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DIY Drain Cleaning Made Easy

by raleigh plumbers on June 28, 2017

By Eva Sparks

Dealing with clogged drains isn’t something you can put off for long, but many people don’t even know where to begin. Other are worried that strong chemical cleaners may be harmful for their health. The good news is that, with just a bit of baking soda, vinegar, and some very hot water, you’ll be able to get all of your drains working like new again.

Baking soda and vinegar are the perfect drain cleaning agents for three main reasons. First, they don’t pose any risks to your health or to your drains. Second, when the two are mixed, they create carbon dioxide and sodium acetate, both of which can easily dissolve the grime and gunk that has built up in your plumbing. Third, the foaming bubbles they create further work to give your drains a thorough scrubbing.

Enough with singing the praises of using baking soda and vinegar to clean your drains; let’s go through the steps you need to take to actually do it.

Step 1 – Prepare 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar, 4 cups of boiling water, and bring them to your target drain.

Step 2 – Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by about half of your boiling water.

Step 3 – Pour your second cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by your cup of vinegar.

Step 4 – Quickly plug the drain to trap the bubbles in the pipe, allowing them to clean more effectively. You should be able to hear the mixture working.

Step 5 – When the sound of the bubbles begins to quiet down, open the drain again and pour your remaining hot water inside. This should clear away any remaining debris.

Step 6 – If your drain still doesn’t seem to be running as smoothly as it could, you can repeat steps 1-5 as many times as it takes for water to flow through it unimpeded.

Some particularly grimy drains may also call for the use of a sink plunger. If the baking soda and vinegar doesn’t seem to be able to clear away all of the gunk, you can be sure that it has at least loosened it all up. After filling your drain with water you should seal it off with a plunger and quickly plunge up and down a few times. This should be enough to dislodge any remaining grime.

To keep your drains in tip top shape you should try not to let them get so clogged again. Clear them periodically with some baking soda, vinegar, and water, and you’ll save yourself from having to deal with many future drainage problems.

After that if your drain still doesn’t seem to be running as smoothly, you could have a bigger issue. Call your trusted local plumber.

Plumbing is one of those unglamorous but essential services that everyone needs to call on from time to time. With luck, most your dealings with a plumber will be planned in advance, but it’s almost certain you’ll face an emergency at some point.

When you’ve got water gushing down your walls, you don’t want to be scrabbling for a good plumbing company to come to your rescue. It pays to do your research first, so that you have a number to call without delay. Here’s what to look for when finding a good plumbing company.

 

Availability

Does the company offer a 24-hour call-out service? Are there any charges for attending your home at unsocial hours? Will they guarantee to fix the problem on their first visit, or at least to make it safe and prevent further damage? In an emergency, you need help straight away, so make sure you know the answer to these questions in advance.

Experience and Qualifications

It’s vital to ask how long the plumbing company has been providing their services, and which qualifications the individual plumbers possess. Is the company as a whole regulated by any trade association or official body? These questions are particularly important if the work involves gas or electrical components, when safety is absolutely crucial.

Who’s Actually Doing the Work?

Is the person you speak to the one who will be carrying out the work, or will it be an employee or even a subcontractor? Any of these options can be perfectly acceptable. For your own peace of mind, however, you may want to first meet the person carrying out the work, especially if the job is inside your home.

Liability Cover

Is the company properly insured? If something goes wrong, you need to know that you won’t lose out financially, and so it’s essential they have a comprehensive liability insurance policy in place.

Warranty and Guarantees

It’s also a good idea to ask what will happen if you’re unhappy with the work for any other reason. What’s the procedure if you’re not satisfied with the job that’s been done? For how long will the parts they’ve used be under warranty, and will they replace them without a call-out charge if needed?

Prices and Payment

Although the exact prices will vary depending on the details of the work, you should ask the typical costs for a range of common jobs so you can get a rough idea of the expense involved. Also, is payment required upon completion or partly or fully in advance? Are installment terms available?

Plumbing work is often needed in an emergency situation when you have no time to waste. Asking these questions of a company in advance will ensure you can get quick and efficient assistance when you need it most.

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Benefits of Home Water Softeners  

by raleigh plumbers on June 7, 2017

Water softeners are used to remove minerals that make water hard. Hard water has high levels of two soluble minerals: calcium and magnesium. If your water is hard, it can cause problems in your home that may go unnoticed.

 

Problems Caused by Hard Water   

Soap is less effective in hard water. This is because soap is made with sodium and potassium compounds like sodium stearate. Calcium compounds in the water react with sodium stearate to make calcium stearate. While sodium stearate dissolves in water, calcium stearate does not. As a result, soaps produce less lather and leave behind more soap curd.

Soap curd can leave a film on your skin that clogs the pores and causes your skin to feel dry and rough. The film can also make your hair brittle and dull-looking.

The soap curd can clog pipes and make it difficult for soaps and detergents to dissolve, resulting in water spots being left behind after cleaning. As scale accumulates within the pipes, your water heater will work less efficiently, needing more energy to heat your water and causing your utility costs to go up. Overall, the buildup will shorten the life of any appliance that uses water.

In addition, the minerals in hard water can become attached to the fibers of your clothing, covering them with residue and causing them to feel stiff. To properly clean your clothes in hard water, you will need to use more detergent and wash at higher temperatures. Both of these measures can significantly increase the cost of doing laundry.

By softening your water, you can prevent damage to your home and to your appliances. The benefits of softer water include:

Healthier Skin and Hair

Your skin is likely to become smoother after you start to soften your water, and your hair may become softer and shinier as well. Not only will you need to use less soap when showering and less shampoo for your hair, but you also may find that you do not need conditioners at all.

Easier, More Thorough Cleaning

One of the most visible benefits of water softening includes the reduction of scale on cookware, silverware, and plumbing fixtures, which means fewer water spots. The chalky accumulation of soap curds in your shower and bathtub will be reduced or eliminated, so your bathrooms will be easier to clean. Furthermore, because minerals won’t attach to fabrics, your laundry will need less detergent, get cleaner and cost less to wash.

Longer-Lasting Appliances

Not only will soft water save you money, but it will reduce your carbon footprint by as well. Because you won’t have to replace your appliances as often, you will be reducing waste and helping to conserve the energy used in the manufacturing process.

If you are dealing with the effects of minerals in your water, the right water softening and filtration system can help. The technology has been around for decades and is considered reliable. You have several options, so when choosing a water softener for your home, consider such factors as the size of the unit, the amount of time it takes to soften your water, and the volume of salt the system adds to the water coming into your home. You may want to look at a salt-free unit, which would be a better choice for homeowners who want to avoid excessive sodium intake.

The right water softening system can mitigate the problems that hard water causes, while also making your home more energy-efficient. Contat Poole’s Plumbing today to learn more.


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