Prevent Water Hammers From Harming Your Plumbing Pipes

Water is such an important resource that plays a big role in our everyday lives. It helps us bathe ourselves, prepare our meals, and act a form of nourishment for our bodies. Without the presence of a clean and reliable source of water, our daily routine will surely be endangered. That’s why you need to familiarize yourselves with various plumbing problems so you can act on them right away. One of the many plumbing-related concerns you should know is a water hammer.

What is a water hammer exactly?

Although the term sounds ominous or complicated, it’s actually a very common occurrence in plumbing systems. A water hammer happens when the direction of water inside the plumbing pipes suddenly change direction. This causes a change in momentum and creates additional pressure on plumbing pipes. If too much pressure is created, it can come to a point where your plumbing pipes will be severely damaged.

How to resolve this plumbing predicament?

Although the damage caused by a water hammer can be serious, the solution at hand is pretty simple. All you need to do to prevent a water hammer from occurring is to install an air chamber in your plumbing system. Basically, air chambers function by preventing the water inside your plumbing pipes from creating waves. Without the presence of these waves, additional water pressure won’t be produced and your pipes’ integrity will stay intact.

To install an air chamber, you need to locate a cavity inside your walls that are in close proximity to the water valves. Once you have found these wall cavities, you can then place the air chamber to help prevent water hammers from happening. These air chambers are pieces of vertical pipes and can be easily added to your existing plumbing system.

After the installation of an air chamber, the work isn’t done yet. You need to determine if this addition is compatible with your plumbing system. As such you will need to follow certain steps to make sure the installed air chamber works properly.

  • First and foremost, you need to shut off the aforementioned water valve. After you have accomplished that step, you will need to open your property’s faucet that’s located at the highest point. Meanwhile, you will need to drain water from all the pipelines in your residential property or commercial establishment. You can do this feat by opening the faucet that’s located at the lowest point in your property. Usually, this faucet can be found in the basement or in your backyard. This act will induce more air into your pipes and air chambers to replace the water that was drained.
  • After this process has been completed, you can now shut off the faucet at the lowest point and switch the main valve back on. Once the adequate amount of air has filled an air chamber, this plumbing fixture will eliminate any chance of water hammers from happening. Just make sure the air chamber you installed is bigger than your water supply line so it won’t cause any clogging problems.
  • In the event a clog has hindered the operation of an air chamber, all you need to do is remove its cap and clean any dirt inside it. Nevertheless, you won’t fear water hammers when there is an air chamber present in your plumbing system. The solution itself to this worrisome plumbing problem is very easy to do.

 

Why You Need A Drain Strainer In The Kitchen Sink

Ideally, every home should have a proper garbage disposal method. This is to ensure that all the waste from the kitchen is disposed of in the right places. It is because when such waste is left to get into the drains, it will lead to blockages. The result will be a sink that does not drain, and an odor that you cannot stand. If there is no garbage disposal, the best alternative is to install a drain strainer in the kitchen sink to avoid clogged drains.

Keeping Food Out of the Pipes

With a drain strainer, you will not have any problem keeping food particles out of the pipes. It sieves through the water to get out all the leftover foods. Sometimes, these particles may be small and could tempt you to let them pass. However, after some time, you will notice that these small particles pile up to become a huge mess that won’t let water to free flow through pipes.

Making Your Work Easier

Another reason why every plumber recommends a drain strainer in houses that do not have garbage disposal is that it makes things easy for everyone. For you in the kitchen, it makes it easy to separate dirt from water while for the plumber, the pipes will be clean for longer and therefore, they require minimal maintenance. It is one of the small things that make a huge difference in every home.

When installing a drain strainer in the kitchen sink, you should find a reliable plumber. They will recommend the one that best suits your kitchen based on how you use it. Since the main aim is to ensure that you do not have to end up with a clogged drain, you have to do everything right.

4 Drain Cleaning Options for Blocked Drains

cleaning blocked drainesNo matter how careful you may be while washing dishes and taking a shower, practically everyone ends up with a clogged drain every now and then. If you have a blocked drain at home, here are some drain cleaning tips worth trying out.

Plunger

A plunger is one of the fastest and easiest options you have for clearing your blocked drain if used properly. You have to create a seal by placing its rubber head against the drain. This prevents air from seeping through, which is when you need to push on the plunger till its head inverts.

Now release the pushing motion till the head returns to its original shape. Repeat a few times, till the water starts draining. If nothing happens, try another DIY drain cleaning method!

Snake Drain Auger

Your next option is a snake drain auger that reaches deep into the pipe to remove blockages. Though effective, it requires quite a lot of skill. You have to insert it into the drain while rotating its cable handle in a clockwise motion.

Grip the handle about 3 inches from the drain opening so that you can feel the clog as you push the cable further into the piping. Once you reach the clog, try to break and hook the blocked matter by slightly pulling and pushing the auger.

Keep turning the handle till the auger gets hits the blockage. This is when you have to slowly pull out the auger so that the blockage hands onto it, and doesn’t fall back into the drain. Now remove the auger and pour some hot water into the drain to ensure the drain is clear.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

If the plunger and auger don’t work, you can next try chemical drain cleaners to unclog the blockage. These cleaners usually contain sulfuric acid and lye that get through tough clogs and also prevent recurring blocks. It’s important that you flush out remaining chemicals by running enough water through the drain.

Natural Drain Cleaners

Natural drain cleaners can also unclog drains, without the smell, residue, and danger of chemicals. They are safer to use in a home with kids and pets as there’s no risk or danger of the kids or pets accidentally swallow or play with them.

Examples of natural drain cleaners are baking soda with vinegar or lemon juice, a mixture of borax, vinegar and salt or just running boiling hot water into the blocked drain.

Of course, if all this fails, or if you don’t have the time to unclog the drain yourself, you can always call drain cleaning professionals to do the job for you. Just make sure you choose the right company after checking their experience, license, and estimate for the job.  Where we live, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, our favorite plumber can be found here.  (Gotta give the guy a plug every now and then, he’s always really good to me…)