Backflow Testing: What You Need to Know

backflow testingAccess to safe, clean water is a top priority for any home or business owner, which is why backflow testing and related services are so important. Trying to learn more about backflow preventer testing and backflow services to protect your water supply from contamination? Keep reading for the facts you need to know.

What Is Backflow Testing?

Backflow testing is a procedure that mitigates the dangerous effects of backflow, which can contaminate the water with fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals. The backflow testing process involves a plumber assessing how the plumbing system’s backflow preventer performs. They check the backflow valves to identify leakage, insufficient gauge movement, and other signs of a malfunctioning device.

If they determine all parts are working correctly during the test, you’ll know your water supply is safe. However, if they identify a problem when backflow testing the equipment, they must perform backflow preventer repair to safeguard your water supply right away.

What Do Backflow Services Include?

Professional backflow services will cover tasks related to the maintenance, repair, and optimal functioning of your backflow preventer. At Hill Plumbing and Air, our experienced technicians provide the following backflow services:

  • Backflow testing
  • Repair
  • Installation
  • Inspections
  • Re-Certifications

We understand that a malfunctioning backflow preventer can spell disaster for your home or business. Count on our technicians to offer the reliable backflow testing and services you need to keep your family members or customers safe. Contact Hill Plumbing and Air today to schedule backflow testing or other backflow services.

Metallic Tasting Water Could Be a Sign of Rusty Pipes

metallic water tasteSummertime is the best time for a tall glass of cool water, but if you find metallic-tasting water instead of a refreshing drink, it’s cause for concern. There are some common reasons for that off-putting taste, but the most common is rusty pipes. Here’s a breakdown of how and why that happens.


Metal in the Water

When your water tastes like metal, it’s more than likely due to metal coming from your pipes that leaches into your water supply when your pipes are rusty. The type of metal depends on what type of pipes you have. Rusted pipes are most often iron, and that iron taste in the water is what you’ll find when the pipes start to corrode.


Can it Cause Health Issues?

Water that tastes like metal isn’t generally a health concern unless you have lead or zinc pipes. Iron pipes can make the water taste hideous, but you don’t have to worry about being dangerous.


How to Get Rid of the Bad Taste

There are a couple of ways to manage the iron taste in your water. First, you can install a whole-home water filtration system that will filter the water that comes into your home, improving it in all taps. Second, if the rust in your pipes is significant, it could require major pipe repair or re-piping in your home.


If your tap water tastes like metal, you don’t have to start buying bottled water and avoid the tap. Instead, an assessment of your plumbing is essential to determining the cause of the issue and the necessary repairs. Contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air now to schedule a service call with an experienced plumber.

My Water Tank is Leaking. What next?

water tank leakDo you have a leaking water tank? Even if it’s just a few drops, it’s nothing to take lightly. A dripping water tank can quickly lead to enormous damage to your home. So here’s what you need to know if your hot water heater isn’t holding its water.


Identifying a Leak


Not every hot water tank leak is visible. Because tanks can leak on the inside, and because they’re often in closets and basements and other areas where you might not spend a lot of time, a leak can go unnoticed. Some telltale signs your tank is leaking include less hot water, rusting tank exterior, puddles near the tank, and a change in the water quality.


What to Do if You Suspect a Leak


You don’t want to ignore a potential leak. Follow these steps if you think your water heater might be losing water:


  • Locate the leak by looking for water, checking the integrity of the tank, and checking the valves
  • Turn off the power to the water heater
  • Drain the tank to access the place where the tank leaks
  • Turn off the water to the tank
  • Repair the leak


What Next? Call in a Plumbing Professional


Most homeowners don’t have training in plumbing and water tank repair. It requires experience dealing with electric or gas tanks, plumbing, and tank repair. Instead of managing a leaking water tank on your own, contact your local plumbing company to diagnose the issues, locate the leak, and complete the repair in less time, with less stress, and with work you can rely on.


If you have a hot water tank leak, reach out to the Hill Plumbing and Air team of experts today.

What is the Best Type of Water Heater for My Home?

hot water heater

Not so many years ago, choosing a water heater for your home came down to capacity and price. Everyone had a tank system because that’s what was available. Now you have the option to go with the standard tank system or a tankless one. How do you choose? Here are some things to consider.

What to Know About a Tank System


Most homes have tank water heaters. They consist of a large tank that holds water. A heating element heats the water and keeps it at a consistent temperature, so it’s ready when you turn on the hot water tap. This type of heater is affordable, generally between $500 and $800, and they’re easy to replace when they get old and worn out or if they break down. Though newer models are more energy-efficient than older ones, one of the drawbacks of a tank heater is that they lack efficiency. As a result, they always keep water hot, even if not needed, using excess energy.


What to Know About a Tankless System

Unlike a traditional tank, a tankless water heater provides hot water on-demand. Instead of heating the water in the storage tank continuously, tankless systems heat it as you need it. When you turn on the tap, the system heats the water as it runs through the pipes in your home, resulting in energy efficiency that is about twice that of a traditional water heater. The downside is the initial cost, which is also about twice that of a tank heater. The good news is they last longer and will save you money on your energy bills that can more than make up for the cost.

Still on the fence? Ask the pros at Hill Plumbing and Air for guidance on the best type of water heater for your home.

3 Signs That Your Plumbing System Needs Maintenance

Did you know that your plumbing system needs maintenance from time to time? It’s not like your HVAC system that requires twice-yearly service, but plumbing systems assessment every two years will ensure it’s in good working order. If your plumbing could benefit from professional attention more frequently, there are some definite signs to look for. Here are three of them.

#1: Your Pipes are Getting a Little Noisy

You should be able to hear the normal sounds of running water when you turn on the tap, but anything else could indicate a problem. Gurgling, bubbling, and sucking sounds are usually from water trying to go around a clog in the pipe. Things like hair and soap residue are common causes, but if left untreated can lead to bigger issues with your plumbing.

#2: Your Drains Running Slow

Have you noticed your drains are slower than usual? If you think your sinks, tubs, and showers take a little longer to empty, it could be the sign of a pipe clog or other issue. It might be a little annoying now, but it can lead to pipe damage and potentially flooding and water damage.

#3: Loss of Water Pressure

If you like a nice, strong shower but the water pressure has dropped recently, don’t ignore it. When you lose pressure, it could be the sign of a plumbing issue, including a broken, cracked, frozen, or clogged pipe, that requires attention.

If you notice anything unusual with your plumbing, it could be a sign that it requires service, repair, or maintenance. Don’t wait! Contact the best team in the area at Hill Plumbing and Air.

What Happens if My Pipes Freeze?

preventing frozen pipesCold winter weather means there’s a risk for frozen pipes in your plumbing system. Let’s look at what happens when your pipes freeze and how to prevent it.

When Pipes Freeze

Water expands when it freezes, leading to increased pressure in your pipes which can cause them to burst. Because of this, any water in your pipes exposed to extreme cold is at risk of getting cold enough to do damage.

Signs of Frozen Pipes

There are some distinct signs that you could have frozen pipes. They include:

  • No water coming out of the faucets
  • Frost on the outside of your pipes
  • An unusual smell coming from your drains
  • Gurgling or clanging coming from your pipes

What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

If you think you might have frozen pipes, it’s critical to act quickly. Frozen pipes can rupture and lead to extensive water damage in your home. Make sure you contact a professional plumber before trying to thaw or repair the pipes yourself.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Some steps to prevention might seem like a pain, but they’re much easier than dealing with frozen pipes. A few measures to take to keep your pipes from bursting include:

  • Drain your irrigation lines before winter
  • Insulate areas where plumbing is close to exterior walls
  • Detach outside hoses from spigots
  • Talk to a plumber about how to protect the pipes in your home

Whether you want to protect your pipes before anything goes wrong or have a pipe that’s burst, a reliable plumbing company can help. Contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air for all your plumbing needs.

Why the Hill Plumbing & Air Palmetto Club Saves You Money

Your plumbing system takes care of you year-round. Are you doing your part to take care of it? Hill Plumbing and Air Palmetto Club provides one annual plumbing inspection to make sure everything is running right. Here’s why signing up will save you money.

Increased Energy Efficiency and Reduced Water Waste

When it comes to your plumbing, annual inspections ensure they don’t have issues that could bump up your water bill. Here are some of the things included:

  • Evaluate all plumbing and fixtures that are visible and not behind walls or drywall
  • Check all water lines, faucets, and toilets for leaks that could be increasing your water use
  • Inspect gas pipes to ensure there are no leaks
  • Look at waste lines to check for leakage
  • Check water heaters for proper function
  • Ensure pumps are operating normally

Fewer Repairs

Repairs to your plumbing system can throw your budget completely off track. Regular inspection and service can find and repair small issues before they become expensive problems. Additionally, with regular service, well-functioning equipment is less likely to break down, preventing costly repairs.

Longer Life Expectancy for Your Systems

Just like a car that gets regular service, your plumbing will last longer when it gets the TLC it needs. Maintenance and service keep it functioning as it should, cutting down on wear and tear and increasing the life expectancy of your water equipment. If you compare the cost of maintenance to the cost of repair or replacement, you’ll see you’ll come out ahead with the right service plan.

Only one company offers the highly effective and competitive Palmetto Plan. To find out more about how it can save you money, contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air.



4 Tips to Fix Leaky Showerhead

Leaking water from a shower head. Concept of water wastage

Do you have a leaky showerhead in your bathroom? Not only is the dripping annoying, it’s also wasteful. Before pulling your hair out, check out these four tips to fix the leaky showerhead.

Tip #1: Take a Look

To tell what’s happening inside the showerhead, you need to take it down and look. First, you’ll need to unscrew it from the pipe to check the threads inside as well as on the pipe coming from the wall. Age can break down the threads leading to leaks. Another thing to check is the rubber O-ring inside the showerhead where it screws onto the pipe. When those get old, they crack and allow water through, leading to that dripping you hear.

Tip #2: Try Tape First

Some thread seal tape on the threads of the pipe will allow the showerhead to have a better grip and keep water from leaking out. Make sure the pipe and the showerhead are both clean and dry before taping.

Tip #3: Test Out a New O-Ring

A new O-ring can often fix the leak. It’s an inexpensive and easy repair. Just take out the old ring and replace it with a new one. A new ring creates a better seal when the showerhead connects with the water pipe.

Tip #4: Call a Professional

If you’ve tried these quick repairs and your showerhead still leaks, it could be time to call in a plumber. A leak you can’t fix easily yourself might be more serious and needs professional attention.

If you have a leak you can’t DIY, don’t wait. Contact the experts at Hill Plumbing and Air.

What Kind of Pipe Material is Best for Home Plumbing Systems?

what pipe material is bestHow are your pipes and plumbing? If your home is older than 25 years, the plumbing is usually the same age, meaning it could need replacing. Re-piping is the process of replacing old pipes with new ones. However, before you invest in re-piping, you should know what kind of pipe material is best for home plumbing systems. We’ve got the information you need.

Copper Pipes

Copper piping is often more expensive than other types of pipes, but it’s also more durable and can increase the resale value of your home. You’ll sometimes find copper in older houses, and it’s currently used more in commercial applications, but it is still an excellent choice for many homes.

CPVC and PVC Pipes

Unlike copper pipes that are metal, CPVC and PVC pipes are plastic. These pipes are more cost-effective than copper and are common in newer homes. The plastic is easy to manufacture and costs less to ship and transport because it’s light. Installation is also easy and it is flexible and useful in a variety of different homes.

Uponor Pipes

Another choice that is gaining in popularity for use in homes and businesses is Uponor pipe. Like PVC piping, it’s lightweight, flexible, and durable. However, unlike PVC, it is a more sustainable option. It’s also more budget-friendly, installation is quick, and it has a 25-year warranty.

You don’t need to decide on what kind of pipe material is best for home plumbing systems on your own. If your home needs re-piping, trust the guidance of knowledgeable experts by contacting Hill Plumbing and Air.

Are Flushable Wipes Really Flushable?

Are flushable wipes really flushable?Flushable wipes have been around for years, but do you know what they can do to your plumbing? It’s easy to get caught up in the convenience of disposable wipes, but they may not be worth the trouble they can cause. Let’s get the real answer to the big question – can you actually flush flushable wipes?

What Are Flushable Wipes Made Of?

Wipes touted as being flushable consist of paper pulp held together with binders and polymers, including polyester. The companies that make them say they’re biodegradable and start to break down immediately, but that’s generally not the reality.

What Really Happens

When you flush toilet paper, it begins to disintegrate almost immediately and has completely broken down by the time it reaches the septic tank or sewer system. Wipes, on the other hand, can still be almost completely intact if they get that far. They can get stuck in your sewer or septic system, causing backups and even flooding. And if they get as far as the city sewer system, they can cause damage and blockages that affect the entire system.

The Bigger Picture

Flushable wipes are, technically, flushable in that you can flush them down the toilet. However, the damage they can cause to your own plumbing and sewer lines, to the city system in general, and to the environment is mind-boggling. Instead of risking the integrity of your pipes, just say no to flushing wipes.

If you have used and flushed wipes in the past and have found that you might have a blockage or backup, don’t wait to call in the pros. Contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air today to schedule a service call. One of our expert team members can come assess the situation and give you a solution to the problem to get you back up and running quickly.

vintage stack

For more than 95 years, Hill Plumbing and Air has built a rock solid reputation by providing the highest quality plumbing services in Sumter, Florence and surrounding areas. We're now pleased to offer Heating and Air services to better serve our customers.

"DREW did a great job on my HVAC SVC!!!!! Many thanks to you DREW !!!! For helping me breathe on the hottest day of 2021!!!!!!! And thanks to MIKE for the great job repair the flooding under my house!!!! Thanks HILL plumbing for the best service my home and I ever had."

Willene D.

"Could not be more pleased with Juan in Sumter area. He is knowledgable and professional and actually fixed our problem for less than the original estimate. Highly recommend Hill Plumbing and Juan."

Michele O.