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How to Fix a Tub That Won’t Drain

Every day, tons of people across the world find that their tub just isn’t draining anymore. For some, this is a sudden change. For others, it’s been a gradually worsening problem. It’s so common, there are even quick fixes available at most stores in the form of drain cleaner. However, what most people don’t know is that drain cleaner is really bad for your plumbing. So, let’s check out what to do and what not to do to fix a tub that won’t drain.

Find Why the Tub Won’t Drain

The first step to fixing your drain is to figure out the general cause of the draining issue. Generally, there are two branches of things that can cause draining issues: plumbing failures and buildups.

The most common cause is a buildup of stuff like hair and grime. If your tub has gotten gradually worse at draining, the drain probably just needs to be cleaned out.

Plumbing failures can come in many forms. The best way to assume you’ve got a plumbing failure is if the draining issue came on suddenly. If one day your tub was draining just fine and the next it’s barely draining at all, something is very wrong. A pipe underground may have collapsed, or a break in a pipe may have allowed something (previously) alive to get into your drain pipe.

Removing Blockages

When it comes to buildups, clearing the drain is easy.

Drain cleaners will try to get you to buy their chemical solution to do away with the buildup by yourself. While it’s true that chemical drain cleaners may work to remove gunk from your drain, they also remove metal. That is, they eat away at the inside of your pipes. This thins the pipes, making them more susceptible to bursting, breaking, cracking, and so on.

It’s just as easy to use a snake. A snake pulls blockages out of the pipes by screwing into them and then pulling straight out. This method won’t damage your pipes like chemical drain cleaner, and is much more effective. POM Plumbing can give you a visit and have your drain cleared ASAP.

Fixing Broken Pipes

Drain cleaner won’t fix the problem at all if the issue is a plumbing failure. In fact, it will only make it worse. If you’re pretty sure your drain has stopped working because something broke further down, you’ll need a professional from POM Plumbing to take a closer look.

Accessing underground pipes may require digging. Pipes hidden in walls may mean removing sections of drywall. Because of this, we need to investigate before we go directly to the plumbing. Camera inspection of the drain is an easy way for us to take a peek at where the problem is without getting into the thick of things. Once we know, for sure, where the problem is, then we can go about accessing the pipes.

Prevent Plumbing Problems

If your drain was blocked because of a buildup, it might be worth investing in a cheap drain guard. These guards can come in many forms. Some of them are just mesh grates while others are a solid piece of metal with holes drilled into it. The TubShroom is a great choice for most tubs. It’s inserted into the drain and catches hair before it can go any further. You can then dump the contents into the trash when it begins to get full.

If your drain isn’t made to accommodate a guard, you can also get regular drain maintenance by calling us at POM Plumbing.

How to Repair Cracked Pipes Quickly

Maintaining you plumbing can be difficult to keep up on but there comes a time when it can’t be ignored anymore. That time is when your plumbing begins developing cracks. POM Plumbing is here to talk about how we can repair cracked pipes quickly to prevent disaster in your home.

Finding the Cracks

The first step to repairing cracks in plumbing is knowing that there are cracks and where they are. If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of finding a leak in your home, you may already know where they are. However, if you’re dealing with water damage below the second floor or in the basement, it may take a little searching around.

POM Plumbing has a fantastic group of professionals who have been repairing cracked pipes for years. Whoever is sent out to help you with your plumbing problem will start with finding the source.

Gaining Pipe Access

Next up is gaining access to the pipes. If the affected plumbing is in the wall or between floors, it may require some drywall removal. If the drywall has sustained water damage, it will need to be replaced anyway to avoid mold problems in the future.

However, not all pipes are hard to reach. Many of them are exposed, such as those under the sink and those in an unfinished basement. In those cases, fixing the problem is even faster. If your sink is dripping water in the cabinet below it, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll get it fixed up in no time.

Assessing the Damage

Next up is checking out what kind of damage we’re dealing with. If the pipe is burst completely, it will need to be replaced. On the other hand, we can repair cracked pipes quickly with the right approach. The typical solution is using a rubber sleeve or wrap. By coating the crack in epoxy and then slipping a tight, rubber sleeve around it, we ensure it won’t crack further. The sleeve keeps the pipe from expanding outward at the cracked point. That’s great for keeping a cracked pipe from turning into a burst one. After all, the last thing you need is a flood in your house because a pipe gave out.

Hire POM Plumbing

If you have a problem with your pipes, POM Plumbing is the company for you. Our team of experienced professionals have been doing plumbing repairs for years and helping repair cracks in plumbing for people just like you. Respectable appearance and respectful communication are two of our top priorities. That’s because we want customers to feel like they’ve hired an exceptional team. We also want them to feel like they’re being listened to and like they know what’s going on.

It’s far too often that plumbing experts walk into a home and start fixing things without explaining the process. We believe it’s your right to know what’s going on in your home. All processes will be covered before they’re started.

If you need help with your plumbing, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!

How Can You Prevent Frozen Pipes in Winter?

Frozen pipes are a disaster for any home. No matter how big and fancy your home is, if your pipes freeze, there’s a high chance they’ll burst and end up flooding your house. So, how can you prevent frozen pipes in winter? There are lots of creative solutions that we’re happy to share with you.

Leave Bathroom Doors Open

The first thing you should do when winter approaches is keep your bathroom doors open – unless you’re using them of course. When the bathroom isn’t in use, keeping the doors open allows air flow. This isn’t strictly necessary if your bathroom has its own forced-air vent. However, it doesn’t hurt. If your bathroom doesn’t have its own forced-air vent or radiator, it can become much colder than the rest of the house if the doors are left shut. Allowing warm air to flow into the bathroom will ensure the pipes beneath the sink don’t freeze.

Leave Sink Cupboards Open

For the same reason, sink cupboards should be left open. This applies to anywhere with a sink above a cabinet. The bathroom sink, kitchen sink, and even a laundry room sink should have their cabinet doors left open. If there’s no other insulation keeping your pipes from freezing, allowing warm air into the cabinets may help.

Let the Sink Drip

While it may not be necessary if you’re still at home, when on vacation, leave the sinks to drip. Turning on each hot and cold tap in the house, just enough to allow it to drip, will aid in preventing pipe bursts. The water continues to move around, lowering the likelihood of freezing. Plus, the dripping helps to relieve pressure in the pipes. 

Keep Heat On

If you’re going somewhere else for vacation, don’t turn your heat off. This is important no matter what time of year you’re leaving. Always keep your heat set to at least 50 Fahrenheit when you’re traveling. Doing this keeps your home’s pipes warm enough to prevent freezing. Even during the fall or spring, if you leave with your heat off, a sudden drop in temperature could have you returning to a flooded house. A small amount of heating will cost a lot less than flood repairs.

Blanket Insulation

If your pipes are getting too cold, even with maximum airflow and keeping the heat on, it might be time to insulate your pipes. If you don’t have money to buy insulation, wrapping blankets or towels around your pipes is the way to go. It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing. A nice, thick barrier between your pipe and the cold air may be just the trick. This applies to sink pipes under cabinets as well as pipes in the garage that may lead outdoors, such as to a spigot.

Styrofoam Insulation

If you do have the money for some dedicated insulation, buying styrofoam insulation for your pipes is easy. Check with your local hardware store and you’ll find there are dedicated styrofoam forms meant to fit over your exposed pipes. If there are long stretches of exposed pipe – perhaps in the garage – you might want to get some expanding spray foam insulation instead. This will last longer and be more effective than a styrofoam form.

If it’s too late and your pipes have burst, once the initial disaster is cleaned up, we’re more than happy to come out and fix your pipes. That’s what we’re here for! Give us a call at POM Plumbing if you need assistance with pipe repair in your home.

Finding the Source of a Kitchen Water Leak

Have you suddenly stumbled across a pool of water in your kitchen? You’re not the only one scrambling to Google to find out why, and what to do about it. That’s why our team at POM Plumbing has put together a short list of causes to help you sniff out the source of your kitchen water leak.

Sink

The first place to check is the sink. The faucet is the easiest to rule out. If there’s a mystery puddle on the kitchen floor, unless your sink is backed up and overflowing, the faucet couldn’t have caused it. However, the drain and water line are both suspect. Open the cabinet beneath your kitchen sink. If all seems dry beneath it, you can move on to the next appliance. However, if there’s water pooled inside the cabinet and spilling out of it, it’s time to look further. 

If the water pooling is substantial, it’s most likely the water line, since it would take a steady stream of water coming in for anything more than a puddle. If the water line is broken or leaking, you need to turn off the water to the sink. There should be a knob on the wall at the back of the cabinet. Turn it as far to the right as you can. If the water doesn’t stop leaking after ten seconds, you’ll need to turn off the water main, which is likely located in the garage.

If the water line doesn’t seem to be the problem, and you can see a leak coming from your drain pipe, put a bucket or towel under it and give us a call. No matter which sink issue is leading to a leak, we’re here to help.

Fridge

The first thing to know is whether your fridge has a water or ice dispenser. If it doesn’t, and the puddle is slightly sticky, it’s probably coolant leaking from the fridge. If that’s the case, you’ll need to buy a new one. Freon leaks can be dangerous, especially since it’s in the vicinity of your food.

If your fridge does have a dispenser and the liquid is almost certainly water, the next thing to rule out is the ice dispenser. Ice dispensers sometimes get ice stuck in the little trap door that opens to dispense the ice. After a short while, it will melt enough to slip out of the trap and then melt on the floor. This doesn’t happen infrequently, so you should be used to it unless you’re new to having a dispenser fridge. Check if there are ice chunks sitting in the puddle, or if the puddle comes out from under the appliance. If the water seems to be coming from beneath the fridge, you’ll need to call a fridge repairman or consider replacement if the issue continues.

Dishwasher

If neither the fridge nor sink seem to be the obvious source of the water, it’s most likely from the dishwasher. Dishwashers leak water more often than either of the other appliances by nature of how much water runs through it regularly. If your dishwasher seems to be the culprit, check out this guide on figuring out the cause of the leak.

Hire a Professional

If you need help fixing a water line, drain, sink, or other piece of plumbing, we’re here to help. No one should be without help when dealing with a kitchen water leak. Give us a call if you have questions about our services and procedures. We look forward to working with you.

Are Biodegradable Cleaners Really Necessary?

A common topic of contention these days is whether biodegradable cleaners are really necessary. Because we deal in a related field – plumbing – our experts at POM Plumbing have put together some facts about biodegradable cleaners.  Are biodegradable cleaners really necessary? Let’s put them to the test!

What Are Biodegradable Cleaners?

Biodegradable cleaners have differences and similarities to standard ones. The first thing we have to note is that every company may use the word biodegradable differently. Unless your biodegradable cleaners have stickers or marks on them from earth-friendly organizations, you can’t necessarily trust the word “biodegradable.” After all, everything is biodegradable with enough time.

Likewise, eco friendly, green, and all natural don’t necessarily mean what you think they mean. After all, everything in the world is natural, leaving the margin for how safe something is quite big. Natural things are dangerous for humans all the time. Therefore, we have to look at the ingredients in a product to determine how safe it is.

Product Safety

When wondering if biodegradable cleaners are an important investment for the average household, the topic of safety is one of the first to be brought up. However, there are two kinds of safety. Let’s consider both.

Direct Safety

The first thing is direct safety. As in, are these products safe to handle and breathe in the fumes of. For most standard cleaners, the answer is no. You should avoid getting them on your skin at all and immediately wash them if you do. Many of the products, especially those made with bleach, are also dangerous to inhale. Using bleach-based cleaners in a closed bathroom can lead to passing out. These standard cleaners are also incredibly dangerous to use around each other. Mixing two of them just by using them one right after the other can create toxic, deadly gases. 

Because biodegradable cleaners are still made with chemicals (albeit less harsh ones), you should still be cautious when mixing or using in tandem. However, because biodegradable cleaners are made to be milder, they’re usually not as worrisome when in contact with skin. You should still wash your hands off when you’re done cleaning, but may not need to take immediate action.

Indirect Safety

Cleaners don’t just affect us while we use them to clean; they also effect the environment after we clean. The cleaners we use will get washed down the drain and inevitably end up in a body of water somewhere, or the soil. This will happen even faster if you have cracks in your drain pipes. This is more common than people think, and leads to drained fluids leeching into the soil around your house.

Standard cleaners, with harsher ingredients, will pose more of a threat to local wildlife and flora. The less harsh a cleaner’s ingredients are, the less likely it is to harm animals or plants. Therefore, in that regard, biodegradable cleaners that degrade quickly are better, as they won’t linger in the environment and build up.

Manufacturing

One of the oft-overlooked and most important parts of determining a cleaner’s effect on the environment is its manufacturing process. Manufacturing a cleaner involves combining a lot of ingredients and chemicals, no matter the type of cleaner. However, the harsher cleaners involve harsher chemicals and, therefore, a harsher process. The harsher the manufacturing process, the more likely it is for there to be chemical waste that needs to be dumped somewhere. This process, happening en masse, can be detrimental for wildlife near manufacturing plants (which are everywhere).

Are They Necessary?

Due to the strain standard, harsh cleaners have on the environment, we feel that biodegradable cleaners are something we should all strive to use as soon as possible. Shifting from dangerous manufacturing to something more sustainable is an important step in keeping ourselves and our children safe for generations.