Archive for the ‘Plumbing’ Category

Preventing Plumbing Emergencies this Winter

frozen pipeIf you live north of the 35th latitude, then you’re going to have to deal with a few bitterly cold nights this winter. These low temperatures can lead to problems for your home’s plumbing – problems that you don’t have to consider during the warmer months of the year. In order to protect your home from the impending cold, follow these guidelines and take a preventative stand against plumbing emergencies this winter:

Problem: Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common and potentially most damaging of all plumbing issues you may run into this winter. Since water expands when it freezes, frozen pipes can burst – leaving you with no running water, and a giant mess to clean up in the aftermath.

How to avoid:

  • Insulate pipes in cold parts of house (foam padding and insulated tape are easy to find and effective solutions).
  • Trickle water from your home’s spouts overnight (movement prevents water from freezing)
  • Caulk pipes at house entry points to reduce draft.
  • Keep the cupboard doors below your sink open to keep pipes warm.
  • If your pipes freeze, immediately turn off the main water valve and contact a professional such as McLouglin PHC.


Problem: Clogged Drain

Warm temperatures facilitate movement, while cold temperatures impede movement. Your sink’s drain can clog much more easily during the winter months than it would in the summer. Also, winter is the season of food holidays — and all the best foods are full of delicious, viscous fat. This all creates a perfect storm for clogged drains.

How to avoid:

  • Avoid disposing excess fat and grease from holiday meals down your drain. Bag it and trash it, instead.
  • Use drain un-blocker every other month to avoid backups.
  • Use a drain cover to catch all the large debris before it gets stuck in your pipes.


Problem: Blocked Gutters

When it’s warm, gutters assist in water drainage. When it’s cold, water can freeze in your gutters and damage your roof. The best way to avoid damage to your gutters is to keep them cleared of debris to facilitate easy water drainage.

How to avoid:

  • Clean out gutters before the nights drop below freezing.
  • Invest in gutter caps to prevent future build-up of debris.


Problem: Your Septic Tank

This one is self-evident. Any septic tank problem is a big problem.

How to avoid:

  • Make sure to get maintenance done BEFORE the ground freezes. It becomes much more difficult and much more risky to do maintenance and draining when the permafrost sets in.

Using these easy tips, you can rule out most of your risk for plumbing disaster this winter. Remember, prevention is always less costly than repair.

Five Things To Consider When Putting In Your Plumbing

Five Things To Consider When Putting In Your PlumbingInstalling plumbing is one of the most important aspects of building a new home or renovating an older one that homeowners have to deal with. Plumbing is one of the most important elements of the home, and ensuring that it is installed properly is essential to avoid costly repairs in the long run. There are a few elements that homeowners can consider when putting in their plumbing.

Design the System

Planning is essential for creating a perfect plumbing system. Just as homeowners plan the design and layout of the rest of their homes, so must their plumbing system be planned. Professional plumbing services like those found at might be able to assist homeowners in developing a plan for their plumbing. The layout of the house as well as the locations of the rooms that require plumbing will affect the plan.

Consider the Types of Pipes

Homeowners might also want to consider the types of pipes that they’re going to use in their plumbing systems. For instance, copper pipes tend to expand as hot water is run through them, which can lead to movement and friction between the pipes. Additionally, the type of pipes used will affect the types of cleaners and enzymes that homeowners will be able to use to clean them and get rid of clogs.

Pick Out the Water Heater

The water heater is one of the most essential elements of the plumbing system. Homeowners should consider the size of their home as well as how many people and appliances are going to be using hot water. Knowing that will directly affect the size of water heater they will need. Having a water heater that is the appropriate size for the home is essential to preventing the home from always running out of hot water.

Ensure Proper Support for the Pipes

All piping in a new plumbing system must be properly supported. The manner in which pipes must be supported depends upon the type of pipes used. For instance, plastic pipes must be supported at 6-foot intervals, whereas copper and galvanized piping must be supported at 8-foot intervals.

Plan for Sewage Ejection

A plan must also be made for how the sewage is going to be ejected from the home. For instance, homes that have basements that are going to have plumbing in them generally have up-flush toilets in them that carry the waste water to the upstairs drain. Considerations for how all the sewage is going to be removed must be planned out.


Putting in plumbing is a necessary part of building or renovating a home. Like other building and renovation tasks, the process goes much smoother when essential considerations are taken into account beforehand.

The importance of plumbing in building construction

bathroomBuilding a dream office or a dream home is an extremely difficult task. You have to take care of every small detail and also keep on top of all things. Since it is your dream home or dream office, everything should be perfect and hence from big things like the materials to be used for the purpose of construction to every small thing like plumbing job, should be well taken care of. After all, it is not easy to make a beautiful home or an office from just mere cement and bricks. You would need to put in a lot of either effort or money. Let me explain in details.

If you have enough money to spare, you do not need to put in much effort. That is to say that you can easily hire the services of all the best companies in business for material supply to plumbing in your locality. You can also hire the services of multinational companies located elsewhere, if you have quite a good budget for making your dream home or office. But if you do not have that much money you would have to give in a little effort to find business that offer quality services at reasonable prices. You would have to put in a little effort to find such companies in your locality.

If you choose the latter option i.e. you would rather put in a little effort than spend a fortune, you can either take the help of the Internet to find good local businesses or the yellow pages or through peer recommendation. For example, suppose you are looking for plumber Palos Verdes, you can find out good and reputed plumbing services offering company in your area through any of the above three methods. The best way would be to find a plumbing company through peer recommendation since the quality of work would not be a thing of worry then. It is better to go for a plumbing services offering company than a local plumber since a local plumber would usually not provide any guarantee for the plumbing job.

It is extremely important to take care of every small detail like plumbing, while constructing your dream home or office. If you consider this small scenario as an example, you would understand for yourself the reason for this statement. How would it feel, if after just a few days you have moved into your new home or office, you find yourself standing in a pool of water caused due to poor plumbing job? It would not be a pretty sight or a very memorable experience. To avoid such disasters, it is better that you be safe with reputed, experienced plumbing companies than regret later on by employing cheap local plumbers. It is after all your dream home or your dream office and hence everything should be perfect, just like you dreamed it would be. A little effort and a little extra money is all you need to find as well as buy quality.

Improving the Plumbing in Your Home

pipeFor most homeowners, one of the most dreaded issues they can possibly face is a plumbing problem. Most of the time, fixing any such problems normally proves to be very frustrating and expensive, especially if the problem is deep-seated. For instance, there are times when home owners find themselves having to destroy a significant part of the house in order to get to a part of the plumbing that is causing the entire plumbing system to stop working properly. To avoid such issues, it is necessary to take a few steps to reduce the chances of the plumbing system developing any problems. This cuts costs and also gives you peace of mind.

One of the things you can do to make your plumbing more effective is to reduce the chances of it getting clogged up. This can be done by behavioural change, such as refraining from putting small solids in sinks or a bathtub. You can also use devices such as sink stoppers that have holes in them. These allow water to flow into the pipes, but retain any solid objects that you can then pick up and throw in the trash. Since this is one of the commonest causes of plumbing problems, taking care of it is a very effective of keeping your plumbing in good condition.

If you want to improve your home plumbing, it may also be prudent to have a plumber examine it every once in a while. Most homeowners only call plumbers to inspect their plumbing systems when there is an apparent problem such as a blockage. One of the benefits of having one check the system on a regular basis (even if it does not have any problem) is that they can spot any potential problems and fix them before they evolve into bigger problems. This reduces the cost of maintaining your plumbing system, and will also reduce damage to other parts of the system as well.

A more radical approach to improving your plumbing would be to replace it with more modern plumbing. A very good example of this is when you buy a very old home which has outdated plumbing. When a plumbing system has been in place for a very long time, it tends to develop problems such as leaks more frequently, and this means that the homeowner will need to spend more time and money on it. In many cases, it is often cheaper to simply get rid of the old system and replace it with newer more efficient plumbing.

To do this, you will need to work with a plumbing contractor who has a lot of experience in doing such work and who is also affordable. Ideally, they should be able to examine the current system and tell you how you can upgrade it in the cheapest manner possible. If you think that your plumbing system is costing you too much money to maintain, this may be the best way to solve the issue, and in majority of cases turns out to be much cheaper in the long run.

Don’t Call an Expert: Top Five Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

You can eliminate labor costs and wasted time by tackling some simple home repair jobs with your own two hands. Here are some quick fixes for common household repair issues.

Constantly Running Toilet

toiletA running toilet is not only annoying, but can waste large amounts of water. Determining the cause of a running toilet is simple, and fixing it may not even require repair parts.

Step 1: Lift off the tank lid and observe the water movement. If water is spilling into the tube that sticks up from the bottom, the water level should be adjusted.
Step 2: Adjust the float arm by bending downward. Some newer toilets may have adjustment clips that slide down for adjustment purposes.
Step 3: If water does not spill into the vertical tube, the rubber “flapper” covering the tank drain likely needs replacement. Turn off the water and pull out the flapper. You can obtain an identical one at any hardware outlet.

Faucet Washer Replacement

A leaky faucet can put a dent in your bank account and your sanity. A faulty washer is usually the culprit.

Step 1: Shut off the water.
Step 2: Remove the faucet handle and packing nut. You will need a screwdriver and pliers.
Step 3: Unscrew the valve stem and take it out of the fixture housing. Then unscrew the washer screw, and remove the washer. You may to need loosen it with oil.
Step 3: Find a replacement washer at any hardware outlet.
Step 4: Reverse steps to install the new washer.

If your faucet still leaks, it may require replacement. Be care while unscrewing the faucet as if your water lines are older they could be brittle from water corrosion and break, costing you a little extra and a trip to the hardware store to replace.

Hole in the Wall

Broken or dented interior walls are usually the result of rambunctious teenagers or unrestrained doors. Wall dimples or holes create unsightly decor, but leaving them unrepaired can generate more maintenance. Before you call a carpenter, try this simple fix for your damaged wall.

Step 1: Crumple newspaper to a reasonably solid wad.
Step 2: Wedge the paper wad tightly into the hole or dent, leaving a space of approximately one-quarter inch between the paper and the outside wall surface.
Step 3: Fill the space with joint compound. Smooth the surface of the compound to match the wall surface, using a putty knife or other wide-bladed tool. Let the compound dry according to package instructions.
Step 4: Use fine sandpaper to refine repaired surface before painting.

Squeaky Hinges or Sticky Doors

Always keep a can of household lubricating oil for squeaky hinges. Wet, dry or spray lubricants can work equally well. If your door does not close without hitting the frame, loose hinges, wood expansion and warping are probably to blame.

Step 1: Examine the door hinges for loose screws. Hinges may need to be moved down, if the screw holes have been damaged. An extra set of hands may be required.
Step 2: If hinges are not loose, rub colored chalk on the door frame where it meets the door. Close the door and observe where chalk rubs onto the door. Shape these areas with a rotary grinding tool.

Damaged Furniture or Woodwork

Scratches and dents can be sanded out of wood trim or furniture items.

Step 1: Remove old paint or stain from the affected area with sandpaper or steel wool.
Step 2: Fill with wood filler product and let dry according to package instructions.
Step 3: Sand new surface and paint or stain.

Gina McNeely works with PartSelect, an ecommerce company that sells replacement appliance parts for all types of appliances.  An appliance repair can save an appliance from a landfill, and it is often far less expensive than replacing the whole appliance.

5 Signs You Need a New Water Heater

Water heaterYour water heating system at home is probably one of the most costly parts of your plumbing system since it is very important piece of equipment in your household.

However, when you are having trouble with your water heater you may end up spending a lot on repair, replacement parts and the services of a professional plumber. Before you even get to experience all these hassles, read the following tips and check for the signs that you may need a new water heater today:

Heating time takes longer than usual

If you frequently find yourself waiting longer than usual for the water to become hot, this is one obvious sign that you need a new water heater. Add to that the fact that once it consumes much time on the heating process, the result will also be not as hot as you expect it to be. Otherwise, you need to be prepared to waste much of your precious time just waiting for that water to become hot.

Your heater is having too many leaks

Although you may think about having your leaking heater fixed but, this fix would only be temporary. Sooner or later you will find yourself paying all over again for another repair. In turn, you will be spending more money on repair than you would in buying brand new heater. So, once you notice some leaks check how much you will be spending in the long run for keeping that heater with you and compare it with the costs of having a new one.

Your heater has been with you for many years

Just like everything else in this world, something that has been worn and torn for many years must either be replaced or disposed. This will save you much time and will spare you from a lot of hassle especially when you need to have it repaired for a couple of times. Most of all, replacing your old heater with a new one will provide you with much convenience knowing that you will not have to suffer from headaches from complaining that it is no longer functioning the way it was back then.

Your heater has temperature problems

Another sign that you need to have a new water heater is when it is having issues with temperature. If you have an old water heater and you notice that it is giving out water that is too hot or not hot enough for you to use, might as well consider the thought of purchasing a new one. Generally, the temperature of hot water for household use should be between 120 to 140 degrees. But, if the water is no longer that hot then it is possible that you are having a broken heating element.

Your heater keeps on whining

This is perhaps one of the worst signs that you need a new water heater. If your water heater is giving out irritating noise as it creaks, whines, screeches and bangs when being used then you should think about looking for a replacement. Otherwise, you might as well put some ear pads so you would find it comfortable staying inside your house while using your water heater.