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Credentials and Education Needed To Become a Plumber

Although from state to state the requirements for becoming a plumber can vary, there are usually two ways to obtain your plumbing license. One way is to go to college for 2-3 years to obtain the knowledge and experience necessary to work in the field and the other is to do a much longer apprenticeship beneath a “master plumber”. Both ways are respected in the trade and matter only to the aspiring plumber, to choose the option that best fits his lifestyle and resources.

Formal Education

To best prepare for the field, an aspiring plumber should first get their high school diploma or GED. If they know they want to be a plumber they will need a solid background in science, math, and computers. If they are able, in high school or college, taking courses in drafting and blue print reading is very helpful in the trade. Trade school, vocational school, or technical schools all offer plumbing programs that will give you the foundation in more advanced plumbing studies such as water supply and drainage systems and piping equipment. Schooling can take 2-3 years. After you’ve received your diplomas you will want hands-on experience with an employer willing to mentor you your first few years of work.

Apprenticeship

Doing an extensive apprenticeship program that may last as long as 5 years under an experienced plumber in place of going to school for a formal education is another option available to aspiring plumbers. The steps following are the same, 2-3 years experience after your apprenticeship has ended will qualify you for what they call your journeyman’s license. Journeyman plumbers can go onto become master plumbers after they’ve received 1-5 years more experience in the field (depending on the state) by taking another exam.

Licensing

After you’ve completed one of the two routes listed above to gather all the knowledge and experience necessary for licensing, you will probably take an exam. The exam will include a lot of the information you learned in school, on the job, and will likely include local codes as well. As previously mentioned, journeyman can continue onto becoming master plumbers by continuing to work in the field and then taking the master plumber’s exam.

Job Outlook

Plumbers average 20.00 per hour and have been staying around 5% unemployment rate which is good. The trade is expected to remain the same into the future. Newcomers will likely have job openings when they are ready to fill them, as plumbers retire. Most plumbers find their work in construction, but there are a number of job applications for plumbing.

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Cure Your Basement Odor

Having odor in the home isn’t just displeasing to your nose. The two main causes for the odor is mold and mildew accumulation that can be harmful to your health (allergy and asthma are two main conditions caused by undetected mold). This is not a problem that should be ignored, especially if you are trying to maintain the integrity of the home for years to come or are trying to sell it in the future. No matter how lovely the home is staged on higher levels, once your guests open the basement door and catch a whiff, they will know what the smell represents; Water! Mold and mildew smells coming from your basement are likely caused by condensation, leaking, and poor ventilation. Luckily, this problem can be remedied fairly easily. Check out these tips.

Air It Out

The musty basement smell is strongest in spring and fall when utilities aren’t running and in the winter when windows are closed. Poor ventilation of the basement is how the smell permeates each square inch. The first thing you can do is buy a humidifier to remove moisture and dry the place out. Open all windows and doors in the vicinity of the basement in hopes it will tame the smell.

Inspect

Put on your home inspector hat because you are going to examine both the inside of the basement and outside the home around the perimeter of the foundation. Inside look for water spots that indicate leakage, cracks in the foundation, or actual mold. Look at exposed pipes to see if they are dripping or wet with condensation. These should be wrapped in a wrap product specifically made for the purpose. Note what you see and call a professional to make repairs immediately before severe damage is done to the foundation. The problems are likely from the outside where you will examine next. The land around the home should slope away so that rain water is drained away from the home instead of down the foundation walls. Even water soaking into the dirt and penetrating the home’s concrete can cause cracks and damage. See if you have an adequate and clean gutter system doing its job. Gutter down spouts should extend at least 6 feet from the home’s foundation.

Get Rid Of The Smells Long Term

To get rid of the smells long term you will need to apply several of these tips. Wear a mask as you use a water and bleach solution to spray and clean every surface of the basement to kill any harmful mold that has grown. Mold may not be visible, but is still there so I would not skip this important step. If you have any closets or tight enclosed places in your basement, kitty litter makes a great odor eliminator in these areas. White vinegar scattered around in bowls will eliminate odor over a period of a few days. The smell of vinegar will also go away. For long term odor eliminating, leave open containers of baking soda in the basement just as you would for the fridge. The baking soda boxes can assist in odor elimination up to 3 months.

Understand The Plumbing In Your Home

The plumbing in your home is a complex system, or rather three, when you look at it more closely. Installing and keeping a plumbing “network” efficient, leak free, and quiet is very important to the integrity of the home for resale value and living in. One leak in the home can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Plumbing can be one of the costliest systems in the home, so having a decent understanding of how it works can help you optimize your plumbing. Materials used have changed over the years and can be made of galvanized iron, plastic, or older plumbing made of copper. Appliances will quit, valves and hoses will need replacements, but the integrity of your plumbing no matter its material will likely last as long as the house itself if properly maintained. Let’s look at the 3 main systems that make up your home’s plumbing network.

Water Supply

The water supply is the system that is bringing clean water to your home from the street or well and then your system branches off and distributes it to different rooms. The water enters the home at 50-60 psi (pounds per square inch), a measurement used to determine water pressure.

Drain-Waste-Vent System

The clean water is brought into the home through the aforementioned network, and the dirty water leaves using gravity and drainage pipes (such as from your bathtubs and sink drains). Air is also sent through the pipes to insure that water is flowing efficiently through the pipes. The dirty water is sent to a septic tank or city sewer for treatment. This system is one of the most crucial of the home and your plumbing. Drain pipes make sense, but one complicated feature of this system is the much necessary vent pipes. These pipes are strategically placed to vent sewer gases caused by the dirty water and prevent them from stinking up your home. They also allow the draining water to maintain the most optimal pressure for drainage and smell. It’s extremely important to follow code when installing this system. You can imagine the consequences. Clogged drains, anywhere within the system, are the main cause of issue in the DWV system. Looking for clogs will be your first step of action if you catch wind of an unwanted smell.

Gas Supply

If you have a gas range stove, your plumbing will also include a gas supply line that’s considered part of the plumbing. Otherwise, bathrooms and kitchens systems are simple. Both have hot and cold water lines coming in, and waste lines going out. Appliances such as dishwashers and garbage disposals are just tied in easily with existing plumbing under your sink.

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Advantages Of Having A Double Bowl Kitchen Sink

A double or single sink does not determine the number of sinks you have, but rather the number of “bowls” per kitchen sink. In many places a double sink will come standard, but this does not make it a better choice. In fact, homeowners and renters can prefer a double or single sink, depending on their cooking and cleaning habits. This article highlights all the advantages of having a double sink in your kitchen.

To Keep Clean Dishes Aside

Generally you’ll find all these reasons will include using one of the sink’s bowls for a second purpose. The second bowl is most often used to keep a dish drying rack in so it doesn’t take up valuable prep counter space. For those who prefer washing dishes by hand (yes, those people still exist), filling one sink with soapy water for soaking, washing, and rinsing and the other with dishes to dry is the ideal system. For those hellbent on using the dishwasher but are avid pre-washers, the double sink fits their style as well.

One Side Specifically For Garbage Disposal

For those who cook or prepare food with a lot of fresh produce, having the one sink bowl connected to the garbage disposal is ideal. They use this one side for peeling potatoes and cucumber, or for discarding undesired vegetable parts from their cutting boards. The other side can be a pre-wash or soaking bowl for these produce.

Separate Soaking/Cleaning

After large dinner parties or a particularly messy or time consuming meal, scraping plates into the garbage or garbage disposal and then letting the dish load soak for an evening before tackling the task is ideal. For people who deep clean their houses and kitchens, having an additional bowl just for filling with water and adding product (cleansers, bleach, etc) is a home cleaner’s best friend. A neat trick to cleanse a sink, and refresh a home’s fragrance is to stop a sink, fill it up with water, add essential oil or a good smelling all purpose liquid, and let it sit at least an hour. This liquid can then be used to dust the home or clean countertops, ceiling fans, and stovetops.

Filling Pots

Having a double kitchen sink gives you a ridge in the middle to set a pot on for filling if the two bowls are full with their own jobs.

Generally More Space

More sink space means more multi-tasking and getting things done. It can allow you to procrastinate one task because you have a sink open for another. It gives a homeowner or renter more freedom to choose how they spend their time. One side can be passively cleaning the sink and refreshing the home’s fragrance, while the other is free for guests to wash their hands. For several residents and a busy home, the double sink will make the best choice.

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Instances You Should Call Your Plumber Immediately

Some plumbing issues are minor nuisances that you might ignore for a while until it bothers you too much. A leaky faucet, a slow drain, a running toilet that you have to jiggle the handle to get it to stop, are examples of potentially minor plumbing issues. Some plumbing issues require attention immediately before they turn into a disaster. Keep your plumber’s number handy if you notice these potential problems:

Leaks

 

Any signs of leaks such as water spots on ceilings or walls or under your sinks should be taken care of immediately. Catching a leak early may result in just needing to dry out the wet surfaces.

Leaking Water Heater

 

You probably don’t look at your water heater often so if you do see water around it take action now. It could be a crack in the internal tank. A small puddle can turn into gallons of water damaging walls and floors. Water heaters have limited life spans. Frequent inspections and maintenance is good practice.

A big Increase In Your Water Bill

 

This could indicate a leak in your underground pipes. It could be from a constantly running toilet that you never use or a leak in a part of your house that you don’t frequent.

Sewer Gas Smell

 

You’ll need a plumber if you have cracks in your sewer lines. Some sewer gas problems are easy to solve such as keeping the water level up in your drain traps by pouring a cup of water down the drain.

Mold and Mildew

 

Look out for mold and mildew on any surfaces. Check in closets and back of cabinets. A leak can go undetected for a long time and grow mold in a widespread area.

A Wet Spongy Lawn

 

A wet lawn when the weather has been dry could indicate an exterior water main leak.

Frozen Pipes

 

Thawing your pipes as soon as possible can prevent a burst pipe resulting in flooding. Your plumber can thaw your pipes and help you to prevent it from happening again.
 A good thing to do right now is to make sure everyone in your household knows how to turn the water off to the whole house in case of an emergency. If you have an instance that you need to call a plumber, it might be a good time to get a complete plumbing inspection to prevent other instances.
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Hair and Hard Water

85% of the water in the U.S. Is considered hard water on some level. Hard water is determined by the purity of water. Water with more mineral content and impurities is harder. It’s opposite is water like from rain which has no impurities or minerals until it falls and seeps into the ground where it picks up it’s elements from it’s surrounding, mostly soft rock. Rain water that falls down a mountain, against large non-porous rocks and not through them like with soft rocks, remains pure and what is considered soft.

This has to do with hair because when washing hair in hard water, no matter the kind of shampoo and conditioner you are in use of, you will notice an undesirable residue or texture to it when finished. This is not only from the contents of your water, but also how the contents react to what’s in your shampoo and conditioner.

The History

Nowadays we there are lots of additives to our water sources, such as chlorine. At one time, there were no additives and water was effected very little by people unlike now. On home steads where rain water was collected and used in makeshift showers, hard water and hair residue was not a thing. It wasn’t until humans began tampering with and creating our glorious plumbing that the soap, the only thing we were using on our hair and body, was reacting to the water we were pumping into homes. To combat the hard water issue, they invented shampoo to clean the residue left on the hair. Shampoo was harsh and still is, so then was born the need for conditioner as well. Conditioner was invented to heal the damage done to the hair at each washing.

The First Thing You Can Do

If you’ve suffered from a change in water due to moving, traveling or changing to a shampoo/conditioning system reacting poorly with the water, the first thing you can do is request the quality test results for your area from the city or view a hard water map online of your area. You can also check your own water using a meter that measures TDS or Total Deposited Solids and measures the hardness or softness of the water by how positive or negatively charged the water is. Too many positive ions are bad and negative ions are good. You’ve probably heard these terms used when discussing air quality as well. If your water is not too hard, you might get by with using natural shampoo and a little conditioner at each washing, but if your water is pretty hard than you might have to look into further solutions.

Water Filtration

A filtration shower head can pass your water through a replaceable carbon or charcoal filter that removes as many impurities as it can. You may have success with this or loose the water pressure you once had. It’s worth a try and inexpensive!

Rinse Water

If you don’t mind the inconvenience you might decide to just rinse your hair after conditioning with a different kind of water. This way you will remove the residue in the rinse. Rain water or distilled water are good purchasable options, or you can create your own low acid rinse using vinegar or lemon juice.

Enhancing Your Water Softener

A water softener is a device in the home that removes impurities from the water before it hits your pipes and then your hair. If you’ve done the testing you will know if it is working properly or needs to be adjusted, repaired or replaced. Having done an initial test, you have results of which to compare your water testing in the future.

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Commercial Building Plumbing Maintenance In 3 Easy Steps

The hard truth about commercial building plumbing maintenance is that it’s far more expensive to repair the water damage associated with a plumbing issue after it’s happened, not to mention the money lost due to having otherwise operating sections of your building under maintenance. If you’ve stumbled upon this article about commercial plumbing maintenance, congratulations! You are one step further from the costly repairs of neglecting to take these preventative measures.

Find Your Plumber BEFORE Your Problem Occurs

There is not only residential and commercial plumbers but even further classifications of plumbers for different types of commercial buildings. There is far more to it than you probably are aware and it would benefit you to have a company you trust come out and tell you what kind of commercial building you are operating in and what kind of plumber you need for routine maintenance and emergencies. Hopefully, this appointment builds a bridge for you to foster an on-going relationship!

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Once you’ve established the kind of building you operate and a relationship with a plumber or plumbers you trust, you should schedule regular maintenance to keep that relationship strong and ensure you’re doing everything you can to avoid any costly plumbing issues and loss of business in the future. Plumbing issues are inevitable due to aging buildings, shifting foundations and inadequate building materials used at different periods of time. Having a regular plumber you trust visit the building and assess your plumbing, will not only catch problems early but improve your future costs by recommending the best new building materials and replacement parts.

Look For Signs

Before you even call your plumber, you can assess your own building by visiting each bathroom and looking for any of the following signs: water temperatures of faucets being too hot, cold or slow to change, frequent clogged toilets or drains, and dripping faucets or other signs of leaking (check under sinks and look for water damage in ceilings). Having a list will streamline your plumber’s visit, possibly save you money and give you a reference point to compare how your plumbing has improved after your plumber works his magic!

Taking care of your plumbing needs before an emergency is of the utmost importance when taking ownership of a commercial building. You’re doing the responsible thing for your business and all those it affects, including employees and customers, by taking these three simple steps to ensure the integrity of your building well into the future!

 

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The Damage Trees Can Cause To Your Yard

How Trees Can Actually Destroy Your Yard

There is no question that trees can add marvelous visual splendor and character to your property. However, there are certain things about trees that you want to be at least a little wary of. By no means are we saying that you can’t enjoy the shade and personality that trees can bring to a property. However, it’s also a good idea to be aware of the potential damage trees can cause.

At Knoxville Plumbing, we want you to be aware of the unseen-until-it’s-too-late damage that trees can wreck upon your property.

How Trees Can Destroy Your Yard

Older buildings in particular can run into a lot of problems with the trees on the property. In particular, we’re talking about what happens with the roots of your trees, as they get older and older. These roots can get deeper and deeper into the earth, until it gets to a point in which the roots are now spreading out through the soil. When this happens, the roots can become entangled with your sewer lines.

This is not something anyone should ever have to deal with. Unfortunately, as the roots become more entangled with the sewer lines, the range of problems becomes more elaborate and increasingly severe. After all, these roots are not going to magically stop growing when they hit your pipes. They will grow right through them. This phenomenon can lead to pipes becoming clogged. In more serious cases, the pipes can actually break. As you can probably guess, broken pipes are not something you really want to deal with.

So while we’re not telling you to chop down and remove all of the trees on your property, you still want to do something to offset potential headaches. New pipes have an excellent chance of being able to stand up to such changes and pressure. However, older pipes that have become weakened through time and the elements may not be able to withstand things. What can you do to deal with this situation?

Your best bet is to get in touch with our experts at Knoxville Plumbing. You can also figure out how old your home is, in order to know how old the pipes are. You should also look for broken pipe symptoms and clogged pipe symptoms, such as bubbling water in the toilet. The smell of sewage in the yard is something else you can look for.

Finally, make sure you call in the experts for replacements or repairs.

 

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Your Business Deserves A Better Commercial Plumber

Knoxville Commercial Plumbing Services

When it comes to Knoxville commercial plumbing services, there are several things that must be part of your experience. First of all, you need to make sure you are dealing with a company that has worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes throughout Knoxville and surrounding areas. Experience is a must. To that end, you’ve come to the right place for commercial plumbing services that have been working with the businesses of Knoxville for quite some time.

Our range of commercial and residential plumbing services ensures there is nothing that we can’t handle. At the same time, our commercial plumbing services are very distinctive from our residential plumbing services. This means that when you call on our experts at Knoxville Plumbing, you’re getting professionals who have formidable experience in dealing with all manner of commercial plumbing projects, tasks, and emergencies.

Contact us today for any commercial plumbing demands you may have.

Knoxville TN Commercial Plumbing Services

Burst pipes, frozen pipes, or a broken toilet are just a few of the concerns we address. These are things that can seriously disrupt the flow of your day-to-day business. These are things you want to deal with quickly.

Make sure you avoid choosing the wrong Knoxville TN commercial plumbers by keeping the following in mind:

 

They aren’t available 24/7:

Emergencies can strike at any time. Why would you want to waste your time and money on Knoxville plumbers who aren’t willing to keep this fact in mind? Old pipes can fail out of nowhere. Internal sewer lines can suddenly clog up. Something can unexpectedly explode. These things aren’t meant to frighten you. It’s just important to have Knoxville commercial plumbers who are available 24/7. We are.

Lack of experience:

We touched on this before, but it’s the kind of thing that’s worth mentioning twice. Not only should the plumber you hire have experience, but they should be able to back up that experience with photos, testimonials, and similar items. We do.

They don’t know your business:

Your plumber doesn’t need to be an expert on the restaurant business, or flower shops, or toy stores, or whatever your business is all about. At the same time, it’s not unreasonable to ask for plumbers who offer experience in assisting businesses just like yours. We will.

 

These are the things to avoid. When you know what to avoid, knowing what you actually need in certified, experienced Knoxville TN commercial plumbers becomes a great deal easier. Contact us now.

 

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Is Your Home Natural Disaster Proof?

As a homeowner, it is always important to be concerned with the integrity of your property. This is especially true if you live in a region that is more prone to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and even something as common as a water main break. You never quite know what the unexpected might throw your way, so it is always important to know how ready your home is. It is time that you learned if your home is really ready to survive these natural disasters. You never quite know when a natural disaster could be heading your way, which means that you need to know how your home will be impacted.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to your home and natural disasters:

Earthquake

This is a type of natural disaster that s not quite as common as you might think. In most cases, your home will not have to withstand a very powerful earthquake. However, it is possible that an earthquake could occur in the region where you live. In most cases, the amount of shaking that occurs with a typical earthquake is minimal. This also means that the amount of damage that occurs as a result is not too extensive. Even though most earthquakes are small, there could come a time when earthquakes are larger and cause a lot more damage. When an earthquake occurs, it is a good idea to make sure that you turn off the gas. If a line ruptures due to the earthquake, it could cause a lot of damage to your home. This means that you should turn of the gas before this has the potential of occurring.

Flooding

Another natural disaster that you need to determine if your home can withstand is a flood. Flooding is common in certain areas and the amount of damage that occurs ranges depending on the amount of flooding that occurs. Floods can sometimes happen as the result of another natural disaster, which means that they have the potential to be twofold. You typically have warning when the risk of flooding is on the way, which means that you should take precautions like elevating all of the appliances in your home and putting sandbags into place on your property.

There are always steps that you can take to make sure that your home is prepared for any natural disaster that may come your way.