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How to Locate The Really Best plumbing Service Contractor.

plumbing problems

A reliable plumbing contractor is resourceful and full of ideas. The contractor you hire should be able to give you or your business ways to improve on your concepts of what the project should look like when completed. With that said, the plumbing repair contractor will be a huge asset to you and your service company. Find out more on how to find a resourceful and valuable contractor from the advice listed below.

Start your search for potential plumbers by obtaining several resumes, this will help you uncover what is important to look for and narrow your list of potential contractors. Any plumbing repair contractor who is not even interested in sending you a resume will not be invested once a project starts.

Make sure you ask the contractors about their priorities while they will be handling your project. If you will that quality is there with high level of customer service, then don’t waste time and hire them. Make sure you don’t come under their cheesy words. You should check the references they have provided you in order to make sure that they are eligible for the work.

Make sure you ask for a list of the workers and plumbers who will be working on your home. This is crucial because you have to make sure who is going to be there, and some projects might include many people in your house at one time.

Know what is expected for your hire. Worker’s compensation is a must if the plumbing contractor is using workers on the job site. But, contractors not using workers are not needed to have workers compensation accounts. These are typically owner-contractors.

Develop preliminary project objectives and budget target before approaching the contractors and see how flexible they are regarding your plan. Flexibility shown and comparative analysis given by the contractors should be taken into considerations as it demonstrates the involvement with your project.

Make clear to your contractor that you expect they will only call you during specified hours. This will set a respectful, professional tone between you and lead to a better working relationship. If your contractor leaves messages for you, be prompt in responding to maintain the professional nature of your working relationship.

References from past clients are the most important pieces of information a potential contractor can offer. It speaks to their reputation, if a contractor does not provide a list of references, consider someone else.

Depending on what state you are in you might need an plumbing contractor with a license. Ask for a license up front and do a search of the license online on the state licensing website. If the search comes up positive then you are set to go but if it was negative you will run into issues.

Save Water This Summer

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Tips That will Save Water, and Money
Water conservation should be a primary concern to all responsible people. Whether for drinking, cleaning, bathing, or gardening, when the warmer weather moves in our water usage usually rises significantly. That’s because there’s a lot of water-related chores and activities associated with the changes in the temperature outside.
Water resources aren’t as abundant as we may think. Sure, the world is mainly covered with oceans and lakes, but most of it isn’t fit for human consumption. Add the fact that major parts of the U.S. have experienced drought conditions for a number of years now and it’s safe to say every drop counts.
That being the case, consider some of the following tips for water conservation around the home this summer.
Home Water Conservation Tips

Yard Water SavingsWater Conservation

Hose: Instead of holding the garden hose and shooting a stream of water across the yard towards vegetation that needs to be fed try using the hose as a means of transporting water to plants. Then aim for the base of plants because that’s where water counts the most. Otherwise, it will fall in areas you do not intend to cultivate.
Drip irrigate: Even if you don’t live in an arid region like Austin, Texas, drip irrigation systems can be used to conserve water and hiring a plumber for installation isn’t necessary. The system consists of rubber tubing with holes that is connected on one end to an exterior spigot while the rest is carefully placed near plants and bushes. When the spigot is turned on small amounts of water exit the holes feeding nearby vegetation.
Morning watering: Feed the yard and garden in the early morning when water won’t evaporate quickly from the sun. Doing so will keep roots healthy throughout the day.
Kitchen Water Savings

Faucet regulator: Install a faucet regulator on your kitchen sink so water will never shoot out at full strength when initially turned on. If needed it could be adjusted for a steadier stream but in general will prevent a lot from flowing down the drain and being wasted.
Washing dishes: If necessary, let dishes soak in a tub to soften leftover crud and turn off water when scrubbing dishes. Only turn on the faucet to rinse.
Reuse: The kitchen presents many opportunities to reuse water for the garden or houseplants Some examples include water from boiling eggs, steaming veggies, and leftover water in the tea kettle.
Bathroom Water Savings

Toilet: Depending on the type of toilet, each pull of the handle can down several gallons of water, so don’t flush just for the sake of getting rid of a dirty tissue. A waste basket is for trash so only flush when necessary.
Brushing teeth: There’s no need to keep the water running when brushing teeth. Like washing dishes turn it on when you need to rinse. When left on the water is simply being wasted down the drain.
Shower: As you wait for the perfect temperature have a bucket handy to catch the first bit of water coming out of the shower head. It can then be reused in the garden, to wash floors, or to flush the toilet. Also, turn the shower off when soaping up and then back on again to rinse off. Doing so shouldn’t be uncomfortable in the warmer weather and can save gallons upon gallons of water.
You can always turn to the professional at Charlotte Plumbing & Repair 1025 W Trade St Charlotte, NC 704-394-5252

Do-It-Yourself Plumbing Repair Tips

The Most Common Plumbing Problems and When to Call a Professional
Almost every homeowner or renter has a few essential tools on hand to cope with minor plumbing emergencies. Many times, a clogged toilet or slow drain may need a little elbow grease and a plunger to work as intended. If you’re handy around the house, you can generally tackle a small repair such as changing out a worn washer or replacing a drain cover. However, bigger plumbing repair jobs need professional plumbers charlotte nc. Trying to repair some common issues such as slow drains or leaking toilets could lead to bigger problems later.

Plumbing Maintenance
One way to prevent costly repairs to your home is a regular maintenance schedule. Because many issues with your pipes sneak up on you, a thorough inspection is the key to catching small problems before they grow. Hidden leaks in sink drains or below water heaters are more than just a nuisance; over time, they can cause structural damage. Water that seeps into sheet rock or plaster contributes to mold growth. Porous tile or wood flooring can discolor or warp when wet.

Many routine maintenance tasks are simple do-it-yourself jobs. An inspection is the foundation of any maintenance schedule. You may use your sinks and tubs daily, but you might not notice minor concerns unless you set aside time for an inspection. Go through your home and take a look at your plumbing. Examine all exposed pipes, including under sinks and behind toilet tanks, for any signs of moisture. On a humid day, some condensation on a cold metal pipe is normal, so note any dampness and check the pipes again when the home is cooler. Check for signs of corrosion on brass or copper fittings; corrosion occurs more rapidly on damp metal, so corroded connections could reveal a slow leak.

Turn on water faucets in sinks, showers and tubs to monitor water pressure. Some variation between different faucet styles and purposes is normal, but all of them should have a steady flow. Note how quickly the water drains after you test the faucet, too; slow drains could mean a clog waiting to happen. While you’re making your rounds, flush toilets to ensure they don’t run or leak at the base, a sign of a faulty wax seal.

Inspections from a certified Charlotte, NC, plumber give you a more in-depth look at your home’s pipes and drains. Your inspector will check the water heater, garbage disposal and every area of your home’s plumbing system. More thorough assessments might include remote video inspection of pipes, lead testing and filter system inspection.

After a thorough inspection, remove and clean aerators on faucets and shower heads. Sediment can build up and slow water flow. If you opt for professional plumbing maintenance, your plumber will take care of this step and others for you. Some of the maintenance duties a licensed plumber can perform include:

treatment to maximize flow rate
cleaning of garbage disposals and water heaters
pressure tests to detect hairline leaks
water pressure assessment and adjustment
Common Plumbing Repair Jobs
Even the most thorough plumbing maintenance inspection won’t prevent the occasional clog or leak, especially in older homes. The clay soil in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area also contributes to septic system problems that can affect toilets and drains. Many of these common issues have equally common solutions.

Dripping
If you’ve ever tried to fall asleep with a dripping faucet in the next room or wrestled with a kitchen sink that didn’t know when to stop, you know how annoying this common problem can be. A dripping faucet also drives your water bill higher. A single faucet can send hundreds of gallons of water per year down your drains a drop at a time.

Water entering your home is under pressure to move it through the pipes. When you turn off the tap, rubber or silicone-based washers form a water-tight seal that prevents more water from pushing its way through the pipes and out of the faucet. Over time, washers can become stiff, torn or dislodged, allowing a tiny trickle of water through and creating that annoying drip. While you can replace washers yourself, the repair job can be more of a challenge than you might expect without specialized tools. If the leak has gone on long enough, the valve seat may become worn or corroded, necessitating a more involved repair that’s best left to a professional plumber.

Not all sinks have washers to hold back the flow of water. Ceramic taps, also called disc or canister taps, use durable ceramic plates that fit together to form a seal. Although they need maintenance less often than rubber washers, the repair job is more complex than a simple washer replacement. If you have a lever-operated sink or tub instead of one with separate knobs, you probably have a ceramic disc or canister tap.

Low Water Pressure
When water that should gush only trickles from the tap, you have low water pressure. This problem might not be related to the pipes in your house but to the municipal water supply. It’s rare, but a break in a main line can temporarily reduce your water pressure. A more common cause of this problem is a build-up of deposits or sediment on faucet aerators.

The water entering your pipes carries dissolved minerals in it that eventually deposit themselves on metal surfaces. If you have a filtration system, these deposits wind up in the filters and get changed; without such a system, these mineral deposits collect on inner surfaces of aerators and shower heads, clogging screens and slowing flow. Most kitchen faucets have easily removed aerators that just unscrew from the tip of the faucet for easy cleaning. Taking off the aerator and soaking it overnight in a vinegar solution will generally dissolve the calcium deposits common in Florida water supplies. Shower heads and bathroom faucets may not be as easy to remove, but you can affix a plastic bag filled with vinegar to the shower overnight to clean it.

If you still notice low water pressure after cleaning aerators and shower heads of sediment and deposits, you might have a more complex issue. A leak or breach in pipes leading into your home is an emergency that could damage your home’s infrastructure or foundation. Sudden and significant reduction in water pressure with no known cause merits a call to a licensed plumber who can pinpoint the reason for the change.

Running Toilet
If you’re tired of jiggling the handle to make your toilet behave after flushing, it might be time to replace its inner workings. Toilets typically run when the flapper valve that lets water pass from the tank to the bowl no longer fits properly, the float is imbalanced or the fill tube comes loose. Toilet repair kits work for most models and require little effort to install.

Occasionally, though, run for more complex reasons. If you’ve replaced the flapper, float apparatus and fill tube, you may have sediment that’s affecting proper flushing and filling. Higher water bills could also indicate a silent leak. To detect a silent leak in your toilet, add a few drops of food coloring to the upper tank and wait 15 to 20 minutes. Look in the bowl for any hint of color; if you see tinted water, your flapper valve isn’t working as it should.

Leaky Pipes
Whether your regular inspection reveals a puddle under a pipe or you get an unpleasant surprise when you reach under your sink, leaks can be a costly nuisance. Leaks usually happen at joints, which is why commercial joint fillers and fitting compounds occupy plenty of shelf space in your local hardware store. These products are a temporary fix, though; a permanent plumbing repair may mean replacing a length of pipe or its fittings.

Although replacing a leaky U-joint under your sink isn’t a complex repair, it is a messy one. You may want to have a professional handle it for you to save the clean-up time. Until the plumber can get to your leak, use a compression clamp and a rubber sheet or leak tape. These temporary repairs keep water from spraying but are easily removed when it’s time for a permanent solution.

Slow or Clogged Drains
When the water that goes into your sink, tub or toilet won’t go out, you probably have a partial or complete clog. In many cases, your trusty plunger can fix the problem. Plungers use air pressure to dislodge a clog, but they can’t remove it entirely. Commercial drain cleaners and clog removers are safe for most drains for occasional use, but these caustic materials can damage some pipe materials if used too frequently. If you’re dealing with clogs on a regular basis, it’s time to call a pro.

Even if you don’t have a complete clog, debris in pipes can slow drainage to a trickle. Shine a flashlight into the drain and see if you can spot the problem. A pair of pliers or tweezers might be able to reach a clump of hair or fallen bottle cap that’s obstructing your pipes. Installing drain screens can prevent detritus from finding its way into drains.

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Before tackling any repair, turn off the water main.

Dress to get wet. Even if you’re careful, plumbing maintenance and repair is a messy task.

The adage to measure twice and cut once applies to pipes, washers and other fittings as well as to carpentry. When possible, take parts to be replaced to the hardware store with you to be sure you’re buying the right item.

Keep a professional plumber’s number handy (704) 394-5252. You may not need the number, but if you snap off a valve and have a geyser in your kitchen, you’ll be glad you kept it near your phone.

When to Call a Professional Plumber
Some issues are too dangerous or complicated to tackle alone. Hire a certified Concord, NC plumber for the following tasks for your safety and the integrity of your home:

installation of new pipes, sinks or tubs
water heater problems
new construction that requires building permits
septic tank leaks
sewer line breaks or leaks
If you have questions, want to schedule a maintenance visit or have a repair emergency, contact Charlotte Plumbing & Repair.
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Remodeling and Home Design

Plumbing vent types & Terms

Posted by: Charlotte Plumbing & Repair

Vents play a vital component in a home’s drainage program. A faulty venting program will not only trigger aggravation when the drainage system malfunctions, it could also make you and your loved ones ill if it compromises the seal that traps are supposed to maintain against sewer gas. It really is to recognize the various venting choices doable, at the same time as size and installation basics, in the event you program to alter or add your current method.

Venting Types and Terms:
Here are a couple of of essentially the most widespread kinds of events you will uncover within the home.

Vent Terminal: a vent terminal is roughly equivalent to the distance between floors, but as a result of layout considerations, it frequently starts a foot below one floor and ends of foot below the next.
Broken vent: the term broken vent refers to an improperly installed vent that, consistently is ineffective. A broken vent is a small far better than no vent at all.

Stack Vent: vertical drainage stacks are also considered events since furthermore to carrying water, they pull relief air from above the roof. Short horizontal branch lines extending from a vertical stack don’t need extra venting and therefore, are said to be stacked vented.

Vent Stack: a vent stack is a vertical stack installed from the sole purpose of providing relief air. It doesn’t carry water. A vent stack could be tied into the Stack vent above the highest fixture or exit the roof independently.

You may have observed plumbing diagrams within the past with vent stack beginning below the lowest fixture on the stack and continuing into the attic. All fixtures are shown connected to the Stack vent. Nonetheless, dedicated program wide vent stacks are rarely identified in residential installations. They work best in tall commercial buildings

Stack-Vented Branch Arm: in a correctly created method, fixture drain lines are sized so that they are able to by no means run a lot more than one half full. If a horizontal branch pipe isn’t too lengthy unused best half of the pipe can serve as a bank. It feeds air from the stack to the back of the flow, preserving the trap seal. But such a stack prevented branch arm is limited.

The branch need to serve the highest fixture or fix your combination on the stack. This highest fixture rule applies to every individual stack, even when the highest fixture on a second stack is really a floor or two above or below that of the primary stack, supplying that all stacks extend to the open air above the roof. This nevertheless, can have an exception: rules do not apply to a basement bathroom due to the fact most of that piping is horizontal.

The length of the branch should not exceed the limits established by code. The bigger the pipe diameter, the longer the allowed length for the pipe. For instance, most codes specify that 1 a half inch diameter branch arm can extend 5 feet from the stack to the trap, even though numerous further limit that to 3 1/2 feet. Most codes permit 8 feet for it to winch line and 10 feet for 3 inch line. You have to present something longer.

Re-vent: a revamped is really a vent added to a fixture drain when the primary vent is broken in some way. When a branch arm is too lengthy, for instance, when it should step up to accommodate structural barriers, you have to install a re-vent.

Wet and Dry Vents: a wet vent carries water too as air via some component of it piping. A basement bathroom provides a superb example for this simply because the vent for the toilet line also carries water from the tub and laboratory. Although wetlands are handy and efficient, they have their limits. Simply because air ought to share space with water, what vents are low volume vents. They can’t vent many fixtures. The drive vent does not carry water, so it has greater fixture capacity.
Widespread vent: a typical vent is really a single vent pipe that offers relief air to bore fixtures on the single branch line. When you are venting two fixtures on a single branch line, you have to location a typical event between the train outlets. When you are venting far more than to fixtures, install the vent between the last and second to last fixture outlets.

Loop Vent: you need to install a sink in the kitchen island; a conventional vent will not work. In this scenario, a loop vent may be the appropriate kind of vent to use. Loop vents simply handle the low volume fixtures and (like kitchen sinks) which can be installed in island cabinets.

Loop Vents do not extend to open air or tie into stacks or vent stacks. I have no direct, fresh air connections. Rather, and also the volume of air within the piping loop gives the required pressure relief. For this reason, Loop vents are also recognized as barometric vents.

Automatic Event Device: a nonmagnetic device can take the place of a loop vent. It consists of an inverted cup with the spring-loaded diaphragm. This spring permits the piping method to pull air from the cabinet space but keeps gas from escaping. It’s basically a type of check valve, permitting air to flow in only 1 direction.

Although automatic vent devices might be program savers, do not use them where it is feasible to install conventional fence. Since automatic bands have limited capacity, do not use them to vent high-volume drains or to vent much more than 1 fixture. Install them to ensure that they always remain accessible since they can wear out and might want replacing.

Plumbing Repairs

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Most common misconceptions about plumbers.

downloadWhat stereotypes come to mind when you think of plumbers? Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumbers Charlotte NC is not like other companies in the industry. That’s why we’re here to iron out 14 of the most common misconceptions about .

Plumbers make a mess. At Charlotte Plumbing & Repair , this simply isn’t true. We go to such painstaking lengths to respect your home that we actually leave it cleaner than when we found it. For instance, our are careful to park in the street to keep your driveway clear and they never walk on the grass. They even wear shoe covers to prevent tracking anything inside.
Plumbers are not . Perhaps images of smelly, rude, plaid shirt-wearing men are what come to mind when you think of plumbers.Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumber couldn’t be further from this description. They are clean, polite and wear a professional uniform. You’ve never seen a more professional group of than Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumbers.
Plumbers charge hefty overtime fees. Have a plumbing emergency? .
Plumbers take their sweet time getting to the residence. We have plumbers on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies in a timely fashion.
Plumbers make up the price as they go along. Our plumbers draw from years of training and experience to produce an accurate estimate before they start on the job. They explain exactly what steps are required for the repair or replacement and how much it will cost so you can decide if you want to go through with it. You’ll always get the price up front, before any work begins.
Plumbers do the work and stick the customer with the bill. Our plumbers keep you informed of any additional problems they find with the or hiccups that may arise during the repair so you’re not left with any unpleasant surprises on the bill.
Plumbers tack on hidden fees. We have clear, upfront pricing and always keep you in the know regarding your plumbing bill. Our plumbers are honest and never overcharge for parts or labor.
Plumbers take their sweet time so they can charge more. Our plumbers arrive promptly and get right to work. They complete the job with the perfect combination of speed and accuracy so the work is completed quickly with no callbacks required.
Plumbers use industry jargon and make the customer feel stupid. Our plumbers want you to understand their process and explain things in layman’s terms to prevent confusion.
Plumbers make far-fetched promises. At Charlotte Plumbing & Repair, we only hire the most professional, experienced plumbers, but even they can’t always work miracles. Our plumbers try their hardest, but they never make a claim unless they can accomplish it.
Plumbers think they know better than the customer. On the contrary, our plumbers know how important it is to ask clarifying questions if they don’t understand the problem. They respect your input and understand that you may have been living with the problem for some time now and therefore understand it well.
Plumbers are loudmouths. If you’ve ever worked with Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumbers, you know they speak respectfully and calmly without sarcasm or profanity. They never say anything behind your back that they wouldn’t be willing to say to your face.
Plumbers often arrive without the right tools . While it’s true that replacement parts may take time to arrive, every dispatched Charlotte Plumbing & Repair van is equipped to handle any repair, large or small. From indoor faucet leaks to tree roots in your pipes, our plumbers can handle it all. Well-equipped vans prevent trips back and forth and let the job commence without delay.
Plumbers are rude. At Charlotte Plumbing & Repair, courtesy is one of the most important tools we carry. Our plumbers treat you with the respect and chivalry you deserve.

We recognize that exceptional plumbing is about more than clearing the drain clog or fixing the garbage disposal; it’s about assuring that you hired the right company from the moment a Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumber enters your home. Contact us today to work with a different kind of plumbing company. .
(704) 394-5252.
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Charlotte Plumbing & Repair

Choising the right contractor

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A problem with the waterheaters in the in the home can lead to significant architectural troubles which explains why having a Charlotte Plumbing contractor on call at any time continues to be a good idea. While the hope is usually that one will never demand the expertise of a Concord Plumbing business, it is best to always be protected than remorseful. Plumbers undertake education and learning to deal with a range of residential plumbing related problems, from your leaking commode to the dripping faucet and a lot more. Do not assume that almost all plumbing contractors are identical, however, as there are many differences in terms of quality and also rates, so you want to ensure you get the best.

You should ask family and friends whom they prefer since they will give you an honest assessment of different businesses contractor. Without having any person in the area you really feel content asking, do some research online seeing as there are many great web pages where evaluations may be read prior to choosing any plumbing contractor. After you have narrowed your own list to a few trained professionals contractor, hunt for assurances and then simply call to obtain estimations. Even though a professional plumbing service will tell you they need to come out and evaluate the trouble right before you’ll get a final price, they ought to be ready to tell you how much you pay for the service call and details of that nature. Last but not least, ensure the plumbing technician has the appropriate bonding and also insurance protection thus, when a problem does indeed arise, the plumbing company is going to be responsible rather than you. You ought to be shielded too while you safeguard the investment in the house repairs. plumbers charlotte nc, plumber charlotte nc.

What to do in a plumbing emergency

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Charlotte plumber sooner or later most homeowners will experience some type of plumbing emergency. Understanding what to do when a problem occurs will make the emergency much easier to deal with.

First, prepare yourself by locating the water shut-off valve, which is located next to your water meter. Once you have located your water meter, the valve next to it will be the water shut-off valve. By turning off the shut-off valve, you will stop all water from entering your home, thus minimizing water damage.

After you have shut-off the water supply, it is also a good idea to open all sink faucets to drain the water from the pipes to further minimize damage. Then, immediately call a plumber. Reputable, professional plumbers can usually send a technician out in a few hours. Follow any instructions given to you, while you wait for them to arrive.
It is also a good idea to use a mop, rags or paper towels to remove excess water, to help keeping water damage to a minimum.

In the case of overflowing toilets, you can shut-off the toilet water supply valve. This valve can usually be located between the bathroom floor and the toilet tank, on the water line supplying the toilet. If this is your plumbing problem, it is not necessary to shut-off the water to the entire home.

Clogged toilets and sink drains can sometimes be opened with a chemical drain opener. If this does not work, a plunger or snake can be tried to remove the clog. If these methods fail to open the clogged drain, you will need to call a plumber.

If it is a water heater problem, immediately shut the unit off. It is a good idea to locate the electrical shut-off switch beforehand. Also be sure to keep the telephone number of a licensed, professional plumber, with emergency services, handy. Handling a plumbing emergency can be made much easier, by following the steps above.

Are you facing a plumbing emergency in the Charlotte,Lake Norman area? Stop and call Charlotte Plumbing & Repair immediately at (704) 394-5252.

Leak Detection & Emergency Plumbing

TANKLESS IN CHARLOTTE, Water Heaters

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You can find a good-sized tank heater for a decent price in many places, but these inexpensive heaters may not always be the bargain they seem to be.

These are typically in the 40-50 gallon range, and they will heat water so that you have that many gallons available when you need to wash dishes, take a shower, wash the dog, or whatever.

The tank unit works by warming that amount of water and then holding it ready, just in case you need it. This means the water is kept at a steady 160 degrees (or whatever temperature you set it to), at all times of day.

The heater thus is going on and off all day and all night to keep the water hot. Your Charlotte electric bill reflects this.

It sounds like that cheap water heater may not be so cheap, doesn’t it? Yikes!

Hot Water Loss and Limited Supply

Traditional tank heaters lose heat steadily. As the tank stands full with hot water, that warmth is lost through heat that basically seeps away. Picture a tea or coffee mug. As the tea or coffee cools, that heat is lost.

Even though your heater is insulated, there is still significant heat lost as it radiates away. That heat loss can be as much as 20 to 40%.

Another drawback of traditional “cheap” water heaters is that the hot water can get used up. If one person takes a shower, he may actually use up all the water that is hot. Then the next person needs to wait 30-60 minutes to get hot shower.

What a drag!

An Efficient Alternative to Cheap Water Heaters

Consider a Tankless Heater.

You may also have heard of these called “point-of-use” heaters, “on-demand” heaters, or “electric instant hot water heaters.”

What this means is that the heater provides hot water when you need it.

There is no water stored. When you turn on the hot faucet, the on-demand heater warms up the water so you can take a shower for as long as you want, and then lets the next person shower, too – all without running out of hot water.

Why is this a better alternative to the cheap tank heaters you find at your Charlotte home improvement store?

Quite simply, cheap water heaters do not prove to be cheap in the long run.

Benefits of “Cheap Water Heaters”

You may want to reconsider what you think a cheap water heater is, since the research has shown that what may have been the cheap heater initially may not be the cheap heater in the long run.

Point-of-use tank heaters can be initially more expensive. However, think about this: Point-of-use heaters can save as much as 50% over your current heating expenses! An on-demand heater will only provide hot water when you need it, so there is no need to continue to heat water if you aren’t using it. No more day-and-night heating bills.

On-demand heaters are also cheap heaters because they don’t wear out like traditional tank units. Traditional units have a typical life of 6 to 12 years before needing to be replaced.

A tankless water heater can last 20 years and more, since they don’t have hot water “sitting” in the tank and corroding internal parts. Hard water scale and deposits can greatly reduce the life and efficiency of a tank heater.

Tankless heaters are also space-efficient. They take up a lot less room in your Charlotte home than their traditional counterparts. Imagine having your water heater hang on the wall, taking up only as much space as a briefcase!

One other benefit of this type of cheap water heater is their safety record. Traditional tank heaters require you to set a minimum temperature, which is often much higher than you really need. Point-of-use heaters allow you to set the temperature where you will use it, preventing scalding issues and more energy loss.

So what do you think? Which is really the cheap water heater?

You may find it helpful to consult your Charlotte Plumber. who can provide you with extensive information about tankless water heaters, and when you’ve reached your decision, safely and efficiently install your water heater.

5 kitchen counter upgrades You Can DIY

It’ll take some doing, but if your confident with your DIY skills you can make a kitchen counter upgrade with solid results. How? With step-by-step help from the pros at This Old House, of course. Here are our top projects to help you along. -Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com

1. Install a Soapstone Countertop

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Too often the price of granite or engineered stone is out of reach of the average renovation budget. Not soapstone. This traditional kitchen topper is easy for a do-it-yourselfer to install, meaning you could save big on the labor, which usually accounts for half the cost. Available to be shipped nationwide from companies such as M. Teixiera Soapstone, where this counter came from, and starting at less than $25 per square foot, soapstone is a great, inexpensive DIY project.

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Relative to other stones, soapstone is soft enough that it doesn’t require special tools to machine it. You likely already have what you need to cut and shape it: a circular saw, a jigsaw, a drill/driver, a grinder, and a sander. Here’s How to Install a Soapstone Counter in just an afternoon or two.

2. Install a Butcher-Block Countertop

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Sleek granite and sharp stainless. It looks all luxe and modern-and maybe just a little bit, you know, cold. So what to do if you want more warmth in the heart of the home? Cozy things up with rich-looking butcher block. Not only are its well-oiled tones welcoming, it’s easy to install, as we demonstrate in How to Install a Butcher-Block Counter. Just order it to size, and then fasten it down. In hours you can turn a chilly steel-and-stone room into a charming cook’s corner.

3. Create Portable Workspace With a Butcher-Block Island

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If you’re going for homey and cozy in your kitchen, skip the built-in cabinet-base island and instead make the central work area a furniture like table with a butcher-block counter. Because these thick wood-slab tops have their edge or end grain exposed, they are stronger than wood laid on the flat. That means they resist warping and nicks better than laminate and almost as well as stone.

With this durability comes an old-fashioned warmth. The trend for wood and furniture in the kitchen is in full swing, and butcher-block islands mimicking 19th-century worktables are perfect for toning down the coldness of stone counters and metal appliances in modern cook spaces. You can bring this classic aesthetic to your kitchen by constructing a prep island from easy-to-buy materials or choosing one of the dozens of styles available through retailers and furniture makers. Whichever path you choose, you’ll end up with an island that can be at the center of the cooking action and still take whatever you can dish out. Here’s How to Build a Butcher-Block Island in 5 steps.

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Here’s another variation on this style, which combines iron threaded pipe and butcher block to create a kitchen center piece. Get the steps.

4. Other Kitchen-Counter Hacks: Remove Spots from Kitchen Countertops

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“Stones are basically sponges,” says Fred M. Hueston, director of the National Training Center for Stone and Masonry Trades, in Longwood, Florida. He’s working in a kitchen, mixing up an odd-smelling poultice of flour and hydrogen peroxide in the hope of removing a stubborn coffee stain from an island countertop. Spread over the stain, the paste should literally pull the discoloration out of the red travertine. “Granite, marble, and limestone consist of interlocking mineral crystals with pores between them,” he explains. “So spills soak into unprotected stone in just 15 to 20 minutes for granite, and 30 minutes to an hour for marble and limestone.” The liquid evaporates, but a mark remains.

Hueston, who literally wrote the book on the subject of stone restoration (Stain Removal Guide: For Stone, Tile, and Concrete), will leave the poultice in place for 24 hours. This will allow it to “wick” the stain out of the countertop, in the same way that poultices made with other ingredients pull oil stains out of concrete or venom out of snakebite victims. He determines his recipe on the basis of the stain and stone types: an absorbent base like dry clay, flour, or a paper towel, and a wicking chemical such as detergent, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. If the countertop has been both stained and etched, the stone must be polished and a new sealer applied. “Cleaning spills right away and using coasters is a lot easier,” he says. See all the steps here.

5. Other Kitchen-Counter Hacks: Install Under cabinet Lighting

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There’s a missing element in most American kitchens, and it’s not a $7,500 range or a 4-acre refrigerator. No, it’s simply good lighting. And a well-lit kitchen begins with undercabinet task lighting. These hidden fixtures, which are fairly easy to retrofit beneath upper wall cabinets, bathe the countertop in bright white light-a boon for everything from dicing veggies to reading recipes. Connect the fixtures to a dimmer switch, as shown here, and you also have the key to dramatic accent lighting or a night light for midnight snackers.

If you’re a bit tentative about working with electricity, don’t worry. This installation is simple and shock-free, as long as you cut the juice at the breaker box first. Get the rest in How to Install Undercabinet Lighting.

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/kitchen-countertops

Disposals: Continuous or Batch-Feed?

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While a Garbage disposal
may not be the star fixture in your Charlotte kitchen, such as a large, stainless steel refrigerator, it just might be its unsung hero. Disposals provide a great deal of convenience when cleaning up after a meal, and if you have ever cleaned up in a kitchen that doesn’t have one, you probably noticed its absence. Garbage disposals will also help to keep your kitchen and garbage areas from smelling bad by immediately disposing of food wastes. Putting less garbage into plastic garbage bags can also help reduce the amount of non-biodegradable plastic we are sending to Charlotte landfills. Food waste that is run through a garbage disposal and sent to a waste water treatment facility doesn’t necessarily go to waste. Most waste water treatment plants will either convert food waste into energy or fertilizer, which is considerably better than being sent to a landfill.

Types of Garbage Disposals

There are two basic types of disposals to choose from. The most popular type is a continuous-feed garbage disposal. This is the type of disposal that we are all used to, it turns on when you flip a switch and you feed waste into it until you are finished, and then you turn it off.

The second type is called a batch-feed garbage disposal. This type offers an additional level of safety as it will only operate when a cover is placed over the disposal flange and is then turned to activate the garbage disposal. The primary benefit of this disposal type is that it will prevent people from putting their hands into the unit while it is activated, and also keeps small objects such as silverware from falling into the garbage disposal while it is running.

The disadvantages to batch-feed disposals are that only a small amount of waste can be fed into it at a time, so if you have a moderate amount of food waste to dispose of, it may take several batches to get rid of it all. The other issue is that it will only work with the manufacturer-issued cover, so if it becomes lost or damaged you will have to replace it before being able to use your disposal again.

Horsepower

A major consideration when selecting a disposal is how much horsepower to get. To help you make this decision, you will want to consider your expected usage and family size. If you are a single individual and will only be grinding up carrot peels, you can get away with a smaller horsepower disposal. If you have a large family and expect to feed all sorts of food wastes into your disposal, you will want to opt for a higher horsepower rating.

You will typically have 3 choices for a residential garbage disposal: ½ horsepower, ¾ horsepower, and 1 horsepower. One-half horsepower is becoming harder to find and given the reasonable price of a decent ¾ horsepower disposal, is not recommended.

Most people will want to purchase a ¾ horsepower disposal. It provides plenty of power for an average size family, and you can safely put a moderate amount of food waste through it. If you have a large family or expect to use your garbage disposal frequently, you will probably want to get a 1 horsepower disposal.

Additional Considerations

There are a couple of other issues to consider when purchasing a garbage disposal. It is recommended that you purchase a disposal from a manufacturer with a reputation for quality and reliability. Ease of installation is a big consideration if you will be installing your garbage disposal yourself. Most new garbage disposals from reputable manufacturers will be relatively easy to install. If you are not comfortable with doing some basic plumbing and installation work, it is recommended you hire a professional Charlotte plumbers
to perform your installation.

A major consideration will also be noise level. Unless you like yelling while using your garbage disposal you will want to look for a brand of disposal that includes some sort of built-in noise reducing technology. Many newer disposals will also feature vibration-reducing technology as well.

One item people take for granted when purchasing a new garbage disposal is the switch you will use for a continuous-feed garbage disposal. We are all used to the typical light switch on the wall, but now you can purchase an “air switch” which can be installed on the countertop and is safe in a wet environment as it is not electrified.

The last thing to consider will be the color of your disposal flange. The disposal flange is the drain opening in your sink basin that you put your food waste into, or the large hole that everyone is afraid to put their hand into. Most new garbage disposals will come with a chrome colored disposal flange, but if you are outfitting your kitchen with fixtures (such as your kitchen sink faucet) in a different finish, for example oil rubbed bronze or brushed nickel, you may want to consider buying a disposal flange in that particular finish as well.

Making Your Final Decision

While picking out a garbage disposal may seem a bit daunting, given the wide selection of models available, with a little preparation it should be easy to choose the appropriate disposal for your Charlotte home.