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Why You Need a Pro to Clean Your Drains: The Untold Benefits

smiling plumber

Understanding Drain Cleaning

The Basics of Drain Cleaning

First things first: What’s up with our drains? They’re kind of like the unsung heroes of our homes – quietly carrying away waste and water until, well, they can’t. From hair battles in the shower to grease showdowns in the kitchen sink, clogged drains are a common headache.

DIY vs. Professional Approach

We’ve all been there – standing in the aisle of a hardware store, pondering over drain cleaners or that fancy-looking plunger. DIY might seem like the quick fix, but let me tell you, it’s often a temporary band-aid. Plus, who hasn’t had that “uh-oh” moment when the water just won’t go down, despite all your plunging efforts?

Benefits of Professional Drain Cleaning

Comprehensive Cleaning

Professional plumbers come armed with an arsenal of tools like hydro-jetting machines and motorized drain snakes. It’s like comparing a superhero to a sidekick when you put professional tools against your average plunger.

Long-term Cost Efficiency

Remember that time I thought I’d fixed the bathroom sink, only to have it clogged again in a week? Professionals not only clear the blockage but also identify why it keeps happening. This means fewer calls to the plumber, and more money in your pocket.

Time-Saving and Convenience

In our busy lives, who has the time to spend hours on drain mysteries? Pros get the job done quickly and efficiently, letting you focus on more important things – like finally starting that TV show everyone’s talking about.

Additional Advantages of Hiring a Professional

Expertise and Experience

There’s something comforting about having an expert in your corner. These guys have seen it all – from toy-flushing toddlers to tree roots turning into pipe invaders. Their experience is invaluable, not just for fixing issues but for offering advice too.

Preventive Measures and Tips

A good plumber won’t just fix your problem; they’ll show you how to prevent it in the future. It’s like that time my plumber explained the importance of regular maintenance – a total lightbulb moment!

Safety and Health Considerations

Let’s be real, dealing with drains can be gross and potentially harmful. Pros know how to handle these situations safely, so you don’t have to worry about the icky stuff.

Choosing the Right Professional

What to Look for in a Service Provider

When hunting for a good plumber, look for licensed pros with solid reviews. Remember, cheap can be expensive in the long run.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring

Here’s a pro tip: Ask about their approach to drain cleaning, guarantees, and of course, get an estimate. No one likes surprise bills!


To wrap it up, professional drain cleaning is more than just clearing blockages; it’s about peace of mind and keeping our homes running smoothly. Whether you’re dealing with a minor annoyance or a major clog, remember: the pros have got your back. So, go ahead, make the call, and then sit back and relax, knowing your drains are in good hands.

And hey, next time you’re facing a plumbing puzzle, remember my stories and know you’re not alone. Happy plumbing, everyone!

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Halloween Horrors

trick or treaters

Keep Your Plumbing from Turning Scary This Fall

When the leaves cascade eerily from their lofty perches and the crisp Minnesota wind carries whispers of forgotten spirits, our thoughts often meander towards the hauntingly playful spectacles of Halloween. However, the real terror may lurk far beneath, in the twisted, shadowy depths of neglected sewer lines! Join us on a chilling journey through the underworld of sewer line repair and learn how to banish those pesky poltergeists from your pipes.

1. Ghastly Goblins in Your Drains: A silent, hair-raising terror can lurk in your drains, slowly weaving a web of frightful clogs. By employing a guard (drain catcher) against these sinister strands, you ensure that your drains remain unenchanted and free from hair’s wicked wrath.

2. The Phantom Flusher: If your toilet cackles with mischievous flushes in the still of the night, a phantom flusher might be at play, haunting your sewer lines. Addressing this ghostly dilemma swiftly by checking the tank and flapper can banish unwanted spirits. Should the phantom persist, it’s time to call in the expert ghostbusters from Discount Plumbing and Drain Cleaning.

3. Pumpkin Possession of Your Disposal: Spirits of carved pumpkins may seek vengeance by wreaking havoc in your garbage disposal! Exercise caution by keeping pumpkin innards away from the disposal’s gnashing maw, and always conjure a steady stream of cold water to dispel any lurking malevolence.

4. The Dripping Dread: An incessant, haunting drip can be the forewarning of a watery doom. Safeguard your abode from watery spirits by tightening loose fixtures and replacing ancient washers. If the sinister dripping prevails, our plumbing sorcerers are ready to ward off the water wraiths with their expertise.

5. Enshroud yourself in the enchanting spirit of Halloween without the dread of plumbing nightmares casting a sinister shadow over your celebrations. The adepts at Discount Plumbing and Drain Cleaning stand vigilant to safeguard your abode from the eerie entities of sewer despair. Our team is versed in the dark arts of sewer line repair and is prepared to ensure your plumbing remains spirit-free.

This Halloween, may your frights be of the fictional kind, and may your plumbing flow as smoothly as a phantom through the walls! For a spellbinding plumbing check or to banish a plumbing specter mid-emergency, dial into the spirit world at 612-503-4560 or conjure a consultation through our mystical portal. Let’s keep your Halloween bewitchingly carefree and your sewer lines free from the ghastly grip of gruesome ghouls!

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Ultimate Well Water System Maintenance Checklist

Ensuring Clean and Reliable Water

Maintaining a well water system is essential for ensuring a continuous supply of clean and reliable water for your household. Regular maintenance not only improves the longevity of your well and its components but also helps safeguard the health and well-being of your family.

In this blog post, we present the ultimate well water system maintenance checklist to help you keep your well in optimal condition and maintain the quality of your water.

A submersible well pump (seen in the image to the right) is a type of water pump designed to be installed underwater, typically in a well or borehole. It is used to extract water from underground water sources such as wells, boreholes, or deep groundwater reservoirs.

Unlike surface pumps that pull water from the source, submersible well pumps are submerged in the water, allowing them to push water to the surface.

Submersible well pumps are popular for several reasons. Since they are submerged in water, they are self-priming and do not require priming like some other types of pumps. They are also more efficient and quieter compared to surface pumps because they push water directly rather than pulling it.

Furthermore, submersible well pumps can handle high pressures and are suitable for deep wells or situations where water needs to be lifted from significant depths.

Standard Pressure Tank Well Water System

Regular Water Testing

  • The first step in maintaining your well water system is to regularly test the water quality. Test for common contaminants such as bacteria, nitrates, and other potential pollutants. This will help you identify any issues and take appropriate actions to address them promptly.

Annual Inspection

  • Schedule an annual inspection with a qualified well professional to assess the condition of your well system. They will inspect the well pump, pressure tank, electrical connections, and any other components to ensure they are in good working order. Any necessary repairs or replacements can be identified during this inspection.

Monitor Water Levels

  • Keep an eye on the water levels in your well to ensure an adequate supply. Install a water level indicator or regularly measure the depth of the water using a weighted string or tape measure. Low water levels could indicate a problem with the well or the surrounding aquifer, and it’s important to address it promptly to prevent well pump damage.

Maintain a Safe Well Cap

  • Check the condition of the well cap or seal to ensure it is secure and intact. The well cap protects the wellhead from debris, insects, and surface water contamination. Replace any damaged or deteriorating well caps to maintain a sanitary environment for your well water system.

Protect the Well Surroundings

  • Inspect the area around your well for any potential sources of contamination. Ensure that the ground slopes away from the well to prevent surface water runoff from entering the well. Keep a safe distance from potential sources of contamination, such as septic systems, fuel storage tanks, or chemical storage areas.

Check and Clean the Well Screen

  • Over time, the well screen can accumulate sediment and debris, which may affect the water flow and quality. Periodically remove the well cap and inspect the screen for any clogs or build-up. If necessary, clean the screen using a soft brush or consult a professional to assist you.

Maintain Pressure Tank and Pump

  • Inspect the pressure tank and well pump regularly. Check for any signs of leaks, damage, or unusual noises. Ensure that the pressure tank is properly pressurized according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you notice any issues, contact a professional for repair or replacement.

Protect Against Freezing

  • If you live in an area prone to freezing temperatures like we do here in Minneapolis, take necessary precautions to protect your well system. Insulate exposed pipes and the wellhead to prevent freezing. Disconnect and drain any above-ground hoses or pipes to avoid damage from freezing water.

Keep Records

  • Maintain a detailed record of all maintenance activities, inspections, and water test results. This documentation will help you track the history of your well system and identify any patterns or potential issues that may arise over time.

Maintain the Water Filtration System

  • If you have a water filtration or treatment system, adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines. Replace filters as recommended to ensure optimal performance. Clean and sanitize the system regularly to prevent bacterial growth and maintain water quality.

Prevent Backflow

  • Backflow can contaminate your well water with harmful substances. Install a backflow prevention device to safeguard your water supply. Regularly test and maintain the device to ensure it is functioning properly.

Monitor Water Usage

  • Be mindful of your water usage habits to avoid excessive strain on the well system. Excessive water usage can lead to the depletion of the water table, affecting the efficiency of the well. Implement water conservation practices to promote sustainable water usage.


Regular maintenance of your well water system is vital for ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for your home. By following the ultimate well water system maintenance checklist provided in this blog post, you can protect your investment, preserve water quality, and guarantee the health and well-being of your family.

Remember, when in doubt or faced with complex maintenance tasks, it is always wise to seek assistance from a qualified professional to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your well water system.


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*$94 drain special applies to owner occupied, single family residential homes only.

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What Constitutes a Plumbing Emergency?

Identifying Plumbing Emergencies

A Guide for Homeowners

Today, we will be discussing a topic that many homeowners dread: plumbing emergencies. No one wants to wake up to a flooded bathroom or a burst pipe, but unfortunately, these situations can occur unexpectedly.

Knowing what constitutes a plumbing emergency and how to handle it can save you from a major headache and potentially costly repairs.

So, whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a first-time buyer, join us as we delve into the world of plumbing emergencies and learn how to be prepared for the unexpected.

A plumbing emergency refers to a situation in which immediate action is required to prevent significant damage to property or mitigate potential health and safety hazards due to plumbing issues. While some plumbing problems can be resolved with routine maintenance or regular repairs, emergencies demand immediate attention from a professional plumber.

Here are some examples of plumbing emergencies and what causes them.

Burst Pipes

Burst pipes refer to water pipes that have cracked or ruptured, leading to a sudden release of water. This can be a significant plumbing issue and can cause considerable damage to the property if not addressed promptly. Burst pipes can occur in both residential and commercial buildings and are usually the result of various factors, including:

  • Freezing temperatures: One common cause of burst pipes is freezing weather. When water inside the pipes freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipe walls. If the pressure becomes too much for the pipe to handle, it may burst.

  • Corrosion: Over time, pipes can corrode due to the chemical reactions between the water and the pipe material. Corrosion weakens the pipe walls, making them more susceptible to bursting.

  • Age and wear: As pipes age, they may become weaker, increasing the likelihood of bursting. Wear and tear from daily use can also contribute to this problem.

  • High water pressure: Excessively high water pressure can strain the pipes, leading to bursts.

  • Blockages: Blockages in the pipes can cause pressure buildup, leading to a pipe burst.

When a pipe bursts, it can release a large amount of water, causing flooding, property damage, and potential disruption to daily activities. The water damage can affect walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, electrical systems, and other belongings.

If you suspect or experience a burst pipe, it’s essential to act quickly to minimize the damage. Shut off the main water supply to the property and contact a licensed plumber to assess and repair the issue.

In some cases, you might also need to deal with water cleanup and restoration to prevent further damage and mold growth. Regular plumbing maintenance and monitoring can help identify potential issues early and prevent burst pipes.

Clogged Drains and Toilets

Clogged drains and toilets are plumbing issues that occur when there is a blockage in the pipes that prevent water and waste from flowing freely. These blockages can happen for various reasons and can lead to slow draining or complete blockage, causing inconvenience and potential water damage if not addressed promptly.

  • Clogged Drains: Clogged drains occur when substances accumulate and obstruct the flow of water through the pipes. Common causes of clogged drains include:
  • Accumulation of hair, soap scum, and debris in bathroom drains.
  • Grease, oil, and food particles in kitchen drains.
  • Foreign objects accidentally flushed down the drain, such as toys or jewelry.

When a drain is clogged, water may take a long time to drain or may not drain at all. In some cases, the clog can be relatively easy to clear using a plunger or a drain snake, but more stubborn blockages might require professional plumbing services.

  • Clogged Toilets: A clogged toilet is a common household issue that occurs when something obstructs the passage of waste and water from the bowl to the sewer line. Common causes of clogged toilets include:
  • Excessive toilet paper usage.
  • Flushing items that shouldn’t be flushed, like baby wipes, cotton balls, or sanitary products.
  • Accumulation of mineral deposits or hard water build-up over time.

When a toilet is clogged, flushing might not work correctly, and water may start to rise in the bowl or even overflow onto the bathroom floor. In such situations, using a plunger is usually the first line of defense to dislodge the clog. If the plunger doesn’t work, or if there’s a persistent issue, a plumber may need to use more specialized tools to clear the blockage.

Preventing Clogged Drains and Toilets: Preventive measures can help minimize the occurrence of clogs:

  • Use drain covers to catch hair and debris in bathroom drains.
  • Avoid pouring grease and oil down the kitchen sink; instead, dispose of them in a container for proper disposal.
  • Educate household members not to flush non-flushable items down the toilet.
  • Regularly clean your drains with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to help prevent build-up.

If you find that clogs are a recurrent issue, it’s essential to have a professional plumber inspect your plumbing system to identify any underlying problems and recommend appropriate solutions.

Malfunctioning Water Heater

A malfunctioning water heater refers to a water heating system that is not functioning properly or is experiencing problems that prevent it from heating water efficiently or safely. Water heaters are essential appliances in homes and businesses, used to heat water for various purposes such as bathing, cooking, and cleaning.

Some common signs of a malfunctioning water heater may include:

  • Insufficient hot water: The water heater fails to produce enough hot water or runs out of hot water quickly, leaving you with cold or lukewarm water.

  • Leaks: Visible water leaks around the water heater or on the floor nearby could indicate a problem with the tank or the connections.

  • Strange noises: Unusual noises such as popping, cracking, or rumbling sounds may signal sediment buildup in the tank, which can reduce the heater’s efficiency.

  • Discolored water: If the hot water appears rusty or discolored, it might indicate corrosion or sediment accumulation inside the tank.

  • Unusual smells: Foul odors coming from the water heater may be due to bacterial growth inside the tank, causing an unpleasant smell in the hot water.

  • Pilot light issues: For gas-powered water heaters, a malfunctioning pilot light or difficulty in keeping it lit can prevent the unit from heating water.

  • Electrical problems: Electric water heaters may experience issues with their heating elements or thermostats, resulting in inadequate heating or no hot water at all.

  • Fluctuating water temperature: If the water temperature varies dramatically during use, it could be a sign of a malfunctioning thermostat.

  • High energy bills: A malfunctioning water heater may consume more energy or fuel to produce the same amount of hot water, leading to higher utility bills.

When encountering any of these signs, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to avoid further damage, potential safety hazards, or increased energy costs. In such cases, it’s advisable to contact a professional plumber or water heater technician to diagnose and repair the problem properly. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent many of these issues and extend the lifespan of your water heater.

Sewage Backups

A sewage backup refers to a situation in which wastewater or sewage flows back into a building, typically through the plumbing or drainage systems. This can occur for various reasons, such as clogs, blockages, pipe damage, heavy rain, or issues with the municipal sewage system. 

When sewage backs up into your sinks, toilets, or drains, it can pose health risks due to the presence of harmful bacteria and pathogens. It requires prompt action to prevent further contamination and damage.

Some common causes of sewage backups include:

  • Clogged or blocked pipes: Grease, food waste, paper products, and other debris can accumulate in pipes over time, leading to blockages that prevent wastewater from flowing properly.

  • Tree roots: Tree roots can infiltrate and damage sewer lines, leading to obstructions and sewage backups.

  • Municipal system issues: Heavy rain or flooding can overwhelm municipal sewer systems, causing sewage to back up into homes and businesses.

  • Structural problems: Cracks, collapses, or other damage to sewer lines or plumbing can lead to sewage backups.

Dealing with a sewage backup requires immediate attention and professional assistance. It’s important to avoid contact with the contaminated water and seek the help of qualified plumbers or restoration experts who can safely clean up the affected area and repair any damage. Additionally, taking preventive measures such as regular maintenance of plumbing and drainage systems can help reduce the risk of sewage backups in the future.

In Conclusion

When faced with a plumbing emergency, it is vital to remain calm and take immediate action. This may involve shutting off the main water supply, evacuating the premises if necessary, and contacting a professional plumber or emergency services. It is crucial to have the contact information of a reliable emergency plumber readily available to ensure a quick response and resolution to the problem.

Additionally, it is essential to prioritize safety during a plumbing emergency. Gas leaks and electrical hazards pose significant risks and must be addressed by professionals in a safe and controlled manner. Under no circumstances should individuals attempt to fix these issues themselves, as it could lead to further damage or harm.

In conclusion, recognizing the signs of a plumbing emergency and knowing how to respond is crucial to mitigate damage, protect the well-being of individuals, and minimize inconvenience. By being prepared, having a reliable emergency plumber on call, and taking immediate action, homeowners and property managers can effectively manage and resolve plumbing emergencies.


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*$94 drain special applies to owner occupied, single family residential homes only.

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How To Know When It's Time For A New Toilet

5 Reasons Why To Consider an Upgrade

Today, we are going to discuss a topic that might not be the most glamorous, but is certainly essential when it comes to the functionality and comfort of your home – knowing when it’s time for a new toilet. While it may not be a subject that is frequently discussed, the importance of a properly functioning toilet cannot be underestimated. A well-maintained and efficient toilet not only ensures a hygienic environment but also contributes to water conservation and lowers utility bills.

In this blog post, we will explore the signs that indicate it’s time to bid farewell to your old toilet and invest in a new one. So, if you’re experiencing any issues with your current toilet or simply want to stay informed about home maintenance, keep reading to discover the telltale signs that it’s time for a new toilet.

1. It’s Old

If your toilet is old, it might be time for an upgrade. While repairs might still work on the current unit, a modern model will likely be more efficient and save on water bills while providing added comfort and cleanliness compared to what might have existed decades ago.

When your toilet requires multiple flushes to operate effectively, this could be an indicator that its internal parts need replacing. While this may be easily resolved with occasional adjustments to your tank contents, if this problem becomes persistently bothersome then perhaps its time for an upgrade or new purchase of toilet.

Your commode may be nearing its lifespan if it frequently clogs and leaks, which is an inconvenience, while leakage poses risks to both floors and homes.

If your toilet is leaking, the first step should be to turn off its water source to avoid an accidental flood of water. Next, call in a professional plumber; this may require either quick repairs of broken flanges and seals or new purchases due to hairline cracks that consistently cause leakage.

2. It’s Leaking

If your toilet keeps leaving puddles of water on the bathroom floor, it could be time for an upgrade to one more water-efficient. Persistent leakage could indicate loose or damaged fill valves, broken flange seals or hairline cracks – and an inspection with dye test can quickly identify potential sources.

Leakage within your tank typically signals a fill valve or float issue that can be resolved easily with just an adjustment. Leaks from an overflow tube or siphon jet hole could indicate a blocked drain line or outdated flush kit components that need to be updated or replaced, among other possible causes.

If the leak stems from porcelain itself, it’s probably time for an upgrade: porcelain leaks often signal cracking and leaky bowls that must be addressed ASAP; leaving cracked toilets alone could lead to further deterioration, water damage to adjacent flooring and walls and mildew build-up – potentially leaving homeowners exposed to even greater risks than before.

Another key factor is how often your toilet requires repairs. If it requires frequent repairs, calling in plumbers every other week, upgrading to more durable and long-lasting models could save money and make life more comfortable in your home.

3. It’s Clogged

If you find that each time you use the toilet requires you to keep a plunger handy and hope for the best, it may be time to consider replacing it. Clogged toilets can lead to unattractive and hazardous floor damage as well as being an inconvenience for you and your family.

Clogged toilets typically indicate something foreign has made its way into the drain system. This could range from using too much toilet paper (Americans use twice what is accepted in Europe) or more serious issues like sewer line clogs that prevent waste from leaving your home and entering municipal sewage systems. Recurring issues should be dealt with professionally if they persist – regularly plunging the toilet is one of many indications.

Your toilet may also experience internal tank issues, including a stuck float in need of adjustment or an overly-deep refill tube insertion into the overflow tube. In such instances, new fill valve and float assemblies might be required.

Hard water is notorious for clogging toilets as it accumulates in pipes, narrowing their passageway for waste and water to flow freely. A professional can install a water softener in your home to help alleviate further problems in the future.

4. It’s Wobbly

Unstable toilets can be uncomfortable and potentially costly to repair, leading to expensive flooring damage. If yours frequently needs repair work done due to wobbly parts, perhaps now would be a good time for an upgrade?

When a toilet wobbles, often its bolts that secure it to the floor have come loose over time. Tightening them may temporarily resolve this issue; however, eventually their tightening may loosen again and the toilet may begin rocking back and forth again, eventually leading to cracked flanges or subfloor damage that requires extensive repairs as well as the installation of new plumbing fixtures and possibly even another toilet.

A great way to identify the cause of toilet wobbling is to turn off both water sources and flush, then sponge out both tank and base of all excess water. Remove cap covers and nuts from both sets of bolts on either side of the tank; lift tank straight up over them, remove wax ring, inspect for damages/rot or replace entirely as necessary with new one from kit or replacement service provider.

Alternatively, if the toilet flange is undamaged and its elevation has become an issue, shims can be used to address it. As this task requires precise measurement, it may be best left up to professionals if this task feels daunting to you.

5. It’s a Pain to Clean

If your weekends are spent scrubbing and cleaning your toilet, it may be time for an upgrade. Even the best toilets can become difficult to keep clean due to hard water mineral deposits that build up inside their siphon tube and inlet holes; these deposits often cannot be reversed and lead to less powerful flushes as well as more clogs than before; to address these irreversible deposits effectively it would be wiser to install a new model with an enhanced flush system.

In Conclusion

These 5 reasons scratch the surface on why you may need to replace your toilet. Here is an overview checklist you can take in to consideration as well:

Frequent leaks: If your toilet is constantly leaking, despite attempts to fix it, it may be a sign of worn-out components or cracks in the porcelain. Constant leaks can waste water and lead to higher utility bills.

Cracks or damage: Check the toilet bowl, tank, and base for any visible cracks or damage. Cracks can lead to leaks and structural issues, compromising the toilet’s functionality.

Repairs are becoming more frequent: If you find yourself frequently repairing various parts of the toilet, such as the flush mechanism or handle, it may be more cost-effective to invest in a new toilet.

Constant clogs: If your toilet is prone to frequent clogging and plunging doesn’t resolve the issue, it could indicate a problem with the toilet’s design or a worn-out flushing system.

Poor flushing performance: If the toilet consistently struggles to flush waste effectively, it may not be providing the necessary water pressure or the internal mechanisms may be worn out.

High water usage: Older toilets can use significantly more water per flush compared to newer models, leading to higher water bills. Upgrading to a newer, more water-efficient toilet can help save water and money in the long run.

Outdated design and efficiency: If your toilet is quite old, it may lack modern features like dual-flush options or water-saving technology, which are common in newer toilets.

Difficulties finding replacement parts: As toilets age, finding compatible replacement parts can become challenging and expensive.

Stains and discoloration: Stubborn stains in the bowl or frequent discoloration despite regular cleaning may indicate that the toilet’s surface has deteriorated over time.

Unpleasant odors: If you notice persistent foul odors despite regular cleaning, it could indicate cracks or improper sealing, allowing sewer gasses to escape.

Aesthetics and home improvement: If you’re renovating or updating your bathroom and the current toilet no longer matches the desired aesthetics, it might be a good time to replace it.

When considering a new toilet, look for modern, water-efficient models that carry the WaterSense label, indicating they meet water-saving standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Investing in a new toilet that meets current efficiency standards can help you save water and money in the long run.

Time To Call a Professional? Discount Plumbers Is Here!

Toilet repair can be… well a pain in the neck. Toilets are bulky and heavy, can break easily and hard to install properly. With Discount Plumbers, you can trust that your toilet will be in capable hands. Our expertise and attention to detail guarantee a high-quality result that meets your expectations. Whether you are in need of a simple repair or a complete installation, Discount Plumbers has the knowledge and skills to get the job done right the first time.

Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we’re a reputable plumbing company that excels in toilet repair and installation services. We provide ‘plumbers near me’ services in 65 surrounding metro cities. Don’t hesitate to contact Discount Plumbers for all your toilet repair or installation needs, and experience our exceptional service for yourself. We’re ready to service you today.


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*$94 drain special applies to owner occupied, single family residential homes only.

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15 Things Homeowners Must Know About Plumbing

Save Money On a Plumber With These Tips

Plumbing is an essential aspect of every home, often taken for granted until a problem arises. From ensuring clean water supply to proper wastewater disposal, a well-maintained plumbing system is crucial for a comfortable and functional living space. However, navigating the intricacies of plumbing can be daunting for many homeowners.

In this blog post, we will explore 15 fundamental things that every homeowner should know about plumbing. Whether you are a first-time homeowner or seeking to enhance your plumbing knowledge, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the necessary insights to tackle common plumbing issues, make informed decisions, and maintain the integrity of your home’s plumbing system.

So, let’s dive in and discover the key considerations that will help you become a savvy homeowner when it comes to plumbing!

1. Shut-off Valves

One of the most essential pieces of knowledge a homeowner needs is where their main water shut-off valve can be found. Knowing its location allows them to turn off their supply in case of plumbing repairs or emergency flooding or leakage in their home.

Your main shut off valve is typically situated where the incoming water pipe enters your home and is easily identifiable by its round metal shape with an attached handle that resembles a large wheel.

If you need help locating or using your main water shut-off valve or it appears damaged or leaking, seeking professional assistance would likely prove more useful in keeping your family safe while preventing costly damage to your home.

2. Water Pressure

Water pressure is of great significance to homeowners for several reasons. It helps make daily tasks and activities more efficient and prolongs the longevity of plumbing fixtures and appliances, but too much pressure may create additional challenges by placing unnecessary stress on pipes or damaging fixtures themselves.

An often-cited cause of high water pressure is an improper functioning pressure regulator (or pressure-reducing valve). This valve should keep water pressure within acceptable limits, so when its functionality lapses you’ll experience sudden and dramatic increases in water pressure throughout the home. If it has failed, this could explain a sudden and dramatic rise in pressure levels throughout.

As the first step of fixing this problem, make sure that the valve is fully open by turning the handle of the water meter. If this doesn’t resolve it, adjust the screw on your valve that controls water flow into your home – turning clockwise will tighten it and turning counter-clockwise will loosen it.

3. Water Heater Maintenance

Your water heater is one of the most essential appliances in your home, being used for many different tasks including showering, laundry and dishwashing. But like any appliance it requires periodic maintenance and inspection to remain operating optimally.

Water heaters can become quite stressed over time, especially as they age. Without regular inspection and servicing by a plumber, your water heater could become dangerous to operate – thus, it’s crucial that an annual plumber inspection be performed on it.

Your plumber will conduct an annual maintenance check of your water heater to assess its anode rod and drain valve. An anode rod attracts rust while protecting its inner lining from corrosion; they should typically be replaced every 3-5 years.

Pressure relief valves should also be checked, which are located atop of water heaters. They are designed to release any accumulated water or steam that builds up within the tank, thus preventing leakage into your home and potentially damaging it. To test them, place a bucket under the discharge pipe and lift up on its lever.

4. Frozen Pipes

As temperatures become colder, pipes in your home become vulnerable to freezing and bursting, one of the most frequent home disasters that homeowners must contend with and which can cost thousands in water and property damages.

Pipes that run against exterior walls or are located in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics or garages are most at risk from freezing conditions, as these areas tend not to be heated by your home’s heating system and lack insulation protection.

Avoid this by installing pipe sleeves or increasing insulation levels in your home, as well as keeping your home warm – such as not dropping the temperature during cold stretches of weather and opening cabinet doors under sinks to allow warmer air circulation. Space heaters may also help thaw frozen pipes safely if used to evenly distribute heat in each room.

5. Septic Tank Maintenance

Septic tanks are underground containers designed to hold and treat wastewater waste until it separates into solids and liquids, with solids sinking to the bottom to form sludge while oil and grease rise to the top to form scum. When this process has completed, liquid wastewater exits via drain field or leach field.

When buying a country house, most people dream about the spaciousness and privacy it will bring. But many don’t take into account what their septic tank might bring when purchasing such an estate – when something goes wrong with this system it could lead to toxic wastewater contaminating both yard space and groundwater supplies – possibly leading to catastrophic consequences that include health concerns from toxic discharge into surrounding yards and groundwater supplies.

To keep your septic system in top condition, only flush toilet paper down the toilet. Avoid flushing disposable diapers, paint, chemicals, hygiene products and paper towels down the toilet; these materials can all cause blockages that stop it draining properly.

Furthermore, never plant or build anything near the septic tank such as gardens, pools, sheds or playgrounds as this could compact soil that damages pipes if compacted further by nearby planting and construction activities. 

Lastly, it is a good practice to regularly inspect for signs of sewage such as heavy odors or water invasion by periodically walking around it while looking out for signs such as heavy odors in the yard and checking signs that signal possible leakage from its management – in any of its forms.

6. Drain Cleaning

Drain cleaning is often one of the least prioritized plumbing tasks, yet regular inspection and cleaning could save homeowners both money and hassle in the future. How often it must be performed will depend on its size and usage in a home’s pipes – with regular monthly inspection being sufficient in preventing expensive repairs later.

Dirty drains can be more than an inconvenience; they can also create unpleasant odors, health problems and structural damage in your home. Clogged drains may even lead to pipe leaks, water backups and sewer line breaks if left unattended.

Homeowners may be familiar with addressing minor clogs with store-bought drain cleaners, but when a drain becomes severely clogged it’s best to bring in professionals. Their more powerful tools will enable them to clear even stubborn clogs safely compared to liquid drain cleaners which contain toxic chemicals that could endanger both health and the environment.

7. Fixing Minor Leaks

As a homeowner, it’s essential that you understand even minor leaks can become major headaches. Don’t ignore dripping faucets or shower heads which leak, as this could result in expensive water damage repair bills.

Be wary of signs of leaks such as puddles of water, musty or mildew odors and changes to texture or color on walls or ceilings. If these signs occur, immediately shut off your main water source and contact a plumber immediately.

Leakage from pipes may seem minor at first, but over time the issue will only worsen, weakening walls and ruining floors in their path.

Early detection can save money and prevent water damage to your home in the future. Reading your meter and inspecting regularly are both key ways of reducing repair costs; use a stud finder before drilling into walls, floors or ceilings and use waterproof coating when painting or staining to protect supply and drainage lines from being cut by drill bits.

8. Regular Maintenance

Like with a car or any major appliance, homeowners must perform periodic home maintenance to ensure all systems are operating as designed and reduce costly repairs or replacements in the future.

Regular plumbing maintenance is of utmost importance for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps prevent major plumbing issues from occurring, saving you time, money, and inconvenience in the long run. By identifying and addressing minor problems early on, you can avoid costly repairs or replacements down the line.

Additionally, regular plumbing maintenance ensures the efficient functioning of your plumbing system. By keeping your pipes clean and free from blockages, you can maintain optimal water pressure and flow throughout your home or business. This not only improves the overall performance of your plumbing system but also enhances your daily activities such as showering, washing dishes, or doing laundry.

By investing in regular plumbing maintenance, you can enjoy peace of mind, save money in the long run, and maintain a comfortable and functional living or working space.

9. Learn to Fix Common Toilet Issues

Owning a home can be a huge responsibility, particularly when it comes to maintaining its regular repairs and maintenance needs. While certain problems might require professional plumbing assistance, others can be resolved using basic do-it-yourself (DIY) tools and knowledge.

Running toilets are both frustrating and wasteful of water; they also waste hundreds of gallons daily and increase your water bill. A simple leak in a toilet may only require tightening the bolts underneath its tank or floor or replacing the wax ring seal to repair.

Water pooling around the toilet base, an indicator of leaking valve or tank gasket. A DIY fix for this would be replacing both drain wax ring and tank gasket.

If your toilet makes an ominous whistling or vibrating sound, this could be due to mineral buildup in its flush valve. Fixing this requires no plumbing skills and should only take minutes; alternatively you could try using an auger or chemical drain cleaner to clear away blockages in order to free your drain of minerals.

10. Water Quality

Water quality refers to the suitability of water sources for specific uses based on physical, chemical and biological properties. It is an increasingly pressing global concern as its quality directly impacts human health and well-being, industrial processes and environmental protection efforts.

Clean drinking water is essential to good health for infants, children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Poor water quality can lead to diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio; caused by microorganisms, metals such as lead or disinfection byproducts in drinking water sources.

At home, homeowners can use numerous tools to assess water quality – from affordable digital instruments measuring pH, temperature and TDS/ORP levels to more expensive colorimeters that analyze which wavelengths of light the water absorbs. Furthermore, various organizations exist that monitor and uphold global standards regarding drinking water contaminants as well as government and regulatory bodies that enforce them.

11. Prevent Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are one of the most widespread plumbing issues, causing serious inconvenience and potentially leading to expensive repair or replacement costs. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to prevent them.

Add drain screens or strainers to all sink, tub and shower drains in your home to collect hair, food debris and other forms of debris, significantly decreasing clogs and costly plumbing repair bills. This is an affordable and simple solution.

Grease is another cause of clogged drains. Instead of pouring it down the drain, place a small container underneath your sink to collect used cooking oil and and dispose of it into a garbage can when full.

Regularly flush your drains with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar for the ultimate flush, creating a foaming action to dissolve organic waste and soap scum before they have time to clog your pipes.

Furthermore, regularly clean around your bathtubs and showers’ drain covers with wet paper towels to remove gunk build-up that accumulates around drain covers or stoppers – it could just take one quick wipe!

12. Water Conservation

Leaks can be costly both financially and environmentally. Luckily, there are various methods you can implement to enhance the plumbing in your home in order to reduce leaks.

Replace faucets and showerheads with low-flow models; install a water meter to track usage; keep an eye out for drips or signs of leaks such as water spots around appliances; monitor usage carefully to identify leaks quickly and make necessary adjustments; track consumption per area in your home to maximize savings.

Save water by taking shorter showers, turning off your washing machine or dishwasher when they’re full and being more mindful with what goes down the garbage disposal (no oils or grease!).

Also know where your main shut-off valve is so you can quickly turn it off if necessary and regularly testing each supply valve to make sure they operate smoothly without leakage or difficulty turning freely.

13. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners represent a multibillion-dollar industry, yet are far from safe for home or the environment. Their toxic ingredients often cause severe skin and eye burns upon exposure and also emit dangerous fumes that harm lungs, throats and ears. Furthermore, chemical cleaners have the capacity to damage PVC pipes as well as corrosion metal ones if left unused in an overcrowded system.

Additionally, they often prove ineffective at clearing away clogs that are located far from the drain opening. Instead, their use simply dissolves material causing clogs without treating their cause – an improper slope in plumbing lines, blockages in main sewer drains or another issue which needs professional intervention may all play a part.

Instead of turning to chemical drain cleaners, why not try running a plumber’s snake through your drain instead? This long length of metal wire features both a handle and crank on one end, as well as an auger-looking head on the other – the handle allows you to push it into any drain until it encounters an obstruction.

14. Know and Own the Basic of Plumbing Tools

As more homeowners opt for DIY plumbing projects themselves, it is crucial that they have access to the necessary tools. A pipe cutter offers clean cuts through plastic, copper and thin wall iron pipes and is available from most hardware and home improvement stores; while a hacksaw typically leaves rough edges when used on larger pipes.

There are several common plumbing tools that are used by plumbers and DIY enthusiasts for various plumbing tasks. Here are some of the most commonly used plumbing tools:

Pipe Wrench: A pipe wrench is a heavy-duty wrench with adjustable jaws used for gripping and turning pipes, fittings, and other round objects.

Adjustable Wrench: An adjustable wrench, also known as a crescent wrench, is used for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts of different sizes. It has an adjustable jaw that can be customized to fit various fasteners.

Pliers: Pliers are versatile tools used for gripping, bending, and cutting various plumbing components. Tongue-and-groove pliers (also called channel-lock pliers) are especially useful for gripping pipes and fittings.

Pipe Cutter: A pipe cutter is a tool designed to cut through different types of pipes cleanly. There are various types of pipe cutters available, including wheel-type cutters, ratchet cutters, and tube cutters.

Hacksaw: A hacksaw is a fine-toothed saw used for cutting through metal pipes, bolts, and other plumbing materials.

Plunger: A plunger is a simple tool used for clearing clogs in toilets, sinks, and drains. It creates suction and pressure to dislodge blockages.

Plumbing Snake/Auger: A plumbing snake or auger is a flexible tool used to clear more stubborn clogs in drains and pipes. It is inserted into the pipe and rotated to break up or remove blockages.

Pipe Threader: A pipe threader is a tool used to create threaded ends on pipes for secure connections. It is commonly used for installing fittings and joining pipes.

Teflon Tape: Teflon tape, also known as plumber’s tape, is a thin, white tape used to seal threaded connections and prevent leaks. It is wrapped around the threaded ends of pipes and fittings.

Basin Wrench: A basin wrench is a specialized tool used to tighten or loosen nuts in hard-to-reach places, such as under sinks. It has a long handle with a pivoting jaw that can grip and turn nuts in tight spaces.

These are just a few examples of common plumbing tools. Depending on the specific plumbing task, additional tools such as pipe benders, soldering equipment, pressure gauges, and pipe reamers may also be required.

15. Hire a Professional for Complex Issues

No matter the complexity of the problem, hiring a professional plumber should always be your first choice to resolve issues quickly and professionally. These specialists have been trained to identify and repair all types of pipe related problems throughout your home including sewer line replacement if necessary, as well as advise you on maintaining regular preventative maintenance to help avoid future complications.

Before hiring a plumber, ensure to inquire about their years of experience to gain an idea of the quality of their work. Also inquire as to whether their pricing includes costs for new parts needed for completion of your task.

No matter the severity of a plumbing leak or drip, taking action immediately is key to maintaining safe and comfortable living environments. Waiting until an issue worsens can result in costly repairs and property damage.

By following these tips you can help avoid common plumbing problems while keeping your home plumbing functionally safe and comfortable.

Discount Plumbers To The Rescue!

Discount Plumbers offers top-notch services at competitive prices, making them a cost-effective option for those on a budget. Our team of skilled plumbers is dedicated to providing efficient and effective solutions, ensuring that your plumbing problems are resolved promptly and with minimal disruption to your daily routine.

If you have a plumbing issue that is to complex or is an emergency, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your appointment. Our licensed plumbers are highly skilled and knowledgeable. We provide ‘plumbers near me‘ services 24/7 with no extra fees or hidden charges. We’re located in Minneapolis, Minnesota but service 65 surrounding metro-areas. Free estimates too! Don’t delay….. call today. 


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*$94 drain special applies to owner occupied, single family residential homes only.