Plumbing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Are Flushable Products Clogging Your Pipes?

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are Flushable Products Clogging Your Pipes?

Many products sold these days claim to be safe to flush down your toilet. From tampons to baby wipes, these products claim that they can be flushed to make your life easier. However, they may not be as safe for your pipes as you might think. If you’re flushing these products down your toilet, here are a few reasons why it might not be the best idea. Old Piping Most homes, whether they’re houses or apartments, have older pipes installed. Even if your home was built recently, there could potentially be older pipes leading out to the street that were built decades ago. Unfortunately, pipes don’t last forever, and can break down in a variety of ways. While flushable products are tested to be safe, most manufacturers test them on new materials. Older pipes that are narrow, corroded, cracked, or otherwise damaged may be more prone to clogs naturally, and it only gets worse if you flush solid objects down the toilet. Sticky Materials Some companies advertise that products like kitty litter are safe to flush down the toilet, but these kinds of products can cause damage over time. Clumping kitty litter is designed to hold liquids and solidify in the litter box, but that doesn’t stop when you flush it down the toilet. Kitty litter may continue to suck up the fluid it was flushed with, becoming a solid blockage in your pipe. On the other hand, it may stick to the sides of the pipes, slowly making it narrower until something as safe as toilet paper can’t even get down the pipe. How To Avoid Clogs There are a few things you can do to avoid having flushable products harm your pipes. Obviously, the first option is to simply not flush them. While flushing disposable materials is an easy way to get rid of them, tossing them in a garbage can is just as easy. If you still want to flush them, consider purchasing a toilet snake and regularly clearing the pipes with baking soda and vinegar. Toilet snakes can go deep down into your pipes and break up any material that’s gotten stuck or has adhered to the sides of the pipe. Baking soda and vinegar can gently break up blockages and prevent them from becoming severe if used regularly. If your toilet is backing up or you’re regularly having problems flushing your toilet or having your sinks drain slowly, flushable products might be to blame. Consider having a plumber come to clear everything out of your pipes and assess them for damage, then follow the steps above to prevent future blockages. Contact a plumber, like, for more...

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Three Inventions Making DIY Plumbing Easy And Efficient

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Inventions Making DIY Plumbing Easy And Efficient

As a DIY plumber, you shouldn’t resign yourself to less-than—perfect work just because you don’t have the necessary professional training. One way of ensuring your work is easy and perfect is by keeping yourself up to date on new plumbing innovations as they come into the market. Here are some of the relatively recent inventions you can use to your advantage: Push-to-Fit Snug and fit joints are the hallmarks of good plumbing systems. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to make such a joint, especially if you have to cut and join different pipes manually. Using a push-to-fit fitting improves this issue considerably. Just like the name suggests, you just need to push the ends of the pipes you are joining into the fitting to have a tight and effective joint. You will agree that joining pipes without soldering, gluing or clamping them together certainly makes the process easy. Besides, if you make a bad connection, you don’t lose more than your time because all you have to do is remove the fitting and correct it. Most of these fittings can even be removed and reused. Frost Free Sillcocks Sillcocks are exterior water faucets with spouts to which you connect hoses, such as garden hoses. Unfortunately, since they are outside, they are prone to damage from frost when the weather gets too cold. The usual method of dealing with the problem is to disconnect the hoses, shut off the lines, and drain the water. That would be possible if you are outside the home when the weather drops drastically. However, you can prevent it by using frost-free sillcocks. These sillcocks come with integrated shutoff valves, which are located inside the house, and prevent water in the outer part of the sillcocks from freezing. Repair Clamp A common plumbing repair nightmare is dealing with a broken pipe, especially if it was operational at the time of the damage, and it is still spewing out the liquid it was transporting. Such a leak, especially if it is coming in at high pressure, can be difficult to contain. However, it’s a different issue altogether if you have a clamp repair at hand. You pull the clamp around the pipe and tighten it, for example, by using bolts. If you have one handy; you don’t have to deal with a flooded home the next time your water pipe breaks. A serious DIY plumber knows his or her limits. Even if you have handy tools and equipment, a particular repair may be beyond your skills. If that is the case, contact a professional plumber to handle the...

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3 Signs Your Home Plumbing System Needs An Upgrade

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs Your Home Plumbing System Needs An Upgrade

Most homeowners don’t put much thought into their home plumbing systems. After all, the majority of a home’s plumbing exists out-of-sight, in the form of piping behind the walls. It’s only when a problem occurs with a plumbing system that homeowners realize just how much they rely on their home’s plumbing daily. Fortunately, you can avoid a lot of plumbing problems by making sure your piping isn’t outdated. Specifically, there are a few signs to be on the lookout for that could indicate your home plumbing system needs upgraded. Pipes Made of Old or Dangerous Materials Start by finding out what your home’s plumbing pipes are made out of. Ideally, the material will be either brass, copper, or iron, as these materials are known to resist corrosion and can last for many decades. PVC piping, on the other hand, will usually only last for a few decades and should be replaced, if possible. Above all else, make sure you don’t have lead pipes (which can be a health hazard) or galvanized piping. You can find out what type of piping you have at your home by contacting your local plumber. Discoloration of Water From Faucets Another sign that your home plumbing system may need an upgrade is that you’ve noticed discolored water coming from your faucets, especially if the color appears brown or yellow. This could indicate that you have rust in your water, which often occurs when pipes have begun to corrode. Not only do you want to keep rust out of your drinking and bathing water, but if you ignore this problem, rusted pipes could eventually become fully corroded and spring a leak.  In some cases, rust in your water could also be caused by a leaking water heater, so you’ll want to contact a plumber to determine the cause. Several Small Leaks All too often, homeowners assume that a couple of small plumbing leaks here and there is nothing to be concerned about. However, with an older plumbing system, a couple of small leaks could be a sign that pipes are beginning to corrode and, pretty soon, the entire piping system may need to be replaced. That’s because all the pipes in a home are typically installed at the same time, so if one area is having problems, it’s only a matter of time before more leaks arise elsewhere. Now might be a good time to have a plumber come out and assess the situation. To learn more about your plumbing, click here for more...

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Easy Methods For Unclogging A Drain

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Easy Methods For Unclogging A Drain

If you have a clogged drain, then there are a wide variety of ways that you can approach the problem. Here are some simple solutions that you can try on your own, using materials that are found in every home:  Hot Water One of the simplest solutions can also be quite effective. Some hot water can break up those nasty clogs, but you will probably need to go a bit further than the warm setting on your tap. In many cases, the hot water coming out of your faucet/shower will be significantly colder than boiling, which means that it won’t be optimal for forcing those pesky clogs apart. To handle this, you’ll want to separately boil water and pour it down the drain. However, there are two things that you need to keep in mind when doing so: First of all, you want to make sure that you are careful around any seals on your drains. Boiling water can compromise rubber seals, which can lead to leaks and other frustrating problems down the line. Pour the water carefully so that it goes directly into the drain, avoiding the edges if possible. Secondly, you want to add enough hot water to flush the problematic portion of the pipe entirely. Half measures can end up just forcing the clog down the pipe a little bit. With enough hot water, you can permanently destroy clogs. Baking Soda and Vinegar If you want to use a chemical reaction, but don’t want to use dangerous chemicals, then a simple solution of baking soda and vinegar can be the answer for you. All you need is a few cups of hot water, half a cup of baking soda, and half a cup of vinegar. Just add some hot water and the baking soda into the drain and allow it to settle. The hot water will help the baking soda disperse into the clog, creating the perfect setup for the reaction.  After a few minutes, you’ll want to add the vinegar. This will pretty quickly result in a rapid expansion of a foam-like substance, but your goal is to force this reaction downward. To achieve that, try to cover up the top of the drain. Wait a few minutes to see if the clog reforms, and then attempt the same solution a few more times. If you are still having problems, then it might be time to move on to more serious measures. Contact local professionals, such as those from Aalco-The Drain Doctor, for further...

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Four Plumbing Upgrades That Can Help You Cut Your Utility Costs

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Plumbing Upgrades That Can Help You Cut Your Utility Costs

If you want to reduce your utility bills, you may be considering many improvements to your home. Some of the things that you may want to consider can include updating your mechanical systems, such as HVAC and electrical. You can also do improvements to plumbing to help reduce your utility bills. These improvements can include things as simple as insulating pipes or adding grey water irrigation. Here are some plumbing upgrades that can help you reduce your utility costs: 1. Insulating Hot Water Lines To Reduce Heat Loss And Save Energy Insulating the water lines in your home can help protect against freezing and burst pipes. It can also be used to help improve energy efficiency. In addition to insulating the exterior lines, you may want to insulate all the hot water lines in your home. This can help to reduce heat loss and improve energy efficiency. 2. Adding Water Collection And Recycling For Outdoor Or Non-Potable Uses Water collection can be another great way to reduce water consumption. You may want to consider rain collection for clean water outdoors. In addition to rain collection, grey water from appliances can also be reused for non-potable uses. The grey water can be used for things like outdoor chores or watering your lawn. 3. Installing Low-Flow Fixtures To Reduce Water Usage And Energy Loss Low-flow faucets and plumbing fixtures can also help to make your home more energy efficient. These can reduce the amount of water used and help add to your savings. The new fixtures can be added, as well as other things like toilets and shower heads. 4. Adding Solar Collectors To Reduce Energy Consumption Of Conventional Mechanicals Solar collection can also be used to improve the energy efficiency of mechanical systems in your home. A solar collector can provide thermal energy for furnaces and hot water heaters to help reduce energy consumption. There are also many choices of solar collectors to find one that fits your budget. This can be a more affordable solar energy solution than things like PV panels for producing electricity. This is a simple plumbing upgrade to add renewable energy to your home. These are some improvements that can be done to your plumbing to help reduce your utility costs. If you are ready to start updating the plumbing in your home, contact a plumbing contractor and talk with them about offering plumbing services for your home....

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Why Should You Care If You Have Hard Water?

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Should You Care If You Have Hard Water?

Hard water, soft water – who cares? If this has been your attitude when someone mentions water hardness, you had best re-think your stance. How hard your water is can affect so many aspects of your home and life, from the softness of your skin to the lifespan of your appliances. Taking just a few minutes to learn a bit more about water hardness, what it means, and how you can alter it, is certainly to your benefit. What is water hardness, anyways? Water hardness is a measure of the dissolved mineral content of water. Water that is on the harder end of the scale contains more dissolved calcium and magnesium than water on the softer end of the scale. Water that is classified as “hard” contains 120-180 ppm of these minerals. Water with fewer than 17.1 ppm of these minerals is considered “soft.” Water these two classifications may be rated as slightly or moderately hard. Why does water hardness matter? When water is hard, or in other words, when it contains a lot of calcium and magnesium, it tends to deposit these minerals wherever it flows. These deposits will slowly accumulate in pipes, which may lead to the need for plumbing repairs. They will accumulate in appliances like your washer, coffee maker, and dishwasher, possibly causing these appliances to fail prematurely. Even your skin and hair become coated in traces of these minerals, which can cause dry and itchy feelings. How do you know if you have hard water? If you have noticed mineral deposits in your appliances or pipes, then you have hard water. Another common sign of hard water is having to use an excessive amount of soap or detergent to get it to foam. If you’re not sure whether you have hard water, you can purchase a testing kit at a home and garden store. Follow the instructions on the kit to determine your water hardness. How can you soften your water? If a test indicates that you have hard water, or if you know from other observations that your water is hard, the easiest solution is to have a whole-home water softener installed. This device removes the excess minerals from your water as it flows into your home. Most plumbers will install a water softener upon request. When considering the cost, keep in mind that the water softener will save you money on appliances and plumbing repairs in the future. For most homeowners with hard water, purchasing a water softener is a sound investment. Contact a plumber, such as Bobby Jones Plumbing, if you have questions about how hard water could affect your...

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Important Times to Call a Plumber Instead of Trying to DIY

Posted by on Dec 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Times to Call a Plumber Instead of Trying to DIY

Do you own your own home? Are you wondering whether to call the plumber or if you should attempt a plumbing repair yourself? While you may want to try to save money by not calling a professional to handle something that you can take care of on your own, there are some times when you should seriously consider calling a plumber for a seemingly simple task. Here is a list of common tasks that can become expensive if not handled by a professional: Shower Head Replacement: If your shower head is relatively new, replacing it with a better model can be relatively easy. You simply unscrew the old head, wrap the threads with Teflon tape, and screw on a new shower head. Unfortunately, complications can arise if hard water has caused a buildup of calcium, lime or rust. If your shower head is stuck, attempts to remove it can damage the wall and potentially cause the shower head pipe to detach from the plumbing inside the wall. Fixing the resulting damage may wind up costing many times what you originally paid for the shower head. A plumber will know the best way to remove your old shower head to prevent this damage from happening in the first place.  Clogged drains: When your toilet or any sinks start to overflow, you probably rush for the plunger or various chemical drain openers. Unfortunately, depending on the nature of the clog, this may only make things worse. If the clog is caused by an inorganic object, such as one of your child’s small toys, plunging may simply push the clog further down instead of breaking it up. On the other hand, chemical drain openers can sometimes be corrosive to metal pipes and can cause PVC piping to melt. A good plumber will have the equipment to verify the clog’s composition and can extract it or break it up manually. Dripping sink: Is the sound of a dripping sink keeping you awake at night and driving you crazy? If you’ve been tightening down on the faucet handles in an attempt to solve the problem, you may actually be making it worse. Over-tightening can strip the threads on the sink, leading to even worse leaks and necessitating replacing the entire faucet. While you may be able to fix the issue with a simple rubber gasket replacement, doing this incorrectly can also lead to further issues. Save money in the long run by having a plumber replace the rubber gasket and perform whatever other minor maintenance is needed, in order to stop the leak. If you have any concerns about your plumbing, consider looking into the websites of local specialists, such as, to learn...

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Reasons To Avoid Liquid Drain Cleaners

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reasons To Avoid Liquid Drain Cleaners

Liquid chemical drain cleaners can be found in most hardware, grocery, and corner stores, and advertise a do-it-yourself approach to removing clogs and blockages in your home’s plumbing. However, despite the purported convenience, there are a number of reasons why you should avoid liquid drain cleaners and call a plumber when you encounter a problem with your pipes. Health Reasons Commercial chemical drain cleaners contain a wide variety of corrosive and strong chemicals that are designed to break through organic buildup in your plumbing. Any exposure to skin can result in rashes or burns, which means that you have to be extremely careful while working with these cleaners. Additionally, the fumes from these chemicals can irritate your eyes, nose, and lungs, and can pose a serious hazard if inhaled in large quantities. Furthermore, the fumes from these cleaners can hang around for a while even after the cleaner has been completely used up and flushed away, increasing your exposure. Damage to Pipes The chemicals in liquid drain cleaners are highly corrosive, mainly to eliminate organic material. However, they can cause severe damage to your plumbing as well, especially after prolonged exposure, which can lead to leaks and breaks in the future, which can be costly to repair. Furthermore, the chemicals in these cleaners can eat away at the enamel and finish on surfaces in your bathroom if you accidentally spill the cleaner while in use, leaving unsightly blemishes that can ruin the aesthetic of your bathroom. Environmental Impact Beyond the damage that these chemicals can have on your plumbing and health, they are also bad for the planet. The liquid that is flushed through your plumbing will be cleansed by water filtration plants, but any residue in the bottles will end up in the garbage, where it can leak into the water supply and kill plant and animal life. Effectiveness While liquid drain cleaners will eat away at blockages in your plumbing and help improve water flow, they will have trouble breaking through tough or complete blockages, such as tree roots or an almost complete blockage of a pipe. For the most effective pipe cleaning solutions, you should call a contractor who specializes in plumbing services, who will be able to identify the problem with your pipes and use specialized tools that are better suited for the job, ranging from simple drain snakes to more complex but comprehensive cleaners like...

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Four Modern Plumbing Improvements to Save Water and Protect From Damage

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Modern Plumbing Improvements to Save Water and Protect From Damage

The plumbing in your home can affect your utility bills, as well as cause damage if you do not have the right features in place to protect your home. Doing things like insulating pipes, installing check valves in drains and adding low flow faucets, can help to reduce consumption and protect your home from damage. Here are some things that can help protect your home from damage and help conserve water: 1. Insulation of Water Lines for Protection and Energy Efficiency Insulating the water lines in your home is one great way to protect yourself from burst pipes. This should be done to any lines that are exposed to cold, such as the lines on exterior walls or in unfinished areas of your home like a basement. You can also do this to all the hot water lines, which will help to reduce heat loss and save energy. 2. Simple Maintenance With Manifolds and Shutoff Valves for Pipes Shutoff valves can also be a great improvement to make your plumbing easier to maintain. You may want to have shutoff valves installed for the plumbing in different areas of your home. Manifolds can be a great solution for this, which will give a separate line for all the plumbing in your home, making it easier to do maintenance and reducing energy loss. 3. Check Valves for Plumbing Drains Throughout Your Home Check valves are a type of anti-return system that can protect your home from backflow. These valves can be installed on all the drains in your home to protect from common backflow problems. This is something that should be done in basements, but it can also be done to homes in low areas where sewer backflow can cause problems. 4. Low-Flow Fixtures To Reduce Water Consumption And Save Energy Low-flow fixtures can also help protect your home. These can be installed in all the plumbing in your home to help conserve water. Low-flow fixtures will help to reduce water consumption, as well as benefit homes that are on septic systems where overburden can be a problem and cause costly damage. These different additions will help improve your plumbing situation and can help conserve water and protect your home from water damage. If you want to update the plumbing in your home, contact a plumbing contractor, such as RK Knight Plumbing, and talk with them about doing some of these...

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How To Install A Single Hole Bathroom Faucet

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Install A Single Hole Bathroom Faucet

Installing a single hole faucet involves the same procedures as installing a standard faucet, except that you have even less room to work under the sink. Your faucet connection and both of your supply lines must be connected to the faucet through a single hole.  If you are installing it in a small bathroom or a recessed space in a larger bathroom, you will need patience, some contortionist skills, and forethought to make the job less difficult. Here’s what you’ll need: The faucet When deciding upon which single hole faucet to buy, you should be certain that it is a suitable size for the sink. If you are installing it into a smaller sink, you should buy a smaller faucet that will not overwhelm the sink aesthetically. You don’t want your faucet to look like a gargoyle sitting atop a small bird bath. Plumbers putty You can buy the smallest tub available, because you won’t need much for this project. Teflon tape Not really tape, just plastic ribbon that is used to seal threaded supply line connections. Adjustable wrench or locking pliers Installing the single hole faucet When installing a standard faucet, you will normally make all connections under the sink. However, with a single hole faucet, you will find that it is simpler to disconnect the supply line hoses and connect them to the faucet before it is placed atop the sink. Assuming that the valves to the supply lines are shut off if you have no faucet attached to them, disconnect them by using your adjustable wrench to turn the connection nuts counterclockwise. Attaching the supply line hoses to the faucet The bottom of the faucet will have two threaded male connections for hot and cold water. Wrap teflon tape around the threads in a clockwise direction until all the threads are covered. Remove the wing nut that is screwed onto the center rod of the faucet. It is a threaded rod between the two supply line connections and is used to secure the faucet to the sink. You will then connect the supply line hoses to the threaded connections by turning the connecting nuts clockwise with your wrench or locking pliers until they are completely tight. Preparing the faucet Scoop some plumbers putty from the tub and roll it between your open palms until a quarter inch wide bead is formed. You will place the bead of putty inside the perimeter of the base of the faucet. The putty will be used to keep water that is pooled atop the sink from entering under the faucet and leaking through the sink’s faucet hole. Connecting the faucet Place a small piece of tape on the supply line on the left of the faucet. This will identify it as the hot water line. Push the supply lines through the faucet hole individually, then place the faucet atop the hole. You will them need to climb under the sink with the wing nut that you removed from the center rod of the faucet. You will reattach it to the rod and turn it clockwise by hand until it reaches the bottom of the sink. Tighten it until the faucet is snug against the top, but hand tighten only or you may crack the sink. Reconnecting the supply line hoses Wrap...

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