Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions for your information.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Common Heating Service Questions

Seasonal Plumbing Service Questions

Common Remodeling Service Questions

Common Plumbing Services Questions

Drain Cleaning

SHOULD I SCHEDULE DRAIN CLEANING ANNUALLY, EVEN IF I DON'T HAVE CLOGS?

  • It is recommended, as it is one of the best ways to prevent clogs in the future, especially if your home is over 30 years old. We also recommend getting the drains cleaned when you first move into a new home. 


WON'T LIQUID DRAIN FROM THE STORE CLEANERS HANDLE THE UNCLOGGING JOB?

  • No, most store-bought drain cleaners use an acidic action that contains sulfuric acid and lye that will chew a small hole through the obstruction. They do not completely eliminate the clog, leaving a greater opportunity for the clog to come back. Many of these cleaners can be very harsh on your pipes and hazardous to your health. 

ARE DRAINS CLOGS USUALLY MINOR?

  • Yes and no, some clogs can be as minor as a hairball or a buildup of grease or soap scum. Yet, it can be risky to assume that all clogs are minor. They could indicate a more significant problem: root infiltration in the sewer line, broken or clogged sewer pipes, or blocked drain vents. If these problems aren't dealt with, they could present significant problems for your sewer system and start clogging every drain in your home.

To learn more about our exceptional drain cleaning service, click here!

 
Pipe Repair & Replacement

When Should I Replace My Water Pipes?

  • It may surprise you to learn that just because a pipe in your home is old, it may not be necessary to replace it. For instance, copper supply lines have an expected lifespan of 70 to 80 years. That being said, there is always the possibility that your water pipes need to be replaced. Most times, the key is that you’re looking for performance in that most water pipes don’t need to be replaced until a problem or potential problem becomes evident.

 

When you handle your regular maintenance around the home, it can be helpful to examine your visible pipes. You want to be on the lookout for leaks, cracks, and corrosion during your visual inspection. Even a tiny leak can be a severe problem when it comes to water damage and increased utility bills. In addition, cracks and corrosion could lead to a pipe bursting causing even more problems.

 

In addition to the visible check, you should also monitor your pipes and plumbing. Some signs that it may be time to replace water pipes or fixtures include low water pressure, discolored water, or dangerous materials. These can all be signs that there is an issue with your plumbing that needs to be addressed.

 

When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to contact Jolly Plumbing to evaluate your pipes. You may miss signs that your water pipes need to be replaced and end up with a larger bill on your hands.          

How Many Days Does It Take To Repipe a House?

  • It’s time to replace the pipes in your home. The next question you ask yourself is how long you will have to be dealing with life without running water in your home. It can be a scary scenario and may make some think twice about having their plumbing taken care of at that time.

The good news is that often, the work can be done during the day with your water shut off throughout your home, but at night, the water can usually be turned back on, so it shouldn’t interrupt your evening and morning routines. In some cases, you may not even have your water shut off during the day if they build the new plumbing system next to the old one. In this instance, you’d only have your water shut off when the new plumbing becomes the main plumbing in the home and old plumbing is removed.

 

When it comes to the length of time it takes to repipe a home, it depends. There is a variety of factors in play. Is the entire house being repiped or only a section? Was your home during the 80's when Polybutylene Pipe was installed? How many vanities, cabinets, walls, and other fixtures must be moved to get to the pipes? The answers to these questions can help to narrow down the answer. Small projects can take just a few days, while repiping a whole home can take up to a week, depending on the size of the house.

The easiest way to learn more about how long your particular project will take is to talk to your plumbing service. They can go over the specifics for your home and give you a better idea about how long they estimate it will take.                          

What Is the Best Material to Repipe a House?
 
  • Three materials are currently being used on the market to repipe homes that are some of the best options available: CPVC, copper, and PEX.

CPVC, which stands for Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride, is a more robust version of PVC pipes you may already be familiar with for other projects. It can be a good option as it has a more economical price tag, is safe for drinking water, is flexible, and can withstand high temperatures as needed for hot water running through your home. It’s also doesn’t rust, is flame resistant, and insulated. However, this may not be a good choice if you’re having your whole home repiped as it doesn’t last as long as some of the other materials available. Also, over time, it can get brittle, which can lead to cracking.

Copper is a prevalent material, thanks to the qualities that this metal offers. Copper doesn’t need as much maintenance as other metals used in plumbing. It doesn’t corrode, can tolerate heat, can be recycled, and is safe for drinking water. In addition, copper has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. However, copper can be a more expensive option, especially when doing the entire home’s pipes in copper.

PEX, also known as cross-linked polyethylene, is a popular option thanks to its properties. Unlike CPVC, it lasts longer and is cheaper than copper. In addition, it’s flexible, lightweight, and safe for drinking water. It’s also easier to use in older homes as it can fit into tight spaces.

The best material for every project may be a bit different. To find out what material is best for you contact the educated professionals at Jolly Plumbing. Their 30 years of experience can easily evaluate what pipe is best for your project. Call us today to learn more about which material is the best for your particular needs.

To learn more about our exceptional pipe repair and replacement service, click here​!

Polybutylene Pipe

Should Polybutylene Pipes Be Replaced?

  • Polybutylene pipes were used starting back in the 1970s and up until the 1990s when it was found that these pipes weren’t holding up as expected. The different chemicals that are put into the water supply, such as chlorine and fluoride, are safe for our consumption but, over time, weaken the materials in polybutylene pipes. That means that these pipes are often an accident waiting to happen when they aren’t replaced in a timely fashion.

 

It takes about 10 to 15 years for these types of pipes to deteriorate. If your pipes are polybutylene and older than 10 to 15 years, you may be enjoying borrowed time before something terrible happens. It can be an excellent idea to have a professional plumber in to inspect your lines and get an idea of the best way to go around having them replaced. Waiting too long for replacement may result in a huge mess to clean up. Depending on where the pipes burst, it could not only mean a lot of water damage, but you may not have water in your home until the repairs and replacement can be made. It’s often the best idea to handle your pipe replacement before it gets to that point.     

Are Polybutylene Pipes Safe?

  • A person hearing that polybutylene pipes need to be replaced in their home even when they aren’t leaking may worry that polybutylene pipes aren’t safe. In fact, the material is safe when it comes to drinking water. The pipes have no safety issues for your family’s health and wellbeing. However, the fact that the material these pipes are made out of fails easily over a much shorter period of time than other materials makes it necessary to have it removed. Slow leaks, water damage, mold growth, and even more significant incidents when pipes burst can all lead to unsafe conditions in your home that are expensive to fix. It’s a more economical choice to have your old polybutylene pipes replaced. 

How Can You Tell If a Pipe Is Polybutylene?

  • Are you starting to wonder if the pipes in your home are polybutylene? You can use some clues to identify polybutylene pipes in your home. You’ll want to start in places where the lines are exposed and easy to see. You may want to check areas in your basement, under your sinks, by the water meter, or by your water shut-off valves.

Once you’ve found some pipes to investigate, here are some identifying features of polybutylene.

  • Color: Polybutylene is often gray, blue, or black in color. Most commonly, it’s gray.

  • Markings: Typically, you’ll see a marking of PB2110 on polybutylene pipes.

  • Size: Pipes of this material are usually between ½” to 1” in diameter.

Polybutylene is not meant to be used for vent piping, drains, or waste, so even if these pipes that are visible aren’t polybutylene, there is still a chance that you may have these types of lines in your home. One of the issues with identifying the types of pipes in your home is that in most of your home, the pipes are hidden in the walls or covered by dirt and dust from over the years. When you’re in doubt, you can always call in the professionals to verify the types of pipes and create a plan for removal if they do find polybutylene in your home.

To learn more about our Polybutylene pipe replacement and repair service, click here​!

Sump Pump

What is a Sump Pump and What Does it Do?

  • A sump pump is a pump system typically located in a home's basement. These pump systems prevent flooding in basements by pumping excess water from under and around your foundation out of the area to a safer spot for the water to be, typically someplace away from your foundation. You can drain it into your local sewer lines in some areas, but that's not allowed in other areas.     

There are four different types of sump pumps available. They include submersible sump pumps, pedestal sump pumps, battery-operated backup, and water-powered backup. A submersible sump pump is a system that consists of a motor and pump all in one. This pump is typically located in a basin in the water table. Since it's submerged in water, these pumps are usually quieter than some other options and help save space in crowded basements. A drawback of submersible sump pumps is that they may have a shorter lifespan than other pump systems. A pedestal sump pump is a pump with a separate motor above the basin connected by a hose. The pump moves the water through the hose and out where designated. These sump pumps are typically louder but can last longer since they are more easily accessed for regular maintenance. They also take up more room. A battery-operated backup works even when the power is out during or after a big storm. As the water rises, the float switch turns on the battery backup. A water-powered backup works with increased water pressure. It means no worrying about batteries, but it can increase your water bill since it uses more water. Depending on where you live, you may not be eligible for a water-powered backup.

 

Should Every Basement Have a Sump Pump?

  • Not every basement has a sump pump, but sump pumps can be an excellent way to protect your investment in your home. Here are some conditions that you should consider adding a sump pump if you don't already have one in your basement:    

  • Your basement has flooded at least once in the past.

  • You live in an area where you often get large amounts of rain or snow.

  • Your local weather has been unpredictable lately, with more severe storms as the weather patterns change.

  • Your home is located below the local water table.

  • The soil surrounding your home has poor drainage.

  • You've recently made improvements to your basement that would be ruined if your basement flooded.

If you currently have a sump pump, you may find that if it's been around ten years or more since it was initially installed, it could be time to replace it before it fails to protect your home in the event of flooding in the future.

Why Does My Sump Pump Run When It's Not Raining?

  • You've noticed that your sump pump is running, but it's not currently raining. There are actually a few reasons why your sump pump runs without rain. A few of these reasons may be that there's something wrong with your sump pump that needs to be fixed. These include:  

  • There is a clogged drain line where the sump pump is trying to clear the water from the area but cannot because there is a blockage. This situation can be bad for your motor, so it should be addressed as soon as noticed.

  • A broken float switch may cause your sump pump to run when it's not necessary. The switch makes the sump pump think it needs to continue to run. It needs to be manually adjusted. In some cases, you may need to use some WD-40 to loosen it up if it's stuck in one position. If a simple fix doesn't work, you may have to have it replaced.

  • Your pump is not working correctly is another reason why your sump pump may be running when it's not raining.

There are some natural reasons why your sump pump is running without it raining outside, as well. These include:

  • The water table surrounding your home has risen. This event can happen during the change of the seasons if new construction has occurred in your area or for other reasons. Often, the water table will return to its original level.

  • Snowmelt can cause your sump pump to run without it raining. All of the water produced by the snow seeps into the ground. Some of it will be absorbed in your landscaping, but not all of it, so you may expect to see it keeping your pump running.

When in doubt, it can be good to have your sump pump examined to identify the underlying cause of it running when it's not raining.

To learn more about our Sump Pump services, click here​!

Common Bathroom Plumbing Service Questions

Faucet Repair & Replacement 

Bathroom Faucet

What Are the Different Types of Bathroom Faucets?

  • There are several different types of bathroom faucets to fit your particular sink best. There are wall-mounted bathroom faucets, widespread faucets, vessel faucets, 4-inch center-set faucets, and single-hole faucets.

 

Wall-mounted faucets are used when you want the faucet to be above the sink or for freestanding sinks. Your sink shouldn’t have any drilled holes. You’ll also need to check your sink depth to ensure that splashing water doesn’t occur outside the sink, as this could be a safety hazard.

Widespread faucets are those that can be used with basins that have three holes. You’ll find each part of the faucet is a separate piece with two handles for hot and cold and the spout.

Vessel faucets are used with vessel sinks and have a higher profile with a single handle.

A 4-inch center-set faucet is your typical faucet with three holes, and the hot and cold handles are four inches apart. Unlike widespread faucets, each piece shares a single base unit.

Single-hole faucets are used on sinks with one hole with a single or double handle. Additional holes can be covered with plates. 

Not all faucets are created to work with all sink types, so ensure that your new faucet is suitable for your current sink.

Toilet Installation

Can I use my new toilet right after it has been installed?

  • No, to ensure that the toilet is properly sealed, grout is used around the base. This grout can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours to dry completely. 

How long does it take to install a toilet?

  • Replacing a toilet is a simple and straightforward job, so you should be able to remove the old toilet and install the new one in about two to three hours.

 

How long will your new toilet last?

  • Most toilets last around 50 years the newer low-flow toilets will last around 30 years

Should I switch to a low-flow toilet installed?

  • Low-flow toilets can be great for both your water bill and the environment. According to the EPA, homeowners could save as much as $110.00 a year on their water bill by switching. Older toilets can use anywhere from 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush verse a low-flow toilet that uses no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. 

 

Yet, low-flow toilets aren't for everyone. Low-flow toilets work by using more pressure and less water; if the water pressure in your home is not sufficient to handle this type of operation, the flush will not be able to eliminate the waste. If you have any questions about whether a low-flow toilet is right for you, give us a call, and we will be happy to answer any questions. 

To learn more about our toilet installation service, click here​!

 
Toilet Repair 

What are the most commonly replaced toilet parts?

  • All toilets are a little different, so it depends on the model you have. However, the flapper and fill valve are the parts that are most exposed to the water and seem to be the parts that wear out the quickest.

 How long 'should' the parts inside of my toilet last?

  • On an average basis, toilet parts last around 4-5 years. However, many factors can either increase your parts' lifespan, such as toilet bowl cleaners that isolate cleanser from the toilet's internal workings or decrease your parts' lifespan, such as hard or heavily chlorinated water. 

Why does my toilet continue to run after flushing?

  • If your toilet continues to run after you have flushed, try giggling the handle. If this works, it probably means that the chain controlling the flapper is too long. You want this chain to be as snug as possible, or else it can fall behind the flapper preventing it from closing correctly. 

What is causing my toilet to flush when no one is around?

  • If you suddenly hear your toilet bowl flush and you know it wasn't done by a human, this is commonly known as "ghost-flushing". It doesn't mean you have a ghost in your house; instead, you probably have a flapper that is going bad. 

This phenomenon happens when the toilet tank is refilling due to loss of water through the flapper. When your flapper no longer creating a watertight seal, the water starts leaking into the bowl. After enough water has leaked past the flapper, the float arm will drop to a level where the fill valve will activate and replenish the tank's water. Therefore, the toilet is not flushing; instead, the tank is just refilling. 

An excellent way to test this theory is to add a little food coloring to your tank; if you see that the color has leaked into your bowl, then you know you have a bad flapper, and it needs replacing. 

If you don't be grateful that you have a considerate ghost that flushes after he is done :) 

Is it a major problem if toilets run?

  • Running toilets may not always cause a lot of damage, but they waste water. If the toilet is running. Shut off the water supply to the toilet, usually at the base of the toilet. 

 

Common Kitchen Plumbing Service Questions

Faucet Repair & Replacement 

Kitchen Faucet

What Are the Different Types of Kitchen Faucets?

  • It’s never been a better time to replace a kitchen faucet as there are so many different available options on the market. No longer do you have to settle for the standard fixed-neck tap. Some of the available options include pull-down faucets with tall profiles, spray heads that are detachable and extended hoses to get wherever you need them. The longer hoses and pull-down options are great for when you’re trying to do more with your sink than just wash dishes. For instance, it can make filling up a bucket to clean your floors that much easier as you don’t have to lift the bucket out of the sink or hope it fits under the faucet. Pull-out faucets are another great option, especially if you have a smaller kitchen space.

You can find your kitchen faucets also has a variety of control designs. For example, single handles let you control both the hot and cold water with one handle, unlike dual hot and cold handles. Recently, more and more residential faucets are being offered with touchless or motion control features, helping you stay hands-free. It’s an excellent option for cooks that hate using dirty hands to touch the faucet to get the water flowing.

What Is a Good Flow Rate for A Kitchen Sink Faucet?

  • Your kitchen sink faucet flow rate can be an essential fact to know. Some places have strict water rules. Some people are concerned about water conservation whether they want to reduce their water bill or help the environment. The flow rate of your faucet is controlled by the aerator in the faucet’s nozzle. It restricts the amount of water that flows from your faucet when it’s on. New kitchen faucets will mostly have a flow rate of 2.2 GPM, meaning that 2.2 gallons of water flow per minute. Your older faucet may have a higher flow rate if it hasn’t been replaced recently.

That doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a 2.2 GPM flow rate. You can find various flow rates for your faucet’s aerator without having to switch out your faucet. You can find aerators that go as low as .5 GPM up to 1.5 GPM.

Are you worried that reducing your flow rate could impact water pressure? You don’t have to worry. Aerators are actually a great addition if you have insufficient water pressure as they can help to increase it since the water flow builds up behind it. They can be used beyond your kitchen sink, as well.

To learn more about our faucet repair & replacement service, click here​!

 
Garbage Disposal 

How Long Does a Typical Garbage Disposal Last?

  • Garbage disposals can be a great tool in helping to keep your kitchen clean by grinding up your food scraps, but it can be a real problem when they aren’t working correctly. Your garbage disposal should have a lifespan of about 15 years as long as you maintain it properly over time and don’t overuse it. In addition, you may find that older garbage disposals may not last as long as newer disposals. Abusing it by putting items in it that should be placed in it or not doing proper maintenance can reduce the amount of time it lasts for you.

Some signs that it’s time to install a new garbage disposal include weird noises, bad smells that won’t go away, leaking water, frequent resets, and the unit not coming on. There are some ways to help extend the life of your garbage disposal. First, you should have it correctly repaired when trouble comes up. Next, clean the blades regularly with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, followed by a good dose of hot water to rinse them clean. It would help if you also were careful with what you put into your disposal as that can impact the lifespan of the disposal.              

Is It Worth Installing a Garbage Disposal?

  • The question of whether or not it’s worth it to install a garbage disposal can be a personal one. Some people love the convenience of having one, while others are happy to do without. Here are some pros and cons to help you make a decision on whether or not you should install a garbage disposal in your kitchen.

Pros:

  • Easy clean-up after meals

  • Protect your pipes from food waste

  • Help reduce bad kitchen smells

  • Reduce the possibility of pests in your home from garbage smells

  • Not an expensive home investment

Cons:

  • It needs to be properly maintained

  • May require repairs

  • Can’t overload it

  • Some items can’t go into it

  • Can result in clogs when not used properly

  • Lose out of storage space under kitchen sink

  • Not recommended with a septic tank system

For individuals that don’t have weekly trash pickups, a garbage disposal can be very beneficial in keeping nasty smells out of your trash cans since you can get rid of a lot of your food waste using it. However, that being said, a garbage disposal can be hard on homes that have a septic system as the food particles could become a clogging factor. So, in the end, it comes down to what works the best for your household.

What Should You Not Put into My Garbage Disposal?

  • Keeping your garbage disposal running correctly in your home often means knowing what you can and cannot put down it. Here is a guideline for what’s safe and what’s not:

    • Safe Foods for Garbage Disposals

    • Food Scraps

    • Corn Cob

    • Small Bones

    • Cooked Meat

    • Citrus Rinds

    • Small Amount of Coffee Grounds

    • Ice Cubes

    • Not Safe for Garbage Disposals

    • Large Amounts of Vegetable Peels

    • Foods That Expand with Water

    • Eggshells

    • Corn Husks

    • Oysters

    • Nuts

    • Artichokes

    • Oil

    • Grease

    • Anything Metallic or Non-food Items

Here are some additional tips on the proper way to use your garbage disposal. You should use cold water rather than hot when turning on the garbage disposal. It ensures that the greasy parts of the food become more solid and makes it easier for them to be disposed of when solid compared to liquid. When in doubt about the size of the food being put down the garbage disposal: cut it up. Reducing the size means that your disposal won’t have to work as hard to chop it up and can help it to last longer. Also, when you’re not sure if something should be put in the disposal, it’s often better to be cautious and throw it out in the trash. You don’t want to clog up or break your disposal because of adding something you’ve never disposed of before, as that could result in a costly repair or even having to replace the whole unit.     

 

To learn more about our garbage disposal repair and installation service, click here​!        

 
Sink Installation

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Kitchen Sink?

  • Getting a new kitchen sink may seem like it involves a lot of cost and hassle, but you may be surprised. The installation costs of a new kitchen sink will vary based on the type of sink you have installed and who is installing it for you. On average, you will find that it’s about $150 to $240 for installing the sink itself. Keep in mind that this price is only for the service of having the sink installed in your kitchen. If you’re changing the size or shape of the sink, it’s possible that this can increase the installation costs. There is also the cost of the kitchen sink to consider.

Sinks can also vary greatly depending on the brand, material, size, and other factors. Sinks can cost less than $100, but for many of the more luxurious sinks that are high-end, you could spend over $1,000. You’ll need to also add on the cost of the faucets, as most sinks don’t come with them included, as well as the installation cost for the fixtures. You’ll also want to consider whether or not you also want to add a garbage disposal as that can add to the installation price along with the cost of the disposal itself.              

Do You Need a Plumber to Install a Kitchen Sink?

  • The question of whether or not you need a plumber to install a kitchen sink really depends on a variety of factors. The two most important factors are the complexity of the project and your skill level. Suppose you’re only planning on replacing a kitchen sink with a very similar model in a very straightforward way with no other replacements necessary. In that case, it’s possible that you may be able to handle the job on your own if you are familiar with plumbing basics. Keep in mind that this type of job will typically take longer than if you have a professional plumber come in and handle it.

However, most kitchen sink installs go beyond replacing an old sink with the exact same item and not replacing anything else. Additional pipes may need to be replaced or changed to help accommodate the new kitchen sink. Often, it can be a wise decision to get help with these types of installations. A licensed plumber will ensure that your new kitchen sink fits appropriately, is level, has the correct pipe configuration, your fixture works correctly, and everything drains as it should before finishing. Going with a professional from the start can often save you time and money. You can always give us a call to get a quote or if you have any questions.

What Is the Best Depth for a Kitchen Sink?                      

  • You’ve decided that you want a new kitchen sink. One of the biggest questions that people have is determining the proper depth for the kitchen sink. You want it deep enough to be able to soak dishes, prevent water from splashing out when the faucet is in use, and do any other task you need it to do. However, you don’t want to cause problems with your existing plumbing and counter, so examining your current sink depth can be essential. You’ll want to have a depth of at least 7 inches, but you can go as high as 10 inches, especially if you have a large number of family members that like to pile their dishes in the sink. 

When in doubt, you can always have your local plumber come in and help you measure to determine if you’re able to install a sink with a more significant depth than your current setup. Even if you can’t get the depth that you want, they may be able to give you tips on how to make better use of your sink, such as using a goose-neck or farm-house faucet for more height between the sink and faucet.

To learn more about our sink installation service, click here​!

 

Common Heating Service Questions

Boiler System

What Are The 3 Types of Boilers?

  • There are three types of boilers typically offered on the market for your home. These are gas-fired, oil-fired, and electric. The type of boiler you have will often depend on where you're located and your preference. Gas-fired boilers utilize either propane or natural gas. They can be desirable because they use less fuel than some of the other options and don't require much maintenance to keep them running for years. 

If you live in an area where it's hard to get natural gas to your home, you may have an oil-fired boiler. It's another energy-efficient choice, but there can be some fluctuations in the operating cost as the cost of fuel changes. It's possible to purchase models that run using biodiesel fuel.

 

Lastly, there are electric boilers. These are popular for a number of reasons. They are often energy-efficient, clean since they don't use gas or oil, quiet, compact, and not difficult to install, but they can be expensive depending on your area's energy cost. In some areas, it may be more costly than the other options. No matter your setup, it's possible to find the best boiler to fit your particular needs.

Which Type of Boiler Is Best?

  • One of the most challenging questions to answer is which type of boiler is best because there are a number of factors that go into determining the best boiler. What may be an excellent boiler for one home may not work so well for another. When selecting the right boiler for your home, one thing to keep in mind is what fuel options are currently available. For instance, if you live in an area where natural gas is not an option, you probably don't want to select a gas-fired boiler.

Another thing to consider is the age of your current boiler. You may not think that you need a new boiler since yours currently works well, but you may be spending more on fuel and energy than necessary. If it was installed over ten years ago, a newer boiler model could be saving you money on your utility bills. When it comes to specific models, you'll want to consider the efficiency of the boiler and your setup. Speaking with the professionals Jolly Plumbing can help you determine if your current boiler needs to be replaced and what type of boiler you should consider replacing it within your home. 

How Do I Know What Size Boiler to Buy?

  • The size of your boiler is related to the size of your home and where your home is located. There are calculators that can be used to determine what boiler capacity is recommended for your home. Typically, you'll want to determine your home's climate. For example, a home located in a cold climate will require about 50 BTU per square foot. A house in a more moderate climate will be at 35 BTU. In contrast, a home in a hot climate requires about 20 BTU. So, you'll take the BTU amount per square foot recommended in your area and multiply it by the square footage in your home. If you have concerns about what size boiler is right for your home, as every house is unique, you can contact the professionals at Jolly Plumbing we can help you pinpoint the right size for your living situation.

To learn more about our boiler system service, click here​!

 
Radiant Heating 

Is It Expensive to Run Radiant Heat?

  • Radiant heat is a dream for many homeowners, but often, they don’t run radiant heat in their homes because of fears about the cost. So, let’s discuss the cost involved with running radiant heat. On average, you can expect to pay about $6 to $20 per square foot for under flooring radiant heat when putting it in your home. These prices typically include both the product itself and the insulation. There are two types of radiant heat most commonly used in residential homes: electric and hydronic. There are some other types, but these are the most common two. 

Electric systems are mats that run on electricity that go underneath your floor. These systems are almost like a heated blanket. Hydronic systems use heated water to warm your floors. Consider these systems like a hot water bottle. Electric systems are usually cheaper to install than hydronic systems when it comes to costs as they are often a type of mat rather than water in pipes. Still, the daily operating cost can be more expensive. Water holds heat very well and doesn’t require as much energy to keep it warm over time in comparison.

 

One thing that some homeowners consider when determining whether or not to install radiant heat is putting it in a smaller space rather than the whole home. Some examples of this are installing it in the bathrooms or rooms that don’t get good airflow from the traditional forced-air furnace, as this can be a more cost-effective option. For instance, that garage turned into a workspace may be a good option. 

How Long Doesn’t Radiant Heating Last?

  • A lot can go into putting in radiant heating, from the cost to the installation process, and one of the biggest questions can be how long does it last. No one wants to go through the hassle of having their ceiling replaced or floors pulled up for radiant heating, even when replacing their old flooring at the same time, if the product’s lifespan is too short to make it worth their while. The truth of the matter is that while radiant heating flooring systems won’t last forever, they do have a relatively long lifespan, especially when you compare them to the lifespan of your more traditional forced-air furnace.

Most furnaces will have a lifespan of about 10 to 25 years or so, depending on how it’s maintained and used. On average, the lifespan of a radiant heating system is expected to be about 30 to 45 years. In fact, many of these systems have at least a 25-year warranty on them. That being said, some components may not last this long, such as the water pump needed for hydronic systems, and could need to be repaired or replaced earlier than the rest of the system. In many cases, the lifespan of radiant heating makes it well worth considering.

We’ve Got Allergies. Can A Radiant Floor System Help?

  • It may surprise you to find out, but a radiant floor heating system can be very beneficial for people with allergies and other upper respiratory issues. A traditional forced-air furnace works by directing heated air through your home’s ducts and out the vents. Any dust, dirt, and debris lying in your ducts or around the vents can then be blown through your home every time the heat kicks on. As a result, poor indoor air quality can exacerbate existing health conditions, such as allergies and asthma. Heating your home through a convection system like a radiant floor means that you’ll no longer have this potentially dirty heated air circulating your home and aggravating you and your family’s lungs.

In addition, many people that choose to go with a radiant floor system prefer to get rid of the carpeting in their home. One of the reasons people like carpeting is that it helps keep the floor warm for your feet on cold days. Carpeting is no longer necessary with a system that heats your home through the floor. Carpet is another area where dust and dirt can hide in your home and create indoor air pollution problems. When you install radiant heat flooring, removing it can also improve your air quality.

Is Radiant Heating the Best Product For Me?

  • It can be hard to determine if trying something that seems outside of your experiences is right for you. Most individuals are used to forced-air heating systems and are unfamiliar with radiant heating. The question of whether or not radiant heating is the best product for you boils down to what it provides over traditional heating systems.

Radiant heating is an excellent choice when you’re looking for heating options that are affordable every month. Since this heating option is more efficient than traditional heating, your monthly bills are often less than they would be with forced-air heating. Also, since it’s more efficient, you can help to reduce your carbon footprint if you’re looking to be more green.

Another benefit of radiant heating is that it can help keep your home cleaner. Allergy sufferers, individuals with asthma, and other health conditions need to have good indoor air quality to protect their health. Getting rid of forced-air heating means that the dust and other debris that are forced through your heating system and get blown into the air are eliminated. It can be a massive reduction in poor air quality that you may not even realize. Plus, many times, the whole reason you have carpet in your home is to help keep your floors warm. Your floors will remain warm with radiant heating, and the carpeting is no longer needed. Removing your carpet can further reduce the amount of dust and debris built up in your home.

What Are the Pros and Cons Of Radiant Heat?

  • Radiant heating can be an excellent choice for your home. However, it’s always a good idea to not only focus on the good things that come from something you’re considering but also any potential negatives. There are certainly some pros and cons when it comes to radiant heat. So let’s create a breakdown for you:

Pros

  • Very efficient heating system.

  • It provides very uniform heat to your home where it’s installed.

  • Radiant heating is quiet compared to forced-air systems.

  • It doesn’t have much heat loss compared to traditional forced-air heating systems

  • Has a few options to find the right one for your home and needs.

  • Improves the indoor air quality of your home.

  • Eliminates the need for carpeting.

  • After installation costs, it is a very affordable heating system.

  • Radiant heat has an extended warranty compared to many other systems.

  • It also has a tremendous expected lifespan when compared to traditional heating systems.

Cons

  • It can be expensive to have installed.

  • Flooring will often need to be replaced for installation.

  • It may require a more extended installation period similar to a remodel rather than an easy install.

  • This installation can result in your floor height being increased.

  • It may be harder to repair if something goes wrong during its lifespan.

Weighing these pros and cons can help you decide whether or not radiant heating is suitable for you and your home.

To learn more about our radiant heat service, click here​!

 
Water Heater 

What Type of Water Heater Is Best?

  • In the past, the only consideration that homeowners had when it came to water heaters was whether or not to use a gas or an electric water heater. Today, there are several additional options to choose from. While gas and electric are still an important distinction as you don’t want to purchase the wrong one for your home’s setup unless you’re planning on changing how it’s hooked up in your home, you’ll be surprised by the new options available. There are the traditional tank heaters, tankless options, and hybrid options.

The type of water heater that’s best for you depends on your home, living situation, and budget. Tankless water heaters are a popular option as rather than heating a set amount of water that can run out, you’ll have hot water on demand. A tankless heater will heat the water as you turn on the hot water faucet meaning you’ll have an endless supply. Hybrid water heaters are another option and are also called heat pump water heaters. These function by using existing heat to warm up the water. Think of it as a reverse air conditioner. It pulls in hot air to warm up the water in the tank while releasing the cooled air.

 

It can be hard to decide what water heater is the best for your needs. It can be helpful to speak with a professional about these options and how they will work for your particular needs.                   

What are Some Safety Tips for a Leaking Water Heater?

  • If the leak is major:

  1. Shut off fuel supply

  2. Shut off cold water supply to the water heater

  3. Open all hot water faucets in your home

  4. Attach hose to drain valve at the bottom of water heater and drain unit of all water

  5. Call Jolly Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

How Much Does It Typically Cost to Repair a Water Heater?

  • Once your water heater stops working, it’s essential to get it fixed or replaced right away to help you get back to your regular life with hot water. Often, one of the most significant considerations on whether it’s best to repair or replace it depends on the cost. Sometimes, the cost of repairing a water heater will be higher than replacing it. Other times, it can be an affordable repair that will help you get more time out of your water heater. Some repairs can be as low as $100, but others can be as expensive as $1,000. Examples of repairs that aren’t typically overly expensive include leaking tanks, thermostat replacement, heating element problems, or sticking valves.

In addition, you’ll also want to consider the age of your water heater. Even if the repair is minor, your older water heater may be costing you more money in the long run. Aging water heaters aren’t as energy efficient as newer ones, and you could save money by replacing your water heater now rather than repairing it.

 

Speaking with an experienced plumber can be a great way to get estimates on repair costs for your particular unit while comparing it to the price of a new water heater.

How Long are Water Heaters Supposed to Last?

  • The lifespan of any water heater is influenced by how much it's maintained in accordance with the included instructions. If the water heater is properly installed and maintained, it can last an average of 8 - 14 years before it needs to be replaced.

What Are the Signs of a Water Heater Going Bad?

  • It can be easy to overlook your aging water heater as long as it’s still delivering hot water to you and your family. However, there may be some signs that your water heater is starting to go bad that you should be looking for to prevent you from having a hot water emergency on your hand.

    • Take some time and ensure that your water heater doesn’t have any leaks. Leaking water can signify that it’s time for a new one.

    • Another sign is weird noises. If you hear sounds that aren’t normal around your water tank or when you run the hot water, there’s a good chance that you need to have your water heater repaired or replaced.

    • You notice that your water is discolored when it comes out of the faucet. There’s a good chance that your water heater either needs to be drained for maintenance or that it’s time for a replacement when this occurs.

    • Running out of hot water faster than expected. Your water heater may not be heating the water in the tank as well as it did in the past.

    • The temperature of your hot water fluctuates. It goes hot and cold and back to hot again. Yet another sign that your aging water heater can’t keep up with your home’s hot water demands.

These are all signs that you need to perform regular maintenance, repair, or have your water heater replaced before it stops working completely.

 

Common Seasonal Plumbing Service Questions

Frozen Pipes 

How can I prevent pipes from freezing and bursting when extreme cold weather is forecasted?

  • A blast of cold winter weather means more than just getting an extra blanket to huddle under to keep warm. It’s essential to think about your pipes during frigid temperatures. Ignoring your pipes during these types of weather events means your setting yourself up for frozen and burst pipes. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, as there are some things you can do to protect your pipes proactively.

One of the first things you should do is open any cabinets where your pipes happen to be, such as under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. By opening them up, you’re allowing the heat from the house to protect these pipes better. Another action you can take is to let the water slowly run out of the tap. Sure, you will be wasting some water, but allowing it to flow helps to prevent freezing. Then, of course, you could always put a bucket in the sink and use that water for watering your plants and other purposes.

You’ll also want to invest in insulating materials specially made for your outdoor spigots, water heater, and pipes. These items are typically found at your local box stores and DIY stores. The best news is that they are often relatively cheap, especially when comparing them to how much it can cost you to handle a burst pipe in your home when you consider both the plumbing issue and the water damage it can leave behind.

What is the best way to thaw out a frozen pipe in my home?

  • Did you get caught off guard, and your pipe froze? You’ll often notice when the water doesn’t flow or your toilet doesn’t fill up. Don’t panic. You’ll want to shut off the water either to that particular area or to the whole home if necessary. Taking this action is a good idea because it helps relieve some pressure. It also ensures that if your frozen pipe bursts, only the water currently in the pipe will be released in your home rather than a continual amount of water flowing out of the broken pipe. You’ll also want to turn on your faucets to help drain the water from the area.

Once the water to the area of the home you suspect the frozen pipe to be in is shut off, you’ll want to locate the frozen area. The good news is that the frozen water can act as a plug keeping the water in the pipe. Next, you’ll want to gather some towels, buckets, and a heat source like a blow dryer or hot water. Don’t use a propane torch, as that can be a fire hazard. Start on the edges of the frozen area and work your way toward the middle of the frozen section. You can also warm the room by using a space heater.

Once you believe that the section is now unfrozen, you’ll want to turn the water back on partially. Then, go to the area in question, and inspect for any leaks before turning your water entirely on.

Calling in the professionals at any step of this process that you don’t feel confident in handling is always a good idea and may save you from more significant problems down the road.              

How do you find an indoor frozen water pipe?

  • It’s freezing outside, and you’ve shuffled to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate to enjoy with a good book, but when you turn the tap, no water comes out. There’s a good chance you have a frozen pipe, so what’s next? Frozen water pipes can be a real problem as they can turn into, at worst, burst pipes. Even pipes that are safely dethawed can still pose a problem if leaks occur due to the freezing. First, you’ll want to find the section of pipe that’s frozen. That can be a tricky process since you may not have access to all of the pipes. Next, you’ll want to inspect the areas of pipe that you can see visibly. Some ways to identify where the frozen section is located is by seeing frost on the pipe, a noticeable bulge, or other damage to the pipe. You can also go about feeling the pipe as the frozen section will feel ice cold to the touch.

One hint is that if all of your faucets are not turning on, the frozen section is closer to the main water valve rather than one of the individual pipes running to a particular sink. So, for example, if the sinks upstairs aren’t working, but they do work on the first floor, the frozen area is between the floors. Once you’ve located the area, it’s time to start dethawing the section that’s frozen. When in doubt, call the professionals. They can help to find the problem and handle it in the best manner possible.             

To learn more about our frozen pipe service, click here​!

Outside of your home, you can expect to have either a frost-free hose bib that helps to protect it during cold weather or a non-frost-free hose bib. You may wonder what type is attached to your home, and often, it all has to do with age and where you live. Newer homes are usually equipped with frost-free hose bibs to help protect them from cold weather, especially in areas where cold weather hits. Non-frost-free hose bibs are often on older homes, even in areas where the weather can turn wickedly cold. If your home has a non-frost-free hose bib, you’ll need to winterize your hose bib to prevent freeze damage. Hot water heaters can have different types of hose bibs, such as round plastic hose bibs and knobbed hose bibs. A round plastic hose bib is made of plastic and easy to work with using your hand. A knobbed hose bib is made of metal and requires a pipe wrench to turn it. Finally, the loose key hose bibs that the homeowner can take the key off it that keep the spigot from being used without permission.

 
Outdoor Faucet Repair & Replace

Is A Hose Bib and Spigot The Same Thing?

  • While they may sound like something completely different, a hose bib and a spigot are the exact same thing. You may be surprised to learn that these unassuming but crucial faucets outside of your home, other buildings, and appliances actually have a few names. They are also called hose bibbs, sill cocks (or sillcock), hose cock, hose faucet, and outdoor spigot. Some of these terms are more dated, such as sill cocks, and others, such as hose bibb, are preferred for plumbers and building code language.     

What Kind of Hose Bibs Are There?

  • When you think of hose bibbs, you may think that there’s only one type, and that’s on the outside of your home. In fact, there are five different types of hose bibs, and not all of them are outdoor faucets, as mentioned in the previous FAQ. Some hose bibs are on items in your home, like a water heater that allows you to drain your hot water tank for regular maintenance quickly.

How Do You Turn Off Hose Bibs for Winter?

  • If you live in an area where winter weather is a concern for freezing, it can be helpful to know how to turn off your hose bib for the winter months. Did you know that it only takes about 6 hours for a pipe to freeze when exposed to freezing temperatures? Follow these steps to protect your exterior hose bibs:     

  • Remove any attachments to your hose bib. That means putting away your hose and any splitters you may have on it.

  • Identify the indoor water shut-off valve for the hose bib. You’ll want to turn it off inside.

  • Once that’s completed, turn on the outdoor faucet and let the remaining water in the line drain. Leave it open for another minute or so after the water has drained to ensure that it’s completely empty.

  • Turn off the faucet.

  • Repeat these steps for all of your outdoor faucets.

  • Voila, you’ve successfully turned off the water to your outdoor spigot.

Keep in mind, if you’re planning on going on vacation during the winter, you may need to not only drain the water from your outdoor spigots but from your entire house to prevent coming home to a big mess. You’ll follow the same steps to drain the water from the other pipes in your home.

You may even find it helpful if you’re going out of town or turning off your hose bib for other reasons.

 

Common Remodeling Service Questions

Bathroom Remodel 

How Much Does It Cost to Modify a Bathroom?

  • A type of question that often gets is regarding cost. While the exact price you can expect for any project will vary depending on your specific plans, there are some things to consider. For example, modifying your bathroom can cost as little as a few hundred dollars if you’re looking to do some basic changes like new fixtures, a fresh coat of paint, and more minor changes. Still, it could also cost upwards of $30,000 if you’re looking for a fully renovated bathroom. Some types of projects that can add to the cost of your bathroom remodel include: 

  • Adding on to the existing space.

  • Installing luxury materials.

  • Changing the plumbing layout.

  • Other similar design changes.

One of the best ways to determine the cost of a remodel is to create a budget you’d like to stick with, some things that you need to have changed with the modification, and things that you’d like to have changed if possible. Then, when you sit down with a professional service, they can help you determine what’s possible with your budget and plan out the best remodel possible for your home based on what you want to spend.  

What Should You Not Do When Remodeling a Bathroom?

  • A successful bathroom remodel often requires not making these mistakes along the way:

  • Have an unrealistic budget. Your budget is one of the essential parts of your bathroom remodel. Trying to get a deluxe remodel out of a shoestring budget will often lead to problems. You want to be realistic about what you can afford to budget for your product and what that budget can and cannot do for your remodel.

  • Don’t go in without a plan. You want to ensure that you know exactly what you’re going to do with your remodel. Continuing to make changes as you go along can increase your costs, how long your bathroom cannot be used, and cause other issues.

  • Ignoring lighting. Too much lighting can be just as bad as insufficient lighting for a space. It would help if you worked on layering the lighting so that you can have as much or as little lighting needed for your bathroom.

  • Being too ambitious with a small space. There are plenty of ways to help make a small bathroom appear larger with a remodel, but you want to ensure that you don’t try to cram so much into your small bathroom that it starts to look even smaller than when you started.

  • Not thinking about drainage. You don’t want to assume that your current drainage will be adequate if you make any changes to your bathroom. You want to make sure that your new design will drain properly.

  • Tackling a DIY remodel outside your comfort zone. Bathroom remodels can be as simple as putting in a new shower head and faucet with a coat of paint, but when you want to tackle a more significant project, it’s often best to consult with the professionals. Trying to do a DIY project on your own and having to call in the professionals to fix it when things go wrong can destroy budgets and create a more expensive remodel.

What Comes First in Bathroom Remodeling?

  • The first step in any bathroom remodeling project is the planning phase. In many cases, you should spend a great deal of time on this step to ensure you get the bathroom remodel you want. During the planning phase, it’s important to think about things like your budget, problems that need to be tackled in the current space, ideas, materials, potential designs, and similar items. It can be helpful to create lists of what is necessary to be changed for the area, what you’d like to see done with the space budget willing, and dream ideas. Shows and magazines about interior decorating, remodeling, and design can be beneficial during this process, especially when speaking with a professional to help you develop the right design to fit your needs and budget. 

You can point out pictures of designs you like to help them visualize what you’re looking for with your bathroom remodel. In addition, visiting showrooms and DIY stores can help you to decide on things like materials, paints, the types of fixtures, and more you’d like to see in your final design. Plus, it can give you a good idea of how much you should budget for your plans.

To learn more about our remodeling service, click here​!

We have a wealth of experience working with plumbing issues of all types. Call us for more information, or use our contact form.