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Plumbing

Plumbing Home Renovations You’ve Never Thought Of

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Plumbing is integral to our home and our lives. Without the convenience of indoor plumbing, many of us would feel like we were in the dark ages. However, most people think of only a few installations when they think of their plumbing. Sinks and showers and baths are givens, but what other ways could you make your life easier (or better) by expanding your home’s plumbing horizons?

Utility Sink

If you have a workshop, art room, or even a kids’ playroom, you may consider adding a utility sink to make life a little easier. Utility sinks can come in a variety of sizes so you can choose the one that works best for your needs. Another excellent place for a utility sink is your laundry room. If you need to hand wash clothes or pretreat them for stains, a sink can save you a lot of time and hassle.

Mud Shower

Depending on where you live, mud can be a real problem. Add kids, dogs and visitors and your home can turn into a mess quicker than you can imagine. Why fight with a pile of muddy shoes at the door and dirty tracks all over your house when you can install a simple mud shower or sink to stop the problem right at your door. Mud showers can be installed in mudrooms, entryways, garages, or anywhere the makes sense for you and your home.

Pet Bath

Speaking of muddy pets, why not install a pet shower for your furry friend? If your four-legged companions are making a mess out of your home, or if they just need regular grooming, you can make your life so much easier if they have a bath or shower of their own. Let’s be honest, you love your pets, but do you really love sharing a bathtub with them? Keeping it separate is not only convenient, but it is cleaner and safe for you and your family.

Outdoor Tubs or Showers

Hot tubs aren’t the only way to get your soak on outdoors. It is becoming increasingly popular these days to install an outdoor tub so you can enjoy a great soak and the great outdoors at the same time. It’s an excellent way to avoid all the chemicals and maintenance that are involved with hot tubs, while still being able to enjoy the best of both worlds. If you do have a hot tub, perhaps an outdoor shower might be a better fit. It allows to rinse off before and after your soak, keeping things clean and healthy.

Bidet

Bidets are far more common in countries outside the US, but they are rising in popularity state-side, especially among the eco-conscious. Bidets can help cut down on toilet paper waste and manufacturing making an overall positive impact on the environment. In addition, if you have someone who is mobility impaired, a bidet can be an easier way for them to comfortably manage their bathroom hygiene. There are full bidet toilets that can be installed by a professional, as well as bidet attachments that can be added to your current toilet.

 

Plumbing is designed to make your life easier, so why limit its abilities to just the basics? A different or unique plumbing installation might be exactly what you and your home needs. No need to limit your choices to just these ideas either. Think outside the box and create a plumbing solution that can make your everyday life, just a little greater. In addition, many of these can be considered home improvements and add value to your home. Call Knight Plumbing today and let us help you bring your dreams to life!

How to Clean Stubborn Rust Stains from Your Bathroom

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How to Clean Stubborn Rust Stains from Your Bathroom

When metal and water come in contact with each other as they do in a plumbing system it is almost inevitable that rust will eventually appear. Over time, pipes, fixtures, and even water heaters can develop rust which can leave you with unsightly brown stains that are not only unattractive but stubborn to get rid of.

What is Causing These Stains?

 

While rust is a natural reaction that we don’t have a lot of control over, the appearance of rust can indicate a deeper problem.

Rust, however, isn’t the only cause of these stains. If you live in an area with high concentrations of iron in the water, you may experience the staining as a result of the contact with the iron over time. No matter what the cause of these stains, the common thread is that they are near impossible to remove—at least with traditional bathroom cleaning methods.

Checking With Your Plumber

 

While many of the causes of rust stains are natural, they can still be an indicator that something deeper may be wrong. If it is being caused by rusty pipes or an aging water heater, you will need to call a plumber to replace these items and control the flow of damaging rusty water. If you do have a high concentration of iron in your water you can also have your plumber install a water softener to help manage the situation.

 

Cleaning The Stains

 

Over time these stains can really settle into porcelain making your cleaning job that much more difficult. We aren’t going to lie, cleaning these stains isn’t always easy—but the important thing is that it’s not impossible.

Abrasive Scrubbing Pads

 

There is a variety of scrubbing pads out there—from a two-sided kitchen sponge to steel wool. Porcelain will scratch, so be careful when choosing the higher-duty abrasive pads. Abrasive pads are a good first place to start not only do they loosen up the stain, but they also do so without heavy chemicals.

 

Natural Cleaners

 

If you are trying to avoid those heavy chemicals you may consider making your own homemade cleanser. Lemon juice and salt are particularly good for battling rust and stubborn stains. Simply combine lemon juice with salt to make a paste. Make sure you cover any potential cuts on your hands with gloves, while these are safe substances, we all know they can certainly hurt an already open wound—so be careful.  This paste isn’t as effective on the toilet, because it doesn’t grip to the stain, but lemon juice and salt can work wonders on sinks and tub drains. Leave the paste to settle into the stain for 20 minutes or more and scrub away with a brush.

 

Pumice Stone

 

Another natural substance that can help with your cleaning efforts is pumice. Pumice is a naturally occurring volcanic rock that has been used in everything from cleaning to self-hygiene. They have specially designed pumice stones for porcelain and tile that can be reused over and over again. It takes some scrubbing, but if you are dedicated to keeping things chemical free it’s worth the extra effort.

 

Cleaners

 

If you must, you can opt to use a chemical cleaner. However, you everyday surface cleaners are not going to have the punch you need to send the rust stains packing. Some people try to use bleach too, but it generally doesn’t have much effect on the stain. What you are looking for is a cleaner that contains hydrochloric acid. This sounds more dangerous than it is, but these cleaners are safe for tub and tile cleaner, though you will want to follow directions for safe handling purposes.

If you still can’t get these stains to budge, it might be time to consider a replacement. Before you decided to replace your tub and sinks, make sure the source of the problem has been properly managed so that the problem doesn’t reappear. At any point, feel free to call the experts at Knight Plumbing and we’ll help get your bathroom and kitchen in the condition you are hoping for.

I Think my Plumbing has Water Hammer—What do I do

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Water hammer, by name is a fairly self-explanatory phenomena. If you’ve ever heard a loud clunk or thunk sound when you turn off the faucet, you may have “Water hammer.” You might hear it when the washing machine or dishwasher shuts off the water, or even after a shower, but the sound is unmistakable. And while it may seem like just an annoying noise, the truth is it could be the sound of a plumbing problem to come.

Why Does it Make a Hammering Noise?

 

To ensure flow, the water in your plumbing pipes is under pressure. When you open a faucet, the water can run through freely, but when you shut if off the water flow crashes into the closed valve and this creates what is known as a hydraulic shock. While this is not necessarily a problem, it can contribute to issues if your pipes have not been secured properly. The vibration that results from water hammer can even cause your pipes to physically move, which can lead to even more noise, and if things are secured properly could even cause severe damage to your pipes.

How can I Stop Water Hammer?

 

Air Chambers

Most modern home plumbing systems already include a fix for this issue by utilizing air chambers. An air chamber is installed right behind the valve, but placed higher than the valve, allowing the valve to fill with air, giving the water a cushion when the water flow suddenly halts.

However, sometimes it can still occur, even with air chambers in place. Overtime water can bubble up into the chamber, rendering the process ineffective.

Water hammer sometimes occurs at valves that have air chambers installed. When this happens, the cause is usually that water has bubbled up into the air chamber over time, nullifying its protective effects. However, a simple fix can usually remedy this issue. If you are able to shut off the main water valve you can open your faucets at the highest and lowest points in your system which will allow your chambers to fill back up with air once all the water has run through the system. Remember, if you are at all uncomfortable, remember you can always call us or your local plumber, and we can help you out.

If you find you don’t have air chambers, give us a call and we can make sure they are installed properly – which will ensure a longer lasting life for your plumbing system.

 

Water Pressure

Since the problem of water hammer is caused by pressure, it makes sense that your water pressure can play into this issue. Sometime, even with air chambers in place, you could experience water hammer if your water pressure is too high. Most local hardware stores carry water pressure gauges, so if you are concerned about this issue, it is worth the few dollars it takes to purchase one. You can easily screw the gauge on your hose bib and open the faucet all the way. Make sure there are no other open faucets in your home when you perform this test. Safe water pressure for a home should range between 50 to 80 psi, so if your water pressure higher than that you will want to contact your local water provider to see if they can help. Another solution would be to install a water pressure regulator, which can easily be done with the help of a plumber.

Water hammer, when serious enough, can do damage to your pipes and your system. Most of the fixes for this problem, however, can be a lot easier to manage than what could happen if you let the problem go. Some of the fixes are DIY, but if the problem persists reach out and give Knight Plumbing a call, we are ready and waiting to help!