Common Causes of Kitchen Sink Clogs

Washing Hands Before Cooking

What Causes Kitchen Sink Clogs?

Pipes can become sluggish or clogged for several reasons, including natural and man-made substances. Some of these include:

Grease. Grease tends to harden as it cools, causing it to build up on the inside of plumbing pipes. Instead of putting grease or cooking oil down the kitchen drain, place it on an aluminum foil-lined tub or container, then simply throw the foil and grease in the trash once it has solidified.

Potato peels. After peeling potatoes, place peelings into the trash as most garbage disposals cannot grind up peelings into small pieces due to the thick texture.

Pasta, bread, and flour. While all of these foods are soft, they become a sticky, gummy mess when combined with water. Avoid putting flour down the drain, and keep in mind that putting pasta in the garbage disposal could result in a serious drain clog.

Eggshells and coffee grounds. While coffee grounds and eggshells are not that big of a problem on their own, the problem arises when they stick to other debris due to their fine texture. Over time, a massive blockage may develop in the drainage pipe. Instead, dispose of these items in the trash can.

Hair. Why would hair be in the kitchen sink? You would be surprised. Some people bathe small pets in the kitchen sink, and people (particularly women) may put a stray hair strand in the sink instead of the trash. Don’t do this – and bathe your pets outside. Hair is one of the worst offenders when it comes to clogs, although it is usually in the shower.

Potentially damaging drain cleaners. While drain cleaning products can help keep pipes flowing freely, some contain ingredients that may be damaging to plumbing. Do a little research to learn if the product has a reputation for causing clogs before you buy.

At Haley Mechanical our Ann Arbor Plumbers know how aggravating a kitchen sink clog can be. When your efforts to clear the clog have not worked, or you have an ongoing issue with clogs, contact us for help!

Could Your Attic be a Source of Energy & Money Waste?

Attic in an Ann Arbor, Michigan Home

Most southeast Michigan homeowners do not realize the impact their attic makes as far as heat gain in summer months and heat loss during the cold winter months. This results in wasted energy, not to mention money. Thankfully there are solutions to prevent energy loss and the resulting costs, which we will reveal below.

Air Leaks

Air leaks are common in the attic and may occur around exhaust fans, flues, plumbing pipes, recessed lights, and other areas. When it comes to air infiltration and energy loss, insulation is a good idea – but it is not enough. To ensure air leaks are eliminated, seal the leaks first using expandable foam, flashing, or materials designed for use with fixtures that become hot such as fire-safe caulk for flues. You can then address the problem of poor insulation.

Inadequate Insulation

R-value is an insulation term you should be familiar with and is a rating that indicates the insulation’s efficiency for resisting heat transfer per inch. For homeowners in Ann Arbor or other areas of southeast Michigan, the minimum value recommended is R-49 to R-60. Essentially, the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is at resisting heat flow.

You may have poor insulation which could be attributed to one or more of the following factors:

Inconsistent Thickness

Uneven areas of insulation are not uncommon, and can be caused by architectural features or poor installation. Insulation should be installed at a correct and uniform depth for it to be its most effective.

Low R-Value

In efforts to cuts costs, sometimes homeowners or even the contractors who originally built the home may have skimped on the amount of insulation installed in the attic.


Insulation can become damaged over time due to a leaky roof and the resulting water damage, high humidity, even rodents who find insulation the perfect home and may build nests in it, trample around on it, and cause it to become displaced.

It is not difficult to remedy the situation if your attic is costing you in terms of energy loss and money. However, it is much easier if you hire a professional contractor to perform the work. Should you choose the DIY approach, be sure to wear the proper gear and step cautiously around in the attic.

Need more energy savings tips? Contact the professionals at Haley Mechanical today!

Air Conditioning Unit Won’t Turn On? Troubleshooting Tips

Frustrated Woman Sitting at Computer

Even in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas of SE Michigan summer brings hot weather. When your air conditioner does not turn on, you may be left wondering what the problem is – and if it is going to require a new system or repair, either of which can be costly. There are a few minor issues that can cause your A/C not to turn on, and a total breakdown that happens without warning is rare, thankfully. Consider the following when troubleshooting your cooling system.

Air filter clogged. While it is a simple thing, a dirty or clogged air filter may prevent the A/C from coming on, as the filter allows good airflow and even helps prevent possible damage to the components of your system. Replace the filter then try turning the air conditioner on.

Thermostat set too high or on the wrong setting. If you desire a temperature of 76 degrees and the thermostat is set on 80, it will not come on. It is also important to make sure the thermostat is switched to the “cool” setting. Lower the temperature or set to “cool” and your system should come on.

A circuit breaker that’s tripped. Circuit breakers trip occasionally and are usually related to a power surge. Locate the breaker for your A/C in the main circuit box and reset it; this will likely fix the problem. However, if this happens frequently, you will want to have an electrician take a look to determine what the problem may be.

Thermostat issues. Thermostats do not last forever, particularly programmable thermostats that rely on batteries. It could simply be a matter of putting new batteries in if the screen is blank, or replacing the thermostat if new batteries do not do the trick.

Leaking refrigerant. Refrigerant is a liquid air conditioners must have in order to provide cool air. It isn’t unusual for A/C systems to experience leaks, something a skilled HVAC professional can diagnose and take care of if this is the problem. Refrigerant loss can result in inadequate cooling or your A/C not turning on.

Haley Mechanical employs professional HVAC technicians who are highly skilled and experienced in air conditioning repair, installation, and maintenance. If you’re in the Southeast Michigan area and are having A/C issues, give our experts a call today! Call Haley Mechanical at 734-424-9170.

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