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Friday, June 05 2020
States across the nation are slowly opening their economies. Some states are allowing most types of businesses to open, while others still allow only essential business and a few niche types of companies to open.
For some types of businesses, the line between essential and non-essential is clear. People need to be able to access grocery stores, banks, and healthcare facilities, among other types of businesses.
On the other hand, gyms, entertainment, and barbershops (to name a few) are closed because they aren’t seen as necessary to sustain life.
Many types of businesses, such as plumbers, are somewhere in the middle. Robust plumbing is important, so are plumbers considered essential workers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey?
The Answer — Is Plumbing an Essential Service?
If you need a professional plumber to fix your plumbing system, you’re in luck — plumbing is considered an essential service in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Plumbing falls under the construction category of businesses in both states. Additionally, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) — part of the Department of Homeland Security — released a memo in which they considered plumbers essential workers.
According to CISA’s memo, “Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences” can stay open.
Why are Plumbers Considered Essential Workers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey?
Like CISA said, plumbing is necessary to keep your home safe and sanitary. Plumbing issues can put your family in danger.
Imagine if your sump pump didn’t work. Without a functioning sump pump, your basement could flood, causing costly damage. Additionally, mold can grow and release spores, which are bad for your lungs. Family members with breathing difficulties could have serious problems.
A plumber would be able to quickly remedy your sump pump problem to keep your home safe. You’re stuck at home enough already, so keeping it safe is all the more important.
Or perhaps you have trees in your yard, and the roots are growing into your pipes. When left unattended, the pipes can leak into your yard and create hazardous sinkholes.
Plumbers can help you remove the tree roots so your yard remains a safe place to be. Again, when you’re under lockdown, you want to be able to blow off steam outside without worrying about sinkholes.
We live in stressful times at the moment. Don’t let plumbing issues add more stress to your life. Plumbers like Barner Murphy are still open and able to restore your plumbing to normal while following all safety guidelines. Contact us today if you need your plumbing fixed.
Friday, June 05 2020
Most people aren’t 100% ready to get back to work on Monday. They’re still in “weekend” mode. They take things slowly as they shift into “work mode”.
This is not the case for plumbers. For some reason, plumbers have their busiest days each week on Mondays. When the weekend’s over, plumbers have to be ready and willing to help many clients fix issues in their plumbing systems.
So why is this?
Why is Monday a Plumber’s Busiest Day of the Week?
Black Friday is one of the busiest times of the year for plumbers because it’s the day after Thanksgiving.
But Black Friday is only one day out of the year. Mondays are busy every week — and for a different reason than the ones listed above.
That reason is DIY plumbing projects gone wrong.
See, most people don’t have the time and energy to fix issues with their plumbing during the week. That’s understandable. After eight or more hours of work, the last thing you want to do is deal with your plumbing.
So people wait until the weekend, when they have the whole day to work on plumbing. They may be able to make some simple fixes, but quite often, they make errors that turn a small issue into something much larger.
Suddenly, the cost savings of DIY are gone, AND you have to pay a professional to fix it.
Hire a Professional Instead
If you have the slightest doubt in your ability to complete a DIY plumbing project, you should work with a licensed professional. Here are some reasons why.
Plumbers Do it Right the First Time
Plumbers have years of knowledge and experience in fixing plumbing systems, as well as the proper tools to get the job done. You pay a little more, but you get the peace of mind that comes with quality work.
Many plumbing jobs — especially those that are more complex — are unsafe to perform unless you know what you’re doing.
For example, there are health risks associated with plumbing waste products. There is also the potential of encountering dangerous chemicals like asbestos, lead, and mercury.
Additionally, you could be physically injured. If you’re working at high heights, for example, you could fall. If working in a cramped space, you could hurt yourself trying to twist your body to fit into the space.
Plus, you must often deal with flammable materials and electricity when working on your plumbing.
Plumbing and Building Codes
Staying up-to-date on building codes in your home keeps you safe. However, it’s also important if you plan on selling your home. Plumbing fixes that are not up to code could make selling your home a much harder task.
Wednesday, May 13 2020
Remodeling is a large investment. You want only the most qualified professional for the job. A little bit of time spent searching for the right bathroom remodeling contractor could mean the difference between your dream bathroom and a failed project.
Here are some tips you can use to find the right contractor for your remodel.
Run a Search Online
Run a search online for contractors in your area. You’ll be presented with several local contractors. Browse through the results, start a list, and write some of the top results down.
Ask For Referrals
Additionally, ask relatives, neighbors, and friends for referrals. If they had a good experience with a contractor, you might too. Make sure to ask what specifically they liked about the contractor’s work — this will help you screen contractors based on your needs.
Evaluate Each Contractor’s Credentials
It’s vital that any contractor you work with holds all licenses required by the state and locality in which they work. Most will have this information on their site, but you can also call them and ask.
See if they have designations from professional associations as well. Examples of these include the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB)
Beyond that, see if they complete coursework or continuing education. Contractors that take their jobs seriously are always looking to sharpen their skills and stay on top of industry knowledge.
Interview Your Candidates and Narrow Your List
Pick the best few candidates — no more than three — based on the above criteria and set up interviews.
Inquire about their experience, project timeline, payment schedule, and other project-related matters. Consider asking if they have a warranty or guarantee as well in case something bad happens.
Check Out Their Work and Check References
Now that you’ve established some rapport with a few contractors, ask them to see some of their work. If they let you, ask for references and call up their past clients. Ask the client about their experience with the contractor.
Ideally, you want a contractor that is experienced in projects that are similar to your remodel. See if examples of their past work look like your project.
Inspect the Final Documents
You’ve narrowed your search down to one contractor. Before you sign the paperwork, look at the documents themselves. Make sure they look professional. Read the contract as well to make sure it’s fair.
Looking for a Bucks Country bathroom remodeling contractor? Barner Murphy could be the right choice for you. We work with professional contracting partners with every part of the project to ensure your new bathroom exceeds your expectations. Call us today!
Tuesday, March 24 2020
Why is My Drain Acting Up?
Drains are important parts of your plumbing, but they take a lot of abuse — which can lead to various problems, from clogs to bubbling to unsettling noises. No matter the issue, however, there are steps you can take to get your drain back in working order. Here are some common drain problems and their causes
Drain clogs often occur when items are disposed of improperly. This happens a lot with kitchen sinks. Many people dump the wrong types of waste down the drain — fats/grease are a common example. The fats solidify after cooling and block the drain.
Clogs may also happen simply from use over time, such as in the bathroom. Hair accumulates in the shower or sink drain and clogs it up.
Sometimes, a drain blockage is the result of improper waste disposal. In many cases, however, a backed up drain isn’t your fault.
In the spring, groundwater levels can increase. This can lead to more water in your drainage system, which can back up your drain.
Leaky drains could be caused by loose or damaged drain components. Sometimes, you’ll just have to tighten the nut to stop the leak. However, you may need to take apart your drain to identify any damaged parts that need to be replaced.
A more obvious and observable reason for a leaky drain would be damage to the drain pipe. Putt is usually necessary to fix drain pipe holes.
When you drain is bubbling, that might be a sign that it’s only partially clogged in the drain pipe. However, it could also be caused by a blocked vent pipe.
Your vent pipe allows sewer gas to escape, funneling the gas upwards and out of the roof of your home.
Objects such as dirt, leaves, or bird nest materials can come from above and block the vent pipe. This forces the gas back down, leading to the bubbling or gurgling sound you hear.
If your vent pipe is blocked, your only solution is to call a professional such as Barner Murphy.
A smelly drain can be caused by a few issues.
Clogs are a common reason. Clogs provide a breeding ground for bacteria. As the bacteria colony consumes the debris trapped in the drain and continues to grow, your drain will begin to smell bad.
Mold is another possible cause. You want to take care of mold right away, because the gases they release can be dangerous — leading to headaches, dizziness, and nausea, among other things.
Lastly, escaped sewer gases could be causing the bad smell. If your drain isn’t slow/clogged yet it smells, this may the reason.
Drains sometime make obnoxious noises. This is usually accompanied by bubbling, which results either from a blockage or trapped sewer gases.
If you turn on your garbage disposal and hear loud noises, something may be stuck in the blades — such as chicken bones. You’ll have to remove the chicken bones to get your garbage disposal back to normal.
Tuesday, February 18 2020
Garbage disposals do wonders for your kitchen, giving you an easy way to get rid of small food waste. Thus, when your garbage disposal has issues, you really notice it. Garbage disposals can experience several kinds of problems.
Here’s a list of common garbage disposal issues and how you can solve them.
1. Clogged Garbage Disposal
Clogged garbage disposals are a common plumbing complaint. Most clogs are caused by one of the following:
When a clog happens, the blades are trapped. You’ll hear a humming noise without the sound of blades turning.
Solving a Clogged Garbage Disposal
If your disposal has a hex hole on the bottom, you can insert an Allen wrench and turn the blades until they can rotate completely. If it doesn’t have a hex hole, you’ll want a dedicated garbage disposal wrench.
Run water after freeing the blades. If water doesn’t pass through, fill the sink halfway and use a sink plunger until the sink drains.
If none of this works, you’ll need a plumber’s help.
2. Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On
A garbage disposal could fail to turn on for a few reasons. Its motor might be damaged, electric power might not be reaching it, or its overload protector may have been tripped.
Solving a Garbage Disposal That Won’t Turn On
First, check the overload protector to see if it’s been tripped. If it is, find the reset button on the bottom of the disposal and push it. Wait 10 minutes and try again if it doesn’t stay in. Turn on the disposal once you get the button to be pressed up to see if it’s working.
If not, see if the circuit-breaker has been tripped. If it hasn’t, look for any loose electrical connection.
If none of these were the case, call a technician, as your disposal motor may be damaged.
3. Leaking Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals can leak from the top, sides, and bottom.
Solving a Leaking Garbage Disposal
Top leaks are caused when the garbage disposal does not have a proper seal between it and the sink drain hole. You will have to replace whatever item is causing the imperfect seal.
If it’s a side leak, then the cause is a bad connection with your dishwasher connector or drainage pipe. If it’s the dishwasher connection, remove the connection and clean out the pipe and connector. Clamp them back together tightly afterwards.
If it’s the drainage pipe that’s causing issue, it’s likely because the rubber gasket inside has been damaged in some way. Take the drainage pipe apart, clean it out, and replace the gasket; then, reconnect everything, making sure all connections are sealed tight.
Lastly, leaks from the bottom of the disposal unfortunately don’t have a quick fix. See if your disposal is still within its warranty period — if so, the manufacturer should replace it for you.
Monday, January 20 2020
Prevent Plumbing Nightmares With These 5 Tips
Modern plumbing is a wonderful invention. However, failure to take proper care of your plumbing system can result in some nasty effects.
Prevent plumbing nightmares from occurring with these tips.
Check the Water Pressure
If your water pressure every drops significantly while showering or washing your hands, check the water immediately. This drop in water pressure could be serious. A leak in the water main will affect everything is your home; call a professional right away to handle this. If the leak is localized to a shower head or a sink, you may just need to clean the aerators.
Call a professional if you can’t identify what is causing the issue.
Check for Leaks Regularly
Leaks can run up your water bill, but when left untreated for a long time, they can also cause costly damage to other systems in your home.
Inspect your faucets, under your sinks, and around your toilets regularly. If you see any water that shouldn’t be there, you might have a leak.
Check appliances such as dishwashers and laundry machines as well.
If you can find the leak, repair it as fast as you can to minimize potential water damage. If you are unable to locate or fix a leak, have a professional do it as soon as possible.
Prevent Clogged Drains
Clogs are more than annoyances; they are a breeding ground for bacteria that can get into your water and cause serious health issues. Clogs may even cause leaks in other parts of your plumbing.
Do not flush anything but toilet paper and waste down toilets. Do not put anything down your sink that doesn’t belong, either. Use sink guards if shaving is a cause of clogs in your home.
As for your kitchen sink: only put food down your garbage disposal that it can handle, and never pour grease or fat down your drain.
If you experience a drain clog, avoid drain cleaning chemicals. They work in the short term, but can cause your pipes to corrode. Call a professional if you are unable to unclog a drain yourself.
Clean Your Toilet Tank
Your toilet bowl accumulates bacteria, mold, mildew, and other substances over time. Since flushing your toilet causes toilet tank water to transfer to your toilet bowl, a dirty toilet tank can make cleaning the toilet bowl difficult to later on.
Clean Your Toilet Bowl
Your toilet bowl deserves a regular cleaning, too. Not just because it looks nice, but also to help your toilet function normally. Dirty toilets can clog and corrode, leading to future problems. Plus, you can more easily identify early warning signs of plumbing issues.
In particular, keep your siphon jets (the holes in the toilet rim that transfer water from the tank to the bowl) clean. You can find many solutions for cleaning your siphon jets online, or you may have a plumber look at them.
Bonus 6th tip: Call a professional plumber if you aren’t sure of your ability to complete any of these tasks. Contact Barner Murphy if you’re looking for a Bucks County plumber to nightmare-proof your plumbing system.
Friday, April 28 2017
If you are a new home-owner or even if you’re someone who is simply interested in buying a home, then Barner Murphy can help you get some of your needs taken care of in advance. Even if you’re only renting right now, it’s still good to have an excellent plumbing team on call for those times when you really need it. Anyone who decides to rent, buy, or sell a home knows that it’s important to have a plumber on hand for those times when you really need one.
At Barner Murphy we understand that it requires both patience and perseverance to take care of a home. That’s why we do whatever we can to ensure that each of our customers feels welcome and secure with our products and services. If you have never had to call a plumber, then you might not be sure why you would need to have one on hand, but if you’ve been down the road of repair already, then you understand the importance.
Each of the plumbers at Barner Murphy is specially trained to handle even the toughest of plumbing issues. We know that it can be frustrating to have a bathroom toilet clog or a sink pipe burst. This is why we make sure that each member of our crew is prepared to handle even the trickiest of plumbing issues. Whenever you call Barner Murphy, you can rest assured that your plumbing need is in good hands. The next time you require the skills of a qualified plumbing team, call on Barner Murphy and we’ll take care of whatever your problem is.
Barner Murphy is a qualified, master plumbing team that handles a wide range of plumbing issues for the Bucks County and surrounding area. We know that it can be problematic to have a plumbing issue that is out of your scope of knowledge, and we do whatever we can to handle the issue promptly and professionally. At Barner Murphy we’ll do whatever we can to ensure that you are satisfied with our efforts. If you’re worried about cost, Barner Murphy will do whatever possible to see that your budget isn’t compromised. We rely on customer satisfaction and we take great pride in our work. The next time you need a plumber to help you tackle a problem, big or small, give us a ring and we’ll see what we can do to take the edge off your issue.
Friday, March 31 2017
If you are a home owner or if you own a residential business, then chances are you have thought about doing some remodeling at one time or another. When it comes to planning out a bathroom remodel project, there are many points to consider. For one, you need to have a confident team on your side. There’s nothing like getting knee-deep into a bathroom remodel project and finding out that you simply don’t have the means to complete the job. This is where Barner Murphy can come in handy.
At Barner Murphy, we try to help our customers take some of the stress out of their home projects. Likewise, we also work to assist our residential business clients in the same way, by offering tips and suggestions when they feel they need them most. A bathroom remodel project doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can actually be a lot of fun if you have the right amount of time, the proper tools and the necessary support.
The way that we choose to approach a bathroom remodel project is what helps us stand out from the competition. At Barner Murphy, we like to use contracting partners for each phase of the job. What this means is that each person we choose for the project is fully licensed and insured. The partner is up to date on all of the current codes, regulations and trends in the respective industry. At Barner Murphy, we believe that by choosing our contracting partners selectively, we can consequently guarantee that each phase of the project is being completed by a fully qualified craftsperson, rather than by an individual who is less qualified.
While it’s true that everyone wants to find the most cost-effective bathroom remodeling contractor, many opt for contractors with a narrow skill-set. While this might save some money up front, it can also hurt your pocket later, because you might end up having to make modifications later that could have been avoided. It used to be that a one-man-do-it-all approach was the most requested, but trends are slowly changing, and at Barner Murphy we tend to think that it’s for the better.
Our skilled craftsmen guarantee quality work, and because we choose to focus on value over price, we stand by our services with pride. At Barner Murphy, we oversee the entire project and complete the plumbing portion of the bathroom remodel. Our contracting partner team consists of a qualified electrician, carpenter, tile installer, shower door installer, painter and designer. Our vendors include professional sales people. We offer showroom displays for tile and countertop materials, as well as plumbing fixtures and cabinetry. Our pricing falls somewhere in between the “one-stop shop” prices and the higher end designer showroom prices.
Monday, March 06 2017
They say that April showers bring May flowers, but maybe we should add May plumbing, as well. If you’re a home owner, a renter, or a residential business owner, then now is the time to get yourself in gear for spring. When it comes to spring plumbing tips, there are many, but we’ve devised a simple checklist to help you get started for the warmer months that are upon us. At Barner Murphy, we are always at the ready for plumbing tips and tricks. Feel free to reach out if you ever require the assistance of an expert.
Kitchen checklist: Some of the more obvious areas to check for include the faucets and the sinks. It’s a good idea to make sure that none of your faucets have any leaks or any drips. Sometimes the cold winter months can disguise problems that only surface when spring has sprung. It’s also advised to make quick repairs if you do spot any leaks or drips, as thus will reduce complications further on down the road. Also on the kitchen checklist is the suggestion to ensure that all drains have some sort of strainer on them to prevent large pieces of silverware or other non-disposable items from sliding into the pipe system.
Bathroom checklist: It might seem obvious, but many people forget or get complacent about it. Ensure that all drains have some sort of hair-snare or other catchment device to prevent hair and sop from clogging your home’s drain lines. This will save you from having to call for a plumber when a clog becomes a catastrophe. Another bathroom checklist suggestion is to check your toilets for hidden leaks. You can add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and if the toilet is leaking, the food coloring will appear within a half-hour, inside the bowl.
At Barner Murphy, we also advise checking the toilet tank for any leaks or cracks. Another suggestion on our checklist is to make sure that the toilets flush properly. A simple check might be all that’s required, but make sure that you fix any issues promptly. One more bathroom checklist tip is to clear mineral deposits from the showerhead. You can do this simply by just unscrewing it from the shower supply and soaking it in some vinegar for a few hours.
Finally, for our water heater checklist: Make sure the temperature setting on your water heater is no more than 120 degrees. This will prevent any unnecessary scalding and it will also reduce your overall energy use. Another checklist tip is to think about replacing your water heater if it’s over fifteen years old. Updated water heaters are simply more efficient.
Friday, February 10 2017
When it comes to remodeling a bathroom, there are a few key points to keep in mind. For one, you want your bathroom to look great when it’s completed. You also want it to function as well as, if not better than it functioned before. If you’re a seasoned DIYer, then you might feel comfortable giving it a go alone. For many homeowners, however, the task can seem daunting, and it might be in your best interest to get a little extra assistance.
If you find yourself ready to take on the demands of a bathroom renovation, then you can do so alone, or you can call Barner Murphy. We know what it takes to complete a bathroom remodel project, and we also know what it takes to make sure that your bathroom turns out exactly as you imagined. For some people, the idea of remodeling a bathroom can be a daunting one, or one that might be best left to the experts. Whatever your individual case is, rest assured that Barner Murphy can help with any stage of the project that you need help with.
As far as bathroom remodel projects go, there is a lot of leeway for both design and practicality. Many people are moving toward more eco-friendly designs, but this does not mean that you need to compromise on creativity and flair. In fact, many of the newer eco-friendly designs today are both functional and fun, leaving lots of room for the imagination. If you’ve decided to take on the task alone, then Barner Murphy can help you get started. If you’ve decided that it might be best to get a little bit of professional support, then we can assist you with that, too.
One of the best parts about a bathroom remodel is that you can get creative and still be efficient. If you have never tried to remodel a bathroom, then the professionals at Barner Murphy can help you get started. We know that you want your bathroom to look great, and we’ll do whatever it takes to see that you’re happy with the outcome. It’s always a good idea to use some kind of a planner to formulate your ideas. There are plenty of apps and online notebooks that can be utilized to help you see tour project through. Barner Murphy is here to help, as well. We work with customers in the Bucks County and surrounding area, and we are always ready to help you with a new and exciting project.