3 Ways That Greywater Recycling Decreases Home Water Bills

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3 Ways That Greywater Recycling Decreases Home Water Bills

Clean, fresh drinking water is a precious commodity that is at risk of becoming scarce. Although the supply of fresh water on earth has not changed significantly over the last several centuries, the population on the planet and the rate of water consumption has since exploded. It's true that close to 70% of the planet's surface is covered with water.

However, only 2 ½% of it is fresh water, and 1% of that is conveniently within reach. The remaining fresh water is frozen in glaciers and ice fields.

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Meanwhile, most Americans consume hundreds of gallons of water every day. Much of the water we send down our drains is relatively clean and could be useful for use where potable water is not required. By retaining this water and directing it for other uses, you can reduce your water consumption costs and make your home more environmentally friendly.

Recycling Water in Your Home

In very much the same way that sorting recyclable materials can prevent it from being directed to landfills and putting it to productive use instead, the same can be achieved with the wastewater from your home by separating greywater and blackwater. Blackwater is water from your toilet, whereas greywater, which is water from sinks, baths, and showers, isn't as significantly contaminated. Despite looking dirty and containing grease, hair, soap and other materials, greywater can still be a great source for irrigation.

Greywater Recycling Systems

Greywater systems are designed to gather used water from showers, sinks, and bathtubs and store it for a short time. The water is filtered before being redirected to subsurface irrigation systems. Excess greywater is automatically discarded through the sewage system to avoid stagnation.

The addition of a greywater system necessitates the installation of separate plumbing lines to collect greywater and blackwater in your home.

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Important Greywater Safety Tips

The use of grey water for irrigation around your home is perfectly safe if you follow certain guidelines. Greywater has a greater chance of containing bacteria that can lead to waterborne pathogens; so direct contact with it should be avoided.

Water from your subsurface infiltration system should not be allowed to pool or runoff, as this could attract mosquitoes or leach into the water supply. Greywater is ideal for the irrigation of lawns, trees, and decorative plant life, but should not be used in vegetable gardens.

To help protect your soil and plants, it is advisable to use eco-friendly soaps and detergents that do not contain strong chemicals like chlorine, boron or salts.

You can find out more about greywater systems and other ways to reduce your water bills and make your home more environmentally friendly by speaking with one of the qualified experts at Ira Hansen & Sons Plumbing. Call 775-626-7777 to schedule your appointment.


Risks of Not Performing These Simple Water Heater Maintenance Tasks

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Risks of Not Performing These Simple Water Heater Maintenance Tasks

If you knew there was something you could do to prevent water heater malfunctions, improve efficiency, save money and add years to the life of your water heater, would you do it?

home-water-heater-maintenanceWhen it comes to water heater maintenance, you don’t have to spend a fortune or commit to weeks of work to ensure your water heater is working safely and efficiently.

In fact, not trying these water heater maintenance tasks is riskier and could have serious repercussions for homeowners.

Reasons to Clean the Water Tank

Cleaning your hot water tank may be low on your list of priorities, but it’s a task you should make time for at least once per year.

The annual task of emptying and cleaning the tank will help with the buildup of sediment. If your water contains hard minerals such as calcium, you most likely have sediment buildup near the bottom and on the side of the tank walls.

When hard water reacts with heat, the calcium precipitates and gathers in the tank. This sediment is dangerous because it creates blockages in the system and creates the perfect environment for corrosion to happen.

By not cleaning your tank on a regular basis, you will notice your water heater working less efficiently, requiring frequent repairs and even needing to be replaced sooner rather than later.

Why Change the Temperature Settings?

When your water heater comes from the manufacturer, it is programmed at 140 degrees. For most homeowners, this is an excessive temperature that results in scalding hot water and an increase of sediment in the tank.

By changing the temperature to 120 or even 130, you are setting a more reasonable temperature without forsaking the heating power or temperature of your water. Homeowners who lower their temperature settings notice lower energy bills and reduced sediment when they go to clean their tanks.

faucet-hot-waterAre Tank Insulators a Good Investment?

When it comes to investments versus returns, not much comes close to being a better deal than water tank insulators. These pre-cut jackets are available at most hardware stores and usually cost around $20. They easily slide over the tank and help keep water hotter for longer, reducing the stress, and wear and tear on your water heater.

Some tanks are already insulated. You can check if yours is insulated by looking at the side of the tank and noticing the R-value. If the R-value is below 24, you may want to invest in a tank insulator.

These tips are simple, easy to do and inexpensive. Reducing your monthly costs, improving efficiency and making sure your water heater lasts for years to come is simple if you follow through with these tasks.

For more information on water heater savings and maintenance, call 775-626-7777 and speak with the expert advisors at Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing servicing the Reno, NV area.


Improve Your Home Before the 4th of July Holiday

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Improve Your Home Before the 4th of July Holiday

With Summer just around the corner, many of us are preparing for block parties, family get-togethers, and backyard barbecues. In addition to a beautiful backyard space to call your own, you need a place where you and your guests can take a break from the hot Summer sun.

summer-gardeningAt the end of the day, you're also going to want a nice area to retreat and relax at night when all your guests have left.

Here are six home improvement ideas you should consider finishing before the Fourth of July rolls around. These simple ideas will turn your home into a paradise perfect for entertaining.

  • New coat of paint
  • Lawn cares tips
  • Clean your deck
  • Check your outdoor faucets
  • Renovate your living room/kitchen

Tip #1: A Fresh Coat of Paint

Are you getting tired of looking at the same boring colors on your walls? When done correctly, a fresh coat of paint is a simple and inexpensive way dramatically to change the appearance of your home from drab to downright gorgeous.

A special warning to homeowners: If you own a property inside a planned housing development (these are usually run by a Homeowner's Association or similar entity), you might want to check the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) to make sure which colors are permitted, or if you can even paint your house at all.

If the Homeowner's Association learns you are using an unapproved color scheme or are painting your house when you're not supposed to, they can legally force you to repaint your house at your expense, adding additional cost. Avoid this mistake and follow the established CC&Rs for your particular housing development.

Tip #2: Lawn Care Tips

During the Summer months, most lawns turn brown due to either over-watering or watering at the inopportune time of day. Watering the lawn in the late afternoon is the worst thing you can do to your lawn due to evaporation and lack of rainfall. Your lawn may begin to lose its color due to the daily stresses from heat, foot traffic, insects, etc. Here are some other tips you might want to take into consideration:

cleaning the deckFertilizer is Bad for Some Grasses! - According to the experts at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, a company that makes lawn and garden products, you should avoid fertilizing cold-season grasses during the Summer months because cold-season grasses are not as resistant to high temperatures as warm-season grasses. Only warm-season grasses such as Bahia Grass, Bermuda Grass, and St. Augustine Grass should be fertilizer.

(By the way, dog waste is also a type of fertilizer, so when you walk your dog, make sure to bring a plastic bag and a "pooper-scooper" with you to clean up after your faithful friend.)

However, that doesn't mean you should fertilize your lawn in the 100-degree heat. Extremes in temperatures will affect warm-season grasses as well, so be wary of this.

Scotts also recommends putting down a fertilizer with some insect control agent to control lawn-killing weeds and insects. (We will go more into that in the next two sections.)

Start Your "Grass Roots" Campaign. - Your lawn is a veritable all-day buffet for insects and bugs. Mosquitoes, grubs, locusts, certain types of ants and much more would all love to make a meal out of your lawn and its roots if you let them. However, certain types of pesticide will only kill certain kinds of insects. Make sure the pesticide you select is formulated for use on the target pest and will not kill the lawn.

Call the Weed Patrol. - Along with insects, there are different types of weeds such as the Dandelion or Milkweed. Note that weeds are tough to kill, and can regrow if even a piece of root is left behind, and weeds spread by scattering seeds in all directions.

These seeds will create next year's crop, so if you see any weeds whatsoever, it is important to kill them as soon as possible. You can remove the weeds by hand (though it's exceedingly challenging and time-consuming) or by applying a pesticide. As with pesticides, make sure the type of herbicide you select will not kill the grass as well.

Tread Lightly, For This Ground, is Sacred! - You may think your next-door neighbors are mean and unfriendly when they ask you not to step on the grass, but they are trying to protect their lawn from damage. Stepping on the grass puts severe stress on a lawn, and can make your lawn go dormant in high-traffic areas. However, it's not entirely justified, as some types of grass are more tolerant to foot traffic than others. Your neighbors may not know that.

Those of you who have a problem with people walking on your grass might consider installing cement blocks designed for people to walk upon, choose a different type of grass that is more tolerant to foot traffic or even replacing the grass in the high-traffic area with mulch. All these steps will save you major headaches.

Tip #3: Clean the Deck

People love a backyard deck for relaxing and entertaining guests! Your deck should be cleaned at least once every six months. Thoroughly sweep and power-wash the deck to remove dirt and debris, then use a deck cleanser specifically designed for the type of material your floor is made from (typically, a floor is made of wood, composite materials or vinyl.)

Vinyl will be the easiest to clean since you don't need a particular type of cleanser for vinyl. Just plain soap and water should work. Refer to HouseLogic.com's deck care tips and the instructions on the back of the product label for specific cleaning instructions.

Tip #4: Check your Outdoor Faucets

Although most damage to outdoor faucets occurs during the Winter months, when pipes can freeze and burst, it can easily go unnoticed for a considerable time because we don't pay attention to the upkeep of our outdoor faucets, and checking-for-hot-waterdon't even use them until late Spring or early Summer, when we want to wash our car or let the kids have a little fun getting wet with the hose.

Before breaking out the water hose, check your outdoor faucets for cracks or splits, and have them replaced if they show any signs of extreme damage, wear or rust.

Tip #5: Renovate Your Living Room/Kitchen

A beautiful living room and kitchen area provide an excellent place to sit and talk with your guests. Ideally, you should make sure you have an unobstructed view from the kitchen to the living room. (This is called an Open Concept Kitchen.)

An open concept kitchen gives a feeling of inclusion into what's going on around you and helps you and your guests feel more relaxed and less isolated from you.

Stainless steel appliances, natural stone countertops, wood floors, cabinets that match the overall color scheme, pendant-style and recessed light fixtures, a beautiful backsplash and an island will all add to the overall look and feel.

Enjoy your holiday, and if you need any plumbing services in the Reno, NV area, call Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing today at (775) 624-8378.


Try to Save Water for the Summer Months

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Try to Save Water for the Summer Months

Summer is one of the best times of year--full of grilling, outdoor activities, and time with friends. However, there's something you should be focused on this Summer: saving water.

rain-barrel-collection-system 10.08.41 AMWater conservation is of particular importance in the Summer when the rainfall is sporadic and days are hot. It is even more crucial to conserve water this year because much of America is facing an unrelenting drought.

Whether you're mainly concerned with cutting is some information about why it's so important to cut water waste, as well as some tips for how to do this easily.

Why Water Conservation is so Important this Summer

With many areas of the country experiencing a terrible drought, and water use ramping up as the temperature rises, it's of paramount importance to be mindful of your water usage. Here are some alarming statistics that might change the way you think about water.

The United States uses 29 billion gallons of water each day, and 9 billion of those gallons come from residential outdoor water use--specifically, landscape maintenance. 50% of this water is completely wasted, usually due to overwatering.

The average American family uses roughly 320 gallons of water per day. During the summertime, this more than triples to a staggering 1,000 gallons! Some families use water more than 3,000 gallons a day, which is the equivalent of leaving a garden hose on for eight hours.

More than a quarter of water of the water use in most homes is from flushing the toilet.

Current estimates predict that the state of California will have a water shortage equivalent to the needs of nearly 12 million families of four by the year 2020. That's only four years away--the time to take action is now.

Close to 95% of water used in American homes goes down the drain.

world-water-conservation Our nation's aging water infrastructure causes 7 billion gallons of drinkable water to leak each day. That's enough water to fill 11,000 swimming pools.

American homes use 127% more water than they did in 1950.

Easy Ways to Save Water

  • Keep Your Lawn Longer-As much as people love having green lawns that are short and bright green in the Summer, this isn't natural and takes far too much water to accomplish. On the bright side, longer grass promotes a more drought-resistant yard and also reduces weeds' ability to grow.
  • Take Showers, Not Baths- Did you know the typical bath uses almost 50 gallons of water? Even then, that's if you only fill up your tub once—-many bathers continually add hot water as their baths cold. An old-fashioned showerhead uses about 20 gallons of water, but installing a low-flow showerhead lets you reduce your water consumption to about 10 gallons per shower--if you take short showers, at least.
  • Use your Dishwasher-Despite what you might think, for households that have two or more people, a dishwasher saves more water than washing dishes in the sink. Conservation experts recommend scraping your dishes clean, not pre-rinsing them, and then only running the dishwasher when it's full.
  • conserve-water Be Smart about Laundry-Today's washing machines are much more efficient, using less water and energy than models built ten years ago, but it's possible to reduce water waste even further. This is possible by only running full loads of laundry. If you have a partial amount that you must wash, adjust your washer's water levels accordingly. Also, avoid your washer's "permanent press" setting, which runs extra water during the final cycle.
  • Fix Leaky Faucets-Eventually, most homes will have at least one dripping faucet. This might not seem like a big problem, but a faucet that leaks a drop per second will waste nearly 2700 gallons of water a year. Leaks get worse over time, too, so it's always a good idea to fix leaky faucets as soon as you can. Luckily, it's easy to stop leaky faucets without a plumber. DIY valve repair kits are available at most hardware stores. Consult your faucet's manual to ensure you buy the proper replacement parts.
  • Turn Off your Faucets when you Brush and Shave-If you're still running the tap while you brush your teeth or shave, you should know that it can waste upwards of 5 gallons of water. Use only as much water as you need.

Conclusion

Nobody's telling you not to enjoy the warmer months, but hopefully, these statistics and tips have informed you about the importance of water conservation this Summer. Water waste is running rampant in America even though it's a simple problem to address by making a few small changes to your daily life.

For more info on this subject, call Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing in Reno, NV today at (775) 624-8378.


Invest in Healthier Water! Get a Filtration System Installed in Your Home

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10 Benefits of an Advanced Water Filtration System

The decision to invest in a new water filter for your home is not a matter to take lightly, and some models are far more advanced and are more capable of filtering out elements from the water than others.

You may be primarily concerned with the look or taste of your water when investing in water filter installation, but you may not realize how unhealthy your water may be for you to drink.

When you make the wise decision to install a water filtration system in your home, you will benefit from having healthier water for you and your family to drink. In fact, there are some key benefits that you can enjoy when you make this thoughtful decision for your home.

Reno, NV water-filter-installationYou will be saving money by no longer spending on costly water bottles.

1. Saving money may not be something that you equate to water filter installation, but it is true that you can save money when you purchase a new water filter for your home.

With a water filter, you will no longer need to purchase expensive water bottles on a regular basis, and this means that you can enjoy ongoing savings for as long as you use the water filter.

The only costs associated with a water filter are the installation cost and the periodic replacement of the water filters. An additional benefit related to this is that it is more environmentally friendly to use a water filter rather than water bottles.

What harmful contaminants are in the water you currently drink?

2. If you are concerned about your home's drinking water, you may notice that it tastes or smells unusual, and you may be looking for an easy way to improve this. The unusual taste or smell often stems from bacteria, chlorine or other elements in your water, and removing these elements through filtration is a great way to improve the taste and smell of your water.

Keep in mind that different levels and grades of filters remove different contaminants, so first, obtain a water test to learn more about what may be in your drinking water. Then, you can purchase the filtration system that is the best fit for your needs.

3. Lead is a harmful element that you may not equate with drinking water, but the reality is that it can be found in the water you drink from the tap. Lead causes birth defects, some types of cancer and many other health issues, and you may be searching for a way to remove lead from the water that you drink. Some advanced filtration systems will expertly remove lead from the water that you drink.

4. Likewise, chlorine is commonly found in home drinking water, and this element is known to cause cancer of the rectum, bladder and colon as well as other health issues. Not all filtration systems are designed to remove chlorine from the water that you drink, so it is important that you research the options and find the right system for your home needs if you have chlorine in your water.

5. Chlorine and lead are only a few of the unhealthy elements found in home drinking water, and you also need to be concerned about bacteria and other pathogens in it. Some of the more common bacteria that are known to cause gastrointestinal issues include cryptosporidium, giardia and others.

Through the installation and use of the right filtration system, you can reduce your chance of developing a gastrointestinal issue from these germs by as much as 33%.

6. The pH balance of water should be rather neutral, but in some cases, it is more basic or more acidic than it should be. This can have an adverse impact on your health and well-being, and you may wonder if there is a filter that restores the pH balance of your water. When the filtration system uses a carbon block, it can restore pH as well as filter out particles for improved odor and taste.

Healthier Cooking, and Better Immune Systems

7. Tap water may be used commonly for drinking, but it is also used for cooking. When contaminated tap water is used for cooking, the pathogens can contaminate the food that you eat, which compounds the problems associated with unhealthy drinking water. You do not want to get pathogens, lead or other elements in your food, so use filtered tap water to cook.

Reno, NV water-filter-installation-28. Water is a necessity for life, and your body thrives when it receives an adequate amount of fresh, clean water. This improves your immune system's ability to fight infection and to be generally more healthy.

Filtered water removes unhealthy elements so that your body receives the fresh water it needs.

9. While your body needs clean water, it is more important that young children have clean drinking water. Their young bodies are still developing, and their immune systems are not as strong as adults' systems. When you want to help your kids be as healthy as they can be, giving them a regular supply of clean, pure water is a necessity.

10. There are many more toxins found in water than you may think, in fact, there are more than 2,100 different toxins contained in some home tap water. These can cause everything from gastrointestinal upset to cancer or other health concerns, so finding a way to remove them from your water can have a positive impact on your life. Filtering the water is an easy way to accomplish this goal.

Call a Plumber Today

If you have decided to filter your home's drinking water, take the time to request a water test as the initial step. A water test tells you specifically which elements are in the water and how concentrated they are so that you can make the best decision about which filter to purchase.

Not all filters are manufactured in the same way, and some are far more efficient at filtering out specific elements or particles than others are.

If you are interested in water filter installation for your home, now is a great time to contact Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing in Reno, NV at (775) 624-8378.


Top 10 Questions Your Plumber Should be Able to Answer

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Plumbing FAQ's: Top 10 Questions People Ask Their Plumber (And the Answers to Them)

Questions Involving Plumbing Concerns

Plumbers that go to homes or even businesses to handle plumbing issues will constantly be asked questions by their customers, and many of these questions are only to help the customer avoid other plumbing problems in the future or just questions that they’ve always wanted the answer to, such as:

How do you unclog a sink?

How do you unclog a toilet?

Why is the water heater leaking?

How can water be conserved in the home?

The toilet is rocking, why?

Is it ok to wash a faucet with soap or chemicals?

Why is there no hot water coming from the tap?

What foods are approved for a garbage disposal?

What should be done if cleaning the P-trap doesn’t remove a clog?

How often should the water heater be drained?

Reno, NV FAQ-PlumbingQ & A

Question- How do you unclog a sink?

Answer:

Unclogging a sink is not terribly difficult, but it’s best to use a snake, a plunger or disassemble the sink to get out the clog if possible.

Using chemicals to unclog the sink can damage the pipes, and it’s even worse if it has an acid that can damage a garbage disposal unit, as well as the drain attached to it. It’s always best to disassemble the sink, if necessary, check the P-trap, and use a plunger as well as a snake to completely remove a clog.

Question- How do you unclog a toilet?

Answer:

Unclogging a toilet is something that can also be done with a plunger, but many plumbers prefer to use a snake, especially since a snake can go deep into the toilet where no human hands can reach to pull out clogs that are in the drain. It’s still best not to use chemicals to unclog the toilet, but if chemicals must be used, get ones that won't cause harm to the porcelain or to the pipes connected to the toilet.

Question- Why is the water heater leaking?

Answer:

If the water heater is leaking, then it’s likely that there is a part of the heater that has rusted to the point where it has cracked and burst open, so water is starting to leak from the bottom.

Rusting most likely occurs at the bottom of the water heater, especially since water has been sitting in the heater for months at a time without being drained. It’s also possible that water is leaking from the drain valve at the bottom of the heater, so make sure the valve is completely closed to determine if that will stop the leak.

Question- How can water be conserved in the home?

Answer:

One of the best ways to conserve water in the Reno home is by getting low flow fixtures, such as a water conserving shower head as well as faucets and toilets. Check for any leaks around the home to make sure you’re not losing water unnecessarily, and don’t forget to check any toilets in the home for leaks by conducting the food coloring test.

Don’t allow toilets to run because this wastes water as well, and make sure to conserve water by turning off the faucet if you’re not using the water actively.

Question- The toilet is rocking, why?

Answer:

A rocking toilet is typically because of a problem with the wax ring being loose or the bolts on the bottom of the toilet. It’s possible that one or the other needs to be replaced, so have a plumber come to check the toilet to see what the exact problem is and to replace the parts that need replacing.

Question- Is it ok to wash a faucet with soap or chemicals?

Answer:

Faucets can get dirty and do need cleaning, but it’s never wise to use chemicals to clean a faucet or even regular soap. It’s best to simply take a damp cloth and go over the faucet with the cloth to clean it instead of using any abrasive soaps or chemicals that can damage the finish.

Question- Why is no hot water coming from the tap?

Answer:

When no hot water comes from the tap when it’s turned on, that means that something is wrong with the water heater. Check to see if the hot water heater is functioning properly, and if the water heater works fine, then it’s possible that there is one of  several different issues causing the lack of hot water in the home. A Reno plumber would be the best person to check out the problem and fix it.

Reno, NV FAQ-Plumbing-2Question- What foods are approved for a garbage disposal?

Answer:

Stringy foods, corn husks, uncooked lentils, grains, beans, rice, cabbage stems, metal objects and more are all food items that should never go into a garbage disposal unit.

These products can make the unit cut off, malfunction, or stop working altogether. Only soft foods along with running water should be put into the garbage disposal unit. You can ask your plumber about other specific foods you're unsure of putting down the garbage disposal.

Question- What should be done if cleaning the P-trap doesn’t remove a clog?

Answer:

If the P-trap is clean but there’s still a clog, then the clog is beyond the P-trap, and a snake would be the best way to reach the clog. A plumber can use an electric snake or even do hydro-jetting if necessary to get a clog that may be in the pipes.

Question- How often should the water heater be drained?

Answer:

It’s best to drain a water heater on a yearly basis, and a plumber can come out and do maintenance as well as drain your home's water heater every year.

Never Leave a Plumber Out of the Mix

Don’t neglect a call to your plumber, especially when you’re experiencing plumbing problems that you know you cannot solve on your own. Certain appliances, such as water heaters need the attention of a licensed plumber with a permit, so don’t take on tasks such as these by yourself.

Get a certified plumber by calling Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing in Reno, NV at (775) 624-8378.


The 3 Signs of Oncoming Sewer Woes

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3 Signs Your Sewer Line Needs Repair

Damaged sewer lines can lead to serious problems that no Reno home or property owner wants to deal with. Keeping an eye out for the early signs that a problem may be developing can ensure that homeowners are spared the higher costs and greater inconvenience commonly associated with larger issues.

From periodic inspections of sewer lines and plumbing systems to an unexplained spike in water bills, there are several ways of detecting and addressing issues before they have a chance to cause more extensive damage.

Reno, NV Sewer Line RepairFoul Smells and Musty Odors

Sewer lines that have become clogged, broken or that fail to function properly can create a number of unpleasant smells. Persistent odors, especially those that may be accompanied by moisture and condensation on walls, may be a sign that it is time to call in a professional.

Sewer pipes that have burst typically cause unpleasant smells that are centered in or around the bathroom, but may occur anywhere within the home or even outside the property.

Calling a professional plumber is always a smart move when confronted with stubborn smells that persist after regular cleaning and odors that may be too strong for comfort.

Lawn Indentations and Concentration of Lush Grass

Burst pipes that are leaking below ground can alter the topography of landscaped areas which commonly leads to depressions and indentations. Leaking pipes can also be a boon for grass and other vegetation. Lush, isolated concentrations of grass that appear far from shaded areas can be a dead giveaway that sewer pipes are in need of repair. Lawn deformation is often the only effective means to detect and identify a problem with below ground pipes and sewage lines without the tools and resources of a professional.

Persistent Clogging

Toilets that wont flush and drains that are chronically backed up can indicate a variety of plumbing problems in your Reno home. Issues with a sewage line may be detected when one or more fixtures has trouble draining or experiences frequent clogging. Arranging for a trained technician to assess plumbing equipment and fixtures can help to determine if the sewer line is overdue for repair or if the issues are occurring due to other causes.

For the best sewer line repair service in Reno, NV, call Ira Hansen & Sons Plumbing at 775-624-8378.


Best Way to Unclog a Sink: As Told by a Plumber!

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Plumber Recommended Techniques for Unclogging a Sink

Given the amount of things that go down the average Reno household drain on a regular basis, it should not be surprising that clogs are a common problem. There are many ways that a sink drain can become clogged, but the most common cause is something going down the drain that does not belong there. The solutions that most homeowners will try before calling a plumber are typically to plunge the drain or to use a chemical drain cleaner.

Plungers can be useful for clearing milder clogs but chemical drain cleaners can actually damage plumbing. For a stubborn clog, it will be necessary to call a plumber. A plumber will likely use one or more of the following techniques:

Reno, NV Drain Cleaning• P-Trap Removal

Clogs often occur in the P-trap. Common causes are coffee grounds or grease sticking. If your attempts to plunge the drain clear fail, your plumber can take the P-trap apart and clean it out. This will involve emptying the sink and then loosening slip-nuts to disassemble the drain. This can be done with pliers.

• Snaking

Serious clogs may require the use of a plumbing snake, which is sometimes called an augur. This tool consists of a long, flexible metal cable. Your plumber will feed the snake down the drain to push the clog out of the way or to bore through it. In some cases, it will be necessary to remove the P-trap and feed the snake into the drain stub out. This can allow direct access to a clog that is further along in the drain line.

• Hydro Jetting

Kitchen drain lines are usually relatively small and longer ones may sag or dip so that grease, food debris and soap residue will accumulate and cause a clog. In cases where there is an excessive amount of grease, your plumber may choose to hydro jet the line. Hydro jetting or water jetting involves the use of high water pressure to clear a line of obstructions. The equipment used is similar to a power washer in that it delivers water at a high PSI.

When performed correctly, hydro jetting can eliminate a clog and solve the problem of recurring clogs as well. It is important to note that it may not be possible to jet older drains because of the potential for damage from the water pressure. A trained and experienced Reno plumber will inspect your drains before hydro jetting to ensure that they can withstand the force of the water.

Unclogging a sink is a job for the pros. Call Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing at 775-626-7777 for plumbing service in your Reno, NV home!


Keep Pet Hair Out of Pipes

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Keep Pet Hair Out Of The Drains

Pets are a wonderful thing to have in your Reno home. They bring such joy to the pet owners, and they quickly become a member of the family along with everyone else. That being said, there are certain things which can happen that can cause some issues in the home. For example, if pet hair gets down into the plumbing system and causes issues. This can be an expensive and frustrating situation. Luckily, there are a few tips which can help prevent this from ever happening in the first place.

Reno, NV Drain Cleaning ServicesBrush Pets Before Giving Them A Bath

A simple but practical piece of advice is to brush pets before ever putting them in the bathtub to give them a bath in the first place. Not only does this feel good to the pet, but it gets all of that excess fur off of them. They can shed fur no matter what season it is or what the temperature outside feels like. As such, they should be brushed down well before they are given their bath in order to ensure that they do not clog up the pipes.

Keep Animals Away From Exposed Piping

The piping system in your home looks like the greatest plaything in the world to a dog or cat. Make sure that you keep exposed pieces of pipe out of sight from pets. They would be very tempted to chew on it and cause potential problems to the piping as a result. If you just make sure that they can't see it, then they won't even think to bother with it.

Use A Drain Strainer

Drain strainers capture all sorts of things that we do not want going down the drain. They can very well be used to manage the pet fur that may try to flow down the drain as well. It is advisable to put one of these in before giving an animal a bath. They can be purchased at just about any home improvement store.

Keep Pets Well Hydrated

Finally, remember to keep your Reno pets well hydrated. They will be less likely to have an interest in the water in the piping system if they are well hydrated. Their water bowls should be refreshed at least twice a day to make sure they are drinking enough water. If so, they are unlikely to look for alternative sources of water.

Don't let your fluffy pup clog up your drain! If you need drain cleaning in your Reno, NV home call Ira Hansen & Sons PlumbingPlumbing at 775-624-8378 today!


3 Simple Ways to Detect Water Leaks

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Detect a Water Leak in Your Home

Having a home, apartment, condo, or other type of living space in Reno with a water leak is bad news for the areas that the water is constantly touching. Anybody with a water leak or one that thinks that might have a water leak needs to get it checked out as soon as possible.

If there is water damage on the floor, then the entire floor including the subflooring will probably have to be replaced. This translates to any other area in a house that needs to be replaced due to water damage.

Reno, NV Leak Detection ServicesHow to Check for Water Leaks

There are quite a few manners in which to detect a leak, some being completely free and can be checked rather quickly whenever the time is you enter the room yet. Believe it or not, there are actually companies that are dedicated to finding water leaks in a person's home or in the plumbing on the property under or near the home. The workers who are trying to find water leaks send out sound waves that bounce back a certain way to indicate to the operator that there is a water leak somewhere.

Looking for dark spots, crunchy areas that make a crunching sound when pushed or stepped on, and wet areas that are not supposed to be wet or look different upon inspection. Always make sure that you actually have a water leak before you decide to call a contractor or construction worker.

What to do If You Have a Water Leak

If you are certain that you have a water leak, try to get someone that is a professional that deals with water leaks and replacing plumbing or construction work for a living. Then, shop around and try to find the lowest estimate.

A water leak absolutely needs to be fixed if you want your home to stay in the best shape as possible.

How You Can Prevent a Water Leak

There is no way to absolutely, positively make sure that a water leak will not happen under any circumstance, but one of the most proactive approaches is by having new plumbing installed. This will get rid of the damage that has already taken in the past, while drastically reducing the risk of something like this occurring again.

Call Ir Hansen and Sons Plumbing at 775-626-7777 today to get your Reno, NV system checked out by a professional plumber!