What is a Battery Back-Up Sump Pump?

Since our blog post about checking your sump pump went live last week, we have had quite a few inquires as to how a battery back-up sump pump works and how it can be installed. We would love to explain it so you will be educated about your options when it comes to replacing your existing sump pump or installing a new one!

A battery back-up sump pump is actually a unit that contains two sump pumps, one that operates regularly and a second that operates off of battery power. If the first one fails for any reason, the second one will automatically come on and handle any water that is in your basement. This system replaces your existing sump pump, rather than attaching to it.

The battery is similar to a car battery, and must be checked regularly to ensure it is charged and functioning.  This can be done easily by the home owner and a technician can show you the proper technique.  It is vital to maintain the battery so that your investment in a battery back-up sump pump will be worthwhile and prohibit any potential flooding in your home.

If you’re interested in installing this system in your home or have any questions we may be able to answer, feel free to contact us!

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Sump Pumps: When to Replace

We are a bit early to consider Hurricane Irma or any of the other strong storms that are brewing to be a threat to our area at this point. But there is always a chance this may happen at this time of year. We aren’t immune to large storms or heavy amounts of rain here in Northern Virginia and we have been known to weather a category 1 or 2 hurricane in the past.  We as a team watch the news and watch the frantic struggles of our southern neighbors to prepare their homes and businesses in Florida, and we can’t help but wonder if the same will happen here.

This brings us to a concern we all share for our customers: what about your sump pumps?  Are you aware they should be replaced every 5-7 years regardless of condition as this is their estimated lifespan? Unlike common plumbing pipes, there is no shut-off valve for sump pumps, which means the water will keep coming until it stops naturally.  So we ask you to ask yourself, “What condition is my sump pump in and when was it last replaced?”

If you wait until your sump pump fails, it’s too late to save your bottom level from water damage and potential mold. Assuming you’re not watching your pump the minute that it breaks and have a plumber available to respond within 10 minutes, you are potentially setting yourself up for a disaster within your home.

Furthermore, in this area, we have been known to run out of sump pumps when disaster strikes (which happened during multiple storms such as Hurricane Isabel). The pumps were not available for replacement for customers or plumbers, and even the manufacturers ran out as they couldn’t meet the demand. This isn’t intended to be a scare tactic in the least.  We prioritize ourselves on educating our customers and helping to prevent any problems that may occur in your home.

The only thing keeping you dry in a large storm with a lot of rain is a mechanical pump that needs regularly replaced. Lose power often? We have battery-backup options and water-powered back-up options available, as well.

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A Team Above All… Above All a Team

Today we would like to talk about teamwork, and how we as a team synchronize to deliver top-level service you can expect at DB’s.

As a small family-owned and operated company, teamwork is vital to our daily operation. We are blessed with a fantastic team that allows us to operate at an award-winning level of customer service that we are very proud to call our own.  Our company values integrity above all else, and it takes a great team to keep that level of integrity at 100%.

Rachel, Cody, and Amber in the office coordinate all of our scheduling, customer information, and job information with our technicians in the field. They process all incoming job requests, which include phone calls, emails, and messages from various websites across the internet.

Tommy, Zack, and Shane are our team in the field, with Cody assisting on some jobs.  They work together on a daily basis by trading ideas based on their individual experience to create the best solutions for our customers. Our technicians work on larger jobs together and are able to depend on their office staff to synchronize every element that goes into completing jobs successfully and getting them Done Right the First Time.

Our fearless leaders, David and Jennifer, manage all the other aspects of what it takes to keep the business running smoothly.  This includes everything from the finances and insurance, to advertising and human resources, and countless other tasks in-between.

We have regular meetings and team-building events that allow us to bond as a work family and have fun with each other outside of the office.  As with any business, one of the keys to our success is that every spoke on the wheel that is our team functions at the best of their ability, and we are grateful every day for the dedication and effort our team puts into our company.

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5 Things Your Plumber Wish You Knew

This week, we thought you may be interested to know some of the things your plumber would love to share with you.

1. If we can finish a job quickly, it’s typically due to our years of experience and expertise. If it takes longer than expected, know that we are working hard to get your job done and get to our next call or home to our families. We don’t get paid more to take longer or to hurry at DB’s.
 2. Plumbing is a job that is very physically demanding. Plumbers have bad knees, bad backs, and their hands are calloused like baseball gloves. We have a joke around the office that plumbers are “certified contortionists”, as they have to get into small, tight spaces, and work around piping, ducting, and appliances daily.
 3. Plumbing is a very dirty job! Mike Rowe may have done some crazy things on his show Dirty Jobs, but our plumbers can relate! We work hard to keep ourselves, our trucks and tools, and your home or business as clean as possible. We hope we can leave your space like we were never there. We do laundry practically daily, and we clean our trucks all throughout the work week.
4. Sometimes the first solution to a problem isn’t always the final solution, no matter how hard we try to make it work. There are no 100% guarantees when it comes to plumbing, as every job and every set-up is different. What worked at your home may not work at the next home, and we do our best to get it done as quickly and affordably as possible.
5. Most plumbers absolutely love their job.We take a lot of pride in solving customer’s problems using creative solutions daily.We love that we can restore water to a family waiting for a shower, we can get a child’s favorite toy out of a drain, and we can stop a leaking pipe from damaging a finished basement; potentially all in the same day.  We chose this career to have an ever-changing work day, solve issues, and do honest work with our hands and hearts.
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9 Years in Business!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for 9 years in business! We reached this milestone last week and enjoyed a company dinner with stories, laughs, and great food courtesy of a restaurant we have the pleasure of working for. We are blessed and grateful for the success of our business and the fantastic team that works so hard for us, every day.

We would also like to thank our members for their patronage and business over the years. Our long-term relationships with customers are something we value greatly and strive for at DB’s. We love it when our recurring customers call in, are excited to talk to us, and can’t wait to request one of our technicians who has been to their home in the past and left a great impression.  There is no greater complement to any business than to use us repeatedly and refer us to your loved ones.

If you’re interested in becoming a member, it’s as easy as calling the office. We can process membership requests without an appointment, and you can request a technician that has served your home in the past. Or, you can always sign up for the membership the next time you have a technician in your home. Membership benefits include 25% off labor, next call priority service, no evaluation charges, and a yearly checkup of the plumbing in our home.

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Frost-Free Vs. Standard Hose Bibs- What’s the Difference?

Since Summer is in full swing, we all use our hoses for all sorts of things; washing the car, watering our plants, filling the pool. Many customers may find that where the hose attaches to their home, they have an issue. There may be water spraying out whether the hose is turned on or not, no water comes out, or even that the hose bib has been broken off on the outside entirely!

When it is necessary to replace a hose bib (a.k.a. outside faucet, exterior spigot), there are several different options available. Most customers are interested in the ‘frost-free’ version, which we recommend as well. But you may ask yourself, what is the difference between a frost-free hose bib and the standard version that has been available for decades? Is it really frost-free, as in you don’t have to winterize it once the weather turns and it won’t freeze? And how are these replaced?

The difference between a frost-free hose bib and a regular one is that with a frost-free hose bib, you are able to shut off the water much further down the stem then with a regular one. Therefore, when winter comes, it is possible to turn the water off and it will not freeze. With a regular hose bib, the water shuts off much closer to the home, which means water could cause the hose bib to freeze internally and split. Most customers find this out the first time they want to use the hose bib, when the weather warms in the Spring.

While they are labeled “frost-free”, there can be no 100% guarantee that a hose bib will not freeze. The best way to ensure the hose bib doesn’t freeze is to make sure to have nothing attached to it once winter comes. Hoses MUST be detached so water does not penetrate the stem of the hose bib during winter. If this precaution is taken, it is highly unlikely your frost-free will have any issues in the winter.

In order to replace a hose bib, we must have access to the inside and outside of the home. Inside, there is a connection from your water to the hose bib in order to supply it. To winterize a standard hose bib, there is a valve located here that you can turn off, so that water does not seep into the bib and freeze, causing cracking and malfunction. If you have any issues with your hose bibs, give us a call! We repair and replace them regularly.

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We’re Expanding!

Thanks to the wonderful support of customers like you, we are expanding our fantastic work force! We are looking for someone who fits our company’s values and will be a contributing member to our award-winning customer service team. While the position is of limited hours currently, there is a real possibility of the position converting to full-time in the future!

We are interested in referrals from our customers, as you know us best and you know who would be the perfect fit!

Are you or anyone you know looking for part-time work?  We’re searching for someone to answer phones and schedule calls on Fridays, 7am to 6pm, and Saturdays, 9am to 3pm. This is a light duty office-work job that would be great for someone who has a busy schedule, but would love some extra income. You have the potential in this position to be a key holder, learn how to provide great customer service/show us your skills, and learn how to dispatch a small team around Northern Virginia.
Come join the DB’s TEAM!!!! Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested in this opportunity.

If interested, please email resumes to HR@fixmyleaknow.comWe read every applicant’s information in detail, and we will contact those who we believe will be the best fit.

We value and appreciate you all,

DB’s Plumbing and Drain Team

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We Won Best Of!

DB’s Plumbing and Drain has been named the 2017 Best of Prince William County: Plumber
by InsideNova.

We are humbled and honored to be voted by our wonderful customers to win this title in our town. Winning this “Best Of” title has been a goal of the company for 8 years, and we are so overjoyed to have met this goal.

Every member of our team is vital to our success and has worked extremely hard to provide great customer service and earn this title. We are extremely grateful for their dedication to our business.

Above all, we want to THANK YOU, our customers, for making us have a reason to strive for perfection every day. We truly consider our customers to be an extension of our family.

From Our Family to Yours,

DB’s Plumbing and Drain Team

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It’s That Time Again…

Vacation Season!!

It’s that time of the year once again: Vacation Time! Time to pack up your bags and go experience the world in whatever form you may choose.

While you pack up your things, empty the fridge, and get the kids ready, don’t forget it is a great time to have a plumber come and take a look at your home and make sure everything is functioning properly before you leave.

Every summer, we get calls from families that have come home from vacation to find a home without hot water, a malfunctioning drain or leaky faucet, or most importantly, a significant leak. It is not a bad idea to have all of the functional aspects of your home looked over before you leave on your vacation.

Plumbing that is in good working order can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs.

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Every Job is Different

As a customer, you may have heard us say the phrase “every job is different”, over the phone when you booked an appointment. This week we wanted to talk about how true that really is!

Sometimes customers will say that their job is small while setting up an appointment, and be very surprised to find out that it is more of an undertaking than they originally thought. Other times, a customer is very concerned about their plumbing and believes their job to be large and costly, and when we get eyes and hands on the job we discover a quick and easy solution.

We have had many instances where the existing plumbing affected the job at hand, including sinks installed in a home that simply drained outside, traps installed using incorrect fittings and techniques under sinks, and water heaters installed improperly, which caused leaking. If the plumbing in your home was not done in accordance with International Plumbing Code or was DIYed by you or a previous owner, you may not even be aware of the scope of the work that is necessary to bring your home up to code.

The main reason every job is different is because every home has unique features, unique plumbing, and its own quirks. The best way to diagnose plumbing issues is always to get a licensed, skilled technician to come to your home and use his knowledge and years of experience to figure out the best solution for you and your home.

If you’d like to share a short story of a time we found a solution for you, feel free to respond to this email and let us know! We would love to share some testimonials from our customers

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