Install a Drain Plug in Your Bathtub

stoppers

The bathtub drain stopper plays an unheralded but important role in the hygiene routines of many Americans. If you exclusively take showers to get clean, you probably don’t think twice about the drain plug, and might not even own one. For a relaxing bath, however, the drain plug is even more important than candles and a rubber ducky. Read on for tips on how to install a universal drain plug if yours is missing or malfunctioning.

A DIY Bathroom Plumbing Repair

There are plenty of reasons you might need to install a new drain plug in your tub. Even a tiny leak around the seal of a stopper can be annoying and wasteful. Perhaps the old plug has become lost or broken, or you’re tired of dealing with a standalone plug that gets in the way when you aren’t using it. Or maybe you just want to update the look of your tub. Fortunately, you can purchase kits that include press-on drain stoppers and overflow caps that will fit in most tubs.

Replacing the stopper is one of the simpler bathroom plumbing repairs you can take on. The kit should have supplies that allow you to either screw the new stopper into your drain flange, or glue it into the tub using an adhesive. It’s easier and less time consuming to screw in the part, but that may not be an option because your flange doesn’t have threads, or they don’t match up with the new plug. If the plug isn’t a perfect fit, you can also use the silicon adhesive to fill in any gaps and create a better seal. Keep in mind that if you use glue, you need to wait several hours for it to harden before you can test or use the tub.

Don’t Forget the Overflow Cap

If you purchase a press-on drain stopper, there’s no need to hook it up to a new or existing lever that you control via a switch on the overflow cap. This makes your bathroom plumbing repair far simpler than it would be otherwise. However, you still might find it worthwhile to replace the overflow cap with a new model, even if just for aesthetic purposes so it matches the new drain plug.

In some cases, you can simply unscrew the old overflow cap and replace it with a shiny new one. However, the job gets more complicated if you have an old drain lever that you want to remove. In that scenario, you might need some extra tools to extract pins and pull out all the old parts.

Expert Help in Your Bathroom Today

If you aren’t up to the task of installing a new drain stopper on your own, or you need any other assistance with bathroom repairs, contact an expert local plumber today.

A few ways to find hidden water leaks

6 Ways to find hidden water leaks

 

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Early detection of a water leak can save you money and avert potential disaster. Here are some signs that you may have a leak and should consider contacting a plumber.

  1. Check your water meter
    One of the best ways to tell if you have a leak in some part of your plumbing is to check the water meter. To do this, you’ll first have to turn off all the water in your home. Shut off all faucets, and make sure the dishwasher and washing machine are not running. Next, watch the meter and see if it begins to  change. If it does, you likely have a fast-moving leak. If the meter doesn’t change immediately, wait two hours and check it again. If it has changed despite all the water being off, you may be dealing with a slower leak. The leak could be anywhere after the meter, or even underground. Remember that all piping after the meter is a homeowner’s responsibility.
  2. Look at your usageThe U.K. Environmental Protection Agency recommends checking your winter water usage to find out if a leak is occurring somewhere in your home. If a family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, there’s probably have a serious leak problem somewhere in your plumbing system.
  3. Monitor your billIf your bill is rising consistently but your water use habits haven’t changed, a leak may be to blame. Gather some bills from the past few months and compare them to see if there’s a steady increase. Your water bill should remain within the same range month to month. Remember that some of your pipes may be under ground. You may never detect leaks in this part of your system, but you will always pay for them. It’s best to have a professional plumber make a thorough check of all the pipes.  A warm spot on the floor ( with under slab piping) or the sound of water running needs prompt, professional attention.
  4. Grab some food coloringToilets can account for up to 30 percent of your water use, so you should  check to ensure they’re running properly. To test for leaks, add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank and wait 10 minutes. If the color shows up in your bowl, then you have a leak allowing water to flow from the tank to your drain without ever flushing the bowl.
  5. Check exterior usageLeaks don’t just happen inside the home — they occur outside as well. Check your outside spigots by attaching a garden hose; if water seeps through the connection while the hose is running, replace the rubber hose gasket and check to see all connections are tight. Consider calling a professional once a year to check your irrigation system if you have one. A system with even a small leak could be wasting 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  6. Use common senseMake a practice of regularly checking in the back of cabinets and under basins for any signs of mold or foul smells that might indicate a leak: prompt attention could save you thousands in repairs. Consider having a professional plumber make an annual inspection of your home to check for leaks or potential problems.Be especially vigilant if your home is over 25 years old; your plumbing system may be on the declining side of its life expectancy.  Inspect all accessible connections at the water heater, pumps, washing machine hoses and valves for oxidation or discoloration – clear signs of a slow leak.

    If you suspect a leak anywhere in your plumbing system, call in a professional to make a repair as soon as possible. Don’t wait until it gets worse and you end up with a real mess on your hands!

Need some professional guidance?

Your local Plumber & Drain Unblocker Rods Away are always here to help. Give us a call and we’ll track the leak down for you and make any necessary repairs.

DIY tips for clearing a clogged drain

DIY tips for clearing a clogged drain

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It’s an ominous sign most of us know all too well: You’re standing in the shower and you notice that instead of draining, the water is rising around your feet. Or maybe the kitchen sink takes forever to drain after you do the dishes. Clogged drains are a plague for many a homeowner, but fortunately with a bit of determination you can clear most of them yourself without having to call in a professional.

DIY Plumbing

It’s best to avoid using chemical drain cleaning products, because over time they can corrode your pipes and cause a much bigger hassle. Instead, try out one of these home remedies:

  • Boiling water: Sometimes all it takes is some very hot water to clear the path. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  • Vinegar and baking soda: If hot water isn’t enough on its own, recreate your middle school volcano project with a mix of equal parts vinegar and baking soda and send it down the drain. With luck the foam will clear or dislodge the clog.
  • The plunger: This is the first tool to try if the clog is in your toilet, but plungers can also be useful in sinks and bathtubs. Just make sure there is some standing water over the drain to create suction, then plunge away.

Break Out the Snake

If those options don’t work, you can roll up your sleeves and go after the clog manually. You’ll need a snake, or a tool that can bend its way through your pipes until it reaches the blockage. If you don’t have a snake, a bent coat hanger may work. If the clog is hidden deep in your pipes, a metal snake with a crank can work its way in, grab onto the blockage, and draw it out.

If your snake doesn’t fit through the crosshatch in the drain, you may be able to remove the drain entirely. Some bathtubs also have an overflow plate below that faucet that you can remove to access the pipes. If in doubt, call a qualified plumber. Don’t risk damaging your drain or fixtures.

Preemptive Action

Follow basic plumbing hygiene to avoid the problem before it starts:

  • Use a screen trap to catch hair and debris in your shower and kitchen sink.
  • Scrape food off your dishes into the garbage before you put them in the sink.
  • Never dump grease down the sink..
  • Don’t flush anything but toilet paper and human waste down the toilet.

Call in the Cavalry

If your efforts are unsuccessful and your drains are still clogged, don’t be embarrassed to call a plumber for help. There may be a blockage beyond your ability to clear, or there could be a much more serious problem like a collapse in your sewer outlet. An experienced professional will diagnose the problem and resolve it for you so your household water is flowing freely again.

HOW TO UNBLOCK A TOILET

Follow our guide and keep those drains moving!

  • Love your loo: Make sure that only waste water, toilet tissue and human waste goes down your drains and into the sewer.
  • Bin it – don’t block it: Wrap up sanitary products, nappies, wet wipes and condoms and put them in the bin.
  • Think – not in the sink! After cooking, fat, oil and grease should be left to cool – it can then be put in the bin or mixed with seeds and nuts to make a feeder for birds.
  • Chemicals, solvents, engine oil and paint should be taken to your local refuse site.
  • Medicines, tablets, syringes and needles should be taken to your pharmacist, local hospital or health authority for safe disposal

How to unblock a toilet

If there is one essential facility in your house you need to use on a daily basis it is the toilet.

A blocked toilet can be a real nightmare – inconvenient, tricky to deal with and perhaps a little embarrassing if you live in a shared house.

The problem

Blocked toilet

Blocked toilets are a fairly common occurrence and it’s possible to attempt to clear the blockage yourself. If the situation worsens or you feel concerned about tackling the problem, then feel free to contact us at Rods Away. We’re happy to help you resolve the situation and get your toilet back to normal.

Don’t flush

The first rule of dealing with a blocked toilet is simple: don’t flush! However instinctive it is to try to flush the toilet, this usually creates more problems than it solves. Excessive flushing is likely to cause your toilet to overflow and create a serious mess, so leave the handle alone and think about removing the blockage before you try to dispose of the build up.

Plunge away

The next step is to grab a plunger in the hope of loosening the blockage, just as you would approach a blocked drain. This could turn into a dirty job so it’s advisable to find yourself a pair of gloves before getting stuck in. If you’re lucky this should do the trick and fix the blockage. When you’re totally convinced that this has done the job, flush the toilet once again to check that everything is operating as it should be.

Avoid chemicals

In the event that using a plunger is not enough to dislodge your blockage, you might be tempted to opt for chemical products to deal with the problem. While chemical drain cleaners such as caustic soda can be efficient in clearing troublesome blockages, they can also be harmful to the environment and potentially hazardous in the home. If these chemicals come into contact with skin they can cause irritation or even burns which creates a serious hazard for your household. Try to avoid using these chemicals yourself where possible.

Call the professionals

If your toilet blockage is really stubborn and you can’t get it to shift or if it keeps recurring frequently, then it might time to let us step in and help. Rods Away will be happy to visit your home and help you to solve the problem. Recurring blockages could be caused by a problem further down the pipe. We have the tools and experience needed to shift hard-to-reach obstructions to prevent problems occurring in the future.

visit our website for more information and contact details.

How to keep drains clear

Hot water

To maintain your indoor drains, one of the easiest ways to keep them clear and free from blockages is to pour boiling water down them on a regular basis. A kettle full of boiling water once a week can be a substantial help in removing build ups of fats, oil and grease and preventing blocked drains.

If you do this regularly enough you’ll find that it keeps your drains clear and prevents the need for any drastic action because something has gone wrong further down the line.

Baking soda and vinegar

While it’s not a good idea to use strong chemical cleaners on your drains, as you can never be sure what they’ll react with and if they will damage your drains, you can use a weaker cleaner. The best solution is a combination of baking soda and vinegar poured down the drain, followed by hot water. You will be able to hear a small chemical reaction occurring once you have done this. This reaction helps to remove stubborn dirt and grime and should be done two to three times a year as a form of seasonal maintenance.

Watch what you drop down the drains

One of the best ways to maintain your drains is by being extremely careful with what you put down them. While most drains are designed to carry waste and small items such as toilet roll, waste pipes don’t deal very well with grease and fat from food, cleansing wipes, dental floss, nappies or sanitary products.

You should be very wary about what you leave to go down your drains and should try and dispose of waste into the rubbish bin where possible. With fats and grease you can pour them into a bottle or food storage container and dispose of them into the garbage.

Clear debris from outside

If you’re trying to keep your drains outside well maintained, it’s a good idea to make sure they are clear of debris at the point at which they enter the ground. This involves checking your gullies for leaves and twigs in order to ensure that they don’t restrict water flow at any point.

Remember, if you need any further advice or professional help with drain unblocking don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01495 687667. We are always on hand to offer help and support.

Clogged Drain Tips

8 Clogged Drain Tips

Got a clogged drain? We know the feeling – as the pool of water starts to collect around your drain, you get a sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach. You are strapped for cash so decide to try to attack the clogged drain yourself and decide to not call a plumber. The good news is that most clogged drain problems are usually easy enough to correct on your own without having to call a plumbing drain specialist.

The average homeowner should be able to clear most clogs in a drain in a couple of hours or less. Try some of the following do-it-yourself household clogged drain tips that anyone can use.

  1. To clear a clogged drain, try this simple technique before attempting to use any commercial chemical product:Pour 1/2 cup of salt down the drain followed by boiling water. Continue to flush with very hot tap water until the clog is clear.
  2. Try pouring a cup of yogurt (without fruit) down the drain and leave it for several hours.
  3. Is your drain clogged from hair going down the drain?If you have Nair (the leg hair remover) laying around you can try to pour a bottle down your drain. Let it sit for about a half an hour, then put hot water down the drain. It will clean out and keep working on the gunk and hair further down the line as it continues to move down the pipes and drains.
  4. Put some disk soup (such as Dawn) down your drain. Follow it with some hot water and it should do the trick to unclog your drain.
  5. For slow-running drains, you can shake a half box of baking soda down the drain, then dump in one cup of vinegar. It should bubble and foam, so you may want to cover with a towel. When it stops foaming, flush the drain with very hot water for 2-3 minutes.
  6. If you can get at the drain pipe, open it up. Get a water hose, put the hose up through the drain pipe and turn your water on. It will hit the clog and wash it out. No chemicals involved and usually works.
  7. If you’re tired of clogged drains in the house, one way to clear up your plumbing is by using a simple plunger. Though most people use the plunger for toilets, remember that you can use a separate one for other applications, including drain cleaning a sink.When using a plunger, use a great deal of force to press the plunger handle down over the drain obstruction. Wait a minute and then see if the clog is cleared. You can then repeat the drain cleaning process as necessary.
  8. Still having problems with clogged drains? you will need to call a local plumber and have him take a look at it.

Preventing burst pipes during the winter

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your home and its contents if you have not prepared your property for a change in conditions. A typical winter season in the UK sees a drop in temperature, snow and flooding, all of which can have a detrimental effect on your drains and plumbing. In turn, this can lead to costly repairs if things go wrong, so it’s important you have the precautionary measures in place to prevent any damage.

As experts in drain unblocking, we have compiled a list of the most common reasons for burst pipes during the winter, and how best to avoid this happening on your property.

What causes pipes to burst?

It’s far better to be aware of the causes of burst pipes rather than waiting for a serious problem to occur, as the latter can lead to very costly repairs. Ice blockages in your household pipes are created by the water flowing through your home freezing and expanding inside the pipework. Over time, this process of water freezing and expanding inside the pipe causes a buildup of pressure, which eventually leads to the pipe bursting.

How can I prevent this from happening to my household pipes?

Keeping your drains as free from dirt, debris and grime as possible will encourage a free flow of water through the pipes, meaning blockages are less likely to form. Regular maintenance and being mindful of what you pour down your drains will help achieve this:

– Keep gutters free from leaves, twigs, branches and other debris

– Be careful not to pour fat and grease down the drains – wait for it to cool and throw it in the bin

– Do not flush wipes, sanitary wear or nappies down the toilet

How do I avoid frozen pipes?

As temperatures drop during the winter months, the risk of frozen pipes increases for many homes across the UK. Frozen blockages inside your household pipework can cause the flow of water to become restricted which, in turn, leads to burst pipes.

This problem can be easily avoided by:

– Making sure any exposed pipes are properly insulated with pipe lagging and heat tape

– Pouring a small amount of hot water down your sink to remove any build-up of fats, oils and grease in your drains

– Checking your pipes regularly to make sure they haven’t frozen or burst

– Keeping an eye out for any dripping taps as this excess water is more likely to freeze – this may indicate that the tap needs it’s washers renewed

Rods Away

If you suspect that your property is suffering from blocked drains, or you are worried about them freezing and bursting over the winter, our experts here at Rods Away can help tackle the problem before it escalates into a bigger, more costly issue.

Drain unblockingDrain cleaningDrain repairs

We are dedicated to providing a prompt, affordable service and comprehensive aftercare, giving you the peace of mind that comes with being in the hands of drainage experts. For further information about any of our services, simply get in touch with our friendly team today.

01495 687667

www.rodsaway.co.uk

4 ways to unblock a clogged drain

If you have a clogged drain, it’s important to think clearly and not do anything that could cause more harm than good. You may not need to call a plumber, but it is certainly a possibility that shouldn’t be ruled out. Here are 4 simple steps to try the next time you get a clogged drain.

  1. Plunger – Tried, tested and true, the ol’ plunger is always the first step in taking care of that clogged drain. Fill the sink partially with water, a little less than a quarter of the way full. If you have a double sink, you will need to block the other drain with a cloth or towel. Plunge over the drain, up and down rapidly, until the water in the sink begins to drain. If it does, it was just a small obstruction, and you no longer have a clogged drain!
  2. Baking Soda and Vinegar – This common trick is an age-old method of handling a clogged drain. First, using a bucket, empty the water from the sink. Next, stuff about a cup of baking soda down the drain. Use a wooden spoon or spatula handle to pack it down. Next, pour a cup of vinegar down the sink and put the stopper in immediately to force the mixture down. Much like a 5th grade volcano science project, the mixture will foam downwards into the pipes. Let the mixture work its magic for five minutes and then proceed by running warm water down the drain. If it is still clogged, try four cups of boiling water. If you still have a clogged drain, it’s time to move on to step #3.
  3. Cable Auger – This is the most difficult method, and should not be attempted by amateur handymen. Using a bucket to catch the water, one would detach the trap or J-joint underneath the sink connecting the sink to the horizontal pipe. Then, after removing the horizontal pipe from the wall, use the cable auger to slide down the stub pipe. Slowly push the cable down by spinning the crank clockwise. Once you catch the clog, spin counter clockwise to retrieve the cable, and hopefully the obstruction as well. This should unblock your clogged drain.
  4. Call a Plumber – Finally, if all three of these methods have failed to clear the clogged drain (or you do not feel experienced or comfortable enough to attempt step #3), it is time to call an expert. Continuing to try to unblock a clogged drain with other methods can often lead to disastrous results. Really, the best advice is to contact your local plumbing service.

Slow or blocked drains at home.

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Blocked sink

Slow Drains or sink at home? Here are some of the reasons why!

Have you noticed your drains are running slowly? It may be hard to pinpoint the main issue or blockage though. The problem could be right at the pipe opening, farther down the pipe, or anywhere in the drain line. A slow drain may not seem like a big dilemma but should be dealt with quickly to avoid major clogs, sewage backup, or further damage to the pipes. 

The first important step is to see if there is a clog in the drain trap or the fixture. For this you can call a Rods Away or the do-it-yourselfer can handle the blockage if the cause of the backup can be visually identified.  Make note that you should never use chemical drain cleaners in your pipes. Using any chemical drain cleaning products can cause a bigger problem and even erode the inside of the pipes. If you cannot see the origin of the back-up then you may have a larger drainage issue.

A plumbing company can locate clogs further down your drain lines. In many instances, your main drain line can cause backups into your home—if you have water backing up into floor-level drains, then you definitely need to get a plumber on site to diagnose what is wrong. A licensed professional plumbing company can pinpoint the cause of the slow moving waste-water or blockage using drain cleaning tools and sewer camera equipment. 

You may have a sewer line clog caused by something that was flushed down the toilet or from normal build-up over time. Clogs could be anywhere down your line causing sewage to back-up. Do you have older pipes? There could also be a problem with tree root intrusion. When roots infiltrate your pipes they may begin to crack the pipe, break into it, and block proper drainage. Sometimes it’s major breaks or collapses that occur in your main line. A cracked or crushed line can cause sewage flooding outside your house and other damage, and of course, stop any waste flow out to the street or septic tank. No matter how simple or involved the issue, it’s fixable, but you’ll want to find a drain specialist to diagnose and recommend solutions to you, the home owner.

When you have established the need for any type of plumbing work- especially for drain problems- call upon us at Aardvark Rooter. First and foremost we have drain experts and specialize in drain and sewer line issues. We always provide quality, professional service, after expert diagnosis, and at an affordable price.

If you need our services. Please visit our website to obtain our help and services.

Cold water problems.

Winter in wales is hard enough without having to deal with hard water, which can exacerbate common winter annoyances such as dry, itchy skin and lackluster hair. Hard water makes it more difficult for soaps and detergents to work properly and can damage your clothes and linens, leaving them feeling uncomfortable and looking dingy. Likewise, your dishes and other household items may have spots or residue on them even after they’ve been washed.

But did you know having hard water can also do a number on your home’s plumbing? Over time the minerals found in hard water can damage your plumbing pipes by causing a buildup, also known as scale. Not only can this decrease your water pressure, but it can also cause appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters to work less efficiently while shortening their lifespans.

Compared to “soft” water which is completely free of mineral impurities, hard water has an excess of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

If you’ve been dealing with these issues or suspect you have hard water, it’s time to give us a call. At Rods Away, we offer a variety of plumbing services such as pipe repair and repiping that are designed to remedy hard water related issues such as decreased water pressure caused by scale buildup. Similarly, if your old water heater is making loud, banging noises as a result of scale buildup, you can count us to make the repairs or install a new one!

There are several hard water treatments, such as home water softeners which use salt to remove the excess minerals. They soften all the water in your home which means that you and your home’s pipes and appliances all benefit. Water softeners are a great investment and improve your quality of life.

Point of use water filters are affordable options to water softeners and are still effective, but limited to filtering your drinking or bathing water. Water pitcher filters are also a simple and effective way to improve the quality and taste of your drinking water but don’t address build up in your pipes or appliances.

Vinegar is a multipurpose ingredient that can be used to combat the effects of hard water. Try adding one cup of white vinegar to your laundry’s rinse cycle. It can even be used as a rinse aid in your dishwasher! Use it to remove buildup from your coffee maker by running it through a brew cycle. Try using diluted apple cider vinegar to restore life to your hair after it’s been washed in hard water. Vinegar is a great home remedy, but you may be left with that vinegar smell.

Filters and home remedies are good but limited solutions. The most effective way to deal with hard water is with a whole house water treatment plan. Not sure what option is right for you? Not sure if you even have hard water? Call Rods Away today to learn how we can help!