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Tips For Avoiding a Plumbing Disaster: An Interview with Thomas Burton of Burton's Plumbing and Heating

By Kristen Bosse

Please describe the background of your company and the various services you offer.

We are a full service plumbing company offering service 7 days a week. We also provide a service at night or on weekends for emergency repairs.

We replace water heaters, garbage disposals, sump pumps and repair any kind of leak. We do gas piping. We repair and replace residential and Commercial Boilers.

We do Bathroom and Kitchen remodeling offering ceramic tile, cultured marble and carry the Bertch manufacturer of bathroom cabinetry.

All our renovations are performed by our employees. We do not subcontract portions of the bathroom that would extend the time frame of a certain remodel substantially.

What are the most common causes of leaks in the kitchen sink?

The most common cause of leaks under a kitchen sink is from the drain lines. The normal kitchen dish soap is corrosive along with the standard cooking grease deteriorates the drain line and the connection gaskets. The number of connections under a kitchen sink also increases the potential source of a leak.

What are some maintenance tips to avoid clogging or drainage problems?

Removal of as much kitchen grease from dishes and utensils will prevent the drains from being clogged. The grease when it is put down the drain is liquid but when it reaches the cold drain line pipes it solidifies and creates build up in the drain line. Continued build up will cause drain line clogs.

What will the video inspection let me know about my plumbing system?

Video inspection of any drain line will let you know the integrity of the actual pipe. On exterior sewer mains the video camera will determine if you have roots infiltrating the sewer causing potential sewer back up. The video camera can determine places in the sewer that may have sunk creating a belly in the sewer line. This belly will allow debris to sit and create and additional drain line clog.

Video inspection of drain lines inside of the home will also allow you to see the condition of the drain line. Often drain lines at the base of stacks are rotted out on the bottom due to the corrosive debris sitting at the stack base. The water action of continuously flowing by the base of a stack will also create holes in the bottom of the horizontal drain lines. The holes in the bottom of the drain line allows sewage to seep out under the basement concrete creating bad odors as well as interrupting the good drain line flow.

How do I make sure my pipes don't freeze this winter season?

When wind chills are very low the best way to prevent water piping from free zing is to allow the water in fixtures that have a potential to freeze up need to be allowed to run very slightly both hot and cold.

To prevent freeze ups from occurring is best to perform a maintenance check of open access doors and shutting of vents to the crawl space in the winter. Make sure that there are very few openings that will allow wind to penetrate the crawl space.

What types of materials are okay to put in my garbage disposal?

Any food waste with the exception of grease is allowed to be put down the disposal. When you have very fibrous items such as celery it is best to feed the disposal slowly to prevent the fibers from clogging the drain line.

Fats and gristle from meats should not be put down the disposal. Pasta or starchy food are best to be put down again very slowly so that the water can break down the sticky nature of the starch. Let the water run continuously when operating the disposal.

Any other tips to avoid plumbing issues in my home?

Keep your eyes and ears open for sounds such as running water, toilets flushing on their own and leaks from any piping in a basement or mechanical area. Leaks need to be addressed. They usually do not go away.

Make sure that you do some preventative procedures in the fall such as shutting off the outside faucets to reduce emergency plumbing calls.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

Our phone number is 734 722 4170. You may also call us at 734 B-U-R-T-O-N-S. Our email address is burtonplumbing1@sbcglobal.net. You can also visit our web site at www.burtonsplumbing.com.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

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