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Helpful Information

Welcome to Herrell Plumbings Helpful Plumbing Tips and Information Page

Plumbing

Corrosive drain cleaners, such as those sold on supermarket shelves, frequently cause injury to plumbers or homeowners when they open up pipes or sink traps to do repairs. Non-corrosive drain cleaners are much better choices. Herrell Plumbing will be glad to demonstrate and consult with you on any products that are needed for your plumbing situation.

Garbage disposals

Garbage disposals can be a problem for many homeowners. Here are some tips to keep your disposal in good working order:

First, always run cold water when grinding to move the waste all the way down the drain lines. Fats and grease congeal and harden in cold water and can be flushed through the system. Hot water should not be used because it can dissolve fats and grease, which may then accumulate in the drain line.

Almost all-biodegradable food waste can be fed into disposers. However, they should not be used to grind clam or oyster shells, cornhusks or other material with high fiber content. Under no circumstances should you put glass, plastic or metal non-food materials through a disposer. This includes bottle caps, tin covers or aluminum foil, which are some of the items service technicians commonly find in clogged or broken disposers.

Maintenance is easy. Grinding small bones and eggshells actually helps clean the disposer by scraping away stubborn deposits or citric acid and pulp. Grinding a little ice is another way to clean deposits and get rid of odors. For the most part, though, disposers are self-cleaning.

Soldering

Soldering is not the most difficult task in the world, but it is not quite as easy as it looks. Professional plumbers routinely end up repairing leaks caused by do-it-yourself soldering jobs.

Here are some tips to extend the life of your faucets.

Treat faucets gently. When turning water on and off, use normal hand pressure only.
Clean chrome fittings with a soft cloth moistened with vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or glass cleaner.
For lacquered brass faucets, use a mild detergent…for un-lacquered brass faucets, brass cream will do the job nicely.

If the brass lacquer coating on your faucets gets scratched, you can prevent tarnishing by coating the scratch with clear nail polish.

Lemon rind works wonders with tarnished brass or copper.

Older steel faucets and fittings can be scrubbed clean with a mild scouring powder.

Have you ever seen those hanging toilet bowl deodorants? Well, don’t buy them. They’re prone to slipping and lodging deep in your plumbing system, and can block the line outright or give grease and other debris something to cling to. Also, certain chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode toilet tank components, and before you know it, you’ve got a major hard-to-get-at leak.

A lemon peel put down your garbage disposal periodically can help keep odors to a minimum.
Running Toilets

This is not only an annoyance but also a waste of water and money. Leaky toilets can cost almost $100 extra per year on your water bills. If the toilet continues to run into the bowl after the toilet is flushed, it indicates that some part of the mechanism is out of order. Sometimes a little jiggling of the flush valve mechanism solves the problem. Otherwise you may need to replace the entire mechanism.

Leaking Water Heaters

Leaking water heaters usually indicate the bottom of the tank has rusted. There are really no good repairs for this problem. You most likely need a new water heater.

Leaking Pipes

Take the time every once and a while to inspect your pipes. If rust or lime is depositing on them, this may indicate a leak is starting. If this is happening, contact Herrell Plumbing to address the problem. By performing an occasional inspection you could stop a small problem before it turns into a large one. Leaking pipes can damage floors and belongings and become much more costly than if the problem was detected early.

Dripping Faucets

Usually when a faucet is dripping the problem has a simple solution, it needs a new washer. This is usually a simple problem to fix. Did you know that you can extend the life of your washers by turning off your faucets gently rather than forcefully?

Clogged Drains

Usually drains are clogged because people are not careful of what they put in them, especially in the kitchen. Other drains, like in the bathroom, get clogged because of the oil residue from soaps, shampoos and hair. It is recommended that you are conscious of what you put down your drains.

Water Heaters

It takes only ½ second to scald someone in 150ºF water, 1 second in 140ºF water, and 4 minutes in 120 ºF water, according to the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association. Modern water heaters are factory set at 120 ºF, but many older models deliver much higher temperature water. Herrell Plumbing technicians can inspect and adjust your temperature to ensure safety for your home and family.

Any water heater without a working temperature and pressure relief valve is a time bomb waiting to explode. Plumbing and heating technicians encounter too many of these bombs. Herrell Plumbing technicians can help identify these kinds of important issues.

Home Safety

Never store flammables in the vicinity of a furnace, boiler, or water heater, especially one with a standing pilot light. This is a more common mistake than you may think, because basements and utility rooms are commonly used as storage areas as well. Some combustibles that people often don’t recognize are swimming pool chemicals and many household cleaners.

The most common household injuries occur from falls, which are blamed for more than 8,000 U.S. deaths a year. Bathtub and shower stall slips account for more than 160,000 documented injuries each year, and many more that go unreported. Non-slip bath mats and grab bars are important safety measures for any house. Herrell Plumbing can help with installation of these types of safety measures.

More and more homes have carbon monoxide detectors, which is good. Many of them have them installed in the vicinity of CO-emitting appliances, which is bad. You want them installed near bedrooms. The biggest risk from CO occurs when people are sleeping.