Category Archives: DIY Gone Wrong

What You Can Flush Down the Toilet — And Lavatory Lies We Have All Believed

The toilet: a porcelain throne designed for one purpose, yet used for many. For some, the toilet is a small but necessary part of the day: a quick pit-stop in the middle of a busy routine. For others, the toilet is a place of comfort and relaxation: a seat on which to linger, located inside a room that is sometimes the best option for peace and quiet. While both of these toilet treatments are acceptable, there is one that is not. The time has come to spread the message: the toilet is not a trashcan.

Our plumbing experts here at 1-800-anytyme know it’s important to discuss the toilet and how to use it properly. Toilet users should know which items should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, helping you save money and the environment! Read on to learn more about your toilet, and contact our team to schedule professional toilet repairs today!

Flushing Your Toilet: Where Does the Waste Water Go?

Once a toilet is flushed, toilet water (and everything else in it) is sent through pipes on a property that are connected to the city’s municipal sewer system. Once in the sewer, toilet waste water is sent to the city’s wastewater treatment facility. There, wastewater from homes, along with wastewater from businesses, industries, and other properties, is treated by a variety of processes to reduce or remove pollutants.

Wastewater treatment facilities use a number of methods to reduce and remove pollutants from water. These methods include primary treatments, which involve screening and settling out large particles. All municipal water treatment facilities also employ secondary treatment methods, which use bacteria to remove microscopic organic materials, as well as chlorine to kill off bacteria and disinfect water. Some municipal treatment facilities take things a step further and employ a final, advanced treatment process to reduce the presence of pollutants that are of special concern to the local waterbody (such as nitrogen or phosphorus). Once treatment is concluded, the water is piped back into the local water supply.

Bringing it All Together: Water Treatment, Plumbing, and What Goes Down the Toilet

With modern municipal water treatment facilities in place, it would seem that virtually anything could be flushed down the toilet — after all, it would just be filtered out, right? Wrong. Even the most advanced water treatment facilities can only filter certain materials out of water. There are other materials, such as many inorganic substances, that will remain in water even after filtration. Further, some substances are simply difficult for water treatment facilities filter out of water—if they even make it that far. Many large, solid objects flushed down toilets can damage plumbing and get stuck in pipes, leading expensive repairs and replacements for private property owners.

To keep your local water supply clean and protect your plumbing from unwanted damages, it’s vital that you flush only permissible items down the toilet. In the following sections, we cover which items should be flushed down the toilet, and which items should be saved for disposal by alternate means.

Things You Should Flush Down the Toilet

It may surprise the average property owner to read that the list of things you should flush down the toilet is surprisingly small. However, if given just a moment of thought, the “toilet shortlist” makes perfect sense. After all, toilets are designed to do away with human excrement and nothing else —flushing other items down these bathroom fixtures just doesn’t make sense (and can, in fact, cause significant damage in a number of ways). The list of things you should flush down the toilet includes:

Human excrement. The true purpose of a toilet—to do away with human excrement. (This includes both number 1 and number 2.)
Toilet paper. Toilet paper is a necessary item for many toilet-related duties. It is also fairly easy to filter and is best disposed of by being flushed down the toilet.

Things You Should Not Flush Down the Toilet

The above list covers all of the things that should be flushed down the toilet. As you can see, it is quite short. All items not on the above list should not be flushed down the toilet. This includes all other and liquids and solids — including a vast list of things that may disappear after being flushed.

Do not be fooled: if it disappears down your toilet, it can still cause damage down the line. Below is a list of common items that should not be flushed down the toilet (as well as reasons why they should not be flushed).

Household products such as cleansers, beauty products, medicine, auto fluids, paint, and lawn care products. Wastewater treatment facilities are designed to treat organic materials, not inorganic hazardous chemicals. Flushing these chemicals down the drain can lead to the contamination of your local rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.
Excess household grease (such as meat fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter and margarine), diapers, condoms, and personal hygiene products. These materials can clog pipes and lead to costly plumbing repairs. In some cases, they can cause raw sewage to overflow in your home or yard, or in public areas, which can in turn lead to contaminated waterways.
Motor oil and photographic chemicals. These chemicals are hazardous and cannot be completely filtered by municipal water treatment facilities. Their presence in the water supply can lead to severe water contamination.
Large solid objects. Thinking of flushing your trash down the toilet? Think twice. Large solid objects can often et caught in pipes, which can lead to costly plumbing repairs and replacements for you.

Other Toilet and Bathroom Myths

To conclude this guide, we’ll spend a bit of space discussing and debunking several toilet-related myths. Ranging from the weird to the downright dangerous. Believing them could lead to environmental degradation, property damage, and money out of your pocket.

Myth #1: “Flushable” toilet wipes are okay to flush down the toilet. These wipes may be marketed as “flushable,” but most of them aren’t nearly as biodegradable as toilet paper. They can clog pipes and contaminate waterways.
Myth #2: A brick placed in the back of a toilet tank will save water. Bricks may take up space —but they’ll also deteriorate over time and cause other things in your toilet to break. The intended effect can also backfire, leading to too much water displacement and a necessity to flush twice.
Myth #3: Toilet bowl tablets that contain bleach will keep the toilet clean. Cleaning your toilet bowl with bleach may seem like a good idea, but it’s really quite the opposite. If the tablet contains bleach and is designed to sit in the tank, it will destroy the working parts of a toilet within months. Nobody wants to have to buy a new toilet.

Toilet repairs and replacements From 1-800-anytyme

Even with the best toilet etiquette, accidents still happen. If you have a busted toilet in your home or business, it’s best to contact a professional in your area to address the problem efficiently and effectively. Here at 1-800-anytyme, we are proud to offer toilet repairs and toilet replacements to homes and businesses across the greater San Diego, CA area. Follow links above to learn more about our professional services, and head over to our Blog to read helpful posts on leaky toilets and more. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact our team today!

Sources

What Can You Do to Protect Local Waterways? Where Does the Dirty Water Go? United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). December 2002. https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/centralized_brochure.pdf

24 hour Plumber in San Diego

Have the Best 24-hour Plumber in San Diego on Speed Dial for Emergencies

Vista Emergency PlumbingThere’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day at work, or waking up in the middle of the night, to find a plumbing problem in your home — one that you certainly cannot resolve on your own, regardless of your efforts (or your spouse’s). With your usual routine disrupted, that plumbing problem has now thrown a wrench into the rest of your plans and tasks for the day — and that can definitely ruin the entire household’s activities as well.

It could be something minor — or something that appears like a minor issue to your untrained eye — like a bathroom sink that refuses to drain water, or a small leak from your shower head or faucet. Or it could be something that is more alarming, like the drain in the floor of your shower area pushing up water whenever you flush the toilet. Worse, it could be a dilemma of epic proportions, such as a flooded basement or a burst pipe that is threatening to soak everything in the room, and looks about ready to flood the rest of the house as well.

In such instances, it helps to have the number of a reputable 24-hour plumber handy — preferably on speed dial — so that you can get the best available help right away and be done with this plumbing issue once and for all.

Giving you peace of mind during emergencies

It may be simple to get hold of plumbing specialists in your area during regular business hours, but this may cause you to assume that you can ring up these companies at any time of day, when a major plumbing problem comes up. Keep in mind that not all companies may provide 24-hour services. So once you do find a company that is happy to show up at your doorstep even during odd hours, it’s best to have their contact information easily accessible in the house so you can know exactly where to turn to for help in such crucial times.

A team of specialist plumbers that offers 24-hour support will always have licensed, fully trained and highly experienced individuals ready to answer your call and arrive promptly with the right tools for your specific situation’s requirements.

These professionals will understand how important it is that the plumbing issue is resolved as quickly as possible. You may be facing serious damage to your home from prolonged exposure to water and moisture. Maybe your family is at risk of being exposed to diseases because of the harmful substances in sewage that found its way inside your house. Perhaps you have guests coming over, or a party is scheduled to take place later on that same day, or the family is supposed to be going on an extended vacation and the plumbing problem sprang out all of a sudden.

Each emergency case will be treated as a top priority assignment so that the broken or damaged components can be replaced or repaired, systems can operate as good as new, and the client’s lives can resume as soon and as peacefully as possible.

It’s also important to select a proven reliable plumbing company with 24-hour services as such seasoned professionals will have excellent customer service down pat. They would be accustomed to treating clients and their properties with respect, and they would be checked and tested for drugs to assure customers that they are completely professional and fit to perform the plumbing work. Your home will be left clean after the job as they will have the proper equipment like floor savers and boot covers to avoid tracking dirt and messes across the house. The goal is to fix your plumbing problems and leave a clean work area behind at the same time.

What Techniques Do Plumbers Use to Clear a Clogged Drain?

Clogged Drain DIYNeed to Clear a Clogged Drain?

For many homeowners, drains are wonderful features to have in their property. Whenever they use the sink to wash their hands, their dishes, or the meat and vegetables they need to prepare dinner, or go to the bathroom to take a shower, they are assured that the water they use and the dirty elements that they have removed will go straight down the drain, never to be seen again. The same goes for anything that you can dispose of in any drain — oil and grease, leftover beverages, cooking liquids, chemicals, soap suds, and the like.

However, there are instances where homeowners discover, to their horror, that the drain is refusing to magic away the water and other substances that they had disposed of — and worse, all the stuff is coming back up the drain. And the resulting concoction — an evil mix of hair strands, grease, soap scum, cooking fat, stringy vegetables, and other things that are supposedly in the middle of a rotting process — is threatening to remain visible in the sink or bathroom (and even to spread to other areas of the house), giving off horrible odors and potentially exposing the entire household to undesirable germs.

Calling up the right professionals

According to plumbing experts, there are simple ways to identify a clogged drain. If you notice that bubbles are coming up when water is draining, or the water is taking too long to leave the sink or floor, or there are strange odors coming from the sink or drain, it’s very likely that the drain is all stopped up.

Instead of messing around with the sink or bathroom, trying to figure out the problem yourself, you should call your local long-established plumbers to get at the root of your problem and get the drains working properly again.

Here are examples of drain clearing techniques that your plumbers can employ:

Tree root removal.

In some cases, clogged drains may be caused by the entanglement of tree roots in the client’s property with the maze of pipes. You would require the service of professionals who have the right equipment and skills for this complex procedure.

Camera inspection of pipes.

Plumbing specialists will have tools, like a video snake inspection system, so they can view images on a wireless monitor screen that can tell them about the nature of the clog in difficult-to-reach depths inside the pipes. This will help point the plumbers in the right direction as to the best method of clearing the clog.

Cable drain clearing.

Plumbers use a variety of tools, from small, basic hand snakes to powerful drain machines that can also clear large sewer pipes, to eliminate the clog. Typically, a flexible cable is inserted into the pipes and the attachments to the cable help to clean the clog (through cutting, boring, scraping, and recovering the blockage in the pipe).

Hydro jetting with a high-pressure water jetter.

This is often considered the last resort when all other drain clearing methods have failed. A water jetter makes use of a high-pressure pump to blast away the stubborn blockages and clear heavy clogs. As powerful as the machine may be, it will not cause further damage to the client’s property, and will allow water to flow freely through the drains once more.

 

That’s Why Professional Plumbers Are Here! Don’t DIY

DIY Gone Wrong

 

Vista PlumberIt is always a great idea to save money wherever possible. This often means that people will attempt to fix or repair things that perhaps should be left to the services of a professional.

One of the most common DIY projects that people attempt is plumbing. Taking on plumbing issues without the knowledge of a plumber can be a costly and extremely damaging decision.

Replacing Gaskets or Other Components

When all of the components and connections are considered, it is extremely easy for a novice to overlook an issue with leakage. There may be a gasket that is not properly fitted or sealed and may cause a slow leak.

An unskilled person attempting to install a gasket or other water system device may not notice this issue and as a result they will end up with a leaky sink in the future. This leakage may cause irreversible damage in areas that are not easily recognized from the surface. A skilled plumber will recognize these issues.

Replacing Old Piping

A professional installer has the knowledge to recognize problems such as rotting pipes, improperly installed pipes, or current safety and health code infractions. A plumber will have the experience and knowledge to quickly and efficiently recognize and adjust for these unique plumbing issues.

Improperly installed pipes can leak and cause mold to grow which can make the occupants of the dwelling very sick. These leaks can also lead to structural damage to the property which will need to be addressed at the expense of the owner.

Sealing Pipes

Professional plumbers know the intricacies of their field including the materials available to use as well as the materials that can or can not be used for each specific installation. There are instances where an existing water line is very old and has to be custom fitted. This may include such things as sweating the pipes or creating the new piping needed.

Vista DIY Gone WrongImproper use of the tools required may result in issues including starting a fire. Qualified plumbers know exactly how to converge and seal old and new lines to create the necessary hook-ups.

Plumbing issues rank high on the list of DIY projects that can potentially be done wrong. One small missed detail when installing plumbing fixtures and lines can cost a large amount of money in the future when a plumber will be essential to repair and replace broken and damaged materials.

We’ve seen too many DIY disasters. Save yourself the headache and call the professionals of 1-800-Anytime at (760) 477-2222 for service in the Vista area!

Why having a professional take care of your project is a better choice than DIY

Reasons why hiring a professional is the right choice for that DIY project

 

Vista PlumberWhen it comes to solving plumbing issues in your home, it’s natural to want to save money. After all, plumbers are considered to be among the highest paid “blue collar” workers, and plumbing companies have long had a reputation (justified or not) for charging big bucks for the work they do.

So, it’s hardly surprising that many people will want to try to cut corners (and costs) by embarking on “Do It Yourself” plumbing projects. It should also come as no surprise that many people only end up succeeding in making the problem worse, and spending even more money in the long run. Here’s a handy list of reasons why you shouldn’t consider the D.I.Y. approach when it comes to plumbing.

Safety

Do you really know what you’re doing? Are you an experienced plumber with all of the necessary certifications that grant you the ability to even go about attempting this job? And do you know how to properly shut off the water before you begin tinkering with the various valves and pipes?

If you don’t even know the names of the various doodads and widgets that you’re adjusting and unscrewing, chances are you also don’t know all of the proper safety precautions that need to be taken before you start the job. Why don’t you do yourself, your neighbors, and your landlord a big favor and leave it all to a professional?

Vista PlumbingWarranty

Here’s something else to think about: A D.I.Y. job doesn’t exactly come with a warranty? If you screw the job up royally, who’s going to pay for the damage? You can’t exactly send a big bill to your landlord or your insurance company when you’re the one who caused the huge mess in the first place.

Calling in a plumbing expert and giving the job to them means that the work they do will be properly warrantied. All plumbers have to carry insurance in order to be allowed to do their job in the first place. This means that the client they do the job for is fully protected from the consequences of any disaster that may ensue. You certainly can’t expect this protection when you attempt to do a plumbing job on your own.

Saving Money In The Long Run

Yes, you may save a few bucks in the short term with a D.I.Y. fix. That’s if you don’t mess it up and worsen the issue. But, in the end, if you want a permanent fix that you can feel safe about, it’s best to bite the bullet and hire a professional plumber. You don’t want to spend the next few years doing little “patch up” jobs that will cost you more in the long run. For peace of mind, and a bill that’s truly final, call a plumber!

Are you looking to upgrade your Vista home? Call 1-800-AnyTyme at (760) 477-2222 and get started today!

How can I take care of the drains in my home?

Tips On Properly Maintaining Your Drains

 

San Diego PlumberYour piping system is more complicated then you will truly ever understand unless you spend a few years really getting to know it. So short of that you will have to trust me when I say that there are many ways that your plumbing system can give out on you and that one of the only ways to stop them from happening, short of good luck, is to practice good preventative methods when it comes to maintaining your drains. In the following paragraphs I will detail the sort of steps you can take to keep your drains in great working order.

First off you should know why exactly your plumbing will clog if things aren’t properly maintained. A drain that lets anything get into it will start to accumulate sediment buildup, waste buildup, and other things that find their way down the drain that shouldn’t get there. This is the primary reason for clogged plumbing but there are other reasons. Some older piping may have been installed at a diameter that is too small to accommodate the expected drain flow of the sink and this extended stagnant water can lead to more problems.

By calling a plumber to come in for a consultation they will be able to find out what exactly the shape of your pipes are in. They can use their pipe snake, spot checks, and general knowledge to get an idea of what you are dealing with. Use this time to ask them questions and to inquire about more preventative methods. The odds are that they can do a cleaning for you on some sort of schedule to keep your pipes in great shape.

The other method of maintaining your drains involves taking a proactive method at home. Be more aware of what you allow into your drains and make sure to always use the proper mesh drain screens that should have come with your sink. With any luck these preventative measures will keep any other sort of plumbing issue from cropping its head up.

Are you dealing with clogged drains in your San Diego home? Call 1-800-AnyTyme at 760-477-2222 and schedule a service call today!

Is hiring a plumber for a home project worth it?

DIY Plumbing Projects That Are Best Left To Professional Plumbers

 

San Diego PlumberIn a day where everyone thinks they can do it themselves, there are some jobs that still require a professional plumber. The internet and DIY television shows have created a generation of men and women who believe that with the proper instructions they can do anything. It’s only when they are in over their head that they realize the mistake they’ve made by going it alone. Let us save you the effort. The following jobs are best left to a real plumber.

Any job that requires a permit also requires a plumber. Kitchen or bathroom remodeling jobs, home additions or moving existing plumbing all require a permit and professional help. A plumber will be able to perform these jobs and will know how and when to pull a permit. Also, a plumber will be able to do the job to code so it will pass all inspections.

Call in a professional when the main line is backing up. If the toilet backs up into the tub or shower, you’ve got a problem with the main line. Your typical do-it-yourselfer won’t have the equipment or knowledge needed to deal with this kind of problem, but an experienced plumber will.

When your water heater starts to go, call a plumber. Water heater issues can be simple, but you may make a small problem much worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. When it comes to water heaters it is better to be safe than sorry because one wrong move can get very expensive, very fast.

Replacing a bathtub is one of the toughest plumbing jobs there is, even for the most experienced plumber. It is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of skill and knowledge that only a highly skilled plumber will possess.

Lastly, always call a plumber when you notice sinkholes or dips in your yard. When depressions start to form above underground pipes or irrigation lines you probably have a major problem on your hands. An underground leak can cause all kinds of problems so make sure to have a plumber check for the presence of underground leaks.

These are just some of the times that you should put the toolbox down and pick up the phone. Obviously, if you are not sure what you are doing you should always call a plumber, even for seemingly simple plumbing issues. You’ll save yourself time and money in the long run.

Do you have a project in mind that requires the help of a plumber? Call 1-800-AnyTyme, your San Diego plumbers, at 760-477-2222 and get started today!