Category Archives: DIY Plumbing

Professional Kitchen Renovation Tips

The kitchen is an extremely commonly used area, whether you are throwing dinner together after work or sitting down with friends and family to a nice meal for a special occasion.  One thing is for sure, it gets used often for many different things, so functionality is one of the most important aspects.  Having enough room, appliances, and units in the right places will make all the difference in how much you can efficiently accomplish when tackling your kitchen tasks. Creating a working layout from the beginning will help avoid problems and headaches from developing. Read through the list below for expert tips to save time and gain productivity.


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What The Stove Can Really Do


Obviously, the stove is used for cooking; however, the stove also serves as a visual centerpiece in the entire perception of the kitchen.  It is highly recommended that if you can only replace one item in the kitchen it should be the stove.  The stove is the most visible and most used appliance, so it serves the biggest purpose visually and functionally.  There are also other things you can do if you have a decent budget for extra details and features.  Adding a hood can make a big visual statement while also providing extra ventilation.  No matter what you decide, always keep in mind the importance of the stove.


Score With A New Floor


Flooring options are vast and complex when deciding what is appropriate and affordable.  There are many different types of floors that will look, feel, and hold up differently.  In the kitchen, you need to be aware that food can fall on the floor and accidents will happen, so you need something durable.  Also, the fewer seams/cracks there are, the less food and debris will get trapped in there.  Floating vinyl floors are very durable and easy to install, and they come in different colors and patterns.  Italian porcelain is also an excellent choice since it’s extremely durable and easy to keep clean.  You can also take it a step further and install a heating mechanism underneath the tile, making the floor stay warm for those early mornings when making coffee.  The floor is another aspect that has a huge impact on the look, feel, and functionality of the kitchen; so for many reasons do your research and choose wisely.


Counter Top Tips


Lastly, there are a couple things to remember when picking new counter tops.  First off, always get something that will be durable and water resistant so they don’t show wear quickly.  Secondly, counter tops should hang over the edge slightly for visual appeal and so food that falls goes on the floor instead of on the cabinets.  Marble, granite, quartz, and Corian are all very visually pleasing choices that hold their value pretty well over the years. For any other questions or problems don’t hesitate a professional that specializes in kitchen renovations in DC.

Bathroom Remodeling Tips For Success

Remodeling or fixing up your bathroom can be a pricey, lengthy, and overwhelming process if you don’t have any experience in this particular area.  Whether you are doing it all yourself or hiring a professional, you will want to develop a realistic plan from the beginning to map out everything in order from goals to specifics materials that will be needed.  Sometimes, hiring a professional such as a designer may seem like an unnecessary expenditure but if the job is larger than average then you can actually save time and money in the long run with their efficiency and methods.  You can also trust that the final result will be exactly the way you want it with excellent quality and attention to detail.  Check out some more tips below for bathroom remodeling and renovations.


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Try To Stick With Original Plumbing Placement


One very important aspect to understand in the planning process and development stage is to avoid moving the utilities like the toilet and bathtub location.  Moving these will cost a lot more and be a much more complex process to demolish walls and change pipes that lead to the fixtures.  This will tack on a lot of extra time to the entire project as well.  Always keep the plumbing fixtures where they already are, if possible, to save yourself a ton of extra time and money.


Saving Money On A “New Look” Toilet


A common mistake that many people make is replacing the entire toilet when trying to give the bathroom a new look or style.  Instead of buying a brand new toilet and paying to have it professionally installed on top of that, you can always just get a new toilet seat and lid to serve the purpose as a new look or theme of whatever you are striving for.  Luckily, you can browse from many different styles, sizes, colors, and designs to best fit your needs and interests.  If you do change the whole toilet, consider a new, low-flow one to save water.


Let There Be Light


One of the most common upgrades that people wish to tackle when remodeling their bathroom is adding more and better quality lighting.  This is an excellent way to drastically change the visibility and the feel of the bathroom in a hurry.  Fortunately, it can all be done in an affordable manner as well so you don’t have to break the bank on this one.  Home improvement and specific lighting stores can offer great deals on exactly what you are looking for.  You could also always take it a step further and investigate the possibility of installing a skylight for natural light.  The lighting is an excellent and fast method of bathroom improvement and overall, any or all of these tips listed will surely help you achieve a newer look with more efficiency for less money.


Form a plan, seek professional advice, and take things one step at a time so you can get the most out your bathroom remodeling experience.  For any other questions or assistance, contact an expert that offers bathroom remodeling in DC.

Crucial Plumbing Checks To Stay Up On

Many people fail to understand the importance of monitoring the plumbing throughout their home on a regular basis.  Also, sometimes people do realize the importance but still choose not to keep up with it, thinking that nothing will happen.  Both of these ideas/habits are equally harmful to adopt, considering that your plumbing doesn’t care if you are ready for a problem or not.  An issue can happen at any time for a number of unexpected reasons and will most likely get worse until properly addressed and fixed.  You shouldn’t regret spending a little extra time checking your plumbing every so often if it means you can possibly avoid a major and costly issue from developing later on.  Read through the list below for three excellent and specific routine plumbing checks to help ensure the plumbing in your home is all functioning properly.


Checking The Water Pressure


This tip often gets overlooked while being very obvious on a daily basis whenever using any fixture that uses water.  The shower and sinks are excellent visual indicators if you are experiencing an issue with too much or too little water pressure.  Too much water pressure can damage appliances, fixtures, and pipes, while not enough water pressure is a major inconvenience and may be caused by another underlying issue.  Purchasing a water pressure gauge will help you get an accurate reading on where you stand in the range of psi.  You will want to test the static pressure of a water valve that is close to your main water valve for an accurate reading.  You will also need to turn off any fixtures or appliances in your home that use water so you don’t get a false reading.  The test should be done a couple of times for reassurance that the reading is correct and then a diagnosis can be made.  The pressure should be between 50 and 75.  If it is above 75 or below 50 you will need to act accordingly to achieve the desired psi for your home.


Checking For Leaking Pipes


This is especially important to monitor and keep an eye out for any sign of a leaking pipe in your home.  Leaking pipes can waste tons of water, create water damage, and lead to a much larger more costly repair.  If you notice wet spots underneath pipes, in the ceilings/walls, or anywhere else, further investigation is crucial so you can locate the exact cause and decide what the best method of fixing the issue would be.


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Corrosion Can Be Problematic


The last thing to visually inspect is your pipes, fixtures, and toilet tank for any signs of corrosion or rust, which is a byproduct of corrosion.  Corrosion can greatly affect the entire water system in your home and if left untreated may require an entirely new plumbing system.  Large amounts of copper can lead to corrosion over time so the copper level in the water can also indicate a potential problem ahead of time.  If you do see rust, corrosion, or sediment build up on any of your water pipes or sewer lines, call an expert to evaluate the situation.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional that offers DC sewer repair for any questions or concerns you may stumble upon.

Three Smart Home Products

In today’s fast paced digital world, there is always newer more advanced methods, appliances, and technology being developed to revolutionize an industry or perhaps the entire worlds everyday life.  This is great news for you considering the quality and intelligence of your devices and products can only get better and more convenient.  Tasks that used to take a lot of time and planning now can be done 10 times better in half of the time thanks to connecting your devices to the digital realm.  Appliances and devices are now becoming smart models offering more features connecting to your smart phone for your absolute convenience.  Check out the options below for a more in depth look at the new possibilities.


Water Leak/Freeze Detector’s


These are excellent units that can be installed to keep track of the temperature and humidity of certain aspects of plumbing in your home.  They can be synced to your smart phone and will show you recorded data from the measurements they take.  This is an excellent safety feature so if a pipe or area gets too cold then you will be alerted so you can fix the problem before the problem escalates into something larger.  Water leak detectors are great for letting you know if the device/setup finds any leaking water so you can catch it ASAP and avoid wasting water, money, and time.  Imagine being able to monitor your home for leaks and freezes 24/7, 365 days a year all from your phone virtually maintenance free.  Luckily, this can all become a reality whenever you decide it’s time to move forward and achieve these amazing upgrades.


Smart Thermostats


Another extremely convenient addition/upgrade you can easily make is installing a new smart thermostat.  This will give the ability to monitor and control the temperature throughout your home by simply changing the temperature on your smart phone or tablet.  It’s also excellent for keeping track of your desired temperature so it will automatically adjust and change the temperature so it is right where it needs to be even when the temperature would have gone up or down normally.  This gives you total control at all times from the comfort of your smart device.


Water Heater Shut Off Valve




Finally, one last beneficial smart device that can be installed is a water heater shut off valve.  This will automatically shut off water to the water heater when necessary while leaving all the other fixtures in perfect operation unaffected.  It can also detect leaks and warn you if a problem arises so you can make a change or turn something off to avoid a bigger problem.  Any and all of these devices will surely make your home more manageable, enjoyable, and hassle free.  You can also catch issues early before they develop into something bigger while saving energy with better tracking and recording.  Be sure to pick the model and brand that suits you and your family best before purchasing.  For further help or services, contact a professional that offers water heater repair in DC.

Try These Three Easy Steps For Better Air Quality

The quality of the air that circulates throughout your home may be overlooked even though it can have a large impact on your overall health over time.  Poor air quality containing particles, allergens, dust, and other impurities could lead to breathing problems and other undesirable illnesses.  The good news is that there are devices specially made that will quickly fix the issue and eliminate harmful particles in no time.  Read through the information below to learn more about how to get your air purity back.


Benefits Of Installing An Air Purifier


For starters, browsing different air purifying models is a great initial step towards drastically improving the air you will breathe in on a daily basis.  They come in several different brands, models, and sizes so you can find the one that best suits your home’s needs while also not costing you a fortune.  Be sure to pick an air purifier that will fit in your home as well as understanding how to properly use it.  The unit will detect a number of different particles and impurities in the air so be sure to read the manual/directions/features so you can identify the results and react accordingly.


Adding An Allergen Detector


Another excellent device that can greatly benefit your health if you struggle with certain allergies or seasonal changes is an allergen detector.  Certain brands and models will offer different or perhaps more specific options along with more or fewer features.  It all depends on what your budget is and how advanced of a model you need.  Allergen detectors are an excellent tool for warning you ahead of time if toxins or allergies start to accumulate in the air so you can react and make adjustments before it becomes an issue to your health.  They can be digitally set up for your specific needs and measure/calculates the different particles in the air so you know exactly where you’re at in air quality.  These two devices will show you humidity, temperature, allergens, air pressure, carbon monoxide, ozone, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, and other airborne chemicals.  As you can see, these two devices will monitor and regulate the air quality and purity in your home in just about every single aspect possible.


Make Your Devices Smart Devices For Added Convenience


Just when you thought the improvements couldn’t get any more advanced and exciting, they can by connecting your smart phone to your air purifying/detection devices.  This is a huge benefit and convenience since you can directly connect to your smart phone through wi-fi and then set up the settings on the device through the company’s app.  This means everything can be set up and managed through your phone as well as using notifications like a text message whenever the device detects a problem or change in air quality.  These are excellent ways to improve the quality of air in your home so you breathe clean every day.  If you need help installing these devices or others like humidifiers and air cleaners on furnaces, or just have questions, don’t hesitate to contact a plumbing company in DC for professional service.

Year Round Irrigation System Maintenance

Here is some helpful information to make maintaining your irrigation system easier and simpler, freeing you up for other items on your to-do list. Note that observation and winterization are key factors to perform.


Steady Observation Is Key For Starters


If you are planning on having an irrigation system installed at your commercial property or residence, it is worth considering having a master plumber handle the installation.  This will greatly reduce problems and save you time. If you are one of many that have already installed or had your irrigation/sprinkler system installed, then your job is going to be observing the efficiency of where the water is being dispersed and how much.  Ensuring each day that every nozzle and mechanism is moving and cycling correctly is important to know, so if a problem does develop you can catch it early.  Letting a problem go unfixed for a while could severely change the balance of color and life in your yard and landscaping, leaving areas not watered, brown and dead.  Mismanagement and inaccuracy of irrigation could also leave large amounts of water in places that you don’t want, causing other unwanted problems as well.  Be sure to inspect each day that the placement, pressure, accuracy, and movement are all in check and working the way they should be to maximize the output and success of your irrigation system.


Winterizing Your Irrigation


Next on the list of necessary steps especially for anyone who lives in a region that experiences freezing weather would be properly winterizing the hoses, sprayers, and water supplied to each area.  Always be sure that the water is shut off ahead of time so the weather doesn’t surprise you and leave you frozen lines or ruined mechanisms.  You will also need to get all the water out of the entire sprinkler system, including sprinkler heads, hoses, nozzles, and spigots.  Sometimes due to the complexity of the system, gravity alone is not enough.  If water is trapped or too far down in a line or area to reach then compressed air or a specially made blower for pools and plumbing will help you push the remaining water out.   When the weather rolls back around and things have thawed out thoroughly, cleaning and inspecting the whole sprinkler system before use is essential for maximum success when running.  Debris can create clogs and can increase the pressure leaving an area damaged and unable to perform.


When A Problem Arises


Lastly, on the list of actions to take for getting the most out of your irrigation system is knowing how to respond when you encounter an issue.  Even if you take extra special care of your sprinkler/irrigation system every day year after year, problems and accidents can still happen, unfortunately.  If you encounter a leak you will need to figure a way of closing up the leak ASAP so water is not wasted and an area is not getting soaked.   Running across a broken line or nozzle will most likely require disassembling the system and installing a new part to solve the issue.  The more you know and understand the specifics of your system, the more you’ll be prepared to resolve the issue in a number of different possible situations and circumstances.  If you experience something that you are unsure how to install, replace, or fix altogether, you may need to contact a professional that specializes in emergency plumbing services in DC for further assistance.


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Prepping Your Home Before Vacation

Planning and packing for vacation is fun and hectic.  In the hustle and bustle, make sure to take care of a few things in and around the house to maintain safety and cleanliness.  Unplugging appliances, adjusting the furnace and water heater thermostats, and setting alarms are important, and so are the useful tips that follow.


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Shutting Down Any Water Source


Before leaving your home for an extended period of time for a vacation, for example, there are a few extremely crucial steps to take so you aren’t returning home to a mess or a costly disaster.  When you are home, having the main water valve on is an obvious must so water can go where it needs to go throughout your home.  However, when you are gone you will want to shut off your main water valve in the case of a leaking or broken pipe, since you won’t be there to react to an issue that arises.  Failure to shut off the main valve could leave you with a flooded house or worse when you return if something were to go wrong.  Another good preparation tip to act on is making sure that no outdoor water is left on such as a sprinkler system for example.  A drip all day for several weeks adds up to a large amount of wasted water.  The first step is to always be sure that all the water is turned off.


Tending To Indoor And Outdoor Pumps


The next step for ensuring the efficiency of your home inside and out while you are away is checking on any pumps such as sump pumps and pool pumps as a couple examples.  Ensuring that your sump pump in the basement works is very important for guaranteeing that your basement won’t flood.  If the gutters fail and allow water to come in the basement, a sump pump will save you from a lot of water damage.  To check the sump pump simply dump some water in the pump pit so it raises the water level, then see if it ejects the water correctly.  If it fails then you could try to solve the issue or contact a professional for help before leaving.  Another pump that should be left on is the swimming pool pump.  By turning it off for long periods of time, algae build-up can occur so always set it at the optimal operating setting for long term efficiency.


Preventing The Build Up Of Mold And Bacteria


Lastly on the list of preparation steps for a lengthy vacation is eliminating the chance for the buildup of mold, bacteria, and other unsanitary substances.  Always clean dirty dishes and unload the dishwasher so bacteria can’t develop on food covered dirty dishes.  Next, you should check the refrigerator and freezer for foods that have a short expiration date and either consume before leaving or properly dispose of them before departure so they can’t rot and form mold.  Rotting foods for a period of time will become unsanitary and leave very unpleasant long lasting odors.  Properly following these three tips will greatly improve the condition of your home when you return and also decrease the chance of a catastrophe happening that could cost you a fortune.  If you have any further questions or concerns on preparation actions or simply general plumbing issues, contact a professional that offers plumbing upgrades in DC.

3 Step Grease Trap Preparation

High amounts of oil, grease, and fats from cooking can interrupt the natural breakdown of said oils in septic tanks & sewer facilities, so it is a good idea to install a grease trap at your home or business if you do a lot of food preparation.


Determine The Necessary Grease Trap Size


The very first step in grease trap preparation for your home or business is understanding your needs and which model will suit those needs.  Traps come in several different sizes and models to best fit each circumstance and specific purpose.  Whether you have a home or business, the size of grease trap necessary will be determined by the amount of water that goes through your drainage pipes.  As a general rule, restaurants and other businesses that dispose of large amounts of grease down the drain on a regular basis should pick a grease trap with a capacity of at least 40 KG.  Even if you don’t own a business, you may still consider getting a larger capacity trap if you don’t plan on cleaning it often.  For homes, smaller buildings, and general use, a smaller regular capacity grease trap should be able to handle the work load with little to no trouble.  Upgrading your plumbing system to include a grease trap is a good way to help protect the environment, while protecting you from blockages, clogs, and plumbing problems.


Location Of Installation


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The next step in the process of installing and getting the most out of your grease trap is determining the best place to put it for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.  In most cases, the best place to install a trap is right under the kitchen sink for convenience, however, in other circumstances, a different location may be more appropriate.  For houses or small buildings with several sinks, outdoor setup is better suited for all of the drainage pipes that can be connected to one pipe outside connected to the grease trap.  Figure out first if having it inside or outside is better and then determine the exact location to meet the drainage pipe/pipes from there.


Connecting The Grease Trap To The Pipes Or Pipe


The exact hookup procedure will vary depending on what model you are installing so be sure to read the instruction manual over to be sure the process is done correctly.  On most models, 3 different connections will need to be made.  First off, there should be a connection made to the holding tank vent.  Next, a connection to the sink or the source of the water should be made and is usually located on the left side of the unit.  Lastly, the connection to the pipe that leads to the sewer system should be established.  This is usually located on the bottom right side of the grease trap unit.  Never allow any solid waste to go down the sink and enter the grease trap.  Instead, ensure that the sink is effective at catching all solid objects preventing them from entering the grease trap.  A very useful tip to remember and practice is to run some hot water after disposing of grease down the drain.  This will aid in the breakdown of grease in the grease trap so a buildup is less likely to develop.  Remember and use these tips so installing a grease trap can be a piece of cake.   If you are experiencing difficulty or just have a question don’t hesitate to reach out to a DC sewer and drain expert for professional assistance.

Three Easy Tips To Conserve Water In The Bathroom

Conserving water is an important thing everyone should do, worldwide.  “Going green” can be accomplished by doing small, simple things that help the environment.  Read on for some useful tips you can employ in your own bathroom to help reduce your water usage, and save yourself a little money while you’re at it.


Ensure You Don’t Have Toilets Leaking Water

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The first method in using less water in your home is to make sure you aren’t wasting/leaking water such as a leaking toilet for example.  Testing a toilet for leaks is virtually free and can be done quickly and hassle free.  Simply remove the tank lid and drop 10 drops of food coloring or dye in the tank.  Next, wait 10 to 15 minutes and then check inside the toilet bowl for any sign of the food coloring/dye.  If you do see it then your toilet is indeed leaking and wasting water day after day and should be fixed as soon as possible.  When fixing the leak or buying a new toilet consider installing a new low flush toilet which uses a lot less water on every flush saving you money on bills and using far less water per year helping to preserve the environment.  It is very important to ensure that all of your plumbing and appliances are working correctly free of leaks and problems since they can waste tons of energy, water, and money when not operating up to par.


Use Less Water When Bathing


Second, on the list of useful steps to help save water and money happens every day with your bathing ritual.  Many people are completely unaware that taking baths uses far more water on average than that of a normal five-minute shower.  Taking fewer baths will add up over time to water conserved and you will most likely notice savings on your water bill as well.  Also, you can also change out your old shower head out for a newer modern low-flow shower head.  These are designed to spread the water out using a lower psi so it still feels satisfying and does the job while saving a large amount of water over time.  These new low-flow shower heads are also built with high quality and often can be mobile in the shower with more options and better features for your convenience.


Use Less Water At The Sink


Lastly, on the list of ways to use less water in the bathroom comes when using the sink in several different manors.  One way to use less water at the sink is turning the water off while brushing your teeth and only using it when rinsing.  This is an extremely common mistake people continue to make even though a lot of water can be wasted if the water is run for 3 to 5 minutes while brushing your teeth.  Another very useful upgrade that can be made is by installing low-flow faucet aerators for the sinks.  This will help decrease the steady psi of water that comes out so less water is wasted when washing your hands, shaving, brushing teeth, and much more.  Installing a low-flow faucet aerator can cut the water usage in half with every single use.  These are three excellent ways to help save a ton of water and money on your water bill day after day.  For any further questions regarding plumbing concerns, contact a professional that offers DC clog services for further help and advice.

Preparation Measures For Seasonal Plumbing

The changing seasons bring an array of plumbing concerns.  It is easy to forget about preparing for upcoming fall & winter.  Here are some helpful tips to keep ahead of the weather.


Anticipating Seasonal Temperature Changes


The first step in preparing the plumbing in and around your home is understanding the weather patterns in your area that you live.  It is crucial to know when temperatures have a chance of dropping below freezing so you can eliminate the chance of a pipe freezing or even busting.  Places that experience multiple seasons and temperatures per year create a larger amount of upkeep and observation to ensure nothing freezes or ruins.  As the months roll by, it is imperative to keep up with the temperature/weather forecast as a new season approaches.  This will help you avoid waking up one morning to a massive problem like a completely frozen solid outdoor line or worse.  Always be sure to stay ahead of the weather so you aren’t surprised by any huge temperature drops as the weather patterns begin to transition.


Removing And Turning Off Outdoor Water


Next on the list of necessary steps to take to keep plumbing safe from freezing weather is the removal and elimination of water to outdoor lines, pipes, hoses, and faucets.  Turn off all water lines that run outside as well as letting hoses and things that trap water drain out completely before storing and winterizing.  If you have pipes that run inside your home but are also exposed to cold are such as the garage, for example, you may need to cover exposed pipes so the temperature drops won’t freeze the water in the pipe.  Keeping the garage warmer is a good way to help combat pipes from freezing.  Be sure to know where all indoor/outdoor pipes could potentially be exposed to freezing temperatures even if it’s just a small amount of plumbing.  Also, be sure the walls have sufficient insulation to keep pipes above freezing temperatures as they run through the walls all throughout your home.  Lastly, for pipes that could be exposed to freezing air in the attic, crawlspace, or garage, you can use inexpensive foam pipe insulation.  If the weather gets extremely cold then you can also consider temperature controlled heat tape for your exposed pipes.


If A Pipe Does Freeze


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Last on the list is how to react if worst comes to worst and you do encounter a nearly or completely frozen pipe/water line.  If a pipe freezes that also runs inside to your home, you’ll need to approach the situation with safety and planning in mind.  There are several methods in thawing a frozen pipe and some are riskier than others depending on the exact situation.  For smaller pipes or a faucet, you can use boiling water with a towel wrapped around the pipe to trap the heat and melt the ice.  Another less safe method is using a propane torch which can force steam and pressure to build, resulting in a pipe that bursts if it thaws to quick.  If you are unsure or worried don’t hesitate to contact a professional to get the problem solved safely free of injury.  For questions or concerns contact an expert that offers DC drain services for professional assistance.