Before we get started mentioning the plenty of problems your plumbing system may encounter with time and use, it is important to note that at Anthony PHC Kansas City, safety is very important to us.
Of course, there are many things you can do to maintain and check-up on your plumbing system, but if you do not know what you are doing or have a question, don’t hesitate to ask an expert at Anthony PHC.
Faucets aren’t meant to drip unless you have them turned on, if your faucet is, you could have an issue. Not only will your water bill and your bank account suffer from non-stop dripping faucets, but you will be wasting a lot of water every day; let’s face it, water shortages in 2019 are not unheard of.
Tip # 1
Help preserve our resources. If there is a drip, be sure to try and turn the faucets off all of the way; ensure they are tightly closed. If this does not work, then you may want to call a plumbing professional from Anthony PHC Kansas City because this problem may point to an internal issue.
Water Heater Problems
Are you dreaming of taking a warm shower? Perhaps you turn on your shower and only cold water exits…
Tip # 2
This could be a few issues; hopefully, it is as simple as reigniting your pilot light; or it could be composite build-up that needs to be cleaned off by a professional plumber, it could also be that your thermostat may need to be looked at or replaced.
Remember, safety first, do not to touch your water heater if you have no clue what you are doing. If you are comfortable enough, you can light the pilot, but other than this simple task, leave this complicated matter for the professionals at Anthony PHC Kansas City, this way, you’ll receive a proper plumbing diagnosis and fix.
Picture this, you are brushing your teeth, the water is on, then all of the sudden, you look down and notice nothing is draining, the water is stuck in your sink and slowly drains; this is certainly not a pleasant sight. At this point, you need to unclog whatever object is blocking the water from freely flowing down the drain.
Tip # 3
You have a couple of options with this scenario, you can try to run extremely hot water to see if this washes away the debris. Next, you could try using a drain snake, or you could resort to buying a chemical agent that will dissolve the unwanted debris (read and follow the instructions carefully, as the cleaning agent should not come into contact with human skin or pets).
If you decide to use the drain snake, you will need to insert it into the problematic drain, you’ll then have to push the tool down further while turning the handle, keep pushing until you feel the obstruction; now push the debris down and free your pipe.
Is your sink still slow after trying all of the above methods? Anthony PHC Kansas City will rescue your pipes and plumbing in an urgent manner.
So you’re taking a shower, your feet are drenched with overflowing water, considering the tub is not draining…
This is not an ideal experience for anyone, which is why it is important to get to the bottom of this issue immediately.
Tip # 4
If you are brave enough then you can buy or reach for your nearest drain snake, follow the directions, insert it into the bathtub drain and begin to push and twist deep to remove any debris that stands in the way of the water and the outgoing drain.
Dealing with this issue is never ideal as constant water build-up will soon cause mold. Getting your bathtub clog under control is imperative, especially if you don’t want it to affect your main sewer line.
The quickest do-it-yourself method is to use a plunger if your toilet is backed up. First things first, see if you can solve this issue yourself before calling a plumber.
Tip # 5
Make sure that you purchase the right plunger that fits your toilet bowl hole. You will need the dome-shaped area of the plunger to cover the entire hole inside of the toilet. There will also have to be enough still water in the toilet bowl, if not, add water.
Wear gloves and personal protective equipment; position the plunger right over the hole, push down to gain suction and keep pushing down and up—do not break the suction. If you’ve gained good suction, chances are, the clog will diminish after several plunging attempts.
If nothing works, including the drain snake, then you may have a large backup in your main sewer line; never attempt to do this on your own as this process is too complex.
Call Anthony PHC 24/7 at 913-353-8444 or click here to learn more about drains, plumbing, and piping systems. We offer expedited service to everyone because no one should be left with problematic plumbing.
Your sump pump system is your main line of defense against indoor flooding, but only if it is working! If you have a finished basement, or if you are storing valuables in an unfinished basement, you should take regular steps to ensure that your sump pump system is working.
To be well protected against the devastating financial losses associated with indoor flooding, you need to do the following:
- Test your sump pump now, before the torrential rains and power outages do it for you, AND
- Invest in a Battery Back Up Sump Pump if you don’t already have one.
How do I know if my Sump Pump is Working?
Sump pumps get a real workout during the rainy season, and they can stop working at any time. But sitting idle without regular use can also cause them to fail. You should test your sump pump frequently by taking these easy steps:
Step 1: Test the Pump
Fill the pump pit with water and watch to see if the pump activates. If it doesn’t, and you know you have power to the outlet, then the pump needs to be replaced.
Step 2: Watch the Drain
Watch the pump drain water out of its basin. Make sure there are no leaks in the discharge pipe. Go outside to ensure that water is terminating where it is supposed to.
Step 3: Test the Shut-off
Stay until the pump turns off, so you know its shut-off feature is working properly. A pump that won’t shut off will eventually overheat and may stop functioning altogether. If the pump does not shut off automatically, it will need to be repaired or replaced.
If my Sump Pump is Working, Do I Still Need an Additional Battery Backup Sump Pump?
In order to fully defend against indoor flood damage, you need a battery backup sump pump in addition to your regular sump pump. Sump pumps can fail at any time, and they do not warn you ahead of time when this has happened, so a backup pump will provide just that – a second chance at stopping the flood if the primary pump fails. Also, battery backup sump pumps work whether or not the electricity has been lost due to storm activity, and in the Midwest electrical outages are common during the stormy seasons.
A battery backup sump pump will also pump along with your primary pump when there is more water than your primary pump can handle. A backup pump will typically handle 1000 to 2200 gallons per hour. It also has a maintenance alarm to notify you when service is needed.
How Do I Test My Backup Sump Pump?
A battery backup sump pump should be tested in the same way as your regular pump. With the primary sump pump unplugged, run through steps 2 and 3 from above and make sure the pump drains the water and shuts off.
During the testing process, keep an eye on the battery indicator light. If it remains green, it is a good indication that your battery is strong. Fortunately, battery backup sump pumps have alarms that alert homeowners when the battery is nearing the end of its life.
Does the Battery in my Backup Sump Pump require Maintenance?
Some do. Maintenance-free batteries are aptly named, and shouldn’t need maintenance as long as they are being charged. Some backup sump pump batteries are not maintenance-free however; these batteries need to have the water levels checked in their cells every 6 months. If your battery has removable caps on the top of its cells then you will need to keep the water level up. The batteries used for this application are special standby batteries and not car batteries or deep cycle marine batteries. Standby batteries last approximately 5 years.
How Often Should I Replace My Sump Pump?
The average sump pump lasts for about 7 to 9 years. You should replace or repair the pump if it fails any of the tests above.
Here some warning signs that your sump pump might be failing:
- Makes strange noises
- Vibrates excessively
- Infrequent pump usage
- Runs all the time
- Irregular cycling
- Visible rust
- Seven years or older
- Motor sometimes gets stuck
- Motor failure
- Installed by the builder
- Frequent power outages
Check Homeowner’s Insurance
Not all insurance adequately covers damaged valuables or the costly repairs necessary to undo water damage and the mold growth that occurs afterward. Flood insurance riders may not cover damage caused by malfunctioning sump pumps unless you have a sump pump rider, and it still may not cover sump pump failures unless you can prove regular maintenance was done on the unit.
Call Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
A qualified plumbing professional can best make the assessment of whether a sump pump system needs to be repaired or replaced and when, and our plumbers are trained to do just that. Anthony stocks both sump pumps and battery backup sump pumps on all trucks to be available whenever you need them. So don’t hesitate to contact us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO or click here to schedule a visit.
Your sink, toilet or bathtub is clogged. Is the problem at the trap, or the main line, or somewhere in between? The plumbers on our drain remediation team have the tools to quickly analyze your situation and get your drain open and flowing. Our drain remediation trucks carry state-of-the-art video cameras and drain opening equipment so we can diagnose and solve your “drain pain” quickly and professionally.
Diagnosing an Impending Clogged Drain
The best way to handle drain clogs is to avoid them altogether through our annual plumbing inspections, where our plumbers diagnose issues with your pipes that will lead to clogs and solve them before clogs can form. Unfortunately, there are not many warning signs of impending clogs, but if you experience any of these signs you should call in our drain remediation team right away:
Your Drains are Slow
A slow drain is usually the first sign of an issue. As soon as you start to notice your sink, bath or shower draining slower than normal, call us.
Odors are Coming out of Your Drain
Sometimes you will notice an odor due to waste backing up before you actually can see the fluid build up.
Water “Rings” Near a Floor Drain
Sometimes fluid backs up from a floor drain and then goes back down slowly. You may only see the “ring” around the drain since the fluid has already subsided.
How to Open a Clogged Drain
You can treat slow drains with hot water or baking soda and vinegar and hopefully keep clogs at bay, just never use chemical drain openers, and never pour boiling water down PVC pipes. But once a drain becomes fully clogged, there are only two basic ways to open it: plungers (evacuators) and augers (snakes). Occasionally a homeowner can successfully open drains themselves using these tools, but it often takes a professional plumber to remove drain covers, stoppers, traps and clean outs in order to access the clog and remove it.
Plungers and Evacuators
In order for a plunger to work, a tight seal must be formed between the plunger and the sink, tub or toilet to build up enough suction to dislodge the clog from the walls of the pipe. In order to know if the plunger to working, there must be standing water; if the water level goes down you can tell that you are having success. Not all plungers are created equal; if your dollar-store plunger is failing you might try a more expensive version from a home supply store. Plumbers have access to high-suction evacuators that are even more effective than traditional plungers.
Augers and Snakes
There are many types of augers and drain snakes. For bathroom sink and tub clogs, a flexible plastic stick with prongs to grab debris can be effective. For bigger jobs like a clogged toilet, a drain snake can be used. These devices come with hand cranks or motors, and work by swirling a flexible metal cable around in your pipes until the clog breaks up.
The pipework beneath sinks, showers and bathtubs can be very intricate, and it is possible to damage the components using augers or snakes, especially in older homes. Even toilets can be damaged by the use of drain snakes. It is best to have a professional plumber snake your drains rather than risk expensive plumbing repairs.
What Happens During a Drain Remediation Visit
Depending upon where the clog exists, our experts will remove hardware to access the clog. Sometimes this means removing a drain cover, clean out cap, p-trap or sink stopper pop-up mechanism.
Depending on the severity and placement of the clog, the drain remediation expert will either use a high-suction evacuator or auger to dislodge the clog and open the drain. Hot water will then be used to flush the drain and make sure it is running smoothly. A camera will be utilized for major drain pipes to check the integrity of the system. Once the drain is opened and water is flowing freely again, the hardware will be replaced as it was.
How to Avoid a Clogged Drain
There are a variety of different drains around your house that need to be kept open so they work properly and conveniently. Some are easier to maintain than others. Always make conscious decisions about what you put down your drains!
Don’t Treat Your Kitchen Drain and Garbage Disposer Like a Garbage Can
Grease, soap and food waste can take their toll on kitchen drains, clogging them slowly (or quickly) over time. Garbage disposers do not prevent clogs, and they can become clogged or jammed themselves with improper usage. Never put grease down a drain. And even if you have a garbage disposer, use it only for tiny bits of food that cannot be gathered and thrown away in a waste can. Put a strainer on each of your kitchen drains to keep the majority of food waste out of your drains and garbage disposer. And always have cold water running when you turn on your garbage disposer; this keeps oils hard and moving through your pipes instead of coagulating in them.
Put Strainers on Shower and Tub Drains
Hair is biggest danger with shower and tub drains, so make sure there is a strainer on your tubs and shower drains. Regularly remove the hair that builds up on the strainer. Even if you have no hair or little hair, strainers will stop small items like soap pieces, shampoo caps or jewelry from slipping down the drain. There are many different types of strainers, so keep looking until you find one that works for your drain.
Only Flush #1, #2 and Toilet Paper
There are only two items that should be placed in a toilet: toilet paper and human waste. Clogged toilets are often the result of flushing facial tissue, cat litter, feminine products, baby wipes or other products that don’t disintegrate the way toilet paper does.
Protect Bathroom Sink Drains
Clogs in bathroom sinks can result from toothpaste, soap, hair, styling products and other grime. And bathroom sinks with drain stoppers do not accommodate strainers, so extra care must be taken to keep clogging substances out of these drains. Run water the entire time you are brushing your teeth. Consider spitting into a tissue instead of the sink, and use paper towels to wipe styling products and hair from your hands before you rinse them off. And if you get sick, run to the toilet, never to the sink.
Keep Debris Out of Floor Drains
Floor drains capture soap from cleaning products and laundry detergent that can build up scale over time. They are also susceptible to receiving any kind of dirt, debris or trash that kind finds its way to the floor, which can clog them up quickly. Never sweep anything into a floor drain other than water.
Get Your Sewer Drain Snaked Regularly
If water backs up in your floor drains or toilet after using large amounts of water, it probably means your sewer pipe is clogged. These are the pipes that run from your house to either the city sewer or to your septic tank.
Sewer drains are at risk of being clogged by the same items that clog your interior pipes. But an additional risk to sewer drains is plant roots that seek an easy way to water sources through your sewer pipe. Trees and bushes in your landscaping can clog sewer drains quickly, depending upon the growing season, so regular snaking of outside drains is recommended to keep roots from taking over. Also pay attention to where your sewer pipes are buried; driving over them or parking on them can cause them to collapse and require them to be replaced.
Get your septic tank inspected regularly. Opening up your sewer drain will do you no good if your septic tank is not operating properly. If you have a septic tank, make sure that the motor is running correctly, the laterals are in good shape and the drain pipe is open all the way to the drainage area on your property. Septic tanks on a routine inspection plan with a qualified septic tank specialist should run properly for years with no major issues.
Install a Water Softener
Hard water is a big contributor to clogged pipes. Minerals in the water from our public water sources build up in pipes over time and is difficult to get rid of this scale once it is deposited. There are many types of water softeners; the tanks that require bags of salt are just one of the many options. Some filters can be placed easily and affordably on your main water intake that will lengthen the life of your plumbing significantly.
Get an Annual Plumbing Inspection
We cannot stress enough how much an annual plumbing inspection can save you money. Preventing drain clogs is just one of those ways. Professional plumbers can assess the condition of your pipes, faucets, toilets, water heater, water softener, water filtration system, sump pump, exterior hydrants and even the hoses attached to your washing machine, dishwasher and refrigerator, and implement preventative steps to save your home and your plumbing from expensive repairs.
Opening Drains vs. Cleaning Drains
There are two solutions to getting rid of clogs; opening drains and cleaning drains. Our drain remediation specialists are fully equipped to provide both drain opening and drain cleaning services.
Opening drains is a fast and affordable solution that most homeowners choose, but it may not be the best long term solution. Opening drains removes all the clogs from a drain, so water can pass freely through your plumbing.
When drain clogs are a more constant problem, we sometimes recommend a full drain cleaning. Cleaning drains involves removing all sediment from the walls of the pipes instead of just opening them. Though cleaning a drain is more time-consuming than opening a drain, it generally keeps your drains running smoothly for a longer period of time.
Call Us Any Time of the Day or Night
You are too busy for clogged drains, we get it – that’s why we are here 24/7 to respond, and have plumbers and drain remediation specialist in your neighborhood until midnight, even on weekends. And remember, we are the “Technicians You Can TRUST with your House Keys!®”, so you don’t even have to be at your home when we visit.
Call us anytime at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO; that’s 913-268-4669 or 816-268-4669. Or complete our Online Scheduling form at https://www.anthonyphc.com/schedule-service/ and we will give you a call.