdriver -pliers -wrench WARNINGS -In areas at risk of earthquake damage, the use of seismic straps to secure the water heater may be required.

-Do not reuse the T&P (Temperature and Pressure) relief valve.

You may need to purchase a new one.

Note the stem length that is required for your particular model.

-Always fill the water tank up before turning restoring power, or you will destroy the heating elements in the tank. –

Check your homes water pressure using a pressure gauge and make sure it’s between 50-60 PSI. If you home’s water pressure reading is higher, it puts undo strain and stress on your homes appliances.

-Find out if you live in an area where the use of dielectric fittings need to be incorporated into your water heater installation setup. Your area’s local ordinances will dictate the specifics of how to go about doing this correctly.

So now you know the steps needed for an electric water heater installation. Our expert plumbers can help you install any electric water heater in Miami or South Florida. We have expertise with any type of water heater installation.

Fast & Easy Electric Water Heater Installation

Licensed Plumbers Ready To Help

5 Ways to Find a Water Leak in Your Home

5 Ways To Find A Water Leak In Your Home

By | Blog | No Comments

As your home ages various repair problems can crop up that need attention, and water leaks are of them. Although not an uncommon issue for homeowners, the difficulty in how to deal with one can vary greatly and it all comes down to finding out just where the leak is occurring. There are some steps you can take to try and locate a water leak yourself before calling a plumber. If you do end up having to call for professional help, any preliminary detective work you do will be quite helpful to them and could save you money on labor costs.

1. Check Your Water Meter

hernandez-plumbing-miami-florida-water-leak-detection-1

This is probably the single biggest thing that can alert you to a water leak besides a higher than normal water bill. In order to check your water meter, first make sure that no water is being used in your home. Then go outside and locate your water meter and check to see if the leak indicator dial is moving. If it is still moving, there is a chance that you may have a leak. Another option is to take a meter reading, wait a few hours ensuring that you use no water during this period, and then go back and take another meter reading. A change in the reading indicates that you have a leak.

2. Determine if the Leak is Inside or Outside of Your Home

You will need to locate your main water valve and shut it off to find out if the leak is inside or outside. Usually the main water valve is located in your basement, garage, or outside where there is a faucet located. Even if you don’t have a leak, it’s very important to know where this main valve is in case you need to shut off the water in case of a plumbing emergency.

Once you shut it off, go back to your water meter and check to see if the dial is still moving. If it’s still moving and there’s been a change in the readings, then you have a leak outside and will most likely need to call a plumber for further help. If the dial has stopped moving, then the leak is inside the house.

3. Tell Tale Signs of a Leak

If you determine the leak is occurring inside your home, then doing a walk through searching for tell tale signs would be a great first step. Look for water stains and mold on your ceilings and walls and floors. Make a regular habit of opening your cabinets and looking under the sink pipes for warped or discolored areas.

The rubber hoses that connect water your washing machine are also common areas where leaks can occur. Manufacturers recommend changing out your washer hoses once every 5-7 years because of rubber oxidation that breaks down the material. If you notice a moldy or musty odor in certain rooms of your home, this could mean you have a broken pipe in the wall, ceiling or under the floor.

4. The Toilet Test

Toilets can account for up to 30% of your water usage, so making sure they are not leaking can save you big money. A simple way to tell if you have a leak is to add a few drops of food coloring to the tank. Then, wait 10-15 minutes and check the toilet bowl itself. If you notice the food coloring there, then you have a leak that allows water to escape from the tank into the bowl without flushing. To further narrow down the issue, you will want to shut off the water valve to the toilet and open the tank to mark the level of the water with a pencil.

Wait 15 minutes and if the level has gone down, you need to repair your flush valve. If the level has not gone down, you may need to replace your fill valve. Refer to your manufacturer’s instruction on how to proceed with repairs for your particular unit.

5. Call A Plumber

Sometimes no matter what you do, it’s impossible to find that pesky leak in your home. This is a time when you would want to call on a licensed plumber for help. If your home is over 25 years old, then having a plumber come in for an annual inspection is a good idea. It could save you big headaches and thousands of dollars in the long run.

There are so many ways that a leak could occur in your home that having a professional come by with a checklist can save you a lot of time and hassle for the simple fact that a plumber knows just where and what to look for. The cost of their time could pay for itself in the long run if you are able to avoid costly plumbing repairs.

A water leak in your home can lead to water damage. So make sure you do not neglect the problem, because a water restoration job can be a hassle.

Final Word

So now you have an idea on how to find a water leak in your home. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are still having trouble!

We have helped hundreds of clients to with their water leak detection in Miami, Broward and all over South Florida.

Drain Cleaning With A Jetter

Drain Cleaning With A Jetter

By | Blog | No Comments

What Is A Jetter And Why Do I Need It?

A sewer jetter is a heavy duty lightweight hose that attaches to a pressure washer to unclog:

  • Main Drains
  • Landscaping drains
  • Sewer lines

The sewer jetter hose can be fed into the main sewer line that is usually located outside of a home or office. There can also be other sewer lines available for cleanout inside the home or office, and most are often located in the basement. When you turn the pressure washer on, the back-firing jets on the sewer jetter nozzle will pull the hose into the drain for you.

So it requires less physical effort on your part than if you were to use an alternative method of cleaning the drain. For example, if you were to use a mechanical drain cleaner.

Once your sewer jetter is ready to go, it will scour through any stubborn debris inside the sewer line. As the water travels deeper into the line, it efficiently sweeps through anything in its path.

Try Drain Cleaning With A Jetter

Professional plumbers and independent DIY-ers can make use of a sewer jetter to efficiently clean clogged sewer drains that are located both indoors and outdoors. If you notice that your home has clogged sinks, toilets, drains or showers, then it’s likely that your main sewer line could be clogged. It needs immediate attention to prevent more severe water damage to your home or office.

Another warning sign to look out for is if your toilet tends to backup or if you experience water coming back up through the drains. In these cases, using a sewer jetter to blast through a clogged up main sewer line would be a first course of action. However, you may want to rely on experienced professionals such as plumbers or contractors.

Why Is The Drain Clogged?

Keep in mind that there are many other reasons why your main line could be clogged. Some are preventable and some are not. There could be many reasons your main line is clogged like:

  • tree roots growing into the pipes
  • foreign objects getting trapped in the drain
  • to certain types of thick toilet paper
  • feminine hygiene products could be the source of the clog


Drain Cleaning With A Jetter Miami

Drain Cleaning With A Jetter in Miami.


When Do I Need To Clean With A Jetter?

If it sounds like your drains or toilets are percolating, or if you see water pooling near your basement drain, you likely have a blockage in your main sewer line. In this case, using a sewer jetter to clear the blockage could be all you need to remedy the problem.

An important thing to keep in mind is to make sure you turn off the main water line before attempting to clear the drain yourself. This can have dire consequences if overlooked.

How To Unclog Main Sewer Line

Sometimes mechanical drain cleaners are used to do the same task of clearing out a main sewer line. But in reality, it can oftentimes be overkill.

A sewer jetter is a great option to unclog a main sewer line because it costs less and can actually unclog the drain faster. It is also suitable for indoor and outdoor use. In addition you can clean up very easily after you finish the job.

Since main sewer lines are sometimes located in the basement, this is a consideration to keep in mind in choosing to use a sewer jetter over a mechanical drain cleaner.

Mechanical drain cleaners can be huge and weigh over 250 pounds. This means that sometimes it’s not practical to use them inside a home or office.

Be Careful And Be Safe

It’s important to follow all safety instructions that come with your pressure washer. If you plan to attach a sewer jetter to it, to get the job done yourself. There are also certain electrical considerations you need to bear in mind to avoid electrical shock.

You may find that you need to utilize certain sewer jetter attachments to account for the type of pressure washer you are using as well.

Professional Jetter

A sewer jetter hose and all attachments can be purchased for under $150. Also, you can store the jetter in the garage for future use.

But if it seems like too daunting of a task, you can always hire a licensed plumber. This way you know you will have your drains cleaned properly.

At Hernandez Plumbing we do drain cleaning with a jetter.

We have helped hundreds of customers clean drain lines in Miami.

We have over 40 years of experience. Contact us to schedule your cleaning!

Clogged Sink

7 Tips To Fix A Clogged Sink

By | Blog | No Comments

7 Tips To Fix A Clogged Sink

You may have noticed that your sink is draining more slowly these days, or perhaps standing water takes longer to drain than usual. Plumbing problems can happen to the tidiest of households once in awhile due to hair, gunk or food particles getting trapped in the pipes just below the drain. But don’t feel like you have to resort to using commercial draining agents that can corrode your pipes to fix the problem. There are several sustainable ways to clear those clogged pipes with earth friendly ingredients that you likely already have around the house.

1. A Metal Coathanger

This is often all you need to dig out the gunk that is blocking the drain. It can be a simple yet effective solution that only takes a few minutes. Just unwind a metal coat hanger and straighten it out as best as you can, and push it down the drain until you feel some resistance. At that point, you can hook onto whatever is blocking the path and pull it right out. Continue doing this until you can push the hanger through the pipe. Then run hot water for a minute or two to make sure it has been cleared.

2. The Drain Snake

You can find one of these handy tools at your nearest hardware store. A drain snake is long flexible metal rope used for going deeper into the sewer line to break up debris and allow it to be dislodged. Push it down your drain and turn it until it dislodges the debris. Be gentle and if the snake gets stuck, call a plumber immediately.

3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Some would say this method sounds too good to be true, but it really works! Simply pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, and then follow that with ½ cup of vinegar. Next, cover the drain or close the sink hatch and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The chemical reaction will go to work unclogging the drain. When the time is up, run hot water down the drain. If it’s a particularly stubborn blockage, use a metal coathanger or drain snake to push through the debris.

4. A Plunger

Hopefully everyone has one of these in the bathroom, because it’s useful for unclogging more than just your toilet. You can use it on your bath and sink drain as well. Keep in mind that you can purchase a smaller plunger that is meant for unclogging a sink at your local hardware store. Just block the faucet and intake with wet rags, close the hatch and fill your sink or tub halfway with water. Then plunge the drain several times in quick succession. Once you open the hatch to drain the water, the force of the draining water should help unclog the pipe.

5. Baking Soda and Salt

This concoction causes a chemical reaction that is a good way to dissolve some of the more stubborn blockages. Mix ½ cup of salt with ½ cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Wait about 20 minutes and then pour boiling water down to rinse through the blockage.

6. Boiling Water

This is probably the easiest of all the methods. Simply put the kettle on and boil some water. Then pour it down the drain and let the hot water work through the clog. You may need to repeat the process several times.

7. Cleaning the Pipe

Although many dread the idea of DIY plumbing, this particular technique is actually not that difficult. There are a few steps to it, but it’s not rocket science one you know what you are doing. Grab a bucket and place it under your sink to catch any leaks, then use pliers to unscrew the nuts that hold the P-trap (curved pipe under the sink) in place. Make sure the P-trap itself is not clogged and then use a wire coat hanger or drain snake to locate and dislodge the clog in one of the other 2 pipes. Screw the P-trap back in place and you’re all set.

Final Word

The previous tips should have help you get your clogged sink to work again. If all else fails, you can always call a reputable license plumber. At Hernandez Plumbing we have helped hundreds of people take care of your clogged sink in Miami & South Florida.