Having a shut-off for your outdoor faucet is not required, but it's strongly recommended. Without a shut-off there is a high probability that your pipe will freeze and split in the winter. Typical procedure would be to install a shut-off and a way to bleed out remaining water in the pipe. This way you can guarantee there is no water in the pipe when winter arrives.
There are all-kinds of do-it-yourself products you can buy to solve plumbing problems. However some of these materials haven't really lasted the test of time and can be installed incorrectly, which can cause problems. It's better to call a professional and we can ensure that your problem will be solved correctly.
There are advantages to both owning and renting a hot water tank. The average lifespan of a modern hot water heater is roughly 10-15 years depending on usage. If you know that you're only going to be living in your current home for less than 5 years, then renting may be cheaper. However if you plan on staying for more than 5 years, you'd be better off purchasing your own hot water heater. Based on average rental prices, you pay off your hot water heater in the first 4.5 years. So in that 10-15 years you're potentially paying for 2-3 hot water tanks in that time period.
Tankless hot water heaters are an option to install instead of a regular tank hot water heater. They have a few advantages and disadvantages. First off they're more efficient than the typical water heater, and they have potential to provide you with more hot water heater than your normal tank. However, going tankless usually involves a much higher cost to install. They also require regular maintenance to keep them from breaking down, and part prices can also be quite expensive.
We typically recommend that you don't use drano and other acids. The reason for this is that depending on the pipe material, it can actually corrode the pipe interior. Loosening joints and creating holes and cracks in your drains causing leakages. REMEMBER, if you do use these chemical cleaners and it doesn't work LET US KNOW. These chemicals can be quite corrosive on human skin, if our plumbers are aware of its presence, they will be much safer.
If you notice after heavy rainfall that water comes up through any of your basement drains, it is possible that there may be a blockage in your sewer. In newer homes, typically a sump pump is installed and that allows the water to be drained with no problems. However in older style homes, there is a weeping-tile connection that hooks into your main sewer. If you ever notice any water backing up or draining slow, it's best to just call us out and let us clean/inspect the sewer.
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