Home » Plumbing Tips
Category Archives: Plumbing Tips
There’s only one main difference between dish soap and dishwashing detergent, but it’s a big one. Dishwashing detergent does not create suds, but dish soap does. The idea of a dishwasher overflowing with bubbles might paint a funny picture but it’s also big, messy problem. If you accidentally put dish soap in dishwasher once, it’s a headache. If it happens more than once, the soap scum build up could eventually damage your dishwasher.
If the worst happens and you find yourself facing an endless soap avalanche, don’t fret. We’ll tell you how to clean out a dishwasher with dish soap in it. More importantly we’ll tell you how to restore your dishwasher to prevent future problems. If your dishwasher doesn’t work properly after these steps, call the pros at Mike Diamond to help.
How to Fix Dishwasher with Dish Soap in It
First things first, stop the dishwasher immediately. Cancel the wash cycle. If you’re lucky, the suds haven’t quite overflowed just yet. The sooner you turn off the dishwasher, the better your chance of keeping the suds out of the machine’s inner workings.
Once you’ve canceled the cycle, your dishwasher should start draining. It won’t clear everything out, but it’ll make the clean-up process a little less damp.
Clean up any overflow.
If you couldn’t stop the cycle in time, you’ll have some cleaning up to do. Don’t let water sit and seep into cabinetry or floorboards. Use a wet mop to clean up the overflow. Since the mixture is water and soap, wiping it up with dry towels can leave residue behind.
Silver lining: your floor is now clean.
Take out the dishes.
Before you clear out the pipes and drain, you’re going to have more sopping up to do. Open the dishwasher after it finishes its initial draining. Remove the dishes and move them into the sink.
Rinse off the dishes in the sink to remove any scummy residue that might have clung to them during the overflow. Consider washing the dishes by hand just this once, while your dishwasher is… recovering. Otherwise, just rinse them off and leave them in the sink. After you’re done cleaning, you can simply put the dirty dishes back in the washer for another cycle!
How to get suds out of the dishwasher.
This is the labor-intensive part. You’re going to have to rinse out and dry the inside of your dishwasher. If you don’t clean it fully, you’ll continue to have problems with suds and soap scum.
Use a small bowl or pan and repeatedly fill it with clean water to rinse away bubbles. If your dishwasher is close enough to your sink, you could use your sprayer to rinse it out.
Keep rinsing until bubbles don’t appear when you pour the water into the inside and bottom of the appliance. After you’ve rinsed enough, use towels to wipe down and dry out any remaining water. You may have to remove the drawers to complete this step.
Turn on the rinse cycle and let it run.
You don’t have to do a full cycle. Run the rinse cycle for three to five minutes. It should be enough to remove any remaining suds. If you’ve done everything else listed here, you should be free of dish soap in your dishwasher. If there are suds, the rinse cycle will wash out any remaining residue. Once that’s done, your dishwasher should be back in working condition.
Don’t Put Dishwashing Soap in Dishwasher!
Now you know what happens if you put dish soap in the dishwasher. Hopefully you’ve successfully flushed your dishwasher after the soap suds fiasco and lived to tell the tale. The next time this or any other plumbing emergency happens give us a call. The team at Mike Diamond is happy to service your dishwasher to ensure you have clean dishes for a long time.
The post What to Do When Someone Puts Dish Soap in Your Dishwasher appeared first on Mike Diamond Services.
Did you miss our previous article…
Los Angeles homes have more electronic devices plugged in and drawing power now than ever before. While modern electrical grids can supply power evenly and safely, power surges can result from several causes outside and inside the home.
Every homeowner should understand the basics about power surges and how to prevent them. Over time, even small power surges can cause damage to appliances and devices. Here’s a quick primer on everything you should know about power surges, and what you can do to stop them.
What is a Power Surge?
A power surge is an extremely fast and intense power spike in your home’s electrical current. Surges are also referred to as “transient voltage” because they’re caused by the sudden presence of an overvoltage traveling through an electrical system.
Wall outlets normally supply 120 volts of AC power, but the actual voltage level in the system fluctuates between 0-169 volts. Most home appliances and devices are designed to handle this small fluctuation but an increase above 169 volts is considered a power surge. When a surge travels into your home’s electrical current, the voltage spikes can be damaging and dangerous.
What Causes Power Surges?
Most people associate power surges with lightning. When lightning strikes near a power line, its energy discharge can boost the line’s electrical pressure by millions of volts. That electrical boost runs through the power line and into your house, and BOOM!
Luckily, lightning is one of the rarest causes of power surges. Most surges are a bit more mundane.
High-powered home appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators require a lot of power to switch on. When these appliances request this power, they can inadvertently create a spike in your electrical system. These “switching surges” aren’t as severe as lightning surges, but they can still do damage and wear other circuits over time.
Surges can also come via the power company. Your electrical company occasionally switches grids to access different power sources. When these switches occur, there may be an accidental surge of electricity. A transformer malfunction or faulty transmission line can also create an unwanted power surge in your house.
Why Are Surges a Problem?
Simply put, power surges with large voltage spikes can be damaging or dangerous. Surges can damage or destroy plugged-in electrical devices.
When too much electricity flows through an appliance at once, the appliance could overheat, break down, or even catch fire. This uncontained arc generates heat, which could melt or erode appliance components. A severe enough surge could even start a fire!
How Can I Prevent Electrical Surges?
The easiest and best way a homeowner can protect against power surges is to use a surge protector. Surge protectors are a type of power strip. They contain one input to be plugged into the wall, and several outlets to plug other devices into. Newer versions also have a power surge USB port to protect your USB devices while they are plugged in.
The difference between a power surge protector vs power strip is surge protectors absorb any excess energy running through them. During a surge, the protector redirects excess voltage toward the grounding wire to neutralize it. Service-panel surge protectors work the same way, but they fit directly onto your circuit breaker to prevent power surges from entering your home’s electrical system.
Reduce the Risk of Power Surges in Your Home
For more information on power surges, check out the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s informational booklet.
If you need help with any electrical problem, give Mike Diamond a call today. Our fully licensed electrical contracting professionals have the experience and know-how to diagnose and repair any problem with your electrical system. We can help prevent dangerous overvoltage from causing damage in your home.
The post Why Power Surges Happen and How to Prevent Them appeared first on Mike Diamond Services.
Did you miss our previous article…
Pipes don’t last forever. Even copper pipes, despite their 50+ year lifespan, develop corrosion over time and in certain conditions. How does pipe corrosion affect your plumbing and your home’s water? And how do you prevent your pipes from corroding?
Corrosion affects different types of pipes in different ways. Cast iron pipe corrosion looks different than galvanized pipe corrosion and it can be caused by several factors. The bottom line: we want your plumbing and the water you drink to be safe.
What are the Causes of Pipe Corrosion?
Corrosion is an electrochemical electron exchange. This means the metal in your pipe loses electrons due to contact with another substance. This wear on a molecular level becomes bigger and bigger and eventually leads to rust, clogs or leaks.
Here are some of the more common causes of corrosion in metal pipes:
Low PH. A low PH (less than 7) indicates that your water is acidic. Acidic water can dissolve pipes from the inside and a common cause of copper pipe corrosion.High oxygen. A higher level of oxygen in your water can accelerate oxidation or rust. Unchecked rust that builds up over time will corrode and block your pipes.Water properties. High mineral content in hard water can cause calcification and lead to mineral buildup. Metals in water can cause galvanic corrosion where electrons transfer from metals with high electron count to metals with fewer electrons.Electrical currents. An ungrounded electrical current can travel down a copper pipe and stimulate a corrosive reaction.High velocity. Water traveling at a high velocity, especially hot water, can wear out your pipes prematurely.
How Does Pipe Corrosion Affect My Water?
Depending on the type of pipes you have, corrosion will affect your water in different ways. These effects can include:
DiscolorationTurbidity (cloudiness)Bitter tasteFoul odorHealth problems
Iron pipes will rust and eventually clog. The additional iron in your water can result in reddish colored water. While added iron doesn’t pose a health risk, the taste may be unappealing.
Copper pipes may produce blue colored water or water stains. This blue color indicates the presence of copper in your water due to corrosion. Too much copper can cause health problems that lead to liver or kidney damage. Luckily, the problem is visible well before it becomes a health risk.
Plastic and PVC pipes resist corrosion but because they are a newer material, there is not a lot of data on their long-term properties. The primary risk for corrosion is along joints and connectors where metal or rubber parts are used.
Lead pipes are extremely dangerous when corroded. Lead in water can cause serious health problems, especially in children. If you have lead plumbing anywhere in your home, have it replaced immediately and don’t drink your water.
How Does Pipe Corrosion Affect My Plumbing?
Water pipe corrosion inside your home can create numerous problems including:
Low water pressureLeaksPinholesBreaksRust stainsDamaged appliances
As your pipes corrode, they can develop small holes or cracks that eventually lead to large breaks and flooding. Interior corrosion can slow water pressure or clog your faucets and water heater. Rust might stain your sink.
If you’ve noticed lower water pressure, higher water bills and cloudy or discolored water, you probably have pipe corrosion somewhere in your home. Pipes can become thin or brittle without visual evidence.
How to Prevent Corroded Pipes
Have a certified plumber check your pipes to make sure they are safe and working properly. This is best way to be certain to be sure corrosion isn’t destroying your plumbing and to maintain healthy water in your home.
If your water is a problem, take a Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) test to determine what is causing the corrosion. The LSI test is a standard water quality test that measures:
PHConductivityTotal dissolved solidsAlkalinityHardness
*Note: The Langelier test does not identify lead in water. A separate, lead specific, test is required.
A water softener or water filter, hard wired into your water supply, can treat harsh water before it travels through your pipes. Use a water softener to remove excessive minerals that create buildup and make washing difficult. A water filter can remove chemicals and bacteria that accelerate corrosion. It will also remove make your water taste better!
How to Clean External Copper Pipe Corrosion
Copper pipe green corrosion is the result of oxidation. This patina is similar to rust in other types of pipes. Over time, this type of corrosion can lead to bigger issues.
To clean your copper pipes, you can use one of two methods:
A commercial metal polish designated for copper.A paste of white vinegar, salt and flour.
Follow the package instructions if using the commercial polish. To use the natural paste, brush it on to the affected areas and wait for ten minutes. The acid in the vinegar should loosen the alkali stains. Wipe away with a clean cloth. Repeat as necessary.
Repair or Replace Your Corroded Pipes
Don’t wait for rust colored water and damaged walls to let you know you have a significant plumbing issue. While pipe replacement can be a big job, the alternative can be much worse. Call or contact Mike Diamond today for a certified technician to examine your pipes for corrosion. We can help you decide the best course of action when corroded pipes compromise your water.
The post How Does Pipe Corrosion Work? appeared first on Mike Diamond Services.
Did you miss our previous article…
Stuck in that awkward plumbing limbo where your toilet won’t flush? Fear not. We’re here to explain the most common reasons your toilet may not be flushing and how you can fix them. If you live in L.A., your local plumbers at Mike Diamond are always ready to help.
Your toilet may be clogged (even if you can’t see it) or it may not be getting enough water. Any number of working parts could be faulty too. Before the next person in your home needs to go, let’s, ahem, plunge in and help you fix that toilet that won’t flush.
Your Toilet is Clogged.
An obvious reason why your toilet won’t flush, but a necessary one to consider is that it’s clogged. Never flush anything other than toilet paper and waste down your toilet. Wipes and other items can build up and block your sewer line. Clogs may not be visible if they’re further down the line.
A partial clog somewhere in the line could mean that your toilet will still flush but not very strong. A way to test for a partial clog is to pour a bucket with a gallon of cold water into the bowl. If your toilet still doesn’t flush properly, you probably have a partial clog.
What to do: Use a plunger or toilet auger to loosen things. Make sure you use a flange plunger, since the cup will help you create a better seal in the toilet bowl. Another way to loosen things is to turn off the toilet’s water, flush it, and then add hot (not boiling) water to the bowl. Let the water sit for several minutes, then flush it. If that doesn’t work, either, you should consider snaking the toilet. If your toilet still won’t flush after trying any of the above methods, you may want to consider professional drain cleaning services.
Check Your Toilet’s Handle and Chain
If the handle doesn’t do anything when you flush, you may have an easy fix. The handle connects to the flapper (the valve that holds the water in the tank) via a small length of chain. A simple explanation may be that the chain got disconnected at either end.
It’s also possible that the chain is the wrong length. When you depress the handle, the chain yanks up the flapper to initiate the toilet’s flush. If the toilet chain is too long, it won’t be able to yank up the flapper. If the flapper doesn’t rise, the toilet doesn’t flush. If the chain’s too short, then then your toilet flapper won’t seal properly and your toilet will run without ever completely filling with water.
What to do: Lift off the lid of your toilet tank. Check that both ends of the chain are connected. If they aren’t clip them back into place. If they are, pull the handle to test that the chain is the right length to lift the flapper fully open and also allow it to close tightly.
Why Won’t the Flapper in the Toilet Close?
As mentioned above, the flapper is the rubber valve at the bottom of your toilet’s tank. A toilet’s flapper opens and closes whenever you flush, allowing water to run from the tank into the bowl. When you depress your toilet’s handle, you’re lifting the flapper. Your toilet’s flapper is in constant contact with moving water that, over time, can bend or otherwise warp the flapper.
What to do: Examine your flapper. Does it seal tightly when it’s closed? Can you see wear or damage? Flappers are inexpensive and available at any local hardware store. Turn off the water at the supply valve, drain your toilet tank and replace the flapper. Make sure you reattach the chain. If you need help, we’re standing by.
djust or Replace Your Overflow Tube
Your toilet’s overflow tube is a part of the tank near the refill tube. Overflow tubes help empty water directly into the toilet bowl during a flush. These tubes are not infallible, unfortunately. The toilet’s constant pressure can easily crack or otherwise damage them. If the tube does crack, water will run into it instead of past it.
What to do: Replace the overflow tube to restore its ability to work. If your overflow tube isn’t working, give us a call and we’ll diagnose the problem and install the proper part.
Your Toilet Tank isn’t Filling Up All the Way
When you flush your toilet, you release water from the tank into the bowl. Releasing a lot of water into the bowl quickly generates the suction required to flush the toilet. When the tank doesn’t contain enough water, it doesn’t create the necessary pressure for a strong flush. You may notice a weaker flush, or no flush at all.
What to do: Open the tank of your toilet to locate the float and the fill line. Flush the toilet with the tank open and watch the water drain into the bowl and fill back up. If the tube stops adding water before the float reaches the fill line, then your toilet won’t be able to perform a full flush. Adjust the float by moving its position on the arm that connects it to the refill tube. Flush again and see if you’ve solved the problem.
Clean Your Toilet Jets
The toilet jets are the little holes along the underside of the toilet bowl rim. When you flush, the water from the tank above rushes down through these small openings to create the swirling action you see. If they become clogged with lime or corrosion, it will limit the strength of your flush.
What to do: Get a small nail, length of wire or toothbrush and clean the jets. Use watered down bleach or a solution of vinegar. Place a small mirror on the underside of the rim to see which jets are clogged and dig out any blockage to restore them.
Fix Your Toilet that Won’t Flush
Hopefully, you’ve diagnosed the reason why your toilet won’t flush, and everything is moving again. If it’s still not working and you want Los Angeles’ best plumbers to have a look, call or contact Mike Diamond. We’re the plumbing experts who’ll turn your frustrations into flush elations.
The post How to Fix a Toilet That Won’t Flush appeared first on Mike Diamond Services.
Even if winters don’t exactly get Arctic-cold in Southern California, it doesn’t mean that you want your gas furnace to go out. The best way to avoid potential trouble on those chilly evenings is with regular furnace maintenance. Keeping your furnace clean and in good working order means it’s always ready for that unexpected cold front.
To keep your gas furnace working when you need it, we recommend an annual furnace checkup. During the rest of the winter, follow these seven furnace maintenance tips to keep the heat coming:
Work under safe conditions
Before you do anything, make sure you’re working safely. Gas can be dangerous if you don’t handle it correctly. Before you begin any serious furnace maintenance, make sure you turn everything off. If you’re not 100% sure what you need to turn off to get the work done, trip the main circuit breaker to verify your safety during the maintenance process.
Finally, if you smell gas, don’t try to shut anything off or turn it on–instead, leave the premises immediately. Have a professional flush the gas from the house and fix the leak before you do any more work.
How to Check Your Furnace Filter
A gas furnace’s filter prevents dirt from entering the unit and building up. Build up can lead to malfunctions or even fires. A filter also keeps the warm air blown into your home clean. Check your filter at least once every other month. This holds true for summer as well as you run your air conditioner.
Your filter is simply a cardboard rectangle with a mesh covering. It easily slides in and out of its designated slot, usually at the bottom of your furnace. You can find most replacement filters at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Test your thermostat
If the temperature setting on your thermostat doesn’t match the actual temperature, you may have one of two furnace-related problems:
The thermostat itself has stopped working.There’s a disconnect between the wall unit and the furnace.
Either way, if this happens frequently, you’ll want to repair or upgrade your thermostat. A new, programmable energy efficient thermostat isn’t expensive and usually pays for itself in energy cost savings.
Clean the blower
While checking the filtration system, also check the blower. The blower is further inside, and you should be able to see it when you change the air filter. It’s a circular intake with a wheel-like fan.
Wipe the blower down with a damp cloth each time you change the filter. Cleaning the blower prevents dust or dirt that may have escaped through the filter from getting further inside the furnace.
Regularly check and clean your vents
All gas furnaces have a venting system that prevents unsafe heat build-up. Just like with anything else that never moves, dust builds up both on and within furnace vent systems. Clean them with a scrubbing brush, vacuum cleaner, and damp cloth to ensure their continued effectiveness.
Inspect your flue pipe for cracks or holes where dangerous carbon monoxide could leak.
Inspect the fan
This maintenance is best left to a professional. It isn’t as easy to get to the fan within the furnace as it is to get to everything else. Getting pre-winter furnace maintenance is recommended to keep up with part changes and cleaning needs. Don’t let small problems become big.
Clean Your Air Ducts
Vacuum them out or have a professional do it. Dust, pet dander and debris that builds up inside your ducts eventually gets blown all over your home. Clean ducts work better and mean cleaner air.
Annual Furnace Maintenance in Los Angeles
Keeping your furnace clean is the easiest way to extend its life and keep it from breaking down. Hopefully this furnace maintenance checklist helps you get started.
Not everyone is up to this level of DIY maintenance. If you want a certified technician to perform your gas furnace cleaning, the trained professionals at Mike Diamond are ready and waiting to help you out.
The post Gas Furnace Maintenance Tips to Keep the Heat Coming appeared first on Mike Diamond Services.
Did you miss our previous article…
Plumber plays an essential role in homes. But there are various aspects which one should consider before appointing a plumber. There are certain myths regarding plumbing that are not at all reliable. This article aims to bust some of these myths and expose the actual worth of having Plumber Woodland Hills CA for your home.
Plumber always prioritizes quality over cost: This is one myth people often consider to be true. Good plumbers never prioritize quality over price. If they do, they will be out of business very quickly. Plumbing issues will always be well handled by good plumbers who use only suitable quality materials and employ safe practices at all times. Being on time is directly related to their professional attitude and thus influences the quality of your service and customer service. And good plumbers do not mind spending extra time on quality rather than quantity if they think it will make their job easier and quicker.
A plumber can detect problems in drains in a day or night: This is another myth people often think to be true. All plumbers do not possess this ability to see a problem in a day or night. Even experienced plumbers are limited in their plumbing pricing ability. To avoid paying more than you should for repairs, always inquire about the time taken to repair the drain and the cost involved.
A plumber needs to have a degree in plumbing: It is not true that a plumber with a degree in plumbing is automatically efficient in handling any problems. Professional plumbers with a bachelor’s degree in plumbing are much better equipped to resolve any plumbing problem. They generally understand plumbing pricing, have good communication skills, and excellent repair and maintenance skills. This also enables them to quickly resolve any hot water leakage issues or repair issues with your water heater.
All plumbing companies are the same: Commonly, you’ll come across several advertisements from plumbing companies claiming to be the best in the business. How can you be sure which one is right for you? Numerous factors affect the pricing of services, including the quality of the work and service standards of different companies. To find the best, do some research and take note of the factors that affect pricing. For instance, experienced plumbers with plenty of relevant experience are likely to charge more than new ones who have just started in the business. Similarly, it is a good idea to go with plumbing companies that provide free estimates.
Plumbing service is only as good as the last service: People tend to believe this is another common myth. What you pay for a plumber is what you get. If you want quality service, you shouldn’t hesitate to pay more for it. On the other hand, paying more doesn’t mean that you will get poor service. Many reputable plumbers in the market offer high quality at affordable prices.
Hiring a licensed plumber isn’t a wise decision: You may think that licensing an electrician is a smart business move, but you’d be wrong. It’s one of the most financially irresponsible things you can do. A licensed plumber has undergone extensive training and will be knowledgeable about issues about plumbing systems. On the other hand, non-licensed plumbers don’t have the same training and often don’t know about specific problems that can arise. In addition, a good plumber will make sure that any issue is dealt with immediately to prevent further damage.
You should trust your gut: While it’s good to consult a professional before tackling a plumbing issue, you shouldn’t always assume that your first instincts are correct. For example, the number one reason people call a plumber is that they feel their drain or tub is clogged or not draining. So if you have a feeling that something is off, don’t hesitate to contact a plumber right away. By acting on instinct alone, you might be setting yourself up for significant damage or injury.