Homeowner Plumbing Tips

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apartment living definitely has some perks, the biggest of which is the ability to simply call maintenance when something in your unit breaks.  However, once you buy a home, anything that breaks is yours to fix.  With some advanced planning, you can have everything you need to resolve minor plumbing problems at the ready when they happen to you.

Your first order of business is definitely to assemble a plumbing kit for your home.  It should contain a plunger to unclog drains, duct tape for fast triage on stubborn leaks, a screwdriver, and heavy duty paper rolls which can be sued to absorb leaks off of the floor.  Another thing you should have handy is a set of hex keys, also known as Allen keys.  These are essential for tightening small nuts and bolts in confined spaces.  You should also purchase and use strainers on your drains to keep soap, hair, and other items from entering and clogging your pipes.

Next, you should familiarize yourself with where the main shut off valves for gas and water are in your home.  Should you experience a leak of water or gas, it’s extremely important to be able to locate those valves and shut them off quickly.

Finally, here are a few tricks to have up your sleeve for later.

  • If your toilet won’t flush, you can fill a bucket halfway with water and dump it into the toilet bowl. This should serve to clear the toilet until you can have the issue fixed.
  • A plunger can be used to unclog a blocked drain or a sink. If the plunger does not work on the sink, you can remove the u-shaped pipe in the bottom to clear out the blockage.
  • Always have the information for a local licensed plumber at the ready in case you need help.

Why You Should Call a Plumber for a Smelly Garbage Disposal

photo courtesy of homemd.com
photo courtesy of homemd.com

If you have a smell coming from your garbage disposal that no amount of baking soda can diminish, it is highly recommended that you call a licensed plumber.  Unfortunately, a stinky garbage disposal can be a sign of a serious sewer gas leak in your home. A plumbing professional will have the necessary equipment to see if the source of the stench is your sewer.  If it is not, he or she can move on to finding the origin of the smell and correcting the problem.

Once your garbage disposal has returned to an odorless state, there are many steps you can take to ensure it stays that way. [Read more…]

Hydro Jetting

plumbers hydro jetting pipesHydro jetting is a process used by professional plumbers to clean your pipes and drains using extreme water pressure of between 1500 and 4000 pounds per minute.  This method is useful for extreme clogs that cannot be tackled by traditional means.

For example, if you are experiencing a clogged sink, your first instinct may be to go to the hardware store and purchase a plumbing snake.  This is a long, flexible metal tube with a hand crank at one end and a corkscrew auger on the other.  The idea is that you will turn the crank to extend the cable down the drain until you reach the point of the blockage.  You must then push through the blockage and then remove the snake from the drain, hopefully bringing up some of the goop causing the clog along with the auger.  A snake can be a wonderful tool if you have a minor clog or a single item stuck in your drain.  However, if you have a longer-term problem building up, it is only a temporary fix. [Read more…]

Don’t Put These Items in Your Garbage Disposal

Get to know more about what doesn’t belong in your garbage disposal!

potato skins can clog disposals

It is estimated that 50% of American households own garbage disposals.  If you have one in your home, you appreciate just how much it speeds the process of cleaning up after a meal.  As we head towards the holidays, where you may find yourself entertaining more and cooking seasonal foods you don’t normally make during the year, it is a good time to refresh yourself on things you should not place in your disposal if you want to keep it running smoothly.

First and foremost, the garbage disposal is meant to handle only biodegradable food items.  This eliminates glass, plastic, metal, paper, matches, and cigarette butts.  However, even some food items are off limits as well. [Read more…]

What are the benefits of a summer drain cleaning?

Benefits of a summer drain cleaning


Drain CleaningOften people like to try “do it yourself” projects within their homes for certain chores. However there are certain areas within home maintenance that are better left to the professionals to resolve. One such area is drain cleaning. Advertised on television or seen in stores, many people have seen commercials for high strength liquid drain cleaners. While that type of a remedy may provide short term relief from clogs, it does not permanently correct the dilemma. Liquid drain cleaners are caustic. They are harmful to pipes as well as humans and pets.

Only a professional plumber can rid a drain of harmful debris. When there is a clog within a drain it is a breeding ground for bacteria. Dishes, utensils, kitchen gadgets are all in, for instance, a kitchen sink. It is not sanitary to have them in a sink where the drain beneath is multiplying germs as dishes are being washed. When the sink begins to back up causing stagnate water to collect there, that is unhealthy for people. If a bathroom drain is clogged, water collects within the shower while washing. This is also not a very hygienic experience. With a proper drain cleaning by a professional, harmful bacteria is extracted properly. During a drain cleaning, a plumber can remove the blockage that is currently causing an issue with proper use of the sink, bathtub or shower. This proper intervention can also be proactive, by cleaning the walls of the drain preventing future clogs.

Hair is the most common cause for clogs in bathtub and shower drains. Often, hair settled into the drain causes a foul odor. During a professional cleaning, a plumber can remove all hair and debris clogging the drain.

During a drain cleaning, a plumber can notice issues with the pipes themselves. Often, this can be the first time erosion or the beginning stages of pipe erosion is diagnosed.
Summer drain cleanings are essential when properly maintaining a home. During the hustle and bustle of busy summer months, don’t neglect your drains.

Is your Marietta home in need of professional drain cleaning? Call Pell Plumbing at (770) 499-2006 for the best services in your area!