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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 Importance of Sump Pump Maintenance

The Importance of Sump Pump Maintenance

You may not realize it, but you have a two-way agreement with your sump pump. You depend on it to keep your basement free of water, and it depends on you to keep it clean and running well.  Your sump pump needs regular maintenance, and this is true whether it’s recently been called upon to do its job during a rainy stretch, or sitting idle through days and days of sunshine and scant rain. Sump Pump Maintenance Most plumbing professionals recommend doing a simple maintenance every three or four months, then a more comprehensive one yearly. But whichever you are about to do, first make sure it’s working. Remove the covering to the sump pit and clear it of any accumulated debris. Then to make sure it’s running, pour enough water into the pit so it rises to a level of nine inches or so. At this point, the float should rise, the motor should kick in, and you should see water flowing out the exit pipe or hose. If not, make sure the power is on. If this is not the problem, you need to call your plumber to take a look. But let’s assume everything is working so you can start your maintenance. Quarterly Maintenance Before you do anything, disconnect the power supply. Remove the pump inlet screen and thoroughly clean it. Some pumps have an inlet opening instead. Reconnect the power cord to the power supply. That’s it. That wasn’t so bad, was it? But before you go, check the sump pit basin. If all the water drained out while you were cleaning it, fill the pit with water before you turn the power back on so...
Why a Sump Pump is a Necessity in Your Home

Why a Sump Pump is a Necessity in Your Home

Contrary to what some people think, the need for sump pumps is not limited to homes in flood zones or extremely rainy climates. Water can saturate the ground and build up under and around the perimeter of your home’s foundation, and from there, can migrate into your basement or crawlspace. This is especially true if you have a high water table. Have you thought about installing one to keep your basement flood free?  What You Risk by Not Having a Sump Pump The accumulation of water can result in any or all of a homeowner’s worst fears, some of which include: Flood. If torrential rains occur, the ground becomes quickly saturated, and with nowhere else to go, the accumulating rain flows into the basement, where it can ruin everything stored in the basement, or it can cause structural damage. Fire. If the rising water reaches basement appliances like the washer, dryer, water heater, furnace or even worse the panel box, it can short them. Short circuits can easily lead to an electrical fire. Mold and Mildew. Even if flooding does not occur, constant dampness provides optimal conditions for mold and mildew. Not only does this result in a musty odor that permeates everything in the basement, but it can also lead to health problems like asthma and skin conditions. Installing a sump pump to remove water minimizes these risks. It also relieves hydrostatic pressure which can cause cracks in the foundation. Sump Pits To effectively rid your home of accumulated water, the sump pump should be installed below floor level. Therefore, step number one is to dig a hole called a sump pit and line it with gravel. Being the lowest point in the basement, the pit will serve as a reservoir for any excess...
4 Signs Your Commercial Drain Needs Repaired

4 Signs Your Commercial Drain Needs Repaired

As a company owner, you rely on all the systems in your commercial property to operate properly so that you can conduct your business. One of the most important systems in your building is the plumbing. When the system backs up, it can affect your employees and your clients. Below are four signs that your commercial drain may need to be repaired or unblocked. If you experience any of these symptoms, then contact a Crawford Mechanical Services plumbing specialist today. Bellying Bellies are low spots within your sewer line. When this occurs, paper and solids can settle in the low spot and cause what is known as a “soft blockage.” This is a common problem with sewer lines that use PVC pipe, but it can be easily fixed by a plumber. The Drain is Backed Up The most obvious sign that there is something wrong with the drain is that the water is backed up and won’t flush. There could be numerous reasons for this that range from tree root penetration to substance buildup. In a commercial building, drain backup can lead to flooding quickly since multiple people are using the plumbing system throughout the day. Flooding If you own a building that has multiple floors, and you notice water spots or worse, running water anywhere in the building, then it’s a safe bet that there is damage somewhere in the drain lines. The damage can be caused by pipes that are corroded, punctured or have loose connections. If you notice that water is present in areas where it shouldn’t be, then you need to hire a certified plumber to fix the problem immediately. Leaky drains...