Archive for February, 2011

Finding and Fixing Leaks in a Clean Out Pipe

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

If you think that you might have a leak in your sewer pipe, this article explains the different ways to tell. The longer you let a leak remain, the more trouble it will be for you to fix it later. If you suspect a leak in your sewer pipe it is best to be proactive about the issue.

Sinking

If you happen to notice that the sewage clean out cap is sinking, then this could be a sign of a leak. Pay attention to how long the sinking has been going on and how severe it is. If you suspect a leak you should get a shovel and dig down and around your clean out pipe. As you do this observe whether or not you can see a leak. It is a good idea to have someone inside flushing the toilet so that the leak will be more visible to you.

Professional

If you happen to notice a leak, it is always easiest to call a professional. This might be your best bet because you run no risk of damaging your pipe or causing a bigger leak when you are digging.

Do It Yourself

If you do decide to repair your leak yourself be very careful. If your pipes are not aligned make sure to dig a very large hole so that there will be room for the larger pipes to make up for the lack of alignment. You can use rubber boot coupling connectors that will slide over your pipes and be tightened with hose clamps. These are very easy to install as well.

Keep an eye on your ground to be able to detect a leak. For any of your leak or plumbing needs contact Mahon Plumbing at 410-766-8566 or here.

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Reasons Not to Use a Drain Snake on Galvanized Pipes

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

When performing a drain cleaning with a drain snake, be sure that you are not doing so on galvanized pipes.  Here is a quick guide on reasons that these galvanized pipes should not be unclogged with a drain snake.

Galvanized pipes are found mainly in older homes.  They are generally used for water lines, not gas lines. Galvanized pipes tend to flake off and can clog up your system if you don’t wash them off enough. Snaking the drain would unclog it but would damage the inside more and cause future clogs. This is why galvanized pipes are quickly being replaced in homes to avoid this problem.

Besides the chipping due to old age, galvanized pipes are weaker than new pipes.  This is because they are older and found in older homes, but also because of the composition of the pipes. Snaking the drain doesn’t just cause problems with the interior of the pipe, it also doesn’t seem to help the situation for very long.

Besides the drain snake there are other solutions to clogged drains. If a drain is sluggish but not completely clogged, you can run hot water for 5-10 minutes to try to ease the clog.  If running hot water does not work, you can use an environmentally safe drain opener to unclog your drain.

If your drain is completely clogged there are some different steps to take. You can use a simple suction cup to unclog your pipe.  If you cannot open your drain with a suction cup there are other actions that you can do.  First, place a pail underneath of your sink trap and remove the cleanout plug and the washer.  If the drain is only partially clogged a few probes with a screwdriver should solve your problem.  For any advice on clog problems contact Mahon Plumbing here.

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Drain tile: keeping this silent server unclogged

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Many homes have a system of drain tile whose job it is to move water away from the foundation of a home and thus prevent damage to the basement or crawl space of that home. The drain tile (pipe) is installed with a filter media such as gravel and has an outlet for the water collected in the pipe. It’s explained more here.

It’s important, of course, to make sure the drain tile does not become clogged. Fortunately for the average homeowner, there is a way to check on this, and checking is a maintenance chore that should be performed regularly.

Using a flashlight and a simple stick, examine the area (often a sump pit) from which the drain tile carries away water. Make sure the pit itself is fully drained; if it is not, then the drain tile might be blocked. Inspect the basement, in particular noting if walls are damp or cracks have formed where the basement joins the foundation.

After a heavy rain, water should be pouring out of the drain tile. Using the stick, do an examination of the edge of the outlet. Once water stops flowing, use the flashlight to do a visual inspection of the pipe

Drain tile is a silent server in the home, but keeping it in good condition is an important step toward protecting the home’s all-important foundation. Contact us if you need help with this maintenance.

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