Posts Tagged ‘toilets’

How To Recognize if You Have Polybutelene Pipes in Your Home

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Between 1975 and 1995, a new revolutionary piping was used in most home construction – polybutylene piping. Contractors and plumbers loved this new piping because of its low cost and easy installation. But, over time, it was discovered that polybutylene piping can cause several problems, the biggest of which being that these pipes react with water and become brittle, causing the pipes to fail without warning. For this reason, it is very important to know if you have polybutylene piping in your home.

This article from explains how you can spot this faulty piping.

You may be able to spot this type of piping on your own. There are a few things you can look for to help you identify polybutylene in your home. Then, once you have confirmed it, you can have a professional check for any potential damage and help you figure out a solution. 

  1. Polybutylene underground water main pipes tend to be blue in color, but can also be gray or black. Black poly should not be confused with polybutylene.
  2. The pipes tend to be half an inch to an inch in diameter, and can be seen entering the home through the basement floor or wall, through a concrete slab, or even through a crawlspace. Generally, it will come through the home near the water heater, which is a good place to start looking. There are some cases where copper piping is used near the home, and polybutylene piping is used near the water meter, so it is important to check both ends.
  3. Polybutylene piping can also be used inside the home, and is most easily found near the water heater. It can also be found running along the ceiling in uncompleted basements, and coming out of the walls to provide water to sinks and toilets.

In the end, the best way to recognize polubutylene is to have a professional plumber inspect your home. If you have any questions or think you may have polybutylene piping, contact Mahon Plumbing by clicking here today!

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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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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Diagnosing a running toilet

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

There are certainly worse things in the world than a toilet that runs when it shouldn’t.  However, the sound can be very annoying, and the toilet is wasting water.  Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to diagnose what’s wrong with the toilet, and it can be easy to fix.

A toilet that is constantly running usually indicates part of the flushing mechanism is hung up somewhere.  The flapper may not be seating correctly, the chain could be kinked, or the arm or tank ball may be stuck.  Usually working the mechanism a few times will let it sort itself out, but any of these items can be easily replaced.

Occasionally the water line will be set too high, which results in water constantly running down the overflow tube.  In these instances the water line will need to be adjusted.

A toilet that runs intermittently usually means a leaky flush valve is allowing water to flow into the bowl.   To test whether this is the case, add some food coloring to the tank when it’s full, and don’t use it for 15 to 20 minutes.  If the water in the bowl is colored after that time, then your flush valve is leaking and probably needs to be replaced.  Another way of determining when your flapper needs to be replaced is to touch it.  If it leaves a black residue on your fingers, then it’s too old.

Replacing flush valves can be more involved because it frequently means removing the tank from the bowl.  If you need help making this or any of the above repairs, contact us. We’ll get your toilet working right without any hassle to you.

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How low-flow toilets work

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

The advent of low-flow toilets was greeted with a lot of skepticism, and the first low-flow toilets lived down to the expectations of many.  Multiple flushes were needed to do the job.  Now manufacturers of low-flow toilets have corrected these initial problems but have been met with the same skepticism.  This article may help alleviate concerns with its helpful cross section of a low-flow toilet and explanations of how both they and conventional toilets work.

There’s really not much to the difference between the two types of toilets.  Both work by letting the force of water running from the tank into the bowl push the water and other contents already in the bowl through the drain and out through pipes.  Low-flow toilets have an added mechanism that allows only 1.6 gallons of water to flow from the tank into the bowl.

The problem with early low-flow toilets is that the drain design remained the same preventing the lesser amount of water from doing its job.  The fix was simply redesigning the passageways to make the reduced amount of water more effective.  If you’re now interested in adding low-flow toilets to your home, contact us. We’ll be happy to install them for you.

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