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What Might Be Causing Your Yard Leaks?

What Might Be Causing Your Yard Leaks?

If your yard suddenly becomes waterlogged or soggy with no logical reason, it is likely that your plumbing has sprung a leak. Leaks that occur in the summer may cause standing water, sunken areas or even a patch of lush green grass that seems to grow faster than the surrounding lawn. Occasionally, you may even notice a jet or spray of water springing from the ground. Uncovering the source of your yard leak may be easier than you think. Signs of Yard Leaks Standing water and soggy soil are obvious signs of yard leaks, but there are more subtle signs to look for too. High water bill. This may be one of the first signs you notice as it may take a while for the soil to become saturated enough to show signs of waterlogging or soggy soil. Decrease in water pressure. You may notice the water pressure in your home isn’t as strong as it used to be as water constantly seeps out into your yard. Sounds of running water. If you have a leak in the yard, you may hear running water in your pipes inside your home as they work to supply water to the outside source. What Causes Yard Leaks? Yard leaks occur when the plumbing to outside sources breaks or springs a leak. The three most common sources are: Main Water Line Break Sewer Line Break Irrigation System Break How Do You Find the Source? To determine the source of your yard leak, you will need to do a little detective work. The first step is to determine the exact location. If water is visibly...
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...