Basement Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Of all the phases of a construction project in a basement, the plumbing phase can be the hardest to accomplish for a number of reasons. To begin with, any waste water in general, usually has to be pumped out. Secondly, basements tend to be very unforgiving when it comes to leaks, even very minor ones.


Although not every home has a basement, those that do require special attention to the plumbing system. Just like the bathroom and the kitchen, the basement plumbing system requires regular maintenance in order to avoid emergency plumbing situations. Follow these basement plumbing tips to keep everything in your home running efficiently.

Understanding the Basics

Water Main Shutoff ValveFirst things first – when you are thinking about the plumbing system in your home, it’s important to know exactly where the water shutoff valve is located. The shutoff valve is usually found right where the main supply pipe enters the house coming up through your basement floor, either next to or very close to the water meter. The main shutoff for the house will be one or two valves near the main water supply pipe that can be turned on and off by hand.

There may also be an additional shutoff outside the house, buried in a cavity that is sometimes referred to as a “buffalo box.” If you have a buffalo box, it will generally be found in the ground near the street or the edge of your property. The box will often have a round metal cover. Pry open the cover and look inside with a flashlight. There will be a valve that you can turn by hand or with a long-handled “key.”

If you will need to shut down the system often during the course of a project, find your external shutoff and use it to shut off the water. Don’t depend entirely on the inside shutoff (particularly if you have an older home) – it can break, leak, or stop shutting off.

Other basic basement plumbing maintenance tips include the following:

  • Check your water meter during a period of time when no water is being used. Make a note of the meter reading and check it eight to 10 hours later. If the meter has moved, there is an indication that you may have an undetected water leak, which should be corrected.
  • Stop annoying water hammer noises by installing shock absorbers that absorb vibrations in water lines.
  • Septic tanks should be inspected and pumped every three to five years to help prevent costly replacement of the filter field.

Basement Clogged Drain Tips

Many basements have floor drains that will remove wastewater from washing machines, air conditioners, water heaters and other things like vehicles covered in snow. Just like other drains, these can collect scum and debris and require regular cleaning and maintenance. Here are a few basement plumbing tips when it comes to floor drains:

  • Clean your drains regularly. Clear them of visible debris and use an old toothbrush to scrub away substances and any dirt you see off the edges.
  • To further clean your drain, pour a bucket of boiling water down and wait 15 minutes. Then add a 16oz box of baking soda down the drain and make it fizzle by adding 3 cups of vinegar. Wait another 10 minutes and add 6 cups of boiling water slowly. Wash away what’s left of the vinegar and baking soda.
  • If you want to attempt clearing a clogged floor drain yourself, rent a power auger with 50 ft or more of cable and follow the instructions for use.


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Services Offered by Plumbers

Residential plumbing is amongst the most important parts of your property. It helps you take a shower, keep the water hot and even do your dishes. All households and company encounters various difficulties with their plumbing. Plumbing technicians arrive at their rescue and solve their issues just like unclogging the pipes, installing new pipes and checking for leaks to name a few. Plumbing entails different varieties of services for each plumbing necessity. This is exactly why it is very important find a very good plumbing contractor to service your property regularly.

All Plumbing Repairs

If your plumbing requires repair or maintenance or even complete substitutions of the pipes, plumbing companies can perform the task after identifying the actual need. They are able to fix broken/damaged water lines, pipes, rusty junctures, faucet leaks, commode repair; sever repairing, garbage disposals, low water pressure, and even backflow etc. If needed, they have the ability to offer setting up any plumbing fixture with minimum disturbance to your property.

Water Heaters

These are professionals who have been in the field for years and have a better idea of how a water heater should be done. Your service may involve a advised replacement of your entire system if it is outdated, old, and unproductive or you might just need a replacement of certain parts. This service could lead to a huge investment on your part since it permits you to cut back on your monthly energy expense and can help you to become more eco-friendly as you use less resources in your house or office.

Drain Cleaning

Plumbers have got all the necessary tools that you might not have to unclog drains and repair water heaters. Doing it yourself could damage your home and cost you more over time. Allowing an expert take care of your needs is the best thing that that can be done for yourself and the condition of your house. Drum machines are just one type of equipment that experts use to unclog piping, vents and drains. The cutter blade on the end makes sure to get the job done right without destroying anything. It is going to scrape out any blocking and debris that are stuck on the side of the piping.

Plumbing can be quite a complex process, regardless of whether you want a new sink, or you want to route a water system in for your new fridge. When you use an expert plumbing company for all your maintenance, repair, and installation needs, you’ll be able to feel at ease that you’re taken care of. You will also find that there is a budget for all of your plumbing needs, and will not break the bank from upgrading your fixtures or repairing old plumbing pieces that break.





What To Check In Your Plumbing

Being a home owner it’s your obligation to carryout routine maintenance checks especially on areas that will cost you a lot. Just like in plumbing, if troubles are not seen right away, it could become an uphill one with minor issues rising, branching into other sub domains which makes harder for you to deal with. The good thing about having a checklist is the more organized you are, the more areas are dealt with. You should follow a regular cycle just like twice to thrice annually to ensure you can avoid any issues from getting out of hand.

That said, listed here is a brief checklist to get handy once you schedule your home plumbing inspection. Figure out what to anticipate and the way to solve problems as they occur.

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Your need to examine every commode in your home to find out if they are in great condition. You may check the supply line and shut off valve, the flapper and flush valve, and the ballcock. A flush test will determine if there are leaking and if something in the tank needs to be fixed or replaced.

You have to check out all sink along with other fixtures the drain operates to find out how quickly water drains. The most common causes of slow water flow are a drain clog or a blocked vent pipe. All drains have to display a full “swirl” while emptying. If you find bubbles as water is flowing down the drain, this could indicate a water flow issue.

Shower heads and taps
Remove all shower heads and faucet screens. You’re looking for sediment that may have built up inside the fixtures. Take a close look for any cracks and use a sealant to fill minor ones. Don’t merely attempt replacing every tap and showerhead in the house as you need help on this.

Water Heater
One of the most apparent warning signs of water heater issue is when there is moisture around the base of the tank or condensation leaking from the tank. Your tank is supposed to be a closed system in order for it to function correctly. If you have moisture seeping from the tank, it’s a sign that the tank is on its way out and have to be replaced. You may notice a little rise in your power bills or that you aren’t getting just as much hot water as you have previously.

Check the residence for any mildew development, since these grow in moist conditions it can help you to find leaking in the piping. Just be sure you deal with these leaks as quickly as possible, and be sure that each of the portions is properly enclosed.

The purpose of the plumbing inspection would be to give you relief that the water supply and water heating features just isn’t affected. A thorough check up at least once a year can see your home’s integrity.


How-To Caulk Tips for First Timers

If you have cracks and gaps in that drafty, old house then it’s time to get caulking. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is


Yeah, we get it: caulking isn’t on your bucket list. That’s why you need this info. You want to know how to caulk and how do it right the first time, so you don’t have to do it again. Consider this a necessary crash course that will help you get things done right so you can focus on your actual bucket list, not on your caulking to-do list.

But first, you should probably know: why bother to caulk in the first place?

It’s simple: to keep the outdoors outside and the indoors inside. The average home has air leaks equivalent to leaving open a three square foot window all the time. That’s money just going out the window, not to mention comfort. So, seal ‘er up. You’ll save money. And when you follow the guidelines below and use a Sashco product, you’ll save money and time, avoid headaches, and look darn good doing it. Watch the video below to get started, then finish reading and you’ll be on your way.


1. Watch the Weather

Weather affects:

  • The size of the joint at the time of caulking – like your knee joints and tennis elbow, joints will swell in extreme temps
  • The contaminants on the surfaces of the joint, like dust, pollen, dew, etc.
  • The ability of the caulk to properly adhere to the surfaces
  • The ability of the caulk to properly cure and develop its ideal physical properties – caulk can’t cure properly in freezing temps, nor in extremely hot temps.

Caulk in ideal weather conditions whenever possible. What is ideal? 40°F and rising and 90°F and falling. This also applies to the surface temp. It should be in that range, too. (Of course, Sashco has products that can work outside of that. But still – this is best.)

But what about wet or snowy conditions? If it has just rained or snowed and you’re using a water-based product, allow the surfaces to completely dry before caulking. Wet surfaces will make proper adhesion difficult and will prevent the caulk from curing correctly. (Yep, you could get a bunch …



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Why you need home plumbing supplies

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The plumbing world is enclosed to pipes and tubing systems however it has a lot of things required for the work. Plumbing supplies include torches, hacksaws, pliers, cutters, and various types of wrenches. Some may not deem necessary to plan for emergency situation such plumbing disaster however at this time discover why you should have plumbing supplies available on your own house.

Of course plumbing is important. How would we eat, drink, shower or brush our teeth without it? It takes care of all the water which comes in and goes out of your property. There are many more reasons why plumbing is important too. Plumbing doesn’t only pertain to water. In addition, it pertains to other items like the water heating tank and the washing machine. The toilet isn’t the only thing that needs a little up-keep. You need to be aware if some plumbing parts breaks, your whole day routine may be affected.

Right now, it is crucial that whenever you look for the proper plumbing materials that are going to work with your water system; you will have access to the best one. You will be able to come across various options with regards to these plumbing supplies. Since there are a bunch of supplies on the market for you to buy, it is essential that you discover the best supplier who offers supplies made from high grade materials which are sturdy enough for your convenience. . Your supplies don’t have to be branded however; you must be getting it from a reputable supplier to make sure that you will get tools and supplies which are made from high quality materials that would go longer.

If you need to obtain plumbing supply for your residence, you need to understand the correct size of these fittings and fixtures. You have to know the correct measurement or the exact size of the pipe which needs to be repaired or jointed using a new fitting. Further, you need to be able to identify good quality fittings from the cheaper ones given that you’ll pay way for more expenses when choosing the cheap ones.

Whether you would like to learn how you can be a great plumber or you just want to know the basic of plumbing for emergency purposes, having these few basic plumbing supplies inside your tool box will keep your mind at ease, as these tools ensures you to do any particular job successfully and quickly. You don’t have to rush always in local stores to get what you need.


Sewer Backup Prevention

A sewer backup dilemma may be disheartening and dreadful. Getting up one morning to find your basement or bathroom flowed with raw sewage can be quite a horrible experience. In addition situations such as this can cause toxic black mold growth that may be a big health risk. You have to know what to do once your home experiences a sewage backup, and the way to prevent it.

– Large Items

A few lifestyle guidelines will also help in the prevention of sewer difficulties. The very first is to be smart about what you’re getting down your drains. Do not flush or drain items such as diapers, grease, or paper products as these only bring about obstruction issues. Also be certain to remember the area of your sewer lines when planting new trees or putting in any landscaping. Plant roots are a common problem of pipe breaks that could be easily prevented by thinking through installations and plantings thoroughly.

– Cooking Oil

An additional common blockage for sewer backups are grease, oils and fats that solidify and form very stubborn clogs that close off the sewer line. It’s emphasized for individuals not to rinse cooking grease down the sink’s drain to avoid sewer backups. Instead oils, grease and fats can be scrubbed into a tin can and thrown to the garbage as opposed to down the sink.

– Shrubs and Trees

One of the most usual reasons that sewer systems become compromised is because of tree roots. When tree roots develop so deep that they begin to grow into the sewer lines, it is only a matter of time before you begin to have any problems with your sewer system backing up. Do not forget that it can take years for a sewer system to become supported from an overgrowth of tree roots. Should you delay until you start having troubles with your sewer system, you are looking for a huge repair bill. Employ an arborist to remove the undesirable tree or roots so you don’t have to ever concern yourself with any issues.

There are a number of sewer backflow devices that you can put in in the home’s sewer system so as to keep the sewage from backing up into your home when the main sewer blockage happens. You should set up the device in a way that it goes on the residential sewer line that links with your area’s district sewer line. For ideal results you must make certain that system is put in by a professional.

Unless the backup is caused by the main sewer line, preventing dilemmas in your own home line is a matter of wise practice. By simply following the above tips for prevention, you can avoid these most unpleasant plumbing emergencies. Don’t forget: dealing with sewage is very damaging business.


Identifying Septic System Failure

A septic system may fail for a number of reasons. Solid substances can get stuck and cause blockages within the pipes or at the outlets. This could mean large volumes of water forcing the sludge into the whole distribution channel and the whole absorption field may get flooded. Learn more of this below.


Septic System Failures

Failures within the septic system are usually caused by blockages and clogging from non-dissolved solids. Septic system failures often originate with a failure within the absorption field, which can be caused by crushed or broken pipelines, obstructions or blockages from tree roots, or a blockage within the pipes themselves. The most common source of in-pipe blockages are a result of high volumes of wastewater forcing sludge out of the septic tank and into the distribution system or subsurface treatment system and from sodium overload. Sodium overload occurs when excess sodium chemically bonds with clay particles in an absorption field and forms a water proof barrier around the perforations in the pipes called Hardpan Soil. Both of these failure types result in flooding of your absorption field, which can be disastrous for the species of aerobic bacteria that live in the soil and help treat the effluent as it flows down to the ground water.

Tips for Identifying a Failing System

Identifying a failing septic system can be difficult to an untrained eye, but there are a few tell-tale signs that one can look out for when trying to determine if a system is failing. The EPA lists slowly draining sinks and toilets, gurgling sounds in the plumbing, constant plumbing backups, sewage odors in the house, or tests showing the presence of bacteria in well water as the first signs of a failing septic system, so if you notice any of these occurring, it would be smart to check outside the house for these signs of potential septic system failure also:

·         When a septic system fails and untreated effluent is being released into the surrounding soil, the first sign is usually a strong odor. Gases that are released during decomposition processes typically reach the surface first and are easily recognizable. The smell of sewage coming from the ground on your …


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How To Find Plumbing Leaks

There are clear leaks, and there are also the leaking that hide from us and aren’t always so easy to recognize. These plumbing leaks can occur at any time. We could end up saving a lot of money if you these leaks are detected faster. You don’t have to wait for a pipe to burst or find major water damage at home to realize you have a leak. You will find signs that you could look for spot leakages early. It is so important to watch for leakages in your house because they can take place anywhere. Seek out leaks anywhere in which there could be running water. If you wait too long it may end up costing more income through water damage, or even worst a ruptured pipe.


a) Keep your eyes peeled for spots on walls or floors that look different. They could even display a little discoloration or bulge. Spots like this are a dead giveaway that something strange is going on beneath them.

b) Probably the first troubleshooting step you can take to figure out this plumbing issue is to listen for the leak. Before you do that, you have to find the water supply valve in your home and shut it off. As soon as you close the valve, listen for leaking water wherever it might be–in the bathroom, kitchen or even basement.

c) You may notice a crack in the foundation of your house, don’t just chalk it up to settling of the home. It could be a sign that water is leaking.

d) Smell the air to check for a stale or damp odor, since this is commonly a good sign that you’re close to locating a concealed leak. When you can smell a musty smell, perhaps there’s a leak lurking in your house anywhere.

e) Look immediately at the numbers on the water meter. Look at the digits to find out if they’re moving and whether the number rises. In the event the numbers do fluctuate and increase, you’ve confirmed that you’ve got a water leak and should notify a plumber.

Once you’ve discovered a potential leak, call a plumber straight away. He will be able to determine whether there’s indeed a leak and definitely will possess the skills to repair it before it can do any more damage. Take into account that hidden leaks probably won’t be easy or low-cost to repair. It could possibly imply that a section of the wall or ceiling will need to be removed to give the plumber access to problem area and enable him to fix it. Even so, though, a leak is not going to go away. It’s only going to get worse, therefore it is better to meet the problem at once right now than it will be to wait until it gets more severe.


Water Heater Replacement Guide

If your water heater has finally gone out on you, or perhaps you plan to update to a new, power efficient product, there are many points that should be considered to obtain an appliance that will aid you well for many years. Here are some points to consider as you make your choice.


Tend not to make the error of presuming the size of heater you currently have is appropriate. A lot of households have heaters which are extra-large, which wastes a lot of energy, or undersized, making the household run out of hot water too fast. The average household could use a 50-gallon heater, although this decision could be a bit confusing. The most suitable choice is having a plumbing company to estimate your property and determine your requirements.


There is a lot of possibilities when you purchase a water heater. You can choose from gas, electric, solar and atmospheric water heaters widely available on the market. Each one of these types has distinctions with regards to efficiency and cost. For recovery rate and performance, electric water heaters have an advantage in recovery rate making it good for large families. However, if you simply desire to be more cost effective and eco-friendly, select gas or solar water heaters instead.


It is just a typical situation that replacement water heaters are positioned on the same location of the old one. Yet, you must figure out the peak and width to be sure sufficient space is available for installation since there may be changes on the size or capacity of your water heater. As an example, if your hot water use raises and you have to upgrade to a larger tank size, it might be important to run plumbing to a different area so the new, larger unit will fit. No matter it may be, it is still advisable to let a professional plumber decide on the correct spot.

Tank water heaters can be more expensive to run in the long run simply because they heat water continuously, whilst keeping the full tank hot all the time. A tankless model is more highly-priced at first, however it helps you to save energy in the long term. It also delivers fast hot water, as it heats water as it passes through the unit, as opposed to trying to heat a big tank of cold water.

Water heater replacement should not be done for those who are not really knowledgeable about it. It takes a skill and knowledge to accomplish such activity. So whenever you’re doubtful on your selections, you must seek professional guidance. A plumber is the ideal person that can assist you with this and they can guarantee that everything will be setup appropriately.


9 Reasons Why Your Water Drains Are Blocked, and What to Do About It

Property owners rarely pay attention to a blocked drain after the damage and forget that this attitude can lead to many problems including health and safety hazards. To mitigate such problems, everyone who owns a property should have basic knowledge of the causes of blocked drains and pipes, prevention measures, and the steps to take when the inevitable happens.


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There’s absolutely no sugar coating the situation, clogged water drains are nasty. Not only is it a huge inconvenience in the household, but blocked drains are downright disgusting; swarming with bacteria and encouraging an odour-inducing problem for everyone. It’s a nuisance that every homeowner will experience at least once in their life and if you don’t sort it out soon, there’s a good chance it’ll bring so health issues along with them on the ride too.

From foreign objects that have accidently been dropped down the drain to a heavy build-up of hair, grease and other gunk, there’s many reasons why your household can be experiencing blocked drains. Understanding exactly how each issue is caused can be an opportunity to better guard against it. And when the drain cleaner just won’t cut it, here’s what you need to know to fix the problem.

1. Hair

We’ve seen it all before, a build-up of hair that’s starting to clog the drain. Most times it’s a fairly easy to simply ‘remove’, but if it’s not cleared up straight away – it can cause a lot of issues down the line. Hair falling off the body in the shower or getting ready over the sink and in the bathroom is one of the most common causes of blocked drains.

What to do: Small amounts of hair can be removed by pulling it out with gloved hands to avoid it getting worse. Devices can also be purchased to grab hold of the hair if it’s visible in the drain to pull out and remove. It’s important to do this before the hair gets clogged into the entry of the drain pipes.

2. Plants

Natural debris like trees, shrubs and leaves can be an issue for water drains, especially after spring and autumn. Your regular garden maintenance that keeps the outdoor area looking great is also essential to the productivity of your water drains and pipes. Leaves aren’t the only culprit however – roots from trees are notorious for growing underneath in search of water to stay alive and as a result, will usually head straight to your drains.

What to do: To prevent plants and leaves blocking the drains, keep the outdoor area clear of fallen leaves and debris. If this mess is left long enough, it will cause your drains to become severely blocked. Keep your trees well-watered so they are less drawn to the drains as a source of moisture and stay away from clogging plants where …


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