Metro Vancouver Plumbers Blog

  • Simply Faucenating

  • Have you heard the old adage, ‘you get what you pay for’? The next time you’re out shopping for a new faucet for your kitchen or bathroom, bear it in mind. We’re all for saving money but good faucets are worth the extra money. Don’t forget to make sure you buy from a reputable company with a clear return policy in case problems arise.

    There are many styles available but don’t forget they still have to fit the sink. Measuring the distance between the tailpieces to determine the faucet size in advance will save you grief and disappointment during install. Some sinks only have one hole and others as many as five. Know what you have before you purchase!

    Single handle faucets tend to be a little easier to install. They can be easier to use in the kitchen as well – picture an arm full of dishes and a convenient elbow to flip the faucet on! Two handle faucets come in a more diverse range of styles that will fit in any decor.

    If your home doesn’t already have a antiscald device installed, you might want to think about one. Water over 49 degrees celcius can cause serious burns especially to young children. Antiscald devices limit the water temperature to the fixture. You can also add a programmable device to your faucet that shuts off the water at a preset temperature.

    These are just a few things to think about before buying your next faucet. When it comes time for install, don’t forget to call the professionals at Water Heater Rescue!

     

     

  • It’s Getting Hot in Here

  • It’s Getting Hot in Here

    We’re a funny bunch on the South Coast. When you live in the Rainforest, summer can’t get here soon enough. No more complaining about endless days, weeks, months of rain. The temperature rises, moods are elevated, and we are all happier all round. Until about mid-July that is. People tend to forget that a couple of short months earlier, we were all begging for clear skies and heat. Then the complaining starts. It’s too hot! Can it rain for a few days please? I can’t sleep at night. On and on. Here a few tips for keeping your cool during those dog days of summer. Oh! And a few for your dogs as well.

    • Take cool showers in the morning and start your day with a lower body temperature.
    • Shower at night and keep the water temperature cool. Our bodies fall asleep easier and we have a more restful sleep when our body temperature is lower. Don’t completely dry off either. Jumping between the sheets while we are still a little damp helps to keep our bodies cooler, longer.

     

    • No air conditioner? No problem. Freeze some water bottles and put them in front of your fan.
    • Keep your blinds and curtains closed to keep out the hot sun.
    • Water, water, water. We need more water to stay hydrated in the heat. Spread your consumption out all day. Drinking large amounts of water at one time can lead to water-toxicity. Yes. That’s a thing.

     

    • Turn off lights and computers when not in use run your dishwasher and dryer at night.
    • Don’t turn on the oven. BBQ at night instead.
    • Eat more water based food. Refreshing salads and cold fruit are a great way to cool your body from the inside out.
    • If it’s too hot for you to walk in bare feet on the pavement, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws too. Walk your dog on a gravel field or on the grass instead.

     

    • Wear light coloured loose clothing made from breathable materials like cotton.
    • Did we mention water?!

    October is coming people. We’ll be dreaming of summer in no time at all. Use these tips to stay comfortable and enjoy the great weather while it’s here.

  • Gas Meter Don’ts

  • We feel sorry for all those lonely water heaters out there. Stuck in a corner in a dark basement, shoved in a closet that never gets opened, no attention paid to it until it doesn’t work or starts to leak.

    Well there’s another piece of equipment that garners no attention or love. Your gas meter. Take a little gander at these tips to keep your gas meter safe and accessible courtesy of FortisBC.

    • Don’t build anything around or over the meter and pipping. Just don’t.
    • Don’t store or lean anything against the meter. See above.
    • Don’t attach or lean anything against the meter. People actually do this?!
    • Don’t create a vehicle lane, driveway or parking next to the meter. Accidents happen and the LAST thing you want is to accidentally hit your meter with your car!
    • Keep the area clear of plants.
    • If making any structural changes to a building, make sure there’s enough space between the opening and the gas meter.

     

    If you have any questions or concerns about your gas meter, feel free to call Water Heater Rescue at 604-628-3333. If you smell gas immediately leave the house and call FortisBC at 1-800-663-9911

  • Where Have all the Tradespeople Gone?

  • When was the last time you tried to hire any tradesperson? If it’s been in the last few years then you understand how difficult it is to book an appointment with a plumber, electrician, HVAC guy, carpenter…you get the idea.

    As a Gen-Xer I can shed some light on why finding skilled tradespeople is such a difficult task. There just aren’t any anymore. When my generation was in high school we looked down our noses at the trades. It’s a terrible thing to say but it’s true. We were all encouraged to go into four year university programs, get a degree, then sit in a white collar office, in a suit and tie. Well guess what that created? An enormous void.

    No one seemed to think about the fact that the people who fixed our fridges, cars, water heaters, etc., would be retiring one day. Who the heck was going to replace them? In 2013 the BC Government estimated that within BC, there would be 150,000 vacancies for tradespeople in the next decade. Consequently we are in the thick of that shortage with very few skilled workers to fill those vacancies.

    There is no quick fix to this problem. Most apprenticeships are four years long. We CAN start effecting change right now by talking to our kids about the trades. Our nieces and nephews, grandkids, our friend’s kids. Do you know someone who is looking for a career change? Steer them towards the trades. Maybe even the plumbing trade!

    There are no guarantees in life but having a trade is about as close as you can get!

  • How to Hire a Good Contractor

  • I was reading an article this week about a group of people in Winnipeg who were scammed out of their hard earned money by a painter. They gave this so-called ‘contractor’ varying amounts of money as a deposit and guess what? The work was never done. I received a call yesterday from a woman who was price checking after she had a water heater installed by a ‘friend of a friend’. Turns out our flat fee pricing was considerably lower than what she had been charged as were our hourly rates. Additionally, she didn’t even know if the individual who performed the install applied for the gas permit that was required by her municipality. Needless to say, she was incredibly distressed.


    Unfortunately incidents like this occur far too often, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and ensure that you are hiring qualified, licensed and insured tradespeople.

    Quotes

    Call around and get three quotes. Compare prices and time estimations. Don’t forget that the lowest price and quickest turnaround doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best workmanship.

    Check References

    Ask for at least 3 references and check them! A satisfied customer will always be happy to share a positive experience, and some may even be willing to send you pictures of the work that was completed. Look online for reviews and visit the BBB online to see if there have been any disputes lodged against them, and always check the details of any disputes.

    Check Credentials

    Ask for the contractor’s Worksafe BC registration number, GST number and a copy of the business license for the municipality the work is taking place in. Ask about any professional associations that they may be affiliated with.

    Insurance

    Accidents happen. Even with the most skilled and experienced contractor. Make sure that contractor you decide on has their own liability insurance. Check your own home insurance coverage too. If something should occur and the contractor decides to come after you for damages, you need to be protected.

    Warranties

    Are you being offered labour and parts warranties or a satisfaction guarantee? Reputable companies and individuals will always back up their work.

    Payment

    Work out payment details before the job is started. If it’s a one day job, such as a water heater installation, expect to pay once the work is completed to your satisfaction. If it’s an ongoing project, agree on a payment schedule with your contractor. It is not unreasonable for a contractor to expect periodic payments throughout the project, with the balance being paid on completion. Never, I repeat NEVER pay for any job with cash at the contractor’s request. Not even if you are offered ‘a deal’ if you do. Receipts are the consumer’s proof of purchase and can be used in the event there is a conflict. A contractor requesting payment by cash may very well not be registered with the CRA or WorkSafe BC.

    Whether it’s a plumber, carpenter, electrician or general contractor, doing your due diligence before you hire can save you a lot of grief in the future!

     

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