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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.

What is the Best Way To Clean Drain Pipes?

Clogged Pipes Can Cause Many Problem

Getting Unstuck From Your Plumbing Problem

Drain clogs are the worst! Not only do they threaten the safety of your pipes and slow the flow of water, they also smell. One of the most common questions our plumbers hear throughout the year is “How do you unclog a pipe in your house?” Today, we’re going to tackle this question, identify common sources of clogged pipes, and find a way to prevent future blockage!

What are Clogged Pipes?

Or more specifically, what causes clogged pipes? There are so many hazards that choke the flow of water and waste through your drain pipes. Some of them are natural elements; others are man-made. Below, you’ll find some of the most common sources of clogs.

Common Causes of Clogged Pipes

  • Rust and/or Mineral Sediment
  • Tree Roots
  • Food Solids
  • Congealed Fats and Grease
  • Human Oils and Hair
  • Hygienic Products
  • Children’s Toys
  • “Flushable” Products

The materials involved will affect the ideal cleaning option for your clogged pipes. Be sure to also take into account the thickness of the clog, which may disqualify some methods of cleaning.

Mechanical Cleaning

What Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Pipes?

Most plumbers prefer a mechanical solution to clean out your plumbing. These include snaking and hydro jetting, two of the most widely relied on methods in the industry. Occasionally, you’ll find plumbers who like to use a chemical cleaner to aid the process, but many professionals caution against using these products (more on that later).

Snaking involves taking a metal chord equipped with barbs, hooks, or another attachment on the end. The chord is inserted into the drain line until it reaches the clog. Depending on the type of snake, the plumber attempts to either hook the mass and pull it out, or break up the mass with a forceful striking motion.

Many plumbers prefer to stick with hydro jetting nowadays, as the method tends to provide more long-term results. The process involves blasting the drain line with an extremely high-pressure stream of water. This not only clears out the most stubborn of clogs (roots included), it cleans out pipes clogged with grease. Thoroughly cleaned pipes mean blockage takes much, much longer to re-form.

Drain Snaking

Can Snaking a Drain Damage Pipes?

It’s not something a homeowner should do without taking the proper precautions. First, using the wrong size or type of drain snake will likely cause damage within the drain line, speeding up potential leak development. While snaking does provide good results for clogs in early development, plumbing professionals will also tell you that this method isn’t effective against tree roots, hardened rust sediment, or other hard objects.

Chemical Cleaners

Can Drano Ruin Pipes?

First off, it’s important to realize that Drano is just one of many brands of chemical cleaners available on the residential market. Many people use the brand name to refer to cleaners in general, not just Drano products. With that being said, many (if not the majority of) plumbers advise homeowners to stay away from chemical cleaners.

This is for many valid reasons. First, chemical cleaners sometimes contain aggressive components (such as hydrochloric acids) that can eat away at your pipes as it treats the clog. That’s especially true for mature clogs that allow little to no water flow through the pipe. Second, it can be difficult to predict how certain chemicals will react when exposed to other cleaning products. Supposing a cleaner fails to cut through a clog, and the homeowner pours another substance to try to open up a hole. The results could be insignificant, or they could be disastrous for the pipe.

Can Drano Make a Clog Worse?

It is possible for chemical cleaners to make a clogged pipe even more troublesome. How so? When the cleaner finally punches a hole inside the clog, the dislodged mass sometimes moves down the pipe just to re-form again in the following weeks. In some cases, cleaners may cause a relative soft clog to congeal, hardening in place for even stronger blockage.

Chemical cleaning products work best against blockage that hasn’t fully matured (clogged the pipe). Just as delaying HVAC or residential roofing service can make repairs harder, waiting too long to treat a clog often makes chemical cleaning impractical.

How to Prevent Clogged Pipes

The best defense against clogs is an aggressive offense! If you notice that your tub, sink, or toilet is starting to experience slower draining, it’s time to clean. For your sink and tub/shower drains, try this home style de-clogging recipe. Start by gently pouring boiling water down the affected drain. Next, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain. This begins the loosing process, plus it absorbs nasty odors created by the blockage.

Five minutes later, chase that baking soda with a 50/50 solution of hot water and white vinegar. These react with the baking soda and dislodge the sludge. Just make sure the drain is covered! End your cleaning with another pot of boiling water.

A Drain Cover Prevents Food From Slipping Through

Need a Professional Plumber?

If you need help dealing with clogged pipes in Canton, GA or a nearby community, our team at 1st Plumber to Call would love to help! We’ve helped countless homeowners find lasting relief for their busted pipes, clogs, and other common plumbing headaches. Schedule your personal service at (404) 758-6237 today!

What is Emergency Plumbing?

A Picture of a Frozen Pipe Leaking.

Learn What Emergency Plumbing is

For many people, they aren’t sure if their plumbing issue is something that needs to be addressed right away or if its something that can wait. When a plumbing issue is considered something that cannot wait, it is typically called emergency plumbing. But how does someone know if their plumbing problem requires emergency plumbing service and cannot wait? If you have a plumbing issue that you can’t fix yourself until the assistance of a professional plumber or you can’t wait until a plumbing company is open for business, then it can be considered a plumbing emergency. A lot of people, while in some situations it can’t be avoided, don’t necessarily want to call for emergency plumbing repair and services because on top of the service fee, there is an emergency plumbing fee. While that can be extremely frustrating, there are just times when you can’t put off a plumbing repair. Here are times when you will need emergency plumbing services.

  • Sewer Backup: If sewage is backing up in your home or business, that is considered an emergency.
  • Burst Pipes: You have burst pipes due to them freezing or corroding.
  • Damaged Water Lines: Broken and damaged water lines are causing standing water and low water pressure.
  • Gas Leaks: A gas leak is hands down an emergency and should be taken care of immediately.
  • Overflowing Toilets: All of the toilets in your home or business are overflowing.

What Causes Plumbing Issues?

One of the best ways to avoid any type of plumbing issue is to get regular plumbing maintenance. But what is a plumbing issue? A plumbing issue is when something out of the ordinary happens with your plumbing. For example, if your home or business has always had great water pressure and all of a sudden it’s too high or too low, that is considered a plumbing issue. As stated before, the best way to prevent plumbing issues is by getting maintenance service for your plumbing. Plumbing maintenance is able to find any issues that you might have before they become bigger and more severe.

However, there are a lot of times when plumbing maintenance isn’t done or signs of plumbing issues are completely disregarded. If you experience clogged drains, a toilet that constantly runs, or leaky faucets, that can end up causing emergency plumbing issues. These types of problems do not go away–they continue to become more severe as time goes on. It’s important to note that things like corroded pipes or improper installation of pipes are something a lot of property owners don’t know about, but there are always signs that indicate something is wrong. If there is ever anything different about how your plumbing is performing, do not hesitate to call a plumber for inspections and repairs. Avoiding repairs will just result in the need for emergency plumbing service down the road.

What Do You Do in a Plumbing Emergency?

A Picture of a Man Repairing Burst Water Pipe.

Steps To Take in a Plumbing Emergency

While we never want to be in a situation where we have a plumbing emergency in our home or business, there will come a time when you will be faced with an emergency and you will have to tackle it head-on. An emergency plumbing company will be able to help you, but before they get there you will want to stop and prevent as much damage from happening as best as you can. The first step you will want to take is shutting off your main water by finding the shut-off valve and turning it off. Next, you will also want to turn your water heater off. Although the shut-off valve took care of shutting off the water, you want to turn off the water heater because the heat inside of the water heater can increase and cause the water heater to burst. If you have an electric water heater you can turn it off right away, but if you have a gas water heater, you will want to turn the gas off first and then the water heater.

After everything is shut off, you will then tackle any leaks that are causing the emergency. You can do this by placing buckets under the leaks or use tape to hold in the water or towels around pipes to reduce the leaking. When you have all of the leaks or puddles cleaned up and handled, you will then need to turn on your inside and outside faucets to remove water that is in the pipes. You can also try to open the drains by using a plunger. Lastly, call a plumbing company to get emergency services. The plumbers will be able to give you any advice to fix the situation until they can get to you. 24 hr emergency plumbing service as they will be available any time or day.

How Much Does Emergency Plumbing Cost?

Many people who are needing emergency plumbing service usually want to know how much it costs. For emergency plumbing service there will usually be a fee in addition to the actual service cost. It will really depend on the company to determine what the fee will be, but it can be anywhere between $50 to $100. On top of the cost of fees for emergency plumbing service, people also wonder if insurance will cover their damages. For instance, is burst pipe covered by insurance? It depends, if your insurance company finds that the burst pipe could’ve been prevented, they may not charge you. An example would be if a pipe burst due to water freezing in the pipe. If the insurance provider concludes that no precautions were taken to prevent freezing pipes, they won’t cover the cost for repairs. Just like you wouldn’t get metal roofing from a roofer who doesn’t know what they are doing, you want to make sure that when you need emergency plumbing service, you hire a plumbing contractor who is certified and insured. At 1st Plumber to Call, we offer plumbing services in Canton, GA that are reliable and effective. To make an appointment, call us at (404) 758-6237.

Is a Home Water Filtration System Right for You?

As a new homeowner, you may have noticed small deficiencies within your home, even after a home inspection. General home inspections provide overall health metrics of your house but don’t include smaller infractions like worn faucets and home water quality. However, these forgotten details can often lead to problems like hard water, build-up, and even sickness. A home water filtration system can help prevent these occurrences and provide your family with better water.

What is a Home Water Filtration System?

Filtered Water in Glass

Don’t Live With Contaminants in Your Water- Learn About Your Water Filtration Options

At any given moment, your home’s water could be chock full of contaminants that can lead to breathing and digestive problems, hard water stains and build-up, and even skin irritation. A home water filtration system can prevent these problems by filtering out foreign contaminants and presenting cleaner, healthier water for your family. Whole house water filtration systems eliminate particles like

  • Chlorine
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Sand
  • Fluoride
  • Pesticides
  • Volatile Organic Chemicals

Unlike under the sink models, whole house filtration means you get quality water from every faucet in your home. Whether bathing or washing dishes, you can count on filtered water to provide cleaning power without build-up, odors, or cloudiness. Along with all-over water protection, whole house systems offer less maintenance and service than under the sink versions. This is why whole house water filter systems are recommended by most experts.

While many homeowners know the value of water filtration and softener systems, perplexing questions like, “How much is a home water filtration system?” and, “How long does a whole house water filter last?” can cause them to shy away from a filtration purchase. Although systems can be costly to install, they don’t need a lot of maintenance. In fact, the only care the system needs is a prefilter change every few months and a tank change every 3-10 years, depending on the model. Besides a long life, other home water filtration benefits include dry skin relief, better tasting drinking water, removal of odors and cloudiness, and less hard water build-up on fixtures, faucets, and dishes.

How Does a Water Filtration System Work?

There are multiple types of water filtration systems that can eliminate dangerous particles from your water. From carbon filtration to reverse osmosis systems, each offers its own advantages. For instance, while carbon filtration systems are ideal for organic compounds, they are outdone by reverse osmosis filtration systems when removing iron and sulfur. A simple water test can help identify the contaminants found in your water. Then a professional can help you decide which home water filter is best for your needs.

Carbon

Carbon Water Filtration

These systems provide water filtration by using a set of filters that work together to remove toxins, bacteria, and other contaminants from your water supply. These systems provide filtration at several points in the water delivery process to ensure that all particles are safely removed. Carbon water filtration systems are ideal for removing organic compounds like arsenic, as well as pesticides, and chlorine. These systems are available in two types- GAC, or granular activated carbon, and catalytic carbon media. While granular activated carbon is effective at removing most impurities, catalytic carbon is altered to provide a catalyst to remove even more particles.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis Filtration

These filtration systems use water pressure to remove particles. This is done by pushing the water through a series of filters including a semipermeable membrane which removes most toxins, contaminants, and bacteria from your water supply. Other particles are caught by the carbon filters also used to provide completely filtered water to your family.

Ozone

Ozone Purification

Ozone water purification systems use the introduction of ozone to attract and remove particles from your water supply. While this is one of the most effective water filtration systems, it is not recommended for everyone. Because ozone is so strong, filters must be used and changed regularly to prevent corrosion and other problems.

What is the Best Filtration System?

Whole Home Water Filtration Provides Healthier, Better Water for Your Family.

Because every water system is different, a water test is recommended to identify the exact contaminants in your water. Contaminants enter your water through groundwater seepage which enters your supply through leaky pipes. Therefore every area could have different contaminants. Each type of system provides the elimination of certain particles while leaving others. Therefore, the system that will work best for your home depends on the type of contaminants you have in your water.

Along with your home’s new roof installation and bathroom fixture replacement, consider installing a whole house water filtration system to improve your family’s water quality throughout your home. The 1st Plumber to Call experts provide details about each of your options including price, benefits, and lifespan to ensure you get the perfect water filtration system for your Canton, GA home. Call us today at (404) 758-6237 to learn more about your whole home filtration options or to schedule your water filtration installation.