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How To Keep Your Bathroom Plumbing Working Properly

Owning your own home should be one of those things that makes you ready to take on the world because it’s such a huge accomplishment. Unfortunately, you usually end up being nervous about everything, especially your bathroom plumbing.

Some of you might wonder what’s so problematic about the plumbing in the bathroom compared to the rest of the house. Well, it really has to do with the usual “life functions” that take place in the bathroom. The last thing the plumbing in that room needs to have is a problem because the last thing we want in our home is the stuff inside the plumbing.

The problem that a lot of homeowners have is that they are not very experienced when it comes to working on the plumbing in their home, regardless of the room. When it comes to the bathroom, we have fairly rudimentary knowledge of how to use a plunger, but in the back of our minds, we really don’t want to have to deal with that prospective mess. Still, you’re a homeowner now, which means you really have to be on top of things. Your home depends on your elbow grease to keep doing its thing, so enough of sticking your head in the ground – it’s time to get to work.

Here are a few very basic tips on keeping your bathroom plumbing working properly:

Always Be On The Lookout for Drips & Leaks – Listen to your toilet after you flush and watch your faucet after you’ve washed your hands. Do you hear or see drips? If so, you’re seeing two things: 1) a symptom of something that has to be fixed; and 2) money down the drain. You would be shocked to know how much water is wasted due to small leaks.

Try To Prevent Clogs and Blockages – Most clogs and blockages in your bathroom drains are caused by greasy build-up, hair, and other yucky stuff. Try your best to lessen the amount of these things by using traps.

Check Fixtures for Cracks and Leaks – So, you’re an amateur plumber, but that does not mean you can’t see something that isn’t quite right. Take a flashlight and look your bathroom fixtures for any developing cracks and leaks. The compromise of the actual fixture can interrupt the basic function of your plumbing.

Be As Proactive As Possible – If there is one place to be a little over the top in terms of trying to get ahead of things, it’s your bathroom. Find out if you have hard water. Check for limescale. If you are in an older home, think about upgrading the vanity plumbing. Give your bathroom every chance it can have to run well.

Your bathroom plumbing doesn’t have to be a menace to your peace of mind. Even with little to no knowledge of plumbing, you can actually do a lot to keep your bathroom plumbing operating the way it should. In the event that a problem may still occur, be proactive and seek out a local plumber with a stellar reputation & great service. Having a professional on your side is always a good bet.

Water Treatment Fundamentals

Improving the quality of water involves disinfection plus purification of untreated surface and ground water.

Community Level

A public/private water treatment facility aims to make water safe to drink and pleasant to taste, while also making sure that there is enough water to supply the needs of the community.

Raw, untreated water comes from an underground aquifer (via wells) or surface water sources like a river or lake. It flows or is pumped to a treatment facility. The moment it is there, the water is treated beforehand to take away debris – like leaves and silt. Then it goes through a series of treatment processes, which include disinfection and filtration using chemicals or physical processes, eliminating microorganisms that cause diseases. Once the treatment is completed, water flows out through a system of pumps and pipes, which is often called the distribution system.

There is a slight difference of water treatment process at various places, based on the technology of the plant and water needed to be processed, but the fundamental principles are mostly the same.

Coagulation / Flocculation

At the coagulation state, liquid aluminium sulfate or alum, and at times polymer, is placed in untreated/raw water. This mixture causes tiny dirt particles in water to be fastened together or coagulated. Then, collections of dirt particles join together to produce bigger, heavier particles – known as flocs – which are easily removed through filtration/settling.

Sedimentation

When water and floc particles go through the treatment process, they flow into sedimentation basins where water moves slowly, letting heavy floc particles dip to the bottom. Floc collected on the lowermost part of the basin is known as sludge. This goes through pipes to reach the drying lagoons. The sedimentation state is not included in Direct Filtration and so, the floc is removed through filtration.

Filtration

Water goes through a filter intended to remove water particles. The filters contain layers of gravel and sand, and in other cases, crushed anthracite. Filtration gathers the suspended water impurities and boosts the efficacy of disinfection. The filters are cleaned on a regular basis by means of backwashing.

Disinfection

Before water goes into the distribution system, it is disinfected to make sure that bacteria that causes diseases, parasites and viruses is eliminated. Chlorine is used since it a very effective in disinfecting and maintaining residual concentration to protect from possible biological contamination present in the system of water distribution.

Sludge Drying

Solids collected then settled out from the water through sedimentation and filtration are taken away and brought to drying lagoons.

Fluoridation

The process of water fluoridation is the treatment of community water supplies to adjust the concentration of free fluoride ion to its optimal level, which is enough to reduce dental cavities. It is mandatory for Hunter Water to fluoridate water in conformity to the NSW Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1957.

Correction of pH

Filtered water has lime added to it to adjust the pH level and stabilize natural soft water, so corrosion in the distribution system and customers’ plumbing can be reduced.

Toilet Leaking? Do This First

A toilet leaking in your home can feel like an albatross around your neck. While it may not necessarily require an epic poem to be written about your struggles, toilet issues certainly weigh you down in a way that most things in life just won’t.

Part of the reason why a leaking toilet can be such a downer is because a large percentage of us just don’t know how best to address the issue. Unless we were given a crash-course in plumbing as kids, we just don’t have the know-how. It’s also frustrating because when you consider what a toilet really is in terms of its parts, there’s nothing to it. You’re looking at a big hunk of porcelain with only a few moving parts inside the tank. And yet, finding a toilet leak can be like trying to find the Fountain of Youth.

It’s important to remain calm. No good can come from working aggressively or scatterbrained. A toilet leaking doesn’t have to hurt your relationship with your family. The first thing you must do is turn off the water to the toilet. The water in the toilet is actually helpful because it gives you something you can use to find the leak. Also, you’re trying to avoid water damage as even the smallest leak can lead to big structural issues if ignored long enough. In some extreme cases, you may need to shut-off the water to the entire house. Whether it’s to the toilet or to the house, you want to be sure you know how to shut the water off before you have a problem. That’s the type of “learning on the job” you want to avoid.

Grab a flashlight and start inspecting the toilet. Have some towels around to help keep things as dry as possible while you get on the floor to really inspect the nooks and crannies of your toilet. Make a slow path from top to bottom or vice-versa. Check the water supply line connection as it meets the toilet tank, and then check the line as it meets the wall at supply valve. Maybe the actual problem area is the point where the fixture is connected at the floor to the toilet anchor flange (closet flange). The wax ring seal may need replacing.

Finally, the toilet leaking issue is acknowledged & identified, and it seems as though you could probably fix the leak yourself. Or can you? As a homeowner, it’s your job to do the best you can for your home, and sometimes this means getting a professional tradesman involved. The last thing you want to do is make an issue worse, and if your toilet is leaking, you want to keep it at only that and nothing more. What’s more, a professional plumber can take the information you provide (based on your inspection), and use it to help pinpoint the problem & make the necessary repair Having a professional plumber help out is also great because if they run into a snag, they have the knowledge and experience to find their way out of the bind & keep moving forward. You might not be as lucky.

Just remember that if you have a toilet leaking, don’t ignore it. Do what you can to help the situation, and always be ready to call a reliable plumber to make sure the job is done right the first time.

Getting the Best Value In Sewer Line Replacement Starts Here

Sewer line replacement is something that no homeowner ever wants to go through because it usually means that something took place that prompted the replacement in the first place. It could be something as simple and mundane as a number of drains either draining slowly or being blocked up at the same time. It could also be something as serious as sewage backing up into the home.

Either way, sewer line replacement is not the type of thing that anyone wants to deal with, but when you start seeing the signs, you have to get with it & start making the right moves. Now, this may seem as though you’re shopping around for the better bargain & bang for your buck, but in reality, you are & that’s a good thing.

If you do a general search online for the cost you may incur when replacing your home’s sewer line, you will find dollar figures all over the map. Granted, most of them are in the four-figure range, but where in that range varies quite a bit. It’s bad enough that you have to deal with problems in your home’s plumbing, but the last thing you want to find out is that you paid too much for services rendered.

It may be good to know that when you’re “in the market” for this type of work, you might want to think about the various ways the process can take place:

Traditional Digging – This is the “old-school” method, and while it’s effective, it can really do a number on your yard & landscaping.

Trenchless Replacement – This serves as a bit of an umbrella term describing the process by which you can replace a sewer line without the traditional use of a backhoe for digging.

“Pipe within a Pipe” – Sometimes a resin can be introduced into your current sewer line, and when it hardens, a “pipe” is created that provides a new line. This does require you to have an intact pipe in the first place (trenchless).

Pipe Bursting – If your sewer line has damage, the pipe bursting method may work best. This process allows a new line to be pulled through, breaking up & displacing the old pipe while it simultaneously sets the new line in (trenchless).

Each of these replacement methods serve as an option that may work for your home, but you won’t know that for sure unless you have someone take a look at your current state. A local, dependable plumber will be able to inspect your current sewer line with a fiber optic camera. This way, they can give you a pretty detailed look at where things stand with your sewer line & can advise you as to the best option for your home.

Sewer line replacement is the pits, but it’s good to know you have some options. Sure, the expense is something you can’t quite prepare yourself for, but knowing that a trusted local plumber with years of experience can bring you some peace of mind along the way is nice.

Techniques to Troubleshoot Water Leaks in Your Premise

Water leaks

Damaged caused by water leaks could be worse than what we think. If immediate actions are not taken, water leaks can damage the foundations of your premise and cause heavy loss. Water leakage is a common plumbing problem. However, households find it difficult to inspect and detect leaks. It all comes down to locating the leakage point. Sometimes leaks are hidden and cannot be detected without proper equipment and skills. If you are facing low water pressure in your house, then you should go ahead and try to figure out the issue. Here is what you can do to find a potential water leak:

Check your water bill

The first thing you can do is to see if there is an unusual rise in your water bills. Check your water meter if there is an unexpected fluctuation in the water consumption in your premise. Make sure that all the taps and showers are closed and that water is not being consumed in your house. Next step is to check water meter to find out whether or not it is moving. If the water meter is still, nothing is to be worried about. If it is moving, there is something wrong.

Determine the leak point

A water leak can occur either inside or outside your house. In order to find this, shut off the main water valve which is usually located in the basement or garage. Once the main water valve is shut off, again check the water meter to see if it is still moving. Chances are that the leak is outside your building if the matter is moving. If the meter is still, the leak could be inside your house.

Look for signs

Water stains and mold on the ceiling, walls, and floors make a water leak more evident. The cabinets under sinks should also be inspected for discolored areas. The water hoses connected with washing machines is also a common area where leaks occur. Water leaks also create an odor which is a sign of a broken pipe in the wall or ceiling.

There is a number of fixtures: water tank, flush valve, sinks, network of pipes, taps, etc. that form a plumbing system. An ideal approach is to regularly inspect all the reachable fixtures to see if everything is alright. Old and corroding fixtures ask for trouble.

Once you are sure that there is a water leak in your premise, consult a dependable plumbing company immediately to fix the issue. It is recommended to carry out a thorough plumbing inspection after 6 months or once in a year to ensure that there is no sign of trouble.

Converting Over To Unvented Hot Water

What does converting over to unvented hot water mean?

Basically, it means that both your hot and cold water supplies will work on the incoming water mains pressure.

So why would you convert over to unvented hot and cold water?

There are a few reasons why you would convert over, but I will explain the main reason first.

You have a shower, that when using, is very slow and just about gets you wet when showering, it’s annoying, you want to feel clean and refreshed after your shower.

You may be in the shower and someone opens a hot tap somewhere else, your shower then goes cold, even stops until the tap is closed.

Another good reason for converting over is freeing up space in the loft.

You will no longer need the cold water storage tank, normally located in the loft, sometimes it’s on the roof, even in a cupboard, by removing the tank it frees up valuable space, that we all need these days.

Something else that most people don’t even think about when converting over, is it’s more hygienic, Let me explain.

With a cold water storage take, it’s not completely sealed, so birds, vermin and more can get into the tank.

Once they enter your tank, your water could become contaminated, you could be bathing, even brushing your teeth in contaminated water.

Many years ago a customer of mine, asked if I would attend his property, he had small brown hairy bits coming out of his bathroom basin tap, and would I come and take a look.

Once at the property, I went into the loft to check the cold water storage tank, to my amazement, there were 5 or 6 dead squirrels in the tank.

They had been in there for some time as they were starting to break apart, this explained why my customer was complaining of brown bits coming out of the tap.

So you can see why converting over to unvented hot and cold water is so much more hygienic.

All unvented hot water cylinders are directly fed from the incoming mains water supply and have no openings for any form of vermin to enter, it’s completely sealed.

So what are the pros and cons of converting over to unvented?

High pressure at all water outlets for both hot and cold supplies, including the shower.

Freeing up valuable space by removing the cold water storage tank.

For me though, the most important of all is, being more hygienic.

Before you have any work carried out, the incoming water mains needs to be checked, to ensure you have enough pressure to supply both the hot and cold outlets.

The pipework needs to be of the correct size to supply the outlets, you may have a very good pressure but if the pipework is too small, it will work but not as good as it could.

All unvented hot water cylinders must be maintained, this usually involves an annual service.

It’s a good idea to ask the company that carries out the annual service on your gas boiler to carry out a service on the unvented cylinder at the same time.

All companies and engineers who work on unvented systems need to be registered by law, just like anyone working with gas.

Converting over to unvented hot can an will be more economical to use.

Five Things A Master Plumber Will Never Tell You

Watching a master plumber come into your home and make quick work of a repair is both awe-inspiring and defeating. On one hand, you’re thrilled that someone who knows what they’re doing got the job done right from the start. You’re also left feeling as though you’ve failed somewhere in life. You may even wonder why you didn’t become a master plumber.

Of course, you know it is just frustration talking, but it can stick in your mind when someone, using fairly basic tools that you might even own, was able to make a repair that was out of your reach. This is how you start to recognize, and admire, the work that master plumbers put into their certification and licensing.

There are some folks out there that are tempted to ask for any advice or insight from their plumbing pro. There are some incredibly generous service techs who are more than willing to give you advice on regular maintenance and even some small repairs. However, this isn’t the case with all of them. Just remember that it’s not that they are being rude. It just wouldn’t make much sense for a master plumber to give you a copy of his or her own playbook, right?

Even without this almost sacred insight, you might be surprised to learn that many master plumber secrets aren’t really that secretive. Many of the most common issues they run into are common knowledge.

Here are a few example:

Dripping Water – A little dripping water can really help when the temperature drops. Sure, you might have a little more to pay on your water bill, but it beats paying for a busted pipe and water damage.

Fix Issues with Fixtures Early – These are those little repair jobs that are really easy to ignore. If you’re faucets or toilet are dripping or running, though, that’s money right down the drain. You need to get on those repairs ASAP.

“Using Your Toilet As Trash Can – Even though products come out & say they are safe to go down your toilet, just remember that the only things that should go down your toilet are waste & toilet tissue.

DIY Water Savers – Offsetting the water usage of your toilet with a wrapped brick or a filled gallon jug may cause it to be inefficient. You’ll find that replacing your home’s toilets with low-flow units will use less water & save you money in the long-run.

Manic Mondays – This is one’s a bit odd, but it makes sense. We tend to have bigger get-togethers on the weekend, and with more usage comes more work for your plumbing system. Also, a lot more DIY work takes place during the weekend, which means any errors that have to be corrected happen on Monday.

Taking a small peek into the mind of the master plumber is nice for the proactive homeowner looking to keeping their plumbing operating at its best. However, it’s always important to know that you’ve got a plumbing pro nearby that’s got your back when you need some assistance.