Plumbing Mistakes You Should Avoid

DIY Garbage Disposal Replacement

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on DIY Garbage Disposal Replacement

When your garbage disposal makes so much noise that you’re reluctant to use it, it’s time to replace it with a new, quieter unit. If you replace it with the same brand and model, you can use the existing mounting hardware, making this an easy DIY project. With a few simple tools and a couple hours of your time, you’ll have a new garbage disposal in place. Once completed, you’ll wonder why you put up with that racket from the old unit for so long. Supplies Needed flat-blade screwdriver slip joint or channel lock pliers wire strippers/cutters medium-sized bucket old rags for cleanup Step-By-Step Instructions Unplug the garbage disposal from the electrical outlet under the sink. Loosen the large nut connecting the drain pipe to the angled drain pipe on the side of the old unit and disconnect the two pipes. If used, remove the dishwasher drain pipe from the side of the old unit. Push the old unit up while turning it counterclockwise to disconnect it from the mounting flange under the sink. Turn the old garbage disposal over into the bucket and let any water drain out. Remove the old unit from the bucket and place it upside down on the floor. Remove the small plate covering the wires connected to the old unit. Detach the green (ground) wire from the old unit. Cut off the white (neutral) and black (hot) wires from the unit as close to it as possible to preserve the wire length. Set aside the electrical plug with the wires attached for use on the new unit. You’re now done with the old unit and can place it aside for disposal later. Remove the new garbage disposal unit from its packaging and place it right-side up on the floor. Secure the angled drain pipe in the parts kits to the side of the new unit. If you have a dishwasher drain pipe to attach to the new unit, knock out the plug in the small pipe coming out of the side of the new unit. Turn the new unit over on the floor. Remove the access plate to the electrical wires. If not already bare, strip about a half inch of insulation from the ends of the black and white wires on the unit. Strip about a half inch of insulation from the ends of the black and white wires on the electrical plug that you removed from the old unit. Secure the green (ground) wire to the green or brass colored screw on the new unit. Twist together the bare ends of the two black (hot) wires and place a wire nut (provided in the parts kit) over the ends. Twist together the bare ends of the two white (neutral) wires and place a wire nut over the ends. Push the wires into the new unit and secure the access plate over them. Turn the new unit right-side up. Lift the new unit up and match the mounting ring on it with the mounting flange attached under the sink. Rest the unit in the mounting flange and turn the unit clockwise until it clicks into place. If used, attach the dishwasher drain hose to the side of the new unit. Connect the drain pipe under the sink to the angled drain pipe...

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3 Keys To The Most Efficient Hot Shower Possible

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Keys To The Most Efficient Hot Shower Possible

Taking a shower is typically more energy efficient than taking a bath, but the bathing method change alone might not be sufficient to keep your utility costs down. Water heating, which is done most for showering and bathing, can take up as much as 12% of a household’s total utility bills. So working to make your shower more efficient, even if it requires some upfront costs, can greatly reduce your energy bills in the long run. What are some of the key steps in having the most energy-efficient hot shower possible?  Tankless Water Heater If your home has a traditional tanked water heater, that’s a lot of your problem straight off the bat. Traditional water heaters store a tank full of heated water at all times, regardless of whether or not you will need that much heated water soon. When you do use some of the heated water, more cold water immediately goes into the tank for heating. A tankless water heater will warm water on demand when you turn on a faucet in your house “asking” for hot water. The water comes through your main lines, through the water heater, and then on to your faucet. There isn’t a large tank of water sitting around waiting to be used and constantly being refilled. Make sure the temperature setting for the tankless heater is at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower for the most efficient heat possible. You can also ask the plumber installing your tankless heater to insulate the water pipes for more efficiency. For information on tankless water heater installation, contact a plumbing company like Brother’s Plumbing. Low-Flow Shower Head A tankless water heater can improve your home’s water efficiency all on its own. But you can accent the water heater with a low-flow shower head that also minimizes how much water you can use at one time within the shower. A low-flow shower head still gives off enough water for a thorough, refreshing shower. But you won’t have a high powered stream that turns your shower head into a watery masseuse. The difference in water pressure might not seem significant – until you receive your next utility bill in the mail. Monitor How Long Water Runs It’s easy to get lost in the warmth and comfort of your shower and end up spending far more time under the water than you need. If your main problem is simply spacing out on time, you can invest in a waterproof shower timer to keep you on schedule. There’s no tried and true time frame to use. Try taking showers under different time settings to see which is the right one for you to get a sufficient shower. You can also turn off the water when you’re soaping up your body, lathering shampoo, or shaving. Turn the water back on only when you need to rinse. You might be surprised at how much water this simple trick can actually...

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How To Fix A Leaky Shower Head

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Fix A Leaky Shower Head

If you have a leaky shower head, it should be fixed right away to avoid wasting water. A shower head commonly leaks at the shower arm wall connection, or at the connection between the arm and shower head. Leaks may be caused by holes filled with sediment, a damaged gasket, or loose connections. Fixing a shower head leak is a project you can do yourself. Here are some tips to fix a leaky shower head. Prepare to Work For this project, you need: rubber gloves cleaning cloth vinegar container adjustable wrench electrical tape Teflon tape paint thinner Turn the water supply to the bathroom off at the valve, which is commonly near the shower, or in a basement. If you can’t find the bathroom shutoff valve, turn off the main water supply at the supply line near the water meter by turning the valve clockwise. Raise the faucet handle to clear remaining water in the lines. Try to tighten the shower head or shower arm by hand to see if that stops the leak. Otherwise, you will have to detach the shower head. Place electrical tape around the teeth of the pliers to protect the chrome from scratches. Twist the shower head left with the pliers until it is loose Clean the Shower Head Clean old putty or Teflon tape from the threads, and use a toothpick to remove debris from the holes. Soak the shower head in a container filled with vinegar for about eight hours. The vinegar helps dissolve mineral deposits. If the vinegar doesn’t work to remove mineral deposits, try paint thinner. Clean the shower arm threads with vinegar. Wrap Teflon tape clockwise four or five times over the shower head connections. Avoid using plumber’s putty on shower heads, because it may cause plastic components to break from chemical reactions. Wrapping Teflon tap in the opposite direction may tear or bunch the tape, which causes leaks. Reattach the shower head, turn the water back on, and test for leaks. Don’t make the shower head connection too tight, or you could damage the connection threads. Replace the Gasket If cleaning doesn’t stop the leak, check the gasket. Some shower heads use a gasket instead of Teflon tape. Look for a small rubber disc on the shower head inlet near the swivel ball. Remove it, and buy one that matches it from a hardware store. Install the gasket, restore the water, and test for leaks. Sometimes, a simple fix will solve your leaky shower head problem. If your repairs don’t work, consider hiring a plumbing service to find the cause of...

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Important Reasons To Repair Your Furnace This Summer

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Reasons To Repair Your Furnace This Summer

Do you own a house with a furnace? Did it provide less than sufficient heat during the past winter? Now that warmer weather has arrived, you may be thinking about putting off any repairs until cold weather arrives again. After all, once summer has arrived, you don’t need to use your furnace at all. But here are some good reasons why you should actually get it repaired this summer: Lower fees: Because fewer people call for furnace repairs during the warm spring and summer months, local repair companies will sometimes offer deep discounts to attract new customers. On the other hand, if you wait until snow starts to fall before remembering to call the repair company, you could wind up with an emergency service fee in addition to whatever fees the company normally charges. Getting it taken care of as soon as possible can ensure that you’ll get the best rate. Avoid hotel stays: If you wait until the first frosts are due before you call your local furnace repair company, you may find that many other people in your area had the same idea. As a result, you could be put on a waiting list that is weeks long. Between the time that you call and the time that the repair technician arrives, temperatures could drop drastically. If the thought of weathering freezing temperatures in a home with little to no heat doesn’t appeal to you, you could wind up spending several nights in a hotel or motel. But you can avoid this scenario if you have your furnace repaired while the weather is nice and warm. Prevent potential damage: While it may not seem like a lack of heat could cause much damage, having an unheated home in the winter actually has the potential to cause significant damage. This can be as obvious as the pipes bursting, but a lack of heat can also damage expensive hardwood floors, create rust or mold issues, and cause leaks in containers of potentially hazardous materials. This damage is caused both by the lower temperatures and the increase in interior humidity, which create condensation. While a day or two without heat may not cause many issues, needing to wait for weeks for the furnace repair company to show up has the possibility of causing irreversible and expensive damage to your house. Avoid this possibility by getting your furnace fixed as soon as possible and then having annual or semi-annual maintenance done on your furnace. Your local repair technician should be able to give you a schedule of how often you should have your furnace checked out in order to avoid future...

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How To Protect Your Drains During The Easter Holiday

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Protect Your Drains During The Easter Holiday

Because Easter is yet another holiday that focuses on eating and visiting friends and family, there are steps you can take to minimize the chance of a clogged drain adding an additional problem and the need to call a plumber, like one at Absolute Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Services Inc, to an already busy day. Some steps you should perform before guests arrive and the holiday commences, while other actions must be performed with vigilance while the celebration is taking place. Preparing your drains for Easter Bathroom drains Drain strainers You should check the wire mesh strainers in your drain cups for buildup that may slow your drains. Bathroom strainers may have hair, toothpaste, and soap embedded in the mesh, lowering their effectiveness to a point that the sinks or tubs may drain slowly. This may cause additional buildup to form, and may cause guests to pull out the strainers, which merely sit atop the drain cup. This will allow every sort of debris to enter your sink or tub drain, and result in a drain clog at a more inaccessible point in your drains. To clean your strainers, you should twist a wadded paper towel or cloth around inside the strainer, then dump any loosened material into the trash. Don’t simply turn the strainer upside down and run water forcefully to clean the strainer, or the dislodged material will go into your drain. Your toilet You can help to prevent your toilet drains from becoming clogged by preparing your bathroom before guests arrive. Don’t leave any paper towels in the bathroom to prevent them from being flushed down the toilet by uninformed guests. Keep an adequate supply of cloth hand towels instead. Guests with babies may also throw “flushable” diapers and baby wipes into your toilet. You can avoid this potential toilet overflow issue by placing a small hamper in the bathroom, and requesting that diapers and wipes be placed in the hamper. Kitchen drains Kitchen strainers may have food debris that lowers the drain speed. You should dump any debris into the trash rather than down the sink, which would nullify the purpose of using a strainer. Protecting your kitchen sink drain will require vigilance, as food is prepared and scraps discarded by family members and guests alike. There are specific items that you should keep from being placed in your sink drain or disposal, which include: Used cooking oil or grease Dumping cooking oil or grease into your kitchen drain will cause it to congeal (thicken) inside the drain. Pouring hot water into the drain after dumping oil will only allow it to travel farther into the drain line before congealing, making a potential drain clog even more difficult to remedy. Easter egg shells Even if the shells are decimated by a garbage disposal, the membrane inside the shells can shred and form a web that captures additional material inside your drain pipe and creates a drain clog. Bones Bones that are tossed into a disposal will splinter and lodge themselves inside your drain pipe, collecting debris as it passes. You may also prepare your drains before guests arrive by pouring a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar into each drain. The mixture will foam and eat away any slight buildup inside...

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3 Reasons To Hire A Plumber To Assist With A Bathroom Remodel

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Hire A Plumber To Assist With A Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling your bathroom is a great way to improve your home and increase its value, but it can also be a very difficult and time-consuming process. As a result, it is often a good idea to allow a plumber to assist you with the remodeling project in order to avoid any complications. Listed below are three reasons to hire a plumber to help you remodel your bathroom. Reroute Pipes One of the most difficult parts of remodeling your bathroom is rerouting your pipes if you are planning on changing the entire layout of your bathroom. This is a task best left entirely to your plumber as rerouting the pipes can often be confusing and can result in issues in the future if it is done incorrectly. For example, if you use the wrong type of pipe or fixture when rerouting pipes or installing new fixtures, then the new setup may not be able to handle the water pressure. In that situation, all of the hard work and money that you put into the bathroom remodel could go to waste when a pipe bursts or a leak develops. In addition, when rerouting the pipes, a plumber will be able to arrange the pipes so that they are not too close to any lights, outlets, or wiring to ensure that there is no risk of an electric shock or fried wiring down the line.  Evaluate Existing Pipes Another reason to hire a plumber to help you with your remodeling project is that he or she can evaluate the pipes that you already have in place before beginning the remodeling project. This is a good approach because the plumber may be able to identify pipes that are in good enough shape to reuse, which can end up saving you money on the remodeling project. In many cases, you may find that the pipes in a decades-old home are still in very good condition.  Provide Suggestions Finally, a plumber can also help you from the very beginning of the remodeling project by using his or her experience and expertise to provide you with suggestions as to what features you should include during the remodel. For example, he or she can point out which bathroom additions can substantially boost your home’s value and which ones will not add to your home’s value at all. In addition, he or she may be able to provide you with less expensive alternatives to your ideas that can help you achieve your goals but with a smaller budget. Contact a plumber at a company like Walt’s Plumbing today in order to get his or her assistance throughout your entire bathroom remodeling experience. These professionals can help you by providing remodeling suggestions, rerouting pipes, and evaluating your existing pipes in order to see if any of them can be...

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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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