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Plumbing Disasters: A few ways to prevent serious plumbing problems

Nobody wants to have to deal with a plumbing disaster. We are so reliant on efficient plumbing – for showering, cooking, cleaning, and hydration – that any plumbing-related problem is a major inconvenience. And a plumbing disaster is an extreme inconvenience. So in order to help you avoid all problems, big or small, we would like to share these few bits of advice that will go a long way, if heeded.

1. Keep an eye on what’s going down.
It is extremely important to prevent certain materials from going down the drains of your sinks and showers as well as your toilet bowls. Always keep non-biodegradable items out of the toilet. This pretty much means nothing but toilet paper should be flushed. Even if the item seems harmless, like a paper towel (which over time could cause a backup). By allowing such objects to go down the toilet or drains, you could be potentially causing a major clog that will require a professional to fix. You may want to consider purchasing a drain cover to prevent harmful materials from going down.

The same principles apply in the kitchen. Food should go into the garbage disposal or trash can. Grease and excess fat should not be allowed to go down into the drain, because these fluids will solidify at room temperature in the pipes. Always allow grease and oil to solidify in a container outside of the drain, then throw it away in the trash.

2. Protect your pipes.
In colder temperatures, particularly a below-freezing environment, pipes may be in danger of freezing and prevent water from flowing. Sometimes pipes get so cold that they actually burst, which is probably the worst case scenario. If this happens, shut off the water supply to your house and call a plumber.

During the colder months, always be sure to wrap your pipes. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, you may hire a plumber to do it for you.

3. Address problems immediately.
Letting minor plumbing problems go for too long may allow them to progress into major (and expensive) problems. It is best to address all problems right away, no matter how small, before they turn into disasters. The best way to avoid these disasters is prevention.

Posted in: News & Updates, Plumbing Tips

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A Bit About Plungers

Everyone knows what a plunger is. They are handy tools used to clear out drains and toilets. The may seem simple enough to use, but there are some things that many people may not know about them.

Plungers move water, not air.

Many people think plungers are supposed to move air, but they were really designed to move water. When clearing out a drain, there may not be any water around it. If there isn’t, try adding some water to the area – enough so that it stands for a few seconds of plunging.

When clearing a toilet, make sure there is enough liquid in the bowl for plunging but not so much that a tidal wave bursts out of the towl while plunging. Do not flush a blocked toilet to add more water. Fill a container with water and then dump it into the bowl.

Always block overflow drains.

Be sure to block overflow drains when clearing out a clog. Otherwise the plunger will be useless. On sinks, these are usually inside a lip of the sink. On tubs, they are typically behind a metal plate with a stopper lever. Use a wet rag or washcloth to stuff it, effectively blocking any outlet for water. Make sure the cloth is large enough so that it won’t fall into the drain – then you’ll just have another clog on your hands.

Take it easy.

You don’t have to put too much force into a good plunge. Go slowly, swishing it back and forth to improve your chances of plunging success. Make sure to get a tight seal between the plunger and the object your using it on and work the plunger both up and down several times, for a few seconds per each attempt. Between plunging sessions, check to see if you need to add any more water.

 

You didn’t think we could write a whole blog entry about plungers, did you? Well, we did, and we hope you keep our advice in mind next time you need to use one!

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A Guide Into the World of Drain Cleaner

Many of you may have already experienced this scenario. You get ready to take a shower before an evening out with friends only to find that you are in the shower for about five seconds when the water starts to build up. Or you are hosting a company Christmas party and you have a sink full of dirty dishes that need to be washed before your guests arrive. You start and you don’t even get past the first dish before the water starts to fill up and before you know it, your sink is half full of icky gray water. (more…)

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