Tag: plumbing

Water Heater Repair – What to Do When Your Water Heater Is Leaking

If your water heater is leaking, it should be repaired as soon as possible. Leaks can cause significant damage to your home and are dangerous for your family’s health.

Often, a small repair is all that’s needed to restore your water heater to good condition. If your unit is beyond its expected lifespan, however, it may be worth replacing. For more information, click the Learn More to proceed.

If you’re dealing with an insufficient supply of hot water in your home, it could be a sign that the thermostat isn’t working properly or the heating element is broken. In this case, you’ll need to replace the thermostat or the element, or both. While you can try to do this yourself, it’s often best to hire a professional plumber. They understand the intricacies of these appliances and can offer you a service guarantee, which helps protect your investment.

Thermostats can last up to ten years but might need to be replaced earlier if they become worn out or are corroded due to mineral build-up. This is why it’s important to perform regular maintenance on your water heater, such as flushing the tank and draining the dip tube and the pressure valve.

Before you begin:

  1. Make sure you shut off the power to your water heater by turning off the circuit breaker in the service panel.
  2. Once the power is off, open the access door and disconnect the wires from the old thermostat using a flathead screwdriver.
  3. Remove the old thermostat and install the new one, making sure it is set at the correct temperature of about 115 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

You’ll also need to reconnect the electrical wiring and restore power to your water heater by flipping the breaker switch back on. Now, turn on the water supply valve to allow water into your water heater, and then turn on the hot water faucets in your home to test if it is producing warm or hot water again.

This DIY project is only recommended for those who have experience working with electrical devices. It is especially important to ensure that you’re wearing proper safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, while handling gas lines, which are highly combustible. If you’re unsure of your ability to handle this project yourself, call in a professional plumber from Babes Plumbing, who will be able to safely repair or replace your thermostat. They can also help you troubleshoot the issue and provide preventive maintenance to keep your water heater running smoothly throughout its life span.


When your water heater starts to fail, it can disrupt your daily routine in a big way. You may not be able to take a shower, wash laundry, or even clean dishes. This can create a lot of stress for your family. If your heater is on the fritz, it’s time to call a Carter professional for help.

If you have a water heater with a parts warranty, that could cover the cost of your repair. If you don’t have a warranty, repairing your unit could cost as much as replacing it. If this is the case, it might make more sense to replace your water heater instead of attempting to fix it.

Over time, scale and calcite can build up on the heating elements. This can reduce the amount of heat they can generate, leading to their failure. They can also overheat, which leads to short circuits and electrical fires. These issues are a common cause of breaker trips in electric units.

A water heater element is made of a fine coil of nickel and chromium alloy wire. The more the element is exposed to water, the lower its resistance is. This is why it’s important to keep your water tank flushed regularly. Typically, a plumber will use a drain valve and a garden hose to get rid of the sludge and sediment that accumulate in a water heater.

The thermostat is another small component of a water heater that can break down or malfunction. Its role is to detect the temperature of the water, and when it doesn’t work, the heater will not function properly. A thermostat is relatively inexpensive to repair, and it can usually be fixed by a professional.

The dip tube is a tube that transfers cool water from the top of your water heater to the bottom, where it’s reheated by the lower element. Over time, the tube can wear out or spring a leak, which means it will mix in cold water and lower your overall water temperature.

Dip Tube

If you’re experiencing a lack of hot water in your home, it may be time to replace the dip tube. This is a long, plastic tube that fits into the cold-water inlet of your water heater and stops about 8 inches above the bottom of the tank. Its job is to push incoming cold replacement water to the bottom of the tank, where it’s heated by the gas burner or primary electric heating element. This process keeps dense, cold incoming water from mixing with the lighter hot water that rises to the top of the tank for use throughout your home. If the dip tube fails, your hot water supply will suffer and you’ll be forced to rely on lukewarm water.

Like most water heater parts, the dip tube can be easily replaced with the proper tools and a little know-how. First, turn off the power to your water heater. This is typically done at the circuit breaker or, for gas heaters, by turning off the pilot light. Next, disconnect the cold-water inlet pipe at the nipple where the old dip tube is located. You can usually unscrew the nipple with either a flat screwdriver or a wrench. After you’ve removed the old dip tube, you can insert a new one by using your hands to pull it straight up. A replacement tube should be cut to the appropriate length before being inserted into the nipple.

Once your new dip tube is in place, you can reconnect the cold-water inlet pipe and test your water temperature again. If you’re still experiencing a lack of hot water, it’s likely due to excess sediment buildup in the water heater tank. It’s possible that flushing the water heater tank, with the help of a plumber, will remove this extra sediment and restore your hot water supply.

Pressure Valve

The pressure valve is a water heater safety feature that prevents tank bursts by releasing excess water pressure. If your home’s water heater has a pressure relief valve, it should be tested periodically to ensure it works properly. A faulty or non-functioning valve can result in severe water damage to your home.

To perform a simple test:

  1. Turn off the power to your water heater by switching off the circuit breaker that is dedicated to it.
  2. Locate the drainage valve at the bottom of your water heater and attach a garden hose to it.
  3. Open the drain valve and direct it to a nearby drain, such as a floor drain or outside.
  4. Once the draining process is complete, close the valve and remove the hose.

Before you begin, be sure to wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear to avoid getting scalded by hot water or gas. Once you have disconnected the electrical wiring and removed the old heating element, it is time to replace it. Screw the new one into place and then reconnect the wires. Once all the connections are secure, you can return the power supply to the water heater by turning on the breaker again.

If you do not feel confident performing this DIY repair, it’s recommended to hire a professional plumber. Professional plumbers can diagnose the issue quickly and accurately, saving you both money and stress. In addition, they typically provide a service guarantee, giving you peace of mind that your repairs will be done correctly.

As you can see, a water heater can have many components that are susceptible to leaking or malfunctioning over time. By regularly testing and performing maintenance, you can extend the life of your water heater, minimizing costly repairs and ensuring that you always have access to clean, hot water in your home. If you are in need of a water heater repair or would like to learn more about how to care for your home’s plumbing, contact the experienced professionals at Babe Plumbing. Our family-owned business is available 24/7 to help you with all your plumbing needs.

Leak Detection and Thermal Imaging Technology

Leak Detection Atlanta can cause damage to property and lead to an increase in water usage. These problems can be expensive and time-consuming to solve.

If you suspect a leak in your home, shut off the water supply at the main valve. Check the leak indicator (a dial) on your meter for movement, and wait 1 or 2 hours without using any water to see if the reading changes.

In the case of water, leaks produce distinct sounds that can be heard with specialized equipment. These sounds are caused when water escapes from a pressurized system and reverberates against the pipes or surrounding structures. Leak detection systems can listen for these unique acoustic signals and pinpoint their source using specialized software.

Acoustic detection can also detect small leaks that would otherwise go unnoticed, allowing utilities to minimize the amount of water lost and reduce costly repairs. It can also help them save on utility bills and prevent the potential for property damage caused by flooding or mold growth.

Acoustic leak detection is a non-intrusive method for monitoring systems and can identify leaks without disrupting operations or accessing the pipe. It does not require an external power source, making it ideal for remote or inaccessible areas that are difficult to reach with other technologies. Additionally, acoustic leak detection methods can be used alongside other techniques to improve the chances of finding a leak.

This technology uses microphones and sensors to listen for leaks and can hear the distinctive acoustic signature of escaping water. These noises can range from whooshing to hissing or thumping, depending on the size and type of leak. Acoustic sensor data is analyzed and compared to normal operating conditions to detect anomalies that may indicate the presence of a leak. Acoustic sensors can also be used to measure the rate at which a leak is occurring, which allows utilities to take corrective actions quickly and minimize costs.

Another benefit of acoustic leak detection is that it can work on any type of pipe, including plastic and PVC, as well as steel, cast iron, or ductile iron. It can also be used on buried pipes in soil, rock, or other media. While it is not as accurate for underground pipes as other methods, it is the quickest and easiest way to search for, detect, and pinpoint a leak.

Acoustic leak detection can be a valuable asset for any company that uses compressed air or vacuum systems, or that has gases like carbon dioxide in its production processes. The ability to locate and pinpoint leaks quickly can significantly reduce the risk of dangerous explosions or fires, and help maintain the integrity of vital infrastructure. In addition, the ability to identify leaks early on can significantly reduce energy costs, as compressed air and other gasses are expensive to replace.


Laser-based LiDAR scans the surrounding environment and generates 3D maps. Its advantages include the ability to see through dense vegetation and even water, allowing you to spot leaks from a bird’s-eye view.

A LiDAR system pulses a laser beam from mobile systems like automobiles, airplanes, drones, or satellites through the air and into the surface of the Earth, including bare ground, vegetation, and water. The pulses are reflected back to the scanner, measuring distances and angles. This data is collected into a point cloud, a spatial dataset that includes every x, y, and z positional value of the laser pulses. Each point can be assigned a class that determines the type of surface it reflects off of, such as bare ground, vegetation (low, medium, and high), buildings, or water. These points are combined into a Digital Elevation Model, or DEM.

The DEM is an extremely precise representation of the Earth’s surface environment. This nuanced insight is invaluable for hydrological modeling, geological analysis, and landform mapping. A LiDAR-generated DTM also provides valuable insights when studying archaeological sites and uncovering hidden features that would be impossible to find with other methods.

As a result, the data from LiDAR can help improve crop yields by providing insights into soil conditions and facilitating effective irrigation strategies. It can also aid in dam and levee maintenance by identifying erosion risks and enabling proactive action. This minimizes disruption to transportation systems and maintains the integrity of critical infrastructure.

For natural gas companies, the information provided by LiDAR enables rapid and efficient response to potential leaks. This information reveals not only whether there are methane leaks, but also where they are located and the severity of the leak. This allows natural gas providers to prioritize repairs based on location and impact.

LiDAR can also be used to monitor regulated methane emissions, helping companies track and quantify their reductions. It has the sensitivity to catch up to 90% of total methane emissions on average, ensuring accurate reduction tracking and preventing costly negative publicity. GPS coordinates can direct crews to source equipment directly, saving on costs and risk.


Drones are small to medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that can be flown by remote control and have a number of built-in sensors. They are powered by electric, jet or combustion motors. Depending on the drone’s use, they may have two, three or more propellers. A central flight controller manages the drone’s stability and controls the speed of each propeller. The sensors include GPS, radar control, infrared and high-resolution cameras.

In addition to military and industrial applications, drones are increasingly being used by law enforcement agencies for surveillance, espionage and targeting of suspected criminals. These aircraft also have a range of civilian applications, including photography and filming, property inspection, search and rescue operations and delivery of goods.

Using drones for leak detection and other surveys allows companies to save on fuel and personnel costs. They can also quickly spot material loss or equipment failures and identify the cause, avoiding costly downtime. In the field of energy, drones can be used at solar or wind power plants to assess the condition of facilities, reduce maintenance costs and improve performance.

Another area of application is agriculture and other natural resources. For example, drones can be used to spray pesticides, monitor irrigation systems and harvest crops more accurately. They can also be employed in environmental protection programs to keep tabs on wildlife populations and prevent illegal hunting.

The rapid adoption of drones over the last decade has prompted privacy, security and safety concerns. Many people fear their homes, businesses and private events are being monitored by drones, which are sometimes operated by amateur operators such as paparazzi and voyeurs. Some governments have responded to these concerns by limiting drone usage or restricting it entirely in certain areas.

Increasingly, drones are being used in the defense industry, primarily for surveillance and reconnaissance, although they can also be equipped with weapons to attack enemy targets. The most advanced military drones are equipped with electro-optical imaging, mid-wave infrared imagers and laser rangefinders, and can reach speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour. They can even hover in mid-air.

Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging, or infrared thermography, is a technology that uses sensors to detect radiated heat or temperature variations. This heat is invisible to the human eye, but a thermal camera can interpret it and display it as a visual image. Thermal imaging cameras can be a valuable tool for many industries, especially those involved in leak detection and building maintenance.

Leaks and moisture problems can lead to serious damage and costly repairs, but they can be difficult to find without destructive testing. Thermal imaging can detect minuscule levels of water or moisture infiltration, even in walls and ceilings. This allows contractors to make accurate, early detection of potential problems and take preventative action before the situation worsens.

Moisture infiltration can be caused by a variety of factors, including condensation, pipe leaks, rain and snow, and even the natural humidity of a home or building. Moisture can cause wood and other materials to rot, degrade or fail. However, a lot of moisture infiltration isn’t visible until it’s too late. Thermal imaging is a non-invasive, effective way to identify hidden moisture issues in a structure before they become severe problems.

There are two types of thermal imaging cameras – cooled and uncooled. Cooled thermal imagers use a vacuum-sealed case and cryogenically cooled sensors to enhance their sensitivity and enable them to detect tiny differences in heat. They are typically used in scientific and military applications, but are also available to the general public through professional hardware stores and online retailers. Uncooled thermal imagers operate at ambient temperatures and are more commonly used in everyday applications.

A thermal imaging camera can be used in combination with other leak detection methods to locate a specific location of a buried water line leak, for example. This can save time and money by allowing utility locators to avoid extensive excavation work that would otherwise be required when finding a buried leak. It can also help to save energy costs by locating leaks before they become severe and enabling the repair and insulation process to begin as soon as possible. In addition, thermal imaging cameras can be used in animal and pest management to spot animals or insects in dark roof areas or in underground piping systems, as well as in transportation navigation to more easily see people or obstructions in low lighting conditions.

What Does it Take to Become a Plumber?

Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes and fixtures used for water distribution and waste water disposal in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. They also inspect plumbing systems and blueprints to ensure compliance with local codes and regulations.

Plumbers work directly with clients and must have excellent customer service skills. They often work in confined spaces and may encounter hazardous materials.

As one of the most versatile and in-demand skilled tradespersons, plumbers perform a wide range of tasks that involve installing and repairing water supply lines, drainage systems, and fixtures. They also inspect and test systems to ensure they comply with building regulations. To be successful in this role, plumbers must have a strong understanding of the science behind water flow, and be adept at troubleshooting problems that can vary from minor leaks to serious system malfunctions.

Plumbers often work directly in people’s homes and apartments, so they must be comfortable working in tight spaces and confined areas. They also interact frequently with clients, so they need excellent customer service skills to communicate effectively and clearly explain issues and solutions. Other responsibilities include providing estimates for plumbing services and collaborating with other professionals, such as construction teams and architects, to ensure that plumbing is properly integrated into building projects.

Plumbing is a hands-on and varied career, offering stability and potential for long-term success. The demand for plumbers is high, and qualified individuals can find many opportunities in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. Plumbers typically work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends, to respond to emergency calls from customers.

To maintain their technical knowledge, plumbers must keep up with evolving technologies and best practices in the field. They also need to obtain a license and certification to practice their profession. This can be done through an apprenticeship, where they learn the trade by working alongside experienced professionals. Some communities also offer programs to help people become licensed plumbers, which can lead to job opportunities and higher earning potential.

The ideal plumber candidate will have extensive experience installing and repairing plumbing. They will be able to follow blueprints and schematics to identify the location of pipes and other infrastructure, and be able to use specialized tools to inspect and test systems. They should be able to resolve issues quickly and accurately, and have the ability to work well under pressure. They should also be able to communicate clearly with clients, and be punctual and reliable.

A high school diploma is usually the minimum educational requirement for becoming a plumber. However, some prospective plumbers may want to pursue additional education or training to improve their job prospects. Many vocational schools and community colleges offer courses in plumbing. These programs typically include both classroom instruction and hands-on experience. Topics covered may include plumbing codes, pipefitting, blueprint reading, and safety practices.

Apprenticeship programs are another valuable source of education and training for aspiring plumbers. These programs can last up to five years, and provide entry-level employment while allowing aspiring plumbers to learn the trade. They also pay apprentices a percentage of the wages of journeyman plumbers. Those interested in pursuing a career as a plumber can also find educational opportunities through online courses, which offer an alternative way to receive the same practical training that is provided in apprenticeship programs.

While the exact steps to become a licensed plumber vary by jurisdiction, most require a minimum number of years of work experience. Some states even have specific educational requirements for those seeking certification as a plumber. For example, Master Plumber applicants must have at least 10 years of work experience — including five years as an apprentice and five as a journeyman plumber.

In addition to the required skills and work experience, plumbers must possess good customer service abilities and be able to effectively communicate with clients and colleagues. This is especially important when addressing customer complaints or explaining complex plumbing issues.

Plumbers are often called upon to perform inspections of residential and commercial plumbing systems. This can involve using specialized equipment such as video cameras to view pipes, pressure gauges to test for leaks, and other diagnostic tools. Additionally, they can be asked to recommend new parts and fixtures to address problems or improve existing ones. Regardless of the type of inspection, a skilled plumber should be able to quickly identify and resolve problems. Additionally, they should be able to provide accurate and detailed estimates to customers for the cost of services. This can help to build trust and ensure that customers are happy with the results of their work.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a plumber, it is important to understand the work environment. Companies employ most plumbers, but there are also some who work on their own as independent contractors. This type of employment is a good choice for people who prefer to work in a flexible, non-competitive, and friendly environment. In addition, the ability to make your own schedule is a major plus.

Many plumbers are required to travel to different locations every day in order to perform their jobs. This can include homes, office buildings, factories, and construction sites. Additionally, plumbing work is often performed in tight and confined spaces. Moreover, it is common for plumbers to be called out for emergency repairs, such as leaky pipes or clogged toilets.

Plumbers often need to meet with customers in order to discuss the specific plumbing needs of a customer. This requires excellent communication skills, especially when discussing budgets and timelines. In addition, plumbers may need to explain complicated plumbing concepts to laypeople.

As a result, it is important for plumbers to have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn from others. Moreover, they should be able to think on their feet and adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Finally, it is essential for plumbers to be self-motivated and reliable. These are all skills that are developed during a plumbing apprenticeship.

Some of the additional tasks that a plumber might be responsible for include assembling plumbing components, cutting holes in walls and floors, and installing new fixtures such as sinks, faucets, bathtubs, showers, and toilets. Additionally, they might need to cut pipe sections and tubing using hand or power tools. Finally, they might be asked to install green plumbing equipment, such as water-efficient toilets or sink faucet flow restrictors.

Plumbers must also be familiar with a variety of tools and materials, including screws, bolts, fittings, glues, caulking, cement, and paint. They must also be able to read and interpret blueprints. In addition, they should be comfortable with working on ladders and scaffolding. Finally, it is important for plumbers to have good manual dexterity and the ability to work with their hands.

A plumber’s salary can vary significantly, depending on location, specialization, and experience level. However, most plumbers earn an annual salary that is above the national average for trade professionals.

The highest-paying plumbers are typically those who specialize in specific industries, such as petroleum or coal-based products manufacturing. These jobs require specialized plumbing systems designed to safely handle hazardous materials. Because of this, these types of plumbers usually receive higher salaries than their counterparts in the construction industry.

Additional earning potential for plumbers can come from advanced certifications and other professional development opportunities. Having a diverse set of skills can also boost earnings, as it may allow a plumber to offer more services and attract more customers. For example, plumbers with welding or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) expertise can add value to their services by providing a wider range of solutions for their clients.

The demand for plumbers can vary by region, with urban areas and regions with robust construction and industrial sectors tending to have a greater need for these workers. Additionally, the number of available jobs can fluctuate based on weather conditions and other unforeseen factors.

Entry-level plumbers can gain valuable work experience by participating in a structured apprenticeship program. These programs typically last several years and combine classroom learning with on-the-job training. Apprenticeships can be completed through vocational schools, community colleges, or independent trade organizations.

Plumbers can also advance their careers by earning a master plumber’s license, which requires completing a rigorous exam and meeting specific education and experience requirements. The salary for a master plumber is often higher than that of a journeyman or plumber-in-training. Additionally, many plumbers belong to labor unions, which negotiate their wages and may require them to pay membership fees. In addition, some plumbers choose to run their own plumbing businesses. This can provide a more flexible schedule and higher income potential, but it is important to understand the financial responsibilities that come with this type of venture.