There are many reasons why someone would want a built-in seat or stool for their shower. A built-in seat in your home shower not only creates a more luxurious environment, but for those with mobility issues, it is a matter of necessity. A built-in shower seat can easily transform a basic shower space into a more relaxing, spa-like experience for everyone.
Before you begin altering your shower, it helps to take a step back and consider what you really want. Prior to any work being done, it's helpful to first answer these four questions:
1) Seat or bench?
The space restrictions in your bathroom will determine whether a shower seat or bench is ideal for your current space. Do you have the space for a bench? Will just one person be using the shower at a time, or does the shower need to accommodate multiple individuals?
2) Wall-mounted seat or corner seat?
Whether you prefer a wall-mounted or corner seat will depend on personal preference, as well as the design and size of your shower. Corner seats are an ideal option when trying to best utilize limited space in your shower.
3) Folding shower seat or no?
A folding shower seat will keep things open in the shower, allowing standing or sitting room, depending on your needs. However, it is important to remember, a folding seat is not always as sturdy as other non-folding options.
4) What do you do if something goes wrong?
While installing a built-in shower seat is usually a simple endeavor, it can affect the existing plumbing in the shower. For instance, a drill bit going into the wall could hit a water pipe. When installing a built-in shower seat, it is best to consult a professional plumber prior to installation, in the event that something goes awry.
No one ever said that being a homeowner was easy. There are rooms to decorate, bills to pay and if something goes wrong, you can't just call up your landlord to get it taken care of. Instead, you have to take matters into your own hands by fixing it yourself or calling a professional to get the job done for you.
Problems are sometimes unavoidable, but there are precautions you can take to help make sure your home stays in prime shape. Here are four things your Santa Cruz, California, plumber wants you to know about protecting your home.
Protect your pipes
Santa Cruz doesn't see harsh winters like the Midwest, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take initiative to protect your home during the colder months. The biggest issue in winter comes in the form of frozen pipes. This is when the water in your pipes freezes, stopping the flow all together. That means you might not get any running water, from your kitchen sink to your bathroom showerheads. Unfortunately, by the time you notice that your pipes are frozen, it's already too late. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that your pipes don't freeze.
Swing by your local hardware store to pick up some insulation. That's the pink padding found in attics and unfinished basements. Cut and wrap this material around your exposed pipes. The insulation will help keep them warm when the temperatures drop.
Although insulation can help keep your pipes from freezing, there are other areas of your home to come into play, as well. For example, insulation won't do you any good if your heat isn't working. Sure, southern California probably doesn't get much, if any, snow during the colder months of the year. However, your home should be set to a comfortable heat so your pipe fixtures aren't too cold. In the same vein, make sure that your vents are actually producing hot air. Test run your ducts by putting your hand underneath the vent and feeling the temperature and pressure of the air blowing (or if its blowing at all). Make sure that no pieces of furniture or decor (like a side table or a rug) are shielding your vents from blowing air.
Use your garbage disposal the right way
Garbage disposals are a great way to get rid of food scraps and waste without the odor that comes with tossing them in the garbage. However, these appliances are sensitive as far as what materials they can actually disintegrate. Although it may seem like common sense, only throw items in the disposal that can be broken down easily. Materials such as bones, vegetable peelings, grains and grease may cause your plumbing to be backed up and may even break your appliance.
If you find yourself wondering if something can be broken down, just toss it the garbage just to be safe.
Take care of your toilets
Bathrooms are a mundane part of our everyday routine, so it's tough to imagine life if one in our home isn't working. Luckily, if you take care of your toilets, you won't have to discover how big of an inconvenience non-working plumbing can be. Be sure that you, you family members and guests aren't flushing the wrong materials down your toilet (aka anything but waste and toilet paper). Things like wipes, matches, sanitary pads, tampons and cotton balls don't break down in sewage systems. These items can pose a threat to your plumbing system and our environment as a whole. Just to be safe, take precautions by pitching everything in the trash instead. If it makes you feel better, hang a sign in your bathroom noting not to flush these materials down (like the ones in restaurants). That way, you can help prevent any issues down the road.
Give us a call
Many people think that whatever goes wrong in their home they can fix themselves. Although there are plenty of credible websites that talk you through fixing things step-by-step, sometimes you can do more harm than good. If you ever have a problem, just give us a call over at Roto-Rooter. We'll send out a professional and experienced plumber to take a look and get your home fixed and back in working order in a jiffy.
Trees, especially older ones can be trouble for your nearby drainage systems over the long term. Leaves can clog gutters, while tree roots can reach deep into underground pipes, compromising the effectiveness of your sewer line.
To help control tree roots in your sewer line, here are a few things to try:
1) Have a plumber run a video down the line with a sewer inspection camera
If you notice water backing up in your basement or rooms, a tree in your yard or down the street might be to blame. Tree roots can block your pipes with hair-like masses that cause clogs and put the sewer line under pressure.
A professional plumber can take a closer look by inserting a video camera into the line and professionally inspecting it. After a professional inspection is completed, the risk of damage can be assessed. You can also watch the entire camera inspection on the video monitor right alongside your Roto-Rooter sewer solutions specialist.
2) Use a root-killing solution
A few times a year, specially formulated root killer solutions can be flushed down your drainage system to kill roots inside the pipes, without ever harming your trees.
3) Schedule a trimming
Plumbers can use special mechanical sewer cleaning machines with blades to cut roots out of pipes. The effectiveness of root cutting will depend on what type of pipe you have. Clay tile, plastic and cast iron piping are easy to clean with a mechanical sewer cleaning machine, while corrugated and thin wall pipes are more likely to puncture from this method. However, most sewer pipes can handle a mechanical cleaning without any problems.
Deep-rooted trees can cause serious damage to your residential plumbing with clay, concrete, or iron pipe because these materials are most susceptible to root intrusion. Modern plastic pipes are fused together more tightly and only experience root intrusion if damaged. For questions regarding all of your residential plumbing needs, including root removal and/or pipe replacement, contact your local plumbing professional for help. Roto-Rooter uses a specialized machine that cuts roots out of underground pipes by rotating a cable with sharp cutting blades on the end.
Being a homeowner is serious business. It may feel like things are always breaking or rooms have to be remodeled. The truth of the matter is, taking care of a house is not easy. You'd be surprised at how many rooms in your home rely on your plumbing being in working order. If one pipe bursts or a faucet stops working, it can really throw off your everyday activities. This makes protecting your plumbing essential. Here are five things your Longview, Texas, plumber wants you to know.
Insulate your pipes
Sure, Texas winters aren't nearly as bad as the ones in the Midwest. The temperatures may go down a bit, and maybe the sun will hide out on some days, but all in all, the weather in Longview are fairly mild at all. And yet that doesn't mean your plumbing fixtures are as content as you are. To avoid potential problems, insulating your pipes is essential. Luckily, this job is simple and relatively inexpensive. Just head to your local hardware store to pick up pink insulation (the material found in unfinished basements and attics). Cut the insulation, and wrap it around your pipes. The insulation stores heat so your fixtures won't get too cold and risk freezing.
Check your heating
Insulation does nothing if your home's heat isn't working. Even if the Texas climate doesn't plummet to negative degrees, the colder temperatures can still affect your plumbing. Be sure to check your heating systems. Put your hands near the vents to see if the air is blowing correctly (or at all). In addition, make sure no pieces of furnishings, like a side table or a rug, are covering any floor vents you may have, otherwise the air won't be able to circulate around the house.
Use your garbage disposal the right way
Garbage disposals can really come in handy. It's a place for you to pitch your trash without having to worry about it getting odorous over time. However, most people are surprised to learn that not just anything can be thrown down your garbage disposal. In fact, there are several items that can negatively affect your plumbing. For example, any kind of grease from cooking hardens in your pipes and can block them altogether. Here are some other materials you should never throw down your garbage disposal:
The rule of thumb is, if you have to ask yourself, "Can I put this in the garbage disposal?" the answer is probably no. Don't test it.
Keep an eye on your toilets
Bathrooms are essential to our everyday lives. Can you imagine a home without a working bathroom? Taking care of your toilets will help ensure you'll never have to. Make sure anyone who comes into your home isn't flushing materials that don't break down (essentially anything that isn't waste or toilet paper). Specifically, don't flush things like wipes, matches, tampons and cotton balls. These items can damage your systems and the environment as a whole. Be sure to include a small garbage can in your bathroom so people aren't tempted to flush these things. To ease your mind even more, hang a sign, like they do in restaurants, about not flushing down items. That way, you'll take all the precautions you can to protect your home.
Protect the plumbing in your bathroom.
Call a plumber
When it comes down to it, don't be afraid to give us over at Roto-Rooter a call. We have trained professionals on hand to come out and survey your home. They can determine the problem and get it fixed in a jiffy!
Plumbing leaks can happen at any time. While a small leak can be a nuisance, in many cases, it is not a difficult problem to repair, if you have the right understanding of how to repair plumbing leaks.
We have compiled a list of helpful tips below from the industry experts, so you can be prepared in the event of a plumbing leak in your home.
Here are a few things you should know about how to repair plumbing leaks in your home:
1) Understand how much water you use
It is always a good idea to have an idea of how much water you and your family use on a monthly basis. Having a general knowledge of your water usage, by periodically checking your water meter can help you to see if you have a leak somewhere in the house.
The Environmental Protection Agency noted that if a household of 4 finds that it's using more than 12,000 gallons per month during cooler seasons, this is a sure-fire sign of serious leaks.
Even a small leak can rack up giant water bills if not repaired quickly. The EPA found that leaks in homes across the country waste as much as 1 trillion gallons every year! This is the equivalent of regular water usage in more than 11 million homes. Address leaks promptly and don't let that water drip onto the ground or run down the drain – repairing plumbing leaks quickly will help to conserve this important resource.
2) Located the main shut-off valve in your home
It's critical to know where the main water shut-off valve is located in your home. HouseLogic pointed out that if there's ever a leak anywhere in the house, you can use the main shut-off valve to cut off the water supply to the entire home- immediately.
3) Consider using additional shut-off valves
It can also be helpful to have shut-off valves installed around your house. Additional shut-off valves are inexpensive items, with most selling for under $10. Installing additional valves can allow you to shut off the water in certain areas of your home for repairs, while keeping it running in other rooms. With additional valves, someone can still shower while you're fixing the kitchen sink.
4) Identify toilet leaks
Leaks near the toilet can be a bit harder to identify, especially if they are inside the toilet's flushing system.
The EPA offers the following tip: A few drops of food coloring in the tank of the toilet can help you to identify a leak. If any coloring begins to appear in the water in the bowl after about 10 minutes, you have a plumbing leak.
Often, a toilet's flapper or valve seal can be the culprit for a toilet leak. This small rubber part can decay if it hasn't been replaced in a while, or might not fit exactly right if minerals have built up. Flappers and valve seals are relatively simple and inexpensive to replace – with the water turned off, of course.
5) Contact a plumbing professional
Some leaks are easier to repair than others. For tougher jobs, it's important to consult a plumbing professional to ensure that things are fixed correctly, the first time.
For more information regarding your residential plumbing, including installation and repairs, contact your local Roto-Rooter plumbing expert today.
When you're looking for ways to save water in your Baltimore home, you may be wondering where you should start. You likely use water in many ways every day, and they are all important. The truth is, though, you don't necessarily need to change your habits – just the way you carry them out every day.
A great place to start conserving is the room in which you likely use the most water – the bathroom. Between showers, hand washing and toilet flushing, this room is rarely occupied when the water isn't running.
Luckily, there are tricks to start saving water with each of the three main fixtures in your bathroom: the shower, the sink and the toilet.
Saving in the shower
Some people prefer baths while others prefer showers. Depending on how long you take to bathe, you could save water by switching methods. The average tub can hold 42 gallons of water, and most people use about 30 gallons for their baths, according to the Sacramento Bee. On the other hand, the typical shower expels about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. If you take a 10-minute shower, you'll be using less water than the typical bath-taker. If you like to take a longer time, a bath might use less. However, the best way to ensure you're using as little water as possible would be to take short showers.
Reducing sink use
Your bathroom sink is used for many things, like washing your hands, brushing your teeth and shaving. While all of these things are important for personal hygiene, there are things you can do to cut down on the amount of water you use. You could fill the sink with a small amount of water when shaving to clear the razor without having to run the faucet every few minutes. Or you can also turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or washing your hands. If you have little ones, teach your children the importance of turning off the faucet completely before walking away.
Conserving with your toilet
Your toilet uses a lot of water. Older toilets might use between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water with every flush. Newer ones, especially those designed to be more environmentally friendly, may use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush, but some still use quite a bit more.
To save water when flushing the toilet, you can raise the level of water in the tank. Fill a plastic soda bottle with sand and put it in the tank. This will cause the water to run for less time after the flush. However, if you already have a model that only uses 1.6 gallons of water to flush, you may impede proper toilet functions. Be sure to find out before adding the sand.
Saving water in your Baltimore home is important, but it's not always easy to know where to start. Conserving water in your bathroom isn't hard, and is a great place to begin, considering how much water use goes on in it. If something goes awry in the bathroom though, be sure to call a professional plumber for help.
From build - up of hair in the shower, to cooking grease down the kitchen sink, a clogged drain can happen at any time. What is the best way to unclog a drain? Here are a few simple tips to get your drains working again:
A drain snake
A drain snake is basically a metal rope or cable with a cutting blade on the tip. A drain snake is ideal for getting hair out of a drain, which can be hard to remove with chemical cleaners. A drain snake is available at your local hardware store.
You can also make your own drain snake at home with a pipe cleaner or a wire hanger. Cut a 2-liter bottle into a spiral with "teeth" in it, which is a very effective and cheap alternative to store bought drain snakes.
Use a wet vacuum or “Shop Vac”
Wet and dry vacuums are powerful appliances with a lot of suction. Set a wet vacuum to "liquids" and cover the vent. Remember to create a very tight seal around the drain and cover the overflow tube with a finger or rag.
The power of a wet vacuum can often be enough to draw the clogged material up and unclog the drain. Check the bag for hair and grease in order to identify the source of the clog. A wet vacuum can also work well when trying to recover jewelry from a drain, as seen here.
At-home clog solution
Chemical drain cleaners can be expensive and aren't always good for you or the environment. For an easy at-home solution, mix up salt and baking soda, pour it down the drain, wait 20 minutes and then chase it with boiling water.
Often, the ensuing chemical reaction from your at-home solution is enough to dissolve the blockage and repair your clogged drain. When you need help from the experts, call the professionals at Roto-Rooter for all of your residential plumbing needs.
Being a homeowner is a huge responsibility. There's no landlord to call when something goes wrong. If your roof needs replacing or the cable goes out, you have to do it yourself or call someone to do it. The same goes for your plumbing systems. You may not think too much about your toilet, faucet or showerhead if everything is working correctly. However, if something stops working, it could negatively impact your everyday routine. Imagine getting home from a long day only to discover that you can't bathe.
While you can't predict a pipe giving out or a dishwasher breaking, there are plenty of proactive steps you can take to ensure your plumbing fixtures stay in working order. Here are five things your Tuscaloosa, AL plumber wants you to know:
Protect your toilets
You may think that your toilets can withstand just about anything, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, the plumbing connected to bathrooms is quite sensitive. If the wrong items are flushed, you could be left with an extensive and expensive mess. Some items can be damaging to both your plumbing systems and the environment. For example, lots of women think it's OK to flush feminine products like tampons and sanitary pads. However, these can clog sewer systems because they are made to absorb water, not break down over time. The same goes for other water-absorbing products like paper towels and cotton balls. Anything like this can cause backups down the road. Some families who have children think that disposable wipes are good to flush down the toilet. However, these can can lead to serious clogs in your plumbing. Be sure to check the label on wipes to see if the ones you're purchasing are compatible with your sewer systems. Lastly, and this one surprises people, be sure not to flush any prescription medicine. Any kind of drug can eliminate the helpful bacteria in water and harm wildlife.
If you aren't sure what is OK to flush and what isn't, just pitch it in the trash. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Take care of your garbage disposal
Most people are too liberal with their garbage disposals. Yes, this is a place for trash to go, but the wrong kind of garbage can really mess with your plumbing. For example, only scraps of food can truly be broken down. By putting them in the disposal, rather than a garbage can, you are eliminating the chance of odor. Here are some items you cannot throw down your disposal:
Fibrous foods like lettuce, carrots, onion skins and potato peels.
Greasy foods or grease from cleaning.
Food that increases in size with water like pasta, rice and other grains.
Don't risk getting your plumbing backed up. If an item seems questionable, just throw it out instead.
Be careful what you throw down your disposal.
Protect your pipes
It doesn't matter what state you live in, during winter it's inevitable for the temperatures to drop. With a decrease in heat, you might need a heavier jacket to stay warm. Well, the same goes for your pipes. In order to protect your fixtures, you need to insulate your pipes. Head to your local hardware store to pick up some pink insulation (the material found in unfinished basements and attics). Cut and wrap the fabric around your exposed pipes. The insulation will help keep the plumbing fixtures warm during the winter. This decreases your chances of freezing and the potential for a pipe bursting down the road.
Keep in mind that insulation won't do any good if your heating systems don't work. Periodically check that your heat is working. In addition, make sure that no pieces of furniture are obstructing the air vents so your home remains just the right temperature.
Don't ignore the problem
When people notice that something is not right inside their home, they ignore it in hopes it will go away. Take a clogged toilet, for instance. A backed up plumbing system happens every once in a while. However, if you're experiencing a clogged toilet on the regular, there could be a bigger underlying issue. The same goes for something like a leaky faucet. It may look harmless, but the constant drip of water can increase your water bill substantially over the course of a year. The last thing you want is to be charged for water you didn't even use. When it comes to little issues, don't try and sweep the problems under the rug. Get it fixed, otherwise it will only cause you more harm down the line.
Call a plumber
Sometimes, a job needs to be done by a professional. If you notice there's an issue in your household, don't wait; call a Roto-Rooter plumber. We'll have someone come out and get the problem fixed fast.
Designing a bathroom can be a challenging task, especially if space and cost are concerns. There are many decisions that go into a bathroom redesign, from choosing a faucet, to proper plumbing and selecting a vanity. The following tips are designed to help you make the most of your new bathroom design:
Many sinks use a central-mount faucet that use a single lever or two handles. Central-mount models are appropriate for three-hole sinks specifically.
Wall mount faucets have long spouts that extend over the bowl of a vessel-style or freestanding sink.
Single-hole faucets combine the spout and handles into one fixture, which are ideal for small sinksand more modern, streamlined designs.
Choosing a vanity
If you have a small bathroom, the vanity provides a great opportunity to save space. A pedestal or wall mount sink will work nicely if space is a concern.
An under mount sink is relatively easy to clean up since they don't collect much dirt, but you'll need a waterproof countertop. Under mount sinks can also be pricey and more difficult to install.
Is porcelain a wise investment?
While porcelain is a classic material for bathroom sinks, it is not the only option available.
Glass and stainless steel are often cheaper sink options and just a durable. They are also the most popular choices for modern designs such as vessel sinks that look like bowls and pitchers. It is important to remember to avoid dropping heavy items on glass sinks.
Whether you want assistance with your bathroom redesign, need helpful DIY plumbing tips, or advice on a faucet repair or install, the plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter can help with all of your residential plumbing needs.
Although you might think your plumbing can withstand a lot, the truth is that your fixtures need to be taken care of well. Not many people think about their plumbing until it's not working. By that time, it's already too late, and repairs are probably in order.
However, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to help ensure your plumbing stays in tip-top shape. Here are some of those ways:
Don't flush miscellaneous items
Your home's underground pipes are sensitive. They aren't made to withstand much more than waste, so other items can mess up their flow. For some people, it's tempting to just toss items down the toilet, but some things can actually be harmful and damaging to both your plumbing system and the environment. For example, women's sanitary pads and tampons should always be thrown into the garbage - not flushed. Feminine hygiene products do not break down in sewage. In fact, these products are designed to absorb water so they'll end up blocking your pipe fixtures. This also applies to objects that expand in water like cotton balls or swabs. Be sure to toss them in the trash.
While many wipes are labeled "flushable," it's still risky to do so. These products are generally too thick to break down in your water systems, which means they aren't safe for sewers or septic tanks. And yet some products are still considered safe. Be sure to do your research to see if they're compatible with your plumbing fixtures before flushing them. Or, you can avoid a potential issue altogether by throwing them in the waste basket - just to be safe.
Don't overdo it with your garbage disposal
Garbage disposals are nifty little appliances that can break down food waste. These are helpful to get rid of food scraps by tossing them down the drain instead of throwing them in the garbage and risking them becoming rotten and odorous. However, there are plenty of items that should be not thrown in your garbage disposal. Here are a few:
All of these materials can cause your disposal to be blocked or even broken.
Most people believe that plumbing problems can fix themselves over time. But issues like low water pressure and a leaky faucet need to be resolved fast. It's more environmentally and financially beneficial for you. For example, if your water heater isn't working right, you can be getting charged for lukewarm water (plus, no one likes a cold shower). If you let your faucet leak for a couple of months, it's wasting resources, and you're still getting charged for water you didn't really use. If you call your plumber to fix a faucet at the first signs of a leak, he or she will probably only have to replace the springs. On the other hand, if you wait, you may have to replace the entire fixture down the road. Delaying jobs only makes it more difficult for everyone.
Get your leaky faucet fixed now instead of later.
Sure, some problems are unavoidable, but there are others where you can take initiative to protect your home. For example, protect your plumbing systems by putting drain catchers in your baths and showers. This will catch anything that is too big to break down in your pipes. Many people use chemical products to clean their drains, but the truth is that these rarely work and can even weaken your pipes' strength. The hair that gets caught on a pop-up drain stopper can be easily removed and thrown in the trash.
It's incredibly important that you shield your pipes from harsh weather conditions. Regardless of the mildness or severity of your winters, your pipes are going to need a little extra coating to stay warm. That's where pipe insulation comes in. Head out to your local hardware store to pick up some pink insulation. Cut and wrap this material around your pipes that are exposed (ones that are in basements, attics or laundry rooms). This insulation will give your pipes the extra warmth they need to stay safe throughout the colder months.
Don't try it yourself
With websites like Pinterest, everyone is trying do-it-yourself projects. Although plumbing may seem simple, most jobs require the work of an experienced professional. Fixing your systems isn't as easy as it looks on a television show or website. In fact, one small mistake can result in extensive and expensive repairs. Don't risk it. If you have a problem, just give us a call over at Roto-Rooter, and we'll send out one of our experienced plumbers to get the job done.
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