Top 5 Reasons Your Kitchen Sink Won’t Drain!

Top 5 Reasons Your Kitchen Sink Won’t Drain!

What are the top 5 causes for kitchen sink drain issues?

1. Clogged drain pipe: This is the most common cause of a kitchen sink not draining. Usually, debris such as food particles, soap scum, and hair can accumulate and clog the drain line.

2. Blocked vent pipe: If the vent pipe that runs from the drain to the roof is blocked, it can cause the sink to backup.

4. Grease buildup: Grease buildup in the drain line can cause the sink to backup.

3. Sewer line clog: If the sewer line is clogged, it can back up into the sink.

5. Damaged or improperly installed P-trap: A P-trap is the curved pipe under the sink that prevents sewer gas from entering the house. If it is damaged or improperly installed, it can cause the sink to backup.

Contact Kauer & Son today for all your drainage issues at 586-855-8533

Kauer & Son Plumbing and Drain
Winter Plumbing Tips

Winter Plumbing Tips

It is that time of year again!

How to Prevent Freezing Pipes

If you have enough time to check the conditions of the building’s plumbing, identify the pipes most vulnerable to freezing. Look for pipes located outside walls and windows, uninsulated pipes, and pipes installed near unheated spaces.

It is also important to check for any cracks or openings in walls, floors, and ceilings. If you find holes during your inspection, caulk them to keep cold air from entering those gaps.

Be sure to follow these tips in the Fall:

Insulate pipes with insulation sleeves, wrapping or using slip-on foam pipe insulation. Do not leave any gaps without insulation as cold air can affect the pipe in these spaces. Plastic piping is more tolerant of freezing than old copper or steel water pipes.

Read this article, also – Fall Plumbing Tips That Will Save You From Costly Winter Repairs >>>

Inspect the exterior of the property, making sure that all visible cracks are sealed. Cold air can enter through the cracks and, once inside, it will cause your pipe to freeze. If visible cracks are noticed, seal them using caulking or spray foam to fill the voids.

Maintain a heating source inside the building to protect pipes against cold.

It is a good idea to maintain a faucet dripping, allowing the water to move freely and continuously, preventing it from freezing.

Make sure the crawl space is properly insulated. Block all vents that lead to the outside using cardboard or wood.

Don’t forget the hose bibs. Hose bibs are normally left unattended, causing them to burst in the middle of the night. Drain hose bibs and insulate with covers. Once this has been completed, deactivate bibs at the shutoff valve.

Use heat tape to protect pipes from freezing. Heat tape is one of the preferred methods for winterizing plumbing, but be aware that these might bring additional hazards. The U.S. CPSC has provided safety recommendations for homeowners using heat tapes to help prevent fires.

How to Winterize Your Plumbing Pipes to Prevent Damage

Winterizing plumbing pipes is a process that prepares household plumbing for freezing temperatures that can cause leaks and breaks in the home. When water freezes, it expands as it becomes ice. This expansion produces pressure within pipes, which causes damage.

Winterizing plumbing is recommended when a house will be vacant for a long period of time and no water will be running through the pipes. The winterizing process involves emptying the water heater, draining all water from the pipes, and filling all fixtures with an antifreeze solution.

Preparing for Winterization

Begin with a plan for winterizing your plumbing. It is easy to miss a step, so make yourself a checklist of all your home’s plumbing parts, including all taps and valves, and then follow the steps detailed below. Mark the steps off as you complete them, so you’ll know you did everything needed, and then you won’t have any nasty surprises come cold weather.

Steps for Winterizing Your Plumbing

Follow these steps to winterize plumbing pipes in a house:

Shut off the main water valve, and then turn off the water pump and the water heater. It will protect heating elements in the water heater when there is no water inside the tank.

Open all drain valves and all taps. Check off each on your list, so you are sure all taps are open. A closed tap could create a vacuum that will hold water inside of pipes. All valves and taps should remain open throughout the winter.

Using air compressors, blow excess water out of the pipes.

Open the drain valve in your hot water tank and let it discharge until it is empty. Be careful, because sometimes these hot water tanks don’t have floor drains and you will need to connect a garden hose to it.

Drain all the water that is left in the holding tank, especially the one located in the rubber diaphragm, the one that is used along with the water tank to build pressure. As an additional protective measure, add antifreeze to the jet pump case.

Flush toilets to remove as much water as you can from the tanks and the toilet bowls. If all water cannot be removed, add antifreeze to prevent any water from freezing and cracking the toilet.

Check all sink and tub drains that could have drain traps. Add some antifreeze to each one of them to prevent water from freezing and cracking in the traps.

Contact Kauer & Son today!

Fall Plumbing Tips That Will Save You From Costly Winter Repairs!

Brisk autumn air can provide homeowners with a gentle nudge, reminding them that it’s time to start getting their homes ready for winter. A lack of preparation can mean big trouble come winter, so consider these fall plumbing tips and take these easy steps to get your home ready now and avoid expensive problems when the mercury drops.frozen faucets

  • Be sure to uncouple any outdoor hoses.  Leaving hoses hooked up can lead to trouble; if water remains in the hoses, when it freezes it will expand and can damage pipes on the inside of your home.
  • Turn off any outdoor faucets completely.  If there are any leaks, have them repaired promptly, before the weather gets any colder. It’s important to remember that when your pipes freeze, they can crack, regardless of what type material they are made of.  It only takes a small crack to cause serious damage to your home.
  • Turn off any shut-off valves that connect to exterior faucets and be sure to drain those exterior lines completely.
  • Wrap exterior faucets with an insulation kit.  You can find these kits at home improvement stores.
  • Protect pipes that are located in cold places like your crawl space or garage.  Wrap the pipes with heat tape or thermal cables to prevent freezing.
  • Reinforce the insulation around your windows and doors with sealer to prevent cold air leaking through.
  • To reduce wear and tear on your water heater, drain and rinse it out to remove gunky buildup. This will improve its efficiency and save you money. It’s an easy process, but you can consult your manual for instructions.
  • Check the pressure relief valve on your water heater.  To do so, you pull the lever up and let it jerk downward.  Proceed with caution, because the water is extremely hot. If working correctly, the valve will send a gush of hot water into the drainpipe. If it doesn’t, you need a new pressure relief valve. If your pressure relief valve is older, it’s possible to create a leak when testing it.  In this situation, it’s best to rely on a professional plumber.
  • Adjust the temperature on your water heater to 120°F for maximum efficiency.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts so they don’t get clogged and blocked up with water and freeze over the winter.
  • Check your sump pump and clean the pit if necessary.  If the pump freezes, it will stop working, which can mean a big mess.
  • If you’re going out of town for a long time, turn off the water main.  You can empty the system by turning on faucets at the highest and lowest parts of your home. Be sure that the furnace is on and set at least to 55°F or above.

Warning! These recommendations are made for houses that will be lived in over the course of the winter. If a house will sit empty over the winter, there are significant other precautions that must be taken to protect the home. Consult an expert for advice on preparing a vacant home for winter.

Kim Kauer
Managing Partner
Kauer & Son, LLC
Kauer & Son Plumbing and Drain

Why Routine Drain Cleaning is Essential to Home Maintenance

Did you know plumbing drains can accumulate a lot of debris over time? It’s extremely important to have your drains cleaned regularly, especially if you suspect they may be clogged. Even if you don’t see obvious signs of a clog, we still recommend regular drain cleanings. Why? Learn below.

1. Stop Recurring Clogs
If you experience recurring clogs, you might be dealing with buildup such as calcium, grease, and oils in your pipes. Regular drain cleaning can help get rid of buildup before it becomes a nuisance. This can save you a lot of time, stress, and money!

2. Prevent Odor
Bad smells from your drains are typically a sign that there are waste products that have clogged in your pipes and are decomposing. Hiring skilled drain cleaning services such as Kauer & Son is an excellent way to do away with the foul odor. Regular drain cleaning can help stop odors before they appear, and reduce the need for emergency services.

3. Protect Your Pipes
Remember, clogs grow slowly over time, and might end up leading to severe blockages or even damage to the pipes if you are slow in taking action. Regularly scheduled drain cleaning services can help you assess the condition of your pipes and even increase the lifespan of your pipes. It is good to prevent future problems by getting your drains cleaned on a regular basis.

4. Do not EVER use Chemical Drain Cleaners such as Drain-O Etc.  (We only recommend Bio-Clean)                                                                                                                            

A – They can damage your pipes.
The main downside to chemical drain cleaners is their caustic nature. They work by dissolving blockages in your pipes with a chemical reaction, effectively burning them away. This means they are often so powerful they can damage your pipes, even melting right through plastic plumbing in PVC. The risk of damaged plumbing is higher if your pipes are older or corroded.
Using chemical cleaners several times can cause extensive damage, severely weakening the pipes over time.
B-  They are toxic.
For chemical drain cleaners to do their jobs so effectively, they generally need to be made from fairly aggressive chemicals. Some industrial cleaners contain sulfuric acid, which can be dangerous if misused. More commonly available cleaners tend to contain powerful alkalis’, which can:
Burn the skin
Irritate your eyes
Be hazardous to inhale
Damage your clothes, if spilled.
Chemical cleaners can be extremely harmful or even fatal if swallowed. Always keep them out of reach of children and pets. It’s also important not to mix cleaners, as some combinations may create toxic chlorine gas.
C – They hang around for weeks.
Another problem with chemical cleaners is they are designed to linger for a long time after you use them. They often come in the form of a gel or a thick liquid that clings to the insides of your pipes, ready to tackle blockages as they occur. This gives them even more time to wear away at the inner surfaces of your plumbing.
In addition to sitting within your pipes, the toxic fumes can also linger for an extended period of time after you use them. This means you and your family continue to breathe them in.
D – They can harm your toilet.
You may have noticed that many chemical cleaners come with a warning not to use them in your toilet. This is because they can eat away at the toilet bowl’s Enamel Finish/Porcelain.  Just as it lingers in your clogged sink’s pipes, a chemical drain cleaner used in the toilet will also linger in the bowl and in the toilet’s pipes. This could cause the bowl to crack or the pipes to soften in addition to damaging them.
Note: If you do pour a chemical cleaner down your toilet, do not use a plunger afterward. It could cause the chemicals to splash up onto your skin, eyes, or clothes.
E –  They are bad for the environment.
In addition to being toxic to you, chemical drain cleaners are toxic to the environment. The cleaners you pour down your pipes can negatively affect the local wildlife, water, and plants. They are toxic to animals and may also be contributing to smog. Even the little bit left in the bottle and thrown in the trash can is damaging to the environment.
F –  They don’t always work.
Aside from the dangers associated with chemical drain cleaners, they don’t always clear every blockage. They may work on materials like hair and grease, but if your drains are blocked by a mineral build-up or another stubborn solid, you’d spend your time and money better by opting for another clearing technique. They also won’t help in the case of septic/sewer line issues or a broken pipe.

Our skilled drain technicians would love to help you with all of your drain cleaning needs. Call us at 586-855-8533. Whether you’re dealing with an emergency drain clog or would like to schedule regular drain cleaning, we’re always happy to help.

Kim Kauer is the author of this article.   


Invasive Tree Roots – Septic & Storm Line Issues & Concerns –

Tree root infestation in septic and storm lines is a common issue.  The trees may not even be in your yard, they could be in your neighbors yard!  So what can be done when the flow slows due to compaction of roots?

1. Cut Tree Roots Mechanically
One of the most common techniques is to use a mechanical auger. The mechanical method of root removal involves sending a powered sewer auger down a sewer line. The rotating head is covered in teeth much like a reciprocating saw blade. The rotating action cuts the roots, clearing them, but they will growing back almost immediately.  It is a very short term solution to what will be an ongoing issue.  

2. Chemical Tree Root Removal
There are special chemicals designed to kill a tree’s root structure so it doesn’t grow back. Copper sulfate septic treatments are the most common. Let’s face it, we too HATE to use chemicals!  But if the budget is tight, products such as Root-Ex will surely help.  Again – It is a very short term solution to what will be an ongoing issue.  

3. Dig Up Invasive Tree Roots
Sometimes a septic or storm line can’t be cleaned or cleared with chemicals, or an auger if it’s been damaged too badly or the tree roots have become compacted. To assess the extent of the damage, consider investing in a camera inspection that records the inside of the line. A camera inspection allows a technician to show the homeowner exactly what needs to be done to correct the problem. It usually involves taking some measurements, soil samples and digging up the portion of compromised line and replacing it. 

Tree Roots Compacted in a Storm Line


Sectional Storm Line Replacement –

How Plumbers Replace Bathroom and Kitchen Sink Faucets

If you are considering upgrading your bathroom and kitchen sink faucets, you have come to the right place.

The following explanation will make your task much easier and will save your time as well. However, before we start, make sure that you have following materials ready with you.

– New faucet assembly

– Basin wrench

– Adjustable wrenches

– Slip-joint pliers

– Scouring pad

Now follow these simple steps. (Assuming that you are replacing the old two-handled faucet with the more modern single-handled type)

Replacing Kitchen Sink Faucets

1. Before you start, go at the shut-off valves under the sink, and turn off the water.

2. Open the faucet so that it could drain any excess water.

3. The next step is to disconnect the hot and cold water supply lines from the shutoff valves. You can use a small adjustable-wrench to do this.

4. Reach up behind the faucet. You will find the coupling nuts that connect the supply tubes to the faucet. Unscrew the same using a basin wrench.

5. Behind the faucet, you will also find mounting nuts that hold the faucet in place. Remove these nuts using the same basin wrench.

6. Now that you have disconnected the mounting nuts, you can lift out the old faucet. Lifting it out, disconnect the sprayer hose from the assembly using an adjustable wrench.

7. Lift out the sprayer hose, and remove the faucet.

8. Once you have removed the faucet, clean the surface of the sink thoroughly with a scouring pad.

9. Remove the escutcheon cap and replace the same with the one that is included with your new faucet.

10. Now you are ready to make the new connection. Bring your new sprayer hose, and slip it down through the sprayer hole.

11. Feed the sprayer hose up through the center faucet hole, and connect the hose through the sprayer nipple using an adjustable wrench.

12. If the hot and cold supply tubes of the new faucet have a different length, attach flexible connectors to the fittings on the supply tubes. Hold the faucet fitting stationary with one wrench and tighten each connection with another wrench.

13. Insert and feed the supply lines and the connectors into the center hole, and then seat the faucet.

14. Now crawl up under the sink and in order to hold the faucet in place, install a washer and nut to the end bolts.

15. First, tighten the nuts by hand, and then with a basin wrench.

16. Connect the supply lines to the shutoff valves, and turn the water on.

17. Turn on the faucet and check for leaks.

Replacing Bathroom Sink Faucets

1. Go underneath the sink. Turn off the water. Loosen the collar nuts on the drainpipe.

2. Drain any excessive water, and then remove the drainpipe.

3. Loosen the nuts that hold the pop-up assembly in place under the sink using slip-joint pliers.

4. Unscrew the pop-up flange in order to free the assembly underneath the sink.

5. Remove the fittings that join the supply lines of the old faucet to the shutoff valves, using a wrench.

6. Repeat the steps 4-15 as explained above for replacing kitchen faucet.

7. Now, you have to install the pop-up assembly.

8. Push the pop-up rod down through the body of the faucet.

9. Attach the flat bar.

10. At the bottom of the new flange, use a little plumber’s putty to hold the tailpiece so that the whole assembly protrudes up through the drain hole in the sink.

11. Spin the ring to position the same with the tailpiece under the sink.

12. In order to secure pop-up housing in place, tighten the nut on top of the tailpiece.

13. Hook up the pop-up lever onto the flat bar in order to secure it to the pop-up housing.

14. Drop the stopper into the drain hole.

15. Replace the drainpipe.

16. Tighten the collar nuts.

17. Turn on the faucet and check for leaks.

Hence, replacing a kitchen and a bathroom faucet is almost similar except for the work related to the pop-up assembly that is included with the bathroom sink.

About Author: Owen Walcher writes for the Best Plumber Resource which provides plumbing tips to consumer and helps people find quality plumbers in Georgia.

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Repairing a Leaky Toilet Without a Plumber

A leaky toilet can lead to other major issues such as it can damage the flooring and sub flooring. More severe problems can also damage ceilings and framings below.

Leaks can be caused at flush valve or fill valve. However, sometimes, it may also be caused due to hairline tank cracks at those locations. These are very severe problems, and in these cases, you may need to replace the tank or possibly even the entire toilet. We have tried to explore a few possible reasons for the leaks, and the procedure to fix it. In order to find out the reasons for the leaks, first tighten all the connections. Dry everything with a towel and then carefully examine the source of the leaks.

Once you have determined the source, you can proceed and fix it using the following steps.

Loose Nuts under Tanks

Tools Required: Flathead screwdriver, Adjustable wrench


1. Using the flathead screwdriver, hold the bolt steady.

2. At the same time, tighten the nuts on the underside of the tank by using the adjustable wrench.

3. Check if the water still leaks. If no, that is great. If yes, follow the steps below.

4. Holding the bolt steady (as in step one) using the adjustable wrench, remove the nuts, and change the washer with a proper-size new washer for the bolt.

If Water is Leaking at the Fill Valve

Tools Required: Wrench


1. Turn off the water supply to the toilet.

2. Drain the tank by flushing it

3. Using a wrench, disconnect the supply-tube coupling nut.

4. Remove the mounting nut of the fill valve.

5. Lift out the fill valve

6. Clean its gasket and washer

7. Carefully examine if it is damaged or dried out. If so, you have no other option but to replace it.

8. Hold the valve vertical, and carefully position it in the center of the hole.

9. Tighten the mounting nut. Make sure not to over-tighten it, as it can crack the porcelain.

10. Reconnect the supply tube

11. Turn on the water supply to the toilet

12. If the problem persists, tighten the mounting nut a little more.

If Water is Leaking at the Flush Valve

Tools: Large standard screwdriver, Socket Wrench, Spud Wrench, Soapy sponge


1. Follow the steps 1-3 as discussed above

2. Remove the mounting bolts of the tanks. For this, you can use a large standard screwdriver on the bolt, and a socket wrench on the nut.

3. Put the tank upside down.

4. Pull or twist off the rubber spud washer.

5. Unscrew the large locking nut from the flush valve using a spud wrench.

6. Put the tank aside. However, make sure that you place it on a bath mat or similar padding. This way, you can protect both the flooring and the tank.

7. Remove the flush valve.

8. Take out the beveled cone washer from the flush valve.

9. If they are in poor condition, replace them. If no, just use a soapy sponge and clean them.

10. Reinstall the tank, as discussed above. However, make sure that when you tighten the bolt, you have somebody to hold it level and plumb.

11. Remember, the beveled side of the cone washer must face the inside of the tank, while the beveled side of the spud washer must face the bowl.

Hence, follow the above simple steps and you can do it yourself. However, make sure that you have the necessary plumbing tools available to you.

About Author: Owen Walcher writes for the a Find A Plumber Site which provides plumbing tips to consumer and helps people find quality plumbing contractors in Texas.

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