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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.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, no doubt you’re busy with pre-holiday arrangements, especially if you’re hosting the main event.

If so, here’s one little item you should add to your “to do” list: “be careful not to clog the kitchen sink drain or garbage disposal when doing the post-dinner clean-up.” 

To plumbers across the USA, the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest drain cleaning day of the year. In fact, we call it Black Friday, and trust us, shopping is not part of our ritual.

What causes so many clogged drain problems in that special day? In a word, it’s called FOG.  Actually, that’s three words, as FOG stands for “fats, oil, and grease.”  And when you consider the typical Thanksgiving Day meal, it’s clear to see that FOG is in abundance.

So, from our table to yours, here are some timely tips to help prevent clogging your drain or garbage disposal on Thanksgiving or, for that matter, any time at all:

  • Pour all leftover fat and grease into a disposable container.
  • Thoroughly wipe your plates clean and dispose of what’s left in your trash bag or pail before rinsing and washing them – same goes for pots and pans.
  • Don’t overload your disposal, it’s better to grind up small amounts of food at a time.
  • Be careful what you place in your disposal, as it’s not built to grind up turkey bones, fibrous foods like lettuce and green beans, coffee grinds, pasta, or rice.
  • If you or a guest should pour grease down the drain, thoroughly rinse it for at least 60 seconds with cold water to help prevent it from congealing and sticking to the insides of your pipes.
  • Be careful not to grind too many potato peels as the starches can form a thick paste that can cause your blades to stick.

Still, mistakes are bound to happen.  And should one of them take place in your kitchen – whether on Thanksgiving or any time at all – contact Connor Plumbing for timely and reliable drain cleaning results.  In fact, we guarantee it.

Have you noticed your toilet making a gurgling or burping-like noise lately? If so, don’t simply dismiss it as “no big deal,” because it could be. A gurgling toilet often points to a drainage problem behind the scenes.

Gurgling noise causes. When plumbing fixtures drain water, they create suction in the drain lines. This suction can be released only by allowing air into the pipes through vents located throughout your home. These vents ultimately connect to one or two outside vents that can be seen on the side or roof of your house. What, in turn, can prevent air from entering your pipes. Usually, it’s caused by a clogged drain line or a clogged vent.

Before calling for professional assistance, try a basic drain clearing technique or two like plunging or snaking your toilet. If that doesn’t stop the gurgling, climb up onto the roof, using all due caution and having someone close by to assist you. Once you’re securely on the roof, follow these simple steps:

-          Shine a flashlight into the vent to see if you can spot the source of the problem.

-          If the clog is within reach, use a tool or a stick to loosen the blockage enough so air can flow once again.

-          If you’re unable to see a clog, you can either snake the vent pipe or use your garden hose with a high-pressure stream to break up the obstruction.

-          You’ll know if you’ve solved the problem when you hear water rushing freely down the pipes.

Of course, when all else fails, we won’t. Just contact Connor Plumbing to stop your toilet from gurgling or for any other home plumbing need.

Thinking about replacing your water heater?  Or, maybe you’re building a new home and you want a water heater perfect the space and your family’s needs.

Either way, you now have a wider range of choices than ever before, much of that inspired by a recent federal program that mandates certain minimum energy standards for all new water heaters that exceed those of earlier models. 

Here’s a look at two of your current water heater options:

Gas Condensing Water Heaters – Rather than venting natural or propane gas through the system’s flue, the gas is reclaimed allowing the same amount of gas to heat added quantities of water. That improves energy efficiency, cuts down on greenhouse emissions, and will help you save about $100 per year in water heater energy costs.

Electric Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters – Think of a refrigerator working in reverse, and then you’ll grasp the concept of an electric hybrid water heater: the next generation of electric storage tank water heaters.  The heat pump component of a hybrid system draws warm, ambient air from the space around it to assist in heating the water inside the storage tank. The net result? You can expect to save more than $350 per year in water heater operating costs.

If you want a gas storage tank water heater with more than 55 gallons of storage capacity, gas condensing models are now your only option, although you can skip the storage tank and go with a gas tankless system.  Here are just a few reasons to give a tankless water heater a second and third thought:

  • Frees up more storage space by eliminating the need for a storage tank
  • The system’s wall mounted heat exchanger heats only as much water as you need at any one time
  • Significant energy savings
  • Longer system lifespan than storage tank models – up to 20 years+
  • Whole-house and single-purpose options availabl

There’s a lot to learn and like about today’s water heater options, and Connor Plumbing is here to help you navigate your choices. Contact us today for a free in-home needs analysis and new system proposal, during which we’ll answer all your question en route to helping you choose what’s best for your home, family and budget.

If you were water bill went up by 1%, would you make a fuss? Probably not. You’d just figure you used a little more water than you did during the previous billing cycle.

But what if it went up by 17% from one cycle to another? And you were reasonably sure that there were no dramatic upticks in your home water usage. Then would you be upset?

Well, Connor Plumbing is here to tell you that taking action is a whole lot more productive than merely venting a little steam. In fact, whether your water bills are going up or not, now you can look forward to annual savings on your water bill up to 17%. How? By converting one older toilet to a dual-flush model. Dual-flush toilets, as the name implies, have two buttons vs. a single handle.  One button is for liquid waste only (half flush), and the other for liquid and solid waste combined (full flush).

A half flush uses only 1.02 gallons of water. That’s truly amazing when you consider that a standard toilet uses 3-7 gallons per flush, depending on when it was built.  Okay, you might say, but “What about the low-flow toilets I’ve been hearing so much about?”  Well, those are great water savers, too, but dual-flush toilets out-save them, and by a considerable margin.

Let’s do the math.  Most low-flow toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush.  With a dual-flush toilet, a full flush uses 1.53 gallons while a half flush uses only 1.02 gallons. That’s a significant savings, regardless of the source of your comparison – standard or low-flush toilet.

As for the amount of water you’ll conserve, let’s assume you use the toilet an average of 5 times a day. If so, you personally save nearly 600 gallons of water per year with a dual-flush toilet. For a family of four, that works out to 2,400 gallons per year. annually.

Another benefit of dual-flush toilets is that most models have a larger trapway than conventional toilets for removing waste than conventional toilets. That, in turn, reduces the likelihood of a clog.

For more information or a free quote on a new dual-flush toilet for your home, contact Connor Plumbing today: The Choice of Generations.

Today’s bathtubs come in countless shapes, sizes, materials, and price points.  That enables you to select one that compliments the style of your home while keeping this home improvement project on budget

Here are the main things to consider before a settling on a replacement tub of your own:

  1. Start with the space. Is the bathtub being installed into an existing space? Is it an uncommon shape or size? Most tubs on display at home improvement centers are sized for average size openings, so if you’re working with an unusually small – or large – area, you might need to special order yours.
  2. Consider your budget. A no-frills, fiberglass bathtub can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars, while a deep soaking, cast-iron, the claw-foot tub can easily set you back $1,500 or more. And while you get what you pay for, today’s lower priced options are durable, easy to maintain, and stylish.
  3. Choice of materials. Fiberglass, cast iron, and steel, oh my! Every option has its pros and cons, so read up and ask questions to make sure you understand their unique advantages and disadvantages.  Fiberglass and acrylic bathtubs are relatively inexpensive, light weight, and come in various colors and sizes. However, they don’t have the life span of porcelain covered cast iron tubs which can easily last 50 years. But as durable as it is, cast iron might also require additional support under the sub floor.
  4. Ease of maintenance. Certain bathtub materials require more maintenance than others. For example, cast iron and steel bathtubs are prone to rusting should the un-coated underside come in contact with water. On the other hand, acrylic and fiberglass require more frequent (yet gentler) cleaning.

Need some friendly, unbiased advice?  Connor Plumbing is on hand to answer your questions and help you make the right decision for your home, family, and budget. Plus, from the demolition of your existing tube to new-tub installation, you can count on us to handle all facets of the project.  Contact us today for more information and a free new project estimate.

Mold. It’s a dirty “four-letter word” that stops people in their tracks and sends them into a panic, especially when they discover the real thing inside their homes. Rightfully so, too, since mold is more than unsightly; it’s downright unhealthy.

One of the more common places for mold to develop in inside your dishwasher. That’s because it’s the kind of warm, dark, and damp environment that mold thrives on. Add in leftover food particles and soap residue, and that further stimulates mold growth. 

Luckily, and with a little elbow grease and some basic supplies, you can remove even the most stubborn mold deposits and prevent future occurrences. Here’s how:

  • Start with an empty dishwasher and remove all racks and silver-wear trays or baskets. Wash the racks and trays by hand with warm soapy water and set them aside to dry.
  • Mix 2 cups of hot water with ½ cup of distilled white vinegar in a bowl or empty spray bottle, and apply to the moldy areas as well plus any seals and crevices where mold could be lurking. Thoroughly scrub the inside of your dishwasher with an old toothbrush or sponge, paying special attention to the underside of the spinning arms, and then rinse with warm water.
  • Place the racks and utensil trays back inside the dishwasher. Pour two cups of vinegar into a small dishwasher-safe bowl and place it upright on the top rack. Run a full wash cycle on the highest heat setting available.
  • Finally, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the dishwasher floor and run a full wash cycle on the highest heat setting a second time. While the vinegar works to kill the mold, the baking soda tackles any mold spores the vinegar may have missed while deodorizing.

Once the job is completed, you can step back and enjoy your sparkling, mold and mildew free dishwasher. To help keep mold from coming back, wipe down any wet areas after emptying your dishwasher if you don’t think you’ll be running it again for another few days or so.

At Connor Plumbing, we can help in you prevent mold growth by repairing plumbing leaks as soon as you notice them. The longer you wait, the more likely mold and mildew are to appear. For more information or for plumbing leak repair, contact Connor Plumbing today:  The Choice of Generations.

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 kitchen drain is capable of handling a lot, everything from soapy dishwater to spoiled milk and dinner scraps. Its appetite can be so voracious it can occasionally fool you into thinking it’s tough enough to handle whatever comes its way. Trust us, it’s not.

Here, in fact, are five substances that should never see the insides of your kitchen drain or garbage disposal, and for more reasons than one:   

1.      Toxic Substances – Paint, paint thinners, solvent-based cleaners, and even nail polish remover should never be poured down the drain. Instead, check with your town government on how best to dispose of these substances. Many hold “community clean up” days throughout the year where they will accept such substances for proper disposal.

2.      Medications – When your medication expires, don’t throw it down the drain or flush it down the toilet. Instead, mix it with used coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw it in the trash or check with your local pharmacy to see if they offer “take-back” days.
3.      Cooking Oil and Grease – Whether it’s butter, vegetable oil, or bacon fat, pouring oil and greasy substances down the drain can clog your pipes and result in costly repairs. To dispose of cooking fats, pour them into an empty glass jar or metal can, let it harden, and dispose of it in the trash.
4.      Kitchen Waste – Even if you have a garbage disposal, there are certain things you should avoid putting down the drain. Fibrous fruit or vegetables and starchy foods like pasta and potato skins can gum up the inside of the drain, often too far down to easily break up the logjam. Instead, dump your kitchen scraps into the compost bin.
5.      Automotive Products – The biggest no-no of the bunch is used motor oil. According to the EPA, one quart of motor oil can contaminate 2 million gallons of drinking water.  Take all automotive products, such as motor oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid to a recycling center or service station for proper disposal.

Even if you’re careful with you pour or place in your drain, clogs can still happen. If that time is now, you can depend on Connor Plumbing to make short work of it and get your drain or garbage disposal flowing free and clear once again. Contact us now or any time for the service you need, when you need it.

If you just take it as gospel that outdoor faucets produce cold water only, we’re here to inform you otherwise.  Because in no time at all, Connor Plumbing can either replace an existing cold-water faucet with one that produces hot and cold, or install a brand-new faucet where it’s most convenient for you.

So now that you know it’s doable, what exactly would you do with such a convenience? Here are a few suggestions just to get you started:

  • No more lugging pails of hot water outside
  • Clean your car more thoroughly and save money by not going to the car wash as often
  • No more indoor baths for Fido, at least not during the warm weather months
  • Keep your patio furniture and gas grill clean
  • Do any fishing? Now, instead of gutting a fish in the kitchen and stinking up the whole house, take care of business outdoors.
  • Clean up after a camping trip like a pro.
  • Keep your gardening tools showroom clean.

No doubt you can add substantially to that list. Now, all you need to do is contact Connor Plumbing for a free quote and prompt installation. By the way, have a swimming pool? Well then, how much more convenient would it be with a hot and cold outdoor shower, too?!

         
 

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