Winterize Vacation Home Plumbing

Winterize Your Vacation Home’s Plumbing

Owning a vacation property, such as a cabin in the woods, is great fun, until the pipes freeze and burst in the winter. Luckily, there are a number of steps that homeowners can take to prepare their plumbing, heating and gas for those long months of winter. These tips will help you preserve your plumbing and prevent freezing temperatures from doing major damage to your property in your absence. Turn off the water supply to the house. The main water valve is usually found at the water meter around the home’s exterior, or in the basement.  After turning off the water […]

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Is Drano Safe To Use

Is Drano Safe To Use?

Clearing a clog can be a headache. Many people turn to Drano and other harsh chemical cleaners, but they may not be safe in some situations. Read on to learn the truth about Drano, when its okay to use, and how less harsh alternatives can get the job done just as well. Drano in the Toilet Drano has long been advertised as a quick and easy way to eliminate clogs and prevent septic tank backup. However, many plumbers advise against using Drano at all. Liquids placed in the toilet will sit for a while. The chemicals in Drano are volatile […]

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How To Insulate Exposed Pipes

How to Insulate Exposed Pipes

Winter’s frigid temperatures can take a toll on your home’s exposed pipes. During periods of extreme cold, these pipes can freeze up and burst, leading to costly water damage. You can reduce the risk of this happening by insulating exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing. Insulating these pipes also helps reduce heat loss and prevents them from sweating, which decreases the risk of moisture damage. This project doesn’t require expensive materials or a lot of time, but it’s important to make sure you do it correctly. Materials To insulate exposed pipes, you’ll need the following: Rag and mild cleaning […]

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How To Drain Your Hot Water Heater

How To Drain Water Heater Sediment

If you’re like most people, you’ll be relying heavily on your water heater this Fall & Winter. Proper maintenance of the hot water heater, including periodic draining of the sediment, is a critical part of keeping it running throughout the cold months of Fall and Winter. Sediment that isn’t properly drained from the heater can circulate through your pipes and decrease its efficiency, thus shortening the life of the unit. The owner’s manual for your water heater should tell you how often to drain the sediment, but in general, it’s a good idea to do this every one to three years. […]

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How To Clean Gutters & Downspouts

How To Clean Leaves From A Gutter Or Downspout

As fall approaches, many homeowners may be thinking about gutter cleaning as a part of their regular home-maintenance routine. At this time it’s also important to address any clogged downspouts that could be preventing the gutter system from properly draining. Rain water that can’t properly drain can cause water damage to a home’s foundation, and may cause the formation of an ice dam in the winter. Some homes have downspouts that end at a location above ground, others have downspouts that feed into an underground PVC pipe. Downspout systems can become clogged in any location, above or below ground. Clearing […]

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Can You Flush Cat Litter In The Toilet

Can Cat Litter Be Flushed Down The Toilet?

Disposing of cat waste on a daily basis can be a pain. Many cat owners eventually find themselves wondering if used litter can simply be flushed down the toilet. This question is logical enough. After all, cat litter contains a form of excrement. The simple answer is “No“. Although there are some types of cat litter that are marketed as flushable, this does not mean that flushing is an acceptable method for disposal. Clogs Not all types of cat litter are flushable, and flushing the non-flushable cat litter can clog pipes. Many types of cat litter are designed to absorb […]

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Most Common Plumbing Mistakes

The Most Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes

Many homeowners take pleasure in completing basic home improvement tasks. Avoiding these common DIY plumbing mistakes will help you maintain your home more effectively and efficiently. Failure to Turn Off the Water Turning off the water is the first step in 90% of most plumbing projects, but it’s also an easy step to forget. Attempting to remove a fixture or fix a pipe before turning off the water can result in a nasty spray of water and a big mess to clean up. The shut off valve for most fixtures can be found on the wall beneath the fixture. Sometimes turning […]

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How To Detect A Slab Leak

How To Detect And Fix A Slab Leak

A slab leak is a break in a pipe that runs beneath the concrete foundation of your home. When the pipe breaks, water seeps into the ground and your home’s foundation. Slab leaks can occur in either water or sewer lines. Slab leaks cause costly damage, so early detection is important. To catch this problem at the onset, homeowners with concrete foundations must know what warning signs are indicative of this type of leak. Symptoms of a Leak A typical slab leak can resemble other plumbing problems, making this issue difficult to diagnose. The following symptoms are common of slab […]

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My Septic System Smells

Does Your Outside Septic System Smell Terrible?

Your septic tank is a large, waterproof, concrete tank in the yard of your home. The septic tank collects wastewater that has been flushed down drains, showers and toilets. Inside the septic tank sits a layer of sludge on the bottom, scum on top, and relatively clear water sandwiched between. With all that bacteria, grease and other waste from your home buried on your property, you’ll probably notice a variety of smells coming from your septic system over time. Some of these odors are expected, but in general, your septic system should not fill your house with a scent. If […]

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Refrigerator Has A Leak On The Inside

My Refrigerator Has An Inside Leak

Refrigerators are ubiquitous appliances in modern homes, and well constructed units are generally low-maintenance products that can serve you well for many years. However, as with all appliances, things can and do go wrong from time to time. One such problem is that refrigerators could develop a leak on the inside. Fortunately, this issue is often possible to identify and correcting the problem on your own is possible, following these basic steps. Step-by-step Process Self-defrosting refrigerators have drainage tubes that carry water away from the refrigerator and into a drainage pan. Sometimes these tubes become clogged, causing a leak. Often these drainage […]

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