Plumbing News and Tips for Homeowners in the Raleigh NC Area, New Product Reviews, Water Heaters and Tankless water heater advice from local certified plumbers.

It’s hard to tell when plumbing starts to fail. The signs aren’t always clear, but some pretty obvious ones like water damage, moldy smells, and leaks under your sink. However, if you don’t want to wait for these problems to get worse, you should know a few of the first warning signs that your plumber and a professional are needed.

What is happening?

So, when it comes to your plumbing system, there are many moving parts. If any of the components wear down or start to fail, you will notice that some things become problems. Getting them addressed before they get out of hand prevents more significant issues further down the road. Take a look at some signs that it may be time for a plumber or at least an inspection:

Your toilets need constant plunging – While this can mean you have a clog somewhere and probably need your drain unclogged, if this happens often and doesn’t go away, it doesn’t matter the time or effort you spend, or what you may do, there could be something wrong with either the pipes or your drains.

  • Your drains back up every time you use them. Yes, this sometimes happens even with adequately working plumbing, but it might be a sign of trouble if it’s happening regularly.
  • There’s visible grime going down your bathroom or kitchen sink by way of the overflow holes in those drain stoppers. If they’re not draining as quickly as they used to, then something’s wrong.
  • There is dampness around your sink, especially if it’s tile. Again, this can happen with plumbing that isn’t working correctly.
  • You start to notice a bad smell in your home coming from the drains or the appliances.
  • Your water bill has increased by a significant amount in a short period. This could indicate that your plumbing system is not working correctly, leading to massive amounts of leaking, and wasted money.
  • Water isn’t getting down your drain as quickly as it used to or at all. You can try plunging it yourself, but if that doesn’t work, you’ll have to call a plumber to inspect your pipes for blockage.
  • Your dishwasher isn’t draining anymore. Since this usually happens because of a clog in the line coming from the sink, flush out any leftover before calling a plumber since you could end up with a broken dishwasher if the water has nowhere to go.
  • Your plumber has arrived more than once for simple repairs. If you’re finding holes in hoses and unexpected drips, it may be time for new plumbing fixtures
  • Many things could be causing deterioration of your plumbing system. After all these years, knowing what signs to look out for will help you get ready when replacement time comes.


Water Heaters

You know your water heater is showing signs of failing when:

  • There is rust around the water tank
  • You hear water trickling or gurgling noises coming from the water heater. If you can hear the water moving in it, it’s most likely time to call a plumber and schedule a water heater replacement
  • Your water doesn’t seem as hot as it used to be. This could be an indicator that your heating element has worn down
  • You find black flakes or black material collecting on the bottom of your tank and water heater. This is likely due to typical water corrosion
  • The water coming out of the water heater is cloudy or discolored
  • There are water temperature fluctuations throughout your water tank

So, if you see these signs, call a plumber immediately so you can be prepared for when the water heater replacement comes. Your water heaters could save you if they have one colder season in them, so it’s important not to let them go until you have no choice but to replace them. If the water heater has leaked or exploded, there isn’t much anyone can do except install a new one. However, that often only happens with water heaters that are very old and worn down by many years’ worth of use. Knowing appears to be dissolving into the water supply. This is usually due to mineral deposits and needs immediate attention before they dissolve too much, no matter what type of plumbing you have.

All of these could indicate the need for equipment replacement and inspection by a plumber. Knowing what signs, you need to keep an eye out for will make it easier to get ready when replacement time comes.

If you’re noticing any of these signs, it may be time for professional help. Plumbers can fix most plumbing issues, and their inspections will spot problems before they become bigger ones. If you’ve had plumbing work done in the past and know what kinds of things were replaced, this will help identify if anything isn’t working like it used to or if there is some problem that needs immediate attention. So, in the long run, it makes no difference what kind of plumbing system you have; knowing when to call a professional plumber may save you significant time in the long run, which will then allow you more time to enjoy the season.

To contact the most trusted name in Raleigh plumbers, visit





Some things never change. For one, after over twenty years of service and building strong customer relationships, you can always count on the number one Raleigh emergency plumbers at Poole’s Plumbing. Similarly, there are a few things you can do in Treating Your Plumbing System that will always help prevent costly catastrophes before they ever happen.

Before we dive into a few ways for Treating Your Plumbing System that will help you steer clear of disasters, we want to be 100 percent clear on something. You should always call a professional for major plumbing issues you have. Likewise, if you are unsure how to fix a particular plumbing issue, it’s simple, don’t even try! Instead, pick up the phone and call the Raleigh emergency plumbers at Poole’s. That being said, by just simply monitoring a few areas and taking just a few seconds to think before acting in some situations, these methods for Treating Your Plumbing System are ones anyone adult can handle.

Treating Your Plumbing System Right: On the Look Out for Leaks, Clogs, and a Cause

Below, we will walk through three different areas that, though mostly just checking them, can identify if there is an issue and address it if there is. One thing you don’t want to do is leave a plumbing issue alone or ignore it. It’s not going to go away on its own. In contrast, it will only get worse. So, no need to waste any time here; the sooner you are aware of these simple steps to Treating Your Plumbing System, the quicker you can have peace of mind that there are no significant issues.

1- Take Care of Any Leaky Showerheads or Faucets as Soon as You Notice the Leak

Now, this would seem an obvious move when you read the heading, wouldn’t it? But, honestly, you’d be surprised. We realize plumbing issues can be intimidating to many. But they shouldn’t choose to ignore a problem rather than deal with it. Sure, a tiny drip or leak may not seem like a significant or pressing issue. However, the small drip will continue to grow into a larger one, and they could be causing more and more water damage the longer they stay unattended.

How do you address a leaky showerhead or faucet? Simple, just periodically remind yourself to check underneath your sink to ensure there are no drips when the water is running. Take a quick look over the area underneath that sink to ensure there are no water stains or signs that there may be a leak.

2- If You Notice a Drain is Slow to Clear, address it Before it Becomes Completely Clogged

In each of these cases, you will find that the common thread is not to panic and if you do notice a problem, address it as soon as possible after identifying it. For example, the process and protocol are no different in Treating Your Plumbing System regarding a slow running drain. Everybody has experienced at some point a “slow” drain. It might just see water retain in the sink a little, but it’s easy to know when a drain is running slower than usual.

This issue is one you can try yourself. Let’s say you notice the sink or tub in your shower retaining water. You see it growing to an abnormally high level. It would be best if you assumed the drain was running slow. By simply running some very hot water down the drain and adding everyday, ordinary dish detergent as you run the water through, you may solve the issue. Even if you don’t solve the issue, you know it’s something other than grease, hair, and buildup, and don’t hesitate to have someone come out and clear this through. Ignoring the slow drainage will lead to a completely clogged sink when unattended. Nobody wants to deal with the mess, the smell, or the unnecessary costs when you could avoid them by simply paying better attention.

3- Be Aware and Careful of What You Flush or Pour Down the Toilet

In Treating Your Plumbing System, this may be the most crucial preventative tip we can offer. We know this is another on this shortlist that to read in the heading would seem so obvious. Now, of course, we realize those of you with toddlers or young children cannot always know if the little one has thrown or dropped something in the toilet. You can, however, pay attention to your flushing actions.

Let’s be 100 percent clear and avoid any questions on this. Never flush paper towels or baby wipes down the toilet. In reality, the only thing safe to flush down a toilet is toilet paper. In addition to your toilet, make sure that your sinks or shower drains are clear too. Examples of items that could clog a drain and should never go down one are as follow.

  • Hair
  • Papers
  • Plastic
  • Fibrous Foods
  • Expanding Foods
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Flour

If You Follow the Steps and Still Need Assistance Treating Your Plumbing System… Make the Move, Trust Us

We have built a great bond with our customers across the area as the top Emergency Raleigh Plumbers around. So if any of these areas we discussed becomes a problem, don’t hesitate. Head over to  Or give us a call and let us step in and help you avoid any plumbing disasters.



It is the type of situation that nightmares are made of; it’s our worst fears that come to life. Well, maybe it’s not that bad, but we have all had at least some type of “bathroom emergency” situation involving a backed-up toilet. Possibly you did not realize there was a clog, and you came across a rapidly filling toilet bowl? Or perhaps you realized it was overflowing but had to hurry and could not get the water shut off as it approached an overflow. Or even worse, it is filling up, and you cannot find the plunger to pop the blockage through. Well, no need to fret. Your friends at Poole’s Plumbing are not the number one Raleigh emergency plumbers for nothing! We have got you covered in any plumbing emergencies. Yes, even when you are trying to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger.

All joking and hypothetical scenarios aside, this is a problem that can lead to a colossal mess and, depending, could lead to some severe damage. If you can’t find or don’t have the right tools for some reason, any plumbing emergency can quickly turn into a disaster. In this case, not having a plunger is means for panic, no question. Thus, we will list out below several alternative options for you to know if you ever need to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger.

Is It Safe to Use Another Tool to Try and Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger? 

We do not recommend using just any item to clear through a clog in the toilet, for starters. There are many things, especially in a panicked state, that could go wrong with shoving something into the toilet frantically to try and loosen a blockage. However, in a last-ditch effort, if you see no alternatives, you can Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger using a toilet brush.

If, and only if you see no other option, we urge you to be careful when using a brush to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger. You do not want anything to break off into the already clogged toilet. Don’t forget, the use of these brushes are to clean the bowl. Thus, they are not necessarily real flexible or strong. Thus, over-exuberance could result in a bigger clog than you start with. So, basically, you want to hold the brush by its handle and push it into the drain hole. Then, push and pull back and forth, again remembering to not get too forceful in doing this. Don’t get us wrong, you have to put some “elbow grease” into it but be careful to not bend and break while attempting to unclog.

We would also suggest wearing gloves when taking this approach to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger. It could get a little messy. Likewise, there may be splashing depending on how high the water level has risen to.

What Can You Use to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger Without Shoving Anything in the Bowl to Clear?

Ok, so we understand the initial reaction to realizing first the toilet clog. Likewise, if you see it’s about to overflow and that there is no plunger. However, just keep a cool head about it, and don’t fret. There are some basic household items or fixes that you should be able to use to Unclog a Toilet Without Using a Plunger.

Since each of these methods to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger involves pouring or putting a substance into the toilet bowl to dissolve the blockage, we recommend if at all possible shutting off the toilet’s water before trying any or each of these. Once you have the water off, below are three ways that can usually get that toilet flushing like normal once again.

Use Very Hot Water. We Repeat…Not Boiling Water, But Very Hot Water

The first method we suggest is trying to pour very hot water into the toilet bowl. It is very important that the water is extremely hot. However, it is more important than the water you use to Unclog a Toilet. Without a Plunger, it is not so hot that it is boiling.

We need to be clear on the water temperature here. If you fill a bucket with extremely hot water and dump it into the bowl, the heat and movement of the water can solve the problem. This should help remove and flush the clogged unit. However, boiling water can crack ceramic. In case you’re unaware, ceramic is what your toilet is made out of. Thus, if the water you use is too hot, you can see how it could cause an emergency situation to get even worse.

When Time Is On Your Side, Let it Take Care of More than Just “Grease and Grime.”

Our final two remedies to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger involve fairly common household products to fix this problem. Well, one is more common than the other, but neither is difficult to find if needed. So first, let’s turn to a product you use every day. Known to “cut grease and grime,” the product is dish soap. 

Again, we remind you to shut that water off going to the toilet. But you probably did that unless you are just watching it pour over the sides and all on the floor. Anyhow, you want to squeeze about a cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl. Now, we wait. About 30-40 minutes should do. Just as it loosens the debris on your “greasy and grimy” dishes and pans, the dish soap will begin eating away at your clog. You can actually tell if this way to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger is Working by monitoring while you wait. If you see the water line starting to get lower in the toilet, you are well on your way to flushing freely once again.

No Need to Get “Salty” Over this Clog… Oh, Wait, Yes, There Is!

Ok, so we know having to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger is no laughing matter. Sorry for the “plays on words” and “puns,” but, remember, we got your back! So that’s just us trying to help you stay at ease and get back to flushing. The last method we suggest is to use Epsom salt to clear the blockage in your bowl.

Sure, Epsom salt we know is less common a household item than dish soap. But if the water is shut off to the toilet, you have time. Even if you need to get some, it can solve your toilet issue. To start with, pour a healthy amount into the toilet bowl. This will create a fizzy, chemical-type reaction in the bowl. Give it about 15 minutes or so, and you should see that you were able to Unclog Your Toilet Without a Plunger, after all, thanks to a little Epsom salt.

What Happens if None of These Methods Clear My Clogged Toilet?

Well, it would seem you may ask this question thinking the obvious answer would be to go get a plunger. Honestly, you should get a plunger and keep one handy near the toilet. This would most times avoid this situation from even happening. But, given the fact that none of these methods worked, it is a distinct possibility it would not plunge either. So, one way or another, yes, get a plunger. Yes, keep it in your bathroom. But, if that isn’t helping either, it’s time to call the pros in.

To contact us at Poole’s Plumbing to take a look at how to Unclog Your Toilet Without Using a Plunger or for any other plumbing issue, visit