Archive for the ‘Plumbing Tips’ category

Installing A Dishwasher Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult

November 19th, 2012

Is there anyone out there who still washes dishes by hand? Unless you enjoy when your ankles are swollen and having varicose veins as a result of standing over the sink while washing the dishes, why not get a dishwasher. May be you were hesitant thinking that this appliance is hard to install, it is not. Installing a dishwasher can be for some one of the simplest projects a person can do, if you are having troubles though you can always call on a plumber do perform the dishwasher install procedure.

You should make space for a dishwasher if you do not have one. The appliance should be as close to the sink as possible and because of this it should be adjacent to the sink. If the sink is in the corner of the kitchen, then there is only one available location for your dishwasher. If your sink has cabinetry on both right and left, then there are 2 possible locations.

With the area clean and the dishwasher ready, it is very easy to take out the appliance from its box and placing it on the created slot. You might be wondering why it has no sides or back when you take it out of the box, but don’t be surprised. It might look like there are some pieces which are missing but they are not. The front side of the dishwasher is the only one which is visible and it is the only finished side. While directing your dishwasher in, you can have a friend to help in taking the hoses and guiding them through the drilled hole on the cabinet side.

dishwasher during installation

Easy Dishwasher Install

Any person who has a garbage disposal can get the dishwasher pipe installed very easily. May be you have never noticed this but the garbage disposal normally has a plug on its side. You can use this as the dishwasher’s drainage outlet. With a screw driver, force it inside the hole to remove the rubber plug. Insert the pipe, tighten it and your dishwasher installation is complete.

Slightly Harder installation

To any person who does not have a garbage disposal, the installation can be a bit technical though doable. With PVC on the sink, you need to cut out some section and put in a new intersect point. It is easy to join the two sections of your pipe by getting a pressure coupling. This is a piece of rubber pipe which has a pipe clamp on both sides. Just insert your dishwasher pipe into one end attaching the remaining end into your new intersect point that you have made. The entire process can take around 30 minutes. This is not a very long time but when you compare it with garbage disposal installation which takes less minutes, it looks tedious.

Now you now know how simple and fast it is for one to install a dishwasher. If you have not purchased one, rush to the nearest home appliance shop and get yourself a dishwasher. After this simple installation process, all the work and dirty dishes will be a thing of the past when you use a dishwasher.

Plumbing Tips and Tricks for Homeowners

September 21st, 2012

One aspect of owning a home is to know how the plumbing system works in the house. You need to be able to quickly deal with blockages in drains, waste pipes and air vents. The drainage system in any house is designed to pull waste away from toilets, bathtubs, showers, sinks and other devices that are connected to the water supply, such as washing machines and dishwashers. To keep your home’s plumbing system up-to-date, it’s imperative that you frequently check to see if there are any blockages. You should deal with them in a timely manner.

Preventing Blockages in the First Place

A fundamental rule of home plumbing is that you should avoid putting solid items in the sinks as much as possible. Not all liquids are suitable for sinks as well, especially oil and fat. Many people flush hair after brushing or shaving down the sink, but this can build up very quickly in the piping. When hair builds up, it also bonds with any liquids that do not mix well with water such as oil, fat or body fluids and causes clumps that clog up the pipes. It’s best to throw hair into a garbage can instead of flushing it down the sink.

Likewise, when using a toilet, make sure that you only put toilet paper into it as that is usually the only paper thin enough to go down well. Tissue paper, paper towels, sanitary pads, diapers and contraceptive devices should never be flushed down the toilet. Moreover, if you are flushing old food into the toilet when cleaning pots or pans, make sure that it is free of bones or other large solids that can block up the pipes.

Winter Tips & Tricks for Home Plumbing

Another important aspect of preventing blockages in your plumbing comes into play in parts of the world where the temperature drops below freezing in the winter. Ideally, water should be used regularly (at least several times a day) in winter homes, so that it does not have a chance to freeze up in the pipes. If you are going away from home in the winter, leave a tiny trickle of hot water coming out of the taps so the pipes do not freeze. Ice in pipes can cause serious damage when it expands. This can be very expensive (not to mention that you won’t be able to use your water at all until repaired).

Dealing with Minor Blockages at Home

If you only have a minor blockage in one of your sinks at home, then they are usually easy to deal with using a commercial drain cleaner. Toilets can be unblocked easily with a plunger. Before you try a chemical cleaner on your sinks, it also pays to give it a shot with a plunger first and see if you can get anything blocking the pipes out by force.

If you are having difficulty with unblocking pipes at home, then you might want to call in a professional plumber.

Dos and Don’ts of DIY Drain Cleaning

September 18th, 2012

If you have indoor plumbing as many modern homes do, you will eventually be plagued with stopped-up drains.  In the best of circumstances, it is a minor annoyance; in the worst of circumstances—say, during a family gathering or house party—it can be catastrophic.

However, there is no need to panic.  There are plenty of do-it–yourself remedies you can try before calling a plumber.  But, be aware that the methods and tools needed vary according to which drains are affected.

Using a Plunger to Unclog Drains

It is always better to use environmentally friendly solutions when possible.  One tool no home should be without is a basic plunger.  Used since the late 1800s, a plunger is the first line of defense for any drain blockage.  This simple device is effective on any drain and can often solve the problem in a matter of seconds.

A plunger works by creating suction in the offending drain.  The procedure is the same for any drain in the home.  Make sure there is enough water – in the toilet bowl, sink or tub – to fill the plunger cup.  After ensuring a tight seal, vigorously work the plunger in an up-and-down motion for approximately 15 seconds, releasing it sharply from the drain on the last stroke.

When done properly, you will feel water moving in the drain.  This movement will either push or pull the clog out of the pipe, allowing the water to flow freely through the trap.  Several attempts may be necessary to clear the line.

What if the Drain is Still Clogged?

When dealing with a toilet that will not unclog, it is possible that an object such as a washcloth or a child’s toy may be stuck in the trap.  In this situation, you will need a commode auger to clear the obstruction.  Augers are tools designed to fit into toilet bowls and grasp the object, allowing it to be removed.

For sinks and tubs, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda poured directly into the drain will cause a chemical reaction that should usually clear the pipe.  After letting the mixture work for several minutes, flush the drain with a large container of boiling water.  This will remove hair, soap scum and even grease build-up, which are often the primary causes of sluggish draining.

Can Chemical Drain Cleaners Be Safely Used?

If the eco-friendly measures are unsuccessful, the clog may require a stronger, chemical drain-clearing agent.  At this point, it is worthwhile to call a professional plumber as most commercial products contain lye or hydrochloric acid and can be dangerous.  Using the wrong product—or the wrong amount—can seriously damage your septic system.  Safety should always be priority, and the cost of a new sewer system will greatly outweigh the cost of a plumber.  In this situation, be smart and contact your local plumber for help.

14 ways you can conserve your water this summer

June 22nd, 2012

water being poured into a glass

Water conservation is an important part of today’s world. Our resources are running out and the more energy we waste today the less we have for tomorrow, so conserving your water today is a very good idea. Not only do we save money, but we also help to reduce the strain we place collectively on the environment. In addition, when water is scarce it also helps to provide a more balanced usage of water to reduce the load on the municipal water system. This is why if you suspect you have a water leak or other problem it is a good idea to call on a professional plumber to inspect the issue. Without further rambling, here are some water conservation tips that should help you get through the coming summer months.

1. Washing dishes is one area that a lot of people waste quite a lot of water. If you set up one sink to wash all of your dishes in, and another sink that you can use to soak and rinse your washed dishes you can save a large quantity of water.

Without some water conservation tips, watering grass can be exceedingly wasteful.

2. When you are watering your lawn it is common for people to position their sprinkler in such a manner that it is also watering the sidewalk or street! Be sure to optimize your usage of water in this area, place your sprinkler in a position so that it is only watering your lawn.

3. Try not to use your garbage disposal very often. You can save a lot of water by composting materials instead of throwing them in the garbage disposal unit.

4. If you are drinking cold water from your sink often, consider just getting a jug of water and throwing it into your fridge for a few hours. You’ll have colder water and all of the water will be drunk by you, not flowing down the sink while you run the tap waiting for the water to cool down.

5. Make sure that you water your lawn in the morning or evening. This way the sun has yet to be blaring down on your grass. This will stop water from evaporating due to the heat of the sun, but additionally it is also good for your lawn as the sun when striking the small water droplets has a tendency to cause microscopic burn damage in your lawn. Obviously not a thing you are interested in doing!

6. Leaks inside of your home are usually more obvious, but don’t ever forget that you having an external plumbing system as well that is just as prone to leaking. Make sure that you check for leaks always, not only is this a waste of water but a leaking pipe will cost you a lot of money in the long-run.

7. If you are in the market for a new appliance that puts to use a large amount of water, make sure that you choose a green or energy saving appliance, and also check to see if you can change the load size for the appliance. This will help you to control the amount of water that is put to use during each cycle. There also exist rebate programs for green appliances depending on where you live, helping you to save even more cash!

8. Your toilet could be leaking without you even knowing about it. This is one very important area to check as you could be waste upwards of 900 gallons of water a month. Buy some food colouring and pour it into the back of your toilet, into the water tank. Next, go read a book, watch TV, admire the garden or whatever it is that you do to pass time. Check your toilet bowl after a couple of hours to see if the water has changed colour, if it has this means you have a water leak in your toilet tank. Call a plumber ASAP.

9. If you water your garden regularly you may be better off collecting rain water run off for this purpose. There are quite a few designs you can implement but one simple one is to just run your eaves trough run off straight into a giant garbage pail, then dip a pitcher into this to grab some water for your garden.

10. If you are commonly thawing food using running water, you are wasting a huge amount doing this. If you are defrosting completely frozen food, put it in your refrigerator the night before you need to use it and then the next day place it on your counter for a few hours. This will save you a lot of water.

11. You may follow a common place water schedule for your grass or garden, one way you can save water is to actually check whether or not the ground needs water. Do this by digging a small hole in the ground near where you are going to be watering. Check down a few inches to see if the ground is actually dry or not, if there is some dampness a couple of inches down then you are good for water, put it off for a day or two and check again.

12. A leaky tap can cost you a ton of money, be sure that all of your taps close properly and do not leak at all. One common problem is that your taps don’t close all the way and you need to tighten them exceptionally so. Make sure that all of your family members understand how to turn off your faucets if this is the case and consider calling a plumber to fix them, or putting on your DIY hat.

hand washing some dishes in a sink

Washing dishes in your sink can consume quite a bit of water if you’re not mindful of your usage.

13. When you are washing your dishes, make sure that you soak your pots and pans that have food caked onto them. Some people will run the tap and let water cascade over the stubborn old food while scrubbing away intensely. This will waste a huge amount of water and also takes more work. Soaking is an ideal solution that reduces water usage and effort to clean these problems.

14. If you are watering your lawn or garden with a sprinkler system make sure that you setup a timer to let you know when it’s done. These systems can pump out a lot of water very quickly, upwards of 9 gallons a minute, so if you’re not monitoring this usage of water it can very rapidly get out of hand. Try watering your lawn of 15 minute intervals to see what works best.

There are quite a few things that can be done to save water; these are just a few tips that address most common areas that people over look.