Our technicians hard at work, hand digging to fix a water leak underground at an apartment complex this week.
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.
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.
Having glass or other foreign objects in your garbage disposal can turn into a major problem. It can cause the blades to get bent, clog your pipes, and even cause your disposal to jam possibly blocking your kitchen sink drain and dishwasher if it is connected. It is best to remove an item that is lodged.
The first thing to do if you have glass in your disposal is to turn off your disposal and to be safe, if possible, switch off the breaker too.
DO NOT STICK YOUR HAND IN THE DISPOSAL!!
Use a tool similar to needle nose pliers to fish out the pieces of glass.
You can also try an industrial size vacuum like a Shop-vac if you have one available.
Make sure you twist the blades to ensure you’ve gotten all the glass. You can do this with a hex key from underneath the disposal or by using a tool. DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS.
Once you are sure you’ve gotten all the glass, you can restore the power to the unit. Run the water to ensure you’ve gotten everything out.
Always keep in mind, retrieving things from a garbage disposal is a dangerous task. If you feel there may be something stuck in your disposal and do not feel comfortable getting it out, please give us a call.
Just an announcement about next week for our company. Sept 30th – Oct 4th is a vacation week.
What does this mean?
- Half of our crew is on vacation.
- Projects and estimates will not be scheduled for this week. We will be scheduling for the week of Oct 7th.
- Emergency and small repair jobs will be taken and done as needed.
- If there is no answer, please leave a voicemail. We will return your call as soon as possible.
- Our Accounting department is closed during this time. Crissie will follow up with everyone when she is back in the office.
We will resume business as normal the 7th of October.
Thank you everyone!
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.
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.
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
- 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!
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.