Plumbing for your Valentine?

There are all kinds of reasons to have a plumber come out to your house.  You might need a water heater installed; a leak fixed; a drain unclogged; a sump pump checked.  But one of our customers called in and wanted to surprise her Valentines with a special gift – a toilet that would no longer clog.  It seems her husband had simply had enough of frequent plunging, that often didn’t work, and then having to call a professional to auger the toilet to get if flowing again.  AttaBoy was happy to help her out.

After our technician went over the different types of toilets that were available, she decided on a beautiful high-performance model that was well known for not clogging.  To keep her Valentines gift a secret, she had us install it while her husband was at work and to make it an extra special surprise she tied a big red bow around it! Needless to say, her husband LOVED it!  So much so that they called us back to install another one.

So, for Valentine’s Day, remember nothing says “I love you” like a shiny new no-clog toilet. Flowers, chocolates and cards might work too.

Disclaimer:  AttaBoy Plumbing assumes no responsibility for your relationship with your valentine regardless of your decision of what to do with this information.

Pump It Up!

Back in the day our ancestors used to walk down to the creek, drop a bucket in the water until it was full, and then grunt it back to the abode with hopes of not splashing most of the water out along the way. When wells were used, sophistication was added because of the use of a hand crank to bring the bucket up from below.  Next a hand pump was added to the well outside the house, and eventually things got really fancy when the hand pump was actually mounted inside the house next to a sink.  Today we’ve come a long way with pumps but the basic function remains the same:  to counteract gravity in order to get fluids where you want them to go and/or to increase the speed of getting them there.

While hand pumps are still in use for certain applications, the vast majority of pumps moving water in your home are driven by electricity. For example, there are pumps in certain appliances like the washing machine and dishwasher, but there are also pumps that provide the water pressure for the entire house, either from the city that provides your water or from your own electric well pump.

From a plumbing company standpoint, the pumps that we probably get the most service calls for are sump pumps.  Not every home has a sump pump, but for the ones that do it can be a very important pump to have working correctly.  Sump pumps are used to pump out the water that can flow into crawlspaces and basements from rain or melting snow.  Sump pumps are normally installed in a pit. When the pump fails the pit fills to overflowing and floods the crawlspace or basement.  In order to prevent this problem it is a good idea to replace your pump every several years or at the very least check it to make sure it will work when needed.  Another highly recommended option is to install a back up sump pump system that will kick on when your primary pump fails or there is no electrical power such as occurs during a storm.

Pumps. . . you have them, you need them, you need them working when you need them.  Give AttaBoy Plumbing a call if you need us — we’ll be right there!


Valves: The Control Freaks of Your Plumbing

The idea is simple:  Keep the water from coming out when you don’t want it to, and when you do want it to come out, be able to control the flow.  There.  That’s what your valves do for you.  While valves may not seem like something you want to think about in the course of your daily life, there are times when, for some homeowners, they take a front and center place in one’s thinking.  Let’s look at some examples:

  • You are building a new home or remodleing your bathroom and you come to the fun part of getting to pick out what style of faucets you want to decorate with. Those faucets? They’re just fancy looking valves.
  • When you hit the flush handle of your toilet and nothing happens that’s usually going to be a valve issue.  Either the fillvalve (old timers know it by the name “ballcock”) is not working right or that very simple valve known as a “flapper” is misbehaving.
  • That dripping hose spigot on the outside of your house is a valve (old timer name: sillcock). By the way, AttaBoy can fix or replace that. . . just sayin’.
  • You smell a gas leak in your home.  Someone will need to turn a valve off to stop the flow of gas.  In fact, it could be a gas valve that is causing the problem. Did you know that licensed plumbers like AttaBoy Plumbing are the ones who find and repair the vast majority of gas leaks in homes? It’s true.

There are lots of other valves in your home, of course, such as those under your sinks, on your water heater, at your water softener, sump pump, etc. Valves are great friends when they are not leaking and are easy to turn on and off, but no one likes to find out that a valve is too corroded to use when the time comes.

If you don’t know anything else about the valves in your home, make it your mission to know about this one:  The main water shut-off valve.  This is the one that turns the water on or off to your entire house.  Your main valve is the one you can go to in a plumbing emergency to stop the pressurized flow of water into your home.  If you don’t know where it is located or whether it is working properly, find someone who will locate it for you and try it out to make sure you can turn it easily.

Lastly, if you’d like to know that your valves are in good working order and would like to have someone familiarize you with your main water shut-off, you can always call AttaBoy to come out and do that for you.