Truck For Sale. :(

IMG_0094 IMG_0099 IMG_0092Unfortunately,  I had to make a tough decision and let Sean go.  He was the best employee and friend, that we have ever had work with us.  I am having to sell his truck.  I am asking $8,000.00 It has 239,000 miles on it, but these types of trucks are known to run for 400-500,000  the body on the back is a 12 foot Hackney and Son’s body and has many shelves and bins.  New tires, new brakes, and we recently changed the transmission filter and fluid.  Its a great truck, but I am going back to working by myself.  If you know anyone looking for something like this, Please send them my way.

PLumbing Class

Hello,

If you missed the Class that I taught in Frisco, Tx.  Here is a version of it.  It is packed full of plumbing items.  There are many things that can go wrong, and it would be best to hire a professional.  I cannot be held responsible for your own ability, so if you attempt these repairs and flood your home, it is on you.

FREEZE PREPRATIONS

Hello,

Just a Reminder of FREEZE Nightmare with Plumbing freezes.  I know it is a little early, but we are already getting calls with what to prepare for.  We had 107 hours below freezing a few years ago and it was the first time in over a decade.  Most of the homes in Frisco, Tx had never been exposed to this kind of weather, but BE WARNED.  Here are the record numbers.

  • Most consecutive hours below freezing: 295 (7 am Dec 18 – 2 pm Dec 30, 1983)
  • Most consecutive hours at or below freezing: 295 (7 am Dec 18 – 2 pm Dec 30, 1983)

It will most likely happen again at some point.  We had around 3,000 calls come in over the Feb., 2011 freeze, and Plumbers everywhere were turning them down.  We could not Manage the work, and I apologize to all customers that we missed.  There wasn’t much that anyone could have done.  We Tried our best.  Sean and I were slipping and sliding everywhere and working as many hours as our bodies would allow. If you would have called me before the freeze and asked me what to do to prepare, I would have just told you to make sure all outside hoses were removed from the house, and that you didn’t need to worry with the Hydrant covers or open cabinet doors.  Well, I WAS WRONG and IGNORANT!  I did not know about the above information.  I now am going to tell people to prepare for the worst.  It is coming again.  If you had something freeze up last year, then let’s try to prevent it from doing it again.  Some steps are:

  1. Remove all outside hoses
  2. Install foam or some sort of cover over hydrant
  3. Any pipes with hydrants sticking up out of the ground, Put a hay bale over them
  4. If your washing machine backs up to an outside wall, Stack hay bales up against the outside wall higher than the washing machine
  5. If you have an outside water softner (I’m sorry for you), then you need to build a hay bale fortress around it.
  6. If you have a kitchen sink  or plumbing that backs up to an outside wall, then put hay bales up on the outside of it.
  7. Open all cabinets that have plumbing
  8. Trickle water through both hot and cold faucets (small trickle)
  9. If you have a bathroom or plumbing over a garage or tunnel entry, then get some type of heater to heat that bathroom hotter than the rest of the house.
  10. It is also a good idea to lean a hay bales up against the outside hydrants
  11. If you have sprinklers in your house for fire protection, then you need to make sure your attic is sealed up tight and consider putting heat lamps in the attic and turn up the heat a little hotter,  Do not turn off heat to certain parts of the home. Seal off any roof vents (if possible)
  12. BE CAREFUL with the heat lamps.  Always follow the directions.  Read the directions until you understand them or don’t use the lamp.  Please be careful, you could burn your house down.
  13. If you have a break, call the non emergency fire department
  14. Remember Homes here are built for average temperatures, not extreme.  They are not built to withstand 107 hours of freezing and certainly not 295 like in 1983.

 

There is no Guarantee that you will not have a freeze.  You can try to send the bill for the Damages to Mother Nature, but She probably will not pay.  Good luck this year,  Hopefully it is not another 1983 or we are all in big trouble.

Thanks,

Jay

Water Damage! Please Read and comment

We are constantly hounded by flood restoration companies to refer them to homeowners who have water damage.  It has gotten Crazy.  They know that we are sometimes the first on the scene as Plumbers.  They want us to get you to use them.  In order to do this, they offer various tactics.  The biggest is MONEY.  Most of these companies will give the Plumber that refers them $$$ if they secure the Job.  I believe this is a form of insurance fraud and do not wish to be involved.  I do refer a few companies now and then, but I tell them I don’t want to be apart of the referral program.  I don’t think it is right for me to get money, just for referring.  You usually have to turn these things into insurance.  Your deductible is usually 1% of the value of the home.  The water damage companies bill your insurance thousands of dollars, then the plumber gets a check for referring the company.  Are we to believe that the $$$ is not added into the insurance bill somewhere.  The higher the costs and more claims you get, the higher your insurance will be, and they may even cancel you.  Imagine having a disaster, paying the Plumber $$$ to fix the problem, then finding out later that he also pocketed $$$ off of your mess.  Am I the only one that thinks this is wrong?  I do believe that these companies are needed, but just do a good job, treat my customers fairly and I will refer you anyway.  Hopefully, you will refer me if you beat me to the job.  Here are a few tips if you have a flood:

 

Water Damage Tips

Urgent steps in a water damage emergency

  • Prevent Electrocution! Shut off power to all flooded areas. We’ll walk you through.
  • Stop the Water! We’ll help you find and shut off the water source of the flood.
  • Call the Non-emergency fire department if you can’t get your water shut off.
  • Protect Furnishings! While we’re on the way get them out of the water.

DO’s

  • Do remove as much water as possible by mopping or blotting with large bath towels (Be sure not to leave colored towels on the carpet as colors can bleed)
  • Do wipe furniture down to remove excess moisture.
  • Do prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying.
  • Do lift drapes off the floor, loop through coat hanger and hang from curtain rod.
  • Do remove wet area rugs, furnishings and anything else on the flooring in the effected area.
  • Do move valuable pictures, paintings and art objects to a safe dry place.
  • Do open closet doors and dresser drawers and anything else that can be opened to allow air to circulate.
  • Do stay out of rooms where the ceiling is sagging.

DON’TS…

  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use electrical appliances while standing in wet area.
  • Don’t wait to call for help, the longer you wait the more damage will occur.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should be my first concern?

A: Safety is of primary importance. Water near electric outlets and appliances pose a serious risk of shock. Beyond that the source of the problem needs to be corrected before full restoration can begin.

Q: It’s 2:00 AM. Can this wait until morning?

A: If the water source is stopped, the clean-up can generally begin in the morning. If a broken pipe is to blame, the water to the house may need to be shut off until a plumber can fix it.

Q: How long will it take?

A: The initial extraction of standing water generally takes only a few hours, however to completely dry the structure may take 3-5 days. Any damage to walls, floors and ceilings will be repaired after the home is dry. The entire process often takes less than 10 days.

Q: Should I move my furniture out of the affected rooms?

A: Yes, this will prevent them from absorbing additional moisture or staining of carpet and will be required to dry the floor completely.

Q: Will my carpet cleaner or shop-vac be sufficient?

A: Probably not. Water causes serious damage to walls, floors and ceilings which require not only water extraction from the carpet but also restoring the humidity level of your home. Most companies use industrial machines capable of extracting as much water as possible from your flooded carpet. Further de-humidifiers and turbo-air movers are required to dry walls, floors and ceilings adequately to control mold, mildew and bacteria growth. It is those spaces within walls and ceilings that are most critical, the places you can’t see.

Water Damage Tips: What to Look for When You’re the Victim of Water Damage.

Initial scoping to determine how extensive the water damage is. The water damage will be found in 3 dimensions. Water always seeks equilibrium with its environment and wet always goes to dry, if it can. Just finding the extent of water damage on the floor isn’t enough. The water damage needs to be mapped to determine how far up the walls it has wicked, and how far down into the substrate the water damage has gone, including possibly entering the crawlspace in a conventional foundation. This can’t be done by touch. Very specialized water damage inspection tools and meters will be required, and every water damage professional has them.

A thorough understanding of water damage demands every water damage contractor be familiar with the “science of drying” also called psychrometry. Ask your water damage contractor what the dry standard is of each structural component suffering potential water damage. With proper water damage inspection tools and water damage experience, he should be able to tell you on a scale of 100 points the moisture content of the water damaged materials. If he can’t, call a different water damage restoration professional. Make sure your water damage restoration contractor draws a “moisture map” of the affected areas showing the full extent of the water damage migration, and that he updates the map regularly to show the progress of the water damage/structural drying project.

A professional water damage restoration contractor should select the structural drying equipment in a scientific method based on materials, size of the water damage area, and the class and category of the water damage. At the very least he should be certified in applied structural drying and water damage restoration.

Any extraction of standing water or of carpet and padding involved in a water damage project should be done with the very best water extraction tools. Preferably sub-surface water extraction tools. If wall to wall carpet is not to be replaced, which is rarely needed with new structural drying technologies, the last thing a trained specialist in structural drying and water damage restoration will do is set air movement under the carpet to “float” it.

There are far too many things to learn as a property owner, whether it’s your home or business, to be educated in applied structural drying and water damage restoration via a web-site. So your best bet is to contact a Cleaning and Restoration Service company, and let them handle the water damage restoration project.

MOLD:  IF SOMEONE IS TELLING YOU THAT YOU HAVE A “BAD” MOLD.  ASK FOR THE TEST RESULTS.  GETTING A SECOND OPINION IS A GOOD IDEA TOO.  IF GETTING A SECOND OPINION, DON’T TELL THE NEW GUY THAT THE OTHER GUY SAID YOU HAD BAD MOLD UNTIL AFTER HE TESTS AND GIVES YOU THE RESULTS.

 

American Water Resources of Texas (in the Mail)

Homeowners in Frisco and surrounding areas may be receiving a Mailer about Insurance for your water line running through your property.  It looks like a formal notice and is very clever.  It is just another attempt to play on your emotions, and may not be the best thing for you.  Nothing is for Free and $5.00/ month may seem like a great deal, but buyer beware.   There are several companies out there doing similar things, and all have their drawbacks.  They do some how have a BBB record, but just to be clear, you have to pay money to have a listing with the BBB.  I have one and it costs me $400 plus every year.  I have had dealings with similar insurance companies.  I cannot speak directly about this company, other than below,  but check out this link.  http://www.ripoffreport.com/home-warrantee-companies/american-water-resco/american-water-rescources-insu-e6dyy.html  We hear nothing but complaints from American home shield customers.  They cover plumbing in your house with a warranty.  $60.00 gets them out, and it had better be a perfect install by the original plumbers (no such thing as a perfect install), so the plumber then collects his $60.00 and gives you a bid to fix it (usually $$$$$$).  On water heaters they usually get the insurance company to cover the cost of the water heater, but you have to pay for the code upgrades.  In many many cases the code upgrade charges cost you more than what I can put a whole water heater, permits, labor, and material in for.  Our total cost to you for a natural gas water heater in the Garage is $1,100.00 with everything.  In the attic $1,300.00.  This is a new shut off valve, pan, flex connectors, permits, expansion device, etc.  As far as water lines in your front yard.  I just got off the phone with American water, and they only cover the line itself and not any of the valves, they may be able to add that on for more money.  I also asked to verify any licenses that they may have in the area, and they would not release that.  Chances are you will be getting the bottom of the barrel.  Typical yard line repairs, (the Band aid approach) can range from $175.00 to $450.00 in this area.  I doubt they will do anything but simple repairs with this insurance.  In my opinion, save your Money for something useful.

Flooded houses!!!

We have been experiencing some flooded houses and I wanted to let you know how to avoid and what to do if it happens.  First, let me start by saying that you need to know the local Non Emergency phone number for the Fire department closest to you, if you don’t live in Frisco, Plano, or McKinney, you may need to call them and ask, if they offer they would come out in the event that you had water flooding and needed help.  Most of the fireman I talked too, said they had no problem helping.  Most cities have a Utility department emergency line, but the response time has been too long, and too much damage has been done.  It also helps to know where your Main shut off valve is located.  These are usually located in the flower beds up by the house in a green box.  You may have an original valve with the house, be prepared, it may not work.  Its a good idea to check this valve at least every 6 months to a year to make sure it is in working order.  We can upgrade you to a heavy duty valve that will last you 30 plus years.  That will not rust.  The meter box at the street is for the City to shut off the water.  Most Cities do not want home owners to use this to shut off the water.  I would still have a meter key (available at Green supply in Frisco, TX on 5th street.).  Now what to do to prevent these floods.  Maintenance Maintenance Maintenance.  It is a very good idea to have a plumber come out every year to do a thorough walk-thru.  We often find things, that you may dismiss.  Here are some items that have flooded houses recently in the area:

  • Ice maker filter cracked   (cause;  it was over 2 years old)
  • Ice maker filter shot off    (cause; water pressure over 80psi, regulator fail)
  • Ice maker solenoid crack  (cause; water pressure over 80 psi)
  • Water heaters                    (cause; flex connector leaked for a long time)
  • Water heaters                    (cause; over 8 years old in the attic)
  • Water heaters                    (cause; Relief valve leaked, pan drain clogged)
  • Toilet                                   (cause; old shut off valve failed)
  • Toilet                                   (cause; toilet not flushing well, overflowed)
  • Toilet                                   (cause; cheap corrugated tubing failed on supply)
  • Toilet                                   (cause; 10 year old toilet tank cracked)
  • Tub                                      (cause; drain corroded completely)
  • Tub                                      (missing caulking and tile)
  • Pipe burst                           (water pressure over 80psi, no regulator)
  • Shower valve                      (tile guy installed shower valve;  Not licensed)
  • Shower valve                      (handy man installed parts wrong; not licensed)
  • Washing machine               (overflowed 10 year old drains, never cleaned)
  • Kitchen sink drains            (leaking drains, not repaired in time)

Almost all of these items could have been avoided if a Licensed Plumber had come out once a year to just take a look.  These are just examples of some people that we have helped.  At the end of the day,  Plumbing will fail, and we are not perfect, but we will try our best to help you avoid these issues.  The People of Frisco, Plano, and McKinney, that are attached to these NIGHTMARE’S above had to put up with a lot of mess, costs, and displacement.  We wouldn’t wish there pain on anyone.  If you need help locating your Valve in you flower bed, we can come out for $60.00 and find it for you. GUARANTEED!