If you’re a homeowner in Cincinnati, it’s important to know if you have lead in your pipes. If so, what you can do about it. While lead pipes were once a common feature in residential plumbing systems, they have been phased out in newer constructions. In older homes, however, lead pipes may still be lurking within the walls, and that presents a potential health hazard.

Cincinnati’s lead pipe replacement law

Two years ago, Cincinnati took a proactive stance on addressing the issue of lead plumbing pipes. The City passed a law requiring the replacement of all lead pipes in homes. This landmark legislation aims to protect residents from exposure to lead, a toxic metal that can leach into drinking water and pose serious health risks, particularly to children and pregnant women.

The city’s initiative highlights the importance of identifying and replacing lead pipes to ensure the safety and well-being of residents. Lead exposure can lead to a range of adverse health effects, including neurological and developmental disorders, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. By eliminating lead pipes from residential plumbing systems, Cincinnati is taking a significant step towards safeguarding public health and ensuring access to clean, safe drinking water for all residents.

Identifying lead plumbing pipes

Identifying lead plumbing pipes can be challenging, as they are often hidden behind walls or buried underground. However, there are some indicators that may suggest the presence of lead pipes in your home. 

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Your home’s age

Homes built before the 1950s are more likely to have lead plumbing pipes, as lead was a commonly used material for water supply lines until its health hazards became widely recognized.

A visual inspection

If you have access to your home’s plumbing pipes, visually inspecting them can provide clues about their composition. Lead pipes are dull gray and may have a soft, malleable texture compared to other materials like copper or galvanized steel.

Water testing

Conducting water testing is the most reliable method for identifying lead contamination in your drinking water. You can contact the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) for a free test kit. 

How to get help for lead pipes

If you suspect that your Cincinnati home may have lead plumbing pipes, don’t wait to take action. The city’s lead pipe replacement law aims to assist homeowners in addressing this issue by providing resources and support for pipe replacement efforts. Here’s how you can get started:

Contact the city

Reach out to GCWW to inquire about the lead pipe replacement program and eligibility criteria for participation.

Look for more assistance

Investigate available funding options. Grants, or incentives offered by the city or state to offset the costs of lead pipe replacement. These programs may provide financial assistance or low-interest loans to eligible homeowners.

Call a plumber

Hire licensed plumbers or contractors with experience in lead pipe replacement to assess your home’s plumbing system and develop a plan for replacement.

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Remember: Lead plumbing pipes pose a significant health risk to residents of older homes in Cincinnati. If you suspect that your home may have lead plumbing pipes, don’t hesitate to seek assistance and take action to ensure the safety of your drinking water. With the help from the city and plumbing professionals like the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter, you can make your home a healthier and safer place for you and your family.

We all need help from time to time. Luckily, when it comes to your water bill, Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) may be able to help. Thanks to their Payment Assistance Program, which is designed to assist eligible customers who are struggling to pay their water bills. 

Whether due to unforeseen financial challenges, temporary hardships, or low-income circumstances, the program offers much-needed relief. It’s here to ensure that essential water services remain accessible to all residents.

Who qualifies for assistance? 

To qualify for assistance through the program, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria.  Eligibility criteria typically includes household income, family size, and demonstrated financial need. Specific eligibility requirements vary, but the program aims to support those who can afford their water bills without assistance.

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Benefits of the GCWW Payment Assistance Program 

Not only does the program offer direct financial assistance to help offset the cost of water bills, but it also guarantees that water services will not be disconnected while someone participates in the program. And all this adds to peace of mind, knowing that services will not be interrupted.  

How to apply for the GCWW Payment Assistance Program

Applying for assistance is straightforward. Customers can use it through the GCWW website or call GCWW customer service directly. Note: The application process may require providing documentation to verify income, household size, and other relevant information.

More ways to save on your water bill 

If you’re trying to make ends meet and are looking for more ways to save, consider recycling water to conserve and reduce your water bill. You could also make an appointment with an Allied Reddi-Rooter plumber to make sure your plumbing is in top shape so you can avoid potentially costly emergency repairs. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. 

PFAS have been in the news lately – not just in Cincinnati, but across the country as well. The big concern is that PFAS – which stands for Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances – contaminates drinking water. Sometimes called “forever chemicals,” PFAS can pose potential health risks. Understandably, that has people worried. 

What are PFAS? 

PFAS are a group of manufactured chemicals commonly found in a variety of consumer products and industrial supplies. They are resistant to heat, water, and oil, earning them the moniker “forever chemicals.” PFAS are valuable in manufacturing, as for the environment and your health – not so much. 

Are there PFAS in Cincinnati’s drinking water?

PFAS have been found in Cincinnati’s water. However, the city, along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW), is proactive in monitoring the city’s water. It’s rigorously tested to keep it safe. 

Recent water test results show that drinking water from the Richard Miller Treatment Plant, which serves most of the Queen City, is consistently below the proposed limits for these compounds. But treated water from the Charles M. Bolton Plant in Butler County has frequently tested slightly above the regulatory limit for PFAS. 

It’s important to note that GCWW always works with the EPA to ensure water is safe for drinking and cooking. We recommend checking the website often for updates on PFAS levels in drinking water. You could also invest in a home water filtration system. 

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Below are some water filtration systems recommended by experts to help rid your home’s water of forever chemicals: 

Reverse osmosis filtration systems.

Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration systems are highly effective at removing PFAS from water. These systems use a semipermeable membrane to remove contaminants, including PFAS molecules, from the water supply. Popular brands offering PFAS-approved RO systems include Aquasana and Home Master.

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Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters. GAC filtration systems utilize activated carbon to adsorb PFAS and other contaminants from water. These filters can be installed at the point of use, such as under the sink or attached to a faucet. Brands like PUR and Brita offer GAC filtration systems certified to remove PFAS.

Whole-house filtration systems: For comprehensive water filtration throughout the home, whole-house filtration systems are a great option. These systems typically combine multiple filtration technologies, including activated carbon and sediment filters, to remove a wide range of contaminants, including PFAS. Aquasana offers whole-house filtration systems with PFAS removal capabilities.

Concerned about your home’s water? The team at Allied-Reddi Rooter can help make it cleaner through regular plumbing maintenance and with home water softener solutions.      

We’re deep into the dog days of summer, and that means our yards and gardens need watering more than ever. But it isn’t easy to keep grass, plants, and flowers hydrated without wasting water. And when the temps start to soar, it takes more than a little sprinkle from the hose to keep lawns and gardens healthy. 

If you’re trying to conserve water while maintaining a lush, green yard this year, we’ve got good news: there’s no need to compromise. You can save water and keep your yard hydrated with these simple tips below. Not only will you save a little money on your water bill with these tips, but you’ll be helping the planet grow a little greener by conserving water. 

Make friends with mulch

One of the simplest ways to keep your lawn hydrated is with mulch. Made from various materials, from straw and leaves, to bark and shredded paper, mulch acts as a barrier in your yard to prevent runoff. It will also keep moisture in the ground and help the ground stay cool on hot days. For yards on a slope, mulch is essential to help prevent runoff. 

Use water absorbing materials

In addition to mulch, other materials such as peat moss can work wonders in gardens. Have a compost pile? If so, put your compost to good use by mixing it in with the soil. These organic materials will help keep the ground moist. They also provide an excellent boost for soil by making it healthier, which, in turn, creates healthier grass and plants. 

Water better – not more

When watering, think quality over quantity. It may seem like standing in the yard, watering for a long period of time would be the most effective way to keep it hydrated, it’s simply not the case. Instead, focus on watering directly on plant roots so that the water penetrates the soil and gets right to where the plants need water the most: under the ground. 

Use drip irrigation

Many plants and shrubs benefit from being able to take in water slowly. That’s why it’s a good idea to visit your local home improvement or garden center to purchase a drip line for drip irrigation. This type of watering system helps to hydrate plants slowly and keep moisture off leaves, which can lead to disease in some plants. 

Drip irrigation is also very effective to insure that water gets beneath the top layers of soil, rather than staying on – or even running off – the soil surface. 

Timing is everything

Whether you’re using a drip irrigation system, sprinklers, or a little of both, we recommend investing in an automatic timer so your yard is watered at the same time every day. This will help if you’re away. It also helps to keep the ground’s moisture level consistent. 

Allied Reddi-Rooter is Cincinnati’s premier, comprehensive plumbing company. We’re here to help you with all your plumbing needs – from emergency repairs to advice on how to conserve water, and more.  Call or contact the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.

You might already know that Cincinnati consistently ranks high on lists of cities with the cleanest, most healthy tap water in the U.S. But do you know where Cincinnati’s water comes from and how it’s sourced? If not, keep reading. We’ve got the scoop on Cincinnati’s water supply, how it’s filtered, and how it flows from the Ohio River to your home’s faucets. 

Two water plants, one big job 

First, it’s important to know that the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) gets the city’s water from two sources. The Miller Treatment Plant, located in the California area of Cincinnati, is responsible for supplying customers with 88% of drinking water from the Ohio River. 

Additionally, the Bolton Treatment Plant has an aquifer that’s between 150 and 200 feet deep and two miles wide. Known as the Great Miami Aquifer, it contains 12 wells that treat ground water. 

How does Cincinnati keep its waters safe? 

A lot goes into making sure that the city’s water is safe for use. It starts by closely monitoring and testing the water from the Ohio River. In fact, the team at GCWW tests water even before it reaches the plants. 

The GCWW also employs an early warning organic detection system that features 13 monitoring stations along the Ohio River. The system alerts treatment plants downstream about spills so they can take measures to protect the waters once the spill reaches the area. Interesting fact: This system is the first of its type in the U.S.

Isn’t the Ohio River dirty?

On one hand, yes. In fact, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has designated the Ohio River as one of many in the country that is highly susceptible to contamination. Since it is a large body of water that is open to the environment it’s easy for pollution to gather and spread downriver. 

On the other hand, thanks to significant measures taken by the OEPA and GCWW, by the time the water gets to homes, it isn’t just safe – it’s some of the healthiest and cleanest water in the country. 

Another thing to keep in mind: the GCWW is one of only a few treatment plants in the nation that has included granular activated carbon (GAC), recognized as the best available technology for removing the common chemicals found in the Ohio River.

So, the next time you pour a glass of Cincinnati tap water, you can relax knowing that a lot went into making it incredibly safe and clean. Still concerned about your home’s water? Give the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call. Our team can check your faucets and pipes and address any issues quickly and thoroughly. 

 

While most plumbing problems require a professional to fix, it’s still a good idea to have the right tools in your toolbox so you can tackle common issues like a clogged toilet or a leaky faucet yourself – at least until a plumber can make the necessary repairs. 

Take a look at our list below of nine plumbing tools to have at home, Most can be found at your local home improvement store, and some can even be purchased at a grocery or convenience store. 

Plunger
Of course as plumbers we’re going to tell you to have a plunger on hand. But not just one. For tough jobs like clearing out a clogged toilet, you’ll need a flange plunger. The traditional cup plungers are good to have, too, especially for unclogging your sink or tub drain. 

Pliers
We recommend investing in a few pairs of pliers in various sizes, including needle nose pliers. These are excellent for clearing debris from your kitchen and shower drains. Have pairs on hand in the bathroom and kitchen for easy access. 

Duct tape
You never know when you’ll need duct tape – but it’s inevitable that you’ll need it at some point. While you might not think that duct tape (also called duck tape) would be useful for plumbing issues, it can work wonders when wrapped around a pipe to stop a leak until a plumber can get out to fix the problem properly. 

Plumber’s putty
The next time you visit your local home improvement store, pick up a tube of plumber’s putty. When it comes to stopping a leaky pipe, this tends to work better than duct tape, as it’s designed to create a strong, water-resistant seal that will stop the drainage. You can also use putty like you would caulk, around leaking faucets. 

Caulk
Speaking of caulk, this is another excellent product to have in your toolbox to help seal leaking areas. Make sure to also buy a caulk gun, and purchase caulk that will compliment the color of the room and décor. 

Hand auger
We recommend investing in a hand auger if you have an older home with testy, older plumbing or if your home’s plumbing gets a lot of wear (and tear) from constant use. Hand augers can often clear out clogs faster than a plunger can, and they’re great for stubborn clogs in tubs and drains. Toilet augers are also ideal to have on hand as well.  

Adjustable wrench
If you don’t have an adjustable wrench yet, put that at the top of the list, as it can be used everywhere in your home. For plumbing purposes, an adjustable wrench is what you’ll need to properly loosen or tighten bolts. We recommend purchasing a wrench set with several different sizes. 

Basin wrench
This type of wrench is perfect for plumbing repairs that are hard to reach. You can use one to tighten or loosen faucets or drains underneath the sink that are otherwise tough to get to.

Hacksaw
If you’re serious about DIY plumbing, consider buying a hacksaw. These are great for cutting PVC and metal pipes. They’ll also cut through bolts as well. You’ll need to keep the hacksaw in a safe place and it will need to be sharpened between uses. 

Of course, the most important thing to have at the ready when a plumbing emergency strikes is Allied Reddi-Rooter’s emergency number. Give us a call or contact  us when an issue arises. We have all the tools listed above (and a whole lot more) to get the job done right.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs.  You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask questions.

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Nobody wants to hop in the shower, only to realize there’s something wrong with the shower pressure. If it’s too low, you’re apt not to get a steady stream of hot water. And while high water pressure may be harder to detect, it can wreak havoc on your pipes, and cause slow water flow, too. 

Below, we take a look at some common causes of low and high water pressure, and what you can do if it happens in your home.   

Three reasons your water pressure is low  

A faulty pipe. If you’ve got a broken pipe or other issues within your piping system, it can cause low water pressure. Should a pipe problem be the cause, however, it’s important to act fast and call a plumber. Broken pipes can cause water damage to your walls and floors. 

A blocked showerhead. One of the most common reasons for low water pressure in your shower is mineral build-up in your showerhead. This is particularly common if your showerhead is older and needs replaced, or if your home has hard water. 

We recommend removing the showerhead and cleaning it thoroughly with a toothbrush and a solution of two parts water, one part vinegar. You could also simply replace the showerhead. This is also another reason why investing in a home water softener is a good idea.    

Closed control valve. If the water pressure is low throughout the house, check the main water shut-off valve. If it’s closed, or even partially closed, it could be preventing water from flowing fully in the home. This is an easy fix – all you’ll need to do is turn the control valve to reopen it. 

Two reasons your water pressure is high 

Usually if your water pressure is higher than it should be, the cause is a faulty pressure regulator device. Its range should be between 45-60 psi. If it is higher than that, you’ll need to contact a plumber who can replace the device or repair it. 

High water pressure in your home can also indicate an issue with the municipal water supply. If you live in an area with large buildings, the city may have set the pressure too high to accommodate the water needs of the area. 

Here’s how you can tell if your water pressure is too high

Your showers run cold… quickly. If you race to take a shower before the hot water runs out, you may have high water pressure. Ideally, you should be able to take a shower that lasts at least ten minutes. If it takes just a few minutes before there’s no more hot water, it’s time to call a plumber. 

Your water bill gives you sticker shock.  Did your monthly water bill suddenly reach the triple digits? If so, contact the water department immediately. They can check the water pressure in your area to make sure it hasn’t been set too high. 

You hear banging in your pipes. We know there are other reasons why your pipes can make noises. For example, older pipes can rattle. However, if yours are suddenly rattling and your appliances that use water are making funny noises, too, it could be a sign that you have high water pressure. 

Water pressure issues require help from a plumbing professional. If your water has reduced to a trickle, give our team a call or contact  us. Allied Reddi-Rooter can address the issue and make the repair quickly.     We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs.  You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask us a question.

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Has this ever happened to you? You’re looking forward to a nice, relaxing shower and just as you step in you smell something unpleasant. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. An off smelling shower isn’t uncommon and a good reason to call a plumber. 

Below are four common culprits that cause a foul-smelling shower, and what you can do about it. 

A clogged drain
If your shower smells bad, a clogged drain just might be to blame. Everything from hair to soap scum buildup can cause a blocked drain, as can water from leaks that pool under the house. As the water causes decay, you’re apt to smell it in areas like the shower and bath. 

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If multiple people use the shower, there’s a greater chance the drain will clog. This is why we recommend cleaning your shower and tub area on a regular basis. It’s also important to clean the drain itself and use a mesh filter to catch things like hair and other debris.  

A leaky pipe
Your bathroom should smell like fresh rain, not rotting eggs. If you detect a sulfur-like aroma in or around your shower, you could have a leaky pipe. If your home is older (hence, older plumbing and pipes) check to make sure that you don’t have corrosion in your pipes, bad faucet joints or a valve that needs to be replaced. 

Usually, this is a problem that requires a professional plumber who can get to the source of the issue quickly, then repair or replace the pipe section that’s corroded or broken. 

Common causes of rust-colored water in your home

Film buildup
Another common reason for a bad smelling shower is film buildup in the drain. Also known as biofilm, this is the slimy substance that you find inside the drain when you clean it. 

Usually, biofilm is a combination of old soap scum, hair and other debris, which can stick to pipes and prevent water from draining properly. In turn, water can pool and eventually rot, which will result in a foul-smelling shower and bath. 

So, what can you do to avoid this conundrum? You can start by cleaning the drain with a product that includes enzymes that can break down the scum. If you aren’t already, set a day every week to deep clean the bath and shower.   

A faulty p-trap
Smell sewage in the shower area? You’ll need to check to make sure the shower p-trap is working properly. The p-trap is a small extra component to the drain system that prevents sewer gases from backing up into your plumbing. Sometimes, these need to be cleaned or replaced. 

You can clean your shower p-trap with an old rag. Be sure to clean out any debris that you find. Then, flush it out by running cold water through it to make sure you’ve completely cleaned out the trap.

Worried about the smell in your bathroom? Call or contact  the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter. We can diagnose and fix the issue in no time.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs. You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask us a question.

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So, you’ve turned on your bathroom faucet only to find that your once crystal-clear water has turned rust colored. Or maybe standing water in your sink turns yellow or rust colored the longer it sits. Both scenarios are common, but the causes are varied. 

Whatever the reason is for seeing rust colored water, it always means it’s time to call the plumber. While iron debris in your water supply may not reach harmful levels, it can taste and smell unpleasant. And extremely high levels of rust in water can lead to iron poisoning, so it’s best to address the issue quickly to keep you and your family healthy.

 

Common causes of rust colored water 

Your pipes
The more your home’s faucets get turned on and off, the more it causes pressure inside the pipes. Eventually, all that pressure can cause rust to separate from older, corroded pipes that in turn will get into the water supply that connects to your home’s sinks, bathtubs and showers. Often, if you notice rust colored water coming from one faucet, you’ll eventually see it in other faucets as well. 

Worn porcelain enamel
If your steel water heater is ten years or older, there is a good chance that your rusty water is from worn porcelain enamel lines. Over time, the enamel can wear thin and eventually cause the steel to corrode. The enamel residue will then collect at the bottom of the water heater before making its way through the water. Rust sediment is one of the biggest reasons to have your water heater inspected and maintained once a year. 

Corroded anode rod
The anode rod protects the steel lining in your water heater. Made from aluminum, zinc or magnesium, it can break down and corrode over time. Not only will this cause rust colored water, but once the anode rod starts to break down, it can no longer do an efficient job. A plumber can inspect your water heater and replace the anode rod if needed. In fact, we recommend replacing the anode rod on a regular basis. 

Contaminated well water
If your home’s water comes from a well, it’s very important to clean the well on a regular basis. If you don’t, you risk rusty water from iron bacteria. While ferric iron often causes water to take on a rusty tinge, ferrous iron can cause standing water to turn brown or yellow. Iron bacteria can cause slime on the walls of the well that can get into the water supply. 

Removing rust stains naturally
Ask Martha Stewart of course! Check this article out on natural cleaning solutions to get back at those tough rust stains around your home.

Beyond the temporary solution of cleaning the stains, and if you see stains reaoccuring, it’s time to call the plumber. Allied Reddi-Rooter has helped countless Cincinnati homeowners troubleshoot their rusty water problems and can help you too.  Give the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call or Contact us. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask us a question.

Let’s face it: very few people enjoy taking cold showers, no matter how hot it is outside. A nice warm shower is something to look forward to, so when you step under the water only to discover it’s freezing cold, it’s a problem you’ll want to solve as soon as you can. 

Below are five reasons why your hot water has suddenly gone cold. 

The water heater’s temperature is set low. This is an easy fix. Simply check the temperature gauge and make sure it is set to 120 degrees. If it isn’t, turn it up and see if that did that trick. If it didn’t keep reading! 

You have a faulty water heater. To see if this is the issue, start by testing the water coming from your home’s water fixtures. If you aren’t getting hot water from any of them, you’ll need to take an even closer look at the water heater. A blown fuse can cause your water to run cold, as can sediment build up in the heater’s tank. 

A plumbing professional can examine your water heater and make the necessary repairs. However, to avoid this problem all together, it’s best to schedule regular maintenance for your water heater. 

The anti-scald device is on. Another easy fix would be to turn off your faucet or showerhead’s anti-scald device. First, check to see if hot water is flowing from your faucets. If it is, then check to see if your showerhead or faucet for the bathtub has an anti-scalding feature that limits how much you can turn the handle to make the water warmer. 

To fix this issue, simply remove the handle on the faucet or unscrew the showerhead and find the anti-scalding device. Then, turn it off or reset it to make the water hotter. 

The shower valve has broken. Sometimes a faulty shower valve can cause your shower’s water to run cold. If your bathroom plumbing is older, you’ll want to check to see if the valve has been worn down or even broken. 

This can be a particularly tricky DIY endeavor, which is why we recommend having a professional plumber take a look and make the necessary repairs. 

You’re at capacity. If you share a home with others, you probably know all too well what happens when you’re the last person in line to take a shower. If you’re tired of lukewarm shower water, it may be time to get a larger water heater that can accommodate the needs of everyone in your household. 

Don’t let a cold shower ruin your day. Instead, give the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call or Contact us. We have been helping Cincinnati homeowners get to the source of those freezing showers and can help fix yours, too. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask us a question.