Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air Blog : Archive for February, 2015

Signs You Need to Call a Professional Plumber

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Recognizing plumbing problems can be a bit difficult. Most of your home’s plumbing is installed out of sight, after all, and you shouldn’t really be tearing open your walls to inspect the pipes. How, then, do you know when to call a plumber? Let’s take a look at some easy-to-recognize signs that you need to call a professional plumber.

Discolored Water

If the water coming from your pipes is red, brown, or yellow, you’ve got a plumbing problem. Often discoloration is caused by advanced corrosion in one or more of your home’s pipes. If not treated, the affected pipes could burst, causing widespread water damage to the surrounding area.

Slow Drainage

Many people think that drain clogs happen suddenly, that one day their drains work just fine and the next they’re hopelessly blocked. This isn’t actually the case. Clogs form slowly overtime, as the material that comprises them builds from the walls of the pipe towards the center. This gradually restricts the amount of water flowing through the pipe, until it eventually blocks it altogether. If you notice a drain start to drain more and more slowly, it’s a sure sign that a clog is forming in the pipe. You should call a plumber to clean it out before it blocks the flow of water completely.

Bad Smells

Horrible smells coming from your drain are caused by sewer valve issues. The sewer valve is a part that is designed to prevent backflow from coming up through your drains, keeping water flowing into the sewer in one direction. If that valve becomes stuck for some reason, however, it can allow material from the sewer to travel back up your pipes. This includes sewer gases, which are the cause of the bad smells coming from your drain. If your drain is venting bad smells into the house, it means you have a malfunctioning sewer valve. You should call a plumber right away, before worse problems like backflow result from the stuck valve.

If you think you may need a professional plumber, call Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air. We provide professional plumbing services throughout the Lincoln area.

What Is the Sacrificial Anode Rod?

Monday, February 16th, 2015

A water heater has a few vital components that make it possible for water to heat up and flow into the faucets and sinks in your home. The dip tube is a long pipe through which cold water enters at the top of the tank and flows all the way to the bottom. The burner at the bottom of the tank heats up the water, using natural gas and an ignition source for heating. Or, if you have an electric water heater, the electronic heating elements at the bottom and upper-middle portions of the tank heat up the water, which then naturally rises to the top of the tank. Finally, a small tube at the top allows the water to flow into the faucet.

The sacrificial anode rod is one of the most important components of the storage tank water heater, yet it doesn’t participate in this heating process at all. But it does serve an equally important role: keeping the tank from rusting. The water heater is made of steel—an iron alloy—and anything made of iron that comes into contact with water risks corrosion. Only three things must be present in order for something to rust: iron, water, and oxygen. And rusting always leads to corrosion. As holes start to form in the tank, water may leak into your home. Most experts recommend replacing the tank at the first sign of rust to prevent this from happening.

Most water heater tanks have a lining that keeps the tank from rusting for a time, but it’s not thick enough to ward off rust for its entire lifespan. Thankfully, the sacrificial anode rod attracts the particles that cause corrosion. This is a small rod that sits in the middle of your water heater tank and essentially sacrifices itself for the good of the tank. During this heroic deed, an anode rod may wear down entirely, until it gets to the point where it can no longer serve your tank. Occasional maintenance is necessary so that a technician can examine your tank and replace your anode rod if it is too worn down.

Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air has a long history of servicing water heaters in Roseville. Call us today to schedule an appointment for quality repairs, installation, or regular maintenance.

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.


The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.


The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.


Here’s wishing you and your loved one a Happy Valentine’s Day!

3 Signs You Have a Plumbing Leak

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Plumbing leaks are a bit more difficult to identify than most other plumbing issues, mainly because they take place in pipes that are often completely hidden from view. Just because you can’t see a plumbing leak, however, that doesn’t mean that you have no way of detecting it. Leaks are a very serious issue, and can cause quite a bit of damage depending on their location and severity. The more you know about how to detect plumbing leaks, the better chance you have of mitigating their effects as much as possible. Let’s examine 3 of the ways you can tell that you have a plumbing leak.

Discolored Water

Brown, red, or yellow water coming out of your faucet or tap is a sign of advanced rust somewhere in your plumbing. Once a pipe degrades far enough to start releasing rust flakes in to your water, it is either already leaking or very close to doing so. If you see discolored water of any kind coming out of your faucets, you should call a professional immediately.

Loss of Water Pressure

A gradual or sudden loss of water pressure is another common sign that a plumbing leak has occurred. This is usually the sign that convinced most people to call a plumber right away, but there are a few who will ignore it until the flow of water slows to a trickle or stops completely. Don’t be one of those people. A leak that is large enough to noticeably reduce your water pressure is large enough to cause severe water damage if left alone. Eventually, the pipe may rupture completely.

Stains and Mold

Most pipes are hidden from view, running through the walls, floors, and ceilings of the house. When pipes start to leak, the water from those leaks ends up damaging those areas. Eventually, extensive water damage will become visible on the walls and ceiling. If you notice odd stains spreading across any wall or ceiling, or if you see mold growth, you should call a plumber to look at it as soon as possible.

If you think you may have a plumbing leak, schedule an appointment with Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air. We provide professional plumbing repair services in the Sacramento area.