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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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5 Common Plumbing Myths Debunked

Posted by on 1:26 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on 5 Common Plumbing Myths Debunked

5 Common Plumbing Myths Debunked

Most people have some basic know-how about the plumbing in their home.  It’s important to be familiar with simple maintenance and repair techniques to keep your plumbing working at its best.  There are, however, a number of common misconceptions in the plumbing world that can cost you a bundle and cause a lot of hassle.  Here are a few plumbing myths that you should definitely avoid: Hot water can dissolve grease in your drain. It’s true that hot water can melt grease.  The problem is that somewhere along the line that grease will cool down and solidify again.  Not only does this cause build up in your drains, it also is a perfect glue for any hair, lint, or food solids that happen to wash down the drain as well.  Eventually, this can cause a blockage that leads to emergency repair service. Flushable wipes are actually flushable. Don’t believe it.  Personal wipes, make up removers and baby wipes do not break down quickly enough to eliminate the potential for blockage, and should be discarded in a garbage bin every time.  Nothing but human waste and bathroom tissue should ever go into your toilet. A brick in the toilet can save water. Lots of people think if you throw a good old-fashioned brick in the toilet tank, it can save on water usage.  In fact, a brick in the tank can cause your toilet to work inefficiently.  If you are concerned with water conservation, consider installing a low flow toilet instead.  They are fairly reasonable to purchase and use a fraction of the water per flush compared to a regular toilet. Kitty litter is safe for the drain. Many pet supply companies claim that their litter is safe to flush.  While these products probably do break down eventually, the risk is there for them to cause blockages in your plumbing system.  Don’t take the chance of damaged plumbing – discard your kitty’s litter in the garbage bin instead. Drain cleaners are safe for clearing clogs. Most homeowners have used chemical drain cleaners at some point or another.  There are, however, a few challenges with using these products.  Firstly, if they don’t work, or don’t work completely, you have the hazard of trying to clear a drain that is full of chemicals.  Secondly, they can cause serious corrosion of your pipes, leading to bigger problems down the road.  Lastly, chemicals in our drains are never the best choice for our environment.  In our opinion, it’s best to avoid drain cleaners all together. If you do have a stubborn drain or a clogged toilet, we’re here to help.  We offer 24/7 emergency service to meet all of your plumbing...

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3 Reasons DIY Drain Snaking Is A Bad Idea

Posted by on 10:46 am in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on 3 Reasons DIY Drain Snaking Is A Bad Idea

3 Reasons DIY Drain Snaking Is A Bad Idea

Every home owner experiences a clogged drain at some point or another.  Many choose to try to clear it on their own to save the cost of professional plumbing services.  Once all of the at-home techniques and drain products have failed, some DIY enthusiasts turn to the powerful jaws of a drain snake to finish the job once and for all.  These can be manually operated, or electrically powered, and can be rented from most large home improvement stores.  Seems like the perfect fix, right?  Think again. Here’s why DIY drain snaking is a bad idea: Bigger isn’t always better. It’s important to have the right tool for every job.  Using a large drain snake to clear a bathtub will almost certainly cause significant damage, while using a snake that is designed for kitchen and bathroom drains (referred to as a top-snake) won’t do a whole lot to help clear your basement sewer pipes. Damaged pipes and traps can result in serious repair costs. If too much force is used in clearing your drains, you could end up with cracks or breaks that could lead to full or partial replacement of your pipes.  This often involves costly excavation and significant man hours. Professional equipment just works better. Drain experts have all of the right tools and know how to use them.  One significant advantage is a camera system that allows plumbers to scope out the problem and develop a strategy to repair it effectively, while eliminating the risk for damage to your home’s plumbing system. It’s clear to see that DIY drain clearing can end up costing home owners way more than hiring a plumber.  Knowing when to call in professional help can be the most cost-effective option in the long run.  If you have a stubborn drain that you just can’t seem to clear, don’t take on the snake.  Give the drain experts at Rite Tech a call...

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What Is a Sump Pump and Why Do You Need One?

Posted by on 3:31 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on What Is a Sump Pump and Why Do You Need One?

What Is a Sump Pump and Why Do You Need One?

If you’ve got a basement, you should probably have a sump pump.  That’s because heavy rainfall, melting snow or even faulty plumbing can cause extensive damage to your home and your belongings in a very short amount of time if left unattended.  Even more concerning is the dangerous mould and mildew that quickly begins to grow in wet environments. What does the sump pump do? The sump pump is installed in the lowest part of your basement, which is where moisture will begin to accumulate during a flood.  As soon as the water reaches the device, it will automatically turn on and begin diverting (or pumping) fluid out of your basement.  Once the water has been successfully removed, the pump turns itself off. A sump pump may seem like an unnecessary investment that you may never use, but when you compare the cost of repairs to your home and replacement of belongings, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to ensure your house stays dry in the event of a flood. If you don’t already have a sump pump in place, consider having one installed.  Think of it as insurance for a rainy (or snowy) day. Does a sump pump need any maintenance? It’s a really good idea to have your sump pump inspected once a year to make sure it is in good working order.  There’s no sense in having equipment that won’t work when you need it.  A quick maintenance call is all you need to make sure that everything is in good shape and that your sump pump will work the way you need it to when the time comes. Whether you need a sump pump installed, or you want to make sure your existing one is in good repair, give Rite Tech a call to protect your home from costly water damage in the event of a...

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Vacation Planning For Your Plumbing

Posted by on 1:44 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Vacation Planning For Your Plumbing

Vacation Planning For Your Plumbing

Has the cold weather got you dreaming of a trip to the sunny south?  If so, you’re in good company.  Many Canadians flock to warmer climates for a reprieve from our harsh winters.  Many of those people, however, will return home to a plumbing disaster that will take the trip from fab to drab in a hurry.  Here’s how you can avoid that miserable fate and protect your home while you are away. Keep the Heat On It can be tempting to turn the heat off since you won’t be home to use it, but that could turn out to be a costly mistake.  If the temperature drops below freezing outside, your pipes could burst.  This is a major problem at any time, but is most especially concerning while no one is at home. Turn the Water Heater Off One appliance you can turn off is your water heater.  There’s no need to keep your water at shower temperature when there’s no one there to use it!  This is also helpful in protecting your element in the unlikely event that your water heater leaks or your pipes burst. Close the Main Water Valve If you plan to be away for any length of time, this is the one step that should not be missed.  Turning off the water coming into your home can help mitigate any damage from plumbing leaks or problems anywhere in your house.  Draining your lines after you turn off the valve will mean less water damage if there are any issues while you are on vacation. Have a Neighbour Check In It’s a good idea to have a friend or neighbour come in to check on your home during extended absences.  This ensures that even if there is a problem – plumbing or otherwise – it does not go undetected for days or weeks on end.  Cleaning up leaks and floods as soon as possible helps to prevent further damage to your...

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4 Reasons to Hire A Professional Gas Fitter

Posted by on 1:59 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on 4 Reasons to Hire A Professional Gas Fitter

4 Reasons to Hire A Professional Gas Fitter

Natural gas is a highly efficient source of energy, and can power everything from furnaces to water heaters, stove tops and fireplaces.  Most of us can count at least a few appliances in our homes that are fueled by gas.  Many people think that connecting and disconnecting gas lines can be a DIY project, but the truth is, only a professional gas fitter can ensure that the job is done safely and accurately. If you’re thinking about moving gas lines or connecting to appliances on your own, here are a just a few reasons you should consider calling a pro instead: Risk of Fire. Natural gas is extremely combustible – which is what makes it such a great source of energy.  That also means that gas that is leaking from a poor connection, even in small amounts, can ignite easily and cause a fire or even an explosion. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Natural gas that does not completely burn up creates carbon monoxide. This can happen as a result of improper installation of lines or appliances, or inadequate venting.  Carbon monoxide can lead to severe illness or even death if left undetected. Insurance. Damage to your home as a result of faulty work that was not completed by a professional will often be disputed by your insurance company.  This means that costs for repairs could end up being out of pocket if something does go wrong. Resale. If you plan to sell your home, or just want to retain its value, being able to certify that all of your gas fitting work was completed by a professional will help to demonstrate your investment in the safety of your house. It’s clear the rewards are not worth the risk with DIY gas fitting.  Call the friendly pros at Rite Tech for all of your gas fitting...

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3 Signs That It’s Time To Replace Your Plumbing

Posted by on 2:25 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on 3 Signs That It’s Time To Replace Your Plumbing

3 Signs That It’s Time To Replace Your Plumbing

Not many people spend time thinking about their plumbing unless there is an urgent issue.  We turn the tap and expect the water to come on, and when it does, we are more than satisfied with the result.  The truth is, however, that the plumbing in your home can’t last forever.  It’s important to know when to call in a professional before you have an emergency on your hands. Poor Water Pressure If you find the water pressure in your home leaves something to be desired, there’s a good chance the pipes old and may now be corroded.  This could turn into problem for you as the plumbing continues to deteriorate.  Modern plumbing materials are made from PVC which is a superior product that won’t rust or degrade like the old copper or lead options of the past. Check Your Water Meter Not all water leaks produce litres of water or tell-tale damage.  Some of them are hidden from view, slowly dripping into your walls and potentially causing costly repairs down the road to both your plumbing and your home.  The trick to spotting these hidden problems is simple.  Turn off every single water source in your home, and watch your water meter for a while.  If there are no leaks at all, your meter should stay static.  If it moves, it’s time to call in a pro. Test Your Water Obtain a water quality test through the city’s water department to see if there is any lead or other contaminants in your water.  Even without a professional sample kit, you can run water into a clear glass first thing in the morning before any water sources have been used.  Check your sample for colour, smell and taste.  If it seems off in any way, chances are you have some sediment in your pipes. If you suspect that it’s time to replace some or all of your plumbing system, or if you’d like to book an inspection to make sure everything is running as it should, call the friendly plumbers at Rite-Tech for a...

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Are You Prepared For A Plumbing Emergency?

Posted by on 2:45 pm in Plumbing Blog | Comments Off on Are You Prepared For A Plumbing Emergency?

Are You Prepared For A Plumbing Emergency?

Most people don’t think too much about their plumbing system until it becomes a problem.  The truth is, however, that everyone should know what steps to take in the event of a major issue in order to prevent damage to your belongings and your home.  Water that is allowed to flow freely can cause serious destruction in a matter of minutes, so it pays to know how to turn it off yourself before calling in your plumber to complete any repairs. Shut Off Valves To The Rescue If you have an overflowing toilet or a burst water pipe, there is a shut off valve that allows you to turn off the water to that source.  Toilet valves are usually located behind the base at the floor level, while shut off valves for the sink are most often found inside the cabinetry.  Appliances like dishwashers and washing machines also have their own shut off valves as well.  This means that in the event of a serious malfunction or water leak, you are able to disconnect the water and prevent further leaks. When All Else Fails – Use Your Main Shut Off Valve In the event that you can’t find the individual shut off valve, or if it doesn’t work for one reason or another, you should locate the main shut off valve that allows city water to flow into your house.  This valve can usually be found where the water supply enters your home, often on the lowest level.  Turning off this valve means you will not have any water at all until repairs have been made and the water is turned on again, but it can be a life saver in the event of an emergency. Know Your Plumbing It can be easy to take your plumbing for granted, but figuring out where the emergency shut offs are in the midst of disaster isn’t necessarily the best solution.  In order to prepare for the worst, make sure you: Take the time to locate the shut off valves for all of your fixtures and appliances Identify your main water shut off Test your shut off valves periodically to ensure they are in good working order Have any rusty or faulty valves replaced immediately Ensure all members of the family know where to locate the shut off valves and how to operate...

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Entertaining with Rite Tech?

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Entertaining with Rite Tech?

It’s hard to imagine, but the holiday season is fast approaching, and before you know it, there will be plenty of hosting and entertaining to be done with family and friends.  So, what does that have to do with your plumber?  You’d be surprised to know how often we are called into action after a large gathering or party to fix slow drains and clogged toilets.  Having a large number of guests over can be taxing on your plumbing system, so we’ve put together a few simple tips to help keep your drains flowing. Check your toilets and sinks before your big event. If you notice that drains are moving slowly, take steps ahead of time to clear the blockage so you don’t end up with a bigger problem when guests are present. Ensure that there are plenty of garbage and compost containers available for guests, and that they know where to dispose of food and dishes. Plastic cutlery, candles, food and paper products often get discarded in the sink during a party and can easily fall into the drain and cause major clogs! Likewise, make sure garbage containers in the bathrooms are available for guests. Otherwise people may be tempted to toss their trash in the toilet instead. In the kitchen, make sure anyone who is helping with food prep or clean up knows that pouring grease, fat or food scraps down the drain is a big no-no at your house. Of course, if you do end up with a kid’s toy in the toilet or risotto in your kitchen drain, we are here to help.  We offer 24/7 emergency service – so we are always available when you need us.  Our friendly and reliable team will have you back to your party in no...

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