Most Effective DIY Drain Cleaners

There are very many drains in a typical home plumbing system. There are several types of drains in your house. We have the bathroom drains that drain water from your showers and bathtubs. We also have kitchen sink drains that drain water and food waste from your kitchen sinks and the garbage disposal unit. We also have floor drains in the basement, laundry room, garage, and other places in the compound. And we can’t forget those toilet drains that are used to flush away all human waste from the house. One of the most important plumbing maintenance activities is drain cleaning. Sometimes you are forced to clean the drains in your house because there is a clog somewhere. But you also need to do routine drain cleaning once or twice a year to ensure that your home drainage and sewer system is in perfect condition. Whether you are just unclogging your drains or engaging in routine drain cleaning, there are several types of drain cleaners that you can use. We will now discuss the six most effective DIY drain cleaners that you can use at home without damaging your drainage system or polluting the environment.

Plunger

Cincinnati bathroom plumberThe plunger is a plumber’s best friend. It should also be your best friend whenever you want to do plumbing repair in Cincinnati. One of the most common plumbing problems is drain clogging. And the easiest way to unclog your drains is to use a plunger to dislodge the clog. That is why you should take this tool very seriously. There are two types of plungers. There is a specially designed toilet plunger for unclogging the toilet. We also have a specially designed kitchen and bathroom plunger for unclogging kitchen sink drains and bathroom drains. You should make sure that you have these two types of plungers at all times in your house.

Drain Claw

A drain claw is a specially designed tool for unclogging bathroom drains. The main cause of bathroom clogs is hair. A drain claw is designed to catch all the hairs that are trapped in your bathroom drains thereby unclogging the whole system.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

One of the most effective DIY drain cleaners is a vinegar and baking soda solution. You can use this solution to remove even the most stubborn clogs in you drainage system. You can pour some baking soda into your clogged drainage pipes and then follow it up with vinegar. You can also add hot water to make the drain cleaner more effective.

Hot Water

It’s hard to believe this but most clogs can be removed with hot water. You do not need all those expensive and dangerous chemical drain cleaners to remove most clogs. Just pour hot water down your clogged drainage pipes and everything will be okay.

Plumber’s Snake

A plumber’s snake features a long metallic wire that goes deep into your drainage system. This device can be used to remove most clogs in your drainage and sewer system. You can buy a plumber’s snake from your local hardware store for a few dollars.

Coat Hanger

You can also improvise and make your own plumber’s snake using a metallic coat hanger. You just need to unfold the hanger and shape its end before dipping it into your drainage system to remove a clog.

Care And Maintenance Tips For A Tankless Water Heater

All plumbing fixtures and appliances require constant care and proper maintenance. With constant care and proper maintenance, all the plumbing fixtures and appliances will last longer and continue to function properly. One of the most important plumbing appliances is the hot water heater. As the name implies, the hot water heater provides all the hot water that we need at home. It provides hot water for showering, washing dishes, washing clothes, and even drinking. But just like all the other plumbing fixtures and appliances at home, your hot water heater requires constant care and maintenance to ensure its functionality and enhance its longevity. There are three man types of hot water heaters namely the conventional storage tank water heater, the tankless water heater, and the hybrid heat pump water heater. All these water heaters require a source of fuel, such as natural gas, propane, electricity, geothermal etc in order to heat water. The tankless water heater has become very popular of late because it’s more efficient than the storage tank water heater. Today we are going to share a few care and plumbing maintenance tips for a tankless water heater.

Flush The Water Heater

The most basic care and maintenance activity for a tankless water heater is flushing. This is especially important in areas where there is a hard water problem. Flushing your tankless water heater will remove all the lime scale from the appliance. Flushing a tankless water heater is also called descaling. It should be done every six months to two years and it helps keep your tankless water heater in great shape. You can flush your tankless water heater on your own or you can hire a professional plumber in Cincinnati for the job. If you decide to flush your tankless water heater on your own, you will need a sump pump, distilled vinegar, water, and two lengths of hose. Start by shutting off all power to the tankless water heater. Remove the access panel, turn off the water supply, and release the pressure valve. You will use the sump pump to run the distilled vinegar in the tankless water heater until the whole unit is clean including the valves and all sediments are gone. You will then rinse the device with water. The hoses are used to run the distilled vinegar and water in the water heater.

Clean The Water Filter

Another important care and maintenance activity for tankless water heaters is cleaning the water filter. Some tankless water heaters come with a sediment screen for trapping large debris before it reaches the heating unit. These sediment screens usually last as long as the hot water heater. But you should clean them from time to time to remove all the sediments and debris. You can soak the sediment screen in white vinegar for some time and then clean it under running water to remove all debris. Use the device manual to check the location of the filter. You can also hire a professional plumber to clean the sediment filter in your hot water heater.

Regular Inspections

plumber in CincinnatiYou should make a point of inspecting your tankless water heater from time to time. Make sure that you inspect all the pipes that supply to and remove water from the water heater. Also check the heating element and all the valves to ensure that they are in good condition. Any broken part should be repaired immediately.

Pros And Cons Of Wall Mounted/Hung Toilets

There are very many types of toilets in the market today. Toilets come in very many designs to suit various uses and preferences. We are all familiar with the traditional gravity-feed toilet. This toilet uses gravity to flush human waste into the sewer system. But now we have pressure-assisted toilets like flushometers and dual-flush toilets that use compressed air to flush human waste. These toilets conserve a lot of water and are hence very eco-friendly. Most American homes have the traditional two-piece toilets. But many people are now investing in one-piece toilets that feature a sleeker and more compact design. Most people still use floor-standing toilets in their homes. These are the traditional toilets that are installed on the floor. But we now have wall mounted or wall hung toilets. As the name implies, wall mounted/hung toilets are installed on the wall in the bathroom. You only see the toilet bowl because the toilet tank is installed inside the bathroom wall. Wall mounted toilets have a control panel for flushing the toilet. You can also remove the panel to access the hidden toilet tank. Let us now look at the advantages and disadvantages of wall mounted/hung toilets.

Advantages

plumber in CincinnatiLike innovative faucets and sinks, along with all other plumbing fixtures and appliances, wall mounted toilets have their fair share of advantages over the traditional floor-standing toilets. The following are some of the major pros of installing a wall hung toilet in your bathroom.

Classy Bathroom Look

Wall mounted toilets give your bathroom a sleek classy look. Guests will be awed by your bathroom because they will only find a classy toilet bowl instead of the whole toilet in your bathroom. Plus the operating controls are very innovative and classy.

Minimal Space

As you can easily guess, a wall mounted toilet takes up very little space in the bathroom. The toilet tank is installed inside the wall so you only need space for the toilet bowl. This will save a lot of space in your bathroom.

Easier To Clean

Having a wall mounted toilet will make those hectic bathroom cleaning routines far much easier. The toilet bowl of the wall mounted toilet is hung on the wall. This means that you can easily clean the area below the toilet bowl. Remember that the area around the toilet bowl in a floor-standing toilet is very hard to clean.

Disadvantages

Wall mounted toilets offer several disadvantages to the owner. Let us now look at the major cons of installing a wall mounted toilet.

Expensive To Buy

Wall mounted toilets cost a little bit more than floor standing toilets. This is expected considering the many innovative features that come with this type of toilet. You will have to invest a little bit more in this toilet.

Expensive To Install

Wall mounted toilets are expensive and hard to install. Whereas you can install an ordinary floor-standing toilet on your own, you will have to pay for a plumbing service in Cincinnati to have your wall hung toilet installed by a professional plumber. This is mainly because the toilet tank is installed inside the bathroom walls and the bowl is hung on the wall.

Expensive To Maintain

Repairing a wall mounted toilet can be quite tricky. You will have to call a professional plumber for the job. This means that maintaining this toilet is quite costly.

3 Reasons Why You Need A Battery Powered Backup Sump Pump

Floodwater can cause very many plumbing problems in your home. Floodwater can damage your valuables in the basement and in other parts that are flooded during a rainstorm. Floodwater can also ruin the foundation of your house, the floors and walls in your basement, and even cause health problems in your household. That is why you should always be prepared for flooding especially if you live in an area that is prone to heavy rainstorms and flooding. And the most effective way of preventing flooding in your house is by installing a sump pump.

A sump pump is a mechanical device that is installed in a hole called a sump pit in the basement. This device is electrically powered and it starts pumping out flood water automatically from the basement when the water reaches a certain level. It’s highly advisable that you install two sump pumps in your home; the main electrically powered sump pump and a backup battery powered sump pump. You should install the backup sump pump above the ground so that it kicks in when the main sump pump fails. Here are three major reasons why you should install a backup battery powered sump pump.

Operates When The Main Sump Pump Fails

The main sump pump is usually hooked up to an electrical power source in the house. This presents quite a serious problem during a heavy rainstorm. Remember that electrical blackouts or power failure usually occurs when there is a heavy rainstorm. This means that your main sump pump is likely to fail when you need it most; during a heavy rainstorm. In order to prevent flooding during a power blackout, you need to have a backup battery powered sump pump. The best backup sump pump should have a rechargeable battery. Anyway, this battery powered sump pump will start working automatically when the main sump pump fails. This means that you will always be protected from flooding by the two sump pumps.

Easier To Maintain

This is a great advantage that many people are not aware of. Battery powered backup sump pumps are easier to maintain than electrically powered main sump pumps. This is mainly because they are installed above the ground, which means that they are easier to access in case you need to repair them. They also seldom have to work because the main sump pump is always at work. This means that they break down rarely. If you wish to install a battery powered backup sump pump, just call any reliable Cincinnati plumbing company for advice. They will help you choose the right size and model and even install it for you.

Early Flood Warnings

Cincinnati plumbing companyModern battery powered backup sump pumps are very advanced and sophisticated. They are able to forewarn you about imminent flooding problems. This will help you plan on time and even call for help before flooding occurs. These modern backup sump pumps have many advanced features for monitoring the battery status, for self-testing to ensure that they are always in good working condition, and for alerting you in case there is a problem or a risk of flooding. This means that this device will protect you and your household in case of heavy rainstorms in your locality.  Check both of your sump pumps as part o your plumbing maintenance routine to greatly reduce chances of flooding and water damage.

Understanding The Drainage And Sewer System

The home plumbing system consists of very many sections and components.  There are several critical areas in your home plumbing system, which require special car and maintenance. The first critical part of your home plumbing system is the water supply piping network. The other critical part of your plumbing system is the hot water heater. All the plumbing control systems including the water meter and the main shutoff valve are among the most critical parts of your home plumbing system. The drainage and sewer system is another super critical part of your home plumbing system. The drainage and sewer system is quite elaborate and very important. The drainage and sewer is responsible for the disposal of all liquid and human waste from the house to the municipal sewer system or to the private septic tank. To help you understand the parts and workings of the drainage and sewer system, we have divided it into five sections.

The Drainage System

plumbing repair in CincinnatiThe drainage system includes all the drainage pipes in your house. These are all the pipes that carry wastewater in your house. These pipes are found in many rooms in the house including the bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, and any other area that produces wastewater. The drainage system also includes all the fixtures in your home plumbing system. There are very many fixtures in your home plumbing system including all the sinks, faucets, showers, bathtubs, toilets, and so on. All the repairs, installations, and maintenance of your drainage system are handled by professional plumbers who specialize in Cincinnati sewer services. The drainage system is connected to the sewer system deep underground where the sewer lines run.

The Underground Sewer Lines

The drainage pipes in your house are connected to the sewer lines that carry all the wastewater and other waste to the municipal sewer system or to your private septic tank. Sewer lines are mainly installed below the ground, which means that they run under your house and under the soil in your compound. Sewer lines carry wastewater or sewage from the house. Underground sewer lines can develop all kinds of problems including tree root infiltration, leaking, breakage, old age, clogging and many others. If you are connected to the municipal sewer system, then all the sewer lines in your plumbing system empty into the main sewer pipe installed by the local municipal body or organization.

The Main Sewer Pipe

The main sewer pipe is a huge sewer line installed by the local municipal body. This pipe is connected to all individual sewer lines that come from houses in that particular neighborhood. It carries all the wastewater from different homes to the municipal sewer system.

The Septic Tank

Septic tanks are private sewer installations for handling and disposing of wastewater or sewage. They are usually located some distance away from the house. Private septic tanks are usually used by homes that are not connected to the municipal sewer system mostly in rural areas. These facilities usually feature a septic drain fields where all the sewage is disposed of into the soil.

The Municipal Sewer System

The municipal or local sewer system is a specially designed sewage disposal system that caters for all the homes in a certain neighborhood. All the sewer systems in that area dispose of all their sewage in the municipal sewer system. All this waste flows to a sewage treatment plant where it is treated and disposed of properly.

Common Water Heater Leaks

Hot water heaters are ranked among the most critical plumbing appliances. These devices play a very important role in the home plumbing system. They supply all areas in the house with hot water including the kitchen and bathroom. Hot water is essential especially during the cold season. You need hot water to take shower or a bath in your bathtub. You also need hot water to wash your dishes in the dishwasher or even by hand. Hot water is also used to wash some clothes. And some of us like during hot water for health reasons or just for fun. As you can see, the hot water heater has very many functional advantages at home. But in order to enjoy all these benefits, you need to ensure that your hot water heater is always in tiptop condition. This means that you need to inspect your hot water heater regularly and implement all the necessary care and maintenance activities to ensure its functionality and enhance its durability. One of the most common water heater problems is leaking. Water heater leaks should be treated as plumbing emergencies because they are very serious. Here are some of the most common leaks that occur in Cincinnati water heaters.

Leaking Drain Valve

If you suspect that your water heater is leaking, the first thing that you should do is locate the source of the leak. Water heater leaks will not only waste your water, they will also waste energy because the device is leaking heated water. One of the most common water heater leaks occurs in the drain valve. The drain valve is used to drain the water heater mostly when flushing the unit as a maintenance activity. The drain valve can start leaking due to old age or physical damage. If the drain valve in your hot water heater is made of plastic, the plastic valve can become brittle over the years. If you use the worn-out drain valve to empty or drain the tank, the plastic can crack and start leaking. Another common cause of drain valve leaks is a failing gasket. Plastic drain valves come with rubber gaskets. The rubber gasket can deteriorate or wear out with age and this can cause leaking in your water heater. If the drain valve in your hot water heater is leaking, you can try to tighten it with a wrench. Do not over-tighten it because it can break off. The best remedy is to replace the whole drain valve with a new high quality one.

Leaking Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve

Hot water heaters have a temperature and pressure relief valve. It does exactly that. It relieves temperature and pressure from the device when they are too high. Your water heater can start leaking because of very high water pressure and/or temperature. The relief valve is designed to release water when the pressure is too high and/or the temperature rises above 210º F. Avoid setting the thermostat too high to prevent this type of leaking.

Leaking Tank

Cincinnati water heater servicesThe hot water storage tank or reservoir in your water heater can start leaking due to physical damage, rust, old age, or sediment buildup. Hot water tanks can develop pinhole leaks at the bottom and start leaking. In most cases you have to replace the whole unit to solve this problem. Plumbing maintenance can help reduce the risk of this happening.