Let's be honest: The dishes in your home are probably rarely done by hand. So, when the dishwasher is not draining properly or starts to act up, it can throw a wrench into your kitchen cleanliness and time management. Being aware of common dishwasher issues is one way you can prepare yourself for any problems that come up in the future. Knowing a little about these issues in advance can help you decide whether you can fix the machine yourself, if you need to call in a professional plumber, or if the problem requires an appliance repairman.
The water isn't draining
The first thing you'll want to check if your dishwasher is not draining is the drain pipe and drain tube leading from the dishwasher to the drainpipe beneath your kitchen sink. The solution could be as simple as removing pieces of food from the pipe to clear the drain. A blockage can occur if you forget to scrape off larger bits of food from your dishes. If you've cleared the drain and the dishwasher still isn't working properly, inspect the drain hose to make sure there are no kinks that are blocking the water flow.
The dishes are still dirty
You might be surprised to know that dirty dishes can often be caused by an overfilled detergent dispenser or the detergent you're using. If your wash cycle is giving you spotty or residue-covered items when it's done, try switching out the amount and type of soap you're using. The spray arms are another part of the machine you should check out. If the outlet holes are clogged, your dishwasher can leave food residue on your plates, glasses, bowls, etc. Try clearing the clogged outlet holes and run your dishwasher again. If your dishes still have food residue on them, it may be time to call in a professional.
The machine is leaking
Stepping in a puddle of water in the kitchen is the worst. A simple fix to this dilemma could be to switch the detergent you're using. If the cleaner is creating too many suds in the dishwasher, it could be the cause of your leaking dishwasher. You should also inspect the latch and door hinges to determine if everything is closing properly. Also, try wiping the door gasket with a wet cloth. Sometimes detergent and debris can build up on the gasket to prevent a good seal.
If you tried one of the suggested solutions, but you're still experiencing one of the complications above, it may be a sign you have a bigger problem, like a damaged hose or a seriously clogged dishwasher drain. In this case, it is probably time to contact a plumber for drain cleaning and repairs. If you’ve determined that the problem is mechanical, you’ll probably want to contact an appliance repair company.
Manchester, New Hampshire, is no stranger to snow. While it's pretty to look at and good for the ski slopes, the freezing temperatures that come along with snow can be bad for your plumbing. Any of the water supply pipes in your plumbing are susceptible to freezing, but it's likely you won't notice until you experience a water problem (no flow in a toilet or from a sink, for example).
These plumbing problems can lead to plenty of inconveniences for you and your family and are likely to result in costly repairs. The same frozen pipes that prevent you from taking that coveted hot shower in the frigid winter might burst before you even notice the problem. The water damage brought on by such a scenario will most likely be both extensive and expensive to fix. But the worst part is that you won’t know if a pipe has burst until the ice thaws and water starts spewing into the wall cavities in your home.
Instead of letting your plumbing fall victim to the cold winter temperatures, take the initiative to winterize your plumbing and protect it (and your wallet) this winter. Here are four things your Manchester Roto-Rooter plumber recommends:
Insulate your pipes
One of the easiest and most inexpensive measures to help prevent frozen pipes is to add a layer of insulation to your pipes. This tip is even more helpful in unfinished parts of your house or with pipes that are exposed to the cold air. If you live in an older place, a lot of your pipes may be out in the open. Cut pieces of foam pipe insulation to fit around all of the pipes you can access. Also, don't forget to check places in your home you don't frequent. That includes areas like the unfinished basement or even attics.
Check the furnace
Another form of insulation for your pipes can be the heating in your home. Keeping the air in your house warmer in the winter will help ensure that your pipes won't freeze, even when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing. Take a moment to make sure your heat is working properly. In the same vein, move anything that might be blocking a vent for hot air and keep sink cabinets open so that warm air can circulate around water pipes.
Double check your furnace to ensure it is working and change the filter once a month.
Leave faucets running at a trickle
Another helpful method to protect your plumbing and help prevent frozen pipes is to leave faucets running at a trickle, both hot and cold, during the coldest periods, when temperatures are consistently below freezing. This advice applies only to faucets and plumbing fixtures located along outside walls of your house. While you may be concerned about a spike in the water bill, the small increase pales in comparison to the costly plumbing repair and water cleanup costs you may incur as a result of frozen pipes.
Bring outdoor appliances inside
Anything you keep in your yard that uses water should be cleaned and stowed away for the winter. If you leave things like bird baths, garden hoses or garden fountains outside, their water will freeze and, most likely, damage them. And don’t forget to drain and winterize all sprinkler systems so they don’t receive damage from the cold.
These are just a few helpful tips that can help winterize your pluming and help prevent any unwanted and costly damage to your home. If you need further advice or need help winterizing plumbing for your Manchester, NH home call 603-669-9040 today. Your Roto-Rooter plumbing professional will be able to protect your plumbing at a very affordable price.
Water conservation is not only good for the environment, it's also good for your wallet. And if you live in certain states experiencing drought, it's in everyone's best interest for you to learn how. It can seem overwhelming - are you supposed to buy new fixtures, change habits or find some other option? However, even the smallest efforts add up fast. Let's have a look at some simple ways to save water.
Call a plumber for a check-up
One of the biggest ways you might be wasting water is through a leak you don't know about. This can cost thousands of dollars a year, and can waste a truly staggering amount of water. Call your local plumber to let him or her have a look at your house's pipes and fixtures to detect any leaks you may be dealing with unaware. Fixing leaks can help you conserve water and lead to significant savings.
Look into more efficient fixtures
If you like your showers long and luxurious sometimes - and who doesn't? - the idea of buying an efficient shower head may sound really dreary. You'll be happy to know newer efficient models still deliver great water pressure while using fewer resources. A new shower head is pretty easy to install, but call a plumber if you get stuck. Your plumber can help you choose and install the best water-saving fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom – and help you find other ways to conserve water that won't cramp your style.
Work on habits
You may need to give up those lengthy daily showers if you're committed to using less water, and live with a little brown grass in the summer instead of constantly running the sprinklers. You can also make little changes, like brushing your teeth with the water off and rinsing your razor with a quick blast from the faucet instead of constantly running a faucet while you shave. Both of these habits use as much water in a day as many third-world humans use in a week! They're mild inconveniences to you and your family, but they're also simple ways to conserve water.
Florida winters aren't anything like Midwestern weather. There aren't heaps of snow on the ground, icicles on the rooftops and black ice on the streets. However, despite what most people think, Florida does, in fact, have a winter. Though the temperatures almost never reach freezing (only three times since 1973), there can still be heavy rain and ferocious winds.
That means Florida natives must protect their homes just as residents of any other state would. Here are some ways to winterize your plumbing and protect your Clearwater, Florida, home during winter.
Seal your doors and windows
Although most days do not fall below 40 degrees, you should still take precautions. The last thing you want is wind to come howling into your bedroom window each night. Make sure the inside of your home stays as warm as possible. Make this happen by sealing all your home's openings, like windows and doors. Adding adhesive foam or using weather stripping materials are two easy ways to get this done.
If you're not sure if your doors are letting cool air in, there are some simple ways to check it yourself. For example, to see how tight a door is, shut it on a piece of paper. If you can pull the sheet out without tearing it, you should look into more airtight methods because it's letting in too much cold air.
Bring in outdoor furniture
Odds are your backyard won't look like a winter wonderland anytime soon. And yet, you're going to want to protect your outdoor decor and furniture any way you can. Umbrellas should be closed and stored away on windy days so they don't blow away or damage anything. If you have any water fixtures, like bird baths or water fountains, make sure to put them in the garage or a shed for the winter. If a freak winter storm does arrive, the cold can crack and damage fixtures, especially if they're still filled with water.
Protect your pipes
Since we rarely have to worry about freezing temperatures in Clearwater, our building codes don’t require as much protective insulation as colder cities. Additionally, our frost line isn’t very deep so our water supply pipes and sewer pipes don’t have to be buried very deep underground. What that does mean, however, is that when a rare winter storm does hit our area, it tends to freeze an awful lot of pipes! Despite what the usual temperature is like outside, it's a good rule of thumb to make sure your pipes are insulated just in case. If you live in an older or remodeled home, there's a big chance some of your pipes are exposed to cold air. Luckily, insulating them is fairly easy. Just pick up pink insulation from your local hardware store to cut and fit around your pipes or purchase foam pipe insulation sleeves, cut them to the right length with a scissors and slip them over exposed pipes. This can help prevent frozen pipes.
For pipes that are underneath kitchen sinks or in cabinets, be sure to open the doors once in a while. That will allow your home's hot air to circulate, which lessens your chances of the cold air affecting the water flow.
Let your faucets drip
If a winter storm does surprise our city, it's a good practice to let your faucets drip if the temperature slips below freezing. When Clearwater was hit with freezing temperatures in 2006 and 1996, pipes froze and plumbers were busy for days repairing the damage. Don’t take our lovely tropical weather patterns for granted in the age of climate change. Take the necessary precautions and do your best to winterize your plumbing to help prevent frozen pipes. It’s simple and is cost effective.
"Contrary to popular belief, people living in Florida do have to use their heat during winter."
Check your heat
Contrary to popular belief, people living in Florida do have to use their heat during winter. And maybe we use it more often than our northern neighbors because we’re more sensitive to the cold. Gone are the days of open windows and refreshing breezes. Rain and heavy winds can result in a chilly and damaged home. That said, you're going to need a heating system that works properly. Keeping your home at warm temperatures also helps decrease your chances of running into issues with your pipes. Have your thermostat set at a warm temperature during the winter. In addition, check to see that all your vents are working, and no furniture is blocking them. Make sure all of the hot air circulates around your home and change the furnace filter on the first day of every month.
Roto-Rooter is proud to provide you with these useful tip to help winterize your plumbing for your home. If these tips aren’t enough the call 727-581-6610 today to make an appointment with one of our experienced Clearwater, FL plumbing professionals. We are always ready to help our customers with all of their plumbing and drain service needs.
More people each day are cutting corners by performing do-it-yourself installations in their homes. And yet, there are some instances when installation should be left in the hands of a professional, one of those being adding grease traps to your plumbing system. A residential grease trap installation was almost unheard of a few years ago but some large homes with professional style kitchens are now being equipped with them. But for the most part, a grease trap installation is usually done for a restaurant, or institutional kitchens such as in schools, hospitals and even churches. Here is the lowdown on the need for grease traps and how to budget for their installation costs:
About grease traps
Most of the substances that go down drains are easily broken down. However, heavy amounts of oil, grease or food can quickly cause drain and sewer clogs and when grease and cooking oil goes down a drain it can be harmful to the environment and cause problems at the water treatment plant. A grease trap is a device designed to intercept and prevent most greases and solids from entering plumbing systems and causing clogs and plumbing problems along the way.
Restaurants can benefit from the installation of a grease trap and many municipalities have plumbing codes that require grease traps in commercial kitchens. Understanding the plumbing codes before installation will save you a ton of trouble later because in most cases, a plumbing permit will be required and an inspection will be conducted by your code enforcement authorities to ensure the job is done correctly.
Who needs them?
Both residential and commercial buildings alike can benefit from the installation of a grease trap. However, the fixtures are mainly prevalent in restaurants because of the kitchens' high percentage of food and grease waste. With these traps, food and debris particles are caught before they pile up and pose an environmental or plumbing threat. Once full, grease traps are professionally pumped out and the grease is recycled or repurposed.
In order for grease traps to be effective, they must be properly sized, constructed and installed into your plumbing system. Because of these specific requirements, grease traps are traditionally more expensive than other plumbing operations.
How to budget
The commercial or residential grease trap installation cost can be expensive, but the building could benefit from it. There are plenty of ways you can budget for them. Here are some examples so, in a short time, your system can have a new grease trap:
Winter time can be a lot of fun. There are plenty of cold weather activities to partake in, like ice skating, skiing and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows. These are the great memories that come to mind when you think of winter. On the other hand, this kind of weather in New England can have its downfall. Snow and ice make the roads hard to drive on, shoveling can be exhausting and below-zero temperatures can get old fast. In addition, winter in Worcester is the time when your home can experience some of the most extensive and expensive wear and tear. This year, winterize your plumbing and protect your home this season with these simple tasks:
Begin with your pipes
When it comes to protecting your home during the winter, the water fixture you should be most worried about is your pipes. If not insulated properly, the water inside these tubes can freeze over time. As a result, you could find your home without running water. But it doesn't stop there. When water turns to ice, it expands and puts a strain on your pipes and possibly leading to them to split open. This water leakage - regardless of how little or big – won’t show itself until the pipes thaw. Water from a burst pipe can quickly damage your home, resulting in expensive and extensive repairs. So, what can you do to prevent frozen pipes?
To protect your plumbing and prevent frozen pipes, insulate your water pipes! You can easily do this alone, or if you don't trust yourself, call a professional plumber. Insulation will provide an outer layer of fibrous material to keep your pipes warm. This is especially important in places where your pipes are exposed to cold air, no heat and hardly any insulation, like basements, garages and attics. A simple, easy and inexpensive layer of insulation will greatly reduce the chance of any pipe-freezing issues. Learn more about protecting your plumbing all year round with our helpful seasonal plumbing tips.
Drip those faucets
Most people find it surprising that letting your water fixtures drip can actually help prevent plumbing complications. Allowing your faucets to drip water during the coldest periods will help prevent ice from forming inside your water pipes and prevent frozen pipes. View our plumbing basics to learn more about the plumbing throughout your home.
Check your heat
Protecting your plumbing systems won't do the trick without proper heat in your home. Run your furnace no lower than 55 degrees. In addition, check all your vents to ensure they're not covered by furniture or rugs. Opening your kitchen and bathroom sink cabinet doors will help the warm air circulate around your plumbing fixtures. Consider heating devices for rooms that are always cool.
Not many cities experience all four seasons like Boise, Idaho. The spring is bright, the summers are warm and the fall is cool and crisp. However, that also means that the winters can be cold and dreary! The city usually gets snow in the winter, especially close to the mountains.
If you're a homeowner in Boise, it's important to protect your plumbing as best you can, especially during the winter months. The more preparation you take, the more you reduce your chances of being inconvenienced by a lack of running water or heat. Here are some ways to winterize your plumbing and prepare your house for those colder months:
Start with your pipes
The most common problem homeowners face during the winter is with their plumbing fixtures. If the water in pipes is exposed to cold temperatures, it can freeze. How do you know if this happens? Sometimes your water and plumbing stops completely - a faucet won't deliver water or your showerhead won't turn on. Most of the time the water thaws and everything goes back to normal but sometimes a freeze causes serious damage. When water turns to ice, it expands putting too much pressure and strain on pipes, which may cause them to burst. This is when things can get even more serious but you won’t normally know a pipe has burst until it begins to thaw and you hear or see water spraying out of the pipe. Water leakage, no matter how bad, can cause extensive - and expensive - damage to your home requiring an emergency plumber. So, what do you do?
Winterize your plumbing by insulating your pipes to protect them against the cold. You can do this yourself or call a professional plumber. By insulating your water supply pipes, they will have an outer layer of fibrous material to shield them from extreme temperatures. It will help ensure that throughout the winter, the water inside the pipes doesn't freeze. Insulation is especially important in cold rooms like garages, attics and laundry rooms. If you're waiting for an experienced plumber to come out, try wrapping your pipes in newspaper or adding a heater to the room to make sure they have enough heat. Learn more about protecting your plumbing all year round with our helpful seasonal plumbing tips.
Let your water run but only at a trickle
It may come as a surprise, but opening faucets and letting a small amount of water flow through them can actually prevent frozen pipes and plumbing complications. By steadily running the water, you can prevent ice from forming in the supply tubes. The small amount of water movement is enough to keep them from freezing. Running them during extremely cold periods is a good practice. Sinks or tubs located against outside walls are most prone to freezing. Outdoor hoses are extremely susceptible to cold air so be sure to disconnect garden hoses and cover the hose bib with a foam insulation kit. View our plumbing basics to learn more about the plumbing throughout your home.
If you're going on a vacation, have someone come over every day to keep an eye on things if you know the temperature is going to be down into the teens or low twenties. The last thing you want is to come home to a burst pipe.
There are plenty of other small ways you can protect your plumbing and help prevent winter weather damage. For instance, be sure to keep your home warm during the cold weather. Close any garage doors, especially if there are plumbing fixtures housed in there.
Keeping your kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets open can help circulate warm air and ensure they won’t freeze. In addition, keep an eye on your thermostat throughout the day and night and never let it go below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Never turn your heat completely off if you're heading out on vacation.
Call a professional
When it comes to preventing damage to your home, you may want to leave it in the hands of a professional. Our plumbers at Roto-Rooter are experienced and knowledgeable. They can locate all of your exposed pipes and add protective layers of insulation to them.
You've probably been warned at some point in your life that pouring grease down the drain is a bad idea. Everyone has their lazy days, though, and you've probably ignored this warning in favor of a quick cleanup. Pouring trace amounts of grease down the drain once, while not a good thing, probably won't cause any serious blockages in your pipes, but if you frequently dispose of cooking oil and other grease deposits in the sink, then you have a problem building in your pipes.
Many people think that running hot water down the drain will keep grease from sticking, but unfortunately that's not entirely true. Oil may be going into your drain as a liquid but as it cools and trails through your pipes, it starts to solidify. When the grease has cooled, it often sticks to the surface of the pipes, eventually causing buildup.
Garbage disposals and grease
A misguided thought people often have is that it's okay to pour grease down a garbage disposal. The disposal does not have a special mechanism inside of it that destroys the grease, and the blades won't have much effect either. Instead, the blades will become less effective after repeated coatings of grease.
A few warning signs that will alert you of an impending blocked drain include slow drainage, gurgling noises coming from the drain, and a bad smell. If you can't seem to get rid of the clog yourself, call in a plumber to take care of the problem.
Proper ways to dispose of grease
If you were cooking bacon or hamburger and only have a little amount of grease in a pan, let it sit out on the stove while you eat your meal. Once the grease has solidified, use a spatula or paper towel to wipe out the mess and throw it in the garbage can and don’t pour the grease or oil down the drain.
Keeping a can or jar specifically for collecting grease is another option people use. This method works best if you often cook greasy food or if you have large amounts to dispose of at once. Simply drain your pan or dish of oil into a can and let it solidify. If the can is large enough, you don't have to throw it out right away either. Put a lid on it and set it in the corner of the fridge for future use. Once it's full, place it in the garbage can.
These are really the two best methods for getting rid of your extra oil rather than pouring grease down the drain. Do not try composting it. The grease will only make your pile smell and attract animals.
Whether you live in drought-stricken regions like California or not, it's important to conserve water when possible, and effectively use the water you need. But using water wisely is actually a lot easier than you might think, and it doesn't have to change your daily habits much. If you're trying to find some easy ways you can conserve water, take a look at these five ideas:
Adjust your water pressure
When the water pressure throughout your home is more than 60 pounds per square inch, it's actually high enough to damage your plumbing. Plus, it's just not necessary. Your local water authority can tell you how high your pressure is, and if necessary, you can install a pressure-reducing valve that will conserve a great deal of water every time you use a faucet in your home.
Is your kitchen faucet dripping every now and then? Or perhaps there's always a small pool of water under your outdoor spigot? Leaky faucets, toilets and other plumbing fixtures can waste gallons upon gallons of water each day, so it's important to get them repaired.
Switch to low-flow fixtures
If you have old faucets or shower heads, replace them with low-flow versions. You'll save water and see a decrease in your water bill!
Run full loads
Any time you're using your dishwasher or doing the laundry, wait to run the machine until you have a full load. If you must run smaller loads, change the water settings on your machines to account for it.
Rethink your watering
Automated sprinkler systems are convenient, but they can waste a lot of water. Consider watering your gardens and lawn manually so you don't overwater after heavy rainfall. If you want, attach a timer to your sprinkler - you can set it up manually and it will turn off automatically after a few minutes.
Baltimore homeowners are no strangers to cold weather. Catching a Ravens game can turn into a pretty chilly experience late in the season. With colder months just around the corner, take steps now to combat problems the drop in temperature can cause and learn how to prevent frozen pipes.
Plumbing problems during winter most commonly occur when pipes freeze. Not only can it be costly to fix broken pipes and the resulting water damage, but it can inconvenience your attempts to accomplish everyday tasks. The last thing you want is to be prevented from taking a hot shower on a cold winter day. This year, do yourself a favor by taking preventive steps to protect your pipes from the cold temperatures. Here are a few ways to prevent frozen pipes.
Give your pipes another layer
You wouldn't walk outside in the middle of winter without a coat. Just like you, the pipes in your home could stand to gain from an added layer of protection from the cold temperatures. Pay special attention to this tip when dealing with pipes that are most exposed to the cold air. Think of any piping you'll find near the outer walls in your home and exposed pipes in an unfinished basement or garage, for starters. Add a layer of insulation or thermal tape and you will significantly lower the chances of your pipes freezing. Learn more about protecting your plumbing all year round with our helpful seasonal plumbing tips.
Let your faucets drip
You can take a big step in preventing frozen pipes by simply allowing your faucets to constantly drip. Don't leave the water running heavily, but a drop every few seconds will ensure water flow in your pipes. That small movement of water is usually all it takes to prevent the freezing problem in your plumbing. Apply this advice to the showers in your bathrooms as well as the sinks in your kitchen.
Pay attention to outside
Don't forget about things attached to water sources, like hoses. Disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break. Make necessary repairs to any outside faucets that are dripping to prevent further damage. If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from outside lines. Cover outside faucets using a Styrofoam faucet insulation kit available at home centers.
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