Clogged Toilet Tools & Instructions

Standard PlungerIf you have a clogged toilet in your home or office there are a couple of things you can do before having to call a professional plumber. If the following things do not work then you should call a plumber to help you.

The Plunger:

If you have never seen a plunger before then you must have been living under a rock, But if you do know what a plunger is you can use that to effectively unclog the toilet that will not flush. The best time to use the plunger is when the toilet is full of water and urine / poop. If you try to plunge the toilet without water, you will not be successful and the toilet will remain clogged.

The Toilet Snake:

If you have no luck using a plunger to unclog your toilet then you can try using a toilet snake or closet auger.

Why does your gas hot water heater pilot keep going out?

GE 40 Gallon 4500 Watt Double Element Electric Water HeaterWhy your gas hot water heater pilot keeps going out can be caused by many reasons which will require troubleshooting to find the reason or, reasons why it is going out. Once the problem causing the pilot to go out has been corrected the pilot should stay lit and reliable water heating should return to your home.

One of the more common causes is a thermocouple which has failed. The thermocouple is a bimetal part that when placed in a pilot flame heats and produces a voltage which activates a magnet in the gas valve of the hot water heater. This valve allows the gas to flow to the pilot and main burner of the water heater shutting off if the pilot flame were to go out providing safety from what could be a deadly buildup of gas.

In some water heaters a thermopile may be used which provides a higher voltage that can actually operate an electronic control board. Some other water heaters also used a one time thermal fuse built into the thermocouple which could detect an event where the pilot flame burned higher due to flammable gas vapors in the air drawn into the water heater burner and shut the water heater down. Consult the manual for your water heater to determine what you have installed and how to troubleshoot the thermocouple.

Some of the other possible causes of a hot water heater pilot going out could include a weak magnet in the gas valve, improper or, intermittent gas pressure, lack of combustion air, and improper venting. Also on the newer Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant (FVIR) the pilot going out could be caused by an FVIR event or, a clogged flame arrestor, again consult your water heater manual for troubleshooting information.

How Do I Prevent A Hot Water Tank From Flooding A Basement?

Bradford White M250T6DS 50 Gallon Electric Water HeaterEach year many basements are flooded by a leaking hot water tank, each year about 5.5 million water heaters fail with many of them leaking in basements. There are few things that could be worse than returning home after a vacation and discovering water running out of the basement windows. There are many ways that you can prevent this costly damage from occurring.

The best way to prevent your basement from being flooded by leaking hot water tank is to have it installed in accordance with the plumbing code. Most plumbing codes today require the hot water tank to have its T&P valve plumbed to a drain as well as a drip pan installed that is also plumbed to a drain. These methods will drain the leaking water away safely preventing damage to the home. Many older homes have basements that do not have a drain low enough to accept these discharges.

Fortunately there are many new devices, which can prevent your basement from being flooded by leaking hot water tank. These new devices can detect water leaking from the hot water tank and activate, automatically shutting off the water supply to the hot water tank and the energy source used for heating the water. This will limit the damage to only the water in the tank being able to leak out and many times the leak will even stop once the pressure drops to 0 psi. The Watts Floodsafe Water Detector Shutoff, and Taco WagsValve are a couple of the more popular valves available for detecting leaking hot water tanks and shutting them off preventing damage from flooding a basement. There are a number of valves that are also available which only shut off the water, we do not recommend these valves as the energy supply to the water heater also needs to be shut off when the water is shut off to a leaking water heater.

Plumbing Pipe Insulation & Repair Buyers Guide

The most common problem in the wintertime is frozen pipes. Most of us do not think that could ever happen so we go about the yearly winterizing of our homes and before we know it our pipes have frozen. Plumbing Pipe InsulationIf that has not already happened then there are some preventative measures you can take to prevent that from happening. First make sure that your pipes do not have any existing leaks, these remedies are not designed to repair or even band-aid a leaking pipe.

The three remedies we are offering are the Easy Heat Cold Weather Valve and Pipe Heating Cable, Armacell LlC Foam Pipe Insulation and the Armaflex Pipe and Vale Insulation Tape. Before the weather gets too cold, take a look at what these three items have to offer. If you are not proactive in taking care of the pipes before they freeze then when they do, you are going to stress out and end up spending a lot of money unnecessarily.

Easy Heat Cold Weather Valve and Pipe Heating Cable

The Easy Heat Cold Weather Valve and Pipe Heating Cable. Model AHB-016 is a power cord device that comes with 6 feet of cable. The cable itself is temperature controlled that runs by lining up straight along the piping and the valves. The cable is held in its place by the application tape. The cable is then plugged into a grounded outlet. The Easy Heat Cold Weather Valve and Pipe Heating Cable will keep your water flowing all the way down to minus 380. This device can be used on odd length pipe sizes over 3/4″ inches in diameter.

The manufacturer does recommend that two separate cables be used opposite sides of the pipe with up to 3 feet of any overrun at the center of the pipe. In order to use on metal pipes, there must be ½ inches of fiberglass insulation around the cable. If you have plastic pipes it is suggested that you use cover the pipe with aluminum foil before you install the heating cable. The heating cable uses 42 watts and 120 volts AC. The cost is about $ 16.40 and higher depending on where you purchase from.

Armacell LlC Foam Pipe Insulation

Another product that can be used to help prevent the freezing of your pipes is called Armacell LlC Foam Pipe Insulation. The part number is OEPO5838. There are 65 pieces in one package. The available sizes to choose from are ½ inch, ¾ inch and 1inch and higher. The way this foam pipe insulation works is by slipping the foam pipe insulation around the piping. If you choose the correct size the foam insulation should fit snuggly on the pipe.

The Armacell LlC Foam Pipe Insulation is made from a self-sealing rubber foam pipe insulation that offers the most protection and has the highest R values. The foam insulation is very flexible and easy to install, it will keep your hot water hot and your cold water cold. The foam pipe insulation resists all mold by preventing any condensation and sweating of pipes. The cost of the Armacell LlC Foam Pipe Insulation is about $ 4.00 depending on where you buy from.

Armaflex Pipe and Valve Insulation Tape

If you are looking for some good old fashioned insulation tape to prevent the pipes from freezing then you have found the Armaflex Pipe and Valve Insulation Tape. This tape comes in 1/8 inch x 2 inches x 30 feet. It is made with Microban Technology which includes Microban Antimicrobial product protection. By installing this tape you are providing a fast easy way to prevent the pipes from freezing. By using this tape you can keep your water hot or cold and it will help keep condensate drip on domestic cold water, chilled water and other cold piping and fittings.

Armaflex Pipe and Valve Insulation Tape will reduce heat loss as well. The tape is self-adhesive and comes in a strip form; there are no bands or wires to install. The tape was made from expanded closed cell structure that makes the tape efficient and effective. The Armaflex Pipe and Valve Insulation Tape is priced at around $8.99.

As the weather gets colder out, the more chances your pipes have to freeze. If left untreated your pipes may burst and then you not only have a big problem but it will cost you hundreds dollars to repair. We have listed three effective and efficient ways to prevent any pipes in your home from freezing. The Easy Heat Cold Weather Valve and Pipe Heating Cable, Armacell Llc Foam Pipe Insulation and Armaflex Pipe and Valve Insulation Tape are all easy to install, there are no tools or professionals needed.

You can find these great products online or in your local hardware location. These remedies are safe and affordable, if you haven’t already done preventative maintenance on your pipes, now may be a good time to do so. Wouldn’t it be better to spend a few dollars than hundreds if you do not take care of the problem?

UnFreeze Your Pipes With The EdenPure Heater

EdenPure HeaterDuring the winter season all sorts of plumbing pipes can freeze due to the below freezing temperatures outside. In most cases the pipes will freeze because they were not insulted well. There are things you can use to both protect your pipes from freezing and also tools to unfreeze your pipes.

If you have frozen pipes in the main part of your house or in a basement because you left the heat off for the night or you were away on vacation then you may be able to use your Edenpure Heater to unfreeze the pipes in your home. If you do not own an Edenpure Heater you could also use an electric space heater as well with the same BTU’S.

Now, Please do note that using a space heater will not always work to unfreeze your pipes, but in some cases when the pipes have just begun to freeze, raising the internal temperature of the room or space were the pipes are frozen may do the trick and have your water flowing in no time.

How To Unfreeze Your Pipes With The Edenpure Heater

The first thing you will want to do is to determine why your pipes have frozen. Once you have located the spot where the cold air draft is leaking into the building and blowing on the pipes you will want to close up that draft.

The second thing you will want to do is plug your Edenpure Heater in and warm the room up to an above freezing temperature. Once the room ( such as the bathroom or kitchen ) has reached the above freezing point you will want to keep checking the faucet or tub valve that is frozen to see if the water has started flowing again.

Sometimes if you have an additional small space heater you can point it into the bathroom vanity or space that the frozen pipes are in so you can get direct heat on the pipes.

Be sure to watch for leaks in pipes as you are unfreezing them. If you start to see any pipes leaking you will want to move the heater away from the pipes and call a plumber to make the repairs.

Frozen Pipes May Cracked Or Damaged

While you have the Edenpure heater set up in the area that is the coldest so it will increase the overall air temperature you will want to start to think about what you may need to repair the frozen pipe after it has thawed. Sometimes when the pipe freezes if there is enough water inside the pipe the pipe can crack or split which will result in a leak after the pipes have thawed, If the pipe is made from PVC or copper you may be able to just pick up a few “couplings” and a small piece of pipe the size of the damaged area and make the repair.

Packing Away The Edenpure Heater & Repairing The Pipes

Once you have unfrozen your pipes you will want to pack away the Edenpure heater and start making the repairs to the pipes if need be. Sometimes when the pipes freeze they will not crack and you will get lucky and not need to make any repairs.

Hiring A Plumber To Unfreeze Your Pipes

If you do not have an Edenpure Heater or any skills when it comes to repairing things, then you might just want to call the plumber. The plumber can unfreeze your pipes with a professional piping hot machine, a torch or in a number of other ways depending on what type of pipe is frozen and where it is located.

How To UnClog A Main Sewer Line

Every now and then a homeowner may run into a problem they do not want to handle. That problem is a clog in the main sewer line.RIDGID K-40 Sewer Machine You could spend hundreds of dollars by hiring someone to unclog them main sewer line or you can read on and see if you can unclog the main sewer line yourself. One of the very first things that you have to do is to find the best access point to the clogged sewer line. This can vary depending on different types of construction but the most common location is an outside cleanout. It could also be located in the basement or in a cleanout via the floor through a pulled toilet or even from an open septic tank located at the back of your home.

The next thing that you have to do is locate the location of the clog itself. You will need clear access and a snake device to reach the clog. If you do not own a snake you can find them at your local hardware store or home improvement stores. There are many different sizes and styles of snake drain cleaning machines out there. You will need one that has enough cable length to reach the clog. If the cable is too short it will not work and if the cable is too long it may kink or get twisted. You may want to choose from a sectional or drum machine.

If you do not wish to purchase a machine at this time, there are places where you can rent these machines. The difference between a sectional and a drum machine is a sectional machine has a powered head that is set up near the cleanout and the sections of the cable are fed through the machine until the clog is cleared. If your access point is through a vent then the sectional machine is best. The Drum machine has a drum that is secured to a hand truck. These machines tend to have about 75 to 150 feet of cable. The drum will start spinning and turning the cable until the clog is removed.

How To UnClog A Main Sewer Line
Both machines will have a cutter blade that is installed on the end of the cable. The cutter should be big enough to scrape the outside wall of the drain pipe. This will help remove all of the debris and deposits on the pipe itself. The turning cable is almost like a big spring, you have to be in control of the machine or it can cause injury. Read the instruction manuals very carefully before starting it up. You may want to invest in what are called Ugly Gloves. These are worn by the operator and protects your hands while feeding the cable into the pipe.

You as a homeowner can really do this yourself, if you do not want to invest in a machine call your local hardware or Home Depot locations and ask about renting a machine. These days’ homeowners really want to save money; this type of problem can be easily done by you. Simply, locate the cleanout, rent or use your sectional or drum machines and read the instructions carefully. Go slow and remember safety first.