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How Do You Unclog a Drain?

One of the things parents dread hearing your child say: “The water’s not going down the drain!” You are totally repulsed. It’s going to be wet, and slimy, and probably smell bad, and, ugh, that’s not fun. How Do You Unclog a Drain?

Clogged drains are just part of the joy of indoor plumbing. The good news is that you can troubleshoot the issues and prevent them from happening again, including chronic problems. But to get there, we’ll need to get into what causes drain clogs in the first place. Common Causes & and Possible Fixes For Clogged Drains.

Most bathroom drain clogs result when dirt, skin flakes, and especially hair binds to soap scum on the walls of drain pipes. Over time, this gunk accumulates and reduces water flow.

Troubleshooting: Remove and clean the drain stopper. Next, try using the humble drain plunger, keeping in mind to block the over-flow drain in the tub or sink. If that doesn’t work, remove the drain elbow joint and clean it out. Clean drain stoppers routinely to prevent clogs and use a hair strainer drain-cover to trap hair before it goes down the drain.

Clogged toilets are a nasty business. These mainly happen when people try flushing down items that do not dissolve or break apart in water such as:

  • feminine hygiene products
  • cotton-tipped swabs
  • dental floss
  • pre-moistened diaper wipes

Troubleshooting: The plunger is the first line of defense. The most effective plungers shoot jets of water to clear the drain pipe. Many have anti-microbial coatings. Next, use an inexpensive hand-powered drain auger. While not a pleasant experience, a hand auger can reach between 2 to 5 feet down the toilet’s drain pipe to break-up or retrieve things (such as Junior’s action figure) that are blocking the pipe.

The best preventative for keeping your toilet free from clogs is to only put in waste and paper that readily dissolve in water. Regular cleaning will also keep water flowing smoothly.

Kitchen sink drains clog when cooking grease or oil cake onto drain pipe walls. Add detergent soap scum and un-dissolved food particles (such as rice which expands in water), and you’ve got a stubborn, gunky clog.

Troubleshooting: Tackle kitchen sink drains like you tackle bathroom sinks. Start by running very hot water down the drain to soften the clog, followed by a dollop of dish detergent and then more hot water. Wait a few minutes, and then use a plunger and repeat the hot water. If you still have no luck, you might want to move onto a chemical drain opener. Again, use caution.

In the future, dispose of large amounts of kitchen grease and oil by letting them solidify. Scrape the mess into a plastic bag, seal it, and throw it out with the garbage. Small amounts of oil (less than one cup) should be thoroughly diluted with hot water and dish detergent before being poured into the sink.

If you are constantly plagued with clogged or slow drains, have a plumber inspect the plumbing to determine if the drain line was properly designed and installed. Both drain pipe venting and slope effect how well drains work.

Venting allows air to enter the pipe as water drains away.Think of what happens when you put a straw into a glass of water. If you cover the open end of the straw with your finger, you prevent air from entering the straw and that creates a vacuum. When you lift straw out of the glass, the water won’t drain from the straw until you lift your finger. When enough air is entering the vent, then water and waste will drain properly. Your toilet, for example, will swirl and empty quickly when it’s flushed. However, if the venting doesn’t let enough air in, then you might hear the sink gurgle when you flush the toilet. Also, remember that venting allows sewer gases to escape and prevents them from building to dangerous levels inside your home.

Meanwhile, drain pipe slope determines how well water carries waste to the sewer line. If there’s too much slope, water can run too fast and leave waste material behind. Over time, the buildup forms a blockage. If the pipe slope doesn’t have enough slope, then the water and waste pool in the pipe. Some waste will settle out and, again, form a blockage.

Troubleshooting: First, check that nothing is blocking the vent pipe opening on your roof. Sometimes birds or other animals build nests on top of un-enclosed vent pipes for warmth. Also check under sinks for gulp valves. Gulp valves are typically mounted at the end of a drain line and look like a plastic cap from a can of spray paint. The valve prevents sewer gas from escaping the drain line but lets air into the vent pipe when there’s enough suction. If you fill the sink with water and then drain it out all at once, you should hear air getting sucked into the gulp valve. If not, the valve might need to be replaced. Also, if there is a constant odor of raw sewage in your home, contact a professional plumbing service immediately.

For slope problem, any blockages will first need to be removed with a plumbers’ snake and the pipe flushed out with water. A new pipe set at the proper slope to carry sewage away more effectively should then be installed by a professional plumber.

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How To Choose An Emergency Plumber

When it is time to deal with an emergency plumbing situation, you have to take action the right way. There are many homeowners that panic and don’t know what to do when it comes to a situation such as this.

However, the goal should be to pursue a solution that is going to add value to your experience and make things as easy as they need to be.

Here is what you have to think about when it is time to choose an emergency plumber.

Go for a Local Option

Dealing with an emergency means you are going to want a solution at odd hours of the day. This happens to the best of people and it’s something you have to be ready for.

As a result, it is best to choose someone that is nearby because they will get to your property promptly. This is essential with plumbing issues as they can quickly spiral out of control if you are not on top of things right away. The goal should remain to choose someone that is from the region and will know how to tackle the plumbing problem.

Experience is Essential

How experienced is the plumber that you are calling in? Always go with someone that has been doing this for a while and will have a good understanding of how to manage the plumbing issue. This is a must when you are already struggling to make things work at home and want to get rid of the issue as soon as possible.

By going with an experienced plumber, you will know the solution is going to be in line with what the property needs. This goes a long way in getting back on track with your life at home.

Go for a Licensed and Insured Professional

The best thing to look out for is their licensing. You don’t want someone that doesn’t have the right credentials coming in because they may not deliver appropriate results and also become a legal liability. Keep things organized and make sure you are going with a professional that is well-versed with what needs to be done and is fully insured at the same time.

Final Thoughts

When you take the time to find a quality emergency plumber, it will become easier to get rid of the problem as soon as possible. The wrong plumber is going to waste your time and create additional worries.

This post was brought to you by Lynn’s Plumbing in Winnipeg.

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Tips for Bathroom Renovations in Mississauga

Renovating your bathroom not only allows you to modernize this space in your home, but also adds value to your property. Whether you have a larger bathroom in a newer home or a smaller one in an older home, before you renovate the look and design of your bathroom, you want to consider important aspects to ensure the finished project meets your objectives.

The first thing you need to decide is if you are going to do the work yourself, hire a professional bathroom renovation with plumbers  in Mississauga, or both. Some people are perfectly capable of painting walls and replacing flooring, but when it comes to the toilet, bathtub, shower, and sink, prefer using a professional to ensure all plumbing is done correctly the first time. Once you decide who is going to perform specific renovation tasks, the next step is to create a project budget.

The project budget should include all costs associated with renovating your bathroom for materials, supplies, and labour, such as:

  • Flooring
  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Light Fixtures
  • Showers
  • Bathtubs
  • Toilets
  • Paint and Painting Supplies

If you are hiring a professional contractor to do some or all of the work, remember to include the cost of labour into your project budget. Most plumbing and bathroom renovation companies will provide you with a free quote detailing the estimated number of hours needed to complete the work.

When it comes to selecting new tubs and showers for your bathroom, take the time to visit a showroom. Stand in the shower and make sure you are able to move around freely. Sit in the bathtub to see how it feels. If you have a smaller bathroom, consider a deeper tub rather than a bigger one. If you are combining the bathtub and shower into one, look at tubs that are easy to get in and out of with lower sides. Should you be fortunate and have a spacious bathroom, you may want to consider a Jacuzzi style tub.

For flooring options, you want to choose durable flooring that does well in humid environments, like marble, stone, or ceramic tiles. Some people also install a floor heating system underneath tiles to warm up the floor on those cold winter days. There are even some hardwood flooring options perfect for the bathroom. Never use carpeting in the bathroom as it attracts mold and mildew.

You can increase storage space in your bathroom by taking advantage of the spaces in between the wall supports and studs. This area is perfect for recessed cabinets and shelves. In addition, you can eliminate traditional sink/cabinet styles and go with a pedestal sink and not lose any storage space.

If you are replacing showerheads and tub and sink faucets, choose styles that incorporate water efficiency in their design. There are several different styles that look great and at the same time will help lower you water bills.

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How to unclog your pipes

How to unclog your pipesUnclogging a pipe is often necessary when a mass of hair, hair and food debris agglomerated with often a little soap blocks the free passage of water. The evacuation of this one then becomes difficult or even impossible. Here are some tips and advice from our professional plumbers to unclog your pipes.

Your bathtub, shower, sink or washbasin may get blocked and therefore almost unusable.

Different techniques can be used to get rid of this annoying plug:

Remove the siphon

The first solution is to remove the siphon and clean it of impurities that have accumulated over time. Don’t forget to place a container, ideally a basin, underneath so that the waste doesn’t fall directly to the ground or into your furniture.

Use hot water

Another possibility is to use hot or even boiling water to unclog your pipes. It is a relatively simple method but not always effective. Very hot water will dilute the soap and grease and carry them away. Remember to evacuate as much stagnant water as possible so that the hot water is in direct contact with the cap, in order to guarantee better efficiency.

Use the suction cup

If there is really too much water stagnating and no way to get it out, the suction cup is your best ally. This tool allows the water to move back and forth and thus unblock what blocks the good circulation of water. Block alternative outlets beforehand (e. g. overflow outlets if any and unclog them.

Use the ferret

The next solution is more radical: it is the famous ferret. A flexible rod with tips for drilling plugs and equipped with a crank handle to allow you to pass through baffles and elbows. Note that the ferret can sometimes damage the enamel on your toilet.

High pressure cleaning

Finally, if none of these techniques worked, the big guns must be brought out: professional high-pressure cleaning. You will need to use a plumbing company that offers a cleaning service and in particular the adapted vehicle. With the right equipment, it is possible to clean long pipes and remove plugs made of scale or limestone, which are generally more resistant.

Chemical products

As a last resort, chemical uncorking is necessary even if it must be taken with caution. Protect yourself with gloves and glasses to avoid splashing. Chemical drain cleaners are very dangerous and composed of caustic soda or sulphuric acid, both very corrosive.

Other techniques

You can use soda or make a homemade mixture of soda, salt and vinegar that you will leave to work for about 30 minutes. You can also try mixing baking soda and vinegar and let it work before pouring a large dose of boiling water for good measure. This technique is effective in unclogging your pipes.

Be preventive

Also think about prevention, before you end up with a blocked pipe, placing a simple grid on the hole of the sink helps to retain most of the waste and prevents it from entering your pipes. Concerning your toilets, only throw toilet paper and nothing else in them.

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Hiring a Plumber

plumbing-repairs-reginaAre you in need of a reliable and competent plumber, but you just don’t know how to make sure that you’re choosing the best one? Have you received suggestions from just about everyone you know, but you’re still reluctant to make a decision?

Consider the following tips before hiring a plumber:

  1. License – It is very important to only work with a licensed plumber. Find out if the company you are looking at only employees licensed plumbers by check their website and asking them on the phone. You should also ask the plumber who shows up on your doorstep to show you his license. He should be carrying it with him. The last thing you want is an inexperienced and poorly trained plumber making mistakes on your house (it happens). Any trustworthy and reliable plumber is licensed in the region in which they operate. Ask for proof they have indeed licensed plumbers and not just some hacks with a truck, some water heaters thrown on the flatbed trailer and selling them door to door (happens too frequently, unfortunately). If your region doesn’t have a governing body that licenses plumbers, check the BBB in your area or Chamber of Commerce and inquire about complaints about the firm.
  2. Insurance – Even small operators need to hold general liability insurance. They could be dealing with a gas line in your home, anything could happen to your house and the neighboring buildings. No insurance, no work! Before hiring a plumber, confirm that they are registered with your province’s workers compensation board (WCB) and that their registration is in good standing. This will protect you financially if they are injured while working on your property.
  3. If you hire a general contractor or handyman to do plumbing work on your home, this may void your house insurance – especially if your home is damaged due to the work that they have done. For instance, you may not be covered for water damage if your home is flooded because you had an unlicensed worker doing plumbing work.
  4. The length of Time in Business / Experience – Ask the plumber how long they have been in business, and if recently knew, ask what firm they worked at to gain their experience. The more experience and the longer the company has been open, the better the quality of work.
  5. Pricing – The plumber will know what he or she needs to do complete the job and give accurate pricing, barring any unforeseen problems of course. Make sure you get at least 3 estimates, and if one is considerably lower, chances are that is an inexperienced plumber looking to snatch up the work, rather than an experienced plumber who will do the job right for you. If the plumber refuses to warranty their work, I would highly suggest selecting another local plumber.
  6. Warranty – What do you do if you pay a plumber to make a repair or install a fixture and then discover a problem after the plumber has left? Will you have to pay the plumber to come back and fix the problem they should have fixed the first time? All plumbers should warranty both their workmanship and the products/parts that they sell you. Ask them for the manufacturer warranty information and inquire if they warranty the workmanship.
  7. References/Reviews – Reading a plumber’s website along with their best reviews from their most satisfied customers can leaving you feeling good about any guy with a wrench, but that doesn’t mean he’s a professional plumber. Explore a plumber’s ratings on Google Places for Business, Yelp.ca, and HomeStars.com. In today’s day of age, you should be able to find online reviews about the plumber you are looking to hire. If they have no reviews, ask them for some references. If they have negative reviews, look at how they handle the complaints and in particular how quickly they responded. Everyone has bad days – including plumbers, and you can’t please everyone. So it’s normal to see a few bad reviews. Just because they have negative reviews, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a good plumber. After all, I’d much rather have a plumber who took care of complaint with a customer, then one with glowing reviews from 1 or 2 customers online.

Get Multiple Quotes

It’s usually a good idea to get three quotes and find out what’s included in the quote: see what they are charging for labor, materials, and any additional charges. Additional fees can really add up. Fees companies charge can include a fee for providing a quote, a dispatch fee, a fee for traveling to your home, higher fees for overtime outside of normal business hours, and fees for specialized equipment that may be necessary to complete your job.

You’ll also want to find out if the plumbing company charges by the job or by the hour. Good companies can use either method, but we’ve seen uncompetitive companies take advantage of people using both methods as well. If the price is important to you, make sure to get a number of quotes because prices quoted from company to company can vary greatly.

For some jobs, it may be difficult or impossible for a plumber to give you a quote over the phone. They’ll need to take a look at the place you need the work done.

Don’t assume that the lowest price is always the best. You often get what you pay for. A plumber’s rates should be fair and competitive, but you won’t know if the first plumber you call is competitive until you get a couple more quotes.

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Faucets

When planning to install a new faucet, we have lot of good brands to choose from. In our local stores we can find faucets from American Standard, Danze, Delta, Moen, Glacier Bay, Kohler, Peerless, Pegasus, Price Pfister, and many more. Faucet history dates thousands of years. On the island of Crete about 4 000 years ago, they used terra cotta piping system and faucets made of gold or silver.

Over the decades faucets have changed. For a long time faucets had two handles. One handle faucets were invented only in 1937 by a young college student Al Moen. He was worked many years to improving his new idea for a faucet and finally the one handle faucet was available for sale in 1947. Because this idea was so brilliant, in the next 10 years one handle faucets become very popular and were installed in millions of houses in more than 50 countries.

Al Moen was a great inventor and thanks to his ideas today we have the shower diverter, the replaceable cartridge, the swivel spout in our kitchen faucets, the pressure balance shower faucet and the aerator.

Another inventor who has written his name in faucet history is Landis Perry. At a similar time to Al Moen, he patented the faucet ball valve. The patent was bought by DELTA and was available on the market in 1954.

Faucets are continuously upgraded in the ways that save water and make them more convenient to use.

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Drain Fly

The Drain Fly

A drain fly is a gnat. It develops in moist areas like drains, pipes, and garbage bins. They are multiplying very fast by laying hundreds of eggs in moist places. Drain flies become more active in the evening, congregating around sinks and shower. On average their life span is one to three weeks.

Do you have drain flies? If so you could face major problems with drain in your house. Drain flies could be a very easy problem to fix. However it could just be top of an iceberg, meaning that you might have a very serious problem with drainage system.

Fortunately, most of the time drain flies are found in unattended bathrooms. Once water starts flowing, drain flies often disappear. Other effective way to deal with and prevent drain flies is to simply put bleach or drain gel into the drain every night for 2 weeks.

Unfortunately if bleach treatment doesn’t solve the problem, it could be a more serious problem. Many people try to call exterminators and pest control, they try to use bug bomb, but all these actions will only eliminate quantity of drain flies for short period of time. You will have to look deeper into the source of your problem. If bleach doesn’t help you should be calling trusted plumber with special video equipment what will usually reveal problem with your drain. Plumbers know much better about drain flies than exterminators and pest control. Problem could be anything from plugged drain to even broken pipe under concrete in the basement floor. Drain flies are not only annoying but also dangers. They dwell in filth, they could carry bacteria and other disease-causing organisms and transmit them to humans, making them a significant health concerns.

Expert Plumbing – Toronto Drain article.

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Wet Basement. Home Waterproofing

Wet Basement. Home Waterproofing.

Leaking or/and wet basement is a common problem homeowners face. Wet basements create mildew, mold, and ruin walls and floors. Basement waterproofing is an easy and inexpensive process when the home is being built. On the other hand adding basement waterproofing for existing home is extremely expensive because it involves excavation and landscaping.

Not always leaky basement requires waterproofing. Very often the leaky basement problems lay above the ground and easily repaired. Waterproofing only reduces water penetration but does not address the root cause of the water problemTaking a few very simple precaution steps such as roper roof drainage, proper ground slope can avoid the problem and save great deal of money.

Make water damage problem your “year-round concern”.

Land around your house has to be graded properly. In that case water will flow away from exterior walls. Another reason may be that your driveway is improperly sloping into your house.

Inspect both the exterior and interior of your home. Make sure to keep everything watertight.

Roof downspouts can add a literal flood of water to areas prone to drainage problems. Keep eaves clean. You might find downspouts dumping water right near the foundations.

Expert Plumbing – Toronto Waterproofing articles

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Toilet – Water Closet

Plumber Canada

Plumber Canada

One of the first toilets similar to out modern day fixtures existed in India 5000 years ago in the Indus Valley. More then 2000 years ago in China there were water closets with seats and a flush system. In Egypt about 1400 BC toilets were connected to sewer system and located close to public bathrooms.

Ancient Greeks discovered that public toilets can be popular gathering centers. In many cities archaeologist discovered their toilets could be used by more then 50 people at the same time. Of course there were no separate cabins or dividers which could obstruct the discussion of important political matters.

Romans were the first to turn public toilets into a business. They created paid public toilets. And that is most likely were the Latin saying “pecunia non olet” (money does not stink) comes from.

The European Middle Ages from a hygienic point of view was very bleak. For centuries people considered a bath as detrimental to health and toilets disappeared from homes. Even the residents of the palace of Versailles in France would complain about the lack of facilities. These conditions exited in Europe up to the end of the 19th century.

Precursors of a new technology came from England. The popular symbol “WC” means Water Closet. The modern Water Closet was invented by Mr. Harrington in 1596 and in 1728 also an Englishman, J. Brondel created a toilet with an automatic flush. In 1775 his countryman Mr. Cummings improved the toilet by adding the “S” trap. This prevented smells from the sewer systems from backing up into the house. In 1819 Mr. Giblin patented the first system for a flushing toilet. This system is still used today.

In 1980, Australian Bruce Thomas invented the water conserving toilet flush, with two flush options of various volumes.

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Clean Drain – Clean Environment

Products, such as Drano, are an easy fix way to clean clogged drain. However all drain cleaning products contain human-made chemical – sodium hydroxide. It is an irritant that can aggravate throat, nose, it could also damage skin, so contact with that chemical should be avoided.

And yes, there are more environment friendly ways to clean clogged drain. There are mechanical options available, you can use drain snake, plunger or elbow grease. Another environment friendly alternative is bio-drain cleaners. They contain natural bacterial/enzyme mix that helps to unclog drain and keeps it clean.

However the best practice is a good maintenance. Always make sure you don’t flash clogging elements down the pipe, flash drain with hot water and vinegar, install protecting screens to keep lint and hair out of the drain.

Expert Plumbing – Toronto Drain articles.