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How to Get Your Central HVAC System Ready for Winter

Friday, November, 17th, 2017 at 8:00 AM by vscontent

How to Get Central HVAC System Ready for Winter

In addition to prepping your plumbing system for winter, such as insulating pipes, you also want to get your HVAC system ready as well.

Start prepping your home for the darker, cooler nights and the holiday season.

Summer and winter are considered more extreme weather months, and therefore situations can occur when winter comes that put you at risk of extreme discomfort. These are the months we rely on our heating and cooling systems sometimes around the clock just to stay comfortable and healthy.

As a quick reminder, if you haven’t yet scheduled your heating maintenance yet, you could be losing money this winter. Annual maintenance will not only cut down on repair costs, but it also ensures that your home’s heating system is running as efficiently as possible, which lowers utility bills. A comfortable, efficient home is a gift that everyone can appreciate.

Here’s how to get the best performance from your heater this winter and protect your air conditioning system during the frigid months ahead.

Since in the spring you may not be overworking your system as much, this is the time to check it out. Since fall comes before the winter chill, this is the ideal time for maintenance. HVAC experts recommend getting your system ready in the fall to keep you warm day and night in the winter.

There are many reasons why it’s advantageous to schedule maintenance for your furnace before winter hits, including the health and safety of your family. By scheduling in the fall, you may just be preventing a winter crisis.

Get HVAC Ready for Winter

Here’s our top ways to get your HVAC system ready for winter:

1. Keep Your Humidifiers Clean

To optimize efficiency and indoor air quality levels in your home, you must have your humidifier cleaned. Check the compartment and get rid of dirt and dust that may have accumulated inside. Replace filters if necessary.

2. Change Your Air Filter

Cleaning or replacing air filters is always important, but it is especially crucial during winter. Since we spend more time indoors during winter and colder, drier air exacerbates illness and other health problems, it’s important to make sure our HVAC systems are providing the best air filtration that it can.

We recommend setting calendar and phone reminders to check your air filters every 30 days and waiting no longer than 60-90 day to clean or replace them. One way to check if your air filter is dirty is to hold it up to a light source and seeing if any light can pass through.

When you replace your air filter, write the date of replacement on the air filter itself so you know exactly how long it has been since the last replacement.

Contact your local HVAC company for additional air quality suggestions. In addition to air filters, there are many effective air purification systems, such as UV cleaners that can be installed directly into your HVAC systems.

If anyone in your household has respiratory problems, speak with a professional HVAC technician about indoor air quality solutions, such as air purifiers, humidifiers, and duct cleaning/sealing.

3. Use Ceiling Fans in Reverse in the Winter

By simply changing the direction of your ceiling fan’s rotation to counterclockwise in the winter, you can help push the warm air that rises back down. Use this method in addition to your HVAC in order to keep your system from overworking to keep you warm. It can also save you money on the hefty winter utility bills.

4. Protect Your Outdoor Air Conditioner

As weather begins getting cooler, eventually you will stop using your air conditioning unit for the season. How weather gives way to warm weather and warm weather gives way to cool weather. When you stop using your system for the season, there are several ways you can help improve the life of your unit by taking care of it.

The outdoor unit is the main part of your system that is exposed to the elements. It is exposed to all of the sunshine, rain, wind, snow and hail that may come through the area. During the warm months, your system must usually be exposed anyways as you are using it, although when not in use, it can be covered and protected as long as you remember to uncover it before using it again.

When the hot weather is over and you know you will not be using your system for a few months, this is a good time to go ahead and cover it. There are specially made covers you can buy for your unit or there are generic covers that should work on most machines that you can buy. If you need to just make the most out of what you have, an old tarp or other weatherproof covering should work.

5. Consider a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

Finally, if your home and system merits it, think about adding upgrades to your system to increase its versatility. For instance, if you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable digital thermostat. That lets you automatically shut off the heat when you go out, then turn it on again just before you get home.

You can set the heat to turn off when you leave to go to work or run errands every day, then back on again ten minutes before you get home. Your house won’t feel any colder than it usually does, and you won’t waste energy heating an empty house.

Similarly, a zone control system lets you tailor the temperature to different parts of the house. That means someone in the bedroom can enjoy a different temperature than someone in the kitchen, and that you can choose to warm only the one section of the house that you’re occupying at the time. Upgrades like these can further lower the cost of your bills while allowing you greater control over how your home is heated.

6. Other Things to Consider

You might also consider patching up any leaky spots around your windows and doors. They leak warm air in the winter time, which forces your heater to work harder to do its job. The more your hose is sealed, the better it will retain all that cozy warm air.

Have a cozy, happy winter with these HVAC preparation tips. For more information or help with any of the above upgrades or repairs, contact Gold Medal Service. Call right now, or anytime this winter — we’re available 24/7, nights and holidays included!

Signs of Water Damage in the Home | Detecting Water Damage

Friday, November, 10th, 2017 at 6:00 AM by vscontent

Signs and Symptoms of Water Damage in Home

Water damage is one of the most common forms of home damage, which all too often goes unnoticed. You may think that damage caused by water is easy to detect, but many homeowners go years before noticing any signs of water damage. When they do notice water damage signs, it’s often been going on behind the scenes for years.

The longer you wait to inspect your home for water damage, the worse it gets. When left unchecked, water leaks and other moisture problems can lead to mold growth, structural damage, and other serious problems. And you may be the one footing the bill.

Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage, and many do not cover many other types of water damage. Make sure you are aware of the details of your homeowners’ insurance policy. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Negative Effects of Water Damage for Home and Health:

  • Lowers property values
  • Leads to mold, mildew, and fungal growth
  • Attracts insects and other pests
  • Leads to costly and dangerous structural damage
  • Health problems, such as difficulty breathing, coughing, and sneezing fits

For infants and young children, mold-infested homes leads to a higher likelihood of developing asthma and other respiratory problems.

Water Damage Statistics:

  • Water damage from toilets costs $2,000 – $10,000 per incident. 78% of toilet leaks were caused by faulty supply lines, toilet flanges, fill valve assemblies, or toilets that backed up and overflowed.
  • A burst water supply line caused half of all water damage incidents involved washing machines On average, these incidents caused more than $6,000 in damage per incident.
  • The chance a water heater will leak or burst begins to dramatically increase when it is 5 years old. ¾ of all water heaters fail before they are 12 years old.
  • Home 30 years old were 3 times as likely to have a plumbing supply or drainage problem.
  • 73% of losses involving an icemaker were caused by the failure of the supply line hose. 10% of incidents involved new refrigerators and were linked to improper installation.
  • Roof leaks are the most frequent source of water damage. The likelihood of a rood leak was even more common in regions where freezing weather, severe wind and hail were frequent.
  • Water damage from a sink averaged more than $7,000 per incident. Of these incidents, 44% were attributed to faulty plumbing supply lines.
  • Home more than 20 years old were 37% more likely to have water damage involving a shower. More than half of the shower stall water damage incidents involved a faulty shower pan.
  • Power outages were the cause of 18% of water damage incidents involving a sump pump. Another 40% of incidents were attributed to things such as a clogged inlet screen or a faulty float switch.

Source: Study by the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

How to Detect Water Damage

The risks associated with water leaks, intrusions, and other moisture problems are very high. Prevent the home and health problems associated with water damage by inspecting your home for the following water damage signs and symptoms:

Ceiling Cracks and Stains

If you notice any cracks or stains in your ceilings, you probably have a water leak above the roof or ceiling. Never ignore visible effects on your ceilings, such as sagging areas, stains, and cracks. You have a leak somewhere!

Wood and Wall Discoloration

Rotting, decaying, and discolored wood and walls is a sure sign that there is a water leak or intrusion nearby. Look for warped and cracked wood floors,

Sagging Spots

In addition to checking the ceilings and walls, you also want to check your floors, especially in your bathrooms, kitchens, and around water-using appliances. If you notice soft and sagging spots on the floors, you probably have a plumbing leak nearby. Keep on the lookout for other floor problems, such as

Cabinet Damage

Don’t forget to check the areas around your pipes that are located behind cabinets. If you notice any water stains, warping, or discoloration in your cabinets, contact a plumber right away.

Smells and Odors

Sometimes, the best tool for discovering water damage around your home is your nose. Never ignore mold, mildew, or musty smells around the home. If you detect a musty smell in your home, use your nose to find the source of the problem.

Water Heater Damage

A medium-sized water heater carries around 80 gallons of water. Imagine how much damage would result if the water heater released all of that water into your home. If you notice any of the following signs of a deteriorating water heater, contact a water heater technician right away:

  • Dripping, leaking, or pooling water
  • Rust and corrosion
  • Burn marks near the bottom of the water heater
  • Flame color is any other color than blue (the flame under your tank should be blue)
  • Popping, rattling, and clinking noises

Don’t wait for your water heater to fail completely. Contact a professional plumber to check your water heater’s anode rod, drain the water heater, and inspect the entire system for optimum safety and efficiency. Depending on your water heater, you should flush it every 1-3 years.

Bonus Tip: Lower your water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees to save money and lower the risk of burning and scalding.

Learn more about sacrificial anode rods and water heater maintenance. If you are in need of a new water heater, research your water heater options.

Contact a professional plumber If you notice any of these signs and symptoms!

Water Damage Tips and Solutions:

  • If you notice any of the above water damage signs and symptoms, contact a professional plumber right away. They will be able to tell you what is wrong along with recommendations for repair or replacement.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We highly recommend signing up for a Home Maintenance Plan that includes a yearly plumbing inspection. Even if you don’t sign up for a home maintenance plan, remember to schedule a professional plumbing inspection every year.
  • Install a sump pump in your basement with a battery backup. That way, if there is a power outage, your sump pump will still function.
  • Drain your water heater once a year. Inspect your sacrificial anode rod every 3 years. Contact a professional plumber to make sure your water heater is in good condition.
  • For any and all plumbing repairs and installations, make sure the work is done by a qualified technician. If your water-using appliances and pipes are not installed correctly, you can expect water damage in the near future. Plumbing service is best left to the professionals.
  • Learn how to turn off your individual and main water shutoff valves in the event of an emergency.
  • Learn how to find and fix plumbing leaks around the home.

Related Resources:

Water damage, mold, and flooding affect thousands of NJ homeowners every year. If you notice any signs of water or moisture in your home, act quick!

Contact Gold Medal Service at (877) 803-0511 or fill out our online request form (available 24/7).

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Security Lighting Options & Locations for Earlier, Darker Nights

Friday, November, 3rd, 2017 at 8:00 AM by vscontent

Outdoor Security Light Options and Locations

The days are getting darker and colder. Winter Solstice 2017 begins on Thursday, December 21, but we are already seeing the effect of Earth’s axial tilt. Unfortunately, the holiday season combined with darker days makes us more vulnerable to unwanted intruders and safety hazards.

One easy way to protect your home and increase the safety and security around your home is with increased outdoor security lighting.

In addition to making your pathways, steps, and doorways safer for your family, postman, and guests, outdoor security lighting can also add warmth and an inviting glow to the outside of your home. Learn more about the benefits of outdoor lighting.

Where Should You Place Your Security Lights?

Here are some of the basic places for security lights to increase safety and security around your home:

1. Pathways – To avoid unnecessary trips and falls, it’s essential that your pathways are well-lit. Whether you are taking the garbage out or simply coming back home after a long day’s work, you want to feel safe walking on your own pathways. This includes your staircases, driveways, and any other areas that lead to your doors.

2. Doors and Doorways – Fumbling with your keys is hard enough in daylight. In order to dissuade would-be home intruders and to help your family and guests feel safe when they approach your doors, it’s important to have effective lighting in this area.

The front door is probably the most important place to illuminate. Without good lighting, you will have difficulty identifying people, safely making it to the door, and using your keys. Doorway lighting is also important for many homes to help illuminate the address for guests and emergency services. Consider backup lighting, such as wall-mounted fixtures, in case the main bulb goes out.

Make sure you have lighting for all of your doors, including front doors, back doors, and side doors.

3. Shrubbery and Trees – One of the best hiding places for home intruders is around shrubbery and trees near your home. They provide the perfect hiding place for anyone trying to enter your home. In addition to preventing an effective hiding place for would-be burglars, lighting up trees and shrubbery is also a great way to highlight the most beautiful parts of your home and yard.

4. Ledges and Steps – In addition to making your home look more beautiful, lighting up ledges and steps is also extremely helpful when it comes to navigating your home safely.

5. Pools, Ponds, and Spas – In order to prevent people from inadvertently falling in and to safely see anyone in your pool, pond, or spa, effective lighting is crucial.

6. All Sides – Don’t just light up the front of your home. Burglars normally like to stay away from the street. While lighting up the front yard, pathways, and doors is essential for preventing trips and falls by friends and family, it’s probably the least likely place for a home intruder to enter. In addition to the front of your home, make sure the sides and rear of the home are well-lit as well. These lights will also help you navigate your home at night, which of course is arriving earlier and earlier as we head into December.

7. Darks Spots – One of the best ways to find out where you need extra lighting is by walking around your home looking for potential blind spots. This is the time to think like a criminal. In addition to obvious places mentioned above, you’ll want to consider any dark places you may have missed. Every home is different, so, you’ll want to pay attention to the particular blind spots around your home.

8. Exits and Safety Features – If you have an outdoor fire extinguisher, fire escape, or any other home exits and safety features, make sure they are well-lit and easy to locate.

Increase lighting in any area that you use frequently. If you have a basketball hoop in the driveway, you’ll want to invest in more lighting in that area. The same applies to patios, swimming pools, and other high-use areas.

Positioning and Light Types

In addition to the areas around your home you should light up, you also need to consider how your outdoor lights are positioned. Simply placing lights in the area where you need light isn’t enough.

For the most effective security lighting around your home, use a variety of different types of light for different applications.

To cover the widest area and make the most of your outdoor lighting, it’s best to place them high up and cast the light downwards. This is referred to as downlighting.

Downlighting is sometimes referred to as moonlighting. The lights are normally place in trees, along high rafters and ceilings, or recessed into hollow openings. They are best for casting a wide area of light around the home, which is why they provide excellent security lighting.

Downlighting enhances safety and security, ideally suited for walkways, steps, and to help avoid tripping hazards. They can also be used to highlight architectural element and mark off landscaping areas. If you have a patio, deck, or pool/spa area, downlights are the way to go.

Keep in mind, that the higher you place the light, the brighter the light will need to be. If the lights are too low, you won’t be able to cast the light as wide and will need more lights to compensate. Speak with an outdoor lighting expert to find the right balance of light height and brightness.

Uplighting, on the other hand, are placed low to the ground and cast a beam of light upwards. They are normally used to accentuate features and create an aesthetic contrast to all of your downlights.

Usually, uplighting is used around vertical objects, like trees, statues, columns, and other architectural features. They are used by lighting architects to add shape and dimension to your landscape. While uplights can instantly make your home look more upscale, they aren’t the most effective when it comes to increasing safety and security around the home. Still, we highly recommend them for creating focal points, highlighting specific areas, and adding depth to flat surfaces. They can instantly make a boring wall or fence look a lot better.

Bullet lighting can be positioned as uplight or downlights, but they are distinguished by their narrow light stream. Small and versatile, you can use bullet lights to create a narrow beam of light anywhere around your home.

Well lighting is usually a form of uplighting. Normally hidden in the ground, they create a wider beam of light, most often used to light up the sides of the home. They can also be used under trees to highlight branches and foliage.

Wash lighting is best for lighting up large areas of the home, such as siding, walls, and fences. The light covers a large area and tends to be soft and subtle. Flood lighting, on the other hand, is much brighter and more akin to heavy-duty security lighting in parking lots.

Solar lighting can also be an option. While you will have to periodically clean them and replace the battery, they will save you money on your electricity bills and some are extremely easy to install.

Nearly all of these lighting options can be installed as fixed or adjustable. Opt for adjustable lights if you can so you can easily adjust your lighting angle as needed. For more information on outdoor security lighting types, read our Landscape Lighting Guide. 

Here are some final takeaways for your outdoor security lighting:

  • Outdoor lighting should be placed out of reach. Downlighting is best for maximizing security lighting. Speak with your lighting designer and electrician about tamper-proof security lighting.
  • Consider motion sensors.
  • Clean lights regularly and replace burnt bulbs as soon as possible.
  • Do not point lights toward neighboring homes or the street. Try to avoid direct eye contact with the light source by shielding lights and pointing them downward.
  • If you have security cameras, make sure the area is well lit. Avoid pointing security cameras into dark areas. Conversely, do not point to camera directly toward a light source, such as a light bulb or the sun
  • Speak with a professional outdoor lighting expert for proper design, installation, and maintenance.

Don’t just focus on outdoor lighting or security lighting. Speak with a professional electrician trained in both areas for a good mixture of the two.

Many times, landscape lighting can serve dual functions—keeping your home safe and secure while making your home more beautiful and increasing use of your outdoor spaces.

There are many ways you can increase the security light around your home to increase aesthetics, safety and security.

Whether it is showcasing your home’s most beautiful features or simply increasing peace of mind for you and your loved ones, speak with an expert electrician at Gold Medal Service for help improving your outdoor security lighting.

For more information on the different types of outdoor lighting you can use for your home, see our Landscape Lighting Guide.

If you have any questions about security and outdoor lighting for your New Jersey home, give Gold Medal Service a call or schedule service online.

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Why You Should Install a Whole-House Humidifier | Perks & Benefits

Friday, October, 27th, 2017 at 6:00 AM by Gold Medal

Why Install Whole Home House Humidification System Benefits & Perks

Yes, your home’s humidity can make you sick. And winter makes it much worse.

While people usually notice high humidity more than low humidity, if the air is too dry, it can cause serious health and home problems.

Do these winter ailments sound familiar? Dry eyes, rough skin, cold/flu symptoms, sinus problems, and bloody noses.

In addition to health and comfort issues, dry air also causes paint to chip and wooden furnishings and instruments to warp and crack.

Although you can partially combat the problem of low relative humidity (RH) with a portable humidifier, the best way to ensure a healthy home and protected possessions is with a whole-house humidifier.

The Low Humidity, Dry Air Problem

Dry air becomes a much more significant problem in the fall and winter when temperatures drop and we’re running our heating systems more often. Running HVAC systems actually contributes to the low humidity problem. When the air in our buildings dries out, the air begins to pull moisture away from everything around it, including skin, hair, and furniture.

This is nature’s way of trying to reach “equilibrium,” when material neither gains nor loses moisture. Materials that seek equilibrium by retaining and giving up moisture are said to be hydroscopic.

Negative Effects of Dry Air:

  • Increased risk of sickness
  • Chapped and cracked lips
  • Dry nose and nasal passages resulting in difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, and sickness
  • Dry eyes, hair, and skin (meaning more lotion and conditioner)
  • Static electricity
  • Cracking woodwork (wood floors, wooden instruments, furniture, artwork, etc.)
  • High costs associated with more skin/hair softeners, paint/caulk, artwork/print material damage/repairs, musical instrument damage/tuning, doctor visits/medicine, and more.

If you have valuable printed material and musical instruments, maintaining healthy humidity levels is essential to protect them from damage. Additionally, damage can occur to some plastics, textiles, wax, porcelain, and food that is left out, like fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, dry air can damage your health.

Benefits of Whole-House Humidifiers

There are 3 basic reasons why you should humidify your home with a whole-home humidification system:

1. Health

Low humidity levels inside a home can cause skin dryness, respiratory infections, and the easy spread of the flu and cold. Your nose and throat need moist membranes to function properly. Sticky breathing passages help to trap bacteria and viruses before they make us sick. When they dry out, we are more susceptible to illness.

Additionally, a number of dangerous viruses thrive in a drier environment, but balanced humidity (around 30%–50% during winter) inhibits them. Healthy humidity levels (30-50% in winter) can help alleviate asthma and allergies while reducing the chances of sickness and infection.

2. Comfort

If you’ve experienced a heavy and muggy summer day, you know that the increased moisture makes the heat feel worse. The same is true for dry temperatures, just in reverse — low humidity during cold weather makes the cold feel worse. Since humid air feels warmer, with a humidifier you can lower the thermostat a few days with no reduction in comfort.

Additionally, for those who suffer from asthma and allergies, dry air can make it a lot worse. Breathe easier and experience less jolting static shocks with a whole-house humidifier.

3. Home and Goods Protection

Dry air can damage your art, books, and wooden instruments and furnishings, especially wood floors.

Low humidity causes warping, splitting, shrinking, and splintering of wooden floors, furniture, and instruments. If you are constantly having to retune your instruments, you may have a dry air problem.

For instance, if you have a piano, you know how expensive it can be to get it tuned. When the air is dry, the wood holding the strings in place will warp and shrink, leading to different string tensions and wrong notes.

Additionally, canvases can shrink and stretch, causing paint to crack and flake. Humidity is so important to protecting artwork that sometimes you will see a humidified glass case around a painting at a museum. If you want to protect your artwork, the humidity has to be just right. Museums use 50% relative humidity (+/- 5%). For the less obsessive homeowner, keep the piece out of direct sunlight, away from cold temperatures, and maintain 40%-50% RH.

Maintaining healthy humidity will help protect your health, home, and belongings.

What is the ideal humidity level?

In order to prevent the negative effects of both high and low humidity, indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60% and above 25%. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the ideal indoor humidity level is somewhere between 30% and 50%.

If you have expensive artwork in the home, maintain humidity levels in the 40%-50% range.

Portable vs Whole-House Humidifiers

Portable humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help, but sometimes people go overboard and end up over- or under-humidifying their home. Additionally, they only work for one room at a time, and require space and a plug.

Whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are able to detect moisture levels and remove or add moisture as necessary to maintain an ideal humidity zone for the entire building.

Dry air causes many problems for your home and health, including irritated skin, increased illness, aggravated sinuses, damaged wood, and static electricity. These problems are magnified during the winter when your heating system causes reduced humidity in your home.

Whole-house humidification systems eliminate these problems by adding and moisture from the air as necessary. Gold Medal Service offers multiple options to achieve ideal humidity levels in your home all year long.

Find the Right Humidification System for You – Contact Gold Medal Service Today!

Related Posts:

We carry a wide variety of humidification equipment, and with the help of our experts, we’ll help solve whatever problems with dry air you are experiencing in your home.

Reach a live, friendly representative at 1-877-803-0511 (available 24/7) schedule an appointment online! 

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Top 6 Plumbing Maintenance Tips for the Home

Friday, October, 20th, 2017 at 6:00 AM by Gold Medal

Top 6 Plumbing Maintenance Tips for the Home

Plumbing emergencies seem to come at the worst times. As we head into the holiday season, you may be familiar with Brown Friday. The day known to most Americans as Black Friday has a different moniker for plumbers. Due to the inordinate amount of plumbing service calls the day after Thanksgiving (normally plumbers’ busiest day of the year), most plumbers refer to this day as Brown Friday for obvious reasons.

But it’s not just clogged toilets you have to worry about. Your faucet may leak while you’re cleaning your pots and pans. Your water heater may stop supplying hot water to your fixtures. Your garbage disposal and drains may get clogged and backed up. And while we cannot avoid emergencies forever, we can at least lessen their occurrence through regular maintenance and basic plumbing tips.

If you want to enjoy your days free from plumbing catastrophes, follow these 10 plumbing maintenance advice from the pros.

6 Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Your Home

  1. Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts

Be careful what you put down the garbage disposal! Never ever pour fat, oil, or grease (FOG) down any drain. When FOG cools down, it will solidify and block the pipes. Additionally, never pour large amounts of anything down the garburator—feed the monster slowly. If you are having guests over, don’t let them use the garbage disposal.

Never put any of these items down your garbage disposal:

  • Fat, Grease, and Oil
  • Potato Peels
  • Banana Peels
  • Pasta and Rice
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Egg Shells
  • Stringy Vegetables
  • Bones and Pits
  • Chicken Skin
  • Bleach, Drano or Other Harsh Chemicals

These items may jam up and damage your unit.

When using your garbage disposal systems, run cold water and leave it on for a few seconds before grinding stuff. After turning the disposal off, leave the tap running for an extra 10-15 seconds. Doing so will help flush waste substances down the drain.

Learn more garbage disposal do’s and don’ts. Learn more plumbing tips for large gatherings.

  1. Drain Screen Magic

Mesh screens and drain strainers for your bathroom and kitchen will prevent the entry of soap scum, debris, hair and other substances that can quickly clog your pipes. Make sure you clean your sink stoppers and drain screens regularly. This is probably the simplest and most effective way to prevent drain clogs.

  1. Washing Machine Woes

The washing machine is an indispensable plumbing appliance that makes your daily life convenient. To prevent clogs in your main drain, make sure you put a drain hose filter/lint trap or tie pantyhose at the end of the washer’s drain hose. These things will allow the dirty water to pass through, but catches the lint and dirt that can clog your drain and pipes.

Check the supply lines/hoses once a month to ensure they are not kinked or leaking. Most of the time you can fix these issues yourself with a pair of adjustable pliers if it’s caught early. Sometimes all you need to do is install new hose washers. If you need to replace the hose itself, you can find replacement hoses at your local home improvement store. Make sure you turn the water supply off if you have a leak. If you have a major leak, however, it’s best to call an expert to avoid flooding and additional major damage.

  1. Toilet Trouble

Cotton balls, bandages, Q-tips, diapers, tampons, wet wipes, cigarette butts and even facial scrub pads and paper towels should NEVER get flushed down the toilet. These things will totally block the pipelines.

The only things you should ever flush down your toilet are HUMAN WASTE and TOILET PAPER. Nothing else!

Sometimes, toilet paper can cause clogs. Try using thinner toilet paper or not as much if this is a problem. If you are a guest at someone’s house, we recommend a courtesy flush because you never know how weak or strong their flush is. It also helps to reduce the smell.

Insufficient water in the toilet bowl can also cause problems. Learn how to adjust the water level in your toilet bowl.

If your toilet is leaking from the tank to the bowl, you may have a problem with the flapper, chain, or ball float. To find out if you have a toilet leak, add a few drops of food dye to the water in the tank and leave for an hour. If the water in the bowl has changed color when you come back, you have a leak. Learn how to detect plumbing leaks at home and how to fix a running toilet.

Learn tips for National Toilet Rank Repair Month.

  1. Water Heater Maintenance

Keep your water heater working properly and efficiently with these tips:

  • When your water heater stops working or when you notice a leak, turn the supply line off to prevent further damage.
  • Insulate your water heater tank and its supply pipes to increase its efficiency.
  • Turn the water heater temperature down from the standard 140 degrees F to a safer and more energy-efficient 120 degrees F. Learn how to adjust water heater temperature.
  • Periodically drain your water heater to remove built-up sediment in the tank.
  • Schedule annual plumbing maintenance with a professional. They will inspect your water heater pipes, connections, and pressure-relief valves.
  • Learn more water heater maintenance.
  1. Clean and Clear Drains

Slow drains signify a budding clog. Address the problem right away by cleaning the drains. But remember, don’t use drain cleaners with harsh chemical content. You can go for good old baking soda and vinegar instead. Or use Bio-Clean, our recommended products for clearing slow and clogged drains. Learn more drain cleaning solutions.


The key to a long-living and healthy home is preventative maintenance. Call Gold Medal Service for professional plumbing solutions. Join our Total Care Club for annual plumbing, electrical, and HVAC maintenance plans.

Reach a live, friendly representative at 1-877-803-0511 (Available 24/7).

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