Archive for the ‘Plumbing Clogs’ Category
Monday, February 13th, 2012
Few things are more frustrating than a clogged drain! Whether in your kitchen, your bathroom, or your utility room, clogged drains can quickly provide an infuriating mess. Unfortunately, they are also fairly common. To solve your next clog conundrum, try one of our DIY solutions:
Slow-Running Drains: For slow-running drains, shake a half box of baking soda down the drain, before pouring in one cup of vinegar. The baking soda will bubble and foam. Once it stops foaming, flush the drain with very hot water for 2-3 minutes.
Dealing With A Clog: If you have a full-on clog, begin by removing as much of the backed up water as you can. Pour one cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a large pot or kettle of boiling hot water. If the sink empties completely, pour another kettle of boiling water to give it another clean flush and then let cool water run from the tap for a couple minutes.
Biodegradable: If the flushing technique listed above doesn’t work, use a biodegradable waste digester, available in the plumping section of your hardware store, to dissolve the build-up of debris in your pipes. However, always use caution when using commercial drain cleaners of any kind. We recommend wearing eye goggles since the water can splash back up at you.
An Ounce Of Prevention: While slow or clogged drains are the most common household plumbing problem, they are typically preventable. Work to stave off bathroom clogs by installing grates or small screens over the drains to prevent hair and other debris from going down the drain and building up. In the kitchen, avoid clogs by being cautious of what you pour down the drain. For example, liquefied fats poured down a drain can coat the pipes and leave a ready surface for debris to get stuck in. And while garbage disposals are convenient, they should be used sparingly. Dump large amounts of food in a garbage can and only use the disposal for the small bits left on the plate.
If these solutions don’t solve your problem, call us at Nowthen Plumbing to thoroughly assess the situation.
Thursday, October 20th, 2011
While we try our best to avoid them, plumbing problems are one of life’s unfortunate and inevitable certainties. When you can’t prevent a plumbing crisis, follow these simple steps to help mitigate the damage:
Turn Off Your Water: Whether you have an overflowing sink basin, a backed up drain, or a flooded bathroom, begin to control the damage by shutting off your water at your home’s main shutoff valve. Typically, the shutoff valve will be located inside your home near your water meter. Once you (or your plumber) has identified the source of the problem and insulated the issue to a single fixture, isolation valves (valves located at each fixture and designed to stop the flow of water to that location only) can be turned off in place of the shut-off valve. Using your isolation valve as opposed to the shut-off valve will allow you to keep the water on in the rest of your home while the repair is underway.
Turn Off Your Water Heater: Once your water is turned off, take the time to also turn off your water heater as a partially empty water heater is more likely to burst.
Remove The Water: The first step to resolving your plumbing problems is to contain the water damage. Remove standing water, mop up any spills, and try to limit further spills.
Call In Reinforcements: If resolving your plumbing problem falls outside of your comfort zone, contact us at Nowthen Plumbing to help remedy the situation. When you call, try to be as specific as possible to help us pinpoint the problem as quickly and accurately as we can!
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Dealing with low water pressure in your home is not a fun task. A lot of homeowners are faced with this problem in their homes due to a wide variety of factors. They either live really far from their water supply, they have clogged pipes, or they live on top of a hill. Either way it’s a daunting problem to have.
The science of why water pressure is low in a home is not too difficult to explain. Basically, the harder it is for the water to get to the faucet the lower the water pressure will be. There are, however, a variety of ways a homeowner can fix this problem.
First things first, majority of households get their water from the city. So, call your city’s water department to have them come inspect what is going on. If you find out you do have a problem then it is time to call the plumber. Usually the main cause of low water pressure is corroded pipes. Over time, gunk corrodes the pipes allowing less water to pass through, which makes it harder for the water flow, hence your weak shower.
Replacing your pipes is an option depending on how old and/or how clogged the pipes are. This option may dip into the pockets a bit, so installing a water pressure booster pump is also an option, which is also something a plumber should take care of for you.
Nevertheless, a good pipe cleaning may be all that is needed for your pipes as well. Ask us about some of the cleaning products we recommend by emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, December 9th, 2010
If you’ve been keeping up with our news and updates, and we hope you have, you’ll already know everything the average homeowner should know about sump pumps and how to maintain them. What you may not know about, however, is another similar service we offer on our list—sewage ejector pump maintenance. Though we could talk for days about the fine details of the sewage ejector pump system (yes, we like what we do that much), many people probably have never even heard the term before. So for now, we’ll just run through the basics for you.
First off, what is a sewage ejector pump?
When a bathroom is located at a depth lower than the home’s sewer line, a sewage ejector pumps (also sometimes called a sewage grinder pump) is installed to forcefully pump the sewage to the proper elevation. Sometimes in homes where the bathroom is not below the sewer line but is just about even with it, the sewage still may not flow fast enough on its own and will also require a sewage ejector pump.
Second, what does it do?
In the most basic terms, the sewage ejector pump elevates sewage to the level of the main sewer line and ejects it into the correct pipes at the correct speeds. If you want to get into the muck of it a little more (warning, the following sentence is not for the squeamish), the sewage ejector/grinder blends residential sewage into a fine slurry of waste and water that can be more easily pumped into the main sewage line.
Finally, how do I get one?
This is the easiest question and you’ve probably already guessed the answer, but we’ll go ahead and tell you anyway. If you think you may need to install a sewage ejector pump in your home or believe that your existing pump needs maintenance, give us a call. As much as we love talking and writing about plumbing, we like getting out there and working on it even more!
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
When it comes to home plumbing maintenance, in general we’re all for the Do-It-Yourself approach. There will always be plenty of plumbing problems in the world for us to fix, and though we pride ourselves on our affordable prices, we understand that if there’s a way for you to save a buck by doing a simple repair yourself you’re going to go for it. Most of the time this is totally fine and we’re happy to provide you with some basic tips about drain cleaning, blab la, etc. But sometimes, as we’re sure everyone probably knows, DIY can be an absolute recipe for disaster.
So how do you know when to give the repairs a shot yourself and when to call a plumber? There are a few things that will almost always require professional help.
Although most minor leaks can be attempted on your own first, if a leak keeps recurring in the same place it’s probably time to call in professional reinforcements, there may be a bigger problem that you simply can’t see because you don’t know where to look. Furthermore, any plumbing issue that involves city gas or water pipes must be done by a licensed professional. Messing around down there without knowing exactly what you’re doing can end up causing a lot of problems that will be a lot bigger than the one you started out with.
Septic System Problems
It’s no secret what the home septic system is for, so it also pretty much goes without saying that no one really wants to fiddle with it if it’s not entirely necessary. Luckily for you septic tank problems should almost always be left to a professional, so there’s no feeling guilty about not attempting DIY methods first. Like everything else septic tanks need regular maintenance too, just how regular that maintenance is depends on several different factors, but it’s safe to say that having a plumber pump out your septic tank now can definitely help prevent a much bigger and more expensive problem later.
Clogged drains are pretty similar to leaky faucets. Most of the time you can take care of the problem yourself, but repeated leaks or particularly stubborn clogs are nothing to balk at. Low water flow problems can sometimes just be a simple matter of adjusting your home’s water pressure, but if the water pressure is fine and your faucet is still running at a trickle it’s time to call a plumber. Of course many minor clogs can be fixed yourself, but if the problem isn’t readily apparent it’s usually a bad idea to try and go poking around and figuring it out with the guidance of a licensed plumber standing by.
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
It’s called Green-Blaster Drain Opener and it works—fast. One of the great features of this handy drain opener is its incredible efficiency. It cleans your drain in sixty seconds and, best of all, unlike many other drain cleaners it’s safe for septic systems and can be used on chrome, polished brass, and plastic. The dry, granular product unclogs grease buildup, destroys hair, and clears other organic materials with ease. It’s also non-acid so you don’t have to worry about the normal health and safety hazards associated with most other drain cleaners.
The directions are simple. Pour ½ cup of Green-Blaster down your drain, run hot or cold tap water, cover opening with a damp cloth and let stand for one minute. Dump another half cup of Blaster down the drain and let the water run until all the granules are dissolved. Pretty easy, no?
Like we said at the beginning, this is the stuff the professionals use. You can find it in almost any hotel, apartment, restaurant, school, condo complex, or nursing home—but, you can’t find it in stores. As much as we love meeting you in person and using our own supply of Green-Blaster to clear your drains, we know most of you would like to be able to just do it on your own. You can purchase your own supply of Green-Blaster Drain Opener directly from us – either give us a call or stop by our office.
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
We’ve already talked about how to prevent and manage clogs in your kitchen sink, now it’s time for us to give you a few simple drain-cleaning tips so that your sink stays clog free and smelling fresh!
1) Run very hot tap water through the drain every few days.
This helps eliminate foul odors and can also melt some materials that may be causing drain backup. However, always remember to avoid running warm water when using the garbage disposal and never dump fatty liquids into the sink. See our previous blog on Preventing Clogged Drains for more details.
2) Use baking soda and lemon juice to eliminate odors.
Pour a tablespoon of baking soda and a 1/4 cup of lemon juice down your drain and let stand for half an hour about once a week to help absorb and destroy odor. Run hot water for several minutes afterwards to clear out the debris and wash away any smelly residue.
3) Use baking soda and vinegar to break up unpleasant clogs.
Follow the same steps as before except replace the tablespoon of baking soda with a 1/2 cup of baking soda and the 1/4 cup of lemon juice with a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The chemical reaction caused by mixing the basic baking soda with the acidic vinegar is a cheap and natural way to help break down simple clogs.
4) If natural solutions don’t work, try a store bought drain cleaner.
For tougher clogs a store bought drain cleaner may be the only answer. Make sure to avoid any chemicals that will harm your sink’s enamel or plastic piping. See our blog on Kitchen Sink Care for more information about preventing sink scratches and stains.
5) Finally, if all else fails, call a plumber.
If you’ve got a clog that can’t be broken or an odor that can’t be tamed, give your plumber a ring. That’s what we’re here for after all!