Guide to Basement Plumbing Maintenance

Most of the people ignore the basic of basement plumbing due to the fact that this particular area usually remains out of the plain sight. However, poor basement plumbing can permit noxious sewer gases to ascend into the home. Potential leaks must be tested, and it is critical to know the area of both external and internal shut off valves. Another tip is to drain the water tank once a year, as this prevents debris from accumulating.

Sewer Gases Common Basement Plumbing issue
An imperative part of the basement plumbing incorporates the prevention of noxious sewer gasses arising through the basement floor drain. To prevent this, pour a bucket full of water in the drain. This way, you will be able to block sewer gases from rising and your home will be free from the bad smell.

Check Water meter to determine the leaks in the basement
One should check the water meter when the water is not being used in the home. Note the meter reading and recheck it in a few hours. The reading should be almost same, if not, there are chances of unnoticed water leaks in the basement.

How to Find the Shutoff Valve for the Water Meter
Another extremely significant part of basement plumbing is finding the shutoff valve. This is usually located next to the main water supply pipe in the spot where it is going to enter the home. In most cases, the water meter is located next to the shut off valve.

The Buffalo Box
If there is an additional shut off valve, it’ll generally be hidden in a small hole. This is usually called as “the buffalo box” which should be situated in the ground, at the side of your home. It can be identified by s round shape metal cover with another shutoff valve present in it, and can usually be turned on/off manually. Turn off the water, and your system will be closed down. Yes, a lot of people use inside shutoff; however, it is not preferable for an old home as it is not completely reliable.

Bottom Line
One of the most important tip is to drain water from the tank once a year to cleanse the water heater. This will not only prevent the build up, but also prevent the tank from corrosion. Corrosion is a chemical reaction which can easily affect the efficiency of your home, especially the heating system. Another tip is to test the pressure relief valve once in a while. If there is a problem or if you are not able to perform the checks as well as the maintenance, then you should consult a professional basement plumbing expert to fix the issue.

What is an Electric Eel and What Does It Have to Do With Plumbing?

If you’ve got a blocked drain or sewer main, then someone may recommend that you get an electric eel and put it down your drains.

What?! Why would you put an electric eel down your drains???

An electric eel is another name for a plumbers snake, also sometimes called a toilet jack or Roto Rooter.   It gets its name because it long and thin. Electric Eels are made by a company based in Ohio by the same name. However, many people use the term electric eel for generic products made by other companies.

The end of an electric eel has a sharp U-shaped claw on it. The electric eel gets pushed down the clogged drain. As it does, an electric motor turns the claw. The claw will tear up whatever is obstructing the drain, removing the clog.

Electric eels are great for cleaning sewer mains which are clogged by tree roots, and also good in some drain clogs such as when inspection shows that a big wad of debris is stuck at one point in the drain. However, it is important to note that electric eels only tear a hole through the center of the clog. Sometimes this is enough to dislodge the clog completely from the side of the pipes. But sometimes the clog still remains on the side of the pipes, so water won’t flow as well.

Oftentimes, clogged drains are not caused by a single mass of debris stuck in the pipes. Clogs in older plumbing systems are often due to system-wide buildup of debris. Over the years, the debris builds up and makes the pipes get narrower. Putting an electric eel down the drains won’t get the buildup off the sides of the pipes so in these situations it is better to clean the drains using hydro-jetting, a process during which pressurized water scrubs the sides of the drain clean.