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Tuesday, March 24 2020
Why is My Drain Acting Up?

Why is My Drain Acting Up?

Drains are important parts of your plumbing, but they take a lot of abuse — which can lead to various problems, from clogs to bubbling to unsettling noises. No matter the issue, however, there are steps you can take to get your drain back in working order. Here are some common drain problems and their causes

Clogged

Drain clogs often occur when items are disposed of improperly. This happens a lot with kitchen sinks. Many people dump the wrong types of waste down the drain — fats/grease are a common example. The fats solidify after cooling and block the drain.

Clogs may also happen simply from use over time, such as in the bathroom. Hair accumulates in the shower or sink drain and clogs it up.

Backing Up

Sometimes, a drain blockage is the result of improper waste disposal. In many cases, however, a backed up drain isn’t your fault.

In the spring, groundwater levels can increase. This can lead to more water in your drainage system, which can back up your drain.

Leaking

Leaky drains could be caused by loose or damaged drain components. Sometimes, you’ll just have to tighten the nut to stop the leak. However, you may need to take apart your drain to identify any damaged parts that need to be replaced.

A more obvious and observable reason for a leaky drain would be damage to the drain pipe. Putt is usually necessary to fix drain pipe holes.

Bubbling

When you drain is bubbling, that might be a sign that it’s only partially clogged in the drain pipe. However, it could also be caused by a blocked vent pipe.

Your vent pipe allows sewer gas to escape, funneling the gas upwards and out of the roof of your home.

Objects such as dirt, leaves, or bird nest materials can come from above and block the vent pipe. This forces the gas back down, leading to the bubbling or gurgling sound you hear.

If your vent pipe is blocked, your only solution is to call a professional such as Barner Murphy.

Smelling

A smelly drain can be caused by a few issues.

Clogs are a common reason. Clogs provide a breeding ground for bacteria. As the bacteria colony consumes the debris trapped in the drain and continues to grow, your drain will begin to smell bad.

Mold is another possible cause. You want to take care of mold right away, because the gases they release can be dangerous — leading to headaches, dizziness, and nausea, among other things.

Lastly, escaped sewer gases could be causing the bad smell. If your drain isn’t slow/clogged yet it smells, this may the reason.

Making Noise

Drains sometime make obnoxious noises. This is usually accompanied by bubbling, which results either from a blockage or trapped sewer gases.

If you turn on your garbage disposal and hear loud noises, something may be stuck in the blades — such as chicken bones. You’ll have to remove the chicken bones to get your garbage disposal back to normal. 

Posted by: AT 12:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 10 2020
Don't Forget About Your Plumbing When You're Spring Cleaning

Don't Forget About Your Plumbing When You're Spring Cleaning

Spring is almost here. With the warm weather upon us, we can soon crack our windows and open our doors to let the fresh air in.

Along with that comes spring cleaning. Soon, you’ll be furiously vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and wiping down all surfaces in your home. You might even do some decluttering.

But while you’re making everything in your house shine, it’s important not to forget to give your plumbing a little spring cleaning treatment. Doing so can keep you home life running smoothly while saving you thousands of dollars and plenty of headache.

Here are a few of the most important ways you can spring clean your plumbing.

Empty the Gutters

The winter snow that piled up in your gutters has obscured lots of leaves, dirt, debris, and other stuff. A clogged gutter can cause water to spill over onto your home, causing mold and other water damage.

Make sure you clean those gutters out once the snow starts melting to prevent clogs.

Check Your Pipes

Winter is not friendly to pipes, as temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Even if you were vigilant about ensuring your pipes didn’t freeze, now would be a good time to check them for leaks, corrosion, or other damage. Call a plumber right away if you find any issues with your pipes.

Clean Your Drains

Drain clogs are nasty problems to deal with. Even if your drain isn’t clogged, it never hurts to perform some preventative maintenance. There are many ways you can use water, vinegar, and baking soda to clean out drains. Alternatively, you can buy a drain snake and use that to keep drains clear.

Check the Water Heater

If you haven’t peeked at your water heater in a while, your spring cleaning would be a good time to do so. Check your water heater’s temperature, but also perform an all-around check of it to make sure everything’s in working order.

Clean Around Your Toilet

Most of your spring cleaning will involve sweeping, mopping, and wiping. Now is a perfect time to deep clean your bathroom, especially the area around and behind the toilet.

Sure, it might be a nasty area, but cleaning around and behind your toilet kills germs and creates a healthier bathroom. Not to mention that the bathroom may smell even better once everything’s clean.

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals take a lot of abuse, so they deserve a cleaning every once in a while. Giving it a good cleaning will ensure it functions optimally year-round.

In addition, make sure to only put things down the drain that belong. Doing so will further help to keep your disposal working like new.

Need help spring cleaning your plumbing in Bucks County? Call the professionals at Barner Murphy. Let’s prepare your plumbing for the warmer months.

Posted by: AT 12:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, February 18 2020
Proper Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

Garbage disposals do wonders for your kitchen, giving you an easy way to get rid of small food waste. Thus, when your garbage disposal has issues, you really notice it. Garbage disposals can experience several kinds of problems.

Here’s a list of common garbage disposal issues and how you can solve them.

1. Clogged Garbage Disposal

Clogged garbage disposals are a common plumbing complaint. Most clogs are caused by one of the following:

  • Improper waste disposal (such as pouring grease/oils down drain)

  • Adding too much waste at once

  • Failure to run water down the drain — running hot water helps wash away bits of waste trapped in the disposal

When a clog happens, the blades are trapped. You’ll hear a humming noise without the sound of blades turning.

Solving a Clogged Garbage Disposal

If your disposal has a hex hole on the bottom, you can insert an Allen wrench and turn the blades until they can rotate completely. If it doesn’t have a hex hole, you’ll want a dedicated garbage disposal wrench.

Run water after freeing the blades. If water doesn’t pass through, fill the sink halfway and use a sink plunger until the sink drains.

If none of this works, you’ll need a plumber’s help.

2. Garbage Disposal Wont Turn On

A garbage disposal could fail to turn on for a few reasons. Its motor might be damaged, electric power might not be reaching it, or its overload protector may have been tripped.

Solving a Garbage Disposal That Won’t Turn On

First, check the overload protector to see if it’s been tripped. If it is, find the reset button on the bottom of the disposal and push it. Wait 10 minutes and try again if it doesn’t stay in. Turn on the disposal once you get the button to be pressed up to see if it’s working.

If not, see if the circuit-breaker has been tripped. If it hasn’t, look for any loose electrical connection.

If none of these were the case, call a technician, as your disposal motor may be damaged.

3. Leaking Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals can leak from the top, sides, and bottom.

Solving a Leaking Garbage Disposal

Top leaks are caused when the garbage disposal does not have a proper seal between it and the sink drain hole. You will have to replace whatever item is causing the imperfect seal.

If it’s a side leak, then the cause is a bad connection with your dishwasher connector or drainage pipe. If it’s the dishwasher connection, remove the connection and clean out the pipe and connector. Clamp them back together tightly afterwards.

If it’s the drainage pipe that’s causing issue, it’s likely because the rubber gasket inside has been damaged in some way. Take the drainage pipe apart, clean it out, and replace the gasket; then, reconnect everything, making sure all connections are sealed tight.

Lastly, leaks from the bottom of the disposal unfortunately don’t have a quick fix. See if your disposal is still within its warranty period — if so, the manufacturer should replace it for you.

Posted by: AT 09:51 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, February 07 2020
How to Keep Your Sink From Clogging

How to Keep Your Sink From Clogging

Sink clogs may seem like a minor inconvenience, but they can turn into a serious problem when left untreated. Not to mention that they can be pretty unpleasant. If you don’t want to deal with the nasty results of an unpleasant clog, you need to take measure to keep your sink from clogging.

Follow these tips to do so.

1. Know What Can Go Down Your Sink

Sinks mainly get clogged by people throwing the wrong kind of waste down the drain. Some of the primary culprits are oil/grease, hair, coffee grounds, and bones.

  • Never put oil or grease down the drain. Instead, scrape it into an old coffee can or something similar. Then, throw it in the trash.

  • Throw away coffee grounds. If you have a reusable coffee filter that you wash using the sink, it’s ok for a few bits of coffee grounds to go down the drain. Keep it to a minimum, though.

  • Use a hair guard for your bathroom sinks. This will catch hairs before they get stuck in the drain and cause a clog.

  • Back in the kitchen, don’t throw food bones down the garbage disposal. They will get stuck in the blades most of the time, spinning around indefinitely.

2. Run Hot Water Down the Drain After Each Use

Sometimes, a little oil or grease may make its way into the drain. Run a bit of hot water after each use to keep the oil moving down the drain.

Additionally, you may consider pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain to wash away any other stubborn oil residue.

Don’t use cold water, as the grease will solidify and worsen the problem.

3. Baking Soda and Hot Water

Every once in a while, you may want to throw some baking soda down your drain before running the hot water. Baking soda does an excellent job of cleaning out extra particles, and it eliminates many foul odors that may arise from food waste.

4. Vinegar and Hot Water

Vinegar is another excellent household sink cleaner. It contains a mild acid — ascetic acid — which can help break down and loosen buildup from food particles and other organic material.

Every so often, pour 1 cup of vinegar down your sink and let it rest for a half an hour; then, run the hot water to wash away the vinegar and buildup from your sink’s drain.

5. Don’t Use Drain Cleaning Chemicals

Drain cleaning chemicals are a tempting solution when your sink clogs, but they can corrode your pipes over time, leading to worse problems down the road for your plumbing.

If you have a serious clog that you aren’t sure how to fix in Bucks County, skip the drain chemicals and call Barner Murphy. Our professionals will get your drain running smoothly in no time.

Posted by: AT 02:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 06 2017
Bucks County Plumbers - Spring Plumbing Checklist

    They say that April showers bring May flowers, but maybe we should add May plumbing, as well.  If you’re a home owner, a renter, or a residential business owner, then now is the time to get yourself in gear for spring.  When it comes to spring plumbing tips, there are many, but we’ve devised a simple checklist to help you get started for the warmer months that are upon us.  At Barner Murphy, we are always at the ready for plumbing tips and tricks.  Feel free to reach out if you ever require the assistance of an expert.

    Kitchen checklist:  Some of the more obvious areas to check for include the faucets and the sinks.  It’s a good idea to make sure that none of your faucets have any leaks or any drips.  Sometimes the cold winter months can disguise problems that only surface when spring has sprung.  It’s also advised to make quick repairs if you do spot any leaks or drips, as thus will reduce complications further on down the road.  Also on the kitchen checklist is the suggestion to ensure that all drains have some sort of strainer on them to prevent large pieces of silverware or other non-disposable items from sliding into the pipe system.

    Bathroom checklist:  It might seem obvious, but many people forget or get complacent about it.  Ensure that all drains have some sort of hair-snare or other catchment device to prevent hair and sop from clogging your home’s drain lines.  This will save you from having to call for a plumber when a clog becomes a catastrophe.  Another bathroom checklist suggestion is to check your toilets for hidden leaks.  You can add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and if the toilet is leaking, the food coloring will appear within a half-hour, inside the bowl.  

At Barner Murphy, we also advise checking the toilet tank for any leaks or cracks.  Another suggestion on our checklist is to make sure that the toilets flush properly.  A simple check might be all that’s required, but make sure that you fix any issues promptly.  One more bathroom checklist tip is to clear mineral deposits from the showerhead.  You can do this simply by just unscrewing it from the shower supply and soaking it in some vinegar for a few hours.  

Finally, for our water heater checklist:  Make sure the temperature setting on your water heater is no more than 120 degrees.  This will prevent any unnecessary scalding and it will also reduce your overall energy use.  Another checklist tip is to think about replacing your water heater if it’s over fifteen years old.  Updated water heaters are simply more efficient.  

Posted by: AT 11:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Barner Murphy Inc. - Bucks County - Plumbing & Bathroom Remodeling
7204 Hibbs Lane, Levittown, PA 19057 | Phone - 215-945-8560


Licensed Master Plumbers
PA HIC #035743 NJ #10388 RCC LIC # 413

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