Tag Archives: Plumbing Tips

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!

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.

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 YouTube.com 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!

Frozen Pipes

Keep your pipes from freezing!

  • Anywhere you may have water pipes in the house that are in,on or close to an outside wall need to be kept from freezing by insulation or heat.
  • Most piping that freezes is located under the kitchen sink or at an outside hose hydrant that is not a frost proof type.
  • Locate all potential piping that could freeze in inclement weather by locating the lines visually when possible.
  • Start by visually locating the lines usually you can see them  by looking at your basement ceiling if it is not covered and following them to the fixtures they serve.
  • Observe where water lines penetrate either the wall or the floor when serving a fixture that is near an outside wall.
  • If they penetrate from below and continue upward through the floor but away from the outside wall underneath the sink then on especially cold days leave the cabinet doors open to let heat from the house to the piping.
  • If they penetrate from below and appear to penetrate from the wall or beside an outside wall  underneath the sink then leave any cabinet doors open and apply an additional heat source under the cabinet.
  • If you have outside hose hydrants make sure that you disconnect any hoses from them at the first sign of cold weather.
  • If you have outside hose hydrants that are not self draining or frost proof type then hopefully you have a shut off valve directly before the piping exits the house and attaches to the hose. In this case at the first sign of cold weather, turn off the valve inside the house before the hydrant and open the outside valve up completely until warm weather returns. Opening the outside valve where the hose connects will let the piping exposed to inclement weather drain all water that could possibly freeze.

Please note: The above scenarios are the most common things we find and not all possibilities are covered!

Feel free to call us for further info! (513) 383-4242

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