When There’s a Leak…

Locate your home’s main water shut-off valve. If there’s a plumbing leak, you can go straight there and quickly turn off the water to the entire house.  OR

Locate shut-off valves at individual appliances and fixtures. That allows you to keep water flowing in other areas of the house while making site-specific repairs. If you’re working on a fixture without shut off valves, your first job should be to install them, usually where the water supply comes through the wall.

  • The water heater shut off valve should be located on the top of the water heater. You may also want to turn the water heater off.
  • The kitchen sink shut off valve is located under the sink.
  • The bathroom has shut off valves under the sink and behind the toilet.

 

In a jam? Here’s how to unjam your garbage disposal…

1. Problem: The power switch is on but there’s no sound.
Solution: Press the reset button, usually on the bottom of the unit.

2. Problem: The unit hums when the switch is turned on.
Solution: The grinding chamber plate is hung up. Turn off the power switch to the unit. Shine a light into the unit, look at the perimeter of the grinding plate and remove any stuck or hard obstructions. Press the reset button, turn on the power switch. ALWAYS BE SURE your hands are out of the chamber BEFORE turning the unit back on. Read more..

It’s Freezing Outside!

cold weatherWhen cold weather is eminent, go into action before freezing temperatures hit.
1. Close foundation vents around home.
2. Disconnect garden hoses from outside faucets and insulate if needed.
3. Insulate pipes at well casing and at tankless water heaters.
4. Turn off and drain sprinkler systems.
5. Open the cabinets beneath sinks and bathroom fixtures on the exterior walls; warmer household air will help prevent the pipes inside from freezing.
6. Opening taps to a bare trickle keeps water flowing and avoids a frozen blockage.

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Problem: Fats, Oil and Grease

Why are Fats, Oil and Grease a problem?

Grease hardens at room temperature and can cause blockages in home plumbing pipes and even overflows in your home or yard. These substances also cause clogging in the Public Utilities collections system.

Where does grease come from?

Restaurants, apartment buildings, schools, homes, churches, condominiums, shopping malls, hospitals, hotels, food processing plants and anywhere cooking occurs. Grease is a byproduct of cooking and comes from things like: meat fats, cooking oil, shortening, dairy products, lard, food scrapes, baking goods, sauces, butter and margarine.

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Are you seeing spots? Dizzy with mineral deposit buildup on your faucets?

  1. Try not to let water evaporate on the surface by blotting dry any water from the faucet surface.
  2. Remove water spots with warm water and a soft, damp cloth. Hard water stains may be removed using a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and a toothbrush, if needed. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward.
  3. If additional cleaning is needed, use an all-purpose or glass cleaner, following manufacturers’ instructions for use. The following types of cleaners can damage the finish:

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Running Smoothly with Regular Maintenance

tankless scaleTankless water heaters save energy because there is no large tank storing water, heating it constantly and using energy to keep it hot. When you turn on the hot water faucet, cold water flows into the tankless water heater. An element inside the unit heats the water and delivers it to the faucet. Tankless water heaters do not run out of hot water the way tank systems do, assuming they are sized right for capacity. But it is necessary to flush and clean the filter screen of tankless water heaters yearly as part of a regular maintenance schedule to avoid rust, sediment (sand, gravel), mineral buildup (scale, lime), and to extend the life of the appliance. Read more..

How To Maintain Your Sump-Pump

floodedIf your home has a wet basement, you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that more than 60 percent of homes have issues with water in the basement. A sump pump can be an effective option for preventing water damage. Installed in a pit in the basement, these units sense when the water from rain or snowmelt is rising in the pit and approaching the floor level. The incoming water is then pumped outside before it can damage the home or its furnishings. Sump pumps are relatively low-maintenance devices, but you can help keep your unit operational by inspecting it regularly. Steps in a regular maintenance program can include: Read more..

Water Line Savvy

Inspect plumbing regularly to determine if your pipes are in good condition, or if replacing plumbing is necessary. Simple regular maintenance helps prevent costly plumbing replacement.

If your house is more than about 60 years old, make it an annual ritual to look at any exposed pipe—in basements, crawlspaces, and utility rooms—for telltale signs of trouble. Check under sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Look for stains on walls and on surfaces underneath plumbing pipes that indicate leaks. Even if drips aren’t apparent, stains indicate a past leak that signals future trouble.
  • Check the tubing for discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples, or flaking, which are all indications of corrosion. If you find irregularities, call a plumber to do an inspection. Read more..

Fresh & Clean But Be Forewarned…

Bleach-Chlorine tablets that are put in the tank to freshen and clean your toilet will damage gaskets and seals in your toilets and cause them to leak. Worst of all, when they dissolve they get to a smaller size and then float into the flushing mechanism of the toilet restricting water from creating the power flush required to remove waste from the toilet causing clogging and other problems.

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Enjoy free-flowing water again!

Easy cleaning for shower heads and faucet aerators: unscrew the shower head from the shower arm. Fill a bowl with equal parts water and white vinegar and submerge the shower head. Let the head sit overnight in the water-white vinegar solution to allow the mineral deposits to break down. Rinse the shower head thoroughly, brushing off mineral deposits on the spray tips with a toothbrush, if necessary. Reinstall shower head.

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