Category Archives: Blog

AIR DEHUMIDIFIERS HELP YOUR HOME STAY COOL

During the hot summer months, staying cool can often be a challenge, especially when humidity is high. Humidity creates an uncomfortable, sticky feeling that is difficult to combat. Indoor air fee…ls much warmer than it actually is because the humidity level is so high. The best way to deal with this indoor “heat-indexed” air is to use air dehumidifiers, which reduce the levels of moisture in the air and therefore help your home stay cool. Air dehumidifiers are similar to air conditioners in that they remove humidity from the air inside your home and decrease the air’s temperature. Ideal areas to place air dehumidifiers are in poorly ventilated and damp places like basements or crawl spaces, as these areas typically contain more moisture than other areas of a home.
Continue reading

WHAT IS A P-TRAP FOR SINKS?

ptrapBeneath a kitchen or bathroom sink drain is a pipe with a sharp bend in it. This p-trap has a pair of reasons for its design. These traps prevent sewer gases from entering the home and stop heavy items that have fallen down the sink from being completely lost in the plumbing. You must have a p-trap installed under your sink if you want your home to pass inspection in many places, where the building code requires them. Even if they are not required, you should understand the practical purpose for installing a p-trap.

SHAPE

As its name suggests, the p-trap vaguely resembles the letter “p” when turned on its side. The u-shape bend in the pipe forms the curve of the “p”. The straight extension leading from the p-trap to the main drain line in the wall looks like the stem of the letter “p”. Where a curved pipe drain helps you to determine if you have a p-trap or a s-trap. P-traps exit into the wall behind the sink, but s-traps bend back down and drain into the floor.

A p-trap should be installed where possible because p-traps can be attached to a vented drain pipe where s-traps cannot be vented. In some places, an s-trap may be illegal if the horizontal run after the bend is not twice the diameter of the pipe, according to Rex Cauldwell in “Plumbing Complete: Expert Advice from Start to Finish.”

TYPES

The types of p-traps available are based on the material they are made from. For longevity, opt for PVC p-traps. These are made of white plastic and are simple to install by hand without specialty tools. Plastic p-traps have nylon connectors that screw tight by hand with the twist of the plastic nut. The only downside to these p-traps is their garish appearance. For most homeowners, this is not an issue because the p-trap is located in a cabinet below the sink.

For homes with exposed piping below the sink, chrome p-traps are a more decorative option, but they do not last as long as plastic p-traps. These must be installed using a pipe wrench to tighten the connections and pipe joint compound to connect pieces of the pipe together. This installation is worth the effort when it is needed, because a bright, metal p-trap will look better in exposed places, compared to a plastic p-trap.

TRAPPING FALLEN ITEMS

If you drop a ring down a sink drain, it will not immediately be washed down to the city sewer. Heavy items such as rings or coins can be caught in the p-trap if you shut off the flow of water immediately to prevent the water flow from pushing the object out of the p-trap.

With a bucket under the p-trap, remove the nuts holding the trap to the rest of the plumbing. Turn over the bend of the p-trap to empty the water and your fallen object into the bucket. Reattach the p-trap to your drain according to the installation directions for the type of p-trap you have – chrome or plastic.

TRAPPING SEWER GAS

Even if you are meticulous about never dropping things down the drain, you still need a p-trap under your sink to keep gas out. Sewer gases can rise through the drain pipes in your home, but the u-shaped bend in the p-trap collects water. This water blocks the gases from rising up into your sink. If sewer gases enter your home, they bring a noxious odor and possible headaches and respiratory  ailments to those who smell the gases, according to Merle Henkenius in “Ultimate Guide to Plumbing: Complete Projects for the Home.”

If you are having a sewer smell in your home or business, call us today at 843.236.7142 so we can come diagnose the issue and get your plumbing working properly again.

 

****************************************************************

Credits: eHow.com

TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY IS THE IDEAL METHOD FOR CONDUCTING PIPE REPAIRS

The sewer lines of any property are a part of a very critical system that has a major impact on the health, safety and comfort of the inhabitants. As you must be aware, usage and age tend to have a deteriorating effect on these pipes and you may have to call upon a plumbing company to repair the damaged sewer lines.

At such times, you will have to choose between the traditional sewer repair method and the modern trenchless method. Since these pipes lie underground, the conventional process involved technicians digging extensively around the property to reach the sewer lines and repair them. With time, technological advancements led to the introduction of trenchless method that made it possible to carry out the repairs and replacement without ripping up the ground, risking damage to the property and the underlying utility lines or destroying the landscaping. In fact, the new technology offers several other benefits that include:

  • Fast and Economical: Trenchless repair assures you of quick and cost-effective services. The method involves only limited amounts of digging to be done and so requires less manual labor than the conventional repair system. Besides, such repair work is not hindered by indifferent weather and you are also spared the expense of repairing cracks in your concrete yard, removing uprooted trees, etc.
  • More durable sewer lines: The seamless pipe laying done in the trenchless method protects the lines from being invaded by tree roots. The new pipes used for lining or replacing the old sewer pipes are very sturdy and resistant to the natural elements. Thus, by opting for this technology you are assured of an efficient and longer-lasting sewer system.
  • Less stressful than traditional method: Short turnaround time, less messy conditions, minimal property damage, low expenses and durable sewer lines make this modern sewer repair and replacement process quite stress free for the property owner.
  • Eco-friendly repair technology: Less digging means fewer uprooted trees, minimum destroyed vegetation and considerably reduced mess on the property. This makes trenchless repair an environmentally beneficial technology.

Trenchless technology is definitely a better option for conducting sewer repair than the conventional method that involves extensive digging up of the yard. Therefore, the next time you need to have your damaged sewer pipes replaced, you should go in for trenchless repair and see how hassle-free it becomes to get the job done.

To learn more visit: http://trustfourstar.com/pipe-bursting-and-trenchless-technology.php

At Four Star Plumbing & Air Conditioning we have the trenchless pipe bursting technology and can help you told! Just call 843.236.7142.

 

****************************************************

Credits: EzineArticles.com / Harveen Pal

10 USEFUL PLUMBING TIPS FOR ANYONE

Plumbing repairs are not something that’s always included in the average homeowners budget. When it comes to plumbing, preventative maintenance can save a homeowner a substantial amount of money in costs and repairs. So, we would like to recommend a few helpful hints that might save you a little trouble and money somewhere down the line.

Plumbing & Maintenance Tips (in no particular order):

Unless it’s specifically labeled toilet paper, do not flush it down the toilet! Unfortunately, many items and substances are disposed of down the drain or in our toilets when they have no business being there. These items often include hair, feminine hygiene products, paper products, wipes, diapers, grease and oils. Even facial tissues like Kleenex can cause clogs because the paper fibers do not disintegrate like toilet paper. This is not only bad for the environment, but it can also wreak havoc on a plumbing system causing blockages and failures.

Replace the flapper or ball inside the toilet tank once a year. This not only cuts back on the amount of water being wasted, but it also reflects in savings on your water bill. If you have money and opportunity, perhaps you might want to look into upgrading to a more modern tank fill system.

Consider upgrading your plumbing fixtures. Next time you find yourself replacing a washer or inserting a piece to repair an old leaky faucet, why not consider upgrading to a better option, like a washerless faucet. Newer washerless faucets offer better performance and require much less maintenance. Your local plumbing expert can recommend the best products available to you.

Clean shower heads to remove sediment build up. The mineral deposits and sediment that can build up in a shower head can affect the water pressure, often lowering it to an undesirable level. No one like a weak water flow when they’re taking a shower, but fortunately there are plenty of options to be found at your local store including calcium, lime and rust removal chemicals that can aid in removing the sediment. But, if you prefer a more organic and chemical free method, many homeowners have found that letter a shower head soak in white vinegar (often warm to hot in temperature) for a few minutes can help to remove the deposits.

Remove sediment buildup in your water heater tank. You might not think about it, but a lot of dirt and sediment can build up and settle at the bottom of a water heater’s tank. This sediment buildup, if not dealt with, can cause corrosion and reduces not only the life span of the water heater, but also affects the water heaters ability to heat the water efficiently. To flush out and remove the build up a homeowner should drain several gallons of water from the faucet closest to the bottom of the tank. It’s best to connect the faucet with a hose to direct the released water into a nearby drain.

Test the water heater’s pressure relief valve. First of all, be careful because the water coming from the tank’s pressure relief valve will be extremely hot. Carefully lift up on the pressure relief valve lever. Don’t hold it open; just let it quickly snap back into place after lifting it. The valve should spit out a short burst of hot water. If it does not, then there may be a problem and it is highly suggested that you call a professional plumber to have a new pressure relief valve installed as soon as possible.

Repair all leaks ASAP! Even though it may not seem like much, that little leak can drastically increase a home’s water bill. Turn off the water supply to the leaking area as soon as the leak is noticed.

Be on the lookout for leaking hot water. Whether it’s from a faucet, pipe or other supply line, a little hot water leak can be big trouble. A hot water leak uses the hot water contained in the water heater’s tank. If it continues to leak it can eventually completely drain the water in the tank, which then burns out the water heaters heating element. That’s not a repair any homeowner wants to deal with! If a hot water leak is found, the homeowner will need to shut off the main water supply. Also, the breaker that feeds the electric supply to the water heater will need to be shut off. Then the leak can be repaired and the water heater will not be damaged. A costly repair can easily be avoided by simply shutting off the electric supply to the water heater at the first sign of a leak.

Use strainers in your drains! The easiest preventative step any resident can take to eliminate the likelihood of clogged drains is to make sure all shower, bathtub and sink drains have strainers. A strainer’s job is to keep hair, soap, and other unwanted solids from entering the drain and clogging the connected pipes.

Be aware of where the water shut off valves are located in your home. One of the first things a new homeowner should do is to locate their water shut off valves. There’s no worse time to try to find them than in an emergency. Some are easy to spot while others may be hidden behind an access panel or elsewhere.

Watch out for corrosion! Take a stroll through your home, look at pipes, what do you see? Are there green stains around shut off valves or fittings? Perhaps there’s some orange or yellow coloration on your pipes? What about when you turn on the water in the shower or sink, is the water discolored at first? If any of the previous situations apply to you, then you more than likely have corroded or rusted pipes. Corrosion and rust can contaminate your water and cause the breakdown of the plumbing’s pipes. It’s the small beginning to a big problem. It’s best to have the corroded or damaged sections replaced by a professional. If all of the pipes in the home are relatively the same age, it might be wise to have them all replaced to avoid continuous replacement of small sections.

Choose a trusted plumber! Let’s face it, not all jobs are meant for the self-proclaimed handyman. Sometimes you need a professional to handle the job. For those situations where DIY just won’t cut it, have the name of a reliable plumber on hand.

When we think about the valuable components that make up a well maintained home, we often forget about the plumbing system. But, without a properly installed and maintained plumbing system a homeowner can quickly find themselves in a world of trouble, full of expensive repairs and inconvenience.

Call us today at Four Star Plumbing & Air Conditioning for your plumbing needs.

***********************************************************

Credits: Ezinearticles.com / Rocky Capano