Posts Tagged ‘NowThen Plumbing’
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
As you may have noticed, we talk a lot about garbage disposals. It is also one of the things that we get asked about the most – both in the form of inquiries and in requests for repairs. Oftentimes preventing damage to your garbage disposal is as simple as only putting down the drain materials that the garbage disposal can handle. Then the question becomes, “What can and can’t go in my garbage disposal?” Here is a quick (although not exhaustive) list of things that are better off in the trash than down the drain:
- Animal Bones: Animal bones are one of the most common clog-inducing culprits. Unfortunately, the blades of garbage disposals are simply not strong enough to break bones apart.
- Rice and Pasta: These seemingly innocent culprits can be responsible for a great deal of drain damage. Rice and pasta swell when they come in contact with water. As a result, regardless of the amount of water that you run down your drain, small pieces of rice and/or pasta will eventually collect in your garbage disposal trap and swell until the disposal is rendered useless.
- Silverware: We’ve all done it – you are rinsing out a full sink at the end of the night and a knife, fork, or other utensil slips into your drain. If you hear metal scraping when you turn your disposal on, turn it off as quickly as possible to avoid further damage.
- Grease: Grease in its liquid form is harmless for your disposal. Unfortunately, grease does not stay that way. Eventually it will solidify and clog the disposal. Avoid this by avoiding pouring grease down your drain at all.
- Egg Shells: A common misconception that we hear is that putting egg shells in your drain will serve to sharpen disposal blades. Not only is this not true, egg shells are actually key culprits of clogged drainage lines.
In general, when it comes to your garbage disposal, less is truly more. When possible, dispose of garbage in the trash can instead of down the drain. When using the garbage disposal, only put in small amounts of waste at a time and be sure to run plenty of water. If you do end up needing help with a garbage disposal clog, call us at Nowthen Plumbing for a quick repair!
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.
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
When outdoor temperatures drop, there is nothing we like more than a warm shower to get us ready for the day! However, poor water pressure can quickly turn your morning routine from inspirational to inefficient. To solve this daily dilemma, try one of our DIY solutions to these common low-water pressure causes.
Remove Mineral Deposit Build-Ups: Overtime, mineral deposits can build-up in your pipes, causing clogs that result in lower water pressure. Because these clogs most commonly affect faucets and showerheads, a thorough cleaning of each can typically resolve the issue. To accomplish this, soak showerheads in a vinegar-and-water solution to dissolve mineral deposits. However, in more severe situations mineral build-ups can partially block the flow of water through the pipes themselves. If you suspect this might be the case, call us at Nowthen Plumbing to thoroughly assess the situation.
Identify Leaks: Low-water pressure can also be caused by damage to the pipe, such as a leak or crack. To determine if you have pipe damage, read your water meter and then shut off your homes’ water taps. Refer back to your meter in two hours. If your water usage has increased, you likely have a leak and need to contact a plumber to schedule a repair. Or the easier route if you think you have a leak is to call us and have us figure it out for you.
Plan Accordingly: Because most of us operate on a somewhat similar schedule throughout the day (showers in the morning, watering the lawn on the weekends, etc.), homes sharing a mutual water distribution pipe may experience water pressure variations. With that in mind, take a look at whether or not your low-water pressure issues are occurring during peak usage hours. If so, consider changing your schedule slightly.
Check Your Valves: Double check that all of your homes’ water valves are completely open to ensure that you benefitting from all potential water pressure. To do so, locate each valve at your homes’ faucet bases and turn clockwise.
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
With guests coming over to celebrate the holidays, the last thing that you want to worry about is a foul order coming from your kitchen sink.
Baking Soda Solution
A quick way to eliminate sink odor is to clean you drain with baking soda. To do so, pour one cup of baking soda into your sink drain. Let it soak for 15 – 20 minutes and then flush the baking soda through the drain with a large pan of boiling water. Be sure to also clean your drain stopper, where odors can tend to linger. Finally, eliminate any remaining smells in your sink pipes with a commercial drain cleaning solution.
Preventing A Smelly Sink
Once your drain has been cleaned, put a stop to future sink stench with these simple prevention tips.
- Attempt to prevent food from going down the drain whenever possible by making sure that your sink stopper fits properly and that it is emptied into the trash after each use.
- If food does go down the drain, be sure to rinse thoroughly with plenty of water to help propel food or particles past the sink’s trap.
- Occasionally wipe your sink with a towel or sponge saturated in undiluted vinegar to help eliminate sink basin smells. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Grind a lemon or orange peel in your kitchen’s garbage disposal to help release citric acid and eliminate smell, while simultaneously cleaning your garbage disposal blades.
Still have a stinky sink? We can help – call us today for a sink-scent solution!
Monday, October 31st, 2011
Lowering your household’s water usage is certainly a worthwhile goal – not only is it environmentally friendly, it can also help you save money on your utility bills. Try these plumbing modifications to begin saving water today!
Replace Standard Toilets: Toilet usage accounts for approximately 40 percent of all residential water use. However, several water-saving alternatives to standard toilets are available on the market today. Two such options include dual flush or low flow toilets. Dual flush toilets allow users to choose between a lower-flush option for liquid waste and a higher-flush option for solid waste, while low-flush toilets use no more than 1.3 gallons of water per flush. Installing either will significantly reduce water usage over that of a standard toilet.
Not ready to replace your toilet in its entirety? Listen to ensure that your current toilet model is not running when not in use. A running toilet could be a sign that the flapper is leaking inside the tank – a problem that can lead to substantial water loss if not repaired.
Fix The Faucet: Replace standard faucets with low-flow substitutes or invest in aerator faucets. Aerators are circular screened disks of metal that when screwed onto faucet heads, reduce the faucets overall flow. In addition, be sure to make timely repairs on all leaky faucets, as well as shower and tub valves as a single continuous drip can result in gallons of wasted water per week.
Change Your Showerhead: Consider changing your showerhead to a low-flow option. Trading out a standard showerhead (which has an average flow of 4.5 gallons of water per minute) for a low-flow model (which has an average flow of 2.5 gallons of water per minute) can save a family of four over 20,000 gallons of water per year. And fortunately, today’s low-flow showerhead models are designed to maximize water usage while still providing a strong shower stream.
Are you ready to make water saving plumbing improvements? Contact us at Nowthen Plumbing to begin making your plumbing modifications today!
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
As kids head back to the classroom and the leaves begin to change, homeowners are reminded of the impending season change and the accompanying home maintenance that this time of year brings. Because home water heaters work harder during the winter months fall is a key time for water heater upkeep and repair.
Check You Water Heater’s Pressure Valve: Both gas and electric water heaters feature a safety device known as a pressure valve. The purpose of this valve is to open and release pressure in the event that the water heater tank becomes over pressurized. To avoid problems pressure valves should be checked every six months.
To do so, turn of your water heater’s electricity (if you have a gas water heater simply turn the thermostat to the “pilot” setting) and shut off the cold-water running to the water heater. Place a bucket underneath the pressure valve and pull the valve’s trip lever. A properly working pressure valve will release a slight rush of air, vapors, or a small amount of water. If you do not see any of these signs contact us at NowThen Plumbing to replace the valve.
Flush Your Water Heater Tank: Over time sediment can collect in your hot water heater forcing it to work harder than necessary and eventually lead to leaks, rust, and corrosion. Because of this, hot water heaters should be drained on a regular basis to eliminate sediment build-up and help to extend the water heater’s life.
While your water heater’s electricity and the water running to it are both turned off, connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve. Place the end of the draining hose in a collection bucket. Open both the pressure relief valve and the drain valve to allow the tank to empty completely. Once it has done so, close the drain valve, disconnect the hose and close the pressure relief valve. To restart your water heater, open all the hot-water spigots in the house and turn the cold-water flowing into the tank back on. As water begins to flow from each hot-water spigot, close them in turn until all the spigots have been turned off. Finally turn the electricity back on to the water heater.
Because each tank may vary, always read the warnings and instructions accompanying your hot water heater. For more information about home water heater maintenance or to schedule an appointment to have your home water heater inspected, call us at Nowthen Plumbing for a low-cost consultation!