Sacramento Contractors - Plumbing, Roofing, Remodeling, Landscaping, Concrete & more. Tips for DIY plumber, roofer, remodel & landscape projects.
DIY Plumbing Tips from a Contractor
Can you serve as your own handyman (or handyperson)? For complex jobs, you need a plumber, but simple maintenance can often be a DIY project.
Simple Spring Plumbing Tips
Spring is a time when many homeowners engage in maintenance tasks like spring cleaning and home renovation. It’s also a good time for homeowners to check up on their plumbing system to protect their home from clogged drains, leaks and water damage. Keeping up with this basic maintenance on a yearly basis can help keep your home functional throughout the year.
Perform a Water Heater Check Up
Temperature settings: on the water heater, setting the temperature very high in an attempt to obtain more hot water can be dangerous and lead to serious scalding burns for the building's occupants unless water tempering or mixing valves or other temperature safety controls are provided and properly set at the plumbing fixtures. At a temperature setting of 100 degF or below most water heaters are unlikely to scald an occupant; more than 5 minutes exposure at 120 degF are required to produce 2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin.
Watch for Water Leaks Associated with Sprinklers and Outdoor Faucets
The most common reason is called “Low Head Drainage”. "Low Head Drainage" occurs when the lowest head on a zone allows water to drain from the lateral piping, out of the sprinkler. If it is low head drainage, residual water will stop flowing after all the water has left the pipe.
Turn the Water Valves
A threaded plumbing fixture such as a shower head, faucet or aerator can become stuck due to mineral deposits that accumulate over time. The same is true for plumbing nuts that secure a fixture in place. The longer the fixture has been in place, the more likely it will be stuck and cause removal problems. In many cases, though, it is possible to loosen the stuck plumbing fixture.
Check Under Sinks and Supply Hoses
The supply hoses simplify installation of toilets, faucets, water heaters and more. Flexible supply lines bring water and gas from the permanently installed pipes behind your walls to your fixtures and appliances. Take a look under your sinks and check the supply hoses that run to your dishwasher, clothes washer and other water-using appliances. Look for moisture, puddles, rust, corrosion and other warning signs of a leak.
Drain the Sediment from Your Water Heater
Have you flushed your water heater lately? This boring but important chore should be done at least once a year to remove sediment that accumulates on the bottom of the tank. That's especially true if you live in a hard-water area. The task is easy to blow off because it's out of sight—but skipping it is costing you a lot. Sediment buildup reduces the heating efficiency of your water heater.
Test the Toilets for Leaks
Leaking toilet? You may not need a new one, but before you can fix it, you'll need to find out the real problem. It could be as simple as a flapper leak or toilet valve leak. If so, the fix is pretty simple.
Clean Gutters and Down Spouts
If the gutters are too full, water can actually damage the roofing and the fascia (the boards behind the gutters, rather than the tough tissue in the human body). Overfull gutters can spell trouble below deck as well, as water pouring over the gutters versus going cleanly down the spouts can mean water getting to your foundation, and possibly into your basement and crawlspace. The torrents can also do a number on your garden beds if they’re right under the gutters.
Reduce Your Air Conditioning Bills
The United States now uses more electricity for air conditioning than a billion people in Africa use for everything. So really, we have to do everything we can to reduce the amount of air conditioning in Sacramento required, make it as efficient as it can be, and then reduce the non-renewable resources needed to run it.
Here are some suggestions to improve air conditioner performance and making them more efficient in our homes right now.
Seal the leaks
Wherever you live, whether an apartment or house, the first and simplest thing to do is to seal the air leaks. "If you have an older house that's never been air-sealed, this may be a big part of your heat gain problem, especially if you have leaks from the attic. If you haven't had a blower door test, get one."
Keep the sun and the heat out in the first place.
Before there was central heat and air, people worked hard to keep the sun and heat out. Awning for your windows, qualit…
Now that winter has arrived in full force in Northern California, you need to pay attention to your roof.
Your roof protects you from the harsh elements of the winter season, keep it in top shape by following five winter roofing tips from our home improvement experts.
Trim Tree Branches
Pruning during dormancy is the most common practice. It results in a vigorous burst of new growth in the spring and should be used if that is the desired effect. It is usually best to wait until the coldest part of winter has passed. Some species, such as maple, walnuts and birches, may “bleed”—when the sap begins to flow. This is not harmful and will cease when the tree leafs out.
Clearing your yard of branches, leaves, and other debris is liberating, but you end up with a giant pile of yard waste. Here’s what to do with it.
If you have plants, old sod, and trimmings left over after cleanup, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of them. Any plants that can be saved or potted can b…