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How NOT to Ruin Thanksgiving

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Nov 21, 2017 8:18:00 AM

Ah, evening on Thanksgiving Day.

Dinner’s over, the whole family is full and happy, and it’s time to load up that dishwasher and clean the kitchen before the big game (and serving up dessert, of course!).

You pack up the leftovers and now you’re ready to take care of that oily turkey roasting pan.

Here’s where things can go very, very wrong.

If you’re distracted by your nephews and nieces or in a hurry to get to the pumpkin pie, you might just put the pan in the sink and wash all those turkey drippings right down your kitchen drain—not even realizing the huge problem you’re about to create.

Did we ever mention that the day after Thanksgiving is one of the days we plumbers get the most home calls?

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Topics: Drains & Sewers

How to Clean Shower Tile Grout

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Nov 9, 2017 9:43:23 AM

TV commercials make cleaning your home look so easy, don’t they? Just spritz on this magic formula, and in seconds your bathroom is sparkling clean! If only.

One of the hardest things to clean in a bathroom is tile—specifically, the grout in between tiles. Grout stains relatively easy and it’s porous, meaning it’s easy for dirt and other gunk to get trapped deep down inside.

In a warm, humid environment, grout can also become a harbor for mold and bacteria. Good thing our showers are warm and humid environments!

Cleaning your bathroom tiles, particularly those in your shower, is important so you can avoid the health issues associated with biofilm and mold growth.

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Topics: Bathroom

Signs that Tree Roots May Be Clogging Your Underground Pipes

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Oct 26, 2017 10:00:18 AM

Do you dream of a comfortable yard filled with mature shade trees in the summer and a show of foliage in the fall? Trees are a beautiful addition to your home’s landscape. But as with many things in life, keeping trees comes with a price—in this case, occasional maintenance costs.

You probably know the importance of keeping branches trimmed away from your roof. But did you also know that root growth can spell (expensive!) trouble for your home’s plumbing if left unchecked?

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Topics: Drains & Sewers

Why Is My Toilet Running, and How Do I Fix It?

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Oct 12, 2017 9:32:54 AM

Tired of the sound of your toilet running long after you flush it? Not only is this common household plumbing issue annoying, but it can waste up to 200 gallons or more of water in a single day. That comes out to about wasted 6,000 gallons a month—waste that you have to pay for!

Thankfully, a running toilet is often a simple and inexpensive fix that many cases you can handle yourself. So stop throwing your money down the toilet and get ready for a little DIY home maintenance:

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Topics: Bathroom, Toilets

Repairing a leaky kitchen faucet

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Sep 28, 2017 10:13:01 AM

In a previous post, we covered how to repair a dripping tub faucet. Now we’re going to turn our attention to another common household issue—a leaky kitchen faucet!

In many cases, stopping an annoying drip for a kitchen faucet is simple enough for you to handle yourself without the help of a plumber. Here’s how to tackle it:

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Topics: Kitchen, Pipes

Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Sep 13, 2017 4:03:04 PM

Tired of the shower going cold before you finish, or trying to ration the hot water among multiple family members every morning? Perhaps you should consider a tankless water heater.

Rather than keeping a finite amount of heated water in storage, as a traditional water heater does, a tankless heater heats water on demand, by running cold water through a pipe heated with an electric or gas-powered unit.

To determine whether a tankless heater is for you, let’s look at some of the pros and cons for installing this appliance.

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Topics: Water Heaters

Why You Should Consider a Career in the Skilled Trades

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Sep 7, 2017 1:31:00 PM

If you want to have a satisfying career, you have to spend four years in college racking up tons of student debt—right?

Not necessarily.

In fact, in today’s post-Recession economy, it’s the skilled trades—those that require only technical training—that are in the greatest demand, and they often offer a more satisfying (and financially smarter) career path.

Here’s why:

Skilled trades are in high demand

As Mike Rowe (host of the show Dirty Jobs) points out, unemployment for college graduates is extremely high, with many never ending up with jobs in the fields they studied for.

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Topics: Insider

How to Repair a Dripping Tub Faucet

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Aug 30, 2017 4:10:17 PM

Dripping tub faucet driving you crazy? Even if the incessant sound doesn’t keep you up at night, the constant drip can cause staining in your tub, plus waste water—up to 20 gallons a day!

Instead of letting that money go down the drain, take care of the problem right away. If you’re in the mood for a DIY project, grab your plumbing toolbox and get ready to do some work.

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Topics: Plumbing Hacks, Bathroom

Why you should never pour oil or fats down your sink drain

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Aug 3, 2017 9:56:22 AM

In previous articles, we’ve discussed items that should never go down your kitchen sink or other drains. At the top of this list are fats, oils and greases (sometimes abbreviated as FOG).

What makes these kinds of substances so bad for your plumbing?

Well, in addition to being harmful for the environment (large amounts of oil and grease are very difficult for water treatment plants to remove from the water system), the main issue to worry about is the likelihood of creating very nasty clogs.

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Topics: Kitchen, Drains & Sewers, Garbage Disposals

Cool Off With These Clever Water Tricks

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Jul 20, 2017 9:24:17 AM

Need to keep cool this summer WITHOUT cranking up the AC? Perhaps you’re trying to save money by conserving energy, you’re spending lots of time in the great outdoors, or you’ve been working outside and want relief from the heat now.

One of the best tools for beating the heat quickly is something most of us are blessed to have access to at all times: clean, fresh water.   

Even if you don’t have your own backyard pool, you can still use water tricks to keep you cool around your house and yard:

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Topics: Water