How to Deal with a Main Drain Clog

As a homeowner, you probably know your way around a plunger, plumber’s snake, and liquid drain cleaners to deal with a clogged sink or toilet. Those a common and relatively simple repairs and seldom need the expertise of a licensed plumber. However, if you find yourself plunging your toilets and sinks more frequently, you may have a blocked main sewer line. Simply put, the main line is the line that runs beneath your yard and carries wastewater from your house, and dumps it into your septic tank or the municipal sewer system. A blocked main line is a major plumbing problem and not a job for even the most skilled DIYer to attempt. Listed below are some indicators that you may have a clogged main line. If you experience any of these, contact Atlas Butler Plumbing at 614-681-2183, ASAP!

Gurgling. If you hear gurgling from your sink or toilet, that’s a sign that something is amiss with your main line. As clogs build within the line, as the water is trying to drain, it can cause bubbling or gurgling sounds.

Drains run slowly. Oftentimes, your drain may run slowly because of a small clog such as hair in the bathtub, and are easy to remove. However, if several of the drains in your home are running slowly, that’s a symptom of a clogged main line.

Foul odor. If your drains smell bad and you haven’t put anything particularly odorous down the sink or garbage disposal, that could signal a clogged main line.

The primary causes of a clogged main sewer line are flushing inappropriate items down the toilet (e.g., feminine hygiene products and disposable diapers), tree root infiltration, and age and conditions of the pipes. The plumber will repair your clogged main line by locating the clog and determining what caused it. They will use rooters, hydro-jetting, and even commercial-grade chemicals to dislodge the clog. In cases where tree roots have grown into the pipes, it may be necessary to excavate your yard to repair the pipes and if necessary, remove the tree.

If you suspect you may have a clogged main sewer line, get in touch with Atlas Butler Plumbing right away at 614-681-2183. The longer you wait, the worse the clog will get, and the more expensive it can be to repair. Our phones are answered 24/7 and in most cases, we can come to your home the same day you call. There are never extra charges for after-hours or overtime calls.

2023-01-19T13:02:09-05:00January 17th, 2023|Around the House, Kitchen Drains, Maintenance|

Maintaining Your Water Heater

It’s easy to take hot water for granted until you don’t have it. Once the hot water heater is acting up, you realize that you can’t bathe or shower, cook, wash dishes, do laundry, and many more routine activities are sidelined. A hot water tank isn’t an “install it and forget it” appliance; to get the most out of your water heater, routine maintenance is important. Many homeowners don’t realize this but there are steps you can take to ensure that your water heater is on the ready when you need it and taking care of it will extend its life. If you have questions about the status of your water heater or think it might need replacing, give Atlas Butler Plumbing a call at 614-681-2183. One of our licensed plumbers will come to your home, inspect your water heater, and then you can go from there.

Benefits of water heater maintenance:

  1. Removes calcium and other hard water deposits. Calcium and other minerals found in hard water can build up inside the water heater tank. This scale can reduce the water volume inside the tank and also cause off-color or funny-tasting water. Flushing out the tank once a year or every six months will get rid of mineral scale.
  2. Improves energy efficiency. If your water heater doesn’t have to work overtime to heat the water, it will expend less energy, which in turn, saves you money on your energy bills. With costs for natural gas and electricity on the upswing, every little bit of savings helps.
  3. Ensures safety. The plumber will examine the temperature and electrical components of the water heater to make sure everything is operating properly. They will also check the gas line connections for any issues and make sure the tank isn’t leaking.

Routine maintenance on your water heater will extend its life and your family will have peace of mind that they won’t run out of hot water in the middle of a load of laundry or with a head full of shampoo. Contact Atlas Butler Plumbing to schedule a water heater tune-up. Our Central Ohio plumbers have 24-hour access to a full inventory of parts to get your water heater up and running as soon as possible. Or, if it’s time to replace or upgrade your tank, we can help you select the best water heater to suit your family’s lifestyle.

2023-01-19T12:35:11-05:00January 2nd, 2023|Around the House, Hot Water Tanks, Maintenance|

Signs Your Water Line Needs Replaced

Water lines that are damaged or deteriorating are costly. First, you pay for it with increased water bills and water damage to your house or yard can be expensive to repair. (Think: foundation issues, sinkholes in the yard, or yellowing, dying vegetation.) It’s difficult to know if you have water line issues since the line are buried underground. However, there are some warning signs you need to be aware of, especially if you own an older home. Here are a few.

Discolored, cloudy water. Water flowing out of the faucets in your home should always be clear. Water that’s brownish and murky signals that you either have an issue with your water heater or your water line is broken or damaged.

Rust and corrosion. If your water is reddish-brown, tastes “off” or metallic, and/or you have low water pressure, you could have a water line problem. This is often the case in older homes with iron pipes. Copper pipes are less prone to rust, corrosion, or wearing out.

Excessive water bills. As previously stated, you will be paying for all of the water that is seeping out of the damaged water line, whether it’s inside your home or in the yard.

Soggy patches in the yard. If you find damp patches in your yard, especially during a dry spell and you haven’t watered the lawn, you could have a leaking water line.

Wet spots on the floor. If you discover water or damp spots on your floors, under a sink, or in the basement and have ruled out other causes, it could be a broken water line.

If you suspect you have a damaged or broken water line, don’t wait to see what happens as the problem will only get worse. Call the pros at Atlas Butler Plumbing. You can reach us 24/7 at 614-681-2183 and our phones are answered by a live person, even after hours. We’ll come to your residence, assess the situation, and lay out the next steps to addressing your water line issues. You can depend on Atlas Butler for prompt, reliable service for all your plumbing needs.

2023-01-19T12:02:39-05:00December 28th, 2022|Around the House, Maintenance|

Dealing With an Annoying Leaky Faucet

Yes, leaky faucets are annoying, but they can also drain away your money. With utility bills on the rise, including water, those little drips and drops can add up quickly. The good news is that you can save some money by repairing that leaky faucet yourself. Determine which type of faucet you have.

First things, first. Here are some of the most common causes of a leaky faucet.

Damaged cartridge. If your faucet has separate taps for cold and hot water, then it’s a cartridge-type faucet. The cartridge is a type of valve that regulates the flow of water. If the faucet is dripping, then the cartridge needs to be replaced.

Broken washer. Washers eventually wear out and can cause leaking. Also, washers that are the wrong size or not installed incorrectly can cause leaking and drips. Fortunately, they are easy to replace.

Damaged O-ring. An O-ring fits inside the faucet and holds the faucet in place as it attaches to the screw stem. Like washers, O-rings can easily wear out and when they are going bad, cause leaks.

Worn-out valve seat. The valve seat connects the faucet to the sink. Corrosion and hard water deposits can build up in the valve seat, which creates leaks.

There is a plethora of DIY blogs and videos you can check out for some basic intel on how to repair a faucet yourself. Or, if you’re plumbing-challenged, don’t have time, or just don’t want to deal with it yourself, give the licensed plumbers at Atlas Butler a call at 614-681-2183. Our plumbers have access to the largest inventory of parts in Central Ohio and can stop that pesky leaky faucet quickly and efficiently. So, give us a call. Our phones are answered by a live person 24/7 and in most cases, you can schedule a same-day appointment.

2023-01-19T10:03:45-05:00December 3rd, 2022|Around the House, Maintenance|

Importance of Cleaning Your Shower Traps

Why clean your shower trap?

Sluggish shower drains can be annoying but are usually an easy fix. First, it’s important to understand how shower drains are configured. Underneath the is the P-trap. This is a small section of curved pipe that directs dirty water from the shower into the main plumbing system. (You also have a P-trap under your kitchen and bathroom sinks) P-traps are a building requirement in residential and commercial construction. The purpose of the P-trap is to collect debris (e.g., hair, dead skin cells, soap scum, hard water deposits, etc.) from the shower and prevent it from traveling farther through the pipes.

It’s fairly easy to clean out the drain and P-trap. The first thing you can do is to use a “hair weasel” (small plumber’s snake) to try to remove hair clogs. Next, remove the drain and clean it thoroughly. Use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda with a stiff-bristled brush to clean the drain cover and down inside the drain then rinse thoroughly with water. You can also use a commercial drain cleaner but try to limit the use of these products as they could eventually corrode the pipes. Hair is the main cause of slow shower drains, so as a preventative measure, install a hair trap, a device that fits inside the drain cover. You can pick these up anywhere, even the grocery store, and they are relatively inexpensive.

If you have cleaned and snaked your shower drain and it is still backed up, give Atlas Butler a call at 614-681-2183. Our phone is answered 24/7 by a live person and in most cases, we can send one of our licensed plumbers out the same day to perform a drain cleaning. We’ll take a look at the pipes and recommend the best solution to get your shower drain flowing freely once again.

2022-12-07T17:11:43-05:00November 23rd, 2022|Maintenance|

The Hazards of Flushable Wipes

Are Flushable Wipes Safe to Flush?

You’ve heard of icebergs, how about fatbergs? A fatberg is a congealed mass of flushable wipes, feminine hygiene products, disposable diapers, and other items that should never be flushed down the toilet. They combine with solidified fat – another plumbing hazard – and form fatbergs. Sound gross? They are and can destroy residential and municipal systems. Yes, this means you could have a fatberg in your home if you aren’t conscientious about what you flush down the toilet or pour down the sink. Smaller fatbergs, which you’re more likely to find in a house, are known as softball clogs and are as equally damaging.

Fatbergs and softball clogs can jam up sewers and septic tanks, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages and repairs, and you end up paying for it one way or another. It could be through plumbing repairs to your property or increased municipal usage charges to pay for damages to the city’s water treatment/sewage plant.

While disposable wipes may be advertised as biodegradable, most of them aren’t. They are made of a fibrous material that won’t dissolve in water like toilet paper does. And while disposable wipes may appear to flush completely down your toilet, it’s inevitable that somewhere along the journey, they will get jammed up and form a clog.

The best remedy is to not flush disposable wipes down the toilet but throw them in the trash. If that is unappealing, find a small trashcan with a lid that you can open with a foot lever. Use an odor-killing liner and throw the contents away regularly. Another option is to install a bidet, which Atlas Butler can help you source and install.

If you have a clogged toilet, damaged pipes, or sluggish septic tank, call the Atlas Butler plumbing pros at 614-681-2183. Our phone is answered by a live person 24/7, and in most cases, you can get a same-day appointment. While we won’t lecture you (because accidents do happen), we may give you a friendly reminder about what shouldn’t go down your sink or toilet.

2022-12-07T17:11:48-05:00November 12th, 2022|Maintenance, Toilets|

Tips for Winterizing Your Plumbing

Winterizing Your Pipes

With cold weather on the way to Central Ohio, it’s time to get your home ready for the cold weather season. One of the most common problems homeowners experience during the winter months is frozen pipes. Not only are frozen pipes inconvenient, but they can cause major damage to your home. When water freezes in pipes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipes, which can cause them to crack, break, and release the thawed water – flooding your home.

There are some simple and inexpensive steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes:

  1. Prepare outdoors. Turn off all outdoor spigots and drain the garden hoses before bringing them inside.
  2. Keep cabinets open. When the forecast calls for sub-zero temperatures, leave the cabinets underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks open overnight. This will allow warm air to circulate and prevent pipes from freezing.
  3. Drip faucets. Let water trickle from the faucets overnight. This simple action will keep water flowing through the pipes, preventing freezing.
  4. Insulate the pipes. You can find foam insulation for your pipes at any big box or hardware store. Simply cut it o fit and wrap it around the pipes.

If you end up with frozen pipes, you can try to thaw them yourself with a blow dryer. (A word of caution: Never try to thaw frozen pipes with an open flame as it’s very easy to accidentally ignite insulation.) If you do have a broken pipe, call the service pros at Atlas Butler at 614-681-2183. Our phone is answered 24/7, and in most cases, you’ll get a same-day service call. We’ll assess the severity of the problem and determine the next steps.

2022-12-07T17:00:13-05:00October 28th, 2022|Maintenance|

Got a Leaking Garbage Disposal?

Dealing with a Leaking Garbage Disposal

If you have water under your sink and ruled out a leaking pipe, then the culprit may be the garbage disposal.  It’s a source of leakage that doesn’t always come to mind first. The good news is that most disposal repairs aren’t hugely expensive, but in some cases, it might just make more sense to replace the garbage disposal completely. Listed below are some common causes of disposal leaks. If you are the DIY type, you may be able to tackle these repairs yourself. If not, reach out to the service pros at Atlas Butler by calling 614-681-2183.

  1. Sink flange. A garbage disposal is connected to your sink with a flange and sealed with plumber’s putty. When that flange gets jarred loose or rusts, it will leak. The way to fix this is by resealing the area.
  2. Loose drain lines. When you look under your sink, you will see two hoses connected to the garbage disposal. One is for the dishwasher and the larger one sends waste from the garbage disposal to the sewer system. A remedy is to tighten the clamp on the dishwasher hose or tighten the screws on the outbound hose.
  3. Broken seal. A sign of this is if the disposal is leaking from the bottom. Usually, this means the disposal’s internal seals have worn out. Another possible cause is if a piece of silverware or some other sharp item was accidentally dropped into the disposal and damaged the seal. The recommended solution in this instance is to go ahead and replace the entire garbage disposal.

If your garbage disposal is leaking and your attempt to fix it yourself have failed, call Atlas Butler Plumbing. Our phones are answered 24/7 and we’ll send one of our licensed plumbers over — in most cases, on the same day. We can give you estimates on repairing or garbage disposal replacement.

2022-11-01T14:40:15-04:00October 5th, 2022|Kitchen Drains, Maintenance|

Benefits of High Pressure Drain Cleaning

Get Stubborn Drains Flowing Again

If are frustrated with chronically clogged drains and backups, consider high-pressure drain cleaning. Also known as hydro-jetting, this method of drain cleaning forces a stream of high-pressure water through the pipes to break up clogs and improve water flow. This is really something that you shouldn’t DIY, as if you’re not experienced, things could easily get out of hand, and you’ll end up with more problems than just slow drains. The plumbers at Atlas Butler are experienced in high-pressure drain cleaning and can use this clog-busting technology to force debris through your pipes and discharge it into the sewer system.

High-pressure drain cleaning can get rid of most clogs, including grease, hair, coffee grounds, and even small tree roots. In cases where larger tree roots are a problem, your Atlas Butler technician will recommend the best remedy for removing them. Often, what you put down the sink isn’t even the problem. In areas with hard water, calcium and other mineral deposits build up inside the pipes, which blocks pipes. Hydro-jetting can clean those away as well.

High-pressure drain cleaning has other benefits including economy; it’s more cost-effective than other popular methods of eliminating clogs because it doesn’t require special equipment (like drilling) or chemicals. That said, the absence of harsh chemicals makes hydro-jetting an environmentally friendly practice.  It’s also a speedy process and eliminates any foul odors coming from your drains or in your basement.

If you think high-pressure drain cleaning is a solution to your backed-up sewer lines or clogged sinks, or slow drains, call Atlas Butler Plumbing at 614-681-2183. Our phone is answered 24/7 by a live person and in most cases, you can get a same-day appointment.

2022-11-01T15:00:56-04:00September 15th, 2022|Kitchen Drains, Maintenance|

Dealing With a Stubborn Drain

High-Pressure Drain Cleaning

If are frustrated with chronically clogged drains and backups, consider high-pressure drain cleaning. Also known as hydro-jetting, this method of drain cleaning forces a stream of high-pressure water through the pipes to break up clogs and improve water flow. This is really something that you shouldn’t DIY, as if you’re not experienced, things could easily get out of hand, and you’ll end up with more problems than just slow drains. The plumbers at Atlas Butler are experienced in high-pressure drain cleaning and can use this clog-busting technology to force debris through your pipes and discharge it into the sewer system.

High-pressure drain cleaning can get rid of most clogs, including grease, hair, coffee grounds, and even small tree roots. In cases where larger tree roots are a problem, your Atlas Butler technician will recommend the best remedy for removing them. Often, what you put down the sink isn’t even the problem. In areas with hard water, calcium and other mineral deposits build up inside the pipes, which blocks pipes. Hydro-jetting can clean those away as well.

High-pressure drain cleaning has other benefits including economy; it’s more cost-effective than other popular methods of eliminating clogs because it doesn’t require special equipment (like drilling) or chemicals. That said, the absence of harsh chemicals makes hydro-jetting an environmentally friendly practice.  It’s also a speedy process and eliminates any foul odors coming from your drains or in your basement.

If you think high-pressure drain cleaning is a solution to your backed-up sewer lines or clogged sinks, or slow drains, call Atlas Butler at 614-681-2183. Our phone is answered 24/7 by a live person and in most cases, you can get a same-day appointment.

2022-09-20T09:47:09-04:00July 20th, 2022|Around the House, Kitchen Drains, Maintenance|
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