Replied promptly; provided service in a professional manner. H Daniel Pfeiffer
Just like you, we at Putman Plumbing never thought we’d see a day when people were hoarding toilet paper. Just about every shelf in Frederick County stores is empty unless you happen to be there when a truck is being unloaded. It’s crazy! Hopefully you won’t find yourself completely out of toilet paper, but if you do, we want to remind you that nothing else should be flushed down the toilet.
When toilet paper is flushed, it dissolves almost instantly. But if you’re all out of toilet paper, you may only have paper towels, tissues, napkins or baby wipes to use in the restroom. Please remember that if you use those, you should throw them in a lined trash can. They are not made to dissolve quickly in water and will cause a clogged toilet if flushed. And if they make their way beyond your home’s pipes, they can ball up and also damage the municipal sewer system — and possibly even cause damage to municipal sewage treatment facilities.
If you’re able to get your hands on flushable wipes in stores, keep in mind that you can’t flush them at the same frequency rate as toilet paper. They are not highly dissolvable so when they’re being used nonstop, they can pile up and form into a ball that will clog your whole system. Consumer Reports once did a test on flushable wipes and found that after 30 minutes of simulated swirling (just like a toilet bowl) the wipe was still intact. You can imagine what will happen in your plumbing pipes if these are being used frequently. The best thing to do to avoid clogs is to put flushable wipes in a lined trash can (and empty it often of course), but if your family insists on flushing them, tell them to only flush one at a time.
We are always here to help with any plumbing problems you have. We may not be able to find toilet paper for you, but we will certainly do all we can to keep your plumbing system running its best. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
If you have a large, busy household like many families in Harford County, you’ve most likely heard the frantic call to stop a clogged toilet from overflowing. Hopefully you were successful, but if not it may be because you don’t have the right kind of plunger. While we love to help with plumbing problems and should always take a look at clogged toilets, it’s important for homeowners to know which plunger to use in an emergency.
Here are three kinds of plungers you may be familiar with.
The Flange Plunger
This type of plunger can work on toilets as well as drains in the sink and tub (but definitely separate plungers to avoid cross-contamination). The flange plunger is very flexible and has a cup with a soft, rubber fold-out flap for excellent suction to the toilet drain. The flap can be folded in to plunge sink and tub drains.
The Accordion Plunger
The accordion plunger is made specifically to unclog toilets and should really only be used in case of a severe clog. It generates lots of force, but it’s made of hard plastic so it can scratch the surface of the toilet. It’s not good to use on sinks because it doesn’t create a good vacuum seal over the flat surface of the drain.
The Flat Plunger
The flat plunger is the typical plunger most homeowners purchase, even though it’s not ideal for unclogging toilets. The flat cup is better for sticking on flat surfaces like bathtubs and sinks.
To remove a clog before things get really messy:
Make sure to use the right plunger (the accordion or flange are best).
Seal the bottom of the plunger around the drain.
Create suction by pressing straight down rather than at an angle, then continue pulling up and pushing back in until the water recedes.
The best way to avoid a clogged toilet is to put only toilet paper in it, and not too much at a time. Flushable wipes can ball up in your drain and cause clogs, and paper towels, feminine products and diapers should never be flushed.
If you’re experiencing frequent clogs or notice that you have to flush your toilet twice to get everything down, it’s time to call Putman Plumbing. We have the professional tools to evaluate what is causing the clogs so we can fix it once and for all. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!
Whether your toilet is broken or you just want to take advantage of a more updated model, it’s worth it to learn about a few different types available since they each have their own advantages. In a traditional toilet, a rubber flapper at the bottom of the tank opens up and lets gravity flush waste away, but newer toilets have different mechanisms.
This type of toilet uses air pressure to produce a powerful flush, allowing them to stay clean longer and less likely to become clogged. Because of their power, they’re much louder than regular toilets and are popular for use in commercial settings, although they are available for residential homes.
Most of us have seen these in mall or restaurant bathrooms, where we’re given the option to push the handle down for liquid waste or up for solid waste. The dual flush toilet has a pressure assisted mechanism that flushes solid waste and cleans the toilet, while the gravity feed flush gets rid of liquid.
The touchless option is a dream if you’re germaphobic since you can flush the toilet just by by waving your hand over a sensor. While you can buy a new toilet that has this feature, you may be able to modify your current toilet with a touchless flush system.
Your old toilet could be using up to five gallons per flush. You can save a lot on your water bill by looking for a toilet with the WaterSense label, which uses only 1.28 gallons per flush or less.
If you want to go all out, you can find temperature-controlled seats, automatic flush, self-cleaning features, remote controls or even add a bidet. You certainly have plenty of options with today’s toilet technology!
When you need a professional plumbing company in Middletown, we can help! We’ll make recommendations for replacing your toilet and schedule an appointment to get it installed. We look forward to working with you!
Whether you live in Middletown, Myersville or Brunswick, you probably do your part to keep your city looking beautiful by maintaining your lawn and the exterior of your home. But what some homeowners don’t think about is that how we take care of the inside of our homes can effect the the city as well. If you flush things down your toilet that aren’t supposed to be flushed, clogged pipes can happen not only in your own home but also in the municipal sewer system — and some things can even cause damage to municipal sewage treatment facilities.
To do what’s best for your home’s plumbing system, your city’s plumbing system, and the environment, it’s imperative that only toilet paper and human waste be flushed down your toilet. That means the following items should not be flushed.
That’s right, even though they say “flushable”, these wipes cause big trouble for toilets and septic systems. They pile up in residential pipes and cause trouble for sewage treatment centers, so put these in the trash can whenever possible.
The cotton in cotton balls is NOT the same as that in toilet paper. It will clump together and cause clogs in your pipes.
You’ve seen the commercials where someone soaks up a whole counter full of liquid with a paper towel. Paper towels are not made to dissolve in water.
We’ve all reached for a tissue when we’ve found ourselves with an empty roll of toilet paper, but the truth is that Kleenex and Puffs do not dissolve in water well enough to be flushed.
Floss doesn’t dissolve, and it will get stuck and tangled in pipes and sewage systems and can even prevent fats, oils, and other materials from flowing through.
No drugs should ever be flushed for environmental reasons. Sewage systems have a hard time breaking down medications, so they end up in lakes, oceans, rivers, and ponds.
Some litter brands market themselves as flushable, but since cat feces contain a parasite call toxoplasma gondii, it’s just not healthy for the environment. The sewage systems can’t break the parasite down so it can enter the oceans and cause harm to wildlife.
These are meant to absorb liquid. If you’ve ever seen a baby try to swim in a regular diaper, you can imagine how quickly a diaper can clog pipes. So place both diapers and feminine products in the trash.
We love helping Frederick County homeowners with their plumbing problems, but this is one issue where we’d like to prevent you from having to call us! Don’t put anything in the toilet besides toilet paper, and you’ll be doing your part to keep Frederick County water clean.
Most of us are aware of the benefits of limiting water usage. It’s better for the Earth, and it can cut down on your water bills. If it’s time to replace your toilets or if you’re just looking to install a water-saving toilet in your Frederick County home, here are a few that you might want to consider.
A power or pressure-assist toilet works with a combination of water and compressed air for greater flushing power. There’s a pressure tank inside that works like a big water balloon: Water fills the tank and stays there under pressure, and when the flush valve opens, pressure and gravity create a strong flush. This type of toilet does the best job of clearing the bowl of solid waste, but it’s noisy and more expensive than some of the other water saving options.
You’re probably familiar with the way a gravity toilets works since it’s very similar to the type that most of us have been using all our lives. Gravity toilets rely on gravity to pull waste and water into the sewer system. When you flush, a valve opens and the water inside the toilet tank moves into the toilet bowl. Water and waste move down quickly out of the toilet, past the drain and into the sewer system. The difference between a standard toilet and a gravity toilet comes in when it comes to water usage. The newest gravity toilets have an adjustable water level allowing you to change the flushing power as needed, but they can clog easily so you have to make sure nothing gets flushed besides toilet paper.
These models cost slightly more than gravity toilets but are not as expensive as pressure-assist toilets. Their biggest plus is that they provide a powerful flush using vacuum technology. In the porcelain tank, there’s a vacuum tank that connects to the trapway. When someone flushes, water flowing from the tank creates suction in the vacuum tank and trapway to help suck waste out of the bowl. In lab tests, vacuum assist toilets cleared more waste than gravity toilets but not as much as pressure-assist models.
Putman Plumbing technicians can give you advice on the water-saving toilet that’s right for your home and your budget. Just give us a call to speak to a trusted Frederick County plumber today.
Millions and millions of flushes – requiring an amount of water equal to seven minutes of water flowing over the Niagra Falls.
So can all that flushing at once wreak havoc on our sewer systems? Well Frederick County has never experienced such a problem, but after a 16-inch pipe burst in Salt Lake City in 1984 during half time, there is a theory that lots of simultaneous flushing can cause big problems with municipal sewer systems. According to city workers in Utah’s capital that year, however, the pipe was old and probably would have ruptured regardless of the time of day.
The truth is that our city sewer systems are made to withstand large volumes of water that are used every day. Each weekday morning, we all get up and take showers and flush toilets in the same time span, and there are no pipes bursting or other major problems caused from that. So no, everyone flushing at once is not going to cause most plumbers on call to miss the rest of the game.
We at Putman Plumbing see the same problems after the Super Bowl game as we see after every large gathering.
Try to avoid these problems and hopefully you won’t need us!
Enjoy the party on Sunday, but if you run into any big problems, give us a call. We’ve been a trusted Middletown plumbing company for many years, and we’ll be happy to help.
The kids of Middletown and surrounding cities still have a few week left until school starts, and we know what that means: your toilet is still getting a lot of extra action. As if summer water bills aren’t already high enough, if your family is flushing twice to get rid of all their “business,” your water bill is even higher. So what’s the solution for a stubborn toilet? It could be something easy or it could be a tough job that a plumbing expert should handle. Let’s look at some possibilities.
Low flush toilets are supposed to save water, but if they don’t create enough suction to do their job, you end up having to flush twice and using more water. You might want to think about replacing it with a better model.
Many areas in Maryland have hard water filled with calcium and magnesium. These minerals can cling and clog the pathways that lead water from the tank into the toilet bowl. When there’s not enough water in the bowl, the toilet can’t flush enough waste down. Don’t rush into pouring harsh chemicals into the toilet to try to get rid of hard water stains. Talk to a plumber to see what an easy, safe fix might be. If hard water seems to be the problem, you may want to look into a whole house water softener.
If you have an old flapper, it can crack and let tank water leak into the bowl. When it’s time to flush, there’s not enough water in the tank to force the waste down the drain. You might try replacing your flapper.
If your toilet flushes all the way when you hold the handle down, but not if you let it go, try shortening the chain. It could just be that the chain is too long so the flapper closes too early to let enough water fill the bowl.
A toilet drain can be clogged for several reasons. If you’ve been using “flushable” wipes, they don’t always dissolve and can be compacted into a large ball that blocks water from getting through. If you have kids, chances are paper towels or other things that aren’t supposed to be flushed could be the culprit. You can try using a plunger and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, you may need a plumber to come out and snake your drain.
There could also be a tree root that has grown into your plumbing pipes, which would require immediate attention. The only way to know for sure is to have a skilled plumber investigate. Using a plumbing camera inspection, a plumber can determine the location and reason for the clog and fix the problem quickly.
Putman Plumbing would be happy to help figure out your problem. Give us a call and soon you’ll be enjoying fewer flushes and lower water bills!
If you’re planning on building a home, your first concern is probably how you want it to look. But besides choosing bricks, doors and windows, you’ll need to decide how you want the inside of your home to function. Starting from scratch is a great time to think about some of the new energy efficient options that are available in plumbing.
Most pre-existing homes operate on a standard gas or electric hot water heater tank, with the size of the tank being determined by the number of residents that will live there. The hot water lines are then ran from the tank to bathrooms, the kitchen, and laundry room. But since standard water heaters keep 30-50 gallons of water hot all the time, sometimes while you’re not even home, they can waste a lot of energy. And often, if the bathroom or kitchen is some distance from the hot water heater, the water at the faucet needs to run for a few minutes for the hot water to reach its destination. Obviously, traditional water heaters are not the most energy efficient option.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankless water heaters are about 40% more energy efficient than most. They are 90% smaller than the average standard model, and they last 5-10 years longer. By warming the water only at the point where it’s needed, such as for a shower, the dishwasher, or the washing machine, you can save a substantial amount on energy bills.
Tankless point of use water heaters are available in gas and electric. The electric versions are a third of the size of the gas option, making it possible to install them in any location throughout the house, such as under sinks where hot water is needed quickly. Electric units cost less initially, and there is no need to run ventilation or gas lines. But the cost of installing electrical circuits for each point of use during construction is comparable to the cost of running hot water plumbing lines. You can talk to a licensed plumber about their recommendations for tankless hot water heater models.
It’s hard to believe some toilets made prior to 1992 used up to five gallons of water every time you flushed. Considering that toilets account for 30% of a home’s water, imagine how high that water bill would be, especially if you have a big family! Since you’ll be choosing toilets to go into your new home, take a look at some of the models that use only around a gallon per flush.
Today, you can find hundreds of toilet manufacturers that make high-efficiency toilets, and many of them are quieter than before. You can find dual flush systems as well, which can flush liquid and solid waste separately.
Don’t just settle on the bathroom fixtures that your builder suggests. Take your time and figure out what will save you money – and be better for the Earth- in the long run.
Be sure to research which faucets and shower heads use the least amount of water per minute. High-efficiency faucets have a flow rate of no more than 1.5 gallon per minute (gpm), while high-efficiency shower heads use no more than 2 gpm.
When it’s time to make plumbing choices for your new home in Middletown or any other town in Frederick County, give Putman Plumbing a call. You can trust us to make recommendations you won’t regret.
Moms dedicate their lives to keeping everyone else happy. So if you’re looking for the perfect gift for your wife or mom this Mother’s Day, consider a few things that will make her happy and comfortable all year long — she deserves it!
If your mother is older, replacing her toilet with a comfort height toilet could make her time in the bathroom a lot easier. These taller toilets provide two extra inches so mom doesn’t have to sit so low. Installing a grab bar on the wall near the toilet can help too.
Does your wife love massages? It may be hard for her to make time to go get a massage often, but she’d probably love a new shower head with a built in massager. You could also splurge on her and have a jetted tub installed.
We all know how busy life is with kids, so cooking quick, easy meals is a necessity. An instant hot water heater eliminates the need to boil water, so pasta or hard boiled eggs can be ready in minutes. And a new faucet with a sprayer can make rinsing dishes so much easier.
If she’s constantly filling up a filtered water pitcher, think about installing a filtered water dispenser near your faucet. Endless drinkable water is something everyone will enjoy.
Has your mom never had the luxury of having a dishwasher or garbage disposal? Now may be a great time to spoil her. Both can be installed quickly with the help of a plumber.
Have everyone pitch in to help mom on Mother’s Day. Clean up breakfast. Do the dishes. Fold laundry. Give her a break, and let her know how much she’s appreciated every day of the year.
Putman Plumbing wishes all the moms in Frederick County a Happy Mother’s Day!
Have you ever thought about what life would be like without a toilet in your home or warm running water? It would mean a freezing cold walk to a stinky outhouse in the winter, and a frigid bath at any time of year.
But due to some pretty smart fellows back in the 1800’s, we’re lucky enough to ease our way into our days with fresh smelling bathrooms and hot showers. It’s no surprise that a day has been reserved to annually thank those guys who developed modern plumbing. Today, April 25th, is National Hug a Plumber Day.
Let’s take a look at how far plumbing has come in the last couple of centuries:
If you see a plumber this weekend or any time soon, give him or her a hug (or a handshake). They dedicate their days to making our lives a lot more pleasant than they could have been!
And if you find yourself with leaky faucets, strange smells, or cold showers, give Putman Plumbing a call.