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Useful Plumbing Tips for Beginners

Life is full of responsibilities. One of those is taking care of your home and making sure that everything functions as it should. Because of the complexities of plumbing, many homeowners avoid DIYing out of fear of messing something up. Others make beginner mistakes that worsen the problem instead of fixing it.

 

If you want to save yourself some trouble—and money—then you should pick up a few tricks for plumbing that come straight from the pros. Although you may be reluctant, you will be tackling small problems in no time with these tips:

 

Check the Showerhead

Showerhead dripping? It probably wasn’t tightened enough. You can unscrew the showerhead, apply some thread tape, and then tighten it back up. The head should stop dripping.

 

If the showerhead is blocked up, you can soak it for an hour or so in a bowl of vinegar. Make sure it is warmed. After the hour has passed, grab a brush to loosen the minerals trapped in the head.

 

You Can Remove Clogs Without Chemicals

Most professional plumbers will tell you this right from the start: never use chemicals to remove clogs in the drains. The chemicals do more harm than good. Instead, grab a drain snake to manually unclog the drain. Simply insert the snake then push and pull, in and out.

 

Hopefully, after a few strokes, you will remove the clog. Another option is to bring in a wet/dry shop vac to draw out whatever is blocking the drain.

 

Don’t Worry Over Replacing Faucet and Toilet Parts

Yes, taking apart a sink or toilet can be stressful and messy. That said, with a little organization, you can easily check to see if the flapper in the toilet or the cartridge in the faucet has been damaged and needs replacing. Flappers get worn down over time and can cause leakages between the bowl and water tank. Check them once in a while. Similarly, most faucets can be easily repaired by installing a new cartridge. To do that, you only need to remove a few screws.

 

In other words, repairing a leaky sink or toilet is not as hard as it seems!

 

Use Thread Tape Over Sealing Compounds

There are a couple of ways to seal connection points between pipes, such as pipe dope and thread tape. Pipe dope can smear and drip, making it less effective around the house. You can use threading tape instead. It is a kind of multipurpose tape that is either thinner and white or thick and pink colored (designating water).

 

When you go to wrap the pipe, make sure you are going counterclockwise along the threads. Wrap around three times for better results.

 

Loosen Tight Fittings With Heat

Struggling to get a fitting loose? Sometimes, no matter how hard to turn the pipe wrench, the fittings may have hardened, making it near impossible to twist fittings with strength alone. One of the best ways to loosen the solidified pipe dope is to warm it.

 

If the pipes you are trying to loosen are metal, you can use a small propane torch to heat the pipe. That will soften the pipe dope enough to release the fitting. Obviously, this can only be done with plumbing pipes made of metal. Never try this on plastic pipes or those transporting gas.

 

Set Your Water Heater for More Efficiency

Want to save some money? Check the thermostat on the water heater. You can reduce the temperature to around 46 degrees C (115 degrees F). That will be hot enough for all your needs. Also, consider insulating the hot water tank to help it retain more heat throughout the day. Just don’t cover the thermostat.

 

Next, consider where you live. Some locations have sediment in the water line that will settle. You will need to rid the water heater of the grit once every 3 months or so. To do that, turn off the water heater then open the drain, letting the water pour into a bucket. This removes most of the sediment and will help the water heater run better.

 

Now that you know these beginner tips, put them to use! Simple and effective, with these plumbing hacks, you can tackle common struggles with your household plumbing in no time. But, if you are still having problems, it may be time to call up a professional plumber instead of attempting to DIY.

The post Useful Plumbing Tips for Beginners appeared first on The Irish Plumber.

10 DIY Plumbing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Plumbing isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be able to fix up their entire house without an issue. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to plumbing than meets the eye. Even the simplest of fixes can potentially lead to larger problems, like leaks that go unnoticed for days or months, causing years worth of damages. Instead of learning the hard way, read up on this list of common DIY plumbing mistakes.

 

That way, you can avoid additional mayhem and get the job done quickly and efficiently.

 

1.You Didn’t Slope Your Pipe Correctly

In order for water to drain properly, you need to slope the pipe. Here is a hypothetical scenario: Let’s say you do not slope the pipe and do not install a vent. When you flush the toilet, there will be negative pressure throughout the plumbing system and air will be siphoned from an adjacent P-trap. This will then push sewer fumes up through the pipes and into your home, where such gases can make you ill.

 

You will know the pipe is placed well when it does two things:

 

  1. Waste flows without any obstruction or backup in the right direction
  2. There is no siphoning through the P-trap

 

In short, look up tutorials on how to slop the piping correctly before doing it yourself.

 

2.You Reused Flexible Hoses

Do you know the weakest link in your home’s plumbing system? That would be the flexible speedways—or hoses—that are made of rubber and encased in a jacket of stainless steel. Flexible hoses last around 5 years and need to be replaced soon after. Otherwise, you could be dealing with leaks and other issues.  Don’t reuse them. Ever.

 

3.You Used a Lead Solder on a Drinking Water System

Before the 19th century, humankind had yet to recognize that lead was toxic. It was used in all kinds of applications, including soldering copper plumbing pipes together. Although lead is banned these days, you may still find it in homes that were constructed before the 1980s.

 

You can still purchase lead solder. Just don’t use it on the pipes for potable water. Instead, use a 95 percent tin, 5 percent antimony solder.

 

4.You Didn’t Deburr Your Pipes

Burrs, or inward facing ridges, are formed inside the pipe when it’s been cut. Burrs reduce the diameter of the pipe, creating turbulence when water rushes through. While it is not an immediate issue, turbulence may cause damaging leaks.

 

Always deburr cut pipes by smoothing the insides with either a reaming tool or a utility knife. Pipe cutters also have tools for deburring.

 

5.You Didn’t Install Water Hammer Arrestors

First off, what is a water hammer arrestor? It is a fixture that absorbs the shock of water flow that has been suddenly shut off. A “water hammer” is the resulting effect of a fast shutoff valve from a dishwasher or washing machine, where water pulses through the water line.

 

You may already see the problem that comes with not installing them through the description alone. Before water hammer arrestors were invented, there was a common T-shaped pipe that was filled with air to cushion against hammering. However, those T-shaped sections could fill with water and stop functioning properly.

 

If you want to stop water hammering, it’s highly recommended to get some arrestors installed.

 

6.You Didn’t Hang the Pipes Properly

If you do not hang plumbing pipes correctly, it could become a problem over time. This is because water and pressure will mount at the joints, forcing a leak, and that will lead to water damage.

 

To prevent such leaks from happening, it is recommended that you attach hangers every 6 inches or so, so the pipe is properly stabilized and balanced.

 

7.You Didn’t Properly Clean the Copper Pipes and Fittings

Always clean the pipes and fittings before you solder, especially if it’s copper. You may not see it, but store pipes will have oxidized and need to be cleaned before you solder it.

 

To clean the pipe, use an abrasive material to scrub it until it’s shiny.

 

8.You Forgot to Isolate the Exterior Hydrants in Winter

Frozen pipes are ticking bombs waiting to go off. Prep your exterior for winter by isolating the valve from inside the house then draining off any water from the outside. Or, you can install a non-freezing spigot and never need to worry about it.

 

9.You Put on Pipe Dope Before the Teflon Tape

There is a lot of debating surrounding the proper method of Teflon tape and pipe dope and the order in which you apply them. Some people say you should stick on pipe dope first then wrap with Teflon tape while others go the other way.

 

Here’s the issue with doping then taping: If you wind the tape too tightly over the dope, it will get pushed back instead of sticking to the threads, which could cause leaks.

 

That means the proper way is to install the Teflon tape before the dope. Plus, you get a cleaner looking finish!

 

10.You Stripped or Cross-Threaded a Pipe or Fitting

This is a beginner mistake that can be avoided easily. You will know that something is cross-threaded when it feels impossible to tighten. Also, the threads will not align, and so it will look slightly crooked.

 

In order to keep this from happening, always make sure the screws go in without resistance before tightening with a tool. If you have trouble aligning the threads, remember this one little tip: Start counter-clockwise first, because that will get everything in place.

 

There you have it—10 common DIY plumbing mistakes! Now that you know some common issues, you are more prepared to tackle problems as they arise. But if a project becomes too hard to handle, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumbing company.

The post 10 DIY Plumbing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them appeared first on The Irish Plumber.

Is It Finally Time to Replace Your AC?

We hate to break the news to you, but someone has to. Air conditioners don’t last forever. There’s just no caveat to this. Perhaps 50 years in the future there will be air conditioners with technology that can last 50 years, but that technology just isn’t here yet. Instead, we need to work within finite timeframes. Air conditioners have a general lifespan of between 10-15 years. Anything beyond that lifespan is going to seriously wane in both effective cooling power and energy efficiency.

If you need help with your air conditioning in Cedar Grove, NJ then this might be something to consider. An aging, frequently repaired AC system might not be improved with any repairs. In fact, it might be about time to retire it and make a cost-effective decision that saves you money.

Let’s talk about whether or not its the right time to replace your air conditioner.

When to Repair

Repairing an air conditioner is a lot simpler and cheaper than performing a whole-system replacement, so we understand a homeowner’s tendency to always opt for repairs. That being said, it might not be the most cost-effective option out there. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you might opt for air conditioner repair services.

  • Strange noises. An air conditioner is supposed to operate quietly. A noise could be a signal that there’s something wrong, and these can usually be targeted and repaired.
  • A young system. Air conditioners that are less than 10 years old still have a lot of life left in them. There’s no point in opting for a replacement if you can have it repaired and still work like a charm for years to come!
  • Steady effectiveness. We’re not in the business of replacing air conditioners that just work. If your system has been working effectively for years with minimal problems, repairs are usually warranted. No use replacing a system that’s been running smoothly so far.

When we make repairs, they’re usually targeted and effective. No matter what work we perform, the air conditioner should keep functioning as it always did.

When to Replace

Replacing an air conditioner is a much different matter than just making repairs. A replacement is usually the remedy for a system with many issues, frequent repair needs, or problems due to age. When it might take 20 hours to repair your beat-up old air conditioner, replacement could actually end up costing you less with considerably better results. Take a look below at some reasons to replace a system.

  • Age. If your system is over 15 years old, it doesn’t matter how good it’s been so far, its days are numbered. By opting for a replacement early, you could avoid a system breakdown before it happens.
  • Frequent repairs. Air conditioners should only be repaired a few times during their entire life. If you’re calling us every year with a new problem that’s occurred inside your system, then it was probably doomed from the start.
  • Ineffectiveness or Inefficiency. Can your AC keep your home cool at an affordable price? If the answer is no, either due to low cooling output or skyrocketing bills, then it needs to be replaced.

Are you unsure as to whether or not your system should be retired? Call us to find out!

MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. has all the resources you’ll need to replace your AC. Call us today!

 

This post first appeared on https://margoplumbing.com

Everything You Need to Know About Hydro Jetting

hydro-jetting-cleaning-pipe-diagramIf you’re currently having a plumbing problem, there’s a fair chance that you’ve probably hit the Internet looking for answers. If your problem has anything to do with a clog or a backup, we’d bet that you’ve come across the phrase “hydro jetting” in your search… but what is hydro jetting exactly?

We’re sure that you can guess what it is just by the sound of the phrase, but we understand that you don’t want to leave your plumbing system up to guesses. There are certain things that you just need to know. We’re here to tell you everything that you need to know about hydro jetting in Orlando, FL today. Keep reading below…

What is Hydro Jetting?

So let’s talk about what hydro jetting is first.

“Hydro jetting” or “high pressure jetting” is a process used by plumbers to clean your drains. Hydro jetting involves the use of a long, thin, flexible hose. A plumber comes out to your home and snakes this hose down into your drain. Once the hoses is placed exactly where it needs to be and secured there, the nozzle of the hose shoots out water at a 360-degree angle.

The magic comes from the pressure of the water. The water is so highly pressurized that it’s powerful enough to remove all the scum and dirt from the inside of your pipes. Hydro jetting is the best way to help out your home’s plumbing system.

The Benefits of Hydro Jetting

Now let’s get into the dirty details of hydro jetting. How might wonder why it’s so much better than other means? We’re not here to be cagey—we’re going to list them out plainly for you below.

It’s Effective

We touched on this above, but we really want to drive it home here—hydro jetting is effective in a way that few other methods are. Since hydro jetting really gets to the root of the problem without damaging your pipes, you’re going to be able to eliminate the problem without much hassle. This is one of your “have your cake and eat it too” services. It’s the best method possible to get to the bottom of the issues in your home.

It’s Easier On Your Pipes

Be honest with us, we’re friends here after all, have you ever used those over-the-counter drain cleaners to eliminate a plumbing problem? We know options like this are as affordable as they are enticing. We’re not here to judge. We’re just here to help you make better decisions in the future. Chemical drain cleaners are terrible for your plumbing. Hydro jetting is effective and it’s easy on your pipes.

It Saves You Money

If you want to save yourself a little money, then hydro jetting is a great option. Hydro jetting is typically used to solve a plumbing problem, but it’s also preventative. Hydro jetting eliminates the root of the issue with ease.

Contact Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. today to schedule an appointment with our team members. Proudly Serving Central Florida Since 1975.

This post first appeared on https://www.modernpi.com

Hurricane Safety 2020

Hurricane Safety 2020 | A to Z Statewide Plumbing

The Atlantic 2020 hurricane is expected to last up to November 30th. During this period, you need to ensure that you observe safety by taking care of your plumbing needs. Amid the hurricane, the chances are high that you will need more plumbing services than before. Leaking pipes, issues with your septic tank, or water heater, can be a real threat during a hurricane. To be on the safe side, ensure that our plumbers take care of all your plumbing needs.

The hurricane increases the chances of having leaking pipes that would need a plumber to fix. The good thing is that we care about your safety and provide you with the best possible services. Our company is a 24-hour emergency plumbing service. Therefore, if the hurricane destroys anything that needs our attention, we are only a call away and always ready to offer you safety.

Considering the destructive nature of hurricanes, it is essential to ensure that you have put safety measures into place. Such measures would help reduce the extend at which the hurricane destroys your property. Imagine a situation where your entire water system gets contaminated, and you have no emergency plan. Well, our services are an emergency plan. All that you need to do is give us a call and will offer you the necessary service.

Your safety during the hurricane period is one of our main considerations as we offer you licensed and insured services. We have purchased more supplies to ensure that our team has everything need for plumbing during this period. Therefore, we will offer you emergency services and ensure that it is the best service that you could need during a hurricane. Additionally, we offer straight forward prices, and we will not take advantage of the hurricane to charge you more.

Hurricane safety plays a substantial role in individuals’ lives since it determines the loss of life that could be incurred. Water causes most of the damage during a hurricane, and you need to take time and plan for the hurricane as well as its aftermath. Such planning will require a plumbing company to ensure that your water system and drains are in good condition. As a result, this would reduce the impact of floodwater that might have otherwise caused a lot of damage.

Hurricane safety must be taken seriously. Failure to prepare for a hurricane in time may cause structural damage, and even more severe injury or even death. A to Z Statewide Plumbing has all the plumbing services that you might need in preparation for the hurricane. Our company has a 24 hour emergency response team. All you need to do is give us a call, and we will be ready to help you ensure safety.

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This post first appeared on http://www.atozstatewideplumbing.com

Discolored Water From the Taps: What It Might Mean

closeup-hands-under-waterYou have probably encountered this before: you come back home after a vacation of one to two weeks. You turn on the faucet in the bathroom or the kitchen, and the first water to flow out is reddish-brown. Nothing to worry about, it will go away in less than a minute as the dry pipes clear out residue.

But what if water discoloration starts at a different time? One day you turn on your faucet, and the water that comes out is rusty-red, green, or even black. It might be harmless, but it also could be a warning sign of problems in the plumbing system or even a health hazard. We recommend you call us for plumbing service in Sun City, AZ, to see what’s wrong, and what we can do about it.

The Common Water Discoloration Issues

We have listed some of the common colors you may see coming from your freshwater and their possible sources. Please don’t guess at the problem—it’s something you want the professionals to look at.

  • Yellow-to-Reddish Brown: e. something similar to what you would see in the water after a long vacation. This is the most common discoloration, and the source is usually from rust or dirt in the pipes. The darker the coloration, the more serious the issue. There are several different sources for this. You may have aging pipes or even an aging main water line that’s rusting. Leaks may be allowing dirt into the pipes. If only the hot water taps are showing this discoloration (please check to make sure), then the problem is coming from the water heater—it’s probably rusted-through and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Blue-green: If your house has mostly copper piping, this color of water indicates corrosion in the copper. (Copper is “corrosion-resistant,” it’s not “corrosion-proof.”) The water will also have a metallic taste. You will need to have the corroded pipes replaced, and we also recommend you have water testing done to see if there is high or low acidity (pH level) that’s behind the corrosion.
  • Green: Plain old green? Sorry to say, but there are algae growing somewhere in the plumbing system, and this is often because of leaking. At least you’ve got a major warning about the leaks, and you’ll want this fixed right away.
  • Black: If you’re seeing black flakes in the water, it’s probably excess iron or manganese. This isn’t harmful to drink, but it doesn’t look nice and may warn that you have hard water that could be affecting the plumbing. If the water is simply a blackish color, it means mold. Bad mold—and that requires a plumber ASAP!

Plumbing Solutions of All Types

Reading through the list of potential problems, you’ll notice there are a range of different types of plumbing services you may need: water heater replacement, main water line repair/replacement, repiping, water treatment system installation. Our plumbers can handle all these services, and you can put your full trust in The Trusted Plumber to find out which services will solve your discolored water troubles.

The Trusted Plumber offers quality plumbing services to Glendale, AZ, and the surrounding areas. Call today to schedule plumbing work.

This post first appeared on https://www.thetrustedplumber.com

The Ultimate Guide to Proper Garbage Disposal Care

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Garbage disposals are a plumbing asset that many homeowners fail to properly care for. When garbage disposals aren’t properly maintained, they can become an expensive repair down the road. The best way to avoid clogs and other garbage disposal problems is by regularly maintaining a clean garbage disposal. By being proactive about cleaning your garbage disposal, your unit can perform effectively for years without needing repairs or replacing. 

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10 Ways You Can Save Water

There is no question that water is one of the most precious commodities on Earth. However, the supply of water is not endless. It is a fast-depleting natural resource that we need to conserve. In addition to the ecological benefits of saving water, using less water also means lower water bills. And when you’re more aware of water, the more observant you’re likely to be about sudden increases in your water bill – which can signify a plumbing leak – and calling a plumber to repair the problem.

We all assume that the water we depend upon comes from a vast, ever-replenishing source. In Florida, most water comes from groundwater – the underground water between the soil particles and rocks and in crevices and cracks of the bedrock. The Floridan aquifer system (FAS), which underlies all of Florida, is the main source of potable (drinkable) groundwater for much of the state.

The Floridan aquifer system gets its supply from rainfall and lakes that seep into the ground. However, as more people move to Florida, water consumption also increases. Ensuring that the Sunshine State has plenty of water tomorrow depends upon what we do today.

Why is saving water so important?

Conserving water is important on a global level, but Florida’s situation is somewhat unique. Depleting groundwater can impact our springs, wetlands and lakes – causing them to dry up, recede and drop in level, respectively. In fact, Florida’s infamous sinkholes occur when water leaves the cavities within the porous limestone that makes up the state’s foundation.

Saltwater intrusion is another risk of making too many demands of the Floridan aquifer system. As Seminole County Environmental Services explains, a layer of salty groundwater underlies the fresh groundwater in the aquifer. When the fresh groundwater is pumped out at too high a rate, the salty groundwater will get drawn up toward the wells. If we withdraw too much fresh water, the aquifer becomes polluted with salt water – which we can’t drink. This saltwater intrusion is irreversible except on a geologic timescale. The salt water level is over 2,000 feet deep in some areas of the county, but is as little as 200 feet deep near the St. Johns River.

Florida’s natural bodies of water contribute greatly to the quality of life we enjoy here. The opportunities for recreation and business they provide are numerous. Our state’s abundant and varied animal and plant species, of course, depend upon the Floridan aquifer system to survive and thrive.

10 ways you can get started

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average family of four in the United States uses around 400 gallons of water every day. If we start using water mindfully, we can do our part in conserving this valuable resource.

Here are some tips that can help you save water at home:

1.   Turn off faucets Leaving the water run while washing your hands, brushing your teeth, shaving and washing dishes is a habit you should break. Bathroom faucets run at about two gallons per minute; kitchen faucets even more. Turning off the tap can save hundreds of gallons a month.

2.   Repair leaks immediately There is no such thing as a “little” water leak – even a dripping faucet. Our blog post – “How Little Leaks Can Lead to Big Repair Costs” – covers the risks of not repairing leaks in a timely manner. Not all leaks are obvious. A leaking toilet can waste more than 100 gallons of water every day. To check for a leak, add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the color winds up in the bowl after a while, your toilet is leaking.  

3.  Shorten those showers A shower usually uses five to 10 gallons of water every minute. Shower Gem offers some useful tips on how to shower in under six minutes.

4. Use efficient watering techniques for your lawn and garden – If you have a small garden, consider hand-watering instead of using an automatic irrigation system. According to the EPA, if you water your lawn with a hose manually, you can use 33% less water. Forbes recommends investing in weather-based irrigation controllers that adjust to real weather conditions and provide water only when needed. Replace older mist-style sprinkler heads with rotator sprinkler heads – which shoot jets of waters at a slow rate. Install new drip irrigation piping and soaker hoses to improve watering efficiency.

5.  Install water-efficient plumbing fixtures and fittings Replacing old toilets and shower heads with new water-efficient models can go a long way in saving water – as well as money on your water bill. WaterSense-certified toilets that meet EPA criteria use between 1.28-1.6 gallons of water per flush, while older toilets use six gallons per flush. Purchasing a dual-flush toilet can save even more. WaterSense-certified showerheads use no more than 2.0 gallons per minute (GPM), compared to 2.5 GPM for a standard showerhead.

6.  Reduce the amount of water used per flush with a plastic bottle in the toilet tank – If you can’t replace your high-volume toilet, take a one-liter bottle and fill with one or two inches of pebbles or sand, then fill with water and place in your toilet tank. Make sure you keep the bottle away from the operating system. This simple measure can save at least five gallons of water every day without compromising the efficiency of your toilet.

7.  Don’t use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket – We still hear about people emptying their ashtray into the toilet and flushing it. While we understand the logic (you don’t want to risk a still-smoldering cigarette butt starting a fire in a wastebasket), it wastes water and could clog the pipe. For tissues and waste other than toilet paper, use a wastebasket – for the same reason.

8.  Install water-saving flow restrictors – If you don’t want to replace your existing showerheads or faucets, install flow restrictors. Available at home improvement centers and hardware stores, flow restrictors are inexpensive and easy to install for those with basic DIY skills.

9. Buy a front-loading washer – The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year – which accounts for more than 20% of residential indoor water use. Front-loading washers use less water than top-loading models. Whichever you choose, look for an ENERGY STAR® certified washer – which delivers superior efficiency and performance by incorporating advanced features, using 25% less energy and 33% less water.

10. Use your automatic dishwasher for full loads only – Every time you run your dishwasher, you use about 25 gallons of water.

As you see, most of these water conservation measures are easy and inexpensive. While you may have to make a conscious effort at first, they’ll soon become second nature. It really doesn’t take much to save water to make sure there’ll be enough for everyone for years to come!

Whether you’re a proud homeowner or business owner, Adams and Son Plumbing can keep your plumbing working dependably. We are a family-owned business with over 50 years in plumbing service. A state-certified plumbing contractor, we have over three generations of master plumbing experience. Contact us to learn more.

 

 

The post 10 Ways You Can Save Water appeared first on Adams and Son Plumbing Services.

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