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The Importance of Water Pressure Reducing Valves

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Jun 14, 2018 9:27:00 AM

It might come as a surprise that we’re writing about reducing your water pressure. Most of the time when people have a complaint about their water pressure, it’s because the water isn’t coming out of the faucet strong enough for them. While having a nice hot shower with just the right water pressure is a pleasure that’s tough to beat, there is a certain point where your water pressure can be too high and actually cause damage to the internal workings of your plumbing.

Let’s take a look at what causes high water pressure, some of the damaging effects it can have, and how you can use a pressure reducing valve to solve these problems.

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Topics: Plumbing, Water, Pipes

How to clean your toilet tank

Posted by Ken Flournoy on May 3, 2018 9:03:00 AM

Unlike the toilet bowl, the tank should never come in contact with dirty water. However, it can still get a little grody in there over time—possibly from a metal (flapper) chain that’s rusted, hard water stains on the ceramic, mineral buildup, or even smelly bacterial deposits.

If someone once put a brick in the tank to save water, you may also be dealing with crumbled sediments gathered at the bottom of the tank, and possibly even dropping into the toilet bowl when you flush.

(Pro tip—if you want to save water for each flush, use a filled and sealed plastic jug or a buy a "tank bag" instead of a brick.)

If your toilet tank is due for a semi-annual cleaning, here’s how to do it:

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Topics: Toilets

Have you checked your water heater’s anode rod recently? Here’s why you should.

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Apr 19, 2018 10:58:39 AM

Question: If water causes steel to rust, why doesn’t the inside of my water heater tank rust out?

Answer: It will eventually, unless you have a working anode rod installed.

What is a water heater anode rod?

It’s a fact of nature that water corrodes many kinds of metals—steel most noticeably. But here’s where a bit of cleverness comes in with the invention of the water heater. If you introduce a rod of more “tempting” (that is, more easily corroded) metal into the environment, the water will react with that and leave the steel unaffected.

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Topics: Water Heaters

Warning Signs of a Sewer Line Problem

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Apr 5, 2018 10:40:08 AM

Modern homes have many “invisible” systems—such as buried cables and underground plumbing—that keep things running smoothly without drawing attention to themselves. The flip side of this convenience, however, is that when something breaks down, the problem can go on for a while before becoming obvious.

This is especially true when it comes to your home’s sewer line, the pipe system that discreetly moves all wastewater from your toilets and drains into the main city sewer (unless, of course, you have a septic system). It’s great that we don’t have to think about where all that waste goes—until something goes wrong.

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Topics: Drains & Sewers

Why is my garden spigot leaking?

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Mar 22, 2018 9:48:24 AM

Let us guess: this spring, when you finally got those first few seedlings planted, you went to turn on your hose to give them their first drink... and suddenly water started spurting out of the top of your spigot’s handle, watering you instead of your petunias.

You try re-fastening your hose to the spigot and tightening the handle, but no luck. You still get wet.

It was working fine last summer! you think. What happened?

Was this you? If so, how did we know? Actually, chances are there are a lot of people having this issue right now.

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Topics: Water

Copper piping: what you need to know

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Feb 28, 2018 4:32:21 PM

Since the 1960s, copper has been the piping material of choice in the United States, for both homes and commercial businesses. There’s a good chance that your home’s plumbing is made of copper, which gives your home some distinct advantages.

However, copper piping does have its share of issues. In this post we’ll look at the good and the bad sides of copper, and a few warning signs to watch for.

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Topics: Pipes

Maintenance tips to extend the life of your septic tank

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Feb 15, 2018 11:16:34 AM

Does your home have a septic tank? If so, you’re not alone—nearly one in five American homes uses a septic system instead of connecting to a city sewer system, and it’s especially common in rural areas.

Relying on a septic tank means you’ll have to take a little more care of what you put down your drains, plus make time to do some regular maintenance to prevent problems down the road.

Here’s how to properly maintain your septic system:

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Topics: Toilets, Drains & Sewers

Portable vs. installed backup generators—Which is right for me?

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Feb 1, 2018 10:22:27 AM

Enjoy this guest article from our sister company, Hot Wire Electric, in Greenville, South Carolina.

With all of the unusually cold winter weather going on this year, you may have started thinking about worse-case scenarios. Thankfully we haven’t had widespread power outages, but many of us remember bad ice storms in years past that took down power to neighborhoods for days or weeks.

Some people can wait out a power outage out for a few days—especially if they have gas heating and cooking appliances that don’t rely on electrical power.

But if you don’t have that luxury—or can’t imagine going days without a functioning refrigerator or hot water heater, you may want to consider investing in a backup generator.

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Topics: Electrical

How Enzymes Can Help Your Septic System

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Jan 18, 2018 10:49:17 AM

One in five American homes runs on a septic tank instead of a community sewer line.

Is your home one of them? If so, there are several things you need to know about how to keep your septic system running smoothly.

Today we’ll be looking at the simple step of using an enzyme formula to keep the good bacteria in your tank working well!

Why your septic system needs good bacteria

Your septic system relies on natural processes to break down organic solids until they are safe to release into the soil (and thus the groundwater). Naturally occurring bacteria in your tank are primarily responsible for doing the heavy lifting here. When the processed liquid (called effluent) is released into the drainfield, other natural and physical processes break down remaining organic matter from there.

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Topics: Drains & Sewers

How to Thaw a Frozen Pipe

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Dec 21, 2017 2:06:14 PM

Winter temperatures in Greenville don’t regularly get below freezing—but when they do, it can cause trouble for your plumbing. Unlike for homes in colder climates, Southern builders sometimes skimp on insulation around pipes, particularly for those connected to the outside of your house.

This means that when temperatures do drop, you’ve got the potential for freezing pipes. As you may remember from high school science class, when water freezes, it expands. If the water in your pipes freezes, it increases the pressure on the pipe itself—which could result in a nasty burst.

Occasionally you’ll discover a pipe that’s frozen but hasn’t yet burst. (One sign is that you turn on the faucet or flush the toilet but no water comes out.) You’ll want to help the pipe thaw ASAP, before worse trouble follows. Here’s how to do it:

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Topics: Pipes