Top 7 Residential Plumbing Care Tips for Boston Homeowners

Boston plumbersMost people take their plumbing system in Boston for granted. It may work fine today, but the next day, something could go wrong. If not properly maintained and promptly fixed, leaks or broken taps can become worse overtime. 
 
The problem gets bigger when we don’t pay attention to things. Sure, it may seem like a small faucet or a few drops of water here and there. But the real concern is: How much water is it wasting? How much money is thrown away?
 
Plumbing problems, big or small need immediate attention. That’s a fact. As a homeowner, it is also important to know beforehand what to do in case of a plumbing emergency. 
 
Do you know where your home’s water shut-off valve is located? Do you know who to call for help? Do you have basic plumbing tools in case you have to make temporary repairs?
 
Let us help you tick one off your to-do list. When you need an emergency plumber in Boston, call us! We have the best technicians in the area, and you can be sure that our services are of high-quality and reasonably priced.
 
We’ve been recommended by hundreds of residents all throughout the Massachusetts, even in you search for Boston plumber in Yelp. Our professional contractors respect your time and property. From plumbing fixtures to heating maintenance, we’ve got you covered.
 
First, let’s talk about garbage disposals.
 
There is no denying how useful it can be in a kitchen. While it is not completely necessary, this kitchen appliance simply makes cooking and cleaning up less of a hassle.
 
Unfortunately, despite how often the garbage disposal is used, it is one aspect of a kitchen that is often overlooked and dismissed. A broken disposal unit can cause a block in the drainage system which needless to say can be a costly affair.

#1 – What NOT To Put In Your Garbage Disposal

Below are just three tips to maintain and keep a garbage disposal system in tip-top shape.

1. Run the garbage disposal unit regularly. It is important to regularly use the garbage disposal unit. Turning on the system a few times a day can assure that rust does not build up along the blades of the system. Moreover, running the unit regularly prevents waste from accumulating and building up.

jammed garbage disposal in Boston2. Refrain from putting non-biodegradable food into the garbage disposal unit. It is understandable how tempting it is to shove all kinds of garbage into a garbage disposal unit. Not only does it save time, but tossing trash into the unit requires no trash bags and damp paper towels. Unfortunately, a typical garbage disposal system is simply not made to handle non-food materials. Grinding up glass materials, plastic bottles, scrap paper, cigarette butts and grease can cause damage to the garbage disposal unit’s blade and motor.

3. Keep the garbage disposal unit clean. Quite possibly the simplest way to keep a garbage disposal system from breaking down is to clean it every after use if possible. Running the garbage disposal system after pouring a few drops of soap through cold water is a sure-fire way to maintain a perfectly running garbage disposal system.

We can connect you with a 24 hour plumber in MA to work on your plumbing appliances. Check out our service areas, select your city and call us to schedule a service.

Let’s move on to #2, another part of your home that’s mostly taken for granted.. the septic tank!

Your septic tank is the perfect breeding ground for all types of pathogens and knowledge about its problems will enable you to prevent them from adversely affecting your family.

#2 – How Can I Tell if My Septic Tank is Still OK?

  • Soakaway problem. You will know if you have a soakaway septic tank problem when: you empty the sink but the water backs up to the bathtub or the shower your toilet keeps on overflowing there is a stinky smell coming from the drain pipes flushing the toilet becomes too slow there are foul smells and the presence of wet waste in your surroundings.
  • Strange sounds. Noises coming from the sink such as gurgling sounds indicate there is a problem in the system. It could mean a blocked or clogged drain field, or it could be the result of an intermittent increase in the water volume passing through the pipes.
  • Slow draining. A septic tank that takes too long to drain indicates a problem in the system. This can be caused by solid waste entering the tank’s drain field. When solid waste travels fast and does not have sufficient time to break down, it will clog the pipes and compromise the draining capability of the system.
  • Leaking pipes. Septic tank leaks are often unnoticed until the problem becomes too big. But you can observe its symptoms – green grass near the pipes which is greener than the surrounding grass and which grows faster. It could mean they are being ‘fertilized’ by the substance leaking from the pipe.

Aside from your septic system, keep an eye on for #3 —  your sump pumps!

Your sump pump is as important to your home as a fire extinguisher or a first-aid box. Although hardly ever used, it can be a major life-saver when the situation calls for it. Like all other emergency equipment, a sump pump should be well-maintained and mechanically fit.

#3 – What are the Common Problems in Sump Pumps?

Poor maintenance. A sump pump’s condition should be checked quarterly. Otherwise, you will be put through a great ordeal.

A faulty switch is one of the simplest yet equally annoying mechanical issues with sump pumps. To be safe, clean, adjust, and test your unit on a regular basis to check for problems.

A discharge pipe that is blocked or frozen over will result in a damaging backflow when left unrepaired. A grate will prevent clogs. However, since preventing pipes from freezing has never been realistic, it would be better to install an alternate emergency discharge line as back-up.

Installation fails. The absence of a check valve on the discharge pipe, which can result in water backflow. This will have a domino effect of causing your impeller to have a backward rotation that, in turn, loosens the motor shaft. Your unit may seem to function when it really doesn’t.

Failure to drill an air pressure-relief hole in the discharge pipe, specifically in the middle of the check valve and the pump. The absence of this hole results in the overwhelming build-up of air pressure, which forces your unit to exert itself more than it should. This places a toll on its performance and shortens its lifespan.

Old age. In general, a sump pump has a lifespan of seven to ten years. If your unit is nearing its end, symptoms of old age will start appearing. Once they do, make sure to have it assessed by one of our Boston professionals to see if an immediate replacement is necessary.

Loss of power. Really bad storms and lightning usually results in power outages, rendering your sump pump ineffective. To spare your basement from flooding, purchase and install a backup generator to keep your sump pump up and running as needed.

These two plumbing systems are mostly taken for granted because they’re not seen often, so ensure that you get them regularly checked by calling us today! Ditch the thought of calling a Boston budget plumbing company. We have local Boston plumbers that have over 10,000 hours of training and experience — we already know all plumbing problems and solutions!

Now, let’s talk about something that we use on almost a daily basis, #4: the water heater.

Let’s say you just got a new water heater installed…

You decide to jump in quickly to try it, but to your dismay the water is frigid cold. What might be the problem?

Before you snatch up that phone for a refund, you first need to know that these are common problems and they can be fixed.

#4 – Why Isn’t My Water Heater Working?

Here are some common problems you might encounter with your water heater.

Water is cold
If your water heater runs by electricity, and it is not bringing you hot water after being turned on for some time, the problem may be with the water heating component. Try to check if this is the problem and replace it with a new one.

Another problem may be the thermostat, which is the monitoring device. Water that’s too hot or too cold can be the result of this problem.

Boston Water Heater Installation ServicesLeaking water
This is a common problem for water heaters, when water leaks either from the tip or from the bottom of the appliance. Leaks can be caused by a number of various problems like corrosion.

When water sits in the tubes for long periods, sediment and rust builds up. Eventually, these elements create cracks inside the tubes and the tank itself.

There’s not enough water
Another big problem you might encounter is there is not enough water. When this happens, it’s usually the thermostat that has a problem. Check if the device is properly working and consider the actual temperature of the water to what you can see on the gauge.

A clogged vent can also be the cause of the problem. It may change the normal flow of water from the tubing.

Rusty water
Rusty colored water is usually the cause of a dissolved anode rod. An anode rod is the component of the heater that attracts corrosive elements in the water.

If it is defective, it often emits a sulphuric smell caused by rusting and degradation of the metal. If this is the problem, it might be time to change the anode of the water heater.

Eerie and popping noises
When there is an eerie sound emitting from the water heater, it usually is caused by buildup of sediments inside the tank. Remove the sediments by flushing them out and filling the tank with new clean water.

How Will I Know if My Water Heater Needs Replacement?

  • Listen to clanking or banging noises, which are signs of aging. Typically upon purchase, a residential water heater comes with a five to ten-year warranty. Unless you have made use of it sparingly over the years, it is advisable that you have your water heater replaced after the specified warranty period.
  • Check for leaks. Beware! A water heater tank that leaks is a potentially major headache. Calling us ASAP for assessment will save your walls, flooring, furniture, and the water heater unit itself. Depending on where the leak is coming from, a professional can assist you in determining whether your unit requires minor repairs or replacement.
  • Check if the water produced is hot enough or not. If the heating element and thermostat are not the culprits behind the heating failure, then call our licensed Boston experts to troubleshoot your unit. Expert advice is sounder than speculation.If your unit fails to heat water altogether, it’s an indication of repair or replacement, which our skilled and experienced technicians can make an informed decision on. Consider your hot water usage. Relative to your unit’s age, usage is a big factor in its performance. Even when still far from the end of its warranty period, your unit may suffer from premature aging due to the following:
  • You have a big or growing family. Your area of residence provides only hard water, which results in a buildup of minerals within the tank. This results in a plumbing line obstruction that inhibits your unit’s performance and decreases its life span. If your unit has served its maximum performance to your family in terms of usage, then perhaps it’s high time to let it retire and find a replacement.

Now for the good stuff: DIY Plumbing with #5 –Your toilet!

If you’re in a situation where the water in your toilet just won’t go down. It might be a headache to watch those things float in the water. But do not worry; here are some DIYs for a clogged toilet.

#5- How Do I Unclog My Toilet?

running toilet problem BostonDIY Method #1. The Plunger
Most clogged toilets just need one special tool – the plunger. A good plunger would have an extension flange on the rubber bell-shaped end. It is created to fit toilets better so you can convey more potency to the plunge.

A poor flush means that your toilet drain is completely plugged and does not drain. A slow drain means that flushed water somewhat fills the bowl but does not clean the waste away. The water level remains high, but normally drains after a couple of minutes.

DIY Method #2. Drain Snake
A drain snake is a long wire coil with a corkscrew-like tip that you lodge into the pipe until it comes into contact with the clog. You then turn the snake clockwise so the head of the wire screws through the clog and disjoints it. Or the rubble winds onto the wire so you can dislodge the clog.

DIY Method #3. Vacuum
You can use a wet and dry vacuum to dislodge anything that is causing the clog. You can also use the vacuum to empty water out of the bowl. Put a piece of cloth or an old towel down to seal around the drain.

Turning on the vacuum and trying to suction the clog can be effective for anything hard that was dropped in the toilet bowl.

DIY Method #4. Dishwashing Liquid and Hot Water
You can squirt a small amount of dishwashing liquid in the bowl, and then pour a pot of hot water in the bowl. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes before attempting to flush.

The dishwashing liquid will ease out the waste clogging the drain and hot water will soften the clogged matter. This will make it easy for you to flush the toilet once everything settles in.

DIY Method #5. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar can be effective in dislodging anything that clogs a toilet. A cup of baking soda, a cup of white vinegar, and a kettle of hot water poured into the bowl will work instantly to flush the toilet clean.

Then, #6 — Your drains..

If you’ve been standing there waiting for the drain to flush the water out but it’s taking far too long.

This is an initial sign that the toilet or sink could be facing a clogged drain. Basically, if you are cautious of what goes down on your drains, you really shouldn’t clean and clear them of debris recurrently.

The following maintenance is needed to prevent a clogged drain that can be a problem in the future. Some can be done once a week and some about once a month.

#6- How Do You Keep Drains Clog Free?

Once a week maintenance tips:
Bring the pop-up stoppers up in the bathroom sink to get rid of trapped debris, put in in the trash and wash the stopper and put it back in the drain.

Take out the drain cover from the shower of the bathtub drain and use a bent wire or hair catching brush to remove debris that might have collected there.

Drain Cleaning BostonOnce a month maintenance tips:
Clean and clear your waste disposal with a stiff disposer brush or mix a few cups of ice and table salt. This will help remove grease buildup and slime off the sides of the disposer. Flush it with cold water added with lemon to deodorize.

For bathtub maintenance, pull out the overflow plate, and bring the pop-up handle up to grasp the rocker arm. Get rid of accumulated debris and wash thoroughly before setting it back.

It is also advisable to use a good cleaner to protect all the drains in your home. A good cleaner has to be non-corrosive and biodegradable so it won’t deteriorate your home plumbing system. It is better to use a nature friendly cleaner than chemical ones as it can be safe to your plumbing system and your family. Drain cleaning in Boston is one of our expertise, call us for help!

To clean your drains effectively, you can use baking soda and vinegar. This is a great way to help eliminate a slow-moving drain.

To unclog a drain with baking soda and vinegar, use the following tips

1. Let a pot of boiling water run down through the drain.
2. Throw in about half a cup of baking soda. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
3. Then, pour in a mixture of a cup of vinegar and a cup of hot water.
4. Cover the drain with the plug and let it sit for 5-10 mins.
5. Flush with boiling water.

Lastly and the most basic: Faucet installation.

#7 – How Do I Install a Faucet?

Step 1. Inspect the openings.
Probe the sink for openings and their distance together. Bathroom faucets, in particular, have two handles that may be connected to the spout to form a single unit, or they may be set up apart. This information will be helpful for proper faucet installation or replacement.

Step 2. Turn off the water supply.
There are generally two valves for water supply, one for hot water and another for cold. Turn them off by twisting the valves clockwise to stop water from running in the tubes.

Step 3. Put the faucet replacement in position.

For proper faucet installation:

– Start by positioning the gasket and the faucet on the sink.
– From beneath the sink, thread the mounting nuts into the shanks. Make sure that the flat, wide side part of the mounting nut is up.
– Screw the mounting nuts tight but not too tight to damage it or make it difficult for future replacements.

Step 4. Connect the water supply.
Water is typically supplied by the water-supply tubes. To connect it properly, make sure you take note of the following steps.
Cover the threads of the water supply valve with plumbers tape.
Thread the nut into the shut-off valve and secure with a wrench.
Wrap the faucet shanks threads with plumbers tape and thread the water supply nut against the faucet shanks.
Secure the nut with a wrench.

Step 5. Clean the faucet by flushing.
Make sure that the water supply is clean by running water into the faucet to flush trapped debris off of it. Trapped debris can impair the sealing surfaces inside the faucet and trigger leaks.
Open the water supply valves beneath the sink.
Let water run for 15 seconds to remove residues and trapped particles off the tube.

We’ve covered a whole lot of topics in this blog post, and we hope that you now which one will save you loads of dollars in the end?

However, the decision will always be up to you. Just remember to contact us for any of your plumbing repairs, big or small, because we have licensed, insured and certified Boston contractors on standby, 24/7.

Watch the video below to see why you need to eliminate sub-standard plumbing services and only hire reliable plumbing experts in Boston.

Posted on: October 18, 2018