Call 24/7 for emergency service 800.471.0809

Plumbing Tips & Tricks Blog

RSS

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!

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

mosquito

Combat Mosquitoes by Controlling Water Around Your Home

  • 07/05/17

Whether you’re worried about serious mosquito-borne diseases like the Zika virus or you just want to avoid those itchy, swollen bumps left behind by a bite, controlling mosquitoes around your home is mostly a matter of controlling water. Standing water is essential at every stage of the mosquito’s life cycle,
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

waterheater

Is Your Water Heater Telling You It’s Time for Replacement?

  • 05/03/17

For most of us, on-demand access to hot water isn’t optional -- we count on our water heaters to get us through every shower and sinkful of dishes. But even top-of-the-line water heaters aren’t built to last forever, so unless we want to see our hot water access disrupted, we
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

icyroof

Avoid Ice Buildup in Your Gutters

  • 02/22/17

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this month, and homeowners throughout North America are dutifully serving their six-week sentences as winter soldiers on. While the celebrated groundhog has no actual authority over the temperature, it’s true that many regions haven’t seen the last of below-freezing temperatures -- which means the risk
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

disposal

How to Find the Source of a Garbage Disposal Leak

  • 01/25/17

Even if you take great care of your garbage disposal, leaks can develop over time. You could find yourself reaching into the under-sink cabinet for dishwashing detergent only to discover an expanding pool of water! To complicate matters, it may not be immediately clear where the leak is coming from.

If
CONTINUE READING >

ecosetting

Simple Care for Your Dishwasher

  • 01/04/17

There are few things more satisfying than saving time and money simultaneously, and your dishwasher is one appliance that makes this possible. Not only do you get your dishes clean in a fraction of the time, dishwashers generally use less
CONTINUE READING >

toilettank

A Simple Test for a Leaky Toilet Tank

  • 12/21/16

A running toilet may not seem like a big deal at first, but just wait until the water bill arrives. If you allow this problem to continue untreated, it can cost you big in the end.


CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

waterheaterrepair

Maintain Your Water Heater to Extend Its Life

  • 11/09/16

Unless you like taking cold showers, it’s important to inspect and maintain your water heater on a regular basis. A thorough check-up every six months can minimize the chance of a sudden breakdown that could leave you with nothing but
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

icyroof

Clogged Gutters Can Lead to Leaks and Floods

  • 10/19/16

If you haven’t pulled out the rake yet this season, chances are it won’t be long. The leaves are already falling and leaving a crisp, colorful mess for you to clean up. But the job isn’t done once you’ve tied
CONTINUE READING >

removetoilet

Is It Time to Replace Your Toilet?

  • 10/12/16

You use it every day, but there’s a good chance you’ve never considered replacing it. It’s your toilet, perhaps the most indispensable element of your household plumbing. And toilets are built to last, so if replacing one has never crossed
CONTINUE READING >

8 tips for using less water in the bathroom

Save Water All Over the Home

  • 09/07/16

Anywhere you regularly use water, there’s a good chance there’s something you can do to reduce your use. And there are three areas of the home you can make changes with the most impact: the bathroom, the kitchen and the
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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.


CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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,
CONTINUE READING >

waterheaterrepair

Signs that Your Water Heater is on the Fritz

  • 03/30/16

Your water heater is one of the most important parts of your household plumbing installation. Without it, your washing machine and dishwasher would be virtually useless – and imagine having to take an ice-cold shower every day. That means that a breakdown in your water heater is mission
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

stoppers

Install a Drain Plug in Your Bathtub

  • 03/02/16

The bathtub drain stopper plays an unheralded but important role in the hygiene routines of many Americans. If you exclusively take showers to get clean, you probably don't think twice about the drain plug, and might not even own one. For a relaxing bath, however, the drain plug is even
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

faucet

Faucets Are the Next Wave in Smart Technology

  • 01/14/16

Smart technology is taking over the North American home, appliance by appliance. First we had smart thermostats and smart lighting. Then came appliances like refrigerators and CONTINUE READING >

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,
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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,
CONTINUE READING >

frozenfaucet

How to Prepare Your Irrigation System for Winter

  • 11/17/15

Temperatures are dropping and winter is on its way. For most households in the United States, that means it's time to close up the garden for the season until the spring provides a more cooperative growing environment. One of the most important tasks when it comes to prepping your yard
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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.
CONTINUE READING >

ventboot

How to Fix Split Boots on Your Plumbing Vent

  • 10/22/15

Roof vents are essential to any household plumbing system. They allow sewer gases to safely escape to the outdoors without polluting your home and making you sick, and they also create neutral air pressure in your pipes so gravity can do its job and remove waste water from the home.
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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.
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

showerdoor

Tips for Basic Shower Door Repair

  • 09/17/15

“Leak” is a four-letter-word when it comes to your household plumbing. A leak in the shower door is no exception – water can drip out and slowly undermine the integrity your bathroom floor, not to mention promote mold and mildew growth. The good news is that most shower door repairs
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

whitebathtub

Learn the Basics to Repairing Your Bathtub

  • 08/18/15

When you need to sit back and wash away your stress, nothing beats a warm bath. But your relaxation can be ruined in a hurry if your bathtub gets damaged, chipped or cracked. Fortunately, many small imperfections in your tub can be fixed without throwing it out with the bathwater.
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

toilettank

How to Stop Your Toilet from Running

  • 07/23/15

Is your toilet running? You might not have to run and catch it, as the old joke goes, but you should act quickly to stop the leak and prevent major damage to your water bill. Fortunately, putting a stop to wasted water in your bathroom toilet plumbing can be a
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

hose

How to Repair a Garden Hose

  • 06/02/15

Summer gardening season has arrived in full force, with homeowners across the country tending to their flower beds, vegetable gardens and lawns. With much of the nation facing a drought, that means a lot of irrigation and sky-high water bills. When you're already paying through the nose to keep your
CONTINUE READING >

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,
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

Hand under running faucet

8 water conservation tips for the bathroom

  • 01/22/15

As concern for the environment grows, many of us are looking for ways to go green. One of the best things you can do for Mother Nature is to use less water - a surprisingly easy task when it comes to the bathroom. Here are some simple ways to conserve. 


CONTINUE READING >
Conventional water heater

Prevent cold-weather damage to your water heater

  • 01/15/15

Arctic temperatures this winter could affect your plumbing in unexpected ways. You probably already know the dangers of frozen pipes, but frigid conditions can also cause problems where you least expect it: in your water heater. Cold temperatures can cause the metal to expand and contract, and if
CONTINUE READING >

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,
CONTINUE READING >

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
CONTINUE READING >

Toilet side view

5 Signs you need a new toilet

  • 12/08/14
You rely on your toilet daily, but you probably don't think much about it until something goes wrong. Just like other major appliances in your home, your toilet will probably need to be replaced after years of use. How do you know when it’s time to call a plumber to
CONTINUE READING >
Replacing washing machine hoses can save you repairs

Neglected washer hoses are a recipe for disaster

  • 11/03/14

Washing machine hoses — those python-like lengths of rubber or metal that attach your washer to your water source — are one of the most neglected and potentially damaging maintenance monsters in your home. Taking time to check your washer’s hoses
CONTINUE READING >

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.
CONTINUE READING >
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. 


CONTINUE READING >
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
CONTINUE READING >

A family of home services:

Strong partnerships and a national support system.

Independently owned and operated.