Fixing A Ceramic Pipe Leak

Ceramic Pipes – Fixing A Leak

When someone says ceramics, you probably think of dishes, cooled clay pottery, or perhaps even fragile figurines. In any case, you likely don’t think of sewer drain pipes immediately. There’s a good reason for that – the fact ceramics is not the best material to use in your sewer system, and surely not the first choice to use in your home. Ceramic pipes were used between about 1920 and 1980 – it’s not used in more modern homes anymore, considering ceramic pipes is quite labor intensive to install and somewhat expensive to produce – not to mention that these pipes are quite prone to cracks and leaks

If your sewer system has ceramic pipes today, it’s quite likely that your home and plumbing system are quite outdated and need work. If your ceramic pipes happens to spring a leak – which is almost guaranteed to happen eventually when you’re dealing with ceramics – here are some steps you may want to take in order to temporarily fix your pipe.

ceramic pipesIf the pipe cracks or springs a leak, and you’re not interested in retrofitting or replacing it yet, here’s what you can do to get it in good shape again.

First, you’ll need access to the pipe. You’ll probably going to need to take off the codes valve cover. Since it’s likely that you live in an older home and the cover isn’t removed often, it may take a wrench and a lot of force. Now that you’re able to access the buried pipe, jet them out in order to clear sediment – you may want to go to a hardware store and rent a sewer jetter in order to do that.

The next step is to get a sewer camera, which you may rent as well, and insert the camera snake through the pipe. Feed it until you manage to find the leak – after finding it, estimate its size. Make sure to round up by a few inches, in order to make sure you’re not going to cover the leak with something smaller than it, since that won’t help.

Last but not least, purchase the sort of inflatable pipe tubing that’s used to patch ceramic pipes leaks. Get a piece of tubing the right size to cover your leak, then push it inside. Push it until you find that it’s directly below or under the leak, then pull the cord, making it inflate. If you do it right, the tubing will inflate and provide plenty of cover for the leak, stopping when it reaches the pipe.

This is a quite complicated fix, and a temporary one. If you want a long term solution, it is wise to call a plumber who’ll be able to properly repair it. If you aren’t too confident in your plumbing skills, it’s best to immediately call a plumber when you suspect you have a leak – they’ll be able to repair it right from the get go – this will save you the time and stress involved with dealing with this issue, and eliminate the risk of you ending up damaging the pipe further by accident.

Top 3 Plumbing Myths

Plumbing – Top 3 Myths

There’s a very high likelihood that you don’t know a lot about your plumbing. Likely, you tend to take it for granted. Here are three common plumbing myths that you need to know about.  Find out more information at

Myth 1: Lemons Clean the Garbage Disposal

plumbingThis may be one of the biggest myths out there regarding plumbing. Many believe that using lemons to clean their garbage disposal is the right way to do it. Wrong! It will smell good for the few seconds that it takes to grind up that lemon, however, it’s not cleaning anything. To be truthful, the acid in the citrus fruit can actually corrode your metals in the disposal.

The best way to clean your garbage disposal is to fill the sink with soapy cold water. Put some ice cubes in and then pull the stopper and turn on the disposal. The ice will grind and force the soapy water through the blades cleaning them.

Myth 2: In Tank Toilet Cleaners

No one wants to clean the toilet so theses in tank cleaners, the kind that you stick in and hang off the side of the bowl or in the tank itself, make sense right? Wrong! The bleach isn’t cleaning the porcelain, it’s just scrubbing the scum that develops on the sides of the bowl and in the tank. If this scum isn’t scrubbed off, it will ruin the toilet over the course of time.

The easiest way to clean your toilet is to pour distilled white vinegar into the overflow tube that is located in the back of the tank. Done weekly, your toilet will sparkle and be clean.

Myth 3: My Drain’s Not Clogged If Stuff Goes Down

If water and other debris (bits of food) are going down the drain, there can’t be any clogs. Wrong! Your drain may still have something lodged deep down that you can’t see. Even if you can’t see it, there are things that coat and stick to the insides of your drain and pipes and may cause clogs.

Grease, oils, and even soap may stick to the inside of your drain. Bits of rice and pasta will act as starch and over the course of time, your drain will be going slower.

To make sure that your drain is draining properly, only put safe things into the garbage disposal. Use an inexpensive plastic drain catcher to catch everything that shouldn’t be going down your drain. The more you keep those “no-nos” from going down your drain, the better it’s going to work. Taking the time to ensure that only water is going down your drain will go far in helping your kitchen and bathroom drains to function properly. Every bit that you can keep out of your drain will help it to drain better.

Hair sticks to greases and oils and can form huge clogs eventually. Stop it before it goes down the drain and you’ll have a cleaner drain and it will drain properly every time you use it.

5 Tricks Sneaky Plumbers Use and How to Avoid Getting Scammed

Plumbers – 5 Tricks Sneaky Use and How to Avoid Getting Scammed

Many people are scared to call a plumber. People hear horror stories of dishonest plumbers doing shoddy work, and overcharging their customers. So, when they have a plumbing emergency, they hesitate to call a plumber. Most plumbers are honest hard-working professionals. However, since there are sneaky plumbers out these, it’s important to be able to recognize the tricks they use, so that you can find an honest professional to hire

1. No License and No Insurance

plumbersLicenses and insurance cost money. So, a person lacking these items will charge less. While you may save money, you’re putting yourself at risk. Many cities require contractors to have licenses and insurance in order to work on a person’s home. A person can legally do many renovations on their own, within limits. However, most municipalities require a licensed professional for electrical, plumbing and structural work.

If you use an unlicensed professional, you may be required to tear out the work if the building inspector does not approve. Since the person is unlicensed you have no one to complain to about shoddy work. When hiring a professional ask to see their state license and ask for proof of insurance. Contact your state’s licensing department to ensure the license is valid. The state insurance commissioner can confirm the insurance is adequate.

2. Online or Phone Estimates

A plumber cannot estimate the price of a job without seeing the work that needs to be done. To get an accurate quote you must have an in-person inspection, in writing.

The only prices a plumber can tell you over the phone is their hourly rate and any minimum charges they have for their service. They can give you a price range for certain small jobs, such as installing a shower head or clearing a clogged sink. However, most jobs require the plumber to see the work that needs to be done, before giving an estimate, because the job may be more complex that you realize.

3. Lowball Bids

When looking for a plumber you should get several bids. If you notice a bid is significantly less than the others, something is wrong. Plumbing can be expensive and the cost of a job can vary widely. For example, fixing a clogged drain can range from $75 to $250 depending on the plumber you call. By getting several estimates you can determine the range of prices for the service and see what is considered reasonable.

A common plumbing scam is to provide a customer with the lowest bid by not accounting for the labor needed for the project. Before the plumber finishes the job they will charge the customer for the additional labor. Since you will need the plumber to complete the job or to hire another plumber, this scam would be you in a tough situation.

5. Showing Up Uninvited

Plumbers do not go door-to-door asking for work. You may have a plumber or contractor hand out fliers and requesting the chance to provide an estimate if they are doing work in the area, but they will not ask you to hire them. If someone comes to your home uninvited soliciting work, call the police.

Many people have been targeted by con artists who want to get into their homes. Elderly homeowners are particularly vulnerable to this scam. Don’t invite anyone into your home until you have checked them out. An honest contractor will be able to provide you with a card and information about their company so that you can check them out, before seeking an estimate.

Why Buy An Air Purification Unit?

Air Quality – Why Buy An Air Purification Unit?

While many people do not give a lot of thought to their indoor air quality, it is something that is very important to the health and comfort of everyone living at the property. It is not unusual for people to spend a lot of time researching the best foods to eat or putting time and effort into working out and maintaining a certain level of physical fitness. While those things are certainly important, the air you breathe each day is crucial as well. Indoor air is known to have many more pollutants than outside air, one of the many reasons why this issue should be at the forefront of your mind.

If indoor air quality is bad, it can lead to asthma, infections and even lung cancer. In addition, people living in the home may find they have more headaches, congestion, and nausea. They may also feel more tired throughout the day.

Breathe Well Again

air quality

As it warms up outside, poor air quality is more common. For example, there is often pollen floating around. Pollution is a problem. If you do not have an air purification system, heading home will not give you a respite from these issues! Once you put in an air purifier, however, you can rest easy knowing that the air you breathe is safe.

Make Sure You Have Quality Air

While clean air is important, it is about more than just that. A good air quality system allows you to keep the humidity at the proper levels in your home. This means that you will feel better throughout the day. If your air is too dry, it could lead to a lot of dust, for example. However, if the air is too humid, mold and mildew are more likely to form and the furniture could even be damaged. One idea is to let a technician come in, figure out your current air quality and help you pick a system that meets your needs.

Once you have a purifier, dehumidifier or humidifier, make sure you maintain the equipment so it does the job that you want it to do

A Heating Repair Checklist

Heating System – A Heating Repair Checklist

Your heating system is an essential component in your home. So, when it comes to maintenance you want to make sure a licensed professional is working to keep your system healthy and running efficiently. At the least you should be getting a basic tune-up annually. But, you should also be taking certain steps, on your own to help extend the lifespan of your heating system

Gas Heater Checklist

  • heating systemDust and Clean – The components of your heating system work best when they, and the space around them, are not covered in dirt, dust, and debris. These contaminants can damage your heating system.
  • Inspect the Filters – You need to clean or replace the filters regularly. These filters keep the pollutants from the heating system from entering your home. Gas furnaces are relatively clean. However, they still need to treat the heating air before it is sent to your home’s interior. Dirty filters are easy to replace, and you will see an immediate improvement in air quality. Your heating system will also run more efficiently.

Oil Heater Checklist

  • Replace or Clean the Filters – An oil furnace uses both an air filter and oil filter. Each of these filters needs to be changed regularly, as directed by the manufacturer, in order to keep your system running efficiently. If you notice black soot around the vents or furnace, you should check your filters.
  • Dust and Clean – Oil furnaces generate soot. However, a well-maintained oil furnace can be operated without getting the space around it dirty. To avoid soot buildup, the area around the furnace needs to be kept clean. Keeping the furnace area clean will also help technicians to access the heating system if there are any problems that need to be repaired.
  • Look for Warning Signs – Rattling sounds coming from the furnace, black soot around the furnace or black smoke from the chimney are all signs of trouble. If you see these warning signs contact a professional heating repair service for an inspection.
  • Professional Heating Repair Service – Oil furnaces have a number of components which need to be inspected. The blower motor, burner nozzle and fan belt each has a vital function and need to be inspected, lubricated, serviced and cleaned by a professional on a regular basis. This is not a task you should do yourself. Leave this to the professionals.

Tips for Finding The Best HVAC Specialist

HVAC – Tips for Finding The Best Specialist

Whether you need to upgrade your existing HVAC system or are building your own custom home and need to choose an HVAC system for it, it is essential that you choose the right contractor for the job. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to tell which contractors are the most qualified and which ones you should avoid. How do you go about finding the best HVAC specialist? The following tips from may help.


Talk to Past Customers

Ask any HVAC companies that you are considering working with for a list of references. Reach out to each of the names on the list to ask them about their experience with the company. Because these customers have worked with the company in the past, they should be able to provide you with insight into the overall quality of their work as well as how easy they are to work with. The best part about this is that most people will be very honest about their experiences. This is particularly true if they had a bad experience in the past. The only thing to keep in mind is that because these references come directly from the company, they are unlikely to provide you with the names of anyone who was dissatisfied with their work, so it may not be a fair representation of all of their customers.

Ask for Referrals

One of the most effective ways to find a qualified HVAC contractor is by talking to your friends, coworkers, or family members. The best part about going this route is that you know they will be honest with you. Be sure to ask them for details about the entire process including what they liked and didn’t like about the company that they hired. This can provide you with reliable insight into which companies are best.

Turn to the Internet

The Internet can be an incredibly valuable resource when it comes to learning more about companies in your area. All that you have to do is perform a quick search in your favorite search engine for reviews on contractors in your area. Be sure to read through as many reviews as you can

find before deciding which company to use. Based on the reviews that you read, you should be able to determine which companies have the best reputation in your area and which ones provide the most reliable customer service.

Check with Rating Organizations

Organizations such as the Better Business Bureau or businesses such as Angie’s List can be a great resource for finding out more information about a company before working with them. You can typically learn whether or not any complaints have been filed against any local HVAC businesses and can get a feel for how satisfied customers were overall with the service that they received.

These tips should help you find the right HVAC contractor for your project, no matter how big or small it is. Don’t fall into the trap of just calling the first number that you find. Instead, take the time to research HVAC contractors in your area to figure out which ones are best.

The Operating Principles of Split Air Conditioning

Split Air Conditioning Operating Principles

Every year, when the temperatures start to rise, the thermometer in your house will steadily climb to reflect the greater amount of environmental heat pouring in. Air conditioning is practically a requirement for comfortable summer living in many parts of the country. There are several different systems that can be used for air conditioning, and one of the most common today is the split air conditioner.

As suggested by its name, this system consists of two primary units: one indoors and one outdoors. Outside the home are the condenser coils and the compressor; inside the home are the evaporator coils and the blower.

split air conditioning

The operating principles of split air conditioning are fairly simple:

1) The compressor pressurizes a refrigerant, reducing its total volume and bringing its temperature up.

2) The gaseous refrigerant flows through piping until it becomes liquid.

3) The now-liquid refrigerant will enter the condenser coils and reach the expansion joint.

4) At the expansion joint, the pressure in the system is sharply reduced. This converts the refrigerant back into a gas. This causes it to release thermal energy and grow colder.

5) The refrigerant flows back to the compressor continuously. Meanwhile, the air inside the home is drawn over the evaporator coils and grows cold.

6) Once the air is chilled, the blower directs it back into the living space.

7) This continuous circulation of air and refrigerant runs continuously until the thermostat achieves the desired temperature.

8) When the temperature is ideal, the system automatically shuts down to minimize power usage.

The key factor that makes the split air conditioning system distinctive is its separation of functions into an internal and external unit. The vent fan, compressor, and condenser coils outside the home are connected to the internal equipment (the blower and evaporator coils) by tubing or piping.

A central air conditioner is an advanced form of split air conditioner. Basic split air conditioners operate on a room-by-room basis and use smaller external units, although multiple internal units can be linked to a single compressor box.

The chief advantage of this system is that it can effectively cool your home even if you don’t have ductwork. It also gives you exceptional zone control from room to room. Some of the other advantages of a split air conditioner are:

* Easy maintenance and robust equipment.

* Much better performance that all-in-one window units.

* Flexibility: A single compressor can work with multiple ducted or non-ducted indoor units.

* Efficiency: While the compressor will always be operating as long as some part of the system is active, individual units inside will not be running unless they’re needed. This minimizes the overall load on the system and cuts down on expensive start-stop costs.

How Do Split Air Conditioners Compare?

* As already noted, the differences between a central air conditioning system and a split system are minimal. The presence or absence of ductwork is the only real issue dividing the two.

* A split air conditioner will be able to efficiently cool a much larger area than a window air conditioner or a portable unit. A split AC system will also use a larger, more efficient compressor than portable or window-mounted systems.

* Obviously, a split air conditioner involves at least two units rather than the all-in-one design that’s common to smaller air conditioning systems.

Split Air Conditioning Equipment Breakdown

The exterior unit in a split system contains the following pieces of equipment: the compressor, expansion joint, condenser coils, and vent fan. The interior unit or units contain the blower, filter, and evaporator coils. The system’s thermostat which regulates the whole system is also included in the interior unit.

Hopefully, this general overview has given you enough information to decide whether or not split air conditioning would be a viable way to meet your home cooling needs. Don’t hesitate to discuss split air conditioning with your friendly local HVAC professionals