Butter Plumbing Blog : Archive for February, 2015

How Hard Water Can Damage Your Home’s Plumbing

Friday, February 27th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

The term “hard water” gets tossed around a lot in our culture. Some people believe that it affects their beauty routine, damaging hair and increasing instances of acne. Many people even believe that hard water can have an impact on the taste of their pizza crust. But most plumbers would say that you should be far more concerned with how hard water may affect your plumbing system.

What is hard water? And how do you get rid of it?

“Hard water” is marked by a high concentration of minerals in the water. Not to worry—this is incredibly common and most of the time, these minerals don’t lead to any illnesses. However, the magnesium and calcium in your water can leave behind deposits that can have a major impact on any plumbing system, from the pipes to the appliances.

These deposits build up in the pipes, and may continue to build up until the opening in a pipe becomes smaller and smaller. This restricts the water pressure flowing through the pipes, an effect which you may slowly begin to notice over time in your shower. If the deposits continue to build up, you might find yourself in need of plumbing replacement, as the pipes may become too clogged for a plumber to effectively descale them. Hard water can damage appliances like dishwashers and washing machines beyond repair as well.

Taking Preventative Action

A plumber may detect hard water during an annual maintenance visit or you may notice hard water in a couple of ways. Soap scum left behind in your dishwasher or washing machine are sure signs that you have hard water in the home, as is low water pressure.

Take preventive action by having a technician install a new water treatment system at your water supply. The best system for the job is a water softener. This unit contains a resin beads which attract and retain the calcium and magnesium. Some salt may make its way into your plumbing system during this process but the amount is relatively minor. If you’d like to eliminate salt entirely, a reverse osmosis system may be a good choice.

Call us today at Butter Plumbing for professional plumbing installation, maintenance, or repair of all types of water treatment systems in Clark County.

Ways to Prevent the Need for Sewer Repair

Friday, February 20th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

There are few household problems as stressful or disgusting as sewer problems. The inconvenience, expensive repairs, and horrible smells can be almost too much to bear. Though there’s not much you can do to mitigate the damage after the fact, there are plenty of ways to make sewer problems less likely to occur. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can prevent the need for sewer repair.

Inspection

A lot of the issues that afflict your home’s sewer system occur out of sight, where you’re very unlikely to notice them. That’s why you need to have your sewer system inspected by a professional plumber at least once a year. Plumbing inspection involves the use of a special camera, which moves through your pipes and allows the plumber to monitor their condition from the inside. This method of inspection lets the plumber identify problems before they grow large enough to require a major repair. If you have your sewer system inspected this way annually, you will drastically reduce the likelihood of a major sewer problem necessitating repairs.

Be Vigilant

When sewer problems do occur, the earlier you catch them the better off you’ll be. Keep an eye out for random flooded spots on the lawn, which is the sign of a burst pipe. If multiple water appliances in your home seem to clog at once, that’s a sign of a sewer issue. Bad smells coming from your drains is another common sign. Another thing to watch out for is water appliances in your home reacting oddly to each other.

  • If you flush the toilet, does water come out of the tub drain?
  • If you use the sink, does the toilet start making noise?

These are all common symptoms of a sewer blockage. If you manage to catch these signs early, you’ll make it much easier (and likely cheaper) for a plumber to fix the problem before it snowballs into something bigger and more damaging.

If you think your home may have a sewer issue, call Butter Plumbing. We provide sewer repair throughout Centennial.

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.

The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Butter Plumbing Valentines – You’ll Love Our Service

Monday, February 9th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

As we approach February 14th, thoughts of love are in the air. The celebration of Valentine’s Day has been changed over the centuries. Early mentions of Valentine’s Day describe various acts of love. During medieval times, knights would give young maidens roses as a token of their affection. By the mid 1800’s, elaborate cards and gifts were being exchanged by lovebirds. At this time, the tradition of giving chocolate in heart shaped boxes began. the chocolate was sweet and the box could be reused to store love letters or mementos.  As we progressed into more recent history, people started to get a little more creative with their gifts, but the tradition of giving heart shaped boxes of chocolates survives to this day!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day as well as in the tradition of giving chocolate, Butter Plumbing is taking the opportunity to show our appreciation to our customers with our own heart shaped boxes! We are going to give out chocolate to all our client calls in the Las Vegas area community this week. What better way is there to say “Thank You!” to our clients than with chocolate?  Contact us for a service call and we hope you fall in love with our service!  However you choose to celebrate, everyone here at Butter Plumbing hopes you have a pleasant and lovely Valentine’s Day!

Butter Plumbing Valentines Chocolate

Butter Plumbing is taking the opportunity to show our appreciation to our customers with boxes of chocolate!

Signs You Need Drain Repair Services

Monday, February 9th, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

Your drains deal with some pretty stubborn types of products, from food waste to soap scum.

All indoor plumbing is made to be durable, but these kinds of materials, and others, can stick to the inside of your pipes and create a build-up that can affect the performance of your plumbing. None of us can see what’s happening inside our drains, so we have to rely on signs and signals from our plumbing that it may be time for drain repair in Summerlin. What are some of these signs? Let’s take a look:

Gurgling

Many people take a gurgling sound as a natural part of the waste water flowing down the drain, but it isn’t. What a gurgling sound indicates is that there is enough build-up in your drain that it has created air pockets; the gurgling sound you hear is created when the flowing wastewater releases some of the trapped air.

Smells

No one really wants to think about their drain becoming smelly, but it unfortunately does happen. The odors tend to emanate from food waste, particularly those that can be classified as FOG – fats, oil or grease. A more uncommon cause of smell, but one that does occur, is sewer or septic back-up. This can happen if your sewer or septic line has developed a leak or backflow issue. Smells coming from your drains should always be taken seriously and be inspected by a trained expert.

Multiple Clogs/Recurring Clogs

Many times, your home will have several drains empty into one plumbing line. If you find that multiple drains in your home are all clogging at the same time, there is a likely chance that the main line into which these clogs empty has a clog. These kinds of clogs tend to be deep in the system, so it’s important to have an expert handle the issue. Similar to this problem is the problem of having a recurring clog in the same drain. This typically indicates that the cause of the clogging has not been resolved and professional help is required.

Home drains handle the disbursement of hundreds of gallons of water per day, so it’s important to keep your drains healthy. If you are seeing the signs that drain repair is necessary for your Summerlin home, call the experts you can count on: Butter Plumbing.

How Does a Low Flow Toilet Work?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 by Butter Plumbing

If you are unfamiliar with how a low flow toilet works, you may have concerns that it may not be up to doing the job needed. Rest assured that low flow toilets not only do the job, in many ways, they can do it better than regular toilets.

If you’ve been thinking about updating your bathroom plumbing in Centennial with a low flow toilet, following is an explanation of how a low flow toilet works and why it may be better for your home.

The Advantage of Modifications

A low flow toilet works the same as a regular one: the components are the same and the process for flushing is the same. The differences are in some modifications that were made to regular toilets to make them low flow toilets. When low flow toilets were first introduced in the mid-1990s, all that was modified was the toilet tank size. Reducing the tank size so that the maximum amount of water – 1.6 gallons – could be achieved didn’t take into account the physics of a toilet flush. As such, the result of a low flow toilet wasn’t very good. Upon examination, it was found that making a few modifications would make the flush very strong, allowing the toilet to achieve its job. So here is what is different on a low flow toilet:

  • Large flush valve – the flush valve is larger on a low flow toilet, which allows the water to rush faster and harder into the tank. The result is a stronger, better flush.
  • Center placement of bowl outlet – in older toilets, the outlet hole for the toilet is typically closer to the back; in a low flow toilet, it is placed in the center of the bowl. This allows for an easier and more direct exit for anything in the bowl.
  • More water toward the front – in a regular toilet, the water level is higher and evenly dispersed; in a low flow toilet, not only is there less water, the water is positioned so that there is more of it resting in the front of the bowl. Re-positioning the water to the front of the bowl helps clear waste more effectively.

Low flow toilets can help you save significantly on annual water costs. If you are interested in updating your toilet(s), call Butter Plumbing today!