Most Common Plumbing Problems

Most Common Plumbing Problems For Homeowners

All homeowners know plumbing problems come up from time to time. Common plumbing problems can be easy to fix or complicated requiring a plumber. Some common plumbing problems are just annoying and others are a true nightmare.  Here are the most common plumbing problems homeowners have to deal with and how to fix them. Something very important to know as a homeowner is to know the location of the main water cut off and how to cut the water off. When a major plumbing problem unexpectedly happens, cutting off the water flow can save you some costly repairs.

onetimeflush 300x90 Most Common Plumbing Problems

Common plumbing problems and what to do!

Six Most Common Plumbing Problems

    • A dripping water faucet
    • Slow or clogged drains
    • Low water pressure
    • Clogged toilets
    • Running toilets
    • Problems with water heaters

Dripping Water Faucet

drippingfaucet 150x150 Most Common Plumbing Problems

Dripping or leaky faucet

A leaky or dripping water faucet can drive some people crazy. That unstoppable rhythmic drip…drip…drip in the quiet of the night! A dripping faucet can be ignored without major consequences but did you know a leaky faucet can waste gallons of water a month. No matter the brand of faucet due to wear and tear most will eventually start to drip. Leaks most often develop from the rubber or plastic seals (seals, washers, O-rings) that wear out over time. Even a slightly worn out seal can result in water dripping out from the spout.

Here is how to fix a dripping or leaky faucet. (link to article on website)

Clogged Toilets

A clogged toilet in nothing unusually. Many things can easily stop up a toilet such as too much toilet paper, children’s toys, foreign object or human waste. What ever is blocking the pipes that lead out to the sewage line, the blockage must be cleared. It must be removed or forced through the pipes. Drain pipes in homes are only designed to carry items that can be dissolved. Anything flushed down a toilet that will not dissolve may cause quite a problem. A plunger is a good thing to keep on hand, and keep it in the bathroom close by for when you need it FAST! Here is how to unstop a clogged toilet.

Low Water Pressure

water pressure 150x134 Most Common Plumbing Problems

Low water pressure

Low water pressure can be caused by several things such as clogs, pipe corrosion or delivery from the main source. Many older homes can have low water pressure.  Out of date plumbing equipment such as an old shower head, a hidden leak somewhere in a waterline in your home. To find out more about low water pressure, the causes and what you can do to fix it see low water pressure.

Slow or Clogged Drains

This is a very frequent problem. Slow draining or clogged drains in kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks,  tubs and showers, etc. Putting cooking grease sown a kitchen sink is a big NO-NO. So is food waste and food products. Also avoid putting thick liquids down a drain. Something just can’t be avoided like hair. Hair is a common reason a drain will be slow or completely clogged. For help on keeping drains open and draining well see clogged drains.

Running Toilets

Here is another annoying problem – a running toilet. A running toilet can waste a lot of water, up to 200 gallons per day. A running toilet is a simple fix even for the homeowner, no plumber needed! Toilets work on gravity. When the toilet handle is pressed down to flush the toilet a lever inside the tank lifts up a rubber flapper. Water runs out of the tank and into the bowl refilling the tank as the water in the bowl drains out the drain pipe toward the sewage line. The flapper closes and the tank refills with water. The tank fills with water until the float closes the intake. Simple but here is more details at running toilets and how to fix the problem.

Water Heaters
water heater 112x150 Most Common Plumbing Problems

Water Heaters

Fixing a water heater is not a do it yourself project unless you know what you are doing. A new water heater can last from about 6 years to 12 years. How long a water heater will last depends on the type of water you have (well water vs city water, hard or soft water, iron levels in your water source and history of maintenance). Some common water heater problems include:replacing  a bad heating elements, checking electric water heater thermostats, checking the pressure relief valve, and checking the water heater drain valve. See if you can find your problem and decide if it is possible to fix it yourself. Find out more about problems with water heaters here.

 

Do You Need An Oversized Toilet

Do You Need An Oversized Toilet?

With an obesity rate in the United States of over 30% among men and women there can be a need for oversized toilets. This can also be the case for some people who are, or might of someone in their household that may have a physical handicap or physical condition can require a toilet that is larger than a standard toilet. Fortunately these types of toilets are available and are not as uncommon as you might think.

You can buy a complete toilet or just a larger toilet seat, which can be installed on just the standard size toilet bowl which is already installed in your home.

oversize toilet 300x252 Do You Need An Oversized ToiletThey are designed to support more weight with than a regular toilet and offer much more stability and safety. In most cases they are  also a few inches higher and this can offer you some much-needed assistance when getting up or down.

An oversized toilet can be purchased in the basic colors as most regular toilets are available though most major home supply stores, plumbing supply companies or you could contact most any licensed plumber to assist you in their purchase and having it installed in your home.

As with any plumbing project it is good idea to check your local building codes to make sure this is allowed in your area before having this done. It most areas codes do allow for this to be done.

 

If you have a need for an oversize toilet, they can be of great help if you have the need of some assistance or just more space.

 

 

Should you hire a real plumber or you use your cousin?

Should you hire a real plumber or just use your cousin? Answer below.

In most cases when you need a plumber, you need a plumber now, not some time next week. When you have water leaking or no water,  you want results fast.  This is the time you need to be the most careful and not just hire someone who may or may not know hot to fix the problem correctly, which will just create more and sometime bigger problems.

Plumbers that are licensed and those that are not.

certified plumber Should you hire a real plumber or you use your cousin?

Use licensed and insured real plumbers.

Plumbers are like many other professions, where everyone has to start their training somewhere and some start by learning as they go. But, if you hire an unlicensed plumber and there are problems as a result of the way they have done your repairs, you may have nowhere to turn if a building inspector tells you the repairs are not done to plumbing codes that are in place for your area and the work will have to be redone. If those repairs were done by someone unlicensed or uninsured, you will probably be the one paying for repairs a second time. If you have to hire a plumber always hire someone who is licensed and is properly insured, in case they create more damages to your property.

What to watch for.

A professional licensed plumber will most likely not give you an exact cost of repairs over the phone without going to your home and making an assessment of your problem. They can tell you the cost per hour put cannot give you an exact estimate. If someone gives you an exact estimate without coming and looking at the problem you should be leery that you may be overcharged or more fees will have to be added to the estimate after the work is completed.

If you have what you consider to be a fairly significant repair to be made,  you should try to get at least three bids for the repairs. Be leery of any bid that is considerably lower than the other two. A much lower bid should be a warning sign of a possible problem.  Always ask if the bid includes the materials and the labor.

If the person you have hired asks for payment in advance of the repairs being made, be careful. It is acceptable to ask for a down payment if it is considered to be a large or expensive repair. Do NOT pay in full until the work is completed and inspected and passes local plumbing codes.

A licensed and insured professional plumber is usually a good investment. So, should you hire a real plumber?

Yes.

Low Water in Toilet Bowl

Low Water in Toilet Bowl? Check This First.

Do you have low water in your toilet tank or low water in your toilet bowl? These are two entirely different problems that have two different solutions. If the water level in your toilet bowl is low, the most common problem is that the fill tube that flows into the fill valve has come out or is damaged. The fill tube is a small plastic flexible hose that is usually black or clear in color that goes directly into the vertical tube that is located in the toilet bowl. This tube allows water to flow into the toilet bowl each time the toilet is flushed. This tube should have at small clip that holds it in the fill valve tube. On occasion this clip will come out and allow the fill tube to come all the way or partially out and therefore the water level in the toilet bowl is low because not enough water is allowed to run in the bowl before the toilet tank fills and the valve shuts off the water flow.

Sometimes the fill tube may not have come out, but it is partially blocked or damaged in some way. You will need to make sure that the fill tube in pointed directly into the vertical fill valve tube and that it has a steady flow water coming through it.

 The fill tube is almost always the problem when you have low water in the toilet bowl and everything else about the toilet seems to be working properly. In very rare cases, it can also be your toilet has been cracked on the lower bowl side in some way and the water is leaking out through the sewer line or onto your floor or subfloor.

There is also an outside chance that your sewer vent line has become stopped up by something. The sewer vent pipe is the line that runs through your wall and out the roof of your house. The job of the vent pipe is to allow sewer gases to escape out and to let air in when you flush your toilet. This creates a siphoning action and helps in the process of your toilet flushing properly and it will also have an effect on the water level in your toilet if there is not a free flow of air through the vent pipe. In most cases if there is a problem with your vent pipe it will have an effect on the other drains in your home.

 How much will it cost to have a plumber repair a low water in toilet bowl problem?

I f a plumber has to come to your house and make this repair and assuming that the plumber would have to replace the toilet tank fill valve and tube, the national average for this type of repair is about $150.00. If you have a cracked toilet or issues with the vent pipe the charges could be considerably more.

Toilet tank fill valve Low Water in Toilet Bowl

This is the toilet bowl fill tube.

Sewer Line

Sewer Line Trouble. It stinks.

Sewer line issues are considered a major and urgent type of repair in the plumbing business. If you have some type of issue with your sewage system, you need to start the repairs as soon as possible. A leaking sewer line can spread bacteria and contaminate the surrounding area and possibly your ground water supply very rapidly. This would not be a safe environment for you, your family or your pets. It is better to act sooner rather than later when you have sewer line issues.

Sewer Line Repair

If you are having trouble with your sewer line it may be as simple as having a clog cleared from the line and getting the flow of waste moving freely through the line again. Sometimes you might not be so lucky and the backup of sewage is caused by sometime much more serious, like tree roots in the line and will result in more complicated and expensive repairs. Whatever type of repairs you need, it is better to respond quickly rather than letting it develop into a larger problem.

Unless it is quite obvious what type of repair your sewer lines needs, such as a broken or damaged sewer pipe it will probably save you money in the longer run to hire a professional, who has the necessary equipment to pinpoint the exact location and cause of the problem. Many plumbers have cameras and listening devices that allow them to look down and also listen to your sewer line. This may prevent you from having your lawn dug up just trying to locate the problem.

sewer line replacment Sewer Line

Most sewer lines are underground.

 Sewer Line Replacement Cost

The national average for sewer line replacement cost is about $3,000. This is for a complete sewer line replacement, which is your main line that carries sewage and waste water from your home and connects to your septic tank or directly into your city’s sewer system. The primary factor in determining the cost of the repair in most situations is access to the sewer line. Remember that most sewer lines are located underground, sometimes under driveways, gardens or patios. Gaining access to the line often is usually the most labor intense part of the repair and  has the most effect on the amount of the repair cost.

Sewer Line Insurance

Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover sewer line repairs or sewer line replacement cost. Your policy may be the exception, so contact your insurance company to clarify your coverage. Most all areas will require that if you must have major repairs or replace your sewer line that you obtain a permit to have this work done and that it be inspected by your local building inspector.

Watch a sewer line being cleared by a professional plumber.

Master Plumber

Difference Between a Master Plumber and Regular Plumber.

The services of a master plumber are generally in great demand. This is especially true in municipal and industrial based facilities that have large water and waste systems that require skilled people to keep them operating correctly. 
Master plumbers are journeyman plumbers who had extensive training by completing many hours of classroom training on building codes, safety, physics, blueprint reading, blueprint drawing and then followed by many hours of on the job training. After all the training they are then allowed to take the master plumber’s examination and if they pass, can apply for their master plumber’s certification.
The testing state offering the examination will probably require proper documentation of their work experience and classroom training before they are even allowed to take the exam.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A MASTER PLUMBER

The process of becoming a master plumber begins in most states by first becoming an apprentice and actually working for the required amount of time with a licensed journeyman plumber. After months of on the job training and class study the apprentice may apply to take the state examination. If the applicant successfully passes this exam they are a licensed journeyman plumber. After being licensed by the state the journeyman plumber must then undergo several more months of on the job training and added advanced classroom training and then the  journeyman plumber may apply to take the examination to become licensed as a master plumber in their area.

The time frame requirements for becoming a master plumber vary considerably from state to state. Some states only require that you have been licensed as a journeyman plumber for at least one year before you can take the examination for a master plumber’s license. Other states require as many as five or more years experience before you can apply. There are areas that also require that you work under the direct supervision of an existing master plumber for a specific amount of time before you are even allowed to take the examination

ADVANTAGES OF HIRING A MASTER PLUMBER

A master plumber will have years of experience and advanced skill levels. They will have a complete understanding of what can and can’t be done to keep your plumbing projects in compliance with local building codes and budget. If it is a large project they can create and offer a plumbing blueprint and make suggestions about what is best for your plumbing project. Most journeyman plumbers are very skilled craftsmen and can handle your plumbing installations and repairs very well. But, if you are facing a large commercial or particularly challenging project you may want to seek the services of a master plumber.

How to Become a Master Plumber
video by: John Wood

Bathroom Remodel

Considering a bathroom remodel? Read This.

A bathroom remodel always begins with the same two questions. How extensive of a remodel do you want and what is your budget?
Personally, I believe the best place to start with a bathroom remodel is the budget. The budget determines what type and quality of materials and the design of your new bathroom. Setting the budget first will help you to establish the limits you must stay in to complete the project. Knowing what you can spent will be a huge help when you start to select what is actually going to go in your new bathroom. The costs will add up fast, so you may have to make a few compromises during the process.

Bathroom remodel ideas

One of the most popular and least expensive bathroom remodels can be as simple as just changing the faucets, cabinet handles, shower head and other hardware. Change from a nickel-plated or stainless steel look to a copper or brass look.

You could also change the floor covering to a different type of vinyl or tile. Go with a different paint color and use a lighter or darker color. Change out a tub to a shower or vice versa. Consider having your present tub or shower refinished to give them a new look. Refurbishing or “going green” does offer the major advantage of costing a lot less than buying all new fixtures and cabinets. It also good for the environment because of less going in a landfill if the item still has years of service still left in them. 

Bathroom remodel cost

The national average cost to remodel an average size existing bathroom is about $15,000.00. This type of upgrade would include a standard size porcelain covered tub with ceramic tile covered surround area, new faucets and shower head, standard toilet, solid vanity counter with new sink, medicine cabinet, tile floor, wallpaper or paint and lights. This price includes products that fall in the mid price range. Higher end products would obviously raise the cost.

money Bathroom Remodel

How much for a bathroom remodel?

This also assumes that you leave all existing plumbing in the exact same place. To relocate toilets and drains can have a significant effect on the cost. Moving these main lines can be very time-consuming and costly.

Do it yourself bathroom remodel.

If you feel that you have the necessary skills to do most of the work or just a part of the remodeling, you can save a considerable amount of money on the labor cost. But, you need to be completely honest with yourself when assessing your skill levels and time restraints. It may cost you less in the long run to have a professional do the remodel to begin with, rather than have them to fix your mistakes.

Remember, that you will be working with pressurized water lines, drain lines and sewage lines and that the work should be done according to the local building codes for your area.

 

In most areas you can expect to recover about 2/3 of your bathroom remodel cost in the valve of your home increasing.

Slab Leak

Do you have a slab leak?

Was your home built on a concrete slab foundation? If so, that means that your water and sewer lines might have been installed under several inches of concrete. Water and sewer lines under concrete are just like a lot of other things, with time they start to deteriorate and began to leak. This is known as a slab leak.

slab leak Slab Leak

Typical Slab Leak

The good news is that repairing those lines is not that hard. The bad news is that locating and gaining access to those lines can be a different matter all together.  Unfortunately,  you cannot ignore a slab leak just because it is under hard concrete. It has to be repaired.

Slab Leak Symptoms

If you think you may have a leaking water or sewer line under a concrete slab, look for these signs:

Water Lines:

  1. A wet or damp spot on your floor.
  2. A more expensive water bill.
  3. Sound of gushing or running water.
  4. If a hot water pipe is leaking you may notice a warm spot in your floor.
  5. Mold or mildew starting to form in an area.

Sewage Lines:

  1. A cracked foundation.
  2. A dome or high spot in the floor.
  3. Soil that is being washed away from the base of your foundation for no apparent reason.

A leaking sewage line may not show symptoms until the damage is more severe. This is because the leak can go undetected for a longer period of time and has time to do more damage to your foundation.

Slab Leak Detection

In some situations, slab leak detection equipment must be used to locate a slab leak. There is also special listening devices that can be used to try and locate a leak under concrete. These devices are used by pumping air into the lines and then listening for escaping air from the damaged area of the pipe. Some plumbers do not have this type of equipment and there are other plumbers that specialize in this type of repair.

Leak Detection Equipment
Slab Leak Repair

After you have the leak located you must begin the task of gaining access to the pipe and this will probably involve a cement saw and air jack hammer. Be ready for the mess and especially  the dust that removing the concrete slab is going to make. Cover everything you don’t want dust on.
After gaining access the plumber can decide the best way to make the repair. Be cautious of using any type of rubber pipe repair as the concrete can quickly deteriorate the rubber product.

Slab Leak Repair Cost

The national average cost to have someone come in with the special equipment needed to pinpoint the water leak will range from about $150.00 to $400.00 and this is only to find the leaking pipe under the concrete.
The cost to cut and rip up the concrete to make the necessary repairs to the leaking water or sewer line and then replace the concrete will depend on the exact location and the ease of access. National averages place the typical cost at about $2000.00 for this type of repair. This estimate can vary a great deal depending on the particular circumstances the plumber has to deal with. This estimate would not include any water damage that may be done to your property.

Slab Leak Insurance Coverage

Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover water damage that may have been done to carpeting, flooring, and cabinets. Unfortunately, most policies do not cover the cost of repairing the leaking pipes. The deductible amount that you have to be pay before the insurance payment is applied will also determine the amount of money that has to come out of your pocket. You will need to talk with your insurance company to get the final answer on the terms of your policy.

Slab Leak Solutions

The most common type of pipe used under a concrete slab foundation is copper. Over the years, as the copper pipes age they begin to wear thin and become more prone to leak. If you have to rip up concrete and repair a line in one section, it can be added pressure on the rest of the aged pipes.

Sometimes it just may be better and less expensive to re-plumb your house than repair an old pipe. Talk with your plumber about it and ask their opinion. A slab leak in some cases can be considered a major and very expensive repair.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes and what to do.

The cold winter can be tough on our water pipes. Just like a lot of other things that we own, our water pipes start to deteriorate with time and use. In the winter months this can be especially true. If you live in a region that experiences below freezing temperature you must take steps to prevent your water pipes from freezing and possibly bursting.

Signs of  Frozen Pipes

burst water pipe Frozen Pipes

Try to prevent frozen pipes.

 

 

The most obvious sign that you might have frozen pipes is that there is only a trickle or no water at all coming out when you turn on the faucet. If this happens in very cold temperatures you probably have a water line leading to the faucet that is frozen.

If you see that frost has formed on the outside of the actual water line to the faucet, it usually indicates that the water line is frozen and will require attention before it bursts.

Once you have determined that you have frozen pipes you need to respond quickly to prevent extensive water damage to your property. If you feel you do have to the skills to thaw the pipes, you need to contact a plumber as soon as possible

Frozen Pipes and what should do first.

The very first thing to do if you have a burst pipe with water running is to find the main water cutoff valve for your home and cut the water off. But, it is also important to leave the faucets turned on if you have a frozen pipe. The reason for this is, as the water thaws the open faucet will relieve some of the pressure and may help prevent the pipe from bursting. If you have access and the how to abilities to make at least a temporary repair this will allow you time to bring in a plumber at a later date and make a permanent repair. Allowing a professional plumber to come at their convenience will help you avoid emergency call rates and perhaps get a repair estimate from more than one plumber.

Your primary goal with a frozen pipe is to prevent it from bursting and causing expensive water damage to your home.

Frozen Pipe Prevention
Installing Heat Tape

The absolute best way to prevent frozen pipes to to prevent them from freezing in the first place. You can do this by following a few very basic steps.

  1. Insulate all pipes in the crawl space of your home and all exposed pipes using the appropriate pipe insulation as recommended for your area. Use heat tape if necessary, but carefully follow manufacture’s instructions.
  2. Keep your thermostat set at a high enough temperature to help prevent your pipes from freezing. It helps protect them from freezing when the walls and floor are warm.
  3. Seal off all the leaks in your home and crawl space where cold air can enter. Check carefully around electrical outlets and dryer vents.This is especially helpful when there is a cold wind blowing.
  4. On very cold nights leave a very small trickle of water running through the faucet to help prevent them from freezing.
  5. If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time have family or a neighbor check your home often to make sure all is well and the temperature is high enough to help prevent frozen pipes. Better yet just shut off the water going into your home if you plan to be away for awhile.

It is a good idea that everyone in your home knows where and how to cut off the water, in the event of some type of emergency and they are home alone. Water emergencies don’t happen often, but they do happen.

Just a few simple steps taken before the winter months can help to dramatically reduce your changes of having frozen pipes.

Cost of a Burst Pipe

Cost of a burst pipe may depend on where it is located.

The cost to repair a burst water pipe will depend a great deal on where the pipe is located and if this is deemed an emergency repair. If the burst pipe is located in an easy to get access to place,  the cost of the repair will be much less expensive.
If you intend to have a plumber make the repair to your burst pipe and it has easy access, you can expect to pay from $100 to $200 for a simple repair. If the burst pipe is located inside a wall, underneath the ground or under a concrete foundation slab the cost can go up substantially and your final repair cost will depend on the additional labor charges to gain access to the burst pipe.
A plumber will most likely charge more if the repair has to be made on an emergency basis such as a holiday, night or weekend.

burst water pipe Cost of a Burst Pipe

The cost of a burst water pipe may depend on it’s location.

You also have to consider any water damage that may have been done to your home or building because of the leaking water. Water damage can sometimes be in the thousands of dollars if the water leak is not stopped quick enough and it is burst in a wall inside your home.
When you have a burst water pipe you need to act fast and stop the water flow because sometimes the cost of repairing the burst pipe will not be as much of a concern as the cost of the water damage to your property.

Drain Cleaner. Danger be careful.

Need a drain cleaner? Try something safe first.

A chemical drain cleaner can be dangerous. Certain drain cleaners are made from some very dangerous chemicals like sulfuric acid and harsh lyes. They do their job by attacking and destroying the material it comes in contact with, including your skin or eyes. Some drain cleaners form toxic gases and can be very harmful if they are inhaled. Last year in the USA nearly 2000 people were admitted into hospital emergency rooms from a result of some type of exposure of a chemical drain cleaner.

Some drain cleaners that are available are not only dangerous to you, but they can also do damage to your drainage pipes and flow out into your sewer system or into the municipal sewage system which will eventually return to our rivers and streams.

In some cases water treatment facilities may not be able to completely remove these chemicals from our drinking water. 

 Drain Cleaner. Danger be careful.

Drain cleaners can be dangerous!

The dangers of certain chemical drain cleaners are even more concerning if you have children in your home that may be exposed to them. So please be very careful when using a chemical drain cleaner and follow the directions exactly as stated on the label of the product container.

If you have a drain that has to cleared maybe consider using a drain snake or perhaps a mild homemade drain cleaner.

 

Toilet Repair. How much is this going to cost?

Toilet Repair. The cost can depend on a lot of different things.

How much is it going to cost for your toilet repair? That depends on a few things, are you going to fix it yourself or call a professional plumber and what type of repair does your toilet need? Do you need to rebuild a toilet or do you just have a leaky toilet or does your toilet flush valve just need replacing? Do you need a full toilet replacement? Now you see why that is a hard question what the cost will be without having all the facts. But, maybe we can give you a few estimates on the most common types of toilet repair and what they may cost.

toilet repair Toilet Repair. How much is this going to cost?

Toilet repair just depends on…..

 The costs shown below are assuming you hire a professional plumber to make the repair and the repair costs shown are for the national average. They may vary greatly from area to area.

 

Cost to repair a leaking toilet


The cost to repair a leaky toilet averages around $125.00 for a plumber to come to your location and make a simple repair, like a flapper or toilet chain adjustment. If extra parts are needed that will result in additional charges.

 Toilet Repair. How much is this going to cost?

Toilet Leaking

 

Cost to replace a toilet flange


If your toilet seems to rock and you can move it at the floor level, you most likely have a broken closet flange at the base of your toilet. This repair will require for your toilet to be lifted and removed, to replace the flange. To have this service done by a professional plumber will average around $150.00 for the basic job.

toilet flange photo Toilet Repair. How much is this going to cost?

Toilet Flange

Cost to repair a toilet flush valve

To have a toilet flush valve or flapper repaired or replaced,  will average about $100 in most areas.  Some plumbers may do this type of repair as a flat fee and some will charge by the hour. Always ask before any work begins which way the fees are established for the repair.

toilet valve photo Toilet Repair. How much is this going to cost?

toilet flush valve

 Cost to repair a toilet wax ring.

If your toilet is leaking around the base, it is probably the toilet wax ring that seals your toilet with the septic tank line. The cost to replace this ring will average about $150.00 on a national average. Remember, this is a national average and assumes that no extra repairs or additional parts will be needed.

toilet wax ring photo Toilet Repair. How much is this going to cost?

Toilet Wax Ring

Many toilet repairs are very the basic type of repair.  If you have some do it yourself skills you can make some toilet repairs with having to call a plumber.  If you have any doubts about your skill level, you may want to call the plumber because in some repairs special tools are needed and you may need to have the ability to lift and move the complete toilet to make your repair. 

 

 

 

 

Plumbing Myths

Coming soon!

Plumbing myths

What is true and what is not . There are several myths about plumbing repairs.

Find out here as we began a series exploring some of the plumbing myths that have been around for years. During the week of October 10th we will take a look at the first myth or is it a fact? Stay tuned to this channel. 🙂

Myths sign Plumbing Myths

Myth or Fact

Utility Sink and what it cost to have installed.

Utility Sink, mud sink or laundry sink. Whatever you call it. It is very useful.

Which ever name you choose to give it, a utility sink is one of the most useful sinks you can have in your home. Because of the large and deep tub and the fact,  they are generally located in a mud room, laundry room or garage, a utility sink  can quickly become one of the most appreciated items in your home. It is a great place to rinse large items, remove dirt, rinse paint brushes, soaking laundry items before washing and many it has many uses.

Utility Sink Cost

utility sink Utility Sink and what it cost to have installed.

Utility Sink. Basic Style

Because there are many different styles and sizes of utility sinks, the cost for the sink itself can vary a great deal. They are made in different materials which can greatly affect their cost. The cost of a very basic utility sink made from fiberglass or vinyl is about $50-$100. Some units do not include the faucets or drain connections. This would be an additional cost which would depend on the quality of faucets you choose. There are also utility sinks available in stainless steel which will cost you around  $175-$500, there again depending on the quality.  You can also find utility sinks with cabinets, utility sinks with wall mounts and a freestanding utility sink. The price of these type sinks just depends on the type and quality you choose.

Utility Sink Installation Cost.

The cost to have your utility sink installed by a plumber can vary just as much as the sink itself costs. The basic cost to have a plumber install a utility sink is averages about $200. This price assumes that it is a basic hookup with no complications. If there are no drain or vent pipes in place and they have to be installed by the plumber this will result in additional costs that can only be determined after the plumber assets the job. In some cases this can push the installation cost to the $500-$1000.00 range. As always ask for an estimate before the work begins.

utility sink with cabinet Utility Sink and what it cost to have installed.

Utility sink with cabinet

 

Water Heaters and Cold Weather

Water heaters and cold weather sometimes don’t play well together.

Most people tend to take longer hot showers in the winter months when it is cold outside. Many experience that during the winter months their water heater starts to run out of hot water and notice they just don’t seem to have as much hot water that is needed for your household or perhaps their water just does not seem to get as hot as it did during the warmer months.

cold weather thermo Water Heaters and Cold Weather

Water heaters work harder in cold weather.

As the outside temperature becomes colder during the winter, it also drops the ground temperature where the water pipes are laid that come to your house. This causes most water heaters to have to work harder to heat the cooler water that is coming in. Once the water is heated and you start to use it in a shower or sink it causes more of the cooler water to come into your water heater that is trying to reach the temperature that you have your water heater thermostat set at. This can be can especially harder on older water heaters that have sediment that has formed inside the water heater tank.

Using a water heater blanket and having good water heater installation can help a great deal. You can also turn up the thermostat on your water heater just a few degrees which may help during the cold winter months.

water heater blanket Water Heaters and Cold Weather

Water Heater Blanket

 In cold weather, water heaters can use a little help.

Water Heater Leaking ? What Next?

Is your water heater leaking ?

With all the time in the world that water heater leak will probably not go away.You should go ahead and fix the problem at the first sign of a leak,  because it will probably just get worse. A water heater leak does not go away with time. It’s best to move quickly to fix the problem. 

water heater leaking Water Heater Leaking ? What Next?

Most leaks come from the inside tank.

Keep in mind that water heater leaking may be a symptom of a much larger problem. The water heater leak may be a sign of something much more serious and require immediate attention. In extreme cases, a catastrophic and complete water heater failure can cause a significant flood that could lead to big repair bills and damage to your  property. If the leak is the inside tank or a pipe has burst this could cause a very significant flood and result in damaged property and expensive repair bills.

A water heater leaking may seem like a small problem, but what appears to be just a small leak can very quickly become a huge problem. Even a small amount of water will cause damage to your sub-floors, floors and walls, so you want to act fast.

Not every small puddle of water found at the base of a water heater is necessarily due to a leak. Be careful not to overreact when you see water around your water heater you want to make sure it is actually a leak.

water heater leaking small drip Water Heater Leaking ? What Next?

Small drips may just be condensation forming.

Since water heaters are a point where cold and hot water come together the water you see on the floor may be the result of condensation that has formed on the pipes and is dripping to the floor.  It also may be a water line leaking and not the water heater. A very close inspection is required in some cases to find the exact source of the leak.

Water Heater Problems where do you start? Is your water heater leaking on the top or is your water heater leaking from bottom? Does it even matter?

Unfortunately, most leaks from a water heater come from the tank on the inside leaking and if that is the case, the only answer is to replace the water  heater. 

Did you know that prolonged water heater leaking could also cause mold and mildew, which may present health concerns for you or your family.

If you are considering making these repairs yourself, always remember that most water heaters are preset at 125 Degree Fahrenheit and can be set as high as 160 degrees. This is enough to cause serious burns. You should always take the needed precautions for safety.

Because of the high voltage electrical or the gas lines going to a water heater, this is the type of repair that may require the services of a professional plumber.

If your have a water heater leaking at the drain valve take a look at this page.

Most Common Plumbing Problem

The most common plumbing problem is a clogged sink. Clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks are mostly due to kitchen  grease and food particles and in the bathroom the reason is hair. Sounds disgusting doesn’t it? Use a liquid solution weekly or when you notice a slow running drain to keep your drains open and prevent any clogged drains.

Life of a Water Heater and How to Make it Longer

Life of a water heater and how to make it longer.

You know and understand how a lot of the things that you own, like your car to your own body need a regular checkup. They also need a little maintenance to keep it operating at peak efficiently and that will help give it a longer life.

Your water heater should be on your list of things that need regular maintenance. People have the radiator in their car flushed, but never think about having their hot water heater flushed.

Taking care of your water heater will give it a much longer life and assure that it operates at peak performance. Plumbers see a lot of water heaters problems that could have been avoided if homeowners would take the time to drain and flush their water heaters at least one time a year to help drain out the calcium and sediment deposits that build up in your water heater over time.

Life of a water heater …… want it to be longer, then show it a little attention. You will be repaid with more years of service.

draining water heater Life of a Water Heater and How to Make it Longer

Drain your hot water heater

Emergency Plumbing . Will you need it?

Emergency Plumbing ….Sooner or later you will need it.

When do you need emergency plumbing? Most people think that a burst pipe in your home makes a plumbing emergency. In a lot of cases this is true but,  it is not the amount of the repair bill or the amount of water that is lost, that should be your main concern. It is the amount of damage to your home that can be done by the leaking water that can be the most costly repairs.

The need for emergency plumbing often hits you when you least expect it and at the worst possible time. It just seems to be the way it always works out, when you are just ready to walk out the door or in the middle of the night. According to surveys that have been done a burst pipe is the most common type of emergency plumbing call that is received by plumbers. The second type of call they receive for emergency plumbing is for a water heater that has some type of problem. Both of these problems can result in mitigating factors that can result in more extensive damage to your home.

If you suspect you have a problem go ahead and call in a professional plumber before the emergency occurs and this can usually save you a lot of headaches and money by getting the issues resolved beforehand.  If you wait for the problem to fix itself, that’s when the problem compounds itself and gets much worse and you could get water all over your home.

Most plumbing systems are designed to work together to operate the most  efficiently.  So, when  something does not work correctly it could affect different areas of your home.

As a homeowner, it is important to have a basic understanding of how your plumbing systems works and how each part of your system works and relates to each other.

dripping buckets Emergency Plumbing . Will you need it?

This could be serious!

A professional plumber that visits your home will have years of experience and the proper  tools to get the repair made efficiently and in it the correct way to prevent further problems down the road. If you do not handle plumbing problems correctly it may lead to a more catastrophic failure at some point that may be much more costly.

If you own a home long enough at some point you will have to deal with an emergency plumbing situation. So, do all you can in advance to help prevent needing this type of services.

What is a Certified Plumber ?

Being a certified plumber is a lot more than someone who is able to unclog a drain.

The plumbing profession often requires a very skilled professional who must pass a very strict certification process to be licensed to do their job.

A professional licensed plumber deals with so much more than the repair and installation of water pipes. In some cases they must work with gas, sewage, building codes and other engineering issues to complete a job and their work must  pass inspection by local government inspectors.

The plumbing profession requires a lot more than just some good handyman skills. Most plumbers begin their profession as apprentices, which means they work under a licensed plumber while they earn credit hours toward their own certification.

Once they have acquire enough certification hours as an apprentice, they must pass written local or state exams before they can be a certified  plumber.

If you need extensive plumbing repair or installation, it can be wise to ask about their certification before you hire someone to do the work.

Most professional plumbers will not be offended by asking if they are a certified and licensed  plumber. They are proud of their plumbing certification because they know the training and the efforts it took to get it. Do yourself a favor and always ask for a certified plumber.

 

certified plumber What is a Certified Plumber ?

Ask if the plumber you are about to hire is licensed and certified.

 

What is a Sump Pump?

What is a Sump Pump and why would you even want one?

A sump pump is a small pump that is installed in a low spot in your basement or somewhere under your house that water may accumulate. Its job is to pump that water out and away from your home.

How does a sump pump work? Let’s take a quick look at how and where they work. They are very simple water pumps that are installed in small pits which are constructed for water to flow into them by way of natural means or by drain pipes. When the water level reaches a certain level in the pit, the sump pump comes on and pumps the water out.

A sump pump can be a valuable tool in helping to keep your basement dry and moving the water from around the foundation of your home.

These under appreciated pumps also offer other benefits such as:

  • They help control dampness and humidity, which helps prevent mold and mildew from forming.
  • Keeping the moisture level down also helps prevent rust and moisture damage to appliances, furniture and floor covering.
  • Lower moisture also helps with insect control.
  • A properly installed sump pump can help insure the foundation of your house stays dry, structurally sound and help maintain your home’s value.

How is a sump pump installed? Well, this is an occasion when you may want to call in a professional plumber for help. There are different types of pumps and it is very important that they are properly installed to make sure that the water is discharged in the correct method.

Over half the homes in the United States have some type of issues with below ground wetness and a properly installed sump pump can go a long way in helping to overcome some of these issues.

sump pump 1 What is a Sump Pump?

This is a sump pump.

video courtesy: askmediy

 

How Do You Find A Plumber

When do you take the time to find a plumber?

If you want a big problem, usually at just the wrong time, just have something go wrong with your plumbing. It can happen in a new house just as well as in an old house.

However, waiting until you have a plumbing problem to find a plumber will make the issue seem so much bigger and more difficult to correct. It just doesn’t have to be like that, you will not regret looking in advance.  Unfortunately, that is when most people wait to find a plumber which is probably the worst time to try and find a good plumber. You may end up paying more than you should or dealing with someone who doesn’t have the best reputation.

yellow pages How Do You Find A Plumber

Don’t wait until you need a plumber.

You should begin your efforts to find a plumber just as soon as you suspect you may have plumbing issues. If you are starting to notice small issues with your faucets, pipes or even sewage lines go ahead and began your efforts to find a recommended plumber in your area. Don’t wait not until you actually need a plumber for an emergency repair.

Start your search now by asking for recommendations from friends, family members or a referral from someone who has actually used the services of a recommended plumber.

It’s alright to ask a plumber how long they have been in business, where they received their training and if they are licensed and certified to do the type of plumbing repairs you need to have done.

It is very important that you select  a professional plumber who will do the work properly and who will also show respect for you and your property.

So, go ahead and find a plumber now and not when your home is flooded with water from a burst water pipe. You will be so glad you did.

 

Homemade and Natural Drain Cleaner

Use a Homemade and Natural Drain Cleaner for Safety

If you have small children in your home and just prefer not to have poison type drain cleaners, try this homemade drain cleaner. It can be made from items you probably already have in your home and cost just pennies to make. It’s alot easier than you think and will also leave your drain with a fresh and clean smell. This is a safe natural drain cleaner that just might be enough to help you with that clogged drain that can be such a nuisance. More information can be found here: http://www.plumberman.org/homemade-drain-cleaner/

 

Sink Overflow Hole

A Sink Overflow Hole does more than you think.

The little hole that you see in a lot of sinks that many refer to as a sink overflow hole, actually is there for a different purpose that the name indicates. Sure, it can help when you have your plunger down and forget to turn off the water. But, it probably will not let enough water drain out to stop your sink from overflowing. It is just not a large enough hole to do that.

The main purpose of the sink overflow hole is to allow air into the main drain at the bottom of your sink so it will drain faster. The movement of the air into and out of the drain forces the water to flow out the drain pipe much easier.

sink overflow hole Sink Overflow Hole

A sink overflow hole is more than you think

Sinks that are designed with some type of overflow holes are usually more efficient than sinks that do not have some type of drain vent. To help ensure that your sink drains properly it is important to check the overflow hole on occasion to make sure that it is clear and clean. Any type of build up in the hole may prevent the air and water from not flowing through the vent and your sink will drain out much slower.  

On occasion just run a small wire or plastic tie into the hole to make sure it is clear. Keep the hole clean and you will be rewarded with a sink that will drain the way it is suppose to.

 

Keep your pipes from freezing.

Water pipes are still freezing.

It has been one of those winters that just will not go away. Spring on the calender is just a couple days away, but it still feels like January in some parts of the United States.

Plumbers in these areas are still getting calls to repair frozen and burst pipes. So for a few more days take the necessary steps to protect your pipes.

frozen faucet Keep your pipes from freezing.

Frozen outside faucet

Water Treatment Systems

Professional grade water treatment systems are not cheap.

Safe and clean water is a necessity for a healthy life and should not be taken for granted. If you are fortunate enough to have clean water, you probably don’t even give it a second thought.

If you are using a well or private water supply, you need to monitor the quality of your water. A properly installed and maintained water treatment system can greatly improve the quality of your water. It can remove many of the toxins and pollutants that may be in your water supply.

Some of the pathogens that found in water don’t even have a taste or odor and you may not be aware you are drinking water that could be harmful to your health.

If your water has a particular odor you don’t like, there are water treatment systems can also help eliminate water odors. 

Water treatment systems generally work on one or a combination of the following principles.

  • Filtration where some types of filters are used.
  • Disinfection which is usually done with chlorination or ultraviolet light.
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Distillation
  • Ion Exchange which is done by using water softeners.

 Before purchasing your water treatment systems you should familiarize yourself with the different types of systems and the maintenance and the expense to keep them operating properly.

Professionally  installed water treatments systems are not cheap. In 2013 the national average in the United States was approximately $2600.00.

Remember, this is the national average for a system installed by a professional plumber.

WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM BY PURITAN WATER 150x150 Water Treatment Systems

Water Treatment System by Puritan.

Water treatment systems vary in price and quality a great deal, so do your research and don’t overlook the cost of operation and maintenance on the type of system you may choose.

Working on a sink?

Working on a sink?

Special tools make it so much easier. If you need to make repairs or replace a sink there a couple of inexpensive tools that can make the job so much easier. A spud wrench is for working on drains and a basin wrench is for faucet work. The swiveling heads on these types of wrenches can get in tight places and loosen and tighten nuts that you can not do with ordinary wrenches. You will not regret having these wrenches in your toolbox.

spud wrench Working on a sink?

A Spud Wrench can be found in every professional plumber’s toolbox.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

basin wrench Working on a sink?

Basin wrenches are designed for tight spaces.

 

 

These types of wrenches are available at most hardware stores and can make a difficult job so much easier.

 

Know Your Water Heater Temperature

Do you know your water heater temperature ?

To know if your hot water heater is operating at the correct temperature, let the faucet run long enough for the heated water to flow out and then fill a coffee cup and insert a standard cooking thermometer. Most water heaters average between 120 and 140 degrees. The water heater temperature setting on most heaters are very easy to adjust. You should make sure the temperature is not set too high to cause burns, especially if there are small children in you home.

Cup of hot water Know Your Water Heater Temperature

Know your water heater temperature.

 

 

Small children and hot water.

Small children and hot water.

Small children and hot water do not mix very well. If you have small children and you have concerns about them getting burned by your hot water faucets, you can have anti-scald faucets installed in your home to prevent a sudden influx of hot water coming out of your faucet. 

ANTI SCALD FAUCET Small children and hot water.

Wall mounted anti scald faucet

 

ANTI SCALD SHOWER HEAD Small children and hot water.

Anti scald faucet that attaches directly to the shower pipe.

Anti scald faucets come in a variety of types. There are types that are installed directly into the water line or other types that can be screwed right onto your faucet.

These types of faucets help protect you from being burned by maintaining the correct water balance between hot and cold water on the faucet when other faucets are opened in your home. If you have small children in your home they can be a very important safety measure, because small children and hot water may not be a very good mix.

 

 

Pipes under concrete.

Pipes under concrete.

If you have to install pipes under concrete made sure that your trench is uniform and the correct depth and proper slope. Make sure there are no high spots or low spots in the trench. High spots can squeeze the pipe out of round and cause a restricted flow and low spots can cause the pipe to sag or break.

pipes in concrete Pipes under concrete.

If you are running pipes under concrete make sure there are no high or low spots.

 If you are burying copper pipes under concrete you should check with your local plumbing inspector. Some areas still require that copper line be protected from the concrete by wrapping the copper or installing the copper in a another pipe to prevent corrosion from being in contact with the concrete. This is not required in all areas.

Is hiring a plumber a waste of your money?

Is hiring a plumber a waste of your money?

Is using the services of a plumbing expert a waste of your hard earned money?  Some people think so and this is a dangerous habit that could lead to even more money spent in the future. What everyone should be aware of, is that professional plumbers are experienced and trained in their profession and they recognize exactly what has to be done to do the job correctly. Use this thought if you need to to justify their cost.

professional plumbing work 300x268 Is hiring a plumber a waste of your money?

Is hiring a plumber a waste of your money? Usually not.

Sometimes a plumber’s work can be very complex and their experience is needed. Most locations will require that plumbing work will have to be inspected by a local government inspector  to determine that the work is up to the local plumbing code. If you are facing some difficult plumbing repair or new installation, in most cases it is not a waste of your hard earned money to call a plumber.

Copper water lines have different grades.

Copper water lines have different grades.

Copper water lines used in your home or building have different grades. They are standard Type M or thick wall Type L. There is also a Type K  copper pipe which is used underground which has even thicker walls. Local plumbing codes dictate which grade can be used, where and how it may be used. Check with your local plumbing or building inspector if you are not sure which you need to use.

copper pipe grades 300x42 Copper water lines have different grades.

Copper pipe or water lines have different grades or types. Match the grade to the job.

 

Running a pipe through a wall.

Running a pipe through a wall.

If you have to run a pipe through a wall stud, floor or ceiling joists always make your hole is slightly larger than the pipe. Pipe expands when warm or hot water pass through them and the noise you hear is the pipe rubbing against the wood if the fit is to tight.

pipe thru wall Running a pipe through a wall.

If you are a running a pipe thru a wall or floor always make the hole larger than the pipe.

Always make the hole slightly larger than the pipe and it will help keep your water lines a little quieter the water is flowing through them.

Vent pipes are important.

Vent pipes are important.

Vent pipes connect to your drains and they run directly to your roof or horizontally to another vent pipe that goes to your roof. Without them wastewater flowing down your drain would cause your s-traps to empty due to a siphoning action and then sewer gases could enter your house. The vent pipe allows outside air to enter and break the siphon action caused by the wastewater flow.

Watch the video on how a vent pipe works.

 

Babies and Bath Water

Babies and bath water. You have to be careful.

If you have small children, then you should have concerns that they will not be burned by the hot water coming out of your faucet. Set the thermostat on your hot water heater to below 120 F (48.9 C). Consider installing anti-scald devices on bathtub faucets and shower heads. Always test the water temperature before your child gets in the tub.

baby in bath 150x150 Babies and Bath Water

“This water is just right….not to hot.”

Babies and young children are especially susceptible. They’re curious, small, and have sensitive skin that needs extra protection. Burn safety is a concept that most small children just don’t understand. In fact, one of the most difficult lessons young children might learn is that water can sometimes be painfully hot. Take these simple burn-safety precautions to help prevent injuries to the children that may be in your home. 

Pumpkins and Plumbing

Pumpkins and Plumbing. Don’t mix the two

Did you know that over one billion pounds of pumpkins are grown in the United States each year? Guess where a lot of that pumpkin ends up, down the kitchen sink. During the Halloween season each year plumbers stay extremely busy with pulp-clogged garbage disposals and stopped up kitchen sink drains trying to remove gobs of pulp and pumpkin seeds.

It can be great fun to carve jack-o-lanterns but that pumpkin pulp should never be put down drains or into garbage disposals. The slimy gunk and seeds can clog your sink drains. What appears to be a soft and mushy material will harden and block your pipes. Just because you can get it down the drain does not mean that you should put it down the drain. Don’t be tempted into using the toilet either, the problems it can cause could be even worst because the the clogs could be deeper in your drain pipes.

Remember, when it comes to pumpkins the parts you don’t use should go in the trash and not the sink.

jack o lantern Pumpkins and Plumbing

Don’t put me down the drain.

Enjoy the upcoming the upcoming holidays!

 

What determines your water bill

What determines your water bill depends on the amount of water that you have used. Most municipalities measure water by CCFs. One CCF is equal to 100 cubic feet of water which is 780 gallons. The amount of total cubic feet consumed is calculated by subtracting your past meter reading from your current meter reading. 

 If you only have town water you will only be billed the water rate that is used,  however if you are on town sewer you will proablaly be charged a water rate and a sewer rate.

In some municipalities you also may be charged a service fee and a fire protection charge. These charges should be itemized on your bill.

There are some accounts there are tagged as “non-metered” accounts which are charged a flat rate that does not fluctuate with changes in usage and is based on factors such as building size, lot size and number of plumbing fixtures. If you have this type of an account it should be shown on your billing statement.  

water bill photo 279x300 What determines your water bill

Water Bill High?

Your water bill payment should be made on time or there may be additional charges.

Low Water Pressure

Do you have low water pressure?

People that experience low water pressure in their home or office home will find that there are several reasons this could happen. The first step that needs to take place is to see if the water pressure is low in a single fixture or is it  throughout the house. The faucet in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, shower heads or outdoors may need to be cleaned or possibly replaced. On the other hand, if the low water pressure is throughout the whole house then there may other issues that will need to be checked and repairs that to be made.  

Testing the water pressure is a easy job and all that is needed is the proper water pressure gauge. They are sold at most local home improvement stores. Although there are some townships and municipalities that strictly control your direct water pressure most still try to provide water pressure between 50 to 75 PSI.

pressure meter 150x150 Low Water Pressure

Check your water pressure

When checking your water pressure you will need to make sure that there is no water running anywhere in the home. Take the pressure gauge and attach it with the fittings provide to your faucet and turn on the water and note the reading on the gauge. This reading is called the static water pressure and it should be between 50 to 70 PSI.  If the reading is above 40 PSI then it is probably not a water pressure problem but a water flow problem in the plumbing of the house. If the reading is below 20 PSI and then the company that provides the water service should be contacted. Remember, to check all of the faucets or water valves to see if they are closed, before performing this test.

One of the first things to check if your pressure is low is the PRV (pressure reducing valve) and it is usually located by the main household shut off water valve and part of the installed plumbing of the house. It can sometimes be checked by turning the hex head nut located on top of the unit  to adjust the valve and see if the water pressure has increased or decreased. It is important to retighten the lock nut screw on the PRV so that the screw does not adjust itself or turn on with the extra pressure on its own.  Make sure it of this.

If your pressure reading in good and you still have low water pressure you might also check the faucet aerators to make sure they not clogged by metals and other mineral deposits. Many faucets have an aerators screens that collect mineral deposits, rust, and debris that can restrict the water pressure. The aerators should be cleaned on a regular basis and you purchase a new one at most local home improvement stores.

Another source of low water pressure can sometimes be the water softener system. If you have  had one recently installed determine if the water pressure changed because of the way the installation was done. The easiest way to establish if the water softener is causing a decrease in water pressure is to switch the unit into by- pass mode to see if the water pressure improves. If there is no change then the water softener is probably not the problem.

The low water pressure you may be experiencing can be caused by one of the above or you may need to call a professional plumber to find the problem.

 

Grease Trap Cleaning How To

Grease trap cleaning is required by law in some areas.

Grease trap cleaning. Why would anyone want to clean their grease trap? It’s certainly not a ”fun” job but it is a very necessary job. Depending on the area you are located, it may be required by local laws.

Listed below you will find some of the reasons you should keep you grease trap clean.

  • Rotting and decaying foods create acid and eat away at the components of the trap which will result in a shorter service life for the trap.
  • Keeping your grease trap clean will help reduce odors and gases caused by decaying food.
  • The more often you clean your grease trap the easier it will be to clean each time.
  • You will have much better water and waste flow out to your sewer pipe with a clean trap.
  • Some areas it is required by law to have them cleaned on a regular basis..

So if you got to do, it you should be done the right way. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the fasteners to carefully remove the lid and be careful not to damage the gasket under the lid. If the gasket is Damaged replace it with a new one.
  2. Pay close attention to the parts of the trap and the way they work. Remember that you will have to reinstall them when you have finished cleaning.
  3. First remove the contents of the grease trap by hand with a tool or you may be able to vacuum the waste out with a good shop vac. Be sure to remove all the waste products in the trap. Scrape all the inside parts, walls, baffles and screens to insure a good flow of water through the trap..
  4. If you have any damaged parts replace them now.
  5. After a complete and very thorough cleaning, reassemble the internal parts the same way you removed them.
  6. Check the old gasket for wear or replace with a new gasket and place the lid back on and tighten the fasteners in reverse order that you removed them and you are finished.

If you are located in an area which requires grease trap cleaning by law there may be certain forms to be filed and your work documented by a the city or county health department. Give them a call to understand what exactly what the requirements are.

Plumbing Problems

Plumbing problems affect most all homes at some time.

There are so many plumbing problems which could occur in the average home. Some of these plumbing problems can be alot more frequent than others and are much easier to repair. Some of the most common and easier to fix may be a slow draining tub or kitchen sink. Some other common plumbing problem that many people have is a constant running toilet or a jammed garbage disposal which can be repaired in most cases with a simple allen wrench. Doing your research and finding the right repair information that go a long way in you learning to do the repairs for these types of common plumbing problems yourself can help you save money. So why not give it a try next time you here that dripping faucet. If you feel you are not ready or prefer to have someone else make the repair, remember to call a professional plumber. One that has the training and skills to do the job right.

 

plumber in training Plumbing Problems

Proper training required.

 

Water Hammer

Water hammer is not what you think.

Water Hammer … Know what it is? Hearing your pipes banging when turn your water on may be caused by excessive water pressure. Most people think it is caused by air in water pipes. Quickly turning off your water can sometimes make a similar noise.  The noise you hear is referred to as “water hammer”.  Wrapping your pipes in foam tubes and packing wall cavities with insulation can help stop your noisy water pipes. What you hear is the movement of your pipes hitting against your floor joists when the water is turned on or off.

water hammer Water Hammer

Water Hammer

 

Water leak repair cost

Water leak repair cost

What does a water leak repair cost? So far in the year 2013 the national average is approximately $110.00. This amount is not to make repairs but only to have a professional plumber come to your home and to try and locate your leak. It averages about 2 hours  of their hourly rate. In most cases additional charges would be accessed to make the repairs. 

DRIP ON PIPE 150x123 Water leak repair cost

Hard to find leak

Water leak detection

Water leak detection

Water leak detection services are now being offered by most plumbers. Water pipe leaks can develop for a number of reasons and while some water leaks are easy to find, other leaks can be much more difficult to locate. Some plumbers have special water leak detectors and other special equipment to pinpoint the exact location of the water leak and make the pipe repair without having to cut away or even damage the property in any way trying to locate the leak. When you suspect you may have a problem call a plumber that has this special equipment if suspect your leak may be difficult to find. 

video courtesy: Swiftplumers

Water leak detection equipment

As soon as you spot a leak, fix it before more water damage is done. Leaking pipes in some cases can be and easy fix. Other times due to their location or to the complexity of the repair that is needed, you will have to call a plumber. But whatever type of repair you need, just make sure you don’t ignore the problem because in usually just gets worst.

Remember this! It is very important.  If you have to dig up a water line on your porperty or you hire someone else to do the work, always make sure to call the public utilities division of your local govertment and ask them if they can come to your property and mark where their underground utilities are located. Most goverments have a department or have contracted with someone to handle this service. You do not want to dig in the ground and damaged a water or sewer line and cause additional damage . You might also hit a powered electrical line, which could be very dangerous.

Modern water leak detection equipment has come a long way in it’s ability to find a water leak and that can save you a lot of expense in the long run.

 

Are you wasting water with a leak?

A way to find out is to turn off every water valve in the house and then watch your water meter to see if it continues to advance. If it still moves once the water is turned off it means you have a hidden leak somewhere. Then start tracing each pipe and faucet to try and find your leak. Leaking pipes or faucets can add to money wasted. 

leaking pipe Are you wasting water with a leak?

Leaks cost money!

 

Preventing outside faucets from freezing

If your are in a cold climate with freezing temperatures you can help prevent your outside faucet from freezing by using a faucet that is especially designed for the outside. It  looks like a regular faucet that can be turned on and off from the outside but it is equipped with a very long stem that shuts the water off on the inside where it has less chance of freezing.  They are called anti-freeze faucets and can be found at most home centers.

frozen faucet Preventing outside faucets from freezing

Frozen outside faucet

 

Cost to Install a Shower Head

Cost to Install a Shower Head

shower head Cost to Install a Shower Head

Cost to install a shower head

Cost to Install a Shower Head is approximately $130.00 if done by a professional plumber. Now, this is if you choose a basic shower head and it is just a standard installation. This price will change depending on how much you want to upgrade your shower head and this is for the installation in one shower. If there is leaking in the wall or more complications the price will be higher.

Cost to install ice maker

Cost to install ice maker

ice maker 150x150 Cost to install ice maker

Cost to Install ice maker

If you want to have an ice maker installed in your refrigerator the national average cost for this is $230.00. This cost includes the cost of an average grade ice maker and the labor to have it installed by a professional plumber without any install complications.