How Do I?

Q: I have a gas LOWBOY water heater in my crawl space that is not working. I am told they do not make them anymore and that my only option is a tankless system at over $3000! What do I do?

A: You will have to have a comparable electric water heater installed. Wagner Family Plumbing carries Bradford White 40 and 50-gallon electric lowboy water heaters. We recommend installing a 50-gallon electric as the recovery time is higher for electric heaters versus gas units. We can also provide an electrician to run the necessary electrical service to your new lowboy water heater.

Q: Our sump pump recently failed due to the discharge hose freezing solid. The sump pump was running constantly. We couldn’t believe it when it happened. We ended up with a flooded finished basement and extensive water damage. How can we prevent this from happening next winter?

A: If your sump pump is running non stop and it is below freezing outdoors, you need to make sure you do not have a flexible discharge hose hooked up to it. If you do, immediately disconnect the flexible hose so your sump pump can discharge without blocked ice. It’s better to let the water dump near your foundation outside than to flood your basement. Call Wagner Family Plumbing to discuss permanent solutions for this problem.

Q: What should I do if my pipes freeze? If you turn on a faucet and get no water, your pipes may be frozen.

A: If your pipes freeze, there are some procedures that you can follow to help thaw them. The sooner the problem is recognized, the better chance that damage will be minimized.

If possible, expose a boxed-in area to the inside heat. An example includes opening some ceiling tiles if your home has a drop ceiling.
Use a heat gun. However, be extremely careful as the heat from the heat gun will ignite any wood or paper it contacts.
DO NOT use torches to thaw pipes!
Rubbing the pipes with warm, damp rags may slowly thaw the line.

Q: What should I do if a frozen pipe breaks or a frozen pipe breaks while thawing?

A: Shut off your water immediately, using your home’s MAIN shutoff valve and call Wagner Family Plumbing.