Archive for the ‘Plumbing Tips’ Category

Silent Toilet Leak Detection and Toilet Repair in Decatur, AL

            Once upon a time, a family decided to upgrade their plumbing fixtures to save money and be more cost-efficient. They replaced their showerheads with low-flow heads. They installed a rain bucket for watering the lawn with rain water. They replaced their faucets with fixtures that use less water, and they even installed water-saving toilets. They thought they were doing so well, but about a year later, their water bill was extremely high. They couldn’t figure out what was going wrong. They called the friendly technicians at Lamco Plumbing, and they were shocked to learn that their toilet might have a silent leak that was wasting hundreds of gallons every month. The technician provided them with some useful information and saved the day!

While this story is fiction, it applies to many homes all over the country. Unfortunately, residential clients all over Decatur, AL and the United States waste thousands of gallons of water every year because of leaky fixtures and appliances. This adds up to hundreds to thousands of dollars spent on wasted water. In order to save our clients from this headache, we wanted to provide information about Silent Toilet Leaks in your Decatur, AL home, and how to use the Dye Test.

Before fixing some of the obvious problems with a toilet, like a faulty or damaged flapper, you should also test for a silent leak using the Dye Test. Essentially, you should start with clear water in both the tank and the toilet bowl. Once the water is completely clear, you can add dye to the water in the form of colored drink mixes, instant coffee, or food coloring. Some municipal districts also offer dyes for the water, but they aren’t necessary. Add the dye to the toilet tank only. Leave the toilet alone for 15-30 minutes and do not flush or use the toilet during that time. If you return and find that the water in the toilet bowl is no longer clear, you have a silent leak and should contact a licensed technician at Lamco Plumbing. If the water is clear, you may have another type leak or plumbing problem.

While a leaky toilet flapper is the most common and easy to fix problems, you should contact Lamco if replacing the flapper doesn’t fix your problem. You can also give us a call if you are unsure how to repair the flapper or other fixtures, or would like more information. As always, the most important thing is routine maintenance. Don’t wait for an emergency to have your property’s plumbing inspected; instead, call Lamco Plumbing!  You can also call Lamco Plumbing if you have questions, need to schedule routine maintenance, or would like help with other plumbing repair. Their plumbers are ready, willing, and able to help you with any of your residential and commercial water heating and/or plumbing needs. For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit our website. And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

Insulating Pipes in Decatur Alabama

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, Frosty the Snowman, and so many other classic movies. It’s the time when we start seeing snow on the news and step outside to colder temperatures. While we have so many things to keep our bodies warm, the plumbing in your residential or commercial property in Decatur, AL is especially vulnerable. Because we rarely see freezing temperatures many residents don’t see the need to be concerned about exposed pipes. But when those surprise drops in temperatures do come, the homes in the south get hit hard because most were not prepared. Freezing temperatures can cause major problems (like interior water damage) for pipes that get exposed to the cold temperatures. Since damage from freezing can cause some of the most expensive repairs, Lamco Plumbing  wanted to offer our clients a few basic tips to keep your plumbing functioning all winter long.

Exterior Faucets

If you have any kind of exterior faucet, you should turn off the water supply in the house and drain any water from the pipes. This will help ensure no water remains in the pipes and prevent freezing. Most importantly, disconnect any hoses, drain, and store them in a safe place. Leaving the hoses attached could damage the hoses if water gets frozen inside the tube.

Insulate Exposed Piping

If any of your plumbing is exposed or not insulated (crawlspace, attic, outside walls, etc.) you should insulate them. You can wrap them with electrical heating tape then insulate them the same way you would insulate your home. If you are unsure of what to do, contact Lamco Plumbing for more information.

We  know freezing temperatures are rare around these parts, thank God! But you should still know what to do just in case! Remember, they saw freezing temperatures and snow storms in Texas last year! If you have questions or need repairs, you can call the licensed technicians at Lamco Plumbing. Their plumbers are ready, willing, and able to help you with any of your residential and commercial water heating and/or plumbing needs. For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit our website. And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns. 256-227-5862

Thanksgiving kindness for your Garbage Disposal in Decatur, AL

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving, and that means lots of amazing food! From cutting pumpkins up for pumpkin pies, breads, and muffins, to draining the pans of grease when cooking meat, this season provides a number of potential plumbing problems. In fact, black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is one of the busiest days for Plumbers all over the United States. The biggest problem is improper disposal of Thanksgiving-related wastes. If you want to prevent potential disasters, you can be thankful that Lamco Plumbing is here to give you important information and tips to keep the plumbing running efficiently for our residential and commercial Decature, AL clients.

Every family has a member who tells you anything can go down the drain or into the garbage disposal, but this is not the case. Unfortunately, trusting this advice will almost always lead to a clogged drain or damaged disposal. Three of the worst things to put down the drain are potato skins, onion peels, and rice. Potato skins and onion peels can grind together and form a paste that can expand in the pipe and cause a major blockage. Rice is just as bad; if the rice has not cooked completely, it will continue to expand in the pipes, and it can attach to other items. Some clients even experienced burst pipes from materials that expanded and put pressure on the metal.

Speaking of expanding, we all know that feeling after eating dinner. You know the one; the one that causes you to unbutton your pants and lean back in your chair; the one that makes you wish for a bigger stomach to fit all the delicious options inside. Unfortunately, this feeling often causes urgent needs to use the restroom and places a strain on your home or business’s toilet. The toilet is probably one of the greatest inventions of our time because it sweeps away our waste at the push of a button. Unfortunately, it’s not always prepared to shoulder the burden of the Thanksgiving aftermath. Plumbers often find all sorts of things in backed up toilets after the holidays: false teeth, diamond rings, children’s toys, and so much more.

In order to keep the spirit of thanks alive this season, Lamco recommends having your home’s plumbing inspected before you begin your holiday festivities especially if you are already experiencing problems. The trained experts at Lamco plumbing can inspect your home’s plumbing for minor clogs, damages, or other potential problems and resolve them before your guests arrive. You can also remind your guests what not to flush down the toilet. The best rule of thumb is not to flush anything that isn’t human waste or toilet paper. Anything else could get caught, cause blockages, and flood your bathroom.

You can count on our certified plumbers to be courteous and respectful to you and your home.  Our plumbers are ready, willing, and able to help you with any of your residential and commercial water heating and/or plumbing needs. For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit our website. And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

256-227-5862

When Decatur, AL Plumbing Goes Bump in the Night

Have you ever turned off the faucet in your Decatur home and heard a loud hammering noise?  Have you heard a popping or rumbling noise? What about a loud banging sound coming from the basement?  At Lamco Plumbing, we’ve heard our fair share of plumbing noises, and we’re well aware of their causes.  With Halloween around the corner, we want to expose the creepy sounds for what they really are—noisy plumbing!

If you hear…

A Popping or Rumbling Noise Coming From Your Water Heater

  • Gunk has built up at the bottom or your water heater.  When the gunk is heated up, moisture is released into the tank water as steam, making the popping or rumbling noise.
  • Call Lamco Plumbing to flush out your water heater and vacate the gunk.  This buildup could cause water heater corrosion and a decrease in your water heater’s lifespan.
  • Removing the buildup will improve your water heater’s efficiency, increase its lifespan, and get rid of the noise!

Banging Pipes

  • One or more of your plumbing pipes is striking into something in its vicinity.
  • You may be able to simply buffer the pipe with padding, foam rubber, or kitchen sponges.
  • If buffering the troublesome pipe doesn’t help or you’re unable to find the banging pipe, contact Lamco Plumbing, and we’ll locate and repair the issue, so that you won’t end up with damaged plumbing pipes.

A Hammering Noise That Occurs After You Turn Off the Water

  • High-pressured water in your pipes must suddenly come to a halt when the water is turned off.  This abrupt stop creates a shockwave in your plumbing pipe, causing the hammering noise.  This is called a water hammer.
  • Continued pressure within your plumbing pipes could cause a burst pipe or a failed pipe fitting, so a water hammer must be repaired.
  • Sometimes a water hammer can be repaired by turning off the water and running the remaining water out of the faucet that is causing the water hammer.  This allows a cushion of air to form inside a chamber, relieving the pressure.  If this doesn’t fix the problem contact Lamco Plumbing to determine if you need to have an air chamber or pressure-reducing valve installed.

Lamco Plumbing is happy to help you rid your Decatur, ALhome of any annoying (or spooky) plumbing noises.  You can count on our certified plumbers to be courteous and respectful to you and your home.  Our plumbers are ready, willing, and able to help you with any of your residential and commercial water heating and/or plumbing needs. For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit our website. And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

256-227-5862

Safe Water Heater Temperature for Decatur, AL

Every year, many children are scalded by water that is too hot in their homes or homes they visited. September is National Baby Safety Month, and we know that families travel all year long. As a result, the friendly technicians at Lamco Plumbing wanted to offer a tip to our Decatur, AL homeowners and businesses. Most of the activities that we use hot water for require a temperature of about 110°F – 115°F (showers, hand washing, and laundry), and the recommended setting for your water heater is 120°F. As many people know, a child’s skin is more sensitive than an adult’s, so their skin burns easier at lower water temperatures; the higher the temperature, the faster they burn. For example, it only takes about 30 seconds for children to burn their skin with 130° water. Turning the water temperature down can not only help prevent burns, it can also save money.

Thankfully, turning the water temperature down is relatively easy. For electric heaters, the thermostat is usually behind a cover plate that you remove a few screws to access. Newer models may also have a dial that you can turn. Gas heaters have a knob that you can turn, and both electric and gas have two types of dials: ones that list temperatures or ones that list “vacation,” “warm,” and “hot.” If yours says “warm,” adjust the dial to one notch past warm. You can then test the water’s temperature with a meat or candy thermometer at a sink close to the water heater. You can then adjust the temperature as necessary, but we recommend not setting it above 120°F to avoid burning a child. Another safety tip is to always test the water before allowing a small child to interact with the water. Since an adult’s skin is less sensitive, you should use the inside of your wrist or your elbow for a more accurate gauge of the water’s temperature.

If you think your water heater may not be operating properly, or to schedule a routine maintenance check-up, you can call the licensed technicians at Lamco Plumbing. Their plumbers are ready, willing, and able to help you with any of your residential and commercial water heating and/or plumbing needs. For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit our website. And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

256-227-5862

What not to flush in a toilet in Decatur, AL

There’s a cartoon about a young duck learning to potty train. At first, the baby duck is scared of the toilet because the water just vanishes. However, when the parents leave the room, the baby duck tries to flush anything he can find down the toilet: his diaper, toys, toilet paper, etc. At first, things seem to just disappear, which entertains the baby duck. Sadly, everything gets stuck in the pipes and causes the toilet to overflow and flood the bathroom. Many homeowners in the Decatur, AL  have experienced something similar and know there are certain things you shouldn’t flush down the toilet, but some items might surprise you. Here are a few items that people regularly flush down the toilet that should never go down any drain–especially the toilet:

  • condoms
  • wipes
  • a special note about these wipes. Recently, companies have manufactured and advertised various types of wipes as disposable or flushable, but this is not true. The wipes do not break down or dissolve when flushed. Thus, they get caught in pipes and filters and cause sewer pipe blockages and floods that can be hazardous to the environment. To be on the safe side, throw these items in the trash rather than flush them down the toilet.
  • feminine products: pads, tampons, applicators, etc.
  • cigarette butts
  • grease or cooking oils
  • toys or plastic items

If you are unsure, a simple way to think about it is if your body doesn’t produce it, and it isn’t toilet paper, it shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet. It may not seem like a big deal; however, these items can cause clogged drains and could even cause your pipes to burst if the clog builds up enough pressure. Even if they safely pass through your home’s plumbing, they can get caught in the local plumbing or at the water treatment plant and cause tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

If you have questions about other items you shouldn’t flush, or if you have a clogged drain that needs repaired, you can call the licensed technicians at Lamco Plumbing. Their plumbers are ready, willing, and able to help you with any of your residential and commercial water heating and/or plumbing needs. For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit our website. And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

256-227-5862

Conserving water, Decatur, AL

Water is one of the most precious and enjoyed resources on earth. We go boating, fishing, and swimming; we water our lawns, take showers, and so much more. In honor of August as National Water Conservation month, we wanted to take some time to talk to our Decatur, AL residents about water conservation. Did you know that rooftops and pavement don’t allow water to soak into the ground? This means the water runs off and has to be collected in storm drains and directed to local streams, rivers, and coastal waters. Along the way, the water can come in contact with any number of pollutants like oil, antifreeze, pet waste, fertilizers and pesticides.  In most places, storm water does not get treated, so all of those pollutants end up in local waters.

In honor of National Water Quality Month, give these tips a try to protect water quality where you live:

  • Pick up after yourselves and your pets. Whenever you take your pet for a walk, try to avoid streams and other waterways when they are going to the bathroom. Always pick up after your pet to help prevent the waste from entering the water system. Littering is a crime, so be sure to pick up any trash you may have lying around to avoid fines and help preserve the environment.
  • Water your lawn only when necessary. An easy way to see if your lawn needs water is to walk on it. If your footprints remain in the grass, you should water it. If no footprints remain, your lawn should not need water.  
  • Use rain barrels. Plants do not need the same quality of water as people, so you can build a rain barrel to collect runoff water from your roof when it rains. This water can then be used to water your lawn or garden and to wash your windows or vehicles. Be sure to check local regulations before installing a rain barrel–some areas have laws that prohibit them. This also has the added bonus of lowering your water bill.
  • Apply lawn care chemicals in dry weather. This will help prevent the chemicals from ending up in the rainwater runoff that collects in the storm drains. You can also look for environmentally friendly lawn chemicals that are better for the environment.
  • Fix leaky pipes and/or fixtures. Leaky pipes and fixtures waste this precious resource and can also cost you more money on your water bill every month. Thankfully, the skilled technicians at Lamco Plumbing can easily fix a leaky pipe and fix or replace a leaky faucet.

One great idea is to have a backflow preventer sewer system installed in your plumbing system. This will help prevent waste water from ever coming in contact with your fresh water. If you have questions about other ways you could conserve water in your home, you can call the licensed technicians at Lamco Plumbing. Their plumbers are ready, willing, and able to help you with any of your residential and commercial water heating and/or plumbing needs.

For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit our website. And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

256-227-5862

Tornado and storm preparation in your Decatur, Alabama Community

Tornados are a devastating experience that can tear through towns all over the United States. In an effort to keep our friends and neighbors as safe as possible, we would like to offer a few tips in preparing your Decatur, Alabama home. Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes don’t give much warning so planning ahead is the best way to maximize the safety of you family in the event of a tornado. Keep a wrench near the gas meter and be sure you know how to turn it off. If a tornado strikes, it’s a good idea to cut off this line so you aren’t in danger of a gas explosion. You should also have your plumbing inspected both before and after any type of natural disaster. The most important thing is for you to always have a plan so that your family will be safe, this includes tornado insurance.

You should also have your personal information from your home computer backed up at an out of town location or to an online internet service. After a tornado, you should be sure to check your home for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company. Please do not try to turn this valve on by yourself. Only a professional should turn the valve back on after examining your home for leaks and damage. You should also look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box, as long as you don’t have to step in water or otherwise place yourself in danger to reach it.

Finally, you should check for sewage and water line damage. If you suspect that the sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call one of the qualified technicians at Lamco plumbing. Even after something terrible tears through a neighborhood, it gives the community a chance to rebuild and join hands with friends and neighbors from all over the United States. The licensed technicians at Lamco Plumbing are ready, willing, and able to help you both before and after a natural disaster with your residential and commercial plumbing needs.

For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit us on the web.   And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

256-227-5862

Different techniques to unclog drains in your Decatur, Alabama Community

Clogged drains can be one of the most problematic plumbing issues you can experience. They have a variety of causes. One family’s child wants to send their superhero figurine on an adventure to battle the evil in the sewers. Another family didn’t know that rice and other expanding foods should not be placed in the garbage disposal or down the drain. Whatever the cause, the problem still interrupts your daily life. There are a number of products available that encourage you to remedy the problem yourself; however, clogs are usually more serious than they may seem, so do-it-yourself home remedies may worsen the issue. Thus, leaving it to a Decatur, Alabama plumbing professional is definitely the way to make sure the problems get solved properly and completely to minimize the risk of future clogs in the same drain or sewer. Thankfully, help is just a phone call away, and Lamco Plumbing offers $20 off your drain cleaning service!

While most plumbing services only offer cable (snake) drain cleaning and hydro jetting, Lamco Plumbing proudly offers one additional service: Total C Drain additive.

Cable (Snake) Drain Cleaning:

One great tool that ensures the health and safety of your plumbing system is the cable drain snake. Its drain cleaning capabilities are great for drain clogs and drain blockages.

If cable drain cleaning has difficulty unclogging your plumbing system, this can also alert you to a more serious problem going on inside your pipes.  But don’t worry, our hydro jetting process is there for all those powerful problems that the cable drain can’t handle on its own.

Hydro jetting:

If cable snake drain cleaning is unsuccessful, we rely on the power of hydro jetting to blast away your drain blockages. Sewer and drain pipes may contain clogs that need more force and our high-tech tools allow us to tackle these challenges head on. The process of hydro jetting uses high pressure water combined with reverse jet systems in order to break down and expel severe drain clogs.

Total C Drain Additive:

We use the best drain cleaning product on the market – Total-C™. Total-C™  is a professional drain maintaining product for use in all household drains and septic systems.  It is an exclusive formula specifically designed to keep your drains flowing free and smelling fresh.  It’s the best way to keep clogs from reoccurring. Total-C™  combines all natural citrus-based liquefiers and active enzymes with natural oil eating bacteria keeps organic materials such as greases, soaps, fats and detergents from building up on the inside of your pipes without the use of harsh acids, alkaline or solvents.

Don’t let clogged drains get you down, contact Lamco Plumbing today to discuss your residential and commercial drain cleaning problems with an experienced specialist. We work directly with you in order to understand your needs. We have been proudly serving the Decatur, Alabama communities since 1985, and our broad range of residential and commercial plumbing services continues to expand.

For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit us on the web.   And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

256-227-5862

Add testing your water pressure to your Spring Cleaning list

Spring cleaning is right around the corner here in Decatur, Alabama. But many neglect to add a plumbing check to their to do list. This spring we suggest testing your water pressure, because it could save you big problems later on in the year.

If over the last year you were running into a series of plumbing problems like broken pipes, leaky faucets, and running toilets, you may have high water pressure. You can test your water pressure yourself or call the water company. If you have been experiencing issues call the water company and let them know, and ask them what the static water pressure is for your neighborhood. If they don’t know they will send someone to test it. If you would prefer to do it yourself then you will need to purchase a water pressure test gauge. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Follow the instructions of the test gauge and record your reading.

Normal water pressure should be between 40psi and 80 psi. If your water pressure is below 40psi you have low water pressure. It may mean you need to make sure the main water valve is set correctly, or there may be a break somewhere. If your water pressure is above 80psi this means you have high water pressure that may be damaging your plumbing system. You may need to replace rubber washing machine, toilet, and sink hoses with something more flexible and stronger. If your psi is over 100, you need to call a plumber like Lamco. They can install a pressure reducing valve on the main line and save you major problems in the future.

So if you have noticed any problems with your water pressure, low or high, it wouldn’t hurt to add testing your water pressure to your Spring Cleaning to do list. A professional plumber, like Lamco, can come on out and test your water pressure, and address any issues to prevent any expensive future problems.

If you are interested in improving your plumbing system give us a call. Lamco plumbing has been a trusted Decatur plumber  for almost thirty years. We have the tools, knowledge, and experience to handle all your plumbing installation, repairs and maintenance. For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit us on the web.   And feel free to call us when problems arise or with any questions or concerns.

256-227-5862