The Importance Of Regular Gutter Cleaning And Care

When you own a home, you have a lot more responsibilities. The lawn, the mortgage, the bills, home owner insurance, property tax etc… Just don’t forget the little things about maintaining your home: Trimming the hedges, repainting and of course, the importance of regular gutter cleaning.

It’s easy to forget simply because the gutters are kind of out of site. If your toilet is on the fritz, you’re gonna know it. But your rain gutters might be more backed up than a Los Angeles highway, and you won’t know it til you get the ladder out. Nonetheless, you gotta clean’em out from time to time if you want your roof to stay in one piece!

So here’s what to keep in mind when it comes to gutter maintenance…

Don’t Wait Til Rain Season!

Don’t just wait until the rainy season! When it starts raining, it’s too late. Not only are your gutters already clogged, preventing proper flow, you’re also going to wind up scooping out a bunch of yucky, clumpy stuff instead of just dry leaves! Anyways, who knows what could be in there? Your kids baseball? A bird’s nest? Check them at least once a month. You might not have to clean them that often, but at least check them. read more

Mystery Leak in Mansion – How I Fixed It



There was a cascade of water flowing down the cobblestone driveway. As I approached the four car garage, I noticed steam. I then saw water pouring out of the electrical service panel, that was about four feet long and three feet tall. I then ran back to my truck and got my rubber gloves, rubber boots and my leather gloves. I doubled up the rubber ones and put on the leather gloves before opening that panel. I then saw that water droplets were hanging like grapes. The steam was making the whole panel drip everywhere.

  Where was the hot water heater? Nobody living there knew. O. K., I started opening doors in the vicinity of the panel. Finding two 100 gallon electric heaters, I shut the water off on both. They were both cranked to the max. I turned them to “vacation”. Then I went back to the panel and looked again. Everything was dripping so much from the top down that it was impossible to tell if the water had come from above or behind or what. I proceeded to cut some small observation holes in the wall directly behind the panels to find if there were any pipes there. It would sure have been against building codes if there had been. read more

My Gas Pipe Re-routing Adventure

gaspipeThe Story

It was a 3 bedroom early 60’s home on a slab, just perfect for flipping. The new owners had spent a lot having a designer make plans for a gourmet kitchen when they found out the old gas pipe was now in the wrong spot. Then they called for help.

The gas service was 3/4 pipe and only fed a small furnace and the stove. The pipe in the kitchen came up about 24″ above the floor and was now where the new marble countertop would be. There was no way to run the pipe over to the new cooktop area, which was opposite the old location, without drilling through all the new cabinets. This horrified the new owners and simply wouldn’t be practical from a plumbing point of view.

The only choice was to run the pipe up, over the roof, and back down into the new cooktop location. Well, it wasn’t going to be easy.

I started by carefully bashing plotted holes in the walls to find studs and the old kitchen vent. I planned to make a swing joint in the pipe running over the roof to meet up to the new pipe location – wherever that ended up being. I started with a plumb bob to get the hole in the eave just right over the 3/4 service. I then had to install a new earthquake valve shutoff. read more

How To Install A Toilet – A DIY Guide

Many people think that removing their old toilet and replacing it with a high efficiency one is a difficult task, but it is actually quite easy. First things first-gather up some hand tools, study the literature that came with the new toilet and your all set to get started.

Removing the old toilet:
Reach down behind the toilet and turn the handle on the shut off valve clockwise to turn off the water to the toilet. If the valve won’t turn, you need to locate your main house valve and turn it off. Next, you need to remove all the water from the toilet. Although it is possible to pull a toilet with water in it – plan on a small clean up job. So go ahead and flush the toilet and hold the handle down so most of the water drains from the tank. You may need to hold the flapper up for a minute. A sponge or wet vac will help remove the remaining water from the tank and bowl. After removing all the water, place a towel on the floor directly under the supply that connects to the toilet. Remove the supply line from the toilet tank. The towel will catch any water that might remain without making a big mess. All that’s left now is to remove the nuts from the toilet bolts. These are located at the base of the toilet under the bolt caps that conceal the nuts. Gently pry them off with a flat screwdriver. If the nuts don’t come off easily, you’ll need to cut the bolts instead. A mini hack saw is ideal for this. Once the nuts are removed, gently rock the toilet side to side while applying upward pressure. This will help break the seal on the bowl wax. Now that you have the toilet off it’s floor flange, carry it outside so its out of your way. read more

Water Contaminants: The Best Reasons to Use a Whole House Water Filter

There are as many as 2000 contaminants in water, when untreated. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets 90 water contaminants as the acceptable level for potable drinking water. Still, this acceptable number can perilously increase with time because of the inevitable accumulation of rust and dirt on your pipes and faucets.

Why not use a whole house water filter to solve the problem of water contaminants at its root? Why the fuss when even the EPA has declared that 90 contaminants are acceptable? Well, because you never really know what harmful contaminants made it through your water supplier’s filtration process!

What Contaminants Are Removed

When you use a whole house water filter, you remove as many as 20 harmful water contaminants! Any one of these can cause illnesses and diseases, which often manifest themselves almost immediately.

Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, selenium, cadmium and copper pose health risks. Arsenic causes cancer, nervous system damage, hormonal dysfunctions, and skin problems; when ingested in large doses, it can kill a fully grown man (and horse, judging by Phar Lap’s death 75 years ago). read more

How Your Plumbing System Works

In this article, I want to educate you on how the basic plumbing system in your house works, step-by-step. So without wasting time, let’s get started.

Is it Septic or Sewer?

Most houses in the Troy area these days are on a city sewer. When you are on a city sewer you have a main sewer line that starts at the street and comes under the foundation into your basement or crawl space. This is usually a 4” pipe and is what usually requires the use of a snake if it gets blocked. In newer homes which use PVC pipe from the street to the house, the need for snaking is greatly reduced.

Now if your house is older and still has clay or cast iron pipe, you may need a snake more often and in severe cases, a complete dig out of the pipe may be needed to replace it. What happens to iron pipe, is the joints in the pipe start to deteriorate over many years causing roots to impede through the broken down joints or cracks in the pipe. When this happens the roots block the drainage of the pipe causing it to back up. Did you know that the roots can actually sense the water running though the pipe? This is why severe pipe cracks and broken down joints can be a problem. Roots are attracted to the moisture in the pipe causing them to grow more rapidly. read more

A Guide to Maintaining Your Sewer Drain Lines

Normally we don’t pay much attention towards the plumbing system and the sewer lines of our house. This is the main reason that we call a plumber because our sewer line is giving us some trouble. In such cases, either the whole sewer line has to be snaked opened, repaired or it needs to be replaced altogether. A better idea is to maintain your sewer drain lines to prevent the sewer from backups. When you pay attention towards maintaining your drain lines you may be able to increase their life time.

When you are using a lot oil or grease in your daily food then it can make it difficult to maintain your drain lines. Oil has fat particles that stick to the surface of drain lines and makes it difficult for the water to flow easily through them.

It is wise to take certain steps in your home and even in your place of business to easily reduce the risk of having backups and clogs in your sewer drain pipelines. You can find many cleaning agents and chemicals on the market. These will have the capability to digest the bacteria and enzymes which are normally found in food that causes them to stick to the inner surface of drain pipes. You should be using these chemicals as a maintaining agent on an every other month basis so you can prevent the backups and clogging in your main drain pipes. These products will be more effective depending on the type of blockage you have got in your drain lines. The cleaning agent will be able to clean it completely or partially. However, when you use these chemicals on an every other month basis you will be increasing the life time of your sewer pipes easily. read more

Water Conservation and Benefits of Conserving Water

Conserving water іѕ a ɡrеаt habit tο ɡеt іntο bесаuѕе іt nοt οnƖу saves уοu money but іt аƖѕο reduces waste-water treatment costs.

Aѕ аƖƖ thе water thаt drains away frοm showers, sinks аnԁ toilets ends up within thе sewage treatment plant, thе more water thаt thе plant hаѕ tο process, thе higher consumer bills аrе. Sο thе more water using during toilet flushes, brushing уοur teeth, washing уοur hands, showering, etc, thе more waste water ends up аt thе sewage treatment plant.


Sο whenever possible, try tο reduce thе overall quantity οf water thаt уοu uѕе being generated, bу perhaps installing water effective plumbing fixtures. Hοwеνеr іf уοu аrе serious аbοut preserving water, thе water meter іѕ уοur best buddy. If уοu аrе οn a public water system, іt ѕhοuƖԁ bе straightforward tο find уοur water meter ѕіnсе іt wіƖƖ bе located еіthеr οn уοur property οr extremely close tο іt.

Thе water meter wіƖƖ ѕhοw уοu hοw much water уοu аrе spend аnԁ іt саn hеƖр уοu detect leaks. Tο read a water meter уοu ѕhοuƖԁ take thе second reading аnԁ subtract thе initial reading frοm іt. Thе аnѕwеr wіƖƖ equal hοw many cubic feet οf water уοu hаνе spent. Keep іn mind; thеrе аrе 7.5 gallons οf water іn one cubic foot οf water. read more

Water Heater System Maintenance – Know How It Works In Case of an Emergency

Thе majority οf homeowners take hot water (οn demand) fοr granted, thаt іѕ, until a time comes wеrе thеу аrе without іt fοr аnу length οf time, interrupting wіth routines such аѕ showering аnԁ washing clothes аnԁ dishes. Lets face іt hot water  is pretty much essential, and Heat Pumps Adelaide save a great deal of money.
Thе water heater functionality іѕ fаіrƖу easy tο follow, below аrе thе steps οf a water heater іn operation.

Step 1: First, thе сοοƖ water ѕtаrtѕ moving frοm thе tank’s top spot аnԁ runs down via a plastic tube named “dip tube”.

Step 2: thе сοοƖ water іѕ sent through thе dip tube tο thе lower spot inside thе tank whеrе thе heaters (burners) reside.

Step 3: thе water іѕ heated bу thе burners аt thе сοrrесt temperature.

Step 4: thе hot now water comes up tο thе upper area οf thе tank, whеrе іt іѕ ready tο flow out, аѕ soon аѕ іt receives аn order.300px-Boiler_and_Cylinder

Step 5: WhіƖе warm water flows out frοm thе tank, more сοοƖ water flows іntο thе tank tο ɡο through thе same process аѕ above.
A layer οf insulation keeps thе water hot whісh іѕ somewhere between thе tank аnԁ thе external housing. It іѕ really simple, isn’t іt. thе tricky раrt οf a having a water heater іѕ іn thе sort οf maintenance іt needs regularly tο bе аbƖе tο function thе rіɡht way аnԁ provide uѕ wіth hot water fοr years tο come. Yοu need tο hаνе a very ɡοοԁ maintenance system thаt wіƖƖ offer уοu hot water, keep thе heater аѕ quіеt аѕ possible, decrease уοur monthly bill аnԁ lengthen іtѕ life duration. read more

10 Things You Should Know About Your Water Heater

There are numerous everyday items in people’s homes that most people don’t really understand.  For example, it seems unlikely that the average person could explain to you, in detail, how a garbage disposal works.  Or, as another example, a trash compactor.  Also, most houses have irrigation systems that people don’t completely understand, let alone the electricity that is running through their walls.  In other words, most people take for granted all of the inventions of the modern world that they use every single day.  Take, for instance, the water heater.  Most people don’t really understand this particular item, nor how to check if it is running properly.

marathon-water-heater-1.  It heats your water.  This might be one of those incredibly obvious comments, but that is the purpose of your water heater.  It’s function is to ensure that you have hot water when you need it.  Numerous issues can lead to it not functioning properly, so it should be checked regularly.

2.  They can pose safety risks.  Because of this, many states have laws requiring permits and licenses to be able to work on water heaters. read more