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How do I fix my toilet?

toilet in a bathroom

Keeping your toilet at its best

When your toilet is malfunctioning, does that mean you have to get a new one? Or is toilet repair possible? For may of us that have never ventured any further than jiggling the handle, toilet repair and installation is a place no one should go without training and experience in plumbing. 

Surprisingly for those of us with that mindset, some toilet repair tasks isn’t all that complicated. Today, we’re going to provide some basic questions and answers, and maybe next time you can answer your own question of, “What’s wrong with my toilet?”. 

The basic residential toilet is surprisingly simple. Most toilet repairs can be done for less than $25 and within in an hour or less. Your first need to diagnose the problem and that takes knowing the parts of a toilet. So, before you attempt toilet repair, take moment to review this: 

 There are two main parts to a toilet: 

  • The Bowl: This is the part that is connected to the floor which has a seat where you sit. It is solid porcelain and has water in it, but no moving parts. 
  • The Tank:  This part is the back of the toilet and has the handle you push down to flush. It has water in it and all of the moving parts that you’ll ever need to know for toilet repairing. 

The function of the toilet tank is to hold a certain level of water until the handle is pushed down to flush the toilet. Then, that water rushes down into the toilet bowl through an opening and forces the waste out of the toilet bowl, into a drain that leads to the sewer line. Two components inside the tank make that happen: 

  • The Flush Valve 
  • The Fill Valve  – this mechanism fills allows water to fill the tank for the next flush.

There are four different fill valve designs, all automatically open the water supply valve when flushed, allowing water to fill and automatically close when the water has reached a certain level in the tank.  

What are the parts called inside a toilet?

Yes, there are other parts to a toilet besides the bowl, tanks, flush valve and fill valve. Those parts are: 

  • The Handle and Flush Rod: These are work when you initiate the flushing process by pushing the handle down. There is a horizontal rod attached to the handle with a chain that pulls the rubber flapper up. Occasionally the handle becomes loose, requiring a quick toilet repair of tightening the nut on the inside of the tank. 
  • The Lift Chain: The lift chain descends vertically inside the tank and as we described above, pulls the rubber flapper up so the toilet can flush. It also allows the flapper to return once the flush has complete. This part will sometimes break or get tangled up inside. The toilet repair chain is easy by using pliers and patience to either untangle it or replace it with a new chain. 
  • The Flapper: This is the rubber flapper we’ve mentioned, and it sits on the flush valve  until the chain pulls it up for the flushing operation. This rubber flapper will get mis-centered or wear out and need to be replaced.  Easy toilet repair is replacing the flapper, some older toilet this will be a ball-like part instead, but the toilet repair is basically the same theory. When your toilet “is constantly running” this is usually the culprit. 
  • The Overflow Tube: This toilet part is connected to the flush valve and is a safety feature that keeps water from overflowing from the tank  when the flush valve doesn’t shut off. Any excess water spills over into the top of the overflow tube then in the toilet bowl. This too can be a reason the toilet is “running” when the overflow tube malfunctions, allowing too much water into the tank. 
  • The Shutoff Valve: On the exterior backside of the toilet is the water supply pipe. This is where the cold water comes in to fill the toilet. A shutoff valve should be located there that allows you to turn the water off to the toilet for toilet repair emergencies. If there isn’t one, it is well worth hiring a plumber to install one. 
  • The Water Supply Valve: Sometimes referred to as the ballcock, this vertical positioned assembly is located inside the tank and is the center piece of the toilet system. It opens up for water to enter and refill the tank after each flush then closes off the  water once the tank has the proper level of water. This is a common toilet repair and with just a few instructions, is easy to replace. 
  • The Float Ball: This part is what senses the tank’s water level to tell the water supply valve when to open and close. It is typically a floating ball that is attached to a horizontal pivoting arm. Often when a toilet is running, an easy toilet repair is to adjust this device. 

Can a toilet fill valve be repaired?

Yes, either you can call a plumber, of you can attempt this toilet repair yourself, which is the less expensive choice and relatively easy.  The float is that simple device inside the tan that shuts the fill valve closed after the water has met the pre-determined level inside the tan after a flush. Attached to it is a float arm that exerts enough pressure on the valve gradually and as the fill valve closes, sediment from the water gets inside the opening, causing it to prematurely shut off. This doesn’t allow enough water to fill the tank for the next flush. The following steps will get you through this toilet repair: 

  • One: Turn off the water off with the shut-off valve located under the tank and then flush the toilet. Keep holding the handle down so you get as much water drained from the tank.
  • Two: Remove the fill valve cap that has a tube attached to the float. It will either have screws attaching it or it lifts off as it turned counterclockwise.  
  • Three: Turn on the shut-off valve located under the toilet on so that a small quantity of water flows from the fill valve. Place the tank lid on or use your hand to cover this so water doesn’t spray all over you and the floor. 
  • Four: For ten seconds, let the water flow from the valve and then turn it off at the shut-off valve and put the cap back on. Now turn the water back on and let the tank fill.

How do you fix a weak flushing toilet?

After some tie, a toilets will often develop a weak flush. A common issue that causes this is a build-up of calcium, lime, and other minerals in the water, along the rim of the toilet bowl. This build-up restricts the water flow into the toilet bowl, causing a weak flush. An easy toilet repair with these steps: 

  1. Clean the rim with a toilet bowl cleaner with the water turned off and the water drained from the tank. Pour the cleaner into the opening of the flush valve and allow the toilet to sit overnight without use if possible.  Then using a stretched out wire hanger, push into the jet holes, scraping the build-up away. 
  1. Check the tank water level and if it is over one inch under the overflow pip, you need to adjust the incoming water level .This toilet repair is done by adjusting the water height of the fill valve.  It may be the flapper needs adjusting not to close too soon, with a slack of half-inch in the chain. This isn’t a precise setting but rather a trial and error. It may take a few tries to get it right. 
water leaking form toilet

Why did my toilet explode?

Residential toilets are virtually impossible to explode. There have been videos of teens lighting spray air freshener in the toilet bowl and causing it to explode or pouring a flammable liquid like gasoline in the bowl then lighting it. For the most part though, unless there is pressurized water at 60 psi in the tank and a leak in the water pipes that allowed air in, flushing a toilet in the same water system could cause one to explode. 

When a wax ring has to be replaced, this is a job or an experienced DIY homeowner or a plumber. It requires a toilet repair bolt to floor replacement and the toilet repair flange replaced as well. It takes either 2 people or one strong person to lift the toilet off the floor, after the water has been turned off and the water line disconnected.  If this is your first attempt at a toilet repair, we recommend having help. Call 817-244-4370 today for your toilet repair needs in Fort Worth, TX.

Do plumbers repair gas lines?

Gas line repair

Is gas line considered plumbing?

Even though gas is one of the cleanest and sustainable energy sources we have, it is scary and for several good reasons. The warnings we get from the gas company tell us when we smell natural gas to evacuate and call them and 911. There is nothing more scary than a gas leak in your home, and this is why getting professional gas line repair and service is important when you do have a gas leak or need a gas appliance installed. 

Many things around your home are DIY doable, but when it comes to needing gas powered appliances installed where there hasn’t been a gas connection, calling a professional to do any  gas line repair and installation is always the best idea and strongly recommended. Installing and gas line repairs should never be attempted by a non-professional that is experienced and licensed in working with gas lines. 

Yes, yes, yes!  Most plumbers are trained and certified for more than just sewer lines, toilets, and water lines. However, not every plumber is, so when you’re looking for gas line repair or installation, clarify if they have specialty in working with gas. From gas line repairs, replacements, relocation, or installing gas powered appliance and gas water heaters, many plumbers can offer you more than simply basic water based appliances. 

Can I run gas lines myself?

As we have stated earlier, a gas line repair or install is not a homeowner DIY project. So, who to call to install a gas line or do repairs?  A plumber that is experienced and licensed in gas line services like gas line repair and installing. Not all plumbers are experienced or licensed, so you’ll want to verify that status and make sure they are insured too. 

Can you patch a gas line?

Again, and we can’t stress this enough, you should always call a professional plumber that has gas line repair and installation specialty. However, there are times when a gas gets scratched or tears and creates a gas leak and you can’t find a plumber. Especially if you live outside the city limits, it may take days to get a qualified plumber. 

How do you fix a leaking gas pipe?

In those cases, for a small leak, with some DIY expertise and a few tools, you can do your own gas line repair in house, taking every precaution possible. The recommended steps for doing your own broken gas line repair:

  • Turn the gas off and put on a gas mask and work gloves. 
  • Remove the plastic covers that are encasing the gas line.
  • Disconnect the low-pressure gas line from the gas regulator.
  • Remove the high-pressure gas line with a wrench and clean it out with acetone. 
  • Rub the high-pressure gas line and gas pipe surfaces with sandpaper then rub both with acetone again.
  • Reconnect the gas line loosely and apply rubber tape over the gas leak site, checking the line’s angle that the high-pressure line isn’t going to cause issues for the low-pressure gas line. 
  • Apply epoxy to the gas line as per the instruction on the package then let it sit overnight to cure. 
  • Only the epoxy has cured, connect the fittings securely to the high-pressure gas line.
  • Reconnect the low-pressure line securely.
  • Turn the gas on and check for leaks. If still leaking, undo everything and check all work and test again,
gas line through stove

Is a small gas leak dangerous?

Natural gas doesn’t have any odor and the rotten egg odor you relate to be natural gas is added by the gas supplier. This is a precautionary procedure, but that doesn’t make a gas leak any less dangerous. Over 60 million homes are powered by natural gas in the United States alone. It is used to heat homes and heat water, provide power to cook with, and more. When natural gas is burning correctly, it will produce water vapor, but when it isn’t burning correctly, it creates carbon dioxide.

Even when gas isn’t ignited, it can be a silent killer by way of suffocation from inhaling concentrated amounts and being asphyxiated. Signs of being affected by leaking gas is indicated by chest pains and fatigue as the body is oxygen-deprived and overdosed on carbon monoxide. Approximately 500 people in this country are killed by natural gas leaks annually. This is why getting any gas line repair done by a professional and as soon as possible is always recommended. It could be the different between life and death. 

If your home is powered by natural gas, you have one of the cleanest and sustainable sources of energy possible. While there are cautions to take with natural gas, it is also one of the fastest and safest ways to cook, heat your water, and warm your home.  If you move into an existing home that is powered by gas, make sure the home inspector checks all aspects of gas connections and tests them to for gas leaks. If any are discovered, require the seller to get all gas lines repaired before closing so that you can move into your new home with confidence. Call 817-244-4370 today for gas line repair in Fort Worth, TX.

What is a slab leak and symptoms of slab leak?

leak through concrete slab

How long can a slab leak go undetected?

A house built on a slab is considered to be an upgrade over a pier-n-beam home.  Sitting on a solid piece of concrete instead of on beams with piers holding the beams gives a house a strong “foundation”, which is great. Until it gets a slab leak. Before a slab of concrete is poured for a house, the plumbing is laid and connected. A slab leak for house happens when any of that plumbing broken or deteriorating under the foundation.

A slab leak can go on forever. If the water doesn’t get shut off, it will leak on and on forever. A slab leak can go for hours, days, weeks, even months. This why they say there are two kinds of leaks: the leak you see and the leak you don’t see. Both can cause damage, but when you don’t see it, the damage can be a lot more severe.  

Is a slab leak dangerous?

A lot of houses in Texas are built on a concrete foundation, making slab leaks more common that a homeowner would like. When a slab leak is discovered or suspected, it needs to be addressed immediately for several reasons. 

  • Health Concerns: A slab leak, like any water leak, will inevitably cause the surface around it to mildew and then mold forms. When your home has mold, it seeps into the air you’re breathing, and after an extended period, it could cause serious respiratory issues. If anyone already has respiratory issues, it will aggravate it, making it worse. 
  • Structural Concerns: A slab leak that is ignored or undiscovered will cause the structure of the house to rot, compromising the structure. The slab itself will buckle, crack, and shift, causing the walls to move, weaking the support of the roof. 

How do you stop slab leaks?

When you discover you have a slab leak, you need to call a plumber immediately. If the water is gushing, turn it off at the main valve, located by the water meter for most homes. We’ll go further into to fixing and repairing slab leaks in a moment, but right now, here are things you can do to prevent a slab leak:

  1. Lower the water pressure from the meter to your home. Yes, high water pressure is great, but when it is at an excessive high pressure, it is hard on the pipes. If the pipes are old or weak, they will weaken and burst, resulting in a slab leak and more.
  2. Soften your hard water by installing a water softener. Hard water will have a negative impact on your home’s water pipes, so if you are living in an area with hard water, like many homes do in Texas, a water softener is you best defense in preventing a slab leak.
  3. Do use chemical drain cleaning agents to unclog your sinks or other plumbing.  The chemical cleaners that are available on the market typically are full of  harsh chemicals that will impact your water pipes negatively while getting rid of the clog. A better option is to use natural products, most of those you have already in the kitchen, and if they don’t work, call a plumber. A severe blockage may require the plumber to use hydro jetting process on your pipes, but that is much better than having a slab leak! 

How do you fix a slab leak?        

A slab leak is going to require you and your contractor to make  decisions. Those decisions will take into consideration the possible existing property damage and the risk of more property damage. Factors that will have an effect on those decisions is the age, the existing materials, and the condition of the plumbing system. The first decision will be whether repairs are possible or is a whole repiping session the better option. With the first line of decisions made, there are four ways your slab leak can be repaired. 

  • Re-piping/Re-routing Pipes: If you can avoid digging, and do all the work above ground, it is better and easier all the way around. Your house and landscaping aren’t damaged any more than the slab leak has damaged, and the job is completed faster because the plumber can fix slab leak without jackhammering. However, if the plumbing lines are encased in slab foundation, and replumbing the house without slab destruction can be done by routing the pipes the slab. This can require new plumbing installed insides the walls, into and through the attic, closets, etc. so that the pipes are concealed and protected. With creative ingenuity, the plumbing can be hidden behind crown molding or other creative woodworking means. 
  • Breaking Through the Slab: The shortest distance to fix a slab leak is to go through the slab. It is disruptive, loud, messy, and expensive. This is the least popular decision and thankfully, modern technology has given us other options. 
  • Tunneling Under the Slab: There are several benefits to be had when the slab leak can be fixed by tunneling under it, with the first one being, you don’t have to stay in a hotel while the work is going on!  Another big beneath is the crew won’t be making a mess inside your home, and last but not least, it is one of the less expensive processes to fix a slab leak. Your plumbing contractor may dig the tunnel, or they may hire an engineering crew to dig. Tunnel digging can compromise the structural integrity if not done correctly and that falls under the reign of engineering.
  • Trenchless Pipe Repair: This is also referred to as pipe bursting or pipe lining and is a new technology that plumbers and homeowners alike prefer. This slab leak fix doesn’t require any jackhammering inside the house or trench digging outside.  A simple description of this process, the plumber will dig two small holes, one on each end of the broken pipe. Then a new liner is pushed through one hole that will fill the broken pipe with a new liner. 
broken pipe under slabs

How long does it take to repair a slab leak?

 In most cases, depending on which of the methods is used and where the house is located, the average time for slab leak repair is two days. At the time your plumbing contractor gives you a description or estimate of the work to be done, they will give an estimation of time the job will take. 

How does a slab leak and insurance fall into this? Well, you’re not going to like this, but in most cases, homeowner’s insurance is not going to pay for slab leak repair.  You should review your policy or contact your agent to confirm this, better to do that now than wait until you have a slab leak problem.  Homeowner’s insurance is primarily there for catastrophic happenings, not something that has developed over time. 

Which is worse, a slab leak vs wall leak?

Both are bad news and both can cause a lot of damage. Unfortunately, when it comes to homeowner’s insurance, you got the same results – they are probably not going to cover the repair or the damage. Again, check your policy or talk to your agent so that you have a clear understanding where you are should a wall or slab leak happen to your home. Call 817-244-4370 today for slab leak detection in Fort Worth, TX.

How do you clear a severely clogged drain?

clogged sink and issues

Preventing clogs

While cleaning up from that turkey dinner last week, did you notice the kitchen sink draining a little slow? Then come Friday morning on your way out for Black Friday specials, you had a clogged drain, kitchen sink was backed up from the dishwasher and garbage disposal? Seasons greetings as you’re attempting to clear clogged drain, cleaning the sink full of dishes. 

Seems like the entire household is malfunctioning when the sink drain is clogged in kitchen doesn’t it? Or maybe it isn’t the drain, but something else that is causing water to back up in the kitchen sink? When there isn’t any clogged drain cleaner getting the job done, maybe it is something more.  Keep reading as we answer common questions and address certain concerns about kitchen sinks and clogged drain cleaning. 

How do you know if your drain is clogged?

A common call that plumbers get is for clogged drain cleaning. If it isn’t in the bathroom, then it is the kitchen. How do you know if it isn’t a sewer line broke or clogged, or drain in the kitchen or bathroom is the problem? 

Regardless what it is, this always seems to happen and a bad time and becomes more of a headache with each passing hour. Oh, and the mess from a clogged drain, cleaning that mess is an unplanned and can be a major headache.  

Some indications that will tell you that you have a clogged drain, cleaning it out may fix it and may need the service of a professional plumber. Some of the plumbing issues that are caused by clogged drains or slow drains are indicated by any of the following:  

  • Bubbling toilet
  • Water backs up in the bathtub, shower,  sink, or toilet
  • Water is seeping out from  beneath the toilet
  • Water draining slow from bathtub, shower, sink, or toilet
  • Four odor emitting from the drains
  • Puddles of water near bathtub, shower, sink, shower, or laundry room
  • Water backing up from clean out outside

Now that you know what is telling you have a clogged drain, cleaning up after it isn’t going to help. What causes these clogs? 

  • The kitchen sink: Food, grease, and soap build-up in the drain and after enough buildup, the water can’t go anywhere, including the water draining from the dishwasher. 
  • The bathroom sink or tub: The culprit here is the hair, soap, and toothpaste building up, so much that eventually, the water has nowhere to go. 
  • The toilet: Toilet paper is a big part of the build-up in the toilet, but other things that can clog a toilet are diapers, feminine hygiene items, paper towels, and wipes. If you have children in the house, there could any number of things flushed in the toilet that causes it to clog. 
  • The Condensation drain from air conditioner: The water that drains from your air conditioner will build-up in the drain pan and when it isn’t emptied on a regular basis, algae, mildew, minerals, and mold build up in the drain lines. 

How do you unclog a main drain without a snake?     

Homes are either on municipal sewer or septic tank. With the municipal sewer, your wastewater. With a septic system, it is dispersed through a sprinkler type system and scattered about the land around it. When the bathroom  or kitchen sink isn’t draining, it really doesn’t matter how it supposed to work , the wastewater can’t get through the drainpipe and to the sewer.

So, it begins backing up in the shower, sink, toilet, and/or tub, even the washing machine or dishwasher may get the back up, they probably aren’t draining either. This one of those household issues that you can’t ignore either, especially if any of drains are in the basement. So, what can you do besides call a plumber for clogged drain cleaning when you don’t have a plumber snake? Here are three clogged drain fixes you can try before calling the plumber:  

1) Hot Water: Let hot water run for ten minutes and if it is the toilet clogged, drain the tank from the bottom and fill it with hot water then use a force-ball plunger to flush it. 

2) Chemical Cleaner:  The shelves are full of these, choose the one that looks the best to you, not necessarily the expensive one, and follow the label instructions.

3) Force-Ball Plunger: These plungers have a ball-like top with a long part at the bottom that fits down into the toilet bowl. Making sure the toilet bowl has water, plunge up and down several times until the clog breaks.

drain

When should you call a plumber for a clogged drain? And What do plumbers use to clean drains that a homeowner can’t, or shouldn’t? 

A clogged and backed up drain can become a homeowner’s nightmare quick. They usually come about on holidays, weekends, or evening hours, leading to the temptation to fix it yourself and save that after hour charge. However, some DIY repairs can do irreversible damage. 

The main drains used in a home is the bathtub, shower, sink, and toilet. The hair, soap scum, and toothpaste can clog a drain to the point that your home remedies aren’t working a clogged drain cleaning. When you call a plumber, they will use cable augers, closet augers, angle shafts, and/or plungers. While you can purchase these tools at your local big box home improvement store, they don’t come with the experience in using them that a plumber will have. 

The kitchen sink is the next more frequent clogged drain, cleaning it out isn’t always easy either, especially when there is a dishwasher and/or garbage disposal connected. The garbage disposal adds more food waste to the drain, which forces more wastewater through the pipes, cause the drain to back up. 

You can use a chemical clogged drain cleaning product from the local home improvement store, but this is often only a band aid and the problem is still there. Again, using all the tools we listed above are possible, but without the experience and knowledge a plumber has, you could do more damage than good. You’ll end up calling the plumber anyway and the repair may cost more than it would have originally. 

Clogged drains are a hassle and can upset the household. While panic and urgency may overcome you, keeping a level head and realize when you’re limited at your abilities with the tools you have. Plumbers are not always cheap, but the damage you could do trying to do your own clogged drain cleaning could be even more expensive. Call 817-244-4370 today.

What Is a Sump Pump and How Does It Work?

A Sump Pump

What is a sump pump and how does it work?

If you have a basement in your home, you probably have a sump pump. These devices prevent your basement from getting flooded when there is a heavy rain or if you have a major plumbing leak. The pump moves water out of your basement and drains it either into a well, creek, pond, or your neighborhood’s drain. The pump sets in a basin in the basement. The sump pump operates fairly simply:

  • Valves on the pump sense rising water level or pressure.
  • When water level gets too high, excess water is pumped from the basement and away from the house through the discharge line.
  • The discharge line, or effluent, is connected to the drain so the water can drain out.

When it comes to plumbing pumps in Fort Worth, TX, the plumbers at S.W.A.T. Plumbing LLC always provide expert installation or repair. Call us today at 817-244-4370 to get a quote on services.

How do I choose a sump pump?

If you don’t have a sump pump installed in your basement, you’ll need to know which type is right for you before installing the device. There are two basic types of pumps, submersible and pedestal. Submersible pumps are one unit consisting of the pump and motor which is submerged inside the basin. With a pedestal pump, the pump sits inside the basin while the motor is on a pedestal or a stand above it. Submersible pumps are generally preferred because they make less noise and prevent debris from falling in the basin. They are particularly good if your home is prone to heavy flooding. If you are in an area where flooding is light, a pedestal pump will work just fine.

How often should sump pump run during heavy rain?

You shouldn’t be alarmed if your sump pump runs continuously after heavy rain. The pump might run continuously for 2-3 days after a heavy rain, especially if you have a flat or negative grade around the basement. If it keeps running for more than three days after the rains have stopped, the pump might have a problem.

Can sump pump get clogged?

Sump pumps can clog in several ways, especially if no lid is present. Typical problems include:

  • The pit or basin clogs with debris and dirt.
  • The pump’s parts get clogged with dirt. This often happens when the pump sits up straight in the bottom of a dirty basin where silt often accumulates.
  • The float switch clogs or jams and gets caught in the “on” position or completely shuts down.

Can sump pump run dry?

You should not allow your sump pump to run when it is dry. It needs water to stay cool and for lubrication. Running the pump without water could overheat it or otherwise damage parts. While pumps have thermal cutoff switches to shut off the pump if it overheats, were you to run it dry frequently and allow it to overheat, eventually, the switch would stop working. 

How many years do sump pumps last?

On average, a sump pump will last about 10 years. Usually, you won’t know your pump has worn out until it stops working, although most will begin to show signs of wear that can alert you it’s time to replace it. If it’s constantly running, even several days after rains have let up, it’s probably time to replace it. Similarly, if it’s having problems engaging and not turning on when you need it to, it’s probably worn out and needs to be replaced. 

Is buying a house with a sump pump bad?

It’s actually a good idea to buy a home with a sump pump. When you have a basement, flooding is a common problem, and the damage flooding can cause adds up to expensive repairs. With a pump in place, you’re going to save money and keep your basement dry. You want to have a pump in particular in areas that are flat and prone to flooding. Of course, if you buy a house in an area where flooding is rare, the pump might not ever be used, but it’s handy to have if any flooding does occur. If the house has a pump, you’ll want to know why it was installed, how old it is, and if there have been any moisture issues before or after the pump was installed. 

When sump pump smells

Most sump pumps will emit some odors. If your sump pump is emitting really pungent odors, there is probably something wrong with it. Common issues that cause foul pump odors include:

  • Sewage infiltration, which means you probably have a sewer leak.
  • Stagnant water in the basin, which usually means your float switch is not adjusted properly.
  • The basin is dry, which is causing odorous gases to be released into the home. The basin needs to be refilled.
  • Basins used for grey water drainage from showers and washers may have detergents and soaps that accumulate and begin to smell. The basin and piton need to be cleaned.
Sump Pumps

Who repairs sump pump

If your sump pump in Fort Worth, TX is malfunctioning and you need someone with the expertise to repair it, you need to look no further than S.W.A.T. Plumbing LLC. We install and repair all kinds of plumbing pumps. Learn more about what we can do or get a service estimate by calling 817-244-4370.

What is Water Filtration?

water pouring from plastic bottle in glass on blue background

Learn More About Water Filtration

With the efforts of creating a more healthy and protective system of water use and consumption, water filtration has been evident for business, homes and cities around the world. Water is an essential human need that provides us with better health and bodily functions. What’s more clean water has become a mandatory condition to have under the Clean Water Act (1972) which gives the EPA authorization to implement solutions and control programs for regulating water. To consume and use contaminated water will have a number of adverse side effects from viruses to diseases being contracted. In order to have cleaner water water filtration is used more and more after water travels through the greater city water treatment centers and into the homes and businesses for various people. If you’re looking into water filtration make sure to get in touch with your local water purification or plumbing company that offers such services of  water filtration for assistance. Until then, here is some general background information regarding water filtration that may prove of use to you.

Why is filtration of water important?

Water filtration is essential in providing clean and healthy conditions of water consumption. Water filters lower the risks of bacteria and diseases from being transmitted through the water while also reducing the risk of getting gastrointestinal diseases by 80%. This is mainly achieved by getting rid of e-Coli, giardia, and cryptosporidium amongst other contaminants. Not only is clean water important for preventing illnesses, but they are also essential in the development of children and keeping health stable for those who are sick or elderly.

What is the process of filtration of water?

The process of water filtration involves a series of systems one after the other that are designed to tackle layers of contaminants stage by stage. Firstly, there will be a preliminary stage where large particles such as sediments are removed. Gradually filters will address smaller and smaller particles that are not seen by the naked eye where viruses, bacteria and other contaminants live.

What are the benefits of water purification?

The benefits of water filtration are many, they remove the odor and bad tastes associated with metal plumbing, chemical treatments or organic matter which will lead to a purer taste. Contaminants are removed from the water as well which makes it healthier for consumption.

Are water filtration systems worth it?

Water filtration systems are worth it as they can remove chemicals, rust, sediments, microorganisms and heavy metals from water which will be effective for short and long term health.

What are the common water borne diseases?

Common water borne diseases that are present when water filtration isn’t initiated are cholera, typhoid, amoebiasis, hepatitis A, and more with the most central symptom being diarrhea. Along with this symptom you may have muscle cramps, vomiting, nausea and more.

What happens if you drink water with bacteria in it?

If you drink water with bacteria present you can have short term health effects that include, headaches, diarrhea, cramps, nausea and more. A greater risk is present for those with weak immune systems, young children and the elderly. 

What are the 3 types of filtration?

The three types of water filtration include the three main categories of either biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration.

How do you purify water with filtration?

You may be able to purify water with water filtration through several methods such as activated carbon which removes contaminants by chemically bonding contaminants to the filter. Distillation is also used as one of the oldest water purification methods which sieve waters through sand or rocks. Other methods include ozonation, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and more.

New water filter system or osmosis, water-purification, closeup.

What are the types of water purification? 

  • Sediment Filtration
  • Activated Carbon Block (ACB) Filtration
  • Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Filtration
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration
  • Distillation
  • Ion-Exchange (IX)
  • Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection
  • Ultrafiltration (UF)
  • Activated Alumina (AA) Filtration
  • Ionization

Is filtered water the same as bottled water?

Water filtration is seen with bottled water before it’s put out to be sold. Essentially a water filtration system will create the same taste as bottled water and vice versa.

Speak to an Expert About Your Water Filtration Options

Get in contact with your local plumber or water filtration company when you’re looking to have exceptional water filtration for your property. Only with a professional will you be able to have your water tested and your plumbing inspected to see what type of filter or filtration system would work best for you. You may be able to enjoy whole-house systems that will purify water for all outlets including your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. You may also have a point of use systems that are ideal for specific sinks and faucets. See what may be right for your preferences by speaking to an expert today about water filtration.

If you’re interested in water filtration in Fort Worth, TX call 817-244-4370 with S.W.A.T. Plumbing LLC!

Which is better hot water heater or tankless?

Tankless water heater on a wall

Choosing the right water heater for you

Let’s talk about tankless water heaters. How does a tankless water heater work if it doesn’t have a tank? A tankless water heater heats water directly with either an electric element or a gas burner, same as with a traditional water heater. The difference is the tankless water heats the cold water as soon as it arrives in the unit; it doesn’t have to store the water in a tank and heat it up before sending on to the faucet.

You know how you get ready to take a shower on Sunday evening after working in the yard all day, only to be hit by cold water? Because everyone else has bathed, somebody has been doing laundry and washing dishes, there is no hot water in the water heater tank. A tankless water heater delivers a constant hot water supply, so you never have that happen again.

Can you run out of hot water with a tankless water heater?

Before that question can be answered, an explanation about how a tankless water heater system works is needed. The conventional storage tank water heater system does just that: It stores water at a high temperature until you need it. The downside to that is when all that water in the tank is gone, more water needs to heat. That takes a while whether you have an electric water heater or gas water heater. 

The tankless water heater system doesn’t have a tank full of water to keep hot or heat. It heats upon demand as soon as it detects movement of water in the water lines. The heat exchanger kicks in and heats that water that very moment and will keep heating water until the faucet is turned off.

So, to answer that question, can you run out of hot water with a tankless water heater? No, unless the water is turned off, no, you will not run out of hot water with a tankless water heater system.

Can a tankless water heater fill a tub?

Well, it depends on a few things.  How big of a tub do you have? Are there other appliances using hot water at the same time? Do you have the tub faucet on full blast? What size of unit is your tankless water heater?

You won’t run out of hot water because the tankless water heater isn’t heating up the water. You’ll have an endless supply of hot water with the tankless water heater system.  Allow us to further explain: If two people are showering, the dishwasher or washing machine are all running simultaneously, a tankless water heater won’t be able to keep up, and lukewarm water is the result. There are solutions for this scenario:

  • Buy a larger tankless water heater unit that will put out more heat.
  • Stagger your hot water needs like showers, washing clothes or dishes by a few minutes.
  • But two tankless water heater units.

So, yes, you can fill that bathtub up with hot bubble water! Just don’t run other hot water appliances at the same time. To further clarify, you can fill an oversized bathtub when you have a tankless water heater, but not when another appliance or fixture is using hot water. Turn the faucet force down too will help the system keep hot water coming because you’ll be putting less force on it. Before you buy a tankless water heater, make sure you’re getting the size that is appropriate for your family’s needs and usage.

Where should a tankless water heater be installed?

Install your tankless water heater anywhere inside your home. They are small compared to the conventional water heaters, making them unobtrusive. They can fit in a pantry, under a sink or under stairs, almost anywhere that is out of your way, even outside, but yet easy to get to for maintenance.

Tankless water heater works best when it is closest to the appliances and faucets that will need hot water the most often. If the bathroom is where you use the most hot water, then have it installed near the bathroom. The further away from the places you’ll use it, the less efficient it will be. Homeowners often find that having more than one tankless water heater installed, placing them in zones, gives them the ultimate performance.

 Installing a tankless water heater outdoor is okay in a mild climate that doesn’t see winters below freezing. If you must install it outside, makes sure it has a 12 inch clearance away from any door or window and have an outdoor vent cap installed on the unit.

Do not install a tankless water heater near air vents or dryer vents and if the installation is between building, it will need a two foot clearance. Never install a tankless water heater near a window or across from a door or window that is facing a wall. If installing your tankless water heater above pavement, it should be vented seven feet above.

How long do tankless water heaters last?

Like any appliance in your home, maintenance is key to having a long lifespan from your tankless water heater. With proper maintenance as instructed by the manufacturer, you can expect your unit to last twenty years. They have parts that are easily replaced when needed that can extend their lifespan.

tankless water heater installed on wall

Is a tankless water heater worth it?

The tankless water heater benefits may not be a lengthy list, but they are powerful in their benefits:

  • Energy efficiency is a money saver over time
  • A longer lifespan than conventional water heaters with tanks – as much as double the lifespan
  • They take up less space than the conventional water heater
  • With proper size and planning, they provide unlimited hot water on demand versus the time it takes a conventional water heater to heat the water inside the tank

There are few caveats with the tankless water heater that you should consider before making this investment.  A tankless water heater with pump for recirculating the water is available already in the system or can be added on later. They can increase the price by as much as a $400, but if you’re making the investment, it may be worth it for your household. The purpose of a recirculation pump is to keep the water continuously circulating, returning it to the tank to be heated again. This definitely minimizes the energy efficiency of the unit, but it will keep the water hot. 

A tankless water heater without water softener may not last as long as one with a water softener installed, but the same is to be said of the conventional water heater. A water softener improves the water supply to keep the tank or tankless water heater from becoming corroded with mineral deposits that are found in water. Call 817-244-4370 today for your tankless water heater installation in Fort Worth, TX.

Is Plumbing an Emergency?

plumbing emergency

What are the most common plumbing problems?

Certain plumbing issues can be considered an emergency, if you want to categorize it, there are certain qualifications that would define an emergency from a regular plumbing problem. While some can be prevented, others tend to have to do with age or insufficient services provided like installation and repair. Here are some of the most common problems that plumbers face daily: 

  • Leaking: Leaks in pipes and faucets lose homeowners an exorbitant amount of money yearly because their water is constantly running through leaks. 
  • Clogged drains: When your drain is clogged, you end up not being able to use the devices like your toilet, bathtub, and shower. Sometimes the homeowner can fix it, but when convenient methods fail plumbers can always do the trick. 
  • Constant running: Just like leaking pipes and faucet, a constantly running toilet will waste the homeowner tons of money as long as it occurs. 
  • Water pressure: When your water pressure is down house-wide, there are several problems that could be the cause of the issue. 
  • Water heater issues: The water heater is made up of several parts that deliver to you refreshing hot water. When one malfunction, the entire system can be subject to any number of issues.

When one of these problems arises, there tends to be an agreed-upon understanding on what can wait and what is bad. A toilet for example, if you have multiple toilets in your home, it may not be an emergency to fix it, but if it is the only one in your home then it can be considered a plumbing emergency. In more urgent examples, if your piping, drains, or toilets are creating enough water to damage your property and perhaps endanger you, it may be considered an emergency plumbing. When you need emergency plumbing repair in Fort Worth, TX, trust S.W.A.T. Plumbing LLC to take care of it. Call 817-244-4370 today to schedule your appointment and speak to one of our plumbers today.

What is considered a plumbing emergency?

When you feel you have a plumbing emergency and need emergency plumbing, you understand the need for immediate action. It could be that you no longer have running water or that the water won’t stop running and begins to cause havoc in your home. Specifically, immediate concerns can include examples like:

  • Soon to be bursting pipes: When a pipe bursts, there is an immediate effect that causes destruction to property.
  • Water shut off failure: Water shut off valves help in maintaining your water system, when it fails it has a definite impact. 
  • Sewer back up: Sewage exudes harmful gases and chemicals that can be harmful to a person. 
  • Sump pump failure: Generally in basements or parts of the home water system, the sump pump is designed to keep homes from flooding especially during storms.

When a plumbing system needs to be fixed urgently, plumbers can come out as fast as they are capable to apply repairs. The general time the procedure tends to vary but can be from half an hour to three hours depending on the quick fix needed. When a plumber comes out to make an emergency repair, they come with the intention to get it fixed as fast as possible and will help you with future steps for longer lasting maintenance.

When should you call a plumber for a clogged drain?

As mentioned, emergency plumbing tends to come with signs that make the situation one that urgently needs to be fixed. Additionally to signs that the emergency could cause you damage and/or harm to your health. However,  there are signs you could catch before the situation becomes bad. Take plumbing for example, you could catch these signs and call a plumber before the system gets progressively worse:

  • Recurring clogs
  • Gurgling
  • Foul smell
  • Clogging around the home
  • Slow water drain

When it comes to clogging drains specifically, these signs are can be easily seen before a plumbing emergency occurs in your home. So when it comes to repairing these and piping, augers or plumbing snakes are generally used to solve the problems. The process of fixing the issue tends to include cutting off the connection, chemicals that break down blockages, and then drain the cut off the system so it’s assumed that it works.

plumbing emergency

Is a clogged toilet a maintenance emergency?

As mentioned, a clogged toilet can be an emergency depending on the context. When it’s overflowing and causing damages, yes it is an emergency. In the same sense, if it is your only toilet, it can also require emergency plumbing because you are left without a toilet. However, what has only barely been mentioned thus far is when you have a backup and notice a foul smell with what’s coming back up. When your sewage backs up, you can be subject to toxic gasses that are developed in sewage. For your health, you will need emergency plumbing to solve the problem because it will cause much more damage than a regular overflow. S.W.A.T. Plumbing LLC is the perfect company to help from our main location in Fort Worth, TX. Call 817-244-4370 today to schedule your appointment and get your emergency plumbing. 

What is Plumbing Maintenance?

Young plumber with adjustable wrench collage background.

Learn More About Plumbing Maintenance

Your plumbing system comprises of a number of areas that need to be paid attention to every so often so that proper performance can be maintained. In order to ensure proper system compliance and behavior, plumbing maintenance duties will have to be implemented periodically, if not, you may see repair bills lining up in the near future. With plumbing maintenance, it’s important to know where to address an issue and know what to do. Often times, certain tasks can be DIY, yet certain areas like with gas fixtures or more severe problems like with rusted pipes must be handled by a trained professional. Make sure to contact your local plumber for assistance with plumbing maintenance if need be. Until then, here is some helpful information regarding plumbing maintenance that may prove of use to you.

What are the eight main areas of plumbing?

The eight main areas of plumbing maintenance involve gas fitting, drainage, water supply, fire protection, sanitary, irrigation, and mechanical services involving heating, cooling, and ventilation.

What do maintenance plumbers do?

Plumbing maintenance with a skilled professional plumber will involve working with gas, sewer stations, water, water wells, irrigation and duties related to these areas. Repair, maintenance, installation or replacement services can be implemented depending on the situation.

How do I maintain my plumbing system?

Plumbing maintenance can be implemented by paying attention to various scenarios having to do with your plumbing lines and fixtures. Certain behaviors can be common or expected with certain areas so as long as you pay attention to any changes or developments you’ll have your plumbing maintenance down. Leaks, for example, tend to occur with faucets and showerheads when connections aren’t right or washers are worn. Slow drains can happen with showers and kitchen sinks due to common clogs with hair or garbage disposals respectively. 

How often should you clean your plumbing pipes?

Plumbing maintenance with cleaning pipes will depend on the age of your pipes as well as piping materials. However, if you want to avoid sewer backups it’s best to schedule cleaning every 18-22 months. It’s important to have maintenance duties performed sooner rather than later as unaddressed plumbing problems can become major repairs if they go undetected for some time.

How do you maintain drain pipes?

One way you can undergo plumbing maintenance with your drain pipes is to pour a homemade solution down them. It will involve hot water, baking soda, vinegar, and more hot water. First, you will run hot water through the sink, afterward throw a handful of baking soda down the drain and follow that up with hot water as well. Next, pour a cup of vinegar down the drain and allow that to sit for half an hour. Once the time has passed, pour down more hot water down the drain to flush out anything that has loosened in the pipeline.

How do I keep my outside drains clear?

Plumbing maintenance with clearing outside drains can be handled by using a grate with a fine screen under it. This fine screen will be enough to keep debris like leaves out while not being too fine to restrict the flow of water down the drain. Using a screen can be done with roof drains as well yet for both make sure to clean what was caught periodically so there are no obstructions before heavy rainstorms hit.

What breaks down grease in pipes?

For plumbing maintenance involving breaking down grease in pipes consider pouring a mixture of a pound of powder detergent with three gallons of boiling water. Make sure to hold the container close to the drain and pour slowly to prevent scalding reactions. Baking soda with vinegar and hot water can also be used for this plumbing maintenance duty as well. Finally, you can also use salt with baking soda to dissolve the grease clog. 

How do plumbers clean pipes?

Plumbers will typically use technology such as a pressure hose that will snake down the line and tackle debris with its nozzle. Water blasts out at an angle from the side and directly in front to create a path of movement. Plumbing maintenance with this tool will allow enough pressure to wash away obstructions on the drainpipe walls.

Plumber with plumbing tools on the kitchen.

How do you prevent plumbing problems?

  • Avoid Disposing Things You Shouldn’t Down Drains or Toilets
  • Apply Drain Screens
  • Incorporate Monthly Drain Treatments
  • Don’t Crank-Shut Faucet Handles
  • Apply Washing Machine Hose Screens

What is considered a plumbing emergency?

Plumbing emergencies can show up in many forms and can range in severity. Clogged drains, gas leaks and damaged pipes are common plumbing emergencies that can occur which require immediate attention. Implementing periodic plumbing maintenance duties can avoid plumbing emergencies from happening as they will tackle the issues at their beginning stages before they progress to larger issues.

Contact Your Local Plumbers For Help

When you’re in need of plumbing maintenance get in touch with your local plumbing company for assistance. Plumbing maintenance with a professional plumber will allow for a thorough job that will protect your lines throughout the seasons. It’s important to implement plumbing maintenance duties periodically so that you can avoid larger issues from arising from previously smaller ones. Improve on your plumbing lines and get plumbing maintenance today.

If you require assistance with plumbing maintenance in Fort Worth, TX call 817-244-4370 with S.W.A.T. Plumbing LLC!

How Do You Clean a Drain?

drain

How to Clean a Drain?

Have you ever wondered about the ways to clean a drain in your home? Sure, it can be a tedious task and not the most pleasant, but we’re going to discuss how to clean your drains at home. Let’s dive in.

How to Clean Drains Naturally?

Many people ask: “What can I pour down my drain to unclog?” 

Well, there are a few “natural” ways to unclog a drain and drain cleaning at home. Most of which use ingredients from your cupboard. But remember, if this doesn’t work, it may be time to call an expert to come to inspect your drain system and check for blockages. 

If your system is blocked or backed up, a natural solution will do nothing for you and in the long-run, cause some serious damage.

Some of the ways you can naturally unclog your drain include:

  • Using a combination of baking soda and vinegar
  • A mix of baking soda and lemon juice
  • Baking soda and salt
  • A combination of baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar

Most of these combinations will use 2 parts water and 1 part of baking soda or half when combined with other ingredients. 

Will Bleach Unclog a Drain?

One very popular way to try and unclog your drains is by using bleach. Plus, bleach is a known bacteria killer and odor neutralizer. 

In general, diluted bleach is ok to use in moderation. It will definitely disinfect your drain but will not UNCLOG it. The mixture of bleach and water is great for cleaning your drain and flushing out any debris. However, things can get tricky because bleach will not unclog the drain. It’s great for sanitation and killing horrible smelly germs, but that is it.

For drain cleaning and plumbing you may need to call a professional like the ones in our Swat team for more information and services.

What do Plumbers Use to Unclog Drains?

Most plumbers will use specialized equipment to unclog your property’s drains. Some of these include a manual drain snake, which is a small auger that rotates and is pushed through the clog. 

Another tool includes a motorized drain snake. This handy tool is brought in when the manual drain snake doesn’t work. This will most likely be used in the sewer port outside the home. This tool extends to 150 feet and clears larger clogs.

In other cases, plumbers will use a hydro-jetting machine, which is used when none of the above works. This will also include a video inspection of the sewer lines. 

Drain Cleaning Bacteria

If you’re experiencing the terrible odors coming from your drains, there are a few cleaners that you can use in order to get rid of the odors attacking you every time you pass by.

However, we have a very important recommendation for you. Don’t use chemical drain cleaners. It may seem a bit mundane, but there is a lot of truth in this. Chemical drain cleaners will eat through your pipes. In the long-run (and short-run if your pipes are older) it will cause huge damages including cracks, leaks and complete corrosion of piping.

The best option is to use bio drain cleaners. This is nothing like the chemical products that people are used to purchasing. It will not by any means cause the expensive damages chemical cleaners will. 

Bio cleaners are different products. They are safe to use in your home and will definitely provide the results you are looking for when cleaning your drain. This is the best “chemical” to unclog drains.

Drain Cleaning Equipment

If you are interested in purchasing some drain cleaning equipment for yourself, we’d be happy to make a few recommendations. So that you count on the right equipment that will not harm your piping and will unblock and unclog your drain successfully. It’s smart to have some of these handy for removing and loosening the top of the drain, as well as the basic resources to access the clog.

Some of the standard tools include the following:

  • Snake: This is the most flexible drain cleaning tool. It is a long- tube-like tool that is used to push through blockages. It has a grip handle for you to hold and push down the drain. 
  • Plunger: You know plungers and most likely already own one. These are great to suction and release backups. These come in many sizes and you can find the best for your drain in any home improvement store.
  • Wire Brush: These small wire brushes are used to clean the gunk after you removed blockages from the drain. They are combined with the use of soap and hot water and are similar to toothbrushes.

Final Thoughts

If you need professional help for unclogging your drains and avoid damage, contact us today at 817-244-4370! We look forward to hearing from you.