Some Simple Fixes When Your Toilet Runneth Over

The holidays are drawing near and for many families, that means lots of visiting family — and clogged toilets. Yes, they can be embarrassing, which is why you may not find out about a clog until your toilet runneth over. Not fun.

The causes can be many. From a simple flushing of too much paper to larger clogs down inside the plumbing lines, here are some of the most common causes of a toilet clog and what you may be able to do to troubleshoot them.

Water Saving Toilets

If you have an earlier incarnation of a low-flow toilet, it may not have the power of today’s versions. These earlier toilets did save water but they often didn’t have enough flushing power to push contents through. In these cases, it is a case of upgrading to a more powerful unit alleviating a constant problem with clogs.

Flushing Anything But Toilet Paper

You heard us right. Toilet paper is made to break down in the toilet. But other things as simple as tissues, cotton balls, facial cleansing wipes or even dental floss are simply not made to be flushed. When these items get caught in the drain of a toilet, they will not break down and can create a clog. Most often, plunging will push a simple clog down but there are times when you may need the professional help of a Philadelphia plumber.

Flapper Isn’t Flapping

Inside the tank of your toilet, there is a rubber gasket at the bottom called a flapper. Its function is to open when you flush, letting water in the tank move down into the bowl. If the flapper is malfunctioning or old, it may not be opening completely. For most homeowners, this is a simple DIY fix with a chain adjustment or a new flapper from your local home improvement store.

A Problem in the Trap

Your drain pipes have a trap which is a bend at the pipe that prevents odors from coming up into the home. This bend can also result in clogs. If a plunge doesn’t move the clog through, you will want to consult a plumber in Philadelphia for an expert repair.

Your Vent

You will have a plumbing vent on your roof allowing fresh air into your system. If this vent becomes clogged with outside debris such as leaves or dirt, it can result in stopped up drainage and even malfunctioning toilets. Cleaning the drainage vent is best left to a professional.

The Sewer Line

Unfortunately, there are times when the issue can be a clog, a break, or tree roots infringing on the main sewer line. Because it involves digging at the sewer lines often on private property, this requires the skill of a professional plumber. You will want to request a professional who uses a camera in order to inspect the lines prior to digging.

When you need the skill of a professional plumber in Philadelphia, call the experts at Affordable Fixes LLC. For over 30 years, we have been the professionals more residents have trusted for their plumbing and HVAC needs.

Summer Routine Checks for Your HVAC and Plumbing

We all love summer for those long lazy days and summer vacations. But with the kids home from school and extra showers, laundry, and dishes not to mention your air conditioning working overtime, summertime can put a strain on your air conditioning and plumbing systems. As we move into the hottest part of the summer, there are some things you should be prepared for. With some simple routine checks, you won’t be caught off guard this summer.

Air Conditioning Drain

When was the last time you checked your air conditioning drain? If you are like most homeowners, your answer may be “never”. With warm, moist weather, a build-up of mold and mildew can occur and clog your AC drain. Clogs can also occur due to mineral deposits over time. A block can not only cause backup into your home but can also cause mold growth inside your home. Clean your drain with a simple bleach technique or call a Philadelphia AC repair professional to make sure your air conditioner drain is free of blocks.

Water Pressure

Did you know that winter isn’t the only time that water pipes can break? Hot weather can cause this as well. One of the first symptoms that your pipes may be in jeopardy is the water pressure in your home. Low water pressure can point to other larger problems as well. These can be leaks, corrosion, or other malfunctions in your water supply. This is something you will want to leave to your Philadelphia plumber.

Foundational Shifts

Large fluctuations in weather and moisture over time can cause shifts in the foundation of your home. Foundational shifts and cracking can cause problems with your plumbing, shifting the pipes and, at times, causing them to burst. If you are noticing cracks in walls and around the outside of your home, chances are that your foundation has shifted over time.

Keep watchful of any ways your plumbing may show issues if this is the case before you experience bursts and floods. Philadelphia plumbers also suggest the planting of foliage around your home to help moderate temperature around the foundation.

Gas, Water or Sewer Line Disturbances

When planting, make sure to get professionals from your utility companies to come out and mark where their lines are in your yard. Unfortunately, these lines can be disturbed by homeowners planting gardens or trees. Know where your lines are before you begin to dig.

Outdoor Plumbing and Irrigation

During the off months, your outdoor plumbing may have developed leaks that can go undetected for quite a while. If you are seeing standing water in your yard or are seeing warped floors and cabinets, you may have a leak. You can check this by monitoring your water meter while the water to your home is turned off. If the water meter is still running while the home’s water has been turned off, you have a leak. Call your local Philadelphia plumber.

Whether your problem is an HVAC problem or your plumbing needs an experienced professional, trust the experts at Affordable Fixes LLC to have your back.