An Expert Guide to Choosing the Right Piping Material for Your Plumbing Application

plumbing system being repairedPlumbing is an essential part of any construction. The choice of your plumbing material is one of the biggest you will make. There are many pipe material options available in the market.

The perfect material option for your plumbing depends on the application and installation location. Industry expert REHAU South East Asia will say the same. The type of plumbing system will also influence your decision. Here are the typical pipe materials used nowadays.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

This option works for most settings because it is rust-resistant, durable, and withstands high pressure. It is also inexpensive and requires no metalwork and welding. The main limitation of PVC pipes is that you can't use them in hot water applications.

They are also best suited for underground and indoor use as UV rays cause them to deteriorate. This makes them ideal for the bathtub, toilet, sinks and high-pressure indoor lines.

Copper

Copper is the gold standard for most plumbing applications. It is long-lasting, corrosion-resistant and tolerates heat very well. It is also the safest for drinking water. It is, however, an expensive option. You can use it for refrigerant HVAC, underground service, as well as hot and cold supply lines.

Crosslinked Polyethylene (PEX)

These are the most modern pipe materials. PEX is flexible and is hence able to be snaked around corners. It requires no gluing and holds up well in freezing conditions since it can expand and contract.

PEX pipes are the best options for retrofitting older homes, snaking through walls and low ventilation areas where glue poses health concerns.

Chlorinated PVC (CPVC) is another popular plumbing material option. It is durable, can be used for hot water, is fire-resistant and is safe for carrying drinking water.

It is also well-insulated hence loses minimal energy in cold and hot applications. CPVC pipes will, however, split in freezing conditions. Stainless steel, brass, and cast iron are also common material options for plumbing.

Things That Require Additional Expert-Home Inspectors

Sewer Inspection in Salt Lake City

Sewer Inspection in Salt Lake CityA home may be aesthetically pleasing, but only a home inspection can ascertain whether it’s in top condition. However, a home inspector may not tell you everything you need to know about the house. The inspector may fail to notice or overlook certain critical things. Some inspectors may also not want to take liability for inspection issues outside their fields of expertise. Here are five areas that require additional inspection by expert inspectors.

1. Roof inspection

Many inspectors don’t physically access the roof to examine its condition. They just check the roof from higher-level windows or the ground level with binoculars. While such an assessment may catch issues such as torn or missing shingles, roof leaks will often slip through. Hire a licensed roof inspector to offer a comprehensive evaluation.

2. HVAC and chimney inspection

Technicians may not be too eager to test the air conditioning in cold weather or check the heat in extreme heat because of liability issues. For your peace of mind, hire a licensed specialist to assess the unit. It’s also important to hire a chimney specialist to check for instability or structural damage of the stack.

3. Sewer inspection

Most home inspectors in Salt Lake City can tell whether things are “flowing”. This is why it’s best to work with a sewer repair professional to ensure the integrity of the sewer line. The professional can use a sewer camera to discover cracks or breaks along the line.

4. Geological inspection

If your prospective home is on a hillside or cliff or in a flood zone, a geological review is necessary. Such an inspection can you save a lot of money in repair costs along the way.

5. Moisture and mold inspection

Property that is in wet regions or near oceans or lakes can benefit from a moisture and mold inspection. Make sure that your inspector checks all areas in the home before declaring the house mold-free.

Among other things, a home inspection can offer you peace of mind and save you money. Don’t be tempted to skip this important process. Make sure the inspector checks every square inch of the home. If need be, hire additional expert home inspectors to check specific areas of concern.

Clearing Blocked Drains Without Using Harsh Chemicals

Drain Cleaning in Murray

Drain Cleaning in MurrayClogged drains can be a headache. While homeowners might automatically resort to chemical solutions, there are actually natural and less toxic ways to clean those clogged drains. Get rid of the foul odor and the solids that have wrapped around those pipes.

Why Go Natural

Drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can deoxidize an organic material by making it lose its electrons. Needless to say, this happens in an exceptionally short period of time. Try to imagine the harm it can do when it touches your skin, gets into your eyes, or worse, you swallow it. Additionally, it releases fumes, which can also harm your health.

Natural Ways to Clean Clogged Drains
1. Boiling Water

The most common remedy to unclog kitchen or bathroom drains is boiling hot water. More often than not, it’s oil that has solidified, chemicals from soap, hair, and other particles that cause the slow draining of water.

Getting rid of the gunk and fishing out matted hair is the first task. Then boil a kettle of water and flush it down the drains. Boiling water will help melt grease and other substances that have built up in the pipes.

2. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Both are regular kitchen items used for more than just cooking. Mixing a third of a cup of vinegar and an equal amount of baking soda creates a fizzy solution. Pour this down the clogged drain. It’s the fizzing action of the acids in vinegar that will help break down all the solids stuck in the pipes. Let it stay for at least an hour, although overnight is best. Then flush it down with hot water for good measure.

Lemon juice, because it’s also acidic, can be a substitute for vinegar, especially because it will leave a pleasant smell.

3. Metal Hanger

Don’t want to use liquid for unclogging drains? Try a metal hanger, especially for bathroom drains full of hair. Twist the hanger until you get a long piece of metal with a hook at the end. Use this to fish out the hair. Or you can try a drain snake, which is a metal rope that can also pull out clogs.

You may have a bigger problem if drains remain clogged even after trying the metal hanger approach. Plumbing contractors from Beehive Plumbing in Murray say the valve may need replacement, the vents may be interrupted, or a solid object is trapped within the passage.

Chemicals usually clean out drains quickly, but they can be harmful. Using regular household stuff is an environment-friendly way to resolve this problem.

Four Common Toilet Issues and How to Repair Them

PlumbersWhile you might not think of it that much, the toilet is no wonder one of the most important pieces of equipment in the house. And when it breaks down, all hell seems to go loose.

So, here are the fixes to some of the most common problems that might occur on your bathroom’s “throne”.

1. Flush is weak

This one is usually more prevalent with older models, such as those built during the 90s, and is usually caused by hard water deposits in the syphon jet hole or the bowl rim swirl holes. To remedy this, you need to thoroughly acid-wash the bowl, recommends goglover.com. For this, mix one part acid with 10 parts water. You then pour in half of the solution into the overflow tube and let it set for 30 minutes. Afterwards, pour the remaining solution. After 30 minutes, you can flush the toilet and see an improvement.

2. “Phantom flushes”

This one happens when your toilet begins to refill itself as if someone has flushed it. This is often due to a worn flapper valve that causes the water from the tank back into the bowl. To confirm, you can use the dye test to see the leaks. From there, it’s just a matter of disassembling the toilet and replacing the faulty valve with a new one.

3. The toilet doesn’t completely flush

Sometimes you will notice that all that gunk doesn’t seem to go down with just a single flush and you need to do several takes before it completely flushes. This might be due to a variety of problems. Open the tank to see what’s causing it. For instance, the chain connecting the flapper cap to the flush handle might be too long that it limits the cap from opening fully. Alternatively, it can be caused by float valve not working properly.

4. The toilet making gurgling sounds when flushing

This is almost always due to a foreign object that has fallen into the bowl and clogging it. To see the clog, lower a flashlight tied to a string and illuminate the drain. In order to remove the trapped object, you need to run water backwards from the drain into the bowl. You can do this by running a garden hose from the rooftop vent out to the bowl.

In case these problems still persist, it would be best to call a professional plumbing service Salt Lake City. In more severe cases, you might also need to replace your toilet completely.

Leave ‘em to the Pros: Some Facts About Plumbing Contractors

Plumbers

PlumbersIf you see a plumber’s truck going around Sandy with the quip, “We repair what your husband fixed”, laugh by all means, but take it to heart. The plumbing of your house is not something you want to mess around with, unless you want to make a mess around your house! Plumbing contractors need a license to work in Sandy, or anywhere else in Utah, for that matter, and there is a reason for that. In fact, there are three good reasons for it.

Plumbers Train for Years

Utah requires home plumbers go through 6,000 hours of training, which is close to three years. They have to learn eight different work process areas, including:

  • fire suppression
  • welding
  • gas piping
  • hydronics piping

Once they successfully complete the training, they have to go through another 9,000 hours of hands-on training before they can even apply for a license to do check your toilet. No wonder they charge so much per hour!

Plumbing Contractors Have it Worse

Plumbing contractors charge even more, and they should. A residential plumbing license means the plumber can fix your pipers. When you have a plumbing contractor license, you can do commercial buildings and industrial complexes. This is because they train longer (8,000 hours), learn more processes (9), and need more experience (16,000 hours). They also need 300 hours of supervisory and business experience. Overall, plumbing contractors study and train longer than do most medical doctors.

Plumbers Have to Update

Like any other licensed profession, plumbers have to renew their licenses every two years. Before they can do that, they need to have at least 12 hours of continuing education units in state approved courses. They can lose their license if they do a poor job, so they are very careful about the work they do.

Knowing what you know now, you should think twice about complaining about the bill you get from your plumbing contractor. You should also think twice about trying to do any plumbing yourself, or having an unlicensed plumber do it for you.

Think Twice Before Dumping that Drain Cleaner Down the Sink

Drains

DrainsClogged drains can happen at any time. It may happen during the holidays, when your house is packed full of people who make your plumbing system work harder.

You shouldn’t wait for the problem, particularly slowly draining water, to become bigger. You need to fix it right away, or you may deal with even more serious damage.

What are your options, then? You’re most likely thinking of dumping an entire bottle of drain cleaning chemicals down the sink or the toilet. Before you do that, understand the consequences of using chemicals for drain cleaning. Salt Lake City plumbers agree on one thing — chemicals aren’t your best choice.

Chemical solutions can damage pipes.

Chemical drain cleaners clear most minor clogs because these products use sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide, which are corrosive agents.  However, many of these household products are so powerful that they can damage even metals, such as steel, iron, and copper pipes. Even PVC pipes are in harm’s way with these cleaners.

Caustic drain cleaners can burn your skin.

Because chemical cleaners can eat away at even the most durable metal-based pipes, they can seriously injure you. Even just a tiny drop of these solutions can already burn a hole in your clothes.

When mixed with other chemicals, these drain cleaners can generate hazardous gas.

Caustic drain cleaning solutions should be used alone and never in conjunction with other chemicals. Doing so can lead to a reaction that produces hazardous gas and even explosions.

Rather than resorting to chemical cleaners, experts advise the use of “passive” unblocking supplies, such as your trusty plunger. In case it doesn’t work, your most viable option is to call in an expert.

Your goal may be to clean drain clogs, but your chosen method may cause harm if you’re not careful. Think about how the products you use can damage your drains and pipes, and harm family members.

Home Maintenance: Fixing Leaks on Plumbing Joints

Home Maintenance

Home MaintenanceYou notice from your utility bill that your water consumption has risen in the past month. You try to recall if you’ve been using water more than usual. You scratch your head because you simply can’t make sense of the higher bill.

Maybe you have overlooked one reason for increased water consumption: a leak in your plumbing system. A leak anywhere in the pipes results in several gallons of water lost every day. Do the maths and you’ll see why your water consumption suddenly spiked.

Leaks Usually Occur on Plumbing Joints

Although water leaks can occur anywhere along the length of the pipe, Perth plumbers say leaks often happen in the joints. Should there be leaks on the body of the pipe itself, it’s usually a sign of a bigger problem.

Fixing Leaks on Plumbing Joints

Once you have identified the source of the leak, the first thing to do before attempting any repairs is to turn off the main water valve. Then, do the following:

  1. Get your plumbing tools ready. You will need two adjustable wrenches, one to hold the pipe steady and the other to loosen its thread. Unscrew the pipe from its joint thread.
  2. Clean both the pipe and the joint using a wire brush to remove old pipe compounds. Wire brushing the fixtures will also remove dirt and debris that can clog the system.
  3. Determine if the leak is because of worn thread. When you have worn treads with no visible thread lines at all, replace them.
  4. Apply liberal amounts of pipe joint gel on the threaded part of the pipe, if the joint still has some thread. Use Teflon to wrap around the length of the threaded pipe if you don’t have the pipe joint coating.
  5. Thread the pipe into the joint and tighten it using the wrenches.
  6. Turn on the main gate valve and check whether the leak has been controlled.
  7. Apply water sealant over the joint if you don’t see any more leaks. The sealant should cover both the joint and the pipe.

Fixing water leaks is not that difficult. With the proper tools coupled with basic information on repairs, you feel confident that your next month’s water bill will be back to normal.

There’s a Leak in the House! Check for These Signs

house

houseA small drip from your leaky faucet may not be that much. But if you leave that for a long time, it can add to your bills. It makes you waste natural resources, too.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average leaks per household “can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year.” That’s equivalent to the amount of water that can wash 270 loads of laundry.

To detect a leaky faucet, use any of these recommendations from the EPA and water hearing repair experts in Salt Lake City.

  • Check winter usage

You may have a serious leak problem at home if you have a family of four and your water use in the winter is more than 12,000 gallons per month.

  • Check the water meter

Turn off all your faucets at home. Then check your water meter. Do this twice in between a two-hour period with no one using the water.

  • A drop of food coloring

To know if there’s a leak in your toilet, put a drop of food coloring in the tank. Wait for 15 minutes before flushing.  If the color appears in the bowl, there’s a leak. Flush it immediately to avoid staining your toilet bowl.

  • Check faucet and gasket for wear

Worn out faucet washers and gaskets might need a replacement to prevent leaking.

  • Lay down paper towels on damp area

To detect water heater leak, put some paper towels in damp areas in your toilet. Then check it after a few hours. If the same thing happens the next day and you find no other sources for the leak, your water heater could be the cause.

There are several problems that can lead to a leaking water heater. It can be a problem with the connections for cold water inlet and hot water outlet, the temperature and water relief valve, the heater drain valve, or the hot water tank.

Promote water efficiency at home and in your community by watching out for leaks. Do these recommendations regularly and be ready to act on any problem.

The Burst Pipe Emergency: What to Do While Waiting for the Plumber to Arrive

emergency plumbing

emergency plumbingA burst pipe is one of the serious plumbing problems you may encounter at home. If you notice your basement being flooded regularly, then you most likely have a burst pipe in your midst. This should be considered a plumbing emergency since failure to act upon it immediately could bring a huge deal of inconvenience and extensive damage to your properties.

It is imperative to get the expertise and services of a plumber and if you are in luck, one with 24-hour plumbing services. However, in the meantime you cannot just allow the burst to cause further damage. Here are important things to remember while waiting for your plumber to arrive when a burst pipe emergency occurs.

  1. Keep Calm and Do Not Panic. Do not panic upon seeing water gushing out since the more frazzled you are, the more you are prone to making irrational decisions when it comes to your actions. By keeping calm, you can act more decisively and behave in a more composed manner.
  1. Shut Off the Water. What you need to do next is to stop the flow of water by shutting off the main valves. These can easily be located and if by chance, you do not know their location then you had better find out now, before this kind of emergency hits you.
  1. Collect the Flowing Water. Since the flow of water may not stop immediately, you may as well catch any flowing water. This can minimise further damage to your things and you can use this water when to clean the mess later.
  1. Limit Any Damages. The next thing you can do is to check any damage and take actions to reduce further damage. You may have to move furniture and other fixtures that have been affected. Some items may have to be transferred to an elevated area if flooding worsens or occurs.
  1. Locate the Burst Pipe. After you have kept things away from further damage, you may want to locate the burst pipe. Not to repair it but in order to provide your plumber details when they get to your home.
Leave the Work to the Experts

While some cases may be repaired by the homeowner, it would be really best to get the professionals. They can easily assess the problems and make immediate repairs. With trusted services from reputable plumbers, you can have your pipes in good condition in no time.