World Water Day Will be Here on March 22

World Water Day Will be Here on March 22

world-waterAlthough the world is threatened by a major water crisis, the good news is that there is a lot that we can do about it. Small steps taken by many will help solve this problem by protecting this limited resource.

The solution is to reduce your water footprint. Want to know how you can? Read on.

World Water Day: The Backstory

To raise awareness and to help educate people about what they can do to help conserve water, the United Nations started World Water Day, which occurs every year on March 22. Every year there is a theme attached to focus on various aspects of water scarcity. In 2017, the theme is “Wastewater”.

This is important because, in addition to not having access to clean water, millions don’t have access to sanitation. It is essential that solutions are developed around how to treat wastewater to reduce disease and identify ways to reuse existing water supply. Being able to recycle this resource safely is critical to helping solve the water crisis.

water-dropUnclean water poses a major health risk, with millions dying from waterborne illnesses every year. To put this in context: the World Economic Forum has named the water crisis as the #1 threat to the global economy because of the potential devastation that could ensue as water demand grows and supply dwindles.

Steps You Can Take at Home

Charity begins at home, right? So does playing your part in conserving water in the face of this crisis.

Don’t wash your car at home. Instead, take it to a car wash that recycles water. Wash your pets outdoors on the lawn so that you can do two things at once with your water. Mulch your garden to keep it moist. Plant more shrubs to reduce the lawn that needs watering. You are better off to deep soak your garden and lawn, letting the roots retain water rather than short, frequent watering.

When you cook pasta, keep the liquid to water plants. Don’t use the garbage disposal and compost your waste instead. Keep a water jug in your fridge rather than running the tap to wait for the water to cool down for a drink.
Don’t take baths. Take short showers instead (5 minutes is ideal). If you do need to take a bath, don’t overfill the tub and put the plug in immediately when you turn the water on.

Plumbing Plays a Role

Be proactive around your plumbing to maximize your water conservation efforts. If you don’t have dual flush toilets or low flow showerheads, installing these will reduce your water use.

Don’t forget outdoor plumbing as well. Make sure hoses are well connected and that outdoor faucets aren’t leaking. Keep an eye out for indoor leaks; some trouble signs include mold growth, damp spots, pooling water, an increase in water bills and unexplained readings on your water meter.

Don’t delay fixing your leaks. Call today at for service in Houston, TX.

Which Way Does Your Toilet Bowl Swirl?

Which Way Does Your Toilet Bowl Swirl?

Sometimes it’s the little things that make us wonder how they came to be that way… Do you know which direction your toilet bowl swirls? Take the video quiz below to find out! You may be surprised to see what you find.

The experts at, in the Houston, TX area, are always willing to share their knowledge with you. If you’re interested in learning more contact us at .

List of Common Plumbing Myths

List of Common Plumbing Myths

myth-or-factFor the general homeowner, plumbing is simply a mysterious platform within their home where water enters and exits.

There is a limited amount of general information available to the average homeowner on their plumbing system, so myths are easily developed and travel quickly.

The following is a list of these common plumbing myths, and the true facts behind them:

If Water is Draining, There is No Clog

Just because water is draining efficiently in one specific pipe, does not mean that there is no clog somewhere else in a plumbing system. The following issues are signs of a clog further down or in another drain:

  • A drain is emitting a foul odor.
  • Water is draining unusually slowly.
  • There is a water back up in a line somewhere in a house.

If you notice any of these issues, it is best practice to contact a plumber who specializes in locating and removing clogs from deep within a plumbing system.

A Leaky Faucet Isn’t a Big Deal

A leaky faucet can quickly leak cash out of your bank account unnecessarily. A steady faucet leak can waste $20 worth of water, quickly. If you spot a leaky faucet in your home, attempt to tighten the washers on the faucet to develop the watertight barrier that faucets need to keep water from passing through when turned off. If the leaky faucet is recurring or tightening the washers does not stop the leak, get in touch with a plumbing professional to resolve the issue.

Plungers Can Fix Any Clog

Plungers are tools developed to displace small blockages that are close to the surface of a drain or pipe. For moderate to major blockages further down a drain system, plumbers have the correct tools to effectively locate and remove the obstructions. Contacting a professional is especially important in situations where you’re unsure of the location of a clog, as disrupting a big blockage can send it further down a pipe into a main line.

Creatures Can’t Swim Up Pipes

rats-in-pipesSmall critters can transport themselves up and out of a home’s plumbing system. From various locations around the globe, individuals have reported small creatures appearing in their tubs, sinks, and bathtubs.

This is due to the environment that pipes provide – small, dark, and damp places. Frogs are especially fond of these damp locations, as are rats.

Water Heaters Can’t Explode

Water heaters operate under heavy amounts of pressure. If a malfunction occurs, pressure in the heater can quickly increase and cause the water heater to explode, damaging the surrounding areas and endangering any individual around. If you happen to notice an increase in pressure within a water heater, immediately locate a hot water tap and let it run to relieve pressure. Then, you can head back to the water heater to locate the shut-off switch to turn it off completely. Contact a local water heater professional to come and determine the cause of the pressure increase, and complete any necessary repairs.

The professionals at in Houston, MI can assist you with any plumbing emergency you may face. Contact us by calling .

DEFENSE: Protecting Your Pipes During Super Bowl LI

DEFENSE: Protecting Your Pipes During Super Bowl LI

Halftime Flush, Fact or Fiction?

If you are a Super Bowl fan, then you have probably heard that thousands of spectators who are watching the game at home will flush their toilets at the same time during Half Time. Some of these stories are true because several cities have noticed that water usage does increase during the Super Bowl’s halftime break. Many television viewers are in a hurry to get back to the television to watch the musical performance, and they also don’t want to miss any part of the football game.

halftimeflushIn many homes, people are in a rush to visit the bathroom during the Super Bowl’s halftime show so that they can also scurry into the kitchen to get more snacks and beverages.While water usage may increase during this time, it won’t cause any widespread plumbing issues for an entire city.

However, if you have a home with old bathroom fixtures, sewage lines and water pipes, then having numerous guests flushing toilets at the same time can overburden a building’s plumbing system.

If you plan to have a Super Bowl party in your home, then it is important to prepare ahead of time by making sure that your home’s plumbing system is in tip-top condition. Contact a plumber to have your home’s drainage devices cleaned and repaired to avoid having overflowing toilets.

Don’t Drop the Chicken Wings

When you have a Super Bowl party, make sure that your guests understand what they can put inside your kitchen’s garbage disposal. If one of your guests decides to drop the remains of their barbecue chicken wings down the garbage disposal, then a disaster will occur.

dontdropthewingsBefore Super Bowl parties, make a written list to hang on the wall above your kitchen’s sink to prevent a broken garbage disposal. In addition to keeping chicken wing bones out of the appliance, don’t put hard or fibrous substances such as eggshells, potato skins or rice in the garbage disposal.

These items will break your garbage disposal’s blades or create a clog in the drain underneath the sink. If you do have a problem with your kitchen’s garbage disposal, then call a plumber!

 If You’re Not Going Green, You’re On the Losing Team

Instead of spending a lot of money on huge cases of bottled water for your guests, have a water filtration system installed inside your home. When you are having a lot of guests at your home for a Super Bowl party, they will need to have more drinking water than you are normally used to and you may also use more water for preparing snacks. By using a filtration system, you can remove the impurities from your home’s water so that it has a fresh flavor.

Call in Houston, TX today at  to learn more about garbage disposal safety, drain cleaning and water filtration systems.

Frozen Pipe Prevention and Thawing Tips for Homeowners

Frozen Pipe Prevention and Thawing Tips for Homeowners

The bitter cold of winter can be hard to handle for a lot of people. The deep freeze has many Houston area residents longing for the warmer days of summer. If you’re one of those people who suffer through winter, or even if you love the cold, if the pipes burst in your home because they froze, it will surely make you dislike the season more.

Flooding caused by a burst pipe can result in significant damage to your house and your belongings. Here’s what to do if your pipes do freeze as well as a few tips that can help prevent such a disaster from happening at your house.

Melting the Ice in Frozen Pipes

heating_efficiency_winterize_homeIf the water has ceased running through your pipes because a section has become frozen, it’s imperative to clear that ice out as quickly as possible and not allow it to expand, because that could cause the pipe to burst.

You can start by increasing the ambient temperature around the frozen pipe with space heaters or a heat lamp.

You can also use the heat setting on your hair dryer and point it directly at the frozen pipe to warm it up. Avoid using a torch, however, because it can represent a significant fire hazard and could weaken welds.

Let the Water Run

To keep ice from forming inside your pipes, turn on your taps in the house and let the water run for a while. The hot water will help to warm up the pipes and circulating water away for the coldest spots will help to keep it from turning to ice. Repeat this every few hours. Of course, this may not always be practical if you’re away from your home when a cold snap strikes.

Look After The Coldest Parts Of Your Home Where There’s Plumbing

winterize_your_homeSome homes have pipes running in the attic, garage or crawlspace where insulation and heat are limited or non-existent.

If that’s the case in your home, the first thing to do is to make sure you keep your garage doors or attic windows closed to help keep the frigid air outside.

That may not be enough to keep pipes in places like that from freezing. If that’s the case, you can look into improving the insulation, adding a source of heat or having the plumbing rerouted to other, warmer parts of your home.

Add a Heating Element to Your Pipes

You can install a heating filament to your pipes that will keep them at a temperature above freezing. Look for heating tape or a heat trace cable at your local home improvement or plumbing supply store. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s installation instruction. These devices consume electricity to keep your pipes warm, but slightly higher utility costs are better than the costs associated with burst pipes.

If frozen pipes are a persistent problem in your home, or if you’re not able to thaw a frozen pipe, your best bet is to call in a trusted plumbing professional. In the Houston / St. Charles area, call to connect with the leading experts at

Smart Ways to Cut Energy Costs in the New Year!

Smart Ways to Cut Energy Costs in the New Year!

Energy costs seem to always be on the rise, and it makes sense to cut costs wherever possible. One way to reduce expenses is to cut down on your energy costs. The price you pay varies from month to month, but the fact is that less usage equals a lower bill. Implement these smart ways to cut energy costs in the New Year.

Save on Lighting

unplug-appliances-and-devicesReplace your outdated incandescent bulbs with energy-certified compact fluorescent lights or LEDs.They cost slightly more than older bulbs but last significantly longer and use as much as 70% less energy.

Turn off lights when not in use, utilize sensors for less populated areas and use natural daylight instead of artificial lighting during those sunny days.

Unplug It

Get used to unplugging almost everything. When electronics are plugged in and not turned on they still draw small amounts of electricity. If it’s a hassle to unplug everything, purchase a power strip and turn everything off at once. Keep printers, fax machines, and other office equipment turned off instead of using sleep mode for maximum electricity savings.

Consider Changing Out Your Energy-Wasting Appliances

Using old appliances that aren’t ENERGY STAR certified use more electricity than newer models. The cost of a new appliance is better for the environment and the energy savings allow you to break even. Keep your refrigerator full for best chilling results. Consider switching to a front-loading washing machine that uses less water.hang-clothes-on-a-clothesline

When doing laundry, consider hanging clothes on a drying rack or a clothesline if it’s nice outside. Avoid the “Heavy Wash” and “Large Load” settings on the washing machine, these consume more water and energy.

It’s useful to only run your dishwasher when it is full since the majority of its energy consumption is from heating the water and drying the dishes. Allow them to air dry or manually dry them to save on energy costs.

Heating and Cooling

Install a programmable thermostat so you aren’t heating or cooling your home when you’re not there and adjust it to a lower temperature at night if you’re in a cooler climate and a higher temperature if you’re in a warmer climate. Most experts tend to recommend no more than 65 degrees at night for cooler climates.

Implement these simple but effective energy saving tips and start to see your utility bill shrink. Contact in Houston, TX at to learn more about how to save on your energy costs.

Take Control of the Holiday Season by Avoiding These Plumbing Headaches

Take Control of the Holiday Season by Avoiding These Plumbing Headaches

avoid-these-home-plumbing-headachesNothing is more frustrating than spending hours working on making your home presentable for the holidays to have it ruined by an avoidable plumbing problem.

This is the case for many homeowners who ignore their plumbing systems and head into the holidays unprepared.

Most plumbing headaches are completely avoidable, which makes it even more frustrating when it happens to you. Take back the holidays and avoid the following plumbing problems by following these tips and tricks:

Tip 1: Put an End to Spraying or Leaky Faucets with a Simple Inspection

Taking the time to look at your faucet, you may find it easier than you thought to pinpoint problems. Sediment building up in the spout is often the culprit for spraying or poor flowing faucets.

Leaking or dripping faucets are often attributed to worn out O-rings or corroded washers. Simply checking the faucet to make sure water flows freely will help prevent irritating problems during the holidays.

Tip 2: Save Money by Insulating Your Water Heater

Water heater insulators are the best idea for protecting your water heater against the cold. In the winter, the water heater uses more energy to heat up and loses heat faster than in the summer. A simple insulation sleeve will help retain heat and save you money on your water bill.

Tip 3: Avoid a Flooded Basement by Testing Your Sump Pump

sump-pumpIf your sump pump is only used in emergency situations, it’s very likely that the motor will have seized from disuse.

To test the unit, simply pour a bucket of water into the tank to see if the motor triggers. If nothing happens, the motor may be seized and you’ll want to get a professional opinion right away.

Tip 4: Make Sure Your Outdoor Faucets are Ready

Have you removed your outdoor hoses? If you have, you must also remember to close the shut-off valve to your outdoor faucets or else you’ll experience dripping, leaking, freezing and pipe bursting in the area.

Tip 5: If You Plan to Go Away, Set the Thermostat High

turn-up-your-thermostatIf you are planning a holiday vacation, make sure the thermostat in your home is set to 55 degrees or higher to prevent burst pipes while you are away.

Even if you are staying home for the holidays, make sure your home is cozy and warm, so the pipes don’t freeze.

Tip 6: Insulate Your Pipes

Take a look around your house and locate any pipes that may be exposed to cold air. Even the tiniest crack or crevice lets in enough cold air to freeze a pipe. Any pipe that may be in contact with cold air should be insulated with foam insulation to prevent freezing and bursting.

For more tips and tricks on how to make the most of your holidays and spend less time worrying about your plumbing systems, call and speak with the experts at For all your Houston, TX plumbing services.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions

Setting New Year’s Resolutions

hapynewyearWith the year dwindling to a close, many people are engaging in self-reflection. They are thinking about all of the things they have accomplished and what more they could have done. Many will reflect on issues relating to self-control, such as weight loss or kicking an old habit, like smoking.

However, New Year’s resolutions could extend even beyond struggles such as this. For example, they could even extend to saving money by finding solutions to your high bill payments.

These 5 tips will help with setting your New Year’s resolutions, now all you have to do is stick to it!

Make A List of Goals You Want To Achieve in 2017

Reflect for a moment on the changes you would like to occur in your everyday life. A high bill payment is not usually on the list of New Year’s resolutions. But high bills will impact your overall stress and happiness.

As you are creating your list, think of electricity and water usage and how they could be reduced through making conscious decisions in your home. There is power in making a list. It will make your resolutions real.

Once you have an idea of the changes you would like to occur, make a list of goals.

Categorize Them By Time And Importance

Once you have your list, categorize your goals by time and importance. Some of your goals may not be pressing, but that does not mean that you should push them aside. Rank them by the amount of time they will take to achieve and when it would be appropriate to begin each one.

getorganizedSet REALISTIC Goals that are not too Easy to Achieve

By tackling harder tasks first, it will give you the confidence you need to tackle smaller tasks. Set realistic goals, but be sure they are challenging, so everything after is a cinch!

An unrealistic resolution will leave you with a feeling of futility. But a goal that is too easy might yield the same result. Strike a proper balance.

Keep The List Where You Will See It Daily

Ensure that you have a constant reminder of your goals. Perhaps you could hang a whiteboard in your living room or on the refrigerator.  It will help remind you of your commitment to yourself and encourage you to stick to the list.

Refer to the List Weekly to Check Off Goals

Have you reduced your energy consumption? Exercised more frequently? Deposited more into your savings account? Check it off the list. If you make a habit of referring to the list, you will not forget about it. Remember to revisit the list weekly, to find out if you’ve been naughty or nice.

For help sticking to your household money saving goals, contact, in Houston, TX, at  for more information about our maintenance plans and energy efficient products.

5 Expert Tips for Fall & Winter Water Heater Maintenance

5 Expert Tips for Fall & Winter Water Heater Maintenance

servicing-a-water-heaterWhen you need home maintenance tips, you should always trust the experts. And when it comes to water heaters, there are five specific steps that you should take to make sure your unit is functioning optimally and efficiently.

Specifically, there are five components you should look at this fall and winter to make sure that your water heater is in top shape for the coming chilly weather.

Component One: Anode Rod

This is one of two parts in your water heater that prevents the tank from rusting out. And when the anode rod corrodes, it must be replaced to continue doing its job. You should inspect your anode rod every couple years, and replace it every five. These components can be found at most hardware, home, and appliance stores.

Component Two: Thermostat

Like any thermostat, the one on your water heater is responsible for controlling the heat of the water inside. You can either increase the water temperature to kill more bacteria and produce hotter water for the house, or you can lower the temperature for slightly cooler water and energy savings. Changing the thermostat on a gas unit is very simple: all you do is change the dial. On an electric water heater, you will have to remove the panel, the insulation, and a plastic cover before you can turn a screw to adjust the thermostat.

Component Three: TPR Valve

checking-water-heater-temperatureIf you don’t look at anything else on your water heater this fall and winter, you should still test the temperature and pressure relief valve.

It prevents the water heater from exploding under too much pressure, and it’s important that you test it monthly to ensure that it’s working as it should be.

Expert tip: Wear full-toed shoes when you test the TPR valve because the water that comes out the discharge pipe will be hot.

Component Four: Tank and Pipes

The main thing you want to look for when you’re inspecting the outside of the tank and pipes is that they have been insulated properly. It will be easy to tell if your pipes are insulated because you’ll be able to see the sleeves on the outsides. But for the water heater itself, you may have to touch the unit to see whether or not it feels warm to the touch. If it does feel warm, you could probably use an insulating blanket or jacket to help keep the heat inside the tank.

Component Five: Drain Valve

The drain valve comes into play when you’re flushing the unit, which is something that you should do on an annual basis. Flushing the unit removes sediment from the bottom of the tank, and this prevents bacteria, microbes, and rust. Not to mention that it also improves the efficiency of your unit, which will save you money in the long run.

If you are unfamiliar with any of these components, or can’t figure out some of the maintenance steps, the experts are here to help. We can assist you with all of your water heater maintenance and repairs, as well as any other plumbing needs you have around the house. Call in Houston, TX today at to get in touch with one of our specialists.

Keys to Having Clean Drains in Your Home

Keys to Having Clean Drains in Your Home

drain cleaning seasonDo you want to avoid costly clogged drains or potential burst pipes in your home? Are you tired of waiting too long for your sink or tub to drain?

Has your sink or tub overflowed in the past because of a slow drain? The key to preventing all of these issues is to invest in regular drain cleaning services.

Fall is drain cleaning season because it’s convenient to add it to your fall house prep and it’s a great way to ensure your holiday get-togethers are not punctuated with annoying drain problems. Here are some tips to keep your drains clean at home:

What is the Best Way to Clean the Drains?

Many homeowners will reach for a bottle of liquid chemical drain cleaner to get the job done, however, these products may be economical and easy to use, but they cause lasting damage to your pipes.

Store-bought drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that corrode your pipes and cause weak spots prone to burst with repeated use. If that’s not a reason to stop using them, we are not sure what is!

At the same time, the water jets will smooth out the inside texture of the pipe, making it harder for clogs to reform.

This service is best left to a professional because a trained plumber will know the limits of the pipe and use a safe intensity of pressure that will not damage the pipe or cause it to shift out of place.

What Causes Clogged Drains?

Many things contribute to a clogged drain. For example, hair, skin flakes, grease, oil, bits of food and naturally occurring minerals collect in the drain and create a blockage. When these materials build up in the drain, they stick to the pipe wall and harden over time, making them increasingly difficult to remove.

Is there a DIY Clog Removal Option?

Calling a plumber each time you have a clogged drain is not an ideal situation. The best way to quickly and safely remove a clog is by plunging the drain with your plunger.

The suction will help dislodge the clog and allow it to flush through the system. If plunging the clog doesn’t work, it’s then time to call a plumber because the issue may be more serious than it seems.

For help keeping your drains running smoothly, trust the experts at Call for service in the Houston, TX, and St. Charles area.