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.

 

Did you know that a cooking fire is more likely to occur on Thanksgiving Day than at any other time? All those extra guests and increased activity in the kitchen can cause even the most careful cooks to become distracted and, for example, forget about that pie in the oven.

That’s why it’s so important to plan in advance for the safest possible holiday experience, and here are several tips we’re sure you’ll find useful:

  • Make the stove area a kid and pet free zone, keeping them at least three feet away from hot ovens and stove tops.
  • Don’t leave that turkey to roast on its own; leave the errands for another day or leave someone in charge if you must head out of the house.
  • Use a timer to remind you to check on cooking food, especially those that require extra cooking or baking time.
  • Keep pot holders, dish towels, and other flammable items away from the stove top or any other heat source.
  • If you’re thinking of using an outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryer, you may want to reconsider. They can lead to serious oil burns and even destruction of property.
  • Whether you’re using an electric knife, a crockpot, or warming dishes, make sure that cords are out of reach of children.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended, and make sure they too are out of reach of children.
  • Test your smoke detectors and make sure your fire extinguisher is full and ready to go.

Another common Thanksgiving mishap is either a clogged drain or garbage disposal.  Never mind common, they’re rampant!  So much so that plumbers all over America refer to the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, too, because it’s our busiest drain cleaning day of the year.  And while Connor Plumbing to lend a helping hand at your home this Thanksgiving or anytime at all, you help prevent any drain or disposal problems by:

  • Keeping grease, fats, and oils out of the drain
  • Grinding up only small amounts of food at a time
  • Placing meat bones and fibrous foods like lettuce and soft vegetables in the trash

From all of us at Connor Plumbing, we hope yours is the best Thanksgiving ever.

Home plumbing problems have a way of sneaking up on you, often at the worst possible time.  Not that there are good times for problems to occur, it’s just that some are worse than others.

Well, no matter when it might occur, doesn’t it make sense to be better prepared the next time a plumbing problem comes calling?  We think so, and now you can be by observing these six plumbing DIY tips:

1. Be on the lookout for water leaks. Small water leaks can lead to big watery messes. So be alert to signs that more trouble is on the way: leaking faucets, damp cabinets, rocking toilets or dripping refrigerators all require fast and decisive action.

2. Repair problems early. A leaking faucet isn’t just annoying; the moisture it releases increases the wear and tear on sink fixtures and can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Another way to detect plumbing leaks is to check behind your refrigerator once a month or so.  If you do spot water on the floor, keep in mind that the smaller the amount, the greater the potential problem.  That’s because water could be leaking through your floor into your sub-flooring where, over time, structural damage can occur.

3. Plumbing overflows. If water is gushing from your sink or toilet, turn off either that water supply valve or your home’s main water supply valve.  Don’t exactly where they are?  Now’s the time to find out before you need to act.

4. Locate your sewer shut-off valve.  Your house is equipped with a sewer shutoff valve to help minimize damage from an overflowing toilet.  Find it, learn how to use it, and you’ll save can potentially spare yourself a ton of grief.

5. Learn how to tackle small problems yourself. With a plunger, pipe wrench and a sewer snake, you can take care of a host of small plumbing problems and, in the process, save yourself both time and money.

Still, not all plumbing repairs are of the DIY variety.  Sometimes, only a pro will do, and when that time comes, Connor Plumbing will be on hand to lend all the assistance you need, just as we have been for well over 100 years.

Where do the majority of home injuries occur?  No place other than your bathroom.  That’s because the conditions are ripe for slips and falls, accidental poisoning, drowning, and other preventable mishaps.

As such, we urge you to follow these 10 safety tips to help protect all family members, especially small children and the elderly, the two groups most prone to bathroom-related accidents.

  • Test the water before stepping into the tub or shower to ensure it’s not too hot. Install an anti-scald valve to prevent burns should someone flush the toilet while you’re in the shower.
  • Prevent slips and falls when entering and exiting the bathtub or shower by placing bathmats with anti-slip backings on the floor.
  • Use a weighted shower curtain liner to help prevent water from splattering onto the floor.
  • If upgrading your bathtub or shower, choose one with a textured bottom or install anti- slip strips to your existing tub or shower floor.
  • Install grab bars or handles inside the shower or tub area.
  • Make sure your toilet is high enough to sit on so that you can get on and off easily without needing to reach for balance. You might consider replacing one or more of yours with a comfort-height model.
  • If using a step stool for your children, make sure it has a non-slip bottom.
  • Inspect towel racks and other wall accessories to ensure they are securely installed in case someone needs to grab hold of one to prevent themselves from falling.
  • If you have small children at home, either keep them out of the bathroom or otherwise prohibit their access to a medicine chest or closet.
  • Replace all outlets near a water source with GFCI models to prevent accidental electrical shock or electrocution.

There’s a lot Connor Plumbing can do to help make your bathroom a safer environment for every member of your family.  Contact us today for more information and a free new project quote.

 

         
 

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