The DIY Plumbing Tips Dad Taught us Not to Follow

When we think of our dads and their role in the household, we tend to remember the times we’ve seen them with a tool or two in their hands. As chivalrous as their attempts were to fix things in the house, not every time was a success.

Plumbing Dad was most likely the least successful of all the roles he had to take on. In honor of Father’s Day, let’s remember all the times Plumbing Dad shouldn’t have tried the DIY tips and tricks he learned... Sometimes it's just better to call the professionals.

The Correct Way to Install A Toilet

personalinjuriesLet’s try to look at things from our father’s perspective. If you needed to install a new toilet, all you would have to do is shut off the water, remove the old toilet, put in the new one, and turn the water back on, right? Not exactly.

There are still health risks to consider. Toilets are nasty and filled with germs. Their only function is to flush away our waste, which means the last thing plumbing dad would think about is how unsanitary the job actually is.

Not to mention how serious it would be if the new toilet weren’t properly installed. Believe it or not, one toilet size does not fit all in this aspect. If a toilet didn’t fit the area, but plumbing dad made it work by force, chances are there would be a backup in the near future.

Avoiding Water Leaks

pipeducttapeSurely you remember the times you saw your dad pull out the duct tape to fix a water leak. If you haven’t, well, you’re one of the lucky ones. Duct tape is fairly versatile but it has never won a battle against water.

Even if it needed to be used, it should only have been for minor leaks and as a temporary fix. Surely plumbing dad knew this but it was the best, and cheapest way he knew how to fix leaks. Some of the issues that come from using duct tape are that it can lead to erosion and a rust buildup.

Erosion itself would cause the hole to get bigger which would cause water damage to the area that houses the pipe. If the tape did manage to stop the leak, the part of the pipe that had been damaged would be exposed to the water and would then begin to rust. The water that would be used in your house would be tainted making it undrinkable and ruining your sinks and tubs.

Leave Drain Snaking to the Pros

snakedrainingAmong some of the tasks, our dads shouldn’t attempt, drain cleaning the pipes is one that should only be done by professionals. If you ever saw your dad try to unclog the plumbing with one of these machines, you know he should have thought twice about it.

The problems that can happen from using that type of equipment without experience can be quite expensive and also cause physical harm. The wrong size could cause damage to the pipes leading to a rupture or it could scrape the insides of the toilet and pipes making the clog worse.

Even though we know there were times our dads shouldn’t have attempted certain things around the house, we do still need to commend them on their efforts. It takes a lot to try and learn how to fix all the major issues that can arise from owning a home. It takes a lot more though to learn from their mistakes.


Understand the Importance of Your Water Heater

Understand the Importance of Your Water Heater

You probably wake up in the morning craving a steaming mug of coffee and an ice-cold shower. Or perhaps a glass of wine and a freezing cold bath at the end of a long day is more your speed.

Actually, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to take a shower or bath, or even wash their hands, without a functioning water heater. If someone gave you the option of an ice bath or no bath at all, I suspect we’d all choose just to skip the bath altogether.

How Does a Water Heater Work?

waterheaterYour water heater is clearly a valuable appliance, but do you know how it functions to provide warm water on demand? Your home has two main systems of pipes. One set brings clean, fresh water into your home from the municipal water supply or other freshwater supply.

The second set brings all of the used wastewater back out of your house and sends it to your local wastewater treatment plant. Inside a house, the freshwater supply splits into two separate lines. Nothing needs to be done to the incoming supply when you want cold water from your tap; it’s ready to use straight from the municipal supply.

If you want warm water for a shower or to wash your hands, it has to go through the water heater. The freshwater supply diverts to send some water into the heater while the rest goes directly to your faucets and toilets.

As you can imagine, not all parts of your bathroom plumbing are hooked up to get warm water. When you flush the toilet, it pulls water only from the cold-water supply. Other sources like showers and sinks lose some of their cold water until the toilet finishes filling, which is why you get blasted with hot water when someone flushes during your shower.

Water Heaters for Prefabricated Homes

bathroomplumbingMobile homes need water heaters just like any other house, but the federal government has special regulations for the heaters in manufactured homes. Often, the heaters need to fit into cramped spaces, so additional safety specifications help reduce the chance of fires.

If the water heater’s space has a low ceiling, you can purchase a short-tanked heater. If it’s a narrow space, you can buy a tall, thin heater. Smaller spaces can’t usually fit full-sized water heaters, so mobile homeowners often have smaller reservoirs, which reduces their warm water supply.

Some mobile homes have exterior compartments for the water heater, in which case they can accommodate a full-sized heater. If you need a new water heater and are struggling to determine which one is suitable for your manufactured home, contact a professional for a consultation.

No Water Heater Installation

nodiyIf you had to take a cold shower this morning or had to skip bathing your toddler because your heater broke, the Home Depot water heater aisle can look very tempting. We love Home Depot for a lot of home improvement projects, but you should always hire a professional to help you choose and install a new water heater.

The process of removing an old heater and installing a new one is quite involved. If you miss a step or make a mistake, you’ll still be stuck with cold showers. A professional plumber will get the job done right, the first time around. The installation will be leak-free, and your installer will even come back later for tune-ups if your heater needs it.

Tell us, has your water heater ever malfunctioned while you were mid-shower? Hopefully, it’ll never happen again but if it does, make us your first call.


Trade Secrets to Remove Hard Water Stains

Trade Secrets to Remove Hard Water Stains

In the plumbing industry, as in most industries, there are certain secrets that are kept from the public in order to keep the public needing the industry.

There are some in the plumbing industry who believe in keeping their secret “plumbing hacks” to themselves for this very reason, but we at Knight Plumbing, Inc. don’t believe in keeping you in the dark about a problem you could easily fix yourself.

That’s why we’ve gathered up information to share with you about cleaning up hard water stains, and how water softeners can improve your water quality!

Understanding How Hard Water Happens and What It Affects

hardwaterWater becomes "hard" when there is an increase in the amount of calcium and magnesium in it. Hard water may not be necessarily bad for your health, but it can cause some inconveniences in your home life.

For example, hard water makes it more difficult for soaps and detergents to work, so you'll find yourself needing to use more detergent to do the same job if you have hard water.

If you have hard water, you may also notice that your hair lacks shine, and feels brittle, and your skin is dry or itchy. Another sure sign of hard water that can be very annoying is the soap scum and little spots and streaks hard water leaves behind on various surfaces of your home.

Cleaning Stains Left Behind by Hard Water

cleaningstainsThose stains left by hard water on your bathtub, toilet, shower walls/doors, mirrors, glasses, and silverware can be tricky to get out; but that’s where our big secret comes in!

You can actually clean most hard water stains and mineral deposits with common household items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

To remove tough stains from porcelain and metal surfaces, mix vinegar and baking soda until they form a paste. Smear the paste over your tricky stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Then scrub the stain away, rinse, and wipe dry to avoid more stains from forming. You can also remove mineral deposits from your faucets by spray in them with fresh lemon juice, letting it sit for a few minutes, and wiping the faucet clean.

Install a Water Softener to Solve the Bigger Problem

While cleaning your hard water stains can get your home looking better, and it may even slightly improve your water pressure, cleaning alone doesn't take care of the bigger problem- your hard water.

In order to eliminate hard water completely, you'll need to install a water softener. With a water softener installed in your home, you'll notice that:

  • watersoftenerYour hair and skin feel softer, cleaner, and smoother.
  • There is left soap scum left behind after cleaning.
  • Your clothes come out of the wash softer and brighter.
  • Water using appliances like your water heater and coffee maker will last longer.
  • You won’t need to use as much soap or detergent, so you’ll save some money too!

Now that you know all the trade secrets about dealing with hard water, we won’t swear you to secrecy. Please share the link to this article with everyone you know, and get the word out about cleaning up after hard water! For more information about water softener installation in Milwaukee, WI, don’t hesitate to call Knight Plumbing at (414) 269-4975.


Well, Well, Well (Pump)... What do we Have Here?

Well, Well, Well (Pump)... What do we Have Here?

Spring is a time for getting out of the house! It's a time for taking a walk, and maybe even admiring a garden or a flower bed while you're at it. Whatever you decide to do on your spring days, it's a time to put away those chunky winter coats (at least until next year). If you do decide to visit a garden, you may notice that there is a wide variety of flowers there.

Just as there is a variety of flowers, there are also a variety of sump pump types to supply the water for all those flowers. Let's take a look at a few different kinds of well pumps, and what kinds of wells they work best for.

Jet Pumps Were Made For Shallow Wells

whatisFor shallow wells, less than twenty-five feet deep, the best option for pumping water out is to install a jet pump.

The jet pump is housed outside the well and uses atmospheric pressure to create a vacuum inside the pipe in order to suck the water out (as with a straw).

Submersible pumps, which sit under the waterline in the well, are not suitable for shallow wells as shallow wells can expose them to more silt, dirt, and other things that can clog up the pump.

Jet Pumps May Also be a Match For (Some) Deep Wells

idealjetpumpIf your well is deeper than twenty-five feet, there's no need to panic. You can still install a jet pump, though they are not always the most effective option for pumping water from a well that deep.

In order to use a jet pump in a deeper well, the pump's jet first needs to be separated from the motor and impeller housing and placed into the well.

In this case, one pipe is installed to drive water into the jet from the impeller. Then another pipe carries the water to your home.

Really Deep Wells Require a Submersible Pump

submersiblepumpWhile submersible pumps are not recommended for shallow wells, they are a great option for deep wells. To begin with, submersible pumps move water out of the well and into your home rather than depending on suction to lift your water out of the well.

Finally, the biggest plus to installing a submersible well pump is that they can last anywhere from twenty to twenty-five years without needing to be serviced. While you get ready to enjoy the spring season, think about all the opportunities this season has to offer.

Think of the variety of colors and smells a lovely spring day brings. You wouldn't walk by a flower bed and point to the first flower you see and say "That's the prettiest, nicest smelling flower in the whole garden! That's the one I want."

No, you would walk around the garden and take in all the options. You should treat your well pump shopping in the same way. To learn more about different kinds of well pumps and their functions, give Knight Plumbing Inc. in Milwaukee, WI a call today at (414) 269-4975.


Here Are the Top 10 Best Plumbing Memes of 2018:

Here Are the Top 10 Best Plumbing Memes of 2018:

At Knight Plumbing, we take your plumbing very seriously. We get the job done right in a timely fashion. But that doesn't mean we don't know how to enjoy the silly side of life once in a while!

With that said, here are this year's best plumbing memes, ranked in order of funniness from 10 to 1. Scroll through to see if your favorite meme made the cut!

10- The “Look How Big My Muscles Are” Meme
The number 10 spot on this countdown goes to the tired old “look how big my muscles are” joke. We’re over it.pipes

9- The Dog Meme
Nothing against dog memes other than the fact that they’re just not as funny as cat memes. There, we said it! These furry little guys do get points for cuteness, though!dogs

8- The Product You Kind of Want, But Won’t Actually Buy
Here’s a fun shower curtain that might make you think “ooh, I need that!” But do you really? Look at that guy giving you a thumbs up from inside your you really want him there every time you use the bathroom? Probably not.socialmedia

7- The “I Don’t Get It, But It’s Still Pretty Funny” Meme
Why did this man choose to put on a Viking at and "sail" across his severely flooded basement? Who stood in the same flooded basement to take this picture?! We're not sure of the answer to either of those questions. What we are sure of is that we appreciate his commitment to the

6- The Most Interesting Man in The World
While this meme is hilarious, the Most Interesting Man in the World character is a little behind the times, is it not? Still funny? Sure. But let’s see if we can’t find something more original.interestingman

5- The Punny Meme
We know there are people out there who hate puns, and there are people out there who love them. That’s why our punny meme lands right in the middle of our list. It’s neither the best, not the worst pun we’ve ever come across.nut

4- The Not Really Funny, But Very Important Meme
Alright, Alright, we said this countdown was for funny memes, but we had to sneak this wise one in here. We hope this helps you protect your finished showers, tubs, and sinks!drano

3- The Good Advice Meme
If you won’t listen to your local plumber, and you won’t listen to your friends, maybe you’ll listen to this cheeky meme. Don’t. Do. It.hotoil

2- The Funny Cat Meme
Alright, back to the funny stuff! No “best of” meme list would be complete without a funny cat meme, and this one is pretty hilarious!cat

1- The Too Relatable Meme
Don’t we all call our parents for guidance when we don’t know how to do something? And haven’t we all been on the phone with a parent explaining how to fix something, looking at it and thinking “huh?” That’s why this meme right here takes the top spot! Too funny...and for a lot of people, too relatable!cutwater

We sincerely hope you've enjoyed counting down the best memes of the year with us, and we hope you'll pass the list along to your friends and neighbors to give them a laugh as well this holiday season! Don't hesitate to call Knight Plumbing at (414) 269-4975 for any plumbing services you need in Milwaukee!


Who’s Paying The Emergency Plumbing Repairs?

Who’s Paying The Emergency Plumbing Repairs?

After being at work all day, and then sitting in an hour of bumper to bumper traffic to get home, the only thing you want to do is come home to your quiet place and unwind.

But imagine opening your front door after a long day only to a find that you need emergency plumbing services ASAP, because a disaster took place while you were out! This is probably the last thing anyone would want to deal with when they get home from work or school.

As unfortunate and inconvenient as it may be, these situations happen all the time, and if you rent your home, it is essential to know that your landlord is responsible for fixing the plumbing issue you are facing. Read on to find out why!

Do You Know How Much Your Landlord Has to Pay For?

“landlordpays”When you rent a house or apartment, you and your landlord are in agreement that you- as the tenant- are paying for a comfortable home, provided by your landlord.

This means that if your standard of living is compromised in any way by factors outside of your control, it is your Landlord's responsibility to carry the financial burden that comes with fixing things like home appliances, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

If you own a residential building and rent out to tenants, it behooves you to keep up regular maintenance checks of all systems in the building, so as to avoid having to pay for emergency repairs later on.

The Case For Rental Homes

“rentalhomes”The key statement when figuring out who pays for plumbing repairs is this: whoever owns the house or building is responsible for the upkeep of all plumbing maintenance, repairs, and replacements that are needed in the home.

This line can occasionally become blurred because, in some cases, the owner of the house or building may not necessarily be the landlord.

Sometimes, property management companies may be hired to manage everything that comes with running the home, including but is not limited to maintenance and holding the agreements with the renters.

A renter, on the other hand, is a person who signs a contract, usually in twelve-month terms agreeing to pay a monthly charge to occupy the home. This person is under the agreement they are living in a safe and habitable home. Always check your lease agreement to see that it specifies who is responsible for paying emergency plumbing fees.

What Are The Local Rules Regarding Plumbing Repairs?

“localrules”Of course, the rules on this subject can vary from state to state and even across counties within the same state.

It is very important to stay informed with the local rules and regulations to ensure that you are covered as a renter when you are experiencing a plumbing emergency.

Stay informed when making decisions and always check before you call a company and send a technician out to the property.

If you have any questions regarding the current state of your home’s plumbing, or if you need immediate assistance, don’t hesitate to call Knight Plumbing at (414) 269-4975 today! Our team at is always ready to assist you with all of your emergency plumbing needs.


Find The Best Plumbing Materials For Your Home

Find The Best Plumbing Materials For Your Home

When it comes time to install new pipes in your home, there are a few factors you probably take into account. The first is of course what kind of piping are you looking for? Certain plumbing materials may be more conducive to use as a supply line, while others may work best as a drain waste vent pipe.

Second, you'll probably be interested in what each type of pipe has to offer in terms of strength, durability, and safety. Finally, if you're like most people, you'll take into account the price of each kind of pipe, and it's installation costs before making your decision.

We hope the following information about cast iron, chromed copper, and polyvinyl chloride pipes can help you find the best plumbing materials for all your future plumbing services.

Are Cast Iron Pipes Still a Viable Option?

“castiron”With so many newer options for pipe materials on the market today, you may be wondering if cast iron is still a viable option anymore. The answer is yes, cast iron is excellent for drain waste vent pipes.

They are known for being extremely durable, and their ability to hold up safely in the event of a house fire, without melting or emitting any toxic fumes. Safety and durability aside, cast iron pipes are thicker than those made from other materials.

This, of course, makes them heavier, but it also makes for great sound suppression, so you won't hear water rushing through your pipes every time a toilet is flushed. One downside to any metal piping is that it costs substantially more than plastic.

As cast iron pipes are also heavier, your plumbing services company may also need to send more people to install them, driving the cost up more. On average, you can expect to pay as much as $10,000 to repipe an average-sized, two-bathroom house.

Why is Chromed Copper so Popular?

“chromecopper”Since first being used as a plumbing material about 70 years ago, chromed copper pipe became the most widely used across the country.

This is because copper, a naturally occurring metal, resists corrosion better than any other metal used for piping. Copper pipes are lead-free and more eco-friendly when compared with plastic pipes.

Because they are metal, copper pipes cost about the same as cast iron (between $8,000 and $10,000). Due to their resistance to corrosion and their ability to withstand up to 1,000 psi of pressure, copper pipes last far longer than plastic pipes and can even compete with cast iron regarding longevity. They are an excellent choice for water supply lines, like in your kitchen plumbing.

What Benefits do Poly Vinyl Chloride Pipes Offer?

“pvc”Polyvinyl Chloride pipes, more often referred to as PVC pipes, are lightweight and flexible. Because of their versatility, they can be installed just about anywhere in your piping system, making them a great option for either drain pipes or supply lines.

PVC is often considered a very good choice of material if you are working within a tighter budget. In material cost alone, PVC pipe costs just over a quarter of what copper pipe does, around $3 to $4 per square foot. Installation costs are usually low for PVC pipes as well, seeing as how it is so lightweight, the job shouldn’t require more than one or two people.


What’s The Deal With Your Noisy Plumbing?!

What’s The Deal With Your Noisy Plumbing?!

As with most things, strange noises coming from your plumbing system are a sure sign that something is not right. If you're hearing things like whistling, banging, gurgling, or water dripping coming from your plumbing, call Knight Plumbing Inc today to schedule a plumbing inspection to find out exactly where in your system the problem is, and fix it quickly!

Read on to learn more about the plumbing problems that may be associated with the various noises disturbing your home, and how Knight Plumbing Inc. can help you solve them.

Whistling Water Lines

“whistlingsounds”That whistling noise you hear when you turn on the faucet in your kitchen or bathroom sink is likely letting you know that there is a blockage somewhere in the drain line.

If you're not having your system regularly inspected, and your drain routinely cleaned, things like grease, hair, dirt, and food particles can accumulate in your pipes and make it difficult for the water to pass through.

The high-pitched whistle you hear is the sound of a significant amount of water struggling to get through a narrow opening. If not addressed, this problem could be a precursor to a major plumbing disaster like a burst pipe!

Video camera inspection from Knight Plumbing Inc. can help locate the obstruction in your pipe, and give your plumber a better idea of what tools they may need to remove it.

Banging, Clanging, & Knocking Pipes

“knockingpipes”If your pipes are banging up against each other or a wall, and especially if this has been a recurring issue for some time, it's time to get in there and find out just what is making them move around so much.

The solution to this problem could be as simple as adjusting the water pressure in your home. Often, the force of the water moving through your pipes can make them swing and crash into other pipes or even the walls themselves.

In other cases, the movement of your pipes can be caused by a loose valve that closes too fast, causing the water to crash into it and change course suddenly. Pipes that are continually banging up against things are at high risk of cracking, or even becoming completely separated, causing massive water loss! To avoid a mess like that, call Knight Plumbing to have your plumbing system inspected today!

Gurgling Drains & Phantom Water Sounds

“runningwater”Hearing water running or dripping when there isn't a faucet on doesn't mean you're going crazy, it just means that you have a leak somewhere in your water line.

Whether the leak is found in a fixture like a toilet, or outside a fixture in any of the incoming or outgoing water pipes, leaks can be extremely dangerous and cost you hundreds of dollars in lost water.

Another bathroom sound that may give you pause is a gurgling drain. Again, this issue should be addressed as soon as possible, as it indicates a block in your sewer line or waste pipe.

If not resolved, it can lead to things raw like septic tank overflow, or even raw sewage backing up into your home. To avoid a plumbing catastrophe in the future, call Knight Plumbing Inc. for top-notch plumbing inspection today!


How to Get a Plumbing Permit

How to Get a Plumbing Permit

When beginning a plumbing repair or home project, it is important to consider a plumbing permit. Many homeowners believe permits are only required for larger renovations. This is not always the case. Even smaller plumbing work requires a plumbing permit prior to beginning.

Before you start tearing down walls and ripping up floors, find out what the requirements are in your city. Read on to learn more about plumbing permits.

How Am I Protected With a Plumbing Permit?

“permitprotection”A plumbing permit is a very important document that needs to be acquired prior to any work being completed. This provides protection to the homeowner, ensuring all work is done to building code.

This is important for safety reasons. It also helps the homeowner save on money and time. If you go ahead without a permit and the city inspects and notices something is not up to code, all work will be halted immediately. What’s worse is you will likely have to tear down what you have already started and rebuild. This will put a huge dent in your timeline and your wallet.

When Will I Need to Use a Plumbing Permit?

“whenpermit”All larger jobs require a plumbing permit. Projects such as replacing a water heater and relocating existing plumbing lines are considered big jobs, and you will need a permit to complete them.

Also, any kind of pipe replacement, even if you are installing the same kind of piping will require a permit.

It is always better to be safe and check with the city before you start your project. You can go online or call them directly. You could also give your local plumber a call, and they could tell you what you will need.

What is the Price?

“howmuchcost”Permit fees can vary from place to place. So they may be a little different here in Milwaukee, WI compared to the last city you lived in. Typically there is a fee for the application and processing. This amount is small, sometimes in the single digits.

The actual permits can range from as little as $25.00 all the way up to $100.00 or more. It really depends on the kind of work you are getting done, the size of the space, and if you will be adding any extras or special features. Keep in mind the cost of inspections as well. One to three inspections are common. However, there may be more depending on the type of work being done.

It is always better to ask questions before you start demolishing your kitchen or bathroom. Obtaining a permit is a quick and painless process that is designed to protect you from shotty work being done to your home, and protect future potential buyers from buying a house that has had repairs done that are not up to code. Once this process is complete, you can get back to enjoying your home renovations and all the luxuries that come with it.

Plumbing Emergency

Find out the Most Common Plumbing Emergencies

Find out the Most Common Plumbing Emergencies

Emergencies take us by surprise, which is part of the reason that they are so stressful. Truth be told though, most plumbing emergencies can be avoided altogether through awareness, planning ahead and proactively maintaining your plumbing.

We’ve put together a list of the most common plumbing emergencies we see here in Milwaukee, WI, as well as ways in which you can avoid having to experience them.

Fixtures That Leak

Leaking FixturesYour dripping faucet is more than an annoying noise in the bathroom. If you were to leave that drip alone, you’d be wasting in the neighborhood of 3000 gallons of water a year!

That’s a pretty hefty water bill. It’s not just the cost of the water bills. That water can do damage too that is expensive. Most leaky faucets are caused by worn washers.

If you are handy, you can probably replace them yourself. If not, call your plumber for help.

Burst Pipe Emergency

Burst PipeA burst pipe can flood your home in a matter of minutes, causing serious damage to your home’s structure, decor and your belongings.

This is one plumbing emergency that you want to avoid. Pipes burst when they are worn or damaged, which can happen with age.

More commonly, pipes will burst when they freeze. To keep your pipes from freezing, don’t turn the thermostat down too far at night.

Don’t turn the heat off when you go away on holidays. Run water frequently. For pipes that are on exterior walls, consider wrapping them in insulation or heat tape for extra warmth.

Drains Get Blocked

Blocked DrainsHave you ever not been able to use your kitchen sink, a shower or a tub because the drains were completely blocked?

That is extremely inconvenient. This plumbing problem is easily preventable. In your kitchen, don’t let food scraps fall down the drain.

In the bathrooms, insert a hair trap in the drain to catch the hair. It’s also worthwhile to have a drain cleaning done by a professional on a regular basis.

Toilet Issues

Overflowing ToiletAgain, a running toilet makes an annoying noise, but there is a lot more at stake than that. Your floorboards, walls and ceilings are all at risk of being destroyed by a running toilet.

If this is happening to you, get it fixed right away. Be careful not to let your toilet overflow. If it is blocked, water may very well flow up and out of your toilet, into your bathroom and beyond.

The damage can be widespread, depending on how long it is overflowing. This risk can be eliminated by putting toilet paper only in the toilet.

Everything else should go in the trash can. Wondering how else you can keep your plumbing in great shape? Just ask us.