SIGNS IT’S TIME TO REPLACE YOUR OLD BATHTUB

SIGNS IT’S TIME TO REPLACE YOUR OLD BATHTUB


Your bathtub is one of the most frequently used areas in your home. This makes it very susceptible to mold and leaks. Not sure when your bathtub is leaking or molding? Here are some of the main signs that indicate that you should replace your bathtub:

  • Staining
    • Older bathtubs will usually have permanent stains and this could become a problem for the condition of your bathtub down the line.
    • Rust stains can cause even more trouble due to rust corrosion, it is recommended to replace the rusted part on your bathtub as soon as possible
  • Leaks or cracks
    • If you notice any leakage or cracks around your tub or showers then this could indicate a pool seal and can cause mold damage in the process. If the water is not flowing straight from your faucet to your bathtub, then you have a leakage problem
  • Slow water pressure or drainage
    • If the water coming out of your tub is slow, then you likely have corroded pipes. If you have a clog that cannot be easily fixed by only clearing out debris from your drain, then you should contact a plumber on how to resolve the clog.
  • Old hardware 
    • If your hardware is chipping, rusting or showing other signs of getting old, then you should look to upgrade it because it could become a potential hazard when showering or bathing.
  • Poor water quality
    • If your water is a strange colour or foul-smelling then there could be a problem with your pipes or water heater if the problem is persistent.
  • Mould 
    • If you notice a mould build up in your bathroom then this could indicate a faulty or worn sealing. Not only does it look ugly but it could potentially affect your health by causing breathing problems, rashes, allergies, migraines and nervous system issues. To avoid this you should upgrade your bathroom and contact a plumbing professional to avoid the mould damaging other parts of your house.
  • Is your tub too small?
    • If your tub is too small this could cause you trouble in getting in and out, or it could cause you to slip which is an uncomfortable experience for you. The solution for a cramped bathtub would be to get a replacement.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR BASEMENT IS FLOODING?

What do you do when your basement is flooding?

When your basement is flooding, you should:

  1. Call your electrician immediately
  2. If your flooded basement has an electrical hazard that could affect your family, you should call an electrician. This is important especially if you cannot access your circuit breaker. If your circuit breaker is not in the basement, you should shut off your power and gas immediately. An electrician will assist you on assessing your flooded basement’s condition and being the water removal process.

  3. Move important items to a dry area
  4. Following the water removal process, you can attend to your important belongings and move them to a different area.

    If any of your items are contaminated and toxic you should throw them out to avoid any potential health hazards.

  5. Call your plumber
  6. As soon as your area is safe to enter and you have removed all of your personal belongings in the basement, you should call a plumber. The plumber will be able to identify and fix the flooding issue.

  7. Call your insurance company
  8. Flood coverage is typically an add-on to your regular policy (most insurance companies cover flood damage caused by appliance failure or a burst pipe) and by having it will cover your basement when it does flood.

  9. Clean up
  10. When you begin cleaning up you should avoid using electronic devices that could come in contact with the water. If your plumbing company has the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) they will be able to perform effective water damage and restoration services.

  • Optional step:
  • This is to prevent the spreading of mold, you should try to remove all of the flooded drywall within 24 hours of the flood.

What should you avoid doing if your basement floods?

  • Do NOT enter rooms with sagging ceilings
  • Do NOT touch or use plugged in electrical items
  • Do NOT store electrical fans or other appliances near water
  • Do NOT use heat to dry your flooded interiors
  • Do NOT allow children or pets to play in any flooded area

What can cause basement flooding?

These are some of the things that can cause basement flooding:

  • Oversaturation of groundwater 
  • Broken sump pumps
  • Storm drain backup 
  • Older/Burst pipes 
  • Leaking appliances 
  • Leaking fixtures 
  • Overflowing creeks
  • Climate change, extreme water events
  • Seasonal flooding

What can I do to prevent flooding in the future?

To prevent flooding in the future, you can:

  • Consult a plumber for repairs and waterproofing.
  • Inspect your sewer lines for tree roots and blockages.
  • Snake your piping annually.
  • Check basement walls for any cracks or other damages.
  • Seal basement window wells, vents, and exterior openings.
  • Keep water away from your foundation by grading the landscape away from your home.
  • Extend downspouts five (5) feet from your home’s foundation.

Maintaining your basement to prevent flooding:

  • Be proactive: contact your insurance company ahead of time to avoid any problems that may occur due to flooding
  • Install a waterproofing system: this is an effective method to keep your basement dry
  • Routinely inspect pipe and drain services
  • Install a sump pump or backwater valve

TIPS TO UNCLOG A DRAIN (SHOWER, TUB, AND SINK)

Tips to Unclog a Drain (shower, tub, and sink)

UNCLOG A DRAIN
Nothing is more unpleasant than standing in a shower that doesn’t drain as a result of a clog. That nasty smell starts to build up in your washroom. Kitchen sinks suffer from clogs too; with all the leftover sludge making its way down the drain, no wonder things get clogged. With so many home remedies, it can be hard to decipher between which ones work, and which will give you more problems. Here are some small tips to try to unblock a drain yourself, remember that these do not end all be all solutions, and the best thing to do with your clogged drain is to call a professional.

Hot Water Down the Drain

Sometimes small clogs like dried food or stuck on grease only need a little bit of help from some good old H2O. This trick works by filling your fixture with boiling hot water and letting it sit for a while to loosen grime. You’ll know that this is working if you start to see your water draining more than it was before. Once all the water has drained, repeat the process a few more times.

If this first tip doesn’t do the trick, try our next recommendation

Mix Baking Soda and Vinegar

Most of the time you hear these two cooking ingredients together you think of a third grade science experiment. Well, that same chemical reaction is what has the potential to relieve a blockage. By boring baking soda down the clogged drain, followed by vinegar, the fizzing might be enough to loosen up and flush out smaller blockages. The most effective way to use this method is by allowing the mixture to sit a while then flush out with hot water thoroughly.

For some bigger issues this won’t be enough, the third at home remedy is as follows:

P-Trap

This is the last step before you’re going to need to call your plumber or take further steps to fix it yourself. The photos included here will give you a visual about what you are looking for. Try to access a P-trap. If it’s a sink it will be located underneath and you can easily find it.
P-Trap
By accessing this you will be able to empty your fixture from water. The next step is to put something under a trap so the water will go there rather than spilling on your floor and making a bigger mess. Some P-traps have a cleaning opening on the bottom so try to open it and clean that “U” shape piece of pipe by using a firm wire or something similar.Contrastingly, if your trap looks more like this, you need to remove it completely by using union joints which are recognizable by two big plastic nuts (remember that these should be hand tightened). Once removed, clean that “U” shape piece that you see. If you were then able to remove something from inside, that may have been the blockage causing your problem. FInal step is to put everything back the way it was and commence running the water again.
P-Trap

There are situations where the P-trap will be inaccessible. If you can’t find a trap, or it looks different than most likely it’s a poor plumbing job; this includes sealed shut pipes and inaccessible kitchen/washroom sinks. That being said, the trap for the bathtub/shower won’t be accessible without cutting a wall or floor and we do not recommend this to be touched by anyone who is not a licensed plumber.

If none of these steps work, it could signal that you have a bigger problem on your hands or need the help of a plumber.

Calling a Plumber or Doing it Yourself

For larger or more dense blockages, you may need to use a “snaking machine”. But it’s at this point that your drain has gone beyond “home remedies” and it is truly time to give a plumber a call. Spending time, money, and effort to rent a “snaking machine” is inefficient. It would already be more cost, and time effective to call a plumber. Your plumber will have the exact type of machine(s) needed to fix your blockage, not to mention, that we are trained professionals and know how to properly use these delicate devices on your precious plumbing. Home remedies can be the answer to some drain blocks, but use with caution because using home remedies can cost you not only time, money and effort, but if done incorrectly, your plumbing too. Rooter Team is ready to assist you with our years of experience and knowledge. No challenge is too big for us, don’t be embarrassed about your drain clog, remedying the problem is what we do. Do not hesitate to call us for free estimate:

BEFORE YOU GO ON VACATION, YOU NEED TO DO THIS

If you’re going for a vacation away from the frosty weather, you do lots of preparations before you leave. Is your plumbing ready to be alone in winter? Finally, there is one thing you absolutely have to remember before you pack your bags and make your way to the airport: you have to drain your water pipes.  

Why Should You Drain Your Pipes?

When residents leave their homes not occupied during the winter, they turn on their thermostats to save energy mode — this makes their pipes to be at risk of freezing when the outside temperature below zero or there is no guarantee that  your heating system will not fail.

If you are home and your water pipe burst

First thing that you should do is turn off main water shut-off valve which is beside your water meter. In most of the cases your water meter is in a basement and your shut-off valve may be 2 types: ball valve or gate valve. If its ball valve – you need to give a handle a quarter of turn (90 degree) or if its gate valve – you need to turn handle clockwise until the leak stops.

Then,  call a plumber to get professional drain replacement and repiping services and take photos of the scene as evidence for your insurance claim if you want to make one.


But what if it happens when you are away?

If somewhere in your house water supply pipe freezes and that water inside a pipe can expend and burst your pipe, but we should remember that water is under pressure from city. During the temperature changes inside the house the pipe can unfreeze or/and water under pressure can squeeze through frozen section and find recently occurred crack in water pipe. Unfortunately, running water will never freeze. You could come home from an expensive vacation to be greeted by thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.


Insurance, what would they say?    

When you were getting home insurance you probably chose an option of water damage coverage, but it’s not all. Your insurance company informed that your coverage applies when house is being occupied by people. Oops, in this hard moment you may have to foot the bill on your own. Some facts about home insurance. 


HOW TO DRAIN YOUR WATER PIPES?

Draining your system is a simple and quick task that you can do before you leave the house. Start by finding the house’s main shut-off valve in the lowest level — it’s traditionally placed near your water meter or your water heater. If you have trouble locating the valve, you can always call up Rooter Team to help you find it and check if it’s working properly. 

Once the valve is closed, go to the faucet at the lowest point in your house like the laundry room sink or the basement bathroom sink. Turn on the faucet and let the remaining water in the pipes drain out. Slowly move up the levels of the house, turning on every faucet and allowing water to run out of them. You can also use an air compressor to blow out a water that’s left in your pipes.

if shut-of valve doesn’t turn off fully and water still going – then you will need to replace it, just simply call Rooter Team.   


WHAT OTHER PRECAUTIONS CAN YOU TAKE?

Call a plumber to make sure you have emergency drains and they are not clogged by doing a camera inspection or ask Rooter Team to have a professional look at your plumbing.

WHAT IS A BACKWATER VALVE AND WHY DO YOU NEED IT?

 Back Water Valve (BWV) is one most valuable items that you can have in your basement in opinion of people experienced basement flooding.

      Do you hear this word in a first time? If yes and you are home or property owner then thankfully you’ve never dealt with basement flooding. But if your basement was flooded by sewer back up then most likely you have BackWater Valve installed already, if not, CONTACT US TODAY.

     Back Water Valve is a “device” and a part of plumbing system that installed in your sanitary building drain/sewer as a last connection after all fixtures in a dwelling. The BWV’s task is to let the waste drain out freely and eliminate backing up of sewage from street by closing your pipe. The BWV should be installed by plumbing code and your municipal requirements and also be a properly maintained. The installation of BWV is mandatory to all new installations, but still many of old houses have it not installed.

     Reside in GTA? GTA has experienced several big floods. Every heavy rain may prompt a flooding across Greater Toronto Area, because many areas in GTA have combined systems for storm and sanitary sewers. Zones of high risk to be flooded. Other reason that can lead to a back up is failure of sewer pipe on city. The best guarantee that your nice basement is protected against sewage flooding is having a BWV installed and proper maintaining of BWV. Having a BWV makes cheaper your home insurance.

   Don’t let the flood to come into your house, because cleaning up after is expensive and labour intensive job that makes lots of inconvenience to property owners. You’ll be replacing your furniture, tearing out walls and floor, but this is not over yet. With sewage back up you can get a deadly bacteria E. coli and others that are not very easy to get rid off. 

Just ask yourself: Should I wait for a flood or get ready for it? Ask our licensed technician if you need a sump pump installation

WE WORK ALL YEAR AROUND

Plumbing In Winter.  As the temperature drops down to minus and the snow is on roads, people have misconception that excavations outside can’t be done or would cost more. It is true that ground can freeze in winter, but Rooter Team  excavates all year around, even in the winter. We have flat rate for excavations and regardless of the season, we make sure that your property is left in good condition. So when you need immediate drain repairs or an underground water line replaced, and it just can’t wait, we are here to assist you, just fell free to contact us!

-Rooter Team

HOW TO DETECT AND REPAIR TREE ROOTS IN THE SEWER LINE

If your home plumbing backs up repeatedly then this could be a sign that you have tree roots growing into your sewer line. You have a few ways of dealing with this problem: 

  • Remove the roots mechanically: You may have the option of cutting through tree roots that have made their way into the pipes. A professional sends a mechanical drill designed specifically for this purpose down the sewer line to chop the roots so they flow out of the pipe. This is only a temporary fix – the roots will grow back – but it allows your pipes to flow freely until you pursue a more permanent solution.
  • Remove the roots chemically: Following mechanical root removal, one option is to kill the roots with chemicals. However, this can be dangerous, so you’ll want to rely on a professional’s help if you go this route.
  • Verify the problem with a video camera inspection: If you’re unsure whether tree roots are the problem, or you want to pinpoint the extent of the issue, call a professional plumber for help. Mr. Rooter Plumbing uses advanced video equipment to inspect the sewer line and identify potential damage to the pipes.
  • Repair your sewer line: If the damage caused by tree roots is severe enough, we might recommend trenchless sewer repair. This is when we fix the damaged pipe by lining it with a durable, seamless product that essentially creates a new pipe inside the old one. Small access holes are all that is required, allowing you to skip the mess and expense of digging trenches. Or this is when pipe is replaced by lateral pipebursting technology. Splitting head and hydraulic puller are used to replace pipe between two excavations.

Get your sewer system back in good shape by CONTACTING US TODAY

THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET

Some people think that toilet is as some kind of “an alternate garbage disposal system”, but actually, many of the items people commonly trust to dispose of with a toilet flush can cause significant plumbing problems. Below is a list of some of these items and why you shouldn’t put them in your toilet:

  • Wipes (all types), Tampons and sanitary supplies, Condoms,Hair

The problem with these is that they create clogs and backups in sewer systems despite being marketed as flushable like toilet paper. The issue is being looked into further as some say the wipes don’t degrade after flushing causing headaches for sewer systems, which can add up to big bills to fix.

  • Medications

In addition, don’t flush old medicine down the toilet. This is actually an extremely dangerous action to take as the medications can destroy good bacteria in the sewer system, contaminate water supplies. They can cause harm to the environment and aquatic wildlife. Most pharmacies will accept these expired products and dispose of them properly for you. 

  • Cotton Balls & Swabs

Although small and soft, these common staples in most bathrooms don’t break down in water the way most might think they would. The cotton in these items becomes soggy and heavy, often causing them to gather in bends of pipes, causing massive blockages.

  • Cigarette Butts

There’s lots of conversation about the dangers of smoking cigarettes and what it can do to the body, but that doesn’t seem to get some to reconsider putting their cigarette butts down the toilet. The chemicals in the flushed cigarette butts are incredibly toxic and can contaminate the water supply which is not good for people or wildlife.

  • Dental Floss

Despite being small and string-like, dental floss is not biodegradable and once flushed loves to wrap around other objects in pipes and the sewer system, making tiny clogs a much bigger problem very quickly.

  • Cooking Fats

Almost everyone has probably done this one at some point, but cooking fats should never go down the drain or in a toilet. Although in liquid form when poured down, once given the chance to cool, fats, oils and grease become pipe-clogging wax. These items are best to go in the garbage can.

  • Cat Litter

This one might seem like it’s not that bad – it’s the same as other items meant for the toilet, right? Wrong. Cat litter is made from clay and sand, which should never be put down the toilet as they’ll cause major blockages. Another harmful effect of putting cat litter down the toilet is that the waste contains toxins and parasites that will contaminate the water supply.

We hope this information was useful for you, Rooter Team

Sewer (Drain) Backups

Sewer (drain) backups can be unpleasant events that are happening in your basement and a major headache for homeowners – if your system is constantly backed up. It’s not only wasting your time and money to deal with it, it’s also a damage that can be made to your property and interruptions in using of plumbing fixtures. 

There might be a number of factors that is causing your sewer system to frequently fail, but the best way to ensure your issues are determined and resolved is to hire an experienced plumber.

Rooter Team has everything you need to deal with sewer/drain backups, that includes right equipment and experienced people to assist you. We offer full inspections of your sewer/drain systems to make sure each and every problem is accounted for. We come to you with our solution and we only begin when you approve our repair plan.

Need to schedule service? contact us

PREVENTING FROZEN WATER PIPES

To minimize the chances of your pipes freezing, there are various things that can be done

  • Make sure that you’ve properly drained all outside water pipes/hose faucets using their shut off valve to bleed out water remaining in the line, look around the home, for areas where your water lines may be vulnerable due to a lack of insulation or heating such as in basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces. The water lines serving or running through these areas are definitely at risk and should be insulated to avoid this from happening.
  • If you do have water supply running through your garage, ensure the door remains shut during the winter months.
  • For an economical option, homeowners can wrap towels around the pipes to provide insulation; however in the event that you want a more professional finish to this, there are several products on the market that can be used to help avoid the freezing of pipes, which should be handled by a plumbing professional to ensure efficiency and safety.
  • In colder weather, keep bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open to enable the hot air to circulate more freely in the home, thereby reducing the possibility of a freeze.
  • If you are going away on vacation, do not completely turn your furnace off to ensure that the pipes within your home do not freeze up while you are away.
  • In instances of a real deep freeze, you can run your fixtures at a very slight trickle as the temperature of the constantly running trickle is above freezing.

In the event that your pipes still freeze, here’s what you’ll want to do.