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Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter Prevents Frozen and Broken Water Pipes that Are Costly to Repair - Boston, Worcester, MA

12 Nov 2014

Almost every homeowner in Boston dreads the winter weather, and fears the possibility of plumbing problems due to the fast drop in temperature. It is hard to say what the cold season will bring. So apart from tuning up the heating system, you also need a professional plumber to check out your plumbing system and fix any issues.

The most common way that plumbing systems are damaged in winter is when the water trapped in a pipe freezes. When water freezes in the pipes, it expands and the pipe can burst. This happens when the temperature is cold for long enough and the pipe can no longer expand. Frozen and broken water pipes can be expensive in terms of repair cost and water consumption.

Preventing frozen pipes and protecting the pipes and components of your plumping system from cold temperatures is the most practical thing to do this winter. You can hire a professional plumber in Boston, MA who can visit your home and conduct thorough inspections so as to ensure that your pipes are prepared for the cold weather.

For questions and concerns about your indoor and outdoor plumbing systems, contact the experts of Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.

Things Your Plumber Doesn’t Want You To Do – Boston, Worcester

07 May 2014

You have a clogged toilet again. To help you avoid any future clogs, floods or plumbing problems, we asked plumbers to share their customers’ biggest mistakes—and how they can be avoided.

1. Reach for the Drano.

Forget using chemicals to open or clear drains—they rarely get the job all the way done. Plus, not only are the chemicals very harsh and dangerous for you to handle, they can also ruin drain pipes and the equipment used to clear the stoppage. Hint: To prevent blockages in the first place, keep notorious cloggers like grease and hair out of drains.

2. Use the toilet like a garbage can.

Even if they’re labeled “flushable,” don’t toss feminine hygiene products, personal cleaning wipes, toilet scrubbers, make-up remover pads or cat litter into the toilet. The fact is, they don’t disintegrate quickly enough and can ultimately block the drain pipe.

3. Handle the plumbing problems yourself

Don’t try to diagnose and fix a plumbing problem yourself, or hire a handyman to do plumbing work. Plumbers can find and correct a problem faster than an amateur can, which will save you money in the long run.

4. No idea where the main water valve is.

Don’t be in the dark when it comes to knowing the location of the main water valve and every emergency shut off valve in your house. And while you’re at it, learn how to turn off these valves. It’s easy but if you’d prefer to have pro show you how, many plumbers will check emergency shut-off valves at no charge.

5. Use drop in toilet fresheners.

Ditch the drop-in tank toilet fresheners. You may love the blue water it makes in your toilet bowl, but these tablets often contain chemicals that wear out working parts inside the tank. Plus, as these tablets disintegrate, they can get stuck in the flush valve and prevent the toilet from flushing.

6. Forget to replace the hoses.

Water hoses don’t give any warning before they burst, so avoid a potential flood by changing out rubber hoses on washing machines and dishwashers every five years. When you do replace them, use stainless steel on all water lines, if possible.

7. No leak protection system.

Don’t skimp on water leak protection. It only costs a few hundred dollars to get a water leak protection system that offers both an alarm and a main water shut-off should a leak occur in your water heater, dishwasher, sinks and more.

8. The hot water heater is outdated.

Don’t think your tank water heater will last forever—the average lifespan is 8-12 years. Just like toast tends to fall butter-side down on the floor, your 20-year-old tank will inevitably fail and flood while you are on vacation.

9. Overload the garbage disposal.

Be kind to your garbage disposal: Don’t pour grease into it (the goopy stuff will eventually solidify and clog the drain), and don’t put in fibrous food like celery and artichokes. Also avoid pushing through large amounts of garbage at once. Instead, feed garbage slowly into the disposal with cold running water.

10. Mess with the water heater’s pressure valve.

Don’t try to drain your water heater or test the temperature and pressure valve yourself. These need to be done professionally. If the valve is not properly removed, the pressure from the tank can disperse scalding hot water that could cause serious burns as well as property damage.

For help with plumbing problems, contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.

Today.com

Stupid Things that Ruin Plumbing – Worcester, Boston

25 Mar 2014

We will always need plumbing, or more specifically, working plumbing, but unfortunately people will always do stupid things that causes plumbing problems and stops it from working. Here are the top 10 stupid things that people do to ruin their plumbing.

1: Leaving hoses connected during winter.

This is a classic plumbing error that one must assume is caused most often by extreme laziness. Hoses can cause damage when left out all year: they can lead to freezing of the outdoor faucet or its water supply pipe. It’s terrible for your hose, too.

2: Using vent pipes for anything other than venting.

There are reports of homeowners running things like TV cables down the plumbing vent pipes that come up through their roofs. Seems like a tempting solution to getting into the house, but vent pipes aren’t just there for their bad looks. They not only provide air to drains inside the house, to prevent a suction effect that inhibits drainage; they also get rid of sewer gases that come up from the city’s sewer main. If you cut a hole in your vent inside the house to run a cable through, you’re tapping into an endless supply of your neighborhood’s sewer air.

3. Using too much drain cleaner.

When used judiciously and as directed on the right kind of clog, drain cleaners can be effective and relatively safe for drains. When used with abandon, they can corrode some drain materials, and they can actually make clogs worse. It’s also not very nice for the plumber who eventually comes out to clear that clog.

4. Pouring chemicals (and other bad stuff) into a septic system.

If you’re used to living with a “private” sewage system, you probably know how to take care of it. But if you just bought a house with septic you might not think twice about using chemicals like drain cleaner, chlorine bleach, paint and even anti-bacterial soaps. These chemicals kill the essential waste-eating bacteria in the septic tank, and you can guess the result.

5: Screwing, nailing or cutting into a wall with hidden plumbing pipes.

This kind of speaks for itself.

6: Joining two different metals in piping.

DIY plumbers beware: When dissimilar metals, such as copper and steel, are touching, a process called galvanic action leads to corrosion. Corrosion leads to leaking pipes. Such joints must be made with a dielectric union or other approved fitting.

7: Pouring grease down the kitchen drain.

If you’re in the habit of pouring bacon grease down the kitchen-sink drain, you might as well try to stuff the whole pig down there. Grease is one of the best things for clogging drains.

8: Putting everything else down the kitchen drain.

A garbage disposal does very little to stop the following from clogging your drain: flour, rice, potato peels (and some other veggie peels) and many fibrous foods such as asparagus and chard.

9: Removing a sink drain.

This is not a common stupid mistake, but it warrants mention here. Some very well-meaning folks who want to green their everyday lives have been known to remove the P-trap and other drain parts underneath their bathroom sink so that the wastewater could be collected in a bucket and used to water plants outdoors. While the use of gray water is the jurisdiction of the local health department, the issue in this humble missive is the 1 1/2-INCH HOLE PUMPING SEWER GAS INTO THE BATHROOM. You have to plug that drain pipe.

10: Using the toilet as a trash can.

It’s as though, at the back of our minds, each of us believes that if we can just get it to flush away, it will be magically out of our lives forever. Unfortunately, the toilet leads to a 3-inch drain pipe that leads into another drain pipe, which is THE drain pipe to your entire house. In other words, flushing one improper item down the toilet ultimately can stop up everything in the house. The bottom line is, if it isn’t toilet paper or waste, don’t flush it.

For plumbing help, contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.

Networx.com



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