Tips for Proper Low-Flow Toilet Use

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Water conservation is an important plumbing element for many people in today’s day and age, and one of the primary technological advances that’s helped this along is the advent of the low-flow toilet. At All Hours Plumbing, our technicians have the expertise to service any issues you have with these toilets.

Low-flow toilets are great for saving water and money, but there are also a few usage recommendations you should take heed of to ensure you don’t deal with a clogged toilet or other plumbing issues. Here are a few tips for preventing any issues with low-flow toilets.

Running Water

If you have a low-flow toilet but your home’s main sewer line was never adjusted for the new flow levels, a precaution to take involves running other non-toilet water appliances for a bit of extra time initially. This will allow water levels throughout the plumbing system to even out – try running an empty load of laundry or running the house outside on the plants for an extra minute or two. This will raise the float level of toilet drains, and push any debris out of the system.

Large Flush

Down similar lines, a tactic called a “large flush” can have the same kind of effect on leveling water. Fill a bucket with water and add this to the toilet – this will cause it to manually flush itself, and push water through. This method should only be used if you’re sure there are no clogs in the system, however, as doing it with a clog present will cause an overflow.

Toilet Paper

If you’re typically a fan of fluffy, heavy toilet paper, it might be time to find a new favorite with a low-flow toilet. These kinds of paper absorb more than typical rolls, and combined with limited water, this can lead to sitting issues where absorbent tissue fails to move through the system as it was intended. If you notice these concerns, consider a lighter and less fluffy toilet paper.

Extra Items

Nothing but toilet paper should go in any toilet, including low-flow toilets. Anything absorbent could create a clog itself, or could create a debris collection area that leads directly to a clog. Keep a wastebasket for anything but toilet paper.

To find out more about maintaining low-flow toilets or any of our other plumbing services, speak to the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.

Steps for Properly Cleaning Shower Heads

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Especially during the warm summer, the showers in your home are going to get a lot of usage. These items use some of the most water of any household appliance, and this means they require careful attention and upkeep.

Our plumbers are here to help with that at All Hours Plumbing, and one of the most common problem areas when it comes to the shower is the head and nozzle. These are the areas with the most direct contact to streaming water, and they can undergo wear and tear over time. Let’s look at some tips on how to properly clean your shower head to avoid clogs and other problems.

Clean Nozzles

The first step is to clean your nozzles, so long as your shower is a model that comes with flexible rubber nozzles. Use your finger or a small toothbrush to gently massage each nozzle, helping remove any mineral buildups that have been collecting in the area. Neglecting the nozzles could lead to significant clogging issues over a long period of time, even if you do a good job cleaning other areas.

Shower Head

Next, it’s time to soak the shower head itself, which is done in vinegar and can be applied for both removable and non-removable head models. For removable heads, detach the head and submerge it in a full container of white vinegar for a few hours. Once finished, re-attach it and run the water for a few minutes to clear out any remaining vinegar.

For a non-removable head, you’ll need a plastic bag. Fill it with vinegar, and wrap it tightly around the shower head while securing it with an elastic or tape. Leave it for a few hours, and then be sure to still turn the shower on for a few minutes to get rid of any extra vinegar.

Filter Screen

Most filters will be located in the area of the shower head that connects to the pipe, which means you’ll need to know how to remove your shower head to get to the filter screen. You may have to consult a manual or the brand’s website to find this exact location, for some models. Once you have the screen removed, run it under water and use a toothbrush to remove any deposits.

For more information on cleaning shower heads or for any of our other plumbing services, speak to the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.

Smart Questions to Ask Drain Cleaners

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Drains are some of the most problematic areas in plumbing, and at All Hours Plumbing, we specialize in drain maintenance among many other services. Our technicians will identify the issue and clear it up using years of specialized, professional expertise.

When you use a drain cleaning vendor without that level of experience, your pipes could be at risk. For this reason, it’s very important to ask several vital questions as you search for drain cleaning services. Here are a few of the queries to pose:

Are You Licensed and Insured?

This is the first and most important question to ask of any plumber. Because of the rise of the internet and online classifieds, any amateur “handyman” can post a listing offering top-notch services at a great price – but only reputable dealers can provide the proper licensing and insurance. Licenses should be prominently displayed on websites or other public-facing areas, and proof of them should be available on the person of any plumber you call.

Insurance is what protects you, the homeowner, from any inadvertent damage caused by the plumber. It also pays medical expenses if someone is hurt while working. If you hire an uninsured vendor and one of these issues takes place, you could be on the hook for the whole thing.

What Are Your Other Areas of Service?

Not every drain contractor provides other services that might be related – in some cases drain contractors don’t even directly clean drains, and rather outsources that work somewhere else. In general, look to avoid this and emphasize vendors who have full expertise in all related areas, in case additional problems crop up.

How Are Parts Handled?

Some plumbers will have all the basic parts for your project in their service truck, with no extra charges beyond labor. In other cases, plumbers may have to charge extra for ordering out even very basic parts. Ask this question well in advance.

How is Pricing Handled, Including for Travel?

Some plumbers begin charging from the moment they head to your location, and may include gas or travel costs. This could be significant depending on the distance, so you should find out whether this is included in their fees.

Want to learn more about the right things to ask a drain cleaner, or interested in this or any of our other plumbing services? Speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

Conserving Water During Summer

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Anyone who has been through a Utah summer knows it’s a long, hot, dry experience. This place is a desert, and when we’re in the coldest months of the year, water is at a premium.

With that in mind, many people are looking to conserve water over the summer. At All Hours Plumbing, we’re here to help in whatever ways we can – here are a few very general tips for conserving water and energy over the summer season.

Water Heater While Away

If you’re going on vacation or will be away from the home for a few days, turn down your water heater while you’re gone to save energy. There’s really no practical use for leaving it at the same level, and you aren’t risking any damage or negative outcomes by turning it down temporarily. Obviously, just be sure to turn it back on when you return home, or you could be in for a rude awakening at your next shower.

Laundry Machine

Making sure the laundry machine is running optimally will keep you from any lost or excess water, plus will keep the system lasting longer. Visibly inspect the machine every now and then, particularly the rubber hose – lifespans are roughly three years for these hoses, so consider replacements if you’re coming up on this.

Appliances

If you have older appliances in the home, consider replacing them with newer versions that help conserve water. A low-flow toilet is just one of several possible examples here.

Lawn Watering

Watering the lawn at the right times can conserve a ton of water without sacrificing a single ounce of lawn quality. The early morning (just before sunrise) and early evening (just after sundown) are the best times to water – watering in the middle of the day in the hot sun will cause major evaporation, and you’ll need more water to do the same job.

Trees

If you have trees planted anywhere near your main sewer line, know that their roots may make their way to the line in search of water. Avoiding these issues is vital for staying away from major plumbing concerns that often require a full system overhaul.

For more on saving water during the summer, or to learn about any of our other plumbing services, speak to the plumbers at All Hours Plumbing today.

 

When Response Time Matters

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

In many cases of emergency plumbing need, perhaps the most important factor of all is the response time of the plumbers you call. At All Hours Plumbing, we pride ourselves in a fast response time to prevent any major issues from becoming larger problems than they need to be.

Within several of the most common plumbing areas, how can a quick response time make the difference between a minor issue and a major one? Let’s take a look.

Mold

Often caused by water damage or leaks, mold is a big reason to handle plumbing emergencies immediately and with haste. Mold flourishes in damp conditions and can spread relatively undetected behind cabinets, walls, tiles and in other hidden areas. The longer mold is allowed to flourish, it will grow exponentially – this is more than a “doubles every day” type of situation. If mold is detected, immediate service to stop its spread is vital.

Water Damage

Anytime water leaks into the home, the risk of water damage presents itself. This is another issue that will grow worse if it’s not addressed immediately – instead of a basic leak or a small cleanup, you might be forced to replace drywall, flooring and other materials damaged. At the very first sign of any significant water damage, immediately turn off water supply and contact our plumbers to correct the damage.

Water Waste

Down similar lines, water waste is also an important item to prevent. Even a single minute of significant leaking can waste large amounts of water over time if there are repeated issues, which will cost you on your utility bill and also harm the environment.

Personal Safety

It’s important to remember that certain plumbing issues can be more than an inconvenience – they can be a threat to personal safety. Water damage in particular can lead to issues ranging from mold to electrical shocks, and extreme caution is needed in these situations. Above all else, remember to take safety precautions and call your local plumber right away.

For more information on handling emergency plumbing issues, or to find out about any of our other plumbing services, speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

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