Home repairs are hard enough, even with all the how to videos online today. These videos often overlook how to buy the right materials for the repairs they’re illustrating. So it’s not surprising when I talk to women shopping solo at Home Depot or Lowe’s, they aren’t sure about what they need to buy (supply lines … Read More
How Often Do You Use Water Each Day?
You turn the faucet and water magically comes on. Few homeowners know how the pipes, hidden in the walls, move water around your house. Only when nothing comes out do you think about the plumbing system in your home.
Plumbing Pipes Carry the Water Where?
A plumbing system has two sets of pipes. There are fresh water (blue and red) pipes that deliver water to sinks, the washing machine, etc. Another set of pipes carry waste (white) water away from the sinks, the toilet and more ... out of your home, to the city waste water system or your home's septic system.
Some plumbing projects are ideal for homeowners and others require a licensed plumber.
- Minor tasks like fixing a leaky toilet can be done by homeowners with a few tools and a bit of patience. The biggest challenge is buying the right materials, like replacing supply lines on a sink. For these projects, you'll want a good reference book:
- For plumbing changes inside the walls, you need a plumber. Hopefully you never have a plumbing emergency when all can suggest is how to wait for the plumber (real story).
Licensing means they have the training, experience, building code knowledge and a commitment to do things right. You don't want to learn that lesson the hard way like I did with a flooded house after my handyman installed new faucets.
PEX is an abbreviation for polyethylene with cross-links, a new type of tubing used in residential plumbing systems. It is considered a viable alternative to older PVC, CPVC and copper “water pipes”, ranging in size from 1/4 inch to 4 inches. It comes in white, although it’s more common to see red and blue PEX tubing, … Read More
Have you thought about getting a tankless water heater? Many home renovation projects consider installing because they’re working on plumbing, and sometimes because it frees up needed space. A tankless water heater provides hot water non-stop too, large families don’t run out of water before everyone has had their morning shower. But is all the hype … Read More
The frigid weather continues so more homeowners are looking for ways to avoid frozen water pipes. Or maybe you’ve just finished cleaning up the water from a burst pipe and you’re waiting for the plumber to get there (here are tips on what to do while waiting for the plumber). Regardless of the circumstance, dealing … Read More
Parts of the country are used to frozen or burst water pipes, like folks who live in Minnesota. In New Hampshire where I live, we only get severe freezing temperatures every few years. When this happens, plumbers work 10, 12 or more hours a day and they still can’t help everyone fast enough so please … Read More
Buying a hot water heater should be easy, right? But it’s not, buying a hot water heater can get really complicated. So the first question is when should you buy a new hot water heater? That depends on how old your current hot water heater is and hopefully you know the answer. Hot water heaters … Read More
Shower heads were once pretty standard but now there are an amazing number of choices. When you’re building a house or remodeling a bathroom, it makes sense to research new shower heads but otherwise I wonder how often we really look at shower heads. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking long hot showers every … Read More
With the focus these days is on renewable clean energy, a solar hot water heater system might be worth considering, especially since the sun certainly qualifies as renewable and clean! The trick is to know how they work, how well they work, the types available, how much they cost, along with your home variables such … Read More
The third largest energy user in your home, after heating and cooling, is your home’s hot water heater system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy between 15- 25% of each energy dollar a homeowner spends goes to heat water. It makes sense when you consider that the average family uses between 350-400 gallons of … Read More
For most homeowners, plumbing means turning on faucets (dishes, the shower), appliances (dishwasher, washing machine) or flushing the toilet. We only think about plumbing when there’s a leak and few homeowners understand how we get hot and cold water when we want it. Fortunately building codes establish design guidelines that insure our home’s plumbing system … Read More