Summer is in full swing in Jacksonville. Between the heat, the increased risk of tropical storms and hurricanes, and the almost daily showers, the season can present tons of issues for your home’s main sewer line. Here are some signs to watch out for to prevent serious damage to your home.

What’s that Smell?

A telltale sign that you might have a break or clog in your sewer line is a really bad smell. You might wander around your house or yard trying to figure out where the smell is coming from. Because your sewer main is buried underground, your first alert of a problem may be the scent of smelly sewer gas. In the case of a sewer line clog, the gas may come up the drains or toilets in your home. In the summer, the intensity of that smell can be breathtaking – not in a good way.

How Common Clogs Lead to Big Problems

It is not uncommon for most sink or tub drains to However, if the problem persists, the culprit could be a clogged sewer line. Some clogs are caused inside the home by:

  • Putting cooking grease down the drain
  • Flushing items other than toilet paper down the toilet
  • Overloading your garbage disposal

The outdoors can also wreak havoc on your home’s main sewer line. During heavy rains or flooding, debris—such as tree branches, grass, leaves or litter —can be washed down sewer grates. The debris can cause clogs at the street and cause your sewer line to back up into your home if you do not have a backwater valve installed.

A Major Threat to Your Sewer Main

Another outdoor threat to your sewer main is tree roots. If you have trees planted near your sewer main, their roots can impact it; especially if it is an older main made from clay or cast iron. Tree roots can cause a major clog or breaks in your line that leak.

 

You might not immediately notice that there is a leak or break in your sewer main. A telltale sign other than an unpleasant smelly may be soggy areas around your yard. Sometimes you might see an unexplained puddle, or the ground will feel spongy because the water is seeping up from below.

What’s that Gurgling Noise?

Are you suddenly hearing strange gurgling noises in your toilet, drains or walls? That’s the sound of water bubbling back from the main along with sewer gas. In some cases, you might even see bubbling coming up your toilet or your drains. When this happens, you will want to take immediate action because you could be one step away from a sewer backup into your home.

 

If you have any of these signs that your home’s sewer line is clogged or broken, you need to act fast to prevent additional damage to your home. Contact Bill Fenwick Plumbing to schedule immediate service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You put a bid on the house of your dreams, and your offer was accepted. Congratulations! Now it’s time to put your own home on the market. Before you call your real estate agent, take a close look the following areas of your home:

 

Are Your Pipes Safe and Clean?

Depending on when your home was built, your pipes may be made of lead, galvanized steel, or iron. Newer homes have PVC, brass or copper pipes, in which case there’s nothing to worry about. If your home’s pipes are made any of the other materials, you should consider replacing them, especially if they are lead. Lead pipes should always be replaced. Have a professional carefully inspect any cast iron or galvanized steel pipes to make sure they’re still in good condition.

 

Is Your Water Heater Reliable?

Next, take a look at your water heater. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What year was it installed?
  • Does it provide enough hot water for the entire house?
  • Do you run out of hot water quickly?

Depending on your answers, you may want to replace your water heater. Tankless water heaters are among the best on the market, and more homeowners are choosing to install them every year. When people are house hunting, a new water heater can be a major selling point.

 

Are Kitchen Fixtures and Drains Working?

Finally, take a good look at your kitchen. When potential buyers tour your house, you can bet that they will be spending a considerable amount of time in the kitchen.

Check your faucet, make sure it is working properly, and consider replacing it if it looks dated. It is also important to ensure that the drains, pipes, and garbage disposal (if you have one) are not clogged. A professional can quickly inspect and unclog any of your kitchen plumbing.

 

Call Fenwick’s Plumbing Pros

When it comes to buying and selling a home, plumbing issues can mean the difference between months on the market or a quick sale. The pros at Bill Fenwick Plumbing are your partners for reliable plumbing solutions. Contact us today for a careful and thorough plumbing inspection to get your house ready for the market.

Water Heater Repair & Install Services in Jacksonville, Florida

Call Us: (904) 724-2455

Is your water heater making noises? Do you notice water leaking from the tank? Schedule a water heater repair appointment with our team.

WATER HEATER REPAIR

Mold and mildew are serious problems in any room with lots of moisture – especially bathrooms. Smells, stains, and other hassles that result from mold can take a toll on your home, health, and wallet! We asked your Bill Fenwick plumbing pros how they prevent mold and mildew in their homes. Check out their top tips on keeping your bathroom looking and smelling fresh!

 

1)    Take Care of Leaks ASAP

A leaky pipe, faucet, bathtub, or shower may not seem like a big deal. However, steady leaks (even small ones) can lead to major issues in your bathroom. If your leak is in an enclosed cabinet or shower, you could miss the built-up moisture. Over time, the resulting mold can wreak havoc and cause funky-smelling odors most cleaning products can’t fix.

2)    Update Your Exhaust Fan

A bathroom exhaust fan works wonders when it comes to keeping your bathroom dry. It also gets rid of the steam created from hot showers. If you’re relying only on an open window to vent bath steam, an exhaust fan is a must-have!

If your existing exhaust fan isn’t performing correctly, it might be time for an upgrade. Installing a new, more powerful fan can without making too many changes to your system. Less steam means less moisture, which in turn means fewer chances for mold and mildew to develop.

3)    Tackle Grubby Old Grout

Grout does more than seal floor and wall tiles, it also keeps moisture out of your walls! As grout ages, it can crack and crumble, making mold-infiltration more likely. Get your grout resealed regularly – at least every 18 months. As an added benefit, refreshed grout will also make cleaning more manageable, and keep your bathroom looking beautiful!

4)    Clean Your Shower Top-To-Bottom

Invest in a decent shower squeegee to prevent mold and mildew from building up in your shower stall. Wipe down your shower walls after every shower to eliminate a lot of lingering moisture. By removing post-shower water, you’ll also eliminate mineral deposits and soap scum.

5)    Get a Professional Check-up

One of the best things you can do for your bathroom is to schedule regular check-ups with your Bill Fenwick plumbing team! Scheduling an annual bathroom inspection will help spot potential issues before they become big, pricey problems. The result is better showers, fewer risks of smelly mold and mildew, plus long-term savings!

Don’t wait to combat mold in your bathroom. Call Bill Fenwick Plumbing for trusted, 24/7 plumbing service today!

Reliable Drain Cleaning Services in Jacksonville, Florida

Call Us: (904) 724-2455

Our team of plumbing specialists offers drain cleaning services for homes in Jacksonville, Florida and other areas. If you’re having drainage issues with your kitchen or laundry room sink, schedule a drain cleaning appointment.

RELIABLE DRAIN CLEANING SERVICES

There are some plumbing jobs around your home that are easy to fix if you are handy and have the right tools. However, you could make a big mess and even make the problem worse if you make one of these common plumbing mistakes:

Forgetting to Turn Off the Water

The number one rule before beginning even the most minor of plumbing jobs in your home is to turn off the water. Not turning off the main water supply to your home increases the risk of causing flooding in your home that can lead to severe water damage. If it will inconvenience others in your home, explain how a short time without water is much better than having to deal with long term plumbing problems or flooding.

Not Using the Right Tools

You should always use the right tools for the job. Using the wrong wrench, screwdriver, pliers, channel-locks or other required tools could damage the pipe or plumbing fixture you are working on. This increases the risk of leaks that could cause water damage, which in turn could increase the likelihood of mold and mildew in your home. Before you attempt a plumbing fix, make sure you have all the tools required for the job.

Getting in Over Your Head

Clearing a small clog in your bathroom sink’s p-trap or replacing a showerhead may be an easy fix for you, but trying to replace a toilet in your upstairs bathroom when you’ve never replaced one before can get a little dicey. And so can more difficult repairs like replacing a water heater, fixing pipe leaks or clearing stubborn clogs. One small leak can turn into extensive water and mold damage that could potentially affect your entire home. It is better to call a professional plumber than attempt a repair that is outside of your skillset.

There are numerous things that can go wrong when doing plumbing repairs if you’re not a trained plumber. Some plumbing problems are best left to the experts. If you live in the Jacksonville area, all you need to do is contact Bill Fenwick Plumbing to schedule service or repairs.

Reliable Sewer Line Repair & Septic Tank Services

Call Us: (904) 724-2455

Are you having issues with your septic tank or sewer lines in Jacksonville, Florida? Schedule a sewer line replacement and repair appointment with our team.

SEWER LINE REPAIR

Clogged drains and sewer lines are common problems, especially in older homes and commercial buildings. When they happen, they can cause a mess with overflowing water, debris and sewage, and foul odors. Flushing the toilet can back water up into your bathtub or shower. The result is usually an emergency call to a plumber for help.

Although clogged drains and sewer lines create messy problems, they can be unclogged safely and efficiently with the right equipment. Depending on the specific problem, a plumbing snake or hydro jet can be used to unclog the drain. Both methods are effective, but it’s important to use the right one for the job.

Plumbing Snakes

Plumbing snakes, also called plumbing augers, are simple pieces of equipment that are easy to use. They consist of a long metal tube that encases an inner cable with blades or a corkscrew auger attached to one end. The opposite end has a crank. The long metal tube is inserted into the drain, then the crank is turned to force the tube into the pipe. As the tube goes deeper into the drain, it will either open up the clog or twist around whatever is clogging the drain, so it can be pulled out. Plumbing snakes with straight tubes are best for clogged sink drains, while snakes with J-bends are best for clogged toilets. In addition to crank model plumbing snakes, there are also motorized snakes, but they should be used by experienced professional plumbers to prevent damage to pipes.

  • Pros – Plumbing snakes are easy to use and gentle on drains and pipes. If you’re home or office has an older plumbing system, a plumbing snake is best. Older pipes are often too weak to withstand the water pressure from a hydro jet.
  • Cons – Plumbing snakes have limited capability to remove clogs. With large clogs, they may not be able to push through the entire blockage to allow full water flow. Some of the clog may be removed, but the drain will likely require more unclogging.

Hydro Jets

Hydro jets are more sophisticated plumbing tools than snakes. They consist of a high-pressure hose with special nozzles. The hose connects to a machine that provides pressurized water through the nozzles. The force of the water and the special nozzles breaks up clogs by blasting them through the drain and pipe. The water pressure is so strong, it can blast through clogs caused by hair, grease, oil, mineral buildup, paper, debris, and even tree roots and force them down the pipes. If you plan to use a hydro jet, it’s best to check your pipes for damage first with a camera operated drain inspection by a professional plumber.

  • Pros – Hydro jets are effective on all types of clogs and blockages. The water pressure does all the work, so you don’t need to use chemicals or declogging agents, which often aren’t very effective anyway. Hydro jets are environmentally friendly tools for homes and businesses.
  • Cons – Hydro jets are not a safe option for homeowners who want to clear their own drains. The water pressure can harm weak or fragile pipes, causing even more damage. It’s best to hire a professional plumber who can inspect your plumbing lines and ensure a safe job.

If you’re experiencing clogged drains and other plumbing problems, call the professionals at Bill Fenwick Plumbing. We can help you with all of your home and office plumbing needs.

Reliable Drain Cleaning Solutions

Call Us: (904) 724-2455

Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your drains. This may cause damage to your plumbing system and lead to costly repairs. Schedule a drain cleaning appointment instead.

DRAIN CLEANING

Have you ever wondered about the different types of toilets or how they work? Choosing a new toilet for your bathroom may seem like a mundane task, but finding the right one is important. In fact, you might even be surprised by all the innovative changes in toilets if you haven’t replaced one in a while.

Toilet Designs

New bathroom toilets have a more modern appearance and come in numerous styles, so it’s easy to accommodate any size space. Whatever design you prefer for your bathroom, you’ll find a variety of sizes, colors, seat heights, and energy-efficient features to choose from.

One-Piece Toilets

One-piece toilets have a tank and a bowl connected as one piece. They are smaller than two-piece designs, so they take up less floor space making them great for small bathrooms. The one-piece design also makes them easier to clean and install than two-piece toilets.

Two-Piece Toilets

Two-piece toilets have been around awhile, so most homeowners are familiar with them. The design has a water tank that fits into the bowl. Many homeowners opt for this style because the look is a bit more traditional and it is typically less expensive than other designs.

Wall-Mounted Toilets

Wall-mounted toilets are often used in commercial bathrooms, but many homeowners like the modern appearance. If your bathroom space is limited, a wall-mounted toilet can be hung from any wall in the room (as long as there is a water source), but requires a different layout for the drain and water supply.

Smart Toilets

Many home appliances, including toilets, now come equipped with smart technology that adds convenience and luxury to your bathroom. Smart toilets come with hands-free flushing, self-cleaning wands, dual-flush options, heated seats, and bidets.

Understanding How Your Toilet Works

Bathroom toilets are not complicated machines, but they do have certain operational features that make them more reliable and efficient. The last thing you need is a toilet that doesn’t flush properly.

Gravity-Feed Toilets

Gravity-feed toilets have been around since the 1800s and are still the most common types of toilets on the market today. Gravity-feed toilets operate by pushing the water down to the drain line to empty the bowl each time you flush. After each flush, freshwater begins filling the tank again. As the water gets higher in the tank, a ball or float rises to stop the water when it gets to a certain level, so the tank doesn’t overflow.

Older gravity-feed toilets used a lot of water, up to seven gallons with each flush. Due to federal energy-efficient regulations, newer gravity-feed toilets must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush to conserve water.

Pressure-Assisted Toilets

Pressure-assisted toilets, the second most common operation, make a loud whoosh when you flush, because pressurized air forces water out of the bowl and into the drain line. Before you purchase a pressure-assisted toilet, make sure your home has at least 25 pounds of water pressure per square inch (PSI). This indicates water pressure from the main water supply into your home. If you’re not sure what your PSI reading is, have your plumber check it out before you buy this type of toilet.

Vacuum-Assisted Toilets

Vacuum-assisted toilets use less than the regulated maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush, because they have a separate vacuum tank inside the porcelain outer tank. When you flush, a suction is created that pushes waste water through the drain line.

Dual-Flush Toilets

If you have to flush your toilet more than once to empty the bowl, a dual-flush toilet can help. Most dual-flush toilets are actually pressure-assisted toilets, but they have a lever or button that allows you to do a partial flush first for extra flushing power. Older toilets can be retrofitted with a dual-flush kit by a professional plumber.

Bill Fenwick Plumbing has been serving the Northeast Florida area for 50 years with our unparalleled signature Golden Plunger Service. We have the skill and experience to tackle any plumbing issue you may have. Contact us if you need to repair or replace your toilet, or if you have any other plumbing needs.

There is not much that beats a hot shower in the morning when you’re trying to wake up or at the end of the day when you’re trying to wind down. However, there’s nothing more annoying than stepping into the steam only to find that your shower head is leaking or has weak water pressure.

While some leaky faucets may require a plumber, dealing with your standard leaky shower head is something that you can do on your own. You don’t even need specialty tools or a lot of experience to tackle the job, either. Use this guide to learn more about how to take care of a leaky shower head on your own so you can get back to taking those nice, hot showers in peace.

 

Understanding the Problem

You’re in the shower and you’re watching water drip from the shower head onto the floor before you’ve even touched the faucet. You’ve got a leaky shower head, right? In most cases, this means you’ve actually most likely got a problem with your faucet valve stem or valve cartridge.

The good news is that repairing this issue doesn’t take a team of scientists or even a plumber in many cases.

 

Fixing Your Leak

Repairing a leaky shower head is something you can probably do in an afternoon. Use this step-by-step guide below to help you stop that annoying leak:

 

Step 1: Turn the water supply off. You may be able to control this directly from the bathroom. Some homes require you to turn the entire water supply off. Either way, you’ll need to do this before you get started.

Step 2: Cover the bottom of your shower or tub with a soft towel. This will keep your finish from getting damaged if you drop a tool or create a difficult scuff with your shoes.

Step 3: Check the leak to see which side is the problem if you have a two-valve system. In most cases, the water will be hot if the hot side is the problem.

Step 4: Take the handles or knobs on your shower off. Remove the faceplates and sleeves as well.

Step 5: Unscrew the valve stem or cartridge with an adjustable wrench. Depending on your brand, you may need a specific tool to complete this job.

Step 6: Get a replacement valve stem or cartridge. You can order these online, but most hardware stores will have a suitable replacement you can pick up the same day. You’ll want to replace all related washers and O-rings too.

Step 7: Clean the inside of the faucet area with an equal mixture of plain white vinegar and water with a spray bottle. This will clear mineral deposits that can damage the new valve stem or cartridge you’re installing faster.

Step 8: Put the new valve stem or cartridge in place. Most models require a clockwise turn to secure the new valve stem or cartridge, but not all models are the same.

Step 9: Replace the sleeves, faceplates and faucets. Check to make sure they’re secure.

Step 10: Test the new system by running the water for about 30 seconds. In most cases, your problem will be fixed completely!

Still got a problem with your shower leaking? Reach out to the professionals at Bill Fenwick Plumbing to get the help you need.

Time flies when you are providing excellent service! This year, Bill Fenwick Plumbing celebrates fifty years at our family-owned business! That is five decades of dedication, family, and pride in a job well done.

A lot can change in fifty years. New technologies rise, trends and fashions fall, entire cultures shift to new ways and traditions. What will never change, however, is our commitment to offering Jacksonville an honest, trustworthy, family-owned choice to count on when they encounter plumbing needs. Our plumbing services in Jacksonville, Florida including drain cleaning, gas line repair, garbage disposal installation, water softener repair, and water heater installation.

The Start of Something Great

In 1969, Bill Fenwick Sr. had a growing family and a dream. He established Bill Fenwick Plumbing Inc. and worked out of his home, answering phones with his wife, Beverly. While it was never easy growing a business while bringing up three sons, Bill Fenwick Sr. proved he and his sons had what it took.

The family owned business grew enough to necessitate a move from the home to a warehouse shop in 1970. Over the next seven years, the business truly hit its stride. The next move in 1977 would take it to the offices on Beach Boulevard, where it would remain for 36 years. It didn’t move again until 2013, when it landed on Columbia Park Drive.

The Family Who Plumbs Together, Stays Together

Family has always been one of the pillars that supports Bill Fenwick Plumbing as it grows. The company began in a family home, with three boys to learn the trade as their mother and father laid the foundations for the business. Those family ties have continued through all fifty years of service to the community.

31 years after Bill Fenwick Sr. started taking calls in his home and began his journey as a business owner, he sold the company to his son Bill Fenwick Jr. His brother, George, opted to take on the remodeling division. To do so, he worked to become a certified master in tile setting. His brother, Michael, is a state certified plumbing contractor himself, rounding out a formidable family team with the ability to complete any job right!

A Family Owned Business Legacy

Fifty years have flown by in a blur of pipes, drains, and happy customers! The Bill Fenwick family is looking forward to another fifty years of showing what the power of family can do. In the future, you will find the Fenwick family carrying on the legacy of pride, trustworthy work, and incomparable customer service. We hope you will join the family of customers we welcome into our next fifty years!

Reliable Water Line Repair Services in Jacksonville, Florida

Call Us: (904) 724-2455

Is there water leaking in your home? Schedule a water line repair or installation appointment with our team of professionals

WATER LINE REPAIR

Jacksonville is known for many things – beautiful beaches, great weather, vibrant culture, and entertaining sports to name a few. Yet another widely enjoyed benefit of many Jacksonvillians – lower-than-average gas bills.

However, if you are noticing a spike in the amount of your gas bill, then it may be time to examine some of the few common culprits of this increase.

Examine your bill

When many people look at a bill, their eyes immediately search for the amount owed. But not so fast! Your bill breakdown may have details that can help explain why your gas bill is so high.

First things first: Is it yours? This may seem like a silly question, but the error is more common than you’d think. Check the name, address, and account number to make sure the bill is truly yours.

Next, does your listed consumption roughly match your probable consumption? For example, if your consumption is high but you were away on vacation, then there could be an issue with the meter reading. Also ask yourself if you purchased any new appliances, or if existing appliances are working improperly. These, too, can cause an increase in your bill.

Third, have gas prices changed dramatically? We all know that gas prices fluctuate. If they have significantly increased in price since your last billing cycle, it may affect your bill. Compare base gas prices as well as taxes, usage fees, and overage fees with previous months’ bills. The increase could be due to changes in gas prices or changes in your utility provider’s policies.

How’s the weather?

Jacksonville enjoys its fair share of gorgeous weather. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get a bit chilly. Keep in mind that cooler weather will generally cause a slight increase in your gas bill, but if you want to take evasive action to prevent large increases, a few small changes is all it takes.

First, set your thermostat a degree or two lower than normal and bundle up. This small adjustment can help you save a ton on utilities.

Next, check to see if your weather stripping needs to be replaced. If your home’s ability to hold in heat is compromised, it will put a strain on your whole heating system, driving up energy costs. Your home’s insulation also plays a large role in energy conservation, so make sure that’s squared away as well.

Lastly, check to see if your water heater is set to the highest temperature possible. If it is, adjust it to be set a bit below the highest temperature setting. If they are set higher than necessary, water heaters will continue to burn energy as they try to maintain their high temps, even if no one is using hot water.

Check your habits

Sometimes, the reason for a higher than expected gas bill is you! Everyday tasks and chores, that we give little thought to, can be the reason for higher costs. Extra long showers? Running the dishwasher even though it isn’t full? Doing laundry constantly even if the clothes aren’t really dirty? Wasteful habits like these will quickly drive up costs.

Check for leaks

In some cases, high gas bills can be attributed to a leak. If you smell gas, call your utility provider immediately, as a leak can pose a major threat to you and your family. Some leaks, however, may not be noticeable by smell; unusually high gas bills may be the only indicator.

Call the professionals

What happens if you have addressed all of the above and still can’t figure out why your gas bill is high? Then it’s time to call in the professionals.

Bill Fenwick Plumbing has the experience and know-how to address high gas costs associated with gas piping or plumbing. Contact Bill Fenwick Plumbing today, and say goodbye to those high gas bills.

One of life’s little frustrations is running out of hot water while you are in the shower. Sometimes it is just a temporary setback attributed to someone turning on hot water elsewhere in your home. However, if you are constantly trying to beat the clock before you run out of hot water, your water heater might need maintenance or replacement. Some of the most common reasons you might be running out of hot water include:

Temperature is Set Too Low

The simplest reason you may be running out of hot water quickly is that the temperature on your water heater might be set too low. Do not set the temperature higher that 120 degrees because a higher temperature could cause burns from scalding water, especially to young children and elderly adults. If the temperature is set at 120 degrees and the water is not hot enough or runs out quickly, you can rule out that the temperature is set too low.

Sediment Build-Up in Tank

Water, especially well water, contains various minerals. Just like your shower or plumbing fixtures can show signs of scale buildup, the inside of your water heater tank can also be affected. If your water heater tank contains sediment, the amount of space left for water to be heated is reduced. This means you will run out of hot water faster. Flushing sediment from your water heater tank is a part of regular maintenance that should be done at least once a year, or more often as needed.

Part Replacements Needed

If you have an older water heater, there are multiple parts that might be causing your lack of hot water, including a broken dip tube, heating element, gas valve or thermostat. It is common for these parts to wear out and they are often replaced as a part of regular water heater maintenance. However, depending the age of your water heater, or especially if cracks or rust are found in its tank, it might be time to consider replacing it.

Water Heater Cannot Keep Up with Demand

The final most common reason for running out of hot water could be that your water heater can no longer keep up with your family’s need for hot water. This could be because it is over 10 years old and not as efficient with heating water as a newer model, or its tank is simply too small. Upgrading to a new water heater with a larger tank, or even better, a tankless water heater that supplies on-demand hot water may be your best bet.

Tired of running out of hot water in the shower? Call Bill Fenwick Plumbing at (904) 724-2455 to schedule maintenance or repairs to your home’s water heater, or to learn more about the benefits of replacing it with a tankless water heater.

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