Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Has Sprung: Nipping Your Home’s Plumbing Issues in the Bud

Depending on where you live, it may seem as if winter’s never going to go away. Yet, Spring is in the process of springing throughout most of the northern hemisphere. With its arrival comes the need to check your home’s plumbing (both interior and exterior) to make sure that any damage that may have occurred as the result of icy cold weather is addressed early.


Inside Checklist
It’s important to run a check of all of your home’s interior plumbing fixtures on a regular basis to ensure they’re in proper working order, but doing so after the spring thaw is particularly important. Begin with the one place in your home that sees the most frequent amount of water use: your bathrooms. Run all faucets and check for leaks. Be sure to rotate the water valves behind your toilet and underneath your sinks to ensure they’re fully functional.
Moving to your home’s appliances, check those that have water supply lines (dishwasher, clothes washer, or refrigerator ice maker) for line leaks and make necessary replacements or repairs. Also perform a visual check on all exposed pipes in your basement for leaks or signs of damage.

Outside Inspections
Ensure that your exterior water is flowing freely and that there aren’t any leaks in your faucets or, even worse, pipes that have cracked during the course of winter. One of the signs that this has happened is experiencing a water leak inside your house when the exterior water is turned on. Identifying this early on is integral to isolating the problem and replacing any cracked pipes that could cause severe damage to your home’s interior.
Additionally, now’s the time to bust out that seldom used ladder and prop it against the side of your home so that you can climb up far enough to visually check your gutters and downspouts for blockages. This is a task that you have to perform at least twice a year both prior to the onset of winter and after it’s run its course in spring. Removing any leaves or foreign objects that have become stuck in your home’s gutters ensures their longevity. During cold weather, it also prevents trapped water from freezing over and causing damage. Clogged up rain gutters can contribute to ice dams that can cause water to back up and seep into your home.

The Slow Leak Test
A good way to check for slow leaks in your home that may be impossible to detect as they’re happening is to take a reading of your water meter before turning in for the night. Be sure to then read it again in the morning before using any water. If there’s any difference in the reading, you’ve just identified a leak. This method works as long as you’re not the type to make repeat bathroom visits during the night. If you are – or if you have a family – you might try this method prior to going on a vacation.

A Professional Opinion
If you’d rather have a professional take care of it, contact a professional plumber to come to your home and give it a spring once-over. The money you’ll spend in doing so could turn out to be far cheaper than dealing with extensive home repairs from water damage further down the line. 
If you have any experience in this area or if you’ve got additional ideas on how others can check their home’s plumbing health, feel free to share your ideas and opinions below.







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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Benefits of Hiring a Family Owned Business


There are three types of people in the world: those who want it done cheap, those who want it done right, and those who can’t seem to decide which way to go. If you’re no stranger to the third category, don’t worry as you are not alone. When it comes to forking over our hard earned money, many of us have a hard time determining who’ll give us the best quality for the best value. But, the closer you look and the deeper you dig, it’s the family owned and operated business that always comes out smelling like a rose.

Take a Closer Look
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a plumber, an electrician, or an auto mechanic, it’s important to look into the history of any business before determining if they’re the right company to hire. Start with those businesses that advertise as being family owned and operated, but bear in mind that not all family owned companies are the same. If you’re looking for excellent service that’s backed by years of experience, look for the multi-generational company that’s been around long enough to have been passed down from one generation to the next. You won’t have any trouble finding this information – most companies that are second generation and older proudly advertise this fact.

An Issue of Longevity
Family owned and operated businesses, especially those that have been running successfully for generations, are far less likely to “go away” overnight – something that’s a big concern these days to customers who buy into services with warranty contracts. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that no company is impervious to a sometimes volatile economy. But, businesses that have been around long enough to have been passed down from one generation to another show that they’ve got what it takes to weather any kind of economic environment. They’ll be around for quite some time as their history has proved.

Core Values
A business that’s owned and operated by a family is the kind of business that you can most often count on to hold certain core values that are in perfect alignment with you getting a good deal and getting superlative service. Those core values are

·         Honesty – The strength of a family owned business is its standing in the local community. Without that standing and a good reputation, they won’t be around very long, and they’re well aware of this, which is why your odds of getting complete honesty and pricing transparency are the greatest with a family owned business.
·         Quality of Workmanship – A company that doesn’t take pride in their workmanship is a company that you don’t want to hire for any purposes. Along with pride comes quality of work, which should be your primary concern next to cost.
·         Integrity – Individuals who are employees and co-owners of family owned businesses take great pride in their work and are conscious that every job they perform is vital to the company’s reputation. By hiring a family owned business, you’re ensuring not only a thorough job, but also fair pricing at competitive rates.

Family owned and operated businesses always emerge as the smart choice for customers who want to ensure quality work, fair prices, and excellent service. If you’re looking for a plumber that will give you all three of these, look no further than Pete’s Plumbing. Pete’s Plumbing is a second-generation business that holds these values closely and isn’t satisfied with a job unless their customers are.

Do you have any experience working with a family owned and operated business? What were some of the benefits? Leave your feedback below.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Very few people like to think about what’s going on inside their home’s plumbing let alone paying someone to take a peek inside. But if, your home is experiencing a draining problem or other tough to diagnose issues, it may be time to bust out the camera and have a look.

The Fine Art of Video Inspection
You might think that taking video footage of your home’s plumbing would be an incredibly invasive procedure, but it’s not. The reality is that video inspections are pretty simple to perform compared to traditional methods of diagnosing home plumbing problems, and they are far more cost efficient.
Going the video inspection route involves running a snake with a tiny fiber optic video camera on one end directly into your home’s plumbing so that your plumber can visually see what the problem is rather than having to resort to digging holes and taking drastic measures that are essentially just stabs in the dark. Video inspection removes the guesswork and gets directly to the source of the problem so that it can be fixed with minimally invasive techniques.

What Can Cause Pipe and Sewer Blockage?
Drainage and plumbing blockages can be brought about by a variety of different causes that can be both difficult and time consuming to diagnose not to mention incredibly expensive – especially if eventual diagnosis comes at the cost of repeat visits to try to fix the problem. These causes can include:
• Tree roots that have grown underneath your foundation and are pressing against, wrapping around, or even growing through your pipes;
• Improperly installed plumbing;
• Corrosion;
• Small punctures made during construction or renovation of your home;
• Crimped PVC pipes restricting the flow of water; and
• Foreign objects lodged in your pipes.

The Preventative Benefits of Video Inspection
You don’t have to have an existing problem to have a video inspection of your plumbing performed. In fact, doing so before the development of issues could save you thousands of dollars down the line if a potential problem is identified and measures are taken to nip it in the bud and prevent further damage. Video inspection is strongly recommended for those who want the peace of mind in knowing that their plumbing is in good condition.

Video Inspection for Home Buyers
Plumbing problems can be difficult to diagnose and incredibly costly to repair. If you’re in the market to buy a home, you can ask for a scope of the home’s plumbing to be performed in order to assure that there aren’t any issues developing, which could turn your dream home into a waking nightmare further down the line.
Video inspection is also a good idea if you’re putting your home up for sale and would like to be able to offer potential buyers evidence that your plumbing system is in good shape. You can obtain VHS or DVD copies of the video and offer this to interested parties as proof positive.

Who Should Perform the Video Inspection?
If you’re currently experiencing plumbing issues or just want to give your home’s plumbing a clean bill of health, there are a growing number of businesses that can perform this for you. However, not all of the companies that do provide this service have the ability to repair an issue once it’s been diagnosed, and you might be forced to take your video evidence to a professional plumber who can.

In order to avoid the additional legwork, it’s strongly recommended that you pair up with a plumbing company that offers video inspection as a regular service for both diagnosis and prevention. Pete’s Plumbing is one such company that offers the full package -- from inspection to repair.
Have you ever had a video inspection performed of your home’s plumbing? Do you wish you had? Let us know what you think.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Benefits of Eco Plumbing for Commercial Properties


If you’re the owner of a commercial building or a rental property, you probably already know that you’ve got it a lot tougher than the average homeowner when it comes to making decisions about upgrading plumbing. If you want to take advantage of the ecological and financial benefits that low-flush toilets, low-flow shower heads, and automatic shutoff faucets could bring to your home, it’s relatively simple to take care of.

But, when you consider doing the same for an apartment complex with 50 or more living spaces or a commercial building with numerous public bathrooms, it’s a much bigger task that might make you wonder if it’s all worth it.

Is it Worth It?
In a word: yes. In two words: heck yes. Making the commitment to drag your property’s plumbing systems out of the 20th century and into the 21st by taking on the task of replacing all of your existing plumbing fixtures may seem like a daunting prospect. However, there are plenty of benefits that outweigh the initial expenditures you’ll have to pay. Here are just a few of those benefits.

Money Savings
First and foremost, you have to consider the financial benefits you’ll reap as a result of upgrading all plumbing fixtures throughout your property. After all, you’re not in the business of owning property to lose money. Every decision that you make -- from determining monthly rental fees to formulating the budget for exterior landscaping -- has to have the bottom line in mind.

While some may think that upgrading your property’s plumbing system is nothing more than an altruistic gesture, the fact is doing so can save you a lot of money in the long run. New technology can save you a great deal of money every month on water waste, allowing you to make up the amount of your initial investment in just a few short months.

Preventative Measures
Going green with your property’s plumbing system is also a solid step towards preventing future issues that could cost you a lot of money to repair. Consider the financial impact that old plumbing fixtures could have, not only on your water bill, but also on repairs for areas of your property damaged by a fixture that should have been replaced years ago.

Think about the costs of paying to repair flooring damaged by a burst pipe or slow leak. By replacing out-of-date fixtures today, you’ll be avoiding these kinds of problems in the future.

Modern Appeal
Whether you’re on board with green technologies or not, there are an awful lot of consumers out there who are – and they’re letting their voices be heard by exercising the power of their pockets, bringing business to companies that share their values for more eco-friendly products and services. Rental properties aren’t exempt from this, and you’ll find that the more you offer by way of ecologically conscious choices, the greater appeal your property will have for tenants who aren’t just looking for four walls, but who’ll smile on the idea of doing some environmental good in their choice of property.

What’s the First Step?
If you’re interested in retrofitting your property with modern, conservation-minded plumbing fixtures but don’t know where to start, your first step should be to contact a commercial plumbing company. They can help you by providing an analysis of your existing equipment. These eco plumbing experts are available to visit your commercial property and perform a thorough examination.

This will let you know what you need to hit first in order to be able to maximize your water savings. Having this type of assessment goes a long way in helping you isolate the issues of greatest concern and take care of them first, taking a gradual, tiered approach to your plumbing upgrades.

Are you a property owner who’s considering replacing all of your plumbing fixtures but have questions before you begin? Do you have knowledge about what’s involved and want to share your experiences? Feel free to ask questions or post your comments below.