Tips to Choosing a Flood Prevention System

 When you think about floods, what comes to mind? Torrential rains? Levees breaking? Sandbags? What about washing machine hoses? A failed pump? Sewer backups? We tend to underestimate the potential for disaster that exists in our homes, and those not living in a flood zone may think themselves fairly safe from the massive damage that just a few inches of water can produce. This is not even true when it comes to natural floods (they can happen anywhere), and such a mind set leaves a homeowner unprepared and vulnerable.

Every home is plumbed with a network of pipes that connect to a water supply, and any one of the fittings, tubes, fixtures, or appliances found within it or connected to it are susceptible to damage or failure. If they do fail, that water has nowhere to go but out of the damaged area and throughout your home – damaging almost everything in its path, including floors, furniture, and belongings, some of which may be irreplaceable or of significant sentimental or monetary value. There’s little that can be done to prevent these types of accidents – man-made machines fail and

Preventing Water Damage in the Bathroom

 Pretty much everything in the bathroom uses water, so it’s no surprise that around 75% of household water use takes place there. All that water is meant to be confined to specific places, though: in the sink, in the tub/shower, in the toilet. Beyond these fixtures, a bathroom is, on the whole, just another room. Apart from the sealant around those fixtures, and waterproofing materials in the floor/walls of a shower, there’s not a whole lot else to stop rogue water from doing damage. Except you!

At the end of the day, it’s the vigilance of the homeowner that keeps mold and rot at bay. Knowing the signs of water damage, where it’s most likely to occur, and how it happens is just as important as a properly-installed shower pan. A keen eye, paired with the information below, can help you avoid the heartbreak and high costs of water damage repair and mold remediation.

Helpful Tips:

  • Leaks can be deceitful: just because evidence of a leak appears in a certain spot doesn’t mean the leak originates there. Take time to track down

Ultimate Plumbing Maintenance Guide

 We all forget about things: let them go for a few weeks… then months… then years. At that point, they generally fall away (which is great since they’ll never get taken care of). And usually, if something can go unaddressed for that long, it probably wasn’t that important to begin with. Plumbing maintenance is an entirely different and particularly vicious beast. While just as easily forgotten, put off, or ignored, plumbing never lets you off the hook. With the patience of a saint – and the malice of a demon – plumbing problems can take their time developing, smoldering, until that once-tiny leak turns menace, threatening the very structure of the home.

Fortunately, routine maintenance and observation can forestall or eliminate most of those problems. The key is to be comprehensive – and to actually devote a few hours to getting to know your house (as off-putting as “doing maintenance” might sound, it is an opportunity to do just that). To aid in this learning/bonding experience, we offer the following checklist, hitting up the most vulnerable and

4 Must Have Tools for DIY Plumbing Jobs

The average home has plenty of plumbing jobs that creep up and need your attention. Although it s not for the amateur and requires a healthy respect for the craft of plumbing, it is possible to tackle these projects yourself. To be better equipped and ready to handle anything, have these four tools handy when the plumbing calls.

1) Soldering

Many homeowners have a propane torch for soldering and that may be all that you need for smaller jobs. But if you re taking on an extensive plumbing project that requires a lot of soldering you should get your hands on an acetylene torch.

Hotter than propane, this torch will make soldering a breeze. Sourcing out the fuel may be a bit more difficult, but most local welding shops can hook you up with tanks and a fuel supply.

2) Cutting Copper Tubing

Yes, you can use a hacksaw. But if you want a smooth, precise cut that will result in the best fittings and a solid job invest in a quality tube cutter. It s a specialty tool with a hardened steel cutting wheel that fits

Tips to Save Money When Hiring a Plumber

Plumbing is a necessity during many different renovation projects. And plumbing repairs will eventually crop up in your home no matter how well maintained it is. Although DIY plumbing projects can save you money, certain tasks, designs and situations are best left to a professional.

Does plumbing always have to be an expensive endeavor? With a little bit of know how and a lot of discernment you can save money when hiring a plumber and still end up with a job well done.

Choose Wisely

Be sure that you contact referred companies when searching for a plumber, those that have done work for friends or family. Go after contractors with a good reputation and a level of expertise that comes with time in the field. You might assume that they will be the most expensive, but when you try saving money with an inexperienced or cut throat contractor you re bound to pay in the end.

Get the Details

Always get the quotation for your plumbing job in writing. A number tossed about in conversation may sound great, but if you have an agreed to cost on

Top Five Design Tips for Your Plumbing Project

Most people think that since plumbing is behind the walls there is little value to a good design. But for the most efficient system that costs the least amount of money to install, plumbing design is essential.

There are three main elements needed in every plumbing system incoming water source, drainage for waste water and ventilation. Water obviously needs to come in and go out of your home through a path that makes sense. You must also include ventilation for the gases that accumulate in your plumbing system. When all of these come together you have yourself a well designed plumbing project.

Top Five Plumbing Design Tips

1) Codes Are Your Friends

Building codes provide a framework for construction projects within and around your home. Plumbing codes are no exception and allow you the freedom to design and build safe, efficient plumbing systems within the guidelines.

When you ignore the codes you run the risk of putting your own family in danger, as well as increasing the chance of property and environmental damage.

2) Plan For the Future

When you are taking on

Top Plumbing Repairs Best Left to the Professionals

Most people don t pay any attention to their plumbing until there is a problem. Then, depending on the scope of the issue, the condition of your plumbing will take center stage in your home. Plumbing repairs range from small issues like a leaky faucet to major problems like a burst valve. And the damage from faulty plumbing can be disastrous to your home and your wallet.

It pays to have the knowledge of a professional plumber on your side. But that knowledge comes at a price and many homeowners are attempting plumbing repairs on there own, taking the DIY route.

As with any specialty, there are certain things in plumbing that a novice or amateur can do and certain things best left to the professionals. If you run across these top plumbing repairs, don t hesitate call a pro before one problem turns into many.

Installing a Garbage Disposal System

Under the sink garbage disposals are a wonderful addition to your kitchen. They are convenient, cut down on waste headed for the landfill and help keep your home tidy. But they are also not something you want to

Tips to find the right high-quality plumber for you

Firstly, like with any other industry, there are always going to be good and bad plumbers. In some cases, price may not be a way in which you can differentiate between low-quality and high-quality labor, and this is why you need to rely on word of mouth and testimonials. But what if you do not know anyone who has transacted with an exceptional plumber recently? The answer is easy: go online!

The Internet provides a truly fantastic resource for all of us, no matter what our demands. Through the use of a handyman directory, you will be able to tailor your search based on the ratings of other consumers – all of whom would have found a plumber and transacted with them through the online service. The caveat here that gives you reassurance is this: following on from the work completed, a consumer who found a plumber is executed to rate their experience with the plumber. Some of the factors they would be asked to consider (as well as you, if you find this idea appealing) include cost and value for money; the quality of the labor and the finished outcome; and the responsiveness of

Top 5 Outdoor Plumbing Problems and How to Solve Them

Plumbing runs through your home, carrying water and gas to your bathroom, kitchen, laundry and living space. But many elements of your backyard living area rely on well-designed, high quality plumbing. Consider these top five outdoor plumbing problems that all homeowners face and find out how to solve them quickly and affordably.

Broken or Leaky Hose Bib

Hose bibs provide the water source for your outdoor hoses. These well-used plumbing connections can break, burst, or fall apart due to age and general wear. Hose bibs are also susceptible to frost damage.

Replacing or repairing a broken hose bib requires some basic plumbing skills. The water source will need to be shut off before old plumbing is cut out and replaced with new pipes. Hose bib replacement is not a DIY job unless you have extensive experience with plumbing installation, including soldering.

Some plumbers install “drop-eared” fittings for simple, fast hose bib replacement. This might be something you consider when replacing an older, soldered design. Always remember to remove your hoses and shut off the water source over winter to avoid frost damage and leaks.

Leaky Sprinkler Pipes

Tips on Avoiding Common Winter Plumbing Problems

Subzero temperatures, blistering winds and expanding ice make winter a dangerous time for your plumbing. Burst pipes and frozen systems could result in expensive repairs. Keep an eye out for these common plumbing problems and ensure an enjoyable winter season.

Pipes Installed Within Outer Walls

Your kitchen sink, shower and other plumbing fixtures are often installed on the outer walls of the house. Although builders do this for convenience, it could cause a problem in especially cold winters or in walls that lack sufficient insulation. When temperatures drop well below zero, those pipes can freeze, resulting in a blockage and possible burst pipes.

Pipes that get used on a regular basis are not as likely to freeze up, since water runs through them for a better part of the day. But the overnight hours provide ideal conditions for plumbing problems to take place, and the potential for damage is much higher at night, when a leak would not be noticed right away.

Combat frozen pipes by adding insulation to the wall space or around the pipe where necessary, either blown in, fibreglass or foam insulation that will wrap around

4 Plumbing Projects to Improve Water Quality in Your Home

Water quality remains a vital issue around the world. Canadians have access to clean, safe water, but there are several plumbing upgrades and home improvement projects that provide your family with good tasting, safe and clean water in a convenient way. Check these out and consider how to enhance your home.

Install a Drinking Water Filter

No matter where your water comes from, municipal supply or a well, adding a filter helps to improve quality and taste. Modern innovations have made residential water filtration systems even better, moving from simple pitcher filters to in-faucet filters and those incorporated directly into your plumbing. Choose the best type for your family, depending on budget and supply needs.

  • Faucet Filters – these products screw into your existing faucet and act much like the pitcher systems made widely popular by companies like Brita. With a more convenient design, faucet filters allow you to fill your drinking water glass directly from this faucet, with several key contaminants eliminated from the water. Maintenance includes filter changes and typical costs are affordable.
  • Single Stage Filters – a larger, more advanced version of the faucet filter, single stage water filters are

Top 7 Plumbing Problems That Need Immediate Repair

Plumbing is one of the most important systems in your home. What would you do without hot water for washing, clean water for drinking and food prep or a proper sanitary system to get rid of waste? You are bound to face some of the issues on this list of the top ten plumbing problems. Be sure to follow up with immediate action and keep this vital home system operational and safe.

1) Clogged or Plugged Drains The effects of a blocked drainpipe can become very serious, very fast. If the clogged drain is in the path of waste water you may find yourself dealing with unhealthy conditions and nasty odors until the blockage is broken up. Other blockages in your kitchen or bathroom sink are more inconvenient than dangerous, but still need to be looked after right away.

Products to break up clogged drains may work, but many back ups need to be physically located and removed. That s definitely a job for your local plumber.

2) No Hot Water Your hot water heater is responsible for supplying the hot water required for showering and other cleaning processes in your

7 Most Common Plumbing Mistakes

For many homeowners, a plumbing problem is high on the list of please don’t let it happen to me issues. However, at some point, everybody will experience a plumbing issue, whether it’s something simple like a clog, or something more dire such as a flood. How you approach issues when they occur, and how you repair your plumbing, is crucial to minimizing these unpleasant occurrences.

Common Mistake #1 Hurry-Up Fixes

Whether you have a house full of holiday guests or you’re just in a rush, sometimes it’s easy to think that rushing through a plumbing job is a good idea. The truth is that rushing during plumbing work is never smart, regardless of how pressured you may feel.

The most common mistake in this area is a very simple one…failure to turn off the water. If you know that you should turn the water off, don’t chance it. In addition, when in doubt, turn it off just to be on the safe side. Turning that little knob or valve can mean the difference between a gushing water-fountain nightmare and a calm, quick, tidy job.

Common Mistake #2 Crooked Installation

Simple Ways to Avoid Plumbing Nightmares

There are few things more frightening than the thought of having your plumbing fail during the night and waking to discover that an entire floor of your home has become a morass of raw sewage. The trouble is, most people just don’t know to prevent such a nightmare from becoming a reality. Some simple rules can help avert disaster before your home becomes a scene of horror only Wes Craven could dream up.

Be materialistic

The material from which pipes and fixtures are made has a certain life expectancy, although this can be influenced by a number of factors. Proper maintenance can increase the lifespan of your existing plumbing considerably. Hard water (high mineral content) however, can wreak havoc on your home. If you are unsure of the type of plumbing used in your home, your best bet is to bring in a certified plumber to do an inspection. PVC drain lines have a comparatively short life expectancy at 25-40 years. Copper supply pipes may last 70-80 years, depending on past maintenance. Brass and cast iron pipes and fixtures may serve their intended purpose for a century or longer.

Look out for leaching

Choosing the Right Plumber

As with any service professional, choosing the right plumber can be a difficult task. Plumbing work is never cheap, and when you need a plumber, you often find yourself in a negative mood. Still, when the pipes are clogged, the toilet overflows, and the shower just won’t work, you need someone to turn to.

Ideally, a homeowner would have a go to plumber before ever needing one, but in reality this is usually not the case. When you do find the need for a plumber though, take your time and don’t let emotion influence your choice. If you examine your decision thoughtfully, you can get the best value possible and not feel like you were completely taken advantage of.


Of course, price is one of the most important considerations for any major project. For some people, this is the only thought that comes to mind, which can lead to more trouble down the road. The old adage that “you get what you pay for” often rings true in the plumbing world. Just hiring someone based on having the lowest price will often result in more and more plumbing bills down the

How to Hire a Plumber

This is very important and can be very beneficial to you. I know you’re busy so I’ll try to make this short and to the point.Your plumbing and heating systems are “mechanical”. All “mechanical” systems eventually fail. It is just a matter of time. When it fails, you will need help. “Who you gonna call?”

It’s About Education

Most people don’t realize that plumbers know more about the inner workings of a home than any other tradesmen. They are the first group of tradesmen in the building process and the last ones to leave after they set the fixtures, turn on the water and light the heaters. During the building process plumbers must learn the structural layout, electrical and duct work layout and how most everything will be installed. Plumbers must know how the walls are built and what lies within them. They work directly with the building inspectors as well as coordinating their work with all the other tradesmen. Plumbers know an amazing amount of information about your home.

“Who You Gonna Call?”

Who are you going to choose when your mechanical systems fail? Would you rather call a “stranger” or your “local,

Tips to Maintain Your Electric Water Heater

When it comes to water heaters there are lots of great choices available to homeowners. Some water heaters are electric while others are gas fueled. Keeping up with your water heater is a choice that you’ll need to make for better preservation of the system because we often take maintenance for granted.


Choosing from the correct water heater for the home can be quite confusing especially if you are not aware of what’s out there. Today there are lots of choices as water heaters come in the following varieties:

  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Electric
  • Tankless
  • Gas Water Tanks

These are the most popular type of water heater as they incorporate gas as the fuel source. These water systems are economically efficient to run as the energy savings make it one of the best choices. A great option in a gas water tank system is one that has an electric ignition which automatically lights the burners without having a pilot light.

Oil Water Tanks

An oil-based water tank has as fast a recovery time as the gas system. The only downfall to an oil-based system is that it requires a lot more maintenance. On

Water Heater Systems

There are a lot of choices whenever it comes to water heaters. A water heater comes in either gas or electric with each fuel source offering a different way to heat the water inside the home. A gas-powered water heater heats the water inside of the tank more slowly than an electric unit.

The main benefit of a gas heater is that it saves the homeowner more money because of its ability to heat water faster than its counterpart. An electric water heater is the more popular choice amongst units because of its consistency.

An electric water heater heats water very quickly so that there is no gap in-between cold and hot. The homeowner instantly receives hot water for many things in the home that include:

  • Bathing/showering
  • Washing dishes
  • Laundry (washer)

Tankless and solar water heaters are something new on the plumbing market. They provide hot water instantly but are more compact and efficient. A tankless system, for example, uses either gas or electric in order to heat the water up.

One of the main advantages to a tankless system is the money savings. There is no money being spent on heating the tank full

How to Catch Basin Cleaning

The duty of a catch basin is to collect trash and debris from entering a drainage system. Different examples of this type of system include storm drains or a car wash catch basin. The reason taking care of this type of cleaning is so important is that it helps to prevent or limit the amount of pollutants that enter a storm sewer which can eventually make its way to local waterways like streams and rivers.

Another important function of this type of drainage system is to relieve surface area of a heavy influx of water. Heavy rain or water from places like a car wash need a runoff spot. If the grates are blocked by leaves, trash, sediment buildup or other materials there is a good chance this will cause blockage and eventually lead to flooding.

The elimination of sediments, debris or other materials from a storm water catch helps ensure proper function of the drainage system. This in turn can help to alleviate the likelihood of flooding in areas like parking lots or eventually, city streets. Regular maintenance of a catch basin can also reduce the risk of contaminating or polluting the local water ways.

Creating a Water & Energy Efficient Bathroom

 Remodeling an existing bathroom or putting together a brand new one can be a fun and exciting challenge. Among all of the things to consider, something like water or energy efficiency can easily fall by the wayside as finishes and design take center stage. Luckily, it’s not hard to create an efficient bathroom these days, thanks to various regulations and popular certifications. Still, it helps to have some familiarity with the options available to you… and it’s even better to go in with a plan. The following tips – for new construction and remodels – will help you get started.


Any discussion about water efficiency in the bathroom has to start with the toilet: flushing accounts for over a quarter of total indoor water use! Older houses that haven’t had a new toilet since before 1994 are using 3.5 gallons or more per flush – an entirely unnecessary amount. New toilets use 1.6 gpf or less, generating significant water savings. Some models go even further, providing two separate flush options for liquid and solid waste: usually 0.8-1.1 gpf and 1.6 gpf, respectively.

If you already have a 1.6 gpf or lower