Butter Plumbing Blog : Archive for December, 2014

Why Do We Hang Up Mistletoe?

Thursday, December 25th, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

Of course, you probably know part of the answer to this question already. You hang up mistletoe so that the people standing underneath can share a romantic holiday kiss! But what you may not realize is that the origin of this longstanding ritual predates many of the other holiday traditions we celebrate today. Why would a plant that has many poisonous varieties (most types sold for use in the home have few negative effects, but you can wrap it in netting to prevent children from consuming any fallen berries or leaves) be used as a symbol of holiday affection?

There are a couple of ways to explain the positive associations of (potentially hazardous) mistletoe. For one, this semi-parasitic plant has long been hailed as a treatment for illnesses and pain. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to cure cramps, epilepsy, and more. Even today, mistletoe extracts are one of the leading alternative medicines studied for their effectiveness in killing cancer cells. And because the early Celtic Druids saw it as a sign of healing and life, they may be the first to bestow upon the plant its romantic associations, deeming it worthy of treating the infertile.

But it is Norse mythology that is likely responsible for a majority of the modern traditions associated with this small hanging bunch. One of the powerful Norse god Odin’s sons, named Baldur, was said to be invincible due to an oath his mother took to protect him from harm. But Loki, a god who often set out to make trouble for the gods, set out to find the one thing that could do some damage, and eventually discovered that Baldur’s mother Frigg had never included mistletoe in her invincibility oath. When mistletoe was finally responsible for her son’s demise, the grieving Frigg vowed that the plant would never again be used to hurt another living thing, and that she would plant a peaceful kiss upon anyone who walked underneath it.

And that is one of the reasons that, today, kissing under the mistletoe is viewed as a source of good luck. From our family to yours, we wish you a safe holiday season, and we hope that you and your family are full of joy and good fortune—mistletoe or not! Happy holidays from Butter Plumbing!

Repairs You May Need for Your Toilet

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

The commode.

The john.

The throne.

It has a lot of names, but no matter what you call it, it’s a very important part of your home: the toilet. If you think about it, the toilet is pretty amazing. It doesn’t use any electricity whatsoever but still manages to handle a great deal of work. But like other hard-working products in your home, your toilet can develop issues from time to time.

Here are some of the more common toilet problems our Butter Plumbing experts see:

Partial Flushing

Partial flushing occurs when the toilet does not empty completely after flushing. The most common reason for this is that the flapper, also known as the flush valve, drops too quickly. The best remedy for this is to have a professional replace the flush valve.

Slow Flush

Slow flushing is typically caused by water moving too slowly from the tank into the bowl after a flush. The most common cause of this is a clog in the connection between the flapper and the bowl. This can be tricky to fix, so it’s best to call an expert for repair.

Toilet Flushes on Its Own

Also known as the “ghost flush”, this is usually caused by a flapper becoming loose. Sometimes the flush valve can be pressed back into place, but sometimes it may be need to be replaced.

Weak Flush

Deposits from water can clog certain parts of your toilet, particularly if you have hard water, and the result of this can be a weak flush. If mineral deposits develop inside the tank, in the connection between the flapper and the bowl or even in the ports under the rim of the bowl, you can have a weak flush. Sometimes these deposits can be cleaned, but they may require a muriatic acid flush (cannot be used with a septic system).

Being without a toilet isn’t an option for anyone’s home, so if you are experiencing problems with your toilet, call Butter Plumbing and schedule an appointment to repair your plumbing in Las Vegas today!

Is My Water Line in Need of Replacement?

Friday, December 12th, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

Most everyone knows that the water pipes that service their homes don’t last forever. Despite this knowledge, many homeowners are completely ignorant of the conditions that result in the need for water line replacement. Over many years, the pipes servicing your house will corrode to the point of rupturing if left alone. Let’s examine what signs you should look for that indicate a need to replace your water line.

Loss of Water Pressure

The most obvious sign that you need to replace your water line is that you simply aren’t getting the right amount of water anymore. A drop in water pressure is a pretty good sign that your water line is leaking. If you aren’t getting any water at all, your line may have ruptured. Of course, it is possible that your water may have been turned off in order for the municipal government to conduct repairs of some kind. Generally, it’s best to call a professional to inspect your water line to confirm.

Visual Signs

You obviously can’t inspect every inch of pipe that runs through your house, as most of it is installed in the walls and floor. What you can do, however, is examine the pipes that are visible in case problems occur there. Look for any signs of corrosion, which includes rust, flaking, staining, or any kind of discoloration. Of course, leaks are the most obvious sign that the pipe needs to be replaced. If you notice anything wrong with your home’s visible pipes, call a plumber to check them.

Discolored Water

If you turn on a faucet in your home and the water is brown, it is because of rust somewhere in the pipes. If the discoloration only lasts for a couple of seconds after turning the water on, the rust hasn’t progressed that far. If the running water continues to be discolored, you have a major problem with your water line, and it’s time to replace it.

If you think your water line may need to be replaced, call Butter Plumbing to schedule service with our Las Vegas plumbers.

How Is Professional Leak Detection Done and When Do I Need It?

Friday, December 5th, 2014 by Butter Plumbing

If you’ve ever been affected by a leak in the plumbing system of your home, whether it was small or large, you probably know what an inconvenience it can be. Even a small amount of water pooling beneath the sink can leave you waiting for a repair person, worried that it will turn into a much larger issue. Unfortunately, not all plumbing leaks are so easily detectable, and you could have a leak of which you are entirely unaware—if you don’t pay attention to the signs and call on plumbers for leak detection.

Professional leak detection is a service in which a trained professional with the right tools and expertise checks your drain pipes, sewer, and water lines to look for any inconsistencies that may indicate a major leak. The technician may use any number of tools for detection. Advanced listening devices allow a plumber to hear the location that water stops flowing, while thin fiber optic video cameras allow them to visually detect the leak. In either case, technicians must determine the exact location of the leak to help you decide if you need repairs.

So how can you tell whether you need professional leak detection? Well, keep an eye out for anything that seems unusual with your plumbing. Low water pressure is often indicative of a water line leak, as water cannot reach your faucets and fixtures at the proper pressure. Wet or dark spots on the walls or ceiling can point to a leak behind the structure of the home, while wet spots in the yard or particularly green and long areas of grass can mean a water or sewer leak underneath your property.

In general, if you’re wondering whether you need professional leak detection services—you probably do! Don’t risk damage to your property, strain on your plumbing equipment, a flood, or sewage moving into your yard or through drains and risking your family’s health. You can schedule leak detection as part of annual heating maintenance, so that every component of your plumbing system—from the drains to the faucets and fixtures to your water heater and any water treatment system—is thoroughly inspected, and cleaned and/or adjusted as needed.

Call Butter plumbing to schedule professional leak detection service in Las Vegas today.