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Plumbing Tips For Renters

 

plumbing tips for rentersIf you’re currently renting an apartment or home it’s important to familiarize yourself with the plumbing on your property. It can be a real nightmare to have a problem with your plumbing! But Richardson Plumbing wants to give you some plumbing tips for renters to make sure you can prevent any issues you many have!

Plumbing Tips

  1. Know Your Home

Ask your landlord for a tour of your home’s plumbing system. It’s important to get to know how it works in case of an emergency. Make sure to ask where the main water shutoff valve is located. If your water heater happens to break, then you know exactly how to fix the problem to prevent further water damage. Simply turn off the water valve and call your landlord. Although swimming pools are fun, it’s not fun to have one in your basement! Never be afraid to ask your landlord questions. You should know if there have ever been any problems with plumbing in the past so there are no surprises.

  1. Keep Your Sink Clean

Never pour things like moisturizers, grease, shaving creams or bacon grease down any of the sinks in your home. This is just asking for a backed up sink! Prevent sink backups by using a drain-cleaning product like Drano or even household products like white vinegar and baking soda every couple of months.

  1. Winterize Your Plumbing

Wintertime and your plumbing system don’t always get along very well. It’s important to winterize your plumbing so that your pipes don’t freeze during those colder months. Make sure to turn off the outside water and disconnect any hoses. Also, it’s important to let your sinks drip during the winter so that they don’t freeze over!

  1. Invest in Strainers for Your Drains

Even if you’re good about cleaning out your drains every couple of months, backups and blockage can still happen. But using a strainer on all of your drains can help prevent backups from happening. They catch hair and food that can accidentally go down your drain and clog your pipes. And that’s just a nightmare to deal with! Especially if your home doesn’t have a garbage disposal, it’s really important to invest in a strainer. According to Simply Good Tips, these are really cheap to come by. It’s something small that you’ll thank yourself for in the long run.

We hope that these plumbing tips for renters helps you and your landlord. However, if you do happen to run into any problems with your plumbing that you can’t fix yourself, Richardson Plumbing will help you out if you’re in a bind. We want to be your first call for plumbing service in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding area.

 

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4 Plumbing Resolutions For The New Year

 

The New Year is here. Do you wonder what 2017 will bring your way? The professionals at Northern Kentucky’s premier plumber and remodeling company, Richardson Plumbing, are wishing for a wonderful New Year for you and yours. They brainstormed and came up with a short list of plumbing resolutions that will make 2017 a great year in your home.

Plumbing Resolutions for the New Year

Richardson Plumbing recommends that this be a year to focus on maintenance and prevention. Let’s look at the top four plumbing resolutions to get you started.

  • Disposal Guidelines

plumbing resolution

Most of us assume that if it is a food substance, it can be put down the garbage disposal. It isn’t as easy as that. We know that high cholesterol causes buildup of plaque in the arteries of the human body and that cholesterol can be controlled through diet. Your garbage disposal is subject to a similar scenario. Feeding your disposal too much of the wrong foods, causes buildup of sludge on your kitchen pipes which eventually will clog. Foods that should not be put down your disposal include;

 

  1. Fats, oils, and grease (they solidify when they get cold)
  2. Celery, onion peels, lettuce, corn husks (these fibrous foods can be stringy and wrap around the disposal blades.
  3. Pasta and Potato skins (starchy foods increase pipe clog)

 

  • Prevent Frozen Pipes

 

A frozen, burst pipe is a nightmare for any homeowner and can create a costly repair bill. Make sure your hose bibs have been turned off and that your garden hose is disconnected, drained, and stored. A frozen garden hose expands, putting pressure on internal pipes. Insulate any pipes in unheated portions of your home, such as an attic, garage, or basement. If you are traveling and plan to turn down your thermostat, make sure that you use 55 degrees as your minimum temperature.

 

  • Schedule a Plumbing Inspection

 

If you live in an older home, make a resolution to schedule an audit of your plumbing and prevent problems before they happen. A plumbing inspection will look at your water heater, plumbing waste lines, sump pump, main water supply and water lines. Your plumber will check for leaks in lines, shut off valves, and at pipe joints. If your home was built prior to 1960, it may be time to repipe your home.

 

  • Remodel Outdated Kitchen or Bath

 

The New Year is a great time to schedule your remodeling project. You could move to a new home, but it is much more cost effective to upgrade your current home. New faucets and fixtures, cabinets, or counters can brighten any kitchen.

Whatever your New Year’s Plumbing Resolution, Richardson Plumbing has the expertise to make sure your goal is reached. Homeowners that make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals. Richardson Plumbing has been serving Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding areas for over fifteen years.

 

 

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What’s New In Kitchen Design Trends

Kitchen Design Trends

The most frequently used room in the home is the kitchen. Aside from being a place that needs to be built for function, the kitchen is a place where everyone gathers and is always much more than just a place to eat and prepare meals. As kitchen design trends have evolved, you may find yourself feeling more and more cramped in your space. An easy remedy is a remodel to bring your kitchen back up to your standards. Keep your kitchen up to date and appealing to anyone who enters by remodeling to meet all of your needs. Richardson Plumbing, experienced plumbers serving Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, and the surrounding areas, can show you what’s new in kitchen design trends to help you decide if a remodel is just what your kitchen needs.

Kitchen Design Trends: Open Plans

The most widespread kitchen design trend is the pull towards an open kitchen plan in the modern home. Open floor plans have been popular for quite a while, but this trend has no end in sight. Open floor plans make your home appear larger and brighter because there are no walls cutting rooms into smaller areas and blocking light or your view through your home. The same idea applies to open concept kitchens. Open kitchens keep people connected in the home, even when some people are cooking and others are not. This open environment is excellent for families because the kitchen transforms into a multipurpose room with distinct areas that everyone is comfortable in.

Color Contrast

Color contrast among your furnishing in your kitchen is a trend that is on the rise. Contrasting colors, like bold accent colors with muted neutrals, or black and white, will make your kitchen seem more vibrant. In addition to adding eye catching color and dimension, color contrast in the kitchen will make your home look modern without the need for extremely modern hardware.

Gray is Great

Gray is the new “it” color for kitchens according to NKBA designers. Gray cabinets, gray paint, gray appliances, gray quartz or granite, whatever place you want to incorporate the color will work with many other textures and colors, like hardwoods and other painted materials. Gray color schemes will make your kitchen feel sleek and sophisticated but can also be accentuated with pops of other colors to make the color feel more alive.

Eco Friendly Kitchen Remodeling

Eco-friendly furnishings are the biggest trend throughout the entire home, not just in the kitchen. From lighting to window treatments to faucets and proper plumbing to avoid extra water waste, any way you can incorporate environmentally friendly designs will make your space in style.

If you are ready to start a full kitchen remodel to bring your home up to date, contact Richardson Plumbing for your plumbing remodeling needs. At Richardson Plumbing we have vast knowledge in kitchen remodeling and experience you can trust. Rather it’s working with you personally or with your interior designer or contractor, we can help assure that your project runs smoothly.

 

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Frozen Pipe Repair

frozen pipe repair

We haven’t all been there, but we’ve all heard the horror stories. You come home after a long day’s work, you’re ready to make dinner and call it a day. As you walk in the door and take your shoes off, your feet land in a wet, squishy mess and your socks are now ruined. Your floor is completely wet, as if someone spilled something, but you haven’t been home all day. What happened? Your water pipes burst. Frozen pipes are actually one of the biggest risks of property damage in the colder months, so you definitely aren’t alone in this situation.

How Water Pipes Burst

How did this happen? You’ve read about water pipes bursting and you thought you were taking the necessary precautions. Well, pipes do not typically burst because ice formed in a pipe, as many people may think. It also is not due to the expansion of the ice against the pipe that causes the wet mess that you found on your floor after work. The reason why water pipes burst is actually due to water pressure. As the ice within the pipe expands, it causes the water pressure to increase in the part of the pipe that is close to the faucet. As the water has nowhere to go, trapped between the closed faucet and the ice on the other end, the pipe bursts.

So when do you need to be concerned? For southern regions like Kentucky, we have a little more concern when it comes to burst water lines. Typically, when the outside temperature falls below 20 degrees Fahrenheit you’ll want to be extra cautious with your water pipes. Also be cautious about how cold you leave your house temperature, for pipe access to colder temperatures inside the house can greatly contribute to freezing pipes. So if you usually leave your home vacant in the colder months, or want to save on electricity bills, also be mindful about the possibility of water pipes bursting and the inevitable frozen pipe repair.

Frozen Pipe Repair: Prevention

If you want to take preventative measures, one easy solution is to let the water faucet drip during the extremely cold weather. The reason this is helpful might not be the reason that first comes to mind, however. It isn’t that a small flow of water will stop the water from freezing. No, instead keeping your faucet dripping is helpful because it relieves the water pressure that builds between the faucet and ice blockage, causing your pipes not to burst. If you want to try and identify a freezing pipe and have access to the plumbing pipes, you can look for pipes covered in frost in a water line. But seeing as your pipes are not always accessible or visible, you can also spot a freezing pipe by noticing that your faucets won’t flow or your toilets don’t refill after a flush.

Now if you go to open a faucet and no water comes out, this may be because of ice blockage. In this situation, don’t take any chances and call Richardson Plumbing immediately. We have years of experience with frozen pipe repair in the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati areas, and will be able to assist in this situation in a timely manner.

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Emergency Plumbing Repairs 24/7

emergency plumbing

Have you ever woken up to a lake in front of your house, one that wasn’t there the day before and not a cloud in the sky? This happened to me recently. And you guessed it, it was Saturday morning. Was I glad I had a plumber, Richardson Plumbing, that offered 24/7 accessibility. The pipe leading to the water main that ran about 4 feet underground through the center of our front yard had developed a leak. Their reliability and dependability certainly shined for me that weekend. Although overnight lakes are an exception, the need for 24/7 service is not uncommon. There are a multitude of things that can go wrong that may require emergency service. Thankfully, there are also many things that may not constitute an emergency plumbing service call and can wait for a scheduled service call.

Plumbing-Things That Generally Can Wait for Scheduled Repair

Not every plumbing issue falls under the category of an emergency. There are multiple things that a plumber can fix that aren’t emergencies and can probably wait. After all, an emergency service call does come with an emergency price tag. Some of the things that can probably wait for a scheduled call;

  • Clogged sink-Often the result of accumulated hair and soap scum or in the kitchen from grease
  • Dripping Faucets
  • Low Water Pressure
  • Clogged bathtub or Shower
  • Leaking Washing Machine Water line
  • Jewelry dropped Down the Drain-Don’t run the water! Can be a DIY. Loosen and remove the U trap under the sink. Pray your missing wedding ring stopped there.
  • Clogged Toilets-Usually a DIY job, unless you’ve tried to flush diapers or other sanitary products

 

Plumbing Emergencies

All joking aside, there are times when the plumbing problem needs to be repaired ASAP. If you have large quantities of leaking water, or if you smell gas, turn off the gas or water and call for professional help immediately. Here is a list of plumbing maladies that may require an emergency plumbing visit from your local plumber.

  • Broken Water Lines
  • Burst Pipes
  • Frozen Pipes
  • Leaking Water Heater-
  • Leaking Gas

Your Northern Kentucky Plumber

If you live in Northern Kentucky, or in the greater Cincinnati area, your professional plumber at Richardson Plumbing provides 24/7 emergency plumbing service. Contact our representative by phone and we will be happy to talk to you about your options, whether that is emergency service or routine service. You can schedule an appointment by calling (859) 371-2239 or by sending an appointment request through our website.

 

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Plumbing Repair For Common Boiler Problems

 

common boiler problemsThankful for your heating system? Winter weather is here and if you have ever experienced common boiler problems, you know how important your heating system is and how important it is for hot water to flow through your boiler and into the radiator where it can warm your house. At Richardson Plumbing, we can help with boiler repairs and keep your system running smoothly.

Common Boiler Problems

  1. Leaking and Dripping

If your boiler seems to be leaking or dripping, it could be an internal pump seal or pressure valve that has gone bad. Before it causes damage to your home or your heating system, call a plumber who can repair the leaking component.

 

  1. Noisy Boiler

As lime begins to buildup on the heat exchanger, you may begin to hear a sound that resembles a teapot on the stove. This noise is called “kettling” and is quite common.

 

  1. Boiler is Losing Pressure

You may notice a heating problem and see that the pressure gage has dropped. According to Boiler Guide, this problem is usually caused by a leak. Or the pressure release valve may need to be replaced.

 

  1. Thermostat Problems

A Faulty thermostat could be the cause of your heating system or boiler not working properly. A thermostat should cause your boiler system to turn on when the temperature drops or turn off when it gets warm enough. If it’s not working properly, it might need to be replaced.

 

  1. Pilot Light Goes Out

Before you call your Plumber in Northern Kentucky, check the pilot light. There should be directions for turning your pilot light on in the manual that came with your boiler system.

 

  1. Frozen Condensate Pipe

Condensate pipes are pipes that lead from your boiler to the outside. They can often freeze in cold weather. You can warm them up to thaw the ice. If a pipe needs repaired or replaced, you should call a professional plumber to get the job done right.

 

Boiler Repair in Northern Kentucky

 

If you live in the Northern Kentucky area and are experiencing problems with your boiler, you can trust your local plumber to help with boiler repairs. We have the experience you need and are available for emergency plumbing repairs. Call Richardson Plumbing today to learn more about common boiler problems and what you need to do to get quick repairs done.

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Hard Water vs. Soft Water: What’s the Difference?

hard water vs. soft water

Hard water Vs. soft water? It’s hard to tell the difference between hard water and soft water. Which one is better for your needs? Richardson Plumbing knows the benefits of each type and they want to share this knowledge with you! They’ve supplied you with some tips on when to use soft water and when to use hard water.

Hard Water

When people hear the term “hard water” they automatically think it’s too harsh to use for anything. But this isn’t the case. Hard water contains essential minerals that make for good drinking water.

What hard water is not good for are household chores. Most people prefer using soft water because according to Apec Water, it can take a toll on household appliances. You might be familiar with spots on dishes, dingy clothes when you take them out of the wash and soap scum causing you to wash these over again only to get the same result. Using hard water causes you to use more soap because soap doesn’t react well with this type of water. The worst though, for ladies, is what it does to your hair. You know the feeling when you step out of a shower that you’re not used to and your hair feels sticky and dull? Unfortunately, that’s the result of hard water and makes for a really bad hair day.

Soft Water

If you want to get more bang for your buck, use soft water for daily chores. The chemicals in soft water react well with soap making it more efficient to clean with. So then you don’t end up washing all of your hard-earned money down the drain! You can tell that you are using soft water when you’re cleaning because Diffen says that there will be less lather formation and more soap scum. So you can be aware of what kind of water you are cleaning with!

Soft water may be preferred for household chores but definitely not for drinking water. Most people prefer hard water for drinking compared to soft because soft water can taste salty. No one wants to drink an ice-cold glass of salt water! That’s not very refreshing.

There is a way to get the best of both worlds. Meaning, better tasting drinking water and also water to meet all of your cleaning needs. Through the process of reverse osmosis, distillation or deionization you can achieve the perfect balance of hard and soft water.

Hopefully these tips have opened your eyes to the differences between hard water vs. soft water. At Richardson Plumbing, we want to make sure that you are using the right type of water suitable to your needs. We pride ourselves on being your trusted plumbers in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding area.

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Whoops! Help When Things Get Flushed Down the Toilet

flushed down the toilet

It happens. You’re multi-tasking in the morning and you accidently drop your toothbrush. Or your toddler decides to let his favorite superhero action figure go for a swim. Things get stuck in toilets all the time, and there are several ways to attempt to remove them.  When things get flushed down the toilet, you have two options, DIY methods or call your local plumber.  Here are a few tips to help:

Things to Try Without Removing the Toilet

Hand – Gross as this may sound, it is sometimes possible to reach into the toilet and pull out the obstruction, avoiding the need for any tools or a plumber. This method works best if the object is located close to the inside of the bowl…and if you have small hands and a strong stomach.

Metal coat hanger – This is technically not a plumbing tool, but chances are you have one in your home. Bend it so that there is a hook at the end and a long thin handle to push down through the toilet. If you feel the object, use the hook to pull it back towards the bowl and fish it out.

Plunger – Most households have a plunger, making this a good third option. Keep the seal tight around the plunger in the bowl and push and pull to force the object out of the toilet and through the pipes.

Auger – Also known as a snake, this is a handy tool to have if you have small children or a spouse with butterfingers. To use, pull the handle up until the coil is retracted, insert the tip of the auger into the toilet, and turn the handle clockwise to push the coil into the pipe of the toilet. If you feel the object and think it can be pulled back through to the bowl, turn the handle counter-clockwise. Otherwise keep turning the handle clockwise to try to force the object through the toilet and into the pipes.

Chemicals – PLEASE NOTE: this is something you SHOULD NOT TRY. If a foreign object has been dropped in the toilet, chances are the chemicals will eat through the wax ring and pipes before it dissolves the object enough to make it move.

If You Have to Pull the Toilet

If the above options don’t work, it may be time to pull the toilet and remove the object flushed down the toilet from the other direction. If you decide to attempt this yourself, be sure to:

  • Turn off water to toilet
  • Empty tank and bowl completely
  • Have wax ring ready to reinstall toilet
  • Plug hole in floor with rags to prevent sewer stink

After the toilet is pulled, try removing the object from the bottom of the toilet using your hand, coat hanger, or auger. Once the object is retrieved, reinstall the toilet.

Bathrooms in general, and toilets specifically, can give some people the willies. Having handled plumbing repairs in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding area, the plumbing experts at Richardson Plumbing understand that and we will be happy to remove any foreign object from that you flushed down the toilet.

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10 Common Things You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet

flush down the toilet
Your plumber should be Richardson Plumbing if you are a resident of the Greater Cincinnati area. Serving the area for over 20 years, we are a family friendly company with Christian ethics. We get calls frequently (we offer 24 hour emergency service) because of clogged toilets that aggressive plunging won’t open. The most frequent cause is an item that got flushed that just won’t fit through the pipes. Although we are always available to get you out of a jam (pun intended), we would like to give you the following pointers on what should never be flushed.

What Not To Flush Down The Toilet:

  1. Toys-Most adults would not even think of flushing a toy, but your mischievous child may not hesitate. A child’s innate curiosity sometimes leads them to mischief. “I wonder what else will go down there?” or “Can my action figure swim?”
  2. Feminine Sanitary Products- Although you may be tempted, and some packaging says they are flushable, flushing tampons and sanitary napkins are a sure way to clog your pipes.
  3. Band Aids-That Band Aid that you placed on your cut finger is likely to fall off after several hand washings.       If a garbage can isn’t handy, you may be tempted to just pitch it into the conveniently open commode. I can assure you that most children won’t hesitate. Band Aids are generally made of plastic and therefore are non-biodegradable, so don”t flush them down the toilet.
  4. Diapers and Baby Wipes-Yes, people do attempt to flush Junior’s dirty diaper. If you stop and think about it, that diaper gets a lot larger when wet. After all they are meant to expand to hold liquid. And baby wipes, although often labeled as “flushable” are causing havoc with sewer treatment plants.
  5. Paper Towels-Somewhat similar to diapers, paper towels are made of material designed to absorb water. They are not bio-degradable and create major issues down the line.
  6. Prescription Medication-Your plan to dispose of unused medications is commendable, but please don’t flush them down the toilet. Medications are not environmentally friendly. Your unused antibiotics kill bacteria that are useful environmentally to break down waste into particles that can be used by other organisms.
  7. Cigarette butts-So you snuck into the bathroom to hide from your Mom and Dad to have a smoke. I know it is tempting to flip that butt into the toilet, but butts are not environmentally friendly.
  8. Dental Floss- Dental floss seems like such a small thing. But floss is made of tough, non-biodegradable material and when it wraps around other products in the sewer line, small clogs become bigger toilet clogs.
  9. Cat Litter- Cat litter is made to absorb moisture and about 90% of the brands available are formulated to clump when wet.
  10. Food, including grease, fats, and oils- Large food products may very well clog your pipes. Grease is the number one cause of clogged pipes in the sewer system because grease congeals or solidifies when it gets cold. The Environmental Protection Agency warns of the toxic effects of grease on wildlife and the environment.

Clogged Toilet Repair

For toilet repair in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding area call your professional plumber, Richardson Plumbing.  We can help when something gets flush down the toilet.

 

 

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8 Benefits Of A Whole House Water Filter

water filterYou’ve heard the phrase “You are what you eat.” Are you aware of the number of contaminates that enter your life through your water? Many people assume that because they live in a municipality that their water has been “treated” so there isn’t anything to worry about. According to the EPA, all sources of water have some level of contamination. These contaminants can be physical, chemical, biological, or radiological in nature. As water filters through the earth, it picks up contaminates, many of which find their way into your tap water. Mineral deposits of calcium and magnesium cannot be avoided and are the cause of “hard water” So you may think that a filter on your kitchen sink solves the problem. That may help some with the water you drink, but what about the water you bathe, and wash dishes and clothing in. Water enters your skin through your pores too.

  • Have you noticed that although you washed your clothes, they appear dull and feel scratchy as if they didn’t get clean? In hard water soap reacts with naturally occurring calcium to create soap scum, not lather.
  • Are your drinking glasses covered in spots? Hard water leaves behind mineral deposits on glassware after they dry.
  • Do the shower door and shower tiles appear to be coated with a film? This is a result of hard water mineral deposits and soap scum.
  • Is your skin dry and itchy? Hard water prevents your soap from lathering leaving soap scum on your skin.
  • Does it seem as if your water flow has decreased? Mineral build up from hard water can narrow your pipes, just like plaque buildup in your arteries.
  • Are your energy costs skyrocketing? Your appliances are forced to work harder with mineral build-up caused by hard water.

All of these are signs that you have hard water. But you don’t have to live this way. A whole house water filtration system is the answer to your peace of mind. In Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and surrounding areas, Richardson Plumbing is your source for a whole house water filter system. We are sure you will appreciate the multiple benefits.

  • Every water source in your home will be filtered of contaminates
  • Healthier skin and hair
  • Soft, clean clothes after washing
  • Appliances that utilize water will last longer
  • Water pipes will maintain their diameter
  • Glasses without spots
  • Improved air quality as contaminants from poor water are not leaking into the air.
  • Reduced chemical exposure prolongs healthy life

The benefits are so numerous that it doesn’t make sense to delay. If you live in Northern Kentucky, or in the greater Cincinnati area, your professional plumber at Richardson Plumbing will be happy to talk to you about your options for a whole house water filter. Call today or visit our website at http://www.richardsonplumb.com to request an appointment.

 

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