While we have all been quarantined at home, the buildings we normally occupy for business have sat empty. Buildings that have been shut down or used less frequently during this pandemic have the potential for water quality degradation from stagnation, an issue separate from the COVID-19 crisis.
Stagnant or standing water can cause conditions that increase the risk for growth and spread of Legionella and other biofilm-associated bacteria. It also can lead to low or undetectable levels of disinfectant, such as chlorine, in the water system. Unlike the coronavirus, you cannot simply quarantine the system for a few days to make it safe. The longer that systems are idle, the more likely that these issues can occur.
We all want to get back to work, but to assure the occupants of your building that it is safe to return, we recommend your entire building is flushed properly. We have established a comprehensive water management program following recommendations of the CDC as well as relevant ASHRAE standards. This includes flushing of all appliances like ice machines, dishwashers, and water coolers while wearing the appropriate protective equipment. We can inspect mechanical equipment such as cooling towers, boilers, pumps, backflow preventers, and hot water systems.
After flushing, water samples should be taken for analysis to a qualified independent testing laboratory. If test results indicate the need for disinfection, possible chlorination of your water systems can be done, but it must be done correctly to avoid further issues.
Afterward, a water quality safety plan will protect the long-term security of your employees and visitors for the foreseeable future. We recommend this service to any building that has been dormant during the quarantine.
In addition, after disinfecting a building, it is equally important to change all the air filters. One of the processes for cleaning includes a “fog” of the building. The smell may carry over for many weeks, but changing the filters can clear the residual disinfectant from the airstream. You may also want to consider having every RTU and AHU cleaned before the building reopens. This can include spraying the interior with a bleach solution and wiping down, changing filters and bagging, and properly disposing of all materials.
Temperatures are beginning to rise in northern Nevada, trees are blossoming, and the birds are chirping! Winterizing your home is essential for its protection during the cold-weather season. During Spring, it is critical to prep your home for the rising temperatures and increased water pressure. Here are some homeowner’s tips for Spring to ensure your home and its water piping systems are operating at its full potential!
Sump pumps help prevent groundwater from getting in your basement or crawl space. Inspect your sump pump for proper functionality by running water through it. Fill your sump pump with enough water for the float switch to turn on. If it is properly working, the water level will lower. If it doesn’t turn on, you may have a faulty switch. We can help with this! Also, inspect your sewage ejector for proper operation. Pumps should turn quickly, discharge water, and turn off quickly.
These appliances do a lot of work for your home and have many hose attachments. Check for any weakness or cracks in the hoses for replacement. Check the dishwater drain hose and door gasket for signs of leaks or cracks. If your appliances’ hoses are over ten years old, it may be time to replace them.
Make sure your toilets flush correctly. Are you having trouble using the handle? To check if you have a toilet leak, you can drop a few drops of food coloring (any color except red) into the tank and wait an hour to see if the bowl water changes color. If you see color in the bowl, you have a toilet leak, and we are here to help you fix that! Also, make sure to check if the rubber flappers are worn from sitting in water and need replacing.
Check for buildups of soap, food, and hair in your kitchen and bathroom drains. Removing small clogs can help prevent blockages that require professional removal. Replace or add new drain traps for future prevention; these simple improvements can help save water and money. Check the piping in the cabinets under your sinks, and if there are any cracks or leaks in the pipes, these will need to be replaced to prevent further water damage.
Locate your main water line that connects to your outdoor plumbing and turn it back on.
If you’re in the market for an upgrade, consider installing an app-controlled smart water valve, like the MOEN FLO. You will have the convenience of turning on/off your water line from your smartphone or tablet. If you are interested in installing the MOEN FLO for your home, visit savageandson.com/showroom for more information or contact us at (775) 828-4193.
Check the water meter before you go to bed and check it again in the morning. Installing a Water Management tool like the MOEN FLO can help you determine if you have a leak at your home, and all from an app on your phone. Homeowners with this device can turn off the main water line straight from their smartphone or tablet! According to Angie’s List, “a slow drip from an outdoor spigot can add up to 20 gallons of water a day or 500 gallons a month.” Check for debris in plumbing vents, yard drains, gutters, downspouts, sprinkler systems, and inspect your hoses for expansion before performing a test run of your outdoor faucets. Check sprinklers for signs of leaks and adjust for proper coverage and adjust the sprinkler clock to account for the extra daylight. Check out these tips for checking for yard leaks from Angie’s List.
Check for leaks; this can sometimes happen in colder Winter climates (like Northern Nevada) if hoses have been left on the hose bib during the winter months. It can even occasionally freeze the supply pipe, and after the pipe thaws out, cracked during expansion. This pipe can continue to leak and could be damaging to your home. If you are experiencing this, we recommend you call us to help resolve the issue ASAP!
As the temperatures warm-up, you’ll want to check your irrigation system for leaks and cracks. Let us know if you see any Winter cracks in your vacuum breaker or backflow assembly, we can help you repair it or install a new one! Just email us a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Truckee Meadows Water Authority has a helpful guide to turning your irrigation system after winter. “After you have done the preliminary steps for turning your system back on, watch the low-flow indicator on your water meter. If it is still, no water is being leaked. If the low-flow indicator is moving, first be sure no water is being used within the home, then: At the vertical valve and drain sleeves, be sure there is no water filling either sleeve. Check your backflow to be sure there is no water dripping from the flat handles, the test cock screws, or the black bonnet (pressure vacuum breaker) located at the top of the assembly. Be sure the drain in your irrigation control valve box was closed snugly and there is no water dripping (TMWA)”.
Little blockages from minerals in the water could collect in your shower head and will cause water pressure issues. Check out these helpful tips for removing them with vinegar from one of our previous Homeowner’s Tip blogs!
Make sure that your Water Heater’s temperature is not set above 120 degrees. It will save your skin and dollars on your energy bill! Spring is also a good time to drain the sediment from your water heater; sediment can cause corrosion and also lowers your tank’s efficiency. Check out this guide from Angie’s List for tips for draining and flushing your water heater.
Maintaining a functioning home takes dedicated work; we hope these tips proved to be helpful! If you are experiencing slowing drains, cracked or damaged pipes, or leaks around your property, we will always be here to help you.
According to Business Insider, “Americans use over 34 million rolls of toilet paper every day, or equivalent to 15 million trees per year”, which wastes our valuable resources that lead to environmental impacts.
Washing your body with water is effective, comfortable, and refreshing, and it works the same way with a TOTO Washlet or bidet!
If you are interested in a Washlet for your home, you can place an order with our Showroom, and we can install it for you! We are offering $20 off our installation of the Washlet. Call us at (775) 828-4193 for more information!
TOTO S550e Washlet Features:
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the global community. We understand that our plumbing services are typically required in special and emergency circumstances. Unfortunately, plumbing issues don’t stop during challenging times, even though it feels like the rest of the world does.
As an essential business to Northern Nevada and the Sierra and as the COVID-19 situation evolves, we want to assure you that the safety and hygiene of our employees, customers, and community is our top concern. Plumbers help safeguard our sanitary systems and keep our city’s water clean, and we are here to help support you when you require plumbing services.
As Nevada’s Oldest Contractor and leaders in the industry, we remain fully committed to fulfilling the needs of our community even as potential demand for our services may increase with more people and families required to social distance and remain in their homes. While the number of families staying at home increases, there is no critical time than the present to maintain a healthy home, and we are treating every call with heightened diligence. We are taking extra precautions with our Service Technicians to ensure the safety of our employees, customers, and community.
We understand the uncertainty during this time and the demand for toiletry products. We urge you to avoid flushing paper towels and any non-toilet paper products for the safety of your home’s piping systems and our city’s sanitation system.
Now and always, we want you to be confident in knowing that we will be here to help you, especially during these challenging times. We will always be here for our community when it needs us, because that’s the Savage Way, and it has been since 1893.
We’ve been doing business the Savage Way since 1893. The knowledge, the precision, the innovation, the care for our community, and our commitment to doing the right things the right way, that’s The Savage Way.
We’re Hiring and looking to fill a position for a highly-motivated Revit/CAD Technician to add to our talented CAD/BIM Department. This is a full-time, entry-level position and will fill an immediate need in our department directly working on industrial and commercial Plumbing, HVAC and Piping projects. Please share with anyone who may be interested! All qualified applicants can apply through Indeed:
‘Tis the season for extra visitors in your home, whether it be family visiting or if you hosting a fabulous holiday party with some friends. And just as the highways will increase in traffic, your home’s pipes will also have more traffic, and we want to give you some preventative tips to reduce the risk of traffic jams.
There is always that one family member who foolishly puts 10 pounds of potato skins down the disposal, and it’s always a nightmare! In the next few weeks, you and your kitchen are probably working on overtime, and your pipes will be working just as hard! If you are unsure of how to care for your garbage disposal or kitchen sink check out our blog on Disposal Care.
But here is a shortlist of the Kitchen Dos and Don’ts:
It is probably one of everyone’s worst nightmares, using the restroom during a party and the bathroom clogs! To save your guests the embarrassment and the hassle of you dealing with a major party fail here are some helpful preventative tips:
Water Heaters are the type of household equipment that you don’t think about until it isn’t working, and usually, it’s when you need it most. Our company has evolved with the times and growth of northern Nevada and the Sierra, and we’ve been helping keep homes warm and the water flowing hot and cold since for over 126 years. We repair and install both residential and commercial tank and tankless water heaters.
Have you been experiencing issues or multiple repairs to your water heaters? Do you even know how old your water heater is? If your water heater is more than ten years old, it’s definitely time to consider investing in a new water heater.
Determining the Age of Your Water Heater:
A standard water heater will typically have a life span from about 8-10 years, depending on which make and model. Angie’s List has a helpful list for determining the age of your water heater at home.
“It’s crucial to know the age of your water heater. Find the age by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker on the upper portion of the water heater. The serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured. But it won’t look the way a date is normally written. Instead, the serial number will have a date code such as “F051052638”.
F is for the month, and F is the sixth letter in the alphabet, so it represents the sixth month, June. Next, the first two digits of the serial number are 05, which represents the year, 2005. So this water heater was made in June 2005. Each manufacturer has a similar date code, and they can vary; check the manufacturer’s website to learn more.”
Most people will not know if their water heater is about to fail.
Here are some symptoms that you will need a water heater replacement or repair:
Benefits of a well-working Water Heater: There are obvious benefits to having a functioning water heater, you will save money and energy in your home, have hot water when needed, and reduce the risk of leaks and further damage to your home.
Saving Energy and Money: Most water heaters carry an ENERGY STAR® certification. Some water heaters can be programmed only to operate when needed, saving energy and work in high efficiency. These models may have a higher cost, but your return on investment will be appreciated in the long run.
Always Hire a professional – Nowadays you can shop online, watch Youtube, or get a new water heater from a big box store to install it yourself, and it’s really tempting. But installing a water heater yourself can cause serious risks to you, your home, or business. You can relax and let one of our professional technicians install it for you – because peace of mind is priceless! We stand by our work and do it right the first time; you can take one more thing to do of your list and know that Savage and Son has you covered.
As the winter months quickly approach, make sure you are aware of the age of your water heater, know the symptoms of a failing water heater, and if it requires repair or replacement, just know that Savage and Son will be there to help you find the right model for your home and budget. Our skilled technicians will ensure that it’s installed correctly, honestly, and efficiently – because that’s the Savage Way, and it has been since 1893!
Give us a call at (775) 828-4193 to discuss your options for a new water heater or repairs on your existing model! We repair and install all makes and models for all residential and commercial tanks and tankless water heaters.
What is your worst nightmare when you are hosting people at your home? One of the most common responses is when a toilet clogs, and the water overflows all over the bathroom. Unless you have a faulty toilet flapper, there is a clog or jam in your drain trap, or something was improperly flushed.
The drain trap is the u-shaped bend in the pipes. Plumbing systems work based on gravity, so if there is a clog, it will not allow the water to continue to move down the pipes. Clogs can come from flushing foreign objects, basically anything other than human waste, water, cleaners, and toilet paper down the toilet. But clogs aren’t the only reason you should not flush any foreign objects down the toilet, and it also prevents environmental disasters and human and animal safety risks.
So what happens after you put something in the toilet, down your sink, or your shower drain? Here in the Reno-Tahoe area, the water that flows through our plumbing systems either flows into a septic tank or the community sewer system. Most homes in Reno are on sewer lines or septic systems. We have all heard the horror stories of clogged septic tanks, which are gross, embarrassingly messy, costly, and time-consuming. Being plumbing technicians, we have listened to a misconception about what people think they can and cannot flush down the toilet.
Even if you don’t have a septic tank at your house, it is the responsibility of the homeowner/tenant to avoid disposing of items that can cause damage to our municipal sewage treatment facilities. It can cause devastating effects environmentally, economically, and for the safety of the community’s health.
Here’s a quick list of things you should NEVER flush down the toilet:
There are misconceptions and false advertisements of “flushable” wipes. These wipes are NOT flushable! “Flushable” wipes have caused significant problems for sewage treatment centers, and are now being told to change the name to disposable. Just because it says “flushable” doesn’t mean you are supposed to flush them! Frequently, household plumbing is not the first thought at the moment, but flushing wipes will cause MAJOR issues!
We all know that paper towels are made with stronger materials, but did you know that tissues are made of stronger fibers than toilet paper? Most think that flushing kleenex or facial tissues are okay, but the material is different than toilet paper and does not break down the same way. It will clump and cause clogs down your home’s pipes.
Diapers, tampons, and pads are all made with cotton and designed to be absorbent and withhold liquid, once flushed these would fill up with water and instantly clog your pipes and could be absolutely devastating to plumbing systems.
Just as hair clogs in your shower, it should never be flushed because the hair will never break down in the water and will clog your pipes.
The absorbent nature will collect water and then clog the pipes.
Pet waste and cat litter have toxins that are not biodegradable by the chemicals in our water treatment facilities and can cause serious health risks for our community’s water.
Other items to NEVER Flush
Even toilet paper can cause a clog! Some of the older piping systems in our area can’t handle the thicker ply paper. The eco-friendly brands of toilet paper will disintegrate better than the other brands. Homeowners insurance does not cover clogs, but the good news is most plumbing problems can be avoided with some knowledge, preventative practices, and maintenance.
Since 1893 we have been here to help safeguard our community from devastating costs, health and safety risks for humans and wildlife, and lasting environmental effects. It’s our job, as Nevada’s Oldest Contractor and Reno Plumber, to provide our customers with the education and tools they need to keep their homes’ plumbing system safe and clean, to therefore maintain a healthy and clean community, because that’s the Savage Way!
If you ever have a plumbing emergency we are available to help you 24/7, call us at (775) 828-4193!