The Plumber's Blog

Do’s and Dont’s: Garbage Disposals

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this time of year is when garbage disposals are typically overworked causing them to wear out, get clogged, etc. Here’s some tips on the “do’s and don’ts” for this Holiday season.

Do locate your “reset” button and the disposal key in case your garbage disposal becomes jammed while entertaining during the holiday season
Don’t pour any grease or oil down the disposal as it could solidify inside the drain and cause a stoppage
Do use cold water when running the disposal, instead of hot
Don’t put all your potato peels from the potato casserole you’re baking for 50 guests in the disposal at once. Vegetable peels are generally not recommended to be put down the garbage disposal at all, but you may be able to get away with it if it’s just one or two items at a time
Do use a disposal cleaner or grind citrus peels. This will help get rid of any odor or buildup within the garbage disposal
Don’t put rice or pasta down the garbage disposal. They can expand and stick within the drain, potentially causing a nasty backup (Typically happening during the clean-up of your holiday soiree, Murphy’s Law right?)
Do run the garbage disposal regularly. Like any machine, it may seize up or rust if it’s not used regularly.
Don’t put any stringy vegetable (like celery or lettuce), bones, or pit and seeds (from cherries, peaches, etc) The stringy vegetables can get wrapped around the blades causing it to jam and the pits and seeds, well, they can destroy the blades
Do try to cut items into smaller pieces before putting down the garbage disposal
Don’t put garbage – even though it’s called a “garbage” disposal, it doesn’t want the junk mail either
Do make sure you have The Pampering Plumber’s phone number on your fridge just in case you run into any problems this holiday season! We service the entire Tampa Bay area and have a professional, highly qualified on call for emergency scenarios 24/7/365. Visit or call 727-232-8400

Toto Washlet: A Spa For Your Bum!

What is a Toto Washlet?  In 4 words, a Toto Washlet is a Spa… For… Your… Bum!  Yup, that’s what it is.  Now some people might cringe at this but, that is essentially what it is.  Why not have a spa for your bum?  Think about it, this is a plumbing fixture that you will use every day.  It washes your potty parts with a gentle warm stream of water, set to the temperature and flow that is most comfortable for you.  When you’re ready, you change it to the “dryer” setting to finish the job.  You know when you’re first on the potty in the winter, when the seat is a little chilly?  Not the Toto Washlet, it’s got a heater and is set to the temperature that you appreciate.


Folks, I’m in the plumbing business so discussing this sort of thing is something I’ve been doing for nearly 30 years.  I have a Toto Washlet and have had one for about 10 years.  You can bet your bottom dollar that after having one for so many years, I would never go without one for as long as I have a choice.  It’s that good.  Temperature settings, pressure settings, angle setting, pulsation settings; folks, this thing will even cook you dinner!  Just kidding on that one, but it is most definitely something you will appreciate.


Please keep in mind that the water is there for this product, but you will need to have an electrical (GFI) outlet installed near your toilet.  If you’d like more information on the Toto Washlet, contact the professionals at The Pampering Plumber (  We’ll get you set up and we guarantee that you will love it.      Call us today at 727-232-8400!


Watch this video from Toto USA Inc:



Erik Suojanen, CEO

The Pampering Plumber

Why Hire a Licensed Plumber for your Water Filtration Needs?

Many people think of Tampa plumbers as expensive laborers who simply do a dirty job.  Truth be told, plumbing is very technical and requires ongoing continued education.  Plumbing is expensive.  Responsible contractors have to have good, well-maintained equipment.  They need to carry all the proper insurances and they need to provide ongoing training programs.  Most of all, they need to have good, dependable people who care about the job that they do.  All of these things are expensive.  But, how valuable is your time and your family’s health?  Plumbers protect the health in society.   This is why it is so important to make sure you are dealing with a licensed contractor.  Especially when dealing with water filtration and purification.  Saving money is always good, but if it is potentially compromising your health, is the few dollars you might save worth the risk?

In Florida, one can install water filtration equipment, legally, by simply acquiring an occupational license.  It requires no real training by the government, yet the government requires a licensed plumbing contractor to install a water heater.  Makes no sense right?  Water that is ingested requires no training or proven expertise and anyone can install it.  Plumbing contractors must pass a very difficult test to obtain a license and they must have proven years of experience to even take the test.  A water filtration installer simply requires the $25.00 it costs for the occupational license, a few tools, and basic transportation to and from the point of installation.

Consider reverse osmosis and water softening for a moment.  Both systems require a drain that typically ties into the home drainage system.  If the system is not installed properly, cross contamination is very likely.  Cross contamination is the siphoning of sewer water into the potable water supply.  It introduces sewer water into your drinking and bathing water.  This is much more common than you might think.

Consider all the factors when deciding on any home service like water filtration.  If you want someone who will do the job properly, show up on time, and treat your home as they would their own, call professionals at The Pampering Plumber.   We have been serving the Tampa Bay area since 1990.  We know what we are doing and we will be here when you need us.  More than 60,000 customers would attest to that.

Pure Water: Reverse Osmosis

A Reverse Osmosis drinking water system that removes total dissolved solids (TDS). It works by pushing the water through a semipermeable membrane that acts as a filter and is stored in a tank. This membrane allows only water to pass through, leaving any impurities and dissolved solids behind.   It removes particles as little as .001 microns. That is about the size of a human hair split a hundred times!

Advantages of Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water

  • Tastes and smells better – Water bottle companies such as Aquafina and Dasani use reverse osmosis water treatment in their products.
  • Safer – It filters out many different contaminants, bacteria and viruses that could be sitting within your pipes or coming from your water supplier.
  • No Electricity needed – It uses the water pressure to pump through the different filters and membrane and doesn’t have to plug into an outlet.
  • Cost Savings – You’ll no longer need to purchase water bottles and can get your drinking water straight from the faucet at your kitchen sink!
  • Easy to Maintain – Depending on usage, you only have to replace the filters once a year and the membrane, two years.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Did you know that it takes over 17 million barrels of oil to keep up with American’s water bottle demand? That’s enough to keep 1.3 million cars fueled for an ENTIRE YEAR! (source: Ban the Bottle)

Reverse Osmosis Process on a Wider Scale

The reverse osmosis process is used in desalination plants to help make salt water safe for consumption. The military uses a form of the process to filter virtually any body of water. Another interesting production process that uses a reverse osmosis is maple syrup production. (source: Wikipedia)

Where Can You Get a Reverse Osmosis System for Your Home?

Call your local licensed Tampa plumbing company, like The Pampering Plumber at 727-232-8400 or visit It’s strongly recommended to go through a licensed plumbing contractor since they are dealing with your drinking water and cross-contamination is a possibility if not installed properly.

Tips for Avoiding Stoppages


Have you ever come home to sewage bubbling up in your shower drain? It’s not the ideal plumbing scenario to come home to. Here are some pointers and tips for dealing with your sewer drain plumbing stoppages in Tampa.

What NOT to Flush

There are some household items that you may think are okay to flush down your toilet, but they’re not! Paper towels, Feminine products and believe it or not, the “flushable” wipes sold at your local grocery store. In fact, these “flushable” wipes have been wreaking some havoc in city and county sewer systems and one of the leading causes of stoppages in Tampa, because they don’t break up like toilet paper does. They are made from a more fibrous material that doesn’t break-apart as easily.

Don’t use your Garbage Disposal as a “Catch-all”

Grease or oils should be collected in a sealed container and disposed of in your trash. If dumped down the sink drain or in the garbage disposal, grease and oil can solidify in your drain, causing a build-up and a potential stoppage. Potato peels are generally okay to toss down the garbage disposal, but can build up in the drain after time or if you’re putting large batches in there at once. Rice, grains and pastas shouldn’t be put down the garbage disposal either. These items can still expand within the drain, causing a slow drain and/or potential stoppage.

Tree Root Destruction

Tampa oak trees are a common factor of plumbing stoppages, when their roots grow and break into your sewer line, they cause a barrier within the pipe, stopping any toilet paper and waste from going down into your septic or sewer. If roots are the obstruction in your sewer line, it’s best to get it taken care of right away. The portion of pipe that the roots intruded generally needs to be replaced or rerouted away from the trees.

If you have a constant reoccurring stoppage happening in your home, it may be beneficial to have a camera run down your sewer line to be sure that there isn’t any underlying issues. Call your local Tampa plumbing company, The Pampering Plumber to schedule for your sewer drain cleaning or sewer line camera job at 727-232-8400 or visit

2015 NAECA Water Heater Efficiency Standards

As of April 16th, 2015, there are new energy efficiency requirements per the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA). They call for all water heaters, including residential electric, gas, tankless, and oil water heaters to have a higher energy factor rating. (The higher the energy factor, the higher the efficiency of the unit). These new energy efficiency standards were put in place in an effort to alleviate the strain on the national power grid. These changes are projected to eliminate enough emissions that are equivalent to 33.8 million automobiles!

What Homeowners Need to Know

  • This means saving more money! Water Heating costs account for approximately 17% of your total home energy use.
  • The newer models (electric and gas) will differ slightly in size (Approximately 2 inches taller and wider) If space is limited, this may mean your newer water heater will need to be moved to a different location or you may need to change to a smaller sized unit.
  • There will no longer be residential electric water heaters over 55 gallons available. Any water heater over 55 gallons are required to be “hybrid” water heaters. These hybrid water heaters utilize a heat pump to increase efficiency.
  • All residential gas water heaters over 55 gallons are required to have a condensing water heater type design.
  • These more efficient water heaters require additional parts during production which will increase the costs of new units. But, the idea is that the increase will pay for itself with the amount you’ll be saving in utility cost
  • Be sure to hire a licensed and insured Tampa plumbing company. They know all about the new requirements and are able to provide you with your best options.



For more information contact your #1 Tampa Plumber, The Pampering Plumber at 727-232-8400



Awarded Angie’s List Tampa Super Service Award

Awarded Angie’s List Tampa Plumbing Super Service Award for the 7th Year in a Row!

We always say “Don’t listen to us, listen to what our customers have to say about us!” and this proves it yet again!  We always strive to be the BEST plumbing company in the Tampa Bay area and that’s because quality of work and customer service is #1!  The Pampering Plumber has won the Angie’s List Tampa Plumbing Super Service Award for the 7th consecutive year!  That’s no easy feat, but here’s how we do it.13ANG0007_SuperServiceLogo_Final_LessGradient-2200px

Customer Satisfaction is #1

We survey every customer because we want to continue finding ways to improve so, we can continue providing the BEST customer service in Tampa Bay.  All of our plumbing staff goes through an extensive screening and background check prior to entering any one’s home.  The service plumbers wear blue booties and use red carpets for their tools to protect your flooring and your home.  (We also leave you with a little gift showing our appreciation!)


Giving Back to our Tampa Customers

We understand that a plumbing company is not generally someone you would want to call, since Tampa plumbing issues generally mean dollar signs.  So, The Pampering Plumber developed a program that gives back to our Tampa customers by offering our “1in10” program!  This 1in10 program means every 10th Water Heater and Water Softener that we install is FREE!  Visit our website or our Facebook page to view our previous winners.  We’ve had over 100 Tampa residents win!

Read our reviews on Angie’s List, Facebook, Google+, and Yelp! If you’ve used our plumbing services before, review us on one of these sites and you’ll be entered to win a monthly prize.

Call us today for your Tampa plumbing service or repair and you won’t regret it!

Top 10 Reasons Why You NEED A Water Softener

Ten Reasons Why You NEED a Water Softener:

(It’s all about eliminating calcium and magnesium build-up)

  1. Eliminates spots on dishes and glassware
  2. Extends the life of appliances and fixtures
  3. Extends life of water heater and makes it more efficient
  4. Softer and Smoother Hair
  5. Clothing lasts much longer
  6. Save $$ on detergents and soaps
  7. Eliminates soap scum on bathtubs and shower doors
  8. Softer and Smoother Skin
  9. Clothing colors stay brighter
  10.  There must be something to it,  100% of fine dining restaurants have softeners!

Not to mention, every 10th Water Heater and Water Softener that the Pampering Plumber sells and installs in the Tampa Bay area is FREE!  Visit the website or call 727-232-8400 for details.softener1in10

Plumbing Checklist To Prepare for Your Next Bathroom Renovation


While upgrading your bathroom is not nearly as expensive or extensive as many other home improvement projects, there are many details to figure out before you can get started. Your favorite Tampa plumbing company recommends putting together a list of what you need to do and may have already done. It will make the remodeling process all that much easier and your life a lot less stressful!

Click here to read more »

Alternative Materials for Line Piping


If you live in an older house, your plumbing lines may need to be replaced sooner than you think. Depending on the type of material used for your water and sewage pipes, leaks can and will occur over time. These may develop gradually or come on unexpectedly, particularly if you live in a region prone to cold winter temperatures.

Since the last thing anyone needs is a burst pipe in the middle of the freezing season, it would serve you well to contact a licensed Tampa plumber to carry out a full service system inspection.

This is not to say by any means that your existing lines are in immediate jeopardy – they very well may have decades of life left. The point is that the only way to know this for sure is to have a detailed assessment completed. Most Tampa plumbers charge between $75-$100 for this service, which is far cheaper than having to replace a damaged water line!

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