The garbage disposal, which enables us to get rid of waste quickly, simply, and without having to drag bags of rubbish to the curb each week, is one of the most practical technological achievements. However, the garbage disposal’s function isn’t to take the place of the trash can or recycling bin, and it’s simple to neglect garbage disposal maintenance, which may mean you need a replacement sooner than you anticipated.

Garbage Disposal Dos:

  • Use cold water: Although it may seem counterproductive because hot water breaks down food more effectively, using cold water can damage your garbage disposal drain. Greasy things can break down and flow down the drain with the help of hot water, but those shattered pieces may coagulate and cause a clog farther down the line. Using cold water can help oily items solidify and go more readily down the garbage disposal drain as opposed to clinging to the pipe’s walls.
  • Use it frequently: It can sound strange to be urged to use your waste disposal, but occasionally we could believe that using it sparingly will extend its lifespan. The exact opposite, though, is true. Without consistent use, the garbage disposal is susceptible to corrosion and rust, which may necessitate its replacement earlier than anticipated. Additionally, doing so keeps the disposal’s components moving and prevents waste from building up and clogging the mechanisms.
  • Use your recycling and garbage bins as usual: The presence of a garbage disposal does not permit the removal of a trash can or recycling container. Despite being a useful appliance for any kitchen, a garbage disposal should never be used in place of a traditional trash can and recycling container. The amount of garbage in your recycling containers shouldn’t change, and your trash can is still the ideal location to put anything that isn’t food that can biodegrade.
  • Keep it clean: A clean garbage disposal will continue to function effectively and will keep any unpleasant odors at bay in addition to helping to prevent blockages and clogs. In order to avoid trash building up inside the mechanics, it’s also necessary to keep it clean by emptying it or periodically running some diluted dish soap and water through it.
  • Cut up large foods: Make sure the waste you throw into your garbage disposal is in little pieces to prevent clogging or blocking. Although a garbage disposal’s mechanisms are excellent at dissolving food, they are not intended to dissolve large pieces of food, so it is best to chop or tear up bigger pieces of food before placing them in the disposal.


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Garbage Disposal Don’ts

  • Don’t try to sharpen the blades: Contrary to popular belief, a garbage disposal’s impellers are blunt, so there is no need to attempt to sharpen them with big chunks of ice or eggshells. These things might damage your garbage disposal, causing problems and unneeded repairs.
  • Avoid using hot water: As previously noted, hot water might be able to dissolve any grease or fat that finds its way into your garbage disposal, but the grease and fat will harden as it travels further down the pipe, perhaps causing more trouble in the future.
  • Don’t shut off the motor too quickly: Until all the food has been ground up, you should ideally leave both the motor and the cold water running. It is fine to switch off the motor once the grinding has stopped, but make sure the water is still running for at least 15 seconds. This will decrease the likelihood of buildup and clogs since the garbage disposal will be able to thoroughly break down all the food, and the running water will remove any leftover pieces.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals: Despite what it may seem like, pouring bleach in a garbage disposal is not a smart idea. Harsh chemicals have the potential to damage your garbage disposal’s internal workings, resulting in subpar performance.
  • Don’t put too much at once down the disposal: Avoid pouring huge quantities of anything into the garbage disposal since, despite their capacity, they are designed to handle lesser amounts of food waste. If you have a lot of rubbish to get rid of, feed it into the garbage disposal gradually, ideally in smaller bits or pieces.

How To Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Depending on the problem, there are three ways to empty your garbage disposal or unclog a jammed garbage disposal:

  • Check for clogs and clear obstructions: If you believe your garbage disposal is clogged, there are several techniques to clear the blockage. Simply shut off the garbage disposal and remove the obstruction using pliers or kitchen tongs — never your hands alone.
  • Clear the drainpipe: If there is an impediment in the drainpipe, a clog in the garbage disposal can result in a clogged sink. Plug the disposal, add some dish soap and water to the sink, and then empty the sink while using the disposal. Any recalcitrant waste particles that may have been attached to the pipe should be removed with the help of gravity and the water pressure.
  • Use a plunger: To remove a really stubborn clog that is too deep to reach with tongs or pliers, try using a toilet plunger. After then, you have the option of pulling it out or letting it fall.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: One cup of baking soda should be run via the garbage disposal. It should be pushed through the aperture using a rubber spatula. Pour Pour a cup of vinegar down the garbage disposal.


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Spot Potential Repair Scams That Might Lead to Poor Plumbing Work

Plumbing plays an important role in the proper functioning of a home. Therefore, it is important that you take the utmost care and caution when repairing any work related to plumbing.

Always do your research and be aware of potential plumbing scams. Know what to expect from the professional plumbing experts who come to service your plumbing problem.

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How to Avoid Potential Plumbing Repair Scams

Seek Multiple Estimates
Before finalizing your decision about hiring a plumber, you should seek out at least three estimates with their detailed breakdown costs. If you find any plumbing contractor is proactively giving the quote over the phone, it would be better to avoid him.

After all, a plumber should be able to assess the damage and cost of repairing them only after visiting the job site.

Once you receive the estimates, you need to compare them and if you find one of the quotes is much lower than the others, you should be leery about it. An excessively lower estimate does not include all the labor and equipment costs for which you will be responsible for paying before finishing the plumbing work.

Before starting the job, you need to pay a specific amount of money as a down payment. Usually, 10% of the total plumbing cost is considered as the standard down payment amount. But when a plumber asks for a larger amount, you should be suspicious as it will raise the chance that he could take the money and run.

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Beware of Theft
If you are living in a rental or apartment building, you need to be aware of common scams as a plumber may claim that he has been sent by the house owner or the water department and instructed to check the water connection and do some necessary repairs.

In many cases, these are fake people whose intent is to steal valuable items from your household. Therefore, you must verify the identity of a plumber from the homeowner or the building supervisor before letting him enter into the house.

Compare, Compare and Compare
Another common scam is to seek money in the name of expensive parts. But in reality, the plumbers use the cheaper parts and a major portion of the profit goes to their own pockets.

Hence, whenever you are asking for a quote, instruct the plumber to mention the make and model of every major part or equipment. Then, compare the cost of each item with the local building supply store to know whether any major price difference is there.

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You Don’t Always Need To Call A Plumber

Use These Tips From Fox Valley Plumbers in Elgin, Illinois – Lets face it plumbing skills are a great addition to anyone’s skill set. It reflects a level of care in the maintenance of your home and the ability to address concerns in your own way. That is a very admirable quality. Like any other skill, you can always build and improve. These tips will help you do that.

Odor Removers

Odor removers such as bleach toilets are not good for your plumbing system. These products will reduce the smell, but they will also cause problems with the rubber gaskets. Over time, the damage will accumulate and could eventually stop the toilet from functioning at all.


Look For Damage

Inspect around the toilets for softness in the floors to see if any damage has occurred. Straddle the toilet, so you can rock from one leg to another to determine whether there’s weakness in the floor. Picking up on any problems now will definitely work to save you money later. It’s the difference in a little maintenance and total floor replacement.

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Invest In A Strainer

A strainer should be placed over all the drains in order to gather particles that would just get in the drain and potentially cause stoppage. Whenever large particles become trapped in the strainer, remove them. Clean bathtub drain screens as often as needed.

Use This Tip For Your Bathtub

A great maintenance routine for bathtub drains is to pour baking soda and vinegar into the drain opening once a month. Cover the drain with an old rag, because there will be a chemical reaction taking place inside the pipes. Flush it with boiling water after a few minutes. This procedure should be able to clear pipes of hair and soap scum.

Overflow Holes

Ensure your overflow holes aren’t clogged up. Overflow holes are used in case the sink starts to overfill, which may not seem like a big problem–until it is. Clear overflow holes when doing periodic checks for problems and plumbing issues that should be addressed.

The Use Of Cold Water

Always use cold water when your garbage disposal is running. Cold water keeps blades sharp and allows for smoother disposal. When you use hot water, any grease that is in the garbage will melt and be more prone to stopping up your drain.

Now you have the necessary tools, the knowledge and skill set needed to apply to your own plumbing system. This is wonderful! These tips and other online resources are available to help you fix almost any plumbing problem. When you never stop learning new skills, you never stop improving. You may even find a plumbing job or idea you like.

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Get Those Pipes Working Again With These Tips

Now is the right time to learn about plumbing. If you can fix small problems by yourself, you won’t have to hire a plumber and you can prevent large plumbing problems. Take a few minutes to read the incredible tips in the below article. If you do so, you’ll be pleased you took this time to learn more knowledge about plumbing in case any issues arise.

If you have pipes that make hammering and squeaking noises, you have one easy repair. Anchor exposed pipes to get rid of noises. Call a plumber to help with pipes that require you to cut a hole in a wall, ceiling or floor.

Think about what plumbing work you need, then schedule them all at once. This allows you to save up for necessary parts and equipment while saving money on hiring a professional. It also saves you money because a lot of plumbers charge by the hour–they cannot charge for multiple hours every trip if they only make one trip out.

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The Power Of Using Baking Soda & White Vinegar

Putting a cup of any kind of baking soda followed with a cup of white vinegar each month will keep your drain running smoothly. Cover the drain with a plug or rag as you wait for the chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda to happen in your pipes. Wait for a little while and then allow boiling water to go down the drain. This method should clear your pipes of accumulated hair and soap scum.

Use Plenty Of Cold Water

To keep your garbage disposal working at its best, use plenty of cold water when you turn it on. The cold water will help keep the blades nice and sharp and will allow for a much smoother disposal. When you use hot water, any grease that is in the garbage will melt and be more prone to stopping up your drain.

fox valley plumbing kitchen garbage disposal install

An Improperly Installed Water Hose

Having water leaking into the dishwasher, however annoying, is luckily an easy fix. The hose that runs from the kitchen sink to the dishwasher is not installed properly, and can be corrected quickly. The hose going from the dishwasher to the sink must go downhill, and then uphill, to prevent water mixing from the two devices.

fox valley plumbing dishwasher water hose

It’s essential to know some basics about general plumbing and the specific plumbing in your home. You will be able to save yourself a bunch of money, plus many of your friends and family members will come to you for advice. You hopefully understand some plumbing basics now and had fun learning them.

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In order to cut down on the chance of hot water burns, Fox Valley Plumbing recommends a temperature setting of 120°-125° F. Always keep safety in mind when it comes to water heaters.

Never store paints, solvents or combustibles near the unit due to the obvious risk of fire.

At Fox Valley Plumbing we use Bradford white water heaters, which carry a 6 year warranty. Customers can purchase an additional warranty. All water heater installations include a new ball valve on cold-water inlet, die electric unions and a one-year warranty on workmanship.

If your water heater needs to be replaced or repaired, Fox Valley Plumbing are the industry leading experts in water heaters. Satisfaction is guaranteed and customer satisfaction is our number one priority starting with our pricing all the way down to our cleanliness.

Fox Valley Plumbing is an Illinois licensed plumbing contractor and the installation technician will always be an Illinois licensed plumber. We are fully insured and bonded for your protection and ours.

Call today to schedule the installation of your new Bradford white water heater today.

Prices subject to change if the current condition of piping is of poor quality, not up to plumbing code or location of water heater is not easily accessible. Prices include disposal of old water heater.

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Can you tell if the plumbing in your home needs work?

Would you like to learn ways to make plumbing improvements yourself? If you want to learn more about how to better maintain your home’s plumbing, read on for some ideas. The advice in this article will show you how to streamline your own plumbing.

Because pipes have a tendency to freeze in the winter months, it’s a good idea to insulate pipes that are in colder spaces. Think about crawl spaces, basement bathrooms, outside water sources, etc. Insulation can be wrapped around pipes, and is available at any hardware store. Proper insulation will save your pipes from any damage, and as an added bonus, your hot water will stay a lot hotter as it travels from the water heater.

When attempting to tighten a pipe, you should know that over-tightening the pipe is bad news. Only tighten until leaks are stopped, because going further can damage threads, and maybe cause pipe cracks.

Barrington illinois_emergencyplumber copy

Pump your septic tank every five years to keep it working well. Doing this prevents any sediment from getting built up within the tank, which causes a backup in your home or causes your entire septic system to fail. Although it could cost a good deal of money to pump out your septic tank, it will cost a lot more to have a backflow emergency, having to clean sewage backup, or having to fix or replace a septic tank.

Property owners have the option of installing flood alarms to alert them of flooding danger. Flood alarms work on the same principle as smoke alarms. They run on batteries and will have an alarm go off when they touch water. Flood alarms can alert you to leaks or potential floods.

Now that you have the advice in hand, you can get going on taking care of your own plumbing needs. These new ideas may help yield positive results in your work. If they do not work, keep trying until you get pleasant results!

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Preventing Frozen Pipes

Winter has stormed into Elgin and most of Illinois, bringing snow, ice and plummeting temperatures that can wreak havoc on plumbing.

A ruptured water line can cause extensive, costly damage and disrupt your life or business. Worse, floodwater can pose numerous safety and health risks, ranging from electric shock to illness from waterborne pathogens or even toxic mold.

With your family or business on the line, you want to do everything you can to prevent water from freezing inside your plumbing. But if you do think a pipe is frozen, don’t panic; frozen pipes don’t always rupture, and there are steps you can take to prevent pipes from bursting and safely thaw them.

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A frozen pipe will not necessarily burst if the faucet valve is open to release pressure moving down the pipe.

Start with prevention

We’ll go into tips for thawing pipes below, but let’s start with steps you can take right now to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. Make sure you winterize your property outdoors, draining pools and irrigation systems and hoses, insulating and covering outdoor faucets and securing doors and windows in garages and outbuildings with water supplies. Also, be sure to follow these tips from the American Red Cross:

• Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
• When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
• Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
• If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Source: American Red Cross


Picturesque winter weather brings the risk of frozen, ruptured pipes and costly water damage.

If pipes freeze, don’t panic, do this:

If you wake up one morning and the water won’t come on in your kitchen, don’t panic. While horrifying visions of water filling crawl spaces and mold spores sprouting may be unavoidable, a frozen pipe will not necessarily burst if the faucet valve is open to release pressure moving down the pipe. Take a deep breath, then follow these American Red Cross tips to safely thaw your pipe:

• If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
• Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
• Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
• Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
• Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

These tips should help minimize the risk plumbing ruptures from frozen pipes. But sometimes nature simply shoves aside our best efforts and the worst happens. If you find yourself facing a water damage catastrophe from frozen, ruptured pipes, Call Fox Valley Plumbing & Backflow any day of the week. You’ll talk to a real person, and professional help will be on the way.

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A plumbing emergency can happen at any time.

Plan Beforehand to Avoid a Plumbing Disaster
Do your research and find out the most reputable, trained and reliable plumbing company in your area. Once you find the right plumbing company, you will have a peace of mind knowing who to call when you have a plumbing emergency.

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Talk to a Plumber not a Machine
When you call a plumber to schedule an appointment, you need to consider how the call is answered. Is your call received by an answering machine? Or, is there a person replying on the other end of the call?

After all, it is essential to get your call answered by a person during a plumbing emergency.

Avoid Over-The-Phone Plumbing Estimates
A plumber should offer the exact estimate only after assessing the plumbing problem. A plumber cannot properly analyze it over the phone. If you get an estimate over-the-phone, it is only the base price which can significantly increase after a plumber diagnosis the problem.

Go Through Online Reviews
There are many review sites available online where you get to read the real and authentic reviews written by people who have already opted for an emergency plumbing service.

Verify the Background of the Plumbing Agency
It is essential to know whether the plumbing agency conducts any background checking and drug testing before hiring their plumbers.

You will have the peace of mind knowing the plumber you allow in your home has been through all necessary precautions.

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