NEVER Pour Grease and Cooking Oil Down the Drain

NEVER Pour Grease and Cooking Oil Down the Drain

After you have finished cooking some bacon or using oil or grease when cooking it’s easy to dump the excess grease and oil down the drain without giving it second thought. This greasy mess can cause a lot of damage to the sewer, but it can also clog up your pipes as well.

If you have ever left bacon grease in the pan for too long, you’ll notice that it completely solidifies as it cools and can be very difficult to clean off. This is an example of what the inside of your pipes may also looks like!  Your home’s piping will suffer the effects of hardened fat and grease, which will eventually block the pipe entirely.

Pouring grease or oil down the drain can be a plumbing disaster that could cost you thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs in the future.

How to Tell if Your Drain is Clogged with Grease

  • Early warning signs of clogged drainage system include:
  • Slow water drainage
  • Gurgling sound
  • A bad smell emanating from your drains

If you are experiencing a clog in your kitchen sink and you have put grease down the sink, then it may be a grease clog, but more than likely it is a combination clog. Sometimes a piece of hard material can get stuck in your drain. Excessive grease build-up, when coupled with this type of obstruction, can really speed up the clogging process.

There are better ways to dispose of unwanted grease and oil. 

Dump the grease it in a cup, wait for it to cool, and throw it in the trash, because even a small amount of oil dumped down the drain can build up over time and wreak havoc on not only your drainage system, but your town’s whole sewer. If you are asking the question, can you pour grease down the drain? The answer is a strong NO!

How to Properly Dispose of Grease and Oil

Once the grease has completely cooled in the pan, scrape as much as you can out and throw it right into the trash can. You can then use a paper towel to thoroughly wipe down the pan.  You do not want to rinse and wash the pan without doing this first, as excess grease can still go down the drain.

And if you do not feel like wiping and all that, transfer the grease/fat/oil to another container after cooking and place the container in the fridge or freezer. Once it hardens, you can simply throw the whole block away.

Need HELP? Give us a call at 630-638-8651 or visit our website at: https://www.dupagehomeservice.com/

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BEWARE Put Down That Commercial Drain Cleaner

BEWARE Put Down That Commercial Drain Cleaner

BEWARE – Put Down That Commercial Drain Cleaner!

When a bathroom or kitchen drain becomes clogged many homeowners will reach for a commercial drain cleaner to clear the clog. While chemical drain cleaning products can be very effective at removing grease, hair and other organic material, they can be hazardous to your health and damage your plumbing if not used in a safe manner.  Chemical drain cleaners often contain chemicals such as lye, sodium hydroxide or sodium nitrate. Many of these chemicals can cause severe burns and blindness and must be handled with extreme care.

Enzyme Drain Cleaners

One safe and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical drain cleaners are enzymatic drain cleaners. Natural bacteria or enzymes are put into the drain to feed on hair, food waste and other organic material. These living organisms multiply inside the pipe and gradually clean the clog away. While not as fast acting as chemical cleaners, they are generally not harmful to people.

Home-made Drain Cleaner

Another way to safely clean out a drain is to use vinegar and baking soda.

Step 1 – pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain.

Step 2 – pour half a cup of vinegar.

Step 3 – Wait 15 minutes

Step 4 – pour in hot tap water.

An alternative method is to mix equal parts salt, vinegar and baking soda. Pour the mixture into the drain. Wait one hour, and then pour in hot water.

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Finding the Main Water Shutoff Valve

Finding the Main Water Shutoff Valve

Finding the Main Water Shutoff Valve

Water damage from frozen pipes, ruptured washer hoses, leaking supply lines and dripping water heaters costs billions every year. Knowing where to turn off your water supply is important information for everyone to know!

After the water passes through the city-installed valves, it comes to what is known as the main shutoff valve in your home. This is the valve that you need to be able to locate in an emergency.

Find it before an emergency occurs so, when you are in a pinch, you know where it is. This valve is usually in the basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipe when it is open. Turning off this valve (by turning it clockwise) cuts off the water supply to the entire house.

Types of main shutoff valves:

There are two types of main shutoff valves: the gate valve and the ball valve. The gate valve is common in older homes and has a round handle that must be turned several times to open or close the valve. Gate valves are designed to be fully open or fully closed. Water flowing through a partially open gate valve can wear away the metal and cause the valve to fail over time. The ball valve is more common in newer construction and has a lever handle that needs to be turned 90 degrees to turn the water on or off. You can immediately tell if it is open or not: In the closed position, the lever is perpendicular to the pipes; in the open position it is parallel.

After the water passes through the city-installed valves, it comes to what is known as the main shutoff valve in your home. This is the valve that you need to be able to locate in an emergency. Find it before an emergency occurs so, when you are in a pinch, you know where it is. This valve is usually in the basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipe when it is open. Turning off this valve (by turning it clockwise) cuts off the water supply to the entire house.

Got a plumbing problem give us a call at 630-638-8651 or visit our website at www.dupagehomeservice.com

 

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Got Rusty Pipes?

Got Rusty Pipes?

If your home has an aging plumbing system, especially with galvanized pipes, rust can leech off of your pipes and flow into the water that comes out of your taps.

Rust is oxidized iron. It can originate anywhere from a water main to your own plumbing. Tap water can turn reddish brown due to iron particles that break free from sediment inside corroded iron or steel pipes

Discolored water. Rust can turn your water yellow, orange, red or brown. In addition, you might notice small pieces of rust floating in your water.

Stains on your plumbing fixtures. When your water becomes discolored due to rust, it can stain plumbing fixtures like toilet bowls, toilet tanks and sinks. In addition, running a washing machine with rusty water can stain your clothes.

Strange tasting water. People often report that water with rust in it has a metallic taste.

The proper method for removing rust from your drinking water depends on the source of the rust. If the problem comes from old pipes in your home, your best bet is to install new pipes.

if you have rusty pipes, plumbing repair should happen as soon as possible to prevent more rust from developing and weakening the metal pipe. Minerals in water that build up inside metal plumbing cause corroded water pipes. Pinhole corrosion is common and leads to small amounts of water leaking from the pipe.

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Signs Your Water Heater Is About to Fail

Signs Your Water Heater Is About to Fail

You can avoid the disruption and damage of a failing water heater. Here are four indicators that your water heater may be on its last legs:

1. How old is your water heater?

It’s crucial to know the age of your water heater. Find the age by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker on the upper portion of the water heater
The serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured. But it won’t look the way a date is normally written. Instead, the serial number will have a date code such as “F051052638”.
F is for the month and F is the sixth letter in the alphabet, so it represents the sixth month, June. Next, the first two digits of the serial number are 05, which represents the year, 2005. So this water heater was made in June 2005. Each manufacturer has a similar date code, and they can vary; check the manufacturer’s website to learn more.
Generally, most water heaters that are more than 10 years old should be considered for replacement. If your water heater is in a location that will not cause damage if there is a leak, you can wait until it develops a leak before replacing it, but that really is not recommended.
If your water heater is in a location that will cause damage to your home, you should strongly consider replacing it after 10 years (or before, if any of the following symptoms occur).

2. Rusty water

If you discover rusty water coming from your water heater and it only comes from the hot side piping in your home, this can be a sign that your water heater is rusting away on the inside and it may begin to leak soon.

But if you have galvanized piping, you may have rusty pipes. A good test to avoid replacing a functioning water heater is to drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the water heater. By the third bucket, if the water from your heater is still coming out rusty, then most likely the water heater (not the piping) is at fault.

3. Rumbling and noise

As a water heater ages, sediment will build up on the bottom of the tank. As the sediment is heated and reheated, it eventually will harden.

When this happens, you can often hear rumbling or banging sounds coming from the water heater as it is heating up. This is a sign that the water heater is at the end of its useful life.
The layer of hardened sediment means:

  • Less efficiency — the heater will have to use more gas or electricity to heat the water.
  • More damage — the extra time spent heating the water will cause more wear on the metal tank and lead to more brittle metal that can crack and develop tiny holes. If you start to hear rumbling from your water heater, keep an eye out for any small leaks. If you find one, then it may be time to replace your water heater.

4. Water around the water heater

If you notice moisture around your water, you may have a small leak or a fracture in the tank. As the metal heats, it expands and if there are slight fractures, water may leak from the tank. Once the metal has cooled the inner tank will stop leaking.
However, before replacing your water heater, make sure there are no other leaks coming from either the fittings or connections to the tank. Also, make sure the temperature/pressure overflow pipe is not leaking. If all of the connections and fittings are dry, it may be time to replace the water heater.
If you are concerned about water heater failure or if you discover any of the signs above, contact a plumber or a company that services water heaters.

If you need help with your water heater, give us a call at 630-269-3995

 

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