Posts Tagged ‘clogged pipes’

Plastic Has Changed the Plumbing Industry

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Every now and then a technology comes along that completely revolutionizes an industry. For plumbing, that technology was plastic. Up until about 60 years ago, plumbers were still relying on expensive copper piping. As this article from explains, plastics have not only made plumbing less expensive, but also more efficient.

Plumbers spend far less time installing plastic pipes than they did copper ones, because plastic pipes can be bent into various angles, require fewer fittings/couplings and don’t require any soldering. This also equates to fewer expenses being put out to service calls for pipe repairs, meaning you – the client – save money.

Furthermore, plastic tubing does not transfer heat as much as copper tubing, making plastic pipes much more energy-efficient than copper. This will save you even more money on your utility bills.

Plastic pipes also come in a wide variety, including:

PVC pipes are white, durable and resistant to pathogens.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is resistant to impacts and low temperatures making it best suited for drain and waste lines. The advantage to ABS is that it will not shatter the way PVC can plus it is suitable for handling compressed air.

Polypropylene (PP) – best used for outdoor watering and drip systems. Lightweight while being durable and the best part is how inexpensive it is. Simply slip the pipes into one another and the compression fittings will form a seal as soon as pressurized water runs through them.

Polyethylene (PE) and Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX) are known for being lightweight, flexible and resistant to chemicals. PE has been chemically modified to enhance its ability to convey radiant heat; most useful in snow melting and ice rinks.

If you have any questions regarding plastic piping, contact Mahon Plumbing by clicking here today!

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The Importance of Proper Septic Tank Inspection and Replacement

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, not quite – especially if you have a septic tank. The worst thing any homeowner can do is ignore their septic system. If something were to happen to your septic tank and it would either burst, spring a leak, or just back up, you could be out thousands of dollars with cleanup costs, repair costs and even replacement costs. Simply scheduling a regular septic tank inspection can save you tons of money, in the long run, by catching potential problems before they become large catastrophes.

This article from explains everything you need to know about septic systems.

A septic tank is essentially just a large, often plastic (older models may be concrete or steel), holding tank used for household water waste storage. When the tank is filled, it will need to be drained in one of three ways: by being pumped out, having bacteria or chemicals added that will break down and destroy the waste, or by allowing it to be drained into the soil through a leech field. But, like any system, your septic tank will slowly wear down. Because of this, preventative maintenance becomes a huge issue. And since septic tanks are underground, it is often hard to tell when it is time for regular maintenance, so scheduling regular septic tank inspections and replacement assessments is very important.

Even if you your tank uses a leech field or you use additives to break down waste, you should still have your tank pumped on a regular basis (every 3 to 5 years) to allow service technicians to inspect the system for maintenance issues. This inspection should include a visual check of the tank, connectors, pipes, leech field, baffles (or lids), drainage, and interior. There are tests that field service agents can perform to test the function of the tank itself, like adding dye to the water to test for leaks.

Even with proper maintenance, your tank will still break down over time. But the more attention you give it, with regular inspections and assessments, the longer your septic system will last.

If you have any questions, contact Mahon Plumbing by clicking here today!

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well!


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Benefits of Video Inspection

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Technology continues to make our lives easier. The automobile made transportation faster, the microwave made cooking faster, the telephone made communication faster and now the video camera has made diagnosing plumbing problems faster and more accurate.

This article from explains how the video camera has revolutionized the plumbing industry.

A professional plumbing technician uses a flexible rod with a high-resolution camera on one end. He then threads this camera through your pipes to get a better look at your sewer lines from the inside. This camera also contains a radio transmitter, which allows for measuring to the surface, meaning the technician will know exactly where the problems are. This means…

1.    It is now easier to locate damage. Plumbers can see inside pipes and actually locate the damaged areas, taking the guesswork out of plumbing. Now, instead of digging up lines to locate a crack (which was a rather expensive procedure), a professional can find everything he needs with a video pipe inspection. This also greatly reduces the total repair time.

2.    Video inspections can also assist in determining the cause and location of a blockage or clog. Knowing what is causing the blockage is a critical aspect in removing it.

3.    A little preventative maintenance can go a long way. Plumbers can now locate potential problem areas and address them before they ever develop into a major catastrophe, saving you lots of money and even more heartache.

So next time you have a crack, leak, blockage or clog, make sure your plumber has this video technology. Otherwise, who knows how much time and money it may take to alleviate the problem. If you have any questions, contact Mahon Plumbing by clicking here today!

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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Dealing With Noisy Pipes

Monday, May 16th, 2011

If you have ever had to deal with noisy pipes, you know just how irritating that constant knocking can be. But what can you do about it? This article from explains how to deal with pesky pipes.

In most states, re-piping has to be guaranteed for a year if it was done by a licensed contractor. So if you have just had your pipes recently redone, you may be in luck. Contact the contractor who did the work and get them to come out to your house, inspect the situation and fix the problem.

If you are not one of the lucky few who have just had their piper redone recently, there are a few things you need to know before you take any further steps.

Where does pipe noise come from? Well, most pipe noise comes from loose or improperly trapped pipes (or some combination of the two). It is not uncommon for a re-piping job to be inadequately secured, so if you have a problem alert your contractor to come out and fix the problem. If possible, try to pinpoint the area of concern to make things easier for the contractor.

Where should I look? The first thing you need to do is to make sure all of the pipes are secure. If all of the pipes are secure, it may not be your pipes that are the problem. It is entirely possible that your contractor accidentally loosened some wood or other material in your walls when installing your new piping.

What can I do? You may consider purchasing a device designed to reduce pipe noise. One is a water-hammer arrestor. It is a bulb-like fitting that has a small rubber bag inside and it acts as a shock absorber when the water is turned on or off. Old school plumbers always installed air-chambers near the end of lines or by the water heater. The air-chamber is merely a short length of pipe extending straight up from a fixture branch that will trap air and the air is supposed to act as a cushion and help with pipe rattle.

If none of this works, what can I do? Well, if you have tried everything and nothing seems to work, it may be time to call a professional plumber.

If you have any questions, contact Mahon Plumbing by clicking here today!

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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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Candid camera for your pipes

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

When you’re stuck with a clogged drain, have you wished you could look down your pipes to see what’s causing the back up and where it is?  Now you can through a service we offer that many other plumbers don’t :  video camera line services.

Taking a page from spy thrillers, we have a long, flexible fiber optic cable that has miniature video camera and light mounted on the end of it.  We insert the camera into you pipes, turn the light on, and see what we can see.  The cable allows us to thread the camera far down the lines and around turns.  Our hand held monitor picks up the signal from the fiber optic cable, letting us watch the journey in real time.

Not only can the camera spot blockages, but a host of other problems as well.  We’re able to see whether you’ve got a rupture, a misaligned pipe at a joint, a leak, or a bent pipe where water and debris are collecting.

If you’re having plumbing issues, contact us and we’ll fire up the video camera to quickly and accurately identify what and where your problem is.  Whatever we find, you can be sure that we’ll be able fix your pipes until they’re working like new.

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What are jetting services?

Friday, August 13th, 2010

For most clogged drains, traditional solutions such as a plumber’s snake are sufficient clearing up the problem. Sometimes, the blockage is too tight or further down the sewer or septic line for these methods to work. When we encounter these situations, we use a jetter, which can solve most problems short of a rupture in the line.

A jetter sends a high-powered stream of water down your drain to break up the clog and push the debris down the line so it can clear out completely. If you think of the pressure of the water from your faucet as the same as that coming out of a garden hose, then a jetter is like introducing a fire hose to your pipes.

As it gets rid of your blockage, the jetter will clean out other material collecting in your lines that could become clogs in the future. Jetting services can practically restore your pipes to a “like new” condition, surpassed only by actually getting them replaced. Some customers have their lines jetted regularly, even if they don’t have a backed-up drain, as a measure of preventative maintenance.

We offer jetting services for both our residential and commercial customers. Contact us to learn more about jetting services and we can fix or prevent clogs.

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