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Learning how to winterize house plumbing in New Jersey can help prevent unnecessary repair costs. Preventing frozen pipes reduces the risk of them bursting and then flooding your home. Replacing those pipes, along with flood and mold cleanup costs, can run into hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

With this in mind, check out some tips on how to prepare your home’s plumbing for cold winter weather. Also, never hesitate to ask a New Jersey plumber for more advice on regular maintenance and needed fixes. They can ensure quality repairs for damaged or corroded fixtures and other plumbing issues on your property.

completed plumbing installation

How to Winterize House Plumbing in New Jersey

There are two considerations when it comes to winterizing your home’s plumbing. One, you’ll want to keep pipes insulated while you’re still home. Two, property owners should keep water out of pipes for vacant houses. This second option works for snowbirds, unoccupied rental homes, unsold new construction, and the like.

How to winterize plumbing in a vacant home

In vacant homes, your best choice for winterizing your house plumbing is to drain out all water. To do this, start by shutting off the home’s main valve. You’ll find this valve where water enters the home, usually in a basement or crawl space.

Next, adjust the water heater thermostat to the lowest setting, but don’t shut it off. Turning off the water heater can allow water in the tank to freeze. Then, flush all the toilets in the home twice, to remove water from the tank and bowl.

Your next step is to pour a few tablespoons of antifreeze into all the home’s drains. This includes the kitchen and bathroom sinks and all tubs and showers. Lastly, open all your home’s kitchen and cabinet doors. Doing this allows warmer air in the room to circulate around plumbing pipes, preventing freezing.

How to winterize a house plumbing

Tips for insulating pipes if you’re home during the winter

If you’ll be home during winter months, of course, you don’t want to shut off the water! Instead, you’ll need to insulate pipes and prevent them from freezing. First, wrap exposed pipes and the water heater with insulating foam or blanketing, available from any home improvement store.

Second, keep water dripping from at least one tap during the coldest weather. This forces water to move continuously through pipes, which helps prevent freezing. Also, keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open. This helps circulate warm air around those pipes, as mentioned above.

Additionally, if the home has an attached garage, keep that door closed during winter months! A closed garage door helps insulate the home’s interior against outside weather. On the other hand, opening blinds and drapes lets in sunlight which can help keep a home warm. Take a moment to open as many window treatments as safely possible before heading off to work each day.

Lastly, keep the home somewhat warm even when out for the day. You can turn the thermostat down but don’t switch it off entirely. Failing to heat the home at least slightly can encourage freezing pipes and resultant bursts and floods.

kitchen with pipes under the sink

Will My Pipes Freeze If I Have No Heat?

Pipes freeze if the water inside of them reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit or zero degrees Celsius. In turn, not having heat in the house certainly does increase the risk of frozen pipes, as said! However, not having heat doesn’t guarantee frozen or burst pipes. For instance, insulated pipes and a home’s overall insulation protect water against freezing.

Also, lots of outside sunlight can mean warmer rooms inside, even without added heating. Homeowners might also forget that body heat adds to a room’s temperature overall! Lots of family members and pets can then mean just enough heat to prevent frozen pipes. Lastly, keeping a tap running can also prevent water from freezing.

That being said, don’t assume you can shut off your home’s heat during winter months. The cost of cleanup after a burst pipe is typically far more expensive than heating your home! Additionally, you don’t need to keep rooms overly warm to prevent freezing. Turn the thermostat down to the 60s or 50s if you must save money but avoid turning it off.

The team here at Alliance Service Pros hopes that we’ve helped explain how to winterize house plumbing in New Jersey. Hopefully, these tips will protect your home this winter! Also, if you’re in Camden, Burlington, or Mercer County, call our expert plumbing repair contractors. We offer top-notch plumbing fixes and installation for residential and commercial properties. To find out more or to get your property started on the service it needs to have done, call today!

Are you curious as to when indoor plumbing was invented? Property owners are often surprised that modern bathrooms aren’t as new as they think! After all, even ancient civilizations could see that tilting water at an angle allowed it to run freely. They could also see that, as water moves, it takes along other liquids and solid materials, including waste.

In turn, some older cultures offered indoor plumbing in one form or another. Eventually, those plumbing systems became what we enjoy in homes today. If you’re curious to learn more about what most people take for granted, keep reading! Learning about modern residential plumbing can also help you understand why it’s often more complicated than you might realize.


wc, barrier free toilet, disabled

When Was Indoor Plumbing Invented?

Would you believe the first toilet dates back to 1800 B.C.? Most historians credit the ancient palace of Knossos in Crete with having the world’s first flushing toilet. First, royalty sat on a wood seat over a clay bowl that served as a toilet. Next, water reserves flushed away the waste through pipes and ducts, likely to a nearby lake or river.

Moving forward several hundred years, the Romans also used plumbing throughout their cities. As early as 300 B.C., lead and clay pipes moved water from one spot to another. These pipes supplied water to decorative fountains or brought water to towns without sufficient wells.

Also, those pipes ran water into private homes and through public privies or toilets. These privies weren’t glamorous, consisting of long benches on which were carved openings where a person sat. Water originating from nearby baths ran under these toilets, washing away waste.

Additionally, archeologists have found complex pipe systems in ancient Mayan ruins dating back to 450 B.C. These pipes were coupled with what appeared to be toilets, suggesting that even the Mayans enjoyed indoor plumbing!

Lastly, Greek ruins also contain indoor plumbing systems back to 100 B.C. These systems consisted of pipes that supplied fresh water overhead, creating a showering system. Starting with a simple hole, the Greeks soon began fixtures similar to today’s showerheads. The Greeks also ran the water through hot air systems for a warm and comfortable showering experience!

plumber, handyman, repair

When Did Toilets Become Common In Homes?

A man named Alexander Cummings patented the first flush toilet design in 1775. His plans included an S-shaped pipe below the bowl that kept sewer gasses from coming back up through the toilet. However, these early toilets still let dangerous gasses seep through damaged seals and other parts.

To address this issue, a man named Joseph Bramah created a design with a hinged flap at the bottom of the bowl. A user would pull a chain to open the flap, then close it after use. This flap kept out sewer gasses and foul odors. Called a water closet, Bramah’s design was used well into the 1800s.

In 1861, plumber Thomas Crapper began to patent improved flush toilet designs. These designs included a floating ball that regulated water levels in a toilet tank. And yes, the slang term “crap” originated from Crapper’s last name!

Additionally, patents for showers were also filed in the late 1700s. However, as with toilets, plumbing needed for showers didn’t become commonplace until the early 1800s. By that time, indoor pipes and ducts were more commonplace and reliable, making showers possible.

When Did Most Houses Get Indoor Plumbing Systems?

Until the mid-1800s, indoor plumbing was enjoyed almost exclusively by those wealthy enough to afford it. Modern indoor plumbing only came to the White House in 1833, and even then, it only reached the main floor! Eventually, the John C. Flood plumbing company began to install indoor plumbing in homes in the northeast. Their work made indoor plumbing more commonplace than ever.

Additionally, scientists were beginning to learn the connection between certain diseases and poor sanitation during this time. In turn, lawmakers soon stepped in to regulate indoor plumbing. By the 1930s, they had created guidelines for public sewers, sanitation, and the like. In addition to these laws, the connection between poor sanitation and various sicknesses increased the demand for indoor plumbing.

When Did Outhouses Stop Being Used?

Even with laws addressing needed sanitation, outfitting homes with full-scale plumbing, including toilets, was not an overnight process! In 1950, about one-quarter of the houses in the U.S. still did not have an indoor toilet. Most of these homes were in rural or farm areas, which still relied on outhouses for bathrooms.

Also, some reports estimate that over one million U.S. residents still don’t have full plumbing facilities. These mainly include Appalachian communities, areas in Alaska, and other rural neighborhoods. As such, they might still rely on outhouses and manual wells for water.

outhouse, bathroom, camping

Is an Outhouse the Same as a Septic Tank?

Outhouses and septic tanks are not the same! An outhouse consists of a pit over which sits a bench or chair of some design. Typically, the user adds a composting material to the pit after relieving themselves. This material helps break down waste, keeps gasses from leaking out of the pit, and neutralizes odors.

Once the outhouse pit is full, it needs emptying, or a property owner can cover the pit and dig a new one. They would then relocate the outhouse accordingly.

On the other hand, a septic tank connects to indoor flush toilets and drains, just like a standard sewer system. These materials wash through connected pipes when you flush a toilet or pour something down the drain. Solid matters sink to the bottom of the tank. Liquid matter drains through an outlet to a drain field. Septic tanks need regular emptying to keep them usable and free of clogs and debris.

Alliance Service Pros is happy to help answer your questions about your indoor plumbing system and sewage systems. Hopefully, you found this information informative and entertaining. Call our New Jersey plumbing contractors if you’re concerned about your property. We offer expert services for both residential and commercial properties. Additionally, we use only the highest-grade materials for repair and replacement, ensuring durability. We also include a full warranty for parts and labor on every project. To find out more, contact us today.


Leaks are one of the most common and damaging plumbing problems a home can have. Even a tiny leak can ruin your drywall and lead to structural damage, not to mention the amount of wasted water and how it drives up your bills. 

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), leaks occur in 80% of homes at some point. This is due to the fact that pipes are often hidden behind walls or under floors, so it might not be evident if something is wrong.

 Leaks can be a serious problem for homeowners, but finding them is often easier said than done. Unless you know where to look for them, you might not even realize that you have a leak in your home.

You should never try to repair a leak on your own because it could cause further damage or make the problem worse. If you suspect that you have a leak in your home, contact a professional plumbing company as soon as possible so they can take care of it for you.

Professional plumbers have the experience and expertise for quick leak detection and repair them easily, so it's best to leave this job up to them.

Signs You May Have A Leak

Most homeowners don't notice the telltale signs of a water leak until it's too late. A pipe has burst and caused thousands of dollars in damage or ruined your flooring. Prevention is always the best option, and noticing signs your home may have a water leak can help prevent a costly disaster. 

Here are some common signs that indicate you may have a leak. 

What To Do If You Think You Have A Leak

If you don’t see any visible signs of water but have noticed some of the signs above, you should call a plumber immediately. A professional plumber has the tools and the know-how to find the leak quickly with leak detection tools and methods so they can fix it. They will walk through your home looking for signs of leaking, including under your skinks, checking out your fixtures, irrigation, and pool systems to rule them out. 

How Plumber Complete Leak Detection

Leak detection is one of the most important services a plumber offers. They use the special techniques below so they can find where the leak is occurring so they can repair them quickly to prevent further damage to your home. 

Acoustic Listening Devices

 Ground microphones, like listening discs, are devices used by plumbers to locate water leaks in pipes and underground tanks. They emit high-pitched sound vibrations into the ground, responding to sounds of water currents moving through a leak. This system is known as sonar technology.

The device emits a sound wave that travels down to the ground until it hits an object (such as a pipe or tank). The object acts as a barrier for the sound wave, which reflects back and is heard by the microphone when it reaches the surface again. The time taken for this reflection gives an idea of how deep below ground level the object is located.

Heat Scanners

 If you’re in the market for a new scanner, you might consider one that can tell temperature differences within the walls of your home. This means if there is a leak below or above, the thermal leak scanner will immediately pick it up and sound an alarm. Plumbing professionals sometimes refer to these as wand scanners.

The reason for this is that they are long and thin—like a wand—and can be used to measure temperature differences across pipes, walls, and floors. They can also be used to detect leaks and other problems in your plumbing system.

Video Pipe Inspection Equipment

 Plumbers use a few different ways to find leaks in pipes. One of these methods is by utilizing a special camera. This camera can be fed into the pipe by either pushing it on the end of a long, thin pole or through the use of flexible fiber optic cables. There are plumbers who still prefer this method over other leak detection methods claiming that it is the most precise and easy to see the condition of the inside of the pipe.

The plumber will begin by inserting the camera into one end of the pipe and then slowly pushing it through until he reaches his destination. When he arrives at his destination, he will be able to see any cracks or holes in your pipes that may be causing leaks. The only problem with this method is that it takes time for him to reach his destination, which could make him late for another job if there are many other customers waiting for service from him before yours gets done first

leaky faucet repair

Non-Invasive Leak Detection

Non-invasive leak detection is the process of finding leaks in plumbing without having to remove any materials or use any invasive methods. This is a great way to inspect without having to cut into the water supply line or disturb anything, which can save time and money. 

There are a few ways that you can use non-invasive leak detection. Professionals can use acoustic devices, infrared cameras, and even Bluetooth devices that can detect leaks. These methods have been used for years and have allowed many companies to complete leak detection before they become problems.

If you suspect a leak, make sure to call a professional plumber from Alliance Service Pros immediately so you can find the leaks as early as possible and save time and money. 

Dealing with a leaking toilet is not only an unpleasant experience, but it can also lead to water accumulating on your bathroom floor. Luckily, if you see your toilet leaking at the base area, it can be fixed quite easily. In this post, we'll go over the potential causes of these leaks, what tools you need and the steps on how to fix toilet leaking at the base.

Causes of Toilet Leaks

When you have a toilet clogged and leaking at the base, it’s a sign that there are underlying problems with the plumbing connections. It would be best if you get to the root cause of the problem to fix the leak completely.

Here are some of the potential causes of a leak at the base of your toilet:

  1. Water condensation. Humidity can cause condensation to form on the tank or bowl. The water drips down and accumulates, causing pooling at the base.
  2. Water supply lines are getting loose. Another common cause of moisture around the base of toilet systems is loose water supply lines. When this happens, you'll have water on the toilet floor at all times, and not just when you flush.
  3. Broken wax ring. The wax ring of your toilet can get worn out after years of use. It can also get damaged when the toilet gets loose. In addition, the seal on the wax ring may no longer be intact, thus causing water to leak out.
  4. Loose tee bolts. With RV toilets, this is often the cause. Sometimes an RV toilet leaking at the base is caused by the tee bolts loosening when the toilet gets rocked around during travel. Loose bolts cause the toilet to move around and break the wax ring seal. If this happens, drain water will seep out of the base each time someone flushes the toilet. This can also occur in toilets in the home, especially when using an old unit.
  5. Cracks on plastic bowls. This is another potential cause when you find your RV toilet leaking at the base. Many RVs have plastic bowls which can crack due to winterization. If this is the case, you will need to get a replacement bowl.
  6. Leaking flange. In some instances, the leak may be coming from the floor instead of the actual toilet base. It's significantly noticeable when you flush the toilet. In such cases, you will need to have the flange replaced to stop the leak.

Leaky Pipes

The Tools You'll Need To Fix A Toilet Leaking At The Base

Fixing a toilet leak will require a complete set of DIY plumbing tools. Depending on the severity of the problem, you will need some of the following items:

Some of the tools and equipment mentioned above are essential for fixing toilet leaks, like gloves and wrenches. You may not have to use a hacksaw for every toilet problem, but it may be useful for cutting down rusted toilet bolts

Easy Fixes For A Toilet Leaking At the Base

Now that you know the potential causes and the tools you'll need, here are some easy fixes for a toilet clogged and leaking at the base. Choose the solution depending on the potential cause you have spotted. 

We have arranged the solutions below in a step-by-step fashion. It means you can go over one fix after the other. Follow the steps below on how to fix a toilet leaking at the base.

Get Rid Of The Condensation

This is the easiest fix on our list. If you suspect condensation, you should insulate your water tank or install a tray to gather the condensation. You should also check for a faulty flapper inside the tank and tighten loose water supply lines if you find any. 

Check The Tee Bolts

Remove the plastic covering of the tee bolts located at the base of the toilet bowl. You can use a screwdriver or putty knife to remove the cover and tighten the screws with a wrench. Next, flush the toilet to check for a leak. If this doesn't fix the problem, the wax ring may need to be replaced.

Removing the Toilet

Now you're moving into the more nitty-gritty part of getting rid of moisture around the base of toilet fixtures. Shut off the water first before attempting to remove the toilet. You'll find the shutoff valve near the water supply tube on the left side of the toilet.

Follow the steps below to remove it:

  1. Drain all the water in the tank by flushing the toilet.
  2. Unscrew the mounting nuts on the supply tube. This tube is attached to the fill valve.
  3. Remove the nuts on the tee bolts using a wrench. If the bolts are already rusted, use a hacksaw to remove them.
  4. You may need some help with this next step as it requires heavy lifting: lift the toilet off the floor and set it aside.

If you're installing a replacement toilet, the next step is to get the new one and set it in place of the old one. Then, follow the steps in the next section that describe how to reinstall the toilet.

residential plumbing repairs nj

Replace the Wax Ring

Use your putty knife to remove the old worn-out wax ring and make sure you get all the wax. Next, install the new wax ring with the plastic cone facing downward into the drain. Finally, inspect the flange for leaks. If it's leaking, you will need to call for professional help. But if the flange is okay, just make sure that all the tee bolts are positioned correctly before reinstalling the toilet.

Reinstalling the Toilet

These are also the steps you'll use to install a new replacement toilet. First, lift the toilet carefully – have someone help you if the toilet is too heavy. Then, place it over the drain. Ensure that all the tee bolts go through the holes properly at the base.

Press the toilet down on the wax ring to create a tight seal. Use your wrench to tighten the nuts and tee bolts. Be sure not to make it too tight, or else the porcelain will crack.

Reconnect the Water Supply Lines

Reconnect the supply lines to the valve. Turn the water on and do a test flush. Inspect the base of the toilet for leaks.

Adding Some Caulking

Apply some caulking at the base of the toilet. This step helps to prevent further leaks, and it also creates a seal to prevent any odors coming from under the toilet.

Never Worry About Toilets Leaking At The Base Again

If you still have a leaking toilet at the base after following all the fixes mentioned above, then it's time to call for professional help. Sometimes diagnosing the underlying problem without the necessary skills and expertise can be complicated. 

Alliance Service Pros has professionally trained plumbers who can fix all types of toilet leaks, clogs and other plumbing issues quickly and considerately. In addition, we provide preventative maintenance tips to ensure you don’t deal with leaking toilets in the future. You can rely on our years of expertise and highly trained plumbers to get the job done the first time around. Contact us today for a free estimate.

For some, understanding kitchen sink anatomy is like understanding what goes on underneath the hood of your car - as long as it works, you don’t need to know! But what happens when water starts gushing out from behind the kitchen sink cupboard and you’re at a loss as to what to do next? 

Knowing how kitchen sink plumbing works when problems arise will help determine if you need to call in a plumber or if it’s a job you can tackle yourself. What’s great about kitchen sink anatomy is that it involves many of the core principles of plumbing, with many well-designed parts that facilitate waste and water leaving your property with minimal fuss. 

This blog unpacks some of the parts that make up the kitchen sink anatomy and delves into some useful tips that may save you time and money further down the line. 

How Kitchen Sink Plumbing Works

Upon closer inspection, hiding behind your kitchen sink cupboard doors is an assortment of pipes and plumbing parts that all work together to support daily functions. It may seem quite overwhelming at first, which is why we’ll go into the nitty-gritty details of the inner workings behind your kitchen cabinets. 

Firstly, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a hot and cold water tap, and post-cleaning there is grey (waste) water that needs to be disposed of efficiently. Further, if food particles build up, they’ll inevitably cause a clog in the kitchen sink anatomy. From the outlets to the pipes, there’s a delicate kitchen sink anatomy that keeps your kitchen space working efficiently. Sometimes, homeowners may require a faucet repair without even knowing it. Read on to learn more about your sink and how it works. Then, next time you're experiencing issues, you can get to the root of the problem.

The Faucet and Aerator 

Let’s start with the first thing we often notice in kitchen sinks — the faucet. Depending on your countertop space or aesthetic preferences, this fixture can either be attached to the sink itself or the wall. 

But to enjoy a better water flow or water pressure, you can consider screwing an aerator onto your faucet. This tiny tool creates a mixture of water and air to make the stream smoother and softer to the touch, as well as to lessen water splashing in the basin. It also improves your faucet’s physical operation so you can cut down on the amount of water you use every day.   

The Strainer 

Chances are that you have a drop-in kitchen sink, meaning that you’ll have a rubber gasket connecting the PVC pipe to your sink’s drain. This may well have a strainer attached to it, which is your first line of defense against too much food waste making its way down the drain. 

The Trap

The trap is ingenious in its simplicity when it comes to kitchen sink plumbing. The trap serves the function of preventing the unwanted flow of liquid or gas from entering the house. Also known as an “S trap” or a “U-bend”, depending on its shape, it’s effectively a pipe segment that doubles back on itself to create a water and air seal, preventing the release of noxious gases back up into your kitchen via the drain. It’s worth noting that in some parts of the U.S., “Straps” are no longer accepted by building codes as they siphon dry.  

A kitchen sink anatomy diagram of the drain plumbing will reveal the workings of ‘the trap’ and how gravity and plumbing work together to keep nasty smells away. The trap is also easy to remove. So, if you happen to drop a tiny item into the sink and are panicking that you’ve lost it for good, this is where you should first look. All heavy objects, from jewelry to food cuttings wind up here, as well as nasty debris like hair and sand. 

Ideally, you should clean your trap fairly regularly to remove build-up. There should be a clean-out area at the bottom of the trap where you can access the pipe. Place a bucket or bowl underneath this area before attempting any DIY or item retrieval on your own!

The Pipes 

What pipes are needed for a kitchen sink? Well, that depends on your needs. When considering your average kitchen, you’ll want a sink with pipes allowing for hot and cold water. A double sink where you can rinse your soapy dishes in cold water is ideal, but not necessary. Whatever you have going on in your kitchen – be it a dishwasher, a washing machine, or a garbage disposal unit – under kitchen sink plumbing is where it all comes together. 

We suggest labeling your water pipes (red for hot, blue for cold) so that you can easily determine where a leak is coming from and if you need to turn off your water heater if there’s a leak. Use colorful tape that you can pick up from your local hardware store. 

If your pipes have been well installed, there should also be switches on each of them to cut off the water supply and isolate any leaks so that you can address any plumbing work that needs to be done.

Avoid overloading too many pipes on one drainage system as this can cause blockages and build-up. You’ll also want to ensure that your pipes are of significant length from your sink to the drain so that the grey water has space and time to slowly drain away. When asking your plumber, ‘what pipes are needed for a kitchen sink?’, ask about ‘stacking’ as a solution to avoid water build-up.  

Remember that water is pervasive, so it’ll find a way out of your pipes if there’s too much pressure on your under kitchen sink plumbing. When you see soggy chipboard counters underneath a kitchen sink, this is the result of kitchen sink plumbing that isn’t working effectively.

The Garbage Disposal 

Since its invention in the 1920s, the garbage disposal unit has become an invaluable part of your under kitchen sink plumbing. It’s a small grinding appliance usually installed between your sink’s drain and the trap, and it is designed to pulverize all your food waste into smaller pieces so they can pass through your plumbing without clogging your kitchen sink drain. 

While there are powerful units that can shred thick bones or other hard material, it helps to remember that not all food scraps and liquids should be poured into the disposal. You can avoid serious plumbing problems by refraining from putting in fibrous food scraps, grease and oil.

If you do find yourself dealing with a garbage disposal problem, it’s best to have your unit repaired immediately. Then, of course, remember that you also have a part to play: refrain from throwing problematic scraps into your disposal unit and take them to your actual garbage can instead. 

The Shutoff Valve

valves for commercial plumbing in HamiltonThe shutoff valve, also sometimes called the stop valve, is a device you can find beneath your kitchen sink, usually installed at your water lines. The primary purpose of this fixture is to turn off the water supply to the sink faucet (or other appliances in your home like your toilet, dishwasher or water heater) without having to use your main shutoff valve.  

This control becomes a helpful feature, especially in those times when you need to have your kitchen sink’s pipes repaired. The stop valve keeps water from flowing to the faucet, allowing your plumbing experts to resolve a crack or leak in your plumbing system without much hassle. 

Connections For Other Appliances

Modern kitchens may well have more than just a dishwasher connection as part of their kitchen sink anatomy. A kitchen garbage disposal unit that attaches to the underside of your sink offers the convenience of food waste disposal with the flip of a switch. Of course, you need to know how to clean the waste unit and understand how it is related to your drainage system. 

A dishwasher and an ice-making machine are other useful appliances that will most likely come together under your kitchen sink. If you are renovating your kitchen or starting from scratch, a kitchen sink drain plumbing diagram as provided by a reputable plumbing company can help to map out the arterial network of your kitchen sink plumbing so that you can figure out how kitchen sink plumbing works best for you and then plan accordingly if you need pipes to be wall-mounted or cut into the walls of your new kitchen.

This is when understanding the intricacies of your particular kitchen plumbing system comes in handy. It’s always advisable to get professional advice from an experienced plumber. 

Expert Plumbing Services With Alliance Service Pros

Alliance Service Pros is comprised of professionally trained plumbers who analyze each situation and offer practical advice on how to set up and maintain your kitchen sink plumbing with minimal fuss. If you’re experiencing a problem with your kitchen sink plumbing, contact us today and we will gladly assist with a quotation and talk you through your options. 

Most people put their trust in the plunger as the fastest and easiest way of unclogging a toilet, although, sometimes you’re not always able to effectively clear a toilet clog with a plunger. Fortunately, other methods are just as effective in dealing with a toilet clog.

When attempting to effectively unclog your toilet, getting right to the source of the blockage and breaking it down is crucial. Before calling a specialist to fix the mess, it’s usually best to give it a little time and see if gravity will suck down the object and clear the congestion. 

Find out how to unclog a toilet without a plunger with these mess-proof ideas, and never worry about going to the store just to buy a plunger every time the toilet gets clogged. If you're unable to use these tips to unclog your toilet, it means that you need to call in the plumbing experts for plumbing repair services.

The Right Approach on How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Most people panic when they don't know how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, with poop embarrassingly floating in the water. However, it's best to avoid flushing repeatedly when the toilet gets clogged. It will most likely not fix the issue and might even flood the bathroom if the water is on the brink of overflowing.

Simply waiting it out seems like a logical idea – the only things needed are patience, time, and an extra bathroom. As time passes, the clog may eventually dislodge due to the constant pressure from the water trying to exit the drain. However, it can take several hours for this to happen, if at all.

Another option is to use a makeshift toilet snake from an extra wire hanger lying around the house. However, it can get messy if not done correctly.

So how do you fix a clogged toilet without a plunger? Instead of waiting for hours or splashing dirty water all over the bathroom, the following techniques can help:

unclogging a toilet for a homeowner

1. Flush with Hot Water

The easiest method only requires a big bucket filled with plain hot (not boiling) water.

From waist level, pour hot water into the toilet. The force and temperature of the water can aid in breaking down the obstruction and eventually dislodging it. Remember not to pour boiling water, though, as it can cause the toilet bowl to crack, adding more problems to the situation.

2. Use Dish Soap

If you’re still stuck with a toilet clog after pouring buckets of hot water into the bowl, try using dish soap instead. The slippery texture will lubricate the pipe around the blockage and enable the object to slide down the drain.

A cup of dish detergent, or even half a cup will do. But if there is no dish soap in the kitchen, shampoo, conditioner, or chopped-up pieces of bath soap can also work. Adding hot water and letting it sit will make it even more effective.

However, it takes several minutes to an hour to work its magic. Sometimes, it can even take up to several hours before seeing an effect.

3. Break it up with Epsom Salt

Embarrassing accidents like clogging a toilet happen all the time. But if it occurs while at a friend's house, it can be even more humiliating. Giving it time and waiting it out is not an option.

Check if there is any Epsom salt in the bathroom. When this salt mixes with water, it produces a fizzy reaction that can aid in dislodging the clog.

4. Good Ol' Baking Soda and Vinegar

This mixture is not only valuable for cleaning surfaces and making mini volcanoes for school projects. Combining vinegar and baking soda can also aid in removing toilet clogs.

Get a cup of baking soda and gently dump it into the toilet bowl, distributing it out evenly to cover the entire surface. Allow it to sink before slowly adding a cup or two of vinegar.

The combination will create a fizzing reaction and help break down the blockage. Wait an hour before flushing the toilet. Repeat the process if it fails at first, but leave it overnight and flush in the morning.

5. Use Drain Cleaners

It's the least recommended method because the chemicals in the formula can be harmful to the plumbing but if pressed for time, or the other techniques we mentioned above are not possible, then use a drain cleaner. If it's also not available, pour a mixture of one cup of powder detergent and two cups of bleach into the toilet, and leave it for half an hour before flushing.

Never Worry About a Clogged Toilet Ever Again. 

Clogged toilets are not uncommon, even with excellent pipework. The quickest way to prevent toilet clogs is by hiring a specialist like Alliance Service Pros. Our professionally trained plumbers will analyze the situation and resolve the issue at its source.

Don't settle for a one-size-fits-all service. Contact us today, and our experts will perform a customized approach suited for the clog issue at hand.

Whether you’re buying your first home or you’re a real estate investment expert, there are several things you should do to prevent potentially expensive surprises. If a plumbing inspection isn’t on your to-do list, it should be – plumbing issues can create serious issues for homeowners and renters alike, so it’s best to address them before the sale is complete. 

The Importance of Consulting a Professional

No matter how much experience you might have with the home buying process, and even if the plumbing seems to function as it should with no noticeable problems, it’s always a good idea to invest in a plumbing inspection before you buy. Contacting a professional to carefully inspect everything from the water heater to the sewer lines can save you plenty of time, trouble, and money later down the line. Plumbing problems can be extremely time-consuming and expensive to repair, so ensuring that these issues are addressed prior to the sale is critical. 

plumber leak detection methods

Sewer Line Inspection

Sewer camera inspections are always a good investment when buying a new home because they can reveal problems that may not be evident otherwise. For example, if there are large trees on or near the property, it’s important to ensure that those tree roots are not impeding the sewer lines. A camera inspection is the only real way to tell whether tree roots have breached your sewer lines. This way, if tree roots are present, you can get an estimate for repair prior to closing and save yourself a great deal of money. 

Checking the Water Meter 

A professional plumber will also check for leaks by closing all the taps in and around the house, then looking at the water meter. If the water meter is still showing usage despite the taps being closed, this is a surefire sign that there is a leak somewhere on the property between the meter and your home. Tracking down the leak will be an important step; not only does the leak need to be fixed, but so does any damage that the presence of water may have caused. 

checking water meter

Water Flow and Pressure

Another important part of a plumbing inspection prior to buying a home involves checking water flow and pressure. This usually includes opening the faucets and checking for adequate pressure, then ensuring that water flows through the drain as intended rather than backing up. Water flow and pressure testing is also performed on toilets in the home; it ensures that all the water in the toilet flushes down the drain and none is left over. If any issues are present, these should be repaired and resolved prior to your purchase. 

If the home you are buying has a septic system, it’s important for a professional plumber to ensure that the entire system is fully functional, as well. This may not apply to every home, but if it applies to yours, this is one of the most important inspections you can schedule. Problems with septic systems can be quite costly, so fixing them before you buy is ideal.

Your home’s drains are designed to accommodate a variety of different things ranging from water to toilet tissue. However, some items should never go down the drain as they can cause serious problems resulting in potentially expensive drain repairs – and in some cases, they can even contaminate local water sources. Here are the top five things that should never go down the drain in your home. 

#1 – Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are generally extremely tiny, so it’s hard to imagine that they can cause serious problems in your drains. Unfortunately, they can. In fact, many plumbers say that coffee grounds are a leading cause of clogs in kitchen sink drains. They are heavier than water, so they can build up relatively quickly – especially if they get stuck in other food scraps or in fats (neither of which should be in the drain, either.) Make sure you’re putting your coffee grounds into the trash – never the drain. 

#2 – Flushable Kitty Litter 

Although the word “flushable” is right there on the title, the truth is that this kitty litter isn’t flushable at all – especially if you have a septic system. Furthermore, the bacteria found in kitty feces can resist the chemicals your city uses to treat wastewater. If those bacteria find their way into the water supply, they can cause harm to a variety of animals that rely on local water sources to thrive. 

#3 – Grease and/or Oil

Grease, oil, and other fats are perhaps the very worst things you can pour into your drains or flush in your toilet. Although they may seem liquid when you pour them in, they can solidify as they cool and create a gelatinous mass that causes major clogs that your ordinary drain cleaner liquid can’t handle. According to an article published by, these buildups cause about 47% of all backed-up drains in the US. Never put used frying oil or the grease from hamburger, sausage, and other meats into the drain. Wait for them to solidify, then put them into the trash. 

#4 – Household Fluids 

A variety of different household fluids find their way into sewer systems every year via drains in the kitchen and bathroom – and even in the toilet. Although some of these fluids are designed to be safe, such as toilet cleaners, others were never intended to be introduced to your home’s drainage system. Some of these include things like motor oils, paints, corrosive cleansers like acetone, and others. For more information, contact your city or county water treatment facility for more information about what is and isn’t safe to put down the drain. 

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#5 – Medications 

Although it is unlikely that flushing your medication will cause a serious problem in your home’s sewer system, the truth is that it’s dangerous for others – and for the animals that rely on local water sources. A study on water sources across 30 states conducted back in 2002 by the US Geological Survey found that harmful chemicals were present in 80% of the 139 streams they tested. Furthermore, their research showed that pharmaceutical products played a major role in the presence of those harmful chemicals. To learn how to dispose of your unused or expired medication safely, contact any local pharmacy.

Whether they create the possibility of significant plumbing damage or endanger the lives of animals who rely on local water sources like streams and ponds, putting these five items down the drain can wreak havoc. Being mindful of what you put into your drain can not only prevent expensive repairs, but it can also save animals’ lives.  

Most homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about water pressure – that is, until they don’t have any. At that point, the frustrations associated with flushing a toilet, filling a sink, or even taking a shower can have a negative impact on your day-to-day life. Below are some of the most common causes of low water pressure

The Valve Isn’t Fully Open

There are two main valves that allow water to flow through your home. The first is located at the water meter itself, and the second is located near the area of your home where the water lines first enter. If either of these valves are not fully opened, it can cause problems with your kitchen or bathroom water pressure. Similarly, if you are experiencing low pressure in only one fixture or part of your home, it’s worth checking the individual water valves that control those fixtures. For example, if the issue exists only with the hot water, check the hot water valve next to your water heater and make sure it’s fully open. 

The Pressure Regulator Has Malfunctioned

Some homes and businesses have additional fixtures called pressure regulators that are designed to do exactly what their name suggests – regulate the water pressure in your home to keep it within acceptable limits. When the regulator fails, it can lead to low water pressure. You may even notice extremely high water pressure one day, then low water pressure the next if the regulator is the culprit. 

Excessive Demand for Water

In some cases, and especially during the summer months, homeowners might experience low water pressure due to excessive demand for water. Only so much water can flow through water lines at once, so if you’re filling your pool, doing a load of laundry, taking a bath, and filling the sink to do dishes all at the same time, you’re sure to experience variable pressure at these different fixtures. There’s no real fix for this other than to be mindful of the number of taps you open at the same time. 

Problems with Fixtures

If the low water pressure occurs at only one fixture, then the problem likely lies with that fixture. This is especially common in showerheads found in homes with hard water; the minerals build up on the inside of the shower head and, over time, prevent ample flow. The best way to avoid this is to clean your fixtures regularly and consider investing in a whole-home water softening system. 

leaky faucet repair in Hamilton

Clogged or Corroded Plumbing

Clogged or corroded water lines can also cause low water pressure. Corrosion is more common in homes that are still fed by metal water lines, but clogs can occur virtually anywhere and at any time. In this case, the best course of action is to call a professional plumber who can diagnose and find the source of the clog or corrosion, then replace the section of the water line that is affected. 

Low water pressure is a frustrating issue, especially when it drops so low that everyday tasks take far too long to complete. If you are experiencing any of these issues and you can’t pinpoint the cause, contact a local plumber right away in order to find the source of the problem and repair it quickly. 

Believe it or not the average American wastes as many as 30 gallons of water each day! This will not only result in water bills being higher than they should be; but over time, this can lead to shortages of safe drinking water as well. Below are just some of the ways in which water is wasted in the average home each day.

Overwatering Outdoor Plants

Watering of gardens and lawns can account for as much as a third of a household’s water consumption, and it’s often one of the main areas where water waste is really high. Using native plants or even those that are drought-resistant in your garden and not watering lawns more than once a week can save a lot of water. Watering during the early morning or early evening will also help prevent evaporation.

Excessive Flushing

Each toilet in your home could flush away up to five gallons of water whenever they’re flushed, amounting to a few hundred gallons per week. If there’s only urine in the toilet, consider flushing after every second or third use instead. A little baking soda can be sprinkled into the bowl to assist with odor control.

residential plumbing repairs nj

Unnecessarily Long Showers

Taking showers that are longer than three to five minutes can waste as many as 10 gallons of water at a time. While fitting a low-flow showerhead will help alleviate this to an extent, try to aim for showers that are under 5 minutes wherever possible. This could save a whopping 800 gallons a month for the average sized family.

Running Half Loads

Regardless of whether you have a smart clothes washer or dishwasher that adjusts water levels to match the size of loads, a half full machine will still use more water than it should to get those dishes and clothing clean. Wherever possible, wait until you have a full load of laundry or dishes before running these appliances – an added bonus is that you’ll save electricity by running fewer loads.

Not Turning Water Off While Brushing your Teeth

There’s absolutely no reason why the faucet should be left running while you’re brushing your teeth – this can gobble up to five gallons of water per family member each day. Simply turn on the faucet to dampen your brush and then turn it off while brushing. Turn it on again to rinse and do so as quickly as possible.

Washing Food or Dishes in Running Water

You can save up to five gallons of water when doing dishes or washing fresh produce by running water into the sink or a bowl and then turning the faucet off. This water can even be used again to water plants or flush a toilet if you’re feeling especially industrious.

running water from sink

Mystery Leaks

Not all leaks can be easily spotted. Even if the faucet itself isn’t leaking, pooling water around its base could indicate that an O-ring could be cracked or worn. It’s a good idea to have all water-related fixtures inspected once a year.

Implementing even a few of the above mentioned measures could result in a drastically reduced water bill over time. If your water bill is excessively high and you are doing everything possible to reduce usage, contact our plumbers so that a professional inspection of water fixtures around your home can be performed. 


Even homeowners who have the cleanest bathrooms can sometimes experience a terrible odor that emanates from the toilet itself. In most cases, it doesn’t take much for your home’s toilet to start smelling as though it hasn’t been flushed in ages – even after it’s been cleaned to within an inch of its life! Take a look at these possible reasons why your home's toilets smell a lot worse than they should.

It’s Not Being Used Regularly

When toilets sit for too long without being flushed, such as those in little-used guest bedrooms or vacant rental units, water in the bowl will evaporate. This causes smelly gases to emanate from the plumbing, which will in turn cause a nasty smell. In most cases, this can be remedied by flushing the toilet once or twice in quick succession.

Accumulating Mold

If it’s a musty odor that’s seeping from your toilet, there’s a strong chance that it’s as a result of mold that’s accumulated in piping and is making its way into the bowl. Mold also forms underneath the toilet rim over time, so it’s crucial to ensure that this part of the bowl gets cleaned regularly.

The Drain is Clogged

Toilet drains sometimes clog up, either gradually or all at once and this causes the water level in the bowl and tank to drop to below where it should be. When there isn’t enough water in the tank or it takes excessively long for it to fill up, it will allow sewer gases to emanate from the bowl area.

plumbing company doing drain cleaning in Hamilton

A Broken Toilet Seal

There’s a round, wax ring that is situated inside the base of every toilet, and if this is damaged, broken or missing any sections, it will cause water, urine, and solid waste to leak out onto your bathroom floor. Although replacing the wax seal can sometimes be performed in a DIY capacity, it’s usually best to enlist the services of an experienced plumber because they will also check for other signs of damage while they’re busy.

A Malfunctioning Vent Pipe

A toilet’s vent pipe runs from the toilet itself up to the ceiling and it helps remove odors from your bathroom after use, while also bringing fresh air into your plumbing system. When these pipes malfunction, they cause nasty smells to linger.

A Cracked Bowl

Even the smallest crack in a toilet bowl could cause a slow leak to develop, which will worsen over time if left unattended. It can also cause the water level in the bowl to drop below where it should be, which will also cause bad smells to hang around. If any cracks are found in a toilet bowl, it’s best to replace it.

If you’ve been struggling to find the cause of the smelly toilets in your home, get in touch with our experienced plumbers today. A full assessment will be performed, and you’ll be provided with the various options that will help remedy the issue as quickly as possible.


Springtime is the time for spending more time outdoors, which often means using the backyard and patio for parties, get-togethers, and other fun family activities. The improved weather also offers homeowners opportunities to examine their homes and complete routine maintenance to ensure the winter weather didn't leave behind any damage. It’s essential to complete regular maintenance routines to ensure your home is ready for spring and rainy weather. Spring usually comes with a higher probability of experiencing heavy rain, so it's essential to be prepared against flooding and items that are susceptible to damage during temperature changes. 

However, many homeowners often focus on only making cosmetic improvements to their homes around this time, oftentimes ignoring their plumbing systems. Learn how springtime plumbing service and maintenance can help you prevent costly repairs and even the need for line replacement services. 

Gutter Cleaning

Clean your gutters regularly before and during spring to clear debris and dirt from blocking water flow. While you are at it, consider installing gutter protection to prevent your gutters from rusting and accumulating debris. Gutter cleaning helps to avoid overflow and damage to your property. If you have never seen a gutter overflow due to blockage during heavy rain, you don't want to. It can lead to many water problems in your home, especially if you are not there. 

Pipe Maintenance

Spring comes with temperature variations that can make your sewer lines flex and contract. This could cause cracks and leaks to develop during the winter-spring transition. Therefore, consider checking your pipes and plumbing system for signs of condensation and leakage. Leaking pipes and faucets could cause significant damage to your property, including the walls, floors, and foundation. The damage could be extremely costly to fix, depending on its extent. Look for leaks in pipes at least once per year and fix them immediately to avoid expensive damage to your home. 

Basement Waterproofing

Install a waterproofing system in your basement or crawl space to keep it dry and prevent water damage. Consider installing a basement sump pump, especially if your home is in a flood-prone area. Sump pumps prevent water damage. This device can significantly reduce the cost of repairs and expensive replacements in a flood or pipe leakage incident. 

Trust Your Local Plumber

Contact your local plumbing technician for diagnostics, drain cleaning, and repairs. A professional plumber should provide you with various sewer maintenance options for your home. They should also advise you on whether you need a complete replacement or a quick fix of your sewer system if there should be an issue. 

Indoor Plumbing Maintenance

An effective springtime maintenance plan for your home should always include a sweep of your home's current plumbing systems. Check the drains to ensure they work properly, check for slow leaks inside your home, taking your water reading when turning off your faucets for a couple of hours. If the reading changes after a few hours, then you probably have a leak somewhere. 

Check for signs of leaks inside your home, including watermarks and puddles. Your plumber should help you identify signs of leaks inside your house fairly quickly if it hasn't been hidden too much with paint. In addition, check the drains to ensure they work properly. Pour water down the drains and observe the water flow. Slow drains could be a sign of a blockage. 

You may experience a few problems with your sewer lines as temperatures warm in spring. Fortunately, you could take a few steps now to avoid costly sewer line repairs and replacement during spring maintenance. Contact Alliance Service Pros for additional springtime sewer maintenance services.  

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