Contemporary Home Design

Contemporary Home Design

Contemporary home designs are very different from traditional designs for homes. Traditionally, the space available for homes was very abundant and bulky furniture and intricate interiors were the main features of the houses. More >>>

Simple Home Design

Simple Home Design

Having a home with the design that we truly want is something that would really make us feel good. Although most houses built these days have general designs, it would be better if we could come up with our own design to give our homes a more personalized touch. More >>>

Eco-Friendly House Design Ideas

Eco-Friendly House Design Ideas

Eco friendly house designs are not only safe to live in, they also save you a lot of money. More >>>

 

Category Archives: Plumbing

Save You Money For Plumbing Improvements

1. Replace Your Water Heater

Yes, this article is about saving you money by improving your plumbing system. And, it may seem strange to start off a money saving article by suggesting a fairly big purchase. But, if you are struggling with getting enough hot water into your home… if it is impossible to fill your bath tub with hot water, or if you can’t even get through a normal shower or washing the dishes, then you are wasting money. Every day. Every shower… every time you do the dishes.

As water heaters get older, problems develop. One of the first, and biggest warning signs is lack of warm water. Or, water that isn’t hot enough.

The more the heater needs to work to give you the amount you need, the more electric (or gas) it will consume. So, it costs you more money every time you turn the faucet to hot.

There could be problems with the heater that require it to be replaced. At worst, you have to put out some cash for one, but will save in the long run.

Have a plumber inspect the water heater. You may find a lesser problem that only requires a small fix. For example, a leak – even a tiny leak, can cause your home to receive much less hot water than you need. A simple, quick fix will save you money, and keep you from having to replace the entire unit.

2. Install a Tankless Water Heater

This ties into number one. Tankless water heater units are becoming more and more popular, especially in larger or older homes. These are placed in the room where that you need the water. So, if you have a large tub and need extra hot water, you place a tankless unit in that room (can go one the wall, under the cabinet, etc. – they’re typically flat and don’t take up much room), and this heats the water right in that unit. It does it quickly and can cycle much, much faster than your large heater.

3. Have Your Pipes Inspected

This is an often overlooked service that plumbers perform. Leaks happen in your pipes all the time. Winter weather causes partial freezes. Sediment builds up. Pressure in the pipes causes small breaks. This all leads to small leaks. Much like with your hot water heater, these small leaks can drain the money right out of your wallet.

And, it only takes a little water to cause big damage in your walls, floors, basement, etc.

4. Replace Your Faucets

This is a quick, cheap fix. Over time, faucets build up sediment, leading to clogs. This means your water system has to work harder to pump out enough water for you.

Replacing your faucets clears the way, and saves you money.

Prevent Sewer Backup

When it comes to home ownership and dealing with disasters, there are few things more discouraging and frustrating than to discover that there is a problem with the septic system. Yet, this is a problem the average homeowner will have to deal with at least once, if they own a home for any extended length of time. That said, it doesn’t have guarantee that sewer backup is inevitable. In fact, by taking steps to minimize the risks, one could potentially lower the odds of needing to call the plumber because of a sewer problem.

While there are many preventative steps that can be taken, perhaps the most important is to know what type of sewer lines your home has, as this will help you gauge the risk more effectively. The main types of sewer lines are:

· Clay sewer lines – If your home was built before the 1950s, then it is a good chance this is the type of system your home has. These pipes can be easily breeched by large root systems due to trees being planted too close. Other issues with clay sewer line systems is that it can be easier for tissue paper to build up and cause a blockage. Most professionals recommend that homes with clay sewer systems be professionally snaked using an environmentally safe chemical treatment at least once every couple of years.

· Fiber Conduit – During the late 50s and throughout the 60s, these began replacing the clay pipes. This product is not susceptible to damage by tree roots, but due to their material makeup, they have been found to become deformed in shape over time and to result in a sewer backup. This type of system should be cleaned annually.

· Cast iron sewer lines – Introduced in the late 1970s, this style is still in use today. It is an incredibly strong system, but it is still at risk of blockages due to the wrong things (sanitary products, grease, etc.) being put into the system, as well as being at risk of tree roots becoming wrapped around the pipes. Ideally, sewer backup concerns can be minimized by being cognizant of what is put into the system and by scheduling a yearly cleaning by a professional.

As with any household system, the best form of prevention is through awareness and scheduled maintenance. Yes, the maintenance may be somewhat time consuming – but think of the alternative – no home plumbing for anywhere from a few hours to potentially a few days and a large plumbing bill to be paid. So, minimize problems like sewer backup with preventative maintenance – it’s worth the investment!

Common Garbage Disposal Problems and How to Fix Them

1. Blades Aren’t Churning Up Waste

This is one of the first signs of trouble with a garbage disposal. You put waste into the sink, turn the disposal on, and… nothing.

Things just get sort of stirred around. But, they are not chopped up and carried away in your drains. Obviously, having things that are too large for the drain pipes is a bad idea because it will clog the drains, causing a back up in your sink.

The Problem: most often, the problem is that things are being put into the garbage disposal that don’t belong. Hard seeds (like avocado), eggshells (soft, but the inner skin can tangle up the blades), nut shells, and other hard substances can dull the blades, making chopping impossible.

Solution: have a plumber replace the blades of your disposal. This will get things moving properly. But, be wary of what you put in the unit in the future to avoid dulling the blades prematurely again.

2. Straining Motor

If you hear a groaning, grinding, or any other type of “straining” sound when you run the disposal, your motor is struggling to work.

This happens most often because the blades are being impeded.

The Problem: Do you drop vegetables or egg shells into you garbage disposal? If so, this could be the cause. Certain fruits, vegetables, and other stringy food wastes can get tangled in the blades or motor. This causes it to strain, work harder than it should, and possibly burn out.

The Solution: have a professional plumber inspect and clean the motor, blades, and general area, including the drains. If there is still a problem, the unit may need to be replaced.

3. Not Turning On

The problem: Wiring issues, blown fuse, broken motor

The solution: this can be checked by a plumber or electrician. If you flip the switch and get nothing, then it can either be an electrical problem, or the unit needs to be replaced. Either way, this is not a DIY job.

4. Bad Smell

This is usually a very dangerous problem. If you are noticing a sour, or rotten smell coming from your kitchen sink, it could be an issue with your garbage disposal having food particle caught in the blades, the motor, or user the disposal in the pipes.

Oily foods, grease, coarse food waste can all slip past the blades and clog your drain, leading to a very unhealthy build up of bacteria.

Trenchless Sewer Repair Tips

The task of trenchless sewer repair is one that can be easily and quickly done by any professional with knowledge in the plumbing industry. This is also a project that can be finished by a home repair do-it-yourself home owner. If you are someone that would rather complete the repairs necessary on your own, there are few simple tips and tricks to follow to ensure it is done properly and with few damages.

If you are going to do the work yourself, first and foremost you have to check and see what the local building codes and laws are. The sewer system is one that falls under the jurisdiction of the code enforcement office. Contact them and make certain that you are going to be able to do the small fix without making major changes to outdated fixtures.

Before you get started on the main job of actually fixing the damage, you want to check the surrounding area for any blockages or other obstructions. In most cases you are not going to encounter anything hidden in the pipes. However, you do not want to be halfway through a job only to find a wire that you were not expecting.

Next, you are going to want to find out how big the leak actually is. You can tell in most instances based off of the amount of water you find in your lawn. If an abundance of water pools up in a very short time frame, chances are you are going to need more than just a simple trenchless sewer repair. You are most likely going to want an entire replacement of piping and you have to be prepared for that.

One of the most common reasons that sewer lines get damaged is because of intruding tree roots.

These lively and strong branches can get to your fixtures and poke holes into the piping. Before starting on any project, make sure you do not have any tree roots that are in the way. You do not necessarily have to cut down the tree, but you can cut away the tree roots that are causing the issues.

Make certain that there are no drains or clogs in your sewer lines. If there are blockages, it can make it difficult to discover where the problem is and how much of a fix is going to be necessary. Use drain cleaner and septic tank cleaner in advance of getting to work on your damaged piping.

Two holes are going to be required on either side of the damaged pipe. Locate the problem and dig both holes before you start working. This will allow you to feed through any of the trenchless sewer repair materials that are required to repair the leak.

Finally, it is recommended that you line your sewer piping to protect it from further damages. While you are already working on a repair, you have the access you need to complete this project at the same time.

If the area that you are working on is one that is going to be extremely difficult to access, if you are unaware of where the actual problem is occurring, or if you do not have the time or ability to complete trenchless sewer repair on your own, it recommended that you call in an expert to make sure the problem gets taken care of the right way.