Let’s say, for the sake of discussion and comparison, that you hired a carpenter to build a new deck for your home.  You’ve saved your money for the occasion, got a great price on the project from a local carpenter, and now it’s time to get down to business.

On the morning the project is set to get underway, a young man you guess to be about 18 years old rings your doorbell and later announces himself as your carpenter.  Then reality check number one hits you squarely in the jaw:  you forgot to ask how much building experience he had.  It also occurs to you that, yes, you got a great price, but the carpenter never even came out to look at your property before quoting the job.  Instead, he based his quote solely on the dimensions you provided and a couple of photos of the work area you emailed to him.

Still, he’s here, the wood’s already been delivered, so how badly can all this turn out?  Well, before you have time to answer your own question, the carpenter further adds to your growing fears by telling you how pleased he is for this opportunity to build his very first deck, “but boy do I wish I had all the right tools – oh well, somehow I’ll manage.”

And what do you have?  Buyer’s remorse, big time, even before the first nail is hammered.  The very same buyer’s remorse that can – and will – befall you if you hire the wrong person or company for a drain cleaning job they’re simply not equipped to handle – either from lack of experience, skill, or having all the necessary tools.

The fact is, not all clogged toilet problems are alike, and neither are those that cause drains to clog.  Sure, sometimes all it takes is a plumber with a plunger, snake, and auger to clear things up, but often times, a great deal more is required.

So, to help you avoid paying for the same job two or more times, here’s our advice before choosing a drain cleaning company:

  • Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.
  • If you’re not satisfied with the above, go online and browse local service providers, checking carefully that drain cleaning is one of their core services.
  • To further ensure that the job can be handled by whichever company you decide on, verify that they have the following advanced drain cleaning equipment:
  • CCTV camera for in-line video inspection – that helps pinpoint the exact location and extent of the problem if it the clog can’t readily be cleared.
  • High-powered water jetter to bust up even the most stubborn of clogs.

Finally, and for your ultimate peace of mind, hire a drain cleaning company that also has extensive experience in drain line repairs and replacement.

Just for the record, Connor Plumbing has all the drain clearing experience, skill, and equipment for any size job and any size home.  Drain cleaning isn’t one of our “other” services, it’s one of our “core” services.  Having a problem right now?  Give us a call and let’s get it solved.

 

Where would you go if, let’s say, you didn’t want to be found for a while?  You know, like hiding.  Behind one of your walls?  Not likely?  Underneath your sub-flooring?  Even less likely.

But ultimately, you have no shortage of hiding places.

The same cannot be said for water.  Water leaks can occur only where water can enter your house or where water fixtures or pipes are located.  While that may sound like we haven’t done very much whittling down, houses aren’t built like sieves.  They’re pretty water tight, for the most part, to help keep us safe and dry.

And yet, the older your home and plumbing become, the more prone you become to dealing with a hidden water leak, and all the problems it can cause.

That’s why Connor Plumbing urges you keep a watchful eye out for any signs of a hidden water leak like these:

  • A puddle of water under your fridge, or even marks on your floor indicating that water was there at one time
  • Black mold on an interior wall, door or ceiling
  • One or more wet spots on your lawn when the rest of the lawn is dry
  • A water bill so high, it practically makes you gasp
  • Musty odors you can’t identify the source of

Hidden or otherwise, we urge you to contact Connor Plumbing if you even suspect you might have a water leak.  The longer you wait, the greater the potential for wasted water and water-related damage, such as rotted floor boards, wet walls and ceilings that have to be replaced, and more.  At Connor Plumbing, we offer prompt and accurate water leak detection along with expert repairs.

Those of us who live and work in the Beaumont area must have at least of the early settlers’ genes in us.

Okay, so maybe we don’t live in log cabins or wash our clothes down by the creek, but life in Jefferson County can be plenty adventurous with the ongoing threat of one storm or another knocking out electrical power.

Several years ago, Connor Plumbing took a positive step to help our customers keep their power in even if the public power supply were to shut down. And that was, we began installing whole-house generators.

Well, lo and behold, they started selling like hot cakes, with a lot of happy customers to show for it. But then we started getting some “not so happy” calls once customer generators didn’t perform as well during a second third power outage as it did the first time it was pressed into service.

So today, we’re here to tell you that just like your home AC and plumbing systems, a whole-house generator needs regular maintenance at least once a year, and preferably twice. Some need oil changes, others filter changes, dust needs to be removed, there are other parts that need to be cleaned, and so on. But here’s the key: only a professional should be engaged to maintain or repair your generator. It’s not a job even for a skilled DIYer.

At Connor, we maintain and repair all types of home generators, so if yours hasn’t been looked at in a year or more, contact us today so we can make sure yours is ready keep your power running the next time the public power supply goes out.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and a cool morning breeze fills your home. And then it hits you – all that morning sun is making it painfully obvious that your home could use a little TLC.

Whatever your  “need to clean” motivation might be, please don’t reach for the window cleaner, furniture polish, tile and grout cleaner, and all the other commercial cleaning products that line most cupboards – at least not yet.  Not until we first demonstrate how you can get your home spotless with just a few natural and inexpensive items you probably already have in your pantry.

Here are just a few to put to the test:

  • Rub the cut side of half a lemon on chrome kitchen and bath fixtures to remove hard water stains and simply rinse with water.
  • Place lemon peels in a jar or other air tight container and fill it with white vinegar. Let it sit for a week, then strain the mixture into a clean spray bottle for a lemon-infused all-purpose cleaner that you can dilute with water for cleaning windows and mirrors, or use full strength to tackle mold, mildew and grease.
  • Skip the Pledge and add a little lemon juice to olive oil for an easy, natural, and fragrant way to polish wood furniture.
  • Clean and deodorize your tub, shower, sinks and tile floors by sprinkling them with baking soda and scrubbing with a clean sponge or washcloth. Rinse and allow to dry.
  • Make your own soft-scrub cleaner by mixing ½ cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of vinegar and a drop or two of dishwashing liquid.
  • Deodorize toilets by adding ½ cup of baking soda into the bowl, swirling it around with a toilet brush, and letting it sit overnight.
  • Clean the inside of a greasy oven by spraying the sides and bottom with water and generously sprinkling with baking soda. Let sit for several hours – or overnight – then wipe the gunk off with a sponge.
  • Skip the bleach and clean tile grout by spraying with undiluted vinegar, let it soak, and scrub with a toothbrush.
  • Remove water stains from wood furniture with equal parts white vinegar and olive oil and then wiping it away along the grain of the furniture.
  • Use vinegar instead of bleach or anti-bacterial sprays to kill germs on hard surfaces. Spray undiluted vinegar on doorknobs and wipe dry, and fill a basin with a 50/50 water-vinegar solution to soak plastic toys.

If nothing else, using chemically-infused commercial cleaning products has probably become a habit.  Well, try one or more of these green cleaning tips, and you’ll be amazed how quickly they’ll be come your new habits – a much more natural and affordable way to go.

And remember:  you can always count on Connor Plumbing for green plumbing solutions to help take you and your family to a whole new level of natural resource conservation.

 

The birds might not exactly be chirping yet, but spring really is just around the corner.

Still, before you dust off that patio furniture and dig out grill utensils, there are a few prior tasks you should undertake to make sure your home is ready to transition from winter to spring. Use this handy checklist to help you prepare for warmer weather ahead.

Outside

  • Perform a visual inspection of the exterior of your home. Look for cracked or loose siding, damage roof shingles, and loose rain gutters. All could lead to significant water damage once spring rains begin.
  • Inspect the patio, deck, fence, or any additional outdoor structure for signs of wood rot or other damage. Repair or replace loose pavers, wood slats, or railings.
  • Clear away debris from basement window wells to prevent animals and insects from becoming too comfortable. Make sure rain water is not collecting near the windows and install window well covers if needed.
  • Check your home’s foundation for cracks and discoloration that could indicate a leak. While small fissures are considered normal, large gaping cracks could suggest structural damage and potential foundation failure.

Inside

  • Inspect the walls and ceiling of each room for signs of mold or water damage that could result from a slowly leaking plumbing pipe or winter-time damage to the roof.
  • Head up to the attic, keep the lights and flashlight off, and look for spots of light shining in from the outside. Check for signs of moisture, mold, or mildew and treat each one immediately to prevent further damage.
  • If you have a basement, check for standing water, water stains, or mold patches. Remember that not all damage is visible, especially in a finished space. So if your basement smells musty or has a high level of humidity, contact a professional right away.
  • Test all indoor plumbing fixtures for leaks or low water pressure. Visually inspect all exposed pipes for signs of corrosion or cracks and have them repaired before it becomes a much bigger, more expensive fix.

If your visual inspection results in the need for professional plumbing assistance, then you can count on Connor Plumbing for spot-on problem diagnosis, guaranteed upfront pricing, and your satisfaction guaranteed for any and all needed repair work.

You and everyone else you know over the age of 12 has heard the following saying a thousand times or more:   “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Yes, it’s a cliché.  But one that gets repeated so often because it happens to be true.  If not in terms of actual weight, certainly in terms of the spirit in which it was originally intended.  And yet, often time, life gets in the way of us taking care of the little things. Then, before we know, those little things have become big headaches that require lots of time – and sometimes big bucks to make things right again.

So instead of letting that home maintenance to-do list grow longer and longer each day, protect your investment while making your home safer and more comfortable by tackling these important tasks this month.   You know, before the weather gets super nice and develop even more excuses to look the other way.

  • Do a thorough dusting. Dust under furniture, behind the fridge, and don’t forget heating vents. We’re talking that kind of thorough.
  • Clean major appliances. Clear out the fridge, scrub the oven, and freshen up the dishwasher with a cup of vinegar and a hot wash cycle, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your washing machine.
  • Organize kitchen cupboards and pantry. Toss expired spices and canned goods, and donate dishes, cups, and small appliances that you never use.
  • Repair or replace loose floor boards, stairs, and hand rails.
  • Inspect electrical outlets for drafts and add foam insulation if needed.
  • Repair leaky toilets and faucets.
  • Remove and clean sink drain traps, and use an old tooth brush to remove gunk from the drain. Then flush with hot water.

And, of course, if any of those items that need attention require the services of a capable and experienced plumber, then you need look further than Connor Plumbing.  We’ve been serving the plumbing needs of families and businesses throughout the Beaumont area since 1908.

 

“Discovery” is such a powerful word.  But far greater is the act of discovery itself.

From discovering a $20 bill inside the pocket of a coat you haven’t worn in over a year to the discovery of gold in California on January 24, 1848, the art of discovery has captivated our imaginations and changed the course of our lives since before recorded history.

Today, we’d like you to experience an act of discovery yourself as you consider the advantages of a tankless water heater over conventional gas and electric storage tank water heaters.

  • Longer lifespan.  A tankless water heater can last for 20 years and longer, while the average lifespan of a conventional storage tank system is 10 – 12 years.
  • Energy savings.  Tankless water heaters heat water only as its needed vs. all day long.  That means you’ll save up to 50% on your water heater costs with a tankless unit.
  • Unlimited hot water supply.  With the right tankless system in your home, you’ll never have to worry about running out of hot water again, even during times of peak deman.
  • More storage space.  Tankless water heaters not only are wall mounted, but can be installed indoors or out.  That frees up valuable space you can use for storage or some other purpose.
  • Less chance of scalding.  Storage tank water heaters heat up the water to a temperature hotter than what you actually need.  Not so with storage tank systems, so there’s a reduced risk of scalding.

While tankless water heaters typically cost more to install, their long-term benefits often far outweigh the initial upfront price differential through fewer repairs, longer lifespan, lower energy costs and, of course, the ultimate advantage of all the hot water you might need.

To learn more and request a free in-home quote and explanation of your various water heater options, contact Connor Plumbing today.

Now matter how new or old your home might be, there will come a time when you’ll be faced with a plumbing emergency. When that time comes, will you know who to call or will you find yourself frantically looking for a plumber, hoping for the best?

The truth is, most people don’t think about hiring a reputable, professional plumber until a need arises. But if you’re looking to save some of your hard-earned money and time, the best time to choose a plumber is long before you actually need one.

So to help make the selection process a little less daunting, here are 5 questions to ask a prospective plumber.

  1. How many years have they been in business? While everyone has to start somewhere, when it comes to the intricate workings of your home’s plumbing system, experience matters.
  2. Are they licensed and insured? You want to make sure that any plumber you hire is licensed in your state, and carries insurance to protect himself and your home in the event of a mishap.
  3. How do they charge for their services?  Be wary of plumbers whose rates are significantly lower than anyone else, as they might be cutting corners to make up the difference. Higher price doesn’t guarantee better work, but sometimes, you do get what you pay for.
  4. Do they warranty their repair and installation services? A reputable plumber will stand behind their work.
  5. What kind of services do you offer? If your plumbing needs are more complex, like a kitchen expansion or bath addition, make sure that a plumber can handle all the work you need to get done, now or later.

And while you’re at it, check out their web sites.  Like ours , for example, here at Connor Plumbing.  There’s lots of valuable information about our long history, the range of plumbing services we offer, and current web specials.  You’ll even find our company blog:  in fact you already have, because you’re on it right now.  Connor Plumbing:  we look forward to the chance to earn your business.

Everyone procrastinates about something at one time or another. Maybe you’ve put off paying a utility bill, only to get hit with a late fee.  Or you keep meaning to get that spare room organized but can’t seem to find the time.

But some things, when put off long enough, can have serious and costly consequences. Like routine home maintenance, plumbing and otherwise. The following is a list of repairs that not only don’t go away, but only get worse with time.

So the smart move?  Get them taken care of much sooner than later.

Outside

  • Prevent water and structural damage by repairing or replacing loose roof shingles, cleaning gutters, and directing down spouts away from your home.
  • Avoid physical injury and property damage by cutting dead tree branches.
  • Prevent wood rot by repairing cracked siding or touching up exterior paint.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
  • Repair cracks in driveways and walk ways to prevent tripping and falling.
  • Don’t ignore cracks in the foundation of your home as they could cause areas to buckle and invite water damage.

Inside

  • Avoid injury and further damage by repairing loose floor tiles, stairs, hand rails, and floor boards.
  • Seal and caulk cracks around your windows and doors to keep heat in and the elements out.
  • Prevent expensive plumbing repairs by fixing leaky toilets, faucets, and shower heads right away.
  • Take note of peeling paint or wallpaper, as it could be a sign of moisture build-up.
  • Kill mold and clean mildew immediately to prevent adverse health effects. And treat the cause to prevent future growth.
  • Keep your water heater in good working order with an annual inspection.

While we’re not general handymen, we are more than handy when it comes to making your home plumbing problems disappear.  For your added peace of mind, we’re licensed, insured, and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.  Call us now or any time at all for service.

 

These days, more and more people are taking action to remove harmful substances from their food, cleaning products, and many other household items.Image and video hosting by TinyPic

But one very basic area that often goes unnoticed is our home water supply? Why? Because most of us take for granted that the quality is good unless someone presents evidence to the contrary. Even if you have city water, however, certain contaminants like chlorine, lead, and arsenic can still be present at higher than acceptable levels from time to time. That possibility is far greater with families with well water.

So if you’re concerned about the safety of your water supply, a simple water quality test can help put your mind at ease. Inexpensive water purity test kits found at most hardware stores will test for water hardness, some minerals, and contaminants such as chlorine and nitrate. For more thorough water analysis, you can view the results of your public water utility’s annual Consumer Confidence Report, or have your home’s water tested by a Connor Plumbing water quality specialist.

If it’s found that unsafe levels of chemicals, minerals, microorganisms and other pollutants do exist, a whole-house water filtration system may be just the solution you need to provide your loved ones with safe and great tasting water.

You see, unlike a faucet or drinking water filter, a whole-house system cleans the water at the point it enters your home. That means the water you drink, cook with, clean with, and bathe in is as pure as it can possibly be. Here are just some of the benefits of filtered household water:

  • The removal or reduction of certain additives means that soaps, shampoos, and detergents lather better, so you can use less.

  • Save money and reduce your environmental footprint by drinking filtered tap water instead of bottled.

  • Extend the life of your water using appliances by reducing mineral deposits and sediment.

  • Protect your family from the ill-effects of long term exposure to the copious amounts of contaminants typically found in both public and well water supplies

For more information and a free in-home quote on a whole-house water filtration system, contact Connor Plumbing today. And don’t forget to ask us about single-source water filters, too: the kind we can install under your kitchen sink.

         
 

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