Tear Down that Wall!

Category: Plumbing


Opening up, modifying, or entirely removing one or more walls is relatively easy but guaranteed to make a mess. In addition, you must patch the floor, walls, and ceiling. Before you remove any wall studs, you must determine whether or not the wall is a bearing wall—part of your Boston home’s structural system Be aware that plumbing, wiring, or other mechanical equipment within a wall can make removal far more involved. Rerouting plumbing, in particular, can add significantly to the work. If this proves too difficult a task, your Boston plumber is trained to quickly and efficiently remove walls. To prepare for demolition, mask off the area with plastic sheeting to prevent the dust from permeating your home, and protect the floor with drop cloths. Turn off the electrical circuits that supply power to receptacles, light switches, and wires in the wall. Pry off any moldings. To remove gypsum wallboard (drywall), punch through the center of the panel with a hammer and use a prybar to extract the pieces. To dispose of plaster and lath, smash the plaster with a sledge hammer and then pry off the lath. 1. Pry any remnants of surface material off the studs of the wall you intend to take out. On the walls that adjoin it, remove the surface material back to the first […]

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Beware the FOG

Category: Drain Cleaning


Families these days are eating healthier diets with less fried foods and fatty meats. Yet many people don’t realize we must remain diligent in preventing fats, oils and grease discharges down our drains. Cooking fats, oil and grease (FOG) are leading causes of clogged drains, back-ups, and sewage spills.   Keeping FOG out of your drains will keep the plumber away, save you money, prevent embarrassing backups, and inconvenient messy cleanups. So where’s the grease? How can we trim the fat from our sewers and keep our pipes running smoothly? Below is a list of many typical pipe-clogging foods to avoid washing down Boston drains: • Oil and butter • Mayonnaise and sour cream • Cheese • Sauces and dips • Salad dressing • Cake frosting • Pie dough • Gravy • Turkey and chicken pan drippings • Fat remaining on plates from BBQ steak Eating a healthy diet, low in fat is great for our bodies. By also placing our drains on fat-free diets, we help protect the environment and do our part to keep city costs down. Now that’s got to make you feel good all over! Tips for fat-free drains: Scrape food and grease from plates into the trash – garbage disposals don’t remove grease. Place a strainer in your sink drains. Pour off cooking grease from […]

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Old Greywater, Keep on Rolling!

Category: green plumbing


Are you tired of costly septic system maintenance? Are you looking for ways to economize your Boston household budget, better protect the environment and reduce septic system load? A greywater system is your answer. This is cutting-edge technology designed to safely recycle water from inside your Boston home for reuse outside the home, taking pressure off septic systems. Read on to learn how greywater saves you money and water. No more worrying about the need to increase or replace stressed septic systems. No more burnt landscaping because of drought-inspired water restrictions. Greywater is simple-to-use and provides ample water to keep the garden thriving and the maintenance man away. How does it work? Simple – the greywater system is easily installed by your licensed Boston plumber. The small, inoffensive unit resembles a recycling container and recycles the water from your washing machine, bath and shower for outdoor irrigation use. The unit serves as a filtration system and does not store any water, so its capacity is unlimited. How do I save money? Easy. Every time you do a load of laundry, you’re also irrigating your garden. Plus, you cut the amount of water being deposited into septic systems: greywater will reduce the amount in half during the spring and summer months. A family of four can reduce their water consumption by […]

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Wasted Water is Money Down the Drain



Conserving water is a fantastic habit to get into to because it saves water and reduces waste-water treatment costs. Conserving hot water can even save you money on your Boston heating and cooling bills. Let us start by explaining how conserving water can result in potential cost savings. Basically it’s a simple process in which all the water that drains away from showers, sinks and toilets ends up in the sewage treatment plant. The more water that the sewage plant has to process, the higher the costs are. So the more water generated by a toilet flush, the brushing of your teeth, washing of your hands, showering, etc., the more waste water ends up at the sewage treatment plant. If you could reduce the amount of water being generated, by perhaps having a 3.5 gallon toilet installed instead of a 5 or 7 gallon toilet or even just using water efficient fixtures installed, you could cut down on the costs of treating the water. When trying to conserve water, the water meter is your best friend. If you are on a public Boston water system, it should be easy to find your water meter because it will be located either on your property or very close to it. The water meter will tell you how much water you are using […]

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Look! I Did It Myself!

Category: Plumbing


Are you the type of homeowner who thinks he can fix anything and everything? Do you make it a habit of repairing any plumbing mishaps in your Boston home? If so, and you don’t know what you are doing, you may end up causing thousands of dollars in damage before you know what hit you. Hopefully, this will make you think twice before grabbing your wrench next time! Of course, there are some plumbing jobs that you can try on your own without any risk. For instance, a leaky faucet is a small job that you may want to tackle before you call in your professional Boston plumber. If you know what you are doing you will probably be able to stop the leak, and avoid paying a professional for their services. This is not something you can make worse, in most cases. But what about more extensive plumbing projects? These are tasks such as running new piping through your walls or replacing an entire bathtub. Boston plumbers know exactly how to handle these large jobs. You, on the other hand, are probably less experienced and will be moving forward without all the knowledge that you need. If you make a mistake during a large do-it-yourself plumbing project it may end up costing you more than you ever imagined. What […]

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Conserve H2O, Save $$ With Dual Flush

Category: Uncategorized


Dual flush toilets are exactly what they claim to be: toilets that give you the option to choose from two different flushes. Why? Because, to put it plainly, it doesn’t take as much water to send number one packing as it does to get rid of number two. By purchasing a toilet with both a low and high volume flush, you’ll cut the water your toilet uses by more than half, not only saving you a bundle of money over the course of the toilet’s lifetime, but doing some good from an environmental standpoint as well. How Much Difference Can Two Separate Flushes Make? The answer to this question is shocking. Studies of dual flush toilets show that using a dual flush system as opposed to a conventional one can reduce water consumption by up to 67%. In fact, the water savings are so substantial that several nations, such as water starved Australia, have passed laws requiring that all new toilets installed are of this variety. There are even municipalities in the United States, all from areas where drought is a major concern, where similar statutes have been passed in an effort to conserve dwindling water resources. Growing Industry Dual flush toilets are only just catching on in the United States and the rest of North America. The double flush […]

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Questions for the Prospective Plumber

Category: Plumbing


Answers to some basic questions will give you a sense of whether or not you could work comfortably with a particular Boston plumber. Below are some questions to ask: Questions about the Plumber How long have you been a plumber? Were you formally trained or did you learn through an apprenticeship? Do you belong to any professional associations? Are you licensed and registered with the state of Massachusetts? Are you insured? Do you have any references in Boston that I can contact? Questions about Your Plumber’s Work Do you give written warranties? Will this project require a permit? Can you estimate how long this will take? Will you provide options for different materials? Interview Question for References Were you happy with the plumbing project? Was the job completed on time? Were there any unexpected expenses? Would you use this Boston plumber again? Would you recommend this plumber? Read more: http://www.servicemagic.com/article.show.Checklist-Recommended-Questions-to-Ask-a-Plumber.13001.html#ixzz1qu0r8PH1 f you are looking for a professional plumber in the Greater Boston Area, then call 1-800-431-5660 or complete our estimate request form.

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The Little Sink That Could



One of the latest trends in bathroom design is the bath micro sink. Though it seems a bit odd, this new fixture can be very useful in smaller Boston bathrooms or in bathrooms where several people need to share the facilities. These sinks are used in kitchens, laundry rooms, and other areas of the home as well. Space Considerations A micro sink is about the size of a three-ring binder lying flat.  These sinks require very little in the way of plumbing. You should be able to run one small pipe to the sink and allow it to connect to any other water supply in the room. If you have any difficulty, just call your Boston plumber, who can install your sink for you in no time.   The micro sink is especially attractive if you do not have the space available to put in new cabinets. You can sit the micro sink on any surface, including crates or other removable storage. Built-in Accessories Because the sinks are designed for people to use without the convenience of other bathroom supplies, they often come with soap holders or dispensers on them. You may even find a micro sink with a rack on the side. These features allow you to put extra toiletry items there for easy use. The micro sink in the […]

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Get the Lead Out



Lead, the nasty neurotoxin that can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death, has a way of sneaking into our Boston homes; it’s been found in our kids’ toys, paint , and even glassware. And, if you aren’t careful, it can be in your water, too. Though it’s not usually found in source water, it can get in to the wet stuff coming out the tap through your plumbing, which slowly corrodes over time. Boston homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes and fixtures, and even legally “lead-free” plumbing may contain up to 8 percent lead. Plus, it can add up: A study published in The Journal of Environmental Health in 2002 found that 14 percent to 20 percent of total lead exposure comes from tap water. To avoid downing a dose of lead with your next glass of water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises to only use cold tap water for consumption (drinking and cooking), especially when doing things for your little ones, like mixing baby formula. Youngsters aged 6 years and under are most at risk, because their bodies are growing quickly. Hot water is more corrosive, drawing more of the nasties out (something we saw recently on TreeHugger in relation to bisphenol A, […]

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A French Drain May be the Just the Reme′de

Category: Plumbing


Excess water in your Boston yard can be a pain. Having your basement flood every time you get a heavy rain can be even worse. Inadequate yard draining can keep you from your chores, from enjoying your lawn, or it can even wear away your Boston home’s foundation, causing structural damage. These problems may seem ubiquitous and largely unsolvable, but the reality is a simple landscape installation can dry out your lawn and protect your foundation. A French drain is a simple trench drain that siphons water away from the more important and heavily used areas of your yard. It’s a home improvement gem in that it’s a simple, economical installation that can reap huge benefits. Why This is Happening to You What can be particularly frustrating is when your yard is overrun with water while your neighbor’s yard is just fine. There are several contributing factors to inadequate drainage and some of them may apply to your yard but not your neighbor’s. The two biggest factors are your lawn’s soil content and its lack of contour. When water enters your lawn it sinks into the soil and displaces the air, pushing it up. Heavy, compacted clay may contain a significantly less amount of air to displace, causing water to crest above the surface of your lawn much more easily. […]

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If you're looking for a heating contractor or plumber in Boston, call McMahon Plumbing & Heating at 1-800-431-5660 or complete our online request form.