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.

2022-11-01T14:51:06-04:00October 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|

Causes of Sewage Backups

Common Sewage Backup Causes

If you are experiencing more clogged and slow drains, sewage in your basement, and a foul odor from your sinks or toilets, you may have a backed-up sewer. There are many causes of a sewer backup, including grease, coffee grounds, food waste, hair, and even tree roots. Other causes can be heavy rain, sump pump failure, or aging and cracked pipes. If you suspect that your sewer is backed up, call Atlas Butler right away at 614-681-2183. Our phone is answered 24/7, and in most cases, we can come out the same day.

Some signs of blocked sewer lines include multiple clogged drains, toilets that won’t flush, a gurgling sound when you run water, and a nasty odor in the bathroom, kitchen, or basement. There are several ways to unblock sewer lines, but first, the sewer lines will need to be inspected using a small flexible camera. One is the use of chemicals to go into the pipes and dissolve clogs and in some cases, even small tree roots. There is also “industrial vacuuming,” where a heavy-duty suction is used to extract debris from the pipes. Yet another option is high-pressure drain cleaning, where a jet of high-pressure water is forced through the pipes to break up clogs.

Once the sewer pipes are unclogged, practice good sanitation habits in your home. Avoid pouring grease or fat down the kitchen sink, as well as coffee grounds, eggshells, pasta, and food waste like vegetable and fruit peelings. In the bathroom, only organic waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet; no feminine hygiene products, disposable diapers, etc.

Some experts recommend having your sewer lines cleaned every three-to-five years. Your Atlas Butler technician will inspect your sewer lines and make the best recommendations for cleaning them out. We have been a trusted emergency plumbing and HVAC service provider to Central Ohio for more than 100 years and you can count on us to get your drains and toilets flowing freely once again.

2022-09-20T09:47:03-04:00August 20th, 2022|Around the House, Toilets|

Tips for Fixing a Clogged Shower Drain

Dealing with a Clogged Shower

One of the most common calls plumbers receive is to fix a clogged shower drain. But before you call a plumber, there are several DIY hacks to unclog it yourself. The most common culprit is hair and there is a simple item you can find at any hardware or big box store or online — a hair trap that you install between the stopper and drain to catch hair before it goes down the pipes and forms clogs.

Bath products, solid soap, and any body wash or hair products containing a lot of oil also contribute to clogs. Using the bathtub and shower for washing up items dirtied with a lot of mud, dirt, and grit can clog the shower drain as well. Here are some tips for unclogging a shower drain. If you try these and nothing works, then it’s time to call Atlas Butler at 614-681-2183. Our phones are answered 24/7/365 by a live person for routine service and emergency calls.

  1. Boiling water. Sometimes, pouring boiling water down the shower drain is all it takes to dissolve soap scrum, grease, and other gunk and get things flowing smoothly again. Safety tip: Use a funnel to avoid splashbacks and burns.
  2. Plunger. This isn’t the most effective method but can work if the clog isn’t too deeply seated. Coat the plunger seal with petroleum jelly to form a solid seal and run enough water so the plunger is fully submerged for adequate suction.
  3. Plumber’s snake. Again, you can find these at hardware or big box stores or online. It’s a long, thin, flexible strip of serrated plastic with a handle that you insert down the drain. The “teeth” will catch whatever is causing the clog, so you can pull it out.
  4. Baking soda and vinegar. This is a natural remedy for dissolving clogs. You can find plenty of “recipes” online for the correct proportions. There also is an abundance of clean-formulated products you can buy almost anywhere, including grocery stores, to help clean out your drain.
  5. Chemical products. There are also many OTC drain cleaners you can use in your shower. Many of them contain harsh chemicals, so be careful when using them, especially if your house has older pipes. Some commercial drain cleaners now are made with gentler, non-corrosive formulas, but still get the job done.

If despite your best efforts, the clog persists, then quit while you’re ahead and call Atlas Butler. It’s better to have a pro fix the problem than continue on yourself if nothing’s working. Tinkering with the plumbing can cause serious damage, which can lead to more expensive repairs. At Atlas Butler, our fleet is fully equipped with parts, so the odds are great that we can get your shower unclogged in a single visit.

2022-11-01T14:22:09-04:00August 6th, 2022|Around the House|

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|

Maintaining a Sump Pump

How to Maintain Your Sump Pump

Your sump pump works hard during spring and summer when there are more rain and storms than during other months of the year. To keep your basement dry and preserve your home’s foundation, it’s important to make sure your sump pump is operating properly. The last thing you want is a failure during a torrential rainstorm or major snow melt in the winter. The service pros at Atlas Butler can perform sump pump service and maintenance checks upon request, but there are a few things you can do yourself to keep your sump running smoothly.

  1. Keep the basin clear of debris. Unplug the sump pump and clear any dirt, dust, standing water, and other debris away from the area. Next, remove the pump itself for a thorough cleaning, especially the screen. You can use a garden hose or a solution of vinegar and water; the latter will also disinfect.
  2. Check the sump pump for corrosion. If you see any parts of the sump pump that are broken, or look worn out or corroded, then call Atlas Butler to have a look at it. It could be time for a replacement.
  3. Inspect the discharge pipe. Make sure the pipe is clear of blockages and that water can flow freely through it. Water should discharge far away from your home’s foundation to prevent seepage and other infiltration.
  4. Test the sump pump. After you’ve put everything back in place, it’s time to test the sump pump. Add five gallons of water to the basin and let the sump pump run. Make sure it’s running properly and pay attention to the float. Whether you’re conducting routine maintenance or not, you should test your sump pump at least once a year, especially before rainy months.

Taking good care of your sump pump is worth it, especially if you want it to last for at least 10 years. If you have issues with your sump pump or need to buy a new one, call Atlas Butler at 614-681-2183. We are available 24/7/365 for service calls and emergencies, and our phones are answered by a live person. You can depend on us for the prompt, professional service we have provided in Central Ohio for more than 100 years.

2022-09-20T09:54:04-04:00July 6th, 2022|Sump Pump|

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.

2022-09-20T09:47:17-04:00June 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.

2022-09-20T09:47:24-04:00June 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.

2022-09-20T09:47:31-04:00May 31st, 2022|Around the House, Kitchen Drains|
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