Did You Know: Drano Is Bad For Your Pipes?

 

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Hearing about homeowners pouring Drano “Down the Drain” when they have a clog or drain problem is the number one thing that plumbers “cringe” at!! We here at Rocket Plumbing are very passionate about our customers and making sure that they have the information available to make the correct decisions about how to treat their plumbing problems. Some customers prefer to call a plumber to fix those nasty clogs, but if DIY is your preference, Don’t Use Drano!

Drano is acidic and can literally ruin drain pipes! We have seen many pipes that have been severely damaged by the continued use of Drano. While their product label says “safe on all pipes”, they go further to say that it is best used on stainless steel and metal which most drain pipes are not made of. Instead, we have found that a product called BIO1. Bio-One is Safe on All Pipes and has a much more powerful liquid that can address drains more frequently and can help to unclog drains when they become clogged. Check out BIO1 here on Amazon for all our “DIY enthusiasts” and also feel free to take a look at this Youtube video for an explanation of “why not to use Drano.

Fall Plumbing Tips

Fall is here but don’t let your home and plumbing maintenance fall with it! Water can be damaging, especially when it’s cold! Don’t let the plumbing needs of your home fall by the wayside! Listed below are some plumbing tips this fall to help you maintain a happy and healthy home!

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  • Clean out your gutters! Using a gutter shovel or just your hands to scoop out fallen leaves and debris, clean gutters are important for numerous reasons;

          -Preventing water damage

          -Protecting your roof

          -Keeping pests from causing trouble

          -Reducing the risk of a cracked foundation

          -Saving you money

  • Inspect your pipes! Check all of your home’s plumbing pipes to make sure they have proper insulation. Pay special attention to, interior and exterior pipes throughout your house, especially in the basement and garage as they are susceptible to freezing in the wintertime because they are all connected.
  • Drain your water heater! This is an important maintenance tip to extend the longevity of your water heater. Firstly, shut off the power and water supply valve. Then, connect a hose to the drain valve and run it to a nearby valve to drain your water heater. This will lengthen the life of your water heater and increase it’s heating efficiency keeping your water nice and hot for the winter!
  • Disconnect your outdoor water hose and winterize all hose bibs! Doing so will prevent interior pipes connected to the outside water faucet from freezing and possibly bursting. Check that all outdoor faucets are free of leaks and drips. Once you turn them completely off, shut off the interior valve for outdoor faucets (usually found in the basement). This will prevent them from freezing! Further, protect hose bibs by covering them with styrofoam or other insulation material.
  • Get your leaks fixed! Check indoor faucets and plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, shower-heads, etc.) for leaks and get them repaired before winter hits! Contact us and we can fix those leaks today!

Don’t google “plumber near me” we have confidence that you can do these fall plumbing tips yourself! If you are. a visual learner, check out this youtube video that explains most of the points in this article!

    Did You Know- Water Pressure Affects Our Comfort?

    Did you know water pressure affects our comfort and can cause daily annoyance if it is not set within a good range? Check out these tips to test and make sure the water pressure in your home is comfortable for you!

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    Most often people are frustrated by water pressure that is too low to give an invigorating shower or to fill receptacles quickly. Conversely, water pressure that is set too high can damage household utilities and appliances. You can test the pressure delivered to your overall house with a water pressure gauge. A pressure test tells you if the problem affects the entire household or if it’s isolated to one appliance or part of the home. If the gauge measures good pressure but the faucet still trickles and the toilet still fills too slowly, it could be the faucet’s aerator and the toilet’s fill valve causing the problem.

    Whether you have a public or private water supply, its pressure is regulated to enter the house and go-to appliances. For example, if a person has city water, it flows through the main pipe at a pressure so high it would literally blow out our sink, washing machine, toilet, and other utilities. Usually, you’d have a person inside or near the house to test the pressure as tiny, incremental adjustments are made to the regulator. Private wells usually have a pump that can be adjusted to increase the household pressure. A pressure regulator is a dome-shaped brass fitting that generally is found just past the main shutoff valve where the main water line enters the house. It usually has an adjustment screw on top. Inside, a water pressure regulator has a variable spring-loaded diaphragm that automatically widens and narrows depending on the amount of pressure the water has entering the valve. A water pressure regulator (sometimes called a pressure-reducing valve, or PRV) is a specialized plumbing valve that reduces the pressure of the water coming into the home through the main water line. This valve brings down the pressure to a safe level before the water reaches any plumbing fixtures inside the home. If a pressure regulator is set incorrectly or defective (broken) you could have a problem with the pressure of your water within your home.

    To determine if you need a water pressure regulator, test the water pressure of the main water supply to your house. You can buy a simple, effective pressure gauge at local hardware or a home improvement store. Screw the pressure gauge onto any hose bib or washing machine faucet and turn on the cold water tap to measure the water pressure. If the pressure is between 40 and 60 psi usually, then you should be fine, but water pressure that is frequently above 80 psi is probably causing excessive stress on pipes, fittings, and fixtures. City water pressure can fluctuate considerably, often increasing at night when the overall load goes down, so make sure to test at various times of the day. And during the test, make sure that water isn’t being used anywhere else in the house, such as at garden spigots or appliances. If you need help fixing the pressure of your water you can reach out, or use our virtual consults feature!

    Did you know: 2 Types of Septic Systems?

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    Did You Know There Are Two Different Types of Septic Systems? If you answered “Yes” then you would be correct. There is indeed two different types of septic systems. The major difference between elevated sand mounds and conventional in-ground-absorption systems is the addition of sand to the top of the absorption area in order to increase the depth to limiting zone to the required 48 inches. … Mound or Sand Mound Septic Systems are the best option when the permeability of the soil is too slow or fast. Soils with high permeability will not be able to adequately purify the wastewater before it reaches the water table line. Within the sand fill, is a gravel-filled bed with a network of small diameter pipes. Septic tank effluent is pumped through the pipes in controlled doses to insure uniform distribution throughout the bed. In a Conventional Septic System, the majority of the treatment occurs in the drainfield. Waste water flows from the tank through a solid pipe into a distribution box, where it is then channeled into perforated pipes set in trenches of gravel. The water slowly seeps into the underlying soil in the drainfield. Sand Mound systems can typically be double the cost of a conventional septic system. If you are purchasing land or building a house on land you already own, make sure you get a perc test. Did you know if your land cannot be perced, this means the soil does not have the ability to absorb water? When it comes to a septic system, it is essentially a series of pipes under your property that wastewater drains into. If the soil isn’t moist enough to allow for drainage, the system simply will not work. In most jurisdictions, a perc test is performed when an official from the county health department meets with the owner of the property and/or a licensed excavator to dig a hole and test the drainage rate of the soil on-site (they literally pour water in a hole and time how long it takes to drain through) If you land is sloped as ours is, your drainage field may have to be “higher up” on your land in order to perc properly. Make sure to consult a professional engineer or excavator to find out what kind of Septic System you need! If you need a reference, contact us!

    “Did You Know” Where Your Water Comes From?

    Did you know that there are many different sources of the water that you use in your plumbing depending on where you live? See where your water supply comes from!

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    What we use for our showers, drinking, brushing and flushing in a household or business comes from many different sources. One way water is supplied to town residents is for the water department to pump it from a reservoir, river, or well into a tower, which often sits on high points in the town. Using gravity, the liquid we all love flows through pipes all the way to the last house in a subdivision. However, In many rural areas where public water-supply systems are in short supply, homeowners have their own wells, but often still fill up a tank which supplies the water used in their home. A pump called a “well pump” draws water from a well for distribution inside the house or business. In general rivers and lakes and other surface are drawn from and put into subsurface sources such as aquifers and drawn into our plumbing. Private supplies are more common in rural areas where homes and businesses do not have access to a public supply. The system is much smaller in scale and simpler. In our area for example, the town of Birchrunville, everyone has a well as there is no centralized public water supply. However, in certain specific towns such as Phoenixville and the Boro of Pottstown, the town supplies and you receive a water bill quarterly. One consideration when you purchase a home is where the water is derived from and are you going to have to pay for it or will it be FREE? Here is a list of the public H2O suppliers in Chester County incase you want to check it out and don’t hesitate to call Rocket for any and all plumbing/drain issues or questions! 

     

    Plumbing and Drain Challenges Going Back to School!

    Back to school plumbing and drain tips

    With the kids at home for summer vacation, getting things done around the house— even minor plumbing repairs—can be difficult. Now that they’re back at school, it’s the perfect time to get plumbing and drain repairs done to ensure all the routine maintenance is handled. By getting the work done now, you’ll ensure your home is in great plumbing shape for the busy holiday season. Our back-to-school plumbing and drain checklist takes plumbing maintenance room-by-room and makes it easy!

    1. The Kitchen- Plumbing and Drain

    The kitchen tends to be a place where the family gathers when all members of the family are home.  When school starts, the mornings get even busier!  By keeping the plumbing to the garbage disposal and dishwasher in good working order, you’ll stay way ahead of any plumbing problems on a busy school morning when you don’t have time for plumbing issues to arise!

    The Garbage Disposal Unit is certain to see heavy use during the school year and now would be a great time to do some routine maintenance on it! You can either make a recipe of Baking Soda and Vinegar or using Citrus Fruit, help to clean the unit and make it smell fresh!  Check out our recipes below:

    Baking Soda and Vinegar

    Pour 1/2 C of baking soda into the disposal

    Add 1 C of Vinegar

    Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes and run the water to flush the mixture out.  NOTE: Do not use the vinegar solution too often or it will rot the rubber components because it is very acidic.  

    Citrus Fruit

    Cut a piece of citrus fruit into wedges.  Turn on the water and the disposal unit and then toss the wedges one at a time into the drain.  Citrus oils help clean the unit and make it smell really fresh! 

    The Dishwasher just like any laundry appliance has a hose that can become clogged or cracked.  Check the hoses regularly to make sure they are in good condition and aren’t clogged.  Replace the hose every three years.  Saving energy is a bonus if you can only run the Dishwasher when it’s full or choose the half load option if you need to run it with less in time for cereal for breakfast for the kiddos!

    2.  The Bathroom- Plumbing and Drain

    The bathroom gets more traffic in one hour during a work and school day than the summer months, so it’s important that you realize how much stress and pressure that puts on the plumbing and drain systems and how it makes them susceptible to frequent blockages from hair and soap.  If you need to clear a drain or unclog a toilet, check out our blog posts on what to keep out of your drains or toilet clog hacks if you are running into issues and need a quick fix!  Take a little bit of time to make sure all bathroom drains are clear and running freely to reduce the risk of backups when you need your bathroom the most.  

    3. The Laundry Area- Plumbing and Drain

    With school clothes and sports uniforms in abundance during the school year. Laundry use is at an all-time high.  Since this is the beginning of the school year,  now is a great time to make sure they are in good condition.  How do you do that?  Well, let’s start with replacing the laundry hoses.  Just like plumbing drains, they get clogged with soap scum and other debris.  You don’t want to flood your laundry room so it is really important to get this done before it’s too late.  Just pull out the hose rinse it out and put it back! It’s that simple!

    4. Hot Water System- Plumbing and Drain

    If you ask me, everyone wants a hot shower and it’s usually in the morning when life is the craziest on a school day!  To make sure there is enough hot water for everyone, check out the number of gallons you have in your water heater to confirm that what’s installed in your home is sufficient for your family.  Below is our handy chart to see what may be the best fit for you:  

    50 Gallon– Family of 3-4 persons

    75 Gallon– Family of 4 or more persons

    Tankless– Unlimited Hot Water

    Once you confirm that your water heater is the right size and determine its Serial Number call the manufacturer for the date of manufacture.  This is important because most water heaters need to be replaced by the 10-year mark.  If you don’t want to get left without hot water, it’s critical to determine how old your water heater is.  If your water heater is Bradford White, you can simply go online click this link and enter your serial number right here for the information.  If you find out you need a water heater, you can obtain an estimate on our water heater quoting feature on our website.  NOTE: **Due to pricing volatility, we are currently providing “estimates”.  Pricing will be confirmed by the office. 

    If you are staggering showers or still finding that you are just not getting enough hot water, you may have sediment build-up in your hot water heater!  Check out this link on YouTube showing exactly how to do this safely!  

    Water Temperature…..if you have small children it’s important to check the actual temperature of the water that it is not set above 120 degrees.  This makes it much safer and more comfortable for kids just starting to shower and bathe on their own.   

    Make BACK TO SCHOOL a rewarding and effortless transition! Check out some of these simple tips to avoid the stresses of Plumbing and Drain Failures on a School Day! If you feel overwhelmed and simply just want someone to take care of this list of plumbing and drain issues for you, don’t google “plumber near me”  just reach out to us here at Rocket Plumbing and Drain as we are happy to help out!  484.986.5517

    DID YOU KNOW: Homeowners Insurance Coverage

    Do you have coverages if your sewer line breaks underground? Most homeowners don’t realize the cost of a broken sewer line. Unfortunately, breaks in a line or accidents during digging can happen. DID YOU KNOW, you can get coverage for those underground lines right in your homeowner’s insurance policy by adding an endorsement to your existing policy including, but not limited to; wear and tear, rust, freezing, root invasion, animal damage, and similar perils?

     Here at Rocket Plumbing, our goal is to find the best possible solutions for our customers.  This is why we chose “Homeowners Insurance Coverage” for our first post in our “Did You Know” series!!  Most homeowners can simply give their insurance company or agent a call and discuss adding on “underground line” coverages.  As homeowners ourselves, our insurance company has an add-on that covers “Service Line Coverages ”.  The service line is defined as a network of the exterior, underground utility lines or pipes that supply a home with electricity, gas, water, and sewer functions. These lines connect from the house to a city’s main supply for these services.  You are responsible for many of the repairs and replacements that are necessary and this type of coverage is super important. Sewer Line Breaks are very common and can be extremely costly to replace/repair. This is a simple coverage that is very affordable and can be added to your policy. Contact your insurance agent today to inquire about Service Line Insurance!  Check out our Sewer Line Services here at Rocket Plumbing and Drain and see how we treat our residential customers here so you can feel comfortable that we can handle your Underground Breakage!  Call Today For More Information  484.986.5517!

     

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    Our “Mission”- An Inside Look at Rocket

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    An Inside Look At Our “MISSION”! Rocket Plumbing and Drain of Chester County, PA has built itself on setting ourselves apart from its competitors. We pride ourselves on being able to provide our customers of Chester County and surrounding areas the most personalized experience for all of their plumbing needs and emergencies. These four characteristics of our company have allowed Rocket Plumbing and Drain to propel ourselves into another stratosphere! 

     

    Mission-debbie-steve-small-business-owners-chester-county1. When you call, our OWNERS answer ! 

    A lot of you may know Debbie from answering your phone calls or seeing Steve out in the field.  We pride ourselves on having the best and most personalized relationships with our customers and that starts with the first communication. When customers call with a plumbing or drain emergency and have no idea what to do, the owners and most knowledgeable people are there to answer. Our mission includes trying to communicate the most informative and helpful information to our customers at their biggest time of plumbing crisis.

     

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    2. Information is the best plumbing tool ! 

    At Rocket, our goal is to provide you the most effective solution to your plumbing problem. This starts with understanding why your plumbing problem is occurring and how we can help you fix it ! We take our time to walk through all of the possible solutions to your problem and explain it so that you can understand what is happening to your home or business. We want our customers to have all of the information they need to make informative decisions. We don’t just offer to make an appointment. Our goal is for you to feel “heard” and get you the best possible solution in the shortest amount of time possible!

     

    learning-tips-rocket-plumber-emergency-provide3. Transparency is our goal! 

    We believe in being a transparent and honest company in our core values as a business to serve our customers. In order to achieve this, we cannot supply pricing for most plumbing problems over the phone. Plumbing is a very “hands on” approach to a solution.  While we can give you suggestions and “common” solutions to problems, we cannot identify the exact solution to your issue all the time in a phone call. This is where it’s important to be transparent. Our plumbers do not go to “sales” schools like most companies, or goal is to provide real world solutions to real time problems/emergencies at your home.  We do this to show our customers that while we may not initially know what the “exact” problem is, we will come out, diagnose the issue to give you the most informed solution and the costs that go along with it. 

     

    4. Quick and Speedy Scheduling ! 

    emergency-plumbing-plumber-near-me-provideOur office staff, working out of Chester County, is the best around, from answering the phones to scheduling our customers! One of our top priorities is making sure that we have room to accommodate all of our customer needs. To do so, we typically make ourselves available to our customers to schedule 1-2 days from the time they call! In emergency situations, we want to get out to our customers “that day” and even sometimes within hours, you can even call us and get a virtual consult immediately! We do our best to be there for all of our customers when they need it most ! While we cannot accommodate every request our goal is to be honest about what we can do and give you the choice!

     

    While we don’t have a fancy “mission” statement or “tag line”, our goal is to solve real world problems with real time solutions.  Our owners are honest, transparent and will give you the respect of their time to help and answer any and all questions you may have! You can’t ask for more than that!  See here to learn more about us! 

    You Didn’t Know These 5 Plumber Facts!

     

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    At Rocket we take our work very seriously, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fun or interesting facts that are part of the industry. Today’s blog post is all about teaching you about things that you might have never known about plumbing! Here are 5 cool facts about plumbers and plumbing!

     

    • Most Famous Plumbers

    Can you guess who the most famous plumbers are? The answer might surprise you. Appearing in over 200 video games, Mario and Luigi have been the most well-known plumbers since 1985.

     

    • Commonly flushed

    What are the most common items flushed down the toilet? Children’s toys are still popular items that can clog a toilet, but smartphones are slowly taking the lead. From phones falling out of pockets while in the bathroom to phones being used while in the bathroom, it may be a good idea to get that protection plan the next time you upgrade. If you do have an item in your toilet, don’t hesitate to give Rocket a ring and Steve the plumber will help you out!

     

    • Use Your Dishwasher

    Sometimes the lazy option is the best option. National Geographic reports that using a dishwasher instead of scrubbing and drying dishes by hand is actually a more efficient use of water. So go ahead and load, rinse, repeat.

     

    • Einsteins 2nd life

     “If I could do it all again, I’d be a plumber.” This quote, according to Goodreads and many other quotation websites, comes from famed German physicist, philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein. We bet Mr. Einstein would have been the most famous plumber if he took that route too!

     

    • Ancient Plumbers

     Standardized plumbing can be traced back to around 3,000 B.C. when the Indus River Valley civilization used earthen plumbing pipes to provide transportable water and drain wastes.

     

    Hope you found some of these “fun plumbing facts” as interesting as we did!

       

      Conserve Water In Your Home: 5 Ways

       

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      With the pandemic changing the trajectory of our lives and ultimately the way we view the world. Whether it was because hiking, window watching, and watering our plants were the only activities we could partake in, or because you were watching more Planet Earth documentaries, one thing that many of us were able to slow down and gain the energy to realize more than ever is how precious and worth saving Mother Nature is. Conserving water one of the easiest ways to keep our Earth happy and healthy. 

       

      The earth has always been here for us through all of our ups and downs and the least we owe it is to show it how thankful we are. Since everyone wants to reduce their carbon footprint. The best place to start is in your home. Rocket Plumbing will walk you through how to easily change your habits to help our wonderful planet stay that way.

       

      1. Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth.

       

      Did you know, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) stated that leaving the water running while brushing your teeth wastes an average of four gallons each time? You can easily prevent that by wetting your toothbrush, turning off the faucet and keeping it off until you’re ready to rinse! 

       

          2. Minimize shower time.

       

      Instead of thinking in the shower and wasting water try using towel-time as a time to think and ponder. Put a bucket in the shower while you’re waiting for the water to warm up, and use the water you catch for watering plants, flushing the toilet or cleaning. Install a low-flow shower head. It may cost you some money up front, but your water conservation efforts will save you money down the road. 

       

          3. Only flush toilet papers.

       

      Wipes can take 100 years to break down because they contain non-biodegradable plastics. Wipes and everything else besides toilet paper can and will clog your toilet. Conserve water by not clogging your pipes! If you do end up with a clog, you know who to contact!

       

          4. Switch to low flow shower heads.

      The simple fact of conserving water is reason alone to choose a low-flow shower head, but there are a host of other benefits as well. You can decrease home water consumption by 40 percent or more, save energy and lower annual heating costs, significantly reduce your monthly water bill, and reduce CO2 emissions by using less energy.

         

          5. Use rainwater to water your plants.

      Rainwater is Soft water and hence, safe for plants. Rainwater matches the right pH needed for plants to grow. Rainwater also frees essential elements in the soil for plants to thrive. Lastly it is easy to access and store!

      These are just a few ways to reduce waste, save water, conserve energy and save money—you can get really creative when it comes to changing your habits for the betterment of the environment.