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Blogs from August, 2018


Have a clogged drain? Sick of scale making your plumbing look all dirty and gross? These are just two common plumbing problems that we hear customers commonly having to deal with. While a professional repair is always the best solution, there are ways you can actually fix some of these smaller issues on your home without having to turn to harsh chemicals and nasty procedures that could damage your plumbing even further. And to make things even better, many of these solutions use natural ingredients or items that you can easily find in your own home.

Here are three of these simple home remedies you may want to try.

1. Drain Clog? Try Baking Soda.

The home improvement warehouse probably has a wide selection of chemical drain cleaners that advertise that they can do away with your pesky drain clog quickly and easily. Perhaps they can, but at the same time, they’re also going to do immense damage to your plumbing, possibly even eating away at the walls of your pipes!

However, you can find a pretty effective clog remover in most homes: baking soda. Simply pour half a box of baking soda down your drain, making sure to keep the water off while you do. You want as much of that baking soda to go down as possible. Then pour half a cup of vinegar down the drain and quickly stop up the drain with a stopper or thick rag. This creates the same “volcano” effect that you probably did in middle school, but you want it to exert pressure on the clog and eat away at it. After leaving the mixture in your drain for about half an hour, flush it out with several cups of boiling hot water, and then run the tap as hot as you can for a few minutes.

2. Repulsive Drain Odors? Try Ice Cubes.

What’s that awful smell in your kitchen? Did someone forget to take out the garbage again? Nope: it’s coming from your sink, or to be more precise, your garbage disposal. With how much food and organic waste you shove down there, it should come as no surprise that after a while something runs foul and starts to stink. So what can you do?

In this case, ice is going to be your best friend. The first thing you want to do is make sure your blades are clean using ice cubes, coarse salt, and lemon peels. Simply toss a few ice cubes and pour two to three tablespoons of coarse salt (such as kosher salt) down the drain then turn on the disposal for about 30 seconds or until you hear everything has cleared out. The ice knocks any lingering food out of the grinder while the salt scrubs the sides. After that, toss a few lemon peels down the disposal and run it again and the odors should dissipate.

Or, alternatively, if you want a stronger remedy, freeze some lemon wedges in white vinegar and then crush one in the disposal along with a low stream of water. This will take more time for your disposal to chew through, but the results are outstanding.

3. Limescale? Try Lemon Juice.

Limescale is a buildup of minerals like calcium and magnesium that are found in trace amounts in normal public water. They don’t hurt you, but when your faucets are exposed to enough water, over time they’ll eventually develop this unsightly white coating that’s rough to the touch and extremely difficult to clean off.

If you’re sick of scrubbing away at your faucets and fixtures that are covered in limescale, lemons are your best friend. Cut a lemon in half and then use the exposed fruit size to scrub the scaled-up fixture, making sure to coat the surface in the juice. Wait a few minutes and then use an old toothbrush to scrub at the scale and you should find that it comes off fairly easily. And here’s the best part: it smells fantastic as well!

Have a more serious problem that needs professional help? Call the Bartlett plumbers at Smith’s Plumbing Services today at (901) 290-1110 to request an estimate!
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