What NOT to Flush Down the Toilet

Avoiding a Clogged Toilet

One of the most common service calls we receive is to fix a clogged toilet. And, more often than not, the clog is caused by what was flushed down the toilet. Clogged toilets are not only an inconvenience, but they can also cause extensive damage to your plumbing system. Of course, there are also other causes of a clogged toilet, such as infiltration of your sewer lines by tree roots or other debris, but your best course of action is to call a plumber, such as the service pros at Atlas Butler. We can assess the situation, unclog your toilet and recommend the next steps to be taken.

Here is a list of items that should never be flushed down the toilet:

  1. Disposable diapers and baby wipes. These products do not break down in water, thus leading to serious clogs.
  2. Feminine hygiene products. Sanitary napkins and tampons are designed to absorb liquid and expand in water.
  3. Cigarette butts. Cigarette butts are made of toxic chemicals which pollute water.
  4. Q-tips, cotton balls, and cotton pads. These items do not break down in water and create clogs.
  5. Medications. Most drugs don’t break down in toilet water and can cause introduce toxins to the waste water system.
  6. Paper towels, tissues, and too much toilet paper. Paper products don’t disintegrate in water and can result in clogs. While toilet paper is biodegradable, using too much can sometimes clog the toilet.
  7. Cat litter and pet waste. Despite packing claims, cat litter does not break down in water and can cause clogs. In addition, pet waste can include parasites that can infiltrate the water system.
  8. Dental floss and hair. While vastly different in composition, both cause the same plumbing problems — acting as a net or “nest” to collect debris and thus, clog pipes.

If you have a clogged toilet, contact Atlas Butler at 614-681-2183 to schedule a toilet repair appointment. Our phones are answered 24/7 by a live person. We have 24-hour access to parts and the largest service fleet in Central Ohio. Our licensed plumbers will unclog your toilet and if the problem is unrelated to what was flushed down the toilet, can make recommendations on how to proceed with repairs – whether it is to replace the toilet or repair aging or damaged pipes inside or outside your home.

2022-07-26T16:08:41-04:00June 26th, 2022|Around the House, Maintenance, Toilets|

Moving from Well to City Water

Transitioning to City Water

If you’re thinking about transitioning from well water to your municipal water system, there is a lot to consider. Well water is known for its purity and health benefits as it contains beneficial minerals and other nutrients. Municipal water, on the other hand, is more convenient but the purification process can strip the water of vital nutrients, and it doesn’t always taste as good. It’s really a matter of preference. A well requires annual inspection and maintenance to make sure the water is safe, whereas, you won’t have to worry about that with water supplied by your city. If you would like expert advice before making the switch, consult with one of the licensed plumbers at Atlas Butler. We can walk you through the process and give you price quotes.

Connecting to a municipal water system isn’t cheap. The main driver of costs is the distance from your house to the central water supply (water main) and the laterals (pipes) are priced by the foot. National estimates range from $2,000 to $20,000. Other costs to consider include excavation of your property to place the lines and labor. On top of that, you will have to pay to repair and reseed your lawn that’s been dug up. The city will install a water meter which is how your water usage will be assessed for billing. A monthly water bill averages between $50-$90. That will, of course, depend on the size of your family, and utilization trends (e.g., lawn sprinkler system, pool, etc.)

With well water, you obviously won’t have a monthly water bill, but there are other advantages to municipal water. In addition to purity, you will have better water pressure and there are no worries about supply, whereas, wells can run dry. It’s a big decision. That’s why the licensed plumbers at Atlas Butler can help you weigh the pros and cons and mainly the cost of switching from well water to municipal water. Call us at 614-681-2183. Our phone is answered by a live person 24/7/365 and we can schedule same-day appointments for any of your plumbing needs.

2022-07-26T16:09:32-04:00June 12th, 2022|Around the House|

The Importance of Using a Plumber in a Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodels Should Include Your Plumber

Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? It looks so easy on the DIY home remodeling shows and seems like nothing more than a quick trip to a big box store for a few supplies after watching a couple of YouTube videos. Right? Wrong. You can actually spend a lot more hiring a professional to correct mistakes than you would have if you’d gone with a skilled craftsman in the first place. A major kitchen remodel is a complex project that can span weeks, even months and a good percentage of the work involves plumbing. Before you pick up that sledgehammer, give Atlas Butler a call to discuss the project and learn how our team of licensed plumbers can help.

Here are a few reasons why it makes sense to get a licensed plumber involved in your kitchen remodel:

  1. Plumbers can help you with appliance placement. A plumber can go into your kitchen and see where the water lines are. That way, they can advise you on where to put your refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, or that big new island with a double sink. Don’t rely solely on aesthetics.
  2. Plumbers know the local building codes. They can also obtain any necessary permits you may not be aware that you need for your remodeling project.
  3. Plumbers can re-route and upgrade existing lines. This is helpful, especially if you have an older house. It’s much better to know beforehand what needs to be done than be faced with an expensive update or repair after the fact. Those types of repairs often require tearing into your brand-new walls or backsplash.
  4. Plumbers can recommend and install your new appliances. Plumbers keep abreast of the latest trends in energy-efficient appliances and can make suggestions based on your family size, lifestyle, design preferences, etc. They can also install the new appliances and make sure they are working properly.

The service pros at Atlas Butler are here to advise you on your kitchen remodeling project along with any of your other plumbing needs. Give us a call at 614-681-2183; our phones are answered by a live person 24/7/365. We have proudly served Central Ohio for more than 100 years and are at your service.

2022-07-26T16:09:50-04:00May 31st, 2022|Around the House, Kitchen Drains|

Tips for Removing Rust Stains on Your Toilet

Dealing with Toilet Rust Stains

Rust stains in your toilet bowl are unsightly and are often founds in homes where there is a high level of iron in the water. In older homes with iron pipes, the pipes may be naturally deteriorating and leaching iron into the water. The good news is that iron won’t harm you, but if don’t address it, it can further damage your plumbing system. Removing iron stains from your toilet is pretty easy. It’s important to stay on top of it so the cleaning process doesn’t become more difficult over time. The licensed plumbers at Atlas Butler can check your plumbing system to see how the iron situation can be remedied. In many cases, adding a water filtration (softening) system will remove excess iron from your water. With older homes with pipes that are wearing out, the solution is to replace the iron pipes with ones made from copper or PEX.

If you want to use natural products to remove rust stains from your toilet bowl, you’ll need white distilled vinegar and baking soda. Do not use bleach as it can actually exacerbate the rust stains. Flush the toilet and you can also temporarily shut off the water to keep the bowl from refilling while you’re cleaning it. Mix a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar and spray the toilet bowl. You can also use a 3:1 mixture of baking soda and vinegar to create a paste to apply to stubborn stains. Let the vinegar or paste set for a couple of hours, then scrub using a soft cloth or old toothbrush. Turn the water back on and flush the toilet. To stay on top of a rust problem, once a week, you can add  1-2 cups of vinegar to the toilet bowl, scrub and flush.  There are also commercial products you can buy to remove rust stains but some of them may contain harsher chemicals than natural solutions.

If you want to conduct further investigation of heavy iron presence in your water, contact Atlas Butler at 614-681-2183. We can help you determine if a water softening system is the best solution for your home or replace your existing toilet with a shiny new white one. Our phones are answered 24/7/365 and in most cases, are available for same-day appointments.

2022-07-26T15:40:24-04:00May 21st, 2022|Around the House, Maintenance, Toilets|

Types of Water Purification Systems

Water purification systems are most commonly used in areas where homeowners rely on well water and are not hooked up to a municipal water system. However, these days, more households are concerned about the quality of the water flowing through their faucets from municipal sources and look for ways to make it healthier. Instead of attaching OTC filters to every tap in your house, it makes sense to invest in a whole-house water filtration system. At Atlas Butler, we are well-versed in the type of water filtration systems currently on the market and the ones we work with the most involve reverse osmosis and ion exchange, the latter more commonly known as “water softening.”

With reverse osmosis, water passes through a semipermeable membrane (RO membrane) that removes contaminants from the water to purify it. The membranes have a 2–3-year lifespan and remove solids, heavy metals, and bacteria from the water flow. The downside is that they don’t remove chlorine, so you will also need to add a carbon filter. You will also need a separate tank to store the purified water.

“Hard water” is named due to the presence of excessive magnesium and calcium in the water, which can lead to build-up and corrosion in your plumbing system, including your hot water tank. These minerals can also reduce the effectiveness of dishwashing and laundry detergents, as well as body washes and soaps. In ionization, the hard water flows through a resin exchange tank where it is treated with sodium. The sodium makes the water “soft.”

Atlas Butler Can Help Purify Your Water

Both types of purification systems require professional installation and maintenance for optimal performance and longevity. The services pros at Atlas Butler can assess your household water situation and make the best recommendation for a water purification system. You can contact us at 614-681-2183 to schedule an appointment. For other plumbing needs or emergencies, our phones are answered 24/7/365. We look forward to serving your plumbing needs.

2022-07-26T15:40:16-04:00May 6th, 2022|Around the House|

How to Solve a Crazy High Water Bill

Have you recently suffered sticker shock when reviewing your water bill?  And it isn’t the heat of the summer? You don’t have any noticeable leaks in your house? What could be happening is that you have leaks outside of your home. Underground water leaks can have many causes; broken or cracked pipes, tree roots infiltrating the water lines, old worn-out pipes, and more. In these cases, you need to locate the leak and have it repaired. If not, excess water can cause erosion, foundation damage, and other major (and costly) headaches. If you are concerned about a steep water bill and don’t know what’s going on, your best bet is to contact the experts at Atlas Butler to assess your property for an underground water leak.

Some signs that you have an underground water leak include:

  • Water puddling in spots in your yard
  • Low water pressure
  • Moisture on the walls, floor, or concrete slab
  • Dank, musty odor
  • Moisture or cracks in your walls

Call the Leak Detection Pros

The service pros at Atlas Butler Plumbing use the LeakTronics electronic leak detection system. This specialized equipment can determine where the leaks are in your yard and around your foundation. We will also take a look at all the water fixtures inside your house to make sure they aren’t contributing to the problem. If you suspect you have an underground leak somewhere on your property, call us at 614-681-2167 and we’ll schedule a technician to come out and assess the situation and offer a solution. You can contact us 24/7/365 for any type of plumbing emergency. Our fleet is fully stocked with parts and ready to solve your plumbing problems.

2022-07-26T15:40:05-04:00April 22nd, 2022|Around the House|

The Necessity of a Sump Pump

Why a Sump Pump is So Important

A sump pump is one of those appliances in your home that work quietly behind the scenes until it doesn’t!

During early spring, Ohio, along with the rest of the Midwest can experience heavy rains, which can mean flooded basements. Water in the basement can lead to a number of problems, such as destruction of personal property, foundation damage, and mold growth. Installing a sump pump can keep excess water from accumulating in your basement and prevent water damage, and some insurance companies may give you a discount on your homeowner’s coverage if you use one. If your sump pump is on its last leg, the team at Atlas Butler Plumbing can help you choose the best model for your home.

A sump pump is installed in the lowest part of the basement and rainwater collects in a sump basin. Once the water level rises, it activates the float, which turns the sump pump on. The sump pump expels the water from the sump basin, out of a drainage pipe and safely away from your house. After the sump pump has done its job, it shuts off automatically. Sump pumps are operated by electricity, but many models come with a battery-powered backup should your home lose electricity during a storm.

Sump Pump Installation

In the long run, installing a new sump pump is a smart investment when you compare the cost of the pump and installation to what you would pay to repair water damage to your home. Our plumbing pros can install a new model that can handle the volume of water that your house will attract and if it fits your budget, we can install a unit that is powered by a battery backup to keep the water pumping.

Atlas Butler Plumbing can handle the job

Contact Atlas Butler at 614-681-2183 to schedule an appointment. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our phones are answered by a live person. Atlas Butler has proudly been serving the Columbus area for more than 100 years (and counting!)

Schedule now and save 10% on a new sump pump installation.

Save 10% on a sump pump replacement

2022-04-22T15:21:30-04:00April 12th, 2022|Around the House, Maintenance|

Pros & Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Is a tankless water heater right for you?

If you need to replace or upgrade your water heater, consider a tankless model. There are many benefits to going tankless, but the biggest benefit is Tankless water heaters provide an “on-demand” hot water supply. As cold water flows through the system, it is heated by gas or electricity until the tap is shut off. These heaters save space and cost less than a traditional water heater with a tank. Be prepared to spend more upfront for purchase and installation, but when used as directed, a tankless water heater will pay off in terms of your water and fuel bills. Before you made any decision, here are some of the pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

Tankless Water Heater Pros:

  1. Takes up less space than traditional water heater tanks
  2. Constant supply of hot water
  3. Energy efficiency and potentially lower energy bills

Tankless Water Heater Cons:

  1. Will not function during power outages (both gas and electric models)
  2. Limited hot water capacity under certain conditions (multiple users at one time)
  3. More expensive than traditional tank models
  4. Gas models require ventilation, which may require remodeling

Call Atlas Butler Plumbing

Tired of running out of hot water? A tankless water heater may be the solution. If you need to replace your existing water heater or are considering migrating to a tankless water heater, consult with the service pros at Atlas Butler Plumbing. Our sales team will help you determine which type of water heater is best for your home and family. We install Navien water heaters that are available in both electric and gas. Call us at 614-681-2183 to schedule an appointment. We have Central Ohio’s largest fleet of plumbing service vehicles and 24-hour access to parts and supplies, so your job is completed on time.

2022-04-22T14:50:51-04:00March 21st, 2022|Around the House, Hot Water Tanks|

Reasons Why Your Toilet Won’t Flush

Dealing With A Broken Toilet

If you’re having people over, whether it’s for a holiday gathering or to watch the playoffs, the last thing you need is a toilet that won’t flush. Not only is it embarrassing, but annoying. The good news is that this problem can usually be easily fixed. However, if all of your DIY attempts fail, then reach out to the plumbers at Atlas Butler. In most cases, we will arrive the same day you call for service and our phone is answered by a live person 24/7.

Here are some of the most common reasons why your toilet won’t flush.


Clogs can result from putting too much toilet paper in the bowl or trying to flush objects like disposable diapers or feminine hygiene products. In other cases, it could be that a child tried to flush toys or other items down the toilet. See if you can fish out whatever is causing the clog from the toilet and you can also try using a plunger. Here are some things you should never flush down the toilet.

Water Levels in the Tank

The toilet tank should fill up to within one inch below the top of the overflow valve. It could be that the water valve was shut off. Turn the valve back on and see if that tank will fill up to the recommended level.

Flapper Needs Replaced

When the toilet is flushed, the flapper opens to allow water from the tank to rush into the bowl. If the flapper is cracked or warped, it won’t be able to close properly and the tank can’t refill. Flappers are inexpensive and you can easily replace them yourself.

Tangled Chain

The lift chain raises and lowers the flapper when you flush the toilet. Sometimes, the chain can wrap around itself so it doesn’t have enough length to operate the flapper. You can straighten out the chain and everything should work just fine. If the chain has other damage, it should be replaced.

If none of these solutions work, then give Atlas Butler a call at 614-681-2183. We have served Central Ohio for more than 100 years, and you can count on us to get your toilet flushing properly right away.

2022-04-22T14:46:43-04:00January 18th, 2022|Around the House, Maintenance, Toilets|

Benefits of a Water Filtration System

Water Softeners & Filtration

Nothing tastes better than a glass of cold water on a hot summer day. Well, before you take a gulp, take a moment and thank your municipal water department for providing clear, safe water. However, the chemicals that go into purifying potable water can do a lot of harm to your plumbing.

Additives such as chlorine can cause build-up in your pipes and fixtures like your sinks, which in turn, can cause problems like slow and backed-up drains. One way to avoid these problems is to add a water filtration system to your home’s plumbing system. The addition of a water softener can filter out harsh chemicals and minerals at the source and keep them from building up in your pipes and appliances.

If you’ve been considering a water filtration system, call Atlas Butler. We’ll come out to your house and help your figure out the best solution to your hard water problems. Call us at 614-681-2183.

2022-04-22T14:46:49-04:00August 15th, 2021|Around the House, Plumbing Vlogs|
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