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.

Fixing-a-Toilet-Leak-Pooles Plumbing

Everybody that owns or rents a home for an extended length of time is bound to face plumbing issues at some point. Surprisingly, some of the more common ones are where some serious and costly mistakes get made. Some of these mistakes can be attributed to being misled by a non- professional opinion that found in online searches. However, even long before every person behind a keyboard turned into a “certified expert,” one common mistake made was still; pretty consistent and confusing. This was whether or not one should use Liquid Drain Cleaners to unplug a clog.

Before we tackle the “myths” or “legend” behind the usage of Liquid Drain Cleaner, let’s be sure everyone knows what it is. One of the aforementioned “common” plumbing issues is a clogged drain. In this situation, as with any plumbing issue, most people will look for a way to fix the problem initially on their own if possible. Thus, given the many “name brand” and well-known Liquid Drain Cleaners would appear an obvious choice to turn to before picking up the phone to call in a pro. As we will now explore, however, this method can actually in many cases cause further damage to your pipes and even your health.

“I Saw the Commercial, Liquid Drain Cleaners Must be Safe for the Pipes, right?!”

liquid-drain-cleaner-Pooles-Plumbing

There are many ways to clear a drain through without the use of dangerous chemical cleaners.

To start with we will take a look at the effect that Liquid Drain Cleaners can have on your plumbing system. More specifically, let’s discuss the potential damage that can be done to your pipes by Liquid Drain Cleaners. To look at this, first, we must explain how these types of products work.

Liquid Drain Cleaners, many times because of having hydrochloric acid as an ingredient, creates a chemical reaction inside your drainpipe. These reactions generate heat many thinks can clear a clog, and in some cases can. On the contrary, this heat that is supposed to “pop the drain clean” can often time cause irreversible damage to the pipes.
Where the damage can almost certainly happen to your pipes when Liquid Drain Cleaner is used is when it is not fully able to clear the clog. Thus, the chemicals sit atop the clog and are concentrated on just one small area of your pipe. In the case of plastic plumbing, the Liquid Drain Cleaners will melt and deform the pipe. While metal piping may be stronger initially, the heat will eventually weaken this too. Once weakened the metal can crack and leaks are then inevitable.

They Sell it Over the Counter, Can It Really be Harmful to My Health?

YES. To repeat, if this is a question you have, them YES is the answer. Just think if the chemicals in Liquid Drain Cleaners can do that to your pipes, what happens if you breathe it in? What happens when it gets on your skin or in your eyes? As you can imagine, these are not the only ways you  can be hurt by Liquid Drain Cleaners.
Now, of course, not all Liquid Drain Cleaners are made exactly the same. But it is pretty universal that to some extent all are harmful if ingested or in any way came in contact with. Sure, safety goggles and gloves can protect you. In a case that you “must” use these chemicals. (Does that situation exist?) However, if it does get on your skin it can cause serious burns. Likewise, Liquid Drain Cleaners in your eyes may result in serious burning and damage.

But can’t I Save Money Using Liquid Drain Cleaners?

In case you have not noticed a developing pattern here, it is safe to say the negatives of Liquid Drain Cleaners far outweigh the positives. Could there be a savings, money wise if the product does work? Sure, it is possible if the clog in your drain is a simple hairball or some grease buildup. Outside of those two issues however, it is unlikely the chemicals will even work.
In addition, by calling a professional plumber, they can actually analyze the problem. This avoids any guessing and blindly dumping harmful chemicals down the drain. You can be certain if there is a crack the pros will find it. In some instances the problem is deep in your drainage system. This would make  purchasing  Liquid Drain Cleaners  a complete waste of money.

Pop it Free the Old-Fashioned Way: Call on the Plunger!

Personally, if I notice a clog, the first thing I go to is the plunger. Just use proper plunging technique, and you may be able to pop the drain free. Even if you are unable to with this method, there is no harm in trying to plunge the drain open.
In the same vein as using a plunger, you may want to try a plumbing snake. There are many easy to use versions. Some will connect right to any electrical drill. While you won’t get the power of a snake like the pros would use, this still could avoid you making a call.
The Raleigh professional plumbers at Poole’s Plumbing have become the most trusted name in the Triangle area. A large factor in gaining such a reputation has been their willingness to talk to and help the customer. If you have any question on a clogged drain, or anything else you may feel constitutes a plumber, contract us at poolesplumbing.com.
Toilet-Paper-Alternatives-Pooles Plumbing

Toilet Paper. Two words that given the recent situation our entire country and the world, for that matter, have been faced with have maybe never received so much attention. For reasons unbeknownst to this writer, the general public upon hearing of the spread of a dangerous and potentially deadly virus sought out toilet paper. That’s actually putting it mildly. Toilet Paper Alternatives. Three words that we’d never think would have as much relativity as they recently have. Basically, our entire country went mad, racing to stores and hoarding as much “bathroom tissue” as they could carry to a cash register. To analyze the psyche and overall rationale of his reaction thankfully is not my job. However, by people stockpiling toilet paper it became and still is next to impossible without planning ahead to find the product in the store. This would create the need for the American public to seek Toilet Paper Alternatives.

What is a “Safe Flush???”

 
(You couldn’t make this stuff up…and you all know that if we weren’t currently living through it, the paragraph above would read as some type of joke or nonsense…but since it is our current reality, I digress… let’s move on…) So, back to our Toilet Paper Alternatives. We know there is a lot of uncertainty and reluctance when it comes to things we flush. In this article, we will take a closer look at whether these Toilet Paper Alternatives are safe to flush. Likewise, we will also take the time to educate you on items that you might possibly feel are a “safe flush.” We will explain some of these items can lead to a clog or blockage. A clog or blockage from Toilet Paper Alternatives could eventually “snowball” into your needing expensive and extensive plumbing repairs.
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth about Flushable Wipes
 
So, what’s in a name, right? Flushable wipes…seems to be a no-brainer, may as well just overfill the shopping cart with these Toilet Paper Alternatives right now, right? Actually, wrong. While these wipes may come in handy when potty training a child or on a camping trip, it is a bad idea to flush these down your toilet.
 
To be clear on this, again, flushable wipes are useful in many situations as Toilet Paper Alternatives, but you don’t want them in your plumbing system. Yes, eventually these wipes will break down, but nowhere near as fast as regular toilet paper would. More likely than not, the continued and frequent usage of these type wipes will lead to a clog, which in turn will lead to an expensive fix for you.
 
Toilet-Paper-Pooles-Plumbing

Items such as bathroom wipes are not safe to put into your toilet for flushing.

The Garbage Can is for Garbage, a Toilet is Not (Chalk Up Another Headline that This Guy Never Thought Would Need Public Explaining to Functioning Adults )

 
So, we have now established that “flushable wipes” are not safe to flush into your system. “There’s got to be something I can use,” you must be thinking in regard to Toilet Paper Alternatives as images of barren and empty grocery store shelves dance in your head. Unfortunately, in case you skimmed over the sub headline above this paragraph, there are no safe Toilet Paper Alternatives. Neither toilets nor your plumbing system is made to have anything flushed down them with the exception of human waste, water, and the ever-elusive toilet paper.
 
Due to the emptiness of toilet paper aisles, we want to help so you know what Toilet Paper Alternatives are safe. Thus below is a list of items the should NOT be flushed down your toilet. As tempting as it may seem (?!?!), very clearly stated none of these items should be flushed:
 
  • Facial Tissues
  • Baby Wipes, Disinfectant Wipes, etc.
  • Toilet Bowl Scrub Pads
  • Napkins and Paper Towel
  • Dental Floss
  • Eggshells or Nutshells
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Oils and Greases
  • Hair
  • Sanitary Napkins, Tampons, Condoms, etc.
  • Cotton Balls or Q-Tips
  • Any Plastic at all
  • Diapers
  • Vitamins, Medi, or Pharmaceuticals
So, What Should I Do if I am “All Out”?
 
Basically, you can’t flush anything but toilet paper down your toilet without eventually it leading to a clog. Even the thicker style of toilet paper tends to build up and leads to a clog. This is yet anpother reason to be sure of your choice of Toilet Paper Alternatives.
 
So, if you are without toilet paper, we do have a couple suggestions. First,  inquired you=r grocery store about what time they get deliveries in and then be there that day when the store is restocking. This is one way  to be sure and replenish your supply. One other way around flushing at all would be available to anyone who has clean water. That alternative would be either having a bidet installed or using another alternative cleaning method, the “peri” bottle.
 
To explain, a bidet is a fixture that usually has spigots in which clean water comes through and cleans you. Likewise, a perineal irrigation bottle or peri-bottle can serve that same purpose. The peri-bottle provides and easy thorough cleaning and keeps you from flushing any Toilet Paper Alternatives down the drain.

In the End, If You Aren’t Sure….Don’t Flush Toilet Paper Alternatives

 
Ok, so given the topic, we gave a slightly sarcastic approach here in a few brief spots. However, here at Poole’s Plumbing, we realize that through these uncertain times there really was a big issuefinding toilet paper. This is why we wanted to remind you to not put things down your toilet that will lead to clogging. Consequently,  even Toilet Paper Alternatives appearing to be safe for flushing, can end up being anything but funny. It could even prove quinsy and costly. To conclude, we sincerely wish you all the best in your ongoing pursuit of toilet paper and for any of your home plumbing needs, check us out at poolesplumbing.com.
Plumbing-Noises-Pooles Plumbing

Some minor “creaking” or a few noises are not necessarily that uncommon of an occurrence, especially if you reside in an older home. This type of sound can come from heavy winds blowing past or just from slight movements of your aging homes’ building material. However, you mustn’t just ignore and assume the strange noises that you hear are always just the wind. When we say this, we refer to noises you may hear associated with the plumbing in your home. No, not something identifiable, such as the “swooshing” sound of water moving through your pipes when you turn on the sink. The sounds we speak of are those that could turn out to be Bad Plumbing Noises.

In this article, we will enlighten you to four different sounds that could be construed as Bad Plumbing Noises. In addition to identifying each of these sounds and what to listen for, we also will touch on ways to go about resolving problems that stem from Bad Plumbing Noises.
Plumbing-Noises-Pooles Plumbing-Raleigh-NC

No matter what you think the issue is, its always best to pay full attention to any Plumbing Noises.

Bad Plumbing Noises: What am I Listening For? When Do I Make a Call?

The following are four specific Bad Plumbing Noises to listen for:
  • Banging
  • Rumbling
  • Vibrations
  • Whistling

How to Identify and Rectify a Problem Based on Hearing Bad Plumbing Noises

For each of the given “sounds” on the list above, you will want to take note of what exactly could be going on based upon the Bad Plumbing Noises you hear. Consequently, we will also advise you on how to go about addressing and resolving whatever issue is producing the Bad Plumbing Noises you hear.

Banging

As pertains to Bad Plumbing Noises, when you hear a banging-type sound, it most often is due to loose pipes hitting against nearby floors or walls. Banging noises can also be the result of your water pressure being too high. Basically stated, when water begins moving when you turn on a faucet. Then, when you shut the faucet off, there is still force behind its moving. So, it makes it that the water can’t initially stop. Thus, these “banging” type Bad Plumbing Noises you hear.
The solution to the “banging” Bad Plumbing Noises could be as simple as just securing your pipes so that they do not hit against the wall.

Rumbling

The next sound you should remember to be aware of is a “rumbling” type noise. This sound is usually a direct result of some type of sediment building up inside of a water heater unit. To more clearly explain, when this type of sediment collects, it eventually gets heated up as the system is warming the temperature of the water.
Once the debris/sediment that is in the water heater is heated, it begins shaking and moving within the unit. This, as a result produced the “rumbling” type of Bad Plumbing Noises that we speak of.

Vibrating

There once was a song by the legendary, “surf-rockers,” the Beach Boys called “Good Vibrations.” Well, with all due respect to the talents of that group, the “vibrating” that we speak of here would certainly not be categorized as “good.” On the contrary if you are hearing the “vibrating” type of Bad Plumbing Noises, it can most times be attributed to a faulty fill valve.
The “vibrations” that you would hear in this situation stem from an aging valve not being able to create the air-tight seal that it once did. As a seal loosens with age, the cap on the valve begin to wiggle because this makes so the gasket can’t entirely close. One good thing though is that if you do recognize this type of Bad Plumbing Noises, it is usually a pretty easy fix. Simply replace your fill valve, and those “vibrations” will become a thing of the past.

Whistling

Now, at the top of this post we touched upon the fact that you may hear some noises that do not equate to being Bad Plumbing Noises. Specifically, the fact that you can hear some interesting noises as heavy winds pick up outside of your home. No doubt, one such noise you might hear in that case would be the “whistle” of the wind. However, when it comes to Bad Plumbing Noises, a “whistling” sound to be wary of would be one coming from your toilet.
No, the “whistling toilet” is not some type of innovative and new commode. Quite the opposite actually, as the “whistle” sound from a toilet is almost certainly related to a leaky toilet valve. If you do hear these type of Bad Plumbing Noises, open up the toilet’s lid and give another listen. Once you’re certain the toilet is responsible for the whistling noises and a plumber is called, they will rectify the “whistle” for you by either adjusting the toilet’s mechanism or if too damaged, they may opt to replace the valve.
Bad Plumbing Noises that you hear in the form of any of these listed above, are ones that you do not want to ignore. If you do hear these types of noises, it is time to call the number one name in Raleigh professional plumbers, Poole’s Plumbing. To read more helpful stories like this or to contact us, visit poolesplumbing.com.