5 Ways to Reduce Clogs in Your Plumbing

When your kitchen sink or bathtub are slow to drain, it is usually a sign a clog is forming in the pipes below. Sticky residue builds up on the inside of the pipes and food, hair and other items collect in these spots, slowly creating a blockage. To reduce the occurrence of clogs in your pipes, make a few changes how you maintain your drains. Improve the drains in your home and reduce calls to your local plumber with these five tips.

  1. Add drain strainers. Use strainers in your kitchen sink and bathtub/shower drains to keep hair, pieces of soap and food debris from going down the drain.
  2. Stop using bar soap. Most bar soaps are made with congealing fats. Switch to liquid soaps to keep the fats in bar soaps from coating the inside of your pipes.
  3. Add a garbage disposal. If you do not have a garbage disposal, consider adding one. Those with 1/2 to 1 HP are the best at grinding food finer to reduce clogs in your kitchen drain pipes.
  4. Keep grease out of your drains. Never rinse out a greasy pan in your sink. First, pour the grease into a container and then wipe the pain with a paper towel. Grease is usually the culprit when it comes to kitchen drain clogs.
  5. Be careful what you flush. Do not flush cotton balls or swabs down the toilet, or anything with plastic, cardboard or rubber. Anything that is not biodegradable should not be flushed.

Make sure to educate everyone in your family on how to reduce clogs to keep your plumbing pipes clear. If you do get a clog, let a plumber handle the removal to protect your pipes from damage.

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

Red Flags to Look for When Hiring a Plumber

Whenever you hire someone to work in your home, you want to know you are hiring a trusted, experienced professional. Plumbing companies are plentiful, but not all offer the same quality of service. If you are researching plumbers, there are a few red flags that can alert you to possible issues. These red flags can help you avoid hiring the wrong plumber for the job.

No Local Phone Number

If the plumber has an out-of-town area code or only has a 1-800 number, look a little closer. Where is the company based out of and are they local? There have been instances where companies come into a town, posing as local contractors, scamming people out of their money before they quickly leave town. Make sure the company you hire has a local address, phone number and location.

Bad or No Reviews

Check out the reviews online for a company. Keep in mind that one bad review can happen, even to the best contractors. However, if there are no good reviews or a pattern of bad reviews, this is a bright red flag to avoid this plumber.

Licensed and Insured

You want to make sure any plumber you hire is legitimate. They should have a contractor number through the state and carry insurance to cover their employees and any damage. This is quick to check – most reputable plumbers have their contractor license number on their website that you can verify through your state’s business licensing agency.

Checking a plumber’s background can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. Make sure to vet your plumber to avoid hiring the wrong company to perform your next plumbing project.

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

Preventing Plumbing Flooding Problems

Flooding can create disastrous problems in your home. From damaging walls, floorings and furnishing, to the mold issues left behind, flooding is something you want to avoid. While you cannot prevent natural disasters from occurring, flooding from plumbing can often be prevented or quickly handled. Knowing the possible causes of plumbing flooding can help you look for the signs to avoid this disaster in your home.

Leaking Pipes

A small plumbing drip or leak never stays small. Any leaking plumbing needs to be fixed before it becomes larger. Look for water stains on walls or ceilings; bubbling or soft flooring can also be a sign of leaks. Get these issues fixed before a pipe bursts and causes serious water damage in your home.

Water Heater Tank Leaks

One of the most common causes of plumbing flooding is tank water heaters. The interior of these tanks deteriorates over time from mineral buildup. Eventually, the tank can corrode or the release valve can stop working, releasing dozens of gallons of water into your home. Keeping up with maintenance and proactive replacement for your water heater can prevent leaks and expensive flood damage.

Frozen Pipes

Freezing pipes can cause damage that can lead to a burst pipe either during the freeze or down the road. Make sure all exposed pipes are insulated to prevent freezing. If a pipe does freeze, call a plumber to inspect the pipes for damage to prevent leaks later.

If you have a water heater or leaking pipe problem flooding your home, turn off your main water valve and call your local plumber. The quicker you can catch, stop and fix the leak, the less damage that will be done to your home.

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

Does Your Water Heater Need Maintenance?

Has your water heater tank been flushed in the last year? Do you know if your anode rod needs to be replaced? Tank water heaters need routine maintenance to prevent premature wear and tear on components. If you are not sure when your water heater received preventive maintenance or if it has never been serviced, it is time to schedule a flush and inspection.

Why Flush a Water Heater?

Tank water heaters hold water heated to around 120 degrees 24/7, 365-days a year. The minerals in the water can collect inside the tank, causing corrosion. Flushing the tank once a year can allow some of these minerals to be released, helping lower corrosion in the tank. This is simple to do – most homeowners can flush their heater as a DIY task – but it can also be completed with routine maintenance.

Inspection of Components

If you schedule routine maintenance through your local plumber, they can flush your tank and do a complete inspection. This will include checking the anode rod to see it needs replacement. It will also include inspecting the pressure release valve – this is a common component that can fail and cause a major leak that can flood your home with hot water from your tank. Annual inspections can identify components that need replacement, reducing the chance of a water heater tank leak or other emergency repairs.

Routine maintenance can help extend the life of your water heater. With regular service, a tank water heater can last well over 10 years, even close to 20 years in some cases. Make sure to schedule your next water heater service if it has been more than a year since your unit has been flushed or inspected.

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

Quick Fixes to Update Your Guest Bathroom

Is your guest bathroom in need of an update? Whether it is a half, three-quarter or full bath, you want a nice room for those who visit or stay in your home. If you are planning to have guests to your home, there are some quick ways to improve the look and function of your extra bathroom. Here are some fast fixes to update your bathroom before your guests arrive.

Painting

A quick paint job can make your bathroom look like new again. Choose a trendy new color to bring an updated style to your guest bath, such as blue-greens, berry-inspired colors and black/white décor. Bathrooms are small, and painting can only take a few hours, making it a project you can do in less than a day.

New Accessories

If you change your wall color, you will want to buy new accessories for the new look. Choose matching towels, soap dispenser, garbage can and shower accessories to match your new color scheme. Add some guest soaps, shampoos and hygiene items to make your guests feel at home.

Replace Your Fixtures

You can make a big difference in the look of your bathroom by replacing the old faucet, shower fixtures, towel racks and mirrors. Finishes like oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel are popular in bathrooms over the old shiny silver fixtures. Your local plumber can install your sink and shower fixtures to ensure they will work correctly.

It does not take long to give your guest bath an update. For more extensive remodels like a new shower, tub or toilet, you will need to plan for more time and have a professional plumber for installing new plumbing. Improving your guest bathroom can enhance the beauty of your home and add value, while leaving a favorable impression on visitors to your home.

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

What to Do If You Have Frozen Pipes

Most people know that freezing temperatures can lead to plumbing problems. Unfortunately, circumstances can occur where a pipe becomes frozen unexpectedly. If a cold snap starts before you insulate exposed pipes or you are away from home when the cold weather hits, you may find yourself with frozen pipes. Here are some steps to take to minimize the damage to your plumbing and home.

  • Is there damage to the pipe? If water has leaked or you can see pipe damage, shut off the main water valve and call a plumber right away. Make sure to keep electrical appliances away from the leaked water to avoid electrical shock until you can effectively dry the surfaces in your home.
  • No leaks? Turn on the faucets. Turn on the heat and open the faucets. In some cases, the water can begin to thaw and if caught early, the pipes can be undamaged. However, if there are any signs of leaks, shut off the main valve and contact a plumber to repair your plumbing.
  • Do not apply direct heat! Using a space heater to close to a frozen pipe or torch to thaw pipes can be dangerous and cause more damage. Bring up the indoor temperature and keep the faucets open to allow the pipes to thaw if there is no damage.

Insulating pipes and keeping buildings warm can help prevent frozen pipes in cold weather. However, if you find yourself with frozen plumbing, be careful to avoid burst pipes and water damage to your home. Contact a plumber to inspect your plumbing and repair any pipes that are damaged at the first sign of frozen plumbing in your home.

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

What Are Those Strange Plumbing Sounds?

Your plumbing works day in and day out, usually without a falter. When it does have an issue, it may be a visible leak or a backed-up drain in your kitchen. There are other signs that you may not see, but can hear, that your plumbing may have some trouble. Here are some strange plumbing sounds that can alert you to issues with your pipes, water heater or other components.

Rattling Pipes

Is there a clatter of rattling or vibrating pipes behind your walls or under your floors? Sometimes all that is needed is tightening the pipe brackets to keep them still. However, vibration can be caused by too high of pressure; have the water pressure checked to ensure it is correct.

Hammering or Banging Pipes

Do you hear banging or hammering in your walls? Water valves that shut too abruptly can cause a “water hammer” effect. This can damage your pipes and should be fixed. Talk to your local plumber about adding an arrestor or changing to slower-acting water valves.

Tapping and Crackling Water Heaters

If your tank water heater is making racket, it may need flushing. The minerals that buildup in the tank can cause element issues and corrosion that cause a banging sound. Flushing can remove the minerals and extend the life of your water heater.

Hissing or Squealing Faucets

When your faucets make noises when you turn them on, get them checked out by a plumber. Hissing can mean too high of water pressure and squealing can alert you to valves or washers that need replacement.

Next time your plumbing starts talking, make sure to listen. Strange sounds can identify plumbing issues before they become larger emergencies.

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

Protect Against Plumbing Disasters

Plumbing disasters often occur at the most inopportune times, which is not always a coincidence. The normal use of your plumbing is nothing compared to the times when you have extra guests staying in your home or when you host a large event. Whether it is a big backyard party during the summer or a week of household guests during the holidays, these are the times when a plumbing disaster is more likely to occur. Avoid an inconvenient plumbing problem with these preventive measures.

Add Strainers to Your Bathroom Drains

Keep hair, soap and other debris out of your drains with strainers. These can be the most common reasons for plumbing backups and clogs, especially in the bathroom and with extra people using your facilities.

Avoid Putting Grease Down the Drain

Big events often mean big meals. Avoid allowing grease and fat to be dumped down the drain. Grease can cause clogs and damage to septic systems – scrape grease and fats on plates and pans into the trash to prevent plumbing problems.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

Make sure exposed pipes in attics, crawl spaces, garages and basements are insulated to prevent freezing. If you go away for the winter holidays, you do not want to come home to broken or frozen pipes.

Choose a Plumber

If a plumbing disaster does occur, you do not want to call the first plumber you find through Google. Have a quality plumber on speed dial that offers emergency repairs and meets your qualifications.

Keeping up with preventive measures can help you avoid plumbing emergencies during big events at your home. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to prevent plumbing issues and what to do in an emergency to protect against plumbing disasters.

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

Do You Need a Plumber to Install a Garbage Disposal?

If you want to add a garbage disposal to your kitchen sink or need to replace your existing equipment, you may want to hire a plumber. While garbage disposals are simple in design, they do require electricity and must be installed into your plumbing. There are some DIY homeowners that can tackle this job, but considering the possible problems that can occur, most people are better off hiring a professional.

Consequences of Poor Garbage Disposal Installation

Garbage disposal installation is not overly complicated, but it does require meticulous observance of each step of the process. If one aspect is not completed correctly, you could be facing problems down the road. Some of the consequences of poor installation of your garbage disposal include:

  • Improper or failed function
  • Clogs in your plumbing
  • Leaks that can cause extensive water damage
  • Electrical shock

Unless you are confident of your plumbing and mechanical skills, it is best to leave installation of a new or replacement garbage disposal to a plumber. They can ensure you get the right type of disposal for your needs and perform a professional installation. This can ensure that the equipment is properly fitted within your plumbing to prevent leaks and function as needed to help reduce clogs from food debris.

If you are ready to install a new garbage disposal, contact a local plumber to discuss the best options for your needs. They can help you choose the right horsepower, design and model for your kitchen, then install it professionally to ensure that you get the best performance. It can save you time and trouble in the future, a worthwhile investment to prevent plumbing problems.

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

When Does a Clogged Sink Require a Plumber?

Clogged sinks or drains are a common problem, and many can be a DIY fix. Grease, hair, soap and food are common causes of sink drain clogs, creating a blockage in your pipes. While you should try to avoid clogs by limiting what goes down your drains and using drain strainers to catch common clog-culprits, most households experience some sink clogs. When you are facing a tough drain clog, you need to know when to call in a plumber to fix your problem.

DIY Clogs Fixes

A slow draining sink usually occurs before a complete clog. This is the best time to try to fix your sink yourself. Often, you can use a plunger to loosen the clog if it is close to the sink drain and effectively clear the pipe. Another safe solution is to use baking soda and vinegar to clear the clog – pour a pot of boiling water down the drain then a ½ cup of baking soda. Wait a few minutes, then pour a cup of vinegar and a cup of hot water down the drain and cover it. Wait about 10 minutes and then flush the drain with a pot of boiling water.

When a plunger or the vinegar/baking soda trick does not work, you may need the drain “snaked.” This is best performed by a professional plumber that has the right equipment and can carefully remove the clog without harming your plumbing. In some cases, the clog may be too far down the pipe, even in your sewer line, and may need to be removed with hydro-jetting. Contact your local plumber if you experience a tough clog to have it inspected and removed.

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