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When your water heater comes to mind, it usually is about the amount of hot water it generates: just right, or not enough. But you also should be on the lookout for signs that might indicate a water heater safety issue for the sake of your entire family.
Let’s have a look at what they are.
Turn it Down!
Start by lowering the water heater temperature to 120 degrees. Some are initially set at 140 degrees which could cause scalding. Just remember to check the instructions for your make and model before adjusting the temperature control.
Check it Out!
Examine your water heater periodically. Check for water leaks which, among other things, can lead to the mold growth and spreading. Next, check inside the combustion chamber where the flame should be burning mostly blue. Next, keep in an eye on the burner. If rust is collecting in the burner compartment, it needs to be serviced by a professional.
Clean it Up!
Brooms, paint brushes and other items that commonly get stored in a utility closet can catch fire if placed too close to the combustion chamber or water heater.
Be on the Alert for Gas Leaks!
If you should smell gas in your home, here’s what to do:
- Don’t turn on a light switch or touch anything that might cause a static spark.
- Leave your house immediately, leaving at least some windows and doors open.
- Call your gas supplier from a safe location.
- Turn off the main shut-off valve at the gas meter.
For even greater protection, we recommend an annual water heater performance and safety inspection by one of our well-qualified plumbers. Connor maintains and repairs all makes and models of water heaters, including yours. So, for the best in water heater performance and added personal safety, contact Connor Plumbing today.
When someone enters your kitchen, you want to hear: “Wow, what’s that you’re making?!” And not: “Eww, what was that you made yesterday?”
The focus of the latter comment? Your garbage disposal, that wonderful home appliance that makes shorter work of after-meal clean up. By taking a few extra minutes during and in between clean ups, you won’t have to worry about lingering odors and bacteria build-up inside your disposal.
In fact, sanitizing your garbage disposal can be done quickly, using ingredients you already have in your home. Here are a few simple ways your disposal can be germ-free in minutes, letting you get on with your busy day:
- Pour a 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide down the drain and turn on the garbage disposal while running old water for at least 30 seconds.
- Place small pieces or an orange or other citrus fruit in the disposal and add a drop or two of dish soap. Then, turn on the cold-water faucet until you hear that familiar “all clear” sound.
- Pour 1/2 cup each of vinegar and baking soda down your unit and let it sit for up to 30 minutes. Then flush it with a tea kettle full of piping hot water.
- Pour concentrated liquid bleach down the disposal to clear the drain pipe of soap and chemical residue. Allow it to sit for several minutes with the drain cap on. Remove the cap and run the disposal with cold water for about 30 seconds.
Of course, disinfecting your garbage disposal is one thing. But what happens when it becomes hopelessly clogged and no amount of DIY steps can help? That’s the time to contact Connor Plumbing, your local drain cleaning professionals. We clear, repair, and replace all makes and models of kitchen garbage disposals. Plus, you’ll receive a guaranteed upfront price quote for the work we recommend along with our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
The bathroom is often the smallest room in the house, but none take any more of a beating. Nothing it can’t handle, mind you, with some solid and regular upkeep.
At the same time, most people HATE cleaning their bathrooms. Maybe, though, it wouldn’t seem so daunting if you focused on function at a time, rather than imagining the entire process all at once. You know, the “Baby Steps” approach as espoused in the hit comedy “What About Bob?”
Here’s our 10-step process to a cleaner bathroom, one you can complete in less than 30 minutes.
- Gather your supplies. Keep a caddy or small bucket filled with all your cleaning essentials in a linen closet or in an under-the-sink cabinet.
- Clear off surfaces. Put toothbrushes, make-up, and other essentials back in their place and toss dirty towels and bathmats into the laundry basket.
- Spray down surfaces. Spray down the counter, backsplash, and outer surface of the toilet. Then squirt toiler cleaner into the bowl and under the rim. Let everything sit for a while.
- Soak the shower and tub – Fill your bathtub with a few inches of hot water and spray the shower with cleaner. Use a small brush to quickly pass around the inside of the tub to loosen any soap scum. Let it all soak for a while.
- Tackle the toilet – Scrub the inside of the toilet bowl and use a rag to wipe down the outer surface. Dry it with a cloth, and then rinse the toilet brush before spraying it with cleaner and putting it away.
- Clean the tub and shower – Drain the tub and wipe all surfaces. Use a scrub brush to get any remaining dirt or grime. Rinse with a handheld shower attachment or clean wet rag.
- Tackle the floor – Vacuum the floor to pick up any dirt, dust, or hair. Fill the sink with a little warm water and add your cleaner. Wet your mop or floor rag, wring it out, and run it over the floor. Wipe it dry with a clean cloth, and drain the water from the sink
- Wipe it all down – Wet a clean cloth in warm water, wring it out, and wipe down previously sprayed countertops and backsplash. Spray the interior of the sink with cleaner and wipe clean.
- Clean the mirror – Spray glass cleaner onto the mirror and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth. Then use that same cloth to shine up faucets, towel racks, and the toilet handle.
- Finish it off – Replace clean towels and your bathmat, put away your cleaning supplies, and place dirty wash cloths in the laundry basket. Then, stand back and admire your hard work.
Even with all this organization and preparation, your cleaning efforts might still be hampered by low water pressure. If so, contact Connor Plumbing to schedule service.
We’ll figure out if the problem is confined to your bathroom, more widespread than that, and ultimately what’s causing it. From there, we’ll give you one or more options to increase your water pressure to a more productive level. Connor Plumbing: your complete home plumbing resource since 1908.
A stressful day can always be improved by finding time to take a warm, relaxing bath. A luxury you don’t have time for? You’ll think differently once you consider the several associated health benefits, including the following:
Humidity/heat: Keeping the water temperature comfortable, but warm enough to start sweating clears the lymph system of toxins, decreases bacteria that cause illness and body odor, and improves your immunity.
Skin: Soaking in a tub of warm water for 20 minutes helps to soften calluses and open pores. The end of the bath is a great time to scrub, buff, or exfoliate dry skin and rough spots. The lotions you apply afterward will be absorbed more easily, too.
Muscles: On a typical day, your muscles take a beating through any combination of going to work, doing chores, and chasing after kids or the family dog. A warm bath helps relieve sore muscles by relaxing them; it also relieves cramps and headaches.
Relaxation: Even just a twenty-minute bath is enough to help reduce stress, distract you from tomorrow’s chores, and make your cares and worries seem a little less important. So go ahead and allow yourself to enjoy the peace and quiet!
Essential oils: Adding essential oils to the water gives you all of the benefits those oils can provide. Lavender oil is wonderful for decreasing stress and anxiety, Sage helps to clear the mind, and chamomile can ease tension. Add a few drops to the bath and just breathe in the relaxation!
Salts: Bath salts take the health benefits to another level by relieving muscle tenderness and inflammation on joints and any associated swelling. Add your favorite bath bomb, or 1/3 of a cup of Epsom salts to the water to melt away the aches and pains from a long day.
Ready for bed: The warm water slowly raises your body’s core temperature; when you get out of the tub your temperature drops again. This signals to your brain that it’s sleepy time. Bathing also improves sleep quality.
Does all of that sound delightful except for one small detail: your tub’s either too small or not up to your standards of relaxation? Then maybe it’s time for a replacement tub, perhaps even a walk-in model with whirlpool action for even greater relaxation. Whatever the need, you can count on Connor Plumbing to turn your bathroom into the oasis you’ve always wanted. Contact us today for more information on how to get that done.
Done correctly, spring cleaning shouldn’t be about cleaning alone. Otherwise, the job will only grow more and more difficult from one year to the next – unless, of course, you do some simultaneous purging.
Most people get a headache just thinking about getting rid of seldom or never used “stuff” because they don’t know where to begin. But now, you’re in a better place because we’re going to point you in some bountiful directions where we’re confident you’ll find plenty to purge. And by doing so, you’ll have that much less stuff to move out of the way the next time the cleaning bug comes calling.
1. Financial Documents & Old Mail – Neatly file your tax returns, deeds, leases, insurance papers and any other important documents in a safe, organized place. Run everything else through the shredder and into the recycling bin. To help keep things organized moving forward, sign up for electronic billing and statements and download those documents to a file on your hard drive.
2. Old Clothing – If you haven’t worn it in a year, chances are you never will. So, if you’re cramped for closet space, now’s the time to thin out your wardrobe and donate what you select to a family in need or local non-profit organization.
3. Make-up and Grooming Supplies – Many grooming and make-up items have a shelf life of about a year. So, if you have old lipsticks, eye shadow, and other items that are past their prime, it’s time to kiss them good-bye. While you’re at it, get rid of those old lotions and decorative soaps that you never use but can’t seem to part with for sentimental reasons.
4. Gifts – The thought may be what counts, but if you’ve been hiding one or more gifts in a closet because they’re just not “you”, add them to your purge-able collection.
5. Toys & Games – Is your home a monument to your children from 5-10 years ago, still loaded with toys and games they haven’t touched in years? If so, it’s time to go through them one by one, and get rid of everything with missing and broken pieces, while donating the rest.
6. Old Linens – You’d love to buy some new sheets or towels, wouldn’t you? But you hesitate because your linen closet is full to brim, even though you seem to use all the same few items over and over again. What does That tell you? That you have a bunch of worn and tattered items mid-way or further down the pile that you wouldn’t use on a bet. Once again, there are those who would be glad to have at least some of them, so have at it!
Any time you’re cleaning your house, in the spring and otherwise, keep an eye out for any signs of a water leak. It’s the kind you can’t see and hear that often are the ones capable of causing the most damage to you home. If you do spot signs of a water leak, contact Connor Plumbing so we can locate the source of it and take the right corrective action.
If you love gardening but feel that time spent with your hands in the dirt is time away from the gym, fear not – we have some encouraging news for you.
In fact, for now, forget the gym, especially if you feel like that kind of exercise is the only kind that will do you any good. Because with gardening, you can lop off some excess weight while accomplishing something meaningful.
Several studies have shown that gardening can be an excellent source of moderate exercise. Of course, some gardening tasks, like lugging fifty-pound bags of top soil around the yard, are more effective at shedding pounds than others.
Here’s a breakdown of some common garden jobs and how effective they are as exercise:
- Raking the lawn for an hour will burn 292 calories, about the equivalent of a
Starbucks Grande Cafe Latte (made with whole milk.)
- Mowing the lawn for an hour will burn 306 calories, the same amount contained in about a cup of bread pudding.
as much as you’ll find in nearly four glasses of wine.
Mac, so if you want to compensate for the whole thing, just dig for another hour.
While gardening may never give you “six-pack abs,” it’s clear that calories burned while mowing, raking, and planting are nothing to sneeze at.
If the gardening bug has just recently bitten you, maybe we can help by replacing your old outdoor faucet or installing a new one in a more convenient location. At Connor Plumbing, we’re here for all your indoor and outdoor plumbing needs, all year long. Happy gardening!
A household drain has only one purpose in life: to move water from point A to point B.
But when water starts returning to point A, or bursting through an underground pipe to points C, D, E and beyond, the result can be unpleasant, to say the least.
So how can you prevent drain clogs before they cause you headaches, and cost you money? Let’s have a look:
- Check your sink and tub stoppers at least four times a year for hair and bio-film buildup.
- Once a month, fill each sink in your home to the brim – one at a time – and then pull up the stopper. The volume and weight of the water will help flush the drain.
- Every couple of weeks pour an organic drain cleaner down each of your drains. Products like Bio-Clean (which we carry!) work much better than chemical drain cleaners and won’t damage your fixtures or pipes.
- Never pour oil or grease down a drain…instead, use a jar that you can later discard.
But should a clog occur anyway, try using a plunger first, but don’t use a plunger after applying a chemical drain cleaner. Chemicals can damage steel and iron pipes, eventually causing them to leak or burst. Plus, chemicals can splash back and harm you.
You can also treat a clogged drain with about one cup each of baking soda and distilled white vinegar. Let that mixture sit for about a half hour, then pour a tea kettle full of boiling hot water down the drain. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, try repeating that procedure.
And, of course, when all else fails, just pick up the phone and call Connor Plumbing. We’ve been solving residential and commercial drain problems for a very long time, and we’d be happy to assist you, too. Plus, we guarantee your 100% satisfaction.
There are two things you depend on from your water heater. The first one is obvious: a steady and reliable source of hot water for your cooking, washing, bathing, and cleaning needs.
What’s the second thing? To operate as safely and reliably as possible for the well-being of your home and family. Of course, it’s still only a water heater, so to fulfill goal #2, it needs a little help. And we’re just the people to provide it.
One call to Connor Plumbing is all it takes to start the process of outfitting your water heater with its own shutoff valve. Once the installation is complete, your water heat will automatically shut itself off at the first indication of a water or gas leak.
The benefits are obvious:
- Reduced risk of injury
- Reduced risk of water damage
- Added years of life from your water heater
Most water heaters fail within 7 – 10 years from the time they’re installed, resulting in about 5 million water heater tank failures every year. And yet yours doesn’t need to be one of them.
Here’s even more to like about having a water and gas shutoff valve:
- Fully mechanical, requires no external power supply.
- Can be used to shut off water to other tanks, fixtures and appliances, including boilers, pumps and well-tanks
- Sits in a drip pan under the water heater and is activated when leaking water accumulates to a predetermined level
- Easily installed on new or older water heaters.
Contact Connor Plumbing today to start enjoying the added peace of mind that comes with a water heater water and gas shut-off valve.
Getting your kids to clean up is a chore all by itself, but getting them to enjoy it might qualify for miracle status.
Still, when you consider how much of the mess they’re responsible in one or more of your bathrooms, isn’t it worth the effort? Sure it is, and here are a few helpful tips on how to get them into a bathroom cleaning groove:
The squeegee: Introducing your kids to a squeegee is simply the best. They love the sound it makes, they love how quickly it works, and they love pretending to be window washers! Spray down the shower walls and the mirror, and let the kids go to town!
Change the towels: Changing the way you hang your towels will make things much easier on everyone. Instead of folding towels or getting them just so on a towel rack, use hooks instead. You can also roll towels up. These look neat and are much easier for kids than traditional folding.
Shaving cream: Shaving cream rubbed onto a mirror is not only a complete joy to play in, make shapes, faces, and write your name, but it keeps mirrors from fogging up. So lather up and, at worst, you’ll have the kids out of the way while you tackle other chores.
Flush it away: Take away the toilet scrub brush, and you have one less weapon for your kids to dangle and shake all over the house. Instead of brushing your toilet clean, switch to toilet tank tablets. The bowel stays clean, smells nice, and the kids will marvel at the blue water for months!
Get them a basket: A cleaning basket or bucket that they can decorate, put their name on, and call their own gets them better focused on using what’s inside. Start by getting a basket for each child. Help them paint it, adhere stickers, or affix glitter. Next, fill the bucket with what they need to accomplish their individual chores. A sponge, small squeegee, spray bottle, and mini garbage bags, perhaps. You can get all these items from the dollar store, and they will be happy to spray, wash, and wipe that bathroom clean.
Sounds good at least in theory, right? But definitely worth the try as one or more of these novelty cleaning inducers is bound to hit the mark. Speaking of which, you can count on Connor Plumbing to hit the mark of excellence anytime you have a bathroom plumbing repair or installation need. Contact us today for the service you need, when you need it.
By Mike Connor, Jr.
It’s 9pm on a Saturday, you’re snuggled up with your favorite blanket, watching your favorite show when suddenly you notice a chill in the air. You check your heat vent, then the thermostat, only to discover that your heating system has stopped working. Ah, the joys of home ownership.
You know what the say – anything that can go wrong, most often will. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be ready for all those ill-timed household emergencies that will inevitably pop up. Here are tips on how to handle 5 common misadventures you’re bound to encounter as a home owner.
Keep a household fire extinguisher in case of small fires and be sure to familiarize yourself with its use. Do not try to smother flames with a towel or anything else that could catch fire. Instead, use a pot lid to extinguish stove top flames or sprinkle them with baking soda. If you’re faced with an oven fire, keep the oven door closed and carefully turn the oven off; the fire should put itself out. If you are unable to extinguish a kitchen fire quickly, evacuate your house and call 911 from a safe location.
If you notice that familiar rotten egg odor associated with a gas leak, evacuate the premises and call your gas company’s emergency help line or 911 from a safe location. Do not reenter your home until you are told it is safe to do so.
At one point or another, you’re bound to get locked out of your house. And while keeping a spare key under the doormat or in a magnetic key hider is convenient, it can also pose a security risk. Instead, leave a spare key with a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member.
If an unwelcome guest finds its way into your home, keep it contained in one room or area of your home as best you can. Close all interior doors and open a window where the critter is contained, thus giving it a convenient escape route. If it chooses to linger beyond your patience threshold, contact your local animal control center.
Burst Plumbing Pipe
If you see water gushing from a pipe, prompt action is necessary to prevent damage to your property or belongings. First, shut off the water valve to the burst or leaking pipe, then shut off the main water valve. Once all water has been shut off, place a bucket or large bowl under the damaged pipe and slowly open the two valves to drain any remaining water. Then, contact your trusted plumber to assess and remedy the problem.
Enter Connor Plumbing: your trusted Beaumont area plumber since 1908. And here today for any plumbing need you might have. Contact Connor Plumbing for the service you need, when you need it.