Author Archives: GC Plumbing

Cleaner Water With Navien

When choosing a plumbing product, the list is seemingly endless. There are products that stand above the rest though and will be able to deliver top results to you that you want. Results, like cleaner water can be found in the Navien boiler systems. This product has introduced a system called NaviClean and the way it works is to use magnetic filters that filter out and capture iron oxide at high levels, different types of debris that filter in from other water lines, and sludge. The installation process is quick and can be done within minutes so that when you need clearer water, you have it.

Navien Water Heaters

Navien

Get Hot Water When You Need It.

Navien provides water heaters to your home that work at a high efficiency and are able to bring you top quality results while still trying to be eco-friendly and keep your energy bill where it should be. One way they do that is with their tankless water heaters. This brand of water heater will never leave you without hot water. Navien Tankless Water heaters constantly warm your water, but only when you need it, that way it will save you money and be able to supply you with hot water over and over again. Another great benefit that Navien water heaters provide, are that they last you 2 to 4 times longer than the traditional water heater would. This will end up giving you more bang for your buck in the long run. A few additional advantages of these water heaters are:

  • Venting technology to make installation easier
  • There is no minimum water flow required
  • Add on features that will enhance your water heating experience anywhere you live
  • Energy efficiency

Local Water Heater Installation

Here at GC Plumbing, we offer this brand and can tell you all about it when you call (512) 520-0056. Choosing a water heater can be overwhelming, especially when you have to do it rather suddenly. Consider a Navien water heater because it will benefit your home for many years to come and provide you with hot water when you need it. On top of all that, it is one of the most energy efficient brands out there. If you have questions about Navien water heaters in Austin, TX, call us when it is convenient for you and we will always be happy to help.

Homeowner Hacks: Take Advantage of Your Plumbing Inspections

Minor Repairs After an Inspection

Take Care of Minor Plumbing Issues Before They Become Bigger Problems.

Have you ever witness (or experienced) a plumbing emergency? It’s not pretty. Maintaining your plumbing is an expensive, life-interrupted hassle… if you’re doing it the wrong way. Here are three clever ways to better manage your home through plumbing inspections.

Homeowner Hack #1: Postpone Your Crisis

Many homeowners wait till they have a plumbing emergency before they have their system inspected, which is completely understandable. As long as the water is running, it’s easy to forget about your plumbing. Just because your system is functioning however, doesn’t mean that it’s not experiencing subtle problems. If you’ve gone two or three years without any noticeable issues with your plumbing, schedule an inspection anyway. You’ll be amazed at how many expensive, damaging emergencies you’ll avoid in the long run.

Homeowner Hack #2: Start Planning Now

Think about it. You have a trained, experienced professional in your home already. Don’t wait until your water heater is about to burst to start considering replacements. Start asking questions about your options now, and you can begin saving money for a better (more energy efficient) replacement later. If it helps you, write down a list of your major appliances with their expiration dates to help you plan ahead.

Homeowner Hack #3: Find a Second Opinion

You never have to take professional recommendations at face value. Getting a second opinion, particularly after you get an expensive or questionable recommendation, is a smart practice. You will at the very least receive confirmation on the correct course of action, but you just might discover a much cheaper solution to your plumbing problem.

Follow these three homeowner tips during future plumbing inspections, and you’ll be amazed at the savings! For more information on homeowner best practices, or to schedule a plumbing inspection, feel free to call our team at (512) 520-0056.

What Sink Style Should You Get in Your Bathroom Remodel?

You have finally bought a house, congrats! With that, it gives you the freedom to do all the home renovations that you please. One of the most common remodelling projects is the bathroom. Here’s a guide to the different types of sink style options available to help you narrow down your choice of bathroom fixtures.

Basin or Tabletop

These sit on top of a counter and can come in a multitude of shapes like square or circular. Popular over the last few years, this sink style provides a contemporary, albeit splashy, look.

This Sink Style is An Undermount, Which Is Very Easy To Clean

Pedestal

Taking up very little floor space, these are more seen in small bathrooms or older homes. They give off a vintage feel but provide no storage space and often come with mirrors that have medicine cabinets attached above.

Wall Mounted

Like the names says, these sinks are mounted to the wall and take up no floor space whatsoever as they float in the air and can be installed to fit your height. If you need more floor space but want a more modern feel than a pedestal sink gives, consider a wall mounted sink.

Undermount

A recent trend in the minimalistic sink style fashion, undermount has no rim and is installed under the countertop to give it a seamless look.

Vanity

Built into a cabinet, it resembles the undermount sink style, but the rim of the bowl is level with the counter. Noticeable by its providing ample counter space.

If you need faucet or sink style installation in Austin, TX, call GC Plumbing at (512) 520-0056 today.

Signs You Need Sewer Repair

Sewer Repair

Leaking Sewage Will Lure Pests to Your Yard and Home.

Your sewer line represents one of the most important pieces of plumbing for your home. Problems with the sewer can quickly become quite messy, which makes it important to notice early indicators for repair. Pay attention for these signals, and if you need sewer repair in Austin, TX, call GC Plumbing at (512) 520-0056.

Clogged Drains

If drains around your entire home run slowly or not at all, you likely have a problem with your sewer line. A blockage or clog in the sewer will prevent waste from correctly draining from your home. If not repaired, waste will back up in your sewer line and eventually make its way out of your drains. If this happens, call a trusted for emergency service. Sanitary issues aside, this is not a problem that a homeowner can fix without help.

Foul Smell

You should never just ignore the smell of sewage. A sewer line should remain completely enclosed. Any smell of sewage indicates a leak somewhere in the line. Aside from the unpleasant awareness that sewage has begun to leak in your yard, leaks can also worsen if left unattended.

Vibrant Yard Patches

As sewage leaks within your yard, you can expect it to act as fertilizer for your plants and grass. You may begin to notice oddly vibrant patches within your yard. These areas indicate the location of a sewer leak, and can also attract pests like rats and insects.

At GC Plumbing, we represent your local source for sewer repair in Austin, TX. Call us quickly at (512) 520-0056 for service, as sewer problems can quickly evolve into full-blown crises.

Do You Have a Water Line Leak

A water line leak can be extremely hard to detect because it is under the ground. You usually don’t know until you get your water bill or if the line is big enough, you may have very wet spots in your grass. Some people don’t pay attention to those things so they don’t find out that they have one for a while. The problem with this is that in the meantime you are wasting water. Not only that, but you’re wasting money as well. This is something that does need to be fixed right away because it can end up causing you serious problems if you let it go on. When a water line is leaking, it is pouring water into your soil. When this happens, it can shift the ground under your house and end up cracking your foundation, yikes!

Signs of a Water Leak

Wet Spots in Your Yard – If you suddenly start to see a wet spot in your yard with no logical explanation surrounding it being there, you may have a water line leak. You should look around your yard and see if there are any leaking faucets and if there are not, you need to call a plumber.

High Water Bill – Did your water bill suddenly skyrocket seemingly overnight? This is a major sign of a leak. The problem then lies in figuring out where the leak is coming from. If you have checked all your faucets for dripping and not found anything, you should think about calling a plumber out to try and find the water line leak.

If you need to hire a plumber to come out to your home, think about calling GC Plumbing at (512) 520-0056.

What Is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro Jetting

Hydro Jetting Is Fast, Effective, And Affordable!

Does your home consistently suffer from drain or pipe clogs? Are you worried about costly and repetitive repairs? Hydro jetting is a type of drain cleaning service that is designed to efficiently remove and repair clogs in your pipes. By using jetted streams of water, our plumbers can effectively blast away any clogs, as well as any oil or soap residues within the pipes. This helps prevent additional clogs from forming after we leave.

What To Expect

The hydro jetting solutions we offer are designed to clean your drains more efficiently, and keep them clean for a longer amount of time. Using a basic drain snake or a chemical cleanser typically leaves a mess around the drain, in addition to being less effective. While these methods dislodge the clog enough to let water pass through the drain again, the pieces of the clog are left large enough to land deeper in the drain and create additional clogs.

In order to really solve the clog, hydro jetting obliterates the clog entirely, which prevents large parts from building up further down the drain. To additionally protect your pipes, the extreme pressure jets blast away clog-causing grease and grime too. And as an added bonus, hydro jetting washes everything down the drain, meaning your drain is free from any further mess.

To learn more, or to request service, give us a call at (512) 520-0056 today!

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Burst Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipes Lead to Burst Pipes, Which Can Seriously Damage Your Home.

When the temperature outside drops below freezing and stays there for several days, the pipes in your home might be in danger of freezing. Not only will this cut off your supply of running water, but it can also result in serious problems when the pipes thaw. When the water inside the pipes freezes, it expands. This can cause hairline cracks that will break open when the water starts running through them. If this happens, your home could experience significant water damage.

Can You Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Preventing frozen pipes in the winter time is possible and very important. When a cold snap hits your hometown, here are a few simple things that will keep your pipes warm.

Close the Garage Door
A lot of cold air gets into your home through the garage. Keeping the door closed allows the heat in the house to reach the pipes. This is especially important if there are pipes in the garage.

Open Cabinet Doors
The cabinet doors below your kitchen or bathroom sink keep the majority of the heat away from the pipes. Opening the doors to these cabinets allows the plumbing below access to the warm air in the house.

Let the Water Drip
Running water doesn’t freeze as easily as stagnant water. If you let your faucets drip cold water, it can prevent frozen pipes.

Keep the Heat Up
The temperature in the house should remain constant all the time during severe cold snaps. This includes when you are not home. Most experts recommend setting the thermostat at or above 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your home or apartment has frozen pipes, GC Plumbing is here to help. We can repair your pipes and keep them from damaging your house or belongings. Give us a call at (512) 520-0056 today.

What Type of Water Heater Do I Need?

It doesn’t get as much attention as your home’s HVAC system, and it’s a lot less visible than your large kitchen appliances, but your water heater works tirelessly in the background of your home, giving you hot showers, sparkling dishes, clean laundry, and more. Water heaters are usually low maintenance and long lasting, quietly going about their business for years without giving you much trouble. But if your home’s water heater is more than ten years old, it’s probably not as efficient as newer models, and it may be worthwhile to consider an upgrade. But that brings up an important question: with all the different water heater models on the market today, what type of water heater should you get? Here’s a little bit about the four main types of water heaters so you can make an informed decision.

Storage Tank

This is the conventional type of water heater, and the one you’re probably most familiar with: the large vertical tank in your basement or utility closet that heats and holds water. They come in a few different sizes; the more people in your home, the larger size you’ll want. These last a long time, are low maintenance, and are fairly efficient, especially if you use natural gas instead of electricity. They’re also easy to find at any big box or locally owned hardware store, and are relatively affordable, with smaller models starting at under $400.

On-Demand

Tankless on-demand water heaters are compact and efficient because they heat water only when you need it. There’s no storage unit at all, so there’s no water to keep continually hot, and that means lower energy bills. They’re also long-lasting and low maintenance, but the upfront cost is around twice that of a conventional water heater; it’s tough to find a quality model for under $800. On-demand systems are measured in gallons per minute, but in general, you don’t get a lot of hot water at once. In other words, if you’re taking one shower at a time in your home, a tankless system will work just fine, but if you have three people showering at once, there probably won’t be enough hot water for all three. However, larger homes can have multiple on-demand water heaters to fulfill hot water needs.

Heat Pump

This type of water heater works like a refrigerator, but instead of keeping your food cold, it keeps your water hot. Just like a refrigerator circulates cold air, a heat pump water heater circulates heat to keep your water hot. These typically work most efficiently in regions where there is a lot of heat, and they’re incredibly energy efficient. The main drawback is the upfront cost of the unit, as heat pump water heaters tend to cost over $1000, and the installation fee can also be well over $1000. They will save you on monthly energy costs, though, and the maintenance on these types of water heaters is relatively easy: you just need to clean or change the air filters on a regular basis.

Solar

If going green is a priority for you and your family, then you’d do well to consider a solar water heater. There are several different types, but they all convert the sun’s energy into heat to keep your hot water flowing. Like other types of water heaters, solar models are generally low maintenance and long lasting. The big appeal is that once your solar panels are installed, your energy bills will be next to nothing. The main drawback of solar water heaters is the upfront cost, which is currently around $2000 and up. However, there are often tax credits associated with installing green technology in your home, and the cost of solar tech does get more affordable every year. Still, if you’re big on lowering your carbon footprint, and if you have the financial means to spend this much money at once, you may find that a solar water heater is a worthwhile investment.

Are Smart Toilets Worth The Upgrade

Everything is getting smart these days. We have smartphones, smart watches, smart TVs, smart appliances, and smart toilets? It may seem hard to believe, but just as with everything else, it was only a matter of time before digital technology infiltrated the back corner of your powder room.

Yes, smart toilets are here, which is causing a lot of homeowners to scratch their heads and wonder if this is really where they want to spend their home improvement money: not on better furniture, not on more efficient appliances, but on a toilet? As it turns out, more and more homeowners are saying yes to smart toilets. Are they worth the price, though, and is a smart toilet right for you? Read on.

Cost and Features

Smart toilets are priced from a few hundred dollars, or not much more than a brand new ordinary toilet, to nearly $10,000. Now that’s a costly commode. What you’ll pay depends largely on the features you’re after.

Just about all smart toilets have an automatic flushing feature. This is the big appeal of the product: because you don’t have to touch a handle to flush, it’s more hygienic, and it’s also ideal if you share a living space with people who sometimes forget to flush when they’re done. Most smart toilets also have a water saving feature that uses less water for liquid waste. This is not only better for the planet — it’s great for your water bills.

Cleaning the toilet is an often gross and usually thankless job, but many smart toilets come with a self-cleaning and deodorizing feature. For homeowners who truly hate housework, this feature alone may be enough to convince them to switch to smart. Additionally, some smart toilets offer overflow protection, so that if the toilet is clogged, the flush is disabled. Talk about preventing a mess.

A built-in bidet and dryer are also common in many smart toilet models, which can cut back on how much toilet paper you use. And, for those middle of the night bathroom runs, some smart toilets have a nightlight feature, so you don’t have to switch on any bright lights when nature calls at three in the morning.

Then, there are some extravagant bordering on silly features that may drive up the price of your smart toilet. These include heated seats and foot warmers to keep your buns and toes cozy, and even built-in speakers to play music or podcasts while you (ahem) do your business.

Just a Few Drawbacks

Aside from a potentially high price, the only real drawbacks of installing a smart toilet are related to installing it and powering it. Because many smart toilets need to be connected to a power line, setting it up may cost more and take longer than setting up a standard toilet. Additionally, while a powered toilet may be convenient, it could pose some inconvenience during power outages, and you may see an uptick in your energy bill. Some smart toilets run on batteries instead of plugging into your home’s wiring, but then you’ll need to remember to charge or change the batteries.

Should You Go Smart?

While early adopters probably already have a smart toilet, most homeowners probably wonder if it’s worth getting one. We say it’s definitely worth looking into when you’re ready to tackle your bathroom renovation project. A smart toilet is a fun and useful way to incorporate some new tech into something you have to do multiple times each day anyway, it can save you time and hassle on cleaning, and it might even be a small way to be more environmentally conscious. What’s more, if you don’t go overboard on features, it may not cost you that much more than an old-fashioned toilet.

If you’re in the Lago Vista, Cedar Park, Lake Travis, Marble Falls, or Austin area and you’re interested in installing a new smart toilet, click here to contact us.

How to Fix a Leaky Shower Head

A shower head won’t stay pristine forever. Parts get worn out over time, hard water deposits can affect how the different parts of the assembly fit together, and before you know it, you’ve got a leak. Not only is a leaky shower head annoying, but it wastes lots of water and, ultimately, costs you more on your water bill. If your shower head is leaking, you’ll want to fix it sooner rather than later. Sure, you can call a plumber to handle the job, but if you’re at all handy and comfortable using a few simple tools, you can learn how to fix a leaky shower head yourself. Here’s how to do it.

First Things First

Before attempting any plumbing repair, you’ll need to take a few precautions. First, turn off the water coming into your home. This will prevent any surprise gushes if you have to start taking parts of your showerhead assembly apart. Next, make sure you’re working on a dry surface; this is especially important if you’ll be standing in your tub or shower to do these repairs. Once you’ve taken precautions to minimize hazards, you’re ready to get started.

Check the Showerhead Itself

Unless your showerhead is a specialty model, you can usually just unscrew it. Once you do, closely inspect the fitting and the seal; using a flashlight will help you see if there’s any major wear or cracks. Any parts that appear damaged need to be replaced. Take the damaged part and head to your local hardware store to find the correct replacement. If your showerhead and its fitting look OK, though, your leak may be coming from another spot.

Check the Faucet

Carefully take apart the faucet part of the shower to look for any wear and tear, particularly on the valve, the o-ring, and the washers. The valve may not close all the way, the valve seat may no longer fit tightly, or the o-ring and washers may be worn out and need replacing. Any of these things, alone or in combination, can lead to a leaky showerhead. Again, replacement parts can be found at any major hardware store.

For Leaks During Showers

If water is leaking out of other parts of the showerhead while you’re showering, you may have plugged holes caused by hard water residue; if the water can’t get out the way it’s supposed to, it will find another way. To clean the showerhead, unscrew it and soak it in vinegar or a commercial product like CLR for 15 minutes, then rinse very well. If you can’t remove the showerhead, fill a plastic bag with either vinegar or CLR and rubber band it to the showerhead, making sure that the liquid in the bag makes contact with all the holes. After 15 minutes, rinse well and let the water run through for about 30 seconds to make sure the water is moving through the holes properly.

GC Plumbing is the leading plumber in Lago Vista, TX. We serve Lago Vista, Tx, Cedar Park, TX, the Lake Travis Area, Jonestown, TX and all surrounding areas. To learn more about our services click here or give us a call at (512) 267-3712.