My Drain Company Blog : Archive for December, 2014

Why Do We Hang Up Mistletoe?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Of course, you probably know part of the answer to this question already. You hang up mistletoe so that the people standing underneath can share a romantic holiday kiss! But what you may not realize is that the origin of this longstanding ritual predates many of the other holiday traditions we celebrate today. Why would a plant that has many poisonous varieties (most types sold for use in the home have few negative effects, but you can wrap it in netting to prevent children from consuming any fallen berries or leaves) be used as a symbol of holiday affection?

There are a couple of ways to explain the positive associations of (potentially hazardous) mistletoe. For one, this semi-parasitic plant has long been hailed as a treatment for illnesses and pain. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to cure cramps, epilepsy, and more. Even today, mistletoe extracts are one of the leading alternative medicines studied for their effectiveness in killing cancer cells. And because the early Celtic Druids saw it as a sign of healing and life, they may be the first to bestow upon the plant its romantic associations, deeming it worthy of treating the infertile.

But it is Norse mythology that is likely responsible for a majority of the modern traditions associated with this small hanging bunch. One of the powerful Norse god Odin’s sons, named Baldur, was said to be invincible due to an oath his mother took to protect him from harm. But Loki, a god who often set out to make trouble for the gods, set out to find the one thing that could do some damage, and eventually discovered that Baldur’s mother Frigg had never included mistletoe in her invincibility oath. When mistletoe was finally responsible for her son’s demise, the grieving Frigg vowed that the plant would never again be used to hurt another living thing, and that she would plant a peaceful kiss upon anyone who walked underneath it.

And that is one of the reasons that, today, kissing under the mistletoe is viewed as a source of good luck. From our family to yours, we wish you a safe holiday season, and we hope that you and your family are full of joy and good fortune—mistletoe or not! Happy holidays from My Drain Company!

Don’t Make These 3 Simple Mistakes with Your Garbage Disposal

Friday, December 19th, 2014

The garbage disposal is a wonderful invention, and has succeeded in making the lives of homeowners quite a bit easier over the past decades. Despite its tough reputation, however, a garbage disposal does have its weaknesses and vulnerabilities. If you want your garbage disposal to live a long, productive life, don’t make these 3 simple mistakes.

Putting Bones in the Disposal

This should be a no-brainer, and yet we still run into people every year who insist on putting small bones in the garbage disposal. The misperception is that the garbage disposal is strong enough to handle bones as long as they are small and relatively thin. This is false. Bones splinter and crack when they come into contact with the garbage disposal blades, but they won’t be ground up finely enough to be washed away without a problem. Instead, they are more likely to break your disposal by jamming it.

Oils and Grease

It’s always a pain to get rid of oils and grease. When dinner is over and you’re trying to get the dishes done in a timely manner, it is very easy to just pour it all down the disposal. If you want to preserve your garbage disposal’s health, however, you’ll abstain from doing this. When oils and grease get into the garbage disposal, they harden and clog the drain. This causes the disposal to fill up with waste that can’t drain properly, causing your kitchen area to smell as well as needing a plumber to clear it out.

Vegetables and Fruits

Now, this last one really depends on the kinds of fruits and vegetables you’re putting down the disposal. The two kinds you’ll want to avoid are hard ones and fibrous ones. Putting something like a potato down the disposal can cause it to overheat, as it will require more work than the disposal is designed to do. Fibrous fruits and vegetables like celery can tangle the blades, causing the disposal to jam.

If you’re having issues with your garbage disposal, call My Drain Company. We provide garbage disposal services throughout Glendale.

Steps You Can Take at Home to Prevent Drain Clogs

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Drain clogs are never a fun thing. They make your water appliances unusable, send up gross backflow, and it’s just a pain to get rid of them. So, how do you stop them from happening? That depends on the drain, but in general the idea is pretty simple: don’t put things down the drain that can get stuck down there. Let’s take a look at some specific locations, and the things you can do to stop them from getting clogged.

Shower/Bathtub Drains

These drains get clogged less than other areas of the house, but it still happens often enough to warrant some precautions. The number one cause of shower and bathtub drain clogs is hair. One or two strands here or there is no big deal, but over time hair can catch in the drain and accumulate until it becomes a problem.

The first thing you want to do is check your drain periodically. Hair that makes it past the cover over most shower and bathtub drains often collects on the crossbars below. It may be gross, but you can just pull out most of the hair with your fingers if you spot it on the drain itself.

You can also try pouring boiling water down the drain every couple of months or so. This loosens anything that might otherwise be building up inside the drain. Run some warm water for a few minutes afterwards just to make sure that everything is cleaned out.

Sink Drains

Clogged sink drains are usually caused by a clogged garbage disposal. With all the junk that most of us put down there on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that it gets clogged sometimes. The best way to avoid a clogged sink drain is to be careful what you put down the garbage disposal. Never put grease of any kind down the disposal, as it can solidify and gum up the drain. Bones and other hard objects are a bad idea as well. As long as you’re careful, it should be fairly easy to avoid a clogged sink drain.

If you have clogged drains, call My Drain Company. We provide plumbing services throughout Glendale.

When Should I Call a Plumber for Leak Detection Services?

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Leaks can be difficult to find, which is why it’s important to call an expert if you suspect you have a plumbing leak. Not sure whether or not it’s time to call for help with leak detection?

Here are some examples that may help:

  • Decrease in water pressure – the water in your plumbing flows easily due to a level of pressure in the system. Should a leak develop, the water pressure is decreased and can cause a noticeable reduction in flow.
  • Sound of running water – if are hearing the sound of running water and you are not operating a dishwasher, washing machine or haven’t recently used your bathroom, it is likely that you’ve developed a leak. Water left to run can cause serious water damage, so if you hear running water for no reason, call for assistance.
  • Soggy ground – are there areas of ground around your home that are always soggy and wet, even in dry weather? This can indicate that an underground pipe is leaking and the water is seeping into the surrounding dirt. It’s important to have this repaired as this kind of leaking can affect your home’s foundation if the leak is close enough.
  • High water bills – if you have noticed that your water bill has increased significantly, yet your water usage hasn’t changed, it is likely a leak has developed somewhere in your plumbing.
  • Wet spots in strange places – are you seeing wet spots in places like ceilings or on flooring that haven’t been caused by a spill? This can be an indication that a leak has developed and is seeping into your home’s building materials. Water damage and mold growth can be a result of these kinds of leaks, so it’s important to call for a plumber as soon as you detect an unusual wet spot.
  • Increase in mold growth – mold needs moisture to grow, so if you are noticing an overwhelming smell of mold in a particular area of your home, it’s worth having the area inspected for an existing leak.

The trained experts at My Drain Company can handle any kind of plumbing repair in Glendale, so if you have a leak, call us today!