Category Archives: Plumbing Tips

Video Camera Inspection

Got a sewer problem?

Unlike the old days, where they would take an educated guess and start to dig, your Cincinnati Plumbers can now use a video camera to perform an inspection of your sewer lines.  This inspection can be narrated and recorded so that you, the homeowner, has a copy for your records.

You would want, and need, to have this inspection done if you are experiencing a problem, but also if you plan a remodel that adds new bathrooms, or updates an old kitchen. This will help to make sure you will have no issues when your new fixtures are installed.

Another good time to call for a video camera inspection of your sewer lines?  Prior to buying a new home!  This is not part of a regular home inspection,  but not knowing of potential problems before buying the home, can cause headache and large expenses down the road.

Call us today to schedule your video camera drain inspection!

Smelly Drains?

It’s not pleasant when it happens, nor is it pleasant to talk about. But, we are going to talk about it.

Stinky, smelly drains. What causes them?  What do you do to fix them?
First thing you need to do is to determine the cause of the odor

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)
Fog can create some smelly, and potentially damaging, build up in your drains. Not only is the FOG itself an odor generator, there are almost always food particles trapped in it, and as these particles spoil, they, too, can release an odor. The best way to prevent this is to never put FOG down your drain, even if you have a garbage disposal.

Rotten Eggs
Does your drain smell like rotten eggs?  That is most likely caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. Usually, this problem comes from your water (most often from your hot water heater), and causes your drain to smell like rotten eggs.  It is best to have a professional plumber diagnose this issue.

Septic or Sewer Problems
Sometimes leaks in your septic or sewer line can cause your drains to smell. This can be a fairly serious situation as it can indicate a backflow issue or other problem with your home’s main sewer or septic line.

Food Particles
Food can get stuck inside your drain and spoil, causing a really, foul odor. Rinsing your drain once a week with white vinegar and baking soda can help remove these food particles and flush them out of your drain system.

Foul odors from your plumbing system can be an indication that a problem exists. Do not ignore the smells, try the above or contact your Cincinnati Plumbers for their expert help in removing the smelly odors from your drains.

Spring Plumbing Tips

Spring is just around the corner, so make a plan to handle these helpful Spring Plumbing Tips.

Check for Leaks

  • Inspect toilet tank and bowl for cracks or leaks.
  • Check toilets for hidden leaks. Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
  • Check faucets for drips or leaks. Make repairs to save water.
  • Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.

Water Heater

  • Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
  • Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater. A great Spring Plumbing Tip.
  • Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.) Newer water heaters are more energy efficient.


  • Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent hair, soap and debris from clogging the drain lines.
  • Pour a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
  • Install a backflow valve in the floor drain if you live in an area where sewers sometimes back up into homes. This device will prevent future backups.
  • Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris.

If you have any leaks, or need any repairs done, call your Cincinnati Plumber, Flow-Rite Plumbing, today!

Winter Plumbing Tips

Protect your home and family from plumbing problems this winter.

Spend a little time and money now to prevent large bills and repairs this winter due to cracked or burst pipes,

  • Insulate all exposed pipes.
  • Throughout the winter, be sure to run water from every valve in your house at regular intervals. This will prevent freezing.
  • Letting a faucet drip during extreme cold weather could prevent the pipe from bursting.
  • Change washing machines hoses. If the hoses are older than 5 years, they can easily rupture, especially if you have high water pressure.
  • Unattach garden hoses before freezing temperatures arrive. Close the shut-off valve on the pipes which lead to your outdoor spigots. Drain any residual water from spigots and hoses.
  • Replace your hot water heater if it is older than 10 years. They corrode at the bottom and can easily leak, causing flooding.
  • Get a good inspection done. Call your Cincinnati Plumbers to schedule an inspection that could prevent damage, and large expenses, in the future.

Summer Plumbing Tips

Check the water heater and hot water supply to ensure the temperature is lowered to around 120 F. Not too low, but a few degrees will shave a little something off the utility bills and help offset the seasonal increase in electricity usage.

Turn on water in bathtub and in the kitchen sink. If there is a noticeable reduction in water volume, the piping in the house may need to be replaced because of calcium and mineral deposits restricting water flow.

Check to make sure that the garbage disposer and dishwasher connections are tight and leak free.

Check drain spouts and gutters to ensure they are clean and free of blockages.

If you have a sump pump, make sure it’s in top condition to be ready for any strong summer storms that may blow your way.

New tree growth in the spring can cause roots to make their way to the best water source: your sewer line.  If you suspect any damage, have a plumber check your lines.

Replace showerheads and faucets with low-flow fixtures or install aerators.  You’ll save water and money, without any difference in water pressure.

Sewer Line Inspection

Most buyers know to have a home inspection done before they buy their new home… but do you ever think of having the sewer lines inspected?

If not, you should!

If you are considering placing an offer on a home over 20 years old, you will want to get the sewer lines inspected.  Trees, tar paper/Orangeburg pipes and cesspools are just a few of the reasons to have the sewer lines inspected prior to buying.

A Sewer Line Inspection involves a camera mounted on a snake that gets put through the sewer lines.  Not only will this show if the lines are clogged, but can provide valuable information about the condition of the pipes and what material they are made out of.

This is not usually included in the Home Inspection,  but could cause you thousands in the long run. Spend a little now to save a fortune later!

Cincinnati Sewer Line Inpections

Benefits of Remodeling a Kitchen or Bath in a Sluggish Housing Market

Remodeling now could make you money later

When it comes to spending your money, it only makes sense that you would want to be sure that the item or service you are purchasing is worth the expense. Especially in these times of financial uncertainty, many people are making the choice to put money back in their homes as insurance of better times to come.

Homes that include updated bathrooms and kitchens naturally bring higher returns and have higher values. Adding an additional bathroom to your home is definitely a step in the right direction. The benefits bathroom and kitchen remodeling can be enormous if you choose the right way to do it and the right plumbing contractor for the job.

The increased value in your home is a major benefit in the long run. Eventually the housing crisis will pass and nothing puts you and your family in a good spot to benefit like having a newly remodeled bath or kitchen when you plan on selling. Even if you have no plans to sell your home soon, the increased value can be used as home equity and help plan and pay for things like college, more home improvements, or even retirement needs.

In a addition to the increase in value there is the increase in usable square footage if an addition or basement bathroom is added. Now is the time to take advantage of the lack of work out there for many plumbing contractors and get the lowest price possible. The cheaper you get it done now when the prices are lower the more equity you will have when the housing market increases. Buy Low, Sell High!

Call a Plumbing Professional at (513) 383-4242 for an in-home estimate now

Fixing common Faucet problems

Have you ever had one of these problems with a faucet in your house? We have compiled a short list of some of the most common problems we see with faucets and how to fix them.

  • Lower than usual amount of water coming out of the faucet than normal. Many things can cause this to happen such as water pressure fluctuation or even hard water. Most of the time it is caused by hard water or other debris that may be in your water lines. This is easily rectified by un-screwing and removing the little screen or aerator from your faucet. This is the last point of the faucet that water will travel through before it ends up in the sink. These tend to get clogged up with lime and mineral debris that is common in hard water in many areas. A good soak in a cleaner such as Lime-A-Way or CLR  overnight will do the trick. This also works for shower heads and pull out sprayers at a kitchen sink. If your not sure how to remove the aerator then give your Cincinnati residential plumber a call and we will be more than happy to assist you. 


This is a picture of an aerator on a kitchen faucet
This is a picture of an aerator on a kitchen faucet
  • When you turn on a faucet you hear a chattering noise or loud knocking.This is usually a sign of high water pressure. It could be the result of a worn or damaged water pressure regulator. These valves are located at your main water supply entrance to the house and do need to be replaced at times. There is another possibility also. If you removed and replaced your aerator make sure that all pieces went back in the order they were removed and that no parts are missing. This could create the noise as well. The replacement of a faulty water pressure regulator is usually a job for a professional to complete. If you are in need of such a service call a Cincinnati residential plumber at (513) 383-4242 

Plumbing 101 in Cincinnati

To all the people out there that want to know more about plumbing in their home town. We have an online tutorial coming up on YouTube that will help you with everyday plumbing problems. Our online videos will explain many common plumbing problems that the homeowner experiences and more. With every video you’ll receive a guided tour of DIY plumbing tips and how tos. Check us out by going to and searching for Cincinnati Plumbers. This is a free service provided to you by your own local Cincinnati Plumbers. Flow-Rite Plumbing Inc. is a full service plumbing Company that serves the greater Cincinnati Area. Check out our videos and our blog frequently so that you are up to date.

As always ,Why be Wrong…..When you can Flow-Rite

YouTube Posts Coming Soon

For all those You Tube fanatics out there we’ve got news for you. We will be uploading You Tube videos on plumbing tips and how tos very soon. So keep an eye peeled for your favorite how to episode. All you have to do is go to and type in Cincinnati Plumbers into the search field and viola! You will be able to see videos on DIY plumbing topics. Best of all we will be taking requests for topics that you want to see via our Ask a Plumber option on our contact us page.

Keep an eye out for our self narrated videos on DIY plumbing in Cincinnati. Feel free to give us your feedback on our posts as well as our videos on YouTube.

As always…..Why be Wrong?….When you can Flow-Rite!

Spring is just around the corner

Don’t be caught off guard this spring!

Wet weather will be coming soon. Now is the time to have your sump pump checked out to insure that all is well before the rainy season hits. It is too late to find out when all that water has no place to go except all  over the basement floor ruining clothes and other dry goods. 

Flow-Rite Plumbing of Cincinnati offers a 10 point residential inspection of all your plumbing fixtures to insure they are in tip top shape for a fee of $ 35.00. This includes all major plumbing fixtures, drains and their valves. Do you know where to shut off the water to your house in case of emergency? Not only will we show you where and how but we will label it as well.

When it comes to the rainy season the most important of these ten points is your sump pump and floor drains. We offer a full line of replacement sump pumps if yours is on the fritz and most are installed the same day. We can even install battery back up systems for your existing pump in case of power failure. We also have available a water powered back up system for your sump pump that never needs recharging. There are many possible problems that can cause a pump to go south so let our technicians take a look at yours during an inspection to make sure it is fully operational when the wet weather comes this spring.

Give us a call today to schedule your inspection at (513) 383-4242

Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Don’t be caught off guard this rainy season.

A pic of a bad sump pump we replaced in 2008

A pic of a bad sump pump we replaced in 2008

Frozen Pipe Repair

It’s that time of year when the weather in Cincinnati can drop down in the single digits. The local weather man might not always be right but we all need to take their forecast into mind. Especially when they say that the wind chill will make it seem even colder.

The wind chill affects us the same way it effects our plumbing piping on or near the outside walls. If the forecast calls for temperatures that will fall below the 32 degree freezing mark then be prepared. Remember you also have to take in account what the wind chill factor is. This is especially important when the forecast calls for more than one day of continued cold weather below the freezing mark.

In the last few days we have replaced burst piping under sinks and in many outside walls. This is primarily due to homeowners that have not taken the simple steps to protect their piping. The most simple solution to preventing pipes from freezing on these ever so chilly days is to turn up the heat and make sure that the heat can get to the piping either through the walls or into that sink cabinet. Most homeowners have told us that they thought they would save money by keeping the heat set at a lower temp. Well they did save money that would have otherwise gone to the gas and electric company however they spent those savings in double when they pay for the Cincinnati Plumber to replace their busted water and drain lines because they froze.

Please see our post on how to prevent frozen pipes and follow the list very carefully, it may save you a costly service call to a Cincinnati Plumber.

If your in need of frozen pipe repair in Cincinnati then call us today for service at

 (513) 383-4242

Cincinnati Plumbers tips helping homeowners

We have been giving the homeowner/business owner tips on how to keep the plumber away since 1997

We enjoy being knowledgeable about your plumbing problems and serving the customer how we would like to be served. With knowledge and respect! Most plumbing companies don’t mind showing up to fix your problem, at least hopefully they do, then take your money with no real explanation or preventative measures discussed. A lot of companies think that no explanation is necessary either because their technician is working on commission trying to up sell you or they just know simply how to install faucets, toilets and maybe run a drain snake only. However they still charge a rate that reflects the fact that there should be a knowledgeable plumber on site. We hear this all the time about companies that have been there before us.

If you have had this happen to you in the past then give Flow-Rite Plumbing of Cincinnati a call for affordable and no nonsense plumbing service. (513) 383-4242 When you call us or email us about a plumbing repairs we don’t just give you a ballpark price without asking questions. We give you an professional opinion based price always based on knowledge of the problem. We ask questions and give possible scenarios so you the customer are informed and have multiple solutions when possible. As always we recommend that you call at least two other companies for pricing. Remember that if something seems like it is an emergency it may not always be one that you have to pay emergency rates for! Most emergency calls we receive are things that can wait until the next day after we explain what to do in the meantime. This is another attribute you won’t usually find at other plumbing companies when they answer the phone!

When a service call is arranged and we are on site you will be given in writing the amount to perform all work discussed. The only time this amount changes is when additional work is added by the customer. An example would be if we were there doing the initial work and the customer asks “while you are here how much would it cost to replace the toilet upstairs?” This of course would be in addition to the work that was priced originally.

If you haven’t used our services yet and live in greater Cincinnati then give us a call and see for yourself!

A clean toilet is necessary!

Do you put the right chemicals in your toilet to clean it?

If you put the store bought little toilet fresheners in your toilet tank then you are asking for a service call from your neighborhood plumber! We have all seen the little blue thingy hanging inside the toilet tank before somewhere or another maybe even in your own toilet tank.

Do yourself a favor and take them out or don’t buy the next one. If you have multiples in the closet then throw them away or sell them at the yard sale. The chemicals in these things almost always contain some sort of chlorine or bleach chemical which will certainly cause premature failure of your toilet tank rubber parts and very likely end with a service call to your friendly neighborhood plumbing company.

The chlorine in these magic blue water making sanitizers affects all of the essential interior parts of your toilet tank by deteriorating them quite quickly. I know, this is something that is not written on the package when you buy these things at your local supermarket but if they did that they wouldn’t sell any would they?

If you like the blue water then add blue food coloring to the tank every time you flush or you can simply add a hanging toilet bowl sanitizer in your toilet bowl to freshen the appearance of the water after you flush. Of course these too can create a possible problem by being dislodged and falling into the toilet creating a clog! Once again call the neighborhood plumbing company.

The best means of keeping a toilet clean is to physically clean the toilet bowl and the fixture itself the old fashioned way with toilet bowl cleaner and a brush! Trust me I know it isn’t pleasant. I do it myself at least once a week in my own home.

Call your neighborhood Cincinnati Plumbers at (513) 383-4242

Grease Traps and why you need them!

Grease traps are essential to plumbing performance!

Grease traps are often known about in the commercial field of plumbing however they are usually not understood fully. Yes they do trap grease as the name well suggests. The big misunderstanding is that they trap this grease without ever needing maintenance or cleaning. This is the big problem amongst most commercial property owners.

A grease trap is designed to hold a given amount of grease or food debris. Each trap is sized according to the fixture or fixtures it serves as per plumbing code or other authorities. When a grease trap reaches its capacity due to normal usage then it needs cleaned of all food and grease debris so it can function properly. If this cleaning is not performed on a regular basis then the grease trap ceases to perform properly and lets the grease go into the plumbing piping which is what we intended to stop by adding a grease trap in the first place.

Like I said before this is a common misunderstanding in the commercial field of plumbing maintenance. As a plumbing professional I see this happen all the time especially in a restaurant setting. I receive calls for clogged drains only to find that a grease trap has not been maintained properly by regular cleaning and has caused a back up due to grease in the lines downstream of the grease trap. Now the bad news comes.

plumbing companyuse a hot water jetter to clean the grease out of the drain lines. This perplexes most people who think that they don’t have large amounts of grease in the everyday use of their facility. It is really simple to determine whether you have enough grease going down your drains to cause the problems you are facing. You called a plumbing company because you have a clogged drain didn’t you?

You would be surprised to hear how many times I have explained this in more than a nice way that this is the problem and yet the management still calls us to clean out the drains over and over again costing them more in the long run than it would cost to just clean out the grease trap when it needs it on a routine basis. I don’t mean to rant but this seems like a no brainer to me! If you want to pay us to keep cleaning the drains because you can’t maintain a cleaning program well then bring it on. We love customers like you.

I guess I shouldn’t seem like I’m complaining but it boggles my mind how someone can be given a professional opinion on something and experience it over and over again and expect different results!

For the best overall results call a Cincinnati Plumber at (513) 383-4242

As Always, Why be Wrong…….When you can Flow-Rite!