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My Plumber - Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioner Blog - Archive for April 2010

Taking Control in a Plumbing Emergency Can Eliminate a Homeowner's Nightmare

Posted on Monday, April 26, 2010 3:20:02 PM

Knowledge is Power


Taking Control In A Plumbing Emergency Can Eliminate A Plumbing Disaster
March 26, 2010 - Many plumbing emergencies involve water running to some place that it should not be.  Frequently those places are where it can do damage to drywall, carpeting or hardwood flooring.  It is unlikely that you will be able to eliminate all possibility of a burst pipe or overflow­ing toilet, but there is a way to take control and limit the damage caused to your home.

Mark Presgrave, a Master Plumber and Vice President of My Plumber Heating and Cooling in the Metropolitan D.C. area, says that the first step to controlling many plumbing emergencies is to know where the main shut-off valve is for your home and how it works.  Trace the water supply line back from the water heater to an outside wall and find your shut-off valve.  Learn how to oper­ate that valve.  Be able to shut it off and turn it back on.  With this knowledge, you can stop the flooding and gain control over the situation.

Step two is to find all the individual shut-off valves for each fixture in the home.  (Please note that not every fixture has a shut-off valve.)  When looking for the valves, keep in mind that shut-off valves are usually located under the fixture; as with a toilet, or behind an appliance where it con­nects to the water supply.  Take the time to learn how they work and make sure that they operate properly and are not leaking.

Step three is to teach every member of the household who is old enough to respond appropriately where the shut-off valves are and how to work them.  A ten-year old who knows how to work a shut-off valve can prevent thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

One note of caution:  never walk through standing water if there are electrical wires nearby.  Find another way to reach the shut-off valve, turn off the power supply, call the non-emergency number for your local fire department or just wait for the plumber.  Water and electricity make a deadly combination.

By following the three simple steps explained above, you will be able to take control of a plumbing emergency, and will be much less likely to experience major water damage in your home.


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Another Water Conservation Tip

Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 4:05:49 PM

More from Wendell and Mark's Favorite Tips


Fruits and vegetables often come with a residual coating of dirt, wax and pesticides. Most people rinse the food under running water to wash away the coating. However, this practice eliminates only about 25% of the foreign matter and wastes a lot of water. 

There are better ways to clean fruits and vegetables before eating. For soft-skinned fruits such as peaches and apricots, make a wash of three parts water to one part vinegar in a bowl and soak the fruits for 30 minutes. For hard-skinned fruit or vegetables, such as apples or carrots, soak with a spray mixture of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 2 cups of water. Scrub with a soft brush and then rinse again with the lemon juice solution. 

For your sprayer, avoid contamination by using a new clean bottle and sprayer, purchased for this purpose; wash it well with soap and water prior to its first use. Don’t try to repurpose an old bottle that previously contained household cleaner or beauty products.  

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Wendell and Mark's Favorite Plumbing Tips

Posted on Monday, April 12, 2010 5:03:52 PM

Our Favorite Plumbing Tips

It is easy to check for toilet leaks that might waste water and raise your water bill.  Teach your children about water conservation by letting them help you.  Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank.  If colored water shows up in your toilet bowl before the next flush (at least 15 minutes) then you know that you have a leak that is wasting water and costing you money.   

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Keeping It Clean

Posted on Friday, April 2, 2010 1:04:48 PM

Keeping It Clean

Nothing says clean like the smell of fresh lemon.  Manufactures know this, it is why so many house-hold cleaning products smell like the yellow, tropical fruit.  The thing is - that wonderful lemon smell is just the surface, lemon oil and those wonderful acids that the fruit has in abundance really are effective cleaners...cutting through grease and sterilizing.  

That is why one of the best ways to clean the blades on your garbage disposal is to simply run a lemon through the hopper and process it, like you would any food waste.  It will cut any greasy build-up and leave your blades sparkling clean.

The side benefit?  It will also leave your kitchen smelling lemon-fresh.    


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Posted on Thursday, April 1, 2010 7:37:03 PM

This is a test of the blog

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