Friday, December 5, 2014

Reducing Waste During the Holidays: Tips from Simi Valley Plumbing Pros in Simi Valley, CA

What’s the best way to celebrate this season of giving? Here at Simi Valley Plumbing Pros in Simi Valley, CA, we believe one of the best ways to celebrate is with a truly green, eco-friendly holiday. Recycling, eliminating food waste, and saving energy can make all the difference for future generations - and that’s the ultimate cause to celebrate.

Start with a commitment to recycle: wrapping paper, gift cards, and holiday cards can be easily set aside for the recycling bin, or saved for reuse. Sending electronic holiday cards can eliminate paper waste all together. And when it comes to wrapping paper choices, newspaper or eco-friendly reusable wrapping ,like scarves or carry-alls are great choices for your gifts. Forget using  ribbons and bows  - you can choose natural decorations like evergreens or dried flowers which can be easily recycled or composted later. The same goes for a live tree and wreath for decoration, be sure to recycle them when the holiday season is over. Or buy a live, potted tree and replant it after the holidays. One last recycling tip: when you go shopping, eliminate paper and plastic bags and choose reusable cloth instead.

When it comes to gift giving, choose something that doesn’t pollute. Think about charitable donations or choose an experience to share like a meal, travel, concert or sports tickets. Homemade gifts are great too, and when buying products, look at the item’s recycle potential, and if recycled materials are included in manufacture.

More batteries are sold around the holidays than any other time of year. So choose rechargeable! Rechargeable batteries reduce waste material, save money, and can even be operated on solar power. Save energy by unplugging holiday lights during the day, which will reduce cost and energy consumption as well as helping those lights last longer, too.

And then there’s food waste. Choosing reasonable rather than overly large amounts of treats mean healthier diets and better health for the planet. Leftovers can be distributed to charitable organizations or sent home with friends and family. And, be sure to dispose of used cooking oil carefully. It clogs drains, can harden in pipes and can cause sewage line back-ups and wastewater issues far beyond your home - in  an entire community. So instead, save oils in a container and dispose of it in the trash or, if there’s an oil recycling program in your community, check it out.

Wishing everyone an abundantly green holiday season!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tips on Kitchen and Bath Remodeling in Simi Valley, CA from Simi Valley Plumbing Pros

If you’re thinking about remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, you’ll have some choices to make before deciding on the best approach for these two important areas of your house.

With kitchen remodels, often homeowners start with a search for upgraded appliances. Others begin by formulating a plan for overall design choices from cabinets to lighting to faucets; or by finding the right professional help for electrical work, plumbing, and carpentry.

With bathrooms, homeowners may choose a complete overall or focus on basics like new shower head installation or a new bathroom sink installation. Most homeowners should start with the most basic needs: toilet, tub, and sink. From there, selecting faucets, shower heads, cabinets, mirrors and more will fall into place. Consider types of sinks and tubs available, for example fiberglass versus porcelain and tile, counter top sinks versus drop-in sinks. For limited space, a pedestal or wall-mounted sink can fit the bill if a counter or vanity are not necessary. As to toilets, it’s all about comfort, efficiency, and water-saving capabilities as well as style.

How about tubs? Homeowners may want to consider jets and tub depth. Standard length and depth is not the only choice in tubs in today’s marketplace. Options abound and can be quite cost-effective.

While remodeling can be a big step, at Simi Valley Plumbing Pros in Simi Valley, CA, we know that sometimes even consistent plumbing service and careful drain cleaning won’t prevent clogged toilet repair when a fixture is aging. And in the kitchen, garbage disposal repair shouldn’t become a regular occurrence; worn, stained, or leaking sinks mean it’s time for a kitchen sink replacement. Remodels were once-upon-a-time considered a time consuming headache, and while certainly time and cost are still factors, the benefits to be gained, as well as new and efficient replacement techniques, make this a more than viable option.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Simi Valley Plumber Pros: Advice About Automatic Earthquake Shutoff Valves in Simi Valley, CA

When an earthquake occurs, the shaking to a home can cause damage to both gas pipes and appliances, damage that can result in natural gas leaks, fires, and explosions.  Earthquakes can’t be prevented, but fires from broken gas lines certainly can be. The installation of a shutoff valve can put a help to lower the pervasive fire risk, one that is a major factor in one out of four fires following an earthquake. In Simi Valley, CA, having an automatic earthquake shutoff valve for natural gas lines makes a lot of sense.

Of course, while we at Simi Valley Plumber Pros believe that earthquake and over-surge protection can be a real life-saver, it is also vitally important to reduce the possibility of a gas leak with regular gas line and appliance maintenance, as well as repair when necessary. Electronic gas line leak detection is yet another important safety tool.

Make sure your water heater and all appliances that use natural gas are anchored, and that they utilize flexible pipe connections. Flexible pipes are very important, as much gas line plumbing uses decidedly unflexible black iron piping. An earthquake can all too easily break the joints in these types of pipes, and flood a home with flammable gas. There are several kinds of shut off valves,  including valves that are earthquake-activated, excess flow valves, methane detectors, and manual shut-offs, as well as methane detectors. Both earthquake activated valves and excess flow valves should be state certified and installed on the house line that connects your meter to your actual gas.

Is it hard to install these valves? No. When an earthquake hits with a larger than 5.4 magnitude, a seismic actuator releases, and gas is prevented from entering your house. In short: a simple and effective way to reduce danger when an earthquake occurs.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Walking in Simi Valley, CA: Four Reasons Simi Valley Plumbing Pros Believes in the Benefits of Stepping Out

Walking is great for your health, and walking on your own home turf is even healthier. At Simi Valley Plumbing Pros in Simi Valley, CA., we believe there are many benefits to taking steps - yes, pun intended - that lead to social connections, neighborhood safety, and a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.    

Here are four main benefits:

First, walking the streets of your community will keep you fit. Averaging two miles a week results in a body weight of six to ten pounds less than a resident who doesn’t walk, according to health studies. Walking is a great way to exercise regardless of your age. It can help prevent or reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes, it counters the rising incidence of obesity, and lengthens the average person’s lifespan.

Second,  you won’t just be helping yourself, you’ll also be helping the environment. Using your feet as transportation reduces another kind of footprint - your carbon footprint. You aren’t burning fossil fuels when you’re walking, or wasting money on automobile expenses. You’ll be saving all sorts of “green.” After all, traveling on foot instead of by car means steps taken toward a reduction in both pollution and personal costs.

Third, you’ll also be helping to keep your neighborhood safe. Studies show that crime takes a dive when people are out walking, watching the neighborhood, and supporting local businesses.    Keeping an eye out means keeping your community safe from crimes of opportunity.

Fourth, you’ll make connections with other residents and local business owners. When you’re walking, chances greatly increase for casual conversations with the neighbors, or getting to know local shopkeepers. That support makes neighborhoods thrive. Locally run businesses succeed in communities where people walk to shops and restaurants, where neighbors know each other. Instead of driving to a big box store in another area, make a point to stroll a few blocks to the local hardware store or eatery.

So start stepping out! Walk by yourself, or form a group of neighbors or friends.  No matter how you walk,  only 30 minutes a day, five days a week can add an average  year and a half to your life.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Water Heater Maintenance and Replacement Tips for Simi Valley, CA

Your water heater may be the last thing on your mind. At least, it is until there’s a leak or when you climb in the shower, only cold water comes out. At Simi Valley Plumbing Pros in Simi Valley, CA we know that  water heater service can be all too easily ignored. But service is key to increasing the lifespan of a water heater. That’s why water heater service from a certified contractor is so important. Whether you have a gas, electric, or tankless water heater, it’s smart to schedule regular maintenance –  before you need water heater repair or replacement.

After all, maintenance is just as important as installation. Making sure your water heater stays in good shape means that it will not need to be replaced for a much longer time, and it will work more efficiently. An efficient water heater will reduce your costs and energy consumption. Along with regular maintenance, water heaters should be insulated, to reduce heat loss - which will also reduce water-heating expenses.

Depending on the type of water heater you have, your maintenance needs will differ. Traditional hot water heaters, whether they’re gas or electric, should have the pressure relief valve inspected by discharging it several times, and examining it for any leaks. The water heater tank should also be drained to remove sediment if necessary, and the tank and connections both thoroughly examined to check for wear, rust, or corrosion. If necessary, worn anode rods should be replaced as well. Replacing a rod is much more cost efficient than replacing your water heater.

A tankless water heater utilizes different maintenance procedures, such as checking for debris in the in-line screen filter, and flushing the unit to remove any lime or scaling.

Here in Simi Valley, CA how long can you expect your water heater to last? The average is about eight to twelve years. However, by following a regular maintenance schedule you can extend the life of your water heater well beyond that average.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Electrical Panel Contractor Service in Simi Valley, CA - Service Tips from Simi Valley Plumbing Pros

                             Electrical Panel Installation and Home Re-Wiring Tips

Residential rewiring, installation, and the upkeep of electrical panels, and circuit breaker installation can require a residential wiring contractor in Simi Valley, CA. At Simi Valley Plumbing Pros, with that in mind, here are some house re-wiring and electrical panel inspection tips.

One of the most important considerations involving electrical panel installation and home wiring and re-wiring is that this type of work can be dangerous in untrained hands. You need to be aware of national and local electrical codes, power must be turned off, and you should use a non-contract voltage tester to be absolutely certain no hot wires are left in the circuit before work has begun. Sometimes electrical panel boxes are poorly marked, so double checking is always key, and one of the first things any professional does.

Basic house wiring starts at the main service panel. This is where the main breaker is located.
Installing a new panel is a large job, and while adding a circuit is less onerous, it still requires precautions and precision. For one thing, there are a variety of different types of circuits in the home, including 240 volt circuits which are used for large appliances like stoves, hot water tanks, and dryers. Basic house wiring uses copper wiring in all homes built recently. Houses constructed in the 1970's or earlier can have aluminum wire in them, which, due to fire hazard, should be replaced. Knowing what type and thickness of wire to use within the home depends on the circumstances in which it’s used - another reason to have a professional work on home wiring and panels.

Like wiring, circuit breaker types vary and depend on usage. Because circuit breakers are usually specifically tied to a panel manufacturer, it’s important to make sure that any replacements or additions are compatible.

For all these reasons, choosing a professional to handle your electrical panel installation and home rewiring can be the best choice for homeowners.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Using an Electronic Slab Leak Detection Inspection in Simi Valley, CA to Cut Costs and Prevent Damage to Your Home

Electronic leak detection is a plumbing technology that can help you uncover leaks without major disruption to your home or your wallet.  In fact,  at Simi Valley Plumbing Pros in Simi Valley, CA  we’re skilled at using electronic slab leak detection service to uncover below-ground leaks before they result in high costs and property damage. Using a certified contractor with the proper equipment to detect leaks below ground can save you thousands of gallons of water, and thousands of dollars, too.

Electronic detection can reveal problems that are hidden beneath slabs, underground, and in walls. With so many homes built on slabs, leak problems have become more and more commonplace. If there’s a hot spot on the slab floor or in a wall, your water bill is increasing or your water meter running for no reason, you’re likely looking at a leak. But it doesn’t mean the end of the world. Even sewer and water service lines can also be inspected with a small amount of disruption, allowing trenchless repairs to take place easily. Electronic detection can also detect cracks in cement, dry wall, or plaster, to prevent problems with outside water leakage, too.

Routine inspection means prevention before problems get out of hand. With fast, easy detection, solutions to leaks are less costly and time consuming than in the past, with equipment capable of
pin-pointing a leak’s location without having to tear up foundations just to locate a problem.

And once a problem is located? Spot repair and re-piping or re-routing can rapidly and easily performed. Spot repair involves opening the slab exactly where the leak is located, and repairing that spot only. If plumbing systems are over ten years old, or more extensive leaking is taking place, re-piping or re-routing repair is the way to go, again with minimal invasion to the slab.

In short, we use quality equipment to detect hidden leaks wherever they occur, behind walls or underground. And that means simple repairs before major damage has a chance to occur.