All Ways Drains Blog Posts

Ask a Plumber: What’s a Water Hammer?

Simply, a water hammer is a strange banging noise that can occur after flushing the toilet, using the dishwasher or turning on the water. It’s called a water hammer because it almost sounds like someone is taking a hammer to your plumbing. Water hammer, in reality, is actually caused by the rushing of water through your pipes. And, depending on the age of your home, the solutions to help reduce this sound can vary. If you’ve been experiencing this odd banging noise, it’s time to call the professionals. When you need a plumber in Roseville, trust the experts at All Ways Drains, we are here to help with all of your plumbing related needs. We’ve put together a brief analysis of what water hammer is, what may cause it and a few solutions on how we can fix it.

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The Causes

Even though every home is different, the source for water hammer is usually the same; a sudden rush of water causing the pipes to bang up against the walls of your home. When you turn on the faucet or flush the toilet, the water rushes quickly through the pipes and after the valve closes, it causes the water to stop rushing and cause a sudden loss of momentum. As a result, the pipes hit against the walls and create a banging noise. When you hear this noise, it’s time to call a plumber.

Other Possible Causes

A water hammer is the most common cause of loud banging noises, though they may also come from loose connections between pipes and the wall studs of your home. It can also be from excess water pressure. Simply reducing your water pressure could in fact cause the noises to cease. Either way, it is best to enlist the help from a trusted plumber, like those at All Ways Drains, for a proper diagnosis.

How to Make it Stop

This is unfortunately not a do-it-yourself project. The best way to get rid of a water hammer is by calling a professional plumber. An expert plumber from All Ways Drains will be able to address the noise after evaluating the situation and finding the best solution for your home’s specific needs. Old and new homes both have different types of pipes and the factors contributing to the banging noise could be different. The expertise from a professional plumber is required to determine what these are.

Whether you are in need of a solution to your water hammer problems or anything else a plumber can help with, call on us for all of your residential plumbing needs.

When you need a plumber in Roseville, call All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422 or contact us for a Free Estimate.

Winter Plumbing Tips: Why Frozen Pipes Burst

At All Ways Drains we are here to help with all things plumbing and plumbing repair related. For over 15 years, we have been helping your neighbors with all of their plumbing repair needs. And, we’ve noticed that during the frigid Minnesota winters, we tend to see an increase in the need for frozen pipe repair. We’ve decided to provide you with some great information on what can cause frozen pipes, how to prevent them and what to do once you’ve got one. And we hope that when you need plumbing repair in Minneapolis, including frozen pipe repair, that you will give us a call at All Ways Drains!

Frozen Pipe Causes

Water is a powerful thing! Water expands as it freezes and this expansion puts tremendous pressure on what contains it, including metal or plastic pipes. And, no matter how strong your pipes are, expanding water can cause them to break or burst and require extensive plumbing repair.

At-Risk Pipes
Pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are those that are exposed to severe cold. For example, outdoor house bibs and water supply pipes in unheated interiors like basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces are most at-risk. Also, pipes that run against your exterior walls with little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

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Frozen Pipe Prevention
First, remove, drain and store your outdoor hoses. Keep the outside bib open so that any water still in the pipe can expand without causing it to break. Next, check around the home for areas where water supply lines are located in unheated locations and insulate if possible. Here are a few additional precautions you can take in order to avoid the extensive plumbing repair needed in the event of a frozen pipe:
This first one is very important! Even when you go away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, setting your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors in extreme cold weather to allow warm air in. But, be sure to remove any harmful household chemicals up and out of reach of children.
Keep your garage doors closed to keep the warm air in.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

In the event of a frozen pipe it is best to call the professionals, but one thing you can try is warming up the area of the frozen pipe if possible. You can try a space heater (kept away from flammable materials) or by wrapping the pipes in a warm towel. Do not use any sort of flame device to warm your pipes. And, like we mentioned, it is best to call a licensed plumber to avoid any mishaps that may in turn require more extensive plumbing repair.

Do you need more information on frozen pipes or reliable and professional plumbing repair in Minneapolis? Call All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422 or you can contact us to set up your Free Estimate.

Clogged Drain Prevention in the Home

Don’t let a clogged drain rain on your parade. They aren’t just a nuisance; clogged drains can actually lead to a variety of other plumbing problems and, if left unchecked, could result in costly repair work. So how can you avoid a clogged drain in your St. Paul home? Here are a few tips!

A Clean Drain is a Happy Drain
Since working drains are such everyday occurrences they are often forgotten about, and this is when a clogged drain can occur. With our busy lives, they tend to be “out of sight, out of mind” when we think of home cleaning. But, keeping a drain clean of debris is essential to your family’s health and comfort. If you are pretty mindful of what goes down your drains, you really shouldn’t need to clear them too often, just every month or so.

clogged drain

Not all Drains are the Same
Some drains need to be checked on a more regular basis. For instance, bathtub, shower and bathroom sink drains need to be checked more often because those are the spots where hair becomes a problem. Hair down the drain is one of the top culprits of a clogged drain. Brush your hair immediately before showering or taking a bath to catch any hair that might have ended up down the drain.

Get Keen on Mesh Screens
Place mesh screens over all of your drains if you can, but especially bathtub or shower and kitchen sink drains to catch hair, food particles and more. This is a simple yet effective solution to the clogged drain problem.

When in Doubt, Throw it Out
We’ve all done it. But, flushing or forcing materials down any drain can cause a clogged drain. Here is just a short list of the many things that should NOT be put down a drain:
• Coffee grounds
• Baby wipes, napkins
• Grease, fats and oils
• Glue
• Kitty litter
• Gum
• Cotton balls and other cotton products
• Hair
• The list goes on and on!

Preventative Measures
There are a few things you can do daily to keep clogged drains at bay. One is, after doing the dishes or preparing dinner, run hot water in your kitchen sink to make sure your drain is totally clear. You can also pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a half cup of vinegar every couple of days to keep them clear.

Do you need help with a clogged drain in St. Paul? Call All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422 or contact us to get a Free Estimate.

Plumbing Magnate Offers Tips Towards Preventing Toilet Issues

Your toilet is an underappreciated simple piece of technology that from time to time gets bogged down with clogs or general issues of one sort or another. As a plumbing specialist to Coon Rapids and nearby homes, All Ways Drains would like to share some simple tips that can aid in the prevention of issues regarding your household toileting.

  • Clean your toilet with mild cleaners: Regular household items like baking soda, soap and vinegar make for great cleaning options on your porcelain throne. Regular maintenance here can alleviate common stains of the human waste variety and enhance the odors found within your bathroom. Taking this approach at regular intervals will also allow to get to know your toilet, things like leaks or clogs will jump out when you are right there administering the clean.
  • Avoid chemical cleaners: Plumbing experts are largely divided on this stance, to chem or not to chem the toilet and therefore the plumbing that moves out of your home. All Ways Drains supports the stance of better safe than sorry and urges people to avoid using chemical cleaners.
  • Inspect the innards of your toilet: Roughly every 4-6 months, you should take a look at all of the individual cogs that enable the toilet to function properly. Remove the lid, conduct a flush, watch what is going to determine whether or not anything is amiss. Problems at this level are easy to spot.
  • Address toilet issues immediately: If you spot a leak or notice that your toilet continues to run, get a hold of a plumbing professional right away. Leaks tend to occur slowly with toilets so it is ideal for you to keep an eye out for them. Otherwise, a leak will be indicated by a growing monthly water bill that has no other explanation.
  • Do nut flush anything other than what is supposed to be down your toilet(s): That being stated, try to keep accompaniments to standard human waste limited to the highly biodegradable and easy travelling standard toilet paper.
  • Keep a plunger nearby: When you first encounter a clog or sluggishly draining or performing toilet, put your plunger to work to see if it can loose whatever is amiss somewhere within your pipes. Should this simple yet powerful tool fail here, move towards dumping hot water down your toilet. If you are still clogged, a toilet snake or auger can be put to use.

These tips should help ensure smooth and able flow within your piping. If you still encounter problems, at some point, give up the ghost and call a plumbing expert. Some problems in plumbing do fall beyond your scope and the skills of a professional within the trade are required.

Do you need a plumbing specialist in Coon Rapids or nearby? Call family and Veteran-owned All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate on our services.

Drain Cleaners to Keep the Flow This Holiday Season

We are entering the holiday season. Just in case you have not noticed it, Christmas music is playing in the grocery stores and malls that surround us already. Get those lists and therefore those wallets ready! The holidays bring with them meals that far exceed that which we get to enjoy during the normal flow of daily life. Turkey and ham being popular favorites on the specific holidays looming, not to mention other potentially greasy items on those menus, clogged drains can be a real problem at this time of year. If you will be host to any major meals ahead and you find yourself in need of a good drain cleaner for your Twin Cities area home, call on the professionals at All Ways Drains. We will bring holiday cheer to the sluggish or complete lack of flow in your pipes.

Plumbers feel that it should be more than established to any adult that no oil or grease should ever be dumped down a drain, or otherwise allowed to infiltrate your plumbing system in any way. Grease does not flow smoothly in your pipes as does water. Grease is substantially more viscous than other types of liquids that you send down the drain. It bogs and slows on its path through the piping network, “sticking” to things that may have already massed within, or even, begin to create fresh new clumps in its own right.

The preferred means of gathering, storing and disposing of grease involve keeping it within some sort of container, like a spent coffee tin or a milk jug. Store the grease in your fridge or your freezer and get rid of it when the garbage man comes. The old myth of running hot water and sending grease down the drain via garbage disposal with it sounds nice in principle but being that oil and water do not mix, steaming hot water will not aid in outflow of grease any more than cold, or even no water would. Grease being chemically different than water, it will react wholly different in any situation than water would.

If it comes to pass that the aforementioned has already gone down (the drain), chances are you will need the assistance of a professional drain cleaner to come in, take a look, undo the damage and get things moving again. And please, stay away from those chemical drain cleaners that you find on store shelves. Continued usage of these products will do damage to the interior of your piping, setting you up for potentially costly repair in the future.

Do you need a drain cleaner in the greater Twin Cities? Call family and Veteran-owned All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate on our services.