If Your Home has Foul Smelling Drains and Water, Here are the Reasons

If Your Home has Foul Smelling Drains and Water, Here are the Reasons

Plumbing is supposed to be an invisible part of your home. The pipes are hidden away under counters, and when something is flushed, it goes down the sink or drains out of a tub or shower stall, it’s supposed to be gone forever, and you don’t have to think about how or why that works.

So when things start coming out of your sink or tub, this is always a problem that you shouldn’t ignore. That’s especially true if it’s something like a bad smell, which always just a symptom of another problem. Fortunately, the fixes for foul odors in your plumbing don’t always have to be expensive or elaborate.

 

Drains That Smell

blocked-drainIf you are tracking a smell to just one drain, you can rest easy; you probably have a very simple problem with a very easy solution. This is a common issue that every professional plumber will urge you to solve on your own, rather than get an expert to do it because the method of solving it will be the same.

This issue may be an empty p-trap, which is the unique bend of the pipe under your sink. That distinctive shape is supposed to hold water, which acts as a vapor barrier and prevents sewer gas that naturally drifts throughout a line, to enter your home. The amateur solution is the same as the professional one; just pour more water down the drain to restore the barrier.

 

Water That Smells

When you smell something bad every time you turn on the hot water, no matter where it is in the house, you have a different problem. The fact that it’s only the hot water that smells should be your first clue that this isn’t an issue with the city water supply.

With this particular problem, it can be traced back to your water heater tank. You probably have the temperature set a little too low, and this has created an ideal breeding ground for bacteria; warm, dark, moist and safe. That bacteria can pose a health risk if you’re bathing ap-trapnd washing in it, so the best thing to do is turn up the heat. 50-60°C is warm enough to kill the majority of bacteria that can pose a risk.

 

Sewage Lines That Smell

 
The final source can potentially run up and down the sewage line of your home and have many different causes. If you’re lucky, you may simply have a blocked vent due to leaves, and clearing that out kills the smell.

If you’re unlucky, it may be a problem with your sewage line itself, somewhere deep underground and that will definitely need professional help. Exhaust all your options. Check every aspect of your plumbing that you can easily access, and if you still can’t find anything, but can smell something bad, bring in the experts.

Going Green Makes a Difference

Going Green Makes a Difference

recycle_480Earth Day is coming up on us as April 22nd approaches. It’s the time when we look at Canada and the rest of Earth and think about the things we can do to ensure that the world we live in is left in decent shape for our children and their children in the generations to come.

Believe it or not, every little bit can make a difference, especially if we all do our part. And you can do your part with some green thinking in your plumbing. Just ask yourself these four questions and see what kind of answer you come up with.

How Can I Shrink My Carbon Footprint?

Carbon dioxide, better known as CO2, is a gas that retains heat and plays a big role in the global warming phenomenon we’ve experienced in recent decades. It’s easy to produce, we even just naturally breathe it out, but some of the products we use—and even the ways we make those products—also release a lot of CO2 into the air.

A carbon footprint is how much a person, product, or group contributes to CO2 production, either directly through using products, or indirectly through buying products that have high CO2 emissions when being manufactured. Shrinking the carbon footprint means creating less of it yourself, and rewarding companies that have low footprints with increased business.

Do I Have Any Eco-Friendly Plumbing Fixtures?

 

save-water_480Some plumbing fixtures, like countertops, use recycled materials, or products from sustainable forests, so that there’s little to no negative impact on the environment. These are eco-friendly in the sense they don’t harm the environment much.

Other plumbing fixtures, like high-efficiency shower heads or low-flow toilets, actually use less water. They are eco-friendly because they don’t waste resources, and may even lower the amount you pay on your water bills. Eco-friendly can be wallet friendly too.

Can I Benefit From A Water Filter?

 

A water filter is a great way to enjoy cleaner, better tasting, safer water in your home for both drinking and cooking. It might even protect you from your own plumbing if you live in an older home that still has lead pipes. Try installing a water filter on your tap, or get a more integrated solution for your entire plumbing infrastructure. It’ll make a big difference to your water quality and safety.

Do I Need A Tankless Water Heater?

It’s a bit more of an up-front investment, but if you want to add value to your home and even save on bills, the answer is “yes.”

A tankless water heater gets rid of the big tank you probably have in your basement, and directly heats the water in your pipes. It’s a more energy efficient system that reduces how much energy you use. And that means it reduces how much you pay. You can save about $100 every year on your bills with this system in your home.

DEFENSE: Protecting Your Pipes During Super Bowl LI

DEFENSE: Protecting Your Pipes During Super Bowl LI

halftimeflushHalftime Flush, Fact or Fiction?

If you are a Super Bowl fan, then you have probably heard that thousands of spectators who are watching the game at home will flush their toilets at the same time during Half Time. Some of these stories are true because several cities have noticed that water usage does increase during the Super Bowl’s halftime break.

Many television viewers are in a hurry to get back to the television to watch the musical performance, and they also don’t want to miss any part of the football game. In many homes, people are in a rush to visit the bathroom during the Super Bowl’s halftime show so that they can also scurry into the kitchen to get more snacks and beverages.

While water usage may increase during this time, it won’t cause any widespread plumbing issues for an entire city. However, if you have a home with old bathroom fixtures, sewage lines and water pipes, then having numerous guests flushing toilets at the same time can overburden a building’s plumbing system.

If you plan to have a Super Bowl party in your home, then it is important to prepare ahead of time by making sure that your home’s plumbing system is in tip-top condition. Contact a plumber to have your home’s drainage devices cleaned and repaired to avoid having overflowing toilets.

Don’t Drop the Chicken Wingsdontdropthewings

When you have a Super Bowl party, make sure that your guests understand what they can put inside your kitchen’s garbage disposal. If one of your guests decides to drop the remains of their barbecue chicken wings down the garbage disposal, then a disaster will occur. Before Super Bowl parties, make a written list to hang on the wall above your kitchen’s sink to prevent a broken garbage disposal.

In addition to keeping chicken wing bones out of the appliance, don’t put hard or fibrous substances such as eggshells, potato skins or rice in the garbage disposal. These items will break your garbage disposal’s blades or create a clog in the drain underneath the sink. If you do have a problem with your kitchen’s garbage disposal, then call a plumber!

go_green
If You’re Not Going Green, You’re On the Losing Team

Instead of spending a lot of money on huge cases of bottled water for your guests, have a water filtration system installed inside your home. When you are having a lot of guests at your home for a Super Bowl party, they will need to have more drinking water than you are normally used to and you may also use more water for preparing snacks. By using a filtration system, you can remove the impurities from your home’s water so that it has a fresh flavor.

Call Lodder Brothers Limited in Guelph, Ontario today at (519) 836-6370 to learn more about garbage disposal safety, drain cleaning and water filtration systems.

Pros and Cons of Reverse Osmosis & Deionized Water Filtration

Pros and Cons of Reverse Osmosis & Deionized Water Filtration

There are many different types of water filtration systems designed for different uses. For example, some systems are designed to purify drinking water, while other systems are better suited for irrigation or washing. Two of the most popular water filtration systems include reverse osmosis (RO) and deionized water filtration (DI.) These systems come with many pros and cons that may make you choose one over the other.

Water Filtration Banner

 

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest differences between the two:

Reverse Osmosis

RO filters do the opposite of natural osmosis. Natural osmosis is the process of moving a solution from a low ion concentration to a high ion concentration. RO filters use a specialized membrane to force water with a high ion concentration into a low concentration. The filter captures bacteria and other impurities that could make your water unsafe to use.

Deionized Water Filtration

reverse-osmosis

This filter uses a two-step process to remove minerals and impurities from the water that may make it unsafe or taste bad.

The first step passes the water over positively charged ions; this removes any metals or minerals in the water. The second step exposes the positively charged water to negatively charged hydroxyl ions that bring the water back to neutral. The result is perfectly pure and clean water.

Pros and Cons of These Systems

There are many pros and cons of RO and DI filters.

Here are some of the most significant differences:

Pros

  • RO filters remove up to 99% of dissolved solids in the water.
  • DI water is so pure it’s also used in industries such as auto finishing, textiles and pharmaceutical development.
  • Homeowners will get peace of mind knowing their water is safe to drink and use in their home.
  • The filters will pay for themselves with the savings from not purchasing bottled water.

Cons

  • RO filters are known to waste water and may result in a higher water bill.
  • RO filters are also quite porous and may let through large debris. Many homeowners use two filters for this reason.
  • Some experts assert that DI filters remove trace elements that make the water taste better and are actually healthy for us to consume.

Whether you are interested in a DI or RO filter, the experts at Lodder Brothers Limited have the answers. We can help you decide which filter is right for you. For service in Cambridge, ON, and the surrounding area, call 226-780-4479 today.

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

The month of October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, a month dedicated to encouraging people to adopt and rescue a dog at their local animal shelter.

There are many great reasons why you should adopt, rather than buy, a dog at your local shelter. You can also visit your local animal shelter to learn more information about adopting, what kind of shelter it is, and much more. If you still want to support your local shelter but can't care for a pet in your home, then there are other actions you can take.

Dog-2

Why You Should Adopt and Not Shop!

Sure, some people believe that you should purchase a dog at a pet shop rather than adopting one because dogs from a pet store are cleaner, less-problematic purebreds. That's a myth. There are plenty of good reasons why adopting a dog is better for both the dog and the adopter. These reasons include:

  • Adopting a dog means saving that dog's life
  • Purchasing a dog or a puppy from a pet store is more expensive than adopting
  • You can choose whether you want a puppy or an adult dog that's more likely to have been house-trained already

Dogs from a shelter are cleaner than pet shop dogs.

Not only are they cleaner, but they are also healthier. Shelters usually vaccinate their dogs as well as spay and neuter them. On top of all of that, shelter dogs don't have as many problems on a genetic level than dogs from a pet shop.

Pet stores rely on obtaining "purebred" dogs from puppy mills. Dogs that are purebred are forced to mate with their relatives, and as a result, end up receiving more genetic defects and diseases than mutts do.

Those who run puppy mills don't care about the fact that their animals may end up or currently have physical problems. They don't even take great care of theadopt don't shopir dogs. To them, dogs are nothing more than a means to earn more money. Adopting a dog can discourage the demand for dogs bred from these cruel puppy mills.

Visit Your Local Animal Shelter to Learn More

You can learn whether or not your local shelter is a no-kill shelter by checking them out in person. The shelter can provide you with useful information on how their dogs are treated, and how to care for a dog, yourself. Maybe your next visit will end with you adopting a new dog.

Volunteering and Donating are Great Alternatives to Helping Your Local Shelter

You may not be able to own a pet of your own or may simply not want to. That's alright because you can go to your local shelter instead to help out. Just doing basic tasks like washing dishes and feeding the pets can be a huge benefit to the shelter. Even if you don't have the time to volunteer, you can still donate money. A little bit of money can go a long way at these shelters.

Please donate to American Humane in Washington DC, or your local Humane Society and don't hesitate to call at (800) 227-4645. They founded Adopt-a-Dog Month and are dedicated to rescuing shelter dogs.

For all your plumbing needs in Kitchener, ON call Lodder Brothers Limited at (226) 780-4479.

Discover National Kitchen & Bathroom Month Now

Discover National Kitchen & Bathroom Month Now

Did you know that renovating your bathroom or kitchen could increase the value of your home? New appliances, shiny fixtures, and a modern aesthetic are things that homeownmodern-kitcheners are looking for these days. This is part of the reason why the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association declared October to be National Kitchen and Bathroom Month.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. October is the best time for a renovation since the kids are back to a regular routine and the hustle of the holidays is still far enough in the distance to get things done.

National Kitchen and Bathroom Month was designed to show homeowners the benefits and advantages of renovating their home while also offering numerous promotions and incentives to upgrade.

Here’s everything you need to know about bathroom and kitchen trends this year:

How to Avoid Bad Trends

Everyone can think of at least one bad kitchen or bathroom trend that did not stand the test of time. Whether it’s shag carpeting in the bathroom or those yellow and green appliances in the kitchen, there are numerous trends that we look back on and laugh at. So how do you know you aren’t investing in the next bad trend? The easy answer is to not be blindsided by trends. It’s easy to plan your renovation and go crazy adding everything that’s popular right now. But in the end, your new bathroom won’t make you happy.

The best way to go about it is to choose one or two trends that genuinely appeal to you and keep the rest classic and functional. That way, you are still taking advantage of the trends, but you’re also creating a bathroom or kitchen catered to your specific needs.

How to Choose Between a Shower and a Tub?

The trend this year is to separate ttrough-sinkhe shower and the tub. The old-fashioned built-in shower/tub combo is simply not cutting it anymore. This is actually a good thing for consumers since it allows people to really personalize their new shower and tub to their specific needs and desires. The question then becomes, which do you prefer.

For example, if you are more of a shower person, then it’s a good idea to invest more money on an amazing shower. Although if you prefer baths, you can always upgrade the bath and make that the focal point of the room. There is really no wrong answer when it comes to design, it all comes down to your personal preference.

What’s Trending in Bathroom Remodeling This Year?

Here are some of our favourite bathroom trends for 2016:

  • Trough sinks
  • Heated floors
  • Anti-fog mirrors
  • Dual-flush toilets
  • Square and rectangular faucets and fixtures
  • Stand-alone tubs
  • Shower seats
  • Steam showers
  • Open concept vanities and shelves
  • What’s Trending in Kitchen Remodeling for 2016?

farm-sinkThe latest kitchen trends combine form and function to create a beautiful and technological room.

Some of the best trends include:

  • Commercial appliances
  • Oversized fixtures and faucets
  • Apron sinks
  • Drawers with damping
  • Architecturally designed faucets with features such as automation
  • Quartz countertops

Call Lodder Brothers Limited in Waterloo, ON today at 226-780-4479 for help with your next renovation project.

 

Replace These 3 Parts to Fix Your Constantly Running Toilet

Replace These 3 Parts to Fix Your Constantly Running Toilet

After flushing your toilet, you expect it to run for a few moments as the tank refills with water to prepare for the next flush. But what if that running goes on and on for longer than it should? Not only is it annoying to hear a constantly running toilet, but it’s also inconvenient for the next time you need to flush the toilet since it won’t have as much flushing power.

If your toilet is constantly running, try these three DIY fixes before calling a professional:

flushing-the-toilet

Adjust the Fill Height

This adjustment refers to the amount of water that is in the tank and bowl. After flushing, the water will refill back to the fill height to prepare for the next flush. Most modern toilets use a cylindrical mechanism that sinks and floats to control the fill height. Older toilets use a ballcock mechanism that consists of a float attached to an arm that swings down and rises as water begins to refill.

By setting the fill height, you may be able to stop a toilet from running. Toilets with the fill height set too low will always run while a high fill height runs the risk of overflowing. It’s best to keep this setting at a happy medium to prevent overflowing and keep your toilet running for the appropriate amount of time.

Change the Flapper

The flapper is a rubber disk or plug that sits in the drain of the tank. The flapper is attached to a chain. When the toilet is flushed, the flapper is pulled out of the toilet-diagramdrain and the water from the tank rushes down into the bowl to flush the toilet. Over time, the flapper can become worn-out or damaged. When this happens, it may not seal the tank properly and can result in a toilet that is always running. Check your flapper to ensure the chain is the correct length and also look for any bubbles, ridges or other signs of wear and tear on the flapper before changing it.

Check the Fill Tube

As a small, skinny tube, the fill tube works to siphon water into the overflow tank and back into the toilet bowl after flushing. It’s possible for the fill tube to become dislodged or worn-out. In these cases, if the water is not making it into the overflow tank, your toilet will constantly run. Make sure the fill tube is correctly positioned and the end of it is not below the water line.

If you have replaced and checked these items and your toilet is still running all the time, call the professionals at Lodder Brothers Limited in Waterloo, ON. Call 226-780-4479 for immediate help with your toilet issues.

Getting Ready for Back to School on Time!

Getting Ready for Back to School on Time!

time-for-schoolPreparing to take the kids back to school in the fall is one of the most tiring and troublesome experiences a parent can go through.

There are so many little things to accomplish, such as buying new outfits, textbooks, backpacks, general school supplies, and reorganizing schedules around work and everyday life. Most kids will not be ready and will simply not want to offer a helping hand with all of the tasks that need to be completed by the first day of school.

Savings/Budget

You should begin saving a bit of extra money ahead of time for the purchase of various school supplies. Most schools don't send home a list of what is needed, such as the books, notebooks, and pencils, until it is nearly time to return. This can be troublesome and downright headache-inducing for most parents.

The best option is to put aside a bit of money each month during the summer so when the time comes you already have the funds required to take the kids shopping.

Buying Supplies

Most local big-name stores will offer the school supplies required for most children in the area. Large shopping chains set aside entire sections of their floor, including multiple aisles, for parents shopping for their children. You can find brand new notebooks, three-ring binders, packs of markers, pencils, pens, and loose-leaf paper so kids can draw or write notes on. The items can be costly, so saving some money beforehand, as mentioned above, will be vital to heading back to school.

Organizing Your Schedules

back-in-the-classroomThis is especially important for those parents who have more than one child in their home heading back to school. Some schools, especially middle and high schools, tend to have different starting times. You must balance your time between dropping off your child before the bell rings and making it to work on-time each day.

This can be a bit of a hassle at first, but once you really get into the swing of things, it should be much easier. When possible, speak with your kids and find out who would be willing to ride the bus in the morning.

If you have a school bus stop near your home, you can drop your child off on the way to work. Alternatively, you can have a family friend, or perhaps a neighbor, who also has a child heading to school, drop your kids off when they are passing by the area.

Heading back to school does not need to give you the headache that most people associate it with. Take a step back, take a quick breath, and write down exactly what needs to be done. If you are also in need of plumbing tips, call Lodder Brothers Limited in Cambridge, ON  at (226) 780-4479.

Practical Tips for Home Preparation Before a Vacation

Practical Tips for Home Preparation Before a Vacation

travelA vacation gives you the opportunity to escape from the stresses of everyday life and forget your troubles for a while, and there's nothing quite like the feeling of getting ready to leave on a holiday.

But in all the excitement of packing and getting yourself ready for the trip, it’s also important to take some time to prepare your house as well.

There are a number of basic home maintenance measures you should perform before any vacation, and these will ensure that you come home to a clean, safe, and intact house.

These steps will also save on your energy bills, which means you'll have more money to spend on your holiday.

1. Shut Off Your Water Valve

Turning off the main water supply in your house only takes a few moments, but it could save you thousands of dollars, thousands of liters of water, and a house full of water­ damage.

Even just a small leak while you're away can cause havoc if there's nobody around to notice, but worse yet, there could be a major pipe burst, and you could return from your lovely holiday to find your house flooded.

Right before you leave, turn off the main water valve. Then, run all the faucets in the house to remove the excess water from the pipes. This will protect your house from leaks, drips, frozen pipes, and major bursts.

2. Clean the Garbage Disposal

Coming home to a stinky or insect ­infested home is not something anyone wants to do after a vacation, and you can prevent this from happening by running and cleaning out the garbage disposal before you leave. Run the disposal, pour in some baking soda and white vinegar, and let the disposal run for a couple of minutes to remove all traces of food and scraps.

3. Disconnect All Appliances

disconnect-appliancesThere are a number of reasons to disconnect your appliances before leaving for a holiday. For one, it will protect the appliances and delicate electronic devices from power surges that could destroy them, cause malfunctions, or perhaps even start a fire.

Moreover, it will save you money on your energy bills, because appliances consume trace amounts of energy anytime they're plugged in, even if they aren't in use.

Eat up all the food in your refrigerator and freezer before your holiday too, and that way you can unplug those energy­-hungry appliances as well—just make sure you leave the doors open so they dry out and mildew doesn’t grow.

4. Put the Water Heater in Vacation Mode

Most newer water heaters have a vacation mode that will turn down the temperature of the water so that you can save money and energy while you're away. Look for a VAC setting. If your heater doesn’t have this, turn it to the lowest setting before you leave, or turn down the temperature. This way, your water heater won’t be wasting energy to keep a tankful of water hot when nobody’s using it.

Proper home maintenance is always important to keep things running smoothly, prevent damage, and conserve energy, and the same is true when you're on vacation. These simple pre­-vacation steps will prevent infestations, floods, fires, and other disasters, so not only will your house be safe, but you'll also have peace of mind while you're away, allowing you to fully enjoy your holiday.

For more in-­depth preventative maintenance tips, call Lodder Brothers Limited in Cambridge, ON at (226) 780-4479.

July is UV Awareness Month!

July is UV Awareness Month!

Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the leading cause of skin cancer. July is UV Awareness Month. During this month make sure to take action to prevent skin cancer and reduce the risk of UV damage.

How to Prepare for UV Awareness Month

Too much sunlight can cause several long-term health conditions:

  • risk-of-sunburn-signVisual Impairment
  • A weakened immune system
  • Wrinkles and sunburns
  • Skin cancer

Prevent Getting Sunburned

Summertime means spending more time outside enjoying the nice hot air. Make sure to check the local UV index before spending time at the pool, going to the park, or even enjoying a walk with your Pokemon Go.

Check your sunscreen to make sure the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is between 30 and 50; no one wants burnt skin. Always apply sunscreen lotion 15 minutes before going outside. You will need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.

Protect your eyes from the sun.

Sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV rays on sunny days. If you are indoors sitting near a window, you should still wear sunglasses. Too much exposure to UV light can increase your risk of developing cataracts. Only wear sunglasses that offer UV protection.

What is the hottest time of the day?

You should avoid sitting in direct sunlight between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. You need to wear sunscreen throughout the year, and you need to apply sunscreen more often if you are swimming or sweating.

Some sunscreen lotions are waterproof, but you should still apply more sunscreen whenever you get out of the pool.

For summer tips with your home’s plumbing, call Lodder Brothers Limited in Kitchener, ON at (226) 780-4479. A friendly customer service representative can assist you.