Your Bathroom Is Not As Safe As You Think.

34463361_s (1)Most people think of their bathroom as a safe and relaxing place. This is the smallest room in the house, but it is where you go after a long day to have a relaxing shower or bath.

However, hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year in their bathroom. In fact, it is statistically the most dangerous room in the home. Even more so than the kitchen, which is difficult to understand since the kitchen is where the knives and hot surfaces are.

But, in the bathroom people let their guard down about safety, and that is when accidents happen. Not thinking about what accidents could happen actually influences the probability that an accident will happen. It is important to think about safety at all times, regardless of which room of the house you are in.

Here are some dos and don’ts for bathroom safety in your home:

  • Do install bathmats to improve the traction of your bathroom flooring. If you can, install non-slip flooring for a no-maintenance approach to safety. When non-slip flooring gets wet, it doesn’t get slippery so, you never have to worry about a slip and fall accident.
  • Do Not leave children unattended in the bathtub. January is National Bath Safety and calls attention to the safety of children in the bathroom. It is possible to drown in just a few inches of water, and small children are especially at risk as their balance is not as stable as adults. Never leave your children in the bathtub unattended, even if only for a short period of time.
  • Do install safety bars to improve the stability of the shower when getting in and out. When you step into or out of the shower, you are on one foot and one of your feet is on a wet and slippery surface. Most of us aren’t even aware when we are stepping into the shower, but this is the time when you are most vulnerable to a slip and fall accident.
  • Do Not put shampoo and soap on ledges or shelves in the shower. Instead add a shower caddy to keep all items organized and out of the reach of children. A bottle of shampoo that is sitting on a ledge in the shower could fall over and drip shampoo onto the shower floor. This will create and extremely slippery and unsafe condition when hot water hits it and the next person steps in.

Bathroom safety is not just for young children and the elderly. It is important that everyone be thoughtful of safety in the bathroom. Because it is the smallest room in the home, there is a higher chance of head injury in the case of a slip and fall accident, and that should be a concern for everyone.

Winter Season Water-Saving Tips

5214176_sIt might seem a little strange to think about but, saving water during the winter months is just as important as saving water during all of the other months of the year.

The process is a little different during this time of the year though, because the way that we use water is different.

During the spring and summer months we are doing things like washing cars and watering lawns but, in the winter months there is none of that activity.

But, during the winter months these activities taper off because of the weather so, we have to think of other ways to save water.

A lot of winter water-saving activities are preventative in nature. This means, water-saving during the winter months means preventing water leaks and flooding.

Here are some ways that you can protect your plumbing from winter weather, and thus save water:

  • Insulating your water heater with a winter blanket is a great way to make sure it doesn’t incur unnecessary wear and tear. Your water heater works harder during the winter months than any other time of the year, and an insulated blanket helps to protect the tank and the heating element from succumbing to the extra work.
  • Wrap your outside spigots and hose bibs with insulated material to protect them against the freezing temperatures. Even these outdoor spigots are connected to the indoor plumbing of your home and, if they freeze, they will flood and cause water damage and water loss to your home.
  • If the temperatures get really cold, leave your faucets to drip a little bit at night to make sure that the water in the system is continuously moving. This helps to combat against freezing pipes and thus prevents flooding and loss of water.
  • Make sure that you and everyone in your household knows where the main water shut off valve is for your home. This is the valve that is located outside, typically close to the sidewalk or street and turns off all of the water to your home from the main supply. Turning this valve off in the case of a winter time plumbing malfunction will mitigate damage and prevent loss of water.

The year is coming to an end and the winter weather is in full swing. Make sure to follow these tips for protecting your plumbing from a winter weather disaster, which will not only cause serious water damage to your home but, also waste a lot of water.

How To Get Your Kitchen Ready For The Holiday Activities

32774493_sIs your kitchen ready for the holiday season? This is the time of year when most kitchens get the most use of the entire year.

With this extra food preparation comes more dirty dishes. And, that means more work for your dishwasher. Your dishwasher is an important appliance in your kitchen, especially when it comes to quickly cleaning up from hosting a dinner party.

As important as your dishwasher is it can also be temperamental. Inside of your dishwasher is a filtering system that is meant to trap particles of food that don’t get rinsed off of the dishes all the way. But, this filter can’t handle large particles of food and, if it gets clogged, your dishes will be washed and rinsed in dirty water.

Here are some maintenance tips that you can take to keep your dishwasher in top condition so that it can handle the stress of the holiday use:

  • Check under the kitchen sink where the dishwasher is plugged in and make sure that the plug and all of the wiring look good. If there are any exposed wires or black discoloration around the plug, then you should have your dishwasher serviced immediately. Water and electricity cross paths quite a bit in your kitchen and your dishwasher is no exception. Keeping tabs on the condition of the wiring is an important step to keeping you and your family safe.
  • Your dishwasher is a self-contained unit that has been installed into a pre-cut section of your kitchen counter. This means, that with use and movement it will shift in position. Make sure that your dishwasher is level by opening the door so that it lays flat and placing a level on it. If your dishwasher is not level, it could leak.
  • The rubber seal around the inside of your dishwasher’s door is designed to keep the water inside during wash cycles. Make sure the seal on your machine is in good shape and doesn’t have any mildew or mold built up.

Cooking meals for friends and loved ones is a favorite way to share the holiday spirit. Rushing around town, gathering gifts and ingredients to come home and prepare a delicious meals and put the wrapped presents under the tree is a great way to spend the holiday season. Make sure that your dishwasher is up to the task by following these tips for maintenance.


3 Plumbing Items To Buy Now For Spring Projects

3076411_sThe spring season is a favorite time for doing home improvement projects. It is when homeowners wipe the dust that gathered over the cold weather season and start projects like updated the bathroom or even completely remodeling the kitchen.

However, now is the time of year when all of the best sales are going on and you could have a chance to grab some great deals on items for your home. Many people are out this time of year buying things for the friends and loved ones. But, since you’re going to be out anyway, why not keep your eyes open for items that will add some shine to your home once the frost thaws?

Updating your bathroom or doing some kitchen remodeling are two of the best ways to add value to your home. Of course, these projects must be done with a budget in mind. While there are normally sales on appliances and such all year around, the best sales are during these holiday months.

Here are just a few items that you should add to your shopping list:

  • Maybe put it down on the bottom of the list, but shopping for a new toilet this time of year is essential. There are new models coming out every year and retailers need to make room. Plus, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year so it’s the perfect opportunity to get rid of some inventory.
  • While it is not part of any kind of remodel, a new washing machine is a key point to improving the overall function of your home. If you have an older washing machine it probably uses way too much water and electricity. A newer model will have a big impact on your monthly utility bills and some even come with a hefty tax break.
  • Plumbing fixtures that are designed to conserve water are a very popular item these days. The average shower uses two gallons of water per minute of use. Anything that can be done to reduce the amount of water used around the house is a good thing. Showerheads and faucets come in a variety of styles, each designed to use as little water as possible.

Keep your eyes peeled for sales on all items that you might need for your remodel. Or, if you’re just in the habit of freshening up your home in the spring you might be able to do much more than you planned by shopping the holiday sales.

Is Your Guest Bathroom Ready For Visitors?

18735751_sAre you looking forward to entertaining guests in the coming weeks? The fall is a favorite time of year to have friends and family over for delicious meals. The foods that are associated with fall are some of the best all year.

Baking is a favorite activity in the fall because of all of the specialty apples that are in season. And, casseroles or crockpot soups and stews are made easy and filling with root vegetables, beans, and rich meats.

All of this eating means extra wear and tear on your kitchen plumbing system though. And, if you’re like most people, your kitchen plumbing was mostly ignored over the summer months in favor of spending time outdoors in the warm weather.

But, if you’re going to have guests coming, who are expecting delicious meals and will be spending a couple of nights with you, it is important to get your plumbing system in top working order. Here are some tips:

  • Look in the cabinets under all of the sinks in your home and make sure there isn’t any pooling water. If you store things under the sink in your kitchen, pull everything out so that you can check all of the corners and sides of the cabinet.
  • Not all materials that make up clogs are vulnerable to the chemicals in the cleaning product. Instead, the product sits for a long time in your pipe and eats away at the pipe material, causing a weakening in your plumbing.
  • If you leave a toilet cleaning disc in the tank, the water in the tank will become highly corrosive to the gaskets and cause it to crumble and breakdown. The end result is a toilet that doesn’t function properly. If you have a bathroom in your home that you don’t use very often, leaving a toilet cleaning disc in the tank is especially detrimental as the toilet doesn’t get flushed very often and the water in the tank is constantly bathing the toilet components in chemicals.

To ensure that your guests have a wonderful visit, and you don’t have the unexpected stress and expense of a plumbing failure, make sure to follow these tips for getting your plumbing system in top working order.

4 Maintenance Tips For Your Kitchen Plumbing

39337284_sThe fall season is a favorite time of year for many people. Not only are there some terrific holidays to celebrate this time of year, but the food and seasonal ingredients are warm and comforting.

During the fall season many people move their cooking from outdoors on the grill to indoors in the oven, stove, and crockpot. While this is great for mealtime, it is hard on your kitchen during meal preparation and clean-up.

Here are some ways that you can keep your plumbing system protected from fall season cooking and cleaning:

  • Pour a boiling pot of water down your garbage disposal drain at least one time per week. First, plug the sink with a plug that has a chain on it. Then boil a large pot of water on the stove. Pour the boiling water into the sink, and then pull the drain. The heat and pressure of the water will “wash” the inside of the garbage disposal walls.
  • When you are peeling potatoes and other seasonal ingredients, put a plastic bag on the countertop and peel the foods into it. Then, gather up the side of the plastic bag and throw the peels into the garbage can. This prevents these peels from being put into the garbage disposal, where they will cause problems for the blade and could cause a serious clog.
  • After you have cooked meat, pour the grease, oil, and drippings into an empty tin can. Then, throw the entire can into the garbage can. If you pour the grease into the kitchen drain, it will solidify in the drain when it cools and begin collecting anything that comes down the drain behind it. This will soon lead to a serious clog in your kitchen drain.
  • When you are loading the dishwasher, make sure to thoroughly rinse the dishes and get all of the food particles from them. Putting large amounts of food into the dishwasher can cause the filter to clog, leading to the dishwasher filling with dirty water.

Mealtime during the fall is comforting and warming after a cold day out of your home. But, cleanup and preparation need some thoughtful processes to make sure that your kitchen plumbing is protected. Make sure to follow these tips and keep your kitchen working great!


Will You Be Without Hot Water This Fall?

36778918_sYour water heater is an important piece of your plumbing system – especially when the temperature outside starts to get cooler. Now that we are in the fall season, it is reminder that the winter temperatures are not far away, and a winter day without hot water could be very difficult.

While it might seem that your water heater wears down from simple wear and tear, in actuality the cold weather is much more damaging to the system. In fact, when the temperatures begin to drop outside your water heater has to work even harder than any other time of year.

Luckily, there are a couple of things that you can do to protect your water heater from breaking down during the cold weather:

  • Purchase an insulated blanket and wrap it around your water heater. This extra layer of protection helps to keep the heat inside of the tank and the cold outside. When the temperatures drop in the room where your water heater tank is installed, the water inside of the tank is subject to that temperature. This makes the water heater have to work harder to keep the water hot. But, with an insulated blanket, the water is kept hot.
  • Have the pressure valve on your water heater checked. Because the water inside of your water heater tank is hot, it releases steam and creates condensation. This causes pressure to build inside of the tank, and that pressure must be released or the tank will burst. The pressure valve measures the amount of pressure in the tank and releases enough to protect it from damage. Making sure this valve is working properly is very important to the overall safety and integrity of the tank.
  • Have your hot water heater tank inspected by a professional. Before we go into the most difficult season for your hot water heater, have the unit inspected by a professional to make sure that it is working properly and there aren’t any areas that could be hazardous.

Keeping your water heater in top working condition could make the difference between a good winter and a very inconvenient and cold one. The winter temperatures are very damaging to your water heater. Make sure to follow these tips and get your water heater protected.

How To Care For Your Appliances During The Back-To-School Chaos!

43493884_sDuring the month of September, there are many beginnings that people look forward to. Football seasons starts, which means filling out your Fantasy Football bracket, and the fall season begins with the first day being near the end of the month.

One thing that starts in September that many people don’t look forward to is the school season. This time of year means families throughout the Country get lurched into a chaotic frenzy of schedule and on-time.

All of this extra activity and moving around the home means that the appliances in your house take a beating, especially your plumbing system. The pipes and fixtures of your plumbing system are designed to handle a great deal of use, but if not treated properly, your plumbing system can quickly fail or breakdown leaving your schedule devastated.

Some areas to be considerate of are:

  • Your garbage disposal is especially vulnerable to the chaos of the schedule. When meal preparation or, clean-up is running behind, suddenly the garbage can is too far away and the garbage disposal will have to do. This is a dangerous practice as the garbage disposal can get clogged or broken.
  • Your dishwasher can fall victim to the chaos of the schedule. Inside of your dishwasher is a filter that is meant to trap small amounts of food particles. However, if you are in a hurry to get a meal cleaned-up, you may not be scraping the dishes as thoroughly as you should. This can leave the dishwasher filter clogged, and thus your dishes being washed with dirty water. Yuck!
  • Your water heater can become a casualty of the schedule. During the evening hours dinner dishes need to be cleaned up, showers need to be taken, and teeth need to be brushed. All of these tasks require hot water. However, your water heater only holds a definite amount of hot water and when the hot water in the tank is exhausted, you have to wait! The schedule does not allow waiting. Instead, add timer to the bathroom and keep everyone on schedule.

The back-to-school schedule is a beast that must be fed, and going off schedule is unacceptable. Follow these tips to keep your family on the schedule, without compromising your plumbing system.

Plumbing Projects Do’s And Don’ts

34463361_s (1)Safety during home improvement projects is the priority. Whether you are a professional or, a confident homeowner, keeping yourself safe and the project on target are key to a successful outcome.

Your plumbing system is a fragile configuration and must be approached with thoughtfulness and care. This includes having a complete safety protocol that is followed consistently.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for you to add to your list when designing a safety plan for your home plumbing project:

  • If you plumbing projects involves moving or installing plumbing, make sure that you are aware of all plumbing codes and laws. Any kind of addition or construction that you do to your home must pass code and inspection. Knowing what these are is important to ensuring that your plumbing project does not fail an inspection, which could cause you a significant amount of money.
  • Always wear safety gear. Any home improvement project has its own dangers. By not taking these dangers seriously, and protecting yourself, you could be seriously injured. Proper protective equipment includes; safety goggles, gloves, boots, and a mask. This equipment should be worn at all times when working on your plumbing system.
  • Keep your work area clean and tidy. When you are working with your plumbing system, sometimes it is necessary to use power tools. This means creating a situation where electricity and water interact. It is very important in these situations to keep the work area clean and free of any obstructions that could lead to a serious injury.
  • When you are researching your project, make sure to identify the tools you will need for the job and have all of them handy. There are some specialty tools required when working on your plumbing system and they are not ones that people always have in their toolbox. Make sure that you know which tools you will need, and that you are using the tools as they were intended.

Keeping yourself safe during a home improvement project is one of the best ways to keep the project on time and on target. When an unexpected injury occurs, the project could be derailed for quite some time and that might leave you without working plumbing while you are injured.

Toilet Repair

Repair Toilet Clogs

clogged toilet repairOne of the most important part of your plumbing system is the toilet. This fixture is important because, if it stops working everyone in the house notices. Not to mention the mess that a clogged toilet can make.

A clogged toilet is typically caused by something being flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t have been. While this can include the occasional child’s toy, car keys, or TV remote it is more often from an accumulation of non-flushable paper products.

Things like diapers, baby wipes, q-tips, dental floss, and sanitary napkins should never be flushed down the toilet. While these items might seem appropriate to flush down the toilet, they are actually much too large and dense to make it all the way down the pipeline. The drain and pipes for your toilet are designed only to manage liquids and organic solids. When non-flushable paper products are flushed, they easily get stuck in the drain curves and pipe joints because the diameter of the system is not big enough.

Here is how you can easily unclog your toilet:

  • Turn the water valve for the toilet off.
  • Purchase a quality toilet plunger that has a flanged bell on it. This makes it easier to ensure a good seal is created between the plunger and the toilet drain.
  • Add a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the flange part of the plunger. Make sure you are wearing gloves and safety goggles. It is easy for water to splash up out of the bowl due to pressure build-up in the line.
  • Place the flange part of the plunger bell over the toilet drain so that no part of the drain is visible. Gently push down on the plunger handle. It is important to make the first thrust gentle as the clog has trapped air in the drain and pushing forcefully could cause water to splash up and out of the bowl.
  • After you have pushed the air out of the line, you can then push and pull on the handle of the plunger forcefully (making sure never to break the seal between flange and drain) several times until water starts to drain from the toilet bowl. Make sure there is always enough water in the toilet bowl to cover the plunger.
  • Turn the water to the toilet back on and flush the toilet.

No one likes having a clogged toilet. While it is one of the most common plumbing failures, it is probably the most loathed because of the filth and inconvenience that comes along with it. Follow these easy steps for getting your toilet back to doing its job! If you need help contact us. At Mccuen PHC we are here to help you with all of your plumbing, heating & AC related problems 24/7!