Water: We have a lot of it in the Northwest. And it makes our region green and the envy of the nation.
But water inside northwest homes could spell expensive repairs or a short-term disaster that can involve insurance or huge out of pocket costs.
That’s why you need to know about some common problems and signs that could indicate that something major might be about to happen. And there are often ways to stop the process before disaster strikes.
Key places to watch for water
“If you’re seeing water dripping, or small pooling, if anything is leaking at all, it’s time to call for help,” says Jessica Geck, Vice President at Wolfer’s Home Services. The family-owned company is more than 100 years old, and has experts in heating, cooling, electrical and yes, plumbing. “A water leak is likely going to continue and get worse. Yet the solution could be something as simple as replacing a fitting.”
Where should you watch for water leaks? Experts say you should keep an eye out for water damage or consistently damp areas near or under your sinks, toilets and the dishwasher and washing machine. Water in any of these places could signal trouble.
Signs your water heater is failing
Also, keep an eye out for things beginning to turn wet near your hot water heater. This can often be a sign that it is starting to fail, or needs maintenance. If you ignore a leaky water heater, they can flood their surrounding area; or worst-case, flood your entire home.
Another sign your hot water heater is on the way out? It may not be getting as hot as it has in the past, or the hot water seems to run out faster than it used to. And running out of hot water is one reason so many homeowners are installing tankless hot water heaters. Today’s tankless units save money on utility bills and are good for the environment because they’re so efficient. Most important: they heat water on demand so you never run out.
By the way, the typical hot water heater tank lasts 10-15 years. When is the last time yours was changed?
Water treatment options are growing
Not only does Wolfer’s stop water leaks and make sure you have plenty of hot water, they also offer water treatment services. We were curious about why people in the Pacific Northwest might get their water treated, so we asked.
“We treat both well water and city water,” says Geck. “Some people have very hard water, which turns things to a rust color in your toilet or shower, so a lot of people ask for help with that. And we can also have your water tested to find contaminants. We can even install a small tank under your sink which removes impurities from your water for cooking and drinking. We can get your water down to almost perfectly pure,” she says.
Now is the time to have your air conditioner checked
Even though some parts of the Portland-Vancouver metro area recently received some snow, this is the time of year to get your air conditioning checked and tuned up. Geck explains: “Routine maintenance keeps manufacturer warranties in-tact, and helps to catch things that could become a larger problem later, while it is still a small problem.”
Maintenance is crucial on heating and air conditioning units because every part works in conjunction with others. One bad part puts pressure on everything else, which can get expensive quickly.
And when you’ve been helping Northwest homeowners for more than 100 years with their heating and cooling, electrician services and plumbing needs, you’ve learned a few things.
We’re glad Wolfer’s shared these tips. Then again, they’re used to sharing with the community in unique ways. They are sponsoring the 2018 Portland Polar Plunge on February 24 to benefit Special Olympics Oregon.
The company now does the electrical installation for hot tubs, something this year’s polar plungers may need!
Contact Wolfer’s with your questions around heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and water treatment issues. Request your appointment online or call 503-220-1901.