Haunted Houses: Plumbing Edition


Banging Noise From Behind The Wall? 

Sudden unexplained sounds can create fear in any household. While unusual banging noises may seem mysterious, it’s likely caused by faulty plumbing. So, get water hammers repaired instead of a home feeling like a haunted house.  When fixed correctly, the phenomenon known as a water hammer can no longer haunt the home. 

What Are Water Hammers?

Loud banging noises can be an indication of irregular water flow. Although the noise can be quite loud, it emanates from small spaces in the water pipes. The term for this issue is called water hammer. 

When a surge of pressure suddenly changes or stops the flow of water, it sends a shock wave down the pipe, creating noisy sounds. Water hammers can damage pipes and the valves and fittings of the pipe structure. Neglecting to fix this problem can easily lead to a burst pipe. 

What’s So Dangerous About Water Hammers?

pipePipe damage is a costly problem that takes time to fix. To prevent additional wear and tear, homeowners must pay attention to their walls. Banging pipes can be heard behind washing machines but may be mistaken for the spin cycle. 

Water hammers can damage gaskets and pipe joints throughout the plumbing system and lead to a burst pipe. If leaks occur, homeowners may notice cracks forming along the wall. Wherever there is water hammer, mold, and mildew are sure to follow.

Waterlogged air chambers and loose pipe-mounting straps are often to blame. Outside the pipes, appliances may also affect water flow. Dishwashers and washing machines use solenoid valves that affect air chambers. This does not mean appliances must be discarded. Pipes can be adjusted instead. 

How Pros Fix It

professionalThere are a few ways to minimize pressure within the pipes. While this will help reduce banging sounds, trained professionals will still need to handle the problem. Emptying air chambers is recommended as a temporary solution. This is done by completely draining the pipes before refilling them. The air chambers effectively blunt the shockwaves to keep water running smoothly.

Pressure regulators are usually found between the water meter and the shut-off valve and can be adjusted by turning counter-clockwise. Before attempting to fix any part of the plumbing system, all appliances should be completely shut off. 

The first step to reducing noisy water pipes involves the main water valve. This is usually found under the kitchen sink or near the water heater. Once this is turned off, the highest faucet in the house needs to be opened while the downstairs faucet is running. After the pipes are completely drained, the main water valve can be turned back on. 

Standard residential water pressure should never reach 80 PSI. Ideally, it should be between 40 and 60. Permanently fixing the water hammer will likely require the installation of an arrestor. Water hammer arrestors are placed inside the pipe to provide a designated air-filled section. This is used to buffer the immediate jump in pressure if the water valve slams shut. 

A qualified professional has the right knowledge and equipment to fix a water hammer. Using slip joint pliers, plumbers can disconnect the supply lines to access the pipe valve. Trying to do this without the right tools can damage pipes and exacerbate the problem. 

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing is a family-owned and operated business serving Sparks, NV, and the surrounding areas since 1986. They offer honest, upfront service, instant savings, and a preferred customer program with many benefits. Call them today for plumbing services in Sparks, NV.

Back to School: Crash Course In Water Heaters


Water Heaters 101: Learn the Basics

Water heaters are one of the most important pieces of home hardware because they provide hot water for daily tasks. Families use hot water for washing their hands, cleaning clothes, taking showers, and more. It is hard to imagine a world without water heaters!

Without a basic knowledge of how water heaters work, homeowners may not have to imagine they don’t have a functional water heater. Taking proper care of a home’s water heater is essential for preventing it from breaking down. In this blog post, our plumbing experts give an overview of everything homeowners need to know about water heaters!

Common Types of Hot Water Heaters

types of water heatersThere is more than one type of water heater. The main types of water heaters installed in modern homes are tankless, electric, and gas water heaters. There are pros and cons to each type of water heater.

  • Tankless Water Heater: Tankless water heaters only heat the amount of water needed for each task, which eliminates wasted energy. New tankless water heaters are an eco-friendly and water-saving option. They are more expensive to install than traditional water heaters but offer longer-lasting performance.
  • Electric Water Heater: One of the most common types of water heaters is electric water heaters. Electric water heaters use heating rods within the tank to warm the water. They are easy to install, safer than gas water heaters, and are usually less expensive to purchase. The downside to electric water heaters is that they have higher operating costs than gas water heaters.
  • Gas Water Heater: The most common type of household water heater is a gas water heater. Gas water heaters use a gas-powered burner to heat the water. They are more expensive to install than electric water heaters but offer less expensive operating costs. Gas water heaters will continue to operate during a power outage, unlike electric water heaters.

Why Water Heater Maintenance Is Essential

water heater maintenanceDuring the heating process, natural minerals in the water separate into solid sediment. Plumbers drain water heaters to remove this sediment buildup. Flushing the tank prevents mineral sediments from corroding the tank and causing other problems. Failing to flush water heater tanks often enough is a common reason they break down.

The best way to prevent a water heater from breaking down or needing frequent repairs is to schedule regular maintenance. Maintenance also helps to keep utility bills low by promoting the most efficient performance. During maintenance, the technician will have a chance to inspect the water heater for signs of damage and catch issues early on.

Homeowners should visually inspect their hot water tanks between maintenance appointments to check for signs of damage such as small leaks. They should also make sure that the area around the water heater is clean and free of debris. Flushing the tank should only be performed by a professional plumber who is experienced and licensed for water heater maintenance.

How to Know If Water Heater Repair Is Needed

Some signs a water heater needs repair or a replacement are:

  • Not enough hot water
  • Inconsistent temperatures
  • Strange noises
  • Smelly water
  • Discolored water

Water heaters left in a state of disrepair can be a serious hazard to the property and homeowners. Homeowners may be tempted to skip maintenance or attempt DIY water heater maintenance to save money, but this could cost them more in the long run if someone gets hurt or the water heater tank bursts.

High temperatures and up to 100 gallons of water are contained within the water tank. If the water tank bursts open, it could cause substantial water damage and even a housefire. No water heater can last forever, and after around 15 years, it is usually time for water heater replacement.

Corrosion of the water tank from a buildup of sediment is a leading cause of water heater tank leaks. Installing an anode rod that attracts corrosive materials can improve the system's longevity. Anode rods need to be replaced every three to five years.

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing is a family-owned and operated business serving Sparks, NV, and the surrounding areas since 1986. They offer competitive pricing, personalized solutions, and top-notch workmanship. Call them today for water heater services in Sparks, NV.

3 Tips for Avoiding Plumbing Disasters This Summer


3 Tips for Plumbing Disaster Prevention

Every season comes with a different set of challenges for home plumbing systems. In the summertime, homeowners turn on their sprinkler systems, host cookouts, and enjoy fun days by the pool. But those summer activities could stress the home’s plumbing system more.

Clogged drains, leaky pipes, and other plumbing issues can ruin summer fun. However, these three tips from professional plumbers can help homeowners prevent common summer plumbing disasters. Preventing plumbing disasters means more time and money to invest in fun summer activities. 

1. Inspect the Plumbing for Leaks & Cracks

crackAn easy way to prepare the plumbing system for the summer months is to inspect the plumbing hardware thoroughly. This includes checking the pipes and all plumbing fixtures such as sinks, toilets, and faucets. Any damaged or broken parts should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent a plumbing disaster if the problem worsens. 

Catching small problems early is the best way to protect the plumbing from a total system failure. A small pipe leak could become a big problem if the pipe bursts. Burst pipes can lead to extensive property damage, the growth of mold, and more complicated and expensive repairs. 

2. Dispose of Cooking Oil the Right Way 

drainGrilling outside is a favorite summer activity, but grease and cooking oil could wreak havoc on home plumbing systems if disposed of incorrectly. Homeowners should never put animal fat from cooking, oil, or grease down the drain because they cause clogs. The best way to dispose of cooking oil is to pour it into a disposable container and throw it in the trash. 

When grease and cooking oil gets poured down the drain, it hardens as it cools down and can coat the inside of the pipes. The oily coating then begins to catch particles of food and debris that get washed down the drain until a clog forms. Cooking oil clogs can lead to clogged pipes and pipe bursts. 

3. Flush Drains to Prevent Clogs

Clogged drains and pipes are one of the most common causes of summer plumber disasters. Homeowners can take steps to prevent pipe clogs by flushing drains regularly. Professional drain cleaning can be performed during annual plumbing maintenance, or homeowners can try one of these DIY drain cleaning methods. 

  • Pour hot water into the drain.
  • Pour baking soda and then vinegar into the drain and let it fizz
  • Be mindful of what gets flushed down the drain 
  • Invest in professional drain cleaning services

Liquid drain cleaners should be avoided because they contain toxic chemicals that are hazardous to human health. These products often fail to clear the clog, which leaves the toxic fumes with nowhere to go but up into the home. 

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing is a trusted family-owned and operated company providing Sparks, NV, and the surrounding areas with outstanding plumbing services since 1986. They offer competitive pricing, no hidden fees, and a membership plan with many perks. Call them today for plumbing services in Sparks, NV.

Don't Be Stopped By Outdoor Plumbing Clogs


A Guide to Plumbing Blockages Outside

Though indoor plumbing is usually the primary concern for clogs, a homeowner has to remember that water supply pipes start outside the home and drainage pipes lead back outside. A good portion of the plumbing system on any property is outdoors and underground. When clogs happen outdoors, they may need professional attention to be cleared. 


Outdoor Fixtures are More than Hoses

Not only are hoses and hose bibs part of the outdoor plumbing system, but many other fixtures are included in this list. Sprinklers, pools, and pool pump systems are also considered outdoor plumbing fixtures. 

Likewise, any outdoor showers or sinks are connected to the outdoor plumbing. Drains in a home all lead to one main drain line, and if this is blocked, it can cause a problem for the whole house.

What Causes Clogs?

Drainage pipe clogs can be caused by carelessness and some unpredictable natural elements. Some clogs happen due to roots of plants squeezing into the pipes in search of water, while others result from dirt and other organic material such as leaves getting stuck in the drain. Many clogs, however, are due to the carelessness of the inhabitants. 

All wastewater that leaves the house ends up in the main drain pipe, whether from the kitchen sink or the bathroom toilet. If things that do not belong in the drains are flushed or put through the garbage disposal, it can cause a major clog in the drain and lead to issues throughout the whole home plumbing system. 

Such items that should not be allowed in drains include the following:

  • Baby wipes
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Tampons
  • Paper towels
  • Q-tips 
  • Cotton balls
  • Potato peels
  • Grease
  • Coffee grounds
  • Hard foods
  • Onion skins
  • Eggshells

Professional Clog Clearing Methodsclogs

If a major drain clog occurs, a homeowner may be tempted to use do-it-yourself methods such as baking soda and vinegar, the hot water method, or some off-the-shelf chemical drain opener. If the clog is deep, these methods will not break up the clog, but the pipes could become even more clogged. 

Homeowners should never use chemical drain openers because they do not just affect the clog but can also cause corrosion in the pipes themselves. Professional plumbing technicians will likely use one of two different methods.

  • Pipe Augering: A pipe auger or drain snake is a machine with a long cable with a spiral head that can be threaded into a pipe to break up the clog by spinning into the clog.
  • Hydro Jetting: This method uses a balloon-like object on a hose that fills the pipe and shoots a high-pressure water jet at the clog. It is a safe method because water is safe for the pipes, and the pressure does an excellent job of breaking up clogs and sending the pieces down the drain.

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Family-owned and operated, Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing have been serving the residents of Sparks, NV, with personalized plumbing solutions since 1986. They treat their clients like family and provide honest, upfront service, so homeowners don’t need to worry about hidden fees. Call them today for plumbing services in Sparks, NV, and ask about the benefits of their preferred customer program.

A Dripping Faucet Can Kill the Chance for Romance


Drip, Drop, The Leak Needs to Stop

Is there anything as annoying as a leaking faucet? There are very few things on that list, perhaps nails on a chalkboard or the neighbors playing unwelcome music at all hours. The sink drip can be dealt with quickly and easily if a homeowner is in the mood for some daring or not-so-daring DIY. 

water bill

Hazards and Harms of a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet is more than an annoyance; allowing it to drip continually can cost more than 3 gallons of water per day. If the leak is even more severe, it can waste about 30 gallons per day. It can add hundreds of dollars to a yearly water bill. 

Another issue that arises from leaks is the risk of mold and mildew. These growths are unsightly, but they can also lead to health problems if certain types of mold are involved. 

Leaky Causes: Common Mood-Killing Culprits

While every faucet design is different, standard features and parts prevent the valves that keep the water in the pipes from closing completely. Though these parts are often tiny, they can affect the whole system if they wear out or loosen.

  • Cartridge: This is a valve and washer combined into one piece that sits on the pipe stem and allows or inhibits the flow of water when the handle turns. It is the most common type of faucet handle mechanism. 
  • O- Ring: This flat piece of silicone is a hard-working part of the handle. Wear and tear cause loosening and damage to this piece, and it may need replacing.
  • Washers and Seals: Sediment in the pipes and corrosion can cause these parts to break.
  • Stem Seat: This piece is essential to keeping the water from flowing. It is a silicone or rubber piece sometimes accompanied by a spring nestling into the pipe below the handle. The entire handle mechanism sits on this piece.
  • Nuts and Bolts: Age and use can cause these pieces to loosen. They may need a quick tightening with a wrench.


DIY Love: Replacing a Sink Cartridge

This article will discuss the replacement of cartridge faucets because they are the most common type. Cartridge faucets usually have two rotating handles to turn the water flow on or off. Other types include disc, ball, and compression faucets. Leaky faucet repair for these types is slightly different, but the basics are the same.

Steps for replacing a single handle cartridge:

  1. Turn off the water using the valve below the sink.
  2. Remove the stem screw cover.
  3. Remove the stem screw and handle.
  4. Remove the old cartridge.
  5. Verify placement of stem seat, O ring, and spring if applicable.
  6. Replace with a new cartridge.
  7. Replace the handle and stem screw.
  8. Test the water by turning it back on and turning the newly repaired handle.
  9. Replace the decorative cover.
  10.  Enjoy the newly repaired sink.

If a homeowner has doubts about their do-it-yourself chops, the professionals are always there to help. 

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Since 1986, Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing has provided excellent plumbing solutions in Sparks, NV, and the surrounding areas. Call today for details on their preferred customer program and their emergency service.

Find a Reliable Plumber Quickly for the Holidays!


3 Important Things Homeowners Should Look for in a Plumbing Company

The holidays are a really busy time for homeowners and plumbing companies. As more guests arrive, there is a higher likeliness that homeowners will need maintenance services and plumbing repairs. This is all normal, but it can be stressful when looking for a reliable and trustworthy plumbing company.

Homeowners need to be selective and use many resources to find the right professional plumber to use. The best ways to do this are to look over a company’s reviews, licensing and insurance, and available maintenance plans.

Fairly Positive Reviews

reviewsWhen looking for plumbing service, it is best to start in the local area. Homeowners should search industry review sites for terms like “plumber near me,” “plumbing company in Sparks,” or “Sparks Plumber.” Once they find a specific company that provides the plumbing service they need, they can look at the reviews to find words that match their needs.

If a homeowner wants a timely and reliable company, they can look for keywords like ‘prompt’ or ‘early.’ These reviews are written by real people, which makes the experience more personal. Reviews, however, will not always be positive. A few disgruntled customers may leave negative reviews based on isolated incidents. The majority of reviews should be positive, though, reflecting the services provided.

Proper and Up-to-date Licensing & Insurance

Licensing and insurance are a must for all plumbing maintenance companies! Without proper licensing, plumbing companies are not legal, though this depends on each state and its regulations. While this is the case, licensing also shows homeowners that the service technicians are knowledgeable and have received proper training for repairs and safety.

Insurance is an absolute necessity. Homeowners should stay away from companies that do not provide their insurance information. If something were to go wrong on the job, there is no telling if the homeowner would be compensated. Instead of waiting for a disaster to happen, homeowners should call and ask for up-to-date licensing information. If there is any hesitation from the company, it may not be a good fit.

Affordable and Quality Maintenance Plans

maintenancePlumbers know that without proper cleaning and maintenance, sewer and water lines can wear and break down. Some companies offer special maintenance plans through an annual membership for precisely that reason. These memberships are typically affordable and have different tiers and discounts on other services not included. Homeowners need to weigh the pros and cons of each plan before deciding.

Homeowners can pay a one-time or monthly fee which allows them access to preventative and maintenance services from their local plumbers. Not only is this convenient, but it keeps pipes and plumbing in great shape! This can save homeowners money in the long run as their pipes and systems last longer.

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Over 30 years in business, Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing is a local favorite in the area of Sparks, NV. This family-owned company offers excellent customer service, decades of experience, and upfront pricing fit for all homeowner’s needs! Homeowner’s in the market for plumbing repairs in Sparks, and maintenance should contact them today!

Time to Go Back to School With Water Heaters 101


Understanding the Basics of Water Heaters

The back-to-school time of the year is fast approaching, and that means many children and young adults are getting ready to go back into the classroom for the start of a new school year. But, of course, learning doesn’t end when people become adults. With this in mind, now seems like the perfect time to learn the basics of water heaters!

Sure, this may not seem like the most interesting topic of all, but homeowners and their families use and rely on their water heaters almost every single day. Thus, going through a Water Heater 101 class can be extremely valuable! Homeowners should know how to choose and maintain a water heater, determining when repairs are in order. Read on for all of this information and more!

Choosing a Water Heater

water heater When it comes to choosing a water heater, there are many different options to pick from. Here are some common ones:
  • Electric water heaters - these can heat water instantly and tend to be highly efficient relative to other models
  • Gas water heaters - leverages convection from a furnace to heat water, which is then stored until needed by the plumbing appliances and fixtures throughout the home
  • Tankless water heaters - instead of having a tank, these have heated coils that heat water quickly, providing for an immediate on-demand supply of water

There are other types of water heaters, such as solar-powered water heaters, but those described above are some of the most common.

Maintaining Water Heaters

When it comes to maintenance, homeowners and their families can take a handful of actions to prolong the life of their water heaters and prevent costly repairs down the line. Here are a few key tips:

  • Check for leaks, rusting, cracks, and any other potential damage
  • Invest in insulation for the surrounding piping and water heater itself
  • Keep the temperature around 120 degrees to prevent unnecessary overheating
  • Remove sediment buildup annually by “flushing” the water heater

Even just taking one or two of these steps can prolong the life of people’s water heaters and ensure continued functionality and efficiency.

Determining When Repairs Are Neededwater heater

Lastly, it is important to know when repairs are needed and, in turn, when it is time to seek out professional help. Some common signs that homeowners should look out for include:

  • Abnormal sounds from the tank
  • Corrosion
  • Discolored water
  • Inconsistent water temperatures
  • Shorter periods of sustained hot water

Homeowners and their families should notice these signs relatively quickly, as many of them have to do with the actual water that comes through the system and into the plumbing appliances and fixtures.

Should any of these signs occur, homeowners should call for immediate professional help. Most plumbing professionals have years or potentially decades of experience dealing with homeowners’ water heater issues. They can find fast, efficient, and effective solutions!

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing of Sparks, NV is a local, family-owned, and operated company that has been in business since 1986. Their team of experts believes in honest, upfront service and personalized solutions to meet the unique needs of each and every one of their customers. Give them a call for plumbing help today!

The Speed Dating Way To Get To Know Your Plumbing System


Burning Questions About Plumbing Systems

Valentine’s day is coming up, and while no one really wants to date their plumbing system, it’s always good for homeowners to know about it. After all, people often take their plumbing for granted until something happens to draw their attention to it. Whether it’s an emergency or a trivia question about plumbing, this article can help homeowners get to know their plumbing system— speed dating style. 

Why Is the Toilet Sometimes Called “the John”?


People have many different names for toilets, but chief among them seems to be “the John.” There are two possible explanations for this. There seems to be no consensus among historians as to which is correct. It’s likely a combination of the two.

In medieval England, the bathroom (which wasn’t anything like the toilets of today) was known as jake or jack. These terms were used for toilets both inside and outside the house. At the time, only the most important and wealthy people had indoor toilets— and they weren’t too great back then. So, “john” isn’t a far cry from jake or jack. 

Enter John Harrington, one of many godsons to Queen Elizabeth I. He was the poet and inventor credited with pioneering the first flushing toilet (and writing a pamphlet on its use). Unfortunately for him, the pamphlet also had poems in which he equated some of the queen’s council to feces. This got him exiled. He died before the flushing toilet caught on, but the term “John” may be his doing as much as the slang at the time, which survives in his memory today.   

Does Water Drain the Other Way South of the Equator?

The question of which way water drains on either side of the equator has led to many misconceptions. To this day, many people insist that it is a result of the Coriolis force, which is created by the rotation of the earth. However, most scientists think that the way water drains, whether in a sink, a toilet, or a cup, depends more on other factors. 

In other words, most people believe that the location on earth doesn’t affect the draining of water. Instead, it’s the toilet design, the imperfections in the basin, or how the water entered the cup or sink initially. The Coriolis effect is generally only visible on a large scale, like that of hurricanes and tradewinds. While it surely does have some effect on draining water, it’s not enough to cause it to drain one way or the other on a small scale, such as in the bathroom. 

How Much Water Waste Can a Leaking Faucet Cause?

Another piece of plumbing trivia regards the dreaded leaky faucet. Lots of numbers are thrown around by people, so it’s hard to know what is true and what isn’t. There are many factors at play, such as how many drips per minute and how long the faucet is allowed to leak. However, there are some estimates put forth by the EPA that can answer the question in general terms. 


A faucet that leaks at a rate of one drip per second can waste an estimated 3,000 gallons per year! That’s the equivalent of about six months of daily showers. This is why it’s so important to fix leaky faucets. They don’t look like much, but they can add up on a water bill over time. 

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

The friendly folks at Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing have been helping those in Sparks, NV, with plumbing issues since 1986. They are a family-owned and operated business that provides tailored solutions for their customers’ needs. They provide up-front pricing and a peace-of-mind guarantee on every job. Get expert plumbing services in Sparks, NV, with Ira Hansen an Sons Plumbing.

Don't Allow a Plumbing Emergency To Sabotage the Holiday Season


These Plumbing Emergencies Can Derail the Holiday Festivities in an Instant

The holidays are a time to relax, decompress, and spend quality time with loved ones. Once the decorations are up, the gifts are bought and wrapped, and the kitchen is full of wonderful smells, there’s nothing like cozying up by the fire and basking in the festive spirit. In such moments, it seems like nothing could possibly spoil the holiday bliss. That is, except for the rude and unexpected interruption of a plumbing crisis.

Ruptured Water Pipe

burst pipe

While there are a few possible causes of a burst water supply pipe - old or corroded pipes, overly high water pressure, excessive vibration due to water hammer - freezing is perhaps the most common culprit in the winter months. Even one night of below-freezing weather can turn the water in an unprotected section of pipe into ice. The ice then expands inside, splitting joint welds or even rupturing the pipe wall itself.

Regardless of the cause, a burst pipe ranks among the most destructive of plumbing mishaps. Since the ensuing water leak won’t stop until the water main (or a localized shutoff valve) is closed, the damage can be extensive. Homeowners can help prevent burst pipes by adding insulation to vulnerable areas, leaving faucets on at a trickle, and having their plumbing pressure-tested and inspected for liabilities.

Water Heater Breakdown

In any season, going without hot water can be an uncomfortable and frustrating experience. In the dead of winter, it can be downright miserable. Every water heater requires regular maintenance to work properly, and cold weather tends to put extra strain on the unit. So unless the water heater has recently been cleaned, serviced, and given a clean bill of health, a winter breakdown could be on the horizon.

Sediment buildup in the water tank, grime in the gas burner orifices, a loose wire, a faulty electric heating element - these are just a few of the hidden issues that can hinder the unit’s performance or cause it to break down entirely. 

Stopped-Up Sink or Toilet

A clogged drain in the middle of a happy holiday celebration is almost certain to kill the mood. Some clogs are easy fixes and hardly constitute an emergency. But when the plunger and the usual tricks aren’t working, and water begins overflowing onto the floor, the plumber can’t arrive soon enough. 


Toilet clogs are incredibly unpleasant and are typically caused by the flushing of unsuitable items such as sanitary napkins, paper towels, and small toys. In the event of a stubborn toilet clog, the toilet’s shutoff valve (usually located just behind the toilet) should immediately be closed to prevent overflowing. 

Sink clogs can occur for a variety of reasons. Most common during the holidays are clogged kitchen sinks. These are typically the result of overloading the garbage disposal or grinding an excess of improper items like potato skins, eggshells, or bones. 

Regardless of the type of clog or its location in the house, sometimes a professional touch is the only way to solve the problem - so homeowners had better be sure their plumber will be there for them in a pinch.

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing have been serving Sparks, Nevada, with pride since 1986. As a family-owned, family-run local business, they are committed to meeting every customer’s specific needs with honest, competitive pricing and superior workmanship. They offer financing, 24-hour emergency service, and a rewarding Preferred Customer program. Call Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing for emergency plumbing repair in Sparks today!

Don't Let Thanksgiving Be Ruined by a Broken Garbage Disposal!


How Can a Working Garbage Disposal Save the Holidays?

Imagine what would happen if today, the day before Thanksgiving, half-way through the potato peeling process, the sink became impossibly clogged! The food preparation would have to be halted entirely to address the jammed drain. A plumber would also have to be tracked down for an emergency service call, which, at best, would slow everything down by several hours, not to mention the expense of an emergency visit. 

A working garbage disposal, however, can prevent this disaster from happening by efficiently and adequately grinding food scraps down the drain, keeping the sink clean and free of clogs.

What Does a Garbage Disposal Do, Anyway?

confused woman

A garbage disposal is an appliance that shreds food scraps so that they are small enough to safely and smoothly go down a sink’s drain. The disposal is mounted underneath the kitchen sink and gathers solid garbage into a grinding chamber. The food is reduced to tiny bits by a spinning impeller plate. Two metal impellers work to grind the food down until it is washed away by water that enters the grinding chamber. Contrary to popular belief, garbage disposals don’t contain blades; it’s the metal impellers that pulverize the food.

Signs the Garbage Disposal Needs Replacing

There are several common signs a garbage disposal needs replacing. If the disposal doesn’t turn on at all, there could be an electrical problem. Check the power supply cord and the fuse box. Any electrical troubleshooting should be handled by a professional.

Perhaps the disposal is making a humming sound, but the impellers aren’t spinning. This means the disposal is connected to the power supply, but something is preventing it from grinding. An obstruction or clog could be causing the problem. Never attempt to clear a disposal of clogs without shutting off the power and unplugging it. If the disposal is free of clogs and still does not work, it is likely in need of replacement.

Turn the disposal off and unplug it, and then use a flashlight and tongs to remove anything inside the disposal. Homeowners can also try to turn the blades with a wrench to dislodge clogs. If these fixes don't get the garbage disposal running again, they likely need to replace it.

Unpleasant odors can also mean a garbage disposal has failed. While foul odors can sometimes be caused by decaying food that is trapped in the grinding chamber, it is usually relatively simple to solve the problem by flushing out the disposal and running lemon juice through it. Lingering odors can indicate that the disposal has failed, and food particles are no longer leaving the chamber. Often, this requires the replacement of the garbage disposal.

Do not ignore these common signs of failure - contact a professional to schedule a garbage disposal replacement right away.

How To Prevent Garbage Disposal Problems in the First Place


Having regular, routine maintenance done by a professional plumber is a must to prevent garbage disposal problems from occurring in the first place. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of what items are safe to be run through a disposal. 

For example, hot grease should never be poured directly into a sink, whether there is a disposal or not. Do not attempt to grind a large number of food scraps at once; it will almost guarantee a clog. Always use running water when operating the disposal. And, above all else, have regular maintenance done on the garbage disposal.

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

For over 30 years, Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing has been providing top-quality services to their customers. They offer fair pricing, prompt service, free estimates, and solutions to virtually all plumbing problems. Contact them today for garbage disposal service in Sparks, NV!