There are many different kinds of clogged drains. However, I am specifically going to be discussing the typical clogged tub, lavatory or kitchen drain.
Should you call in a professional or do it yourself?
It all depends. You can usually get the job done with an old fashioned plunger if it is a soft stoppage in the "P" trap fixture. What I like to do is have the water covering the top of the plunger to make sure I don't let any air get sucked into the drain. Instead of pushing down, what I like to do is be in the down position and then briskly pull up to get the maximum amount of suction.
When it comes to kitchen sinks, they are fairly straight forward. However, when it comes to bathtubs and lavatory sinks, you need to remember to use a sponge or cloth to cover up the overflow. Otherwise, the water will end up shooting back towards you once you start to plunge.
This method often works when it is a fairly soft clog that is located near or in the "P" trap fixture. Contrary to what you might have seen on television, I have only seen a handful of clogs in fixture traps in the over 35 years that I have been working in this business. For whatever reasons, they seem to always end up 10 feet or even further downstream of where the fixture. In those situations, a plunger won't be helpful.
The next idea might be to try to use a popular drain cleaning product that you see advertised on television.
That might sound like a great idea, but unless the clog is close to or in the fixture trap that you are attempting to clear, all you will be doing is throwing your hard-earned money down the drain.
I'm not an advocate of pouring harsh chemicals into a plumbing system. It is dangerous for your plumber as well as you. If a clog is located 10 feet down the line or further, the drain cleaner won't ever reach the clog. Also, if you read the instructions on most of the drain cleaners, they frequently state to put one to two caps fully down the drain and run water afterward.
That will just further dilute the cleaner on top of the water that is in the pipe already. If soap scum or grease is causing the clog, I prefer to use a biological bacteria kind of cleaner that is activated after water has been mixed with it.
The bacteria eats all of the organic matter that is on the pipe walls, which leaves it completely clean. Those products work the best when the fixture isn't completely clogged and water is still able to flow through. They work well on soap scum and grease kinds of stoppages.
If hair is causing the stoppage or maybe built up scale coming from the inner part of cast iron pipes, then you might need to try some mechanical method for clearing your clog, like using a snake.
Mechanical Methods Of Cleaning
Before I talk about snaking a clogged drain, I first want to say that there are tools that you can use where air pressure is utilized for clearing a clog that is located far down the line. However, those tools are expensive and best left for experienced tradesmen to use.
Usually by the time a homeowner calls me to get a drain clear, they have worked on it themselves already and have given up.
The first thing that I ask the homeowner if they tried using any drain cleaner. They usually say "no." However, it doesn't take me very long to discover that in fact that they used a large quantity of drain cleaner. So you may be wondering how I can tell.
As I am working the snake in and out of a drain, it starts to become very shiny and clean, along with a burning and slimy feeling to it as I'm retrieving it back out of the drain. Make sure you are courteous if you are planning on using a chemical drain cleaner.
For your plumber's safety and yours, tell your plumber that you have used a chemical drain cleaner before he tries clearing the clog. Whenever I use my snake what I like to do is introduce it directly via the fixture drain through the trap and then down inside the drain line. That enables me to run the water after I have cleared the clog and therefore thoroughly flush out the line.
There are some plumbers who prefer dismantling the drain pipes underneath the sink and then snake the line. However, to me, that doesn't make any sense because there isn't any way to flush the line out or even be able to tell if the line is cleared. I think my method does require a bit more skill. However, I always get superior results.
Should You Call A Professional Or Snake It Yourself?
You can go buy yourself a hand or electric snake which you can easily find at a majority of big box stores.
These are not professional grade tools, but you might get lucky and be able to get the job done that way. Or you can invest as much as four hundred dollars to get a Roto-Rooter professional drain cleaning which will get you a much better chance to succeed.
If it is a soft stoppage near the fixture, then I think you should just get yourself a high-quality plunger and then go for it. However, if you have a tough scale or hair clog, it would be worth it call a professional in.
A professional is fully equipped to be able to handle all kinds of stoppages and are prepared in case there are any issues. Besides, do you want to have to spend your entire weekend trying to clean a clogged drain?
After I get finished snaking a drain line I recommend that you also introduce some type of bacterial drain maintenance to thoroughly clean the interior of the pipe. When a bacteria based cleaner is used monthly, then it will minimize the need for using mechanical methods in the future.
Hi fellow homeowners, I hope this blog post finds you well... if you attempt to do any work on your leaky faucets check out this video, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Have you noticed that tiny drip in your bathroom sink leaking a drop of water now and then? This tiny leak doesn’t seem like a big deal does it? You've probably noticed it only because you've found your sink wet after not being used for the whole day.
These little water drips are a bigger problem when you take a closer look at the amount of water that gets wasted because of these tiny leaks. Studies show that the average household may lose up to 20,000 gallons of water per year only because of these minor leaks.
You should take your homeowner role seriously, and try to detect and fix all water-related problems in their early stages when they are fairly easy to repair.
The most effective method to keep such trouble away from your home is to periodically inspect your plumbing systems for leaks. You can do it for the whole house at once, or check individual areas one at a time.
Whole House Meter Check
If you think you may be dealing with a larger leak, you should start your quest by performing a meter check, as this is the easiest way to detect potential problems. Turn off your water both inside and outside your home, and make sure your automatic sprinklers won't start during the test. Record the reading of your water meter, wait for 15 minutes, and then read it again. If there's a difference between the two readings, you can be sure there's a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
The water supply line that links your house to the water supply can be found at about 3 feet below ground. While leaks between the meter and the house are the responsibility of the homeowner, the ones from pipes leading from the line to the meter are the responsibility of the water supplying company. To detect leaks in the supply line, you can check for water around the meter box or around the supply line where it reaches your house. If you notice moisture, you should proceed to a more detailed investigations.
Plumbing Faucet leaks are very common, but they are also the easiest to detect. However, the repairs may depend on the type of faucet and on your plumbing and DIY skills. There are four basic types of faucets, all of them being fairly easy to fix by a skilled homeowner. Beware, ceramic disks and ball faucets may require a complete replacement, as opposed to compression valves and cartridges.
Toilet leaks are very easy to pass unnoticed, as they are usually silent and unobtrusive. Larger ones make a hissing noise, so you may be able to detect them early on. You can start by performing an inspection of the float mechanism. You have to remove the tank lid, and then observe the water level in the tank. It shouldn't be higher than one inch below the tube. If it's too high, the water will leak. There are multiple causes for this. For instance, the water level could be adjusted too high. Another common problem is the wearing out of the refill valve. The easiest test you can do is the dye test. Put some dye in the water tank, and wait for 15 minutes. If you see colored water in the toilet bowl, you know you have a leak. The solution is usually the replacement of the flapper valve.
Many homeowners in the Denver area are adding features to their outdoor space. Ponds, waterfalls, and fountains are among the most popular. As a water fountain has to withstand large temperature variations, it is one of the most common sources of leaks. You can check this by doing a bucket test. Put a bucket in the fountain or pond and fill it with water. Use a tape to mark the water level both inside and outside of the bucket. Wait for 24 hours, and mark the level again. If the water level in the fountain is now lower than the one in the bucket, you can suspect a leak.
Finding the plumbing leak is only the first step in sorting out this problem. You also have to fix the leak as soon as possible, in order to prevent water waste. Contact us today or fill our contact form, and we are going to help you repair your plumbing so that you can enjoy an energy efficient home.
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All parents are aware of the fact that "back-to-school" is among the most hectic times of the entire year. You are trying to get new bedtime routines established so that everybody is up and ready to leave on time in the morning. You have to contend with moving your kid's fall clothing in (as you are storing summer clothes and retrieving the fall ones, only to realize that none of your children's clothing fits them now that they were able to wear at the end of last spring). You need to get backpacks and supplies organized, prepared and make lunches, and make arrangements for your new schedule. Therefore we understand completely that water conservation isn't going to be at the forefront of your mind.
However, what if it was. Just thing about the excellent example you would be setting, showing your children and how effective/easy good water-saving habits are. The following are five simple ways that water conservation can be worked into your back-to-school routine.
1. For showers use a timer. Limiting everybody to a 10 minute or shorter shower will not only help with saving water, but it will keep everyone on time and focused in the mornings as well as at bedtime. For even greater savings, replace the current shower head that you have with a water-saving model.
2. Reuse your towels. You are clean after taking a shower. So rather than throwing your towels in the hamper after using them once, hang them up and then use them tomorrow. Either use a coat rack or purchase robe hooks to hang up in your bathroom and then assign a hook to each member of the family. Most younger kids will be able to hang a towel up on a hook more easily than attempt to fold and hang it up on a traditional bar (which tends to result in a bunched-up mess of towels.)
3. Be careful with your other laundry as well. The jeans that you wore yesterday can probably be worn one more time before they need to be washed. When getting undressed, determine which clothes are dirty and which ones you can wear another time. That will save you a lot of water, as well as plenty of energy and time on doing a lot less laundry. We all want to have less laundry to do. When doing a load of laundry, try using cold water and also set the right load size. Line or air dry laundry whenever possible to save energy.
4. Encourage healthy eating and the drinking of plenty of water. You probably do this already with your kids, but were you aware that drinking water and eating fresh foods helps to save on energy and water? Producing processed foods usually take much more water than growing actual food. Also, buying locally grown food will cut back on how much energy and water is needed for transporting it. Check out Guelph's farmers market, that will be your best options for getting high-quality vegetables and fruits. Also, many areas have low-cost or free co-ops and community gardens that provide local, fresh food.
Another healthy and quick tip that can end up saving many gallons of water every year is having a pitcher of water inside your refrigerator for drinking, rather than waiting for the tap on your sink to run cool. You can add fresh fruits such as pineapple, limes or strawberries to give the water some flavor. That will help to encourage your children to drink than rather than sodas or sugary juices.
5. Consider what kind of water footprint the products have that you use on a daily basis and try making some changes. Although it is a very complex system, energy and water are tied together very closely, and at times it can be hard to understand just how much water is needed for the products we use all of the time. Try finding ways to recycle or reuse things whenever possible. Or create reusable items on your own. Single-use products can be replaced with reusable water bottles, reusable containers or lunch baggies or cloth shopping bags.
You might be thinking, doesn't it take water to make and wash them too? Yes, it does. However, the water that is consumed to create and wash reusable items is a lot less compared to what is wasted to make new single-use products. It has been estimated that to produce one pound of plastic takes around 24 gallons of water.
Even if you just focused on packing lunches for your kids - just think of all of the various ways you could save water through reusing items.
And remember to always stay safe and have fun.
1. Not Much Snow Cover
Snow is work as an insulator over a septic tank. If there is not much snow, frost and deep freezes can go much deeper into the ground; this can potentially cause your septic tank to freeze.
2. Compacted Landscape
You should keep the area above your septic tank clear of use When paths or driveways occur over a septic tank, cars, tractors, ATVs, animals, and even foot traffic can cause the area above the septic tank to become impacted; these allow for a deep freeze to move much deeper into the soil.
3. Lack of Plant Cover
If your septic system was replaced in the early fall or late summer seasons or it is new, proper vegetation may have not yet covered up the land prior to the cold and snow setting in. Vegetation helps to attract snow to an area; this provides more above the ground insulation.
4. Irregular Use
Do you have a septic tank that was designed for a large family and now there are a mere one or two in the home? Are you away from your home for months at a time, do you enjoy a lifestyle in the climate that is warmer over the cold winter months? If your system is not being used as it was intended to be used, it can start to stress and allow for freezing temperatures to start infiltrating the system.
5. Leaking Plumbing
You know that small trickles of water when your toilet has not been flushed, that you may or may not be able to hear? It is these small leaks in the pipes that can cause a thin film of water to form in the system. These trickles are highly susceptible to freezing; they can quickly build up over time causing your system to freeze completely.
6. Cold Air Entering the System
Do you remember the last time you had your septic tank looked at and inspected? If the utility hole covers and inspection pipes are not correctly reinstalled, or if risers are uncapped, they can allow cold air entry into the system, freezing will shortly ensue.
Although there are septic tanks which never have any issues, the only way to guarantee they are avoided in the future is to be consistently proactive.
Mulch is the perfect insulator, if late in the year you have added a new septic system or if you have changed your landscaping, you can help provide insulation for months to come with a solid cover of mulch.
In the fall, let the grass grow longer and better accumulate to act as an insulator. If temperatures are cold and quickly dip, allow water that is as warm as possible to flow through your pipes.
As soon as you know it exists, fix any leaks that you may have in your plumbing. Never allow a problem to be created by small trickles of water. Double check utility hole cover and risers when your septic tank is accessed, make sure they are tightly sealed.
If you believe your septic tank may be frozen, it is important to call a professional plumber, they must determine the root of the problem so it can be fixed and avoid further freezing issues during the rest of the winner, or as the temperatures drop the following winter again. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have.
A Set of Rules Constantly Under Development
You will always be subjected to a set of rules irrespective of where you live in the country. Within the plumbing profession, there are statutes and laws that specify what can and cannot be done, and they are referred to as plumbing codes, and each province or state has its own version of the same. The code is not static but evolves. While it might seem like a strange concept at first, it is important to appreciate that the adoption of new plumbing innovations, techniques, and process required a dynamic set of rules.
Plumbing Code in Focus
Professions working in the plumbing industry should be aware of the plumbing code and adhere to it in practice. Plumbing code has provisions for how the work needs to be done with regards to standards and quality. While it is useful to have a standard for professional plumbers, the greater need for plumbing code emanates from the need to maintain well being and health.
Health Effects of Poor Quality Plumbing
Poor quality plumbing is often associated with serious health consequences. Everyone understands the importance of drinking clean water, but there are other less known areas with regards to plumbing. One of the critical elements that only a few people understand is the movement of sewage and wastewater in homes. The pitching of drainpipes is critical to ensuring that hazardous water is not stagnant in plumbing fixture and there are no toxic fumes.
It is possible to contain foreign materials and waterborne diseases by installing a water filtration system, but a system installed incorrectly can be compromised. Advances in plumbing techniques and materials have introduced a variety of effective ways to improve the health standards of plumbing systems. Professional plumbers who adhere to plumbing code will be up to date with the most current best practices and innovations.
Protection from Poor Plumbing Practices
Provisions in the plumbing codes are designed to protect homeowners from the negative effects of bad plumbing. A good example is the use of underground soldered joints typically used by unethical plumbers. It is only amateurs or fraudsters that use underground soldered joints since it is cheap and fast. However, the savings are never passed to the homeowner. The plumbing code prohibits this practice since, without it, unethical plumbers would be tempted to use it to increase their profit margins.
The Bottom Line
The plumbing code is very important since it helps protect your health and that of your family as well as the structural integrity of your home. If you have any plumbing work to be done in your home, ensure that the contractor follows the plumbing code.
You may have heard from friends and acquaintances that they are dealing with "hard water" in their homes. Maybe you have heard the term "hard water" couldn't quite understand what that is. Well, when water falls from the sky as rain, it is very pure, "delicate" and free of minerals. As it passes through the earth's crust and the many minerals and rocks you find there it picks up calcium, salts, and magnesium.
Water "hardness" is measured in grains per gallon, the levels on this scale range from 1 to higher than 10. It is important to remember that hard water is not unhealthy for consumption. The issues caused by hard water have to do with various issues it can cause throughout the home.
When you hear the word hard water, what do you think it means? Hard water is more difficult to many of the mechanical devices in the home. Hard water can also have some visual effects on the home itself and finally, it can cause you to spend more time cleaning up after its effects.
This is an issue that you will need to rectify with a top-quality water conditioner. However, unless you have a device like this working to "soften" the water in your home, how do you know if your water is soft or hard? This following guide can give you the insights you need to figure out what type of water you are using.
You Can Recognize Hard Water by the following:
I hope this helps and thanks for checking our blog.
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