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Clogged Sink? Makeup May Be the Culprit

Friday, December 15th, 2017

A clogged sink is inconvenient, frustrating and generally unpleasant. Thankfully, it is also often preventable. Bathroom sink clogs often are caused by hair. Beauty products can exacerbate the problem by getting stuck in the hair (or anything else inside the drain), forming a mass of goo that prevents your sink from draining properly.

What Kind of Makeup Can Clog Your Drain?

Technically, any kind of cosmetic product can contribute to a clogged drain. Thick liquid foundations are particularly problematic because they can coat the inside of the pipe and bind with hair and other gunk in the drain. Powdery products such as eye shadow can also cause trouble if allowed to accumulate over time. In combination, these products can even cause damage to your pipes.

Preventing Drain Clogs in Your Bathroom Sink

Keeping makeup products out of your drain is the best way to prevent any cosmetic-related clogs. Use these tips to help you keep your drain clear without sacrificing your beauty regimen.

  • Use a drain catcher. Install a catcher on your drain to prevent hair from slipping down it. A ball of hair in your drain is the perfect framework for a cosmetic product gunk ball to form.
  • Use makeup-removing cloths. Before you wash your face in the sink, take off the majority of your makeup with gentle cleaning wipes. (Just don’t flush the wipes after using them.)
  • Never dispose of cosmetics down the drain. It’s one thing if small amounts of cosmetic products to go down the drain as you wash your hands or face. It’s quite another to actually dump makeup down the drain.
  • Don’t leave young children unattended around the sink. Toddlers and younger children are notoriously curious. But healthy curiosity can lead them to pour or shove inappropriate items down the drain. Never let little ones get hold of your cosmetics or play in the bathroom unattended.

Other Substances that Cause Clogged Drains

Makeup isn’t the only beauty or hygiene product that can cause a clogged sink. Below are other common culprits:

  • Lotions and moisturizers
  • Shaving cream
  • Hair gel and other hair products
  • Coconut oil

When in doubt, don’t put it down your drain. If you have questions about a clogged drain or any other plumbing issue, contact The Pink Plumber today.

How Can I Tell the Size of My Septic Tank?

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Septic tanks are available in a variety of sizes based on the size of your home. However, homeowners generally don’t know the size of their tank, especially if they didn’t have it installed. The size of the septic tank is a crucial piece of information that impacts how often it should be serviced. Failing to adequately care for your septic system can lead to unpleasant and costly consequences.

Tips for Determining Your Septic Tank Size

First, look for documents you may have that indicate the size of your septic tank. If you know the name of the company that installed your septic system, contact them to see if they have this information on file. The company that provided the most recent maintenance service on the tank may also have information about the size of your septic tank. Try to corroborate any information you find if possible. Your local county Environmental Health Dpartment may also have some records on file.

You can make an educated guess based on your home’s size. The appropriate size of the tank depends on the size of the home. Generally, homes with one or two bedrooms should have a 750-gallon tank. This number grows as a home’s square footage and the number of bedrooms increase. Three-bedroom homes should have a 1,000-gallon tank, while four- and five-bedroom homes require septic tanks with capacities of 1,250 and 1,500 gallons, respectively.

Find Accurate Information

While the size of your home and records you find may provide insight to help you make an educated guess about the size of your tank, it may still be just a guess. To know for sure, you’ll need a plumbing professional to service your system. By pumping and inspecting your tank, an experienced plumbing service can give you precise information about its size and condition.

Once you know the actual size of your septic tank, the first thing you should do is find out whether it’s actually sufficient for the current needs of your family and home. Initially, the wrong size tank may have been installed, or subsequent home renovations may cause the house to exceed the limitations of the existing tank. Having a regular septic tank maintenance scheduled will ensure your septic tank is pumped frequently enough for its size.

To schedule tank maintenance or find answers to your questions about septic systems and other plumbing-related issues, contact The Pink Plumber today. Our expert plumbers have 50 years of combined experience, and we’re available 24/7 for emergencies.

I Need a Sewer Line Repair. Will I Need to Leave My Home?

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Few things are more unpleasant than dealing with a sewer line break. On top of bad smells, a leak or break in your sewer line can cause major damage that can be both inconvenient as well as potentially expensive to fix.

When it comes to sewer line failure, these four are common culprits:

1. Age – Sewer lines can degrade after years of use, and this doesn’t always mean a big blowout. Age-related sewer line damage often starts with small cracks that get worse as the pipes wear out over time. Routine inspections are a good idea, particularly for older sewer lines, as they can mitigate the need for an intensive sewer line repair.

2. Obsolete Materials – On older properties, sewer lines might not be up to current codes and standards. Homes built from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s may have been outfitted with polybutylene plumbing pipes, which are prone to breakage and are no longer used.

3. Tree Roots – A common cause of sewer line breaks is tree root damage. Many species of trees send out roots for several feet beyond the tree’s drip line. If there are trees on your property, consult your plumber about helping you monitor root activity.

4. Obstructions – Putting the wrong things down your drain can lead to a sewer line obstruction. This can cause a backup and even breakage along your sewer line.

Staying at Home During Sewer Line Repair

Depending on the severity of the damage to your sewer line, you may elect to stay somewhere else until the work is done. You won’t be able to run the water in your home until the repairs are completed. This is generally not too hard to work around if the repairs will only take a short time. You can store drinking water ahead of time and plan to shower beforehand, too. If you have young children and need constant access to running water, however, you might want to consider staying with friends or family or at a local hotel.

Choosing the Right Plumber for Sewer Line Repair

You will need to have your problem properly diagnosed by a professional who can give you repair or replacement options. An experienced plumber can also help you understand how much time the repairs will take and how much it will cost, which can be important in deciding whether or not you’ll need to vacate your home during repairs.

You may not have the luxury of planning your sewer line repair in advance. Emergencies happen, so be sure you have a good on-call plumber who can come at a moment’s notice. This isn’t the time you want to be guessing about whether you can trust your plumber to handle the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible.

For answers to your questions about sewer line repair and more, contact The Pink Plumber today.

3 Plumbing Problems That Can Cause Mold in Your Home

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

If you’re a homeowner, the last thing you want to think about is mold. Sometimes you might smell a mildew scent coming from the walls or you might notice an unusual growth on a wall. You don’t have to have a house in a swampy or humid area to be concerned about mold. No matter where your home is located, mold can still occur if you have certain common plumbing problems. Here are three problems that can cause mold, and what homeowners can do to guard against each.

1. Standing Water

A common issue is standing water, when there is a large backup of water in a certain area or when there is an overly moist area. If you have standing water, contact a plumbing professional to discover what is causing the water to pool rather than drain. There are several plumbing problems that may cause water to drain slowly or to pool. A clogged drain or blocked sewer line are two of the most common. Even one occurrence of an over-flowing toilet may allow water inside your floor where mold may grow unseen. If you have experienced a water leak due to a clogged drain or toilet, contact a plumber to be sure the problem is corrected and any potential damage is repaired before mold is able to grow.

2. Leaks Under an Enclosed Sink

If you’re like most people, you store things under your kitchen and bathroom sinks – cleaning supplies, towels or other items you need to keep handy in your kitchen or bath. These items may hide a leak if one occurs under your kitchen or bathroom sink. Inside a closed, dark cabinet, is the perfect place for mold to grow. It’s important to identify any leaks and have them repaired as soon as possible.

3. Leaky Pipes in the Wall

Sometimes the issue isn’t something homeowners can detect without getting into their walls. Leaky pipes can cause moisture to build up on the insides of walls, where it is dark, musty, and where mold thrives. Making sure that the piping is water-tight is key to preventing potential water damage and mold that may grow behind your walls. If you think you may have this type of mold, homeowners often don’t notice it until it’s visible. By then, it’s too late.

If you think your home may be at undue risk of water damage, contact The Pink Plumber today. The Pink Plumber has the expertise, tools and know-how to identify and prevent future mold issues and give you peace of mind.

3 Risks of Driving Over or Parking on a Septic Tank

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

If your home has a septic tank, do you know where it is located? You may be driving over it or parking on it without even knowing, which can cause myriad problems, not the least of which are costly potentially smelly problems with your septic system and plumbing. Here are three reasons to avoid driving over or parking on your septic tank.

You Could Trigger a Surprise Collapse

Most homeowners don’t think about the risk of damage to their septic system because it tends to be out of sight and out of mind. However, that mindset could be potentially disastrous. Too much weight atop a septic tank can cause a major collapse and do serious damage. There’s a reason septic systems aren’t in the driveway. Septic tanks need to be underneath a soft area of land that won’t be at risk of experiencing traffic. If possible, flag the area where your septic tank is buried. That way you can be sure you drive around it and never park on top of it.

Wet Conditions Can Be Treacherous

Parking or driving over a septic tank is never a good idea, but it’s even riskier in wet conditions. When the ground soaks up abundant moisture, a large amount of weight (like that of a vehicle) atop the movable soil can cause a shift in the ground. The result? Serious damage to your septic tank, as well as an increased threat of poor distribution and even a potential rupture. Always take extra caution around your outdoor plumbing when the ground is wet, as it’s more vulnerable to damage during this time.

Even Light Vehicles Could Damage the Tank

You might think that only Hummers or heavy trucks can cause damage, but that’s not the case. A lightweight vehicle such as a Mini Cooper can do plenty of damage. Even golf carts and ATVs can cause undue stress and lead to costly repairs for your septic system.

If you have questions about your septic tank or you’re wondering what steps homeowners can take to properly care for a septic system, contact with The Pink Plumber today. With years of experience in parts of Florida, Georgia and Texas, we’re your one-stop destination for all questions about plumbing.

Is a Tree Growing Into Your Sewer Line? Here’s What to Do

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Some types of trees have roots that extend far beyond the tree itself in search of water and nutrients. If these roots interfere with the sewer line, you can encounter severe plumbing blockages and damaged pipes in your yard.

Initially, you may not be able to tell that a tree root is a reason for plumbing problems in your home. However, if you live in an older home, have a number of trees on your land and are experiencing frequent plumbing problems, these are signs that a tree root may be the culprit. Here’s what to do if you encounter trees growing into your sewer line.

The First Signs of a Tree Root Blockage

If your sink, bathtub or toilet is making a gurgling sound, this is often the first sign that a tree root is encroaching on the sewer line. Tree roots can interfere with the way waste flows through your pipes, causing waste to build up. If you are experiencing this type of plumbing issue frequently and live on an older property with a number of trees, contact a professional plumber. They can determine if tree roots are the problem.

Remove the Roots and Repair the Damage

If tree roots are the issue, the plumber will first remove the roots causing the blockage. They will then clear the blockage and repair any damage to the pipes. When repairing the damage, your plumber can take certain precautions to ensure that this particular issue doesn’t interfere with your sewer line in the future. This often involves employing root control methods and placing barriers between the roots and the pipes.

Prevent Future Tree Root Problems

If you want to ensure tree roots don’t interfere with your home’s sewer lines again, consider removing the tree from your yard. In addition, if you’re planning a landscaping project, be sure to plant trees far away from your sewer lines. The trees that are likely to cause the most damage in your yard include sycamore, cottonwood, aspen, river birch and certain types of maple trees.

If you suspect tree roots are growing into your sewer line, contact a plumber immediately to inspect the area and resolve the issue. Swift attention to the problem now will help to prevent severe plumbing problems later. Contact The Pink Plumber today to schedule a consultation with an experienced professional.

How to Choose a Qualified Plumber

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Although finding an experienced and qualified plumber can be a difficult process, doing so will help you quickly resolve your plumbing problems. It will also prevent issues that can arise from working with an inexperienced handyman. Before you settle on a plumber or plumbing service, consider the following three factors.

1. Do Your Research

You want a plumber or plumbing service that takes customer service seriously. To ensure you receive quality service, you need a plumber who is reliable and able to finish the job in a timely manner. When choosing a plumber, ask friends and family for recommendations and read online reviews. You can also check references the plumber provides. Stay away from any plumber who doesn’t seem concerned about his reputation.

2. Consider a Plumber’s Qualifications

It’s important to hire a qualified plumber. Almost every state requires plumbers to be licensed, so don’t leave the job up to a friend or relative who isn’t licensed or insured. You must also make sure the plumber is properly insured. Insurance will not only help to protect your home in case of an accident or damage, but it will protect the plumber in the event of injury.

3. Ask About Level of Experience

With plumbing work, you don’t want a quick fix. Rather, you want to make sure that the problem is properly addressed and resolved. Choose a plumber who is a skilled professional with years of experience, and make sure they are highly trained and up to date on the latest practices. If you choose to work with a plumbing service as opposed to an individual, you’ll gain access to the knowledge and experience of multiple trained professionals, which is helpful for more complex plumbing problems.

At The Pink Plumber, we are well-known for our highly trained technicians and unbeatable customer service. We have more than 50 years of combined experience in the plumbing and drainage services that we provide, and we use the best equipment available for each job. If you need a reliable, qualified plumber for a commercial, residential or industrial property, contact The Pink Plumber to learn more.

4 Signs Your Roof Vent May Be Blocked

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Plumbing issues can be a frustrating occurrence, especially if you don’t know exactly what the issue is. You only know that your toilet won’t flush or your bathtub won’t drain. Different home plumbing problems can exhibit similar signs, so it’s important to call a professional to inspect your plumbing and identify the specific issue.

While there are several clues your roof vent may be blocked, these signs could also point to a sewer line blockage. Here are four signs that may mean you’re experiencing a rooftop plumbing vent blockage.

1. Sinks and Bathtubs Are Draining Slowly

If the sinks and bathtubs in your home are unable to drain or are draining too slowly, your roof vent could be blocked. Check the drains for hair, food or other items that may be clogging them. However, never attempt to snake the drains with a hanger or other item, which could damage the pipes or worsen the problem.

2. You Hear a Gurgling Sound

Hearing a gurgling sound in your sink, bathtub or toilet is another indication a plumbing vent may be clogged. A gurgling could can occur when waste cannot move freely through the pipes. If you hear a gurgling sound, don’t dismiss the noise, or the problem could worsen over time.

3. You Smell Sewer Gases

If your home suddenly smells like a sewer, contact a plumber as quickly as possible to remedy the issue. Smelling sewer gases can point to a serious blockage and usually means that something is blocking the roof vent. Sewer gas backup can create an unsanitary living environment that may be hazardous to your family’s health.

4. Debris Is Visibly Clogging the Roof Vent

If you’re experiencing any of the above plumbing issues, from the ground, you may be able to see if the roof vent is blocked on the outside. Trash, leaves, branches, sports equipment, birds nests and dead rodents are among items that can clog a roof vent. If a blockage occurs during a cold winter, it may be a sign of a clogged and frozen pipe. Removing these items is often a difficult and dangerous task, so be sure to leave this up to a professional.

If you are experiencing any signs of a plumbing vent blockage, don’t attempt to fix it. You may end up harming yourself, misdiagnosing the issue or even worsening the problem. Contact The Pink Plumber to schedule an appointment with a professional plumbing service with more than 50 years of experience tackling all types of plumbing problems.

5 Breast Cancer Awareness Tips to Improve Breast Health

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Most people who watch the NFL or pay attention to the news know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. While the proceeds from that month can help at-risk women identify and promote healthy habits, it certainly isn’t the only time you should be taking steps to monitor your health. Here are a few things that individuals can do outside of October to improve their breast health and make sure that they monitor the risk of potential health complications.

Get a Mammogram If You Haven’t Gotten One

The best way to monitor your health and maintain good breast cancer awareness is to have an annual breast exam and mammogram as your doctor recommends. In 2015, the American Cancer Society released new recommendations for mammography. For women at average risk for breast cancer, meaning they don’t have a personal history of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (such as in a BRCA gene), and have not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30, the following screening is recommended:

Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year; women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year; women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

Early detection saves lives. As many survivors will say, practicing good breast cancer awareness is a great way to stay ahead of the curve and give yourself the best chances of staying healthy.

Hit the Gym

Studies have shown that one of the most effective things you can do to help prevent cancer or keep it from spreading is to visit the gym. While it can feel like a chore to drag yourself out of bed and get a workout in, it’s also a great way for your body to eliminate free radicals and toxins that can precipitate the formation of cancer. A healthy exercise regimen is just one step you can take to improve your overall health and prevent any potential cancer development.

Eat Healthy

There are plenty of foods that claim the ability to beat cancer, but there likely isn’t one single food that’s going to keep you healthy. Maintaining a healthy diet rich in plant-based foods, low in saturated fats and low in carcinogens is one of the most helpful ways to keep your body well-fueled and healthy. If you’re looking to avoid potential health problems, even those other than breast cancer, a good diet is one of the best things you can do for your body.

Practice Self-Examination

Another great way to stay engaged and maintain breast cancer awareness throughout the year is to practice routine breast self-examinations. It’s an easy and inexpensive thing that you can do at home to monitor your health, and it can help alert you to a potential need to visit a doctor.

Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol

While it’s fine to have a drink every now and then, it’s best to avoid smoking and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, as both have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. It can be difficult to quit, but the health benefits are tremendous.

The Pink Plumber donates a part of the proceeds of every job to breast cancer research. Keep yourself healthy and join us in supporting breast cancer awareness all year long.

Sump Pump FAQ: What Is It, and Why Do I Have One?

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

If you’ve ever been in your home’s crawl space, you might have noticed a curious contraption consisting of a small motor and a tall tube. Say hello to your sump pump. Though it may be out of sight, this gadget should not be out of mind: It may be the only thing saving your beloved home from flooding (and your prized possessions from mildew). This is particularly true if your home’s foundation is below the water table.

To help you better understand these mysterious devices, we’ve answered a few frequently asked questions about them. Read on to get the scoop.

What Is a Sump Pump?

Often hardwired directly into your home’s electrical system, this device uses a motor of about 1/2 horsepower to expel dirty water that has accumulated in a basin. You will generally find it in the crawl space or basement where unwanted water accumulates.

Are They All the Same?

No. Sump pumps come in two varieties: pedestal, with the motor elevated above the sump; and submersible, which is completely underwater. Pedestal types are less costly and easier to repair. Submersible models cost more, but they’re better at handling gravel debris that can cause clogs and lead to costly flooding.

Most pumps are automatic. If you do have a manual pump, it needs to be activated at the right time, which can be tricky. For instance, some pumps need to be running before a basin fills, because a full basin can exceed an older model pump’s sump capacity.

Do I Need a Sump Pump?

If you live in a wet area, you certainly do need one. Rain, natural ground water and even the perimeter drains of your home’s waterproofing system can lead to flooding, which a pump can easily prevent. In many towns, including Amherst, New York, all homes must contain functional pumps by law.

Wetness is not just inconvenient. Damp crawl spaces are a favorite nesting ground for roaches, and mildew can also promote respiratory disease. If your basement floods every spring and stays unpleasantly damp year-round, your sump pump could be due for an upgrade.

How Can I Keep It Pumping Properly?

Because sudden flooding is possible, you should have this important device checked before you need its services. They require routine maintenance every six months to a year, but if you live in a damper climate, more frequent tune-ups can’t hurt.

As long as your plumber is performing a tune-up, ask about where exactly all that dirty water is going. When a lot of houses were built, the pumps sent basin water into sanitary water sewers, which is now illegal. In fact, you could be fined for polluting municipal sewers.

When was the last time you had your sump pump checked by a professional? Avoid costly flood repairs by having it inspected and maintained regularly. To schedule an appointment, contact the pros at The Pink Plumber. We’ve been tackling all types of plumbing problems for the past 50 years. These days, we’re also focused on fighting breast cancer, with a portion of every job donated to breast cancer research.