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It’s Important to Sanitize and Clean Your Faucet Aerator

It’s Important to Sanitize and Clean Your Faucet Aerator

The sink is one of the most vital elements in a home, providing the water needed to quench thirst, cook food and wash away grime. For all of the value it brings, the least that homeowners can do is to clean the faucet aerator every few months. Why is the Aerator Important? The faucet aerator is a small and unseen component of your plumbing system that comes into play every time you use the sink. Without an aerator, the water that pours out of the faucet would try to force its way out as quickly as it can, resulting in unstable streams of water that splash into one another and just makes a mess. Once the aerator is installed, gaps of air between the streams help keep them from bumping into one another, reducing any splashing to what happens when the stream hits the basin or a dish. Besides the immediate and tangible benefit, forcing air into the stream cuts down on the amount of water used, effectively lowering your water bill every time it goes to work. It also helps remove small particulates from the water for a healthier drink. Why Do I Need to Clean It? Because the faucet aerator is similar in function to a filter, bits of dirt and other debris can build up around the openings and cause the water stream to redevelop the pressure issues that were fixed by the aerator. These contaminants can also impact the taste and smell of your water by steadily leaching into the stream right before it reaches your mouth. How to Clean the Aerator Remove the Aerator from...
Tap Water Taste Icky? Here’s What You Need to Do

Tap Water Taste Icky? Here’s What You Need to Do

Taking a sip from your tap and recoiling from a peculiar flavor may leave you panicking about the safety of your water. Instead of worrying without direction, use these guidelines to help determine how you should proceed if you suspect your tap water is contaminated. What’s Making Your Water Taste Funny? Our senses of taste and smell developed as a way to identify the chemical compositions of the items around us. Certain biological conditions such as pregnancy or sickness can affect the way our senses perceive the world around us so that they may cause a sudden change in your water’s taste. Even habits like drinking sugar-laden sodas and coffees can impact how you perceive the water’s taste. To rule them out, have multiple people perform a taste test. Once you have a broad sample of taste test results, you can use them to narrow down the potential list of contaminants. A metallic taste may indicate that relatively harmless metals like iron or copper are being leached from the pipes along the water’s path, but it can also be a warning sign of hazardous lead used in home plumbing prior to being outlawed. If there is an earthen or rotting taste, biological matter from algae may be sifting through the water. You might want to ask your neighbors to see if they are experiencing a similar taste. For larger homes and office buildings, be sure to take samples from multiple locations to rule out localized sources of contamination. If your taste testing is inconclusive or you want immediate and clear results, you can skip these steps entirely and purchase...
Take Precautions to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

Take Precautions to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

Nearly everyone knows that frozen and burst pipes can wreak havoc on your home in the middle of the winter. Preparing your pipes in the fall before old man winter arrives may save you a bundle on costly repairs and will alleviate the aggravation of replacing outside pipes and spigots in the spring. Follow these simple steps to prepare your home inside and out for winter and say goodbye to worries about frozen or burst pipes. Outside Water Sources It’s easy to overlook outside faucets and spigots in the fall, but neglecting them now may mean replacing them in the spring. Follow these tips for taking care of your outside pipes this fall. Remove and drain garden hoses. Water left in the garden hose can freeze and cause the hose to break or crack. Once it is drained, store the hose in the garage or garden shed until spring. Shut off the water supply to faucets. Look in the basement for the main shut off to all outside fixtures. Open the faucets and let the water in the pipe drain completely. This prevents standing water from freezing in the pipe during the winter. Turn off all faucets. If you have outside spigots, now is the time to shut them off and cover them with a cap. This will prevent ice and snow from building up around the faucet and causing winter damage. Don’t forget lines to pools, fountains and other water features! Inside Plumbing Preventing the plumbing in your home from freezing is important too. Follow these tips for winterizing your inside plumbing. Seal all cracks around the basement...
Why Does My Drain Smell?

Why Does My Drain Smell?

There is nothing quite like a sparkling clean kitchen to set the mood for family gatherings or holiday meals. Stray odors from your drains can ruin the effect and leave your kitchen feeling dirty. Understanding what causes the odor is the first step to getting rid of it. If you are suffering from stinky drains, consider these causes and what you can do about it. Sources of Smelly Drain Odors How you get rid of drain odors depends on the cause of the odor. There are three major causes of a smelly kitchen sink. Each requires its own method for combating the odor. Consider these cause of kitchen drain odors: Strong Smelling Foods: Sometimes recently cooked foods are the cause of your stinky drains. Foods like fish, broccoli, onions and garlic can leave lingering odors, especially if they are allowed to sit for several hours before the dishes are washed or the cooking water is poured down the drain. These drain odors are only temporary and can typically be removed by neutralizing them. Rotten Food Odor: It is normal for some food particles to build up in your drain over time. This typically occurs because you have washed grease from meats and poultry, fats from sauces and dairy or other sticky substances down the drain. The fats and grease build up a thin layer on the inside of the pipes, setting the stage for trapping tiny food particles as they are flushed down the drain. When the food particles begin to decay, the odor comes up the drain giving off a nasty odor. Sewer Gases: Sewer gases can enter your home through...
Overusing Liquid Plumbers Can Mess Up Your Drains

Overusing Liquid Plumbers Can Mess Up Your Drains

If you are a homeowner, you already know how frustrating clogged or slow-moving drains can be. It’s natural to reach for a timely solution, like liquid plumbers, to whisk away the clogs and return your life to normal. The problem is: while liquid plumbers can provide a quick solution to your woes, they can also cause damage to your plumbing if they are not used with caution. Consider the effects of liquid plumbers on your pipes before you rely on them to solve your plumbing problems. How Do Liquid Plumbers Work? Liquid plumbers come in several formulas designed to attack specific types of clogs. Nearly all of them contain lye (sodium hydroxide) and bleach (sodium chloride). The two chemicals work together to create a chemical reaction that releases heat. The heat dissolves grease and organic matter, while the bleach eats through soap scum and hair.  Some formulas also contain peroxide to create a foaming action that coats the pipes and removes residues. Are Liquid Plumbers Safe? Liquid plumbers are safe for occasional use to get your drains flowing freely again. They are easy to use and restore your drains to normal function within 15 minutes if the source of the clog is a simple buildup of soap scum and residue in the drain. They may work on tougher clogs by eating away the residue around an object and allowing the water to flow around the clog, giving you the impression that your problems have been solved. If there is an object in the drain, though, the problem will likely return as gunk from waste water building up around it. If this is...
Check Your Home’s Plumbing Before You Sell to Get Top Dollar at Closing

Check Your Home’s Plumbing Before You Sell to Get Top Dollar at Closing

Proper staging, curb appeal and competitive pricing are all things you need to keep in mind when you’re putting your home on the market. However, did you think about the fact that the inside of your home might need a little work to get ready to pass inspection as well? Depending on the age of your home, giving a little love to your plumbing may save you from the need to make costly upgrades at closing. Keep reading to learn plumbing tips to save money and get your home’s pipes in tip-top shape for sale. Bathroom Refresh Bathrooms are a huge selling point for houses. Since they can absorb (pun intended) a great deal of damage from moisture, you’ll want to pay special attention to this small room. Replacing leaky faucets and inspecting groaning pipes are items that are best done by a professional plumber, but you won’t need a pro to replace aging shower heads or add a little caulk around the sink or tub. Know Your Pipes Understanding what type of pipes your home has is key to knowing whether or not your buyer will request an upgrade before agreeing to make the purchase. While nearly all metal pipes are good for 70-100 years, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes only last 25-40 years and may need to be replaced or repaired even sooner if they haven’t been well-maintained. If your home is 50+ years old, having a reputable plumber come to examine your pipes is a smart idea so you can avoid surprises when it comes time for your home’s final inspection. Look for Leaks Look out for leaks and corrosion...