Before You Buy That New Home: Three Big Plumbing Questions

Getting into a new home can be an exhilarating experience. The only problem is that in the excitement of getting there, a person can forget to ask about the basics of home infrastructure namely plumbing and sewage. Before you commit to a home and move in, you want to ask three important questions.


1. What condition is the sewer line in?

In any home, if the waste flows smoothly from your house to the septic tank, the sewer line should be in good condition. If you fail to ask, the repairs or replacements, even minor ones, can cost thousands of dollars. Before you buy in, make sure all sewer lines flow uninterrupted. If you know of any problem, make sure the current owners either repair it or bear the necessary costs of repair.

2. Are there any leakage problems?

In the stress of moving into a new home, even a minor leak a dripping faucet or running toilet can spike your irritation levels. And no new homeowner needs more of that. Just as no new homeowner wants the water bill that comes with the leaks, avoidable expenses easily nipped by hiring a licensed professional plumber.  For any leakage undetected and identified later on, any licensed and trusted plumber can locate the root problem and help you solve it.

3. How’s the water heater?

Before you sign for your new home, ask about the condition of the water heater:

  • What’s its present state? Good?
  • How old is it?
  • When was its last maintenance?

A reliable seller can give you maintenance records to support any claims made by the owner. A well-maintained water heater is not just an asset, it’s a necessity. A damaged or falling unit is also a money drain. If the water heater is damaged or needs to be replaced, ask your realtor or seller to put the expense in the final sales proceeds. Remember: A reliable owner will give you maintenance records to back up any claims.

Thinking about a tankless water heater?

Are you interested in the benefits and endless possibilities of a tankless water heater? It may be time to upgrade your typical water heater. Since 1903, in Dallas and surrounding areas, Dallas Plumbing Company has been a trusted and reliable name for all your heating and air conditioning needs. We offer a complete range of residential and commercial water heating services to at competitive prices and with no compromise on quality. Check out our range of plumbing and heating and other services.

How To Prevent Clogging of Sinks & Drains

A clogged drain is inevitable, yet preventable, in most cases. Clogs are not only inconvenient, but they can cause damage to floors, walls, cabinets, carpet and even the electrical system. The causes are many, including inserting objects too large into the drain, grease build-up, roots in your main drain outside the walls of the home or business, improperly constructed plumbing and neglect, to name a few. Here are tips that will help you keep your plumbing system clog free and trouble-free.

Kitchen Sinks:

  • How do you dispose of any greasy substance? Don’t pour it down the kitchen sink. Wait for cooking grease to cool and allow it to solidify. Then put it in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the garbage bin.
  • Garbage disposals are not all the same. They usually include basic, medium duty and heavy duty. A basic disposer will not dispose of waste such as small bones,  shrimp peelings or even lemon peels. And don’t overfill your garbage disposer. Instead feed small amounts of waste into the disposal along with a continuous supply of cool or lukewarm water. Hot water is not recommended. Fruit and vegetable peels and other fibrous substances can be the primarily responsible for clogs because many garbage disposals cannot finely grind these materials efficiently. Test small amounts first and listen for the smooth operation of the internal blades after the waste has drained. If you hear anything that sounds loud, turn off the disposer to avoid damage. Sometimes eating utensils, plastics or bottle caps can be caught up in the otherwise acceptable waste. NEVER place your hand inside a running garbage disposer! Use a flashlight first to try to detect any foreign objects or clogs and us pincers or other utilities for removal before restarting.
  • Unclogging a kitchen sink can be tricky. If the sink has only one drain, you can try the standard toilet plunger. Just be warned that without a tight fit on the drain opening, you can be in for a mess. Double drain sinks require one of the drains to be fully covered before using a plunger on the other side. Visit sites like youtube.com for ways to make this work for you. Or, try a liquid drain cleaner. Just follow the directions carefully. Or if you’re handy, you can try disconnecting the trap under the sink to clean it out. Be sure you place a pan or bucket under it first to catch the residual drain water.
  • Practice a weekly prevention procedure by filling your kitchen sink with hot water, and letting it drain. This additional step will aid in pushing debris to the larger diameter piping inside the wall and outside to the main drain.

Bathroom Sinks (and Bathtubs, too)

  • Stoppers and drain covers should be kept intact in order to prevent any foreign objects from accidentally going down the drain.
  • Hair & soap scum can also cause clogging of bathroom drains. It is advisable to keep excess hair aside out of the drain. A slow drain is an indication of a clog about to build. Your local hardware, Lowes, or Home Depot carry inexpensive tools to extract hair from bathroom sinks without having to perform any disassembly. Search their websites for “drain cleaning tool” to find what you need.

Toilets

  • Avoid flushing anything except toilet paper, including so-called “flushable” wipes, and feminine hygiene products. Some municipal waste management systems cannot adequately capture these items before they build up and cause major issues. In the home or restrooms, because these items are more bulky, and do not disintegrate quickly enough to avoid build up in drains, they can cause a clogged toilet.
  • If you intend to buy a new toilet, it is advisable to do some research or ask a professional for recommendations. The US EPA has placed restrictions on the amount of water allowed for one flush of a toilet. In cheaper toilets, the trapway, that “S” shaped area at the base and rear of the toilet, is often not fully glazed internally. The glaze makes a smoother path for the waste to flow through. A fully glazed trapway implies a stronger flushing toilet, which can help to prevent clogging. An incompletely glazed trapway can cause slower flushing and inhibit compete evacuation of waste. You may also contact us for selection as well as installation of new toilet.
  • In case multiple toilets at your location are facing the same issue, at the same time, the stoppage problem may be located in the main sewage line. In this case, it is advisable to contact a licensed, professional plumber to fix things properly and avoid future problems.
  • The first thing to try for a single clogged toilet is the standard toilet plunger. This would be done after removing any large items visible above the water surface using rubber gloves and a handy plastic bag to place it in. Again, take care to make short, carefully positioned plunging pressure to avoid a mess. Plungers with a sealing lip make a better seal in the drain hole and give better results.

Prevention is better than cure. However, if you need services of an expert, contact Dallas Plumbing Company for your clogged sinks and drains. We offer 24/7 emergency services for your convenience. We would love to help you.

4 Steps to Unclog a Toilet with a Plunger

Have a clogged toilet ruining your day? No problem. A beginner in home repair can unclog that toilet and have it flushing properly in just mere minutes without making a huge mess. Here’s the proper way to unclog a toilet with a plunger:

Step 1. Stop The Water Flow ASAP
If you don’t want a messy overflow and sewage backing up, then do this step as soon as possible. Take the tank’s lid off and find the toilet flapper. The flapper is the part in the tank that stops the water from the tank going into the toilet bowl. Take the top off before you hit the flusher. Keep one hand in the flapper just in case the water rises dangerously to the top.

Step 2. Add Dishwashing Detergent and Hot Water
Heat up water and put in a few cups mixed with dishwashing detergent into the toilet bowl before you start the plunging process. Let it sit for around 2 to 3 minutes and hopefully, the blog will have softened or cleared up. This will make the plunging so much easier than it is working with a hard clog.

Step 3. Get The Plunger
Not all plungers are made equal. If you want to get the best and the most efficient plunger, pick the funnel-cup plunger as it has a flange that provides a good seal. You can wear rubber gloves to get a better grip and use it as a protective shield in case things get worse.

Make your rubber pliable by running it under hot water for a few minutes to loosen it up.

Step 4. Do The Plunge
The very first plunge must be a gentle one. The bell will be full of air, and doing a hard plunge will force that air back, escape the seal and blow up the water in the toilet!

When the pocket of air is out, then it’s time to get down and dirty. Focus on pushing the plunger down with force while maintaining the seal between the flange and the toilet’s exit hole. The upward pull is just as important as the downward push.

Work up a good upward and downward motion for a few minutes, then flush the toilet. Keep your hand on the flapper to prevent overflows. Be patient, as it could take several plunging sessions to break up the blockage. The key to an effective plunge is to always have enough water to cover the seal.

Repeat the sequence until the clog has disappeared and your toilet is working again.

Must Know Things About Your Sink and Toilet

In college, you learned several things and some of them you only applied in the exam, and since then, you have not even come across situations where you can apply them in a practical scenario. Amazingly, we sometimes seem uninterested in learning more about the things we need in our everyday life, but sometimes they can be what matters most.

A good example of something you need every day but you have never bothered to learn about is the toilet you probably just used this morning. Unless you don’t need your bathroom and kitchen, it’s good to know a few simple things about what you should do and should not do when using them. Toilet, sink, shower and tub are all important plumbing items.

Care of Drain and Disposal Systems

clogged sinkYou should never drain oily water on the kitchen sinks because the oil or grease can coagulate and block your kitchen sink pipes. Although this will not happen immediately, and sometimes takes months to show, the oils and fats in the water will collect, and hot water alone will not remove it.

Sometimes such a scenario might lead to a professional sewer line cleaning or a replacement of the whole pipe affected. Avoid spending money on things that you can avoid. Therefore, it is best to dispose of that grease and oily water elsewhere, and avoid draining it on the kitchen sink.

Use Garbage Disposals for the Solid Waste in Your Kitchen

Some waste should not be place in the garbage disposer. Bones, lemon and lime peels, shellfish shells, grease, paper or plastic should never be place in the disposer. Only soft food items. Teach your kids why they should avoid inappropriate disposal of solid waste and that only waste that can be easily ground should go into the garbage disposals.

Toilet Tips You Should Know

clogged toiletDepending on the public waste disposal system implemented in your area, there is some solid waste that should not be flushed through the toilet. Often in the rural areas, you will find septic tanks in many homes. Cotton, sanitary pads, and thick tissue papers should not be flushed in toilets or septic systems. These waste items might lead to blockages in both types of systems. Therefore, flushing sanitary pads and other cotton materials through the toilet can lead to clogs that affect a wide area.

There are other several ways of protecting the plumbing system, and you are encouraged to continue reading our blogs. If you need our drain cleaning services, you can contact us through our website www.dallasplumbing.com or give us a call.

Fix Minor Plumbing Issues- DIY

Are you ready to become a DIY plumbing expert, or at least someone who can fix the minor plumbing issues that come up? There are a number of reasons why you may need to hire services of a plumber, but most of the time some minor problems can be avoided easily. If you equip yourself with a few plumbing tips you can be in a position to combat common plumbing issues from occurring. This will save you lots of unnecessary hassles and money in the long run.

The following are some plumbing tips that you can use for both inside and outside your home to prevent common problems.

The Basement 

The basement of your home is one of the areas where problems arise. But if you adhere to the following simple plumbing tips you can prevent these issues.

  • One of the things that you can do is ensure you check your water heater settings frequently to ascertain it is at a maximum. You will reduce energy usage and prevent the instances of too hot water when you shower.
  • It is also advisable to make sure you pour water regularly if you have drains in your basement. Gases emitted by the sewer can lead to a high concentration of unpleasant smells, but if you pour a lot of water down them, you can prevent this problem.
  • In addition, for those people who have septic tanks in their basement, it is essential to hire a professional to inspect it and make sure it is pumped at least once every 3 years. If you ignore this, you may be required to change the filter field, which is a bit expensive.

These few simple steps in caring for your basement plumbing system will keep your system in tip top shape and prevent bigger, more expensive problems from occurring.

In the Kitchen / Pantry

The kitchen is another area that gives rise to the most common plumbing issues, but there are a few plumbing tips to adhere to as well. One of the golden tips for the kitchen is to restrain from disposing of greasy substances down the drain. If you do this you might end up blocking the drain.

  • Ensure kitchen plumbing maintenance is to keep your faucet’s aerator clean.
  • Low water pressure from the faucet/sprayer or water leaks from the handle are usually caused by lime buildup and sediment blocking the small openings inside the aerator.
  • The garbage disposal is another area that poses common problems in the kitchen and you are advised to avoid disposing of wrong types of food stuff down it.

In the Restroom

  • Check the toilet’s water level to be sure that water doesn’t rise above the overflow pipe. Check it by locating the pipe in the center of the toilet’s water tank (it’ll have a piece of tubing connected to it).
  • It’s easy to ignore that little drip from the sink, but the EPA reports that a leaky faucet that drips one drop per second wastes about 3,000 gallons of water a year. That’s equal to 180 showers! Can you afford to waste money on water you aren’t even using? If water won’t stop flowing, then you may need to shut off your main water valve. Approach leaks with caution to prevent greater damage. Start your cost-savings today by putting a stop to leaky faucets.
  • Be cautious of what goes down your toilet in the bathroom. Make sure nothing else goes down except toilet paper. When you notice your bathroom faucets are leaking, get someone to fix them because they can cause serious water wastage and cause more expensive problems in future.

Outside the Home 

  • Ensure you clean any leaves or debris from your drains and gutters on a regular basis. For instance, you find a buildup of such materials in vent pipes can give rise to serious problems.
  • Check regularly for stagnant water in your home yard as this might be an indicator of a leaking pipe, and if notice them ensure they are fixed as soon as possible.

To wrap up the loose ends, it is worth to mention that the above plumbing tips for inside and outside your home can help to prevent common issues which might need a professional to solve them. So, keep your home safe and avoid the common plumbing problems by adhering to the above tips.

Pipes Freezing? How to Prevent It

Cold Weather Plumbing Tips
Cold weather comes with a risk of frozen pipes. That’s a problem because, when water freezes within a pipe, the water expands inside the pipe, creating a pressure that can cause the pipe to burst. Burst pipes can send hundreds of gallons of water into your home and create thousands of dollars worth of damage. The pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are those that are located in outside walls, under sinks on outside walls, and/or in unheated crawlspaces. What can you do to prepare your pipes for frigid temps?

  • Before cold weather sets in, disconnect all garden hoses that are connected to your outdoor faucets (also called hose bibs). In addition to the valve that turns water on and off outdoors, it’s also a good idea to locate the water shut-off valve indoors that can shut off water to the faucet.
  • Pipes that are exposed to freezing temperatures should be covered with insulation. You can insulate pipes that run through unheated spaces with foam insulation wrap. You could also wrap problem pipes with electrical heat tape. And you can purchase outside faucet covers at your local warehouse store or Walmart.
  • During very cold weather, let both cold and hot faucets drip slightly in order to keep the water in the pipe from freezing.
  • Open the cabinets where pipes are located in the kitchen and bathroom to expose them to your indoor heated air. You can also use a small portable heater to heat the pipes within the cabinets, as well as to add above-freezing warmth in unheated crawlspaces.
  • If you have plumbing in the garage, don’t leave the garage door open in very cold weather. Add a space heater anywhere indoors you think the temperature could drop below freezing.
  • If a pipe has frozen, but hasn’t burst, you can try several common thawing techniques, depending on the location. Heat lamps or blow dryers can be used, but don’t use un-grounded electrical appliances outdoors. Also, never use a flame torch because it creates a fire hazard and could lead to a much worse problem.

Important Links

Tips For Reducing Your Plumbing and Heating Costs

Every year, it seems that there is a steady increase in water and heating bills for homeowners. In order for you to limit the additional expense that will surely cause a lot of pressure on your budget, it is best to try out some cost-saving measures when it comes to your plumbing and heating.

In the house
Regularly check pipes all over your house for leaks. In the kitchen, if you wash down the drain leftover food, be sure to let the water run for several seconds after the disposer has emptied. Accumulated food wastes will cause pressure on drains, and will add to your plumbing and cleaning due to leaks. For the shower, use a sprayer that has adjustable flow, so you can switch to lower force when the stronger flow is not needed. This will conserve both your cold and hot water usage, which means lower water and energy bills. Check your toilet as well for leaks every so often. If you notice the sound of running water, the culprit could be the toilet flap, which you should immediately adjust or replace. If you are planning to renovate and change your toilet, choose a model that uses less water for flushing.

When you plan to be gone for more than four hours, set your thermostat three to four degrees warmer in warm weather and colder in cold weather while you are away. Consider adding a programmable thermostat that you can set to automatically adjust to your various needs. They are proven to save energy.

Doors and windows
Consider installing drapes or blinds on your windows for added insulation. This will lessen the need to turn up the thermostat, keeping your heating bills low during the cold months. Replace old weather stripping around windows and seal leaky doors as well to keep the warmth in when it is cold. Make sure you have at least 12 inches of quality insulation in your attic, and consider adding a radiant barrier. Check with your electric and gas utility companies to see if they have a program that offers insulation incentives to homeowners.

Outside the house
If you have plants all around your home, set the nozzle of your garden hoses at the spray pattern that uses less water. Only turn the hose on when watering plants.

Doing these simple cost-saving measures will help you keep your plumbing and heating bills low even when the price of water and electricity increases.

Important Links

Things To Keep In Mind When Looking For A Drain Service Company

There is nothing like having a reliable drain service company already in mind when a flooded bathroom or kitchen floor suddenly takes over your day. With so many companies and individuals offering the same services in your area, choosing the one that meets your needs the the best can be challenging. Here are a few things to consider when making the choice.

Qualifications and experience

Any company that you allow into your home should have the necessary licenses for the service that they are going to perform. At the very least, you know that they are qualified for the job. They should also be drug-tested and background-checked. Ask the questions if they don’t offer first. They should be very willing to reply with the right answers. If they get touchy or defensive, back off and look for someone else. Another thing to look for is to see if they seem to have invested in the appropriate drain cleaning equipment. Old doesn’t mean bad, but they should be properly prepared on their first visit, if they know you need drain service. Lastly, the company must also have liability insurance to protect against potential damage or harm to themselves when working inside your property.

Cost

Just like any product or service you spend money for, getting good value from doing business with a drain service company cannot be overemphasized. As a customer, getting a realistic estimate ensures that a clogged drain won’t drain your household budget for the month. Quotations you get over the phone at first contact may be different from when a company representative comes over and sees the problem first-hand. It is not possible for any company to provide an accurate estimate without seeing the problem, due to all the different factors that they may encounter. Insist on a written quote before you let them start working. Some companies offer price guarantees and free estimates, so be sure to ask.

Customer service track record

Read through testimonials from previous customers on online review sites. It is often the first and most convenient route that people take today as a measure of a company’s reputation. Don’t expect perfection. Unfortunately, some people will post negative reviews for reasons that are not justified. In most cases, these falsely negative reviews involve some sort of credit demanded by the customer. After taking this step, it is worthwhile to ask family and neighbors if they can suggest a referral for a competent drain service provider. It is always best to ask about their guarantee policy and whether they offer 24/7 service, in case you have a continued problem, as well as regular maintenance check-ups to prevent clogged drains in the future.

How to Find Good Plumbing Companies in Dallas TX

Most of us don’t think about a plumber until a plumbing need occurs. That’s when you need to have a list of trusted plumbing professionals on hand for emergencies, you ask someone you trust, or you search online for plumbing companies in Dallas, TX.

How do you find the best and most reliable plumbing professional?

Think like an employer sorting through applicants’ files. They would take into account personal references, experience, availability, location and pay rates. The best and fastest way to find a good plumbing company is through personal recommendations from friends, family and neighbors. They can provide feedback about plumbing companies in Dallas, TX from their own personal experience. In case these referrals are not available, consult consumer reviews that have sufficient details about the experiences of others in your area with particular plumbers.

Caution: Look for the necessary licenses and insurance. Professionals must have verifiable skills and should have passed written and practical exams on plumbing. Without proper licensing, the plumber is actually breaking the law and if something goes wrong, you could be the one left with both a plumbing problem and a money problem.And beware of the lowest cost. The training, licensing, and insurance cost the plumber money, part of which is included in their rates in order to be able to afford to stay in business and provide the quality service you deserve and expect. Without these important credentials, plumbers can charge less, but will likely not have the skill and protections you need.

Workers compensation and liability insurance come next. These are basics put in place and required for your protection in case your plumber gets injured while doing his job on your premises or if he accidentally causes damage to property while at work. In addition, technicians should be background-checked and drug-tested to insure protection and quality of work for customers. You don’t want someone in your home or business who cannot pass those tests.

Availability is another concern. Plumbing companies in Dallas, TX that are in close proximity to your location can respond more quickly to an emergency call. Some plumbers charge a travel fee when travelling outside a certain area. If they don’t tell you, you need to ask to avoid unnecessary expenses or surprises. You also need to consider the urgency of your issue and the time it might require the plumber to arrive.Good plumbers will try to give you a window of time when they can be there.

Ask about cost, but remember that it is impossible for any plumber to provide an accurate cost without visiting your location. There are conditions, obstacles and other factors neither of you would know until the issue is examined onsite. Usually a plumber or plumbing company will have an hourly rate, and sometimes a rough idea of cost range, given certain conditions. Describe your plumbing issue and ask for about these details before deciding which of the plumbing companies in Dallas, TX can provide the best service and the best value.

Once the plumber arrives, let him look closely at your problem to make a more accurate assessment instead of locking onto a cost range offered over the phone before they have actually had the opportunity to assess the situation.

With these things in mind, you can be sure to get the right professional to solve your plumbing problem.

3 DIY Solutions For Your Garbage Disposal Repair

When your garbage disposal system is working smoothly, cleaning up after meals is easy. However when things go wrong, it can put a serious damper on your post dinner kitchen clean-up routine. Professional plumbing assistance is readily available, but here are some quick DIY solutions that you can try yourself before calling for professional plumbing help.

  • Clearing The Clog: The main reason that a garbage disposal can’t grind anymore is something might be stuck inside it. Try to remove any blockage that might be causing hindrance. This work if there is any clogging. For safety reasons, don’t ever try to stick your hand down into the disposer. Instead, look underneath your sink, unplug it, then try to reach inside the disposer to remove the clog from sink side. If the problem continues, you may need professional help.
  • Odor Removal: Over time, garbage disposals can emit a foul smell. Try to get rid of the nasty odor by pouring a liquid soap solution down the drain along with some cold water and let the disposal run for a couple of minutes in order to eliminate the cause of the smell due to accumulation of bacteria and other micro-organisms. You can also try odor repellent products or a drain cleaning product.
  • Leakage Repair: If your garbage disposal system seems to be leaking, then make sure that all the nuts, bolts and connections are properly secured. Always unplug the unit from under the sink to prevent possible shock. If it’s a minor leakage, you can use plumber putty or caulk to seal those areas. However if there is any leakage, a broken hose, or any other part, you may need to buy the spare part in order to stop the leakage.

Hiring professional plumbing experts to handle your garbage disposal problems may be your best option, because they are trained and experienced to handle various tricky jobs such as replacing a disposer or fixing leaks, etc that you can’t do.Dallas Plumbing Company is a a trusted and reliable name for plumbing and air conditioning solutions since 1903. All our technicians are trained, experienced, drug-tested and background-checked. To hire a plumbing expert, give us a call at 214-340-6300 or contact us.