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Dealing With a Clogged Drain

 

Clogged drains are a nuisance any time of the year, but especially when family and friends are visiting. Even the most conscientious homeowner will most likely deal with clogged drains at some point, so below you’ll find some steps to remedy the situation:

A Plunger – Sometimes the best fix is the easiest. The plunger has been around for a long time and should still be your first step in dealing with a clogged drain. Fill the clogged sink about a quarter of the way with water. If you have a double vanity sink, block the opposite sink drain with a towel or rag. Next, place the plunger over the clogged drain, move it up and down quickly until the water starts to drain. Doing this should remove any small blockage.

Baking Soda and Vinegar – If the sink remains clogged after plunging, move on to the next tried and true method, baking soda and vinegar. You may remember these items being used in creating a volcano science project. The same premise works here, just in the opposite direction.

To do this, you will need to remove as much water as possible from the clogged sink. Then pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and use a handle from a spoon to pack it down into the drain pipe. Next, pour a cup of vinegar into the drain, replacing the stopper immediately. This will force the mixture down into the pipe. Allow the mixture to work for five minutes. If the drain is still not cleared, pour four cups of hot water into the sink.  At this point, if the drain is still clogged, then a more advanced step is required.

A Cable Auger – This next solution is more difficult and is best handled by a professional plumber. A cable auger (sometimes called a snake) can be used to remove the obstruction. Place a bucket under the sink to catch water, then detach the trap or J-joint underneath the sink that connects the pipe to the sink. Next, remove the pipe going into the wall. The cable auger can now be used to slowly slide down the pipe by spinning the crank clockwise. Once you reach the clog, turn the auger counter-clockwise to grab the cable, and hopefully, the obstruction. If all goes well, this will take care of your problem.

A Professional Plumber – At this point, if the drain cannot be unplugged, then it’s definitely time to call in the professionals.  Calling a plumber is important to avoid causing any damage to your pipes.

Remember that the drainage system in your home is a complex, engineered system.  Trying to clear a clogged drain from a small obstruction is something most homeowners can do.  However, it’s always best to leave it to the experts for the more complicated issues.  They know how to remove the problem while keeping your plumbing system in good working order.

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!

Dealing With a Flooded Basement

 

For individuals who have basements, dealing with water problems may be something you have dealt with, or something you worry about dealing with. Whichever may be the case, there are a few things you need to know to help prevent flooding in your basement, in addition to understanding what to do if or when it does happen.

Below are some preventive measures to implement:

1.  Keep water away from your foundation by keeping gutters cleaned to avoid overflow that can pool around your foundation.

2.  Make sure your yard is properly sloped to drain water from your foundation.

3.  Insulate water pipes in your basement to reduce condensation.

4.  Use a sump pump to keep unwanted water out.  A well maintained pump is necessary for it to do its job correctly.

5.  Waterproof your basement floor and walls.  This will stop water seepage.

And what should you do if your basement does flood?  Here are some suggestions:

1.  Turn off the water to the basement immediately. This might require cutting off the water to the entire house. download

2.  Next, disconnect the power to the basement.  Water and electric don’t mix, and you want to avoid anyone being electrocuted.

3.  Call a plumber to determine the cause of the water problem, then call your insurance agent.  Most homeowners policies will cover basement flooding damage.

4.  Remove all items from the area. If carpeted, pull up carpet and padding.  You might be able to have the carpet cleaned and disinfected, but keep in mind it could shrink.

5.  Get rid of the water.  Using a wet/dry vacuum is the easiest way, but mops and towels will work also.

6.  Dry out the area. a) If you have doors or windows, open them to get air circulating.  Using fans and a dehumidifier can speed up the process. b) If you have a finished basement, trim work, sheet rock and insulation will also need to be removed. Wooden trim work might be saved if removed quickly and dried before warping.

7.  Make sure to disinfect the area properly, especially if the water came from a backed up sewer.

8.  Treat all surfaces that were wet with a good mold prevention spray. This can be sprayed on most surfaces, and kills mold spore roots preventing new growth.

Hopefully, you will be able to take the steps to prevent any water problems in your basement.  But, if you have the unfortunate happen, act quickly to reduce damage and prevent mold problems.

Do Water Filters Matter? by Go Green Plumbing

Do you know how often to change your water filter in your refrigerator?

If not, check your refrigerator manual which may say to replace the filter every 6 to 12 months.  You will want to check your specific product manual for a general guide for replacement.  However, what if you have a household of 5 instead of the 2 in my household?  As with all filtering systems, replacement is not based on a number of persons, but the amount of usage.  My husband and I are big water drinkers, so we would need to consider changing our filter more often than a larger family that doesn’t consume as much water or ice as we do.maxresdefault

But what about that “water filter indicator light” on the refrigerator door?  Again, that indicator is based on time, not on usage of the filter.  Water filters help to provide us with cleaner drinking water, so it is important to replace them when needed, but since they are not cheap we don’t want to replace them before necessary.

One way to determine if the filter needs changing is by the taste of your water or ice.  If you notice a difference in the taste of your water, or start to smell an unpleasant odor, your filter is probably not removing all contaminates and will need to be changed.  Another way to know is if your ice maker is no longer making single ice cubes, but producing larger cube junks.  Your water filter being full can also cause a reduction in your water flow.

One thing to remember when putting in a new water filter is the need to flush out the new filter.  Small particles from the filter can become dislodged during manufacturing or shipping, and come through in the first glasses of water consumed.  You would just want to run 3 to 5 gallons of water through the dispenser before consuming any water yourself.  If you have just an ice maker, then discard the first couple of batches of ice.  You can again consult your refrigerator manual for their specific recommendation on this procedure.

Have questions about water or plumbing issues in your home?  Give us a call. We’re happy to discuss.  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!