Gas Safety Tips for the Home
A large portion of America’s homes relies on natural gas to heat water and cook food and to provide warmth during the fall and winter months. Natural gas is a clean, affordable resource, but in some cases, it can be extremely dangerous to the occupants of a home. If your home relies on natural gas, take a few minutes to read our gas safety tips so you can reduce the risk of experiencing a dangerous natural gas accident. Which Appliances Run on Natural Gas? As the homeowner, it’s important that you know which appliances in your home run on natural gas. Generally, the appliances that run on gas, include: Ovens Furnaces Clothes dryers Stovetop ranges Water heaters Stove ranges, water heaters, ovens and clothes dryers can either be gas or electric. If you determine that your home operates these appliances on gas, and not electric, next you’ll want to find
Spring Cleaning Plumbing Tips
As the weather gets warmer, we have much to look forward to. Our lawns will be green again, flowers will be blooming, and the leaves on our trees will be lush and full, which not only provides shade but makes our yards look beautiful after a long winter. For homeowners, the spring means lots of things. It means it’s time to organize garages and clean rain gutters of leaves and debris and give the inside of the house a thorough dusting and cleaning. While you’re contemplating which flowers to plant in your yard this spring, don’t forget about your indoor plumbing, especially if your family has spent a great deal of time indoors this winter, heavily using sinks, showers, and tubs. Just like your rain gutters, air ducts and carpets, indoor plumbing systems and sump pumps need to be periodically maintained, otherwise, you can be in for a clogged drain or toilet, a
Plumbing Problems in Rented Homes
When you are the homeowner and you live in your own home, you should have a good understanding of how your plumbing system has been maintained over the years. After all, you and your family are the ones living in the house. As the homeowner, hopefully, you have taught your family, guests or roommates how to properly take care of the plumbing. For example, you don’t flush cat litter or paper towels down the toilet, and you don’t pour grease down the kitchen drain. But what if you rent your property out? Or, what if you’re renting your home? Whether you rent your home out to tenants, or if you’re a new tenant, you don’t exactly know how well the plumbing has been maintained while it’s been rented out. Plumbing Concerns for Tenants If you’re a tenant, it’s your responsibility to understand how to properly maintain a home’s plumbing system.
Your Handy Plumbing Checklist
Plumbing is one of those modern-day conveniences that we rarely think about until we have a problem. But, as we all know nothing says pain in the neck more than a clogged toilet, loss of water pressure, or broken garbage disposal. Or worse, a burst sewer line that has sewage spilling into your home instead of the septic tank or sewer system! If you’re not the DIY type, you may not understand your home’s plumbing system all that well, but it’s really not that complicated. The trick is to gain a basic understanding of how everything works so you can maintain your system and prevent major problems before they start. Here’s a basic plumbing checklist to help you get started with maintaining your home plumbing. Review this inspection checklist and ask yourself whether any aspects of your plumbing system may be in need of attention, inspection, or repairs. 1. Do
Save Energy: Insulate Your Hot Water Heater
Just as you should insulate your plumbing pipes, your walls and roof, insulating your hot water heater is an easy and inexpensive way to improve efficiency and save money each month. If you have a new unit, it’s probably already insulated. But, if you have an older hot water tank, we recommend checking it out to see if it has an insulation with an R-value of at least 24. If it does not, you may want to consider insulating the hot water tank. Why? Because by insulating the tank you can: Reduce standby heat losses by as much as 45% Save up to 9% on your water heating bill The insulation should pay for itself within a year It’s easy to find pre-cut jackets or blankets that are in the ballpark of $20. If you aren’t sure of your water heater’s R-value, all you have to do is touch it. If
Is Your Plumbing Ready for the Holidays?
Now that the air has gotten cooler and the leaves have turned brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red, it means that the holidays have officially arrived. What does the holiday season mean to you? Does it mean having a huge Thanksgiving dinner with a dozen or more guests enjoying the celebrations? Does it mean that your school-aged children are home for winter break, or that you’re having family from out of town visit? If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your plumbing fixtures are going to take a beating this holiday season, especially if you’re the type that loves to entertain for the holidays. How will your plumbing hold up? Plumbing-wise, here’s what you want to think about before the festivities begin: Is my garbage disposal in good shape, or is it working at all? Do I have a toilet that’s clogging too often? Are my shower, tub, and
Should I Insulate My Water Heater Tank?
If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably put some thought into the insulation in your walls and roof. What about your hot water tank, can insulation help you save energy and money there too? The short answer is yes, absolutely. You already know that it’s smart to insulate your walls and roof, and the same goes for your hot water tank. Insulating your water heater is a simple and inexpensive way to save money each month, all the while improving energy efficiency. If you have a brand new water tank, it’s probably insulated. On the other hand, if you have an older unit, you’ll want to check to see if it has an insulation with an R-value of at least 24. If it doesn’t, we suggest insulating the water tank. By doing so, you could easily reduce the standby heat loss by as much as 45%, and you can save as
When to Replace a Water Heater
Your water heater has passed its expected lifespan, should you have it replaced? Or, should you just wait until you don’t have any more hot water? This is a question that we hear a lot and it reminds us of the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Or, to be more specific, don’t replace it. There’s no reason to waste good money on a new water heater if your old one is working just fine. The average lifespan of a water heater is 10 to 15 years, but some can last even longer. There is one exception: If you want to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model, you may want to replace the older unit sooner than later. If you’re considering replacing a working water heater, we suggest that you consider the following: Have you been diligent about maintaining the water heater? When units are regularly maintained
When Should I Replace My Water Heater?
Your water heater has passed its expected lifespan, should you have it replaced? Or, should you just wait until you don’t have any more hot water? There can be warning signs other than a lack of hot water when you’ve gone past the life expectancy of your water heater, no matter the type of water heater (electric or gas water heaters). Other warning signs your old water heater is on its way out: Muddy or rusty water comes out of the faucet which could mean you need a new anode rod A hissing, cracking, popping or sizzling noise – strange noises in general are not good A leaking pressure-relief valve Leaking water supply pipes Increased sediment in the water Water with a metallic taste to it Water is warm but not hot – could be a bad heating element, or thermostat The good news is that today’s water heaters require
Why Does My Sink Smell Like Rotten Eggs?
It is not uncommon for homeowners to encounter unpleasant odors in their household sinks or water, and when they do, they want to go to the source of the problem and find out what is causing their water or sinks to smell unpleasant. If you are experiencing an unpleasant odor in all of your water faucets, then you most likely have a problem with the main water supply. On the other hand, if the smell is only coming from certain faucets, the problem is probably located in the fixtures or pipes involved in those specific faucets. Does Your Sink Smell Like Rotten Eggs or Sewage? If you are experiencing a rotten egg (sulfurous) or sewage-like odor in certain sinks, it is likely a result of bacteria activity, which can be caused by bacteria growth inside the drain: This is the most common cause behind foul odors. As time goes by,