July 24th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Unclog Your Kitchen Sink Drain

How to Unclog Your Kitchen Sink Drain

Isn’t it great when your kids help you clean up after dinner, especially without even having to ask them. It’s such a blessed treat for many parents that they don’t think to impart their knowledge of what can and shouldn’t go down the drain – until, of course, the deed is done.

And there you have just one of countless ways that, for all the caution we practice and preach, certain items like grease, cooking oils, leafy vegetables, and chicken bones end up inside your sink drain or garbage disposal before trouble can be averted.

But that’s okay – sometimes, at least. Because not every clogged drain requires our services to unclog it. So, here’s what to try the next time you’re faced with a clogged kitchen sink drain in an effort to save you both time and money.

A-Plunging We Will Go

If you don’t already have one, you would do well to purchase a short-handled plumber with a flat, bell-shaped bottom – not the flanged bottom that your toilet plunger features. Then, follow these simple steps:

  1. Partially fill your sink with water
  2. If you have two drains, cover the other one to allow the pressure from the plunger to do its work
  3. Cover the drain completely with the plunger and give it a few forceful plunges
  4. Remove the plunger and see if the clog drains away 

If not, it may take a few more repetitions to get the job done. 

Use Your Own Drain Cleaning Solution

Who needs an expensive chemical drain cleaning solution when you can concoct your own out of everyday household supplies? Certainly not you, we trust!

  1. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda (about ½-cup each and pour the mixture down the drain
  2. Allow the solution to sit for about five minutes
  3. Run hot water down the drain and see if the clog has cleared away

Once again, if you don’t get the desired result after one try, it’s worth repeating the process at least one more time.

We wish we could tell you that these DIY drain cleaning solutions will work every time, either on their own or when practiced consecutively. But we can’t. So, for all those occasions when no amount of DIY techniques will get your drain clog, it’s Norhio Plumbing to the rescue. Just as we have been for many thousands of local home and business owners since 1973.

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February 23rd, 2017 Comments Off on How to Prevent a Repeat Bout of the Flu

How to Prevent a Repeat Bout of the Flu

Once the flu has run its course through your family, do you live in fear of it returning, just as its done in the past?  Well, that’s no way to beat the flu. Instead, you need to disinfect your surrounding before and after the flu hits your house to keep it from coming back.  Here’s how:

How to Prevent a Repeat Bout of the Flu

Pick your chemicals: There are lots of choices for killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. You can go the heavy chemical route by picking bleach, ammonia, or alcohol. You can also choose natural compounds such as vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. What’s more, pine oil and tea tree oil are terrific natural antimicrobials. Pick the chemical or products that best match your needs and preferences.

Hands off: Dousing a rag with your antimicrobial and wiping down all the high touch areas is essential to keep the germs away. Remember to wipe door knobs, faucet handles, toilet handles and lids, light switches, the fridge handle, and remotes. Don’t forget microwave buttons!  Keep a spray bottle in the bathroom or disinfecting wipes so that touch surfaces can be cleaned every time.

Change it out: Once everyone is well, it’s time to switch out the “dirty” for the clean. Change sheets, blankets, pillow cases, mittens, towels, and laundry with hot water. It’s also time for everyone to get new toothbrushes! Don’t forget that if you have an air filter you should change that as well so that you aren’t circulating those germs back into the air. Lastly, empty out all garbage pails, especially those that held dirty tissues.

No-wash cleaning: If people got sick on shoes, throw pillows, or stuffed animals, these items can be wiped clean and then frozen to disinfect. You can also vacuum everywhere to pick up dirt, skin cells, and even water droplets that could contain germs.

You know what would come in mighty handy at times like these?  An instant hot water dispenser expertly installed by Norhio Plumbing.  That way, you’d have all the hot water you need, instantaneously, to make soup, tea, mac and cheese, and other comfort foods.  You also can do an extra effective job of cleaning with the 200-degree water that comes straight from your new, dedicated faucet.  For more information or to schedule installation, contact Norhio Plumbing today.

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February 7th, 2017 Comments Off on 10 Ways to Ensure a Successful Kitchen Remodeling Project.

10 Ways to Ensure a Successful Kitchen Remodeling Project.

You’ve waited a long time for this, but now you’re ready to remodel your kitchen.  But still, you’re not quite sure where to start, what to do and in what order, and how to manage all the resources that will have input and take part in bringing your vision to life.

It can be a daunting task, to be sure, even for an experienced kitchen remodeler.  But it doesn’t have to be chaotic, not if you adhere to this 10-step plan.

  1. Decide what is cosmetic vs. essential. Before you finalize your budget, itemize those things you want vs. need in two separate columns.  Some kitchens are so out of date they’re dangerous. Faulty appliances, wiring, or plumbing should always come first. Never spend a dime on cosmetic changes until you have obvious safety and convenience issues under control.
  2. Plan a new layout. Are you going to keep the same floor plan or design a new one? If your budget is flexible, the sky is the limit. But if your funds are limited, you may want or need to work around existing wiring and plumbing, which can somewhat limit your creativity. But remember:  you can always work toward your dream kitchen in stages.
  3. Measure your space carefully. You’re going to need to know the width, depth and height of your kitchen before you can purchase new cabinets and appliances with confidence.  If you’re not confident taking your own measurements for appliances, countertops, back splashes, etc., your contractor will be happy to assist you.
  4. Get one or more quotes from licensed and reputable contractors.  In the process, don’t hesitate to ask your chosen contractors to verify their credentials and explain what work they do themselves vs. what needs to be sub-contracted.
  5. Ask for and check references.  There’s nothing more reassuring than hearing firsthand from customers who were thrilled with both the process and end result delivered by the contractor you’re inclined to hire.
  6. Involve your contractor in the design process even if your own strong ideas.  You’d be surprised at how much an experienced contractor can bring to the table that you might not have even considered.
  7. Keep your colors neutral. Green tiles and red borders may look good to you, but it can turn off would-be buyers who see your artistic flare as nothing more than a future redecorating project of their own.
  8. Let professionals do what they do best.  Your job is to ensure that the finished project, in its various stages, earns your stamp of approval.  But nobody likes a backseat drive, especially licensed, trained, and experienced contractors.
  9. Box up your dishes, gadgets, and groceries, etc., before construction begins.  While your old kitchen is being ripped out, it’s going to be noisy and somewhat stressful. You’ll feel slightly dispossessed, but remember, it’s only for a few days.
  10. Check your materials, appliances and fixtures before they’re installed.  Take the time to open boxes and check for damage. However carefully packaged they might be, accidents and damage can occur during shipping.

Speaking of qualified and experienced contractors, Norhio Plumbing stands ready to assist you with your partial or total kitchen make-over.  We can add greater beauty, functionality, energy and water savings, plus greater convenience to your remodeled kitchen, and all with a guaranteed upfront price.

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January 20th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Handle Common Home Emergencies

How to Handle Common Home Emergencies

Whether you’re a new homeowner or a seasoned pro, there’s one thing you can always count on – whatever can go wrong in your home, eventually will. You know, Murphy’s Law.  And while the pure nature of emergencies makes them hard to prevent, you can prepare yourself and prevent a lot of damage with a little know-how and forethought.

Here are 6 common household mishaps and tips on how to handle them.

home emergencies

  1. A Burst Pipe – Whether it’s due to freezing temps or gradual wear and tear, few things can cause as much damage in so little time as a burst pipe. If you’re faced with gushing water, quickly close the valve closest to the leaky or broken pipe, then shut off the main water supply valve to the house. Once water has been turned off, place a bucket under the burst pipe, reopen the valve, and slowly drain any remaining water.
  2. A Power Outage – Always be prepared for a power outage by keeping flashlights and batteries in stock. In the event of a blackout, carefully disconnect all electronics and appliances to prevent damage from power surges once power is restored. Take extreme caution when using candles to provide light and always make sure all candles are blown out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  3. A Gas Leak – If you ever notice the smell of gas in or around your home, or if your carbon monoxide detector goes off, evacuate the house immediately and go to a safe location before calling your local gas company’s help line or 9-1-1. Do not reenter the home until you are told it is safe to do so.
  4. Water in Basement – If you see standing water in your basement, do not start cleaning it up or trying to salvage your belongs until the circuit breaker is turned off. If you cannot reach the circuit box, contact your local utility company and ask them to do it for you. Once power has been shut off, enter your basement cautiously while wearing waterproof boots and gloves to protect yourself from harmful elements that could be present in the water.
  5. Furnace Malfunction – If your furnace ever suddenly stops working, check to see if the culprit might be a clogged filter or a tripped circuit breaker before contacting your trusted HVAC technician.

Here at Norhio Plumbing, we can help you with three out of five of these home emergencies:  burst or leaky pipes, reconnecting or repairing a gas leak, and helping you solve flooded basement problems.  For more information or to request a free in-home consultation, contact Norhio Plumbing today.

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January 12th, 2017 Comments Off on Green Living Tips to Share with Your Kids

Green Living Tips to Share with Your Kids

If you grew up throwing water bottles in the trash, leaving the water running while brushing your teeth, and leaving your TV on whether anyone was watching it or not, you probably had a difficult time adapting to the “going green” movement – assuming you’re already there.

green living tips

The fact is, the act of recycling is a habit, and habits are not instantly formed.  They take time, commitment, repetition, along with the understanding and belief that something of value will come from the time and effort.

As adults, recycling and green living habits are harder to form because we have so many years of counter-productive behaviors to overcome.  And yet isn’t it worth the extra work to teach your kids productive and mutually beneficial habits even during their formative years?  Of course it is.

Remember:  children instinctively want to be part of solutions, not problems.

A good place to start with your kids is by explaining why green living is so important.  Be ready to answer all their questions, and explain green living and technologies in ways that relate to their interests.  For example, many children (especially boys!) are fascinated with cars and want to know how they run.  Simply explain that they run on gas but that newer cars are being built to run on batteries to help clean up the environment.

When you purchase and re-use cloth grocery bags, explain why they’re a better choice than the plastic grocery bags offered up at your local supermarket.  And why certain items go in the trash bin, while others are disposed of in the recycling bin.

It’s also important to get them outdoors since children who like the outdoors and appreciate nature will be easier to instruct on how to contribute to nature’s beauty and preservation.

Here are some other ways to help teach them how to be green: 

Explain conservation of resources

  • Teach them to turn off lights when they leave a room
  • Turn off water when they brush their teeth 

Make it a game

  • Have them help hang laundry out (or indoors) to dry
  • Make toys and crafts out of containers and other household items – the art and skill of repurposing offers a lifetime of benefits
  • Involve them in composting
  • Have them help you unplug electrical appliances and games before bed time
  • Take them along to clean up litter in your neighborhood

At Norhio Plumbing, we’re committed to conserving energy and natural resources, and shows it just about everything we do.  Contact us today for ideas and more information on how you can save more water and energy without sacrificing comfort.  It’s a whole lot easier than you might think.

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December 23rd, 2016 Comments Off on How Aromatherapy Can Help Cure the Winter Blues

How Aromatherapy Can Help Cure the Winter Blues

The lack of greenery, warmth, and hours of sunlight can give anybody the winter blues. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit back and take it on the chin.  Take aromatherapy, for example, a surefire cure for the winter blues.  Haven’t tried them before?  Then here are a few helpful hints to get your started down the right path:

Lavender

This is an easy go-to essential oil that can be added to a warm bath, and all it takes is just a few drops.  Lavender helps to decrease stress, increase relaxation, and improve sleep. This is especially helpful through the holiday season which is full of stress and anxiety.

Ginger

Ginger is a strong scent that can be added to tea or a diffuser. It adds a nice energy boost, improves circulation, soothes joints, and eases sore muscles. Ginger is an ideal additive to a lotion or even olive oil to rub into aching muscles after shoveling snow or just easing joint pain.

Grapefruit and Cypress

This is a light combination that adds the energizing scent of grapefruit to the holiday smell of cypress.  Cypress will help invigorate you while increasing your levels of concentration. Just add a few drops to a diffuser!

Clary Sage

Add this to a base oil or lotion and apply directly to your skin. Clary sage is perfect for soothing and hydrating dry skin.

Jasmine

This beautiful flowery scent is perfect in a tea or boiled lightly on the stove. It can help with depression, exhaustion, and dry skin. Added to tea, it is especially helpful with improving hydration as hot water increases the rate of absorption into your body.

Cinnamon

A warming and strengthening agent, cinnamon also lends itself to use in a diffuser or being boiled lightly on the stove. It adds to the mood of your home and provides an enhanced feeling of warmth. Cinnamon shouldn’t be applied directly to your skin, but in a diffuser or boiled on the stove, it’s natural antiseptic properties will help to keep colds and flus at bay.

If you love the part about adding an essential oil like lavender to your bath water, but you’re afraid that by the time you get to take your bath there won’t be enough hot water, then don’t suffer in silence.  Instead, pick up the phone and call Norhio Plumbing so we can do whatever it takes to make sure you and your family have all the hot water you need, day and night.  Norhio Plumbing:  your home water heater specialists.

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December 9th, 2016 Comments Off on How to Shut Off Your Utilities

How to Shut Off Your Utilities

Disasters come in many forms, from hurricanes and wildfires to flooding pipes.  But having a plan for emergencies can help reduce damages to your home. Knowing how to shut off your utilities before the disaster occurs should be a part of your family’s emergency planning. Here are some tips for turning off the utilities in the event of an emergency:

Natural gas

Natural gas fires are one of the most common problems following a natural disaster. Although every house is configured differently, you can usually turn the shutoff valve with a wrench. If you aren’t sure how to turn off your meter, contact your gas company   for directions and then post them by the meter.

Water shut off

Locate where the water pipe from the street or your well comes into the house. This is usually where your meter is located where you’ll also find the main shutoff valve.  Turning off the flow of water to your house can be a critical step for protecting water quality helping to prevent burst pipes and any subsequent flooding.

Flow of electricity

Shutting off the flow of electricity is important during or immediately following a natural disaster (or severe storm) for the sake of preventing a fire, especially if the event is coupled by a natural gas or oil leak. Same goes in the event of heavy rains or a flood; after all, the last thing you want is water encountering electricity.  Don’t know how to safely shut down your electricity supply?  Contact your local electricity provider or electrician for instructions.

Home heating oil

If your home has oil heating it also has an emergency shut off switch, usually located at the top of the basement staircase. The outlet cover is red to differentiate it from a light switch. If the flow of oil were to cross paths with a fire-y flame, not shutting off the oil  would literally be adding fuel to the fire.

Remember:  knowing how to shut off your utilities is more about preventing problems should the need arise, and about being safe vs. sorry.  Norhio Plumbing is always here to assist you in that regard, so please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.

 

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November 14th, 2016 Comments Off on Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Nothing spells the positive side of winter like freshly fallen snow, provided the accumulation is on the moderate side.  But as pretty as it might look, even a few inches worth can be grueling if you’re not in the right shape to remove it yourself with a shovel.

So here are 10 tips that may help alleviate some aches and pains and make this winter chore a little safer and more bearable.

  1. blogInvest in two or three good, ergonomic shovels that you can handle with ease.
  1. Do some warm-up exercises prior to heading out, especially if you’re not accustomed to daily exercise.
  1. Dress in layers to help keep you warm and dry.
  1. Wear waterproof boots or shoes with good, non-slip soles.
  1. During a heavy snowfall, you can prevent back, neck, or muscle injury by shoveling early and often instead of waiting until all the snow has fallen.
  1. When you start feeling cold, go inside and warm up. It’s also a good idea to take an occasional break, even if you’re not already feeling sore or tired.
  1. Beware of branches or other items that could get trapped in your snow blower.
  1. Know your limits. If a health condition keeps you from strenuous physical activity, ask someone for help.
  1. Shovel in such a way that you’re moving the snow the shortest distance possible. If you’re not careful, the act of tossing snow can consume a lot more energy than the shoveling itself.
  2. Keep hydrated by either taking frequent breaks or taking a bottle of water outside with   Snow shoveling usually involves working up a pretty good sweat, and those fluids need to be replaced.

When all the shoveling is done, treat yourself to a nice warm bath or shower.  You do have plenty of hot water for such an occasion, right?  Not so much, you say?  That’s where we can help.  At Norhio Plumbing, we’ve been helping families like yours enjoy all the hot water they need through ongoing maintenance, high quality repair work, and new system installation.  So, if your water heater isn’t producing like it used to, call Norhio Plumbing, your local hot water heater specialists, for the help you need to make matters right.

 

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November 2nd, 2016 Comments Off on How to Increase Your Bathroom Storage Space

How to Increase Your Bathroom Storage Space

blogYour bathroom may be the smallest room in your house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the space you have. Finding room for all your bathroom and grooming supplies, and still having room to move around is made easier with these simple changes.

Add a second curtain rod: Adding a tension rod to the back wall of the shower with a few “s” hooks can give you more space for bath toys, a shower caddy, bath sponge, or a mirror.

Build upwards! Add shelf space above the bathroom door. It’s out of the way, and won’t make the bathroom feel small or cluttered, at least not when you first walk in. Plus, it makes for greater storage and easy access to extra towels, cotton balls, or extra bottles of shampoo and conditioner.

Tucked away: Using an over the door pocket shoe organizer, hide away your toiletries, brushes, and hair products.

Magnetic bathroom rack: A magnetic strip that sticks to or screws into the wall is perfect for those small items that always fall to the bottom of the drawer or storage bin, like nail clippers, bobby pins, eye lash curlers, and tweezers.

Spice things up: Use spice racks to store your hair products. It can keep all those bottles of hairspray, mousse, gel, and creams out of the way. They’ll also be easier for you to find when you need them.

Add a mirror: A large mirror can help make the bathroom and any other room appear larger. If you’re concerned about using up valuable wall space, consider adding a shower door that doubles as a mirror.

Pullout drawers: Add pullout drawers vs. shelves to cabinets for added storage space. You can even add an outlet to the back of a vanity drawer so that hairdryers, flatirons, and curling irons can be kept off your countertops, thus allowing that space to be used for other items, including bathroom decorations and candles.

If you have other ideas for your bathroom, chances are Norhio Plumbing can be of assistance. New toilets, safety features like grab bars and comfort height toilets, replacing your vanity and sink – at Norhio Plumbing, we do all that and much more.  Contact us today for more information, a free quote, or to request service.

 

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October 18th, 2016 Comments Off on 4 Home Repairs You Shouldn’t Ignore

4 Home Repairs You Shouldn’t Ignore

blogYou have a little extra money to burn and you want to apply it to home improvements.  The question is, which home improvements?

While cosmetic upgrades are important for resale value and how you feel about your home, you’ll probably derive greater value by taking a more practical approach.  Here are a few simple home maintenance tips that will pay big dividends many times over:

Not just about repairs: Maintaining your home on a regular basis can help prevent repair issues both small and large while enhancing your family’s safety.  Simply by cleaning or changing your furnace and AC filters periodically, your systems will run better and more energy efficiently. Having your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected yearly will help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and home fires.  Maintaining the caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors is a great way to keep the cold air out while reducing your home heating costs.

Stop water leaks: Test your toilet for leaks by placing a few drops of red food coloring into the tank. Come back in an hour and if the bowl water has changed color you know you have a leak, and one you’ll want to fix right away to help conserve water and prevent the problem from worsening.

Refrigerator maintenance: To help keep your refrigerator running smoothly, it requires no less than annual maintenance. That includes vacuuming the heating coils in the back to prevent overheating. With the fridge pulled away from the wall, also look on the floor for any signs of a current or past water leak.  Experience dictates that it’s not the water on the floor you need to worry about, but rather any water that might have seeped into the sub-flooring where damage can occur.

Up on the roof: If your roof is at least five years old, it’s a good idea to have it inspected once a year for loose shingles, mold, and any signs of water damage. Also be sure to check the roof condition around skylights, vents, and chimneys as these areas are most prone to leaks. Any repair issues should be resolved before winter to prevent melting snow and ice from getting inside your attic and causing water-related damage.

Repairing plumbing leaks is a specialty of the house hear at Norhio Plumbing and we’d be happy to locate and/or stop any you might currently be experiencing. Give us a call at your experience so we can help you conserve water and protect your home from water-related damage.

 

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