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Just a few plumbing tips today. The main takeaway is that a little bit of prevention and some basic information can be your best weapon against high plumbing bills.

Run your faucet with cold water when you run your garbage disposal. When you use hot water, any grease in the drain will melt and be more prone to stopping up your drain.

If something is wrong with the disposal, do not stick your hand in it to fix it. Garbage disposals can be dangerous even when turned off. Locate a diagram of the garbage disposal and only use a broom handle to move anything down there.

Do not pour grease or oil in your sink or down your drain. This is a certain way to either slow your drainage or clog it up. This can make your garbage disposal run slower too. Just don’t put any oils down the sink.

Clogged drains are a problem that can require professional help. Practically anything can get stuck in those drains and cause them to clog up, including hair, non-biodegradable objects and organic sediment. You can prevent hair from getting into your drains by installing a device on top of your drain such as a net or screen which will trap some of the hair from getting into your pipes.

Often, toilet problems can be fixed by just replacing the flapper. These flappers deteriorate over time and cause your toilet to leak. Make sure your chain pressure is right first, but then check into replacing the flapper, since it may be worn.

If your home has copper pipes, they could expand some when hot water runs through them. When they do, they can rub against their pipe hangers, and cause some eventual pipe damage. You can simply tape the pipe where it meets the hanger.

When dealing with a clogged drain and you don’t have a snake, try using an old-fashioned metal coat hanger to clear the clog. Straighten the hanger and bend a small hook at one end. Slide the hangar down as far as you can and gently move it in and out till the clog is hopefully cleared.

The summer months are the perfect time to schedule a tune-up for the hot water heater (and your furnace). A regularly maintained water heater heats more efficiently and costs you less money than an old, inefficient model.

All family members should be aware of the location of the main water shut off in your house. Toilets, sinks and other fixtures should also have shut-off valves too. Each family member should know how to shut the water off in case of an emergency.

And outdoors, check on the condition of your gutters. Remove all debris, such as leaves and branches, so that you have a smooth flow of water down and away from your house.

Plus in the fall (for people who live where it gets cold), disconnect all your water hoses from your outside faucets. Hoses with water left in them will freeze in the cold weather and expand, causing leaks in the hose when you next use it. Plus, freezing hoses can cause the faucets and the connecting pipe inside your house to freeze also. Don’t chance it, just disconnect them and dry them out.

If you are remodeling your house, whenever you can, take some pictures of the inside of your walls, floors and ceilings. You will have a clearer idea as to where your pipes and heating are located in case you need to do maintenance later.

Try to know all of your plumbing problems before you call your plumber. Having all of them fixed in one visit is much cheaper than having a plumber make multiple calls to your house.

Thanks to a Wisconsin plumbing site for today’s info.

Over in Idado

We are putting together a short list of popular Idaho plumbers.

Right now the list is mostly centered around Boise, but we hope to expand our list soon.

If you would like to talk about your favorite Idaho plumber, just let us know.

A1 Plumbing & Rooter works on all kinds of plumbing issues. Their service area is in Boise, Ada, Nampa and Canyon Counties here in Idaho. The will pick up the phone any hour of the day.

Executive Plumbing, Heating & Air has been working with Boise homeowners and business owners for almost a decade. They have a solid base of residential and commercial customers and have completed thousands of service and repair projects.

Roto-Rooter is a well-known service franchise that works all over Idaho. They perform plumbing and sewer work on all kinds of different jobs.

Water Softeners

For homeowners in about half of the cities in this country, having a working water softener is a terrific investment.

Some states have very hard water, which, over time, can damage appliances, destroy fixtures, and cause other less-important, but still annoying consequences.

While some municipalities will soften the water somewhat before it is delivered to your home, it is really up to the homeowner to bring the water hardness level down to the appropriate level.

You can buy a water softener from a large home store and install it yourself, but the models in these stores are typically of just basic quality.

The preferred option is to have a professional plumber install a good water softener system which will end up saving you water, electricity and salt in the long run, plus do a better job of protecting your appliances and fixtures.

You can read more about water softeners and what one master plumber in particular recommends doing at

If you are very handy and you feel comfortable working with pipes and plumbing, you could install one yourself.

Water Heaters

One rather common job for plumbing companies is water heater replacement.

Most water heaters can't be repaired once they start to leak from the tank. A tank leak is only going to get worse. And sometimes they get worse real fast.

Water heater replacement is kind of expensive. Expect to pay over a thousand bucks for your next one. Want an estimate in your area? City Water Heater is a site you can visit right now.

Maybe you have a different type of appliance that is giving your grief -- refrigerator or clothes washer perhaps? You can set up an appointment for a technician to come by and take a look. Convenient appointments soon. Appliance Helpers can arrange that for you.

What About Indianapolis?

We have built a new page that is all about finding a decent, dependable plumber in Indianapolis, IN.

Whether you are new to Indianapolis or you just don’t know which plumber to call, we have put together the names of a few well-known Indiana plumbing companies.

We want to thank for their help with this.

And folks in Milwaukee can get an estimate right over the phone -- can help.

San Francisco Home Security


Protect America has been chosen by Bay Area Home Security to be their top-rated alarm monitoring service for this past year.

Lee Arthur, the senior editor for, said, “While there were several good candidates, in the end we had one clear choice. We based our decision on cost, service, convenience and technology options. Protect America really seemed to be the best service.”

Bay Area Home Security has been discussing security issues with residents of the greater San Francisco area since 2009. Their website reviews local alarm monitoring services and encourages conversation and action from homeowners and business property owners in the area of property protection and security.

“According to statistics from the FBI,” Arthur continued, “About four percent of San Francisco home owners will be the victim of a property crime this year. While many of us may feel our area is safe, San Francisco has a crime rating of 10, which means that it is safer than only 10% of the cities in the USA. Those aren’t very good numbers.”

Arthur went on to say that one of the biggest changes in security systems has been the growth of interactive technology. Some systems provide options for remotely arming and disarming the system or for sending text message alerts to the system’s owner when specific events happen.

“It’s important to get a good quality alarm system,” concluded Arthur, “But you want to watch your budget too, and we thought Protect America gives most homeowners the best bang for their buck.”

Bay Area Home Security is a free information website for residents of the greater San Francisco area. It provides tips about home security systems and advice for selecting a local monitoring service. For more information, visit

New List of Plumbers

We are starting a new page on Oregon plumbers. More specifically, the page is about Eugene, Oregon plumbing contractors.

We are interested in hearing your opinions of local plumbers as well.

Cincinnati Area

We have a new suggestion for someone looking for a plumber in the Cincinnati area of Ohio: is a website that recommends local plumbers.  They have a few top local plumbing companies on their site with links to their websites.

Hope that helps anyone in the Cincinnati suburbs.

San Francisco Area Plumbing Recommendations

We’ve had a comment about recommending some plumbers in the San Francisco area.

Here are three solid choices in the Bay Area:

San Francisco Plumbing Company, founded in 1976.

O'Grady Plumbing & Heating for all kinds of plumbing, heating or cooling issues.

Ace Plumbing and Rooter for problems starting with your faucets to the pipes in your yard.

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