Keeping Those Pipes Running Smoothly

How To Repair A Leaky Pipe In Your Kitchen

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Repair A Leaky Pipe In Your Kitchen

If you have a leaky pipe under your sink, you need to fix it right away so the leak doesn’t get worse. When a pipe leaks under the kitchen sink, the water will pool on the bottom side of the cabinet each time the water is turned on and every time there is water in the sink. This will eventually lead to the development of mold and will cause the wood to become damaged to the point where it needs full replacement. The longer you leave the leak, the worse the leak will get. You can learn how to fix a leaky pipe in this article so you can avoid these issues. Prepare the work area Before you begin working on repairing the leak, you want to prepare the work area. Do this by turning off the water to your sink so you don’t have to worry about water coming in the pipes while you have them disconnected from one another. Put a towel on the bottom of the cupboard to catch any excess water. Take a mop bucket and place it directly under the pipes you are going to be repairing. You may also want to wear knee pads, since you are going to be on your knees for a good length of time. Repair the leaky pipe If the pipe is leaking at the joint, you may be able to repair it by adding some plumber’s tape to the end of the pipe. You should be able to loosen the connections on the pipe by hand. If they are too tight, you can use a pipe wrench. Remove the affected pipe and dry it off with a clean rag. Take the plumber’s tape and wrap it around the ends of the pipe tightly. Put the pipe back in place, hand-tighten the connections and turn the water back on to test for a leak. If a pipe under your sink has a crack, then you need to replace the pipe. Take it off just as you would for a pipe leaking from the joint, and take it to the nearest hardware store. Purchase the same pipe and tape plumbers tape on both ends. Put the new pipe in place and tighten the connections. If you are dealing with a more serious plumbing problem, then it’s important for you to have a professional plumber, like South Side Plumbing & Heating Co. Inc., come out as soon as possible. The longer you put off a plumbing repair, the worse the situation will...

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How To Inspect And Clean The Blower Fan Blades On A Gas Furnace

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Inspect And Clean The Blower Fan Blades On A Gas Furnace

Life changes once you own a home. Many of the things that you took for granted while renting you now have to do on your own. One thing that you need to make sure of before the fall and winter heating season begins is that your furnace is ready to be turned on and start heating your home. Filthy blower fan blades can prevent your furnace from operating a full capacity. Here is how you can inspect and clean the blower fan blades on a gas furnace. Safety First Make sure you shut off the electricity and gas to the furnace before you start working on the blower. Inspection Remove the panel covering the blower, and reach in until you can touch the blades on the fan. If the fan blades are covered with dirt and debris, you’ll need to remove the blower wheel to clean them. Removing the Blower Wheel Disconnect the electrical wire harness running from the furnace to the blower. Remove the screws holding the blower to the bracket inside the furnace. Slide the blower out of the furnace and place it on a work table. Here’s how you to remove the blower wheel: Remove the nut from the motor shaft (this is necessary so you can slide the motor shaft out of the blower wheel). Turn the blower housing unit over and remove the nuts on the motor bracket. Slide the motor out of the blower wheel and set it aside. The blower wheel should be completely loose in the housing unit. Take the blower wheel out of the housing unit for cleaning. Cleaning the Fan Blades Take the blower wheel outside and soak it down with a garden hose. Let the water soak into the debris and dirt to loosen it up. You can use a stiff-bristled toothbrush or a small steel bristled brush to scrub at the dirt and debris. You should move from one blade to the next. After you’ve done a little scrubbing, you should stop and hose the blower wheel down so you can see how much debris remains on the fan blades. Keep repeating this procedure until the fan blades are completely clean. Let the blower wheel dry before putting everything back together. You should also take to time to remove the dirt and debris from the housing unit, motor, and the furnace compartment where the blower goes so that dirt doesn’t quickly end up getting caked onto the fan blades when you turn the furnace on for the winter. Put the blower unit back together in the opposite way in which you took it apart, slide it back on bracket, and screw it back into place. For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact Mitchell Plumbing & Heating Inc. or a similar...

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Naturally Clean Your Bathtub Drain And Get It Flowing Again

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Naturally Clean Your Bathtub Drain And Get It Flowing Again

If you are awaiting houseguests and your bathtub’s drain has chosen today to stop working, then there is no time to waste. Use this procedure to clear the drain and restore the water flow before your guests arrive: Remove Standing Water from the Bathtub If your bathtub stopped draining after someone bathed and there is water sitting in it, then you should bail the water out using a kitchen pot. The less water in the tub, the easier it will be to remove the offending clog. Remove the Tub Stopper To clear the drain, you first need to remove the bathtub stopper. Some stoppers can be screwed counterclockwise to remove them while others have a screw on them that you need to remove. Use a Wire Hook to Remove Hair from the Drain The most common offender in bathtub clogs is hair. The hair is naturally shed when you wash your hair and then it travels down the drain and becomes wrapped in the stopper, clogging the bend in the drain pipe. To remove the hair, bend a wire hanger until it is straight and has a small hook at one end. Place the hooked end into the drain and move it around to pull out all of the hair. You will need to repeat this process many times, and you will be shocked at the amount of hair you will retrieve. Wash and Clean the Drain Once all of the hair has been removed from the bathtub drain, then you should clean and sanitize the drain. To accomplish this without using any harsh cleaners, you can use the following: dish washing liquid baking soda vinegar To clean the drain, first wash it well with hot water. If the drain is still having flow issues, then you should place a liberal amount of baking soda into the drain. Follow the baking soda with a cup or two of white vinegar. This acid-base reaction will foam and form air pockets in any clog that remains in the drain. Let the vinegar and baking soda sit in the drain for about ten minutes to complete its reaction. Finally, you can sanitize the drain by placing a tablespoon of dish washing liquid into the drain and then rinsing it with the hottest water the tap will deliver. The dish washing liquid will remove any residual grease from the drain and make the drain smell clean and fresh. If you have a very stubborn clog and need help, contact plumbers like RK Knight...

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5 Benefits Of Handheld Showerheads

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Benefits Of Handheld Showerheads

If you are looking for some ways to improve on the amenities in your home’s bathroom then you may want to consider installing a handheld shower head in your shower. There are a lot of benefits that come with these types of showerheads, and you can learn about 5 of those benefits in this article. Help with mobility issues: If you suffer from mobility issues, it may be hard for you to get a complete shower. When you have access to a handheld showerhead, you can use it to wash all the areas you would normally have a hard time rinsing off in the shower. Help with painful areas: Many of the handheld showerheads come with different pulse settings. Some of these settings are massage settings. They offer relaxing pulses that feel similar to a massage. The pulses with very warm water can be great if you suffer from achy muscles or many other types of pain. You can hold the water on your sore areas for as long as you need, or until you run out of hot water! Easier to wash long hair: If you have very long hair, it can take a long time and a bit of work to make sure you rinse out all the shampoo and conditioner. You can put a handheld showerhead closer to your head to rinse it quicker and without hassle. Easier to clean your shower: Cleaning the sides of your shower will be easier when you have one of these showerheads. You can use it to rinse the cleaner off of all the surfaces of the shower instead of repeatedly filling a cup with water and splashing it on the walls of the shower. Easier to wash your pets: You may not always be able to wash your pets outside, depending on the weather where you live. Washing them in the bathtub with a cup of water to rinse them can be harder than it sounds. If you have one of these types of showerheads installed, you can wash your pets in the shower quickly and easily. Now that you have a good understanding of how installing a handheld showerhead can help you, it may be time for you to get one. If you aren’t familiar with tools, it may be best for you to hire a professional plumber to come out and install the new showerhead in your shower for...

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Three Ways To Determine Whether Your Asphalt Driveway Can Take A Pipe Bursting Job

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Determine Whether Your Asphalt Driveway Can Take A Pipe Bursting Job

Pipe bursting is all but essential when you need to replace an aging plumbing pipe that runs below your property but don’t want to deal with all the collateral damage that digging a trench would cause. But since pipe bursting involves threading a new pipe into the old one and literally driving the old pipe apart, you’ll need to watch out for how the old pipe shifts your property’s ground. Determine whether your asphalt driveway can take the ground movement that pipe bursting will cause with these three methods. Pick At The Edges Of The Driveway With A Shovel And See What Comes Loose To find out how easily the middle of your asphalt driveway will break up due to force from below, simply pick at its edges with a shovel or other small metal tool. If you can easily cause small asphalt chunks to break away from the main body, your driveway is probably too weak to survive pipe bursting. This is especially true if the driveway isn’t on raised ground and you can’t easily dig up the dirt around the edge of it to get more leverage. Note How Much Of The Pipe In Question Actually Runs Across The Driveway The longer the pipe section that intersects the driveway, the more danger that the asphalt will be in. Unless your asphalt driveway is extremely new, you should be very wary of going ahead with pipe bursting if the damaged pipe runs straight under and parallel to it. Observe How Long It Takes Rain On The Driveway To Dry A decaying asphalt driveway that’s inundated with rainwater will take longer to dry because it doesn’t have as smooth of a surface as it once did. Even if you can’t see them, tiny imperfections and indentations in aging asphalt can hold sizable pools of water. As more and more water evaporates off the asphalt, this excess water will come out of its hiding places and keep your driveway wet for longer than normal. To find out whether your driveway is taking longer than normal to dry, simply set an alarm on your phone for a few hours after a rainstorm. Then, photograph your driveway and set the alarm for another hour in the future. Repeat the process until the driveway is clearly dry. For best results, use one of your neighbors’ newer driveways as a reference point. Photograph both of the driveways and note which one of them looks drier in each photo. To learn more, contact a company like South West...

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What Are The Causes Of Sewer Line Clogs?

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Are The Causes Of Sewer Line Clogs?

A sewer line clog or break will result in the individual drains in your home draining slowly or not at all. This includes all sinks, tubs, and toilets. If there is an underground break, and flooding occurs, you could face a backup of black sewer sludge that rises into your sink and tub through their drains. Your sewer line carries the waste water from your home to the main public drain. Since some of the line is in your home and some is underground, there are multiple reasons for sewer line clogs and breaks. These include: Common causes of sewer line clogs and breaks Tree roots In times of little or no rain, tree roots will grow longer to try to find a source of water. Eventually, they can find their way inside your sewer line in their search for water. As the roots grow and multiply inside the pipe, they can form a clog. If they grow too large, they can break through the pipe. Food items from your sink or garbage disposal Some food items that may help to clog your sewer line include Hot grease, which becomes solid inside your sewer line as it cools, Bones that splinter inside the pipe and cause obstructions Egg shells, which contain an inner membrane that shreds into strings inside the pipe Items thrown into your toilet Human waste and toilet paper are the only items that are meant to be disposed of in your toilet. Other items that are commonly tossed into toilets, helping to clog the sewer line, include: Flushable diapers. They will flush, but they will also clog your sewer line because they don’t degrade enough to pass through the line completely Feminine products. Although it is understandable that users of the items may wish to dispose of them in a discreet manner, flushing them down the toilet may cause clogs to form around them. Hair. Clumps of hair from a comb or hairbrush can form an impenetrable clump When combined with other debris inside your sewer line. Sewer line shift or decay A sewer line can move out of position because of extreme temperature changes or shifting soil. It may also move or decay because of age, causing poor drainage and clogs.  What can be done about clogged or broken sewer lines? A plumbing services company (such as ​R Acres Plumbing Company LLC) can fix the problem in different ways, depending on the severity of the situation. Possible solutions include: Cleaning out your sewer line A sewer line service provider can access your sewer line with specialized power tools that will snake through the pipe and clear any obstructions. This option is only available if the sewer pipe is intact. Repairing your sewer line if your sewer line is cracked or broken, an inner sleeve can be installed without the need for digging or accessing the underground portion of the pipe. The sleeve is inserted through the sewer line at ground level. Replacing your sewer line This is the choice of last resort. It requires digging up your yard with a backhoe and physically removing and replacing your sewer line. This option is used when the pipe is too decayed or crushed to be repaired in a less obtrusive (and expensive)...

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Copper Vs. PVC For Plumbing Pipes

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Copper Vs. PVC For Plumbing Pipes

The pipes you use in your home will have a long-lasting effect on your energy use and the quality of your water. While PVC pipes are a much newer addition to the plumbing scene than copper, they should not necessarily be your first choice for plumbing. Copper is a durable material that will work well in situations where PVC simply would not work. On the other hand, there are also times when PVC is the better choice. An Analysis of PVC Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is a lightweight plastic which can be extruded into plumbing pipes for use with both fresh and wastewater pipes. The benefit of PVC is that it is a cheaper material than copper, and it will not corrode like copper and other metal pipes will. Also, PVC pipes are, in general, thicker than metal pipes and will not conduct heat as much a metal; therefore, PVC pipes help hot water to stay hot longer, so you don’t waste as much electricity trying to heat water. The disadvantages of PVC are that if you use plastic pipes in an area that is prone to tremors or earthquakes, the movement of the earth can cause the pipes to rupture. Furthermore, if your home catches fire, your PVC pipes will release toxic gases when they combust. Thus, they can cause a hazard to pets or people in your home.  An Analysis of Copper Pipes Copper is a malleable material that can be easily shaped into pipes for plumbing. The main benefit of copper is that if you live in an earthquake-prone area, copper pipes will flex, which can help them to outlast an earthquake. Furthermore, they will not combust; thus, they should stand through a fire. Finally, copper pipes can be recycled after they reach the end of their service life. The main disadvantages of copper are that it will corrode over time and this corrosion can leach metal salts into your water supply. Also, copper tends to be an expensive material to work with, so your cost of installation will be higher. Choosing between the two depends on matching the right pipe for your circumstances. Copper and PVC are two of the most common plumbing materials on the market. While copper is more expensive and more prone to corrosion than PVC, you should not automatically write it off. If you are worried about forest fires, tremors, or full-scale earthquakes, then copper pipes are your best choice. On the other hand, if you are trying to keep costs down, and you don’t have to worry about earthquakes, then PVC pipes are a better choice. Visit a plumber like Countryside Plumbing if you have...

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Cleaning Up After Residential Plumbing Repair: What You Need To Do

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cleaning Up After Residential Plumbing Repair: What You Need To Do

Your toilet was so badly jammed up that it overflowed and you needed a plumber. That is a pretty common plumbing problem. However, clearing a clog can lead to a very messy bathroom. Most plumbers will help you clean up this mess, which is both gross to look at and gross to smell. Cleaning up after residential plumbing repair is no fun, but at least it will go quickly and will not cost you a lot for the supplies you will need. (Your plumber may even have some gloves and bleach on hand to help you.) Here is what you need to do and why. Don Gloves and Protective Equipment Microscopic amounts of feces and bacteria are running amok in your bathroom right now. Everything that was touched or soaked by contaminated toilet water has got to be thrown into your washing machine and bleached/sanitized. You need to protect yourself and what you are currently wearing from coming into contact with this mess, so at the very least, don some cleaning gloves. Bleach/Sanitize All Laundry  If your plumber used several towels to prevent the mess from flowing everywhere, or your clothing hamper became a casualty when the toilet overflowed, wash all of the laundry. Do your best to either use bleach in the load or find a way to sanitize it so that microbes from the mess do not make you and your family sick. Towels are usually durable enough that you can bleach them, but you may have to find alternatives for the rest of your laundry (if it was contaminated). Wipe Down All Surfaces with a Powerful Disinfectant You have to wipe down every bathroom surface, including the sink counter top and the light switch, because you just do not know where any toilet splatters landed. Use a very powerful disinfectant, one that cleans as well as sanitizes. The cleaner you use has to kill all germs and bacteria associated with toilets and human waste, so be sure to read the bottle of cleaner carefully. When in doubt, bleach always does the job, but you should also ventilate your bathroom when cleaning with that much bleach. Clean and Sanitize the Floor Simply think about all the times you or your family members drop a toothbrush on the bathroom floor. Would you honestly want to put that toothbrush back in your mouth knowing that the floor was left unwashe and unsanitized after a toilet overflow and plumbing repair? Probably not. Since most of the toilet mess and repair work was at the floor level, be sure to clean and sanitize the floor really...

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Preparing Your Plumbing For Winter

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Preparing Your Plumbing For Winter

You can avoid frozen pipes, hoses, and outdoor water bibs, as well as the resulting plumbing repair bills, by performing a few preventive tasks before freezing temperatures arrive. These tasks include: Remove and store your garden hoses You can save your garden hoses for the next summer season by following a few simple steps: Detach the hose from the water supply bib Remove any sprayer or sprinkler attachment Drain the hose completely Stretch the hose to its full length, turning it to remove any kinks Roll the hose carefully and store it inside your home. When you detach the hose from the supply bib and attachments, be certain that the rubber washer stays inside the female hose coupling, so it will not need to be replaced in the spring. By stretching out the hose, removing the kinks, and storing it indoors, you will save you hose from cracking from freezing temperatures, especially along the fault lines caused by kinks. Preparing your outdoor supply bib from freezing Another reason for removing your hose in the winter is to protect your outdoor bib (faucet). If the hose remains attached and not properly drained, water can freeze inside the bib and render it useless and in need of replacement. You will also need to turn off the supply line to the bib. This can be done by shutting off the valve that controls the flow of water to the supply pipe that feeds the bib. When the valve is shut off, the bib should be opened as much as possible to allow the water inside the pipe, and any residual water inside the bib, to drain. Keep the bib open for the duration of the winter season. If any water remains inside the pipe or bib and freezes, it will be able to expand through the open bib rather than inside the pipe or bib. Preparing your indoor pipes from freezing If any of your indoor pipes are located in poorly insulated basement rooms that can dip below freezing in severely cold weather, you should install insulated pipe wrap to help pipes to keep from freezing. Installing insulated pipe wrap is simple. You just wrap it around a pipe and tape it so it is secure. Of course, pipe wrap insulation doesn’t supply heat, so if you are facing unusually frigid temperatures, you might consider using a portable electric heater to keep the room temperature just warm enough to protect your pipes from freezing.  Keep a thermometer in the room to be sure that it is above the freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit, 0 degrees Celcius). It might save you from a plumbing service call in the spring to repair or replace a burst pipe. For more tips, contact a local plumbing company like Aalco-The Drain...

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How To Increase The Efficiency Of Your AC Unit

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Increase The Efficiency Of Your AC Unit

If you invest in a new air conditoner you will certainly having a modern unit that is much more energy efficient. However, you might not be able to afford to go right out and buy a new air conditioner. In fact, you might not even need a new air conditioner. If you AC unit is running low, has weak airflow, uses up too much electricity and does not produce cold air, the problem might not be with the unit. All of these symptoms are interconnected and can often be fixed with basic repair of your HVAC system. This article explains if you test to run and repairs to make before you decide to invest in a new air conditioner. Check your Furnace Filter First, you should check your furnace filter. Most people think that the furnace filter has nothing to do with the air flow of air conditioner. However, most central heating systems funnel AC air through the furnace. So, if the furnace filter is dirty or clog, your air conditioner will have much worse air flow. Luckily, replacing your furnace filter is very simple, filters usually located at the front of the furnace behind a hinged door. you don’t even need any tools to remove the door. Just pop it open, pull the filter out and give it a quick inspection. If it looks dirty, you might as well go buy a brand-new one. Whether you just clean or completely replace the filter, you should run your AC to see if you notice improved air flow. Clean the Condenser Coils Another easy way to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner is to clean the condenser coils. Most AC units have steel cages around them. Inside the cage, the AC unit is wrapped in condenser coils. These coils can get clogged, bent and dirty overtime. Unplug your AC unit and then spray down the coils with your hose. Cleaner condenser coils could improve the airflow of your unit and they could also results in colder air. The condenser coils are responsible for filtering the outside air and condensing it. If they are not working properly, your entire unit will struggle to make cold air. The knock-on effect of this is that your AC unit will suck up more electricity. And you will end up paying for it, literally. It is easy to see why this so important to clean your furnace filter and condenser coils. If you make the two repairs and still have trouble cooling your home, you might want to consider investing in a new unit from a place like Kook & Son...

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