The Most Bizarre Items Plumbers Find Down the Drain

For many home and business owners, a clogged sink, bath or toilet drain is an all-too-common frustration. When hours of plunging, chemical products and DIY solutions don’t cut it, it’s time to call in the heavyweight: a professional plumber. According to the plumbing companies that take on these incorrigible clogs, it’s not always what you’d expect that stops up the drain. Take a look at just a few of the strangest things these champions of drainage have pulled from the pipes.

 

Dentures

Of the many things you’d rather not drop into the toilet, false teeth are probably somewhere near the top of the list. Unfortunately for one poor fellow in an airport restroom, Dentures Found in a Toiletthat’s exactly where his pearly whites ended up. According to the plumber, when he went to clear what he believed would be a standard toilet paper clog, he found instead a full set of dentures inside the pipe. The amused plumber hung the dentures on the wall of the airport maintenance closet and later added sunglasses. What did he call his creation? “John.” Get it? It’s just a little toilet humor.

 

An Entire Mop Head

Mop Head Found in a ToiletIf you’re going to clean the toilet, using a mop probably isn’t the smartest idea. More than one plumber has discovered an entire mop head in the toilet drain, suggesting that we might need to add a “don’t flush this” unit to our national education standards. Though it’s probably more likely that the people who put them there actually intended to just flush the used mop heads, they’re still a pretty bizarre find. This is exactly the reason it’s important to exercise common sense. When in doubt, toss it in the trash can.

 

An Incredibly Expensive Bracelet

In an airport bathroom, one older woman found herself in a jewelry-fanatic’s nightmare: her $10,000 charm bracelet had come loose from her wrist and fallen into the toilet. Needless to say, she was distraught (and worried about what her husband might say when he found out). Fortunately, the plumber—that very same hero who’d rescued the dentures in our first story—was able to pull the toilet away from the wall and snatch the bracelet back out of the pipe. And, like the great guy he is, he even took the time to carefully wash and dry the bracelet for her before giving it to her in a clean plastic bag.

 

A Wig

One plumber ran into a somewhat “hairy” situation when snaking the drain of a toilet in a popular night club. As the rooter turned, the plumber reported first seeing a red A Wig Found in a Toiletstrand twisted slowly up the wire. Eventually, an entire bright-red wig was pulled from the drain. According to the story, the plumber saw a stage performer wearing the very same wig a week later, completely oblivious to its previous “adventure.”

 

Roughly $12,000 in Quarters

Coins Found in a ToiletMany people will never see $12,000 in their bank account at one time, much less have $12,000 worth of actual cash in their possession. Even so, that’s exactly what one plumber found when called to deal with a blockage in a gravity line. According to the plumber, the mass of quarters filled up two five-gallon buckets. No one could seem to figure out from where, exactly, the coins had originated.

 

Phones Galore

It wouldn’t be a 21st century trip to the bathroom without the constant fear of a cell phone incident. In cases too numerous to count, people’s handheld gadget just haven’t beenA Phone Found in a Toilet able to stay out of the toilet. In addition to “slipped out of my pocket” and “dropped it while texting on the toilet” scenarios, plumbers have found even more difficult to explain clogs, including an entire iPhone 5S—still inside the shrink-wrapped box. Let’s see the Hardy Boys solve that one.

Wedding and Engagement Rings

Wedding Rings Found in a ToiletAnother unfortunately common and cringe-worthy accident is the loss of a wedding, engagement or other meaningful ring down the sink drain. Whether the band is already too loose or slips off during hand-washing, plumbers are regularly called to rescue such baubles from the drain pipes (probably before the wife finds out).

 

An Augur Cable

If there’s one thing you don’t want to do as a plumber, it’s to leave behind any evidence that might suggest you’re not properly doing your job. For example: if the cable to your augur breaks while you’re snaking a drain, for goodness’ sake, find a way to get it out. Otherwise, it will contribute to the clogging issue—and annoy the heck out of the next plumber.

Illicit Substances

It’s probably no surprise that all kinds of illegal substances have been found stuffed down the drain in large amounts, either loose or in bags. In the latter case, the potential for Illicit Substances Found in a Toiletclogging should be obvious (perhaps to the sober individual). Nevertheless, professionals still sometimes find themselves pulling significant amounts of drugs from the drain. The lesson is this: you can’t hide anything from your plumber. Sooner or later, he’ll find your hastily-flushed stash.

 

A Goose

A Goose Found in a ToiletIn a truly unfortunate accident, an entire goose was sucked into a pump and pulled into the plumbing, clogging the drain. The plumber who found the goose estimated that it had been pulled approximately 10 feet into a three-inch pipe, raising the question of how anyone recognized the clog as a goose at all.

 

Live Animals

In similarly-shocking incidents, live animals have been found stuck in drains. Aside from the myriad of goldfish that end up flushed before their time, plumbers have found live squirrels, turtles, rats—and yes—small alligators. In one case, a plumber found a squirrel that had climbed down through a roof ventilation pipe. The poor thing got itself waterlogged and stuck, but was eventually freed by the kind-hearted handyman. Who said plumbers aren’t softies?


One of the X-Men

If you’ve got a potty-training toddler, you’ve already discovered the universal truth that kids love to flush things. In one child’s case, he apparently felt that toilet troubles would be best solved by sending in Wolverine to deal with the issue (why didn’t the grown-ups think of that?). When the plumber went to remove the toy from the drain, he found the X-Man gripping the toilet trap with his tiny faux-adamantium claws. Needless to say, saving the miniature hero was quite the memorable experience.

 

Sources:

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/lists/weird/10-bizarre-things-people-have-flushed-down-toilets/

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/24xkzj/plumbers_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/

Vinegar: The Magical Drain Cleaner

It’s not always feasible to call a plumber for a clogged drain, and although there are a variety of drain-cleaning products on the market, some chemicals can be harsh on your pipes. Fortunately, there’s a DIY option that most homeowners already have on hand: plain vinegar.

drain cleaner

Whether it’s a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or shower drain that’s giving you trouble, the acidic nature of vinegar—especially when combined with baking soda for a foaming reaction—packs a powerful punch. Not only can the baking soda and vinegar combination break down clogs, but according to Heinz spokesperson Michael Mullen, a 5% solution of vinegar can kill up to 99% of bacteria.1 This makes vinegar a natural deodorizer!

To clean a drain with vinegar and baking soda, try the following2:

  1. Pour approximately ¾ to 1 cup of baking soda into the drain. You may need to push some of the powder into the drain manually.
  2. Next, pour ½ cup of vinegar into the drain. To keep the reaction from foaming out of the drain, cover it immediately (a small plate is fine for this purpose).
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for one half hour (without using the sink).
  4. When finished, uncover the drain and turn on the hot water. The heat and pressure should help push everything through.
  5. Repeat as necessary for especially difficult clogs.

By keeping a bottle of vinegar and a box of baking soda on hand, you can easily unclog, sanitize, and deodorize your drains on a regular basis without fear of damage.

Sources:

http://www.frugalfun.com/vinegar.html

http://tidymom.net/2011/unclog-drain-with-baking-soda/

Green Plumbing and Water Conservation Tips for 2017

More and more people are jumping on the water conservation bandwagon. That’s good news for the environment. It’s good news for homeowners and business owners, as well. Green Plumbing and Water Conservation Tips for 2017Following best plumbing and conservation practices not only protects the environment but also cuts that monthly water bill down to size.

Here at Met Plumbing, we’ve been busy compiling a list of the top green plumbing and water conservation tips to help you tackle the problem. As the new year gets underway, it’s a good time to evaluate your usage habits and resolve to be more water-conscious in the future. If you haven’t already dedicated yourself to trimming unnecessary water use, 2017 is a great time to start.

Handle All Leaks Immediately

The longer you let a leak persist, the more water you waste. Even the smallest drip can release 20 gallons each and every day. Your average household leak squanders 10,000 gallons of water annually. Combined, that’s 1 trillion gallons thrown down the drain in the United States alone. Check your faucets often to nip the problem in the bud.

Also, don’t forget to check your sprinklers or your toilet—defective toilet flappers are notorious for causing leaks. If you do have a leak, call a 24-hour plumber to get the situation handled as soon as possible.

 

Use a Water Meter

It’s one thing if you can hear the faucet drip dripping all day long. In that case, you have no excuse for not calling up the friendly, licensed plumbers at Met Plumbing right away. Handle All Leaks ImmediatelyIt’s another thing entirely if the leak is silent or otherwise undetectable.

Fortunately, there’s a rather simple way to check for leaks: look at your home’s water meter when no water is running. Keep the water off for a few hours (anywhere between 2 and 8 hours), and then check it again. If the meter reading is exactly the same, you’re good to go. If the number is different, you most likely have a leak.

Random Fact: If you add up all the residential leaks across the country and put that water to good use, you could supply 11 million homes for an entire year.1

 

Watch Your Sprinklers

Overwatering during the dog days of summer is probably one of the most common ways to waste water and run up a ghastly monthly bill. Fortunately, there are many ways toWatch Your Sprinklers keep your sprinklers in check without burdening your time. One of the most effective methods is to attach a timer. Spring-loaded timers, which usually come with a conveniently low price tag, are a great option.

Random Fact: It’s good to check your sprinkler system every year (ideally at the beginning of spring) to make sure the winter frost hasn’t damaged any parts of the irrigation system.

 

Practice Green Grooming

There are many little, yet effective things you can do to reduce the amount of water you use while cleaning and grooming yourself. For starters, wet your toothbrush and then immediately turn off the faucet. You can also soak your razors in a few inches of warm water instead of rinsing them off with running water. In other words, anytime you can shut off the faucet and stop water from running, you’re doing a good deed.

Random Fact: Which room in the house uses up most of the water? Not surprisingly, it’s the bathroom. Approximately ¾ of all the water that comes into a building goes straight to the restroom.2

Random Fact: In addition to saving the environment, fixing simple leaks will also save you money. According to the EPA, being diligent when it comes to leaks can take about 10 percent off your water bill.

Check the Water Pressure

If your water pressure is too high, your plumbing system can take a beating. Generally, a water pressure reading that exceeds 60 pounds per square inch will not only cause damage to the drainage system but may also raise the water usage levels, leading to waste. If needed, you can install pressure-reducing valves to bring that figure down to a safe level.

Random Fact: Water pressure is affected by the amount of water other residents on your street are using. Since the water pressure is not determined solely by your own usage, you’ll have to call your local water department to get a water pressure reading for your exact location.

 

Cut Your Shower Time

Nothing runs up your monthly bill faster than running water. Taking long showers may be relaxing, but it can also be tremendously wasteful. If you really want to be Cut Your Shower Timeenvironmentally conscious (and financially responsible), turn off the water when you lather up with soap. Turn it back on again when you rinse the suds off (not recommended in the dead of winter, of course).

Random Fact: 17 percent of all water used in a residential setting goes to the shower.

 

Install Eco-Friendly Showerheads

With so many green gadgets on the market, being environmentally conscious is easier than ever. One of those cool gadgets is a water-saving or high-efficiency showerhead. While your average showerhead pours 2.5 gallons per minute over your head, these special showerheads can cut that down to 2.0 g.p.m. That might not seem like much, but, when you add it all up, it comes out to 2,900 gallons per year for the average family.

Random Fact: How much water can you save by installing more efficient fixtures or appliances? 30 percent, says the EPA.

 

Stop Prewashing Dishes

Many of us are in the habit of rinsing our dishes before we place them in the dishwasher. That’s not only time-consuming and inefficient but, these days, it’s usually Stop Prewashing Dishesunnecessary. That’s because most modern dishwasher detergents feature enzymes that eat up food particles, so you and your sink don’t have to.

Random Fact: How much does the average American household spend each year on their water bill? Statistics reveal that they spend up to $500 annually.

 

Lay Off the Chemicals

If you throw too many chemicals down your drain, you risk killing off the bacteria that lives inside your septic system. If that sounds like a good thing, remember that some bacteria are not only natural but potentially beneficial.

In fact, many different bacteria are essential to maintaining a working septic system. That doesn’t mean you should avoid using bleach, detergents, or other chemicals, but keep them to a bare minimum in order to prevent an imbalance from occurring.

Random Fact: Your septic system contains billions of microorganisms that help to break down wastewater.

 

Use Your Disposal Sparingly

You might not be aware that your kitchen sink garbage disposal uses a great deal of water when you turn it on. By throwing solids down the drains, you also risk causing plumbing problems in the future.

Don’t Water Unless It’s Necessary

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to shut off the hose whenever you’re not using water. Whether you’re watering your lawn or washing your car, shut the valve off the Don’t Water Unless It’s Necessarymoment you no longer need it. You can also use a broom instead of a hose to wash down your driveway or the sidewalks in front of your house.

Random Fact: How much water does the average American use every day? According to the EPA, they run 100 gallons through their home daily.

 

It’s important that we all do our part to conserve the planet’s resources. Only by being conscious of our usage and cutting down can we ensure that all the world’s creatures, big and small, can enjoy nature’s bounty for many generations to come. That’s why we at Met Plumbing are committed to green plumbing practices.

Give us a call at (281) 599-3336 or contact us through our website to get in touch with our professional plumbers and schedule a service call.

 

 

 

Sources

  1. https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/fixleak.html
  2. http://eartheasy.com/live_water_saving.htm

 

Why Does My Kitchen Sink Smell?

If your kitchen sink is emitting a foul odor, there could be a couple of things causing the issue. Taking immediate action is recommended to avoid having the smell grow even stronger. The longer you wait, the more bacterial growth could be accumulating, which could attract bugs or worsen existing plumbing problems. Why Does My Kitchen Sink Smell

The two most common causes of a stinky sink are rotten food stuck in the drain or garbage disposal, or a gas leak around the drain trap or vent. If it smells like old food, the drain may need to be snaked. Alternatively, the garbage disposal may need cleaning or replacing.

If it smells like gas, the drain trap may need to be replaced in case of a leak, or the drain vent may have a blockage. Unless you’re super handy, plumbing services will be necessary for handling any gas-related smells.

Another thing people tend to overlook (and then laugh at themselves later) involves the trash bin. If you keep the trash in the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink, make sure to check the bin to confirm the smell isn’t emanating from outside of the sink.

For minor problems related to food, follow these steps to eliminate the odor:

  1. Put some ice cubes down the drain and run the garbage disposal to clean the blades.
  2. Use a store-bought drain cleaner or make your own homemade cleaner with baking soda and vinegar, then flush with boiling water.
  3. Place small orange or lemon rinds down the drain (one at a time) and run the garbage disposal to deodorize.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to call a plumber to inspect the drain and garbage disposal. Give MET Plumbing a call today at (281) 599-3336.

MET Plumbing: Flushing Your Troubles Away for Over 20 Years!

Proudly serving Texas for over 20 years, MET Plumbing has become a respected leader in providing full-service plumbing for local residences and commercial businesses. We’re dedicated to providing top-notch service for the Houston metro area, including Katy, Cypress, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and the Spring areas.

Plumbing companies

Our plumbing services include:

  • Water Heaters Installation and Repairs
  • Toilet Repairs
  • Water and Gas Leaks
  • Bathroom Plumbing Repairs
  • Drain Cleaning
  • Kitchen Plumbing Repairs
  • Garbage Disposal Repairs

It all started with the vision of Mr. Marion Tucker, owner and operator of MET Plumbing. What began a small family-run business has evolved to become a fully-staffed operation with licensed plumbers who are true experts in the field.

No matter the problem, big or small, you can count on us to provide speedy repairs at a price you can afford. We assess drains, pipes, gas lines, sewage lines, and much more. Once an assessment is made, we use that knowledge to conduct repairs and replacements, as well as general maintenance and testing wherever necessary.

We also offer special discounts for new and existing customers! Take advantage of our current deals right now:

  • $25 Off Drain Cleaning
  • $25 Any Service Call
  • $150 Tankless Water Heater Installation

As we say goodbye to 2016, we would like to extend a big thank you to our loyal customers. We owe a large part of our success to you and pride ourselves on delivering quality service each and every time!

For plumbing installation and repairs in the Houston area, give MET Plumbing a call today at (281) 599-3336. Happy Holidays from the MET Plumbing Family!

7 Common Plumbing Fails to Avoid

Some plumbing mistakes cause minor disturbances. Others are catastrophic, sending ripples through the universe, or at least through your drainage system and bank account. To make you feel a little less alone and to help you avoid some of the most frequent mistakes that people make when trying to repair their plumbing systems, we’ve compiled this little list of common fails.

Mistake #1: When You Take Something Apart and Forget How to Put It Back Together

Most of us have done it: We set out to fix a small problem and end up creating a calamity. In fact, it’s probably one of the most common plumbing 7 Common Plumbing Fails to Avoidproblems to afflict DIYers.

  • The Problem: Maybe you thought you could replace that rusted pipe on your own, or perhaps you thought you could fiddle with that fixture without having to call in the professionals. Then, at the last minute, you forget what piece goes where and which end is which.
  • The Solution: If you’re stuck in a bind there are really only two options. 1) Fidget around until everything looks right, then cross your fingers and hope nothing explodes. 2) Call the professionals at MET Plumbing to repair your repair. And, don’t worry, we won’t judge; we’ve seen a thousand and one fixes go wrong.

 

Mistake #2: Violating the Plumbing Code

Although it sounds like a bad joke, the plumbing code is, in fact, a very real thing and violating it constitutes the greatest sin in the plumbing universe. To be more specific, the plumbing code is a massive book of rules and regulations that rivals the tax code in all of its monstrous complexity. Violating the Plumbing Code

  • The Problem: When you install that new toilet or water heater, you have to ensure that all your work meets a set of very specific criteria laid out in this monumental list of dos and don’ts. If it doesn’t, you could be in for a rude surprise—anything from a faulty pipe to a nasty note and a fine from the building inspector.
  • The Solution: Get your hands on a copy of the Universal Plumbing Code or the International Plumbing Code and start studying. If that doesn’t sound appealing, ring up the experts at MET Plumbing to install that new drainage system or do that handy toilet repair job for you. As licensed professionals, we’re fully knowledgeable in the ways of the code.

To help you get your feet wet when it comes to plumbing regulations, we’ve listed a number of the most common ways that people violate the plumbing code and how you can avoid the same mistakes.

 

Mistake #3: When You Don’t Leave Enough Leg Room Around Your Toilet

Mistake number two is no joke, either. If you fail to leave adequate space around your fixtures when you’re remodeling your bathroom or installing a When You Don’t Leave Enough Leg Room Around Your Toiletnew toilet, you’ll regret it later.

  • The Problem: Leg cramps or severe claustrophobia can result from insufficient space around toilets and basins in your bathroom. Tight space can also make it harder for you or your plumber to access the area and unclog a toilet.
  • The Solution: Essentially, the code says you must create enough space around the toilet and basins so that larger people can do their business without suffering undue discomfort. That means you must place toilets at least 18 inches away from the front wall and at least 15 inches away from the wall on the side.

While the regulations aren’t enough to turn your bathroom into a luxury spa, they are enough to provide basic comfort to nearly anyone, regardless of height, weight, or propensity to get leisurely while answering the call of nature.

 

Mistake #4: When Your Slope Slopes Too Much (Or Not Enough)

Did you know the pipe that carries waste away from your toilet must have a very specific slope or incline? Well, it does, and it’s best not to forget it.When Your Slope Slopes Too Much (Or Not Enough)

  • The Problem: When moving waste-bearing water away from the toilet, a drainage pipe has to perform a delicate balancing act. If the slope is too great, then the water will move too fast, leaving those pesky solids behind. That’s the surest way to come down with a case of clogged drains. On the other hand, if the slope is too slight, then the water will be unable to scrub the pipe walls clean.
  • The Solution: So, what is the magic number? While the Uniform Plumbing Code permits an incline of as little as 1/16 inch per feet, the sweet spot for any sized pipe is 1/4 inch per feet, according to at least one building inspector.

Perhaps that’s more than you ever wanted to know about the inner workings of your plumbing system, but now you can impress the trusty plumber from MET Plumbing when he pays you a visit.

 

Mistake #5: When You Forget to Vent Your Traps

This kind of trap doesn’t lock you in; it locks the bad stuff out. By bad staff, we mean anything from rats and mice to sewage and methane gas. The When You Forget to Vent Your Traps important thing to remember is that the trap must be properly ventilated.

  • Problem: Without proper ventilation, water can drain out, leaving your trap as dry as the Mojave Desert in summer and as useless as a plumber without a license (this might be a good time to mention that all of our plumbers at MET Plumbing are fully licensed).
  • The Solution: Make sure your trap is sufficiently ventilated. Also, make sure you’re using the right trap for the job. S-traps, for example, are not right for sink drains; you should use a P-trap, instead.

If you can’t make heads or tails of your vents and traps, then be sure to contact the specialists at MET Plumbing. We’ll be happy to tell you whether your pipes are up to snuff (or sniff).

 

Mistake #6: When You Forget to Install Clean-Outs

Even the most conscientious homeowner can’t avoid clogged drains. Fortunately, that’s why you have clean-outs. Or do you? When You Forget to Install Clean-Outs

  • The Problem: If you don’t have enough clean-outs or if you fail to put them in specific places, you make it more difficult for your favorite plumber to clear your pipes. You also risk getting one of those mean notes from one of those fussy inspectors.
  • The Solution: Follow the guidelines laid out in the Plumber’s Code to ensure that your clean-outs are located in the correct places throughout your house. Of course, you’ll have to figure out which code applies to your area, as there are different sets of regulations depending on the locale.

According to the Universal Plumbing Code, you must place a clean-out at a junction between a building drain and a building sewer or on horizontal branches that are separated by at least 100 feet. See the full guide for complete specifications.

 

Mistake #7: When You Place the Clean-Outs in Siberia

Clean-outs exist so a plumber can clear your drains of any clogs. If you put them in an impractical location—say a tight space that no human adult could access—then you defeat When You Place the Clean-Outs in Siberiathe purpose.

  • Problem: If your plumber has to squeeze into a ridiculously tight space, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to unclog those drains.
  • The Solution: Make sure all of your clean-outs are accessible, leaving an 18-inch clearance zone in front of every access point. For a pipe that’s only 2 inches or smaller, the UPC permits a 12-in. clearance. See the full guidelines for complete spacing information.

If you don’t remember all the little particulars laid out in the plumbing code, don’t worry. We won’t test you. If you ever plan to do some DIY work, however, it’s a good resource to know about. Although the Plumbing Code can be lengthy, complex, and insanely detailed, it’s there for a purpose: to make sure that all the pipes and fixtures in your home work properly and smoothly. If anything, this little list of fails should give you a newfound respect for the professional plumbing companies that keep your pipes running smoothly and your home free of sewage.

How to Handle Water Heater Drain Valve Leaks

Every water heater comes equipped with a valve that drains water from the heater. If you are experiencing problems with a water heater leaking, it could be a problem with the drain valve, pressure relief valve, or water line. More often than not, it’s related to the drain valve.

If it’s a problem with the drain valve, you can begin to identify it by looking for a puddle of water beneath the water heater. If you find a puddle, locate How to Handle Water Heater Drain Valve Leaksthe drain valve (usually placed toward the bottom of the heater) and look for any leaks coming out of it. If you see water leaking from that area, you have found the culprit. Luckily, there are a few troubleshooting options available.

  • Tighten the valve – Turn off the water heater by shutting off the power or turning the gas valve to pilot, then tighten the valve handle and valve stem nut.
  • Cap the outlet – Best for smaller leaks, buy and install a replacement cap from your local hardware store. This can work as a temporary fix until you replace the drain valve.
  • Replace the drain valve – Consult your water heater’s instructions for shutting off the water heater. Failure to follow instructions could result in serious damage to both you and the water heater. Once the heater is completely shut off and disconnected, you can drain the tank, replace the drain valve, and then restart the heater.

 

Remember, water heaters contain liquid at scalding temperatures. If you are inexperienced working with water heaters, attempting a fix-it-yourself scenario could pose serious hazards and risks. When in doubt, contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336.

 

How to Reduce the Cost of High Water Bills

Have you recently found yourself scratching your head over a skyrocketing water bill? Don’t fret! There are several common plumbing issues associated with high water bills, and, once you find the problem, you can easily decrease unnecessary expenses related to excess water usage. If you are having trouble identifying the source of the problem yourself, we recommend contacting a plumber to help you make a proper diagnosis.

Common causes of high water bills include:

  • Leaky Faucets
  • Running Toilets
  • Dripping Shower Heads
  • Broken Water Pipes
  • Water Softener Malfunctions

Common Plumbing Issues

Some plumbing problems are easier to find than others. For example, if your toilet continues to make the sound of running water long after flushing, then you know it’s a problem with the toilet. However, other water leaks aren’t always as easy to discover.

Before you begin looking for the source, be sure to turn off any running water in your home and then check for leaks in the following areas:

  1. Main Level: Check for leaky pipes under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  2. Hot Water Heater: Listen to the hose and drain connected to the water heater. If you cannot hear running water, there might be a leak or blockage.
  3. Toilets: Listen to the connection at the water heater, if you hear running water there might be a leak.
  4. Swimming Pool: For homes with pools, there might be a leak if you have to regularly refill the water to maintain a full level.

If no water leaks are found in these areas, it could also be a problem with spigots, irrigation systems, or the main water line. For assistance with identifying and fixing water leaks, contact MET Plumbing today at 281-599-3336.

Plumbing Emergencies: What NOT to Do!

Plumbing Emergencies - What NOT to Do

At Met Plumbing, clients often call us at all hours of the day and night to rescue them from plumbing emergencies that can range in seriousness from the lighthearted to the dangerous. As a 24-hour plumber, we’re more than happy to get you out of any sticky situation that might arise, but we thought we’d provide a few tips to help you prevent plumbing emergencies in the first place, or at least to help you navigate the most panic-inducing leaks and clogs when they do happen. Here are the biggest plumbing DON’Ts we could think of.

 

DON’T: Arrive at the scene without an emergency kit.

When the experts at Met Plumbing arrive at your home to fix that leaky faucet or clogged toilet, they always come prepared with their handy plumbing emergency kit. Trying to fix a major plumbing problem without a trusty kit is like trying to wrestle an alligator without … well, it’s like trying to wrestle an alligator.

 

DON’T: Twiddle your thumbs.

No matter how insignificant it may seem, every plumbing problem should be taken seriously. A dripping showerhead may not seem like a big deal, DON’T Twiddle your thumbsbut  even the smallest leak can cost you a lot of money in water bills. Leaks are also great at wasting the planet’s precious resources. Best not to twiddle your thumbs and whistle past the leaking faucet. Instead, call our licensed and experienced plumbers to handle your water leak problem, no matter how big or small.

 

DON’T: Forget to replace your hoses.

Washing machines and dishwashers have at least one thing in common—they rely on hoses to get water to and from the units. Unfortunately, hoses wear out after repeated use. Forgetting to replace them every five years or so with stainless steel hoses is one of the surest ways to create a five-alarm plumbing emergency. When they do go bust, they rarely give a helpful warning beforehand. That means routine maintenance is the best way to avoid a panic situation.

 

DON’T: Start a plumbing project without knowing where in the world the main water shut-off valve is.

DONT Start a plumbing projectEven if you don’t need to turn off the main water valve, you should at least know where it is. If you run into a problem, you’re going to want to know where it is and how to turn it off quickly. The last thing you want to do is go on the plumbing version of an Easter egg hunt while your pipes are hemorrhaging water.

 

DON’T: Pour gallons of liquid drain cleaner down your sink.

You might never know it by the sheer quantity of liquid drain cleaners on the market, but dumping toxic chemicals down your sink may not be the best way to clear a pipe. Not only can those caustic substances burn through drain-clogging hairballs, but they can sometimes burn through the pipe itself (not to mention what it can do to your skin). On top of that, liquid drain cleaner is often ineffective, failing in its primary task of unclogging drains.

A better strategy is to keep your drain clear in the first place. Preventing grease or hair from ever entering the pipes is worth a few gallons of drain cleaner. Failing that, call in the professionals at Met Plumbing to clear those drains in no time at all (and you won’t even have to wear a hazmat suit).

 

DON’T: Fill your toilet with freshening tablets.

On a similar note, those fresheners you drop in your toilet can also wreak havoc. That’s because they, too, contain drain-eroding chemicals that can damage your plumbing over the long run. They can also lead to a clogged toilet if left to dissolve inside the pipes. Unfortunately, having a nice smelling toilet filled with pretty blue water doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t flush.

 

DON’T: Fix a water heater yourself.

Water heaters are notoriously difficult to fix. Sometimes they’re downright dangerous. If you are going to brave the hazards of the basement on your own, be sure to turn off the unit before touching anything else. That being said, even an apparently simple task like testing the temperature can prove challenging, if not hazardous. Failing to properly remove and replace the valve, for example, can lead to a sudden outpouring of searing hot water.

If you want to avoid burns, property damage, and overall devastation, stay away from the water heater and leave the job to the professionals at Met Plumbing, who specialize in repairing tank and tankless water heaters.

 

DON’T: Use the same water heater for decades.

Sadly, water heaters aren’t immortal. They, too, get old and die. With an average lifespan of about a decade, give or take a few years, they need replacing every now and then. Tell-tale signs that your unit needs some attention include cold water spills and leakage. In order to determine whether you need a simple repair or a full-on replacement, look at the installation date and consult a professional.

 

DON’T: Turn off the main water valve if it’s not necessary.

Sometimes you need to turn off the main water valve in order to fix a pressing plumbing problem. Sometimes you don’t. Knowing when to do so and DON’T Turn off the main water valvewhen not to do so can be the key to getting yourself out of a predicament.

Each fixture in your house—faucet, toilet, shower—should have its own shutoff valve. Called isolation valves, they allow you to turn off the water to each fixture without shutting down the entire house. Such a tool can come in handy if your wife is taking shower while you’re trying to repair the downstairs toilet. If turning off an isolation valve will do the job, then leave the main water valve alone. In fact, it’s good to shut off and on all of your isolation valves at least once a year to keep everything running smoothly and to lessen the risk of emergencies.

 

DON’T: Turn your toilet into a garbage can.

We’ve covered this one before in a previous how-to and how-not-to article, but it’s worth repeating. In fact, it’s worth screaming from the rooftops. Your toilet is not a trash can. It does not empty out at the local landfill. Paper towels, feminine products, hair products, make-up pads, ear swabs, children’s toys, dog toys, cats—they don’t belong in the toilet. If they end up there, you will wind up calling us at odd hours of the night, demanding to know why your bathroom has become a lake. While we’re delighted to do emergency toilet repair, we’d prefer you didn’t have to call us in the first place.

 

DON’T: Rely on duct tape as a permanent solution.

DON’T Rely on duct tape as a permanent solutionSome DIYers out there have advised homeowners to use duct tape to plug leaks and cracks. It’s a great solution for the short-term. In the long run, you’re going to need to fix or replace that drainage pipe. If you’re looking for a temporary solution, duct tape to your heart’s content. If you want your plumbing to survive the wear and tear of many months and years, call the skilled experts at Met Plumbing for a real patch-up job.

 

DON’T: Rely too heavily on DIY knowledge.

Most people trust their car to a mechanic, their financial portfolios to a qualified investment manager, and their heart to a cardiologist; so, why do so many people trust their plumbing to themselves?

Sometimes DIY plumbing jobs go as planned. Sometimes they succeed without any major mishaps. Just as frequently they can land you in a good deal of hot water (or cold water, as the case may be). All too often we’ve seen a do-it-yourselfer turn a minor plumbing problem into a major plumbing emergency.

 

DON’T: Confuse a contractor or handyman with a plumber.

General contractors and handymen are great at fixing any number of problems. They’re jacks-of-all-trades. Many of them are all-around good guys and gals. One thing a general contractor isn’t, though, is a plumbing expert. Calling a contractor to fix your clogged drains is a bit like calling your family doctor to operate on your blocked arteries. While both are great at what they do, they don’t do the same thing. When it comes to leaky pipes, clogged drains, faulty water heaters, or overflowing sinks, you need to call in the specialists.

 

DON’T: Forget to call Met Plumbing.

For all of your Texas plumbing needs, Met Plumbing is here to help. As a family-run business with over 20 years of professional plumbing experience,DON’T Forget to call Met Plumbing we can handle any emergency you throw at us. Serving the entire Houston Metro area, including Katy, the Woodlands, and Sugar Land, we provide everything from water heater repair and drain cleaning to kitchen plumbing services and toilet repair. Whether you have a major emergency or just need routine maintenance, call us at 281-599-3336 or fill out our online form to schedule a service call. You’ll be glad we MET!

 

What’s the Deal with Hard Water?

Let’s face it: Hard water is super annoying. Not only does it leave unsightly spots and stains on your shiny surfaces, but it can cause home appliances to go absolutely haywire. Some studies have shown that hard water can wreak havoc on your health, too. This is because it contains minerals like lime, silica, calcium, and magnesium.

After a while, these mineral deposits accumulate and often require support from local plumbing companies, and, in rare cases, a diagnosis from your primary physician.

Plumbing companies

One of the most common problems associated with hard water involves residue. Have you ever noticed white spots and streaks on your tableware after washing the dishes? That’s because you have hard water. Luckily, there are many solutions available to tackle the problem. We recommend having a soft water system installed in your home to combat buildup. Alternatively, distilled vinegar and little elbow grease is another great option for removing some of those tougher stains.

Appliances like water faucets, dishwashers, and washing machines are also at risk because the minerals found in hard water often lead to plumbing problems. If one of your appliances is on the fritz, there’s a good chance it is related to calcium and magnesium deposits left behind.

Perhaps most alarming of all, hard water can potentially affect physical health. One study found that babies living with hard water were 87% more likely to develop a skin condition known as eczema.1  Other findings reported risk factors for:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Growth retardation
  • Reproductive failure
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Renal insufficiency2

Needless to say, soft water is the smart way to go. However, if you are experiencing problems with your appliances as a result of hard water buildup, give Met Plumbing a call today at 281-599-3336.

Sources

  1. http://www.webmd.com/children/news/20160601/hard-tap-water-linked-to-eczema-in-babies
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775162/