Plumbing – Problems and Solutions

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Plumbing system is to a building, what circulatory system is to the human body. Any fault in the system is sure to throw your life helter-skelter and make your life awful. While putting in place a good well-conceived and well-done plumbing system is important, maintenance and preventive measures taken to keep the system in good shape is even more important.

This article is intended to keep you informed of the possible problems you may face with your plumbing system and the preventive measures to be taken to keep such problems at bay.

Clogged Drains:

Case I:

Your sinks / tubs connected to particular branch line drains slowly than normal.

Reasons:

Dumping food/ solid materials into your kitchen / Bathroom drains.

Pouring greasy / Sticky materials into your kitchen sink.

Pouring chemicals /paints into the drains.

Improper / Inadequate venting.

Solution:

Use a plunger to de-clog your drain. This will work for clogs of smaller size. If it still persists, call an expert. Home made solutions do not work for bigger clogs.

Clogs can be removed using various techniques. While a cable can be used to remove solid clogs and break through roots, High pressure water jetting is more effective for clogs due to sticky / greasy materials.

Before using water jetting as option, It is important to determine the quality of the plumbing materials used, for, the high pressure used in the process will rip your pipes apart if they are of a inferior quality.

Check the vents provided for any visible blocks. Find out whether the venting is adequate for the fixture(s) it serves. An expert could help you out in this area. If the venting is absent or inadequate, provide / upgrade to surmount the problem.

Preventive Measures:

Respect your toilet and kitchen sinks. Use them only for the purpose intended. Avoid unmindful dumping of solid wastes, Food materials, Greasy substances and paints / chemicals into the sinks.

Use filters over the drains in your toilet and kitchen to trap hair and solid objects.

Ensure that air vents are provided in adequate numbers and sizes for all fixtures.

Case II:

All the drainage lines of the building drain slowly and there is a backing of the drain water from the main drainage line.

Reasons:

A block in the main drainage line. or

A block in the inlet / outlet of the septic tank. or

A block in the distribution box. or

A block in the percolation pipes. or

The septic tank has frozen due to an abnormal low weather.

Solution:

Use a snake or water jetting to de-clog the main drain line. This is the work of an expert. He could, through his expertise, say whether the clog is due to solid waste or greasy substances or roots and use a suitable technique to de-clog the same.

Check the inlet and the outlet of the septic tank for any blockage due to solid wastes, scum and so on. Remove the block and check for easy flow.

Check the distribution box located between the septic tank and the percolators. Remove blocks, if any.

Check the area around the percolators. See whether it is moist, swampy and stinky. It means that the percolation is not proper. In other works the soil is not absorbing the drain water at the rate of discharge. It could be either because you usage of water has increased of late due to more guests or the soil has become saturated due to moisture from other sources such as rainfall (more than normal) etc. Immediately enlist an expert, the problem requires instant care.

If the septic tank has frozen due to bad weather seek the help of an expert immediately. If an expert and the equipment needed are hard to find, use the septic tank as a storage tank till such time the tank haws by itself. Judicious use of water will help you hold on for some time. To avoid freezing of the septic tank in the future, winterize before the next winter.
Preventive Measures:

Respect your Septic tank. It is designed for the disposal of organic wastes only. Avoid dumping inorganic and non bio-degradable wastes. They are sure to block the normal functioning of the septic tank and spoil it beyond redemption.

Use filters over the drains in your toilet and kitchen to trap hair and solid objects.

Winterize the septic tank to prevent it from freezing in winter. Do the following:

o Insulate the Septic tank, distribution tank, percolators and all out door lines by spreading a layer of hay, grass, dry leaves etc.

o During winter, resort to more-than-normal usage of water. Warmer the water, the better.

o Empty the tank, if you are planning for a long outing.

o Get expert help. Winterization is location, weather specific. A small investment here will save you from all hardships during the winter.

Leaks

Symptoms:

Leaks in your plumbing system are not just unsanitary but is a tremendous loss of a scarce resource. More often than not leaks are detected much later than they had started and after much damage had already been done.

Try this test out to determine whether there is a leak in your plumbing system. Before you go to bed in the night, close the Main valve at the primary inlet of your plumbing system. Note the water meter reading. In the dawn, before you start using water, note the reading. If the reading has changed then, there is a leak in the system.

To locate the leak, repeat the procedure by keeping the main valve open and all but one of your ancillary line valves closed. If the reading shows a change, then the leak is in that particular branch line. Inspect the faucets for visible leaks and path of the lines for subtle hints of invisible leaks behind the plastered walls. If you still can’t detect the leak. Contact us for expert care.

Reasons:

While visible are due to faulty faucets / fixtures, Invisible leaks can be due to cracks in your plumbing lines. The cracks happen due to (a) Ageing lines giving off or (b) Faulty winterization of you plumbing system.

Solution:

Replace the faulty fixtures / faucets.

If the leak is due to faulty line, replace the line. If your plumbing system is considerably old, you can think of replacing the lines in stages without waiting for the system to call for your attention and doing much damage to your cherished home.

Preventive Measures:

Make proper use and take proper care of your faucets and other movable water outlets. Install only good quality faucets that’ll stand the wear and tear. Don’t compromise on quality for price. Remember, a compromise on quality is a compromise on peace of mind.

Properly winterize your plumbing system.

Winterization

What?
Acclimatizing your plumbing system to withstand the test of hard winter is winterization.

Why?
Plumbing systems are primarily intended to transport water to the locations of need from a centralized water storage facility. In the winter, as the temperature dips to appreciable lows, water freezes. The density of ice is more than that of water. Hence to accommodate water turned into ice, your plumbing system expands. When this expansion is beyond its elastic limit, it cracks wreaking havoc on your entire plumbing system.

Solution

Prepare for the winter ahead by properly acclimatizing your plumbing system. Do the following.

Insulate the drains outside your home.

Open the cabinets under sinks to facilitate circulation of warm air to avoid freezing.

In the temperature is harsh, allow water to flow through the lines in a trickle, when not in use, to avoid freezing.

If you are going out and if the plumbing system will not be in use for a long time close the main valve and drain all water form the system, to ensure that there is no water to be frozen.

Remember, winter is a testing time for your plumbing system. Take preventive measures or you may have to spend a fortune to restore the system back to normalcy. If you need more information, feel free to avail our expert care.

Plumbing is a science, but proper use and maintenance of it is an art. A good plumbing system will give you peace of mind. A bad one is sure to derail your day and make a hell out of it. The problems and the solutions suggested here are generic and not case specific or location specific. It is intended to equip you with the knowledge of the intricacies in plumbing so that you could understand and appreciate the workmanship better. Remember a few procedures are health hazardous and needs to be handled by an expert. Do not try them your self. IF you need experts, think of eServicePlace (ESP), where hand picked professionals are ever ready to address your problems in the shortest possible time and in the best possible manner. Think expert care, think ESP. http://www.eserviceplace.com