Lutz Plumbing, Inc. Blog

How to Protect Your House From Sewer Backups

January 1st, 2020

A sewer backup can spell disaster for your home. If your sewer line becomes clogged, wastewater will not drain properly. The sewage will flow backward and into your house. Not only does this create a health hazard, but it’s also very costly to clean up. Read on to learn more about what causes sewer backups and how you can avoid them.

plunger next to white toilet and toilet paper roll on light blue tiles

Signs of a Sewer Backup

The following warning signs indicate a sewer backup. If you notice any of these signs, call a plumbing expert right away.

  • Multiple drains in your home are clogged simultaneously.
  • Your toilets are not flushing properly, even after plunging.
  • You notice a foul odor coming from your drains.
  • Your sewer cleanout is full of water.

Causes of Sewer Backups

A sewer backup has several possible causes, including:

Damaged Pipes

No pipes will last forever. Especially if you have an older home, it’s possible your pipes are aging and beginning to deteriorate. An old pipe may become cracked or even collapse, leading to a sewer backup.

Tree Roots

Tree root invasion is one of the most common reasons for a sewer clog, especially if your home is older. Tree roots will seek moisture as they grow. The roots will enter the sewer pipe and can cause extensive damage as they grow larger.

Flushing Non-Flushable Items

Flushing anything non-flushable down the toilet can clog your pipes and lead to a sewer backup.

Improperly-Routed Gutters or Sump Pumps

Downspouts, gutters, and sump pumps should not be connected to your sanitary sewer. During a heavy storm, a large amount of water can flow into your gutters. If the gutters are connected to your sanitary sewer line, the volume of water can cause a backup. Ensure that your gutters are connected to a storm sewer, or that they discharge water above ground, away from your home’s foundation.

How to Prevent a Sewer Backup

Here are several steps you can take to protect your house from sewer backups.

Dispose of Grease Correctly

Cooking grease can solidify inside your pipes if it’s poured down the drain. Instead, let your grease cool down and solidify, then scrape it into the trash can. Also avoid pouring food waste, starches, or coffee grounds into the drain.

Be Careful What You Flush

All that should be flushed down the toilet is bathroom tissue. Avoid flushing wipes, feminine hygiene products, or paper towels. Even if a product says it’s flushable, it may not really be safe to flush. Flushing improper items will clog your toilet and lead to sewer backups.

Install a Backflow Valve

A backflow valve (also called a backwater valve) allows water to flow out of your home. If water starts to flow backward, the valve will close. This can help protect your house in the event of a sewer backup.  You’ll need a licensed plumber to install a backflow valve for you.

Trim Tree Roots

If you have a large number of tree roots in your yard, the roots may start to grow into your sewer line. Have a professional inspect your trees and trim the roots to prevent them from damaging your sewer line.

Clean and Maintain Your Sewer Line

Preventative care is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of a sewer backup. A plumbing expert should inspect your sewer pipe once a year for any signs of damage. You should also schedule an annual sewer cleaning to keep your pipes flowing smoothly.

If you need assistance with your drain and sewer system, Lutz Plumbing is here to help. We can take care of whatever your sewer line needs, whether it’s installation, repair, maintenance, or replacement. We’ve served the Kansas City area since 1920. Contact us now to learn more.

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The Health and Home Risks of Iron in Your Water

December 1st, 2019

A little iron in your tap water is harmless and happens all the time. But if your home taps are clearly running rusty orange water, it’s not just the color or taste being affected. Too much of anything is a bad thing and too much iron in your water can have some notable detrimental effects on both your family’s health and your pipes and appliances. Here are some of the risks of iron in your water.

iron-contaminated water running into white sink

Where Does Iron in Tap Water Come From?

Oxidized, rust-colored iron in tap water almost always comes from a rusty pipe or component up the line. As the rust breaks down inside the pipe, it is washed away by the water, which then becomes rusty. If a city pipe has gone to rust, then it’s like that half your neighborhood is having the same problems. If it’s just your home, then your water mainline or a device that leads into the mainline may be rusted-through and in keen need of replacement. Until the damaged pipe or appliance producing the rust is fixed, your home tap will run rusty water. If there is nothing you can do, then a whole-home filtration system might be the answer. Let’s dive into the health and home detriments related to iron in the water.

Hair Becomes Discolored and Brittle

Drinking iron-contaminated water may not make you sick, but bathing in it is very bad for your skin and hair. Every time you shower or your children take a bath, your skin and hair are soaked in oxidized (yellow to red) or unoxidized (still clear) iron. This metal mineral leaches moisture from your body when you should be absorbing moisture to stay healthy and vibrant.

This can cause your hair to become dry and brittle as the moisture is leached out of it over and over again. Hair will eventually lose its soft texture and become rough to the touch. Oxidized (colored) iron in the water acts like a harmful peroxide. It will darken light hair and add an orangey-red tint to hair of all colors in addition to drying and roughening the texture.

Dry Skin and Early Wrinkles

Of course, one of the risks of iron in your water is that it doesn’t just dry out your hair. Each time you bathe, your skin is soaked in water that takes away moisture instead of adding it. You will notice your skin drying and needing more artificial moisturizers to stay healthy. Over time, skin over-saturated with iron will begin wrinkling early and can take long-term damage.

Clogged Pores and Acne

The iron minerals in the water do another number on your skin. They can clog your pores even if you’re using all the right soaps and cleansers. Iron in your pores stops the oil from clearing correctly which can begin to cause an increasing acne problem, especially for family members who tend toward oily skin. Watch out for acne in areas where acne normally doesn’t occur because your skin is being artificially clogged.

Clothes Discolor and Stain in the Wash

If the iron in your taps is oxidized, showing color, or oxidizes while running, then it can also damage your clothes and even your light-colored dishes. These are not simple discolorations. Clothing washed in iron-contaminated water can discolor, especially lighter colored clothing where even light yellowing becomes immediately apparent. This discoloration can become permanent, uneven staining, causing iron in your water to ruin your clothing even when your washing machine is functioning properly.

Food is Bitter and Dark When Cooked in Iron-Rich Water

Cooking with iron-contaminated water is no treat either. That rust-discoloration turns anything cooked in your tap water to a darker or blackened color. You may notice that any coffee, tea, or even orange juice looks discouragingly black or brown. Vegetables cooked in iron water turn black as they boil.

Worse, iron in the water gives everything an unpleasantly bitter taste. This is often why homes consider iron to be harmful to ingest, as it can render food inedible by taste and color alone.

Pipes Clog and Corrode More Quickly

Last but certainly not least are the risks of iron in your water to your pipes and appliances. When iron flecks are flowing through the water, they can catch and stick to the pipes and water lines along the way. This builds up to cause restriction, which can affect your water pressure and eventually causes clogs. Rusty water can also accelerate the metal corrosion and deterioration of other metal pipes so that they become both clogged and damaged more quickly.

Is there bitter, off-color water running through your home taps? If so, we can help. Contact us today to talk about solving the iron water problem in your home. Whether that entails replacing a section of pipe, replacing an aging water heater, and so on, we can help.


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Low Water Pressure: When Should I Call a Professional?

November 13th, 2019

There are a seemingly endless amount of annoyances when it comes to owning your own home, but one that frequently nears the top of the list is low water pressure. In some cases, it’s possible to adjust by yourself, but it’s often a better idea to call a professional plumber. How do you know which situation you’re in? There are a few common causes of low water pressure. Let’s take a look at them and determine which are possible to fix on your own and which you should call in the experts to handle.

DIY Fixes

Water Valve Problems

Locate your shut-off valves near your water meter – there is usually one on the street side of the water meter and one on your home’s side. Find them and make sure they are fully open. If either is even somewhat closed, that could be the root of your low pressure problems. Valves that aren’t open all the way block the flow of water, causing low pressure out of your pipes. Open them up and you’ve found an easy solution!

Check on Your Fixtures

Another quick and easy fix is to service your water fixtures. If you’re getting low pressure from just one or two locations in your house, e.g. your shower head or kitchen sink, but the rest of the house seems fine, those particular fixtures might need some attention. Check them for built-up limestone, dirt, grime, or rust and ensure that the faucet’s screen is clear. You can clean them up by following this method, but if they’re too gunked up, you may need to replace them. Don’t sweat it, though – replacing faucets can be an easy DIY day job. Just be sure to turn off your water supply beforehand, or you’ll be dealing with quite a mess.

Call In The Pros


Problematic Pipes

If your fixtures look good and your water valves are both fully open, it’s probably time for you to call in a professional plumber. They can take a more in-depth look at your pipes and figure out where the problem is. If your home is older, there’s a good chance you have a clog somewhere; they can take a while to build up and become noticeable. A plumber can bring in a scope to find the clog and get rid of it for you.

Another unfortunate cause could be that your pipes have corroded. Corroded pipes can cause a number of serious problems like leaks and contamination, so keep your fingers crossed that this isn’t the cause of your low water pressure. The solution to corrosion is simply to replace your plumbing, which is an expensive and time-consuming solution. Pipe corrosion can cause a number of health problems, so if you suspect that it’s the cause of your low water pressure, call in a professional right away.

Faulty Pressure Regulator

If your home’s plumbing has a pressure regulator, low water pressure may indicate that it is failing. Pressure regulators do exactly as their name implies – they regulate the water pressure. Too high or too low water pressure means that the regulator isn’t working properly and needs to be replaced.

Inadequate Water Supply Line

Your main water supply line has been in place since your home was built, so if you have done remodeling and added any water fixtures to your home, your main line may be insufficient for the demand you now have. Call up a local plumber or contractor to pull up records verifying the size of your main supply line and they’ll be able to determine if it’s still acceptable or if it’s causing your low water pressure.

If you have low water pressure in your home, you don’t have to “just deal with it” and wait for the problem to get worse. Try out our DIY solutions and if they don’t seem to be the cause, contact us today at Lutz Plumbing for a trusted professional opinion.


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When to Replace Your Water Heater

November 7th, 2019

How Serious is the Problem?

The water heater is one of the most important parts of a home that people tend to forget about. But when it’s not working, it’s the only thing people can think about. There are a lot of things you can do to better maintain your water heater. Some things are possible to do yourself, but for many issues, you will want a professional to repair them. Paying to have things fixed can get pretty pricey. Many times, you are better off spending a little bit more to get an entirely new water heater. In the event of a water leak, you will definitely need a new water heater.


Some Minor Problems You Can Fix

The following are examples of some minor issues that you can take care of yourself without having to bother with the expense of hiring a professional:

  • Water isn’t the desired temperature
  • Leaky pressure valve
  • Hissing noise

Each of these involves a few steps that you may be able to take care of yourself. Many people don’t have the patience or the desire to handle these types of problems. A plumber can fix any of these problems easily, without the need for a whole new heater.

An Ounce of Prevention

The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is definitely true when it comes to water heater maintenance. Lowes identifies some maintenance tips for water heaters to include the following:

  • Periodically check the pressure-relief valve. To do this, lift the valve handle and let it snap into place. You should get a burst of water in the overflow drain pipe. If this doesn’t happen, you will need to install or have someone install a new valve.
  • Twice a year, drain the water heater. This will prevent corrosion to the inside of the tank, making it work more efficiently.
  • Reduce damage to your tank due to overheating by setting the temperature of the heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Time to Replace

While maintaining your water heater will make it last longer, there are issues that absolutely signal that a replacement is necessary. A ten-year-old water heater is living on borrowed time. Watch for leaks around the tank as well as sudden changes to water temperature. When these problems begin to occur, it is time to replace the unit. Once you’ve made the decision, you have a number of options available for your new unit.

Options to Consider When Replacing

How large is your family? How much money are you currently spending on electricity monthly? How quickly do you need more water heated after running out of hot water? These questions are all important when determining what type of replacement water heater you need. The most common size tank is between 40 and 50 gallons, though you can go larger or smaller. Today, energy efficiency is more important than ever before. With this awareness, there are now more efficient units available. Check the annual operating costs before purchasing.

Install Yourself or Not?

If you are interested in replacing your water heater before it breaks, you can do this yourself or contact a plumber to handle the installation. Keep in mind that you will need to properly dispose of the old water heater according to the law. (You can’t just shove it in the dumpster.) The installation is an involved process where you can’t cut corners. You need the right tools for the job, so verify that you have just what you need before beginning. If you decide this isn’t quite the job for you, contact us today. We are ready to help with any of your water heater needs.

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7 Basic Plumbing Maintenance Tips For Your Home This Fall

October 31st, 2019

If you’re like most Kansas City homeowners, you’re probably looking forward to fall activities and cooler temperatures. But what about your plumbing? Are your pipes ready for fall weather? When temperatures dramatically drop, your plumbing can be affected if you haven’t done everything possible to ensure your pipes are working properly. Here are seven basic plumbing maintenance tips, along with some considerations and warnings.

1. Check Indoor Faucets

Now is the best time to check every faucet in your house for possible leaks or drips. If you find any, have them repaired before winter arrives. Inspect your shower head for damaged parts and leaks, along with checking plumbing fixtures on toilets. Leaky plumbing fixtures can result in wasting a lot of precious water, besides causing a spike in your utility bill.

2. Examine Outdoor Faucets for Leaks or Drips

Since water remaining in a plumbing line can freeze and cause considerable damage to your plumbing, it’s important to check your exterior faucets to see if they’re leaking or dripping. Also, be sure to completely switch off outdoor faucets, besides turning off their interior valve.


3. Drain and Remove Garden Hoses

In addition to draining your garden hoses, stow them away in your garage or shed so that they’ll last longer. If you don’t drain your hoses, any water that remains inside them can freeze and expand, which can lead to a hose breaking.

4. Check Pipe Insulation

Without the right insulation, your interior and exterior pipes are likely to freeze and burst. Thus, it’s imperative that your pipes receive a thorough inspection, which includes pipes in your garage. To be sure all your pipes have adequate insulation, get a licensed plumber to examine them and add insulation if needed.

5. Get Your Water Heater Inspected

Your water heater needs to be operating properly, particularly during harsh winter weather. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a highly qualified, licensed plumber check your water heater to see if it’s in good shape so that you’ll have warm water. Just be sure to keep the temperature of your water heater under 125 degrees F to avoid skin scaling as well as an increase in your utility bill.

6. Check Your Sump Pump and Have It Cleaned

Another item to check is the sump pump to ensure it’s in good working order. Consider that a sump pump needs to be cleaned twice a year or more in order for it to continue functioning well. Do you have a basement? If you do, then having the sump pump and its surrounding pit cleaned is even more crucial. This is important in preventing the nightmare of having heavy rains or melting snow seep into your basement.

7. Clean Out Your Gutters

Your gutter needs to be free of debris before temperatures drop. When gutters are blocked, all types of problems can occur, such as gutter damage and foundation issues. Clogged gutters can even lead to roof and siding damage because retained debris and frozen water can create excess weight that can’t be sustained.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • In most cases, the most common location where pipes rupture is on a home’s exterior.
  • When away from home during freezing weather, have your water kept at a slow trickle so that it can keep flowing.
  • If you’re a “snowbird” and head south for the winter, it’s even more critical to have your plumbing checked before leaving town.
  • Even minor pipe leaks can lead to costly repairs when they’re undetected for several months before you get back home.
  • Protect your outdoor fixtures by covering them with an insulation kit, if you don’t have a hydrant that’s frost-proof.
  • If you have a sewer line, have it inspected for possible issues.
  • Drain your water heater at the onset of fall to prevent sediment from building up and creating rust. This is even more important if you have hard water.
  • If your water heater takes a long time to heat up, you should get a new one so that you won’t be concerned about your water heater not working in the dead of winter.

Why not enjoy the beautiful fall season and cooler weather instead of worrying about potential plumbing problems? Preventative maintenance can help in preventing larger issues, so contact us for all your plumbing needs and learn more about our wide range of services.

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10 Things About Plumbing Every Homeowner Should Know

October 11th, 2019

Being a good homeowner, or even a savvy renter, is all about understanding how your home works. If you want to get the best performance and call for the fewest repairs, all you have to do is master your maintenance and know how to identify a serious problem when it crops up. This is particularly important if you want to minimize your household plumbing problems.

To help you get amazing performance from your plumbing and keep even old pipes in good condition, we’ve put together a handy list of ten things every homeowner should know about their home’s plumbing.


Know Where to Find…

1) Your Water Main

Your water main is where water flows into your house from the municipal water supply. Or, if you have a well, the main valve where the pumped well water connects to the house. Know where this is, how the shut-off valve works, and make sure you can use it in a pinch. At the very least, you may need to show a plumber where it is one day.

2) Your Sewer Clean-Out Valve

The same goes for your sewer clean-out valve. Should you ever experience a clog so deep under the house that no amount of plunging or S-trap deconstruction will ever break it up, your plumber may need to open that clean-out valve to, well, clean it out.

Know How To…

3) Shut Off the Water to Sinks, Toilets, and Appliances

Every sink, toilet, shower, and water-running appliance has a connection to the plumbing and a shut-off valve so you can work on them locally without causing a flood. Explore your house and find each and every one. Usually, they will be behind the appliance or hidden inside some nearby cabinetry. Make sure you can shut these off if necessary.

4) Replace Your Sink Aerators

Sink aerators do three things. They save water, they soften water, and they lightly filter water. They also get filthy and eventually wear out. Know how to replace an aerator for each sink faucet. It’s about as easy as swapping bottle tops, so don’t worry.

5) Unclog Your Toilets, Sinks, and Shower Drains

Clogs happen. So you’ll want a few plungers, Zip-its, and vinegar in the house just in case. Know how to tackle every kind of clog, from traditional toilet clogs to kitchen sink clogs. On that note, know how to open an S-Trap to find lost items as well.

6) Repair a Running Toilet

A running toilet is a serious problem. It’s not just a waste of water; it’s also loud and can make your toilet hard to flush at the right time. Know how to replace each surprisingly simple part of the internal toilet tank array. After turning off the water, of course.

7) Un-Jam the Garbage Disposal

Got a fork, rind, or something worse jammed in the garbage disposal? Check the model; you probably have the kind that can be un-jammed with an alan-wrench-looking tool that will twist the blades back and forth until they release whatever was caught.

8) Recognize and Fix Hard Water Problems

Hard water can be as minor as white spots on your stemware or as serious as constant drain clogs and appliance break-downs. It’s just minerals in the water and breaks up with vinegar, but know how to identify and solve hard water when your house runs it through the taps.

Master the Maintenance For…

9) Drains to Prevent Clogs

Know what not to put down the drain. Know how to use drain traps and screens. Know that cooking grease and eggshells down the garbage disposal are not a good idea, and know how to run fizzing vinegar down the drain in a pinch.

10) Water-Based Appliances

Get familiar with any appliance in your home that runs water. The washer, the dishwasher, the ice-maker in your fridge- all of it. Know where the water comes from, how to shut it off, and how to do basic maintenance if there’s a problem.


Taking care of the plumbing in your home is a lot easier than most people realize. By understanding how water runs into, through, and out of your home, you can quickly master a surprising amount of plumbing maintenance. For more helpful tips or assistance dealing with a serious plumbing problem that takes more than elbow grease and a shut-off valve to solve, contact us today!


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Buying a Home? You Should Get a Plumbing Inspection.

August 22nd, 2019

Buying a new home can be a stressful experience, and one worry is that you will find your Kansas City dream home only to discover that there is some structural or other problem which would cost thousands of dollars to fix.

Spotting those problems before you close on the property is a good idea. That means you need to get a plumbing inspection. Basic home inspection will cover only basic plumbing problems, and getting a plumber in to do a more detailed look before you sign is a good idea. Most people tend to wait until after they have bought the home and are on the hook for any problems found.

During a regular home inspection, the home inspector will generally make sure all plumbing fixtures work and check them for obvious leaks. They will also look at things like the garbage disposal and sump pump. However, this inspection is a bare minimum and can miss some real problems.

If the home inspector flags anything with your plumbing, you should go ahead and get a plumber to take a look, especially as they can also give you a quote on repairs. This will allow you to decide whether to move on with the purchase or whether the problem is a deal killer. You may also be able to get the seller to pay for the repair, especially if you are in a buyer’s market.
For a full plumbing inspection, the plumber will do the following:

  1. Check the water heater, including its age. They can also evaluate whether the water heater is big enough for the needs of the home, which can result in a chilly problem if not corrected. If the water heater is more than 9 or 10 years old, expect to have to replace it. They will check the heater’s venting, temperature, and pressure, and ensure the gas line is correctly installed. Problems with the water heater can be hugely dangerous.
  2. Visually inspect all of your plumbing and check the shutoff supplies. They will check for toilet leaks. Leaks at the bottom of toilets are a problem that is common and not always fixed immediately. The home inspector will also do this, but they generally do not do as thorough a job as an actual plumber.
  3. Check that your water pressure is normal. Water pressure should be between 55 and 60 psi. Be aware that this is affected by local conditions. Water pressure lower than 50 psi causes problems for showers and laundry. Over 65 is worse, as it can cause damage to your fixtures.
  4. Use a diagnostic camera to inspect the pipes under the home. This may be an extra cost, but is often worth it. Make sure they check the main sewer line, where deterioration or clogs can cause serious issues if raw sewage backs up into your home.
  5. Check for poorly-done DIY repairs that may need to be redone or may be causing more damage. For example, sometimes people will caulk a toilet leak badly and cause pooling of water that damages the floor underneath.

This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about repairs that may be needed. Of course a plumber is not there to tell you whether to buy the house or not, just to help you determine whether the problems are something you can deal with.

If you are buying a new home in Kansas City and want to get the plumbing inspected, ideally before you close, contact Lutz Plumbing to get a quote today.

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Practical Ways of Conserving Water At Home

July 20th, 2019

Water is an essential resource in everyday life yet, a lot of it may go to waste if you do not take the necessary precautions. Reports of global warming and the scarcity of water in some regions around the globe are encouraging individuals to embrace eco-friendly living as a way of reducing wastage and to promote water conservation.

Becoming conscious of how you use water around your home will bear a significant impact on your efforts to conserve this resource, and that is why this should be part of your priorities. Some of the simple best practices you embrace today as a homeowner can save several gallons of water every day, and here are some of them.

Invest in Water-Efficient Appliances

Dishwashers and washing machines are a necessity in various homes, and they are responsible for wastage of water in one way or another. If you are planning to replace a dishwasher or washing machine, opt for the variety that is water-efficient. You should also avoid turning on your washing machine or dishwasher when it is hardly full because that suggests that you will clean your clothes or dishes frequently and that will result in the wastage of water around your home.

If possible, acquire the smallest dishwasher or washing machine for your needs because the smaller the size, the lesser the amount of water you will use at home daily.

Fix Leakages

Taps, pipes, and other plumbing works wear down, break, rust, deteriorate over time, and block up for one reason or another. Failure to check the water supply pipe to your house means that there can be unseen leakages underground, which will not only increase your monthly utility bills, but such leaks will frustrate your water conservation efforts if they remain unattended.

Inviting a plumber to check the fittings around your home at least once every year is advisable. You should also check your water meter, especially when water is not running from the taps in your house, which can help you establish whether there is underground water leakage or not. Fixing a leaking pipe will tame water wastage and eliminate potential destruction of your property.

Reduce Your Shower Time

Do you ever consider the amount of time you spend in the shower? Spending a lot of time showering while your mind is wondering contributes to wastage of water. A starting point for cutting down the amount of time you spend showering can be using a timer that will help you acquire the necessary discipline for saving water in this case.

Showering is a daily routine, and occupants of individual homes can conserve a lot of water by reducing the time they spend in the shower.

Turn Off The Faucets

You may not leave the water running from your home faucet when washing your hands, face, or when cleaning your teeth because you are conscious of the same. However, if you have a habit of cleaning fresh produce with running water, quite often you may leave the water running for a considerable period, and that may not strike your conscience at that moment.

Ensuring that each faucet within your house is off every time you are not using it can help you save several gallons of water each day, and that is one of the best practices that is worth embracing.

Reuse, Reuse, Reuse

It is quite uncommon to find homeowners reusing water where this is an option, especially if they do not have a water recycling system. Today, several industries and establishments are recycling wastewater, as part of their initiatives for supporting an eco-friendly environment. You do not have to set up an expensive water recycling plant within your home to save water because you can adopt a cheaper alternative that can help you achieve the same objective.

Instead of draining some of the water you can reuse consider collecting it in a bucket for use on your yard or lawn, which will reduce unnecessary wastage of water around your home. If you need more information on tips for conserving water at home, contact us today!

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6 Items You Should Never Put Down Your Kitchen Sink

June 28th, 2019

If you’re like many Kansas City homeowners who own kitchen garbage disposals, you probably know how useful these appliances can be. However, you can’t just toss anything down the chute without hurting your disposal or damaging your plumbing. Here are six foods and items you should never put down your kitchen drain, along with a few considerations and warnings. 


1. Greasy, Oily or Fatty Foods 

High on the list of foods that should never go down a disposal chute are those that contain grease, oil or fat. Grease that sticks to the interior of sewer pipes can accumulate, which results in blocking pipes. Consider that your garbage disposal won’t keep out grease from your plumbing system since it’s designed to shred only solid substances into small bits. Even worse, it lets grease descend down your drain, which creates more problems.

Fatty meats should never be dumped into a drain as well as oily foods. Thus, never throw shortening, cooking oil, lard, questionable food scraps, butter, margarine, sauces, dairy products, and baking goods into your garbage disposal.

2. Coffee Grounds

Unfortunately, too many people think they can use a disposal for getting rid of coffee grinds. Don’t dump coffee grounds down your drain because they can hurt your plumbing, although they won’t affect your disposal. Consider that eventually, coffee grinds can get into your plumbing, which can lead to clogs.

3. Stringy or Fibrous Veggies and Fruits

Never put stringy vegetables, such as celery and asparagus, down your disposal. This is because the strings of these veggies can easily wrap around the moving parts of a disposal and cause damage.

Also, don’t toss fibrous fruits and vegetables down your chute. Avoid vegetables with layered bulbs, such as onions. In addition to causing damage by wrapping around a disposal’s moving parts, they can weaken or even ruin the motor of a disposal.

4. Rice and Pasta

Rice and pasta should stay out of a disposal. These types of food are prone to expand in a disposal when coming into contact with water. As a result, they can easily block your disposal’s trap or clog your drain.

5. Shells and Nuts

You may have heard the old wives’ tale that eggshells can be used to sharpen disposal blades, but this is just isn’t true. Egg shells can be hazardous because of their filmy membrane that can wrap around the moving components of a disposal. Rather than throwing shells down your disposal, use them as compost.

Shells from seafood aren’t meant for a garbage disposal, as they are exceptionally hard. On the other hand, there are some disposals that can take their hardness. But it’s still not a good idea since it can cause blades to become dull. What’s more, your disposal won’t last as long. Furthermore, don’t throw nuts down your disposal.

6. Items That Aren’t Biodegradable

Non-food items, such as tissues and napkins, should not be allowed in a disposal. A good rule of thumb is that if an item isn’t biodegradable, it’s a no-no. These items include those such as plastic, paper, metal, glass, wood, and others. Simply recycle these materials, if possible, or just toss them in your garbage.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Never throw animal bones into a disposal. Bone is an extremely hard substance, so it’s not intended for a disposal. Even though some garbage disposals can process bones, throwing animal bones into a disposal can still cause wear and shorten lifespan.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean out your disposal. Instead, clean it out by pouring a small amount of dish detergent into it. Throw down a few ice cubes, because ice can clean the walls and blades, while the soap breaks down oil and grease as well as gives it a pleasant scent.
  • Keep cigarette butts out of your disposal because they can expand, causing clogs. Again, a kitchen garbage disposal isn’t intended for any man-made materials.
  • Don’t throw down too much stuff at the same time. In other words, put only a small handful of a substance down the chute instead of tossing everything down at once. You don’t want to put excess stress on your disposal’s motor because this can wear it out quickly.


Sometimes, drains get clogged or need repair even if they are used properly and maintained. For all your home drain needs, you can depend on Lutz Plumbing. Please contact us.

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Lutz Plumbing’s Loyalty Club Helps to Prevent Major Plumbing Leaks

June 14th, 2019

When it comes to plumbing, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is very true.

Water leaks waste water and money. Additionally, they will typically develop into a bigger problem that will cause more extensive damage. Checking your plumbing for leaks or other potential problems should be one of your most important routines. Below we will discuss the cost of leaks in the long run and what you should do if you discover a leak.


Household Leaks

There are many possible places in the home from which leaks can develop. These include:

  • Toilet (internal and external)
  • Sink
  • Water Heater
  • Washing machine
  • Pipes that are behind the wall

These leaks can cause very little damage or major damage that will necessitate extensive repairs. However, even small leaks should not be ignored. They can be the first sign of a major problem to come. Most of these leaks, if left unaddressed, will cause mold which can cause major health problems and is expensive to remove.

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