In homes all across the Greater Cincinnati area, a faucet is either leaking, has leaked, or will be leaking soon.

According to http://www.hometips.com/repair-fix/faucet-dripping.html, there are 4 types of faucets: cartridge, ball, compression and disc. Before tackling a faucet repair, it’s important to identify which type of faucet you have. Typically, single-lever faucets are either a ball-type or a cartridge-type. A faucet with 2 handles (one for hot and one for cold) is usually a compression faucet. To muddy the water a bit, disc-type faucets can be either single lever or dual handles.

The best way to identify your faucet type is to take it apart. Tip: Before you begin, turn the water off at the shutoff valves under the sink or at the water main.

What Causes Leaky Faucets?

Once, it was our 3-year old who decided to stand on the kitchen sink faucet to reach an upper-shelf item in the cabinet. The faucet (which was clearly not cast brass) snapped off under his weight, sending water everywhere. Fortunately, we had the wherewithal to grab a large drinking glass, turn the glass upside-down over the spewing stream to route the water into the sink while someone shut off the water.

Usually, leaks are more mundane – a washer, seal or an O-ring is worn and needs to be replaced. According to http://www.hometips.com/repair-fix/faucet-dripping.html, “Failed washers or seals usually cause drips… leaks around the handle usually mean that the O-rings on the stem need to be replaced or that the packing nut or adjusting ring needs to be tightened.”

• As a general rule, compression faucets are notorious “drippers.” The washers or seals are constantly compressed against the metal valve seats, causing wear. When they fail, the non-stop drip can waste water, create rust stains in tubs and lavatories, and become downright annoying. A clue that your compression faucet needs attention: no matter how hard you tight the faucet handles, the drip does not cease.

• Disc faucets leak when the inlet and outlet seals fail or when sediment builds in the faucet inlets. Replace the worn seals with new, matching seals, being careful to align the seals properly.

• Cartridge faucets, on the other hand, leak when the O-ring cushion in the cartridge stem fails or when the cartridge needs to be replaced. It’s imperative that the replacement cartridge matches the original. New cartridges are readily available from Amazon.com or the local home center. It’s a good idea to take the original with you when looking for a replacement.

• Ball faucets, such as the ubiquitous, inexpensive single lever models made by Delta and Price-Pfister, become drippy when the seals wear out and leaky when the O-rings fail. If the leak happens when you move the handle a certain way, tighten the adjusting ring after lifting the handle off the assembly. If the handle continues to leak, replace the cap; if the spout drips, the inlet seals and springs or the ball need replacing. If all those approaches fail, throw the faucet as far as you can and replace it with something better. Seriously.

Water you waiting for? While fixing a faucet seems like an easy task, there are better ways to spend 3-4 hours on a Saturday. Call the professionals at Allied Reddi-Rooter while you kick back and relax. Ray is on hand for free estimate. Call today: (513) 396-5300.

When we were kids, grandma’s dark, damp and unfinished basement was a treasure trove of leftover memories from the late 19th – mid-20th century. The pungent smell of mildew and an always-damp concrete floor added to the mystique. Her basement scent – also found in caves and deep in the forest under decaying logs – is forever etched in our memories.

Grandma’s basement was a leaker. Kids loved it, but it was a scary and uncomfortable place for adults.

In Basements, Dry is Good. Wet is Bad.
If you are thinking of upgrading your home’s living areas, a basement renovation is a good indoors project during the winter months. Generally, basements are unfinished for one reason – water problems. Tackling basement water problems in advance of a renovation is a good plan. It can comprise several areas and takes time and effort to resolve:
1. Identify the leak(s). In Cincinnati, hard clay soil make drainage difficult during severe weather.
2. Stopping or re-routing the leak
3. Ensuring dryness in the future

Identify the Leak – Obvious leaks are easy – burst pipes, overflowing laundry sinks or toilets. Leaks coming up through the floor or through masonry walls during a heavy rain are more challenging.

Stop or Re-Route the Leak – depending on the source of the leak, remediation can take several forms, including:

• Waterproofing concrete or stone walls with basement waterproofing paint such as UGL or Drylock.
• Repairing or replacing your gutters
• Making landscaping improvements around your foundation to ensure that heavy rain or melting snow flows away from your home.
• Installing a sump pump to remove unwanted water in (or under) your basement.
• For difficult-to-stop leaks that occur during heavy rain, consider digging a small channel in your basement floor to route water directly to a floor drain.
• Installing an additional floor drain or repairing an existing one may have a broken tile or is clogged with tree roots.

Ensure Ongoing Dryness – Basements, by their nature, are always a bit damp even when they appear dry. A good dehumidifier is a good investment.

Water You Waiting For? Allied Reddi-Rooter has lots of experience in drying out wet basements. From sump-pumps to clog repair, our trained professional plumbers can help with your renovation. Call Ray today for a free estimate. 513-396-5300.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 19th century adage “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” has taken on a new edge for the 21st century: “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain, catch it, and use the water later to reduce your water bill.”

In the Greater Cincinnati area, we are blessed with four seasons and a generally reliable chance of rain. When the water bill arrived (again), we started thinking about ways to reduce our usage. We’ve discussed several money-saving options: water-saver shower heads, leak repair, installing new water-heater tanks, low-flow toilets, and water usage calculators. In the end, it’s hard to move the needle on the dreaded water bill.

As we turned on the sprinkler system, it dawned on us: Rain frequently falls on the Ohio Valley; let’s collect it!

What’s Involved in Rainwater Collection?
A quick search of Amazon.com illustrates the range of collection options: everything from simple rain barrels to sophisticated underground rainwater diverter kits. For many, an attractive 50-gallon barrel with a brass spigot is an easy and affordable option. Place one at each end of the house and collect up to 100 gallons with little effort.

For homeowners with bigger needs and some building skills, our always-entertaining friends over at Mother Earth News have an excellent article on building a 275-gallon collection system: http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/build-a-rainwater-collection-system-zb0z1307zsal.aspx#axzz3D8S7wN00

If “easy” is your approach, there are several online sources for landscape-friendly rain barrels that can be ordered and delivered to your door in just a few days. For those intrigued by the Mother Earth News approach, the list of materials is surprisingly simple:
• Wood to build a simple pallet or platform
• Spigot and hardware
• Screen material (to keep debris out of the water)
• Gutters, downspouts and elbows
• Silicon or other appropriate sealant
For complete instructions, see: http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/build-a-rainwater-collection-system-zb0z1307zsal.aspx#ixzz3D8Ty2G2m

Rainwater Uses
According to RainHarvester.com, ” There is no higher quality source of water available to us than rainwater…it represents a sustainable source of water ideal for use inside and outside the home. By using rainwater for toilet flushing, and garden use alone, one can reduce mains water requirements of a typical household by [a significant amount].”

Realistically, will we use rainwater in the bathroom, laundry, or kitchen? No. In the garden and washing the car? Yes, absolutely! And when the water bill goes down by another $10-20 next quarter, we will very proud of our conservation skills.

Water You Waiting For? The skilled, professionally-trained plumbers at Allied Reddi-Rooter have innovative ideas and top-quality plumbing materials for those seeking ways to conserve water. Call today and ask Ray to guide you through free estimate process: (513) 396-5300.

In celebration of our recent water heater sweepstakes, we thought it would be nice to offer a few tips for selecting a new water heater.

The water heater engineers at Rheem have an excellent article on selecting a tank based on your fuel type (gas or electricity) and desired tank type (tankless, traditional, high efficiency or others). Read more: http://www.rheem.com/products/water_heating/selection/
In this blog, our focus is on choosing the best tank size to meet your needs. The graphic below offers a good guideline:

Selecting the Right Size
1. Consider how much water your household will use on a daily basis. Typically, families fall into one of two categories: High Water Use or Low Water Use. If the following criteria apply to your home, you are likely a High Water Use home:
· Your home has at least two full-size bathrooms
· You frequently run out of hot water
· You have an oversize tub or a tub with jets. A good guidelines is that the water heater tank capacity is 100% or more of the bathtub capacity (i.e., a 50-gallon tub requires at least a 50 gallon water heater).
2. Locate your Household Size and Gallon Capacity in the chart above.
4. If your family is in the High Water Use Category, consider stepping up to the next Gallon Capacity option.

Water You Waiting For? Be proactive in managing your water heater experience. In most homes in the Greater Cincinnati Area, household water heaters are well into their 8-10 year life expectancy. Replacing your tank as part of a regular household maintenance schedule means not having to replace one on an emergency basis (because we all know plumbing emergencies are the pits). And planning is always better than reacting. Call today and ask Ray to guide you through the water heater removal, replacement, and installation process. Call 24/7 for a free estimate: (513) 396-5300.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a registration through this Allied website. The winner will be notified by email and phone that we will be coming to their home to remove that old clunker of a water heater and install a brand new Rheem 40 gallon unit. That’s the way we roll at Allied Reddi-Rooter… Whether its hot or cold water that you’re looking for, We’re on our way… 24 hours a day with over the phone prices, fast service and great craftsmanship!