February 2014

How to Conserve Home Energy During the Winter Months

by raleigh plumbers on February 28, 2014

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During all seasons, home energy management is a paramount concern for many home owners. The winter months provide a particular challenge in energy conservation, and there are a number of tactics that can be used throughout your house that will yield significant home heating savings. Let’s take a look at what can be done.

Attend to your thermostat regularly. Aside from keeping the temperature set as low as your are comfortable with, remember to turn the thermostat down when you are out of the house for any extended period of time. energy.gov notes that turning your thermostat down at least 10 degrees for eight hours during the winter months (while at work, for instance) can save as much as 10% a year on your heating bills.

Adjust your windows. Ensure curtains on any south-facing windows in your home are wide open during the winter months in order to encourage sunlight to heat your home. Close the curtains once the sun passes on. Additionally, you can insulate windows to prevent drafts by applying clear plastic film to the inside of window frames. Insulating drapes can also be used.

Prevent fireplace heat loss. Always ensure your fireplace damper is closed unless you are actively using the fireplace. Closing the damper keeps warm air trapped within your house, while leaving it open is effectively the same as leaving a window open in winter. Additionally, when actively using the fireplace, close all the doors leading into the room in which the fireplace is located and crack open the window nearest to the fireplace as much as one inch. Lower your thermostat as much as is reasonable when utilizing your fireplace.

Between fireplace usage, you may also consider caulking around the fireplace hearth. Also, if you simply have no plans to use your fireplace in the future, seal the chimney flue.

Manage water heating costs. Water heating is a big deal — it can account for as much as 25% of the energy used by your home. Adjust your water heater to its warm setting (120 degrees F). Regular servicing of your heater will also ensure it runs at an optimal level, saving you from high energy costs. Specifically, regular drainage of your water heater’s tank every few months will aid in keeping costs down, particularly in the winter. For specifics on draining your water heater, please refer to our How-To here: http://www.poolesplumbing.com/plumbing-tips/how-to-drain-a-water-heater/

Tips and Tricks on Unclogging a Toilet

by raleigh plumbers on February 18, 2014

Unpleasant Plumbing JobA clogged toilet is always an unsightly nuisance that can turn into a much bigger pain if your toilet bowl begins overflowing. Mitigate any water damage and related clean up and unclog your toilet with the use of a properly prepared plunger and effective plunging procedures.

Choose your plunger wisely. Ideally, try to secure a funnel-cup plunger for your foray into toilet bowl repair. These plungers feature an added extension, or flange, at the bottom of their plunging cups that makes them ideal for unclogging toilets. However, sometimes you just have to “love the one you’re with”, so if you lack a funnel-cup plunger, don’t despair. You should still be able to successfully unclog your toilet.

Prep your plunger before use. If your plunger is new or hasn’t been used lately, it will surely have stiffened up since your last use, and stiff plungers are not as adept at unclogging your toilet. Take your plunger and submerge it in hot water for a minute or two before tackling the toilet. This will increase plunger flexibility.
Create a solid seal with your plunger. Push down firmly with the plunger after inserting it over the toilet’s water exit hole, and then pull up just as firmly. Repeat these motion several times vigorously before removing the plunger and attempting to flush the toilet.

Close the flapper if your plunging efforts were unsuccessful and the toilet begins to overflow. Remove the toilet’s lid if you haven’t already and locate the flapper at the bottom of the tank. It will be a round, rubber piece that is connected to the flapper chain. Place your hand on the flapper to close it. This will keep further water from entering the toilet bowl.

Repeat your plunging efforts as you did before, then flush again to check for effectiveness. Repeat the plunging and flushing procedure until your toilet properly flushes without overflowing.

commercial-plumbingPoole’s Plumbing has prided itself on its friendly, full-service drain cleaning and sewer clearing offerings for more than a decade, and we’re happy to announce the availability of our new Hydro-Jett Clear & Clean Service, a more thorough and complete fix for both residential garbage disposals and commercial drain stoppages.

Unlike conventional cable or “rooter” machines which only target the immediate stoppage in your drain, our Hydro-Jett system utilizes high pressure water jets at 3500 PSI to thoroughly clean the walls of the pipe, removing far more of the debris in your water and sewer lines and preventing leftover build-up from creating another stoppage by simply eliminating it altogether. This system doesn’t “poke” a hole in the stoppage like previous systems — it literally blasts away the problem.

How does the Hydro-Jett Clean & Clear Service offer such a complete, efficient solution? The jetting system’s spinning streams attack sediment, scale, soap scum, leaves, grease, hair and even roots at a variety of angles, and are so powerful they can cut through a 2×4 piece of wood in approximately 30 seconds! This power is used efficiently and responsibly, because unlike cable machines, your pavement and landscaping don’t need to be dug up or disturbed during the process. No more sewer cables and no more messy removal of clogged sewer pipes.

The Hydro-Jett system is so advanced that Poole’s recommends its use for everything from apartment complex clean-up to tearing through grease and oil in restaurant drains, and because of the manner in which the high-powered jets attack the gunk and build-up around the walls of the pipes, we’re offering a 90-day warranty with each cleaning. Oh, and as always, you’ll never pay extra for our camera. Interested in learning more about our innovative Hydro-Jett Clear & Clean Service? Visit our Hydro-Jett page to learn more.


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