September 24th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Summer always seems to end so abruptly, doesn’t it? One day we’ve got our toes in the sand, and the next we’re putting on sweat shirts and sending our kids off to school. And before you know it, the bright green leaves that once adorned neighborhood trees will cover our lawns in a crisp toffee-colored blanket.

Which makes early fall the perfect time to make indoor and outdoor preparations for the cold months ahead. After all, winter can be tough enough without having to confront problems that easily could have been prevented.

Fall Outdoor Preparation

  • Clean off and put away lawn furniture, summer sports equipment, toys, and your grill. Or, at least keep the grill covered until you’re ready for a tasty off-season barbecue.
  • Harvest the last of your summer garden and clear away dead vegetation.
  • Clean or service your outdoor tools and equipment. Drain the oil from your gas- powered lawn mower.
  • Remove window air conditioners and store them a safe distance away from corrosive materials such as chlorine and ice melt.
  • Close and secure the family pool for the season. Check the cover for damage and replace if necessary.

Tips for Extra Indoor Warmth

  • Vacuum your heat vents and clean or replace the air filtration and furnace filters.
  • Set your ceiling fan to run counter clockwise (in reverse) so it pushes warm air down toward the floor instead of allowing it to settle near the ceiling.
  • Inspect your wood burning stove or fireplace, and call a professional to properly clean your chimney.
  • Check your windows and doors for cracks and seal them to keep warm air in and cold air out.

Protection Against the Elements

  • Make sure your gutters are clear and downspouts are positioned away from your home. Install extensions if necessary.
  • Seal walkway and driveway cracks to prevent further damage, but lessen the risk of slips and fall.
  • Cut tree limbs, branches and shrubbery away from your home to protect the siding, gutters, and roof, and to keep pests and wildlife from entering.
  • Clean out the garage and shed to make room for lawn furniture, water hoses, and toys.
  • Shut off the water valves to your outside faucets and store away your hoses until spring.

Fall is also a great time for a whole-house plumbing inspection, a specialty of the house here at Norhio Plumbing. Annual preventative maintenance helps prevent repair problems, helps your equipment last longer, and provides added safety for your home and family as our inspection includes searching for signs of hidden water leaks, uninsulated pipes, and possible gas leaks from your water heater. Contact us for service today, especially if it’s been a year or more since preventive maintenance was last provided.

No Comments

September 9th, 2017 Comments Off on Steam Shower Benefits

Steam Shower Benefits

If you’ve ever had a bathroom make-over, you know that the improvements you make tend to be equal parts functional, added beauty, and added luxury.

Well, we’d like to suggest an inclusion in your upcoming bath remodeling project that fits two of those categories: greater functionality and luxury. And, depending on the model you choose, a new steam shower can add a nice touch of beauty to your new bathroom surroundings.

Here are a few specific ways a new steam shower can benefit you:

Circulatory System
Just like aerobic exercise, each time you take a steam shower it stimulates your heart rate. When your heart pumps faster, your circulation improves.  Over time, you also can look forward to the sustained improvement of your circulatory system.

Respiratory System
As you inhale the warm, humid air a steam shower emits, your breathing passages begin to clear up. And that can spell significant relief for those with any type of upper respiratory problem, including bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, and others. Steam showers can also help speed up recovery time.

Muscular-Skeletal System
If you engage in a significant amount of manual labor or exercise, you know just how tight and sore your muscles can become. But once you let the power of a steam shower envelop you, many of those aches and pains will melt away, thus allowing you to cut back on pain meds.

Immune System
A steam shower has roughly the same effect on your body as a fever – but in a good and healthy way.  As your body heats up, your immune system works harder to help you remain disease free.

A steady dose of steam showers also can result in healthier-looking skin, and the benefits don’t stop there. To learn if your bathroom project is well-suited for the addition of a steam shower and more about all the amazing benefits it can provide, contact Norhio Plumbing today: your local plumbing professionals.

No Comments

August 23rd, 2017 Comments Off on Green Laundry Made Simple

Green Laundry Made Simple

No, you don’t need to ditch your all-too-convenient washer and dryer. Then again, chances are you wouldn’t even be looking at this blog if you weren’t interested in additional ways to conserve energy and water. So, let’s have it, shall we?

Best case scenario, your washing machine is eclipsed only by your heating and cooling systems in home energy consumption. Washing machines also consume large amounts of water. It’s only natural, therefore, to consider how to enjoy clean clothes, bedding and towels while using less energy and water. Here are several tried and true methods to consider:

Get yourself a clothes line. Hang your clothes outside to dry, weather permitting. Or, when the weather doesn’t, use an indoor drying rack. The latter might not be the solution for every load, but can be a great asset for smaller loads.

Wear clothes multiple times. We’re not suggesting that you lower your clean clothing standards, just pointing out that not everything you or your family wears needs to be washed after just one use.

Rinse your clothes in cold water.  Energy Star states that nearly 90% of the energy needed to run a load of clothes is consumed in the task of heating the water. By rinsing your clothes in cold water, you can reduce energy consumption in a big way.

Only wash full loads. Filling up your washing machine with water requires energy, and energy is wasted every time you wash less than a full load of clothes.

Clean the dryer lint filter after every load. A lint-free filter improves air circulation and speeds up the drying process.

Check your dryer exhaust. If your exhaust vent isn’t shut tight, outside air will infiltrate, thus forcing your dryer to work harder, and that means greater energy consumption.

Here’s another way to reduce water and energy consumption at home: make your next water heater a tankless system. That’s right, by getting rid of the storage tank system that keeps your water heated 24/7, you’ll conserve large amounts of electricity. You’ll use less water, too, as tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, meaning no more waiting for it to turn hot. And let’s not forget the added storage space you’ll gain by switching to a tankless system, as tankless system heat exchangers are wall-mounted and can be installed just about anywhere, including inside a closet.

To learn more about tankless water heaters, and how to conserve greater amounts of energy and water, contact your friends in the business today: Norhio Plumbing.

No Comments

August 14th, 2017 Comments Off on Why You Should Drink Less Bottled Water

Why You Should Drink Less Bottled Water

We all use bottled water at one time or another to satisfy our need for “clean and fresh”. And that’s true whether at home or on the go.

But legions of people across the land overdo it, thus creating an ecological menace.  Consider these very real and alarming statistics:

  • Plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting
  • 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself
  • 80% of plastic bottles are not recycled
  • 38 million plastic bottles go to the dump per year in America from bottled water (not including soda)
  • 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles

Anytime bottled water is your only clean water solution, please recycle.  But for just about every other clean water need, a home water filtration system is the better choicer.  These are the two types we most often recommend and install:

  • Point-of-use (also called “under sink”) water filters remove lead and other impurities as you draw water from your faucet.  The water tank and filter are installed under your sink, and we have different size tanks to accommodate your average daily consumption.  Each point-of-use system comes with its own dedicated faucet, and we offer multiple styles and options to suit your décor and personal taste.
  • Whole-house water filters provide clean, purified water from every water source in your home, including your washing machine, dishwasher, faucets, shower, and all the rest.  This is the solution for people who want clean, soft, and filtered water – no substitutions, please!

More Benefits of Filtered Water.

  • Water filters greatly reduce the risk of rectal cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer by removing chlorine and chlorine byproducts from drinking water.
  • Water filters provide the healthiest water for children’s developing immune systems.
  • Water filters provide the last line of defense between the body and the over 2,100 known toxins that may be present in drinking water.

And, of course, you’ll save money on bottled water, about 40% of which is nothing more than tap water. Plus, did you know that about 90% of the cost to manufacture bottled water is for the bottle?

To learn more about your water filtration options and which type of system is best for your family’s needs and budget, contact Norhio Plumbing today. We’re your local water filtration specialists.

No Comments

July 12th, 2017 Comments Off on Enjoy Unlimited Hot Water with a Tankless Water Heater

Enjoy Unlimited Hot Water with a Tankless Water Heater

If you’re ready to replace your water heater, you have more options than ever. And that’s literally true thanks to new technologies and a relatively new government mandate for greater energy efficiency.

For purposes of this blog, let’s assume you have either an electric or gas storage tank water heater. Most people still do, but there’s an up and comer that’s making steady games in hopes of one day taking over first place: gas tankless water heaters.

 

Here’s what they offer that storage tank water heaters don’t:

  • With the right size system, you can enjoy an unlimited supply of hot water.
  • A system lifespan up to 20 years vs. 10-12 years for storage tank models.
  • With a tankless system, you won’t grow old waiting for your water to get hot. And that’s just one way a tankless system can help lower your energy costs.
  • Your current storage tank heats water 24/7 so it’s ready when you need it. A tankless system, by contrast, provides hot water “on demand” without the constant need to keep the water heated. Thus, even greater energy savings.

Here’s something else you’re bound to like about a tankless water heater: added storage space. Maybe not a ton but, in some households, every little bit counts. A tankless heat exchanger is roughly the size of a briefcase and is wall-mounted, and that’s where the added storage space comes from.

So, if you’re tired of rationing your hot water supply to ensure everyone has enough, contact Norhio Plumbing for more information about your several new water heater options, including a gas tankless system. It’s a smart and longer-lasting solution.

No Comments

June 30th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Unclog a Shower Drain

How to Unclog a Shower Drain

The easiest way to tell if you have a partially clogged shower drain is to look down. Not now, of course, but while you’re taking a shower. Because if the water isn’t draining as fast as it’s pouring all over you and, instead, is rising up to and beyond your ankles, there’s a clog.

Before it gets any worse, you should take a few minutes to try and clear it on your own, but only if you have plastic or latex gloves available to protect you from the bacteria that has formed on the mass of hair, soap residue, shampoo, and what have you that’s causing the clog.

And now, let’s get started:

• Use a plunger: The best kind of plunger for clearing a shower clog is not the kind you use in the toilet but a flat-bottom plunger with either a long or short handle. If there’s not already some water in the tub, pour some so you’ll get added pressure when you begin plunging. You’ll also want to remove the drain cover and plug any overflow holes in your tub with a rag to permit proper airflow. Once all that’s lined up, plunge away and hope for the best.

• Use a bent hanger: If you can see the clog with the drain cover removed, or the clog comes into view after some vigorous plunging, go ahead and scoop it out with a bent wire coat hanger. Just be careful not to push the clog further down the drain.

• Use a plumber’s snake: If you can’t see the clog, your next best bet is to try a snake. Push it dow the drain until you feel the clog, and then wind the handle to break up and remove the clog.

• Use a liquid drain clearing solution: If none of the above methods work, you can try pouring a liquid solution down your drain to break up the clog. Once the solution has settled, pour a tea kettle fun of boiling water down after it. Don’t have an enzyme-based drain cleaner at home? You can substitute a half cup each of baking soda and distilled with vinegar. Let that combination sit for about 30 minutes, and then give it the hot water treatment.

If nothing you’re doing is getting the job done, we can and will once you contact Norhio Plumbing for service. We’re your local service providers for every home plumbing need.

No Comments

June 15th, 2017 Comments Off on Plumbing Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

Plumbing Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

For the most part, plumbing problems are front and center when they occur, and hard to ignore. Then again, that’s not always the case as certain obvious warning signs are ignored until the problem has grown worse and taking action is no longer an option.

If, for example, you lose hot water, you’re going to call a plumber right away to get the problem fixed. Should you come home one day to a flooded basement, that’s a situation you’ll jump all over. But what about those warning signs that don’t immediately inconvenience you? As a rule of thumb, you’re always better off reporting any abnormal behavior from your plumbing as soon as you notice it.  Here are a few good examples:  

Water stains

Water stains on a wall or ceiling could indicate a hidden water leak. If left unattended, that same leak also could lead to mold and mildew build-up along with structural damage.

Water behind your refrigerator

Whenever you pull your fridge away from the wall to clean behind it, check the floor and molding for any signs of water, the kind that can come from a leak in the water supply line. It’s not the amount of the water or the size of a water stain that matters. It’s whether or not water has leaked under the floor and into your floorboards and perhaps onto a ceiling below or electrical wiring.

Leaky faucet

There’s nothing more annoying than the steady “drip, drip, drip” of a leaky faucet. While it can be easy to ignore, at least for a while, early action is again recommended to help prevent too much wasted water and a big spike in your water bill.

Continuous sound of running toilet

Have you ever had a toilet that sounds like it’s running non-stop, even though you know better? It suggests that an internal part has malfunctioned needs to be repaired or replaced to help stop the waste of water and get your toilet functioning properly again.

For plumbing issues large and small, consider Norhio Plumbing your go-to team of professional plumbers – ready and able to get the job done to your complete satisfaction, and always with a guaranteed upfront price quote. Contact us today or any time for service.

No Comments

May 17th, 2017 Comments Off on The Pros & Cons of Cooking on a Gas Stove

The Pros & Cons of Cooking on a Gas Stove

If you spend enough time watching the Food Channel, you know that all the top cooks and chefs use gas stoves and ovens to prepare their meals.

Does that mean, perhaps, that you’re now beyond curious and seriously thinking about switching from electric to gas at home? Well, to help you along in that process, here are the top pros and cons of cooking with gas.

Gas Stove Pros

  • It’s faster. You turn on a burner, it’s already hot, and away you go.
  • Readily adjustable. Want to switch from medium to simmer?  Just turn the knob and eyesight alone will direct you to the right setting.
  • More uniform cooking. Gas flames cook more evenly than an electric burner because the flames spread themselves along the bottom of a pot or pan.
  • Lower cost. Assuming you already have natural gas, it will cost you less to operate a gas vs. electric stove.

Gas Stove Cons

  • Higher upfront cost. And yet, you will recoup the difference over time from reduced energy costs.
  • Safety concern. You have to be diligent when operating a gas stove or oven to make sure it turns on.  If not, then it’s still releasing gas into the air, and that can cause serious problems.

And yes, if you switch from an electric to gas range and don’t already have a gas connection in your kitchen, you’ll need that too. But no problem there with Norhio Plumbing right nearby to assist you. We’re licensed and experienced plumbers and gas fitters: your assurance of a job well done with abundant safety precautions taken every step of the way. To learn more or schedule a free quote, contact Norhio Plumbing today.

No Comments

May 9th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Choose a Drain Cleaning Company

How to Choose a Drain Cleaning Company

We all know about knee-jerk reactions, as in, doing and saying the first thing that comes to mind in response to some sort of external stimulus.

Touching a hot stove, for example, not only causes you to pull your hand away in a hurry, but perhaps utter a few choice words or two – hopefully with the kids well out of earshot. Or how about when an ump calls your kid out at the plate during a little league game and, from your vantage point, he or she was clearly safe. Do you sit there calmly and shout “that’s okay, honey, you’ll get ‘em next time,” OR loudly pronounce the ump unfit for his present occupation in your own unique style?

Along those sam lines, how are you most likely to react when a drain or toilet clogs up? Well, other than bemoaning your current predicament out loud, you’re likely to try fixing it yourself. When that doesn’t work out, the next step often is to search the internet for a local drain cleaning service, and then hope you’ve chosen the right one.  What happens if you don’t? With any luck, you locate someone who really CAN fix the problem, does so, and you make every effort to save their contact information for future reference.

Has that ever happened to you – you know, paying twice (at least) for the same thing?  We hope not, and to help to prevent that from happening the next time you have a clogged drain that requires the services of a professional, we invite you to call Norhio Plumbing.

Our technicians come equipped for any contingency – not just because of how well-equipped they are, but also by virtue of their extensive training and experience. If necessary, we’ll recommend a video inspection of the problem drain so we can determine – and show you – exactly what’s wrong, and where the problem resides. That, in turn, frequently leads to faster and less costly solutions.

For all those clogged drains that just won’t budge, they’ve met their match in Norhio Plumbing. That’s because we also come equipped with hyrdro-jetters that use high-pressure sprays of water to clear a drain line from end to end.

For clogged drain problems fixed right the first time, contact Norhio Plumbing today.

No Comments

April 22nd, 2017 Comments Off on Why You Need an Annual Water Heater Inspection

Why You Need an Annual Water Heater Inspection

Water heating accounts for approximately 14 percent of your home’s annual energy costs. That makes it the third largest source of energy consumption in your home, trailing only your heating and cooling systems in that department.

That’s reason enough to schedule a water heater tune-up from Norhio Plumbing.  But here are two more:

  • Over time, your water heater will build up sediment which can hinder its performance. The unit also can develop cracks in the combustion chamber and elsewhere that not only can lessen its efficiency but shorten its lifespan.
  • A crack or leak in a gas water heater isn’t just a performance issue, it’s a safety issue. Gas and carbon monoxide leaks represent health hazards that are best avoided through regular inspections.

Here’s just some of what a water heater inspection by Norhio Plumbing can include:

  • Check for water leaks. If your water heater develops a leak, it can lead to wasted water and expensive repairs and safety hazards in your home.
  • Drain and flush your tank. Over time, sediment and mineral deposits build up on the bottom of your storage tank. Draining it periodically will improve system performance and help extend its lifespan.
  • Test the temperature pressure relief valve. Your TP relief valve protects your unit from problems should the temperature or tank pressure exceed normal levels.
  • Clean your burner assembly. A clean burner assembly will promote cleaner burning and help keep your gas bills to a minimum.
  • Check for proper venting of combustion gasses. The goal is to ensure that combustion gases, including carbon monoxide, are safely being vented outdoors.

For enhanced indoor comfort, convenience, and safety, contact Norhio Plumbing today to request a water heater tune-up and safety inspection.

No Comments