10 Plumbing Tools Every Homeowner Should Have


Even if you are not an expert plumber, there are some minor plumbing problems that you can deal with on your own as long as you have the right tools.

Get some handy plumbing tools you can trust and keep them around the house to take care of simple plumbing issues in your home.

You don’t have to call an expert plumber all the time. Easy-to-fix problems such as leaky pipes, slow or clogged drains can be handled by you.

Just make sure you have the right tools at home. According to Virginia Tech: Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 76% of homeowners repaired pinhole leaks by replacing the pipe, using a clamp.

Here are the top 10 plumbing tools you’ll ever need:

1. Plunger

Bear in mind that plungers can come in a variety of styles and sizes. So you should know what kind to purchase for different types of plumbing needs.

What plungers have in common is the general design: a rubber cup attached to what is usually a wooden shaft that serves as a handle.

Sink plungers generally look like a ball that’s simply been cut in half while toilet plungers are somewhat mushroom-shaped.

2. Pipe Wrench

While perhaps not as commonly owned, the pipe wrench is the classic plumbing tool that comes to mind for most people when they think of “plumbing.”

Mostly considered a must-have for any plumber and homeowner, a pipe wrench allow gripping around objects of a wide variety of shapes and sizes — thanks to its adjustable design.

As the name suggests, they are usually used to secure or remove pipes.

There are a variety of pipe wrenches used for tightening and loosening fittings. Some are specifically used for tightening bigger parts of pipe basin while basin wrenches are used for tightening and loosening bolts in more complicated areas.

3. Pliers

As a homeowner, you sure need a plier.

While normal pliers can be used for plumbing repairs and even be interchangeably used with wrenches in certain situations, plumbing pliers are usually highly adjustable and have an irregular clamp shape.

Such a design allows for better gripping on rounded objects such as piping, naturally.

4. Drain Snake

Possibly the least known plumbing tool and maybe even the most intimidating, drain snakes are fairly straightforward to operate and can be very useful in solving what may appear to be major plumbing issues without enlisting professional assistance.

Thanks to its rigid yet flexible design with an auger at the end. Drain snakes can remove tougher clogs when plungers can’t get the job done.

They can be pushed and navigated through piping with relative ease to otherwise hard-to-reach places.

Like plungers, drain snakes can be useful in a variety of situations ranging from toilets to bathtub drains. While they tend to be the most expensive tool on this list, they can arguably also prove to be the best investment.

  1. Teflon Tape

Also called thread seal tape or plumber’s tape, Teflon tape is used to secure pipe leakages.

They are commonly applied to the pipe’s threading to provide an effective sealing surface when connecting piping together. Think of it like the duct tape of the plumbing world.

6. Pipe Cutter

Popularly used by plumbers, a homeowner can use this Cutter to easily cut copper water lines. Simply open the tool’s mouth, place the copper pipe in the mouth, and then tighten the cutting disc on the pipe’s surface.

Do you want to know how a plumber would use it?

Here: to slice the pipe, the plumber will turn the tool around the pipe repeatedly. Once it slices through the pipe, a clean-cut remains which is ready to be sanded and soldered.

7. Leaks detection tool

Leaks are common problems faced by homeowners. It’s irritating and troublesome to deal with. At times, it’s difficult to locate the leak. Even though a professional plumber can help you with this problem, you too can fix it.

A plumber uses the leak detection tool to locate the leak. Once the tool detects the leak, the plumber will receive an alert.

Then he will take the necessary action to repair the leak. In case of serious leak issues, the plumber will discuss the possible repercussions with you before taking any action.

  1. Tongue-and-groove pliers

Unlike the Pipe Wrenches, tongue-and-groove pliers can serve various roles in your plumbing system repair.

Most especially in your pump. You’re aware that private houses and buildings usually have well pumps and sump pumps. The latter is powered by either gas or electric power.

The usual pump issues include loss of power, bad smells, water overflow or water not getting discharged from the pump.

In all these instances, the tongue-and-groove pliers can help you grip pipes and connectors properly as you treat your tricky sump pumps.

If you decide to bring in a plumber, then they would need certain details when you need to repair your well pump such as well depth, water level and the diameter of the well.

9. Tubing Cutter

As a homeowner, you can use a Tubing cutter to achieve a clean or precise cut in copper tubing. Pipe cutters use a sharp wheel which spins around a copper pipe and then embeds in the metal. Joints and fittings are sealed when the pipes have been cut.

  1. Sealants

Plumbers use different types of sealants. A plumber’s tape is used on the threads of plumbing pipes and other types of plumbing connections. The type they use depends on the type of repair job.

Homeowners usually face problems with such systems every now and then. If you can’t deal with it, then you should seek the assistance of an expert plumber.

Bonus plumbing tool:

  1. Compression sleeve puller

Compression angle stops or shutoff valves are prominent in houses where there is copper, CPVC tuber, or PEX. These valves are responsible for supplying water to your faucets, toilets, and even your bathtubs.

You can easily unscrew the angle stop when you hold the valve with pliers. Pipe wrench also helps.

The compression sleeve puller will help you to remove the compression nuts without damaging the pipe in the process.

Conclusion

As you can see, investing in just a few plumbing tools and learning how to use them can save you on potential costs and headaches that may come with hiring a plumber.

With a little practice, many common household plumbing mishaps can be quickly and easily resolved on your own.

Bear in mind, though, that when you run into muddy waters or you perceive the issue is beyond your knowledge, get help from a plumbing company or call a plumber like Anta Plumbing.



Source link

How to Pet-Proof Your Plumbing System


Pets are man’s best friend. In fact, according to research by the American Pet Product Association, about 68% of American households have a family member of the four-legged variety.

That’s why it’s necessary to pet-proof your home, and also your plumbing system. It doesn’t matter how lovely your pets are, if they’re left on their own, they can ruin furniture, mess up the living room, or damage your plumbing pipes.

My neighbor’s dog is a good example of a pet that likes to play with the faucets and other plumbing systems in the bathroom. You can’t begin to imagine how far these pets can do when they’re playing.

To them, they’re having fun but you’d end up spending unnecessary money on plumbing repairs. No, I’m not suggesting you harm your pet (don’t do that), but you should be prepared to put them in their place.

So let’s talk about the best ways to pet-proof your plumbing system and keep it safe:

1. Cover Pipes

Pets love to chew everything including exposed pipes. If your animal friend makes this a habit of biting through your exposed pipes, it could lead to a damage in the furnishings and home finishes like your flooring, walls, or even the facilities used to install the plumbing.

If the pipe in question is installed is an exterior one that conveys water throughout the home, then it could damage important facilities.

Consequently, the pet could incur an injury from chewing the pipe. To prevent spending money taking your pet to the vet and even repair work, cover up all the exposed pipes and wires in and around your home.

2. Use Drain Stoppers

We often give our pets a bath. It’s a good measure to keep them healthy. However, you have to cover the drain with a drain stopper or strainer (as it’s often called).

Dogs, for examples, have coarse and thick hair that sheds a lot.

The hair can shed while you’re bathing a dog and if you fail to use a drain stopper to protect your drain, then you should be ready to hire a plumber soon. Don’t clean your pet without a strainer, it’s recommended by professional plumbers.

3. Keep the Lid on the Toilet Closed

If you’re a pet owner, you know it’s common for your pet to want to drink from the toilet bowl. This is a bad habit that any pet can adopt and it’s unhealthy for you as well since you’ll be spending time with your pet.

Why is this dangerous?

Well, there’s a residue from toilet cleaners which are harmful. Also, the residue from bleaches can cause severe health disorders.

If the pet falls into the toilet, it could shed its fur and this can lead to clogging of your drains if you don’t stop it.

4. Don’t Flush the Cat Litter

Don’t be deceived by those cat litter commercials that claim they’re flushable. Instead of risking it and getting your toilet clogged, don’t flush it.

When the cat litter builds up over time, it can clog or gum up the plumbing system. To safeguard your pipes and entire system from being affected by this, it’s advisable to only flush toilet paper and waste.

Trust me, most of those pet products are not as flush-friendly as you see on TV and billboards.

5. Prevent Dogs from Digging

Dogs can be tricky and reliable at times. When properly trained, a dog knows what to do to make the owner happy. But it’s not always the case. Hence, do all you can to stop your dog(s) from digging.

When a dog digs, it can ruin the look and layout of your yard and also affect your pipes and other plumbing lines. There are homes where their sewer and water lines are just 18 inches beneath the ground.

Consequently, a little digging from your powerful and lovely dog could expose the pipes and reach the sewer pipes and damage it.

Serious plumbing problems usually occur when the sewer pipes are broken and everywhere is messed up.

At that time, a reasonable dog will run away while you face the consequences of not watching over your dog. You have to spend money to repair it.

6. Install Pressure-Balancing Valves

One of the important steps you can take to pet-proof your plumbing system is the installation of pressure-balancing valves. These Pressure balancing values for showerheads and faucets can simplify the process of bathing your pets and make it fun at the same time.

When there’s a water pressure issue, it usually affects the water temperatures in the shower each time someone flushes the toilet or runs the faucet in the kitchen or interconnected plumbing lines.

As a result of this sudden change in temperature, the water from the shower head could get really cold or hot simultaneously which is unhealthy for your pet and dangerous as well.

An expert plumber can solve this issue by simply installing pressure balancing valves. Once installed, when you’re cleaning your pet, there’s no risk and your four-legged friend will be wagging its tail in appreciation.

7. Outside Rinses

Most pets especially dogs usually get dirty rolling in the mud and whatever environment or element they perceive is conducive to their furry nature. A good way to pet-proof your plumbing system is by rinsing your dog outside. [source]

It’s not recommended to wash your dirty dog in your bathtub or bathroom floor because he or she will shed a lot of muddy, matted fur.

In the end, this fur will clamp and clogged in your drains, potentially preventing dirty water from passing through. You can prevent clogs when you bath your dog in different stages.

Start by rinsing the dog outside. This will eliminate most of the dirt and toughest clumps from their body. Next, you can use the bathroom to give your furry family member a proper bath.

If you have enough time and you’re not rushing off to work yet, allow your dog to dry first to reduce the amount of after bath cleaning you’d have to do in your house if you let your dripping pet walk through it inside your house to the bathroom.

8. Keep Plenty of Water Out

When pets are thirsty they can drink out of the toilet or any stagnant water they find. Why not protect your pet by making sure they have clean water to drink outside. When you ensure that, then you can keep them out of the toilet water.

As a rule of thumb, endeavor to top off your pet’s water bowl several times per day or at least twice.[source]

There should be a provision for a non-toilet drinking water for your pet and they’ll appreciate it.

9. Protect Your Pets from Cleaning Chemicals

There are times when pets get into your bathroom and get involved with cleaning supplies. This could cause serious health issues for your pet. You should place your bathroom cleaners out of reach (i.e., either up or behind locked cabinet door).

Don’t place your chemical drain cleaners on the floor or anywhere the pet can reach.

Remember that chemical cleaners are poisonous to pets, they can also damage your pets if they’re used in large quantities.

Above all, make sure you use pet-safe cleaners to keep your dog alive. [source]

10. Use Perfume to Keep Dogs Off Plumbing Lines

If your dogs continually distort your plumbing lines and wires, shedding hair all over the place and not making you happy, the simple solution is that doesn’t require an expensive dog therapist is this:

Use strong perfume or mixture of essential oils on and around the environment.

When your pet approaches the lines or the environment, as strong flowery smells are not friendly to dogs, they’ll not be comfortable.

These smells tend to be overpowering and unpleasant to dogs; causing them to sneeze. Try out several scents and oils to easily determine the one your dog dislikes the most.

Conclusion

Inasmuch as your dog is lovely and you wouldn’t want to harm him or her, there’s nothing stopping you from protecting your plumbing system from damage.

Because in the end, you’ll waste money hiring a plumber to fix the mess caused by your furry friend.

You should only hire a plumber if, at the end of the day, you were not able to fix the plumbing issue by yourself.



Source link

How to Upgrade Your Bathroom on a Plumbing Budget


There’s always a good reason to upgrade your bathroom. Sometimes, you have free time and you’d like to try your hands on some DIY makeover. Upgrading your bathroom has many benefits.

First of all, it makes your home more beautiful and your bathroom more functional.

Likewise, it makes your home more valuable when you decide to move into a bigger and better house. You can always sell your current apartment for more.

However, it doesn’t need to cost an arm and leg to do this.

Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report shows that an average remodel will cost you about $10,500 while an upscale remodel will cost a huge $26,000. A minor upgrade could cost $9,400 on a larger bathroom.

What if you do it yourself? This ‘Old House’ reveals you can achieve your bathroom remodel for $1,000 to $3,000 or less. The amount you spend will usually depend on how extensive your upgrade is.

You can upgrade your bathroom while spending little. How do you do that?

That’s what you’re going to learn in this post.

  1. Decide on your new design

To do a good job of upgrading your bathroom, you need to have a design in mind.

You should be able to picture how your bathroom will look after the upgrade. Are you only going to install a few materials or will it be a major upgrade?

One of the major elements to consider is the color scheme of your upgrade. Will it maintain its current color scheme or do you want to change that?

You also need to consider how your color scheme will fit into the overall design of your house.

There are basic fixtures that must be in a bathroom. But after those, the rest depends on the taste.

Do you want to replace an already existing fixture or do you want to add a towel rack or a sink? You have to specify the fixtures to be upgraded and those to be added.

You also need to know where utilities like plumbing pipes and electrical wiring are located. With this knowledge, you can avoid causing other problems while upgrading your bathroom.

  1. Have your tools and supplies in place

To upgrade your bathroom successfully, you need tools and supplies. You may already have some of these tools, but you need to look at all the tasks you need to perform and all the tools to get them done.

With these, your work is easier and you can save time while doing a good job. Some of the tools you can use are:

  • Gloves
  • Chisel
  • Power drill
  • Tape measure
  • Spackle knife
  • Spackle
  • Hacksaw
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer
  1. Apply Paint

Paying a painter may increase cost for your upgrade job. But painting is one of the activities you need to perform to give your bathroom that new look it deserves. The way to go about it is to carry out the paint job yourself.

However, doing the paint job is not as easy as other parts of the house.

This is because of all the fixtures like the window, tub or shower, sink, mirror, toilet, switchplates, etc. that you don’t want to smear with paint.

To pull this off, you’ll need a lot of painter’s tape to cover fixtures close to where you need to apply paint. Likewise, you need to be patient as you’ll need a lot of time to get the work done.

As much as a good paint job will make your bathroom beautiful, you also need to think of functionality.

Your bathroom is vulnerable to mold and mildew due to its functions. Moisture can also increase due to humidity and temperature change.

It’s advisable to use a paint with a satin finish to resist the growth of mold. You can apply the paint to the ceiling to have a regular color scheme and prevent mold.

  1. Reduce the number of Tiles

The cost of tiles can drive your upgrade costs up. This can even eat more into your budget if you need to hire a contractor to lay the tiles.

The alternative is to have tiles on the high impact areas like the floor and maybe a single horizontal strip on the wall rather than up the wall.

You can paint the rest of the wall with paint that fits the color of the tiles and your general bathroom color scheme.

Another way to reduce the cost of your tiles is to combine the pricey tiles with the cheaper ones. This can make your design unique while you also save money.

  1. Save cost with cheap countertops

Your first thought might be to throw your money at a granite countertop. And you may see this as the only way especially as it’s cheaper than a countertop you’d install in the kitchen.

However, you can still save on your countertop.

One way to do this is to avoid popular colors like light beige, brown, as they’re more popular.

These colors are also more expensive due to their popularity. To make a choice, consider a wide range of colors and their prices.

Another way to save on your countertop is to buy a slab with imperfections. With imperfections, the cost of the slab goes down.

The thing is that this part may be covered by your sink basin and doesn’t affect the overall look of your countertop.

  1. Buy Used materials

Buying new materials can please your ego, but it will only drive up the cost of your bathroom upgrade.

You can always find used fixtures like sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, etc. on sites like eBay or Craigslist.

You can also improvise by using different accessories to replace your fitting. For instance, you can change a brightly colored vintage Tupperware into cool hanging lamps.

  1. Redo your tubs and shower instead of buying

If you plan to buy a new tub or shower, this could lead to an increase in the cost of your upgrade job. To reduce cost, you should have your tub refinished to give it a new look.

You can also do it yourself if your tub is made of porcelain, cast iron, or fiberglass. This will take time and you’ll also need to buy a refinishing kit which can cost as much as $150.

However, you should replace your sink rather than refinish it. This is because the cost of refinishing it could end up costlier than the cost of buying a new one.

  1. Update your bathroom fixtures

To make your bathroom even more beautiful, you need to update small features. This could be drawer pulls, sink faucets, light fixtures, towel racks, etc. This would only be a small investment but it could raise the beauty of your bathroom.

You can also get some of these parts without paying for them. Many times, fixtures like these go to waste when a house is torn down for redevelopment. You can always get some of these fixtures from the home developers which they’ll be happy to give you.

  1. Dress your windows with shades

To improve the beauty of your bathroom, you can add Roman shades to it. These shades come in different patterns and you can buy one to suit your bathroom color scheme.

You can get shades with beautiful color patterns for as low as $100.

  1. Make a towel rack

A towel rack helps you to keep your towels in the bathroom. If your bathroom lacks this, you can build one using wood cut into small sizes.

Small wooden pieces are nailed to another wooden piece that will serve as the mounting strip.

 

After this is done, the mounting strip is attached to the wall and you can now keep your towels here.

  1. Install a self-closing toilet lid

Does your neighbor always have to know when you use the toilet? Well, you can put an end to that during your bathroom upgrade.

A self-closing toilet lid will eliminate the noise that usually results after using your toilet.

Conclusion

You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade your bathroom. You can always pull it off on budget and still do a great job.

However, you need the right tools, patience, and commitment to the work to turn your bathroom into a beauty.

 

 



Source link

5 Steps to Completely Remove Rust Stains from Sinks, Tubs, and Toilets


Your sinks, tubs, and toilets always look appealing and easy to use.

That’s until you have a stain on it. This changes the color of your fittings and the next step is to remove these stains. Why?

Because you don’t want to see an eyesore when you use your sink or go to the toilet.

More importantly, a clean environment is a requirement for healthy living and prevents the spread of diseases, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP).

There are many types of stains you can have on your fittings. One of the popular types you can have is rust.

In most cases, it’s inevitable to have stains after a period of usage. Sometimes, this can be caused by leaking water.

But when you see these stains, don’t ignore them. One of the best steps you can take is to remove these stains as soon as you notice them.

Leaving a stain for a long period of time makes it more difficult to remove successfully.

In the next section, I’ll show you the proven steps to remove rust stains from your sinks, tubs, and toilets.

You’ll also learn the essential things to do to make your fittings sparkling white again.

1. Check the type of materials for your sinks, tubs, and toilets

Before removing the stain on your fixtures, you have to consider the type of materials used to make them.

Some cleaners are unsuitable for some types of materials and you have to know this before cleaning your toilet. Popular materials used for making these fixtures are:i). Porcelain (Ceramic): This is the most popular material used to make these fixtures. Porcelain is durable, reliable, and also easy to make when it comes to production. The finishing on the porcelain also affects whether your fixtures will be more vulnerable to rust stains or not.

ii). Stainless steel: This is not as popular as Porcelain but it’s used in some houses.

iii). Composite Plastic: This is another type of material that’s uncommon in homes. With this type of material, you may not have to worry much about rust stains.

Whatever materials your fixtures are made of will also affect the type of substance you can use for cleaning.

2. Use chemical-based cleaners

There are many types of chemical-based cleaners that help to remove rust stains from your fittings. One consideration to make before using a chemical-based cleaner is whether you have a septic system.

Some chemicals are unsuitable to a septic system and can cause damage to the system. You should avoid these chemicals as much as possible.

Some chemical-based cleaners you can use to remove rust from your fixtures are:

i). Wkink rust stain remover: As the name implies, this liquid solution helps you to remove rust stains in your fixtures. To use this stain remover, sprinkle the liquid at the spot that contains rust. When you do this, you begin to see the effects on the stains almost immediately.

Before scrubbing, it’s important to put on a glove as you don’t want these chemicals to react on your skin. After putting on the glove, pick a clean cloth and scrub the area where you have the rust.

When you’re through with that, you can pour water on the fixture surface to remove the chemical and the stain.

In some cases, you have to note that if there’s an underlying cause for the rust stains, the stains might resurface over time after cleaning.

ii). Bar Keepers Friend: This is a powder cleaner that’s used to remove rust stains from stainless steel. Nevertheless, you can also use it to remove stains from your sinks, tubs, and toilets.

To use the bar keepers friend, sprinkle the powder at the regions where you have the rust stains.

After a while, pick a clean cloth and scrub the surface repeatedly for a few minutes. You can then apply water to remove the stain and the lather.

Another way to go about it is to apply the powder to the cloth and then use the cloth to scrub the rusted surface. You can use whatever method suits you best.

3. Use natural cleaners

These are the types of cleaners that pose little or no risk to your fixture, septic system, or your skin.

However, some of these cleaners require more effort and time before they can remove your stain. Some natural cleaners you can use to remove rust stains in your fixtures are:

i). Combination of lemon and table salt: These 2 substances can be combined to remove stains from your kitchen and bathroom sinks. The first step is to pour the lemon at the spots where you have the rust stains.

Then leave it to react with the stain for about 10 minutes. After this, use a washcloth to scrub the stain.

In some cases, this will be enough to remove the stain. However, if you still have stains after cleaning, add more lemon juice to the stain.

To make its effects more powerful, add salt to it and let the 2 substances react with the stain. After about 15 minutes, you can use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain until it’s removed.

ii). A combination of tartar and hydrogen peroxide: This can be used to remove stains from a porcelain bathtub. To use this, combine 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar and 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide until they form a paste.

Apply this paste on the stain. After about 10 minutes, use a brush or pumice stone to scrub the stain until it’s removed.

iii). A combination of baking soda and acetone: You can use this to remove stains from a bathtub that has a fiberglass coat. To remove stains from fiberglass, you need to be careful to be gentle while cleaning.

Applying too much force can scratch the fiberglass surface and even make your stain worse.

The first step to clean your bathtub using these substances is to apply water to the rust stain. After this, add a layer of baking soda to the stain.

Leave this on the surface of the stain for an hour before removing it from with a moist sponge.

If you have a light stain, this should be enough to remove it. If it’s a stubborn stain, soak a white cloth in acetone.

Use this cloth to rub the surface of the stain. This should remove any remaining stain on the bathtub surface. You can then rinse the surface with a wet sponge.

iv). A combination of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice: You can use these substances to remove stains from your toilet bowl.

The toilet bowl is one of the most susceptible fixtures to rust stains especially if water containing a high level of iron runs through your home.

This is because the water runs on the surface of your toilet bowl and is always present there whether you’re using the toilet or not.

Before removing the stain in your toilet bowl, you should shut the water valve to the toilet.

You should also take water out of the toilet bowl to allow you to clean the stain. After doing this, add vinegar and a small amount of baking soda to the toilet bowl. Use a toilet brush to scrub and spread the mixture around in the toilet bowl.

Leave the surface for 15 minutes and then scrub with the brush again to remove the stains. If the stains fail to remove completely, you can add lemon juice to the surface to dissolve the remaining stain.

After this, turn on the water valve and then flush to remove the stains and cleaning substances.

4. Treat water containing iron

To your own taste, it may be difficult to detect water containing a high level of iron. But over time, you’ll notice that there are rust stains in your fixtures.

As little as 0.3 parts per million (ppm) of iron in water can cause staining of fixtures.

It can also affect the tastes of foods and beverages negatively and lead to blockage of pipes. When you discover a high level of iron content in your water supply, you can use a water softener or filter.

A water softener helps to reduce or eliminate the hardness of water and also removes iron. In some cases, little amounts of iron may still pass through but there’s a high level of improvement.

Another way to remove iron from water is through ion exchange but this is most effective when the iron concentration in the water is low.

With the removal of iron from the water, you have reduced the causes of rust stains in your fixtures.

5. Change rust pipes

When you have rust pipes supplying water to your home, this can contaminate the water supply to your home. Added to that, it can cause rust stains in your fixtures.

Rust pipes can pose a health problem to your home as taking a high amount of contaminated water can lead to poisoning.

To change your pipes, you’ll have to contact a plumber to do that for you. A plumber will be able to recommend the right types of materials to you.

Conclusion

Rust stains are ugly to the eyes. Furthermore, you don’t want dirt or its appearance in your sinks, tubs, or toilet.

This is why removing rust stains is one of the most important maintenance activities to carry out in your toilet and bathroom.

With the steps outlined in this guide, you can remove those stubborn stains and have good looking fixtures again.



Source link

10 Benefits of Installing a Water Filtration System in Your Home


If you wish to take special precautions with the water you drink and use on a daily basis, then the water filtration system is your best bet.

According to research by the Water Quality Association, more than 4 out of 10 Americans use a home water treatment unit.

People all over the world spend billions of dollars each year on home water treatment systems because they care about their wellbeing.

What’s water filtration all about?

First, a water filtration system is a system that filters water to purify it. The water that is supplied by the public water provider in your state may or may not be safe for consumption.

t has chlorine added to it but it could still contain harmful contaminants picked on the way from the treatment plant to your home.

Having filters installed in your home is good because they work to purify the water further which means that the water you will have in your home will be clean and safe for drinking.

What are the benefits of installing a water filtration system in your home? Here we look at 10 of them.

1. Safe drinking water

When you drink water directly from your tap without having it filtered first, there are high chances that you’ll be taking in water that is unhealthy. Ideally, treated water should contain safe levels of chlorine and other chemicals used to treat water.

However, it’s not uncommon for the water to have high levels that are unsafe.

A home water filter will remove these high levels and ensure that the water you get in your home has the perfect levels of these water treatment chemicals.

Other contaminants like lead, bacteria, and others are all removed by the filters. The water that comes out of your taps is safe for consumption and will not cause any harmful effects to your health.

2. Tasty drinking water

Clean water is good for the human body. Since an adult’s body is made up of 70 to 80% water, according to HealthHub, it’s recommended enough of it would revitalize the body. But the water must not be tasty or unhealthy.

Contaminants tend to make the water taste and smell bad. Filtering the water and removing these contaminants will get rid of these contaminants and leave the water tasting and smelling great.

If you have noticed that your tap water has a weird taste or smell then you need to install filters.

Having tasty water coming from the taps in your home is encouraging and you will soon realize that everyone in the family is drinking more water.

Water is good for keeping the body well hydrated and this could even prevent problems associated with dehydration such as frequent headaches and kidney problems.

3. Healthier skin and hair

The water in your home is not just for drinking. It is also for bathing and personal hygiene. Hard water tends to dry out the skin and hair affecting the health of the body’s largest organ.

This is usually due to the high amounts of minerals in the water.

Having these removed using a filter will help you to have soft water that is safe for bathing. You will be able to get into the shower or tub without worrying about having dry skin or hair.

Your skin will be soft and smooth which is healthy and well, beautiful!

4. Prevent aggravation of skin conditions

If you already suffer from a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, you need to ensure that it does not get any worse.

One way to do this is by using purified water that is gentle on the skin. Unfiltered water contains elements that irritate the skin worsening the condition.

If any member of your family has been diagnosed with a skin condition, you need to install a water filtration system soon.

5. Healthier and tastier food

Water is a major ingredient in the kitchen and is used in a wide variety of foods. Water is supposed to be a tasteless ingredient not adding any taste to your food. If it has minerals and other contaminants, it will surely add their taste to the food.

This may give the food an unpleasant taste. These contaminants also pose health risks to your family when taken in food.

Using filtered water to cook gives you tasty food that is healthy. You will have peace of mind knowing that the food you are eating is safe and so is the water you are drinking.

Stomachaches will be a thing of the past in your home so long as you maintain high standards of hygiene when preparing all foods.

6. Save on Soap

Get an advanced water filter and it will not only filter and purify your water but also soften it. As you know, soft water uses less soap to wash.

Whether it is the dishes or laundry, using less soap means you will save on the money used to buy soap. With just a little soap you can get a lot of cleaning done.

This may not seem like significant savings but with time you will notice just how helpful these savings are to your budget.

Cleaning with hard water usually leads to the formation of scum that rests on clothes and dishes. This will decolorize the utensils and clothes over time making them look ugly and may even render some of them unusable.

On the contrary, filtered water has the opposite effects.

It leaves dishes and clothes sparkling clean without any stains whatsoever. You can have confidence using this water knowing that your clothes and dishes will be clean and smell fresh at all times.

7. Cheaper than Bottled Water

Some people do not like drinking tap water and opt to buy bottled water. Buying bottled water year-in year-out can be very expensive.

A good example is to look at a home with four members each taking around 7 ounces of water per day. With a 24 bottles water pack costing $5, the annual expenditure on water is $700 per year.

This is very expensive comparing to the installation of water filters which will cost around $400 and thereafter annual purchase of a new filter will cost around 65. Which is more cost effective?

You do the calculations and make the right choice today.

8. Extended lifespan of plumbing fixtures and cheap maintenance

Chemicals contained in the water are not only harmful to you but your pipes and other plumbing fixtures as well.

Iron causes the fixtures to rust while other metals cause scaling and other forms of damage like erosion to the pipes.

It’s not only the pipes that are affected by the minerals but also other plumbing fixtures and equipment including your dishwasher, washing machine, water dispenser, toilets, bathtubs, and showerheads.

These can be clogged with scale from hard water and this can prevent effective water flow which usually necessitates replacement of the part. Using filtered water in your home will keep the pipes and fixtures safe from any damage that may be caused by hard water or any contaminants in the water.

This causes the pipes to last a long time and the need for repairs is reduced. Since plumbing repairs can be expensive when done often, not having to do this will save you money in the long run.

9. Ensures your water is always safe and toxic-free

Water coming directly from the treatment plant to your house can be affected on the way. There may be a pipe burst that leads to the water being contaminated with dirt, other contaminants, and even the sewerage.

It might take awhile before the water supplier notices this and takes action and you may have already used the dirty water which will definitely make you sick.

Having a water filtration system in your home will keep you safe even when this happens.

The water will not come directly to your taps but it will be filtered first so it is clean. So, even when dirty water makes its way to your house, it will not get to your family members in that way. You will always have clean water to use.

10. It’s good for the environment

Clean and healthy water if life to living organisms including man. It impacts plants and animals.

One of the most common alternatives to having a water filtration system is buying bottled water. We all know that plastic is not good for the environment yet this is what is used to pack this water.

There is always the option of recycling but only a few bottles are recycled every year. What happens to the rest that’s not recycled?

They make their way to landfills from where they eventually get into rivers and other water bodies. Plastic bottles affect the life of aquatic creatures and those that live on land equally.

They are a menace whose solution is simply not using them. A good alternative is installing a water filtration system in your home. For this, you do not need to use any plastic and the environment can remain safe.

Conclusion

Having a water filtration system in your home is a great choice. With it, you will have safe drinking water which has so many benefits.



Source link

LED Garden Lighting Guide

The definitive guide to LED garden lighting



Whether you want to install functional lighting for a garden path, or illuminate a water feature for purely aesthetic reasons, LED garden lighting can be a wonderful enhancement for your home.

In this article we will provide all of the information you need to plan and install the ideal garden lighting solution for your unique needs. We’ll cover the topic in the following order:

Part 1 – The different types of LED garden light
Part 2 – Planning your garden lighting project
Part 3 – Implementing your garden lighting plan

Part 1 – The different types of LED garden light

There are many different types of LED garden light, and the various areas of your garden will benefit the most from certain types of light fitting.

This section will provide a breakdown of the different types of garden light and the areas they tend to work best in.

Garden spike lights

LED Spike Lights

Spike lights are mounted on top of a short spike, which is pushed into the ground at the desired location. They can be mains, battery or solar powered, so you have the freedom to choose the best option for your requirements and budget.

Prices can range from £5 to £35, and good quality solar or battery powered spike lights give you complete flexibility in where you locate them in your garden.

Use garden spike lights around garden paths, flowerbeds and lawns.

Garden bollard lights

Garden Bollard Light

Bollard lights look a bit like miniature street lights. They work well in larger outdoor spaces and are available in a range of sizes and styles.

As well as considering the size and style that you choose, you should also note how light is emitted. Some bollards provide 360 degrees of light, which is ideal for large, open spaces. Others shine in a single direction, providing a narrower beam of light and illuminating what is directly in front of it, rather than what’s around it.

Use garden bollard lights for driveways, wider garden paths and lawns.

Outdoor spotlights

outdoor led spotlight

Spotlights can be mounted in an elevated position on walls or trees and angled downwards, or placed at ground level on a spike pointing upwards or level. They can provide a wide beam of light to illuminate a large area or a narrower, more focused beam.

Spotlights are generally mains- or battery-powered. There are also solar-powered options, but these will not provide as high a light output.

Use outdoor spotlights to illuminate paths, driveways and lawns from above; and trees, bushes and walls from the ground.

Garden wall lightsgarden wall light

Garden wall lights are different from spotlights in that they are decorative light fittings that both provide light to an outdoor area and look good in their own right.

Most wall lights are mains-powered but there are solar- and battery-powered options as well.

Outdoor floodlights

Outdoor Floodlights

LED floodlights emit a very wide beam of bright light, and are usually used as security lights with a PIR sensor.

Generally, using floodlights in your garden will simply wash out the effects of any other lighting, however they can be used in a similar fashion to spotlights when positioned at ground level.

If you have a large tree or wall that you want to light up, a floodlight at the base of the feature might be more effective than a spotlight.

In-ground lights

In-ground lights are essentially a spotlight that is embedded in the ground, with the face of the fitting sitting flush with the surface of the ground.

In-ground lights are most commonly used in driveways and paths, and IP68 rated fittings can be completely submerged in water features.

Deck lighting

Deck lighting fittings are similar to in-ground light fittings. The difference is that they are shorter as they will be fixed into wood rather than the ground. They can also be used as ground lights if conditions allow, for example in small flowerbeds or rockeries.

Step lights

Step lights are fitted to the face of steps to illuminate the surface of the step directly below the light. They can be mains-, battery- or solar-powered.

LED candle lightsLED candles outside

Candlelight is ideal for creating a warm, cosy atmosphere in the evenings. LED candle lights provide a realistic effect, last a lot longer than real candles and aren’t affected by the wind! Use with patio furniture or along the edges of paths and water features.

 String lights and lantern lights

String lights and lantern lights are used for decorative purposes, and can be used along walls, tree branches, bushes and gazebos. Opt for battery or solar powered lights for an affordable and versatile solution, or invest in mains powered for permanent use.

LED Lantern Lights

Part 2 – Planning your garden lighting project

We can now get on with planning your garden lighting project.

When you are making your plan bear in mind that a little goes a long way. Only light your garden’s best features and choose the most appropriate light to do that.

You might find it useful to print and use this worksheet as you work through these steps.

Planning: Step 1 – Break your garden down into sections

Using this guide, you will make your plan by breaking your garden down into sections. Each section will require a slightly different approach, although there will be some overlap in lighting techniques and fittings used.

To begin, break your garden down into the following areas:

1. Lawns and flowerbeds
2. Garden paths, patios and driveways
3. Decking and steps
4. Trees and bushes/shrubs
5. Walls and decorative features (including water features)
6. Furniture

We will now look at each area individually. IP ratings will be mentioned in this section. If you’re not familiar with these there’s a full explanation of IP ratings here.

Lawns and flowerbeds

LED lighting in flowerbed

Spike lights can be used to good effect in lawns and flowerbeds, in addition to spotlights on the ground or mounted on spikes. Bollard lights can also be used on larger lawns, where a wider splash of light is required.

Garden paths, patios and driveways

Smaller areas can be effectively lit along or around the edges using spike lights. These provide illumination and look good.

For larger areas, including driveways, bollard lights are very effective. You can also use spotlights fixed to a wall or tree if the area is large enough (too small an area and the splash of light provided by these lights would be too much).

Finally, in-ground lights can be used in all three of these areas.

Decking and steps

As previously explained, deck lights and step lights have been specifically designed for these areas:

led deck lighting

Trees and bushes/shrubs

One of the most effective ways to light trees and bushes is with a spotlight situated on the ground, utilising either in-ground lighting or a spotlight mounted on a spike. The best option is a spike light with a multidirectional head, which are quick and easy to install, and you can get the angle of the light just right.

For larger trees and bushes that require more light, an outdoor floodlight can be used instead of a spotlight.

String lights and lantern lights can also be used to create an attractive decorative effect by wrapping them around the branches of trees.

Walls and decorative features

Garden wall lights are both decorative and functional, and are available in a variety of styles. They are usually mains-powered but solar-powered wall lights are also available.

You can also highlight a wall by shining light onto it, rather than from it, using the same technique as with trees and bushes.

LED Garden Lights

This applies to other decorative features you may wish to illuminate, such as statues and water features. Remember to check the IP rating for anything you will be using in, on or near a water feature.

Furniture

If you have garden furniture, you can add the finishing touches to your lighting project with wax LED candles or solar-powered lantern lights, either free standing or hung from a porch or gazebo.

Planning: Step 2 – Experiment

You have now organised your project into the various areas you want to add lighting to, and you have an idea of the types of light fittings you want for each area. You now need to ensure you have a clear picture in your mind of what you want to accomplish.

A very effective way to do this it to use a torch to experiment with different angles of light on the various features in your garden and compare the effects they produce. Also, take note of the shadows created and consider how they affect the overall look.

This will allow you to complete the bulk of your plan, by identifying which lights you will be using in each area of your garden, and how many of them you will need.

Planning: Step 3 – Choose a look

You’ve now got an organised plan and a clear image of what you want to accomplish with light in your garden; you should now decide on an overall look for your light fittings. Mixing vintage light fittings with modern chrome designs might not result in the look you want!

Consider the overall environment when deciding on a theme. If you live in a modern new build, for example, contemporary garden lighting may complement the rest of your building and outdoor area; or, you may choose to go for a contrasting look and feel.

The point to remember is to make a conscious decision about the look you want to achieve. The final result will be better for it.

vintage outdoor led wall light modern outdoor led wall light copper outdoor led wall light

Planning: Step 4 – Choose a power source

Before you go shopping for your lights, you need to decide on the power source for each fitting you plan to use. The choices are mains, battery or solar power.

There are benefits to all three of these options, and choosing the right one could save you a lot of hassle in the future.

Mains-powered lights

The immediate setback with mains-powered outdoor lighting is the time and expense of installation. You should always have this type of lighting installed by a qualified electrician.

They should be viewed as a permanent or long-term solution. If you change your mind about the type of lighting you want, the mains-powered options cannot be easily moved to a new location, or swapped, without a degree of inconvenience and expense.

The advantage is that once installed, the only maintenance required will be keeping them clean and changing the bulbs every ten years or so (if you opt for LED bulbs of course!). You also benefit from a steady and reliable power supply to your lighting. Battery-powered lighting requires fresh batteries when depleted, and solar can be inconsistent in the British climate.

Choose mains-powered lighting if…

You are certain about the positioning of your lighting and you are prepared to pay extra for the additional quality and reliability of this type of lighting, in addition to the cost of installation.

Battery-powered lights

The most immediate benefit of the battery-powered option over mains-powered lighting is the reduced time and expense of installation. You also don’t need to employ an electrician to install them for you; and because they are easy to install, if you change your mind about where you want to position them, they can be relocated easily.

The main downside of battery power is that there will come a point when the quality of light emitted diminishes as the batteries lose their charge. You will then have to replace the batteries, which is an additional expense and less environmentally friendly than mains- or solar-powered lights.

Choose battery-powered lighting if…

You want the lower cost and increased speed and convenience of installation over mains-powered lights. They are also a good option if you are unsure about the final positioning of your lights and would like to keep your options open.

Solar-powered lights

Solar-powered lighting has the same benefits over mains power as the battery-powered option does, but with the added benefit of not having to change the batteries. This is cheaper, easier and more environmentally friendly.

The downside is that they use sunlight to recharge, which can be an issue in the UK! You shouldn’t expect solar powered lights to be particularly bright during the autumn and winter months.

Choose solar-powered lighting if…

The lights you are using are primarily for decoration, rather than illumination. Solar spike lights, for example, look great lining the edge of a garden path and provide some illumination, but mains-powered bollard lights would emit much more light.

Part 3 – Bringing it all together: Implementing your garden lighting plan

Garden and Outdoor Lights

Let’s recap what we’ve covered so far…

The first step was breaking your project down into different areas, and deciding which areas you wanted to add lighting to.

Next, you decided which types of light fitting you will use in the various areas, using a torch to assist you in identifying which types of garden light will work best in each area.

You then decided on the style you wanted for your light fittings, before deciding how each light fitting will be powered.

Review and finalise your plan … and go shopping!

Having completed the worksheet you should now know which types of light fitting you need, how each will be powered and how many you need.

It’s advisable at this stage to visit a garden centre or two so that you can see what the light fittings look like in person. This will solidify your plan in your mind and enable you to fully visualise the outcome you want for this project.

You can now source your garden lights. Shop around online and pay particular attention to the following four details:

Light colour and brightness

The light colour will be described as warm white, daylight or cool white; and the brightness will be denoted in lumens. The brightest garden lights will be 500 to 650 lumens in cool white.

Warranty

For outdoor lights the minimum warranty should be one year, although an increasing number of manufacturers are offering longer warranties.

Dimensions

When you’re browsing products online, the photographs can be (unintentionally) deceptive. A lot of product photographs are on a plain white background, making it impossible to view with any sort of perspective, so make sure you check the size in the product specifications.

IP Rating

IP stands for “Ingress Protection”, and these are explained here. To summarise though, for garden lights you should go for a minimum rating of IP44, which is weatherproof.

There are three exceptions to this. The first is when lighting water features, which would require the maximum rating of IP68 for continuous submersion in water.

Secondly, in-ground lights will need to be IP67, due to the fact that they are flush with the ground and could be fully immersed in water when it rains.

The final exception would be areas that are particularly exposed to bad weather, such as a wall or fence that rain tends to be blown against. In this instance it would be better to go for IP65.

Find a bargain

Find the light fittings you want and then find the retailer you want to buy from. Look for extended warranties and free delivery.

When you have chosen the garden lights you are going to buy and decided where you are going to buy them from, do a quick Google search for voucher codes for the retailer you have chosen.

Summary

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this guide, and that it helps you to achieve a beautifully lit garden as quickly and efficiently as possible.

When you get round to shopping for your garden lights, be sure to check out our range at www.ledhut.co.uk/led-garden-outdoor-lights (and don’t forget to search for a voucher code!).

outdoor wall lighting

The post The definitive guide to LED garden lighting appeared first on Bright Ideas from LED Hut.



Source link

EU Halogen Ban

EU Halogen Ban: Everything you need to know about the ban on halogen bulbs



From the end of this month, halogen light bulbs will be banned in the UK as a result of EU legislation coming into effect on 1 September. The legislation is designed to push consumers and businesses into switching to energy efficient LED lighting, reducing Europe’s carbon footprint and saving people money in the process.

Here’s everything you need to know about the ban, how it will affect you and what you need to do.

Do I need to get rid of my halogens on 1 September?

No. You can continue using your halogens and simply replace them when needed, although switching to LED bulbs now will enable you to start saving money on your lighting sooner.

Will I be able to buy halogens after 1 September?

Yes. Suppliers of halogen bulbs will be permitted to sell their existing stock when the ban comes into effect.

I’ve heard that being forced to switch to LEDs will increase my lighting costs. Is this true?

No. While the upfront cost of LED bulbs is higher than halogens, LEDs use 80 to 90% less electricity than halogens, so they are much cheaper to run. In addition, LEDs last up to 15 times longer than halogens, so you will need to replace them less often. These two key facts mean that you will save a considerable amount of money by switching to LEDs.

You can learn more about how much you could save by switching to LED here.

Can I simply replace halogens with LEDs, or will I need an electician?

Most halogens can just be swapped for their equivalent LEDs. The only exception is low voltage spotlights, such as MR16s, MR11s and G4s. These will need a suitable transformer to power them.

I’m used to buying bulbs according to wattage. What are the equivalent wattages for LEDs?

The brightness of LED light bulbs is displayed in lumens, although most LED manufacturers will include the equivalent halogen wattage on the packaging to make things easier. Generally speaking, a 100 Watt halogen will be replaced by a 12 Watt LED.

Will dimmable LEDs work with my existing dimmer switches?

In most instances, no. You will need an LED-compatible dimmer switch to use dimmable LEDs.

What are colour temperatures?

The improved technology of LED lighting means that you can select bulbs by colour temperature (measured in Kelvins) as well as lumen output. These vary from cool white to warm white, with daylight being more neutral. You can learn more about colour temperatures here.

Will the ban still apply in spite of Brexit?

Yes. As long as the UK is in the EU in must abide by their laws, including this one. Even when the UK does leave the EU, it is very unlikely that lighting manufacturers will continue to make halogens if they can only be sold in a few countries.

Why should I buy my LEDs from LED Hut?

All of our LUMiLiFe LEDs come with a free three year warranty, along with free delivery. We are also very competitive of price and offer 30 day returns, so if you but the wrong bulb, you can simply return it for a refund or replacement.

You can view our full range of LED bulbs here.

The post EU Halogen Ban: Everything you need to know about the ban on halogen bulbs appeared first on Bright Ideas from LED Hut.



Source link

Using a dimmable LED without a dimmer

Can you use dimmable LED bulbs without a dimmer switch?



The short answer to this question is: Yes, you can use dimmable LEDs without a dimmer switch, just like normal light bulbs. This is handy to know because many retailers are reducing the number of non-dimmable LED bulbs that they stock.

Historically, dimmable LEDs have been much more expensive to manufacture than their non-dimmable counterparts. However, as LED technology has advanced, the difference in the cost to make dimmable versus non-dimmable LEDs has fallen significantly and will continue to do so.

This means that LED retailers can now offer dimmable LED bulbs at a comparable price to non-dimmable versions, so holding stock of non-dimmable LEDs is becoming unnecessary.

Why use dimmable LEDs without a dimmer switch?

There are three reasons to use dimmable LEDs without a dimmer switch:

1. Keep your options open

You may not want the hassle of changing your light switches to LED-compatible dimmers yet, but you may in the future. Buying dimmable LEDs now to use without a dimmer switch means that you won’t need to purchase dimmable versions in the future if you decide you do want to use a dimmer.

2. More choice

By not limiting yourself to non-dimmable LEDs you increase the number of options you have when purchasing new LED light bulbs and spotlights.

3. Necessity

Finally, you may not have a choice in the matter! Some types of dimmable LED bulb are now so cheap that there is no point in retailers stocking the non-dimmable version.

You can view our full range of LED bulbs with a free three year warranty here.

The post Can you use dimmable LED bulbs without a dimmer switch? appeared first on Bright Ideas from LED Hut.



Source link

Using a dimmable LED without a dimmer

Can you use dimmable LED bulbs without a dimmer switch?



The short answer to this question is: Yes, you can use dimmable LEDs without a dimmer switch, just like normal light bulbs. This is handy to know because many retailers are reducing the number of non-dimmable LED bulbs that they stock.

Historically, dimmable LEDs have been much more expensive to manufacture than their non-dimmable counterparts. However, as LED technology has advanced, the difference in the cost to make dimmable versus non-dimmable LEDs has fallen significantly and will continue to do so.

This means that LED retailers can now offer dimmable LED bulbs at a comparable price to non-dimmable versions, so holding stock of non-dimmable LEDs is becoming unnecessary.

Why use dimmable LEDs without a dimmer switch?

There are three reasons to use dimmable LEDs without a dimmer switch:

1. Keep your options open

You may not want the hassle of changing your light switches to LED-compatible dimmers yet, but you may in the future. Buying dimmable LEDs now to use without a dimmer switch means that you won’t need to purchase dimmable versions in the future if you decide you do want to use a dimmer.

2. More choice

By not limiting yourself to non-dimmable LEDs you increase the number of options you have when purchasing new LED light bulbs and spotlights.

3. Necessity

Finally, you may not have a choice in the matter! Some types of dimmable LED bulb are now so cheap that there is no point in retailers stocking the non-dimmable version.

You can view our full range of LED bulbs with a free three year warranty here.

The post Can you use dimmable LED bulbs without a dimmer switch? appeared first on Bright Ideas from LED Hut.



Source link