Make an Effort to Celebrate World Water Day

Make an Effort to Celebrate World Water Day

World-WaterIt’s a day on which we recognize the significant resource challenges facing those around the globe. The studies show that 1 in 3 people still lack access to a clean toilet in their living space. While the World Economic Forum has stated they believe the water crisis is the number one risk around the globe today.

It’s an ongoing struggle driven by overuse of resources and a growing population. In this latest post, we’ll highlight World Water Day and your role in reducing water use in your local region.

What is World Water Day?

Wasting-waterWorld Water day was formed in 1993 by the U.N as a way to formally highlight the water resources issues taking place in locations such as Africa and the Middle East. Millions of people in these regions are unable to access clean water.

This has caused the spread of dangerous diseases such as cholera and dysentery. A lack of water is also considered one of causes behind global food shortages, as millions lack the resources of clean their local foods and prepare their meals.

What Can You Do?

You might think of World Water Day as an opportunity to learn more about the crisis taking place around the world. First and foremost, you should research the issues and become more aware of the ways in which water deprivation is having an impact globally. Secondly, you can take actions at home to conserve your own local water use. Consider the following:

water-dropUsing the dishwasher only when it’s full

Many of us simply run the dishwasher to ensure that a specific item is cleaned ready for the next day or an upcoming meal. Try to use your dishwasher sparingly as it’s one of the leading uses for water around the home and can use 6 gallons of water per cycle.
Educating others

Once you’ve learned more on the world water crises, you can take the opportunity to talk with others about the global challenges we face. This process can help you build community groups and amplify your involvement in conserving local water resources.

Limiting your showers

Instead of those long and luxurious showers that can waste 15-20 gallons of water each time, why not opt for shorter 5-minute showers? This process will reduce your water use and mitigate your impact on local resources.

Our expert team is here to guide you in moderating your water use around the home. To learn more about World Water Day and what you can do to conserve water resources, call our Annapolis, MD team now at (410) 268-7191.

Which Way Does Your Toilet Bowl Swirl?

Which Way Does Your Toilet Bowl Swirl?

Sometimes it’s the little things that make us wonder how they came to be that way… Do you know which direction your toilet bowl swirls? Take the video quiz below to find out! You may be surprised to see what you find.

The experts at Heidler, Inc., in the Annapolis, MD area, are always willing to share their knowledge with you. If you're interested in learning more contact us at (410) 268-7191.

Find Out How to Plan for a Healthy New Year

Find Out How to Plan for a Healthy New Year

A healthy life starts in a healthy home. We depend on our homes to provide us with reliable shelter, warmth, and water during the cold winter months, and beyond.

myth-or-factTo ensure that your home stays healthy and active all year long, plan to assess and care for your home’s plumbing system early on in the New Year.

 Here are some tips on how to maintain a healthy plumbing system to enjoy a healthy New Year:

Check for Efficient Water Filtration

Water flows in and out of our homes through faucets and drains every day. Maintaining a healthy and adequate flow of water can help us preserve this precious resource while keeping menacing bacteria at bay. There are a couple of easy steps you can take to ensure that water is flowing sufficiently throughout your home, including:

Clear Hair Clogs: Once a week, provide your shower drain with some preventative maintenance. Remove your shower drain covering and use a flashlight to assess if your drain needs clearing. If so, use a pair of tweezers to pull out any knots or clogs that may have formed throughout the week.

Clean Your Faucets: Calcium, lime, and other sediment can accumulate on faucet heads over time. This grime prevents a normal flow of water and can contaminate your tap water with unnecessary bacteria. To clean your faucets, remove the aerator from the tip of the faucet, and soak the screen in hot white vinegar to remove mineral deposits.

Practice Water Safety Precautions: Depending on the age of your home and the type of pipes that are laid throughout its foundation, harmful contaminants may be entering your water system unknowingly. Test your water regularly, and if you sense an issue with your water quality, think about installing a water filtration system in your home.

Flush Out Your Water Heater

By taking the time to clean and flush out your water heater, you can improve the efficiency and extend the lifespan of your existing heater. Water heaters have a dip tube that directs water flow to the bottom of the tank, sending sediment to the bottom, as well.

This build-up of sediment reduces energy efficiency, as the heater is also working to warm up the sediment. You can flush and assess the condition of your water heater by yourself, but for added safety and effectiveness, seek professional assistance.

Plan to Have Your Drains Professionally Cleaned

Completing preventative maintenance for your home's drainage system can save you heaps of time and money by ensuring that your pipes are in excellent working order. You may want to consider getting your drains professionally cleaned if they are showing the following symptoms of a clog:

  • clogged-drainsWater backs up the drain when the faucet is turned on.
  • There is slow (or no) drainage in your sink.
  • Your kitchen or bathroom sinks are emitting foul odors.
  • Your toilet is beginning to overflow.

Clogged drains are bacterial cities, and can harbor illness-inducing bacteria such as E. Coli and salmonella. To diminish the risk of creating comfortable environments for bacteria to grow in your drains, be mindful of what goes down your sink.

Ensure that as little food waste as possible goes down your drains, and purchase a drain strainer to eliminate large amounts of food waste from entering your pipes.

Professional drain cleaning should be performed annually to effectively prevent any clogs from forming throughout the year.

If you want to put your healthy home plan into action in the Annapolis, MD area this year, call 410-268-7191 to speak with the plumbing experts at Heidler Inc.

DEFENSE: Protecting Your Pipes During Super Bowl LI

DEFENSE: Protecting Your Pipes During Super Bowl LI

Halftime Flush, Fact or Fiction?

If you are a Super Bowl fan, then you have probably heard that thousands of spectators who are watching the game at home will flush their toilets at the same time during Half Time. Some of these stories are true because several cities have noticed that water usage does increase during the Super Bowl’s halftime break.

halftimeflush2Many television viewers are in a hurry to get back to the television to watch the musical performance, and they also don’t want to miss any part of the football game. In many homes, people are in a rush to visit the bathroom during the Super Bowl’s halftime show so that they can also scurry into the kitchen to get more snacks and beverages.

While water usage may increase during this time, it won’t cause any widespread plumbing issues for an entire city. However, if you have a home with old bathroom fixtures, sewage lines and water pipes, then having numerous guests flushing toilets at the same time can overburden a building’s plumbing system.

If you plan to have a Super Bowl party in your home, then it is important to prepare ahead of time by making sure that your home’s plumbing system is in tip-top condition. Contact a plumber to have your home’s drainage devices cleaned and repaired to avoid having overflowing toilets.

Don’t Drop the Chicken Wings

dontdropthewingsWhen you have a Super Bowl party, make sure that your guests understand what they can put inside your kitchen’s garbage disposal. If one of your guests decides to drop the remains of their barbecue chicken wings down the garbage disposal, then a disaster will occur. Before Super Bowl parties, make a written list to hang on the wall above your kitchen’s sink to prevent a broken garbage disposal.

In addition to keeping chicken wing bones out of the appliance, don’t put hard or fibrous substances such as eggshells, potato skins or rice in the garbage disposal. These items will break your garbage disposal’s blades or create a clog in the drain underneath the sink. If you do have a problem with your kitchen’s garbage disposal, then call a plumber!

If You’re Not Going Green, You’re On the Losing Team

Instead of spending a lot of money on huge cases of bottled water for your guests, have a water filtration system installed inside your home. When you are having a lot of guests at your home for a Super Bowl party, they will need to have more drinking water than you are normally used to and you may also use more water for preparing snacks. By using a filtration system, you can remove the impurities from your home’s water so that it has a fresh flavor.

Call Heidler, Inc. in Annapolis, MD today at (410) 268-7191 to learn more about garbage disposal safety, drain cleaning and water filtration systems.

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

The chill of winter can wreak havoc on the pipes in your home. If ice is allowed to form inside your pipes, it will halt the flow of water to your taps and appliances, and if left unchecked, they will eventually burst.

The ensuing flooding can result in significant and costly damage to your home and belongings. It's for this reason that we have prepared some simple prevention and thawing tips.

Protect the Pipes in the Most Vulnerable Locations

It stands to reason that pipes that run through the coldest parts of your home are the most likely to freeze. If you have plumbing located in your garage or attic, it’s the most susceptible to the cold. Make sure to keep your garage door closed as much as possible as well as your attic windows. This will help to retain the heat and keep cold air from coming in.

If freezing occurs regularly, you may want to consider adding more insulation to the area or having the pipes rerouted to other parts of your home.

Turn On Your Hot Water Tapswinterize_your_home

One way to warm up your pipes is to let the hot water run for a little while. This will help to thaw any buildup and delay the formation of ice due to the cold.

While this strategy mainly affects hot water pipes, letting cold water run can also be useful since water in motion is less likely to freeze than standing water. Furthermore, moving water that is nearing the freezing point away from the coldest section of your plumbing will slow down the process.

Appliances to Keep Your Pipes Warm

If freezing pipes is a recurring problem, you can wrap them with heating tape. Armed with an electrical filament embedded inside, this tape provides heat directly to the pipe when plugged in. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

If you're looking for an alternative that won't consume electricity, wrapping your pipes with foam insulation may be sufficient to prevent freezing. Simply slip on the insulation and remove the adhesive backing to seal the insulation around the pipe.

heating_efficiency_winterize_homeHow to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you're faced with a frozen pipe, it's important to address the issue right away before it bursts and causes extensive damage.

If you know where the ice blockage is located, using a hair dryer on the heat setting is a good way to heat up the pipe and melt the ice inside. Alternatively, you can try adding space heaters to the area or use a heating lamp.

If the blockage persists, you'll probably want to call a plumber for some expert assistance. In the meantime, you may want to shut off the water supply to your home to limit the amount of flooding that would occur if the pipe does burst.

Next, you can open some taps inside the house to help relieve some built-up pressure inside the pipes and allow space for the ice to expand.

If you have issues with freezing pipes in your Annapolis area home, call 410-268-7191 to speak with the experts at Heidler Plumbing.

Home Cleaning Checklist for the New Year

Home Cleaning Checklist for the New Year

cleaning_yourhome_tipsThe New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start, and what better way to get a fresh start than to establish a quick but efficient way to clean your house.

Sticking to a schedule for things that you do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis can help motivate you to keep your house looking like you spent hours cleaning it when it really only took a small fraction of your day. Use this basic cleaning schedule as a guideline to get and keep your home in order.

What to Clean Daily

Spend about 30 minutes a day doing the chores that need to be done around your home. These basic tasks might seem simple, but make a world of difference in how your home looks and feels.

  • Wash dishes at least once a day. If you can’t find the time to wash them all, at least make an effort to scrape excess food off and rinse them so the food doesn’t stick. Alternatively, throw a load in the dishwasher once a day.
  • Tidy up. Tidying up helps control clutter. Walk through your house one room at a time and put things that are out of place back where they belong. Do a room or two and then take a break.
  • Wipe off countertops to clean crumbs and spills

What to Clean Weekly

Some tasks do not necessarily need to be done every single day. Instead pick a day of the week where you will tackle these tasks. Which include:

  • Empty the trash in bedrooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen
  • Dust furniture and wiping down cobwebs
  • Clean mirrors and windows
  • Wipe down appliances in the kitchen, cleaning out the microwave and empty the crumb tray in your toaster
  • Mop the floor
  • Spray down and scrub the toilet, sink, and tub in the bathroom

What to Clean the First of Each Month

cleaning_forthe_newyearMonthly tasks are important and easy to forget. Don’t fall behind. Try to do these tasks at least once a month for optimal cleanliness.

  • Move furniture and vacuum or sweep under it
  • Clean outside windows
  • Disinfect and deodorize garbage cans
  • Run vinegar through your appliances to clean them
  • Dust your blinds, shades and lighting fixtures

Keeping your home clean is a great start to the year. Contact Heidler, located in Annapolis, MD  at (410) 268-7191 for assistance with getting your home in order.

Enjoy Your Holiday Season by Avoiding These Plumbing Headaches

Enjoy Your Holiday Season by Avoiding These Plumbing Headaches

The turkey is in the oven, the table is set, the presents are wrapped, but you’ve just noticed water pooling in your basement around the sump pump. Plumbing problems are annoying to take care of on a regular day, but add the stress of the holidays, and you have a real headache.

plumbingissues

Here are a few tips to take care of your plumbing systems before the holidays so you can enjoy the season without worrying about a potential plumbing disaster:

Check the Faucets

check-your-faucetsBefore the holidays, check your faucets to make sure water is flowing freely. Over time, the tiny components, washers and O-rings in the faucet can wear out or corrode, causing leaks or blockages in the unit. If you inspect the faucet before the holidays, you won’t be plagued with a maddening dripping sound throughout your holiday dinner.

Protect Your Water Heater

As the mercury drops in December, it’s time to take the initiative to protect your plumbing appliances from the cold. Even the tiniest crack in the wall next to the water heater can cause a serious problem. Make sure your water heater is not exposed to any cold air.

avoid-these-plumbing-headaches-in-your-homeFill cracks and install water heater insulation if needed. This will ensure that your water heater works efficiently all season long.

Make Sure to Adjust the Temperature

Letting your home get cold in the winter causes more than just discomfort. If your home is colder than 55 degrees, you run the risk of pipes freezing and then bursting. Burst pipes during the winter are one of the most common and disastrous plumbing issues. Within seconds the burst pipe could cause severe water damage that no homeowner wants.

Close the Shut-Off Valve to any Outdoor Hoses

Part of your fall plumbing maintenance should have included removing any outdoor hoses and storing them properly for the winter. In addition to that, the shut-off valves on these outdoor faucets should also be closed to prevent dripping, freezing, and you guessed it, bursting. Closing the shut-off valve is a quick and easy process that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars this holiday season.

Insulate any exposed pipes.

burstpipeNothing is more frustrating than experiencing a burst pipe emergency during the holidays. When you have family and loved ones over, the very last thing you want is to be running around trying to reduce the damage as water starts rushing out of a burst pipe.

The best way to prevent these kinds of emergencies is by insulating your pipes. Whether you use a foam insulation or simple sleeves that slip over the pipes, make sure any pipes that could be exposed to even the tiniest bit of cold air are insulated.

Test Your Sump Pump

Increased precipitation in the winter means more stress on your sump pump. Before the holidays, make sure your sump pump is up for the task by testing it. The easiest way to test your sump pump is by pouring a bucket of water into the tank. If the pump is triggered and fires up, your sump pump is working. If nothing happens when you pour the water in the tank, the pump may be seized. Call a professional right away for a quick repair before you start your holiday preparations.

For more help with your plumbing this holiday season, call Heidler, Inc. For fast and efficient plumbing repair and installations in Annapolis, MD, call (410) 268-7191 today.

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

safetoys

Before Shopping Make a Checklist of Shopping Features

Before shopping write down some features on toys that make them dangerous to children. Make sure to keep an eye out for these features during your shopping trip.

Avoid toys with sharp edges and small parts that children can choke on. Strings longer than 12 inches are not dangerous for children under 3 years old. Buy well-made, durable toys that do not break easily. Electrical toys with heating elements and toys that shoot objects are for older children.

make-a-checklist-before-shopping-1A shocking statistic is that children under the age of four account for most toy related choking deaths. When shopping for toys for young children, carefully examine the toys before you purchase them.

Below are more toy buying tips:

  • Read all warnings and instructions on box carefully
  • Inspect toys for broken or loose parts
  • Avoid cap guns or cap rifles
  • Avoid toys with too many small parts

Look for ASTM Label

Look for the ASTM label when you purchase toys in stores or from vendors. It means the toy has been tested for safety and meets national standards for young children. The complete label on the toy should read ASTM F963. It means the toy met all of the recent government safety standards.

parentandchildArt supplies for kids should have the following label on them for toy safety. It should read ASTM F963. This means it has been tested for toxic material and listed on label.

Buy Age Appropriate Toys

Always look for labels on the toy or box that give the age range the toy is made for. Don't buy toys that are for a 12 year old child and give it to a 4 year old. Toys are tested and designed for children with age and ability to use the toy in mind. Many toys are made overseas and have been recalled so always examine them before buying.

Another tip is to check on toy recalls at this website before going out shopping at https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/

Supervise Children During Play Time

Explain how the toy is meant to be used to children. In fact, demonstrating how to use the toys when the instructions are complicated is a good idea. Always supervise them when they play with toys that are new. That way you can see for yourself that they are using them properly and playing safely. Always put toys away after playing for safety purposes. Be sure children wear protective gear when playing sports or eye gear when performing experiments.

If you're also in need of plumbing tips in Annapolis, MD call Heidler, Inc. at (410) 268-7191.

Follow These 5 Maintenance Tips to Get Your Water Heater Ready for Fall & Winter

Follow These 5 Maintenance Tips to Get Your Water Heater Ready for Winter

Hot water heaters are often located in an out-of-the-way area of the house, so it can be easy to ignore them. But water heaters need regular maintenance, and you can extend or even double the life of your tank by following some basic protocols.

maintenance-tips-for-water-heaters-in-fall-winter

Here are five tips you can use this fall and winter to keep your water heater in tip top shape.

1. Inspect the Anode Rod

check-pressure-relief-valveWater heaters are made with metal tanks, so rust prevention is done in two ways: the glass lining in the tank and the anode rod that attracts elements in the water that would corrode the tank.

Over time, the anode rod itself corrodes too, so you should check it at least every three years and replace it every five.

To inspect the rod:

  • Close the shut-off valve, turn off the power and turn off the water to the tank
  • Relieve pressure by running a hot water tap for a minute
  • Drain a few gallons of water from the drain valve
  • Loosen the rod with an air compressor and impact wrench and socket
  • Pull the rod out and check it for corrosion—replace it if the rod is fully corroded

2. Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

checking-water-heater-temperatureThis is a safety valve that releases pressure when the temperature or pressure inside the tank gets too high. Test that it’s functioning by flicking the test lever several times.

If hot water comes out the drainpipe, you're TPR is working as it should. If there's no water or just a small trickle, you should replace the valve.

3. Flush Out the Tank

This is another important way to prevent your tank from rusting because sediment and dirt can cause the tank to rust prematurely.

Flush the tank yearly by turning off the power or gas, turning off the water, and attaching a hose to the drain pipe. Open the valve to let the water flow out. When the tank is empty, turn on the water and let a few gallons through to flush out leftover sediment. Then shut the drain valve, turn the water back on, and power the unit back up once the tank is full.

4. Adjust the Temperature

You can either lower the temperature on your water heater to save money on your energy bills, or you can raise the temperature so that you have warmer water throughout the cooler months.

prepare-water-heater-for-cold-weatherIf your water heater is set to 140° F, you risk water that is hot enough to scald, and you'll also be wasting up to $60 per year on heat loss. Most people find a temperature of 120° F to be more than sufficiently warm, even in the dead of winter.

5. Add Insulation

Insulating your tank could save you up to 15 percent on your energy bills because you can reduce the heat lost through the tank by up to 45 percent. Go touch the tank: if it feels warm, you could benefit from insulation. You can also insulate the pipes to save money because insulating the pipes means you can turn your water heater down by up to 4° F without any change in the water temperature.

Maintaining your water heater properly will mean years and years of dependable hot water. When you need maintenance or repairs for your water heater in Annapolis, MD, or if you need more instructions for any of these tips, call the experts from Heidler, Inc. at 410-268-7191.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

During November, many families in the United States begin to prepare for Thanksgiving Day by buying special foods to cook for their tasty holiday recipes. However, there are numerous hungry and homeless individuals who need help during this time of year.

national-hunger-and-homelessness-awareness-weekOur company understands that our community’s organizations are struggling to provide the basic necessities to the homeless, and here are a few ways for you to provide assistance to those who are in need during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which takes place November 12-20th.

1: Donating Toiletries, Household Items and Clothing

food-bankWe should try to help out the homeless by cleaning out our closets and getting rid of unneeded household items, clothing and toiletries.

Some of the things that a homeless individual might need include:

  • Winter coat
  • Blankets
  • Bath soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Socks

In addition to giving away used clothing or household goods, we can buy inexpensive toiletries for the homeless to make their lives better and to help them find work.

2: Volunteer at a Nearby Homeless Shelter

soup-kitchen-volunteerThe temperature often starts to drop in November, and many of the homeless individuals in your area need a place to stay. The homeless shelters require additional volunteers at this time of year to provide vital services.

By offering a few hours of help to the homeless this month, you will be making a difference.

3: Help a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen

Many families during this time of year must decide whether they are going to spend their income on heating a home or buying food (assuming they cannot afford both). In order to survive, they will visit a food bank to receive canned or packaged foods to prepare at home. Alternatively, they might need to go to a soup kitchen to have a nutritious hot meal. Fortunately, most soup kitchens and food banks will accept fresh vegetables, so you can donate produce and canned goods to help the hungry or homeless.

4: Donate Food to a Thanksgiving Food Drive

hunger-awarenessLocal organizations and churches in the Annapolis area organize a Thanksgiving Day food drive to ensure people will have enough ingredients to make a nice dinner.

You could help out by donating these types of foods:

  • Cans of fruit and vegetables
  • Boxes of mashed potatoes or stuffing
  • Loaves of fresh bread
  • Bags of potatoes
  • Cans of chicken or turkey
  • Boxes of noodles

For additional suggestions when helping the hungry or homeless in our plumbing company’s city of Annapolis, MD, contact Heidler, Inc. at (410) 268-7191.