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Plumbing Tips & Tricks Blog

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Welcome to the Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Tips & Tricks Blog! See what’s new or pore through our archives to pick up tips for water conservation, learn about simple repairs you can do on your own, understand what to expect from plumbing professionals, and a whole lot more. You can also find out about the latest fixtures, designs and appliances for your kitchen and bath, so bookmark this page and come back if you’re ever considering upgrades or remodeling.


We’ll also bring you articles about the plumbing outside your home, like sprinkler and irrigation systems, swimming pools, fountains and outdoor drains. And if you need water treatment, such as water softening or on-site recycling of greywater, you can start here to learn about your options and how they function.


But perhaps the biggest benefit of reading the Tips & Tricks Blog is that you’ll gain a better understanding of -- and appreciation for -- the plumbing systems in your own home. With your newfound knowledge, you’ll be able to look after your pipes, drains and fixtures with the confidence that you’ll recognize potential problems at the earliest opportunity.


Check back often to keep up to date with the latest water-saving strategies and DIY techniques!

Toilet side view

Common Causes of Toilet Clogs

  • 09/20/17

Inadvertently clogging the toilet -- or discovering too late that it’s already clogged -- is one of the more embarrassing plumbing mishaps. And it can also be a tricky one to address because there are so many potential causes.

The good news is that most toilet clogs can be avoided altogether
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ecosetting

Know What Is Dishwasher-Safe

  • 09/13/17

The dishwasher has become an indispensable appliance for many North American households, helping us to save both time and water. Modern dishwashers also tend to be fairly hardy and powerful appliances, but that’s a double-edged sword -- they may tackle tougher food stains, but they can wreak havoc on delicate
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flood

Repairing Your Plumbing After a Flood

  • 09/06/17

The immediate danger of Hurricane Harvey has passed, but we are still in the midst of hurricane season. Floridians are preparing for Irma to make landfall, and there are likely more storms on the way. Recovery after a hurricane is a long and arduous process. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is committed
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waterdamage

Before Vacation, a Few Plumbing Priorities

  • 07/26/17

Are you getting jet-set for a summer getaway? Put your plumbing on your pre-vacation to-do list.

In just a couple of minutes and with a few turns of the wrist, you can save money during your trip and make sure catastrophic water damage doesn’t occur in your absence. Read on to
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questions

What’s the Difference Between ABS and PVC Pipe?

  • 07/12/17

There are lots of reasons why homeowners and plumbers alike use plastic pipes in their plumbing projects. Plastic pipes are inexpensive, lightweight and will never corrode. They’re great at keeping hot water hot, and they don’t collect condensation from cold water like many metal pipes do. But not all plastic
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limescale

Removing and Preventing Limescale

  • 06/07/17

Do your plumbing fixtures seem like they need cleaning all too often? If the source of all that extra work is a white or green chalky coating on your faucets and showerheads, you may have a problem with limescale -- mineral-rich deposits that look unsightly and wreak havoc on your
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mainline

When Main Water Lines Go Bad

  • 05/31/17

Nothing lasts forever. On a long enough timeline, every plumbing pipe and fixture in your home will need to be replaced -- including your plumbing system’s primary artery, the main water line leading to your home.

Buried underground, this is the line that connects your household plumbing to the municipal water
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pipeinsulation

Should You Insulate Your Water Pipes?

  • 03/29/17

For most homeowners, whether to insulate a home’s hot water pipes is a fairly easy decision. When you can purchase effective insulating pipe sleeves for a few feet per dollar, it’s hard to resist the simple energy savings that will pay off for years. But not all homeowners know about
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Is Your Lawn Ready to Go Green?

  • 03/15/17

It’s just a couple more days until it’s time to get decked out in all-green for St. Paddy’s Day, but your lawn’s big green day is also right around the corner. If you’re in one of the regions that has experienced an unusually mild winter, it could be today!

Cultivating a
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The Time to Find Your Shut-Off Valves is Now

  • 03/08/17

If your household plumbing suddenly springs a major leak, do you know what you would do? Calling your local plumber is a smart move, but it shouldn’t be your first instinct when your home is flooding by the second. This is a time to shut off your home’s main water
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pipecamera

Plumbing Cameras Offer a View From the Inside

  • 02/01/17

Not long ago, there was a lot of guesswork involved in household plumbing repairs. That's because it was impossible to definitively know what was going on inside a pipe without exposing and removing it, which had to be weighed against the cost and hassle of doing so. Rather than spend
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hardwater

How to Tell if You Have Hard Water

  • 12/14/16

Some lucky homeowners have never experienced hard water in their homes. It’s largely a regional problem, with the hardest-hit areas in the Upper Midwest. But for those who live in a hard water zone, it can be one of the
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Frozen pipe bursting

Plan Ahead to Avoid Frozen Pipes

  • 11/30/16

Freezing temperatures are on their way. This may have you thinking about your furnace, but you should also be mindful of your household plumbing.

When the temperature drops below freezing, there’s always the potential that the water in some pipes may freeze. In the best-case scenario, the ice temporarily stops the
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disposal

A Thanksgiving Tradition You Want to Avoid

  • 11/16/16

The night before Thanksgiving, plumbers all across America make a point of getting a good night’s sleep. That’s because history has taught them that Thanksgiving day and the day after are typically the busiest days of their entire year, and they tend to spend most of their time on a
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Think Twice Before Using Liquid Drain Cleaners

  • 11/02/16

When you discover a drain that is slow or clogged, calling a plumber might not be your first reaction. After all, using a bottle of commercial liquid drain cleaner is cheaper and requires minimal effort, so why call for professional
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pressure

Water Pressure Problems Are Worth Fixing

  • 10/26/16

When it comes to household water pressure, there’s a pretty generous range for what’s considered not too low, not too high, but “just right”. But there are still all sorts of circumstances that can push your pressure out of that
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Floor drain

Are Stinky Sewer Smells Wafting Out of Your Drains?

  • 09/28/16

The miracle of indoor plumbing allows us to effortlessly wash and flush waste away from our homes -- but that pipeline isn’t always a one-way street. When various problems arise, noxious sewer odors can come marching right back up the
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pool

Prepare Your Pool for Winter Break

  • 09/21/16

It’s time for pool owners to start thinking about winterizing. Unless you live in one of North America’s warmest climates, you’ll likely be taking your last dip in the outdoor pool soon, if you haven’t already.


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drainplug

Clearing a Drain Can Be a DIY Triumph

  • 09/14/16

Every home needs the attention of a professional plumber from time to time, because there are some jobs that are just too big, complex and potentially dangerous for amateurs to attempt. But one of the most common problems, a clogged
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Irrigation System Maintenance is a Year-Round Task

  • 08/24/16

Depending on the size of your lawn and garden, it can be a huge task to keep up with the watering with just a watering can and hose. That’s why many homeowners turn to irrigation systems, ranging from simple sprinklers
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sumppump

Keep Your Sump Pump Clean, It’ll Keep You Dry

  • 08/17/16

Multiple regions have experienced record rainfall this summer, and those storms likely left more than a few flooded basements in their wake. Unfortunately, this disaster occasionally strikes homeowners who thought they were protected by a functioning sump pump, only to
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leak

Leak Detection Can Mean Lots of Work

  • 07/27/16

You have plumbing pipes running all throughout your home -- in your walls, under your floors and even deep under your lawn. A leak can happen just about anywhere, and depending on the location and water flow, it could be
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Money going down the drain

Taking the Waste Out of Wastewater

  • 07/20/16

You probably already know that your hot water heater is one of the biggest energy users in the average home. But after using all that energy to make the water hot, we only use the water for a few moments
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drip

Hard Water is More Than Just an Annoyance

  • 07/13/16

Throughout North America, hard water is a regional phenomenon. If you’ve spent most of your life in an area without much in the way of mineral sediment, you may not know much about hard water problems at all. But if
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plunger

Seal the Deal With Proper Plunger Technique

  • 06/22/16

Indoor plumbing has become an indispensable creature comfort, and when it’s suddenly taken away due to a drain clog, it can feel like an instant emergency. Some clogs do require professional assistance to clear, but others are minor enough that
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disposal

Keep Your Garbage Disposal Fresh, Clean and Functioning

  • 06/15/16

Not every homeowner has a garbage disposal under the kitchen sink, but those who do usually love the convenience of being able to flush food scraps directly down the drain. One of the biggest benefits is that a disposal can keep rotten food odors out of the garbage can, but
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waterdamage

Be on the Lookout for Mold and Mildew

  • 06/08/16

Even the most fastidious housekeepers may find themselves battling against mold and mildew. Basements, bathrooms and other damp areas are ideal breeding grounds for these fungal nuisances, though they’re mild (if persistent) problems in most well maintained homes. But if
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vacation

Plumbing Planning for Summer Vacation

  • 05/25/16

If you’re planning a big summer vacation (or even just a weekend getaway) you probably have a list of tasks to get your home ready for your absence. But it’s not enough to just stop the mail and reprogram the
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cockroach

Plumbing Leaks Attract Household Pests

  • 05/18/16

Nobody likes a plumbing leak -- it wastes water, drives up your monthly bill, makes a mess and is an all-around hassle. But there’s one more awful consequence that might not immediately spring to mind: household pests.


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broke

Make Sure You Have Cash to Cover Plumbing Emergencies

  • 05/04/16

You never know when you will need an emergency plumbing repair. Even homeowners who pay attention to preventative maintenance can find themselves facing an unexpected problem in their pipes, and the issue usually needs to be addressed right away, particularly if it involves flooding. Unfortunately, many consumers don't have the
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septic

Remember to Inspect the Septic System When Buying a Home

  • 04/27/16

When you are thinking about buying a house, there are countless factors to keep in mind. You want a home that’s big enough, in a decent neighborhood and that meets your budget. It’s also important to have the home inspected before you sign on the dotted line, to
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earth

Get Serious About Water Conservation on Earth Day

  • 04/20/16

Celebrate Earth Day this year by establishing some new water conservation habits and making some small changes to your home plumbing. Water is a precious resource, and it takes energy to sanitize it and deliver it to your home -- so anything you can do to minimize the amount of
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expensive

Plumbing Leaks Could Cost You $100 Per Year

  • 04/13/16

Drip, drip, drip. If you have plumbing leaks in your home, now is the time to address them. Even small leaks can add up over time, with some families spending as much as $100 per year on water that gets wasted right down the drain – or worse, leaks out
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washerhose

How to Safely Hook Up Your Washing Machine

  • 04/06/16

A new washing machine can be an expensive but worthwhile investment. When you purchase a brand-new model, you can take advantage of better performance and more efficient operation. Of course, before you can enjoy your new clothes-washing technology, you need to hook up the machine to a water source. Fortunately,
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drip

Putting Off Plumbing Repairs Costs More in the Long Run

  • 03/23/16

There are countless reasons to put off performing a plumbing repair. Perhaps you’re short on cash, or you don’t have time to do it yourself or accommodate a plumber. With so many demands on our time, it’s easy to forget about fixing a leaky faucet or
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leak

Celebrate Fix a Leak Week with Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

  • 03/16/16

Have you been putting off fixing plumbing leaks in your home? Consider this your call to action. The Environmental Protection Agency's Water Sense program is celebrating Fix a Leak Week from March 14 to 20 this year, encouraging households across the nation to hunt down and repair plumbing
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camera

Why You Should Take a Photo of Your Plumbing Installations

  • 02/17/16

Plumbing can be tricky work before you even break out the basin wrenches and soldering torch. The first thing you need to know when undergoing any major plumbing installation or repair is the location and layout of the pipes behind the walls. And unless you have x-ray vision, figuring out
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soldering

Learn the Difference Between Soldering and Brazing

  • 02/10/16

Soldering is an essential part of many do-it-yourself plumbing repairs. When you are replacing part of a pipe, or installing a new fixture, you often have to solder the two metal parts together to ensure a perfect fit with no leaks. While soldering is often used as a catch-all name
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sumppump

When Is it Time to Replace a Sump Pump?

  • 02/02/16

A sump pump is an essential household plumbing component for many families, although it is separate from the main plumbing system. Instead of bringing in water for drinking and washing, the sump pump prevents flooding by removing storm water from under a home. Since the pump lives in the basement,
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torch

Learn the Difference Between Soldering Copper and Brass Pipes

  • 01/26/16

Soldering is a handy tool when it comes to bathroom plumbing repair. Once you get the hang of how to solder your pipes, you can add fixtures and repair plumbing leaks on your own without having to call in a plumber. Anyone with a
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What to Do About a Noisy Faucet

  • 01/12/16

A noisy faucet can drive a family nuts. When you have to brace yourself for an annoying sound every time you wash your hands, it's time to get to work to remedy the problem. Fortunately, noisy faucets
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winter

Be Prepared for Harsh Winter Weather

  • 01/05/16

Many regions throughout North America have enjoyed a warmer than average winter so far, but there’s no telling if the recent trend will hold. Until spring begins in earnest, it’s important to be prepared for the worst winter weather Mother
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pipeinsulation

How to Insulate Your Pipes for Winter

  • 12/22/15

Winter is the season for scenic snowfalls, warm fires, family gatherings, and -- unfortunately -- frozen pipes. Plumbers and insurance adjusters are getting ready for a busy season helping families in need after the water inside their plumbing system freezes,
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gasket

How to Prevent Cracked Plumbing Seals

  • 12/17/15

Your household plumbing system is more than a collection of pipes. You also have your hoses and fixtures, and notably, the rubber gaskets that connect them to the pipes. Gaskets are essential for creating airtight seals in your fixtures and
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disposal

Avoiding Garbage Disposal Clogs During Holiday Party Season

  • 12/15/15

The Thanksgiving leftovers may be long gone, but for many American families, the memories of garbage disposal failure are still fresh. The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year for plumbers, who are often
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plasticpipes

Are Plastic Pipes Right for Your Home?

  • 12/10/15

If you are refurbishing your plumbing system and your plumber suggests plastic pipes, you might be taken aback. Same goes when buying a home and finding that the household plumbing is composed of plastic. You might assume plastic is a cheaper and less reliable material than metal, but that’s not
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Frozen pipe bursting

Your Insurance May Not Cover Pipes Broken Due to Negligence

  • 12/08/15

Homeowners insurance can be a lifesaver. If you have a major disaster, like a fire or a flood, you could be out tens of thousands of dollars for repairs or renovations. Fortunately, in most circumstances, your insurance should be there to pick up most or all of the cost. However,
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toilet

How to Install a New Toilet

  • 11/19/15

New toilet day is an exciting time for any household. Many families might replace a toilet only once, or never, during their residence in a particular home.  When you do make a new addition to the bathroom toilet plumbing, it's important to do it right. Read on for tips on
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oldhouse

Plumbing Damage is a Major Concern in Historic Homes

  • 11/10/15

Purchasing a historic home can be a rewarding process. You and your family have the privilege of living in style and elegance, enjoying features and architecture that are unavailable in modern construction. Buying an older home can also be an expensive minefield, however, especially when it comes to water damage
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septic

How to Improve the Residential Septic Tank

  • 10/29/15

Indoor plumbing is a marvel of modern technology. Most Americans take it for granted, but it wasn't so long ago that waste disposal was a major public health hazard. Today, modern sewage removal and treatment has made an enormous impact on human quality of life. However, there are
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soldering

Basic Copper Pipe Soldering Tips

  • 10/27/15

When most people get a leaky or broken copper pipe in their house, they call a plumber without a second thought. After all, using a soldering gun to patch the water supply line back together is a lot trickier than simple plumbing repair jobs like replacing a faucet.
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How to Retrieve Items that Wash Down the Drain

  • 10/15/15

Valuable items can vanish down the drain in the blink of an eye. That beautiful engagement ring you took off to do the dishes? An earring that slipped down the bathroom sink? You might think that they are lost forever, but with a little luck, you can retrieve them with
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hottub

What You Need to Know About Installing a Backyard Hot Tub

  • 10/13/15

Ever dream of having your very own backyard hot tub? Imagine relaxing in the warm water on a cold winter night, with bubble jets percolating all around. Of course, hot tubs aren't for everybody – they come with drawbacks as well, particularly in the form of increased plumbing costs. Read
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pressure

How to Test Your Home Water Pressure

  • 10/08/15

Homeowners must walk a fine line when it comes to water pressure. You need sufficient pounds per square inch (psi) of water coming out of your faucets to take comfortable showers and fill your cooking pots in a reasonable amount of time. On the other hand, if the pressure in
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drip

Water Sensors Can Help Detect Plumbing Leaks

  • 10/06/15

Hidden plumbing leaks are a pernicious household problem. They can run up your water bill, and if you don't find them quickly, the water can cause mold and mildew to grow in your walls, requiring extensive remediation work. Finding hidden plumbing leaks can be a big challenge because
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tapwater

Are there Chemicals in Your Tap Water?

  • 10/01/15

In general, your tap water is safe to drink. It's tested at municipal water treatment plants and must meet strict federal standards. Unfortunately, sometimes the water can still become contaminated by the time it reaches your household plumbing. That's the conclusion of a report by the National Resources
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pushfit

Use Push-Fit Fittings to Repair Pipes Without Soldering

  • 09/29/15

One of the trickiest parts about DIY plumbing repairs is when you have to break out the soldering torch. You need to be extra careful to not create a fire hazard, and the repair itself can be difficult and take several tries before you get it just right.
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pipecamera

Diagnose Sewer Line Problems with a Camera Inspection

  • 09/22/15

One of the absolute worst places to need plumbing repairs is in the sewer line. That's the main outtake pipe that removes all the used greywater and waste from your home and into the municipal sewage system. When that waste water starts backing up into your house, not only is
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confused2

Avoid Common Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Plumbing

  • 09/15/15

It's not so hard to pick up do-it-yourself plumbing skills with a bit of practice. If you are careful and dedicated, you can save yourself big money on repair bills by taking care of small problems on your own. But be forewarned – just owning a pair of channel-lock pliers
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soldering

Don't Let Your Plumbing Turn into a Fire Hazard

  • 09/10/15

When you think about household fire risks, your plumbing system is probably not the first thing to come to mind. However, while your pipes themselves don't pose a fire hazard, fires can and do get started when plumbers make mistakes, or when certain other things go wrong. Read on to
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bacteria2

Could Your Household Plumbing Harbor Legionnaire's Disease?

  • 09/08/15

Legionnaire's disease is making headlines in a big way. A recent outbreak that struck New York City left 12 people dead and more than 120 ill in the worst case of the disease the city has ever seen. In fact, although outbreaks are rare, Legionnaire's does infect thousands of people
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rustypipes

Avoid Health Hazards from Decaying Municipal Water Pipes

  • 09/03/15

Water is among the most essential substances for sustaining human life. Crucial to the advance of urban civilization has been the ability to bring abundant clean water to population centers while safely removing sewage and wastewater. In fact, many municipalities have been pumping drinking water to  residents' household
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dirtywater

How to Get Impurities Out of Your Tap Water

  • 09/01/15

There's nothing worse than filling up what should be a refreshing glass of water from the tap, only to spot debris or black specks floating in the liquid. It’s not only unpleasant, it can be unhealthy – so it’s important to investigate and correct the problem. Fortunately, there are ways
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pressure

What is Causing Your Low Water Pressure?

  • 08/27/15

When your shower slows to a trickle, or it seems like it takes forever for the washing machine to fill up, low water pressure might be the culprit. A strange whistling coming from the pipes could be another sign that your pressure isn't up to snuff. However you
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basementbath

How to Add a Bathroom to Your Basement

  • 08/13/15

Anyone who comes from a large family can tell you horror stories about waiting in line for the bathroom. Everybody loves to take their time showering, brushing their teeth, applying makeup and answering nature's call, but if you only have one or two bathrooms in your home, you are liable
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waterdamage

Water Damage from Plumbing Leaks is Common Homeowners Insurance Claim

  • 08/06/15

Plumbing leaks are one of the most subtly dangerous disasters that can befall a household. A small leak hidden somewhere in the walls can slowly undermine your home over years and promote mold and mildew growth. A large, abrupt leak, on the other hand, can flood the home, destroy furniture
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badplumber

You Can Be Liable for Unlicensed Plumber Services

  • 07/30/15

Remodeling your bathroom can be a blast. You get to pick from the latest in modern bathroom installations and design your space to align perfectly with your tastes and needs. When planning your dream bathroom, however, or preparing for any other major plumbing renovation or installation, don't neglect
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flood

How to Plan for a Flood

  • 07/21/15

Whether it's caused by hurricane storm surge or torrential rains, flash flooding can become a destructive force in an instant. If you live in an area with the potential for flooding, it’s important to plan ahead and know what to do in the event of such conditions. Use these tips
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confused

When Do You Need to Hire a Plumber?

  • 07/16/15

There's a fine balance when it comes to plumbing repairs. On the one hand, if you do it yourself, you can save a lot of money, learn something about your home systems and feel the satisfaction of a job well done. On the flip side, if you mess up a
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leak

How to Find Hidden Plumbing Leaks

  • 07/14/15

Plumbing leaks are annoying under any circumstances, and they're at their worst when you don't even know they exist. Somewhere in your home, water could be dripping from your pipes, running up your water bill and propagating the growth of mold, mildew and rot in your woodwork. If you fail
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pool

How to Conserve Water in Your Backyard Pool

  • 07/09/15

Sometimes, conservation conflicts with comfort. Everybody loves saving water, and reducing consumption is more important than ever with some parts of the country in the throes of an epic multi-year drought. On the other hand, there's nothing like relaxing in a backyard swimming pool to take some of the bite
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waterrecylcing

Reuse Greywater From Household Plumbing During a Drought

  • 07/07/15

Droughts are plaguing the United States. Water is becoming scarce, and is poised to get more expensive as well. One way to handle present or future water shortages is to reuse gray water from your household plumbing, which reduces your overall consumption. This technique is useful even for people outside
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toiletflush

Flushing Trash Can Ruin Your Bathroom Toilet Plumbing

  • 06/30/15

Indoor plumbing is one of the most crucial public heath advances of modern times. The toilet, in particular, offers a seemingly miraculous waste disposal system – just pull the lever, and whatever is in the bowl is whisked away and out of your life forever. Unfortunately, that's only
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hardwater

Water Softener Can Prevent Household Plumbing Damage

  • 06/25/15

Hard water in your household plumbing is no picnic. The mineral-laden liquid can gum up your appliances and shorten their lifespans, while degrading the functionality of your pipes as well. In certain circumstances, hard water can even contribute to a health hazard. Fortunately, you can confront the challenges that hard
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tapwater

Tap Water From Your Plumbing Installations is Clean, Cheap and Safe

  • 06/23/15

The bottled water industry is ubiquitous, spouting healthy-sounding slogans promising clean water fresh from mountain streams. Implicit in that message is the idea that your tap water is somehow unclean or unhealthy. Don't be fooled by the hype – the municipal water that comes from most people's plumbing installations is
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watersavings

Can You Achieve Net Zero Water Use With Your Household Plumbing?

  • 06/18/15

Nobody likes paying water bills. There are a number of measures you can take to increase savings through water conservation, but the real prize would be to do away with the bills entirely. That doesn't mean you have to give up your indoor toilet or other household plumbing
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Copper and PVC pipes

These Household Plumbing Features Can Drive Up Your Insurance Bills

  • 06/11/15

Owning a home is an expensive proposition. Mortgage payments, utilities, repairs and maintenance can all stretch the family budget to the limit – and then there’s homeowners insurance. Insurance is necessary to limit your exposure and protect your assets in the event of a disaster, but it can cost a
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confused

Avoid These Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes

  • 05/21/15

There's nothing like a little do-it-yourself knowledge when it comes to your home's plumbing system. You can save money and feel good about completing a project using your own skills and ingenuity. Unfortunately, things don't always go as easily as planned – and when plumbing work goes wrong,
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sink-trap

How to Clean Out Your Sink Trap

  • 05/12/15

Are you struggling with a clogged sink? If you're lucky, you can resolve the problem by using a plunger or  using a plumbing snake to clear the drain, but a tougher clog might require you to remove the trap in the pipes. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple
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plumbing-pipes

What Do Those Funny Plumbing Noises Mean?

  • 05/08/15

When your plumbing system is working properly, you don't have to think about it. Water comes in, water and waste get removed – that's the end of the story. Unfortunately, things don't always go so smoothly. Sometimes, the plumbing can break down – noisily. Here's a primer on the possible
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floor-drain

Diagnose and Fix Problems in Your Floor Drain

  • 04/30/15

Floor drains can be a lifesaver. If you break a pipe, or your house floods from an outside source, a drain in the basement floor gives the water a way out without lingering and damaging the woodwork or provoking mold growth. They also relieve pressure on your pipes by allowing
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Hug a Plumber Day

Celebrate National Hug a Plumber Day

  • 04/24/15

Have you hugged your plumber lately? If not, now’s your chance. Saturday, April 25 is National Hug a Plumber Day, a time to take a moment to appreciate those brave men and women who unclog our drains and keep our toilets flowing. Even if you don't want to
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Hand water pump and wooden tub

A brief history of plumbing

  • 03/17/15

Did you take the time to appreciate your toilet today? Some Americans might take their bathrooms for granted, but we've only enjoyed the benefits of indoor plumbing for a relatively short period of human history. Next time you're fighting a clog or cursing at a frozen pipe, take a moment
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diagram of septic system

How to care for your septic tank

  • 03/05/15

If your home isn't connected  to a sewer system, you still need a way to safely  remove waste water. About a quarter of homes in America use a septic system, according to the EPA, and many homeowners find that it is a satisfactory solution. However, you need to
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Copper and PVC pipes

Do you know what your pipes are made of?

  • 02/23/15

Do you know what materials your plumbing pipes are made from? If you don't, you’re at a disadvantage. The composition of your pipes affects your whole plumbing system and could be the difference between getting decades of use versus having to make replacements sooner than you anticipated. Whether your plumbing
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Frozen pipe

Prevent winter water leaks

  • 02/19/15

Winter isn’t over yet, with parts of the country experiencing record cold this February. Besides keeping your family warm and protected, you should be vigilant in below-zero temperatures to avoid water leaks, both inside and outside your home.

A Freeze in the Night

There's nothing worse than frozen pipes. If
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Woman plunging sink drain

DIY tips for clearing a clogged drain

  • 01/29/15

It’s an ominous sign most of us know all too well: You’re standing in the shower and you notice that instead of draining, the water is rising around your feet. Or maybe the kitchen sink takes forever to drain after you do the dishes. Clogged drains are a plague for
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Woman Cleaning Shower Floor

Biofilm in your plumbing can be hazardous to your health

  • 01/26/15

Has it been awhile since you’ve cleaned your sinks and showers? You could be putting yourself at risk of biofilm. Biofilm is the sticky goo that turns up on your plumbing fixtures and other moist places in your home. The slimy ring around the end of your faucet? Biofilm. The
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Bulging pipe

Avoid damage from high water pressure

  • 01/12/15

If your sinks and shower have irregular water pressure, or the pressure seems very strong at all times, it may mean that the water pressure coming into your house is too high. While this might make for a great shower, it isn't as good for your water bill. What's more,
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Money going down the drain

Avoid potential plumbing pitfalls when buying a new home

  • 01/08/15

You think you've found your dream house: A big yard, ample bathrooms, great price for the neighborhood. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, make sure you check out the plumbing. There could be problems lurking within the pipes and walls of your new home that could eventually cost
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Hot and cold faucets

Debunking common plumbing myths

  • 01/05/15

So, you've purchased your own home and want to educate yourself on prudent and effective home maintenance. You've learned the basics about your plumbing system and have even brandished an adjustable wrench a time or two. Kudos on taking responsible steps to safeguard your home investment. However, make sure you
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Green, energy-efficient home

Energy-efficient homes sell for more money

  • 12/22/14

Homes that come with money-saving efficiency features have a big advantage in the housing market. According to several studies, green houses sell faster and for more money than similar houses that lack upgrades to keep the utility bills down. If you are thinking about selling, it may be worth it
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Frozen pipe bursting

Dealing with frozen pipes

  • 12/18/14

An ominous scenario on a cold winter's night: You go for a glass of water and nothing comes out of the faucet, or maybe just a trickle. The likely culprit? A frozen pipe. 

The situation could be dire and you need to take action immediately. Since water expands when it freezes,
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Water recycling

The scoop on home water recycling

  • 12/15/14

Say you're an environmentally-conscious homeowner. You've got solar panels on your roof, and you've followed all the tips for an energy-efficient house. You feel great about helping the environment, and the big savings on your utility bills don't hurt, either. So what's the next step?

If you want to
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Municipal code

Does your plumbing meet building code standards?

  • 12/11/14

Just because you own your house doesn't mean you can do anything you want to it. Local building codes detail what you can and can't do to modify your home, and what requirements you have to meet when it comes to plumbing, electric wiring, structural integrity and other features. The
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Leaking sink

Preventing a plumbing emergency

  • 11/13/14

Homeowners can save money with a little do-it-yourself spirit when it comes to minor plumbing projects. However, tread carefully, because with a single misstep you could make things worse than before or even flood your house. Plumbing disasters can be a huge hassle and end up costing much more than
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A sump pump protects your home from floods

Sump pumps prevent basement flooding

  • 10/30/14

According to the National Flood Insurance program, flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. It doesn’t take much water to do serious damage to your property and belongings. The average flood claim from
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A dripping faucet may be a sign to call a plumber

5 Signs you need to call a plumber

  • 10/27/14
There are plumbing problems you can handle on your own, but others are too big to tackle. Do you know when you need to call in professional help? The five scenarios below may surprise you.
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There are several ways to detect a leak

6 Ways to find hidden water leaks

  • 10/20/14

Early detection of a water leak can save you money and avert potential disaster. Here are some signs that you may have a leak and should consider contacting a plumber. 


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Tree roots can clog and damage pipes

Small roots, big problems: Preventing Pipe Damage

  • 10/20/14

Believe it or not, your landscaping could be a danger to your plumbing system. Tree roots will travel long distances to find water, especially when drought conditions persist. When trees and shrubs get thirsty, they follow the trail of moisture vapors
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