Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Q&A with Ray – Top Questions This Week

Q: I have a gas fireplace and I’m picking up the smell of gas in the firebox. I suspect a leaky valve. Should I call a fireplace company?

A: You can, but a reputable fireplace or chimney company will recommend that you call a plumber. Why? Well, it’s all about professional boundaries and training. Plumbers are trained to install and repair gas lines; fireplace and chimney companies…not so much. At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we can inspect and repair any gas line in your home quickly and professionally. We do not, however, install or repair fireplaces (or furnaces).

Q: While cleaning out my late father’s tools, I found a small, heavy, hand-held device that resembles this: What is it?

A: It’s a lifesaver!!! Seriously, it’s a small drain auger (a.k.a., a snake), useful for clearing minor clogs in the toilet. Tip: Yours has likely been in a clogged toilet once or twice, so handle it appropriately. Store the auger in a place where it won’t come into contact with things you like to keep clean, such as your hands, other tools, clothes, etc. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling. If this device doesn’t clear your clog (or you would rather not attempt it), call my team at Allied. We’ll clear your clog and have your toilet flowing cleanly in a snap.

Q: The rubber gasket on my garbage disposal is coated with greasy, chunky, smelly food crud. It’s horrible. Should I replace it?

A: The technical terms for these gaskets include “quiet collar” or “splash baffle.” Yes, you can replace them – Amazon has replacements available for under $15 that feature an anti-microbial treatment. If yours is simply grimy and not torn or cracked, we recommend that you save your money and clean the baffle on a regular basis, such as once a month. With care, garbage disposal baffles last for years.

How to Clean (rubber gloves and an old toothbrush are useful):
· Remove the baffle from the drain (pull it up, it should easily pop out).
· Apply a generous amount of grease-cutting dish soap to the baffle.
· Work the old toothbrush into the baffle nooks and crannies, removing the food crud.
· Rinse frequently under hot water (don’t burn yourself) and repeat the scrubbing process until the baffle is clean and fresh.
· Replace the baffle snuggly into the sink drain; ensure the baffle is properly seated in the hole before engaging the disposer.

Q: My spouse and I are shopping for a new toilet this weekend. If we buy one elsewhere, will you install it for us?

A: Absolutely! Allied gladly offers “labor-only” assistance. If you find that perfect lavatory, vanity, kitchen sink, toilet, or other plumbing item, we will be happy to install it for you (note that if additional materials are required, such as piping, gaskets, etc., we can supply those for a fee).

Water You Waiting For? Our web site features discount coupons for money-saving dollars-off. Visit: To schedule an appointment or receive a free estimate over the telephone, Call 513-396-5300 or Contact us for a free estimate. We’ve been helping Cincinnati homeowners with their plumbing needs for decades and can help with yours, too.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.