Orlando Toilet Plumbing Part 2

More Toilet Plumbing Problems And Solutions In Orlando

A Partial Toilet Flush

Your flapper valve could be lowering too quickly or it may be waterlogged. Remove the lid to the tank. Flush your toilet and observe the flapper as it operates. It should remain in a raised position while most of the water drains out of the tank. If you flapper drops too soon, you may need to replace it. This is one of the most frequent toilet plumbing complaints.

A Drop in Toilet Bowl Water Levels

A drop in the water level after a flush, could be caused by a clog in the bowl colon. You can use a flashlight and a mirror to check for this situation. Use a small plastic container to empty your toilet bowl of water. Turn on your flashlight and your mirror to get a closer look inside the toilet colon.

Total Plumbing Orlando – Your Toilet Plumbing Professionals!

A Whistling Toilet

Older ball cock valves that have a ball float can cause whistling sounds as the toilet fills with water. When the ball float raises and closes the fill valve, it can cause vibrations which produce a whistling sound. Consider replacing your older valves with one that remains wide open until the tank is full. Visit your local hardware or home improvement store and speak with a service person about the best product for your toilet plumbing situation or call your trained plumbing professionals at Total Plumbing Orlando.

A Dripping Toilet Tank

A dripping sound in your toilet tank can be caused by a poorly fitting fill valve. The fill valve is a flexible tube that is connected to the lower part of the valve and runs into the overflow tube. Most newer toilets have a clip that secures the tubing to the overflow tube. Check to see whether you have one and that is secured into place.

Call Total Plumbing Orlando For All Of Your Toilet Plumbing Woes!

Orlando Toilet Plumbing Part 1

Common Toilet Plumbing Problems And Their Solutions In Orlando: Part 1

We get questions about common toilet plumbing problems all the time, so we decided we would post a few of those problems and their solutions.

A Weak Flush

Older toilets that were manufactured before 1994 may be prone to collecting hard water deposits. Check the siphon jet hole and the holes around the rim of the bowl. Carefully use a small wood stick or toothpicks to remove the deposits. Your toilet could also have a clog located downstream in the pipe system. You can check this by quickly adding water to the bowl. Fill a five gallon bucket with tap water. Pour the contents of the bucket into the bowl. Observe the flush that takes place. If the flush is strong, the probability of a clog is low. If the water comes back into the bowl, and drains at a slow rate, you most likely have a clog in the system. These are good rules of thumb for toilet plumbing. Use a plunger to try to dislodge it from the pipe and force it through the line.  If you cannot fix this toilet plumbing problem like this, you might want to call Total Plumbing Orlando.

Toilet Plumbing Primer: A “Ghost Flush”

A Ghost Flush

There are some situations where the toilet tank will fill up with water when it has not been flushed. If this is occurring, there is probably a leak in the tank. You can perform a food coloring test to check for a leak. Flush your toilet and allow enough time for the tank water to stop filling the bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the toilet. Wait about ten minutes and then observe the water in the bowl. Check to see that the water is still colored. If the color remains in the water, your flapper may not be properly sealing. Your toilet repair job may mean replacing the flapper.

For All Of Your Toilet Plumbing Questions, Call Us Today!

If you are constantly having problems with your toilet plumbing, call Total Plumbing Orlando today.

Orlando Kitchen Sink Plumbing Continued…

Kitchen Sink Plumbing Continued: Unclogging A Double-Sided Sink

In the last installment of our blog, we looked at how to unclog a single basin sink as part of our glance at kitchen sink plumbing, so this week, we’ll take a quick look at how to unclog a double-sided sink. Again, this is pretty easy stuff. Knowing how to perform fundamental plumbing techniques can save you a bundle of cash. At Total Plumbing Orlando, we think it’s important to understand basic plumbing, both for your financial benefit and for the health of you and your home.

Easy Kitchen Sink Plumbing

What you need:

  • A plunger
  • Rag or Closed Strainer
  • Possibly an auger

Fill both of your sinks with at least 4 inches of standing water.  Use a rag or a closed strainer to close off the garbage disposal side of the drain.  Use your plunger to plunge the other side of the sink 10 to 12 times.  If this doesn’t clear the blockage switch sides and plunge the other side 10 to 12 times.  If this doesn’t unclog your kitchen sink then complete the auguring steps list above.  The procedure is the same in a double-sided sink as it is with a single basin sink. Kitchen sink plumbing simplified!

Kitchen Sink Plumbing: Auguring Review

For snaking (auguring) in kitchen sink plumbing, put a bucket underneath the sink drain trap to catch the water.  Disconnect the trap slip nuts and remove the sink drain trap.  Manually push the auger cable 6 inches or so into the drain entering the wall.  Slowly begin snaking the drain until you push past the clog.  You should feel a little resistance up until you get past the clog and then should be able to feel when you clear the blockage.  you can pull out the clog by running the snake counterclockwise or just flush out the blockage.  Next, put the trap back on the drain and test out the sink.  If the sink does not drain freely, repeat the drain auguring until you have successfully cleared the blockage.

If these steps do not work, it’s important that you call a fully licensed, experience professional like Total Plumbing Orlando to help with your kitchen sink plumbing.

Kitchen Sink Plumbing In Orlando

Kitchen Sink Plumbing

Knowing a thing or two about kitchen sink plumbing can be a huge help. Unclogging a kitchen sink that is backed up is similar to unclogging any other drain.  The variable may be whether you have a two sided sink or not.  The tools needed will be a plunger, a rag, and maybe an auger or snake (for stubborn clogs). Here’s how to unclog a single basin sink. Check back for your kitchen sink plumbing tips to unclog a double-sided sink.

Unclogging A Single Basin Sink: Kitchen Sink Plumbing Made Simple

Basic kitchen sink plumbing is rather simple.  For a single sink, make sure there is at least 4 inches of standing water in the sink to start.  Use a plunger and plunge forcefully 10 to 12 times.  Remove the plunger to see if the sink drains. If this fails to free the clog you will need to auger the drain.

Put a bucket underneath the sink drain trap to catch the water.  Disconnect the trap slip nuts and remove the sink drain trap.  Manually push the auger cable 6 inches or so into the drain entering the wall.  Slowly begin snaking the drain until you push past the clog.  You should feel a little resistance up until you get past the clog and then should be able to feel when you clear the blockage.  you can pull out the clog by running the snake counterclockwise or just flush out the blockage.  Next, put the trap back on the drain and test out the sink.  If the sink does not drain freely, repeat the drain auguring until you have successfully cleared the blockage.

Call Total Plumbing Orlando For Your Kitchen Sink Plumbing Questions

If you have any questions about kitchen sink plumbing or you can’t unclog your drain, call us today! We are Orlando’s authority for kitchen sink plumbing.

How Your Hot Water Heater Works

How Your Water Heater Works  

Folks often take their water heater for granted.  That is, they take it for granted until it goes out.  Somehow, that usually happens early in the A.M. or sometime on Sunday, but that’s another story.  Hot water loss is the number 1 plumbing complaint, so we may not notice that hot water so much when everything is fine, but we’re aware of it the second it’s gone.

Fortunately, the hot water heater is a pretty simple machine, and the more you understand about how it works, the easier it will be for you to make any potential minor repairs.  It could save you a lot of time and money.  The plumbers at Total Plumbing Orlando are more than happy to help you understand how your water heater works.

So What Makes Up Your Water Heater?

First, let’s take a look inside your water heater.  We all know its familiar shape.  Tall cylinder-looking thing relegated to the garage or basement.  Sort of a lonely figure for all the work it does.  But for all its unremarkable outward appearance, it’s a surprisingly ingenious machine.

 

  • Tank – The most recognizable feature of the water heater.  It’s where all the magic happens.  The inside of the tank is made up of heavy metal with a protective liner to keep the water hot.  It holds anywhere from 40-60 gallons in a typical residential unit and its insulated again on the outside.
  • Heating Mechanism – Depending on whether you’re using gas or electric, you either      have burners/chimney or heating elements respectively.
  • Thermostat – Temperature control and measuring device.  We all know what this is.
  • Pressure Relief Valve – It’s a safeguard.  Just imagine if the tank was under too much pressure and there’s nowhere for that to go.  Boom.  Integral to every water heater.
  • Sacrificial Anode Rod –  This fancy mechanism is suspended in the tank.  It keeps corrosion from setting in.
  • Dip Tube –  Simply the route the water takes into the tank.
  • Heat-out Pipe – This is the route that the hot water takes out of the tank after it’s heated.
  • Shut-off Valve – This is outside the unit and just stops water from flowing into the tank.

So as you can see, your hot water heater isn’t exactly astrophysics, but it’s simple design does so much for us.  If you have any further questions about how your hot water heater is built, just give us a call at Total Plumbing Orlando.  We’re happy to answer any questions.

Your Hot Water Heater

The first thing to do is set your temperature for optimum energy savings and comfort.  Lower temperatures save money.  The dip tube feeds cold water into your tank where the water begins to warm. Then heating mechanism does its thing until the water reaches the desired temperature. The water rises to the top of the tank as it heats, and as it does so, it leaves through the heat-out pipe. Water exiting the water heater at the top is always the hottest in the tank because hot water rises above denser, cold water.  Heat always rises.

How To Drain A Water Heater In Orlando

How To Drain A Water Heater

The water heater is something most everyone takes for granted…until it stops working. To help keep that from happening, you can occasionally maintenance your water heater to increase its longevity. One simple thing you can do annually is drain your water heater, and this article will take you through the process of how to drain your water heater step-by-step.

Point-by-point Guide For How To Drain A Water Heater

  1. Turn off the water main. It’s also important to remember that, if you have an electric water heater, to kill the electricity at the main. If you have a gas water heater, set the thermostat to “pilot.” After that, connect a hose to the drain valve which should be located close to the thermostat, but don’t open the valve yet. Turn off the cold-water supply that feeds the water-heater.
  2. Drain the hot water. Open up one of the hot-water faucets in one of your sinks or tubs inside your home. This will prevent a vacuum from forming in the lines. Return to your water heater and open the drain valve to drain the hot water out of the tank. Make sure the far end of the hose is draining somewhere that won’t be harmed by hot water. An outside driveway is ideal.
  3. 3.       Flush Out Sediment. Once the water stops flowing out of the far end of the hose, turn the water supply back on. This will flush out any remaining sediment left behind in the heater. Once the water runs clear from the end of the hose, close the drain valve. Don’t forget to turn the hot-water faucet inside your house back off. Read the instructions on the tank to find out about specifications regarding how full your tank should be.
  4. 4.       Test the Pressure-Release Valve. Turn the power-supply to the water heater back on at the breaker box (or the thermostat), after the tank has filled with water. Once the water temperature has been brought back up, test the pressure-relief valve according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is designed to prevent excess pressure build-up or overheating inside the tank. If it’s faulty, you may need to have it replaced by a licensed plumber .

If You Have Any Questions About How To Drain A Water Heater, Call Total Plumbing Orlando Today

The Clear Advantages Of Hiring A Licensed Plumber

The Benefits Of Hiring A Licensed Plumber

Do you know if your plumber is fully licensed? Hiring a licensed plumber is an extremely important decision.  We understand that it’s important for you to save money, but when it comes to hiring a plumber who isn’t licensed, it’s not a discount of which you want to take advantage. Why is that? Well, there are many great reasons you only want to hire a licensed plumber to work on your property.

Point By Point Breakdown Of The Advantages Of A Licensed Plumber In Orlando

  • Licensed plumbers have the experience and education necessary for masterfully completing any plumbing job you require. Here in Orlando, hiring a licensed plumber means you can rest easy knowing that your plumber will be in touch with Florida’s unique plumbing problems.
  • Licensed plumbers are required to carry liability insurance. This is especially important in older structures where the plumbing infrastructure isn’t as sound as in newer homes or businesses. All work performed by a licensed plumber is protected. Hiring an unlicensed plumber to perform work on any property might result in claims on your  insurance policy, some of which may not cover damage from work performed by an unlicensed plumber. In other words, licensed plumbers not only give you added peace of mind, they could potentially save you loads of cash.
  • Licensed plumbers are screened by the State of Florida with a full criminal background check. Unfortunately, in these times, we shouldn’t take anything for granted. After all, you’re essentially inviting a stranger into your home. Don’t leave anything to risk by hiring an unlicensed plumber to do work on your property. You don’t just want some guy in a van showing up, claiming he can do the work without any reassurance that he can…and that he has been criminally vetted.
  • Licensed plumbers are required to carry the appropriate insurance and workers’ compensation to ensure that you are not held liable if someone is hurt on the job.

Safeguard Yourself With A Licensed Plumber

 

Always protect yourself by hiring a fully licensed and insured plumber like those at Total Plumbing Orlando.

Some Common Water Heater Problems

Some Common Water Heater Problems

Water heater problems can be enough to make you go crazy at times. Understanding the causes of some common problems is the first step to coming up with solutions, so we’ve put together this quick guide of common water heater problems to help you find some peace of mind with your system! Some of these problems are simple fixes, others will require the hand of professional plumbers. If you have questions or want someone from our office to come down and take a look, feel free to give us a call or email us at any time.

Not Enough Hot Water or Water Not Hot Enough

This is probably the biggest problem or complaint we hear of when it comes to water heaters. People aren’t getting enough hot water for their showers, or the water isn’t hot enough. The problem could have several causes, including the size of the tank, the distance from the tank to the shower/appliance, or something malfunctioning inside the tank.

The first two (size of tank and distance from tank to shower/appliance) should be noticeable from the beginning, and you will either have to set the temperature of the water heater to a hotter temperature, or get a bigger water heater to solve the issue. You can also try insulating the tank and the pipes better, so that the water stays hotter longer.

If the hot water “used to be fine” but now you have less, it could be a malfunction of something called the “dip tube.” A dip tube is a plastic device in your water heater that brings cold water to the bottom of the heater where it is heated, keeping it separated from the already heated water at the top of the tank. In time, these tubes can wear down, or crack, causing them to leak cold into hot water – dramatically decreasing the overall temperature and duration of your hot water. Replacing this usually requires professional assistance, unless you have some prior HVAC or plumbing knowledge.

Leaking Water Heater

A water heater leak is one of the most common problems, and can cause all sorts of trouble if not addressed. You usually notice this one day when you look at your water heater and notice a small (or large) pool of water at its base. This water can come from a number of places and it’s important that you pinpoint its origin.
Check all the valves to see if they are faulty or loose (the drainage valve, the temperature/pressure relief valves, heating element gaskets, inlet and outlet pipes, etc.). Many times you can tighten these valves and gaskets and easily solve the leak, other times, you’ll be left scratching your head and should call in a professional for help. It may even be a sign that your water heater is getting corroded… in which case, it’s probably over due for replacement.

If you have any questions about your water heater, water heater leaks, how to drain a water heater or anything else, call Total Plumbing Orlando today!

Tips For Kitchen Sink Plumbing

Methods For Kitchen Sink Plumbing

Kitchen sink plumbing is something that we will all have to do at one time or another. Clogs are common. The good news is that they do not always indicate a more serious systemic problem. Here are four methods of kitchen sink plumbing, ranked from easiest to hardest.

  1. Plunger– Often a plunger is all you need for successful kitchen sink plumbing. You can buy smaller plungers that are designed to unclog bathroom sinks and kitchen sinks. They typically have shorter handles and smaller rubber cups. Plungers are effective to unclog bathroom sinks because they can usually move whatever’s clogging the drain enough to let water pass through. As mentioned, if it’s not a serious clog, a plunger will usually be enough to clear it out entirely.
  2. Coat Hanger – Straighten out a wire hanger and form a hook at one end. You can then insert the coat hanger down and try to hook onto whatever is clogging the drain. This is particularly effective to unclog kitchen sinks when used in tandem with the plunger method. The plunger can bring the clog into sight; the coat hanger can pull it out.
  3. Snaking – If the coat hanger method doesn’t work, you can also use a tool called a plumber’s snake (aka plumber’s auger) to unclog a kitchen sink sink. The method will be similar to the coat hanger, but the tool is much more effective. It’s made out of flexible cable that can work down deeper into the drain (the tool comes in 3-ft and 6-ft models). It also has a hand crank that can work the snake down into the drain and either boar through the clog or hook onto it for retrieval.  Great for kitchen sink plumbing!
  4. 4.       Baking Soda And Vinegar – Basically, just shoot for a 1:1 ration of baking soda to white vinegar. Dump in the baking soda first (say 3/4 of a cup) then pour in the same amount of vinegar and cover the drain. The solution will break down the clog and should flush it out. This is an effective and environmentally sound method for kitchen sink plumbing.

If These Don’t Work For Kitchen Sink Plumbing, Call Your Plumber Today

Toilet Plumbing Tips

Toilet Plumbing: Some Symptoms To Watch For If Your Toilet Is Being Temperamental

A toilet is a household fixture that is used often and, as such, will probably need minor repairs during its life. Thankfully these fixtures have a straightforward design and are typically quite simple to fix.  The following list describes some common problems and the toilet plumbing procedures that will solve them:

  • A Weak Toilet Flush – Older toilets that were manufactured before 1994 may be prone to collecting hard water deposits. Check the siphon jet hole and the holes around the rim of the bowl. Carefully use a small wood stick or toothpicks to remove the deposits. Your toilet could also have a clog located downstream in the pipe system. You can check this by quickly adding water to the bowl. Fill a five gallon bucket with tap water. Pour the contents of the bucket into the bowl. Observe the flush that takes place. If the flush is strong, the probability of a clog is low. If the water comes back into the bowl, and drains at a slow rate, you most likely have a clog in the system. Use a plunger to try to dislodge it from the pipe and force it through the line. If a plunger doesn’t work, it might be best to for assistance before going further.
  • A Ghost Flush – There are some situations where the toilet tank will fill up with water when it has not been flushed. If this is occurring, there is probably a leak in the tank. You can perform a food coloring test to check for a leak. Flush your toilet and allow enough time for the tank water to stop filling the bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the toilet. Wait about ten minutes and then observe the water in the bowl. Check to see that the water is still colored. If the color remains in the water, your flapper may not be properly sealing. Your toilet plumbing job may mean replacing the flapper.

Do It Yourself Toilet Plumbing

  • A Partial Toilet Flush – Your flapper valve could be lowering too quickly or it may be waterlogged. Remove the lid to the tank. Flush your toilet and observe the flapper as it operates. It should remain in a raised position while most of the water drains out of the tank. If you flapper drops too soon, you may need to replace it

Toilet Plumbing Tips

These are just a few of toilet plumbing tips you can do yourself. Check back for more tips in the future.