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Aaron Stickley

Plumbing

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Where to Check For Winter Damage on Outdoor Plumbing

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Spring is a good time to check outdoor plumbing and make repairs. Even if your winter weather is mild enough that you don't need to winterize there can be leaks after several months of not using fixtures and irrigation systems. It's always a good idea to go through a quick check of out outside plumbing so you can take care of any problems quickly and before the weather gets too hot.

What to check:

Zero Waste Reverse Osmosis System

Sunday April 13, 2014

Zero waste reverse osmosis systemA reverse osmosis system, like any other under sink water filter, has its pros and cons. One of the drawbacks to an RO system is the water that is wasted during the purification process. If you've installed an RO system you know that the traditional system needs to be connected to the sink drain so that the waste water can be released into the drain.

One way to get around the wasted water problem is to opt for a zero waste reverse osmosis system. This type of RO feeds the concentrated water back into the water line to be used in the hot side of the home's water system instead of going down the drain.

Compare Zero Waste Reverse Osmosis System prices

Photo Aaron Stickley

Store Winterizing Items

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Part of dewinterizing involves the proper inspection and storage of winterizing items so they will be ready to use next year. Storage is usually pretty straightforward, but here is a quick rundown:

  • Faucet covers - check fastening cord and foam edge if it has one then store out of direct sun.
  • Heat tape - check that the entire length of the heat tape is in good condition then roll it up and use a zip tie to keep it from unrolling.
  • Swamp cooler cover - dust it off, check for tears or damage, fold it (or roll it) making sure to keep all of the cords and ties together.
  • Backflow valve cover - clean it off, check for damage and fold or roll it for storage.

To help make the task of winterizing a little easier next year store all of your winterizing items together in a plastic tub, that way you don't have to track down each separate item.

Shower Splash Guards

Monday March 31, 2014

Shower splash guard kitAre you tired of cleaning up puddles of water after each shower? Even a small amount of water splashing out of the shower can make a mess and it may end up causing water damage to walls and floor boards.

Shower curtains are just not efficient enough to keep all of the water inside the shower or tub.

Water damage on baseboard

If you aren't prepared to install shower doors to keep water from splashing out of your shower there is a super easy, quick, and cheap solution you could try. Shower splash guards stick to the bottom corner of the shower or tub to prevent water from splattering out.

Splash guard installed

Splash guard kits cost only a few dollars and they usually don't require any tools to install.

Compare Shower Splash Guard prices

Photo Aaron Stickley

Sometime All You Need is a Bit of Teflon Tape

Thursday March 27, 2014

A leak on a threaded connection is a fairly common plumbing issue. It can happen right away after installing a faucet or showerhead or it can happen with use over time.

The first thing to try is to tighten the threaded connection. Always be careful to avoid over-tightening because it is fairly easy to break a threaded fitting. If that doesn't work try using some Teflon tape. Putting a bit of Teflon on the threads may be all that is needed to seal up that leak. If there is already old Teflon tape in place remove it and install new tape. If there is new tape on the threads try adding just a bit more.

Stubborn Faucet Handle

Tuesday March 25, 2014

A leaky faucet handle can often be repaired by replacing the washers. Sounds easy right? In a perfect world this is a fairly easy faucet repair. But what happens when, try as you might, you can't remove the faucet handle?

This happens often enough that there is a special tool to fix the problem. A faucet handle puller is designed to remove stubborn faucet handles so you can make repairs. Using a faucet handle puller prevents damage to the faucet finish. This is one of the specialized plumbing tools that is only needed in certain situations, but it still comes in very handy.

Sudden Change in Water Pressure?

Friday March 21, 2014

Water pressure regulatorA sudden increase or decrease in your home's water pressure could be due to a broken water pressure regulator. Like any other valve a pressure regulator can give out after years of use. When that happens the change in pressure can be obvious (especially when it gets very low) or it can be subtle. Either way, it's always best to have a bad pressure regulator valve replaced as soon as possible after it stops working.

To help catch any water pressure problems early I usually suggest that homeowners check their water pressure regularly. An inexpensive pressure gauge can be used to quickly check pressure every few months, just to make sure there isn't a problem.

Photo Aaron Stickley

LED Bathroom Faucet

Monday March 17, 2014

LED FaucetThinking of replacing your bathroom faucet? Have you ever considered buying an LED faucet? Adding color and light to a bathroom by installing a faucet that has built in LED lights isn't for everyone, true. But if you like to add unusual elements to your house, LED faucets are a fun option. There are quite a few styles and features to choose from and there is a wide price range as well. I haven't yet bought one of these myself, but I have to say it is tempting for my next bathroom renovation.

Shop for LED Bathroom faucets

Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Wednesday March 12, 2014

Water heater pipesAt first glance this small water heater installation looks perfectly fine...right? Well, a closer look (and a bit of knowledge about pipes used for water) shows that there is a problem with it.

The pipe used here is PVC not CPVC which means that it isn't intended for use with hot water. CPVC could withstand the temperature but PVC should really only be used with cold water.

Obviously the water heater and pipe have been in place for some time without trouble. But really, to be safe and conform to building codes the pipe should be replaced.

Photo Aaron Stickley

Waxless Toielt Seal

Saturday March 8, 2014

Foam toilet ringSetting a toilet? Wax is not the only way to go when selecting a toilet seal. There are a few different types of toilet seals to choose from. Some seals work better in some situations than others, but one particularly appealing option is the wax-free foam gasket.

A waxless gasket:

  • isn't messy
  • can be stacked
  • can be set and reset
  • isn't affected by rocking

Photo Aaron Stickley

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