Category Archives for "Plumbing Tips"

Where is My Water Shut Off Valve Located?

Moving into a new home is exciting, it also brings a lot of work. One of the most important things you can do when moving into a new home is to locate the water main in your property.  Knowing where this is in the event of an emergency or disaster will come in handy, if you ever need it. Knowing where the shut off valve is will allow you to turn off the water should you ever need to stop new water from coming into your home. If you have a burst pipe, you will want to shut off the water promptly!

What is a water shut off valve?

A water shut off valves is the primary connection between the pipes where water enters your home from your village pipes.  In many cases, your home’s water goes through three different valves before entering your home’s main shutoff valve. Knowing where this is can be a real lifesaver when a plumbing disaster strikes and will allow you to stop the water from gushing in to your home which will help alleviate any unwanted damage.

water-shut-off-valve

How To Find The Main Water Shut Off In Your House

 Finding your homes water shut off valve can be a little tricky because not all homes are the same.  Depending on the evaluation of your home, when your property was built and the city codes, the location of your shut off valve will be different. This article will help you find your water shut off valve.

Before we dig in, it is important to know that in homes with extreme cold winters (such as the Chicago area) will generally have the water shut off valve inside the home. This is done to prevent pipes from freezing which can lead to damaging and unwanted pipe bursts.

Start with the Ground-Level 

 It is important to understand that the water lines entering your home typically come from the street, therefore your shut off valve will be in the front of the home or part closest to the street, often found at ground level. Begin looking towards the bottom of the wall closest to the street on the ground level. Just knowing this will usually enable you to find the shut off valve quickly.

What if My Shut Off Valve is Not Located in the Front of My Home?

If you were unable to find the shut off valve in the front of your home, chances are it could be in the back of your home. If you have a blueprint of your home, it will help you find it promptly by  looking in the plumbing section where you will find the location of the shut off valve clearly spelled out.

Two Types of Water Shut Off Valves

Depending on the type of shut off valve the builder used, you will have a different handle used to cut off circulation. There are primarily two types of valves, a ball valve and a gate valve.

Ball Valve

If the plumbing pipes coming into your home are plastic, you most likely have a ball valve as your shut off point. Ball valves have a handle that opens and closes the gate allowing water to flow into your home. When the handle is lined up with the water pipe, water will be allowed to flow  freely into your home. By simply turning the wheel a quarter of the way so it is at a right angle, you will shut off the water and prevent water from further entering your home. When turning this 90 degrees, it shifts to block the water flow. Over time, these valves can lose their stickiness so it is a good idea to test them every season or daylight savings time. By testing them periodically, it will help prevent any unwanted surprises from happening. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Gate Valve

A gate valve is the second type of shut off valve and most often associated with copper or other metal pipes leading into you home.  Gate valves use a ball which acts as a wall to cut off water flow. A common problem with gate valves is that if they are not used often they are known to freeze up or get stuck when you need them most. As with the ball valve, it’s best to test them out periodically to make sure they are properly functioning.

Call Fred Glinke Plumbing Now To Prevent Further Damage 

Coming home to the sound of water gushing into your home and finding a burst pipe is extremely disappointing. Not knowing where to find your water main or shut off is even worse and can be extremely damaging. That is why it is important to take the time now to find your water  water shut off valve and can save you a major headache down the road.
If you have a plumbing emergency, or a valve that is ceased, count on the experts at Fred Glinke Plumbing. At Fred Glinke Plumbing we have been serving the Hinsdale Illinois and Chicago suburbs for over 50 years and can help you with all of your plumbing needs. If you need a plumber, give us a call

How to Choose the Right Plumber

Choosing a plumber for your home or office, can be a little daunting without knowing what to look for. In this blog post, we will go over some of the top things to look for when choosing a plumber. There are many plumbers out there. Some are amazing and some are, well let’s just say not so amazing. 

Hiring a Plumber

When hiring a plumber for a big job, it is a good idea to find a plumber with a solid reputation. Knowing what to look for can make a world of difference in your experience.  Some people shop for the lowest price. Shopping for the lowest price doesn’t always give you the best outcome. Hiring just on price is a big mistake many rookies make. 

What Determines a Plumbing Repair Price?

There are many factors that determine the cost of a plumbing repair. There are generally three components to plumbing prices. First is parts and supplies. Second is labor costs. Third are profit margins.  

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Plumbing Supply Prices

First and foremost is the cost of supplies and materials. There are many retailers that sell plumbing supplies to the public. These retailers usually sell at premium or retail prices, so consumers end up paying more. Most plumbers get their supplies and materials from different warehouses where they get trade discounts. This means they are able to buy materials for less than what they cost in stores.  Generally the more frequent they purchase, the better the prices they get. If you are working with a one man shop, they will usually pay more for materials and supplies because they don’t purchase in large volumes. Larger plumbing contractors purchase goods more frequently and therefore have access to better discounts.

Plumbing Labor Prices

Labor prices for plumbers depends on numerous factors. As mentioned earlier, basing decisions on price isn’t always the best decision. Generally the more reputable plumbing shops have union guys working for them. Unions offer plumbers a number of benefits for being in their union. As a result, they get health insurance, fixed wages, access to training along with many other benefits. Unions also require plumbers to earn more money for their experience. This means non experienced or less experienced plumbers usually cost less than an experienced plumber.

In addition to Unions, there are also license and insurance requirements. Unfortunately, there are many people who are not licensed or even carry insurance but still doing plumbing work. Hiring a non insured or licensed contractor to do work in your home or office may be cheaper from the surface but when a problem arises, they always end up costing you more money.

Plumbing Profit Margins

Every plumber has two sets of costs, fixed and variable. Fixed costs are generally costs for building, staff, utilities, bookkeeping, insurance and gas. Variable costs, include salaries, advertising, supplies and so on.  Generally the more expenses a business has, the more it has to charge to sustain. Smaller shops or work from home guys generally have the lowest costs but they are limited on how many jobs they can service. Larger shops are usually bogged down with layers of management and other costs. Then there are those who are right in the middle and are more agile and able to provide better service for less cost.

As each company is different in size, there are tradeoffs to the business owner and there are also costs that must be absorbed by consumers in order for the business to remain profitable.  Generally you may always find someone who is cheaper, but making sure the job is done right is important and making sure they are insured in case something goes wrong will always outweigh the sliver of savings when a mistake happens as they inevitably  will. Therefore it is important to find a reputable and experienced plumber with proper licensing and insurance to make sure your home doesn’t get ruined by some incompetent or unlicensed tradesman.

Licensed Plumber and Insurance

Most businesses are usually pretty good about carrying proper insurance, but far too many often chince out when it comes to insurance. Don’t leave your home to chance, insist on a licensed and insured plumber. If there is ever damage done, you will be glad you paid the extra $25.00 or whatever the difference was then get stuck paying out of your own pocket. Another risk of an uninsured plumber is that if they get injured while in your home and don’t have insurance, your insurance is liable, which again costs you more money.

Reputation

Insist on a licensed plumber in your area with a good reputation. Generally good to read some of the reviews on Google to see what other customers said.  It is important to know not everyone always leaves reviews. Usually reviews come from the most satisfied or upset customers. So it is a good idea to read many of the reviews.  If you see a company has mostly bad reviews, it might be a good sign to stay away. Ideally you want to see numerous reviews spread out over time.  

Be sure to look up the company on the Better Business Bureau and make sure they are in good standing.  Lastly, when choosing a plumber, ask to see their current insurance and don’t be afraid to call their insurance company to make sure it is valid.  At Fred Glinke Plumbing we have been serving the Hinsdale Illinois and Chicago suburbs for over 50 years and can help you with all of your plumbing needs. If you need a plumber, give us a call.

What is Emergency Plumbing and Do I Need it?

Emergency Plumbing Near Me

When searching for emergency plumbing near you, it is important to take a few points into consideration. You can almost always expect emergency plumbing to costs more money because it is outside of normal business hours and most businesses have to pay their plumbers time and a half per union guidelines. If your situation is controllable and no threat to health, safety or damage , you might be able to get away with waiting for the next morning.

Here are some tips to consider when calling a plumber after hours. Is the problem really an emergency? In other words, could this wait till the next business day or is it an emergency?  Here are some issues that require urgent attention:

If your home or office has any of these symptoms, call Fred Glinke Plumbing or an emergency plumbing repair service near you right away. If there is a gas leak, grab all family members and pets and evacuate the building and call 911 immediately. Neglecting burst pipes or a malfunctioning heater can lead to serious damage to your home or office. It is best to get to the source and stop the damage from spreading right away.

While we listed some of the most common plumbing emergencies above, here are some plumbing issues that may be delayed if money is an issue. If one of your 3 toilets is clogged, it could probably wait a day to be repaired. We suggest trying to plunge the toilet or avoid use until a plumber can come and fix it.  

Emergency Plumbing and Heating

If your heat goes out in the middle of winter, not only will be uncomfortable or life threatening, but it can also lead to serious damage due to frozen pipes or burst pipes. The winters in Chicago can be unforgiving. Neglecting your heat can be deadly and the risk of water damage can be substantial. It is best not to take any chances with your heat and having regular heating maintenance can really protect you from unwanted heating emergencies.

Emergency Plumbing Reviews

When picking a plumber, it is best to read some of their reviews first to make sure you know who you are getting. While not everyone always leaves reviews, we work hard for your positive reviews and wouldn’t be in business this long if we didn’t take good care of our customers. You can always count on Fred Glinke Plumbing for all of your plumbing needs. The professionals at Fred Glinke have been serving Hinsdale and surrounding areas  with reliable and quality plumbing service for over 50 years.

How much does emergency plumbing cost

Emergency plumbing almost always costs more money because plumbing unions require plumbers to be paid time and a half or double time depending on the day and time, so it is natural to expect that cost to be passed down to the consumer. While it is hard to predict what is wrong with your plumbing and how long it will take to repair, here are some guidelines to help you select the right plumber for your needs.

Residential and commercial plumbing rates vary from company to company and due to the experience of the plumber, some jobs may take some plumbers longer to finish than those with less experience. The plumbers at Fred Glinke are all licensed, trained and well experienced so you can rest assured you are always getting the best service for the most affordable plumbing rates. If you have a plumbing emergency, count on Fred Glinke Plumbing by dialing 630-323-7320.