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    Identifying the Signs of a Home Drainage Problem

    Last updated 1 year ago

    A home drainage problem results in water pooling in or around your home, damaging its structure and façade. Identifying the early signs of a home drainage issue will help you to prevent these problems before they occur. If you aren’t sure how to solve your problem or whether drainage is really the issue, call a plumber for assistance.

    Overflowing Gutters and Drainpipes

    Your home’s gutters and drainpipes are designed to move water away from your home to keep it from seeping into your foundation. Overflowing gutters and drainpipes that deposit water too close to your home damage your foundation, roof, and siding. Gutters that overflow from the sides and puddles around the base of your home after a rainstorm are a sure sign of a drainage problem. Dark streaks on the outside of your gutters or under your eaves and paint peeling in vertical streaks from your home also indicate the need to address your gutters and drainpipes.

    Basement Damage

    Water can enter your basement during a rainstorm or when local water levels rise if you are in an area with a fluctuating water table. Damage to your basement walls, including water stains, black marks, and peeling or flaking paint indicates that the walls have encountered flowing water. Adding a sump pump or drainage trench around your home will prevent further damage to your basement and future damage to your foundation.

    Changing Landscaping

    If the area around your home is experiencing poor drainage, you may notice changes in your landscaping. Mulch, stone, and other landscaping material can move outward over time as it is carried away from your home by runoff. Flowing water may form troughs, gulleys, or piles as it carries landscaping material onto pathways and into your yard when it rains.

    Do you need help with home drainage or any other plumbing issue? O’Neill Plumbing has been proudly serving the Seattle area since 1917 with quality plumbing services. Call us at (206) 973-3582 or click on our website to learn more about repiping, sewer cleaning, and water heater replacement.

    Foods to Leave Out of Your Garbage Disposal

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Garbage disposals make kitchen cleanup much simpler, and when used correctly they can safely shred food scraps and keep them from rotting and causing unpleasant odors in your kitchen. However, these appliances are not capable of disposing of every single type of food waste that you create in your kitchen.

    Certain foods can clog your garbage disposal, potentially causing messy drain backups. Do not attempt to shred fibrous vegetable scraps such as celery stalks, carrot and potato peelings, or asparagus stems. Never put rice or pasta in the disposal, as these starchy foods can become lodged in the drain, where they will absorb water and expand. You should also keep fat, grease, and used cooking oil out of the disposal because they can coat the inside of your pipes and cause clogs.

    If your garbage disposal becomes jammed or your drain backs up, you can call O’Neill Plumbing at (206) 973-3582. We provide Seattle homeowners and property owners with complete plumbing service, 24 hours a day.

    The Most Common Causes of Clogged Drains

    Last updated 1 year ago

    If your drains are backed up, wastewater can clog your sinks, tubs, and toilets, and even cause sewage overflow in your basement or crawlspace. Many homes in Seattle have old pipes that already have a layer of grease or scum built up inside, or narrow diameter pipes and sewer lines that cannot handle a large volume of water. No matter how old your pipes are, you can do your part to keep your drains clear by familiarizing yourself with these common clog culprits:

    Liquid Grease

    A common cause of drain clogs is liquid grease or fat. Many home cooks wrongly assume that because the oil they used to fry their food and the grease they skimmed off their soup is a liquid, it’s safe to put down the drain. But at room temperature, these fats congeal and become solid, and they will do so in your drains and cause clogs.

    Food Scraps

    Often, homeowners will diligently scrape and wash their plates before putting them in the dishwasher. While this is good practice, you should take care to make sure to place all solid chunks of food waste in the trash or compost pile, instead of rinsing them down the sink. Though they may pass the first set of pipes, they can become stuck further down the drain and eventually cause clogs.

    Loose Hairs

    Everyone sheds a few hairs when they shampoo, and a few hairs can easily wash down the shower drain. Problems arise, however, when months or years worth of hair along with soap scum coat the inside of your bathroom drainpipes. You may notice that the shower sprays water faster than it can drain, causing an inch or more of water to build up in the tub. Simply buy an inexpensive hair trap for your shower drain to avoid this problem.

    Call O’Neill Plumbing at (206) 973-3582 if your sinks or tub are draining slowly. You can avoid a more costly drain repair down the road by addressing the problem early. We are available 24 hours a day to attend to all your plumbing needs.

    Summer Rains Can Lead to Sewage Backup

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Seattle and the surrounding areas receive many inches of rainfall each month. On days with heavy rains, take care to check your basement for signs of flooding. Excessive amounts of rain can fill your home’s sewer pipes and the city storm sewers faster than they can drain, causing sewage to back up.

    Watch this video to learn how sewage backups are causing pollution in Spokane. You will see that proper sewer drainage is not simply a problem that affects individual homeowners—it is a public health concern.

    If you experience flash flooding in your home’s basement, or if you suspect that your sewer line may need to be repaired, call O’Neill Plumbing today at (206) 973-3582. For nearly a century, our plumbers have provided Seattle homeowners with professional service.

    A Look at Summer Plumbing Care

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Most Seattle homeowners know that winter freezes can affect their home’s pipes. However, you should take care to maintain your plumbing in the summertime as well, because seasonal changes in your water use habits can cause problems now or down the road. The tips below will help you preserve your pipes and conserve water during the warmer months.

    Properly Dispose of Your Barbeque Scraps

    Delicious foods such as corn on the cob and fatty barbequed meats are staples of summer cookouts. Be careful to dispose of all food waste correctly in order to avoid a clogged drain. Your garbage disposal is not designed to shred fibrous corn husks, and don’t empty the drip pan from your grill into your sink, as the grease will coat your plumbing and eventually cause a blockage.

    Inspect Your Washing Machine Hoses

    In the summer, many people hike, garden, and spend more time outdoors in general. With increased outdoor activity, clothes get dirtier and many people tend to wash more loads of laundry in the summertime. Unfortunately, that extra dirt from the trails or from your yard can clog your washing machine drain and cause a flood, so be sure to inspect the hoses for any kinks or leaks.

    Keep an Eye on Your Sewer Line

    Summer rainwater can often overwhelm city storm drains, and excess water in the soil around the pipes can feed destructive tree roots that have already infiltrated your sewer. Check your basement or crawlspace for unusually damp spots—water problems in the basement are often signs of sewer line problems. Call a plumber to have your pipes inspected if you suspect that your home has any sewer damage at all.

    O’Neill Plumbing is available 24 hours a day to attend to any plumbing emergency you may have, big or small. We have served our neighbors in Seattle for almost a century since our founding in 1917. To schedule a drain cleaning, sewer inspection, or other plumbing service, call us today at (206) 973-3582.

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