Is Drano Bad for Pipes?

Drano is a popular pipe cleaner, marketed for home use to eliminate buildup in pipes and clear clogs. However, just because something is marketed as safe for your pipes doesn’t mean it is. People often use Drano when their sinks, bathtubs, or other plumbing backs up and want a quick fix without spending much money. Here’s why that’s a problem.

Drano’s Strong Chemicals

The chemicals Drano uses to clear clogs from your sink are unsafe for your plumbing because your plumbing isn’t supposed to handle chemicals like that. For example, when you pour Drano down your sink, it will create a chemical reaction that will bring the compound to a boiling level, and your sink isn’t meant to handle these chemicals at these temperatures. Many people who used Drano report cracks in their ceramic and damage to the connection between their pipes.

Drano claims their compound is safe to use in plumbing pipes; however, these chemicals are not safe for the binding plastic between pipes or the ceramic in your sinks, toilet, or showers. These chemicals are only graded for the metal portion of your pipes. So if your pipes use a lot of other materials or are PEX tubing, for instance, Drano can eat away at them.

Corrodes Your Plumbing

Plastic pipes often can’t handle Drano because they’re not graded to handle harsh chemicals like that. However, if your pipes are made entirely from metal, you might not have a problem with corrosion, lucky you! Unfortunately for the vast majority of us, our pipes use a mix of materials or the more common, modern PEX material.  If you use Drano to clear out your pipes, you risk corroding your plumbing, which will cost you a lot more money in the long run.

Using Drano to clear out your plumbing once or twice over the course of a decade or two might not cause damage, but if you’re a frequent Drano user, you will face problems. So it would be best to be gentle on your pipes and avoid the solution altogether.

A Temporary Fix to a Potentially Serious Problem

Drano also won’t fix every type of problem your plumbing might have. While it may work to clear a clog caused by hair. For example, if you’re facing a log because you have roots in your drains, then using the Drano won’t help. It would be best to call a plumber immediately when you’re facing backups to ensure that you’re treating the right issue.

If you spend too much time treating the wrong problem with Drano, your plumbing situation could worsen and cost you much money in the long run. Using Drano to avoid the bigger problem is not an effective way to clear your drains permanently.

Drano Alternatives

If you don’t have the money to call a plumber immediately, you can use Drano alternatives that are much safer for your pipes. For example, one alternative you can use to freshen the room’s smell is pouring baking soda and vinegar down your drains. This will cause a bubbling chemical reaction that can help shift and clogs and is completely safe for your pipes. The odor elimination is a nice benefit!

 

Final Thoughts

Contact us at (520) 214-2149  today, and our experts will help diagnose what’s wrong with your drain, and we will fix it. The longer you wait to fix whatever is going on with your pipes, the worse your plumbing situation will become. Therefore, it is best to immediately handle plumbing situations with a professional, so you don’t make things worse by wrecking your pipes with Drano.

Drano can destroy your sinks, toilets, and bathtubs if you use it too often, and many alternatives are safer. If you damage your plumbing more than it already was by using harsh chemicals, it will cost you even more to get everything fixed.

How to Hire a Plumbing Contractor

When the plumbing goes out it is one of the most stressful things about being a homeowner.  The best way to ensure you get the job done right is to hire a professional plumber to come in and fix your situation. Otherwise, if you do the job independently, you could risk handling the wrong problem and worsening your building’s plumbing . Please continue reading to learn how to hire a plumbing contractor and what questions you need to ask before you sign a contract. Fortunately, finding a reputable plumbing service is easy when you know how to go about it.

 

Pick a Plumbing Contractor with a Valid License

Most states across the US make it illegal for a contractor to work on plumbing without a proper license. However, people can get a plumber’s license to start as an apprentice, a journeyman, and then a licensed plumber. Plumbing problems are serious; a well-known professional must handle the situation and get your plumbing back on track.

However, just because most states make plumbing illegal without a license doesn’t mean people don’t attempt to fix plumbing unlicensed. Therefore, before signing any contracts, you must ensure that you are talking to a licensed plumber, not your neighborhood handyman.

What is Plumber Insurance?

Plumber insurance is insurance that your plumber carries before they work on any job. This insurance covers injuries, property damage, and any other liabilities or problems that might occur while working. If you speak with a commercial plumber, you should always ask if they’re insured to ensure you don’t cost yourself money in the long run. Some states require plumbers to carry plumber insurance, but others don’t,  so it’s up to you to ensure that whomever you hire has insurance.

Jobs a Plumbing Contractor Can Help You With

If you have any trouble with your home or building plumbing, you can hire a plumbing contractor to assess and deal with the situation. The following are examples of jobs that you can call a plumber to resolve.

  • A broken water heater
  • Any clogs within your drain that are causing a water backup somewhere in the building
  • A clogged or malfunctioning toilet
  • Flooding basement
  • Plumbing leaks

There are many other situations where you might also need a plumber to fix your problem. Hiring a plumbing contractor can resolve anything that has to do with the running water in your home.

Questions to ask a Plumbing Contractor

Before signing a contract with a plumbing contractor, you need to ask a few questions to ensure they’re legit. Otherwise, you risk putting your plumbing needs in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing or doesn’t have the license to handle the situation. The following questions are what you should ask when you hire a plumber.

  • Do you have a plumbing license and plumber insurance?
  • How much will it cost for a consultation and service the problem altogether?
  • Are there any plumbing situations the contractor specializes in, and do they relate to your problem?
  • How long do you take to respond to plumbing situations on average?
  • How long do you estimate the work will take, and do you want me present in the home while you work?
  • Do you offer 24-hour help for an emergency plumbing situation?

Asking these questions will get you on the right track to hiring the right plumber to handle your situation. You need a professional service to come in and take care of any damaged plumbing needs you have. If you neglect to ask these questions, you risk signing someone up to handle the job that doesn’t know how to fix your problem. Plumbing is super sensitive, so you want things done correctly.

Final Thoughts

Contact us at (520) 214-2149 today, and we will help you with any plumbing concerns in your building. We can work on commercial and residential buildings, so if you have a problem, you can get a hold of us to fix it. Our professionals have been in the plumbing industry for years, and we can handle almost any situation you have. We also offer excellent customer service, so you can relax when you talk to us, knowing that it won’t be a negative discussion.

The Most Common Reasons Your Toilet Won’t Flush

A toilet that won’t flush is a common, yet distressing situation. If your toilet won’t flush, there can be a lot of causes with simple solutions. Toilets not flushing is one of the homeowners’ most common plumbing issues.

Please continue reading to learn why your toilet won’t flush and how to fix it with home remedies. 

Your Toilet Is Clogged

The number one reason why toilets won’t flush is that they are clogged with material. Even if you’re the only person who uses your toilet, it still gets a lot of use, and it will eventually clog. It would help if you always kept a plunger in your bathroom so that you can solve this problem every time it arises immediately.

Fortunately, you can solve most of your toilet clogging problems by using a plunger to dislodge the material until you can flush it. Try not to flush the toilet until you’re positive you’ve dislodged the blockage; otherwise, you can flood your bathroom. However, more serious clogs that are deeper in your plumbing system could require professional intervention instead of a home remedy.

There’s Something Wrong with Your Toilet’s Lift Chain

Another reason your toilet won’t flush could be because something is wrong with the lift chain inside the tank. Toilets flush by pushing down on the handle, which engages the rubber float valve to rise inside the tank. The chain pulls the valve up, and this causes water to flush out the waste in your bowl. If your chain is broken, flushing won’t work. The immediate solution to this problem is to open up your toilet tank and lift the chain manually. This will flush your toilet until you permanently fix the chain.  

If you notice your lift chain is broken inside the tank, you can buy a replacement online or at a hardware shop. Older toilets could experience lift chain breakage after several uses. 

Your Toilet Tank Doesn’t Have Enough Water.

You need enough water in your toilet tank if you want to flush it properly. If insufficient water in your toilet tank floods your bowl when you flush, your toilet won’t do its job properly. The immediate solution is to manually add enough water to your tank so that you can flush right away until you’ve solved the problem permanently.

If your toilet tank doesn’t get enough water, you may have a cracked toilet bowl, your sewer line vent might be blocked, or your fill valve could be damaged. Check all these areas within your toilet tank to see which issue is causing your problem and fix whatever is damaged.

Your Toilet’s Drainpipes Aren’t Optimal.

Unfortunately, you can’t fix all toilet issues at home on your own.  For example, if your toilet drainpipes aren’t optimal for your drainage needs, you’ll frequently experience plumbing backups, or your toilet won’t flush. Also, if your toilet stream pipes aren’t formed right, you’ll have to call a plumber to diagnose and resolve this problem. 

Attempting to rearrange your toilet drainpipes on your own could cause severe plumbing damage that could cost you tons of money. Damaging your pipes could also void a home warranty if yours covers plumbing. 

Your Toilet’s Rim Holes are Clogged

Your toilet won’t flush if the rim holes are clogged with debris or calcium. If your house uses hard water, you might have a calcium buildup where your ramjets are placed. Fortunately, it’s easy to dissolve calcium in your toilet bowl with everyday home cleaning supplies.

You first need to ensure no bleach cleaner is in your toilet bowl because it will negatively interact with other chemicals and cause dangerous gas. Then, you can put distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the bottom of the realm of your toilet where your jets are with the vinegar. White vinegar is a natural dissolvent for calcium buildup. 

After you let the vinegar sit on The Jets for at least 20 minutes, you can use your toilet as you normally would. If calcium buildup is the problem, this method should resolve the issue. . 

Call a Trustworthy Plumber

If you try all these methods and your toilet still won’t flush, there might be something more severe wrong with your plumbing system. Contact us at (520) 214-2149 today, and we’ll look at your clogged toilet and help you fix the problem so you can get back to  regular life. Clogged toilets are unpleasant, so let us handle the mess. 

When to Conduct a Sewer Line Cleanout

Every home and property owner eventually needs to take care of their plumbing. When you use something every day, there’s maintenance that you need to partake in to make it run optimally. Plumbing is a necessary part of any active establishment that people inhabit, and sewer line cleanouts are part of the regular maintenance required.

Please continue reading to learn when it’s time to conduct a sewer line clean now and how to do it. Our guide will help you through the process.

Get Rid of Bad Smells from Your Sink

If you notice odors from your kitchen sink or bathtub that can’t be washed away,  it might be time for a sewer line cleanout. Clogged dirt, hard water, and anything else that goes down your drain can cause these odors. Water is constantly going through drains, and when there’s something else trapped in that drain, bad smells will arise.

Cleaning out your sewer lines will release bad odor for good. When you clean a clogged sink without removing the blockage, you only cover up the odor instead of removing it.

Reduce the Amount of Water Backups You Experience

Have you noticed your sink or bathtub floods with water once every couple of months or more? Even when you use a drain snake, there could be a blockage deep down in your pipes that you can’t access without opening your main sewer line. After you clean out your main sewer line, you can expect a massive decrease in water backups for the next year until it’s time to clean it.

Cleaning out your main sewer line at least once a year is a great way to prevent your water from backing up. Water backups can bring out nasty stuff from your pipes that you don’t want to deal with after a long day. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that there is a main sewer line they can access to minimize their plumbing issues. 

Use Tools to Get Debris Out of Your Pipes

Some of the most common tools people use to clean out their main sewer lines are drain snakes and wrenches. When you use a drain snake, you can get right into your main sewer line and pull out any of the large debris trapped in your upper pipes. Your wrench will allow you to access more areas of your sewer line to clean out any blockages thoroughly.

Depending on your sewer line’s components and pipes, you might need to invest in more tools. However, once you determine all the tools you need to get the job done you can remove your drainpipe cap and insert your snake until you thoroughly clean your pipes. 

Find Your Main Sewer Line

You might have trouble finding it if you’ve never accessed the main sewer line to your current home. So the first thing you need to do is know what to look for. Your main sewer line is a 4-inch wide pipe with a screw cap. Typically, your main sewer line pipe will be white; however, this color can change depending on your house’s pipes.

You can usually find your main sewer line in your basement, crawl space, or backyard. Some houses might have the main sewer line in the front yard, although this is uncommon because they can seem unsightly. If you have a large house, you might be searching for a while before you find your sewer pipeline, and you might benefit from hiring a professional instead. 

After you locate your main sewer line, you can get to work cleaning it out to prevent water backups and eradicate bad odors in your home from your plumbing. However, sometimes taking care of the direct drain to these facilities isn’t enough, and it’s time to find the main sewer line instead.

Hire a Professional When Standard Methods Don’t Work

Tons of situations can cause all sorts of plumbing issues throughout your home, and sometimes cleaning out your main sewer line isn’t enough to rectify those problems. If you’ve cleaned out your main sewer line and you’re still experiencing water backups or bad odors from your plumbing, then consider hiring a professional to handle the job to prevent damaging your plumbing system.

Contact us at (520) 214-2149 to resolve your plumbing issues or clean your main sewer line. If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning out the main sewer line yourself, we’ll be happy to do the dirty work for you.  

Why Your Bathtub Is Cogged and How to Fix It

Why Your Bathtub Is Cogged and How to Fix It

When your bathtub is clogged, it can ruin a relaxing night after work. People use their bathtubs to unwind and get clean. A bathtub clog will completely counteract that goal. There are many reasons why your bathtub might be clogged, and there are several resolutions to that problem to go through.

Please continue reading our guide to learn how to unclog your bathtub and why it is clogged in the first place.

Too Much Hair in The Drain 

The number one reason most people have a clogged bathtub is because there’s too much hair in the drain. When you use your bathtub frequently, it’s natural for some hair to fall out during your bath or shower. You might not notice the hair falling out immediately, but it does happen, and all of that hair accumulates in your drain eventually.

The easiest way to resolve this problem is to buy a drain snake and remove the bathtub plug to get in there. You can snake out as much hair as possible, which should solve the problem in most instances. If you clean out your drains regularly, you won’t experience clogged bathtubs very often.

Soap Scum Buildup Causing a Blockage

Sometimes the reason your drain is clogged is because there’s too much soap and buildup inside. You can recognize soap scum inside your drain by taking a flashlight and peeking into the drain. If your drain is covered in chalky residue, you have a soap scum problem.

Fortunately, you can dissolve soap scum with common household cleaning solutions. Chances are that you already have these products on hand. Pour baking soda directly into your drain and chase it with distilled white vinegar. Ensure that there’s no bleach cleaner in your bathtub before you do this procedure.

After you pour the vinegar to chase the baking soda, your sink will bubble up because the chemicals will react together. Don’t worry! This is a safe chemical reaction. Once the bubbles dissolve, follow up with  boiling water to eliminate the soap scum in your drain.

High Mineral Content in Your Water

Many people have hard water, which means a high mineral content can cause a blockage in your drains and clog your bathtub. Some people combat this problem by purchasing a water softener, but once the mineral buildup has already occurred, it’s too late for that method. Fortunately, you can use a cheap at-home solution to minimize the buil-up hard water in your bathtub drain.

Pour distilled white vinegar down your drain and allow  it to sit for at least 20 minutes to combat as much buildup as possible. White vinegar is an excellent tool to dissolve calcium buildup in your bathtub as long as there’s no bleach treatment already present.

Tracking Too Much Dirt into The Tub

If you’re the outdoorsy type, then there’s a chance you’re tracking too much dirt into your bathtub and clogging your drains that way. With all of the hair and water that goes through drains, your bathtub is experiencing enough. Dirt and mud can get caught in pre-existing debris and cause a clog. 

The best way to prevent tracking too much dirt into your bathtub is to hose off your feet outside before you enter the house after swimming or hiking. Beach sand is especially gritty and the most common type of dirt that will get stuck in your drain, while most other dirt will go down with no problem. If you don’t have a hose, you can wipe off your feet with a towel before entering your bathtub.

If it’s too late and you already have too much sand in your drain, you must follow this method to unclog it. You have a drain snake to remove all hair and debris and pour water down it to ensure your pipes are clear. Sand causes clogs by attaching itself to other materials in your bathtub drain. 

Pick a Great Plumber If Home Remedies Fail

If you’ve tried all these methods and are still experiencing a clogged bathtub, you should hire a professional to fix the problem. If home remedies don’t work, you might have something wrong with your plumbing system. Contact us at (520) 214-2149 today to get an estimate on your plumbing needs and answer any concerns you have about your clogged bathtub. 

Why Hire a Professional for Your Water Heater Repair

Water heater repair is an essential part of owning a home. Water heaters are common appliances that require repairs and maintenance every few years because of how frequently they’re used. Unfortunately, most people use their water heaters every day, so eventually, they will get worn out. While fixing it yourself can be tempting to save money, hiring a professional will save you more money in the long run.

Saving Time on Water Heater Repair

Trying to fix your water heater yourself can cost you a lot of time. Between figuring out what the issue is with your water heater, learning how to fix that issue, and even finding out you were fixing the wrong issue, you can waste a lot of time trying to fix your water heater yourself. Therefore, hiring a plumber to fix your water heater is essential for ensuring that the job is done right and saving you time.

On top of that, you don’t want to waste your time trying to fix something you don’t know how to fix. In addition, finding free time outside work can be difficult, and you don’t want to burden yourself with more work in your off time.

Save Money

Many people try fixing their water heater because they think it’ll save them money on plumber service fees. However, if you’re not a professional plumber, you could cause yourself more trouble and cost yourself more money by conducting the water heater repair yourself. In addition, if you have fixed the wrong parts on your water heater, that’s money on wasted parts that you spent and wasted.

Hiring a plumber can also help determine if it’s time to buy a new water heater. Getting the answers to your problems right away is the best way to save money on your services. If you try a bunch of fixes on a water heater that’s just broken, then you will waste a lot of money on repairs that don’t work. A plumber will properly diagnose and resolve your problems so that you don’t waste money on the wrong procedures to fix your water heater.

Reduce Stress

Fixing your water heater can be agonizing if you’re not a trained professional plumber. Plumbers know what they’re doing, which is why people hire them for their services. Water heater repair is difficult, and many things can cause your water heater to malfunction. A plumber has seen all sorts of water heater repairs during their career and can quickly diagnose and resolve your issue with your water heater.

Types of Water Heater Problems

A lot of problems can happen with your water heater that may need professional intervention from a plumber. Water heaters have many parts and can get worn out over the years, especially with daily use. The following are types of water heater problems that you may find yourself needing a plumber to fix:

  • Your water heater isn’t producing any hot water
  • A strange smell comes from the water from your water heater
  • The water is extremely hot and might burn your skin
  • Your water heater is leaking
  • It takes hours for your water to get hot again after use

 

All of these situations can be extremely frustrating and interrupt your daily life. However, these situations are also common for people who use water heaters frequently. A plumber can investigate your water heater to see which water heater repairs they can use to help you.

Can You Fix a Water Heater Yourself?

While it is possible to fix your water heater problems yourself, it can be difficult and frustrating for untrained people to fix a water heater. Plumbers conduct water heater repairs all the time, making it very easy for them to diagnose and resolve any problems you might have with your water heater. In addition, most people want to get their water heaters fixed as soon as possible because they need to use their water heaters daily.

 

Hiring a professional for your water heater repairs is the best way to ensure that your water heater gets repaired without further problems and allows you to use your water heater sooner than you’d be able to if you tried to fix it yourself. So contact us today to repair your water heater.

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!