Going to the water? Don’t come home to it…

It gives us great joy to share this article with you, considering that this time last year, we weren’t traveling much at all. But with a lot of patience, we made it through a tough year and boy is it going to feel good to see new places again!

Before you hit the road or leave for the airport, make sure you take care of your home’s plumbing so you won’t have to worry about an emergency while you’re on vacation. 

Here’s our easy vacation plumbing checklist:

Clean
Make this one of your top priorities before you leave town. First, start by cleaning the drains so they don’t begin to smell (from not having water pass through them) while you’re away. You’ll also want to clean and disinfect the garbage disposal, bathtub and shower, and your sink in the laundry room. Think if it this way: you’ll love coming home to a clean house!

Empty the dishwasher
This sounds like a given, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to leave for vacation and without clearing it out. Ditto for the washing machine and dryer. Then, open all of them so they can air out. 

Turn off your main water supply
This is critical. Before you do so, however, drain the pipes, including those that provide water to the outside. Open spigots and drain the sprinkler system as well. Why turn the water supply completely off? To ensure that no leaks happen while you’re away, which will give you peace of mind (and prevent a major plumbing problem, of course!) 

Turn off your water heater
This step is an absolute must if you’re turning off the main water supply to avoid additional plumbing problems. This is also a great time to make an appointment and have maintenance performed on your water heater to make sure it’s free from leaks and working at its best. 

Unplug appliances
Take a walk around your house and unplug any appliances that can cause leaks while you’re away like the ice maker, humidifier, and diffusers. While you’re at it, unplug your washer and dryer as well. This will help you save a little on your energy bills, too.  

Enlist help
Whether you’re going to be away for two days or two weeks, make sure a neighbor, friend or family member can watch the house. We recommend (and especially if you’ll be gone for a longer period of time) they take a walk around the house regularly and look for any signs of leaks or other plumbing issues. 

Have Allied Reddi-Rooter’s number on hand
Before you hit the highway, put our phone number (513-651-1212) in your phone’s contact list. You never know when a plumbing emergency can arise, and it’s good to be prepared. 

If you have a plumbing issue while you are away, we’ve got you covered. In fact, the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter always has you covered – whether you’re in town or not. Contact us for all your plumbing needs. 

Even small changes can impact the planet in a big way. In fact, by simply checking for leaks in your home’s plumbing and choosing eco-friendly cleaning products, you can help keep your community green, while saving a little money on water bills.  

It’s easy to practice eco-friendly plumbing. You don’t need to buy expensive, special appliances or make big changes to your lifestyle. In fact, by just following one or two of the tips below, you can create an eco-friendlier home via your plumbing.  

Invest in environmentally friendly faucets and toilets
One of the easiest ways to make your home greener is to upgrade to energy-saving, eco-friendly toilets and faucets. Green toilets are very affordable, and they may just save you a little on your water bills. In fact, eco-friendly toilets use nearly 20 to 60 percent less water than traditional toilets. 

Aren’t ready for a new toilet? In that case, save water and help the environment by using a water saver kit. And don’t forget to routinely check around your toilet for leaks. If you detect one, contact a professional plumber. 

You could also swap out our bathroom or kitchen faucets with an eco-friendly one instead. Many newer models are designed to conserve water. One of the easiest ways to find a green faucet is to look for the WaterSense label, which ensures it meets the EPA’s criteria for saving water while also being good for the planet. 

Choose a water saving showerhead
Here’s something to consider: a traditional showerhead uses about two and a half gallons of water per minute. It’s easy, however, to save water when taking showers – just invest in an eco-friendly showerhead. In fact, most can reduce water flow by up to 30 percent. 

Just like you would when shopping for green faucets, look for the WaterSense label while shopping for your next showerhead. 

Buy eco-friendly cleaning solutions
Not all cleaning solutions are created equal. Some are much better for the environment than others.  Many contain substances that, once they enter the water system, can be toxic and cause health issues for you and your family. Instead, check labels on your bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions and detergent and choose ones made with natural ingredients. 

Change your habits
It can be hard to break habits, but with a little time and patience, you can make different decisions that can create a greener, healthier lifestyle. When it comes to your plumbing, you can start by choosing green products. 

Additionally, choose kitchen appliances with the energy star label. You should also check regularly for water leaks to conserve water, monitor your water usage, and use zero waste personal care products. 

Contact a plumber
If you’re concerned you’ve got a water leak or are simply looking for eco-friendly plumbing solutions for your home, contact a plumber who can inspect your home’s plumbing, make any repairs and offer suggestions. 

In fact, Allied Reddi-Rooter has been helping Cincinnati area homeowners go greener for decades, and we can help you, too!

For most homeowners, the water bill doesn’t fluctuate much, unlike the gas and electric bill sometimes does, especially when the weather changes. So, when you open the water bill and discover you owe way more than you have previously, it’s cause for concern. 

When the water company raise rates, it usually results in a nominally higher bill. If the costs have skyrocketed, however, it usually means there’s a leak or another issue with your home’s plumbing. 

An expensive water bill is your cue to call a plumber. Not only can we find the issue and fix the plumbing problem so your water bill goes back to normal, but we can address the problem before it get worse and leads to a plumbing emergency.  

Have an unusually high water bill? Below are five plumbing problems that may be the culprit: 

A leaking faucet
It may surprise you, but a leak in just one faucet can cause your water bill to be much higher than normal. Consider this: a faucet that leaks just a small amount of water daily can amount to gallons of water wasted every month. So, when you see water around the base of your faucet or any leaks in your pipes below the faucet, it’s best to address and fix the problem quickly. 

A leaking toilet
Toilet problems are known to cause very high water bills. This is especially the case if the toilet runs constantly. If you hear any running or dripping sounds, your toilet flapper may not be working properly and that can lead to costly water bills. 

If you’re unsure if you have a bad flapper, we recommend putting a few drops of food coloring in the toilet. Then, check back in thirty minutes. If the water is still colored, it’s time to call the plumber. 

Hidden leaks
So, you’ve checked your faucets and toilets and everything seems to be working well. This could mean you have a leak that’s harder to detect. Quite possibly, the leak is in the plumbing in your walls, the basement, or in your home’s foundation. 

This is another time when calling a plumber is advisable.  We have the tools to find the source of the leak quickly and fix it before it gets worse. 

Broken meter
This is an easy fix, but not one a plumber can make! If you’re sure there aren’t any leaks anywhere in the home, and no other plumbing problem has been diagnosed, you’ll want to call the water department. 

Occasionally, a broken water meter is to blame for the big bill. If that’s the case, the water department can repair the meter and maybe even prorate any bills you’ve paid when your meter wasn’t working properly. 

Worried about an expensive water bill? Give the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call. Our team of experienced plumbers can do a thorough inspection of your home’s plumbing and fix any issues, so you can stop pouring water down the drain. 

Eight plumbing tips every homeowner should know 

When it comes to your home’s plumbing, there are some important things you should know. For example, you should know what you can put down the drain (and perhaps more importantly – what you can’t). 

You should know how to protect your pipes in the winter, and how to use a plunger. 

Mastering these small and simple things can save you time and money – and keep your home’s plumbing in top shape. 

Here’s our list of eight plumbing tips every homeowner should know:   

Find out where your home’s shut off valves are located. If you’re moving into a home, make knowing where the shut off valve is located a top priority. While you are at it, you should also learn where the sewer line access points are. In the event of a major leak, it will be important to access the shut off valve, and if you know where it’s located, it will save you time and keep stress at bay.  

Know what’s off limits in the drain. If you’re still flushing disposable, “flushable” wipes down the toilet, it’s time to stop. The same goes with cotton balls, Q-Tips and tampons. In the kitchen, make sure you’re not sending coffee grounds or eggshells down the drain as well. 

Whether you own a home or are renting an apartment, it’s very important that you know what can and can be flushed down the drain and follow the rules. Otherwise, you may have a clogged drain on your hands. 

What not to flush down your toilet

Learn how to use a plunger. Knowing how to properly use a plunger can save you a lot of time and help you avoid making a mess – and it could help save you money, too. Often times, people use plungers incorrectly and make the clog even worse. In some cases, plumbers have to be called to fix the issue (we know this firsthand!). 

To use a plunger properly, create a tight seal with the lip of the plunger head and gently push and pull to dislodge whatever is blocking the pipe. And remember: not all plungers are the same, so you’ll want to choose the right plunger to get the job done. 

Don’t ignore leaks. Even small leaks around the base of a toilet or faucet need to be addressed swiftly. Not only can those leaks – if left untreated – give way to worse leaks that take time and money to fix, but those little leaks could be making your water bill higher than it should be. 

While fixing a small leak on your own is certainly fine, if you’re unsure of how to fix it properly, or if the leak comes back after you tried to fix it, it’s time to call the plumber. 

Never wait to call the plumber for water emergencies: here’s why  

Don’t fear the wet vacuum. Investing in a wet vacuum is always a good idea. These can be purchased at any home improvement store and most are reasonably priced. Wet vacuums can be used for small clogs and are often effective when plungers haven’t managed to dislodge whatever is causing the block. 

Know how to protect your pipes. Since it gets cold in Cincinnati, it’s important to know how to keep your pipes safe when the temperatures dip below freezing. You’ll want to keep cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom open to keep the pipes warm and wrap all exposed pipes with insulation. 

7 ways not to get stuck with frozen pipes this winter

Have a plumbing kit at the ready. Your plumbing kit should include plumber’s tape, a screwdriver, a wrench, and a plunger. It’s also helpful to have rags or heavy-duty paper towels on hand to clean up messes. 

Never be afraid to call the plumber. Even if you think the plumbing issue you are dealing with is small potatoes, it’s completely fine to call the plumber. In fact, we encourage it. The team at Allied Reddi-Rooter is here for all Cincinnati homeowners (and renters, too!) for all of your plumbing needs. 

Sharing a bathroom can be tough, especially when there’s more than two people living under one roof. If you’ve ever had to wait while the bathroom is occupied or shared a sink while getting ready for work, you’ve probably considered adding a second bathroom. 

Besides convenience, adding an additional bathroom may just be a sound investment if you’re looking to increase your home’s value. In fact, houses with just one bathroom are known deal breakers for many home buyers. 

So, if you’ve got a spare closet or bedroom or are willing to open a wall or get creative in the garage or basement, you may just want to get the ball in motion and make it happen. 

Here’s our list of the five best places in your home to add a bathroom:  

The master or spare bedroom 

If your master bedroom is large enough to warrant a wall, consider building in an additional bathroom. You could add sliding doors or opt for no wall and simply add a bathing area within the master bedroom itself. 

If you go that route, we recommend choosing a bathtub that will elevate the look of the room. In fact, many homeowners choose to add a bathing space in the master bedroom if they’re looking for a bigger, more luxurious bathtub or some jacuzzi time.  

Another great option is to convert a small guest bedroom into a bathroom. Usually, this will give you enough space for a second full bath, which can really increase the value of your home. 

A closet 

One of the most practical areas to build an additional bathroom is in a closet, especially a walk-in closet that offers enough room for a bathtub and shower as well as a toilet and sink (essentially a “full bathroom”). 

You’ll need at least 25 square feet to build a bathroom in a closet. That’s enough for a half bath with a shower. The average cost for a closet to half bath conversion is about $3,500. 

The hallway 

If you have a hallway area that’s long and offers space between rooms, you could nestle a bathroom there. You’ll need to open a wall, however, so this option requires a little more labor than it would to turn most closets into a bathroom. Because of this, the average cost to add a bathroom in a hallway space is between $4,000 to $5,000. 

One thing to note: You’ll need to make sure there are outlets or at least the ability to add electricity and access the water supply before going forward with this addition. If you need to add wiring and piping this remodel can get pricey. 

The garage 

Since using the garage for additional living space is becoming quite popular, it’s no surprise that it’s also becoming a very popular place for another bathroom. 

Ideally, your garage would be attached to your home and be large enough to fit two cars. Otherwise, you’ll have to walk outside to use the bathroom – and a one car garage may be too small a space for much more than a toilet. 

You’ll need to make sure your garage can connect to a power and a water source. And you’ll likely have to install a ventilation system to ensure the moisture from the bathroom doesn’t create mold damage to the garage walls. 

The basement 

We kept this option last because, while adding a bathroom in the basement is popular amongst homeowners, it can also be one of the most expensive places for this addition. In fact, some basement bathroom build outs can cost about $10,000 or more. 

The reason for the extra expense is due to the fact that, unless the basement walls are treated, moisture from a shower or bath can damage the walls enough that it will affect the structural integrity of the house. 

You’ll need to consult with a builder who has experience adding bathrooms in basements, and make sure there’s appropriate ventilation should you decide to make it a full bath with a shower and tub.

We’re all staying home a lot more these days, but let’s face it, you can only watch so many shows on Hulu and Netflix without getting bored, no matter how interesting they are. If you’re tired of Seinfeld episodes and true crime documentaries and need something to do around the house to be proud of, why not take a weekend and make small updates to the bathroom? 

Not only can one of the smallest rooms in the house be transformed in a matter of days with little effort and elbow grease, but doing updates now may just get you looking forward to the warmer days ahead, when you can focus on getting out and enjoying yourself, knowing that the bathroom updates have already been done. 

Ready to get started? Take a look below at our top seven ways to update your bathroom in a weekend. These little changes can make a big difference!

1. Make it smart. Smart technology can really take your bathroom to the next level. Whether it’s a faucet, mirror, or bathroom mat, nearly every accessory and appliance in your bathroom can utilize smart technology to make living a little easier. 

Take the Mateo smart bathroom mat for example. When you step on the mat, it can give you your weight, body-mass index, and even helpful tips to help you get healthier. The mat can be synched to your phone so you can keep track of its readings. 

There are plenty of smart mirrors out there, like the CareOS Poseidon that offers personalized skin care. Using facial recognition technology, this mirror can customize results for every individual and also features different lighting and a magnifying feature. 

Note that some smart bathroom accessories can be pricy. If you like having the latest and greatest technology but are on a budget, consider a smart showerhead or faucet. 

2. Get organized. Okay, we admit the next two ideas aren’t very fun, but once you finish them, you’ll feel great. The first is organizing the bathroom. Start by tossing out any old products like those half-used mini shampoo bottles you scored at the hotel. 

Then, install shelving for everyday bathroom items like towels. IKEA makes sturdy, affordable bathroom shelving, but you could also check out craft websites like etsy.com for one-of-a-kind shelving that makes a statement. 

3. Do a deep clean. We recommend deep cleaning your bathroom on a regular basis. Use a tried-and-true product like Ajax to clean soap scum from your bathtub and mop your floors by getting down to reach under radiators and behind the toilet and sink. 

Everything Old is New Again: Home Cleaning Edition 

4. Think tile. Bathrooms are often the most tiled part of the house – and for good reason. They’re easy to clean, can remain free from harmful bacteria, and can last a lifetime. But they need a little TLC from time to time. 

If you’re looking to update the bathroom, try painting the grout between the tiles. Choose a contrasting color from your tile to really make a statement and avoid white grout so it always looks clean. 

Another great weekend project is to retile (or tile for the first time) the wall behind the sink. The small area is a great place to start if you’re new to tiling. To really make a statement, choose colorful Spanish tile, splurge on tile from Cincinnati’s Rookwood Pottery, or search online for vintage, reclaimed tile.  

5. Give it light. Switching up your light fixtures is a great way to update your bathroom in no time. Install bathroom lights over your vanity, add wall sconces, or even a bathroom chandelier (yes, these are a thing). 

LED lights can help cut costs on your electric bill and four-way lights can create various moods to help enhance whatever you’re doing in the bathroom – from soft light for the hot bath to bright light to floss that hard-to-reach last molar.  

6. Paint the walls. It’s a new year, so why not paint your bathroom a new color? All it takes is a weekend to add a coat of paint (or two) to the bathroom walls. Additionally, painting the bathroom can create a cleaner space as well. Avoid flat or matte paint in this room, instead choose a gloss or a satin paint for easier cleaning. 

7. Replace the vanity or sink. This DIY project is completely doable in a weekend, but it’s a bit more involved than most other projects on the list. Don’t be intimidated, though, because replacing the vanity isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Remember to measure your space before choosing the vanity, have tools on hand, and take advantage of tutorials on YouTube.  

As you update your bathroom, remember that the team at Allied-Reddi Rooter is only a phone call away. We can’t help you paint the walls, but we can help keep your bathroom functioning it’s very best.  

Vintage cleaning products that deserve a closer look 

When it comes to cleaning products, sometimes it’s best to stick with the classics. From Ajax to Murphy Oil Soap, many of the tried-and-true originals from yesteryear still work wonders in 2021. 

Not only can old school cleaners do as good a job (if not better) than newer ones that feature the latest and greatest formulas, but most cost a fraction of what the fancier cleaner du jour costs. Some are even less abrasive and as easy on the environment as they are on the pocketbook. 

Here’s our list of old school cleaning products that are worth a closer look. 

Bon Ami 

The Bon Ami formula hasn’t changed since it first arrived on the market in the late 1880s and for good reason: it works. We recommend Bon Ami for everyday cleaning for your stovetop, but it’s also fantastic for bathtubs, countertops and on other surfaces you want to get clean without worrying about scratches.

Because Bon Ami uses feldspar and not quartz as its main ingredient, it’s less abrasive, so it’s ideal to use every day. You can even use it on your glass shower doors to remove hard water spots and soap grind. 

Ajax

This old go-to cleaner costs a lot less than others, but it delivers the same top-notch results. Free from phosphates, Ajax is safe to use throughout the home, but we think it works especially well in the bathroom to remove soap scum, especially those annoying rings around the tub. 

You can also use Ajax on walls to remove fingerprints and grime, and it’s safe for cleaning countertops, and stainless steel cookware. Another great benefit is that it can eliminate bacteria. We recommend using it to clean trash bins and mildew off bathroom walls. 

SOS pads 

You know those little brown stains that accumulate around your stove’s burners? You can get rid of them quickly with SOS pads. Back in the 1950s (and even earlier) these rough scouring pads were in almost every kitchen. Over the decades, their popularity declined. But lately they’ve been making a comeback. 

Have SOS pads around for your stainless steel cookware (and stove), outdoor grills, and even your tires. One tip: wear gloves when using these pads. They’re scratchy. Trust us: your hands will be grateful! 

Murphy Oil Soap 

If you had hardwood floors growing up, you probably remember the smell of Murphy Oil Soap. This oil-based soap has been used in homes since the early 1900s, most often on hardwood flooring and wood furniture. 

There are a few big reasons to choose Murphy Oil Soap today for your hardwood floors. First, it’s one of the most budget friendly wood floor cleaners out there, it’s also made from just a few ingredients so it’s easy on wood, and it can even help eliminate bacteria. 

You can also use Murphy Oil Soap as a gentle bathroom cleaner, as a stain remover and even on leather. 

Bar Keepers Friend

Remember the golden olden days? As in 2019 when you could go to a bar and unwind with friends without wearing a mask? Those bars require serious upkeep. In fact, bartenders clean surfaces about as much as they serve drinks, and for decades, Bar  Keepers Friend has been their go-to. 

But it’s also an excellent cleaning product for your home. Here’s why: 

Bar Keepers Friend contains powerful ingredients including feldspar and oxalic acid, a reducing agent that can eliminate rust and tarnish. Between feldspar and oxalic acid, Bar Keepers Friend can work wonders on everything from kitchen surfaces, stainless steel appliances, and even on tire rims. 

Brasso

Brasso was all the rage back in the early 1900s, when most homes had plenty of metal fixtures and appliances. Although times have changed (IKEA, anyone?), Brasso’s formula hasn’t. Made from oxalic acid, ethanol, limestone, pumice, and ammonium hydroxide, it’s still an excellent solution for removing tarnish from metal.  

You can use Brasso on everything from copper to chrome, stainless steel to aluminum. It’s an excellent cleaning choice for pots and pans, and for that copper tea kettle that’s gotten grimy and discolored from years of sitting on the stovetop. 

Don’t worry, all of the products above are safe for your plumbing and are plumber approved. We at Allied Reddi-Rooter are always happy to help our Cincinnati customers save a few bucks while keeping your home spic and span (another great “old school” product, by the way!) 

 

When it comes time to hire a plumber, make sure you choose one that puts you, the customer, first. At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we’ve been helping Cincinnati homeowners and businesses with all their plumbing needs for 70 years, so we know a thing or two about customer service and what it takes to be a great plumbing company. 

Take a look at our tips below on what to look for in a plumber. Whether you’ve got a clogged drain or need sump pump installation, every job – no matter how big or small – should be a priority for the plumbing company you choose. 

No upselling. Ever. The best, most reputable plumbers never upsell. They’ll assess the problem and quote you a cost to fix it (including labor). When you receive the bill, it should be for the amount you were quoted. If it isn’t, or if the plumber suddenly tells you that you need more work than they originally thought, they’re probably trying to upsell you. 

They quote over the phone. The best plumbing companies are happy to provide you with a quote over the phone. In fact, at Allied Reddi-Rooter, our team provides over-the-phone quotes for about 95% of our jobs. 

Onsite quotes at no-cost, no problem. In the event that we can’t provide a quote over the phone, especially if the job is complex or extremely large, our team can visit the site and provide a quote at no cost to the customer. 

They offer 24/7 service, 365 days a year. Reputable plumbing companies care about their customers and will never make them wait for a plumbing repair. That’s why we’re available 24/7, every day of the year for our customers. So, if your kitchen sink clogs while you’re cooking on Thanksgiving Day, rest assured you can call us, and we’ll come by to save the day (or at least unclog the drain). 

No waiting. When you schedule service with Allied Reddi-Rooter, we can usually show up within a two-hour window. Good plumbers never make you wait all day for the plumbing services you need. Simply put, we work on your time, not ours.     

They’ve got experience. When you call a plumbing company, ask them how long they’ve been in business and how much experience and training the plumbing team has under their tool belts. Allied-Reddi Rooter, for example, has been in business since 1950 and our technicians have decades of plumbing experience. 

And they’re happy to share their knowledge. The best plumbing companies love serving their community and readily offer plumbing advice, including tips on doing DIY plumbing and how to avoid the need for plumbing repairs. At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we regularly update our blog with helping articles (like this one!) to keep our customers informed. 

Customers leave them great reviews. Before you invest your money, invest a little of your time checking Google reviews, as well as reviews on Facebook and places like Yelp to see what people are saying about the plumbing company you’re considering hiring. Look closely at reviews, including how many “middle of the road” reviews they’ve got. Make sure to choose a plumbing company, like Allied Reddi-Rooter, that has plenty of five-star reviews. 

Of course, once you do receive great service, make sure to write your own review. If you’ve got a Gmail address you can leave a review on Google. And, if you’re on Facebook, you can leave a review there, provided the plumbing company has a Facebook page, too. 

Remember: if a plumbing company tries to upsell you, look elsewhere the next time you need a plumber. Better yet, give the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call. We’ve been helping Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs, and are here to help you with yours, too. 

A clogged kitchen sink – or worse, a clogged toilet. Unfortunately, we’ve all been there. Dealing with a clogged drain is not only frustrating, it can also signal an underlying plumbing problem that needs attention before it gets worse. 

If you’re like most people, the first thing you do when you encounter a clogged drain or a toilet is reach for the plunger, which is a very good idea. The trick, however, is making sure that you’re using the right plunger for the job, and that you’re using it properly. 

Below, we’ll explain different types of plungers and which one to use based on the location of the clog. We’ll also give you some tips on how to use the plunger successfully. 

Cup plungers 

These are the most popular plungers and for good reason – they work quite well on flat drains, or essentially, any drain that is surrounded by a flat surface. You can use a cup shaped plunger on kitchen sinks, bathtubs, and showers. All you need is a little pressure and a solid tug to get things moving in the drain again. 

Look for a cup plunger that fits securely around the entire width of the drain. This may mean that you’ll need different plungers to fit over various drains in the home. We recommend having at least one for the kitchen and another for the bathroom. 

Beehive plunger 

A beehive plunger looks just like – you guessed it – a beehive. These feature a cylinder-type design that’s wide in the middle and a flange at the end that allows it to fit inside nearly all toilet drains. These plungers work great in toilets and work by getting into the deepest part of the drain and sealing it completely, so you can get great suction to dislodge whatever is stuck in the toilet. 

Bellows style plungers 

These plungers have an accordion shape along the sides that expand and contract – much like the instrument you play. One of the benefits of these types of plungers is that it can move water quickly and allows for faster release of the clog. 

Flanged style plungers

While these plungers look similar to cup plungers, don’t be mistaken. These feature a flange that can open to fill and seal a drain. These plungers work well for toilets because they can reach deep into the toilet drain. 

How to use a plunger 

This is a tried-and-true method that you can use with all types of plungers – and on most types of drains, as well. 

Cover all drains. Start by covering all the drains that are near the one that’s backed up, especially the overflow drain. This helps to create more suction when you plunge by preventing air from escaping. You’re essentially trying to create a vacuum effect. 

Place a small amount of petroleum jelly around the ring of the plunger. This will help create even more suction. 

Scoop out any excess water. If you’re dealing with, say, a bathtub full of water or a very backed up kitchen sink, remove as much as the water as you can. 

Fit the plunger over the drain and push gently on the handle. Make sure you’re able to get a good grip on the handle and guide it easily. Sometimes, a plunger with a shorter handle is easier to control. Once you’ve forced air out and created a seal, press strongly on the plunger several times without lifting the seal. 

Pull the plunger away after about 30 seconds. If the clog remains, either repeat or use a chemical drain opener but do not use both at the same time. Drain openers contain harmful chemicals that should not come in contact with your skin or eyes. 

When plunging a toilet: 

Never continuously flush the toilet handle when your toilet water is overflowing. Instead, close the water supply hose found behind the toilet. 

You need enough water in the toilet bowl to create suction, so add water before you plunge until the water fills the toilet bowl to about halfway. 

Flange style plungers work best for toilet clogs. Use it like you would other plungers, but make sure that the rubber flange is inserted inside the drain opening. 

Still have a clogged drain, even after using a plunger? Give the team at Allied-Reddi Rooter a call. We can troubleshoot the cause of your clog quickly, and maybe even give you a few more helpful plunging tips, too. 

A sewer line inspection video is inexpensive AND can give you leverage in the purchase

So, you’re buying a new home. You’ve checked the roof and windows for leaks, looked at the floors, and the heating and cooling systems have been inspected, too. But what about the main sewer line? If you haven’t considered this you’re not alone: many new homeowners fail to have their main sewer line checked out before they purchase a home only to find later that they need a very expensive repair. 

In this article, we’re going to cover the importance of sewer line inspection but before we begin, it’s important to note that the information below doesn’t just pertain to new homeowners. Even if you’ve had your home for years, it’s still important to have your main sewer line routinely inspected. Older homes, especially, are prone to sewer line issues resulting from wear and tear. 

Groundhog video sewer line inspection

One of the best ways to determine the health of your home’s sewer line is through video. Groundhog camera inspection is an innovative procedure that uses a video camera to inspect the sanitary line to show any and all problems. The video and all images are stored on a USB thumb drive for your future reference. 

There are huge benefits to choosing a Groundhog video inspection for your home. First, if the video detects any problems, you can likely get the issue fixed before you need an entire sewer line replacement. And if you’re a new home buyer, you can show the video to the seller as proof that they need to make the sewer line repairs – or even drop the price of the home – before you purchase it. 

Consider this: At Allied Reddi-Rooter, the cost of a Groundhog video inspection is $250. The cost to repair your main sewer line? $5,000 and even more. 

What causes sewer line damage? 

Usually, issues in the sewer line are caused by one, or a combination, of three things: 

How can I maintain my sewer lines? 

While sewer line repair may be inevitable in an older home, it’s actually pretty easy to maintain the line by simply being careful about what you put down your drain. Baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs and “flushable” cat litter should never be put down your drains. 

You could also put drain traps over drains in the kitchen sinks and in the bathroom to catch any food and debris like eggshells. 

Whether you’re a new home buyer or have owned your home for a long time, it’s always a good idea to have your sanitary line inspected with a Groundhog camera. Not only can it save from having to pay for a costly repair, but it can give you peace of mind. 

Allied-Reddi Rooter is Cincinnati’s choice for Groundhog camera inspections, so when you’re ready for a sanitary line inspection for your home, give our team a call.