Top 5 Tips To Baby Proof Your Bathroom

Baby Proof Your Bathroom

If you have kids at home, then the bathroom is one of the most accident-prone areas in your home. In children aged 1-4 years, drowning is a leading cause of death, as the bathroom is filled with areas that can prove hazardous for any child if left unattended. In this blog, we’ll be discussing various steps that you should implement to keep your child safe and secure in the bathroom.

  1. Supervision: Water level of up to 2 inches can be fatal for babies because it can be difficult for them to lift their heads or turn to other side, on their own. Therefore, it is advisable to never leave a child unattended in bathroom especially if child is around water.
  2. Keep Cleaning Products & Chemicals Out of Reach: Babies and toddlers have an innate curiosity and enjoy exploring things around them. It is advisable to keep all the cleaning supplies and other chemicals, etc. out of their reach in a cabinet or a shelf located at top or higher level so as to prevent them from reaching the cleaning supplies.
  3. Reset the Water Heater Level: 100 degrees is an ideal bath temperature for babies. However, water heaters at home are generally set at 140 degrees. Babies have very sensitive skin and a little increase in temperature can cause blisters or rashes on their body. Turn down the temperature regulator on your water heater to prevent any accidental leakage of hot water that may cause serious burn injuries.
  4. Keep Away Electrical Appliances: Just like cleaning supplies, it is advisable to keep all electrical appliances like hair dryers, curling or hair straightening irons, and any loose cords of any other equipment out of their reach. Properly warp or secure all the loose electrical cords to avoid any potential strangulation.
  5. Invest in Baby Safety Products: The market is filled with lots of baby safety products. Consider investikng in a bathing thermometer for kids to check the temperature of water before going in the water. Install toilet lid locks, safety latches for all cabinets. Ensure that everyone at home is practiced on locking all cabinet doors and toilet lid.

These are some of the tips that can help you prevent any child related injuries in bathroom area. Dallas Plumbing Company is a trusted name for plumbing, heating and air conditioning solutions across Dallas and nearby areas since 1903. There is no need to look any further when you can get high quality impeccable services, at affordable rates. Contact us to schedule your plumbing service today.

Pets at Home? Top 5 Tips for Pet Proofing Your Plumbing

Pet Proofing PlumbingPet owners LOVE their pets. A recent study shows nearly one third of homeowners in the U.S own either a cat or a dog. You might not have experienced it, but with pets in the home, pet related plumbing problems can be a concern that pet owners must deal with. Here are the top five useful tips that will help you pet-proof your home’s plumbing. Adopting these practices will enhable pet owners to keep both pets as well as plumbing safe from one another. So, you can relax and enjoy without worrying about how one might harm the other. Pet proofing your home is not much different from child proofing.

  1. Encapsulation: First of all, keep or hide the dangerous items away from your pets. Encapsulate all your covered pipes or wirings. You can either invest in basic pipe covers available at your local big box store, search the web for a DIY solution. Regardless of how you do it, covering the pipes with simple covers will keep your pets away from chewing your pipes.
  2. Installation of Pressure Balancing Valves: Have your ever experienced a sudden hot water scald when someone flushes a toilet while you are showering? If so, that might be due to the absence of pressure balancing valves in your plumbing. A pressure balance valve maintains an equal amount of water from the hot and cold side. When sudden changes in water pressure reduce the water flowing from the showerhead, like a toilet flushing, the temperature will remain the same. Without pressure balancing valves, scalding can happen to anyone, including your pet taking its bath, using the water at that moment because hot water could suddenly jet out of any of the faucets. Sudden outbursts of hot water can pose a major problem for your pets at home. It is advisable to install pressure balancing valves in the home. They are affordable but will likely require a plumber to install.
  3. Use Drain Guards: Hairs are a major reason for clogged drains in every household. Just like humans, dogs and cats also can lose a lot of fluff while bathing or roaming in the home. Drain guards are cheap and readily available. Get them installed & you’ll be amazed to see how much drain guards help in preventing clogged drains.
  4. Keep Your Toilet Lid Closed: Avoid using chemical drain cleaners as these are acidic. They might resolve clogging issues but may corrode your pipes at the same time. And most importantly for pet owners, chemical drain cleaners can be toxic for your pets if ingested accidently. You won’t want your pet to ingest toxic leftover residue from your toilet bowl water. It is recommended to keep the toilet lid closed while a chemical drain cleaner does its job. And keep your pet’s water bowl filled so that they don’t have to look it elsewhere.
  5. Keep a Tab On Your Pet: Generally sewer lines are deep however some sewer lines might only be a few inches under your yard. If your pet is fond of digging, it is recommended to ensure that they never remain unsupervised in the backyard. Dogs and cats can easily dig their way down to the sewer line pipes, possibly puncture or dislodge them, damaging the pipeline in the process. Doesn’t happen often, but it does occur.

If your family’s pet is causing plumbing issue, no worries. Contact Dallas Plumbing Company today. We would love to fix your existing plumbing issues. We would love to fix any of your existing plumbing issues. We’re also happy to equip you with the knowledge to keep it from happening again. We want to keep you and your pets happy!

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 main sewer maintained by your city or waste service, 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.

PLUMBING ALERT: PIPE FREEZE PREVENTION

Burst Pipes Can Be an Expensive Mess to Clean Up and Easy to Avoid

When outside temperatures hit 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below, you want to check and protect all the water pipes in your house. Take nothing for granted. Twenty degrees Fahrenheit is known as the red-alert level when water in pipes can freeze, create pressure and burst its metal or plastic.

If your area is expecting a freeze, use this checklist to help warm your pipes and protect your pocketbook.

  1. Drip your indoor faucets.

“Drip” means you turn faucets on just enough to stay on, given that pipes can freeze overnight. Even at a trickle, the moving water helps prevent pipe problems.

Note that pipes don’t always burst when they are freezing or frozen. Damage can come in the pressure caused as thawed water begins again to rush through the pipe.

  • Open the cabinet doors under your sink.

While you stand at the kitchen or bathroom sink to set a controlled drip, reach down and open the doors below. For pipes near an outside wall, this is especially important. As much as possible, invite room-temperature air to flow in and around your pipes.

  • Safeguard the hose bibs exposed to the outside.

A hose bib is the outdoor water tap on the outside of your home. Locate your hose bib, disconnect any hoses from it, and shut off or drain the water from the faucet. Drain the water from the hose. Inside your home or crawl space, turn off any valve that supplies water just to the outdoor faucets. As with the kitchen and bathroom faucets, turn the handles of the hose bib to drip, and place insulating covers over them.

Long term, consider a frost-resistant outdoor spigot.

  • Open all your heat registers.

As you learned early in your science class, hot air rises and cold air falls. When you open the lower registers and close the top ones, you invite the hot air to stay and the cold air to go. Cold air is heavier and flows down to the lower register.

  • Cover your exposed pipes.

Every exposed pipe in winter is trouble waiting to happen. Insulate your outside pipes with pipe wrap or foam pipe sleeves available at most hardware stores. Insulate the gaps where pipes enter the walls.

  • Caulk outside pipes.

Use calk or canned spray foam to cover outdoor pipes and seal the spaces where they go through walls. While you’re at it, check for exposed piping in un-insulated spaces such as a crawlspace, attic, outside walls, etc. For larger holes, use a rubber gasket.

  • Turn on the heat in unoccupied units.  

The enemy is cold. Even in currently unused units, rooms or bathrooms, make sure the heat is high enough to resist freezing.

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