Your home may have cast iron piping that is corroded and outdated, especially if you live in a building that was built before 2000. Take a look at the plumbing if you’re having trouble, because any home older than twenty or thirty years will definitely need to have their old cast iron piping replaced. Here is everything you need to know and how you can tell it is time for new piping.
Signs Your Cast Iron Piping Needs Updating
Sometimes, depending on the condition, you might not need to swap out your cast iron piping for PVC or other options. After all, cast iron piping can last for up to 80-100 years, depending on the water. Always have a professional plumber inspect the home before making your decision. A professional plumber can give you definite information about the piping’s performance.
When running your water, do you occasionally see brown or yellow colored water? If you live in a suburban or urban area, discolored water is often a sign of corrosion, rust, and vulnerability. If you see discoloration, you need replacement pipes.
3. Slow draining
If you often experience slow draining or backups, it may be indicating a problem with the cast iron pipes. Don’t use any cleaning products that contains sulfuric acid, as this can damage the pipes and make matters worse.
If you smell sewer gas or other noxious fumes, don’t rule out a crack in the cast iron pipes. Call a plumber to have them investigate.
Cracked and corroded cast iron piping creates the perfect environment for mold to grow in the basement.
Finding puddles is most definitely a sign of corroded pipes. 99% of time, the leak is stemming right from the pipe it is under.
While cracks may certainly form in the pipes, cracks in the foundation of your home may also be a sign of an undetected plumbing problem. Spotting cracks around the base of your residence, along with other signs of piping problems, shouldn’t be ignored.
Replacing Cast Iron Piping
Whether you are looking to modernize your home with new cast iron or want to swap to PVC, replacing old cast iron plumbing is actually quite simple. Have a professional plumber either add new branches and section as needed or use stainless steel no-hub clamps that help form leak-proof connections between cast iron piping and PVC ones. Unless you spot a problem, like corrosion, there’s no need for a complete overhaul.
If you have spotted signs of corroded cast iron piping in your home, you shouldn’t wait to replace the worn down pieces immediately. Cast iron piping is built to last a lifetime, but sometimes it can erode and age rapidly depending on the conditions of the soil and the water running through. Be sure to have your pipes inspected regularly to tackle any issues before they become a much larger problem.
Whether there’s a soft whistling or an ear-piercing shriek coming from the toilet as it refills, the sound can certainly cause alarm. Indeed, the sound means that there’s a problem that needs repair. Here’s the reason why the toilet whistles after flushing and how to correct it:
The Cause of the Whistling Toilet
The toilet whistling is associated with the toilet fill valve. The fill valve has a float that rises and falls with the water level, regulating the water entering the tank after a flush. When the float drops low, the valve opens to let the tank refill. Once the water reaches the ideal level, the valve shuts tightly, preventing water from overflowing the tank.
However, as fill valves age, the bits and pieces holding it together will start to deteriorate, resulting in the whistling or hissing sound. If the toilet has a metal ballcock valve, the vibrates caused by wear and tear or a faulty gasket can also be to blame. Whistling is usually the beginning of the problem. The louder the noise gets, the closer the fill valve is getting to complete failure.
When that happens, you might have a flood to contend with.
How to Fix a Whistling Toilet
Fixing the noisy problem can be done by either replacing the gasket in the fill value or replacing the whole valve. Since most modern valves are made out of plastic, replacement doesn’t come with an outrageous price tag. Installation, too, is simple—unscrew the valve from the tank, replace it with the new one, and ta-da, the problem is solved!
Don’t Ignore the Problem
You might have put off repairing the whistling toilet, but you shouldn’t. The noise is annoying enough, but if the fill valve isn’t fixed, you’ll be using more water than necessary. In short, you’ll suffer from higher utility bills.
Now that you know why the toilet whistles after flushing, you can fix the problem. Because replacing a whistling fill valve isn’t particularly difficult, it is one of the jobs you can do without relying on a professional plumber. However, like all matters of plumbing, if you’re unsure about how to repair or replace the gasket, it is best to call a trustworthy plumber to help.
Ever hear of things like “putting eggshells down the garburator” or “a brick in the toilet tank?” Such plumbing myths might seem like a good idea at first, but all the misinformation floating around on the internet and other sources can be downright costly. In order to keep pipes and drains working as they should, while preventing expensive mistakes and repairs, here are several of the biggest plumbing myths you should avoid:
While garburators and toilets are some of the most formidable plumbing components in a building, they are designed with a specific function in mind. Therefore, anything beyond that function can be damaging to the system. Take your garburator, for example—anything greasy, oily, or fatty can coat the pipes and congest the blades, making for a terribly difficult repair. Furthermore, coffee grounds, bones, eggshells, celery, potato skins, are not meant to be chopped up by the garburator unless you want dulled blades and clogged pipes.
Also, you might have heard a myth that lemon peels can clean and make the garbage disposal smell better. Lemon peels will actually get stuck in the pipes. Use white vinegar to reduce smells and clean your pipes instead.
Leaky faucets aren’t a big deal
Wrong! A slow drip from that faucet is more than just a mild annoyance, it’s wasting money and resources. Additionally, what seems like a small leak is an invitation for all sorts of problems, like mould, rust, rot, and so on. Don’t let leaking continuing, especially if you can fix it yourself. Otherwise, call a plumber immediately to have the problem taken care of.
Preventative maintenance is a waste of time
Obviously, this is a common misconception. Even though your pipes might be flowing smoothly right now, it doesn’t mean a problem is building up. Routine maintenance done by you and a residential plumber can prevent any catastrophic issues from arising. Stay vigilant and handle any leaks, weird sounds, smells, or drops in water pressure accordingly.
Water heaters can’t explode
Though there’s a temperature pressure and relief valve built into water heaters to prevent such an unwanted scenario, it doesn’t mean that explosions won’t happen. The usual reason water heaters explode is due to neglect and damage to T&P valve. If you don’t know how to maintain or repair your water heater valve, have a plumber do it.
You don’t need to call a plumber
False. Just because maintenance is DIY doesn’t mean fixing a sink leak or putting in a toilet is a manageable job for someone without plumbing knowledge. Not only will you save money by trusting in a professional, you also reduce the chance of error and worsening the issue. Make sure you are calling an experienced, trained, licensed and insured plumber for your needs, as this person will have an extensive skill set.
The ingredients in cleaning products don’t matter
While reaching for the Drano at the first sign of slowed draining might be your initial reaction, it’s not necessarily the best move. A lot of the plumbing and cleaning products you use in your home are fine for flushing down pipes, but others are both harmful to your plumbing system and the environment. For example, toilet tablets containing bleach that sit in the tank can erode internal components. “Flushable” wipes down breakdown and will cause congestion and clogging overtime.
If you have questions about whether something can be flushed or poured down a drain, you can always ask a trusted plumber.
The Irish Plumber
Your Local Trusted Plumber in Ottawa
No one wants to destroy the plumbing in their residence, but if you take a myth seriously, it could happen. Don’t be fooled. Believing in common plumbing myths can cause havoc and damage your home. Now that the biggest plumbing myths have been debunked, you should be able to make the call about whether or not your plumbing problem requires professional service or not.
Leaking pipes in home are every owner’s worst nightmare. A suddenly burst pipe can cause major damage to your home, property, and furniture. Luckily there are ways of dealing with a leaking pipe other than panic.
There are some reasons why pipes in the home leak. It could be due to incorrect installation, wear and tear due to age, and due to severe weather conditions. No matter the reason for the leak, there are various ways you can take care of a leaking pipe yourself. Also, depending on where you live, a professional may not be able to come out to your house for a few days, and you will need to take care of it yourself to avoid water shortages.
The following tips will help you take care of a leaking pipe in the case where a Plumbing Contractor is not available in your area.
The first and vital step to repairing a leak in your pipes is to shut off the water supply to the leaking pipe.
Should it just be a minor leak, you can shut off the water supply to that pipe only. However, if you need to do some major repairs to burst pipe or multiple leaks, then it is best to shut off the complete water supply. The valve to shut off the water is usually at the supply valve fixture on the pipe that leaks or at the main supply valve. Shutting off the water supply is important as it will stop the water from flowing and gives you time to get organized to repair the leak.
The second important step is to determine the sort of damage to the pipe.
Investigate the pipe and determine if it’s a pinhole or a split in the pipe. Determining the damage will allow you to figure out the best repair method to use. Also, the material of the pipe is important to know when trying to decide on a repair method. Copper piping will need a different repair method to plastic.
Temporary plumbing repair options
These repair tips are non-permanent but will be sufficient to get your water running again until a professional plumber comes out to your property.
Should the leak come from a pinpoint-sized hole, you can insert a pencil point into the hole and break it off.
Then use electricians tape to hold the pencil point in place. With plumbers epoxy putty, you can cover the hole and tape to ensure the leak repair is secure. The putty will take approximately half an hour to set. After the putty has set, you can then turn the water back on.
Alternatively, if you do not have any plumber’s epoxy putty or electrician’s tape, you can use a piece of rubber.
The rubber can be from an inner tube and wrap the rubber around the pipe. You can use c-clamps to wrap the rubber around the pipe tightly and to hold the rubber in place. Should you not have any c-clamps, you can use ordinary hose clamps. Be sure the clamps are secured tightly and that the rubber around the hole is firmly secured to prevent any further leakage.
A third method for repairing a minor leak in a pipe is to use a piece of ordinary garden hose to cover the leaking area sufficiently.
Be sure to cut the hose to gives you about 2 or 3 inches on either side of the leak. Slice open the piece of garden hose lengthwise and place it over the leak. Then use hose clamps or c-clamps to hold the piece of hose in place.
Permanent plumbing repair options
Permanent repairs will require a bit of planning, time and investment in equipment. Permanent repair solutions cannot be done using ordinary household items like temporary repairs. However, permanent repairs are a long term solution.
You can invest in a specifically designed pipe clamp.
This pipe clamp comes standard with a rubber gasket that is designed to fit around a pipe with a leak. The installation is very simple, as you only need to place the clamp over the leak and tense up the screws. Tightening the screws will ensure that the clamp is held in place and makes a permanent seal around the leak. You can buy pipe clamps from any home improvement or hardware stores.
Alternatively, you can buy a braided tube made of metal.
The tube is flexible and comes with compression ends to provide a permanent leak fix. The advantage of using this flexible metal tube is that it not only allows you to fix a minor leak from a small hole, you can also mend a split in the pipe. Also, the flexibility of the tube allows you to mend leaks in pipe elbows and corners. The metal tubes are available in any hardware or home improvement stores and come in a variety of lengths to help you fix any size leak. Installing the metal tube will require a bit more work, as you will need to cut out the piece of pipe with the leak.
All the repair options mentioned above are quick fixes to get your water running again. However, should you have to deal with a burst pipe, it is advisable to seek the services of a professional plumbing company. A burst pipe will require specialized repairs to ensure that it does not happen again.
Most new homes use copper piping and luckily copper hardly ever experiences leaks. However, older houses have galvanized piping and experience leaks more often. The rust is due to galvanized pipes rusting from the inside out. The rusting pattern of galvanized pipes makes it very difficult to isolate the leaking point. Also, once a galvanized pipe starts leaking, it is expected that the other pipes will follow shortly. With galvanized piping, it is best to invest in a new supply of piping.
Most minor leaks are easily fixed with ordinary household items and will last long enough to give you time to get a more permanent solution. With more server pipe damage, it is best to seek professional service.
Dripping sinks are irritating to listen to and also bring about other problems, like higher bills, wasted resources, and the risk of there being water damage or mold and mildew growth. Although the problem might appear small, letting the leak get worse is simply throwing money down the drain. If you know how to fix that leaky kitchen faucet, though, you will be able to avoid any damages and save money in the long run.
Causes of Leaky Faucets
Though it would be nice, faucets are not something that lasts forever, especially kitchen faucets. The more a faucet is used, the quicker it will wear out and begin to leak. Here are some common causes of faucet leaks:
Worn out washers – Every time the kitchen faucet is turned on, there is friction between the faucet and the washer. Inevitably, the faucet will begin to drip. Also, if a washer hasn’t been sized appropriately or installed correctly, there will be leakage.
O-ring issues – O-shaped discs are responsible for helping the faucet handles turn. With repeated use, the o-ring will wear out, get thinner, or loosen.
Loose pieces – When nuts and rings or other hardware isn’t tightened completely, leaks can occur.
Corrosion – The valve seat in the faucet connects it to the spout via compression. Every time water passes through, water sediment will collect around the valve and corrode it.
Seal problems – Same with corrosion, there is a certain amount of sediment that will gather around seals and eat away at them.
Now, let’s look at the step-by-step process of taking apart a kitchen faucet to repair a leak:
1. Turn off the water at the valves beneath the sink. Then turn the faucet on above to allow any remaining water to drain out. Make sure the
drains are plugged once this is done to prevent any small pieces from falling in.
2. Using an Allen wrench, loosen the setscrews on the faucet handle then remove it. Be sure to keep every piece nearby, laid out in the order that you remove them so you don’t forget how to put the faucet back together.
3. Now, to remove the bonnet, ball and cam assembly. You need a pair of slip-joint pliers to remove the bonnet. To avoid damaging the metal bonnet, you should wrap masking tape around the teeth of the pliers.
4. Remove the ball and cam assembly.
5. Use needle-nose pliers to remove springs and packing pieces that may have come loose. Take this time to also remove any sediment that you find inside the faucet. Replace any washers or seals that might be causing the leak.
6. Once you have cleaned the faucet, you can now remove the O-rings and diverter. Grab the spout and loosen it gently. Once it is loosened, you should be able to remove it from the faucet face. Use a spanner to remove the O-rings and a needle-nose plier for the diverter. If the O-ring looks worn, replace it. Otherwise, it may simply need some cleaning.
7. Reassemble everything. Start with the new diverter (if necessary), install new o-rings, starting with the top one first. Coat every O-ring in packing grease.
8. Put the spout back into place, using both hands to add firm pressure. Use a spanner and Allen wrench to put springs and packing pieces back into place.
9. Return the faucet ball to the right slot. Reinstall or install the cam and packing. Do the same for the bonnet and handle.
10. Turn on water to test for leaks.
Hiring a Professional Plumber
When a leak doesn’t stop, no matter how much you have done to stop the flow, or when you are uncomfortable with doing anything DIY, it is time to call a professional plumber. Getting a professional on the job is going to give you peace of mind, because you know the project will be done correctly. Further, if there is an underlying issue that you haven’t be able to locate, the plumber will have the trained eyes and tools to find out exactly what is going on.
Just be sure you are hiring someone who can be trusted and has the proper licenses or accreditation.
Fixing a leaky kitchen faucet might seem like a drawn-out project, but it is actually quick and easy most of the time. Don’t let the tiny leaks turn into big issues, like water damage and mold growth. You can avert these major projects by keeping up with maintenance and having supplies on hand. When all others are exhausted, however, you should hire a professional to stop the dripping once and for all.
The most common household plumbing problem would be clogged drains and pipes. While many of these blockages can be taken care of without calling a professional plumber, the situation can be both inconvenient for everyone in the house and time-consuming to repair. In order to lessen the amount of blockages in your home and making clearing the ones that do form easier to remove, you should be cleaning your drains regularly.
Here are advantages to regular drain cleaning:
Taking some extra time to make sure your household drains and pipes are clean and functioning properly means reducing the overall amount of blockages your will encounter. Preventing blockages is a huge advantage, because no one wants to have their morning ruined by a suddenly overflowing sink.
How frustrated do you feel when the drain begins moving more slowly than usual? Slow drainage is a tell-tale sign that something is congesting the pipes to the main sewer line. When this happens mold, mildew, and bacteria can begin to grow inside the pipes, and this will spread those spores throughout your home as the water stagnates. So keep you drains moving fast and promote a fresher home.
Love a clean home? Then you will be happy to know that by keeping your drains clean, you increase the safety of your home environment. Drains are undoubtedly a nesting ground for germs, viruses and diseases. Backed up sewage and drains are, therefore, a serious hygienic issue that needs to be amended or prevented. If you regularly clean your drains, however, the crisis can be avoided.
Good Riddance to Foul Smells
No one wants to walk into a stinky home after a long day at work. As mentioned in the third point, drains are the perfect environment for growing some truly foul odors. This can be caused by bacteria and mold build-up in the piping. When your drains begin to smell, the chance that there is blockage is very high.
Lastly, by keeping your drains cleaned, you lessen the chance of having to pay for major drain cleaning and repair. Pipe replacement is extremely expensive, after all. If the pipes overflow, you not only have to get the clog taken off, you know have to worry about unsanitary conditions.
Anyone can clean their drains regularly, and you can prevent some major problems from occurring by doing so. Some of the advantages to regular drain cleaning, like a cleaner environment, fresher air, and more money, are more than reason enough to keep your household drainage system free from blockages.
As mentioned before, plumbers specialize in dealing with drainage problems inside your home or business. Whether it is the issue of fixing old pipes, repairing damaged ones, preventing or stopping leaks, flushing out blockages, unclogging deep sewer lines, or removing invasive roots, so much can be done to drains.
This is a technique used to help unclog drains and is done with a drain snake that is made of a flexible metal cable of various lengths. There are many types of drain snakes of multiple sizes, designs, and drill bits that provide different effects. For example, heavier drain snakes are used for commercial purposes and handled solely by trained personnel. You will find that household drain snakes are much smaller than their industrial counterparts.
When your sewage line is blocked, you will want to call a plumber right away. The professional may suggest “drain jetting,” to clear out clogs caused by waste deposits like soap residue, detergents, grease, hair, oil, and other remnants that clump together. Drain jetting is a process where a water jet is put down the drain to flush out blockages with a shot of high velocity water. Since only the hose and water is used, drain jetting is a cost effective method to clearing issues.
Video Drain Inspection
Video Drain Inspection
One of the services the Irish Plumber proudly offers is video drain inspections. We insert a snake line with a camera attached to the top into the potentially affected pipe. The line moves through the pipe, sending video back to us to see. There are a number of benefits to having a video drain inspection, but the major point is that we can detect issues before they begin and provide quick remedy.
Naturally, plumbers do not merely fix already existing drains. Floor drains are just one fixture that plumbers are called upon to install. These pieces of plumbing are available in different shapes and sizes. However, there is an issue with floor drains–because of the location and structure, it can easily become clogged due to foreign objects and the like. Whether you need a floor drain installed or unclogged, the Irish Plumber can help.
Because all the food that passes through the drain of a kitchen sink, you may have to replace it sooner than you think. There are many types of kitchen drains available for you to choose from, so be proactive in keeping food remains and other bits and pieces from going down the drain. We will be happy to assist you in making the right choice.
The Irish Plumber offers a variety of drain services. If you are unsure whether you need a drain service or something else, please don’t hesitate to contact us.