The dangers of Drain Cleaner

Drain cleaners seem like an great idea when you’re having drainage problems. Kitchen sink clogged? Shower clogged with hair? Drain cleaner seems like the easiest solution for most home owners. However, most home owners are unaware of the dangers lurking in that bottle of chemicals.

The most common drain cleaners suggest pouring them in to the clogged drain and allowing the mixture to sit and break down the clog. The chemical sits as it is continuously reacting and generating heat to break down the clog. This heat can cause toilet bowls to break, it can cause plastic or PVC pipes to soften, melt, or warp. It eats away at the glue that is used to hold the pipes together. Pipes that are older and already have corrosion damage, may be susceptible to more serious damage that would cause more costly repairs. The physical damage that can be caused by back splash of chemicals can be detrimental. Just as it melts the hair ball in your pipe, it will melt skin. When using a plunger or auger to clear the clog, it is possible for the water containing the cleaner to splash on you. If you do not flush all of the drain cleaner down with water and mix a cleaning chemical it can cause toxic fumes that can damage your lungs and heart. If you have any questions about drain cleaners please call us at 704-934-0015.

Cat Litter in the Toilet

Disposing of cat litter can be a tricky task. Not sure where to put your cat’s dirty litter? After doing some research we can advise you the only safe place for cat litter to be disposed of is in the trash can outside of your home. It is best to double bag the litter and move it to an outside location to prevent the bad smell in you home.

Why can’t I put dirty litter anywhere else?

  • It is not advised to place litter inside your kitchen trash because it can have parasites in it and could contaminate other things in your kitchen.
  • It is not acceptable to dispose of litter in your yard because it can contaminate ground water.
  • It is the most hazardous to flush litter down your toilet. Cat litter clumps and expands when wet and can clog your pipes or damage a septic system (even the ones that say flush-able).
  • Newer water saving toilets don’t use enough water or pressure to move the litter through your pipes.
  • Cat waste hardens up fast and dries out, this could be difficult to move through pipes as they bend and turn.
  • Flushing litter can introduce a parasite, named toxoplasma gondii, into the water supply. T. gondii is commonly found in cats and flushing this parasite down the toilet can contaminate water supply. Supply treatment centers may not be able to clean all of the parasite out of the water. This increases the possibility of a public infection. Those most at risk are children, elderly people, and pregnant women.

The EPA has classified pet waste as a pollutant that can cause harm to fish and wild life. It can kill native vegetation and cause unsafe water.

What prompted us to write this?

We received a call last week. Our customer was complaining about clogged pipes. We went to the home the same day we received the call. Upon cabling the customers line, our technician pulled back cat litter. This made us wonder how many other customers are unaware of the havoc that can be caused by litter.

Sources: https://www.epa.gov/

It’s Like Throwing Money Down The Drain!

A running toilet can waste around 200 gallons of water per day, that equals thousands of gallons per year. On average, a running toilet adds approximately $200 per month to a water bill. If you notice your toilet is making noises after flushing it, you could be wasting money. To be sure of this, you can add a few drops of food coloring into the tank and let it sit. If the food coloring leaks into the bowl, you know your toilet is running.

Replacing Possible Culprits

  • The toilet bowl only needs to be replaced if it is cracked.
  • Flappers last around 4-5 years on average, however, certain cleaning chemicals used to clean toilets may shorten that to a year or less.
  • Handles should be replaced if you have to jiggle it for the water to stop running, if you have to hold the handle down to flush, or if the water runs constantly.
  • Wax seals should only need replacement every 20-30 years.

Tree Root Damage

07/30/19 In the first photo you will see the toilet drain (This is what is under your toilet) with the roots still intact . In the second photo you will see the roots that have been removed from the drain. These customers had noticed sewer returning and slow draining.

Tree Roots are drawn to the moisture, oxygen, and nutrients that are present inside of sewer pipes. The vapor that is released into the soil when there is a leak or crack inside your sewage system can attract roots to grow toward the pipes.

The most invasive species of trees are:

  • Hybrid Poplars
  • Willows
  • American Elms

The average cost to remove tree roots from sewer pipes is between $100 and $600. For larger roots causing more severe damage, that cost can go up to as much as $2500 for complete re-piping of the system.

If you notice a slow flowing drainage system or gurgling noises coming from your toilet bowl, please give us a call!

Water Softener VS. Water Filter

So you have decided to invest in the quality of your drinking water. But, you’re just not sure what it is that you need. Are you on well water, or city water service? Is your water hard, leaving calcium and lime deposits in your shower and toilets? Does your water taste bitter and drinking it is unpleasant? These are all questions to consider when deciding to purchase a water softener, or a water filet, or maybe even both.

Water softeners are generally for reducing the calcium in water. It swaps the calcium ions for positively charged sodium ions. This helps to eliminate the calcium deposits you find in your shower, toilets, dishwasher, etc. However, this does not filter out other harmful contaminants. So while your water may taste better, because calcium can make water taste bitter, it is not necessarily making the water “Healthier” to drink. A water softener is not the choice if your goal is to have cleaner water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

A high quality water filter can do more than remove the calcium from your water. It will remove chlorine and other chemicals that are left behind by the water softener. It can also remove water soluble metals which may be harmful to you. A high quality water filter would be the choice for the best drinking water.

There are also UV filters that can be added to your system to help destroy any bacteria or viruses that may be present in your water. This helps to create the best possible water quality.

Some may choose to create a softener/filter system. Either by installing a water softener, and then to install a filtration system just on their kitchen sink or faucet where they will get their drinking water from. Others will opt to have the water softener and a whole house filtration system combined. Some will go even further and install the UV protection. It is all a matter of what your individual needs are for your home.

The best place to start is to have your water tested for chemicals and minerals and see what results and recommendations you get back. A lot of places will test your water for free. We can help you get that done. Or you can go through your own health department. Usually they will test your water free of charge.

If you find that you have water filtration needs that should be met, please call our office at 704-934-0015, and while we do not sell filtration systems in general, we will be happy to install your system for you. We do supply single phase/filtration devices for refrigerators and sinks. We can help you decide what options would be best for you.