Category: Plumbing

Horrors Of Replacing Broken Pipes In Basement Cement Floors

What do you do if your water pipe breaks in your house?

A burst water pipe in your home will cause damage eventually, depending on the location and severity of the pipe damage. Whether large or small, a burst pipe and resulting water will damage your walls, floors or belongings until the water is shut off and drained from flooded areas.

Walls

A burst pipe, whether it’s just a leak or major breakage of a pipe first creates water damage in interior and exterior walls. Inside the wall, insulation may grow saturated with water. Electrical wiring exposed to water may short out electricity and increase risk of fire caused by sparks. Exterior house walls may be affected as water coats and saturates plaster, wood or stucco. If water accumulates or saturates timbers and structural components for a long period, structural weakness may occur.

Flooring

Following pipe damage, floors in the surrounding area may become flooded, depending on the location and rate of flow of water leaking or gushing out of the burst pipe. Carpeting, wood flooring and even cement floors may become damaged by water. Wood and linoleum floors warp and crack and carpeting turns moldy and smelly. Cement floors exposed to long-term water damage may crack or settle.

Interiors

A burst pipe may cause the accumulation of water in your bathroom, bedroom or kitchen or other living areas, saturating the bottom of furniture. Water soaks into the lower edges of furniture fabric and may destroy upholstery several inches or higher in such pieces of furniture. Electrical outlets may short out, as will plugs attached to lamps, televisions and other indoor appliances. Even if water damage is minimal, damp drywall and wood is a breeding ground for many types of molds, which may lead to illness, especially for those with lung or asthma conditions.

Prevention

Homeowners living in colder climes should always turn off well pumps that serve the furnace when a house is vacant, even for a short while. When leaving for vacation, turn off the water to the house if possible. If you have an active pipe leak and can hear water running, even if you can’t see it, turn off the main water valve to the home. This may help reduce water damage until the utility company or repair person can come repair the burst pipe. When vacationing, or leaving a house for more than a few days, ask a neighbor or friend to come check on the house.

 

Common causes of plumbing failure

  • Exposure to pressure If something blocks up a pipe, whether it’s inside your house or in your outgoing sewer line, pressure will build up behind that clog. Common causes of clogged plumbing include pouring cooking grease down the drain and flushing paper towels or sanitary products down the toilet.
  • Age of plumbing Many homes in the US were built in the 1950s and 1960s, meaning a lot of plumbing is over 50 years old, and older pipes are more susceptible to breakage. Furthermore, many of these pipes were made of cast iron (which corrodes over time) or clay (which is more susceptible to cracking as the ground shifts), increasing the chances of broken pipes as they age.
  • Mature trees near water lines Tree roots seek out water and nutrients from buried water and sewer lines and are a common cause of plumbing clogs and breakage.
  • Clay soil Heavy clay soils compact easily. They also have poor drainage. Both of these factors can lead to damage to plumbing over time. Furthermore, clay soil tends to be more corrosive than sandy soil and minerals in the soil can weaken pipes.
  • Flushing corrosive materials Pouring materials like paint remover or other solvents down your sink, or regular use of drain cleaners, can weaken your indoor plumbing and your sewer lines.
  • Freezing Cold weather is the biggest cause for pipe failure. When water inside a pipe freezes, it expands, and that can cause pipes to burst.

 

First Steps to Take When a Pipe Bursts

  1. Turn Off Your Water and Drain the Faucets

The first thing you need to do when you find a burst pipe is shut off your water. The sooner you can do this, the better your chances are of minimizing water damage. Your main water shut-off valve is likely located near your water heater, in a crawl space or in your basement.

Once the water has been shut off, you should open your faucets to drain the remaining cold water in your pipes. This will relieve pressure in your pipe system and can help prevent additional areas from freezing. Then, flush all the toilets in the house. Once water is no longer running from the taps, any leaks should stop.

Depending on the location and size of the leak, you may also need to shut off your electricity. If you suspect the leaking water came into contact with any electrical sockets or your fuse box, this is an important precaution to take.

  1. Locate the Burst Pipe

Your next step should be to figure out where the pipe burst. If it appears to have been leaking for a while, be careful entering rooms and look for bulging ceilings and other warning signs that water damage has already occurred. If you catch the leak early enough, place a bucket underneath to catch dripping water.

  1. Call In Professional Help

As soon as possible, call in the experts to handle repairs. Hire a professional plumber to fix or replace your burst pipes, and if you have any damage to your electrical system, you should bring in a reliable electrician.

 

Cleaning Tips on Your Own

Similar to repairing the pipes, in terms of cleaning up the mess it has caused, it is wise to call in an expert restoration services provider who can handle water damage. However, there are steps you can take while waiting for them to arrive to help make the cleanup process go faster.

First, use everything and anything you own that can help soak up the moisture. Mops, towels, wet/dry vacuums. Whatever you have, use it. Check thoroughly and make sure that you have all wet spots covered on the ground: every half hour or so, swap out the wet towels for new ones.

Next, turn up the heat (only do this after you’ve drained the remaining taps) or use a hair dryer on the area where the pipe broke. On top of this, open any cabinet doors or other doors where your pipes are located to help warm air continue to ciculate throughout the house.

 

Steps to take when your happy home faces water damage

Water damage, whether from a natural disaster or plumbing issues, can ruin your floors,  walls and ceilings. If you don’t get the place dried up quickly, you could face a severe mold problem, and of course your personal effects could be damaged beyond repair. Acting quickly and following the right steps can save your home from complete destruction and save you from having to spend a lot of money on repairs.

Immediate clean up

If it is safe to do so, your first step should be to turn off the breakers to the affected area – you don’t want get shocked by electrical current running through the water or end up with a fire on top of your flooding problem. (If water has already reached your breaker area, consider calling in a pro – safety first! Just like you don’t want a hairdryer anywhere near your bathtub, electricity and water should never mix.) In addition, assuming the problem came from a broken pipe, turn off the water supply Once you’re safe, and the source of the water has been addressed, rescue any of your personal items and take them to a dry  area, and clean up as much of the water as possible. You may be able to use a mop for lighter jobs, but if there is an exorbitant amount, a wet-dry vacuum will be a great help.

Completely dry the area

Cleaning up the water you see is important, but the most important thing is to dry up the water you can’t see – in the carpet pad, in the sheetrock, in the insulation in your walls… This means drying the room or rooms completely, possibly using a commercial air mover to force water off floors and out of carpets, walls and furniture.  Along with that, you’ll want to set up a dehumidifier. This machine will suck all of the excess moisture from the air, not only helping to dry the room quickly, but preventing mold from growing.

Fix the problem

Of course, it goes with out saying that you’ll have to fix the original problem too. Call in a plumber if needed. As they open the walls to make repairs, check for any lingering moisture or mold that might have grown, replacing insulation and patching sheetrock as needed.

Opting For A Corner Kitchen Sink

A VERY QUICK HISTORY OF THE KITCHEN SINK

Everything has its own story – including the humble kitchen sink. This household item, which is given little practical thought, is present in every single home – and in today’s society, we would be lost without it.

What is a sink? It is a plumbing fixture in the shape of a bowl, with a tap or faucet to fill it with water, and a drain to dispose of said water. The drain can usually be plugged, and the sink is used for hand washing, dishwashing, or laundering.

Prior to modern plumbing, water had to be manually collected and carried from a nearby stream, pond, or well. Water for drinking, cooking, and washing was fetched numerous times every day. The first “sinks” were simply buckets or dishpans of water which then had to be carried outside for tipping the water away. Dirty dishes and pans were scrubbed with ashes or sand, and then washed with water and lye soap in a basin which was placed on a bench or kitchen table. The waste dishwater was then tipped onto the vegetable garden or fed to farm animals.

The first thing we would recognize as a sink was a shallow wood, metal or stone trough which was on legs and set into a window sill or atop a cabinet. This “dry sink” evolved between 1820 and 1900, and was eventually lined with lead or zinc. More prosperous people could upgrade to a “wet sink” which had a wood or iron pump which accessed water. This water was still manually emptied. Some households had cisterns which collected rainwater for indoor use, and this was transported to the sink by a pump.

In 1902, steel, graniteware, and enamel sinks were advertised to replace old wood or stone, zinc or lead-lined sinks. These were plumbed in, had drainpipes, and had to be installed by professionals. By the 1930s, an alloy of copper and nickel was used as it was rust-proof, easier to clean, and resulted in less damage to crockery. It was also resistant to corrosion, unlike its enamel predecessor. Porcelain was also used.  Sinks were designed to be smaller and more stylish.

Sink materials range today from ceramic to copper; stainless steel and glass to granite. Stainless steel kitchen sinks are most common today as they represent a great compromise between durability, serviceability, and cost effectiveness.

Incidentally, have you ever wondered where the saying, “everything but the kitchen sink” came from? We don’t exactly know – its first documented use was in 1918. However, according to popular urban myth, the phrase was coined for widespread use in the 1940’s. During the Second World War, the war effort called on people to donate everything possible for its use. In the United States, for example, all of the metal was used for the US arsenal. The only objects not required were porcelain kitchen sinks.

 

Type of Installation

There are basically 3 ways kitchen sinks can be installed:

– Self-rimming (drop-in)

– Undermount

– Flush mount

stainless steel kitchen sink

Self-rimming or drop-in sinks as they’re sometimes called are the easiest to install. They simply fit into a cutout in the countertop on top of a base cabinet, supported by the flanges of the sink that overlap the cutout.

The main disadvantage is the barrier between the countertop surface and the bowl that’s formed by the lip. You can’t sweep food and liquids into the sink or if you try, you end up catching debris at the edge where the sink and countertop meet.

undermount kitchen sink

Undermount sinks are attached under the countertop. They either hang from the underside of the countertop or are supported from underneath by the base cabinet structure. Undermount sinks allow you to brush items from the countertop directly into the sink without any “catch points” that can capture food particles and moisture. They require clips and other mechanical fastening devices to attach them to the countertop. Heavier kitchen sinks like ones made from cast iron or stone require a well-designed mounting system in an undermount installation.

solid surface kitchen sink

A solid surface sink combined with a solid surface countertop is another form of undermount sink although it may not appear as such. In this situation the sink is glued to the underside of the solid surface countertop. The fabricator then smooths the joint between the two surfaces making the seam between them invisible, similar to what’s shown in the picture on the right. An undermount sink’s “reveal” refers to the degree that the countertop extends over the edge of the sink. A positive reveal means the lip of the sink juts out slightly from the edge of the countertop. A negative reveal means the countertop surface overlaps the edge of the sink.

Flush mount sinks

Are also called “tile edge” sinks. They’re similar to a drop-in sink except they’re used with a tiled countertop. The tile is installed so that it’s flush with the mounting flange of the sink providing a flush surface with the countertop. There’s usually a grout line between the edge of the sink and the tile.

 

What Are Kitchen Sinks Made Of?

When the time comes to replace or install a new kitchen sink, many things must be considered: style, size, color, durability, and of course, price. The goal for most people is to manage that fine line between looks and cost.

The stuff the sink is made of is extremely important. If you don’t understand the different materials, you might finger through a hundred sites, only to end up unknowingly choosing the wrong sink for your needs and taste.

Even though high-end sinks are beautiful and stunning to look at, they come with beautifully stunning price tags as well! So let’s take a look at what we can find to fit your needs, style and most importantly your kitchen project budget.

You will find an overview for each type of material used to manufacture sinks. Each will tell you what problems the sink material may bring as well as the good reasons for choosing each sink type. And a very in-depth look at everyone’s favorite sink material, stainless steel!

 

What’s the difference between “basin” and “sink”?

Basin and sink both are used for washing but in the sink, we use to wash the pots and in the basin, we use to wash our hands and do other activities like brushing shaving, etc. The sink is mostly we install in kitchen and wash pots but we use Wash Basin mostly in the bathroom. Washbasin and bath fitting accessories in the bathroom make our bathroom beautiful. Some people install basins outside of their room or bathroom where they use to wash their hands after having breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 

WHAT IS A FARMHOUSE SINK?

A farmhouse style sink, also known as an apron sink, extends over the edge of your counter. This type of sink is most commonly used in a traditional or rustic farmhouse style kitchen and can be designed with a single bowl or double bowl. These sinks are gaining popularity with the resurgence of rustic and farmhouse interior design. They typically come as fireclay or cast iron and are incredibly durable and easy to clean because of their nonporous material.

Trick The Best To Setting Clogged Toilet

Tips For Preventing Toilet Troubles

DO clean your toilet regularly with a mild cleaner. Vinegar, baking soda, or a mild soap are all great for regular porcelain cleaning. Not only does cleaning your toilet help you keep a more hygienic, better smelling bathroom, it also gives you the opportunity to spot a leak or a problem with your bathroom’s plumbing fairly quickly. If you never really clean up around the toilet area, how will you know if that water on the floor is from your shower, your toilet, or the sleepwalking male members of your household?

DON’T use chemical drain cleaners to unclog your toilet. While some plumbers say ‘yea’ and others say ‘nay’ when it comes to using these products, we say it’s just not worth the risk. Not only are these products harmful to your health if accidentally splattered on your skin, consumed, or even inhaled too much, they can damage older fixtures and pipes, and really aren’t something anyone wants in our water systems. They can also cause a lot of trouble for homes with septic systems if they kill off the good bacteria in there

DO inspect your toilet’s inner workings about every 6 months to make sure the components are still in good shape and functioning properly. Take the tank lid off and flush the toilet. Watch the components work, making sure the flapper is sealing well and the fill valve stops running at an appropriate water level.

DO fix a running or leaking toilet right away. Toilet leaks are typically “silent”, in that you won’t necessarily find a puddle of water on the floor since the water is usually leaking out from the tank into the bowl (and down the drain). This makes it fairly easy to overlook the leak, or to keep putting off fixing it. Toilet leaks are generally slow leaks too, so you might not even notice a small increase in your bills each month until you look back and realize you’re paying $100 more for water this month than you did at the same time last year

DON’T use a brick to save water in your tank. Unless your toilet is older than the mid-90’s, you’re using 1.6 gallons per flush (or less), and most sewage systems really do need that much water to effectively move the waste. If your toilet is older and you want to save water, we recommend filling a water bottle with sand or small rocks and using that to displace some of the water. Bricks can break down and clog your pipes.

 

Ways to Unclog a Toilet – And Only One Requires a Plunger!

Create a Volcano in Your Toilet

Remember that model of a volcano you made back in third grade? You combined baking soda and white vinegar, and a foaming substance bubbled out of the top of your fake volcano. Baking soda and vinegar is a marvelous cleaning agent, and when dumped into a clogged toilet, often will break up the clog without you having to do a thing

Use the Degreasing Power of Dish Detergent to Break Up the Clog

If you hate the smell of vinegar or don’t have enough room in the toilet bowl to do the volcano trick, try this inexpensive and very effective plumbing trick. Pour a half cup of dish detergent (degreasing dish detergent like Dawn works best) into the clogged toilet. Follow this with three to four cups of boiling water. The boiling water and degreasers will break up the clog, sending it right through

Use a Little Petroleum Jelly on the Plunger

Keep a plunger in your home — a durable rubber plunger with a flange works the best. What many people don’t realize is the seal is the key to a plunger working. Just put a little petroleum jelly (Vaseline works well) around the rim of the plunger, press the plunger around the drain so the seal is tight, and add water if the top of the plunger is not submerged (otherwise you won’t get an effective plunge). Plunge until you break up the clog. Add hot water as needed to keep the plunger submerged.

Head to the Hardware Store for a Snake

If the volcano, dish soap, and plunger have all failed, you’ll want to bring out the big guns: the snake.  Talk to someone at the hardware store to ensure you don’t get an industrial grade snake that can do serious damage to your pipes; you want something pretty tame because the cost of plumbing repairs is not low when it comes to damaged pipes

Call a Professional Plumber

If you still haven’t been able to dislodge the clog, you need to call in the pros. You don’t want to risk damaging your pipes, and the cost of unclogging a toilet is low when compared to the cost of dealing with damaged pipes or toilet

 

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Let’s say you’re a person who’s known for their devotion to extreme cleanliness—especially in the bathroom. You know your way around cleaning an air duct; you’re an expert on how to get bathroom grout pristine; you even mop your bathroom floors with castile soap! Now imagine anything more embarrassing than clogging a toilet and having no plunger. Think about it—there you are in a restaurant bathroom, using a friend’s commode, or even sitting in your very own rustic bathroom, taking care of business, when the toilet suddenly clogs, and there’s nary a plunger in sight. Panic sets in and you begin to wonder: Will the toilet overflow? Will it stay clogged forever? How long can I hide in here without arousing suspicion? It’s not a good feeling, people

Before you consider jumping out of a second-story bathroom window or start exercising your potty mouth, know that you actually can flush your way out of this toilet travesty, sans plunger. (However, if you’re using a public restroom, you might just need to cut your losses.) Most at-home toilets can easily be fixed in a jiffy with a bit of elbow grease and a few ordinary items. Sometimes you can even wait it out and hope for the best—some toilet backups actually fix themselves, thanks to a little time and a lot of gravity. But when time is of the essence, here’s how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

WHAT DO I NEED TO UNCLOG A TOILET WITHOUT A PLUNGER?

Depending on what you have on hand, you can determine your best course of action—because you can actually go about unclogging your toilet a few different ways. We’ll break down each method further, but make sure you have dish soap, a wire hanger, baking soda and vinegar, or even bath bombs to get the job done.

WHAT SHOULD I NOT DO?

Avoid flushing repeatedly, especially if the water’s already rising. In this instance, so you don’t have a clogged toilet and a flooded bathroom floor, remove the tank lid and push down on the flapper, which is the rubber contraption toward the bottom. Next, cut off the toilet’s water supply by turning the valve, usually located behind the toilet, and wait for it to reside before you tackle the mess inside

HOW CAN I DE-CLOG MY TOILET WITHOUT A PLUNGER?

If there’s not much liquid left in the toilet bowl to begin with, pour in a bucket or pan of hot (not boiling) water. The force of the water should help break up the clogging culprits. Houselogic also suggests tossing in 1/2 cup of salt prior to the H2O.

 

How to Unclog a Toilet Without Causing Damage

A clogged toilet is a huge inconvenience. Living in a home with only one bathroom requires tending to the clog immediately. The only thing worse than a one-bathroom home with a backed up toilet is a malfunctioning toilet with a house full of guests.

Toilets clog all the time. The vast majority of the time something is lodged in the toilet trap and cannot pass on its own. It can be mind boggling to see what people retrieve. Things that get trapped include napkins, sanitary products, wash clothes and toys

Unclogging a toilet is usually a simple process but there are times when getting the object to pass or pulling it out is more difficult. You don’t always have to call in a plumber to fix the situation. But you do need to know how to unclog the trap way without damaging the toilet.

What is a Toilet Trap or Trap Way?

Look at the back of your toilet bowl and you will see a curving design in the outline. This is the pathway that the water waste flows when the toilet is flushed. In a working toilet, everything goes through the trap way and empties out into the drainage line.

Wait and Flush

When a toilet is flushed several mechanisms go into action. You push down on the lever, a flap opens, water in the tank rushes into the bowl. The water and waste get pushed through the trap way by a force of gravity.

 

How to Unclog a Toilet

Few things are more nerve-wracking than a clogged toilet that overflows and spills water onto the floor around the toilet. But while it can require quick action, a clogged toilet typically is no cause for alarm, and it’s usually fairly easy to fix. Most clogs can be overcome with a plunger, provided you use the right type. For really tough clogs, such as a sponge or other object stuck inside the toilet, the best tool for the job is a toilet auger.

How Toilets Get Clogged

Although it’s not immediately apparent, every toilet bowl is constructed with a built-in trap configuration that is part of the porcelain fixture. Like the P-trap you see beneath your bathroom sink, the toilet trap is designed to hold standing water to seal the trapway and prevent sewer gases from rising up into the bathroom

Clearing a Toilet Clog With a Plunger

In most cases, toilet clogs can be cleared with the proper use of a plunger—but not just any plunger. There are two common types of household plunger. A cup plunger is the most common type, featuring a rubber cup with a flat rim attached to a handle. It is designed for clearing sink, bathtub, and shower clogs.

Clearing a Toilet Clog With an Auger

A toilet auger consists of a cable that runs through a long hollow guide tube with a sweep elbow at the bottom, protected by a rubber sleeve. At the top of the auger, a hand crank is attached to the cable. This tool is especially designed for toilets, as the rubber sleeve prevents scratches to the porcelain. Never use a drain snake not intended for toilet use, as the metal auger can badly scratch the fixture.

When to Call a Plumber

If both a plunger and an auger fail to remove the clog from your toilet, you will probably need to call a plumber, as it is likely the clog lies beyond the reach of the auger. If you see water backing up into other drains in your home when the toilet flushes, this can be the sign of a serious problem

Must Know How To Settle Toilet Installation

THREE ADVANTAGES OF CONVERTING YOUR TOILET TO DUAL FLUSH

Some toilets are dual flush, which means they have separate flushes for liquid and solid waste. The main advantage of a dual flush toilet is you can conserve water without sacrificing flushing power. If you want a dual flush toilet you can either buy a brand new toilet or you can retrofit or convert your existing toilet to dual flush. Converting your existing toilet to dual flush has a few major advantages.

  1. WATER CONSERVATION

The biggest advantage of having a dual flush toilet is saving water with every flush. Water conservation is a serious issue, especially in drought-prone areas. Toilets account for nearly 30% of a home’s water usage according to the EPA, and older toilets can use as much as 6 gallons per flush. New dual-flush options can use less than 2 gallons per flush for liquid waste, representing a significant decrease in water usage.

  1. PRICE

Converting an existing toilet to a dual-flush toilet using a conversion kit is far less expensive than purchasing an entirely new toilet. The nicest kits can cost a few hundred dollars, but an adequate kit that will present the same benefits can be had for fewer than $100.The money you spend can be made up in water saved very quickly.

  1. EASY INSTALL

Each conversion kit has its own installation instructions but for the most part, these kits are extremely easy to install. Some kits even boast installation time of 10 minutes. Most kits only require you to remove the lid to your toilet tank and make a few simple adjustments and attachments with simple tools. Even the most intricate of kits are much quicker and easier to install than an entire new toilet.

 

What are a macerating toilet and sewage ejector pump?

When you flush a normal toilet, it sends the waste through a trap, into a waste line and onto the mainline where it travels to the sewer or septic tank. The drain line on a normal toilet is below the level of it, so gravity pulls the contents of the waste line into it.

Macerating toilets send the waste to a macerating unit located behind the toilet or in the wall. High-powered blades then liquefy the waste, sending it out of the unit through a normal pipe that is tied to the main drain line. Unfortunately, macerating toilets are more expensive than regular ones, but it’s far easier to connect a small-diameter pipe to an existing system rather than redoing the entire bathroom. It’s also much cheaper, too.

For those who believe they are out of luck because their toilet location is below the main drain, don’t worry, we have a solution for you too. Because waste doesn’t need to be liquefied for easier transport through the small-diameter pipe, you can install a sewage ejector pump. There’s no transport involved at all; it just needs to get into the main drain. While they are similar to other pumps, they can do something that others can’t: pass solids. The pump sits in a sealed sump pit basin, where everything is discharged. The float switch normally controls the entire operation, turning the pump on once the water in the basin reaches a certain level.

So, if you had always dreamed about installing that toilet in the basement or in the garage so you didn’t have to run all the way upstairs to do your business, you are finally in luck. Keep in mind that these bathrooms, if maintained and installed properly, can last for a long time.

 

The Benefits of Toilet Replacement

Toilets are the workhorses of the bathroom; in fact, these simple fixtures account for up to 27% of your home’s total water usage. However, these vital components of your bathroom’s layout are often overlooked and forgotten until a problem arises, such as a leak or a clog. Toilets aren’t built to last forever, and will eventually require replacement when either a single major issue or several minor problems result in the need for repairs that simply aren’t worth the money the plumbing work will cost. Knowing when to replace your toilets and how your home can benefit from toilet replacement can help you determine when it’s time to begin exploring today’s many available toilet models.

A More Efficient Toilet

With toilets accounting for such as the significant percentage of your home’s water usage, one of the most obvious benefits of toilet replacement is less water usage per day. Especially if your toilets were installed before 1994, they are not as efficient as newer models for at least one key reason. Federal plumbing manufacturing regulations passed in 1994 required all new toilets to use 1.6 gallons or less per flush; toilets manufactured before these regulations went into effect can use five gallons or more each time the handle is pulled. Simply installing a newer standard model toilet today can reduce your home’s water usage by 23—46% with absolutely no further effort on your part. Newer ultra-low-flush and high-efficiency toilet models can use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush, further reducing your home’s water usage as well as your monthly water bills.

A Problem-Free Toilet

Whether you are suddenly experiencing new plumbing issues with your toilet or it has been giving you intermittent trouble throughout the years, toilet replacement can put an end to this struggle. Frequent clogs or leaks can add up in terms of repair costs, while issues such as a cracked tank or damaged floor seal can render a toilet essentially useless, requiring replacement to restore function and prevent water damage from affecting your home. Rather than continue to spend time and money on a problematic toilet, replacing the fixture is a permanent solution with a one-time cost that will ensure your toilet is matched to your needs and will continue to function for years to come without further issues.

A Stylish Toilet

Toilets are one of the most visible but also most often overlooked bathroom features in terms of style. Today, toilets are available in multiple designs, from those with classical rounded features to sleek, low-profile toilets that can save space in a smaller bathroom or powder room. If you’re considering toilet replacement for other reasons, opting for a toilet that fits the style and available space in your bathroom can give this room a drastic visual boost that will improve its aesthetics and could even increase the value of your home if you decide to sell it in the future. Appealing bathrooms, which include appealing toilet designs, have been shown to help homes sell more quickly and for a higher price than those with lackluster bathroom designs and outdated or unattractive toilets.

 

What Are Some Low-flow Toilet Problems?

Common complaints about these toilets include noise and flushing or water pressure issues.

They rely on a pressure-assisted system that makes a distinctive “whooshing” sound which tends to be louder than a regular toilet flush.

If they do not operate properly, they may not force waste far enough down the drain, which can lead to clogs and other plumbing system issues.

If the water pressure in your home is not sufficient for the smooth operation of low-flow toilets, they will not eliminate waste with a single flush or work as intended.

 

Parts Needed for Toilet Replacement

Before you start removing the old toilet, make sure you have everything you need to put the new one in. If you are missing anything, you could have to go several days without use of that bathroom. Some of these parts may be included with the new toilet, but we have included links just in case you need them! Below are some parts for toilet replacement/repair.

  • Closet Bolts
  • Closet Bolt Covers
  • Wax Bowl Ring
  • Closet Flange Extension Ring
  • Toilet Flapper
  • Toilet Tank Lever
  • Oatey Liquilock (optional)

Now that you have all the necessary parts, you are ready to get started with the replacement! Make sure you have an adjustable wrench on hand to help with the bolts.

Choose The Best Kitchen Faucet

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A KITCHEN FAUCET YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY

CHOOSING A KITCHEN FAUCET

Know how many holes you have. You may need a deck plate to cover any existing or if you only have one, you may need to drill into your countertop. It’s easier to go with less than more.

Keep the finish of your hardware in mind

I personally don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules when it comes to home design but, personally, I prefer my kitchen faucet to match the finish of my kitchen pulls and handles. It’s easy on the eyes and makes the decor aesthetically appealing.

Spray features.

When it comes to choosing a kitchen faucet, the more spray options the better. I don’t want a trickle, I also want a jet steam so I easily clean stuck on food.

Faucet height.

Most faucets are in front of a window, but if yours is below cabinets – take some measurements before you buy

Hose length

This is a feature that I missed the first few times I was choosing kitchen faucets. Take into consideration the size of your sink (my old sink was a large one, and I couldn’t stretch the hose enough to clean the bottom corner), if there are any plants nearby you would like to easily water, or if you have coffee maker next to the sink to easily fill (I can’t be the only one who gets annoyed when I have to take the reservoir out of my Keurig each time).

 

 

Tips for Selecting a Kitchen Faucet

Height and Reach

Kitchen faucets are available in a variety of heights and reaches. You want to choose a faucet that offers the best combination for your space. If you have large cabinets over your sink, you want to make sure that the height of the faucet doesn’t make the space look overcrowded.

Kitchen Faucet Style

You need to choose a style before you start shopping for a new faucet. Take a few minutes to look around your kitchen and gauge your current style. There are some styles that you mix and match together and others that look awkward together. For example, you can add a modern shape and style faucet to your traditional kitchen, but it would look odd if your style is rustic farmhouse.

Sprayer Options

You already know that you want a sprayer to reach the gunk that lurks in the corner of your sink, but there are so many kinds. You can choose between a side sprayer and one that pulls out from the faucet. The central sprayer is easier to use and helps keep your sink area looking tidy and efficient.

Number of Handles

Most faucets come with either one or two handles. With two handles, you use one to turn on and control the flow of water while the other handle provides hot or cold water. If you choose a faucet with only one handle, water flow and temperature are controlled with a single handle, making it very convenient in a kitchen.

Number of Holes

Most sinks come with pre-drilled holes in them. There are typically two or three holes, and if your new faucet comes with fewer pieces to fill those holes than your previous faucet, then the holes need to be covered. Many faucets come with bridge pieces to cover a hole, but it’s a good idea to check the packaging if you’re going to need a cover to ensure it’s in there. For example, your old faucet had a side sprayer while your new one has a pull-down sprayer. The hole for the side sprayer is now empty.

 

How to Buy a New Kitchen Faucet

Start With the Sink’s Faucet Holes

There are many different kitchen faucet and sink designs available, but they’re not always compatible. Start by taking a look at your kitchen sink to determine how many pre-drilled faucet mounting holes are available. This applies if you’re installing a new faucet in an existing sink or buying a completely new faucet and sink.

Check the Water Lines

Make sure the new kitchen faucet you want is compatible with the water supply lines. Look under your sink towards the bottom of the cabinet and note the size of the existing water line and the shutoff valves. Here are a few guidelines to use when checking your water lines and valve

Consider the Finish

Even something as seemingly small as the finish of a plumbing fixture can make or break the aesthetics of your kitchen. There are a few rules of thumb. The kitchen faucet should match the finish of other sink accessories, such as the tiny dishwasher air gap, built-in soap dispenser, and sink-hole covers for unused holes. A faucet that has a shiny chrome finish will look out of place if the rest of the fixtures have a matte brushed nickel finish, for example.

 

How to Choose Your Kitchen Sink Faucet

Measuring For Kitchen Faucet Size and Reach

It’s important to check every aspect of the size of your faucet before you order. First, you need to address size as it relates to functionality. Second, to look balanced, your faucet should be in proportion to the sink. A large faucet would visually overpower a small prep sink, while a small faucet might look odd in a large sink and countertop area.

Height

You may find height expressed as deck to top of faucet and/or deck to aerator. Make certain you are choosing a faucet with adequate height to accommodate the items you’ll be washing or filling. The higher the spout, the easier it is to fit tall pots under it for filling or cleaning. If you have a shelf above your sink or a wide window ledge, a tall faucet may not fit.

Reach

This important (and often overlooked!) measurement refers to the horizontal distance from the faucet spout to its point of connection with the sink or countertop. In other words, how far the faucet extends into the sink. This measurement determines how large an arc your faucet can cover within the sink basin. This aspect of your faucet also needs to be coordinated with your sink size so the water stream does not hit too far back or forward within the basin.

Clearance to backsplash

Let’s say you fall in love with a faucet whose single handle controls temperature by rotating back. You bring it home and install it, and it looks fabulous. Then you turn it on…and find out that the handle hits your backsplash before it’s fully extended. Check the product specifications to see if there is a minimum recommended clearance to backsplash. Make sure the space between your backsplash and the handle allows for the recommended measurement, or select a faucet whose handle(s) have only forward motion to operate.

Spread

When you shop kitchen faucets you will see terms like “8-inch center spread”. This refers to the distance from the center of one hole to the center of the farthest hole on the other side. Some widespread kitchen faucets come with flexible water line hoses that allow for some variance in spread.

 

Faucet Buying Guide

Faucet Findings & Shopping Tips

In the graphic below we highlight single-handle pullout faucets, a very popular style that combines a spray head and spout for convenience and flexibility. But our findings are applicable to other faucet styles too. Here’s what else to consider when shopping for a new faucet.

Match the Faucet With the Number of Mounting Holes

Most sinks come with mounting holes pre-drilled for faucets and accessories such as side sprays or soap dispensers. If you’re keeping your original sink, you’ll need to match what you have or get a base plate to cover any extra holes. The base plate sold with your new faucet can be used to cover holes in your countertop, but don’t buy a faucet that requires more sink holes than your sink has; it’s not a good idea to try to drill additional holes in an existing sink or countertop.

Spout Styles and Shapes

Straight spout faucets are compact and often inexpensive, but you might need to move the faucet to fit a big pot under it. Gooseneck models have higher clearances, but can cause splashing if your sink is shallow. Whatever style you pick, make sure the faucet head swings enough to reach the entire sink, especially if you have a wide or double bowl sink. Also keep the faucet proportional; a large sink can look odd with a small faucet.

Installation and Repair

Replacing a faucet and a sink at the same time is easier because the faucet can be installed in the sink, or in the countertop before the sink is put in place. Fittings that can be tightened with a screwdriver also streamline installation. Long water-supply hoses allow you to make connections lower in the sink cabinet where tools are easier to use. Though most faucets are guaranteed not to leak, if yours does, the manufacturer will give you only the replacement part—it’s up to you to install it.

The Best Trick For Garbage Disposal

Everything You Need to Know About Garbage Disposals

The garbage disposal is mounted to the underside of a sink and is designed to collect solid food waste in a grinding chamber. When you turn on the disposal, a spinning disc, or impeller plate, turns rapidly, forcing the food waste against the outer wall of the grinding chamber. This pulverizes the food into tiny bits, which then get washed by water through holes in the chamber wall. While disposals do have two blunt metal “teeth,” called impellers, on the impeller plate, they do not have sharp blades, as is commonly believed.

 

Don’t Put These Items Down Your Disposal

 There are a few biodegradable items that aren’t a good idea for disposals, such as:

  • Fruit pits: Fruit pits are best to be deposited in your compost or garbage, not the disposal.
  • Large bones: If you’re finding yourself trying to shove something in the disposal, then it’s too big. Toss big bones in the compost or trash.
  • Shrimp shells: Shrimp shells are pretty tough and can also leave a not-so-fresh scent.
  • Banana peels: Because they’re super fibrous, toss your banana peels in the compost instead.
  • Nuts: Let’s just imagine peanut butter in your garbage disposal for a moment. Yeah, not such a good idea.
  • Grease: Avoid pouring grease or anything super fatty down your drain or in your garbage disposal. It congeals into a big, nasty mass that will clog your pipes.
  • Corn husks: Husks are another fibrous material that make your disposal work really hard. It’s best to toss them in the compost.
  • Onion skins: Onion skins are also a no-no for the garbage disposal.
  • Artichokes: The leaves of an artichoke are really tough and can get caught in the disposal blades, causing it to break down.
  • Potato peels: Potatoes are really starchy, which isn’t a good combination with your garbage disposal — or your drain. Toss in the compost instead.
  • Asparagus: Another fibrous veggie that isn’t good for the blades of your disposal.
  • Pasta: Pasta expands in pipes, even after it’s been shredded to bits, which can cause clogs.
  • Rice: Just like pasta, rice expands so avoid letting it slip into your disposal.

 

What Causes a Humming Garbage Disposal?

When the disposal is humming this means that it is getting power, but is not functioning properly. This is generally due to a jam.

In most cases if your garbage disposal is humming it is because a foreign object is stuck in the disposal. If an item has been jammed in the blades of the disposal they will be unable to rotate.

This can result in a humming noise. If this is the case simply unplug the disposal under the sink then survey the drain hole. If you discover that an object is stuck in the blades remove it. Once you have done this you can plug the disposal back in and flip the switch.

This should clear up the problem.

 

How to Replace a Garbage Disposal

Prepare for the Project

Make sure you have all parts listed on the instruction sheet. Turn off the power to the disposal at the circuit-breaker box. It’s a good idea to check the amperage of the circuit to be sure the disposal won’t overload it. The amperage should be shown on the breaker switch.

  1. Remove the Drain Arm and Tube

Disconnect the drain arm from the disposal unit. Use pliers to loosen the spring clamp holding the dishwasher drain tube in place. Then remove the dishwasher drain tube from the unit.

  1. Take Out the Disposal Unit

Remove the disposal unit by twisting it off of the mounting nut. Dump out any remaining water and debris. Turn the unit upside-down, and remove the plate covering the electrical connections. Remove the grounding screw and wire nuts, and pull the cable out of the unit. You may also have to loosen a strain relief sleeve.

Remove the existing mounting assembly and drain. Unscrew the mounting ring, and push the drain flange up through the drain hole. Scrape off any old plumber’s putty from the sink.

Note: If your new disposal is the same model as the old unit, you won’t need to replace the mounting hardware.

  1. Install New Hardware

Place a rubber seal on the underside of the drain flange. If your new disposal doesn’t include a rubber seal, you’ll need to use plumber’s putty. Push the drain flange into place in the drain hole.

Place another rubber seal on the drain flange on the underside of the sink. Attach the metal backup ring, flat side up. Most disposal units use metal mounting hardware, but some units use plastic. Check your owner’s manual for specific installation procedures.

  1. Attach the Mounting Ring

Loosely attach the mounting ring with three screws. Push the mounting ring up, and secure it with the snap ring. Tighten the mounting screws until the assembly is tight and even.

  1. Prepare the New Disposal

If your disposal will be connected to the dishwasher drain, use a hammer and screwdriver to remove the knock out plug. Turn the disposal upside-down, and shake it to remove anything that might be inside. Remove the electrical plate, and gently pull the electrical wires away from the unit.

Screw the strain relief sleeve into place, and push the electrical cable through the sleeve into the disposal. Firmly tighten the sleeve.

  1. Complete the Installation

Connect the electrical wires, splicing white to white and black to black, then secure the connections with wire nuts. Connect the ground wire to the green screw on the disposal, and replace the cover plate.

Hang the disposal by twisting it into place on the mounting nut. Rotate the disposal until it is properly aligned, then attach the drain arm and dishwasher drainpipe. Run water through the disposal for a few minutes to check for leaks. Then turn the power back on.

Note: The disposal may be heavy, so you might want to build a support base to hold it up

 

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

What do we mean by use it properly? We all know there are certain things that shouldn’t go down the garbage disposal. Garbage disposals are only meant for biodegradable food—you should never put anything down there like bones, plastic, or metal (such as silverware).

But even certain foods shouldn’t—ideally—be allowed to pass through the disposal, including:

  • Grease and oil, which can solidify in the drain and cause clogs
  • Stringy vegetables (like celery), which can get caught on the blades and cause clogs
  • Rice or pasta, which expand when wet
  • Fruit pits or any other hard food that can damage the blades