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05 Dec. 2016

Nine Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Bath

Bathtub#9: Your Skin Will Thank You.
Bathing in warm water opens up pores and cleanses your skin from the inside out, leaving you soft and supple. Bathing also lifts out harmful toxins, so your skin is fresh and unbelievably clean.

#8: You Will Be Free of Stress.
Bathing actually lowers blood pressure and provides an excellent respite from your busy routine. Your body will relax and your mind has a chance to wander, leaving the stress of the day behind.

#7: You’ll Smell Fabulous

Take a bath with scented salts – and to add to the atmosphere, line your tub with scented candles. Not only will the fragrances add a nice touch to your bathing experience – you’ll emerge smelling fresh and clean. No need for perfume!

#6: You’ll Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Bathing has been proven to lead to a better night’s rest and for some, even cure insomnia. Take a bath before bedtime, and you’ll get a restful, uninterrupted night of sleep.

#5: Your Muscles Will Be Limber
At the end of a long day, particularly if you exercise, your muscles can feel tight and tense. Bathing loosens and relaxes the muscles, soothing aches and pains.

#4: You Can Finally Have Some Time Alone

Bathing can bring you the restful solitude you need to reflect and relax. You can literally close the door on the outside world and disappear for a while without having to worry – they’ll understand.

#3: You’ll Look Younger.

In addition to the lovely flush you’ll get from all that steam and warmth, your skin will soften and become smoother. Bathing in natural bath salt can even reduce the look of fine lines and other signs of aging, leaving you feeling and looking years younger.

#2: It’s Cheap.
Well, bathing is extremely inexpensive, with just the cost of water and whatever scent and soap add-ins you want to throw in. It’s a low cost way to treat yourself like royalty, bringing all the benefits of an expensive spa trip into your own home.

#1: It’s Fun.

Simply put, bathing is fun. Whether you’re surrounded by rubber duckies, flower petals or colored sea salts, bathing transports you into another world. Bathing gives you something to look forward to at the end of a hard day, a gift to yourself that will energize, soothe, soften, and relax you from the inside out. You deserve it.

*Source: San Francisco Salt Company

15 Nov. 2016

How to Avoid a Frozen Septic System

FrozenSepticMany homeowners across Northeast Ohio utilize a septic tank rather than a conventional city sewer system to dispose of their grey and black water waste. While it may seem like the two are similar from inside the home, in reality, the maintenance and disposal processes are very different. Especially during the winter season. Homes with septic tanks not only have to worry about in-home pipe freezing, a frozen septic tank can leave a costly mess that begins in the yard and backs up into the home.

 

Avoiding this begins by understanding the reasons of why septic systems freeze:

Very little snow cover – Snow actually serves as insulation over a septic tank. When there is little snow, deep freezes and frosts can go deeper into the ground, potentially freezing your septic system.

Compacted landscape – The area above your septic tank should be kept clear of use. When driveways or paths occur over a septic tank, cars, animals, ATVs, tractors, even foot traffic can compact the area above the septic tank, allowing a deep freeze to move deeper into the soil.

Lack of plant cover – If your septic system is new, or was replaced in the late summer or early fall seasons, adequate vegetation may not have covered up the land before the cold and snow set in. Vegetation helps attract snow to the area, providing more insulation above ground.

Irregular use – Was your septic system designed for a large family, and now you’re down to one or two? Do you spend months away from your home, enjoying a lifestyle in a warmer climate during the cold winter months? If a system isn’t used as it was intended, it can begin to stress and allow freezing temperatures to infiltrate the system.

Leaking plumbing – You know that small trickle of water you can hear even when your toilet hasn’t been flushed? Those tiny leaks in your pipes can cause a thin film of water into the system. These trickles are more susceptible to freezing, and can build up quickly over time, allowing your system to freeze completely.

Cold air entering the system – When was the last time your septic system was looked at and inspected? If risers are uncapped, inspection pipes or manhole covers not reinstalled correctly, they can allow cold air to enter the system. Freezing isn’t far behind.

 

While some septic systems never have problems, the only way to avoid them in the future is to be proactive every year. Now is the time to complete the following tasks, before the cold weather truly arrives and the ground begins to freeze:

  • Mulch is a good insulator. If you’ve changed your landscaping or added a new septic system late in the year, a solid cover of mulch will help provide insulation in the coming months.
  • Let the grass grow longer in the fall to act as an insulator and allow snow to accumulate better.
  • Use hot water on a regular basis. If temperatures are cold and dip low quickly, running hot water through your pipes will help keep the temperature inside your septic tank well above freezing.
  • Fix any leak in your plumbing as soon as you know it exists. Don’t let small trickles of water create a costlier problem.
  • Double check risers, pipes and manhole covers whenever you access your septic system. Make sure they are sealed tight.

If you suspect your septic system has frozen, its time to call in a professional plumber. The root of the problem must be determined and fixed to avoid further freezing problems either in what’s left of this winter, or as the temperatures freeze again next winter. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help.

* A portion of the information in this article was obtained via PlumbingHelpToday.com.

14 Sep. 2016

Top Plumbing Myths Debunked

With costs for energy rising all the time, and the word “efficiency” attached to everything we do, its easy to see why people can get sucked into a wide array of beliefs when it comes to improving home efficiency. And while some of the “reported” tips will work, many of them are simply myths and urban legends. How do you know the difference? While it’s difficult to wade through all of the information, we’ve put together some of the most common home energy myths and what you can do instead.Top Plumbing Myths Debunked

Myth: Energy efficiency increases the initial cost of a home.

If you’ve ever set out to upgrade one appliance in your home – a water heater for instance – when you start comparing prices you’ll find the more energy efficient options move to the middle or upper end of the pricing structure. So its natural to assume that when building a home, adding in all of the top of the line energy efficiency items throughout will increase the price of the home. But its not necessarily true. In some instances, smaller, higher efficiency units may take up less space or work more efficiently from the beginning, meaning the home builder can take this into account with the initial build, and provide you with the savings.

Myth: Showering uses less energy and water than taking a bath

This one is a toss up, depending on your home environment. A typical bath takes anywhere from 30 to 50 gallons of water. If you take a 10 minute shower with a low flow showerhead (which typically uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute), it would only use 25 gallons of water. If you haven’t replaced your showerhead with a low flow unit, or have multiple showerheads or special water features, these numbers can go up accordingly. Its important to understand how much water you are using, and limit consumption as much as possible.

Myth: A slow dripping faucet isn’t that significant

Even the tiniest of drips can add up quickly over time. A single dripping faucet can add up to 300 gallons of water per month … all flowing down the drain. Which means of course that your water bill is being impacted by every drip a faucet leaks. No matter how slow the drip, fix it as soon as possible.

Myth: Its faster to boil hot water, and therefore takes less energy

In order to get hot water into your teakettle or pot, chances are you had to let the water run from the faucet to bring hot water from the water heater to your faucet. That requires energy. So energy you might have saved from trying to boil already warm water (and the savings isn’t significant), you’ll consume by getting the warmed water into your pot.

Myth: Energy savings isn’t a significant feature in the sale of a home

According to the National Association of Home Builders, study after study shows that homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home if it has Energy Star ratings on heaters, air conditioners and appliances, or meets Green Building Guidelines. If you can show your home has efficiency, and it will be made up in savings on energy bills, people will be more attracted to your home.

 

 

Source: Plumbing Help Today

28 Dec. 2015

How to Maintain Your Sump Pump

sump-pumpIf your home has a wet basement, you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that more than 60 percent of homes have issues with water in the basement.

A sump pump can be an effective option for preventing water damage. Installed in a pit in the basement, these units sense when the water from rain or snowmelt is rising in the pit and approaching the floor level. The incoming water is then pumped outside before it can damage the home or its furnishings.

Sump pumps are relatively low-maintenance devices, but you can help keep your unit operational by inspecting it regularly. Steps in a regular maintenance program can include:

  • Checking the discharge line to make sure it is not stopped up or frozen. If necessary, unclog the air vent hole in the line.
  • Checking the inlet screen to ensure that it’s not clogged with residue and debris. Do this three or four times per year.
  • Making sure the float component is unobstructed and can move smoothly.
  • Scanning the pit and removing any visible debris, mud, or stones.
  • Testing the pump by slowly pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The float should rise with the water level, triggering the unit to start pumping. If pumping doesn’t begin, check to see that the unit is plugged in. Your float switch or check valve might also be at fault.
  • Going outside to see that water is discharging and flowing where it’s supposed to go – well away from your home.

Once a year, disconnect the pump from the power source and remove the unit. Flush it thoroughly with water to remove impurities and debris. While you have the pump out, also clean debris from the sump pit.  Reinstall the pump and reconnect the power source.  Test the unit by pouring a bucket of water into the pit and making sure the pump starts.

If your unit has backup battery power, replace the battery every two to three years, or as directed by the manufacturer.

Always refer to your pump’s instruction manual for specific information about maintenance and operation. More information about sump pumps is available from the Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association.

*The information in this article was obtained via State Farm Insurance.

05 Oct. 2015

Getting to the Root of Plumbing Backups – Tree Planting Basics

PipeTreeRoutesFall is the best time of year in Northeast Ohio to plant most types of trees. As a rule of thumb, trees should be planted when they have enough time to establish roots before they’re exposed to stressors like high heat, low temperatures, or not enough water. Plus, it is important to give the tree time to acclimatize itself to the soil before spring when it needs strength to blossom.

So, if you’re like many Northeast Ohioans looking to add some new trees to your landscaping this fall, we wanted to make sure you considered an often overlooked aspect of tree planting; plumbing. While trees are beautiful and serve many purposes (shade, visual barriers, food supply, etc.), they can wreak havoc on a home’s plumbing system. Some being peskier than others, such as the notorious weeping willow.

The reason for this is simple, tree roots grow towards moisture. Plumbing systems produce condensation from the mixing of hot water and cool soil, attracting tree roots. Once a tree root bridges the outer barrier of a pipe it can easily set up shop and expand within the plumbing system. This can affect your sanitary waste line, causing nasty backups.

There are two key factors in avoiding a plumbing/tree root nightmare. Location and tree type selection. As far as location, we recommend having a plumber come out to your property to locate the underground pipe lines. This will give you a good idea of spots to avoid. As a reminder, when digging it is required to have the Ohio Utility Protection Services (OUPS) come out and mark off any and all underground piping to avoid hitting gas or electric lines. Most landscapers will require this step before digging any holes. The same should be done for your plumbing. Feel free to give us a call if you have any question about the location of your underground plumbing.

In addition to selecting the right location within your yard, careful selection of tree types is very important in preventing pipe damage. Faster growing trees are far more aggressive when it comes to root growth. If you have a smaller yard with less ability to avoid nearby pipes, then slow growing trees like Redwoods, a variety of Maples, and Dogwoods can be great options. It is best to talk with a landscaper or a knowledgeable tree nursery employee to determine the right variety for your yard.

The bottom line? Prevention, in this case, is best. Without some forethought, your planting choices can be the “root” of some very expensive problems in the years to come.

01 Sep. 2012

Featured Project: The Cheesecake Factory

Neptune Plumbing did the plumbing work in the Cheesecake Factory.

More project details to go here.

The Cheesecake Factory