ENGLEWOOD PLUMBING TIP: HOW AND WHY TO RECAULK PLUMBING FIXTURES

ENGLEWOOD PLUMBING TIP: HOW AND WHY TO RECAULK PLUMBING FIXTURES

May 29, 2012

You probably don’t pay much attention to the caulking around your Englewood plumbing. It is one of those things that is always there, working kind of behind the scenes, that you never seem to notice until something goes wrong.

The think about caulking, though, is that something can go wrong with it rather quickly. Because of the high frequency of use of tubs and sinks, the caulk that seals the space between the fixture and the wall can deteriorate and crack over time. This can cause gaps in the caulk or cause the fixture to come loose from the wall.

When this cracking and erosion happens, water from your bath, shower head or faucet can seep in between the fixture and the wall, potentially causing water damage and fostering colonies of mildew and mold.

Cracked caulk is inevitable with daily use, so you don’t need to worry about preventing it. Instead, learn how to properly fix the situation with a fresh caulk job:

  1. Scrape away all the old caulk from around the fixture using a utility knife or putty knife. Take care to remove all the old caulk while also avoiding scratching porcelain fixtures.
  1. With all the caulk gone, clean out the joint thoroughly. This will remove any last traces of caulk, as well as any other dirt or buildup. If you notice mildew or mold, use a chlorine bleach solution to clean the joint before recaulking.
  1. Once the joint is dry, recaulk it using a bead of caulk that is just slightly wider than the joint. This ensures an adequate seal. Wipe any excess away with a rag.
  1. Allow the caulk to dry thoroughly before using the sink or tub. Read the instructions on the caulk for an estimated drying time.

Take note that it is very important to thoroughly remove all the old caulk and clean everywhere along the fixture joint before applying the new caulk. Otherwise, the new caulk will not adhere properly and potentially damaging dirt may get sealed into the joint. If this is a process that you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, never hesitate to call Englewood plumber BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating!

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BERGEN COUNTY PLUMBER’S TIP: WATER SAVING IN A NEW HOME

May 21, 2012

New homes offer many new water saving features which older homes in Bergen County tend not to offer.  Water saving in a new home can be quite simple, considering all the new technologies which are available to home builders.  Make yourself knowledgeable about these options and when you purchase a new home watch for these.  If you are building a home, it is good to communicate to the builder which of these options you want in water efficiency.

Indoor Water Saving Solutions

Up to 70% of water usage in residences happens indoors.  A number of items that new homes tend to provide save water usage and money in the long-run.

  • Fixtures such as toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads offer low-flow options
  • High efficiency and low energy use hot water heaters
  • New appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers
  • Install a tankless water heater close to the most used hot water usage areas
  • Use of an on-demand style recirculation system in combination with a high efficiency water heater
  • Check for leaks regularly to ensure there is no waste

Outdoor Water Conservation

Anywhere from 30% to 70% of water usage of homes is used outdoors for yard landscaping and pool upkeep.  When designing an outdoor space, it is important to keep in mind how much water will be used for upkeep, as well as to ensure that water is saved where possible.

Landscaping:

  • Properly plan and design the landscaping
  • Limit grass and lawn to 40% or less of landscaped areas
  • Choose plants and flora which are regionally appropriate
    • Group plants according to similar water usages
    • Use native plants and those which have low water needs
  • Schedule efficient irrigation
    • Use fixed-spray sprinklers on lawn
    • Use drip or micro irrigation on plants, flowers, and bushes
    • Water during cooler times of day to ensure little evaporation due to heat
    • Do not over-water, it can harm plants just as much as not watering enough
    • Use mulch to prevent evaporation of water near plants, and to keep weeds away
    • Keep the yard properly maintained and the soil healthy with fertilizers

Pool:

  • Use a pool cover when the pool is not in use; this can save 30% to 50% of water which is wasted through evaporation
  • Keep the pool temperature a few degrees lower, the higher the temperature of the water the more evaporation occurs
  • Plant a windbreak of tall foliage to prevent wind from whipping water out of the pool
  • Check and fix leaks regularly
  • Clean pool and pool filters regularly to prevent backwash

Whether indoors or outdoors, water saving in new homes is quite easy, and while some options mean spending some money initially, the long-term savings on water month over month and year over year are quite significant and worthwhile indeed. For more information about how plumbing upgrades can improve your Bergen County home, give BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating a call!

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BERGEN COUNTY PLUMBING GUIDE: HOW TO REPLACE A TOILET SEAL

May 14, 2012

If you have ever taken a look at the base of your toilet where it meets the floor, you may have noticed a bead of caulk sealing the base of the toilet to the floor. While this watertight seal is important, there is actually a more important seal hidden within the base of the toilet.

Inside, your toilet sits on a wax ring that serves to keep sewer odors from wafting into the room, seal water from leaking from the bathroom plumbing and provides a degree of stability to the toilet installation. You may need to replace that seal if:

  • You notice leaking water at the base of the toilet.
  • You smell sewer odors in your bathroom.
  • The toilet is unstable or rocks side to side at all.
  • The toilet was removed temporarily for any reason, such as replacing it or putting down new flooring.

As it happens, replacing the toilet seal is a fairly simple and inexpensive operation. Here are the steps your Bergen County plumber will take:

  1. Shut off the water supply.
  2. Empty the bowl and tank by flushing the toilet.
  3. Get the bowl and tank completely dry by soaking up any remaining water with a sponge, rag or towel.
  4. Remove the bolts that attach the base of the toilet to the floor.
  5. Disconnect the supply line the leads into the toilet.
  6. Gripping the bowl, rock the toilet gently back and forth to break the seals.
  7. Lift the toilet free from the floor.
  8. Remove all the remnants of the old wax ring.
  9. Place the new seal in place of the old one, centering it exactly, with the rounded side up.
  10. Replace the toilet over the seal and flange.
  11. Have a seat! No, really; this helps to create a new seal between the ring and the toilet.
  12. Reattach the nuts removed from the base.
  13. Reconnect the water line.
  14. Turn the water supply back on.
  15. Flush the toilet, looking carefully for any leaks.
  16. Apply a new bead of caulk to the bottom of the bowl to complete the sealing job.

If you need any help with your Bergen County bathroom plumbing, give BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating a call!

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SAVE WATER!

May 11, 2012

Looking for smart ways to save water? Studies show that an average of 14 percent of your household’s water usage is from leaks! Having leaks fixed in your faucets and toiletswill help cut down on water unnecessary water usage, and save you money. Another good idea is to switch to low-flow fixtures and an ENERGY STAR rated clothes washer and dishwasher. Up to 25% of your home’s energy bill come from hot water heating, so saving water also saves you money! Call BZ Dependabletoday to find out more smart ways to save water and save money.

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BERGEN COUNTY PLUMBING TIP: NEW FIXTURES ARE A LOW COST WAY TO BRIGHTEN A KITCHEN OR BATH

May 7, 2012

Many older homes in Bergen County still have the original faucets, toilets, shower heads, and other plumbing fixtures installed by the builder. Like most contractor-grade components, those fixtures were  probably designed to be strictly practical, with very little styling or decorative flair.

Some contractors aren’t architects or interior designers. They’re focused mainly on installing the infrastructure of the plumbing system – the water delivery and waste pipes.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but consider how many times each day we use our bathroom and kitchen faucets. How many times per week do we take a bath or use the shower? The simple pleasure of seeing and touching an attractive, well designed faucet is a little perk that can help brighten the day.

Higher end plumbing fixtures can be pricey, but factor in how long most fixtures last and you’re only paying a few pennies or less per day. Plumbing fixture design has become much more consumer-driven. Companies must compete by offering an expanding variety of styles.  The new passion for cooking has increased the demand for professional grade kitchen faucets that can stand up to hard use, have pullout sprayers, and accommodate large pans. New shower head designs provide a more comfortable, invigorating spray. Sink faucets with elegant finishes of bronze, brushed nickel, or brilliant brass can liven a bathroom. Ergonomically correct handles are easier to use and more inviting to touch.

There are also practical reasons for replacing fixtures. With improvements in materials technology the interior seals of faucets and other fixtures are more resistant to mineral build up and corrosion that can cause leaks. Metal finishes are more durable and resistant to dulling from soap or detergent.

Installing a new, attractive faucet won’t provide a total kitchen or bathroom makeover, but it will provide a spark that brightens the room and makes everyday living just a little more fun.  If you are interested in upgrading your Bergen County home’s plumbing, call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating today!

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BIOSMART DRAIN MAID: UNCLOG DRAINS THE SAFE WAY!

May 4, 2012

BioSmart is the only drain cleaner that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. This all natural enzyme system is safe for your family, pets, and pipes. Is there a foul smell coming from your drain? Does your shower backup and take forever to drain well? BioSmart gets to work immediately, attacking and breaking up organic waste. Use BioSmart on a regular preventative basis to treat drains and ensure a well functioning septic system. BioSmart’s Drain Maid is fast acting, easy to use, all natural, and cost effective. Contact BZ Dependable to purchase BioSmart Drain Maid exclusively in Bergen County and the surrounding NJ area. BZ Dependable also offers video pipe inspectiondrain and sewer maintenance, and many other service.

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HAVE YOU HAD YOUR WATER TESTED?

May 4, 2012

Reduce your family’s cancer risk with proper water filtration. The President’s Cancer Panel advises citizens that “Filtering home, tap or well water can decrease exposure to numerous known or suspected carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.”

There is a likely chance that your tap water (the water that you cook, clean, drink, and bath with) has dangerous chemicals and pollutants including arsenic, barium, lead, manganese, chlorine and “other chemicals at concentrations federal regulators say could contribute to cancer and damage the kidneys and nervous system.”

Read the full report and contact BZ Dependable to schedule you water test today and find out how to protect your family from dangerous chemicals found in the water in your home.

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