DS Brandon Plumbing, LLC https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/ Licensed - Bonded - Insured Tue, 18 Oct 2022 16:41:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-PLUMBING-PIC-1-32x32.jpg DS Brandon Plumbing, LLC https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/ 32 32 Plumbing powers the essential utilities in our homes https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/plumbing-powers-the-essential-utilities-in-our-homes Tue, 18 Oct 2022 16:41:38 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=443 Plumbing powers the essential utilities in our homes and enables us to accomplish daily and essential tasks, such as shower, drink water, cook, wash hands, brush teeth, flush the toilet, clean, heat water, treat air and more. Most people don’t give plumbing a second thought when it’s working right, but it is all we canRead more about Plumbing powers the essential utilities in our homes[...]

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Plumbing powers the essential utilities in our homes and enables us to accomplish daily and essential tasks, such as shower, drink water, cook, wash hands, brush teeth, flush the toilet, clean, heat water, treat air and more.

Most people don’t give plumbing a second thought when it’s working right, but it is all we can think about if something goes wrong. A basic understanding of your plumbing system and the components that affect it will help you troubleshoot, do small repairs yourself, know when to call a plumber, be better prepared in a crisis and make informed decisions.

A bit of general plumbing knowledge can save you money in service calls and prevent the headaches involved with breakdowns and problems. No one should ever be discouraged from calling a trusted, licensed, professional plumbing partner such as Brandon Plumbing for help, but there are things you can learn to do yourself.

  1. Recognize the Source of Your Water

Generally, water comes into a home from one of two sources: a residential well and private pump or a city water line. Most of the time, rural residents have well water that is carried into the home via a pump, and they do not receive a water bill. Urban residents have city water they pay for by gallons of usage and usually receive a monthly or quarterly bill.

  1. Test Water Quality

test well water once per yearIt is always good to know what’s in the city or well water. Many people conduct tests when they move into a new place, but experts say to test well water at least once per year because much can change due to different supply or treatment, soil shifts and some processes used by agricultural or industrial businesses in the region.

You can purchase a water-testing kit from many types of suppliers, and many times the county entity in your area will offer them at a discount. Any drinking-water supplier is required to test the water annually and report on its quality, but people who have city water can conduct tests if they like.

You can shop around for the test you want from a trusted supplier, but you will find a variety available at costs that range from $45-$200. They reveal a number of different factors: nitrates, turbidity, heavy metals, bacteria, minerals, volatile organics and more. They come in consolidated kits that test for several common concerns at once. Most of the quality tests require you to capture some water and send it to a lab, which gives you results.

  1. Locate and Turn Off Your Water Main

water main usually resembles a wheel

Should your home spring some kind of leak, you will appreciate knowing right where to go and what to do to cut off the water instead of trying to find it while you’re panicked and water is spewing everywhere. There is almost always a main valve near the street, and sometimes a secondary in or around the house, such as in the basement. The water main usually resembles a wheel or bar-type lever. If it’s a wheel, you should turn it slowly clockwise until it stops. If it’s a lever, you push right (or down) until it stops.

If you’re not sure the water is off, you can test it by trying to run water at a sink. If it does not run, you were successful. It never hurts to find the main and practice turning it off so that if a crisis occurs the process is familiar to you.

  1. Find the Individual Cut-Off Valves

Check all your water-using appliances such as the washer, toilets and sinks to locate the small handle on them where you can stop their water supply. The washer handle is usually behind the item, near the wall. For the toilet, it’s usually down low, toward the back and close to the wall. For sinks, look underneath near the pipes or against the walls. Showers and bathtubs are harder but might have cut-off valves in an adjacent closet or in the basement at the supply line. These individual valves enable you to isolate one place that may need maintenance without having to shut off water to the entire house.

  1. Scrutinize the Water Meter and Bill

If you have city water, there is a meter for your individual home somewhere around it or perhaps near the street under a metal cover. Either way, knowing where your water meter is and how to read it will help you monitor usage and keep expenses down.

The water company can be a great help in locating the water meter and main shutoff, as well as to answer any questions you have about the bill. Many people want to know specifically how the water is metered, when the meters are checked and how much they’re paying per gallon of water. Check the bill when it comes each month, because spikes in usage can indicate leaks or usage you don’t see.

shower head water pressure6. Test Water Pressure

Look for 80 pounds per square inch of pressure as the household standard. You can ask your water company to test the pressure for you, or you can buy a water-pressure tester at most hardware or home-improvement stores starting for about $10. The gauge attaches to your outside water faucet and gives a reading of the water pressure when you turn on the spigot.

  1. Adjust the Water Pressure

Anyone with municipal water has a water-pressure regulator between their home and the main supply. Without it, the pressure would blast through all of your appliances and fixtures. To raise or lower the pressure coming into your home, you need to find the regulator and have a partner to test the pressure as you adjust it.

The regulator might be in or around your home, near the main water-cutoff valve, or it could be near the street with the water main. It will probably have some kind of screwed-on cover, but inside is usually a wing nut or bolt you can turn to adjust the pressure. Again, while someone watches the pressure, slowly turn the nut-bolt clockwise to increase pressure and counterclockwise to decrease it.

  1. Check for Hidden Leaks

checking for hidden leaksHidden leaks damage important infrastructure in your home like wooden beams, drywall, carpet and sometimes pipes and other plumbing accessories. You can test your system to see if it’s using any excess water by checking your meter. Y don’t have to wait until you think there is a problem. Regular checks can help you spot problems early.

First, make sure all indoor and outdoor spigots are turned off tightly. Pick a time when you will not need the water for at least 15 minutes or longer if possible — this includes any automatic appliances such as ice makers or water softeners and purifiers. Look at the numbers on your water meter and write them down. Then wait the time you’ve allotted and look at the numbers again when you return. If they are the same, your system is tight. If the numbers are higher, you likely have a leak you can’t see. Sometimes the leak can be as simple as a toilet running that you haven’t noticed yet, or as complicated as a small burst in a buried pipe. Sprinkler systems can often be the culprit of unknown or hidden leaks.

  1. Get Acquainted With the Water Heater

water heaters last 10-15 yearsFind the shutoff valves for water and for electric or gas supply on the water heater. For a gas water heater, turn the gas-supply line knob clockwise and for an electric water heater, find the breaker or fuse that supplies it and turn it off.

For the water supply, there’s usually a handle or lever near where the water heater connects to the main water line. The water heater has two water lines. You want to turn off the cold, incoming water as opposed to the line that carries hot water out of the heater. Your water heater should have a temperature gauge and/or dial near the top or bottom, where you can adjust the temperature. The dial may have high, medium and low settings and others have a screw or other setup to adjust the temperature up or down. If you’re unsure about adjusting the temperature, have a plumber do it for you.

Check all the pipes and accessories attached to the water heater regularly for leaks, and it never hurts to place some kind of drip pan underneath the hot-water heater. Water heaters typically last about 10-12 years, and they almost always start leaking toward the end of their life.

  1. Change or Tighten a Toilet Seat

Behind the toilet seat between the tank and bowl are two bolts that hold the toilet seat in place. They usually have covers over them that match the color of the toilet. The rest of the fastening assembly is on the underneath side, but if your toilet seat is loose you can open the little doors over the bolts on the topside and turn them clockwise to see if that tightens it. If not, reach or look underneath and see if you feel or see anything loose.

You should be able to change the toilet seat by removing these two bolts, whether they fasten at the top, underneath or both. Though most holes are standard, be sure you pick a toilet seat that matches the bolt assembly in your current toilet.

  1. Replace a Sink Stopper

bathroom sink stopper replacementIf the stopper in your bathroom sink doesn’t work or breaks, you can easily replace the assembly or parts of it yourself. Clear out the underside of the sink, so you have room to work. Look for the rod-arm bar that holds the stopper in place and is normally attached to the sink drain pipe. Loosen the screw or whatever fastener is holding it in place, and you should be able to bring the sink stopper up for inspection and replacement if needed.

  1. Swap Out a Shower Head

You can add customization in the bathroom that makes a big difference with a change in shower head. Some go for a more efficient model and others want a different kind of “stream,” or maybe one that is removable for easy cleaning of the shower walls.

You can usually do the swap with a pair of common pliers, though in some cases a bigger size is needed. Before you put on the new shower head, be sure to wrap the threads with a few layers of thread-seal tape, which is usually thin, white and available where you buy the shower head. A similar process applies to change the shower arm, which holds the head to the wall and is usually sold separately.

  1. Plunge a Toilet

Toilets can clog, but with the right kind of plunger or other tool, you need not worry. First, don’t presume a tiny sink plunger will work in the toilet. You can buy a toilet plunger that is specially designed with a higher and more rounded hood and extended flange.

In short, a plunger uses manually produced suction to create pressure that clears the clog. You’ll should make sure there is enough water in the bowl to cover the top of the plunger. If there’s not, don’t flush the toilet but take some water from the sink or bathtub to put on top of the plunger.

Put the plunger into the hole at the bottom of the toilet and thrust it up and down several times while maintaining its contact with the toilet bowl. This should cause the clog to clear, and you’ll hear the toilet try to flush. If it doesn’t, keep plunging until you do hear the toilet try to flush.

  1. Replace a Toilet-Flapper Valve

If your toilet “runs,” it could be because the flapper valve inside has become worn, chipped or damaged. If the seal isn’t tight, water escapes the tank and it continuously tries to fill. You can usually remove the flapper valve with relative ease and take it to the home improvement store to find an exact-match replacement. Turn off the water supply to the toilet and then open the tank to find the flapper, which is usually a rubber piece that sits on top of a vertical column. If fixing a toilet doesn’t sound appealing, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional plumber!

  1. Unclog a Sink

unclogging a sinkIf your sink drains slowly or is plugged and the traditional drain cleaner didn’t do the trick, you can try a natural solution of 1/2 cup each of vinegar and baking soda. Mix it and pour it slowly into the drain to see if that helps move it.

Many times the drain is clogged at the U-shaped “p-trap” part of the plumbing pipe that’s beneath the sink. First, turn off water to the sink and place a bucket underneath the p-trap before you unscrew both sides of the U to see what’s inside and clear the clog. If you drop something down the sink like jewelry and need to retrieve it, don’t run any water and follow this same procedure to retrieve the item out of the p-trap. If you’re not sure you can handle this, it’s always best to call the professionals than to risk further damage!

  1. Locate Water and Sewer Lines

Whether you have a septic system and well or are connected to city water and sewer lines, it is useful to know where all of your utility lines run. Your city or water department should be able to provide a diagram of what it has on record or tell you their general location. If you have a septic system, you may have received an illustration of it and its lines at the time you bought the home.

  1. Know Your Septic System

If you have a septic system, you should know what type you have and where all of its components are located. Some systems have easy-to-find parts while others may be buried, hidden or misidentified. You might have received a copy of a septic diagram at the time of home inspection, or there might be one on file at your county or other water-governing board in the area.

A professional plumber can help you positively identify the parts of your septic system, which can be helpful in the future. Unless you are the person who installed the septic system, it is typically difficult to accurately locate all of its parts. You may have a mound system, drain field or holding-tank type of system that likely has access or clean-out points, vents and a straight-line connection to the home plumbing system. Usually a pump helps the system process as needed, but some older systems might work based on gravity alone.

  1. Fix a Leaky Faucet

You might have a faucet that drips or leaks a bit. Sometimes the needed fix is a new o-ring or washer, which are the rubber seals found beneath the spigot base and each of the knobs. If you want to do it yourself, first turn the water off to the sink and stuff a rag into the drain, so no little parts fall down. Usually the screws to loosen the knobs are in them or underneath a cover you can pry off. The fasteners for the faucet are on the underside of the sink.

Once you loosen the assembly, you’ll see the washers underneath the faucet handles and spigot. They can become dried or chipped and then leak water around the sink, or they can shut off loosely and leave a drip at the faucet. Take the old ones with you to the hardware store, so you can find an exact match for your sink.

  1. Familiarize Yourself With the Breaker Panel

cut power before DIY electric projectsAnytime you decide on a do-it-yourself project that involves electricity, make sure you cut power to that part of the house before you start working. Somewhere in your home, there is an electrical panel of switches that controls the flow of electricity to different parts of the house. It usually has a metal door and is often in the basement, utility room or closet.

Most of the time, the parts of the home are labeled on the switches, but you can test and label the system yourself by the process of elimination. Turn each switch to its off position and see what part of your home does not have power. Repeat the process for each switch until they are labeled to your satisfaction. Some of them will be empty or inactive switches.

Some old homes have a fuse box that operates along the same principal as a breaker box. Different fuses help transfer power to different parts of the house and must be pulled out to cut power and replaced if they burn out.

  1. Identify and Stop Drafts and Air Leaks

Any air that escapes your home or enters your home affects the efficiency of the heating, cooling and sometimes other systems. If you check for drafts and seal off any leaks you find, you can lower your bills. A stick of incense or a smoke pencil — which is available at the hardware store — can help you find leaks. Both emit a light smoke, and you carry it from room to room to hold it close to windows, doorways, structural joints, outlets, and other places such as underneath cabinets where air might enter or escape. If smoke escapes, use caulk, insulation or maybe replacement items to stop air flow.

  1. Master the Caulk Gun

caulk creates a seal that is neededCaulk creates a seal that is needed around the house to lock out air or water. Some people prefer to invest in a caulk gun rather than running out of the smaller containers. With a caulk gun, it’s easy to use and ready when you’re sealing door thresholds, windows, around the bathroom tub or toilet base and other spots.

The gun will have a handle and a tip, and you’ll need to snip the tip to a 45-degree angle to control the flow of caulk. Pull the gun handle back to install the tube. Soon you will have a feel for the steady-but-light pressure needed to create a clean and consistently sized line.

  1. Protect Against a Frozen Spigot

Your plumber can help install a freeze-proof spigot, which basically extends to the inside of your home and connects to the water supply where it’s warm instead of near the spigot where it freezes. The job involves pipe soldering, so it’s usually best to have a professional do the work.

  1. Venture Into the Attic

You can catch many problems, both plumbing and roof related, early if you occasionally inspect your attic. Take a bright, powerful light and look up and around for any evidence of water, especially around the chimney, vents or any other place where there is an opening or things connect.

It is generally good to keep a few flashlights and fresh batteries for them. They’re handy during a power outage, plus they’re good for looking closely around attics, basements, crawl spaces and under sinks.

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Check for leaks and drips https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/check-for-leaks-and-drips Mon, 10 Oct 2022 16:15:00 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=442 Smart technology has seeped into so many homes across the country, helping to make our lives more convenient in lots of different ways. Smart devices can even help you when it comes to your home’s plumbing and water, let’s look at some of the ways how. Check for leaks and drips If you’ve ever wokenRead more about Check for leaks and drips[...]

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Smart technology has seeped into so many homes across the country, helping to make our lives more convenient in lots of different ways. Smart devices can even help you when it comes to your home’s plumbing and water, let’s look at some of the ways how.

Check for leaks and drips

If you’ve ever woken up or come home to a flooded kitchen or bathroom, then you’ll know how useful this kind of device would be. Smart leak detectors and water alarm systems alert you when they detect a leak or a drip in your home, and may also be set to shut your water off at the mains to prevent costly flooding and damage. When it comes to minor leaks and drips, being alerted to them can help you conserve more water by addressing the problem quickly. These kinds of devices are generally fitted to your main water line.

Automate heating

Smart technology can also pair up with your boiler, water heater, and other HVAC appliances to give you more control over your home comfort. During cold weather, for example, you can switch your heating on from your smartphone as you’re heading back home from work, so you know you’ll arrive to a warm home. Or you can easily set and adjust timer settings through your phone so that the heat comes on at certain times of day.

Monitor water use

If you want to conserve water in your home and save more money on water, then smart devices can also help you to monitor your water use. This could reveal where you’re using too much water, so you know where to cut back. Or it could show you that a certain appliance or faucet is wasteful compared to others. This can also help you detect if you have a leak, as mentioned above.

Smart toilets

Smart toilets may seem like a gimmick, but they actually have a lot of useful features. Continuing along the lines of conservation, smart toilets can also detect leaks to ensure that you can repair these before too much water is wasted. And they can detect how much water is required to flush, ensuring no excess water is used. They can also detect overflows to prevent water from spilling onto the floor,

If you need help with your home plumbing or would like to fit smart devices to your pipes, faucets, water heaters, and other appliances, then contact Brandon Plumbing for our professional services around Winston Salem and Clemmons, NC. We can help you out with repair, maintenance, installation, and emergency plumbing services.

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Safe plumbing tips https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/safe-plumbing-tips Fri, 30 Sep 2022 19:31:49 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=420 We’ve given you some tips before on how to keep your plumbing safe from small children (and them safe from it) in case they feel like experimenting by flushing unusual things down there. But if you’re a parent to pets instead of kids (or both!), then they could wreak just as much havoc on yourRead more about Safe plumbing tips[...]

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We’ve given you some tips before on how to keep your plumbing safe from small children (and them safe from it) in case they feel like experimenting by flushing unusual things down there. But if you’re a parent to pets instead of kids (or both!), then they could wreak just as much havoc on your plumbing as a curious toddler.

So, if you’ve got mischievous pets or ones that shed hair wherever they go, read on for some pet-proof plumbing tips.

Keep toilet lids closed

A lot of dogs will gladly drink from a dirty puddle or a toilet bowl rather than the clean water in their bowl. Although they may be able to handle the germs, the chemicals and cleaning products used in your toilet are likely harmful for them to ingest, so keep your toilet lid closed or your bathroom door closed if you have pets wandering around.

This will also prevent the risk of cats or small dogs slipping into the toilet while trying to drink from it. And there’s also the chance that they’ll come by and drop their favorite toy or a mouse they’ve caught into the toilet, with the same curiosity as a toddler. So keep it closed!

Watch what you flush

It’s not just pets that can cause plumbing problems, but also misinformed owners. It might make sense and offer convenience to flush your pet’s feces down the toilet and flush it away, or even kitty litter that you’re disposing of, but this can be harmful. Some cat litters may even claim to be flushable, but doing so can cause clogs and blockages.

And the bacteria in their feces can be harmful to aquatic life, particularly cat poop, which can spread toxoplasmosis. Dog poop isn’t as harmful and some recommend flushing it as the most eco-friendly way of disposing of it, whereas others still recommend that human waste and toilet paper are the only things you should be flushing.

Drain guards

This is particularly for dog owners. If you bathe your pet in the bath, shower, or sink, then you should place a drain cover or strainer over your drain to catch all of the fur that sheds as you wash them. If your dog sheds a lot, especially in the summer, then a drain cover could come in handy even when you’re not washing them, since pet owners know that the hair somehow gets everywhere.

If you need plumbing repair or maintenance after a pet mishap, then contact Brandon Plumbing for our professional and emergency plumbing services around Clemmons, Lewisville, and Winston Salem, NC.

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Plumbing Tasks After Moving https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/plumbing-tasks-after-moving Fri, 16 Sep 2022 16:59:29 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=428 You’ve just moved into a new house and you’ve got lots of things on your to-do list. Buy furniture, install security, get your internet and utilities set up, and the list goes on… Some of these tasks may involve checking your plumbing and getting everything in order. So, if you’re in this position and areRead more about Plumbing Tasks After Moving[...]

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You’ve just moved into a new house and you’ve got lots of things on your to-do list. Buy furniture, install security, get your internet and utilities set up, and the list goes on…

Some of these tasks may involve checking your plumbing and getting everything in order. So, if you’re in this position and are figuring out all the things you need to do, then here are some of the key plumbing checks and tasks to tick off your list after moving home.

Find your water shut-off valve

You hopefully won’t need this any time soon, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it as soon as possible, just in case. You should find out where your water shut-off valve is and make sure that you know how to switch it off, and this goes for everyone else living in your house, too. In the case of a burst pipe or other plumbing disasters, turning off this valve as quickly as you can is a priority.

Arrange your utilities

You may have been able to do this before moving in, but if not, then you should make sure you know who your utilities are with and arrange a switch if you choose to. Locate your meters and figure out how to read them, and make sure you know whether your water use is metered or if you are charged a flat rate.

Plumbing inspection

You want to make sure that everything in your new home is working properly and that there are no leaks or damaged pipes anywhere. It’s a good idea to get a professional plumber in for a proper check so they can repair or maintain anything that needs it, but you can also do your own visual checks soon after moving in, and check that all the faucets and showerheads are in good working order.

Your water heater or boiler should be something to think about. How old is it and how well has it been maintained? And what type of heater is it? You might want to consider upgrading to a tankless water heater if it is old and outdated.

Start planning home improvements

This may not be at the top of your to-do list, but you’re probably eager to start making your new home your own with new décor, furniture, and perhaps more extensive remodeling. In terms of plumbing, the bathrooms and kitchen are the main areas to think about. Do you want to install a new shower, add a second bathroom, or remodel your kitchen? Discussing your home improvement plans with a plumber will help to ensure that your pipes and infrastructure has been considered when making your plans.

If you need any plumbing repair, maintenance, or installation services in your new home, then contact Brandon Plumbing for our support around Lewisville, Clemmons, and Winston Salem, NC.

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How to Remove Water Stains https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/how-to-remove-water-stains Tue, 23 Aug 2022 15:30:02 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=393 One of the signs of a hidden leak or drip that we identified in a recent blog was water stains that may appear on your ceiling, walls, or floors. Now you know what those weird stains might mean, how do you get rid of them when they do appear? Of course, the first step isRead more about How to Remove Water Stains[...]

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One of the signs of a hidden leak or drip that we identified in a recent blog was water stains that may appear on your ceiling, walls, or floors. Now you know what those weird stains might mean, how do you get rid of them when they do appear? Of course, the first step is to call a plumber to fix the leak at the source, but that might leave you with unsightly marks and stains in your home. Here are some tips to help you remove water stains.

Removing water stains from walls and ceilings

You should try to clean up water stains quickly before the damage becomes worse, but make sure to address the leak or else the stain will just keep coming back. Start with a simple mixture of dish soap and warm water. Dab a cloth into the water and use it to gently rub the stain. Dab the stain dry with a paper towel and leave it to dry to see if this has done the trick. If it’s a more stubborn stain or if mold has started to grow, you may need to use a mixture of bleach and water instead.

Removing water stains from floors

A similar solution to the above should do the job when it comes to water stains on your carpets. It’s easier if you put the solution in a spray bottle and use that to spray the soapy water onto your carpet or onto a cloth – you only need a little bit. Then, use a cloth to gently dab at the stain, starting with the edges, and leave to dry afterward.

If you have wood flooring, it’s a good idea to dry the water before attempting anything else. You can dab the stain with a clean cloth or paper towels, or speed up the process with fans or a hairdryer. Just make sure not to apply too much direct heat. If the spill or leak has left behind a stain, then you can try a mixture of water and baking soda, combined to make a paste. Similarly, petroleum jelly can be effective. You can apply either of these and leave them overnight before wiping the area clean.

A variety of store-bought cleaners designed specifically for wood flooring could also work. More stubborn or severe stains may require the wood to be sanded and refinished by a professional.

For all of your plumbing problems or maintenance needs, call Brandon Plumbing for our services around Clemmons, Lewisville, and Winston Salem, NC.

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Keeping Your Plumbing Safe from Your Pets https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/keeping-your-plumbing-safe-from-your-pets Fri, 12 Aug 2022 11:31:00 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=375 We’ve given you some tips before on how to keep your plumbing safe from small children (and them safe from it) in case they feel like experimenting by flushing unusual things down there. But if you’re a parent to pets instead of kids (or both!), then they could wreak just as much havoc on yourRead more about Keeping Your Plumbing Safe from Your Pets[...]

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We’ve given you some tips before on how to keep your plumbing safe from small children (and them safe from it) in case they feel like experimenting by flushing unusual things down there. But if you’re a parent to pets instead of kids (or both!), then they could wreak just as much havoc on your plumbing as a curious toddler.

So, if you’ve got mischievous pets or ones that shed hair wherever they go, read on for some pet-proof plumbing tips.

Keep toilet lids closed

A lot of dogs will gladly drink from a dirty puddle or a toilet bowl rather than the clean water in their bowl. Although they may be able to handle the germs, the chemicals and cleaning products used in your toilet are likely harmful for them to ingest, so keep your toilet lid closed or your bathroom door closed if you have pets wandering around.

This will also prevent the risk of cats or small dogs slipping into the toilet while trying to drink from it. And there’s also the chance that they’ll come by and drop their favorite toy or a mouse they’ve caught into the toilet, with the same curiosity as a toddler. So keep it closed!

Watch what you flush

It’s not just pets that can cause plumbing problems, but also misinformed owners. It might make sense and offer convenience to flush your pet’s feces down the toilet and flush it away, or even kitty litter that you’re disposing of, but this can be harmful. Some cat litters may even claim to be flushable, but doing so can cause clogs and blockages.

And the bacteria in their feces can be harmful to aquatic life, particularly cat poop, which can spread toxoplasmosis. Dog poop isn’t as harmful and some recommend flushing it as the most eco-friendly way of disposing of it, whereas others still recommend that human waste and toilet paper are the only things you should be flushing.

Drain guards

This is particularly for dog owners. If you bathe your pet in the bath, shower, or sink, then you should place a drain cover or strainer over your drain to catch all of the fur that sheds as you wash them. If your dog sheds a lot, especially in the summer, then a drain cover could come in handy even when you’re not washing them, since pet owners know that the hair somehow gets everywhere.

If you need plumbing repair or maintenance after a pet mishap, then contact Brandon Plumbing for our professional and emergency plumbing services around Clemmons, Lewisville, and Winston Salem, NC.

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Preventing mold from growing https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/preventing-mold-from-growing Thu, 28 Jul 2022 13:49:00 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=436 There’s one thing that unites all aspects of plumbing – fluids. And, unfortunately, moisture is one of the big causes of mold. So, seeing mold growth around your plumbing fittings is fairly common. This is especially the case in bathrooms due to the steam created by showers and baths. But mold doesn’t have to beRead more about Preventing mold from growing[...]

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There’s one thing that unites all aspects of plumbing – fluids. And, unfortunately, moisture is one of the big causes of mold. So, seeing mold growth around your plumbing fittings is fairly common. This is especially the case in bathrooms due to the steam created by showers and baths.

But mold doesn’t have to be a problem in your household. We’ve got some tips to help you prevent mold from growing around your plumbing and get rid of it if it does start to grow.

How to get rid of mold properly

Mold is common around faucets, showerheads, grout lines, and in the refrigerator. If you notice black spores around your plumbing fixtures, here are the first steps to take. Soaking and scrubbing the area with white vinegar could be enough to remove mold in some cases. Just apply it to the area, leave it for 15 minutes, and then scrub away and rinse with warm water.

In worse cases, a solution of water and bleach may be needed to tackle the mold. For a safe solution, mix one cup of bleach with a gallon of water and then follow the same process as above. If the mold is widespread and difficult to tackle, then you might need professional mold removal.

Despite all the water and moisture involved with plumbing, there are steps you can take to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Ventilate your bathroom – There’s a lot of moisture in the air after taking a bath or shower. So, it’s important to ventilate your bathroom properly by opening a window or switching on a fan for at least 30 minutes after bathing.

Clean regularly – Mold needs a source of food in order to grow. Non-organic surfaces like your metal faucets or plastic showerhead don’t provide this, but any dust and dirt left on them does. Regularly cleaning your fixtures and appliances helps to prevent mold from growing by taking away its food source. Anti-microbial cleaners are especially effective at fighting mold and mildew.

Fix water leaks – Leaks in your plumbing are a common cause of mold. The leak causes excess moisture to sit, which encourages mold growth. Always be on the lookout for drips and leaks, and call a plumber to fix them before they become a problem.

If you have a leak or need assistance maintaining your home plumbing, then call your local plumber for services around Clemmons, Winston Salem, and Lewisville.

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What causes bathtub stains? https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/what-causes-bathtub-stains Thu, 14 Jul 2022 14:06:55 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=437 A sparkling white bathtub can be a really attractive feature of a bathroom. But the problem with them being so white is that they can show up stains really easily, making them much less shiny and attractive. What causes these stains and how can you get rid of them? Read on to find out… PerhapsRead more about What causes bathtub stains?[...]

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A sparkling white bathtub can be a really attractive feature of a bathroom. But the problem with them being so white is that they can show up stains really easily, making them much less shiny and attractive. What causes these stains and how can you get rid of them? Read on to find out…

Perhaps the most common cause of bathtub stains and, luckily, the easiest to clean is the grime and soap scum self behind after each time you use the bath or shower. If you don’t rinse it off afterward, then this can build up to leave behind discolored lines and stains.

Darker and more stubborn stains may be a result of hard water in your home. Hard water contains a lot of minerals that it has picked up on its journey from a water source to your home. These minerals may then be deposited in your bathtub, sinks, and toilets to leave behind stubborn marks and stains.

The color of your bathtub stains could indicate what kind of minerals are found in your water. For example, iron deposits leave behind reddish-brown stains whereas blue-green stains could contain copper deposits or high levels of carbon dioxide.

How to get rid of stubborn bathtub stains

The best course of action for removing stains from your bathtub will depend on what material it is made of. If you have a porcelain tub, then it can withstand a lot of scrubbing if needed, but you should avoid using rough sponges and scouring pads on acrylic or enamel bathtubs as this can cause damage to the surface. Scrubbing too hard or too often could also start to wear away the bathtub’s finish.

Start by gently cleaning your tub with a basic dish soap. If the problem is built-up soap scum, then this should do the trick. If the stains are more stubborn, then there are a few methods you could try. Homemade cleaning solutions using vinegar or baking soda and hydrogen peroxide could prove effective, as could your usually shop-bought cleaning agents designed for the bathroom.

Whatever cleaning solution you use, we’d advise performing a spot test on a small area of your tub first to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage. And avoid using acidic cleaners, especially on enamel and acrylic bathtubs. This article runs through different cleaning methods depending on the type of stain.

How to stop your tub from getting stained

Rinsing your bathtub after every time you use it can help to prevent or minimize stains, as well as gently cleaning it on a regular basis. For more complex stains, you may need to get your water treated to prevent hard water deposits and stains.

If you need help with hard water stains and treatment in your home around Clemmons, Winston Salem, and Lewisville, then contact us today.

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Why You Should Steer Clear of Store-Bought Drain Cleaner https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/why-you-should-steer-clear-of-store-bought-drain-cleaner Tue, 28 Jun 2022 17:12:00 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=432 What do you do when you have a clogged drain? The easiest solution is to just stick some store-bought drain cleaner down there and forget about the problem. While this may fix your problem quickly, any plumbing expert will tell you not to do it. We’ll tell you why you should stop using store-bought drainRead more about Why You Should Steer Clear of Store-Bought Drain Cleaner[...]

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What do you do when you have a clogged drain? The easiest solution is to just stick some store-bought drain cleaner down there and forget about the problem. While this may fix your problem quickly, any plumbing expert will tell you not to do it. We’ll tell you why you should stop using store-bought drain cleaner and what to do instead.

How does store-bought drain cleaner work?

There are different types of store-bought drain cleaners that work in slightly different ways to clear a clog. Typically, they are extremely acidic, caustic, and corrosive. When you pour drain cleaner on top of the materials clogging your drain, it essentially eats through them in order to clear the clog. 

What are the downsides of using drain cleaner?

Since drain cleaner is so corrosive, it can be incredibly damaging to your pipes, especially when used regularly. The liquid not only eats away at the materials clogging your drain, but can also eat away at the inside lining of your pipes. Drain cleaner will coat the inside of your pipes as it is poured down. If it is not thoroughly washed away afterward, then this will start to corrode and degrade your pipes, even with tough, cast iron pipes

If the clog is too big for the drain cleaner to handle, then the liquid will sit on top of the clog until it is properly cleared. This will do even more damage to your drain pipe as the liquid remains in contact with them. The substances found in drain cleaner also make it extremely dangerous to come into contact with. If it accidentally touches your skin, then it can burn badly. The fumes left behind after using drain cleaner are also dangerous to inhale. 

Drain cleaners aren’t even a particularly effective way of clearing clogs. They are likely to leave debris material behind, making it more likely for clogs to occur again in the future. 

A better solution for clogged drains

The next time you have a clogged drain, don’t reach for that store-bought drain cleaner. If you want to try to clear the clog yourself, then it is better and safer to use a plunger. For a more effective solution or if the plunger doesn’t do the trick, you should call your local plumber to clear the clog for you. They use professional techniques like drain snaking and hydro jetting to make sure the clog is fully cleared with no damage to your drain. 

If you’re having plumbing problems around Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, and Guilford Counties, get in touch with us for our expert services and assistance.

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Tips to Avoid Garbage Disposal Problems https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/tips-to-avoid-garbage-disposal-problems Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:25:35 +0000 https://scottbrandonplumbing.com/?p=431 Garbage disposals are great for keeping your kitchen free of waste and the bad smells that come with it. Not only that, but they’re also environmentally friendly! But garbage disposals do still need looking after and maintaining properly to keep them in good working condition. To help you avoid malfunctions and other problems with yourRead more about Tips to Avoid Garbage Disposal Problems[...]

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Garbage disposals are great for keeping your kitchen free of waste and the bad smells that come with it. Not only that, but they’re also environmentally friendly! But garbage disposals do still need looking after and maintaining properly to keep them in good working condition. To help you avoid malfunctions and other problems with your garbage disposal, follow these tips. 

Know how to dispose of waste properly

Most problems with garbage disposals occur because of misuse. If you know how to use your disposal properly, then you can help keep it in good condition. Turn on the cold water over the garbage disposal before you start using it and leave it running as you are feeding waste into the disposal. You should leave the water running for around 15 seconds after the disposal has finished grinding.

Use it on a regular basis

To make sure all the parts remain functional and in good condition, you should use your disposal regularly. If it’s been a few days since you’ve used it and you still don’t have any waste to get rid of, just turn on the cold water and switch on the disposal to get it moving. 

Don’t put fat or grease down there

You’re told not to put leftover fat or grease down your drains because it will cause a clog, and the same goes for your garbage disposal. The disposal cannot break this down and can get clogged up as a result. There are much better options for disposing of grease, fat, and oil, like throwing it away in a sealed container.  

Clean your garbage disposal regularly

Like any other appliance in your home, your garbage disposal needs cleaning to keep it working properly and stop it from smelling. You can use a degreaser or a specific disposal cleaner to keep it clear of any grease that’s accumulated plus whatever else might be causing bad odors. Putting ice cubes down the disposal can also help to clean the insides of it. 

Have your garbage disposal replaced when necessary 

Problems will become more common the older your garbage disposal is. People often notice more problems when they’ve had their disposal for more than five years. The average lifespan of a household garbage disposal is around seven years, so you should consider a replacement if yours is older than this. 

Are you having problems with your garbage disposal? We can perform maintenance to find out what the problem is and fix it for you. Get in touch for this and other plumbing services around Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, and Guilford Counties.

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