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Plumbing Tips from Accent Plumbing & Heating in Upper Tantallon


Save money and save yourself the frustration by following these simple tips for unclogging your drains and reducing your water heating expenses! If you need professional help with a specific plumbing issue, simply call Accent Plumbing & Heating!


Unclog Drains

Ever since the invention of the drain there have been clogs. Fortunately, there are few ways to clear drains and keep it clog-free. These include:

  • Bent Wire Hanger — If you notice your shower drain starting to back up, it is usually a clog of hair and soap scum. One of the best ways to remedy this is to straighten out a metal wire coat hanger. Bend the very end of the hanger into a small ‘V’ or ‘U’ shape so it can easily grip the hair and soap scum, then push this through the drain. It may take a few tries, but you should be able to remove enough of the gunk to clear the drain.

  • Hair Snare — A bath and sink hair snare is a long plastic tool with serrated teeth. This device is great at gripping and removing shallow clogs caused by hair accumulation and soap scum.

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar — Remember the volcano experiments you used to do as a kid? The same ingredients can also help unclog your drains! Simply pour about a 1/3 of a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by enough vinegar for you to either see the vinegar come back up or you no longer hear a “fizzing” sound. Try to leave this preparation in the drain for several hours before flushing with hot water.

  • Wet Vacuum — If you own a shop-vac with a wet suction setting, you can create a seal around the draining opening with the head of a plunger and attempt to suck out the clog that way. Be sure to cover the exhaust vent with a light cloth to avoid a mess.


Save on Your Water Heating Bill

While choosing showers over baths and spending less time in the shower are all great ways to reduce your water heating expenses, there are a few other ways you can cut down on your costs:

  • Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater

  • Install Heat Traps on Your Hot Water Heater

  • Insulate the First Couple Feet of Your Hot and Cold Lines

  • Upgrade Your Laundry Washer to an Energy Efficient Model

  • Use Cold Setting on Laundry Loads

  • Purchase an Efficient Water Heater


Faucet Freezing & Splitting

To prevent an outside faucet from freezing and splitting, make sure to remove the garden hose in the fall before the temperature drops below the freezing point. Modern frost-free outdoor faucets are designed to drain to the outside once the valve is closed. If a hose is connected, it will not allow the water out, thereby causing freezing and possible damage.


Operating a Garburator

When using a garburator, be sure to run lots of cold water during operation and for a couple of minutes after to flush any food particles well down into the larger parts of your home’s drainage system.


Greases & Fats in Drains

To prevent build up and blockage of your kitchen drain, always wipe away as much grease as possible from dishes and pans before rinsing or washing in the kitchen sink. Dispose of this in a compost bin. Never pour grease or fat of any type down a drain.


Cleaning Drains

Refrain from pouring corrosive drain cleaners down any drain; these can harm piping systems, septic systems, drain cleaning equipment and the environment. Use an environmentally friendly drain maintenance product like Bio-Clean® on a regular basis to keep drains operating at their full potential.


Low Water Pressure

If you are experiencing low water pressure, check to see if there is a filter that is clogged or a water treatment system that is in need of servicing. One way to tell is to bypass the filter or treatment and see if the pressure is better. If so it may be just a replacement filter that you can purchase and change, or it could be a water treatment specialist that you need.


Instructions to Reset Low Water Cut-Off Pressure Switch after Loss of Water Pressure due to a Power Outage or Running Out of Water

  1. Locate pressure switch. This is usually a small, gray box about 3-½” x 2-½” x 2-½” attached to the piping on the pressure tank.

  2. Locate the reset lever. This is a small silver lever about 1" long on the side of the pressure switch.

  3. Locate the AUTO / START / OFF positions. These are labelled on the side of the pressure switch. The lever should be in the AUTO position.

  4. Locate the pressure gauge. This is a small, round dial indicator usually attached to the piping on the pressure tank near the pressure switch. The pressure should read “zero” or very low.

  5. Move the reset lever into the start position, typically at a 45-degree angle. You should hear water moving into the pressure tank from the well. Hold the reset lever in the start position until the gauge reads over 40 PSI and let it return to the AUTO position. The pump should now run on its own and continue until the pressure reaches the cut-out setting, usually between 50 - 60 PSI, and then shut off.


Note: Low water cut-off pressure switches are designed to protect your submersible pump in the event of the water level dropping below your pump. If your pump still will not start after performing the above sequence, please call us at 902-832-4357 as there could be other factors that may require a professional.

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