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  • How to Fix a Running Toilet | Roto-Rooter

    Running toiletYou're sitting on the couch in your Hamilton, Ontario, home, watching a movie with your family, but you keep finding yourself distracted. What's that noise? Where is it coming from? You poke around your house chasing the noise. Jackpot: It's the toilet. You jiggle the handle a bit to try and stop the running noise. Nothing. Luckily, there are easy steps you can follow to fix the problem.

    Here are four tips for how to stop a running toilet:

    1. Readjust the fill tube

    One cause of a running toilet may be overflow. To solve this issue, first open the lid of the tank and locate the fill tube. You'll want to look for a small, rubber tube running from the fill valve to the overflow tube. The flexible tube is responsible for refilling the toilet bowl with water after a flush. If the tube is disabled or doesn't lead to the overflow tube, your toilet won't refill with fresh water, causing a weak flush. Simply and firmly attach the fill tube onto the fill back onto the valve. Next, flush your toilet to make sure the water is properly running down the overflow tube.

    2. Inadequate water level

    When you open the lid, you'll notice a rod with an adjustable float attached to it. This controls the tank's water level. There are two issues with the float that you could come across: It's set too high or too low. A low float results in a weak flush; and if the float is set too high, water floods the overflow tube and the fill valve won't shut off. The latter causes a continuous stream of water and that running noise you can't seem to shake.

    For reference, the float should rest at about 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube. To set the water level, adjust the float by pinching the clip and sliding the float up or down the rod until it hits that 1-inch mark. To make sure the water level is stable, flush the toilet and see if the water reaches and stops at the recommended height.

    If you're still experiencing issues after you adjusted the float, it's most likely flawed and you'll need to purchase a new one or contact a professional.

    3. Uneven or tangled flapper chain

    If you're unable to flush your toilet, there could potentially be an issue with the flapper chain. If a chain is too short or tangled, the flapper won't be able to close, therefore, water will continue leaking into the toilet bowl. If the chain is too long, the flapper is unable to expand wide enough and remain open throughout the entire flush. All you have to do is adjust the chain, leaving only a bit of slack when the lid is closed.

    4. Old flapper

    If you've performed all three methods above and are still distracted by that running noise, it's time to replace the flapper. This part is made of rubber, so over time, it will start to wear out and/or accumulate buildup.

    To start the replacement process, your tank must be completely drained. Do so by closing the water valve followed by a flush. Water will not refill the bowl if the valve is closed. Next, remove the old flapper by plucking it off its hinges. If you aren't sure where the flapper is located, it's the plastic material that's attached to the rod. Disconnect the flapper from the chain and replace it with the new one. After you've done that, open the valve all the way and try flushing your toilet a few times to be sure the chain is at its proper length.

    If you’re more of a visual learner then check out our video on How to Replace a Toilet Flapper Valve.

    Still having issues or concerned that you didn't perform these steps properly? Give your Hamilton Roto-Rooter professionals a call to come check it out. Better safe than sorry, right?

  • What To Do If You See Rainwater Pooling Around Your Vancouver Home

    Mold on wallMany Vancouver, British Columbia, residents live in a floodplain. What does that mean? Because of their proximity to the Alouette and Fraser rivers, their homes are a bit more susceptible to flooding from overflow after a heavy rain. So, if you do notice water starting to pool around your home, what steps should you take to minimize flood damage as much as possible? Here are a few things you can do:

    Prepare your basement

    Once water begins pooling around your foundation, there's a chance it can start to drip into your basement, sometimes quickly. Because of this, the first thing you should do when you notice water building up is prepare your basement for a potential flood. Remove all of your valuables from the room, and place any electronics on a higher floor. Then, turn off the basement's electricity completely from your fuse box. Remember: If you're not sure whether your electricity is off, you should never walk or wade through a flooded basement.

    Remove as much of the water as possible

    The water that's pooling around your home will be hard to remove until the storm is over or the area has had time to drain, but if it's only a small amount of water, you can try using large buckets to transfer it away from your house. If water is already entering your basement, use buckets or a wet/dry vacuum to try to remove as much as you can and limit the damage.

    Contact a professional for cleanup

    Whether your basement flooded completely or only a little water seeped through your foundation, your home is at risk for water damage and dangerous mold. Hire a professional to complete a water restoration service to clear out any water or moisture and ensure your home is protected from mold growth.

    Take preventative measures

    Keep in mind that there are always ways to protect your home against flooding, so taking preventative measures can keep it from happening again. Contact your local Vancouver Roto-Rooter professional to inspect your basement and install a sump pump that will immediately transfer any water that pools in your basement into a nearby storm drain. You can also have French drains installed throughout your yard to keep rain or floodwater from building up around your foundation. Also, if possible, it's a good idea to adjust your landscaping so your yards slope downward, away from your home - this will help water naturally flow in the direction you want it to.

  • 4 Concerns That Constitute as Plumbing Emergencies in Calgary

    Water damagePlumbing emergencies are scary - not just because your bathroom is now a swimming pool, but because the expenses involved in repairing your home can often do more damage than your broken toilet. If you find yourself in dire need of a plumber, contact your Calgary, Alberta, Roto-Rooter professional as soon as the crisis arises.

    Here are four plumbing emergencies that call for a professional:

    Overflowing toilets

    You start to notice the water progressively rising higher and higher in the toilet bowl, and it just doesn't seem to be going down - uh oh, it's flowing onto the floor. Now what? You reach your hand inside the tank to close the shutoff valve - still nothing but a waterfall. Something inside the tank isn't working properly and most likely needs to be fixed.

    Leaks inside the wall

    To detect a hidden leak, you'll want to look for deterioration or rotting within the framing of your walls. This typically occurs from a frozen or corroded pipe that has been leaking or, even worse, is completely busted. Before your plumber arrives, turn off the main water valve, or even just the valve that supports the pipe that is leaking. To prevent future mold growth, a professional will need to replace your cracked pipe as soon as possible.If you notice deterioration or severe damage to your walls, you are facing an internal leak due to a busted or frozen pipe.

    No hot water

    Being without hot water is bad for two reasons: frigid showers and a broken water heater. If you're experiencing this nightmare, the problem is either a malfunction in your water heater, electrical problems or a general leak in your pipelines - unless you forgot to pay your electric bill this month, then there's your issue right there. There are a handful of items that can cause a malfunction or wear out your water heater, so contact a professional so you aren't turning this into a DIY- type project.

    Learn more about your water heater.

    Sewage backup

    Are you constantly running around your home chasing that foul smell? Well, the chase stops here because the awful scent is coming from most of your drains. Warning signs of sewage backup include drain clogs, nauseating odors, rumbling toilets and a tiny pool of water surrounding the drain in your basement. This definitely constitutes as a plumbing emergency - do you really want to tackle a sewer-system backup without professional experience? Probably not - contact the experts.

    For additional questions about what constitutes as a plumbing emergency, call your Calgary Roto-Rooter professional today.

  • Outdoor Maple Ridge Plumbing Services You Didn't Know You Needed

    Outdoor faucetMost homeowners think the only plumbing fixtures that matter are found inside their homes, but that is a sad misconception. There is plenty of outdoor plumbing that needs just as much attention as the indoor system. Here are some of the outside fixtures in your Maple Ridge, British Columbia, home that may need some attention:

    Your gutter downspouts

    Whenever it rains, water collects in your gutters to flow through downspouts and into your drains. These fixtures are typically connected to pipes that take water to specified drains away from your home. However, throughout the year, your gutter downspouts can become clogged with various materials, like dirt, leaves and debris. This clog can cause the water to back up out of your downspout or drain. If not cleared, this issue can cause expensive and extensive water damage to your home. If you notice a change in your downspout gutters, be sure to call a professional plumber to come out and take a look. He or she should find the problem and fix it on the spot.

    Outdoor faucet leaks

    Your bathroom and kitchen sinks aren't the only water fixtures found around your home. If you notice your hose in the backyard is leaking, it's time to call a professional. Drips of water may seem harmless, especially if they're outside, but this can increase your water bill. Have a plumber come out to fix the leak so you don't end up paying for water you didn't even use.

    Be sure to regularly check your outdoor faucets to make sure they aren't leaking. You may not want to examine your hose in the dead of winter, but if your faucet isn't working at all, it could be an even bigger issue: a frozen pipe. While there are you many ways to help prevent frozen pipes, if you suspect this is the case, call a professional plumber immediately.

    Underground pipes

    Some home's pipes run deep underground and can be hard to reach. That can make plumbing maintenance difficult for someone without experience or the necessary tools. That's where a professional comes in. Your local Maple Ridge Roto-Rooter plumber can use a video camera to inspect your sewer lines. Down there, he or she can see inside the pipe entirely and assess any existing or potential problems safely. That way, there is no guesswork involved, and you'll receive the proper attention for your underground plumbing fixtures.

  • Easy Ways To Conserve Water In Your Vancouver Home | Roto-Rooter

    Kitchen sinkWater is a precious natural resource that every person needs to survive. Pollution and overuse have made a significant dent in available supplies, and it's up to us to conserve what we can to prevent further contamination as well as to extend the life of this commodity. Let's take a look at a few easy things that you can do to conserve water around your home:

    Look for leaks

    A leaky faucet is just hemorrhaging money. The longer you wait to fix this issue, the more expensive your monthly bills will be. However, with regular inspections, you can avoid these problems. It doesn't cost you anything to walk around your home and inspect faucets and pipes for any visible leaks. Even a small drip can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day. Homeowners should also put a little food coloring in the toilet tank to determine if the toilet water is leaking into the bowl. These types of issues can be easily and quickly fixed. A quick examination of your home's water meter during a two-hour period where no water was used can also show you if there is a leak present. Solving this problem early enough can save a lot of water and money in the process.

    Cut out water when possible

    It's easy to waste water because we often don't realize just how much is being used. When you brush your teeth, for example, do you leave the tap on? By turning the tap off instead, you could save about 1.5 gallons of water per minute. Water can also be cut down considerably in a few key areas. Rather than luxuriating in a 30-minute shower, get this time down and you'll save a ton of money and water in the process. Using a watering can to care for your outdoor plants will be much more efficient than a hose, and homeowners can put a jug of tap water in the fridge to ensure they don't have to run their faucet to get the right temperature. The water could also be used to wash produce or cook.

    Invest in conservative appliances

    With the green movement becoming more popular among homebuyers, many organizations have introduced appliances that capitalize on efficiency. Check the Consortium For Energy Efficiency to compare water use between washing machine models. Likewise, homeowners can look into specifics for their toilets, showerheads, dishwashers and other appliances such as our Roto Green products. This information will help you pick the best models for your home to conserve water and deliver the features that you want. Low flow showerheads can save a significant amount of water during showers. Pair that with the shorter timeframe suggested earlier, and you can start noticing a significant difference right away.

    Load your machines properly

    With clothes washing machines and dishwashers, it's essential to load these appliances correctly. Otherwise, your items won't be cleaned as effectively as they could be. There area number of common errors that people make when loading their dishwasher. For example, did you know that your cutlery should be as spaced out as possible? If they're all squished together, they won't be cleaned, and water won't be used as effectively. If you simply don't have the space, alternate with one headed up, one headed down. This will create more space and provide a better cleaning for the cutlery. Both washing appliances have the crux where if they are overloaded or not loaded appropriately, they will not run as efficiently, and may end up using more water to compensate.

    With these tips, it will be easier to conserve water and be more efficient. For all of your plumbing needs, call your local Vancouver Roto-Rooter professional!

  • 3 Maintenance Tips For Your Floor Drains | Roto-Rooter

    Bathroom floorEven homeowners who take proper care of their plumbing systems often miss a few key fixtures during routine cleaning and maintenance. Many times, that includes cleaning floor drains. Because these drains aren't a part of a larger plumbing fixture, they're easy to overlook. However, it's important to follow regular cleaning and maintenance regimens on these drains, just as you would with any sink or tub drain in your home. With that in mind, take a look at these three maintenance tips for taking proper care of the floor drains in your Hamilton, Ontario, home:

    Clear clogs ASAP

    Everything from pet hair to dryer lint to random debris can easily be swept into your floor drains, so clogs or backups are a bit more common than you may think. If you notice a room in your home is draining slowly, clear that clog as soon as you can so it doesn't worsen or potentially cause flooding. Often, a basic plunger works well to clear clogs in your floor drains - just make sure it's totally sealed around the drain, and pump a few times. If that doesn't dislodge the clog, try pouring a solution of baking soda and white vinegar down the drain.

    Fill traps every so often

    Floor drains have traps directly underneath them (these are U-shaped pipes that carry water down, then back up and out of your home's system). The purpose of traps is to prevent sewer odors and gasses from making their way through the drain and into your home. Make sure to fill these traps regularly to ensure they're working as they should - simply pour a gallon of water down each floor drain in your home. The water will fill the trap, forming a barrier between your home and your sewer system.

    Regularly clean drains

    Finally, even if you aren't noticing clogs or odor issues, it's important to regularly clean the floor drains in your home. Use our safe, liquid drain cleaner, or, if your drains haven't been cleaned in a while, have a professional plumber from your local Hamilton Roto-Rooter do the job for you. It's a good idea to schedule professional drain cleanings annually to prevent clogs and keep your system in great shape.

    If your floor drains are acting up and you aren't sure why, your local Hamilton Roto-Rooter professional will be happy to help.

  • How To Increase Your Water Pressure in Your Coquitlam Home

    Pipes in homeThere's nothing worse than turning on your showerhead and seeing that only a little bit of water is coming out. If this has happened to you before, your home may have low water pressure. There are a couple of reasons why this is happening. Luckily, most of them are an easy fix - some you can even do yourself! Here's how to increase the water pressure in your Coquitlam, British Columbia, home:

    Fix the blockage

    One of the most common reasons why people experience low water pressure is because there is a blockage in their pipes. If these pipes aren't cleaned properly materials build up over time and stick to the insides of the pipes. You can pick up a chemical solution at your local hardware store that can flush out the buildup so your water pressure goes back to normal. Or, however, one of our professional Roto-Rooter plumbers could also fix the problem for you.

    Upgrade your pipes

    Most homes get water from underground lines from municipal water companies. Underground, the water pressure is high, but due to friction in the transfer, sometimes water loses its momentum and pressure. This could be due to the size of your pipes. Replacing your old fixtures with newer, smaller pipes where water can run faster and more smoothly could do the trick.

    Check the water heater

    Sometimes the problem is easier to fix than you think. If you're experiencing low pressure, inspect your water heater. Somewhere down the road, it could have been turned down. Make sure it's operating at full capacity.

    Clean your faucets and showerheads

    Over time, faucets can catch dirt or sediment in the aerator, preventing your water from flowing freely. First, try to disassemble the faucet and clean it out. Soak the parts in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water for about three hours. The same thing goes for a showerhead. After that, clean off the fixtures, replace anything if it's broken and put all the pieces back together. Turn on the faucet or the showerhead, and see if there is any difference in the water pressure. If not, you may need a new fixture. If that still doesn't do the trick, call a professional Coquitlam Roto-Rooter plumber to take a look.

  • 3 Reasons To Get a Hands Free Faucet | Roto-Rooter

    Hands free faucetWe're all used to seeing hands-free faucets in commercial spaces like restaurants and stores, but hands-free faucets are increasing in popularity in homes as well. Whether you are currently remodeling your bath or kitchen, or simply want to replace the existing faucets in your home, a hands-free option may be a good choice for you. Take a look at three of the top reasons you may want to try hands-free faucets:

    To increase your conservation efforts

    With water conservation being such an important issue for everyone, efforts must be made throughout our homes to lessen our water usage. According to Avon Lake Regional Water, every time you wash your hands, you're using about 2.2 gallons of water per minute. Hands free faucets that turn off automatically can have the potential of conserving a significant amount of water each year. Touch faucets are not only better for the environment, but you should see a decrease on your water bill as well.

    Keep your faucet clean

    Another reason to go hands-free is to keep your faucet clean.  An automatic faucet does not get as dirty as a traditional faucet since you are not constantly transferring debris from touching the fixture.

    To prevent germs from spreading

    Hands free faucets also help prevent the spread of germs. Germs often linger on traditional faucet handles, which means you can easily pick them up when you're turning the water off after washing your hands. For families with children, hands-free faucets are a great addition to the home to keep everyone safe and healthy.

    For questions about hands-free faucets, or if you need help in selecting or installing one in your home, contact your local Roto-Rooter professional for assistance 24/7, including weekends and holidays.  In the event of a water emergency, always remember to contact Roto Rooter for prompt service when dealing with water damage clean up and restoration.

  • 4 Things That Cause Sump Pump Failure in Hamilton, ON

    Sump PumpThe sump pump is an important part of your home, even if you never really think about it. The machine is there to save your basement from flooding and your home from certain disaster, and it pays to make sure it's up-to-date and functioning properly. Let's take a look at a few causes of sump pump failure and how to prevent an unfortunate situation in the future:

    Power failure

    An unplanned power outage or electricity surge could cause your sump pump to quit working – and that's no good when it's storming outside your window. To solve this issue and to keep a power outage from happening in the future, install power surge protection devices. In addition, invest in a backup generator so that if the power goes out in your home for long periods of time, your basement won't bear the brunt of the storm.

    Frozen discharge pipes

    Frozen discharge pipes – or the pipes that allow the expelled water to drain out into the yard – are among the leading causes of a failing sump pump. If these pipes are clogged with debris or are frozen solid, this can cause backups and floods. To circumvent this situation, install a specialty discharge line, and make sure your pipe opening is covered by a grate to prevent debris from getting in.

    Old age

    There is no general rule on how often a sump pump should be replaced since it depends on how often the pump operates. If you do regular maintenance on the pump, you can prolong its life. However, all good things must come to an end, and if your current sump isn't performing the way it should, you may want to think about getting a new one.

    Improper installation

    If your sump pump isn't the right size or hasn't been installed correctly, this is tantamount to playing with fire (or, in this case, floodwaters). Severe flood damage could be in your future if you don't follow the manufacturer's instructions to the T, so enlisting the help of a certified plumbing professional is the answer here.

    Call your local plumber today for more information about how you can take advantage of our sump pump expertise – especially if you're planning to replace your fixture anytime soon.

  • 3 Factors That Will Affect Your Sump Pump in Hamilton

    Sump PumpIt is important to keep a close eye on the sump pump in your Hamilton, Ontario, home. This hefty piece of machinery is essential in keeping your house free from mold and water damage. With that being said, when's the last time you took a gander at your sump pump? Be sure it's draining properly, or your basement be left with the aftermath when the next big thunderstorm rumbles through. Not sure what causes sump pump failure? That's OK, Roto-Rooter is here to help.

    Here are three factors that will affect your sump pump:

    Frozen or clogged pipelines

    Those chilly Hamilton winters are definitely unfavorable to your overall pipelines - specifically to the discharge line connected to the sump pump. If water is unable to leave your home via the discharge line, the entire system will back up and simply stop working. That's why it's crucial to protect the discharge pipe from freezing temperatures and debris like ice, snow, rocks, dirt, sticks, leaves, etc. If water isn't able to seamlessly flow out of its exit point, a significant amount of water will build up. This will eventually cause overflow and result in major flooding in your basement.

    Faulty installation

    If you tried to take matters into your own hands and installed the sump pump without consulting a professional, there is a high chance you might have taken a wrong turn. In order for your pump to be fully functional, it must be installed properly. If you forgot one tiny detail, like drilling the small air-relief hole in the discharge line, you will eventually end up with severe water damage. This hole exists to relieve pressure, but if it's left off your checklist, the system can over pressurize, burst and then flood. This is just one example of an installation gone wrong. To prevent it in the future, contact your local Roto-Rooter professional.

    Power outage

    Now that spring is upon us, it's important to be prepared for all the power outages in the event that an intense thunderstorm rolls through. After all, a power outage is the most common cause for sump-pump failure. Gear up and have a backup generator on hand, but be sure it's one that can be manually activated. For your reference, sump pumps are relatively vulnerable to damage caused by a power outage. In order to protect your machine (and overall electrical system) from power failure, talk to a Roto-Rooter expert about installing a special device to help protect your pump from future surges.

    For more information on how to better care for your sump pump, contact your Hamilton Roto-Rooter professional today.

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