Archive for April, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Common Plumbing Repair Tips

5 Simple Tips For A Common Plumbing Issue

Residential plumbers get many emergency calls about slow moving drains and sometimes the sink strainer is completely worn out and needs to be replaced.  “Anyone can install kitchen sin strainers, either before or after the sink is installed.  Installing them first will prove somewhat easier because it requires less stooping.

Start with a bead of silicone caulk around the sink’s strainer hole and underneath the strainer’s lip.  It looks complicated, but the steps are very clear cut and simple. A spanner wrench will be needed for this plumbing project.

Tip #1  Push the strainer into the caulk (remove the excess later).

Tip #2  From underneath, insert the rubber gasket and cardboard washer, if any.

Tip #3  From on top, insert the open jaws of needle-nose pliers through the holes.

Tip #4  From underneath, tighten the nut with a spanner wrench with one hand while keeping the strainer from turning with the pliers.

Tip #5  If the strainer nut is designed for it, lock it with the supplied bolts.

BONUS TIP:  Thread on the strainer nut, hand tight.  Then, tighten the nut with the spanner wrench.

This article has been brought to you by Mr. Rooter Plumbing, your Cincinnati Plumbers.

PostHeaderIcon Expert plumbing tips on Septic Tanks

5 Expert Plumbing Pro Tips On Septic Tank Installation and Maintenance

To protect the public health from the dangers of improper sewage disposal practices, state regulations have been adopted. The regulations are designed to help insure that when a septic tank system is used, it will be constructed to meet appropriate standards, of sufficient size to handle the anticipated waste load, and that the soil is suitable for absorption of sewage. These regulations require that a permit to construct a septic tank system be obtained from the county health department. A septic tank system may not be covered with earth until an inspection is made and approval is given by the county health department sanitarian.

Remember that a septic tank system cannot be safely installed on all lots or building sites. Some lots or building sites are unsuitable because of the type of soil, terrain (too steep, too low or wet, etc.), size, ground water, rock, or other factors which would interfere with operation of the system.  Die testing is required and in some cases sand mounds are constructed to accomplish the installation of a septic system.

Pro Tip #1  Standard recommendation is to have the septic tank pumped (cleaned) out every 3-5 years.  Some townships, boroughs or mobile home parks will have strict ordinance code regarding frequency.

Pro Tip #2  Only household waste and toilet tissue should be disposed of in a septic tank system. Keep all kitchen greases out of the system.  Female personal hygiene items, cotton swabs, cigarette buds, hair from hair brushes, paper towels, toys or dead mice from traps should never be flushed down the toilet.  Even a cotton swab can lodge sideways in a pipe and toilet paper will accumulate blocking the pipe going to the septic system.

Pro Tip #3  Any leaks that develop in the plumbing fixtures should be immediately corrected. A leaking faucet or toilet tank, no matter how small the leak, will eventually result in complete saturation and failure of the absorption field.

Pro Tip #4  A septic tank needs periodic cleaning or pumping out of the accumulated solids. If the solids are allowed to build up in the tank to a point that they begin to pass out of the tank into the soil absorption network, the soil will soon become clogged with the solids, resulting in failure of the system. If this happens, costly repairs will have to be made before the system will again function properly.  Raw sewage that comes to the surface of the ground will indicate that the system has failed.  It is unpleasant, unhealthy and usually a violation that could lead to fines which only compounds the cost of a failed septic tank system.

Pro Tip #5  Automobiles and other heavy vehicles should not be allowed over the septic tank system. This causes excessive compaction and actual structural damage to septic tanks and tile absorption field. A sketch of your septic tank system can usually be obtained from your county health department to aid you in knowing the location of all parts of the system. This can be helpful in case of problems with the system or when the tank is cleaned.

PLUMBER TRADE SECRET:  The frequency of tank cleaning or pumping is hard to determine as it depends on many factors and varies with different families. The only sure way to determine the need for service is to open the tank periodically and inspect it to determine the accumulation of solids. This should provide a margin of safety, but remember the most accurate way to determine the need for service is to inspect the tank contents on a yearly basis.

WHAT CAN GO WRONG:  Roots of trees and shrubs growing near the septic tank system will intrude and infiltrate the absorption trenches and block the flow of sewage. It is advisable to remove trees and shrubs growing over the trenches or near the septic tank system.

This article was brought to you by San Diego Plumbers. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of San Diego we specialize in all of your residential, commercial & emergency plumbing and drain cleaning needs. For more information please visit our website. We service all of San Diego County!

PostHeaderIcon Conserving Water

3 Important Ways To Help Save Water For Future Generations

Drip, Drip…..Drip!

The average American household wastes more than 10,000 gallons each year from easy-to-fix water leaks, adding up to more than one trillion gallons of water lost annually nationwide. Many of these leaks have do-it-yourself fixes that could cost only a few dollars to address.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Water-Sense program is encouraging homeowners to find and fix leaks to save more than 10 percent on utility bills now and help save water for future generations.

  • Find Leaks: Winter water use can be an indicator of household leaks. If use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month for a family of four, chances are good that you have a leak. Walk around your home with eyes and ears open to find leaks, and don’t forget to check pipes. Reveal a silent toilet leak by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank and wait 15 minutes without flushing. If bowl water changes color, your toilet has a leak. Flush afterwards to avoid staining the bowl or tank.
  • Fix Leaks: Many times, fixing leaks can be done yourself and doesn’t have to cost a thing. Both faucets and showerhead connections can be tightened or sealed. For leaky toilets, the rubber flapper inside the tank is often the culprit. Over time, the flapper decays, but replacing it only costs a few dollars. If you don’t feel comfortable with these repairs, a licensed contractor can help. Irrigation systems and outdoor spigots can also have leaks. A WaterSense irrigation partner who is certified in water-efficient irrigation technologies and techniques can ensure your irrigation system works properly.
  • Dripping faucets can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, a showerhead leaking 10 drips per minute about 500 gallons per year, and running toilets 200 gallons or more each day. Fixing household leaks not only saves water, but also energy and money on utility bills.

If you need to replace plumbing fixtures, save even more water by replacing them with WaterSense-labeled models. WaterSense labels toilets, faucets, urinals and-coming soon-showerheads that use at least 20 percent less water and are independently tested and certified to perform as well as or better than standard plumbing fixtures.

This article was brought to you by the Master Rooter Plumbing