Maintaining Drains On A Busy Commercial Property

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If you own a busy commercial property, you need to ensure that your drains are working properly often. A bad clog resulting in a major leak or drain inaccessibility is a big problem for residential properties, but it could mean many thousands of dollars worth of damage for a commercial property.

Types of commercial properties that could be especially affected

  • Restaurants. Businesses that rely on food preparation are the most affected by drain problems. Clogs and plumbing issues are very common, as food particles and grease can be improperly disposed of down the drains. Also, with constant customer traffic comes constant trips to the bathroom. If someone flushes the wrong items down the toilet, major issues can occur.
  • Professional office space. In large offices with many tenants, there are ample opportunities for disaster. There could be kitchen-type areas in the office, and if there are a significant number of employees, the bathrooms will be in use all day, every day.

Common problems

  • These are the most common of all drain problems. They could be caused by the improper disposal of grease, food, toilet paper and other kinds of trash.
  • Leaks or burst pipes. Leaks and burst pipes can have many causes. These range from large, untreated clogs or the use of improper drain-cleaning chemicals, to simple old age.

If you notice any of these problems, you should have it inspected by a qualified plumber as soon as possible. Time is money, both in lost business opportunity and potential property damage. These are expenses you can avoid and prevent.

Plumbing professionals have tools at their disposal that can quickly take care of problems, such as plumbing snakes, pipe water jetting, high-pressure cleanings and industrial cleaning solutions that won’t damage the pipes.

Preventative care

If you can prevent issues rather than having to deal with them after they pop up, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress. Consider the following preventative measures:

  • Proper waste removal training. If you’re the owner of a restaurant, make sure that all of your employees are trained to not put any solid food waste or grease down the drains. Have grease containers handy at all times. Have workers scrape dishes clean before washing. If you’re the owner of office space, post up informational sheets in the bathrooms and kitchenettes going over what can and cannot be put down the drains or flushed down the toilets. Obviously, this can’t completely prevent all people from doing the wrong thing, but it can certainly make a difference.
  • Provide the correct materials. Since many drain chemicals will damage pipes and cause more problems than they solve, ensure that your property has the correct degreasing solutions readily available (ask a plumber if you have any questions about this). Also, provide things such as screens to be installed over kitchen drains so that even if an employee attempts to let food particles go down the drain, they’ll be caught.
  • Occasional hydro jetting. Hydro jetting is a service we offer that will completely clean out your pipes. We use high-pressure water to clear out clogs, grease or other materials that have built up on the walls of your plumbing. This is especially helpful for businesses such as restaurants, where pipes are much more susceptible to gunk buildup.
  • Camera inspections. If you notice a potential issue with your pipes, consider having a camera inspection A high-definition camera will be snaked through the plumbing, and any problems can be quickly diagnosed and dealt with without having to dig up anything. This saves money and can get issues fixed before they turn into major headaches.

If you’re ever in a tough spot, or just need some help assessing your commercial property’s plumbing needs, contact the professionals at Bieg Plumbing today. We have served the St. Louis area for over 60 years and have the expertise to diagnose issues and provide immediate solutions.

When you’re out of luck, call in the red truck!

Is Your Sump Pump Ready For Spring?

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Now that spring is in full effect and we’re receiving our fair share of rain showers, you should make sure that your sump pump is entirely operational. If you simply assume it’s working properly, you could be in for a serious and potentially costly situation.

Here is a quick Bieg Plumbing sump pump checklist. If it passes the test, you should be more than ready for the next thunderstorm.

Sump Pump Checklist:

  • Does the float rise? Sump pumps use a float mechanism to sense whether or not it should begin pumping water. The float mechanism is engaged when water reaches a certain level. To check to see if it is working, dump a few gallons of water into your sump pump’s pit and see if it fires up. If nothing happens, you will need to have a plumber inspect your system.
  • Is the screen clean? There is a screen located near the bottom of your pump that lets water flow. There could be gunk and other debris clogging this screen, restricting water flow. If you notice this, simply clean the screen and you should be good to go.
  • Does the check valve swing freely? The piping from the top of the sump pump has a check valve, which should swing freely without much force needed. If it’s jammed or otherwise not working correctly, you will likely need a replacement.
  • Has the circuit been tripped? Your pump should be connected to a power outlet that has a test function. If you find that it doesn’t seem like there is any power getting to the machine, check the outlet and reset it if necessary. Once reset, test the pump again by pouring water in the pit. It should now kick on and work as it should.
  • Do you have a battery back-up system? Another option, if you’d like to be safe for when the power is out, is to purchase a sump pump with a battery backup system. This helps for when a particularly nasty thunderstorm has both knocked out power and is flooding the basement. In these units, the batteries can sustain the pump during power outages for up to 10 hours. This could save you from severe damage. If you already have one of these systems, make sure to top off their batteries with distilled water this spring!

If you go through this checklist and still find that there is an issue, your unit could be suffering from serious mechanical failure. If you suspect mechanism failure, have a certified plumber inspect or replace it immediately. Trust us, you don’t want much downtime when it comes to your sump pump.

Now that you know what to look for, we’re sure that you’ll be able to spot any issues your sump pump might have before it is too late. If you need a pump installed or inspected, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals here at Bieg Plumbing.

We have been serving the St. Louis area for nearly 60 years and are synonymous with quality. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

When your pipes are down on their luck, call in the red truck!

Resources:

4 Signs You Need To Replace Your Sump Pump

Find out here how the new line of PHCC Pro Series pair of Combination systems gives you total peace of mind!

 

4 Signs You Need To Replace Your Sump Pump

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If you’ve had any experience with basement flooding, you know how important a working sump pump is. Keeping the pump in good condition is essential if you’ve got problems with water and moisture in the basement.

The most obvious indicator of a failed sump pump is a flooded basement, but there are several warning signs along the way that should save you from such a disaster if you know what to look and listen for.

Here are the common key reasons you may need to replace your sump pump:

Old age. Sump pumps don’t last forever, and life expectancy isn’t better than 10 years of age. If you’ve got a questionable pump and it’s around seven years or more, you may want to just replace it.

Strange noises. Of course, the sump pump will make some noise, but if it makes more noise than usual or makes a much louder noise, there may be something wrong with the motor. Any rattling, grinding or otherwise abnormal sounds may also be cause for concern.

Running too long. A sump pump running too long is a common problem, and there are several reasons why this can be happening:

  • Stuck pump switch. Check to make sure the float switch hasn’t gotten clogged or tangled.
  • Wrong size pump. If the sump pump isn’t the right size, it can take much longer than necessary to clear the water. If you notice this is the case, have a plumbing professional determine the right capacity for a replacement pump.
  • Missing check valve. A check valve ensures that the water flow is outside of the home and not back into the pit. If the valve is damaged or gone, water will flow back into the pit, and this will cause the pump to run.
  • Constant flooding. If there is a continuous flow into the sump pit, there may be a natural condition present, like a high water table. This may require installing the sump pump higher or in a different corner. In any case, this should be something you need to get inspected immediately.
  • No water in the pit. You may notice an absence of water in the sump pit even though the pump seems to be running normally. The pump may not be installed correctly or may not be hooked up to the drainage system properly.
  • Motor trouble. The pump’s motor wears out much more quickly if it’s constantly sucking up sediment. A filter can be used to help this issue and extend the pump’s life. If your pump is getting stuck sometimes or vibrating excessively, you should be prepared to replace it sooner.
  • Power problems. Often a sump pump is wired directly into the home’s electrical system. It’s possible for power surges to damage components of the pump system and result in pump failure. If your pump is not staying on or shutting off as it should, this could be a power issue.

Find out here how the new line of PHCC Pro Series pair of Combination systems gives you total peace of mind!

When you need service on your sump pump, you want to call in the professionals. Bieg Plumbing is a family-owned business that has operated in the St. Louis area for nearly 60 years. We’ve seen it all, and we can handle your situation.

We can help you fix any problem with your sump pump, or any of your other plumbing, 24-hours a day. We’re there to help you out of that jam any time of the day or night.

Our Quick Guide to Dishwasher Care and Maintenance

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How to keep your dishes the cleanest they can be

Major service on your dishwasher is best left to the professionals, but sometimes a little bit of preventative care can go a long way to saving you from ever having to make a service call. Take a little time to check your dishwasher and do some basic maintenance, and you might find that you save yourself some costly repairs in the long run. Here are a few tips to consider when doing your maintenance:

  • Clean out the trap. Major food particles from dishes put into the dishwasher fall to the bottom to be collected in the trap. Typically, the trap is removable and must be cleaned out occasionally to remove both dried soap and food pieces. A clean trap will make sure your dishes come out clean and smelling fresh. Keep rotten food out of the trap.
  • Sprayer arms. For the best cleaning performance and best functionality of the dishwasher’s sprayer arms, you’ll want to clean the small, water-spraying holes on them occasionally. By soaking the arms in a solution of vinegar and water, then cleaning out the holes with a pipe cleaner, you’ll ensure the cleanest dishes and the best running system. This is one of the leading causes of dishes that don’t come out clean. If the spray holes on the rotating sprayer arm are jammed, you won’t get much cleaning done.
  • Minor leakage. If there’s a little bit of leakage around the outside of your dishwasher, it’s possible that the door gasket is worn out. In most cases, a replacement is an easy process, but be sure you know the exact model of your dishwasher before you go looking for the new gasket. You may also find that you don’t need a new gasket, and you can address the issue just by adjusting the door.
  • Rust. If you detect some rusty looking spots on your dishes or in the dishwasher, it could be that the coating has come off some of the metal prongs in the racks. Inexpensive repair kits include things like vinyl paint or rubber tips to at least cover up any rusted spots on the prongs. No one wants to see rusty dishes, so keep an eye out for worn out prongs.
  • A full cleaning. Sometimes dishwasher maintenance calls for a thorough cleaning. This sounds like it could be a big chore, but one of the most simple things you can do. Every couple of weeks, simply put a mug with about a half full of white vinegar in the dishwasher and run the dishwasher’s normal cycle with hot water. The vinegar will loosen up any nasty gunk that’s stuck to the inside of the dishwasher and help it wash down the drain.
  • Hard water buildup.Hard water can make your dishwasher struggle, and buildup can become significant over time. To break up hard water deposits, all you’ve got to do is run your dishwasher once in a while with Tang, the inexpensive orange breakfast drink. The Tang will do a great job of cleaning out the buildup from hard water.

Bieg Plumbing has served the St. Louis area for 60 years, and we’re ready to help with whatever plumbing problems you might be facing. Contact our experts today for an appointment.

Bieg Plumbing Receives “Citizen of the Month” From The City of Herculaneum for Kade’s Park

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We are very happy to announce that Bieg Plumbing was awarded by the City of Herculaneum with the “Citizen Of The Month” award in recognition of all the dedicated service provided on the expansion of Kade’s Playground. Between 2015 and 2018, we were able to provide the City of Herculaneum assistance in engineering, project management, labor and materials to help complete the “Kade’s Pavilion Rest Station” and the latest addition of the splash pad, which will be open to the public in spring of 2019.  

We are very proud of the fantastic workmanship provided by our plumbers, who installed in excess of 1000’ of supply piping from the pump house to the water features and drains, back to a 5000-gallon underground filter tank.  

The volcano-themed playground was named in honor of Kade Bauman. Kade had Mitochondrial Disease, which kept him confined to a wheelchair, with vision impairment, seizures, and no ability to develop muscle mass. He loved playing on playgrounds with his older brother Jackson, but there was not a wheelchair accessible playground anywhere in Jefferson County. The Bauman family had to drive to St. Charles County or Clayton in order for the two brothers to play side by side.

The initial start-up will begin in May as Bieg returns to the site, to assist with any final touch-ups and provide training on how the system operates.  We greatly appreciate the opportunity to help the community on a project that will improve the community.  The new Kade’s Playground will not be just for kids, it will be accessible to everyone, including adults and anyone with disabilities. With the addition of the splash pad, visiting Kade’s park on those hot summer days will be all the more enjoyable for all.

 

How To Unclog Your Sink In 3 Easy Steps

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Nobody likes a clogged sink. But how many of us know what to do when the drain becomes a pain? Below is a list of three easy ways to unclog your sink that do not require you to be a professional plumber.

  1. It’s chemistry! Baking soda and vinegar have made thousands of science fair volcanoes erupt over the years. But did you know that this mixture is also an effective and all-natural way to unclog a drain? Simply pour a ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, then pour ½ cup of vinegar on top of it slowly. Allow this solution to work for at least an hour to de-grease and erode any organic matter that may be in the pipe, then rinse with hot water.
  2. In hot water. A watched pot never boils, but a boiling pot can unclog a drain. Boil a pot or kettle of water and carefully pour it down the affected drain. You’ll want to take your time with this to allow the hot water to eat away at the debris. If necessary, pour the water out intermittently.
  3. Wire service. A classic wire coat hanger when straightened can be an effective drain snake. Straighten the hanger but create a small radiused hook at one end. Push the hanger into the drain and dig around with the hook until you catch the obstruction. Pull it out slowly and dispose of the offending debris.

When all else fails…

If you still cannot get your drain unclogged, you may need to call the professionals at Bieg Plumbing. With 58 years serving the St. Louis area, there is not a drain in existence that we cannot unclog. Family-owned and operated, we look forward to hearing from you for any plumbing issue you may have.

Your Quick Plumbing Checklist for Spring

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Spring means a lot of homeowners and businesses begin to make upgrades and repairs after the long winter. Plumbing systems while reliable should get some attention during this period. Here is a plumbing checklist featuring some of the things to look for while doing spring-cleaning.

  • Drains. Check your drains by running water for a short period of time to see if it flows out without backing up. If it does, pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda into it and allow to work for a few minutes, then flush it out with boiling water. This solution should remove deposits that cause backups. If your drain catches a lot of grease or oily fluids, try using hot water and detergent as it will attack the molecular structure more directly. Finish the drain service by covering them with mesh filters to prevent debris and hair from collecting in the pipes.
  • Leaks. Since leaks can cause substantial damage and attract insects, it is always a good idea to make sure that you identify and fix them quickly. You can check for leaks by ensuring that all faucets and valves are off, then look at your water meter and take note of its reading. The next day, having not used any water overnight, recheck the meter. If you see a different number, it may mean there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
  • Pressure. Elevated water pressure can lead to explosive blowouts and severe damage. Normal water pressure should be 55 pounds per square inch or less. If it is higher than that, have a professional plumber install a pressure reducing valve. The valve will limit the amount of pressure in your system and eliminate the risk of blowouts.
  • Water supply lines. Washing machines, some refrigerators, faucets, and toilets all use rubber supply lines to provide them with water. Check these lines for cracks, bulging, leaks or other abnormalities and replace if necessary.
  • Unpleasant odor. Occasionally, sewer gas or odor caused by bacteria will collect in plumbing pipes. An enzyme cleaner poured into the affected pipe will neutralize these odors. For added protection, you can install a backflow valve to prevent sewer water from getting into your drain pipe. If the odors persist, consider snaking the drain or pipe to remove any lingering debris.
  • Sump pump. Periodic inspection of a sump pump is simple and straightforward. To check its condition, pour a gallon or two of water into the sump pit and watch to see if the pump activates. It should turn on instantly and after removing the water, shut itself off. If it doesn’t, it needs repair or replacement.
  • Shut-off valves. Check if your various shut-off valves work as advertised with no leaks and freedom of movement in both directions.
  • Water heater. Water around or under your water heater is not a good sign. That’s an indication that the tank is leaking and needs to be fixed to prevent water damage. Water heaters more than 6 years old are more susceptible to these types of leaks.

At Bieg Plumbing Company, we hope that you enjoy and have a productive spring season. Should you require any assistance with your spring plumbing checklist, or should you incur a leak or other problem, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have been helping homeowners and businesses in the St. Louis area deal with plumbing issues for nearly 60 years.

 

If you are ready to give your plumbing a spring-cleaning, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Top 3 Reasons You Should Test Your Backflow This Spring

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Clean water is something that many people take for granted. It is only through adherence to regulations and inspections that this standard can be maintained. One of the most important factors in ensuring that your home or business receives clean water is through the backflow prevention device.

What is backflow?

Backflow occurs when fluid pressure in a non-potable (not fit for drinking) pipe either drops due to external factors such as a leak, burst pipes or unusually high demand or rises to a level that overpowers upstream pressure.

When this happens, there is a risk that impurities can enter potable (safe for drinking) water supplies.

What is a backflow preventer?

Backflow prevention can range in complexity, from a simple air gap all the way to a series of check and preventer valves. An air gap is simply a configuration that does not allow fluid from one source to flow into another source.

A good example is a sink faucet, where even if a sink backs up, the faucet nozzle is high enough that water cannot flow back into the system through it. A backflow preventer device is designed to resist the pressure of an offending fluid source.

Designed as a pair of check valves and an air gap fitting, these are used when contaminants may be under high pressure. Due to their mechanical nature, these devices must be inspected on a regular basis.

Now that you know a little more about backflow and the way to combat it, please continue reading to discover our top three reasons to have your backflow system checked this spring.

  1. Contaminants are everywhere. Contaminants from fertilizer runoff, chemicals from industrial processes, fire protection fluids and common household cleaners all pose a risk to your potable water. Homes that have lawn irrigation, inground pools, dishwashers, washing machines, and boiler heaters should definitely have a backflow preventer installed.
  2. Testing is the law. Backflow testing is required by the EPA and local municipalities. Only certified professionals can inspect and test backflow preventers. The test consists of a plumbing professional pressurizing your water system. Then they look to ensure that every component is operating as designed. If the valves are not able to hold back the minimum pressure required by law, that means the preventer is unable to protect your potable water. At this point, the preventer must be repaired or replaced.
  3. Reduced liability. Facilities that have water fountains, soda machines, suppressors and sprinkler systems all run the risk of any possible backflow getting into potable water or food. Businesses can ensure legal compliance by having a backflow test performed and documented.

At Bieg Plumbing, we are able to perform any backflow testing that you may require. Restaurants, schools, businesses and homeowners in the greater St. Louis area have trusted us for nearly 60 years to ensure that their potable water is free from contaminants.

If it is time for your backflow preventer test, please, contact us at 314-487-4564 today.

Bieg Plumbing Earns Esteemed 2018 Angie’s List Super Service Award

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Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

St. Louis, Missouri, February 25th, 2019– Bieg Plumbing 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 2018.

“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2018 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, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

“The Angie’s List Super Service Award is the icing on the cake in our line of work,” said Bieg Plumbing’s Vice President, Mark Bieg. “It’s such a tremendous honor to receive the coveted award and speaks volumes to the dedication, integrity, and hard work from our team!” 

Bieg Plumbing Company was first listed on Angie’s List in 2003. This is the 3rd 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.

Looking for a plumber you can trust? Call Bieg Plumbing at (314) 487-4564. Serving the St. Louis area for over 55 years!

 

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For over two decades, Angie’s List has provided trusted reviews and information to help millions of consumers make smart hiring decisions. Angie’s List offers more than 10 million verified reviews in over 700 service categories, providing its members a credible resource for researching and comparing local service providers. Angie’s List is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and is an operating business of ANGI HomeServices (NASDAQ:ANGI).

 

Indoor and Outdoor Leak Detection Tips

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Types of leaks

Leaks, whether in residential or commercial buildings, come in two general varieties: indoor and outdoor. Each one requires a different approach when looking for the source of the problem.

Indoor

Inside your home, leaks can happen anywhere, especially in hard-to-reach places that you wouldn’t expect. Some examples are tiny leaks in bathroom plumbing or leaks in a toilet. Both of these leaks are easy to overlook unless you know where to look. Bieg Plumbing can give you a comprehensive diagnosis of exactly where your problem has occurred, but before we arrive, here are a few tips on how to find an indoor leak.

Start with the lowest areas of a building

As a general rule, always start looking for leaks at the lowest level of a structure, such as a basement or a crawl space. Leaks in basements have a tendency to pool on the ground, which can seep into wall baseboards. If walls have already started to crack and buckle near the baseboards, call Bieg Plumbing ASAP as this may signal a greater problem with your plumbing. In the worst case scenario, damage to baseboards may be a sign of foundation damage caused by underground leaking.

Check appliances, toilets, sinks, and faucets

Any appliance that connects to a building’s potable water system, such as a dishwasher, can also be the source of a leak. A leaking washing machine connection is yet another place to look for problems. Often, appliance leaks are so small that you won’t notice them until they’ve damaged flooring. Most people start their search for leaks at sinks and faucets, but these are obvious culprits and should come last after you’ve tried hard-to-reach places. A toilet can be leaking from the tank into the bowl at the overflow tube, which is difficult to detect since it’s so subtle.

Outdoor

Leaks outdoors often occur at fixtures that connect to your community’s potable water supply. Among many other possibilities, swimming pools, sprinkler systems, and spigots are notorious sources of outdoor leaks.

Start at service lines

Any valve leaks over time, so to find an outdoor leak, start where water enters a building as these systems regulate water pressure. Too much pressure can cause valve leaks at spigots in particular, which may only show as a tiny, gradual drip. Exposure to freezing temperatures in winter can also cause outdoor valves to degrade.

Check pool pumps and sprinklers

Without proper irrigation, a swimming pool or a sprinkler system can be the source of leaks. Outdoors leaks often have no visible symptoms, such as soft, muddy ground. An underground outdoor leak can spill dozens of gallons of water per hour without a single sign that something is wrong. That sign for the unlucky few is structural damage to a building’s foundation, so if you have any concern about an outdoor leak, call us ASAP.

At Bieg Plumbing, we’ve seen leaks occur just about anywhere. If you follow these tips and still can’t find a leak, let us know, and we’ll fix it after a full diagnosis.