Among National COVID-19 Threats, We’re Still Here for Our Customers

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During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and “Stay-At-Home” order, we acknowledge that your plumbing and sewer problems can still unexpectedly creep up. At this time, we will remain open full-time and will continue to service our customers with emergency service available 7 Days a Week. We are considered an “Essential Business” that provides services that are necessary for maintaining the habitability, sanitation, and operation of residences and other essential businesses at this time. Here are the measures we’ve put in place to ensure the well-being of our customers, employees, and communities we serve:

  1. All Bieg Plumbing employees are not allowed to come to work if they are sick, feel they may be becoming sick, or anyone in their home is sick. There is no exception to this rule. Our managers and job supervisors are checking in daily with their teams to ensure compliance.
  2. Our CSRs and Dispatchers continue to screen every call prior to sending Technicians to a customer’s home or business to ensure the safety of all of our customers and technicians.
  3. Bieg technicians are frequently disinfecting and wiping down the interior of their vehicles, as well as all equipment that is being taken into your home or business. All high traffic areas in our office – bathrooms, kitchens, doors, work stations – are being disinfected frequently. Our office is well stocked with all the proper disinfecting supplies.
  4. Our technicians will do their best to maintain a 6-foot distance where possible.
  5. Bieg employees will avoid making physical contact with our customers as much as possible, including handshakes or even elbow bumps. If any paper forms have to be signed, they will be handled with gloves and, we will ask customers to sign with their own writing devices. As an option, payment can also be submitted by calling the office.
  6. Our office is closed to the public, including to delivery drivers. All deliveries are being received outside the office or warehouse, and proper 6’ distancing is being followed. All Bieg employees who enter our offices are required to properly wash or sanitize their hands. We are also limiting face to face interaction between our office team members and field team members. Our technicians already work in isolation for the most part of the day and are not exposed to large groups during work. 
  7. All Bieg Plumbing’s field personnel are being provided the following Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): masks(when available), gloves, shoe booties and disinfecting supplies. We will always wear our PPE when entering your property and perform a full clean up and wipe down of the jobsite at the end of each job.

The aforementioned measures are necessary to keep all of us safe. By following these guidelines we can continue serving the public safely and effectively. If you feel that any Bieg employees aren’t following these guidelines, please contact us right away.

We are continuously monitoring the situation and are actively assessing the necessary actions to be taken to ensure the continued safety of our customers, employees, and their families. 

When faced with a plumbing emergency, don’t delay. We are here for you 24 hours, 7 days a week!
Plumbing problem got you stuck? Call in the red truck!

Bieg Plumbing Earns 2019 Angie’s List Super Service Award

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Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

 St. Louis, MO, January 14, 2020 – Bieg Plumbing Company, Inc. is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2019.

“Service pros that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award represent the best in our network, who are consistently making great customer service their mission,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros have provided exceptional service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2019 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List and undergo additional screening.

“Our team is very committed in making sure our clients are 100% satisfied at the end of every project and earning this award makes it feel like all the work was worth it!” – Paul Mutuura, Marketing Director for Bieg Plumbing.

Bieg Plumbing has been listed on Angie’s List since 2003. This is the 4th consecutive year Bieg Plumbing has received this honor.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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Looking for a plumber you can trust? Call Bieg Plumbing at (314) 487-4564. Serving the St. Louis area for 60 years!

 

Why Does My Shower’s Hot Water Run Out So Fast?

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Belting out your favorite song while enjoying a warm, relaxing shower is one of life’s simple pleasures. However, your me-time is ruined when you run out of hot water. If you find yourself unable to get through a shower without the water turning ice-cold, one of these problems might be the reason why:

Top 7 reasons why you’re running out of hot water too quickly:

  • Faulty dip tube. Dip tubes push incoming cold water to the bottom of your hot water tank to be heated. If it has worn out or is otherwise defective, the cold water mixes with the heated water at the top of the tank. This decreases the overall temperature of the water that’s going to be sent to your shower.
  • Broken heating element. The lower heating element of your water heater could be malfunctioning. If the dip tube is pushing cold water to the bottom of the tank and the lower heating element isn’t working correctly, you’re left with cold water at the tap.
  • Sediment buildup. Water leaves behind minerals. These can build up in your tank and, over time, take up space where hot water would normally be. If the tank hasn’t been flushed in years, the sediment will be considerable, and you won’t be able to get hot water for very long.
  • Defective thermostat. If your water is lukewarm and you have no idea why it might be your water heater’s thermostat. First, reset it and see whether the problem is fixed. If not, try turning up the temperature to 140 degrees maximum. Do not go over this temperature, as it could scald you.
  • Multiple appliances running at once. Don’t take a shower if you’ve got the dishwasher or washing machine going as well. All of these appliances will fight for the hot water and drain it quickly.
  • Small water heater. Has your household grown in size? Or, have you moved into a place with a water heater that’s too small for your family’s needs? A 30-gallon water heater isn’t going to sufficiently supply a five-person household. Consider upgrading. Also, if you use lots of hot water, a tankless water heater might be the best option.
  • Old water heater. On average, water heaters will last you approximately 8-12 years. If you’re reaching the end of that range, or are unaware of how old the heater is, you may be due for a replacement.

If you’ve tried some simple fixes and still aren’t getting hot water, we recommend calling a plumber to take a look. Bieg Plumbing has served the St. Louis community for 60 years and is one of the most trusted names in the business. Our plumbers can flush your tank, repair or replace your heating unit to restore your hot showers and your relaxation time. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Cold showers got you stuck? Call in the red truck!

5 Common Reasons For Black Specks in Water

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Nothing beats a cold glass of fresh, clear water. But when you reach for your cup and see that the water is filled with tiny black specks, it’s concerning. Although these specks might be harmless to consume, they still quite unappealing and could signal a major issue with your plumbing.

5 reasons why you could be seeing specks in your water:

  • Pipe corrosion. If your home has aging metal pipes, the specks may come from corrosion. Rust or other metallic pieces can break off from the interior of the pipes and be sent up through your taps. This will likely occur only for cold water taps and is more prevalent after a period of rest for your pipes. You may need pipe repair or replacement, depending on the level of damage. Either way, get them looked at promptly to prevent major leaks from occurring.
  • Excess minerals. Iron and manganese are common minerals that show up in trace amounts in residential water supplies. Although typically not found in dangerous levels, it still results in unsightly black specks. Excess minerals could be coming from the municipal water supply, which can only be corrected by your local government. Have a plumber out to the home to test the water and pinpoint the problem.
  • Old water filters. Many residential water filters use a system called Granular Activated Carbon (GAC). GAC filters use the element carbon to scrub the water of impurities. As they get older, they begin to break down and you will find small flecks of carbon in your water. Simply have your filter replaced regularly to avoid this issue. Small, tap-based systems can easily have their filters replaced without professional help. If you have a larger system and are uncomfortable working with the filtration device, a professional will be able to take care of it without worries.
  • Corroded water heater. Your water heater has components that can corrode and end up in your water. If you notice black specks only when using the hot water tap, you can be pretty sure the water heater is the culprit. This can also mean that your heater is at the end of its life. The fix is to replace your water heater as soon as possible. Unless you’re experienced, water heater replacement can be dangerous, so go with a professional installer.
  • Broken parts. Are the black specks rubbery? It could mean that a rubber gasket or supply hose in your piping system has been damaged. Leaks can result in thousands of dollars in damage when not caught soon enough. Have a plumber inspect your system immediately to locate the problem and fix it.

Bieg Plumbing has the solution

If you notice black specks in your water, contact Bieg Plumbing. Bieg’s master plumbers have the experience to diagnose issues and fix them properly. Bieg Plumbing has served the St. Louis area for 60 years and is one of the region’s most trusted service providers.

Black specs got you saying, “Yuck!” Time to call the red truck!

What Happens if Your Water Pressure is Too High?

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High water pressure might feel nice when you’re taking a refreshing shower, but if it is too high, it can have harmful consequences. Your water bill will be higher than it otherwise would, ironically drying out your wallet. Even more importantly, it could do serious damage to your plumbing system. This can mean leaks, water damage, shortened life spans for water heaters and more. We’ll go into what causes high water pressure, common signs of it and how to fix it.

Causes of high water pressure

Most of the time, high water pressure isn’t the homeowner’s fault. For example, living close to a fire hydrant can result in higher water pressure. Usually, however, it has to do with your municipal water supply. It has to supply water to a vast area and therefore it pumps water throughout the city at higher pressures than what you want coming into your home. It’s recommended to keep your home’s water pressure between 40 and 60 PSI (pounds per square inch). It should never exceed 60 PSI, or significant damage can occur to your pipes, faucets, and appliances.

Signs of high water pressure

There are a few common signs of high water pressure you should watch for, including:

  • Noticeably high pressure. This is the easiest to spot, although if you’re used to the high pressure, you may not think about it. If water pelts you when you are taking a shower or it feels like a mini-explosion every time you turn on a faucet, you probably have high pressure.
  • Loud banging in the pipes. If you’ve been hearing loud noises in your pipes for a while, don’t ignore it. This is also known as “water hammer” and it occurs when the water pressure is too high.
  • Leaky faucets. Do your faucets leak when you use certain plumbing fixtures? Do the fixtures rattle around during use? High water pressure could be the issue.
  • Running toilets. Although rare, if your toilets suddenly start running constantly, high pressure is probably to blame.

What to do when you notice high water pressure

To check your water pressure, you’ll need to attach a pressure gauge to the faucet closest to your water meter. When it’s obvious you have a pressure problem, the fix is usually to install a simple pressure-reducing valve, usually installed near your shut-off valve. This limits your water pressure to a certain range and takes the load off of your plumbing system. If your home was built after 2002, a PRV may already be installed, since that was the year it became required on all new homes. However, a typical PRV’s lifespan is about 7 to 12 years. 

We recommend having your new pressure-reducing valve installed by a trained professional, such as one of our master plumbers. Bieg Plumbing has served the St. Louis area for 60 years. Over that time, we’ve seen it all, so don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an inspection. We’ll find the problem and fix it promptly.

Plumbing problem got you stuck? Call in the red truck!

How A Thaw Out Can Cause Plumbing Problems

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In the middle of the winter, hearing that you’re in for a warm spell can be a relief. However, many homeowners and property managers are unaware that thaw-outs can actually mean disaster for their plumbing systems and water pipes.

When water is frozen inside a pipe, it expands dramatically. That’s not a problem while the water remains frozen, but it becomes dangerous as temperatures rise and pipes begin to thaw. As the ice melts inside the pipes, the expanded volume of that ice-water puts immense pressure on pipes. In fact, previously frozen water can put up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on pipes. That’s enough to rupture all but large, industrial-grade water pipes, and even those aren’t safe.

Ruptured pipes can cause significant internal damage to your home. Understanding how a thaw-out can cause plumbing problems – and how to prevent them – is a must for any homeowner.

Where the problem starts – frozen pipes

Pipes may burst when the weather gets warmer, but the problem starts with frozen pipes. If your pipes don’t freeze during the winter, you have nothing to worry about because your pipes won’t need to thaw. Learning how to identify a frozen pipe can help you prepare for a thaw-out and reduce the likelihood of burst pipes. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Your faucet’s water pressure is low, inconsistent or stops completely – the most common sign of a frozen pipe.
  • Your water is discolored.
  • Your pipes make unusual noises when you turn the water on.

Thaw-outs typically only burst pipes when the pipes heat up too quickly. If pipes are thawed gradually and frozen water trapped inside escapes slowly, it won’t put enough pressure on the pipes to burst them. Understanding how to properly thaw a pipe ahead of time can save your plumbing system when temperatures start to rise.

How to properly thaw a pipe

Fortunately, thawing a frozen water pipe is usually a fairly simple process. Thawing an exposed water pipe will be different than thawing a pipe that’s enclosed in a wall. Here’s how to thaw an exposed water pipe:

  • Use a hairdryer. Simply turn it on and blow warm air along the length of the pipe. If you don’t have a hairdryer, draping hot towels along the length of the pipe can also thaw it out.
  • Place a space heater or infrared/incandescent heat lamp near the pipe.
  • Run electrical heating tape along the pipe. You can buy heat tape from most hardware stores. Simply wrap it around the pipe and plug it in.

Here’s how to thaw an enclosed pipe:

  • Turn up the heat in your house. Open cabinets to help the heat reach the walls. Then, you just have to wait.
  • If you know exactly where the frozen pipe is, turn up the heat and point an infrared lamp at that section of the wall. This should speed up the thawing process.

To prevent frozen pipes and thaw-out problems altogether, we suggest leaving your faucets running at a drip on cold nights. We also suggest opening cabinets and drawers to allow heat to reach walls more easily.

Bieg Plumbing has been providing clients with high-quality plumbing services for over 60 years. To learn more about how we can help you thaw-proof your home, contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you.

Frozen pipes got you stuck? Call in the red truck!

What Should I Do if My Water Heater is Leaking?

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Sometimes, a leaking water heater is subtle, with water pooling at the bottom. Other times, the leak can be so significant that you’ll have no choice but to deal with it immediately. Regardless, you should understand the possible causes of water heater leaks and what you can do about them to ensure they don’t become a huge hassle.

What to do when you find a leak

If the leak is small, wipe up the standing water with a towel and check back in a few hours. If there’s no more standing water, it could mean it was an isolated issue. Just keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

If it’s a major leak or the water has returned when you check back, follow these steps:

  • Shut off the water. Most homes have a valve near the water heater that can be closed to prevent water from entering the tank. If you do not have one of these valves, or it is inaccessible, you can also use your property’s main shut off valve to cut water to the entire house. This stops the leak in its tracks. If you need to pinpoint the leak, you can have someone turn it back on while you look for it.
  • Shut off the power. Whether you have an electric or gas water heater, you don’t want to be messing around with either power supply. For an electric heater, simply go to your circuit breaker and shut off the one powering it. If you have a gas heater, most have a switch near the bottom that can be turned off to cut the gas.You can also close the gas valve leading into the heater, but these can be damaged through use, so be careful. If you have any reservations or are inexperienced in these matters, we always recommend having a  licensed plumber inspect it.
  • Locate the leak. There are many areas where leaks can occur.

Make sure to check common trouble spots:

  • Inlet and outlet connections. Your cold water inlet and hot water outlet are located at the top of the unit where the pipes connect to it. If the leaks are happening here, you may be able to fix the problem by tightening the fittings with a wrench.
  • Temperature and pressure relief valve. This valve can be located at the top or front of the heater and is designed to relieve pressure when it gets too high. If your heater has to chronically release pressure, this valve can be overused and damaged.Ensure you don’t have the temperature too high. The United States Department of Energy recommends setting the water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Tanks. Tanks commonly leak from the bottom. So if you notice water pooling there on more than one occasion, it might be the problem. You may have to fully replace the unit once the tank begins to leak.
  • Drain valve. The drain valve is located near the bottom of the tank and is used when flushing your tank. Double-check to see if it’s completely closed. If not, close it and you should stop the leak.

Once you know where the leak is, you should call a plumbing professional to either repair or replace. Bieg Plumbing has been dealing with water heater repairs and replacements for nearly 60 years. We’re the name you can trust for all of your plumbing needs in the St. Louis area. Contact Bieg to schedule an inspection or consultation. 

Got a bad leak? No need for luck. Just call in the red truck!

7 Things To Do If A Frozen Pipe Bursts In Your Property

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Frozen pipes are more likely to burst during the winter because the pressure frozen water puts on pipes when it expands. Unfortunately for homeowners, frozen pipes can cause significant structural damage if they burst.

How to combat burst and leaking frozen pipes

If you think frozen pipes on your property have burst, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Shut off the water in your house.
  2. Once the water is shut off, turn your faucets on. This should vent most of the excess water trapped in the frozen pipes and decrease the pressure on the pipes.
  3. Call a plumber. Nobody will be able to handle a burst pipe better than someone who specializes in fixing them.
  4. Locate the leaking or burst pipe. If the pipe is in the wall, this should be reasonably easy. If you’ve been experiencing irregular or no water pressure from a faucet, the damaged frozen pipes are probably connected to that faucet.
  5. Be aware that flooding may occur if the frozen pipes are located in the floor. Take precautions and place valuables or furniture that can be damaged by water above floor-level. If the frozen pipes are located in the wall, avoid using electrical outlets situated on that wall and unplug devices currently connected to that wall.
  6. If you know where the damaged frozen pipes are located and can get to them quickly, try to repair them using a garden hose and clamps. Find a garden hose large enough to wrap around the pipe(s). Cut a section of the hose around 10 inches longer than the leak or hole in the pipe. Place the hose around the damaged section of the pipe and use clamps to tighten it.
    Note: this is a temporary repair method. It will only stop the material surrounding the pipe from being damaged. However, you should still have a certified plumber replace or repair the pipe.
  7. Finally,  record the damage and call your insurer if you think you may need to file a claim.

What to expect from a leaking or burst pipe

At this point, you may be wondering what to expect from burst frozen pipes on your property. The damage a leaking or burst pipe causes mostly depends on where the pipe is located:

  • If frozen pipes are located in the wall, insulation will probably be saturated. As a result, untreated pipe leaks in walls often lead to mold. Electricity may also short-circuit, increasing the risk of a fire due to sparks. If the leak is big enough, the wall may buckle or sag due to decreased stability.
  • If frozen pipes are located in the floor, flooding will probably occur. Depending on the floor material, structural damage will also take place. Wood may start to rot or become moldy, while linoleum or tile floors may crack and also develop mold.

If you’re worried about frozen pipes on your property, Bieg Plumbing can help. Bieg Plumbing has been providing clients with cutting-edge plumbing services for more than 60 years. To learn more, fill out Bieg’s contact form. We look forward to speaking with you.

How To Winterize Your Backflow Device

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Your backflow prevention device guards your drinking water against contaminants. Cold weather can cause problems for this critical system unless you take steps to winterize your backflow preventer device. We will tell you the most important things to do to protect your family’s clean water.

Contamination risks

Contaminants like lawn fertilizer, industrial chemicals, common household cleaners, animal waste, and sewage are normally kept out of pipes that carry drinking, or potable, water. If a drop in pressure occurs in the pipes that carry non-potable water, these contaminants can be pulled into potable water pipes. Homes that have lawn irrigation systems, boiler heaters, inground pools, dishwashers or washing machines are all at risk for backflow contamination.

Types of backflow prevention assemblies

A backflow prevention device works by simply resisting the pressure of an impure fluid. Missouri only allows three types of backflow device assemblies:

  • Double-Check (DC)
  • Air-gap assemblies
  • Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) assemblies\

In a high-pressure configuration, such as in a commercial building, the backflow device will either be a DC or an RPZ assembly.

Regardless of the type, if water freezes inside the backflow device, it can rupture pipes, causing extensive damage. Even if the pipes simply get bent out of alignment, the device will no longer function properly. This will require replacing the entire device at a significant cost.

If your backflow device is either DC or RPZ, you will not be able to drain water from the system without causing damage. Winterizing it will generally be done by clearing the relief valve so that the water can drain periodically and insulating the pipes to keep them from freezing.

A few minutes now, or a big pain later

Winterizing your backflow prevention device is quick, simple and inexpensive. We recommend inspecting and preparing your device for winter. If you are not comfortable doing this, you should have a licensed professional winterize it so that all the water is removed. We would love to not only winterize, but also test your backflow system. After all, backflow testing is mandated by the EPA and can only be performed by certified professionals like us.

We’ve been keeping pipes flowing in the greater St. Louis area for 60 years, regardless of the season. Keep your water clean and fresh by contacting us today.

Bieg Plumbing 2nd Annual Clothing Drive

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We are excited to announce that Bieg Plumbing will once again be partnering with the Santa’s Helpers to bring Holiday cheer to our local community!  Last year with the help of our employees we were able to provide much-needed clothes to Santa’s Helpers that serve underprivileged children and their family members. This year we are expanding the Clothing Drive to our customers and community so that we can donate even more!!

Since 1968, Santa’s Helpers has touched the lives of over 2,700 children and their families every holiday season by purchasing, wrapping and delivering gifts for Christmas and Hanukkah to deserving children whose names are provided by local schools and social service agencies. Santa’s Helpers, Inc. is a 100% volunteer-based non-profit organization with virtually zero overhead expense – even the warehouse space is donated – so they are able to focus all of their resources on serving St. Louis’s under-resourced and seriously ill children and their families. From December 3rd through the 24th, Bieg Plumbing will waive half of your $50 trip fee if you donate to this great cause!

How to Donate

Give your technician an unwrapped qualifying donation item at the end of the job and our office will waive $25 off your trip fee.  You can also bring your donation items into our office at 2015 Lemay Ferry Rd, St. Louis, MO 63125 and we will give you a $25 coupon for your next service call, redeemable at any time!  That way no one misses out on giving back to our local community or a good deal on plumbing services!

What to Donate

Clothing items should be new, packaged and unwrapped for children all ages.  However, they are specifically in need of children’s (3-18) socks, underwear, winter hats, gloves, scarves, coats (‘like new’ if cleaned and washed), stuffed animals and batteries (9V & AA – Duracell/Energizer).

Where do the donations go?

The donations are taken to the Santa’s Helper’s warehouse where the gifts get sorted by family and bundled into large black trash bags, which are stacked in the warehouse awaiting volunteer Santas to hand them out on Christmas Day.

Santa’s Helpers are always looking for assistance in their warehouse. Throughout the year they will meet at the warehouse to do inventory, stock shelves, clean and organize and package up gifts for the Santa’s to deliver during the holiday. If you would like to talk to someone about volunteering or monetary donations, visit their site or call (314) 647-1800.

 

Together we can make a difference!