Water in Basement: How to Tell if You Have a Leak

water in basementMany leaks are large and easy to see. When you see a pool of water it`s pretty obvious you have a problem; but a lot of time a leak is harder to spot. Here are some things you should look for if you suspect you have a leak in your basement.

  • Efflorescence: This is a whitish material that can be found on stone surfaces.  It usually appears when water is passing through the walls, like what happens when your basement is experiencing seepage or a leak.
  • Mold and Mildew: This appears in the area where water is leaking through the walls of your basement. Mold and mildew often brings with it an extremely unpleasant  odor as well and can lead to respiratory problems for your family and anyone else who enters your home.
  • Rust Stains: Moisture leads to rust, so if you find any signs of rust on your metal appliances you may have a leak in your basement.
  • Stained Floors: Check your floors, whether they be carpet, hardwood or another material. If you see any sorts of stains you may have a leak.
  • Dampness or Staining Around Floor Cracks: Sometimes water comes up through the floor due to groundwater. So, if you find dampness or staining around floor cracks this is a sign that water is forcing itself up through the floor of your basement.
  • Water Bugs: Many insects and bugs are attracted to pools of water and moisture. Look for small insects along the baseboards, behind sofas, in corners or anywhere else in your basement. Make sure there`s no food or other items that may attract bugs. If you can`t find any of that then it might be a leak that is bringing them in.

For more information on water in basement, go to Basement Healer.

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How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

ImageA garbage disposal is an extremely handy device… until it gets clogged. All of a sudden you have a backup of water on both sides of your sink and, old food floating around in your sink and some really awful smells.

This may seem like a complicated problem, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few simple steps to unclog your garbage disposal.

The first thing you should try is baking soda and vinegar. Take about half a box of the baking soda and poor it on the side of the sink where the garbage disposal is located and then the other half on the other side. Then add the vinegar to both side, pouring most of it on the side opposite of where the garbage disposal (this is likely where the clogged pipe is.

Allow this concoction to sit for about 30 minutes and then pour hot water over the mixture. This should hopefully fix the clog.

If the vinegar and baking soda solution doesn’t work then you’ll need to start taking your pipes apart. You’ll need a couple of old rags and a bucket because once you open the pipes some gunk is going to start falling out.  The part where the pipe bends (the elbow) is where most clogs occur, so focus your efforts there. Once you think you’ve solved the problem put the pipes back together and run some hot water through the pipes

Another option is to pour bleach down both sides of the sink. Allow it to sit for a while before flushing it with hot water. To help deal with the smell slice up some citrus fruits and put them through the garbage disposal

You just potentially saved yourself hundreds of dollars by taking care of a clogged garbage disposal or clogged drain yourself.

Water Heater Leaking: What you need to know

Water Heater Leaking may not seem like something to worry about, but it can become a big problem if not dealt with quickly. It doesn’t take a lot of water to create mold, and if you let a leak sit long enough the water can cause damage to your floors and walls. If you have a leak it’s important to act quickly.

The most important thing to do is to take some safety precautions.

First, you’re going to want to shut off the power to your water heater. If you have an electric water heater shut off the power at the circuit breaker. If you have a gas water heater then you will have to locate the on/off dial and turn the dial to off.

If you have a serious water heater leak, then you’ll want to shut off the cold water supply. Just be careful and avoid any water coming from your hot water tank. This water may extremely hot and can cause serious burns. The cold water shut-off valve if usually located above the tank. If you can’t get to it safely then you will have to locate the main water shut-off valve for your house.

If the water heater leaking isn’t serious, and you can’t tell where the water is coming from you may want to leave the water on for the time. This will help you locate the source of the leak.

There are a few locations to check when you’re dealing with water heater leaking:

  • The inlet and outlet pipes leading from the water heater
  • The temperature and pressure relief valve
  • The drain valve
  • The bottom of the tank

Once you’ve found the source of the leak, shut off the cold water supply if you haven’t already done so.

In most cases, a leak means that your water heater will need to be replaced. Although I’m an avid DIY’er, if this is the case I recommend calling a professional plumber to remove and replace the water heater.

That’s how you deal with water heater leaking.

How to Deal With a Clogged Sink

So, you’re getting ready for your day and using your bathroom sink. Suddenly you notice the water level is getting high. You add a little more water and nothing. The sink isn’t draining. It’s clogged. So how do you fix it? You could call a plumber, but that’s not what this blog is about. I’m going to show you how you can unclog a drain all by yourself.

Here are four simple ways to fix a clogged drain using nothing but regular household products.

Method 1: Plunger

You may think a plunger is just for toilets, but it also works on sinks as well. Simply make sure that the entire cup of the plunger is covering the drain and all other outlets are plugged (a rag will work just fine). Then just go to town on that drain. Plunge vigorously six to ten times. If the drain is still clogged after this then you might have to try a different method.

Method 2: Baking Soda and Vinegar

If the plunger doesn’t work then give this method a try. Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a half cup of vinegar and then hot water. The acidic reaction that takes place will hopefully fix the clog. You may have to perform this method a few times to get it all.

Method 3: Baking Soda and Salt 

Here’s another thing you can try. Pour one cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt down the drain. Let this concoction sit for a few hours. Then, pour two cups of boiling water down the drain.

Method 4: Repurpose a Metal Hanger

If none of the above methods get rid of the clog then you’re going to have to get a little more aggressive. Get a mettle hanger and unbend it until you’re left with a long mettle wire. Shove this down the drain and see if you can pull anything out.

Good luck!

Welcome!

This blog will be all about home plumbing. We’d all like to know more about plumbing so we can better take care of our home, but there’s a lot to learn. That’s what this blog is for: to give you a few tips on how to take care of the plumbing in your home.

Have a look a look at the articles to learn how to unclog drains, deal with water heater leaking and more. Hopefully this blog will of helpful in managing the various types of plumbing in your home.