Dealing With A Clogged Drain

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Screen Drain Cover

Shower Drain Clogged?

Clogged drains are the most common household plumbing problem that we see on a daily basis.

Overall, hair is the more promenade issue that causes stoppages. Hair blockages causes slow drains and messy back ups. Eventually, Causing your sink, tub and toilet to be unusable until the drain is cleared. Overtime, these build ups can cause mainline blockages in your sewer pipes.

In return, would be more difficult and expensive to fix.

 

What I Shouldn’t Do To My Clogged Drain

As you’ve heard, most plumbers will tell you they’d rather you didn’t use those drain cleaners. Usually you find these on the selves at your local super market. Overtime, These products are not effective and could damage your pipes.

Even worse, if you have a septic tank, these chemicals can damage its bacterial environment and lead to costly repairs or even total replacement.

Luckily, there is an alternative to those caustic drain cleaners. The best way to deal with hair clogs is with preventive maintenance.

 

What Can I Do To Unclog My Drain?

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Drain Cover

In the end, the best way to avoid this hassle and expense is to prevent hair from entering the pipes in the first place.There’s a surprisingly easy and inexpensive way to do it—a drain filter.

 

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Drain Cover With Basket

Also called drain covers, drain screens, drain protectors, drain strainers or hair catchers, they fit over or inside your bathroom drain before it enters the pipe.

 

Additionally, we have provided you with pictures. There are a few different popular styles to choose from.

 

 

 

As shown above, these items can easily be purchased from your local hardware store.

Home Depot is a great hardware store to find these products.

In the long run, if you maintain your drains and consider some variable options, in the future it could save you a great deal of money.

After all, who doesn’t like saving money?

 

 Already dealing with a clogged drain? Call the experts here at DrainBusters Plumbing for immediate assistance.

Our Facebook also gives great tips for ongoing problems for your household and specials.

 

 

 


Plumbing DIY Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

Tips on PLUMBING DIY

Every homeowner should own these 5 tools when it comes to tackling your own DIY plumbing tasks. From clogged sinks and showers. Replacing old pipes. These 5 tools will allow you to tackle the majority of household plumbing tasks. You can buy all of them for less than $150 combined, which is less than you’d spend on a plumber for single visit.

 

Watch this video on the top 5 DIY plumbing tools.

If all else fails, we at DrainBusters are here to help!!!  Schedule online or give us a call.


Clearing Blockage Using Hydro-Jetting

 What is Hydro-Jetting?

Also called drain jetting, hydro jetting makes use of a high-pressure hose with a specialized nozzle connected to a machine. This equipment produces a powerful stream of water that is capable of breaking up all types of drain clogs. Also, used for cleaning slow sewage lines.

The amount of pressure can start from 4,000psi (pound-force per square inch) and reach around 35,000psi, which is already considered very potent.  Hydro jetting is done when the problem can no longer be resolved using the traditional sewage cleaning method.

Repairing a blocked sewer line can be done in two ways. Plumbing snakes are mainly used for minor clogs or occasional blockages. Such as, accumulation of hair, dirt and other materials that can still be dealt with using snakes or augers.

Also, hydro jetting is done by a professional and is the ideal choice for heavy sludge and deposits that have accumulated over time, including tree roots.

Benefits of Hydro Jetting:

  • Can clean the entire pipe and remove minerals, grease, and other debris along the walls as well, making the occurrence of blockage less likely in the future
  • Can enter hard to reach areas without risking damage to PVC pipes
  • More economical since it can delay the need for another plumbing service, thus reducing expenses over the long term

Check out the video below by the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) demonstrating how hydro jetting is done:

In some instances, even the use of hydro jet equipment may no longer be advisable if the sewer line has been damaged with age. Depending on the extent of the problem, it may already need a temporary or permanent replacement. This is the importance of consulting with qualified plumbing experts so you can be assured that your pipes are receiving utmost care and attention.

 

Hydro Jetting

Highlights of the 2017 ASPE Technical Symposium

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

The American Society of Plumbing Engineers successfully presented the 2017 ASPE Technical Symposium on October 19-22 at the Hotel Bonaventure Montreal in Quebec. The event was the second largest-attended symposium in ASPE’s history. It is also the first time that the event was held outside the US.

Hundreds of participants from the plumbing design industry gathered to witness the first-ever, two-day product show, learn the inner workings of networking, and connect with colleagues and experts in the field.

They also held technical education sessions aimed at helping plumbing industry professionals at all career levels learn new skills. Participants can use each session for license and certification continuing education requirements. The topics discussed include:

  • Fundamentals
    • Reclaim System Design
    • Introduction to Plumbing Theory
  • Fire & Life Safety
    • The Newest Innovations in Medical Gas Design
    • Incorporating Design, Construction and Commissioning Into Your Water Safety Program
  • Materials & Equipment
    • Piping Considerations for ANSI/ASHRAE 188-2015
    • Chemical-free Water Conditioning Technologies

The all-day Intermediate Plumbing Design program focused on commercial kitchen design and included topics such as:

  • Natural gas and domestic water distribution
  • Storm drainage design
  • Review of kitchen equipment

The Product Show allowed the attendees to engage with various manufacturers and see the latest products in the market. Some of the exhibitors include Zurn, Nibco, Plumbing Technical Services, Corzan Piping Systems, CSA Group, Liberty Pumps and many others. This was an ideal avenue for the participants to discover the latest advances in plumbing system design methods.

The 2019 ASPE Technical Symposium will be held on October 24-27 in Pittsburgh. Plan your attendance now and get solutions to your practical problems, learn new plumbing techniques and carry with you innovative ideas to bring back to your office.


Slab Leak Detection and Repair

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

handyman

Leaks are a household’s common plumbing problem. Once we hear running water from the bathroom or see a dripping faucet, there is already a clear manifestation of water leak. However, not all leaks are visible right away. A slab leak may just be waiting to be recognized. Slab leaks are pipe leaks in the concrete foundation of a home. They usually occur in older homes and have the potential to be costly and cause huge damage if left unnoticed.

Here are some slab leak signs that you should pay particular attention to in order to prevent unnecessary major slab leak repairs:

  • Warm spots on the flooring
  • Increasing water bills
  • Water building up around the foundation
  • Damp carpet or flooring, particularly in the basement; or presence of mildew or excessive mold
  • Sound of water running even when all water is turned off

Some of the most common causes of slab leaks include a shift in the ground, faulty wrapping of the pipes, nicked line, poor pipe installation, and pipe erosion, which may result from electrolysis (happens when the copper in the pipes interacts with mineral in the soil beneath a home).

Do not ignore these slab leak signs. Do not act on your own as well. A plumbing professional can better manager this problem and would know the best way to execute the solution. They may use slab leak detection equipment such as water leak locator, acoustic equipment, radio detector for metallic pipes and other utilities, and an air system that can simultaneously detect pressure and leak.

In case you are wondering if slab leak insurance is possible, depending on your policy, it may or may not be covered. Most of the time though, if the insurer can prove that negligence is the culprit and not due to sudden and catastrophic leaks, they are likely to deny your slab leak claims. Put this additional inconvenience to rest and get in touch with a plumbing expert now.


Preventing Legionella from Invading Your Home

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

One of the most common environments where Legionella is in abundance is in both potable and non-potable water. The Legionnaires’ disease is a serious and sometimes even lethal lung infection or type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria; the other is Pontiac fever, which is a milder infection. The Legionnaires’ disease can be associated with varying symptoms such as cough, fever, lack of energy, loss of appetite, muscle aches, head ache, chest pains, and even diarrhea and nausea.

Science-news

Image source: Science News

Just by inhaling aerosolized Legionnaires’ disease bacteria (LDB) or drinking water contaminated with LDB, a person can develop the disease. This is why making sure that this type of bacteria is mitigated is vital if you want to protect the whole household.

The most common sources of LDB are water mist from cooling towers, humidifiers, showers, faucets, and whirlpool baths. More so, if the water is warm and stagnant; it provides ideal conditions for LDB’s growth (where the water temperature is between 32 to 40 degree Celsius or 90 to 105 degree Fahrenheit). The presence of other microorganisms can elevate the bacteria’s presence as well. Temperatures between 20 to 50°C or 68 to 122 degree Fahrenheit will allow the organism to multiply.

The US Department of Labor recommends specific preventive steps to stop the organism’s presence in your home:

  • Regularly clean evaporative condensers and cooling towers.
  • The temperature for water heaters should be at 60°C (140°F) and 50°C (122°F) or higher at the faucet.
  • Flush frequently unused water lines
  • Do not expose large water-storage tanks to sunlight.

While evidence shows that water systems used in homes are less likely to produce this organism as compared to larger systems that hospitals, workplaces and buildings often use, taking care of your family’s health should never be taken for granted.

 


Health Alert – Plumbing and the Risk of Water Contamination

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

A home is usually comprised of two types of plumbing systems, one for the household’s drinking-water supply and the other for waste disposal. A well designed, rightfully installed and properly constructed plumbing system will be able to minimize the risk of water contamination that may result from cross-connections of these two systems of pipes.
fox-13

Image source: Fox 13

While the risk of contamination may be greater in public, commercial or industrial spaces, the health risks of faulty plumbing in single-family domestic buildings should never be ignored, as both the occupants and the neighbors may suffer from the ill effects such condition may bring.

There are precautionary measures that may be helpful in avoiding water contamination:

  • Install a cross-connection device particularly if the household is using a heating boiler.
  • Periodic inspection and regular maintenance of cross-connection devices and/or pipes
  • Avoidance or elimination of cross-connections whenever possible
  • Installation of devices to protect against backflow, which may result from backpressure or backsiphonage, which happens when the water supply suddenly drops due to a negative, reduced or interrupted pressure in the supply piping

Examples of backflow devices:

  • Air gap (used mainly on tanks and faucets)
  • Atmospheric vacuum breaker (features an air inlet valve that draws in air to prevent possible water contamination from a residence to the city’s water mains)
  • Pressure vacuum breaker (used mainly on lawn irrigation systems)
  • Double check assembly (used on low hazard buildings
  • Reduced pressure principle assemblies (used on high hazard buildings)

Customers will have less to worry if they use a journeyman plumber, who has certification in cross connection control, and thus, can help provide the necessary backflow protection against any vulnerable cross connections on a property. Water contamination is a serious problem that my affect the whole community if a simple incident escalates into something worse due to negligence.

 


Basement Flooding Prevention Tips

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

No one can argue about the importance of a regular basement inspection. A wet basement can cause severe damage if left unresolved; and worse, the whole house may even collapse if the situation becomes severe. Basement flooding may be caused by unsuitable location of the home, poor floor and wall sealing, blocked gutter system, poorly constructed drainage system, and debris in the eaves troughs. Here are some of the signs that are most commonly associated with basement flooding:

  • Cracks on the walls or in the floors
  • Mold growth
  • Signs of moisture or condensation in the basement even if the weather is dry
hamilton-spectator

Image source: The Hamilton Spectator

A property inspector emphasizes that no basement is free from water; there is always the possibility of a flood or minor seepage, which happens when the floor gets some little puddles of water, usually between 1/4- and 1/2-inch deep. The following tips may go a long way in correcting and/or preventing basement flooding:

  • Install a check valve between your house’s drainage system and the municipal water system; this method, which may be expensive, is usually referred to as a “flood control” system.
  • Install a stand pipe only if it is just a minor backflow.
  • Consider using sump pumps, which can remove water that has already accumulated in the basement.
  • Check for debris that may be blocking your roof’s gutters and downspouts.
  • In the absence of downspouts, use drain pipes to redirect the rain water to the back or front yards.
  • Invest in a quality de-humidifier for your basement, one that has an optional drain hose.
  • For full or partially finished basements with carpet or hardwood on the floor, it is ideal to have a plastic vapor barrier between the carpet pad and the concrete slab floor.
  • Seal all cracks and install drywall walls.

Do not wait for an emergency before you take action. Seek the advice of a professional now and have your basement checked. You may also consider getting an insurance for further protection especially if your property is located along the gulf coast. Whether it is being used as a garage or a maintenance room, it still needs the same level of care you are giving to the other parts of the house.


Plumbing Problems? Beat Them While You Can

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Having immediate access to a wealth of information offering instant solutions to your plumbing problems, it may be easy to think that you can do all of them by yourself. Bear in mind though that what looks easy on the outside can really be complicated to someone who has no plumbing experience at all. As your doctor always tells you, still the best way to beat a sickness is to prevent its onset.

blocked-drains

Let us take a look at the most common plumbing issues household members experience and what can be done to avoid them:

  • Blocked drains. Regularly clean drains to avoid the accumulation of dirt, oil and grease deposits, and other debris. Always be mindful of what comes down your drain. If you think it will block the flow of water at some point, then just do not do it. Use mesh screens especially in the bathrooms to catch those falling hair. Learn how to use an auger or drain snake for simple de-clogging procedures.
  • Running toilet. Ever wondered why even after flushing, the flush tank does not seem to stop its sound? It may be that some parts of the mechanism have been disengaged or something has prevented the flapper from closing, causing the water to run intermittently. Due to wear and tear, it may be ideal to replace parts with new ones. The handle is usually the first one to break down due to its constant use.
  • Low water pressure. This problem usually results from a buildup of deposits or sediment on aerators or from the most difficult to identify: leaks. Regularly clean a shower head or faucet aerator and if you can spare, buy a water pressure gauge and check the actual pressure in your pipes.
  • Conduct a regular inspection of joints, where leaks most often occur, since they are the easiest to replace. Insulate taps or protect garden hoses especially in the winter. Install a shut-off valve to every water line or ask your plumber about ABS or PVC pipes for drains.

Do not wait for these problems to occur. The best way to prevent them from happening is to seek the advice of plumbing professionals to evaluate the entire house. They can see problems before they even occur, thus easing future stress and helping you save time and money in the process.


Keep Those Outdoor Faucets Working During Winter

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

One of the main problems homeowners encounter during the winter is frozen pipes. A research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois reveals that the temperature alert threshold of freezing pipes is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Although thresholds may vary in different regions, the bottom line points down to the importance of taking precautionary measures to avoid accidents and serious damages caused by frozen pipes.

How Do Pipes Freeze?

Take the example of a frozen can of soda. When you forget to retrieve it from the freezer, it explodes because the water has already expanded. Similarly, pipe bursts when water expands enough to escape, regardless of the strength of the pipes used.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

The American Red Cross provides the following recommendations to thaw frozen pipes:

  1. Keep a suspected frozen faucet open and wait for the frozen area to melt, and the water to begin flowing.
  2. Use an electric heating pad or electric hair dryer to apply heat to the pipe’s section but remember not to stand in water while using electrical appliances nor use open flame devices such as kerosene, blowtorch or propane heater.
  3. Apply heat continuously and wait until the water pressure has been restored.

Check out the video below on how to prevent frozen pipes:

Preventing Frozen Pipes

It is ideal to place pipes only in heated spaces and keep them from being exposed in areas where they become vulnerable. However, this can only be done during initial construction of a house. Here are few tips for existing homeowners who want to stop or minimize the problem of frozen pipes:

  1. Use insulation devices for vulnerable pipes.
  2. Seal with caulking cracks and holes in areas near water pipes to keep cold wind away and protect the pipes.
  3. Open cabinet doors during the winter to allow circulation of warm air around the pipes.
  4. Let a faucet drip slightly to provide pressure relief.
  5. Drain your water system if you are going on a vacation especially if it is a long one. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary bursting.

If no water comes out of a faucet, it is a clear signal of a possible frozen or blocked pipe. Call a plumbing expert immediately and receive professional help and advice for those unprotected pipes.