Plumbing Tips

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Four Red Flags for Plumbing Problems When Buying a Home

by raleigh plumbers on September 12, 2017

Prospective home buyers have a lot of factors to consider before making the final decision to purchase a house. Ideally, the building offers move-in condition, allowing the new owner to take up residence a soon as possible. One important step to take before purchasing a home is to check the plumbing system to make sure that everything is in order. Four situations provide red flags that something is amiss and a professional inspection is needed.

Faulty Water Flow
If you turn on one of the faucets and the water flow is minimal, it is an indication that the plumbing system needs maintenance or repair. If the problem exists in more than one area of the home, it might be a serious issue that you should avoid by looking at different properties and giving up on the one that you are looking at currently.

Faulty Black Water Lines
One of the best ways to evaluate the plumbing system’s ability to remove black/grey water is to flush the toilet. Observe how easily the water goes down and take note of any seepage around the base of the toilet. You should also fill up one of the sinks and watch it drain. Be sure to walk around the perimeter of the basement as well as the outside of the home in search of wet spots.

No Hot Water
If you turn on the faucet that is supposed to deliver hot water and you don’t get any, it’s time to check all of the sinks, showers, and bathtubs in the house. If you can’t get any hot water at any of these locations, it is possible that the hot water heater is broken. You should request that repairs or replacement be handled and are made a contingency of any offer that you provide.

Leaks
Minor leaks can usually be repaired with the simple replacement of a washer. However, multiple leaks are indicative of a more serious issue, particularly if they create puddles or wet spots on the walls, floors, or ceilings.

If you are buying a home, it is important to check out the plumbing system to see if it is in good working order. Whether you try out the faucets and flush the toilet on your own or you bring in a professional plumber for a thorough inspection, an evaluation of the plumbing equipment should be a part of your decision-making process. If you aren’t in love with the property, continuing your search might be the wiser choice to make.

 

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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.

If you had to call a plumber in every time something dripped or clogged up, you might wait too long. Having the right plumbing tools on hand is an excellent way to get to a problem as soon as it occurs, and to make sure that it doesn’t get out of control.

Certainly, some kinds of DIY plumbing repair projects aren’t for beginners (you should probably look up a professional plumber before you do extensive damage to your drainpipes trying fish out a lost wedding ring with a straightened-out wire hanger, for example). Many smaller problems are perfect for the DIY beginner, however. This simple home servicing guide should help you with the right ideas.

A non-working flush lever

If you have an old flush tank sitting on your toilet (rather than a wall-mounted flush lever), you should be able to handle the common loose handle problem. All you need to do is to take the lid off the tank and look inside. Often, the lever will have worked itself loose from the flapper, or from its metal chain. You may be able to simply screw any loose parts together, or visit a hardware store for broken parts.

Unclog the toilet

Some toilet clogs can be complicated and need a plumber. Before you look on Ask Doss for a professional, however, it would make sense to see what you can do with a plunger and an auger. You should first visit a home improvement store for the right tools. It takes a toilet plunger, rather than a sink plunger. A dozen strong thrusts should clear up any minor clogs. If this doesn’t do the trick, you need to send in an auger and crank away. It should attach to whatever foreign object is clogging up the works, and help you pull it out.

Correct a leaky sink drain

Leaky pipes are one of the simpler DIY plumbing projects. When you look under the sink, you should find some attachment that delivers waste water to the drain in the wall — a P-trap or bottle trap. You need to put a large basin under the drain to catch any splashes and use a large wrench to undo the nut that holds the trap in place. You can rinse the trap out, and replace the washer. Not only will the drain flow more freely now, but the new washer should also keep the water in, where it belongs.

Stop that drip

If you have a dripping faucet, you don’t have to keep using more force each passing day, to tighten it. Instead, you only need to replace the washer. Whether you have an old faucet that takes many turns to open and close or one of the newer ones that take a simple quarter-turn, it’s easy to do the work yourself. It does take patience, however. You need a small plumber’s wrench and to find an assistant to help you. While they hold the faucet from above, you go below and carefully unscrew the nut that holds it in place.

Once you have the faucet out, you can take it to a home improvement store and have them give you a replacement washer or cartridge. You want to take a video of yourself taking the faucet apart, however. Faucets contain many washers and other small components, and you want to make sure that you know how to put them back in the order that you find them.

One of the most important skills that the DIY plumber possesses is knowing when a project is too complicated. Venturing forth with a job that requires a greater level of skill and you possess a recipe for flooded floors and big bills. When you take baby steps, however, DIY can be nothing but rewarding.


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