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How to Use a Sewer Snake

One of the first investment you should make as a homeowner is a sewer snake. While most drain clogs in the home don’t require a sewer snake having one on hand when you need one saves a lot of time and stress. They are fairly inexpensive and should be in your arsenal of home maintenance tools.

What Is a Sewer Snake?

A sewer snake is a long flexible tool that can be worked down the drain to clear a clog. They have an auger at one end and a hand crank at the other end to help you work the auger through the drain and any blockage. There are also snakes that are motorized that you can buy for home use.

Toilet snakes or augers are specifically designed to use in the toilets plumbing.

When Should You Use One?

A sewer snake should be used when drain cleaners have failed to clear the clog. Stubborn clogs may need to be broken up by the auger in order to clear the drain. When using drain cleaners always give it time to work and be careful if you are using one after poring drain cleaner into the drain. Many drain cleaners have caustic chemicals that can burn the skin and eyes so be careful not to splash the cleaner.

How to Use a Sewer Snake

Non-slip gloves are the essential piece of accessories that you should always use when you are working with a sewer auger or snake. Always have a bucket available before you start and a towel would not be a bad idea to have handy. If you have used drain cleaner initially to try to clear the clog a pair of goggles is essential to protect your eyes from chemicals.

Initially push the sewer snake into the drain and crank the handle clockwise. When the auger makes contact with the clog you will be able to feel it. Pull the auger back slight and continue to crank clockwise and help the auger drive through the clog more easily. Once the drain seems to be clear you should pull the blockage out with the auger end and dump it in the bucket. This will assure that the blockage will not re-occur. Take note of what caused the blockage remembering that food parts and oil and grease should never be sent down the drain in the kitchen and hair is a major problem for bathroom drains.

This is not a hard tool to use and should clear most blockages you come across in your home, so you might consider adding a sewer snake to your arsenal if you’re more of the do-it-yourself type of person. And if you’re not, then we’re always here for you. : )

About Drain Patrol

Drain Patrol has been providing plumbing services to the San Diego and surrounding areas for over 30 years! Drain Patrol is an Insured, Licensed Contractor (Contractors License #841408) and a Better Business Bureau member.

With Drain Patrol, the estimate is always free. You approve the estimate before any work is started.

Categories : Sewer & Drain
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All About Faucet Repair

Before you attempt to repair your leaky faucet it’s important to know a little bit about the type of faucet you have and how it works.
There are four basic faucet types in use today:

  • Ball Type Faucets-This type of faucet has a single lever the pivots around on a ball usually just above the spout.
  • Cartridge Faucets- These faucets use and up and down movement to control water flow while the temperature is regulated with a left to right motion.
  • Compression Faucet-You’ll usually find these in older homes that haven’t been updated. They have separate controls for hot and cold water and the handles rise when turned on.
  • Ceramic Disk Faucets- This is usually a single handled faucet with a body that is cylindrical. It has two polished discs that pass over each other to control the water flow from the faucet.

Repairing A Ball Faucet

For do-it-yourselfers this is a fairly easy project to undertake. If this faucet is leaking it usually is leaking from one of two places; the spigot or the handle. You’ll find that either the O-rings or the ball are worn and need to be replaced. Take the part that needs replacement to the store with you so that you can match it exactly. There are also full repair kits that you can buy that will have everything you need to repair that type of faucet. Always follow the instructions that come with the repair kit for the best results.

Repairing A Cartridge Faucet

With a few basic tools and a little know how you too can repair a cartridge faucet. If you are not sure what kind of faucet you have bring the model number and even a picture to the home center so that they can identify the parts you need.

Cartridges or O –rings that are worn are usually the culprits in this type of faucet. Repair kits that include both cartridges and O-rings can be purchased. Again, cartridges vary per model and manufacturer so it’s important to know this before you purchase a kit or any part.

Repairing A Compression Faucet

Worn washers or damaged valve seats are usually the reason these types of faucets leak. You can easily fix this type of faucet yourself by replacing the worn O-rings. Either take the O-ring you are replacing to the home center or buy a variety pack that has the rings commonly used in faucets and then match it to yours.

Repairing A Disk Faucet

The best way to get the right parts for your job is to buy a kit for the model faucet that you have. A repair kit will have everything you need to complete the job and make your life much easier.

About Drain Patrol

Drain Patrol has been providing plumbing services to the San Diego and surrounding areas for over 30 years! Drain Patrol is an Insured, Licensed Contractor (Contractors License #841408) and a Better Business Bureau member.

With Drain Patrol, the estimate is always free. You approve the estimate before any work is started.

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In many cases when you remodel a room such as a bathroom you will not be required to alter the plumbing design in the room, but there are just as many instances where you will.

If you plan on keeping the layout of your bathroom the same and do not plan on adding any new fixtures you can keep the original bathroom plumbing intact and just replace new fixtures right in the same spot where the old ones were.

When it comes to installing new showers or tubs you may need to make some bathroom plumbing changes, even if the shower or tub is not being moved. You may be installing a larger tub or a more sophisticated showering system that includes jets. If you update your shower then chances are you will need to update and reroute your shower plumbing as well in order to gain the right pressure and positioning you need. You will have the same issues with a larger tub, ones that includes jets or Jacuzzi type features. The old plumbing in place for your original tub may not accommodate the changes you are making.

Many times when you are updating a small bathroom, removing the large vanity is the first change that is made. Replacing the old vanity with a pedestal sink adds more space to the room and makes it appear larger that it is. You may have been planning on keeping the sink in the same position but once you remove the vanity you find out that the pedestal sink will not be centered properly with the existing plumbing or it may be showing, creating a very unattractive look to your new room.

Basically, if you are planning on keeping the original fixtures or you plan to replace them with new, close to identical types of fixtures that will remain in the same place where the original ones were then you may not be required to make any bathroom plumbing changes.

If you plan on updating your fixtures with newer, more sophisticated fixtures that offer more features than your original ones or you plan on moving them to create a new layout for the room then you will be required to make bathroom plumbing changes. It is always a good idea to call in a professional plumber before wasting your money on costly mistakes trying to do the job yourself.

About Drain Patrol

Drain Patrol has been providing plumbing services to the San Diego and surrounding areas for over 30 years! Drain Patrol is an Insured, Licensed Contractor (Contractors License #841408) and a Better Business Bureau member.

With Drain Patrol, the estimate is always free. You approve the estimate before any work is started.

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Whenever new sewer systems are installed or there is necessary repairs or maintenance needed to older systems such as sewer cleaning an experienced technician will be required. Your sewer line carry toxic waste materials so having an experienced and certified technician handle your sewer cleaning, repair or replacement is recommended in order to prevent any raw sewage from being released into the environment.

When you hire a contractor to handle your septic tank issues they will be required to obtain permits, have a valid business license as well as carry insurance before they perform work on any private or public sewer systems.

Getting To Know Your Sewer System

When you hire a contractor to install, repair or maintain your sewer system, experience will be a top priority. If your sewer system is installed improperly it could result in failure and will end up costing you more money to have an experienced professional come out and rectify the situation. Even with maintenance tasks such as flushing the lines, having an inexperienced contractor could cause damage to your lines and the end result could cost you thousands to have them repaired or replaced.

Sewer contractors and pipeline contractors work closely together in all aspects of construction from residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and public works.
Residential sewer pipes are designed to carry untreated sewage from homes to city sewer lines or a private septic tank. Septic tanks are considered private systems since they do not connect to the public system. As a homeowner you would be responsible for maintaining your septic tank and ensuring that no raw sewage makes its way into the environment.
Commercial sewer pipelines are designed to carry the untreated sewage from commercial buildings to treatment facilities. These pipelines use a variety of transport systems to get the waste to the treatment plant.

Institutional and industrial sewer systems often require precise planning in order to ensure that the materials and plans meet the county, state and federal regulations and EPA guidelines. These systems are normally self-contained so they will require frequent inspections to reduce the risk of any toxic substance being omitted into the environment.
Public works sewer systems are designed with multiple residences connect to municipal pipeline networks. The waste is carried through subsurface pipes where it is transported to the treatment facilities.

Getting waste to the treatment facilities is a complex business where these systems need to carry millions of gallons of waste each day. So, having an experienced sewer contractor for your sewer cleaning, maintenance, repair or installation is crucial to ensure the job is done properly.

About Drain Patrol

Drain Patrol has been providing plumbing services to the San Diego and surrounding areas for over 30 years! Drain Patrol is an Insured, Licensed Contractor (Contractors License #841408) and a Better Business Bureau member.

With Drain Patrol, the estimate is always free. You approve the estimate before any work is started.

Categories : Sewer & Drain
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Signs Your Water Heater Needs Repair

Before you get left in the cold with a water heater that stops working; know the signs that your water heater may be failing and get a professional in there to avoid a cold shower.

Slow Hot Water

If it takes too long for your water to get hot once you turn the faucet on you may be experiencing a water heater failure. It should not take no longer than a few seconds for your water to start running hot once you have turned the faucet on. If your hot water heater seems to be slowing down then chances are it will not be working at all very soon. Contact a plumber to come in and repair your hot water heater before it quits working.

Choppy Water Flow

If you turn your faucet on and the water comes out in spurts instead of smoothly, or the water pressure seems to be extremely lower than usual you may be experiencing failure within your water heater. This is usually due to a clog in the water heaters system and can worsen over time if left untreated.

Noisy Water Heaters

Anytime you hear noise from your water heater you need to contact a professional. Banging, clanking or loud cracking noises can all be caused by hard metal sediments that have developed.

Leaking Water Heater

If you notice water coming from around the base or at the top of your water heater or water softener you need a professional to come out and fix the issue. Always be sure to check for mold around the area where water has been leaking to avoid any further damage to your home.

Foul Odor

If there is a foul odor coming from your water heaters tank you may have corrosion in the tank or in the pipes. You may also notice your water is beginning to smell like a rotten egg, this is usually related to issues with the anode rod. Any time there is an odor in your water heater or in your water from the faucet you should contact a professional to come out and resolve the issue before it leads to a more severe problem.

In some instances your water heater will need to be replaced. Water heaters generally last several years without issue but once they go out there is little that anyone can do, even a professional. Look at tankless water heaters if you are installing a new one, they will save you money on heat costs as well as relieve some headaches that the tank versions can cause.

About Drain Patrol

Drain Patrol has been providing plumbing services to the San Diego and surrounding areas for over 30 years! Drain Patrol is an Insured, Licensed Contractor (Contractors License #841408) and a Better Business Bureau member.

With Drain Patrol, the estimate is always free. You approve the estimate before any work is started.

Categories : Water Heaters
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