Friday, January 17, 2020

5 Tips For When Your Toilet Keeps Running

Anthony's Plumbing

January 17, 2020 - Friday

5 TIPS FOR WHEN YOUR TOILET KEEPS RUNNING:

Have you ever noticed that when you flush your toilet, the water filling up in the tank just seems to run and run forever? Generally, at that point, someone in the house takes the cover off the tank and looks around inside to see what the problem could be. 

If your toilet keeps running after you flush, you probably have a lot of concerns. Will the toilet overflow? Is it costing me more money? What’s wrong with the toilet?

A running toilet usually doesn’t mean a serious plumbing problem, but it can be very annoying. Not to mention, a continuously running toilet can cost the average homeowner $1,000 more a year in water costs (on top of wasting 5,000+ gallons of water each month).

1. Check the Toilet Flapper
Is water leaking through the toilet flapper inside the toilet tank? The most common reason for a running toilet is the toilet flapper not closing properly.

Over time, the flapper may become worn down or the rubber plug inside of the toilet tank loses its seal as it’s used. When this happens, it will no longer seal off the tank properly. You may need to get a new flapper from your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. If you have Amazon Prime, you can usually get one the next day, but unless you know how to measure your existing flapper, it’s probably better to take the old one with you to your local hardware store. 

Remove the toilet flapper by unhooking the sides from the pins at the bottom of the overflow tube. What’s the overflow tube? It’s the open PVC pipe-looking tube in the center of the tank.
Inspect the flapper for mineral deposits, warping, discoloration, and other signs of damage. The bottom of the flapper should be smooth. If it’s not, or if there are signs of damage, you’ll need to replace the flapper.

You should be able to pull the flapper right off and you can take your old flapper with you to make sure you get the right replacement. Flappers are fairly inexpensive. Pick the closest looking match of a “universal” replacement flapper, unless your toilet originally had an “adjustable” flapper installed.

To replace the flapper, fit in into place and attach the hooks on the side to the pins on the overflow tube. Then flush the toilet and see if it still runs after you flush. 

2. Check the Water Level in the Tank
If the flapper isn’t the problem with your running toilet, the second most common cause is the water level inside of the tank.

In your tank, there is a water line and if the water is not filled up to this line, then the tank can cause your toilet to run.

Alternatively, when the water level is too high, water will constantly fill into the overflow tube and cause a constant running sound.

Open the back of your toilet tank and see if water is going into the overflow tube when the tank is full. The overflow tube is an open tube in the middle of the tank that connects the tank and the toilet bowl. If water keeps draining into the tube, you can adjust the water level by lowering the float ball.
A float ball fill valve will have a long arm attached to the fill valve. At the end of the arm, there’s a rubber ball-shaped float that rises or lowers with the water level.
The float height tells the fill valve to shut off when the tank is full. Shake the float ball to determine if there’s water inside it. If there is, replace the float ball.

You can lower the water level in the tank by adjusting the height of the float ball.
On top of the fill valve, there will be a screw attaching the float arm to the fill valve. You can adjust the height of the float by using a screwdriver or pliers to turn the screw.
Turn the screw counterclockwise to lower the water level or turn the screw clockwise to raise the water level.

Then, flush the toilet to let the water in the tank refill. You want the water to be around 1-1.5 inches below the top of the overflow tube. If it’s too high or too low, keep turning the screw in quarter turns.
This should address the water level issue.

3. Check the Fill Valve
Is your toilet still running even after trying the previous steps? The next thing to do would be to replace the fill valve.

This is something that most non-plumbers can do themselves, but it can be very time-consuming, especially if you haven’t done it before.
To replace the fill valve, first, turn off the water and empty the tank.
Next, disconnect the water supply line by unscrewing the lock nut on the outside of the toilet. Then, remove the old fill valve. Take the old fill valve with you to the hardware store so you can make sure you get the right replacement.
Fit the new fill valve in the old place and screw it in. Then, connect the water supply line.
Attach the fill tube to the water output nozzle at the top of the fill valve, adjust the float, and test.

4. Check the Toilet Chain
Your toilet chain’s job is to raise and lower the flapper at the bottom of the toilet tank, which controls whether the water in your toilet tank is flushing or not.
Open the back of the toilet tank and locate the chain. This chain should come off a metal arm in the toilet tank.

Toilet chain unhooked: At the bottom of the chain, there is a small metal hook. This hook can sometimes come undone. Normally, the hook should attach the chain to the flapper at the bottom. If it can’t form a seal, you’ll have a constantly running toilet on your hands!

Toilet chain too long: If your toilet chain is too long, it may be getting stuck under the edge of the flapper and prevent it from closing or making a seal. Trim the chain to lessen its slack.

Toilet chain too short: If your toilet chain is too short, the bottom flapper won’t lay flat even when the chain is fully extended. Sometimes the chain can become wrapped, this can be due to kinks in the chain. See if the chain on the flap at the bottom is caught or wrapped around the metal arm. Smooth them out, or you may need to buy a new chain altogether.

5. Check the Toilet Handle
If for some reason all the other fixes you’ve tried don’t work, give your handle a once-over. Does it stick when you press it? If so, it may be old and you need to replace it.

If all else fails, call Anthony’s Plumbing and we can help you resolve the problem. This is just one of the plumbing services we offer in your local area. Most people wouldn’t classify this as a plumbing emergency, but it may feel like it when the tank won’t fill and allow you to get a proper flush. Remember, if you need help with anything to do with plumbing, just give us a call.

Friday, January 3, 2020

How To Protect Your Plumbing From the Cold

Anthony's Plumbing

January 3, 2020 - Friday

PROTECTING YOUR PLUMBING FROM THE COLD WEATHER:

Winter can create lots of problems with your home plumbing system. With the temperature here in southern California going up and down nearly every day, there are a few times between now and March when we will see freezing temperatures locally. Frozen water in your pipes can destroy your plumbing from the inside out. Prepare for upcoming temperature drops with these preventative measures:

1. Fix all pipe leaks.
Check all exposed indoor and outdoor pipes for leaks. If you need help with leak detection, just call us and we can help. This includes slab leak detection. If you see water coming through the bottom of a wall or the floor or pad are always wet, you may need professional leak detection to find the issue. 

2.Insulate your pipes.
Locate any exposed pipes in your attic, garage or crawl spaces and wrap them with plumbing insulation foam. This will protect your pipes and will help keep your home and water warmer in the winter.

3.Drain your evaporative cooler or swamp cooler.
Turn off the cooler’s water and power, then drain the water supply line and water out of the cooler.

4.Insulate and heat your pump house.
If you have a well, make sure that your pump house piping is well insulated. Also, make sure that your pump house has a properly working heater to keep its temperature above freezing.

5.Protect your hose bibs.
Remove any garden hoses from the bibs, as this can trap water and damage your plumbing when it freezes. Then, drain the collected water from the bibs and insulate them.

6.Winterize your sprinkler system.
Turn off the water and drain any collected water from your sprinklers. You can do this by turning on each individual valve connected to the sprinkler system.

7.Locate your water main.
This is the most important tip. Know where your water main in case of an emergency, like a burst pipe. You want to know where your water main so that you can shut off your water quickly and minimize your plumbing’s damage. Make sure you know where your water shutoff valve is and that you have direct and easy access to it.

Burst Pipe Repair
Burst pipes frequently happen in the winter due to freezing water and temperatures. If one of your plumbing pipes burst, you will need to call a plumber as soon as possible. Burst pipes can cause tons of damage to not only your plumbing, but also to your home and property. Turn off your water to prevent further damage and have a plumber come out to repair it quickly.

Plumbers Near Me
Anthony’s Plumbing is your local plumber and has the best plumbers in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles County and Riverside County. If you are looking for a 24 hour plumber or need emergency plumbing services, now you know who to call.

We can repair, service, maintenance or install any plumbing appliance or fixture. Our plumbers aim to provide you with the best service and quality. Call us today at (909) 823-3807 or visit us online at: https://www.anthonyplumber.com/.
 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Plumbing Emergencies

Anthony's Plumbing

December 24, 2019 - Tuesday

5 TIPS TO AVOID A HOLIDAY PLUMBING EMERGENCY:

For many people, this is their favorite time of year.

Not so much, though, when you’re ankle deep in water or frantically trying to think what could be causing your clogged drain.

Before your guests arrive for the holidays, be sure you’re equipped to avoid a plumbing emergency and enjoy the festivities without a hitch. Check out these 5 tips to avoid a holiday plumbing emergency.

1. Clear your drains.
Your drains are soon to be consumers of more than you think. If you want to be sure they’re in working order, consider having them cleaned before your beloved guests arrive. Installing a simple drain strainer in your sinks and showers will ensure debris won’t get stuck in your pipes and save you from having to unclog the drain or deal with a plumbing emergency. Wouldn’t you rather be partaking in your holiday outing?

2. Keep an eye on your garbage disposal.
Certain foods are a recipe for disaster for your garbage disposal. Whether you’re husking corn or looking for a dumping place for extra grease or oil, the garbage disposal is not the place. In fact, your garbage disposal can only handle so much, and the consequences of throwing even the slightest amount of unwanted items down your drain can cause quite a stir. Choose the trash bin instead.

3. Be conscious of shower times.
Unless you’re planning to tape off your bathroom doorway or invest in an “out of order” sign, your guests are going to want to shower at some point. Ask them to allow a 15-minute resting time between each person so your drain and water heater can catch up. If running out of hot water is a frequent problem in your household, perhaps it’s time to invest in a tankless water heater. If that’s something you are interested in, contact us and let’s talk. 

4. Invest in extra trash bins.
Toilet clogs are the last thing you want to deal with when there are guests in your home and the festivities are in full swing. Get some extra trash bins and place them in the bathroom and kitchen to be sure unwanted items aren’t being disposed of in the improper way. Place one near the toilet so guests won’t be prompted to use the toilet as a garbage can and cause a plumbing emergency.

5. Leak Detection
Leak detection is important before having guests over for the Holidays. You guest bathroom may not get a lot of use, and therefore may not be up to the challenge of Holiday entertaining. Also, you may be unaware of any plumbing issues that might exist if you never use the guest bathroom. Before your loved ones arrive, it is better to inspect your guest bathroom for any leaks. Look under the sink, check the shower, and look around the toilet. Make any necessary repairs before people get there to prevent any unnecessary leaks.

Although you can take precautions to avoid a holiday disaster, sometimes a plumbing emergency strikes when you least expect it. That’s why Anthony’s Plumbing is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to solve your plumbing needs. Our punctual plumbers are experts in drain cleaning and emergency plumbing, as well as any other plumbing services you might need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and ensure your plumbing is in proper working order.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

How To Make Your Own Drain Cleaner at Home


Anthony's Plumbing

December 3, 2019 - Tuesday

HOW YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN DRAIN CLEANER AT HOME

Is your home filled with clogged drains? Did you know you could fix most of them by spending less than ten bucks in easy to find materials?

Most of the labels on drain cleaners in the store can make you feel dizzy with all the scientific terms. Good news for you, though: there’s a whole DIY community that has made it easy to unclog a drain yourself.

If you want to save money on drain cleaner and learn a bit of chemistry along the way, keep reading for the tips you need to know! 

THE INGREDIENTS FOR HOME MADE DRAIN CLEANER
When you are making DIY drain cleaner, it’s best to have a stable list of ingredients that you can afford monthly. Start by researching the baseline supplies for the drain cleaner you want to make, then adjust your list to your needs and your budget. Here are the basic ingredients that you’re likely to need:

CLEANER BASES
Baking soda is one of the best store-bought solutions for drain cleaning. Composed of sodium carbonate, baking soda is full of sodiums that help break down dirt and grime. You can buy baking soda almost anywhere and because of its low price you can buy it in bulk.

Baking soda is reactive, meaning that if you add an acid (such as vinegar) it will become excited. This compound can jostle and break down grime that’s built up in your drain.

The trick is starting with sodium. This means you can use salt or Borax instead of baking soda just as well. Anytime you combine a sodium base with an acid you will get a halfway decent cleaning solution.

You can think of Borax as a concentrated form of baking soda. It contains a few extra chemical chains that make it a cleaning alternative and not a cooking formula. If you decide to use Borax make sure to keep it away from any sensitive body parts, children, or pets.

ACIDS
Acids are your key to a positive chemical reaction. When you add any acid, even one mild as lemon juice, to sodium, you get a reaction capable of cleaning your drain. If you want to unclog your drain, find a multipurpose acid that you can buy for cheap.

Vinegar is a great acid for your drain cleaning mixture. You can add it to any of the sodiums listed above to get quick results.

Lemon juice is a weaker acid that works just as well. However, lemons have less acidity than vinegar, meaning you will have to add more lemon juice than an average drain cleaner recipe.

Cream of tartar is less another option that is derived from tartaric acid. This makes it a viable acid that you can add to baking soda and water to get a great cleaner.

SODIUM AND ACID REACTIONS
The general rule applies: when you add a weak salt base with a strong based acid you will get an acidic solution. Accordingly, combining medium-strength salts and acids will leave you with a fairly strong compound.

Adding sodium and citric acid will give you carbon dioxide gas. Don’t worry, adding the right amount of both creates enough reaction for drain cleaning. It will not cause you harm.

THE STEPS
Now you know the cheapest and most simple ingredients for homemade drain cleaner. For this section, we’ll be talking about how to mix and apply your ingredients to your clogged drain.

PREPARATIONS
First, get all of your ingredients in the right order. For example, you will always add your sodium before you add your acid solution. You might have some blockages at the surface of your drain, clean these out before moving forward.

STEP 1
Begin by pouring your sodium solution to the drain. Remember, you can use any of the contents listed above. If you choose to use a powder like baking soda, you can use a funnel to pour it down the drain.

This fills your drain with the base to your draining reaction. It makes a foundation for your acid, leading to the dissolution of gunk and grime.

STEP 2
Now it’s time you add your acids. You can use any of the acids presented in this post, just make sure to always add them after your sodium. Doing any of these steps out of order will make the process useless.

After you add something like vinegar or cream of tartar to your powdered sodium you must wait up to one hour. It’s advised that you plug your drain while you wait.

STEP 3
Add a pot or two of boiling water to your drain. The hot water has an easier time passing through your drain and pushing the dissolved gunk through.

To recap: add your powder sodium and acid then pour a pot or two of boiling water down the drain.

This will work for almost any drain you have in your home. If you are dealing with a larger drainage system you might want to buy a professional solution or call us at Anthony’s Plumbing for help.

PLUMBING DONE RIGHT
There’s no question that DIY home repair can be a pleasing experience. After all, it’s your home so why can’t you be the one to fix it?

After reading this post you are well-equipped to unclog your sinks and bathtubs using a homemade drain cleaner. The formula is simple and most importantly, everything on this list is cheap.

Still, sometimes a drain is harder to fix than with baking soda and vinegar. In cases like these, it’s best to hire a professional.

If you can’t do it with store-bought items, try contacting Anthony’s Plumbing by calling 909-823-3807. Your next step is exactly that, start a dialogue with a pro and get your house back to its old self!

Friday, November 1, 2019

How Does a Slab Leak Happen?

Anthony's Plumbing

November 1, 2019 - Friday

HOW DOES A SLAB LEAK HAPPEN?

Have you noticed your water bills are on the rise, but there’s no real increase in water usage in your home? If that’s the case, there could be a leak in the slab under your home. Knowing what causes water leaks can help you be more aware of how to maintain your pipes, and if there is ever an emergency, you’ll know exactly what service to ask for when you call us. Creaking, bending, or bubbling floors, along with the smell of mold or mildew are also common signs that there is water leaking in the slab foundation throughout your property. These concerns aren't just costly, they could be putting the structure of your home at risk.

Slab leaks occur in different ways. A water leak could be causing the concrete foundation to crumble, or the soil around the foundation to moisten and give way, reducing the support the foundation has to keep the home in place. Our experts at Anthony’s Plumbing are able to target the leak, repair or replace the pipe, and inspect the water meter and surrounding pipes to look for other water concerns.

If there is a problem where water comes from the city pipe to the house, trenchless repairs may be necessary. You’ll want to have the slab examined if the leak was going for a long time without notice. The longer the leak goes without repair, the more potential there is for damages to all the structural materials throughout the house like the house frame.

As soon as the signs of a slab leak are noticeable around the home, take action and contact a professional from Anthony’s Plumbing to service your home. That way you can restore your home quickly and get back to life! 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

In Case of Fire


Anthony's Plumbing

October 24, 2019 - Thursday

IN CASE OF FIRE

With the Santa Ana winds upon us, there are fires flaring up everywhere, it seems. As a home owner, or a small business person, what do you need to do in the event of a mandatory evacuation [like the one they had this morning]? 

A very real concern for the safety of your family and home or business is to make sure you turn off the gas to the kitchen, laundry room and water heater. 

Gas Supply to Your Water Heater
All gas appliances have a separate shut-off valve, and it’s usually found within a few feet of the appliance. To find the gas shut-off valve on your water heater, simply look for a single handle, which is usually located near the bottom of the unit.
To turn off the gas, turn this valve clockwise. If you can’t get the gas valve to turn or can’t find the gas valve, then you may need to trust that the second option will do the trick, which is when you turn off the gas to the whole house. 

Gas Meter Shut-off Valve

As with the water heater’s gas shut-off valve, the gas meter shut-off valve is also relatively easy to find. It should be right next to your gas meter, which is found on the exterior of the house. The gas valve is on when it’s parallel to the incoming gas line. To stop the flow of gas, the valve needs to be turned a quarter-turn so that it is perpendicular to the gas line. Once completed, the gas line is closed and the flow of gas is stopped. Usually, this valve can only be opened and closed with a wrench, so make sure you have one handy.
If you are having trouble turning off the gas supply to the water heater or if you have any other questions or concerns, call your local gas company or you can call us 24/7 at: 909-823-3807.

When you Get the All- Clear

Once you have the okay to return to your home or business, turning the gas back on and relighting the pilot lights is relatively easy. An important note: If you have any questions at all, please call us. Safety, when dealing with gas appliances, is very important. The first thing you'll want to do is turn on the gas on your outside gas meter. Once the gas is on outside,return to your water heater and open the shut-off valve by turning it counter-clockwise [to the left]. Next, turn the gas regulator valve's knob to “Pilot,” press down on it and hold it down. This starts the flow of gas to the pilot burner. On some water heater models, you press and hold down a separate red button to start the pilot burner gas flow. Once the pilot light is restored, go to any of your sinks and test the hot water to ensure it is working correctly.

Your Other Appliances

While we don't work on dryers, or gas appliances in kitchens, if you turn off the gas, for whatever reason, it is important to be careful and know what you are doing when you restore the gas. Most dryers today have an electronic ignition, so restoring gas will be a matter of turning on the shutoff valve. If your dryer is from before 1994, or if you are unsure, please contact your gas company for further help. Dryers from before 1994 usually had a pilot light, but relighting it will vary from model to model. The same applies to the appliances in your kitchen that use gas. If the appliance uses a pilot light, it will need to be re-lit, but please consult your gas company or other service professional before you proceed. If you have any questions, please call your gas company first, or you can call us at 909-823-3807.   

Monday, September 30, 2019

Did You Know That Traditional Water Heaters Need Cleaning Too?



Anthony's Plumbing

September 30, 2019 - Monday

WATER HEATERS NEED CLEANING FROM TIME TO TIME TOO


Did You Know That Traditional Water Heaters Need Cleaning Too?
Every day, the typical family or business relies on their water heaters, but too often we forget about the maintenance necessary to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they last as long as possible. For those with a more traditional water heater, one important part of hot water heater maintenance is cleaning and flushing out the tank. Water heater flushing helps to clear out sediments and minerals that build up. Doing this routinely will extend the lifespan of your water heater, help it work more efficiently, reduce the risk of clogs in your pipes and make your water heater safer. Given the importance of hot water heater flushing, today we’ll talk about some of the basics of this process so you can make it part of your maintenance routine.

When is Water Heater Cleaning Best?

Sediment and minerals naturally build up in your water heater over time. This is an inevitable part of the process of using your water heater and, as long as you regularly flush it out, this won’t lead to problems. However, if you don’t clean it out regularly, this buildup can create problems for your hot water heater and other plumbing systems throughout your home. We recommend that you clean your hot water heater at least once a year. An annual water heater flushing will help to keep your unit running properly and to help it last as long as possible.


Signs That it’s Time to Clean Your Water Heater

While you’ll want to clean your water heater at least once a year, there might be times when you need to clean it more often than that. Being aware of those signs will help you avoid a plumbing issue and avoid causing damage to your water heater. If you find that you’re getting less hot water from your tank, if you see sediment in the drain valve or if you hear a banging or rumbling sound from your water heater, it’s likely an indication that your water heater needs to be cleaned. If you notice any of these things, you should clean out your water heater as soon as possible.

When it’s Time to Install a New Water Heater
Even with routine maintenance, at some point, you’ll have to replace your water heater. Recognizing when you need to do this can help you avoid an outage, a plumbing emergency and water damage to your home. The average water heater lasts for about 10 to 12 years. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, you’ll want to be especially aware of any issues and address them as soon as possible. If you’re getting warm, but not hot water, if you’re getting cloudy water, if you hear banging or rumbling even after cleaning your water heater or if there’s rust in your water, it’s likely time to replace your hot water heater. If you see any of these signs, it’s best to have your hot water heater inspected. Recognizing when it’s time to replace your water heater could save you from some major plumbing headaches. We hope these tips will help you stay on top of your hot water heater maintenance.

And, if you haven’t recently done so, take a moment to check your water heater to ensure that everything looks, sounds and works properly. If you notice any problems or need to have your hot water heater serviced, or if you want to upgrade to a tankless water heater, call Anthony’s Plumbing today at (909) 823-3807.