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Good tips for clearing a clogged toilet are hard to find because it’s not the sort of thing that most people talk openly about.
Plumbers are not like most people.

At Action Auger our phone lines are open 24/7; we’d love to talk to you about your clogged toilet and we’re happy to give you some helpful tips on unclogging it.

Here’s your first tip: use a good, strong plunger.

Fixing a clogged toilet with a cheap plunger is like showing up at the driving range with a plastic driver. To do the job right, you’ve got to have the right tools.

You’ll need a plunger made from a durable but flexible material and it should have a fold-out cup. Once again, if you’ve got the right tool – fixing a clogged toilet is fast and easy. Here’s how it works:

1. Stand directly over your clogged toilet with the seat up.
2. While holding onto the handle of your plunger with both hands press the rim of the plunger around the toilet opening so that it forms a ring of suction.
3. Push down on the handle using both hands, then pull up with both hands. Continue to do this until the clog is cleared.

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A septic tank system handles and neutralizes liquid and solid waste from your home. Specifically, it processes the refuse from your home’s sinks, toilets and other plumbing fixtures. Most septic systems have three main sections, which include the tank, drainfield and earth beneath the drain field.

In most cases, on-site systems are more affordable to install and take care of than central services. However, you should expect to maintain them more often. By installing your septic system accurately and making sure that it is maintained, your home’s sewage will be dealt with properly. As a result, your unit will protect public health, the environment and your home’s water supply.

Septic Tank System Care

Over time, your home’s septic tank system will collect solids. If you permit your tank to fill close to or past its approved capacity, then surplus solids may move into the unit’s disposal field. When solids transfer into the disposal field, they may block the pipes. This action can also obstruct the tank inlet, which may result in backed up sewage.

Be sure to analyze your septic system every one or two years. During an inspection, you or a service specialist should measure the system’s sludge and filth depth. The unit should also be pumped out at least once every three years. The pumping requirements of your septic system will depend upon your use and the type of materials that pass into the unit. Furthermore, with regular inspections, you can determine your septic tank’s exact siphoning needs. Also, be sure to contact a registered septic tank cleaner for pumping service.

Everyday Recommendations

Most on-site septic tank systems process regular waste products, such as body waste, laundry water and sink water, without any problems. You can even send bleach down into it. However, several substances should not go down your drain as they can pollute your area’s water supply. For instance, when you have a clogged drain, do not use caustic drain openers. Also, use household cleaners in moderation.

Extending the Lifespan of Your Septic Tank System

With regular inspections, periodic pumping and proper substance disposal, you can make sure that your septic tank system lasts as long as possible. In fact, accurate and routine septic tanks maintenance may extend the life of your unit.

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In the spirit of giving, The Gentlemen Plumbers will be giving away plumbing services to a few folks who are in need this holiday season. 

Nominate a friend or family member by sending us a private message telling us why they could use our help!

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Wayne’s girlfriend Carrie was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer last April after she discovered a lump on her left breast. Due to the severity of her cancer (stage four is the most aggressive) Carrie received her first round of chemotherapy treatment two weeks after the diagnosis.

After eight weeks of chemotherapy, Carrie had a partial mastectomy on her left breast hoping the removal would help eliminate any cancerous cells. Complications arose from the surgery, which ultimately pushed back the radiation treatment.

After 30 rounds of radiation treatment, Carrie now is suffering from lymphoma, which makes her extremely fatigued and makes movement in her left arm difficult.

Wayne notes the cancer and treatment has been hard on their family. The treatment has made Carrie tired and the lack of energy makes her unable to do things around the house. Wayne, who works all day, comes home to Carrie and their kids. He now takes on more responsibility of taking care of the kids and is the one who puts them to bed each night as Carrie does no longer can without great difficulty.

On Sunday October 5, Wayne and his team the “Bad Boob” ran in the CIBC “walk or run for a cure”. Every year thousands of participants either run or walk 1 or 5km distance to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. Wayne and his team are hoping the money they raised by running will ultimately help further breast cancer research and find a cure.

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Leaking toilets are not easy to repair, but can be costly if not done properly. There are things you can do before having to call an expert from The Gentlemen Plumbers for your toilet plumbing, but in most cases you’d probably do better to call a professional as soon as possible.
Find out why the toilet is leaking

You’ll need to know how a toilet works to do this, and also to make a thorough examination of the toilet. First check the seals underneath the lid, and check for cracks and eroding rubber gaskets, too. This check will tell you where the problem is, and what nature of toilet plumbing problem you have.
Make the repair

If gaskets are the problem, then you’ll need to purchase the right size and fit them; similarly if the flange is broken. Replacing seals can be a complicated operation, so be warned!
Take the easy route

Most times it is easier – and far cheaper – to call an expert from The Gentlemen Plumbers. The technician that comes to your home will have a fully equipped truck, meaning the right parts will most likely be at hand for an immediate repair. The problem will be quickly diagnosed, and you’ll save your valuable time.

After the repair has been made, the area will be left clean and tidy – exactly as it was before the technician arrived – and the work done will be guaranteed. You’ll also find that the cost for the repair will be as quoted, and not a cent more.
Avoid toilet plumbing hazards

The Gentlemen Plumbers will be with you quickly, and determine the exact nature of any problem and necessary repair. Toilet leaks are inconvenient, expensive if left unrepaired, and can be hazardous – the last thing you want is soiled water leaking through the ceiling from upstairs to the room below. If you allow a leaking toilet to fester, this is precisely what could happen. Then the repair required will suddenly explode in cost and inconvenience.

The key to keeping expense down and health high is to take action as soon as any problem is noticed. A professional plumber from The Gentlemen Plumbers will diagnose faults or problems and repair toilets quickly.

One call to The Gentlemen Plumbers, and you’ll find there will be no need for you to spend a whole weekend trying to discover what the real problem is, and then visiting plumbing suppliers for the right parts, before struggling to make the repair.

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When gas, is burned, it releases carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is odorless, and attacks your red blood cells preventing any oxygen being carried to your organs. It’s silent, can’t be smelt and kills; hence its nickname.

The main causes of carbon monoxide in the home are faulty or poorly ventilated appliances.

There are a couple of things you can do to test for gas leaks:

1)  The Bubble Test

The first place to check is the pipe that connects your appliance to the mains supply, including the valve. You can use a special bubble test solution for this, though a detergent and water solution also works (though not as well). Simply apply the solution to the pipe, and watch for any bubbling. Do the same with all the individual controls and valves on each of your gas appliances, and don’t forget the pilot lights. If you see any bubbles, then you have a leak.

2)  Use and Electronic Leak Detector

More expensive than the bubble test, but quicker and far more reliable, are the electronic leak detectors like the ones used by RTL Plumbing’s professional and qualified experts. They can cost hundreds of dollars, and come with visual and audio alarms, and LCD readouts. They are simply placed near the area to be tested while the gas is switched on.

What to do if you have a gas leak

If you spot a gas leak there are four steps to safety:

- Turn off all appliances
- Turn off pilot lights
- Turn off the supply
- Open your doors and windows
- Contact a gas fitter to come and conduct full testing and repair


- Use a naked flame to detect gas leaks
- Use any electrical equipment near a gas leak

Have your appliances and gas supply regularly checked for faults by a qualified gas engineer.

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Remembering the devastating floods of 2013. Please share this video with your family and friends.

Remembering the 2013 Calgary Floods - One Year Later

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Action Auger has noted that one of Alberta's ongoing goals is the conservation of water.  Events at the University of Alberta and elsewhere during the recent “Canada Water Week”, dealt with sustainability and other aspects of this vital natural resource. Action Auger, and other local plumbers, think that conservation can begin today, in every home.  They offer the following suggestions. 

Reduce the Pressure

Lowering the water pressure lowers the rate of flow.  Translated, this means that less water comes out of your taps every minute.  So, not only do you reduce your water demand but you put less of a strain on your pipes and other water fixtures.  This creates fewer water problems such as leaks.

Flush with Less

About 40 percent of all home water use can be accounted for by toilet flushes.  Low-flush toilets flush with 1.6 gallons or less per flush as compared with regular toilets which use 3.5 - 5 gallons.  That's a big savings in two ways.  One is a reduced consumption of “new” water.  The other is the creation of less wastewater.

Shower with Less

A four-person family can reduce their water usage by about 20,000 gallons a year.  How? By installing showerheads that deliver water at a rate of 2.5 gallons-per-minute instead of 4.5 gallons-per-minute.  Yet, the quality of the shower remains the same.

Dam the Toilet

You can hold back a portion of the water in the toilet tank during a flush.  This water damming reduces water need by 1-2 gallons a flush.

Displace Tank Water

Since two items cannot occupy the same place at the same time, putting things in a toilet tank will reduce the amount of water which is needed to fill it after a flush.  One safe idea is plastic containers filled with pebbles.  Make sure that they don't obstruct flushing mechanisms or water flow.  This uncomplicated method will save 1 gallon or more each time the tank is refilled.

Aerate Water 

Special tap aerators can reduce the size of water droplets and put air into the mix.  This fine water-air mixture makes it feel like you are using the same amount of water while actually reducing by up to 60 percent the quantity of water used.

Turning the above ideas into actualities is more than do-able when you use the services of experts at Action Auger.  Professionals such as these will also be able to advise you about more methods to easily conserve water in your home or place of business.  It's a great way to help Canada, and the world, keep water flowing for future generations.  

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The Calgary Herald warns that there is a threat of flooding due to groundwater seepage.  Property owners are advised to get advice about what this may mean for their home, office, or shop.

Groundwater is water located beneath the earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations.  This is the source of well and spring water.  Groundwater can also seep into streams and rivers causing a continual water flow.  While groundwater is useful, even essential, too much of it in the wrong places isn't either of these.
Groundwater flooding is thought to have several causes such as excessive rainfall or backed-up drains and sewage systems.

The Herald reports that, unfortunately, the city is not currently able to do much to prevent groundwater seepage and possible flooding.  That means it's up to property owners to mount a defense.  Some options are to install de-watering/sump pumps and additional drains. 

Experienced plumbers such as The Gentlemen Plumbers will be able to explain which of these and other methods are best for your property situation.  

Here are some helpful tips for when a flooding event occurs:

• Turn off the “juice” - Electricity and water don't mix.  So, shut the electricity supply to the area fuse by fuse or in general at the mains.

• Shut off the gas – In cases where is there is two inches of water or more, it is recommended to close the gas supply, disconnecting appliances if possible.

• Erect a barricade – A physical barrier such as sandbags can help contain the flood water in a smaller area.

Catching the situation beforehand is quite important.  Ward 6 Counselor Richard Pootmans says the  majority of insurers “do not cover flooding due to backed-up drains or other plumbing”.

Remember that The Gentlemen Plumbers and other local plumbers are there to help before so there hopefully won't be a during or after.    
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