Althoff Home Services Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Residential Plumbing’

Tips for Preventing a Sewer Backup

Monday, April 22nd, 2024

Sewer backups can be a major problem. In addition to being inconvenient, they can also allow germs and bacteria into your home and create a mess that’s a lot to clean up. But sewer backups are preventable when you take the right steps in advance.

We’re highlighting some tips and tricks for preventing a sewer backup from ever happening in the first place. If you suspect a sewer backup, you need to schedule sewer cleaning in Crystal Lake, give our team a call. In the meantime, you can keep reading to learn our steps for protecting your home from a sewer backup.

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Does it Really Require a Plumber? Let’s Help You Find Out

Monday, February 12th, 2024

There are some minor plumbing problems that you can fix on your own. Other plumbing problems require expert help, but aren’t necessarily an emergency. Then there are times when plumbing problems are serious enough to require service ASAP. But how do you know when that is?

We are highlighting some of the ways that you know whether a plumbing problem is an emergency or not. When you need a plumber in Hinsdale, IL for an emergency, our team is ready to help. You can keep reading to learn more about common plumbing emergencies and how you can address the problems yourself until we can arrive at your home.

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What it’s Like to Work With Althoff

Monday, January 1st, 2024

We know that you have a lot of choices when it comes to HVAC and plumbing professionals in the area. But there are a few reasons that you might want to choose our team when you need ejector pump repair in Crystal Lake, IL. You can keep reading to learn more about the service difference that you experience with Althoff as we walk you through the steps we take during a service appointment.

No matter what your needs are, our team is here to help. Whether you want to give us a call for questions or need to schedule maintenance, repairs and even new installations. We can do it all, and when you partner with us, you’ll know that the job is done right the first time.

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Plumbing Inspection Checklist: Things to Look Out For

Monday, November 20th, 2023

As a homeowner, you should be completing your own inspections of HVAC systems, appliances yes, even your plumbing. You may not be an expert in any of these fields, but you can identify when something is unusual or out of place and then give us a call to check it out.

But what should you look out for when you inspect the plumbing around your home? We compiled a checklist to help you know where to look and what to look for when you complete your own plumbing inspection in Crystal Lake, IL. Remember: if you’re a White Glove Club member with us, an annual plumbing inspection is included with your membership.

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3 Home Plumbing Projects That Require a Professional

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

There are some times when you have plumbing problems in your home and you can make a DIY repair. But there are other times that plumbing problems really call for a professional. In fact, some plumbing problems are a big enough deal that we actually have to pull permits to complete the job.

If you need a plumber in Hinsdale, IL, you’re in the right place. Even if you don’t know what exactly is wrong with your plumbing system, you can give us a call and we can help you troubleshoot. You can also keep reading to learn more about the three common plumbing problems we see that require the help of a plumbing professional.

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How Video Pipe Inspection Speeds Up Plumbing Repair

Monday, July 17th, 2023

If you have plumbing problems that are deep in your system or hard to identify, a video pipe inspection may be just what you need. It’s a great way to take the guesswork out of plumbing repairs, especially when it comes to problems that are out of sight. 

If you think that you have a plumbing problem that would benefit from a video pipe inspection in Barrington, IL, give our team a call. You can keep reading to learn more about when we use video pipe inspections and how they help us with plumbing repairs. We are here to help with all of your plumbing needs and want to get the job done as efficiently and effectively as possible.

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What Happens When You Don’t Clean Your Sewer Pipes

Monday, May 8th, 2023

Your home has sewer pipes whether they connect to a septic tank in your yard for your local sewage system. You may not give these lines much thought, but it is very important to have them cleaned once in a while. If you don’t, you may be spending a lot of time and money on repairs in the future.

And that doesn’t even include the headache of cleanup that comes along with sewer pipes filled with gunk and grime. If you want to schedule a sewer cleaning in Algonquin, IL, our team is here to help. You can keep reading to learn more about why this service is so important for your home’s plumbing and your family’s well-being. 

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Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

A broken garbage disposal can be a major headache. It can completely disrupt your usual dishes routine and lead to clogs in your drain. Luckily, if you’re having issues with your garbage disposal, there are ways you can fix it.

Potential Issues With Your Garbage Disposal and How to Fix Them

There are several problems you could be having with your garbage disposal. Here are a few of the most common problems that occur with garbage disposals and what you can do to fix them.

Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On

One of the most common problems that homeowners face with their garbage disposal is that it won’t turn on when they flip the switch. The good news is that this is often a simple repair process.

If your garbage disposal won’t turn on, there could a problem with your power supply. If you think this is the case, locate the reset button on the bottom of the disposal and press it.

If that doesn’t work, check your circuit breaker to see if the switch that supplies power to the unit has been switched off. If neither of these options works, then you may need to get your plumbing repaired by a professional.

Humming Noise or Slow Drainage

If your garbage disposal is humming but is not grinding any food waste, or your sink is becoming flooded with water and debris, there may be a jam within your garbage disposal.

Due to the amount of food, waste, and debris that gets shoved into a garbage disposal, this problem is also fairly common. Luckily, this is another traditionally easy repair that often involves removing an object that has been wedged into the disposal.

First, turn the disposal all the way off so that you can safely inspect the blades. Yes, this means turning off the power to your disposal. You don’t want to risk losing any fingers!

Then, take a flashlight and take a look around the interior of the garbage disposal. Once you have identified the foreign object causing the jam, use a pair of pliers to remove the item.

Afterward, run water down the disposal to remove any excess debris that might still be caught. Then, run the garbage disposal.

Garbage Disposal Leaks

Over time, the vibration from the garbage disposal can loosen its connection, causing water to leak from your sink drain and into the base of the cabinet below. In most instances, the cause of the leak is due to the flange that attaches the disposal to the bottom of the unit.

To fix the leak, turn off the power to the garbage disposal and remove it from its mounting flange. Next, loosen the bolts and push the flange above the sink surface. Apply a new plumber bead between the flange and the sink.

Afterward, reattach the flange, bolts, and disposal and reconnect the power to ensure your disposal is working correctly. If the leak continues, you may need to call a plumber to have the garbage disposal replaced.

Contact Althoff Industries for Emergency Plumbing Services

Although the garbage disposal may seem like an uncomplicated piece of machinery, it often causes problems for homeowners. If you have tried everything mentioned above and are still having issues, it may be time to call a professional.

Severe plumbing problems shouldn’t wait, which is why it’s critical that you have an emergency plumbing service on call, no matter what time of day it is.

At Althoff Industries, we provide our Chicago, Illinois customers with around-the-clock emergency plumbing repair services. We make sure that you never have to worry about the plumbing in your home.

Whether you need routine maintenance, emergency repairs, or new plumbing installed in your home, we provide licensed and specialized plumbing services to our neighbors in Northwest Chicago.

Take a look at our emergency plumbing services!

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What Does a Gas Leak Smell Like? How to Recognize a Natural Gas Leak

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Natural gas is a relatively safe, effective, and convenient source of energy. However, if the natural gas line in your property is not correctly installed or maintained, a natural gas leak can become a health risk and a source of danger in your home. Additionally, gas leaks also have explosive potential thanks to the extremely flammable nature of the gas vapors.

Male hand turning switch knob on modern gas stove in kitchen showroom. Cooking appliance in domestic kitchen. Home improvement and House interior design concepts

Signs You Might Have a Gas Leak

Natural gas is used in households for different heating needs. When properly installed and maintained, natural gas is a reliable and stable utility. However, regular wear and tear or improper use of gas appliances can lead to a gas leak.

Gas leakage can occur in several locations. Some leaks are easy to find, but not all of them are as immediately apparent. Whether at home or a place of business, it is necessary to know the signs, symptoms and procedures associated with gas leakage. Here are some of the most common warning signs of a gas leak.

Rotten Egg Smell

The most common sign of a natural gas leak is the scent of rotten eggs. For safety reasons, a substance called mercaptan is added to natural gas lines by utility companies. Mercaptan is harmless, but it has an odor that compares to that of rotten eggs. If you smell the scent of rotten eggs in your home, then you might have a natural gas leak.

Bubbling in Standing Water

One of the quickest ways to determine whether or not you have a gas leak is to conduct a bubble test. If you see bubbles formed in any wet areas around your home, you may have an underground gas leak.

Hissing Sound

A hissing sound that escapes from nearby gas lines is one of the first indications of a significant gas leak. If you hear the sound of air leaking out of a nearby pipe, you should call a gas company or another professional and leave the area immediately.

Dead Plants

If there is a leak in the gas line of your home, dead or dying plants can warn you of the problem. When a natural gas leak occurs, it displaces the oxygen required for the plants to survive. If you find dead plants in your home or yard, you might have a natural gas leak.

Why It’s Important to Fix a Gas Leak

A skilled plumber can easily find the source of a natural gas leak and fix it safely. However, uncontrolled gas leaks can pose a risk to nearby individuals. In addition to physical conditions, natural gas is flammable, so it is advised that you stop using electrical appliances or lights immediately.

While natural gas is non-toxic, prolonged exposure to its products can cause a noticeable decline in health. As natural gas keeps leaking into your home, it can impair your sense of smell and cause breathing problems, headaches and nausea.

What to Do if You Find a Gas Leak

If you think you suspect a gas leak has occurred in your home, make sure to open all your windows, turn off the pilot light or water heater, and leave the house as quickly as possible. Next, once signs of a natural gas leak have been found and you are safely away from your home, you will want to call your local gas company or contact local emergency plumbing services.

Wait until you and your loved ones have completely evacuated your home before making any emergency calls. Electronic devices produce static electricity that can potentially ignite the extremely flammable natural gas that has leaked into the air.

Contact Althoff Industries to Fix Your Gas Leak!

If you smell gas or have another reason to suspect that you may have a gas leak in your home, make sure that you call Althoff Industries. Our team of highly-experienced professionals want to make sure that your home is a safe and comfortable place for you and your loved ones to live.

We offer expert, licensed plumbing services in the northwest Chicago area and can assist with any gas leak issues your home may have. In addition, we offer 24-hour emergency services and can be reached at our emergency hotline (815) 455-7000.

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Plumbing Issues That Seem Small But Cause Big Headaches

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

When it comes to any sort of problem in the home, you want to make sure that you pick up on it at the earliest opportunity. After all, the sooner you notice an issue, the quicker it can be fixed. This can make it a lot more convenient and cost-effective too.

However, the trouble is that we often do not realize that we have a big problem until it is too late. Because of this, we are going to take a look at some of the most common plumbing issues that may seem small but can cause a big headache.

plumber fixing sink pipe

Bubbling Wall Paint or Ceiling Paint

The first indicator that you have a plumbing issue is bubbling wall or ceiling paint. If this is an issue that you have noticed, it is an indicator that you have an excess amount of moisture. The most common cause of this plumbing problem is a leak in the plumbing system or the roof.

If you notice that you have any blistering or bubbling in your paint, or there are brown spots appearing on your wall or ceiling, it can be easy to simply ignore these. However, you should not do that. Now is the time for you to explore the problem further to make sure that you do not end up with a plumbing nightmare on your hands. A reputable plumber like Althoff Industries will be able to investigate the issue for you to ensure it is rectified quickly.

Spiking Water Bills

Have you noticed that your water bills are a lot higher than usual? If this is the case, it could be that there is some sort of problem. After all, if your water use has not increased significantly, then there must be another issue. High water bills indicate that something has changed within your plumbing system.

A running toilet is one of the most common reasons why people have spikes in their water system. A lot of homeowners do not appreciate the quantity of water used by their toilets. A toilet valve is pretty much a garden hose going at full blast. Therefore, it is not unusual for hundreds of dollars to be wasted as a consequence of a single running toilet.

Other common issues that could cause a spike in your water bill include clogged drains, dripping faucets, or a problem with your water supply. If you notice any of these issues, then make sure to call a plumber straight away.

Weak Water Flow In a Number of Locations

Low water pressure or a slow stream of water indicates that there is a problem with your water supply. If this is something that is only happening in one place in your home, the problem will typically be in the faucet aerator. Luckily, this is a pretty easy fix. However, if you have low water pressure in numerous spots around your property, this is an indication of a bigger issue.

If this is the case, the issue is probably going to be at the water main. It could also be an active leak in the supply line, which is the worst-case scenario, or a problem with the hot water heater. If you see that you have low water pressure and a number of other symptoms have presented themselves too, you really do need to call a professional plumber at the earliest opportunity.

Sewer Odor

A general rule in the world of plumbing is that all drains require a trap and all traps need to have a vent. All of these drains and traps have been designed so that sewer gas does not get inside of your home. The vents within your property should ensure that sewer odor is channeled up to the roof, while a ‘water plug’ is created by the drain traps and this acts as a barrier, preventing sewer odors from coming through your sink drain.

So, if you can smell sewer gas in your property, this means that either the vent line has cracked or the trap has run dry. You can fix a dry trap very easily. All you need to do is refill it with water. It is worth doing a quick assessment to make sure that there are not any signs of a leak. It can be much more difficult to track down a cracked sewer vent, though.

This is because they are enclosed into the wall, which demands a bit of drywall surgery. Your plumber will be able to provide you with more information on this if required.

Discolored Pipes

On a final note, discolored pipes can be an indicator of a bigger problem. Yes, they are unsightly, but a lot of people simply put up with this, especially as most pipes are located out of eyesight. So, if there are any signs of discoloration on your pipes, whether under your kitchen sink or in your basement, it is worth exploring this further because it indicates that moisture is present.

This may have happened as a consequence of dripping from a drain line or sink. In some cases, it can be a more severe incident, for example, a slow leak within the supply line. If it turns out that it is the latter, this is something that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

To conclude, there are a lot of different plumbing issues that can seem small on the surface but can result in big problems if you are not careful. If you notice any of the signs that have been discussed above, the best thing to do is get in touch with a professional plumber like Althoff Industries as soon as you can.

Whether it is a small issue like a malfunctioning garbage disposal or a slow drain, or a larger problem with your water supply, we will be able to assess the issue for you and ensure that it is rectified quickly and effectively so that you can have complete peace of mind.

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