Monthly Archives: February 2015

Slow Draining Bathtub

How to Repair a Slow-Draining Bathtub

You might be able to repair a slow-draining bathtub on your own if you follow these handy suggestions. Soap scum and hair can build up over time, causing water to drain slowly and leave a film behind. Get your bathtub pipes back in working order with these tips.Slow Draining Bathtub

Remove Drain Cover

Remove the drain cover and clear out the hair. Dig even deeper — you might find clumps of debris lodged in the metal crooks. Don a pair of rubber gloves and clear out the drain space underneath.

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

These two common household items combine to form an acid-based reaction. While some resources suggest combining the baking soda and vinegar before pouring them down the drain, this is not the best option. Instead, pour one cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for five minutes. Then pour in one cup of vinegar. The chemical reaction taking place in the stopped-up drain will substitute for the much-needed deep scrubbing where you can’t reach. Let hot water run and clear the pipes afterward.

Purchase a Drain Snake

Drain snakes are available for purchase at home-improvement stores. They are long, flexible tools that can be inserted into your bathtub drain. Push the drain snake in as far as it can go and turn it clockwise until it hits the blockage. Reinserting, pushing and turning on the blockage can eventually cause it to loosen. Follow the process by pouring hot water into the pipes to flush out the debris.

Grab a Plunger or Use a Shop Vacuum

Fill the bathtub with enough hot water to cover the drain and begin plunging repeatedly. If a plunger’s air pressure won’t dislodge the clog, you could attempt suctioning out the blockage with a wet/dry shop vacuum. Purchase a suctioning attachment for your shop vacuum, or cover the vacuum’s hose mouth with a washcloth, tightening the towel around the hose with a rubber band. In addition to clearing out blockages in your bathtub, this method is also ideal if a valuable piece of jewelry goes down the drain.

Tips to Keep Your Bathtub Drain Working Properly

Make sure you do not pour chemicals down any drain in your home, including the bathtub. Grease, paint and wax-based substances should all be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way, not by way of your plumbing system.

Hot water is an acceptable drain-cleaning agent, but do not pour boiling water down a drain if the pipes are made of PVC. These plumbing systems are connected with rubber seals which can melt if exposed to boiling water. If you encounter a drain blockage that exceeds your repair ability, contact a professional plumber for repairs.

If none of these solutions succeeds at repairing your slow-draining bathtub, contact Captain Plumbing for assistance.

Flooded Basement

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

Homeowners want to prevent basement flooding and avoid the expensive and time-consuming cleanup process that goes along with it. Whether your basement is fully finished or a cement Flooded Basementstorage space, it could still cost you thousands of dollars to dry out and restore your lower level, not including the cost of replacing destroyed belongings. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, floods are the No. 1 natural disaster in the United States, and average flood claims from 2008-2012 were upwards of $40,000 each. How can you prevent basement flooding and protect your home and your finances?

Assess Your Flood Risk

You must first assess your flood risk. Using, you can enter your address and see the risk of flooding in your region. Living near the coast, a body of water, or in a 100-year floodplain will up your chances of experiencing a flood. Other weather-related flooding causes include prolonged periods of rain or dramatic snow melts. Knowing your likelihood of flooding will dictate the seriousness of your preparatory measures, helping you determine what alterations you should make to your property and what type of insurance to purchase.

Make Landscape Changes

If your house is built on a slope causing water to drain from your yard and pool around your home’s foundation, it might be time to invest in underground drainage systems to direct water away. Hiring a professional for lot drainage may be worth the investment. If your home’s foundation is surrounded for years by soil with a high moisture content, it could result in a cracked foundation, or the entire home could shift.

Examine Your Foundation

In an unfinished basement, check each wall for cracks and signs of moisture. To seal the foundation crack against water entry, power wash the crack, removing all dirt and crumbling debris. Once clean, allow the area to dry completely. Use an epoxy product to fill the crack. If you spot future cracks or the sealed crack reopens, that is a sign of foundation movement, which should be addressed by a professional.

Maintain Exterior Drainage Systems

Your gutters and downspouts are not for decoration. Exterior drainage is one of the most important systems in your home, safeguarding the home’s interior against a formidable enemy: water. Have your gutters cleaned regularly. To check the function of your downspouts, go outside during a rainstorm and make sure all water is flowing away from the foundation. Each downspout should extend six feet away from the home. You can purchase pipe extensions if needed to assist proper water flow.

Invest in a Sump Pump

The average cost to install a sump pump runs about $1,200, according to Sump pumps automatically gather and drain groundwater before it has the chance to penetrate your basement. While these machines are highly effective at preventing floods, they require power. If you live an area with frequent flooding and power outages, you might want to purchase a generator as well to ensure the sump pump functions.

Service Your Sewer System

A sewer system backup is a common cause of flooded basements. Sewer blockages happen for many reasons: a large object was flushed into the system, a tree root grew into a pipe, grease buildup ruined proper water flow, and more. Make sure your sewer system is regularly inspected by a professional so blockages are spotted and cleared before causing flooding throughout your home.

Now you’re aware of the steps you must take to prevent basement flooding and keep your property dry, even when a severe flood watch is on the horizon. Contact the water removal professionals at Captain Plumbing if you need assistance restoring your flooded basement and preventing future mishaps.