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Wednesday, 15 January 2020 21:38

4 Dangerous Home Electrical Hazards

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Home Electrical Hazards

Home electrical fires account for over 50,000 fires in the US each year.  The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that electrical fires cause more than 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and over a billion dollars in property damage. Older homes are particularly at risk. Because over half of the homes in the United States were built before 1973, this is a real concern.

To ensure your home is meeting the current electrical code in your area, call an MR Plumbing electrician. They will help identify the common culprits of electrical fires that may be hidden in your home’s electrical system.

Some of these dangers include:

Knob and Tube Wiring
This type of wiring was used from the 1800’s to the 1930’s in homes. Wires are run through ceramic tubes (or knobs) to prevent contact with wood framing. However, this type of wiring is now considered a fire hazard because it is not a grounded system. If your home has knob and tube wiring, it is highly recommended that you have your home re-wired.

Arc Faults

When any electricity is unintentionally released from home wiring or cords, it is known as an arc fault. Arc faults can be especially dangerous because the electricity released can cause the surrounding material to catch fire.
Common causes of arc faults:

Pinched wires
– From a chair sitting on an extension cord or wires bent sharply
Overheated wires or cords – Too many lights or appliances connected to one circuit (your fuse box or circuit breaker should trip)
Improper electrical connections – Loose connections in an electrical light switch or outlet

Pierced wires
– Nails and screws can sometimes pierce wiring hidden behind walls
Damaged wires or cords – Caused by rodents, age and heat

No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Any electrical outlets that could come into contact with water should have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed. These outlets improve safety by constantly monitoring the flow of electricity in and out of the circuit.
If the returning current differs even a small amount (like from coming in contact with water), the GFCI will shut of the electric current. This helps prevent deadly electric shocks and electrocution.
For maximum safety install GFCIs in bathrooms, the kitchen, laundry room, outside and anywhere else an outlet could come in contact with water.

Aluminum Wiring

Another risk in older homes is aluminum wiring. A national survey conducted by Franklin Research Institute showed that homes built before 1972, and wired with aluminum, are 55 times more likely to have one or more wire connections at outlets reach “Fire Hazard Conditions”1 than homes wired with copper.

A shortage of copper in the mid 1960s caused builders to increase the use of aluminum wire in residential electrical distribution systems from the few large-power circuits (i.e., for electric clothes dryers and ranges), to general purpose 15- and 20-ampere-rated circuits. Homes built before 1965 are unlikely to have aluminum branch circuit wiring.

Unfortunately, failing aluminum-wired connections seldom provide easily detected warning signs. Aluminum-wired connections and splices have been reported to fail and overheat without any prior indications or problems.
Thursday, 02 January 2020 20:47

Why Choose Professional Drain Cleaning?

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Professional Drain Cleaning

Do-it-yourself Drain Cleaning

Store bought drain cleaners are among the most hazardous chemicals found in homes today. They can not only be dangerous to your health and safety, but can also cause damage your home's plumbing system and kitchen and bathroom finishes.

There are several types of chemical drain cleaners. Alkaline types contain sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. Acidic drain cleaners contain sulphiric acid. Some of the other chemicals found in drain cleaners can include bleach and lye.

Drain cleaners are effective at removing organic matter that is in the immediate area below the drain opening. They are not as effective at clearing obstructions that are further down the drain pipe, particularly toilet and floor drain clogs.

Chemical drain cleaners work by causing a chemical reaction when they come in contact with the material clogging the drain. Because of the caustic nature of the reaction it's important that they be poured into the drain slowly and that your protected from any potential contact with the chemicals by wearing skin and eye protection. Contact with the chemicals can cause severe chemical burns, and even blindness.

Because many drain cleaners are alkaline, they can corrode pipes, and damage surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom, such as plated metals, wood, painted surfaces, aluminum and fiberglass.

Professional Drain Cleaning

The safest – and usually most effective - method of clearing a clogged drain is professional drain clearing by a professional plumber. Plumbers use specialized tools designed to physically remove the toughest obstructions that chemical drain cleaners either cannot reach or fully dissolve.

With a professional plumber just a quick call away, you don't need to store dangerous chemicals in your home, risking your family's health and potential damage to your plumbing system. So the next time you have a clogged drain in your home, call MR Plumbing. We'll unclog your drains quickly... and safely.
Wednesday, 11 December 2019 21:52

Preventing Sudden Water Temperature Changes

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Unexpected Water Temperature Changes? A Pressure-Balancing Valve Could Be the Answer

If you have ever experienced the surprise of a sudden temperature change while taking a shower, you can understand why managing water pressure changes is important. The key to preventing pressure and temperature changes is a pressure balancing valve, also called a pressure-compensating valve.  It's a plumbing device designed to reduce the likelihood of thermal shock and scalding while showering or bathing. It's also a safety device that is required by code in most cities.

Solving Water Pressure Problems

The pressure-balance valve works by sensing the hot and cold water pressures coming in from the supply line and compensates for temperature fluctuations to maintain a consistent water temperature.

Without a pressure balancing valve a sudden change in water usage, such as a flushing toilet or clothes washer turning on, could send a burst of hot water to a shower or bath, causing the potential for injury.

If your plumbing system is older and not equipped with a pressure balancing valve, call MR Plumbing. We can upgrade the plumbing system to prevent unsafe temperature fluctuation.

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