Tips & Tricks
“With all of the rain we get in the Lowcountry, having issues with sewer lines due to roots is pretty common. Here are a few tips:
- Never plant shrubs, trees, or bushes near your sewer line. Flowers or bulbs are usually okay because of the limited root growth. If you do want some shrubs or bushes, spend just a few minutes learning their root growth patterns to know the distance away you need to plant so as not to cause an issue.
- “Snaking” or “Cabling” a line has NOT fixed the problem. Just because you have had the roots cuts out, the problem is still there. At best you have bought yourself some time. Have a camera inspection done to find the cause of the problem and have it repaired correctly, otherwise the issue will return.
- A Sewer Popper works like a check valve for your sewer line. It will stop the house from becoming flooded with less than wanted water and debris should the clog/issue begin between the city tap and the sewer line. 95% of disruptions happen where the elements can be the deciding influence. Nothing can prevent it from backing up, but at least this keeps the cleanup out in the yard where you can use a garden hose.” – Adam (March 2015)
“I have been receiving quite a few calls for garbage disposers – most of the time I am able to assist over the phone without the need to charge a service fee.
A disposer makes one of 3 sounds typically. It makes a “nyum nyum nyum,” I am eating everything, which is its normal sound. If it makes a humming sound that means it is jammed. And if it makes no sound, that means it is no longer receiving power. 99% of the time hitting the rest button and clearing the jamb will resolve these issues.
When looking to purchase a new garbage disposer, look for one that has the ability to relieve the jamb without using a hammer or broom handle. And I always suggest using a pair of tongs to remove items from your disposer. Should it happen to turn on, replacing a pair of tongs is far easier than replacing fingers as humans to do not have the same regeneration capabilities as a crustacean.
Should you have any additional questions or concerns pertaining to your garbage disposer or any of your other plumbing needs, please feel free to contact Adam with Professional Plumbing. We always appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.” – Adam (March 2015)
“I went to give an estimate today on a house with 6 inches of water in their crawl space.
The previous “plumber” saved the customer a few hundred dollars on the project, but is now going to cost them most likely more than $5K in repairs, and they will still have to have the house completely re-piped again! The previous “plumber” used inferior parts to make the connections at every joint because they did not have the correct tools to perform the task to code. As expected, that “plumber” was neither licensed nor insured. The homeowners insurance may even deny the claim as far as the damages are concerned, and definitely will not be paying for the work to be redone correctly. Taking 2 minutes to verify a license and insurance is most definitely in the best interest of the consumer. Anyone who would have a problem showing you their credentials is someone you will most likely want to avoid, no matter the price.
Due to the government changing its regulations upon energy efficiency of water heaters, the next few months may be an issue to replace a tank style electric water heater. There is a new design requirement and manufacturers are phasing out the old style. Some sizes will no longer be made without a heat pump system. For instance, an 80 gallon old style would cost between $500-$600, the new style is $1,800. That is just the bare cost of the water heater and does not include installation or the materials to install it to code: expansion tank, pipe fittings, seismic straps, etc.” – Adam (April 2015)
“Here are a few tips for toilets:
If it doesn’t come out of your body, or come off a toilet paper roll, it does NOT go in the toilet. Things such as “flushable wipes,” cleaning wipes, any feminine hygiene products or paper towels are not only terrible for a septic system, but also your drain lines. They are made of a stronger fiber material that doesn’t break down like toilet paper does. They can easily cling on stuff in your drain lines and clog up an entire sewer line.
Q-Tips can also clog up a toilet. Just because it flushes once, doesn’t mean it will every time. The best advice I can give is to have a trash can in the bathroom for all of these other items that people flush down the toilet that were never designed to be flushed.
Also, any cleaning systems that you leave in the toilet should never go in the tank. The chemicals used to clean toilets with every flush, sit in the tank and corrode all of the gaskets, seals, and flapper. Meaning you will be repairing more leaks and doing more maintenance to have blue water when you flush. Should you decide to use a cleaning system, make sure it is one that remains in the bowl, which is where you really want the cleaning to happen anyways.
NEVER caulk in your toilet. Your wax ring IS GOING TO FAIL. When it does, you want to know as soon as possible. At least a few times a year I have to give someone the bad news that their sub floor is rotted away due to the wax ring failing and the caulking holding the water under the toilet. Had the home owner known it was leaking, they could have repaired it for far less than replacing all of the flooring and part of the sub floor.” – Adam (March 2015)
“If you Google “SC License Look Up”, it will take you less than 2 minutes to verify if someone has a license or not.
You can look up the license(s) they have by name (first and last), company name, or license number.
When someone claims to be a “contractor”, you can verify if that is true or they just have a specialty license in flooring. “Handyman” licenses DO NOT exist. The individual can have up to 3 specialty licenses in things such as painting, flooring, roofing, carpentry, sheet rock, etc. Mechanical licenses are needed for HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing.
A lot of fake license numbers are being thrown on CL and Facebook as a way of trying to make people believe someone is licensed. There is NO NEED for someone to try to “hide” their license from the public. And the claim, “I give that information to my customers” is a bunch of bull. If you wanted to give it to your customers, put it in your ad for them to verify. They are hoping you don’t know how to look it up, forget to ask, or they can give you a BS number.
Every licensed professional I know knows their license number immediately without looking it up, carries their “pocket card” on them (which is required for them to pull a permit and is never left at the office), and is more than happy to give you their information. Stop falling for their “scams” and then get annoyed when you are scammed. This is the perfect way to protect yourself and warn others.” – Adam (April 2015)
“When deciding on new a new counter top, please be aware of the unintended consequences of your decision.
The thicker counter top may not work with the faucet you have picked out. Most faucets were designed for a “deck height”, which is the term for the thickness of the counter top, of 1″ or less. A lot of the granite counter tops now being produced are closer to 1 1/4″ thick and either a different faucet will have to be purchased, or a faucet extension kit specifically for that manufacturer and style will need to be installed.
When replacing the counter top, the under mount sink seems to be a growing trend, especially a deeper sink. This too may have unintended consequences. The drain outlet connection at the wall is already set. By lowering the connection at the sink, you have changed the flow ability of the drainage system to the wall. This may cause the ability of the sink to drain in a negative slope therefore creating a waste stall or a terrible smell to retain as the water and waste can not properly drain without moving the drain outlet. It can also mean the new garbage disposer won’t be able to be installed as it sits a few inches below the sink.
Please keep these things in mind to allow your renovation to move as smoothly as possible. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call. Professional Plumbing never charges a fee for free advice.” – Adam (May 2015)
“CLOG is a 4-letter word. Doesn’t matter where it happens, or when, it is a terrible inconvenience at the least.
Some clogs we can assist you with over the phone saving you the time and money of a basic service call. Others require some serious equipment.
When we clear a stoppage in a main line, we always give you a camera inspection. What good is clearing something if it is just going to happen again. We will tell you what caused it and how to prevent it from happening again.
If you have any questions about a stoppage, or any other plumbing related items, please feel free to call/text/message at any time and we will do our best to assist you. As always, we appreciate any opportunity to EARN your business.” – Adam (July 2015)
“These are “Flushable Wipes” that ended up stopping up the sewer line and flooding the residence.
General rule of thumb for flushing things down the toilet are if it doesn’t come from your body, or roll of Charmin, it doesn’t belong in the toilet. You may substitute Charmin for any paper of your choosing.
Things such as flushable wipes, paper towels, hygiene products, etc. can/will clog up your sewer line. Between the plumbing repairs (least expensive portion of the project), water restoration, removal and replacement of flooring (including trim and baseboard), and painting, this occurrence will cost over $5,000 to the property owner. Insurance may not cover this and the people occupying the property will be inconvenienced for a few weeks.
Should you have any additional questions or concerns about your Plumbing system, please feel free to contact Professional Plumbing anytime. We never charge a thing to assist you over the phone!” – Adam (July 2016)
“Flushing a tank style water heater is something every home owner can do themselves with a few minutes of time and a water hose.
A lot of companies offer this service for a “reduced fee” in order to sell you a water heater. It is as simple as connecting the hose to the water heater, ensuring the hose end is somewhere it can safely drain, and opening the valve for 5-10 minutes. The water coming in will push out the bulk of the sediment. The drain is higher than the bottom of the tank, so not all sediment will be removed. Sometimes the valve may get clogged with larger pieces, but opening and closing the valve will often allow sediment to get crushed and pass. We never install water heaters from the big box stores as their drain valves are usually plastic instead of brass. The brass valves are much stronger for reducing sediment size and are more reliable. These are recommended to flush once a year by most water heater manufacturers. If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other plumbing related issues, please feel free to contact us directly. You can call, text, email, or even message us on Facebook. We know EARNING YOUR BUSINESS does not mean earning your money.” – Adam (August 2016)
“Let’s Talk Toilets!
With the change of the season, football season that is, there is a ritual bestowed upon the porcelain throne that adds a bit of additional strain. HALFTIME!!!
This occurrence often happens multiple times over a weekend. During this 15 minute intermission, a congregation can occur at the lavatories. This is where your buddy decides that his appreciation of your fine grilling and bountiful hosting is to be returned to you in a less desirable fashion. 3 burgers, half a rack of ribs, and a few dozen chicken wings will not easily pass through a lesser vessel. If you are lucky, you have a plunger up to the task. But, why should this be an issue at all?
Professional Plumbing highly recommends American Standard to restore your manly dignity and reduce shame to your household dwelling. The Champion 4 and Cadet 3 are both models that will greatly reduce or even eliminate your need to ever have to plunge again! This will restore proper bathroom flow for your patrons, and ensure everyone makes it back before the start of the second half.
The Cadet 3 is the more economical of the two. It is not quite as powerful, but is vastly superior to just about every builder grade model installed into new homes these days. Comes in the taller height for shorter fall should you have too many libations.
The Champion 4 is the current King of the Commodes! With a fully glazed p-trap, a piping system that is roughly 40% larger than the competitions, a large flush assembly that drops all of your Hydro Power in 1-1.5 seconds, and a flush system in the bowl that pushes your previous meal into the drain rather than swirling it around like a terrible NASCAR race, makes it an amazing piece of engineering! In the last 5 years we have been installing the Champion 4, we have NEVER seen one stopped up under normal conditions, or any conditions even.
Now, lots of toilets make the claim about “flushing golf balls”. This seems impressive until you realize the golf balls are round, smooth, and flow fairly easily through a piping system. The real test comes in application. I am so confident in these toilets that I removed all of them from my personal abode and installed the Champion 4 toilets exclusively.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this exhausting diatribe on our old porcelain friend. Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask in the field below or by private messenger. Thank you!” – Adam (September 2016)