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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

Home Electricity Tips for December

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Dec 7, 2017 11:33:16 AM

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

It looks like winter is well on its way—we’ve been noticing frost on our cars and lawns several mornings recently.  And while NOAA predicts a warmer-than-usual winter (we’ll see if that holds true), we still want to be prepared for cooler days ahead.

Here are some home electrical tips to prepare you for the start of the winter season:

Keep your home cozy—but also efficient

We love coming home to a nice, cozy home on a cold day. But instead of just cranking up the thermostat 24/7, use these tips to save energy while also staying plenty warm!

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Topics: Electrical

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