Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Monday, August 5, 2019
Friday, July 12, 2019
Whether it’s a clogged sink, shower, bathtub, or toilet, before you pick up the phone to call a plumber, here are a few things you should try first.
Taking the PlungeA good old-fashioned plunger is great way to loosen clogged drain pipes. Plungers come in multiple sizes — use a small one for sinks, showers, and bathtubs and a large one for a clogged toilet. Plungers work best submerged in water because this allows for greater suction. Plunge steadily, keeping in mind it may take a several attempts to successfully eliminate a blockage.
If you’re trying to unclog a double kitchen sink with a plunger, begin by closing off one sink with a stopper. This will prevent any liquid from splashing back once you begin plunging. Then fill the other side of the sink with enough water to cover the bell of the plunger and create a tight seal.
Plumber’s Snake and MoreAnother solution that doesn’t require using potentially harmful chemicals is a plumber’s snake. This long flexible wire with teeth along its outer edges can be used to dislodge hair, soap, grease, or anything else clogging the drain. If you don’t have snake on hand, a coat hanger may do the trick. You can also try using a wet and dry vacuum to suck out the clog. To do this, insert the nozzle directly into the drain.
- The natural mix: A mixture of vinegar and baking soda can be a convenient and effective non-chemical solution for unclogging drains. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the blocked drain and then pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Plug your drain and let it stand for at least 15 – 20 minutes, then flush with boiling water. Repeat if necessary.
- The chemical solution: You’ll find a number of drain cleaning products available at your local hardware or grocery store. These come in a variety of strengths, so be sure to look for one that’s right for the type of drain you’re trying to unclog. These products specify a period of time for the chemical to “stand’ and then flush using hot water. Again, repeat if necessary. These cleaners are made of extremely strong and even corrosive chemicals. Be sure to follow directions closely and take the necessary precaution of using heavy rubber gloves and goggles.
Different Drains Require Different ApproachesIf you’re unable to unclog a kitchen or bathroom sink with any of these methods, try removing the “P-trap,” which is located at the bottom of the drain pipe where it curves. Loosen the slip nuts at both ends of the pipe with a plumber’s wrench. Use the snake on the remainder of the drain pipe, then clean out any debris in the trap before reattaching it.
Turn off the electricity when attempting to unclog a kitchen sink that has an electric garbage disposal. Try using the vinegar and baking soda mix first to remove grease and trapped food. If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to try to one of the chemical solutions.
You may use any of these methods on a clogged shower or tub drain. However, you may need to disconnect or remove the internal stopper mechanism before you begin.
Using chemicals can be harmful to your toilet. First, try pouring 1/4 cup of dish detergent into the toilet bowl. Dish soap acts as a lubricant to help break up any residue. Then add boiling water and use a plunger to finish dislodging the clog.
The Bottom LineUnless a foreign object has become lodged in a drain pipe, clogs tend to develop slowly over time. The accumulation of soap, grease, hair, and other detritus results in slow draining and even standing water. Regular cleaning and proper drain strainers can save you time and money.
Next time, before you call a plumber about a clogged drain, try these simple techniques. You’ll be surprised by how easy DIY plumbing can be.
article source: By Tim Coutis|May 29th, 2019
Friday, June 28, 2019
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Save more moola for summer fun — try these savvy energy-saving tips, and ditch the exorbitant energy bills once and for all.We all enjoy being warm and cozy in the winter, and cool as a cucumber in the summer — but the energy bills that keep us there can get out of hand quickly. Luckily, home updates, inexpensive projects, and even minor changes in routine can create notable savings.
Hunt for an energy-efficient homeWhen my husband and I started our home search, we knew energy efficiency was a priority. Before we found a real estate agent, we carefully considered how many square feet we’d need to be comfortable as a family — and it wasn’t as much space as we’d thought.
House hunting was absolutely about finding a place that looked and felt like home, but we also kept in mind practical considerations. Updated windows, modern appliances, and a sufficiently insulated attic can have big impacts on home energy use.
We also found that some home features, such as cathedral ceilings and sun rooms, can increase energy costs. And if you’re home shopping in hot climates, keep an eye out for homes with cool-roof features to prevent the air-conditioning from working overtime.
Once we found a home we loved, we lined up a home inspector with a great reputation. Walking through the home alongside the inspector taught us a lot about our home’s energy efficiency. We learned how our insulation levels compared to standards in our region, and the age of major appliances and equipment in the home.
If your dream home doesn’t come with an energy-efficient water heater or updated windows, there’s no need to despair. Issues that show up during a home inspection give you grounds to negotiate with the seller.
In the end, our family of three chose a modern cottage (just under 800 square feet) in a great neighborhood with a large garage for hobbies and storage space. We get a lot of use out of our generous outdoor entertaining space and garage, while the modest size of our home keeps our monthly utility bills low. It’s a choice we don’t regret!
Assess major appliances and equipmentShopping for efficient new appliances and equipment is easy, thanks to independent certification from Energy Star. Most modern appliances feature an Energy Star label that gives you a yearly estimated operating cost:
Older appliances may not be as easy to assess, but you can use the U.S. Department of Energy’s appliance energy calculator to estimate how much energy they use.
With roughly half of all energy expenses going to heating and cooling, high-performing heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment should be a priority for every homeowner. Overall efficiency, however, isn’t the only factor to consider when evaluating your heating and cooling system.
When we initially bought our home, the previous owners installed an oversized furnace. It might’ve been a great choice for a larger home, but not ours. The furnace would inefficiently short cycle during winter, ratcheting up our energy costs while causing excessive wear and tear on the furnace itself. When we replaced it with a model half the size, we saved a bundle on our monthly utility bill.
Try quick, energy-efficient fixesNot a lot of dollars to put down on a new HVAC system? No problem. Not every move toward energy efficiency requires an expensive home upgrade.
There are all kinds of quick fixes that owners and renters can make to cut back on energy costs. Energy Star has simple money saving tips that anyone can put in place today.
Easy tasks, such as replacing weather stripping on a drafty front door, washing laundry in cold water, changing your ceiling fan’s direction, and using energy-efficient light bulbs, can all make an impact on your budget’s bottom line.
Seek expert guidanceExpert help doesn’t have to be expensive. Many local utility companies provide an energy audit, and they often offer them for no charge.
We recently scheduled this kind of assessment, and when they come out, they’ll give us free advice on how to lower our energy bill even further. As a part of their visit, they’ll update up to 20 light bulbs at no cost, increasing our home’s efficiency on the spot. They offer high-performance shower heads and other free perks, too.
Lower your utility bill — then save a little moreEnergy-efficient upgrades provide a whole lot of bang for your buck. In addition to lowering your monthly utility bill or making your home more comfortable in extreme weather, you might also be eligible for tax credits, rebates, and additional savings. We updated our windows and replaced our furnace by using tax credits.
The number of programs offering additional savings can be overwhelming. Luckily, you can conduct some quick research online to ensure you’re not missing out. The U.S. Department of Energy’s tax credits, rebates, and savings database is a great place to start.