How Much Does a Plumber Cost?

So you need a new garbage disposal. You call out a local plumber, they take a look, and luckily they have the unit you need on the truck! He comes back inside and after about 20 minutes under the sink and they’re out the door.

“Excellent, that’ll be $400 for the repair/replacement.”

“How much does a plumber cost? $400 for 20 minutes?!” you think.

There’s more to it than you realize! This time on the Economy Plumbing Service blog we’re going to look at answering that question and why an experienced, skilled plumber is worth every red cent!

How Much Does a Plumber Cost

Without diving into specific dollar amounts, when you hire a plumber to do a replacement, repair or fix on your home’s plumbing you’re paying for a few things:

  • The parts
  • The labor
  • The experience of the plumber

All three of those are necessary! You can pay for the part, but then who is doing the necessary repairs? Ok, what if you hire a plumber, or somebody off craiglist who has the parts and the time? Sure it’ll come in cheaper but there’s no guarantee the job will be done right. You might end up with a new disposal installed, with pipes and hoses mismatched or the job incomplete, just begging for disaster.

No, the key to all of this is that when you’re hiring a plumber you’re getting all three of those things for one price tag. 

Plumbing, like gas or electric, is a utility for your home that you absolutely don’t want to mess up. An incorrectly installed pipe or fixture can lead to flooding and thousands of dollars worth of damages, and potentially harm to the inhabitants of the home.

So, how much does a plumber cost? Not even half of what they are worth.

If you look at it as a purely numbers game, the money that having a plumbing repair done correctly can save you in the long run as compared to an amateur or DIY job is clear. 

Ready to hire an experienced plumber who can get the job done, get the job done quick, and get the job done right?

If Water Goes Through It Or To It, We Do It!

Plumbing Fixtures Lifespans – Key Facts to Know For Better Performance!

Last time on the Economy Plumbing Service blog we talked about how to identify and hopefully repair a leaky garbage disposal. And that got us thinking! This time on the blog we’re going to give a rundown of all the plumbing fixtures in your home and some basic facts about them. If you’ve wondered how long your toilet is likely to last, or when to replace shower heads – this blog is for you!

Plumbing Fixture Lifespans and You 

First a quick definition, just like school used to teach us. A plumbing fixture is an exchangeable device which can be connected to a plumbing system to deliver and drain water. Thanks Wikipedia! Now on with the show.

Bathtubs

You know a bathtub is! These are in most homes, some even have two! They are made up of thermoformed acrylic, porcelain-enameled steel, fiberglass-reinforced polyester, or porcelain-enameled cast iron.

Expected Lifespan: Depends entirely on the material! Acrylic tubs are likely to get you 10-15 years of good use out of them.

Hose Bibb

The hose bibb is the fixture outside of the home that allows you to connect a hose to. 

Expected Lifespans: A hose bibb should last you 15 to 25 years easy – but there are certain complications that could decrease it. Heavy use, inclement weather or having a winter freeze can all cut years off them.

Sinks

Kitchen or otherwise. Sinks are also called washbowl, hand basin, wash basin, and simply basin. Used for washing hands, doing dishes and other purposes. They have taps that supply cold and hot water, may include additional faucet attachments as well. Sinks can be made out of all sorts of materials including: Ceramic, Concrete, Copper, Enamel over steel or cast iron, Glass,  Granite, Marble, Nickel, Plastic, Polyester, Porcelain, Resin,  washbasin, Soapstone, Stainless steel, Stone, Terrazzo, Wood.

Expected Lifespan: Again, this is largely dependent on the type of material used in making the sink. If it’s made from an acrylic, expect it to give you a good 50 years of use. Copper, glass, stone, or porcelain might last a bit longer than 20 years. 

Showers

Showers feature a few common components. A drain in the floor, a showerhead and/or adjustable nozzle. Showers are most commonly made using the same materials as bathtubs (many in fact combine the two) such as fiberglass, acrylic, PVC, solid surface materials, steel and cast iron.

Expected Lifespan:  Showers made of tile can last a good 20 years but they’ll need regular (yearly) maintenance. Showers made of prefabricated acrylic or fiberglass can stil get you plenty of life at about a decade with less upkeep. 

Pipes

The means by which water gets from the supplies to the fixtures and from the fixtures to the sewer and drain lines. We’ve talked a ton about pipes in the past. In fact, we’ll just include a link to those pieces here and here. Pipes can be made out of a few different materials including copper, PVC, pex, and others.

Expected Lifespan: Copper pipes can last up to 70 years, galvanized steel pipes even longer! Pex tubing and piping in your home has a life expectancy of about 50 years – thankfully they’re incredibly easy to replace!

Those lifespans might seem like so long you have nothing to worry about but just think when your home was built, and when those pipes were install… right?

Tapware  

Tapware is an industry term for plumbing fixtures consisting of faucets or tap valves (or taps for Brits!) and their accessories, such as water spouts and shower heads. Tapware can be made of all sorts  Plastic, Zinc and zinc alloys, stainless steel, brass are common options.

Expected Lifespan: Tapware is handled constantly and because of this heavy usage it is more likely to need repair or replacement before it’s run its natural lifespan (based on materials), otherwise you can expect a good 10 years.

Flush Toilets

We really don’t need to describe these do we? Toilets are likely to be made up of ceramic, concrete, and plastic.

Expected Lifespan: The toilet can last 50 years easy – but that’s not without upkeep! You’ll need to replace flappers, seals, and other components that have a shorter lifespan than the solid construction of the toilet itself.

 

This has been just a brief rundown on some of the more common plumbing fixtures (there are plenty more!) and their expected lifespans. With proper maintenance and upkeep you can get many years out of most fixtures – so make sure you stay on top of it!

Not sure if your fixtures need some TLC? Call in a local experienced plumber to get your sorted out! 

If Water Goes Through It Or To It, We Do It!

Leaky Garbage Disposal? Here’s What to Know

Garbage disposals are one of those work horse plumbing fixtures in the home. We put them through absolute hell and back – after all, it’s a motor with a shredder attached to it it’s meant to handle it! But what happens when you see a puddle of water flowing from under your sink, bust open the cabinets and discover water dripping from the bottom of your garbage disposal?

Let’s talk about it!

Leaky Garbage Disposal

Leaking garbage disposals can often go unnoticed and unattended until you have that sopping wet cabinet or a foul smell from under the sink gets you to take a look. Regardless, you’ve spotted it, so now what? There’s a couple possibilities, depending on where the leak is so first things first, you need to discover where the leak is actually coming from!

How to Find the Leak

First unplug the disposal from the wall outlet. Now is not the time to get yourself electrocuted! Turn off the power from the break box as well to further make things safe. Then, put the stopper in your sink drain and dry off the disposal unit.  Then fill a cup or bowl with some water and put some handy food coloring into it. Then, pour the freshly colored water into the stopped drain.

Grab a flashlight and take a look under the sink! There are three likely spots for a leaky garbage disposal: the top, the side, or the bottom. Ok that’s sounds a bit simple but it’s the truth those are going to be the three likely weak points.

The Top

This is where the disposal meets the sink drain.

The Side

This is where the main drain pipe or dishwasher hose connect to the disposal.

The Bottom

The bottom of the unit. There should be know pipes or connections here, which makes potential leaks  that much worse.

Use a flashlight and look for any colored water. Leaks in the top of the disposal, where it connects to the drain are possible while the drain is still stopped. If you’re not seeing any from the top of the disposal then continue your way down and open up the stopper. Look again. Leaks coming from the side or bottom of the disposal might need more water to be going down the drain.

How to Fix the Leaky Disposal

Top Leaks

If the leak is at the top of the garbage disposal, its simple! Reseal the connection, tighten the flange and you’re in business. The Flange is the metal portion that sits inside the sink drain. It is usually sealed with a type of plumber putty and secured with bolts. If either of those connections loosen or the putty deteriorates (which is totally possible over time) the seal won’t be watertight anymore and allows for leaks.

To reseal this connection you need to first loosen up the bolts securing the disposal to the sink and drain pipes. Then loosen the screws in the mounting ring that connects the disposal to the mounting assembly beneath the sink. With it loosened up you should be able to remove the disposal entirely, set it down on a dry surface. 

Then lift the flange from the top of the sink. Take a putty knife and scrape off the old putty that has broken down and clear it away. With a fresh working surface you can reapply a new layer of putty that should do the trick. Take a handful of the putty, roll it into a rope and place it along the edge of the flange. Place the flange back into the drain until it’s tight. Go back and reinstall all the mounting hardware and pipes and after some time the putty should dry and seal everything right up – leak be-gone!

Side Leaks

If the leak is coming from the side of the disposal, you want to tighten the connections between the disposal and the drain lines, and potentially replace worn out gaskets.

There’s typically two drain lines that come of the side of garbage disposal. One that goes to a nearby dishwasher (the dishwasher hose) and th main drain pipe that connects the disposal to the sewer. Which of these two places is the leak coming from?

If it’s coming from the connection where the dishwasher hose meets the disposal, it may mean the clamp connecting them has loosened. Use a screwdriver to tighten and you should be in business.

If the leak is coming from the main drain pipe, loosen the screws that secure the drain and take a look at the rubber gasket inside the pipe. If it needs replacement, replace it and retighten your screws.

Bottom Leaks

Bad news, if the leak is coming from the bottom of the disposal (such as from the reset button), you are going to need to replace the whole disposal. These leaks indicate that one of the seals inside the disposal that protects the motor from water has deteriorated enough that water is now getting through and damaging the inner components. There’s no easy fix here, you just need a new unit!

Do you need a new garbage disposal? Need a professional to come out and diagnose the leaks! Economy Plumbing Service is here to help! Give us a call today and we’ll be out in no time to get you and your disposal back in action!

If Water Goes Through It Or To It, We Do It!

How Hot Water Heaters Work

Here on the Economy Plumbing Services blog we take a look at and talk about a lot about how hot water heaters can break, why they may be leaking, that sort of thing. But you know what we’ve never done? We’ve never explained how hot water heaters work. So if you’re curious how that big cylinder in your garage takes cold water and produces that relaxing, piping hot water we need!

Just about every home out there has a water heater, though they may take different shapes depending. For the part they all work the same way, at least broadly speaking. And that’s how we’re going to be talking abut it today, to keep it easily understandable. First step? Looking at the parts inside the water heater!

 

diagram of how hot water heaters workParts of a Water Heater

  • The Tank 

Inside that big cylinder is a heavy tank with a water protective liner. This holds between 40 to 60 gallons, usually. It keeps the water under 50-100 psi. The outside of the tank is covered in insulating materials to keep the heat in. Then there’s the outer shell of the heater.

  • The Dip Tube

The dip tube is the pipe that lets fresh water enter the water heater through the top of the tank. 

  • The Shut-Off Valve

The shut-off valve shuts off (no duh, right?) the water flowing into the heater. The shut-off valve is outside of the tank, usually above / along the line that feeds the water into the tank.

  • The Heat-Out Pipe 

This is the pipe that hot water travels out from the heater towards your home’s plumbing system and on to whichever appliance needs it.

  • The Thermostat 

The thermostat in a water heater works just like the one for your home. Whatever you set it to is the temperature your water heater is going to raise the water to. Some models of water heaters will have multiple thermostats.

  • The Heating Element 

There are two ways water heaters heat water. It could be electric or gas. Electric water heaters use a heating element, a bit of metal that gets crazy hot as electricity flows through it. Gas heaters will use a burner, igniting the gas and creating a flame to warm the tank of water.

  • The Drain and Pressure Relief Valves 

These two valves are responsible for the maintenance and safety of the water heater. The drain valve at the bottom of the heater allows for easy access to empty the tank, as well as replace heating elements, or flush the tank of sediment. The Pressure Relief valve helps keep the pressure at safe levels.

  • The Sacrificial Anode Rod 

This unique piece of the puzzle is suspended in the tank to help slow corrosion. It’s made of a steel core covered in either aluminum or magnesium. Basically, the corrosion will attack this rod before it does anything else – hence ‘sacrificial’.

 

Alright with those listed out you might already be getting a clearer idea of how it all works, but let’s lay it out here!

How it Heats the Water

Before anything else, the water heater’s thermostat is going to be set between 120 – 140° Fahrenheit. This makes it hot enough for most household uses and not too hot so as to avoid scalding etc. If you hover around the lower side of the dial, you can also save yourself some energy so be open to moving the dial if you like! With the thermostat set it’s the tank is ready to do its job.

First, the dip tube will take cold water from your freshwater lines to the bottom of the tank. At the bottom of the tank the water is warmed up via the heating element or burner until the water reaches the set temperature.

Hot water rises, so as the water heats, it moves to the top of the tank, and reaches the heat-out pipe. When an appliance draws from the water heater it will pull the hottest water first from the heat-out pipe, while the fresh cold water sinks to the bottom of the tank. When the hot water is used up, the tank will fill with cold water which will somewhat heat but instead the appliances, shower or washers, will draw warm or even cold water.

Simple thermodynamics… or something. It’s the principles of plumbing and it all works out! 

So – how does your hot water heater work? Does it deliver the hot water you need to get a good shower, run a load of dishes, or laundry? If not, you know who to call!

If Water Runs Through it Or To It, We Do It!

Monsoon Plumbing Troubles

Earlier this summer we talked about some of the more common summer plumbing problems that folks are likely to experience – hopefully you’ve been able to avoid all those so far! The trouble with summers, especially here in Arizona, is the heat yes but there’s also another source of adversity – the Monsoon.

Monsoon Problems

HVAC people have all sorts of problems with monsoons, as you can imagine. The high wind and rain can do a number on the HVAC sitting up on top of the roof or along your house but that’s not the only thing to worry about. Your home’s storm drains are also going to take a beating during these storms.

Here are a number of problems you might have to handle after increased rainfall including:

 

  • Flooding

Heavy rains cause water to accumulate more than usual in lower points and dips throughout your yard, pavement, patio, and driveway. While those places might have reasonable drainage built-in, the odds that they’re designed specifically to withstand the increased amount of water from monsoons is unlikely.  

And we know Tucson doesn’t have the best drainage in general– check an underpass after a bad storm and you’re likely to find a lake!

And so, flooding. Flooding outdoor might be a sign of a few different problems. It could be that your home doesn’t have the requisite drainage. It could be that the drains you do have are filled with debris and not performing like they should – a definite possibility.

When this kind of flooding occurs it can devastated the structural stability of your yard, patio, etc so if you haven’t experienced this kind of flooding do your best to prevent it from occurring in the first place!

 

  • Clogged / Blocked Drains

We touched on this briefly in the last point, but it deserves it’s own because it this problem won’t always lead to flooding but it’s still a problem of its own. With the heavy monsoon rains come heavy wind and those can do a number on the bushes, trees, shrubs and other landscaping. Guess where those end up? Yep in the drains. These can create some pretty hefty clogs which will cause problems even after the storm clouds finish rolling out.

 

  • Sewage Backing Up

Now here is the absolute least fun thing that could possibly occur –  a sewage backup.

Depending on where you are and the type of water system you’re city has set up, heavy rainfall can also cause some back ups in your drains in your home! When the municipal water system gets filled with excess water it can cause the drains, sinks, and yes toilets to back fill full of water.

Yikes!

Now, what happens when those clogs linger…

 

  • Pipes Bursting

Turn on the faucet. Notice anything off about the water? Is it slightly colored? Is there a smell? Does it taste… off? Any of these are an indication that there is a cracked or broken pipe somewhere in your plumbing. When that rainwater floods and sits with nowhere to go, it puts more and more pressure on the pipes. If those pipes are older, or already damaged, well that’s a recipe for breakage! And just like that, the freshwater that goes into your house can be tainted.

Want to avoid these troubles? Get your drains looked at before the storms hit. While it might be too late for that this year, it doesn’t hurt to get a jump on it right after to check for damages and be ready for the next one!

If Water Runs Through it Or To It, We Do It!

The Importance of Gas Pressure

Gas pressure might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to plumbing. For one, most people don’t realize that plumbers are frequently But, like so many other facets of plumbing, it’s these un-thought of things that are crucial to the proper operation of your home’s systems. Without delaying any further, let’s talk about why gas pressure is so important.

The Importance of Gas Pressure

Natural gas fuels many homes furnaces, water heaters, ovens, or other fixtures. This gas, made predominantly of methane, is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Gas companies add in a specific odorant, which most people describe as rotten eggs, to help identify a gas leak fast before disaster strikes.

Now, why is pressure important? Gas is delivered to your home via a pipeline, and the gas moves through it thanks to the power of pressure! There are compressor stations along the pipeline that exert pressure on the line to keep the gas moving from the high pressure areas to the lower pressure places (that’s how pressure works). The gas moves from the pipeline to your local gas-supply grid. Here the pressure changes into a few different paths, moving to high, medium, or low pressure lines throughout the distribution system. When gas enters your home it’s at a rate of about ¼ psi – 60 psi. There’s a range and it depends on the home/business the gas is serving. The building will have a round regulator next to the gas meter to well, regulate, the pressure of the gas coming into the building. 

Regulators, as you might imagine are quite important as well! These are designed to completely shut off the flow of gas into the home when gas isn’t in use. The regulator is able to allow more, or less, gas into the home as well to meet the specific demand, whether it’s just an oven or if the water heater and furnace need it as well.

Once inside the home, each of the specific fixtures/appliances that use gas have different constructions, nozzles, pipes, etc to ensure that they get the proper amount of gas at the proper pressure.

Now here’s the big nugget, here’s why gas pressure is so crucial.

If the gas pressure is too high, the gas will flow too fast. Gas flows too fast and the risk of fire increases drastically. Look at it like this, If too much gas flows into the furnace for instance, the furnace will generate more heat than it is designed to handle. Your furnace’s fan and exhaust won’t be able to handle the excess heat and soon it will overheat. The same is true of other appliances! They’re designed to work with a specific amount of gas, if the pressure is too high they’ll get too much gas and they won’t be able to function correctly. Things overheat and break down and the risk for trouble rises.

That’s why your home has a regulator, to prevent the pressure from being too high – but if this should malfunction you have to keep your eye out and have regular inspections and maintenance of your home’s various systems.

Is your gas systems up to snuff or working fine? Do you even know? It might be time to have a licensed plumber come out, perform an inspection and ensure you home’s gas systems are as safe as can be! If you’re in the Tucson area, give Economy Plumbing Service a call!

If Water Runs Through it Or To It, We Do It (and Also Gas!)

Gas Line FAQ!

This time on the Economy Plumbing Service blog we’re looking at some of the more common questions we hear when it comes to gas lines. A lot of people might be confused that plumbers also handle gas lines in the first place, after all isn’t plumbing just water? The truth is there is a lot of overlap in skills. After all, when you think about it, both utilities are just pipes pumping something into your home, whether it’s a gas (like gas) or a liquid (like water). Anyways here are some quick answers to your potential quesitons!

How to Install Gas Lines

You hire a plumber! No, seriously! Installing gas lines is not something you want to poke around with if you aren’t specifically trained. Gas can be dangerous and if you’re Googling “How to install gas lines” well you shouldn’t be trying to DIY it.

Now, for professionals, the way we install a new gas line, to a stove for instance, goes like this:

  1. Have the right materials, the right size pipes for the job.
  2. Turn off the gas before doing anything.
  3. Use fittings, pipes, and valves to extend existing pipes to reach the appliance. 
  4. Use flexible piping where possible.
  5. Test the air tightness of the line to ensure a proper fit and safe use.
  6. Once the safety is ensured, go ahead and turn the gas back on to test the flow of gas.

How to Pressure Test a Gas Line

Pressure tests are conducted by licensed experts to ensure the right amount of gas is getting into your home and to your fixtures. If the pressure is too high, you may have too much gas pumping into the fixture and create a serious risk.

The pressure test looks something like this:

  1. Disconnect the gas line at the meter.
  2. Install the test gauge as close to the meter as it can be. Your meter may have some effect on where the gauge can be placed.
  3. Turn off all the valves at the appliances that use it. (may include: water heater, stove, etc.) 
  4. If you have a main gas shut off at the house, make sure this is on. The test has to be on 100% of the gas piping system from the meter to the appliance locations.
  5. Pressurize the gas system using the valve on the test gauge. This can be done with an air compressor or a hand pump.
  6. This then shows the pressure in the gas system. It should be no higher than one and a half (1 ½) times the working pressure, and no less than 3psi. Outside of that range and it’s no good.

How Deep to Bury Gas Line

Gas lines are buried at least 2 feet deep into the ground. Some service lines may rise to a depth of 18 inches. Don’t take this as gospel however! Your city/state may have different requirements for utility lines and such so make sure to check with local officials before you start digging anything up

How to Ground a Gas Line

It’s probably something you don’t realize but gas lines need to be grounded. The national codes on all this require homes have a grounding system that has a ground rod driven into the ground nearby your electric meter. To ground gas lines, a bare copper wire will run from your gas line to the grounding system.

 

Gas lines are one of those things that need professional care and attention to handle – if something goes wrong it can go wrong bad. For all your gas line needs, turn to Economy Plumbing Service! Now normally this is where we’d use our catchy slogan but that doesn’t really apply here so let’s try this one out…

If gas runs through it or to it… we… well we do the gas lines! We’ll keep your family safe whether it’s repairs or a complete line replacement. Contact us for more info!

Give Us a Call Today!

Why is My Hot Water Heater Leaking?!

People rely on their hot water heater day in and day out. Showers, laundry machines, dishes, washing hands, and on and on it goes. You notice that the hot water isn’t lasting like it used to or stepping into your laundry room and you’re greeted with wet feet. The water heater has sprung a leak. Here are some of the most common causes why your hot water heater is leaking.

Why is My Hot Water Heater Leaking – Probably One of These…

Here are four of the most likely causes of a hot water heater leak!

The Water Connections

First take a gander at your cold and hot water connections. These are where the cold water runs into the tank and where the hot water is pumped out from it to whatever fixture needs the heat. If these are the cause of your leaks it can be a simple fix. Just get a wrench and tighten them and that might be all you need! If it’s not a simple loose connection, there may be some faulty pieces in the assembly that need replacing, or certain seals may be corroded and needing replacement. 

The Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve is a crucial component to keep the water heater operating as it should. This valve relieves the pressure when it gets too high and drains the tank when the water is too hot. To spot this leak look for water running down the side of the tank from the valve. The valve may be broken, loose, or it may even just be doing it’s job! If the tank has too much pressure it forces water out through the temperature and pressure relief valve as a way to release pressure.

If you spot a leak coming from your valves, have a plumber come out and identify which is the cause and how to address it.

The Drain Valve

Just like the temperature and pressure relief valve, the drain valve is another likely culprit as to why your hot water heater is leaking. Typically, if this is leaking it might just be loose or not closed completely. But this valve should be airtight, and if water continues to leak from it well, it’s probably time to replace it. Thankfully it’s an easy repair and cheap replacement!

Corrosion

Without a doubt, the most likely cause of your leaking hot water heater is due to corrosion! As your hot water heater endures frequent use draining and refilling with water it accrues sediment from the water. That sediment, if it’s not drained and flushed properly and regularly, will eventually start to corrode through the bottom of the water tank. And thus causing the leak. Even with flushing and regular maintenance, after enough years the sediment will do it’s work to the tank, it’s just a matter of time. When this happens it’s time to buy a new water heater.

Now that you have a likely idea of why your hot water heater is leaking, it’s time to repair it! Call in a licensed plumber who can handle everything and get your water heating the way you need! Call Economy Plumbing Services today.

If Water Runs Through it or To It, We Do It!

Plumbing Basics – What to Know For Your Home’s Plumbing

Every homeowner should know a few plumbing basics. No we’re not just talking about how to use a plunger (though boy howdy is that important!), we’re talking about how certain features function in your home, or where key fixtures are located. This time on the Economy Plumbing Service LLC we’re talking plumbing basics and what you should know.

 

Plumbing Basics to Know

Where’s Your Water Main

If you know nothing else, know where your water main is located! The water main is the first access point for water heading from the supply to your home and it’ll typically be found outside or in the basement near a water heater. On the water main sits the shutoff valve. This when turned this valve will completely cut off the flow of water to your home. This is crucial in case you have a major plumbing disaster or project. Pipe break in the kitchen? Hit the water main, turn the valve (usually a lever or a wheel) and stop that flow of water fast! 

 

How to Handle a Clogged Drain

It’s going to happen at some point – despite your best efforts, a drain is going to clog. Food debris goes down the pipes, hair and skin goes into shower drains and given time they will start to collect, first slowing the flow of water until it is fully blocked off. When this happens you are going to be tempted to jump to a liquid drain cleaner – after all, those commercials show the industrial sludge turning gross pipes into sparkling beauties! But don’t fall victim to that trap! Get a physical tool like a snake to remove clogs, these will remove the breakages entirely and not risk damaging your pipes with harsh chemicals.


Treat Your Toilet Right

Toilets are one of those plumbing fixtures that get the most use day in and out and if you’re not treating it right it’ll cause problems fast! The first thing to do is make sure that nothing but waste and toilet paper are going down the toilet. There may be many different materials that are disposable and one use only in bathrooms (like wipes, cotton swabs, hygiene products, etc.) but none of those belong down the toilet. Toilet paper is specifically designed to break down in water and plumbing, where swabs and wipes are not. They’ll get stuck in a pipe, never break down and soon your bathroom floor will be flooded with nothing good.

While you’re at it, make sure you have a plunger on hand – that’s something it’s better to have and not need than need and not have. And trust us, everyone needs a plunger eventually.

In addition, make sure you’re keeping an eye out for leaks. Leaks can start out fairly minor but can lead to larger water bills and trouble down the line. An easy way to do just that requires food coloring and a half hour. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank and go for a walk, make a sandwich. Done? Nice now go back and check the water in your toilet bowl. See any color? If so you have a leak. If not you’re golden!

 

Don’t Disrespect the Disposal

Garbage disposals are another fixture in your home that get a lot of use day in day out. Some people might over rely on their disposals though and there-in comes the problem. Garbage disposals may be marketed as some sort of… super-powered-grinding-destruction machine that can handle everything. 

But disposals can’t take everything! Oils, grease, fats, bones – those types of things shouldn’t be sent down the drain and if they do they can catch a hold of the side of the pipe. The grease and oils will then cool and thicken. Then the next batch comes down and cools. Then the next… and the next. You see where we’re going with this? Soon enough your pipe is clogged over.

So, the moral of the story? Don’t be careful about what you’re putting down the garbage disposal. Want to know more about what to avoid? Here’s 11 things not to put down the drain.

 

Now is that everything? Of course not, these are just the most basic of plumbing basics that every homeowner should understand. There’s always more to learn out there if you’re interested! If you’d rather just leave all plumbing to the professionals, we got your back! Need help clearing a clog or repiping a whole home? Economy Plumbing Services are the folks for you!

If Water Runs Through it or To It, We Do It!

The Benefits of a Cold Shower

Earlier this month the temperatures finally hit past 100 degrees for the first time this year, so it’s safe to say summer is fully here! Last time on the blog we answered some water heater FAQs. This time let’s go the other direction and look at the blue side of the thermometer. While it might not be ideal for some, cold showers have some surprising benefits – so if your water heater is on the fritz and cold showers are in your future here’s what you have to look forward to!

Benefits of Cold Showers

Believe it or not, a cold shower can have a number of benefits for you including:

  • Soothing itchy skin
  • Waking you up
  • Increasing circulation
  • Reducing soreness in muscles 
  • Better hair and skin
  • Even weight loss!

Let’s look a little closer at each of these!

Soothe Itchy Skin

This one is pretty straight forward. Itchy skin or skin conditions that make you scratch can be beaten by the cold! The cool water overcomes the sensation, relaxing the skin irritation – at least for a little while.

Wake You Up

Cold showers are a classic way to wake you up in the morning! The cold water creates a bit of a shock reaction in your body which means increased oxygen, increased heart rate, and alertness! It’s a small shock that primes your body for getting done what it needs to get done!

Better Circulation

This benefit follows off the last one. Cold increases your heart rate and constricts the blood and circulation near the surface of your skin. This then in turn increases the circulation of blood throughout your body as it tries to catch up to keep your body temperature ideal.

Reduce Muscle Soreness

Have a particularly tough workout? A cold shower can start you on the way to recovery! Cold water will reduce inflammation and help flush out the build-up of lactic acid. All of this gets your muscles on to the recovery stage faster.

Better Hair and Skin

Cold showers might be just what the doctor orders for your skin and hair. According to some studies, cold water tightens the blood flow near the surface of the skin which can create a healthier-looking glow. Unlike hot water, the cold water won’t dry out the sebum layer on your scalp that protects your skin and air, keeping it healthy.

Even Help Lose Weight?!

That’s right, well, maybe. Some doctors argue that certain fat cells called ‘brown fat’ can generate heat by the burning of fat. They do this when your body is subjected to cold, like a cold shower!

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows with cold showers so be aware! If you’re already cold or in a cold environment the cold water won’t help you warm up and get your body going any faster, and if you’re sick the cold might be too big a shock on your body to help your immune system work as it should!

Whether or not you enjoy a cold shower is your choice but don’t let the cold shower be the result of a faulty water heater! Get yours fixed right away so you have a choice in the matter!

And remember….

If Water Goes Through It Or To It, We Do It!