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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY

Saturday, 24 November 2018 00:01

4 Ways To Prevent Kitchen Drain Problems


Drain Cleaning Sarasota

Keeping your kitchen drain flowing smoothly is simple if you follow a few simple rules.

1. Keep grease out of drains. Grease and fat are among the worse things you can pour down a drain. You may get away with pouring grease for a while without noticing any problems, but over time grease can accumulate inside the drain and slow the flow of water. grease can also cause food waste to cling to the inside of the drain, making a sticky mess. A safe way to dispose of oil and grease is to pour it into an empty plastic container that can be sealed and thrown into the trash. Thicker grease can be wiped off pans with a paper towel and thrown into the garbage.

2. Don't overload the disposal. While garbage disposals are a great convenience, it's important to to rely too heavily on the disposal to get rid of all your food waste. Scrape food waste into the garbage prior to rinsing dishes into the sink.

3. Starchy foods are bad for drains. Food that become sticky and expand when wet, such as pasta, patatos, rice, etc, can cling to the inside of pipes. and create stubborn clogs. Also avoid putting egg shells and banana peels down the disposal.

4. Maintain your drains. When using your disposal always run plenty of water , and let the water run for 30 seconds after turning off the disposal. You can also keep your drains in good condition by spreading a half a cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. After the solution stops fizzing, pour a few cups of boiling water.

If you notice that your drains are emptying slowly, give us a call, we can help clear the toughest clogs.
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 19:06

The ABC's of Plumbing - Hydrojetting

Over time, pipes inside your home can begin to accumulate limescale, grease and other debris that can gradually slow the flow of waste water, eventually causing drains to empty slowly or backup. While snaking, rodding are effective in many situations, the safest and most effective way to clear out stubborn clogs and thoroughly clean out pipes throughout your home's plumbing system, is to use hydrojetting.

Sarasota Hydrojetting

How Does Hydrojetting Work?

Hydrojetting is a technique that plumbers use to scour the inside surface of pipes with high-pressure water. The process involves inserting a hose to the plumbing system's cleanout, an access point to the inside of a pipe. The hose is connected to a specialized pressure washer that controls the amount of water that is injected into the pipe.

A plumber must know the right water pressure to use depending on the condition of the pipes, so before beginning a small video camera is used to assess the condition of the interior of the pipe and determine the extent of the buildup so the pressure can be adjusted accordingly. The pressure required to do the job may be 5,000 psi or more, or as much as 20 gallons per minute.

One of the reasons hydrojetting is so effective is that it employs gravity to scour the pipe from the bottom up. The combination of the natural downstream gravity flow of the waste and the upstream pressurized blast of water scours the pipe wall, dislodging debris and flushing it down the pipe. After the pipe has been hydrojetted, the inside of the pipe is again inspected with a camera to ensure that the process was effective.

Even if your drains seem to be working fine right now, hydrojetting of sewer and drain lines is a good way to inspect and maintain your home's plumbing system to ensure that the small problems don't become major sewer and drain clogs down the road.

Have questions about hydrojetting? Call ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help with all your home sewer and drain maintenance needs.
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 15:02

5 DIY Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

Performing plumbing projects around the home can be a satisfying way to improve your home and save a little money. However, before tackling those plumbing projects it's important to understand the potential pitfalls to stay safe and avoid damaging your home.

DIY Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid

1. Chemical Drain Cleaners

When a drain becomes clogged the first thing many homeowners think of are the commercials they have seen for chemical drain cleaning products. While they can be very effective at clearing certain kinds of clogs, they come with important safety warnings.

The same chemicals that quickly dissolve organic matter like hair and grease can cause chemical burns to your skin or even blindness if they come in contact with your eyes. They can also damage metal pipes, plumbing fixtures, and other finishes in the kitchen and bathroom if not used correctly.

A far safer way to clear a clogged drain is with a little elbow grease and a plumbing auger. There are also natural drain cleaning products that use enzymes to break down organic material. Baking soda, vinegar and hot water is another natural method to clean out a drain. These natural methods may take a little longer to do the job, but can just as effective as more caustic drain cleaners.

If none of the above options work for those stubborn clogs, your plumber can solve the toughest clogged drain problems safely and quickly.


2. Not Shutting off the Water Supply

Most plumbing projects require turning off the water. Forget this step and you'll be dealing with gushing pipes and a big mess. If you can't locate the local shut-off valve near a fixture, turn it off at the water main.


3. Not Getting a Permit

You've just had your brand new hot tub delivered and you're all ready to install it in your new sunroom. Before you begin, do you need a permit? Some municipalities allow homeowners to pull their own permits, while others require a contractor. Always check before you begin any remodeling or installation project that you have all the required permits. This will ensure that the project is up to code and installed safely. You'll also avoid the hassle of potential fines or red flags down the road when you try to sell the home.


4. Bad Pipe Connections

In homes with copper pipes, it's important to understand the proper way to connect copper to galvanized pipes. If the two metals are connected directly, they can quickly corrode, leading to water leaks. This type of connection requires a special fitting called a dielectric union, which prevents the two metals from contacting each other.


Ask the Pros!

If you're not sure you have the skills to tackle your next plumbing project, give us a call. We would be happy to explain what's involved in completing the project. After all, there's no replacement for experience.
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 23:25

What Causes Gurgling Drain Noises?

If you're hearing gurgling sounds after using your sink, shower or toilet, there are several possible causes. The most common cause of slow clearing drains is an obstruction caused by a build-up of grease or waste on the inside of the pipe. A thorough drain cleaning using a drain snake or water jetting can clear the residue from inside the pipe and get the water flowing again.

Vent Stack Obstructions

In order for wastewater to flow out of the home air must be able to fill the vacuum left behind by the escaping water. A vent pipe serves this purpose by extending from drainpipes out through the roof of the house. All plumbing fixtures must be connected to the main vent pipe through a re-vent pipe which that spans across to the main vent stack that exits through the roof. In some cases, usually with basement plumbing, the vent may exit out of a side wall if allowed by local building codes.

If you hear gurgling sounds when you flush a toilet or turn on a faucet the vent pipe may be obstructed and in need of clearing. For example, there could be a birds next obstructing the pipe, or it may have been damaged by a storm. It could also be a sign that the plumbing system is faulty needs a new vent line. Another symptom of an obstructed or insufficient venting is plumbing odors, as vent pipes also allow fumes to exit through the airway behind the draining water. In either case, ABC Southwest can inspect the vent pipes to ensure they are working properly.
Thursday, 04 January 2018 17:25

Tips to Clean & Deodorize Your Drains

Keeping your drains clean will not only help remove the buildup that can lead to clogged drains and sewer line problems, it can also reduce the unpleasant odors caused by food waste in kitchen drains.

Southwest Florida Drain Cleaning

If water starts to drain slowly, we recommend trying natural methods rather than store-bought chemical cleaners that can present a safety hazard and risk damaging metal finishes on plumbing fixtures.

First, try quickly pouring about two quarts of boiling hot water down the drain. Wait several minutes, then pour cold water to solidify the remaining grease. Repeat the process again with hot water rinse away the remaining congealed residue.

If odors are a problem, deodorize and clean drains with white vinegar. Heat 4-6 cups of vinegar until just simmering. Wait one minute. Pour 2-3 cups down the drain, rinse with cold water, then pour the remaining hot vinegar down the drain.

For stubborn drain residue, first, run hot water down the drain. Turn the water off. Add a cup of baking soda down the drain. Next, pour 2 cups of hot vinegar down the drain. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and scrub the residue from the drain. After a half hour flush the drain with hot water.

To keep garbage disposals clean and fresh, grind ice cubes occasionally to clean residue off the blades.
Thursday, 19 October 2017 23:46

Preventing Drain Problems During the Holidays

Sarasota Florida PlumberFamily gathering and lots of cooking can put a lot of demands on your home's plumbing system. Unfortunately, if you have been having sewer or drain problems, the holidays are the most common time when serious clogs and backups will occur. Here are some tips to prevent drain problems during the holidays.

1. Have your sewer and drain lines inspected. An ounce of inspection is worth a pound of clogged drain debris. A video sewer and drain line inspection will give you the peas of mind that your sewer and drain lines are in top condition and ready to deal with the extra demands of holiday guests this season.

2. Don't put grease down the drain. What do you do with all that oil from the deep fryer are cooking your turkey this year? Never pour the grease down the kitchen drain or even a floor drain. Instead, put it in a sealed container and freeze it. Then put it in the trash can.

3. Put coffee grinds in the garbage.  Coffee grounds should not go in the disposal or down the drain.

4. Use strainers in drains. Make sure your kitchen and bath drains have a grate or screen to prevent debris from entering the drain pipe.

5. Rinse the drains regularly with hot water. This will help prevent oil and grease from accumulating.

6. Use safe drain products. If your drains are prone to clogging, consider a safe, environmentally friendly option for keeping your plumbing system working smoothly. Bio-Clean is a safe blend of bacteria and enzymes. The friendly bacteria actually eat away the build up, leaving behind only water, carbon dioxide and mineral ash. The bacteria continue to multiply, thriving on their natural food source . . . that gunky build up in your pipes and drains, completely cleaning your home’s entire plumbing system.

Have a clogged drain?

First, try physically clearing the drain with a plunger. We recommend avoiding the use of chemical drain cleaning products. They can be hazardous to use and store in the home. If all else fails, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help fix your plumbing problems, so you can keep your holiday guests happy.
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 18:08

Solutions For Gurgling Bathroom Plumbing

Do you have bathroom drains that gurgle for a while after use? In older homes, it's not uncommon for water to take longer to drain. The reason is that pipes used in the past were smaller in diameter than they are today. In addition, the home may not a have sufficient numer of vent pipes in the roof to aid in drain flow. When the systen is starved of outside airflow, the result is often gurgling sounds.

A professional plumber should clean out the drains with a drain snake or a high pressure drain cleaning machine. In many cases it's not the floor drain that causes the problem, so be sure to have the upper reaches of the plumbing system inspected, including the vent pipes.

Have plumbing or drain problems? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help diagnose the problems and offer effective solutions.



Tuesday, 14 March 2017 17:12

Spring Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Spring is a good time to check your home's plumbing system and perform a few simple maintenance tasks to ensure system continue to work smoothly. Here are some items to check.

Sewer & Drains

  1. If you have slow or drains that regularly back up. Have your plumber clean out the drain before there is a backup.
  2. Ensure that sink drains have strainers to prevent debris from building up inside the drain.
  3. If there are drains that are unused for long periods of time, such as floor drains, pour a bucket of water to keep the trap filled. This will prevent sewer gases and odors from entering the home.
  4. If your home is more than ten years old, have a video camera sewer line inspection to check for tree root intrusion or other damage.

Sump Pump

Test your sump pump to ensure it is working. Pour several gallons of water into the sump pump pit. Pour slowly until the sump pump turns on and removed the water. Do not pour in more water than the basin can hold. The sump pump should begin pumping out water when the water level reaches about 8 to 12 inches from the bottom of the pit. If it doesn't, contact your plumber to repair or replace the pump.

Washing Machines

Check hoses for signs of wear or damage. If the hoses are older than 10 years, consider using braided stainless steel hoses rather than rubber hoses. If the washing machine is on an upper level of the home, a drain pan should be used to prevent water damage in the event of a leak.

Toilets

  1. Check the base of the toilet for water leaks. If there are stains or standing water it could need a new wax ring seal.
  2. Add several drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, it has a leak that should be repaired.
  3. If the toilet handle has to be held down in order to flush properly, or jiggled to stop from running, you may need to replace the tank parts.

Tank Water Heaters

  1. Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy waste.
  2. Drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.
  3. Inspect the anode tube for excessive corrosion. Replace the tube if needed.

Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits. 
  2. Clean or replace the line filter.
  3. If it is making excessive nose, have your plumber inspect the unit.
Always check with your water heater manufacturer for specific instructions regarding maintenance of your specific make and model.

Have questions about maintaining your home's plumbing system? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.
Thursday, 22 December 2016 21:36

Are Chemical Drain Cleaners Safe?

When a bathroom or kitchen drain gets clogged many homeowners will purchase chemical drain cleaning products to try to clean out the obstruction. While drain cleaners can be effective at removing organic material from drains, they also carry a few risks.

Liquid drain cleaners usually contain corrosive alkaline, bleach and lye in concentrations up to 50 percent. They dissolve organic matter like food waste, hair, grease and other material. However, the further the clog is from the drain opening, the less effective they will be. This is why drain cleaners are usually not very effective for unclogging toilets.

Drain cleaners are also highly corrosive and are among the most hazardous household products you can purchase. To reduce the risk of injury, the manufacturer's instructions should be followed carefully and the products stored in a safe location where they cannot be reached by children.

When using chemical drain cleaners it is important to avoid contact with materials near the drain such as wood, paint, fiberglass and aluminum. Wear rubber gloves and protect your eyes.

The alternative to chemical drain cleaners is professional drain cleaning. Physically removing obstructions using a drain snake or water jetting is the safest, most effective way to remove tough clogs from sewer and drain lines. At ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric we provide fast, affordable drain cleaning, so you can skip the chemicals and rest easy knowing the job will be done right and there are no dangerous chemicals stored in your home.
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 16:04

The ABC's of Plumbing - Traps

Plumbing traps, or P-Traps, are designed to perform two duties. First, they prevent sewer gases and odors from entering the home. Second, they are designed to trap debris from the sinks to prevent clogs from forming further down the plumbing system. In addition, if you have ever dropped something down the sink drain, you'll appreciate that the trap can also help you recover the item by simply removing the clean-out section of the trap and emptying the contents into a bucket.

Why Is It called a P-Trap?

The P-trap combines two 90 degree joints with a horizontal overflow pipe, giving it the shape of the letter “P.” One of the 90 degree joints exits the drain and then is joined to another which contains standing water that seals the pipe to allow water to flow down the overflow pipe, but not backward toward the sink. This prevents the backflow of water odors.

Have questions about plumbing traps or other plumbing systems? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help with all your plumbing, sewer and drain problems.
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