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… Read more
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… Read more
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… Benefits 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. … Read more
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
As always, if your having troubles and the toilet is rocking or still leaking and you can’t get it just right…. #callpaulhelovesthisstuff
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.
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!
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!
Basically, there are 3 things you can always flush…we can probably name them but here we go
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:
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
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!
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!
We have talked about gas appliances before but with winter upon us it warrants mentioning a few key points again.
Many Albertans have multiple different gas appliances in their homes. Natural gas appliances, although more expensive to purchase and install, over time, are more economical. Gas, however, takes the trophy as more eco-friendly! In particular, Gas Dryers, use 30% less energy than electric ones. That reduces your carbon footprint!
Some things to consider when you have gas appliance:
Ensure the appliances is installed correctly, with all the correct clearances and that the connections are soap tested for any potential leaks
Keep the area around your furnace and water heater clear of clutter
Do not store items near any heating appliance, especially combustable items
If the flame on your pilot or gas burner is yellow, it may require an adjustment by a qualified gas fitter
Always ensure that your furnace and home get proper ventilation. Make sure these intake vents are kept clear of ice and snow in the winter time.
Do not run your furnace with the fan compartment cover off. This will severely upset air circulation and may cause a dangerous build up of Carbon Monoxide.
Be aware of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Dull headache, tight feeling across your forehead, watering and or burning of your eyes, abnormal tiredness, dizziness, weakness, nausea and/or vomiting, difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, go outside immediately and then call 911.
Always have a Carbon Monoxide detector installed in your home.
Examples of gas appliances include furnace, hot water heaters, BBQ, clothes dryers, stoves, fireplaces. Any fuel burning device has the potential to produce carbon monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide detectors should be placed in every bedroom or room where someone is sleeping. They should also be placed on every floor of your home.
If battery operated, these batteries should be changed every 6 months to ensure the detector works when needed.
***Safety Note – Most Carbon Monoxide detectors expire after 5-7 years. Most have an expiry date stamped on them.
We are pleased to have this blog post contributed by Matthew Challen! There are lots of amazing ideas on the horizon for 2020 Bathrooms! Enjoy!
If you love the outdoors and keeping in touch with nature this Biophilic design trend for 2020 will be right up your alley!
Biophilic Design brings nature to the inside of your home.
Natural occurring colour scheme (greens, pinks, reds, browns are just a few of the colours to choose from)
This bathroom trend creates a calmer spa like feeling by integrating plants, and nature into your design.
Common trends include: a full wall of greenery, floral and palm wallpaper, natural occurring stone backsplash and tile and natural wood accents and counter tops. Sleek lines and natural light. Adding a skylight and big windows to your bathra oom and light on a dimmer switch adds to the feel of being in nature. Stand alone tubs with modern dark taps and rain shower heads.
Stone In-lay on the floors to give a natural rainforest vibe
Built in floor level bathtubs
Glass wall open showers with high end modern black, oil rubbed bronze and copper coloured fixtures
Stand alone tubs
Black and white themes or copper and white themes are very popular colours for this Trend.
On Trend Colours for 2020 Bathrooms
According to the Milan Design show the on trend colours for 2020 will be accents of champagne, deep yellows and orangey reds.
Tips for acquiring these trendy colours, accent towels, decor, for a lighter touch if you want to, go with bold accent walls and tile backsplashe , also champagne coloured fixtures
Timeless bathroom designs
Marble counter tops or flooring provide a sleek upscale look to any bathroom
Subway tile, backsplash and showers. Subway tiles can also make a great accent wall with bold colour yet a classic look.
Small Bathrooms and powder rooms need love too
Wallpaper is super in for small bathrooms these days it’s a great way to make a small space come to life
Tile room floor to sealing
Since it is a small space you can use more luxurious products. Marble is always a great choice, granite or Quartz countertops.
Stained hardwood on the ceiling is a big trend for 2020
Floating toilets and cabinetry to make the space appear bigger. Floor to sealing built-in cabinets to provide optimal storage in a small space
Sinks made of concrete or other naturally occurring stone.
Console style vanity’s great for small spaces
Cement tiles are a fun way to create a feature wall in a shower or a really cool accent flooring design. They come in every colour and design imaginable
Little Henry is ready for potty training! Yay! A milestone! However, now he has a new interest…the toilet! If you have little ones you know quiet can be ominous…and then you find him, trying to flush his trucks down the toilet! If you’re a parent you’ve been there! But, once you realize something is stuck down the toilet drain, what can you do?
Get your gloves on and grab some old towels…here we go!
1 – Scoop almost all the water out of the bowl
2 – If you can see the toy, try to pull it out….if that doesn’t work, it’s time to get a little more intense! You will need some tools…
3 – Plunger – make the first plunge gentle as the cup of the plunger is still full of air. Now begin firmly pushing the plunger up and down as rapidly as possible. It’s important not to be too forceful, as this may cause damage to the toilet bowl. Allow just enough water to remain in the bowl to completely cover the cup or rubber part of the plunger. This may release the toy so you can take it out or it may push smaller items down the drain and the remaining water will drain out of the bowl. If that doesn’t work…
4 – Auger (snake) – if the blockage is not released by the plunger, you will need to get an auger into the drain hole in the toilet. Insert the Auger Cable into the toilet.
Get a water closet auger or a snake. This is not a regular toilet snake; there are some differences. There’s a steel cable inside the tube and a crank-handle. This snake has an open, coiled head that is used to “hook” the toy down the toilet, and pull it out. Others are designed to push and grind through the clog, which might loosen it to float down the drain.
While you’re cranking, you will feel the head hit the item, turn it a few more times and pull the cable out while keeping pressure on the crank. Ideally, you will have hooked the toy and brought it up.
Make sure everything works. Do a test flush and then do a couple more test flushes with wads of toilet paper to ensure it goes down and stays down.
If your toilet begins or is about to overflow, turn of the water supply at the shut-off valve. You can also take the lid off the tank and lift the float.
Note: Don’t try using a coat hanger or any other type of wire apparatus to catch or push the clog as this may damage your toilet.
If you still having troubles or you don’t have the tools required to fix the problem don’t hesitate to give Paul a call at PMC Plumbing.
Well, here in Southern Alberta we have had 2 good snow storms already and it’s not yet the middle of October! It’s time to start thinking about winterizing your home plumbing and heating systems for the upcoming long Alberta winter.
Winterizing can help you save money by making your home more energy efficient. For heat loss consider
Check the caulk around windows and doors
Have your furnace cleaned. Keep extra furnace filters on-hand
Remove any window A/C units
Install certified carbon monoxide alarms (accredited by the Standards Council of Canada) in hallways and near sleeping areas
Your plumbing needs to be ready for extreme cold temperatures and wind!
Protect Your Pipes From Freezing – watch the water pressure in your home as reduced water pressure can be an indication of frozen pipes. Wrap any exposed pipes that may be in your attic, outdoor walkways or crawlspace. Applying heat tape to these pipes prior to insulating will help prevent freezing. Point drain pipes away from the home.
Particularly Cold Days – leaving any worrisome taps running, even very slowly, will help prevent freezing as moving water won’t freeze
Keep Your Indoors Warm – Even while you’re away! Maintaining a minimum temperature of 13C indoors helps keep exterior walls from freezing. If you are going away, leave the cabinet doors open under kitchen and bathroom sinks to keep the warm air circulating.
Garden Hoses – put these away over the winter. You can buy an exterior faucet jacket to further protect these outdoor faucets. Your outdoor faucets should each have shutoffs. Turn these faucets off and drain any remaining water before it gets cold outside.
Check For Leaks – Seal off any air leaks around dryer vents, wall outlets and faucets.
Drain Your Sprinkler System
Many of these things can be done with little or no cost to you! Being prepared can help prevent much larger problems, damage and cost!
As always, Call Paul at PMC Plumbing if you need help with any of these ideas