Thursday, April 14, 2016

How to Cool Down Your Air Conditioning Expenses

Do you enjoy the comfort your air conditioning unit delivers during hot and humid weather? Would you want to have a comfortable living environment where the temperature is just right? Are you afraid that every time you turn on your air conditioning unit it is drying up your bank account? These are common sentiments shared by many homeowners and with good reason. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as much as 43% of the monthly bill is attributed to the use of heating and cooling systems. So here are some suggestions on how you can cool down not only yourself, but your air conditioning expenses as well.


1. Energy Efficiency

During the past couple of years, manufacturers of air conditioning units have flooded the market with energy efficient models that provide powerful cooling action at the fraction of the cost it took to operate older models. Investing in these types of units may seem more expensive at first, but the longer you use them, the more savings you get.

These energy efficient air conditioning units can effectively cool air within a specific square foot area. You need to decide if you would want a window-type unit or a split-type one. If you have an older model, usually you would prefer the same type of unit to replace it so that you would not have to do any modifications during the installation.

Energy efficient units run on cycles to conserve energy. This is done via the onboard sensors that accurately read the air temperature in the room and once it has been reached, the unit will cycle down. You may also run your air conditioning unit during the hottest part of the day only and turn it off when the temperature cools down to your comfortable level.


2. Know Your Size

Did you know that if you have the wrong size of energy efficient air conditioning unit installed you would still be wasting energy? This is why it is important to know the rule of thumb when buying your unit. In reality, there are many factors to consider, but the basic rule of thumb to estimate the cooling capacity of the specific unit you need can be done with a few calculations.

Get the volume of the room.
Volume = Width x Length x Height of the room in feet, this gives you a value in cubic feet.

Multiply the volume by 6 (C1 = Volume x 6).

Estimate how many people (N) would be using the room at any given time. Every warm body gives off about 500 BTU per hour of heat for a regular activity.
C2 = N x 500

To get the estimated cooling capacity you need for your air conditioning unit, add C1 and C2. This should give you a very close figure on the power of the unit you need to install in your home.

Keep in mind that if smaller units used to cool bigger rooms will cost you more money because of the extra work the air conditioning unit has to do.


3.Plant Around Your Home

You do know that the outside temperature can affect how your air conditioning unit functions, right? This is why you need to mitigate the outside of your home as much as you can. Most of the heat that gets into your home is the direct result of the sun hitting your roof or going through your windows.

Plant as many leafy trees as you can to protect the exterior of your home and deflect as much of the sun’s rays from hitting the inside of your home. Even if you buy 15 to 20 foot trees and plant them around your home, you will still come out with more savings. Did you also know that shading your air conditioning unit with trees or shrubs can boost its efficiency by as much as 10% and generate more savings for you?

If you follow these very simple suggestions from, you can continue to enjoy the comfort of your air conditioning unit without having to worry about how much the price of your comfort would be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What Causes Water Pumps to Breakdown

If a water pump is the only thing keeping your home from flooding, what would you do if it suddenly breaks down? What if you lived in an area where rainfall usually resulted in flooded homes? There is no need to emphasize how damaging flood waters can be to your property. Everyone knows that aside from the cost of the water damage, there is also the expenses tied to the repairs and rehabilitation. This is why it is so important to make sure that your water pump is always functioning properly. So how do you do this? Know the common reasons why it breaks down so you can avoid it.


Power Down
Like most electric-powered devices, water pumps are protected by fuses to keep the circuit from frying or shorting out. Did you know that most of the time because of power failure the fuse gets blown or the circuit breaker will trip? Because of this the water pump will fail to work without you noticing it. The only remedy is to reset the breaker or replace the fuse, whichever the case may be.

Are you like most homeowners who rely on generator power during outages? If so, are you sure that your generator can supply enough power to your water pumps and other parts of your home? When using generator power many miss out on the possibility that not enough juice may be going to the water pump, which is why it is not working. Do not immediately think that the unit is broken. The thing is, you can only test the unit properly when the power gets back on; unless you call a professional plumber of course.


Material Quality
Keep in mind that although water pumps are not designed to last forever, they also do not breakdown easily. That is unless the quality of the materials used in the production process are weak or substandard. Now, how can you avoid this type of scenario? The best way is to make sure that you buy water pumps from manufacturers with a track record for making high quality products.

Be very wary of water pumps made from plastic materials. Not that they are of low quality, but, the installation process is a bit more sensitive. You have to make sure that a trained technician handles the installation to avoid the problem of failure. When placed incorrectly, the unit becomes vulnerable to clogging of dirt and debris, which affects its performance and eventually hastens its failure.


High Water Volume
This reason emphasizes the importance of choosing the right sized water pump. If you live in an area where heavy water volume is experienced, you need to install a water pump that can handle more than the volume of water that can potentially enter your property. This will prevent the unit from being overwhelmed by the amount of water it has to deal with.

For areas with such heavy water volume, it is suggested that water pumps made from stainless steel or cast-iron be used. They are known to be more reliable and efficient when dealing with huge volume of water. It is also a good practice to have a backup pump installed just in case your primary gives out.

To deal with enormous amounts of water, you have to make sure that your water pump has enough horsepower to protect your property from flooding; otherwise, the water will just be going around in circles until the pump gets overwhelmed.


Cost of Repairs
On the average, the cost of repairing water pumps is about $740. This would depend on the type of water pump that you have as well as what part of it has broken down. Lower cost estimates is around $100, but can reach as high as $1,800 if you have high quality water pumps that need part replacements.

Considering the cost of repairs, it would be to your advantage to buy good quality pumps on the onset and avoid not only paying for the repair or replacement, but, also frequent breakdowns.

Understanding the causes of the breakdown of water pumps will help save your property from water damage and keep you from paying for costly repairs.

Call for a throughly and professional plumbing service to your home.

Friday, April 8, 2016

How to Build Energy Efficient Home

There was a time when technology that can deliver efficient energy usage were viewed as expensive alternatives.  However, with electricity rates pegged at about $0.19 per kWh on the average and price of gasoline in the neighborhood of $39.44 to $45 per barrel, there is a real need for every home to become more energy efficient.  So how can you build an energy efficient home?


The first real step that every homeowner should take is to carefully plan the construction of the energy efficient home.  This means taking into account the amenities you want and need based on the available budget that you are willing to spend.  Investing in energy efficient measures can eat up as much as 10% of your overall budget for the building of your home, which is why you need to plan everything carefully.

Factors like the climate in your locality should be taken into account during the planning process.  The material to be used is also something to be very conscious about.  In general, concrete is considered by professional builders as an energy efficient material, but can be rather costly.  Brick, which is a low maintenance material is a good alternative as it can offer some benefits when it comes to saving energy; provided that it is installed properly.

The thing to keep in mind is that the exterior material must provide ample insulation for the inside of your home.

Heating and Cooling

When deciding on the type of heating and cooling system to install, one of the primary considerations that should weigh heavily on your decision is the size of the system including its installation.  You would need to get a professional analysis based on the size of your home and its location.  This will help to reduce the amount of energy used as well as the cost of maintenance you have to set aside.

Together with the installation of the heating and cooling system is the electrical design or plan of your home.  It is necessary to have the right amount of outlets properly placed all over your home.  This will ensure that the right voltage runs through your home so you are saved from overloaded circuits and other similar problems.  This translates to preserving the efficiency and service life of your heating and cooling system.


You are aware that there are different types of insulation materials in the market, right?  Foam-based insulation products are consistently gaining a significant share of the market because of its ability to create airtight buildings resulting in its popularity.

Such an insulation would generate energy efficient homes in locations where the climate have extreme cold and moderately hot.  This type of insulation however is not suitable where the climate can become extremely hot because the airtight condition can lead to unnecessary moisture that results in mold growth.

Batted fiberglass solution and blown-in insulation in attics can be used for extremely hot locations.  The insulation can be covered with sheetrock to give the walls room to breathe and avoid moisture buildup.  Giving the walls ample air flow will help prevent mold growth while ensuring ample insulation is present.

Radiant Barriers

Ever heard of this?  Radiant barriers are materials with foil-like surfaces on one side and plywood-like material on the other side.  This helps prevent the heat generated by the sun to be absorbed directly by your home through its roof.

The use of radiant barriers can help you block up to 50% of the ultraviolet rays coming from the sun.  This results in temperature reduction of about 30%.  Although a bit pricey at $30 to $50 per sheet, the investment you put into this can give your energy savings over a long period.

If you follow these suggestions, you can be sure that your home has a better energy efficiency than most being built in your neighborhood.  To push your energy efficiency and savings further, invest in more efficient appliances and fixtures as well. Contact for more information.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Can Air Admittance Valves Help Your Drainage System

Designed as a small mechanical device, the Air Admittance Valve fits on the top of the soil pipe. This is done to allow air to go into the drainage system. Why is this important? It is necessary for all ground drainage systems to be vented. This is to ensure that pressure in the system does not buildup. It is also a good way to enable U-bends to work properly.

How it Works

The Air Admittance Valves are considered as one-way air valves that have to be placed under the drain to provide the needed air for wastewater to flow and seal the sewer gases from coming into your home. Imagine flushing a toilet, the water will create pressure within the soil pipe.

When the pipe is vented to the top, the air will be drawn into the system in order to balance the pressure. What will happen if the pipe is not vented? There will be no air to be drawn into the pipe and the created pressure will result in a siphoning effect. This results in the water being drawn out to nearby plumbing openings like the sink, basin, bath trap, or allow odors from the drain to seep into the home.

You will find the vent at the top of the pipe and protected with a vent terminal to prevent birds from going into it. It is important to understand that Air Admittance Valves are covered by regulations to ensure that pipes are not terminated near open windows. So the pipe must be high enough to ensure that it goes way above the eaves.

Air Admittance Valves are also known as Durgo Valves is designed to open up based on the amount of pressure that builds up to draw the necessary amount of air into the system to attain balance. When the valve is open air only comes into the system but does not escape. This helps to keep odors within the drainage system.

New Generation Valves

In general the fittings are designed to go into loft spaces and inside the cupboards or ducts. This means that a spill over level is needed to keep the drainage system working properly. The internal mechanisms must be kept clean and protected from frost and dust by using polystyrene covers that come with the valve.

The newer generation valves however come with designs that allows them to be externally fitted. The valves can even be terminated at a lower level compared to its older counterparts. This means that the installation of the valves become easier and safer, without affecting its designed function.

Cost and Benefits

There is no denying that working on roof tops can be dangerous for workers. However, sometimes, such work is necessary for the proper installation of the home plumbing system with through-roof vent pipes. There are a couple of benefits that come with such an installation like:

- Minimizes possible roof leaks;
- Increases property durability;
- Better indoor air quality;
- More energy efficient home space;
- Achieve more comfortable living environment;
- Eliminate air leakage and heat loss;
- Reduce conventional waste plumbing system piping; and
- Limit environmental damage from the disposal of plastic piping and solvent-based glues.

Using an Air Admittance Valve system for a new or existing home can also significantly reduce the cost of labor and materials for the plumbing improvement. This is when you compare it with the use of conventional through-roof venting systems. The overall costs of the installation would be in the neighborhood of about $150. Each vent will cost you about $30 to $50 on the average.

Without a doubt, air admittance valves can do wonders for your home drainage system. With the valves being used as a common alternative for high-level vent pipes, your home plumbing can benefit from the professional installation of Air Admittance Valves.

If you need help with installing Air Admittance Valves, visit to help solve this.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How to Shop for the Best Water Heater

You are aware that shopping for a water heater normally boils down to choosing between a tankless model and a conventional one, right? However, choosing the best water heater for your needs is not so simple and straightforward. There are certain considerations that must be engaged to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth while minimizing your monthly consumption and bills. Here are some suggestions.

Peak Capacity


When shopping for a water heater, one of the most basic considerations that shoppers look for is the capacity of the desired model. Now, when it comes to capacity, you have to consider the amount of hot water you would need not only for your showers, but also for your laundry, dishwashing, and other activities where hot water may be needed.

How many gallons do you really need? To answer this question, you have to look at the consumption of your household during peak hours. When is your peak hours? This is the time of day when hot water is used simultaneously by almost every occupant of your home. So this can differ substantially.

After identifying the peak hours, list down what activities are being done during that time. For example, if 2 showers are being used, then you are consuming about 40 gallons of water. Add to this about 2 gallons for shaving, and another 5 gallons for cooking or food preparation. That would bring you a total consumption of 47 gallons. If you do your laundry at the same time, which is another 32 gallons for a full load, which brings your total to 99 gallons consumed.

Now, with this in mind, if your usage falls under the first condition, you can do well with water heaters that have a capacity of up to 55 gallons. If however, you are leaning towards the second condition, you will need water heaters with a capacity of over 55 gallons.

Energy Source


Considering that water heaters are considered one of the biggest users of energy in any home, it is important to find one that is effective, efficient, and an energy saver. To achieve these goals, you would also need to look at the energy source of your chosen water heater.

What are the most common energy sources? Majority of water heaters in the market are running under electricity, gas, or solar power. You can choose any of these to be installed in your home, but, make sure that there are no compatibility problems that you will encounter.

How can you ensure you are choosing the right one? The best way to know that you are choosing the best energy source for you is to ask a professional plumber. There is no question that solar-powered water heaters are your best choice, but, is your home ready for it? If it is not, then you are looking at additional expenses for its installation and maintenance.

A competent and highly trained plumbing professional can do an assessment of your home plumbing system to determine, which energy source is best for the water heater to be installed in your home. Although this may include additional cost for the service, you will be better off in the long term.



Last tips from Another thing that must be considered when shopping for the best water heater for your home is the manner of installation. Make sure that you look at the warranty coverage before deciding to install the unit yourself. Why?

Sometimes, manufacturers require professional plumbers to do the installation because of special instructions included. This means that if you fail to follow these instructions, you may be looking at a voided warranty.

Considering that most of the newer water heater models have an efficient operating life of up to 12 years, it would be a terrible waste of your money to have the warranty voided just because you chose to save a few hundred dollars on the installation cost of the water heater.

These are simple tips that are very easy to follow. The amazing thing about this is that despite its simplicity, it can save you hundreds of dollars per year on the operation of your water heater.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Preparing Your Home Plumbing to Survive Holiday Time

The holiday season is when friends and family from almost anywhere suddenly flock into your home and stay for a while. But what happens when your plumbing suddenly throws a fit? This can turn even the most delicious turkey dinner into a harrowing experience. You should realize that the holiday season is also the time when plumbing emergencies are most likely to erupt because of the stress your home plumbing system, fixtures, and appliances take. How can you help your home plumbing survive the holidays? Here are some ways.

Be Prepared

One of the best ways to protect your home plumbing during the holidays is to make sure that it is in tiptop shape. Before the onset of the holiday season, contact a professional plumbing service to have your home inspected. This will ensure that your home plumbing is holiday-ready regardless whether your guests will stay for dinner, the night, or even a bit longer.

Keep Oil Out of the Drains

Because of all the cooking that has to be done, grease, cooking oil, and fats are inadvertently poured down the drains. When this happens, the material will harden within the pipes causing clogging at the very least or a busted pipe at worst. Hair, food particles, and other debris also have no business being thrown down the pipes so dispose of them properly.

Instead of pouring down grease, cooking oil, and fats, make sure that you wipe off any grease from pans or plates before washing. Use paper towels and throw them into the trash bin after. This will help prevent clogging in your drains.

Protect the Garbage Disposal

The amount of waste and food particles from the holiday season celebration makes the garbage disposal unit one of the most overused appliance in your home. If it breaks down, you are looking at a potential disaster in the making. So how do you protect your garbage disposal during the holiday season?

Begin with stringy, starchy, and fibrous foods. Keep them out of the garbage disposal because they cannot be sufficiently broken down. This means that onion peels, potato, and celery are best disposed of in the trash bin. The same goes for turkey bones, skin, and other poultry leftovers. All of these belong in the trash or your compost pile.

Because of the huge amounts of leftover food, garbage, and other waste material you have to deal with during the holiday season, do not wait for the garbage disposal to be full before turning it on. The best way to use it is to run it before you gradually feed in the waste. This will prevent it from overloading as well as allow it to function efficiently.

Make sure that there is plenty of water in the garbage disposal when it runs. Because of the volume of waste that it has to deal with, it would be better if you let the water run a bit longer after the unit stops grinding before turning it off.

Avoid Toilet Woes

Another part of your home plumbing system that will see much action during the holiday season is the toilet. Keeping things like facial scrub, sanitary pads, diapers, cotton swabs, hair, and other similar materials out of the toilet bowl is the first step in sidestepping potential holiday plumbing emergencies. Throw all those things directly into the trash bin.

Make sure that you inform all your visitors that they should hold down the flush handle a bit longer to allow more water to carry away the waste matter. This also gives the toilet the benefit of siphoning longer.

If all of the water seems to be sucked out when you flush, put in about two quarts of hot water in the bowl and let it sit for half an hour. This will loosen the waste that may be clogged and will make flushing better. If this still does not work, use a mild dish detergent and let it sit for 15 minutes before pouring in scalding water and flushing. A mixture of one part baking soda with one part vinegar in the toilet bowl can also do the trick.

Clean Shower Drains

One of the easiest ways to keep the shower drains clean, especially during the holiday season, is to put hair traps. This helps prevent hair from our heads and bodies from entering the drain and clogging it. This will also ensure that the drains flow smoothly.

To preserve the smooth flow of the shower drains, make sure that there is at least 10 minutes interval between showers. This is enough time for the hair, waste, and oil to flush through the plumbing system and find its way into the septic tank.

Helping your home plumbing system survive the holiday season is as easy as pie as long as you know how.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How to Solve Common Plumbing Problems by Yourself

Did you know that there are a number of home plumbing problems that you can solve yourself, or do first aid repair at the very least? Many of these are commonly experienced by many homes. Knowing how to deal with these common plumbing problems can spell the difference between an inexpensive replacement and a costly repair. Follow these DIY tips and learn how to save the day.

Regardless whether it is your toilets or your drains, both can be very annoying and may lead to costly repairs. When the water just won’t go down as smoothly as it should, it is a sign of a potential problem on the works.

For drains, normally it is food particles, hair, soap scum, or fatty oil that is the culprit. With toilets, usually it is sanitary products, cotton swabs, tissue, or toys that causes the clogging. In both instances, it is clear that the cause of clogging is putting things down the drain or toilet that are not supposed to be there in the first place.

Now that you have an idea of the possible causes, you may need to call on your trusty snake and plunger to remove the clogging. This is something important to point out, the plunger for the sink is different from the plunger used for toilets. This is vital if you want to use the plunger correctly and more effectively. With the snake, there shouldn’t be that much difference.

Start by using the snake to try and free up or loosen whatever is causing the clogging. Some would suggest using a wire hanger, but you run the risk of damaging the porcelain lining of the bowl, plus the plumbing snake has a longer reach just in case you need to go farther.

After a bit of snaking action, it is time to put the plunger to work. When using the sink plunger to unclog drains, make sure the cup is submerged in at least an inch high of water to give it more pumping action. It is important to ensure that a vacuum is created between the mouth of the drain and that of the plunger cup. Use about 10 vigorous plunges and try to see if this does the job. Repeat about 2 to 3 times if necessary.

If that does not work, try the hot water and dishwashing liquid method. Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid into the bowl and follow it up with a pot of hot water poured waist-high. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and try to flush. For drains, flush with cold running water if possible.

Another common DIY unclogging technique is the vinegar and baking soda concoction. Mix in a bowl 1 cup of baking soda with a cup of white vinegar. Pour it down the drain or toilet bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Flush it out by pouring in a kettle of hot water.

If these do not do the trick and your drains or toilets are still sluggish, then it is time to call for professional help to make sure that the cause of the problem does not worsen.

Burst Pipes
This is one of the most common and costly plumbing problems that any home can have. The amount of damage can reach thousands with anywhere from 400 to 47,000 liters of water being wasted. There are two common reasons why pipes burst; first is that it has become frozen or, second, the pipe is unprotected.

What to do in case of a burst pipe? The initial step is to always turn off the main water valve. This shutoff valve is usually outside and farthest from your home. You do this to make sure that water damage is arrested. This should allow the remaining water in the pipes to drain out. Mop up the excess water to prevent further damage to your things and property.

A band aid solution is to place a piece of rubber over the damaged portion of the pipe and use a C-clamp to hold it in place. Put a piece of wood over the rubber to make it easier to tighten and secure the C-clamp. This temporary fix allows you to turn the water supply back on in case you need it. However, the best way to solve this plumbing problem is to have the damaged pipe replaced, and for this you would need to call for professional help at

In your home plumbing system, leaks can come from pipes or the fixtures. For pipes, make sure that it is a leak and not just moisture forming outside the pipe. Try to wipe the pipe and check for cracks, this should be easy enough to do.

Patch kits are the easiest way to handle pipe leaks. However, check the condition of the pipe to make sure that pipe replacement is not in order. These patches are available in home centers and can be applied simply by following the instructions on the packaging. Waterproofing tape and epoxy putty are also great solutions if the leak is caused by a small hole or crack on the pipe.

As far as leaking fixtures are concerned, the first thing to do is to test them. For example, check that the faucet is completely turned off before assuming that it is leaking. Normally, if the leak is coming from the handle, the problem could be with the stem or ball valve of the faucet. If the leak is from the spout, the problem may be caused by a busted ring, sealant, or even the aerator.

The great thing about DIY solutions for leaks from plumbing fixtures is that they are relatively easy to do with replacement parts generally inexpensive. If your faucet is a bit old already, maybe you should consider replacing it with more efficient low-flow models.

Where’s the Hot Water?
When it comes to lack of hot water, the common cause of the problem is the thermocouple. Before considering any type of repair, verify that the thermocouple is working properly. Relight the pilot and hold the button for 60 seconds. If the flame goes out after releasing the button, then the thermocouple is bad. Buy a replacement that costs around $20 from the hardware store.

Don’t know what the thermocouple is or where it is located? May be it would be safer to call a professional plumber instead.

Familiarize yourself with these common DIY plumbing solutions and you will be able to save more than just money.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Important Plumbing Tips for Every New Homeowner


The joy of having your own home can be unparalleled, right? Well, that is until you run into some plumbing problems like frozen pipes, flooded basement, or some form of plumbing emergency. This should not discourage you from enjoying the perks of not having a landlord. Take a look at these tips to have a better grip of potential plumbing problems.

How to Save on Renovations?
At some point, homeowners begin to entertain the idea of renovating their bathroom. On the average, bathroom renovations cost around $15,000. This is a huge sum, but, did you know that you can save a large chunk of this expense by leaving your plumbing intact? This allows you to use the saved budget for other potential splurges you have in mind.

How to Recover Jewelries from Drains?
Did you know that most drains are installed with a P-trap? This is located under the sink and quite possibly holds your jewelry that has accidentally found its way into the drain. The first thing to do is to stop pouring water into the drain. Place a bucket under the pipe and use a wrench to disconnect the nuts at both ends of the J-bend. Steadily remove the pipe and shake out your jewelry. Remember to firmly attach the J-bend afterwards. This is far cheaper than buying; let’s say a new engagement ring that can cost you about $4,000 on the average.

How to Deal with Clogged Toilets?
Based on, as far as this one goes, the first step is to make sure that the water supply to the toilet is completely shut off. If the toilet is already overflowing, allow the water to recede by just leaving it for about 10 minutes or so.

Use a plunger and alternate between hard and gentle plunges to dislodge any clogged material. If this does not do the trick, get a plumbing snake free up the clogging. When this does not work as well, it is time to call in professional help.

Keep in mind that clogged toilets can be very annoying, especially if you have houseguests around. To make sure that your houseguests are not treated to such unpleasant conditions, make it a habit to check for leaky faucets, weak flushing toilets, and slow drains. To avoid clogged toilets, always have a wastebasket in the bathroom for cotton swabs, sanitary products, and other materials that do not belong in the toilet.

How to Cope with the Weather?
Snow, ice, and heavy rains can cause problems for your new home if the plumbing system is not dependable. When the buildup ice begins to melt, the water can damage the floors and walls of your home. To avoid this scenario, make sure that gutters as well as downspouts are kept free from ice.

Heavy rains will definitely test the efficiency of your plumbing system to move water to the proper drains. To ensure that the water does not accumulate where it should not be, preventive maintenance and checkup of drains, downspouts, and other gutters should be done at least twice a year. If necessary, get a professional to do this.

What Causes Water in Basements?
There can be a number of reasons like seepage, condensation, or most probably, a faulty sump pump. This condition however ensures that water flows towards your home instead of away from it. This is the best time to call a plumber to identify and fix the problem.

How to Protect Toilets from Kids?
Some of the things that kids do are difficult to understand at times; like flushing things down the toilet. If you can grab by hand whatever is flushed, like a stuffed animal for example, do so; otherwise, use a drain snake to get it out. Incidentally, adults are often guilty of this practice as well by flushing down things like diapers or baby wipes. These things are not flushable because they do not breakdown. What is worse is that it can lead to toilet backups. If you cannot remove whatever is causing the backup, call a professional plumber immediately.

What to do to maintain Plumbing Efficiency?
Maintaining the efficiency of your new home should not be that difficult if you follow a sensible calendar of work. Here are things you should do every year:
• Make sure crawl space is water-free
• Touch up exterior paint
• Check caulk of windows and bathtubs
• Test sump pump
• Remove sediment from showerheads
• Check toilet floor seals and seal tile grout
• Check pavement for cracks
• Insulate water pipes
• Check leaking faucets and toilets
• Flush water heater

Every month, make sure that you take care of the following:
• Clean gutters
• Clean dishwasher bin and kitchen sink disposal
• Flush toilets and run water in unused spaces
• Change HVAC filters

Take note and follow all of these and you should be headache-free in your new home as far as your plumbing is concerned.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sewer Pipes Video Camera Inspection


We’d detected a decayed smell but presumed our cats were using spaces that were concealed under the home instead the litter box in the garage. Now we worry that is not true. We were wondering in case you’d understand the cost range for this unusual form of work? A non-authorized person has offered to do the occupation, and we want to determine whether to go that path. We are expecting for some practical guidance on the best way to prevent overpaying.

At the very least, it’s time to change out your drain lines. The only thing you do not mention is the sewer lateral - the underground part of the drain system. Replacing of the lateral is a possibility as well as a can be a big-ticket item. We’d also wager that quite thin walls have been made by corrosion on the underparts of the primary drain line. You need to bring up your waste line to code. Your cast iron-and-bell-joint system. Your drains are made by that not modern, preceded by lead pipes.

A steel band much like the radiator clamp of an automobile sealed the joint. This system continues to be in use in certain authorities, particularly in commercial buildings. But now PVC or ABS plastic drain, waste and vent lines are the standards in many places. The plumber you employ should understand the code for Burlingame. Make sure she or the plumber gets the proper licenses before beginning the work. Subsequently see that all reviews are done as well as the work is given the stamp of acceptance of the city.


We can not recommend particular contractors. But let’s stress how important it’s to prevent uninsured or unlicensed workers for this particular job. You would like somebody to do who’ll stand behind their work and the job right. Get references and bids from three insured and licensed plumbers and compare benchmarks and those costs. The bill should not break the bank in the event you only have to replace the lines under the house. But in case you have a need for a brand new sewer lateral, that is a distinct creature - which we’ll address in a future column.

A slab house gets its name from the manner it is constructed: Concrete is poured over the earth within the base walls to provide solid flooring that is interior. Slab-kind houses have no crawlspace or basement before the concrete slab is poured over them, so drainpipes are put in the earth. Segments of concrete have to be removed to reach them when the drainpipes need replacing. A sewer that becomes stopped up by gravel, sand or debris suggests a hole someplace in the drainpipe under a slab flooring. A hole enables soil enclosing the conduit cause a sewer blockage and to infiltrate the conduit. A flow discovery service business can be hired by you to nail where the pipe is broken below the slab.

Use a concrete cutting saw or an electric jackhammer, each of which may be leased from tool leasing businesses, to open the concrete and get to the broken conduit. Remove only soil and enough concrete to get to the segment of conduit you should replace. Make use of a cast iron snapping tool to cut a damaged portion of cast iron out if yours is an older house. In case the conduit is plastic, including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), make use of a hacksaw to eliminate the damaged part.

Replace the part that was removed with ABS or PVC replacement pipe, contingent on the kind you removed. In the event you removed cast iron, it’s a lot easier to replace the removed iron segment with PVC or ABS; join the brand new plastic pipe to the existing conduit. After replacing the conduit segment, repack the soil firmly around the conduit to support it. Subsequently replace the concrete.

Drainpipes on rain gutters are generally called downspouts. All these really are the conduits that send channel water off the roof flowing out onto the earth and link to the gutter that it. There are just two main substances which are used for drainpipes: PVC and aluminum. One is a metal and although one is a plastic, both of them are fixed in almost the same manner as well as the same tools are used for either one.
Replace aluminum drainpipes if they can be squashed. Downspout drainpipes come in sections which could be removed and replaced. Drill aluminum downspouts at the rivet hole outside. Twist right through the aluminum to join the bits together.

Replace a PVC drainpipe if it’s been shattered. Check to find out in case your PVC downspout is linked with pressure fittings. Pull the bits apart. Add new bits by shoving them together closely. Cut the PVC over the joint on both sides. Dry-fit a brand new bit onto the downspout that is old and sand the ends with 220-grit sandpaper to eliminate any burrs. Prime the ends with PVC primer, utilizing the brush which is included with it. Shove the PVC finishes for a watertight and tight seal.

Fill in fractures which are less or 1/4 inch thick with paintable exterior caulk. Use a tiny bead over the fracture along its whole span. Enable it to dry. For drainpipes that are white, make use of a white caulk that can blend in mechanically; for other colors, use either a colour-matched a paintable caulk or caulk you can touch up with paint to conceal the fracture. Cease leaking part with rubber spray sealant or silicone caulk. Instead, cover using a spray-on rubber sealant.

How to Fix & Cleaning Clogged Pipes

The flow of water can slow down or cease completely when the ports in your pipes drain system are clogged. The atmosphere is admitted by the ports to replace the vacuum of running water, and the result is substantially the same as covering the end of a complete drinking straw by means of your finger when they can be totally obstructed. The water remains where it’s. That gurgling sound should alarm you to air out issues. Watch for emptying toilets or sink drains. Slow emptying is among the very first signals of port blockages, but it is also due to obstructions in the drain, and that means you should keep inquiring to narrow the difficulty to a port dilemma.

Listen for gurgling sounds. For instance, your toilet sink drain could be joined to the bathtub, and you can hear gurgling from the sink when you empty the bath. If sewer odors are coming from the drain, it means the vacuum due to the port blockage is not weak enough to empty the P-trap. Remove the P-trap from the fixture if it is reachable where you hear the gurgling. Place a bucket under it before removing the trap to get water. If the flow enhances from any nearby fixtures which have been emptying slowly than normal, the ports are likely obstructed. The water will back up if the primary port is blocked. That is an indication you have to clear the port conduit using a pipes auger.


A clogged drain could be frustrating supposing it’s a partial clog but at a snail’s pace. Food hair or gunk can fall into the drain inadvertently, inhibiting the down flow of plain water and accumulating over time. Before spending money on a plumber or a costly drain cleaner, try flushing the clog yourself. With hot water and a few household things, you will get your sink back to its old self in about 30 minutes. Pour of baking soda down the drain. Seal the drain using a stopper. Permit the mixture to sit down in the drain for half an hour. In case, your sink has plastic piping rather than metal below the drain, use hot tap water and skim the boiling water. Remove. Agitate the clog further with a plunger. Produce the region across the drain as well as a seal between the plunger, and go the handle up and down several times. Place . Pour or turn on the hot water faucet, and allow the water run for a few minutes. Repeat the whole procedure in the event the clog stays.

Pipes has been squandered by a port stack goes up from the roofing of every building that. Because of this, you will find drainage that is slow and also you may hear gurgling sounds. In case the condition continues, you will begin seeing more regular blockages in the pipes because the water that is running permits sediment to settle more readily. You probably have a vent issue when you can not clear flowing drain with an auger, a plunger or drain cleaner. When the ports become completely obstructed, which can occur when little creatures or debris fall into the port conduit, the vacuum can become powerful enough to suck water out of P-traps. It is an issue that needs prompt consideration. Besides being odorous, empty P-traps are not hygienic and may cause disorder for your own family as well as you.


Vinegar is a natural, cost-effective option to unpleasant cleansers that are commercial. Apple cider vinegar provides the same advantages as a more agreeable odor as well as basic white vinegar. Both have a similar acidity degree and could be utilized to clean and disinfect on everything from floors to drains, around the home. Apple cider vinegar is a non-hazardous, biodegradable cleaning choice. Cleaning with apple cider vinegar is not dangerous; it effectively removes soil, mineral deposits, and bacteria from surfaces. A solution of water and equal parts apple cider vinegar makes an all-purpose cleanser appropriate for just about any surface in the kitchen. Use it to clean and deodorize the interior of microwave and the fridge. Add a cup of full strength apple cider vinegar to the base of your dishwasher before running deodorize and to clean the machine and assist in preventing mineral build-up in your glassware.

Clean toilet counters, cupboards, sinks and many surfaces using a mixture of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. Keep toilet drains clean and fresh by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain. Let it sit for 10 minutes flush with boiling water. Use apple cider vinegar at full strength on baths and showers to eliminate soap scum. The acidity of apple cider vinegar helps cut another build-up and mineral deposits without making a deposit that has to be washed off or creating chemical fumes. Use apple cider vinegar concoction and the 50/50 water to give windows a streak-free cleaning. The exact same mixture might be utilized on painted surfaces like walls and cabinetry to wash, remove spots and eliminate odors.


What You Need to Know about Leak Detection

The water level in a pool will fluctuate together with the weather, but in the event you need to add more or 2 inches of water to your pool each week, you almost certainly have a flow. Prevent problems by finding and fixing the flow immediately. Walk around the outside of the gear pad as well as the pool. Search for wet places or soggy earth. Scrutinize the fiberglass, looking for damaged regions that may be leaking or little fractures. Put it on the next measure of the pool or the first. Add or remove water from within the pail to equalize the water levels on the outside as well as the interior the pail. Switch off other gear and the pool pump. The flow is most likely in the pool gear in the event the amounts are the same. The flow is in the pool in case the water level in the pail is higher in relation to the level in the pool.

Switch the pump off and permit time for the water to eventually become. Drop modest pieces of the colored pH evaluation reagent from your pool evaluation kit or dyed water into the pool, beginning close to pool intakes, the skimmer and return lines as well as the light. The dye ought to be drawn to the place of the flow. Continue across the pool, looking for areas where the dye is drawn in a single way in case the dye spreads in no specific way. Drop more dye in the place to narrow the potential place of the flow. Sand the area across the flow. Cut out round the leaking place using a diamond blade, enlarging the crack.

Put on the connection coating from the repair kit, letting it time to dry until it is tacky. Combine extensively with the catalyst. Use it to the cutout region using a putty knife. Sand the putty and encompassing region smooth. Apply a layer of gel coating. Place the fiberglass fabric on the gel coating and apply another tier of gel coating, saturating the fiberglass material. Smooth the place using a roller, removing air bubbles. Enable the region to dry fully and remove the masking tape. Sand the surface and put on the finish coat. Refill the pool following the finish coat is totally dry.

The typical in-ground residential pool in America holds about 20,000 gallons of water. Given that volume, leakage from a pool could be subtle and difficult to find. Following it to its source may be all the tougher. Flows in the pool’s concrete shell frequently require high tech flow discovery methods including submerged listening devices and/or dye testing. Luckily, most pool flows happen in the pipes and pump/filter circuit outside the pool and above ground. Replying some easy troubleshooting questions can identify these common and simply fixed sources of leakage.

A surprising fall in the pool water level might not always be caused by a flow. Evaporation rates from a pool can fluctuate with changes in relative humidity, air temperature, and wind speed. Evaporation can be ruled out by a straightforward evaluation as a wellspring of water reduction in your pool. Fill a pail with water and indicate the amount of water in the pail as well as the water level in the pool. Put the pail beside the pool and compare both water levels.

Leakage, when the pump is circulating that’s greater, may be an indication of a flow in the return plumbing downstream from the pump, called the system’s pressure side. Leaks that range from small seepage to high-pressure aerosols may grow in the downstream plumbing fittings when the pump is operating following the pump is pressurized. Internal flows could also happen in a faulty filter interface valve, causing the decline of clean water into the sewer down the waste or backwash line.

Water leakage may happen through these openings when the pump cycles away, nevertheless. This will suggest a flow in the shell of the pool. Yet, it need not always be a fracture or another defect that is structural. If water decline then subsides and continues just to a specific degree, assess the water-tightness of any fixtures installed at that level including submerged lights. Another common source of water reduction could be guessed in the event the water level falls below the degree of the skimmers stabilizes. The joint between the concrete pool as well as the plastic skimmer cartons permits and quite often divides leakage.

Your utility bills can’t just improve but squander a precious natural resource. Threaded fittings are utilized in the plumbing business to join fixtures and pipes. A standard error is using plumber’s putty rather than thread tape or joint compound. Professional plumbers like murrieta plumbers apply thread tape or pipe joint compound to the fittings linking them to seal the joints and prevent escapes. Switch off the water that provides the connection that is leaking. This measure is critical to let you unscrew the fittings at the joints of the conduit. Disconnect the leaking joint, using pliers or adjustable wrenches. Hold one side of the fitting hard while turning the other side to loosen and separate both bits.


Clean both the male and the screw threads of female fitting, using a wire brush to eliminate old conduit compound, corrosion, and debris. A regular wire brush is best for cleaning the male fitting; yet, you want the female side to wash. If using thread tape with several layers of the stuff, roll the male screw threads rather than joint compound.

Put in the pipes to be reconnected by a coupling in the way that is right. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) conduits need that you use a generous quantity of PVC adhesive to the conduits, clean the conduit ends with PVC cleaner and link them with a coupling. Copper pipes need cleaning the conduit ends with sandpaper, applying conduit flux, joining both conduits using soldering and a copper coupling them together. Turn on the water providing the joint to examine for leaks.

Tightening one lined fitting into another makes many joints. Water finds its way through fittings that are damaged, and may even slip through an apparently tight joint. A couple of measures help prevent those flows from happening. One is plumber’s tape, frequently called Teflon tape, as well as the other, pipes joint compound. The joint compound has a brush applicator and comes in a jar. Wind plumber’s tape across the threaded end of a conduit. Wind the tape so the wrappings follow the exact same direction as the tightening action you are going to perform afterward. Four wrappings or three is adequate, after which you’ll be able to stretch, then break the tape off. For additional security against flaws, dab on a thin, consistent layer of pipes joint compound over the tape.


Hand tightening is nearly enough to seal the joint adequately to prevent escapes. Cross-weaving is a problem hand tightening also allows you to understand whether the threads aren’t lining up right. There is an excellent opportunity the screw threads are crossing in the event the joint doesn’t twist together readily. For compression fittings, ensure that the ferrule seats against the conduit it is designed to contact or a flow will result. Generally, fittings on plastics or soft metals just need about a half turn. Pipe wrenches function nicely when tightening substantial fittings that need enormous jaws at an excellent hold, however, a pair of adjustable wrenches do nicely for smaller fittings.

The joints join two pipes together and rely on tapered screw threads by cutting the matching screw threads of the linking conduit to create a tight joint. Plumber’s tape and joint compound help make the joint watertight. While other fittings could be loosened should over-tightening cause a flow, union joints cannot since the metal in the adjoining conduit already disturbed. Slip joints — the ones used on sink drain traps and garbage disposals — use a tough plastic or rubber gasket to produce the seal. Coat these with joint compound to help to make the seal and to lubricate them.