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The 5 Most Common Plumbing Issues

September 22, 2018 | | In: Uncategorized

As a homeowner there will be, on more than one occasion, a plumbing issue in your Baltimore, MD home. It happens to all of us and usually comes very unexpectedly. We have gathered 5 common plumbing issues here. Do you have any of these?

#1: Dripping faucets

Drip! Drip! Drip! That is not only the sound of your leaky bathroom or kitchen faucet, it is also the sound of your money dripping away down the drain. Not only do you get driven crazy by the sound, you are spending more than you need to. How much? Depending on the severity of the leak, anywhere from $20 to several hundred dollars a year!

#2: Pipe Leaks

Have you noticed wet spots in your yard, your walls, maybe even your ceiling? There is more than likely a leak in one or more of the joints in your pipes. This is not something you want to wait on. Water damage to your home is not only costly, it can be very dangerous to your health.

#3. Running Toilets

A toilet that runs can flush over 200 gallons of water down the drain every day! Most causes of this common issue can easily be repaired. From a slow trickle into the bowl, to a leaking seal, we are just a phone call away to help!

#4. Leaking Hose Bibb

This common issue appears most often on bibbs that were not properly covered and protected over the cold winter months. Investing in a bibb cover will help prevent your pipes from freezing and avoiding leaks.

#5. Slow Draining Or Clogged Drains

We have all had to deal with a slow draining or clogged drain. Most homeowners reach for their handy household drain cleaning product under the counter. These can actually cause more damage to the pipes. It is best to call a qualified plumber to detect the issue and clear the drain correctly.

Contact us today at (410) 265-8833 or (301) 384-4880 for these or any other plumbing service needs. We are here to help.

DON’T Use Drano!

August 17, 2018 | | In: Services

Drano is lye-based household drainage cleaner product sold in several forms, consisting in variations of sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium hypochlorate (bleach), sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (salt) and aluminum.

How it works: When Drano is poured down a drain, several chemical reactions happen at the same time. Drano’s main ingredient is sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, a substance that decomposes most organic matter. Hair and grease included. The lye is mixed with small shards of aluminum, creating a strong reaction that generates heat at near-boiling temperatures. The high heat effectively speeds up the decomposition process. Tap water, too, reacts with the lye to produce more heat, softening deposits lining a dirty drain. Lye then reacts with the softened grease, creating soap that the hot water dissolves, and again with the aluminum to form hydrogen bubbles. The bubbles loosen the clog particles, creating space for the hot water to carry it all down the drain. In just one slosh you’ll get intense heat, soap making, bubble forming, dissolving proteins and fat breakdown. In other words, more than enough for a drain to handle.

Why Drano is risky:
Drano damages plumbing systems. Drano sits in a pipe until the clog dissolves, continually reacting and generating heat. Toilet bowls can crack. PVC pipes can soften and eventually break. Old, corroded pipes can be easily damaged, and Drano can quickly eat away at the glue holding pipes together.

Drano is unpredictable if combined with other products or equipment. When using plumbing tools, like a plunger or an auger, Drano can splash up and burn your skin, and get into your eyes and lungs. If even a small amount of Drano remains in the drain, and you use a chemical cleaning product soon after, the two products might react unfavourably to create toxic fumes. You never know what kind of chemical reaction you might get when introducing Drano to a plumbing system.

Drano can burn skin, irritate eyes, and hurt lungs. Drano is caustic, meaning it has the ability to burn or corrode organic tissue by chemical action. When a Jiffy plumber gets called in to to fix a clogged drain, they typically ask the customer if they’ve tried Drano already. If so, the plumber comes back 24 hours later because Drano makes their working conditions unsafe.

Drano can work for partial blockages, if used very sparingly. So long as there is some water flow in the clog, Drano can be effective at eating away foreign objects stuck in drains. The partial water flow dilutes the drano and helps flush the strong chemicals out of your plumbing system. As a preventative measure, you can always dilute the drano in a ⅔’s water, ⅓ drano mix prior to using it. However, even with dilution and water flow, Drano can still damage your drains and if it doesn’t fix the clog properly (likely), the problem will soon return.

How Plumbing Works

July 13, 2018 | | In: Services

Plumbing follows the basic laws of nature — gravity, pressure, water seeking its own level.

The plumbing system in your home is composed of two separate subsystems. One subsystem brings freshwater in, and the other takes wastewater out. The water that comes into your home is under pressure. It enters your home under enough pressure to allow it to travel upstairs, around corners, or wherever else it’s needed. As water comes into your home, it passes through a meter that registers the amount you use. The main water shutoff, or stop, valve is typically located close to the meter. In a plumbing emergency, it’s vital that you quickly close the main shutoff valve. Otherwise, when a pipe bursts, it can flood your house in no time. If the emergency is confined to a sink, tub, or toilet, however, you may not want to turn off your entire water supply. Therefore, most fixtures should have individual stop valves.

Curious to learn more about plumbing? Give our office a call! We’d be happy to explain your system during our next visit. We think its important for everyone to understand plumbing basics, so they can communicate with us and take better care of their system.

What’s Wrong With Your Garbage Disposal?

May 11, 2018 | | In: Uncategorized

When your garbage disposal breaks, it can be a big problem. Before you rush to call the plumber, figure out what the problem is. Some issues can be taken care of with a quick fix, others will need a whole system replacement.

Won’t turn on.
There could be a short in the wiring between the switch and the disposal, in which case replacing the wiring should be a quick fix for the problem. However, it’s also possible that you have a burned out motor. The motor comprises a large part of the disposal system, and replacing it is often not worth the cost. If your disposal motor isn’t functioning properly, you’re almost certainly better off just installing an entirely new system.

Destroyed Impeller
The impeller is the part of the disposal that is responsible for chopping up the food waste you put into the chamber. The impeller is not a set of sharp blades, as many people think, but a series of blunt propeller-like protuberances that chop things up by brute force. This puts a lot of stress on the part, and often part of it will break off. While it’s definitely possible to just replace part of the impeller, if the part is in poor enough condition you might want to consider replacing the entire system. Talk to a plumber to see what they think about your specific case.

Simple Ways to Reduce Water Use

April 13, 2018 | | In: Services

We all need to work together to reduce our water usage in order to protect the planet. It only takes a few small changes to our daily habits to save significant amounts of water every year.

1. Use a timer for showers
By limiting everyone to 10 minutes or less, you can save water while keeping everyone on time in the mornings or at bedtime.

2. Reuse your towels
Instead of throwing your used towel in the hamper everyday, hang it up to dry and reuse it!

3. Be mindful of your laundry
Are your clothes really dirty? Unnecessary washing not only uses up extra water, but also precious energy and time! Only do laundry on items that really need to be washed, and always wash with cold water.

4. Install water-saving taps and appliances
A low-flow showerhead, a new faucet that doesn’t leak, or a more efficient washing machine or dishwasher can all help lower your impact. Small leaks or old faucets can cause huge amounts of accidental water waste.

5. Use sprinklers sparingly
Run sprinklers at night so the water makes a maximum impact. You should also make sure your sprinklers are all pointing in the right direction and in working order. A leaky or broken sprinkler can waste dozens of gallons of water weekly.

6. Use water consciously
Turn the water off while you brush your teeth or washing dishes. Every time you turn on the faucet, do so with attention, so you don’t accidentally leave it on longer than you should.

Give Millennium Plumbing a call to install these money and water saving items!

Spring Plumbing Tips

March 23, 2018 | | In: Uncategorized

Spring is here! Keep your plumbing working all year round and try these spring cleaning tips for your pipes.

Check faucets for drips or leaks. Make repairs to save water.
Check toilets for hidden leaks. Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes
Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent hair, soap and debris from clogging the drain lines.
Inspect toilet tank and bowl for cracks or leaks.
Exercise water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking.
Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from running you may need to replace worn tank parts. They’re inexpensive and you’ll notice a lower water bill.
Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater. A great Spring Plumbing Tip.
Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.) Newer water heaters are more energy efficient

Emergency Preparedness for Your Home

February 10, 2018 | | In: Uncategorized

Do you know what do in case of emergency? Make sure you and your family have a plan, and that you know how to prepare your home should the unthinkable happen. Follow these tips to be prepared:

1. Know where the water shut off valve is
In case of emergency, shutting off the water valve will reduce the risk of flooding. If you need to evacuate your home, shut off the water just in case.

2.Shut off electrical power
If the breaker box is safe to access during an emergency, turn it off. This can also help reduce the chance of further damage to your home. It can help eliminate fires, plus it won’t electrify any flooded water if that is a concern.

3. Install a whole-house backwater valve in the main line.
This will make solving big plumbing emergencies much easier. It allows you to plug up different drains if the sewage is backed up. Give us a call for quotes on this service. You’ll be glad you have it should an emergency occur.

Plumbing Tips for Beginners

January 12, 2018 | | In: Uncategorized

Whether you’re a new home owner or just inexperienced with plumbing, it can seem very overwhelming. While we’re always happy to come help you, it’s important to learn how to properly care for your plumbing system and avoid major problems. Try these plumbing tips for beginners.

Manually Unclog Your Drain
Next time your shower or sink drain is clearing slowly, don’t buy expensive, chemical drain cleaners. These can damage the pipes and are not very effective. Instead, manually unclog a drain with a drain snake. Just insert into the drain and pull back out with the clog culprit attached. A wet/dry shop vacuum will also do the trick.

Check your shower head
If your shower head is dripping, invest in some thread tape. Unscrew the shower head, apply tape by wrapping in a clockwise direction, and reattach.

If the shower head is clogged, soak it in a bowl of warm water and vinegar for one hour. Then, use a small brush to loosen any mineral deposits that could be causing the blockage.

Water Heater
Check your water heater’s thermostat to make sure it’s not set too high. You should be able to go down to 115 degrees and still have enough hot water for your needs. You’ll also want to insulate your water heater’s tank with a blanket to keep water hot for longer.

How to Fix A Running Toilet

December 15, 2017 | | In: Uncategorized

During the busy holiday season, the last thing you want is a running toilet. Here is how to fix it.
Two common solutions are closing the flapper and adjusting the float.

Closing the flapper: Take the top off the back of your toilet tank. See the little arm with the chain? The chain is attached to the flapper. If the flapper is stuck open, your toilet is going to run…and run…and run. Check and see if the chain is kinked or hung up. Wikihow recommends threading the chain through a plastic straw if this is the problem.

The flapper may also be slightly misaligned – a simple adjustment may allow the flapper to land on the opening cleanly, creating the necessary seal.

Adjusting the float: The float is the balloon-looking plastic piece that floats on the water in your toilet tank. If the float is the problem, troubleshoot these possible solutions:

Make sure the float is set to the right level. If it’s floating too high, it will allow water to seep through the flapper.
Make sure the float isn’t rubbing against anything. If the flapper is touching other pieces of the flushing mechanism, it may not be able to work properly. Check the fill tube, too – if the fill tube is filling the toilet over the float, the water pressure may be preventing the float from, well, floating.
Make sure the float is still in working condition. A waterlogged float or a float assembly covered in limescale are signs that you need replacements. You can buy replacement parts at a hardware store or call a plumber for a quick fix.

What To Do If Your Toilet Is Overflowing

November 17, 2017 | | In: Uncategorized

If your toilet is overflowing, don’t panic! Before you get to the clog, you should turn off the water.

The first thing to do if the toilet is overflowing is to stop the flow of water. Typically, the best way to do this is the toilet’s main shutoff valve.

You should be able to see a water line leading from your bathroom wall to the toilet, and a hand-crank valve along that line. If not, it’s possible that your toilet’s valve is hidden behind the wall. In this case, you’ll need to call a plumber before you move forward.

Closing the valve will stop the flow from filling and give you time to clear the clog.

This valve unfortunately can get sticky or rusty if it isn’t used for many years. Before you get a clog, test the valve adn see if you can move it. If not, spray it with lubricant and try again. Every time you clean your bathroom, you should close and reopen the valve to test it and make sure its ready if there’s an emergency.

Testimonials

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Millennium Plumbing for their first class service. Shawn responded to a call dealing with a clogged kitchen sink. He took his time to explain the how and why’s he was doing, and what he was doing. He also pointed out some potential problems that we could have and how to prevent future problems. He also contacted an additional team member by the name of Eric who was also quite professional. I also would like to add that Eric is Ipod savy!
Great job Millennium! You all are a class act!

-Lawrence and Angela S.
Bowie, MD
Plumber Baltimore located at 1055 South Charles Street , Baltimore, MD . Reviewed by 76 customers rated: 4.9 / 5