History of Indoor Plumbing Facts You Need To Know

History of Indoor Plumbing Facts You Need To Know

 

Indoor plumbing in a modern Canadian home is something that few residents think about much anymore. After all, it’s just a turn of a tap or throwing some clothes or dishes into an appliance, and the water starts pouring in, almost as if by magic.

Of course, it’s not magic at work when it comes to indoor plumbing. It is a very complex arrangement of pumps, heaters, filters, pipes and other components that are built into walls, floors, and ceilings, so you never have to see all this engineering in action.

We’ve gotten pretty good at implementing it in the 21st century, but for millennia, the idea of reliably getting water was a prime focus of civilization.

Water Meant Survival

For the Ancient Egyptians, water access meant the difference between being a thriving culture and one barely surviving. The Nile River was the only plentiful source of water in an otherwise desert region, but it was impractical for an entire civilization to live just on its shore.

The use of clay pipes to carry water further inland made it possible for the Egyptian culture to spread and flourish. Later, metallurgical techniques allowed the Egyptians to fashion ancient copper pipes.

A few centuries after that, the Roman Empire improved these basic concepts and made them bigger and more grandiose. The famous aqueducts of Rome were capable of carrying water from far away sources all the way back down to cities and towns.

They even made pioneering steps into early sewer engineering, learning to hollow out logs of elm and use them as pipelines to help manage human waste and prevent it from building up to unsafe levels.

Sometimes Lessons Don’t Stick

It’s surprising that the steady advancement of ancient civilizations didn’t always stay relevant as other cultures came to prominence. 18th century France, for example, forgot everything learned by the Egyptians and Romans and royal figures like Marie Antoinette paid the price.

She was famous for her use of perfume, but she did it to hide her stink and the smells that came from the rest of the court. French palaces had no indoor plumbing of any kind.

In fact, getting water into these buildings was so difficult that bathing was only worth the effort about once a month, even for members of the court. What made the palaces so unpleasant, however, was the lack of sewage management.

So in addition to galleries, beautiful paintings, tapestries and stunning architecture, there was also urine pooling in floors, and solid waste is sitting on rugs, piling up in corners and stinking up the entire palace because there were too many people and no efficient way to get rid of their waste.

Plumbing for Modern America

21st-century homeowners are, fortunately, and surprisingly, living a much better life plumbing-wise than 18th century 1%ers. Today’s homeowners have modern showers and tubs that let them bathe anytime of the month they like, multiple times per day.

With comprehensive toilet and sewage systems that not only safely eliminate waste, but also even save water while doing it. Even when there are problems, there’s always some kind help at the ready.

Experienced groups like the staff at Lodder Brothers have been helping homeowners and businesses in Guelph, Ontario for years. And they ensure that when something goes wrong, there’s always a way to fix it quickly.

Conserve Water this Summer and Still Have Fun

Conserve Water this Summer and Still Have Fun

During the hottest time of the year, it’s good to start thinking about water conservation and how you can do your part to preserve this precious resource as you complete your outdoor chores.

As a parent, it’s important to instill water-saving wisdom into your child’s mind as early as possible, while making sure that water play is still a part of your child’s summer fun.

Whether you want to cut down on your water bill or find ways to actively educate your child on water conservation, take advantage of these water-smart tips and trips to reduce your water usage this summer.

Water Hose and Sprinkler Use in the Summer

Whether it’s been two weeks or twenty years since you’ve done it, running through the sprinkler on a hot summer’s day is one of the most memorable parts of the summer. It’s cooling, fun, and energizing, but can use up more water than you think.

Thankfully, you can still enjoy water-based activities like this while being wise with your water usage. If you’re looking for a way to cool off on a hot day this summer, get yourself and your child to run through the sprinkler while it’s busy watering your garden or lawn, if necessary.

Using a high-efficiency spray nozzle on your hose is another great way to control your water usage and play, while still getting a necessary chore done, such as washing your vehicle.

Having Fun While Conserving Water

How can you make sure that your will child truly enjoy learning about the importance of water conservation? Turn it into a game. Water conservation Bingo allows you to get your kids to actively integrate water conservation activities into their everyday life while participating in a contest. Create a bingo card, and fill it up with water-saving activities in each box. Examples of these activities are:

  • Keeping showers under 5 minutes
  • Turning off the water while teeth are being brushed
  • Choosing to have a short shower over a long, deep bath

Once your child’s bingo card has been filled up, reward them with a trip to the movies, or a couple days off from chore duty.

Other Examples of Great Outdoor Water-Saving Activities

  • Nature has its own built-in sprinkler: rain! Get outside and play.
  • Save water in a rain barrel and use it to fill up water balloons. Just make sure that you clean up the plastic bits afterward, and keep them away from young children.
  • Have your child help clean their toys with the rain water and biodegradable soap. They can have fun and get wet while getting to learn about how to properly care for their things.

Homeowner's Guide for Water Leak Detection

Homeowner's Guide for Water Leak Detection

For many homeowners, the first sign that there’s a leak in the house is that signature “drip, drip, drip,” noise.

Many people assume that the real problem here is just trying to get a good night’s sleep while a leak drips somewhere in the house.

The reality, however, is that a leak can turn into a real problem for a home. Here we ask and answer the important questions for why a leak can be a threat to your home.

Why Is A Leak A Big Deal?

Most people tend to dismiss a leak because it feels more like a flaw than a problem. If your sink is working, and it’s just a drip of water that’s the problem, then that’s not broken plumbing that needs fixing, is it?

A leak can also be costing you money even before any serious break occurs. A leak can drip out between 7.6 and 76 cubic meters of water annually.

You may not have used it, but you’re still going to pay for it every month when that water bill arrives.

How Do You Find A Leak?

The most fortunate homeowners will be able to find their leak on a faucet and use a wrench to tighten the problem away.faucet-leak

Others won’t be so lucky, and will hear a leak, but may not be able to see it. This is where some exploratory work comes in.

Leaks can appear on other plumbing fixtures like toilets, showers and water heaters in the basement.

They might appear on the water pipe that carries fluids up to your taps, or they may be on the sewage pipes that carry waste away.

Check the plumbing under your sink, and if you have access to crawl spaces that let you inspect pipes, give them a look.

Also, keep an eye out for early signs of water penetration in the walls or ceilings that have pipes running through them.

How Do You Avoid An Expensive Repair?

As always, the saying “prevention is the best medicine” applies to a lot of things, and that includes big, messy, expensive repair jobs on your plumbing.

You don’t have to wait until you see or hear a leak to take action.

Occasional inspections of your plumbing may spot problems like dripping water long before it

hard-water

turns into a regular leak, and the earlier you catch it, the better.

You can also go easier on your pipes.

If you like showers with high-pressure water, that puts a constant strain on your pipes that may shorten their lifespan.

Switching down to a lower pressure can extend the durability and reliability of your pipes.

Kitchen & Bathroom Tips for Perfect Results

Kitchen & Bathroom Tips for Perfect Results

Of all the rooms in your home, your kitchen and bathroom likely see the most traffic. As you are in them they experience the most wear and tear; they tend to look dated more quickly than other rooms.

Is it time to bring your kitchen and bathrooms into the current decade?

Another good reason to remodel is if the current setup of your kitchen or bathroom doesn’t meet your lifestyle or space needs.

No matter why you want to remodel, it is important to make a detailed plan.

costYour Planning Checklist

While getting inspiration for your remodel from magazines and T.V., your actual project needs to be a little more rooted in reality.

What that means is that as a first step you need to set a budget and let that dictate the scope.

When you determine what you can afford, you should mock up drawings that include details about the placement of furniture and fixtures, along with measurements.

Drawings are always good because it helps you communicate visually with your contractor. Measurements are key because they help you plan accurately.

Next, decide what kind of materials you want to use for counters, floors and wall tile. Go for something durable as you are doing high traffic rooms.

Pick fixtures that are nice to look at, but are also functional.

You can’t go wrong upgrading with a sleek toilet in your bathroom or with a deep, extra wide sink in your kitchen to make prep easy.

How to Hire the Best Help

Your job won’t be successful without some planning done and without hiring the right contractor to help you.

How to find the best in your area? Start by asking friends, family, and neighbours for referrals.pro

Visit local design shops and ask them for their favourites.

Go to home shows. Read local design magazines. Search the internet.

When you develop your short list, make sure that your candidates are experienced.

Find out what their track record is with staying on budget and on timeline.

When do they need payment? Are they insured? Is it possible to see examples of their work? Can you rely on them to clean up when the job is done?

Don’t leave this important decision to chance. Ask plenty of questions.

Plumbing and Fixture Updates

If you’ve had a leak in the past, make sure that there isn’t any water damage behind the walls and under the floors when you are updating the plumbing during the remodel.

Also, ensure that existing plumbing will work with your fixture updates before you get too far along in the job.

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.

The Global Importance of World Water Day

The Global Importance of World Water Day

World-WaterEvery year on March 22, the world pauses to observe the importance of access to clean water and sanitation during World Water Day. The United Nations established World Water Day in order to raise awareness around the water scarcity crisis. The crisis has far-reaching implications, including negatively impacting health, local economies, access to education and sustainable agriculture.

Each year, the UN assigns a theme to World Water Day. In 2015, the theme was “Water and Sustainable Development”; last year, it was “Water and Jobs” (meaning that better the access to fresh water, the better the chance for good jobs). This year the theme is “Wastewater”. This is an important theme because sanitation is a major problem in a number of less developed countries. Proper treatment of wastewater can help reduce the incidence of disease as well as help open doors on sustainable supply.

The Water Crisis

Did you know that more people in the world have access to a mobile phone than have access to fresh water? According to water.org, 1 in 10 people don’t have access to fresh water and 1 in 3 doesn’t have access to a toilet.

These conditions are unacceptable when you consider the health problems that arise from this state. In 2015, the World Economic Forum named the scarcity of water globally the #1 risk to society (based on the potential of devastation). The good news is that there is a lot that you can do as an individual.

Water Conservation Begins at Home

Big change starts with small steps, which you can tackle on your own at home.
If you have a garbage disposal, consider reducing your use and composting your waste instead. When you cook pasta, reserve the water after you drain it and use it to water your plants. Wash your produce in a wash tub or a filled sink, rather than under a running tap.

Water-dropInstead of watering your garden with a hose, collect water in a rain barrel and use a watering can. When washing your car, turn the hose off when you aren’t rinsing the soap off. Make sure that your sprinklers are aimed right at your lawn. There is no need to water the driveway!

Plumbing Suggestions to Save Water

If you don’t have them already, talk to your plumber about getting a low-flush toilet. They use significantly less water than regular toilets. While you are at it, put in low-flow shower heads. They still get the job done using a fraction of the water.

It’s important to stay on top of plumbing leaks of all kinds, because you’d be surprised at how much water is wasted leaking from a pipe or toilet. If you notice your water bills going up unexpectedly, that might be the problem. Call your plumber to check.

For great plumbing tips that can help you conserve water, call our team at  at (519)-836-6370 in Guelph, ON.

Which Way Does Your Toilet Bowl Swirl?

Which Way Does Your Toilet Bowl Swirl?

Sometimes it’s the little things that make us wonder how they came to be that way… Do you know which direction your toilet bowl swirls? Take the video quiz below to find out! You may be surprised to see what you find.

The experts at Lodder Brothers Limited, in the Guelph, Ontario area, are always willing to share their knowledge with you. If you're interested in learning more contact us at (519) 836-6370.

Guide for a Healthy New Year

Guide for a Healthy New Year

A healthy New Year begins at home, with healthy foundations to build upon. A home’s plumbing system is an important part of this foundation.

healthy-life_480Using the following guide, you can check specific ways to maintain an effective plumbing system, why they matter, and preventative measures that you can take to ensure a high functioning flow of water both into and out of your home this New Year.

Flushing Your Water Heater

Flushing your water heater removes excess sediment buildup that accumulates on the bottom of your water heater. This buildup occurs because water heaters have a dip tube that directs new water, along with sediment into the tank from the top and towards the bottom.

Excess sediment needs to be heated up along with the water to create the right temperature, but this unnecessary heating is inefficient. By having a professional plumber flush your water heater, you can rest east knowing your water heater is energy efficient.

Water Filtration

Water filtration refers to the entrance and exit of any water in your house and the portals that the water must take. Clean, effective filtration throughout your home helps us preserve this precious resource while being able to use it efficiently. Try these easy steps to make sure that your home’s water filtration is up to par:

Remove Hair Clogs: You can practice this preventative measure weekly. Open up your shower or bathroom sink drain, and use a pair of tweezers to pull out any hair or other buildup that may be sitting in there. This prevents a future clog from forming.

Clean Your Faucets: If your faucets seem to be running at low pressure, they may be slightly blocked due to mineral build-up in the aerator. To fix this issue, screw off the aerator off the tip of your faucet. Remove the screen, and soak it in hot white vinegar for about ten minutes. Reinstall the aerator, and watch the water pressure revive itself.

Ensure Water Safety: Having safe drinking water enter your home is a necessity to a healthy life. You can test the quality of water by using a home testing kit or bringing a sample into a laboratory for professional testing. Water filtration systems can be professionally installed into your home’s plumbing system to provide you with clean and safe drinking water.

Drain Cleaning

clogged-drains_480Clean drains mean the effective removal of used water from your home. You can tell that your drains may be clogged if you spot the following symptoms of a blockage:

  • Water backs up the drain when the faucet is turned on.
  • There is slow (or no) drainage in your sink.
  • Your kitchen or bathroom sinks are emitting foul odors.
  • Your toilet is beginning to overflow.

Clogged drains are breeding areas for dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, due to the moist, warm environments and various food particles that are usually part of a clog.

Some preventative measures you can take to fight dirty, clogged-up drains are:

  • Watch what items enter your sink.
  • Ensure that little to no food particles go into your drain.
  • Purchase a drain cover for your kitchen sink to catch large pieces of debris.

Start your New Year off on the right foot by using this guide to help you initiate healthy habits when it comes to your homes water supply. If you have any questions that need to be answered, call (519)-836-6370 to speak with the experts at Lodder Brothers Limited.

 

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.