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Tuesday, August 25 2020
Water is fundamental to life. In modern civilization, we tend to take this vital substance for granted. Every time we run the sink to wash our hands, enjoy a warm shower, and even flush the toilet, we’re putting faith in the fact that our water is clean and safe to use.
Yet even if your water looks perfectly fine, well, it might not be. There could be unseen pollutants in it, such as minerals or chlorine.
You’re likely not in immediate danger if these substances leach into your water. However, they can damage your plumbing system, affect your appliances’ performance, and, most importantly, negatively impact your health.
If you’re noticing any of the following signs in your water or your home, it might be time to call a professional.
Signs You Need Water Conditioning In Your Home
1. Stains or Residue Buildup
Water isn’t supposed to cause constant stain or scummy residue buildup. You may have gotten used to it over time and accepted it, but stain and residue could mean bad water. Installing water conditioning in your home will minimize buildup on your plumbing fixtures and in your sinks and shower.
2. Strange Odor or Taste in Water
Water shouldn’t have much of a taste or smell — so if it does, that’s a sign there are pollutants in it. Water that smells like chlorine, metal, or rotten eggs is bound to have pollutants harmful to you and your family’s health.
3. Skin and Hair Issues
Does your skin feel irritated after you shower? Is your hair excessively dry? Your water may have a high concentration of minerals in it. These minerals react with the soaps and shampoos you use, leaving your skin and hair feeling dried out and unclean.
4. Your Utility Bills Are Rising With No Explanation
Untreated water slowly damages your plumbing system and reduces its efficiency. It then has to work harder to provide you the same amount of water, resulting in rising utility costs.
5. You Have to Make Repairs Often
Again, hard water causes damages to pipes and other parts of your plumbing system. If you’ve been making frequent repairs recently, the culprit might be minerals or other chemicals flowing through your water.
If you need your water treated in Bucks County, PA, look no further than Barner Murphy. Our expert plumbing professionals will work quickly and accurately to diagnose and fix the problem.
You should be able to rely on having clean, safe water coming out of the tap every day. Contact Barner Murphy today so you can get your water back to normal.
Monday, August 24 2020
The lockdowns of early 2020 led to the widespread buying of many items — toilet paper being among the most purchased. Stores sold out everywhere (both brick-and-mortar stores and online), and had to put limits on how much customers could buy when new inventory arrived.
Many people who now struggled to find toilet paper looked to alternatives — desperately searching the web to see if various toilet paper alternatives were toilet-safe.
It’s tough to find an answer online nowadays with so much conflicting information, though. Some people resigned to using toilet paper alternatives anyways. As long as the toilet didn’t break when they flushed the alternatives down, then things should be fine, right?
Not exactly. Keep reading to learn the facts about toilet paper alternatives.
Are Flushable Wipes Safe?
Flushable wipes manufacturers show evidence of their wipes being safe for your plumbing system. They state that the products are biodegradable, and will thus decompose.
That may be true, but some evidence shows that these wipes simply don’t degrade fast enough. They mix with other items flushed down the toilet and cause clogs.
So although flushable wipes are excellent for a variety of situations — such as potty training your child — it might be best to seek an alternative disposal method.
Keep These Things Out of Your Toilet
Sometimes, it's tempting to flush certain items instead of throwing them in the trash. That way, you can wait longer before taking out the trash.
But you should avoid doing so. Numerous items — even very small ones — can cause expensive damage to your plumbing over time. Don’t flush the following down the toilet:
Sometimes, these things make their way into the toilet by accident and cause a clog. In that case, you may want to call a plumbing professional to unclog your toilet and get things back to normal.
Toilet Paper Alternatives That Work
One alternative that’s safe (for yourself and your toilet) and clean is a bidet. This is a little device mounted in your toilet that sprays water to clean you up after using the bathroom. These were invented as far back as the 1700s and are now widespread in places like Europe and Asia.
Bidets cost a few hundred dollars up front. However, you’ll never have to worry about toilet paper again. You’ll save thousands on toilet paper over your life — but more importantly, if the stores ever run out again, you’ll be fine.
If you’ve run into any toilet clogs — whether from flushing items down the toilet or not — Barner Murphy is happy to help. Call us today to get your toilet fixed!
Wednesday, July 15 2020
Drain clogs are a pain to deal with. Plungers can work for minor clogs, but you’ll find that some clogs are too much for this simple implement.
A drain auger, known by most as a plumbing snake, is a wonderful tool for dealing with clogs that a normal plunger can’t handle.
With that said, plumbing snakes are a bit more difficult to use properly. If you don’t use this tool correctly, you can cause worse problems by damaging pipes and causing leaks.
It’s vital you know how to use a plumbing snake the right way. Remember, if you have any doubts about your ability to DIY a plumbing issue, don’t hesitate to call a plumber like Barner Murphy. Better safe than sorry!
How Does a Plumbing Snake Work?
A plumbing snake is a flexible metal cable with an uncoiled spring (the auger) on the end that is used to clear up clogs. They tend to be about 50 feet long. You can coil up your plumbing snake for easy storage when not in use.
As for how they work, you insert the cable down the drain and slowly uncoil the snake until the auger breaks through whatever is causing the clog.
Using the Plumbing Snake
Prepare the Area (and Yourself)
Put on some clothes that you don’t mind dirtying. Grab some gloves and lay towels under the pipes you’re working on.
Consider Removing P-Trap and Trap Arm
This step is optional, but can help you get closer to the obstruction. You may even find the obstruction is in one of these.
But even if it isn’t, removing these makes it easier to get to the obstruction.
Now, if your trap arm is glued in place, don’t remove it.
Thread the Snake Into the Drain
Carefully thread the snake into the drain or into the access point if you removed the p-trap/trap arm.
Emphasis on “careful” here. Forcing the auger in too fast could lead to you damaging your pipes and creating much worse plumbing problems.
Slowly Uncoil the Auger
Begin uncoiling the auger while keeping the snake handle as close to the drain/access point as possible. Stay consistent with the pace of your unwinding. Once you feel resistance, you may have encountered the obstruction.
Carefully Move the Auger Around
Slowly move the auger up, down, and side to side to wear through the obstruction. If you hear scraping sounds, that’s your pipes — readjust so that you don’t cause damage.
If you think your auger is stuck, wind your snake back up. You might just pull the obstruction clean out.
Reassemble and Check Your Sink
Clean off the auger, reassembly any components you removed, then check your sink. There shouldn’t be any clogging issues if you removed the obstruction successfully.
Although unclogging drains with a plumbing snake is one of the easier plumbing tasks homeowners can do themselves, you may not be able to beat the clog.
In that case, don’t try harder. You don’t want to cause costly damage to your plumbing. Instead, you’ll want to call a plumbing professional.
If you have a clog that’s tough to beat in your Bucks or Montgomery County home, look no further than Barner Murphy. We’re happy to help you beat the clog and get your plumbing in full working order. Call us today!
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
Spring is here and summer is not too far behind. Although you’ve been ready for the warmer temperatures and bright sunlight since the first snowflake touched the ground, your plumbing might need some preparatory work.
Checking your plumbing ahead of time can save you time, money, and headache down the road. A bit of work up front will ensure your plumbing system runs smoothly for the entire year — allowing you to enjoy more of the warm weather.
Let’s look at some ways to prepare your plumbing for spring and summer.
1. Clean Your Gutters and Roof
Over the fall and winter, debris (such as leaves) can build up in your gutters and on the roof near the gutters. This debris can block the flow of water off your roof and to the ground, which can lead to roof leaks and water damage.
Clean your gutters and the area of your roof close to them regularly as the weather warms to ensure proper water flow. Call a plumber if you’re not sure you can do it safely on your own.
2. Check Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps prevent basement flooding and water damage. Inspect your sump pump once spring arrives to make sure it’s in working order, then recheck it every three months so you can catch any necessary repairs early.
An in-depth sump pump inspection is easy enough to do yourself.
First, check the drain that leads outside and make sure it is clear of dirt and debris. After that, make sure the float valve has not moved and the pump hasn’t tilted. Then, check the batteries and wiring for damage.
If that all looks good, run a quick test by filling the sump pit with water until the float rises. The sump pump should drain the water.
3. Check and Fix Exposed Pipes
Water expands when it freezes. In addition, pipes expand and contract with temperature changes, potentially causing a lot of cracks. Inspect all exposed piping on your property for damage, as well as for mold. If you run into any damage, consider calling a plumber to inspect all of your pipes.
4. Decrease the Water Pressure
We won’t lie — higher water pressure feels great in the shower. However, higher water pressure stresses your pipes more. Water presses harder against the pipe, increasing the chances of a leak. You’ll pay for the convenience of higher water pressure in more frequent repair bills.
Ideally, your water pressure should be between 40 and 80 psi. Anything over 80 psi puts your pipes at risk of leaks.
There’s a lot to do to prepare your plumbing for the spring and summer. If you’re looking for a plumber in Bucks County to give you a hand in doing so, called Barner Murphy. Our professionals will get your plumbing ready in no time and with minimal interruption to your daily life. Contact us today!
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!
Wednesday, April 08 2020
Sump pumps removing water from basements and crawl spaces, transferring the water to your waste removal system.
Although sump pumps are vital to preventing water damage and its accompanying effects, your sump pump may break at some point. As a result, installing a backup sump pump will provide optimal protection.
Sump pump and backup system installation is one of our specialties here at Barner Murphy. Read to learn more about these systems.
Sump Pump Benefits
Let’s look at some of the biggest reasons why you need a sump pump in your home.
Prevents Water Damage
The main reasons to have a sump pump is to drain away water that may slowly cause damage.
Prevent Flooding Damage
Sump pumps are excellent at dealing with slow water buildup, but they shine when it comes to basement flooding.
See, when heavy rain hits, your basement could quickly gain several inches of water — water that can damage your basement itself as well as any possession you store down there.
Sump pumps funnel that water away to minimize the damage.
Prevent Mold/Mildew Buildup
Mold and mildew thrive in wet environments. When water gets into your basement, the mold and mildew growth can damage your home as well as cause health problems — especially for those who have asthma or other breathing issues.
Sump pumps keep mold and mildew at bay, protecting the health of your and your family.
Reduce Electrical Fire Chances
Water in the basement can short-circuit appliances down there, leading to fires. The little old sump pump can stand guard against life-threatening electrical fires by preventing water buildup.
Backup Sump Pump Benefits
Sump pumps are excellent devices, but they may fail or become overwhelmed by the amount of basement water buildup. In that case, backup sump pumps carry numerous advantages.
Increased Sump Pump Capacity
Sump pumps can process a lot of water, but not always at an optimal speed in cases of bad flooding. An additional sump boosts the amount of water you can drain from your basement.
Sump pumps require maintenance every so often. The problem is that since your sump pump is situated in the floor, you may not notice that it needs maintenance until it’s too late.
That backup sump pump still provides drainage while allowing you to notice that the first sump pump may be out of commission.
The same weather that leads to flooding can cause power outages. Should your sump pump draw electricity from the grid, it will be useless.
Backup sump pumps tend to use batteries — when your regular sump pump fails, you’ll still be protected.
As you can see, sump pumps and backup systems keep costly, nasty damage at bay. To learn more about the benefits of sump pumps and backup systems, call Barner Murphy today. We provide sump pumps and backup systems to Bucks County residents, and we enjoy educating out customers on their benefits.
Photo Credit - Sump Pump Advisor
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, March 10 2020
Don't Forget About Your Plumbing When You're Spring Cleaning
Spring is almost here. With the warm weather upon us, we can soon crack our windows and open our doors to let the fresh air in.
Along with that comes spring cleaning. Soon, you’ll be furiously vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and wiping down all surfaces in your home. You might even do some decluttering.
But while you’re making everything in your house shine, it’s important not to forget to give your plumbing a little spring cleaning treatment. Doing so can keep you home life running smoothly while saving you thousands of dollars and plenty of headache.
Here are a few of the most important ways you can spring clean your plumbing.
Empty the Gutters
The winter snow that piled up in your gutters has obscured lots of leaves, dirt, debris, and other stuff. A clogged gutter can cause water to spill over onto your home, causing mold and other water damage.
Make sure you clean those gutters out once the snow starts melting to prevent clogs.
Check Your Pipes
Winter is not friendly to pipes, as temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Even if you were vigilant about ensuring your pipes didn’t freeze, now would be a good time to check them for leaks, corrosion, or other damage. Call a plumber right away if you find any issues with your pipes.
Clean Your Drains
Drain clogs are nasty problems to deal with. Even if your drain isn’t clogged, it never hurts to perform some preventative maintenance. There are many ways you can use water, vinegar, and baking soda to clean out drains. Alternatively, you can buy a drain snake and use that to keep drains clear.
Check the Water Heater
If you haven’t peeked at your water heater in a while, your spring cleaning would be a good time to do so. Check your water heater’s temperature, but also perform an all-around check of it to make sure everything’s in working order.
Clean Around Your Toilet
Most of your spring cleaning will involve sweeping, mopping, and wiping. Now is a perfect time to deep clean your bathroom, especially the area around and behind the toilet.
Sure, it might be a nasty area, but cleaning around and behind your toilet kills germs and creates a healthier bathroom. Not to mention that the bathroom may smell even better once everything’s clean.
Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals take a lot of abuse, so they deserve a cleaning every once in a while. Giving it a good cleaning will ensure it functions optimally year-round.
In addition, make sure to only put things down the drain that belong. Doing so will further help to keep your disposal working like new.
Need help spring cleaning your plumbing in Bucks County? Call the professionals at Barner Murphy. Let’s prepare your plumbing for the warmer months.
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.
Friday, February 07 2020
How to Keep Your Sink From Clogging
Sink clogs may seem like a minor inconvenience, but they can turn into a serious problem when left untreated. Not to mention that they can be pretty unpleasant. If you don’t want to deal with the nasty results of an unpleasant clog, you need to take measure to keep your sink from clogging.
Follow these tips to do so.
1. Know What Can Go Down Your Sink
Sinks mainly get clogged by people throwing the wrong kind of waste down the drain. Some of the primary culprits are oil/grease, hair, coffee grounds, and bones.
2. Run Hot Water Down the Drain After Each Use
Sometimes, a little oil or grease may make its way into the drain. Run a bit of hot water after each use to keep the oil moving down the drain.
Additionally, you may consider pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain to wash away any other stubborn oil residue.
Don’t use cold water, as the grease will solidify and worsen the problem.
3. Baking Soda and Hot Water
Every once in a while, you may want to throw some baking soda down your drain before running the hot water. Baking soda does an excellent job of cleaning out extra particles, and it eliminates many foul odors that may arise from food waste.
4. Vinegar and Hot Water
Vinegar is another excellent household sink cleaner. It contains a mild acid — ascetic acid — which can help break down and loosen buildup from food particles and other organic material.
Every so often, pour 1 cup of vinegar down your sink and let it rest for a half an hour; then, run the hot water to wash away the vinegar and buildup from your sink’s drain.
5. Don’t Use Drain Cleaning Chemicals
Drain cleaning chemicals are a tempting solution when your sink clogs, but they can corrode your pipes over time, leading to worse problems down the road for your plumbing.
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.
Monday, January 20 2020
During this past holiday season, you hopefully got to experience family, friends, and lots of food.
But among the festivities, your plumbing systems probably took a hit. In particular, your drains might be clogged.
Drain clogs often happen soon after the holiday season due to large amount of food being prepared and more guests in the home who may not fully understand your plumbing system.
How to Unclog a Drain
Plunger: For smaller clogs, a plunger may be enough to loosen the clog. Start by using your plunger a few times.
Boiling Water: Bring a full pot of water to a boil. When done, pour a little bit of the water down the drain at a time, pausing a few seconds between pours to let the water loosen the clog.
Wire Hanger: Wire coat hangers can reach into tight drain spaces and grab materials causing clogs. First, straighten the hanger as much as possible. Then, bend one end into a hook shape. Now, you can stick the hook into the drain and pull up the material causing the clog. Do this until you think the clog is clear, then flush with hot water.
Vinegar & Baking Soda: Mix about ⅓ cup vinegar with ⅓ cup baking soda, then pour down the drain. The bubbling caused by this science project mixture will help break down a clog. Wait about an hour, then run hot water down the drain to clean it out.
Plumbing Snake: If you have a plumbing snake, this can be used to reach into the drain and break up the clog.
What About Drain Cleaner?
Avoid drain cleaner products. These products might be tempting if you’re looking for a quick clog fix, but they can corrode your pipes over time. Once your pipes corrode, larger plumbing problems can occur down the road.
If the clog is that bad, a professional plumber would be the best choice for the health of your plumbing system.
How to Prevent a Future Drain Clog
Sink: Improper food disposal causes most kitchen clogs. Fat, oil, and grease are the main perpetrators. They’re liquid when hot, but when they solidify after cooling, they clog your drain.
Instead, let any fat, oil, or grease cool, the scrape it into a container you can throw out. When the container is full, put it in a plastic bag and throw it away to prevent leaking.
Garbage Disposal: some think that the garbage disposal can take any waste, but that’s not true. Avoid putting the following down your garbage disposal:
Leave a trash can in a visible location in your bathroom so all waste not meant for any of your drains ends up there.
Sink: Don’t fill the sink with water before shaving. Use drain guards when you shave, and ask that any guests do so as well.
Toilet: The only materials that should go down the toilet are waste and toilet paper. Even “flushable” wipes should go in the garbage.
If you have guests that aren’t keen on that, consider buying a sign that says so. They exist in many forms, from simple to stylish.
Shower: Install a drain screen to catch hairs in the shower. You will need to clean it out after use, but it’s better than a clog.
Do you have an especially nasty drain clog in Bucks County? Don’t dump a bottle of drain cleaning chemicals down the drain — call a professional plumber. Barner Murphy is ready to help your drains get back to work.
Monday, May 29 2017
When it comes to plumbing issues, nobody knows how to avoid them completely. Part of owning or even renting a place is expecting that there will be some sort of plumbing issue at any given point in time. At Barner Murphy, we can help you take some of the guess-work out of your plumbing concerns, especially when it comes to issues that you might be able to keep at bay. In the event that you do require the assistance of a professional plumber, the master plumbers of Barner Murphy are always ready to assist.
“Preventative plumbing” might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s really a wonderful concept. Imagine if you could live in your home without ever having to worry about plumbing issues? You’d have no need to stress about clogged toilets, leaking faucets, or damaged pipes. For many people, taking the time to learn some preventative plumbing tips has helped ease their concerns and also freed up their precious time.
It’s been said that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this is true even when it comes to plumbing. If you can implement a few strategies so that you keep yourself from requiring the expertise of a plumber, then you’ll save both time and money. A few of the tips that follow will keep you free from plumbing worries, and save you both the hassle and the headache associated with plumbing problems.
Watch your waste. While it might seem like common sense, it’s often surprising to find out that may people put paper towels and napkins in their toilets. These are too thick and fibrous for most plumbing lines and putting them in toilets often leads to clogs and overflows. Use a recycled toilet paper, and make sure that you only use as much as absolutely necessary. In addition, keep an eye on how much water you use in your bathroom and your kitchen. Overuse can put a strain on the pipes and also contributes to elevated utility bills, as well.
At Barner Murphy we can help you find ways to cut back on plumbing costs so that you live a more efficient lifestyle. Our master plumbers work with customers in the Bucks County area so that they can enjoy their homes and recue their reliance on services. If you have questions about how to integrate more preventative plumbing into your lifestyle, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Thursday, April 20 2017
If you’re a home-owner, then you know how important it can be to keep your home, and especially your bathroom. looking and smelling fresh. At Barner Murphy, we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help you make the most of your precious cleaning time. With a little bit of creativity and effort, you can have a bathroom that looks and smells absolutely wonderful.
Because there are a wide variety of surfaces in a bathroom, it’s only natural for this space to require more frequent and thorough cleaning. For some people, cleaning the bathroom is one of the most unpleasant of any possible cleaning task. However, with a simple checklist and a couple of stand-by natural cleaners, you can make the most of your time and walk away with a bathroom and looks and smells great.
Cleaning bathroom windows can be a breeze with a little vinegar and water. Simply make a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, add it to a spray bottle, and then spray on any glass surfaces. You can use either a paper towel or a soft, absorbent cloth to wipe. Some old, cut-up t-shirts and newspapers also make great window wipers, as well. Some people like to use micro-fiber cloths, and you can always try out a few of each to see which option you like best.
For cleaning showers and counters, there are a variety of cleaners and cloths that will make this an easy job to handle. We recommend trying a few of the following combinations to see which work best for your particular counter needs: an equal part vinegar and water combination, a baking soda and water paste, a store-bought cleanser that does not contain abrasive ingredients. All of these options can be used on tile, counters, cabinets and even shower scum. If you are trying to clean grout, then a simple baking soda and undiluted hydrogen mixture works wonders. For those wishing to make their own homemade cleansers, the possibilities are endless with a quick online search for recipes.
When it comes to toilet cleaning, you actually don’t need too many chemicals to give it a good clean. Try the following: Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda inside the toilet, then dump a cup of undiluted white vinegar into the water. Some people use a reusable toilet brush to scrub this mixture and claim that it really works great at removing both stubborn stains and offensive smells. To wrap up your toilet cleaning, simply spry and wipe down the lid and the bowl with some undiluted hydrogen peroxide.
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 24 2017
If you happen to be a homeowner or are looking to become a homeowner, then you know the perils that can come from a bathroom or a kitchen issue. This can be anything from a leaky faucet to a busted water pipe. Nobody wants to spend an entire day working on a project that should only take a few hours, but sometimes that’s what happens if you try to do it alone. At Barner Murphy, we know that your time is precious and that you shouldn’t have to spend more time than is necessary to complete whatever work needs to be done.
If you want to ensure that your project is completed correctly, then it might make sense to ask for some help. The skilled crew at Barner Murphy knows that you want to fix the leaky faucet or the busted pipe with as least effort as possible. That’s why we offer a wide range of services for our local customers. We serve the Bucks County and surrounding area and we are always ready to assist when a DIY project has gone awry, or when you just need a little extra help to get the job done.
The next time you find yourself in a plumbing quandary, consider calling Barner Murphy. We don’t consider any job too big or too small and we do whatever we can to make sure that your home reverts back to working condition as soon as possible. There’s nothing worse than having to wait for a home repair project to be completed, especially if you don’t have much help to begin with.
Barner Murphy is always here to help and we know exactly what it takes to get the job done right. When it comes to plumbing repairs, we know the value in choosing local help. For one, you can count on us because of our customer feedback. A job completed by Barner Murphy is sure to have a positive customer review, and we rely on our local customer base to bring in new business. It’s important that we provide quality service, and we always take pride in the work that we complete. The next time you discover the need for a local plumber, don’t hesitate to give Barner Murphy a call. We know what it’s like to have a plumbing job that requires attention. We do whatever it takes to make sure that the job is completed as soon as possible, and we always make sure that you receive quality service.
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.
Friday, January 27 2017
If you are a home owner, or even a potential homeowner, then you understand that plumbing services are almost always a necessity at some point. At Barner Murphy of Bucks County, we understand the importance of having a local plumbing company that is available to assist with both emergency and non-emergency services. Our full-service plumbing company satisfies the needs of both residential and commercial clients in the Bucks County and surrounding area. When it comes to handling any sort of plumbing issue, whether it’s big or small, we’ve got you covered.
Barner Murphy knows that it makes a difference when you hire a local plumbing company as opposed to one of the national plumbing chain companies. For one, with a company like ours, you’re guaranteed better prices and more efficient service. We pride ourselves on providing only the highest quality work and we also try to make sure that our customers are satisfied with the quotes they receive before we begin any services.
Some of the larger plumbing companies out there will do whatever they can to make money. At Barner Murphy, we prove to be just the opposite. Our customer satisfaction is what’s most important and we do whatever it takes to ensure that you’re completely satisfied with the work that we perform at your residence or commercial establishment. Over the years we’ve worked hard to garner a loyal customer base, and we rely on testimonials to back our claims. We know that it takes a lot of dedication to stand out from the other plumbing companies, so we work hard to make sure that we earn your business every time we complete a project. We will always do what we can to exceed your expectations.
Jobs that Barner Murphy will accept include everything from installation of sinks and faucets, septic system repair, and basement flooding repairs. We can also step in to assist with DIY projects that might need some tweaking, and we are always ready to fix a simple clog or drain issue, as well. Our master plumbers and technicians never try to cut corners and they do whatever is necessary to find the most practical solution to whatever problem you are facing. If you’re looking for a local, honest plumbing company in the Bucks County or surrounding area, then Barner Murphy is ready to assist. No job is too big or too small.
Monday, January 16 2017
Have you been looking at your house lately, thinking of new ways to spruce up the kitchen, or maybe new ways to deck out the basement? If so, then you aren’t alone. Most homeowners go through a period where they decide that it would be fun, or maybe just necessary, to begin a home renovation project. Maybe you have a room that needs attention because it was never used previously. Or maybe you had some water damage to a room and really just need to renovate so that it remains safe and livable. Whatever your unique situation, Barner Murphy understands that it’s important to follow your instinct and start a renovation project when the time is right.
Beginning the actual renovation is one of the trickiest steps. Nobody has a perfect home. Yet sometimes you don’t realize all of your home’s imperfections until you decide to take on a renovation project. For many people, the annoyances that most often prompt a renovation are worn, outdated tiles, low ceilings, damaged or dated cabinets in the kitchen space, and sometimes even electrical outlet issues. Everyone’s home is different, so it’s important to make a list and decide which room, or rooms, you want to tackle first, and what major goals you have in mind for the renovation.
Another aspect of DIY home renovating involves what most contractors refer to as dependencies. The most common dependencies in homes are cabinetry and tile because in most cases tile is installed after cabinetry. That being said, if you decide to change the cabinetry layout, you will often need to redo the tile work, as well. In essence, a cabinetry renovation and a tile renovation often go hand in hand, so you should plan on completing both, together, as part of a DIY renovation.
One of the most helpful and exciting parts of a home renovation project is the dreaming phase. In this stage, you’ll want to hash out all of your ideas for what the renovation should look like. What kind of completed project do you envision? How long do you estimate the project will take? It’s a good idea to give yourself a flexible time frame to account for any issues that might arise. Many homeowners like to browse the local bookstore in the home improvement book or magazine section to garner ideas. Others like to seek creative inspiration online through sites such as Pinterest or Houzz. Barner Murphy of Bucks County is always happy to step in if you find that you need some assistance with any phase of your DIY renovation project.
Monday, December 26 2016
Are you a home owner looking to get yourself prepared for the winter season? Do you dread the thought of waking up in the morning to frozen pipes? If so, you aren’t alone. As a new or as a seasoned home owner, dealing with frozen pipes is never much fun. However, there are ways to minimize your chances of having to deal with frozen pipes and there are simple measures you can take to ensure that your home remains safe and warm even when the temperatures dip.
At Barner Murphy we know that you want your family to be safe and warm when winter rolls in. Our dedicated team is here to help you with nay of the home winterization tips that you decide to implement. Hundreds of families all over the country have to deal with frozen pipes at some point, but most of the time this situation can easily be avoided. Rapid drops in temperature, poor insulation and thermostats that are not set high enough can all contribute to a situation that results in frozen pipes. By taking a few precautions, you can minimize your chances of having to deal with the hassle and the headache of frozen pipes in the dead of winter.
Insulating your pipes is one of the best ways to decrease your chances of having frozen pipes. You can insulate any visible areas, and even insulate those spaces that you don’t typically see, such as crawl spaces or attic spaces. Any exposed pipes are susceptible to becoming frozen. One tip is to remember that the more insulation you can use, the less likely your chances are of having to deal with frozen pipes. Some people like to use heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables. You can simply follow the instructions and do the insulation yourself, or call Barner Murphy and have one of our experts come out to assist you.
Winter plumbing doesn’t have to be a hassle if you adhere to these suggestions. Sealing leaks is a good idea, too. Make sure that you check around any spaces where cold air can seep in, such as electrical wiring areas, dryer vents, and piping. You can use caulk or insulation to keep the cold air away from these susceptible spaces. Another helpful winter plumbing tip is to make sure that you disconnect all garden hoses and use an indoor valve if possible to turn off the water supply that leads outside. This will minimize your chances of having to deal with frozen pipes.