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Are Wipes Flushable? Fact or Fiction?

Are Wipes Flushable? Fact or Fiction?

Adult wipes have become increasingly common in bathrooms around the world as an alternative to toilet paper. The problem is that people are flushing these wipes, and that’s a very bad habit, both at home and in any other bathroom. Here’s why flushing those wipes can be dangerous for your plumbing system — and may cause a lot of extra expenses too. Clogs Can Get Bad These wipes aren’t designed like toilet paper and cannot easily break apart in water (even some toilet paper struggles with this). They are just too durable, which can cause major problems when they are flushed and don’t disintegrate soon enough. Many of the most famous sewer clogs of recent years have been traced back to wipes that just won’t go away. The same thing can happen in your home on a smaller scale, causing troublesome toilet backups. Sewage and Septic Systems Suffer Those wipes that won’t easily disintegrate eventually enter the sewage system or (depending on your setup) your septic tank. These systems are designed specifically to break down waste over a period of time. Items that won’t decompose fast enough can disrupt this process and eventually cause long-term problems. “Flushable” Wipes Really Aren’t Flushable Some wipes are marketed as flushable, with assurances that they will decompose quickly. The problem is that there aren’t many guarantees that this is true (although some cities are working on regulations to help solve this problem). Many brands are guilty of letting people assume the wipes can be flushed when really they should be thrown away instead. Other brands may claim they are flushable, but the results appear to...
Drain Cleaning Myths

Drain Cleaning Myths

Have a clogged drain? It’s a common issue for all homeowners, but it’s important to not make the assumptions that too many people believe when confronted with a clog. These myths aren’t just untrue, but they can also lead to bad decisions that can make your plumbing problem even worse — and more expensive to repair. So when confronted with a drain problem, don’t fall into these thinking traps! Here’s why they’re wrong. All My Drains Work the Same Your home actually has several different sets of pipes! They are not all connected (although some of them are), and they have different tasks and features. Drain pipes, for example, collect all the water you pour from faucets (typically “gray” water) and safely dispose of it. Waste pipes collect polluted water from toilets and similar sources and route it to septic tanks and sewers. Vent pipes are designed to remove nasty gases created by the other pipes, giving them a way out through a roof vent or similar vent. All this means that a clog may affect some parts of the house, but not all your plumbing, depending on where it originates and what it does. Sometimes clog effects can be very difficult to predict if you don’t know how your plumbing works. Drain Cleaners Can Fix the Problem Liquid drain cleaners are usually designed to “burn” through a clog and restore proper water flow. This can work on very mild clogs, such as a bundle of hair that won’t quite get washed away. However, any substantial clog is unlikely to be affected by drain cleaners, and they can cause...
What is the Difference Between Conventional and Tankless Water Heaters?

What is the Difference Between Conventional and Tankless Water Heaters?

While the conventional, tank-based water heater has been popular in residential houses for decades, a new type of water heater is on the rise. These are called “tankless” heaters, and they’re focused on saving money, conserving energy, and delivering faster hot water. Let’s dig in deeper and look at what separates conventional and tankless heaters. Conventional Water Heaters Conventional water heaters use large tanks to store and heat water so that it is available at any time, which is why they are often called storage water heaters. The water in the tank is heated to a specific temperature, typically through a gas burner or heating element. Sensors detect when the water is the proper temperature (with some variation in settings), and the water heater holds that temperature throughout the day. When you turn the hot water on, the water is siphoned from the top of the tank. Most tanks tend to have a capacity between 20 and 120 gallons, but only a portion of that is typically available as hot water. This option has been a popular choice because it works. The tanks have enough room to store plenty of hot water, and that water is always available, particularly for larger projects (or long hot showers). However, there are also some downsides. If a family is too large for a hot water tank and has already cut back on water use, the only solution is to upgrade to a larger tank size. Also, remember that storage water heaters need to continually use energy to keep the water in the tank at a high temperature. Over time, that can waste...
Why is My Water Heater Making Noise?

Why is My Water Heater Making Noise?

Your water heater typically sits quietly in an unused corner of the house, doing its job. However, sometimes those water tanks can get noisy. It’s no surprise that homeowners start to worry when water heaters start banging, popping, and thumping like they are about to jump free! Usually, this is caused by an issue with sediment buildup. Here’s what that means for you. Common Causes — Sediment Buildup Sediment refers to small mineral particles that can accumulate in your hot water tank, but that doesn’t mean your water is dirty. A certain amount of mineral particles are typically bonded to household water, usually harmless calcium and lime. A high amount of these particles means that water is “hard,” which affects things like how it tastes and how it interacts with surfactants (soap), etc. A low amount of particles means that water is “soft.” If the water in your region tends to be hard, you may be more at risk for problems like a loud, banging water heater. The reason sediment builds up in the tank is because of the heat. As the water heats up, the bonds that hold the mineral particles in place loosen, and they drift down to the bottom of the tank. Over time, this can build up into a thick layer. As water is heated and rises in the tank, it needs to push past that layer of sediment. As a result, water bubbles will eventually explode through the sediment layer to freedom; this is what causes the loud noise. Problems and Solutions These little water explosions aren’t immediately dangerous, but they can cause serious problems over...
The Benefits of a Hydro Jetter

The Benefits of a Hydro Jetter

Fall is officially here! Now is the perfect time to check some items off your fall to-do list. Instead of tackling these chores the traditional way, why not use a hydro jetter to make the job easier? Here’s what you need to know. What is a Hydro Jetter? A hydro jetter is similar to a power washer, but packs four times as much power. This power makes it easy to remove clogs from drains as well as debris from your gutters and downspouts. How Does a Hydrojetting Work? Hydrojetting is a fairly simple concept. The hose is placed at the beginning of your drain or gutter system and the pressure is turned on. This pressure will blast any debris out of its way, cleaning the pipe or gutter as it goes. It has enough power to remove the buildup, but not enough to cause any damage. For long lasting results, hydrojetting is the way to go. When to Use a Hydro Jetter Are you experiencing clogs in your gutters or downspouts? Before using a hydro jetter, there are some things you can try first. Depending on the last time you cleaned out your gutters, the pressure of a garden hose may be able to do the trick. If this option doesn’t work, the next step is to try a drain snake. Still not working? It’s time to bring in a hydro jetter. Because this option has 4 times as much pressure as your typical pressure washer, it can easily remove gunk from your downspouts. Gutters and downspouts lead water away from your home. If clogged gutters are ignored, this...