Clogged drains are not only a headache, but they can lead to other issues in your pipes as well. In these situations, most people will try to DIY their plumbing before they call an expert in. That usually means they scramble for the store-bought drain cleaner and hope for the best. But does drain cleaner work? The answer is often no—so let’s take a look at why.

What Types of Ingredients are in Your Drain Cleaner?

Drain cleaners are either chemical-based or enzyme-based. Both formulas work to digest or burn through the obstructions blocking your pipe.

Chemical-based cleaners tend to use acids, oxidizers, or caustics. This includes ingredients like sulfuric acid, sodium hypochlorite, lye, or caustic soda. While these solutions create lots of heat to burn through blockages, they can damage your pipes if you use them too much and too often.

Enzyme-based cleaners contain bacteria that produce enzymes when they meet organic matter, like food, hair, or mold. Enzymes help break all of that gunk down into bits and pieces that are easy to flush away with water. These cleaners tend to be much easier on the environment and on your home pipes.

Long-Term Damage from Drain Cleaners

Chemical-based drain cleaners might work in the short run, but they cause damage to your drains (and even your health).

  1. Leaks

Caustic chemicals, such as lye, can create cracks in your pipes, sinks, and toilets. These newly formed cracks and crevices can cause leaks that are expensive to repair. Furthermore, cracks in your toilet are hard to repair—and will likely need to be replaced.

  1. Burst Pipes

Pipes are vulnerable to the corrosive ingredients in many drain cleaners. This is especially true if you live in a home with older pipes. Corrosion can lead to burst pipes, which usually causes disastrous flooding.

  1. Unsafe for Skin and Clothes

Drain cleaner liquids can burn or irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs. Mixing drain cleaners with other cleaning products can be especially dangerous.

Additionally, avoid using these solutions in standing bodies of water, such as in clogged toilets. They can splash on your skin or clothes. Keep in mind that even professional plumbers use extreme caution with these chemical-based solutions.

Does Drain Cleaner Work Well?

Slimy to the touch, biofilm is a thin film of bacteria that lines your pipes. It’s the sludge that holds clogs together in your drains. A drain cleaner can potentially break down the solid chunks of organic matter within the biofilm and unblock your pipes. However, a liquid drain cleaner can never coat the entire drain or pipe. There will likely still be organic matter where a drain cleaner can’t reach it.

That’s why you need a plumbing expert to unclog your drain instead.

Say No to Chemical Drain Cleaners

Does drain cleaner work? In some instances, this solution does work—but it often damages your pipes or leaves the entire problem unsolved. For a more permanent solution that won’t corrode your pipes, call us at 602-883-2761. We’ll send a plumbing specialist to your house for a safe, cost-effective solution.

Posted on Categories BlogLeave a comment on Does Drain Cleaner Work? Not as Advertised

While some leaks are easy to detect, others require a discerning eye (and nose) to find. Slab leaks are especially difficult to detect since they happen under your home’s concrete slabs. Luckily, there are five warning signs of a slab leak that can point you in the right direction.

5 Warning Signs of a Slab Leak

  1. Increasing Water Bills

This is perhaps one of the most conspicuous warning signs of a slab leak. When there’s any type of leak in your home, your water runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—even when you’re not actively using it to wash dishes or shower, for example. Naturally, your water bill will be higher than usual. If there are no other indications of increased water use, such as additional guests in your home, then you might have a leak. When you can’t find any visible signs of a leak, you might need to hire a plumber to identify a slab leak.

  1. Low Water Pressure

There’s nothing worse than turning on the faucet for a nice hot shower, only to find that your water pressure is lower than ever. It’s normal for there to be lower water pressure when other faucets are running, such as when two showers run at the same time. But if your bathroom typically has great water pressure when no other faucets are on, a sudden decrease could be a cause for concern. When you have a slab leak, water is escaping from crevices and cracks in your pipe when it shouldn’t be.

  1. Flooring Problems

Most slab leaks happen in the hot water line. When hot water escapes from a pipe, it typically goes upward, heating your concrete slabs in random places. As a result, you might find that there are unusual hot spots on your floor. Similarly, the water can reach your flooring boards and cause warping or other types of damage. With carpet, you might find that there are peculiar damp spots (even when nobody has spilled their drink).

  1. Running Water Sounds

Do you ever find yourself listening to the sound of running water even when it’s silent and all the faucets are off in your home? If you suspect a leak, try turning off all your water fixtures (including your water heater) on a quiet afternoon. When you still hear the sound of running water, it could be time to repair a slab leak.

  1. Bad Odors

From time to time, your home might capture some funky smells—but you can often remedy them with the right cleaning products. When water escapes from your pipes and rises, it often doesn’t dry properly. This creates the perfect moist environment for fungus to thrive under your floor and carpet or behind your walls. Mold and mildew have a particular musty scent that you’ll be able to catch before you ever see visible signs of growth. If you find your floors or walls giving off this unpleasant smell, your home might have a slab leak.

Need to Repair a Slab Leak?

When you catch most of these warning signs of a slab leak, it’s time to call in the professionals. Our plumbing specialists can diagnose any leaks and provide you with affordable solutions. Call Custom Plumbing of Arizona today at 602-883-2761. We’ll set you up with a free estimate and send an expert plumber over as soon as possible.

Posted on Categories BlogLeave a comment on 5 Warning Signs of a Slab Leak You’re Missing

Sometimes a home’s plumbing has to be replaced. Wondering what is involved in repiping a house? This article explains.

Unless your home is a cabin in the woods with no running water (or if you live—to quote the late, great Chris Farley—in a van down by the river), you are going to have to deal with plumbing issues at some point. For some, that means fixing a leaky pipe or two. For others, that means having their entire plumbing system replaced.

Repiping a house normally involves 4 steps:

  1. Inspection.
  2. Estimate.
  3. Demolition.
  4. Plumbing.
  5. Reconstruction.

To be clear, replacing your home’s plumbing is not a DIY job. You are going to need a professional, licensed plumber to handle this project. Are you thinking of repiping your home? Here’s what you need to know.

How Do I Know If I Need to Repipe My Home?

Before we get into the specifics of what is involved in repiping a home, you first need to determine whether your home requires it. Repiping is an expensive, time-consuming process — but here are a few signs that your home needs a new plumbing system.

Lead Pipes

Lead pipes are common in older houses from the 1920s and earlier, but even later homes may have this kind of piping system. They present lots of health hazards for you and your family. When these pipes corrode, lead can leak into your drinking water and cause harm to your heart, kidneys, and reproductive organs (even at low levels).

The bottom line: If your home was built before 1986, find out what materials your plumbing system is made out of and replace any lead pipes!

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Before the 1960s, galvanized steel pipes were common in homes. However, these pipes are coated in zinc. While this zinc lining helps to prevent rust and discoloration, lead deposits can build up when it corrodes. Not only is this harmful to drink, the deposits can build up and clog your plumbing.

If your home was built before this time period, consider giving your plumbing system a once over.

High Plumbing Repair Costs

If you seem to find a new plumbing problem every month, it might be time to replace the pipes in your home. Even if the issues seem minor, the repair costs can quickly add up over time. Instead of spending money on numerous small fixes, it might actually be cheaper to install a new plumbing system altogether.

What is Involved in Repiping a Home?

In this section, we’ll cover what happens before, during, and after a repiping.

  1. Inspection.

If you are unsure what kind of work you need completed, you don’t need to worry. The first step in the repiping process is an inspection conducted by a plumbing professional, who will listen to the problems you have been having and look for signs of the kind of work you need done. Without a thorough inspection, you can’t know what is involved in repiping a house.

  1. Estimate and Recommendations.

Once your repiping specialist finishes the inspection, they will give you their recommendations. Depending on the age of your home, the layout of your plumbing, your needs, and any other relevant details, they will recommend the best course of action, including which materials are best for your situation and what work is most urgent. You may need to replace everything or only a small section.

It is critical to think about how much you are willing to risk your home if you decide to only do a small section or to repipe your home bit by bit. It may help you budget to cover the costs, but if your pipes are at risk of failing, it could save you money in the long run to do the entire project at once.

You should also expect an estimate for the work that is to be done. Most plumbing companies, including Custom Plumbing of Arizona, offer a free estimate to give you an idea of the cost.

  1. Demolition.

Once you accept the estimate, it’s time for the professionals to get to work. If you watch even for a few minutes, you will see first-hand what is involved in repiping a house—and it’s a lot! From locating the pipes behind walls and in ceilings to demolition and installation, they do it all.

Good plumbers will take care to protect your home from any possible water damage during repairs, placing plastic sheeting over furniture and moving family possessions when necessary. They also need to turn off and drain any water lines.

Once they turn off your plumbing system, they will get to work cutting through your drywall. A plumber will try to remove as little material as possible to minimize reconstruction costs.

  1. Plumbing.

After your plumber has made their cuts, they will detach your old pipes and install new ones. For pipes in your floor, they will try to go through the ceiling of the bottom floor if possible.

Once the repiping is done, your plumber will need to turn the water lines back on in order to test the new pipes and determine if there are any leaks. If there are leaks, your professional will take care that they are patched up.

  1. Reconstruction.

Once it’s determined that all the pipes are working properly, your drywall contractor or other professional will need to patch up your walls. They should repair and seal your drywall, then paint over it for a nice, smooth finish.

How Long Will I Need to Wait for the Job to Finish?

The length of the repiping project will depend on how large your house is and how many bathrooms you have in your home. For small houses, a plumbing expert might take only two days to complete. However, larger houses could take up to a week.

Want more information on what is involved in repiping a house? Talk to the plumbing experts at Custom Plumbing of Arizona.

Get in touch with Custom Plumbing today if you are interested in receiving a free estimate for your home repiping project. Call us at 602-883-2761!

Posted on Categories Blog, Plumbing Service & Repair Phoenix AZ, Residential Plumbing ServicesLeave a comment on What Is Involved in Repiping a House? A Beginner’s Guide

These simple plumbing tips could help you take care of your home and prevent damage. Read on to learn our suggestions for first-time homeowners who want to be prepared for anything to do with plumbing.

Buying your first home is such an exciting experience. You finally get to do things your way without worrying about causing damage to someone else’s property! But with homeownership comes lots of responsibility, too.

Before you get settled, take a look at these simple plumbing tips so you can be ready for anything that comes your way.

Our Simple Plumbing Tips for First-Time Homeowners

  1. Know Where the Shut-Off Valve Is

Perhaps the most important tip, knowing where your home’s main shut-off valve is could save you from serious damage to your property in the event of a burst pipe. Many times, it will be inside your home close to where the meter is located. Every home is different, though, so you may need to look around or refer to your home’s plans.

  1. Know How to Turn off the Water Supply to Appliances

Appliances that use water also have shut-off valves. In case you ever need to replace these appliances, you will need to know how to turn off the water supply. Check behind the appliance and look for the water supply line—the valve will be attached to it.

  1. Use Your Plunger for More than Clogged Toilets

Plungers are good for more than unblocking your toilet. You can also use them for clogged sinks and drains. Before using harsh chemicals on your pipes, try a plunger. It could prevent damage that requires expensive repairs.

Just, uh…be sure to use a different plunger for each job.

  1. Familiarize Yourself with the Signs of Hard Water

Do you know how to spot hard water? Speaking of spots, if you notice deposits on your dishes after you run them through the dishwasher, you might have hard water. Hard water is caused by high concentrations of calcium and magnesium, which can build up on the inside of your pipes and cause serious damage.

Other signs include dry skin and lusterless hair, low water pressure, and soap scum.

  1. Keep a Plumbing Kit Handy

If you want to be ready for a plumbing emergency, it’s important that you have the right tools at hand. Keeping a plumbing kit in your home can be the difference between a simple wet floor and damaged hardwood.

Your kit should include:

  • Plunger
  • Duct tape to temporarily fix leaks
  • Towels
  • Flashlight
  • Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench

You should also keep a trusted plumber’s contact information nearby in case of a serious problem.

Need more than simple plumbing tips for your plumbing problem? Custom Plumbing of Arizona can help!

There you have it! Now you should be ready to take on the challenges of homeownership, at least from a plumbing perspective. Here’s to the future of your home!

Get in touch with Custom Plumbing of Arizona for help with all your plumbing needs.

Posted on Categories Blog, Residential Plumbing ServicesLeave a comment on 5 Simple Plumbing Tips for First-Time Homeowners

Looking for emergency plumbing repair in Phoenix? Custom Plumbing of Arizona has you covered. These services are essential in an after-hours crisis.

Emergencies don’t wait for a convenient time to occur. Plumbing problems can happen at any time, and if you leave them till the morning, they could cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home and your personal property.

Why Custom Plumbing of Arizona Offers Emergency Plumbing Repair in Phoenix

From the day Custom Plumbing of Arizona was founded, our goal has been to be as helpful as possible. We understand the frustration that even simple plumbing problems can cause. Your home or business is a part of you, so any damage that occurs can feel devastating.

As one of the leading emergency plumbing repair companies in the Phoenix area, we feel a responsibility to be there for our customers.

Common Plumbing Problems That Require Immediate Attention

Burst Pipes

A burst pipe is one of the worst things a homeowner or business owner can experience. The amount of water that a burst pipe often lets loose is more than enough to cause damage to flooring, furniture, and even irreplaceable personal items.

If you have a burst pipe, it’s critical to act fast and turn off the main water supply before the damage becomes substantial.

Sewer Back Up

When your sewer backs up into your home, your health could be at risk, not to mention your peace of mind. The cause of a sewer backup is often a poorly maintained sewer line, which can deteriorate, allowing tree roots and groundwater to infiltrate the system.

Water Shut-Off Failure

As mentioned above, the water shut-off valve is an essential safeguard against excessive water damage. But what happens if your water shut-off fails? For instance, if the valve has become corroded, it might be impossible to operate, which could allow hundreds of gallons to gush into your home.

What to Expect from Our Emergency Plumbing Repair Services

When you experience one of these or another plumbing emergency, it can be a relief to know that you have a plumber you can depend on to fix the problem as soon as possible.

We are proud to offer emergency plumbing repair in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. When you contact Custom Plumbing of Arizona, you can rest assured that we will take care of you and work until the problem is resolved. We will send one of our plumbing professionals to your home or business quickly and work to stop the damage from spreading before we assess the issue and provide a quote. If possible, we will begin work right away.

Get Emergency Plumbing Repair in Phoenix Now!

If you find yourself dealing with a leak at night or any other time, you can count on Custom Plumbing of Arizona to be there for you.

Protect your property. Contact us now for emergency plumbing repair in Phoenix!

Posted on Categories Blog, Emergency Plumber, UncategorizedLeave a comment on Can You Call a Plumber at Night? Who to Call for Emergency Plumbing Repair in Phoenix