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Author Archives: Plumb Perfect

  1. Top 7 Spring Plumbing Tips


    After a rainy spring so far, we thought it would be a good time to revisit one of our older blogs.  Here again are our top 7 spring tips:

    1. Check Outside Hosebibs – When you turn on your outside tap, or ‘hosebib’, for the first time, be sure to go back into the house and check to see if there are any leaks.  The inside valve or pipe may have frozen over the winter and cracked.  We get more calls in spring for leaks and water damage from this.
    1. Test Your Sump Pump – Our second most common plumbing emergency. Test your pump by pouring a couple of buckets of water into the pit to see if it turns on and removes the water.  Also make sure the pit is free of debris so as not to clog the pump just when you most need it to work.  Ensure that the float is allowed to move freely to function correctly.  Check the discharge line outside and clear it of any ice, gravel and debris to prevent water from backing up into your home.  If you have a battery back-up sump pump, check the battery.  If you don’t have one, consider getting one installed in case of a power outage which usually occurs during rain storms.

    Extra tip:  If your pump is continuously running but no water is being pumped out, there’s probably a blockage somewhere.  Turn off the power to the pump immediately to prevent the motor from burning out and check all the above or call a professional.

    1. Care For Your Septic – Spring runoff can quickly fill your septic tank and cause backups. Divert run- off water away from your septic tank and field.  During an extreme thaw or heavy rains, limit the use of water in your home.  Spread clothes washing over a couple of days to reduce overloading the tank.  Use a liquid laundry detergent as powdered detergents contain fillers which solidify in the tank.  Switch to dryer sheets as liquid fabric softeners interfere with the breakdown of waste.  Also, keep the manway cover on to prevent excess water from entering.
    1. Test Your Drinking Water – Most people are unaware that spring run-off can affect their well water. Contaminants are more likely to enter wells during the spring thaw.  If your water changes colour or develops an odour, get your water tested.  Also seriously consider installing a proper filter and/or sterilizer in your home to protect you and your family.
    1. Look For Leaks – Check under all sinks and cabinets for signs of leaking water. Even a small leak left unchecked could cause mould and water damage over time.
    1. Save Your Hot Water Tank – Spring is the perfect time to drain your hot water tank and flush out sediment which causes corrosion, reduces heating efficiency and shortens the lifespan of your hot water tank.
    1. Look Up, Way Up – Make sure your plumbing vents are clear of ice, debris and even nests to prevent odour and back-ups. Clear out your gutters and downspouts and check for damage to them and your roof’s shingles.  During winter, ice can form in old gutters and lift up shingles allowing water to enter the home making many people believe they have a plumbing leak.

    If you are unable to perform the above, please call a professional.  Happy Spring!

  2. A Chill is in The Air

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    What a beautiful summer we had.  It may have started late but it made up for it with near perfect days.  Whether or not you’re looking forward to cooler temperatures, changing leaves and unpredictable schedules, fall reminds us that winter is coming.  So as you trade those summer shorts for warm sweaters, make sure your home is prepared for the change of season too.

    When the temperature drops, water freezes and expands which can cause serious problems for many homeowners.  Damage from burst pipes can cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars due to flooding, water damage and repairs.  Depending on your insurance policy, some of that may not even be covered.

    Here are a few things you can do now to prepare your home for what’s coming:

    Don’t Forget About Me

    Remember to prepare your outside taps for winter.  First, turn off the inside shut-off valve for your outside tap.  Next, go outside to disconnect and drain your garden hose and put away until Frozen Hosebibspring.  If left connected, the remaining water in the hose will freeze, expand and possibly burst the valve and/or piping.  Next, turn on the tap to drain all water and leave it open to prevent pressure build-up during winter. If you have a drain bleeder on your inside valve (small lever or screw cap on side of valve), go back inside and open the drain bleeder to completely drain any remaining water into a container.  Close the drain bleeder.  (Note: YES, this even applies to non-freeze taps.)

    Wrap It Up

    Unfortunately, some water piping is located in unheated/cold areas such as the garage, in crawl spaces and attics or near exterior walls in the home, particularly in basements.  Protect these pipes by wrapping them in heat tape or foam rubber pipe insulation.  For the few times when Arctic-like temperatures hit, turn on both the hot and cold sides of the faucets of susceptible pipes and let the water gently trickle to prevent the pipes from freezing.  Open cabinet doors to allow heat in and turn up the thermostat.  You may even want to put a portable heater in the area of vulnerable pipes.  A few extra dollars spent in heating for a short time could save you thousands in damages should the pipes freeze and burst.

    All Pumped Up

    Now is a good time to have all your home’s important plumbing systems serviced.

    Fall storms and winter melting snow can keep your sump pump working overtime.  Test the pump now by pouring two buckets of water into the pit to see if it removes the water.  Check the pump for debris and clean out the pit.  Regularly check and remove any debris, leaves and ice from the discharge line to prevent flooding.  Protect the discharge pipe from freezing.  Some homes have longer discharge pipes for the summer which must be shortened at the coupling for winter to prevent freezing.

    Your hot water heater also works harder during the cold winter months so it is a good idea to have it serviced before winter.  Flushing out the tank to prevent sediment buildup and changing the anode rod to prevent rusting are just two ways to increase efficiency and extend the life of your hot water heater.

    If you are on a septic, now is the time to get it pumped out.  Make sure the baffles or filters have been cleared of waste and debris to prevent backups.  It is recommended by most septic manufacturers to have your septic system serviced by a professional twice annually, typically in spring and fall.

    Do Regular Check Ups 

    If one of your drains is even partially clogged due to hair, grease, leaves or roots, the sitting water freezes then expands, creating a blockage which may burst the pipe.  If ANY of your drains seem to be a little slower than usual or there’s gurgling, get them cleared out now to prevent an unwanted emergency later.  If you use a garbage disposal, remind everyone not to put down any fat, bones, pasta, rice or stringy vegetables which will clog your drains.

    Take It Outside

    Cleaning GuttersRemove all leaves and debris from your eavestroughs, gutters and downspouts.  Water that can’t drain away can pool around your home’s foundation and eventually find a way inside.  Also, water that is trapped in your eavestroughs may build up under your shingles then freeze and expand, lifting up your shingles.  Once it starts to thaw from the heat in your home, the melting water can find its way down through your ceiling and walls causing damage.  Many people call their plumber believing it to be a plumbing problem.

    And Last But Not Least. . .  

    Take a minute to show everyone in your home where the main shut off valve is and how to turn it off in case of an emergency.

    Plumbing emergencies always seem to happen at the worst time.  A little preparation now will save you a lot of heartache (and money) later.  If you are not comfortable with performing any of the above, please call a professional.

    For a free instructional valve tag for your outside taps, please email us and we’d be happy to mail it out to you!


  3. Where’s the Rain?

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    It’s been an unusual spring so far, hasn’t it?  From an extended winter into summer-like weather back to cold weather.  We even had SNOW on May 28th!  But what we haven’t had enough of is water.  You can tell by looking at nature just how desperate things are already starting to get.  The trees are looking wilted and producing more pollen and seeds than normal.  Other plants are slowly growing and animals and bees are searching for water.

    We can help nature by providing some life saving water.  Water plants in the early morning so they can get through the day.  For bees (to provide us with delicious honey!), place a container of water with a floating piece of bark or something in it for bees to land on. You’d be surprised how much they drink!

    This unusually dry weather could also devastate many local crops and may cause numerous wells to run dry.  With so little rain this year and snow over the past winter, the aquifer, or underground water supply, is extremely low.  The aquifer relies upon surface water to replenish itself so without rain the water level drops.

    Water is key to our quality of life.  Proper care and maintenance of your water source, in particular wells, will protect your water supply and ensure its quality.  Any changes in water levels and quality need to be recognized and addressed for your health and convenience as well as for increasing the lifespan of your well, pump and pressure tank.

    During extended periods of dry, hot weather, there is a decline in the water level.  If you rely on a well for your water, you could quickly run into problems during a drought by using water as you regularly would.  If water is pumped at a greater rate than the aquifer is capable of producing, you will run your well dry.  Being patient and waiting an hour or so for the water to recover can be inconvenient but will prevent more serious complications.  A well run dry may cause the pump to burn out, sediment to get into your home’s equipment or sediment plugging up the area where the water flows into your well.

    Until we get some good rainfall, please be mindful of your water usage.  Refrain from filling the pool, watering the lawn, washing multiple loads of laundry and so on to give your well water the time to recover.

    If you DO run out of water, turn off your pump immediately to prevent pump and pressure tank damage and don’t try to use ANY water for at least an hour so the water level can come back up.  After that, use water sparingly to prevent any further loss of water or other problems.

    If your well doesn’t recover or if you have a pump problem, please call the well experts from Plumb Perfect at 1-888-458-1979.

    For more helpful tips, please see our FAQ, Plumbing Tips or Blog.




  4. It’s Spring!

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    Amidst another lockdown, nature continues as it has it has since the beginning of time.  Too much rain, too little rain, high winds, unexpected snow or glorious days full of the promise of summer.  That is what is called spring here in Ontario.

    Rainfall and storms are to be expected, and with that comes the reminder to check our sump pumps.  We sure want them to be functioning well once the storms hit.  Check out this blog from 2016 so you can be flood ready:

  5. The Rainy Season

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    It’s been an unusually challenging spring for everyone this year.  The Covid-19 virus took us all by surprise.  It’s been so difficult and even heartbreaking for people having to deal with the loss of a job or a loved one, fear, frustration and anxiety on a daily basis.

    The weather also hasn’t been very kind.  It’s been so cold… we even saw snow in May!  Weather specialists predict more unstable weather this year and the years to come.  If the rains start and decide not to stop, you could suffer a loss just like the homeowners experienced during the 2013 and 2017 floods.  Unfortunately, it is at that time of severe rainfall when plumbing companies get overwhelmed with emergency calls and have difficulty keeping up with them all.  So just what can you do to be better prepared?

    • If you live in an area prone to power outages and/or flooding, a generator is not only a good investment but almost a necessity. It’ll keep things running just when you need it the most and prevent costly repairs or loss of belongings.
    • Test your sump pump on a regular basis. Pour about 2 buckets of water into the pit to see if the pump comes on AND removes the water.  Clean out the pit to prevent debris from jamming the pump (just remember to turn off the power to the pump first).  Ensure the float is allowed to move freely.  Check the discharge line outside to ensure it too is free of ice or debris and that it isn’t damaged. When it comes time to replace it, invest in a good quality pump designed to handle the worst of storms and not just a typical summer rain.
    • If you have a battery back-up sump pump, also check the battery.  On average, a battery lasts two to four years, depending upon quality and usage.  During a power outage, a good quality pump and battery will continuously keep working for 8 – 24 hours.
    • If you don’t have a battery back-up sump pump, seriously consider getting one installed in case of a power outage which usually occurs during rain storms. This will come on and keep pumping the rain water out, preventing a flood.
    • Have your septic system serviced to avoid a back-up. Too many people rely solely on getting their septic tank pumped out not knowing that pump-outs are only required to remove sludge buildup from the bottom of the tank, which would be about every 3 – 5 years on average.  If you have to pump out your tank more frequently, you need to find out why.  It could be a blocked baffle or filter; a jammed pump or float; grease, sludge or debris buildup; misaligned pipe, leaking toilet, excessive use of chemicals, etc.  A professional will be able to find the cause of the problem and prevent costly back-ups or worse… having to replace your entire septic system or drain field.
    • Keep personal belongings stored off the floor or in waterproof containers so they won’t get damaged.
    • Clear out your eavestroughs and downspout. Make sure the downspout is long enough and in the right direction to allow the rainwater to flow away from the house.
    • Make sure everyone in the house knows what to do and who to call in case of an emergency. If you should go away, have someone to watch the house who also knows what to do and how to get hold of you.

    For our “Top 7 Spring Plumbing Tips”, click here.  For even more helpful tips, please see our  FAQ, Plumbing Tips or Blog.

    For professional plumbing, sump and sewage pumps and septic service, please feel free to contact us by email or give us a call at 1-888-458-1979.


  6. Plumb Perfect and You

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    As of May 19th, many companies have been allowed to open their doors again with more to follow at a later date.  As people head back to work, there is an air of anticipation but also of some fear.  No one knows just how this “new normal” will affect their day to day lives and how many adjustments will have to be made.

    With so much uncertainty, we at Plumb Perfect wish to ensure all customers that we will continue to monitor this unforeseen situation that is present with COVID-19 and we will maintain uninterrupted service and support to our customers as we navigate through this pandemic.

    In March, we implemented additional sanitization and cleaning protocols in our office, warehouse, fleet vehicles and work locations. We have equipped field staff with necessary equipment to ensure safe working procedures in the homes and businesses of our customers. We have increased options for remote work where possible.

    No employees showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be working while showing symptoms, and will not return until medically cleared. Prior to each home visit, your technician will call to confirm the  appointment. At that time, if a customer wishes, the technician will describe the increased measures we take.  He will also wish to confirm that nobody at the location is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or has experienced symptoms within the past 48 hours.

    We ask all customers to respect the health and safety of our team and community. Should you be experiencing any symptoms, please contact our office right away to reschedule.

    Should you have any questions regarding our COVID-19 practices, please contact Plumb Perfect at 1-888-458-1979 or email us at [email protected].

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who is doing their part during this pandemic, whether it’s by staying at home or providing an essential service — it all makes a big difference.  Again, thank you and please take care.

    Paul Lamoureux, President of Plumb Perfect Ltd.





  7. We are here for you

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    Every time you turn on the news, the radio or go online, you can’t escape hearing or reading about the coronavirus; it’s everywhere.  We know from health officials that the coronavirus can be spread three main ways:

    • Through the air by droplets from a cough or sneeze;
    • Being in contact with an infected person
    • By touching a contaminated surface

    Health Canada has released ways to protect yourself and others:

    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching your face, preparing food, touching any common surfaces or after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
    • Use hand sanitizer if unable to wash with soap and water
    • Self-isolate yourself and family
    • Practice self-distancing – keep at least 6′ away from others when out
    • Wear gloves and/or mask if uncomfortable while out
    • Eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and get good sleep

    Many businesses have been told to close or to make changes to protect their workers and customers.  We at Plumb Perfect have implemented sanitization procedures for our office, warehouse, vehicles and work locations.  We have provided our plumbers with necessary equipment to ensure safe working procedures in the homes and businesses of our customers.

    People have been asked to self-isolate to keep themselves and their families safe.  For those fortunate enough to be able to work from home, it is still not without its challenges.

    During these stressful times it can be difficult to stay focused on the positive.  Take a deep breath and count all the things you are grateful for, like: your family, a home, food in the fridge, being healthy and so on. We have access to food, supplies and clean water.  Know that most people who contract the coronavirus only have mild symptoms and recover; and that only 0.66% of those infected with the coronavirus actually die. And keep in mind there are medical staff, grocery staff, police, and other essential service people working to help.

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the news and info swirling around us.  Keep your mind occupied by taking an online course, doing yoga, meditation, playing family games or catching up on TV shows and movies.  Try to stay focused on what is good and what is right.  Be kind to each other and remember that this too shall pass.

  8. Back to School

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    We are as excited the kids are going back to school as they are dreading it!  Going back to school is a relief but can also be stressful.  Getting back into routines, making lunches, keeping track of extracurricular activities and so on can take a toll on everyone. Here are some tips for your family to get back into the swing of things:

    • Set up a study space. Whether it’s a desk in their room or a corner on the dining room table, be sure they know that’s where they can do their homework. Have them get involved in setting up their own homework area so hopefully they’ll be more comfortable using it.
    • Be available at homework time if possible. Sending them off to do their homework while you prepare dinner is great time management; however it doesn’t always work if they are reluctant to do homework or if they need your help. Set a homework schedule that works for both of you.
    • Get the kids involved in making their own lunches. Ask them pick out what they would like to eat.  Have them help you put their lunches together.  This not only makes it more likely they’ll want to eat all their lunch, it also teaches them self-sufficiency and responsibility.  And change up the old lunch basics.  Make mini nutritious muffins (from a mix is fine) with their favourite fruit, dried fruit or seeds.  Send pizza slices, mini tacos or mini quiches to school with hot packs in a container or wrapped in foil in their lunch bag.
    • Have them do age appropriate chores. Doing well in school takes more than just studying and handing in assignments on time (yes, that’s important too!). Responsibilities at home can make them feel more grown up and they should be more settled to do their homework without needing you to nag.
    • Extracurricular activities are important. Children need to be involved with other activities for good physical and mental health. Physical activity, in particular, will boost their strength, productivity and confidence. Additionally, it helps improve their social skills and respect for others.
    • Teach them how to set goals. Help them select goals, both short term and long term.  Then come up with a plan of action and show them how to track their progress. Part of success in the adult world is setting and achieving goals. They will gradually develop this skill which will set them up for future success.  Be sure to keep it simple so it doesn’t become more of a problem than a solution!
    • Set aside time for them to ease stress. They need to know that you are listening, supportive and willing to offer advice if needed.  For the little ones, being away from you can be stressful for them. Even teenagers need comfort, affection and a listening ear at the end of a hectic school day. This one critical investment of your time will pay off in countless ways for the rest of your child’s life.
    • Remember that this too shall pass.  When the kids are fighting or you have too much to do in so little time, the stress can feel overwhelming. You may want to just lock yourself in the bathroom until the storm blows over (and sometimes that’s okay too!).  But remember, one day they’ll be all grown up and making their own way in the world.

    PS:  Fall is also a time when many families experience plumbing issues like clogged sinks and toilets.  When trouble strikes, call Plumb Perfect at 1-888-458-1979.