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Bjorkman’s Ace can help unclog plumbing problems

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One of your household’s critical “systems” -- plumbing – needs some care. Leaks, clogs and backups don’t “just happen.”

Fortunately, these are largely preventable. Here are a few plumbing maintenance tips and tricks that may save you some bigger trouble. You can get more advice from your local hardware store associate.

-- If your toilet won’t stop running, shut off the water, open the flapper to drain the tank, and clean the underside of the flapper and around the flapper drain. Gunk can cause it to stay partially open and keep the tank from filling to the shut-off level.

-- Inexpensive strainers in your sink drains can keep out hair, grease and other debris that will eventually cause clogs. These can easily be lifted out with an unbent paper clip and emptied into the trash.

-- Keep a small second plunger for your sink, as well as the one for the toilet.

-- If you use a drain cleaner, and have a septic system, get one that is labeled septic-friendly. Some cleaners will kill off digestive bacteria, causing a septic system to malfunction or leach into the septic field.

-- Pour about five gallons of water into your sump pump once a month and let it run. Lack of use can cause the pump to freeze up when you most need it.

Your hardware associate can help you add some basic plumbing-related items to your household tool kit. A good start includes bent-nose or “gooseneck” pliers and a pipe wrench with 2- or 2-inch jaw openings, plumber’s putty, plumber’s tape, bucket or even a plastic tote that fits under a sink P-trap, and a means to clean stubborn drain clogs. This could be a plumber’s “snake” or a simple device like a “Zip-It,” a plastic stick with “teeth” and a finger ring.

Bjorkman's Ace Hardware

4520 W. Crystal Lake Rd., McHenry, Il., 60050

Call (815) 385-3660

Visit www.acehardware.com

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