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How to Clear Clogged Drains

clogged drain in sink

What is hydro jetting?

What can be more frustrating when you’re trying to cook a meal than for the kitchen sink to clog up and won’t drain? Well, maybe taking a shower and the water isn’t draining, so you’re standing in dirty bath water could be as frustrating. You plunge, you use chemicals, and plunge some more, still a clogged drain. It may be time to call a plumber for a hydro jetting procedure!

For years, when you called a plumber for a clogged drain or sewer line, they would come to your house and “snake” it.  The snake they used is an auger and depending on the severity of the clog and the length of the pipe, it would be a hand-cranked auger or a motorized auger.

Times have changed though, and through trial and error, the plumbing industry has created the process of hydro jetting. This is using a hose with special nozzles that work with high-pressured water and bust clogs up. Then they can flow on through the drain or sewer pipe and into the waste system.

Where the auger usually pulled up the clog when the snake was pulled out, hydro jetting breaks up the clog.  A snake could sometimes break a pipe by pulling on a clog, hydro jetting usually smooths the pipe interior and minimizes possible clogs.

What does hydro jetting mean?

Hydro is water and jetting is force. Put them together and hydro jetting means forcing water into small areas to clean, like into a drain line and sewer lines.

Is hydro jetting safe for pipes?

Hydro jetting is safe for pipes and it is safe for the environment too! Because is the process of using an extremely high pressure of water that could cut metal, yes it has an element of danger So, can it bust open your water pipes? 

When you think about how high-pressure water is used for cutting metal in certain industries, it can be scary knowing that a plumber is using hydro jetting process on your plumbing. While it is a possibility, if they have trained the plumber you hire to do proper hydro jetting, you won’t any problems. The unexperienced, untrained plumber could use a setting too high for your plumbing system, and that could bust your pipes and more. Should a plumber recommend the hydro jetting process, verify their certification and training that shows they have been trained how to hydro jetting without damaging pipes. 

How effective is hydro jetting?                        

Hydro jetting has all but replaced plumber snake and roto-rooting to clear clogs from drains and sewer lines. Using high pressure water through jet nozzles has proven to be extremely effective, even for commercial lines like restaurants. Restaurants have probably the worse drain and sewer lines because of the food and grease that goes down their drains. Hydro jetting has proven to blast through that debris with no problems.

cleared drain

Is hydro jetting worth it?

Definitely! Ask any plumber that has used a plumber’s snake and hydro jetting. Chances are they will choose the hydro jetting method first. The plumber’s snake still has its place in the plumbing industry because hydro jetting is possible in every situation.

Hydro-jetting is consistent, cost effective, environmentally friendly, fast, and thorough. When used by plumbing technicians that have been professionally trained, it is one of the best tools in the plumbing industry. Some of the benefits that customers can expect with hydro jetting are:

  • Cleans and Unclogs – Pipes build up deposits over time from detergent, dirt, fat, grease, minerals, silt, sludge, and soap. These can create a clog in your pipes that won’t let water drain.  Hydro-Jetting will bust those clogs up, send them on through the pipes and give you a long lasting clean and clear pipes.
  • Consistently Clean – Hydro-Jetting is accurate with consistent cleaning, even your underground pipes, and the plumber won’t have to dig up or trench your yard.  
  • Residual Free – Hydro jetting will efficiently and powerfully clean your pipes leaving no residual. The power of the jets penetrates into the built-up debris and flushes out any minerals, rocks, roots, or other obstruction that keeps the water from flowing.  
  • Bacteria Free – Hydro jetting a stream of water is powerful enough it removes any bacteria that is settled in the bathroom or kitchen drains. Gone are those foul odors that can come from bacteria laden drainpipes.  
  • Economical and Safe – With the many alternative types of drain cleaning that are available on the market today, hydro jetting and drain cleaning has proven to be most economic and the safest for the environment. One hydro jetting pipe cleaning treatment will give you clear pipes four times longer than the old school way of using a plumber’s snake, which is typically needed twice a year.

How often should you clean your main sewer line?

The professional recommendation for main sewer line cleaning is every 18 to 22 months by a professional. If your plumbing system has a lot of problems, consider twice a year. An experienced professional plumber can inspect your plumbing system and make a recommendation.

Your home is your castle, your business is your livelihood.  Keeping the drains flowing is important for comfort and safety. Before you allow a plumber to perform a hydro jetting service, ask to see their certification and make sure you get a written guarantee. Call 1st Plumber to Call for your drain cleaning services in Canton, GA when you dial (404) 758-6237!

Is a water softener worth it?

water softener system installation

Improving your water quality

What water softener benefits can you expect, and is a water softener something everyone needs? Let’s go back in time to 7th-grade science about the attraction between negative and positive things we learned using magnets. That is essentially how a Water Softener works.

Calcium and magnesium are two minerals that bond with other metals in water and makes it “hard.” That bond, over time, builds up to where you can see it in the form of a crust on your faucets, shower head, and other water intakes/outtake orifices. To remove those calcium and magnesium concentrations, you can install a Water Softener that will filter those minerals out and make your water soft.

Does everyone need a water softener? No, not, but it doesn’t hurt either. A water softener may seem like a luxury thing, but when you see the benefits we’ve listed, you’ll want to rethink that opinion:

  • Plumbing System Preserved: Hard water is hard on appliances and pipes. The water heater will fill up, the pipes will corrode, and the faucets and showerhead, even the toilet, are all damaged by hard water over time.  
  • Softer Hair and Skin: Hard water dulls your water pressure, and you’ll notice it in your hair and on your skin. Hair becomes brittle and dry; your hair becomes dull and frizzy from the calcium and magnesium building up on it.
  • Less Cleaning Needed: As calcium and magnesium build up on the faucets, you’ll find yourself working harder and more often cleaning the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Clothes and Dishes Cleaner: A water softener will remove the calcium and magnesium build up in the pipes so that the water coming out is cleaner, making your clothes and dishes come out cleaner. These minerals left on your clothes and dishes fade.

Will soft water clean pipes?

Hard water enters a home at about 300 parts-per-million. With a water softener and filter installed, that number drops to practically zero, so as the water is running through your pipes, it is dissolving chalk or limescale that is a natural part of our water.  While the water is being filtered, it is softening it to give you the benefits described above. With a water softener with installation by a professional, your hard water drops from 300 parts-per-million to 10 to 15 parts-per-million. You’ll notice the water tastes better, and your appliances, clothes, and dishes are looking better.

Is it OK to drink softened water?

Cleaning sodium is used to soften water to catch the unwanted minerals found in hard water. It is exchanged for the calcium and magnesium in the ion-exchange. Depending on the geographical specs of where you live, there may be more sodium in the water than other areas. The more water softener treatment is required, the higher the sodium level.

Over the past forty years, many concerns have been brought up about drinking water’s potability because of the sodium content when a water softener has treated it. However, there is not any official statement as to whether there is anything problematic to drink softened water, so the consensus is that it is safe.

Is it better to drink hard or soft water?

Many people prefer hard water because it contains minerals that are essential to good health. Another reason it is preferred is because of the taste of softened water is salty. In general, though, water is good regardless if hard or soft, as long as it is clean. If a person needs to cut back on their sodium, it would be in their best interest to drink bottled water if a high level of sodium is in their water, such as a home that has a water softener installed.

How often should a water softener be serviced?

You don’t want to wait until your water softener is not working before you have to call a professional. You should have it professionally checked no less than every five years. However, if you notice a change in your water’s, appearance, smell, or taste, or the output of water hardness increases, you want to have it checked soon, and if these are reoccurring issues, have your water softener checked annually.

Water from faucet pouring into glass

Final Words on Water Softener

Before you invest in a water softener system, experts recommend having your water tested first. If the water where you live isn’t hard, then the system isn’t necessarily a benefit for you. Testing your water can be done by a local plumber that has experience in the process. They will also be able to install a water softener system for you.

Another upgrade to consider is a water filter system. While most water systems are strict in their filtering of water to the general public, it could give you peace of mind knowing that you have additional filtering in place. When you need water softeners in Canton, GA, dial (404) 758-6237.

How do you install a 3 piece tub and shower?

Installed tub/shower combo in a home

What goes behind a tub surround?

Older houses may only have a bathtub, some houses have only a shower, and many houses have a shower and tub in the same space, which is the most common. For many years, that is how architects designed houses and how builders built them: a shower and tub combination.

Then, homeowners with just a tub or just a shower, decide they want that bath/shower combo and start remodeling bathrooms. There are separate pieces and there are shower and tub inserts available to make this conversion and they come in a variety of configurations, shower, and tub combo ideas, and sizes.  There are companies that provide a professional shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation‌, or the DIY homeowner can do the conversion and install themselves.

Nothing is necessary. Install your acrylic or fiberglass tub surround by fastening the flanged edge right to the wall studs. Drywall should be in place for that flanged edge not to show after you have the enclosure in position.  

Because a bathroom is a moisture-induced room, some people prefer to install a waterproof barrier before they install their tub enclosure. While not required to meet code, it is definitely worthwhile, and you can choose from a water-resistant backer board, cement board, or green board. 

Do you put flooring under the shower?

Yes, any combo shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation‌ need to have a level subflooring or you’ll have trouble with the shower or tub drain lining up.  If the subfloor is unlevel by half an inch or more, you can sister new wood to the existing floor joists to level the subfloor and improve the structure of your home.  If the existing subfloor is damaged or rot, replace it with sheets of OSB. Now, with the subfloor replaced, reinforced, and level, follow these steps:

  • Place the tub in position, making sure it is level on all sides
  • Use galvanized screws to fasten the tub to studs.  NOTE:  A heavy tub with of cast iron or steel, may need additional support with a 2×4 stringer
  • Install the drain (using silicone for sealant)
  • Install the tub spout 3 to 4 inches up from the tub bottom
  • Install the mixing valve 9 to 18 inches from the tub bottom
  • Install the shower arm 80 inches from the SUBFLOORING

Once you have framed the enclosure sized to the unit and installed a level subfloor, you can insert your tub surround, and nail or screw the flange flush to the bare studs. Next, check the leveling and if needed, use plastic or wood shims. Now you can install your chosen wall covering. 

Do I need to waterproof shower walls before tiling?

Now time for framing the shower niche for your shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation‌. 

  • Use 2×4 boards for framing
  • Determine the tile size, grout joint spacing, and how the tile will be positioned.

Once you have the framing for the shower walls of your shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation‌, follow these steps for water barrier and waterproofing:  

A shower that doesn’t have any type of moisture barrier isn’t necessarily an immediate failure, but water leaks are very possible, especially if the horizontal surfaces aren’t waterproofed. A moisture barrier or waterproof barrier will keep water out of any cavities and the waterproof more extensive it is, the better chance you have of never having a problem.

In the question earlier, we said that no, that you do not have to install anything on the wall behind a tub enclosure. However, if you will have a shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation‌, you do need to install some type of moisture barrier like:

  • Plastic sheeting fastened to the bare studs then the backer board, cement board, or green board
  • Apply a liquid waterproofing on the backer board, cement board, or green board
  • Install a waterproof sheet membrane to the bare studs then install the backer board, cement board, or green board

Why is it recommended for a shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation‌ and not just a tub installation? Water will be raining down from the showerhead and hitting the walls. Even if your surround wall is solid except at the corners, you want to make sure if any water gets through, it cannot get to the wall stud and inside the walls. A rule of thumb to follow is: Waterproof for vertical walls for a moisture barrier and use waterproofing membrane for horizontal surfaces.

How easy is it to replace a tub?

Advance planning is key in a successful shower only, tub only, or combo shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation. This includes measuring the current alcove to make sure you purchase the right size tub or shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation‌. You must determine if your current setup is a center, left, or right drain position and the size. 

Turn off the water either to the bathtub or to the entire house then open one faucet valve to let off the pressure

  • Use steps described earlier to check floor level and process for leveling one that isn’t 
  • Remove the Drain and Overflow 
  • Gain access to the drain: either from the tub usually found underside or behind the wall
  • Remove the tub from the wall and dispose

Protect the tub from possible dents and scratches that may happen during installation and carefully place your new tub in the prepared area and connect the drain and faucet. 

Tub and shower in a white bathroom

How long does it take to install a tub and surround? 

For a typical shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation, you must remove the current shower, tub, or combo. Depending on old it is, how well it was installed, this process can take anywhere from half a day to 1 entire day. The planning and preparation for the new shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation can take up three days. 

A shower‌ ‌and‌ ‌tub‌ ‌installation can be a sizeable project to undertake, but with online videos and the classes home improvements stores offer can help. If you’re not sure of the plumbing connections, calling a plumber is recommended. 

1st Plumber to Call is your source of quality plumbing services in the Canton, GA area. We are always happy to assist you. Give us a call today at (404) 758-6237!

What is a sump pump and how does it work?

sump pump in pit

Sump pump to prevent flooding

A sump pump is a pump that moves water from an area to outside, for example, out it moves water from a flooded basement and pumps it outside. A sump is described as a constructed pit, typically a hole that has been carved below a basement floor. This pit also referred to as a basin, is where a sump pump is held.

The pump is outfitted with valves that sense rising water level or pressure and when the water reaches a certain height, the sump pump automatically pumps any excess water out and away using a discharge line. The fluid is called effluent and the line connects the sump pump to a specified drainage area.

No homeowner wants a flooded basement, this is a nightmare that every homeowner dreads. A sump pump protects a house from heavy rains and water entering and rising in the base, leaving enormous repair costs for clean-up and repairs.

In this piece today, we are answering common questions about sump pumps, what to expect and how to take care of them.

How often should you clean your sump pump?

With regular cleaning, inspection, and testing, you can always be sure that your sump pump will be ready to work when you need it. Having a sump pump is not working is definitely not something you want to happen when the basement floods from heavy rain or flooding washing machine.

For the majority of all sump pumps, every 3 to 4 months cleaning and testing is sufficient. During the testing, the inlet screen needs to be cleaned. If a sump pump is used frequently or used for pushing water out from a washing machine overflowing, it should be cleaned and tested more often. Washing machine water is grimy and soapy which can put under strain.

If your sump pump hasn’t been cleaned and tested in a long while, or annually, schedule a cleaning and inspection with a specialist. They will clean the inlet screen, the discharge pipe valve and make sure that waster is flowing backward as intended and the sump pump backup isn’t happening.

How many years does a sump pump last?

Regrettably, a sump pump won’t have an endless life. The life expectancy is around 10 years. The frequency your sump pump is used, the distance the pump carries the water for discharge, the source of power it uses, and the quality of the sump pump can affect the life expectancy.

Here are some signs that are indications your sump pump needs to be replaced:

  • Sump Pit Doesn’t Have Water: If the sump pump is running, but the pit doesn’t have any water, either it wasn’t correctly installed or isn’t hooked up the drainage system correctly. If the drainage system is clogged or, in some rare cases, there isn’t one, this could be the problem. Disconnect the unit and contact a sump pump specialist.
  • Clogged Pump Switches: Every sump pump should have a lid to keep dirt and contaminants out. Without a lid, the drain could become clogged and slow the draining, jam the mechanical parts, jam the switches, even completely stop the unit up with debris and dirt. Once the sump pump has been serviced by a professional, purchase a lid that fits airtight, so more debris and dirt don’t get in it.
  • Making Odd Noises: A sump pump will make noises, but if you hear any grinding, gurgling, rattling, or thuds, you should have it inspected by a professional. The unit may need to rework or replace it.  
  • Running Continuously: A sump pump should not continuously run, no matter what the weather is doing. If your sump pump keeps running, you’ll probably have to replace the unit. A qualified sump pump expert can inspect this and confirm this for you.
  • Broken or missing check valve: The check valve guarantees that water is flowing outside and not back in the pit or inside your home.  and not back down into the pit.
  • Continuous flooding: If there is a heavy flow continuously flooding into the sump pit, it may be a problem with a high-water table or underground spring. Raising the unit to a higher level sometimes fixes this, or you may need to upgrade to a better sump pump.  Every house is different and seeking the guidance of a professional is recommended. They may discuss the difference between your current sump pump or French drain installation may be the better way to go.
  • No Power: Your home could lose power for several reasons, one example would be during a storm, which is when you need your sump pump. Without power, it isn’t going to be able to do the job needed. Experts recommend having a battery backup for those times.

Do sump pumps smell?

Well, a sump pump isn’t going to smell like lilac, but you shouldn’t notice any unusual pungent odor. If you do notice an overly unpleasant odor coming from your sump pump, contact a professional plumbing service. This could be an indication of a problem with your unit and better to have it addressed now and not when the basement is flooding.

Do sump pumps make noise?

Any sump pump will make noise, but the higher quality of the unit, the less noise. A lower-quality and a unit that is reaching its end of life will be noisier.

Can I put vinegar in my sump pump?

Yes, but with care because it can damage the unit. Create a detergent by mixing vinegar and water, pour into the sump pump and allow to sit for a few minutes.  Rinse thoroughly and your sump pump will be clean, fresh, and ready to go! Any home with a basement or in a low-lying area will benefit by having a sump pump. These are areas that can flood easily and with a sump pump, you can get the water out before it causes major damage to your home.

Have a sump pump repair need in Canton, GA? Call (404) 758-6237 today!

How Do I Install a New Bathtub?

Bathtub installation

How Hard is it to Install a new Bathtub?

When designing the perfect bathroom for your home, the question of how to design and install your bathtub becomes impossible to overlook. The reasons, installing a bathtub is an arduous process with multiple aspects that make up the finished product. These aspects include: 

  • Multiple types of bathtubs to choose from
  • The functions it can have
  • The size you want it to be

The hard part of installation is better left to professionals like us at 1st Plumber to Call. Bathtub installation is such a difficult task that it requires a permit for installation and replacement. This is due to the operation building into your floor and walls much of the time. Furthermore, those that are trained in bathtub installation understand that making a mistake can cause expensive damages to your home. 

The entire process alone can take up to a day of continuous hard labor, depending on the features that you want to go into the bathtub installation. Much of the time would also depend if you are replacing an older model and the surface being built in to. Another factor that can take time is whether your water pipe can be connected to the specific location that your bathtub is being installed. In that case, your plumber can give you a direct answer and whether it is possible to install at the specified location. If not, he or she can advise on further steps and where you can install your bathtub.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Bathtub?

The cost of bathtub installation is highly dependent on the multiple details that both make it up and go into installing it. Just like how long it can take for the process to be complete, one of the biggest factors for the cost of the labor that goes into your bathtub installation. This in part is due to the fact that the installation of each part of your bathtub is part crafting and part careful placement into your home. It can include:

  • Cutting into the walls
  • Cutting into the floors
  • Securing it on parts of the wall and into the floor
  • Attaching the piping
  • Repairing the walls and floor around the tub
  • Caulking

The process then goes into coating the bathtub if necessary, not to mention if it has electronic built into it. This process tends to be the same for each and every bathtub besides those like freestanding models. There’s a long list of bathtubs that you would consider before installation that would help in providing a final price for the entire process. For standard and walk in bathtubs, the process can be nearly finished after the heavy duty work mentioned. However, for bathtubs that provide hydrotherapy need a few extra steps in the piping due to the specialization. Larger bathtubs, like alcove tubs, need a larger space as well as a stronger substance that will help retain heat in the bathtub. More than that, many alcove tubs are walk in tubs for accessibility. 

Another part of the process depends on where the bathtub will be installed, particularly the surface and leveling it will be standing on. Upon being built into any level of the home, a bathtub will need to be installed onto a flat surface for the best support system possible. Trained experts understand how to approach this part of the process. 

On surfaces such as concrete or a concrete slab for example, the builder will apply a self leveling compound to help balance out the surface. The tub will then be lined up with the plumbing, leveling it into the aforementioned substance with a rubber mallet and some force. After it has settled, the installer will thred the piping through and screw the tub into the walls. While this is a highly shortened version of the process it takes to install a bathtub into concrete. Installing a bathtub into an already established tile floor is a far different process. Not only do installers cut into the flooring and walls, but there needs to be special care in not damaging too much of the tiles in the bathroom. 

We offer a wide variety of bathtub installations that can cater to your every interest in modeling your bathroom to your specifications. You can trust 1st Plumber to Call in Canton, GA to take on your request for a reasonable price.

Bathtub lever

Bathtub Installation Details

Plumbing companies that provide bathtub installation provide a wide variety of services that go along with the specific request. That includes connecting the bathtub to the waterline, applying bathroom fixtures, repairing outdated applications, and as mentioned replacing entire bathtubs. It should come as no surprise that one of the services provided is also installing a bathtub faucet that will decide between hot or cold by way of leaver and can connect to a showerhead above if requested. Bathtub installation can extend to you a simple and traditional bathtub or one that is designed for a purpose. If you find yourself needing a bathtub installation, leave it to the experts and call (404) 758-6237 today to set up an appointment. 1st Plumber to Call in Canton, GA can help you with all of your bathroom and plumbing related services.

What is a plumbing emergency?

damage to a wall while trying to find a plumbing issue

When a plumbing emergency occurs

You know it’s going to be a bad evening when you come home from work and the front yard is flooded – and it hasn’t rained. Or you’re doing a load of laundry while the dishwasher is running and out of nowhere, all the drains in the house start backing up. Emergency plumbing issues may be one of the top two or three issues that a homeowner doesn’t want to deal with. Yet, it isn’t a matter of “if” they’ll happen, but “when” they’ll happen.

Things like emergency plumbing and drain issues seem to always happen a the most inconvenient times too. What makes them worse is the emergency plumbing service rates that you know you’re going to have to pay or do without water and drainage until the next business day.

What are the most common plumbing problems?

When it comes to plumbing issues, it isn’t always a simple matter. There are different shapes, sizes, and types of plumbing problems. They can be an easy and inexpensive problem like a dripping faucet, running toilet, or a clogged bathroom sink.

Or they can be a major issue like a backed-up sewer system or a major pipe burst that has water flooding the house (or flooding the yard). With a backed-up sewer system or busted pipe, you know right away this is going to require an emergency plumbing service call because if you don’t get it addressed right away, the repercussions could be devastating.

The ten common problems that plumbers receive emergency plumbing service calls for are:

  1. Faucets dripping
  2. Sinks slow to drain or not draining
  3. Bath or shower drain clogged
  4. Toilets backed up or clogged
  5. Toilet running
  6. Water heater not heating or leaking
  7. Water pressure low
  8. Garbage disposal jammed
  9. Leaky water pipes
  10. Backed up sewer system

What causes plumbing issues?

The 10 common plumbing problems listed above could have many issues that cause them, but here, we will talk about the most common that plumbers receive an emergency plumbing service call for:

Faucets Dripping

We’ve all had a faucet dripping issues at some point. It is annoying and irritating, and it can get expensive. Most of the time a dripping faucet is because of an internal washer that is dislodged, hardened, torn or simply worn out. Usually, this is a simple fix that almost any homeowner can do if they have the proper tools. 

Toilets backed up or clogged

When the bowl doesn’t drain after flushing, paper and waste can cause this which a plunger will usually do the job of unclogging. Occasionally, a drain auger or sewer snake is needed, which most households do not have, so an emergency plumbing service call may be needed. There is time, usually, households with small children, something larger can clog the toilet, like a toy or other foreign object could be the culprit. 

Water heater issues

There are several possible water heater issues from the pilot light going out to sediment building up in the tank or the thermostat going out. For safety, it is recommended to call a professional plumber to inspect, repair or replace your water heater, especially if it is gas-operated. If water runs out of it, an emergency plumbing service call to your plumber is needed. The pilot light going out is something the average homeowner can fix by relighting it. 

Garbage disposal jammed

This issue can often be fixed pushing the reset button, and if that doesn’t fix it, you’ll to open the disposal up and remove whatever is blocking it. Always turn the electricity off to the unit before doing this. While a jammed garbage disposal is an inconvenience, it rarely requires an emergency plumbing service call. 

Backed up sewer system

Depending on where the blockage is, fixing the issue will vary. If the blockage is on your property, you may need an emergency plumbing service. If it is on the other side of your property line, call the city.

Slow draining drains

A blockage in a drain will restrict the water draining. In the kitchen, it typically is caused by food remnants or congealed fat and in the bathroom, a blocked drain is caused by hair and soap. Many times, a homeowner can unclog these themselves with either a plunger or pouring some type of chemical or a homemade mixture down the drain. A homemade mixture may include baking soda with water. Occasionally, a plumbing snake is needed for clogs that are further down the pipeline. Rarely, is there a need for emergency plumbing service. 

Toilet running

The cause most common for a running toilet is the flapper valve has worn out. You can easily replace this with a repair kit from your local hardware store. A less common issue is sediment in the toilet lines, and while an emergency plumbing service call may be extreme, this will require a professional plumber to fix and may require a new toilet.  

Water pressure low

Low water pressure could be from broken, corroded, or worn pies. Pipes filled with mineral deposits or sediment will require the services of a plumber, sometimes, cleaning the aerator on the end of the faucet with vinegar will get the water flowing well again. If the low water pressure is proven to be a busted water pipe, you must make an emergency plumbing service call to your plumber.   

Leaky water pipes

Leaky water pipes are common at the pipe joints, which can be temporarily fixed with a plumbing compound or plumbing filler or plumbers’ tape. A permanent fix will require replacing fittings and/or pipes. If the leaking pipe is under the house or in the yard, this will require an emergency plumbing service call to your plumber after you have turned the water off at the main water shut-off. 

How can you tell if a pipe bursts?

Many times, detecting a busted water pipe is easy because there is water flowing out of it. Sometimes though, it isn’t visible. Indicators that you may have a busted pipe are:

  • Bubbling Noises
  • Whistling Noises
  • Banging or Clanking
  • Unpleasant Odor
  • Sink Holes
  • Puddles
  • Damp Drywall
  • Persistent Clogs
  • Frequent Backup
  • No Water
  • Poor Water Quality
  • High Water Bill

What do you do if a pipe bursts in your house?

For any homeowner, a busted water pipe is a nuisance and major problem. The first thing you need to do is make that phone call we all dread, emergency plumbing service. Next, the following steps will stop the flowing water until the plumber arrives: 

  • Shut the water off at the water main – if you don’t know where this is, locate before you have an emergency.
  • Turn all the faucets on, cold water first, so they can drain.
  • Turn the water heater off then drain the hot water from faucets.
  • If this in the middle of the winter, open all the cabinet doors so warm air can get to the pipes.
  • Clean up the water mess with mops, towels, wet-vac.
Toilet with a closed lid

Is a clogged toilet a maintenance emergency?

If you only have one bathroom, a clogged toilet is more of an emergency than you have a 2nd bathroom. One of the scariest things that can happen is after doing your business on the toilet, flushing it and the bowl fills with water instead of going down with your business. You’re furiously prodding and stabbing at the hole at the bowl’s bottom to push the mess on down.

Sometimes you’re successful, other times, you have water and other matters flowing over the bowl and onto the floor. This is not a fun time or a pretty picture. If you’re a seasoned homeowner, you may have a toilet snake in the garage, and this will usually do the trick of clearing the clog. It is rare that a clogged toilet will require an emergency plumbing service.

Your home is an important part of your life, an investment. We always recommend it to have a list of contractors you may need before an emergency arises. From electricians to HVAC services to have the best emergency plumbing service phone numbers on hand will make those unexpected, unwanted emergencies not so devasting. Concerned with your plumbing? Call (404) 758-6237 today for your emergency plumbing service needs in Canton, GA.

How Do You Know When a Garbage Disposal is Bad?

completed garbage disposal replacement

Taking Care of Your Home

There are many things we purchase and use in our homes that make our lives easier. One of those is the garbage disposal. These appliances help to make it easier when you are cooking or cleaning, but because of constant use, they can go through a real beating. Thus, making it feel like a major inconvenience when they break or fail to operate. If you are in need of a garbage disposal replacement in Canton, GA, contact 1st Plumber to Call. We are the local experts you can trust. Dial (404) 758-6237 for an appointment.

sink needing garbage disposal replacement

Signs You Need to Replace the Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal replacement for a kitchen sink can feel like an inconvenient task. Before you even begin to figure out what to do, you’re probably wondering, “How do I know if my garbage disposal is broken?” which is a great question. Unlike storm damage and hail damage repair, there are a few specific things to look for when determining the condition of your garbage disposal.

  • Regular Clogs: If you are noticing that there seem to be perpetual clogs in your kitchen sink, it could be a few things. The disposal blades may be dull and unable to effectively grind the food. Or the disposal itself could be too small, meaning it can’t hold and grind all the food. 
  • Pressing Reset: On occasion, you may need to press the reset button on the garbage disposal if it isn’t operating. However, if you are doing this pretty regularly, something is wrong. More than likely, the motor is dying and needs to be replaced. 
  • Longer Wait Time: When a disposal is new, it seems to grind food almost instantaneously. But as it gets older, you may start to experience longer and longer wait times. If you feel like the wait time is too long, the motor and blades may need to be replaced. 
  • Leaks: A sure sign that something is wrong in general, is a leak. When your disposal is leaking, that could be due to a number of things. It may have been installed incorrectly, it could be the wrong size, or it could be something wrong with the plumbing. Either way, it needs to be replaced for a correct disposal. 
  • Noises: All garbage disposals are going to make noises, however, there are some noises that aren’t good. Grinding, squeaking, or thumping noises could indicate blade malfunction or motor weakness.
  • Bad Smells: If you are noticing a perpetual stench coming from your garbage disposal, something is definitely wrong. Food is likely stuck down there because the blades can’t grind it up and drain it. That’s either because they are dull, the disposal is too small, or the food is too big. Regardless, you need to get that out to figure out what to do next. 

When it comes to dealing with the garbage disposal, efficiency is always ideal. Garbage disposal removal and replacement services shouldn’t take more than a few hours, depending on the condition of the appliance as well as the plumbing. Any garbage disposal replacement cost is going to vary from plumber to plumber. It will likely cost you between $200 and $500 in total for parts and labor. On top of that, if you are experiencing clogs throughout the home, not just in the disposal, you may need to invest in hydro jetting in Canton, GA to clear out any problems. This is usually why it’s so highly recommended to rely on plumbers for these jobs, rather than doing them yourself. They’ll be able to spot any issue and deal with it accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take to replace a garbage disposal?
    • On average, it takes between two and four hours to replace a garbage disposal. It may take longer depending if the plumbing is set up for the appliance, if the old one needs to be completely removed, and more. 
  • Do I need a plumber to install a garbage disposal?
    • While garbage disposals can seem easy to install on your own, it is always ideal to rely on a professional plumber to get the job done. They will be able to correctly install the appliance while also maintaining the integrity of the plumbing.
  • Why did my garbage disposal stop working?
    • There could be a number of reasons that can cause a garbage disposal to stop working. Food could be stuck in there, the motor could be exhausted, and more. You can always try to restart the appliance to see if that fixes the problem. 
  • How long does a typical garbage disposal last?
    • Generally speaking, household garbage disposals will last you between 8 and 15 years. For some it could be as low as 8 years because of constant use and other may get up to 15 years even with constant use. It’s really dependent on the type of appliance, maintenance, and more. 
  • How much does a garbage disposal replacement cost? 
    • There is no real flat rate for a replacement service like this. On average, it will be about $180 or more just to purchase the disposal for installation. On top of that, there are installation and labor fees associated with plumbers that could range all the way up to $40/hour. 
finished garbage disposal replacement

Schedule an Appointment With Us Today

Ready to work with the best? Dial (404) 758-6237 to connect with 1st Plumber to Call, the reliable plumbing company in your area. We’ll help with everything from faucet installation to a garbage disposal replacement for your Canton, GA home. We look forward to hearing from you!

Are water softeners worth it?

water softener systems

What is a water softener?

In some areas, the water is hard because of ions like calcium, iron, magnesium, and other ions. A water softener that is directly attached to the water supply eradicates those ions and extends the life of your appliances, clothes, and plumbing. While a water softener can be a rather expensive investment, it provides an ROI for many years and saves you money from the need to repair and replace water use items.

A water softening system will remove several problems you may be having that are associated with hard water such as dry hair and skin, stained bathtubs, faucets, and sinks, even make your clothes brighter again and last longer. Here are 5 indications that you should consider having a water softener installed in your home.

  1. Dry Hair and Dry Skin – Our skin needs water for nourishment, but hard water can dry it out. Instead of nourishing it, it becomes dry and leathery from the extra calcium and magnesium found in tap water. Those minerals create blackheads, block your skin’s pores and they become inflamed. With a water softener, these issues disappear, along with the blackheads.
  2. Stained Bathtubs, Faucets, Sinks – If there are stains on your bathtubs, faucets, and sinks are an indication that you need a water softener. These stains happen because the minerals are left behind when the water evaporates.
  3. Consistently Clogged Plumbing and Plumbing Repairs – Hard water leaves behind limescale and minerals that buildup and clog the water pipes in your home. Repiping your house with copper or PVC is one way to minimize this, but it will build up again over time. But installing a water softener is will stop it altogether.
  4. Appliances and Dishes Are Spotted – The valves of your dishwasher will collect a buildup of those minerals deposits and limescale develop, preventing them from working properly, thus resulting in water leakage. Over time, your dishwasher’s lifespan is shortened. Those mineral deposits also will spot and stain your dishes, and even the windows around your home can be affected by hard water.
  5. Clothing Becomes Faded, Gray, Rough – Doing laundry with hard water will dull and fade them, making them gray and rough, leaving them scratchy feeling. While a liquid detergent and liquid fabric softener will reduce this from happening somewhat, installing a water softener is more effective.

Can I install a water softener myself?

As we have discussed here already, hard water is hard on your clothes, dishes, hair, and skin, even the windows in your home. Hard water corrodes water pipes, making them degrade, rot and require constant repairs and replacements. The technology of a water softener eliminates this from happening, making your home more comfortable and safer.

When it comes to installing a water softener yourself, each home is different when it comes to the types of pipes and where the water softener needs to be installed, the level of difficulty level can vary. If you aren’t a DIY kind of homeowner, you may be better having a professional install or get help from somebody that has installed one.

If you are a DIY homeowner and you aren’t afraid to cut through pipes, you should be able to tackle this project with a fair amount of ease. Using a scale where 1 is easy and 10 is difficult, choosing one of the following four water softener systems is easily determined:

  • Salt-based systems run a difficulty level of 6 to 8 simply because of how the pipes connect.
  • Salt-free systems run a difficulty level of 4 to 8 based on the type of system you purchase being electrical or a water softener with filter media style as well as what kind of pipes your home has.
  • Magnetic systems run a difficulty level is 2.
  • Reverse osmosis systems run a difficult 5 for under the sink installation, and a 10 or higher for a whole house water softener system.

If you choose to go with a whole house water softener filter system, check your local governing office if there are any building codes and permit required. If they are, this will be needed whether you do the install yourself or hire a professional.

Keep in mind that in some areas, installing a whole house water filtration or water softening system will require you to conform to building codes and possibly to pull a permit as well.

Which water softener is best?

A water softener will solve your hard water issues and problems. While minerals like calcium, magnesium, and manganese are not a health concern, too much of a good thing isn’t good. So, too much of these things keep the shampoo and soap from lathering, leaves spots on your dishes and a ring around your bathtub. They fade your clothing and dry your hair and skin. And if they are doing all of that, imagine what they are doing to the inside of your dishwasher or water heater!

Which water softener is best? Well, there are several on the market and depending on what your hard water problems are will depend on which one is best for you. We’re going to cover some main examples and talk about what they do:

  • A Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softener – This water softener cycles the water in your house through two tanks. One has a distinct type of resin beads and the other tank is filled with brine. The principle way this water softener works is by exchanging ion (salt) with the calcium, iron, and magnesium found in the water.
  • A Salt-Free Water Softener – This water softener without salt regenerates with a salt substitute of potassium-chloride instead of sodium making this better choice for a household that has dietary restrictions of salt intake. This water softener type descales and prevents mineral deposits instead of reducing hard water minerals. While this may not do as much as the more conventional type of water softeners, it is better than not having one.
  • A Dual-Tank Water Softener – This water softener will disconnect from your home’s water system while recharging, making it unusable. It is best to schedule this to happen during the night so there isn’t any disruption to the household daily routine.

If you choose this type of water softener, remember it will need a good amount of space and must be installed where it can supply the entire house from the main incoming water line. If it is an electrical model, make sure it there is a nearby electrical outlet as well.

How long should a water softener last?

Everything in your household that is going to be used daily will have a limited lifespan, and a water softener isn’t any different. The components of a water softener can break, there can be electrical issues happen, or it simply just quits working. And like any other appliance in your home, if you keep your water softener well maintained, it will last longer, 10 to 15 years on the average.

A water softener has an important job of removing calcium, magnesium, and other minerals from your home’s water system.  How long it will last will depend on how much use it gets, and it is the water quality that determines that. Because there is not a definite timeframe establishes when a water softener should be replaced, knowing the signs that your water softener is beginning to fail is important, which is pretty much the same indicators that you need a water softener to start with.

  • Shampoo and Soap Won’t Lather – When shampoo or soap won’t later and you seem to be replacing those items more frequent, your water softener is probably wearing out.
  • Laundry Issues – We’ve discussed here how hard water is rough on our clothing, and while the liquid fabric softener helps, they’re still itchy and stiff. Or your clothing is looking faded and grey again. These are indicators that you need to check your water softener.
  • Crusty Buildup Around Faucets and Pipes – There are natural minerals in hard water that aren’t harmful to your health, but for your appliances, faucets, and pipes, they can do a lot of damage. If you’re seeing a chalky, crusty buildup around the faucets and pipes in the bathroom and kitchen, or a and faucets. Pay attention to your faucets when you are cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, it is time to check your water softener.
  • Your Water Tastes Different – Once you have a water softener in place, you’ll notice the taste difference almost immediately. If your water is starting to taste rough again, check your water softener.

Is drinking softened water bad for you?

No, in fact, one of the driving factors that many homeowners purchase a water softener is to make the water safer and taste better. Most water softeners remove the minerals found in hard water, like calcium and magnesium by way of ion-exchange, meaning it uses sodium. The resin that catches those unwanted minerals is cleansed by the sodium, leaving a small amount of sodium behind.

Depending on where you live, the amount of salt that is in softened water and how hard the original water is will make the difference how much sodium will be left in the soft water. However, it is important to understand that the amount of sodium is not a health factor unless a member of your household is on dietary restrictions for sodium intake.

Do water softeners need to be serviced?

Water softeners, for the most part, are fully automatic and minimal maintenance is required if they are the proper size for your home and have been installed correctly. The routine you need to pay attention to is what kind of water softener salt to add to the system when needed. This maintenance step is typically done quarterly, and the homeowner can do this or you can pay to have it done.

Like anything in your home that you use every day, like your HVAC system, your water softener may need periodic service too. One example that indicates service is needed is if the water quality drops and the daily salt levels remain the same. Or if it isn’t going through the regeneration cycle or becomes stuck would indicate you need to make a service call. Any hard water signs are indicators your water softener needs to be serviced by a licensed contractor.

water softener salt

Water Softener Additions

In addition to installing a water softener system to your home, consider a carbon backwash filter as well. When combined with a water softener or no-salt water conditioner, you’ll have a great combination for great tasting, healthy tap water. And if you aren’t sure whether you need the water softener or filter first, the recommended set up is a carbon filter first with a water softener next. This setup will extend your water softener’s life span because it will remove chlorine before the water reaches the softener. Call (404) 758-6237 today for water softener services in Canton, GA!

What Are the Symptoms of a Full Septic Tank?

Manhole Sewer Cover with Garden Light

Learn More About Your Septic Tank

Your septic tank is essential in providing smoother waste distribution in conjunction with your sewer lines. In order to ensure smooth operations, it’s important to have regular septic tank cleaning. Be sure to keep a copy of your septic tank’s diagram handy for any troubleshooting. As of such, keeping in contact with a professional septic service for your septic tank cleaning can prove useful for any logistic tips and maintenance. Not only that but a professional will best be able to work with your particular septic tank system for septic tank cleaning. If you’re wondering what is septic tank cleaning read the helpful information below!

How often should you clean your septic tank?

Septic tank cleaning should be conducted once every 3-5 years yet the actual frequency that you provide for your septic tanks can be influenced by the number of occupants in a household. With larger households, you’ll require more frequent septic tank cleaning as a solution. Whereas a person living alone could wait a decade someone with a family of 7 would most likely require septic tank cleaning every two years. As of such the occasional septic tank cleaning can be beneficial in maintaining reliable operations without backups or bubbling sewage around the lateral field.

How do I clean my septic tank naturally?

A good method to employ natural septic tank cleaning is to use baking soda, lemon, and vinegar. Basically, a chemical reaction will occur that will loosen and clear up any blockages. You will mix a fourth of a cup of baking soda, half a cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of lemon to form a natural cleaning agent.

Emptying Household Septic Tank With Pump

How septic tanks are cleaned?

The process of getting clear your septic tank involves septic tank cleaning and pumping along with other basic measures.

How Are Septic Tanks Cleaned?

  • Find and Dig For Tank
  • Implementing Risers If Needed
  • Inspect For Cracks
  • Measure Depth of Sludge
  • Clean Baffle Filter
  • Pump Tank
  • Dispose of Waste

How do I keep my septic system healthy?

You can keep your septic healthy by keeping up septic tank cleaning and maintenance. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your tank system annually and pump it every 3-5 years or on an as-needed basis. You may even keep a diagram of the system handy for any specifics needed down the line say if a storm has hit one area and you require a septic tank repair or roof storm damage repair in Jasper, GA. Another thing that can be done is to practice water conservation by not using water as often which can extend the life of the drain field. An important habit is to make sure you are aware of what you are allowing down your lines. Certain things shouldn’t be allowed in your drains such as fats, grease, coffee grounds, sanitary napkins, and paper towels just to name a few. Technically with septic tanks, garbage disposals are not recommended to be used as it may increase the need for septic tank cleaning. As of such, be sure not to poison your tank with any drain, floor, or toilet bowl cleaners as well as paints, solvents, and waxes since they may destroy the essential bacteria in the septic tank and contaminate surface or groundwater.  Another measure to take is to make sure not to construct a pool or plant a garden near the septic system as they may be contaminated. Be sure to check with your local health department first beforehand. As far as covering the septic tank system grass is the best thing to use as oxygen is needed for the bacteria to break down the sewage in the tank. ANy other thing like concrete, plastic or asphalt can prevent this flow of oxygen.  Finally, keep runoff from driveways, roofs, and patios away from the drain field as this can overwhelm the system. Be sure to contact a professional for more tips and tricks for easy maintenance.

Should I use additives in my septic tank?

The use of additives isn’t recommended for septic tank cleaning on a regular basis as although they provide short term benefits they are not good for any long term issues you may have with your septic tank. Even so, if you use additives continuously they won’t reduce the need for your tank’s routine pumping although they have been put out into the market in order to prolong periods between pumping. How they work are with chemicals that break down sludge in the tank. However, this is already happening in the microbial level and worst case it will throw off the developed primordial ecosystem and interrupt the natural enzyme’s ability to break down waste. Due to this, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends to just use a  professional septic tank cleaning service with their inspections and pumping in order to play it safe.

If you’re interested in septic tank cleaning in Canton, GA contact (404) 758-6237 with 1st Plumber to Call! 

What Does It Mean When Your Toilet Randomly Runs?

A Picture of a Plumber Repairing a Toilet.

How Do You Fix a Toilet That Runs Randomly?

When it comes to modern plumbing, one of the most important plumbing fixtures that we have in our home is a toilet. This is a plumbing fixture that we use every single day, multiple times, so its important that its in good condition. However, just like any other plumbing fixture in our home, our toilets can start to develop issues and wear and tear. One of the most common issues that a toilet can have it when it randomly runs. People who have this problem with their toilet typically ask, “Why does my toilet randomly run for a few seconds?” and there are a couple of reasons, but one of the most common reasons has to do with the flapper.

When the toilet is flushed, the flapper will lift up and water will move from the tank to the toilet bowl. Once the water has filled in the toilet bowl, the flapper will push down, thus sealing the tank back up. Because the flapper seals water in the tank, if there is sediment on the flapper or it has become fragile, it can be hard for the flapper to seal the water in the tank, which causes water to slowly drip into the bowl.

If this happening to your toilet, homeowners usually want to know how this problem can be fixed. You can check to see if the flapper is correctly sealing the hole in the tank and if it’s not then you can replace the flapper. If the problem seems more serious than that, then you can call a licensed plumber to diagnose the problem and provide you with toilet repair.

What Causes Running Toilet

One of the main reasons that a toilet constantly runs is due to the flapper not sealing the hole in the tank, there are other reasons why your toilet could be constantly running. These are a few more reasons why your toilet is running more often than usual.

  • Flapper Chain: The flapper is attached to a chain so that it can lift up and down when it seals the hole. Sometimes the chain can be too long or short, which can cause issues with the flapper sealing the hole.
  • Fill Valve: If there is a leak in the fill valve, water will continue to fill in the tank, which causes the toilet to constantly run.
  • Water Level: Not enough water in the tank and too much water in the tank can cause the toilet to constantly run.
  • Toilet Handle: Sometimes it has nothing to do with anything inside of the toilet, but with the handle sticking. If the handle is sticking, then it can let more water into the tank.

By calling a plumber, they will be able to inspect your toilet and determine whether these are these issues are causing your toilet to run continuously. People tend to have a lot of questions about running toilets and toilets in general, so we have compiled a list of questions and answered them! Knowing more about toilet issues will help you know when to get toilet repair.

Will a Running Toilet Increase Water Bill?

People always wonder if their water bill will increase if their toilet constantly runs and the answer is yes. A running toilet can waste upwards of 200 gallons, which can really increase their water bill by a lot. If you have a running toilet, its time to call a plumbing contractor for toilet repair.

Can a Running Toilet Cause a Leak?

While a running toilet can’t cause a leak, the fill valve inside of the toilet can develop a leak, which will cause the tank to slowly fill up. When the tank is constantly being filled, that will cause the toilet to run constantly.

Why Does My Toilet Run So Long After Flushing?

There are several reasons why the toilet runs long after you flush it: the flapper isn’t sealing, the flapper chain is too long or small, there is a leak in the fill valve, the water levels are off, and the toilet handle could be sticking.

Toilet Repair Vs Replacement

A Picture of a Hand Fixing a Toilet.

Toilet Repair for Running Toilet

Getting toilet repair or replacement will depend on how often the toilet is running and how severe it is. When it comes to a running toilet, usually a repair will do the trick in fixing it. However, if you have to call a plumber frequently to fix the running toilet, it might be worth it to invest in a new toilet. This can even happen when parts in the toilet have been replaced, which is a good indication that the toilet is just defective and needs to be fully replaced. If you are interested in toilet repair in Canton, GA for a running toilet, contact our plumbing contractors at 1st Plumber to Call. A plumbing contractor able to inspect your toilet and diagnose the problem. From repiping to hydro jetting, there is nothing we can’t handle. Dial (404) 758-6237 to schedule an appointment today for toilet repair service and get an estimate on toilet repair cost.