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Garbage disposals were invented in America in the late 1920s, but it was only during the postwar years that there was a growth in the installation of this device in the private homes of North Americans.
Nowadays, we’d say this tool isn’t as popular, in part because more and more municipalities across the country offer to compost. However, in some cases installing a shredder is still an attractive option.
In this article, we’re going to present the garbage disposal, the advantages and disadvantages, the different models, the prices, and what can and cannot be shredded by them.
The main purpose of garbage disposals is to pulverize food waste and depending on the model, sometimes other items. This tool works by shredding food into tiny particles to prevent it from blocking your pipes.
These devices are connected to sewers, so waste is sent to the sewage treatment plant (if you’re connected to the city system).
They’re installed below your sink, where the water flows to the drain. For cleaning, it’s recommended to insert ice cubes about once a month and activate the crusher. Of course, you should consult the manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance.
First of all, these devices are very easy to use. They reduce odours in the kitchen and help get rid of leftover food quickly. They also allow fewer sink blockages and make cleaning this part of the kitchen easier.
For those who don’t have access to composting amenities, garbage disposals also reduce the amount of waste that’s sent to the landfill.
These devices take up space (especially if you have a small kitchen). They are more environmentally friendly than composting (but if you have no other options, we’d say they’re better than nothing). In addition, they consume water and electricity. It’s important to know that these devices cannot crush metals, or plastics or get rid of chemical residues so you have to be careful what you put into them and your sink.
Also, if you don't choose the right model, the shredder itself can be noisy. Further, garbage disposals cannot be installed in some buildings. If you live in a condo, check the regulations. This is because the type of plumbing system installed in the building may not cooperate with garbage disposals.
You should also know that in some places, these devices are heavily regulated. For example, in Sherbrooke, where compost has been offered by the city for over 15 years, garbage disposals will soon be banned because of their impact on the city's sewer systems among other things. Check with your municipality before proceeding with this installation and to find out if there are exceptions.
Here are the foods you can shred in most garbage disposals (as mentioned, please always consult the instruction manual that comes with your appliance):
Here are the main foods and items that shouldn’t be put into this device:
As mentioned, the main part of the garbage disposal is installed under the sink, so the aesthetic appearance of this device doesn’t vary greatly from model to model.
The main differences between models are seen more in the level of the motor force, the size of the grinding chamber, the noise, and the lifespan of the device.
First, you should choose your model according to the number of people who live in your home. The more you are, the more powerful a machine you’ll need. Also, check that the model is suitable for your kitchen plumbing.
Lower-end models will have a shorter lifespan and will generally be noisier. Further, lower-quality materials will tend to be affected by corrosion more quickly.
Most models have a lifespan of between 8 to 15 years. Do bear in mind that higher-quality models will also consume less electricity and be more durable.
If you take a look at the websites of plumbing stores and home improvement superstores, you’ll likely notice a price difference between the models.
On average, most models of garbage disposals cost between $240 and $600 (some models cost up to $700, and others cost less than $200). It all depends on the power of the motor, the size of the chamber, and the other factors that we’ve presented in this article.
Before you buy, be sure to compare products by reading people's reviews.
Next, you must take into account the installation, usually done by a plumber, although some models pride themselves on being able to be installed by people with no experience.
To learn more about the fees charged by plumbers, see this article: Cost of Plumbing Renovations.
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your plumbing renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with the appropriate contractors for your project. Fill in the form below (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted professionals.
Last modified 2023-05-30
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Cynthia Laferrière • 23 Apr 2022
Do you remember that famous old folktale your grandparents would tell you about, the one that probably made it hard for you to comfortably use the toilet without first looking in the bowl, on the off chance that a sewer rat was just wading in there, ready to nip your behind? Let’s say that, nowadays, it’s highly unlikely that such a situation could happen, since household sewer pipes are now fitted with check valves, also known as backflow preventers. In the 21st century, it’s all the more common to have, maintain, or change such devices to prevent water leaks in our basements, especially when knowing that municipalities aren’t made responsible for any damage caused to properties in the event of a sewer backflow. Some people also worry about climate change resulting in heavier and more frequent rainfall and want to make sure that they have the appropriate check valve in place. Hence why having check valves in your basement is all the more desirable. In any case, if you’re a homeowner or a property renter living in proximity to solid ground, it’s best to add a clause in your home assurance contract that covers such mishaps that are totally out of your control and check whether the current installations are up to code (CSA standard certified and in compliance with article 220.127.116.11 of the Quebec Construction Code). How Does a Check Valve Work? Source : Canva In the event of heavy rains or when the snow melts really fast come springtime, there’s a good chance that the collector sewers in your municipality aren’t able to keep up. When they overflow, they’ll leak through the piping, floor drains, and sanitary devices in your home. This exact problem can occur as a result of a break or an obstruction in underground canalization. Therefore, to prevent greywater, that’s potentially a carrier of malodorous smells and bacteria, from destroying your belongings and resulting in a loss of time, money, and energy, installing check valves on your drainage pipes is a must. Note that retaining basins, sump pits, and running traps found beneath street level must also be fitted with check valves. The same goes for household sanitary appliances located beneath a septic tank’s overflow mark. The check valve principle is rather simple and logical. Simply said, it controls the direction in which the water flows through canalization, with the main goal being that the water coming from your household flows outward instead of having, on the other hand, outside water leaking into your home. Some valves solely shield one sanitary device, like a toilet; in such a case, multiple valves will be required. Others can be fitted to a pipe or connected to numerous other household apparatuses. Given that, naturally, they’ll be various ways to install a check valve depending on the type of property in question. Types of Check Valves Photo: Flickr Normally Closed Check Valve Its shutter, basically the little flap or valve, is affixed by its top section and hangs downward, and can solely move one way. Given its position, it allows that when the toilet is flushed, the water must push past the flap to drain. On the other hand, if the water is coming in from outside the household, it’ll flap against the valve instead of pushing through and flowing freely through the piping. This type of valve still has its downsides. Since it’s always in a closed position, unless it’s being pushed open by household greywaters, it restricts airflow in the piping network. It’s usually installed in hard-to-reach areas, making cleaning the device a rather complex endeavour, more so, its shutter is prone to damage resulting from the cable used during the maintenance process. Furthermore, the flap is conducive to a buildup of residue that could clog the valve or hinder its efficiency in the event that a city sewer backflows. For these reasons, this model is more often found beneath older homes, having been installed on the main drain line according to former building codes. Normally Open Check Valve Its shutter is, opposed to the previously-mentioned model, affixed by the bottom section. The flap is thus laid flat awaiting outside water flow to rise and block the way. As such, airflow is not blocked and provides easy access to maintenance tools. This model is favoured for single-family homes. Squeeze-In Check Valve Mostly used for floor drains, and that, solely if permitted by the municipality. An elastomeric ring and brass plates maintain the device in place inside the pipe, right beneath the drain’s cover. Inflatable Check Valve Controlled electronically, the device will inflate and block the pipe once water backflow is detected. It doesn’t require any maintenance. Locating the Check Valve Source : Canva First off, to know whether your home has a check valve, look in your basement. If so, there will be a round, twist-off lid at floor level. However, if you have a dewatering pump, look around the latter. When in doubt, or if the plumbing is more complex, ask the previous homeowners or call in professionals. To avoid ending up with your neighbour’s greywater all over your living room floor, make sure your home is fitted with good condition, standard check valves. Do you have a plumbing renovation project in mind? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Cost of a Check Valve Source : Canva There are numerous factors to consider when trying to gauge the cost of installing a check valve. For example, based on the chosen model, expect to pay between $40 to $200 per valve. Think about the number of valves needed as well as the plumber’s rate. Will the work require additional fees, such as those related to digging to access the current check valves and then to backfill? Your best bet is to inquire prior to jumpstarting the work to save money. If you’re looking to go forward with a renovation or an inspection, you first must call a plumbing contractor that’s a member in good standing with the CMMTQ (Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec). In Montréal, there’s a program that was set up to put you in touch with certified inspectors that’ll ensure your valves are in good working order and located in the right place. Simply dial 311. It’s of utmost importance to deal with qualified professionals if your home is older or has a flat roof. The original fittings might combine rainwater with wastewater or the recommended valve happens to be an open check valve type, which could make the whole process a lot more difficult should the person not have the right tools on hand. Do you have a check valve project in mind? Check Valve Maintenance Check valve maintenance is best done once a year, ideally at the end of spring; following the freeze/thaw weathering period, thus after the heaviest water flow inside your pipes. The purpose of maintenance is to ensure that no debris is limiting the valve’s flap from opening and closing, and in the event that a metal valve is used, to check the overall corrosive state of the device. For valves located behind walls, underneath a raised floor, or in the ceiling, you can make a removable panel to easily access the device. If you decide to check the device and carry out the maintenance yourself, here are a few useful tips: Wear gloves; suffice it to say that you’re dealing with greywater, a liquid in which bacteria grows and could be potentially harmful to your health. Remove the access cover or stopper by unscrewing it or unlocking it. Remove the flap to clean and check the condition of the rubber gasket. Obviously, if it’s broken or damaged, swap it out for a new one. Thoroughly clean the hinge and put the valve back in place. Make sure that it’s positioned correctly and put everything else back together. Note that there are some more recent models with a built-in cleaning system.
N/A • 13 Apr 2022
From time to time, when showering, you may experience a loss of water pressure. If this problem persists, it really does make your shower routine somewhat annoying and unpleasant. Check out this article to find out about the causes and possible solutions for this lack of water flow while showering. For more shower-related articles, check out the following: Sprucing Your Shower Tub How to Choose Your Shower What Causes Low Water Pressure in the Shower? Low water pressure in the shower can, at times, be caused by a significant lack of pressure coming from the municipal water supply to your home’s plumbing system. When your shower lacks water, first things first, ask yourself where the water originates from. It can be from your local water supply or from your own backyard, like an artesian well, for example. Surely, this is something you already know. The reason why it is important to know this is because if you are connected to a local, public water supply, maintenance work near your home that necessitates water may lead to low water pressure in your surrounding area. If your municipality is undertaking road work, experiencing a water main break, or doing hydrant maintenance, it is possible that, while the work is being carried out, your water pressure will be affected. The same thing can occur when city workers are servicing the water distribution system. Before undertaking any work, check your municipality's website to confirm whether maintenance work or repairs are the root cause of the problem. Root Cause of Low Water Pressure Check Your Showerhead If you are sure that the low water pressure does not stem from an external problem, it is time to check within your home. Starting with the simplest problem to solve: You may have a low-flow showerhead, which is specially made to reduce the water pressure and, at the same time, water consumption. Should it overly reduce the water pressure or be damaged, that can explain the lack of water flow in the shower. It might also be that your showerhead is clogged by calcium scale. Water naturally contains this substance and it accumulates in your showerhead over time. If you can remove the showerhead without too much hassle, let it soak for an hour in a mixture of two cups of vinegar, one of water, and ⅓ of a cup of baking soda. For a thorough clean, let it soak overnight. Then, reinstall your showerhead and let the water run for a few minutes. If you cannot manage to remove your showerhead, fill a small plastic bag with vinegar, water, and baking soda, and tie the bag filled with your homemade descaling solution to your showerhead with an elastic. Once it has soaked for a lengthy period of time, remove the bag, and let the water run for a few minutes. If you have successfully descaled your showerhead, and everything seems to be back to normal, good for you! The water flow in your showerhead was indeed obstructed by limescale or calcium scale. Think about repeating this maintenance step whenever necessary. However, if the problem persists, you might want to check your home’s plumbing system. Lack of Water Flow Throughout Your Home Plumbing Ensure There Are No Water Leaks Your home’s plumbing system is responsible for water flow throughout; it is a complex system and a water leak can negatively affect the water pressure in your shower. Take a water hose, for example, if it is punctured, you will immediately notice a lack of water pressure. This also applies to your plumbing. This applies to all water outlets: If you notice a lack of water, make sure that there are no water leaks coming from your bathroom’s plumbing system. Here is where it might get tricky: you may be able to fix any visibly obvious plumbing problem, but as soon as the problem lies within a wall, you will need to call a plumber. The possibility of a water leak can still be ruled out, but if the leak is contained in the wall, it is in your best interest to find out as soon as possible to avoid a subsequent water leak that could cause even more damage. Looking for specialists for your bathroom renovation project? Fill out the form so that we can put you in contact with certified contractors from our network! Bottom Line: Troubleshoot Your Plumbing This article outlines broad to specific methods of dealing with this issue. First, check with your municipality to see if there is a water issue in your neighbourhood that could be causing this low pressure, especially if the problem is sudden. Next, check your showerhead, as it might be a low-flow model, which reduces the amount of water pressure. Otherwise, it may be that a buildup of limescale or calcium scale is obstructing water flow. Should these measures not lead to a solution, call in a plumber that specializes in home plumbing systems, who will then be able to discern what is your plumbing problem. Lack of water flow in the shower is an issue that directly affects the level of comfort experienced by homeowners: Address this problem at an early stage so that you can get on with enjoying your shower time without having to constantly anticipate a drop in water flow. Photo sources: Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 02 Aug 2023
Are you remodelling, adding a sanitary installation, or building your home? Well then, a multilayer plumbing pipe is exactly what you need. Multilayer pipes are commonly used in residential and commercial buildings to channel tap water or radiator fluid. They’re simply revolutionary. Find out why and learn more about their installation characteristics. What are multilayer plumbing pipes? Source: Canva A multilayer pipe is a three-layer line made of the following: 1 layer plastic (PEX-A, -B, -C, or PERT II) 1 layer aluminum (0.2 to 0.7 mm thick) 1 layer plastic Hence, the multilayer pipe is commonly referred to as a PAP pipe, for polymer-aluminum-polymer. This system reaps the benefits of both materials, meaning plastic’s flexibility and metal’s resistance. To be more specific, the aluminum layer offsets the structural “shape memory” (the uncoiled pipe won’t curl back); reduces risks of plastic pipes deforming and; has greater pressure resilience. While the plastic layers protect aluminum from corrosion; prevent aluminum pit corrosion and; has the same roughness as copper (0.007 mm). Therefore, multilayer pipes are naturally corrosion-resistant and can withstand varying temperatures as well as the pressure contained inside domestic water lines. Their low surface roughness minimizes pressure drops and prevents limescale or biofilm build-up. Most importantly, the aluminum layer helps fight against the primary issue with plastic pipes: the passage of oxygen through the pipes. This phenomenon results in the oxygenation of water in closed water circuits. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Why use multilayer pipes? Source: Canva Multilayer pipes are largely advantageous, with very few drawbacks to consider. Advantages Multilayer pipes are: more resilient than PVC pipes; 3 times lighter than copper; easy to install (manual installation); flexible; can be bent every which way; can measure up to 2.95 inches in diameter (75 mm); can be installed without fittings over long stretches; electronically detectable courtesy of the aluminum layer and; can be hand-shaped (small-diameter multilayer pipes) or with tube benders. Drawbacks Multilayer tube drawbacks are as follows: they can’t be installed in fire-prone areas; they require specially made tools and heating system know-how; lack of manufacturing standards in terms of diameter. Multilayer or PEX? Here’s a chart detailing the 14 characteristics of PEX and multilayer pipes. It may come in handy when choosing the best-suited material for your project. PEX pipe Multilayer Reverts to its initial shape after bending Retains intended shape (shape memory) Not suitable for gas Suitable for gas Always concealed or poured into a slab Concealed or exposed No soldering No soldering Cold connection Cold connection Connected using crimp rings, compression fittings, or sliding assembly Connected using crimp rings or compression Retailed in roll form only Retailed in roll form or sticks Available in blue (cold water) and red (hot water) White unless a blue or red protective sleeve is added UV-vulnerable UV-resistant Permeable to oxygen unless tubing is fitted with an oxygen barrier Oxygen barrier Risks fouling unless piping has an oxygen barrier No risks of fouling Strong thermal expansion Weak thermal expansion Cost-effective Not as cost-effective as PER Less than 50-year service life 50-year service life You might be more inclined to choose PEX over multilayer piping for two specific reasons: Cost Sliding assembly Characteristics and all, multilayer piping is more advantageous. How long does a multilayer pipe last? Source: Canva Twenty-five years in terms of heating, and 50 for sanitary installations. However, not unlike most piping, a multilayer pipe’s resilience is directly linked to future fractures and the speed at which it’s breaking down. Engineers have noted two distinct types of crack growths: Fast fractures Slow fractures In either case, their growth speed is entirely dependent on three factors: Fluid temperature Pressure (10-bar maximum) Length of fracture Furthermore, other characteristics can limit a multilayer pipe’s resilience, such as elastic collapse (which results from external pressure, and is known as critical buckling pressure) and; loss of adhesion. Connecting a Multilayer Pipe Without Soldering Source: Canva The first call to order is to figure out if your pipework is concealed or exposed. This distinction ensures you have the right tools, especially fittings. Which fitting works with concealed pipework? The crimp fitting is the best option when working with concealed pipes. As we’ll detail further in the crimping section of this article, these couplings guarantee a fit that’s just as sturdy as soldering. Which fittings work with exposed pipes? Two types of fittings can be used: Compression coupling Compression coupling is perfect for small- to medium-scale projects. A pipe bushing and olive are placed at the tip of the coupling pipe, and the fitting is inserted and screwed into the bushing. Automatic coupler An automatic coupler is ideal for extension projects or small-scale repair work. It’s inserted around the pipe until it butts up against it and is visible through the fitting’s opening. Which fitting works with mixed piping? Mixed piping comprises two distinct materials. In this particular instance, it can be, for example, a multilayer pipe coupled with a PER, or a multilayer pipe fitted to a copper pipe. As for the latter, the best fitting is a mixed connection fitting, also known as a multi-material fitting. For a proper installation, simply deburr the fitting and secure it in place using wire crimpers. Followed by the nut and olive (for an airtight seal), then the copper or PER pipe onto which the coupling is screwed. Which multilayer pipe class to choose? There are four basic multilayer pipe classes: Class 1: Warm water distribution system not exceeding 60°C; Class 2: Warm water distribution system not exceeding 70°C; Class 4: Radiant heating solutions and low-temperature systems; Class 5: High-temperature heating solutions. Therefore, remember to choose multilayer pipes that suit the network you intend to build. Crimping Prior to crimping, make sure your crimping pliers and chains are clean and devoid of any dirt. The equipment used must be suited to the fittings you’re securing into place. The pliers’ press jaws must be locked onto to coupling’s crimping to guarantee a proper execution. Once the crimping is complete, the fitting can no longer be pulled apart, which makes it a secure installation technique. Tools Needed for this Type of DIY Plumbing Work Source: Canva Fourteen different tools may be needed to carry out multilayer plumbing pipe work. However, you might not need them all. Their need depends on the piping network, meaning whether it’s concealed or exposed. Overall, the tools needed are as follows: Crimping pliers Multilayer pipes Writing instrument Screwdriver Drill driver Torpedo level Tube cutter Hammer Wall outlet fitting Open-ended wrench Half-pipe clamps Calibrating and deburring tool Measuring tape Tube bending spring Considering this list of tools, even though a multilayer piping network doesn’t require soldering, it still requires a certain level of know-how.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 06 Dec 2022
Insulating water supply pipes is a necessary measure that'll help protect pipes from freezing, bursting, or leaking. By insulating your pipes, you’re ensuring the safety and well-functioning of your home or business during the wintertime. It also helps reduce losses and improves the overall system. Water Pipe Insulation R- and RSI Values Source: Canva The R-value measures a material’s resistance against thermal fluctuations. The higher the R-value, the more the material in question is thermally efficient. By way of this article, we’re going to delve into the recommended values for household water supply pipes. The RSI value measures a material’s resistance against thermal fluctuations in terms of its density. The higher the RSI value, the more the material is thermally efficient for a given density. LEED certification recommends an RSI value of 0.7 (R-4) to insulate the piping network of household water heaters. To properly insulate 90-degree angles, make sure to use the right type of insulation material in the piping’s every nook and cranny. Oftentimes, water heaters are already insulated, however, you can definitely improve it. On the other hand, insulating water supply pipes is a slightly more complex undertaking. Cold water supply pipes don’t normally have a preferred R-value, but insulation is nonetheless recommended to prevent condensation, which stems from ambient humidity forming along the walls of cold pipes. That way, materials are protected against water-related deterioration. Water Supply Pipe Insulation Materials Available Source: Canva There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing hot water pipe insulation. The first is climate: If you reside in an area where temperatures are extreme, you should choose an insulation material that can withstand the latter. The second is the type of pipe: If you have copper pipes, you should select an insulation material that won’t respond negatively to metal. Lastly, consider the costs associated with the purchase of insulation and its installation. The best water pipe insulation materials differ based on several factors, such as location, type of household pipes, and the reason behind wanting to insulate. Pipe insulation materials such as fibreglass are best used for piping exposed to warm temperatures, while foam and rubber are more conveniently used for cold water pipes, but these materials will also work with hot water pipes. When it comes to your project, to help you make the best decision, we’ll go over the most sought-after pipe insulation materials, explain how best to use every material, and where they’re best installed so that you can subsequently choose those that best meet your needs and budget. Household potable water supply pipes are usually responsible for thermal losses. As such, you definitely have to take a moment to corner to issue before it becomes a burden. Hot water copper piping is responsible for thermal losses in walls and under floors. Hot water supply pipe insulation protects against extreme temperatures. Doing so is also beneficial when it comes to reducing pipe condensation, especially in enclosed spaces, such as attics, store rooms, and finished basements. The question remains, What’s the best type of insulation for hot water supply copper pipes? We’ve done a bit of research in regard to this matter to give you the best possible answer. There are four types of insulation materials that can be effectively used with copper water supply pipes. These are: Rubber insulation; Polyethylene foam; Fibreglass insulation; Mineral wool insulation. Keep in mind that pipe insulation comes in many different forms. No matter the insulation material you choose, you’ll be able to find such materials pre-shaped, in cylinders, to perfectly fit around a pipe. Most pipe insulation materials are less than 10% efficient. Overall, you’ll note that most of these insulation materials are rather cheap, though some are a bit more expensive. The best material to use will naturally depend on the size of your hot water pipes and your budget. Are you looking for experts for your insulation project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Pipe Insulation Pricing Source: Canva You can purchase pipe insulation materials from your local hardware store or in large arts and crafts stores. When purchasing, make sure that you have the pipe dimensions on hand to only buy the necessary amount needed to cover your piping network. Pipe insulation prices vary depending on the type of insulation material used, as well as the pipe’s length and circumference. For example, a 1-inch thick, six feet long fibreglass insulator can cost about $6, however, a foam insulator of the same size can cost about $8. The price can also vary depending on the pipe itself, whether it supplies hot or cold water. Albeit pipe insulation materials can be quite a financial investment, the benefits greatly outweigh any downside. The total cost, per linear foot, for pipe insulation materials, is between $1.10 to $11, which includes the materials ($0.20 to $3 per linear foot) and labour costs ($0.90 to $8 per linear foot). Consequently, for 100 feet of piping, you could pay anywhere between $110 to $1,100. Once again, the price ultimately depends on the type of insulation material you choose. Although hot water copper pipes don’t necessarily need to be insulated, doing so does have its advantages. Listed below are the most important. Benefits of Temperature Regulation Note that insulating indoor and outdoor piping reduces thermal losses, which is especially important in regions where extreme temperatures are a commonality. Household pipes are responsible for water flow throughout the entire dwelling, which means that the temperature of said pipes can vary at any given time. Stunts the inefficient use of energy Pipe insulation very much decreases the inefficient use of energy. You can even note a depletion of your energy-related costs and a slower wait time for hot water delivery to your bathtubs and sinks. Reduces condensation Condensation naturally occurs when the external surface of plumbing pipes is colder than that of the ambient air. To lessen the chances of condensation forming on pipes, adding insulation around the outer section of the pipes is a must. Without insulation, metal pipes can leak, corrode, and rust. Adding pipe insulation is also a useful must-have in other areas of your home, like in the laundry room or bathroom, ensuring no injuries can occur upon skin contact with very warm or very cold pipes. Shields from a bursting pipe If you live in an area that’s subject to extremely cold weather during the wintertime, surely you’ve heard stories about pipes bursting, or you’ve experienced it first-hand. Adding insulation around your hot water supply pipes can reduce the risks of said pipes bursting. The layer of insulation protects the pipes from freezing and allows them to resist cold temperatures for longer periods of time. Slight soundproofing of pipes It’s a known fact that plumbing can, at times, emit strange noises with debris and water flow. Most often, the noise is a direct result of mismeasured piping, as pipe networks must be installed according to a specific slope. However, soundproofing household pipes by wrapping dense insulation material around them, such as foam or rubber is rather easy. Keep in mind that it’s important to call in professionals to add insulation around your pipes. These experts will be able to guide you when it comes to choosing the right material for your needs!
Cynthia Laferrière • 06 Aug 2022
The sheer size of a home's plumbing system can make plumbing issues seem rather complex. There are pipes in the basement, drains outside, bits of pipe coming out on the roof, valves, and elbow joints under the sinks... So, how does one tackle the mysterious rotten smell, the slow-draining sink, the empty toilet tank, and the gurgling monster living in the pipes? Well, there's no need to get poetic about it; a damaged, improperly installed, or clogged plumbing vent could account for all of the above. What’s a Plumbing Vent? Also known as an air admittance valve (AAV) or drain-waste-vent system (DWV), a plumbing vent is an integral part of the drainage system that disposes of household wastewater. Specifically, it's the portion of the system that vents the pipes to ensure that the sewer fumes stay, well…in the sewer. Plumbing vents ensure that there's a proper water flow without so much as creating a void in the p-trap (the part of the pipe under your sink that forms a U shape). When the p-trap lacks a minimum amount of water, noxious odours and fumes, including methane, are released. Basically, a plumbing vent levels out the pressure in the pipes, forcing air behind the draining water, thus preventing gases from entering the home and keeping the pipes in good condition. Normally, the drain pipes are routed through the walls, towards an exterior-leading vertical ventilation system. However, in some cases, this simple configuration is more difficult to achieve. Consider, for example, a sink embedded in a kitchen island. In such cases, small automatic discharge vents, which are commonly found in hardware stores and only used as a last resort, come into play. They're affixed directly to the drain pipe, opened while the air pressurizes the water, and closed when the flow is complete, keeping the trap well drained. Source: Flickr Problems Related to a Faulty Vent Numerous issues can arise if: The vent is incorrectly positioned; The model installed is too small; The exterior cap isn’t sealed properly; Something is obstructing the vent (branches, leaves, nests, ice). Keep an eye out for the early warning signs of such problems before the repercussions take over your home and completely clog your pipes. If you notice moisture build-up on your ceilings, check your vents before becoming overwhelmed by repair costs associated with a suspected cracked roof. If your home is developing a foul odour, then your plumbing vents may be clogged. If you notice that the water is draining slowly after bathing or washing dishes, it could be something more than hair or food scraps clogging the drain. If using drain cleaners fails to clear the clogged drain, consider inspecting your vents. If abnormal, gurgle-like or muffled noises are emanating from your pipes as water flows through, poor airflow might be to blame. A lack of air pressure caused by clogged vents affects the water level in the trap, therefore, when flushing, your toilet tank doesn't properly refill. When in doubt, call in an expert. Do you have a plumbing renovation project in mind? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Automatic Drain Vent: Price & Installation In most hardware stores, like Canac, Canadian Tire, Rona, and Réno-Dépôt, one can find the necessary tools and devices. Prices vary depending on size and use. A 1- to 2-inch ABS automatic drain vent meant to fit under a sink, if a conventional vent can't be used, costs between $4 and $20. On the other hand, an outdoor steel wall vent with a cap and gasket can run around $30. Source: Flickr Hire an expert to install an exterior or a roof-mounted vent. Assuming that you need to change the vent below the sinks or the ones accessed during renovations, here’s a run-down of all the materials required and the steps to follow. Tools: Vent; A container/bucket to collect water; A pipe cutter or metal saw, depending on the plumbing system’s materials; Locking pliers; Measuring tape; Cement and sealant tape (silicon or Teflon); PVC primer; Joints, traps, and pipes to complete the work depending on the extent of the project. First off, place a bucket or container under the sink to avoid creating a mess, unscrew the nuts and bolts holding the drain trap in place, and remove the elbow joint. Get a hold of a sanitary tee (T) and pipes. Depending on the configuration of your installation, you may have to trim the pipe a bit. Note that the bottom part of the vent should be about 4 inches from the top of the trap (maximum 30 inches), so measure your pipe extension accordingly. Connect all the components without glueing them to make sure everything fits as it should, and if necessary, make any adjustments. When everything looks as it should, with a marker, label where everything lines up (pipes with joints). Take the pieces apart, apply the glue, then hook up the pieces before linking the whole thing to the existing piping under the sink. Install the vent at the top of the vertical pipe as per the manufacturer's instructions and apply sealant tape before screwing on the nuts and bolts. Next, secure the trap by sliding the elbow joint onto the drain fitting and inserting the pipe arm into the T-joint. Screw on all the nuts. Lastly, test it out by filling up the sink with water and removing the stopper to see if there are any leaks in the wastewater flow. Source: Sketch made in Paint