Here are the top plumbing upgrades for your home

Even if your home's plumbing system is relatively new or in good condition, there are still some upgrades you can make to improve its efficiency, effectiveness, and overall look. Plumbing upgrades are especially important if you are considering selling your home in the near future or experiencing frequent plumbing problems in an older home. Whatever the reason you may be considering plumbing upgrades for your home, here are our four recommendations. The pros at L.D. Smith Plumbing can inspect your home to help you determine what plumbing upgrades should be a priority.

Replace older pipes with modern copper piping. Copper one of the most durable materials available for plumbing systems, but it's also resistant to corrosion and chemical reactions. This ensures that your plumbing system will continue to function properly for many years to come.

Install a backflow preventer on your home’s main water line. Backflow preventers are designed to stop contaminated water from flowing back into the home’s drinking water supply, helping protect you and your family from potential contamination.

Install water-saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets or faucets. These fixtures use less water, which can help you save money on your monthly utility bills. Additionally, installing these fixtures may even qualify you for certain tax credits and rebates in certain areas.

Install a tankless water heater. A tankless water heater can be a game-changer in your home. Not only does it provide endless hot water, it is energy efficient and some include smart technology to customize your hot water experience.

In addition to the above improvements, it's important to make sure that you're regularly conducting basic maintenance on your plumbing system. This means checking for any leaks or repairs that need to be made, as well as flushing out the system on a regular basis. By doing this, you can help ensure that your plumbing system will remain in good condition and running properly for years to come. L.D. Smith Plumbing offers a Plumbing Protection Plan to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially save money.

Need a plumber? Call Indy's plumbing heroes to the job done fast and right! Request an appointment today.

Five-step plumbing checklist for fall

While everyone is talking about pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters, here’s a reminder that the plumbing in your home may need some attention this season. Now is the time to prepare your plumbing system for the cold weather ahead. Here’s our top five checklist:

Inspect and Insulate Your Pipes

Before the temperature plummets, take some time to inspect your pipes for any signs of damage or wear. Look for leaks or cracks in exposed pipes and ensure that all connections are secure. If you spot any issues, it's best to address them promptly to prevent further damage.

In addition to inspection, proper insulation is key in safeguarding your plumbing system from freezing temperatures. Insulating pipes in unheated areas such as basements, crawl spaces, or attics can help prevent costly repairs down the road. Consider using foam insulation sleeves or wrapping pipes with heat tape to provide an extra layer of protection.

Clear Gutters and Downspouts

While you're up on that ladder removing leaves from your gutters and downspouts might not seem directly related to plumbing maintenance; it plays a vital role in keeping your drainage system functioning properly. Clogged gutters can lead to water backups and overflow, potentially causing water damage near your home's foundation. By ensuring proper water flow away from your property through clear gutters and downspouts, you can prevent basement flooding and other related plumbing issues.

Service Your Water Heater

Fall serves as an excellent reminder to give your water heater some TLC. If your water heater is older than seven years old, it may be time to determine if you need a new one (Shameless plug: We offer water heaters as low as $27 a month with financing). Sediment buildup can occur over time, reducing its efficiency and lifespan. To prevent this, consider draining a few gallons of water from the tank to flush out any accumulated sediment. This simple task can help improve your water heater's performance and energy efficiency. Give us a call if you have questions about flushing your water heater.

Protect Your Outdoor Plumbing

As the temperature drops, it's crucial to protect your outdoor plumbing fixtures such as garden hoses, irrigation systems, and outdoor faucets. Begin by disconnecting hoses from outdoor spigots and drain any remaining water before storing them for the winter. If you have an irrigation system, make sure to shut off the water supply and drain any excess water to prevent freezing and potential damage. Additionally, consider investing in insulated faucet covers to shield your outdoor faucets from freezing temperatures.

Check faucets for leaks

Did you know a faucet leak could waste a significant amount of water over time – and hit your wallet! Take time this fall to check the toilets, faucets, and pipes in your home for any leaks. Also, consider installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. These devices reduce water consumption without sacrificing performance, allowing you to enjoy a refreshing shower or wash dishes while minimizing wastage.

These proactive steps early in the season will not only safeguard your plumbing system but alert you to any issues that may require a professional plumber.

Need a plumber? Contact Indy's plumbing heroes at L.D. Smith Plumbing. Request an appointment today.

Why is there a mound of dirt in my yard after a sewer line repair?

Your sewer line is repaired but now you have a tall mound of dirt in your yard. What is going on? Do you move it? Will our plumbers return to clean it up? Is the job finished? Having these questions is not unusual. There is a good reason why there’s a mound of dirt after a sewer repair. First thing to know: Don’t try to move it!

During excavation, the soil is disrupted, meaning all the minerals that have been compressed for years have become unsettled. Why is this important to the process? Settled, compacted soil adds stability to your foundation. All those small particles of stone, gravel, and other debris mixed with air and water compresses the soil to make it stable to bear the weight of foundation footings, concrete slabs, etc. 

Now that once compacted soil is unsettled with larger pockets of air and water between the particles, causing the surface to be unstable and not leveled. That big dirt mound we left in your yard is there to allow the soil to settle once again. 

Before we finished the job on your property, our plumbers took additional steps such as backfilling to ensure your yard is leveled once the soil is settled. However, it will take at least two months for air between the mineral particles to reduce and settle the soil.

If you are in a hurry to get your yard back to normal, you can aerate the soil (poking holes in the mound and run water through a hose to eliminate air pockets), but our recommendation is to let the mound sit. 

In addition, we offer landscape restoration services at a discounted rate if you have done the excavation with us.

Your Indianapolis plumbing heroes are ready to tackle any plumbing challenge. Request an appointment today.

L.D. Smith Plumbing Voted a Nextdoor Neighborhood Fave

L.D. Smith Plumbing has been named to the winning list of Nextdoor’s 2023 Neighborhood Faves, the only annual awards where neighbors vote to celebrate their favorite local businesses. This year, Neighborhood Fave winners like L.D. Smith Plumbing will receive greater visibility and ranking on the Nextdoor app as well as a sticker to showcase their win in the real world.

“Neighbors know best, and Nextdoor’s Neighborhood Faves are the only annual awards celebrating the businesses that are most loved by locals. This prestigious recognition is only awarded to 1% of the local businesses on Nextdoor and is a testament to the positive impact they have had on their community,” said Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar.

Used by one in three households in the U.S., Nextdoor is the neighborhood network where verified neighbors and businesses connect to the neighborhoods that matter to them.

"Customer feedback is critical to our business, so we are honored to be voted a favorite local business on Nextdoor," said Lance Smith, owner, L.D. Smith Plumbing. "We had a record-setting second quarter this year and we know that success is because of the support of our customers. We value their business and are committed to always providing the exceptional service they have come to expect from L.D. Smith Plumbing."

The complete list of winning businesses in each city is available at nextdoor.com/favorites. Join the neighborhood network by downloading the Nextdoor app or visiting nextdoor.com.

Lance shares his business journey

How did Lance Smith begin his journey to own of the top plumbing companies in Indianapolis? On a recent podcast "Default Profitable," he discussed his beginnings as a plumber and how he started L.D. Smith Plumbing.

The Default Podcast is a resource and community of support for small business owners to gain insights, avoid common pitfalls, and stay informed about industry trends.

Listen to the full interview here. https://defaultprofitable.podbean.com/e/ep-01-lance-smith-ld-smith-plumbing/

Common Plumbing Dilemmas

From a leaky faucet to a broken sump pump, you never know when a plumbing problem will occur. At L.D. Smith Plumbing, we've seen it all. We have compiled a list of some of the most common plumbing dilemmas and what might be the cause. Lance recently visited Life.Style. Live! to share a few of these dilemmas. Watch the video below.

Why is water backing up?

It could be a recurring clog, sewer line damage, hair or tree roots. It depends on the line.  

Why is my water heater leaking?

This could be caused by a cracked or corroded water heater tank, loose or faulty fittings and pipe connections. These problems could occur due to age of the water heater, high water pressure or thermal expansion.  

Why do we run out of hot water so fast?
There could be several reasons for this, including mechanical failure. Another reason could be your current storage tank water heater isn’t big enough to handle the needs in your home and you might need a larger water heater. There also may be sediment clogging the tank reducing the flow of water.

Is it safe to use popular drain cleaners to treat a clog?

Lance does not believe chemical drain cleaners are ever safe to use because these products not only damage metallic piping or equipment but can be harmful to the skin if there is contact or if inhaled. The best recommendation is to call a plumber to assess the problem as drain cleaners could be hiding a larger issue

I just purchased an older home. What should I know about my plumbing?

If the plumbing is all original, make sure a qualified professional inspects it. The primary concerns Lance has about plumbing in older homes are: The age of the water service and sewer line, and the age and condition of the water lines and drainage within the home.

I have multiple slow-draining sinks in my home. Is one clog the cause?  It depends if all sinks are connected to the same line, but most likely not.

Plumbing problem? Request an appointment with the experts at L.D. Smith Plumbing in Indianapolis.

Frequent Clogged Drains? Consider Hydro Jetting

A slow-moving or clogged drain line might need a different method than drain cleaning or clearing. Hydro jetting is a fast and effective method to clear the drain of any particles and residue sticking to pipes that continue to lead to clogs. Here are five things to know about hydro jetting and why you should consider the option if you have frequent clogged drains:

Hydro jetting nearly eliminates the chance of the clog returning

This is because of the powerful force water pushed through the pipes to clear debris and buildup such as hair, grease, and tree roots. Water is essentially sprayed through the line at a pressure of up to 4000 psi to remove the blockage, essentially pressure washing your drain or sewer line. This aggressive cleaning method flushes the line and removes stubborn debris left behind from previous drain-clearing methods. It scours the all the muck, harmful bacteria, and grime from the pipes, so they look nearly brand new.

Hydro jetting is a great option for frequent clogs

Most clogged drains can be solved with drain cleaning or drain clearing methods but if clogs continue to happen after these services, hydro jetting is a great option. If buildup is severe, typical methods cannot remove all of the minerals and debris stuck on pipes. This hard-to-remove buildup often causes recurring clogging and, at worst, sewer backups. If recurring clogs are happening in home in addition to gurgling noises, hydro jetting should be requested. A sewer camera inspection can confirm if hydro jetting is the best option.

Hydro jetting is eco friendly

Hydro jetting uses only pressurized water. No harsh chemicals make this method safe for the environment and not as damaging as other methods. Not only is it safe for the environment but is non-invasive. The hydro jetting machine requires access to your cleanout so digging is needed.

Hydro jetting is great for residential and commercial properties
This is a versatile method that is strong enough to handle clogged drains in homes as well as big jobs at commercial properties such as restaurants with a history of clogged drains due to food, grease, and debris. L.D. Smith Plumbing has the latest equipment to remove debris as stubborn as tree roots up to two inches thick. This method can also be used on all pipes.

Hydro jetting is a cost-effective method
Cost of hydro jetting depends on the severity of the buildup in the pipes but the cost is much less than ignoring the issue and using temporary solutions. Over time, hydro jetting will save you money long-term as you will no longer struggle with clogged drains, your pipes will be clean and fresh, eliminating frequent calls to a plumber or spending even more money on a larger repair.

Do you have frequent clogs? Request an appointment to review your pipes for hydro jetting services.

Health concerns related to popular pipe-fixing method

A recent article in USA today highlights the danger of a popular method used in trenchless sewer repair – Cured-in-place pipe lining, also known as CIPP.  The article reports numerous people have gotten sick from the fumes.

Cured-in-place pipe lining is a trenchless method of sewer line repair.  This process has gained popularity because it is less invasive,  often less expensive, and completed faster than other sewer repair methods. The process inserting a liner inside an existing pipe that is then inflated and heated to harden. This curing process in essence creates a new lined pipe inside of the old one.  While it does usually seal off any holes or cracks, it does not eliminate any bellies or large offsets like conventional replacement or trenchless does.

The article cites “noxious fumes created during the process can escape the job site and sicken people in their homes, schools and businesses.”

There are several alternatives to CIPP, here are some of the options:

Traditional excavation and replacement involves excavating and removing the damaged pipe and replacing it with a new pipe. While it can be more invasive and disruptive compared to CIPP, it allows for complete inspection, repair, and replacement of the damaged pipe. It may be necessary when the existing pipe is severely damaged, has a "belly" in it, or has collapsed, and CIPP is not a viable option.

Pipe bursting can be an effective alternative to excavation and replacement, as it allows for the installation of a new pipe without complete excavation. However, it requires access points at both ends of the pipe and may not be suitable for all types of pipe damage or configurations.

Questions or concerns about a recent trenchless sewer repair that involved cured-in-place lining? Contact L.D. Smith Plumbing.

Plumbing checklist for spring..Six things to do now

Spring is here! That means gardening, outdoor parties, and prepping the pool for summer fun. As you plan your spring cleaning list, don't forget about the plumbing in your home. Here are few reminders:

Sump pump: Spring brings many days of rain. Be sure your sump pump is ready to tackle substantial amounts of rainfall. A quick way to check your sump pump is to unplug the unit, plug it back in, and listen for a gurgling sound or vibration when the unit is back on. Next, find the float or sump pump sensor in the basin and lift it up. If the sump pump turns on, the system is working properly. 

Water heater: If your storage water heater is older than seven years old, it's time to get it checked to be sure it is working efficiently. Signs you might need a new water heater are: Low water pressure, gurgling noises, or infrequent hot water.

Hoses: Spring is a great time to check supply hoses for leaks. Check appliances such as your dishwasher and washing machine. We recommend using stainless steel hoses.

Faucets: According to the EPA, a leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. Check the faucets in your home to be sure there are no leaks and the fixtures are working properly.

Mineral deposits on shower head: Indianapolis is one of the top cities in the U.S. with hard water. That means your shower head will likely be covered with scaly mineral deposits. If you are not ready to replace the shower head, vinegar and water solution is a great way to remove all that yucky buildup.

Drains: Sometimes do-it-yourself fixes do not work to clear a stubborn drain clog. If water is draining slowly in your shower or bathtub, you are experiencing a clog that needs immediate attention. 

The experts at L.D. Smith Plumbing know how to put water back in its place - and keep it there. Request an appointment to solve your urgent plumbing problem. 

Tips for clogged drains

Why are clogged drains such a big problem? Lance Smith, owner of L.D. Smith Plumbing, details solutions for clogged drains and some of the strange items he has encountered when unclogging customer drains.

Check out his latest interview on Life.Style.Live! Lance, along with plumber Wes, also demonstrate how they unclog a toilet.

If you have a clogged drain, schedule an appointment with L.D. Smith Plumbing for a FREE inspection to locate the clog and recommendations to treat it with no obligation to use our services.