The Importance of Drain Cleaning

Drain Cleaning

Drain clogs and slow drainage can cause unpleasant odors, water contamination, pest problems, and health risks. This is why Drain Cleaning Tampa is an important part of your plumbing maintenance.Drain Cleaning

A simple baking soda and vinegar mixture can often clear a clogged drain. Just pour one cup of each down the drain, then wait a few minutes before flushing it with hot water.

Chemical drain cleaners are pure or mixed substances poured into a clogged pipe to dissolve the material causing the blockage. These cleaners come in liquid, gel, and powder forms and can be found at hardware or home improvement stores. They contain acids or alkalis, and their high-intensity action quickly breaks up and dissolves hair, food scraps, grease, and other organic matter that creates a clog.

The main issue with using chemical drain cleaners is that they are not good for your pipes. The chemicals in these cleaners corrode the metal and can cause cracks or leaks over time. The harsh chemicals can also damage plastic pipes, particularly if they are old or already cracked. These issues can lead to higher water bills and expensive repairs down the road.

These chemical drain cleaners also do not address the root of the problem. The majority of clogs are caused by hair, food scraps, fats, oils and other natural materials that build up over time. If the underlying cause of the clog is not addressed, it will likely recur. In some cases, these cleaners may even make the clog worse.

Most of the high-intensity chemicals in these drain cleaners have very dangerous health effects. They are highly corrosive and can burn your skin and eyes if they come into contact with them. They also release noxious fumes that can irritate the nose, throat and lungs. It is important to use these products only according to instructions and in well-ventilated areas.

If you do decide to use a chemical drain cleaner, always wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Never mix these products with other cleaners or acids and be sure to pour them into a drain that is completely empty. Pouring the cleaner down an overflowing drain can be dangerous and create a toxic reaction.

It is also a good idea to take some preventative measures, such as regularly removing the hair from your drains with a needle-nosed pliers. This small step can significantly reduce the need for chemical drain cleaners and save you money in the long run.


It’s not only frustrating to deal with a clogged drain, but it can also be dangerous for your home. The pipes that carry waste and sewage out of your home can become corroded when they’re not adequately cleaned. This is particularly true if you have older pipes that are prone to cracking and breaking down. A professional plumber can use hydro jetting to thoroughly clean your pipe system and remove any buildup that’s causing blockages.

Hydro jetting uses a high-pressure hose with a special nozzle connected to a machine that produces pressurized water. The nozzle can be adjusted to target specific areas of your pipe. Once the nozzle is in place, your plumber will start pumping water into your pipes at a rate of up to 20 gallons per minute. This will scour the walls of your pipes, removing any grease, hair, minerals, and debris that’s accumulating inside. The water pressure is also strong enough to cut through most obstructions.

The power of the water can even dislodge and break apart stubborn clogs like a large amount of fat in your pipes. This makes hydro jetting more effective than traditional clog-busting methods such as plumbing snakes or augers, which usually only punch holes through clogs rather than actually cleaning them.

Unlike chemical cleaners, which are harsh on your pipes and can leave residue behind, hydro jetting will not cause any damage to your pipes or piping system. This is a great option if you’re dealing with a severe clog that hasn’t responded to other drain cleaning solutions.

Hydro jetting can also be used to clean out your sewer line, which is a much bigger problem than a clogged kitchen or bathroom drain. Sewer line blockages can result in sewage backups that affect your entire household. The recent discovery of a giant “fatberg” in England has highlighted just how important it is to keep your sewer line clear of blockages.

If you’re experiencing recurring problems with your drains, contact Smiley Drain today to schedule a hydro jetting service. We can restore the flow of your drains so that you’ll never have to worry about sewage and waste backing up into your home again.

Video Pipe Inspections

Whenever a drain snake or liquid drain cleaner fails to solve a stubborn clog, plumbers often turn to video pipe inspections. This involves threading a small camera on the end of a cable into the pipe, which sends back images to a monitor in real time. The information is then used to determine the source of the clog or damage and recommend the best method for repair.

There are several situations when a video inspection may be recommended, including recurrent drain clogs that cannot be solved by plunging or liquid drain cleaners, foul odors coming from the sewer line, and sagging or “bellying” in the line caused by root intrusion, misalignment, or pipe collapse. Additionally, a video inspection can be beneficial prior to the purchase of a new home. If you plan on adding an additional sink or bathtub, for example, a video inspection can help ensure that the existing drain and sewer lines are capable of handling the added waste.

The process of a video pipe inspection begins with the plumber locating your outdoor drain cleanout. If one is not present, the technician will discuss options for creating an access point to enter the piping system. Next, the plumber feeds the cable with the camera attached through an outside drain opening or an inside wall cleanout. The video is then viewed on a nearby monitor.

The plumber can then see the condition of the pipes, locate blockages, and see if the clog is caused by hard water deposits, organic build-up, or tree roots. The plumber can also assess the layout of the pipes and see if any repairs are needed.

It is not uncommon for the plumber to discover that what seemed like a clog is actually a damaged section of pipe that requires extensive repair work. Finding this out sooner rather than later can save the homeowner a great deal of money and hassle. The camera can also be used to find small items that might have fallen down the drain such as a wedding ring or child’s toy. In addition, it can be used to inspect a sewer line for leaks or breaks before submitting a claim to an insurance company.

Snake Drain Cleaning

A drain snake is a must-have for any homeowner who faces the occasional clog. While you may be able to resolve a minor kitchen or bathroom clog on your own with a plunger and cleaning the trap, more stubborn clogs require a little more elbow grease. A basic handheld drain snake has a long tube with a hook-shaped auger end that can break up and/or grab clogs, allowing you to pull them out of the pipe.

To use the snake, first remove the p-trap and drain cover, then insert the snake’s head into the drain or the access point on the wall. Most clogs in sinks occur because of solidified fats, while those in bathtubs and toilets are usually caused by toys flushed down the drain or large food scraps. Once the snake is in place, slowly crank the handle to start moving it through the pipe. If you encounter a corner, bend the snakehead a bit to help it navigate the turn.

Keep cranking the handle until you feel the snake catch up to or break through the clog. Then, if the clog is a solid blockage, rotate the snakehead back and forth until you feel it break up or attach to the clog. Then, crank it again to move the snakehead through the clog and out of the drain.

Because the snakehead can cling to and chop up a variety of materials, you should wear rubber gloves when using it. In addition, you should also consider wearing a pair of safety goggles and a face mask to protect yourself from potentially contaminated drain water that might surge out as you clear the clog. After the snake is out of the drain, run a stream of water through it for a few minutes to flush out the pipes. Then, clean and dry the snake and put it away until you need to use it again. If you still have a clogged drain, contact your plumber for professional help. They’ll bring additional equipment, including high-powered water jets, to thoroughly clean your pipes without damaging them.

Angle Masonry and Its Uses

pro angle masonry

When laying the first course of bricks, the mason will usually not spread a full mortar bed. It allows the mason to check the modular dimensions of the foundation footing or slab and how the first course leads up to openings such as windows. Per code, structures utilizing brick veneer over 30 feet must operate shelf angles at every floor level. Inadequate design and construction of these elements can cause problems such as:

pro angle masonry

Pro Angle Masonry Charleston is a very stable, versatile, and durable material. It’s used for a wide range of applications and projects, and it comes in various shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. For instance, larger pieces are more common for structural projects because they can withstand more force and weight. They can also be welded or bolted together for additional stability and strength.

In traditional masonry buildings, brick, stone, or other cladding was installed over load-bearing walls, and openings such as doors and windows were small and spanned by steel lintels. With the invention of skeleton frame buildings, it is possible to construct larger spaces in masonry veneer that are non-load bearing. Still, the wall must be supported by a shelf angle so that expansion and contraction can occur.

Shelf angles are typically installed on every floor in a building to support the brick coursing above window and door lintels. However, this standard design detail interrupts the continuity of exterior insulation and increases operating (energy) costs. It’s important to eliminate these cold bridges wherever possible to minimize energy costs and improve the thermal performance of the structure.

To reduce upfront construction and maintenance costs, a simple method to minimize the need for shelf angles is to install a continuous metal drip edge flashing around the perimeter of all walls that require a shelf angle. The flashing will prevent rainwater from collecting in the gap and over the exposed front face of the steel angle.

In addition to preventing water intrusion, the continuous metal drip edge can provide better weather resistance by providing a solid surface that is not vulnerable to corrosion. In addition, it can help to prevent the rusting and failure of mortar joints at the lintel/flashing interface, which can lead to premature decay and oversight of the masonry veneer.

A standard sizing format for shelf angles consists of two leg measurements and a thickness measurement. These dimensions determine whether the curve is equal or unequal. Service Steel stocks both types and provides a sizing chart here. However, the project-specific sizing may differ from the standard format, so contacting the engineering team before bidding is important to ensure that the proper angle size is specified.

Corbels are a common feature of many different types of architectural design, whether they’re found on historical buildings that have been restored or newer properties where owners have chosen to implement traditional elements into their plans. They come in a wide range of styles, from the fluted designs popular with Georgian properties to the carved foliage of Victorian fixer-uppers or the sleek and simple brackets in contemporary properties.

Despite their appearance, they are also structural elements and can help to support features like shelves, arches, and other load-bearing structures. Corbels are normally triangular and designed to resist forces by distributing them along the surface of the network they’re supporting.

Aside from their structural benefits, wood corbels can also add a decorative touch to interior spaces. It is where they come into their own and are a great way to add a splash of style to a room without overdoing it or detracting from the overall look. The beauty of these decorative brackets is their versatility and the fact that they can support different home items, from kitchen utensil racks to bathroom towel shelves.

When choosing a corbel, it’s important to consider the rated load capacity, material, and design. If the corbel carries a significant amount of weight, a larger one will be required, and it’s often advisable to choose a wood type that matches the rest of the decor in the space.

Those looking to incorporate salvaged corbels into their decorating can often find some excellent options at flea markets, estate sales, and consignment shops. Alternatively, some enjoy restoring them to their original condition, and the weathered authenticity of older timber brackets can give a space a real feel of history and character. Just be sure to research the best practices for refinishing wood if you plan on doing this, as this is not something to be taken lightly. Suppose you’re planning to use them as a decorative element. In that case, however, their natural patina and weathered charm are often attractive features and can be a real focal point of a room.

Many brick restoration projects involve repairing or replacing damaged or defective relieving angles. It is important to understand the structural connection of these angles to the masonry system they support to prevent premature failure.

A relieving angle is a metal or concrete masonry element that transfers out-of-plane loads to the wall or backing. It is normally used with a cladding material such as brick, stone, or concrete masonry that adds significant weight to the supported system. This additional weight can cause stresses and movement of the building frame, and if the relieving angle is not designed to accommodate this movement, it may fail.

The design of the relieving angle depends on the cladding being installed, the loading conditions, and the size of the structure. The relieving arch may also interact with the tie rod system in the cavity walls to provide additional lateral stability.

Generally, relieving angles are placed between the brick veneer and the stud or concrete frame wall to prevent water infiltration into the wall cavity. It is accomplished by forming an obtuse or apex on one end of the angle to allow the hole to drain and by preventing water from accumulating under the bricks. The obtuse or apex may also help resist lateral forces in the cavity walls and reduce thermal bridging.

Relieving angles are typically fabricated from galvanized or stainless steel and are available in various shapes, sizes, and materials. The engineer on the project determines the size of the relief angle to provide adequate structural support for the load being transferred.

Inadequate design of the relieving angle and bad installation can result in spalling, cracking, and staining of the cladding; yielding and slipping of the relieving hooks; leakage of wind-driven rain and deterioration of the brick masonry and window frames; freeze-thaw damage and destructive cryptofluorescence; volume change of materials and structural members; increased heat transmission and occupant discomfort.

One of the most common deficiencies of relieving angles is that they must be properly detailed to accommodate brick expansion and shrinkage. It is recommended that a thru-wall flashing be installed at each relief angle to protect the structure from moisture intrusion, which can lead to corrosion of the metal and premature deterioration of the brick wall. The Brick Industry Association provides clear guidelines on properly detailing such flashings in the Brick Construction Technical Note TN 18A.

Lintels are used to support the brickwork over a masonry opening. They are typically installed at each floor level of a structure and are designed to help the brick veneer above that level for that story. Lintels are also useful in supporting wall sections that need extra load-bearing capacity. They are especially important in building a house because they provide stability and strength to the walls above.

There are several types of lintels available in the market. The most common ones include rolled steel lintels, concrete channel sections, and brick lintels. Steel lintels are typically made from rolled steel joists embedded in concrete. They are usually used in large openings with a significant load or where there isn’t enough room above to create a relieving arch.

Brick lintels are generally constructed with a left lengthwise space for inserting reinforcement. The area with support is then filled or embedded with rich cement mortar. When making brick lintels, it is advisable to use a special type of brick with frogs (end corners) that are thicker than regular bricks and help increase shear resistance.

Another popular kind of lintel is a reinforced concrete (RCC) lintel. This lintel is made using plain concrete, as steel bars are not used. It is ideal for heavy loads as it has a greater load-bearing capability than other lintels.

Lastly, there is the timber lintel beam. They are commonly used in hilly areas but have been replaced by several modern techniques. The disadvantages of using a timber lintel are that they are more expensive, less durable, and vulnerable to fire.

Ensuring a lintel is correctly positioned and installed in a structure is important. An engineer should size the lintel to meet the required strength requirements. It should also be properly placed to prevent masonry cracks. In addition, it is crucial to check that the lintel is not deflecting too much between supports. It can be determined by calculating the effective span of the lintel and comparing it to the height of the masonry above the opening.