Guest Blog from Donley Service Center

Essential Plumbing Tricks You Should Know

This Blog post courtesy of our friends at

Donley Service Center 


In the tricky world of home maintenance, plumbing is often regarded as an intimidating aspect. If your toilet is clogged, your faucets trickle, the garbage disposal fails to drain, or your showerhead leaks, you might be prone to potential flooding. For those with only a little plumbing know-how, here are some basic skills you may want to commit to memory.


Firstly, ensure that every member of your home knows how to turn off the water supply, and also invest in a flood alarm. Checking for loose bathroom tiles might warn you of water damage.  If you push a tile and it yields a little, inspect the problem as soon as possible. It is also hugely advantageous if you find any wear and tear on pipes, and replace them immediately.  Amateur DIYers sometimes use foam as a permanent measure when it is generally accepted as a makeshift cure before the task is correctly taken care of.  Any stop-gap fixes are temporary, and must always be regarded as such. Furthermore, remember that it is worse to over-tighten your pipes (as opposed to under-tightening them), as this can cause them to crack.


Any pesky knocking, whistling or squeaking pipe noises are easily cured by correctly anchoring them. However, pipes situated in difficult to access areas might require the attention of a professional contractor. For those living in cold conditions who regularly encounter frozen pipes, the most straightforward remedy is a hairdryer.  To reduce the possibility of frozen pipes, try to keep the household temperature warm.  Pipes exposed to severe cold should be completely insulated because, in a worst case scenario, you would be dealing with burst pipes, no flowing water, a chaotic cleanup and an expensive repair bill.


Leaking faucets are typically caused by a de-threaded screw/washer, or a faulty valve seal.  In the majority of cases, it is better to buy a new faucet instead of spending time replacing outdated elements.  This is because it is only a matter of time before a different part of the faucet breaks down.  Don’t waste the time, money and effort when you can simply replace the entire thing.


A plunger is the best medicine for a clogged toilet or, if it’s a particularly difficult blockage, a toilet auger is a lifesaver. Sometimes known in plumbing circles as a “toilet jack”, “electric eel” or a “plumber’s snake”, it’s a 5+ feet coiled metal wire that slowly snakes down the pipes of your toilet. Additionally, prolong the life of your garbage disposal unit by habitually cleaning it.


The most frequent problem is that the best plumbers are generally solidly booked, and this high demand creates a backlog that is difficult to eliminate.  Therefore, it is much better to prevent problems from occurring as opposed to repairing them after the damage is done. Routine preventative checkups are a necessity, as most plumbing emergencies can be remedied if caught early.


Researching a plumber through a recommendation from family members, friends or co-workers is a useful avenue to pursue, as well as via the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) or online review websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Another invaluable search resource for a licensed, experienced and properly credentialed plumber is


When it comes to price, cheaper isn’t automatically better. Anyone who undercuts the price may also minimize the time they spend doing a good job, which ultimately leaves you with a substandard service.  It is perfectly acceptable to ask an expensive professional why they are so pricey, and how the pricing structure breaks down.  Shun plumbers who give quotes over the phone.  Most professionals in the industry would rather see the situation in person before throwing figures and estimations around.


With over thirty years of experience, Jim Donley’s family-owned business offers highly trained and certified technicians that are available every hour of the day. Located in Phoenix, we are proud to serve residents of Scottsdale, Mesa and Glendale. For more information on our plumbing, air conditioning and other maintenance management services, visit our website at Donley Service Center or call (602) 870-6840 about our exclusive line of water filters, water heaters and solar hot water systems.



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