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! read more

Mystery Leak in Mansion – How I Fixed It

Before

before

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. 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. 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! 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