Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips & Tricks

Garbage-disposal-cross-sectionProper maintenance and operation will extend the life of your garbage disposal and prevent plumbing and drain mishaps.

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you know that it’s a great appliance that makes household duties less demanding. But if not operated or maintained properly, a garbage disposal can easily break down, block and clog the drains and cause a long list of expensive plumbing and drain nightmares. Fortunately, most garbage disposal troubles are completely unnecessary, and garbage disposal care and maintenance is extremely easy. Below are some tips and tricks to maintain your garbage disposal.

Tricks:

  • To Keep your garbage disposal clean. Pour a little dish soap inside and let the garbage disposal run for a minute or so with some cold water after washing dishes.
  • Run your garbage disposal regularly. Frequent use prevents rust and corrosion, assures that all parts stay moving and prevents obstructions from accumulating.
  • Grind food waste with a strong flow of water.
  • Grind a few hard materials such as small chicken and fish bones, egg shells, small fruit pits and or seeds. This creates a scouring action in which the particles inside the grind chamber that cleans the garbage disposal’s walls.
  • Grind the peels from citrus fruits such as lemons or oranges to freshen up drain smells.
  • Cut large items into smaller pieces. Put them into the garbage disposal one at a time instead of trying to shove a large amount in at once.

Tips:

  • Never grind glass, plastic, metal or even paper.
  • Never grind anything combustible.
  • Never grind cigarette butts
  • Do not pour grease, oil or fat into your garbage disposal or drain. Grease will slowly build up and clog drains causing plumbing issues.
  • You should not grind extremely fibrous material like corn husks, celery stalks, onion skins, and artichokes. Fibers from these can tangle and jam the garbage disposal motor and block drains .
  • You should not turn off the motor or water until grinding is completed. When grinding is complete, turn off the the garbage disposal first. Let water continue to run for at least 10 seconds, flushing out any remaining particles. Then turn off water.
  • Never put potato peels down the garbage disposal. The starches in the potatoes will turn into a thick paste and may cause blades to stick and can also cause drain clogs even when ground up.
  • We do not recommend you use harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners. They can damage blades and pipes.
  • Ice is an extremely effective and inexpensive method for cleaning your garbage disposal, sharpening the blades and breaking up any grease build-up which has accumulated. Just toss a few ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it. As the garbage disposal chops into the ice cubes, the ice chips will effectively scour all the hard to reach areas of the unit, and melt down the drain. Try this once or twice a month to keep your garbage disposal in fine working order.
  • Occasionally, take a lemon or orange and toss it into the disposal. The oils and juice from the fruits and peels naturally clean the walls inside the garbage disposal and create a fresh, long-lasting scent.
  • Freeze vinegar in ice cube trays and run those down the disposal. This will keep your blades sharp while safely killing odor-causing bacteria.
  • NEVER, EVER insert your hand into the garbage disposal.  Always unplug the unit or turn off the appropriate circuit breaker first. Accidents happen, and you do not want this accident to happen.

What to do if your garbage disposal isn’t working:

  • 90% of garbage disposals that appear not to be working just need to be reset. There is usually a red or black reset button on the garbage disposal motor underneath your sink. Just push to reset.
  • If the garbage disposal is plugged into a wall outlet, ensure the outlet has power.
  • Check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
  • Give it a push-start. Most garbage disposals have a hole underneath that allows you to hand-crank it free once it’s been jammed. To crank it, use either an Alan wrench or a garbage disposal tool.

If the above action do not work for you give us a call. We have the tools, and know how to address almost every garbage disposal emergency. Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement are your Knoxville Plumbers to call.

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All About Your Toilet

Not to make it sound like plumbers are rocket scientists, but there is quite a bit of physics happening inside your toilet, the majority of it happens in the portion of the toilet you do not see.

toilet_graphicInside the toilet:

When you press the handle down, it lifts a lever arm that pulls a chain or rod, opening the flapper. Water from the tank rushes through the exposed hole and into the toilet bowl. As you see the water level rise inside the bowl, it is also rising within the base and then overflows into the drain behind it. Because no air gets past the water in the bowl, the water falling into the drain creates a siphon effect that sucks the rest of the water with it until air finally enters and breaks the vacuum created.

While that takes place, the tank fills with fresh water and would overflow without some mechanism to shut off the water when it reaches a certain level. This is accomplished by a float. A float is typically a hollow ball the size of grapefruit at the end of a rod. As the ball floats on the rising surface of the water the lever eventually shuts off the water intake valve.

Clogs:

When a toilet backs up, it is likely that the clog is not far down the drain and you can remedy it with the all to familiar plunger.

Plunging 101:

  • Hold the toilet plunger over the toilet bowl’s drain hole and lower it into the water so that you’ve retained air inside of it and the edges of the plunger are below the water line.
  • Position it in the drain opening and push down, forcing the air out of the plunger. Then continue with several rapid up and down movements. You may have to try this several times.
  • Lift the plunger out of the water to let more air into it between each effort.

Are your other drains working normally? If not, the clog is apparently in the main drain and no amount of plunging will dislodge it. Time to call Bizzy B Plumbing.

Toilet Tips:

  • Don’t flush any materials other than toilet paper.
  • Feminine products should go in the trashcan, not the toilet.
  • Most plumbers even recommend against putting “flushable wipes” down the drain because they don’t degrade well and can cause clogs down the line.
  • Keep the counter space around the toilet and the back of the tank clear of small objects that might fall in without being noticed. Plumbers often find little green army men and other small toys that probably didn’t jump into the toilet on their own. So have a little chat with junior.

When a toilet runs:

If you are having to jiggle the handle to get the toilet to stop running, something is not right. Constantly running toilet problems are normally caused by the malfunction of either the flapper,  float valve, or the fill valve.

The flapper is a rubber piece at the bottom of the toilet tank that covers the discharge drain. It is lifted by a chain or rod attached to the handle when a toilet is flushed. It should set securely back into place before the tank is refilled. If the flapper is damaged or does not fully close, water will slowly leak from the tank.

The float valve is attached to the incoming water line and regulates the water level inside the toilet tank. If it is not properly adjusted or if it has become clogged by sediments, it will constantly attempt to refill the water level.

The fill valve is the tube the float is attached to. High water pressure can overload the fill valves and cause them not to shut off. This can run your water bill up quickly.

Bizzy B Plumbing can remedy any of these issues for you. Just give us a call.

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5 Signs You May Need Plumbing Repair

If your bathroom is anything like our bathrooms, it sees a lot of action. Long hot showers, soaks in the tub to relax, toilet flushes, and sinks filled and drained on a daily basis. The plumbing in your home is under constant stress that is necessary to keep the all essential bathroom up and running.

Regular maintenance and careful use can help prolong the life of your homes plumbing. But here are 5 signs you may need a plumbing repair.

1. Low water pressure

  • Turning the on shower full blast should result in a nice steady stream of water. If you get low pressure at all settings, or no water, you should check it out.  A clogged shower head could be the culprit. Cleaning shower headClean your shower head by soaking it in vinegar or a CLR (calcium, lime, rust) type cleaner for about an hour. If your shower head is not easily removed you can use a plastic bag full of above stated cleaner tied over the shower head. If the pressure does not improve there may be a bigger issue. Low water pressure has a number of potential causes including blockages, damaged water heater, or a busted pipe in the walls.

2. High water pressure

  • Have you had issues with a constantly running toilet? Have you had leaking faucets over and over again after being repaired? Presure reducing valveYou could have a high water pressure issue. Too much water pressure is bad on your plumbing and your plumbing fixtures. This can also lead to busted water heaters, plumbing fittings, or flooding in your home. Call us to check your water pressure and if needed install a water pressure reducing valve.

 

3. Slow drains

  • Every homeowner has experienced a slowly draining tub or sink at some point, Most home owners have even tried so called drain cleaners at the local hardware store. clogged sinkDrain cleaning liquids and gels can severely damage home plumbing. They are very caustic and can eat through old and new plumbing causing leaks and damage to your home. A professional should be called to remedy a slow drain or standing water in your fixtures. Most will use a pipe snake or commercially available cleaners rated for the particular situation.

4. Hot water not staying hot.

  • Water heaters have a maximum capacity or output before needing to regenerate. If you use too much hot water too quickly, you should wait for the water to heat back up. On the other hand, if you are the first one in the shower and only have a few minutes before in runs back to cold, you have a problem. The most likely culprit is a bad element in the water heater. This can be caused by a few things like scale, sediment, or if the water drained below the element with out the element being shut off. Another possibility is a leak in the water heater or hot water lines. All of these issues should be checked by a pro with the tools and know how to minimize further damage.

5. Strange smell or color of water

  • The Water coming out of your homes plumbing should be clean and clear and free of odor. If you have another color, or any smell, you may need us. White or cloudy water typically signifies air in your pipes. rusty_waterBrown, red or yellow water means rust, sulfur and or iron. This can be attributed to wells or broken water mains. Green or Blue water means copper plumbing has corroded. If this is the case call Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement immediately. We can fix the plumbing issues and water issue in your home.

 

At Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement, we offer solutions to any plumbing or water problem you are having. If you have city water, well water, new plumbing, or old plumbing in Knoxville, Maryville or the surrounding areas. We offer Hague whole home water filtration and reverse osmosis systems installed and serviced in your home.

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3 Signs You May Have An Electrical Problem In Your Home

Electrical problems in the home are more common than you think. These electrical issues can lead to dangerous situations and possibly even death. To protect your home and yourself, Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement has certified electricians to work in your home and business to correct and prevent electrical problems from becoming hazardous. New homes and older homes all have issues. Electrical issues can be simple or very complex. Protect yourself by seeing the warning signs. Knowing what these signs are can help you make repairs and prevent a dangerous situation that might lead to electrocution or property damage. You may be tempted to troubleshoot some of these electrical issues yourself, but electrical problems will need professional diagnosis and repair to maintain code and safety standards. Below are some signs and areas you should watch for electrical issues.circuit_breaker

1. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when a circuit is overloaded. By shutting off the electrical supply. This process prevents wires from overheating and potentially starting a fire. Breakers can also trip when they become old and worn out. Occasional tripping can indicate simple overloads. Simple overloads are easily fixed by moving the appliance or item causing the overload to another outlet on a different breaker.  If a breaker trips frequently, you should call us for an evaluation.

2. Electrical panels are the heart of your homes electrical system. Working inside an electrical panel requires skill. Even when the main breaker is shut off, power is still entering the panel. Leave this type of work to an Bizzy B electrician.Federal Pacific Stab-lok Never replace a circuit breaker or fuse with a higher rated one because this can cause overheating and fire. For homes dating from the 1950s to 1990, check your panel to see whether it or the breakers are manufactured by Federal Pacific. The company’s Stab-Lok brand breakers are not considered safe. You should have these replaced asap. Call us to get a certified electrician to check your panel and quote a replacement.

3. Shock, Heat, Flickering lights, Smoke, and Sparks. These are all signs of electrical issues you can see, feel, and smell.

  • If you feel a tingle or strong shock when touching an appliance, you probably have a ground fault in the appliance or improper wiring in your home. These will not feel the same as a shock from static in the home, but more pronounced and stronger.  You should call us if these situations are present in your home.
  • You should occasionally check the area around your ceiling light fixtures for temperature. This is because not all fixtures are well insulated, especially if you exceed the maximum recommended wattage bulb for the fixture. The fixture can overheat, and too much heat buildup could cause a fire hazard. Switching to LED bulbs provide one solution because these bulbs do not produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs and use much less electricity.
  • Flickering lights may be a sign of a defective or loose light bulb. If you try new light bulbs to no avail it could be a wiring issue. Give us a call to check it out. The fault may be in the light fixture connections, or the wiring in your electrical panel may be loose.
  • If you have light switches or receptacles that work occasionally, the wiring may be loose or it may be defective internally. You will need to have your wiring inspected to determine whether any loose connections are present, and you will need any defective devices replaced.
  • If you notice a burning odor coming from any outlets or switches, turn the power off at the electrical panel. Call us asap as this can something simple or it can be a big problem. The problem may be a faulty device, but it could also be a wiring or overload problem. A burning smell is a serious issue because it could indicate the start of an electrical fire. Receptacles or connected electrical cords that are warm to the touch are also a sign of an electrical problem. Do not use the receptacle until the situation has been repaired.
  • Occasional sparks when you first plug in an appliance are not unusual. Sparks that are large and or happen frequently indicates a problem with your outlet or the circuit. If you hear a popping sound, it may signal that a wire may be loose. Locating the loose wire in a circuit is not always easy. Diagnosing and repairing problems should be done be a licensed professional. For your safety and that of your home, you should consult a qualified electrician from Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement. We can help you and your home “B” safe from electrical dangers.
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5 Benefits of Whole Home Water Filtration/Softeners

Homeowners today are more informed of the contaminates that can enter the municipal water supply and end up in the home’s water. They take more steps to improve the drinking water in their home, like in fridge filtered water or faucet filters. Unfortunately,  most homeowners overlook the water they shower in, cook and clean with, and the potential damage to plumbing, fixtures, and appliances the hard/contaminated water can do. Not to mention if your home is on well water, where the contaminates are exponentially higher. The most effective, and by far most efficient way to bring clean water into your whole home’s plumbing system is through the installation of a Hague Quality Water whole home water filtration system. There are many benefits to a whole home water filtration system.

Below we have listed 5 of the top benefits of whole home water filtration:

1. Cost Effectiveness:

  • While the upfront cost may seem higher for the purchase and installation of a Whole home water filtration system, the residual cost is minimal compared to the constant replacement of pricey in-line, faucet, or fridge water filters.
  • Faucet Filters, Fridge Filters, and In-line Filters need to be changed every few months. The Hague Water Max whole home water filtration system has no filters that need to be changed and you only need salt added to the softener once or twice a year in most cases. This provides low maintenance and low residual cost over a long period of time.
  • Appliances will last longer with filtered and softened water than with typical municipal water. The average life of your appliances can double with filtered water over well water.
  • Plumbing will last longer with filtered and softened water that prevents build up and excessive wear.

2. More Thorough Filtration:

  • Whole home water filtration systems are larger capacity, more complex filtration, and work with greater efficiency. Hague Water Max uses media not filters to remove contaminates and harmful particles from your water. The whole house water filter is connected to the main water line before it splits into the hot water heater. If you are on municipally supplied water, the typical contaminants of concern are chlorine and chemicals, sediment and hardness minerals. The types of contaminants typically found in a private well water supply are sediment, iron and hardness minerals and can vary from nuisance contaminants to toxic or damaging. It can handle all of those and more.
  • There are so many typical contaminates in your water like lead, arsenic, nitrates, mercury, and many more. These can be very dangerous to your health as many of these heavy metals cause cancer.

3. Energy Savings:

  • Filtered and Softened water cuts energy costs because appliances don’t strain as much to operate. Here’s why. Hard water contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which build up and clog appliances. A study released by the WQA (Water Quality Association), states the following;
  • Gas water heaters: Each 5 grains per gallon of water hardness causes a 4 percent loss in efficiency and 4 percent increase in cost when using 50 gallons of hard water a day.
  • Tankless water heaters: Softened water saves 40 to 57 percent on energy costs compared to hard water.
  • Electric water heaters: Each 5 grains per gallon of water hardness causes 0.4 pounds of mineral buildup a year, shortening the life span of the heater.
  • Good water filtration and softening equipment can extend the life of these appliances by 25 to 40 percent.
  • The WQA study found some showerheads with hard water lost up to 75 percent of their flow rate in less than 18 months.

4. Your Body:

  • Hard water can lead to dry and brittle hair and clogged pores, leading to drier skin.
  • Chlorine is absorbed from the water into the body and can linked to Cancer. In a 1992 study that made front-page headlines, and was reported on in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee found that people who regularly drink tap water containing high levels of chlorine by-products have a greater risk of developing bladder and rectal cancers than people who drink non-chlorinated water. The study estimates that about 9 percent of all bladder cancer and 18 percent of all rectal cancer cases are associated with long-term consumption of these by-products. This amounts to over 20,000 new cases each year.
  • Filtered and Softened water will give you softer, cleaner skin. It also prevents buildup on hair that can flatten and weight hair down.
  • Filtered and Softened water are better for drinking and washing because all of the contaminants that can pollute the body have been removed.

5. Cleaning:

  • Water is the universal solvent! When conditioned by Hague filters and softeners, water is in its highest-quality form. Using filtered and soft water reduces your cost of detergents, soaps, and cleaning supplies.
  • Depending on the stain, softened water eliminates stains with 100 times more effectiveness than increasing temperature or detergent doses.
  • With soft water, you can remove stains just as effectively with water temperatures at 60 degrees as you can with hard water at 100 degrees.
  • You can reduce detergent use by as much as 50 percent with soft water and still clean clothes as effectively as a full dose of detergent and hard water.
  • These cleaning studies also show that use of hand soap and body wash was more effective at cleaning the body when filtered and softened water are in use.

If these benefits are what you have been missing give Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement a call to get you water tested and see what we can do for your homes water issues.

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Electricity: Powering Homes At The Filp Of A Switch

Electricity in todays life can be taken for granted. In this article we talk about how this modern convenience gets to your home to power everyday life.

Flip on the light switch. Did you know, you are tapping into a large and complex system called a power grid that constantly brings electricity to your home? This power grid sends high voltage electricity through power lines all over the country from power plants. The electricity flowing through the power lines then moves to transformers, which reduce high voltage current to the 110-220-volt lines used residential homes. The electricity continues from the transformer to your electric meter. Your electric meter is usually mounted on a outside wall of your home and records the amount of power drawn into the home.

transmission

Image Courtesy of  National Energy Education Development Project

It seems simple enough, just imagine that times 500 to 700 million. Wow, that is a bit more impressive. Here is a breakdown of what we explained.

The Grid, power grid that is.

  • Electricity is generated in a power plant. These power plants make electricity by way of steam turbines, hydro turbines, or nuclear generation.
  • The electricity moves around the country on high voltage transmission lines called pylons. The Department of Energy reports there are more than 175,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines in the U.S. This system of power lines is sometimes referred to as “The Grid.”
  • FYI, There is no “national” power grid. natl_power_gridThere are actually three power grids operating in the 48 contiguous states: (1) the Eastern Interconnected System (for states east of the Rocky Mountains), (2) the Western Interconnected System (from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountain states), and (3) the Texas Interconnected System. These systems generally operate independently of each other, although there are limited links between them. Major areas in Canada are totally interconnected with our Western and Eastern power grids, while parts of Mexico have limited connection to the Texas and the Western power grids.
  • The electricity is then transmitted to sub-stations located all over the country. There, it is transformed down to a lower voltage before it’s distributed to various points around a city.
  • The sub-station transports the electricity on wooden distribution poles, which are the traditional power line poles that run through neighborhoods and towns. However, before the electricity can enter a home, its voltage must be lowered once again by a second transformer because it is still at a dangerous level.
  • From the transformer, service lines carry the electricity into the home.

Electricity in your home:

  • The electrical system in your home can be extensive. It usually includes: the electricity that comes in from the power lines, the circuit breaker, electric meter, lights, outlets, and appliances in your home.homeelectricgraphic300x
  • Electricity enters the home first via the utility lines of your local utility.
  • You should notice three wires coming to your home, older lines are separated, newer lines are twisted together. Two of the wires are “hot,” meaning they are bringing voltage into the home. The third wire is the grounding wire. This configuration brings two 120-volt lines to your meter and main breaker panel.
  • Think of it as voltage part 1 and part 2. Each conductor has 120 volts, but when used together in a circuit, they deliver 240 volts for use in larger appliances such as electric dryers. Voltages may vary from 110 to 120 on a single line conductor and from 220 to 240 volts on a conductor pair. Single breakers in your electrical box are 110/120 volts; double breakers are for the 220/240-volt pairs.
  • House wiring is installed using cables. 120-volt cables will have three wires: one black, one white and one bare conductor. The black is the hot wire, the white is called the neutral and the bare wire is the ground. A 220-volt cable will have an additional hot wire, red in color.
  • Each wire serves an important function. The hot wire sends voltage to the receptacle and appliance. The white wire brings the voltage back to the circuit box. Unlike water or gas, electricity must have a complete path from and back to the box.
  • The grounding wire is attached to the cabinet of the appliance and is not part of the circuit. However, if there is an electrical short to ground, this wire trips the breaker, shutting off the power. That’s why you should never break off the round grounding connector on a plug.

The Electric Meter

  • Your electric meter measures the amount of electricity used by your home or business and is the tool used by the electric company for billing your electricity use.electricity-meter
  • Typically found on the outside of a home, the meter measures the amount of electricity consumed in units called kilowatt hours. Each month, the electric company sends out a meter reader who records the reading on your electric meter.
  • You can check how much electricity you are using by looking at the five dials on your electricity meter. Each dial has an arrow that corresponds to a number. Newer models may have a digital readout. If you write down the number on each dial from left to right, you will get a 5-digit number that equals you electrical usage in kilowatt hours.
  • To measure how much electricity you use in a month, you need to record the five-digit reading from your meter on the first of the month. After waiting 30 days, again record the reading on your meter. If you subtract the first month’s reading from the second, you will get an accurate reading in kilowatt hours.

If you have any electrical issues in your home and need repair, call Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement, and our electricians can “B” there for you. We service Knoxville, Maryville, and surrounding areas.

 

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Plumbing Leaks Can Cost You Big

Your homes plumbing, under sink, behind shower/bathtub, is part of an simple, necessary network to bring water to your fixtures. This network of pipes and valves require some maintenance and sometimes may require emergency help to repair a leak and prevent severe damage in your home. If a leak is unnoticed or ignored, the potential costs of the plumbing leaks are significant. Below are a few tips and good information to help you along.

Look and listen for leaks:

  1. Your first step to keep the cost of damage low is being attentive in your home. Try to keep an eye out for pooling water or wet spots. The quicker you can spot a water leak, the damage to drywall, flooring and fixtures will be greatly diminished.
  2. Listen for hissing or drips at when the house is quiet particularly at night before bed.
  3. Watch for signs of leaks in the bath or shower usually signaled by low water pressure, colored water or slow drains.
  4. Another indicator is, if you notice excess water on the floor, loose tiles in the tub/ shower surround or warped walls.

Water damage costs

  • Walls: If unnoticed or ignored, a water leak will cause damage to your walls. When pipes running behind walls burst or begin to leak, the drywall gets wet and can eventually this moisture produces wet spots, mold, mildew, and worse. Leaks in the bathroom are easy to miss, especially if you love steamy showers or hot baths. If you notice constant wetness and/or a musty smell, you very well could have a leak. Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement can fix the problem and, if the problem is still in its early stages save you large amounts of time and money. If left untreated or repaired it can lead to costly replacement of walls and the potential of Black Mold can set in, requiring specialists. This can and will be very costly. For Example, 100 sq ft of drywall may cost as much as $600 to replace, while mold remediation can run anywhere from $1000 to $3000 for the same area.
  • Flooring: Another area of concern for damage is flooring and fixtures. Water always moves to the lowest area it can get to, which means, leaks in a kitchen and bathroom will pool on and then under your floors. Indicators of bathroom floor damage can be loose tiles at the tub/shower edge or in the middle of the floor. In your kitchen look for warping/discolored wood, wrinkled linoleum, or loose floor tiles. Particularly near the dishwasher, fridge, or sink cabinet. Hardwood flooring can cost between $10 and $35 per square foot to replace. Replacing single tiles is not expensive as long as they are still available, but the costs  soar if the sub floor of your bathroom or kitchen becomes damaged. Removing and replacing swelled floorboards and installing new tile may cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000. Hardwood replacement cost is even more, while the cost for linoleum replacement is moderate.
  • Fixtures: Leaks or water quality issues can also cause damage to your plumbing fixtures like faucets and shower heads. In some cases, the fixtures may stop working, if a rubber gasket decays and becomes stuck in the line and or may cause severely reduced water pressure. If not repaired, replacement may be the only option. Average  cost for faucets being between $75 – $500, depending on the brand/style of fixture.

Keeping your repair costs low is easier than you think. Avoid high costs for repair by simply watching for potential issues. If you see any of the indicators listed above, Call us at 865-591-8500 and let Bizzy B Plumbing be there for you. Water leaks are always better tackled immediately, the longer you wait the worse it can be.

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3 Things You Should Never Buy At Home Improvement Stores

Big box home improvement stores in Knoxville and Maryville are very useful for even the most inexperienced of homeowners. They give you the ability to make your own repairs. On the other hand, big box home improvement stores can be terrible because it gives you the ability to make your own repairs.

Professional home inspectors are taught that water/moisture and termites are the number one enemy to homes. This is not the case. Experienced professional home inspectors learn quickly that a homeowner is the number one enemy to their home. Time after time the most dangerous issues detected in home inspections are the result of the homeowner attempting a repair.

But we have found that some of the blame should be passed on to the big box home improvement stores for offering homeowners repair and replacement products that are dangerous and not up to local building codes.

Here are 3 things you should never purchase from a home improvement or hardware store.

1. Double keyed deadbolts.

  • Even though these are sometimes advised for use by security companies for added security, they can be a fire safety hazard. Because you need a key to lock and unlock from both inside and outside the extra time in an emergency can be fatal. If a fire was to happen in your home and smoke fills the air, it can be very difficult to locate the keys and make it back to unlock the door before being overcome by the smoke.

2. Screened and or Plastic dryer vents.

  • It is troublesome that these items are still being sold. Lint is flammable! When screens are installed on the dryer vent, it creates a hazard. Building codes in Knoxville and Maryville are clear on this, no screens are allowed on the dryer vent end or termination. If your home has one, call us asap to have it replaced.
  • Dryer vent safety is not something to take lightly. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) estimates that over 15,000 dryer fires are take place every year. A plastic dryer vent will quickly melt and allow the flame to spread through out the home and outside walls.
  • Even though metal dryer vents will not stop the fire from spreading, they do allow more time to detect, evacuate, and extinguish the fire. Plastic dryer vents have no place in a home. If you have any of these issues Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement can “B” there for you. We will fix it correctly and safely.

3. Corrugated plumbing. (this is just ridiculous)plumbing not to use

  • When you are frustrated with a tough DIY (do it yourself) plumbing repair, you may be tempted to purchase some flexible, corrugated, accordion like plumbing materials. Do not be tempted.
  • This type of plumbing is not approved for your home’s drainage system. It has absolutely no use in the home. To make matters worse, most homeowners install it in a way that does not create a proper drain trap.
  • Drain traps prevent smelly, dangerous gas from the sewer from entering your home, so installing this type of plumbing can be a real safety concern. Call us, as we are certified and experienced in plumbing of all types. We can fix the issues you are having faster, and less expensive than you think.
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Guide To Understand The Costs Involved In Your Remodel

Many Knoxville/Maryville home owners have called asking about remodeling projects for their home. The areas of remodel in question include: finishing a basement, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, and new or replacement decks. This usually follows by the question of how much.

Home owners typically do not have a great deal of experience with these things, and feel a bit “in the dark” when it come to pricing comparing a remodel. Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement would like to make this a bit easier with some helpful tips and price comparisons.

Home owners all want to know how the pieces fit together. The design, product selections, demo, framing, drywall, electrical, plumbing, inspections and much more all effect the process and price.

So, How much will it cost?

The problem with phone estimate figures is the idea that a remodel is an item like a appliance or TV, but it’s not. We need to sit down with you and see what it is you are really wanting.

Some things are more pricey than others. Carpentry, for instance, is an art. It is a skilled trade and needed heavily in Kitchen remodels.

Some companies may sell a new bathroom “system,” but that isn’t a custom renovation project. And the “systems” usually do not work the way it is shown on TV.

No two projects or remodels are the same. The design, and the choices you make will determine the overall cost of your project.

Tip 1: Ask for a price range. This is a reasonable request, just understand what those numbers mean. Know the pitfalls with this method:

  • Low price: Sounds completely do-able but this will not account for hidden issues as the remodel begins, nor will it account for the possible costs of materials being delayed to the site.
  • High price: Holy $%*!, is the most common reaction. This is an over estimate of the worst case scenario. Do not let this scare you away, but you need to be aware what it could be if hidden issues are found.

Tip 2: Where to start getting price ideas.

Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for the Knoxville area is a great place to get an idea of what you will spend and what you will recoup on the sale of your home.

Cost vs. Value 2014  Knoxville, TN  Remodeling

Tip 3: Watch some of the remodeling shows on TV for ideas you would like tot see incorporated into the design of your newly remodeled space. This can be from small space saving ideas to large automation projects.

Posted in Bathroom Remodels, Home Improvement, Knoxville Electricians, Knoxville Home Improvement, Knoxville Kitchen Remodels, Knoxville Plumbers, Plumbing | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Let Off Some Steam: 3 Tips On Proper Bathroom Ventilation

Did you know that more than a pint of moisture is injected into your home during the average shower? If your bathroom is not properly ventilated, that moisture and its potential mold and mildew can compromise the air quality and structural integrity of your home. Don’t worry, Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement will “B” there for you.

Here are 3 tips on proper bathroom ventilation.

1. Operable Windows Offer Natural Venting:

  • Ventilating your bath can be a esthetically pleasing experience.  Operable windows not only ventilate, but also provide design value, views and natural daylight and help balance the air pressure in your home.
  • You do not have to be an extrovert to use windows into your bath. Simple inside window shutters allow airflow and modesty to work in conjunction. Look for shutters made of composite materials to prevent warping commonly associated with wood and moisture combination.
  • knoxville bathroom operable skylightOperable skylights are another way to introduce natural light, and vent moist air out. If you have a skylight that is out of arm’s reach, consider adding a motorized option to ensure you take full advantage of its function.
  • A door from your bath to the outside can be a big change that also provides lots of fresh air. If your bathroom does not have deck or ground access, you could still have doors with a Juliet balcony (a false balcony utilizing a railing mounted outside the doors with no true walkout).

2. Install Exhaust Fans, Mechanical ventilation is not like it used to be.

  • Call us to be sure your bath fan is sized properly for your bath before you purchase one. If you are unsure, we can pick one out for you and install it. We can also verify that it’s properly vented to the exterior.
  • knoxville bathroom exhaust vent installExhaust fans are essential to properly remove moisture (and the occasional bad smells) from your bath. Look for Energy Star rated exhaust fans, which ensure energy efficient, effective, and quiet operation. Many newer models have motion sensors and or moisture sensors to automate the process for you.
  • Exhaust Fan Timers for your bath exhaust fans should stay on for at least 30 minutes after showers to effectively remove excess moisture from your bathroom. A fan equipped with a timer will ensure the fan remains on as long as needed to exhaust moisture. Most timers have settings for the length of operation to insure removal of leftover moisture.

3. Use a Dehumidifier.

  • Dehumidifiers can remove large amount of excess moisture from the home but can be constant strain. They require frequent emptying and are usually bulky and not esthetically pleasing.  They are however an easy alternative to new installations
Posted in Bathroom Remodels, Home Improvement, Knoxville Electricians, Knoxville Home Improvement | Tagged , , , | Comments Off