Around the house plumbing tips when selling your house (part one)

Garbage Disposal- Plumber Services in Philadelphia

If you’re considering selling your Philadelphia area home there are quite a few things that come to mind: curb appeal with landscaping, entry door, flooring, kitchen and bathroom presentation and more… however, a huge factor for many homebuyers in the Philadelphia area is the condition of the plumbing and fixtures. These little things can be the deciding factor for a homebuyer as they sometimes tell the tale on how well the home has been maintained.

iFixdit, LLC often gets calls from realtors wanting to address these items to offer the best chance of resale for their clients. We would like to list a few of the most popular things that we have found that potential home buyers and inspectors look for when dealing with the plumbing of your Philadelphia home.

Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

If you have an avocado green kitchen sink from 1970, replace that first; seriously. Nothing turns off a potential home buyer than seeing a 45-year-old fixture; after all they want to buy a house, not a museum. Home inspectors and potential buyers look at the overall appearance of the sink to see if there’s any signs of dis-repair that might need to be addressed such as:

  • Hard water deposits on the faucet
  • Functionality of the faucet
  • Dated appearance of the faucet
  • Make sure the soap dispenser or retractable spray hose are in good working order
  • Slime or hard water build up around the pipes
  • Cabinet or floor deterioration or discoloration due to leaks
  • Kinks in copper lines

Make sure to look closely at the area around the sink as well. If there are any cracks or chips, discoloration or deterioration of the seal be sure to replace these items. Keep in mind that you’re not looking to renovate the home just make sure that everything is clean, functional and looks good for both the potential buyer and the inspector.

NOTE: Don’t forget the dishwasher, garbage disposal and refrigerator as these also are scrutinized by potential home buyers and inspectors.

The dishwasher: make sure all the parts including the basket and wheels are there, make sure the screen at the bottom is clean (it can get pretty nasty), make sure your dishwasher is equipped with an air gap (required for home inspectors)

The garbage disposal: make sure it’s clean and operating properly with no excessive noise. You might consider running a sanitizer through it to reduce any unwanted smells.

The refrigerator: make sure all the components are functional and clean, make sure that the icemaker (if equipped) is working properly and make sure there’s no leaks from the water supply (usually a thin plastic tube or copper line that can get kinked easily.

Call IFixdit, LLC Today – (267) 979-4517

Bathroom Sink - Plumber Services in PhiladelphiaWhen You Think Plumbing, Think Bathroom

When it comes to a potential home buyer the bathroom for your Philadelphia home might as well be next to the front door. It is literally the first place that they look to get an idea about how well the home is been maintained. Cleanliness can only go so far, if you have outdated fixtures such as the sink, toilet, shower, cabinets and faucets, it will immediately set the tone for the rest of the house.

Realtors will tell you it doesn’t matter if you have a three car garage with a movie theater and a bowling alley… If your bathroom isn’t up to scrutiny, it makes it extremely difficult to sell.

Like the kitchen -there are some basic things that you should look at:

  • Hard water deposits on the faucet (sink, inside the toilet and shower)
  • Functionality of the faucets (if you have a showerhead with multiple positions, make sure they all work)
  • Dated appearance of the faucet (don’t go cheap with the plastic here, get good quality)
  • Slime or hard water build up around the pipes
  • Cabinet or floor deterioration or discoloration due to leaks
  • Kinks in copper lines (make sure to check the lines leading to the toilet)

Caulking: One thing that is more common to be seen in the bathroom than the kitchen is caulking. If not done properly the caulking can be an eyesore, no matter how nice the bathroom fixtures are. Depending on the age and type caulking can retain black mold and dirt, not to mention that if it was not properly applied, be an eyesore as well. Because the bathroom is such an important part of sale perspective of your Philadelphia home you might consider having a professional plumber or contractor completely remove all of the visible caulking and replace it with either caulking or molding strips.

NOTE: Whether it is for the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room or yard plumbing be sure to have shut off valves for each independent line. This is a factor for many inspectors as well as a nice perk for a realtor to point out.

When Experience Matters

iFixdit, LLC Plumbing and Drain service is a master certified plumber providing plumbing services to the Philadelphia area. Our years of experience in the plumbing industry has taught us that having a business that is successful means more than just being a good plumber, but it takes being a good company as well. Customer service and integrity are the first standards to establish a quality craftsmanship and long-term relationship with the great residents of Philadelphia. When experience matters, be sure to contact iFixdit, LLC… your hometown professional plumbing service.

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Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Water in Glass - Plumbing Service PhiladelphiaIn parts of the Philadelphia area it’s not uncommon to see issues with hard water deposits. In a previous article we looked at how these deposits can build up in the shower and sink faucets causing a decrease in water pressure; in this article we’ll look at where these deposits are coming from.

Hard Water and Soft Water

You may have heard the terms: hard water and soft water. These terms are used to describe mineral content for the water in your Philadelphia home. These minerals are usually lime, calcium and magnesium and occur naturally in tap water, depending on where the water is coming from. The more of these minerals, the harder the water. According to the United States Geological Survey there are four categories of hard water classifications:

  • Soft Water – water that contains less than 61 mg/L of mineral deposits
  • Moderately Hard Water – water that contains 61 through 120 mg/L of mineral deposits
  • Hard Water – water that contains 120 through one 80 mg/L of mineral deposits
  • Very Hard Water – water that contains over 180 mg/L of mineral deposits

According to the United States Department of Energy at least 75% of American homes utilize water that is classified as moderately hard water or higher.

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Washing Hands - Plumbing Repair Service in PhiladelphiaThe Hard Water Test

Often times you can determine whether you have hard or soft water simply by drinking the water (don’t worry, hard water is not harmful, it’s actually quite natural). However, a better test is the soap test. Soap, for the most part, is made out of sodium stearate; which when combined with water bonds to dirt particles and makes them easier to be removed.

With hard water the soap reacts with the hard water minerals making an in-soluble compound. (Doesn’t dissolve easily with water). This is why you can’t get a really good lather with hard water and also why it leaves behind those famous hard water deposits.

Where does hard water come from?

When you turn on your faucet the water coming from your tap is retrieved from a repository that either stores or stores and filters water for municipal use. Depending on the area that you live in within Philadelphia, the water treatment process can vary. To get to the water repository it had to flow through layers of rocks where it naturally picks up the different mineral deposits.

The mineral content can vary because of evaporation and collection from rainwater through nature’s natural process of purification.

What are the most noticeable results of hard water?

Hard water can be blamed for a variety of household issues such as the lack of ability for soap to do its job described above, but there’s more. Hard water deposits can also build up as a film on dishes and glassware making them spot and streak regardless of the soap used. Sometimes dishwashers get a bad rap for not doing a good job when it’s actually the hard water interfering with the soaps process to cling to the dirt and wash it away. Bathtubs and sinks can develop a hard water ring and a noticeable line build up can be seen on glass shower doors. Hard water deposits can also build up with in the pipes themselves and over time cause a restriction in the flow of water decreasing water pressure.

Philadelphia Sink - Plumbing Repair Service in PhiladelphiaWhat can I do about hard water in my Philadelphia home?

First, get your water tested. There are three municipal water systems in the Philadelphia area that filter and treat the water. Depending on how long the water sits in the system it can fluctuate the amount of minerals within the water, so don’t rely on a single test. Many “at home” testing kits are available averaging from $12-$30 from home-improvement stores.

Next, weigh the costs. While Philadelphia is listed as an area with moderately hard water, the level of aggravation and occasional extra cleaning may not justify the costs of water softening treatment equipment that starts at $400 and can easily go into the thousands of dollars.

Trust your Local Philadelphia Professional Plumber

For years Philadelphia residents have trusted iFixdit, LLC for all their master plumbing service needs. Whether your needing plumbing repairs, plumbing upgrades, drain repair or fixture replacements; we are available 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help. Give us a call today and find out the difference that using a locally owned and operated professional plumbing company can make.

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