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Reasons Why Your Bathroom Sink Smells + Ways to Fix it!

The following scene is probably all too familiar with many homeowners out there: you’re brushing your teeth and you bend down to spit the toothpaste out only to be greeted by a foul stench coming from your drain. It happens to the best of us but you don’t have to put up with it.

In this article, you will learn what causes these unpleasant odors in your sink and some simple fixes.

 

Biofilm

One of the most likely culprits of sink odors is from biofilm, a collection of microorganisms that build upon a surface over time. Biofilm can consolidate on virtually any surface and is known to emit an unpleasant odor.

Biofilm buildup is so common in bathroom sinks because your sink pipes see a lot of waste material every day. Think about how much toothpaste, mouthwash, hair, skin products, shaving cream, and dead skin cells pass through your sink daily. All of these kinds of materials breed biofilm.

You likely don’t have a powerful air conditioner blasting into your bathroom at all hours of the day which is another reason stinky biofilm loves bathroom sinks: microorganisms and bacteria that make up biofilm love room temperature to warm climates.

The warm water running in your bathroom sink faucet provides the perfect temperature for biofilm to form.

Biofilm is generally black and slimy. You probably have it in your bathroom drain pipes right now even if you don’t smell anything. It takes time for biofilm to emanate a scent but it is almost always present.

Sulfur

If you are detecting a hint of rotten eggs in your bathroom then the culprit is most likely hydrogen sulfide. Sulfur can be created in the ground, in your pipes or in the water that passes through them. In the bathroom, it is usually formed through the natural activity of bacteria.

It’s important to remember that not all bacteria are bad. In fact, in the case of your pipes, bacteria usually helps to break down the residue that passes through them so they don’t get clogged. The problem is that when bacteria break down materials and clear it away, gas is left behind.

This gas ladies and gentlemen is what we call hydrogen sulfide or sewer gas.

Sulfur will usually smell like eggs well past their prime. It can be coming from more than one source which makes it a particularly troublesome problem to handle.

Sewage

All homes with plumbing are linked to the sewers so that all water waste can be disposed of sanitarily. The problem is that sometimes sewer gasses and smells can run up through these pipes and leak into your home.

This is typically caused because of a malfunctioning P trap. A P trap is a bit of a misnomer because the pipe is actually shaped like a U and it is directly under your sink. The purpose of this pipe is to block sewer gasses from creeping into your bathroom with water.

A properly functioning P trap will always have a reservoir of water to block gas.

When bathrooms are used infrequently though, the water reservoir could dry up resulting in sewer gasses seeping into your bathroom.

Another way that sewage smell travels into your home is through the plumbing vents. Plumbing vents are installed in all plumbing systems to let such gasses seep out and to channel them outdoors so they don’t stink up your house. These vents are prone to blockage though which means gas can revert into your home resulting in that funky, sewage smell.

 

bathroom sink smells

Quick Fixes for Your Smelly Sink

So does your bathroom smell weird? Before you call a Dallas plumber there are some simple fixes that you can try right now.

  • The first step is diagnosing the smell. Try taking out the sink stopper. If it is covered in a black slimy residue, you have biofilm on your hands.
  • Luckily biofilm is not hard to get rid of. You can simply pour half a cup of bleach into your sink drains or if you prefer a half cup of baking soda with a chaser of a cup of vinegar will do the trick.
  • Another mixture of ¼ cup of salt and half a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar could also be used for stubborn biofilm. This mixture sparks a foaming action in your pipes and the salt helps to scour them.
  • It is extremely important to note at this point though that you should NEVER mix bleach and ammonia or bleach and Drano. These combinations form chloramine or mustard gas that is poisonous and could be deadly.
  • Running hot water in bathrooms that aren’t used frequently will fill the reservoir in the P trap and could instantly eliminate sulfur odors.
  • Your water supply could also be the source of foul odors. Try filling a glass with hot water from the bathroom sink. Take it outside and see if it smells bad. If it does you can try replacing the anode rod in your water heater which may be the source of contamination.

When to Call a Plumber to Help With your Smelly Sink

Unfortunately, not all smells can be taken care of with a quick fix.

If you suspect that the drains need a deep clean or are unsure where the smell is emanating from then you may want to call a plumber.

If you have tried all of the above methods to get rid of the smell to no avail it may also be time to seek professional HVAC help. If you suspect that your plumbing vents may be blocked you will need to call a plumber to clear it and repair it if it has become compromised.

In general, don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Disassembling pipes can cause a lot of water damage and isn’t worth the risk. When in doubt, call a plumber out.

 

 

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How to Become a Plumber: Education, Training & Career Paths

Do you like taking things apart and putting them back together? Then you may be interested in a career as a plumber. But you should know that it isn’t as simple as all that. You may be surprised at what the duties are and what it takes to be a plumber. So if you are interested in becoming a plumber, or you’re just curious, this article explains the duties, required qualifications, and the outlook for careers in this trade.

 

What Do Plumbers Do?

First of all:

There are three main types of plumbers: industrial plumbers, residential plumbers, and commercial plumbers. You don’t have to pigeon-hole yourself to one field though. There is a large contingent of plumbers trained and operating in industrial, commercial and residential plumbing.

A plumber may be called upon to design water distribution, sanitation, heating or cooling systems. This involves drafting blueprints for the job.

Then the plumber will be responsible for executing the blueprints and interpreting them to all involved parties. Installing plumbing systems, sanitation systems, and all water distribution systems are all run of the millwork for a certified plumber.

Plumbers are very often called out for maintenance work as well. This could mean cleaning out drains and pipes and in-depth inspections.

As a plumber, you will need to be skilled in the repairs of these systems as well. Plumbers are also expected to know how to repair home appliances that connect to the water supply as well (dishwashers, garbage disposals, washers, water heaters, etc.).

 

education for plumber

 

The following list goes into more detail about what these duties entail:

-Reading blueprints and building codes for the installation of drainage systems and the layout of pipes

– Installing the piping for toilets, sinks and other water-related appliances

– Installing said appliances

– Install piping conduits for gas, steam or air

– Collaborating with contractors on installations or repairs

– Cutting pipe to fit blueprint design

– Disassembling pipes for repair or cleaning

– Diagnosing plumbing malfunctions such as leaks

– Preparing buildings for the installation of pipes and drainage systems

– Choosing the appropriate valves and fittings for specific installations

–  Installation of air conditioning, water heater, and heating systems

– Carefully selecting tools and materials for projects

– Knowing health and safety codes and adhering to them

– Plumbing inspections

– Replacing compromised plumbing conduits

– Updating plumbing systems according to building codes

– Drawing up inspection reports that detail function, problems, and recommendations

– Working with other plumbing contractors

– Composes job bids and budgets for clients

How to Become a Plumber

Does the list mentioned above appeal to you? If so, then you should know what it takes to become a plumber.

The first step in this and any other career path is to have your high school diploma or GED. Education is essential in, and plumbing is no different. Along with your GED, it is helpful to get your high school and/or college education towards math and science. Measurement, knowledge of measuring units, and knowledge of measuring units for water are all necessary skills for a plumber.

Geometry, biology, and thermodynamics are also significant areas of education to delve into for any prospective plumber.

Once you have a solid educational foundation, it is suggested to enroll in a technical or trade school. Most plumbing companies won’t even look at your resume unless you have a certification from a trade or technical school.

In fact, many states require any certified plumber to have been to trade or tech school.

You may be able to earn these certifications at junior and community colleges as well. Check the course catalog of your local community college to find out.

Becoming a Plumber Apprentice

Once you have completed your certification or in the process, you can start looking for apprenticeships. An apprenticeship will entail on-the-job training by a licensed plumbing journeyman. You will work closely with a plumber and carry out the necessary tasks and gradually work your way to more complex projects.

Different states require different lengths of apprenticeships before you can become a licensed journeyman (a full-fledged plumber). In general, apprenticeships needed for 2-5 years.

You can look for an apprenticeship through your trade school. You can also check with local plumbing unions and contracting companies. The latter option will usually offer an hourly wage for your time as an apprentice.

Becoming a Licensed Plumber

The final step is to complete any state-required examination. Typically, state law will require that any prospective plumber pass a written or field exam (sometimes both) to obtain a plumbing license. To even qualify to take this test, you will likely have to complete all required vocational courses and an apprenticeship.

For most states, once you pass this exam, you will become a licensed plumbing journeyman.

 

plumber salary

Career Outlook for Plumbers

In general, the demand for commercial plumbing companies as well as residential plumbers is looking solid for at least the next five years. This is due in part to many homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities making the switch to low-flow plumbing.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the plumbing and pipefitting trades are on an above-average trajectory in regards to job growth.

How Much Does a Plumber Make?

It is important to note that the information in this article is likely to vary based on which state you live in. This is also true of what you can expect salary-wise as a plumber. The BLS reported that the average annual income for plumbers in the U.S. was $50,620 in 2015. Of course, that was the average figure.

The state that paid their plumbers the most in that same year was Alaska which clocked in at an average annual salary of $72,050 for plumbers.

Things are looking up for plumbers, so make sure you take close consideration of the responsibilities and requirements if you intend to start on this career path.

 

 

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When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

Most of us have a water heater installed to provide us with warm running water. Temperatures in the United States can drop quickly at night, making it impossible to enjoy a bath without warm water. In fact, we use warm water for many other purposes as well, which puts a lot of strain on the device.

As time goes on, that strain can cause the water heater to malfunction, requiring a water heater replacement since repairs may not always be possible. If your heater hasn’t been working well, it might be time to invest in a new one.

Let’s know more about when to replace your water heater:

How Long Do Water Heaters Typically Last?

While the life of a heater depends on a number of factors including the company, style, usage, maintenance, etc. A tank style heater typically lasts for about 10 years.

Tankless water heaters are more durable and can run for about 18 years. The warranty period can also help you gauge the life expectancy of a unit.

How Can I Enhance the Life of a Water Heater

It is important to buy a quality product that is made to last. Remember that not all water heaters are made equal. Some are made to last, while others are meant to be a quick fix.

Pick a company that’s known to make quality products and hire the services of an expert installation company to ensure it’s carefully installed and in the right location. Poor installation and choice of location are two of the major reasons why water heaters show faults.

Other than this, timely repairs and proper maintenance also play a vital role in enhancing the life expectancy of water heaters.

How to Know When to Replace a Water Heater?

These are some of the signs that indicate it is time to change your heater:

The Heater is Too Old

Nothing lasts forever, not even water heaters. They come with an expiration date that’s sadly not printed on the unit.

If you have been using the same water heater for about ten years then it’s time to consider a replacement even if it does not show signs of problems.

Also, not all water heaters make it that far. Some are not very durable and are made to last for only about six to seven years. A good option is to look at the manual and see the overall performance of the unit to understand if it needs to be replaced.

You can look at the serial number of the heater to understand how old it is. This can be very imported if you shifted to a new house and do not know much about the heater.

The serial number is usually printed on the upper half of the tank. It does not show the exact date but contains numbers you can decode. They read like this:

  • A071047856
  • C041069367
  • G061193740

The letter indicates the month. A is for January, C is for March, and G is for July. The first two numbers indicate the year. It’s 2007, 2004, and 2006 in this case.

Remember that the life expectancy is calculated from the manufacturing date and not the date of purchase so pay special attention to the serial number.

water heater repair and replacement

It Makes Noise

Heaters are made to work silently but some may produce a faint sound. While a little sound is okay, heavy rumbling or sudden noise can be the indication of something seriously wrong.

This can be a risky situation and you should never continue to operate a unit that’s making a lot of noises.

The noise can be due to various reasons including the buildup of sediment on the bottom of your tank. It can make a rumbling sound when the burner ignites and is a good indication of the unit is at the end of its life.

While your heater can still continue to function, it will be less efficient and may use more energy due to an additional layer of sediment between the water and the flame. This extra use of energy can run up your monthly bill.

If you hear rumbling or loud noises, it might be time for a replacement.

The Water Is Not Properly Heated

The purpose of a heater is to provide you with warm water but water heaters begin to lose their efficiency over time. Some may take too long to warm water, some may not make the water warm enough, and some may use more energy.

All these issues indicate a serious problem that needs to be fixed quickly. While some of the issues may be minor, such as faulty pipes, some may require a complete replacement of the unit.

Call in a professional HVAC company if you notice any of these signs.

The Water Looks or Feels Different

If your water tank is made of a material that can corrode with time then you’re in trouble. Pipes and other parts of the heater can corrode, making water appear rusty.

It can be difficult to understand where the rust is coming from – the water heater or the pipes. Any part of the heater may catch rust including valves. This is why calling a professional is your only option.

Rusty water can be a serious problem and may lead to health issues as well. Do not neglect it.

You Find Leaks

Leaks can be due to poor fittings or a broken heater. While the former can be solved easily, the latter may require replacement.

There are many causes of leaks including poor installation and rust. Plus, sediments can also lead to leaks. While they can be filled with solutions, it’s best that you opt for a replacement since a leak indicates a weak structure.

Can I Opt for Repairs Instead?

This depends on the nature of the damage. For example, if one of the valves has malfunctioned, then removing the damaged valve may do the trick. However, in some cases, repairs may not be a wise choice.

For example, you may correct a leak by using epoxy but it may only add a few weeks to the life of the heater. You will eventually need a replacement since one leak can lead to another due to a weak structure.

It’s best to consult professionals as they can inspect the unit and suggest the right solution for you.

How Much Will It Cost to Replace a Water Heater?

The cost depends on a number of factors including the type and size of the heater and the location selected. A new, conventional unit can cost $500-$2500 including installation. Tankless heaters cost more as they are expensive. Expect to pay $1800-$4500 for such units.

Everything You Need To Know When Hiring A Plumber

There are many reasons you might need a plumber but you might have a few concerns before you call one.

In this article, we look at why you might call a plumber, what you should ask before you hire one, and what concerns you might have about having one come into your home.

Common Reasons to Hire a Plumber

Before we dive into what you should look for when hiring a plumber, let’s look at the more common reasons people call for professional help.

  • Low Water Pressure If you’ve noticed the water pressure coming out of your tap isn’t what it used to be, or maybe you never had solid pressure to begin with, a plumber can diagnose whether it’s an issue with a clog in your pipes or if there’s an issue with the municipal water supply.
  • Leaking Faucets Another common problem people face is a dripping or leaky faucet. It’s annoying having to listen to the constant dripping of water, and it costs you money in water you’re paying for but not using.
  • Running Toilets Like the leaking faucet, a toilet that runs constantly costs you money in wasted water and is annoying to listen to. Most times, a running toilet can be fixed by yourself, however there are instances where only a professional can get the job done.
  • Clogged or Slow Drains Another common problem many homeowners face are clogged drains or slow drains. Many times people reach for a chemical drain cleaner to fix these problems, and while those products do work, they can damage your pipes. Getting a thorough drain cleaning by a professional is the best way to clear your drains and ensure the safety of your plumbing.
  • Burst Pipes If you live in an area that experiences frequently freezing temperatures, then you’re at risk for frozen pipes that burst. A burst pipe is an emergency that is best left to a professional plumber.

Tips on Hiring a Plumber

So, you’ve decided you need a plumber and you’re ready to make the call. Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect company to do the job.

  • Get A Licensed Plumber It’s essential you find a plumber that’s both licensed and insured. While it’s true you can find an unlicensed plumber who will do the job cheaper, you run the risk of shoddy work and future problems you will pay for later. Also, make sure to check the plumber’s ratings and reviews and don’t be afraid to ask for references you can contact.
  • Ask For Help Sure, you can find almost anything online, but when you’re looking for a good plumber, ask the people you work with or even your neighbors. Chances are they’ve had someone come in for plumbing work and will recommend them to you. Sometimes the best people are found via word of mouth.
  • Make Sure They Meet Your Needs Do you have a specific schedule to follow? Do you need the job done in a certain timeframe? Make sure the plumber you hire is a good match for what you want and need to avoid frustration and a bad experience.
  • Talk To More Than One Before you decide on which plumber to go with, talk to a few different companies and see if they’re a right fit for what you need and want. Also, be sure to ask them if they have references you can contact and be wary of any that say no.
  • Ask About A Warranty or Guarantee Before you put out your hard-earned money on a plumber, ask them if they stand behind their work with a guarantee or warranty. Also find out how long these guarantees last and be sure to get it in writing.
  • Go For Experience Like anything, experience counts. So, when looking for a plumber, find one that’s been in business for a long time and has the experience. While you might pay more for someone like this, you can usually rest assured the job will be done right the first time.

plumber for hire

What To Know When Hiring a Plumber

Many plumbing problems can be solved with a little know-how and by following some simple instructions. For example, a toilet that won’t quit running can usually be fixed by replacing a few parts found at the local hardware store. This job can be done in a few minutes and you can find instructions online that are easy enough to follow. However, there are many problems that are best solved by a licensed professional.

Before you call a plumber, you should have a good idea of what is the problem and explain it with the best details you can to help the technician get a better idea of what to expect when they arrive. If you have a water leak, tell them where it is and whether it’s something that can wait until they schedule you or if it’s an emergency. Also, know what is your budget so you don’t end up agreeing to work that you can’t afford.

What Should I Ask When Hiring a Plumber?

When hiring a plumber, make sure you ask them if they’re licensed as mentioned above. Also, ask them about their experience and how long they’ve been in business. Make sure you check out their reviews and ask them for references and ask them if they’ll provide an estimate before they begin work.

Common Concerns When Hiring a Plumber

Calling someone to come into your home to work can make some people uncomfortable. And while most licensed plumbers are reputable, there are instances where bad things happen. It’s a good idea to ask if the plumbing company you hire performs drug tests and background checks on their workers. Also, don’t make the mistake of hiring solely based on low price. Many times a low price means subpar work. Last, ask if they can complete the job according to your schedule if you’re in a rush.