How to Remove Foul Bathroom Odors

Walking passed the bathroom and getting hit in the face with an unpleasant smell has got to be the worst experience ever! Whether this stench is man-made or a result of poor maintenance, this odor should not exist. Luckily, there are a handful of things you can do to remove these awful aromas from your home.

Remove Foul Odors

foul odors in bathroom

  • Bathroom Ventilation – Almost every bathroom should have a small exhaust fan installed to help ventilate. By using this fan, you will be able to remove foul odors from the bathroom as well as moisture. Excess moisture from hot showers can cause smelly mold and mildew to begin growing.
  • Air Fresheners – While air fresheners don’t remove odors, they do a fine job of masking them. Rather than heading to the store to purchase a chemical spray, opt for a homemade variety. Mix two cups of water, a tablespoon of white vinegar, a teaspoon of baking soda, and 10 to 20 drops of whichever essential oil flavor tickles your fancy!
  • Desiccants – In order to absorb moisture in your bathroom, consider using desiccants. These dry materials come in the form of silica gels — or go the stylistic route and include plants in your bathroom (natural desiccants). Plants like ferns and lily plants do a phenomenal job of removing foul odors from bathrooms.

Clean the Bathroom

  • Cleaning Materials – Make a paste using baking soda and lemon juice and apply it to any fixture you would like to clean. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then spray the surface with some white vinegar. Allow the paste to bubble and then wipe it clean.
  • Clean the Toilet Tank – Failing to clean your toilet tank regularly can cause it to stink like urine. Open up the tank, pour in some white vinegar, and get to scrubbing! Once finished, flush the toilet and repeat the process another time or two.
  • Keep An Eye Out for Mold – Seeing black specks on the ceiling or green debris around pipes and fixtures is an obvious sign of mold. Some not so obvious signs: itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, rashes, etc. Not only can mold be unsightly to see and smell, but it can also negatively impact your health.

What to Do Next?

  • Re-caulk tiles, bathtub, and shower
  • Close the lid before flushing and keep it closed
  • Regularly empty out the trash bin (yes, every bathroom should have one)
  • Wash bathroom towels, mats, rags, curtains, etc. as they can cling onto foul odors
  • Contact your local plumber to fix any leaks

Foul odors and bathrooms oftentimes go hand-in-hand, but they don’t have to and you can put a stop to this smelly trend! When your bathroom needs plumbing repair or new pipes/ fixtures due to mold, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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How to Tell if Your Plumbing Pipes Are Worn Out

Between each faucet, shower, toilet, drain, and plumbing fixture, your home’s plumbing system gets used a generous amount each day (for years on end). Eventually, corrosion and leaks will begin to form, costing you money in high water bills and future repairs. It’s important to find worn out plumbing early, and here’s what you should look for:

Things to Know Beforehand

  •  worn out plumbing pipeAs the years go by, plumbing can begin to break down, leak, or burst.
  • Eroded plumbing and leaks can exist within your home, but can remain unnoticed for extended periods of time. Unknown plumbing problems like this can cost you more money as time goes on.
  • Have your plumbing and fixtures inspected annually, especially if your home is over 50 years of age.
  • Annual inspections and routine maintenance can save you thousands by preventing emergency plumbing replacements.

Keep an Eye Out

While you should have your plumbing inspected annually, you should always keep an eye out for things that look suspicious. Stay on the lookout for brown stains on walls, ceilings, and any surfaces below plumbing fixtures. These stains could reveal hidden leaks and areas of high moisture that need to be addressed.

What Color is Your Water?

The next time you fill your bathtub or a cup of water from the tap, take a look at the color of the water. If there is a brown or yellowish tint (especially after being away for the weekend), this could be a sign of rust and decay within the pipes. Seeing discolored water is a sign that you should have a plumber come to inspect your home’s pipes.

Rain Drop, Drip Drop

After taking a shower or washing your hands, it’s common that a few drops of water will drip out of the faucet. However, water shouldn’t drip out 10 minutes after using the faucet. Even if the drip is occurring at an extremely slow rate, this leaky faucet should be fixed before it worsens.

Plumbing is designed to last for a very long time — however, leaks, corrosion, and buildup can cause your pipes to become worn out. For those who are in need of plumbing repair or replacement, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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Plumbing Leaks That Can Attract Pests

Have you ever wondered why insects and rodents are commonly found living in unfinished basements and crawl spaces? This is because of the high levels of moisture that are present in these spaces. This same causation exists around plumbing fixtures and pipes that are leaky and need repair.

Pests That LOVE Moisture

  • pests and plumbingBook Lice
  • Camel Crickets
  • Carpenter Ants
  • Cockroaches
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Silverfish
  • Termites

Plumbing to Inspect/Repair

  • Leaky Faucets – A sink faucet (or shower head) can leak with a noticeable steady drip, a less-than noticeable slow drip, or an unseen leak near the handles or base where the piping connects. At least once a month, it’s important to check the parts of each faucet — including underneath the sink where most leaks go unnoticed.
  • Basement Plumbing – For homes with basements (or crawl spaces), this is where most of the plumbing runs through the house — usually along the ceiling. For unfinished basements, the chances of being infested with pests are great due to the high moisture levels. If any of this plumbing begins to leak or develops condensation, this will only add to the risk. For finished basements, look for any brown ceiling stains that could signal there is a leak in one of these pipes.
  • Water Utilizing Appliances – The dishwasher and washing machine are two appliances that utilize gallons and gallons of water each time they’re used. If either is too old, has one part that begins to malfunction, or if there’s a clog in the water line, a leak can occur at any moment. Make sure these appliances are working flawlessly; call a repairman if either begins to malfunction.
  • Water Heater Maintenance – Like dishwashers and washing machines, the water heater is another plumbing fixture that can easily leak if a part is broken or maintenance isn’t performed. To avoid having any leaks that could lead to water damage and eventual pest infestations, have a plumber service and flush out this fixture annually.

Who would have ever thought that your plumbing could be the reason behind why you have so many insects and rodents living inside of your home? In order to avoid pest infestations, make sure your plumbing system and all of its fixtures are inspected, serviced, and repaired when needed. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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How to Save Water With Each Plumbing Fixture

Do you open up your water bill each month and take a deep sigh when you see the amount you have to pay? Stop paying more than you need to on your monthly bills and start learning how to save water! With each plumbing fixture in your home, there are a few ways you can cut back on your water usage.

The Dishwasher

  • Out With the Old – Opt for an Energy Star dishwasher as they are roughly 15 percent more water efficient than the average model. Less water, less noise; more savings, more happiness!
  • Only Full Loads – Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load of dishes (do not overload). Running half loads is wasteful of water and overloading can result in dishes not being cleaned. Thus, some dishes will have to be washed again.

The Sink

  • water conservationNew Aerator – Install a WaterSense aerator on each of your faucets. This will limit the flow of water to less than one gallon per minute, without losing any water pressure.
  • Fix Leaks – Faucets can leak at the base, handles, and head, so inspect and replace any that have a leak. Some leaks might be slow and unnoticeable, so conduct a thorough inspection. (This also applies to your shower head).
  • Soak, Don’t Scrub – After preparing a delicious meal, soak all of your pots and pans in warm, soapy water. Scrubbing these pieces of cookware under a running tap can be extremely wasteful and ineffective.

The Washing Machine

  • Time to Upgrade – Replace your old washer with an Energy Star model as they use up to 40 percent less water. Not only are they more water efficient, but they also spin faster to reduce drying time.
  • Pick the Right Size – When doing laundry, try to accurately measure the load and pick the appropriate load size. Picking the wrong load size can either waste water or cause your clothes to not be washed properly. Luckily, newer energy efficient models will have a sensor that does this for you.
  • Use Cold Water – Whenever possible, try to use the cold water setting. Using cold water will require less energy as there won’t be a need to heat the water.

Saving water means you are saving money AND doing your part to save the environment! To repair any leaks or have new plumbing fixtures installed, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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Plumbing Emergency Tips to Know

plumbing-emergency tipsDo you when plumbing emergencies usually happen? If you guessed — “when you least expect it” — you’re correct! It’s important for every homeowner and renter to know this list of emergency plumbing tips so you can avoid a complete plumbing disaster.


Tools to Always Have on Hand

  • Five Gallon Bucket – Whenever you’re attempting a plumbing repair or a leak springs, it pays to have a large bucket on hand to help catch the water. Water damage and mold are hard to remove and can cost a fortune, so keep a big bucket close by.
  • Multiple Plungers – Having clogged toilets and drains can prevent you from using plumbing fixtures altogether. Make sure you have both a flange and drain plunger. One is optimal for toilet clogs while the other is meant for sink, bathtub and shower drains.
  • Basic Hand Tools – Small plumbing repairs and maintenance can sometimes be handled by the homeowner, but the right tools will be needed. Inside of your toolbox, you should have an adjustable wrench, medium sized slip joint pliers, a multi-bit screwdriver, Allen keys, a pair of needle nose pliers, plumber’s epoxy, and lots of duct tape!

Plumbing Tips to Always Keep in Mind

  • Main Shut-Off – Every homeowner and renter should know where the main shut-off valve is and how to operate it. By turning this valve off, you’ll be able to prevent water damage from occurring if there’s ever a leak. The water should also be turned off before any major plumbing repairs are made, just in case anything goes wrong.
  • Isolation Valves – In addition to the main shut-off valve, there are isolation valves with each plumbing fixture. These valves can be turned off to stop the flow of water to that specific fixture, which are designed to make repairs safer. Make sure each isolation valve is turned on and off at least once per year to ensure they all are working properly.
  • Double Wrenches – Anytime you need to use a wrench to loosen or tighten a plumbing pipe, try to use two wrenches. By turning each one in opposite directions, the wrenches will absorb the stress rather than the plumbing itself. This is called “backing off.”

It’s important for every person to know what to do during a plumbing emergency and to be properly prepared. For those in need of plumbing repair and replacement, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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Why Should I Test My Well Water?

Does your home have the privilege of being equipped with a well water system? If so, this means you have some of the purest and cleanest water available (a glass of this would hit the spot right now). Like all home systems, your well system and the water within should be tested — but why?

Why Test the Well Water?

Routine tests should be done on your home’s well water system to ensure there is no contamination, to make sure the water is safe to drink, and to track any current treatments being made. Without regular testing, changes in water can go unnoticed, possibly leaving you with unsafe drinking water. It’s always important to identify problems before they have the chance to develop further.

What Tests Are Done?

well water testingThere are dozens of tests you can use on your well water system, but there are few key ones all wells should receive:

  • Basic Water Potability – This is a grouping of multiple tests that will measure the levels of nitrates, sodium ions, sulfates, fluorides, and total dissolved solids in the water.
  • Coliform Bacteria – Finds any presence of microorganisms in the water that can cause harm to a person’s health
  • Specific Testing – When specific contaminants are suspected to be in the water, additional testing will be done to look for levels of that contaminant.

How Often Should Water Be Tested?

For all residential well water systems, testing should be done a minimum of once per year. However, for wells that are more shallow, they should be tested seasonally since they can become contaminated more easily. Each time your water is tested, make sure to test both water directly from the well AND the faucet.

Well water systems can provide you with some of the highest quality of drinking water, and testing can help maintain this. When your well water system needs testing or repair, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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What You Need to Know About Tub to Shower Conversions

For those without small children, replacing the bathtub with a standalone shower is a trend many are adopting. Most homes should have at least one tub to make the house more attractive to potential buyers in the future. But for now you can go ahead and convert one of your tubs, and here’s what you need to know about the conversion:

Does the Shower Need to Be Relocated?

For those who have the typical alcove bathtub, a relocation will not be needed. This space should be big enough and the drain and water lines should be exactly where they need to be. However, for those with freestanding tubs, this can prove to be difficult as you’ll need to avoid placing the shower near any windows or relocating too far from existing water lines.

What Are the Measurements?

  • Most building codes require the floor of the shower to be a minimum of 30-inches by 30-inches.
  • bathtub to shower conversionThe finished ceiling height of the shower should be a minimum of 80 inches.
  • There should be a minimum of 15-inches from the center of the side of the toilet to the shower wall; 18-inches is recommended for comfort.
  • There should be a minimum of 21-inches from the front of the toilet to the wall; 30-inches is recommended for comfort.
  • Shower doors should have a fully unobstructed path during their swing open. If this is not feasible, opt for a curtain or sliding door.

What About the Tear-Out?

Ideally, tearing out your old tub should be done by professionals as many can be difficult to remove. Once the tub has been removed, have a plumber inspect the water lines and drain pipes to see if they’re still in good condition. If not, have them replaced before installing the shower. Also, have the area inspected for any mold or mildew while this space is accessible.

Having multiple bathtubs in your house isn’t always needed, so why not convert it into the shower of your dreams? When you need your water lines and drain pipes inspected or replaced, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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