Sunday, March 29, 2020

Solving 3 of the Most Common Plumbing Problems

Anthony's Plumbing

March 29, 2020 - Sunday

Solving 3 of the Most Common Plumbing Problems:

Plumbing issues have a wide range of possibilities, from the relatively minor and inexpensive, such as a dripping faucet or running toilet, all the way to a sewer system backup or a major pipe leak capable of causing severe damage to walls, floors, and personal property. A study found that on average, most people call a professional plumber around once every three years. Common plumbing problems can include basic issues such as dripping faucets, all the way through to burst pipes. The good news is that Anthony’s Plumbing is available 24/7 locally for all your plumbing needs.

Here are three of the most common issues that can result in the need for plumbing work. You can prevent or minimize problems from occurring if you know the types of things that most often go wrong. More advanced problems will generally require the help of a professional plumber.

3 Most Common Plumbing Issues
  • Dripping faucets
  • Slow draining sink
  • Clogged bath or shower drain

1. Dripping Faucets
Dripping faucets are so common that it's rare to find someone who hasn't experienced this issue. It's not just a source of irritation; the waste of water can increase your water bill and cost you additional money. A single faucet can drip away hundreds of gallons over the course of a year.

The cause of dripping faucets in most cases is an internal washer that has become stiff, torn, worn, or dislodged over time. Fixing the problem is often achievable by the average householder, but it requires the correct tools. If you search YouTube for “How to Fix a Dripping Faucet” or “How to Fix a Leaky Faucet” you’ll find countless videos that show how to address the problem. As always, if you need additional help, Anthony’s Plumbing is here 24/7, so don’t be afraid to call.

2. Slow Draining Sink
This problem is normally caused by some sort of blockage that is restricting water flow. Your kitchen sink drain may contain things like congealed fat and food remnants. After making sure there is no silverware that slipped down the drain, try running water briefly and turn on your garbage disposal for a few seconds to see if that clears the problem. In a bathroom sink, the blockage is more likely to be caused by knotted hair and soap.

Methods for clearing a clogged sink might involve using a plunger, pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain, using a chemical clog remover, or using a plumber's snake. If the problem isn't tackled, then it will likely worsen over time, until eventually the drain is completely blocked. At that point, if you feel you’ve run out of options, give us a call and we can help.

How to Unclog a Sink Drain Using Chemicals
  • Be sure to follow all the directions on the packaging and make sure not to use too much.
  • Wear gloves and goggles for safety.
  • Don't mix chemicals. This can produce poisonous gas.
  • Pour chemicals down the drain.

Note: Chemicals can cause damage to your drainage pipes if used repeatedly, so I would recommend not resorting to this method lightly. If there’s any questions in this regard, give us a call. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

3. Clogged Bath or Shower Drain
As with slow draining bathroom sinks, bath and shower drains generally get blocked up by clogs of hair and soap. Clearing the blockage may require the use of a plunger or a snake. Baking soda and vinegar can sometimes dissolve the clog too. The problem generally gets worse over time, if not dealt with. The problem can be prevented or minimized by buying a drain guard to catch the hair.

How to Unclog Your Shower Drain Using a Plunger
  • Adding petroleum jelly to the edge of the suction pad will improve the seal.
  • Make sure there is enough water in the shower so that the end of the plunger is submerged.
  • Make sure the plunger covers the drain as completely as possible.
  • Plunge vigorously.

If that doesn’t work, our number is 909-823-3807 and we are here 24/7 for all your plumbing needs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus and Clogged Toilets

Anthony's Plumbing

March 25, 2020 - Wednesday

Coronavirus and Clogged Toilets

More and more toilets and sewer systems are backing up as people clean their homes with disinfectant wipes and turn to paper towels, napkins and baby wipes to deal with the shortage of toilet paper. 

Wastewater treatment officials across the nation have asked residents not to flush wipes down the toilet using the hashtag #WipesClogPipes. Many Americans seem to be following the recommendations of public health officials to clean and sterilize countertops, doorknobs, faucets and other frequently touched surfaces in their homes. The problem? Many are then tossing the disinfectant wipes, paper towels and other paper products they used into the toilet. The result has been a coast-to-coast surge in backed-up sewer lines and overflowing toilets, according to plumbers and public officials, who have pleaded with Americans to spare the nation’s pipes from further strain. Many say the woes besieging the nation’s infrastructure have been compounded by the lack of toilet paper on store shelves, which is leading some to use paper towels, napkins or baby wipes instead.

It seems easy to dispose of almost anything in the toilet - flush, and forget. But, flushing the wrong things down the toilet can cause some serious and expensive problems for your home’s plumbing lines. It can also cause even bigger problems in your local sewer system, from the pipes running under the street outside your home, to the treatment plant, which were designed to dispose and treat specific items. While it might seem to make your daily life easier, putting the wrong thing down the toilet can and do cause blockages, which take time and money to fix.

“Flushable wipes are not truly flushable,” said Jim Bunsey, chief operating officer of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. “They might go down the drain, but they do not break up like regular toilet paper.”

Several plumbing company around the country have issued a similar plea to their customers and said that substituting facial tissue for toilet paper was “another bad idea,” unless it’s used in small amounts and flushed frequently.

The California State Water Resources Control Board warned this week that “even wipes labeled ‘flushable’ will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the state. Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.” The agency said wastewater treatment plants across California were reporting problems. It noted that most urban sewage systems depend on gravity and water flow to move toilet paper and waste, and were not designed to accommodate disinfectant wipes and paper towels, which do not break down as easily and clog the system. The board noted that clogged sewer lines are more than just a headache for residents cooped up in their homes during a pandemic. Spills flow into lakes, rivers and oceans, where they can harm public health and the environment, it said.

Plumbers said they were fielding an increase in calls from people working from home and self-quarantining.

“We have noticed an uptick in the amount of clogged main sewer lines and, when we dispatch our technicians, we are pulling baby wipes out of the line and we’re seeing paper towels and Lysol wipes,” Mark Russo, vice president of Russo Brothers & Company, a plumbing and heating service in East Hanover, N.J., said on Saturday. “These items are things that should never be flushed down the toilet,” he said.

Of course we know that clogs happen. For whatever the reason, Anthony's Plumbing is here 24/7 for all your plumbing needs. During this extremely difficult situation with COVID-19, we are implementing social distancing. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our customers. We have been mandated by the federal government as an essential business, and that is not a responsibility that we take lightly. Thank you, be safe, be aware and be diligent. [If you have questions, you can reach us at 909-823-3807].

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Pex or Copper - Which is Better for Repiping?

Anthony's Plumbing

March 1, 2020 - Thursday

Pex or Copper - Which is Better for Repiping?

Have you been thinking about repiping your home lately? Are your home’s pipes damaged or corroded? If so, you may be wondering whether you should use pex or copper to get the job done correctly.

In this article, we’ll talk about the differences between pex and copper pipes so you can make a more informed choice. We’ll also go through the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you answer the questions about whether to choose pex or copper for your repiping job?

Pex vs Copper Pipes – The Difference Between the Two Materials
Don’t worry if you have no idea which type of pipe to use in your home! There are really only two options and neither one is the wrong choice; each material has its pros and cons.

Pex piping is a flexible material that’s easy for plumbers to install. It’s made of cross-linked polyethylene, which ranges in size from 1/4-inch to 4-inch, but 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, and 1-inch are the most  commonly used sizes. Most pex that you see comes in red or blue and relates to whether the water in hat section is hot (red) or cold (blue).

Pros of Using pex pipe vs copper
* Pex piping has fewer joints, which lowers your overall repiping cost
* Pex can be used with hot and cold water
* Pex has a higher resistance to breaking during extreme cold weather, so it’s less likely to burst, since it’s a much more flexible material
* Pex has a shutoff valve at each supply line (which is convenient in the event of repairs)
* Lower shipping and handling costs, as pex pipes are stored on spools and weigh less
* Cross-linked polyethylene can turn 90 degree corners and doesn’t require plumbers to use elbow fittings
* Pex piping is safer to install (it doesn’t require a torch to make connections)
* It more efficiently keeps heat inside

As you can see, there are many advantages to using pex piping within your home; however, there are also many advantages to using copper pipes within your home.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of using copper in your repiping job…

Advantages of Using copper pipes
Copper pipes have been used by plumbers for quite a long time for hot and cold tap water, as well as within home HVAC systems. There is soft copper and rigid copper, both of which are ideal for different piping purposes.

Soft copper is ideal for air conditioners and heat pumps; rigid copper is more commonly used for water lines, as it can be heated and bent without cracking.

The pex or copper debate – a few reasons to choose copper
* Copper is the only material that comes with a 50-year warrantee from the manufacturer
* For more than 70 years, plumbers have been successfully using copper for piping
* More than 80% of modern homes are built using copper piping
* Copper is a natural material that’s environmentally friendly; you can count on it staying in good condition, even years after being installed
* Color coding makes it easy to know which pipes are hot and cold (again, red is hot, blue is cold)
* Copper fittings create joints that are leak proof when they’re installed properly
* In the event of a fire, copper tubing will not give off any toxic gases
* Copper tubing prevents harmful bacteria from growing
* You can use copper outside, as it’s not affected by ultraviolet rays

Pex pipe vs copper – the disadvantages to consider
Now that we’ve gone through the advantages of using both pex material and copper material when repiping your home, let’s be sure we cover all the bases by looking at the disadvantages of both.

Cons of using pex
* Pex piping can’t be used outside
* Water damage is possible, as the material is not impermeable (copper is)
* As far as sustainability, pex cannot be recycled after use

Cons of using copper
* Copper can corrode over time
* In cold weather, copper pipes can freeze and burst
* Copper is more expensive than pex (pex costs 1/3 of what copper costs)

As you can see, there are good reasons to use pex piping in your home, as well as good reasons to use copper piping in your home.

If you’re performing the repiping job yourself, you would have an easier time using pex piping material. If you’re hiring a professional plumbing company to get the job done, copper may be a better choice since it requires soldering, or connecting pipes together using a propane torch.

After reading this detailed article, we hope you’re walking away with a better understanding of the differences between pex and copper piping. In the end, it’s up to you! Just be sure to consider the pros and cons of each material before investing. Ultimately, if you have any questions or need help choosing, ask your friendly, professional plumbing friends at Anthony’s Plumbing. We are here 24/7 and if we can’t take your call [because we’re out in the field], we will be sure to get to you as soon as possible.