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Tuesday, 10 April 2018 13:52

What to Do In a Plumbing Emergency

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Plumbing emergencies can range from leaking pipes and clogged drains to a faucets that won't shut off and leaking water heaters. It's important that everyone in the household know the location of the shutoff valve for every plumbing fixture and appliance, as well as the home's main shutoff valve.

What to do during a plumbing emergency

Water Shutoff Valves

If a specific plumbing fixture or appliance is leaking or malfunctioning, first look for its shutoff valve and turn it clockwise to turn off the water supply just to the affected system.

The shutoff valve is usually located underneath the toilet or sink. Clothes washers will have two shutoff valves, one each for hot and cold water, often located behind the appliance

If the problem is not with a specific fixture or appliance, or you cannot locate the shutoff valve, locate the main shutoff valve to turn off the water to the entire house.The main shutoff valve will be on the inside where the main water supply pipe enters the house. Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off. If the valve is difficult to turn, keep a wrench near the valve for emergencies.

Have a plumbing emergency? Call M/R Plumbing. Our professional plumbers will be there in minutes to help fix the problem.
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 13:38

Plumbing Maintenance Tips For Spring

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Spring is a great time to check your home's plumbing systems and perform preventative maintenance to protect your home against plumbing problems.

Spring plumbing maintenance

MR Plumbing offers these tips:

Plumbing Fixtures

  • Check faucets for drips or leaks and repair parts as needed to save water
  • Clean mineral deposits from faucets and shower heads. Unscrew them and soak them in vinegar overnight
  • Cycle water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking

Drains

  • Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent debris from clogging your drain lines.
  • Pour about a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.

Sump Pump

Test your sump pump for proper operation. Pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the basin of your sump pump. Pour slowly until the sump pump turns on and begins to pump out the water. Do not pour in more water than the basin will hold. Expect the sump pump to begin pumping out water when the water level reaches approximately 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor.

Appliances

Washing Machine
Washing machine hoses should be inspected for leaks or bulges. If the hoses are older than 10 years, they should be replaced. Consider using braided stainless steel hoses rather than rubber hoses.

Toilets
Check your toilets for cracks or leaks. Add several drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, it has a leak that should be repaired.

If the toilet handle has to be held down in order to flush properly, or jiggled to stop from running, you may need to replace the tank parts.

Water Heaters
Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.

If you have a tank water heater, drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.
Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits. Always check with your water heater manufacturer for specific instructions regarding maintenance of your specific make and model.

Ensure there are no flammable materials stored near the water heater or furnace.

Central Air Conditioner

With the hot, sticky weather just around the corner many homeowners with older air conditioners are weighing the benefits of buying a new air conditioner versus repair their existing unit. The old saying "if it isn't broken, don't fix it." isn't always so clear cut when it comes to central cooling systems. While that old ac unit may be running just fine, it may be using a lot more energy than new units. The reason is many new air conditioners are variable speed, meaning that instead of just cycling on and off, they can operate at low or high speed depending on demand.

The EPA suggest that homeowners replace their older air conditioner if it's past 10 years old. The reason is new air conditioners are far more efficient that system available a decade ago. How much can you expect to save on your energy bill? With a newer, high efficiency system you could save up to 56% on your cooling costs.
 
Ultimately, for most homeowners the decision to replace their air conditioner happens when the unit breaks down during a heat wave. By planning ahead and making the decision to install a new air conditioner before the old unit is beyond repair you can avoid the inconvenience and expense of an unexpected repairs while enjoy the cost savings of today's high efficiency air conditioners.
 
Have questions about air conditioners? Call MR Plumbing, we're here to help.


 
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