Do Homemade Drain Cleaners Really Work?

Many drain cleaners are sold commercially but aren’t always the best to use. A clogged drain can be tough to fix yourself. Although homemade solutions don’t work in every case, they’re often better alternatives to commercial options that can be corrosive, toxic, and damaging to sink and tub materials. However, some homemade drain cleaners are as effective as calling in a plumbing professional.

Drain Cleaning Tricks to Try First

There are many reasons a drain can become clogged, and probably just as many methods to resolve the problem. We’ll start with the most general first. Perhaps the most universally discussed are drain cleaners with baking soda and vinegar—and rightfully so. With the water gone from the sink or tub, perform the following steps:

  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain.
  • Add 2 cups of boiling water to the drain.
  • Pour down another cup of baking soda, plus 1 cup of white vinegar.
  • Plug the drain and wait until the bubbles start to subside.

This works because hot water is effective at dissolving pipe sludge. The baking soda and vinegar create a bubbling foam that helps dislodge any material blocking the way. Pour more water down to get all the material down through the pipe—voila! You may not need to call a 24-hour plumber.

baking soda and vinegar

Homemade drain cleaner without baking soda: Not every clogged drain can be fixed with baking soda, which doesn’t dissolve the fat, oil, and grease that commonly clogs kitchen sinks. In fact, some experiments have found hot water and detergent are better at dissolving such clogs.1

Natural drain cleaner hair dissolver: Water, vinegar, or baking soda won’t do much if there’s a lot of hair in the pipe. Enzyme drain cleaners can actually eat through the hair. Although not necessarily homemade (it’s hard to concentrate enough bacteria and enzymes on your own), these are worth mentioning. They can clear a clogged drain in an efficient and eco-friendly manner.

Another homemade drain cleaner—salt, vinegar, and borax—is effective for many types of clogs. Combined with hot water, it can clear a blockage if given enough time. If you can unclog a drain with salt and other compounds, great. You’ve found a DIY drain cleaner without baking soda. Many people still prefer this time-tested product. Combining baking soda with lemon juice may smell better than vinegar, and will foam up and can resolve your plumbing problems just as well if the hot water is run for several minutes.

Do Homemade Drain Cleaners Always Work?

homemade drain cleaners

It depends exactly what is blocking the pipe. A severe blockage is not going to be removed with baking soda or vinegar, nor is a large foreign object that’s stuck there. You may need a plastic drain cleaner to remove it.

Sometimes, the safest drain cleaner for pipes is an emergency plumber. When a homemade unclogger doesn’t work, consider a safe drain cleaner for old pipes, for example, or a professional plumbing inspection, to avoid serious damage. For prompt and effective plumbing repair, contact MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning at 281-599-3336 today!

Source

  1. https://brendid.com/why-you-should-never-use-baking-soda-and-vinegar-to-clean-clogged-drains/

Why Are the Pipes Making Groaning and Other Noises in Your Home?

There can be several different underlying causes for noises coming from the water pipes within your home. It is important to determine what type of sound the pipes are making to better diagnose and troubleshoot the problem.

Water pipes that make a groaning or hissing noise are often indicating a constriction somewhere in the water line. As the water flows through the narrower section, it will create this noise. This problem commonly develops in faucets and toilets as washers and internal fixtures wear out.

Plumbing Problems

To determine the source of the problem, you will want to check both the hot and cold water lines. Start by turning on just the cold water. Then shut off the cold water and turn on just the hot. If the sound is evident with either just the hot or cold water on or is persistent with both water lines, the faucet needs to be replaced.

TIP: If you notice the noise occurs in all the faucets of your home, chances are there is a restriction somewhere in the plumbing lines.

With toilet hissing sounds, the flapper and/or ballcock valve could be worn out and need to be replaced. Remove the back toilet cover, flush the toilet, and watch how the tank refills. If it continues to fill with water past the desired shutoff and runs down the overflow, this, too, could create a hissing sound.

Another type of noise your pipes can make is a pounding or banging sound. This noise occurs when the force of the water flowing through the pipes is abruptly stopped. For instance, as your washing machine is filling with water, you may notice this type of sound when it stops filling.

You may also notice this sound if the pipes inside your walls are not secured in place. As the water flows through the pipes, it can cause movement and a “banging” against the interior wall. To remedy loose pipes, have your plumber secure them in place using different methods.

For more persistent banging noises, there are special “shock absorbing” devices that can be incorporated into your home’s plumbing. These devices contain air and are added as “T” sections in different areas. When the water is shut off, rather than “bang,” it will attempt to force itself into the “T,” and the noise will be stopped.

Water Pipes Groaning Noise

In addition, depending on the type of plumbing used in your home, hot water lines can make different noises as the water goes from cold to hot. This is referred to as thermal expansion. There are different ways to resolve this problem. Again, you will want to consult with a professional plumber to determine the most appropriate resolution for your home.

TIP: Do not ignore the noises your pipes are making. In many cases, your home’s plumbing is alerting you to a problem that needs your immediate attention. Ignoring it and not getting it checked out could lead to more costly plumbing repairs later.

To schedule a plumbing inspection for your Houston-area home, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

How to Prevent Your Kitchen Sink from Clogging

After a long day at work and coming home to cook dinner, there is nothing worse than discovering your garbage disposal is clogged. None of the food you put down it is passing through the drain, and you’re left with tepid water in both sides of your sink. This problem is entirely preventable should you maintain your sink drain regularly.

Cleaning Your Sink

To keep your kitchen sink plumbing functioning optimally, you need to make a habit of cleaning your sink regularly. Cleaning your sink and disposal is fairly easy and can be done without using harmful cleaners or chemicals.

What You Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Sea salt
  • Lemon (or lime)
  • Ice
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft sponge

What to do:

For daily cleaning, use soap and a nylon sponge or rag to wipe down your sink. Be sure to avoid ammonia, bleach, or other abrasive cleaners on stainless steel. These can tarnish your sink’s finish.

For a deep cleaning:

  1. Wash out your sink and sprinkle baking soda on it.
  2. Scrub it until it becomes a paste.
  3. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes until it settles in and then rise with warm water.

Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal is imperative to break up food that has accumulated down there, especially grease and pasta. This will prevent what everyone dreads—a clogged kitchen sink.

What to do:

  1. Put a half cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down the sink and let sit until it fizzes.
  2. Boil water on your stove and then pour it down while the baking soda and vinegar fizz together.
  3. Add ice to the sink and run your garbage disposal until it fully grinds the ice. (You can add salt to help break up the ice.)
  4. Some people like to add chopped lemon or lime halves to the sink while the disposal runs. This helps your sink smell fresh and clean!

Prevent Your Sink from Clogging

There are several steps you can also take to prevent future sink clogging after each use.

Be careful what you put down there!

No-No’s: cooking grease, coffee grounds, anything stringy (banana peels, raw meat, etc.), potatoes, and pasta (which expands in water).

Use cold water!

Also, run cold water while you are grinding food waste, and keep it running a few seconds after you use the disposal. The cold water helps the grease in the sink solidify and break into smaller pieces. A tip for grease: put it in an old coffee container and then throw it in the trash. Whatever you do, keep grease out of your sink!

Clean every night!

Even if you’re exhausted, try to clean your sink habitually. Don’t let junk sit in your disposal overnight—it’s smelly and can cause a buildup.

These tips should help keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and keep it running optimally. If you take care of your sink and garbage disposal, you’re less likely to need a kitchen plumbing repair. And, you can extend its lifespan. In the unfortunate case that you have a clogged sink, it is best to call a plumbing company to take care of it. We know the hassle and inconvenience having a clogged sink is and can help you with this plumbing repair in no time.

House Repiping? Benefits of Repiping Your Home

Benefits of Re-piping Your Home

Pipes, just like all other things, have a service lifespan. They are designed to serve for a given period of time, and overusing them only hurts you and the house. Regardless of the quality of your house or the strength of the materials that were used to build it, your plumbing system pipes will at one point need to be replaced. If you bought an old house, such as one that was built in the early 1900s, replacing its pipes is not an option but a compulsory task. Plumbing services are unique and diverse depending on what part of the house needs repair and the material that will be used to replace old pipes.

Due to the complexity and value that your house gets after re-piping is done, it is important to hire a very experienced plumbing repair company that will first conduct a thorough plumbing inspection before establishing which pipes need to be replaced– if not all.

The numerous benefits of re-piping include:

Good water pressure in all rooms in the house

Old and leaky pipes make the water pressure fall drastically, and so do clogged pipes. For people living in areas with salty water, clogging is a rampant occurrence. Very old, corroded pipes start leaking water if not replaced early enough. To avoid this, it is important to consult an affordable plumbing consultant to give you an estimate of how much it will cost you so you can continue to enjoy that wonderful shower every morning.

Constant supply of clean water

One of the dangers of old pipes is rust because, when rust is consumed, it causes health complications. Some lead pipes used in the early 1990s release small particles of the metal in water. Lead is known as one of the most dangerous elements if consumed by human beings. Replacing such old lead and rusty pipes gives you an assurance that the water you drink or cook with is safe for your health.

Re-piping improves the value of your home

Consulting residential plumbing experts to fix all your water and gas pipes gives you a comfortable home for as long as you live there. It also adds great value to your house. You will never have some mildew growing out of your basement just because the water leaked. And, if you ever decide to sell the house, the good water pressure will be a good selling point.

Re-piping saves money that would have been used in maintenance

Leaky pipes force you to keep contacting the best plumbing companies for repairs. If this is a repeated pattern, a lot of money goes to maintenance of these pipes every year or month. Replacing all those pipes with new ones is the best course of action in this case. It reduces the insurance rates since the claims will go down as well.

Improves the general quality of life for the occupants

Living in a house that has leaking pipes, low water pressure, and even colored water from the taps that tastes awful is not a pleasant thing. In most cases, you will be forced to wake up very early so that you can shower before the rest of the house occupants start their showers lest you be late for work. You will end up buying water to drink or treating the water at your house. The leaks can also cause mold growth, which can lead to allergic reactions. With re-piping, all these problems are solved and your home becomes the resort it should always be.

Among the plumbing services that allow you to enjoy the said benefits include:

  1. Bathroom plumbingThe problem of low pressure could be due to a localized problem in the bathroom. With proper inspection, the problem can be identified and rectified individually.
  2. Toilet, shower and tub repairs: If the pipes in your house are not very old and the problem is narrowed down to either some toilet or shower pipe malfunction, then only those specific pipes should be replaced. This is efficiently done with the help of a residential plumbing
  3. Gas pipe repairs: A gas leak is one of the most dangerous forms of leaks. Your water pipes could all be intact, but the gas pipes would need to be replaced. For gas leaks, it is important to have the contacts of a 24 hour plumbing service expert in your home to tackle the leakages as soon as they are identified.

24 hours plumbing services

  1. Kitchen re-piping:The problems with poor water pressure or water having a bad taste can be the result of the kitchen plumbing system being clogged by kitchen waste as well as by pipes being too old and rusty. Some people replace these pipes in bits. It is, therefore, important to find out if your problems originate from the kitchen and solve them from there.

Remember to contact MET Plumbing at (218) 599-3336 to help re-pipe your home and to come help you clean the drains and inspect your dishwasher hookups so that you can fully enjoy the benefits that come with re-piping.

Source

  1. http://www.americashloans.com/blog/six-renovation-hacks-will-boost-your-home%E2%80%99s-value
  2. http://www.ineed2know.org/repiping.htm
  3. http://met-plumbing.com/houston-plumber/whole-house-repiping/
  4. https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/do-you-need-replace-your-plumbing/

Creepy Crawling Creatures That Can Crawl Up Your Toilet!

For most of us, the thought of skittering creatures being anywhere near our bums is pure nightmare fuel. If you’ve spent time browsing the internet, chances are you’ve seen some terrifying pictures of toilets containing uncomfortably large spiders and other unwelcome hangers-on.

Plumbing

Unfortunately, it’s not all urban legends and internet memes. The following are a few examples of real pests that can actually show up in your toilet.

Drain Flies

One of the most common bathroom drain pests is the aptly-named “drain fly,” which reproduces in stagnant water. To get rid of them, clean the toilet thoroughly, snake out any grime, and swat any remaining adults.

Rats

There have been numerous examples of rats getting into sewer pipes and escaping through a toilet. Unbeknownst to many people, rats are excellent swimmers, capable of making their way up full drains rather quickly.

Frogs

As amphibians, frogs are naturally adept at swimming. Of course, toilet drains aren’t their ideal environment. According to the Tampa Bay Times, toilet frog sightings can be prevented by putting a mesh screen over the toilet vent and leaving nearby house lights off at night.

Snakes

Just as a plumber can snake a drain, a real snake can do it, too. So long as the snake is able to get into an open sewer and swim comfortably through the system, it’s entirely plausible (though rare) to find one sitting in the bowl.

Want to know more about how to prevent and deal with unexpected toilet critters? The experts at Met Plumbing can help! Call us at (281) 599-3336 to ask questions or make an appointment.

What Causes Washing Machine Drainage Problems

Is that pesky washing machine acting up again? Don’t fret. Drainage issues are a common occurrence for these types of machines, and there are plenty of quick fixes for troubleshooting the problem. Here are a few key areas that can help you easily identify the culprit:

  1. Hose off: One of the most frequent issues related to water drainage involves the hose. If your machine is having trouble with the drainage system, make sure the hose does not have any kinks in it. If you find a kink, just straighten out the hose, and that should remedy the issue. If a problem continues to persist, try removing the hose between the bottom of the tub and the pump, and be sure to have a water pail on standby in case of spills.

Drainage system

Ever wondered where those phantom socks go after a load of laundry? There’s a good chance they wound up in the hose, which can cause clogs that prevent water from draining properly.

  1. Pump it up: Pumps can also cause all sorts of problems, so this is another key area to inspect if the hose solution doesn’t work. You should be able to hear the pump while the machine is operating. If it doesn’t make a sound, it might need to be replaced or inspected for jams.
  2. The ol’ switcheroo: Most washing machines have a sensor known as the lid switch or door switch. This switch prevents the machine from operating when the lid is open. A defective switch can cause the washing machine to encounter an error during the spin and rinse cycle.
  3. Belt it out: The drive belt is an essential component for a machine’s ability to function. Sometimes the belt simply needs to be readjusted back into its proper place. However, if the belt continues to fall out of line, this is a sign that it’s time for a replacement belt.

When in doubt, give your friends at Met Plumbing a call at 281-599-3336. Our experts are here to get your washing machine back up and running in no time.