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When should you call a plumber for a clogged drain?

sink with drain

Clogged drains in your home

When the drain is clogged in kitchen, it can be a catastrophe. Especially if it is mealtime, holiday cooking, or guests are coming. If you know what can cause a clogged drain, it can be an easy fix. There really isn’t a good time for a clogged drain

So, how do you know if your drain is clogged? Here are some warning signs that you have a clogged drain before it becomes that catastrophe: 

  • Water Slow Draining: If the water isn’t draining as fast as normal, there is probably a clog forming somewhere in the plumbing system. Now is the time to remove the clog before it backs up in the sinks or tub. 
  • Foul Odors: When a sink, shower or tub has a less-than-pleasant odor, it is usually from a clogged drain. If the odor is coming from the kitchen sink, run water in the garbage disposal and let the disposal run, there may be some old food stuck in there that didn’t wash through. Add liquid dish soap or lemon juice to kill the odor. If this doesn’t get rid of the odor, you need more than basic clogged drain fix,  call a professional plumber .  
  • Gurgling Sounds: If the drains are making a gurgling sound as liquid is poured in the drain, it is probably going around a clog, forming air bubbles below the clog, which are popping.  The gurgling means there is some water still draining, but the clogged drain is forming. 
  • Food Particles After Dishwasher Runs: If there are food particles in the kitchen sink after the dishwasher has ran its course, there could be the garbage disposal is clogged or drain has clog is forming. Either way, you need a professional plumber to inspect your plumbing. 

How do you clear a severely clogged drain?

A clogged plumbing is annoying, and they can become profoundly serious if not addressed. Clogged drains can cause pipes to bust, they lead to backups in the bathtub, shower, sink, or toilet. or bathtub. All things that you don’t need to backup, and you certainly don’t want busted pipes!  Here we offer the most common methods that have been used by many homeowners with success: 

  • Baking Soda & Vinegar: Pour equal amounts of these 2 ingredients, allow to sit overnight then pour boiling hot water down the drain the next morning. 
  • Just Boiling Water: Often you can pour just boiling hot water down a clogged drain and it will bust up whatever is causing the clog. 
  • Chemicals: Yes, there are many chemical on the market designed for cleaning clogs. While these work, use with utmost care and caution. Plumbers typically warn not to use these because they can eat the pipes if used enough over time. 
  • Plumbers Snake: A plumber’s snake is a device you can purchase at any home improvement store. You insert into the clogged drain, then turn the device, and the wire attached grabs the clogging debris, you then pull the snake out and the throw the debris in the trash.  You may need to do this 2 or 3 times if the clogged drain is compacted. 
  • A Plunger: There are sink plungers and toilet plungers, use the right one for the clogged drain you’re working. The plunger will suck the clogging matter up and out where you can throw it in the trash. 

What do plumbers use to clean drains?

A professional plumber will have these 3 tools in their arsenal of plumbing weapons: 

  • DRAIN AUGERS OR PLUMBER SNAKE: This is a standard tool that plumbers use to clear clogged drains. It demolishes any obstruction in the pipes with a motorized drain auger, also known as a plumber’s snake. Plumbers use one that is more powerful and reaches further than the one you can buy at the local home improvement store.  
  • HYDRO-JET: Hydro-jet equipment will break through almost any clogged drain, and they do a comprehensive cleaning inside the drain. Hydro-Jet will remove any grease, mineral deposits, and soap scum by blasting a high-pressure of water at a high-temperature. 
  • VIDEO INSPECTION: This is a miniature video camera that is mounted on fiber-optic cable. This is placed into the clogged drain and sends pictures back to small TV-type screen, showing the plumber what and where the clogged drain is located. With this image, the plumber can decide on how to approach clearing the clogged drain or if sewer line repair is needed. 
floor drain

How do you unclog a main drain without a snake?

You can use the methods we listed earlier for a clogged drain cleaner, but if they aren’t working and you don’t have access to a plumbing snake, you can make your own drain snake by cutting a 2 liter bottle into a spiral. Attach the cut 2 liter bottle to the wire hanger and shove into the clogged drain, turning it as a plumber’s snake would do and pull out the clog.  You can also use a shop vac or wet/dry vacuums and hold over the clogged drain opening and suck out the clog. 

There is nothing more aggravating than a clogged drain kitchen sink, clogged shower, tub, or toilet. Taking the steps you can prevent the clogs is the best thing you can do, but if you do have a clogged drain, the steps we discussed here can be helpful. If not, call a plumber, the sooner the better. Need clogged drain repair in Oak Park, Il? Call 708-934-4115 today.

How Can I Remodel My Bathroom for Cheap?

remodeling a bathroom

How much will it cost to remodel my bathroom?

When it comes to making home improvements that will bring you top dollar in the real estate market, a kitchen remodel or a bathroom remodel are the winners. However, those are the two rooms in a home that can cost the most to remodel too. With a few commonly asked questions, we are going to answer with ways on where to save on bathroom remodeling. 

The bathroom in a home is utilitarian and used every day, often all day. So, yes, they wear out and that makes a bathroom remodel ideal for most homes. Who doesn’t want a bright, clean, and roomy bathroom to get ready for school or work? The problem with a bathroom remodel is the cost. 

Surveys have found that homeowners will spend between $6,000 and as much as $70,000 for a bathroom remodel. Factors that determine the cost is the square footage, the amenities, and the fixtures. If you’re not going to do your own work, there is the added expense of labor. 

What do I need to know about bathroom remodeling?

For most bathroom remodel projects, there are two major expenses: Moving the waste line and replacing the vanity. Changing they layout of the bathroom entails moving things like the shower, sink, toilet, and/or tub, which will require a professional plumber. In addition to needing a building permit in most areas, you’ll also pay around $65/hour for the plumber. With a  forty-square-foot size bathroom remodel job, it can take the plumber up to 45 hours. 

If your bathroom remodel will include replacing the vanity, you can expect to spend as much as $1,800 for a 71” with granite top. You can also spend more! Go with a custom built vanity and you can spend almost $3,000.  What’s your bathroom remodel budget? Decide that before you go shopping. 

Other factor you should consider is the time frame your bathroom remodel job will take. How long are you going to be inconvenienced and if you only have one bathroom, what are going to do during the process? Be prepared to come across water damage, bad electrical or plumbing. Replacing or repair can get expensive. Get the measurements of your new bathroom so that you can buy the fixtures that fit. Maybe you want that seventy-two-inch vanity and the double sinks, but is there room for it your new bathroom remodel? Measure twice, buy once! 

Other costs that you should expect to spend on a bathroom remodel: 

  • Flooring and Wall Covering – you can spend up to $20 per square foot if you go with high end ceramic, natural stone, or porcelain. 
  • The Countertop – natural stone like quartz will cost you as much as $100 per square foot.
  • The Faucet: Antique bronze, brushed brass, brushed nickel, and matte black are popular right now and they cost the most. Are you going with the touchless faucet? Expect to pay up to $300 or more. 
  • The Tub: Go with an alcove tub with a shower that is 30x60x74.5 size in a high quality materials, expect to spend up to $3,000. 
  • The Shower: With the alcove bath and shower combo, you’ll spend another $150 or so for the pressure balance valve set.  Go with a stand-alone shower with a shower valve that has various settings, $500 or more and if you want the frameless door instead of a shower curtain, $800 or more. 
  • The Toilet: The size, the shape (elongated or round) and the type of water efficiency it offer, a toilet can cost up to $1,000. 

How can I save money on my bathroom remodel?

Maybe you don’t have a budget that big for the items we mentioned above, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a bathroom remodel for cheap. First of all, don’t move all the bathroom fixtures around like the shower, sink, toilet, and tub.  Leave them where they are, and you won’t need to budget a plumber and that can save you from having to get a building permit too.

When it comes to the vanity, if the one you have absolutely must be replaced, go with a ready-made unit at your local home improvement store. Look in their dented merchandise area and if the scratch is on the wall side of your bathroom, you can save $100s of dollars. 

Other areas where you can save a lot of money compared to what we listed above: 

  • Flooring and Wall Covering:  Go with a faux ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone, for less than $5 per square foot.
  • The Countertop: Go with the prefabricated countertop for around $4 per square foot.  Or look online for ways to update your current countertop.
  • The Faucet: Chrome is always a good standby for budget purpose and stay with the traditional 2-knob set up instead of the price touchless faucet.
  • The Tub:  Keep your current tub unless it is just worn out, a fiberglass tub and shower combo can be had for under $300 if you shop around. Look at second-hand stores and discount warehouses online. 
  • The Shower: Same with a stand-alone shower, go with a basic fiberglass setup and shop the second-hand stores (Habitat for Humanity stores often have good products from other people’s bathroom remodel). Stay with the polished chrome for budget purpose,  you can get a set up for under $50.
  • The Toilet: You can get an elongated, water efficient toilet for around $100 and some change. 

What are the steps to remodeling a bathroom?

First step to take in a bathroom remodel job is planning, a lot of planning. Plan on what you need, what you want, the room for those things, and most of all the budget. When it comes to buying things like flooring and tile, guesstimating doesn’t work. You need exact numbers, then follow this course of action: 

  • Demo: Remove the old tile, fixtures, and flooring once you have the budget determined. 
  • Rough-in: With all of that stuff out of the way, prep the plumbing for your new fixtures and any new electrical you’ll need
  • Grab Bar Block: If your bathroom remodel will have grab bars, add the supporting blocks for them now while you have bare walls.
  • Close in Walls: Install cement board and vapor barrier where the shower, sink, tub are going to be located and drywall everywhere else. 
  • Paint, Tile: Now do any painting then the tile work.
  • Shower Door: If your bathroom remodel plans are for a shower door, now is the time to install.
  • Fans, Lights: Now install your exhaust fan and lighting. 
  • Vanity, Sink, Toilet: Wrapping up the major installs. 

Now you can accessorize and decorate, then enjoy your new bathroom remodel.  

finished remodel of a bathroom

How much does a bathroom remodel add to home value?

After reading this article and looking at your bathroom, is bathroom remodel worth it? Absolutely! A budget of $20,000, you can get over 67% back when you sell your home. So, yeah, if you go the cheaper way for a bathroom remodel, you may not get back as much, but you will get some ROI .  If you’re not sure a bathroom remodel and repair is right for your home, enlist the advice of a professional realtor. Call 708-934-4115 today for bathroom remodel in Oak Park, Il.

How do you fix a sewer pipe?

sewer pipe lines

What happens when your sewer line breaks?         

Sewer line repair and plumbing are two things that a homeowner dreads about homeownership, among those things is sewer line repair. The picture that is conjured up in the mind is a destroyed yard as the plumber finds the problem area and then repairs it. 

Fortunately, today, sewer line repair without digging is possible. If you’ve never had sewer line issues before though, you may not know what indicates your home needs sewer line repair. To that end, we’re going to answer basic questions that can help you realize there is a problem and what needs to be done.

The sewer lines are running underground and wastewater that includes liquids and solids leaves your home through those sewer lines and flow into the municipal sewer system. When the sewer line breaks, that wastewater seeps out at the breaks and cracks. 

When left alone, it keeps seeping, and the bacteria and germs begin to spread through your plumbing and into your home. It will ruin the foundation of your home, weakening the structure and creating more damage that will need additional repair along with the sewer line repairs. 

What are the signs of a broken sewer pipe?

If the plumbing in your home is twenty five years old or older, it is probably cast iron and it is probably starting show the signs of the time and you may not realize it. At this age, if there are trees around or near your home, the tree roots have probably reached those cast iron pipes already, cracking them and misaligning the connections. Here are 10 indications that your home is need of sewer line repair:

  1. Backup and Blockage: If you are experiencing regular backups and blockages, your sewer lines could be broken, cracked, or deteriorating. The tree roots could be the issue, or they are simply old and you need sewer line repair or replacement. 
  2. Gas Odor: When sewer gas odors are noticeable in or around your home, this is a strong indication of a sewer line crack. When you can smell sewer gas, you need sewer line repair, sooner rather than later.
  3. Mold: If you have sewer odor, you probably have mold growth behind the walls of your home too. Sewer line leaks creates humidity and moisture and mold only needs 55% humidity to start growing. Once mold forms, it spreads fast and along with the sewer odor, you’re going to have that musty mold smell too. 
  4. Slow Drains: Slow drains are often indication of  blockage that will lead to a sewer backup in time.  That slow drain could be your bathtub, sinks, or toilet, all from sewer lines that have  broken, cracked, or have tree root intrusion and channeling.
  5. Extra Lush Green Grass: If you’ve noticed an area in your yard that an extra lush, green grass, it is possible there is sewer line leak under the ground there. As smelling a sewer is, it is a fertilizer, providing your grass extra nutrients. You should have a plumber check this area for possible sewer line repair.  Another indicator of underground sewer issue is an indentation in the lawn or under walkways. 
  6. Foundation Cracking, Settling,  Sinking: When the main sewer line under your home develops any cracks, or begins to settle and sink, it is like there is a sewer line leak in the slab. 
  7. Insects and Rodents: Insects and rodents love sewer lines and the wastewater that comes from them. If your sewer lines need repair, there is a strong possibility that you have insects and rodents living in them, working their way into your home. 

When should I replace my main sewer line?

 If you live in a home that is 25 years or older, you may want to have your sewer lines inspected by a professional plumber. They are probably made of cast iron and some of it may already be in deteriorating, ready for either sewer line repair or replace. Once you have your sewer line repaired or replaced, you can expect them to last another 50 years or longer.

How long does it take to repair a sewer line?

The average time for sewer line repairs is between one and three days. There are many factors that can affect this time frame, like where the sewer pipe is located, the size of the pipe, and how much and what damage has taken place.  There are some sewer line repair jobs that can take up to five days to complete. 

sewer line under a home

Can you patch a sewer line?

Thanks to new technology in the plumbing industry, if the sewer line isn’t too damaged too far up and down the line, then yes, sewer line patching is possible. Because of that technology, plumbers are able to get to those areas needing sewer line repairs or replacement without destroying the lawn. 

Unfortunately, the chance that sewer line repair homeowners insurance is not covered.  Possibly the damage to the house or belongings could be covered if the sewer line damage isn’t deemed to be homeowner’s neglect by the insurance agent.  Review your policy before you need sewer line repair so that you know where you stand should the need arise. Call 708-934-4115 today for your sewer line repair needs in Oak Park, Il.

How do you winterize house plumbing?

frozen pipes

What temperature is too cold for a house?

Well, winter has arrived here in the Windy City area of the country, were you ready, was your home ready? If not, hopefully it isn’t too late for you get your home ready with things like bringing in firewood and winterize plumbing. If you haven’t winterize plumbing yet, we’re going to share some winter plumbing tips with you today to help you get that done and answer some frequently asked questions.

Well, that can depend on if the house is occupied or empty, and if empty, for how long and the time of the year.  WHO (the World Health Organization) recommends a thermostat setting indoor to be at least 64°F, and 62°F at night for money saving purposes and to work with the winterize plumbing efforts you’ve made.

However, if there are elderly, infants, or sick people  in the house, you shouldn’t set the thermostat any lower than 70°F. If you’re going to be out of the house all day, you can set your thermostat as low as 58°F. It is these low settings and wide range of if, ands, or buts, that proves why a programmable thermostat can be handy and helpful.  You can set that to a higher setting, then your home is toasty warm when you get home.

When you’re going to be gone for an extended time, like traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you don’t want to worry the pipes freezing or bursting. The recommended thermostat setting range is between 50°F and 60°F. The better you winterize plumbing in your home, the lower you can set that thermostat.

How do you keep pipes from freezing under your house?

When the temperatures get really cold, water pipes will freeze, and without winterize plumbing efforts, those frozen water pipes can burst from the pressure. From busted water pipes, you’ll be dealing with serious flooding and possibly a lot of damage. So, to prevent this scenario from happening, you need to keep your water pipes temperature above the freezing.

A misconception that most people have is frozen pipes only happen where the climate is always cold in the winter. That thinking leaves homes in warmer climates in a vulnerable situation. If you haven’t taken the time to winterize plumbing in your home, a sudden drop in the temperature will freeze those pipe just as fast, even faster because you didn’t winterize plumbing!

You should always take care of your water supply no matter when you live and that includes winterize plumbing. A water pipe is usually one inch in diameter, some are even smaller and usually are a PVC plastic. Water supply pipes are pressurized because they have water going through them, and that pressurized pipe will freeze, no matter when you live.

How do you insulate water pipes for winter?

Here, we have created a winter plumbing checklist that will keep your home’s plumbing from freezing and all the issues that could follow:

Tip One: Heat

A huge part to winterize plumbing is keep the house at a warm temperature. If you are not going to be home for an extended period, do not turn the heat complete off.  Keeping the heat on will keep your water from freezing, busting, and leaving you to handle the damage left behind from that bust pipe water. A thermostat setting of 50 F or higher is recommended.  

Tip Two: Faucet Dripping

By opening the faucet at each water source in your home so that they are dripping, it will relieve any pressure in the water system, keep the water flowing, and keep it from freezing. This may be one of the best things you can do to winterize plumbing because it is the pressure created frozen water in pipes create that cause pipes to burst. When you leave the faucet open and dripping, the pipes can’t build up that pressure.

Tip Three: Cabinet Doors

Water pipes located under sinks and in cabinets need to be kept warm, especially if the backside of the cabinet is on an outer wall. By keeping these cabinet doors open, as the temperature drops, the heat from the house will get inside those cabinets and keep the water pipes warm.  An easy and simple way to winterize plumbing that too many of us don’t think about.

Tip Four: Sealing up

The cracks and holes that are found around the plumbing should be sealed up as you winterize plumbing in your home. Cold air can get in around these gaps, typically found under the cabinets in the back walls and flooring and freeze the water pipes. With caulk or spray foam insulation, it is easy to fill in around those gaps inside and outside, will keep your pipes warm. You could actually notice it helps keep the entire house warmer!

Tip Five: Heating Tape

Heating tape is an electric blanket for water pipes. Heat tape supplies a constant heat directly to the water pipes and keeps them warm when the temperatures get cold. Plumbing experts recommend wrapping heating tape on those short sections where the water pipes are at high freeze risk as you winterize plumbing in your home.

Heating tape is available in two different types. One type of heating tape will turn on and off as it senses that heat is needed. The other heating tape type is plugged in by you when you know the temperature is going to get to a freezing level. Like any electrical product, heating tape can dangerous. It is important to follow the direction of these products and all safety procedures.

Tip Six: Insulation

Uninsulated or under insulated water pipes, usually the attic or basement, are going to be the ones that bust. It is imperative that these pipes have adequate insulation, extra insulation won’t hurt as you winterize plumbing in your home. This can be done with fiberglass sleeves or foam rubber and it will decrease any freezing possibilities. Of all the steps in winterize plumbing process, this is an easy solution that is much less expensive than cleaning up and repairing water damage from a buster water pipe.

Can pipes freeze in one night?

Absolutely!  Water freezes at 32 degrees. So, yes, water pipes can and freeze overnight if you haven’t done any of the winterize plumbing steps we’ve provided here. The lower the outside temperature is and when plumbing pipes are unprotected, you can almost be certain they will freeze and fast.

water leaking from pipe

How do I drain my pipes for winter?

You can avoid winter plumbing issues like broken water pipes by draining your water pipes before the temperature reaches deep freeze. The following winterize plumbing steps are easier and less expensive to follow than what busted water pipes cleanup will cost you.

  • Shut the water off at the main water valve. 
  • With an air compressor, force any water out of the pipes. 
  • Drain all appliances that are water operated. 
  • Add extra protection by pouring anti-freeze in the bathtubs, shower drain, sinks, and toilet tanks.  
  • When you are ready to have water, turn the main water valve on and let each of the above things run to fill the water pipes.

An important thing to remember as you winterize plumbing in your home is that winter plumbing and heating go hand-in-hand. You may not be home, but having the temperature set too low can allow the plumbing to freeze if the outside temperature gets too low. Call 708-934-4115 today for winterize plumbing services in Oak Park, Il.

Is a Clogged Drain an Emergency?

sink with a clog

What causes a clogged drain?

Well, if you have a sink full of dishes and the water isn’t draining, or you’re standing in the shower and the water is getting deeper, then yes, that would be an emergency. To you, maybe not a plumber. This is why every homeowner should have some knowledge of clogged drain cleaning for these instances. When you know How to clear a clogged drain, you won’t be in as panic mode when it happens.

Before we get into clogged drain cleaning, let’s discuss Why do drains get clogged. Cause if you know how a drain gets clogged, you can learn how to prevent the clogs. This won’t eliminate having clogs altogether, but it will minimize the frequency and number of clogs.

One of the “joys” of homeownership is dealing with clogged drain cleaning. We didn’t say it was fun, just one of those joys you have to expect to handle from time to time. Fortunately, there is clogged drain cleaning things you can do yourself without having to make one of those Clogged drains and emergency services to a professional plumber, which can be expensive! Here are three common clogged drain causes and fixes that often will do the job at a fraction of what a professional plumber will cost:

  1. Bathrooms drain clogs typically are from dirt, hair, skin flakes, and soap scum getting stuck on the drainpipe walls. It accumulates, slows down the water flow, and before you know it, there is backed up water. Remove the drain stopper and clean it thoroughly. Next, using a basic household drain plunger and blocking the over-flow drain in the sink or tub, plunge till the water goes on through. If that didn’t clear it, place a pan under the elbow joint under the sink and let it drain. Using a wire coat hanger, you can see what hair and other accumulations you can pull out. Replace the P-trap and you’ll probably be as good as new.  You can purchase strainers to place over the drain opening to prevent this from happening again.
  2. A clogged toilet is nasty! Typical problems that cause these are cotton-swabs, feminine hygiene items, dental floss, diapers, or wipes. The first rule of thumb is not to put those things in the toilet. Now for clogged drain cleaning, using the plunger or an auger, aka plumber’s snake. An auger will get up to 5 feet down which is often where the problem is with a toilet.
  3. Kitchens sink clogged drain cleaning is typically needed because of cooking grease, oil, food, etc. Rice is a horrible thing to pour down the drain!  And then food and soap scup accumulate, and boom – clogged drain cleaning is needed.

Start by running hot water into the drain so that it softens what is clogging, then add some dish liquid, keep running hot water. Repeat this process until the drain has opened. Going forward, always let the grease, oil, and rice cool then empty into the trashcan.

What is the best way to clean a clogged drain?

Believe it or not, household baking soda can do wonders for clogged drain cleaning! 

  • Heat Boiling Water: Once a week mix even parts of white vinegar, baking soda, dish liquid soap and pour into the drain then run hot water for 10 minutes. Best weekly all-natural clogged drain cleaning practice keeps those drains flowing, bathrooms and kitchen
  • Already seeing a slow drain? Pour boiling water with dish soap in the drain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then run hot water for 10 minutes for cleaning.
  • Pour one cup baking soda in the drain, add one cup white vinegar, let it fizz for 20 minutes then pour boiling hot water in the drain.
  • Sometimes, the best and easiest clogged drain cleaning is running hot boiling water by itself for 10 to 20 minutes.

How do you unclog a deep clogged drain?

When the above mentioned clogged draining cleaning methods aren’t working, your clog could be deeper in the line.  Trying one of these methods may save you an expensive plumber call.

  1. Stick a bent wire clothes hanger in the pipe and pull out the clog.
  2. Use a wet/dry shop vac.
  3. Purchase a drain snake.
  4. Purchase caustic soda and follow instructions.
  5. Call the plumber!
drain of water

What do plumbers use to unclog drains?

Professional plumbers will attempt all or most of the things we’ve mentioned here. They also have large professional augers and the experience of using them without destroying your pipes.  They sometimes resort to using an underground camera too and once they find where the clogged drain cleaning is necessary, they snake it out and insert a new pipe inside the old, clogged pipe.

How do you unclog a drain without a snake?  All the advice, hints, and tips we’ve discussed are the best tried-n-true methods in clogged drain cleaning. There is one common question that we did not answer: Can Coke unclog drains?

Yes, this will often work in an emergency. Leave a 2-liter bottle of coke open so that t acclimates to room temperature then pour it into the drain and let the fizz work. Coke fizz has a corrosive power and after one to two hours, run hot water for 10 minutes. Need professional help with a clogged drain in Oak Park, Il? Call 708-934-4115 today.

Do Plumbers Fix Showers?

kitchen and bathroom plumbing repair

Do Plumbers Fix Showers?

When you need kitchen and bathroom plumbing repair, it’s important for you to have the best experts on hand to help. This is particularly true if your shower has fallen into disrepair. Thankfully, most plumbers have the ability to fix plenty of problems that arise in the bathroom area. This includes bathtubs and showers. If you have a slow or clogged drain, a leaky faucet, insufficient water pressure, or anything else, there is a high likelihood it can be fixed with a proper, licensed plumber. If your shower isn’t working, the best time to get it fixed is today. Defunct showers can be a true nuisance, which is why it’s important to get the problem resolved sooner rather than later.

Do Plumbers Fix Kitchen Sinks?

While it may be tempting to have a handyman fix your kitchen sink, it is always advisable to choose a licensed plumber. That is because licensed plumbers have gone through rigorous tests and examinations to ensure that they have the knowledge to back up their certificates. If something were to go wrong with your kitchen sink, a plumber would have the proper insurance to cover it, versus an amateur. Most plumbers have the capability to fix your kitchen sink, but some plumbers have specialties and work within those specialties. The best thing to do is to call a local, respected plumber and review with him or her what exactly is wrong with your kitchen sink.

Do Plumbers Fix Toilets?

Are you worried about the current condition of your toilet? If so, the smartest move to make is to call your local, respected plumbing professional. The issues that are going on with your toilet could be very nuanced and specific to your property. For instance, if one or more plumbing features in your home doesn’t drain properly, you could have a serious problem with your plumbing system.

Why is the Toilet Leaking Underneath?

Is your toilet leaking? If so, the culprit could be a number of different issues. Please review the following bullet-pointed list to discover more.

  • The T-bolts, which fasten the toilet to the floor, may need to be tightened.
  • You may require a new wax ring to seal the section of the connection between the toilet and the drain pipe.
  • Check the toilet to see whether or not the leak is actually coming from higher up on the toilet, thus causing water to drop down the sides and pool onto the floor.

How Do You Fix a Toilet Leaking From the Bottom of the Tank?

Is there anything more tragic than a toilet leaking from the bottom of the tank? In all likelihood, yes, however that does not change the fact that toilets need to be repaired as soon as they divulge the symptoms of leakage. According to a leading internet resource, leaking toilet tanks can be repaired by changing out the rubber gaskets. These rubber gaskets are located around the tank bolts and the spud washer. These can deteriorate and fail due to hard water and minerals. While there may be resources on the internet that stipulate that a homeowner can repair their toilet themselves, it is always advisable to contact a plumber first.

How Often Should You Replace a Toilet?

Toilets are very sturdy. As a matter of fact, some plumbers state that a toilet can last as long as fifty years. While this may be true, a federal law that was passed states that any toilets built before 1994 that hold more than 1.6 gallons per flush must get replaced.

Can a Toilet Leak Internally?

Yes, it is certainly possible for a toilet to leak internally. One of the most common causes of an internal toilet leak is a worn out flapper. Flappers perform the function of blocking water in the tank from entering the bowl. If that part of the hardware is worn out, it will cause water to continuously leak into the bowl.

How Difficult is it to Replace a Toilet?

If you are an experienced DIY homeowner, you may feel like you are up to the task of replacing a toilet. You should be warned, however, that you will need to operate a large list of tools and be able to maneuver a large porcelain toilet. If that sounds difficult, the best and only option is to hire a plumber for your new toilet installation.

kitchen and bathroom plumbing repair

How Often Should You Replace Your Toilet Wax Ring?

Toilet wax rings can last thirty years or more. You will be able to decipher the tell-tale signs of a wax ring needing to be replaced when it is dry, crumbly, and falling apart fast. 

For your kitchen and bathroom plumbing repair in Oak Park, Il, it is important for you to have plumbing professionals you can trust. You can reach out to a member of our friendly staff today at 708-934-4115.

Can water heaters be repaired?

contractor working on water heater repair

Water Heater Repairs and Services

The water heater. The one appliance in your home that you don’t think about until it isn’t working. Then you’re frantically wondering what it will cost to replace the unit or is there such a thing as water heater repair. The good news for you is yes – there are services that do water heater repair or replace the unit for you if repairing isn’t possible. 

What is the most common problem with water heaters?

When a water heater isn’t working, there are things you can do yourself and there are things that only a water heater repairman can fix. Five of the most common problems that require some level of water heater repair are: 

Not Getting Any Hot Water

If the water heater isn’t giving you any hot water at all and you have a gas water heater, check the pilot light. If that has gone out, re-light it and you should have hot water soon. If the pilot light is on and not hot water, time to call a professional water heater repair service. 

Run Out of Hot Water

You’re in the middle of your shower and run out of hot water – that is frustrating, and it is also a possible problem, one of several possibilities. With an electric or gas water heater, the thermostat may be stuck or broken. The water heater you have may not be large enough capacity for your needs. Call a water heater repair service to check the thermostat. If that isn’t the problem, ask the technician is not able to provide water heater repair and installation for new unit. 

Water Too Cold or Too Hot

This is typically a thermostat issue and you can adjust that easily. However, if that doesn’t fix the issue, it could be the thermostat is broken or stuck, it could be a build-up of sediment in the tank isn’t letting the water heat. If you haven’t drained the water heater tank, you can try that and see if that helps.  If not, call a water heater repair service and see if they are able to repair the unit. If the sediment has built up too far, they may recommend purchasing a new water heater unit.

Colored Water

If the water you’re getting is colored or rusty, that is from rust inside the tank. This could be the anode rod has corroded and is coloring the water.  Call for water heater repair and have the technician replaced the anode rod. 

Leaking Water Heater

Next to running out of hot water in the middle of your shower, a leaking water heater is the next most annoying issue with water heaters. Repairing the unit may be possible, but typically, if it is leaking from the bottom, then have a water heater repair technician is probably going to give you the bad news that it is time to replace the unit. 

water heater repair

What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?

An old water heater will often let you know it is time to replace it with any of the following five indications:  

  • It’s Age – No, we don’t give water heaters a birthday party or even acknowledge its installation date on Facebook, but you need to keep track of that year. When you know the unit is reaching its tenth birthday, get your budget cushioned and start shopping. Or if you have had numerous water heater repair calls, that third one should be a hint. 
  • Puddling – Puddling water around a water heater should be self-explanatory, but if it hasn’t come to mind yet, water is supposed to be on the inside of the tank, not outside of it on the floor.  If you have a leaking water heater, you need a new water heater. 
  • Noisy – A water heater shouldn’t make that much noise, so if you are hearing clanking and rumblings, it is probably full of sediment and that is usually beyond any possible water heater repair. 
  •  Rusty Colored Water – Rusty water coming out of water heater means the tank is rusted.  Again, this is something a water heater repair usually won’t do you any good. They may try to drain it and replace the anode rod, but chances are that won’t work, or not for long. 

What would cause a hot water heater to stop working?

  • On a gas water heater, the pilot light could be the problem. Simply re-light it, allow time for the water to heat up and try again. On an electric water heater, it could be circuit breaker. Check the breaker box, flip the one for the water heater and that should fix it. 
  • A gas hot water heater could have a leaking gas line. If you notice a rotten egg smell around the water heater, that is a good indication of the problem and this is a dangerous situation. Evacuate the house immediately and call 911 and the gas company from a remote location. 
  • The heating element could have gone out and this can be easily replaced by a professional water heater technician or if you are a DIY kind of homeowner, you may be able to do it yourself. 
  • Sediment has built up in the tank with contaminants that have harden in the bottom of the tank, now it can’t produce enough hot water. You can try to drain the unit, see if that helps, but it has been building up for a period of time, it probably too late. With your next water heater do a routine of draining the unit once a yar to prevent that from happening again. 
  • Try adjusting the temperature setting and see if that helps. If not, the thermostat could be broken or stuck. Call a professional water heater repair company if you aren’t comfortable trying to replace the thermostat yourself. 

How often should you drain your hot water heater?

Professional water heater companies recommend once a year for most homes. If you live in an area that has hard water, that meant is has a lot of contaminants, and in that case, twice a year is recommended. 

water heater repair

The Last Question – An Important Question

Can I take a shower if my water heater is leaking? That can be dependent on a few things. What is the extent of the leak? If it is running out, call a plumber and have the water heater repaired first. If it is leaking gas – absolutely no! Evacuate and call 911 and the gas company. If there is just a small leak at a connect, proceed with your shower, but address this  matter immediately. 

How to Tell You Have a Plumbing Leak

pipe with leak

Can a plumber detect a water leak?

Plumbing. We can’t live without these days, and we take it for granted that when we turn on the faucet, water will come out, and then it will drain and go wherever it is that water goes. What about when that faucet or a pipe starts to leak, though? It is times like that when you realize that too much of a good thing isn’t right and that plumbing leak repair service is what you’re needing. 

Water is gushing out of a pipe under the sink, or the water is still dripping, even running after you turn off the faucet. What do you? If you are a DIY with some, know how to plumbing, leak repair is probably something you can handle. Otherwise, you need to call a Plumbing leak repair contractor for professional plumbing leak repair pronto. 

Plumbing leak repair is a fact of owning a house. They are aggravating and can be damaging if not found and repaired or replaced in time. What is nothing more than a small pinhole leak will cause major damage to a wall, flooring, and more. Then there is the side act that water that is wasted for incoming clean water. If the plumbing leak for outgoing wastewater, the sewage is not only damaging your home, but it is unhealthy too. 

However, leaks happen, and we know that it is possible. So, unless there is water gushing out where you can’t help but see it, but you’re suspecting a water leak, your only option is to call a professional plumber for a plumbing leak repair job. If you don’t see the leak and know where it is coming from, how will the plumber? 

 One of the best services a plumber can offer other than a plumbing leak repair is leak detection. Keep reading, and we’ll discuss the different techniques that an experienced and licensed plumber may use to find the exact spot of a leak. 

How does a plumber check for leaks?

  • Acoustic Devices:  With technology today, a plumber can use a ground microphone and listening disc that allows them to hear where water is dripping or running that you may not hear otherwise like a slab leak or a leak buried in your yard.  Once they determine where the leak is coming from, they can do a plumbing leak repair and have your home back in full operating mode again. 
  • Heat scan: When the listening devices won’t work, typical in a noisy area or perhaps the pipe is buried deep, plumbers have heat scanners that detect temperature change where water is dripping or running. 
  • Video: Today, a professional plumber has cameras and videos to help them detect leaks and busted pipes.  This type of leak detection is the most precise method that uses miniature cameras that are mounted on long cables with fiber optic technology. The camera is placed inside the suspected pipe, and as the plumber pushes it through, it relays images back that will tell the plumber where the pipe is broken. This video method also shows the plumber the exact location of the leak, so they don’t have to bust up the flooring or trench the yard. 
  • Experience and Training: The experienced plumber will train the new plumbers to use one of the most invaluable tools they have: Their training. An experienced, licensed plumber will know that sometimes, it is their intuition that finds the leak. 
open ceiling where a damaged pipe was

How do you fix a plumbing leak?

There is more than one type of plumbing leaks; some leaks can flood a home, while others are just annoying and increase the water bill. The type of leak you will determine how to fix it. 

A simple stated approach would be if the leak is at a joint, tighten it. If the leak is from the middle of the pipe, replace the pipe. Done and done. Unfortunately, it isn’t always this easy. Many leaks, especially those that require pipe replacement, are better left to the experts that do plumbing leak repairs for a living. They’ve trained for this, and they do it every day. 

However, if you are a DIY homeowner, the pipe patch may be your go-to saving grace.  Your local big-box home repair center or hardware store will have plumbing leak kits or make you won using a piece of sturdy rubber and a c-clamp.  

Another option for doing plumbing leak repairs yourself that is fast and easy is using waterproof tape wrapped over the bad area or a special compound that comes in a stick from. You can also path a pipe with epoxy paste or insert a self-tapping plug in the hole.

What is the best sealant for leaking pipes?

Epoxy putty is an excellent sealant but requires the water to be turned off the area that needs patching to be 100% dry of water. This patch is meant to be only a temporary patch, not a permanent repair. You’ll still need to take the steps we mentioned above or call a professional plumber for any plumbing leak repairs if you want to know that it is fixed correctly. 

What are the Signs of a plumbing leak?

An experienced and prepared plumber will use any of the above-mentioned leak detection equipment and systems to help find a plumbing leak.  As a homeowner, there are things you can do that will tell you if there is a leak but finding the exact spot of the leak is another thing. Here are seven signs that will tell you to have a professional plumber do any plumbing leak repairs.

  • The water bill increases an astronomical amount. 
  • Mildew or mold around pipes, typically under sinks or around showers.
  • Bathrooms, kitchen, or any room that is next to the bathroom or kitchens smell musty.
  • Ceiling, floors, walls have stains or unexplained damage. 
  • The water meter keeps running after you’ve turned everything off in and around the house.
  • Unexplained water puddles and wet spots.
  • Cracks in the foundation.

If you have any of these signs and you’re not able to find the leak to repair yourself, call a professional plumber. They have the experience and equipment to find leaks and do plumbing leak repairs quickly. Call 708-934-4115 today for your pipe leak repair in Oak Park, Il.

How many pounds of pressure is in a gas line?

gas line

Securing and Protecting Your Gas Line

Our homes have many things providing power to them. Electricity and water are common ones because all homes need them, and some homes have gas. The electricity runs to our home through electrical wires, while water and gas run through water lines and gas pipelines. The water and gas lines are under pressure to create the strength to reach our homes. Both water and gas line pressure tested to keep us safe. 

Periodically, the gas company will conduct gas pressure test for inspection to check for leaks in the area or if they have had a complaint about gas odors. They will perform a gas pressure test house where the complaint or report comes from first, then check the neighborhood. Another time a house may have a gas line pressure test is when a new gas line has been added, an old one removed, or a new appliance installed. This testing is typically done by the plumber that has worked on the gas line.

gas line and meter

How long does a gas pressure test take?

Pressure test of gas allows the gas company or plumber to ensure the gas is entering your home at the proper pressure. The gas line pressure test is performed at the gas meter and will require a temporary gas pressure gauge to be installed. 

Natural gas is sent to compressor stations that move it through pipelines at approximately 750 pounds per square inch. From there, it is then delivered to various gas-supply grids, and then to homes and commercial buildings. As gas enters a home, typically the pressure is .25 pounds per square inch. Gas line pressure testing is performed at various places and time during this travel time. 

Gas line pressure test that doesn’t have a visible drop can take a minimum of fifteen minutes. If the system is tight, the test could take longer. A gas pressure test and temperature of the environment can make a difference how long the gas line pressure test takes, for example, cold weather will take longer.      

What pressure should you test gas line?

For a residential gas line pressure test, the required test pressure is 3 per square inch gauge. A required result for a medium gas line pressure test is 10 per square inch gauge. In either case, there cannot be any visible loss for fifteen minutes on residential properties.

What is considered high pressure natural gas?

Natural gas is transported through interstate pipelines, dedicated to natural gas only, from the wells where it is found to the grids and then into homes. It requires being at a high pressure that makes it travel through the gas pipelines and on to the grid. The gas line pressure test at various points during this and is expected to be anywhere between 200 pounds per square inch to 1500 pounds per square inch. The volume of the natural gas is reduced by up to six hundred times as the natural gas is propelled through the gas pipeline.

How much gas leak is acceptable?

Your first thought may be “none”, but that isn’t totally true. Let’s talk about the smell of gas first before we answer that question. Natural gas in its purest form does not have any odor. When you smell gas from a burner or pilot light, it is actually the sulfur-based compounds that are added to for detection purpose. 

 In a small Texas town, a natural gas explosion in 1937 killed 295 people, most of them children. The explosion happened at a school and has long been considered America’s deadliest school disaster.  It was that disaster that motivated experts to find a way to give natural gas an odor so that those deadly leaks are found before they become deadly. At this time, gas line pressure testing didn’t exist on the same scale it does today either, so motivation to perform gas line pressure test become more prevalent too. 

So, is natural gas dangerous? On an average day, absolutely not. Each year, there are gas explosions from leaks that kill an average of 17 people. More people die from falling out of a bed kills over 400 a year. Compared to those numbers, we need sleep in the floor! 

Experts and professionals that work with natural gas will tell you that regardless of how much they preform gas line pressure test, no matter how much they repair those gas leaks, there will always, ALWAYS be gas leaks. Why? Today the infrastructure we have channels substances that cannot be fully controlled by us humans. For example: Water eats and rots pipes, clogs form in sewage lines and bursts them, and gas will inevitably escape.

So, if gas leaks are the norm, is there a danger point where a gas leak isn’t acceptable? Absolutely! For new installation, absolutely no gas leak is acceptable. For existing installations, over a five-minute period, a pressure drop is deemed acceptable if it doesn’t exceed as stated below:

  • Volume of pipework L of 5 with a maximum pressure drop, kPa 1.00
  • Volume of pipework L of 10 with a maximum pressure drop, kPa 0.50
  • Volume of pipework L of 15 with a maximum pressure drop, kPa 0.35
  • Volume of pipework L of 20 with a maximum pressure drop, kPa 0.25
  • Volume of pipework L of 25 with a maximum pressure drop, kPa 0.20
  • Volume of pipework L of 30 with a maximum pressure drop, kPa 0.10

To determine the rate of a gas leak in an existing install, professionals will use a manometer for gas line pressure test that determines the leakage rate.

Can a gas line get clogged?

Yes, and usually it is a water clog. It only takes four inches of water to clog a gas line, but the clog isn’t the big problem. Water willcorrode the gas line and it will begin to leak because it is unsafe to have a leaking gas line. When can this happen?  With an outdoor gas appliance or light that is powered off a buried gas line.

gas line connection

Closing Words

Natural gas is a clean source for bathing, cleaning, cooking, and heating. It is a completely safe product when the connections are done properly, and regular maintenance is performed to check gas connections and gas lines.

When to Call an Emergency Plumber

Young plumber with adjustable wrench collage background.

Learn More About a Plumbing Emergency

There are instances with your plumbing where the unexpected can happen at any time be it night or day. The level of severity can range depending on circumstances and conditions, yet with cases that halt your daily activities, it may be best to call your plumber for a plumbing emergency service. As there are many things that surround a plumbing emergency service it may be best to learn more about them. Here is some general information regarding a plumbing emergency that may prove useful to you for the future.

What is considered a plumbing emergency?

A plumbing emergency consists of any scenario seen with your plumbing system that is unable to be regulated or controlled and risks damages to, or a halt in, plumbing use. Usually, extreme cases like flooding from a burst pipe, sewer back up, a failed sump pump, or failed water shut off valve are considered to be a plumbing emergency. Yet there are also instances of less severe cases that are considered to be a plumbing emergency as well, like with clogged toilets or sinks. In any case, it’s best to call your local plumber to see what can be done with a given plumbing situation.

How long do emergency plumbers take?

A plumbing emergency with a qualified plumbing company can have emergency plumbers come out anywhere from half an hour to a couple of hours from your call. Most plumbing companies will say that they will have someone out within 24 hours of your call for a plumbing emergency. 

Do plumbers come at night?

Depending on the company, the number of available plumbers on hand at that time, and the company’s employee work policies a plumber may be able to come out at night to assess an issue and possibly provide repairs. Sometimes with a plumbing emergency, the plumber may only be able to give a temporary fix in until it can be properly addressed in the morning. Other times they may be able to provide a fix and leave you with advice on what to do as far as water being left behind.

How much does an emergency plumber cost?

A plumbing emergency will usually cost more than normal services as they require immediate attention. Plumbers may even charge higher rates in general for weekends, nights, or holiday work. Make sure to get in touch with your local plumbing company to see what their rates are.

What do plumbers fix?

Plumbers will typically install, repair, replace areas of the plumbing system as well as units, and fixtures. You may see a plumber handle showers, tubs, toilets, kitchen and bathroom sinks, faucets, dishwashers, garbage disposals, gas line, water heaters/boilers, washers for laundry, water lines, sewage lines, pipes, backflow protection, and septic tank systems. 

What is wrong with my plumbing?

Whether you have a plumbing emergency or another issue there are some things that can cause problems with your plumbing. Build up of hair, food items, grease, and oil can build up in drains over time and cause clogs. Outside pipes may have root infiltration from trees or perhaps your slab has moved with your foundation and impacted pipe connections or conditions. Ultimately, there can be many scenarios taking place with your plumbing system so get an inspection from an expert for more informaiton.

Leaking copper pipe with jets of water under pressure

How do I know if my plumbing is bad?

  • Odd sounds coming from the faucets.
  • Low water pressure.
  • Unpleasant smells coming from the drains.
  • Sluggish drains.
  • Stains or damaged walls.

How often should you check your plumbing?

Your plumbing system, like other systems of your home, will require maintenance and check-ups periodically in order to maintain smooth operations consistently for a longer period of time. Most plumbing professionals agree to have your property’s plumbing system checked at least once every two years. Yet there are some sources that say annually or seasonally your plumbing should be maintained to go with temperature drops or other changes in weather that could affect your plumbing. Frozen and burst pipes in the winter for example can cause a plumbing emergency so it’s best to modify maintenance duties in accordance with your plumbing materials and property conditions.

When should you call a plumber for a clogged drain?

A clogged drain will range in severity and can sometimes affect other areas of plumbing connections. If there is a clog in the main drain then a professional plumber should be called as this affects the whole property. With more localized issues like with one drain, you may be able to wait unless flooding is severe which can cause a plumbing emergency. 

Can clogged pipe cause leak?

A clogged pipe may cause a leak depending on whether there is a backup or overflow. This can cause pressures to be enacted on the pipe and lead to connection issues, inner pipe corrosion, or punctures to become aggravated which can spark a leak. Usually, a leak will occur a distance away from the source of the clog so a professional will be needed to determine where the leak is with their detection tools or other equipment. It’s best to address a leak as soon as you know it’s there in order to avoid a plumbing emergency. 

Contact Your Local Plumber For Assistance

If you’re confused as to what could be happening with your plumbing system give your local plumber a call. When a plumbing emergency occurs they will be able to respond within 24 hours of time and address issues so that you can get back into your daily routine. With a plumbing emergency attention will be necessary as soon as possible and only an expert will be able to determine what courses of immediate action to take to halt property damages and get problem areas fixed. Contact your local plumbing today for quick and efficient assistance.

If you need help with a plumbing emergency in Oak Park, Il call 708-934-4115 with Emergency Sewer and Drain Experts!