A&A Plumbing – Omaha Plumbers – Commercial Plumbing – residential plumbing – omaha water heater installation

Latest News

Six Summer Plumbing Tips

By / Uncategorized / Comments Off on Six Summer Plumbing Tips

The summer months are finally here. Kids are out of school, days are longer and the fun is just beginning. Don’t let a plumbing issue wreak havoc on your summer plans. You can avoid most major plumbing issues by simply following these six tips.

Turn down your water heater while you’re away on vacation.

When you leave for vacation, you may think of turning the air conditioner to a higher temperature, but have you ever considered turning down your water heater? It not only helps you save on energy costs, but also it could help lengthen the life of your water heater. Remember, the average life of a water heater is about 10 years.

Avoid putting certain common foods down the garbage disposal.

Summer is a time for cookouts with friends and family. But, if you want to keep your kitchen drain running at full speed, don’t put any of the following foods down your drain: grease, celery, onion peels, lettuce, pasta, potatoes, rice, coffee and bones. In addition, avoid trying to force any large amount of food into the garbage disposal, regardless of what kind of food it is.

How prepare your washer for the increased laundry load.

Summer months mean dirty clothes. Between yard work and children who always seem to find mud in the back yard, your washer will have its work cut out for it. Be sure to inspect your machine at the beginning of the season. Check washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks or cracks, and remember to replace them about every three years. Moving your washer approximately four inches from the wall may help to prevent damage to the washing machine hoses.

Water your lawn at the most opportune time.

The best times to water your lawn are early morning and late evening. These times tend to be the most efficient because the sun is not out, meaning you won’t lose any precious water to evaporation. If you have a sprinkler system, program it to run at these times and you won’t have to worry about turning on the sprinklers at strange hours.

Use your dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes.

Yes, you read that correctly. Most dishwashers are energy-efficient, meaning they use less water than you would washing the dishes by hand. Recent studies have shown that running one load of dishes through the dishwasher saves about 37% of the water you would use to wash them by hand. So, make cleanup easy after your next cookout and throw those dishes in the dishwasher.

Have your sewer lines checked.

Spring and summer rains can cause cracked sewer lines. Make sure to have yours checked by a professional to avoid sewer backups this summer.

Hopefully these tips will help you avoid any major plumbing issues this summer. If not, give us a call and we’ll happily come fix it for you!

Four Signs Your Water Heater Is Acting Up

By / Uncategorized / Comments Off on Four Signs Your Water Heater Is Acting Up

No homeowner looks forward to replacing appliances but, unfortunately, it’s a necessary aspect of the American dream. No appliance will run efficiently forever, no matter how well built it may be. The problem, however, isn’t always replacing the appliance; it’s knowing when it needs to be replaced.

As plumbers, we’ve seen many water heaters go bad and want to educate you to the warning signs to ensure the quality of your water.

Your water heater is more than ten years old.

As a general rule, plumbers suggest you start monitoring your water heater’s efficiency when it gets to be about ten years old. While some water heaters may fail before then, and others after, ten years is when the majority begin to go bad. That being said, if you notice any of the following warning signs before the ten-year mark, don’t ignore them and wait for the magic number ten.

Your water looks rusty or muddy.

If your water quality has deteriorated due to your water heater, it’s time for a replacement. How do you know your water heater is to blame for lower quality water? If your water quality only decreases when the hot water is on, your water heater is likely to blame. The heater is essentially rusting from the inside out, causing impure water to flow to your faucet. If left untreated, the water heater will eventually begin to leak. And, in the meantime, no one likes using dirty water.

You hear an unusual noise coming from the water heater.

Are you starting to hear strange rumbling or clanking noises from your water heater? That’s not a good sign. Over time, sediment builds at the bottom of the water heater’s tank and, after being heated and reheated repetitively, the sediment will harden. Not only is the noise annoying, it will also lead to less efficiency and more damage.

The water heater is leaking.

Any standing water around your water heater indicates that you need to contact a professional right away. The constant heating and reheating of the tank causes tiny fractures to form over time, allowing water to leak out. We hope you have a drain nearby or you may have a flooded basement on your hands.

As you can see, there are multiple warning signs your water heater may be going bad. If you still aren’t sure, always make sure to contact your local plumber to have the heater looked at by a professional.

Five Plumbing Myths That Just Aren’t True

By / Uncategorized / Comments Off on Five Plumbing Myths That Just Aren’t True

No one really knows how these plumbing tall tales began, but you’ve probably heard at least one. As your friendly plumbers, we feel like it’s our duty to inform you that these are all untrue, no matter how much your grandmother swears it works.

Myth: Throwing ice cubes down the garbage disposal will sharpen the blades.

Throwing ice cubes down the garbage disposal will not sharpen the blades, but it also won’t hurt anything. In fact, the ice cubes may help to clean the blades of your garbage disposal. So, if your sink is a little smellier than usual, throw a couple of ice cubes down the garbage disposal to help freshen it up.

Myth: Placing a brick in your toilet tank will help to save water.

We’re not really sure how this myth started, but putting a brick in your toilet’s tank will not help to conserve water. In fact, putting a brick in there could harm your toilet. The brick will deteriorate over time and possibly cause other parts of the toilet tank, like the flapper, to break. It can also displace too much water, resulting in you having to flush the toilet twice, defeating the purpose of the brick in the first place.

Myth: Toilet tablets containing bleach are safe and will keep your toilet clean.

A tablet containing bleach designed to sit in your toilet tank for an extended period of time is not safe. Within six months of using the tablet, all working parts of the toilet would be destroyed. Don’t shy away from using bleach to clean your toilet bowl, however. Just make sure to not let the product sit in the bowl for more than ten minutes.

Myth: Flushable wipes are safe to flush down the toilet.

Regardless of their misleading claim to be flushable, flushable wipes should not be flushed down the toilet. These wipes can cause major clogs and are wreaking havoc on city sewer systems all over the world. For more information on the impact of flushable wipes, please read our previous blog on the topic.

Myth: Based on which hemisphere you’re in, the toilet will flush a different direction.

The direction in which a toilet flushes is based on the way your toilet is designed, not the hemisphere you are in. This myth was most likely based on the Coriolis effect, which applies to much larger bodies of water not toilet bowls.

Have you heard any additional DIY plumbing tips that you think might be untrue? Comment below for an answer!

Top 5 Reasons for a Slow Draining Sink

By / Uncategorized / Comments Off on Top 5 Reasons for a Slow Draining Sink

One day, you notice the water in the sink isn’t draining as quickly. You hope that maybe the issue will go away, that it isn’t a clogged sink, but as days pass it continues to drain increasingly slower.

There are many issues that can cause a slow draining sink. By familiarizing yourself with some of the most common causes, you may be able to keep your sink draining at its optimal level for longer periods of time. We’ve provided you with the top 5 reasons for a slow draining sink below.

  1. The sink may be clogged by a collection of small materials. It’s easy to think that if an item makes it down the drain, it’s safe and will drain without an issue. A small piece of food here, the tiniest amount of grease, a few small hairs, that won’t clog my sink, right? Wrong. Even small materials that make it down the drain can become lodged in your pipes and create a kind of nest, catching more and more small particles as they’re washed down.
  2. A large object may clog the sink. This scenario is very similar to the first; however, the item that was washed down the sink was probably large enough for you to second-guess your decision to do so. If you’re ever wondering, “Should I wash this down the sink,” don’t do it and save yourself a call to the plumber.
  3. Believe it or not, the slope of your pipes may cause a slow draining sink. When the slope of the pipes is too steep, it can cause the water to drain too quickly, leaving waste behind. That waste will eventually build up and result in a slow draining or clogged sink.
  4. Your pipes may be deteriorating from within. This happens often in older homes or homes where the pipes have not been properly maintained. It is an inevitable situation, which will end with shiny, new pipes for your sink.
  5. A clogged sink can result from an issue with your main drain line. We’ve seen clogged sinks due to outdoor issues such as roots impeding drainage.

A slow draining or clogged sink can be caused by a multitude of issues, some avoidable and some not. When your sink does become clogged, it’s best to reach out to the professionals to find the underlying issue.

Do You Love Calling Your Plumber for a Clogged Toilet? Use “Flushable Wipes”

By / Uncategorized / Comments Off on Do You Love Calling Your Plumber for a Clogged Toilet? Use “Flushable Wipes”

You may have seen “flushable wipes” popping up more in stores. A wipe that can just be flushed away and comes in varieties for both babies and adults is a convenient concept. While these wipes claim to be “flushable,” you may want to hold off on flushing them, unless you love calling your plumber in for a clogged toilet. With sales of these wipes soaring to $6 billion a year or more, it is important for consumers to be aware that these wipes may not be as safe as they appear.

Irate customers have been suing the companies manufacturing these wipes since they came onto the market. Consumers claim their toilets clogged after flushing the wipes, even though they were simply following product instructions.

Regardless of the lawsuits, many manufacturers of the wipes continue to claim their product is flushable and that tests continue to prove so. However, independent testers have found otherwise. In a report issued by California’s Orange County Sanitation District, staff noted that “field observations have found [flushable wipes] to be a cause of back-ups within the sewer system leading to sanitary sewer overflows, clogs at lift stations, and disruption within the treatment plant.”

A video posted by manufacturers depicted the wipes disintegrating after 35 minutes. However, the same report mentioned above noted the wipes were completely intact and recognizable after as long as 24 hours.

In a lawsuit filed by Dr. Joseph Kurtz, the city of New York City confirms that the wipes are wreaking havoc on the city’s sewer system. They also claim the wipes do not break down as the manufacturers advertise. The city ends up spending about $18 million a year collecting and discarding debris caught in the machinery at their 14 wastewater-treatment plants. While the wipes do not account for all the debris, the city insists there has been an increase that directly correlates with the sales of the wipes.

It is important to note that while the products claim to be “flushable,” the term is not currently legally defined nor does the Federal Trade Commission regulate it. The item can technically be flushed down the toilet; however, there’s no telling what will happen after doing so. Until the government begins regulating these products more closely, it’s probably best to steer clear of flushing any wipes. That is, unless you want to give your friendly plumbers a call for a clogged toilet.