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Life without a garbage disposal would be, hmm, messier?  A little less convenient? 

“Yes” on both counts. So, doesn’t it make sense to take the best possible care of yours so it can keep doing its job so you do a little less?  No doubt about it.

That’s why we offer you these time-tested methods for keeping your garbage clean – not to mention odor- and repair-free: 

  • Clean the inside of your disposal – It’s super easy.  Just grab a few ice cubes and place them and a cup of vinegar into the disposal.  Turn your unit on and let it run for about 5 minutes. The result will be cleaner inside disposal walls to prevent food from sticking. When food does cling and remain there, eventually it’s going to rot and reek!  
  • Clean the drain line – Whatever can stink inside a garbage disposal can do the same thing once it moves into and down the drain line.  That’s why we recommend pouring ground coffee down your disposal periodically.  Yes, it really is just that simple.  
  • Create a pleasant-smelling disposal – It’s one thing to get rid of things that can stink, but quite another to create a pleasant-smelling garbage unit.  Just cut up a lemon or orange into small pieces and grind them up.  The peel’s strong fragrance will liven up your olfactory senses, inside and outside your disposal.
  • Protect your disposal from damage – Garbage disposals were never designed to be catch-all’s, so be sure not to treat yours that way. No large bones, please.  Same goes for nuts, banana peels, grease, corn husks, pasta, and any fibrous foods like onion skin or most vegetables. On the other hand, your disposal will do just fine with coffee grinds, cooked meat scraps, fruit scraps, citrus rinds, and more.

Even with the best of care, garbage disposals don’t last forever. If now’s the time for yours to receive a little professional attention or perhaps even be replaced, contact Connor Plumbing today. We’re the local plumbing that does it all.

Preparedness isn’t just for Boy Scouts; being prepared can help boost anyone’s peace of mind.

Take your water hear, for example. You’re well used to it behaving so well you barely give it a second thought. But, because its expected lifespan doesn’t go much past 12 or 13 years, sooner or later general wear and tear will make itself known.

So, if overheats, acts strangely, or makes odd noises, be prepared to shut it down.   

Here’s how to do just that for your gas or electric unit:

TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY OR GAS

If you have an electric heater, find the proper circuit breaker switch inside your breaker panel, and switch it to OFF. If your appliance is gas, twist the thermostat knob to OFF.

TURN OFF THE WATER FLOW

Locate the water valve and turn the handle CLOCKWISE until it stops. If the flow of water doesn’t stop, plan B is to shut off your main water valve.

DRAIN THE WATER TANK

First, turn on a hot water faucet to allow air into the water tank. Then connect a hose to the drainage valve near the bottom of the appliance and run the hose to a lower spot or even out an open window….just so long as that spot can accommodate hot, rusty water.

OPEN THE RELIEF VALVE

Point the relief handle straight out or up, according to your heater. BE CAUTIOUS of scalding hot water!

After that, contact Connor Plumbing to thoroughly diagnose what’s going on and recommend what to do next.  Repair?  Replace it with a new more energy efficient model?  Either way, we’ll provide a guaranteed price quote and answer all your questions before going any further.

Connor Plumbing: dependably serving the diverse plumbing needs of countless Beaumont area home owners since 1908.

All sorts of things can account for a cracked, broken, or otherwise damaged underground sewer line, including the following:

  • Shifting or settling soil
  • Pipe corrosion
  • Tree or shrub roots that have cracked and infiltrated the pipes
  • Faulty installation
  • Poor quality materials
  • And so on

What’s a plumber to do?  Well, when a sewer can’t be cleaned, it’s time to investigate the source of the problem. For starters, we’ll employ one of our in-line sewer video cameras to not just locate the affected area, but to determine the extent and cause of the problem, too. That step alone saves us from digging up your yard or pavement to make a proper diagnosis.

If the sewer is clogged but not cracked, we’ll employ a high-pressure water jet to break up the clog and clear the affected line from one end to the other. That’s another way to prevent damaging your property through excavation while getting water to flow your drain again.

And yet, what if the problem really is a cracked or separated sewer line? Here at Connor Plumbing, we have the equipment, skill, and experience to replace any above- or underground drain line, no matter how small or large the problem might be.

So, if you have slow-moving drain, or one that’s completely blocked, give us a call so we can start making things right again.

This year’s top New Year’s Resolutions contain those you would expect to see on such a list:

 

  • Lose weight
  • Get in shape
  • Quit smoking
  • Quit drinking
  • Save more money
  • And so on

 

Those are all great, especially for those who stick to and accomplish them. But they’re also kind of drab and not all that much fun to talk about.  That’s why we’ve scouted the internet to come up interesting facts about New Year’s Eve, Day, and sort of resolutions you don’t hear about every day:

  • According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday throughout the year.
  • Some think and believe that the first people you see after the stroke of midnight will bring you good or bad luck.  Which is all the reason you need to keep your friends close and your enemies far, far away!
  • The Time Square New Year’s Eve Ball came about due to a ban on fireworks. The first ball dropped in 1907 and was an illuminated 700 pounds, made of iron and wood, and contained 100 25-watt light bulbs. Today, the round ball designed by Waterford Crystal, weighs 11,875-pounds and 12 feet in diameter.
  • The top three destinations in the United States to ring in the New Year are Las Vegas, Disney World and New York City.
  • Eating black-eyed peas, ham or cabbage are thought to bring prosperity. However, stay away from bad luck food like lobsters, because they move backwards, and chicken, because they scratch in reverse. They are reputed to bring the other kind of luck.
  • In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, families stuff a life-size male doll called Mr. Old Year with memories of the outgoing year. He’s dressed in old clothes donated by each family member and, at midnight, is lit on fire to burn away bad memories from the year just ended.
  • By the second week of January, 25% of those making new year’s resolutions have given up on them.

And now for a few truly New Year’s resolutions as posted on Twitter:

  • My “don’t make love to Victoria’s Secret models” resolution is going great so far.
  • Forgot to make resolutions? Just write out everything you did last night and at the beginning add the word “stop.”
  • Never again will I take sleeping pills & laxatives on the same night.
  • my New Year’s resolution is to overcome my OCD my New Year’s resolution is to overcome my OCD my New Year’s resolution is to overcome my OCD

See if you can top one of those!

Every time you pour a glass of water, boil some potatoes, and run the washing machine, you take for granted that you’re doing so with good quality water. After all, if it doesn’t taste or smell bad, then it must be in good condition, right? Not necessarily.

You see, water contamination issues are rampant, impacting about 95% of all American homes. Fortunately, most of that contamination is not cause for concern.

Other water quality issues, on the other hand, are better off treated than ignored. Take hard water conditions, for example. There’s a good chance you have hard water if you notice any of the following warning signs:

  • Clothes not coming clean in the wash the first time
  • Colors fading and yellowing in the wash
  • More suds needed in your washing machine to get the job done
  • More shampoo needed for clean hair
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Mineral deposits on your faucets, shower doors, tea kettle, and more
  • A milky screen on glasses and dishes after you’ve run the dishwasher

While hard water – caused by an excess of calcium and magnesium in your water supply – isn’t harmful to your health, it can do damage to your budget by requiring you to purchase more detergents and personal care products. Hard water can also corrode the inside of your water pipes, thereby resulting in otherwise unnecessary plumbing bills.

  • Symptoms of hard water
  • A metal taste to your water, red or blue-green stains on porcelain fixtures, or reduced water pressure – all signs of acidic water
  • Water that smells or tastes “funny”
  • Any family health issues that can’t otherwise be explained

Here at Connor Plumbing, we install, maintain, and repair both under-sink and whole-house water filtration systems. At your request, we’ll be happy to explain the relative advantages of each and provide you with a free new water filter quote. Contact us today so you too can start enjoying the highest quality water possible.

When is a clogged drain REALLY clogged?  When you have to call a plumber for assistance. 

And while Connor Plumbing is always here to lend a helping hand, we’re also happy to assist valued customers like you in doing more to fix the problem yourself before picking up the phone.  

Take the very common and basic household plunger, for example.  Did you know that there are three basic types and that each one is designed for a very specific purpose?  By keeping the right drain cleaning tools handy, you’ll be able to unclog that many more sinks and toilets on your own.  And that’s a great way to save some money.  

Choosing the Right Plunger 

Here are the three basic types of plungers:   

  • The classic wooden handled, red rubber bell plunger is most often called the cup plunger. It’s designed for use with flat drains like those in your tub, shower, or kitchen sink.  It’s not terribly effective with toilets, however, since the large, flat opening makes it difficult to create a tight seal.
  • For best results with your toilets, reach for your flange plunger, named for its narrow flange (or opening).  In this case, smaller is better for creating a tight seal around a toilet bowl opening or other small drains with a curved surface.
  • The less common bellows plunger has a spring-like head and multiple pleats – just like an accordion – to give it extra plunging power.  It’s the plunger of choice when you have to work from an angle.   

A few more tips for the wise: 

  • Never plunge after using a chemical drain cleaner that can splash back and injure you.  At the same time, be sure to wear rubber gloves.
  • The less water in the sink or bowl, the less mess you’ll create when plunging.
  • The tighter the seal you form, the greater the plunging power due to increased water pressure.

Still, no matter how accomplished you might be at clearing a clogged drain or toilet, sooner or later you’re bound to need professional help. When that time comes – perhaps even now – we invite you to contact Connor Plumbing for all the help you need for clogged drain problems small and large.

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.

         
 

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