4 Common Toilet Troubles

No one wants to realize their toilet is not working correctly. Toilets are a fixture you use every day, but fixing troubles is never fun. However, a dysfunctional toilet can cause extensive damage to your home if not fixed quickly. Here are four common toilet issues and what will need to be done to fix them.

  1. Running toilet. The toilet that keeps running has an issue with the stopper mechanism in the tank. When the tank fills, the stopper should close. If water is still escaping into the bowl, the stopper may not be sealing, or the ballcock float is stuck. These parts can be found at any hardware store if you want to replace them on your own.
  2. Wax ring seal is broken. If you notice a leak around the base of the toilet, it most likely is a broken wax ring. The toilet needs to be reset and sealed to prevent leaks and damage to the floor. This may require the service of a plumber.
  3. Crack in the toilet or base. A cracked toilet usually needs to be replaced. In many cases, you can just replace the tank or base instead of the entire toilet. Contact a plumber and give them the model number of your toilet to determine the type of replacement you will need.
  4. Overflowing toilet. When your toilet is overflowing, you most likely have a clog in the drain. Use a plunger to dislodge the clog. If this does not work, it may be further down in your plumbing and calling a professional is your next move.

While you can fix some toilet issues on your own, it is best to leave the big jobs to a plumber. They can quickly repair the problem and relieve your toilet troubles.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471

What to Do When a Plumbing Pipe Bursts

Water flows through the walls, floors and ceilings of your home day and night, usually without a drop of water escaping the pipes of your plumbing. But, plumbing is not infallible, and these pipes can leak or burst, causing extensive damage to your home. When a pipe breaks or springs a leak, you need to act fast to reduce the water damage. Knowing what to do can help you react quickly if you ever come home to a plumbing pipe emergency in your home.

Shut the Water Off

When you discover a leak or broken pipe, the first thing you need to do is shut the water off. For some fixtures and appliances, there may be a localized shut off valve you can use. Most sinks, toilets, washing machines and water heaters will have a shut off valve, but you can always use the main shut off valve for the home.

Call the Plumber

Find a local plumber that offers emergency service and give them a call. Many have 24/7 emergency service, so you can get the help you need any time of day or night.

Soak Up the Water

While you wait for the plumber to arrive, soak up as much water as you can to reduce the damage to surfaces. Be careful if there is extensive flooding – electrical shock can occur if any appliances are touching the wet floor.

Acting fast in a plumbing emergency can reduce the amount of water that flows into your home and help minimize water and mold damage. Keep a reputable local plumber on speed dial so you have a reliable professional to call when you need them.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

3 Ways to Make Your Water Heater Last

Replacing a tank water heater can be expensive, but if you maintain your heater, it can last much longer. With good maintenance, many tank water heaters can last 15 years or longer. However, homeowners often forget about water heater maintenance, which can shave years off the lifespan of their appliance.

Water heaters wear out from the constant heating and storage of water. This puts stress on the metal tank and the heating elements, especially due to the minerals that are released from the water. There are simple ways to reduce this stress and prolong the life of your water heater, including these three tips:

  1. Keep 120-degree temperature. You want your water to be hot enough to kill bacteria, but not overly hot which can put extra stress on the tank and run up your energy bills. Keep your temperature at 120-degrees, a safe level for your needs.
  2. Drain the tank annually. Releasing the minerals and sediment in the tank can help reduce corrosion and help keep the heating elements efficient. You can do this yourself or your local plumber can do this as part of an annual service.
  3. Replace sacrificial anode rod. There are sacrificial anode rods in tank water heaters. These are meant to attract minerals to reduce corrosion occurring in the tank but will slowly disintegrate as they do their job and need replacement.

By doing these three maintenance items, along with repairs as needed, you can get more years of life from your tank water heater. Make it easy by scheduling annual service for your water heater with a local plumber. They can drain your tank and check the anode rods and other parts, replacing components as needed to keep your water heater maintained.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Ways to Reduce Mold in Your Bathroom

Is there black mold around your bathroom window or pink mold around the edges of your shower or tub? Mold in the bathroom is common, but it can also be controlled. Excessive mold can be signs of too much moisture, plumbing problems or other issues in your bathroom. There are ways to minimize mold, protecting your bathroom surfaces and your family’s health.

Mold Loves Bathrooms

It is no mystery why mold is common in bathrooms. Mold spores thrive in moist, warm environments. A closed shower with wet walls or a steamy bathroom with no exhaust fan allow for moisture to linger and mold to grow. A few ways to control this moisture includes:

  • Wipe down showers and tubs after use
  • Don’t leave wet towels or clothing in the bathroom
  • Keep a working exhaust fan in the bathroom and turn on during baths and showers
  • Open windows to allow air circulation and moisture escape
  • Frequently clean tub, showers, sinks and other surfaces to remove mold spores

Another cause of mold issues is plumbing issues. A dripping sink faucet, leaking showerhead, condensation on the toilet tank or a leak in the pipes under the sink can add more moisture to the air. These leaks and drips keep humidity high 24/7, making it almost impossible to control mold problems. Repairing faucets and leaks can help minimize moisture, protecting your plumbing and home, while helping prevent mold in your bathrooms.

Mold can stain or damage your surfaces, cause health issues and make your bathrooms look unclean. Implement options to control the moisture in your bathrooms and fix plumbing issues to ensure your bathrooms are less prone to be invaded by mold.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471

Buying an Older Home? Use This Plumbing Checklist Before You Buy

Buying a new home can be daunting, especially when you are considering an older home. You may be concerned about hidden costs and repairs that may be revealed after you buy. A thorough home inspection can help uncover possible issues, but home inspectors may not see issues hidden behind walls or under the home in the plumbing. Before you buy, there are some areas that should be inspected by a professional plumber.

Complete Plumbing Inspection

Plumbing problems are not always apparent, especially during a standard home inspection. You need a plumber that can evaluate the type of piping and possible plumbing issues that may surface in the next few years. Some of the plumbing elements that should be inspected before buying an older home include:

  • Water heater performance
  • Type of piping – old lead pipes and polybutylene pipe often will need replacement
  • Video camera inspection of sewer lines
  • Septic system evaluation
  • Inspection of sump or ejector pumps
  • Check for leaking fixtures or pipes
  • Test water pressure and draining performance
  • Water quality testing and well evaluation

Having a professional evaluation of all the plumbing in the home can reveal any possible issues that will need repair or replacement. This can give you a chance to negotiate with the current owner to have plumbing issues resolved or a lower sale price to cover your costs.

Older homes can become money pits if there are hidden problems, especially with your plumbing. It is worth the investment to have a separate plumbing inspection performed to investigate all the items on this checklist to ensure you are making a wise purchase with your new home.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Do Showers or Baths Use More Water?

If you are trying to conserve on water, you may wonder how much water your daily showers or baths use. It was once thought that showers were more water efficient, but is that really the case? You may have your own preference of showers or baths, but when it comes to water efficiency, it depends on how you use these methods.

Water Use for Baths and Showers

For baths, the amount of water you use is directly linked to the size of tub you have and how full you fill it. A deep tub versus a shallow tub can be a difference of tens of gallons of water. The average tub holds about 35 gallons of water, but it is unlikely most people will fill it that full. Depending on how much water you displace, you may only use 20-25 gallons, but that is a set amount no matter how long you linger in the bath.

For showers, you have control over your water use. An average showerhead uses about 3-4 gallons of water a minute. If you use a water-efficient showerhead, the amount could be less, about 2 gallons per minute. A 5-minute shower using an efficient showerhead will only use about 10 gallons of water, half of that of a bath. But a longer shower will use more, as will a conventional showerhead, making showers less efficient.

If you are looking for ways to conserve water, talk to your local plumber. They can help you install efficient fixtures and appliances that will make a significant difference in your water use, from showerheads and faucets to tankless water heaters and washers.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Plumbing Issues to Look for When Buying a New Home

If you are contemplating buying a new home, you may be looking at many houses, trying to find the right fit for you and your family. When you narrow it down to a few that have the right attributes you are looking for, it is important to check for any hidden problems. Plumbing issues are often not apparent, especially during typical walk-throughs and even inspections. Here are a few things you can check to identify any possible problems.

Check the Fixtures

When looking at the kitchen and bathrooms, go beyond looking at the features and use the fixtures. Run water in the sinks, flush the toilets and turn on the shower. Watch for any drips or leaks when using these fixtures; it may not be a deal-breaker, but it is good to know if they have been maintained.

Look for Leaks

Keep an eye out for brown or water stains on ceilings or walls. This could indicate a plumbing leak that has occurred, which could also mean mold and other damage you cannot see. Look under the sinks and check for any signs of leaks.

Check the Drains

When you check the fixtures, use enough water to check how quickly the sinks and showers drain. Slow drains can be an indication of a clog, or even bigger issues in the main sewer lines.

If you do notice any problems with the plumbing, it may be worthwhile to hire a plumber for a more thorough inspection. It is better to know ahead of time if anything will need repair; you may be able to have the seller fix these issues as a condition of your sale or negotiate a lower price to encompass the needed plumbing repairs.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471

Is Leaking Plumbing Inviting Pests into Your Home?

Most people want to keep their homes free from pests, but plumbing problems can be inviting them inside. Ants, mice, rats and many types of insects are drawn to moisture, seeking places that are damp to make their home. If you have leaking pipes in your crawl space, basement or other areas in your home, there is a good chance that pests are trying to invade. Fixing those plumbing issues can help minimize mold and water damage, as well as minimize the attraction to pests.

Small Leaks Can Create a Big Pest Problem

It doesn’t take a broken pipe or large leak to attract pests. A small amount of condensation or slow drip is enough to create a moist environment that cockroaches, mice, termites and other types of pests, love. These leaks can be happening in inconspicuous places but could be at the root of your pest problem. Here are a few common leak areas:

  • Around water heaters
  • Under your home in crawl spaces
  • In your basement
  • Under sinks
  • Behind walls and under floors
  • Around appliances with water hook-ups

Look for mold, mildew, water stains or rotting wood; these are signs of too much moisture that may be derived from plumbing leaks. Not only does it damage your home and cause possible health issues, it puts out an invitation to pests to make your home their home.

If you have a pest problem, look for possible plumbing leaks that can be making the issue worse. Call your local plumber to have these issues fixed to help make your home less attractive to insects and rodents, as well as prevent further damage to your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

3 Tips to Improve Your Plumbing and Shower

Showers can do a number on your plumbing and creating other problems. They are notorious for causing clogs in drains and pipes, and long showers can quickly empty your water heater, leaving the rest of your home with cold water and increasing your energy bill. By making a few changes, you can improve how your shower impacts the rest of your home. Here are three tips to make your shower hot water and plumbing-friendly.

  1. Drain Cover. Every time you take a shower, it is likely you are losing hair that is flushing down the drain. Whether you have short or long hair, those strands can add to existing clogs occurring in your pipes. Add a drain cover to catch hair and other debris from going down the drain and reduce the chance of clogs.
  2. Liquid soap. Did you know that most bar soap is made from fats that congeals and can cause clogs in your plumbing? Even when it is lathered up, the residue causes soap scum on your tub and shower walls. Small pieces can go down the drain and contribute to clogs. Switch to liquid body soap for a cleaner tub and less chance of clogs.
  3. Tankless water heater. Do you run out of hot water in your home at shower time? Switch to a tankless water heater to have on-demand hot water and reduce energy bills with more efficient water heating. Talk to your plumber about the option of installing a tankless water heater.

A few changes can help reduce the chance of clogs in your plumbing and hot water issues from your shower. Follow these tips and enjoy your shower, for as long as you want, without worrying about running out of hot water or having clogs.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 884-4678

Signs it is Time to Replace Your Plumbing

Some things are easy to see when they need replacing in your home. Carpet that is worn or an air conditioner that no longer cools the air is simple to identify as needing replacement. Plumbing is not as straight-forward; pipes can corrode, and other issues can occur behind walls and under the ground that cannot be seen. Knowing the signs of plumbing issues can alert you to when your plumbing may need replacement to protect your health and the investment in your home.

Changes in Your Water

One of the signs of old plumbing that may need replacement is changes in your water. If you have well water, you may have some discoloration or odors in the water, usually when your filtration system needs updating. But in most cases, water should be clear and odorless. When you start noticing changes, like darker water or odors, there could be an issue in your pipes. There could be rust, bacteria and other issues in the plumbing that are causing the changes to your water, signs that the pipes might need replacement.

Water Leaks

A drip in your faucet doesn’t mean you need to replace your plumbing, maybe just a washer or the fixture. However, leaks occurring in pipes in your home or underground are signs of problems. Water stains on walls or ceilings, damp areas in the lawn or rotting floor boards can alert you to leaks and possible pipes that need replacement.

Plumbing can last for decades, but it does eventually need replacement. If you notice changes in your water or your home that are signs of plumbing issues, call your local plumber to have your plumbing inspected.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221