Recognizing Water Damage Early

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

For home and business owners alike, water damage is one of the biggest potential plumbing concerns out there. It can damage everything from walls to floors, and can lead to the growth of mold and other potential health hazards.

At All Hours Plumbing, we offer the most comprehensive water damage repair services out there. We need your help as well, though – you are the one who will have to identify the signs of the damage, and the earlier you do so, the better chance you can get out without a big expense. Let’s look at some signs of water damage, and how to spot them.

Walls and Floors

Signs of water damage will often appear visibly on walls or floors of your home or business. It’s common to find bits of water pooled up near the water heater, but also in other locations. Check around windows and door frames for stains, which could signal a leaky pipe. If you have drywall, check for cracks. Water damage may also cause swelling and softness in the walls.

On the floor, it can cause warping and buckling – it’s one of the most common causes of this, so if you see it anywhere, water damage is a potential problem. Also beware of the smell of dampness or mold.

Pipes

Wherever there’s visible piping in the house, it’s good to check it periodically. You’re looking for any corrosion like rust around the connections, plus any leaks or water stains you can find. Also inspect caulking around fixtures in the bathroom – missing caulking could be a sign of water seeping in. If there is any missing grout or signs of mold, these could be signals of a problem. The same goes for if the water heater itself has any rust on it, or wet spots on the floor.

Basement and Attic

Basements are probably the most common areas you’ll find leaks – water flows downward naturally, after all. Check for odors, stains, mildew and mold. Also look for rust or major dampness.

In the attic, you’re looking for similar things in different places. Check the areas where roof planes come together, as water can leak in from outside. Check the insulation is dry and well maintained, and check for ice on the roof during the colder months. Part of this includes checking the exterior of the home for ice and other invasive moisture.

Want to learn more about water damage precautions, or any other elements of our plumbing services? Speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

Learning About Drain Snaking

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Drain clogs are among the most common plumbing issues out there, and at All Hours Plumbing, we’ll provide your home or business with the highest quality drain cleaning services at an affordable rate if you run into an issue. We’ll identify the source of the issue, and work to correct it in a permanent way.

There are a couple different methods by which we might go about doing this, and one of the most well-known is called a drain snake. How does a drain snake work, and when might we use it for your home or business? Let’s take a look.

Drain Snake Basics

A drain snake is also commonly called an auger – a steel cable attached to a metal coil at one end. The auger is placed in the drain, then extended down using the coil, which is typically very long and mobile. The auger can reach down into the depths of the drain until it locates a clog, and then it has the power to quickly and efficiently rid the drain of the major blockages. If there are multiple blockages, it can reach them all – the coil generally extends much longer than a normal drain length.

Benefits of Snaking

There are a few common benefits to using an auger for a big drain clog:

  • Historical use and effectiveness: Snaking has been used successfully on drain clogs for decades, and consistently proves effective for basic and even more severe clogs.
  • Pipe safety: Using an auger is a process that’s kind to pipes – other formats of drain unclogging can put pipes at slightly higher risk of damage.

Potential Drawbacks of Snaking

There are also a couple downsides of snaking that may appear:

  • Width: There will be times where the auger isn’t quite as wide as the pipe it’s cleaning, leading to extra clog deposits being left around the outsides of the pipes.
  • Tough clogs: For certain extreme clogs, other modern forms of drain cleaning have generally proven more effective than snaking. However, those other types are typically more expensive and often more time-consuming.

Want to learn more about when snaking is right for your clog, or any of our other drain maintenance or plumbing services? Speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

Home Habits to Prevent Drain Issues

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

At All Hours Plumbing, we’re your go-to experts for drain cleaning and all residential plumbing issues. If you’re experiencing clogs or backups in your drains, we can get you cleared up quickly and affordably.

Whenever possible, you’d like to take the steps to avoid having to call for these services from us too often. Here are a few positive habits you can get into that will help prevent drain clogs and other major drain issues.

Hot Water

After every significant meal and dish cleanup in the sink, pour some extra hot water down the drain of your sink. This helps prevent common buildups like grease, fat and hard water deposits inside the pipes – things that can build up even as you correctly use your garbage disposal. For extra protection here, you can even clean your pipe once a week with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar (let the combination sit for 20 minutes first).

For bathtubs, cleaning out the drain every once in a while involves filling the tub a bit more than halfway, then pulling the stopper and allowing water to quickly flow down the drain, clearing any minor deposits as long as you do this once every couple weeks.

The Right Drains

When food has to go down the drain in the sink, make sure it’s the right drain. Only the garbage disposal should receive even scraps of food, and even these should be minimized where possible. A good rule of thumb is cleaning plates of big scraps before they hit the sink, plus using drain strainers to catch food particles.

Natural Cleaners

When you need to clean out a drain using a specific cleaning product, shoot for natural products. Heavy chemicals may get the job done, but they can cause damage to pipes and your drainage system over time. Natural cleaners, on the other hand, will produce positive bacteria to kill negative particles building up – these good bacteria can then also be washed away with some basic water.

Professional Inspection

Finally, it’s recommended that you have your system checked periodically by an expert like All Hours Plumbing. Even the most proactive approach might not catch everything, and some routine maintenance is preferable to a big clog by a long shot.

Want to learn more about positive drain maintenance, or any other element of our plumbing services? The experts at All Hours Plumbing are standing by.

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

There are several emergency plumbing issues which simply can’t be avoided, and these are why you employ a 24/7 plumber like All Hours Plumbing. We’re here to address your water damage and other plumbing issues an hour of the day, no matter what.

A big part of our services, however, involves informing our clients about ways to potentially avoid these serious issues in the future. Some of the most common issues we see this time of year relate to water heaters – here are a few tips for properly maintaining yours.

Know Basic Details

It may sound obvious, but you should know exactly where your water heater is and how to access it. You should also know what type of water heating is being used – natural gas, electric or propane. Does your heater use a storage tank, or is it tankless? Be sure to write down your model and serial number, or at least know where it’s located on the tank. This could be relevant down the line if you have any issues.

Know How to Turn it Off

If there’s an emergency, especially if you can smell gas or if there’s water actively leaking into your home, you need to be able to shut things off. Most water heaters have shut-off valves on the cold side piping, and you should locate yours. There should also be a disconnect switch for gas within a few feet of the heater. It’s also good to know which circuit breaker is used for the water heater, so you can shut this off at the source if needed.

Give it Space

It’s good to clear the area near your heater, both for ease of access and for other issues. Gas-fired units need oxygen to burn, for instance, and it’s much easier to let this happen or catch issues like leaks if you have room to see what’s going on in that area. It can also be a fire hazard to store things too closely.

Drain Regularly

At least once a year, use your drain valve to drain a few gallons from your heater. This is a great way to keep it up to date, and also to check for larger problems – if you see larger amounts of debris in the water, this could signal that it’s time for a full flush of the system.

Annual Inspection

Finally, be sure to have an annual inspection on your heater. This can be something you do yourself if you’re experienced, but there are several detailed steps that plumbers like ours are recommended for in most cases.

To find out more about the water heater installation or maintenance services we can provide, or any other element of our plumbing offerings, speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

Tips for Common Toilet Issues

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

As your go-to option for emergency plumbing services in Utah, we at All Hours Plumbing are available 24/7 to handle your most serious plumbing issues. The toilet is one of the most common areas we’re called out to service, and with good reason.

Did you know, though, that there are several toilet-related incidents you can solve on your own, with nothing but a basic tool kit and a little know-how? There may be certain severe issues only a professional can take care of, but here are a few basic tips for helping you handle some of these concerns yourself – or at least hold them off until professional help can arrive.

Phantom Flushes

Are you hearting your toilet randomly refill itself at strange times, even when it hasn’t been used recently? This and related issues are called phantom flushes, and they’re caused by a slow leak from the toilet tank into the bowl itself. A bad flapper or flapper seat is the issue – this is what controls how quickly water enters the tank, and it’s easy to see in the tank.

To solve phantom flushes, drain the tank and the bowl first. Then check the flapper seat for wear and tear or outright damage – if it’s in bad shape, you’ll likely just need a simple replacement.

Tank Trickling

This is when water trickles into the tank via the supply line, and you’ll hear a hissing sound that sustains for long periods of time. First, check whether the floating element in the tank is sticking, or needs to be adjusted a little. Next, make sure the refill tube isn’t inserted too far into the overflow tube. If neither of these works, it’s time to call the plumbers at All Hours Plumbing.

Slow Emptying

Also called a weak flush, this is usually caused by clogged holes under the rim of the toilet bowl. To fix it, poke each flush hole under the rim gently with a curved piece of wire, with the goal of cleaning out any debris. You can use a small mirror to help you see, and a metal coat hanger should do the trick. Be careful not to scratch the bowl.

The Clog

The most common issue involving toilets, there are several causes of clogs. A trusty plunger will often do the trick, especially a force-cup plunger that’s a big more heavy duty than the standard kind. For a more serious clog, use a closet auger. Again, be careful not to scratch the bowl while you’re doing this.

If you’re confused about any of these details, or want to know more about any of our plumbing services, speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

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