Tureks Plumbing Services Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Clogged Toilets’

Preventing Clogged Toilets

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Preventing Clogged toilets appleton WiPreventing Clogged Toilets and Other Bathroom Mishaps 2021

We all know how inconvenient a clogged toilet can be. Fortunately, you do not have to possess advanced plumbing knowledge to keep your bathroom in good working order. Here are some tips from our Fox Valley plumbers that will help you in preventing clogged toilets and other related problems. For emergency plumbing services in Appleton, WI, please contact Tureks Plumbing.

Use Mild Cleaners For Your Toilet

If your toilet tends to get backed up, there are some mild cleaners you can try using. Apart from mild soaps, try mild items like baking soda and vinegar that can help you keep your toilet squeaky clean. Apart from keeping your toilet hygienic, regular cleaning will also allow you to spot potential problems before they worsen.

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

Plumbers are divided on the issue of chemical drain cleaners. For some, using these is all right. However, there are plumbers who believe that the disadvantages of these outweigh the advantages. What disadvantages? Chemical drain cleaners can be hazardous to your health, especially if used and handled incorrectly. These can also damage pipes and fixtures and kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank. Read this article why to learn the reasons not to use chemical drain cleaners.

Conduct Regular Inspection 

Make it a habit to check the components of your toilet every six months. Check whether everything is functioning correctly.

Trying To Save Water

Using a brick is one of the old tricks for saving water used for flushing. However, this only works for older toilets. But you still might want to avoid using bricks as these can break off into smaller pieces which can then clog the toilet. Instead, fill a water or soda bottle with either sand or small rocks.

Get Bathroom Leaks Fixed ASAP

Small bathroom leaks can add a few and sometimes several more dollars to your monthly bill. Check your toilet and faucets regularly and when you detect leaks, have these repaired as soon as possible. Our friends at Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing, a Sacramento plumber, also urge you to stop leaks. Plumbers will tell you that it can cost you 20 gallons of water per day if it’s not fixed. 

Don’t Use The Toilet As A Trashcan

Every member of the household, including the young ones, should learn how to properly use the toilet. That also means avoiding throwing foreign objects into it. Although this is sometimes unavoidable no matter how closely you watch your children, we hope your little ones bathroom play is limited to the tub and those rubber duckies. 

Consider Using a Different Kind of Toilet Paper

Super soft toilet paper can be quite difficult for the septic tank to break down and can lead to further problems down the road. Consider using a different type of toilet paper. Also, check out our recent post on flushable wipes

Invest In a Flange Plunger

A flange plunger (and a bucket of hot water) will often suffice for common clogs. Alternatively, you can use a snake or auger, but if that is not something you are familiar with, give us a call. We will be able to quickly get a plumber over to your home to inspect and clear out the problem. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Expert Help

Sometimes, plumbing problems can be complicated and you might find yourself out of your zone of genius. There’s certainly nothing wrong with asking your local plumber for some assistance in these cases. There are some plumbing problems that are DIY worthy and others, where you just need to call in a professional. If you live in the Fox Cities area, give Turek’s Plumbing a call for all of your plumbing emergencies, and kitchen or bathroom remodel estimates.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Problems an Emergency Plumber can solve

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Problems an Emergency Plumber can solveProblems an Emergency Plumber Can Solve

Part of running a successful home is understanding how to properly maintain it. This means doing some things by yourself. Light maintenance such as replacing a bulb or a socket, mowing your lawn, are things you can do for yourself.

However, there comes a time when things break down and have to be fixed, immediately. These are things that require specialized skills and equipment to fix.

An emergency plumber is one of the most important people to have during these moments because they can offer you the best services in the shortest time possible. Here are some of the problems a plumbing company in Appleton Wisconsin will be able to help solve.

Frozen water pipes

This is common during the colder seasons. Water tends to freeze in areas where the plumbing is not adequately protected against the cold. It is likely to happen in the basement or in crawl spaces where pipes usually get exposed to the cold temperatures. The frozen pipes can burst and cause significant damage to your property if not taken care of. Your plumber is more conversant with winterizing plumbing and will be able to help.

Water Heater Issues

You are likely to use a lot of hot water for your daily chores. It, therefore, makes sense that you will want to call an emergency plumber in Appleton Wisconsin as soon as your water heater breaks down.

Clogged Toilet – When a Plunger Isn’t Working

Toilets tend to block from overuse or wrong use, especially in homes with many occupants. Waste material can accumulate in the narrower drainpipes making it impossible to flush and causing a lot of problems in your home. An emergency plumber will be able to unclog your toilet and restore it to its working order.

Water Heater Problems

Tanks used for hot water storage can start leaking and cause significant damage to your personal belongings and your home. Call an emergency plumber as soon as you find any form of leakage from your tank.

Clogged sewer line and drainage

Your sewer lines are responsible for draining away any waste material from your sinks, shower or bathtub. The sewer lines tend to carry, with it, debris which can accumulate over time and cause blockages. An emergency plumber will know exactly what to do in these situations and save you from experiencing significant damage to your home.

Overflowing Septic Tank

Your septic tank is most likely going to be located in your yard. These tend to overflow, especially in cases where they aren’t been properly taken care of. The overflow can find itself in your backyard making it easier for the waste to be carried back into the house. If you notice an overflowing septic tank, stop using water and call an emergency plumber immediately.

Sump Pump Malfunctioning

A sump pump is one of the most important equipment to have in a basement if rainy seasons are prone to introduce flood water into your basement. This is because your basement is below the water table making it easy for water flow inside and accumulate.

The sump pump drains the water and pumps it away where it is less likely to cause any form of damage. A break down can cause flooding which may, in turn, damage to your basement and belongings. Your plumber will be able to quickly fix a malfunctioning sump pump and save you from suffering these damages.

One of the main reasons to trust a plumber in Appleton Wisconsin is because they are able to work efficiently to solve your problems. That is why you should not hesitate to call Tureks Plumbing Services for 24/7 emergency plumbing services.

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Common Objects That Clog Toilets

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

common objects that clog the toilet - tureks plumbing

Common Objects That Clog Toilets

It is sad to realize that many homeowners spend a lot of money each year to hire plumbers to unclog their toilet or plumbing system. It’s unfortunate because a significant fraction of those emergency plumbing calls could have been avoided if only the homeowners and their family members knew that they shouldn’t flush certain common objects down the toilet. Here are the most common objects that clog toilets. 

Excessive Amounts of Toilet Paper

Most people instinctively know how much toilet paper to use and flush down the toilet. However, kids may not have such rationality, and they will quickly turn flushing toilet paper into a game. When a large amount of toilet paper is flushed in one go, it can bunch itself into a tight ball as it travels down the drain. That ball of toilet paper will not degrade as rapidly as expected, and a clog may develop at that point where the ball has snagged. Fox Valley plumbers advise parents to teach their kids to refrain from flushing excessive amounts of toilet paper.

Don’t Flush Hair 

Are you in the habit of cleaning your pet dog in your bathtub and then letting the fur flow down the drain? Or do you collect that fur and flush it down the toilet? Whether it is human or animal hair, never flush it down your toilet. Many plumbers in Appleton, WI admit that the number one cause of shower drain clogs is hair. A better option is to place a strainer on the bathtub drain so that all the hair is collected and disposed of properly with the trash. Don’t even think of dumping it in the toilet!

Don’t Flush Feminine Hygiene Products

It is common to find signage in public restrooms reminding users not to flush feminine hygiene products like tampons and sanitary towels down the toilet. However, some people don’t implement the same advice at home. Those products aren’t biodegradable, and they will clog the toilet sooner rather than later. Always have a trash can in the bathroom so that such products can be disposed of with the trash instead of finding their way into the toilet. The number of times you have to call a Fox Valley plumber for help regarding a clogged toilet will reduce significantly once you make this one change.

Don’t Flush Paper Towels

There’s a reason why a trash can is placed close to the sink where you wash your hands after using a public restroom. That can is intended to be a receptacle for the paper towel you use to dry your hands. While paper towels are made from, well, paper, they are thick and will not break down easily when flushed. In case you weren’t aware that paper towels shouldn’t be flushed, now you know. Talk to a plumber in Appleton, WI about the plumbing problems caused by paper towels if you still have doubts about the dangers of flushing paper towels.

Don’t Flush Toys

This one seems obvious, but curious and playful kids will not hesitate to turn flushing toys into a game. All it takes is just one toy to get stuck anywhere in the plumbing drains, and you will have a major clog in the system. As you know, kids will always be kids, so take the precaution of having someone to supervise them at all times if they have toys while in the bathroom.

Don’t Flush Baby Wipes and Diapers

You may think that flushing diapers may be a quick fix to the odors, but that quick fix will cost you once the toilet develops a clog. The same risk will take place when you flush baby wipes or any type of wipe. Don’t believe it when the packaging of the wipes says that they are “flushable.” What the manufacturers mean differs from what your plumber in Appleton, WI will regard as flushable. This is because anything you flush should degrade in a short time so that blockages don’t develop in the plumbing system.

There are many other common objects that you should refrain from flushing down the toilet. A simple way to remember them all is to adopt a simple rule that you and your family members should only flush toilet paper and nothing else. Call Tureks Plumbing Services if you suspect that a clog is preventing your toilet from draining as quickly as it should. We shall send an experienced Fox Valley plumber to assess the situation and perform the needed work before your toilet backs up.

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How to get jewelry out of a drain

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017
You are doing the dishes after a family meal and before you even finish, your prized piece of jewelry (a ring, bracelet, earring) slips off from you. Before you even have the time to catch it, it goes down the kitchen sink.

What should you do?

If you want to know how to get jewelry out of a drain, here are the steps that you need to follow.

Keep the area off limits

Tell the members of the household to avoid using the sink until the item has been retrieved. Otherwise, it will become increasingly difficult to get the jewelry back.

Turn off the garbage disposal and water

If water keeps on flowing down the drain, the jewelry might be pushed down further until it reaches the sewer line. When that happens, the chance of getting the item back becomes slim.

Stopping the flow of water increases the likelihood that the item goes to a more accessible area of the kitchen plumbing system, like the P-trap.

Find a magnet

Find a strong magnet and attach it to a string. After that, lower the magnet down the drain. There’s a good chance that you can get your jewelry back with this nifty trick.

Check the P-trap

If you can’t retrieve your jewelry with a magnet tied to a string, the next best thing to do is to check if the item is sitting inside the P-trap.

Before removing the different components of the P-trap, you should place a bucket underneath it to catch the water, the grime, and hopefully, the jewelry that went down the drain.

Start by removing the slip nuts and the J-shaped part of the P-trap using either a pair of pliers or a wrench. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to retrieve the lost item and you can replace the parts that you remove. But before replacing these parts, it is a good idea to clean the gunk off the pipes.

Call your Appleton Plumber 

If you are unable to successfully retrieve the item or if you do not want to gamble and test your luck with your home’s plumbing system, consider calling in the experts for help.

Preventing this plumbing emergency

If you wish to avoid the loss of a piece of prized jewelry, there are a few things that you can do.

As much as possible, remove any jewelry before doing the dishes, especially if the sink is open and unstopped.

Place the jewelry that you removed from yourself in a safe area and not over the sink. Alternatively, you can put a jewelry tray nearby.

Put drain stoppers in the kitchen and bathroom sinks. These can help prevent jewelry and other valuable items from going down the drain.

If you have a piece of jewelry trapped in your drain, please call us today for help!

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Why Are My Drains Bubbling?

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Bubbling toilets or drains explained

Whenever you use the bathroom to take care of your personal hygiene, the only sounds you would want to hear are the ones you make as you move around — the sudden rush of water as you turn on the tap, the toilet flushing, water going down the drain. If your body pipes up as well — such as your stomach rumbling thanks to the heavy meal you had earlier — that would be expected, and thus totally fine, too.

What you don’t want to hear, however, is a gurgling noise coming from various areas of the bathroom. If you hear this gurgling or bubbling noise after you use the shower, sink, or the toilet, it could mean trouble — and it’s something that you shouldn’t ignore.

Why are my drains bubbling? Here are possible answers to this question:

·         There is a blockage in your vent pipe or drain

·         A pipe may have collapsed or gotten damaged

·         There is a buildup of grease dirt or other debris in your home’s plumbing

Vent pipes are joined to the major pipes that make up your home’s plumbing. These typically end at the roof of your house. If a vent pipe is blocked by things such as accumulated dirt or debris coming from outside your house such as dead leaves, these gurgling noises indicate that air cannot escape through the vent. Instead, the air makes its way to the nearest available opening, which could be the sink in your bathroom.

If the problem is buildup in your plumbing, it means that water cannot drain properly. Typically, both water and air flow through the drain and then escape the pipes through their respective spots. When the pipes are dirty and blocked, however, the air bubbles will end up getting expelled at the nearest vent, which results in the bubbling noise.

Keep in mind, though, that if you hear the gurgling noise in every drain you can find throughout the house, then it is an indication of a much bigger blockage in the main plumbing pipe, and not in the smaller pipes attached to the drains.

How can these blocks — and consequently, the gurgling sounds — be prevented?

There are a number of things that everyone in the household can do to keep your home’s pipes free and clear:

·         Refrain from pouring or throwing anything down the drain that could cause buildup — this could be grease, hair strands, food particles, and other physical waste.

·         If the buildup already exists, you can try using chemical solutions to clean out the pipes. Make sure to use the product as directed so that they can work as intended. Also, remember to follow safety precautions when handling the chemicals.

·         Alternatively, an auger can be used to manually unclog the pipes. With sufficient force, any buildup can be broken up, but take care not to cause damage to the pipes and cause additional leaking problems.

If you’re unsure about how to perform these properly, there’s always the option of getting in touch with the plumbing specialists in your area. These professionals will know exactly how to diagnose and resolve your plumbing problems and get rid of that troublesome gurgling noise once and for all.

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Signs My Water Pump Is Failing

Monday, May 15th, 2017

What Are the Signs My Water Pump Is Failing?

If you draw water from a well, most of the hard work of bringing water to your home is done by the water pump. However, if you come home with little to no water coming out of the faucet, one possible cause is a failing or broken water pump.

You’re probably wondering, “What are the signs that my water pump is failing?”

No water comes out of the faucet

If no water is coming out of the faucet when you turn it on, the first thing that you need to check are the pipes. Sometimes, the pipes may simply be clogged or broken.

However, if the pipes look like they are in good working order and are neither clogged nor broken, you can turn your attention to your water pump.

Loud and/or odd noises from the water tank

If you keep hearing loud and/or odd noises coming from your water pump, it is highly likely that it is about to fail anytime soon.

An increase in your electric bill

Take a look at your electric consumption over the past few months. If you think that your consumption has not changed but your bill has risen steadily over the past few weeks or months, the culprit may be your water pump.

Low water pressure

Again, you need to rule out other potential causes of low water pressure. Start by checking the condition of the pipes. Sometimes, repairing or changing broken pipes will restore normal water pressure. However, if the problem still persists, your water pump may be the main reason.

Maintaining your water pump

The price of a new water pump for your well can cost you a small fortune. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to get the most out of your investment.

Like other systems in your home, your water pump requires regular maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations (including the schedule for maintenance) and have professionals inspect it at least once a year.

Consider a submersible well pump

If you have an above-ground water pump, an experienced contractor can fix it for you. However, fixing a submersible water pump will be more of a challenge because it needs to be pulled from the well.

The advantage of submersible well pumps is that these can last up to 25 years. However, this lifespan can be affected by factors like the amount of sediment and other particles in the well. Contact one of our plumbers today!

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What to do when you have an overflowing toilet

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Toilet Overflowing? Here’s What You Need to Do to Stop It

You go to the bathroom to do some personal business. But lo and behold, the toilet is overflowing.

The toilet overflowing is a serious plumbing emergency that requires prompt action. Otherwise, if you allow the toilet to continue to overflow, you will be left with a bigger mess to clean up. Furthermore, you risk damaging your property.

Here are some of the things that you need to do.

The first and most important thing that you need to take care of is to stop the flow of the water going to the toilet bowl. To do that, you will need to find the main shutoff valve of the toilet. This is usually found on the bathroom wall, next to the toilet.

In some cases, the main shutoff valve is found beneath the tiles on the bathroom floor or wall. If you cannot see any visible shutoff valve near the toilet, it is highly likely that it is embedded on the wall or floor. The next best thing that you can do is to shut off your home’s main water valve. When your plumber arrives, be sure to ask him about relocating the main shutoff valve of the toilet to a more visible and convenient location.

Once the main shutoff valve has been turned off and the water has stopped from overflowing, the next thing that you can do is to clear the clog and accumulated water.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to turn the main shutoff valve because it is rarely used and because of the accumulation of rust. You can prevent this by turning the valve every time you clean the bathroom. It also helps to apply lubricant to the valve.

If you can’t find the main shutoff valve, it won’t budge, or if you do not want to turn off all of the water supply in your home, the next best thing to do is to open the toilet tank.

If the flapper is open, close it. This should stop the water from overflowing. However, if the flapper is closed or if you are unable to close it, the next thing you need to do is to find the float ball and lift it. The main function of the float ball is to stop the flow of water once it reaches a certain level. You may need to prop it up to allow it to stay in position and stop the water from continuously overflowing.

If you have an overflowing toilet, contact one of our Appleton, WI plumbers today!

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Choosing a Plumber – A Few Important Things to Consider

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Plumbing troubles and emergencies can arise when you least expect these. And when you encounter these hassles, it is crucial that prompt action be taken in order to prevent further damage.

As such, it is crucial that you call in a plumber that you trust. However, in most cases, homeowners choose a plumber as an afterthought — only when there is a problem that should be dealt with immediately.

The problem with this habit is that you could end up hurriedly scrounging the phonebook or the internet for someone to call, especially if the problem arises during the late hours. And the longer you conduct your search, the more damage the problem causes.

Here are some tips that will make choosing a plumber easier for you, regardless of whether you conduct your search online or get recommendations from friends, relatives or colleagues.

One of the first things that you should look for is a plumber’s license.

That license ensures that the plumber’s credentials are verifiable. Furthermore, a license is a sign that the plumber has invested the necessary resources that make his business legitimate.

Next, check if the plumber has insurance.

If the plumber is licensed, it is highly likely he has insurance since licensing bodies require plumbers to have insurance. However, do not automatically assume that your plumber has one and ask for proof.

Ask if the plumber offers guarantees for his work.

Although guarantees on labor and parts have become an industry standard, again, you should never simply assume.

Inquire if the plumber has received awards or has joined professional organizations. Both are proof that the plumber consistently provides quality work. But apart from quality work, your chosen plumber should also provide excellent customer service. One way to check that is to call the plumber’s office. The best ones will have a person designated to answer customer calls.

It is highly recommended that you get quotes from at least three plumbers.

Upon receipt of these quotes, compare these. Although it is tempting to choose the one that offers the lowest prices, you have to resist. Remember, you get what you pay for.

Whether you conduct your search through your network or online, do not hire a plumber without checking his online reputation. Websites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp can provide you insights on the quality of work and customer service provided by the plumber. However, do not be discouraged by a few bad reviews. Mistakes and misunderstandings can happen and you should evaluate each individual situation as a unique case. Schedule an appointment with us today!

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Common Plumbing Issues

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Out of sight, out of mind.

Your home’s plumbing system is quietly working in the background, bringing you fresh water when you need it and disposing of waste water.

In an ideal scenario, your home’s plumbing system should be just that, all the time: working quietly and efficiently. But in the real world, plumbing issues can arise when you least expect them.

What are the most common plumbing problems homeowners may face at one time or another?

According to many plumbers, one of the leading issues faced by homeowners are clogs. Clogs can occur in the sewer, sink or bathtub. And although clogs may seem like a large problem, in most cases, these are not.

Toilets often back up. Your garbage disposal system can cause the sink to clog. Fortunately, most of these can be easily prevented by avoiding throwing large foreign objects into the sink, tub, and toilet. And in most cases, a clog can be undone with the aid of your trusty plunger.

However, there are instances wherein you will need some professional assistance.

For example, in severe situations, pipes may need to be replaced or walls or floorings may need to be torn down.

Another common problem homeowners face is related to the sewer and septic tank. This is one problem that, more often than not, requires the attention of professional plumbers. Apart from the stench, septic tank issues can cause damage to your property and cause health problems for your family.

Some septic tank-related problems can stem from clogs. In other cases, the problem arises form issues related to a section of the system’s pipes.

Whatever problem you may be facing, it is critical that you act as quickly as possible.

That can be as simple as using a plunger to unclog your toilet or calling in professional plumbers to assist you.

This is why it is important that you find a reliable plumber who can attend to emergencies even before you need one. Remember: Every second that your plumbing issue is left unattended and unsolved, the more likely that the problem will worsen and become complicated, resulting in further damage and added costs.

Do yourself a big favor and conduct your search for a trustworthy plumber as soon as you possibly can; this way, you won’t be scrambling to find one when you actually need a plumber, or settle for the first one who answers your call during a plumbing emergency.

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What Not To Put Down Your Drain

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

There are simple things that you do can do to prevent a clogged drain.

In a landmark study undertaken by the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2002, it was discovered that wastewater coming from residential, agricultural and industrial sources contained low levels of human and veterinary drugs, natural and synthetic hormones, insecticides, fire retardants, detergent metabolites, and plasticizers.

Of these chemicals listed, one or more were found in 80 percent of the streams which were a part of the study. Furthermore, half of the streams were found to contain seven or more of these chemicals. Roughly a third of the streams contained 10 or more of the aforementioned chemicals.

Quite simply, this means that homeowners, farmers, and industries have contributed greatly to water pollution which does not only undermine water quality, but also adversely affects fish and wildlife.

In the residential setting, plumbers regularly caution homeowners about throwing foreign objects down the drain as these can clog pipes and cause unnecessary damage, not only to the plumbing system but in other parts of the house as well.

But according to the Watership Environment Foundation, the consequences of throwing foreign objects down the drain causes far-ranging effects beyond your home. According to the foundation, throwing foreign objects down the drain can also lead to health problems and environmental problems.

Plumbers say that homeowners should not treat the drain like a trash can and list what not to put down your drain.

These include:

  • Sauces
  • Dairy products
  • Baking goods
  • Food scraps
  • Lard
  • Shortening
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter and margarine

Throwing these down the drain facilitates the blockage in the sewer pipes when grease sticks to these. And once the grease continues to build up, it can block the optimal flow of water.

Expert plumbers advise against throwing grease down in either sinks or toilets. Homeowners should also make it a habit to scrape off food particles and grease from plates, pots, pans and other cooking utensils and implements. Invest in a strainer or basket and install one in the sink drain to catch solids and empty these into the trash can.

Other items that should not be thrown down the drain or toilet include:

  • Used oils
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grinds
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • Condoms
  • Flammable substances
  • Medications
  • Acidic or caustic substances
  • Rags
  • Solvents, paints, polish remover, turpentine and similar products.

If you have a clogged drain, contact us today to set up an appointment!

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