Expert Advice For Everyday Plumbing Issues
The Alberta housing market looks very different today than it did 20 years ago. There has been a shift away from the traditional family home, and an increase in Albertans looking to the rental market for their next apartment or house.
Regardless of whether you rent or own, every home dweller is likely to have questions and concerns about plumbing maintenance. Alpha Plumbing has years of experience in household plumbing maintenance, and has developed a guide to get you through the basics.
Alpha Plumbingunderstands that a service call may not fit in to your busy schedule, but from experience, neither will water damage repairs. Following a few guidelines from the plumbing professionals can help to keep your home's plumbing maintained.
Your bathroom and kitchen drains are meant for water, but we are naturally tempted to test that theory. It may seem convenient in the moment, but at no time should you dump coffee grounds, food debris, any kind of grease, vegetable peelings, or starchy foods like rice or potatoes, etc., down your drain. A better place for these items is your green cart. If you are experiencing a clogged drain, contact a professional plumber to learn about your options.
Watch What You Flush
We all know what the toilet is used for, right? Well new products have expanded the normal definition of "flushable products", and caused some serious plumbing issues as a result. If you have not seen a video on the effect of flushing these products, review the Alberta Onsite Wastewater video, and you might change your flushing habits. Feminine hygiene products, paper towel, wipes, condoms, diapers, cotton swabs, kitty litter, hair, and other items marked as flushable simply do not belong in a toilet.
Chemical Drain Cleaner
What do you rely on to unplug a clogged drain? There are many chemical products that promise results, but are drain cleaners safe for you plumbing system? It may depend on the type of plumbing in your home. The current thought amongst Calgary plumbers is that galvanized pipes may become more susceptible to leaks and corrosion after exposure to these strong chemicals. Alpha Plumbing can help suggest home remedies, such as using an auger, and prepare you to handle problems in the future while keeping your drains intact. A slow drain might simply require a home solution such as baking soda and vinegar left to sit in the drain, followed by a flush out with hot water. Not your expertise? Call Alpha Plumbing for assistance.
Where is your main water valve?
When going on vacation, Alpha Plumbing recommends shutting off your main water valve. Where is it located, you ask? In most Alberta homes, the main water valve will be located in the basement, typically in your boiler room. Make sure you know where it is AND keep it accessible at all times. Can’t tell what you’re looking at? The Professional plumbers at Alpha Plumbing will lend a hand.
Don’t Ignore Drips or Running Toilets
Not repairing a running toilet is estimated to waste 200 gallons of water per day. Beyond paying more for your utilities bill, this common issue can also wear down your bathroom fixtures over time. Call Alpha Plumbing now if you have noticed drips or leaking toilets in your home.
Separate Shut-Off Valves on Your Fixtures
All plumbing fixtures will require replacement or repair at some point. Whether you are experienced and decide to do this yourself, or you call a professional Calgary plumber, you will need to know the location of the shut-off valve for the fixture in need of repair. For a kitchen or bathroom sink, the shut-off valves are normally located just underneath or in the cabinet. Keep the shut-off valves accessible in the event of an emergency.
NOTE: If your home does not have individual fixture shut off valves, now is a good time to contact Alpha Plumbing to get them professionally installed.
Sewer Drain Clogs and Accessibility
Alpha Plumbing hopes you never have to experience a flooded basement, but being aware of where the sewer drain is located in your home (normally in the basement), and keeping the area accessible will help you be prepared should the worst happen.
In older areas of the city with lots of trees, a professional plumber may need to repair your sewer drain due to clogging from root systems. The trees causing your sewer drain trouble may not even be on your property! Contact a local plumber if you are unsure of where to find your sewer drain, or if you are worried about a clogged sewer drain.
Water Heater Efficiency
Don't set your water heater too high! Read the water heater manual for correct settings that can save you money and extend the life of your water heater. Call Alpha Plumbers if your manual has gone missing, and we can recommend settings for you.
Pipes, Not For Hanging
All too often, items are hung on water pipes out of convenience. This is a hazard as the weight of a hanging item can cause the pipe to break or become damaged. Damaged pipes can cause serious issues in your home if not repaired. If you are concerned about potentially damaged or broken pipes, an expert plumber can save you time and money by repairing it early.
Outside Faucets in the Winter
Water left in hoses or sprinkler systems attached to your home can freeze during our cold Alberta winters. This has the potential to break or damage the tap allowing water to escape. Turning off water to outside taps (usually being done from inside your home with the main water valve) and removing any hoses will help protect against damage. Alpha Plumbing offers line clearing services every fall to help prepare you for the winter ahead.
You don't have to be an expert plumber to prevent against common plumbing issues. Whether you are a home renter or a home owner, understanding some basics regarding the plumbing in your residence can save you time and money. Things will inevitably break or need repair, but now you are ready to solve the problem, or assist Alpha Plumbing in getting the job done.