Browsing Category: "Home and Plumbing"

Three Tips to Prevent Plumbing Repairs

Although plumbing problems are inevitable for a homeowner, there are steps you can take to reduce the number of service calls to a plumbing company. The following are three tips to help you accomplish this.

Be careful what you put down your kitchen drain

Sometimes when you cook, you will find that you have a lot of oil or grease in a pan. When this happens, try to dispose of it into a container, and then after it cools down, throw it is in the trash. You have to take care to use a container that can handle the temperature of hot oil, because it is easier to get out of a pan while it is still hot and in liquid form. What you don’t want to do is wash it down the sink. Over time, this will cause a drain stoppage.

Kitchen Sink Plumbing Problems

Run your water after using the garbage disposal

A garbage disposal is a great kitchen appliance, but over time, they can create drain problems. It is true that they do a good job of cutting up leftover food, but sometime the pieces are still large enough to get hung up on the sides of a drain pipe that already has small, soft materials that are stuck to the sides of the pipe. Large materials passing from the garbage disposal can contribute to the drain stopping up. The solution to this problem is to keep your water running in your sink for at least 30 seconds to a minute after you are finished with the garbage disposal. You want to give the waste you sent through your disposal a chance to make it to your main drain line where the chances of it creating a stoppage problem are slim.

Prevent water pipes from bursting

Water expands when frozen, and when this happens to a water pipe, the expansion can lead to cracks in the connections. You won’t know this has happened until the ice in the pipes melts, but when it does, you may need to place an emergency call to naperville plumbers due to a bursting pipe. The solution is to run water when the temperature drops below freezing. Although it takes time for your water pipes to freeze, if the water is not running, and the temperature gets cold enough, it will happen. The time this usually happens is while you are sleeping, because the water is not running for at least 8 hours. The same can be true in the daytime, but as long as someone is at home and using the water occasionally, this is less likely to be an issue.

Plumbing repairs can be expensive, and although there is no way to prevent them completely, the tips above will help you.

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Choosing An Energy-Efficient Pool Pump For Your Home Pool

When you are the owner of a swimming pool that is outdoors, investing in an energy-efficient pool pump can help you to save money on your energy bill while also allowing you to keep your pool running as efficiently as possible. A pool pump not only allows you to save money on the energy you are using, but it also allows you to better maintain any set temperature you have in mind for your swimming pool throughout the year.

Choosing the Size of the Pump

Before you can begin looking into purchasing a new swimming pump, it is important to factor in the size of the pump you are interested in based on your budget, the type of swimming pool you own and any preferences you have when you are browsing for a new pump yourself. Choosing the right size of pump is a way for you to save on energy costs, especially if you choose a smaller pump that is fitting for the type of pool you own.

The larger the pump you choose to install for your own swimming pool, the higher the maintenance costs will ultimately be each month. Smaller pumps often allow you to not only save on energy, but they also allow you to maintain the pool’s temperature to any setting you prefer with ease.

Red Outdoor Chair Near in Swimming Pool

[Photo courtesy of William LeMond/pexels.com]

Managing the Pump

When you want to keep your pool pump as efficient as possible, you can do so by limiting the filtration period to 6 hours each day, keeping energy costs low while still allowing your pool to stay as clean and to run as efficiently as it can at all times. You can also limit to pumping your pool just 3 times a day, which can drastically reduce your electric usage and bill by nearly 60% depending on where you live and the size of the pump you are using. Running the pump on a few times each day but for less time overall is ideal for most pool owners who are looking to save but also want to keep their pool clean at all times.

How to Search for an Energy-Efficient Pool Pump

Once you have determined you would like to invest in a new energy-efficient pool pump, you can do so by searching locally at a pool supply shop and also by doing so online. Looking for a pool pump online is a way for you to compare sizes, energy output and even the compatibility each of the pumps has with the pool you are seeking to upgrade. When you look online for the type of energy-efficient pool pump that is best for you, you can easily compare the type of energy that each pump gives out as well as the prices of each pump that is available and fitting for your own pool. You can also research testimonials and reviews from those who have also purchased the pool pumps you have in mind when you begin to search online. You will notice your energy bill spent on pool cleaning  will decrease significantly, leaving money in your pocket for the more important things in life.

Written by Jamie Lovelock

Jamie runs a landscaping business. Jamie loves DIY at home and spends lots of time in his workshop when he’s not in the backyard.

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The Seasons Are Changing – Make Sure Your Home’s Prepared

The effects of climate change mean we’ve just lived through the hottest August ever recorded. But summer’s soon coming to a close, weather will get colder, and leaves will soon crowd your yard as it transitions into fall. What’s more is winter isn’t too far off, and with such a hot summer, you can expect things to get extra cold by December.

You don’t just need to prepare yourself for the colder months. Your house and garden should also be well-maintained for the fall and winter seasons. There are a lot of home maintenance jobs that become particularly important during the second half of the year. You’ll likely have to work harder for the next couple of seasons since weather conditions are much harsher.

[Photo courtesy of tpsdave/pixabay.com]

The best time to start work is right now before the season changes. Preparing your home is advance is the smartest idea. Your home should be ready for when the wind gets stronger, and the leaves start to fall. Your home should be kept warm and protected from the elements. Here are some useful tips for preparing your home for fall and winter.

Keep Your Home Warm

While the weather is hot, open windows and breezy fans are a must to keep cool. But as the season changes, you’ll definitely want to protect your house from the cold drafts and increase in rainfall. Some people make use of electric heaters to warm their home up, but the most efficient way to do it is using an HVAC system.

For a lot of people, the same system that provides air conditioning around the house can also keep them warm. These systems are prone to problems, though. It’s important you get your HVAC system checked. Professional services can help you with HVAC maintenance, for example, you can learn about Academy Air.

Your heating system isn’t the only thing you should concern yourself with. You should keep your home insulated from the outside. Caulking any cracks or gaps in the construction of your house will prevent drafts. You will also want to ensure windows are double-glazed if they aren’t already. These are jobs many home maintenance companies can handle. Not only will they keep you warm, but they also go towards raising the value of your home.

There are plenty of other ways to keep your home warm when the weather gets cold. Things like halogen light bulbs and heavy curtains can give a room extra heat. We’re set for a cold fall and a freezing winter, so make sure you’re prepared!

Unclog Gutters

[Photo courtesy of Eric Schmuttenmaer/flickr.com]

While your gutter system may not be much of a concern during the summer, it becomes particularly important after. Gutters can quickly become clogged up with leaves and debris in the fall. Make sure to clean your gutter and downspout regularly. This will help to circumvent rain properly.

Although you can call a handyman to do this, it’s possible to handle yourself. You can use a ladder and a plastic scoop to remove any debris. Another method is to use a high-pressure hose to clear it out. Using a hose is also useful for cleaning out your drainpipe of any obstructions.

There are other measures which can help improve rain flow through gutters. You may want to look into tips for cleaning and repairing gutters. Make sure they’re well-prepared before the leaves start falling in October.

Roof Maintenance

Much like your gutters, your roof is another part of your house that can quickly become covered in leaves and debris. Debris from the roof can fall and contribute to clogging up gutters, so it’s best to clear them out. Algae can also accumulate on roofs. You can remove it using a scrub brush and algae cleaner.

September is also a perfect time for roof maintenance. You’ll want to check for any cracks or loose shingles and sort them out to stop the cold coming in from above your house. A lot of roof maintenance work is best left to a professional. You may want to call on the services of a roofer or handyman to make sure the top of your house is well maintained.

Prepare Your Garden

[Photo courtesy of donwhite84/pixabay.com]

Your garden has probably seen plenty of usage over the warmer months, but this is likely to change as the weather gets colder. Due to the harsher weather conditions, you’ll want to make sure your garden is well prepared for fall and winter.

If you have a pool or hot tub, it’ll become increasingly hard to keep them clean from autumn leaves. If you plan to keep using your pool, you’ll need to skim it daily to clean out leaves, dirt, and other falling debris. However, the best idea may be to drain them and use an efficient plastic cover to prevent them getting clogged up.

Garden furniture can also get damaged from falling leaves, rain, hail, and snow. The chances are, you’ll be using your garden tables, chairs, and loveseats less often. The best idea is to put them away in a shed or garage if they’re small enough. If not, you might want to cover them with a plastic sheet.

Changing temperatures and weather conditions can also mean your lawn needs a different approach. Lawn care services can help you with keeping your garden healthy over these months. However, it can also be the best time to do more work in your garden. Some flowers and plants are easier to grow during these months. Check out BHG’s fall lawn care secrets for getting the most out of your garden during the autumn season.

Mow the lawn and give your plants and hedges a trim before the season changes. It’s also worth investing in a leaf blower at this time. A leaf blower is one of the most useful tools you can have during fall and winter. It can be used to remove leaves from the gutter, your car, your garden, and pretty much anywhere else. There are also some lesser known uses to have more fun with your leaf blower, so it’s well worth getting one.

Clean The Chimney

If your home has a fireplace, you’ll probably be making much more use of it once summer ends. Be careful, though. Over time, chimneys can become clogged with debris and chemicals. Failing to clear these out can result in toxic emissions and even chimney fires in worse cases.

Cleaning a chimney isn’t a job you should handle yourself. It’s best to schedule a cleaning from a handyman or a dedicated chimney cleaner to get your home ready for winter and fall. If you use a wood burning fireplace, now is also the best time to stock up on firewood to make use of throughout the rest of the year.

Winter Preparation

While the autumn season can bring on some colder weather, things will get even worse in the winter. You should prepare in advance for the inevitable lower temperatures and snowfall.

If you don’t already have them, it’s worth getting a snow shovel and scraper. These will help you clean out your driveway and remove snow from your car on those snowy winter mornings. Having a cover for your car can also help. A lot of people hate having to do this every morning, which is why one person found a way to clear snow in the laziest way imaginable.

A lot of the work you carry out for the fall will benefit you all the way through winter. However, as temperatures start to get even colder, you may want to put extra work into keeping warm. An electric blanket is a good way of keeping your bed warm and cozy during the winter. A cheaper solution is to take a hot water bottle to bed. Winter is also the best time to stock up on hot chocolate, and you may also want to buy a thermos flask so you can keep your coffee warm on the way to work.

Interior Decorating

[Photo courtesy of newhouse/pixabay.com]

Right now is also the best time to redecorate your house with some winter interior decorating ideas. You may want to use brighter lighting and warmer colors to counteract the winter darkness. Decorations like candles are also great to have around the house during the colder months.

Redecorating now is also a good way to start energy-proofing your house. You can look into some energy saving ideas to cut down your bills in advance.

Make sure your home is warm, comfy, and looking good for the fall and winter. There’s plenty of decoration you can do yourself. However, you may also want to consider using an interior decorating service to rehaul your home completely.

Reassess Your Home Insurance And Energy Plan

Home insurance becomes particularly important as winter approaches. The worsening weather conditions lead to a greater risk of property damage. Pipes can get frozen, and hailstorms and high winds can damage your home exterior.

Because of this, it’s best to reassess your home insurance before the winter comes. Websites like Credio can help you compare home insurance companies. You should also check your energy bill. The chances are you’ll be using much more gas and electricity as temperatures cool down. Make sure you’re getting the best cover for what you pay.

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Plumbing: When to DIY and When to Hire a Pro

Many people think that they can do it themselves when it comes to carrying out a plumbing job. And it’s certainly true that many tasks can be carried out on a DIY basis. But this isn’t always the case. Many people don’t realise when they need to drop the tools and call in a professional. So, here’s when to do it yourself and when to let someone with professional knowledge take over.

DIY

Small small jobs can be carried out very easily. For example, if you simply want to update the faucets in the bathroom or kitchen, you can do this yourself. That doesn’t mean that the job isn’t challenging, but there is not too much that can go wrong. You can see what you’re working on very clearly and easily, which isn’t the case with all plumbing jobs. And there are online guides that can help you out too.

[Photo courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik/flickr.com]

As well as those kinds of replacements, cosmetic repairs to bathroom and kitchen hardware can be done by yourself too. Some of these repairs are routine and very simple. For example, a toilet might have problems that cause it to move or not function properly. These issues can usually be fixed very easily with some basic tools and sealant. So, don’t be afraid to carry out that kind of DIY work. Calling a professional would be a waste of time.

[Photo courtesy of OpenClipartVectors/pixabay.com]

Preparation is key to any successful DIY plumbing job though. You have to know the basics, such as turning off the water supply before you undertake the task. As long as you think logically, do the basic things and plan it out in advance, the DIY plumbing job should be a real success.

Professional

First of all, you should always call a professional if you have an emergency situation. Doing a DIY task is only ever possible if you have the time to assess it and plan it out. That’s not the case when an emergency repair is needed, so call a professional. Many plumber repair services offer fast responses, so these should definitely be taken advantage of.

[Photo courtesy of OpenClipartVectors/pixabay.com]

As I mentioned above, the easiest jobs to carry out by yourself are the ones that are obvious. If you can see the problem in front of you, then it’s easier to fix it. But that’s not the case for many plumbing jobs. If a pipe has a problem and it’s hidden behind a wall, sorting out the problem can be a challenge. And when there are external plumbing problems with the drains that run under the ground, that kind of problem demands a pro.

[Photo courtesy of Joe Fred the Oyster/Drain Trap- wikimedia.org]

When you’re taking on a large remodelling of your bathroom, big changes often need to be made to the plumbing. Sometimes, these changes even require permits to be given. This is complicated work in terms of the physical task of carrying out the job and the paperwork. So, it’s the kind of task that is always best left to a professional with the right experience behind them.

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