Take These 5 Steps Now to Reduce Basement Flooding

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Plumbing Tips

If you own a property that has a basement, you should have a plan to deal with potential flooding. It isn’t just a broken levee or swollen creek that causes water to pour into a home. Roof damage, foundation cracks, and improperly sealed windows can all lead to water pooling in the basement.

Flooding in a home damages structural elements and leads to mold and mildew growth. It’s best to practice prevention to avoid the risk of flooding, but you should also have the tools on hand to manage potential flood events.

Determine Your Risk of Property Flooding

If you live high up on a hill, far away from a body of water, with adequate landscape drainage in a well-sealed home, you’re in a great spot. As long as a tornado or fallen tree doesn’t take out a section of your roof, you’re at a low risk of suffering a flood event. It’s still a good idea to keep a wet-dry vacuum cleaner and spare mops on hand in case a toilet overflows or a window is left open during a rainstorm.

If you live close to a river, your home has clogged gutters, or you’ve experienced flooding in your basement before, you’re at a high risk of a future flooding crisis. Property owners who are lower in elevation on gravity-fed sewer lines often get hit hardest as storm water flows downhill into their basements. If this describes your property, you’re also at high risk.

Is Your Sump Pump Ready for Spring Rain? Don’t Wait to Find Out

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Plumbing Systems

As an individual, you may be looking forward to the end of winter. As a homeowner, however, you know that you need to prepare your home for the change of the season to minimize the risk of flooding, leaky pipes, and other common spring problems.

In this blog, we discuss what a reputable plumber can do to prepare your sump pump.

Schedule an Inspection in Advance

The purpose of a seasonal sump pump inspection is to check that all components of the pump are functioning correctly to reduce the risk of home flooding. Your plumber will perform a visual inspection and a series of tests to determine your pump’s preparedness.

Blocked Sewer Vents: An Often-Overlooked Plumbing Issue

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Uncategorized

When you think of clogged plumbing, blockages in drain pipes are probably the first issue that comes to mind. But there’s another part of your plumbing system that can become blocked: your sewer vents. Located on the roof, these vent pipes allow gases to escape from your sewer system. They regulate the air pressure in your system, allowing waste to flow freely. If they become blocked, your system won’t drain properly. Here’s a closer look at this issue.

Signs That Your Sewer Vents Are Blocked

The signs of a blocked sewer vent often mimic those of a blockage in the drain pipe. For this reason, some cases of blocked vents go undiagnosed for months or years while the homeowners try DIY fixes to clear drain lines-but to no avail. The following are common signs that your sewer vents could be blocked.

Gurgling Noises

You may hear gurgling or even see water bubbling up and out of the drains as they drain. You may also hear gurgling coming from your toilet shortly after you flush. The gurgling is caused by air escaping through the drain. The air should be flowing up and out of the sewer vents, but since they are blocked, it has nowhere else to escape but through the drains.

Note that in some cases, you may hear gurgling in drains other than the one you’re using at the moment. For example, if you flush a toilet, you may hear gurgling in the tub. This indicates that these two plumbing fixtures share a vent-and it is blocked. In some cases, gurgling noises indicate that there is no vent for that particular drain or fixture.

Slow Drains

A single slow drain usually indicates a blockage in the drain itself. And slow drains can certainly be an indication that there’s something clogging your main sewer pipe. However, if all of the drains in your home are slow and you’re also noticing the other issues described in this section, blocked sewer vents are more likely to blame.

Sewage Odors

The air emitted from your sewer lines doesn’t smell like a bed of roses! If you notice sewage odors coming from your drains and toilets, but you don’t see any overt sewage backups or spills, what you’re probably smelling is the air escaping through the drains.

Causes of Blocked Sewer Vents and Their Solutions

There are a number of possible causes of blocked sewer vents. These three are the most common.

Snow Buildup

If you started to experience the problems described above after a snowstorm, snow on the roof is probably blocking your sewer vent. This is most likely to occur on a flat roof, from which the snow does not drain properly, or after a really heavy snowstorm that results in several feet of snow on the roof.

In the short-term, your plumber can fix the issue by clearing snow away from the vent and melting any snow that has made its way down inside of the vent. However, to prevent this issue from occurring again, they’ll also want to replace your vent pipe with a longer one that extends above the level of snow on your roof.

Debris Buildup

Your plumbing vent should be angled at the end to prevent leaves and other debris from making their way into it. If your sewer vent is filled with debris, your plumber may remove it using a special grabbing tool. Then, the vent pipe may be re-angled and a new cap may be put into place to keep debris from clogging it again.

Sewage Clogs

There may be a clog in the sewer line right where it meets the vent pipe. This blockage keeps air from traveling up the vent pipe properly. Sometimes, these clogs comprise materials like wet wipes and feminine hygiene products, which homeowners commonly flush even though they are really not designed to go down the drain.

This kind of blockage is the hardest to remove. Your plumber may need to access the blockage through the vent on the roof, pushing a plumbing auger down through the system to grab onto the offending material and pull it out. In the future, sticking to flushing only human waste and toilet paper will keep you from dealing with the same problem again.

If you’re having trouble with slow drains and sewer odors, and plunging your drains has not fixed the issue, then it’s definitely time to call Jim Dhamer Plumbing. Whether the blockage truly is in your vent pipes or in your main sewer line, it’s important to deal with it promptly before it results in raw sewage or smelly air flowing into your home.

Remodeling Your Kitchen? 5 Benefits of Working With a Professional Plumber

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Uncategorized

Remodeling can help you craft your dream home, regardless of your home’s current condition. However, for the renovation to be as beautiful and functional as you imagine, it’s important the job be done correctly. In a previous blog, “Bathroom Remodeling 101: A Homeowner’s Guide to a Successful Remodel,” we provided a number of bathroom-specific tips and stressed the importance of working with a professional. In this blog, we discuss five benefits of working with a professional, licensed plumber during your kitchen remodel.

  1. Ability to Rearrange Appliances

Think about your desired kitchen design. Are any of your appliances going to change location? Are you replacing some or all of your appliances? Are you adding a new appliance? If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s in your best interest to work with a plumber.

Plumbing systems in the kitchen are complex, especially if you’ve never worked on piping before. Even installing a new refrigerator or moving your oven to a different location may require rearranging a small amount of the pipework, including the gas line.

Additionally, if you plan to move or upgrade an appliance that is connected to a water source, like your dishwasher or sink, you’ll want the help of a plumber. In some cases, newer appliances require that you rework the plumbing where it attaches to the appliance. Professional help is particularly important if you want to place an appliance in an unconventional location, such as a kitchen island.

If you try to remodel your kitchen on your own, the changes you can make to your appliances may be limited. With the help of a plumber, you can achieve the kitchen layout you imagine.

  1. Evaluation of Current Plumbing Conditions

Before you begin the process of actually remodeling, it’s important to have your home systems inspected. These systems include your wiring and your pipework. If you fail to have your plumbing system evaluated, you may need to remove appliances or pull up your new materials to make major repairs in the near future.

A professional plumber can assess your pipework, make any necessary repairs, and provide you with recommendations to keep the system healthy and functional. This inspection serves as an opportunity to identify and resolve any existing problems or to prevent other issues from developing over time.

  1. Ideas Backed by Expertise

Unless you have a contracting or plumbing background, your vision for your kitchen may not include the most practical or efficient options. When you work with a professional, all of his or her suggestions are backed by experience.

A plumber can help you decide on the most energy efficient appliances, avoid common layout pitfalls, and reduce your daily water usage through design choices.

  1. Reduced Risk of Water Damage

Whenever you perform a DIY project involving pipework, you run the risk of serious water damage. A mistake as simple as forgetting to turn the water off can ruin your materials, cause structural problems, and delay your renovation.

Instead, have a trained team handle any tasks that require proximity to water pipes. A professional plumber’s presence can protect you from leaks, burst pipes, and other serious forms of water damage.

Not only does working with a plumber prevent these issues during the initial renovation, but correct plumbing work protects you from plumbing problems after your project is complete. If a leak or other problem should appear at a later date, having your worked backed by a warranty and professional experience is important.

  1. Simplified Permit Processes

Like your plumbing system itself, obtaining the correct building permits can be complex. While some building codes are state or county-wide, some restrictions or guidelines may apply to smaller areas such as your specific city.

If you remodel without all the appropriate permits, you do not have the correct documentation for the construction. You may be unable to sell your home without an inspection, retroactive permits, and a potential fine in the future.

A plumber who routinely serves homeowners in your area has the knowledge to advise regarding the necessary permits. Once the work is complete, you’ll have a record of these permits that legitimizes all your kitchen renovations. These records can simplify inspections related to resale or insurance claims, as well as put potential buyers at ease when deciding whether to invest in your property.

As you anticipate your kitchen remodeling work, remember that the right tools and expertise are just as important as your materials and design. Work with a professional to take advantage of the benefits listed above. Planning a renovation in the Chicagoland area? Work with Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. to ensure that the final product matches your vision.

CONTACT US

Jim Dhamer
Plumbing and Sewer, Inc.

630-964-2222

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