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How To Identify and Repair Tree Root Damage in Your Pipes

Posted by on 12:11 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on How To Identify and Repair Tree Root Damage in Your Pipes

How To Identify and Repair Tree Root Damage in Your Pipes

If your sewers or drains are backing up and your basement has become soggy, your favourite oak tree could very well be the culprit.  Tree roots naturally seek out water underground, and if your pipes happen to be the closest source of moisture, you could be in trouble.  Damage from tree roots can be very significant, especially in older neighbourhoods where pipes are often made of clay or concrete.  Roots can cause breakage, blockages and leaks – both inside your house and out – so it’s important to identify this problem and address it as soon as possible. Camera Inspection If you suspect that tree roots are causing a blockage in your pipes or drains, have an experienced plumber come in for a camera inspection.  We can investigate your lines and identify your problem quickly and easily with our state of the art equipment.  We will give you a comprehensive assessment and help you decide on next steps. Chemical Solutions You may find that a chemical solution is the right option for you.  Keep in mind there are several options available now that will clear your drains without damaging the trees.   Use these as an immediate solution for more minor issues, or as a regular maintenance routine a few times a year.  We would be happy to help you choose the product that is best for you. Snake The Drain If your root invasion is significant, professional plumbers have the right tools for clearing your pipes of debris.  This high powered “snake” is outfitted with rotating blades that cut through wood and leaves, and draw them back up the drain, without damage to your water and sewer lines. Tree roots in drains are never fun, but addressing them as early as possible can save a bundle when compared to complete pipe replacements.  If you’re worried that your local maple or cedar may have invaded your plumbing, give us a call to set up an appointment right...

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Plumbing Tips for Kitchen Renovations

Posted by on 5:27 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Plumbing Tips for Kitchen Renovations

Plumbing Tips for Kitchen Renovations

Renovating your kitchen can be fun and exciting, but it can be costly and frustrating too. It’s important to plan where your fixtures and appliances will be, and to budget accordingly to avoid any unexpected surprises. Here are a few things to think about when planning your kitchen reno: Placement of sink and dishwasher. It makes sense to have your sink and dishwasher beside each other in the kitchen design.  Not only is it easier and more cost effective to get access to hot and cold water, but this is the most sensible solution for drainage purposes as well. Water line for fridge. More often than not, we are seeing that new refrigerators come with ice and water dispensers.  If the convenience of free flowing ice and filtered water appeal to you, be sure to allow for the installation and connection of a dedicated water line in your design plan and budget. Moving sinks and appliances. In some kitchen redesigns, homeowners are simply upgrading their finishes and appliances.  In these cases, the plumbing costs are fairly minimal.  If you are changing your floor plan, however, and moving appliances around, the costs can really add up.  Moving water lines and drain pipes is a massive undertaking and requires significant plumbing work, so keep this in mind when developing your design. Adding additional sinks or taps. It’s trendy right now to install an extra sink in a kitchen island, or a pasta pot tap above your stove.  These are all great options to help you enjoy your space, but remember that these items require brand new plumbing to be installed to make them functional, so it’s worth pricing out ahead of time to decide if it’s worth your while. Switching to gas. If you are making the switch from electric to a gas stove, you’ll need to install new gas lines to your home.  Make sure your contractors are aware of this change well in advance so your reno can be planned and budgeted accordingly. If you are thinking of a major renovation, and want to have a better idea of your plumbing costs, give us a call for a consultation. We would be happy to provide an estimate as well as advice on any cost saving measures that may help your bottom...

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Maintenance Tips for Your Hot Water Heater

Posted by on 3:17 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Maintenance Tips for Your Hot Water Heater

Maintenance Tips for Your Hot Water Heater

As homeowners, we often take our hot water heater for granted.  We rarely stop to think about how much we rely on it for bathing, cleaning, running dishwashers and doing laundry.  The moment something goes wrong, however, we realize just how important this frequently overlooked appliance is to our comfort and well-being.  To make sure your hot water heater continues to work its best, we’ve put together a few simple tips to keep it operating seamlessly. Check Regularly for Leaks in and Around Your Water Heater.  Make sure that there is no standing water and there are no signs of water damage.  If you do suspect a leak, call a plumbing professional to come and repair the problem. Drain Your Tank.  A couple of times a year, hook up a garden hose to your hot water heater and drain some water out.  This is an easy way to remove any debris that has collected in your tank and helps to maintain its efficiency. Reduce the Temperature.  If your hot water ever comes out too hot to touch, you’ve got the temperature set way too high.  Set your thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that you are not needlessly overheating water – and of course to make sure that no one in your home gets accidentally scalded! Check for Water Quality. Take a look at the water coming out of your tank.  Does it look rusty or have bits of sediment in it?  If so, it’s time to call in a plumber to assess the situation. Test your Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve.  This important component ensures that neither the pressure nor the temperature in your tank exceeds safety requirements.  Make sure it’s working by opening the valve and making sure that water comes out easily and stops as soon as you close the...

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Plumber’s Tips for Buying a New Home

Posted by on 2:18 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Plumber’s Tips for Buying a New Home

Plumber’s Tips for Buying a New Home

House hunting can be a fun and exciting venture, whether as a first time home buyer or a well-seasoned purchaser. While making sure that the home fits your needs for size, comfort and location, consider adding some basic plumbing checks to your inspection list as well. Plumbing problems are often overlooked in the process of selecting a new home, but can result in property damage and costly repairs if they go undetected. To help you make an informed decision on this large capital expenditure, we’ve put together a few tips to help make sure your new move doesn’t come with any plumbing surprises. Check the flow of your drains: Don’t be shy to go around the house and try out every faucet and toilet. • Make sure toilets flush easily and drain completely, and that there’s no water or signs of leakage around the base of the toilet as well. • Fill each sink with water and then allow it to drain. Watch for slow moving drains that could be a sign of a blockage somewhere down the line. Inspect pipes: If you see old lead pipes, be aware that these must be replaced and that there is a great possibility for leaks somewhere in or around your home. Take a look at your water heater: Make sure there are no signs of corrosion, that the unit isn’t too old and that there is no obvious damage or leakage. Inspect your sewer drain: If you see signs of previous water issues around your drain, or there is standing water in your sewer, be sure to hire a professional for a camera inspection to rule out cracked pipes or other potentially expensive repairs. Look for signs of water damage: Check for water damage under or around any existing plumbing. A damaged dining room ceiling could indicate prior flooding in the upstairs bathroom. Don’t hesitate to call in a pro: Your house is one of the biggest investments of your life. Don’t leave it to chance. Hiring a qualified plumber to inspect your home will help you to make a sound home buying...

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Finding and Preventing Leaks

Posted by on 9:32 am in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Finding and Preventing Leaks

Finding and Preventing Leaks

Everyone dreads the thought of a burst water pipe or a blocked drain pipe, but few people consider the smaller, less dramatic leaks that can cause costly damage and even serious health concerns.  So, without the obvious rush of water and ensuing panic of a major water issue, how do you know what lurks behind the walls and under your floors?  We’ve got a few tips to help you catch a leak before it causes big problems. Keep an eye on your water bill. Have you seen a jump in your water bill with no explanation?  This can be indicative of a slow leak somewhere in your home.  Don’t let this spike in fees go unanswered. Look for discolouration in your walls or flooring. This can be a sign of water pooling in a specific area. Bubbling of paint is a solid indicator of excess water inside your walls. This is a sign that is not to be ignored! Sagging ceilings or floorboards can also mean you have a water problem that needs addressing. Mold and mildew as well, whether in the basement or anywhere else inside the house often means you have an issue with water, and could be evidence of a leak inside your walls or under the floor. This problem needs to be addressed immediately for the health and safety of your family. If you do find signs of water damage inside your home, be sure to call a professional as soon as possible.  Not only will it be more cost efficient to repair the problem sooner rather than later, but it will also avoid or limit the exposure your family will have to unpleasant odours and harmful mold and mildew spores.  Modern technology allows us to look at your pipes without taking your plumbing apart and helps us take an exact approach with no wasted time or expense.  Trust the experience of our Rite Tech team to fix your leaky pipes and make your house safe and dry...

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Still Using Chemical Drain Cleaners? Here’s Why You Should Stop

Posted by on 10:24 am in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Still Using Chemical Drain Cleaners? Here’s Why You Should Stop

Still Using Chemical Drain Cleaners? Here’s Why You Should Stop

Uh-oh! The drain in the kitchen sink is clogged. Do you: a) Grab a plunger and go to town b) Call your friendly, neighbourhood Kelowna plumbing expert c) Reach for the bottle of chemical drain cleaner under the sink If your answer was C, we have some bad news for you! Chemical drain cleaners are terrible for your plumbing system and even worse for the environment. If that’s not enough for you, here are a few more reasons why you should stop using them. Chemical Skin Burns If you have used a chemical drain cleaner, and the clog is not completely removed, the toxic material will stick to the source of the clog. When that clog is finally removed, it will be coated with a fine layer of material that is corrosive. That means it can cause chemical burns to the skin, and if you think that’s bad for your hand, imagine what it could do to your eyes! They Cause Lasting Damage to Pipes Were you under the impression that the source of the clog was the only thing chemical drain cleaners would eat away at and dissolve? Nope! Chemical drain cleaners can also eat away at PVC piping creating a far more serious problem than a little clog. What’s worse, if the source of your drainage issue is a damaged pipe, the toxic substance you just poured down the drain could now be leaking into other parts of your home. They Don’t Really Work Most of the Time When it comes to clearing drain clogs, there is no substitute for good, old-fashioned elbow grease. Chemical drain cleaners are most effective for clogs that originate from organic matter (hair, grease, soft food, etc.) For other solid materials, which more often the cause of clogged pipes, chemical drain cleaners are ineffective, and they’ll leave you with a sink full of toxic sludge to clean up on top of a clogged drain. Rite Tech Plumbing is interested in more than just providing emergency plumbing in Kelowna. We want to help you understand how the plumbing systems in your home work so that you can avoid that emergency call in the first place. Browse our blog posts for plumbing information and advice, and feel free to contact us at any time at (250) 681-0089 for the expert service and advice to keep your plumbing problem...

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Plumbing Tips for Kelowna Homeowners

Posted by on 11:08 am in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Plumbing Tips for Kelowna Homeowners

Plumbing Tips for Kelowna Homeowners

While plumbing is what we think about all day, we know that most homeowners give very little thought to the waste and water systems inside their home.  That is, until something goes horribly wrong.  No one wants to deal with emergency plumbing issues, so we thought we’d give you a few easy tips to keep things running smoothly. Be careful of what goes down your drain. It seems simple, but clogs in your drains from food, hair, soaps or other foreign objects can build up and cause serious problems.  Not only are they challenging and dirty to clean, but they can lead to bigger, more daunting complications if left untreated.  Use a strainer in each drain to catch all of this unwanted debris.  A painless solution that can save a whole lot of hassle.   Be a conscientious flusher.  If your toilet tends to clog frequently, consider your family’s flushing habits.  If anything but human waste and toilet paper are making their way into the bowl, you’ve got a problem waiting to happen.  Paper towels, sanitary products and even personal wipes should always be discarded in a trash bin.   Don’t use chemical drain agents. We understand.  The toilet is clogged, and you need a quick fix.  But those chemicals can cause long term damage to your plumbing and lead to costly repairs down the road.  Try snaking the drain to clear debris instead.  This breaks up the clog without causing bigger problems.   Never put grease down the sink. We’ve heard many clients insist that running the hot water while you pour grease down the drain will prevent it from solidifying in your pipes.  Not true.  There is never a time when it’s a good idea to pour grease in your sink.  At some point along the way, that sticky mess will coat the inside of your drain, trapping other debris and causing a serious clog. Of course, if plumbing problems do arise that you can’t seem to tackle yourself, we’re here to help.  Call the friendly team at Rite Tech 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all of your plumbing...

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Fall Plumbing Checklist

Posted by on 11:14 am in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Fall Plumbing Checklist

Fall Plumbing Checklist

As we move on from the lazy days of summer towards the cooler, rainier weather of autumn, it’s a good idea to go through a few simple checks to make sure your plumbing is up to standard for the season ahead.  Being proactive can help save the hassle and cost of emergency repairs and can prevent serious water damage to your home. Three steps to prepare your home for the season: Make sure to clear all of your gutters so they are free of leaves and debris. As we approach the rainy season, you will want to make sure that there are no blockages in your drainage system that could back up and potentially lead to problems over the winter. Catch basins and storm water sumps should be cleared as required as well to make sure they are ready to do their job for the wet weather ahead. Make sure to drain hoses and turn off all of your outside taps. If your home is equipped with an indoor shut off valve, you can turn your outside water off there.  If not, you can turn off the taps from the outside and either invest in a faucet cover or simply wrap the tap and cover it in plastic to protect it from freezing. Planning to be away from home? If you are going to the sunny south this winter, or anywhere else for that matter, consider a couple of simple steps to protect your home while you’re away: Resist the urge to turn the heat off entirely. You may think it makes sense to save your heating dollars when no one’s home, but keeping your thermostat set at a low setting will help to prevent freezing pipes while you are away. Turn off the main water supply to the house. In the event that you do have a plumbing issue while you’re away, this will prevent the water from freely flowing until you return.  So, while you might still have some repairs to make, you won’t be dealing with major water damage as well. Contact us today at (250)...

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Don’t Throw Money Down the Drain!

Posted by on 11:16 am in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Don’t Throw Money Down the Drain!

Don’t Throw Money Down the Drain!

Everybody gets a drain clog from time to time, but not everybody knows what to do about it. In addition to avoiding the common causes of clogged drains, and taking a DIY approach for simple drain clogs, you may be tempted to hire a drain cleaning service. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you select a reputable company for this specialized work. How Long Has the Company Been in Business? Drains are the backbone of your home’s plumbing infrastructure. Taking proper care of them requires lots of skill and expertise. If you are interviewing a drain cleaning company and they don’t seem to know the ins and outs of plumbing and drains, you could spend a lot of money cleaning up after a cheap service! Ask how long they’ve been in business, and check them out for an online presence. Do they Provide Written Estimates A professional drain cleaning service should provide costs upfront for their services. You should know, before agreeing to move forward, if your job is a flat rate or if you will be billed by the hour, and you should have that all of that information in the form of a written estimate. A company that is not willing to provide this level of detail should make you suspicious. Do They Stand Behind Their Work with a Warranty? In addition to written estimates detail the service they will (and will not) provide, ask a prospective drain cleaning company what kind of warranty they offer on their work. If they can’t give you a reasonable estimate of the cost and time it will take to perform their own services; it’s a big red flag about the quality of their work. You’ll find you are much better off finding a professional Kelowna plumber to address your concerns about your drains, rather an inexperienced firm that may not be around in a year if there are any problems. Rite Tech Plumbing has the experience and local Kelowna knowledge that homeowners have come to rely upon for regular and emergency plumbing repairs. We’re happy to answer your plumbing-related questions and willing to take the time to explain exactly what we’re doing when we complete a plumbing repair. Contact us today at (250)...

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Toilet Problems: What’s that Sound?

Posted by on 2:11 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Toilet Problems: What’s that Sound?

Toilet Problems: What’s that Sound?

You haven’t lived until you have been awoken by the sound of a strange noise emanating from the toilet in the middle of the night. It has probably been there for weeks, but now, when you’re desperately trying to get back to sleep, it seems like the loudest sound in the world. Can you wait until tomorrow morning to call for an emergency plumbing repair? Well, that depends on the nature of the noise. Whistling Dixie If the sound you hear is a distinct whistling sound, rather like when the kettle reaches a boil, the problem is most likely excessive water pressure. While owners of older homes may be jealous, this is a problem that will require a visit from the plumber. However, if you can sleep through it, you can safely leave it until the morning. Tiny Gurgles If you’re wondering if that sound was your partner’s stomach or the toilet down the hall, it means there is very likely a clog in your toilet. You may be able to dislodge it with a plunger in the morning successfully, but if not, be sure to call a plumber for help and review our guide to avoid clogged drains for the future. This is not generally considered a plumbing emergency, but try to avoid flushing until the clog has been removed. Humming a Tune Pay attention to the time when the toilet is making noise. Is it right after it has been flushed? Maybe it’s a few minutes later when the tank has filled, but the flap doesn’t close all the way. In either case, toilet parts are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace in a DIY repair. From valves to float balls, you can replace these items yourself. But, if you’d rather not, you can place one call to Rite Tech Plumbing and we will be only too happy to help. However, take notes on the time and nature of the sound; it will help us quickly and easily diagnose the problem. Rite Tech Plumbing is here to help you avoid an emergency plumbing repair. By learning about the more common plumbing issues around the house on our Kelowna plumbing blog, you can save yourself a lot of time and heartache! But, if you do need a plumber in a hurry, you can always reach us at (250) 681-0089. Contact us...

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