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Saturday, 18 July 2020 22:21

DIY Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

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Performing plumbing projects around the home can be a satisfying way to improve your home and save a little money. However, before tackling those plumbing projects it's important to understand the potential pitfalls to stay safe and avoid damaging your home.

1. Chemical Drain Cleaners

When a drain becomes clogged the first thing many homeowners think of are the commercials they have seen for chemical drain cleaning products. While they can be very effective at clearing certain kinds of clogs, they come with important safety warnings.

The same chemicals that quickly dissolve organic matter like hair and grease can cause chemical burns to your skin or even blindness if they come in contact with your eyes. They can also damage metal pipes, plumbing fixtures, and other finishes in the kitchen and bathroom if not used correctly.

A far safer way to clear a clogged drain is with a little elbow grease and a plumbing auger. There are also natural drain cleaning products that use enzymes to break down organic material. Baking soda, vinegar and hot water is another natural method to clean out a drain. These natural methods may take a little longer to do the job, but can just as effective as more caustic drain cleaners.

If none of the above options work for those stubborn clogs, your plumber can solve the toughest clogged drain problems safely and quickly.

2. Not Shutting off the Water Supply

Most plumbing projects require turning off the water. Forget this step and you'll be dealing with gushing pipes and a big mess. If you can't locate the local shut-off valve near a fixture, turn it off at the water main.

3. Not Getting a Permit

You've just had your brand new hot tub delivered and you're all ready to install it in your new sunroom. Before you begin, do you need a permit? Some municipalities allow homeowners to pull their own permits, while others require a contractor. Always check before you begin any remodeling or installation project that you have all the required permits. This will ensure that the project is up to code and installed safely. You'll also avoid the hassle of potential fines or red flags down the road when you try to sell the home.

4. Bad Pipe Connections

In homes with copper pipes, it's important to understand the proper way to connect copper to galvanized pipes. If the two metals are connected directly, they can quickly corrode, leading to water leaks. This type of connection requires a special fitting called a dielectric union, which prevents the two metals from contacting each other.

Ask the Pros!

If you're not sure you have the skills to tackle your next plumbing project, give MR Plumbing a call. We would be happy to explain what's involved in completing the project. After all, there's no replacement for experience.

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 21:33

Water Heaters and Water Quality

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Is Your Water Heater Causing Water Quality Problems?

Water Heaters and Water Quality

If you're noticing changes to the water coming out of your tap – such as strange colors, tastes or odors – the cause may be your water heater. To find out if the water heater is the cause, note the following:

• Does the problem only occur first thing in the morning?
• Does it happen after the water has not been used for a while?
• Does the problem clear up after you run the water for a few minutes?
• Is the problem isolated to the hot rather than cold running faucet?

If any of the above cases is true, it could be caused by your water heater.

Water Heater Odors

Bad smells, such as a sulphur odors, are sometimes caused by bacteria growing in the water heater tank. When the water heater goes unused for long periods of time bacteria, while usually harmless, can cause unpleasant odors. A sulphur, or rotten egg odor, is sometimes caused by a corroded anode rod inside the water heater. The rod should be inspected and replaced if needed.

Hard water can also cause sediment to accumulate at the bottom of the tank, causing odors. Installing a water softener should fix the problem.

Water Discoloration

Brown, red or yellow tinted water can be caused by rust from a corroded water heater tank, or pipes inside the home. The iron present in most water is not a significant health risk, but it can stain clothing and dishes and leave drinking water with a metallic taste. Your plumber can help track down the cause and determine if the water heater is the source of the problem.

White or tan particles in the water are usually a sign of calcium or magnesium. While not generally harmful to ingest, the minerals can clog pipes and drains over time. A water filtration system or water softener can remove the minerals from the water.

Have concerns about water quality in your home? Give MR Plumbing a call. We can help identify the cause of the problem and recommend effective solutions for cleaner, better tasting water.
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 12:50

Preventing Tree Root Damage to Sewer Lines

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Preventing tree root damage to sewer lines
One of the most common causes of sewer line damage is tree root intrusion. It's not difficult to understand why tree roots find sewer lines so attractive, as a leaking sewer line can provide a great source of water, nutrients and oxygen. Once a tree root finds its way into the pipe it's only a matter of time before it grows inside and inhibits the flow of waste causing blockages, broken pipes and a major damage. You can avoid costly tree root damage by taking a few preventative measures.
 
Remember, before doing any digging in your yard always call your local public works department or the national 811 "Call Before You Dig" number to find the location of underground utilities. 

Sewer Line Barriers

Barriers are available that can prevent root growth into sewer lines. Chemicals like copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide are commonly used for this purpose. Spread these chemicals near the sewer line to prevent root growth. Metal or thick wood barriers buried vertically and deeper than the sewer pipe can also prevent tree roots from reaching pipes.

Sewer Line Safe Landscaping

The best way to prevent problems down the road is to be smart about what you plant near sewer lines. If you are planting near sewer lines, select slow-growing trees with a small root area. Larger trees should be kept well away from the sewer line.

Warning Signs

Signs of  root damage to sewer lines leads include frequent unexplained clogs, overflowing and slow drains, and gurgling sounds coming from toilets.

Sewer Line Video Camera Inspections

The best way to ensure that your sewer line is free of tree root intrusion and other obstructions is to have regular video camera inspections of your sewer line. A small camera is run through the lateral and helps your plumber find any potential problems. If tree roots or clogs are found, a cable can be run through the sewer pipe to clear clogs and cut through tree roots while cleaning the inner walls of the pipe.
 
Have questions about your home's sewer line? Call MR Plumbing, we can answer all your questions.
 
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