Drain snake. This is a simple, shorter version of the big gas-powered snake that plumbers use to clear clogs deep in your drains. But if the clog is not so deep, owning one of these can save you a good bit of money. They come in different lengths and you can buy powered versions, but a simple 25' snake with a hand-powered crank will set you back less than $25.
While you might be tempted to get out your wrench and try and fix those plumbing fixtures, plumbing can be a lot more complicated than you might think. In the wrong hands, even the simplest-seeming of plumbing jobs can quickly become something disastrous or costly. The chances are that, whatever your problem is, your plumber has seen it before and will be able to rectify the situation, quickly and efficiently. Why run the risk of turning a simple job into a plumbing catastrophe, when you can book plumbing services through Handy to nip it in the bud?
Don’t flush floss, tampons, or even so-called “flushable” wipes. They don’t break down like toilet paper does and can come back to haunt you later. “Toilets are more water-efficient now than they were 20 years ago, so there sometimes isn’t enough volume in the flush to force debris down,” says Marcin Wroblewski, president of ExpressRooter Plumbing in Toronto. “An object will get lodged in the trap and cause blockage when waste builds up days later.”
Present-day water-supply systems use a network of high-pressure pumps, and pipes in buildings are now made of copper, brass, plastic (particularly cross-linked polyethylene called PEX, which is estimated to be used in 60% of single-family homes), or other nontoxic material. Due to its toxicity, most cities moved away from lead water-supply piping by the 1920s in the United States, although lead pipes were approved by national plumbing codes into the 1980s, and lead was used in plumbing solder for drinking water until it was banned in 1986. Drain and vent lines are made of plastic, steel, cast-iron, or lead.
“Don’t go to the Yellow Pages to find a plumber,” says Berkey’s Bill Stevens. “It’s like guessing lottery numbers. Anyone can make an appealing ad, but that doesn’t mean they are legitimate. In this industry, it’s easy for a plumber who develops a poor reputation to advertise under a different name. They come and go.” Even searching for someone online may end up being a scam using fake reviews. Instead, look for a plumber who is well-established in your community. Check the Better Business Bureau and read customer reviews at sites such as HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, or Citysearch. Local contractors or plumbing fixture stores can also refer you to a quality plumber, according to Grady Daniel, who owns a plumbing company in Austin, Texas. “Most of these firms won’t work with bad plumbers.” Or simply ask your neighbors for a referral. A trusted plumber that consistently delivers quality service does not remain a secret for very long.
There’s often an Allen wrench that comes with the garbage disposal. I keep it under the sink. When the thing jams, follow the directions in the manual, and I won’t need to come out. Another plumbing tip, don’t believe the myth about putting lemon peels in the disposal to make it smell better. That will just make it jam faster. These are the things you should never pour down the drain.
Another way to avoid a service call from your plumber is to make sure the outside faucets are turned off in the winter and make sure you disconnect the outside hoses. You need to shut the water off from the inside. Then, open the valve on the outside to let the water that’s in there drain out—you switch both of them to the opposite direction so one is always closed and one is always open. We have to fix tons of these in the spring mostly because people leave their outside hoses connected and they freeze up. The repair could cost $100-$200 or more. Another tip would be if you’re going away for any length of time, like on vacation, turn off your water. If on any of those days the temperature drops below freezing, have someone check in on your house. I’ve been called to homes where the family returned from vacation, and there was water flooding out from the front door.
No plumber is going to come right out and explain that they don’t have the required license to work for you. So if you know someone who is a great plumber, but they don’t have a license, hire them at your own risk. Licensed plumbers know the local building codes and regulations, have completed a certain amount of hours on the job and are insured. Want to become a master plumber yourself? Here are 28 tips.
Also, you might run into a problem where the shower arm is too short or angled too sharply for the shower head you bought. This can happen more with the wand-type shower heads and the wall gets in the way of the wand. You can solve this problem by making sure you buy a shower head that fits or installing an extension arm onto the main shower arm. You can find those the same place you buy the shower heads.
While it’s their job to make sure your pipes work like a well-oiled machine, it’s not their job to rebuild the wall they had to demolish to make that happen. So, while you’re going to get that water problem fixed, you’ll want to discuss in detail what kind of “mess” they might leave behind prior to the start of the project so you can plan accordingly. Remember, there are some jobs you can do yourself. Here’s how to solder copper pipe joints!
Hello! My name is Lorinn and I am 26 years old. I have been working in different construction trades for 8+ years now. To name a few I am a skilled in flooring, cabinets/closets, and electrical(fans, fixtures, etc). I’ve gotten as experienced as I am because I genuinely enjoy working with my hands and learning new things. I take pride in my work, and love exceeding peoples expectations.
Hello, long story. Toilet line stopped up two years ago. A company used high pressure water to clean line. Didnt work. Came back a second time with a plummer. Spouse was told that the line had collapsed, filled with rocks or tiles. Plummer then disconnected that line put in a second line, punched a hole in my tank, fed the new line in that hole. Now two years later, each heavy rain brings a strong sewer smell into the house. Found out later that there were no rocks or tiles in original line, only a large calcium build up over 25 years that had clogged the original line. I do not know if when the new line was put in, the old line was closed properly or if either line was or should be vented? I would like the original line reconnected and the newer line just removed. I plan then to repair the hole in septic tank where the new line entered with tar or concete. I need someone to fix my smelly home.
Despite the Romans' common use of lead pipes, their aqueducts rarely poisoned people. Unlike other parts of the world where lead pipes cause poisoning, the Roman water had so much calcium in it that a layer of plaque prevented the water contacting the lead itself. What often causes confusion is the large amount of evidence of widespread lead poisoning, particularly amongst those who would have had easy access to piped water. This was an unfortunate result of lead being used in cookware and as an additive to processed food and drink, for example as a preservative in wine. Roman lead pipe inscriptions provided information on the owner to prevent water theft.