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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
We all know that with colder weather comes potential plumbing issues. But did you know that heat can lead to plumbing problems, too? Leaks, cracks and damage from UV rays are just a few home plumbing issues that can arise during the summer months.
Take a look below at four of the most common heat related plumbing problems and learn what steps to take if you suspect the warmer weather is damaging your plumbing, too.
If the Cincinnati area goes without much rain for a long period of time, it can cause the ground to dry up. Eventually, this can lead to leaks in your plumbing, especially if the house settles. Often, it is the sewer main that will be damaged, and that can lead to a pretty significant repair.
Additionally, summertime thunderstorms can damage copper pipes if any areas near the home get hit by lightning. While this may seem farfetched, it really does happen. Here’s why: metal attracts electricity, so it stands to reason that any copper piping is fair game for lightning strikes.
The sun is powerful, and its UV rays can damage your plumbing. That’s why we recommend your exposed pipes be covered with insulation, especially if they are outside. Additionally, you’ll want to store your hoses in a protected area away and out of the sun to keep them from cracking and warping from UV rays.
Similar to summertime plumbing leaks, cracks in your roof and walls and happen for a variety of reasons in the summer. Inclement weather, like thunderstorms, can damage the house, and UV rays can cause cracks that lead to water being able to penetrate the home. This kind of damage can be extensive, and it’s important to repair any cracks in walls and ceilings as soon as they are noticed.
So, how do you know if the hot summer sun is wreaking havoc on your home’s plumbing? The best way is to perform checks for leaks and cracks on the regular, especially after a bad storm.
You could also Contact the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter. We can perform a thorough inspection and make sure your home’s plumbing is ready for the summer ahead. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.
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:
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.
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.
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 (513-396-5300) 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. Call or Contact us for all your plumbing needs. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.
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!
Call or Contact the plumbing experts of Allied Reddi-Rooter, at 513-396-5300. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.
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.
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.
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 or Contact us. 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. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.
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.
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.
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.
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. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.