Replacing a Residential Water Service Line

Residential water service lines (known as water supply lines) are generally either CPVC plastic, or copper. CPVC comes in 1/2- and 3/4-inch diameters, and the sections join together with primer, cement and plastic couplings. You solder copper pipe sections into place using copper couplings. Each coupling type comes in 30, 45, 60, 90 and 180-degree (straight) angles, as well as Tee couplings for joining two pipes together. Replacing water lines requires cutting into the existing water line and cementing/soldering new ones into place.

Residential Water Service Line

Replacing CPVC Water Lines

Turn off the water at the house’s main shut-off valve and open the lowest faucet in the house to drain the pipes. Mark the existing CPVC water supply line at the point where you need to attach the new line. Make a straight cut through the pipe at the mark using a tube cutter. Cut the unwanted section of pipe into pieces with the cutter and remove the pipe.

Measure, mark and cut the first section of CPVC pipe to the required length. Apply PVC primer around the outside end of the existing pipe, and one outside end of the new pipe section. Also prime the inside of a plastic coupling. Then apply PVC cement to all primed areas. Push the coupling onto the end of the existing pipe, and the new pipe section into the remaining end of the coupling. Hold the pipes to the coupling for five seconds while the cement dries.

Measure, cut and install with couplings all required sections of CPVC pipe in the same fashion until you reach the water fixture. Prime the end of the last pipe section as well as the inside end of a CPVC shut-off valve. Cement both primed areas and push the valve onto the pipe end. Hold in place for five seconds. Turn the water back on at the house’s main shut-off valve.

Replacing Copper Water Lines

Turn the water off at the main shut-off valve, and open the lowest faucet in the house to drain the pipes. Mark the existing copper line at the point where the new pipeline needs to be attached. Place a tubing cutter around the copper pipe and tighten its blade to the mark. Rotate the cutter 360 degrees once. Tighten the blade and rotate the cutter again. Repeat this process until you cut through the pipe. Now cut the unwanted section of copper pipe into pieces and remove them.

Measure and cut the first section of copper pipe to length. Sand the outside end of the existing copper pipe and one end of the new section of pipe using emery cloth. Also sand the inside of a copper coupling. Apply soldering paste (flux) to all sanded areas. Push the coupling onto the existing pipe end, and the new pipe into the other end of the coupling. Now measure, cut and install all required pipe sections with couplings following the same process until you reach the water fixture. Sand, flux and install a shut-off valve onto the end of the last section of copper pipe.

Unroll a 12-inch section of solder from its spool and bend the last three inches 90 degrees. Turn on the propane torch. Heat all around one seam of the first new joint where the pipe enters into the coupling. Touch the tip of the solder to the seam. If the solder melts, apply 3/4-inch of solder all around the seam. Wipe away any solder drips with a rag. Now solder the coupling’s other seam. Repeat this process with all newly-installed couplings, as well as the shut-off valve at the end of the pipeline. Turn on the water at the house’s main shut-off valve.

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Water Heater Service

Depending on the quality of the water in your area, your water tank will build up sediment. This sediment reduces the amount of water in your tank and can also damage the heating element inside the tank. Areas high in iron require frequent water tank servicing, where areas with excellent water conditions require less frequent servicing.

Turn the gas valve to “Pilot” if your water heater runs off gas. If it is electric, turn off the circuit breaker designated for your water tank. This prevents the tank from coming on while you are servicing it.

Connect a garden hose to the drain valve located on the bottom of the water tank. If you did not allow time for the water in the tank to cool off, expect the water to come out extremely hot. Position the other end of the hose into a drain or bucket away from children and pets.

Turn off the water inlet valve that feeds water into the water heater.

Open the pressure relief valve located on top of the water heater. If the heater does not have a pressure relief valve, open a hot water valve on a sink for two minutes to drain some water and pressure out of the tank.

Open the valve at the bottom of the tank and allow all of the sediment in the tank to drain out. It is possible for the hose to clog. If this happens, close the pressure valve and turn on the water supply. This will build up pressure and clear the hose. If no water comes out of the hose, wait an hour for the water to cool off and then remove the garden hose. Remove the valve with a pipe wrench and stick a screwdriver into the hole in the bottom of the tank to break up the sediment. Reattach the valve and hose. Attempt to service the tank again.

Allow the water to flow from the tank until the water flows clean. Once clean, close the valve and remove the hose. Close the water pressure relief valve and turn the water back on. Do not forget to turn the gas valve back to “Heat” or to turn on the breaker.

HVAC Service

Although most repairs and servicing should be done by a trained HVAC professional, there is some basic maintenance that homeowners can do themselves. Servicing your HVAC unit regularly will prevent many of the expensive malfunctions that disrupt heating or cooling service. Air conditioners, furnaces and other HVAC systems all require the same basic regular maintenance for top performance. Calling a service technician for these services is not necessary if you can perform them yourself.

Disconnect the HVAC unit from all power sources and fuel lines, turn the breaker switch to off, and turn off the thermostat. Many parts inside an air conditioner or furnace have high voltages running through them. Turning them off prevents any risk of electrical shock or harm from the unit starting while you are working on it.

Remove and clean all filters in your HVAC system. The experts at home improvement website say that most filters can be washed with a gentle dishwashing liquid and warm water, and should be cleaned monthly. Clogged filters prevent the warmed or cooled air from being circulated properly.

Clean the blower assembly once a year. Remove the blower assembly from inside your air conditioner by disconnecting fan motor wiring harness connector, according to Mobile Home Repairs, and unscrewing the unit. Open the housing, spray the blower wheel with water and soap, and use a soft bristle brush to clean around the fan motor.

Wipe the unit’s condenser coils and evaporator coils. The Dulley website says that these metal coils inside the air conditioning unit work to cool air, and will not do so efficiently when they are dirty. Run a specially designed fin comb through the coils to fix any bent aluminum fins.

Run a stiff bristle brush through the unit’s condensate lines at least once a year to prevent blockages. These lines gather excess moisture from air entering the HVAC unit, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and if they are blocked they will not be able to do so. Empty the condensate drain pan and look for mold or other signs of moisture damage.

Service Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioners work by drawing out the moisture from the nearby air. This lowers the humidity of air air and cools it in the process. The cooled air is then blown throughout your dwelling by a series of vents and duct-work. The two major parts of most home air conditioning systems are the evaporator and the condenser. Both of these fixtures need to be serviced in order for your air conditioner to work at its best. You can service your home air conditioner yourself without having to wait on a technician with the help of some cleaners and a few tools.

Turn off the power for the air conditioner. In the main circuit breaker switch for your home or dwelling, look for the switch that controls the air conditioner unit. Move the switch to the “Off” setting. Some AC units may have a separate cut off switch, sometimes located by the condenser on the exterior of the dwelling.

Replace the air conditioner filter. This is an easy part of servicing your air conditioner that many people forget to do. The filter needs to be changed at regular intervals, otherwise your air conditioner will work harder and have a shorter life.

Remove the cover on the condensing unit outside. The cover may be all in one piece, or you may be able to loosen the screws and pull off one side at a time. Use a feather duster to clean off any dirt or dust on the outside of the condenser fins. Spray with a condenser fin cleaner and allow it to soak in according to the instructions. Gently rinse off the cleaner with a fine mist from a garden hose.

Locate the evaporator coils for your AC unit. The evaporator is typically located in the basement or attic and will be in close proximity to the blower or air handler. Spray the coils with a coil cleaner and allow it time to soak in. Brush off the coils with a nylon brush and rinse well.

Clean out the drain pan underneath the evaporator coils. Water condensation generated by the operation of the coils drips down and falls into the drain pan. From here, the water is directed outside. Occasionally the drain hose on the pan can become clogged with mold or other debris. Clean out the drain pipe by running a flexible tube through it. Pour a cap-full of bleach down the drain hose to kill off any mold inside, followed by hot water.

Clean off the air conditioner registers with a feather duster. These are the vent coverings on the end of the air conditioner vent that direct the cooled air throughout your house. They can collect quite a bit of dust and allergens. Keeping these clean will also help the airflow in your system.

Turning on Water Service

The water main to your home runs beneath the street. Most newer-built homes are equipped with a “corporation stop” that is located either near the tap-in at the front of the house, or inside a basement in colder regions. This is often made of brass and does not require turning off the main water supply. The second place to look is a curb-stop valve near the properly line (sometimes the corporate stop is also near the meter). If the water is turned off at the main, this is the valve that will need to be opened.

Go outside and find your meter box. It’s usually beneath a round or rectangular metal and concrete lid near the front of your home, close to the street.

Remove the metal lid using a flat-head screwdriver. If it is concrete, lift the lid using a crowbar.

Find the shut-off valve by checking the side of the meter that is closest to the house for a hand-operated corporation shut-off valve. If it is not visible on the meter itself, check the side of your building. If you live in a cold region subject to freezing temperatures, check the basement. If you find it, skip to Step 6.

Check the street side of the meter for a curb-stop valve if you are unable to find a hand-operated valve. The curb-stop valve will require a key in order to turn it on. These are T-shaped keys, some of them as long as five feet.

Purchase a curb-stop key at a hardware store, or you can usually check one out from your local water department for free.

Turn on an outside faucet before returning water to the home in order to allow air to escape the lines.

Slowly turn the curb-stop valve counterclockwise until it is perpendicular to the pipe. If operating a corporation stop, take it a quarter of a turn counterclockwise so that it is perpendicular to the pipe. Use WD-40 on sticky or rusty valves. Do not force! Call a city plumber if you cannot get it to turn on after applying the lubricant.

Leave the outside faucet running for three to five minutes before turning it off again.

Home Repair Costs

Home repair costs can be quite expensive, that is why it is important to see how you can reduce those costs. You certainly don’t want to have to spend money that you don’t have, so it will be worth your while to look into what ways you can repair your home without paying an unnecessary price.

Below are ways you can do just that:

1. If some kind of accident occurred on the property that caused the damage, check with your insurance company to see if your home insurance will cover it. If so, that is money that you do not have to spend out of your pocket.

2. Schedule a home inspector to come to your home so that you can have all of the damage assessed. This allows you to see what needs immediate fixing and what doesn’t. It also helps you pinpoint areas that could easily become damaged again after making the repairs.

3. Sometimes home repair costs can be reduced by doing things such as painting, cleaning, and waxing. An entire wall may not need replaced. It just might need some cosmetic help.

4. Compare prices at the various home improvement stores. You can reduce home repair costs if you look for the same quality materials at lower prices. Every little bit helps.

5. If you must use a home improvement firm, compare rates. Don’t simply go with a company because they claim to be the best. Ask questions.

6. If you don’t know how to repair common issues yourself, purchase a manual that can teach you to do so. You can reduce home repair costs by not having to hire a professional.

7. If you must get a loan to cover your home repair, be sure to shop around for the best interest rate.

8. You can also reduce your costs by simply using preventable maintenance. Tackle the problem before it exists.

9. If you use a professional service, be sure they provide you with a signed estimate before they touch anything within your home. That way, you can either negotiate with them or find a cheaper service.

10. If you can establish a relationship with a good home repair service, then you can reduce your home repair costs dramatically over time.

These are simply ten tips that you can use to make sure you don’t pay more for home repair costs than what you have to. No one should have to lose money that they don’t need to, so use caution and be patient. That way, your home repair costs don’t get the best of you.

Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

To learn more about home repair costs [], please visit Quality Home Repair [] for current articles and discussions.

Learning About Home Repairs From a Handyman

With many home repair services to choose from, how does one go about finding the best one? A more important question may be how one finds the handyman service that is the best fit, given your individual circumstances. Before addressing this question, it might be a good idea to take a look at the current housing market in the US and how this relates to home maintenance.

Since the housing market crash in 2008, the home construction industry has changed dramatically. The majority of construction related jobs that were created with the rise in housing speculation have disappeared. In terms of who is buying and selling houses now, the landscape here has also changed drastically. While there are people who buy and fix up rental properties still, and even some who are buying and ‘flipping’ homes, these tend to be pros who have many years of experience in determining the best possible opportunity. Gone are the days of anyone buying any house on easy credit, and having the value of the house increase in value without a second thought.

Of course many people are upside-down on their mortgages and have less value in their homes than what they owe for it. An even worse predicament is in the case of those people who have lost their jobs and have gone into foreclosure on their home. For the people now who have a home, and have a job, their main concern is maintaining the equity value of their investment, not how much money they can squeeze out in an equity loan this year, to buy that upgraded plasma TV.

House Maintenance

All houses require ongoing maintenance. Appliances and fixtures wear out from use and age, the ground beneath settles over time creating stress within the frame of the house, and the exterior of the house is subject to exposure to the elements and the ever-present critters, big and little. Many of the resultant problems can be delayed for years, or even eliminated, by the builder and his sub-contractors following construction best practices and exacting building codes, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. But in any case wear and tear on a house will take its toll. As an investment, or as a safe environment to raise a family, a house needs to be taken care of.

A lot of homeowners are capable of taking care of their own home repairs; they have the basic skills and the time to fix any issues that come up with their home. Others have the skills, but don’t have the time (or after spending numerous weekends on a few smaller improvements, they decide their time is better spent.) And still others have no clue where to start in handling, for instance, a small plumbing repair. For those fortunate enough to be able to quickly do their own work, they aren’t likely to have to find a handyman for hire, short of hiring a contractor for major remodeling projects. But for the average homeowner working a 9 to 5 job, sorting through professional handyman services is an important necessity.

One may also have a home maintenance service contract. This is a very worthwhile expense to budget in, particularly if the heating or air conditioning is likely to need major work. Heck, maybe the boiler in an old home is starting to make noises. The drawback to one of these service contracts is all the items not covered can be very expensive if handled through the home maintenance contract companies. However the costs of installing a new cooling system far outweigh the relatively small monthly expense of a basic service contract. Many repairs may also be covered by one’s homeowner’s insurance. This is always worth checking on.

So where does one start? It is likely one isn’t even considering a local handyman unless there is a problem they are aware of that needs fixing. This could be wood rot around the front door, or a water stain on the ceiling. Most home maintenance services advertise themselves online, so it’s not too hard to put together a handyman services list pretty quickly from the internet. This can be as simple as Googling ‘find handyman’, and the city you are in. Most of the better ones will have reviews or testimonials online about their work. If not they are either newly in business, or probably not worth your time. This is getting to be the ‘price of entry’ into business these days and no matter how good or bad they may be, anything less tends to disqualify them from being considered.

At this point, call up from your list of home handyman services and schedule appointments for a free estimate. Pay attention to your instincts when you meet the representative who comes out. How does he dress? How does he present himself? Is it the person who will be doing the actual work or a salesman/estimator from a larger company? One very important point is to get a list of references who you can call, from each handy man service you are getting an estimate from. This can’t be over-stated, and the more references the better.

Given that you are happy with the man (or woman) who comes out, wait to get your estimate, which they may do on the spot, or send it via email, or snail mail.

Considering Handyman Prices

At this point the question becomes how you get the best value for your money. Your individual circumstances will have a lot of bearing on this question. A single mom on a limited budget is obviously going to look at this question differently than a company CEO. Yet both must look at the question of which professional handyman will do the job correctly, without it having to be done again at some point in the future. No one wants to pay for poor workmanship, or to have a job done twice. However someone in a better financial position will have more latitude to pick and choose.

This is not to say that the highest price will be the best. That can have much to do with the specific handy man service. Some companies specialize in property maintenance, which may not require the same level of care and expertise as home repairs or renovation. It is also usually a false economy to pick the lowest price, but even this is a generality. The single mom may get a line on a fireman who does quality handyman repairs in his spare time, and who gives her a big discount because he can.

One must find the best handyman rates he or she can, but delivered with the best quality possible, as determined by the reviews, testimonials, and references presented by the local handyman repair service. Not necessarily an easy decision, but one that can be made MUCH simpler by doing one’s due diligence and checking up on their references. A quick call to the local Better Business Bureau is a very good idea as well.

Some handy man services make this decision very easy by providing excellent customer service and doing consistently good work, and making this known online, through testimonials and reviews, and by providing references who will explain to you exactly what the experience was like in hiring them. In this case it becomes a matter of deciding whether their price fits your budget.

Better Homes Through Home Repair

In the daily course of life several things get broken or are worn out due to excessive use. Homes require proper maintenance and repair if you want to keep them in a good condition and not harming the property value by neglecting repairs. If neglected a small thing requiring a simple repair can turn into a big expenditure. Repairing is an easy enough task and you can do it all by yourself as well. However, extensive home repair should be done by either consulting an expert or hiring one.

Sometimes things do not need to be repaired rather just replaced. Bulbs, tubes, batteries, screen doors, broken windows do not have much room for repair and it is easier to just replace them since these do not cost a lot. Things like holes in walls, cracks, falling paint can be repaired easily enough. Some types of repairs cannot be ignored and must be carried out immediately like pipes, gutters, sewage, disposals, leakages or broken windows, poor roofing in case of storm or rain threats. If such repairs are not done within time then it can cause a lot of harm to your property as well as the family. Leaky roofs are especially dangerous in storms and heavy rains.

Home repairs like basements, rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, roofs and foundation repairs should be conducted by an expert contractor. Basements are prone to moisture development and water leakages. Home owners should check the basements for mold, mildew development from time to time as these hint at a buildup in the moisture content. Foundation is fundamental to your house’s stability and therefore one should be very careful when carrying out foundation repairs. Plant roots, water leakages, flooding, improper sewage disposal, earthquakes can cause damage to your house’s foundation and regular inspections are imperative. Heavy rains, storms, mold etc are some of the many things that can weaken and cause damage to your roof. For proper repairs hire an expert because a damaged roof is a potential threat to your life. Comprehensive companies like Cts Enterprise, Truesdale Painting, Madison Tile Co., Remodeling by Jerry Allen and A.I.R Affordable Installation and Repair are some of the many companies that render professional home repair services. It is imperative that your contractor be a professional through and through so as to conduct all the required repairs without messing up anything.

Home repair and maintenance are a habit for home owners. Being regular, responsible and careful in this regard can save you from hefty expenses and any life threatening situation can be avoided at the same time.

How to Pay for Parts Only From Home Appliance Repair Services

The economy has placed many homeowners and families in hard times. Money that was once set aside into a savings account now must be spent to compensate for the increased prices of food, clothing, medical expenses, and other necessities. Many families once set aside income for tomorrow, but many are now living for today alone. As a result, you simply cannot afford to take an appliance to home appliance repair services each time something happens. You have excellent knowledge of home appliance repair and the necessary tools, so you will fix the problem on your own. There will come a time when you need appliance parts, but you would rather buy the parts than buy the parts and pay for labor costs. If this is you, the following tips will put you in a position to make your own repairs around the house while ordering appliance parts when the occasion arises.

First, you can pay for parts only from home appliance repair services by knowing the model and serial numbers for your home appliances. If you intend to pay for parts only from a repair services company near you, you will need to know the model and serial numbers so as to find the model of your appliance and the matching parts. These numbers are found on the back, inside the appliance opening, or on one side of the appliance. When you call about an appliance part at a home repair services company, the company will inquire about these numbers. You want to have these handy to remove any barriers that can slow down the process of acquiring the appliance part quickly.

Next, you can buy parts only from home appliance repair services by practicing safety. You can create an electrical hazard by keeping your appliances plugged in while working on them. Some appliances can overheat if left plugged in or create an electrical shock if they encounter water while you are attempting to fix them. Additionally, you will need gloves before you start working on appliances due to sharp wires and appliance components. Sharp openings and blades can quickly cut you or cause another bleeding wound that may need medical attention. Working on equipment can be a productive thing but failing to protect your physical welfare could be fatal. If you must have something plugged into an electrical outlet while working on it, consult a home appliance repair services company right away.

Lastly, you will need screwdrivers, flashlights, an ohm meter, and other necessary supplies. Flash lights will help you see in dark areas so as to prevent cuts, scrapes, and bleeding wounds. Screwdrivers will help you unscrew nails so as to take items apart and put them back together. You cannot fix appliances at home if you do not have the proper equipment.

If you cannot afford to pay for home appliance repair services, you may be able to do the work yourself. If this is the case, you must know how to find the model and serial numbers, exercise proper safety precautions and obtain the proper equipment. Each of these steps will ensure that the job is done right for a price you can afford.

What Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Auto Shops And Mobile Repair Services

Are mobile car repair services an option, and if it is, does this option make sense or will it cause more harm than good, to yourself and to your environment?

There are types of repairs that can be executed at home, or any location, with ease. Some home repair services, however, can become an even bigger problem for you. Knowing which services should be done where can save you from more serious problems that can be prompted by ignorance about home repair services.

Fixing or Changing a Problem Battery

Fixing a battery can address many problems with failed start-ups. Practically all automotive organisations and repair services have specially equipped vehicles that are customised in order to fix any battery problem. The vehicles carry diagnostics devices, supplies and all kinds of tools to make sure your battery is fixed, or replaced. If there’s something that can’t be addressed while at home, these services can send a wrecker to tow your automobile to where it needs to be properly serviced. Used batteries are taken to recycling plants.

Fixing or Replacing Windshields and Windows

Cracked or Broken windshields can easily be remedied at almost any location. An issue that might come up when working on glass installations is temperature and moisture due to the fact that the adhesives used are quite sensitive. This type of job may require a sheltered or heated area. And, of course, glass installations will not work in the rain. The larger mobile repair services are adequately equipped to handle the waste produced during installation.

To save some money, look into car wreckers in Australia for used windshields and glass.

Scratches and Dents Repaired Sans Paint

Professionals who are experienced with this type of work do not have any difficulties when delivering this service, no matter the location of the vehicle. Using a large skillset and many different tools will make quick work of any dent or scratch in need of fixing, and without the need for repainting. Having paint-free body work is a great environmentally safe type of repair.

Automobile Chassis and Body Work

Automobile chassis and body work should not be done outside of a traditional auto shop. First of all, it produces a lot of noise which is sure to be a problem for any neighbouring homes or establishments. Acquiring second hand parts from a car wreckers in Australia may require getting a paint job and can seriously mess up a space. Although used parts from car wreckers in Australia are an affordable and great alternative to buying new parts, they tend to be a little dirty. Auto paint can only be used in an area where conditions are controlled to protect the work from forming bubbles in the paint and to keep the environment around the work area safe. Reusing automotive parts from car wreckers in Australia is an excellent practise in recycling and sustainability for the environment.