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Tuesday, April 19 2022
In serving the Bucks & Montgomery County plumbing needs, one of the things we at Barner Murphy see time and again is a homeowner with unexpected sump pump problems. A sump pump is essential to protecting your home against wastewater and flooding. Once you have water damage, you face remediation to avoid things like mold, which is usually costly.
The US Department of Housing and Development places the life expectancy of a sump pump to be about 10 years maximum. If you’re fortunate enough to have original paperwork on your pump, you can review it to see how to test it periodically. Or you can have one of our licensed plumbing professionals come for a maintenance call.
But all that said, how can you tell if your sump pump needs replacing?
5 Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Sump Pump
Respond with Due Diligence
Putting off your sump pump repair only makes things worse, and often more costly. The rain or a flood can cause so much damage in just a few minutes. When you recognize signs your sump pump isn’t working properly or meeting your home’s needs, reach out to our highly trained professionals. You can use our online contact form for more information.
Wednesday, March 16 2022
No one expects a plumbing problem. When there’s a predicament with water, sewers, faucets, etc. it’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction and call for immediate help. Your mind races worrying about water damage, getting a shower, clean drinking water, etc.
Now let’s face it, 24-hour emergency service typically carries a high price tag. With over 20 years of industry experience, we at Barner Murphy have seen also companies take advantage of an obviously “plumb panicked” client. After you’ve paid hundreds of dollars more than necessary, it’s typically too late to get any of that money back.
To our thinking, your best line of defense is being informed. We want to create a foundation of trust and professionalism, and education is part of that picture. So, today, we want to share with you what constitutes a real plumbing emergency vs. something that can wait a bit.
Common Plumbing Emergencies
Before diving into specifics, it’s important for you to know that some types of plumbing repairs can only be performed by a town, city, or county professional. Good examples are sewer lines and water mains. It will do you no good to hire a plumber. They’ll charge you for the service call, and direct you to the proper authority.
Water problems inside the house are a different problem. The most common calls we receive consist of:
Fixing it Yourself?
Some people have the skills and tools for small plumbing repairs or temporary solutions. If you are not one of them, now is NOT the time to take up a new hobby. You can actually make matters worse.
Calling in the Calvary
Once you’ve assessed your situation, it’s time to make a few calls. It really pays to shop around unless you have a trusted company on speed dial. Make sure to have as many details as possible for the conversation and ask for an estimate. If they decline, it’s a red flag. Good professionals know the base cost for most repairs.
They won’t typically guarantee that cost, however, until they have eyes on the situation, knowing a lot of other things might be part of the problem. You will also want to know about their service fees, and any fees if they have to return to complete a job.
The Barner Murphy Difference
If you’re in the Levittown, PA area, give us a call at 215-945-8650. We’re happy to answer any questions promptly so you can get your house back on track.
For other services, you can use that number or fill out our online contact form. Our dependable professionals will get back to you with the answers you need.
Wednesday, February 16 2022
Buying a home ranks as one of the most stressful and confusing propositions in a lifetime. There is so much to consider and so many facets to a home in terms of upkeep it can make your mind swirl. One of the essential items, often overlooked, is plumbing. There are numerous reasons to get a plumbing inspection, the two top ones being safety and money.
In our experience at Barner Murphy, Inc., we know that not all mortgage companies require a plumbing inspection before escrow closes. Don’t skip it. If significant plumbing issues affect the house’s value, you have a bargaining point for negotiation. Additionally, you don’t want to get into the house only to have the settling-in process disrupted by plumbing problems, big or small.
Primary Plumbing Problems
There are five key points a home plumbing inspection covers:
Main Sewer Line: Any part of a sewer line could have clogs that remained hidden. Our inspection goes from the house to the main sewer line. What might we find? Tree roots breaking your pipes! Above and beyond the cost to clear and repair the line, some towns require a sump pump, too. These are not minor “fixes,” and you don’t want to worry about them down the road.
Pipes: Pipe leaks lead to damages, be it walls, paint, floors, or rugs. You may find lead pipes or pipe corrosion, mold, and mildew when you look further into pipe problems. Mold turns into a health risk, as does the lead-in the lines. We can provide a quote on the necessary repairs when you encounter this. You can use this as a tool to lower the buying price. Better still, we can provide you with external connections (faucets, etc.) suitable to your new home’s style as you repair.
Toilets: Look around the base of the toilets. Do you see discoloration? That can mean the toilet is leaking or not adequately secured. And what lies below can be an absolute nightmare. This is another situation where you can get our estimate, including how you’d like the bathroom to look when you’re done. While a seller might not lower the price in total, you don’t have to get a secondary price for the other adaptations.
Water: You want safe, clean house water. Odd coloring in the water results from various things, including old pipes that need replacement. Our licensed, certified staff can figure out the cause so you can make informed decisions.
Water Heater: Older water heaters lead to increased energy usage. Replacing them is costly. Our plumbers will look for evidence of leaks or other damage.
And that’s not all! Barner Murphy’s plumbing inspections in Bucks County, PA include checking drains for clogs, water pressure, sink foundations, ceilings for signs of water stains, etc.
Think about how you buy other costly things. You take your car for a test drive and have a mechanic give it a once over, for example. Similarly, your plumbing report looks under the proverbial “hood” of your potential new home. The results won’t necessarily become a deal-breaker, but you want to know the entire situation before signing on the bottom line. Undiscovered plumbing issues can end up as a huge liability.
Remain aware of tips and trends in plumbing (knowledge is power). Contact the experienced professionals at Barner Murphy Plumbing Company for home inspections or any of your plumbing needs going forward. We’re in Levittown, PA. Phone: 215-945-8560
Tuesday, January 18 2022
The plumbing system in a home may easily be taken for granted. That is, as long as toilets and sinks smoothly function and your water heater does not make those odd banging, popping, or rumbling noises, right? Some of these plumbing myth statements are a fact and some aren’t. Are you able to tell the difference? Understanding the difference between the following 5 home plumbing myths and the truth will save you money and make your life easier.
Tablets that contain bleach are safe for your toilet
The answer to that plumbing myth is an absolute no. While you might pour bleach into the basin to clean it, do not use tablets that contain bleach inside your tank. Eventually, the bleach will degrade the working elements of your toilet.
Flushable wipes are safe for your toilet
You’ve likely heard this plumbing myth before (most likely in the ads). “Flushable wipes are safe to be flushed down a toilet – approved by plumbers!” Well, we don’t approve. Just like any other items, like feminine products, paper towels, and ear swabs, they are NOT made to be flushed. You might get away with it, but you might now. So why risk it?
A rumbling and banging water heater is going to blow up
If the water heater makes popping, banging, and rumbling sounds, there isn’t any alarm of it blowing up. The concept behind the grumbling old water heater is caused once the heating component heats the water in the lower part of the tank and produces bubbles. These bubbles rise through layers of buildup and sediment. It’s the cause of the sound.
While a loud water heater is not an impending risk of blowing up, it means that the water heater must be serviced by a professional to check components and clean the tank. When was the last time the water heater was serviced?
A leaking faucet isn’t any big deal
The idea that a leaking faucet isn’t any big deal, nor any cause for concern is an expensive plumbing myth. A faucet dripping at a rate of every one-second wastes around 3,000 gallons of clean, fresh water every year. That is roughly 180 showers! According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), leaking faucets may account for almost 10% of a water bill. Furthermore, a leaking faucet is an issue that will only grow worse. So, get that leaky faucet repaired! It’s a quick and easy fix for us!
A lot of plumbing projects are DIY fixes
That statement depends upon a person’s aptitude for repairing things around the house. But when it comes to plumbing, you need the tools, experience, and knowledge for the majority of plumbing repair projects. Of course, using a plunger or insulating pipes might be done by the average individual. But tasks like repairing leaks and replacing appliance parts must be done by a professional, not to mention the more technical plumbing fixes that might arise. Those DIYs can cost you A LOT down the road. Trust us, we’ve seen it before.
Contact Barner Murphy of Bucks County, PA Today!
Our plumbing specialists will bring out the best in your home. If you have any plumbing issues, contact us today. You can reach our plumbing professionals by phone at 215-945-8560 or fill out our easy inquiry form.
Tuesday, December 21 2021
Ice dams will inevitably form in the gutters of your Philadelphia home at some point this winter or in the winters ahead. However, you are not powerless against ice dams. If you own a home, it is in your interest to learn how to prevent ice dams from forming. Here’s exactly how to eliminate the potential of ice dams forming in the gutters of your Philadelphia-area home.
A Brief Explanation of Ice Dams
Ice dams form when the warm air from a living space moves into the attic. The warm air heats the roof, melting snow that has accumulated above. The melted snow moves to the edge of the roof and freezes within the gutters to form an ice dam. The snow that remains is trapped and starts to build up below the roof shingles. Ice dams are a significant problem as they can cause considerable damage to the roof and possibly even lead to leaks that send water into your living space.
Use a Snow Rake
A snow rake safeguards your roof and everything below, albeit to a limited extent. Spend the little bit of money necessary for a snow rake and you’ll rest easy knowing you’ve done your part to prevent the snow from accumulating to the point that it can create ice dams. Clear out all snow that accumulates and you won’t spend a single second worrying about whether an ice dam will develop.
Clean the Gutters
Leaves, branches, twigs, and other gunk will set the stage for ice dams to form. Clear out the gutters to create a path for melting snow to drain off of the roof and those annoying ice dams won’t have a chance of forming.
Add Ventilation to the Attic
A properly ventilated attic will help maintain the roof during the winter months. The natural movement of outside air into the attic ensures it does not become cold to the point that ice dams form.
Use an Electric Heat Cable
If you cannot or do not want to enhance ventilation and decrease the sources of heat against the interior surface of the roof, you should consider adding a cable for electric heat. This cable can extend along the roofline’s edge to the gutters. The looping of such a heat cable around the perimeter of the roof stops melting water from cooling to the point that it freezes when it connects with the eaves. The melted water will transition down to the ground below instead of freezing.
Though heat cables aren’t exactly visually striking, they help prevent the formation of ice dams when installed the right way. Just be sure to carefully follow the directions provided by the manufacturer during installation and properly maintain the heat cable moving forward so it doesn’t pose a threat to your property or your loved ones. When in doubt, ask for help from the professionals.
Consider Ice Dam Prevention Products
The market has plenty of ice dam prevention products available for homeowners throughout the greater Philadelphia area and beyond. As an example, adhesive barriers that stretch three feet to six feet upwards along the roof from its edge serve as a self-seal of sorts that waterproofs the roof. Simply shingle atop this barrier and it will help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof.
Contact Barner Murphy Today
Our plumbing specialists and bathroom remodeling team will bring out the best in your home. If you have any plumbing issues or considering a bathroom remodel, contact us today. You can reach our plumbing professionals by phone at 215-945-8560.
Thursday, November 18 2021
It is only a matter of time until you have a plumbing problem in your home, business, or other Levittown building. If you have such a problem, don’t attempt a DIY (do it yourself) repair as it will likely backfire. Instead, lean on our Philadelphia plumbers for assistance. We perform repairs that get plumbing systems in Levittown, Philadelphia and nearby towns back in working order as quickly as possible. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common plumbing problems along with strategies to avoid those problems in the first place.
1. Faucet Leaks
A leaky faucet is cause for concern. It is possible that the addition of a new washer after sink disassembly will suffice. However, there is also a chance the problem is much more complex, necessitating the replacement of a P trap or another plumbing system component. Our Levittown plumbers are here to figure out exactly what is going on with your leaky faucet.
2. Clogged Drains
Clogged drains occur when foreign objects impede the flow of water. If your drain is clogged, it is only a matter of time until it causes significant problems such as the backup of water that leads to overflows. Our Philadelphia plumbers will clear out the clog to return your plumbing system functionality to normal. You can do your part to avoid a clogged drain by making it clear to everyone in your family that no foreign objects should be put in the toilets and sinks throughout the house.
3. Insufficient Water Pressure
A reduction in water pressure is more than just an annoyance. Low water pressure will lengthen the amount of time it takes to water plants, wash dishes and bathe. Making matters worse is you will need more water for such household chores, meaning your water bill will increase. Altering the water valves has the potential to change water pressure. However, if your pipes are leaking, you have a major problem on your hands that requires the expertise of an experienced Philadelphia plumber.
4. Water Heater Problems
A malfunctioning water heater can lead to a water-logged basement or even an explosion. Fail to drain your water heater and sediment will build up to the point that it causes problems. Ideally, your water heater will be analyzed and maintained at least once each year by our Levittown plumbers to prevent costly and frustrating problems. Our plumbers are here to ensure you don’t experience plumbing issues in the dead of winter when you need hot water the most.
Plumber Problems? Barner Murphy is a Call Away
If you experience any of the plumbing problems noted above or any other plumbing issue, reach out to Barner Murphy for prompt assistance. We will address the root cause of the problem to get your plumbing system back in working order. You can reach our plumbers in Levittown and Philadelphia by phone at 215-945-8560. If you prefer to contact us on the web, complete our online contact form and we will be in touch at our earliest convenience.
Monday, October 18 2021
A plumbing problem will leave your Philadelphia home or business water-logged, moldy, and dangerous. You can prevent this nightmare scenario with an annual plumbing inspection. Be proactive by scheduling your home or business’s plumbing inspection today and you will sleep soundly knowing you have done everything in your power to prevent a costly plumbing problem in the months ahead.
An In-depth Plumbing Inspection for Your Home or Business
Most people are unaware that sediment builds up in water heaters. However, the average homeowner does not understand how to safely perform an effective water heater flush. Schedule an annual plumbing system analysis performed by our Levittown plumber and you will enjoy a stress-free transition to the seasons ahead.
An annual water heating flushing prior to the start of winter prevents the build-up of sediment that causes corrosion and also reduces the chances of your water heater exploding. Though such explosions are rare, they are possible. The icing on the cake is the fact that this flushing will prolong your water heater’s lifespan.
Drains, Appliances and More
Truly comprehensive plumbing inspections analyze drain and appliance functionality. A drain that slows is perfectly normal yet clogs and egregiously slow drains are cause for concerns. An annual plumbing inspection pinpoints these problems, eliminating clogs as well as all other blockages to prevent even worse problems from arising in the months ahead.
Our Philadelphia plumbers will also gauge the integrity of your appliances that have water lines. If there is even the slightest sign of a leak or a pending leak, our inspection will reveal that flaw. We check washing machines, water heaters, and all appliances with water lines to guarantee they will function without flaw moving forward.
Address Those Uninsulated Pipes Before Winter
Uninsulated and under-insulated pipes might not seem like a big deal yet they can lead to major problems in the winter. Pipes in the attic, basement, exterior wall cabinets, and other spaces should be insulated before winter begins. This proactive approach to pipe preservation helps prevent them from freezing when Philadelphia’s temperatures dip down low, ultimately saving you hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars that would have otherwise been spent on repairs and replacements.
The Right Water Pressure for Your Philadelphia Home
Water pressure in Philadelphia homes and businesses should be in the range of 40 psi to 80 psi. However, the average homeowner isn’t exactly sure how to test water pressure. Lean on our team to perform a water pressure test on your behalf and we will determine if the pressure is at the right level or if it should be increased/decreased. We will alter the water pressure in your Philadelphia home or business as appropriate, guaranteeing it is at the optimal level. This is exactly what you need to enjoy a worry-free transition to the seasons ahead.
Barner Murphy Plumbing Inspections are a Call Away
Seize the opportunity to have your plumbing system inspected as soon as possible. Even if nothing turns up during this in-depth analysis, you will enjoy an invaluable peace of mind. Be safe rather than sorry by scheduling your annual plumbing inspection with Barner Murphy today. You can reach our plumbing specialists by phone at 215-945-8560 or online through our contact form.
Wednesday, September 15 2021
The last thing you need is a plumbing problem during a freezing cold night in Philadelphia. If you live in or near Bucks County, it is imperative that you have a plumbing inspection performed prior to the start of the fall and winter seasons. Here’s why.
Prevent a Plumbing Problem in the Dead of Winter
Can you imagine waking up in the middle of a cold February night in Philadelphia to find a burst pipe sending water throughout your home? Such a situation could easily occur if you neglect your plumbing system’s seasonal maintenance. Though home plumbing systems do not require in-depth analysis at the change of every single season, it is a good idea to have plumbing components reviewed prior to the start of a grueling Bucks County winter. Let our team take a close look at your plumbing system and we will identify current problems as well as looming issues likely to cause problems when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
If you are like most homeowners in Philadelphia, you don’t spend much time looking at your plumbing system’s components. Don’t wait to obtain assistance from our proven Bucks County plumbers. Procrastination might set the stage for a leak that leads to a burst pipe. Lean on our Philadelphia plumbers for a thorough analysis of your plumbing system prior to the start of the winter. This way, you will know whether there are any leaks or weak points that might lead to leaks as the winter progresses.
It is better to address existing and potential leaks now before the harsh winter starts. Our team checks pipes, shower heads, faucets, and additional plumbing system components, noting leaks as well as low water pressure and other issues.
Prevent Garbage Disposal and Sink Problems
If you use your sink as a garbage disposal, you should know it might lead to some problems, especially during the winter months. Fats and oils sent down the drain have the potential to freeze when Philadelphia’s temperatures dip down low. A frozen drain will lead to a clog and additional issues. If you have disposed of grease or other gunk in your sink or garbage disposal, it is important that you have an experienced Bucks County plumber perform a thorough analysis of these plumbing components to gauge whether they will function throughout the winter.
Our crew is here to remove all clogs from the garbage disposal, sink, toilet, and other plumbing components. Your sinks will work extra hard when family arrives for the holidays so don’t wait one day longer to schedule a fall/winter plumbing inspection.
Schedule a Barner Murphy Plumbing Inspection
If your home or business’s plumbing system has not been inspected in the past year, be proactive by reaching out to our plumbing team today. Our friendly plumbers are here to perform a comprehensive inspection of your plumbing system. Dial 215-945-8560 to schedule service. If you would rather reach us on the web, simply fill out our contact form and we will be in touch at our earliest convenience.
Thursday, August 12 2021
Your kitchen faucet will not last forever. However, if the faucet still emits water years or decades after installation, you are likely wondering when, exactly, it will require replacement. Let’s take a quick look at a couple of the most common signs that indicate the time has come to replace a kitchen faucet.
The Tap Does Not Open/Close
If water does not stop coming out of the kitchen faucet after you move the handle to the off position, the tap is outdated and requires prompt replacement. A tap that continues to spit out water is in need of a valve replacement. Do not consider ignoring the problem and simply leaving the tap on as doing so will waste water and also hike your water bill.
Parts that are either outdated or faulty should be replaced as soon as possible. The bottom line is kitchen faucets undergo extensive wear and tear that leads to problems. Opt to replace faulty or outdated kitchen faucets and you will enjoy flawless functionality along with a lovely new faucet that greatly improves your kitchen’s aesthetic.
Not Enough Water
If the drain does not let enough water out even though the tap is in the on position, the valve could be the underlying issue. If your home or business has hard water, it will gradually cause tap corrosion. Such corrosion decreases pipe diameter, causing water to move out. The answer is to replace the piping and the kitchen faucet to ensure everything runs perfectly smoothly.
The Faucet Spits Out Water
A kitchen faucet that does not generate a steady stream of water likely has a clogged aerator or worse. Replace the faucet’s aerator and the problem just might go away. However, if this screen that covers the faucet’s tip is not the issue, a full replacement might be necessary.
Water With an Odor
If you notice your water smells foul, your property in Philadelphia likely has rusty pipes. Tap water that tastes or smells rusty is either being exposed to rust within the pipes below or the inside of the kitchen faucet. Replace the faucet and you just might find the water smells and tastes normal.
A Noisy Faucet
Faucets that generate noise are giving you a sign that replacement or maintenance will be necessary. In particular, screeching sounds indicate there might be worn rubber washers or worse. When in doubt, lean on the plumbing experts to determine if the faucet has cracks and needs replacement. We will perform a timely and accurate assessment of the issue, helping you determine the next step, be it maintenance, repair, or replacement.
Contact Barner Murphy for Plumbing Services in Bucks County, PA
If you notice any of the signs above, dial 215-945-8560 to connect to our plumbing experts. We will determine if you need kitchen faucet repair or replacement. Our team is also here to handle any other plumbing problem at your home or business. Give us a call today to get a quote for your Philadelphia-area plumbing project.
Monday, July 19 2021
Plumbing fixture break. It’s a fact of life. Depending on your handiness, you may be able to fix some minor issues like a leaky faucet.
But when it comes to your garbage disposal, there’s no messing around. After all, you’re dealing with a sharp blade that can be activated electronically.
1. Danger to Yourself
Garbage disposals use blades to cut up any materials that go down the drain in an effort to prevent clogging or jamming. The parts themselves are very sharp and quite strong. Trying to fix something like this yourself can be quite dangerous. Even when it’s not working, you could cut yourself.
Plumbers are highly skilled at solving these kinds of issues safely. Don’t put yourself at risk fixing the disposal — rely on a plumbing professional.
2. Danger to the Disposal
You aren’t the only one who could suffer injury — if you aren’t a licensed plumber, then you most likely don’t have the knowledge required to fix the device. In fact, you might unintentionally cause further damage, leading to more costs and stress.
Nothing wrong with not knowing how to fix it. But it’s best to call on someone who knows how to find and fix the problem and has the right tools for the job.
In other words, a plumber.
3. Unseen Problems
The most obvious sign of damaged garbage disposal is that it doesn’t turn on when you flip the switch on.
However, there are some other signs you might accept as normal… that aren’t actually normal.
For example, it might work, but you might hear a terrible grinding noise. That’s not supposed to happen.
Or, it might work just fine — but there’s a constant odd odor emanating from the disposal.
It also could be clogged.
Regardless, you might not know what the solution could be to some of these problems. Plumbers do — they can identify where the root cause is and fix it.
Rely on a Plumbing Professional
Overall, it’s best to leave garbage disposal issues to the professionals. They have plenty of experience doing these kinds of repairs safely, efficiently, and with minimal interruption to your life.
If you’ve been going through some garbage disposal issues in Philadelphia, don’t hesitate to reach out to Barner Murphy. Our experienced professionals would be happy to take a look at the disposal and remedy the issue. Contact us today to learn more.