Posts Tagged ‘Plumbing Tips’

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


Frozen pipes in Decatur, Alabama Not a Pipe Dream

Frozen pipes in Decatur, Alabama may sound more like a pipe dream than a real potential problem, but it happens more than you would imagine. With recent winter storms and freezing temperatures homeowners are waking up to thousands of dollars worth of damage from frozen pipes. Frozen pipes that fracture become leaky pipes, or worse, burst pipes. The average insurance claim for water damage from burst or frozen pipes is 15 thousand dollars…that is if you  have insurance and they cover all the damage. So if your local news is forecasting freezing temperatures it’s best to take preventive steps.

What causes frozen pipes?

Frozen pipes are easy science. When water freezes it expands. When water freezes inside a container is expands against that container causing pressure on the walls. If this expansion happens regularly, or the container is old, than the walls of the container begin to weaken and may fracture or burst. Frozen water can be extremely destructive to a pipe regardless of what the pipe is made of. The most vulnerable pipes are copper pipes. When frozen they easily burst, even spilt right down the center. If a pipe bursts inside your home while you are sleeping you could wake up to a flooded home. In one hour a burst pipe can spill hundreds of gallons of water into your home if you don’t know what to do.

How to prevent your pipes from freezing.

First you need to identify pipes that are most at risk of freezing. Pipes that run outside to hoses, water sprinklers, and swimming pools are obvious culprits. Make sure you follow the manufacturer guidelines when it comes to draining your swimming pool and sprinkler lines and do this before the cold water comes, otherwise, come summer you may be replacing those lines. And before the cold weather creeps up make sure to drain and put away your hoses. Also flush out the hose bibs by first closing the inside valve that supplies the outdoor hose bib, and then leave the outdoor hose bib open so all the water can drain out. Leave the outdoor hose bib open throughout the winter months, this will help prevent water from building up, freezing, and breaking the pipe.

In addition to your outdoor water lines you need to take preventive measure to protect your interior water lines. Any pipes that run along exterior walls are at risk of freezing. Water supply lines in basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages and lines that run against exterior walls behind the cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms  are also at risk.  Here is Decatur, Alabama pipes are often un-insulated or under-insulated. This is a big mistake. If you find an at risk pipe that is un-insulated or under-insulated you can try insulating it yourself using  pipe sleeves or heat tape. Or you can call one of our Lamco technicians and they can come out, identify all your at-risk pipes and insulate them in one visit. If you are unable or uninterested in going through your crawl spaces we would highly suggest calling one of our trained Lamco technicians to come out get your home winter ready for the years to come.

Finally, when the weather turns frosty outside and you know we will be getting a cold snap, leave the cabinet and closet doors open so that the warm air from the house can reach those pipes all day and night. However, make sure little ones can’t get to any harmful chemicals or sharp objects. Next, consider leaving a small trickle of water running from both taps in your faucets. Flowing water freezes slower than standing water. And finally, if you leave the house make sure you set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.

What to do if your pipes freeze.

If you wake up one Decatur, Alabama morning after a cold snap and try to turn your sink or shower on and there is no water or only a small trickle it probably means you have some frozen pipes. It can be difficult to identify a frozen pipe and once identified it can take a long time to defrost them. Whatever you do don’t ignore the problem. It can take months for a pipe to defrost. If you can locate the frozen pipe you could try a space heater or a heating pad but be careful not to expose electrical appliances to water. Also, never use a blow torch or open flame on a pipe. This can cause irreparable damage to the pipe and even cause it to burst. If you can’t defrost the pipe you should definitely call a reliable plumber like Lamco. It probably means that you have more than one frozen pipe. Here at Lamco we have special video equipment that will help us find the blockage, and special equipment that can safely defrost the pipe within minutes. Lamco is committed to our customer’s satisfaction and we have a cleanliness guarantee. And that’s a good thing…because frozen pipes can be a complicated and messy business.

Finally, if you wake up and find wet or damp drywall or floors, or your household water pressure has dropped, this means one of your pipes may have fractured or burst. Immediately turn off your  main water supply and then call a professional or experienced plumber like us, Lamco plumbing, to fix, repair, or replace the burst pipe. 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.


Let Lamco Plumbing Keep your Decatur Area Home in Good Shape This Holiday

Tips and Hints to Avoid a Holiday Plumbing Disaster

As a leading plumbing company in the Decatur, AL area, Lamco Plumbing and our master plumbers work hard each and every day to make sure that our clients and community get the best possible treatment in the service industry. Above all else, we want you to feel comfortable and happy in your own home. The holiday season came quickly and now that it has arrived, this is the perfect time for plumbing mishaps in the kitchen and bathroom. Appliances and plumbing fixtures can cause many unwanted inconveniences this time of year and we wanted to take a few minutes to give you some pointers on how to avoid plumbing disasters this Christmas season!

*Check out our Customer Testimonials*

Thanksgiving and Christmastime are two of the biggest times of the year for plumbing problems in your home. With the amount of cooking done and guests you are hosting, clogged garbage disposals, overused dishwashers and clogged toilets are extremely common among other things. Don’t let these things take a negative toll of your happy holiday mentality! Let our Lamco Plumbing contractors help you avoid a plumbing catastrophe!

Dishwasher Tips:

  • Your dishwasher drains into the same pipe as your sink does so it is important that it isn’t clogged. Try running your garbage disposal before you start your dishwasher to make sure that nothing is trapped inside.
  • If the water in your dishwasher starts at a higher temperature you will get cleaner dishes so try running a little bit of hot water down your sink drain before you run your dishwasher.
  • The perfect temperature setting for the best clean in your dishwasher is 120°F.
  • Try to conserve water and energy by only running your dishwasher when it is fully loaded… and try to load it properly! Stacking your dishes inward and facing down will not only allow more dishes to fit but it will also give you the best clean. A full dishwasher is great but don’t overdo it or your dishes won’t get clean and you’ll have to run it again.
  • Pre-rinse selectively. If you are going to use the amount of water you usually do to pre-rinse you are better off just washing the dishes. The quality of dishwashers and dishwasher soaps and detergents right now is high. One night try running a load without rinsing them first. You may be impressed with what you find!

Tips for the Garbage Disposal:

  • Be careful what you put down your garbage disposer! Here is a list of foods you shouldn’t put down your drain to avoid an unnecessary clog:
    • Hard materials like seeds, pits, egg shells and small bones
    • Liquids including cooking fats, greases and oils
    • Fibrous foods like carrots, corn husks, banana peels and celery
    • Foods that expand with water including rice and pasta
  • If your garbage disposal smells funny, a garbage disposer degreaser can fix that. Just make sure it has been authorized by a garbage disposal manufacturer to be sure it is safe for your drain and pipes. A great product that we stand behind is Total-C, a drain treatment product. Not only is it good for smells but it is also a great drain maintenance product.
  •  Avoid using citrus food to try to freshen the scent because in the long-run, they can corrode your pipes.
  • After each use, run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds. This will ensure that excess substances, materials and foods will be cleared out of your drain pipe.
  • Preventative Tip:  Consider having your kitchen drained snaked every two years. Even if you take all precautions to keep your drain clean, you never know what could be hiding down there! If you haven’t had a problem yet, don’t let a major unexpected problem make you get a new garbage disposal.

Save $25 on Garbage Disposal Installation

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Toilet Paper Tips:

*Toilet paper usage heavily increases around the holidays! If you aren’t careful, you could have some major drain cleaning problems in your future! Avoid clogged drains in your home by using some of these toilet paper tips:

  • Watch how much you use! If you use too much toilet paper on a regular basis it could cause damage to your plumbing system… and a stopped drain may end up requiring snake drain cleaning.
  • Now you see it… Now you don’t! Toilet paper that dissolves faster is better for your plumbing system. The thicker the paper is the more likely it is to take longer. Keep your eye out!
  • Don’t flush “flushable” wipes or any other materials down there. The truth is, flushable wipes aren’t always so flushable. They gather as they travel down your pipes into your septic plumbing system and eventually form giant balls of un-dissolvable material. This can lead to sewer line obstructions and big costly sewer repair in your future.

Do You Need a Drain Cleaning Service?

Save $20 on Drain Cleaning Today!

Nobody wants to handle dishwasher repair, get garbage disposal installation or need cable drain cleaning around Christmastime. You should be enjoying each and every moment you can with your friends, family and loved ones. Take advantage of the helpful tips from our certified plumbers and you’re one step ahead of the game. But, if problems should ever find you and you are in need of a plumbing repair service or local plumber services for any reason, count on Lamco Plumbing in the Decatur, AL area!

Contact Us at 256.227.5862