Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Inspecting Your Sump Pump

Spring arrives in 13 days, 4 hours and counting – have you begun your “honey-do” list yet?

Procrastinating can and will cost you a lot of money in the end.  Your basement flooding is most often caused by water build up in the soil that makes its way into your basement. There are many ways for water to enter your home and many ways to prevent it from entering. A sump pump is a your last defense against flooding because it pumps out water from the lowest section of your basement before the water level reaches the basement floor. As groundwater levels rise, it is diverted into the sump hole and when the water reaches what is called ‘the critical level’, the sump pump begins to pump it out through a pipe that leads outside and away from your foundation.  

Inspecting your sump pump should be a task that you put on your calendar twice a year: once during the spring and once during the fall when Daylight Savings Time comes around. It is a very simple task: you fill a pail with water and pour the water into your sump pit and repeat until the pump turns on or the water level is at the top of the pit. If your pump does not turn on, make sure it is plugged in. If it is plugged in and has not turned on, call the Plumb Magic team of licensed plumbers as soon as you can. If you wait and we get a severe thunderstorm it may be too late to save your basement and all your valuables.

Sump pumps don’t last a lifetime and they may not always function at their optimal capacity. Your pump could become clogged, the float can get stuck and stop the motor from working or someone may have inadvertently unplugged the pump without you knowing. There are simply too many variables to allow it to go without at least bi-yearly maintenance. There is however some protection for your home and valuables that you may not know exists.

How will YOU know that your sump pump has failed? You usually find out when your basement is flooded and all the furniture you were saving to give your kids when they go off to college is floating in 2 feet of water. But by the time your basement is flooded it's too late. Wouldn't it be great if there were some way you could be warned BEFORE the basement flooded? Wouldn't it be great if there were an alarm to sound an alarm warning you of the impending catastrophe?

Simply stated, having a sump pump is not enough to make your home secure and flood free when heavy rains and floods occur. The sump pump can break down and go unnoticed until the water destroys the entire basement. That is why it is advisable to add a sump pump alarm. You will never have to worry about your basement flooding again. The alarms have water detectors that are designed to go off when it comes in contact with water. When the water detector senses the presence of water at its tip, the alarm sounds and you are alerted that your sump pump is malfunctioning or has stopped working altogether. Using this simple and cost effective device enables you to save your home in time before real damage occurs.

Call the team of Plumb Magic plumbing wizards now to set up an appointment. Your basement, your home and your family can be worry free in no time. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Home Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

Homeowners – it is that time of year.  Time to check through your home’s plumbing system.  I know that there are many things on your “honey do” lists and the plumbing maintenance is just one of them.  Though it is not a task you enjoy it is one that should be kept up with throughout the year.  I have created a checklist to help you look for plumbing problems as well as potential problems that should be addressed before they become a real issue.

Going line-by-line on the checklist will help you with preventative care and maintenance of your home’s plumbing.

When thinking about your plumbing system, you need to first realize the number of appliances and pipes that are included in the system. This doesn’t only cover the plumbing system that operates toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs in your home, it also covers laundry facilities in your home for your washer, utility sinks, and drains that may be installed.

❏ Look for signs of leaks in exposed pipes, where pipes run through the walls or the foundation of your home. Signs of a leak include puddles of water and watermarks.
❏ Look for signs of corrosion. Corrosion of pipes can cause leaks and bad pipe connections if not corrected. A sign of corrosion is green stains around brass and copper fittings and on shutoff valves, and yellow or orange stains on old steel pipes.
❏ Test water pressure. Water pressure is how much force the water comes out of the sinks faucet and showerheads. Low water pressure can be a sign of sediment build up in the faucet or showerhead. It may also be a sign of a problem with the water line.
❏ Remove the showerhead to look for any sediment that may have collected in it. This may be a cause of low water pressure.
❏ Check each sink, shower and tub drain for the speed of drainage. Slow drainage usually indicates a clog in the drain or a blocked vent pipe. Your drains should have a full swirl when draining. If bubbles appear when water is draining, this is usually a sign of a problem. If there are gurgling sounds, there may be venting problems
❏ Check the flushing handle and inside parts of the toilets. Flush each toilet to make sure that it is flushing properly. Check the parts inside the tank of the toilet to see if any parts are broken, rusted, or missing. Make sure the toilet water does not continue to run after flushing and make sure there is no sign of water on the floor around the toilet.
❏ Look for cracked tiles in the shower, around sinks, or near water pipes in the home. Loose or hollow tiles can be an indication that there is, or was, a leak that has caused rotting underneath or behind the tile. Water that goes through the cracks will look like a plumbing leak on the ceiling below.
❏ See if tub, sink or toilet caulking is coming off.
❏ Check for mildew, which is caused by standing water that may have dried up again.
❏ Push and pull gently on each toilet to see if it rocks or moves.
❏ Look inside the burner chamber of the home’s water heater. See if there are any flakes of rust inside of the chamber. Also, check the flame of the water heater, which should be a blue color with no signs of yellow in the flame. If you see a yellow color, this may mean that the jets need to be cleaned.
❏ You should drain the water heater to remove sediment that may have built up in it.
❏ Turn on all of the faucets in your home to see if there is any water coming out of the handles and valves.
❏ Check the washing machine hoses to make sure that there aren’t any cracks and that the hoses are not brittle or leaking. Washing machine leaks are common insurance claims. The best hoses are braided stainless, or other high-pressure material.

By running through this checklist on an annual or bi-annual basis, you can check your home for plumbing problems or potential plumbing problems. Addressing these problems on a regular basis can help you to prevent the problems from becoming worse, which can save you quite a bit of money on the long run. Taking a few minutes to inspect your plumbing system is time well spent.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How To Clean Your Water Pipes

Water pipe maintenance should be part of your regular home maintenance. If ignored, damaged water pipes can cost you a huge amount of money. Since clogging, rusting and mineral deposits occur through time, you have to keep your system clean to prevent these problems from happening. Plumb Magic plumbers recommend the use of Bio-Clean rather than using harsh chemicals and commercial cleaners to maintain the plumbing system. 


WHAT IS BIO-CLEAN?


BIO-CLEAN is... a blend of bacteria and enzymes. The bacteria are natural, not genetically-engineered. The enzyme concentration is the most powerful on the market.


SAFE
Bio-Clean is non-poisonous. It creates no heat, no fumes, no boiling. It does not attack live tissue nor inorganic materials, only organic wastes like grease, hair, food particles, paper, cotton & sewage. This makes BIO-CLEAN safe for people, plumbing and the environment. BIO-CLEAN changes the waste particles into water, carbon dioxide and mineral ash which run harmlessly out of your waste system. These elements are then available for plant life.


EFFECTIVE
Within an hour after pouring the bacteria into the drain, the bacteria begin to eat their way into the waste that has accumulated on the sides and top of the drain pipe. This is their natural food. They digest the waste and spread throughout your system, cleaning it completely.


MULTIPURPOSE
• Residential and commercial applications.  All drain and sewer pipes, including: 
• Kitchen Sinks 
• Lavatories 
• Bath tubs 
• Showers Floor drains 
• Laundry drains 
• Septic tanks and drain fields
• Garbage disposal odors
• Grease traps
• Sewage ejector sumps
• Outdoor outhouses and cesspools
• R.V. & boat holding tanks
• Lift StationsCat Litter Boxes


ECONOMICAL
• 100 drain treatments per 2 lb. container
• 2lb. container treats 1,000 gallon septic tank
• Eliminates the need to clean grease traps and cable drains
• Eliminates the need to buy dangerous chemicals
• Eliminates the need to buy deodorant blocks (urinals.)
• Eliminates costly compensation to employees that have been injured by using dangerous chemicals.

Call one of our Plumbing Professionals anytime 540-370-0752 to learn more about BioClean.