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When Is the Best Time to Replace Your Toilet?

When Is the Best Time to Replace Your Toilet?

The toilet is used daily but is often overlooked when remodeling or updating different parts of your home. Richardson Plumbing will provide you with a guide to know when it is time to replace your toilet.

Your Toilet Isn’t Working Properly

The first and most obvious reason to replace your toilet is if it is not working properly or if it requires too many repairs. If it needs to be fixed often or if you are frequently replacing parts it is time to replace it. If you weigh out the costs of continuous repairs and a new toilet you will usually find is it more cost effective to replace your toilet altogether. If it toilet requires plunging more than one time per week it may be time to replace it. Plunging and consistently fussing over your toilet can become a nuisance. If plunging it has become a daily or weekly aggravation it is time to replace your toilet.

It Is Cracked

If your toilet has scratches or cracks it may be time to replace it. Scratches in the toilet bowl will become harder and harder to maintain as they get larger. Many people find themselves scrubbing their toilets daily and finding they still don’t look clean. A toilet with many scratches should be replaced to save you time and money with maintenance. If your toilet has cracks it does not only look unattractive but it can also result in a huge mess. Cracks can lead to serious damage causing leaks. It is best to replace your cracked toilet before it breaks and becomes a bigger issue. If the location of the crack is in the actual toilet bowl, it is not quite as urgent but you should definitely keep an eye on it.

It Is Raising Your Water Bill

Sometimes your toilet can be the culprit for a high water bill. If you notice your water bill is high and it is not due to a pipe leak it may be time to replace your it. If you do not already have a low flush toilet you may want to replace your existing toilet to save water and money.

It Is Outdated

Your toilet should be comfortable and look nice as well. Let’s face it: the bathroom is not the most elegant of rooms in your home but it should look nice and sanitary. If your toilet does not look clean or up to date that is reason enough to replace it. While entertaining guests or simply having a few friends over you want them to feel comfortable using your restroom. If the toilet looks old or grimy someone may be hesitant to use it. Since you spend some time throughout the day in your bathroom you want to make it cozy. If your toilet is older, it most likely does not have the bells and whistles a newer model has. Newer styles are made differently to ensure complete convenience and comfort. Elongated bowls are available to make the seat easier to sit on and with different designs you have the option to have a higher or lower sitting toilet. This is great for people who have difficulty sitting or standing.

Call Richardson Plumbing today to replace your toilet! Our staff are friendly, knowledgeable and honest to give you the best possible experience.

 

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How to Make Your Bathroom Safer for Children and the Elderly

bathroom

When thinking about the way your bathroom is set up, one of the most important characteristics to consider is bathroom safety. Every family member and every potential guest should be accounted for. Children can easily open cabinets and get into hazardous chemicals. The elderly are likely to fall getting into a bath tub or slip in a shower. Making your bathroom safe is an easy task with these simple installations.

For children the main aspect of safety is control and keeping potentially dangerous items out of reach. Children are curious, and whether you have your own kids or you have house guests with kids, it is important to keep hazardous materials out of their grasp. For example if you are storing toxic cleaning supplies it is essential to keep a child proof lock of the cabinet door. Another way to safely control your bathroom is by installing a separate lock on the outside of the bathroom above a child’s reach. This will prevent young children from going into the bathroom alone. While bathing your child it is crucial to take the proper safety measures inside the bath tub. A great way to prevent scalding is to set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees. Children can sometimes get rowdy while splashing in their bubble bath. Installing the proper gear such as faucet cover will protect your child from bumping their head or busting their chin on the faucet. Children can sometimes be clumsy which is why rubber bath mats or bath tub decals are an excellent way to prevent falls. Bath mats keep all members of your family safe.

When an elderly person falls and slips it can be life threatening. For fragile bones a small fall can be a huge deal. It is important to keep the elderly safe in the shower or tub by placing bath mats or tub decals. A small addition such as a bath mat could possibly save a life. Many elderly people do not like to ask for help, and like to have their freedom and be able to do things on their own. Another great way to add safety to your shower or bath tub is to install grab bars. They make your bath tub or shower accessible and easy to use. Taking a bath will not be a dangerous or difficult task. A grab bar is also helpful near the toilet for individuals that may have difficulty standing or sitting. Grab bars do not look institutional nowadays. They are made to accommodate your needs and also look fashionable.

At Richardson Plumbing we want to look out for the safety of each individual in your home. It is our priority to add comfort, safety and sophistication to your home. We will make sure you are completely satisfied in your home installations. We proudly service Northern KY and Cincinnati. Please call today for a free in home consultation and make sure your bathroom is safe and accessible for everyone.

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Should You Install a Bidet in Your Home?

fancy bathroom

Have you thought about installing a bidet in your home? It’s not likely that you have. In fact, here in the United States, it’s unlikely that you’ve ever even encountered a bidet, let alone thought about getting one for your home. But, whether you’re sold on them completely or you still find them strange and exotic, Richardson Plumbing of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati is here to inform you about the next innovation in toilet technology.

 

What is a bidet?

A bidet is, for all intents and purposes, a toilet, but with one key difference: it also possesses a small jet of water that can be triggered. This jet is intended to be used for hygiene purposes, and many bidets even offer different temperatures and pressures for the water that comes out of them. If you have traveled out of the country, particularly to continental Europe, bidets are more than just common, they’re actually the norm. And while they may seem a little foreign to us here in the United States, they do actually have their benefits.

 

Why would you want a bidet?

Aside from the obvious novelty for most Americans, there are actual benefits to having a bidet. The first would be hygiene. Although we don’t tend to spend much time in this country thinking about the hygiene of our bathroom habits and how they could be improved, there are actual hygienic benefits to having a bidet. The jet on the bidet actually serves to get rid of residue that traditional American bathroom hygiene misses, and can also save you money on bathroom tissue. Also, by purchasing less toilet tissue, you are also helping the environment. One other benefit that you may not have thought of is that adding a bidet to your home can actually raise the overall value of your home. Because they are so exotic, and are oftentimes more expensive than traditional toilets, they can add some unexpected resale value to your home. All in all, it’s a win-win situation!

 

Whether you are thinking about taking the plunge and installing a bidet in your home or you have other questions about your home’s plumbing, do not hesitate to reach out to Richardson Plumbing. We are located in Florence, Kentucky, but we proudly serve all of Northern Kentucky, as well as Cincinnati.

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Should You Get a Standalone Bathtub for Your Bathroom?

freestanding bathtub

Standalone bathtubs, also known as free-standing tubs have various pros and cons. So, how do you make the decision to see if a standalone bathtub is right for your bathroom? Richardson Plumbing of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati provides you with a guide to deciding if a free-standing tub would be a good fit in your home!

Pros & Cons

There are many pros to free-standing tubs. For example, they are known to assist in releasing stress. These luxurious tubs can add a touch of sophistication to any bathroom, while letting you feel as though you are at the spa soaking in a nice, relaxing bath. However, depending on the material, there can be many cons to these tubs as well, such as being high-maintenance, and being difficult to get in and out of for older people or small children.

Standalone Bathtub Materials

  • Acrylic– This is one of the most popular standalone bathtub materials. It is relatively lightweight and inexpensive. It comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. However, acrylic does tend to crack and discolor over time.
  • Cast Iron– This material is very heavy, however, it is also very sturdy and retains heat better than any other material on the market. Cast Iron comes in a large selection of colors and is great at resisting fading and chipping.
  • Copper– Old-fashioned copper tubs conduct heat at extremely high temperatures, but are very high-maintenance. They are also fairly expensive, but can offer a great decorative element.
  • Stone– Standalone tubs made of stone are incredibly heavy, but are also great at making a bold, contemporary statement.
  • Solid Surface– These standalone tubs are usually contemporary in design like stone tubs, but are much less heavy. These tubs are still durable, despite their weight and are also offered in various shapes and sizes.
  • Pure Acrylic– These tubs are one solid color and are more substantial than regular acrylic tubs. They vary from regular acrylic tubs as they are made of two sheets of acrylic with insulation or air in between these sheets. They are also generally easy to clean and maintain.

Professional Help in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati

If you think that a standalone bathtub would be a good addition to your bathroom, then it is time to stop by your favorite family-friendly company, Richardson Plumbing. We are located in Florence, Kentucky and have been proudly serving Northern Kentucky, including Warsaw, Glencoe, and Sparta, as well as Cincinnati for close to 20 years. Our trained technicians can assist you with all of your plumbing needs from small plumbing repairs to bathroom or kitchen remodels. We also offer 24-hour emergency service, as well as a senior citizen discount. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and are completely dedicated to providing you with the best possible experience. If you think that a standalone tub would be a good addition to your bathroom, then please do not hesitate to contact your friends at Richardson Plumbing!

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Things to Consider When Installing a Basement Bathroom

periwinkle basement bathroom

If you’re thinking about finishing your basement, just think about how much your property value will increase when it’s complete. It really pays off in the long run! Now you never have to hike all the way up the stairs when nature calls. Richardson Plumbing wants you to consider a few things before taking the “plunge” and installing a basement bathroom.

Basement Bathrooms

For someone that is just starting construction on their home, according to Home Construction Improvement, you should install drain lines below the basement in a gravity feed configuration, or install a sump chamber for a sewer pump. This doesn’t cost much to do, so if you do decide to install a basement bathroom in the future this shouldn’t be much of a financial hassle. On the flip side, renovating your home to install a basement bathroom is where it gets a little tricky. The location of your bathroom in this situation depends on where your plumbing drain lines are located. If your drain lines are located below the basement slab, then you can cut the slab, install the drain lines and then patch the slab back up. But if the drain lines exit above the basement, then a sewer pump will need to be installed in the basement.

Toilet Talk

Installing a toilet in your basement bathroom is a bit more complicated than you might imagine. According to Bob Vila, what works for the upstairs waste removal won’t work for the basement. In fact, the upstairs actually works against the waste flow for your basement bathroom. There are a couple of options for toilets to consider when deciding on which porcelain throne will perfectly fit your basement. Decide between upflushing toilet systems with a grinding feature, composting toilets, and sewage-ejector systems.

Bathroom Ventilation

Good ventilation is necessary in any bathroom, but it’s extremely important when talking about installing a basement bathroom. Mold and mildew issues happen in basements all the time because these spaces usually have very few windows or even none at all. Hot, steamy showers already create a lot of moisture, which is not ideal to have in a basement., so don’t skip on installing a bath exhaust fan for your basement bathroom. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck dealing with mold and mildew, and no one wants to deal with that! Not to mention, it can potentially ruin your home. Keep in mind that in this case, moisture is your mortal enemy!

We hope that you keep these things in mind when you go to work on installing a basement bathroom. At Richardson Plumbing, we’re proud to be your 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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