Category Archives for "Plumbing Tips"

What Is Trenchless Sewer Repair?

Perhaps your home may be suffering from a compromised sewer line. There are several indicators of sewer damage in your home or office. The most common signs of sewer damage are sewage backups and blockages, unusual odors coming from your sewer system, slow drainage, and waste pooling in your yard. Other signs can include foundation cracks, mold and can even lead to mice or insect infestation.

Having sewer damage in your home or office could be dangerous and can even cause serious illness over time, so it’s very important to detect it early. If you have a sewer problem, Fred Glinke provides complimentary sewer inspections and can repair your sewer properly. 

Typically when a home suffers from sewer damage, one of the first signs people notice is backup in the lowest parts of their home’s plumbing. Another common sign could be flushing your toilet and having your bathtub fill with water from the drain pipe.  

What Causes Sewer Damage?

Sewer damage can stem from a variety of reasons.  The most common form of sewer damage in the midwest is actually caused by older tree roots. When trees are thirsty, their roots begin reaching out for water. As they move through the ground, they can latch on to  any pipes in the area. In their search for water, they often wind up destroying pipes in the process. Another common cause of sewer damage could come from heavy vehicles driving over your lawn, your sewer pipes in particular. The weight of a vehicle presses down on the pipes causing the soil to press down on the pipes and breaking the pipes in the process.

How to Fix Broken Sewage Lines

There are two ways to repair broken sewer lines. The first way is to dig up the soil surrounding the corrupted area and replace the broken section. This could be a catastrophe for many homeowners as much of their costly landscaping may have to be torn apart to find or reach the area. Pools can also pose a real problem for many homeowners to dig around the pool. 

Fortunately there is a second option to repair the sewer lines in your home. Trenchless sewer repair allows you to repair your sewer without having the burden and inconvenience of having to dig up your entire lawn. Trenchless sewer repair has been around for over 20 years and yet many people in the Chicago area are unfamiliar with it.

Fred Glinke Plumbing can put a camera down your drain to locate what is causing the problem and then know exactly where the problem is located to help prevent unnecessary digging in your yard.

Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair

  • Trenchless Sewer Repair can last up to 50 years without requiring additional service.
  • Repairs can often be completed in as little as one day or less.
  • Can literally save you thousands of dollars in restorative landscape work.
  • Trenchless repairs give you complete peace of mind because they meet and in some cases exceed industry standards.

Types of Trenchless Sewer Repair

There are two types of trenchless sewer repair. The first is pipe relining and the second is pipe bursting. Both of these may be suitable for your needs and require minimal digging.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe Bursting is typically appropriate when a sewer line was damaged due to excessive weight compromising the integrity of the pipes. When you have a burst pipe from excess weight, it requires the plumber to dig two access holes on either end of the damaged pipe. Then a cable is inserted through one access hole and pulled through the sewer line using a special tool at the other access hole.

This process bursts the head and fractures the old pipe pushing it out of the way, while a new polyethylene pipe is inserted in its place with a seamless, corrosion-resistant replacement pipe that will last for decades.

Pipe Relining

With pipe relining, we use what's known as cured-in-place piping. This technique is a good fit for pipes that are in fairly good shape. If you are wondering which type of service you will need or would like a free sewer inspection and you live in or near the Hinsdale Illinois suburbs, contract Fred Glinke Plumbing.  We will inspect the sewer line inside out with a tiny video camera to not only determine what is causing the stoppage and how to treat it but also to see exactly where the damage is.

Every sewer line is unique, and the issues your system has right now may or may not be eligible for trenchless sewer repair. However, you should always consider this your first option to save money and help preserve your yard. Trenchless techniques are usually appropriate for fixing the following:

  • Pipes damaged by tree roots or household debris
  • Improperly installed pipes prone to leaks and backups
  • Pipes damaged by settling soil
  • Pipes damaged by the freeze/thaw cycle
  • Difficult-to-access pipes buried beneath buildings and hardscapes

If you are in need of Sewer Repair or would like a free estimate or analysis and are located in or near Hinsdale, IL, be sure to call your friendly plumbing professionals at Fred Glinke Plumbing.

Fred Glinke Plumbing has been serving our community for over 60 years and are here to help with all of your plumbing and sewer needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dial (630) 323-7320 

When Do You Need Emergency Plumbing

When 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 Wtime 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:

  • Gas Leaks
  • Burst Pipe or frozen pipes
  • Heater not working in the midst of winter
  • Sewer Repair

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.

When Should I Replace My Water Heater?

Many people ask, 'How long will my water heaters last?' While your water heater may go at any time there are some general rules when regards to your knowing when it will go or how long it will last. In this post, we will discuss some of the ways to tell when you should change your water heater or maybe just need a repair.

How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

As a general rule of thumb, most water heaters typically last between 10 to 15 years.  Just how long yours lasts, depends on a few different factors.  First and foremost is what kind of water heater is it?  While getting a cheaper water heater is tempting when looking to replace yours, but it may not always be the best decision. Many cheaper water heaters are made with inferior parts and simply not made to last as long.

Flushing your water heater once per year is something you can do to help the water heater last longer. Many people neglect flushing their water heaters which causes them to work less efficiently and reduces the lifespan.  So depending on how the water heater was maintained could actually have a lot to do with how long yours lasts.

Depending on the material your water heater is made from can also play a variable as to how long your water heater will last. Those made with a fiberglass tank typically last longer and some high end models may actually come with a lifetime warranty.  Most water heaters typically come with a 5 to 6 year warranty, while some of the higher quality ones come with warranties from 10 to 12 years.

If your tank is damaged, they typically can not be repaired regardless of the materials they're made from. 

Why Tanks Fail

There are primarily two reasons that cause a water heater to fail. First is over pressurization. Over pressurization is when the pounds per square inch exceed the specifications of the unit.  This can be caused by either one of two causes, excessive heating or having too much pressure at the inlet. To avoid either of these, it's best to keep the water temperature at or below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  

The second cause of water tank failure is sediment buildup in the tank. This could be from chemicals or other contaminants in the water that eventually cause corrosion or rust inside the tank, which ultimately may lead to rust. Once a leak occurs it tends to be a self feeding problem that grows over time.

Another factor in determining water heater lifespan is whether it is gas or electric.  Electric heaters typically last slightly longer, but not always. 

Replacing Your Water Heater

When replacing your water heater, it is common for people to stick with the same type of water heater (gas or electric) because the replacement labor and parts costs are cheaper. When shopping for a new water heater, It is best to compare all expenses to determine whether you are getting the best deal or not.

So How Do You Know When To Replace a Water Heater?

Like most other appliances, there are typically two choices, either repair or replace. If your water heater is broken, replacement is often necessary. If it is not working, it may not work any longer. If it is leaking, it may be fixable depending on where the leak is coming from.  Leaks coming from the tank of bottom, are not fixable and will need to be replaced.  Leaks coming from above can typically be repaired by fixing the pipes. It is always best to troubleshoot when dealing with yours.

A water heater that does not generate enough hot water may be fixable by replacing the thermostat or other parts. Replacing some of the components may actually be cheaper then replacing the whole unit.  If your tank is less than five years old it may be cheaper to replace the components, rather than getting the whole thing fixed.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Water Heater?

The cost to install water heater depend on whether the type is gas or electric. There are typically two costs to be considered when comparing water heater cost, the unit itself and labor. The labor costs are fairly standard and you may end up paying more in an emergency situation due to having to pay the plumber overtime for off hours.

According to HomeAdvisor.com, most homeowners spend anywhere between $767 – $1,446 for a water heater installation with the average being $1,104. These figures are based on over 21,000 respondents with a national average. 

Click here for more information on replacing your water heater.

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.  

plumbing-materials

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.