Three Ways to Avoid Summer Plumbing Problems

Summer is a time to be outdoors, relax and have fun with family and friends, but did you know that it can also be a time for plumbing problems? Summertime is when water usage is at its highest of the year, which can lead to several plumbing issues. Listed below are three common maintenance problems that occur and some tips to keep your home plumbing safe.

Washing Machine:

During the summer months washing machines tend to run more frequently, especially if you have kids. You spend more time outdoors, whether it’s hiking, time at the pool or even the beach, all result in more dirty clothes.  Frequent usage can cause bulges, cracks or leaks in your washing machine hose. It is recommended to move your machine a few inches from the wall to prevent the hoses from knotting. Remove drier lint regularly and never leave your home while the washier is running.

Sewer Line Backup:

Sewer line backups are common in the summer when excess rainwater enters sewer pipes through cracks.  New tree root growth from the spring can also cause sewer backup issues as roots spread underground and crack the pipes. If you see any signs of sewer line trouble such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call a qualified plumber right away. He or she can recommend a sewer line treatment or replacement options.

Clogged Disposal:

Not only is summer the season for grilling, but it also can be the season of clogged kitchen disposals if you do not know what foods can and cannot go down the disposal. Typically, disposals are not equipped to handle hard fruits and vegetables, such as celery, cornhusks and banana peels, to name a few. Also, do not pour fats or cooking oils down your sink because they form clots in the pipes. Never put “just-add-water” foods down the drain, this will result in an immediate clog when you add water. Run cold water at full pressure for several seconds before and after you put anything down the disposal to push it through.

When residents of Columbus, Ohio and surrounding communities need a plumbing company they can trust for professional, timely service, they turn to Crawford Mechanical Services. Whether you need a plumber to fix a toilet or shower in Dublin, replace a garbage disposal in Hilliard, or re-pipe an entire home in Columbus, we’re the company you can turn to. Give us a call today at 614-407-3823 or fill out the contact form on the right.

Tips for Choosing the Best Water Heater

Buying a water heater doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It is important to decide your needs and wants prior to your search. Here are some tips to help you decide which type of hot water heater is best for you.

Energy Efficient vs. Gas Water Heaters

If you want to cut your utility bill, the best hot water heater choice for you would be an energy-efficient heater. However, gas water heaters actually cost less to run because of the condensing technology to boost thermal efficiency. Thermal efficiency is a measure of the amount of fuel actually converted to hot water rather than wasted.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are efficient but are not for everyone.  They can save space but not hot water. Hot water is not stored in the tank, like the common water heater.  If you have a large household where mom is washing the dishes and running a load of laundry at the same time, there will not be enough hot water to run the shower soon after. Tankless heats on demand, unlike a tank water heater which stores the heated water until you use it.  If you are a single person in a small apartment, then the tankless would be great and very efficient.

Gas Water Heaters vs. Electric Water Heaters

Natural gas water heaters cost more to buy and install, however, they may save consumers more money in utility bills over time.  They heat water at about one-third the cost of an electric water heater.  Gas heaters also heat the water faster than an electric water heater. Electric water heaters cost less to buy but are more costly to operate.  Water is heated more slowly by electricity.

Water Heater Size

When it comes to the size of a water heater, 40 gallons is the minimum size tank for two people.  For a larger household, 50 gallons is a better investment.  If you have a bathroom that is farther from the rest of the bathrooms in your home, it is often better to have two water heaters to minimize the heat loss through the water lines.  Another option is to use a tankless for the larger bathroom that is further from the rest of the house.

Quality Installation

Also, when installing water heaters, the most important thing to remember is getting a certified installer to install your water heater.  A plumber with experience is worth the extra cost.  Nothing is more frustrating then getting something installed and not having a warranty for the installation.  Crawford Mechanical warrants everything we install for a year.  So the next time you are in need of a minor repair or replacing your water heater, give Crawford Mechanical a call: 478-9424.


Don’t Throw That Down There!

Your garbage disposal eats a lot of food on the regular, and is quite a handy tool for easy clean up in the kitchen.  Here are the top five foods to keep out of your disposal to eliminate any unpleasant smells from your sink and keep it working in tip top shape.

1.) “Stringy” foods

Celery, asparagus, corn husks and potato skins can wrap around the disposal blades causing it to potentially damage the motor. If you do chose to use these foods in the disposal, do so in small pieces and quantities.

2.) Hard foods

Hard parts of food such as fruit pits, seeds and bones can dull and blend the blades. These foods can cause a jam in the disposal which results in a clog.

3.) Greasy Foods

Avoid pouring grease, oil and fatty foods into the drain. The water cannot break down the base of these foods and a film will build on the blades causing them to function improperly. A clog can occur after the oils and greasy foods solidify.

4.) Expandable Foods

Pasta, rice and other starchy foods will expand when combined with water. The size increase can result in a blocked disposal.

5.) Egg Shells

It is a popular belief that egg shells sharpen disposal blades. The truth is quite the opposite. Egg shells will deteriorate into a grainy state, which, when combined with other foods, can cause a back-up in the disposal.

Staying away from discarding these foods in the disposal should help with its longevity. It is also important to always remember to run COLD water when using the disposal.


Plumbing Repairs Columbus Ohio

There are about a hundreds of problems that could happen in a home’s plumbing system; running toilets, loose faucets, pipes that leak, frozen or burst pipes, the list could go on. There are many ways to fix these problems ranging from DIY plumbing solutions to hiring professional Columbus plumbers who will come and repair the problem for you. It is always in the homeowners’ best interests to solve these problems quickly as there is a good possibility that they will turn out to be a major plumbing emergency otherwise. That’s why calling the experienced plumbers in Columbus will always be a good idea to have the plumbing problems solved once and for all.

Plumbing issues can happen at any time, night time or day and often some of us could not know how to remedy the dilemma. That could be the time to contact a plumber.

We also offer a huge variety of services to best suit your particular needs, including Plumbing, Leak Detection, Water Heaters, Tankless Water Heaters, Plumbing Repairs, Plumbing Fixtures, Drain Cleaning, Sewer Repairs, Gas Leaks, Gas Repairs, Repiping, Water Filtration, Garbage Disposals and Maintenance Programs.

How to replace a toilet fill valve

Large sponge
Crescent wrench or channel lok pliers
Replacement fill valve (available at home, hardware and plumbing stores for about $10)

How to Check a Fill Valve

1. Remove the lid from the toilet tank
2. When you flush a toilet, water is released from the tank and the float falls to the bottom of the tank, it opens a valve allowing water to run back into the tank. When water level is over the top of the tube, your toilet will run continuously.
3. Adjust water level by either adjusting the float arm or if your existing valve has an adjusting screw, turn the screw so the valve will shut off at a lower level.
4.  Even after changing the water, if water keeps on running after the float rises. Then you have to replace your fill valve.

How to Replace a Fill Valve

1.  Turn off the water and flush the toilet.
2. Take off the toilet tank lid.
3. Use a large sponge to remove any water left in the bottom of the toilet tank.
4. Use a crescent wrench or pair of channel lock pliers to undo the nut on the bottom of the tank  that’s holding the fill valve and the valve should lift out, then remove the rubber tube running from the valve to the overflow tube.
5. While you have the valve out, clean around the hole in the tank to make sure there aren’t any small particles in the tank that could cause leaks at the base.
6. Your new fill valve should come in a kit that includes new washers for the base of the valve. Place one washer on the bottom of the valve and place it in the hole in the bottom of the tank.
7. Put another washer on the bottom of the valve on the outside of the tank and replace the nut holding it in place. Be careful not to tighten too much or you could crack your toilet tank. Inside the tank, attach the overflow tube to the valve.
8. Turn the water back on, flush the toilet and check for leaks to make sure the new valve is working properly. If necessary, adjust the water level to the proper depth.
9. Finish up by replacing the toilet tank lid.

When in doubt call a plumber!


A simple example is the space between a wall mounted faucet and the sink rim (this space is the air gap). Water can easily flow from the faucet into the sink, but there is no way that water can flow from the sink into the faucet without modifying the system. This arrangement will prevent any contaminants in the sink from flowing into the potable water system by siphonage and is the least expensive form of backflow prevention.

>>> Read More

More Blog Topics:

Plumbers in Columbus Ohio

Plumbers in Columbus OhioWelcome to Crawford Mechanical Services, plumbers Columbus OH blog. We provide all types of plumbing services from general repairs to plumbing remodels, hot water circulating systems, tankless heaters, hot water heaters, natural gas installation and repair, sewers, drains, stoppages, sewer line replacements, kitchens and bathrooms, showers, tubs, faucets, valves, toilets, custom bath and kitchen remodeling and much more! We take pride in the work we do and look forward to providing you with unmatched plumbing services in Columbus Ohio.

Please check out our site to learn more about the quality services we offer.

Plumbing Company Reviews in Columbus, OH

Crawford Mechanical Services, a plumbing company in Columbus, OH, now has a listing! Leave us a review so that everyone can find out what a great plumbing company Crawford Mechanical Services is!

Here: Columbus Plumbing CompanyPlumber Columbus Ohio

Crawford Mechanical consistently reaches out to previous customers to share their experience with us so that we can make our plumbing services the best in Columbus.

Visit our website and contact us for all your plumbing service needs:



An air gap, as it relates to the plumbing trade, is the unobstructed vertical space between the water outlet and the flood level of a fixture.
A simple example is the space between a wall mounted faucet and the sink rim (this space is the air gap). Water can easily flow from the faucet into the sink, but there is no way that water can flow from the sink into the faucet without modifying the system. This arrangement will prevent any contaminants in the sink from flowing into the potable water system by siphonage and is the least expensive form of backflow prevention.
A common use of the term “air gap” in home plumbing refers to a fixture that provides back-flow prevention for an installed dishwasher. This “air gap” is seen above the countertop as a small cylindrical fixture mounted parallel with the faucet. Below the countertop, the drain pipe of the dishwasher feeds the “top” of the air gap, and the “bottom” of the air gap is plumbed into the sink drain below the basket. When installed and maintained properly, the air gap works as described above, and prevents drain water from the sink from backing up into the dishwasher, possibly contaminating dishes. Water flowing from the fixture into the sink indicates a need for maintenance or plumbing repair.
To further illustrate the air gap, consider what could happen if the air gap were eliminated by attaching a hose to the faucet and lowering the hose into a sink full of contaminated water. Under the right conditions (if the water supply loses pressure and the sink is higher than the point at which the water supply enters the house, for instance), the dirty water in the sink will be siphoned into the water pipes through the hose and faucet. The dirty water then will be dispersed throughout the drinking water system.All plumbing codes require backflow prevention in several ways. The plumbing fixture manufacturers build the fixtures to meet these codes. A plumber must not build cross-connections in his daily work practices, and Plumbing Inspectors look for improper designs or connections of piping and plumbing fixtures. A common misconception is that a “high loop” (routing a drain line above a sink’s flood level, for instance) will provide the same function as an air gap; this is not true, because the continuous connection in such a case still will allow backflow through siphoning.
An air gap must meet the requirements of being two times the effective inner diameter of the pipe (2*D) in order to be sufficient.
Source: Wikipedia