If you think your pets can’t cause plumbing problems, think again. All it takes is a little too much pet hair in the drain or a hole dug a bit too deep by the pup to warrant a visit from the plumber. Luckily, pets and plumbing can get along just fine, as long as you take a few protective measures. 

Here’s 5 things you should know about pets and plumbing. 

Never flush cat litter. No kitty litter is safe to flush down the toilet. We can’t say this enough. While newer cat litters say they’re flushable, it is never advisable to dispose of it in the toilet. This is an especially important rule to follow if your live in a home with older plumbing. Kitty litter will clog the pipes and create a backup that’s particularly difficult to fix yourself. 

Always close the toilet lid. This is another important thing to remember and a habit you’ll want to master if you have pets. The chemicals used to clean toilets are acidic and toxic to pets. If you have a chemical drain cleaner in your toilet, please keep the lid closed. To help deter your pet from drinking out of the toilet, always make sure that they have plenty of fresh water on hand. And should you see any signs that your pet has ingested something toxic (vomiting, seizures, lethargy, for example) take them to the vet right away. 

Watch where dogs dig. If your pup’s favorite hobby is digging holes deep enough to reach China, you’ll want to limit their digging or give them a better way to occupy their time. The reason you don’t want them digging in the yard is because your sewer lines could be closer to the surface than you think. In fact, sometimes they’re just a foot or so below the ground. Should your dog damage the sewer line, that can be an extensive (and expensive) repair. 

Brush them frequently. It may seem like odd advice coming from a plumber, but we recommend brushing your pet’s coat regularly and for good reason: the more your cat or dog sheds, the more likely that excess hair will end up in the drain. Eventually, it can lead to a clogged drain that requires a visit from the plumber. 

Don’t bathe them in the tub. Ditto for the sink if you’ve got a little one. This goes with the point above about pet hair in drains. Instead, give them a good cleaning outside if it’s warm enough (and they’re comfortable with the hose), take them to a professional groomer, or take advantage of a pet store with a pet washing station.  

If Fido does wreak havoc on your plumbing, give us a call. Allied Reddi-Rooter has been helping Cincinnati home and pet owners for decades and we are here to help you with yours, too. 

If you are a restaurant owner, you know how critical it is to have an excellent plumbing system that can go the distance. Restaurant drains, pipes, and faucets work overtime, and when they need repaired, it simply can’t wait – business (not to mention hungry diners) depends on it. To emphasize, you need Cincinnati’s full-service restaurant plumber.  

Restaurant owners in Cincinnati know they can trust Allied Reddi-Rooter with all of their plumbing needs. And we do mean all of them. Take a look at our top plumbing services for restaurants below Learn more in our Restaurant Plumbing pages

Grease trap cleaning and repair
It’s essential for restaurants to have their grease trap and tank serviced regularly so fats, oils and grease don’t clog the pipes, which can lead to a serious problem (and a potentially costly repair). That’s why Allied Reddi-Rooter offers grease trap cleaning for restaurants, dining facilities, and anywhere else there’s a working commercial kitchen. 

When we clean your grease traps, we not only scrape build up from the trap, we also perform an extensive inspection to ensure every aspect of your grease trap is working properly. We also update the service log, so you stay in good status with the health department. 

Backflow repair
If you suspect that the water is dirty (anywhere in your restaurant) it’s important to contact a plumbing professional. Allied Reddi-Rooter offers backflow cleaning to make sure there’s no water returning to your pipes which can lead to an unsanitary situation. We can also replace your backflow preventer; a mechanical valve that prevents backflow in the first place. 

Faucet repair
Think about it: restaurant faucets have a big job to do. Not only are they used throughout service in the kitchen to cook food and clean dishes, but they’re used at the bars, service stations, and in the bathrooms. These specialized faucets require equally specialized, professional care on a regular basis. 

We recommend having your restaurant plumbing’s faucet system inspected at least once a year, and in the event that one should need immediate repair, we offer emergency service to keep your business running smoothly. 

Drain cleaning
Restaurant drains to triple duty. Not only must they support sinks, dishwashers, and appliances, but they are in constant use, and should they clog, it can wreak serous havoc on your business, especially during a busy time. 

We recommend having your drains serviced on a regular basis. At that time, we can inspect the pipes, sinks, and make any necessary repairs. Additionally, we encourage restaurant owners to take advantage of our high-definition drain and sewer line cameras to inspect your building’s plumbing. Learn more.

Sewer line inspection
Restaurants generate a lot of solid waste – from food to grease to wastewater. That’s why the sewer line needs to be maintained by a plumbing professional who can ensure that the line is working properly so that it doesn’t affect your business (as well as others in the building). 

Allied Reddi-Rooter is proud to offer restaurant sewer line video inspection, considered the gold standard when it comes to sewer line assessment. 

Gas line inspection 
When you have an issue with your gas line it’s imperative to get it repaired immediately. Waiting to take care of it isn’t just expensive, it can be downright dangerous.  Learn more.

We’re experts when it comes to every aspect of restaurant gas line systems. Give us a call to inspect and service yours. 

Allied Reddi-Rooter has been serving Cincinnati restaurants for all of their plumbing needs for more than seven decades. No matter what plumbing problem arises at your restaurant, we have the solution.

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.  

It may be tempting to put off taking care of a plumbing problem, but you shouldn’t. Waiting will only make the plumbing issue worse. Not only can it damage other parts of your home – like your floor and walls – but it will be more expensive to fix the problem later.  

Cincinnati plumbers are considered essential during the coronavirus. That’s because it’s imperative to address plumbing concerns as soon as they arise. Our plumbers are following strict safety guidelines during this difficult time, so don’t put off giving us a call to take care of that small leak that could lead to big problems down the road. 

Not convinced? Here are five reasons you shouldn’t wait to call the plumber: 

A leaky faucet will drain your pocketbook 

If you’re seeing and hearing drips from your faucet long after you’ve turned off the water, it’s time to call the plumber. Even one small drip can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water a year – and that really adds up! If you’ve noticed a higher-than-normal water bill, take a look at your faucets and if you detect a leak, give us a call. 

DIY won’t work 

Tape around a leaking showerhead. Constant use of an over-the-counter drain opener. These solutions may work in the short term but they won’t go the distance. Worse, you could actually do more damage to the problem at hand. Save yourself money and time by getting your plumbing issues fixed by a professional when they arise. 

Slow drains are unhealthy 

We’re all thinking about our health a lot these days, and more specifically about… germs. Of course you can’t catch coronavirus from water, but a slow drain that lets water pool can invite bacteria and cause an unhealthy situation for you and your family. The slow drain could also be caused by a blockage in your sewer line, and that needs to be repaired by a plumber ASAP. 

Water damage is costly 

Leaking pipes can do major damage to your home. As soon as you spot water underneath an exposed pipe, make sure you get it repaired quickly. If you spot any water stains on your wall, in your ceiling, or on the floor, that could be a sign of a leaking or burst pipe, which will cause extensive damage if it isn’t fixed by a plumber immediately. If you wait too long to repair a burst pipe, your home could suffer pretty serious damage. 

Water heaters can stop working 

Jangly, clanging water heaters are more than annoying – they’re also quite possibly signs that your water heater is in need of a repair. Contrary to popular belief, calcium build up in the water tank isn’t the only reason water heaters can get loud. Mineral deposits can lead to dangerous pressure levels, and when this happens, you’ll hear a louder than normal water heater before it simply stops working. 

In need of a plumbing repair? Give us a call. Allied Reddi-Rooter is happy to serve the Cincinnati community for its all plumbing needs during this time. 

When it comes to your home’s plumbing, it’s important to know how to complete some simple tasks that will saving you time and money in the future. It’s also a good idea to have a solid understanding of how your home’s plumbing works and where important things like your water and sewer lines are located. 

From knowing how to change a shower head (it’s easy!), to testing your home’s water supply, having a few plumbing tricks under your belt is a smart idea. Below are seven ways you can keep your home’s plumbing in top shape.  (more…)

Your bathroom can be a precarious place, and yet, it’s one of the hardest working rooms in your home (just ask the plumber!). Bathroom safety is paramount for everyone in the family – from toddlers to seniors. With just a little effort and time, you can create a bathroom that helps everyone stay injury free. In fact, some of our tips below don’t require any shopping or tools at all – just a little awareness. 

Here’s our top ten suggestions to keep your bathroom safe: 

Secure the floor rugs and mats. Wet, slippery bathroom floors are the number one cause of injury in the bathroom. Make sure your throw rugs are held down securely with waterproof, double-faced tape. 

Keep it well-lit. Another source of injury in the bathroom occurs at night, when we make a bathroom run half-asleep and try to find our way around in the dark. Instead, install a nightlight so you can see your way around. If you’re worried you’ll forget to turn it on, get one with a timer to turn on and off automatically. 

Make sure medications are stored in childproof containers. If you’ve got small children, do a check of the medicine cabinet to make sure every item is secure and can’t be opened easily by tiny hands. That includes cosmetics, deodorant, and over-the-counter medicine as well. 

Install non-slip strips or a non-slip mat in the bathtub. Make sure the strips or the mat is secure, and replace these often, as they’re subject to wear-and-tear quickly. 

Keep the tub and shower mold free. It’s easy for your bathtub to get slippery thanks to mold and soap scum, too. To combat this, keep a spray bottle of a non-toxic, mild cleaning solution within easy access so after you shower or take a bath you can wipe down and dry the tub. 

Install bars in the shower and by the toilet. This is especially important for seniors or those who have a disability that affects balance. Of course, if you don’t feel the need to install bars, at least make sure that in your shower and around the toilet, you have something secure to hold on to in case you slip.  

Eliminate shock risk. Never use appliances like hair dryers near standing water and make sure to unplug  appliances when they aren’t in use. Additionally, make sure the sockets have ground fault circuit interrupters and always cover sockets that aren’t in use. 

Install a toilet seat extender. These are important for people who have mobility concerns or have difficulty sitting and standing up easily. You can find toilet seat extenders at your local home improvement store. They’re good to have on hand in the event that you or a family member have temporary mobility challenges, too. 

Use a weighted shower curtain. This helps keep water from leaking onto the floor during a shower. Don’t like the look? You can always double up your curtains and put the fancy one in front of the weighted curtain. In fact, two curtains are better than one when it comes to keeping the floors free from water. 

Never let standing water sit. Always drain the tub and sink immediately after using them. This is especially critical if you have toddlers (in fact, if you do, keep the toilet seat covered, too). Standing water can also lead to plumbing issues and can even attract insects.  

Relax. Injuries at home tend to happen when we aren’t paying attention. Instead, take your time in the bathroom. Step in and out of the shower mindfully, and look around before you leave to make sure the floors are dry, water has been drained, and appliances have been unplugged. 

On our morning commute, the morning radio show host mentioned this year we are having a “hot Fall.” Plumbers love that! These unseasonably warm weekends are perfect for outdoor plumbing winterization activities. Plumbing is especially susceptible to cold weather and freezing and burst pipes can cause $$$$ in water damage. Below are a few preventative tips that we like to share at this time of year.

Outdoor Plumbing Preparations
• Exterior faucets – If you are ready to stop turning your exterior water faucets on and off each spring and fall, consider installing a frost-proof faucet.
• Ultra low maintenance and your exterior faucets can be used at any time of the year.
• Cons: Frost proof faucets cost a little more, we’ve yet to find anyone who isn’t happy with their frost-proof faucet investment.

For non-frost-proof faucets, winterize them by turning off the exterior faucet water supply. Drain the faucet by opening the outside valve (i.e., turn the water faucet on until no more water comes out). Additionally, consider an insulated Styrofoam cover for the faucet – they are inexpensive. Lastly, disconnect the garden hoses and store them in the garage or basement for the winter.
• Sprinkler Systems – Purge the system by shutting off the water supply and forcing compressed air through the sprinkler lines to remove excess water and prevent lines from freezing and bursting.
• Water Features (garden ponds, fountains) – -drain them, unplug the pump(s) and cover them for winter.

Inside – Insulation Matters
• Insulate exposed water or drain pipes in crawlspaces, attics, outside walls, etc., to prevent freezing and bursting.
• Consider an insulating blanket for your hot water tank. This simple approach can reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain hot water temperatures.
• Wall outlets are notorious for cold air leaks. Insulate all outlets (exterior and interior) with inexpensive foam gaskets.

Water You Waiting For? The first freeze may be a few weeks away; it’s helpful to lay winterizing plans and make arrangements with plumbers and heating/cooling specialists now. Allied Reddi-Rooter’s trained professionals are at the ready to assist with your winterizing needs. Whether your winterizing needs are for your year-’round home or vacation home, we can assist with your exterior and interior plumbing needs. Call today: 513-396-5300.

Why do people call a plumber?  At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we like to think it’s because we’re among the best plumbers in town. We enjoy that people trust us with ensuring the safety of their drinking water and sanitary situations.  Deep down, however, we know home and business owners usually call because the job is dirty. The job is big and/or overwhelming. The job takes time, skills, and tools beyond what the caller can provide.   In plumbing, that’s pretty much how it works.

This week, we’d like to share our favorite links to online plumbing forums.   These forums are both entertaining and informative – how many times have we all wondered if toilets should flush and fill at the same speed?  Frankly, it’s heartwarming to know that other people have water simultaneously flowing from the tub spout and shower head.

Plumbing forums a good way to quickly research a problem and gain insight into a situation before (or instead of) hiring a plumber.  It’s good to be informed.

Typically, the forums are moderated and managed by a credible plumbing expert.  Users post plumbing questions to the forum and await replies/advice from the forum members.  Answers range from vague-to-detailed, depending on the skills and knowledge of those who take the time to reply.

Below are links to our favorite forums:
This Old House/Plumbing (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/plumbing/)  – When it comes to plumbing TV personalities, TOH’s Richard Trethewy is The. Best.  Known to at least 3 generations of DIY-ers, Richard is professional, polished, and always offers sound approaches to plumbing needs.    This structured forum is exceptional – it’s well-written, easy to navigate, and includes how-to videos for common plumbing problems.

Plumbing Forums (http://www.plumbingforums.com/forum/) – This is precisely with it advertises:  a bulletin board of plumbing Q-and-A, sorted by category:
• General plumbing help – by far the most popular category with 18,467 posts)
• Drain and Sewer Cleaning
• Plumbing Tools and Equipment
• Plumbing Codes (with a paltry 699 posts…code, schmode)
• The Family Handyman’s Plumbing Forum (http://community.familyhandyman.com/tfh_forums/f/20.aspx) – The Family Handyman has multiple forums (Bath & Kitchen, Flooring & Tile, etc.), but we like their plumbing forum a great deal.  Readers offer troubleshooting tips and good suggestions on when it’s appropriate to call a professional.
• Terry Love’s Plumbing Forum (http://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?forums/plumbing-forum-professional-diy-advice.6/)  – Terry Love is based near Seattle and appears to be on the leading edge of internet plumbing.  His online approach is definitely interesting and appears technically sound.

Water You Waiting For?  If, after researching your plumbing concern,  you find that a professional may be needed, call Allied Reddi-Rooter (513.396.5300).  Ray’s team of professionally-trained plumbers are available 24/7 throughout the Greater Cincinnati and Dayton area.

Continuing our home improvement theme, 2015 has a some exciting developments in for kitchens. In our home, the kitchen is used and abused by kids, dogs, and adults. It’s a vicious cycle of foot traffic, heads-in-the-fridge, and dishes-in-the-sink. Frankly, things are beginning to look worn. On the bright side, a kitchen facelift is fairly easy, budget-friendly, and pays off immediately.

Faucet finishes and styles – Chrome is keen and pull-out sprayers rule 
for the kitchen, few things beat the clean, traditional appearance of chrome. Other finishes are readily available, but chrome is timelessly attractive and easy to clean. To keep your chrome faucet looking brilliant, simply wipe with a damp cloth, never use an abrasive cleanser or scouring pad. If your house has small children (including kids that like to climb), we recommend a cast-brass, chrome-plated kitchen faucet – they provide sturdy foundations for little ones. Although cast brass is a little more expensive, it’s well worth it in the long run.

The dish sprayer attachment – It’s long been a long been a staple in the kitchen sink. The ever-increasing popularity of the pull-out sprayer that’s integrated with the faucet is an elegant way to unclutter the sink area. And, it looks good, too.

Sinks and backsplashes 
glass tile backsplashes – They continue to be a hit with homeowners. We agree – the sheets of glass mosaic tiles available at the big box retailers are a simple way to transform kitchen backsplashes without breaking the bank.

Stainless steel sinks – Long the mainstay of kitchens across America, will continue to be popular. The vintage-modern trend popularized on Pinterest, however, is also a strong contender. Look for porcelain farm sinks to be a major design element in remodels and new construction.

Is there a list available?
 Funny you should ask! According to Veterans United Real Estate, the “New Home Report 2015” provides a handy listing of the kitchen do’s and don’ts:

Very Likely Kitchen Features
• Double sink
• Recessed lighting
• Table space for eating
• Breakfast bar
• Pull-out drawers

Somewhat Likely Kitchen Features
• Central island
• Walk-in pantry
• Recycling center
• Desk/computer area
• Granite countertop
• Laminate countertop

Unlikely Kitchen Features
• Small appliance storage area
• Hot water dispenser
• Butler’s pantry
• Wine cooler
• Fireplace
• Trash compactor

Water You Waiting For? If a kitchen remodeling project is your plans for 2015 and Pinterest has given you lots of ideas, call Ray at Allied Reddi-Rooter for help developing a budget, a work plan, and design ideas. 513-396-5300.

This week, we returned Mom to her snowbird spot in Florida. Upon getting settled in, we found plumbing problems at nearly every turn – two leaky toilet tanks, one clogged hot water line, and one leaky kitchen faucet. Only the washer hoses haven’t broken…yet. Good thing we had a plumber on hand to help Mom out.

Looking back at our fix-it handiwork 8 hours later, we started thinking about the most common plumbing problems. With a little help from the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Information Bureau, we came up with a list:

Improper new faucet installation. Installing a new lavatory or kitchen faucet seems like an easy job, right? Usually, that’s true. Faucet replacements are one of the most common DIY plumbing jobs. But even the most savvy homeowner can run into trouble with faucets.

Clogged drains – In the big list, clogged drains are the second most common plumbing problem. This is also the most easily preventable plumbing problem – help your drains flow by pouring boiling water down them weekly. Never let fats, waxes, or food chunks go down the drain. Fats and waxes will solidify and chunky stuff will create blockages.

Dripping/leaking faucets – As mentioned above, vaucets can be a challenge. Whether it’s a leak around the stem, a constant drip-drip-drip, or an aerator that fills up with stuff we don’t even want to know about, malfunctioning faucets are one of the big reasons people call a plumber.

Malfunctioning garbage disposals – Sometimes, the fix is as simple as pressing the ‘reset’ button on the disposal motor. Other times, the cogs require a hefty push with a broom handle to get them un-jammed. Unless someone’s been dropping silverware or small juice glasses down the drain, disposals are a pretty sturdy device. Keep them in good working order by running copious amounts of cold water during the disposal process and occasionally grinding up lemon and orange peels.

Burst or leaky pipes – We’ve written previously about the amount of damage burst pipes can do. It’s good practice to regularly check under sinks, around fittings, and in basements to spot leaks as early as possible.

Lack of hot water – Is there anything worse than waking up to an unexpected cold shower? The problem can be as easy as a tripped circuit breaker (contact an electrician if this happens frequently) or it could mean the hot water heater has failed completely (see next item on the list).

Failing or leaking water heaters – When a water heater decides to spring a leak, it’s a BIG leak – usually 40-50 gallons. Today, almost all newly installed water heaters have a ‘leak pan’ underneath, with an outlet that connects to a floor drain. If your water heater is more than 8 years old or is sitting directly on the floor, consider upgrading to the modern approach.

Leaking toilets/Running toilets – A leaky toilet can add $$ your annual water bill. Typically, the problem is somewhere in the ‘guts’ that live in the toilet tank…the flapper, the ball cock, etc.

Water You Waiting For? At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we’re on hand 24/7 to resolve any of the problems above or to assist with non-emergency plumbing needs, such as a bathroom or kitchen remode. Or, cleaning grease traps for our business customers. Give Ray a call today for a free estimate. 513-396-5300.