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Plumbing Maintenance Checklist – Prevention is Key to Proper Plumbing

As a homeowner, keeping up with home maintenance can sometimes feel like a full-time job. There are many things that need to be done to a home in order to keep it running smoothly. Plumbing is just one of the many aspects of your home that you have to keep up throughout the year. Below you will find a helpful checklist that will help you to look for plumbing problems as well as potential plumbing problems that should be addressed before they become a real issue. Going line-by-line on the checklist will help you with preventative care and maintenance of your home’s plumbing.

When thinking about your plumbing system, you need to first realize the number of appliances and pipes that are included in the system. This doesn’t only cover the plumbing system that operates toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs in your home, it also covers laundry facilities in your home for your washer, utility sinks, and drains that may be installed.

❏ Look for signs of leaks in exposed pipes, where pipes run through the walls or the foundation of your home. Signs of a leak include puddles of water and watermarks.
❏ Look for signs of corrosion. Corrosion of pipes can cause leaks and bad pipe connections if not corrected. A sign of corrosion is green stains around brass and copper fittings and on shutoff valves, and yellow or orange stains on old steel pipe..
❏ Test water pressure. Water pressure is with how much force the water comes out of sink faucets and showerheads. Low water pressure can be a sign of sediment build up in the faucet or shower head. It may also be a sign of a problem with the water line.
❏ Remove the showerhead to look for any sediment that may have collected in it. This may be a cause of lower the water pressure.
❏ Check each sink, shower and tub drain for the speed of drainage. Slow drainage usually indicates a clog in the drain or a blocked vent pipe. Your drains should have a full swirl when draining. If bubbles appear when water is draining, this is usually a sign of a problem. If there are gurgling sounds, there may be venting problems
❏ Check the flushing handle and inside parts of the toilets. Flush each toilet to make sure that it is flushing properly. Check the parts inside the tank of the toilet to see if any parts are broken, rusted, or missing. Make sure the toilet water does not continue to run after flushing and make sure there is no sign of water on the floor around the toilet.
❏ Look for cracked tiles in the shower, around sinks, or near water pipes in the home. Loose or hollow tiles can be an indication that there is, or was, a leak that has caused rotting underneath or behind the tile. Water that goes through the cracks will look like a plumbing leak on the ceiling below.
❏ See if tub, sink or toilet caulking is coming off.
❏ Check for mildew, which is caused by standing water that may have dried up again.
❏ Push and pull gently on each toilet to see if it rocks or moves.
❏ Look inside the burner chamber of the home’s water heater. See if there are any flakes of rust inside of the chamber. Also, check the flame of the water heater, which should be a blue color with no signs of yellow in the flame. If you see a yellow color, this may mean that the jets need to be cleaned.
❏ You should drain the water heater to remove sediment that may have built up in it.
❏ Turn on all of the faucets in your home to see if there is any water coming out of the handles and valves.
❏ Check the washing machine hoses to make sure that there aren’t any cracks and that the hoses are not brittle or leaking. Washing machine leaks are common insurance claims. The best hoses are braided stainless, or other high pressure material.
By running through this checklist on an annual or bi-annual basis, you can check your home for plumbing problems or potential plumbing problems. Addressing these problems on a regular basis can help you to prevent the problems from becoming worse, which can save you quite a bit of money on the long run. Therefore, taking a few minutes to inspect your plumbing system is time well spent.

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Choosing The Right Vancouver Security Cameras

There are many types of home and commercial security systems out in the market today that people could choose from. So many in fact that it is so easy to get confused and overwhelmed by the myriad of the different kinds of security system you can install in your home.

To choose the right security system and to avoid being overwhelmed by the different products, you need to know the kind of protection that your home needs. Some people only require minimal home security while others require more extensive security systems installed.

Obviously, high risk businesses like pawnshops and 24 hour convenience stores require a more sophisticated security system than a small house in the suburbs.

You also have to assess the area where your security system will be installed. This is to ensure that your security cameras in Vancouver, will be able to cover all the important places in your home. Take note of tricky blind spots and places that security cameras are most needed.

Some security systems can be installed on your own and others require a team of professionals to install them. This should be factored into the cost of buying security cameras for your Vancouver home. You also have to check for fees that professional installers or contractors could charge. Take note also of the maintenance and other upkeep for these security systems.

Another factor to think about when buying a security system is ease of use. Some systems are easy to install and use while others are so complicated that it is best left to professionals. Make sure that youâll be able to operate and maintain any security system that you choose to purchase.

Some people prefer Vancouver security cameras that can be monitored on their mobile or remotely. Know that these kinds of security systems can be more expensive and require a mobile app in order to work.

Some even require a license before it can be used. Make sure that you understand the implications of getting a remote access to your security system as well. If you lose your mobile, the person who finds your mobile could gain access to your security system.

Lastly, carefully assess if you need a fully automated security system or if a manual security system will be alright. The former is more expensive than the latter so check if it will fit into your budget. Sometimes, a security system thatâs not fully automated will suffice so choose wisely.

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Emergencies That Require 24-hour Plumbing

You might be inconvenienced a bit by a leaky faucet or a slow drain, but determining the thin line as to when to indulge in a quick weekend fix or require the assistance of 24-hour plumbing is a bit tricky. You can experience a lot of emergencies that are damaging not only to your pipes, but to your very home, which is why being able to determine when you need to surrender and just simply call a professional plumber can save you a lot of money, your time and effort.

Certain plumbing emergencies are plainly obvious like a pipe that has burst or an overflowing toilet that you just cannot stop, especially if it transpired in the dead of the night or during the weekend or the holidays. You have a potential hazards amidst your home when the overflowing water can seep into your living space and cause irreparable damage to your homes carpets and floors. If all your efforts appear futile and you cannot stop the water from overflowing, or if the flow is just too much that you cannot put off having it fixed, your best recourse is to contact an expert plumber or a professional 24-hour plumbing services.

It is never wise to attempt cleaning up the mess especially if it compromises your health because of the toxic waste or water involved. You can hire an expert carpet cleaning services to assist you in eliminating this likely health hazard and save your floors, but you have to shell out a bit more money for it.

Meanwhile, not all plumbing issues are as transparent as water spilling all over your home that is coming from a leaky faucet or pipe. At times, a toilet or sink can also get clogged that will leave it virtually useless. Despite it not posing an imminent threat to you and your familys well-being, you need to address these plumbing issues right away to have a comfortable and hassle-free life once more. Another inconvenience youll likely encounter is a faulty water heater that can quickly escalate into an emergency when family members must take a shower or wash the dishes.

Some of these solutions are relatively easy. Take for example an obstructed drain that can be easily cleared by a handy plunger. But remember that even simple issues can become major inconveniences when left at the hand of a clueless homeowner that has no proper knowledge regarding the ins and outs of a homes plumbing system. Another example is trying to utilize plumbing tools or a snake to clear an obstructed drain rather than the plunger. It can potentially damage the pipes or make things worse.

Washing machine or dishwasher leaks are often due to an obstructed trap where the water typically drains. But upon checking and seeing that the trap is clear, but the situation persists, let it be and contact an expert plumber right away to fix it. A frozen pipe over the winter can at times be remedied by using gradual heat, such as a hair dryer set on a lower setting. However, take note that using too much heat can severely damage your pipes.

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How To Avoid A Cold Shower And A Cold Shoulder From The Wife

Upon coming home from a busy day in the winter, is there anything better than a hot beverage and a warm shower? You can survive running out of marshmallows for the hot cocoa, but taking a cold shower is one of the most depressing thingsany person can go through.

The hot water tank generates the warm water inside your home. You probably dont even think of it until you take that cold shower. There are several issues that can limit the amount of hot water your tank generates and distributes. When your water heater starts performing poorly, the following issues may be the culprits.


The easiest thing you can do when you are running out of water is to wait. A certain amount of water from a reserve of 30m gallons or above is heated up by a tank. But when the water heater runs out of that warm water reserve, it has no recourse but to distribute cold water. If you want toavoid running out of warm water, household members must take showers when other home appliances are not in use. Moreover, if you have more than 5 people living in your house, you probably need to buy a larger water tank.


Another issue you might encounter in any typical home thatcan lead to a dwindling hot water supply is when the pilot light goes out. This problem is a fine example when your water heater no longer produces hot water but not require a drastic replacement. The water that goes through your pipe is heated by the gas that is set on fire by the pilot light. Through the deduction process, you cannot possibly have hot water when there is no working pilot light. You might have the misconception of needing to replace your entire unit when in reality, what is required is five minutes of your time and a barbecue lighter.

You can easily DIY lighting up a failing pilot light. Most modern models sport an ignition switch that can be switched fromgas into pilot mode and clutched for a few seconds before the pilot light eventually lights up. On the other hand, you need to physically light the pilot light if you own a conventional model. Hence, make it a habit to review your manual todetermine what kind of unit you have.


A possible sign that you thermocouple needs replacement is when the units pilot light no longer fires up, or if it fluctuates on and off. If you are pretty handy with DIY stuff and quite confident yourself, it will be easy for you to change the thermocouple. But if you are in the dark when it comes to hot water heaters, your best recourse is to call the professionals who are trained to do the job. You want the peace of mind upon knowing that there is no leak in your water heater, so hiring the services of an expert is your best alternative.


Your shower will most likely deliver cold water and leave you shivering in the midst of your shower once you have a faulty breaker.It is a challenge to notice when your breaker starts to malfunction because it is most likely that only your basement or utility room is out of power and not your entire home. If you have a faulty breaker, water will no longer be heated because nothing will power the heating elements anymore. If what tripped the electric breaker was just a random thing,you wont have to face any lasting issues and you can easily turn it back on. Unfortunately, if your water heater is the reason itself for the trip, it explains why it is no longer working and need a replacement. The heating elements are fairly easy to replace, but if your water heater is nearing its lifespan and is over ten years old, your only recourse is to purchase a new one.


Another issue that usually plagues water heaters and might be a possible reason that it gives off lukewarm water is neglecting to check the dip tube. The plastic that goes through the entire expanse of the pipe is a dip tube. It travelsfrom the cold water inlet all the way to the bottom of your heater where the actual water is being heated. A broken dip tube will allow the cold water to blend with the hot water and deliver an equal 50/50 solution of cold and heated water. It is also easy to change your dip tube. However, it requires you to cut the pipe, which might frighten an inexperienced homeowner.


The two modules on your typical water heater are located on the upper half and on the lower half, also labeled as the elements. There is a big likelihood that one or both of these elements are already defective if your hot water system keeps on dispensing cool water rather than warm water. It is also the likely culprit if your breakers keep on tripping as well. It is the lower element that carries out majority of the work since the cold water goes inside the unit at the bottom and goes up because of the pressure inside. The upper element of the unit mainly carries out the maintenance part of your unit, but it can start to malfunction too. This malfunction on the upper element usually happens when the lower component already start to fail. A multimeterdetermines the physical state of these components. Youll be aware when you need to replace it and youll get a pretty specific diagnosis and find out the exact root of the problem.


If the hot water system is consistently delivering cold water, this could possibly signal that you need a larger tank.Try to check bigger units that is commensurate to the number of household members, or the mere size of your beloved family. An additional bathroom is also a major factor that affects your hot water supply.

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Choosing Whether Or Not To Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

If nobody in your family suffers from allergic reactions or unusual signs or diseases as well as if, after a visual inspection of the ductworks, you see no indication that your duct are polluted with dust or mold (no mildew smell or visible mold development), having your duct cleaned is most likely unnecessary. It is normal for the return grills to get dirty as dust-laden air is pulled through the grate. This does not indicate that your air ducts are polluted with dirt or debris; the grills can be effortlessly vacuumed or removed as well as cleaned.

On the other hand, if any members of the family are experiencing unusual or baffling signs or illnesses that you believe might be connected to your house environment, you must talk about the situation with your doctor.

While it would be rational that air ducts will get filthy over time and therefore must periodically be cleaned, the debate concerning the worth of routine duct cleaning continues, no proof recommends that such cleaning would certainly be destructive, ensured that it is done effectively.

On the other hand, if a service provider neglects to comply with proper ductwork cleaning procedures, air duct cleaning can create interior air issues. For example, an inadequate vacuum collection system could release much more dust, dirt, as well as other contaminants back into your home than if you had actually left the ductworks alone. A careless or inadequately skilled provider can damage your ductworks, causing costly repairs or replacements.

There are several essential points to recognize concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems. You must think about having the air ducts in your home cleaned if there is considerable visible mold and mildew growth inside the ductworks or on other elements of your cooling and heating system.

Ducts that are obstructed with too much dirt and also particles and/or fragments can in fact be released right into the residence from your supply registers.

If you think duct cleaning might be a good idea for your home, however you are not sure, talk with an expert. The company that maintains your heating and cooling system might be an excellent source of advice. You may also want to call an expert duct cleaning company such as Ac Repair Pros as well as ask them regarding the solutions they can provide. Keep in mind, they are trying to market you a solution, so ask questions and also insist on a complete estimate prior to initial work.

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Knowing When It's Time For A Roofing Replacement

The roof of your home protects you from the elements around you, whether it is wind, rain, direct sun, or snow. Look up Roofing Calgary in google and you'll find Whalleys Four Seasons roofing. They'll confirm that eventually, the roofing material covering your property will wear out. The problem is determining exactly when it needs to be replaced so that you can keep from having to repair any underlying wood.

Obviously, the older your shingles are the sooner they will need to be replaced. If your roofing is less than 20 years old, then you are probably okay. However, improper ventilation can make the material wear out quicker. In addition, it does matter whether or not you have multiple layers attached to your roof. Chances are if the material is coming up on 20 years old and has a layer or two underneath, then you probably need to replace it.

There are valleys on every housetop. This is the way snow and rainfall travel down and into the gutters. However, if the shingles around the valleys are starting to fall apart, then it is time for a replacement.

Buckling and Curling

If you see shingles that look as though they are curling up then it is a sign you need to replace them soon. Buckling on the surface is also another indicator. The best way to tell if it is just a single shingle or the entire surface is to check the ones in direct sunlight. If these are showing any signs of curling or buckling, you should contact a licensed roofing company to make repairs. If the roof is relatively new, it can indicate a defect in the material.

Missing Shingles

If you notice that tiles are missing, it could indicate that the materials need to be replaced. Frequently, this occurs after the house is hit by a storm. While you may think it would be easier to replace the missing items, there could have been more damage to the housetop than you realize. Before you go nailing new tiles in place, have a licensed professional check the area to make sure no other damage has occurred.

Missing Granules

As your tiles age, they begin to lose the granules from their surface. Those who have gutters installed on their homes may see these particles accumulate in the guttering. This is a sign that the fiberglass covering is wearing out. However, you do not have to have an accumulation of granules to see this effect. If you are looking at the shingles and see a color that is not the original color of the surface or you are starting to see white coming through, that is the fiberglass underneath and it is time to replace your roofing.

Probably the most obvious way to tell that you need to have the surface of your housetop replaced is by discovering leaks. If water drips through the ceiling on a rainy day, you have waited too long to have the necessary repairs. Now there is damage to the plywood underneath the surface. Of course, you can still have this damage without having any leaks. If you are in your attic looking up and see daylight, you need to replace your roof.

Learning these signs will ensure that your home stays out of the elements.

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How To Choose A Home Heating Service

Most people take that the heat in their house will be there when they need it but that is not always the case. Home heating systems can break down just like any other appliance in your home. When that happens then you will need to know how to choose a home heating service to come out and make the necessary repairs. Here are a few suggestions on how to choose a home heating service.

Look to see if they can answer a majority of the following questions with a yes answer:

1. Do They Have The Expertise In Your Type Of Repair?

Doing a job occasionally does not make a home heating repair service experts. You want someone who has done the type of repair you need on a regular basis. Part of this consideration is that they also be dealers or reps of the manufacturer of the type of home heating system you have.

2. What Is Their Reputation Like?

Do an internet search for complaints against a certain company. If they have a lot then you might want to avoid using that companys service. Keep in mind that no company is perfect and one or two minor complaints should not cross a company off your list.

3. Can They Supply References?

References are a great way to inquire about the workmanship and professionalism of any prospective heating service you are looking to hire. Reputable companies will have no problem supplying you with a list here.

4. Do They Possess and Special Certificates or Certifications?

Specialization often goes along with being experts. This proves that a company wanted to do a specialized task well enough that they learned how to do it from other experts at it.

5. Can They Come Out and Do A Timely Repair?

If its the winter time you dont want to wait 2 weeks to get your home heating fixed. Make sure the company you are talking to can schedule you right away.

6. Is Their Price Fair?

A fair price is to be expected in the service marketplace. You will get an idea what this is as you talk to several home heating services about doing the work.

7. Do They Back Up Their Work With A Guarantee?

You want to be sure a company will stand by their work for a reasonable period of time with a guarantee. Make sure you know what this is before you hire any prospective home heating service.

These are great questions to ask of any home heating service you are thinking of hiring. Now that you know how to choose a home heating service, its up to you to ask these questions of them. If any prospective company you are looking at can answer yes to at least 5 of these questions, then they are probably ok for you to consider hiring.

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Advantages Of Hvac Service

If the last time you upgraded your homes heating and cooling system was five to six years ago, chances are you may still qualify for a Tax Incentive on those HVAC Services. Check out the following information regarding the various requisites and restrictions along with other money-saving alternatives.

General Requisites

The Tax Incentive on HVAC Services back in 2009 was done along with other much larger energy-saving and efficiency incentives that are applicable to a variety of household upgrades and modifications installed and mobilized prior to the end of 2010.

Anybody who pays tax qualify for an incentive estimated to be at least 30% of the expense paid on the entire upgrade, or up to $1,500 over a span of two years. Although you cannot have individual incentives of $1,500 for both your air conditioner and furnace, you can still get the tax incentive for such HVAC services amounting to $1,500 (30% of the total expense of $5,000) when both units cost more than $5,000 altogether.

The countrys tax incentive on HVAC Services only applies to upgrades done in a current home that is your primary residence. You cannot make use of it when you have a new house or just leasing in a rental housing.

To obtain the HVAC tax incentives for items you have installed and were used in 2009, you can file a specific form for that to make sure it is covered. If the item were only readily available the following year, you could apply for that HVAC Services tax incentive on your tax return for 2010. There is no need to pass the receipts along with the certification statement from the manufacturer (this document reflects the products energy rating), however, keep such documents handy together with your tax records.

HVAC Requisites

Not all items can vie for the tax incentive on HVAC services. Certain Energy Star models are not included, whereas other models do qualify despite not being an Energy Star label.

When you change or add a furnace, boiler, air conditioner or heat pump, do not forget to inquire from your HVAC contractor if that certain item can apply for a federal HVAC service tax incentive. You can also qualify for such incentive when you purchase your furnace a new circulating fan but just bear in mind that you need to secure additional requirements. Any fan that utilizes over two percent of the energy a furnace consumes can never qualify for federal HVAC services tax incentives. Moreover, when your furnace cannot benefit from an HVAC tax incentive, you can only benefit from 30% of the fans cost, and not from the entire replacement cost of your furnace.

More Savings

Apart from the federal HVAC services tax incentives, you can expect the Department of Energy to furnish federal kickbacks whenever homeowners buy energy-efficient and saving Energy Star equipment since 2010. The majority of provinces already have existing Energy Star rebate services in place.

It is undeniable that energy-efficient equipment are devised to help you save money. After all, you can get the return on your investment over the succeeding years of lower utility bills, regardless if you have tax kickbacks or incentives or not.

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