Toilets: Repair or Replace? That is the question.

Toilet-repair-or-replace
Last weekend, as we jiggled the toiled handled again (and again and again) to make it stop running, we felt it might be time to replace the toilet. Got in the car, went to the Big Box Hardware Store, and did a Price Check. Ouch. We quickly realized a good new toilet is an investment in time, money, and labor. Regroup. We had two approaches: For a few dollars, we could replace the tank parts –...
Continue reading
267 Hits

April Showers Bring Wet Basements

Sump-Pump
Our soggy winter has morphed into a soggy spring. Our backyard is soup. In Cincinnati, this means one thing: wet basements. For readers with sump pumps (or readers who would like one), a quick FAQ on sump pumps seems like a good read. Q: What is a sump pump? A: Many people think the "sump pump" is a device, but actually they are two things. A sump is a pit in which liquid collects. The pump is the...
Continue reading
332 Hits

Tankless Water Heaters – A 101 Overview

Tank-vs-tankless
Two years ago, we wrote a blog on tank vs. tankless water heaters – the local adoption rate of tankless was low at the time. Since then, the numbers of installations has risen slowly. Seemingly, Cincinnatians like the tradition of a tank water heater. Changing an American paradigm is tough. What is a Tankless Water Heater? According to the Department of Energy, "Tankless water heaters, also known ...
Continue reading
311 Hits

Sewer Gas -- It Stinks!

clothes-pin
In our 1920's vintage home, we're at peace with our vintage plumbing: everything above ground is new-ish; everything underground is cast iron, rusty, and likely broken in places that we can't see. After 20+ years of peaceful coexistence, our basement drain recently decided to take our relationship to a new level. It burped up a wave of sewer gas that we could not ignore. Our beloved basement man-c...
Continue reading
320 Hits

Shower Heads -- The Ultimate in Fine Bathing

shower-head
Recently, we stayed in an historic 1929 English Tudor manor lodge near Chagrin Falls, OH. The lobby had the usual showcase of lodge history, but what caught our eye were the 2 original shower heads on display. The vintage showerheads are truly works of skillfully cast brass fixture art and the ultimate in 1929 bathing grandeur. In the Gatsby-esque roaring twenties, homeowners were so excited about...
Continue reading
259 Hits

Buyer Beware -- Original PVC Pipes Can Be Trouble

Allied-dude
We have a 20-something friend who believes she's found the perfect starter home in an early 1980's neighborhood. The home seller is a "flipper" (red flag #1). The home inspection revealed that all the plumbing low-grade PVC (red flag #2). The home inspector broke the sad news that all the piping must be brought up to current code in order to obtain homeowner's insurance (red flag #3). To re-pipe t...
Continue reading
336 Hits