Butter Plumbing Blog : Archive for October, 2014

How to Avoid Problems with Your Garbage Disposal

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

Though you may not think about it very often, the garbage disposal is one of the most important components of your kitchen. Consider how slowly kitchen cleanup would move if you did not have a convenient way to throw out your food scraps. You would have to take the garbage out far more often, and you may notice frequent drain clogs. That’s why it’s important to do whatever possible to keep your garbage disposal working its best over the years.

Try some of the following tips to keep your garbage disposal in the best shape possible. And call the folks at Butter Plumbing whenever you need a plumber in Las Vegas. We offer superb repair and replacement services as well as professional maintenance to keep your plumbing system working its best.

  • NO Non-Food Items: Your garbage disposal simply is not designed to process non-food items. These include glass, rubber, plastic wrappers, cigarette butts, and anything else you wouldn’t eat.
  • Avoid Fibrous Foods: The “blades” inside of your garbage disposal are not exactly sharp, as you may picture it. Rather, your unit contains rotating impellers which can become impaired if fibrous items, like celery or corn husks, wrap around the blades and overwork the unit.
  • Beware of F.O.G.: Fats, oils, and greases solidify when they cool down, and they may coat the garbage disposal and weaken its ability. More often, they can line the insides of pipes, leading to major drain clogs. Dump these substances in a separate trash receptacle instead.
  • Run Cold Water: Of course, some F.O.G. may still move down your drain, which is why you should run cold water every time you use your unit so that your garbage disposal has an easier time breaking these up.
  • Break up Food into Pieces: Large amounts of food can force the disposal to become overworked, which is why we recommend tearing large chunks of food into smaller pieces first.
  • Schedule Annual Plumbing Maintenance: Finally, be sure to schedule plumbing maintenance every year. A technician will clean and inspect the many parts of your plumbing system, including the garbage disposal, to check for proper operation.

There is a lot you can do to keep your garbage disposal working as needed. However, eventually, you will find yourself in need of a new unit. When this occurs, don’t worry—the friendly professionals at Butter Plumbing have you covered. When you need a plumber in Las Vegas, give us a call!

How to Tell You Need Drain Pipe Replacement

Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

Unfortunately, the pipes in your home won’t last forever. Your drain pipes are a vital part of your plumbing system because without them you would not be able to clean, cook, and shower as you normally do. That’s why it’s important to keep your pipes in top shape to avoid premature drain pipe replacement. This includes scheduling regular drain cleaning to clear and prevent clogs and calling for plumbing maintenance every year to discover any leaks or compromised areas of piping.

But at some point, your drain pipes will need replacement. Only a professional plumber can decide whether your pipes should be replaced or can use a few repairs, but we’ve put together this list of a few indications that drain replacement may be your best option. When you find yourself in need of an expert plumber in Las Vegas, call the skilled, knowledgeable technicians at Butter Plumbing.

  • Older Pipes: One reason you may need drain pipe replacement is if your pipes are simply too old to go on. Older homes may have pipes made from galvanized steel, which means they may be at risk of corrosion. Replacing your plumbing with new copper or plastic pipes is the best way to ensure corrosion won’t lead to a sudden leak.
  • Tree Root Infiltration: Another reason to replace your pipes is if your pipes have a problem with tree root infiltration. When you have a major drain clog that affects multiple areas of your plumbing, a plumber may tell you that it is due to tree roots. Roots grow towards a source of water, and your sewer line may be the perfect target. They infiltrate the pipes through weak points, and while a plumber can often clear the roots to get rid of the clog, these weak points may indicate your pipes are too old and need replacement.
  • Leaks: Finally, if you have made calls to a plumber because of sewer line leaks, you may choose drain replacement to keep the problem from occurring in the future. Frequent leaks may indicate older or poorly installed drain pipes. And if sewage gets into your yard or your home, it poses some obvious health hazards.

When you call Butter Plumbing, we’ll help you decide whether drain replacement is the best choice for you, or if your pipes can be salvaged for a little longer. Call us today to speak with an experienced plumber.

Signs that You Should Call a Professional for Leak Detection Services

Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

Sometimes, a leaking pipe reveals itself as dripping water underneath the sink or a flooded yard or basement. At other times, leaks are not immediately obvious, and you may need to call in a professional for confirmation. Professional plumbers can provide leak detection services so that you can figure out whether your plumbing problem is the result of a major leak, learn of the exact location of the problem, and decide what should be done to correct it. In the meantime, look out for some of these warning signs.

  • Water Spots around the Home: Large pools of water around the home are obvious indications of leaks, but you should also look out for some of the more subtle warning signs. Wet spots in the grass, water spots on the walls or ceilings, and any unusual moisture in the home could mean trouble. And you don’t want to let this problem go on for long. The leak will only worsen and pools of water may cause mold to grow and bacteria to thrive.
  • High Water Bills: If you notice that your water bills seem unusually high even though you have made no major adjustments to your daily routine, it could result from a plumbing leak. The piping system runs underneath your property and along unoccupied portions of your home, which makes visual detection difficult. Keep an eye out for any changes on your bill that may mean a leak is present.
  • Reduced Water Pressure: The water that comes to your home is pressurized so that it flows easily from faucets whenever a tap is turned on. When you have a breach in your pipes, water will flow elsewhere, reducing the pressure to your home. In some cases, the faucet only drips slowly or does not work at all, a good indicator that a portion of your pipes may be in trouble.

The professional plumbers at Butter Plumbing use only the most advanced technologies to locate the source of a leak without excavating any areas around your home. We have the tools and equipment that can help us determine the best way to address leaks before we start with any digging. For reliable plumbing service in Las Vegas, you can depend on our highly trained team. Give us a call today!

How Much Water Will a Low-Flow Toilet Save?

Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

If the toilet in your home was installed over ten years ago, it’s probably using more than twice as much water as is necessary to flush down waste. Beginning in 1994, any toilet manufactured in the U.S. could no longer use more than 1.6 gallons of water for a single flush. At that time, these toilets were sometimes ineffective, occasionally requiring several flushes. However, modern plumbing innovations mean that today’s low-flush toilets work much better, making this the perfect time to replace your older unit.

How It Works

While older low-flow toilet got their fair share of complaints, newer models are far more reliable. Before low-flow models were the norm, high volumes of water (around 3.5 gallons) helped push waste into the drain pipes so that it could move into the sewer. Low-flow toilets use only 1.6 gallons per flush, but gravity alone cannot do enough to move some waste. That’s why modern toilets rely on pressure to cut water use by 54%.

One option that uses even less water is a dual-flush toilet. Instead of having one handle for every flush, there are two buttons: one that is just powerful enough to flush liquid waste and another for solid waste. The liquid flush option uses half as much water for a single flush, about 0.8 gallons.

Saving Money with Low-Flow Fixtures

So how much money can a low-flow toilet save? Of course it all depends on your usage and the amount of people in your household. But in general, toilets account for about 40% of the water used inside of an average home. Cutting the amount of water used for each flush in half can mean significant savings, and a reduced environmental impact, which is important for many homeowners. If you’re looking to save some money with other types of low flow fixtures as well, you may consider other options such as low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, which are both fairly inexpensive to purchase and install.

When you decide a new low-flow toilet is the right choice for your home, or if you want professional advice about saving money on other plumbing fixtures in Las Vegas, call the technicians at Butter Plumbing today!

Common Garbage Disposal Issues

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

If your garbage disposal needs repairs, it can interrupt your cleaning and cooking plans for the day. Without a working garbage disposal, clogs would become more frequent and food scraps would build up in your trash receptacle, requiring more frequent trips to the outside garbage can.

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent garbage disposal issues from occurring. Always break up large portions of food into smaller pieces before throwing it into the disposal. Do not throw any non-food items into the drain, and avoid harder food items such as meat bones or popcorn kernels. Fibrous foods, such as celery, may become wrapped around the motor, impeding function.

Here are a few more common problems with disposals and some ways to prevent these issues from occurring.

  • Smells: A lot of food and liquid goes down your kitchen sink in the course of a year, so it may not be surprising when you notice smells from the drain. This is often due to certain food residue in the drain opening or on the garbage disposal. Try pouring a solution of baking soda and vinegar into the drain. If this doesn’t work, you may want to call a professional plumber in Las Vegas for drain cleaning services.
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease Buildup: You should always dispose of fats, oil, and grease in a separate trash receptacle. This is because these substances may solidify in pipes, leading to clogging, or on the disposal. As they build on the disposal, it can get in the way of the unit’s ability to grind food effectively. Try running cold water to break these up, but call a professional if your unit just won’t seem to work as it should.
  • Faulty Motor: Garbage disposals will fail eventually, and this is usually due to one of several problems with the motor. If fibers become caught in the unit, or if hard food interferes with the blades for too long, the motor may overheat. Sometimes, you can try the reset button at the bottom of the unit. If this doesn’t work, you may only need simple repairs, or you may need a new unit entirely.

For more information about garbage disposals, talk to a certified Las Vegas plumber. Call a friendly professional at Butter Plumbing today!