Author Archives: Absolute Precision Plumbing and Heating

How Does LeakSMART Work?

A LeakSMART Device and Components.

What is LeakSMART?

Plumbing leaks can happen at anytime, and can have any number of causes ranging from age to corrosion to blockages or lack of maintenance. They can create major problems in your plumbing and cause serious damage to your home, if not found and repaired quickly. Until recently, it was hard to detect leaks. Now, thanks to smart technology, you can reduce the risk of serious damage from leaks with LeakSMART installation. LeakSMART is a leak and flood protection device that connects to your computer or smart phone and alerts you to the presence of leaks in your plumbing lines. Not only does it monitor your system and detect leaks, it shuts your water off to protect you from any potential damage.

If you are concerned about protecting your home from plumbing leaks, you may want to consider LeakSMART installation in Saddle Brook, NJ. For more information about this device, or to get one installed, call 551-257-6200 to talk with the experts at Absolute Precision Plumbing and Heating.

How does LeakSMART work

LeakSMART works with your phone or computer to alert you to leaks in your plumbing system. With a LeakSMART Installation, there are three main components, the cut-in valve, the hub, and the sensors. A mobile app is available for download. The cut-in valve goes on the main water line, while sensors are placed on pipes and other areas where leaking is common. The sensors take about 5 seconds to detect any leaks present and send a message to the hub. The hub then alerts the shut-off valve, as well as the homeowner. You have the option to allow the hub to tell the valve to shut the water off automatically or you can shut it off manually with your phone.

How much does LeakSMART cost?

The complete system sells for $425. You can also buy individual components. The flood sensor costs about $70, the smart valve about $230 and the hub about $150. Many distributors will sell the complete package for much less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. If you buy the product and have it installed by a professional you receive a 5-year warranty. Your insurance company may also give you a discount if your LeakSMART installation is provided by a professional.

How to install LeakSMART

While we advise having a professional install your LeakSMART to ensure it works properly and to receive the 5-year warranty package, when you buy the device, it provides you with step-by-step installation instructions. The first step will require you to connect the device to the mobile app. Once the device is connected to the app, the valve will need to be connected to the main water line. You’ll begin by shutting off the water supply, and relieve water pressure by opening up hot and cold water handles on the faucet closest to the valve. An AC power source will also need to be close by so the valve can operate without relying on batteries except as a back-up power source. The device can operate on batteries if there is an electric outage. Install the valve with the included fittings, making sure the arrow on the side faces away from the meter. Once the device is installed, water is turned on, the power cord is attached, and the system is tested. 

How do I reset my LeakSMART sensor?

If your LeakSMART sensor needs to be reset for any reason it can easily be reset by following these steps.

  • Remove the battery door and install batteries.
  • Hold down the black button for 15 second, and then release it.
  • Remove and reinstall battery to power cycle the sensor
  • Once the sensor chirps, the blue LED light flashes 5 times every second.

How to reset LeakSMART valve

Use the manual open/close buttons on the valve or on the smartphone app. The leak has to be repaired or resolved to manually reopen the valve.

Does LeakSMART work with SmartThings?

If you have Samsung’s SmartThings connected, you may want to connect your LeakSMART device to it. While it is possible, you must note that LeakSMART is not officially supported by SmartThings. It’s possible that performance will vary, and Samsung will not be able to provide support if any problems develop.

Why sprinkler leaks after it is shut off?

If you have a leak in your sprinkler system, it’s possible for the leak to keep going even after the water has been shut off. One possible reason is low head drainage, which occurs because the lowest head on a zone drains water from lateral piping through the sprinkler. It may also be caused by water leaking through the zone valve, usually because debris is blocking the valve.

While it’s not recommended that a LeakSMART installation is used on a sprinkler system, you can pair the LeakiSMART with a Nest thermostat and help detect leaks in your air conditioner. If you have leaks in your air conditioner, you’ll require an air conditioning service to repair it. 

A Leaking Pipe

Where to buy LeakSMART

You can buy LeakSMART online through companies like Amazon or at big box home improvement stores or through distributors like Absolute Precision Plumbing and Heating. If you are interested in LeakSMART installation in Saddle Brook, NJ, give our team a call at 551-257-6200 and we can set you up, and ensure your device is working properly.

How To Run Gas Line Underground

A Gas Line Attached to a Residential Gas Meter.

What is gas line?

Gas lines are pipes or hoses that connect gas appliances like stoves, water heaters, and furnaces to the main natural gas supply. While installing gas lines is relatively easy, it generally requires the services of a licensed plumber. A professional will know precisely how to install the line to prevent gas leaks, which can be very dangerous. Professionals will also know local codes and what permits to obtain to install the gas line. Since some of the gas line may need to run underground, if new lines are being installed, professionals will also have the right equipment for the installation.

You especially want to employ a licensed professional plumber like those at Absolute Precision Plumbing and Heating for gas line repair. We provide full repair and installation services. Give us a call at 551-257-6200.

What can I use for a gas line? That’s a question you may consider if you plan to connect gas lines to your appliances. Below we answer the question about what sort of material you use for a gas line.

What kind of pipe is used for gas lines?

Here are the kind of pipes usable for gas lines:

  • Steel: Black steel is the most common used for gas piping, but galvanized steel and corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is also used.
  • Copper: Copper is also used in some areas, although some utilities prohibit it.
  • Brass: Brass piping is similar to copper. Check with your gas company to see if brass or copper piping is allowed.

Can I use plumbers tape on a gas line?

If you are fitting gas lines to the connectors on a gas appliance you will use plumber’s tape, or Teflon tape, to seal the threads on the gas fitting. This will prevent leaks from occurring. Make sure, however, to get the right kind of plumber’s tape, the kind specifically designed for gas connections. This type of tape is yellow and it will be marked specifically for use with gas lines. It should only be applied on the fittings’ threads. Plumber’s tape designed for water pipes will not work. 

Using natural gas is a great way to save money on energy costs. Another way to save on energy costs is make certain your windows are in good repair and sealed tight from drafts. A window repair and sealing service will make sure the job is done right.

How much does it cost to get a gas line installed?

Costs will vary. On average, however, to run a new gas line costs about $500, and can range anywhere between $120 to $1,350. Additionally, if you are installing gas lines, you will pay anywhere between $45 to $150 per hour in labor costs for a master plumber. Call 551-257-6200 today to find out about our affordable rates.

In some cases, you may not need to install new gas lines for each appliance. For instance, if are connecting the gas line to water heater, you may just need to extend any pre-existing line. This can cut the installation costs by as much as 75%. It can be done yourself, but it’s preferable to call a professional to make sure the gas line and fittings all connect together correctly. Professionals can also safely check for and repair any leaks. 

If you are installing a new water heater, make sure to follow safety precautions. Before you begin, you’ll want to shut off the water and gas supply, and drain the tank by attaching a hose to the drain valve. Additionally, to allow air into the system, you’ll want to turn on a hot water faucet. 

With this or any other gas line installation, if you smell gas at any time, you may have a gas leak. If you suspect you do have a leak, open up all doors and windows, and leave the building before calling the gas company or fire department to shut off the gas. Once the gas is shut off a plumber can repair the leak.

Gas line underground

Some of the gas line may need to go underground. You will need to make sure all ordinances are followed and permits obtained. Sometimes gas companies will install gas lines underground for you or you may want to hire a professional plumber. Landscaping will need to be removed and a trench will need to be dug. Trench depth will be usually be regulated by building codes and you can find out from the city or gas company about how deep to dig the trench. The bottom of the trench will need to be leveled out before you call the gas company or plumber to lay the pipe. The line will need to be laid out between the gas meter and the house.  You will want to place a tarp on one or both sides of the trench to collect dirt, so it will be easier to shovel it back into the trench after the pipe is laid.

A Gas Line Next to a Brick Wall.

Gas line contractor

There are many gas line contractors in the area. If you need to install gas lines in Saddle Brook, NJ, you can always count on the professionals at Absolute Precision Plumbing and Heating for quality, affordable service. To schedule our services, call us at 551-257-6200.  

What are the Signs Your Hot Water Heater is Going Out?

A Top Down Look on Water Heater Repair

Understanding the Problem

“What’s wrong with my hot water heater?!” That’s a question that every plumber hears dozens of times throughout the year. Out of the many different segments of the plumbing system, a water heater creates some of the most frustrating and alarming problems for homeowners.

Today, we’re going to talk about the many signs your water heater will give you when it starts to break down. By the end, you should know how to respond in the event of an emergency. Let’s get started!

Understanding Water Heater Breakdowns

When it comes to water heater breakdowns, many homeowners won’t even realize there’s a problem until the unit shuts off completely. Others may experience a gradual reduction in functionality and efficiency, which will likely reveal itself in the monthly energy bill. Keep your eyes peeled for behavior that doesn’t seem normal for your appliance, and you’ll know when to call for water heater repair.

Usual Symptoms

What is the Most Common Problem With Water Heaters?

The side effects (leaks) of degraded residential roofing are obvious, but not everyone knows what to look for when their water heater starts to fail. Now that we’ve talked about the causes of water heater damage, let’s talk about what they look like inside your home. Below, you’ll find some of the most common problems that homeowners will see when their appliance breaks down.

Most Common Water Heater Problems

  • No hot water comes out of the heater.
  • The pilot light goes out and won’t come back on.
  • A hose or connecting pipe becomes detached and starts leaking water.
  • Colored water comes out of your hot water appliances.
  • The tank busts open and spills on the floor.

General Causes

What Would Cause a Hot Water Heater to Stop Working?

While they may operate on different power sources, a gas water heater and an electric water heater will encounter many of the same problems. In general, breakdowns fall within a few general categories, including: connection failure, isolated part degradation, and poor systemic conditions. Let’s briefly explain each category.

Some of the most frequently observed problems are produced by a loose hose or an out of place pipe connection. This may occur in the gas supply line, which is extremely dangerous for your home and family. The less threatening (but still irritating) possibility is a loose connection between the water supply line and the water heater.

Occasionally, age and frequent use simply causes a part to fail. This is an inevitable problem that homeowners face as their plumbing system gets older. When it comes to water heater repair, part failure is particularly common in supply pipes and in the burners (or electric heating element).

Finally, poor conditions may also create problems for multiple parts of your water heater. When the anode rod completely rusts over, for instance, corrosion accelerates in other parts of the holding tank. Hard water content produces many of the same effects: damaged tank lining and degraded piping.

Calling for Help

Who to Call for Water Heater Repair

90 times out of 100, you’re going to need to call your plumber to arrange repairs. If your water heater broke down suddenly, you’ll also want to contact your homeowner’s insurance company and explain the situation to them. There’s a good chance your insurance won’t cover the water heater repair cost, but they should cover the water damages. If your appliance is still under warranty, you’ll obviously want to call the manufacturer or plumber that provided it.

In the unlikely case your water heater malfunction was caused by a loose gas pipe, you need to call your plumber and gas company ASAP. Natural gas is highly flammable, combustible, and toxic. You may even need to evacuate your family and pets in the event of a severe gas leak.

Longevity

How Many Years Does a Hot Water Heater Last?

This is a question that our plumbers hear pretty often. “How often do you need to replace a hot water heater?” Tank water heaters tend to last the shortest time, ranging anywhere from 8 to 13 years. If you own a heat pump water appliance, it may last up to 15.

Finally, you can expect a tankless model to last 20 years or more, regardless of the fuel type. Many plumbers say it’s easier to install water heater repair parts in tankless models, which is one reason why they last considerably longer.

Water Heater Repair vs Replace

The internal debate between water heater repair and early replacement is a true struggle for many homeowners. Simplify your decision process by weighing the cost of the repairs against the potential benefits. If a tank water heater already has 10 years off its estimated lifespan, squeezing out two or three more years of use isn’t worth paying thousands of dollars. However, if you can get 5 year or more from a relatively cheap water heater repair job, go for it!

A Plumber Finishes Up Water Heater Repair

Professional Water Heater Repair

Do you have serious concerns about your home’s water heater? Our team at Absolute Precision Plumbing and Heating would love to help you with timely, cost-effective repair service. Schedule your water heater repair in Saddle Brook, NJ by calling our friendly staff at 551-257-6200!

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Add To Home Value?

A Picture of a Luxury Bathroom Interior.

Ways in Which a Bathroom Remodel Adds Value To Your Home

Our homes are an investment and one of the ways to help our investment is by adding value to them. One of the best ways to add value to a residential property is to make home improvements. When we make improvements to our home, we are adding more curb appeal, which will always increase the value of a home. Homeowners who are interested in adding value to their homes tend to ask, “What home improvements add the most value?” A popular room that many people choose to remodel is a bathroom. Bathrooms are definitely one of the most used rooms in the home, but the look of bathrooms have typically been put on the back burner. In recent years, bathroom remodels have been become more popular. Considering we spend so much time in our bathrooms, its a good idea to make them look and feel luxurious. With a simple or extensive bathroom remodel, homeowners are able to increase the value of their home and have a bathroom they truly love.

Bathroom Remodel Vs Renovate

While a bathroom remodel and bathroom renovation are terms used simultaneously, they are actually not the same thing. When we remodel something, whether it be the bathroom, kitchen, or entire house, we are changing the look and structure of the room or house. Renovations involve restoring the look of a room without completely changing the structure. So, if you want to update the look of a room, you will want to renovate it; if you want to change the entire layout of the bathroom and look, you will want to consider a bathroom remodel.

A bathroom remodel involves a lot of work, as it is completely changing how your bathroom will look. Knowing the process of a bathroom remodel can better help you understand what goes into a bathroom remodel and whether or not you want to invest in this type of remodel. So, in what order should I remodel my bathroom? These are the order of steps that a remodel needs.

  • Choose the design of how you want your bathroom to look.
  • Remove all plumbing fixtures in the bathroom.
  • Demolish the bathroom.
  • Add a new shower or shower.
  • Install new floors.
  • Put up new drywall in the bathroom and paint.
  • Put in the new sink and new fixtures.
  • Install a new toilet or your existing toilet.

How Can I Save Money On My Bathroom Remodel?

Because a bathroom remodel is changing the whole appearance of a bathroom, it is going to be expensive. Due to the expenses that pile up, homeowners will usually ask, “What is the cheapest way to remodel a bathroom?” The first thought that pops in people’s minds are to take on some of the remodeling on their own. While it might seem like remodeling part of the bathroom could save you money, it’s honestly better to leave all bathroom remodeling to a professional contractor. This is because they have the skills, knowledge, and tools needed to remodel a bathroom without any mistakes.

If a homeowner has never remodeled a bathroom before, it can be very overwhelming. There is a chance that mistakes could be made, which could end up costing more money in the long run. Although its going to be more expensive, hiring a contractor will save you time and money. So next time someone asks, “Can you remodel a bathroom yourself?” Gently remind them that it might sound good, but it will be tedious, time-consuming, and might end up costing them more. Since remodeling a bathroom on your own isn’t an option (unless you have done it before), where to save on a bathroom remodel? Homeowners can save on money by taking care of the demolition, not using a lot of tiles, using more paint, invest in cheaper countertop materials, update the fixtures, and try to salvage your old bathtub or shower by updating them.

Bathroom Remodel Ideas

Ideas for Remodeling Your Bathroom

The idea of a bathroom remodel is incredibly exciting, but coming up with ideas can be a bit stressful. Homeowners have a broad idea of what they want, but conceptualizing those ideas can be a little bit trickier. Fortunately, if you hire a licensed contractor or even an interior designer, they can help you brainstorm some ideas and bring your vision to fruition. Another thing to consider is the bathroom size; bigger bathrooms might be a little easier to remodel but smaller bathrooms might be more difficult. How do you redo a small bathroom? Some ideas for remodeling a smaller bathroom would be moving the sink to the corner of the bathroom, have opening shelving, install the faucet on the wall, install mirrors on a whole wall, or use large patterns throughout the bathroom. Again, a contractor or interior designer can really give you some great ideas about how to remodel a small or large bathroom. If you are thinking about a bathroom remodel for your home, you can call on Absolute Precision Plumbing and Heating for bathroom plumbing in Saddle Brook, NJ. We are able to install faucets, bathtubs, showers, and other fixtures that you might need. Call us at 551-257-6200 for more information!