Getting to Know Your Toilet

Knowing the different parts of your toilet can help you better understand where a problem may be coming from. If you notice a bad smell or if you have an overflowing toilet these key parts could prevent you from cleaning up a giant mess.

  • Tank- The tank is the back part of your toilet that holds clean water used for flushing the toilet and filling other components.
  • Bowl- The bowl holds the waste water.
  • Flush Handle- The flush handle is the part used to flush the toilet. It is connected to the trip lever.
  • Trip Lever- The trip lever lifts the flapper, allows water to leave the tank during a flush, and lets soiled water out.
  • Float Ball- The float ball is used to measure the amount of water inside the tank. It lowers and rises as the water moves through the system. When the tank is full, the ball stops rising.
  • Overflow Tube- The overflow tube leads to the toilets drain. It stops the tank from overflowing and pushes out any excess water.
  • Flapper Valve- The flapper valve is attached to the flush handle and the trip lever with a chain. Its main use is to keep water inside the tank. It creates suction to help force soiled water down the toilet drain. If your toilet is overflowing, you can try pushing the flapper down.
  • Stop Valve- Also referred to as the toilet supply valve, this valve controls the water supply. It is usually located behind the toilet near the floor.
  • Supply Tube- The supply tube supplies water to the toilet from the main water line into the refill tube.
  • Refill Tube- The refill tube refills the bowl with clean water through the supply tube when the float ball is down.
  • Trap- The trap is a seal that prevents water back flowing and prevents odors from seeping through from the main sewer line.
  • Wax Ring- The wax ring is a seal between the toilet and the main sewer line. Typically if you have a leak at the bottom of your toilet this is where it is coming from.

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!

Backflow Device Testing

During summer months you may notice your lawn is dry and wilted but, before you decide to turn on the sprinklers, make sure you’ve had your back-flow device tested. On average, around 25% of back-flow devices will fail, possibly putting someone else’s health at risk. The number one cause of back-flow device failure is due to dirt and debris that flows through the pipeline.

Not sure what a back-flow device is?

Back-flow devices or preventers keep contaminated water from moving the wrong way though your waterlines. It’s sole job is to prevent drinking water from becoming contaminated due to back-flow. Back siphon-age can occur when the pressure in a tank or water trough is lower than the pressure of the water system. Your water quality may not be affected however, it may cause someone to get sick from drinking contaminated water.

If you need your back-flow devices tested, please call and make an appointment. Please remember, if you need any repairs, they should be made by a certified technician.

Recent Shower Remodel

This is a recent shower remodel that was a collaboration between Cain’s Able Plumbing, and Handyman Services. Please let us know if we can help you achieve your dream bathroom!!

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.

Underground Water Leak

A few weeks ago we repaired an underground water leak for one of our clients. A few things that would suggest you may have an underground leak is usual wet spots or pools of water on the grounds surface.  If you notice a drop in your water pressure from normal you may want to investigate as this could also be a sign of a leak. Pay attention to your water bill and your monthly water usage because if you have a leak you could see a sudden increase. And remember our guys are here to help if you need a water leak repaired.

Pipe or Stud??

     When drilling or nailing into your walls it is essential to know what is behind the hole you are creating. This image is an example of what can happen if you aren’t certain it is a stud you are hitting. Behind your walls are items such as pipes for plumbing and/or natural gas and wires for your electricity. It is very important to know you are not hitting and damaging those items when drilling or nailing into your walls. The best way to find the studs in your wall is to use a stud finder that differentiates the studs from pipes, there is also usually a separate indicator light for the presence of electrical wiring. Even after you feel certain you have found the stud drive a panel pin through the wall, if you feel the resistance of the wood you will know it is the stud. Creating a hole in the wall blindly can cause major problems. In this case the pipe was thought to be a stud and several holes were drilled into it creating a water leak. The pipe was replaced but is a great example to all of us what can easily happen.