Every homeowner has to deal with clogged drains and water leaks at some point. Woodland Hills Plumber can ensure these issues don’t become major repairs by performing regular inspections and preventive maintenance.
Understanding how your plumbing system works can help you avoid major problems and save money on energy bills. Read on to learn how a toilet flushes, how pipes are shaped, and what to do if you spot a pipe leak.
Drains carry water and waste from your home’s plumbing system to your sewer or septic line. However, clogged drains can cause major problems. If you notice your sink or toilet draining slower than usual, it could be a sign that a clog is forming. If left unchecked, a clog can lead to sewage backups, flooding, and expensive damage.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent or treat a clog. Pouring hot water down a drain helps to break up and dissolve food particles, grease, and soap scum that build up in the pipes. For stubborn clogs, try using a plunger. If these methods don’t work, you may need to hire a professional plumber.
One of the most common causes of clogged drains is mineral buildup. When hard water builds up in your pipes, it forms limescale that catches everything else draining through the pipe. If you live in an area with hard water, it’s a good idea to have a plumber install a water softener.
Another common reason for clogged drains is fat, oil, and grease. These substances solidify as they cool and stick to the inside of your pipes. They’re also difficult to break down and clear once they solidify, so it’s best to dispose of them in a trashcan.
Other common causes of clogged drains are hair, food scraps, and soap scum. These materials can stick to the sides of your pipes and block their flow. A regular cleaning schedule is important to keep your drains functioning properly.
If you can’t fix a clogged drain with a plunger or hot water, it’s time to call a professional. A plumber can use a drain snake to break up and remove stubborn clogs. To use a snake, first loosen the drain’s pop-up assembly and remove any objects blocking the pipe opening. Loosen the setscrew on the tip of the snake and pull out six to 10 inches of cable. Feed the snake down the drain while cranking the handle. When you feel the snake hit an obstruction, tighten the setscrew and pull out a little more cable. Repeat this process until the clog is fully cleared.
There is nothing more frustrating than running a shower, washing machine or dishwasher and getting low water pressure. Low water pressure can have multiple causes, including mineral build-up in pipes, a closed water valve or a broken pressure regulator. A home plumber can diagnose the problem, clear clogs, repair leaks, replace a pressure regulator or install a booster pump to increase water flow and improve your home’s overall water pressure.
Insufficient water pressure could also be caused by a faulty or blocked water supply valve at the curb. It is also common for older homes to have corroded water lines. This is because metal pipes are exposed to oxygen in the air, which over time can cause the inside of the pipe to rust. Water leaking from these corroded pipes can also lead to low water pressure.
Another common reason for low water pressure is too many faucets and water-using appliances running at the same time. It is best to stagger your household’s water usage throughout the day by using dishes, laundry, bathing and cooking equipment in different intervals. This will help reduce your water usage and prevent the occurrence of low water pressure.
One way to check for low water pressure is to shut off all water to your house and check the meter readings. A high water meter reading indicates that there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
If your water meter reading remains unchanged, the problem may be a mineral build-up in the pipes or an issue with the municipal water line. In this case, your plumber will clean out the pipes and recommend any repairs.
High water pressure is also problematic, as it can damage your home’s fixtures and plumbing components. Banging or knocking sounds coming from your faucets and drains can indicate that the water pressure is too high. This can push seals and washers out of place, leading to leaks. The plumber can adjust the water pressure by adjusting the pressure regulator or by performing a detailed inspection of your plumbing. They can also install a water pressure reducer to prevent this from happening again in the future.
Sewage backups are a huge nightmare, not only because of the dirty water and potential health issues, but also because the clean-up process is often lengthy and expensive. If your sewer line becomes clogged or blocked, waste and sewage will back up through the drains into your home, which can cause extensive damage to walls, furniture, appliances and more.
If you are seeing sewage backups in your tubs, showers, toilets or basement, call a plumber immediately. This is a serious health and safety issue as raw sewage contains harmful bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. You should also avoid direct contact with it or breathing in the water if possible. If you must come in contact with it, wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
A plumbing professional will use a variety of tools to remove the clog and restore your sewer lines. These include drain snakes, hydro jetting equipment and chemical drain cleaners. It may be necessary to dig up and replace parts of your sewer line if the problem is severe, such as large holes or collapsed sections.
There are many things that can cause a sewage backup, including tree roots infiltration, damaged pipes from heavy rains or flood events and clogs from items that shouldn’t be flushed down the drains such as coffee grounds, cotton swabs and toys. Sometimes, the line can be damaged from age and normal wear and tear as well.
You can prevent sewage from backing up into your home by keeping foreign objects out of the drains, closing toilet lids when not in use, and removing the covers on floor drains in basements or garages to keep items from being inserted into them. You can also install a backwater valve to help prevent sewage from entering your home in the event of a sewer backup.
If you are experiencing sewer backups, you should notify your municipality as soon as possible. They may be able to provide information about the cause of the problem and help you with the cleanup and restoration process. After the sewage has been cleaned up and any damage has been repaired, your plumbing professional can assess your sewer line for problems such as cracks, holes, or areas where material is missing. They can then choose the best solution, which will likely involve replacing or repairing the line.
A home addition requires a lot of planning and construction work. This can add up and impact your budget. Unlike smaller remodels, which you can do yourself or with help from friends and family, building an addition typically involves a licensed builder and contractors to handle the complexities involved in plumbing and electrical wiring. A local builder may also be able to advise you on zoning laws and compliance standards for water drainage, septic systems and electricity. The size and type of the addition can also impact the overall cost. Some add-ons, such as closets and bare-bones rooms, have lower costs than bump-outs or sunrooms that include floor-to-ceiling windows. These features add a luxury touch and can increase your home’s resale value.
During a time of historically low interest rates, you might want to consider refinancing to pay for the project.