How Do I Know If My Water Heater Needs Replacing?

on Jan 03, 2020

From taking hot showers to washing clothes to running the dishwasher – we rely on hot water far more often than we realize. Our water heaters are responsible for heating thousands of gallons of water every year. If you don’t have a background in plumbing, it can be hard to tell if your water heater needs repairing or replacing. To help you out, we’ve put together a short list of warning signs to look out for.

Your water heater is more than 10 years old.

Well-maintained water heaters have a lifespan of roughly 10 years. As water heaters age, they can start to breakdown. You can find out how old your water heater is by looking up the serial number and visiting the manufacturer’s website. If the pilot light is going out frequently, be sure to call a local plumber to take a closer look.

Your water doesn’t stay hot.

Your hot water turning cold while you’re taking a shower is a telltale sign that your water heater may need a repair or a replacement. You could be losing hot water if your heating element is broken or if your thermostat is going bad. Check the thermostat on your water heater to ensure the temperature is at the recommended setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Water temperate over 125 degrees Fahrenheit can cause very serious burns. A licensed plumber can evaluate your water heater and provide you with next steps.

If you are concerned about the condition of your water heater, ask a local plumber, such as Elsmore Plumbing, for an assessment. Call us at 507-254-8680 or schedule your appointment online to get started.

3 Things You (Maybe) Didnt Know about High-Efficiency Toilets

on Dec 02, 2019

Many people accuse long showers of being the main reason for an uptick in a monthly water bill. While that could be true in some cases, toilets are the bigger culprit for using (and wasting!) water. In fact, the toilets in your household can account for nearly 30% of your home’s indoor water usage. According to the EPA, a family can reduce their water usage by 13,000 gallons per year by replacing inefficient toilets with high-performing WaterSense toilets. We’ve put together a short list of things to know about high-efficiency toilets:

  1. High-efficiency toilets can help you reduce water usage. Low-flow toilets use roughly 1-1.28 gallons of water per flush – whereas older models use roughly 1.6-6 gallons per flush.
  2. Water-saving toilets can help you save money on water bills. Using less water means having less water to pay for! The EPA estimates that a family could save up to $140 per year by switching to a water-efficient model. You could save roughly $2,900 over the lifespan of the new toilet.           
  3. High-efficiency toilets can help give your bathroom a modern look. Not only do water-saving toilets look sleek and sophisticated, but they can help improve the value of your home when it comes time to sell.

Installing a high-efficiency toilet in your home can help you save water and lower your water bills. When you’re ready to replace the toilet in your bathroom, consider updating your shower heads and faucets for additional water savings. Ask a local plumber, such as Elsmore Plumbing, about which low-flow shower heads and low-flow bathroom faucets are right for you. Contact us online or call us at 507-254-8680 with any questions you might have about our toilet installation and plumbing services.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter

on Nov 01, 2019

As Midwesterners, we’re proud of our ability to tolerate very cold temperatures in the dead of winter. We know how to take proper precautions by wearing extra layers, starting our cars early, sealing up windows, and so on. But just because we know to how to prepare for the bitter cold, doesn’t mean that our pipes do. Pipes are at risk of freezing when subzero temperatures hit. We’ve put together a list to help you take the necessary steps to prevent frozen pipes this winter.

Cold Weather Tips for Homeowners

  • Keep the heat on, especially if you’re away for the weekend or a vacation.

  • Close your garage door.

  • Disconnect garden hoses and connectors from outside faucets.

  • Open cabinets (under the kitchen and bathroom sinks) to warm up the pipes.

  • Fill in gaps or any openings where pipes run through the wall.

  • Ensure your house is insulated well, especially in areas where there is plumbing.

There are a number of things you can do on your own to help prevent pipes from freezing. However, some projects should be left up to the professionals. If you find yourself in a position where your frozen pipes have burst, don’t panic. Call a residential plumbing service company like Elsmore Plumbing for assistance. A plumbing service technician has the expertise and knowledge to address the problem and find a customized solution. For a long-term solution to prevent frozen pipes, call our team at Elsmore Plumbing. Our professional plumbers will assess your situation and give our recommendations for next steps.

Providing High-Quality Installation, Repair, and Remodeling Services

on Oct 21, 2019

Whether your bathroom faucet is leaking or you need a garbage disposal installed, you can count on the professionals at Elsmore Plumbing. Serving Rochester, MN and the surrounding area, we are proud to provide high-quality plumbing services for your residential and small commercial needs. No matter how big or small your project may be, you can trust us to do right it the first time.

Elsmore Plumbing Services

  • Toilet Installation and Repair – No matter if you need your toilet repaired or replaced, you can count on our guys to get the job done. To us, your toilet isn’t an afterthought. Your toilet should be one that works for your lifestyle. We’ll guide you through the decision-making process to help you choose a toilet with water-saving capabilities, comfort height options, ergonomic designs – or all of the above.
  • Sump Pump Install and Repair – Sump pumps are an excellent way to keep your basement dry and free from built-up groundwater or rainwater. We can assess if a sump pump installation or repair is right for you. We also install backup batteries which will keep your sump pump running if the power goes out.   
  • Water Softener InstallationThe quality of your water is crucial for a clean and healthy home. We are happy to assist you with a water softener install that will help provide clean filtered water for your family.
  • Bathroom Remodels and Kitchen RemodelsA newly remodeled bathroom or kitchen looks great, but you won’t appreciate it as much if the plumbing isn’t working properly. In addition to installing fixtures, we can also design a layout for you that’ll improve the functionality of your home. Let’s work together to maximize your space and build the kitchen and bathrooms of your dreams.
  • Water Heater Installation and Repair – After an assessment, we can determine if your current water heater needs repairs or if a replacement is a better option. The number of people in your family, the fuel source, and physical size of the space where the water heater will sit are all factors to consider when choosing a water heater.

As a small and locally owned business, we are dedicated to providing an exceptional customer service experience to our customers. When you choose Elsmore Plumbing, you can trust our team to provide honest and fairly priced solutions to your problems. Contact us with any questions you might have about our high-quality residential and commercial services.

Elsmore Plumbing is best rated Plumber in Rochester, MN

on Jul 02, 2018

Elsmore Plumbing Best Rated Plumber 2018 AwardElsmore Plumbing is proud to have been selected as one of Rochester, MN's Top 3 Local Plumbers by Three Best Rated®, an independent, third-party business review site. Three Best Rated issues an annual 50-Point Inspection of all businesses within Rochester before selecting the top three businesses in each of their categories.

Elsmore Plumbing was selected as a top plumber in Rochester, MN for our overall quality and service excellence. The complete rating is based on the evaluation of 50 individual factors like our reviews, company history, customer satisfaction, trust, and cost when compared to other plumbing businesses in Rochester. 

Have questions about your plumbing?

Call Elsmore Plumbing at 507-254-8680 or email us at ElsmorePlumbing@gmail.com.

For greater peace of mind, hire a professional to get the job done right the first time. Saving a couple hundred dollars isn’t worth exposing your home and family to the risk of a burst pipe or major leak, which can cost you thousands. Get more with Elsmore.

 

Is your garbage disposal ready for the holiday?

on Jun 25, 2018

Dealing with a clogged drain or clogged garbage disposal is the pain in the butt. Worse yet is dealing with a broken garbage disposal or flooding because of a clogged pipe. Our team at Elsmore Plumbing would love nothing more than to NOT get a call from you on July 4th. Even if you do call, we won’t be working, so make sure to leave a message or send us an email and we’ll get back to you the following day.

To help you prevent garbage disposal and drain disasters, we’re going to share with you the top foods to avoid putting in your garbage disposal as well as the top tip for helping to ensure its longevity and avoid a clogged sink.

Clogged garbage disposal in Rochester, MNThree of the worst foods you can put in your garbage disposal (avoid these at all costs) are:

  1. Egg shells – they form a sand-like consistency that compacts (can you say clog time?)
  2. Coffee grounds – coffee grounds turn into that sludge like paste that slows or stops the flow.
  3. Fats / grease – you’ve seen it cool and harden in the skillet… now, think about when happens in your drains.

Top tip: The goal is to put as little of these foods down your drains as possible. How do you do avoid the drains? When your plate is full, your first stop should be the trash can. Scrape your plate and rinse the remnants that remain. This will help you avoid a lot of headaches and dollars out the door over the long run.

Bonus tip: Always use cold water when rinsing the greasy remnants that remain after you scrape most of your plate off into the trash. By using cold water, you can help to ensure the greasy particles stick together in clumps and flow better through the pipes rather than hardening and compacting once they are inside your drains.

Other questions about your plumbing?

Call Elsmore Plumbing at 507-254-8680 or email us at ElsmorePlumbing@gmail.com.

For greater peace of mind, hire a professional to get the job done right the first time. Saving a couple hundred dollars isn’t worth exposing your home and family to the risk of a burst pipe or major leak, which can cost you thousands.

 

Top notch sprinkler system repair in Rochester, MN

on May 30, 2018

Lush green lawn after sprinkler system repair in Rochester, MNIsn’t it exciting – the first official day of summer is June 21! After a long winter and that final snow in the middle of April, we're not going to complain about the recent heat wave. Now that summer is just about here, and the sun is blazing down on your lawn for longer (the summer solstice ain't no joke – we’re talking 15.5 hours of sunlight!), it's time to make sure your sprinkler system is functioning optimally. 

At Elsmore Plumbing, we offer sprinkler repair for just about every irrigation system under the sun. We can handle lawn irrigation system start-ups, replace sprinkler heads and controller clocks, inspect your sprinkler system for issues, and we can make all kinds of adjustments. We even do sprinkler winterization… Sorry about that, we may have gotten a little too carried away talking about our sprinkler repair services and we forgot we shouldn’t have mentioned the season that shall not be named this early in the year.

Check out the full list of our sprinkler and lawn irrigation services

Need sprinklers repaired or have questions about your plumbing?

Call Elsmore Plumbing at 507-254-8680 or email us at ElsmorePlumbing@gmail.com.

For greater peace of mind, hire a professional to get the job done right the first time. Saving a couple hundred dollars isn’t worth exposing your home and family to the risk of a burst pipe or major leak, which can cost you thousands.

 

Save money on your toilet installation and bathroom remodel

on Apr 09, 2018

If you're serious about water conservation AND your budget's bottom line when doing a bathroom remodel, toilet installation, or making any kind of plumbing repair, there are many great ways to save without potentially damaging your toilet and even your entire plumbing system. 

Forget about archaic and damaging methods like, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow… if it’s brown, flush it down…”New toilet installation in a master bathroom remodel in Rochester, MN

Instead, you can save money and improve your current plumbing system by installing a high-efficiency toilet. Not only will the “water efficiency” of a new toilet installation help lower your water bill, but you could potentially get money back on the toilet purchase if you live in Rochester, Minnesota! 

In 2018, the Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) “Conserve & Save” program allows you to recoup some of your expenses through their rebate offers. Their toilet rebates are for “high-efficiency toilets” and “flushometer valve toilets”.

Other 2018 RPU plumbing-related rebates include:

Minnesota Energy also offers a GREAT rebate program that you should check out when doing a bathroom remodel or making any household improvements in Olmstead County and the entire state of Minnesota.

Here’s what their program offers for plumbing in 2018:

IMPORTANT!

If you plan on doing a bathroom remodel or making any kind of significant plumbing improvement, give us a call at 507-254-8680 or email us at ElsmorePlumbing@gmail.com before you buy anything.

We can generally get you great prices on fixtures and appliances that will last longer than what you can buy at a big box store. Often, we can get prices that you can’t because of the discounts we receive for buying large quantities from a supplier each year.

We also stand behind the items that WE buy and install. In the long run, when you chose a better quality fixture, even if the upfront cost is a little more, you'll end up saving more money (and time!) because you'll have to replace it less frequently.   

Other questions about your plumbing?

Call Elsmore Plumbing at 507-254-8680 or email us at ElsmorePlumbing@gmail.com.

For greater peace of mind, hire a professional to get the job done right the first time. Saving a couple hundred dollars isn’t worth exposing your home and family to the risk of a burst pipe or major leak, which can cost you thousands.

 

How to limit the damage of a leaking toilet and leaking faucet

on Mar 15, 2018

What do you do if you have a leak?

Shower leak caused flooded basement in Rochester, MinnesotaThat depends... while it’s essential to know where your main water shutoff valve is, it’s just as important to know how to shutoff other water sources. If you have a leak that is confined to one source, like your toilet, then it usually best to shutoff that source before going all the way to your main shutoff valve.

Typical sources of leaks and how to locate the shut-off:

  • Toilet – Most often, the shutoff lever is located behind the toilet near the floor by the by the metal tubing. It usually looks like an oval – think football-shaped metal knob. Turn it clockwise until it stops.
  • Sink and faucet – Generally, there are two sets of flexible metal tubing in or behind or in your cabinet.  The tubes will have a lever that you turn clockwise to stop.
  • Washer – The shutoff valves are usually behind the washer near the top of it. If you do not see the valves, slide the washer further out (be careful not to disconnect anything) and you will likely see them.
  • Showers and Bathtubs – If there is exposed plumbing, the shutoff valves will be clearly visible. If not, they may be behind a panel. Otherwise, they’re probably not accessible without cutting a hole in the wall.

Your main water shutoff is the ultimate line of defense

Be sure to read our post on how to find your main water shutoff so that you aren't caught off guard should you have a major leak, burst pipe, or other flooding problems. 

Questions about your plumbing?

Call Elsmore Plumbing at 507-254-8680 or email us at elsmoreplumbing@gmail.com

For greater peace of mind, hire a professional to get the job done right the first time. Saving a couple hundred dollars isn’t worth exposing your home and family to the risk of a burst pipe or major leak, which can cost you thousands.

 

Plumbing tip: how to prevent major water damage

on Feb 27, 2018

In Rochester, Minnesota, we all know that freezing and thawing can cause pipes to burst and lead to major plumbing issues like leaks and flooding. Since winter lasts about five months out of the year, it’s essential for you to know where your water shutoff valve is located. This knowledge could save you thousands in damages.

Plumber showing water shutoff valves in Rochester, MN

Generally, the main shutoff valve will be in your basement. If you’re struggle to find it, then search for your water meter – the shutoff valve should be close by. If for some reason you still can’t find it, check your property inspection report, which should list the location.

Once you’ve located it, you’ll need to know how to shut it off. To stop the flow of water, turn the valve handle clockwise.

There are usually two types of valves:

  • One type is a flat straight piece of metal (often with a colored rubber grip on it), which should only turn about 90 degrees
  • The other type is like your outdoor spigot shutoff – a metal knob that has a pentagon or hexagon-like shape which turns clockwise.

If you still can't find the shutoff valves, feel free to give us a call. We'd be glad stop by and help you find them.

What do you do if you have a localized leak?

Is your toilet leaking? Or maybe your sink? Read our post on leaks to find out what steps you can take before resorting to using your main water shutoff.

Is your plumbing ready for winter?

Make sure read about and implement these important steps to help prevent frozen pipes and burst pipes. 

Questions about your plumbing?

Call Elsmore Plumbing at 507-254-8680 or email us at elsmoreplumbing@gmail.com

For greater peace of mind, hire a professional to get the job done right the first time. Saving a couple hundred dollars isn’t worth exposing your home and family to the risk of a major leak that could cost you thousands of dollars in damages.

 

Winter plumbing: how to prevent frozen pipes, burst pipes, & flood damage

on Jan 03, 2018

Keep your plumbing from freezing

Waterline leak due to holes in copper pipe in Rochester, MNWinter weather in Rochester, Minnesota is cold – bitter cold. And your pipes and waterlines are under constant threat of freezing and bursting. That’s why it’s important to check your plumbing, especially in the areas where there is little or no consistent source of heat. It’s essential to make sure your pipes are properly insulated and any outdoor hoses are disconnected.

You may even need to make improvements like installing new windows as well as a new furnace and ductwork to get enough heat to where you need it. And don’t forget about your garage. Often times garages face more exposure to freezing temperatures. This might be because the heating system doesn’t reach it, or because it’s not as well insulated as well as the rest of the house

Your main water shutoff is the ultimate line of defense

Be sure to read our post on how to find your Flooded basement in Rochester, MNmain water shutoff so that you aren't caught off guard should you have a major leak, burst pipe, or other flooding problem. 

What do you do if you have a localized leak?

Is your toilet leaking? How about your sink? Read our post on what you can do before resorting to using your main water shutoff if you have a leak that is limited to a single source like your faucet, toilet, or sink.

Questions about your plumbing?

Call Elsmore Plumbing at 507-254-8680 or email us at elsmoreplumbing@gmail.com

For greater peace of mind, hire a professional to get the job done right the first time. Saving a couple hundred dollars isn’t worth exposing your home and family to the risk of a burst pipe which could cost you thousands of dollars.

 

Plumbing tip: Treat your toilet well

on Dec 10, 2017

Seriously though, caring for your toilet is no joke. Your porcelain throne is the cornerstone of your bathroom plumbing. It's used on a daily basis, so you need to ensure it's got a clean bill of health. Not properly caring for your toilet leads to water damage and the deterioration of components. This ultimately results in you having to shell out your hard-earned greenbacks (it's generally not cheap). That's exactly what we hope to prevent.Clogged toilet problems in Rochester, MN

We're here to tell you that the old adage, "if it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down..." isn't the best advice. While we're all in favor of not wasting money and water, going long periods without flushing causes calcium build-up like what you see in the image to the right. This build-up could end up causing drainage problems that result in damage. The expensive repairs will likely cost you MUCH more than the amount you've saved in water costs. 

If you're serious about water conservation and your budget's bottom line, there are many great ways to save without creating costly damage. One way is by installing a high-efficiency toilet. If you live in Rochester, make sure to check out the Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) rebate program which currently enables you to save $50 off of a high-efficiency toilet. 

Speaking of mellow, don't put cleaning tablets in your toilet tank. Using them will void all warranties for your toilet. Toilet tank tablets contain harmful chemicals that hang out in your tank and destroy the rubber components (they're kind of like the teenagers of the cleaning product world). You'll end up with costly water leaks and prolonged use can cause even more damage that will likely require full replacement of your toilet! We suggest only using cleaning products in the bowl.

It's all about that toilet TLC! 

Corroded toilet tank not flushing properly in Rochester, MN

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