Heating & Plumbing

Unscrupulous Plumbers and Their Tricks

Many people hold off on hiring a plumber to repair the running toilet, leaky faucet, or even the water heater that hints it might explode. They fear pandora’s box will show up in their plumber’s toolkit unleashing an alternate universe where sound reasoning and judgment make way for the mind-bending experience of dealing with sneaky plumbers and their version of reality.

Tool yourself to thwart pandora’s box before it opens on your home’s plumbing. Learn to identify and run if you notice any of these 5 signs of not-so-honest plumbers http://furnace-repair-calgary.ca.

Topping the list is the worst of the worst. It is hiring an uninsured plumber who is not licensed. It is like a double whammy of a disaster that is waiting to happen. A tell-tale sign is that they are willing to do the work for far less than any other plumber. You run the risk of having to explain to your homeowner’s insurance that your sink doused your whole second floor in water while an unlicensed plumber who has no insurance was working on your guest bathroom. Good luck getting that claim paid, or on getting another homeowner’s policy. Would you be in breach of your mortgage without insurance? Probably, and that means you would have to sell your home, possibly, all because Mr. Wrench Man was not licensed or insured.

Even if they do not flood your home, if you have a building inspector coming by, they can require you to have all the shoddy plumbing work pulled out and re-done. Plumbing is costly enough without having to pay for it twice. Make life simple, and ask for proof of their insurance, and plumbing license. You may want to double check with your state’s insurance commissioner and licensing agencies to verify their credentials.

Crystal Ball Estimating Practices

The other curiosity of plumbers who have delved into pandora’s box is crystal ball estimates. It’s as if they pick a number out of thin air to provide an estimate sight unseen. Never accept a quote if the plumber has not taken a look at the job first. Always get estimates in writing. If you are calling around to different plumbers, find out their hourly rate and minimum charge. This will shed light on potential costs and give a basis for comparison before you have any estimates. You might get an estimate of how long the job might take. Do not balk just get the information. Plumbing is complex and may be more involved than it looks.

Miniaturized Bids

While an estimate that is from thin air is useless, so is a low-ball bid. Again, plumbing is expensive and the price ranges vary depending upon the plumber. You might part with anywhere from $75 to $250 to unclog a drain, depending upon the plumber. The trick of the low-ball bid is usually that it leaves out the labor charges. Of course, the labor is not free. But before the plumber completes the work, you will be hit with the labor charges. It is an uncomfortable situation.

Home Crashers

Never let a door-to-door “plumber” who begs you to hire them into your home. It may be a sign of where burglars are looking to hit next. Call the cops instead.

Those are the basic tricks in plumbing. Avoid them to get your plumbing repaired more quickly and in peace.

How to Stop Hidden Plumbing Leaks

If there was water pouring into your living room from a leaking pipe would you have it repaired? Of course you would. It would cause a lot of damage to your furniture and carpets. Well, what if there was a leak someplace in the depth’s of your home’s plumbing, and you weren’t able to see it? Even if nothing is getting damaged where you can see it, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be repaired. Any water that is leaking is wasted water. And when we think of water conservation, wasted water definitely isn’t our friend. When it comes to checking for hidden water leaks, the following are the two most effective methods http://calgary-plumbers.co.

Check the Meter

There is one very easy way of checking to see if you have a hidden water leak and that is checking your water meter. Yes, it really is obvious. Go outside and find your water meter and check it. Write down the meter reading. Then either leave your house for a short time, or stay but don’t use your water and don’t turn any water on in your house. Leaver your water off for at least two hours. Then go check your water meter again. The meter reading shouldn’t have changed since you haven’t used any water. If there is a change, that means there is water running somewhere in your house without you knowing about it. That’s a scary thought. You probably need to call a plumber to your house and have them search for leaks. After the leak has been discovered, it can be repaired and you will once again be in control. The water will only run whenever you want it to.

Dye Test The Toilets

This is another easy way of checking for leaks inside your house. This method detects leaks that are inside your toilet tank. Whenever your toilet is defective or the pieces and parts are rusty and old, the toilet tank will have a tendency to leak into the bowl whenever the toilet is not in use. It results in extra water flowing into the toilet bowl. When the bowl has extra water in it, it ends up flowing right back down into the drain. It is a very sneaky kind of leak that you don’t really notice occurring. However, it can be quite detrimental to both the environment and your water bill.

The best way of detecting this kind of leak is to conduct a dye test. A plumber can be called in to do that if you prefer, however you can just use food coloring and do it yourself. All you have to do is add a couple of food coloring drops to your toilet tank. Wait for a few minutes to see if the water inside the toilet bowl begins to turn the color of your dye. If so, that indicates that the dyed water from the tank is flowing into the toilet bowl. When the dye starts flowing into the bowl, be sure to flush the toilet. If the dye sits inside the bowl for a long period of time it can stain the toilet bowl.

How to Extend Your Gas Furnace’s Life

Gas furnaces are built to last for many years. You can also extend the time significantly by performing preventive maintenance on a regular basis. The following tips can help your furnace run as efficiently as possible for the maximum amount of time and limit the number of expensive repairs you need to have performed in the future http://furnace-repair-toronto.ca/.

1. Play Things Safe

Before any maintenance work is started, be sure the working conditions are safe first. Turn all of your system’s power off if you are going to be doing anything other than just replacing a filter. This can be done by tripping the circuit running to your furnace. In addition, if you smell any gas, don’t try fixing the furnace yourself. Leave your house immediately and contact the local gas utility company or fire department. Don’t go back to house until your home has been checked for gas leaks by professionals.

Replacing the air filter will extend your furnace’s life and improve air quality.

2. Replace Your Furnace’s Air Filter

One of the easier maintenance tasks that you can do is to replace the furnace air filer. Furnace filters trap lint, dust and other types of debris. They are prevented from going into the furnace, where malfunctions can occur or they could end up getting distributed throughout your house. Air filters trap all types of debris, so you should replace them two times a year so that your system functions correctly.

The filter is either between the return air duct and blower or in the blower door. It should be easy to remove; however, the door might need to be pried open with a screwdriver slightly in order to gain access to it. If the filer appears to be clogged and dirty, put in a new one to replace it. Always note what the direction of the airflow is so that you insert the new filter going in the right direction.

3. Clean your furnace

Although the furnace filter captures a lot of the debris and dirt from air, some does still get through. When you are replacing the filter, clean the belts, pulleys and blower assembly. This area can be accessed by removing the panel that slides out from the fan unit or covers the filter. Screws might be holding it in place, so don’t use an excessive amount of force. Locate the screws, take them off and then use a damp cloth to clean them.

4. Have an Inspection Done

To ensure that your heater is running at its maximum efficiency, and to prevent expensive problems from taking place, you should have your heater inspected and serviced by a professional ever year. Have this done once the heating season comes to end. If your HVAC system includes an air conditioner, they can both be inspected together.

Like any other major appliance in your house, proper maintenance is absolutely essential to ensure that your gas furnace last as long as possible. If you have routine inspections done by a qualified service provider and follow these simple tips, you can get maximum use from your home’s furnace.

DIY Plumbing Is Harder Than It Looks

Plumbing systems tend to be quite complex. Things don’t always work out the way you had planned them to. You may be aware of some of the basics such as, turning off the water before starting, however there are many other things you might not realize. Plumbers undergo many years of learning and training and also have to pass tests to obtain licenses for the work that they do. It isn’t a job for everyone.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely not saying you can’t ever work on your plumbing on your own. In fact, I love the idea of individuals putting their time tested handy man skills to work and getting involved in their homes. However, what I really don’t love is having to send out a technician to your house and finding your bathroom is full of water and you are in the doghouse with your wife. There are two basic things you need to consider before participating in any kind of DIY plumbing project at your house http://air-conditioning-toronto.ca.

Circumstances: How Will Others Be Affected?

Before you start on a plumbing project in your own house, there are a few basic questions that you need to ask yourself first. How will the project affect convenience in the home? What about the water supply, sewage, water pressure? You need to realize that even if you happen to be fairly handy, things with plumbing projects go wrong all of the time. Is it a second bathroom you will be working on, so that there is still one in working condition that can be used by your family until you are finished with your project? Or will you be working on the only bathroom or only kitchen sink in the house?

Before getting started make sure you won’t put your family or yourself out of being able to use some plumbing appliances that might be needed for regular living. Before you start on any major project, another thing that you need to consider is what your insurance allows you to do. That might sound silly, but you might be surprised about what insurance companies allow and don’t allow their customers to do inside their own homes.

Time: In Plumbing Terms, What Is Too Long?

Whenever you give a professional plumber a call to come check out a job, he may provide you with an estimated time for getting the job done. If he says it will take him 10 hours or 4 hours, it is usually a fairly good estimate. He is knowledgeable with what he is doing and can devote the entire day to fixing it if necessary. It is his job after all. His time isn’t the same thing as your time. This is something he’s been doing for a very long time and most likely he has a lot more practice working this type of thing compared to you. It’s his job, and it isn’t yours.

Will you be able to get time off from work to do your project? Will you be doing it after work, after you get home and have a chance to finally unwind? Do you have kids, and will you need to do it after they have gone to bed? The amount of time it takes for the job to get done by a plumber doesn’t even come close to how how it will take you to finish, so before starting on any plumbing project, make sure to have enough time to get the job done.

Tips for Unclogging a Drain

If you look around your house you will see some things that have been built into your home in abundance. Take for example all the doors and windows that you have in your home. One other thing you have in abundance that often goes unnoticed is the many drains in your home. They are in your bathrooms, kitchens, washrooms and even maybe in your garage. As fate would have it, it is inevitable that whenever you have drains you will eventually get clogged drain lines. Here are some tips for unclogging a drain http://furnace-repair-edmonton.ca.

unclogging

Preventive Maintenance First

What is the best method for unclogging a drain? To not let it get clogged in the first place. Be careful what you put down your drains and make sure you have your drain grates and screens in place. Resist the temptation to do such things as pouring hot grease down a drain; it may be liquefied going into the drain but once inside it quickly cools and turns into a solid drain clogging mass. Never put anything besides tissue in your toilet either; things such a sanitary napkins, paper towels and cotton buds will quickly lodge themselves in the drain line and shut it down too. Body hair should be removed from drain screens immediately after use of showers and bathroom sinks also.

Another preventative maintenance trick that will keep your all-important household drains flowing smoothly is to dump a pale of extremely hot water down each one of them once a month (not boiling water – this may hurt the seals around the pipe). This will help free up some of the buildup that collects on the side of the pipes over time.

Plunge Them

The quickest and easiest way for unclogging a drain is to simply use forced air from a plunger to clear the lines; this works great unless you have something very solid blocking your drain line. Just center the plunger so the air does not escape around the drain cup and give it a few good forceful bursts of air directly into the drain.

Shop Vac

If the plunger does not work then next you can try a household wet/dry vac. You have to be careful with these especially if you use it on the exhaust setting because it can build up pressure and burst your pipes. Try first using it on the suction setting and if that does not work switch to the exhaust setting and use it in 20 second bursts.

Drain Snake

If all else fails then it’s best to use a drain snake. These come in varying sizes and can be hand cranked or electric; electric drain snakes can be rented at most home improvement centers. Once these have been placed in the pipes don’t force them further once they get to the clog; just let them do their work and they will easily break through anything solid that is clogging the lines.

Try to do the preventative maintenance on a regular basis and apply what you have learned here if you do have no choice and need to proceed unclogging a drain.

PVC Pipe Repair Plumbing Tips

There are a lot of things around your house as far as plumbing is concerned that you most likely can repair yourself. Things like toilet tank mechanical parts and O-rings on leaky sinks can be replaced without calling a plumber to do the job; not to mention it will save you some money. A lot of people are scared to do plumbing pipe repairs because they don’t want to have to sweat together copper pipe; the truth is a lot of that type of piping has been eliminated and replaced by easy to use PVC piping. Here are some plumbing tips on how to cut PVC pipe and then make a good connection when you do the repair.

pvc

Cutting the Pipe to Make the Repair

Maybe you have a crack in a PVC drain line coming from your sink or a PVC feed line going into your tub. As was stated, it’s not too difficult to make this type of repair but you have to be smart about it. Here are some things to remember before choosing a place to cut the pipe.

  • Always use a fine tipped saw blade that makes nice clean smooth cuts; if you use a course saw blade then you will have to do a lot of sanding to get the area smooth you are putting a fitting on and it may not take a seal well. There are many types of specialty PVC cutting tools which are excellent to use if you happen to have one too.
  • Never cut near a fitting. Why? Because you may have to spend a lot of time sanding off glue residue so you can make the connection and you run the risk of having to do a lot more plumbing if things do not go well the first time; you will have no extra pipe left to glue the fitting on a second time.
  • Try and cut in an area where it will give you a little flexibility with the pipe when you are putting the new piece of PVC line back in place.

Gluing the Pipe back in Place

When you go to splice the new piece of pipe onto where the broken line was to finish the repair, you want to be sure to follow these plumbing tips.

  • Make sure the edges of the pipe that will go into the fittings are sanded well until they are as smooth as the pipe itself.
  • Use a primer to clean the pipe where you will make the connections onto it, this will make the glue hold better and ensure there is no dirt or oil on the pipe that may ruin the connection.
  • When you put the glue on you need to move quickly because it dries very fast. Make sure everything is cut and ready to go and you have the necessary fittings next to you before you start to glue the pipe.

This job is not that hard as long as you make sure you follow all the plumbing tips that were mentioned in the article and more tips at http://plumbers-edmonton.ca/.

The Many Types of Domestic Plumbing in Your Home

There are a lot of things that are built into your home to make it the convenient place to live that it is. Things such as the electricity that runs the lights and powers the devices that entertain you make life so much more comfortable for you. Another great feature in your home is all the domestic plumbing that runs through it to help you do the many tasks around your home that you require every day.

Before we get into the many different types of domestic plumbing features in your home, it is important that you know what it takes to get them in there. The plumbing that gets installed in your home when it’s being built actually has to be designed into the blueprints because there is so much of it.

Plumber working on sink

Here are some examples of the different types of domestic plumbing features in your home that make your life go a little smoother:

Showers and baths

It is safe to say that if you did not have the convenience of having showers and baths in your home that your life would definitely be different. There was a day when a person had to go outside the home to a well and pour ladles of water on themselves to keep clean. Today all you have to do is turn a handle or two and you will be able to take a nice hot shower or bath almost instantly.

Drains

All that water you use in your home has to go somewhere and that is where drains come into play. These domestic plumbing features carry unclean and unhealthy waste water safely away from your home and into specially made septic systems or sewers. From these sewer drains and septic systems the waste water is then naturally filtered or treated so it becomes usable water again.

Sinks

Sinks add a huge amount of convenience to your life at home. You can stay sanitary by using them to clean your hands after going to the bathroom or clean your hands after being outside and they are also placed in the kitchen and help you to prepare the many different meals that you will make. There are also workshop and utility room sinks that are convenient for mixing cleanup chemicals and doing other things such as rinsing off paint brushes.

Water Heaters

There perhaps is no appliance in your home that adds more comfort and convenience to your life than your hot water heater. It is what enables you to take a relaxing shower after a long day at work and it also provide extra cleaning power when you do your laundry.

With all that domestic plumbing in your home and how convenient it makes your life it is amazing how taken for granted domestic plumbing is. Don’t hesitate to call your local plumbing company http://air-conditioning-edmonton.ca/ and have them come out to your home periodically and do an inspection. This will help ensure your vital plumbing is there when you go to use it and it can also catch small problems before they become big and expensive plumbing repairs.