Excellent question Wendy. There are a couple of steps you should take anytime you leave your home for more than a day or two. First, you should turn off the main water supply valve in your home so that you can de-pressurize your water pipes. This valve is usually located close to the floor right beside your water meter.

Next, turn the temperature on your hot water tank down to either the “Off” or the “Vacation” setting – this will save you a bit of money by not paying to heat water that you won’t be using. Once you’ve done both of these things, open up the highest and lowest faucets in your home, and allow them to run until the water stops flowing on its own.

Once it’s stopped, you will have successfully de-pressurized your house! Lastly, flush all of your toilets to drain the water from their tanks, and if you’re going on a winter vacation, take the additional step of pouring a cup of RV anti-freeze into each toilet bowl after flushing to prevent ice from forming in case the heat goes out while you’re away.

Many more houses are damaged every year by water than by fire; by following these simple steps, you will have done everything possible to protect your home from water damage while you’re away. As always, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!


 

You’ll have two types of materials to choose from when it comes to replacing the pipes in your home: copper piping and PEX.

Copper pipes are extremely durable, they can be used both inside and outside the house, they’re recyclable, and they’re fire, bacteria and corrosion resistant. However, copper tubing is more expensive, it requires a certain skillset to solder and fit the pipes together, and it can bust in cold temperatures.

PEX pipes, on the other hand, are made from a flexible plastic hoses and are therefore more affordable (roughly a third of the cost), they require fewer fittings and connections, they’re resistant to extreme temperatures, and they can be colour coded. However, this type of tubing is susceptible to ultraviolet light, they can sag after prolonged use, and they can allow for water contamination.

If you’re not sure about what type of piping to use during your renovations, call the professional plumbers at Always Plumbing. From finding the right materials to fit your needs and budget to expertly repiping your home, we can do it all!

Conserving water is a great way to to help the environment, save some money, and extend the life of your plumbing system and appliances. And the good news is it’s a lot easier than you think.

Let’s start in the kitchen. There’s no denying that dishwashers are really useful. What’s more, they use less water than washing your dishes by hand. But make sure you only use your dishwasher when it’s full, and don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in. Also, keeping a jug or container of drinking water in your fridge will stop you from needlessly running the tap to get cold water. And if you own a garbage disposal, try using it a little less often—composting is a great way to save on water!

The bathroom is another great place to cut back on your water usage. The most obvious place to start is in the shower. Showering consumes fewer gallons of water than taking a bath, especially if you keep them under five minutes long. Likewise, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, washing your hands or shaving will save you hundreds of gallons of water per month. And if you plan on doing laundry, be sure to only put in full loads and always wash you clothes in cold water.

Of course, a professional plumber can also help you cut back on your water consumption. From fixing leaky faucets to installing low-flow toilets and shower heads, they’ll be able to help you waste less water and save more money.

A clogged drain is a frustrating problem that people usually try to fix with liquid drain cleaners. However, depending on the type of clog you’re facing, chemical products aren’t always effective in getting rid of the gunk in your pipes. What’s more, certain cleaners are harmful to your health and the environment, and can even damage your plumbing.

Thankfully, there are a few easy solutions you can try when dealing with troublesome blockages. A very simple and efficient way is to boil some water in a kettle and pour it down your drain. Make sure to empty the kettle in stages so that the hot water has time to break down any clogs.

Another surprisingly effective method is to fish out the hair and grime in your drain using a straightened hanger. Of course, you want to be pulling up the blockage instead of pushing it down, and you’ll want to flush the pipe with hot water once you’re done.

You can also try unclogging your pipes by mixing equal parts baking soda and vinegar—a 1/3 cup of each—and then pouring the mixture down the drain. Ideally, you’ll want to let it work for at least an hour. Once done, simply run some hot water to flush the pipes.

And of course, if all else fails, you can give the professionals at Always Plumbing a call. We’ll take care of any blockage quickly and efficiently!

That’s a great question and a permanent solution would sure beat the smell of sewer back up when it does happen. The first thing you need to ask is why this problem keeps recurring. Depending on the age of your home there may be many different problems down your pipes. We commonly see things ranging from collapsed and sagging pipes to root infested pipes. There may even be foreign objects lodged down there and it can be a matter of excess grease or residue built up over the years.

The traditional method of “fixing” these problems meant running a sewer “snake” blindly down the drains and poking through whatever was blocking the flow of water, seemingly fixing the problem. However, sooner or later the “snaking” guy was back again, your cheque book was open again, and your problem is “fixed” temporarily again.The problem with snaking alone is that we cannot see what the snake is doing down there and we are trusting it to do a good job.

A much more reliable method of freeing your pipes is to perform the drain cleaning down there, but to then check on the snake’s work afterwards by doing a visual inspection with our Drainvision camera equipment. You may be surprised at how effective a job can be done and how much better a warranty you can get, when you can guarantee that the pipes are spic and span down there!

For questions on Drainvision works, or anything to do with your home’s plumbing system feel free to call us any time at 489 – 8118 and, as always, remember; “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Having a bathroom in your basement can be very convenient and can add value to your property, however, when it comes to adding plumbing fixtures to your home there are several very important factors that need to be considered.

First of all, if your house does not have plumbing roughed in for a basement bathroom, you need to have a licensed plumber come in to evaluate whether or not the other plumbing pipes are large enough to allow for this added demand. In most cases this is not a problem.

Secondly, we need to consider the condition and location of the existing pipes to see if they can be used for the new bathroom. This can be done using a sewer camera and locating system that most plumbers should have available. If the pipes are in a suitable location and condition, your plumber should then be able to quote you a price for the installation. However, occasionally the cost associated with unearthing and renovating existing underground plumbing is not a viable option for our clients.

In these cases we can use state of the art products designed to pump waste water from sinks, showers and even toilets to an existing above ground drain pipe using small unobtrusive pipes. These systems in themselves can be quite costly, but they allow you to install a bathroom in virtually any home and in almost any location in a home. We have even seen bathrooms installed in old closets with very minimal damage caused to existing walls and ceilings.

Lastly, the most important consideration is that all local plumbing codes and guidelines are followed, and that your plumber has permits pulled for this work. If you have a question about your home’s plumbing system and the possibility of a bathroom renovation or installation please call the Always plumbing 24-hr service line at 489 - 8118 and speak with one of our qualified technicians. Pre-planning and an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.

Good Question! First off, a home filtration system is a fantastic alternative to the frustration of constantly buying flats of bottled water, or wrestling with those huge jugs that go on top of water coolers - not only are those inconvenient, they’re expensive! Why would you want to be buying water when you’re already paying for the stuff coming right out of your own tap?

It’s a fact that here in Edmonton and St. Albert we enjoy some of the safest, cleanest water in Canada, but clean and safe doesn’t necessarily mean that it tastes good. It also doesn’t mean that it’s good for your appliances - you know that white stuff that clouds your coffee pot and plugs up your shower head (and your hot water tank and your humidifier)? That’s calcium, and it comes straight from your municipal water supply!

For a good basic filtration system, look for one that is unobtrusive, one that you can have installed under your kitchen sink, and that has easy to change cartridges that are good for about 1000 litres. To protect your home appliances as well as your health, and to finally have good, clean-tasting water from every faucet in your home, I recommend a Reverse Osmosis System, installed right on to the main water supply in your basement - it will prevent smelly, impure water from ever even entering your home, and do remember that, after all, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

No, it isn’t. There’s a problem with your drains if you smell something funky every time you walk into the bathroom. However, this is something that can often be easily fixed.

The drains in your home are designed to prevent sewer gas from escaping the drainage system. Thanks to its U-shaped design, a drain will always retain—or trap—a little bit of water. This creates a seal between your bathroom and the sewer system and prevents sewer gasses from going back up your plumbing and entering your home.

In most cases, when people begin to smell bad odours in their bathrooms, it’s often because the water in their drain trap has dried up. This is a common problem in drains that aren’t frequently used. Fortunately, all you need to do here is simply run some water down the drain and fill the trap back up. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll need to call in a professional plumber to locate the problem.

The primary reason to install a water softener in your home is to protect and prolong the life of your water-using appliances. Water hardness is a measure of the trace amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron found in our water supply; if you’ve ever had to scrub a white ring out of your coffee pot, or had to take apart and clean your bathroom shower head to get it spraying again, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

In our area the water hardness deposits somewhere around the equivalent of 300 pounds of rock per year in the average household! While these minerals are certainly not a health risk, you can be assured that they will, through slow and certain accumulation, kill off some of the increasingly complex and expensive “big ticket” appliances that you rely on such as humidifiers, hot water tanks (especially the new “tankless” water heaters), and dishwashers, as well as some of the ones that you really need, like coffee makers, clothes, irons etc.

Through a chemical “ion-swapping” process, water softeners remove these from water, replacing them with hydrogen, sodium, and potassium which will flow harmlessly through your expensive appliances, rather than clogging up inside them. As a bonus, you’ll also find that your soaps, shampoos and detergents actually work better, so you’ll use less while getting cleaner results.

One thing, though: If you are extremely sensitive to sodium in your diet, or are on a medically-prescribed low sodium diet, you should consult with your doctor, and include a Reverse Osmosis water filter (originally designed for desalinating sea water) with your installation before going ahead, just to have all your bases covered, because after all, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

Yes. Just like in the human body, the plumbing in your home is a complex system, designed to support life by providing clean, healthy, fresh water, while at the same time safely and efficiently removing harmful toxins and waste products. Like any other complex system, it will break down if not regularly maintained. In short, the plumbing in your home is just like you: It needs a yearly check-up to ensure that everything is working as it should be.

Here are just a few of the things that should be checked: Your hot water tank should be inspected for corrosion and mineral deposits. All drains, waterlines, and appliance hoses and connections should be checked and tested including the ones that are difficult for a homeowner to access. All natural gas lines and connections should be thoroughly inspected for leaks, and all taps and toilets should be checked for performance and adjusted if required. A complete check-up includes over 75 items, all of which combine to provide you and your family with comfort, safety and peace of mind.

Ask us about becoming a member of our Diamond Club where for a low monthly fee you are guaranteed priority service and an annual inspection as part of your member benefits. Our certified technicians will come to your home at your convenience each year and inspect all of these items while you are there and make any recommendations and repairs as necessary. When it comes to your plumbing, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Reduced water flow or leaky faucet handles cause many homeowners to think there’s a water pressure issue. If your kitchen and bath faucets lead you to believe your water pressure is lacking, a solution may be simpler than you think.

More often than not, it’s a clogged aerator. Low water pressure from the sprayer or water leaks from the handle are usually caused by lime and sediment buildup that blocks the small openings inside the sprayer head. The problem is most common in homes with hard water.

Sometimes rust, corrosion or age will take its toll on the aerator, which requires it to be replaced. If there are white plastic particles in the aerator, this will reduce the flow, but may also indicate that your hot water tank needs to be looked at. Shut off valves could also have an effect on this as the rubber seals may be deteriorating and may need to be replaced.

One of the benefits of being one of our Diamond Club members is that our technicians will inspect all of the plumbing in your home annually. We then provide you with a report so that maintenance of all systems is no longer a problem for you. If any upgrading or replacement is necessary we stand behind the Best Written Warranties in the business as we still believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

It’s a good thing you asked that question as there are things to think about other than just buying the cheapest one or one that matches your décor. When you really think about it, a toilet is something that is used a couple of thousand times each year so it is worth investing your money wisely. It’s kind of like buying a good suit or great pair of shoes: if you divide the purchase price by the cost per wearing or use, the initial investment seems small.

Do you still have a toilet that uses too much water? The new models are all eco-friendly, low-flush models. For ease of cleaning, the bowls in the models that we sell at Always Plumbing Ltd have a special glazed finish which is not available on all toilets. There are toilets which fit right to the floor so you never have to worry about cleaning around bolt caps or p-traps again.

Do you want a single or dual flush model? The internal parts of a toilet such as flush valves and flappers should be of high quality and fit well.

Do you want to install it yourself? That can be harder than it seems especially if you have tile floors in your bathroom and need some extra plumbing done.

Will you need new water supply hoses? Our technicians use braided stainless steel and some older homes still have older systems.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to look at all the toilets in your home. If they are all the same age it’s probably time to replace them all just in case one might be ready to crack or leak. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Your toilet might be leaking for a number of different reasons. One of the more common causes is condensation forming on the outside of the tank—known as sweating—and dripping on the floor. This is caused by warm air interacting with the cold tank, and can be remedied by simply wiping down the tank.

Your toilet might also be leaking water from between the tank and the bowl. A faulty sponge gasket, worn washers or even a crack in the tank are all reasons why there might be water on your bathroom floor. To see if your tank is indeed leaking, simply add a few drops of food colouring to your tank water. Any coloured water that you discover on the floor after that will be a definite sign that your tank is the problem.

If you tank isn’t to blame, then it’s time to inspect the plumbing that connects your toilet to the water line. A loose or faulty shut-off valve or supply line could very well cause water to form around the base of your toilet.

Finally, and this is the big one, check to see if the water is coming from underneath the toilet. If it is, and you notice that your toilet wobbles when you sit on it, then chances are your toilet flange is cracked, broken or rotted. A flange is a gasket that holds the toilet to the floor and connects it to the piping, so if it’s damaged in any way, it will allow water to leak from under the toilet.

If you have a leaky toilet, and you’re not sure how to go about fixing it, give the experts at Always Plumbing a call. We’ll get the job done right and on time.

Well there are a few different types of tankless hot water tanks out there however we find the most beneficial tankless tank is the Navien system.

The Navian is quoted to be “the most environmentally friendly tankless water heater on the market”. It is condensing at a 98% efficiency which allows for its inclusion in most or all Canada’s Eco Energy Rebate Programs while providing you with an endless supply of hot water. This light weight unit is ergonomically designed to fit into most confined spaces your job may offer.

These tankless systems come dual purpose ready to offer you the same space heating capabilities as comparable conducting boilers for a fraction of the price. They also come equipt with a built in “Leak Detection” for added protection of your home. All this and it saves you money.

Call Always Plumbing now and ask for one of our fully trained and certified service technicians to come out and show you how the Navien can give you endless hot water for less money. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

There are many different kinds of faucets out there these days and choosing the right faucet can get frustrating if you don’t know the benefits or purpose of each style of faucet. Do you want a faucet that matches your décor or are you more concerned about space? Are you elderly or arthritic and would having a faucet that is easy to maneuver be best? We have many options available.

Wall Mount Faucets - This type of faucet is great in spaces with limited space as it is mounted on the wall. This faucet will work great with vessel sinks.

Single Lever Style Faucet – This is a one handle faucet is only one Handel that pulls up and swings side to side for hot and cold water. This is usually mounted on the on the sink or counter.

Lavatory Faucet - This faucet is typically used for under mounted sinks or drop in sink. This faucet will sit on the deck of the sink or countertop. Available for one hole and 4” center set and 8” center set

Wing Back Faucet - This faucet is great for those who have some trouble being able to turn a regular two handle faucet but like the concept of two handles design. This faucet is usually mounted on the sink.

If you are still uncertain about what faucet style will work for you, call your Preferred Plumbers at Always Plumbing 780-489-8118 and we will always be happy to come out and help. Whether replacing or repairing your faucets don’t forget that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Every spring, it seems, houses in our region flood, causing thousands of dollars in property damage and irretrievable losses of sentimental value. The real tragedy is that the vast majority of these floods could have been avoided.

Most newer homes not located on high-ground are equipped with a sump pit and a sump pump in the basement; it’s the job of that little gadget to pump all of the excess water that shows up after spring thaw (or after heavy rains) out of your basement and into a run-off area. For this to happen correctly, the sump pit must be free from any debris that’ll clog up and ruin the pump, and the “floater switch” must have room to operate.  Also, to avoid merely circulating the flood water, your run-off pipe should terminate no closer than four to six feet from your foundation wall, and it should slope down, away from your house.

It’s also very important to ensure that the run-off pipes can drain freely, are not blocked, and are equipped with a back flow protection device; otherwise you could find yourself fighting a losing battle. With professional maintenance and cleaning twice per year (once in the spring, and once in the fall), and a quick test performed at that time (fill the sump pit with water – if the pump turns on, Good! If it doesn’t, Bad!), you’ll have done all that you can do to protect your home and possessions from these kinds of disasters.

If you think that your sump pump may not be operating reliably, or if you’re not sure that you even have a sump pump in your home, you can contact us at 489-8118 for an appointment and we’ll come out, make an assessment, and hopefully be able to put you at ease. Remember, especially when it comes to flooding in your home, that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.