Whether Fluffy likes to frolic in the sun, or Rex prefers to relax in the shade, summertime brings countless ways to enjoy the warm weather for you and your furry companions. And while you’re tempted to let them tag along on your afternoon run or hop in the car with you to run a few errands, keep in mind that as the temps rise, so do risks to their good health.

You see, cats and dogs don’t respond to heat the way we do. Since they don’t sweat through their entire bodies to keep cool, they are at increased risk for heat stroke and dehydration, especially older or overweight animals.

So, what can you do to ensure your pet stays safe this summer? Following these helpful tips is a great place to start:

1. Early summer is an ideal time to have your pet checked by a veterinarian while ensuring their vaccinations are up to date. With increased time outdoors comes increased chances for bug bites, heartworm and rabies.

2. Even pets can get sunburn, especially short-haired pets and those with light colored noses. Apply pet-approved sunscreen to their ears and noses to help prevent skin problems.

3. A well-groomed pet is a happy pet, especially in the summer. Cutting your heavy-coated dog’s hair down to an inch from his skin helps keep him cool, while frequent brushing does the same for your feline friends.

4. Provide your pet with easy access to fresh, cool water, especially if you’ll be gone for an extended period. A few ice cubes in their bowl will help keep that water from getting warm too quickly.

5. For outdoor pets, consider putting a small kiddie pool in a shaded spot for them. But since standing water attracts bugs, especially during warm weather, clean it often.

6. If it’s extra hot and humid outdoors, the best place for your pet (and you) is indoors.

To make it easier to keep your pets well-watered and clean, maybe it’s time to install an extra outdoor faucet. Think of the added convenience that can provide in addition to simplifying your pet care. Installing an outdoor faucet near your driveway, for example, would make it much easier to wash your own car and save money by lessening your dependence on commercial car washes. Out back, if there’s not a faucet already, you can finally plant that garden or flower bed that you’ve been hoping to for ages. For more information and a free quote – or, to schedule installation – contact Connor Plumbing today. We’re you’re all-purpose Beaumont area plumber.

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.  

  1. 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.
  2. Clear off surfaces. Put toothbrushes, make-up, and other essentials back in their place and toss dirty towels and bathmats into the laundry basket.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. 

  • Digging or laying sod for an hour burns up 340 calories! That’s equal to half a Big

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!

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.  

Kitchen Fire

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. 

Gas Leak

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.

Locked Out

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. 

Animal Intruder

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.

Some people have spacious and cozy mudrooms for all their wet boots and coats. For everyone else, it’s make do with what you have.  This blog is dedicated to the latter group with some fresh thinking (we hope!) on how to keep all that mud and water out of your living spaces.

Vertical spaces: Not everyone has enough space for a large organizing piece of furniture, but everyone has walls. You can install hooks for coats, backpacks, or purses. Even hanging baskets for hats and umbrellas can sit nicely on a hook by the door. 

Floors: Keep all that mess off your floors by using a plastic tray filled with decorative rocks as a buffer, and then placing the boots on top. The water will drip into the tray while allowing the boots to thoroughly dry. 

Closets: Removing the door(s) from an entry way closet allows for more openness in creating your faux mudroom. You can add shelves, storage baskets, hooks, and even a small bench for taking off gear. Add a bright paint color and good lighting and, just like that, you’ve added more than greater functionality.  

Garages: Utilizing the space in the garage can be a creative way to make a mudroom. Clear a wall nearest the doorway from garage to house and place cushion on the seat and back for comfort.  You can even create an accent wall behind with for a little added décor while creating a separate area for the depositing drying out of wet clothing and outerwear.   

Height: Most people have more room than they think in their entry way because there is space over your heads. So why not maximize that space and install a high shelf in your hallway or foyer for added storage space.  Its placement won’t create or add to visual clutter, but will provide a new space for storage baskets and the like. 

You know another way water can end up on your floors? From a leaking pipe or backed-up toilet, etc. Well, when that happens, you can’t simply mop up the water and call it “problem solved”. Instead, contact Connor Plumbing and, just like always, we’ll solve it for you. Leaking pipes, clogged drains, blocked toilets, we do it all.

Upgrading your home with smart technology can save you money, time, and help turn your home into a safer environment. It could also increase the value of your home! Here are a few simple upgrades that you can make now:

Temperature Control

A digital thermostat is an easy way to regulate indoor temperatures and save up to 15% on your energy bills.  Using the pre-programming function, you can set a schedule so your home is perfectly comfortable upon your arrival while easing back on the warm or cool air when no one’s home.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have moved up in the world! Detectors can self-test, and send updates to your computer or smart phones. They also can detect the difference between smoke and fire, and slow burning and fast burning fires.

Motion Sensing Lights

The motion sensing lights you have at work can also be installed in your home. No more having to holler at the family to turn off lights when they leave a room, or worrying that you left a light on as you pull out of your driveway. Also, if you have a pet that is home alone sometimes, you don’t have to leave any more lights on than you’re comfortable with – the light will find them whenever they enter a room with a motion sensing device.

Keyless Entry

This one is a favorite! Not only can you avoid losing your house key, you also can give a family member or your children access to your home without the transfer of keys, or having keys get stolen. The key pad also is back lit for easier use at night.

Refrigerators

Smart refrigerators have a computer screen on the door that can access the internet, provide cooking directions, music, or your favorite cooking show. They also can show you the inside of your fridge to help you never forget that last item on the grocery list and avoid opening and closing the door any more than necessary.

Showers: There are lots of upgrades to be made to the modern bathroom, but water power is one of the most popular. With a smart shower head, for example, you’ll enjoy a great shower with plenty of water pressure while using less water than conventional shower heads consume.  Shower heads also can make a unique wave pattern that creates the feeling of more water while using less.

Speaking of bathroom upgrades, contact Connor Plumbing for professional plumbing assistance if a kitchen or bath upgrade is on your drawing board.  We can introduce you to a world of new options and help you choose what makes the most sense for your home and budget – just like always.

You’ve got your toolbox stocked and ready. You’ve done some research, and maybe even watched a few “how-to” videos. And now, you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and tackle that pesky plumbing issue on your own:  proud to do it yourself, and happy to save a few bucks in the process.

DIY home repair has its place. After all, calling in a professional for every minor fix can add up quickly. Still, it’s important to know when to don the overalls and when to reach out to a qualified plumber.

Here’s what a professional plumber can bring to your current plumbing situation – beyond being licensed and insured, that is!

  • Professional plumbers have industry knowledge. Not only do they bring years of experience to bear, a plumbing professional is up on the latest industry techniques, materials, codes, and standards. They’re trained to work on routine maintenance, routine or emergency repairs, and new installations.  Which means that whatever your plumbing need might be, you can trust that it will be taken care of properly.
  • Plumbers can see and predict things that the average homeowner can’t. Everyone experiences a clogged toilet at least occasionally. But while you might chalk it up to a common annoyance, a qualified plumber will looker further. Perhaps the toilet’s capacity is too small for household needs. Or maybe the sewer pipe is partially blocked. The point is, your plumber brings all his (or her) training and experience to bear, no matter how simple or isolated your problem might first appear to be.
  • As they say, time is money. We understand how important it is to save both. When you hire a plumber, you save yourself the time – and headache – of going back and forth to the home improvement store for the right tools and materials. You also can save yourself the frustration – and money – of trial and error fixes. And, when you hire the right plumber, you get a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.  As in:  if it isn’t fixed correctly the first time, they’ll return to resolve any lingering issues at no additional cost to you.

At Connor Plumbing, we encourage and applaud DIY skills and the willingness to do more yourself.  Feeling like you have the current situation well in hand?  Then by all means go for it.  But if you get stuck, we’ll be right here to pick up where you left off.  And that’s just one reason to put your trust in Connor Plumbing, your Beaumont area plumbing professionals.

 

         
 

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