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Tag Archive: Plumb Perfect

  1. Top 7 Spring Plumbing Tips


    After a rainy spring so far, we thought it would be a good time to revisit one of our older blogs.  Here again are our top 7 spring tips:

    1. Check Outside Hosebibs – When you turn on your outside tap, or ‘hosebib’, for the first time, be sure to go back into the house and check to see if there are any leaks.  The inside valve or pipe may have frozen over the winter and cracked.  We get more calls in spring for leaks and water damage from this.
    1. Test Your Sump Pump – Our second most common plumbing emergency. Test your pump by pouring a couple of buckets of water into the pit to see if it turns on and removes the water.  Also make sure the pit is free of debris so as not to clog the pump just when you most need it to work.  Ensure that the float is allowed to move freely to function correctly.  Check the discharge line outside and clear it of any ice, gravel and debris to prevent water from backing up into your home.  If you have a battery back-up sump pump, check the battery.  If you don’t have one, consider getting one installed in case of a power outage which usually occurs during rain storms.

    Extra tip:  If your pump is continuously running but no water is being pumped out, there’s probably a blockage somewhere.  Turn off the power to the pump immediately to prevent the motor from burning out and check all the above or call a professional.

    1. Care For Your Septic – Spring runoff can quickly fill your septic tank and cause backups. Divert run- off water away from your septic tank and field.  During an extreme thaw or heavy rains, limit the use of water in your home.  Spread clothes washing over a couple of days to reduce overloading the tank.  Use a liquid laundry detergent as powdered detergents contain fillers which solidify in the tank.  Switch to dryer sheets as liquid fabric softeners interfere with the breakdown of waste.  Also, keep the manway cover on to prevent excess water from entering.
    1. Test Your Drinking Water – Most people are unaware that spring run-off can affect their well water. Contaminants are more likely to enter wells during the spring thaw.  If your water changes colour or develops an odour, get your water tested.  Also seriously consider installing a proper filter and/or sterilizer in your home to protect you and your family.
    1. Look For Leaks – Check under all sinks and cabinets for signs of leaking water. Even a small leak left unchecked could cause mould and water damage over time.
    1. Save Your Hot Water Tank – Spring is the perfect time to drain your hot water tank and flush out sediment which causes corrosion, reduces heating efficiency and shortens the lifespan of your hot water tank.
    1. Look Up, Way Up – Make sure your plumbing vents are clear of ice, debris and even nests to prevent odour and back-ups. Clear out your gutters and downspouts and check for damage to them and your roof’s shingles.  During winter, ice can form in old gutters and lift up shingles allowing water to enter the home making many people believe they have a plumbing leak.

    If you are unable to perform the above, please call a professional.  Happy Spring!

  2. Caring for Your New Toilet

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    Some simple straightforward suggestions to extend the life of your toilet and keeping it look like new for years to come.

    • Never use your toilet as a ladder.  This may cause damage not only to the toilet, but to the flange that the toilet sits on.  (To learn about the flange and other plumbing in your home, click on the i-House on the bottom right-hand side of our Home Page at  Also take care not to put any pressure on the tank by leaning on it as it may loosen the tank-to-bowl seal or crack the tank.
    • Don’t store heavy items above the toilet to minimize the risk of them falling and cracking the tank or bowl.  Smaller items falling into the toilet, such as hairbrushes, make-up and hygiene products, can get stuck inside the toilet and cannot be dislodged, which means the toilet may have to be replaced.
    • Do use natural cleaning products to keep your toilet looking like new.  Abrasive and caustic cleaners damage the glazing on the porcelain toilet leading to more frequent cleaning and, in most cases, even void toilet manufacturer warranties.  Nylon brushes can also damage the glazing.   Worn toilet brushes should be replaced before the metal is exposed causing scratches in the toilet bowl.
    • Never pour hot water or liquids into the tank or bowl as it may crack due to the cold water and porcelain.  Mixing different cleaning products together can have the same result and be harmful to your health. It can even be dangerous.
    • Avoid using your toilet as a garbage can. Toilet paper is designed in size and density to easily break down.  Paper towels, facial tissue and flushable wipes and tampons are more dense and may clog the toilet and even your sewer line.  Just because it says it’s flushable doesn’t mean it won’t clog!
    • Don’t flush waste such as fats, grease, wax and starch as they can clog the toilet and make water treatment more difficult.  Prescription medications are actually hazardous waste and municipal sewage treatment plants are not engineered for pharmaceutical removal.  Most pass through the system and are released into our lakes and rivers or end up in the treated wastewater ready to be sent back to our homes.  They also harm the beneficial bacteria needed to break down waste in septic systems.
    • Any components inside the toilet tank should be replaced with exact brand name parts to keep your toilet operating at peak efficiency.  For example, if your American Standard Cadet flapper was replaced with a universal flapper, you could actually be using up to three times more water with every flush!

    For Expert Plumbing Service Please Call Plumb Perfect Ltd.  1.888.458.1979

  3. How to Care for Your Drains

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    Next to a leak, a clogged drain is the most common plumbing problem a homeowner faces.  Most clogged drains can actually be avoided by following these simple steps:

    1. Don’t pour grease down the kitchen sink.  Most kitchen sink clogs are due to grease and food particles.  Always allow grease to cool and pour it into an old can or wipe it out with newspaper and throw it in the garbage.  Running hot water while you pour down the grease makes no difference as the grease will still solidify once it hits the cold pipe.  More grease and food particles will then get “caught” on it forming a blockage.  Grease and food particles may also cause terrible smells and encourage bacterial growth and even drain flies.We often hear, “I never pour grease down my sink, so why do I have this problem?”  That’s because soap is made from lye and vegetable oils or animal fats… in other words, grease.
    2. Use a mesh drain screen.  Your kitchen drain basket catches larger particles while the smaller ones slip by.  A mesh screen that sits in the drain will capture those smaller particles that are attempting to escape down your drain.  A stainless steel one will last for years.
    3. Regularly clean the hair out of your drains.  You may prevent clogging by removing the hair from your bathtub and shower drains on a regular basis.  Although most hair gets washed away, some hair gets stuck on the soap scum in the drain, eventually causing a blockage.  Use tweezers or a wire coat hanger unbent to remove the hair.   We recommend doing this at least once per month.   And don’t forget to clean your bathroom sink pop-up plugs.  Toothpaste and soap also builds up here.
    4. Don’t use chemical drain cleaners.   They are caustic and rarely work.  The acid may be able to burn a small hole through the clog by running along the bottom of the pipes, but this only temporarily restores partial flow.  If used on kitchen drains, these chemicals may even back up into your dishwasher.  Chemical drain cleaners damage and shorten the lifespan of your home’s piping as they are corrosive.  They also harm our water and the environment and are especially dangerous around children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions.
    1. DO use natural drain cleaners.   A plumber’s snake is an invaluable tool and can be purchased at most hardware stores.  We also strongly recommend using natural enzyme & bacterial cleaners as part of a monthly maintenance program.  These are very effective in preventing clogs on all types of drains as they break down all organic waste like grease, food particles, soap scum and hair.  (For more information on natural drain cleaners, please check Bio-Clean, BioOne and Maximizer DT Pro on our website.)

    For 5 warning signs that indicate you may already have a potential severe drain problem, click here .

    For Expert Plumbing Service Please Call Plumb Perfect Ltd. 1.888.458.1979

  4. Clogged Sink: What’s the First Line of Attack?

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    Imagine this: you are in the middle of washing the dishes after dinner and suddenly the water level in your sink starts rising instead of falling. It doesn’t take long to figure out why. Your drain is clogged! Maybe you don’t need to imagine it because you’re living it and need tips on how to get rid of the clog in your sink now.

    Here are the top solutions straight from our experts to you:

    Use a plunger
    1. Put a little water in the sink, about 1″ or so if there isn’t already water so the plunger will “seal” around the drain.
    2. Now plunge by moving the head of the plunger around in the water while you move it up and down so you force water and not air into the drain.  This may take up to 20 minutes or longer so be patient; rest in between if you need to.
    3. If it’s your double kitchen sink that’s clogged, plug one of the sink drains with a rag.
    4. Fill the other sink with about 1” of water and plunge as above.
    Caution: Do NOT plunge a drain if you used a chemical drain cleaner as it could splash up and cause serious burns!  And be sure to leave a window open for ventilation.
    Snake the drain.

    If you don’t feel confident dismantling your plumbing, this might be the moment to call a professional. However, if you are determined to try and remove the clog yourself, follow these steps:

    1. First, place a bucket below the drain to catch excess water.
    2. Remove the sink trap (the bent pipe below the sink) with a pipe wrench by carefully loosening the slip nuts on the trap arm first and then on the waste tee.  Slowly and gently wiggle the P-trap off to avoid any cracking or bending of the trap assembly.
    3. Check the trap for clogs and remove them.
    4. If you didn’t find the clog, feed a plumber’s snake (also called a cable auger) into the stub pipe, which connects to the wall.
    5. When the snake meets resistance, pull out about 10 inches of cable and tighten the lock screw. Turn the crank clockwise and push the snake forward until you push the blockage free.
    6. Reattach the sink trap and run hot water to get rid of any leftover debris.  Be careful not to over tighten the nuts when replacing them.  Do not force anything or you could end up with a bigger problem.
    Caution:  If you have a garbage disposal, a severe clog, used a chemical drain cleaner or have any doubts, please don’t attempt to clear it yourself!  Call a professional.
    We do not recommend using chemical drain products since they rarely work, harm people and the environment and can corrode your pipes. If the clog persists after your best efforts, you need to call in a professional.

    If you still have questions about a clogged sink, see our FAQ’s page for more information!

    Call Plumb Perfect Plumbing & Drain Cleaning at 1-888-458-1979 to solve your drain issues and to learn how to prevent them.

  5. The Green Machine: Saving Money and Water with High-Efficiency Toilets

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    Image result for old, money wasting toilet

    Is it time to replace that old toilet?

    Do you want a way to save money and water at the same time?

    If you do, there are many options available out there.


    According to Environment Canada, toilets are responsible for 30% of total water usage in a home. New high-efficiency toilets can, on average, reduce water usage from as much as 24 litres to 4.8 litres or less per flush! This not only saves you money but also helps the environment. Here is a guide that explains the main types of high-efficiency toilets and their pros and cons.

    Gravity Feed Toilet

    Most toilets use the power of gravity to flush. Flushing opens a valve that forces water and waste down the toilet and into the sewer system. The advantage with this type of toilet is that it is the least expensive and the simplest to maintain out of all high-efficiency toilets as it has been around the longest. The disadvantage is that cheaper store-brand toilets don’t have a powerful flush leading to frequent clogs and using more water.

    Pressure Assist Toilet

    The pressure assist toilet relies on extra pressure to generate more power for a flush along with a larger valve. As a result, pressure assist toilets not only use less water (around 4 litres) but are also more powerful than the gravity feed toilet. Unlike other high-efficiency toilets, clogging is not an issue. However, the added power comes with higher initial cost, a little more maintenance, and a louder flush.

    Dual-Flush Toilet

    As the name implies, dual-flush toilets have two flushing options depending on the type of waste. The liquid waste option only requires 3-4 litres per flush, while the solid waste option uses the more normal 5-6 litres. The advantage to this toilet is that you can save a lot of water and money if used correctly. If not used correctly, you can actually use more water because you flush more than once. Also, this toilet is more expensive to purchase and install as it has more moving parts. This also means more maintenance and usually requires a plumber to fix to keep it efficient.

    Toilet Brand

    When it comes to choosing a toilet, a lot of different brands are out there. Basically, you get what you pay for. Better quality name brand toilets, such as Toto, are engineer-designed to outperform most other toilets. You may pay more for a good quality toilet initially, but it will save you money (and frustration) over the long run.

    Is it Worth Changing Toilets?

    High-efficiency toilets are a great way to save money and help the environment. Environment Canada estimates that the savings for both the combined water and sewage bill is around 50%. If you have a home with an older toilet, then a low-flush toilet is definitely something to consider. On average, a new good quality toilet will pay for itself in less than 2 years and then after that you’re saving money with every flush.

    Toto Neorest

    Quick Fact:  Did you know that if you replace your existing worn-out flapper or fill valve with the incorrect/cheaper replacement part, you will actually waste more water with every flush?  To save water (and money), install the correct parts.  Pay the extra and get original manufacturer parts that are made specifically for your toilet make and model and follow instructions carefully.  When in doubt, call a plumber.