Maintenance Tips for Plumbing, Sewer & Drains and Water Heaters

CLOGGED DRAINS

If you’re looking to fix slow drains, this solution* may be for you: Moderately clogged drains can sometimes be fixed without the use of liquid plumbing products by using some household cooking staples. Try pouring a half-cup of baking soda down the clogged drain followed by a half-cup of vinegar. It’s all right if you see foam start to come back up the drain. That simply means the solution is working as it should. Let the clogged drain and solution sit for about three hours. With a little luck, your water may be flowing freely once again. If not, it may be time to call The Plumbing Guys at (612) 746-5545!

HOW TO CHECK GAS GRILLS FOR LEAKS

Remember, plumbing isn’t just water, it’s gas piping too! Gas leaks are a dangerous and potentially deadly problem. This method* will help you test any suspected leaking gas piping. First, mix a small solution of equal parts dishwashing liquid and water. Next, turn on gas and apply the solution to all parts of your gas piping system with a small paintbrush. If you see bubbles forming anywhere on the gas piping or connections, you have a leak. Always remember to shut off the gas before making repairs. If the leak appears to be around a connection you can try tightening the fitting, but do so carefully! Leaking gas piping can be a more serious problem and you need to have the pipe or hose replaced immediately. Regardless, it may be safer to call the Plumbing Guys at (612) 746-5545 rather than trying to repair natural gas leaks yourself.

DROPPED ITEMS

We all know someone who has lost an earring or contact lens down the bathroom sink drain. This problem is often easily fixed* using an ice cream bucket and a wrench. Simply locate the pea-trap below your sink, placing the bucket underneath it to catch any water that may spill out. Next loosen the two end nuts you see holding the pea-trap in place and remove the trap. Your lost item should be in the trap. If it’s not, check your ice cream bucket. When putting everything back together, make sure that you don’t have a leaking pvc pea trap connection. Not only can it make a mess but if the water level is low enough it can allow sewer gases back into the house. For this reason it’s a good idea to run water down the drain before you clean everything up.

LEAKING FAUCETS

Don’t let the drip of a leaking faucet keep you awake at night. Tie a string around your faucet so the water runs down the string silently rather than falling straight into the basin. Although it’s only a temporary solution to the sound, it should help you get a few more hours of shuteye before your big work presentation. For more information on faucet repair, visit our faucet repair page.

WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE

Keeping sediment from accumulating in your water heater is a good way of ensuring proper function from the device. Simply opening the drain valve* located at the bottom of your water heater and allowing the water to drain until it’s clear (approximately five gallons) can greatly increase the life of your water heater. Performing this easy task twice a year can lead to a more efficient, longer lasting water heater. A water heater leak in the bottom or a leaking drain on the hot water heater can both be worsened by not performing this simple task.

HOW TO DETERMINE A PLUMBING LEAK

Your eyes and ears are the best things you can use to detect a water leak somewhere in your house’s plumbing system. Listening for the source of drips is always a good way to start, however, most people notice the visual evidence first. If you see a stain on your ceiling or wall, there’s a good chance you’ve already discovered and located a leak. Most leaks are found directly above the location of the stain. If left unattended, these leaks can jeopardize the structural integrity of your wall or ceiling.

There are some cases when the stain is not indicative of the leak location. For instance, the water from the leak may be running down a pipe or beam before it settles into a spot to create a stain.

If you do discover a water stain in your home, the simplest solution is to call The Plumbing Guys at (612) 746-5545, and let our trained professionals track down and repair the problem.