What to do When you need a Plumber

Until the dawn of the 20th century, lead was the main choice of material for molding tubular conduits, and the word plumber meant a person skilled in working with lead. Polyurethane, copper and other materials gradually became more popular and widely used, as it was discovered that the seemingly harmless material of lead was actually causing various chronic and fatal conditions by being ingested.

Of course, today’s modern buildings have complex plumbing systems consisting of not only hot and cold running water, but also sewage disposal, air conditioning, gas heating, systems for fire defense and a pneumatic / hydraulic power delivery system. Many emergencies in the home can be prevented or resolved by your friendly residential plumbing expert, making the plumber the 4th emergency service for many people.

Getting to Know a Local Plumber

One of the most common problems with calling any Vancouver plumbers to your home is that it seems they are always busy when you need them the most. If they are available they’ll charge double or triple for coming during the evening or on the weekend. You might be expecting to be charged at least double the normal rate as well as an after hours premium if you have the audacity to call the plumber out on a Sunday!

However, most plumbers who specialize in residential plumbing services are only too aware of how valuable the time of their customers is, and how inconvenient a leaking or burst pipe can potentially be.

Most plumbers do make all reasonable efforts to be at your home as soon as possible, and just as importantly, to be there when they say they will. Plumbing work sometimes results in an explosion, flood or other disaster and because of the risks associated with this type of work, plumbers need to have professional indemnity insurance, which inevitably leads to higher prices for their services.

Take Your Time and Look Around

Be wary of using a plumber that seems too cheap, as they probably don’t have the proper insurance. Unfortunately there are dozens of unreliable and disreputable plumbers out there just waiting to take advantage of you and take your money, although of course not all plumbers are charlatans and many strive to deliver the best possible work. Don’t be afraid to ask for the VAT registration reference from the plumber, and look for membership of professional or trade bodies.

You can avoid a lot of this by getting acquainted with one of the local Vancouver plumbing companies in your neighborhood before a problem happens. Call a family member or friend who might have had to use a plumber in the past. They can tell you if they have a preferred service company. You can also find good people by looking up reviews on plumbing companies that look good to you online.

Most of us Don’t Want to Deal With This

Although you will probably have need to call a plumber at some point, it is hoped that you won’t have to, but of course it pays to have the contact information for a reliable and experienced plumber in your area. Calling a plumber in Vancouver for a routine check up and overhaul of your plumbing and heating systems is a much better option than waiting until you have a plumbing emergency and then calling one.

Where to Go For a Personal Loan in Vernon

The cost of living in many developed countries is quite high and lot of people live from paycheck to paycheck. Every now and then, many of us are faced with financial hardships especially if an emergency arises and we have no extra money to pay for unexpected expenses.

While many people would resort to borrowing money from their family and friends, sometimes, this is not an option. Perhaps they are hesitant to do so or their loved ones simply don’t have any money to spare.

If you’re strapped for cash until your next payday, you can approach a money lender for help. There are many financial institutions in the country that can help you. But the thing is, not all of them are able to.

For one, they will consider your credit history. Have you been paying your bills and loans on time? Do you have any outstanding loan? Are you prompt in paying your credit card bills?

The answers to these questions will determine whether a lender will be able to help you with your short term financial problem. But if you don’t have a very good credit score, don’t worry, it’s not yet the end of the world.

You see, there are personal loans in Vernon offered by lenders that specialize in helping borrowers with low credit scores. In fact, you can apply for these loans online. For the most part, the lender will only require you to furnish them a proof of your employment, proof of identification and residency, and your checking account information. Once you’re approved, your money will be deposited to your bank account in as quickly as a day or two.

Keep in mind however that lenders usually charge high interest rates for bad credit loans due to the fact that it is a high risk loan. After all, when they approve the loan, there is always the possibility that the borrower will default on his loan payments.

The best thing you can do is to take a little bit of time to do some research. If you search for loans available online, you will be given plenty of options in the search results. Take some time to compare their offers, rates and terms. That way, you can find a money lender that offers the lowest interest rates. You should also see to it that the lender is a registered business, and not some fly by night operator who’s out to steal your personal information.

Generally speaking, if you’re strapped for cash and need money urgently, you can find the solution from lenders offering personal loans. But practice diligence and use your common sense to ensure that you are getting the best deal. Finally, don’t make borrowing a habit. Get a personal loan only if absolutely necessary and pay it off as quickly as possible.

Applying for a Personal Loan

The cost of living in many developed countries is quite high and lot of people live from paycheck to paycheck. Every now and then, many of us are faced with financial hardships especially if an emergency arises and we have no extra money to pay for unexpected expenses.

While many people would resort to borrowing money from their family and friends, sometimes, this is not an option. Perhaps they are hesitant to do so or their loved ones simply don’t have any money to spare.

If you’re strapped for cash until your next payday, you can approach a money lender for help. There are many financial institutions in the country that can help you. But the thing is, not all of them are able to.

For one, they will consider your credit history. Have you been paying your bills and loans on time? Do you have any outstanding loan? Are you prompt in paying your credit card bills?

The answers to these questions will determine whether a lender will be able to help you with your short term financial problem. But if you don’t have a very good credit score, don’t worry, it’s not yet the end of the world.

You see, there are personal payday loans Edmonton offered by lenders that specialize in helping borrowers with low credit scores. In fact, you can apply for these loans online. For the most part, the lender will only require you to furnish them a proof of your employment, proof of identification and residency, and your checking account information. Once you’re approved, your money will be deposited to your bank account in as quickly as a day or two.

Keep in mind however that lenders usually charge high interest rates for bad credit loans due to the fact that it is a high risk loan. After all, when they approve the loan, there is always the possibility that the borrower will default on his loan payments.

The best thing you can do is to take a little bit of time to do some research. If you search for loans available online, you will be given plenty of options in the search results. Take some time to compare their offers, rates and terms. That way, you can find a money lender that offers the lowest interest rates. You should also see to it that the lender is a registered business, and not some fly by night operator who’s out to steal your personal information.

Generally speaking, if you’re strapped for cash and need money urgently, you can find the solution from lenders offering personal loans. But practice diligence and use your common sense to ensure that you are getting the best deal. Finally, don’t make borrowing a habit. Get a personal loan only if absolutely necessary and pay it off as quickly as possible.

Difference Between Secured and Unsecured Personal Loans

Every now and then some of us may need a personal loan. Running out of cash can happen at any time and that is when a personal advance can come in handy. Personal loans are also known as signature or unsecured advances. This kind of finance can help when there is a need for money and you won’t have to go through a long process or put up your home or car for collateral. Personal loans online can be a convenient way to get this type of financial assistance.

Additionally, personal advance loans can be a good way to get cash that you need right away. They are made for any purpose and do not have to explained as to the reason for needing them in order to get the financing. To be clear, the primary types of personal loans that exist are secured (protected) personal loans and unsecured (not protected) personal loans. An individual loan that is safeguarded by collateral that was put up as surety is secured. In other words, it requires back-up by some kind of financial asset like a person’s boat or even someone’s wedding ring. If there is no repayment, a repossession will be made on the boat or ring or whatever item was used as the guarantee. Check out online personal loans; they are convenient and the process is quick and easy.

A loan, by an individual, that is never protected or backed up by anything is not secure; except by the signature of the person who wants the loan. In most cases, this kind of advance for a person is based on their credit worthiness. In addition, with an advance such as that, that is not secured, there is a higher interest rate and that is because of the additional risks associated with it.

There are several benefits that come with a personal loan:

  1. Easier to quality for and
  2. The process to getting a loan is not as long

It is important to note that there are two main benefits with a loan for person or individual: having a fixed monthly payment and a fixed loan term. Because the interest rate never changes, a person’s monthly payment stays the same. Most importantly, a fixed payment gives a person a feeling of stability; especially when it comes to their monthly budget.

The fixed loan term is yet another benefit that comes with this type of advanced financing. Having a fixed loan term can help a person deal with their overall financial concerns. This can lower a person’s stress and give them a more confident feeling that they can pull themselves out of their financial dilemma.

Personal Loans with Bad Credit

There are options for people to apply for even if they have bad credit. Short term lenders are aware of the many reasons people have fallen into that crevice of a low rating in the credit bureau: loss of jobs, identity theft, the primary paycheck in the family might stop, or starting a new job that causes a late payment to be sent in weeks after the due date. There is nothing like the feeling of security with money in the bank, especially for an emergency. Don’t listen to the rumor mill, clients are approved every day for personal types of loans for bad credit.

To apply for a personal loan takes a few minutes to fill out an application. The lender must know what type of income is being received by the client. It can be social security, disability checks, alimony or a financial settlement. There are personal loans for bad credit that will fit a client’s budget. The financial information is vital for a loan officer to make a determination of how much money they will approve for a personal loan with bad credit. Lenders must be certain that the amount of income received is enough to handle the re-payments of the loan.

Be aware the personal loans for bad credit that are approved might have a high annual percentage rate or APR. Some lenders will help the client by extending the length of time to repay the loan. The lender helps the client with due dates that can be met with ease. Read all the information and ask questions so there is a complete understanding about all aspects of the loan. Remember the lender is there to help the client to secure a personal loan. When the loan is approved the funds are direct deposited in the client’s bank account or a check is sent out through snail mail. The bonus is when payments are made on time and the loan is repaid, the lender informs the credit bureau and that boost’s the client’s credit score. The lender knows the clients history and will offer the client the opportunity to apply for another loan.

What to do When You Need a New Hot Water Tank

water-heaterWhen it’s time to replace the old hot water tank you have a few options. One of them being whether to keep the type you have or consider a different type of water heater. There two basic types now and you should make you decision based on your needs.

Traditional Hot Water Tanks

If you have less than five people living in your home and you find that you don’t use an excessive amount of Hot Water, consider a 150 liter (33 imperial gallon) tank with a 36,000 BTU per hour input rating (10.6 KW).

If you have five or more people living in your home, or you simply use a lot of H.W. because everyone showers at about the same time each day, etc., consider a 189 liter (42 imperial gallon) hot water tank with a 45,000 BTU input (13.2 KW).

Electric Hot Water Tanks

If you have less than four people living in your home, you’ll probably need a 175 liter (40 imperial gallon) tank with two 3-kilowatt heating elements.

If you have five or more people in your home or tend to use a lot of H.W., you may want to step up to a 270 liter (60 imperial gallon) tank with two 4.5-kilowatt elements.

Tips on Saving Energy

Insulate your piping with 12 millimeter (1/2 inch) fiberglass or foam insulation to reduce heat loss as the water is distributed throughout your home.

Insulate any piping that passes through unheated areas such as crawl spaces, attics and carports, etc.

Remember to flush your H.W. tanks every couple of years to prevent sediment build-up on the bottom of the tank and on the heating elements which can reduce the lifespan of your H.W. heater.

If You Want to Install it Yourself

Make sure you have all the proper tools and materials you need to properly install hot water tank Kelowna. Do the necessary research before attempting to install your hot water tank.

First you’re going to want to turn off the gas, power, and water supply to the tank. Then put on a hose on the bottom on the hot water tank to drain the left over water out of the tank. Now you will need to take off the inlet and outlet nipples off the water tank, you will need to use two pipe wrenches for this.

If it’s a gas water heater use your two pipe wrenches and disconnect the union, that is between the supply pipe and the inlet pipe or it might be a flared fitting. You can take the flue hat off too as well since the tank is not running.

Now that you tank is disconnected move it out of the way, and put your new one where the old one was. Make sure that you can get to all the dials a buttons properly when you put the tank back. A good rule of thumb is to use about 6 inches around. So this means make sure that there is nothing flammable within 6 inches of your tank. Make sure too that it sits level on the floor, you may have to make some shims.

Put Teflon tape on the inlet and outlet nipples and then put them into the new tank. Make sure that the blue goes into the cold and the red goes into the hot. Also be sure that all the arrow indicators are all pointing in the proper direction of flow.

Attach flexible hoses on the inlet and outlet water pipes. If you don’t see a supply shut off valve on the cold side, I would install one, just to cover yourself. After you are sure that everything is connected back properly, open the valve to fill the tank up, while this is happening i would open up a few hot water faucets just to get some of the air out.

Put back together the gas pipes just like they were before… you might need to change it a bit, but not too much. Make sure that you use Teflon tape and pipe dope on each fitting, then tighten them back together with your pipe wrenches. Grab your manufacturer instructions to connect the gas supply tubing. After the gas is on test all your joints, making sure that there are not leaking. You can use soapy water to help with this; it will just bubble for you. Then you may need to go back and crank on them again.

If all else fails and you decide to call a professional then you may want to consider a licensed Kelowna plumber. They will get the job done quickly and up to local code, which is actually quite important. If you don’t know the local installation codes then you could risk health problems from poor ventilation or something else equally important.

Inspect Your Roof Once or Twice a Year

roof repairThe roof over your head is one of the most important components in your home. It keeps you dry and protects the wooden framework of the house. The roof is supported by trusses, joists and an array of parts that make up the whole. If it springs a leak it starts to undermine the entire structure, and that’s not the worst part. If water gets inside the house it starts attacking the insulation, the ceiling and even the walls if it gets that bad.

Something you want to set up as a home owner is a general maintenance schedule. There are a number of things in the home that need attention every few months, once a year or every two years. Here is a list of common house components to give you an idea what to add to your list.

  • The roof and gutters
  • Perimeter drainage, inside drains and possibly a sump pump
  • All appliances including air conditioning, HVAC or fresh air heat exchanger
  • The furnace, boiler, or electric base boards

As you can see there is a lot going on in the typical North American home. For instance the gutters should be flushed every six months, and while you are up on the ladder, look closely at the roof. If you see any shingles at an angle, flashing coming loose, or the granules in the shingles are shedding, then you will want to take a closer look. If you decide that any roof repair will be needed, you can click on the link to read some DIY roof repair tips from a company in Vancouver BC.

If you don’t like the idea of going up on a ladder yourself,  then you should start looking for a local roofing outfit who you feel will do a good job at a fair price.

For appliances like the furnace or an HVAC unit, you should change the filters every four months and get someone in every year or so for maintenance. These types of appliances need to be tuned up regularly for best efficiency. For things like the stove or dishwasher it’s not so critical because you use them every day, so you will notice when something goes out of whack. Not like the roof or the gutters which no one looks at unless you take the time to look up.

The Worst Roof Job Ever!


This video is a good example of how half-assed work can be a complete waste of time and money. Don’t hire someone just because they low-balled the price.

Pay Attention to the Gutters and Drainage Around Your Home

When it rains in Vancouver it can go on for weeks in the winter and it can be a serious downpour in the summer when the sky’s open up. When I first moved to Vancouver 20 years ago I was surprised to see a lot of homes without rain gutters. This is a mistake that can end up costing you thousands of dollars in water damage. Over time water that is not diverted away from your foundation ends up cracking the cement or opening the mortar between the cinder blocks. When that happens water starts getting into the basement which I’m sure you can imagine will cause havoc.

These days most builders will install gutters as a rule of thumb, but there are still a few thousand homes in the GVRD without proper drainage off the roof. Gutters direct rain water into the downspout and away from the building when installed properly. It’s easy to find out if your gutter down spouts are doing their job, just walk around your house and see if the downspout is draining into your flower beds or away from the house. They usually run off away from the home using any number of methods.

Proper Down Spout Drainage

downspoutThis picture shows one way it can be done. If you feel the water on your property is not draining because the gutters need cleaning, call Reliable Gutters for professional advice. We are a professional gutter cleaning company and will be happy to go over your options to help you save money by avoiding future water damage. If you do  not have gutters on your home and your budget is limited here is one system you could consider that will last for a few years.

Cheap Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl gutters are the cheapest way to go and good for a limited budget, but if you want quality work that lasts for decades then we suggest Alu-Rex gutters. They are the only gutter system on the market that comes with a manufacturers warranty. Good value for the money. If you prefer a professional does this work for you call us for a quote on gutter installation or if all they need is a clean up at we will be happy to inspect and do a gutter cleaning job for you.

Simple Vinyl Gutter Installation

Reliable Roof Repair – Gutter Services
Phone: (604) 259-0011
408 East Kent Ave S
Vancouver, BC V5X 2X7

The Kitchen Sink Has Moving Parts

Keeping things in working order is a good policy, so we’ve gathered a few tips for keeping the kitchen sink looking good, and hopefully trouble free. Whether you have a single bowl stainless steel sink or a double bowl sink, keeping the drain clear is a universal thing.

Grandma Knew Best

If you cook a lot of greasy foods like bacon for instance, pour the grease into a can and toss it in the garbage later. Pouring hot grease down the sink causes buildup, which also causes food particles to cling to the sides of the pipe.

Take A Little Extra Time

If you have kitchen accessories like an electric food disposal unit under the sink, run cold water when its grinding, to help flush mash down the pipes. Garburetors are not designed to clear the bowl right away, it needs time to do its job.

If you find your drain clogging on occasion, try mixing up 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Pour in down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes with the drain covered. After 15 or 20 minutes, pour boiling water through to flush it out. The mixture should break down the grease and kill any odors that may be lingering.

Pour a couple liters of boiling water down the drain once a week or so to melt away any fat or grease that may have collected.

Throw coffee grounds in the garbage, not down the drain.

Buyer Beware

Rumor has it that products claiming to clear drains by dissolving grease with enzymes may not be very effective. Some of those products may use chemicals that kill the bacteria needed to break up solid wastes thereby causing more harm than good.

If the clog has gotten too big for you to handle, click here for more information.

Drainage Problems Around the House

Let’s start with the kitchen. There is not a lot of difference between kitchen and bathroom drains, so many of the steps you must take are the same. However, there are some common sense points you should keep in mind.

First, if you are dealing with a double sink, you will need to plug one of the sinks while you plunge the other to avoid simply moving the water back and forth between sinks. Also, keep in mind that kitchen sinks move and hold a lot more water than bathroom ones.

Make sure you have a large receptacle underneath the trap to catch water. Last, remove the trap very slowly, moving it the smallest distance possible. This will allow you to re-tighten it and stop the flow of water when your bucket or bowl beneath it gets full. It may take several rounds of loosening, tightening, and emptying before you lose all of the standing water. Once the water has been removed, remove the p-trap and look for clogs.

Garbage Disposals

A clogged garbage disposal will most likely be stuck fast and immovable. If your disposal has a reset button (most do) you can reset the motor. See if that will get things moving again. If that does not help, or if there is no reset key, you should try moving the disposal manually. You will need an allen wrench: an L shaped tool with a hexagonal shaped end, sometimes called a hex key. There is a shaft on the bottom of the unit; you can fit the wrench into the shaft and move it back and forth a couple of times. That is often enough to get things moving again. After removing the wrench, try the disposal to see if it is working again.

If it still won’t move, you can actually look for debris in the disposal. Always remember to turn off the breaker to avoid accidents, then grab a flashlight and look for any foreign objects. The needle nose pliers are the perfect tool to remove anything that does not belong.

If it is still jammed, it is time for the help of a professional. Let them know what you have done, so they don’t repeat those steps. It will save them time, and hopefully it will save you precious labor fees.

Whole House

The thought of an entire home that is not draining is daunting. This is most likely an urgent situation that calls for a local plumber. There are some preliminary steps you can take and hopefully shave off some of the formidable costs.

You need to determine if you are connected to a sewer system. You can look at your latest water bill to see if there is a charge for the sewer; you can ask your neighbor- odds are they will have the same system that you do; or you could look in your yard or street for a manhole- a sign of a sewer system. A clean out can be another sign that you are connected to a sewer system. Search the perimeter of your home for one. A clean out is an exterior pipe with a large plug. The plug can be removed and provide a way in to the sewer pipe. Look carefully, they can be difficult to spot.

A Temporary Solution

You can possibly remove the cap of a clean out and circumvent a disastrous flood in the house. If you choose to do this, proceed with caution. There may be a houseful of backed up pressure beneath that cap. Move slowly, a full line could cause a spray of backup when you make the last few twists while removing the cap.

Once the cap is removed, assess your situation. A clog beyond the clean out will allow you minimal use of your plumbing. Keep in mind that, without the plug, your waste water will be draining into your yard. This could help you avoid the damage that could occur with the buildup of pressure in the pipes of the home. It is not an ideal solution, but may buy you some time while you wait for help, perhaps until regular business hours to avoid the high fees associated with emergency calls.

Armed with a little knowledge, you may be able to solve some of the minor plumbing troubles associated with clogged drains. At the very least, you may eliminate a few of the first steps for a professional and save yourself at least a portion of the $100 plus fees a plumber could charge.

If the problem has gone beyond the simple issues discussed here then you might want to read a little more about the dangers of allowing the drainage to get out of hand. A flooded basement is usually a serious problem that must be dealt with immediately. At the very least make an effort to find out what plumbing companies in the area are considered trustworthy by friends and neighbors.

Knowing When to Hire A Professional

Many money conscious homeowners are trying to find ways to attend to home maintenance and minor repairs on their own, rather than spending hard earned money to have the jobs done by a professional. Some jobs, for example, plumbing repairs, are best left to someone with training and experience to avoid costly mistakes. There are, however, plumbing tasks like unclogging drains, that can be do-it-yourself projects without disastrous results.

Clogged drains are a recurring and common problem. As a matter of fact, many plumbing businesses dedicate most of their time to clearing drains. With a little knowledge and some common household tools, a clogged drain can be cleared and expensive fees eliminated. Many drains in a home can become clogged. They include, but are not limited to tub drains, bathroom and kitchen sink drains, and garbage disposal drains.

Tub Drains, Usually a Simple Fix

Not surprising, many of the blocked tub drains are the result of an accumulation of hair at the stopper. Although the first inclination may be to grab the plunger, it will most likely be ineffective. The hair is wrapped in there tightly. The stopper needs to be taken out to allow you to access and remove the hair. Your first need to know which type of drain is in your tub. Most likely it will be the trip lever near the overflow plate or the lift and turn type located at the actual drain.

The trip lever stopper has a rod in the overflow pipe that is attached to the stopper. Sometimes, the stopper is actually inside the pipe while at other times the stopper is in the drain and worked by the connecting rod. Before you take your drain apart, try to pull the problem hair out using needle nosed pliers. Hopefully, that will end you problem.

If this is ineffective, you need to remove the stopper. Depending on its location, you may need to take off the overflow plate to remove the rod and stopper, or remove it from the tub drain. After you have cleaned off any hair and sludge, you can test the drain to be sure the water runs freely. Then simply put the pieces back together.

The lift and turn drain, also called the tip-toe drain, has a stopper connected to the drain which must be removed to clear the clog. Simply unscrewing the drain will get you nowhere; you must apply a little upward tension by slightly lifting it as you unscrew. Again, needle nose pliers will be effective for pulling out the offending hair and debris. Check your efforts and make sure everything drains correctly.

If these simple steps have not solved your clogged tub problem, you may want to consider a professional who can use a snake. This long tool fits in the drain and twists around, removing clogs beyond the reach of your pliers.

Bathroom Sinks

p trapWhen faced with a clog in your bathroom sink, or lavatory, you should first try using a plunger designed specifically for a sink drain. A sink plunger is a smaller version of a toilet plunger, with a domed rubber piece fastened to the end of a sturdy stick. When plunging, if you do not plug the overflow of the sink, you will not be able to create the necessary suction. Put a wet washcloth in the overflow to create a seal. Run water into the sink, place the plunger over the drain, and move it firmly up and down. Don’t be overzealous. Some lavatories have pipes constructed of plastic, and if their connections are not snug enough, they could pull apart with the pressure of the plunging.

If plunging fails, you will need to remove the p-trap (the section of pipe under the sink designed to catch things that may have fallen down the drain), the trip lever (connected to the small handle you pull to plug the drain), and the stopper itself. Put a bowl or bucket under your trap when you remove it, as there may be standing water. Be cautious if you have metal pipes- unlike plastic ones, they can become fragile over time and break easily. Clean out all areas, reassemble, and try your drain.

If these measures don’t solve your problem, contact a local plumbing company who handles drain cleaning. You have done everything a layman can do and can hire someone with a clear conscience.