April Showers Bring May Flowers… And Need Good Drainage!

Are you purchasing a new home or recently made the change? The market is crazy out there and folks are closing the deal without too much thought about what problems they might be inheriting – they just want a place to live! We can’t blame them, everyone needs a place to live. But let us tell you there are some instances where you need to pump the breaks! This time on the Economy Plumbing Services blog we’re talking about what to look for whenApril Showers Bring May Flowers… And Need Good Drainage! it comes to the plumbing in your potential new home!

What to Look For in Your Potential New Home’s Plumbing

Small Leaks

Be especially aware of any small leaks in the home. Even the smallest dribble can lead to a major headache (physically and financially) down the line. Leaks lead to cracks in walls, damaged wood and metal, no matter where they are. If the leak is in the kitchen or bathroom, that can suggest a larger, underlying problem that needs to be looked at.

Any leak, small or otherwise can lead to serious damages (and serious bills) if left unmanaged. Find out the source of the leak, determine the cause and fix it now while it’s still small.

What Are The Pipes Made Of? What’s Their Age? Structure?

Pipes. They are crucial, go figure, to inspect for a number of throughout the home can be made of a few different materials, and depending on what material you have and the location you’re in this can help you identify potential problems before they happen! An example! Copper piping is commonly used to supply hot water in the home, PVC for cold as well as drain systems. Cast iron piping is also typically used in waste systems. If you see any cast iron pipes you might want to just consider getting those replaced right away as cast iron can rust.

Now the structure… take a look at how the pipes and the plumbing system is designed in your home. Make note of the size of pipes and check that they are the right size and strength to support the amount of water that might be flowing through it. If it’s not, leaks can develop and bursting is possible.

Not sure if your pipes are the right materials and structure? Give us or your local plumber a call – we can take a look and offer our expert opinions! If there’s something wrong we’ll give you the solutions you need!

What’s the Story, Plumbing Glory?

Ok, thats a weird way to phrase it – we mean what’s the history of the plumbing in the home? Is it original? How many years ago was it installed? Older homes are much more likely to have old galvanized steel pipes which is no good for modern plumbing. Galvanized pipes are prone to corrosion and build-up. Before you purchase the property know the age of these pipes and whether or not getting them replaced (sooner rather than later!) Not sure what galvanized steel pipes look like? Take a refrigerator magnet with you and try and stick it to the pipes. If it sticks? Hey, that’s steel!

Follow Your Nose

Check for any smells or bad odors coming from the plumbing system. Anything that smells off is a sure sign that the pipes are damaged somewhere and repairs are needed. Really get in close and smell, a fresh coat of paint or other work done on a home to get it ready for sale might mask the scent more than you realize.

Plumbing troubles are a headache at the best of times, and an absolute nightmare at the worst. Finding them ahead of time and getting them fixed (or just avoiding the potential entirely and looking at a different home) is going to save you costly repairs, damages, and sleepless nights of fixing. Call your friendly local plumber (Tucson you know who to call) to get things sorted before your move-in date.

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

Plumbing Problems to Fix Before You Move In

Are you purchasing a new home or recently made the change? The market is crazy out there and folks are closing the deal without too much thought about what problems they might be inheriting – they just want a place to live! We can’t blame them, everyone needs a place to live. But let us tell you there are some instances where you need to pump the breaks! This time on the Economy Plumbing Services blog we’re talking about what to look forwhen it comes to the plumbing in your potential new home!

 

What to Look For in Your Potential New Home’s Plumbing

Small Leaks

Be especially aware of any small leaks in the home. Even the smallest dribble can lead to a major headache (physically and financially) down the line. Leaks lead to cracks in walls, damaged wood and metal, no matter where they are. If the leak is in the kitchen or bathroom, that can suggest a larger, underlying problem that needs to be looked at.

 

Any leak, small or otherwise can lead to serious damages (and serious bills) if left unmanaged. Find out the source of the leak, determine the cause and fix it now while it’s still small.

 

What Are The Pipes Made Of? What’s Their Age? Structure?

Pipes. They are crucial, go figure, to inspect for a number of throughout the home can be made of a few different materials, and depending on what material you have and the location you’re in this can help you identify potential problems before they happen! An example! Copper piping is commonly used to supply hot water in the home, PVC for cold as well as drain systems. Cast iron piping is also typically used in waste systems. If you see any cast iron pipes you might want to just consider getting those replaced right away as cast iron can rust.

 

Now the structure… take a look at how the pipes and the plumbing system is designed in your home. Make note of the size of pipes and check that they are the right size and strength to support the amount of water that might be flowing through it. If it’s not, leaks can develop and bursting is possible.

 

Not sure if your pipes are the right materials and structure? Give us or your local plumber a call – we can take a look and offer our expert opinions! If there’s something wrong we’ll give you the solutions you need!

 

What’s the Story, Plumbing Glory?

Ok, thats a weird way to phrase it – we mean what’s the history of the plumbing in the home? Is it original? How many years ago was it installed? Older homes are much more likely to have old galvanized steel pipes which is no good for modern plumbing. Galvanized pipes are prone to corrosion and build-up. Before you purchase the property know the age of these pipes and whether or not getting them replaced (sooner rather than later!) Not sure what galvanized steel pipes look like? Take a refrigerator magnet with you and try and stick it to the pipes. If it sticks? Hey, that’s steel!

 

Follow Your Nose

Check for any smells or bad odors coming from the plumbing system. Anything that smells off is a sure sign that the pipes are damaged somewhere and repairs are needed. Really get in close and smell, a fresh coat of paint or other work done on a home to get it ready for sale might mask the scent more than you realize.

 

Plumbing troubles are a headache at the best of times, and an absolute nightmare at the worst. Finding them ahead of time and getting them fixed (or just avoiding the potential entirely and looking at a different home) is going to save you costly repairs, damages, and sleepless nights of fixing. Call your friendly local plumber (Tucson you know who to call) to get things sorted before your move-in date.

 

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

Have a Septic Tank? Here’s How to Find It!

Septic tanks are a surprisingly common enough plumbing feature, depending on where you live. If you’ve recently bought the home in a rush, you might not fully know just where the septic tank is and that can cause some problems down the line! So before disaster strikes, locate your septic tank and get it checked out. Here’s how.

 

How to Find Your Septic Tank

Track Your Main Sewer Line

For this you’ll need to get yourself a soil probe. Start out in your basement or crawl space, look for the main sewer line leaving your home. It should be about four inches wide. Make a note of where it’s located and then head out to your yard. Take the probe and every couple of feet, insert the probe into the soil and track the sewer line. Follow this along until you find the septic tank, it shouldn’t take long! Most states require septic tanks to be at least five feet away from the home. So take the probe, check every few inches and you should find the tank somewhere between 10 and 25 feet away. The tanks are usually buried between six inches and four feet in the ground so if you stick your probe down and don’t detect anything right away, no worries keep at it and you might find it. It should feel flat and hard (concrete) or fiberglass.

 

Another way is to use a drain snake and chart the path your snake runs. Plumbers have snakes with cameras attached that can get you great (if gross looking) footage of your drain lines.

 

Take a Close Look at Your Property

Taking a look at the landscape of your property can also help you pinpoint your septic tank. Typically septic tanks are installed in a way that you can’t tell – buuut things happen! Dips in the soil or small hills can indicate a septic tank is buried there. Now if these hills or dips are between five and twenty-five feet from your home? Well that’s looking warmer, isn’t it? Use that soil probe and start probing. 

 

Sometimes, imperfections in the landscape can tell you where your septic tank sits. Septic tanks are usually installed in such a way that you can barely tell. But dips in the soil or small hills may indicate a septic tank buried underneath.

 

You might take a look instead for the septic lid cover. These should be at ground level or just below, so easy to find.

 

Want to know what not to look for?

 

Your Septic Tank Shouldn’t Be Beneath…

  • Paved surfaces

  • Special landscaping

  • Your water well, if you have one

 

Check Your Records

Call your county health department and get your hands on property records! They should have a survey map of your property which would include a septic tank map! Older property records might not have all the info you need, but most counties do hold on to records of septic tank installations. You can also look to your home inspection paperwork or deed and see if they list the location.

 

If all else fails… ask your nieghbors! Knowing where their septic tanks are located can help you trouble shoot yours, especially if the homes were built at the same time.

 

Septic tanks can need some special TLC so if you’re experiencing any plumbing issues don’t try to tackle them yourself! Give a plumber a call, let them know you have a septic tank and trust the professionals – we’ll get you sorted out in no time!

 

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

How Do Garbage Disposals Work?

This month we’ve been talking a bit about garbage disposals and how to keep them clean but how do they even work? It is a fair question! For most folks it’s just enough to know they do work, but knowing how they work can help you address problems early, and how to get the most out of your garbage disposal. So. This time on the Economy Plumbing Services Blog we’re answering just how garbage disposals work!

How Do Garbage Disposals Work?

The garbage disposal is made up of a few parts that work together to grind up food waste into a slurry that’s safe to run through a drain pipe. Here are the various parts and how they work.

The Hopper Chamber

This is the hollow cylinder that sits beneath your sink and houses the disposal proper. There are two portions – the upper and lower chambers. Food enters through the drain into the upper hopper chamber before it’s shredded up.

The lower hopper is insulated, and holds the motor to the disposal. It also connects to the waste line. After the food is ground up it moves through one the top to the lower chamber on it’s way out of the drain pipe. The lower hopper will also have a reset button on the bottom.

The Flywheel and the Shredded Ring

The shredder ring sits between the upper and lower chambers, right smack dab in the center of the disposal. The shredder ring has inner walls made up of sharp grooves that help grind up and break down food. If you think of it like a cheese grater you’re halfway there! The flywheel is a rotating metal turntable that’s attached to the bottom of the shredder ring. It prevents any food from entering the lower hopper chamber until it’s small enough to safely go through the sides of the shredder ring and down the drain. The flywheel connects to the next pieces in the disposal unit, the motor and impellers.

The Motor and Impellers

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that garbage disposals have motors. After all, when you flick the switch and hear it rev up there’s got to be something powering those grinding features right? A typical motor generates between a half and ¾ horsepower of force. The motor rotates the flywheel and the impelleers that are attached it, rotating them up to two thousand times per minute (or 2000 RPM). When you think of a garbage disposal you probably think it has some sort of blade in there right? That’s why you don’t want your hands in it right? Those ‘blades’ are the impellers. They fling food chunks into the shredder ring which breaks up the chunk so food. This happens back and forther until the food chunks are small enough to go past the shredder ring and down the waste line.

The Waste Line Connector

The waste line connector, housed in the lower hopper chamber is the final section of the disposal. From here the shredded, ground-up food particles fall and are washed out with the water, leading into the drain pipe.

The Power Cord

Because your garbage disposal needs electricity to power its motor, there is a power cord attached to it. This plugs in a normal outlet that is in the wall under your sink. 

What Breaks When It Breaks

Problem: It Won’t Start

Chances are this is an electricity problem, not a problem with the disposal proper. Take a look at the reset button. Press it and try turning your disposal on again. Sometimes a simple reset is all that’s needed. If that still doesn’t fix it take a look at the plug and the outlet. 

When it comes to electricity, you usually don’t want to do any of these jobs yourself as it’s more dangerous than other at-home DIY jobs. 

Problem: It’s Jammed

If the disposal is jammed it’s probable that the impellers are stuck. Unplug the disposal from the wall to prevent any accidents and then look for a hole at the bottom of the lower hopper chamber. It should be hex-shaped. Take a hex wrench that fits it and put it into the hole then work the wrench back and forth to free the impellers.

Problem: It Leaks

With all the connecting parts and pieces in your garbage disposal there are many places a leak can happen. Figure out where the leak is coming from, then try and tight any loose pieces. There’s a chance that a gasket has worn down in the connections and water is leaking past it. If the water is dripping from the button of your lower hopper chamber, like where the reset button is, bad news. That disposal is toast. The gasket that keeps water where it should has been worn down and water has run through the electronic components of your disposal.

Time to call a professional for a new disposal unit.

Problem: It Won’t Grind

Make sure you’re running water while you use the disposal and that you’re only putting foodwaste down the drain that the disposal can handle. If those two things are true and the disposal still isn’t breaking down the food then it’s likely the impellers and/or shredder ring have dulled. If this is the case then the option is to either replace those components individually or take a look at replacing the whole disposal. 

Having trouble with your garbage disposal? Need help troubleshooting problems or just need a new unit entirely? You know what to do.

 

If water runs through it or to it, we do it!

How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal puts up with a lot of abuse in its day-to-day life. Taking care of it (and not putting anything down it that doesn’t belong!) is a key way to keep your garbage disposal chugging along for a long time yet to come. The first step of that? Keep it clean! Here’s how to clean your garbage disposal!

Cleaning your garbage disposal isn’t just to keep it working right, though that’s a big part of it. It will also help remove and prevent any foul odors from developing in the first place! If your sink is giving off a brutal aroma, guess what? It’s time.

Here’s what you’ll need!

Tools

  • Sink Stopper
  • Rubber gloves (if you want)
  • Dish soap
  • Kitchen sponge with an abrasive side

Additional Cleaning Options

  • 1/2 cup baking soda 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar 
  • Ice
  • 1 cup rock salt
  • 1/3 cup bleach solution
  • Citrus peels 

Does that list confuse you? Don’t sweat it, read on and you’ll understand why we’re sending you to the grocery store for supplies! 

First the more obvious route.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal – Method 1: A Sponge & Soap

First – Turn OFF the Disposal!

Turn off the power to your disposal to prevent it from accidentally getting turned on while you’re cleaning. Even if you’re not going to be getting your hand anywhere close to the teeth bits it’s not something you want to risk. Get under your sink, find the disposal plug and unplug it from the outlet. If you can’t do that, find your home’s breaker box and turn off the breaker there.

Clean The Baffle

The baffle is the plastic covering area that separates your sink from your garbage disposal proper. Use that sponge and dish soap to scrub thoroughly in the baffle, in its folds and creases to remove any lingering grime, gunk, and junk.

 

Clean the Grinding Chamber

Get into the grinding area now and wipe at it. Rinse your sponge often to make sure you’re not just smearing around the grime and gunk. Swipe, rinse, and repeat until you’re no longer pulling up anything. Nice.

If you wanted you could stop right here and your sink and garbage disposal will already be leagues better than it would be. But it won’t be the cleanest, freshest that it could be! So if you want to go above and beyond the call of duty read on! We’re going to use some other household materials to really clear it all out.

 

Baking Soda + Vinegar = Clear Disposal

Pour half a cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal. Then slowly pour half a cup of vinegar into the disposal. Quickly cover the drain using the sink stopper in the drain. Any kid’s science class veterans know what happens here! The baking soda and vinegar causes a chemical reaction of fizzing. This reaction will agitate anything stuck on the sides of the disposal. Wait a few minutes then pull the drain cover and flush the disposal with warm water.

Repeat in the other drain if you really want to combat any lingering gunk and odor!

 

Ice + Vineger/Rock Salt = Clean Disposal Option 2

Not up for rookie science experiments? That’s alright. You can use ice and rock salt or vinegar as another method to help do a rigorous cleaning on the inside of the disposal. The ice will help scrape along the inside of the grinding chamber breaking down any buildup. To do this it’s quite simple! Fill the disposal with ice cubs. Pour a cup of salt or vinegar into the disposal. Run the disposal for several seconds at a time (water turned on of course). Repeat as necessary.

With these steps taken care of, you can enjoy clean, smell-free garbage disposal for some time to come. It’s not a bad idea to clean your disposal monthly or even weekly if you do a lot of cooking or use your garbage disposal frequently. Having garbage disposal troubles? Leaks under your sink? Hey you know who to call!

 

If water runs through it or to it, we do it!

Spring Cleaning Your Plumbing!

It’s the end of February now and you know what that means! Spring is just around the corner! And what does Spring mean? Well aside from slightly warmer days and maybe a smidge less rain it also means opening up the house, getting more active, and, of course, spring cleaning! After a few cold months of being shut indoors to avoid the chill, it’s time to start the new season off on the right foot and clean up the home and all the dust and dirt it’s been gathering. That applies to plumbing too! This time on the Economy Plumbing Services blog, we’re looking at a few plumbing spring cleaning tips!

Inspect Your Pipes

Let’s start with the biggest first. Now is a perfect time to do a routine check of all the pipes in and around your house! Look for leaks, drips, or anything out of the ordinary. The sooner you fix them the less damage they can cause and the more money you’ll save! So take the minute to inspect them, look at any pipes hidden in cabinets or closets. Get an eye on the pipe now before it’s too late!

Clean and Clear Your Drains

When it comes to preventing clogs, an ounce o prevention is worth a pound of cure! Take a look at your drains, clean away any hair or debris thats building up around them. You can purchase a small drain snake to clear out any hair or debris thats building up just inside the drain. Avoid using chemical cleaners as these have just as much risk of seriously harming and deteriorating the pipes.

Clean Your Fixtures

While you’re at work with all of your drains, take a beat to clean the fixtures! Showerheads for instance can become clogged with mineral buildup from the water. This can become a bigger problem if left unchecked, and it definitely ruins the comfort of a nice warm shower! Wipe down the fixture or allow them to soak in white vinegar to break up the buildups.

Inspect and Clear Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals put up with a lot of abuse in your day to day – so why not give them a little TLC. Sure, Valentine’s Day has passed, and no one wants to see you serving chocolates to your garbage disposal, but give it a bit of a spa day. In fact, check back next time and we’ll give you a full rundown on how to do this!

Check Your Gutters

Ok these might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to taking care of your plumbing but the fact of the matter is this – anything designed to carry water to and away from your home fits the bil! So. Back to your gutters. Nows the time to check to make sure they’re clear of any debris, be them leaves or palm fronds or what have you. Make sure nothing is blocking the path for water to drain off your roof and away from the home. Nobody wants a leaky roof!

Check the Water Heaters

Water heaters are another plumbing fixture in your house that get a world of use. If you haven’t takena  look at it recently now is the time. Check the temperature (should be around 120), look for leaks. Make sure the area around the water heater is free and clear of debris. And if you haven’t had a check up in a while, now’s the time to schedule it!

These are just a few things you can do to perform a spring cleaning for your plumbing and start the season off right. When it comes to your plumbing, staying proactive is going to get you the best results and avoid costly disaster. If you haven’t been maintaining yours as well as you could (or maybe should) don’t hesitate! Call your local plumber today to get a check up performed and see where you stand!

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

TP, Bidet, Wipes – Which Way To Go

There’s one place we all spend some peace and quiet each day – no not in bed, we’re talking about the bathroom! Whether you’re a morning constitutional type or a get-away-from-the-kids-for-just-a-minute type you’ve spent some time on the porcelain throne. Now, when you’re finished what do you reach for? The roll of TP? A package of wipes? A little dial next to the bowl? 

This time on the Economy Plumbing Services blog we’re taking a look at a few of the options for post number two clean up and how they compare in cleanliness and flushability.

TP, Bidet, Wipes – Who Wins?

Bidets

If you listen to podcasts or have opened your Instagram app in the past year chances are you’ve been marketed a bidet. Bidets are a bowl or receptacle designed to be sat on in order to wash one’s genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus. The bidet isn’t just for after using the restroom but can be used after sexual intercourse to help clean up. It can also be used to wash feet without having to fill up a tub. In addition to these stand-alone bidets that are more common in Europe, there are fixture attachments that can be added to the toilet itself – these are the ones being marketed on social media. These are fixed onto the toilet seat with a nozzle, with a hose connecting the water supply of the toilet to the bidet attachment. They can also attach to the hot water supply line for the sink to allow for warmer water

How do they hold up? When it comes to cleaning your bottom, bidets work in a more effective manner than just regular old TP, preventing iritation from the paper, and not smearing around waste. If you’re prone to rashes or UTIs, using a bidet can also help decrease those occurrences! According to Healthline, they’re good for your health too! 

Cleaning: 5 Stars

Flushability: 5 Stars

Wipes

  1. NO. JUST DON’T DO IT. We cannot say this enough! ‘Flushable’ wipes may be able to be flushed down the toilet in that they physically can move into the pipe but they don’t break down and will cause clogs which is a huge problem! Ok. With that out of the way – wipes are an effective way to wipe your bum and clean up waste because of their construction. They’re durable so they don’t break down, and often have some moisturizer or other addition that keeps them from irritating your skin.

But they sure don’t flush!

Cleaning: 5 Stars

Flushability: 0 Stars

 

Toilet Paper

The classic. Tried and true. Toilet paper has been the standard when it comes to bum wiping for years. But how effective is it? It’s cheaper than the other two options, that’s for sure. But the effectiveness wildly varies based on the type of toilet paper in question (the thickness, textures, etc.) as well as your individual technique. When it comes to flushability again it all comes down to your individual practice. A big wad of toilet paper can clog up a pipe quick, but conscious use and regular flushing should avoid most clogs.

 

Cleaning: Variable

Fluhsability: Variable

 

You know your own butt best, but if you’re considering a change up, looking at this data upgrading to a bidet might be the next step to take! If you want to get an attachment you can follow the simple instructions and install it yourself, however if you want the whole separate fixture it will need to meet local plumbing code!

If you need help installing a new fixture, clearing a clog, or any other plumbing problems – you know who to call!

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

How to Prevent Sewer Backups in the First Place

Last month we talked about how plumbers can fix sewer backups and get your plumbing back on track. Before that, we talked about what to do when a backup. Well, this time we want to talk about how you can prevent sewer backups in the first place! Think of it as a New Year’s Resolution from Economy Plumbing Services: avoid a sewer backup, prevent them!

Sometimes a sewer system is just poorly designed at the municipal level. There’s not much you can do in that case to prevent a backup, but we got a few other tips that are totally within your power!

How to Prevent Sewer Backups

Update Old Sewer Lines

The older the sewer lines the more likely you are to run into a problem. While there’s no guarantee when and where they might collapse on you, the older they are the higher and higher risk you run for a pretty terrible nightmare. In prior decades plumbers would install cast iron or clay pipes. Both materials are much more brittle than the modern plastic piping available. Tree roots can easily infiltrate and breakthrough these types of pipes, and the shifting of the soil can crack the pipes no problem.

If you have old pipes or suspect you might, look into getting them replaced earlier rather than later. It’s just as expensive but when you do it on your schedule you won’t have to deal with an emergency when your plumbing breaks down entirely.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Want to know the best way to prevent a sewer backup in the first place? Know what you can and can’t dispose of down the drain safely. This will help you prevent clogs in any sink/drain as well as clogs developing further down the line and creating a sewer backup!

One of the biggest culprits for clogs is grease. DO NOT pour any grease down a drain, ever! Grease and oils flow when they’re in a liquid form but as it cools and solidifies it turns into a slow, thick sludge that will cling to the sides of the pipes and help other waste find a foothold on its way out the pipe.

Toilets and drains are not trash cans. The only things that should be flushed are waste and toilet paper. Not baby wipes, not feminine products, not diapers nothing but toilet paper. Even products branded as ‘flushable’ rarely are.

Get to the Root of the Problem (Tree Root that is)

Tree roots are one of the most common enemies of a working, stable plumbing system. Tree roots naturally grow out through the soil searching for water to help the tree grow. Often that means seeking their way towards the pipes running from your house to the city sewer system. When the roots find this ready source of water they’ll grow along the pipe til they find a joint and start growing into the pipe, bursting the pipe or growing inside and causing a full blockage.

Prevent this from occurring in the first place in a few ways. For one, newer pipes have a smoother plastic material that encourages roots to grow around rather than through. You can also move trees from around your pipes, cut the roots up, or sow with salt along the pipes to prevent tree roots from growing near them in the first place. This final option is pretty intense and usually best served by doing it at the start, when the pipes are first installed.

Following these steps will prevent a clog from developing in your pipes, and with clogs not developing you won’t have to worry as much about a full-blown sewer backup. And that’s the peace of mind we all want!

Have plumbing troubles already?  Give Economy a call! 

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

New Year, New You, New Plumbing Too!

2022 is fully here! As most folks decide on some New Year’s resoltuions to make this the best year yet, they tend to be in the usual space: Eat better, work out more, read more books – you get what we’re saying.

But what if the resolution was for saving you money and preventing a disaster? That’s right you have the power to not just save yourself some cheddar but also to help prevent a plumbing disaster from striking your home! Here’s how. Take these resolutions to heart and you’ll be able to avoid having to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to repair a plumbing calamity.

I Resolve to…

Only Flush What Can Be Flushed

We talk about it all the time, enough that we feel sick of it but it’s clear we have to do it. Only flush toilet paper and human waste. Not baby wipes, not feminine products, not diapers nothing but toilet paper. Even products branded as ‘flushable’ should be thrown in the trash, not down the toilet. 

Resolve to only flush what needs to be flushed and you’ll be doing your best to prevent a clog from developing.

Use My Garbage Disposal Properly

Garbage disposals can stand up to a lot but just like toilet drains, some things still shouldn’t be sent down the pipe. Treat your disposal kindly, don’t send grease and oil and fat down it, and it’ll serve you for a long time to come. Thankfully, taking care of it like this will also mean you’re avoiding sending anything down that could clog up your pipes. With your toilet and sink drains covered your pipes should be relatively clog free going forward!

Maintain My Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters get a lot of use day in and day out. Whether it’s washing hands, dishes, clothes, heating up water for cooking, or taking a shower it’s getting used daily. Make sure your hot water heater is up to the task by getting it routinely checked out. It might mean having a plumber come in and flush the tank and perform a check-up but you’ll be happy you did.

Perform or Have Routine Maintenance Done

A lot of plumbing issues could be resolved if you took a routine, regular approach to them. Resolve to make sure you’re taking a look at your plumbing maintenance regularly throughout the year. What’s regular? Well start by calling out a plumber to an inspection. When it comes to pipes and plumbing there’s no telling just where you stand, especially if you aren’ the original homeowner from when the plumbing was first installed. So get a professional to take a look, and take it from there!

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Be Water Conscious

In Arizona especially, water usage is a huge concern. You can do your part by practicing water conservation methods with your plumbing. Things like taking shorter showers and turning off your faucet while brushing your teeth can save thousands of gallons of water which helps the community at large! When everyone does a little, we all benefit a lot!

Buy and Install Drain Guards

For just a few dollars you can add extra protection to all your drains throughout your home! You’re already taking care not to let anything go down the drain that shouldn’t but even things like hair or dog fur can get swept down the drain and cause a blockage. Instead, pop a drain guard in your tub and you won’t have to worry about excess hair forming a big ol’ ball of problems down the pipe.

These are just a few resolutions you can make for yourself that will deliver a much better plumbing experience over the coming year!  Need to start with a professional check-up? Call Economy Plumbing Service!

What To Do When Your Sewer Backs Up

A sewer backup is probably the worst thing many folks will deal with when it comes to their plumbing. You’ll have wastewater overflowing into your tubs and floors, creating a serious headache when it comes to cleaning up, not to mention a serious health hazard! This time on the Economy Plumbing Service blog, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about sewer backups!

What is a Sewer Backup

Your home has two main lines for its plumbing, the supply line, and the drain line. The supply line brings fresh, clean water from the city into your home. The drain line is the line that takes all of the wastewater from your sinks, toilets, and drains and moves it to the city sewage lines. A sewer backup is when your sewer line doesn’t drain, and instead, the wastewater comes flowing back into your home, usually through the drains in tubs or under toilets if the seals on them are broken. This is caused because there is a serious blockage in the line.

 

What Causes a Sewer Backup

Causes You Can’t Control

The fact of the matter is, not everything is within your control. There are a few situations that can arise without your say so and you’ll just have to roll with it when these happen, unfortunately.

  • Flooding
  • Clog in the City Line
  • Soil Settlement

Causes You Can Control

  • Tree roots
  • Age of pipes
  • Pouring grease, oils, fats down drains
  • Poor design!

How to Spot a Sewer Backup Early

When your sewer line first starts to develop problems you’ll likely notice a few signs but you might be inclined to dismiss them as normal. But please, for your sake and ours take these signs seriously!

Slow Drains

The first sign of a problem is slow drains throughout the hose. If a single drain is slow, that points to a problem in that fixture, that can usually be cleared on your own using a hair remover, or a plunger (never a chemical cleaner!). But when the slow down seems to be hitting multiple drains, that’s a total sewer line problem.

Waste Backing Up

When wastewater from the toilet backs up into the tub or a washing machine pushes water out a toilet, you know things are a problem. A serious problem

Is it an Emergency?

Yes. If your sewer line is so backed up that waste water from your toilet is hitting other drains and sending filth and germ-filled matter into the floor of your bathroom – it’s an emergency and needs help fast. Make sure everyone stops using the plumbing in your home and place a call quick.

What to Do When The Sewer Backs Up

The first thing to do is make sure no more water is flowing to this waste line. If it’s from a faucet, turn the faucet off, close whatever valves you have or turn off the washing machine. If the water is getting close to an outlet or other electrical fixtures turn off the electricity to the area. If you know your breaker box and fuses well you can just shut those particulars off, otherwise turning off the electricity to the whole house will be a solution.

Now you can start to address the problem. You do not want to use chemical cleaners for this and there’s a few reasons for it. For one, clogs can be caused by physical things in the line that the cleaner might not break down. For two it can further eat away and damage the pipes. For three when they dont’ work and you call out a plumber to hep they could be injured by the chemical cleaner stuck in the pipe. So just don’t do it.

First, you can attempt to clear the clog by using a plunger to clear out the clog shaking it loose using the pressure. Another option is to use a snake to try and clear the clog, one that’s made for catching hair can be a great option to start clearing the line.

If the wastewater is still backing up, well, you need to call in the big guns and fast. Until a plumber comes out and fixes your drain you won’t be able to use any of the fixtures in your home. No showers, no tubs, no sinks, no toilets. Any time you do use one the water will get stuck in the drainage system and have to flow somewhere and when it does – it isn’t pretty. So call the plumber.

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