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Plumbing Upgrades to Consider

Posted by on 2:56 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Plumbing Upgrades to Consider

Plumbing Upgrades to Consider

If you are looking for ways to upgrade your home, either to offer valuable selling features, or to protect it against long-term damage, consider plumbing upgrades. Plumbing upgrades help prevent more expensive plumbing bills in the future and can even lower monthly bills. Here are a few to consider. An Automatic Shutoff Valve While your home may already have a manual shutoff valve that can be used in the event of repairs or plumbing emergencies, upgrading to an automatic shutoff valve is a sound investment, especially for those who may be away from the home for extended periods of time. An automatic shutoff valve monitors water pressure 24/7 and will trigger if a dramatic change is detected, effectively shutting off your water and helping homeowners save thousands of dollars if a major breakage occurs. Sump Pump Crawl spaces and basements are extremely susceptible to flooding, and even a little bit of water can do a huge amount of damage. If your home is in a low-lying area, a sump pump is a sound investment. It can automatically remove excess water before significant damage occurs. Modern sump pumps are also battery-powered, ensuring that your pump will work, even in the event of a power outage. Backflow Prevention While many new homes may already have built-in backflow prevention, older homes may face pressure disturbances between the sewer and plumbing systems. This can cause wastewater to be sucked back into the home. By installing a backflow prevention device, your plumbing will continue to work properly, avoiding the effects of changes in pressure. Tankless Water Heater Provided you install the proper size (factoring in the size of the house and the number of people), a tankless water heater provides for an unlimited supply of hot water without the costs of keeping heated reserves in a water tank. This can save families money every year on energy costs while ensuring everyone has hot water when they need it. Drain Inspections and Repairs Inspecting and replacing damaged drains ensure there are no back-ups in your pipes. Regular inspections also help keep your pipes healthy and ensures their longevity. Regularly checking for and removing the buildup of food, hair, and grease is both proactive and can boost your home’s value. How RiteTech Plumbing Can Help If you are looking for effective ways to save money, protect your investment, or add value to your home before sale, we’re here to help. Do you have questions about our plumbing services and pricing? Call us today for a free...

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Different Types of Water Heaters: Which Is Best for You?

Posted by on 11:38 am in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Different Types of Water Heaters: Which Is Best for You?

Different Types of Water Heaters: Which Is Best for You?

There are quite a few different types of water heaters available and each has its own pros and cons. What’s right for your home depends on how you use your water and the size of your home. Here is an outline of each, plus their benefits and drawbacks, to help you choose. Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater This is the type of water heater most people will recognize. It features a tank that holds heated water. Its capacity determines how much water you have available at any given time. The tank itself is insulated and the water remains warm once heated up. Pros: Inexpensive Easy to install Cons: Holds a limited amount of water Takes time to refill Tankless Water Heater This type of water heater is more modern and can offer nearly endless hot water to the home – provided the unit is properly sized. This type of water heater has no tank and relies on super-heated coils that fill with water and flash-heat it as needed. It’s great for heating water quickly and works well with homes that use natural gas to power the water heater. Pros: Extremely cost-efficient Takes up less space Offers limitless hot water if sized correctly to home Cons: Expensive installation Hard to clean May require larger gas or electricity lines installed Heat Pump Water Heater  This is a hybrid water heater that can help homeowners cut down on electricity because the heater doesn’t directly generate any heat. Instead, it uses heat in the air and ground to heat water. Pros: Used 60% less electricity than typical water heaters Extremely efficient Cons: Need at least 8 ft of vertical clearance Doesn’t work well if installed in excessively cold areas Very expensive to purchase Solar Powered Water Heater As the name suggests, this type of water heater allows homeowners to draw energy from the sun and is excellent for those who have solar panels or are considering solar panel installation. Pros: The most energy-efficient option Environmentally friendly Saves homeowners money Cons: System requires a “backup” for cloudy days Expensive; takes many years to see ROI Condensing Water Heater This type of water heater takes advantage of a home’s unused gas fumes by funneling heated exhaust from the natural gas system to the water heater itself. The fumes go through a series of coils based at the bottom of the water tank in order to heat the water. Pros: Extremely efficient by recycling gas Typically requires a large tank, meaning there’s always an abundance of hot water Cons: Not easily available in smaller models Only works in homes run on natural gas Have questions about your water heater? We help families across Kelowna maintain, repair, and replace their water heaters. Contact us to find out...

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Should I Get My Drains Cleaned?

Posted by on 2:32 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Should I Get My Drains Cleaned?

Should I Get My Drains Cleaned?

If you’ve ever had water collect at your feet during a shower, or have been washing dishes and struggling to drain the old water away, it may be time to clean your drains. In older homes especially, the passing of time means that, no matter how careful the homeowner is, pipes will begin to accumulate matter. By treating drain cleaning as any other home maintenance task, homeowners reduce the risk of unexpected clogging and drain backups. Am I at Risk for Clogged Drains? Chances are, if you have a newer home, you are less likely to have clogged drains. The piping, after all, is brand new! However, older homes have a higher risk of clogged drains, as do rental units. Lifestyle and habits can also have an effect on drains, and that affects homes of all ages. For example, homeowners who choose to wash their dishes by hand are more likely to wash debris down the sink and therefore can be more prone to clogs. How Fast Can Drains Clog? While there isn’t a hard and fast timeline that dictates just when a drain will begin to clog, it comes down to how often the drain is used and the amount of debris that collects in it. Shower drains, for example, can be quick to clog, as a certain amount of hair is washed down the drain on a daily basis. A sink that doesn’t have a grate or filter on it will also clog quickly if food is constantly washed down it. If a drain is subjected to a high volume of users, this too, will dictate how fast and how often it can clog. Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Drains Making sure your drains are working well will help you save money in the long run. That’s why, where possible, it’s important to practice preventative measures such as: Getting a drain filter Avoiding brushing food directly into the sink (scrape leftovers into the garbage before washing) Get your drain professionally checked every 2-3 years Professional Cleaning as a Preventative Measure If your drain is clogging once a month, or you notice that clogging is happening more frequently than before, it may be a good idea to have a professional come and examine your drains. There may be something happening that a plumber will be able to diagnose and fix before the problem worsens. However, it’s recommended that every house has a professional drain cleaning every 2-3 years. This helps remove buildup throughout your plumbing system and keep drains in perfect working order. Need Your Drains Cleaned? Call Us! Rite Tech handles all of your plumbing needs, including drain cleaning and clog removal. We’ll make sure your pipes are in perfect working order so you never have to deal with a slow drain again. Contact us...

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Is Your Toilet in Need of Repair?

Posted by on 3:24 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Is Your Toilet in Need of Repair?

Is Your Toilet in Need of Repair?

When a toilet is in working order, no one thinks too much about it. However, if things go wrong, it’s important to act quickly. When water is involved, avoiding dealing with the problem can lead to bigger issues down the line, so it pays to be pro-active. How do you know when your toilet is in need of repair? Look for these warning signs: Water on the floor around the toilet Leaking Slow filling or emptying of water Phantom flushing Strange hissing noises These may be symptoms to larger problems that, if left untreated, could lead to a hefty repair bill. Common toilet problems A Broken Seal Standard toilets have multiple seals, each of which can potentially leak over time. If a seal on a toilet is broken, your toilet may leak and pool water onto the floor. If this collected water makes its way through the tile or linoleum and into the floor itself, the underlying floor around the toilet may suffer unnecessary damage. Therefore, it’s important to deal with the leak early and head-on. Your plumber will be able to find which seal is leaking and fix the issue before it gets out of control. Toilet Emptying Issues A toilet bowl that is emptying slowly may be the first sign of a clog somewhere underneath the rim of the bowl while a toilet overflow after a flush may be a sign of a clog further down in the drain. In either case, having someone come to take a look and remove any build-up will help your toilet run properly and protect your bathroom from disastrous water damage. Hissing Noises Emanating from the Tank Constant hissing noises from within the toilet are most likely caused by water trickling into the tank via the supply line. A plumber will be able to ensure the refill tube isn’t inserted too far into the overflow tube and can check to see if the float is sticking or in need of adjustment. Phantom Flushing “Phantom flushing” is often caused by a small leak from the tank to the bowl and is typically the result of a faulty/worn flapper valve or flapper seat. A professional plumber is able to drain the tank and bowl and check your flapper to see if it needs a cleaning or needs to be replaced due to wear and tear. Worried your toilet may be in need of repair? Let us take a look. Our seasoned professionals can help assess the situation and advise you on the best cost-effective and long-term solution. Call us...

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Spring is Coming: Five Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry

Posted by on 12:22 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Spring is Coming: Five Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry

Spring is Coming: Five Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry

With warmer temperatures and wetter conditions on the way, some homes are at risk of seasonal basement flooding. While you can’t control the weather, there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to help keep your basement dry. Ensure Water Flows Away From the House Occasionally, the landscaping around your home is to be blamed for water buildup around the foundation. Ensure that water is graded in such a way that it slopes away from your home to prevent the accumulation of water. Surround the Basement With Rocks and Gravel Adding layers of rocks and gravel around the periphery of the basement is an inexpensive but effective way to help water drain away from your basement quickly. It also reduces moisture accumulation around the house. Install Window Wells Around Basement Windows Basement windows can collect and retain water if they haven’t been properly constructed. However, by installing window wells and lining them with gravel, homeowners can prevent water retention and seepage through the windows that can end up pooling on the basement floor. Install a Basement Drainage System Chronic basement leaks may require homeowners to install drainage tubing below their basement floor. This drain is connected to your sump pump and will drain the water away, helping to keep your basement nice and dry. Install a Sump Pump When it comes to preventing flooding, a sump pump is one of the best options homeowners have. Sump pumps pick up water from a hole positioned at the lowest part of the basement floor and pump it away from the home’s foundation. By hooking your basement drainage system to your sump pump, excess water will be pumped away before it can do real damage to your basement. It’s important to inspect your basement and find the root cause of the leaks if your basement is taking on water. While basement floods can sometimes be attributed to elements outside the home or within the foundation (like cracks that let moisture seep through), there may also be issues with pipes as well. If your basement is finished, look for signs of leaks behind the drywall, such as stains, peeling paint, or damp plaster. If you have a bathroom in the basement, check the plumbing there as well for any leaks. Water damage isn’t something to be taken lightly. Taking on water in your basement can lead to mould buildup that can be a health hazard. It will also begin to damage the underlying structure of the home by rotting wood and plaster. The faster you can remove the water – and find and fix the root cause of the problem – the better. If you have a basement that’s prone to flooding or want to protect your Kelowna-area home from flooding in the future, we can help. Call us...

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How To Identify and Prevent Potential Sewer Back Ups

Posted by on 2:38 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on How To Identify and Prevent Potential Sewer Back Ups

How To Identify and Prevent Potential Sewer Back Ups

Although the weather is still pretty frosty, spring really is going to be upon us in no time.  We all relish the warm weather and happily accept the showers that come along with it.  Your plumbing, however, can be severely impacted by the changing season.  Melting snow, rain showers and growing tree roots can all wreak havoc on your main sewer line, causing clogs and potential back ups. What Happens When the Sewer Line Backs Up? If your sewer gets blocked or clogged and is not properly cleared in time, you can end up with that sewage making its way up through your sinks and bathtubs, or even onto your front lawn!  Not only is this unpleasant at best, it is a real safety hazard to come into contact with raw sewage.  Sewer back ups can lead to costly abatement and repairs to your home – unexpected expenses and hassle that no home owner wants to deal with! So, how do we prevent this disgusting debacle?  We know you aren’t in the habit of inspecting your sewer lines on a regular basis, so here are 4 symptoms of a possible sewer back up for you to look out for: Slow drains – slowly draining tubs, showers and appliances like dishwashers and washing machines could be an important clue that the water level in your sewer is abnormally high. Smelly drains – if you notice an unpleasant smell in most or all of your drains, you could be headed for trouble. This could mean that sewage is already backing up in your lines, or at the very least, is not draining properly. Soggy or wet spots around your underground sewage or vent pipe outside – this could be a sign that the raw sewage is seeping out of cracks or vents in your plumbing. Water back-ups – if your drains back up when you use a different water source in your home, this could indicate that the sewers aren’t clearing properly. An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to call Rite Tech right away.  We will come assess your plumbing, and let you know if you have any cause for concern.  If your sewer is blocked, we can clear it for you before any of the nasty damage from overflowing sewage occurs in your home.  This is one case where the “wait and see” approach can cost you way more than the price of prevention.  If you suspect sewer problems, have your plumbing inspected before your little problem turns into a really big...

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Plumbing Resolutions for 2020

Posted by on 11:36 am in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Plumbing Resolutions for 2020

Plumbing Resolutions for 2020

Happy New Year from your friends at Rite Tech Plumbing!! We hope the year ahead brings health and happiness to you and your family! The new year is a time to reflect on the things that are near and dear to us, and how to improve our lives going forward.  Many people think about being more fiscally responsible, achieving personal goals or becoming more physically fit – all admirable choices for self improvement!  While you are contemplating how to bring positive change into your life, it is also a good idea to consider how to help your home run more efficiently and to proactively prevent unforeseen problems throughout the year. Here are just a few plumbing “resolutions” that you might entertain to bring practical changes into your home for the coming year: Be more efficient. Make the switch to energy efficient appliances where you can, and use your local ‘time of use guidelines’ to help reduce energy use while also minimizing your hydro bill. Save water. Water waste is an unnecessary evil that is simple to remedy.  Make sure your taps and faucets are leak free, install water saving shower heads, consider an on-demand water heating system, and develop a rainwater collection system to use for watering lawns and gardens. Fix faulty toilets. A toilet that runs can not only damage your floors and walls, but it also wastes a whole lot of water.  Fix or replace leaky or running toilets to save water and to protect your home from damage. Improve water pressure. Low water pressure doesn’t have to be an accepted reality in your house.  There are many ways to address water pressure issues without breaking the bank.  If cleaning out sediment from your fixtures or changing shower heads doesn’t work, your plumber can help to determine the culprit, enabling you to enjoy maximum flow in your shower or bath. Schedule annual maintenance checks. Avoid costly repairs and potential damage by having a professional plumber inspect your lines, taps, appliances and drains.  Getting ahead of any problems can save you both money and hassle later on, so put a plumbing check on your “to do” list for each January. Whether you are looking for maintenance and advice on keeping your plumbing resolutions, or are in need of emergency repairs, Rite Tech is here to help 24/7.  Give us a call for all of your plumbing...

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Senior Family Members and Plumbing Safety

Posted by on 2:25 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Senior Family Members and Plumbing Safety

Senior Family Members and Plumbing Safety

Most of us know to routinely inspect our faucets and drains, follow our winter weather checklists and generally have a fairly good handle on the status of our home’s plumbing.  Unfortunately, many of our senior family members, while still healthy enough to stay in their own homes, do not have the ability to do the same.  This is easily overlooked by other family members and caregivers whose main priorities are to ensure proper diet, heath care and housekeeping for their loved ones.  The fact is, however, that improperly maintained plumbing can pose serious risks for seniors. Tips For Home Plumbing Inspections For Seniors Here are just a few things you can check to keep your elderly family member safe: Check for leaky toilets, showers and drains that could be leaving water on the floor. This poses a slip and fall risk for anybody, but can be particularly dangerous for our most experienced family members. Ensure the hot water tank temperature is regulated properly. There’s a fine balance between maintaining a temperature that discourages bacteria growth and ensuring that the water doesn’t come out of the shower or faucet at a temperature that can scald.  A mixing valve can help to prevent fluctuations and keep temperature consistent. Make sure the seniors in your life have pressure and temperature valves that can prevent water from becoming very hot or cold when other water sources, such as a toilet, are used. While it may seem like a simple inconvenience to wait a minute for consistent temperature or water pressure, these fluctuations can lead to burns very quickly – especially for those with more delicate skin. Check for back up or signs of flooding around the sewer pipe. Your loved one may not be checking things out in the basement as often as they once did, so take a look to see if any maintenance is required.  Not only can sewer back-ups cause costly flooding, but they pose a serious health risk if not properly repaired and expertly cleaned. Professional Plumbing Help For Maintenance and Repairs Of course, the best way to ensure that your senior family member’s plumbing is working at its best is to book a maintenance call with Rite Tech Plumbing.  We’ll make sure that everything is running smoothly to ensure problem free plumbing that helps to keep your loved one safe at...

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Fall Plumbing Tips for Kelowna Homeowners

Posted by on 1:45 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Fall Plumbing Tips for Kelowna Homeowners

Fall Plumbing Tips for Kelowna Homeowners

Well the weather outside isn’t quite frightful yet, but the cooler temperatures are a stark reminder that winter is on its way.  Most of us equate fall with raking leaves and wrapping up our outdoor plants to protect them from the season ahead.  While these are important steps to take to prepare for the weather ahead, it’s important to get your plumbing ready for the season before the mercury really starts dropping. Here are a few key steps to ensure your plumbing is ready for winter weather: Check all outdoor faucets. Make sure all of your faucets are in good working order and that there are no cracks or leaks.  Having these little problems repaired in the fall can help to prevent even bigger ones by the time spring rolls around. Make sure the shut off valve is closed. Most homes have a shut off valve that leads to the outside water supply.  Turning this off for the colder months is an easy way to protect your home from frozen pipes and potential water damage. Remove all exterior hoses. All of your garden hoses and exterior water lines should be disconnected from your home and stored for the winter.  No matter how durable your equipment is, trapped water can freeze and damage not just your hose, but your home’s interior plumbing as well.  It’s a simple step that can prevent a lot of big headaches later on! Schedule a maintenance call for your sump pump and hot water heater. These appliances are especially important during the winter months and should be inspected to ensure they will work properly for you all season long.  Having minor repairs completed in advance can save on costly damage should your equipment fail when you need it the most. Prepare for plumbing emergencies while on vacation. Even if you are away from home, make sure the temperature on your thermostat is set high enough to prevent your pipes from freezing.  It’s also a good idea to turn off the main water valve just in case an issue arises with your plumbing while you are away. If you need help getting your house ready for winter, call Rite Tech for a free consultation.  We’re happy to assist with last minute repairs, equipment replacement, inspections and, of course, emergency...

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4 Things to Avoid When Choosing A Plumber

Posted by on 12:25 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on 4 Things to Avoid When Choosing A Plumber

4 Things to Avoid When Choosing A Plumber

Everyone needs to call a plumber now and again.  Whether it’s a frozen pipe or a clogged drain, there comes a time when you have to make the call.  So how do you know who you can trust when there are so many plumbers out there to choose from?  By knowing who NOT to trust. Having a dependable plumber who can provide you with knowledgeable service is key to ensuring that your plumbing work gets done properly, and that the budget doesn’t spiral out of control! Here are a few things that should make you go “hmmm” the next time you’re looking for a plumber: No written quote: If your plumber can’t commit to the project scope and cost ahead of time, you could end up having added costs at the end of your job.  It’s always best to have any fees listed upfront in writing, with an explanation of what, exactly, is being done. Lack of credentials: Your plumber should be able to tell you (or have advertised) their level of training and expertise.  If you can’t see demonstrated experience or note a reluctance to provide you with references regarding their work, you might want to look elsewhere. Prices that are beyond compare: We all want to get the best deal, of course, but if one quote is significantly lower than the others, you should consider what that might mean.  Chances are, you are getting sub-standard equipment, parts and service in order to accommodate that lower cost.  Going with the cheapest option could end up costing you more to have shoddy work repaired later on. Pressure to sign: Most of the time when you call a plumber, you’ve got a bit of a stressful situation on hand.  It can sometimes mean you have to make financial decisions quickly in order to avoid further damage.  With that said, you should never feel pressured by your plumber to commit when you are unsure or unprepared.  A good plumber knows how to explain your options without adding undue anxiety to the process. If you’re looking for a qualified plumber that is honest and reliable, give Rite Tech a call.  We offer 24/7 emergency service, so no matter what plumbing issues arise, we can be there to help.  We’ll give you an upfront quote so you know there are no surprises in store, and we will explain your options so you can make an informed decision.  We take the guesswork out of choosing a plumber in...

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