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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!

jettedtub

Know What You’re Getting Into With Jetted Tubs

  • 06/14/17

If you feel there’s no replacement for the spa-like experience of lounging in a warm, jetted bathtub, you might be thinking about installing one in your own home bathroom. But this isn’t the kind of remodeling decision you take lightly -- jetted tubs come with a lot of responsibility and
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Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day with Eco-Friendly Changes

  • 04/19/17

Earth Day is this Saturday, and people across North America will gather at festivals to learn more about their ecosystem and celebrate everything that’s great about the natural world. But while there’s so much nature to enjoy, there’s also much work to be done to protect and heal our environment.
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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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waterrecylcing

Recycle Your Water on World Water Day

  • 03/22/17

Today is World Water Day, a day to emphasize the importance of freshwater access and advocate for sustainable freshwater management around the globe. There are currently more than 663 million people who lack a supply of clean, safe water near their homes, and solving all of their water
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showerhead

What is a Hot Water Circulation Pump?

  • 01/18/17

Eliminate the Wait for Hot Water When You Need It Most

One of the worst feelings in the morning is when you step into the shower to get ready for work – only to be sprayed with ice-cold water. If you're lucky, you catch yourself in time to not scream as
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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.


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showerhead

Save Water When Making Household Upgrades

  • 12/07/16

Being a homeowner means your home is never really “finished”. Fixtures, appliances and other components are always aging, breaking down or falling out of fashion -- upgrades just come with the territory. And when those upgrades involve your plumbing, the
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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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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
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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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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
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drought

Water Conservation Sticks Around in California

  • 08/31/16

Virtually the entire state of California has been affected by historic drought for the last several years. But last winter was wetter than expected, and as a result, the state eased several water use restrictions that carried steep fines for
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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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Hand under running faucet

When Is It Time to Go Tankless?

  • 07/06/16

Most homes have conventional tank water heaters, which store dozens of gallons of hot water and maintain a steady temperature so that the water is ready when you need it. But there’s another type of water heater -- tankless --
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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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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
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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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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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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
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ecosetting

Do Economy Settings on Your Appliances Really Save Money?

  • 01/28/16

If you've purchased a washing machine or dishwasher in the last few years, your model probably includes economy settings. Now is a good time to ask yourself if you have ever used the appliance in conservation mode. Why or why not? There can be very good reasons to use, or
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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 >

toilet2

Smart Toilets Add Prestige to Your Bathroom

  • 12/03/15

Are you worried that you don't have enough smart technology in your home? Never fear, because the bathroom is the next great frontier in the evolution of the Internet of Things. Upscale homeowners can enjoy features like smart tubs and showers, but the product we've all really been
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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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showerhead2

Save Water and Energy with a Thermostatic Shower Head

  • 09/24/15

There's a tricky balance to getting your shower temperature just right. Too cold, and you're in for an unpleasant shock. Too hot, and you can scald yourself. That's why most people turn the shower on before getting in and wait for it to reach their preferred temperature. Unfortunately, that means
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congress

Federal Legislation Could Help You with Water Conservation

  • 08/25/15

Water bills are poised to rise in many parts of the nation, a product of increasingly scarce resources thanks to persistent droughts in the Western United States. One way to avoid flushing too much money away in your household plumbing is to increase your efficiency when it comes to water
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waterearth

Smart Devices Let You Save Money With Your Household Plumbing

  • 08/11/15

Utility costs can eat away at your household budget, diverting money that you could otherwise use for recreation, education or savings. The savvy homeowner is constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce spending on utilities like water consumption by modifying their household plumbing. To that end, a
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showerhead

How to Save Water When You Shower

  • 08/04/15

Showering is part of everyday life. Be it a luxurious hot shower in the middle of winter, or a cold shower in the summertime to wash the sweat away, we love to get clean. In fact, showering accounts for 17 percent of all indoor household plumbing use in the country,
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Saving water saves money

Smart Meters Could Help Reduce Your Water Bills

  • 07/28/15

Persistent droughts in the Western United States are cutting into water supplies and driving up bills, making water conservation more important than ever. Of course, in order to reduce your consumption and minimize your plumbing costs, you need to know when and how you’re using the most water. After all,
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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
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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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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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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
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drought

How to Save Water in a Drought

  • 05/19/15

The persistent droughts that have plagued California in recent years are only getting worse, and water shortages are cropping up in many other areas of the western United States. Governments are announcing unprecedented water saving measures, including a declaration by California Gov. Jerry Brown to reduce water usage rates by
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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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Earth Day

Earth Day water conservation tips

  • 04/21/15

Earth Day is a great excuse to look for ways to conserve the planet's natural resources, including water. Your plumbing system is crucial for the health and sanitation of your family, but it can also send gallons of clean, fresh water down the drain. With droughts becoming an annual problem
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Xeriscaping saves money

Xeriscape gardening saves water – and money

  • 04/07/15

Gardening season is upon us. April showers in many parts of the country give gardeners a good head start toward keeping their yards green and growing, but summer heat can make maintaining a garden and lawn a costly proposition -- think of the water bills! Not to mention droughts in
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Saving water saves money

Water-efficient plumbing fixtures can lower your bills

  • 03/26/15

When it comes to reducing your utility bills, don't neglect your water consumption. Most of the attention around conservation in the home is focused on energy efficiency, but there is still space to find savings in your plumbing system as well. Take a glance at water-efficient plumbing fixtures to save
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Little girl loading dishwasher

Could your dishwasher give your child asthma?

  • 03/02/15

Using a dishwasher in your home could contribute to your child's asthma, according to a recent study. The research, which took place in Sweden, found that children in families that washed dishes by hand had lower rates of asthma, eczema and allergic diseases compared to children in families
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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. 


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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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Remodeled bathroom

Trends in bathroom remodeling

  • 12/29/14

Are you tired of the same old toilet and outdated sink fixtures? That means it's time to upgrade your bathroom. Projects can range from simple cosmetic touch-ups to a total tear-down renovation. No matter what the scope of your bathroom remodeling job, you can improve the room's aesthetics and function,
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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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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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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
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Water conservation helps the environment

Winter water conservation tips

  • 12/01/14
Don't let snowy days and freezing nights distract you from conserving water this winter. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average family in the United States uses a staggering 400 gallons of water per day. You may not be watering the lawn again for a while but
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Hot water heater controls

Money-saving tips for your water heater

  • 11/10/14

Don't let your water heater drain away your nest egg. In a typical household, the hot water heater uses more energy than any other appliance except for the heating and cooling systems, so it's important to maximize its efficiency in order to realize the most savings. 

The first step is
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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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