How to Install a Perforated Drain Pipe

A perforated drain pipe is an effective solution when it comes to issues such as standing water or excessive ground water near the foundation of a building. The usual function of drainage pipes is to ensure rainwater from gutters are kept as far away from a house or they can be used to drain wet areas from low spots in the yard.

A perforated pipe can also be used as a drain tile when it’s placed near the base of the foundation of a home. If this is the case, then a sump pump is usually attached to the drainage pipe. To ensure optimal drainage, a perforated drainage pipe needs to have a proper slope. In short, it needs to be installed correctly for it to work according to its design.

To help you out, this article will guide you on installing a perforated drain pipe.

What You’ll Need

You will need all the right tools and equipment to perform this installation successfully. That said, here’s a list of things you will need:

  • shovel
  • tape measure
  • small sledgehammer
  • stakes
  • string
  • line level
  • tamper
  • landscape fabric
  • garden rake
  • perforated drainage pipe

Installing a Perforated Drain Pipe

1. Dig a trench that is about twice the width of the drainage pipe. In addition, make sure that you dig at least two-feet deep. If you find any roots, cut them out so you can place the pipe in a straight manner, or if not, in an angle that is slightly curved.

2. Install stakes every four feet along the trench you’ve dug using a small sledgehammer.

3. Find the location where the water will enter the perforated drain pipe. Once you do, tie a string to the stake found at that location.

4. Tie a string on the stake next to the stake where the water will enter. Level the string between the two stakes using a line level. Create a minimum slope of 1/8 inch per foot of linear run by moving the string down the second stake around ½ inch or more. Keep doing this for every stake in the trench.

5. Use a tape measure to find the distance from the string to the bottom of the trench. Add or remove soil as needed starting from the beginning of the trench so that a consistent distance is maintained.

6. Compact the soil between the stakes using a tamper. After replacing soil and compacting with the tamper, check the distance from the bottom of the trench to the string. Make adjustments to maintain the correct distance.

7. Take out all the string and remove the stakes.

8. Put landscaping fabric in the trench so that soil won’t enter the gravel around the pipe. Make sure you extend the fabric on both sides out onto the ground surface; the excess fabric will be used to cover the gravel infill of the trench.

9. Add two inches of gravel to the base of the trench. Use a garden rake to smooth it out. Also, make sure to maintain the slope of the bottom of the trench.

10. Put the perforated pipe in the trench and make sure the holes are facing down.

11. Add gravel to the trench to fill it up about four to six inches from the soil line.

12. Use the edges of the landscape fabric to cover the top of the gravel.

13. Add soil and sod to the top of the landscape fabric.

How to Connect Copper Pipe to Pex

One of the most common pipe materials used in plumbing systems is copper. It can be connected with soldering or sweating the tube with fittings. Today, there is another popular plumbing pipe being used by homeowners, DIY home improvement enthusiasts and contractors. This is known a PEX or used in cross-linked polyethylene.

PEX was widely used during the 1980s for flooring applications but after so many years, it is now preferred for plumbing repairs. Apart from easy installation, it is also flexible and cheaper than copper tubing. However, connecting the two is already common nowadays when it comes to plumbing concerns.

This DIY project is simple and easy to do. With the proper tools and materials, added by ample handyman skills, this can turn out to be successful plumbing job.

Here is a step-by-step guide to connect copper pipe to PEX using a push-fit connection.

Step 1: Prepare the PEX

The PEX needs to have what is known as a support sleeve. The purpose of this is to prevent the PEX from breaking the seal.

Step 2: Remove the O-rings

It is important to note that copper needs to be fitted with O-rings to accommodate the PEX pipe fitting. To prepare the copper, the first step is to remove the O-ring of the copper pipe you will need to work on. Simply remove them by squeezing and pulling them apart. Using screwdrivers or pliers is not re commended because doing so can bend the copper and damage it.

Step 3: Prepare the Copper

It is important to clean the end of the copper tubing with emery cloth and apply soldering paste flux and apply heat. Next, you can now sweat the copper.

Step 4: Insert the PEX

After the copper is clean and ready, you can now re-attach the O-rings with the PEX pipe fitting and connect the other end to the copper tubing. Ensure that the end of the PEX has a straight cut, if not, it is best to cut a part of it again to straighten the cut. Also, the tube should be free from grease and dirt. Scratches are also to be avoided because this can lead to leaks in the future. When you connect the two, push the copper tube directly to rest on the O-ring as well as the PEX. Ensure that you push both firmly for a tight seal.

Connecting PEX and Copper Pipes Using SharkBite

There is a faster and easier way to connect PEX and copper. This is possible by using connections known as Shakbite. Aside from the time saved, it is safer and cleaner to do since it does not need sweating nor using tools.

SharkBites can be used in copper, PEX and CPVC.

Step 1: Cut the copper tube evenly, making sure the ends are square. Use a cutting tool to ensure a straight cut. Do the same with the PEX piping.

Step 2: Remove the burrs at the end of the copper to remove sharp ends that can hamper water flow and using a depth gauge tool, mark the copper and the PEX on the correct depth.

Step 3: Simple insert the copper tubing on one end of the O-ring and the PEX on the other.

How to Install Corrugated Drain Pipe

Whether you’re a professional builder about to undertake his first project or a homeowner who’s interested in learning more about home maintenance, you’ll want to know about corrugated drain pipes and how to install them. Fortunately, you don’t have to look far since this guide is made just for you! Read on to get more info about this type of drain pipe.

What’s a Corrugated Drain Pipe?

A corrugated drain pipe is usually made of flexible plastic, but you can also find corrugated steel pipes in the market. As its name suggests, the pipe has ridges or corrugations along the length of its body. It’s available in two types: solid and perforated.

Corrugated drain pipes are available in a wide range of inside diameters (from as small as four inches to as large as 18 inches), so you can easily choose an option that best suits your needs. Many hardware stores offer different lengths of corrugated drain pipes, so they can cater to you whether you’re looking for just 10 feet of pipes or need 100 feet of it.

What Is It Used For?

Solid corrugated drain pipes are used in connecting sections of wastewater systems. Perforated drain pipes, on the other hand, have small holes on one side of their body that, depending on how they’re used, allow water to leak in or leak out of the pipe.

Perforated pipes are commonly used to keep groundwater and surface water away from the foundation of the home, preventing basement flooding and protecting the house from water damage. They’re also used by homeowners who want to drain rainwater from their loans and by farmers who need to drain waterlogged fields and save their crops. Perforated corrugated drain pipes are also highly useful in septic tank drain fields. Septic tank builders design a system in which clarified sewage flows through the pipe, which then leaks the fluid from its perforations and spreads it around the drain field.

How Do I Install It?

The answer to this question depends on how you want to use corrugated drain pipes. If you’d like to use perforated pipes in a French drain (a trench that redirects ground or surface water away from a home), you must choose between installing the pipe under the basement floor or burying it under the ground around the external side of the foundation. The former prevents water from entering the basement, while the latter catches water as it enters the basement and drains it to a sump pump.

Each option has its own pros and cons, so do your research and find out which one best fits your needs. An external French drain can function for around a decade without any maintenance, but it’s also highly prone to clogging since it’s surrounded by sand, silt, and soil that can enter the holes. If it clogs, you’ll need to do an excavation on the site, which can damage any structure (like a deck, a patio, or a pathway) that may be on top of it. An interior French drain isn’t prone to clogging because it’s not exposed to dirt and debris, but it requires a sump pump. Sump pumps themselves aren’t a problem but, if they’re made of weak materials like plastic, they can easily break down and facilitate basement flooding. If the contractor forgets to install a battery backup, the sump pump will stop working during a blackout and expose the basement to flooding. Once you’ve made your choice, you can take any of these steps.

For External French Drains

1. Decide where you want to place the drain pipe. As much as possible, choose an area that has a downward slope so it’s easier for the water to flow away from the house’s foundations.

2. Once you’ve chosen the area, start digging the trench. Ideally, it should be six inches wide and around 24 inches deep.

3. Get a piece of wood (a 4×4 post will do) and use it to pound the ground in the trench you’ve dug. Doing this makes the soil compact and reduces the chance of having dirt enter your corrugated pipes.

4. Shovel gravel into the trench, ensuring that it forms a two-inch layer.

5. Measure the length of the trench and cut your corrugated drain pipe to that length.

6. Lay the pipe on the trench, ensuring that its holes are facing downward.

7. Decide if you want to drain the groundwater/surface water using gravity alone or with the help of a sump pump. If you opt for the latter, buy a sump pump and connect your drain pipe to it.

8. Shovel in more gravel until there’s only around an inch between the surface of the ground and the gravel layer.

9. Decide if you’d cover the trench with soil or not. Leaving it as is it is a better option since it reduces the chances of clogging; you won’t even have to worry about aesthetics since the gravel in the trench will give your garden a rustic-inspired look. But, if you want to hide the trench, you can always do so by covering it with sod. Before doing so, though, make sure to lay a filter fabric on top of the gravel. This will provide additional protection from sand, silt, and dirt that may enter the pipe’s perforations and cause it to clog.

For Interior French Drains

1. Using a jackhammer, cut through your basement’s concrete floor around its perimeter. Make sure you reach the footing.

2. Remove the concrete.

3. Shovel gravel in the trench until it forms an inch-thick layer.

4. Lay the corrugated drain pipe on top of the gravel.

5. Connect the pipe to a collection pit that will hold the water. The pit, in turn, should be connected to a sump pump that will remove the water away from the basement.

6. Pour concrete over the trench, but make sure to leave a two-inch gap around the edges to ensure that the water from the basement walls will trickle to the trench and into the drain pipe.

Final Note

Home DIYers can use corrugated drain pipes in French drains on their own. But, before doing so, they must get the advice of a building inspector, who can guide them and ensure their project won’t violate the local building codes. They must also hire a professional electrician who will set up the sump pump. Of course, if they don’t have the time to do this project, or if they’re not confident with their skills, it’s definitely better to get the help of experienced contractors.

How to Quiet Noisy Water Pipes

Pipes that shake and rattle can be highly inconvenient. Aside from being irritating to your ears, they can also damage your plumbing system and lead to expensive repairs and replacements later on. So, if you notice that your pipes have become incredibly noisy, make sure to fix them right away. You can start by taking these steps:

Find Out Where They’re Located

The noisy pipe can be anywhere in your house. So, if you don’t have an idea where it’s located, take the time to investigate. For example, if you notice that your pipes become noisy when you open a faucet, ask someone else to open the faucet while you try to find the source of the sound. Knowing the exact location helps you identify exactly what the problem is and take the right steps to solve it.

Check The Condition Of The Pipe

Once you’ve located the pipe, take a close look at it and see if it’s in good shape or not. One of the first things you should check is the pipe anchors. In many cases, pipes become noisy because their anchors have become loose or even broken. This causes the pipes to bang against the walls or even against the anchors themselves. If this is the case, you’ll need to tighten the pipe anchors or replace them with new ones if they’re beyond repair.

If the anchors aren’t broken but the pipe still bangs against the wall, consider adding more anchors to stabilize the pipes. Experts recommend installing a clamp every six to eight feet for horizontal pipes and every eight to ten feet for vertical pipes. Remember this, though: if you have copper pipes, don’t use galvanized anchors. Galvanic corrosion can occur when two different metals (like copper and steel) touch each other in an environment with an electrolyte (like water). This, in turn, can cause one of the metals (usually copper) to have an accelerated rate of corrosion, which can lead to plumbing leaks in the future.

Another thing you can do is to cushion your pipes with pipe insulating foam. This reduces the sound they make if they rattle or bang against the walls. But don’t wrap the foam tightly around the pipe; instead, leave a small space to allow the pipe to expand (particularly if it’s a PVC pipe).

Check The Water Pressure

Sometimes, pipes make noises because the pressure of the water inside them is too high. This can be dangerous: elevated water pressure levels don’t only cause irritating noises, but they can also damage your plumbing fixtures as well as dishwashers, washing machines, and other appliances that are supplied by water. Fixing this damage can be costly, especially since some appliance companies void warranties when the device is destroyed because of high water pressure, leaving you to pay for the repair or replacement out of your own pocket.

To know if your water pressure is at the recommended level, you can buy a water pressure gauge from your local hardware store. Attach it to a spigot (aka a hose bib) and see the reading. If it goes beyond 80 psi (which is the maximum water pressure for residential areas), get in touch with your plumber and ask him to install a water pressure regulator in your main water supply pipe. This device will regulate the flow of water that comes into your plumbing system and ensures it stays below 80 psi.

Water pressure regulators can be on the expensive side (with a price range of around several hundred dollars), but the cost is worth it since you’ll get to avoid plumbing problems in the future. A word of warning, though: never attempt to install a regulator by yourself if you don’t have lots of skills, knowledge, and experience in plumbing. If you’re not sure how to go about it, get the help of your plumber.

Remove Water Hammers

A water hammer is the phenomenon that happens when water abruptly comes to a stop when you close a faucet or a shut-off valve. When it occurs, you’ll usually hear a loud, hammering sound (hence its name) that can be heard throughout your house. But water hammers don’t just produce irritating sounds; if left unattended, they can loosen or even damage your plumbing fittings!

The thing about water hammers is that they’re usually not a problem if the air chambers in your plumbing system work properly. Air chambers are vertical pipes that are filled with air and designed to absorb the impact of the water slamming against the pipes. They can be found in your wall cavities, usually near the areas where the main water supply pipe exits the wall and connects to faucets and valves. If these chambers get filled with water, they can no longer absorb pressure from the pipes and can pave the way to water hammers.

If you suspect that your air chambers are no longer working properly, don’t worry since you can fix the problem by taking these steps:

1. Shut off your main water valve.

2. Identify the faucet that’s located in the highest position (like the third-floor bathroom in a three-story house) from the main valve and open it. If you live in a single-story house, turn on the faucet that’s farthest away from the valve.

3. From the highest (or farthest) faucet, turn off the other faucets in your house until you reach the lowest (or nearest) faucet, which is usually located in the basement. Doing this allows water to drain out of your system and be replaced by air, which automatically replenishes the air chambers.

4. Do the same with your toilets. Flush them from the highest (or farthest) toilet to the lowest (or nearest) toilet.

5. Once your piping is completely drained of water, turn off the lowest (or nearest) faucet. Slowly turn on the main water supply. Water will be reintroduced to your pipes, but the air chambers will retain air.

Call Your Plumber

If you’ve done everything you could but your pipes are still noisy, it’s time to get the help of the pros. They know what to do to fix any issues in your plumbing system and make your pipes quiet again.

How to Install Downspout Drain Pipes

Downspouts play a very important role a well-functioning gutter system. Conversely, downspout drain pipes channel water in the gutter to the downspout ditch or drain, commonly called the French drain. Here, we will discuss about installing downspout drain pipes.

Downspout Drain Pipe Types

There are two types of downspout drain pipes, the thin-walled plastic pipe and the black corrugated pipe. However, these two are not recommended by most plumbers. Instead, their advice is for homeowners to use PVC pipes, the type of piping used in indoor plumbing.

Procedure:

Step 1: Dig a Trench.
If this will be a new drain line installation, it is important to start with the French drain. This is a trench that needs to be dug at a minimum of 8 feet away from the foundation of your house and should have a perforated pipe and surrounded by gravel or sand to channel water flow away from your home. Moreover, it is important to have a filter fabric containing rocks of different sizes, from ½” to 12”, on the trench, the larger rocks placed at the bottom.

Step 2: Excavate Soil For The Pipe.
Since the downspout needs to be buried under the ground, you also need to excavate the soil to give room to the pipe. The grading of the soil as well as the slope is also important and should be noted.

Step 3: Install The Downspout Drain Pipe.
Downspout pipes can have a size of either 2” x 3” or 3” x 4” inches to ensure the smooth flow of water from the gutter down to the drain. A sewer pipe with plastic material can also be used since it is similar to the thick-walled piping used for interior vent or drain piping. This can either be welded or be joined using rubber fittings with gasket.

Connect the pipe from the gutter, usually at one end of the roof, near the foundation of the house and let it go down to the ground and towards the downspout drain. Depending on how long you want to extend the downspout, the angle on which the pipe is placed on the ground down to the French drain should be carefully observed.

From the ground going to the drain, the pipe will be buried underground. As the pipe goes farther towards the drain, it should be buried deeper as well. The ideal drop should be at least 1/8 inch for every foot that the pipe extends.

Note: As for the reason behind keeping the pipe at a certain distance from the foundation, it is because the dirt and soil erodes as time passes by and can easily damage the pipe. To ensure this does not happen, the pipe can pass over the foundation fill at an angle of 90 degrees. It is also important that this is checked to ensure the pipe is draining properly.

Step 4: Cover The Pipe.
Once the downspout is already in place, you can now cover the downspout drain pipe with soil.

Tip: When installing bends for underground piping, it is important to remember to apply a 45 degree angle or smaller fittings to make it easier to fix or troubleshoot if blockage or clogging happens.

How to Fix a Leaky Copper Pipe

A copper pipe will corrode or leak and will even burst from freezing. When this happens, you have to act quickly. The amount of work you will do depends on the size of the leak. For example, a pinhole-sized leak requires less than ½ inches of pipe to be removed. To repair this kind of damage, you will have to cut the pipe then solder (also called “sweating”) an ordinary pipe coupling.

However, when you need to repair longer sections, you have to purchase a “sweat” coupling which can be found in many home centers or well-stocked hardware stores. There is even sweat coupling available for leaks that are 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch wide.

When fixing the pipe, you need to mark the leak first, as well as shut the main water valve and drain the pipe that is affected. Remove the damaged section then measure the gap. Cut a repair piece from the sweat coupling that is an inch longer than the damaged section.

A good solder is achieved by keeping the insides of the pipe dry. You can ensure this happens by stuffing a cotton rag in each pipe. This way, the rag can absorb the dribbles of water until you are ready to solder. You can also prevent the pressure from building up and running more water into the area you’re repairing by opening a faucet above that level.

Before we proceed with a step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaky copper pipe, here are some tools and materials you need:

  • tube cutter
  • sweat coupling
  • solder
  • emery cloth
  • flux and brush

A Guide on Fixing a Leaky Copper Pipe

Step 1: Remove The Pipe That Is Damaged
As mentioned earlier, you have to shut off the main water supply valve before you cut a pipe. After shutting the supply down, you have to drain the damaged water line before proceeding.

With a pipe cutter, remove the part of the pipe that is damaged. Make sure to extend about one inch to each side of the leak. To do this properly, follow the steps below:

  • Grip the pipe firmly in the jaws of the cutter then tighten the cutter’s screw.
  • As you tighten the screw handle, rotate the cutter until the pipe snaps.

Step 2: Clean Corrosion
Using a wire fitting brush, clean corrosion inside the repair sleeve. Don’t neglect the outside as well: clean it by using plumber’s sandcloth or emery paper. After you’ve done all that, brush flux on all cleaned surfaces.

Step 3: Slide a Repair Sleeve
Slide the end of the sleeve over one pipe before slipping it onto the other. Take note that you might have to loosed pipe hangers nearby. Center the sleeve over the ends of both pipes and make sure that there is about ½ inch of each pipe inside the sleeve.

Step 4: Start Soldering
Make sure the torch flame is on one side of the joint while you hold the tip of a solder wire on the opposite side. Pull the solder away when a sufficient amount has melted that is enough to cover the joint.

How to Insulate Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are found in almost all structures supplied with water. Copper is a preferred metal because it has elements that are ideal for pipe work: it is abundant, it is easy to work with and it is resistant to corrosion. That said, copper is also a heat conductor. What this means is that cold air can cool down the water in the pipes so quick and hot water warms the air around it. In order to keep hot water hot and prevent cold water from freezing, insulation needs to be installed over the pipes.

The US Department of Energy has also said that insulated hot water pipes increases water temperature by four degrees. As such, you can reduce the hot water tank temperature and save energy in the process. You can insulate your copper pipes with a material called neoprene pipe insulation wrap. It’s a prefabricated insulation material which is slitted on one side and has a self-sealing adhesive seam that can secure the slits together. Here’s a guide on how to insulate copper pipes.

What You’ll Need

  • vernier calipers (a measuring instrument that has a set of jaws meant to slide along a ruler)
  • tape measure
  • sharp knife
  • self-adhesive tape

Steps to Follow:

1. Find out the pipe insulation size needed for your pipes. You do this by measuring the circumference of the copper pipes by wrapping measuring tape around them.

2. Determine the length of the pipe section to be insulated. Use a utility knife to cut the insulation. You can use a sharp blade to prevent burrs or jagged edges as you cut.

3. Slide the insulation wrap into the pipe. This is done by opening the slitted end of the wrap. You then use your hands to compress the insulation around the pipe to make sure it’s a tight fit.

4. Take off the adhesive tape strip. After that, press in order to seal the two slits together.

5. Add another section of insulation wrap. Use duct tape to seal the seam between two insulation wraps. After that, press the tape firmly to make sure it is sealed tightly. Repeat this step until you’ve got your pipes insulated.

Additional Tips

  • Purchase special insulation wraps for unusual pipe connections, such as y-joints, t-joints and valve connections. Pipe insulation manufacturers already make these and you can get them at any home improvement center.
  • Insulate cold water supply pipes even though it is not necessary. Why is that the case? Doing this protects these pipes from condensation which can form on pipes when the weather is warm.
  • Coat foam insulation with moisture-resistant latex paint because this kind of insulation can deteriorate when exposed to sunlight or moisture.
  • Don’t insulate pipes that are located within six inches of a hot water heater tank. This helps prevent the risk of fire.

Insulating your pipes isn’t just one way to guarantee that hot water stays hot or cold water doesn’t freeze. It’s also a way to ensure you’re saving energy, which is something all homeowners want.

How to Stop Water Pipes From Hammering

Do you hear an annoying noise from your water pipes when you shut the faucet off? This might be water hammer. Although it might just seem to be more of an annoyance, it can lead to damage to your water pipe and in some cases, pipe seam bursts. When this happens, it can result to a flooded basement or kitchen, worse, damage to your fixtures and appliances. Here, we will discuss about how you can stop this quite easily. But first, it helps to know what exactly water hammer is and what causes this bothersome sound.

Water Hammer Explained

Water hammer is a thumping or banging sound that occurs when the valve is suddenly closed. It can also be a result of loose pipe or pipe joints as well as worn out valve washer. When water flow is abruptly stopped and the water pipe is loose, the sound may also be accompanied with shaking and rattling of the pipes. If this problem is not resolved, it can loosen pipe brackets and may lead to leaks, if not pipe bursts.

This occurrence does not only happen on bathroom and kitchen pipes but also on washing machines and dishwashers. If the sound is heard after a valve is shut off or the washer changes cycles, it can be hammering water pipes. Conversely, if this happens as the valve is opened it can either be the presence of air in the pipes or water hammer but it is not often the latter unless the valves are more than 3” in size.

How to Solve a Water Hammer Problem

Before you can address this problem, it helps to know where it comes from. First, you have to check the length of the pipe. The longer it is and the bigger its size, the more possibility there is to cause water hammer. Second, observe the time it takes to close the valve. The quicker the valve is shut off, the more the chances that it can lead to creating noise is higher. Third, check on water velocity or how fast it flows. If the water flow is faster than usual, say, from high water pressure, water hammer is more likely to happen.

One of the ways to fix a water hammer problem is to use water arresters (arrestors). This is a piece of device that can be connected to your plumbing system to act as a cushion and absorb the shock caused by water hammer. A mechanical device that needs maintenance, this is a sealed piece that has an air bladder and a spring to cushion the force of flowing water.

Types of Water Hammer Arrester

Single Chamber
This device has copper material and can withstand high water temperatures of up to 180 degrees Farenheit. It has an air chamber which has the ability to absorb the force that comes from water with high pressure. It is also sealed, which keeps it free from moisture and prevents water to seep in. Although it is preferably used on smaller pipe systems around half an inch, it can also be used for ¾ and 1-inch pipes. What’s great about this type is its easy installation feature since it can be attached from any angle to the main pipe. Moreover, if there is no way to attach the single chamber arrester, it can still be converted by soldering it on the pipe with a T-joint.

Mini End Stop
Generally used on washing machines, this type is designed with a fitting, angled at 90 degrees and a thread at the end for easy connection to the washing machine hose. It can be used on varying sizes of pipes and can be set in place through soldering or screwing. As for occupying space, it can be placed behind an interior wall and not take up much space. It also has a watertight chamber that makes it effective in stopping water pipe hammer.

Hose Bib Style
This type is called such because of the internal diaphragm found in the 6-inch wide PVC housing which works to scatter the shock that is a result of closing the water valve quickly. Used on washing machines, this water hammer arrester is connected to the water intake of the washing machine. Of all the three types, this Hose Bib Style water hammer arrester can withstand high water pressure and volume. The only setback of this type is its size. Since it has a large diameter, it cannot be installed inside a wall, unless you are ready to break your walls.

Use Permanent Air Chambers

This is a vertical section of pipe made of copper with a covering at the end. It is attached to a T-fitting and connected to the supply line just before the valve or the appliance, either dishwasher or washing machine. Installation is done on both hot and cold water lines. It also acts as a shock absorber just like the water hammer arrester and compresses the flowing water within the chamber. Permanent air chambers, however, are not as efficient as water hammer arresters when it comes to absorbing shocks after a period of time. When this happens, you can opt to have it refilled with air but you might have to turn off the plumbing system in the house as the pipes need to be drained with water.

Only use permanent chambers if there is an existing one, that is, you might just need to refill the chamber with air. If you have to start from scratch, a water hammer arrester is the better choice. However, you can also combine both.

On Water Hammer on Washing Machines and Dishwashers

Sometimes, you can address the problem without using a water hammer arrester. If the banging is heard when the valve is closed, this means that not enough water is flowing and supplied by the water pipe. This solution might just be a temporary one but it can still work. Try to close the valve partially and see if the noise is gone. If it still occurs, try rotating the valve to a close a little more.

Water hammer problems can be solved as long as the source is identified and water hammer arresters and permanent air chambers are installed. And although this might need the help of a reliable plumbing specialist, it will always help to know a bit of what needs to be done.

How to Unblock a Sewer Pipe

It’s tough when a bathtub, sink drain or toilet clogs. However, an even bigger trouble is when the sewer pipe gets blocked. Why is that the case? Well, a sewer obstruction affects all the plumbing fixtures in your house – and that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is finding sewage backing out of your drains.

Now, unclogging your sewer is something you definitely don’t want to do. That is why there are professionals who specialize in unblocking sewer pipes. However, there are cases when the clog is still manageable enough for you to unclog it on your own. But if you don’t know how to unblock a sewer pipe on your own, here’s a quick guide for you.

1: Understand Why Sewers Clog

The typical diameter of a sewer line is about six inches or more. That said, it takes a whole lot to clog them, be it the buildup of paper or loose debris. Most of the time, however, a clog in the sewer is the result of tree roots growing into the pipes. Why does that happen? Well, roots are drawn to the warmth and moisture of the sewer and then feed on the nutrients available.

As debris begins to collect on the roots, the flow of water will be blocked. As such, obstruction builds up faster and water flow slows down which makes it a lot easier for debris to settle.

2: Determine The Problem

A clogged sewer means your drains will run very slowly no matter how much you clear them. Another clear sign of a problem is hearing gurgling sounds from the waste pipes as you flush the toilet. What you can do is make an assessment of what is causing the issue: is it a blocked vent or something else?

Once you’ve pinpointed a clogged sewer pipe as the real issue, then it’s time to take action.

3: Choose a Cleaning Method

You can opt for a mechanical method or a chemical one. Here’s details on how to use each:

Using a Mechanical Cleaning Method
There are a variety of tools to be used when clearing a sewer blockage, and one of these is the auger. It’s a tool that looks like a traditional sink or toilet auger but it is longer and is assisted by power. You insert this tool into the main sewer line and keep cranking until you feel it get all the way through. It will take several attempts before you can fully clear the sewer pipe when using this tool.

Using a Chemical Cleaning Method
Sewer pipes are different from smaller drains in that you can’t just dump chemicals in there and hope everything clears up. However, when tree roots are the issue then you may have to drop chemicals in order to control them. One of the most recommended chemical solutions is copper sulphate as it can kill tree roots but you might have to do this frequently as it quickly washes away.

However, copper sulphate may not be allowed in every state so you have to check first. An alternative is available as well: use a root-killing foam containing metam-sodium and dichlobenil. It kills roots within hours but takes weeks or months to wash away.

How to Fix a Leaky PVC Pipe Joint

One of the most widely used pipes in plumbing and sewage is Polyvinyl Chloride of PVC. This plastic material has become a popular since because it does not rust nor erode. It is also easy to install and cost-efficient. However, over time, some problems may arise when a PVC joint has been damaged. This can lead pipe leaks that need to be fixed right away. When leaking problems happen, replacement and repairs can be done. Here is a guide on how to manage a leaky PVC pipe joint.

Step 1:

Before you can make any repairs or replacement, it is important to locate where the leak is coming from. It is possible that the location of the water dripping is not where the leak it. What you need to do is wipe the area where there is dripping water and check if this is the broken part.

Step 2:

Once you have located the problem, you need to list down what parts need to be replaced, say, the PVC pipe or the joint. It is not advisable to remove the joint pipe from the fitting since it is glued. The best way to handle this is to simply cut the part of the pipe with the fitting so you can repair or replace it.

Step 3:

You need to cut off the supply of water running through the particular pipe or pipes. There is no need to shut off the main water supply if there is a local valve connected to the pipe to cut water.

Step 4:

With the use of a PVC cutter, you can now then remove the section of the pipe that needs to be replaced or repaired. It may be enough just to remove a small part of both ends of the pipe. You can now position the pipe cutters on your preferred placement and by holding the cutter at around 90 degree angle, make the cut on both ends.

Step 5:

Wipe the water in the pipe that you have just removed with clean cloth.

Step 6:

Assemble the parts that need to be replaced to see if they fit to make sure it aligned and prepare them for the application of primer and glue.

Step 7:

With the brush that comes with the PVC solvent, apply the primer on both the fittings and the pipe where it will be glued on, See to it that you apply evenly and thinly.

Step 8:

Apply PVC glue on the outside of the pipe as well as the fitting that will be attached. Afterwards, insert the pipe and secure it while twisting the pipe into the fitting.

Step 9:

Do these steps for all the other fittings and pipes you need to attach.
Important reminder: It is important to allow for some time for the PVC solvent to dry and leave it overnight before turning the valve on again.

Step 10:

Turn the main supply on or the local valve, if this is what you have previously shut off to check if the leak is fixed.