Gander Plumbing Blog Posts

Ask a Plumber: How to Unclog a Toilet

A clogged toilet is one of the most common plumbing problems we encounter. We know that when you are having issues with your toilet, it can be a pretty stressful time. Thankfully, help is only a phone call away. At Gander Plumbing we specialize in toilet repair and Lake City homeowners have trusted us for years when it comes to all things plumbing, especially water softener installations. That’s why our toilet repair experts would like to provide you with step-by-step tips on how to unclog a toilet. Because, we know how important it is to get your toilet back up and running as soon as possible. And, if these tips don’t work, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We can have your toilet repair done in no time.

toilet repair

Start with a Plunger

For almost 90% of clogged toilets, you only need one special tool to perform your toilet repair – and that’s a plunger. You should have one with an extension flange on the rubber bell-shaped end. These are designed to fit toilets better and deliver a more effective plunge.

Wear rubber gloves and begin by plunging your toilet, getting a good seal, before pushing in and out vigorously. Make sure you keep enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger. Keep towels nearby to wipe up any water that splashes out. Once it seems the clog was loosened and water begins to flush, wait a few minutes and try to manually flush again. Keep in mind that a toilet that’s completely plugged is obvious. The toilet bowl will fill to the brim with flush water and perhaps overflow. If you continue to experience a complete or partial clog even after plunging, it’s time to call the professionals for at Gander Plumbing to perform your toilet repair.

Complete Clog? Perform a Test

Don’t flush the toilet if you suspect that it’s completely or mostly clogged. Instead, remove the tank lid and lift the flapper valve slightly to let a cup or two of water into the bowl to see if the water goes down. Flushing a clogged toilet may flood your bathroom.

Unclogging Without a Plunger

No plunger? It may be time to call a professional plumber for your toilet repair. But, here is something you could try in the event that you don’t have a plunger handy.

  • Squirt generous amounts of dish soap into the clogged toilet to loosen up the clog.
  • Carefully add hot (not boiling) water to the bowl.

Wait a few minutes and this hot, soapy water may be able to break down the clog. But, if you’ve performed your test from above and it is still clogged, do not attempt to flush. You don’t want hot soapy water overflowing everywhere. Give the professionals at Gander Plumbing a call and we can come out and take care of your toilet repair for you.
Do you need help with toilet repair or other plumbing issues in Lake City or the surrounding areas? Call Gander Plumbing at 507-282-7540 or contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

Find a Plumber that Can Fix that Leak and Get the Job Done

What may seem only a small inconvenience that can be ignored for a while and something you will get to eventually—constant leaking can increase your water bill as gallons and gallons of water runs down the drain. Without a doubt, the plumbing system and the leaks that come along with it are among some of the most important issues that must be addressed in the home. When your system is working correctly, fresh water is brought in and used water is drained out. As a plumber in Stewartville and other local towns, Gander Plumbing provides affordable, reliable, professional and trustworthy service to all customers. As such, we would like to share with you a few reasons to hire a professional plumber for all of your plumbing needs.


There are rare occasions when you can fix a leak on your own. But it often requires replacing the faucet, dismantling it, switching out bad or old parts and putting it all back together again then hoping for the best. Hiring a professional plumber like Gander Plumbing can eliminate this guess work, get your leak or other plumbing issue fixed the right way in the shortest amount of time possible. In many instances you likely will need the help of plumbing contractors, who can certainly handle the faucet itself in the case of a repair or replacement. Frequently the issue lies beyond the faucet itself and a good plumber will come in and be able to pinpoint where the problem exists.

A plumber needs to be reliable, always arriving as promised and ready to tackle whatever the job at hand is. If a pipe bursts in your basement in the middle of the night, a plumber like those working for Gander Plumbing will arrive as promised. Just knowing that there is a reliable plumber nearby who will respond promptly when called upon offers peace of mind when you are experiencing an emergency plumbing issue.

Did you know that household leaks can waste more than one trillion gallons annually nationwide? A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. Having your household’s water leaks addressed can save homeowners about 10% on their water bills. So don’t put off your plumbing repairs any longer. Give us a call today!

Interested in learning more about our plumber in Stewartville and get the leak fixed? Call Gander Plumbing at 507-282-7540 to set up a free estimate or Schedule an Appointment. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Spring Cleaning for Your Water Heater : What to Look For

Yes, you heard us right; spring cleaning for water heaters! When you think ‘spring cleaning,’ your first thought may not be of water heaters. But, you use hot water year-round, right? Spring can be a great time of year to give your water heater a little extra TLC. Annual maintenance of your water heater is extremely important and can actually be an easy task to perform. So, while doing some spring cleaning in the other areas of your home, why not make a stop at the old water heater.

water heaters

Nowadays, hot water is something we rely on every day. Way back when, if you wanted to take a warm bath, you had to heat the water on your stove or fireplace. But, the invention of hot water heaters changed the way we see hot water. Hot water is expected to be there any time we need it. But like any other appliance, hot water heaters need maintenance and occasional repairs. At Gander Plumbing, we specialize in installing and repairing water heaters in Rochester and the surrounding areas. And, we are excited to help you with your spring water heater maintenance! Here are a few of the major issues we like to look out for on maintenance visits as well as some of the services we provide.

Noisy Water Heater?

When a professional from Gander Plumbing comes out to your home, we will check to see if you’ve been experiencing any funny noises like bangs, knocks, whines or creaks coming from your water heater. These noises can mean there is some sediment build-up. Water heaters make these noises as they try to burn the sediment away.

Usually, the best way to repair this problem is by flushing the tank. Flushing out water heaters is a fairly straight-forward process and an important one too! It can improve the quality of your water and even increase its energy efficiency.

Discolored Water?

Rusty, discolored water is also something that can happen to neglected water heaters. In order to fix and prevent this issue, a water heater flushing or anode rod replacement could be in order. By checking the condition of your anode rods and if necessary, replacing the corroded anode rods, you can extend the life of your water heater.

Having these and other water heater maintenance issues addressed by the professionals at Gander Plumbing on an annual basis can be the difference that increases the lifespan of your water heater.

If you have any questions about water heaters in Rochester, call Gander Plumbing at 507-282-7540 or you can contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

Why Choose a Water Softener for Your Minnesota Home

Are you looking to install a water softener in your Zumbro Falls home? We are not surprised! Hard water is a common issue in municipal and town water supplies throughout Minnesota and surrounding areas. In fact, Minnesota’s average is much higher than the national average.

But first, what is hard water measured by?

Hard water is measured by the amount of dissolved materials such as magnesium, calcium, manganese and iron in the water supply. Water that is considered ‘soft’ has less than 1 GPG (grain per gallon) and very hard water has a 10.5 GPG or higher.

Now, are you ready to learn the average water hardness in Minnesota?

Minnesota’s average is 15-25 GPG! And, parts of the Twin Cities can be as high as 35 GPG! That’s pretty hard. This hardness is due to the fact that the earth beneath our fair state has a lot of limestone which is where hardness comes from.

water softener

Have you noticed water leaving spots on glassware? Scaling on your shower heads? Dull, dried out hair?

These are just a few of the results that can come with hard water.
As experts in water and all things plumbing, we would like to list a few of the many benefits your Minnesota household could experience with a new water softener from Gander Plumbing:

  • Cleaner, shinier silverware, glassware, tiles and plumbing fixtures.
  • A water softener exchanges calcium and magnesium with sodium to reduce hardness, thereby reducing scales from accumulating in your pipes. This not only lengthens the lifespan of your appliances but also lends a whole new experience to using water.
  • Fabrics last longer, whites stay whiter and clothes are softer.
  • You’ll require less cleaning products because of the rich lather produced by soap and softened water.
  • You may notice softer, cleaner hair.
  • Increased water heater efficiency.
  • And more!

Start reaping the benefits and rid your home of hard water today! A water softener is an affordable, simple and easy way to improve your household’s quality of life at the same time as providing savings in your pocket. A water softener can help improve how you feel, how your appliances work and even help save you money. We truly believe in the Pentair water softeners we carry – they are some of the very best water softeners on the market.
Call us at Gander Plumbing and we can answer any questions you might have about installing a new water softener at your Zumbro Falls Home. Call today at 507-282-7540 or contact us to Schedule an Appointment.

Supreme Makeover II: Kitchen Edition

Did you know the most popular room in the home to update is the kitchen? It is not only one of the rooms we spend the majority of our time in, it also makes the largest impression on our guests. Kitchen remodeling including the replacement of kitchen cabinets, countertops, fixtures and appliances can instantly update your home and even increase its value. Even if your kitchen is immaculate, it can still be outdated. When you choose kitchen remodeling, you can instantly take your kitchen out of the 80s and into the 21st century. In addition to the many benefits of a complete kitchen makeover, there are also many aspects to consider. Once you’ve found who you would like to hire to take care of the renovation aesthetics, it’s important to pick your plumber. When you need help with kitchen remodeling in Byron, trust the plumbing experts at Gander Plumbing. Ready to get started? Our team has created a list of some of the great reasons to choose kitchen remodeling and what to keep in mind:

Energy Savings
While updating the look of your kitchen, one of the other great benefits to kitchen remodeling is finding ways to save energy. From adding skylights for increased warmth and natural light, to installing modern, energy efficient appliances, there are so many ways to put less strain on both the environment and your wallet. Updating your plumbing or an outdated garbage disposal during an overall kitchen remodeling can increase your water flow for a more efficiently running kitchen.

Beautiful, Working Faucets
Are your current faucets rusty, leaky or outdated? It may be a good idea to replace them if not for efficiency-sake then for aesthetics-sake while considering kitchen remodeling. Kitchen faucets come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. There are even touchless or touch-activated faucets that make a great choice for the kitchen as they help avoid the spreading of bacteria.

Kitchen Remodeling

Stunning Sinks
Replacing your kitchen sink can instantly update the overall look and feel of the room. Choose a farmhouse sink for a rustic yet modern charm, a porcelain sink for a touch of elegance, or whatever sink you think looks best among your home’s decorum. No matter what style sink you choose for your kitchen remodeling, make sure you have it installed properly by a plumbing professional to avoid any leaks or broken seams.

Lifestyle Match
Is your kitchen’s layout no longer working for you and your family? Maybe it lacks the breakfast bar or wet bar you always dreamed of. Do you need a dishwasher installed? Whatever the motivation, kitchen remodeling can help get your kitchen and your family better in sync for a more enjoyable cooking, eating and cleaning experience.

There are so many reasons to invest in a kitchen remodel for your home. For more information on kitchen remodeling in Byron and its plumbing needs, give Gander Plumbing a call at 507-282-7540, or contact us and Schedule an Appointment today!