Nassau: (516) 586-6770
Suffolk: (631) 813-9384

Preparing for the Cold during the Fall

Typically fall temperatures are fairly mild, which makes it enjoyable to work outdoors or even in some of the areas of your home that aren’t climate controlled. While the summer months are for action and inspection of your home, the fall is the time to batten down the hatches and ensure your home will be cozy and comfortable all winter long. With that in mind here are some tips for making sure the plumbing of your home is prepared for the cold Northeastern winter months.

Can you imagine your pipes bursting inside your home because you forget to disconnect the water hose that is connected to the outside spigot? This can happen and does happen more frequently than most of us would like to admit. It’s important to disconnect these hoses and drain them of any free standing water to prevent breakage. When you do this you need to also make sure the outside faucets aren’t dripping or leaking at all. If you find a leak you should call a professional right away to have this taken care of and help prevent the waste of water unnecessarily.

Another measure you need to take is the insulation of pipes and faucets. Your outside faucets should be covered with a Styrofoam insulation kit that you can find at most home centers. As for your pipes, you need to take care of the pipes that are exposed to extreme temperatures. If you have pipes that run under your home or in the garage you should insulate them properly with the fiberglass insulation, heat tape or thermostat controlled heat cables. This preventive measure can save you thousands of dollars later on by preventing your pipes from bursting which would cause you to be without running water for a lengthy period of time and have a severely damaged home.

The fall is the perfect season to flush out your water heater. This tank works overtime during the winter to keep you supplied with hot water and by flushing it out in the fall you will help remove the sediment buildup that may cause corrosion and shorten the time it can be in service. This buildup also reduces the efficiency with which the water heater can perform causing you to enjoy less hot water at times when more of your household needs it than any other; during the winter months.

After you flush the water heater you should test the pressure relief valve of the water heater to make sure it works properly. Carefully lift up on the lever and allow it to snap back into place to allow a burst of hot water to enter the drainpipe. If this doesn’t happen you need to call a plumber and have a new valve installed, which is certainly better caught now than during the cold winter months. Now is also the time to ensure the water heater has a temperature setting of 120 degrees to provide you with the best performance.

If you have a sump pump you need to clean the pit. If the pit is blocked the water will have nowhere to go but back inside your home where you don’t want it to be. This is also a great time to test your sump pump and make sure it will work for you when the winter snow begins to thaw and lead to the spring months. This simple cleanout will ensure your sump pump is ready to charge into action when faced with water that is rising above an acceptable level below your home.

Another tip that doesn’t have to do with plumbing but will help prevent water damage is to clean the leaves and any debris from your gutters and downspouts. Ensuring these areas are clean and free of the fall leaves will ensure water isn’t blocked in the gutters and left there to freeze, which can cause damage to the gutters and eventually to hour home if backed up far enough. Another overall preventative tip is to set your home to no lower than 55 degrees and shut the main water valve off when you leave your home for an extended period of time so you don’t come home to a surprise flood inside your home.

By following these guidelines you can ensure your home plumbing system will continue to be fully functional for you during the winter months. It’s important to make sure your home will be able to handle the harshness of winter; frozen pipes and leaks are not something you want to be faced with when the temperatures drop below or near freezing.

Summer is the Action Season for Your Plumbing

With temperatures that are rising and the desire to be outside in the sunshine enjoying the summer air it’s easy to perform more of the tasks around your house during this season than any other. During the spring you can’t often predict the weather or temperatures and the fall tends to lead to an early onset of winter and a desire to close up the home to help protect against the elements, but summer is the best season for checking your plumbing and preparing your home for the upcoming colder seasons.

Starting in the bathroom you should check your entire home for plumbing issues. Because summer is also the time when more people buy a home than any other season, these tips can help you know if the home you’re considering is going to give you plumbing issues to handle in the near future. First you should check around the base of the toilet for water damage by straddling the toilet and rocking back and forth on your feet. if the floor feels spongy at all you may have a weak floor underneath which is a sign of water damage.

Around your bathtub you can look for damage by pressing the tiles where the contact the tub. When you do this your walls should not give way or feel soft at all. Look around your vanity cabinet and under the sink for any leaks and test the faucet of both the sink and the tub. As a preventive measure you should make sure everyone who lives in your home knows to put only toilet paper down the toilet, nothing else because other items won’t dissolve and could cause serious clogging to occur in the pipes of your home.

Next you can check the water flow of your home. This is accomplished by turning on the water to your bathtub at the same time as the kitchen sink. If there is a lower water flow in either area you may have a problem with calcium and mineral deposits in the pipes of your home. This can be a major issue that could lead to water damage down the road; you should call a professional to assess the problem and help fix and get rid of this buildup.

Another way you need to check the pipes in your home is to look at the exposed pipes in your basement. Check these pipes for signs of leakage and breakage. If you have put insulation around your pipes in the past, now is a great time to replace this insulation and examine your pipes once again to ensure you don’t have any broken pipes or joints. Next you want to check the main line cleanout and make sure you can access it easily in case you would need to call a plumber at a future date and they need to reach this part of the plumbing of your home to help in the removal of a clog.

Summer is also the right season for you to check your water heater. When you look at the serial number, the first four numbers are the month and year it was made. If your water heater is over fifteen years old it’s to consider replacing the water heater. Inspect the tank of your water heater and make sure it’s not rusty. If it is this could be a sign you need to replace it as well. Now is also a good time to replace the heating elements to ensure you continue to enjoy hot water all year long.

Another area that you should inspect is your kitchen. You may have a dishwasher, garbage disposal and ice maker in the kitchen along with the sink. All these items take some type of plumbing. Look under the sink and inspect the disposer for a good connection and the pipes to ensure they are free of any leaks. Look around in the cabinet to make sure you don’t see any signs of water damage, if you do; it’s time to figure out what’s leaking inside this area of your home. Check the ice maker to ensure no leaks are present leading to the refrigerator or inside the freezer.

Last on your list is your washing machine. Check the hose for ruptures and the supply and drain lines to ensure they are in good working order. Run the washer one time without any clothes in it and make sure the water flows freely in and out of the machine without any leaking at all.

By performing some of these simple tasks in the summer you can prevent plumbing issues during the harsher months when you certainly don’t want to get wet and deal with water that could freeze or damage your home.

Should you Drink Bottled or Filtered Water?

The water that flows from the faucet in your home should ideally be good for drinking. Unfortunately some of us live in areas where the water quality is poor or we have a well which produces water that may have an unusual odor to it. While this water would not flow to your faucet unless it was safe to drink many of us have chosen to look to filtered or bottled water for our hydration needs and get this water from different sources. The question is whether you should drink bottled water or filtered water and which one will conserve more resources.

If you can handle the water coming from your faucet without the use of a filter, this is actually the preferred method of drinking water. There are several filtering systems on the market that you can make use of if you feel the need, but keep in mind the filters that have to be replaced as well as the items themselves which are all part of the resources that can be wasted when using a filtering system. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of water filters and bottled water.

Bottled Water

If you set up a home bottled water dispenser and have the water delivered to your home there are many benefits. On the other hand, if you use the smaller hand held disposable bottles on a regular basis, these bottles should be recycled but many end up in landfills each year, making water bottles one of the most wasted items on the planet. The home delivery system of having filtered water offers you many benefits that you can take advantage of and enjoy a fresh and clean drink of water all the time.

The advantages of this type of system are the convenience of the supply, the taste of the water as this water is normally filtered to remove contaminants and the trace minerals that are added are not only good for you but add to the flavor of the water, and the fact that the bottles used for this system are normally reused over and again. With these large five gallon water systems you can know your water that’s being delivered to you is clean and enjoyable while not presenting a major negative effect on the environment.

The only real negative point about these delivered bottled water systems is the cost of the delivery service. An alternative to this cost is to purchase your own five gallon bottles at the grocery store and use their refilling station to fill them up and provide your family with the great tasting water you want to enjoy.

Water Filters

Attaching a water filter to your faucet or using a pitcher that has a filter attached has become a popular way to have fresh and clean water for drinking. When you consider the purchase of a water filter system you want to ensure you purchase a high quality product that will remove the contaminants that can be found in your water. The convenience of a good filtration system is that you will be able to turn on the faucet and have a clean drink of water every time you want one with no limited supply of the water. These filters are also less wasteful than the single serving disposable bottles and some manufacturers offer recycling programs for the filters to ensure these filters are not turned into waste. With some of these filters you have indicators that tell you when to change the filter so that you can continually enjoy great tasting water.

On the negative side of these filters some of them perform inconsistently. While the water that is delivered to you should be guaranteed by the service to be of the highest quality as your filter is used the quality of the water will diminish. Another negative is the type of water you put through your filter. If you have well water, hard water or water with a high iron content your filtration system might not be able to provide you with the quality of water you want to have for your drinking enjoyment.

As you can see both the large bottled water systems and the on the faucet filtration systems have their pros and cons, but the worst was you can drink water is from the single serving bottles. These bottles may taste great, but what happens to them when we’re done with them? We typically toss them in with the rest of garbage. If you must use these bottles, please recycle them after use, but you can feel comfortable with either the bottled water that’s delivered to your doorstep or an on the faucet system for your home.

How Can I Help to Conserve Water?

The planet and its resources are the responsibility of all of us who live here. It’s our job to ensure there is still a livable world passed down to the next generation and one of the most plentiful resources that we tend to waste is water. Even though most of the planet is covered in water, we need to protect the water supplies and reservoirs because turning salt water into usable water could be an expensive alternative. Since water is needed for all walks of life and for every living being on the planet you need to know how to help conserve water.

An obvious way to help conserve water is to only water your lawn when needed and make sure you use a timer on your lawn irrigation system. A system that is installed in your lawn and connected to your home with a control panel will have a built in timer to help you manage the times in which you water the lawn and have an automatic time to shut off when the watering is done. If you use a hose and sprinkler system that is connected to your outdoor spigot you need to purchase a spring loaded timer to shut off the water when the watering time has ended.

The water pressure moving throughout your pipes is another area of concern. When water flows at a higher pressure more water is released into the pipes and put through your faucets and into your drain system. Water that is flowing at a rate over sixty pounds per square inch can be harmful to your plumbing and cause your pipes to burst. In order to prevent this and reduce the amount of water flowing through your system you can contact the water company in your area and find out what the water pressure is for your home. If it’s excessive you may want to consider having a pressure reducing valve installed to help protect your home and lessen the amount of water flow.

Read your water meter during a time of no usage to help detect leaks. What you’re looking for is any movement of your meter. You do this by taking a reading when you know no water is being used for a period of time. If at the end of that time the meter has moved you may have a leak because the water meter shouldn’t change readings when water isn’t being used in your home. If the leak isn’t quickly discernable by you, call a professional to find the leak for you.

Other, simple steps you can take to help conserve water are to check your toilet for leaks and install new hardware in the tank if any leak or excessive running is found. You can also reduce the energy usage of your water heater by setting the temperature to 120 degrees or medium if you have an older model. By replacing an older shower head with a new one you can save as much as 7.5 gallons of water per minute without losing any spray on the shower head.

Items you might not have thought of include ensuring you protect your septic system by only using the recommended amounts of detergent and bleach. Excessive amounts of these chemicals can kill the bacteria in your septic system which is there to help break down the waste that flows in. Another helpful item which is great for not only conserving water but for the protection of the entire planet is using biodegradable soaps and detergents. These will break down naturally after use when in the wastewater system.

Do you hear that dripping faucet? Every drop is a drop of water that has been wasted. A leaking faucet that has a drip rate of once per second will waste eight gallons of water a day which equates to over 3,000 gallons per year. With this in mind you should ensure your entire plumbing system is tight and working correctly to help prevent any leaks and waste of water from your home.

It’s important for us to conserve water, especially water that has been treated to be used for drinking and bathing. There are simple ways to make sure you help protect and preserve the water supplies we currently have so they are still viable when our children and grandchildren grow into adults. Taking some of these preventive steps will not only conserve water but also reduce your monthly water bill.

Do You Have a Leaky Faucet?

Drip, drip, drip… you hear it and what it means to you is wasted water, money literally going down the drain and the fact that you have a faucet that doesn’t work correctly. Not only does this sound signify the waste of water but it means you might need to replace the faucet, repair it, and when that drip of water hits the bottom of your sink it can feel as if someone is taking their fingernails down a chalkboard. This annoying and costly sound can be fixed easily enough if you have the know-how to do it, but you should hire a professional to get the job done for you.

While it may seem like a simple, slow dripping faucet isn’t a huge problem because so little water is being wasted, over the course of a day or even a week this waste adds up to gallons of water and can increase your water bill significantly. Even though this small drip seems like it would be a small job and not take an expert to get the work done, more water disasters in the home have started as a leaky faucet with a slow drip and escalated than you can imagine.

The challenge when it comes to a faucet leak is learning where and what is causing the problem. Typically your pipes won’t leak unless they have deteriorated or the joints have worn down because pipes typically are not moving parts of the plumbing of your home. Your faucet, on the other hand could leak easily because of the number of times they are turned on and off. The more people you have living in your home using the water the more times a day your faucets will be turned on an off.

hen faced with a leaky faucet, instead of trying to tackle the problem yourself, make a call to Flow Plumbing & Drain and let them handle the leak for you. Their team of expert plumbers can determine what’s causing the faucet to leak by disassembling the faucet and analyzing the situation. Your faucet could simply need a new rubber washer or ring which is a quick and easy fix, or you could need to replace the entire faucet with a new one. Once the problem is found your plumber can easily reassemble the faucet and have it working perfectly for you with no drips or leaks.

Even if you choose to attempt to fix the faucet yourself and find yourself in over your head (hopefully not in water), the experienced professionals of Flow Plumbing & Drain will gladly come to your rescue. With their experience and knowledge you will soon have your plumbing back to the way it should be, before you tried to see what you could do to fix the problem yourself. The challenge with a leaky faucet is the number of items that could easily be in need of repair.

There are several different moving parts in any faucet and the water flows through or past most of them in order to come out right for you. You could have a broken handle, loose nut, cracked stem, deteriorated washer and even broken caps that cause the faucet to leak. There are even times when the leak could go much deeper, which means you certainly need a trained professional to take on the job for you. As a team of master plumbers, Flow Plumbing & Drain will gladly assess your plumbing situation and provide you with the right solution to ensure your faucet works the way it should once again.

The team at Flow Plumbing & Drain is fast and professional. They know having the water turned off to any part of the house is a serious inconvenience for you and your family. They will work quickly, cleanly and efficiently to give you back your home with your plumbing repaired in as little time as possible. When you call them to fix your leaky faucet you know you have chosen the right solution to get the job done for you so that you can get back to a life without the sound of a drip that continually signifies money heading down the drain and a waste of water.

Let Flow Plumbing & Drain be your first choice for the repair of your leaky faucet and watch your plumbing worries head out the door with this team of amazing master plumbers. Give them a call today and let them fix your faucet

What do You do when a Drain is Clogged?

Have you ever felt like you were having an out of body experience? That’s the feeling you might get when you suddenly realize you have a drain that’s clogged and the water isn’t going down the way it’s supposed to. You stand there and watch and wait, hoping that by some miracle the drain is going to suddenly swallow whatever it is that has clogged it up and release the blockage so that your water will flow down. Unfortunately, no amount of waiting and staring can help get your drain unclogged.

When you’re faced with a clogged drain you may want to attempt to fix the problem yourself. A sink drain might only be clogged at the trap and need that part cleaned out to continue to move. If so, that’s a fairly easy fix that you can perform, but if this isn’t the problem and the clog is much farther down the line you certainly want to consider calling an expert to handle the problem. At Flow Plumbing & Drain we can get your pipes unclogged and give you the free flow you want from your drain once again.

For that simple repair of the trap under your sink you can remove the trap and clean it out to see if that’s the cause of your problems. Before you remove the trap you need to place a bucket under the pipes because once you remove the trap the water that has been stuck in your sink is going to come gushing out and has to have somewhere to go. Once removed, check the trap for any objects that could have caused the clog, clean it out and put it back in place. If your drain works properly once again you have just solved the clog on your own.

If you are unable to fix your clog by simply cleaning out the trap, you may have a variety of other issues and need to call a plumber. There could be a sewer line that’s attached to your home that is backed up and causing the problem, which can actually be your responsibility, you may have a washing machine that’s causing the issue, or your garbage disposal could be working improperly because of items that were put in it that shouldn’t have been.

Whatever the problem is that is causing your clogged drain, the team at Flow Plumbing & Drain can fix it for you. There are actually a few accesses to the pipes in your home and the experienced professionals at Flow Plumbing & Drain will start at the drain that seems to be backed up and work toward the larger pipes to find the clog and release it. Many times this requires the use of a powerful drain cleaning machine that pushes a metal snake down the drain to find the clog and either pull it out or push through it to release the backed up water and waste in your home.

Clogged drains are a part of life. Many people have a tendency to put items in their drain they shouldn’t and the waste such as dirt, grime, hair, grease and other items that leave our bodies or are used during cooking can eventually cause a slowing of the flow in your pipes which causes a clog. With the team of Flow Plumbing & Drain on the job to get your clog removed and your wastewater flowing once again you won’t be left staring at the sink, waiting for the water to go down the drain and out to the sewage pipes.

Having drains that are clogged at home is one problem; a commercial drain at your place of business is typically a much larger issue entirely. It’s your responsibility to provide your customers and employees with plumbing that works so they can continue to enjoy the products and services you provide. Give the professionals a call when you have a clog in your business, the team at Flow Plumbing & Drain has the tools and the experience to handle every problem drain and clog you have to ensure the plumbing for your business can continue to operate effectively.

Clogged drains aren’t any fun and can leave us frustrated and upset. No matter if the clog is big or small, the team of Flow Plumbing & Drain can get your wastewater running properly again and keep you from having a horrible out of body experience where you watch the water and just wait for it to go down the drain; which it never does, at least not until you call

How do You Handle a Clogged or Leaky Toilet?

In the civilized world of indoor plumbing the toilet is one of the most important parts of the plumbing in your home to help keep your waste moving the way it should. As a huge step up from the days of the outhouse and the need to freeze in the winter because the need to relieve yourself meant a walk of nearly fifty yards to the tiny and rickety building that could be full of bugs or rodents, your toilet can cause you some headaches at times.

When a toilet becomes clogged typically the first thing you reach for is a plunger. Hopefully this works for you to relieve the clog and have your toilet operating perfectly once again, but there are times when the simple plunger won’t do the trick and you need to have additional and professional help to have the waste line moving in the right direction once again. This can become a messy and ultimately disgusting job and not something you want to take on yourself, unless you happen to be a plumber.

When the toilet clog you have is much more involved than the simple plunger can handle you should call the caring and professional team of Flow Plumbing & Drain. This team of expert plumbers is on call to help you have your toilet working properly once again. In a home where there are children and even pets most major clogs that get beyond the actual toilet can be caused by the wrong materials being put down the toilet and then flushed. If the items is stuck in the toilet plumbing you may need to replace the bowl in order to have your system work right again, but you should allow the professionals to take a look and let you know what to do.

At Flow Plumbing & Drain they have experienced just about everything you can imagine in a toilet that is backed up. From a large amount of paper towels that has to be moved to have the waste flow to clothing, toys, jewelry and even pests that can find their way into the waste pluming system. With this team of professionals on hand you will certainly have your toilet working once again so that you can get back to doing your business in privacy and with the confidence of every flush.

Another problem faced with toilets is having one that leaks. If your toilet seems to take too long to fill or never stops filling you have a leak somewhere. This can cause you to have a much higher water bill than normal and end up wasting a huge amount of water until this is fixed. There are a few things you should do on your own before you call a plumber, but if you still have a persistent leak, it may be a good idea to let the professionals at Flow Plumbing & Drain take a look at your toilet.

What you can do to check for leaks is open the tank and make sure the water is not flowing over the overflow pipe. If the water level becomes higher than this pipe it will not stop flowing because it will run down the pipe and out through the bowl. Adjust the fill valve by turning the screw to adjust the ball cock or flow indicator until the water stops at least an inch below the top of the overflow pipe. This adjustment helps to alleviate any major leaking and will help you hear a toilet that has stopped filling.

Another problem you could have is a leaking ball or flapper. In order to test this you should put a few drops of food coloring into the tank once the tank has stopped filling. Wait approximately fifteen minutes and check the bowl to see if the water has changed color. If it has you have a leaking flapper or ball and they need to be replaced to keep from having a continuous leak in your toilet. If you don’t feel confident enough to replace these parts you can always call the team at Flow Plumbing & Drain to replace them for you.

While some plumbing fixes are as simple as using a plunger to push waste down the pipe or adjust the flow valve of a toilet, other repairs require the assistance of a master plumber. Let Flow Plumbing & Drain get to the bottom of the problems you have with your toilet so you can get back to enjoying the wonders of indoor plumbing and the fact that you don’t have to walk outside to the building that is positioned over a hole in the ground to do your business.

What Should My Children Know About Plumbing?

Parents have the most important job in the world; to turn their children into adults that can contribute in a positive way to society. While it may seem like a small item to teach children how to take turns, what it means to share, why they should apologize after doing someone wrong or how to look out for other and stay safe these are lessons that will carry with them into adulthood that they can pass on to their own children someday. The same goes for good practices around the home with regards to plumbing.

One of the most important things you can teach your children about is conservation. You don’t have to have them out collecting rainwater or trying to make clothes out of hemp to do this, although there’s nothing wrong with either of those activities, the lessons you can teach are much simpler. One of the most important activities they can do is to turn off the faucet. Teach them to not just turn the faucet off when they are done with an activity, but while performing it. When brushing teach, when washing hands, before a shower and even while washing food, when the faucet isn’t needed it should be turned off and then back on when it is needed again.

The turning off of the faucet will save nearly eight gallons of water a day and over 200 gallons a month if this becomes a habit for your family. This means you step in the shower and turn it on instead of having the shower running while undressing and you turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth or wash your hands to help conserve water.

Another lesson that children need to learn and can learn at earlier ages is what they should and should not put down a drain. We’ve all heard horror stories of kids around toilets and losing their favorite toy, but as kids get older they need to know what items they can put in the toilet (which really should only be toilet paper), and why some items such as paper towels, hair, gum or other items can be harmful to the flow of the toilet drain. This can help save your toilet from unwanted wear and clogging and also teach your children about pluming needs.

Another drain that sometimes will confuse even adults is the one attached to the kitchen sink that has a disposal on it. Too often children think of the disposal as this monster with massive teeth that can eat anything and sometimes they try to make that happen. You need to teach them that only some food items are allowed in the disposal and certainly never an item that isn’t a food item at all. This also applies to grease being put down the drain, which they should learn never to put into the plumbing because it can cause clogs farther down the wastewater line and cause you to have to call a plumber for service.

Where things are stored around plumbing items is another topic of discussion for you and your children. If your home has the water heater in a closet space you should teach them to never store toys or combustible items in this closet. This space should be reserved for the water heater, especially one that operates on gas as these water heaters use a flame to heat the water for your home. This closet can become a fire hazard for the home if items that are combustible are stored in this closet.

Beyond plumbing safety and conservation, as your children get older you should teach them how to clean out a drain trap and how to shut off the water in case of a leak or ruptured faucet. Lots of water can be wasted and your home damaged if your children are the ones that use the faucet when it cracks and breaks which can spew water all over your kitchen or bathroom. Introducing your children to the inner workings of your home will amaze them and give them lessons they can pass on later in their lives as well as ensure they know what to do when your home faucet runs out of control.

Finally, one of the most important lessons you can teach your children is how to use a toilet plunger. At some point in their lives the toilet will overflow and they won’t be able to stop it. You certainly don’t want their waste all over your house or the water that can cause damage. Teach them to watch and make sure the toilet water goes down when they flush and what to do when the water doesn’t so they can help you keep the pluming safe and operational.

By teaching your children some of these basic items you are letting them be responsible for their own plumbing knowledge and making them more comfortable around the items in your home, especially that monster under the sink that seems to growl and chew everything up.

Water Damage: Prevention and Management.

Water is one of the most impressive elements on the planet.  Over seventy percent of the Earth is covered in water and a large wave of water has the capability to level cities and destroy towns.  Every year we see massive flooding in areas where the snow has melted back to water and doesn’t have enough places to go and we are often afraid of hurricanes and tsunamis that carry millions of gallons of water with them.  Water is even damaging as it flows through the pipes in your home, especially if you don’t take the proper precautions.

Not only can water damage your home, but it can come from any of three areas and cause you to become ill if exposed to certain water that can back up in your home.  There ae three categories of water that can damage your home; uncontaminated, grey and black.  The uncontaminated water is that which comes out of your sink or tub and is clean.  This water doesn’t pose a threat to your health, but can damage your home and cause you to need expensive repairs if it leaks inside the walls or under the floors of your home.

Grey water is discharge from a sump pump or dishwater and it could contain contaminants.  With these bacteria in the water you could actually become ill from the exposure to this type of water.  The worst of the three is black water which comes from sewer backups and floods which can carry a myriad of diseases and cause not only serious illness, but also death.  While there isn’t much you can do to prevent a flood, there are several things you need to do to help prevent water damage in your home.

It’s important to make sure your plumbing continues to work properly inside your home and you can do a lot to make sure this happens.  One item on your list is a regular check of your water lines and the seals on items such as the washing machine, water heater, dishwasher and ice maker.  If you find any leakage at all the seal may need to be replaced, make sure you do so right away.  Another item on the list, which many of us forget about, is draining the water heater.  You should do this about once every six months to help avoid any sediment buildup that can occur inside the water heater.

When you keep your home heated properly and don’t allow your home to freeze over the winter at all you can help prevent your pipes from bursting, but you should also insulate all exposed pipes that may freeze from the elements to ensure none of them will burst even if they get cold.  When you inspect your water lines you should also check your water shut off valves in all locations to make sure they are all working properly, including the main shut off for the entire house.  If you have a sump pump, make sure it continues to work properly by testing it at least once a year so that it will spring to life and pump out the water when called upon to do so.

When you do see signs of water damage in your home or have free flowing water that isn’t contained you need to take some preventive measures immediately to minimize the damage to your home.  The first step is to turn off the water supply to your home.  The second step is to turn off the all the power; water and electricity don’t mix well at all.  Next you want to move any furniture you have in the affected area away from it and then you should call a professional to assess the damage.

Water can be extremely damaging and wasted if you don’t handle a water leakage problem right away.  A small crack in a pipe could release up to 250 gallons of water per day which is wasted and adds to your water bill.  When you have a damp area mold can grow in this area within the first couple days which can cause you to become extremely sick.

Know how to prevent water damage to your home and also how to react when you have a water leakage that you can’t explain or control.  Let the professionals fix any water leaks you have and help you prevent further water damage in the future.  Taking the right precautions and acting quickly can minimize the overall damage to your home and help to isolate the problem.

What Should a New Homeowner Know About Plumbing?

Buying a home is typically the largest single investment we make in our lives. When you make a home purchase there are plenty of items you need to take a look at before you purchase the home, but once you have bought your new dwelling it’s time to take some action and see what your home has for you to work with and handle. There are many items around your home you should learn about and figure out how to maintain, the plumbing of your new home being one of them.

The plumbing of your new house runs throughout your home and gives you the running water and flowing drains you want. In order to keep them this way you should learn about them and what you need to do should these items become clogged, stop working or need replacing. It’s important not only to know what your pluming looks like and how it works, but also where the shut off valve is for each fixture in order to close off the water flow should that area need to be turned off in the event of a leak.

Not only should you know about the shut off valves that are positioned throughout your home you should take a look around and see what different plumbing items are. Some items that you typically might not think about until they break are your water heater, dishwasher, garbage disposal, faucets and toilets. When many of us think of plumbing we think of the pipes in the walls that we can’t see, but more often than not if there is an issue with your plumbing system it will be in an area you can actually see and being familiar with the parts, such as the inner workings of your toilet tank, can help you know when something is wrong.

With the information you can find on the internet in this day and age you can try a variety of the different plumbing fixes yourself. In areas where the winters get cold it’s a good idea to insulate your pipes so they don’t get frozen. Frozen pipes can be an extremely expensive repair and lead to more damage than just the pipe, which makes it all the more important for you to insulate them and protect them from the dropping temperatures. Topics such as this as well as cleaning out a drain trap can help save you money and add to your overall maintenance in your home. Learning about the how-to topics of plumbing may make you realize you need to be careful with the plumbing of your home to ensure it continues to work properly. Some of us feel as if the garbage disposal can eat up anything, but toss a penny in one and see how soon it stops working altogether. While this machine does work well for most foods you need to be careful not to put items in the disposal that don’t belong.

Speaking of items that don’t belong; your toilets can be an attractive place for your children to toss toys or put an entire roll of paper towels. Make sure you have locks on the toilet when they are young and know how to use a plunger to help relieve the toilet of clogs. The toilet can be the worst place for many items to end up and cause your plumbing to be backed up all the way to the sewer at the street which would require you to call a professional to visit and handle the job of fixing the wastewater line.

When it comes to plumbing another tip is to address a problem right away. Leaking faucets or pipes and clogged drains and toilets can lead to other damage in your home. Water can be one of the most damaging items that flows through your home and you need to make sure you protect your investment from the inevitable plumbing disaster. If you have a plumbing issue that is beyond your scope of abilities you should call a professional to handle the job for you. Of course if you have free flowing water you want to turn off the water valves near the flow of the water first, but once this is done make the call.

Being a homeowner is an exciting time in your life and you should take pride in being able to purchase your home. Now that you have a new home learn how to take care of the systems so that you can live a worry free existence in your new home for many years.