The Open Pipe

Common Plumbing Issues Around The House

Drain cleaning

Plumbing issues happen all around the home, usually at the most unexpected time. This can include low water pressure, slow draining sink, a running toilet, or clogged line. Even though many of the most common problems involving plumbing are easy to fix, some require the skills of an experienced plumber. Below, are the most common types of plumbing problems faced by the average household.

No Hot Water

Usually, households do not consider that the water tank is outdated or no longer functional, until the moment it can no longer produce hot water. Issues with a water tank may be nothing more than a tripped breaker, or a gas line that no longer provides fuel. Unfortunately, the lifespan of a water tank is usually 6 to 12 years. By that time, it has usually accumulated a large volume of mineral deposits inside the tank, making it very inefficient. Usually, the only remedy is to have a new tank installed by a licensed plumber.

Clogged Drains

The second most common problem with plumbing issues around the home involves clogged drains. This can be anything from hair stuck inside the drain just below the sink, to tree roots that have penetrated into the sewer pipes outside. It drain cleaners are ineffective, and a small plumbing snake produces little results, the household likely need to hire an experienced plumber, who can find the clog in the line. Many plumbers use CCTV cameras attached to a wire that can be fed down the line. This helps determine if the blockages caused by built up debris, solid waste, or tree roots.

Dripping Faucets

As faucets begin to age, the washer inside the valve tends to wear out, causing a drip. Even the tiny drip on either the cold or the hot site can cause water bills to skyrocket. This is because a small drip can actually waste thousands of gallons every month. If the drip is on the hot side, it is likely costing even more in utility bills, in an attempt to produce hot water around-the-clock.

Leaking Pipes

A leaking pipe is not always obvious to the homeowner. Many times, it can happen behind the walls, or in the basement or attic. A leaking pipe does more than just create an inconvenience for the household, but can cause extensive damage to flooring materials, drywall, insulation, wood, wood trim, doors and windows. If not properly repaired and allowed to drip over time, it can cause serious health hazards because it creates the ideal breeding ground for mold, mildew, fungus, bacteria and other contaminants.

Running Toilets

Much like a dripping faucet, a running toilet is usually an indicator that the working parts inside the toilet tank have become worn. The homeowner in a do-it-yourself project often handles these repairs. This usually includes replacing rubber gaskets, flappers and other components that can be switched out without too much effort. This is different from a leaking toilet, where the wax ring that connects the toilet to the sewer system has failed, leaking sewage onto the bathroom floor, or below the floor substrate.

Non-functioning Garbage Disposal

When a garbage disposal becomes jammed with food or other objects, it often becomes non-functional instantly. Usually, the only way to rectify this problem is to pull the garbage disposal and remove the debris or items. Before trying this, another solution sometimes works. Underneath the disposal, at the very bottom in the center, is an opening for a ºî Allen wrench. Simply insert the Allen wrench and turn it in each direction in an effort to free the motor from the lodged food.

Low Water Pressure

If some parts of the house have high water pressure, and others low-pressure, it is often the result of lime scale buildup inside the shower head, valve or faucet. Descaling products are available that can remove this buildup, in many cases. If not, the shower had her valve can be changed. This might require the skills of an experienced licensed plumber.

Plumbing problems in the home create a major inconvenience to every family member. However, with the right tools and a little bit of knowledge, some of these problems can be fixed by the homeowner, while others require extensive skills of an experienced plumber.


The Best Types of Drain Cleaning Practices

Drains are a very important part of a plumbing system. Waste and water is passed into the drain in order for the waste to be passed on to the septic system or sewer. Drains clog up due to a build up of grease, food particles, waste material and even hair.

You can ensure that your drains remain clear and clean by using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda on a monthly basis. If your drain does happen to become clogged up it is advisable to refrain from chemical drain cleaners that are usually toxic in nature. Try out a plunger on your blocked drain, if this method fails to work you can use a tool known as a (plumbing snake) for your drain cleaning purposes.

To make up your own vinegar and baking soda concoction pour one cup of baking soda directly into your drain. Wait a few minutes and follow with a cup of vinegar that has been heated up. At the same time pour down 3-4 liters of boiling water. The mixture will cause a reaction in the drain that will flush out any sediment build-up in your drain for a highly effective method in drain cleaning.

The baking soda additionally absorbs any odors that may be present from rotting food particles or old grease. The vinegar contains acidic properties that will work on destroying hazardous pathogens that may be present in your pipes. This mixture will work well on any debris that may have become loose in the pipes.

When your drain is clogged you can use a plunger that is designed to fit over the drain. Using a vigorous pumping action you should be able to dislodge the blockage. You should make sure that the plunger has attached to the drain with a strong suction. By removing the sink stopper and filling the overflow holes up with a cloth you should be able to achieve the strongest suction.

The next step would be to fill your basin or sink up with about 5cm of water, just enough to cover up the plunger. This action will further insure a stronger suction for your plunger.

If using a plunger has failed to dislodge your blockage you can use a cable auger or plumber’s snake. You can purchase this tool at most of the home centers or hardware stores located in your area. It consists of a flexible steel cable that is long, the cable is wrapped around what is known as a crank used by hand.

You will need to remove the drain trap that is usually located inside the cabinet under your basin or sink. You will probably need to use a wrench in order to open the drain trap up. You will then need to insert the cable of the plumber’s snake into the pipe and push the cable towards the septic tank or sewage system.

As you push the cable into the pipe you will need to spin the cable in a motion that is clockwise in direction. The narrow coils on the steel cable will grasp onto any blockages such as hair and food particles that have become lodged in the pipes.

If you are looking to unblock your toilet you can use a toilet auger which is a rigid version of the cable auger. This auger has a plastic sheath that covers up a part of the cable. When the auger is inserted into the bowl of the toilet the plastic sheath will protect the porcelain finish of the toilet. This will prevent any scratches to the porcelain when the auger is twisting in the drain.

If none of the above methods have worked in unblocking your drain you can either call in a professional plumber. Or you could use a drain cleaner that is chemically based. Unfortunately ,most chemically based drain cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can cause severe burns if it comes into contact with your skin.

Additionally chemicals can cause unnecessary corrosion of your pipes and disrupt the balance of good bacterial decomposition that is present in your septic system. Chemical drain cleaning solutions are however effective for removing biofilms. Biofilm is a black gooey substance that forms over time in your drain pipes. Enzyme cleaning products for drains are preferable for the use of septic systems.


The Benefits of Hiring Experienced Plumbers

Even a tiny leak from an inexpensive plumbing component can cost the homeowner thousands of dollars from damage caused by the water. In addition, it can disrupt the entire household for weeks on end, while repairs are being made to restore the area back to new. Because of that, if you are in the Waco area it is important to hire experienced plumbers Waco Texas trusts to handle every aspect of water and sewage systems in the home. This includes inspecting, repairing and replacing needed components on both the water and sewer side.

Do-It-Yourself Projects

Nearly every homeowner attempts to work on his or her own plumbing issues around the house. If the faucet has a small drip, or the drain line becomes clogged, the homeowner can usually use quick remedies to solve the problem. Unfortunately, most plumbing problems while not difficult to remedy, require a comprehensive understanding of the entire plumbing system. In addition, there are specific code requirements to repairing or installing new water lines and sewer pipes, by a licensed plumbing contractor.

Emergency Plumbing Services

Plumbing problems that cause an emergency usually never happen between business hours. Because of that, many plumbers offer emergency 24-hour service, to stop the water leak or a backed up sewer line. While many times, these problems are expensive to repair, it is often a necessity due to the damage excess water could cause the home. Most of the charges involved for emergency service repair include an “arrival” charge, and hourly “after hours” charge, and charge for all the parts, fixtures and components installed.

Licensed, Bonded and Insured

Plumbing contractors are licensed, bonded and insured. Their licensing ensures the homeowner that they have passed rigorous tests and met specific requirements to obtain the license. Bonding assures the homeowner that any unforeseen problem can be rectified financially.

The insurance they provide is twofold. Plumbing contractors must carry liability insurance to protect the homeowner in the event that anything else becomes damaged while they are at the house working. In addition, they are often required to provide workersí compensation insurance on every employee that shows up to work on the job.

The Services They Provide

Aside from emergency services, to repair a catastrophe in the home, they also provide valuable repair services to homeowners.

These include:

Adjusting Low Water Pressure – Many times water pressure can become low, and even stop, inside the home. This is often the result of lime scale buildup caught inside the shower heads, valves and faucets. Other times, it involves the main valve leading in the home that is restricting the flow of water to the house. An experienced plumber can usually adjust the water pressure to ensure it provides an adequate flow.

Leaking and Running Toilets – As the components inside the toilet tank begin to age, they often crack, shrink or warp. This allows water to run from the tank into the toilet bowl causing an ongoing source of water. The plumber can install new components inside the toilet tank to have it operate properly, as it was designed. Other times, the wax ring underneath the toilet that attaches the toilet bowl to the sewer line wears out, becomes damaged, or ineffective. This is a more dangerous situation, when sewage is allowed to enter into the bathroom along the floor, or in the joists underneath the floor. Usually, the plumber will need to remove the tank, and replace the wax ring with a new one.

Clogged Sewer Lines – Many homeowners experience tree roots that penetrate into the sewer lines and completely clog draining water. Other times, debris and waste build up can plug the sewer line. The plumbers use a variety of methods including boring and jetting tools to open up the lines and push the blockage to the main municipal sewer pipes, or out to the septic tank. When necessary, they can replace damaged sewer lines to minimize the potential of tree roots or sewage blocking the line in the future.

Plumbers provide a valuable service to the community in making sure that the water lines and sewer pipes of every household operates properly. While their services can be expensive at times, it is essential that every household maintain a quality plumbing system, to minimize the potential of unexpected emergencies.