Archive for the ‘Home Plumbing’ category

Black Water Flood Damage Calls for Professional Plumber Help

February 15th, 2013

flood damage

Nobody ever knows when the next disaster will strike. Weather conditions are changing and the storms we are experiencing these days are more violent, and flooding is often the consequence of these heavy storms. Of course water entering your home can ruin your possessions entirely, and anybody that has experienced a flood is urged to call their local professional plumber as soon as possible. However, methods of cleaning up after flooding will be determined by the severity of the flooding. Many people think that flood damage is just a matter of mopping up the water and waiting for things to dry out. They don’t realize that many times there is underlying damage which only becomes evident much later on. Secondary water damage brings on mold, mildew, and dangerous fungi which can cause a host of irritating allergies as well as serious diseases like hepatitis and cholera.

Flooding always brings with it a mixture of soil, bark, leaves, insects and other debris, and in many instances when the flood waters are so severe, sewers can overflow. Left unchecked, raw sewage can enter your groundwater and drinking water supply. With flood damage of this nature professional help is imperative because if you should come into contact with this type of contaminated water, you can become seriously ill.

Professional Restoration Machines

Professional cleaners will disinfect and decontaminate your entire home to eliminate pathogens and organisms that are present in the sewage.  Professional mop-up teams come rigged out with rubber gloves, boots as well as face masks. They come with the most  advanced flood damage drying systems and machinery which the average household will not normally have. They make use of specialized equipment like industrial strength dehumidifiers which encourage evaporation as well as tile and grout cleaning equipment, auto scrubbers, carpet cleaning machines and wet vacuums which pump out all water from your carpeting and home, making light work of the soggy and ill-smelling mess.

Removing Mold and Mildew a Top Priority

Professional flood damage restoration experts make use of their machines and special cleaning techniques to kill off  the mold and mildew which develops so quickly. They check over your home’s water and electrical systems and check the homes structural safety before commencing with the clean-up. Their aim is to thoroughly dry the house as quickly as possible. They are aware that ceilings which are mostly above the high-water mark may well be undamaged and even dry, but they will still need checking because surface damp can cause mold to grow there too.

Whether it is your hardwood floors that need to be restored, your carpets, curtains or upholstery, they know that even floodwater, which has not caused sewage spillovers, can contain dangerous microbiological organisms, and the longer you delay with calling professionals in, the more toxic mold and bacteria you can expect.  Before deciding on the techniques to use for a cleanup, these skilled experts first determine the source of the water.  Water from sewage spills, and which contains harmful contaminants is known as black water and swallowing black water can lead to  nausea diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting.

Professional Help for Flood Damage Available Around the Clock

When you are faced with flood damage and a sudden water emergency in your home, call your local Scarborough plumbers for help fast. Because of the seriousness of black water, only trained and certified water damage restoration experts, available 24/7, can help because they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in all aspects relating to mold and mildew prevention as well as sewage decontamination. They have your best interests at heart and they work out a course of action that will sort out your calamity in the most professional and safe way. In order to prevent future flood damage, consider contacting local preventative maintenance experts like Tony’s Roofing Services LLC for any consulting or construction needs.

Efficient Toronto Plumbers Are a Must

January 22nd, 2013

When you end up with a problem relating to your plumbing system that requires a drain to be cleaned, potable water to be installed, a sewer be repaired, or installation of a plumbing fixture you need to call a trained professional – a plumber in Toronto. One of the most common tasks that plumbers perform is diagnosis and repairs of plumbing systems. Hiring a plumber should always involve some careful consideration for the contractor you are hiring. It’s important that your plumbing system be maintained properly to prevent costly service calls in the future. Make sure that the plumber you hire is experienced in their area of work; they should understand drain cleaning procedures such as drain snaking, hydro-jetting, and CCTV drain inspection. Any professional, licensed Toronto plumber will be able to provide service for your drain or plumbing needs.

 

An efficient, professional plumber will always take the most appropriate steps to provide an economical, long-lasting solution to your plumbing issues. In areas that provide rebates for plumbing work, your plumber should do their best to provide all the necessary documentation to the municipality so you can claim your rebate. This is particularly the case for instance in the City of Toronto where there is up to $3,200 available for the installation of flood prevention devices such as a sump pump or backwater valve.  With the stormy summer weather these devices can help to save your basement from flooding causing tens of thousands in preventable water damage.

When you encounter problems such as a collapsed sewer, or blocked drain pipe that you just can’t figure out on your own it’s time to call up a professional. A professional, licensed plumber will come out to your property and conduct a full investigation into the problem by way of a camera they insert into the problematic pipe. This camera will relay a high-definition video feed of the interior of your pipes, lit up with multiple LED lights on the end of the cable all of your problems will be revealed. This technique is called CCTV drain inspection and it will help to find problems in your sewer lines, drain lines, and any other pipe that can be easily accessed. This technology saves time in diagnosing the problem as there is no need to excavate and in most cases we can precisely repair the problem area.

Here are a few tips to keep you from calling your local Toronto plumbing contractor:

  • Always use a drain snake to attempt to clean your drain before resorting to chemicals which may cause corrosive damage.
  • Suspect your drain may be clogged? Pour baking soda and vinegar down it; this will help to break up some clogs and is a safe alternative to harsh chemicals.
  • Avoid pouring grease and oil down your drain; it may look like it goes down no problem but these substances build up on the interior of your drain system further down the line and attract other foreign debris.

With a little care you can manage to save a call to your plumber and prolong the life of your plumbing system.

 

How To Install Bathrooms Or Showers

October 20th, 2012

If you are moving into a new house and wish to redecorate your bathroom, or even if you just find your current one outdated, then chances are you are likely to want to know where to start when installing a new one. These essential tips for installing a bathroom or shower will make it easier, quicker and more efficient when the time comes to update that all important room.

 

1) Choose your bathroom or shower carefully

Firstly, are you looking at changing over your entire bathroom, or just installing a new shower? When you know exactly what you are going to need in the bathroom, it is time for the fun part; shopping!

There are hundreds of different styles in terms of bathroom suites and furniture, some more popular than others. If you are looking for everything from a toilet to a bath, then try to find a matching suite that will work well with your chosen décor.

In terms of showers, it is important to decide what type of system you want, as well as the shower frame itself. Everything from simple one-person electric showers to wet rooms are available on the market, so decide what works best for your family and your budget.

Make sure you get your bathroom furniture, suite or shower from a trusted company that delivers, so you do not have to worry about things not turning up on time or in pieces. Some plumbers may even offer you catalogues featuring suites from their own suppliers, which they would then be able to get for you.

2) Removing the old bathroom and designing the new one

Before you can begin work on your new bathroom, you must first remove the old one. Depending on which features you want to keep, this could be a task for a qualified plumber, or just a handyman with a hammer.

If toilets or other plumbed in facilities need to be removed, then ensure your water supply is switched off before attempting this. The last thing you want is a flood in your bathroom which could cause many future problems!

Those who know exactly what they want may wish to come up with a design plan for the new bathroom, showing what they want and where. It is advisable to seek the advice of a professional when constructing your plan, as there may be some limitations depending on water inlets and outlets in your room.

If you have absolutely no idea what you want your bathroom to look like, most good plumbing companies will be able to offer you design ideas and plans to suit your needs.

3) Getting your new bathroom/shower all plumbed in

Unless you have passed several plumbing exams, it is inadvisable to try and plumb in a new bathroom or shower by yourself. Trying to DIY a project such as this could cause a lot of problems such as leaking or flooding.

When you have a design ready, contact a plumbing service that will be able to go through the details of your plan and install everything for you.

A good plumber should be able to remove your old bathroom (including tricky elements such as electrical work), design a new one and install it all for you without any trouble at all.

If you need something specialist such as a bath or shower with disabled access, tiling or towel radiators installed, then ensure your plumber is able to do this before agreeing to provide them with the work.

Conclusion

There are a few reasons that you may be thinking about getting a new bathroom installed, whether you fancy updating the one in your family home, or perhaps even to up the price of a property you want to sell.

Picking out the bathroom suite and furniture will be a fun part of the process, so enjoy it as best you can! Work out your budget and stick to it, including labour and extras such as decorative items.

A good plumbing company should be able to carry out any work that you do not feel comfortable doing, or complete the whole job if you would rather not get your hands dirty at all.

Make sure that the plumber you hire is aware of anything specialist or different that you might need, or if you would like them to provide the suite or furniture themselves.

By Rebecca Walton who writes articles for DIS Plumbing, Plumbers St Albans, England.

Image Credits: Dbrooker 1 & Underdutchskies 2

How to Install an Under Counter Water Heater?

September 14th, 2012

Even if you are not a tech savvy person you do not have to get overwhelmed and call for a plumber and electrician every time you need to install an appliance. In fact, for certain appliances like an under counter instant water heater, which is also popularly known as under sink water heater, installation is easier than you think. And you don’t have to spend even a penny in plumbing and electrician’s bills! Curious how you can do this? Well, read on.

What the hell is an under counter water heater?

Under counter water heaters are small home appliances that are usually seen in kitchens. They are akin to hot water dispensers and provide instant and point of service water heating both for domestic and commercial purposes. To get optimum output from an under counter water heater, you must ensure that it is installed properly and you could do this by simply following a few installation steps and guidelines. Don’t get bogged down by the many steps. Just get them done one by one.

The right place for everything

Before you install your under counter water heater, you must find a proper place for installation near the fixer. This may be a place inside the kitchen cabinet, under the countertop, and under the sink. Make sure that all the necessary plumbing requirements have been met and water supply connection is available in the installation area.

Get the right kit

Before installing the water heater, procure all the necessary tools for installing your under counter water heater. Keep the installation manual within easy reach as you will need to refer to it again and again. The manual will also help you with the appropriate application of the tools in the installation process.

Don’t call the plumber

Don’t call a plumber to install your under counter water cooler. Just brush up your basic plumbing skills by observing a friend or family member or by watching a YouTube video. The plumbing components that you will need are clamps, valves, pipes, and cables required for connecting the water heater to the direct water supply near its mounting point.

Manual help

Follow the installation steps outlined in the manual meticulously and in orderly fashion. The installation steps, if followed to the T, will ensure that you have done everything right required for completing the installation process. Additionally, you must check if a T&P valve has been installed for the water heater.

All done

Once the installation steps of the under counter water heater have been completed, you need to test whether you have performed everything perfectly or not. Before that, you also have to make sure that the water heater does not have any waste, debris, or air. Foe this, fill the heater with water and drain for some time. The drained water will carry along with it the waste, air, and debris from the water heater and your under counter water heater is all set for use.

Stop Your Basement from Flooding Today

August 29th, 2012

Picture of backflow prevention valve

Just imagine for a minute, you walk down to your basement like you always do, maybe you’re putting the laundry into the drier for instance. The light is off but you hear something unusual like water running when there shouldn’t be. When you flick on the light water if pouring into your basement! You frantically try to grab up your possessions that you don’t want to become water logged or damaged but there is only so much you can do. Time is limited and most things have already become soaked with water – water that in some cases is backed up from the sanitary waste sewer. Something you definitely do not want to be dealing with.

When it comes to your home you must do every little thing you can to prevent it from getting damaged, this is especially the case when it comes to your basement. A flooded basement can very quickly become an extremely costly problem to deal with easily ending up costing $20,000 or more to repair depending on your specific circumstances.

Backwater Valve Installation

One very important part of your basement you must have protected is your drain connection that attaches to the municipal sewer system. In stormy weather with heavy rainfall the water level in sewers can quickly build-up resulting in the water backing up into your home. In order to prevent basement flooding a device must be installed on you drain line called a backwater valve. The way this device works is that it only allows water to flow out of the valve towards the sewer, any water that is force back towards the valve will not be able to penetrate it as it’s a one-way only device. Always hire professional plumbers to perform your backwater valve installation as it is imperative that the procedure is completed properly.

Different Ways to Make Your House’s Water Hot

August 18th, 2012

Getting the best water heating system for your house depends on a variety of factors.

  • Number of people living in your houses, your water requirements
  • Place for installing the water heating system
  • Your Lifestyle
  • The climate of your area

These are the few active factors and you will need analyzing these factors and making the best investment for heating your water.

There are a few traditional methods for heating your water and similarly there are a few modern methods, which do not carry heavy installation or maintenance costs. Let’s have a look at a few methods through which you can meet your hot water requirements.

Electric Tanks

This system includes a special tank for heating water and the heating devices are located at the bottom and top of the tank. For this system you do not need any vents so they can be placed anywhere easily.

Gas Tanks

This system makes use of a fan, which is located on the top of a tank and induces special movements which as a result activate the combustion gases. These gases pass through the sealed pipes of plastic and embrace the walls of the structure. It makes use of a simple mechanism and this system is found in residential houses and commercial buildings. The maintenance charges associated with gas tanks are very low.

Direct Vent Tanks

We know that a sealed combustion water or direct vent carries combustion gases from the outside and during this process the gases are vented out with the help of single pipe. House air and the burner are not connected and this means the chances of gas spillage are minimized. This type of system works very well inside the homes which are sealed properly.

Tank-Less Heaters

In case you are looking for instant hot water then you can make use of tank-less water heaters that do not require any medium for storing the hot water. Electricity and gas units are both available for this purpose, which works on a simple principle of heating water. Water which needs to be heated runs into the unit with the help of a pipe and then an electric device or a gas burner helps in heating the water.

Solar Units

Solar power is being used extensively to heat water with the help of roof based solar collectors. You can use solar hot water systems as the main heating option or you can keep the solar units as a backup in case of emergency, when the main heating system is out of order.

You can take ample time to decide for yourself what the best option to heat your household’s water to meet your daily requirements. There are some expensive and some economical water heating systems, but you have to make sure that you choose the system which proves best in the long run.

Advantages of CCTV drain inspection

July 16th, 2012

view from a cctv drain inspection camera

Most people today don’t think there’s anything strange about their doctors using cameras to find and treat illnesses. Ultrasound, colonoscopy, and capsule endoscopy have been around for some time now. They may not be fun, but an hour of discomfort is a small price to pay for possible years of longer life. If you knew that placing a camera in your body could keep you healthy, why wouldn’t you do it for your household drains?

Fortunately, unlike most medical procedures CCTV drain inspection won’t cost megabucks. The principle, though, is essentially the same. A trained technician arrives at your house with his or her inspection camera and equipment. The homeowner points out the problem, and the camera goes to work. As it descends through the pipes, the pictures it sends back show any and all discolorations, loose connections, breakages, and blockages. These are clear, full-color images too, by the way, not grainy black-and-white footage.

CCTV drain analysis serves many purposes, not just finding a problem once it has occurred. Preventive scans are a good idea, as they will show tree roots or other intruders that may be stressing or compressing your pipes. Other foreign objects – that ball your kids lost several months ago, for example – are easily spotted and removed with the use of CCTV.

Everything, including plumbing pipes, deteriorates over time. You may suspect that a pipe has collapsed or shattered, but without CCTV, how will you know which pipe and where? No one wants to spend the weekend digging up the yard in a random search that may or may not turn up the problem. When your drains are inspected with CCTV, the faulty pipes are easy to find. No one has to lift a shovel or get dirty.

Buying a home? It would be smart to invest in a CCTV drain inspection. First of all, if nothing is found, the buyer may proceed with peace of mind. Secondly, if pipes need replacement or repair, buyers may choose to use that as a negotiating point with sellers. If solving the problem will require more cash, time, and hassle than the buyer is willing to commit, walking away from that house may be a better choice. As with the human body, with drains it is better to know right away, so that the problem does not worsen or spread.

A CCTV drain inspection is a practical and effective method of finding out what’s going on below the ground. This is a job for a professional: you wouldn’t inspect your own colon, and you shouldn’t try to inspect your drains either. Qualified, up-to-date plumbers have all the equipment and technological expertise to perform the drain inspection for you, and do it right the first time.

How does a home plumbing system work?

May 22nd, 2012

Large house

A critical aspect of your home

Let’s look at some of the very basics here – house-hold plumbing systems are one of the most crucial aspects of a house, without a plumbing system, you may as well consider yourself living in antiquity. Indeed, plumbing systems have been one of the benchmark achievements of modern civilizations, and have been around since the times of ancient Rome. Although home plumbing seems to be a very difficult science to master, by understanding the general principles by which a plumbing system operates, you can understand a lot about plumbing. Firstly, it is crucial to understand that in any plumbing system there are certain key forces at work; gravity, pressures, and water seeking.

Plumbing subsystems

All plumbing systems have two main components, called subsystems. One component works to bring in water from the street, while the other functions primarily to remove water that is already used. When water initially enters your house it is pressurized. This water pressure allows it to flow into house and go around any obstacles like bends and turns, that it may run into. As the water flows into your house, it is measured by a meter which allows a meter reader to inform the water company of how much water you are using. Typically, the main water shutoff is located somewhere in the general vicinity of the meter. If you have a plumbing emergency, it is important that you go to this main shutoff valve and shut off the entire water supply. If you do not do so, then your entire house could stand a risk at being flooded.

Sink faucet

Taps are, of course, a critical aspect of home plumbing

Conversely, if the problem area is confined to a smaller part of the house, let’s say, a sink or toilet, it could be possible to shut off only one stop valve located nearest to the problem area. The drainage system which allows the waste water to exit your home does not depend on pressure. All of the drainage pipes pitch, or angle, downward, allowing gravity to pull the waste water out of your plumbing system. This is the simplified version of how a home plumbing system works. There are, however, additional components that make the system function. There are vents that go into your drainage pipes. These vents enter into the drainage pipes, letting air in, for if there were no air entering into the drainage pipes, then the waste water in the traps would need to be siphoned out, as it would not flow correctly.

Plumbing traps

Traps are another vital part of your plumbing system, traps, also called u-joints, and are S-shaped sections of pipe under a drain. Water flows through these traps with enough force to remove the excess water, but the trap retains enough water in it to not allow sewer gases back into the house. There are many these fixtures in your home such as in your sink. Remember: Before you attempt to do any repair on a fixture, make sure that you have turned off the water supply to the fixture or the main shutoff. This is what home plumbing is all about.

General tips on finding a good plumber

May 11th, 2012

fixture repair and installationIf you are suffering from a problematic toilet, or leaky sink or faucet issues, you may be wonder what you can do to fix them. Well that’s where plumbers can come in; chances are you have quite a few in your local area. Deciding on a plumber can be a tedious issue as there are some people who will blatantly try to rip you off; therefore finding a high quality plumbing company should be your top priority.

Plumbers that provide emergency services

It’s important to consider that plumbing issues will happen at all times of the day, or night. So it is a good idea to find a plumbing company that can handle your emergencies. This is because, once you hire a plumber to do a job it’s a good idea to develop a working relationship with them. This way they’ll know your plumbing system better and have a working knowledge of your setup. Typically plumbers will charge extra to come out for emergencies, which should come as no surprise. But the advantage of having a serious plumbing problem such as a flood, broken pipe, faucet that won’t turn off, or toilet that won’t stop running, fixed in the middle of the night will typically more than pay for this expense.

plumber working in bathroomAsk for credentials!

Be sure that when you first visit with your plumber they bring all of their personal information such as insurance, license, and bonding information. The vast majority of truly professional companies will carry this sort of information along with them as it showcases their expertise and commitment to being a high-quality service provider. Plumbing companies or ‘handymen’ that do not have this information you should be wary of. These aspects of the plumbing contractors business are in place to assist both themselves and their customers. It is an added layer of protection against any unforeseen problems, such as a plumber that somehow is hurt on your property; you may end up being served the bill.

Keep an eye out for a deal

It is common to find professional plumbers that offer deals or specials on their services. Some come in the form of coupons and these can generally save a lot of money. Sometimes you can find these sorts of deals or coupons directly on a plumbing companies’ website, other times they are sent out in form of direct mail. These sorts of deals can really help you to save some money when it comes time to call on their services, so keep an eye out for these.

These are some general tips when trying to find a plumber, they are not set in stone by any means but I have written them down here to help someone who has never faced this issue become more enlightened in the process.

For more information on plumbers Wikipedia provides a great resource of general info.