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Common Issues With Submersible Well Pumps

Posted by on Jul 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Issues With Submersible Well Pumps

If you have a water well on your property, you likely use a submersible well pump. This type of pump allows water from the well to be pushed to the surface. While they are very effective for their intended purposes, there are some common issues it might have over time. Here are some common problems so that you know when it is time to call for repairs. Lack of Water One of the more common signs that there is a problem the well pump is when you are experiencing a dry spell. This is when you have difficulty getting water out of the well, which you can tell when turning on faucets in your home and finding that no water flows. However, before you replace the well pump, you should first consider other causes for not having water. It is possible that the pump is working fine, but there was a power outage affecting the pump, or that the lines are clogged and need to be cleared. Have these things inspected first before you get a new well pump. Pump Runs Continuously If the submersible pump keeps running without shutting off, there are a few possible causes for this. It might have to do with issues with the pressure switch, low water level in the well, or problems with the drop line. You should also check the pump itself, looking for components of the pump that might be worn or corroded. Some of these are easy to fix, such as replacing the drop pipe or getting a new pressure switch, while others require replacing the entire pump. Water Flow is Slow You may have water coming out of the faucets, but the water stops prematurely or runs slowly. This is often an indication that the pump can’t handle the amount of water you are attempting to use. Perhaps you have a new plumbing appliance that requires more water, or there are more people in your household trying to take showers, which uses up more water. You need a pump that works for the size of your family and your usage. If you get a brand new washer that uses more water than your previous one, you might need to get a bigger well pump. Also pay attention to other potential problems, such as a pump that seems to be extremely loud when it is running. This is another good reason to call a professional and have it inspected for problems. For more information contact a company like Modern Pump &...

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If Your Home Smells Like A Sewer, Does This Mean That The Sewer Is Backed Up?

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on If Your Home Smells Like A Sewer, Does This Mean That The Sewer Is Backed Up?

It goes without saying that your home should never smell like a sewer. When this happens, many homeowners assume they need plumbing repairs or sewer cleaning services. Luckily, this problem is often much more easily fixed. Knowing what causes the problem and what you can do about it can help you take care of your home and may save you money in plumbing fees. If your home smells like a sewer, does this mean that the sewer is backed up? Often a sewer smell is not indicative of a sewer backup. If your home starts to smell like sewer water, a likely reason is that the water has dried up from a plumbing P-trap. How does water in the plumbing P-trap prevent sewer gas from entering your home? A P-trap is a squiggly pipe that is a standard part of basically every plumbing waste line. By design, a P-trap will hold a supply of waste water that sits inside the pipe. The water in the P-trap is replenished every time liquid is flushed down the drain. This water creates an air-tight seal between the sewer and your home. If the water in your P-trap is preventing sewer gas from entering your home, why does the system sometimes fail? Generally, if sewer gas leaks into your home via the drains, this occurs because the water in one of your home’s P-traps has evaporated. Usually this occurs when a sink or a drain isn’t used for a very long time. If your home has a shower, sink or bathroom that never gets used, fixtures in this bathroom could be the source of the smell. What can you do to get rid of the sewer smell? Open up your home’s windows and doors to let out the air in your home. This will help get rid of the smell. Once this is done, your next step will be to fill every P-trap in your home with water. You can accomplish this by doing the following: Flush every toilet in the house. Run every faucet in the house for several minutes. This includes shower and sink faucets. Pour water down every basement floor drain. Finally, give the sewer smell time to clear out of your home. If the smell persists, then your problem may be unrelated to the water in the P-traps. For more advice and assistance, contact a plumbing repair service in your area such as Salinas & Sons Rooter Service. They can assess your home’s problem and make repairs as...

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4 Ways To Reinforce Your Brick Retaining Wall Without Compromising Its Appearance

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Reinforce Your Brick Retaining Wall Without Compromising Its Appearance

From standard red to sandy brown or distinguished gray, bricks offer a lot of beauty and variety for outdoor building projects like a retaining wall. However, even the strongest mortar is unlikely to be enough to hold a soil retaining wall together since a basic 4-foot tall wall holds back multiple tons of weight when soil becomes saturated by water. Make sure your wall can handle the weight without changing how the exterior looks by picking at least one of these four reinforcement methods.  Filling with Concrete Standard bricks are designed as solid blocks, but choosing two or three-hole bricks gives you a chance to put the reinforcement power of concrete to good use. If the wall is constructed so that the holes line up to create vertical tubes that run from the top to the bottom of the wall, the masonry installer can pour concrete into those openings. Using high-strength concrete with fibers or chemicals in the mix allows you to design a retaining wall that can handle the weight with fewer layers of material. Inserting Steel Rebar Of course, concrete can still crack over time and lose its effectiveness as a reinforcement. For increased safety, most masonry installers recommend what’s known as a cavity wall. Two separate layers of brick are built with a few inches between them. Steel rebar is hammered into the ground vertically in that cavity, then the opening is filled with a strong concrete-based grout mixture to create a solid core. The steel ensures the wall remains stable even if the mortar or bricks themselves start to crack.   Relying on a Block Core Can’t afford to build two separate walls of brick just to fill in the core with a concrete mix? Try basing a retaining wall on modular concrete blocks instead. The retaining wall is built from pre-cast blocks that slot together and have openings for rebar reinforcement. Once the blocks are in place, the masonry contractor finishes up by attaching a layer of bricks with mortar for the look you want with a lower price. You can even use thin pieces of veneer to save even more on material costs. Considering Advanced Meshes Finally, consider a method that involves reinforcing the earth itself before the brick wall is added. Compacting the earth and installing a strong geotextile mesh has been shown to work well when it’s combined with a brick wall. Since plain brick walls aren’t the strongest possible masonry structure, working on the earth itself could reduce the amount of reinforcement needed in the wall.  Contact a local outlet, such as Mara Restoration, Inc., for further...

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Is It Time To Drill A New Water Well For Your Rural Home?

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is It Time To Drill A New Water Well For Your Rural Home?

When you live in a rural area away from the municipal water systems of big cities, you likely rely on you well for your household water supply. However, water wells do not last forever. If you are wondering if it is time to drill a new well for your home, get to know some of the common problems that occur with a failing well and what you can do to resolve the problem. Then, you can better determine if you have reached the point where new water well drilling is necessary. Your Well May Be Getting Old Wells do not have an infinite lifespan. In fact, most do not remain functional for more than a few decades. If your well is more than a few decades old, you may find yourself concerned that it will stop producing the quality water that you have come to expect in your home. However, if you do not notice any changes in the color, taste, or quality of your water, then even if your water well is more than a few decades old, you likely do not need to drill an entirely new one just yet. Because your well is older, be sure to have the water quality tested and your well inspected on a bi-annual or annual basis. If there are no problems detected in these inspections, you can hold off planning your next water well for the time being. The Well Seems To Be Drying Up Weather conditions, drought, the structural integrity of the well, and many other factors can contribute to just how much water is in your well at any given time. When the water supply seems to be drying up, you will first want to make sure that the issue is not mechanical. A damaged well pump or well pump valve can prevent your water well from being able to transport the water in the well into your home. This water well pump can be replaced quickly and easily by a service company and have you up and running in no time. If the issue is not mechanical, the next step to take is to try to drill your current water well deeper. This process involves measuring the water levels beneath the current well pump depth. Your service technician will take measurements to determine if there is enough water below to warrant lowering the pump and proceed to adjust your well’s depth to get you more water as soon as possible. However, if the water levels are not sufficient, it will be time to drill a new water well for your rural home. Now that you know a few of the problems you may face with your water well and their possible solutions, you will better be able to handle your water well issues as they arise. If you find you need to drill a new well, contact Advanced...

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How To Prep And Sandblast Stucco Walls

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Prep And Sandblast Stucco Walls

Stucco is an extremely durable exterior siding material. It is also very versatile because it can be applied over different types of sidewalls and it can be painted any color. This durability only poses a problem if you decide that you want to remove it from your sidewalls. It won’t just scrape off with ease. You can rent a simple sandblaster and remove stucco on your own. The job is messy, but it is really the best way to remove stucco and expose the sidewall. This article explains how to remove stucco with a sandblaster. Prepping Before Blasting Before you even begin to use the sandblaster, you need to do a lot of prep work. It is probably a good idea to not even rent the sandblaster until you have done the preparation work and completely mask off the area. The most important thing you will need to mask off a large exterior area is a few rolls of painter’s plastic. Use a heavy duty product, because ultra thin painter’s plastic can tear very easily, especially when there is sand and stucco present. You need to mask off the ground around the walls to help catch all the stucco that falls off. But, you also need to mask off your windows, doors and the rest of the trim around your house. If the sandblaster hits these surfaces, it could knock the paint right off. It is better to spend more time being thorough when masking off these areas then to neglect them and have to invest in serious repairs later on. Basically, be very thorough. In fact, overdo it when it comes to masking off with the painters plastic. Overspray from the sandblasting can get everywhere and it can be quite a pain to clean up. But, when it falls on the plastic, you simply roll up it up and throw it away. Using the Sandblaster Sandblasting is actually quite self explanatory. You basically power up the machine, fill it with the sand and start spraying down the stucco. You should make sure you are wearing the appropriate attire for the job. Most importantly, you want to be wearing clothes that you don’t mind throwing away and protective eyeglasses. There might be certain parts of the stucco that don’t come off-the-wall, no matter how much sandblasting you do. These can be knocked away with a chisel or floor scraper. Even though sandblasting requires using heavy duty machine, the actual work is fairly simple. Just make sure you were wearing the right clothes and you do an adequate amount of masking off before you power up the machine. To find out more, speak with a bsuiness like APC...

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Tips For Prepping Your Home For Your Estate Sale

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Prepping Your Home For Your Estate Sale

While estate sales are not something you need to deal with frequently, it’s important that you are well prepared for when they happen. An estate sale is very different from a garage sale since you need to do much more planning. These tips will help your estate stale be successful. Know How Estate Sales Are Different From Garage Sales Garage sales typically involve you putting out the items you are looking to sell, and people will rummage through it looking at just those items. Estate sales allow people to go through drawers, cabinets, and anything that is accessible in the house. It’s common to mark a room off as not having items for sale, but if they can access it, they should be able to buy the item. That’s why you’ll need to first go through the home and clear out things you want to save or are simply not worth selling. Clean The House of Worthless Items Anything that does not have a significant value should be thrown out to prevent people from having to sort through junk. Walk through the home and collect things that you want to recycle or throw away, donate to charity or a thrift shop, or things you want to hold on to. It’s a great idea to have a junk removal company, like Ground Effects Hauling Inc, come to your home to take these things away for you. There are also charities that will pick up items you want to donate. When you plan on holding onto a lot of things instead of selling them, consider getting a storage unit to place them in so that they are not even in the home. You can move them to a permanent location later. Make The Home Friendly For Shopping Even if the home was a bit disorganized before, you’ll want to place items where others would expect them to be. Clothes should be in closets, but remove extra clothes to unused closets so that they are easy to browse. Place mirrors in bedrooms so that people can see how things look if they try it on. If the furniture you’re selling has drawers, make sure that the drawers are empty in case the item is sold. Have items you want to sell for a discount? Put them in the common location like the garage so people know where to find them An estate sale is a big task to manage, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to have a successful estate...

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How Can You Prevent Your New Patio Fire Pit From Becoming A Fire Hazard?

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Can You Prevent Your New Patio Fire Pit From Becoming A Fire Hazard?

With summer just on the horizon, you may already be looking forward to spending balmy nights outside around the calming roar of an open flame. If you have a portable fire pit, an evening of fun and friends is always just a match and some kindling away. However, open flames always bring with them some risk, and your fun and carefree party could quickly go south if an errant spark were to cause an uncontrolled fire. Read on to learn about how you can make your summer fires as safe as possible without compromising the aesthetic.  What should you do to maintain your fire pit’s surroundings? Ideally, your fire pit should be on a flat, solid, fire-resistant surface, like a rock or stone patio or concrete slab. Placing a fire pit on wooden or composite decking may be fine under most circumstances, but if the base of the fire pit becomes too hot or sparks begin to fly and touch down on your deck, flames could quickly spread. You’ll also want to avoid placing your fire pit directly onto grass or beneath a low-hanging tree that could be singed by open flames. After using your fire pit, you’ll want to shovel out any excess ashes (after they’ve fully cooled) and dispose of them in your compost heap or near the edge of your lawn. These ashes contain nourishing minerals like nitrogen that can improve the quality of your soil. Also, this will ensure your fire pit has a low ash level at the beginning of your next fire and decrease the odds of sparks beginning to fly as the wind picks up.   You’ll also want to keep the area around your fire pit neat and clean even when it’s not in use. Periodically sweep away any leaves, twigs, or other debris that can create flammable dust, and give your patio or concrete slab a good hose-down a few times per season to eliminate any dust that may have collected on the surface.  What extra steps can you take to protect your home and family from fire danger? Because fire can spread much more quickly than you can react to extinguish it, having a portable fire extinguisher handy can often be a lifesaver. This fire extinguisher can be mounted just inside the door closest to your fire pit or even on an exterior wall to ensure easy access. Although going years without using your fire extinguisher is a good thing, you’ll need to have it periodically checked and recharged to ensure it will work as intended in an emergency. Just check the expiration date listed on your fire extinguisher so that you can make a note to have it inspected before this point. To find out more, speak with a business like The Safety Team...

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4 Tips For Making Gutter Cleaning Easy

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Making Gutter Cleaning Easy

Cleaning the gutters attached to the roof of your home is highly important for preventing water damage. If the gutters are not clean, when it rains, the water can build up and cause water damage to the roof and the side of your home. The cost of repairs can be extensive and in many situations, your homeowners insurance won’t cover the costs since it was a repair that could have easily been avoided had the gutters been cleaned. Cleaning the gutters doesn’t have to be a task that you dread. Here are four tips for making it easier: Wear Gloves: When you wear gloves, it’s going to be easier to grip all the dirt and grime that you are trying to get out of the gutters. On top of this, you won’t be so grossed out about what you are touching with your bare hands, which is also safer. You never know what kind of bacteria is lurking in the dirt and grime that is stuck to the gutters.  Use a Beach Shovel: The best type of shovel to use to scoop out stubborn dirt and grime is a kid’s shovel that you would use at the beach. A metal shovel that you use for gardening can cause damage to the gutters, and sometimes these types of shovels are too large to fit perfectly into the gutters. Kid’s beach shovels will fit perfectly into the gutters and since they are so lightweight, it will be easier to scoop out dirt without causing damage.  Put a Tarp Underneath Workspace: Instead of throwing the dirt that you are scooping out onto your yard below or trying to scoop it into a trash bag that you have to control while on the roof, consider putting a tarp underneath your workspace instead. You can scoop the dirt out onto the tarp below and when you are all done with the cleaning process, you can wipe off the tarp into the garbage.  Use a Pressure Washer: In the case that there is dirt also stuck to the outside of the gutters, it’s likely that dirt is stuck inside the gutters as well. You will need to use more than just the garden hose to wipe it off. Instead, renting a pressure washer will help you remove the dirt quickly and efficiently.  When you consider these four tips, cleaning the gutters can be made easier, which makes the job less grueling. Speak to a local gutter cleaning service or click for more...

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Do’s And Don’ts For Replacing Your Water Heater’s Elements

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do’s And Don’ts For Replacing Your Water Heater’s Elements

If you need to tackle the job of replacing your water heater’s elements, then following these do’s and don’ts will help you to complete the project like a seasoned plumber: Do invest in a water heater element wrench. Water heater element wrenches can be purchased at the hardware store where you buy the replacement heating elements. The wrench looks like a short piece of metal pipe with two holes drilled into one end. The holes are used to place your screwdriver through to be used as leverage to remove and install the elements. Don’t attempt to work on your water heater without first turning off the power and cold water line leading into the tank. Check to make sure that the power is off by touching each element with a voltage meter or current testing tool before you remove them. Do connect your garden hose to the water outlet located at the bottom of the water heater’s tank. You need to completely drain the water in the tank before you can remove the elements for replacement. While some tutorials online claim that you can replace elements with the water still contained in the tank, this can lead to a giant flood that you will have to clean up. It is much cleaner and easier to just drain the tank. Don’t place the end of your garden hose in your shower or bathtub if your home uses a septic tank to process waste water. Instead, place the hose outside and use the excess water for your landscaping bushes or to water a tree. Do open a water tap to relieve the pressure of your water system before draining the water heater. If you do not do this, then the water will very slowly trickle out of the hose and completely draining the water heater’s tank will be nearly impossible. While you can open the emergency pressure relief valve to allow the water to flow down the hose, this is not advisable because the valve is spring-loaded and opening a tap is much easier and more effective. Don’t open the water tap in the bathroom to drain your water heater. Instead, open the tap in your kitchen sink. By running the water in your kitchen, you will keep any calcium salts that have built up in the system from going into the smaller plumbing pipes used for your bathroom drains. It is much better to dump the salts into the larger plumbing in your home’s kitchen. Contact a company like 2 Guys Plumbing and Heating Inc. for more information or...

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Repairing Loose Outlets In Plaster Walls

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Repairing Loose Outlets In Plaster Walls

Do you have plaster walls with loose electrical outlets? Do your outlets push into the wall when you plug something into them? Your outlets should be secured to a stud to prevent them from moving around. Below, you will find out how to make this relatively easy repair. Find the Studs This can be a tricky part of making the repair. Generally, the outlet should have been installed using the stud in the wall to support it, but sometimes, especially in older homes, the outlet isn’t located aside the stud. Here are a few tricks that can help you locate the stud nearest to the outlet. Use a stud finder tool – these gadgets usually do well finding the studs in the wall, but sometimes, they fail, or maybe you don’t have one. Magnet test – hang a very strong magnet to a piece of string. Move the magnet slowly across the wall until it sticks to the wall. When it sticks, you have found the nails holding the wood lath onto the stud. You may have to move to different heights before you find the nails, but eventually, the strong magnet will pinpoint the location of the stud. Drill holes – this is a very destructive method of finding those studs, but it will work. Use a small drill bit to drill holes in the areas where you think the studs are located. Eventually, you will feel the change in pressure that it takes to drill through. When you find an area with the most resistance, you have found your stud. Make the Repair After you have located the stud nearest to the outlet, turn off the power to the outlet at your breaker panel. Remove the screws holding the outlet in place. Label the wiring so that you can quickly reconnect it after you have moved it. Position the back side of the outlet back box on the wall lining it up with the stud and trace around it with a pencil. Use a drill to drill a small hole in the area where the outlet will be installed. Insert the tip of a keyhole saw – or power rotary cutting tool into the hole and follow the line that you have traced to cut a hole the size of the box. Reach through the hole to grab the wiring and move it to the new location. If you cannot reach it with your hand, use a bent wire clothes hanger to reach into the hole and pull it to where you can reach it. Drill holes into the stud to secure the box into the stud with screws. Position the box and insert and tighten the screws. Feed the wiring through the outlet back box, connect it to your outlet and secure the outlet in the box with screws. Replace the outlet cover and your replacement project is complete. Repair the Old Hole Once you have moved the outlet, you will be left with an old hole. This can be an easy fix for you to complete. Go to your local hardware store and pick up a plaster hole patch repair kit. Inside that kit, you will find a can of plaster, netting to cover the hole, sandpaper and instructions. You will cover the hole with...

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