Tag Archives: Plumbing

The Real Solution to Your Smelly Garbage Disposal

Does your garbage disposal smell like, well, garbage? This relatively common issue is one that no homeowner should have to put up with. Garbage disposals are supposed to do away with food and other organic materials. They are not, however, supposed to retain the smell of refuse or sewage.

Read on to learn more about what causes a smelly garbage disposal, and what you can do to solve and prevent it from happening again in the future.

What Does a Garbage Disposal Do?

A garbage disposal unit is a small machine typically found between the drain and the piping in a kitchen sink. Garbage disposals garbage disposalare designed to shred food waste and other organic matter into super small pieces. Doing so enables these disposal materials to easily flow through pipes, thus greatly reducing the risk of clogs.

Though garbage disposals are used to break food and other organic materials homeowners should not intentionally throw these materials down their garbage disposals. Contrary to popular belief, garbage disposals are not made for this purpose. Instead, they are designed as a last line of defense to prevent clogging due to materials that may have accidentally gone down the drain.

To ensure that your garbage disposal is working the way it’s supposed to, we recommend running it regularly and avoid intentionally throwing food or other organic matter down it. You’ll also want to run your disposal with running cold water. Cold water solidifies any grease or oils, enabling your garbage disposal to grind them into smaller bits.

What Causes a Smelly Garbage Disposal?

Even with proper maintenance, garbage disposals can have issues. One of the most common and frustrating of these issues is odor. Often, an unpleasant (and seemingly inexplicable) smell will emanate from a kitchen garbage disposal. This smell can have several sources, all of which can be dealt with relatively easily.

Here are the three primary causes of a smelly garbage disposal:

  • A Garbage Disposal Clog: While many homeowners may have clogs pinned as the primary culprits for garbage disposal odor, the fact is that clogged disposals are rarely to blame for that mystery smell emanating from the sink. Clogs simply don’t occur that often, and when they do, they are easily identifiable—thus, no mystery smell.
  • Biofilm Buildup on Pipes: Beneath your drain, your garbage disposal is connected to a series of pipes that send water through your septic system and out into the municipal sewer. Often, biofilm (residue from organic matter) can build up on the insides of these pipes. When an unpleasant smell starts to emanate from a garbage disposal, it’s often due to biofilm buildup on the pipe directly below garbage disposal itself. This pipe connects the garbage disposal to the p-trap. The p-trap serves to block odor from reaching the drain, but it can’t block odor on a pipe that’s located between it and the drain, which is why biofilm buildup on this specific pipe is a common problem.
  • P-Trap Problems: If biofilm buildup is not to blame for a smelly garbage disposal, then there is likely a p-trap problem at play. The p-trap is a curved pipe underneath a kitchen sink that traps water once the tap stops running. This water serves as a barrier to block odor and gas from sewer pipes from reaching the drain. However, p-traps have leaks or haven’t had water cycled through them in awhile won’t perform this function properly. To stop the smell, the p-trap must be filled with water.

To identify which of these problems may be the source of your smelly garbage disposal, we recommend using the solutions provided in the sections below. Begin by exploring the possibility of a clog, then move to biofilm buildup, and finally to potential p-trap problems. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to hire a professional in your area.

Solving Your Smelly Garbage Disposal: What Works and What Doesn’t

Never fear: The culprits behind garbage disposal odor are all fairly easy to take care of. In this section, we explore solutions to the three most common sources of garbage disposal odor mentioned above.

  • Clearing a Garbage Disposal Clog: If you’ve determined that a simple garbage disposal clog is to blame for the unpleasant smell coming from your drain, you’ll first want to turn off the disposal and shut off the power. Use a flashlight to inspect the clog, and then use pliers, a long dowel, or another appropriate tool to dislodge the clog. Don’t use common drain-cleaning chemicals to unclog your garbage disposal, as many of these are highly corrosive and may damage rubber or plastic parts. Wait 15 minutes for the motor of your garbage disposal to cool, then run your disposal with flowing water.
  • Eliminating Biofilm Buildup on Pipes: Is biofilm buildup on the pipe below your drain to blame for your smelly garbage disposal? Follow these steps to get rid of this odor-causing intruder:
    1. Take the cover off of the sink drain so you can clearly see into the drain pipe.
    2. Use a non-corrosive bacteria waste eliminator to eat away the biofilm buildup on your pipe. Follow directions on packaging clearly.
    3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water until the entire drain is perfectly clean.smelly garbage disposal
  • Solving P-Trap Problems: If unclogging and cleaning with a non-corrosive bacteria waste eliminator don’t solve your garbage disposal odor problem, there’s only one place left to turn: the p-trap. If your p-trap isn’t holding water, it isn’t blocking odor. Sometimes, this occurs simply because you haven’t used your faucet in a while. Run the water for a minute or two and see if the odor goes away. If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to inspect your p-trap for a leak. If there is no leak to be found, there may be a vacuum caused by other pipes in your home that is sucking water out of your p-trap. In this case (and in other cases where the source of the odor cannot be identified), it’s time to hire a professional.

“Solutions” to Avoid

There are a number of DIY “solutions” that many homeowners use to get rid of garbage disposal odor or fix clogs. The vast majority of these “solutions” are ineffective, or worse, damaging. As mentioned above, using common drain-cleaning chemicals to unclog your garbage disposal is a bad idea, as these chemicals can corrode your garbage disposal’s hardware. Another garbage disposal cleaning “solution” to avoid include is the use of citrus fruit to clean blades. The highly acidic juice of citrus fruits may dissolve some buildup, but it will also corrode your blades.

Professional Plumbing Solutions at 1-800-anytyme

If you have a smelly garbage disposal that you just can’t fix, it’s a good idea to hire a plumber to help you find a solution. Professional plumbing teams like ours here at 1-800-anytyme use advanced tools and technology to inspect plumbing systems and stop unwanted odors at their source. We have decades of experience dealing with garbage disposals and plumbing configurations of all shapes and sizes. In addition to our troubleshooting and cleaning services, we also offer garbage disposal repairs and full-scale garbage disposal replacements to properties across the greater San Diego area. I’ve you’ve got a garbage disposal problem, there is no better team to call.

Call Our Plumbers for Fast and Reliable 24/7 Service

Dealing with a smelly garbage disposal? Don’t wait — contact our plumbing professionals here at 1-800-anytyme for fast and effective garbage disposal servicing. We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners across San Diego solve their smelly garbage disposal problems in just minutes. Let us help you with yours. For San Diego’s best 24/7 plumbing service, contact our team today!

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

Tanked Water Heaters vs. Tankless Water Heaters

In today’s homes and businesses, there are two types of water heaters primarily used: tanked water heaters and tankless water heaters. Tanked Water Heaters are the older and more common form of water heating system which have the benefits of lower installation costs and no natural gas or circuitry changes upon installation. Tankless water heaters are a newer type of water heater that does not utilize a storage tank, giving it the benefits of energy efficiency, space efficiency, and faster water heating times. In this guide, our heating and plumbing experts here at 1-800-Anytyme provide overviews for both types of water heating systems. Read on to learn more about tanked water heaters and tankless water heaters, and contact us at 1-800-anytyme  for comprehensive water heater maintenance and installation services today!

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An Introduction to Hard Water: Facts and Treatment Options

If you live in San Diego or Southern California in general, you’ve likely heard about hard water. Virtually omnipresent in our region of the world, hard water is a substance that’s still mysterious to many homeowners and business owners. Most know that it can be damaging, but few know what hard water actually is, how it’s caused, or how it can be treated. In this guide, our water experts at 1-800-Anytyme are here to clear the air (or water). Below, you’ll find a general overview of hard water—what it is, how to spot it, and whether or not it is safe for your property. You’ll also find information on several treatment options, including the eco-friendly and highly-effective Enviro Whole-House Filtration process, which is offered by our very own San Diego, CA service team. Read on to learn more, and contact our professionals at 760-477-2222 today! Continue reading

Everything You Need to Know About 1-800-Anytyme’s Plumbing Services

At 1-800-Anytyme, we offer a host of high-quality services designed to help homeowners and business owners get the most out of their properties. From comprehensive HVAC repair and installations to emergency drain cleaning, we do it all — and all at affordable rates. Our master plumbers have decades of experience and utilize the industry’s latest tools and technology to bring our clients incredible results with each and every plumbing service we perform. Whether you need a small leak repaired or an all-new water heater installed on your property, our team has you covered. On this page, we’ve put together an outline on everything you need to know about our high-quality plumbing services here at 1-800-Anytyme. Read on to learn more, and contact our San Diego, CA plumbing team at 1-760-477-2222 today!

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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.

Signs You Have a Sewer Line Problem at Home

Sewer Line Issue Surfacing?sewer problem san diego ca

Your home’s plumbing system is one of its essential parts that is often overlooked until a problem arises. It handles a wide variety of tasks, and when you have a sewer line problem at hand, basic tasks like maintaining hygiene, washing clothes and preparing meals can become complicated and inconvenient.

Left unchecked even for a short span of time, such a problem can worsen and lead to costly repairs or even a system replacement. In order to avoid these hassles, it is beneficial to constantly watch out for signs of a sewer line problem.

Your home’s plumbing system is composed of a network of interconnected pipes which wind their way into your basement and walls. This network of pipes supplies water to the kitchen, toilet and washing machine area. If you experience problems in these areas, a bigger problem can be lurking in your sewer line. In fact, a blockage in the sewer line can cause a big problem, and as such, can be considered a plumbing emergency that needs immediate attention.

Watch out for these signs and call in an expert plumber at once for sewer line repair.

Signs of blockage

This is one of the signs of a problem with the sewer line that is the easiest to spot. If you encounter this sign in various parts of the house, you need to undertake a few steps.

First, you should check the toilet. Most problems with the sewer line manifest themselves in the toilet.

Next, check the showers and tubs. In particular, look for signs like slow drainage and the buildup of water inside the tub or shower.

Other areas to check

Another sign to look out for is water coming back up in either the shower or tub after flushing the toilet. That means there is a blockage somewhere and the water that should go to the sewer cannot push through in that direction, and has to go elsewhere.

Next, check the sink near the toilet. Turn on the tap and let it run for about two minutes. After that, turn your attention to the toilet. If you notice bubbles or if the water level rises, then you have a problem with the sewer line.

You may also have a problem with your home’s sewer line if water coming out of the running machine backs up into the toilet.

If you suspect that there is a problem with your home’s sewer line and you notice any of these signs, call in a plumber to verify and give you expert help.

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.

 

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!