So, it’s finally that time of year again where you whip out your routine maintenance checklist and inspect your home to know what you’ll need to take care of in the future. From dealing with damaged walls and chipping paint to sorting out leaky faucets and tile grout that’s become an unsightly dark green, there are different items that you’ll need to tend to sooner or later. 

As you continue to knock down the different tasks and home improvement project ideas on your list, you’ll eventually run into some items requiring more preparation and deliberation than others. One such example of a more complex to-do list item is anything related to dealing with your home’s water heater, especially when determining whether you need a replacement or repair.

A fork in the road

After years of usage, your water heater will eventually reach a point where it’s seen its best days and is no longer the quick, easy, and convenient tool that it used to be. 

Over time, you’ll begin to notice a slow decline in terms of your appliance’s ability to perform as it no longer heats up as well as it should and leaves you feeling cold even if you have the knob cranked all the way to the right. At some point, your water heater will experience signs of persistent leaks that can no longer be considered minor as they also pose threats to your safety at home.

Once the signs begin to show, you’ll come to realize that there is no better time to take action so that you no longer have to put up with the inconvenience of a failing heater. However, it can be quite difficult to discern whether you’re facing the need for a full-blown replacement or a simple repair.

When should you opt to repair your water heater instead of replacing it?

While the manufacturer’s recommendations for the average appliance suggest that a heater is good for 8 to 12 years, there are some warning signs that show before it hits the baseline mark, which bears a cause for concern. These visible issues can often be dealt with through the use of a repair as they tend to be solved quickly with a new part or set of adjustments. 

The basic rule of thumb for determining if a water heater can still be repaired once it starts to show problems is that you need to be aware of these four factors:

  • The repair call with an expert must be scheduled first for a total inspection
  • The heater itself needs to be less than eight years old 
  • The heater’s tank doesn’t have any leaks at the base of the tank
  • The heater itself doesn’t behave erratically

Once you spot these key factors and receive confirmation from an expert like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing that your problematic heater is repairable, all you’ll need to do is schedule the necessary fixes and keep up with regular maintenance! 

When is it time to get a replacement?

On the other hand, knowing when to get a replacement for your water heater is a fairly straightforward process because there are definitive factors that you can spot. 

For starters, a full replacement for your heating appliance is worth considering once it meets the end of its shelf life, as its components are rated to only last for that specific period of time. Additionally, any erratic behavior (such as intense, uncontrollable heat or extended periods of cold water) paired with a leaking tank base is also a strong indicator that you’ll need a switch soon. Beyond erratic signs and a manufacturer’s set shelf life, it is also worth going for a replacement if you want to upgrade to a tankless or more efficient option for your home! 


Deliberating between replacing and repairing your home’s water heater can be difficult because it isn’t necessarily common knowledge. Yet, keeping the right details in mind can help you find an answer easier. Once you keep the key factors mentioned above in mind, you’ll be able to ensure that you make the right choice once the time to choose arises! 

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing provides professional emergency water heater services in Lakeport, CA. If you’ve got a leaky faucet at home that won’t stop causing problems, get in touch with us today so that we can get everything sorted out!

So, you just bought a new dishwasher, and you do not know how to install them. The first thing that comes to mind is to seek help from professional contractors, so you went and called the plumbers for help. 

Now it got you thinking: did you just call the plumbers for a dishwasher installation concern? Is it actually a concern, or should you have just tried to work on it yourself? Before you think of anything else, know that what you did is totally fine! Plumbers do help out in installing dishwashers at home—in fact, it’s best if you rely on them to do so then attempt to DIY it. 

Plumbers Install Fixtures Too

Asking for the plumber’s service is better than figuring it out by yourself. Although DIY methods would work for some, it is not something to perform when there are indoor plumbing concerns. 

Here are some of the valid reasons for calling the plumber’s help:

  1. They know the codes that should be followed in your area that you probably do not about. Most installations occurring inside the house need to follow specific safety rules and regulations that most homeowners are not familiar with. However, all home contractors know about them and strictly follow them to ensure that your house is safe at all times.
  2. Improper installation could result in much bigger problems later. For example, a dishwasher that does not work correctly could end up doing water damage. That means wasting a lot of water and letting your house suffer in the process!
  3. They could guarantee error-free performance for your dishwasher. Avoid feeling frustrated over a malfunctioning appliance. Getting the help of a professional installer from the start would mean a smoother experience for you.
  4. Avoid expensive repairs or penalties later. A correctly installed appliance from the start would not bring you any problems later. Otherwise, you might spend some more on repairing a broken dishwasher or replacing it with a new one. 

If you try to sell the house, and the home inspector discovered that your dishwasher is problematically installed, you need to perform necessary repairs too before selling the house. At the end of the day, it would still be your responsibility.

Here Is How Plumbers Work and Why They Can Help You

Plumbers do not simply put the dishwasher in place and then make it function. A lot of tests happen inside the house. First, they would check your water supply line, and then they also test the power voltage of your old washer. These steps help them determine the kind of setup that your house previously had. If they notice any connection repairs needed, they will handle that as well to remove any potential problems later. These steps also ensure the safety of your household.

They also carefully take off the old dishwasher’s connection without creating unnecessary water spills or leaks around the house. Once everything is cleared, that is the only time that they install the dishwasher to where it should be.

In short, the plumber makes sure that your electrical cables, drains, and dishwasher supply lines work well together and are properly connected to ensure the quality service of your home appliance. 


DIY methods exist for some work around the house, but they are not meant for everything. Make sure to rely on an expert when it involves electrical or plumbing systems. Besides a guaranteed better service, you get to avoid future headaches and expenses! The next time you have any other concerns related to water lines, do not hesitate to contact your local plumbers for help.

For your plumbing installation needs in Lakeport, CA, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing has got what you need! We are your local 24/7 emergency service provider. Whether you need bathroom or kitchen fixtures installed, our plumbing experts are always ready to help. Call us at (707)-263-1629 to book a service.  

If you take the time to look around your home, there is likely no fixture as reliable and trustworthy as your toilet. It’s always there when you need it, and it always works as it should. That is, until one day, it just doesn’t work like it used to. Something as simple as a leak is impossible to ignore and can cause a lot of problems. If you’re not sure what’s causing the leak or how to fix a toilet, here’s a simple guide for you.

Damaged Flipper

Your toilet works by storing water in a tank, which is then released when you flush it. Whenever you flush, a little thing called a flapper serves as the door that lifts open to allow the water to flow out and into the toilet. Over time, this flapper can either warp, crack, or break, resulting in a leak. 

This can be hard to detect immediately, and plumbers even refer to it as a silent leak. However, an easy fix for a damaged flapper is to replace it with a new one. It’s relatively cheap, and you can replace it yourself with a toilet repair kit.

Cracked Supply Line

Water flows into the toilet’s tank through a cold-water supply line. When it is working properly, the line is a closed system, preventing air from seeping in and water from seeping out. As with other components, this can also crack or be damaged over time. When that happens, you’ll notice a puddle of water always forms on the floor around your toilet.

A tiny crack is fine, but if left on its own, it could cause some serious flooding in your bathroom. Switch off your water supply in the meantime while you call plumbing services for help.

Damaged Tank

As mentioned before, your toilet holds clean water inside a tank that will be used when you flush. If you start to see water on the floor around your toilet, a damaged tank could be a likely cause. 

As a temporary solution, you can apply putty or sealants on the crack or hole on the tank to stop the water from leaking out. However, it may not hold for long. Still, the best solution here is to install a new toilet. If you have a two-piece toilet, you can usually just buy a new tank rather than replacing the entire toilet.

Damaged Bowl

A damaged boil will almost always result in a leak. Since your bowl is designed to always hold water, any holes or cracks will likely drain the water directly on your bathroom floor. A crack in heavily used porcelain or ceramic ware will not be fully sealed with putty or glue. This is a serious problem as you run the risk of spilling wastewater on your floor. As a rule of thumb, any structural damage like a crack on your toilet warrants a new replacement.


Toilet leaks are an uncommon problem to have, but they can cause a lot of headaches to you and your family when they happen. Even if the issues are small, they can quickly add up and result in costly repairs if you just leave them be. For any plumbing-related issue, it’s always best to call your local plumber to fix it for you.

Whether it’s a leaky faucet or a cracked water line, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is here to help. We’re just a phone call away whenever you need emergency plumbing services in Mendocino County. Our team of professional plumbing experts is reliable, skilled, and always ready to help. Call our 24/7 hotline for any plumbing emergencies.

Many households like yours believe that plumbing is simple once you learn about the basics, like fixing a dripping faucet. However, you must know more about them. One of the most important pipes is the p-trap, the component that drains wastewater from sinks, showers, and washing machines. If you don’t know how to maintain and fix it, you can expect many problems. As such, use this article as your guide to learning more about p-traps and what every household should do to avoid inconveniences. 

How Does a P-Trap Work?

Besides draining the wastewater, your p-trap ensures freshwater can be conveniently accessed. In fact, all the harmful substances, like the fumes and gases, are eliminated because of the drain’s p-trap. This step is crucial to make certain you have safe water for your household’s intended use. Because of the importance of this component in home plumbing, it’s designed in a particular way that regulates the steady water flow. 

The P-trap’s structure is combined with two 90-degree joints with an overflow pipe fixed horizontally, giving it the P shape. One joint exits the sink’s drain, joining another through a water seal system to go through the overflow pipeline. This seamless design may seem airtight, but you have to note that the sealant weakens over time due to clogged remnants in the p-trap. Thus, it’s important to get it serviced, inspected, and replaced by a qualified plumber. 

Why Should P-Traps Be Fixed and Inspected by Experienced Plumbers? 

Without a well-functioning p-trap, you can expect water draining and flowing inconsistencies in your home plumbing system, affecting your convenient use. It can even be dangerous because exposure to wastewater may make you and your family sick. 

Additionally, the State of California plumber code recognizes the amount of technical work and attention to detail required to fix a p-trap. Hence, they require each to have an open-drain line that goes to the drain-waste-vent system to eliminate liquid and gas waste. Therefore, if you feel there’s a problem, contact emergency plumbing services in California right away. 

What Are the Common Household Issues for P-Traps? 

Besides debris-up in the sealant, take note of the following household p-trap problems to watch out for: 

  1. Dry p-traps: Your home has a dry p-trap when it loses the water seal. As a result, it allows sewer gases to re-enter your plumbing system, contaminating your water supply. 
  1. Smelly p-traps: When your p-tap accumulates plenty of gas and liquid waste, it backs up and flows into the house. It lingers in the pipelines, causing gases like nitrogen, methane, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon monoxide to affect your freshwater supply. In effect, you can end up with a disease-ridden home when you clean with your water and drink it for your daily consumption. Thus, if you smell a foul odor from your pipes, seek emergency plumbing services immediately to unclog your drain and fix the problem. 
  1. Leaking p-traps: P-trap leakage begins small then can lead to clogged drains, especially if not installed properly. Outdated plumbing can also be the main cause, so you need the help of an experienced plumber to recommend you the best solution. 


P-traps are an essential part of household water systems, and you should take proper care of them. Being ignorant about them can also affect your quality of life. Fortunately, you now have a better understanding of what you need to know about them, especially during emergencies. Thus, consider getting your plumbing repaired or inspected today to prevent worse issues. 

Are you in need of professional home plumbing services in Mendocino County, California? Consult with us at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. We are your dedicated team of licensed plumbers, providing you with reliable installations, repairs, and other solutions for your utmost convenience. If you have any emergency plumbing issues you would like to bring up, don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 staff at 707-263-1629.

For most people, the plumbing system isn’t exactly a priority whenever they plan on doing a renovation project. It’s almost always about a new set of cabinets, maybe a glass shower enclosure, or new flooring, but it’s never about upgrading the plumbing. Whenever you neglect your plumbing, pipes suffer from the elements and start to corrode. Over time, leaks begin to pop up out of nowhere. Before these problems turn into a disaster, you should look for these telltale signs that you need to call plumbing services for an upgrade.

Water Discoloration

Discolored water is a serious concern, especially if you’re living in a highly urbanized area. Seeing brown or dark water means that your pipes are probably starting to corrode, leaving rust as the water runs through them. If left untreated, mineral deposits will begin to build up and clog the pipes. Eventually, those pipes will start to leak and finally burst because of all the pressure! You better call a highly qualified plumbing technician as soon as you see signs of murky, discolored water.

Dripping Faucets and Showerheads

A dripping faucet doesn’t seem that alarming at first, but it can cause some headaches and can even drive up your water bill if you don’t know how to fix a leaky faucet. Usually, taps start to leak because the washer or gasket inside has become too worn out that it’s beyond repair.

If your showerhead is leaking, the showerhead’s connection with the pipe stem is probably just loose and can be easily fixed. However, if tightening doesn’t solve the issue, then rust or degradation must be keeping it from tightening enough. When this happens, it’s probably time to replace your showerhead.

Low Water Pressure

Having low water pressure could be caused by a lot of factors. One common reason is the municipal water supply probably reduced the pressure because of repairs. But beyond that, there might be a clogged or leaking pipe that’s causing the pressure to weaken. Be wary of leaking pipes because it can cause wood to rot and encourage mold growth. The easiest fix is to first try using a drain cleaner and see if there are any changes in the water pressure. Otherwise, it’s time to call the local plumbing company.

Mold or Mildew

Undetected leaks are almost a guarantee that mold and mildew will start to grow out of the affected area. Mold concentrations typically occur in bathrooms or even in a leaky faucet near your garden shed. Wherever the leak is, you’re sure to find mold starting to grow out of it! 

Mold can be a difficult thing to address and should be handled by a professional mold remediation specialist. As for the leaky pipes, if you’re still unable to locate the source of the leak, then you should probably call a plumber before the problem gets worse.


These signs are perfect indicators of a plumbing system that needs a serious upgrade or even a complete replacement. Whether they’re leaking faucets or discolored water, you should find time to have the problem fixed as soon as you can. Of course, the easiest way to fix any plumbing issue is to call an experienced professional.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is your friendly neighborhood plumbing company ready to serve our clients in Lake and Mendocino counties. We provide emergency drain cleaning, repairs, and plumbing installation services in a quick and efficient manner. Trust our team to be punctual and professional at all times. Contact us for emergency services!

Drain clogging often happens when debris and foreign objects get stuck in drain pipes. It may also be a buildup of residue that makes a pipe impassable. Some homeowners do not always check their drains regularly; thus, the clogging worsens over time. This is when you need to get reliable drain cleaning services to solve the issue. If you wait too long, your pipes might burst, crack, leak, and result in immensely costly repairs.

Common Causes of Drain Clogging

Here are some of the typical causes of a clogged drain:

– Hair (it binds with sticky substances like )grease

– Food waste

– Soap (some traditional soaps contains fat and oil)

– Mineral buildup

– Dirt and mud

– Accumulation of toilet paper

– Small objects

– Tree roots that may cause leaks and cracks in the pipes

Some of these items can be removed using a drain cleaner available in your local hardware store. However, when a drain has been clogged for a long time, you should contact an expert who can provide the right solutions.

What to Do With Unclogged Drains?

One thing that homeowners dread is when the water in their drain does not go down. That means something might be wrong. When it comes to clogged drains, it is crucial to understand your best options.

When your drains at home are clogged, you can do the following :

1. You can use boiling water to dissolve fats and other organic matter in the sink. However, this is not applicable if you have PVC pipes.

2. Use the plunger method to remove the clog. Choose a cup-shaped plunger and check it regularly to avoid further accumulation.

3. Use baking soda and vinegar. A mixture of these two can be used as an effective way to remove clogs from the drain.

4. Have local plumbers enact regular drain maintenance to ensure that it will not result in other problems.

5. Dispose of or put left-over foods in a compost pit so that you can use them for other purposes.

There are other ways on how to unclog a drain at your home. However, it is still best to work with the experts.


As the adage goes: prevention is always better than cure. It is better to avoid clogging your drains than paying to fix them; it is also less expensive. It is vital to practice good habits to prevent clogged drains.

Scrape the dishes to remove food waste before washing them. Doing so will get rid of the food waste trapped in the drains. Make sure to remove hair and other debris. Practice proper garbage disposal in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the house. You can also have regular maintenance of the drains by pouring hot water on them every week.

No matter how excellent your appliances are, there are still instances when your drains will clog. When you do not pay proper attention to your plumbing, this can result in bigger problems and large expenses. 

For excellent plumbing services, it is recommended to choose a company that is quick and reliable. You can rely on our competent team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Call us now at (707)-263-1629!

There is nothing more alarming, inconvenient, and disruptive than having water leaks at home. The chances are that you have a leaky faucet, a dripping pipe, or a loose water heater. When confronted with these problems, you would be considering fixing them by yourself or hiring a local plumber. However, what can be even more problematic is when not everyone at home notices the water leaks. In fact, leaving these leaks unidentified and unattended for long periods can escalate into serious property damage, mold infestation, sickness, and high water bills. For this reason, it’s essential to be on the lookout for water leaks before they get worse.

In this article, we will share five warning signs that you have water leaks at home:

1. High water bills

As a responsible homeowner, you must always check your monthly water bill expenses. After months and years of staying on the property, you should already have an idea of how much the whole household is consuming water. If you suddenly notice a high water bill without any valid reason, you may be experiencing hidden water leaks. As such, be sure to monitor your water consumption and call a plumbing inspection service to get to the bottom of it!

2. Low water pressure level

There is nothing more annoying than having low water pressure levels when you want to wash the dishes or take a shower. If this is constantly happening with an unexplainable drop in water pressure, your property may already have some water leaks. In such cases, it is best to call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing’s experts to come over and have a look at your pipes. There could be a minor issue with your system, or it could be affecting other houses as well.

3. Water spots on your walls

Some warning signs you have water leaks at home are those water spots on your walls. They may come from your ceiling, run through the walls, seep into the floors, and settle in your basement. Without you knowing, your residential property might already have some internal structural damages. As soon as you see some stains on the walls, especially after heavy rainfall, be sure to have them checked for potential water leaks immediately!

4. Musty odor and foul smell

Foul odors coming from different parts of your home typically indicate a potential water leak. These smells may be caused by mold growth and infestation due to excessive moisture in the area. They may also come from your plumbing pipes that are leaking stinky wastewater. Not only will they cause some damages to your property, but they will also compromise the whole household’s health. As such, never ignore these musty smells, and you should locate the source and fix it as soon as possible.

5. Running water meters

When you want to check for potential water leaks, an excellent idea would be to check your water meter. All it takes is to shut your main water and all other water fixtures and appliances and check your water meter after two hours to see if it has changed. If it changed, you might have some water leaks at home. Be sure to track their source and call our experts to remedy the situation right away!


At this point, you now know the five warning signs of water leaks you must be wary of—high water bills, low water pressure level, water spots on your walls, musty smells, and running water meters. If you notice one or some of these, be sure to call the experts for plumbing inspection and repair immediately so that the leaks won’t cause major damages. Ultimately, you must protect your home and your family by keeping your property free of any water leak!

Are you wary of potential water leaks at home? Let our emergency plumbers in California assist you! We provide plumbing services from plumbing installations to plumbing repairs to water installations. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

Leaky faucets: although these problems may not seem so significant at first compared to other plumbing troubles at home, the truth is that they’re a nuisance not to be messed with because of the trouble they bring.

Regardless if you’re dealing with a problem that manifests in annoying drops from the spout or one that can’t be fully shut off, a leaky appliance will always be a concern. Considering that even the slowest or random drips can lead to higher bills, extra damage, and wasted water, it’s easy to see why such problems shouldn’t be taken lightly either way.

While you may know that incessant dripping is a concern that can’t ever be overlooked, the chances are that you also don’t know about the problem at hand as well as you should. Thankfully, you won’t have to be a sitting duck with a leaky valve because understanding the problem isn’t difficult once you keep this guide in mind: 

Why do faucets leak?

To best understand why faucets leak, it’s critical to first know how they work. Typically, the conventional system works by controlling the flow of water through an inner stem or cartridge with rubber or neoprene washers or seals. These washers and seals then open and close against water inlet ports inside the faucet body to open, close, or control the flow of water that comes out.

The trouble with leaky faucets often brews whenever the seals mentioned above don’t properly fit. This is a problem that may not seem like much at first but will definitely give its fair share of headaches in the long run. Often, the seal failures happen because of any of these gap-causing problems:

  • Corrosion
  • Foreign material in a faucet body
  • Washers or seals that have lost their resiliency

Once a gap develops, the resulting issue allows a small amount of water to continue up to the faucet spout until it creates a constant, wasteful, and uncontrolled dripping, causing the annoying problem in question!

Fixing the problem in question

Contrary to popular belief, leaky faucets aren’t the “impossible fix” that most people claim them to be because all it really requires is the right tips in mind, some patience, and basic tools. Whether your leaks are caused by work O-rings, corroded parts, or mineral buildup, this guide will serve you particularly well and ensure that you come prepared to hand your pesky leak with ease: 

Step #1: Turn your water supply off

Before using any wrench or screwdriver on your fixture, make sure your water supply is turned off. Typically, you’ll be able to turn the supply off by turning each knob from the handles over the sink to the knobs underneath that control the water coming in from the mainline.

Step #2: Remove decorative parts and other knobs

After you turn off your water supply, you’ll need to remove all the other bits and fixings in your faucet—namely your knobs, ornamental handles, or anything that controls the flow of your water. Once you remove both knobs, you’ll be able to access and unscrew the screw that mounts the handle to the stem!

Step #3: Loosen the packing nuts and put in your replacements

By the time you’ve moved everything aside, you’ll need to loosen the packing nut and remove the stem with a wrench so that you can put your replacement O-ring and washer to fix the leak. Afterward, put the stem back to test for dripping or leaking—if a leak remains, then it’s best to call in the services of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing’s experts!


As minor as it may seem at first, dealing with a leaky faucet will always be a concern because the problems and risks that it brings will affect your sanity, water bill, and plumbing. Through this guide’s help, you’ll have all the necessary details in mind and help ensure that you’re best-equipped to take care of the problem at hand!

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing provides professional plumbing services in California. If you’ve got a leaky faucet at home that won’t stop causing problems, get in touch with us today so that we can get everything sorted out!

Coming across a clogged drain in your home, even a small one, can put a damper on your day. How you deal with it can also affect how the rest of your day, or week, goes as planned. For relatively small clogs, a simple DIY option (which we’ll explore below) can suffice for the time being and get you moving on with your regular schedule for the day. But, if the easy fixes don’t work right away, getting a professional plumber to clear that drain is your best bet to avoid a lot more time spent trying to figure out the problem as well as costly mistakes and major messes. Furthermore, even if a quick fix gets you by in the meantime, you may want to get a professional plumber in your home sooner rather than later to take a look at what is going on further down the line in your pipes to avoid a major disaster in the near future.

As far as small clogs are concerned, as mentioned above, we’ll explore a couple of DIY options that can get you by in the meantime until you are able to call in a professional plumber at a time that is convenient for you. The method you choose depends on a number of things.  For most people, one of the primary considerations is cost.  When considering cost, we need to remember that nothing is more valuable, or irreplaceable, than our time.

One way is the hanger hook method.  Wire hangers make great clog-clearing devices.  They are long and thin enough to snake down a drain.  The natural hook at the end is great for catching and reeling in hairballs.  However, if you aren’t able to find a metal hanger, it is possible to make a similar hair fishing tool using a stick, a rubber band, and a paper clip.  The potential drawback to this method is that the clog may be further down than the hanger wire is long, which is only about 2 feet.  The best thing about this method is the cost for trying it—which is $0.00—or zero dollars.  The time factor is about 15 minutes.

Another method is pouring boiling water down the drain.  If the clog is caused by a combination of soap and chemicals from shampoo products there is a good chance that boiling water can dissolve enough of it to get your drain working again.  Of course, boiling water can’t dissolve hair or anything else that may be causing a clog, but again, it costs zero dollars to try.  The time factor for this one is also about fifteen minutes, but unlike the hanger hook method, you can do other things while you’re waiting for the water to boil.

A third method is one that is safer for pipes than caustic chemical drain cleaners, and less expensive, too.  A combination of vinegar and baking soda in equal parts can dissolve tougher clogs.  Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and vinegar contains acetic acid.  When combined, they create a bubbling carbon dioxide reaction that lowers the water’s Ph level and can dissolve some types of clogs.  This method requires pouring a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar, down the drain. It also requires some patience, since it isn’t as fast as stronger chemical drain cleaners.  After an hour or two, complete the process and check your success by pouring boiling water down the drain.  Again, this method isn’t likely to be effective against tough clogs, but but cost is only about $2.00 and thirty minutes.

A popular non-chemical method is using a plunger. Unlike costly, space-consuming plumbing tools, most people have one.  After creating a seal, pushing down the plunger stick inverts the plunger cap and forces the air that was in the cap into the pipe.  When the plunger stick is pulled back, it sucks air and water up with it to create a vacuum effect powerful enough to dislodge the clog. Ironically, especially in the case of a toilet clog, a potential drawback is that the plunger method will work too well, and that the entire bathroom will have to be disinfected as a result. The cost of a plunger is about $5.00.  The time required for plunging is from 5 to 15 minutes. The time for disinfecting the bathroom afterwards may vary according to both the size of the clog and the size of your bathroom.

Keep in mind, these methods are only to be used for small clogs. Anything larger or a recurring clogged drain will require a call to reputable, professional plumber, such as Benjamin Franklin of Lake & Mendocino Counties.  Their equipment, employees, and labor are insured, so that if any damage is caused, you won’t have to pay thousands more to repair it.  Additionally, you can be assured that a professional plumber will use equipment and techniques to ensure your water will not be contaminated from harmful chemicals. A good company will provide you with a comprehensive estimate that includes an explanation of exactly what work needs to be completed and why, as well as a warranty on their work.

We all want to save money whenever possible.  Many of us also enjoy learning new skills and the feeling of empowered accomplishment when we are able to successfully tackle a home repair on our own.  However, the health and well-being of our families and communities is something none of us can, or should, put a price tag on.

If you have a tough clog that cannot be cleared using these methods or it just keeps coming back, give Benjamin Franklin of Lake & Mendocino Counties a call today. We will find the problem and get it taken cared of in an effective, clean, and safe manner and help you avoid costly damage done to your pipes or the stress of putting potentially harmful chemicals into your water supply. Give us a call today at give us a call at (707)-263-1629 or toll free at (877) 236-1776 or you can also visit us online at


The holiday season is here and that means one thing, food and more food. Cooking is obviously part of the merry making and for that reason, you will need to be careful about how you use and care for your garbage disposal machine. Your garbage disposal is your kitchen’s workhorse and needs to be cared for to serve you well. When it breaks down, then you can be sure to have some serious drama in the kitchen. You can avoid all this by having it regularly maintained and by using it for the purposes it’s intended. Garbage disposal is not an all-garbage-fits machine. There are some types of disposables that cannot be ejected through the disposal. Read on to find out more.

How The Garbage Disposal Works

A garbage disposal works in a simple enough manner. The machine has an insulated, high-torque, electric motor which spins a circular turntable located above it. There are shredder rings that surround the turntable, which has several sharp slots. When scraps of food are fed through the disposer, they land on the turntable and with the help of a centrifugal force, the food pieces are propelled to the turntable’s perimeter via the shredder ring. The turntable utilizes swiveling lugs, which help the food pieces to go through the shredder. The foodstuff is expelled in liquid form into existing infrastructure such as waste water treatment and underground sewers for management of the same. Foodstuffs make up 10-20 percent of waste from households hence, garbage disposals allow for a reduction in the amount of waste that makes it to the landfills.

How to Use the Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is for biodegradable stuff only. Read the manual carefully to enlighten yourself on what can and cannot be disposed through it. When in use, you should have water flowing to it continuously and even 20 seconds after you are done using it. Do not be in a hurry to dispose off foodstuff, do it slowly and in small amounts.

How to Avoid Drain Clogs

As mentioned above, there are some things that cannot be ejected through the disposal machine and these include:

  • Grinding potato peels will form a mushy paste that will clog the drain
  • Grinding banana peels will also form a mushy paste with strings and which will definitely clog the drain
  • Eggshells and coffee grounds will form layers of tiny granules that will accumulate to form sludge and eventually block the pipes
  • Grinding glass in an attempt to clean the disposal will not sharpen the cutting blades, will not clean the drain, and will definitely not drain easily.

When your drain clogs, avoid doing the following:

  • Using your fingertips to pull out the clogging stuff; use a pair of tongs or pliers instead.
  • Pouring hot water will only make the melted fats to worsen the situation
  • Using commercial cleaner or bleach to clean the drain

How to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal

If the disposer dysfunctions suddenly, you will need to turn off the switch immediately before taking any actions. If it is not malfunctioning but instead, it emits a wretched smell, then it’s time to clean it up. There is no need to go into panic, you can use the everyday household stuff to give it a squeaky clean up.

  • Fill it up with a cup of rock salt and ice cubes then run it for 10-20 seconds.
  • Alternatively, prepare some vinegar ice cubes and use this on a weekly basis.
  • Try untangling any fibers using the wrench that came as part of the garbage disposal package when you purchased it. Use the wrench to turn the nut at the bottom, press the small red reset button located at the center, then restart by flipping the switch.

For a Fresh and Clean Disposer

You want to ensure that your garbage disposal does not create havoc in your kitchen or worse still, your entire house. For that, you need to keep it smelling clean and fresh.This is what you need to do:

  • Treat your disposer with a half cupful of vinegar and a handful of baking soda every month. Turn off the disposer before pouring this mixture, then let it set in the hopper for a few minutes.
  • Once the foaming is over, rinse using hot water that will run down the drain for a few seconds.
  • Maintain the disposer using ground lemon  or orange peels and ice cubes
  • Do not clean your disposer with water and bleach. Bleach is caustic and will only harden the grease present ion the drain lines. Bleach will also kill friendly, useful bacteria that are present in your septic tank, rendering the tank ineffective.

How to Avoid Clogging

  • Plenty of water is necessary for a clog-free disposer. Every time you use the garbage disposal, make sure you run plenty of water during and after use. Again, maintain it by regularly grinding pieces of lemon or orange peels in combination with ice cubes poured down the drain.
  • Wash your dishes with de-greasing dishwasher detergents. Grease traps bacteria in the drain pies which eventually cause foul odors to be emanated from the disposer. Accumulated grease in the drain pipes also contributes to stubborn clogging in the pipes.
  • As described above, avoid grinding up egg shells, coffee grounds, banana peels, and potato peels.

Garbage Disposal Repair

Sometimes the clogging in the disposer may lead up to more serious problems that you cannot handle. In such cases, it is advisable to call in a professional plumber to assess and diagnose the problem. Trying to fix a problem that you do not have experience in resolving can cost you more in damages and repairs. Look out for these tell tale signs before getting the plumber to resolve the issue:

  • Frequent clogs despite proper care and maintenance
  • Bad odors that persist even after thorough cleaning of the system
  • A leak that cannot be fixed easily
  • If you need to press the reset button several times
  • If the disposer refuses to turn on
  • If the disposer makes growling or crackling sounds that go on for days

If the plumber determines that the garbage disposal is beyond repair, or if costs of repair will eventually exceed those of purchasing another one, then you will need to get a new one installed. There are several top-of-the-line models available in the market and which come at affordable prices. Your plumber will give you advice on which garbage disposal to install and one that will give you longevity in service.

Bottom Line

Garbage disposal machine in good working condition will always give you a peace of mind, get a professional plumber, like Benjamin Franklin of Lake and Mendocino County, today to help you fix any problem with your machine. If you need help with any repair or replacement of your garbage disposal, give us a call at 707)-263-1629 or toll free at (877) 236-1776. You can also visit us online at