Author: Wyatt Schmidt

Friendship Marketing: Quick Way to Business

We all see those posts on chat boards about, “My phone doesn’t ring, I’m desperate, what should I do?” Even those of you who have been in business for a few years have those dry spells don’t you? So, what do you do? You don’t throw a gazillion dollars into SEO marketing, get a new website or […]

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Rinnai America Corporation Launches Innovative Rinnai PRO 360™ Advertising Packages 

Creating opportunities for Rinnai PROs to maximize sales in their local market with an affordable and easy advertising solution Introducing a highly original and innovative advertising offering, Rinnai America Corporation launches the Rinnai PRO 360 Ad Packages. Developed for Rinnai PROs, the advertising package presents a simple, fast and affordable option to engage customers in a 90-day, multi-media campaign. With packages taking as […]

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How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink

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Unclogging a bathroom sink

The best method to unclog a clogged bathroom sink may depend on what’s clogging it. You can flush soap scum clogs with vinegar and baking soda or tweeze hair. For bigger clogs, a plunger or drain snake work best.  Figuring out why your drain is clogged is the best way to figure out how to unclog it.

Below are six methods that address how to unclog a sink drain. Most of these apply to kitchen sinks and showers drains too. Roll up your sleeves and get started. If your bathroom sink is completely clogged or your sink is full of water that won’t budge, your Los Angeles plumbing experts are on hand to help.

Why is my bathroom sink clogged?

bathroom hair clogs

There are four common reasons why most people’s bathroom drains clog. Figuring out which one of these problems you have will give us a place to start. Look for:

Clumps of hair

When hair enters your sink drain it clumps together and gets stuck on the walls and tangled in the drain’s components.

Use a long tweezers or a zip-it tool to remove hair. If neither works, try disassembling the whole drain. (see “clean the p trap” below)

Soap scum

Soap scum is especially prevalent where there is hard water. It can build up in your pipes over time and foster mold and mildew.

Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain or use baking soda and vinegar to dislodge built up soap scum. If it still doesn’t budge, plunge with warm water.

Something stuck in p-trap

The p-trap is the curving pipe beneath your bathroom sink that connects to the wall pipe. It prevents harmful sewer gasses from coming up through the sink drain.

Disconnect your bathroom sink p-trap and clean out the hair and any large items that may have gotten stuck within (see details below).

Damaged pipes

Rust, corrosion, and other common pipe damage can lead to a slow drain or a clog over time.

Replace old, rusted pipes before they become bottled necked with debris. Plunge or snake them for temporary relief.

Unclogging your sink

After you’ve figured out why you have a clogged drain, try the method we recommended for your problem above. If you can’t figure out what your drain’s problem is, then try each of these methods in order.

Note: Never use chemical drain cleaners.

1. Baking soda and white vinegar

baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain
Unscrew the drain cover and remove the sink stopper.Measure out a ½ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar.Sprinkle the ½ cup of baking soda into the drain.Pour the cup of vinegar down the drain.Let the mixture sit in the drain for several minutes, until fizzing stops.Rinse hot water into the drain.Repeat the process up to three times.

2. Remove bathroom hair clog

Remove the stopper.Use a flashlight to look down the drain.If you can see hair, use a long-nosed tweezers to retrieve it directly.If you can’t see hair, use a zip-it tool or bend and insert a wire hanger to retrieve it.Slide the tool up and down the drain as far as it will go naturally. Don’t attempt to force it.Push the tool in at different angles. Try to move it around the drain to catch more hair.Repeat the process several times, rinsing with hot water as necessary.

3. Plunge

Plunging to unclog a bathroom sink
Use a cup plunger.Remove the stopper.Seal the sink overflow outlet with tape or a rag.Place towels or rags on the floor around the sink.Fill the sink with warm water.Use the plunger’s cup to create an airtight seal over the drain.Pump the plunger’s seal up and down several times with quick, sharp movements.Test the drain to see if you’ve cleared the clog.Repeat a few times as necessary.

4. Clean the p-trap

Put a bucket under your p-trap and wear rubber gloves.Loosen the slip nuts by hand or with a pliers as necessary.Remove the p-trap by hand and dump the water into the bucket.Remove objects and grime lodged in the trap.Clean the p-trap with a bristle brush.Put the p-trap back together and test the drain.

5. Snake

Using a plumber's snake to unclog a bathroom sink drain
Use automated drain snakes (called plumber’s snakes or plumber’s augers) if possible.Place towels or rags beneath the sink.Remove the p-trap.Remove the stopper.Thread the snake into the wall drain manually.Uncoil the snake using the handle.When you reach the clog, rotate the head up-and-down and back-and-forth.Pull the snake out and reassemble the sink components.Check the drain.

6. Dissemble the drain

Follow these directions to remove your sink drain. Replace old or corroded drains with a new one. A new drain can help your sink smell fresh again.

Bathroom sink plumbing for Los Angeles’ worst clogs

We hope you’ve learned how to fix a clogged bathroom sink. If you’ve tried everything and are still up to your elbows in water, contact the pros at Mike Diamond. Some clogs are stubborn or so far down your line that they require extra finesse. We know how to dislodge these tough clogs and get your drain flowing again.

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How to Clean Mold in Showers

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A white tiled shower with dark mold stains.

There are thousands of types of mold. Mold spores travel through the air around us every day. Once these spores settle, they can reproduce in 24-48 hours. All they need is a moisture and oxygen. Bathrooms and showers provide the perfect breeding ground for mold to grow.

Unlike mildew, which forms on surfaces, mold is a fungus that can penetrate porous materials. If you see black or green gunk in the corners of your tiles and caulking or dark spots along walls, you probably have mold.

Molds carry health risks, especially for people with acute illnesses and compromised immunity. We’ll show you how to clean mold in showers to avoid these health risks. We’ll also give to tips for preventing mold in your bathroom and your home.

What Kind of Mold is in Your Bathroom?

Diagram of different types of mold.

Molds come in three different classifications:

Allergenic:  Causes an allergic reaction or asthma-like symptoms.Pathogenic: Harmful to people with acute illness or compromised immunity.Toxigenic: Dangerous or even deadly to everyone.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell different kinds of mold apart. Black mold in showers could be Stachybotrys – the most toxic “black mold” – but it could be Alternaria or Aspergillus, two common household molds.

You can have your mold tested to determine what variety it is, but the CDC recommends treating all molds as harmful. It’s best to remove and clean any mold as quickly as possible.

8 Steps to a Mold-Free Shower

To fully get rid of black mold in your shower, orange mold in your shower and mold in shower grout, use a cleanser specifically designed for mold. While bleach is often touted as the best way to get rid of mold, it doesn’t fully address the problem. Bleach is good at removing mold stains and surface mold, but it doesn’t kill fungus that has soaked in.

If you prefer not to use a commercial detergent, you can create a 1:1 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water or white vinegar and water to kill deep-rooted mold.

A woman scrubs mold from shower grout with a toothbrush.

You will need:

CleanerSpray bottleRubber glovesCleaning clothScrub brush with stiff bristlesToilet paper or paper towelBleachVinegar

To perform a thorough cleaning, follow these steps:

Spray down all affected areas of shower with detergent or cleaning solution.Let soak for 20 minutes-hour.Apply rolled paper towel or TP in cracks and along tub rim to keep cleanser soaking against mold.Scrub vigorously with brush.Rinse and wipe with clean water.Scrub any stained areas with bleach.Rinse and wipe.Spray with white vinegar and let dry.

The final step is a preventative. White vinegar inhibits mold from growing and will reduce the chance of mold returning to your shower.

If you have significant mold growth or are worried that you have toxic mold, consult a professional remediator. Don’t take on large mold projects yourself.

Never paint or caulk over moldy walls/ cracks. You won’t stop the mold from reproducing or being a health risk. Replace old moldy caulk with new, mold-resistant caulking.

 Remove Mold from Shower Head

A moldy shower head.

Shower heads inevitably build up with mineral deposits and sometimes mold. If you’re wondering how to clean all those small nozzle holes, here’s a trick.

Put a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water in a plastic bag. Place the bag over your shower head and seal it shut with rubber bands. Let your shower soak in the solution overnight. The next morning your shower head will be like-new and, best of all, mold free.

How to Prevent mold in Showers and Bathrooms

The best way to get rid of mold is to prevent it from being able to form. Follow these practices to limit mold from growing in your shower.

Turn on an exhaust fan or open a window when showering.Keep humidifiers at 50% or less.Clean your bathroom often with mold-killing products.Fix leaks, drips and other sources of moisture.Change air filters frequently.Don’t leave wet towels or laundry on floor.Spray vinegar on shower walls regularly to prevent mold growth.

By keeping a dry, clean home, you significantly limit mold’s ability to grow. Regular bathroom cleaning and maintenance means no ugly dark stains on tile or grout.

Plumbing Issues Related to Bathroom Mold

If you have mold in your bathroom from leaky pipes, bad drains or drippy faucets, Mike Diamond can help. If you’re in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, schedule service with a certified plumber to evaluate and repair your plumbing issue today.

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What Can a Plumber Do for You?

Septic Tank Cleaning – If you do not have the right tools, wastewater from a leaking septic or sewage system can be very difficult to contain. This waste material backs up in your tanks and causes problems for the rest of the plumbing system. In some cases, the backup will cause a complete shutdown of the plumbing system until the problem is resolved. You may find that your homeowner’s insurance will not cover all of the cost of your plumbing system is not functioning properly due to an overflowing septic or sewage tank. Before calling a plumber, find out the cause of the backup.

plumber

Sewage Backups in Drains

Many times sewage backups in drains can be the result of faulty pumping. When sewage backs up, it expands and if the pipes are not strong enough, it will burst. The most serious and noticeable sign of an overloaded septic tank is raw sewage backing up to the pipes of your home. You should immediately call a plumber and call off trying to clean up the backed-up water yourself when you first notice it.

Leaking Pipes

When your plumbing system begins to leak, it is a sign that your tank may be nearing collapse. A major problem with your septic system can cause a catastrophic overflow that will kill or damage any property within a large radius. Before calling a plumber, make sure that you have the basic tools and equipment for cleaning up the mess. You will need basic equipment such as a garden hose, a shop vac, a shop brush, a shop rake, a trash bag, and a shop vacuum.

Dumpster

Purchasing a dumpster is a very good idea if you own a house with a septic tank. It allows you to dispose of waste materials that are larger than the typical four-footer dumpster. This type of dumpster is more costly than typical ones but it saves you a lot of time and effort in disposing of large items. Calling a professional plumber is still cheaper and is the best way to ensure that your house is safe from septic company leaks. Dumpsters are usually sold through local plumbing shops.

Plumbing Disinfectant

When you get an infection in your body from dirt and other particles, it can cause a lot of discomfort. These particles enter the digestive system and remain there. They can also clog up your septic tanks and drain fields. If you know you are likely to be infected, calling a plumber to help you with cleaning out your septic tanks and cleaning your drain fields will save you a lot of trouble.

Back-Up Drip

A backup drain is similar to an overflowing toilet bowl. It occurs when the wastewater from washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, or showers backs up into the septic service pipes. If left undetected, this can lead to a clog. By calling a plumber when dealing with a backup drip, you can prevent the clog from happening before it causes even more damage to your drains and pipes.

Septic Service When you have a problem with your septic system, you need to call a septic company to clean your sewage tank. A good plumber can help you remove any clogs that may occur in your sewer lines as well as remove any tree roots that could be lurking in your pipe. Calling a professional septic system cleaning service to remove any potential problem will save you from future repairs.

Septic Tank Pumping Having a clogged septic tank can mean that your water pipes are no longer working properly. Pumping the tank can help to clear away any waste material that could become stuck in the pipes. When the plumbing system is not functioning properly, a plumber may recommend that the tank is simply pumped to ensure that all clogs are removed. When the tank is pumped, however, it is important to make sure that the septic tank pump is maintained in good condition to ensure that it can perform to its full capacity.