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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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April 12th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Detect Water Leaks.

How to Detect Water Leaks.

Ever wonder how much water is contained in a drop? Well, so did the US Department of Interior, who determined that on a gallon of water contains 15,140 drops.

Well, as the saying goes, that knowledge plus a dollar (or so) will get you a cup of coffee.  But hold off on that coffee for just a minute, because now we’re going to get somewhere with this whole dripping water theme.

For starters, any water leak is problematic. Not just in terms of wasted water, but in the amount of damage a steady leak cause to your home and personal possessions. Exactly how much water is a faucet, for example, capable of leaking?  Consider the following:

  • If a faucet leaks 10 drops of water per minute, that equivalent to 500 gallons per year, or 11 full bathtubs.
  • How about if that same faucet is leaking 1 drop per second? Now you’re looking at 3,000 gallons of water or 66 full bathtubs over a year’s time. And that’s a lot of waste.
  • According to the EPA, the average household accounts for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year while 10% of all US homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. That all adds up to an estimated 1 trillion gallons of water wasted annually.

So here’s our advice: do whatever’s necessary to repair a leaking pipe, faucet, or showerhead as quickly as you can.  Every drop of water saved counts.  But for your own sake, there’s more you can do. Periodically, inspect your house and property for these additional signs of a leak:

  • Damp areas in your yard where the rest of the lawn is bone dry (could indicate a break in your sewer line)
  • Damp or wet areas of carpet over a concrete floor
  • The sudden appearance of black mold on a wall or ceiling
  • Water dripping for your toilet shut-off valve
  • Water puddling around the base of your water heater
  • Water on the floor behind your refrigerator, around your dishwasher, under a sink, or anywhere else in your home
  • Brown spots on a wall or ceiling

Hidden leaks can cause structural damage to your home, especially if not detected early on. So, don’t guess at the cause if you notice any of the above warning signs.  Instead, contact Norhio Plumbing for fast and reliable service.  We’ll locate the source of the leak and give you a guaranteed upfront price quote to solve the problem.  Need a plumber?  Norhio Plumbing is ready to lend a helping hand.

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March 7th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Prevent Basement Flooding

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

As the song lyrics go, “Into each life, a little rain must fall.” But since when does “life” have to be synonymous with “basement”?

The truth is, there’s plenty you can do to prevent water from entering your basement, even though some of those measures can be pricey.  Here are a few things you can do on the cheap to help your own cause:

  1. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and are directing rainwater away from your home. Add extensions or troughs if your downspouts don’t extend out at least 3 feet from your foundation walls.
  2. Inspect foundation and basement walls for cracks. While some cracking is normal as a home settles and ages, neglected cracks can expand and allow groundwater to enter your home.
  3. If your home has ground level or below-grade basement windows, keep water out with well covers that secure to the foundation.
  4. Have your septic system cleaned and inspected regularly to prevent clogs from sending sewage and backwater into your home. Even in homes with city sewer systems, a backwater (or backflow) valve is a good defense against what could be a very messy situation.

At Norhio Plumbing, we offer two levels of assistance to remove water from your basement as quickly as it enters: sump pumps, and back-up sump pumps.  A sump pump is your first line of defense to remove water almost as soon as it reaches your sump pit. But sump pumps can fail or shut off due to a power outage, and then what?

Well, in this case, the “what” is a backup sump pump that will activate as soon as the main pump shuts down, no matter what the reason.  For more information and a free in-home proposal, contact Norhio Plumbing today.

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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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