Archive for May, 2012

Tankless Water Heater Savings

May. 22nd 2012

When you’re looking to lower your energy bills during a blazing hot summer or a long, frigid, winter, there are always a few tricks of the trade that you can adopt in order to spare yourself an imminent slide into bankruptcy and homelessness. You can keep the air conditioner or heater off as long as possible, by using portable fans or space heaters. You can make sure all the windows in the home are properly sealed to ward off the biting winter cold. You can make sure the drapes in all your rooms are down, in order to reflect back that murderous, searing heat.

And when it comes to heating up water during those long, miserable, winter months, there is a brand new trick on the market that will do more than any other to put much needed coins back in your purse, whilst simultaneously saving you from turning into an icicle in your own bathtub. The tankless water heater is an invaluable component of every modern, fully furnished home, and you should strive to familiarize yourself with the benefits it can bring to you and your family. Even if your home has already been fitted with a traditional, old fashioned (and obsolete) tank using water heater, no worries! You can remove that wasteful, money guzzling, old Brontosaurus, and have your home fitted with a brand new, twice as efficient, penny pinching new tankless water heater!

One of the very first benefits you’ll notice when you switch to a tankless water heater is also one of the longest lasting ones. You sure can’t miss noticing when you’ve been in the shower for ten or fifteen minutes and the hot water is still going strong, with no sign of cooling off or petering out! The satisfaction you get from a good, relaxing, hot bath or shower, especially in the dead of winter, just can’t be measured in words. And with a tankless heater, that satisfaction can and will be yours!

Consider this: a tankless water heater heats up the water that you need, exactly when you need it. Not before, and not hours later! A tankless heater doesn’t limit you to the amount of water that can be safely and efficiently stored in an old fashioned storage tank heater. A tankless water heater will heat any available source of water at your command, and in a hurry. Whether you need a good supply of hot water for your bath or shower, or for doing the dishes, a tankless water heater simply draws on your home’s supply of water, and heats it up. It’s dependent on the water that can be drawn from your house’s well or neighborhood source of water – NOT from the amount of water that a storage tank can hold!

Simply put, the difference between a conventional old fashioned, storage tank water heater and the new tankless water heater is the difference between an old vinyl long playing record and a digital Ipod. Sure, they both play music, but with the vinyl record, you need a big, clunky, turntable to play it, and you can only get 35-45 minutes of music out of it. With the Ipod, you can have access to an inexhaustible supply of music straight from your computer, and it can store hours upon hours of music.

The same comparison applies to the tankless water heater. As noted above, it draws from your neighborhood’s water supply, not a severely limited storage tank. So, your days of budgeting your time in the shower because you know full well the hot water will soon run out are over, and none too soon! The tankless water heater will heat your bath for as long as you care to remain within it. It will give your dishwasher piping hot water to scrub those dirty dishes clean with. It will do both tasks, and plenty more, simultaneously. Since there is no lack of water to draw upon, there is no time limit during which it can perform its tasks!

Of course, there is another, very large, benefit of switching to a tankless water heater: major savings on your energy bill come winter time! The average tankless water heater has been clinically tested and proven to enable its user to save up to 40% on their average winter heating and energy bills. A large part of this savings is due to the fact that, unlike a traditional water storage heater which runs on a set schedule and sometimes requires hours to power up and off, a tankless water heater will only heat water when it is needed. You determine when it runs and when it doesn’t, simply by switching your hot water tap off and on. So, there’s no more annoying groaning and scraping of rusty old pipes, no more water damage from leaking or broken pipes, and no more huge energy bills!

And here is another huge issue which a tankless water heater neatly cuts down to size: storage space! We all know that the traditional, storage tank, water heaters are big behemoths which can monopolize up to 18 square feet of floor space which could be more profitably employed for other uses. Some of these old Brontosaurs can occupy a whole room by themselves! In contrast, your average tankless water heater measures roughly the same dimensions as a carry on suitcase! Think about it: endless hours of piping hot water, courtesy of a nifty little gadget no larger than the flight bag you took on the plane with you last summer when you flew down to Miami! A tankless water heater is portable as well. Install one on any wall inside your home, and forget about it!

In conclusion, the benefits of owning a tankless water heater far outweigh the uncertainty associated with taking a risk on a new, untested, bit of technology. There simply is no risk! Except, of course, the risk of missing out on an incredible new money saving device which could possibly even save your life one frigid winter night! So, check out a tankless water heater today. Your family, as well as your family’s bank account, will thank you!

Hiring a Plumber

May. 13th 2012

Let’s face it, when things go south with your plumbing, you’re in for a heck of a quandary, not to mention an unholy mess. Plumbing disasters are a subject few of us would broach at the dinner table or in polite conversation. Consequently, when accidents do happen, they tend to find most of us completely unprepared for them. We don’t spend our time conversing over the best plumbing techniques or inquiring even of a plumber friend about the precise details of what he does for a living, so most of us don’t even know how to react to a plumbing disaster when it occurs.

Granted that plumbing is the last thing we tend to concern ourselves with (at least when everything is flowing smoothly), there are a few do’s and don’ts which it is wise to bear in mind well before a possible breakdown (or backup) occurs. For one, when your toilet overflows and leaves unspeakable substances all over the floor, don’t just call the first person in the phone book or the first name that pops up after a fifteen second internet search.

Remember, plumbers are licensed, fully trained, professionals that don’t just get hired and go to work, learning as they go. The average American plumber serves an apprenticeship of anywhere from six months to a year. Some inherit the job, training with their fathers. Others go to specialized industrial schools to learn their trade. Regardless, make sure the person you hire is fully qualified for the job. Ask a friend or a relative for the name of an excellent plumber who they have dealt with in the past. This is one trade in which a man’s reputation counts for everything. Bad reputation? Bad service. It’s as simple as that.

Search the internet to see if your local plumber or plumbing service has any customer service reviews on the internet or, better yet, is listed with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau. Again, reputation counts for everything in the plumbing business. Don’t get stuck with a crooked, incompetent, dunce, who will overcharge you and leave the job botched or half finished!

When you make that phone call to the plumber you’ve chosen for the job, make sure to give him as accurate a picture of your problem as you possibly can. Don’t leave out even the tiniest little detail. Make sure before you pay for him to come out to your home that he knows more than he could possibly ever forget about every last little feature of your current emergency. The more details you give him, the better informed he’ll be about the precise nature of your problem. And, furthermore, the more knowledge he has in advance of the issue, the less he’ll have to “guesstimate” concerning that problem when he gets to your home. The better prepared he is to put out the fire, the more efficiently he’ll labor – and the sooner he’ll be through.

Which brings us to the next issue: make sure to inquire of your potential plumber well in advance whether there is a minimum charge for the time he spends at your house. After all, you certainly don’t want to pay for an hour’s worth of work if he only spends five minutes fixing your problem. Make sure you know in advance whether there is such a minimum charge, as well as what his precise charges for his time are. For example, if he spends two or three hours fixing your problem, you ought to be informed by him well in advance of just exactly how much money you are going to owe him for his services once he has completed the job. Don’t fall victim to “special fix” fees and “overtime” charges! Work all of the details ought before he lifts his wrench to start the job!

Speaking of wrenches, does he have on hand all the tools of the trade that he’ll need for the job? It’s one thing to make a few trips out to the truck to get a tool that he didn’t think he’d need when he first got started. However, it’s a whole other thing to suddenly announce that he’ll have to make a special trip to a parts store to buy a specific tool that the job requires. How bad does he really need this tool, and will he charge you to buy it? And will he add the gas he used to go to the store to your bill as well? These are all questions you should have worked out between you well in advance of him starting any work in your house.

Suppose he injures himself on the job? Has he got insurance which covers him in such events? If the answer is no, it’s a bad sign. For all you know, he could be a crook who merely masquerades as a plumber, then “injures” himself on the job in order to sue you for every penny you’ve got. Make sure he’s covered by his employer’s or his own personal insurance plan before you trust him to labor on your behalf. The last thing you need is to be held liable for a fat five figure fee that this charlatan has racked up in hospital time!

Maybe the real issue here is not so much your potential, but you. Perhaps you’re…a cheapskate, pure and simple, and don’t care to pay big bills to get your problem fixed. Maybe you’ve got a friend or a friend of a friend who’s a plumber, and wouldn’t mind earning a few extra bucks under the counter, off the clock, and off the company radar? Why not make that call, get connected, and let a few bucks change hands outside the IRS’s jurisdiction? He makes a few extra bucks, and you save a few!

Regardless of how you do it, be careful when you bring an unknown individual into your home. Make sure he’s fully vetted, and understands exactly what he needs to do. Make doubly sure that you understand how much the job will cost you! Good luck, and happy plumbing!

Posted by plumber | in Pipes, Plumbers | No Comments »

Dual Flush Toilets

May. 7th 2012

When you’re looking for the ultimate efficiency in a toilet, you’re motivated by more than just getting yourself the best looking or fastest flushing toilet on the market. Water efficiency, as well as a long lifetime of service, ought to uppermost on your mind. The drain on your water resources, as well as the drain on your budget, will also weight heavily on your mind. When you need the best, you’ve got to be prepared to spend a bit more to get it. Remember, when you’re thinking about installing a toilet in your home, you need it to be there and in tip top shape for the long haul!

So, when you’re in search of the best, most efficient toilet that can be found on the modern market place, look no further than a dual flush toilet! A dual flush toilet is essentially a variation on the old tried and true 19th century flush toilet. Dual flush toilets use two separate, adjoining handles, to flush down two different, succeeding, levels of water. Dual flush toilets were first developed in Australia by the inventor and plumbing expert Bruce Thompson. Since its invention in 1993, the latest models have managed to cut water usage nearly in half. This has been a major breakthrough in water efficiency, with a natural reduction effect on the average water bill for families who make use of them.

In fact, today’s latest dual flush toilets have been clinically tested and scientifically proven to reduce 67% of water usage in homes that employ them. Of course, as noted above, the somewhat more complicated structure of dual flush toilets means that they will cost more to purchase and install in your home. However, this initial expenditure is more than offset by the resulting benefits that accrue during the succeeding twenty or thirty years of constant savings when it comes to water resources and utility bills.

Although modern 21st century dual flush toilets are a logical successor to the traditional Western flush toilet, they differ in several respects from the old fashioned design of siphon flush toilets. For one thing, dual flush toilets rely on the natural force of downward gravity to flush and disperse waste. Chiefly due to its dual flush mechanism, this modern brand of toilet dispenses with the traditional siphoning action, which thus enables it to use a great deal less water in performing its removal action.

Essentially, dual flush toilets perform their waste removal functions on the same basic principles as airplane toilets. The water line in a modern dual flush toilet will prove to be considerably lower than in a traditional single flush toilet. Again, this is due to the removal of the siphoning function. Less water used means less water wasted. As noted above, the dual flush toilet has two levers which release the water. These levers output water in two separate capacities: 0.8 gallons and 1.6 gallons. The smaller, 0.8 gallon, lever has been specifically designed to flush away liquids, while the larger, 1.6 gallon, is utilized to remove solids. The dual flush toilet makes use of a large, double shuttered, trap mechanism, which is designed to allow water to emerge more quickly and thus clean the bowl in more efficient fashion.

The advantages accruing from the purchase and installation of a modern, fully equipped, dual flush toilet ought to be obvious to even the most casual or jaded reader. To begin with, the estimated 67% savings in one’s family water utility bill ought to be enough to warrant the initial outlay of funds. And since dual flush toilets have been proven to possess a lifetime of thirty to forty years’ service, that’s an awful lot of service and savings to consider!

Of course, there are even more factors that ought to be considered. For one thing, with water in increasingly short supply all over the world, one’s consumption of this precious liquid ought not to be taken lightly. There are millions of gallons being wasted even as you read this sentence. Dual flush toilets, because they make much less use of water to begin with, are thus inherently more environmentally friendly than the standard, old fashioned, single flush model. When you’re consciously attempting to reduce not only your home’s carbon foot print, but also the drain you place on the nation’s supply of clean, fresh, water, a dual flush toilet seems to be the logical choice.

Conservation of energy, including water, ought to uppermost on everyone’s mind, and dual flush toilets are an excellent addition in the fight against energy waste. This issue is especially pertinent in the United States, where it is estimated that, by the year 2013, an estimated 36 states will be in the grip of a chronic water shortage. Get your dual flush toilet now, and be better prepared to deal with this swiftly oncoming crisis. Just as a passing example, a family of seven can save up to 49 gallons of water a day, simply by switching to a modern dual flush toilet. $9 gallons of water per day, over the course of an entire year, eventually equals 18,000 gallons. That’s nearly the size of an official Olympic swimming pool. If for no other reason, isn’t it better to be at least a tiny part of the solution, rather than just another part of the problem?

It’s also a fact that the average American family household spends roughly 1.5% of its budget on water and sewage utility bills. If that family were equipped with a dual flush toilet that could save that 18,000 gallons of water from being wasted every year, it would make for a considerable amount of money saved. Imagine being able to finally go on that long wished for Hawaiian or Australian vacation, thanks in large part to the savings you accrued by simply not wasting it all on your household water bill!

In short, dual flush toilets are the wave of the future, so to speak. Why not do some further research online and see for yourself the benefits that switching to a dual flush toilet could bring to you and yours?

Posted by plumber | in Toilets, Water Savers | No Comments »

How Does Drano Work?

May. 1st 2012

Drano works for both bathtubs, sinks, dish disposal units and bathtubs to remove debris clogging up the piping. The product was created in 1923 by Harry Drackett when he merged aluminum, sodium nitrate, sodium chloride and sodium hydroxide in a unique chemical combination. Basically, the hydroxide heats up the compound as the sodium dissolve as a mixture. Drain cluttering items from hair to soap and other residue are then removed once the heat is sufficient to dissolve them.

In 1965 Drackett’s company was acquired by Bristol-Myers, who was in turn bought out by SC Johnson in 1992. Brand extension has since diversified Drano’s action to unclog a drain into five different product lines. The five include Kitchen Crystals clog remover, Liquid clog remover, Dual Force Foamer clog remover, Build Up remover and Max Jell clog remover. There is a different type of clogged pipe served by each distinct product.

 How it functions

All material blocking a pipe gets dissolved by Dual Force Foamer clog remover, as the sole codes the entire wall by filling the whole pipe. As the clogging arterial is broken down by the heat created by the product, the force and heat of hot water flowing through the pipe flushes out the remainder of the debris. The operation of the Max Jell clog remover, by contrast, is to cling to the clog itself, law enough for the clog to be cleared. Since this jell operates with water within the drain, it’s best to use it in a sink filled with water. Every type of pipe is safe for use of this product.

For less intense clogs, Drano has sold a cheaper version called Liquid clog remover over the last two decades, which is helpful for minor clog problems. Build up remover is also safe for each drain in the house, and is designed to be used to prevent clog issues if used once each month. Its ingredients include bacteria and natural enzymes. It is designed to be safe for toilet use, making it the only Drano line product safe for that application. If a whole lacks a garbage disposal in the kitchen, kitchen crystals clog remover is the best match. Coldwater works best with it to get rid of grease clogging and other material.

Precautions

Trap A is the bend in the pipe where most clogs begin to build, and the primary debris material is hair. Stubborn hair clogs are best dealt with using Max Jell clog remover. A foreign and miscellaneous object usually settles into trap B towards the middle of the drain. Drano can only work partially in moving out that material, but complete removal will require a plumber. A snaking device is the best option for plumber to use when there is a continued buildup of the clog in the drain.

Handle Drano products with care, and avoid having me contact with the eyes. If ingesting the product, seek a doctor’s assistance to address the situation.

Posted by plumber | in Clogs, DIY, Pipes | No Comments »

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