It’s a great time of year to take inventory of your home and see what can be marked off that mental checklist we all tend to keep. The list in the back of our mind of things we would change if we could. Here are some common “wish list” items we’ve been able to provide for customers time and time again. See if any of them are on YOUR list, and give us a call!
I Wish The Sink Didn’t Drip And The Pipes Didn’t Leak
It can be tempting to ignore drips or leaks, but in the long run this could cost you. You’ll want to get the drip or leak fixed in order to save on water costs, as well as to prevent any sort of water damage (especially in the case of a leaky pipe). The fix could be as simple as tightening a few things up, or it could require complete replacement, but we’re happy to come out, assess the situation, and make appropriate recommendations!
I Wish My Toilet Didn’t Keep Running
A toilet that won’t stop running can be frustrating. If it’s not uncommon around your home to hear someone yell “Jiggle the handle!” then you might need to give us a call. Take a look in the tank to be sure the chain isn’t tangled or obstructed, and if that doesn’t seem to be the issue, give us a call. You’ll save money on your water bill by making the fix now. Not to mention peace of mind!
I wish My Bathtub and Shower Could Be Replaced With A Spa
The value and the beauty that a redesigned bathroom can bring to a home is pretty significant. Not to mention the joy the change can bring. Let RLB Services handle your bathroom remodeling or plumbing project this year!
I Wish We Could Add a Gas Fireplace In Our Bedroom
A gas fireplace can offer both ambience and warmth, while saving on energy costs. A lot of thought and work goes into installing one correctly, so you’ll want to do your homework before starting this process. Bob Beckwith is a certified gas fireplace installer and has knowledge and skills to get the job done correctly.
If you’re looking to improve your home with any of these ideas, give us a call at 703-330-0400. You can also visit our website to see all of the services we offer. You might be surprised what problems RLB can take care of for you!
Take The Scare Out Of Hiring A Plumber
Finding a great plumber you can trust can be a tricky process, but we’re here to make it easier for you. With over 40 years of experience, you can bet we’ve seen it ALL, and are more than equipped to handle whatever needs may arise. Here are some things to look for when hiring a plumber- and rest assured, we pass each test with flying colors.
Years Of Experience
Hiring RLB Services, means hiring Bob’s years of continued education and experience to the job at hand. It means hiring a team of professionals who have continuously applied the same level of attention and service to customer projects over the years.
A company who has been around for a while is likely reputable. Time equals reliability in the home improvement industry. Unfortunately, it’s not difficult for a contractor to rebrand themselves in order to outrun a bad reputation, so be sure and check how long they’ve been in business.
Fully Licensed and Insured
Using an insured plumber is incredibly important as it protects both customer and contractor. The hope is always that a job will be seamless, but hiring a licensed AND insured plumber will save a lot of heartache in the event something goes wrong.
Bob Beckwith is licensed and certified as a Master Plumber, Master HVAC Specialist, Master Hot Water Heating Specialist, NFI Certified Gas Fireplace Specialist and Master Gas Fitter, with over forty years in the industry.
A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
What more can we say about this one? We have the highest rating, and that goes a long way! An A+ rating means our business has met all accreditation requirements, and is known for offering the highest level of service.
We love working to solve your problems, and the positive feedback from customers is always incredibly rewarding. Check out one of our more recent reviews from John T. (and more at our Yelp page):
“Expert and Efficient Service. We got great service from RLB on the installation of a hot water heater. You wouldn’t be able to do better for plumbing or gas fitting.”
Hiring a plumber doesn’t have to be scary! Our experience, expertise, attention to detail, and positive customer feedback provide exactly what you need to make an informed decision you can feel confident about! Give Bob a call today to discuss your needs, and let’s get started!
Family, Friends, and Hot Water
With fall on its way, we can’t think of a better time to invest in a tankless water heater. You’ll be grateful you made the switch as we head into colder months (and family and friends start stopping in for the holidays). Imagine not having to worry about running out of hot water, or waiting for it to get to the right temperature! That can be enough to make the investment worth it, but if you’re still unsure, here are some more benefits of a tankless water heater, installed by RLB services:
Tankless water heaters have a 20 year life expectancy with a 12-15 year limited warranty on the heat exchanger. You can’t beat the peace of mind that comes with longevity. In addition, tankless systems only heat water when necessary, giving you improved efficiency.
Tankless water heaters are also great at multitasking. In a world where you may need to wash a load of clothes at the same time you’re running the dishwasher or bathing, a machine that can keep up becomes essential.
Tankless water heaters are also great at saving space. A traditional water heater can take up to 15 square feet of space, and can be an eyesore, but tankless is much more aesthetically pleasing while saving you valuable space.
As always, If you have an older system that needs maintenance, we can certainly take care of that for you, and if you’re ready to make the switch to tankless, Bob Beckwith of RLB Services can get you set up. Bob is highly trained in all things tankless water heaters, so put his years of experience and attention to detail to work for you today!
Now’s The Time To Consider A Gas Fireplace
As we move out of summer and into the cooler months, it’s a good time to think about gas fireplace installation. It may seem odd to think about fireplaces while the days are still long and the weather’s still hot. However, getting fireplace projects started now means you can have your fireplace finished and ready to go when cold weather arrives. Aside from looking great, and adding value to your home, here are some benefits you can expect from your new fireplace:
Convenience and Savings
It’s a great feeling to push a button for an immediate fire (with a temperature you can control), without needing to carry firewood or clean out a hearth. And on top of that, the heat from this fire will be constant, require very little supervision, and save on energy costs. Gas fireplaces come in a variety of styles and functions, from wall-switch activation to fully customized remote controlled units.
One of the biggest benefits of a gas fireplace is safety. These are much safer for children and pets, and for homes overall with no sparks to worry about. Additionally there’s no concern of particles or harmful fumes being released into your home. Say goodbye to the smell of woodsmoke on your upholstery and clothing.
As you begin planning for your gas fireplace, it’s important to have a NFI certified gas specialist, such as Bob Beckwith of RLB Services, handle the installation – both for safety and efficiency. Bob has passed rigorous exams to demonstrate expert knowledge in the installation (and repair) of gas fireplaces, so you know the job will be done right. In fact, other companies turn to RLB when they need fireplace expertise.
Call today 703.330.0400 to start the conversation about your new gas fireplace installation.
Call The Experts At RLB Services
Are you having a problem with your plumbing that is driving you crazy? Have you reached out to plumbing professionals only to get the run around – and a plumbing issue that never gets repaired. When you call RLB Services owner, Bob Beckwith, you won’t get the run around.
“I just wanted to tell you how wonderful it has been working with RLB Services over the years. It’s nice to know that when plumbing work is required, it will be done quickly and professionally!” – Tod T.
Bob has been taking care of plumbing issues in homes and in commercial properties for over four decades. This experience and ongoing learning of the new technologies that he embraces, have set RLB Services as the leader in true plumbing repair and installation. The solution is always within reach, and the customer’s safety and satisfaction is the goal of every job that is trusted to the team at RLB Services.
If you are looking for not only answers to your issue, but also would like to learn more about the how and why this problem may have occurred, Bob Beckwith is the plumbing professional for you. Contact Bob today to learn more about how he can help you.
Spring Spruce Ups For Your Plumbing
Spring is the perfect time for a homeowner to perform preventative maintenance on the plumbing in their house. This protects your home from more serious plumbing issues and provides peace of mind during this season of change.
Listed below are some areas of the home that should be checked at this time of year:
- Check for drips or leaks in your faucets and showerheads. If a problem is detected, call Bob Beckwith at RLB Services to repair as soon as possible. By having a professional look at the leak, you will save yourself from even bigger problems in the future and money on your water bills.
- Clean mineral deposits from faucets and shower heads. Unscrew them and soak them in vinegar overnight. Once they have soaked, clean them off with a dry towel and screw them back in place.
- Make sure that your sinks and tubs have strainers installed to prevent debris from clogging your drain lines. Be sure to clean out the strainers on a regular basis.
- Check the hoses on your washing machine and dishwasher for leaks or bulges. If the hoses are 10 years old or older, you need to replace them. We recommend braided stainless steel hoses instead of rubber.
- Check your toilets for cracks or leaks. You can put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl after 30 minutes or so, there is a leak that should be repaired. Contact RLB Services for the repair of a toilet.
- If you have a tank water heater, drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.
- Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits. Always check with your water heater manufacturer for specific instructions regarding maintenance of your specific make and model.
It May Be Time To Go Tankless!
If your water heater is due for an upgrade, now is the perfect time to consider a tankless alternative. However, many homeowners are unaware of the benefits of these newer models. Here, are three reasons a tankless water heater could be the best choice for your family’s water needs:
- Efficiency — In addition to their increased energy-efficiency, tankless water heaters are appreciated from the space-saving perspective. With a compact design, tankless water heaters afford a significant amount of additional storage space for the homeowner.
- Cost — Although the intitial money invested in a tankless water heater is more than a traditional water heater, they result in lower energy bills, thus saving you money in the long run. While they are incredibly efficient, electric-only tankless water heaters may require your plumbing contractor to rewire your house. Natural gas tankless water heaters are a bit less energy-conscious, but they’re still miles ahead of traditional models. Plus, these heaters qualify for a federal tax rebate!
- Environment — Tankless water heaters are twice as long-lasting as traditional alternatives, which makes them more environmentally friendly. These modern machines also come equipped with an average warranty that far surpasses that of a traditional tank.
To schedule the commercial or residential installation of a tankless water heater, or to start with an honest estimate, call Bob or Sandra Beckwith at RLB Services today!
Plumbing Tips To Protect Your Home This Winter
Is your house prepared for the cold air that is upon us? Your plumbing inside and out is especially susceptible to cold weather and freezing. If you have been the victim of burst pipes from a winter freeze, you will understand the expense that occurred because of the damage and repair that had to be done. There are some simple actions that you can take to prevent this from happening. Take a look these smart plumbing tips to keep your home dry during the coming months:
Locate the Main Shutoff Valve In Your Home
When the plumbing crisis occurs, you and your entire household should know where this vital valve is located in the home. Shutting off the water is the first thing that needs to be done with a plumbing crisis. Locate your shut off valve, mark it clearly for everyone in the home and you will be a step ahead in minimizing damages and heartache caused by a plumbing crisis.
Consider an Automatic Water Shutoff Valve
An automatic water shutoff valve uses a water sensor that is placed on the floor to detect water seepage or leakage. This sensor is connected to to the water valve that controls the water flow. If a leak is detected, the water valve turns off the water valve and stops the flow of water to the appliance or device. The signal is actually an electrical signal from the sensing pad to the control unit that activates a magnetic shutoff valve.
Before you install the automatic water shutoff valve, you must turn off the home’s water supply, and drain the unit’s water pressure by turning on faucets in the home until no water comes out. Once the water has stopped, you can install the valve or valves. Once this is complete, turn on the water supply and test the valves for leaks. This is a simple way to gain peace of mind.
Protect and Insulate Your Water Faucets To Prevent Freezing
If you have any exposed water or drain piping in an uninsulated space in an attic, crawlspace or even exterior walls (or if you have detached buildings on your property), \ seal any air drafts or air leaks around the fixtures, wrap the pipes with electrical heating tape and make sure that they are insulated.
An easy way to insulate a water pipe is to install a hose bib cover on each outdoor fixture including frost free hose bibs. Hose bib covers are square or dome shaped to fit right over outdoor faucets. They are made of thick foam so they are quite effective at keeping most of the cold away from the valve. Hose bib covers can be found in most hardware or home improvement stores and are very inexpensive and easy to install. Covers can usually be reused for several years so they are a good long term purchase.
Drain The Water from Your Outside Lines
When freezing weather is in the forecast, turn off the water to outside faucets and drain all water from the line. Be sure to turn off the outside faucet at the water supply in the house. We also recommend draining the water by opening up the the outside faucet valve. And remember to disconnect your garden hoses and drain them if you leave them outside.
Going Away For a Winter Getaway, It’s Better to be Safe Than Sorry
As we all know, the winter months can include travel and extended absences from the home. A good idea to prevent a plumbing crisis is to set the thermostat to no less than 55 degree or if you don’t have an automatic shutoff valve, simply shut off the main valve to protect pipes while you are away.
Gas Fireplace – Beware Of Excess Soot Buildup
This is the time of year when many of us gather around the fireplace to spend quality time with family and friends. It’s also that time of year when the drop in temperature is noticeable inside and outside of the home. The need for heat becomes a constant in most households.
Of all the different types of fuel people use to power their fireplaces, gas is one of the most popular. A quality gas fireplace offers accurate temperature control, clean combustion, low maintenance and, with the advances in ceramic log designs, a fire that is amazingly similar in visual appeal to a traditional wood fire.
This doesn’t mean that gas fireplaces never have issues, so let’s look at one of the most common ones and how you can resolve this.
Excess Soot Buildup
We are all aware that a gas fireplace burns much more cleanly than a wood fire, over time a buildup of soot is inevitable. This soot residue is not easy to see, but you can check quite easily using a white cloth and gently rubbing it on some of the ceramic logs in the firebox. (Make sure that there is no fire burning!) If you see thick black marks on the cloth, you will know you have the beginning of a soot issue.
Excess soot happens for two primary reasons:
Badly positioned logs – if logs aren’t positioned properly, an even burn is impossible and some amount of fuel will go unburned.
Clogged burner ports – this will cause the same effect as badly positioned logs. Have a professional perform a thorough cleaning of the logs and burner ports. Aside from the suggestions above, there are a few other things you can do to prevent a buildup of soot.
- Regularly inspect the combustion screen. If you find a moderate or major amount of soot, clean it according to instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- Check your chimney for any debris that might be creating an obstruction. This can include leaves, twigs, bird nests and anything else than can reduce air flow.
- Make sure your damper is completely open and in good repair.
If you have a gas fireplace in your home, be sure to choose the Bob and the team at RLB Services when you need something done right! We have your safety and peace of mind for your family at the forefront at all times. Call RLB Services today for all of your gas fireplace maintenance, repair and installation needs!
Plumbing Maintenance – Ten Dos and Don’ts For Homeowners
Most homeowners take their plumbing system for granted until something goes wrong. What most people don’t realize is that your plumbing can remain in optimal condition with a little ‘love and care’ a long the way. At RLB Services, we love to help our customers with challenging issues. However, we also like to help you avoid hundreds of dollars in unnecessary expenses. Take a look at these 10 plumbing dos and don’ts that will help you keep your water system in tip-top shape:
DON’T pour fats or cooking oils into your sink. Although this may be tempting when you are busy in the kitchen, these fats and oils can build up in your system causing blockages and backups.
DO keep an eye out for trouble. When it comes to plumbing, little leaks quickly turn into big problems. Check your skinks and drains for signs of pending plumbing failure: Leaking faucets, wet or damp cabinets, “rocking” toilets or drips in front of or behind refrigerators all signal problems that need attention soon.
DON’T pour hot water into your toilet. This is common advice on the internet….do not do it! Toilets weren’t designed for hot water and pouring it into the toilet can cause the bowl to crack.
DON’T pour coffee grounds in your sink drains. Even when running water, coffee grounds may clump together and clog your pipes. The best place for coffee grounds is in the trash bag or better yet…the compost bin.
DO open the drain on your water heater twice a year to remove sediment. The sediment could harden, which makes your heater run less efficiently. If sediment continues to accumulate it can permanently damage the water heater.
DON’T place cornhusks, onion skins, celery, or other high-fiber material into your disposer. These items can tangle and thread around the disposer and even burn out the motor.
DO pour two to three gallons of boiling water down shower/tub drains once per month to prevent excess build-up of hair and grease.
DON’T keep wastebaskets under the sink. Bumping drain pipes may cause leaks.
DO grind ice in your disposer. This helps to keep the blades sharp.
DO periodically remove and clean all aerators. Over time the aerator may clog with dirt and mineral deposits. Soak your aerator in cleaning solution that targets these build ups to prevent uneven spray, decreased flow, and odd-tasting water!
While it is true that today’s plumbing options are both efficient and low maintenance, it’s a known fact that ANY appliance can become a nuisance if neglected. That is why you need to call RLB Services at 703-330-0400 and trust Bob Beckwith for expertise with your plumbing system!