Pet Proof Your Plumbing

Pet Proof Your Plumbing

It's not very common to associate your family pet with plumbing.

Pets can bring joy and love to your family, and it’s hard to believe that they might cause an issue to your plumbing system.

When it comes to your family pets’ bath time or drinking water, there are a few essential tips to keeping your pipes safe.

Tips On How To Maintain and Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is an invaluable kitchen appliance. Having a garbage disposal is beneficial to your kitchen, our environment and your plumbing. However, shredding up all those food scraps to keep your drains and pipes clean over time can make for a smelly sink and ultimately your kitchen and home. Ideally, you should clean your garbage disposal once a week to keep your disposal working properly and your kitchen smelling fresh. Cleaning your disposal doesn’t have to be as labor intensive as you might think. There are a number of things you can do to maintain and clean your garbage disposal.

How to clean the disposal itself

  • Use hot water to flush out your garbage disposal. This can help remove any loose grunge and grime. Adding some dish soap to the hot water rinse will facilitate a deeper clean.

  • Use ice cubes and salt to remove the tougher grime that have stubbornly attached itself to the grinding components. In addition to cleaning benefit, grinding ice will also sharpen the disposals blades and remove undesirable odors.

  • Manually scrub the inner walls of the disposal. Professionals, like those at Linthicum Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Inc. also suggest using an old toothbrush or a long handled brush. However, before you initiate this cleaning process, you should always make sure that the power to the appliance is disconnected. Typically, its plugged into the wall under the sink. However, the disposal’s electrical connection can also be disconnected on your homes electrical panel. Test the disposal switch to confirm the power is off.

Clean the sink splash guard

In addition to the disposal itself, it is important not to forget to clean your sinks’ splash guard. The splash guard, or the rubber flaps in the drain, prevent food particles and liquid from splashing back into the sink when the disposal is running. The underside of the guard often gets covered with food bits that can rot. People often forget to clean this essential part of their disposal, and it can easily be cleaned with a good ole toothbrush, soap and hot water. As always, before cleaning this, make sure the power to your disposal is off.

Eliminating odors From your disposal

After thoroughly cleaning your disposal there are a few ways to get it smelling clean and fresh.

  • A combination of baking soda and vinegar is an effective deodorizer. While running hot water into disposal, add a half a cup of baking soda into the drain, then add a half a cup of white vinegar, and let the mixture sit for five to ten minutes. Once this time is up, flush with the running drain with hot or boiling water. Many people call this the volcano method, as this fizzy mixture your kids use to make exploding volcanoes in their science class!

  • Some people might recommend using bleach to clean your disposal, however, professionals will disagree. Using bleach, drain cleaner, or other harsh chemicals can damage your blades and your pipes. Alternatively, Borax is a natural cleaning product that is a safer substitute to clean your disposal and minimize odors.

Maintaining your clean garbage disposal

Once your garbage disposal has been thoroughly cleaned, it is important to maintain its polish and sparkle. As previously stated, it is recommended that you clean your disposal once a week. In addition, it is crucial to remember that your disposal is not a trash can. You should only be putting biodegradable food items in your garbage disposal. There are several items you should avoid putting in your garbage disposal:

  • Extremely fibrous foods such as corn husk, celery stalks, onion skins, and artichokes- the fibers can tangle in the disposals’ blades, jam, and block drains

  • Potato peels- the starches in the potatoes will turn into a thick paste and may cause your disposals blades to stick

  • Grease, oil, or fat - these items can clog your drain and hinder its grinding ability

  • Fruit pits- disposal blades are strong, however not strong enough to cut through these items

  • Pasta and rice- once you add water to these items they will expand inside your pipes and cause clogs

  • Large animal bones- they will continue to spin around with the blades and never make it down the pipes

  • Coffee Grounds- they can accumulate in drains and pipes and cause clogs

  • Egg Shells- the shells membrane lining can stick to the sides of the disposal and wrap around the blades

Call a plumbing professional when all else fails

These are general cleaning and maintenance tips for your garbage disposal. If you try these basic cleaning methods, and the annoying stench in your sink persists, you can always contact the professionals at Linthicum Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Inc. to help with your garbage disposal and other plumbing needs.

Six Ways to Stop Wasting Water with your Washing Machine

Your washing machine is a heavy user-of energy and water! As one of the larger and more frequently used appliances in our homes, it takes up significant space on the monthly bills. Newer model washing machines use about 13 gallons per load on the average clothes wash. Older models could be using up to 40 gallons per load! If you have a large family, that’s a lot of dirty socks and shirts that may need multiple loads to get it all done. There are a variety of water saving tips to help save you time, money and energy. Before you throw your next load of laundry in the washer, check out these six ways to stop wasting water with your washing machine.

Use less water

That may seem like a no-brainer but it’s harder than one might think. If you have an older washing machine at home, there is a chance it is less economic than a newer model. Higher efficiency washing machines are designed to be more conservative while being highly efficient. Newer models may also come with a load-sensing feature. These are very convenient for hassle free water saving. The load-sensing feature automatically adjusts the amount of water for each load based on its weight.

Don’t overstuff the washer

It may seem like there is enough room to wash your whites and colors at the same time, but we advise against it!  Overloading your washing machine could cause damage to the drum and lower its efficiency. It is best to give enough room for the dirty laundry to move around inside the washer. The water needs to be able to properly reach all the clothes and drain correctly afterwards.

Wash colors in cold water

Whites need warm water to maintain their color. Dark colors, however, could use a colder wash. This colder setting for a load of colors will save water and energy. It will also keep their color from fading.

Check for leaks

Where leaks are concerned it’s best to get the professionals involved. The professionals at Linthicum Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Inc. are here to help. Have them take a thorough look into the details of the machine. Checking for leaky or loose hoses, pumps, or worn out tubing is an important step in saving water. They could be causing damage and demanding more water to make up for it. Save your machine’s life expectancy and save water by taking preventative measures.

Invest in a new washing machine

If you were thinking about a new machine, now may be the time. Here is a good tip to save water and energy in the future. High-efficiency, front-loading clothes washers can use as little as 13 gallons of water per load. That’s three times less water than an older, inefficient machine, which could use up to 40 gallons on average.

If you do laundry once a week, you could save 1,404 gallons of water using a high efficiency, front-loading clothes washer. That is a lot of water!

Wear clothes twice

You don’t really need to wash that shirt you only wore for an hour to the store. It can wait to be washed! It is all right to wear those pair of jeans twice.

Saving water is a matter of a few adjustments to your machine loads. Every gallon of water saved is less stress on your next round of water and energy bills. Be sure to check those leaks and remember to call the plumbing professionals at Linthicum Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Inc. for all your plumbing needs.

Pet Proof Your Plumbing-Keeping Your Pet and Your Plumbing Safe

Any pet owner knows, pets and plumbing systems aren’t always the best of friends. Pipes and protruding wires are their chew toys and toilet bowls their personal water fountain. Yet what may seem playful is actually dangerous to your furry friend’s health and to the  lifespan of your plumbing system. Here are some tips to pet proof your plumbing-helping to keep both your pet and your plumbing safe.

Tip #1- Keep the toilet lid down

Many times we see a dog drinking from the toilet bowl as a comic trope. Curious as they are, they are always getting into things they shouldn’t. Your toilet bowl definitely being one of those. By lapping up bowl water, they may be getting into harmful chemicals and cleaners. Bleachers may leave residue, which can affect a pet’s health overtime. Leave your toilet lid down, and perhaps bathroom doors closed.

Tip #2 - Give your pets a bath outside

Getting your fuzz balls into the tub is both cute and quite funny, and some pets even find it refreshing! Your pipes, on the other hand, may not see it that way. As much as your dogs love dirt, your pipes hate it. Allowing clumps of fur and dirt to go down the drain could cause some serious damage in due time. It would only take a few doggy baths to harm your draining system. A drain cover may be a good start for the smaller fellows. Covers catch dirt and debris along with hair and fur, making for an easy clean up and leaving your pipes relieved. For larger and furier dogs, however, the outdoor hose may have to do the trick. With plenty of space to leave a mess, you won’t have to worry about causing pipe damage. The sun for natural drying is also a nice bonus!

Tip #3-Watch those digging paws

What could be under your yard that is so interesting? Only your dog knows the answer to that one. What may interest YOU, however, is that your sewage pipes are only 18 inches or so under the ground. Once Fido finds the spot, only a few digs will unearth your big pipes. Teeth and claws meeting steel could cause damage to both parties. Leaks and minor damage could become a costly inconvenience. Your pet is also at  risk of getting hurt and having to make a trip to the vet. Watch your diggers! It’s cute until it’s costly.

Tip #4 - Keep plenty of clean water on standby

Help keep your furry friends happy and healthy. Ensure you and your best friend are both drinking clean water and have plenty at hand. Stay hydrated from a safe source. Having clean water waiting may steer Fido away from the porcelain bowl. Keeping the lid down and doors closed will definitely be discouraging.

Small adjustment throughout the home can make your plumbing pet friendly and your home a safer place to roam. However, if your pet and your plumbing do have an issue, the plumbing professionals at Linthicum Plumbing are just a phone call away.