How the Toilet Bowl Works

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

From a simple clogged toilet all the way up to much larger and more significant plumbing issues, we at All Hours Plumbing have seen it all. Our plumbing experts are here to service any and all needs you and your family may have.

Many of the simplest bathroom-related plumbing issues can actually be solved much more easily by you, the homeowner, with a little basic knowledge about what’s happening in that room. There are two primary parts to the toilet: The tank and the bowl. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss how the toilet bowl works.

Basic Parts

The toilet bowl does not contain any moving parts. However, there are several important features to note:

  • Rim holes: Openings around the edge that allow water to refill into the bowl during a flush.
  • Jet hole: An opening near the bottom of some bowl styles that increases flushing pressure and limits the risk of a clog.
  • Outlet: Opening at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Trap: Connected to the outlet, this is the downward curve that then splits upward to hold a pool of water.
  • Siphon tube: Just beyond the trap, this is plumbing that moves downward and remains empty between flushes.
  • Sewer pipe: The line that connects to the bottom of the toilet and allows waste to flow out when you flush.

The Siphon

Toilets use the power of gravity to flush – more specifically, a basic siphon effect. When you press the handle down, the water in the tank rushes into the bowl through the rim holes and jet holes, a process that takes about three seconds in most cases. Water is sent through the outlet and the trap, into the siphon tube – this has to be done quickly enough to create a vacuum. The vacuum sucks water out of the bowl and into the pipe. From here, air fills the siphon tube and creates the gurgling sound you hear a few seconds later.

Water Refilling

At this point, water has to refill itself. When the fill valve turns on to refill the tank, some of that water is portioned off into the bowl itself. This water is sent by a small hose running through the overflow tubs, which delivers water into the rim holes. This setup makes it impossible for an overfill situation to take place unless a clog is present – the trap remains at the same height as the water should be in the bowl, and gravity controls things from there.

For more on basic components of the toilet, or to find out about or schedule any of our plumbing services, contact the expert staff at All Hours Plumbing today.

Fall Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

The winds are beginning to blow and leaves are slowly starting to drop – the fall is upon us. Fall is the last chance home and business owners have to address repairs or maintenance for certain important areas before winter hits, and one of the most important areas here is plumbing.

At All Hours Plumbing, our plumbers are here to help with all fall and pre-winter plumbing services. Here are some tips for several of the most important areas you should be looking at before the coldest months hit.

The Sewer

Fall, winter and spring all put a significant amount of strain on the sewer system in general. Anyone who has had recent issue with any part of this system should consider a professional inspection in the fall to ensure there are no issues headed into winter.

Water Heater

Water heater maintenance is important in general, not just during fall – annual maintenance will help keep the heater working for longer, and will avoid more costly repairs or replacements. Doing this in fall is a good time to identify any leakage or overuse that might be tougher to spot in the winter, and can save you money on your utility bill.

Sump Pump

The sump pump works harder the more precipitation there is, and fall and winter can be on the list here. Ensure that the sump pump is in working order – our professionals can assist you here if needed.

Garden Hoses and Bibs

Storage of hoses is an important area that many people overlook during fall plumbing maintenance. Be sure to disconnect the hose and properly drain all standing water from it, then place it in an area that won’t reach below 32 degrees Fahrenheit during winter – this will prevent frozen pipes or hoses.

In addition, remember to turn off the hose bib, an important connector piece, as well as the inside water supply line. Different systems may come with different sets of instructions here, but our plumbers are up to speed on any system you might have. If you don’t already have one, a frost-proof hose bib is another protector against the possibility of frozen pipes in winter.

For more on fall plumbing tips, or to learn more about any of our plumbing services, contact the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

Basics and Repairs for Cracked Grout

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

At All Hours Plumbing, our residential plumbing services are meant to cover the entire spectrum: From first-time homeowners who have zero clue about even the simplest plumbing issues to experienced, handy folks who like to handle as many repairs as possible using their own expertise and elbow grease.

For this latter group, a common area is bathroom grout. Over a period of time, sections of bathroom grout may become cracked – often joints like walls that meet the shower or floor. With the right bits of savvy know-how, the do-it-yourself homeowner can handle certain instances of cracked grout. Here are the common causes, and some basic steps to follow.

Grout Causes

There are two common causes for grout cracking in bathrooms:

  • Movement: Over time, the foundation of your home will naturally settle and change. In fact, chances are your house’s foundation has been constantly moving in tiny increments ever since you moved in. If your bathroom’s grout was made using an inflexible material (most is), cracks can easily develop due to this basic movement.
  • Installation: In other cases, faulty installation is the primary cause of cracking bathroom grout. Grout might have been mixed with too much water additive, which would leave air pockets after the grout dried. These pockets leave the grout brittle and prone to cracking. Another common issue is too little adhesive being used during installation.

Repair Steps

If you’re looking to repair a few isolated areas of cracked grout, here are some basic steps to follow:

  • Remove all grout completely from the affected area. This will be easy if grout is crumbling, but if not, consider using a grout saw or other grout removal tool for assistance.
  • Vacuum any cracks to sweep up any leftover dust.
  • Look for replacement caulk that’s less likely to crack, often silicone caulk that’s also flexible. Choose the proper color to match the existing grout.
  • Follow all caulk directions as closely as possible. Many kinds of grout can be tough to work with and set quickly, including silicone.

Finally, one important piece of advice: If any of these elements get outside your control or there are cracks you can’t handle, call our plumbers before proceeding any further. Trying to extend beyond your skill set could leave you with incredibly costly repairs.

To learn more about this or any of our other plumbing services, contact the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

Worst-Case Results of a Neglected Water Heater

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Water heaters are one of the most important plumbing elements in any home, and with proper water heating service and repair like the kind you get from All Hours Plumbing, you’ll never have to worry about it. Our trained plumbers will keep your system in proper working order with prompt, expert service.

What happens when you don’t have this kind of quality service on your side? Here are a few of the worst possible results that can take place if your water heater is neglected.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Many water heaters use gas to heat water in the home, and if this system malfunctions and is left unchecked, it can leak carbon monoxide gas into the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires kills over 400 Americans every year, and water heaters are a common source. Make sure your home has a gas detector that’s properly hooked up, and make sure you call our technicians for annual maintenance to ensure there are no gas issues in the water heater.

Explosions

In some of the worst-case scenarios we’ve been exposed to in our history servicing plumbing needs, water heater explosions can take place. Within older systems, temperature and pressure valves may fail if neglected for long periods of time – when this happens, enough pressure building up in the tank over time will cause it to burst.

In most systems, there are safeguards to keep this from happening. But even in these situations, these safeguards can fail if the system isn’t properly maintained.

Flooding

One of the most common big issues with neglected water heaters is flooding, which often takes place due to rust and corrosion that aren’t addressed over a period of years. Water heaters have an element called the anode rod that’s meant to rust naturally and prevent the rest of the tank doing so, but without proper maintenance, the rod will rust away completely and the tank itself will begin to rust as well. This will eventually allow gallons upon gallons of water to flood into the home.

For more information on water heaters or any of our other plumbing services, contact the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.

Common Summer Plumbing Areas

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

The summer is here, and these are some of the best months of the year to have a good relationship with local plumbers like ours at All Hours Plumbing. The summer months come with a few areas that may require bits of extra attention or plumbing services, and our plumbers are here to help whenever this becomes the case.

What are some of these areas you should be paying specific attention to during the summer? Here’s a quick look.

Clogged Toilets

Toilets are used more often during the summer on average, particularly in homes with children who are not in school over the summer. Extra strain on the system means greater risk of clogs – teach children to only use moderate toilet paper amounts, and to never flush anything but this paper and bodily waste down that drain. Make sure you follow these same themes yourself, as well.

Washing Machines

Down similar lines, the washing machine will likely get more use during the summer, and this will put more strain on it. If possible, look to remain home while you run the machine in case of any issues. If you have hose issues, consider moving the machine a few inches away from the wall to prevent the hose from kinking.

Garbage Disposal

Summertime naturally leads to more cooking and use of the barbeque, and the garbage disposal often sees the brunt of the runoff here. Larger items like watermelon, corn and meat leftovers are not good for the disposal, but they often end up down there anyway. Try to avoid putting these items into the garbage disposal, and also avoid dumping down cooking oils that can harden and clog the system.

Sprinklers

Roughly once a month during the summer, you should be inspecting and cleaning all sprinkler heads in your system to make sure they aren’t clogged. Also, be careful about sprinklers while mowing the lawn – only do so while heads are lowered, to prevent damage to both the mower and the sprinklers.

For more information on common summer plumbing areas, or to find out about any of our other plumbing services, speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today

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