Happy New Year’s Eve! Have a great time welcoming the New Year tonight! We hope that you are able to achieve all of your resolutions for this upcoming year. Fun fact: the ancient Babylonians were the first to establish the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. That means that people have used this time of year to set goals for themselves for thousands of years! If one of your resolutions is to be more environmentally friendly, remember that an upgrade to your plumbing system can make a big difference in your house’s water usage!
Archive for December, 2011
Every contractor has his tool chest, and a Flemington plumber is no different. To the novice eye, some of these tools may seem alien and complicated, but in fact the most common tools are quite simple to use. They are specialized to the job they perform, but they are all in all pretty simple.
Below are some descriptions of the most common plumbing tools and their uses, so you can build your own DIY plumbing toolkit.
When many people think of plumbing tools, they think of that big orange iron wrench that plumbers on TV and in cartoons always carry around. That is a pipe wrench, which is a powerful adjustable wrench specifically designed to loosen and tighten plumbing fixtures like pipes. (Hence the name.)
Perhaps the most common plumber tool that people already have on hand is the versatile plunger, which is a lifesaver for clearing up most simple clogs. For stubborn clogs, a pipe snake can come in handy. Essentially a snake is just a length of sturdy but flexible metal or plastic with a spring on the end for snaring clogs, like bundles of hair or debris.
For tighter spaces, there is a basin wrench, which is specially designed to loosen and tighten connections under sinks and basins. A pipe wrench usually cannot reach these spots, so a basin wrench is called for in these situations.
For the tricky nuts, or spots where neither a pipe wrench nor basin wrench will do, a pair of slip-joint pliers is a necessity for plumbers. These pliers are adjustable and have sturdy teeth for gripping hexagonal nuts, such as those attaching a toilet to the flange in your bathroom.
While a professional Flemington plumber will have a much more comprehensive selection available to him, these pieces make a good starting toolkit for tackling most common DIY plumbing repairs and other jobs around the house.
Generally speaking, if you have a plumbing need that can’t be met with these tools and your know-how, it’s probably time to call a real plumber and avoid any mounting headaches or damage.
If you have a leaky pipe inside your Sharon Hill house, chances are you will notice it pretty quickly. Water seeping through the walls or the ceiling is a good indication that something is wrong and it is a hard thing to ignore. However, if there is a leak in your pipes or water line outside of your home, it can be a bit harder to detect. Fortunately, there are some things you can keep an eye out for that will alert you if this does become a problem.
One of the first places to look for signs of a leak outside your home is your water bill. While your bill may not be exactly the same every month, chances are that it generally stays within a certain range. And if you use a ton of water one month for some reason, you will probably be aware of it. But if your water bill suddenly goes up for no reason that you can discern, there is reason to suspect that a leaky pipe somewhere is the culprit.
Keep in mind that unexplained puddles in your yard can also be an indication that a pipe underground is leaking. If you notice something like this, it is a good idea to call a professional plumber right away. Fixing underground pipe leaks is a challenging chore and requires special equipment that you most likely do not have lying around your home.
There are several reasons that leaks in your outdoor pipes can develop. For one thing, the pipes may be old or they may have been defective to begin with. Improper installation or shoddy workmanship can all lead to problems later on. As frustrating as it is, there is very little you can do except have the leaky pipes fixed.
Another possibility is that extreme temperatures have been damaging the pipes over time. Particularly if you live in an area with harsh winters, it is very possible that your pipes have frozen or come close to it from time to time. This constant exposure to freezing temperatures will take its toll even on the highest-quality pipes and eventually they will need to be replaced.
No matter what caused the problem, though, or how you realize that it exists, it is important to get leaky outdoor pipes fixed right away. The problem will only continue to get worse if you do not act.
Merry Christmas everybody! Santa is delivering presents tonight and we hope you get everything you want under the Christmas tree. The holidays are all about spending time with your friends and family, we hope you have a great day full of love and laughter. To help make your Christmas as happy as it can be, here is a recipe for Whole Wheat Ginger Snaps:
Whole Wheat Ginger Snaps
“Spicy and chewy Ginger Snaps made with all whole wheat flour. Yummy!!”
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup molasses
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 cup white sugar for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs, and then the molasses. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, heaping the measures if you like a lot of spice. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture just until blended.
- Roll the dough into small balls, and dip the top of each ball into the remaining white sugar. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are cracked. Bake longer for crispy cookies, less time for chewy cookies. Cool on wire racks.
For more details, visit allrecipes.com.
And if you haven’t done so yet, remember schedule the annual maintenance of your plumbing system. Maintenance will cut down on future repairs and keep your system working as effectively as possible, saving you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t let your plumbing ruin your fun this winter!
When installing a new water heater in your Woodbury home, it is important to get one that is the appropriate size. Of course, one that is too small will not handle the capacity you need, so you will be stuck with water that is not quite hot enough.
You may think to just buy one that you are sure can more than handle the capacity you need, but there are drawbacks to this strategy. A water heater that is “too big” will also draw more power, resulting in waste and unnecessarily high bills. Plus, it will cost more up front than you really need to spend.
The trick is to get a water heater that is the correct size for your needs. For a conventional water heater with a tank, the metric you will need to refer to is the unit’s first hour rating, or FHR. To determine the necessary FHR, you first need to determine during which hour of the day your home uses the most water. Typically, this is either first thing in the morning or later in the evening, when most people are bathing. Once you know this, determine what the water usage is during that hour based on average usage for each task. For example, let’s say a typical morning in your home consists of:
- 3 showers (average of 12 gallons each)
- 1 food preparation (5 gallons)
- 1 hand dishwashing (4 gallons)
That’s about 45 gallons of hot water needed during that hour, so you need a unit with an FHR somewhere in that ballpark. The U.S. Department of Energy has a good worksheet to use for these measurements, which includes average usage rates for common household hot water tasks.
If you find any of this confusing, consider a professional consultation during the selection process. That will ensure you get the water heater that is right for you.
Happy Hanukkah to all of our Jewish friends! We hope you have an amazing Festival of Lights and enjoy spending time with your friends and family. The holidays are a great time to be thankful for all of the good things in life, and we thank you for helping our business prosper. Since of one the traditions of Hanukkah is great food, here is a recipe for Potato Pancakes:
“Keep this one in your recipe file because it ‘s perfect and simple Grated potatoes, a bit of onion, an egg, and enough flour to hold this masterpiece together. Shape into patties and fry to a crusty, brown crispness.”
4 large potatoes
1 yellow onion
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
ground black pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- Finely grate potatoes with onion into a large bowl. Drain off any excess liquid.
- Mix in egg, salt, and black pepper. Add enough flour to make mixture thick, about 2 to 4 tablespoons all together.
- Turn oven to low, about 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
- Heat 1/4 inch oil in the bottom of a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Drop two or three 1/4 cup mounds into hot oil, and flatten to make 1/2 inch thick pancakes. Fry, turning once, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel lined plates to drain, and keep warm in low oven until serving time. Repeat until all potato mixture is used.
For more details, visit allrecipes.com.
Maintaining your sewer lines is an important part of being a Bethlehem homeowner. Even the simplest preventative maintenance tasks could save you a lot of money and hassle. It’s also important to schedule routine check-ups with Resolve Rooter for complete preventative maintenance.
A consistently clogged toilet could indicate a larger plumbing issue, such as a blockage in the main line, but you can usually prevent these clogs with a little extra effort. Never flush anything that could get trapped in your sewer lines, such as feminine products, paper towels, or cat litter. This is especially important for Bethlehem homes with older plumbing systems. You can usually take care of most clogs with a plunger, but you should call a professional plumber if you continue to experience problems.
Kitchen and Bathroom Drains
Kitchen sinks without garbage disposals are much more susceptible to clogs since food waste can easily get washed down the drain. Mesh drain covers are the most effective at making sure food particles do not get trapped in the pipes. Coffee grounds are another common cause for clogged drains, so try to compost them instead of washing them down the drain.
If you have a disposal, make sure you don’t put pieces of food too large for the grinder or anything with a tough skin, such as carrots or potatoes. When food isn’t processed completely through the disposer, they get trapped in the pipes and can cause slower drains. Eggshells can help clean out any food waste that gets stuck on the interior walls, so don’t be afraid to put them in your garbage disposer.
Avoid washing grease down any kitchen drain, and try to use more natural cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals. The same applies to bathroom drains, since some cleaners can actually cause corrosion on soft metal pipes. For that same reason, avoid using drain cleaning products, such as Drain-O, for clogged drains. Use a plunger instead, and clean out your sink drains regularly to prevent further clogs.
Place hair catchers in your bathroom drains, especially in the shower. Loose hair is one of the most common causes of slow or clogged bathroom drains. Baking soda and vinegar will also help break down blockages and reduce bad odors. Make sure you let it sit for at least an hour and then pour boiling water down the drain to help clean it out.
Professional Sewer Maintenance
No matter how well you maintain your toilets and drains, you should have a professional plumber check your pipes at least once a year. Plumbers have equipment specially designed to inspect and clean your sewer lines, as well as assess any damage to your sewer lines and recommend a course of action. If you experience frequent clogs, or notice your water draining more slowly than usual, call a licensed plumbing contractor as soon as possible.
No matter what kind of plumbing issue you may have with your Bethlehem home, call Resolve Rooter for any plumbing repairs and yearly inspections.
If you live in a cold climate, like in New Brunswick, you might have experienced the disaster of a frozen pipe bursting. There are other causes of burst pipes, so rest assured you are not alone; plenty of homeowners have had to face a burst pipe as well.
When this happens, there are three fronts on which to attack the problem: stopping the flooding, repairing the pipes and preventing future bursts.
Before doing anything else, you need to stop the flooding in your house. Start by turning off the water supply, either to that pipe or to the whole house. It doesn’t matter which, as long as it’s shut off. Turn on cold water taps around the house to drain remaining water from the pipes. Turn off the water heater. This will at least prevent the flood damage from being too extensive.
Get a sump pump and or some absorbent material to start sopping up the water that leaked into your home, then call a plumber. The pipe and fitting will need to be replaced, and some adjacent ones may need to be as well, so the best solution here is just to call in a professional rather than try to do it yourself. The last thing you need is another burst pipe.
Finally, prevent future breaks in pipes by implementing some of these strategies:
- Insulate your pipes
- On cold days, keep your pipes warmer by opening up doors to the attic or basement
- When going away in the winter, shut off the water supply and drain the plumbing system
By keeping your pipes as warm and insulated as possible, you decrease the likelihood that the water within will freeze, potentially causing a leak or break in the pipe. Burst pipes are not necessarily completely preventable, so it is important that you now know what to do if and when a pipe bursts in your home.
Water damage, especially flooding, can cause serious trouble in your home, so everything you can do to prevent and mitigate the risk is a good step.
Resolve Rooter, Inc has been offering plumbing, drain, and sewer services for than a decade; we have managed to grow rapidly thanks to our commitment to complete customer satisfaction. Here is what R. & M. Hare from Mt. Holly wrote to us about their experience with our sewer pipe repair team:
We recently had a problem at our home which turned out to be an old, broken sewer pipe. We contacted another company and were treated in a very rude manner. The technician would not even get out of his truck! We contacted your company to have the problem corrected. We received immediate response and they promptly got the necessary permits, etc. and began the repair work promptly.
Today the job is finished and the property is pretty much back to order. We were treated courteously and professionally. We were very impressed with your employees, especially “George F”. It was a big job and was completed much to our satisfaction. You should be proud of your very professional employees.
It was a pleasure to deal with your company.
- R. & M. Hare in Mt. Holly
Most people don’t think about their water lines until something breaks, and that is when they realize how important their water line is to their home. A broken water line will disrupt cooking, bathing, and cleaning, not mention the potential damage it can cause to your home or yard. That is why it is so important to get your broken water line replaced as quickly as possible. Resolve Rooter is known throughout New Jersey for our water line replacement; we use trenchless technology to replace your water line with as little damage to your yard as possible. And we are offering a special deal – $100 OFF FULL WATER LINE REPLACEMENT! If you need your water line replaced, go to the experts: call Resolve Rooter today!