Looking for a local plumber near me! It’s never a good thing when you’re typing this into your search engine. My Blue Springs plumbing customers have come to trust me enough over the years to rely on my experience and ethics. My Grain Valley plumbing customers and Lee’s Summit plumbing customers are still discovering me. But I don’t wish the need for an emergency plumber on anyone. We’re not the large corporate entities with thousands to blow on television commercials and internet website marketing. We’re actually a locally owned and operated home plumbing service company with hundreds to spend on those things.
24 Hour Emergency Plumber
24 hour emergency plumbers are few and far between. At Advocate Master Plumbing we’re happy to offer this service. We understand that you can’t plan for a water heater repair. And a garbage disposal repair doesn’t announce itself before it creates a clogged kitchen sink. So call us when the basement floods because your sump pump isn’t pumping or your sewer drain clogs.
It’s What We Do
I get many calls each week regarding many varied home plumbing issues. As a business owner/operator I have to find a balance between profitability and advocating for my friends and neighbors in my community. This is why I actively work to help my community by teaching my callers how to make repairs themselves. I also try to share my 25 years of experience in the plumbing industry with each caller when giving plumbing repair or replacement options to allow them to make an informed decision. I’m not the only plumber that does this. But there aren’t many of us. The large corporate entities can’t. They have a bottom line and stable full of employees that dictate their approach to their customers.
Hot Water Heater Repairs and Installations
I have fun with my friends when they tell me they need a plumber for an emergency hot water heater repair. You see, there’s no such thing as a hot water heater. It’s a semantic joke between plumbers. There’s no need to heat hot water. It’s already hot. The correct way to say that is emergency water heater repair. It doesn’t really matter though when you’re shower goes cold. And it really isn’t funny. But I have to use the term hot water heater because the internet tells me that is the way most people search for that particular service on the internet. And if I want to reach as many people as possible I have to speak their language.
Hot Water Heater Tips
- Don’t drain your hot water heater. In a perfect world that’s what you’d do. But in our region of the country our water is very hard. If you drain the hot water heater you’re likely to cause a problem that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. Such as the drain valve won’t shut off. Most home owners move before the end of the life of the hot water heater. Do what most plumbers do; leave it alone.
- Don’t exercise the relief valve. It’s the brass valve with the drain pipe going down the side of your hot water heater. It protects the tank from rupture due to too much pressure or a failed temperature sensor. It’ll tend to stick open when exercised.
- Don’t turn it up too much! I can’t stress this enough. The more you heat water the faster it calcifies the tank. That’s how you kill a hot water heater. Line the arrows up on the gas valve temperature setting. This sets your hot water heater at the optimal 120 degrees. Each step up in temperature setting is another 10 degrees. I recommend turning it up 10 degrees in the winter only. This is to adapt to the colder water coming into your home at that time of year.
- Don’t make your own hot water heater repair or hot water heater installation. I recently replaced one for a customer whom had installed the previous hot water heater. He was a contractor himself in his younger days. A smart guy. The hot water heater had been installed backwards for 41 years. It had been working poorly that whole time.
Garbage Disposal Repairs and Installation
Again with the plumbing terminology! I’m calling it a garbage disposal because that’s what it is generally known as. But if you look on the box or any advertising you’ll see that they’re actually called garbage disposers. But again, you won’t find me in your favorite search engine. So here we are.
Oh and by the way, I hate these awful inventions. I understand they’re a convenience that most of us just can’t do without. But as a plumber I can tell you, I never get calls from plumbing customers for a clogged kitchen sink drain unless they have one of these. I equate having a garbage disposal to eating a donut every day of your life. It’ll clog an artery eventually. In this case, a clogged drain. By the way, I have one. The wife likes it.
Garbage Disposal Tips
- Don’t put too much in them. Your disposal may not clog but your kitchen drain under the house will. That pot of pasta or beef stew will plug underground where it’s cool year round.
- Use the toilet! That’s right. If it’s something you don’t want to put in your garbage then flush it down the toilet. It empties into a larger drain. What we use it for is a lot more likely clog it than what you’re throwing away.
- NO GREASE!!! We clear? Restaurants have to install grease traps on their sink drains per code to protect the city sewers. That’s how bad grease is for drains. Don’t even flush it. Wipe pans with a paper towel and throw them away. If you have a deep fryer to empty put the oil in the freezer and throw it away on garbage day. Otherwise, you can call me when you have a kitchen drain clog.
- Put coffee grounds in the garbage. You can also spread them on your lawn or in your landscaping. It’s great for the grass and plants.
- Run a little cold water when using them. It prevents grease build up and odors on the blades.
- If you have to have a garbage disposal make it stainless steel. They don’t rust like the cheaper ones. So they last longer.
- If you have garbage disposal problems check my previous post.
Sump Pump Repair and Installations
When my wife and I were looking for our home I had only one veto option. There couldn’t be any drainage issues. I don’t want one more thing in the house to maintain if I can avoid it. A sump pump has a motor. And if it has a motor, it needs maintaining. A house can be built without the need for a sump pump system if the foundation is graded properly and the gutters kept clean.
Sump Pump Tips
- Zoeller brand sump pumps are the best. They have the best switch on the market. That’s what usually fails on a sump pump. It has a cast iron body. This allows the water in the sump pump pit to keep the motor cool. That extends the motor life. It has an impeller that will shoot a half inch rock through the pump. That means its less likely to get jammed.
- Let a plumber install or repair your sump pump. It’s easy to mess up a sump pump system because it looks so easy. It isn’t. The tiniest thing can cause a flood in your basement.
- If you have a finished basement, small basement, or store valuables on your basement floor you need a back up sump pump system. You don’t find out your pump has failed until thousands of dollars in water damage have occurred. Don’t gamble.
- If you need a back up sump pump system don’t get the old battery back up systems. They’re expensive and take a lot of regular maintenance. I’ve also found them to be glitchy. Get a Siphon Jet water powered back up sump pump system. There’s no electricity. It works solely on your home water pressure. I waited almost 10 years to make sure it works. It works. And it’s less expensive.
- Code dictates that you have a ground fault circuit interrupter on the sump pump electrical outlet. I disagree with this. The gfci outlets fail more often than a standard outlet.
- Test your sump pump once a year.
Yeah. It’s pretty much the bread and butter of our industry. Drain clogs are also the most preventable. But it’s also the most common emergency plumbing call. I unclog toilets. I unclog kitchen sinks. I never warranty these services. It’s not because I don’t have faith in the quality of my work. It’s because drains are pure physics. There are no moving parts in a drainage system. They clog for only one of three reasons:
- Improper drain installation
- Broken drain pipe
- Misused or abused drain pipe
Most of us can’t afford a drain pipe repair. Especially when you’re talking about a sewer drain repair. Unclogging the pipe is usually just a temporary fix. Comparable to duct taping a leaking pipe. And the big corporate entities will warranty the heck out of a sewer rooter service. But they do it only to keep their foot in the door.
Over 10 years ago the average sewer rooter service would cost $240. It’s dropped to about $100. Does that sound odd. It should. You’re not getting the same thing for less. In our region a discounted drain cleaning is considered a loss leader. That means that the big corporate entities only unclog the blockage. They don’t cable your sewer until all the roots are gone. That means you’re left with a sewer full of roots that will clog again and they have an opportunity to get their foot in the door again to sell you something you probably don’t need. And they’ll come out one more time under warranty to cut a hole in the roots. Then offer you an additional “Sewer Cleaning” for $250. But what they really like to do is put a camera down your sewer drain and alarm you with a lot of talk about collapsing sewers. Then they can sell you a new sewer drain installation for around $10,000. It is technically the correct repair to make. But most of us can’t afford it. And I don’t begrudge a business man making a profit. But it’s unconscionable what some will do in the name of profit.
Drain Pipe Tips
- If you have a dual compartment kitchen sink clog try this. Plug the side without the garbage disposal with the disposal drain plug. Fill the disposal side about a third of the way with water. Hold the drain plug down with one hand and with the other turn the disposal on. Let it run for about 10 seconds at a time then turn it off. Do this as many as 10 times. You might get lucky and the pressure and vibration of your garbage disposal will unclog the drain.
- If you have a clogged floor drain you can usually get it drained by removing the clean out plug. Then take a wet vac and a screw driver and clean the sand and rocks out of the floor drain p-trap. Wiggle the long screw driver around inside the p-trap to loosen the debris. Then suck it out. When you feel you have it draining, replace the clean out plug, fill a large bucket with hot water, hold the full bucket about 3 feet above the drain and drop the water directly into the p-trap as quickly as it’ll take it. Do that a few times if needed. This will blow all the loose debris out preventing future clogs.
- Clogged tub drains with a lift and turn tub drain are usually easy. Remove the lift and turn portion of the drain. Remove the hair and debris with a pair of needle nose pliers or a coat hanger. Reinstall the lift and turn portion of the drain.
- Clogged bathroom sink drains are relatively easy. Loosen the pop up assembly pivot rod nut. Remove the pivot rod and pull out the pop up. Reinstall the pivot rod with nut. Put a small bucket under the drain. Remove the p-trap. Roll up some toilet paper and stuff it into the drain from above. Push the paper the rest of the way through with that long screwdriver from before. Inspect and clean the p-trap. Reinstall the p-trap. Test the drain for leaks. This will usually unclog the bathroom sink drain.
- If you have a clogged toilet it’s usually very simple.
First, throw away the plunger. Next, buy a toilet auger tool at your local hardware or home store. Lastly, use it. There should be clear instructions on the product packaging. Don’t buy the cheaper small one. You’re getting what you pay for with tools. Always buy the best.
What If That Doesn’t Work?
If none of these suggestions work then type “plumber” into your favorite search engine. And scroll down the page of paid ads until you come upon your real local plumber. That’s Advocate Master Plumbing. We’ll get you fixed up. But don’t take my word for it. Check out one of our many 5 STAR REVIEWS on Facebook, YELP, or Google.