Hot Water Tank or Furnace not working?

Winter here in Alberta is a beautiful time of year but keeping that snow and ice away from your gas meter and vents is an imperative part of keeping your home appliances running well through the long winter months.

With COVID-19 continuing to impact our lives in so many ways we wanted to provide a quick do-it-yourself tip for keeping your gas appliances working safely over these remaining winter months. This won’t cost you any money and is easy to do!  We have touched on this before but it is an ongoing problem if you live in a snowy, cold climate!

Its imperative to keep snow and ice away from your gas meter and the outside vents for your natural gas appliances.  This  helps ensure that both the meter and these appliances function properly and safely.  Another benefit to keeping area clear is it allows access to the meter if there is an emergency. But, you may ask, “why do the vents or meter matter?”

Blocked external exhaust vents can cause the carbon monoxide emitted by these appliances to build up in your home rather than vent properly to the outside which of course can then become a safety hazard.  A gas meter covered in snow or ice may not control the pressure of the gas being supplied to your home.  This can put your family at serious risk..

  • Never shovel or blow snow up against the gas meter or the vents
  • Clear vents with a broom handle or something similar, breaking up ice and clearing snow out of these vents
  • Do not bump your meter with a snow blower, shovel or other heavy object
  • Do not kick your gas meter or vent pipes in an attempt to clear ice and snow
  • If there is an eavestrough above your gas meter keep it clear of melting ice so there are no drops that fall on your gas meter or vents and refreeze over night 
  • Always, always have a working, approved carbon monoxide detector installed on every floor of your home. These should be at knee height, minimum 15-20 feet from any gas appliance, within 10’ of your garage if attached to your home, out of direct sunlight and not near a window.
  • Never hang a hose or other objects on your vents

As always, if your having problems with any gas appliance in your home or you’re concerned give Paul a call because #paullovesthisstuff  

Call or text 587-583-5495 


2020 Trends: Rubbed Oil Bronze / Venetian Bronze

These dark finishings are adding a beautiful, eye catching touch to kitchens and bathrooms this fall. These finishes add a traditional, contemporary yet rustic modern touch to your beautiful new space. They are typically made of a very stylish and durable steel that will last for years, no matter what design style they are paired with. Venetian bronze is made of spot resistant material, making a great fixture for your tub and shower. They are very easy to clean, but avoid using harsh chemicals. The best and safest cleaning method is vinegar diluted with warm water and a soft sponge.  Avoid using anything that could scratch the finish ie, steel wool, scrubbers, harsh cleansers etc.  Rubbed Oil Bronze is typically a darker matte finish and Venetian Bronze is typically lighter in colour. 

Delta Venetian Bronze (left) and Moen Oil Rubbed Bronze (right)

Regardless if you have Rubbed Oil Bronze, or Venetian Bronze they will both add a unique, long lasting and low maintenance beautiful look to your home. For tips and tricks on incorporating this growing trend to your home leave a comment below or DM us for more information. 

As always if you have any questions call Paul, he loves this stuff!



Burst Pipes or Water Leaks?

You may have Polybutylene or Poly B pipe in your home.  This grey pipe was manufactured for water supply in residential homes from 1978 to 1998.  Unfortunately Poly B is known for splitting, fracturing and causing major water damage.  The molecular bond in the pipe is known to fail.  Poly B is no longer used in new construction and in some cases insurance companies may refuse coverage for water damage if the home has Poly B piping.  This is causing many to have to replace the water supply lines in their homes if they have Poly B.  

The pipe readily used now is called Pex.  This pipe is cost effective, flexible and most importantly durable.  Pex is environmentally friendly, easy to install, flexible, strong and has proven long-term reliability.  It is also chemical resistant and has a greater tolerance to high pressure and temperature.  

We can provide you with a free, on-site quote to replace all the Poly B pipe in your home.  Our work will cause the least amount of drywall damage possible.  Typically the pipe replacement can be complete in a few days. 

If you have Poly B piping in your home and you are considering replacing it call Paul at PMC Plumbing for a free, no obligation quote!  

Call or Text 587-583-5495


Call Paul…. He Loves This Stuff!

Airdrie Chamber of Commerce!

Here at PMC Plumbing we are excited to share a post from the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce welcoming our local Airdrie business to the Chamber!

“Welcome Paul Challen owner of PMC Plumbing & Heating to the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce! We are very excited to continue that have new members join our chamber as we continue to grow and serve our amazing business community! Be sure to contact Paul if you have any plumbing needs.” – Airdrie Chamber of Commerce

We provide a wide range of plumbing services and Paul has over 20 years of experience in the local area. We provide full plumbing and gas fitting services and specialize in boiler trouble shooting! Call or text Paul today at 587-583-5495.


Water on The Floor Around Your Toilet?

Tip Of The Week:

During this pandemic you may have a little extra time on your hands. Have a look at the floor around the toilets in your home. Is there water or signs of water damage? Here are a couple things you can do yourself!

1. Check the toilet bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. Are they loose? Does the toilet rock or twist easily? These bolts hold your toilet firmly to the floor. When they are loose the seal around the base of your toilet can break causing a leak. Try repositioning the toilet, center it and tighten these bolts. If they spin or are broken you can get new ones at your local hardware store.

2. If the toilet bolts appear to be in good order and are tight. Next check the wax seal. Your local hardware store should have wax seals. Quick steps to change the wax seal:
– Turn the water off to the toilet
– Flush the water out of the toilet
– Soak up or vacuum remaining water with wet vac
– Remove nuts holding toilet to the floor
– Disconnect the water supply
– Rock the toilet back and forth
– Remove the old seal with a rag
– Place new seal over the flange
– Place the toilet back on top of the flange/seal and push down firmly.
– Replace the nuts and reconnect the water
– Turn the water on and refill the tank
– Flush the toilet and watch for any leaks

Wax Seal

As always, if your having troubles and the toilet is rocking or still leaking and you can’t get it just right…. #callpaulhelovesthisstuff

Call or text 587-583-5495
#pmcplumber #yycmechanical #calgarybusiness #airdriebusiness #airdriealberta #shoplocalairdrie #shoplocalyyc #watervalley #tipoftheweek

Home Plumbing Maintenance while you practice Social Distancing

Tip of the Week

Hello! We sure hope everyone is staying heathy during these difficult times.  We thought we would bring you a few plumbing related things that you could do to help make sure your home plumbing stays safe and runs well.

First, there are shutoffs under most sinks, on your dishwasher, on each toilet, the top of your hot water tank and at the main waterline coming into your house.  Try to turn them all on and off a few times to make sure they operate incase you need to shut them off in a hurry. This is something we should all do once a year anyways. With our hard water they can build up calcium over time and may not work when you need them to. 

Second, make sure that your Carbon Monoxide detectors are working properly and are up to date as they do have an expiry date on them. As we all spend more time in our homes it is especially important to make sure we are on top of these things. Smoke alarms should also be tested. 

Third, flushing your hot water heater. Click the link for detailed steps from

Fourth, if you think your toilet is leaking you can add food colouring to the tank. Watch to see if it drains the colour into the bowl over time.  If there is a leak it is likely the flapper. This can be easily replaced and will save you water. 

As always, if you have any problems, give Paul a call …he loves this stuff!


Garburators, Composting and Our Environment….

There has been a debate about garburators going on for many years.  Are they helping or hurting our environment?  Let’s try to look at both sides…


Clearly using a garburator is much better than throwing your leftover food scraps in the garbage.  Disposals definitely help to reduce the food waste that hits our landfills.  This is a benefit!  Garbage disposals grind up the food waste into tiny pieces that can be sent down your drain and then treated at local wastewater facilities.  They also cut down on food smells until garbage day comes!  

They do need to be used properly and sending the wrong type of food waste down the disposal can cause problems.  Fruit pits, coffee grounds, egg shells, potato peels, grease, fibrous foods and bones should never be put down the garbage disposal. 

If you don’t have a way to compost your food waste a garbage disposal is a great option!


These disposals can cause extra work for the local wastewater facilities.  These food particles have to be filtered out and then the solids left can be used for fertilizers or they are then sent to the landfill.   This can cause extra work for the local treatment facilities but most are made to handle it well.  

There is concern that garburators increase the nutrient loads and decrease the oxygen levels in our rivers.  Airdrie sewage is pre-treated with nutrients to eliminate sulfides before it is pumped  to the City of Calgary treatment plant.  Once the sewage is treated by the City of Calgary it is released into the Bow River.  Keeping our waterways clean is something we can all take a part in! 

Another concern is the amount of water a garburator uses when most places are trying conserve water.  

Finally, the most environmental way to dispose of our food waste is composting.  Most communities now have composting programs available.  If that is not something you can do, a garburator is a great choice as well!  Just make sure you are careful about what you put down there and how much water you use.  If you need a garburator installed OR removed….. Call Paul because He loves this stuff! 


To Flush or not to Flush?

Basically, there are 3 things you can always flush…we can probably name them but here we go

Toilet Paper


Excrement (Poop)

Here is why.  The wastewater makes a bit of a journey after you flush.  It goes one of two places, either to a septic tank or to the local communities sewage plant.   Prior to reaching the sewage plant it goes through a type of screen made of rods that filter larger objects.  After that it goes into a settling tank where solids like sand/gravel/grit can settle to the bottom.  It is at these beginning treatment stations that other “flushables” get removed.  

About 50-60% of “non-dispersible” materials in our wastewater is paper towel from public bathrooms,  20-25% is baby wipes and the rest is made up of a variety of items that should not be flushed.  Finally after the wastewater travels through these primary sediment tanks, it continues getting cleaned via aeration tanks, more settling tanks and in many cases tertiary treatment facilities where it is disinfected using UV light and chlorine.  

Roughly only 25% of the world even has treatment facilities to clean their water.  We are fortunate here in Canada that we have clean water and good treatment facilities so we need to take good care of them!  We don’t want to damage the plumbing in our own homes or cause damage at the facilities that treat our water.

Some common items that should not be flushed:

  1. Paper Towel/Kleenex
  2. Cosmetic/Baby/Wet Wipes
  3. Feminine Products
  4. Dental Floss
  5. Cotton Balls
  6. Diapers 
  7. Pills
  8. Cigarette Butts
  9. Hair
  10. Gum
  11. Grease/oil
  12. Band-Aids
  13. Cat Litter
  14. Dryer Sheets

A great way to know if something is flushable, put the item in a bowl of water, wait a few hours, try swishing the product and see if it breaks down.  If it doesn’t then don’t flush it!  Easy!

As always, if you think something is stuck in your toilet (or sink) you can always give Paul at PMC Plumbing a call because…. He Loves This Stuff (ok maybe not plugged toilets but call him anyhow!). 587-583-5495

Touch or Motion Activated Faucets

Recently we have had a few calls about touch-sensor or motion-activated faucets not working quite right.  These products are making their way into our homes more and more.  When they work, they are great but what if they stop working?  It’s always great if you can trouble shoot things yourself first as this will save you both time and money! 

When one of these faucets is not working the first place to check is the batteries.  Replace these batteries as required.  Some faucets may have a red light that will flash indicating that the batteries are getting low and will need replacement soon.  Some faucets may have a reset button close to the battery compartment.  If so, press this to reset the faucet after replacing the batteries.  Many do not have this reset and simply replacing the batteries will work.  Battery life in these faucets is quite long.  Typically 1 year with double A and 2 with C batteries. 

If you still aren’t getting any water flow out of the faucet, first make sure the handle is in the “On” position.  Next, make sure the water supply lines are turned on.  Double check the sensor wire and make sure it is connected. 

Another issue that some homeowners are having is the pull out seems to get stuck and not move freely.  This can be simply the hose is caught on something that is underneath your sink.  Make sure the hose can move freely by keeping the area clear.  Also, it is important not to let the weight on the hose hit the solenoid.  Over time this can damage the solenoid and it will need to be replaced. 

If, after checking the batteries, supply lines, sensor wire and making sure the faucet is in the “on” position you are still having troubles it may be the solenoid that needs replacing.   If this seems like a bit too much then give Paul a call at 587-583-5495.  He loves this stuff!


Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. renovation!

This is a slightly different type of post from PMC Plumbing! We had a busy day roughing in new bathrooms and kitchen for the Airdrie P.O.W.E.R building. Airdrie P.O.W.E.R stands for Protecting Our Women with Emergency Resources and their goal is to provide help for women and children to leave their abusive relationships with resources, education and empowerment. One of our suppliers, Bartle and Gibson, is also helping out with all the materials needed for this job. A huge shout out to Bartle and Gibson and especially to Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. for making a difference in our community!

Below are some photos of the rough-in stage for the Shelter in Airdrie!

When the project is done we will update this post with the finished photos!

PMC Plumbing, a local Airdrie business.