How to Retrieve Items that Wash Down the Drain

How to Retrieve Items that Wash Down the Drain

Valuable items can wash down the drain in the blink of an eye. That beautiful engagement ring you took off to do the dishes? An earring that slipped down the bathroom sink? You might think that they are lost forever, but with a little luck, you can retrieve them with no harm done. All it takes is a bit of DIY skill and some basic knowledge of your drain plumbing. The Beauty of a P-trap The first thing you need to do as soon as you see an item slide into the drain is to turn the faucet off immediately. That will decrease the chance of whatever it was from getting carried all the way to the drain stack, at which point it will drop into the sewer line and you will never see it again. If you stop the water in time, however, the item will likely remain in the trap under the sink. In fact, jewelry, probably the most frequent valuable item to get washed into the drain plumbing, is actually one of the easiest things to retrieve. Metal and gemstones sink in water, which increases the chance that they will sink to the bottom of the plumbing trap. Take note, however, that you should try to retrieve any solid object that goes down the drain, even if it’s of little or no value. If the object gets stuck in the trap, it will start to accumulate hair and debris and may eventually cause a clog in your drain plumbing. A Successful Retrieval The trap under your sink is actually designed to keep nasty sewer odors from backing up into your sink, but it doubles as a handy way to catch lost...
How to Combat Mold and Mildew in Your Bathroom

How to Combat Mold and Mildew in Your Bathroom

Mold and mildew can be serious scourges in your bathroom. Showing up as black specks or floral bodies around your shower and sink, these nasty growths are unattractive and can cause health problems if left unaddressed. Mold and mildew occur when you have moisture buildup in your bathroom, either from a plumbing leak or just water that remains on your tiles and doesn’t wash down the drain immediately. Read on to learn how to clean up mold and mildew wherever it rears its ugly head, and how to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Scrubbing Away the Old-Fashioned Way Getting rid of preexisting mold requires little more than old-fashioned elbow grease. Just scrub away with some detergent and water until all traces of the growth are gone. Some people prefer to use a bleach mixture, while others have a favorite spray-cleaner that they use to loosen the mildew. Don’t forget to check out hidden areas like behind the toilet and under the sink, where mold can build up undetected for months or years. You shouldn’t let mold or mildew sit for too long before eliminating it, because it can provoke allergies and respiratory problems, and over time build up into a gross biofilm. Of course, you won’t have to go to all the trouble of cleaning up mold in your bathroom if you can prevent it from growing in the first place. Keeping a Clean, Dry Environment To stop mold and mildew before it starts, you need to track down excess moisture that accumulates in the bathroom. Use a squeegee or rag to sop up any water that lingers on the tub, wall or counter after you shower or wash your hands. It’s...
Inspect Your Water Heater to Prolong Its Life

Inspect Your Water Heater to Prolong Its Life

Your water heater is one of the main cogs in your home comfort system gears. It supplies hot water to your household plumbing for use in the dishwasher, washing machine, sinks and showers. It also uses up more energy than any other piece of equipment other than your heating and air conditioning systems. Given its importance, the stakes are high when it comes to keeping your hot water heater running in peak condition. With proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your equipment and delay the moment when you need to purchase a new model. Getting the Most from Your Household Plumbing There are several steps you can take yourself to keep the water heater running smoothly: Inspect the Pressure Valve: Make sure your pressure valve is working correctly by turning off the power and water to your hot water unit and then tripping the valve. Air, water or vapor should come out – if they don’t, you need to replace the valve. A malfunctioning valve could cause an explosion if the tank becomes over-pressurized. Flush out Your Tank: It’s a good idea to empty the tank once a year or so to remove any sediment that has accumulated inside, and it’s convenient to take care of this chore at the same time you check the pressure valve. With the tank disconnected from water and power, hook a hose up to the drain valve and place the other end somewhere where it’s safe to discharge hot water. Next, with the pressure valve already open, flip open the drain valve and let all the water flow out. Finally, hook up the water to the hot water heater again and turn on your hot water faucets....
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