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Clogged Toilet? Is There A Toy in Your Toilet?

As a parent, if you haven’t had a toy stuck in your toilet causing a clogged toilet, (spoiler alert) it may be only a matter of time. Unfortunately, when dealing with a lodged toy, a plunger is typically not doing to do the job. So what to do? Here is one way to attempt to handle this common problem:

  • First, if you don’t have one, go to your local hardware store and purchase a toilet auger, also known as a plumbing snake, that can move through the drain of the toilet to remove obstructions. It is constructed of a long flexible shaft that has an auger bit at one end and a crank handle at the other.
  • Insert the open end of the auger into the toilet bowl and push the cable down while cranking.
  • Use a pair of pliers or another similar tool and separate the last turn at the end of the cable. This will make the hooking mechanism bigger to help grab the toy or other object.
  • As you run the auger through the bowl, stop feeding the cable in as soon as you have enough cable in to reach through the drain passage in the toilet and you begin feeling resistance.
  • Crank it a few times and then pull the cable out while maintaining the pressure on the crank. You’re basically trying to grab the lodged item and extract it.
  • Once you have secured the lodged object, pull it out through the toilet bowl.

 

Success?? Or no? If that didn’t work, the next best option is going to be removing the toilet entirely and accessing the toy or lodged object from the base of the toilet.

If you are an experienced DIYer, you may consider attempting this yourself. That said, it can be a dirty and somewhat complicated process, so it may be best to contact a professional plumber to handle this delicate process.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

Spring Cleaning for Your Plumbing

 

Spring cleanings isn’t just for windows and closets. Though it’s easy to forget, your plumbing system needs regular checks and maintenance to be sure everything is working well for you and your family and to save costly repairs down the road.  Below are a few tips to get you started:

  • Check faucets for drips or leaks.
  • Add strainers to the drains in your home to prevent hair, soap and food from clogging your drains.
  • Inspect toilet tank and bowl for cracks or leaks. To find hidden leaks, add several drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If you see the coloring in your toilet bowl after 30 minutes, you have a hidden leak and will need to get it fixed promptly.
  • Observe how your toilets flush. If the handle has to be held down for a thorough flush or you need to play with it to stop the water from running, your tank parts may be worn and need to be replaced.
  • Set the temperature on your hot water heater no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
  • Drain several gallons from the water heater tank. This will flush out sediment which can cause corrosion and reduce your water heater’s efficiency.
  • If your water heater is more than 15 years old, you may want to replace it with a newer, more energy-efficient unit. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.)
  • Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
  • Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out and free of debris.
  • Check outdoor faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

Plumbing in a Tiny Home (Part 2)

 

Our previous blog discussed some of the choices to get water into your tiny home.  But, how do you handle getting rid of your waste water?  First, take into account the difference between black water and grey water.  Black water is the sewer waste from your toilet, while grey water is from other uses (i.e., showers, sinks, washing machines, etc.).  Most areas have strict regulations on the disposal of waste water, so check with your local state and county offices for the necessary guidelines.  Now, let’s talk about getting grey water out of your tiny home.

Disposal of Grey Water – Grey water contains soap, bacteria, food and grease, household cleaning products, and anything else we put down our sink drains.  Although clean enough to reuse for watering shrubs and plants, grey water cannot be drained into lakes, streams or ponds.  Plants can filter and break down the components in grey water, but draining into fresh water can pollute the water and harm fish and wildlife.  Here are some ways to properly dispose of your grey water.

  1. Hooking into a public sewer system is the simple way to deal with grey water.  If you plan to keep your tiny home stationary, this can be the perfect choice for you.
  2. The next simplest plan is placing a container under your sink and shower drain to catch the grey water.  Then it can manually be emptied onto surrounding trees, shrubs and plants.
  3. You can also set up a water tank that catches grey water then slowly drains from a hose in the bottom of the tank.  The tank will need to be slightly elevated to help with drainage.
  4. The tank system can also be turned into a longer irrigation system if you plan for a permanent tiny home location.  By using multiple lengths of hose you can have a system that drains the water between several planting beds.

Some really like the idea of tiny home living.  But in order to do it right, and prevent problems later on, you need to give the proper attention to the big areas like plumbing.  Our next blog is going to finish out your tiny home plumbing with finding the best ways to deal with Black Water.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Plumbing in a Tiny Home (Part 3)

 

As a final part of our blog series on “Plumbing in a Tiny Home,” we are now going to deal with the subject of Black Water.  Black Water is simply the sewer waste from your toilet.  Since most people have always had public sewer or private septics, this is new territory for most.  However, if tiny home living is your goal, then you will have to give some thought to your choice of toilet and the system installed.

Disposal of Black Water – A flushing toilet is something most of us take for granted; and if you plan to keep your tiny home stationary, your solution may be a regular toilet connected into a sewer or septic system.  But, if mobility or living off grid is your choice, then you may want to consider one of the choices below.

  1. Toilets made for RVs.  This requires a holding tank that the waste goes into and then is emptied at a disposal site or hooked into a sewer.  Some may not like this system due to the work and chemicals required to maintain them.
  2. Composting toilet.  Requiring no water or energy, they allow you to live off grid and look after the environment at the same time.  You can purchase composting toilets, or make your own.  Each time you use the toilet, you simply add fine wood shavings (pine works well) to the toilet.  This prevents odor and helps the waste to break down.  Adding coffee grinds will keep things smelling fresher, and composting worms can help break down waste faster.  You will need a compost area to dump your toilet waste, but once broken down, the compost can be used around your planting beds.
  3. Incinerating toilet. These use electric or gas (natural or propane) heat to burn waste that can then be dumped into your trash.  The electric toilet has a liner to catch waste and a pedal to release the liner into a sealed compartment where waste can be incinerated after each use.  The gas toilet has a holding tank and incinerates once full.  There may be some odor with the incinerating toilet, but the process sterilizes the compartment requiring no cleaning.
  4. Dry Toilets.  These toilets also require no water to operate, but electricity is needed to charge the motor.  Dry toilets are lightweight and moveable.  The toilet bowl is a bucket with a liner cartridge on top that the toilet seat rests on.  After each flush the motor turns the bucket so that the liner tightly wraps the waste, and a new liner releases from the cartridge.  When the liner cartridge is empty, simply remove and dispose in your trash, and install a new cartridge.

Adjusting to tiny home living may take a little time, and making sure you choose the best plumbing system will make the adjustment easier.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!