Types Of Pipes

Category: Plumbing


Plumbing is part of many remodeling projects, whether the plan is to install a small clean-up sink in a garage or the project is a bathroom addition or a complete kitchen or bathroom remodel.  Whether you are doing the remodel yourself or you are hiring a contractor, you will need to make some decisions about pipes.  If you have a contractor, s/he will be able to guide you in choosing the most appropriate pipe for your project.   There are many types of pipe, and some are more appropriate for specific jobs than others.  To help you with the decisions, here is an overview of the main types of pipe used in residential remodeling.   Plastic Pipe   PVC (polyvinyl chloride) can be used only for cold water. PVC is most often used to carry water from the main supply to a home. If you decide to use PVC, be sure that the pipe you choose is approved for drinking water.   ABS (acrylonitrite-butadiene-styrene) is use for waste removal, drain and venting, primarily in bathrooms.  It is a rigid plastic pipe that can be connected to several kinds of metal pipe.  If you are considering this kind of pipe, you will need to check with your contractor or your local building codes office because ABS is not permitted in some […]

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The Dangers of Chemical Drain Cleaners

Category: Drain Cleaning


If you’ve ever had a slow drain in one of the sinks in your home, you might think it’s better to use a chemical drain cleaner than to hire a plumber. After all, using a drain cleaner is easier and many times is all you need to take care of minor drain clogs. However, there are many precautions you need to take when using chemical drain cleaners that those TV commercials don’t tell you about – otherwise you could harm not only your skin but your pipes as well! When using chemical drain cleaners, there are certain precautions you should always take to protect yourself and your plumbing system. For instance: Avoid the Seriously Harmful Chemicals Obviously, any time you’re dealing with chemicals you want to be careful to avoid the ones that carry serious risks. Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine which chemicals are seriously harmful as opposed to just mildly harmful. When choosing a chemical drain cleaner, avoid ones that use acid or lye – these chemicals are extremely potent and can severely damage your waste water and septic systems, damage PVC pipes and even seriously burn your skin. If it gets to the point where you absolutely have to use harsh chemicals to clear out your drains, you’re probably better off hiring a plumber. That said, […]

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Choosing A Water Heater: The Basics

Category: Water Heaters


No one ever thinks about a water heater and all it does for their home until the one they have stops working; then they will have to decide how to go about choosing a water heater, and for many this is a scary proposition. When you need a water heater you need to understand the different types, their pluses and minuses, and how all of that information applies to your needs. There are four basic types of water heaters, the storage tank model, the tankless model, the hybrid, and the solar water tank model. Each one of these different water tanks provide hot water to your home, but looking at how they work and cost will be the best way for choosing a water tank. First look at the water tank most people are most familiar with, the storage tank model. This water tank has a large storage tank that fills with cold water. Inside the tank are heating elements that keeps the water at a constant temperature, day and night. While this type of water heater is what most people have seen the most, there are some major drawbacks to buying another of this type of tank. First there is a fixed amount of water that can be heated at a time; therefore you may, depending on your usage, […]

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9 Steps To Avoid Drain Cleaning Disasters

Category: Drain Cleaning


The fall time is coming, and it is one of the busiest times of years for plumbers and drain cleaning professionals. Sewage systems can become overrun with additional house guests, causing inconvenient backups. In preparing and cleaning up evening meals at home, homeowners can also clog up their sinks, disposals and washing machines. Below are 10 steps to help you avoid having a clogged drain… Do not under any circumstance dump grease directly down your drain. Grease solidifies when it cools, and will solidify on the inside of your plumbing. Always collect excess grease in spare containers. Wait for it to solidify and then dispose of it. Never force large amounts of food down the garbage disposal at once. Give the unit plenty of time to grind the food before adding more. Don’t use your garbage disposal as a trash can. Always turn on the water before starting the garbage disposal, and keep it running for a minute after turning off the disposal to move the waste through the pipes. Leftovers can do a number on your sink. Make sure all food scraps are scraped off plates before rinsing. Letting food remnants slide down your drain with cause backups in your kitchen pipes. In sticking with the same theme, also make sure dishes are scraped clean before placed in the […]

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Water Conservation One Drop At A Time

Category: Plumbing


We hear the term “water conservation” all the time, but what does it actually mean and what can we do to help in the effort? Water conservation simply means that you need to use water wisely. Unfortunately, while we hear it all the time and know we should be careful in how we use water, we all start to take it for granted. As times passes by, more and more people are abusing their usage of water. Sure, some may never have actually understood the importance of conservation but most of us do and the fact is water conservation is now being neglected by the majority of people. Everyone has a responsibility to do their part to conserve water. Now, I am not talking about extreme conservation efforts like catching ran water and recycling it for other uses. Though one could if they were so inclined and it would be admirable. No what we are referring to here are little things that everyone can do to conserve water when they can. One example of a small thing you can do to conserve water is replace your older shower head with a modern low flow alternative. There would be no discernible change in the quality of your shower, yet a low flow variety can cut your water usage by as much […]

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Choosing The Best Water Heaters

Category: Water Heaters


Water heaters are extremely important in any home – which is why homeowners should know exactly when to install a new one before the old unit decided to take its last breath. In fact, it might be best to time replacement during home remodeling to ensure that the new unit would be able to fit well with the overall design. However, considering the difference between past and present water heaters, it isn’t surprising if most home owners are unsure about what to purchase. That being said, following are some tips on how to choose the best heaters for home improvement.   What type of heater? There are several types of heaters being sold in the market today. These include tank less types, heat pump heaters or solar heaters. Decide on what type of power the heater would be running on although for better results, it might be best to choose a model capable of running on various power sources. On-demand heaters are also a good choice since they manage to conserve energy for the homeowner. Since there are so many types, it might be best to inquire sellers about the available ones, their features, drawbacks and cost.   How energy efficient is the unit? With the current cost of electricity nowadays, it isn’t surprising that more and more people want […]

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How Green Is Your Water Heater?

Category: Water Heaters


No, we’re not talking about the color of your hot water – although green water could indicate a problem.  We’re talking about how your water is heated and about how much water and energy you could be conserving by switching to a tankless water heater (instant water heater).   Tankless water heaters can save water and energy. They also (because of this savings) can reduce your utility bills.  And, they can cost less to install and operate than a traditional water heater.   Whether you are using an electric or a gas water heater, you are actually heating the amount of water held in your tank again and again to maintain a constant temperature.  Depending upon the amount of hot water you use and when you use it, you could be spending quite a chunk of change to keep water hot for extended periods when you don’t need it.   For example, say you don’t cook (so you only run the dishwasher once a week), you don’t have a washing machine in your home, and you prefer to shower in the morning.  You need hot water in the morning and on the day you run the dishwasher. If you use a traditional hot water heater, with a capacity of 50 gallons, you will be heating 50 gallons of water to […]

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Emergency Plumbing – Managing Water Leak and Broken Pipe



The first step to becoming a successful homeowner or renter is knowing basic emergency plumbing tips. It is no longer news that the joy of owning a home vanishes when emergencies strike. The frustration of an emergency plumbing problem is even more intense if house occupants are totally ignorant of how their plumbing system works or where the control valves are located. I agree that not everyone is gifted with plumbing skills and we all cannot be plumbers. However, it does not hurt to know the basics of your home plumbing system, just in case your water line chooses to burst and flood your house when you cannot get a hold of a plumber immediately. A broken water pipe is not the only emergency plumbing problem to watch out for. Clogged drains, frozen pipes and sewer backup are some of the other common emergency plumbing issues. A clogged drain slows or stops water from flowing in the drainage system and in a worst case scenario, the whole plumbing system blocks to a halt and occupants cannot use water anywhere in the house without having an overflow situation. The key to averting the ugly situation described above is knowing the basics about your plumbing systems and ultimately having an idea of what to do in plumbing emergencies. Managing Emergency Plumbing Water […]

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How West Roxbury Water Softener Units Work

Category: Water Softeners


You may have wondered how water softener units work. Mineral laden hard water goes in, but soft, clean feeling water with no aftertaste comes out. Water softeners help us avoid spotted dishes and appliances, clogged water heaters, scale on pipes, sinks, and other metal, as well as improving the cleaning power of our West Roxbury water. It’s no wonder that so many people are curious about how a water softener unit works. These devices make sure that the huge amount of water we go through every day a lot easier to deal with. Most water softeners use a process called ion exchange to remove minerals dissolved in hard water, producing cleaner water without any aftertaste. Some of the West Roxbury minerals that can be a problem in water are calcium, iron, sulfur, and magnesium. Your water softener contains many small plastic beads, or a matrix referred to as zeolite. These are covered in ions of sodium. When the water flows through the beads or zeolite, the unwanted minerals swap places with the sodium. This leaves more sodium in the water, but removes other minerals. Eventually, the zeolite or beads have no more sodium ions, and must be regenerated. Regeneration is an important part of how water softeners work. This involves soaking the beads of zeolite in a sodium ion containing […]

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New Home Plumbing Inspections in Boston

Category: Plumbing


There is probably no item in your home that can cause more hidden damage than your pipes. Often, plumbing damage can go unchecked for years. Which is why, if you are purchasing a new home or condo, your home inspection should include a thorough plumbing inspection as part of the routine. The last thing you need is to buy a home that has plumbing issues. The costs can quickly jump into the thousands. And, it’s not just the financial costs. Bad plumbing can be down right dangerous. Here are 5 areas you need to check on your next property inspection. Whether you are purchasing a new home, or just making sure your existing one is up to par. If you are ever unsure, you should call a property inspection professional. But, it is actually quite straight forward. You just have to remember to check toilets, sinks, bathtubs/showers, water heaters and a few other miscellaneous plumbing areas. First, check the toilets. You want to verify that all of the lines running into the toilet are in good shape. And make sure that there is a functioning shutoff valve at the wall. Look for leaks and other signs of damage. And then perform a flush test to make sure everything is functioning as expected. Next, crawl under the cabinets and take a […]

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