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Spring 2016 Newsletter

Include Your Plumbing System in Your Spring Cleaning!

Most people don’t give a lot of thought to their plumbing system unless a specific problem comes up. If you want to keep your plumbing system in the best possible shape, though, there are a couple of different things you should do. Have a look at these spring cleaning procedures that will keep your plumbing system in good shape!

Spring is just around the corner, and that means that millions of people will soon begin their spring cleaning efforts. Now, you may think of spring cleaning as dusting, vacuuming, spraying copious amounts of air freshener, exterminating all spiders and insects in the home with extreme prejudice, and so on. However, you shouldn’t neglect other parts of your home! Your plumbing system requires consistent service if you want it to continue working properly, and what better time to schedule those services than spring? Let’s take a look at some plumbing services you should schedule during this time.

Video Pipe Inspection

One of the big issues with plumbing pipes is that it’s hard to detect problems with them before they progress too far. Much of the plumbing network is hidden from view, so problems aren’t noticed until they’ve caused damage to the surrounding area. The best way to catch plumbing problems early is to schedule video pipe inspection! This involves inserting a long cord into your plumbing system, with a small camera on the end of it. The camera moves through the system on a pair of motorized wheels, sending images back to the plumber controlling it. This allows your plumber to identify any problem spots in your plumbing system before they become too much of an issue.

Drain Cleaning

The drains in your home serve as a connection point between your plumbing and sewer system. If you want your home’s plumbing to continue to work properly, you need to make sure that your drains remain in good operating condition. One of the biggest threats to your home’s drains is the buildup of waste, which can form clogs and cause other issues over time. So, every so often it’s a good idea to have your drains professionally cleaned out. This is often done using a drain snake, which is a long cord with an auger at the end of it. Hydro jetting is also a common technique, which involves using a high-pressure stream of water to blast all waste buildup out of the pipe. Scheduling drain cleaning once or twice a year is a great way to make sure that your drains continue to serve your home well.

Spring cleaning is a time of renewal for your home, a way to get things in proper order for the rest of the year. Make sure that your plumbing system is in good shape for the coming months, and you’ll make things a lot easier for yourself in the long run.

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Power Surges Are Not Just a Lightning Problem!

People usually think of lightning as the main source of power surges. But power surges can come from many different places, and some can come from right inside your home! Protect your household and its appliances with some knowledge, as well as a whole-house surge protector.

It’s almost a generic concern at this point: fear that a lightning strike will create a massive power surge in your home, leading to burnt-out light bulbs, fried wires, and roasted computer hard drives. And it is true that that lightning is a common cause of power surges (a.k.a. voltage spikes) in homes, and unless your home has a few lines of defense, these surges can inflict damage to many appliances and to the electrical system itself. The power surge from a cloud-to-ground lightning strike can enter a home through the satellite cable dish, the telephone lines, or the electrical service line.

But contrary to the level of worry about lightning-induced power surges, they aren’t the only, or even most common, source for this problem, even during spring thunderstorm time. There are other ways for voltage spikes to affect your home, in both large and small ways. We’ll look at some of the more frequent ones you may encounter.

Downed Power Lines

During stormy weather, a power line can topple over and create a surge that travels down the line to a home just before the electricity cuts out. The voltage spike from this can be very destructive to precision appliances, such as computers and home theater equipment.

Utility Company Problems

Sometimes when the local utility company switches the power grid, it sends a voltage spike through the electrical service line. Accidents at power plants can also cause these problems.

Powerful Appliances in Your Home

This is the #1 cause for household power surges, and they can occur without you even noticing them. When an electrical appliance in your house that requires a large electrical load to run turns on, such as a refrigerator or air conditioner, it will draw so much power from the electrical system that it will create a temporary imbalance. These surges may not do instant damage to appliances plugged into the electrical system, but they will have a cumulative effect. If you see lights briefly dimming whenever a large appliances turns on in the house, you’re dealing with a voltage spike.

What You Can Do

How can you protect your home from power surges of all kinds? You’ll need more than store-bought power strips (point-of-use protectors). These are still useful to have, since they provide an extra layer of protection for equipment such as computers, and they help stop this equipment from overloading the electrical system. But to defend your home from extreme voltage spikes, it’s best to have a professional electrician wire your house with whole-house surge protection. These devices are integrated into the electrical panel and route voltage surges safely down into the ground. Electricians can go over your options to keep your home safe from power surges, no matter the source.

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