How To Prepare Your Plumbing For Winter

Winter is probably the hardest time in terms of maintaining your plumbing, which requires preparing your plumbing for winter.  A number of problems can potentially occur: anything from a frozen pipe to a flooded basement; and the damages that can be sustained are sever. Therefore, it is imperative for you to be diligent in maintaining your home’s plumbing to prevent water leaks during these harsh conditions.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

These can be the most disastrous for any home, especially if left frozen for an extended period of time. It is imperative for homeowners to keep some form of heating on constantly to prevent frozen pipes or eventual pipe bursts. If you do notice that a pipe has frozen over, quickly turn off water and attempt to thaw the pipe. Always contact a plumber if leaks do begin forming, as immediate action can prevent extensive water damage.

Other than simply heating your home, having insulation installed around your pipes well before the winter months set in is a good idea. Insulation for all the pipes in a small home is as inexpensive as $10 to $15 and is a major way you can prevent leaks in the winter.

Maintain Your Sump Pump

If snow has fallen and is rapidly melting, your sump pump will have a lot of work to do. Always make sure that there is no debris in the pit or within the sump pump that would otherwise impede proper flow. Test to make sure the sump pump is working efficiently by pouring some water and observing whether or not water is being sent out of your home. Always make sure the pump is connected to a dedicated power supply and that all parts are working properly.  If your pump is not working correctly when you check it, you may need to call a plumber for a sump pump repair or replacement.

Disconnect Outdoor Water Hoses

It is good practice to drain water out of outdoor faucets and to  remove water hoses when colder weather is approaching, so as to prevent any water left inside from freezing and damaging your faucets. By making sure to close indoor water valves that lead outside, you can help prevent accumulated water that is still left in the faucets from freezing.

Remove Snow Around Your Home

You most likely will be digging up the snow to get access to your car or front door. However, it is  just as important to remove the snow so that water does not begin to pool or find its way to your home’s foundation. Though a sump pump will often make sure that pooled water doesn’t cause a flood in your basement, it is good to clear away snow just as a precaution in case your sump pump decides to not work.

Anything Else?

Leaks and eventual bursts can be costly.  However, taking the right steps and inspecting your plumbing regularly can drastically reduce the chances of a disaster. Inspecting your outdoor faucets, making sure your sump pump is working properly, and insulating your pipes from the harsh cold are all tasks that should be done. Often times these tasks can be done effortlessly, but if you do notice a leak, act quickly to prevent further damage.

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The Top 5 Signs You Need a New Toilet

The Top 5 Signs You Need a New Toilet

After years of use, toilets become less efficient or may have leaks that require constant repairs. If you notice that you are spending hundreds of dollars to get your toilet repaired frequently, it is perhaps better to have it replaced (you are much more likely to save money by buying a new toilet than to have constant repairs made).  The following are signs that it is best to order in a new toilet rather than continually having repairs made.

Cracks in Either the Bowl or Tank

Minor cracks can be easily fixed with the aid of a proper plumber. However, if these cracks are occurring often or if the cost of repairing these cracks is more than getting a replacement, it may be time to order a new toilet. Cracks in either the tank or bowl can be determined if you notice water constantly around your toilet; this can damage the floor surrounding your toilet and lead to higher water bills. Replacing your toilet or having cracks and leaks fixed can help reduce water damage and help you save hundred of dollars annually.

Having an Older Toilet

If your toilet requires multiple flushes to get anything down or if the toilet incurs clogs quite frequently, it may be time for an upgrade. Older toilets tend to require much more water per flush while still not being as efficient as newer models that use less water. Replacing your older toilets can help keep water usage to a minimum and save many hard earned dollars in the long run.

Highly Blocked Inlet Holes

These holes are the passageways for water to get inside your toilet bowl, thereby completing a flush. Oftentimes, mineral accumulation may occur after years of use, leading to improper water flow and incomplete flushes. Most of the times, the buildup of mineral can be cleared away with a bit of effort, but if you begin to notice that the holes are being extensively blocked, it is better to replace the entire toilet.

The Toilet Wobbles or is Unsteady

This is often to a weak floor or loose bolts at the base of the toilet. Though bolts can be replaced or tightened, a weak floor may need extensive repairs and require the toilet to be temporarily uninstalled. More often than not, the floor may may be being damaged due to the sheer weight of the toilet itself. In these cases, get the toilet replaced with a model that is lighter (newer toilets tend to be lighter while being just as efficient).

Constant Trickling Coming From Your Toilet

This can be caused by a defective float or flapper, which can be adjusted or replaced. However, if multiple adjustments or replacements of other parts still do not resolve the problem, requesting an upgrade can be the most efficient resolution.

Anything Else?

Overall, if the cost of repairing your toilet or if you notice your water bill is becoming exceptionally high due to your toilet’s water usage, it may be time for a replacement. Older toilets are often to blame, as they waste much more water than their newer counterparts. On average toilet replacements cost anywhere between $200 to $500 but is well worth the expense in maintain your home’s plumbing.  Hiring a local plumber to handle this for you is not as much as you think it might be.  Make sure that you vet them first and hire the right one for your needs.

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Hobby

Well, if you haven’t checked out the About Me page on my site, my name is Vernon Tremaine and this page is about the rather strange hobby of mine – “experimental plumbing”.  As a plumbing hobbyist, I love collecting pictures of people and their rather strange, unusual plumbing mishaps and fixes.

Funny Business

I have no earthly idea why this is a fascination for me?!  I have begged God to give me an answer to why I couldn’t be more interested in butterflies, architecture, or travel (okay just kidding – I haven’t begged anyone!).  But, in all seriousness, I know that this is a strange thing to write about.  So, I will step into this world lightly with you.  I figured that I might start out for a few weeks just discussing some of the basics of plumbing and then move in more to the fun stuff!  First things first, let’s talk about how to choose the best plumbing expert in your area.

Before you hire a plumber, it is important to understand what you need to look for in a good plumber. There are certain times when your home or office develops plumbing problems and so you will need the service of plumbers. We recommend doing your research and finding a good plumber before you encounter a plumbing emergency, rather than during. There are many professionals that offer plumbing services and so you need to be cautious while choosing them. The following tips will enable you hire a highly rated plumbing expert.

As a plumbing hobbyist, I can tell you that the plumber must be an expert in his field. Those who offer multiple different plumbing services can deliver better quality of work than those who have fewer skills. You will benefit from the wide array of skills when you hire them.

The distance from your residence to the office of the expert should be reasonable since this will help reduce the amount of money you will pay for the service. Try to find one who has offices near your premises as this will help a lot in the long run. Ensure that the distance is convenient to all the parties involved.

The cost is also an important consideration when hiring a plumber. Although good plumbers charge higher than others, you don’t necessarily need to choose the highest-priced plumber available. When you look at the quotes they supply the service offered, you will have a general picture that will enable you make a decision about the one that provides good value and still gives you an excellent service.

When looking for a professional to fix your water and sewerage systems, looking at the cost would be an important thing to do. Be sure to get quotes that have been broken down into specific components, as these will help provide you with a clear picture about how you can choose a good provider. Don’t assume that a price quote is all-inclusive, and then be surprised by additional charges after the repair has already been made.

Experience is an important thing in world of plumbing and so there is need to ensure the individual or the company has been in the business for a long period of time. There are important lessons which are learned on the job and so a new professional may not be able to deliver the best. They may still know what they are doing, but there may be a gap among them and those veteran plumbers who have been in businesses for a while.

Plumbers who are experts in their fields understand how to solve a problem forever. There are those who can fix a certain mess, only for it to recur down the road. However, experts who have been in the industry for some time understand how to go to the root of the problem and truly solve it. Plumbers that have been in the field for longer will have more experience to draw on, and so should be given higher preference.

To begin with, you should look for a plumber that has experience doing plumbing work everywhere within the home…not a plumbing hobbyist like myself!  A plumber should be able to look after the internal plumbing in your home as well as install external objects like a tap, a geyser, and maintain all of the plumbing in your home. Installing anything that requires plumbing is like installing anything that requires electricity. You would need to cut into the water supply, install a tap that provides a consistent water supply to the device, and so on.

Plumbing skills are not enough because there are plumbers who are not honest. Look at reviews, and consider any complaints that may have been raised by a previous client, and how such complaint was resolved. What you should do is look for a plumbing contractor whom you can trust to work anywhere in your house.

Until next time, here is a funny plumbing video to keep you laughing!

 

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