Look around and you’ll find innovation everywhere — certainly in your smartphones, tablets, computers, cars, inside your home.
If you were to think there’s not much innovation in plumbing, well, you’d be wrong. It might not be fancy silicon chips talking to your smartphone through an app, but it’s innovation nonetheless.
Since we’ve been looking at plumbing improvements and renovation, particularly in the kitchen, it’s a good time to examine technology advancements in plumbing that you, or your Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber or plumbing contractor, can incorporate into improvements and renovations.
In this post we look at innovative and helpful, if not always sexy, plumbing products.
This tubing has been in use for ages in Europe but has slowly made its way across the pond for use in the United States. PEX tubing (lots of information here and here) is becoming the single-most used product in the plumbing industry due to its variety of features and reasonable cost.
PEX is virtually replacing copper and CPVC, offering the same advantages and more. It’s nearly one-quarter the price of copper pipe and it offers homeowners DIY installation, freeze-burst resistance, longevity, and they can install without any experience necessarily.
Of course, if you are concerned if PEX is the right tubing for your plumbing project, ask your Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber. Chances are he uses it.
Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more popular, especially for environmental reasons. They use less energy and, in the long run, cost you less to operate than traditional tank water heaters.
- fitting inside confined spaces
- connecting to either a natural gas or electric energy supply
- converting cold water to any temperature pre-determined by the homeowner, providing a near-instant never-ending hot water supply to any fixture (although there are limitations).
Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase and install than conventional water heaters and may require some retrofitting of existing energy sources and plumbing in older homes. Definitely check with a Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber or contractor specializing in water heaters to see if tankless is the way to go for your needs.
Push-fit fittings are installation products used to connect different plumbing pipes together to form a solid piece of piping.
In the olden days, plumbers soldered, glued, or used another less-convenient connection method for proper fitting. With push-fit fittings, connecting two pipes is much, much easier for both the Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumbing professional and Do It Yourselfers. A simple push of the piping into its corresponding size on a push-fit fitting allows for a tight, secure, and properly connected component.
Anti-siphon Freeze-proof Sillcocks
Anti-siphon freeze-proof sillcocks used to be installed annually due to frigid weather conditions that caused breaks and cracks in equipment.
This inconvenience eventually led to the invention of frost proof anti-siphon sillcock faucets used today to prevent the water line from freezing in the winder, along with restricting unsanitary water from contaminating the system. This little plumbing miracle helps homeowners avoid costly repairs, especially those living “up north” and in the northeast.
Anti-siphon freeze-proof sillcocks are relatively inexpensive, ranging from $20 to $100 to install, and most homeowners can install themselves, depending on circumstances like the age of existing equipment and pipes and access.
If you’re always worried about freezing pipes outside or forgetting to “wrap” them prior to the first freeze, have a Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber install. He’ll probably be much faster than you.
Automatic Sump Pumps with Back-up Battery
Sump pumps are electronic pumps used to remove excess water from a particular area like basements. They are necessary to get rid of leaks, floods, and other water-related incidents.
In some instances, harsh weather conditions can knock out power to a residence or business, nullifying the use of electronic sump pumps and you don’t have the time to call a Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber or water damage professional. This is when a sump pump with a back-up battery comes in super handy.
Not familiar with macerating toilets?
Yeah, not many homeowners are. Macerating toilets — actually available at all fixture stores where regular toilets are sold — degrade any waste sent through the toilet, allowing the homeowner or business owner to never have house a plunger.
Most macerating toilets function by using a blade to chop down all human waste and toilet paper, providing a smooth flush and discard of waste into the drainage system.
Homeowners for the most part can unclog a toilet and don’t need to call a Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber, but there are times when the clog lodges in the waste disposal pipe, is difficult to dislodge, and may cost a few hundred bucks to fix by a professional.
Clamps have been around since the advent of indoor plumbing, but these repair clamps are designed to lock in and hold the pressure and components of a broken or leaking pipe.
These repair clamps are pulled around the pipe and securely tightened using various methods, usually bolts. This allows for easy and quick adjustments instead of having to re-pipe the damaged area. The repair clamp is cost and time effective and often used by Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumbers and DIYers, although these are not considered long-term solutions for damaged pipes.
Kinetic Water Ram
This just sounds like fun to use, doesn’t it?
A kinetic water ram uses kinetic energy to send compressed air through the plumbing system to break up a stoppage. It can be used with sinks, toilets, and even tubs to quickly and cleanly get rid of clogs and build up.
Pump, place, and snap the trigger to release a force of kinetic energy to unclog the clog. Cool.
Leak-seal tape is used ‘round the globe for quick fixes on a variety of different products. Next to duct tape, leak-seal tape is probably the handiest to have around because it provides a moisture and chemical resistance barrier to the product while adding corrosion protection.
Leak-seal tape is perfect for everyday fixes such as leaking pipes, faltered hoses, even exposed electrical wires. It should have a spot in your toolbox next to the duct tape.
Electric Pipe Heating Cables
Electric pipe heating cables are used during the cold months where piping in a plumbing system is expected to freeze. The cables wrap around a pipe and turn on using electricity to provide the piping with a freeze-proof resistance.
If a home’s pipes are not winterized prior to the first freeze, especially “up north” and in the northeast, pipes can freeze and eventually burst, causing the homeowner to emergency-call a Decatur or Hartselle, AL plumber and incurring not only big bucks for hefty repairs but also additional charges for the house call.