Risky Plumbing Signs in a New Home

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

As anyone who has been through it can tell you, the process of buying a new home is never easy. You have to spend hours taking tours and finding the right options, on top of all the paperwork and money-related concerns to consider.

During open houses and tours, you should have your eye out for little particulars – including plumbing. At All Hours Plumbing, our plumbers have seen clients move into what they thought was a fantastic new home, only to discover that there were serious plumbing issues that needed work for the house to be habitable. Let’s look at some of the signs that these issues might be present, and what you should watch out for when considering a new home.

Slow Draining

Test sinks, faucets, showers and bathtubs in a potential new home. You’re looking for the speed at which they drain – any drain that takes too long to empty is a bad sign. This could mean there’s a buildup or blockage of sewage somewhere along the line within the plumbing system, and this issue could lead to further clogs. In a worst-case scenario, this might be tree roots clogging the main line and indicating you may need to overhaul your entire system.

Ceiling Stains

Look at the ceilings and walls in each room, carefully checking for stains. Likely brown, these are typically water stains. They could mean there’s a leaky roof or a leaky pipe somewhere in the area, but in either case, this will need to be repaired at the seller’s expense before you consider a purchase. In some cases, these stains will be due to a previous problem that has already been corrected.

Leaks

To whatever degree you can, inspect the plumbing system in a potential new home Check pipes under sinks, faucets, shower heads, water supply lines and other plumbing fixtures. Also check all fittings and connections. If you notice any leaking or condensation, or any standing water in the area, this is a sign of a problem. These kinds of leaks can cost you tons of extra money in utility costs, and may lead to even large issues down the line due to water damage and mold removal.

To learn more about what to look for plumbing-wise in a new home, or to find out about any of our other plumbing services, speak to the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.

Removing Foul Bathroom Odors

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

No one likes walking past the bathroom and getting hit with an awful smell. Whether the stench is the cause of human waste or some lacking area in maintenance, there’s no reason your bathroom should regularly smell bad.

At All Hours Plumbing, we’re here to help. Our plumbers can help you with some potential causes of odors, plus good steps for removing them. Here are some basics on how to get rid of odors – and keep them away for good.

Odor Removal

There are a few areas you can look at to attempt to rid the bathroom of an odor:

  • Ventilation: Most bathrooms have a small exhaust fan for ventilation. Using this fan will often remove many basic odors over a period of several minutes, and it can also help remove excess moisture. Moisture commonly causes smelly mold and mildew.
  • Air fresheners: Air fresheners don’t actually remove odors, but for temporary smells, they do a great job of masking them. You can either buy store fresheners or create your own using vinegar, baking soda and some essential oils.
  • Desiccants: Desiccants are dry materials in the form of silica gels. They absorb odors in the bathroom naturally. Another possibility here is a plant like a fern or a lily plant.

Bathroom Cleaning

Once you’ve gotten an odor out of the bathroom, here are a few cleaning tips to keep it from potentially returning:

  • Cleaning materials: If you want to clean a fixture, make a paste using baking soda and lemon juice and apply it. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then spray the surface with some white vinegar. Allow the paste to bubble, the wipe it clean.
  • Toilet tank: Failure to clean the toilet tank regularly can cause it to stink like urine. Pour white vinegar in the tank and scrub it out.
  • Mold: If you see black specks on the ceiling or green debris around pipes or fixtures, this is a sign of mold. It can be unsightly, smelly and impactful on your health.

Next Steps

Some other steps that can help remove and prevent lingering odors:

  • Re-caulk tiles, bathtub and shower
  • Close the toilet lid before flushing and keep it closed
  • Regularly empty trash bins
  • Wash bathroom towels, mats and curtains regularly – these can retain odors
  • Contact our plumbers to help fix any leaks

For more on how to prevent nasty smells from the bathroom, or for any of our other plumbing services, speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

First Steps in Plumbing Emergencies

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

At All Hours Plumbing, one of the services we’re most proud to offer to our clients is 24/7 emergency plumbing. You never know when a plumbing emergency is going to show up – signs can often be very subtle or even nonexistent, and it could arrive very quickly and without warning.

The immediate response you take to a given plumbing emergency, especially while you wait for our trusted plumbers to arrive, is vital to limiting the damage and costs you’ll incur. Let’s go over a few common plumbing emergencies, plus some things you should do right away if you experience one.

Common Emergencies

A few common plumbing emergencies that may require immediate action:

  • Toilet overflow: Can create significant water damage and contamination risk. Toilets will have a water valve connected behind the toilet and against the wall – turn this off right away if your toilet is overflowing.
  • Clogged drain: Drains in sinks, showers and toilets can become clogged very quickly. Keep a plunger and toilet paper handy to break up loose blockages, and keep a drain snake or hand auger around for denser clogs if you know how to handle one of these items.
  • Water heater issues: Water heaters can leak, make noises or simply not perform properly. The first step here is to manually shut it off, as a water heater should only be handled by one of our professionals.

First Responses

Apart from directions above for specific emergencies, here are some general tips if you run into one of these issues:

  • Run to the water shut-off valve and close it to stop the flow of water headed to your home. This means you have to know where your shut-off valve is in advance.
  • Turn on all faucets to drain any water remaining within the pipes. This will divert water in the pipes away from where there might be a leak.
  • Call our trusted team of plumbers and tell us you need emergency plumbing services.
  • If there’s standing water, get a mop and towels and do your best to clean it while you wait for our plumbers – unless you were instructed to stay clear of water for fear of contamination.

To learn more about what to do in the case of an emergency plumbing situation, speak to our experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

Adjustments to Avoid Leaking Pipes

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

One of the most common plumbing problems that will be found in a given system over a period of years is leaking pipes. There are many things that can cause pipes to leak in the home or office, including simple wear and tear that takes place over time.

At All Hours Plumbing, our plumbers are well trained in handling issues of leaking pipes, and also in preventing them. There are a couple prominent areas you can look into that can help reduce the stress on pipes and lower the chance of a leak occurring and costing you money.

Water Pressure

Living in a home with high water pressure is great on the one hand, because you’ll never have to worry about a limited shower or water appliances that don’t really perform optimally. On the other hand, though, higher water pressure is known to put more strain on the pipes the water flows through. A couple tips here:

  • Measure water pressure by calling your local plumbing company, or by purchasing a hose bib gauge.
  • Water pressure should register between 40 and 85 psi (pounds per square inch). Anything higher than this should be lowered by a pressure regulator.
  • Low-flow shower heads and faucets do not actually reduce water pressure – rather, they just control the actual amounts of water that are dispensed.

Water Softening

If you live in an area with harder water, your plumbing can undergo significant stress from this. Sediment of magnesium and calcium can build up within the pipes, and this can cause issues from restricted water flow to corrosion of joints and fittings, which can lead to leaks. A few areas to consider here:

  • Inspect shower heads, faucets and any surfaces near plumbing fixtures for white colored buildup and stains – telltale signs of hard water.
  • If you have a well water system, have the water tested or view the annual report. Anything over 140 parts per million is considered hard water.
  • The best way to remove hard water as a concern in the home is to install a water softener. There are a number of options available here.

For more on preventing pipe leaks through smart adjustments, or to learn more about any of our plumbing services, speak to the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.

How the Toilet Tank Works

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

At All Hours Plumbing, a big part of our residential plumbing services that we pride ourselves in is our ability to educate our clients. We may not be able to turn you into a certified member of the team, of course, but our plumbers are happy to explain and educate on all the work they may do around your home.

One area that many residents can do with a basic explanation in is the toilet. The toilet functions based on two primary parts: The bowl and the tank. In our last blog, we went over how the bowl works. Today, let’s look at the basic components and functions of the toilet tank.

Basics and Elements

Toilets use water pressure and the siphon effect to get rid of waste, and to do this, they need more pressure than what you’d find in a standard pipe. This is what the tank is important for: It holds enough water to be released into the system during a flush. The tank can take up to 60 seconds to fill, but is capable of draining in about three seconds when you flush – this is what creates the siphoning effect.

There are several distinct parts that make the toilet tank function correctly:

  • Handle: The outer element of the tank that begins the flush when you press it.
  • Handle arm: A pivoting arm attached to the handle from inside the tank.
  • Chain: Connects the handle arm to the flapper.
  • Flapper: A rubber piece that seals the drain hole between flushes.
  • Flush valve: An item attached to the toilet tank flapper that holds the flapper open while water filters in.
  • Drain hole: A piece that connects the bowl and the tank.
  • Fill valve: A device designed to refill the tank and prepare for the next flush.
  • Refill tube: A tube that sends water from the fill valve into the tank.
  • Filler float/float ball: Items that tell the fill valve to turn on water when the tank is empty, or to turn off when it becomes full.
  • Overflow tube: A failsafe tube in place in case there’s an issue with the float ball or a jam in the filler valve.

Flushing

When you press the tank handle, the handle arm lifts up the chain, opening the flapper and activating the flush valve. This sends water rapidly into the bowl through the drain hole.

Refilling

When the tank empties, the float ball lowers and tells the fill valve to begin refilling the tank again. Simultaneously, the flapper closes over the drain hole to seal it from the bowl as the tank fills to a predetermined level.

For more information on the toilet’s operations, or to find out about any of our other plumbing services, speak to the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.

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