Tureks Plumbing Services Blog: Posts Tagged ‘sewer and drain’

Expert Tips on Preventing Frozen Pipes

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Preventing Frozen Pipes in the Winter 2021

Iexpert tips on preventing frozen pipesn Wisconsin, winters can be fairly pleasurable; snow days provide the ideal setting for a range of entertaining outdoor activities. Extreme cold weather, on the other hand, may cause issues; many houses must deal with keeping frozen pipes from restricting the water supply, but it can also cause pipes to break, and will then be in need of Pipe Repair Appleton WI. It’s a good idea to understand how to protect your pipes from ice up when temps dip into the negatives to save additional costs and hassles, as well as to prevent your pipes from busting. The following are some of the most important recommendations from your Plumber Appleton Wisconsin

Install insulation in attics and crawl spaces where pipes run through. 

Pipe insulation can be purchased from local hardware stores or home centers. Don’t be quick to buy just any type of insulation, however; get professional advice from plumbing maintenance Appleton WI on how thick the material should be to effectively prevent your pipes from freezing up when the weather turns unexpectedly cold.

Heating cables and tapes would be good alternatives to insulation foam. 

Fox Valley plumbers say that the best choice is a heating cable with a built-in thermostat and UL label. This cable will automatically turn the heat on when it’s needed; that means you don’t have to worry if you’re out of town or fast asleep when temperatures suddenly drop.

Open Doors

On days when it’s unusually cold and there’s a real risk of pipes freezing, opening the doors to the cabinets under the kitchen and bathroom sinks will help. Sacramento Plumbing Contractors at Gilmore Heating and Air, states the conditioned air provided by your home’s HVAC system will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. That warm air will help neutralize the cold a bit so you don’t have to worry about your pipes freezing. Drain the exterior pipes — especially if you’ll be going away for a few days.

Place some insulation sleeves around your exterior pipes.

Allow faucets to drip slowly to keep water flowing through the pipes. Movement will prevent the water from turning into ice. Just keep the faucet open — this way, you’ll be able to monitor if water has frozen inside and you need to introduce heat to the pipes to melt it (a hair dryer with a high heat setting will do the trick). Also, keeping the faucet open will ease the pressure inside the pipe that can cause it to burst.

Contact Tureks Plumbing Today For Frozen Pipe Repair

Apply these tips to your home and you can be sure that the harsh cold of winter will translate to savoring hot cocoa by the fireplace, sledding down the hills, and building snowmen instead of arranging for costly repairs due to frozen or burst pipes.

Be sure to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

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

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What Is a Sewer Cleanout?

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Sewer Cleanout

What Is a Sewer Cleanout? 2021

A home’s plumbing system is an intricate network. One of the most important components of this network is a sewer cleanout. When you ned a sewer cleanout in Appleton, WI, you can always trust Tureks Plumbing. We provide 24/7 emergency plumbing. Below, we discuss sewer cleanout and what you can expect. 

What is a sewer cleanout?

According to trusted Wisconsin plumbers that service Fox Valley and Applegate residences, the sewer cleanout is a capped pipe that enables people to gain access to a clogged sewer line so that they can clean out any blockages. It is a requirement for the connection of the house’s main drain to the house sewage. Usually located no more than three feet past the edge of the home, homeowners can identify it by the “S” stamped on the concrete or painted on the curb. Underneath this marker is the home’s sewer line which is connected to the city sewer. However, for homes with a septic system, the cleanout is placed between the house and the septic tank.

If it’s placed where it should be it usually comes with a cap that says “clean out.”

Do all homes have a sewer cleanout?

The short answer is no. Not all homes are built to code therefore some houses actually do not have one and just rely on a basement cleanout. These homes are at a great risk of indoor flooding due to the build-up of debris in the drainage system, says our friends at Gilmore Heating and Air, a trusted Sacramento plumber

Are cleanouts always located in the same places?

For homes that are built to code, the answer is usually. However, a lot of residences have the sewers added after the construction of the home. To locate the cleanout for such houses, plumbers typically just follow the line from the street side connection and the house.

Do homes have only one cleanout?

A lot of homes actually have multiple sewer cleanouts. The extra cleanouts are often capped stubs or pipes sticking out of exterior walls, and they can also be found in basements and crawl spaces. At times, they are even located in the attic for the easy removal of obstructions in the vent of the drainage system. Multiple cleanouts are created for the convenience of accessing both lateral and vertical drains in people’s homes.

Sewer cleanouts, however, are believed to be the most essential because this help prevent drains in the house from getting backed up and directing water (dirty water, mind you) back into the house.

Given the special function of a sewer cleanout, it’s imperative that plumbing professionals install it correctly. Your Fox Cities plumbers at Turek’s Plumbing advise homeowners to save up for a sewer cleanout. It can be helpful to have a cleanout installed if there are repetitive blockages in the drainage system. If you’re having difficulty with your plumbing system, contact Tureks Plumbing today! 

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

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Slow Drain Septic System Problems

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Slow Drain Septic System Problems: Signs, Causes, and How to Fix Them

The bathroom is one of the dirtiest places in your home since different types of bacteria can be found here. Once you have a drainage or septic system problem, you will consider your toilet even more unsanitary and a hassle to use.

Signs of a Septic System Issue

Septic system problems are more common in houses and buildings that have already been in use for many years. Some of the signs that indicate you already have this kind of plumbing problem are:

  • Water is draining slowly from the shower, bathtub, sink, and other areas
  • The sound of gurgling from the tub or sink when a toilet is flushed
  • Water backing up in toilets, tubs, and sinks
  • Water puddles on the grounds on your lawn
  • The smell of sewage odors outdoors

Possible Causes

There are several reasons why you have a problematic or slow drain septic system. The most common one is the overuse of the system. This means that too many people are using or too much water is being used in the household or building that the usage has gone beyond the system’s capacity.

Another common cause of this problem is the lack of or delay in inspection, maintenance, and pumping. Once your septic tank becomes full, the filter in the outlet baffle will start to plug. This plugging action will cause the water level inside the tank to rise which will restrict the flow of effluent.

Finally, your septic system may not be working properly if something is clogging the pipes or drains. Grease, food, certain sanitary products, toys, or even pieces of clothes can be stuck somewhere in the pipes and cause the slow drain or the system’s malfunction.

Getting Things Back to Normal

If the reason behind your slow drain problem is a blockage, you can remove the clog by using some tools at home. However, harder clogs and blockages will require the use of a plumbing snake; in such instances, it is best to call in experts to do the job to avoid further damaging your plumbing and septic system.

Calling in professional plumbers at the onset of a problem is always a smart idea since the contractors will know how and where to identify the issue quickly. In case you have slow draining fixtures, plumbers will check the drain-vent system. If the problem is in this area, they have the expertise, tools, and equipment to fix the issue. Also, if you already have a failed septic system, qualified plumbers will be able to detect this easily. Depending on the particular problem and design of your system, the professional plumbers will give you sound advice on whether it is best to have your system repaired or replaced.

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A Guide to Locating Leaky Pipes

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Appleton Plumber Provides Advice in Locating Leaky Pipes

Isn’t it just annoying when you find a puddle in your house and you’re not sure what or who created it? Before you conduct your sleuthing, tough, you better wipe it up first lest somebody slips on it.If water no longer reappears after wiping up the area, it’s quite likely that somebody just spilled something on the floor. However, if a new puddle forms, one of the possible causes is a leaky pipe.

If you suspect that you indeed have leaky pipes, the plumbers trusted by Fox Valley and Applegate residents have an easy guide, provided below, that you can follow to locate where the leaks are.

How to take care of the problem

  1. Wipe up the puddle again and then place paper towels or bags around the area where you found the puddle. The leak may be coming from under the floor or from the pipes located on the walls or overhead. If a drip falls, it will surely leave a spot and it’s going to be easy finding where the drip came from.
  2. Do check supply lines or water-using appliances around the area as well. They may have rips or splits, or hoses that have come loose. Turn on the water to see if there are leaks anywhere and then turn the supply off once you see a puddle forming somewhere. It helps to perform this task to establish whether your damaged plumbing system or something else causes the puddle.
  3. Once you identify where the leak is coming from, see if you can perform a remedial job that can control the leak until you can get a plumber to carry out a proper repair.
  4. Now, if you no longer see a puddle after wiping it up, this doesn’t mean that there’s no leak. Observe the area for the next few days because it may just be a slow leak and it only creates a puddle when certain activities at home increase water pressure. You also need to take care of slow leaks because over time, they may get worse. Have your plumber have a look at them so preventive work can be carried out.

If you simply cannot find where the accumulation of water is coming from, set an appointment with your plumber right away. Leaks are no light issues; they can be the cause of accidents, they can attract moisture-loving pests (cockroaches, moths, spiders, and rodents), they can encourage the proliferation of harmful bacteria and molds, they can cause damage to other structural elements of your house or to your furniture, and they can create a spike in your water bill. Contact one of our Appleton, WI plumbers today!

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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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Troubleshooting Common Garbage Disposal Issues

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Consistent sanitary practices must start in the home. Proper waste management must be observed by each and every household member, and this includes the proper usage of the garbage disposal installed under the sink.

What is a garbage disposal?

It is a device installed under the kitchen sink necessary for shredding food and grinding other waste into very tiny pieces, allowing them to pass through the sewerage system.

Essential parts and function of a garbage disposal

  • Hopper Chambers – There are two parts: the upper chamber for storing food waste straight from the sink, and the lower chamber for collecting shredded and pulverized garbage.
  • Insulated Motor – This is necessary for spinning the flywheel and impellers fast enough to obtain processed garbage. This is generally connected to the electrical switch for ease and safety.
  • Shredder Ring – This is the teeth-like shredder located right after the upper hopper chamber. It is the garbage disposal blade.
  • Flywheel and Impellers – These two main parts are responsible for bringing the food waste to the shredder ring. They work hand in hand with the shredder ring to efficiently grind and pound the garbage.
  • Reset button – This is found underneath the device. It plays a very crucial role in troubleshooting an overheated garbage disposal unit.
  • Waste Line Connector – This is where the processed garbage passes through when flushed down the sewer or septic system.

What to do when things go wrong?

When you are well-informed about the different parts and functions of your unit, you’ll generally know how to troubleshoot simple and common garbage disposal issues such as overheating, clogging or jamming, and having no power at all.

It is also recommended that you become aware of the warning signals that your disposal is unable to function properly. Signs include a foul odor, leaks, and a strange noise coming from the unit.

Determine if the problem can be fixed with simple troubleshooting or if it requires professional help.

An overheating garbage disposal unit may simply require pushing the reset button. If resetting doesn’t work, check the source of power. Something might have gone wrong with the circuit breaker.

A jammed garbage disposal can be fixed by helping the impellers move. Before touching the inside of the unit, turn off the circuit breaker for safety. Then you can proceed and try to dislodge the blockage underneath.

A foul odor indicates that the unit may be clogged or blocked. It means that the unit is unable to do its function of grinding food waste into pieces, which is why they don’t get flushed down the drain. This may also indicate that the blades or shredder aren’t sharp enough. Situations like these will need professional services.

Finally, a strange noise and water leaks must also be checked immediately by trained professionals as these signs indicate a much more serious problem. Call us today if you’re having a problem!

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7 Ways to Effectively Prevent and Clear Clogs in Your Drain

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Clogs in the drain are household inconveniences that can be avoided. Since many are easily disgusted by the backflow of murky water caused by a clog in its usual path, it’s important to know what shouldn’t be done in order to prevent these blockages from building up inside drains.

As such, professional plumbers in Wisconsin have listed seven effective ways to prevent clogs below, as well as solutions to clogged drains that you can apply.

Don’t pour cooking grease into the sink.

It may be liquid in form when you pour it in, but an instant change in temperature can cause it to solidify. In Wisconsin, where it’s often cold, grease poured down the sink will harden in drain tubes right away, according to professional plumbers who service Applegate and Fox Valley residents.

Don’t dump coffee grounds in the sink.

Sure, these won’t harden in the drains and can be pushed down by the strong flow of water, but they can build up over time, especially if they get caught in hardened grease.

Don’t flush hair down your bathroom drains.

Hair doesn’t deteriorate and it can get entangled with the different elements present in your drain. Use a drain cover and throw away hair in the trash instead. It’s nasty, but what’s nastier is fishing out a huge hairball from your drain that’s preventing water from flushing away from your house.

If grease is already clogging your drain, the quickest solution to use is boiling hot water.

The hot temperature will turn grease into liquid again and it will mix with hot water and flow down the drain easily.

Another solution for clogs created by grease and soap scum is a solution of baking soda and vinegar.

This solution will corrode clogs and clear the drain. Not only that, baking soda and vinegar have disinfecting properties too, so if your drains are getting to be really stinky, the solution can take care of that as well.

To get rid of soap scum and hair, you can also try lye.

If you’re not familiar with lye, it’s a chemical that is used to perm the hair and it’s also used for soaps. Since it’s potent enough to alter the shape of or even burn hair, it’s effective in dissolving clogs in the drain. Make sure that you only use a small amount of lye because it’s a caustic substance.

For clogged garbage disposals, try filling an ice cube tray with equal parts of vinegar and water. Freeze the mixture of vinegar and water, and when you have ice cubes, dump them in the garbage disposal. The acidity from the vinegar will clean the drain and its chips will scrape grease off the drain walls. 

If you’re suffering from a clogged drain, schedule an appointment with us today!

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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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