Common plumbing questions – Ask a plumber

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From water heaters and clogged drains to backed-up sewer lines, plumbers often run into many of the same problems on the job each day. Understandably, your most frequently used plumbing fixtures are often the source of plumbing problems. Here are three of the most common plumbing questions people ask plumbers about the fixtures in their homes:

 1. How can I extend the life of my water heater?

A water heater is an important investment in your home and a crucial factor in keeping your home’s plumbing working properly. To extend the life of your water heater, regular maintenance is key. Either you or a plumbing expert can regularly empty the water heater to clear it of any sediment. Replace the anode rod to prevent the bottom of the machine from rusting.

 2. Clogged drains

When a drain gets clogged in your home, whether it is in your kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms or basement, it is important to address the issue right away.  Preventing clogs is easier than you think.  Here are a couple of tips:

  • Use drain covers that can catch food scraps, hair or any other materials before they enter your pipes.
  • Avoid throwing anything down the drain or into the toilet that could cause blockages – this includes being cautious with your garbage disposal and always tossing out grease or oil in the trash can. Be careful what you put down your garbage disposal.
  • Make a home solution

    Often a cleaning solution is needed when you have a clogged drain. While most chemical drain cleaners are toxic and can be harmful to ourselves and the environment, there are simple eco-friendly and non-toxic ways to unclog a drain that include:

  • Self – cleaning

    Assess the situation and try to clear the blocked drain by hand.  Unscrew the plug stopper while using a handy tool like a wire coat hanger to search for any debris. Remember to use gloves during this cleaning process as much of what you will pull out will be black, messy and odorous.

  • All natural cleaning solution

    When a simple hand drain cleaning isn’t enough, sometimes, a natural drain cleaning solution will do the trick. Making a chemical-free cleaning solution can be done easily with just a few simple, common household items. Follow the steps below to unclog a drain naturally:

    • Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain.
    • Pour in a cup of vinegar (let it work on the drain for about 15 minutes).
    • During this time – boil a pot of water.
    • Pour boiling pot of water down the drain.
    • Repeat the process another time or two if necessary.

3. Running toilet

A running toilet is not only a nuisance but can prove costly with the added expense to your utility bill. If your toilet is running, it is likely that you have an issue with one of three things:

  • Fill tube
  • Flapper chain
  • Flapper

Examine your tank when it is running to see if you can identify the issue. Sometimes a repair is as simple as tightening the flapper chain or adjusting the fill height.

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