Author Archives for Christine Brightman

Drains 101

July 15, 2020 9:44 pm Published by Christine Brightman

Will it drain?

Sink drains, floor drains, bathtub drains and laundry drains. Here are some tips on how to avoid the clog, plug, or over flow.

Ensure all drains have a mesh screen over them to catch any debris, such as hair, food scraps, dirt, lint, etc.

mesh drain screen

Kitchen: Always scrape your dishes into the green bin or compost before rinsing, then put them in the dishwasher or wash them in the sink. Remember to run your dishwasher only when you have a full load for maximum efficiency and energy savings.

food composter

Bathroom: Brush your hair right before a shower to ensure you are getting out as much loose hair as possible, but do not flush it. When it comes to pets, try to wash them outside when the weather is warm to avoid excess hair in your drains. If you can’t wait, try investing in a wash tub for your furry friend!

Invest in a quality auger or plunger. If draining doesn’t go your way, avoid chemical plumbers and call a real one! Liquid drain clearing solutions aren’t as great as you would assume, as the corrosive chemical products will eat your pipes and your plumber’s hands.

chemical drain cleaner

The things that you probably wouldn’t want in your own drinking water or ocean should never be put down the drain. This includes nail polishes, bleach and other strong household cleaners, anti-freeze and motor oil, and even cosmetics and perfume.

To keep drains in good working order, pour a good amount of hot water down the drains, especially your rarely used ones, to ensure that they are in good working order when the time comes for use! This might fix the problem for some people, whilst other people may see no improvements. If that’s the case in your home, it might be time to consider contacting a professional to look at your drains if they are clogging up. Clogged drains can be problematic in households, so be sure to contact someone who can help. Some people have previously recommended Paul The Plumber for these sorts of jobs. For those interested, they could visit that website now to learn more about the sort of services offered. If you’re not located near to that company, be sure to look around your local area for another plumber who could help you unblock these drains. Water in homes needs to be able to drain properly, so any clogs can cause problems. Make sure to get in contact with a professional if you notice draining is slower than usual in your home.

That’s all the tips we have for you today. Happy draining!


Can You Save an Aging Tank?

June 15, 2020 7:54 pm Published by Christine Brightman

Aging Water Heaters and How to Save Them!

It is not unusual for homeowners and tenants to feel a bit naïve when it comes to home plumbing and hot water tank. In this blog we discuss how to extend the life of your water heater.

Perhaps you’ve tinkered with your plumbing and fixed a few things yourself, but what do you know about preventive water heater maintenance?

Water heaters have changed a lot over time. Perhaps you are one a lucky homeowner whose water heater has lasted over 13 years with no issues that you can detect- but you can’t see what’s going on inside the tank.

Nowadays, water heaters can last from 8-10 years, although some have lasted longer depending on many factors, such as water quality, frequency of use, and preventive maintenance.

Most areas in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have soft water which is easier on the hot water tank and its parts. If you live in an area with hard water, it is recommended to add a water softener to your home plumbing system to reduce the speed of natural wear and tear.

Hot water heaters that are used less frequently can last longer as they experience less cycles of heat expansion and contraction. Read more about thermal expansion in this blog.

Preventive maintenance is the best way to help your aging water heater live a long life. Here are some tips for water heater maintenance.

Flush your water heater every year. Pick a date and mark it on your calendar as your official Water Heater Flush day. We also offer a free reminder program where we will call to remind you that your tank is due for a flush.

Check your PRV (pressure reducing valve) every 6 months. This valve controls the water that comes in to your home from the city. High pressure water can damage your plumbing system and will void the warranty on your hot water tank. Check this valve to make sure that your pressure stays below 75 PSI.

Replace the anode rod in your water heater. The rod breaks down over time and settles to the bottom of your tank. Some manufacturers suggest that having this rod replaced or installing an additional rod can help to extend the life of your tank.

To see a list of our maintenance services, click here.


Don’t put that down your garburator!

April 30, 2020 10:23 pm Published by Christine Brightman

The garburator seems like it can handle most things, but it has its limits. Learn what is okay and what should stay away from your garburator.

 

NEVER attempt to clear your garburator when it is turned on.

Fat or grease: This should not go down the garbage disposal or any drain. It will eventually cool and harden and stay that way. The best way to dispose of it grease is to pour it into a jar while it’s hot and once it cools, put it in the garbage or green bin.

Onion skins: Onion skins may seem harmless, but they are thin and can easily stick to the inside shredder ring of your disposal, eventually causing major problems. It’s best to put these in your green bin or composter.

Fibrous or stringy vegetables & fruit: The stringy part of fruits & vegetables like celery can easily be cut by the garburator blade, but similar to onion skins, the rest can wrap around another part and cause damage.

Coffee grounds: These little leftover caffeine beans don’t harm your disposal itself, and might make it smell nice – BUT they can cause a lot of damage and clog the drain pipes below the garburator and throughout your home. Put these in the green bin instead.

Egg shells: Similar to the vegetables, the membrane on the inside of the egg can wrap around parts of your device that they shouldn’t touch and cause your garburator to malfunction. (Yes, green bin it!)

Bones or fruit pits: While the garburator has powerful blades, they usually cannot stand up to the strength of the bones and pits which cause significant damage. Often this kind of damage requires a garburator replacement.

Pasta, rice & breads: These foods are like the cotton swabs in a toilet. Since the pasta, rice and bread can stick together, they can absorb a lot more water and block your drain.

Additional things to avoid: Shrimp shells, pennies, jewellery, banana peels, silverware, hands and fingertips.


Tips and Tricks for your Hot Water

February 20, 2020 9:54 pm Published by Christine Brightman

Tips and Tricks for your Hot Water

In our economic climate, it’s not unusual to want to save a little money! Here are some water heater tips to stretch your dollar.

  • Check the temperature setting on your water heater and inspect for possible leaks. The recommended setting is 70 degrees Celsius.
  • Don’t leave the hot water running when you rinse dishes, brush your teeth or shave. This will reduce the amount of energy that is needed to heat the hot water in your tank and save on your energy bill too!
  • Take short showers and run more shallow baths.
  • If you don’t mind having lower water pressure in the shower, install a low-flow faucet aerator or low-flow showerhead to save on water consumption and reduce water heating costs.
  • Switch from an ENERGY STAR certified water heater (rebates are usually available)
  • Go tankless! Switch to a tankless gas water heater for significant energy savings.
  • Wait to wash clothing and dishes until you have a full load.
  • Use cold water when you run the dishwasher or mashing machine. (Cold water laundry also helps to keep your colors brighter longer!)
  • Buy a high-efficiency washing machine when you need to replace your clothes washer.

 


Furnace Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe

January 8, 2020 7:15 pm Published by Christine Brightman

Let’s talk about your furnace. You know, that box that sits next to your water heater, or perhaps on its own in the depths of your basement.

 

scary furnace

(We hope it’s not as ominous looking as this one.)

Did you know that in order to maximize your furnace’s efficiency it should be cleaned every year?

The cost associated with having a plumber clean your furnace is incomparable to the cost of having an emergency serviceman dispatched on a cold winter (or early spring) night! When searching for a local plumber to clean or repair your furnace you will want to search online for furnace and ac repair, the reason being is the majority of tradesman that can fix or service your furnace also work on air conditioning as well, and as air conditioning is more popular the majority of tradesman tend to advertise for air conditioning services first and furnace services as an additional service even though they are fully trained in both.

There are many benefits to having a high-efficiency furnace installed in your home. High-efficiency furnaces can save you hundreds of dollars a year in heating costs. A furnace with an efficiency of 89% or higher can typically deliver heat savings of 20% to 35% more when compared to old furnaces. Furnaces from 1970 and earlier are in the 60% AFUE range! Older furnaces are also more susceptible to being damaged which might just leave you having to search furnace repair more often than you think.

furnace pilot light

Good news: You can offset the cost of having your high efficiency furnace installed and ensure that you keep your heating bills lower by servicing your furnace every year. Did you know there is even Fortis BC rebates available for installing a new furnace? In the long run, your furnace will have paid for itself in energy savings, and you’ll be helping the environment too!


How Well Do You Know Your Water Heater?

November 28, 2019 6:57 pm Published by Christine Brightman

We’ve talked about this before. Our water heaters are stuffed into a dark corner in the basement, shoved into a closet we never go into, or even worse, in a shared space that we’d much rather have for our own personal use, like the laundry room! But what do you really know about your water heater? Here are some quick facts that you may not know.

Heating your water is the second largest expense in households and accounts for 14% to 18% of your utility bills.

Electric water heaters are on average more expensive to operate than gas powered water heaters.

When water enters your tank, it is typically 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

burns hot water

Do not set the temperature above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can suffer a serious burn within three seconds at 140 degrees. Pro Tip: If you find that you need to turn up your tank temperature above 120 degrees to get lukewarm to moderately hot water, this is a sign that your tank is aging and you need to replace the elements.

To extend the life of your water heater, flush out the sediment at least once a year. (Or more often for commercial and high use tanks, such as those in homes with a large family.)

water heater sediment flush

 

 

The average tank is 2” wider than then tanks that were manufactured 10 years ago because they are now insulated on the inside to maintain a higher efficiency.

energy efficient

So now you know a little bit more about your water heater. When you perform yearly maintenance you can add years to the life of your tank. Call the Red Seal plumbers at Blue Moon Plumbing for your annual tank flush!


Blue Moon Plumbing: Your PLUMBING, HEATING and GAS Company

October 9, 2019 5:10 pm Published by Christine Brightman

By our name, you can tell that we are obviously plumbers, but did you know that we offer a whole suite of plumbing, HVAC and gas services?

Although our Red Seal Certified Plumbing Technicians are plumbing experts, they are also qualified in any and all other plumbing services. Whether it be maintenance, inspection, or installation, our techs bring with them combined experience of almost 50 years.

Other services we offer:

– Faucets and plumbing fixtures
– Kitchen sinks: Kitchen drain clean, kitchen sink installation, kitchen sink drain repair
– Toilets: Toilet repair, toilet installation, toilet removal
– Sewer lines: Sewer line repair, sewer line clean
– Laundry drains: Laundry
– Gas line repair and install
– Bathroom sinks
– Bathtubs and showers
– Drain clean plumbing services
– Garbage disposals: garburator installation, garburator repair, garburator removal
– Water lines: Water line repair and water pipe repair
– Dishwashers: Dishwasher line clean, dishwasher installation, dishwasher removal
– Backflow prevention installations and testing
– Video inspection services

Drain clears, faucet installations, leaking and burst pipes- our highly qualified plumbers can easily handle any of these for you and more. Can’t decide which plumbing fixtures will work best for your home? Ask one of our experienced team members. Not only can we help you in the (often daunting) process of choosing new fixtures, we can also provide them to you, saving you precious time and money on the best brands on the market.

Looking for a new HVAC system for your home, or needing maintenance and/or repairs? We offer a variety of service to ensure your family won’t be left in the cold! We are also well versed in all options for gas savings and FortisBC rebates for newly installed gas products. 

Yes, we provide fast residential service, but did you know that we also provide commercial service? Restaurants, offices, hair salons, whatever business you happen to own, manage or work in, our plumbers can “bail” you out of any situation you find yourself in. From Vancouver to White Rock and almost every municipality in between, Blue Moon Plumbing  is your one stop Metro Vancouver plumbing company!

Call us today for a FAST resolution to any of your home or commercial plumber or HVAC  problems!


How to Keep Your Cool during the Final days of Summer

September 3, 2019 4:02 pm Published by Christine Brightman

How to Keep Your Cool during the Dog Days of Summer

We’re a funny bunch on the South Coast. When you live in the Rainforest, summer can’t get here soon enough. No more complaining about endless days, weeks, months of rain. The temperature rises, moods are elevated, and we are all happier all round. Until about mid-July that is. People tend to forget that a couple of short months earlier, we were all begging for clear skies and heat. Then the complaining starts. It’s too hot! Can it rain for a few days please? I can’t sleep at night. On and on. Here a few tips for keeping your cool during those dog days of summer. Oh! And a few for your dogs as well.

  • Take cool showers in the morning and start your day with a lower body temperature.
  • Shower at night and keep the water temperature cool. Our bodies fall asleep easier and we have a more restful sleep when our body temperature is lower. Don’t completely dry off either. Jumping between the sheets while we are still a little damp helps to keep our bodies cooler, long
  • No air conditioner? No problem. Freeze some water bottles and put them in front of your fan.
  • Keep your blinds and curtains closed to keep out the hot sun.
  • Water, water, water. We need more water to stay hydrated in the heat. Spread your consumption out all day. Drinking large amounts of water at one time can lead to water-toxicity. Yes. That’s a thing.
  • Turn off lights and computers when not in use run your dishwasher and dryer at night.
  • Eat more water based food. Refreshing salads and cold fruit are a great way to cool your body from the inside out.
  • If it’s too hot for you to walk in bare feet on the pavement, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws too. Walk your dog on a gravel field or on the grass instead.
  • Wear light coloured loose clothing made from breathable materials like cotton.
  • Did we mention water?!
October is coming people. We’ll be dreaming of summer in no time at all. Use these tips to stay comfortable and enjoy the great weather while it’s here.

Is Your Water Heater Under Warranty?

August 26, 2019 3:59 pm Published by Christine Brightman

Water Heater Warranty Information

Your hot water heater serial number is full of useful information that may come in handy if you ever need to call a plumber.

Did you know that if your water heater has a valid warranty, you may not need to pay for repair labour or repair parts? If your water heater leaks when it is under warranty, you will also receive your replacement water heater at no cost, however you will need to pay for the labour, warranty paper work, and a gas permit (if applicable).

How do I know if my water heater is under warranty?

The first step is to locate your water heater serial number. This is usually contained in a rectangular sticker located under the brand name. The hot water heater serial number will be next to where it says “serial no.,” “serial,” or “ser.”

Now you know how to locate your serial number. To find out if your hot water heater is under warranty, you can call or visit the manufacturer website to check your water heater warranty status.

Bradford White: Visit www.bradfordwhite.com/check-your-warranty/

John Wood: Visit www.hotwaterhelp.net/warrantyValidation.aspx
*Tip: If you don’t know when your John Wood water heater was installed, click “Use manufacture date +30 days.” If your serial number comes back as invalid, check that you entered it correctly, and if it is correct, remove the first letter from your serial number to check your warranty expiration.

Rheem: Visit www.rheem.com/warranty/ and click on “Verify Your Warranty.”

How long is my water heater warranty?

You will be able to check your warranty length when you validate it online. Most owner’s manuals will state how long your warranty is for. If you water heater was installed by Water Heater Rescue, we place a sticker on your tank that contains this information too.

Most tanks manufactured before 2016 will have an 8 Year Tank Warranty and a 6 Years Parts Warranty. Most tanks manufactured after 2017 will have a 6 Years Tank Warranty and a 6 Years Parts Warranty. If you purchased an extended warranty for your water heater, this information should be tied to your water heater serial number and show up in online validators, but in some cases this warranty is held privately by the installation company.

How do I make a warranty claim?

Call a service plumber or your water heater manufacturer, who will point you in the direction of a water heater repair company. Reputable water heater plumbers will check your hot water tank warranty when you make a service call to see if you have an active parts or tank warranty. If your tank is under 8 years old, we recommend to ask your plumber to check if your water heater is under warranty before they arrive for the service call. They will be impressed when you have the serial number ready!

If your water heater is in need of repair or replacement, it is beneficial to check the warranty status as not all plumbing companies will suggest to do this. Checking your warranty can lead to huge savings on plumbing repairs, and all serial numbers can be validated.

Do you have questions about your water heater warranty that wasn’t covered in this blog? Give us a call at 604-533-2583  today!