Plumbing Tips

Tips to Help Prevent Holiday Plumbing Embarrassments

What is the fastest way to have party guests leave your home? Announce you have a clogged toilet and see them running for the door. You might even have a family member or two try to sneak out the back door. A clogged toilet is no laughing matter!

Here’s a few tips to try to keep the unimaginable from happening to you!

Take the time to do a basic check on your toilet. Flush it. Does the tank refill in a timely manner? Does the water continue to run after the tank is full? If you think you might have any toilet issues, now is the time to do a little DIY maintenance or to call Waldman Plumbing for help.

No matter what you do, sometimes a toilet clog just can’t be avoided. To prepare for those unexpected clogs be sure to have the proper plunger on hand for guests to find. The typical orange suction cup plunger is great for use in the kitchen, but a toilet clog needs a different type of plunger to be able to work effectively. A ball-shaped or foldout-cup style is created to be more efficient in handling toilet clogs.

Holidays often mean small guests with curious hands. Be sure to remove items from the back of the tank that could accidentally fall into the toilet.

Don’t let your guests ever run out of toilet paper! We often forget that the most obvious location for a spare roll to us, might not be where they would think to look. Leave an extra out in plain sight.

Waldman Plumbing & Heating has been helping the residents of Lynn and the North Shore area for over 100 years with their plumbing repair and installations. If you need help with any plumbing issues this holiday, check out our coupons and then give us a call for an appointment.  Don’t let plumbing issues ruin your holidays!

Tips to Save Water This Summer

SAhhh, water! We rely on water for so many facets of our daily life in Lynn, MA. And while the summer is when we seem to truly appreciate it the most, it is also the time of year that can be extra wasteful.

Here’s a few tips to remind us that saving water should be an every day routine in our lives.

Water the Yard in the Cooler Part of the Day
The hot afternoon sun is no time to water your lawn. The water will begin to evaporate before it gets a chance to soak into the ground. Try the morning or evening when outdoor temperatures are lower.

Toilet Leak Test
The toilet is one of the most common places that will find water leaks. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest to check for. Click here for a Simple Toilet Leak Test that you can do yourself.

Cover the Pool
It only takes a few minutes to cover and uncover the pool. That extra time will help keep water from needlessly evaporating.

You Deserve a Dishwasher
You not only deserve the extra help doing the dishes, it will also save water and energy. Energy star rated models can use as little as 3 gallons of water per load. Washing dishes by hand can use up to 27 gallons.

Car Wash
While washing a car in the driveway to some is a family tradition, an automatic car wash can often use only 40 gallons of water.

Rain Barrel for Your Gutter
Putting a rain barrel under gutter is an excellent way to help the environment. You can then use that water to water plants around the yard.

Shower or Bath?
The relaxing nature of bath is something that cannot be duplicated. But did you realize that the average tub will take between 30-50 gallons of water to fill with hot water. The average shower is only 20 gallons. Today’s latest achievements in shower heads can bring that down to even less … which saves you both water and energy

Waldman Plumbing & Heating has been helping the residents of Lynn and the North Shore area for over 100 years with their plumbing repairs and installations. If you’d like to discuss new fixtures for your home, check out our coupons and then give us a call for an appointment.

How to Save Water This Summer

Summer is only a month away, and many of us are already looking forward to having some water fun that we missed desperately throughout the winter. But first, let’s spend a little time saving water in our homes, and a little cash besides.

Save Water at Home

1. Check for leaks. Leaks are not always as obvious as finding a puddle of water in the middle of your floor. Sometimes you need to go looking for them. They can hide. That can mean wasted water and damage to our homes. Click here for a few tips on how to check for water leaks in your home.

2. Brushing your pearly whites. For every minute you let the faucet run, that could mean 2.5 gallons of water needlessly going down the drain. Turn off the water and take your time performing your daily routine of brushing your teeth.

3. Shower time. Americans love their showers. It can both wake you up to prepare you for the day and then wash away the remnants of that long day at work. Did you know that outdated showerheads can use as much as 5 gallons of water per minute? Consider updating to a more water efficient one and saving on both your water bills and energy bills.

4. Car wash. Washing your car on a bright sunny day to some is a tradition that has been handed down through generations. Take care to turn off the hose when you are soaping down, or better yet, consider using a car wash that recycles the water instead.

What uses the most water in our homes?

If you guessed toilets … you are absolutely correct! The average American household can use up to 400 gallons of water per day. According to the EPA, our toilet accounts for 24% of that … more than any other item in our homes. What’s the solution? We suggest upgrading to a more efficient toilet!

A WaterSense toilet can save you cash each month, and as a bonus you’ll be doing your part to help save the environment. And while you are considering updating your toilet, think about your showerhead. Showers account for the 2nd most water usage in the home.

Waldman Plumbing & Heating has been helping the residents of Swampscott and the North Shore area for over 100 years with their plumbing repairs and installations. If you’d like to find out about the many choices available, check out our coupons and then give us a call for an appointment.

Spring is a Good Time to Check for Water Leaks in Marblehead, MA

It’s been a long winter, a very long winter. Now that spring is finally here, now is a good time to check for water leaks. Summer fun is right around the corner, so let’s get some home maintenance out of the way.

Check for Pipe Damage

Cold weather and pipe damage seem to go hand in hand with the severe temperatures that came our way last winter. Grab your flashlight and let’s start exploring the dark crevices under the sinks and in the basement. Leaks can start out small and are not as obvious as spraying water from a busted pipe can be.

Toilets

Toilets are often the cause of high water bills, and many homeowners never realize it. The silent loss of water from corroded water valves or flappers can waste 30-250 gallons a day, depending on the leak size. That’s a lot of water (and your dollars) needlessly going down the toilet

Toilet Leak Test

Checking your toilet for leaks is so easy, it can be done in your PJs while drinking your morning coffee! Put 1 teaspoon of food coloring into the tank. Wait about 10-15 minutes. Do not flush the toilet during that time. Look inside your toilet bowl. If the water is still clear, you do not have to worry about a toilet water leak. If the water changed color, uh oh! You can find more information on our blog post How To Fix a Running Toilet for tips.

Check Yard for Poor Drainage Areas

Choose a nice dry day to take a walk around your yard. Are there any areas that seem to be taking longer to dry? Did you have a drainage problem in that area before winter set in? If this is something new, you might have a pipe leaking underground.

Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump, have you checked on it lately? Pour a couple buckets of water into the pit where you have your sump pump installed. If it doesn’t automatically drain the water, you will want to find out the reason why before April showers bring more than May flowers.

Test Outside Faucets

Don’t forget to check on your outside faucets. They are often times forgotten until you need water outside. Turn them on for several seconds. Then check for leaks. Now is the time to find out if they sustained any winter damage … before you want to use them.

Waldman Plumbing & Heating has been helping the residents of Marblehead and the North Shore area for over 100 years with their plumbing repairs and installations. If you found any plumbing leaks, check out our coupons and then give us a call for an appointment.

Garbage Disposal Problems You Can Solve in Reading, MA?

The garbage disposal is our own personal troll that lives under the sink and is always hungry. It is always waiting for its next meal and to eat through our food waste. We feed it and it keeps our sink clear. But what do you do when that troll stops eating?

How Do I Fix My Garbage Disposal?

First, make some room under your sink so you can get a better look at the garbage disposal unit. Most of us keep things under there like cleaning supplies, that need to be moved out of the way.

Next, turn on the garbage disposal and listen. What do you hear? It might be silent, it might be only humming, or you might hear the gears trying to work through something unsuccessfully.

If it is silent, then resetting it could be the answer. Near the bottom of the disposal unit there should be a red button, press it. That should reset the unit. If that doesn’t do the trick, do a test to see if it is getting power.

If it is humming, then it’s getting power but probably has something keeping the blades from moving. Before you continue TURN OFF THE POWER to the garbage disposal. At the bottom of the disposal there is usually a hex-shaped hole that will allow you to fit a hex wrench into. Try to dislodge whatever is keeping the blades from moving. If that is not a choice, use something like a broom stick in the sink drain to see if you can free the blades.

If it is churning, there could be items that the garbage disposal was not made to chew through. Stringy food waste, such as banana peels, can keep the blades from being able to move well enough to make its way through the waste and clearing the drain. After making sure the POWER IS OFF, try using tongs to pull out as much as possible. That might be just enough help to let the disposal finish its job.

Waldman Plumbing & Heating has been helping the residents of Reading, MA and the North Shore area for over 100 years with their plumbing repairs and installations. Check out our coupons and then give us a call for an appointment.

How to Avoid Common Summer Plumbing Problems in Reading, MA

Plunging ToiletAfter a cold New England winter, it seems like summer can’t come soon enough. But just because the threat of frozen and burst piping is gone, doesn’t mean you won’t have plumbing problems during the summer. In fact, some problems are more likely to occur during the warmer months!

As with most plumbing issues, regular maintenance is the best way to prevent plumbing problems during the summer. Our highly reviewed plumbing services in Reading, MA can tackle any plumbing problem you may have this summer, allowing you to get back to having fun in the sun!

Learn how to avoid these popular summer plumbing problems in Reading, MA and how we can help you avoid them.

Backed up sewer lines

Summer thunderstorms increase the chances that this unpleasant plumbing problem will happen. Heavy rainfall can easily overwhelm sewer lines as water seeps into cracks, causing it to backup into your home. In addition, invasive tree roots can cause sewer backups as tiny roots take refuge in sewer lines and grow to form a clog. Drain plugs are effective in preventing water from backing up during storms, but the best way to avoid this problem is to call us and schedule a video sewer line inspection.

Your washing machine can get all washed up!

Outdoor summer activities means more loads of bulky laundry and stress on your washing machine and its hoses. The average lifespan of washing hoses is about 5 years, so be sure to inspect them regularly for signs of damage such as bulging or cracking. Keep an eye out for leaking hoses or leakage behind your machine. And make sure the water supply connections are tight.

Garbage disposal clogs

New England is known for it’s wonderful summer foods, but boiled potatoes, tough shellfish, and corn should always been thrown in the trash and not in the garbage disposal. To avoid a garbage disposal repair this summer, throw kitchen waste such as grease, tough vegetables, melon rinds, and starchy foods like pasta salad in the trash and now down the sink. Be sure the cold water is running when your garbage disposal is on.

For top notch plumbing service you can count on during the summer and all year round, call Waldman Plumbing and Heating, Inc.! We use the latest plumbing technologies to perform repairs and your satisfaction is our number one priority.

 

How to Put Your Plumbing on Vacation While You’re Away from Reading, MA This Winter

Detail of water attachment to the washing machine.Everyone knows that winters here in the Northeast can really be a doozy. Just look at how harsh last winter was! With that being said, winter is a perfect time for a little, or a long, getaway. Between trekking over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house or making your way to warmer weather, there’s plenty to see and do during the winter. But the most important thing to do is to take proper care of your home’s plumbing before you go!

Regardless of how long it is, we want you to enjoy your well-deserved winter vacation with complete plumbing peace of mind. Let our dedicated team of experienced plumbing professionals help you get your plumbing ready. We provide a variety of plumbing services to ensure things keep flowing smoothly, even when you’re not around!

Use these simple vacation plumbing tips and you’ll have peace of mind while you’re away!

Never turn off your heat

If you’re looking to save a few bucks while you’re away this winter by turning off your heat, don’t!
You can bet your bottom dollar that the cost to repair frozen or burst piping will be way higher than even your most expensive heating bill! You can turn your heat down low, but as a precaution never keep it below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Inspect washing machine hoses

While you’re doing that last load of laundry before you go, take a moment to carefully inspect your washing machine hoses. With a life expectancy of only 3 years, washing machine hoses can develop cracks and potentially problematic build ups of calcium over time, causing leaks and other issues. If you find anything noteworthy, don’t put it off! Just give us a call because the problem won’t go away until we fix it!

Even your water heater could use a vacation

Did you know many water heaters have a vacation mode that can be activated specifically for times like these? This helps to save on energy costs as well as prevent water damage in the unfortunate event that the pipes leading to and from your water heater burst. A dry or empty water heater can damage the heating element and cause it burn out! If your water heater doesn’t have a vacation mode, turn it off instead.

Turn off the main water valve

One of the best ways to really nip issues with flooding and frozen pipes in the bud is to shut off your main water valve. This helps to prevent these issues by stopping the flow of winter into your home’s pipes. That way, it won’t even get a chance to freeze! You can help drain any water left over in them by opening your hot and cold water faucets. Disregard this step if you have a boiler, as it requires water to continue heating your home!

Prevent unpleasant drain odors

No one likes to be welcomed home by the stench of rotting food wafting up from your kitchen sink or garbage disposal, or worse, that infamous sewer smelling coming from a bathroom. Give your drains a proper cleaning before you leave or call us for professional drain cleaning. For bathroom drains, piping hot water, vinegar, and baking soda are tried and true natural ways to get rid of odors, but bleach will also do the trick.

After serving the greater Reading, MA area for over a century, we’ve learned a thing or two about preventative plumbing maintenance. With all that experience, you can always trust the skilled plumbing professionals at Waldman to handle any job the right way on the first time!

Wash These Embarrassing Holiday Plumbing Problems Down the Drain in Reading, MA

A plumber uses a plunger to unclog a toilet.

The holidays are truly a special time for families in the Northeast, as they gather together to celebrate and honor the themes of the season. Unfortunately, all that cooking, feasting, and visiting can put a strain on your home’s plumbing and plug up our festivities.

At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, Inc., the holidays are an especially important time of year for us too, which is why our team of experienced and dedicated plumbing technicians are ready to tackle your most embarrassing holiday plumbing problems in Reading MA and the North Shore. We’re pleased to offer a 24/7 emergency service to guarantee we’ll be by your side when you need it most.

Here are five common holiday plumbing problems that can be remedied with simple solutions.

Not enough hot water for everyone

Don’t allow your guests to suffer the disappointment of a cold or lukewarm shower! In order to accommodate the increased demand for hot water during the holidays, try turning your water heater up to boost its capacity. Prevent injuries such as burns or scalding by keeping the temperature below 125 degrees. The best way to avoid the annoyance of too little hot water to install a tankless water heater. That way there will always be enough hot water to go around!

Backed up shower drains

A clogged drain can ruin showers for you and your guests even if there is plenty of hot water to go around. An accumulation of hair and soap residue will clog the drain and cause a backup of shower water, making for a pretty unpleasant shower. You can prevent this by regularly cleaning your drains and using a drain screen to catch debris before it find its way down the drain .

Clogged toilets

Modern toilets are impressively efficient, but waste such as food, paper towels, and sanitary products are things that should not be flushed down the toilet. Even “flushable” wipes can cause clogs! To avoid the embarrassment of a clogged, overflowing toilet, put a waste basket close to your toilet. This allows you and your guests to safely dispose of unflushable waste. Keep a plunger handy to remove minor clogs just in case. A toilet that constantly clogs despite taking these steps may have a flapper that only opens partially after the toilet is flushed or a has water levels set at the incorrect level, so be sure to keep this mind as well.

A toilet that doesn’t flush correctly

Everyone knows how frustrating it is to have to wiggle a toilet handle just right in order to flush it. Do you really want your guests to have to do this? If the toilet handle is loose and needs to be “jiggled” in order to flush the toilet, you can fix this by simply shortening the chain. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, we’re more than happy to help! Shortening the chain keeps it taut and prevents it from slipping under the flapper once the toilet is flushed, stopping it from running. Keep an eye open for damaged or worn flappers as they may also cause similar problems with flushing.

Garbage disposal problems

Fats, grease, and oils can solidify in your garbage disposal, causing clogs, unpleasant odors and may even lead to a broken garbage disposal over time. Yikes! Always throw fatty food and grease in the garbage rather than putting it in your garbage disposal. Starchy vegetable peels, bones, and even coffee grounds should be kept out of the garbage disposal and tossed in the trash or compost pile. When your garbage disposal is on be sure you’re running cold water. You can remove foul odors with common household ingredients such as ice cubes, vinegar, and even regular table salt. Odors that are especially strong can be cleared with a biodegradable drain cleaner.

The holiday season can be hectic enough without embarrassing plumbing problems, so give us a call with any questions or concerns at the first sign of trouble. We’re proud to serve the greater Reading, MA area this holiday season just as we have for over 100 years!

10 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet in Reading, MA or the North Shore

Baby on toiletThe toilet goes by many names: the can, the john, potty, commode, porcelain thrown. The list goes on. But even if we can’t all agree on what to call the toilet, we can probably all agree that this plumbing fixture is absolutely a household essential, and when the toilet is having problems something must be done ASAP. At Waldman Plumbing, we’re always here to fix your toilet troubles, but we also want to help you to prevent them in the first place. Keep these ten items out of your toilet, and you’ll be helping to prevent issues with your toilet and plumbing system.

What shouldn’t I flush down the toilet?

  • Paper Towels – Many businesses have to call commercial plumbers multiple times a year because of clogged toilets caused by paper towels, but it can happen at your home as well. Because paper towels are big and thick, they’re likely to cause toilet clogs or sewer line backups. Your best bet is to keep a wastepaper basket available and teach your children about what not to flush.
  • Wipes – Both “flushable” wipes and baby wipes are notorious for causing plumbing problems. Furthermore, cities worldwide are spending millions trying to filter wipes out of their plumbing systems. Regardless of whether it says “flushable” on the box, opt to throw these into the garbage.
  • Medications – When medicines expire or are no longer needed, many people dispose of them down the toilet. Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals and hormones get into the water supply when they are flushed, endangering people and wildlife.
  • Cigarette Butts – Like medications, cigarette butts release chemicals into the water supply that can be harmful.
  • Dental Floss – It looks harmless enough, but dental floss isn’t biodegradable and can also bunch up causing a clog in your plumbing pipe.
  • Kitty Litter – Because cat litter is actually designed to clump up when in contact with moisture, it is highly likely to clump up in your plumbing pipes.
  • Cotton Balls & Swabs – It seems easy enough to drop these little items into the toilet, but these are likely to gather together in your plumbing system and cause clogs.
  • Hair & Pet Fur – When hair and pet fur is flushed down the toilet, it can form into balls that cause clogs. Be sure to clean off brushes and combs into the trash.
  • Band-Aids – These and any other sticky plastic items should be thrown away in the garbage. In plumbing systems, they tend to stick to other things and cause serious clogs.
  • Food – While it may seem strange that food gets thrown away down the toilet, it does happen more than you’d think, and is likely to cause problems. Make sure the little ones know that the toilet is not the place to dispose of their sandwich crusts!

Now that you know what not to flush down your toilet in Reading, MA or the North Shore, you should be able to prevent some issues with your plumbing system, but for those unpreventable problems that arise, be sure to give Waldman Plumbing a call for fast, courteous plumbing service!

3 Common Plumbing Repairs You Might Need in the North Shore or Reading, MA This Summer

Stress Mother Watching Kids Make A MessIt turns out that in the summer, long after the threat of frozen pipes has subsided, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong with one’s plumbing system. Three of the most common plumbing repairs that our Reading, MA plumbers tackle during the summer months are unclogging toilets, fixing garbage disposals, and sewer line repairs. Learn about how these plumbing problems occur and what actions you should take to prevent or solve them.

Clogged Toilets – Our plumbers have found that when the kids are home from school, toilets are more likely to become clogged. Teach your kids about using the appropriate amount of toilet paper and strive to keep paper towels, wipes, and other garbage out of the bowl. If your toilet clogs, try using a flange plunger because these create a good amount of suction which is needed to force out clogs. If you’re unable to unclog the toilet, call Waldman Plumbing, so we can get it taken care of fast.

Broken or Clogged Garbage Disposals – While garbage disposals are great at chomping up and disposing of all kinds of scraps, there are a few things that just don’t agree with them. Keep anything really hard like corn cobs, watermelon rinds, and large bones out. You’ll also want to avoid putting in pasta and rice because these can expand. Cooking oils and grease are known to clog up drains and should also be disposed of in the trash. Remember to use your garbage disposal regularly, not just when you have company, and to run water into it whenever it is in use.

Sewer Line Backups – This unpleasant plumbing issue can be difficult to avoid. Sometimes heavy rains cause water to seep into cracks in sewer lines. Furthermore, tree roots like to grow into tiny sewer line cracks as they seek nutrients and then continue to grow and clog the lines. This is not an issue you’ll want to deal with on your own, so if you suspect a sewer problem give Waldman Plumbing a call right away. We’re able to locate the precise locations of blockages by doing sewer line video inspections.

Don’t let plumbing problems bog down your summer fun! Count on Waldman Plumbing to provide fast, friendly, excellent plumbing service in the North Shore and Reading, MA!