Keeping Those Pipes Running Smoothly

Keep Your Toilet Flowing Easily By Making Sure These Things Don’T Get Flushed

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep Your Toilet Flowing Easily By Making Sure These Things Don’T Get Flushed

A clogged toilet is a common home plumbing problem that many people experience, and the solution to this issue can range from a few simple pumps with a plunger to needing to call a licensed emergency plumber. Given that you don’t want to run into this disruptive issue, it’s important to give some thought to what you flush down the toilet – and make sure that your flushing habits don’t increase your risk of a blockage. Here are some things that should never be flushed away. Sanitary Wipes Many sanitary wipes that you might use for your child or even for yourself are often labeled as being “flushable,” but the reality is that they can be hugely problematic. These products can easily clog your pipes and lead to a major blockage that requires the help of a plumber. Such products have wreaked havoc in many cities’ sewer systems, too, given the fact that they don’t break down. It’s best to dispose of these products in your garbage or simply use toilet paper. Cooking Products On the surface, it might seem impractical to try to flush cooking products down the toilet, but if you frequently fry your food, you might be looking for a quick and easy disposal method for your used oil. The concern with flushing such products is that they will coat the inside of your toilet and your pipes; over time, this coating can reduce the flow of water and lead to clogs. It’s better to pour your used oil into an appropriate-size bottle and dispose of it in your household garbage. Extremely Large Wads Of Toilet Paper Most toilets can handle a fair amount of toilet paper at one time, but if you’re using a significant wad that’s larger than usual, it’s beneficial to dispose of it in a couple flushes. Flushing a large amount of paper in one flush has the potential of clogging the toilet or the pipes leading away from the toilet, which will result in an unpleasant mess for you to deal with. It’s better to flush two or three times if your toilet paper usage is substantial. Tooth Floss It’s easy to toss your piece of used floss into the toilet after you finish cleaning your teeth, but doing so could lead to a call to your local emergency plumber. The long, stringy nature of tooth floss means that it can easily wrap its way around other matter in your pipes and contribute to a blockage. Additionally, it doesn’t break down over time; it’s best to toss your floss in the garbage...

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How To Handle Low Water Pressure In Your Home

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Handle Low Water Pressure In Your Home

If you have found that you have been experiencing low water pressure in your home, then you might not know exactly where to look. After all, plumbing can get pretty complicated, especially if you haven’t really looked at how it works in your home. To help you get a better idea of why you might have low water pressure and how to fix it, here are some tips to consider: You Might Have a Leak Your first and biggest concern should be whether or not you have a leak. A leak can greatly reduce the water pressure in parts of your home, since some of the water that should be coming out of your faucet is actually escaping your pipes en route. From there, it can spread and cause quite a bit of damage, both in terms of direct water damage and the potential growth of mold. To find a leak, you want to turn off all of the water in your home and check the water meter. Now that there is no water running, there shouldn’t be any change in the water meter until you do something like turn on a faucet in your home. However, if there is a leak, then that meter will steadily climb. Therefore, you want to wait a few hours and then check the meter to see if the numbers have changed at all. If the readings have increased, then you will need to hunt for the leak. In many cases, this involves calling a plumber, since it can be incredibly hard to find leaks on your own. Pipes Get Old You could also just have some old pipes, which are going to have worse water flow than new pipes. Pipes can corrode and minerals can build up, which leads to a bottleneck in the pipe. At these bottlenecks, the maximum amount of water that can get through the pipe at any given time is limited. All of the water pressure downstream of the bottleneck is influenced, resulting in lower overall pressure at the tap. Repairing old pipes isn’t always viable, which means that you may need to replace your pipes. For this, you will likely need the help of some experts, since these pipes can be downright dangerous to handle if you aren’t confident in your own abilities. The City Might Have a Problem Finally, the problem might have nothing to do with your home at all. Instead, the city might just be experiencing problems with the water grid, which can result in a number of homes and businesses experiencing low water pressure. You should talk to your water provider and see if they are having any problems before you do any serious maintenance on your house, since you don’t want to tear up your walls and pipes in an attempt to find a problem that isn’t there. Contact a business, such as Ellsworth Plumbing & Heating Co, for more information....

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Leaking Pipes? Here’s How They Can Destroy Your Home

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leaking Pipes? Here’s How They Can Destroy Your Home

Plumbing services and systems are an important component of any home. They provide you with the water you need to shower, cook food and flush your toilet. Without them, things would be a lot different in homes today. While you might not think too much about these pipes, they do require a certain amount of maintenance to make sure they are taken care of. Old pipes can end up bursting and causing all sorts of problems in the home. Just check out three of the ways that leaking pipes can end up causing damage to your home. Mildew and mold starts to grow. Even a small leak could end up turning into a major disaster in your home. That small pool of water left undetected in your walls could end up damaging the drywall and causing mold to start forming. One small spot of mold will continue to grow and flourish as long as it continues to have a water source. Before you know it, the mold starts to eat its way through your building materials and into the main part of your home. Not only will this cause damage to the structure of the home, but it could end up making you sick as well. Wallpaper and paint starts to peel. Water that seeps behind the walls can end up causing a lot of damage to the structure of your home. The dampness can cause the paint to start running and wallpaper to start peeling. These items need a dry environment to stay adhered to the walls properly. With the water leak in the wall, they don’t have that. If you notice your wallpaper suddenly falling off your walls, you have something going on beneath of the surface that needs to be taken care of. Wood starts to rot. Pipes tend to run underneath of your floors. It won’t take long before the wood starts warping and your floors are ruined. If you start feeling any strange bumps on your floors that weren’t there before, you probably have a leak underneath of the surface that you cannot see. Don’t let the damage continue. The worse the leak becomes, the greater the chance that your floors are going to end up rotting through and you are going to have to replace the entire subfloor. Water leaks are serious and need to be taken care of as quickly as possible to prevent any major problems from occurring around your...

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4 Signs You Need To Re-Pipe Your Home

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Signs You Need To Re-Pipe Your Home

A leaky pipe can often be fixed by repairing a small section of the plumbing. In the event of a more serious problem, it might require re-piping all of the pipes throughout your home. Take a look at some of the common instances where it would be necessary to re-pipe your entire home. Your Home is Older Generally speaking, when you live in an older home that has never had its pipes replaced, you might want to have it done sooner rather than later. Older homes often came with galvanized pipes installed in them. These pipes were known for corroding and bursting whenever they got too old. Low Water Pressure in the Home If water isn’t coming from your faucets like it once did, it might be that your pipes are starting to close up from minerals and rust building up inside of them. Since buildup often takes a significant amount of time to accumulate, it is often a good indicator that your pipes are getting older and are going to need replacing sometime in the near future. You Have Dealt with a Number of Leaks An isolated leak is normal at one point in time or another. However, when you have a bunch of leaks in your home, the pipes are going to need replacing to correct the problem. Investing money now to re-pipe your home is going to be worth it later on down the line since you won’t have to spend a small fortune on plumbing services and repairs. Brown or Red Water Certain types of pipes can end up being corroded in rust at some point in time. That rust ends up breaking off and entering into the water supply in your home. As a result, the water turns a brown or red in color. If that happens, you have no choice but to re-pipe your entire home. Not only does this help to replace old pipes, but it also helps to improve the quality of water in your home. If any of these things sounds like something you are dealing with, you need to bring out a professional plumber who can take a look at your pipes. By replacing your pipes now, you can save yourself a lot of hassles and headaches later on down the line. Don’t wait until your pipes are completely shot when you have the chance to do something about it right...

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New Homeowner’s Guide: How To Get Your Child’s Stuck Toy Out Of A Toilet

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New Homeowner’s Guide: How To Get Your Child’s Stuck Toy Out Of A Toilet

Some kids love to play around water – especially the water in your toilet. The fun just increases when they put a toy in the toilet bowl and flush the handle so it spins around and around in the water. The problem is the toy can get flushed down into the toilet and get stuck. You’ll have to remove the toy before you can use the toilet again to go to the bathroom. Here is how you can get the toy out of the toilet. Closet Augur A closet auger has a handle you can twist connected to a long hollow wand. The wand holds a length of tightly wrapped rings of metal with a loosely-wrapped wire bulbous nose at the tip. The wrapped-wire portion of the augur looks like a regular sewer snake used to clean out sewer lines. The wrapped rings allow the snake portion of the auger to bend and twist through the curves in the toilet. The bulbous tipped end of the auger can snake all through the neck of the toilet until it reaches the opening of the sewer pipe connected to the bottom of a toilet. Toys are usually stuck somewhere in the neck of the toilet. Take the auger and feed the bulbous tip down into the toilet. The head tip will stop when it hits an object blocking the curves in the neck. You want to try to push the tip onto a portion of the toy so the wires on the bulbous tip latch onto the toy and you can pull it back out to you. Trying to snatch onto the toy can take several tries before you are successful. However, if it just doesn’t seem to be working after several attempts, you’ll have to remove the toilet from its base so you can turn it over and reach into the bottom to grab the toy and take it out. Removing Toilet Turn off the water going to the toilet and flush it a couple of times to remove the water in the tank and bowl. You should use a sponge to soak up and remove whatever water is left after flushing to avoid making a big mess on the floor when you tip the toilet over. The toilet is typically bolted to the floor. Lift the caps off on the bottom of the toilet covering the nuts and bolts. Remove the nuts holding the bottom of the toilet to the floor. Use a utility knife to cut through the caulk between the bottom of the toilet and the floor. Gently lift the toilet up off of the bolts. You want to be careful that you don’t damage the gasket or wax ring where the toilet and sewer meet, or you’ll have to get a new gasket or wax ring before you put the toilet back together. Gaskets and wax rings seal the connection between the toilet and sewer pipe so you don’t have any leaks when you flush the toilet. Turn the toilet over to reach in and grab the toy. You may still want to put towels on the floor, or flip it over in a shower or bathtub, to catch any water you missed with the sponge. Set the toilet carefully back into position and bolt it...

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Why Is Your Water Bill Suddenly So High?

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Is Your Water Bill Suddenly So High?

Leaks can be sneaky. They may show up in places that appear to have no relation to the actual source of the leak, or you may not have any visible signs of a leak at all, but your water bill seems unusually high. What’s a homeowner to do when they’re experiencing leaking without an obvious source? How to Tell if You Have an Active Leak You can conduct a home leak detection test to find out if you have a leak that’s active. First, turn off all water-consuming appliances. If your refrigerator has an ice maker, make sure that’s not being used. Don’t run any water in the home for approximately a half hour. After that half hour has passed without anyone using any water in the house, go to your home’s water meter. Check the needle’s reading on the dial and take a note of it and the time. After another 15 to 30 minutes of no water use, go back and check the meter again and verify the meter’s reading.  Has it changed? If so, you most likely have an active water leak. You think you may have a leak–now what? Toilet tanks are frequently a source of leaks, so it makes sense to check there first. A leaky toilet can squander hundreds of gallons of water a day. To find out if the toilet is the source of your high water bill: After the last flush, wait about 10 minutes Take off the tank cover. Does the water level look higher than it should be? If it’s spilling into the overflow drain, you likely have a leak. Put food coloring into the tank water until there’s a visible color change. Check the toilet after 30 minutes. If the colored water has found its way into the bowl, there’s a leak.  If the toilet doesn’t seem to be the source of the leak, look over any exposed pipes in the house for signs of water and touch them to check if they feel wet. If you find a small leak, the pipe joint may need to be tightened or sealed, a task many homeowners can carry out on their own. If you’re unable to find a leak source but your water bills continue to go up inexplicably, you may have a service line leak that’s underground. A plumbing service, like Sunset Professional Plumbing, can conduct a leak detection service to locate leaks in the home. In addition to a general visual inspection, they can perform a video pipe inspection or use high-quality listening equipment to find the source of the leak. Once it’s found and stopped, you can have your water bill back under control in no...

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How To Lower Your Water Bill

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Lower Your Water Bill

Spiking utility bills can wreak havoc on anyone’s household budget. Gas and electric bills certainly do their damage, but water bills can also be a drain on your bank account. If you believe your water bill is higher than it should be, you can try a few ways to remedy the problem. Checking for Leaks Plumbing leaks are one of the main causes for high water bills. Some leaks may require the services of a plumber to find and fix, particularly leaks in buried or concealed pipes. In some instances, you will be able to detect problems on your own. One simple leak detection test for a “silent” toilet tank leak is to put food coloring in the tank and let it sit for approximately 30 minutes. After that time, check to see if any color has leaked into the bowl. If it has, you probably have a flapper leak, something you can fix yourself. Leaking faucets can often be corrected by replacing O-rings. You can also check your water meter by turning off all the water in your house. If no water is running but your meter continues to spin, you know you have a water leak somewhere.  Water-Saving Methods If you are interested in reducing your water bill, you can employ a variety of do-it-yourself methods. For instance, you can greatly reduce the amount of water you use for washing your clothes by avoiding the permanent press setting cycle as much as possible since it uses up to one-third more water than some other cycles. Also, do not wash small loads of clothing if you can possibly help it. Wait until you have a full load. If you urgently need an item or two, handwash it.  Taking shorter showers can help make your water bill more manageable as well. If you are truly dedicated to saving water, you can turn off the faucet while you soap or lather up and then turn the water back on to rinse off. Often, you leave the water running for no reason except convenience. Everytime water goes down your drains for no reason, you are giving away your money. If your water bills have gotten out of hand, you can take steps to get them back under control. Check for water leaks and consult a professional if necessary. Be mindful of how much water you are using for laundry and personal hygiene. Simply paying attention to your water use can significantly reduce your water...

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Tips For Preventing Septic Tank Overflow

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Preventing Septic Tank Overflow

You absolutely do not want your septic tank to overflow. It will cause the area around your septic tank to smell very bad and will pollute the soil in which your septic tank rests. Here are some tips for making sure that your septic tank does not overflow and you don’t have to deal with either of these problems, or any other problems that a septic tank overflow could cause. 1. Maintain Your Drain Field The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your drain feel is well-maintained. The drain field is the area of rocks and gravel that surrounds your septic tank that effectively disperses the water that comes out of it into the ground, allowing you to only keep the sludge in your septic tank. You need to take care of this drain field because it is going to be the reason why you have a lot of soupy waste around the septic tank or do not have this soupy waste.  To keep your drain field safe from harm, make sure that you never park cars on it or put anything heavy near it. This is because when heavy items are put on the drain field, it compacts the rocks and the soil that is holding them together. This can be a major problem because it will reduce the amount of liquid that the field is able to disperse. Keep any plants with deep root systems far away from the field because you don’t want their root systems inadvertently halting the water dispersion process. Grass is completely acceptable because it has a shallow root system. Finally, make sure that your gutters are not directing rainwater to the drain field and causing the field to become saturated with liquid that is not coming from the septic tank. 2. Get a Large Enough Tank Count the number of people that are going to be using the septic tank in your home. Then, multiply that number by 125 to 175 gallons, depending on how much rainwater your area usually gets. This is the total volume that your septic tank should be able to hold. If you don’t get a tank that is large enough, you will suffer an overflow, especially on days when it rains hard.  3. Set a Maintenance Schedule At least once a year, make sure that you have a professional waste removal company come to remove the waste from your septic tank and repair anything that might have been damaged. Pay for these services in advance whenever you have the money to make sure that you don’t have to worry about saving up money for the specific time that you have scheduled. For more information, talk to a company that specializes in waste...

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How To Clean Plugged Burners On A Gas Furnace

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Clean Plugged Burners On A Gas Furnace

If your furnace is not starting properly and warming your home, you should check the burners. Dirt and rust can build up inside the burners and clog the pipes moving gas from one burner to the next. You have to remove the burners so you can clean them out and restore the flow of gas necessary to heat your home. Keeping the burners clean means you’ll avoid hefty furnace repair down the road. Here is how you can remove and clean the gas burners on your furnace. Step One: Turn off Electricity and Gas You want to turn off the utilities going to the furnace to prevent electrocution or an explosion due to a gas leak. Turn off the circuit breaker or remove the use for the furnace at the main electrical box. The switch for the gas line is located on the gas pipe going into the furnace. Turn the switch on the handle so it is set perpendicular to the gas line. Step Two: Remove Burners Take off the panel on the front of the furnace. Usually, you can lift up on the panel to slide it out of the grooves on the face of the furnace. However, some panels are screwed into place. Remove the screws securing the panel to the front of the furnace. Remove the panel. The burners are located just above the chamber that holds the blower. In some cases, you’ll have to move another small metal cover to gain access to the burners. Remove the screws to the cover and take it off of the furnace. Gas burners use a clip to hold them in place. Open the clip and carefully remove the burners from inside the furnace. Step Three: Clean Burners Put a soft-bristled brush onto the wand of a vacuum cleaner. Run the brush over the surface of the burners to break off hardened pieces of dust and rust while you are vacuuming. You can blow out the inside of the burner using a can of compressed air. You should also clean out the gas jets. The jets are located on the end of the gas line on each burner. The jets control the flow of gas into each burner. Unscrew the jets from the gas line and push a thin wire through them to clean them out. Tip the burners upside down and tap the sides of them. This will help to dislodge any dirt and rust you can’t reach with the brush or wire. Step Four: Replace Burners Screw the jets back onto the gas line. Insert the burners back into the furnace and clip them in place. Put the cover back over the front of the burners (if you had to remove one). Turn on the gas and electricity. Turn on the furnace. Watch to make sure a steady blue flame is emitted from each burner – the blue flame signifies the burners are working properly. Put the main panel back over the front of the...

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Tips For Diagnosing Causes Of Septic Or Sewer Odors

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Diagnosing Causes Of Septic Or Sewer Odors

It’s dangerous to have sewer gases leaking into your house. They have a pungent smell, are a health risk, and may also lead to an explosion. Here are a few tips to help you diagnose the source of sewer gases in your house: Drain Cap Left Off If you are lucky, then the problem may be nothing more than a cap left off. The sewage effluent is supposed to flow through a closed system from their origins in your plumbing fixtures to their final destination. A gap may appear, for example, when a cleanout port isn’t closed off after a service session. If such a gap appears near the house, for example where the main waste line exits the building, the sewer gases escaping it may find their way back into the house. A physical examination of your sewer line should help you determine if this is the case. Damaged Drain Line If the cause is not a cap left off, then it may be due to a damaged drain pipe leaking gases into the house. What is worse, it doesn’t take a big crack to leak sewer gases, even a small fissure that doesn’t leak much wastes can let considerable gas pass through.  Moreover, the crack can occur inside a ceiling or ceiling cavity, which may be difficult to discern with your naked eye. Therefore, you may need the intervention of a plumber to help you diagnose hidden cracks. Damaged Vent Plumbing vents are installed to direct foul gases safely outside the house. Therefore, a damaged vent will leave your house foul smelling, for example, if the crack occurs within the wall or the ceiling cavity. Such damage may occur, for example, if you carry out a DIY repair on a vent and fail to seal a connection properly. Improperly Vented Fixture An essential role of a plumbing vent is to provide the plumbing system with atmospheric pressure so that the pressure inside the plumbing system is equal to the one outside it. If there is an imbalance in this pressure, then the water in the U-shaped trap of the affected fixture gets sucked away. This allows the obnoxious gases in the sewer system to leak into the house. Here are two other signs that point to improper venting of fixtures: The smell emanates from a single plumbing drain A plumbing fixture or drain makes gurgling noises when in use These are the common reasons sewer gases may leak into your house. Call a plumber if you can’t pinpoint the source of the leak, or to fix the problem once you have identified...

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