Tureks Plumbing Services Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Facts About Plumbing’

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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Common Plumbing Problems In Older Homes

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Even in today’s digital age, many people are still looking to buy older homes. But often, these buyers are only looking at the surface of the house.

It’s important to look beyond what you can easily see — for instance, check the pipes.

Galvanized Pipes

Plenty of older homes have galvanized piping. A galvanized pipe is made of steel covered with a layer of zinc to protect it. But the zinc erodes from the piping over time, which causes the pipes to fail from the inside. In turn, this leads to different problems like stopped-up toilets and faucets and low water pressure. Sediment will fill the pipes as they corrode, thereby blocking water flow.

Concrete or Cast Iron Pipes

Some older homes have these kinds of pipes. Concrete pipes won’t deteriorate; however, they will shift and move under the home’s foundation. Cast iron pipes, on the other hand, will deteriorate over time just like the galvanized pipes but can eventually disappear.

Lead Pipes

These pipes have a lifespan of a century. Although they wear well, they may leak lead into the drinking water, causing serious health conditions to households.

Copper Pipes

These can be too pricey for home plumbing, but copper pipes are reliable and durable since they are not prone to leaking.

What else to look for?

Thoroughly check the components attached to pipes, water heaters, drains, and other plumbing systems regularly. When they are not maintained properly, huge problems can happen.

A valve on a line might look normal but it may not work well. Just because it is not leaking does not necessarily mean that there’s no problem with it.

How to Manage Plumbing Issues in Older Homes

  • Determine what kind of pipes were installed – Whether the property has copper, galvanized or concrete pipes, let a licensed plumber inspect it. This professional knows if the pipes are still fully functional or already need replacement.
  • Have a professional check the foundation of the property – Aside from the deteriorating pipes, it is also possible that tree roots have strangled the property’s sewer lines. To prevent costly future repairs, ask a certified professional to check the foundation of the sewer lines and septic systems of the property.
  • Renovate – This is the last resort in managing plumbing issues in older homes. Replace the older pipes with new plumbing systems. Also, replace or repair the property’s water lines, drains, vents, and sewer lines.

Prior to buying a house, it’s always best to know and understand the common plumbing problems in older homes. Also, you should have a professional plumber evaluate the property’s current plumbing condition – which is why you should call us today!

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How To Deal With Water Pressure Issues

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Low water pressure is the reduction in the pressure of the water that causes it to fail to reach the top level of the house. It is one of the water pressure issues that homeowners wouldn’t want to experience and deal with.

Identifying the root cause will greatly help in managing the problem. If you don’t determine and fix the main cause, it is highly possible that you will experience the same issue over again. If worse comes to worst, recurrent low water pressure could result in structural damage to the home.

Causes of low water pressure problems

  • Damaged or defective water pressure regulator. This bell-shaped device is preset by manufacturers and often does not need adjusting. But like any device, it gets old and malfunctions.
  • Water or plumbing leaks. Any damage to your home’s plumbing system may cause leaks or water to escape. This results in a decrease in the pressure of water.
  • Debris buildup inside the pipes. Dirt, sand and other debris may enter your plumbing system, which then causes a buildup and blockage in the pipes.
  • Corrosion buildup in pipes. Water causes steel or galvanized piping to corrode. Over time, the corrosion causes sediments to deposit and block passageways.

Dealing with low water pressure 

  • Check the water pressure in your entire house. Check the bathroom, kitchen, basement, and outdoor faucets to identify if the issue appears in one area only or if the entire house is affected.

If you are experiencing low water pressure in a specific area only, such as the sink faucet in the kitchen or the shower in the bathroom, it is highly possible that the aerator, valve, or pipe is clogged. Take off the aerator or valve and clean or replace it.

  • Check for leaks and repair leaking pipes. To detect cracks of damages to pipes that cause leaking, shut off the water valve in your house and check the meter. Come back after some time and check the meter again; if there is an increase in the meter reading, then there is a leak. Minor leaks can be repaired using DIY techniques, but major leaks require the attention of professionals.
  • Check for a malfunctioning water pressure regulator. A problematic pressure regulator needs fixing or replacing. If you are not well-versed in fixing or hooking up a pressure regulator, it is best to leave it to certified plumbers.
  • If corrosion buildup is identified to be the cause of the problem, pipe restoration or pipe replacement should be done.

If you’re in need of help with water pressure issues, contact us 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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Five Fun Facts About Plumbing

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

fun plumbing facts

Five Fun Facts About Plumbing You Probably Never Knew

Let’s plumb the depths of plumbing and learn some fascinating facts about this all-important modern civilization perk. We are going back in history today to share five fun facts about plumbing that you have probably never heard of before. 

  1.   Plumbing Pioneers

As with many things, the Egyptians were first in the field of plumbing. Archeologists have discovered a portion of a water plumbing system at the Pyramid of Cheops. They have also found proof of indoor plumbing in some Egyptian palaces dating back to 2500 BC. Woah! Besides these, the Egyptians also get credit for being the first to use copper piping, which is the primary material we use today in modern plumbing. Give yourself a pat on the back if you knew that fun plumbing fact!

  1.   Plumbing in the USA

Speaking of copper pipes, another of the facts about plumbing you may find interesting is that the US has had more than 28 billion feet (more or less 5.3 miles) of them installed since 1963. The country has enough copper piping to go around the planet 200 times. That’s a lot of plumbing. You can certainly say that we’ve come a long way from 1829 when Boston’s Tremont Hotel became the country’s first hotel to have indoor plumbing.

  1.   The Blessing of a Flushing Toilet

The recorded first flushing water closet can be traced back to the island of Crete. King Minos enjoyed this convenience as early as 2800 years ago. This dispels the urban legend that the inventor of the toilet was one Sir Thomas Crapper. You know who else got to experience a flushing toilet way before the first patent for it was issued by Alexander Cummings in 1775? Queen Elizabeth I. She was built one by her godson, Sir John Harrington. His name is believed to be the origin of the American nickname for toilet, “the john”.

  1.   A Toilet by Any Other Name…

“John” is just one of many monikers that the bathroom has earned. Going back to the Egyptians, you can probably guess why they referred to it as the “house of horror”. Meanwhile, those Romans were entirely too practical in calling it the “necessarium”. Tudor England, on the other hand, held a stiff upper lip and called it the “privy”, short for “house of privacy”. The French certainly didn’t mince their words and rightly called it “la chambre sent” (smelly room).


    Einstein’s True Calling

Albert Einstein was reported to have said that he would have become a plumber if he could do it all over again. This remark pushed the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union in Washington DC to make him an honorary member and a New York plumbers’ local to gift him with a set of gold-plated plumbers’ tools. Can you imagine where those tools live today? 

Why all this toilet talk? Well, people supposedly spend a total of three years of their life on the toilet, so it makes sense to learn what we can about it. These fun facts about plumbing are a good place to start-up random conversation with your Fox Valley plumber when they come to your home. 

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