Have you noticed your toilet making a gurgling or burping-like noise lately? If so, don’t simply dismiss it as “no big deal,” because it could be. A gurgling toilet often points to a drainage problem behind the scenes.

Gurgling noise causes. When plumbing fixtures drain water, they create suction in the drain lines. This suction can be released only by allowing air into the pipes through vents located throughout your home. These vents ultimately connect to one or two outside vents that can be seen on the side or roof of your house. What, in turn, can prevent air from entering your pipes. Usually, it’s caused by a clogged drain line or a clogged vent.

Before calling for professional assistance, try a basic drain clearing technique or two like plunging or snaking your toilet. If that doesn’t stop the gurgling, climb up onto the roof, using all due caution and having someone close by to assist you. Once you’re securely on the roof, follow these simple steps:

-          Shine a flashlight into the vent to see if you can spot the source of the problem.

-          If the clog is within reach, use a tool or a stick to loosen the blockage enough so air can flow once again.

-          If you’re unable to see a clog, you can either snake the vent pipe or use your garden hose with a high-pressure stream to break up the obstruction.

-          You’ll know if you’ve solved the problem when you hear water rushing freely down the pipes.

Of course, when all else fails, we won’t. Just contact Connor Plumbing to stop your toilet from gurgling or for any other home plumbing need.

If you were water bill went up by 1%, would you make a fuss? Probably not. You’d just figure you used a little more water than you did during the previous billing cycle.

But what if it went up by 17% from one cycle to another? And you were reasonably sure that there were no dramatic upticks in your home water usage. Then would you be upset?

Well, Connor Plumbing is here to tell you that taking action is a whole lot more productive than merely venting a little steam. In fact, whether your water bills are going up or not, now you can look forward to annual savings on your water bill up to 17%. How? By converting one older toilet to a dual-flush model. Dual-flush toilets, as the name implies, have two buttons vs. a single handle.  One button is for liquid waste only (half flush), and the other for liquid and solid waste combined (full flush).

A half flush uses only 1.02 gallons of water. That’s truly amazing when you consider that a standard toilet uses 3-7 gallons per flush, depending on when it was built.  Okay, you might say, but “What about the low-flow toilets I’ve been hearing so much about?”  Well, those are great water savers, too, but dual-flush toilets out-save them, and by a considerable margin.

Let’s do the math.  Most low-flow toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush.  With a dual-flush toilet, a full flush uses 1.53 gallons while a half flush uses only 1.02 gallons. That’s a significant savings, regardless of the source of your comparison – standard or low-flush toilet.

As for the amount of water you’ll conserve, let’s assume you use the toilet an average of 5 times a day. If so, you personally save nearly 600 gallons of water per year with a dual-flush toilet. For a family of four, that works out to 2,400 gallons per year. annually.

Another benefit of dual-flush toilets is that most models have a larger trapway than conventional toilets for removing waste than conventional toilets. That, in turn, reduces the likelihood of a clog.

For more information or a free quote on a new dual-flush toilet for your home, contact Connor Plumbing today: The Choice of Generations.

Today’s bathtubs come in countless shapes, sizes, materials, and price points.  That enables you to select one that compliments the style of your home while keeping this home improvement project on budget

Here are the main things to consider before a settling on a replacement tub of your own:

  1. Start with the space. Is the bathtub being installed into an existing space? Is it an uncommon shape or size? Most tubs on display at home improvement centers are sized for average size openings, so if you’re working with an unusually small – or large – area, you might need to special order yours.
  2. Consider your budget. A no-frills, fiberglass bathtub can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars, while a deep soaking, cast-iron, the claw-foot tub can easily set you back $1,500 or more. And while you get what you pay for, today’s lower priced options are durable, easy to maintain, and stylish.
  3. Choice of materials. Fiberglass, cast iron, and steel, oh my! Every option has its pros and cons, so read up and ask questions to make sure you understand their unique advantages and disadvantages.  Fiberglass and acrylic bathtubs are relatively inexpensive, light weight, and come in various colors and sizes. However, they don’t have the life span of porcelain covered cast iron tubs which can easily last 50 years. But as durable as it is, cast iron might also require additional support under the sub floor.
  4. Ease of maintenance. Certain bathtub materials require more maintenance than others. For example, cast iron and steel bathtubs are prone to rusting should the un-coated underside come in contact with water. On the other hand, acrylic and fiberglass require more frequent (yet gentler) cleaning.

Need some friendly, unbiased advice?  Connor Plumbing is on hand to answer your questions and help you make the right decision for your home, family, and budget. Plus, from the demolition of your existing tube to new-tub installation, you can count on us to handle all facets of the project.  Contact us today for more information and a free new project estimate.

If you just take it as gospel that outdoor faucets produce cold water only, we’re here to inform you otherwise.  Because in no time at all, Connor Plumbing can either replace an existing cold-water faucet with one that produces hot and cold, or install a brand-new faucet where it’s most convenient for you.

So now that you know it’s doable, what exactly would you do with such a convenience? Here are a few suggestions just to get you started:

  • No more lugging pails of hot water outside
  • Clean your car more thoroughly and save money by not going to the car wash as often
  • No more indoor baths for Fido, at least not during the warm weather months
  • Keep your patio furniture and gas grill clean
  • Do any fishing? Now, instead of gutting a fish in the kitchen and stinking up the whole house, take care of business outdoors.
  • Clean up after a camping trip like a pro.
  • Keep your gardening tools showroom clean.

No doubt you can add substantially to that list. Now, all you need to do is contact Connor Plumbing for a free quote and prompt installation. By the way, have a swimming pool? Well then, how much more convenient would it be with a hot and cold outdoor shower, too?!

Your plumbing is capable of producing a variety of sounds, and for all kinds of reasons.  Sometimes, they’re enough to drive a grown home owner plumb crazy.

If you’re experiencing a clanking symphony inside your own house right now, don’t ignore the sounds, because they’re probably not going to go away on their own.

One such noise is a loud banging sound coming from inside your water pipes.  This is known to the plumbing community as “water hammer” and, if you’ve ever heard it, you know exactly why.

The most common form of water hammer comes from a faucet being turned on or shut off, although that sharp banging noise can come from any of your pipes.  Water hammer also produces a ticking sound that can be heard all over your house.

Your pipes can also emit a whistling sound, a likely indication of low water pressure or that your pipes are contaminated with debris, thus causing air to be trapped inside. One way to stop that noise is to turn your main shutoff valve on and off so the pipes can drain and flush.

Or, how about when you take a shower and hear a whooshing sound – that ever happen to you? If so, the likely cause is a large amount of mineral buildup in your water heater or hot water pipes.

Most plumbing noises, including water hammer and water heater whooshing, require the services of a professional plumber to make the necessary repair or adjustment. So, if your plumbing has you wearing head phones at home to block out all that noise, why not contact Connor Plumbing today for prompt service and your guaranteed satisfaction with our services.

Your toilet shutoff valve (located on the wall behind your toilet) can leak simply from being turned too far to the left, i.e., counterclockwise.  So, if yours is leaking, try turning the valve in the other direction to see if that solves the problem.

If not, you’ll be glad to know that repairing the valve is a fairly simple procedure, one that starts with shutting off the water supply to your entire house and draining the pipes up to the location of the shutoff valve.  Let’s start from there:

Grab a pan or small tub

After turning the shut-off valve to the full “off” position (all the way to the right), detach the steel hose. But first, place a small tub or pan on the floor to catch any water that might still be present.

Untwist the nut

Next, dis-assemble the valve, remove the screw from the handle and untwist the packing nut. Remove the threaded valve system. In the process, remember the position of the neoprene washers for ease of re-assembly.

Clean the washers

Clean the washers with a rag to remove any mineral deposits.  Keep cleaning until their flexibility returns.

Re-assemble the Valve

Make sure the washers are positioned properly, and then tighten the packing nut a little at time with your wrench or pliers. Do not use plumber’s putty or you might have a hard time fixing the shut-off valve in the future. Also, be sure not to over-tighten the nuts as that could damage the valve.

Re-attach the hose

Re-attach the steel hose to the valve assembly.

Turn the Water Supply Back On

First, re-engage your main water supply and then do the same with your toilet relief valve. If the valve is still leaking, it needs to be replaced, but at least you gave it a heckuva try.

Or, maybe this DIY plumbing stuff just isn’t for you.  If that’s the case, one call to Connor Plumbing is all it takes for any plumbing repair or replacement job, including toilet relief valves.

Across the US, the average person flushes a home toilet 6 times per day.  Which means, of course, that the average family of four goes through 24 flushes per day, or 168 per week.

Our point?  When a toilet gets flushed often enough, it’s bound to clog sooner or later. Throw small children into the mix, and the likelihood goes sky high when you consider the kinds of things they’re prone to toss in the bowl when parental eyes aren’t taking notice.

So, do YOU have a clogged toilet on your hands and aren’t having much luck busting it up?  Here are a few helpful hints worth trying, hopefully including at least one or two you’ve never tried before:

Turn off the water to the toilet. If you’re concerned your toilet might overflow or it already has, locate the faucet handle behind your toilet and turn it off. Then go back to plunging or whatever you were doing before.  Once you think you might have succeeded, flush the toilet; the water still in the tank is sufficient to the task.

Use a good old plunger and the type with the flanged bottom especially designed for toilets. Pump as hard as you can with multiple repetitions; one or two plunges at a time usually won’t work with a stubborn clog.  Also, wrap an old towel around the base of the bowl to minimize the clean-up afterwards.

Pour stuff in! If plunging alone isn’t getting the job in, try one or more liquid additives like dishwashing soap followed by a pot of boiling water.  The soap lubricates the clog, and the hot water flushes it away.

Be patient and keep trying. Sometimes a clog just needs time to break down. This is especially true of clogs that come from wads of toilet paper. But, since toilet paper is designed to break down in water, a little time might be all the extra help you need.

Right now are you thinking “thanks but no thanks?”  Well, no amount of self-help tips in the world can clear certain toilet clogs.  If you’re currently facing one of those, contact Connor Plumbing for prompt and efficient service with a guaranteed upfront price, and your satisfaction guaranteed.

Backflow takes places when water reverses its flow in anywhere in your plumbing systems.  It’s a dangerous condition because it can allow drinking water to become contaminated and unusable.

Backflow preventers are mechanical devices installed in plumbing system to prevent water from reversing its flow. A properly installed, tested and maintained backflow preventer at your water service entrance can reliably help keep your water contaminant free.

The typical causes of backflow are a sudden drop in water pressure brought about by above-normal usage, firefighters using extreme quantities of water in your neighborhood, and a break in the water main.

Backflow also can originate inside your home through a “cross connection” where non-drinkable water (perhaps form your toilet or run-off from your shower) backs up into your drinking water supply, thus contaminating it, through a cross connection.

A backflow preventer, very simply, prevents contaminated water from entering your drinking water supply.  It needs to be professionally installed by a licensed plumber and inspected once a year to ensure it continues to work properly for your family’s protection.

Is your home equipped with a backflow prevention valve?  If not, or even if you’re not sure, contact Connor Plumbing today so we can to locate and test your valve for you.  If you don’t already have one, we’ll give you a guaranteed upfront price to install a backflow preventer in your home, and then set up an annual maintenance schedule.

Like all mechanical things, garbage disposals don’t last forever – not even close.

So to enhance its useful lifespan, here are some simple steps you should learn and follow:

  • Feed the disposal a little at a time. Take care to keep utensils and your hands out of the drain.
  • Corn husks and other fibrous foods (like lettuce and onion skins) should be place in your garbage to prevent jamming or clogging the disposal.
  • Deodorize your disposal. Cut a lemon into small pieces and drop the fruit into the disposal along with two tablespoons of baking soda or a cup distilled white vinegar. Turn on the cold water faucet and then the disposal. The unit will clean itself as it grinds up the mixture.
  • Use a strong flow of cold water while running your disposal and for about 30 seconds after you turn it off.  This helps to flush food all the way down the drain line.
  • Do not put uncooked meat fat or liquid fats into your disposer.

Still, even with all the “TLC” in the world, sooner or later you’re bound to run into a problem with your garbage disposal.  Here’s what to look and listen for:

  • If the disposal won’t run, check the circuit breaker or fuse and replace or reset as necessary. Also check to see if the overload switch has tripped. Find the reset button at the bottom of the disposal unit and push it.
  • If the motor hums but the disposal doesn’t run, you may have a jammed impeller, and that’s most likely a repairable problem.
  • If the disposal runs intermittently, the switch or stopper may be defective.  If that’s the case, it’s time for a new unit.
  • A leaky garbage disposal isn’t necessarily a sign of rust.  The cause might be as simple as a loose connection, which can readily be tightened.
  • How about that all-too-familiar racket a disposal can sometimes make?  When you hear it, chances are you’re trying to grind up something your disposal wishes you wouldn’t.  The result could be a damaged blade, impeller or motor.  But don’t be too quick to have it repair, because it could cost you less to replace it.

Bottom line, once a disposal stops doing a good job of grinding, or starts to leak, that’s usually the ball game. Give it a little loving care, however, and the game will no doubt last a little longer.

Having trouble now with your garbage disposal or simply think it’s time to replace it?  Contact the professionals Connor Plumbing today, and we’ll get the job done to your complete satisfaction, guaranteed.

Whether you live in a sleek, modern home or a lovingly restored 100 year old gem, one thing is certain: home ownership and repairs go hand in hand. What’s more, taking care of home maintenance problems can end up costing you a pretty penny.  It’s no wonder more and more homeowners are channeling their inner Bob Vila and choosing to take on home repair and improvement projects themselves.

Still, while many DIY repairs can often be successfully completed with some basic tools and skills, others could end up costing you more time, money, and frustration than they’re worth – unless, that is, you hire a professional right up front.

So before you head to your local home improvement store, here are a few plumbing situations that are best left for someone with a ton of experience and a strong skill set.

The job requires a permit

Anytime you’re adding to or altering the structure of your home, changing the footprint of your kitchen or bath, or doing any plumbing work that requires you to obtain a permit, it’s best to hire an experienced plumber. Not only will a plumbing contractor make sure the job is done correctly and up to code, you and your home will be protected should anything go wrong.

The job requires a propane torch

Tightening a loose faucet, shower head, or even a pipe is simple enough with the right wrench. But when you’re dealing with cracked or burst pipes that need to be replaced and soldered together with a blow torch, consider calling a licensed plumber. You might save a few bucks by doing it yourself, but the risk far outweighs the benefit.

Your water heater is under-performing

Your water heater represents a substantial investment. Not just for the one-time purchase and installation.  Your water heater also accounts for about 30% of your annual utility costs. Not only that, it’s a much more intricate plumbing system than it might appear to be, especially if all you’re looking at is a big, cumbersome hot water storage tank.  Take it from us:  water heater preventative maintenance and repair work is better left to a professional plumber, especially if yours is a gas system where even more is at stake safety wise.  .

A sewer or drain line is hopelessly clogged

A stubbornly backed up drain line is a lot more complicated to repair than your run of the mill sink clog. If you notice water from one fixture, like the bathtub, appearing in another, like a nearby sink, you need a plumber with the right tools and expertise to get things moving again. Especially if and when the blockage is the result of a cracked or broken under-ground sewer pipe.

Here at Connor Plumbing, making people happy they chose us to handle a particular plumbing issue has been part of our “MO” since 1908.  We’re at our best in determining what originally caused the problem so we can solve the problem itself, and not just treat the symptoms.

For plumbing done right, with a guaranteed upfront price and our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee for your added peace of mind, contact Connor Plumbing today.  We promise you’ll be glad you did.

         
 

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