Basic Plumbing Tips For Homeowners

Posted by on Nov 23rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Basic Plumbing Tips For Homeowners

As a homeowner, you want to learn the basics of plumbing so you can take care of some of the more common plumbing problems on your own. This knowledge will also help you to have a clear understanding of how to maintain your plumbing system so you can avoid some problems and keep your system in good shape. This article will serve as a great source of information on basic household plumbing. Keeping your drains healthy Keep the drains in your sinks in good shape by not putting the wrong things down them and by cleaning them correctly. Keep greases, oils and food particles from going down the kitchen drain. If you have a garbage disposal, don’t put fibrous foods such as carrots, celery, corn husks, asparagus or onion peels down the disposal. Keep small pieces of bar soap and unused toothpaste out of your bathroom drain. You can clean your sink drains by pouring about a cup of vinegar and about a quarter cup of baking soda down the drain, mixed with a small amount of water. Allow the drain to fizz for a bit and when it starts to die down, turn the water on and rinse everything down. Keep your toilets healthy The only things that should be going down the toilet are urine, feces and toilet paper. Never flush anything else down the toilet, or it can cause some major plumbing issues somewhere in your plumbing lines. A few examples of common things people flush that they shouldn’t include cigarette butts, cotton balls and plastic wrappers. If your toilet clogs, then the first thing you want to do is to try to clear it up with the plunger. However, sometimes clogs can need a little more coaxing to free up. You can try filling a bucket full of very hot water and throwing it directly down the bowl. The force and heat of the water can break up a more stubborn clog. If that doesn’t work, you can use a plumber’s snake by putting the end down the toilet and cranking the handle. The snake will go down into the pipes to forcefully break up a stubborn clog. Now that you have a bit of information on basic household plumbing, you will be able to take care some of the simple fixes yourself. However, you want to be sure you call a professional plumber out any time you notice something you can’t fix. Putting off plumbing repairs can quickly lead to big...

read more

How To Install A Hot Water Heater Blanket

Posted by on Nov 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Install A Hot Water Heater Blanket

New hot water heaters are pre-insulated to improve efficiency, but older hot water heaters lack the insulation and can quickly lose heat. This will lead to a higher electric or gas bill, and the potential of not having enough hot water when it is at peak use in your home during everyone’s morning showers. Thankfully, installing a hot water heater blanket is easy to do on your own, can save you money, and makes an old tank more efficient. Tools & Materials Start by gathering the following items: Hot water tank blanket Utility knife or scissors Tape measure Permanent marker Duct tape Purchase The Blanket Before heading out to the store, make sure that you know what size hot water heater blanket to purchase. You can do this by making note of how many gallons the hot water heater holds, or the circumference and height of the tank. Your local home improvement store will carry different size blankets, and one is sure to meet your needs. Trim The Blanket The insulation blanket will need to be trimmed so that it creates a perfect fit around your home’s hot water heater. Make sure that the very bottom of the insulation blanket does not extend past the tank’s drain valve. For gas tanks, you want to avoid covering any part on the very top of your tank. Take measurements of where the pipes, burners, and valves stick out from the tank, since you’ll need to cut holes for them in the blanket. You can use your utility knife or scissors for cutting holes or slits for the items to stick through. It helps to avoid placing the seam over those openings, so plan accordingly when making the holes. Attach The Blanket Once all of the trimming is complete, you can loosely fit the blanket on your hot water heater. Now is the time to make small adjustments to ensure a good fit. The blanket should have ends with tape on them, allowing you to pull both ends tightly together and secure them to each other. If not, use duct tape to secure the blanket in place. With the water heater blanket installed, you’ll be saving 5-9% of standby heat loss from the tank, which comes out to around $40 per year. Hopefully, you never find yourself accidentally taking a cold shower again now that the tank retains heat better with the blanket in place.  If you need help with installation, contact a plumber in your area, such as Brother’s...

read more

Does Your Home Have Hard Water? Two Things You Should Know About It

Posted by on Nov 6th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Does Your Home Have Hard Water? Two Things You Should Know About It

If your home has hard water, it may be a potential problem that can destroy your appliances, while also affecting the quality of the drinking water. The cause of hard water is groundwater with high levels of metal in it, which requires the need for a home water softening system to eliminate it. Here are 2 things about having hard water you need to know. 1. Hard Water Is Not Good For Appliances There are several appliances in your home that depend on water, such as a washing machine, dishwasher, drinking water dispenser, and even your coffee maker. The mineral deposits found in the water will make their way through these appliances every time you use them. It will eventually cause a buildup of minerals, and a big enough buildup can cause an appliance to stop working. You can try using a sodium based decalcifying solution that can break up the large calcium deposits found in your small appliances, which might save them from becoming damaged. One of the most expensive items that can be damaged due to hard water is your home’s water heater. Hard water can create limescale, which affects your water heater’s ability to heat water. It will cause an inefficiency that will increase your energy bills, and decrease the lifespan of the water heater since it needs to work much harder than it otherwise would. 2. Hard Water Can Leave A Film Behind On Items If you regularly use your dishwasher, you may notice that a white film is appearing on your glasses and plates over time. This film is due to those mineral deposits in the hard water. The hard water actually interferes with how effective the soap is at cleaning your dishes, and the heat assists in releasing the minerals in the water. It’s a combination that leads to the appearance that your dishes are not actually clean. You’ll even see it in other places, like a water pitcher that you frequently use, or on the bottom of your bathtub. Without a water filtration system, you’ll always be fighting a battle with this white film. The solution to all of these problems is to get a whole home water softening system installed. Reach out to a plumber, such as Mike Hensley Plumbing Inc, in your area for a consultation, since they can acquire and install the water softener for you. It could be the key in saving the appliances in your house, and having dishes that look clean...

read more

Four Tips For Fighting Mold And Mildew In The Bathroom

Posted by on Oct 29th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips For Fighting Mold And Mildew In The Bathroom

Is there a layer of black or brown scum in the ridge between your shower and its frame? Maybe you always notice some mold around the rim of your sink’s drain, or some mildew on your bathroom window. Mold and mildew are very common in the bathroom since it’s a warm, moist environment. Keeping them under control can seem like an ongoing battle, and in fact, it is important to regularly take action against mold and mildew to keep them under control. Here are a few tips to help make your fight more effective. Use bleach. When scrubbing away mold and mildew (which you should do as soon as it appears , rather than waiting), always use a solution that contains bleach, as it will kill the mold and keep it from coming back for a while. There’s really no need to purchase an expensive bathroom cleaner. A splash of bleach in a bucket of warm water is sufficient. Let it sit on the mold for a few minutes before wiping it away. Have your drains and pipes professionally cleaned. Often, mold problems begin in your drains, since these often don’t get cleaned regularly. Then, the mold slowly creeps up out of the drain and spreads to other areas of your bathroom. Having your drains professionally cleaned by a plumbing contractor once a year can go a long way towards keeping mold under control. Between professional cleanings, keep mold under control by periodically pouring a little bleach water down each of your drains. Then, wait a bit before turning on any water or flushing, so the bleach has time to work. Address any leaks. If you notice water dripping from a faucet or shower head, take care of the leak right away instead of ignoring it until it becomes more severe. Even a slow drip of water means your sink or shower is always staying moist, and this continued moisture is very appealing to mold and mildew. Sometimes, fixing the leak may just require tightening the bolts that fasten your faucet to the sink or shower. Other times, you may need a plumber to replace the fixture entirely. Wipe surfaces down after showering. Turning on the ventilation or exhaust system after you shower is a good start when it comes to fighting mold and mildew, but this action alone won’t eliminate moisture from the bathroom. Try also wiping down your shower doors and walls to dry them off after each shower. Keep a separate towel for this purpose, and wash it regularly to ensure that the towel itself does not become...

read more

Three Ways To Prevent Tree Roots From Damaging Your Sewer Line

Posted by on Oct 21st, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Prevent Tree Roots From Damaging Your Sewer Line

One of the most common causes of sewer line clogs is tree roots. After all, trees need moisture, and their roots are designed to seek it out. Once roots infiltrate a sewer pipe, they will grow, causing the pipe to gradually become blocked; they can also break apart the pipe from within. So how can you prevent the headache of tree roots in your sewer line? Remove Trees The clearest way to avoid tree roots growing into a sewer line is to remove the tree. However, removing a tree from your yard is a big step. Unless you have some other reason for getting rid of trees – such as disease – most people choose to clear and protect the sewer line itself rather than change their landscaping. If you do decide to remove trees near your sewer line, it’s important to note that you should have the stumps removed as well; even after cutting down a tree, the roots may continue to grow if the stump is left in the ground. Apply Chemicals Copper sulfate is a biocide that is commonly used to clear tree roots from inside pipes. It will break up and kill the roots that it comes in contact with when it is flushed through the pipes, but it is not carried up into the rest of the tree, so you don’t have to worry about killing your trees with it. If you suspect that you may have serious leaks in your sewer line, however, don’t use this product; it may leak into the soil and kill the plants in your yard. As a biocide, this chemical is hazardous, and you need to be very careful when using it. Follow the directions on the packaging closely. They will likely have you flush copper sulfate down your toilet a few times a year as maintenance against tree roots or daily for a few days if you already have a partial clog that you are clearing. In addition, the directions may tell you not to use any plumbing for a few hours after applying the chemical or even to evacuate your house for a few hours to avoid inhaling fumes. Fix Sewer Line Seams Tree roots are attracted to sewer lines because of the moisture in them, but they can only find this moisture if the line is leaking. These leaks are usually very slight leaks around seams – they are not serious enough to cause problems with the sewage running through the pipe, but they moisten the soil and attract tree roots. For a long-term solution, it’s possible to get seamless sewer piping installed in existing pipes through pipe lining or pipe bursting. In lining, a new PVC pipe is installed within your current pipe, expanding to fit right inside it and eliminating seams. Pipe bursting means breaking apart the old pipe as you run the new pipe through. Both of these methods are trenchless and done without digging up your yard, leaving your trees intact while protecting your sewer line from future problems. If you have any questions regarding your sewer line and tree roots, contact local sewer services, such as All Clear Pumping &...

read more

About Me

When I bought my first home, I had a love-hate relationship with my plumbing. Sometimes things would run along smoothly, while other times I found myself shaking my head at a stopped drain. It was a really frustrating ordeal, and I quickly discovered that things were a little easier when I could troubleshoot problems on my own. After taking a local plumbing class, I learned to love plumbing. I want you to learn how to quickly and easily diagnose trouble, which is why I have filled this blog with helpful tricks and tips. By learning a little more, you might be able to resolve issues in a jiffy.

November 2015
« Oct