HY-PRO PLUMBING AND DRAIN CLEANING BLOG

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Bathroom Sewage Got You Down? It’s Time To Call The Experts

Posted by on May 13/2015 | 0Comments

Having Bathroom Sewage Problems?

Discovering bathroom sewage in your home is never a nice welcoming. Washrooms are places to feel clean and renewed or places to relax and unwind. But when your comforting bath, rejuvenating shower or daily scrub are accompanied by the rank smell of sewage, gas, or waste, you’ll quickly start wondering if you can fit yourself into your kitchen sink! You’ll also find yourself reluctant to invite guests into the home — you don’t want to be associated with a stinky, sewer-smelling bathroom, do you?

A Quick Fix

If you detect a gross smell coming from the bathroom, it’s time to start thinking about calling HY-PRO Plumbing and Drain Cleaning — but you can do a few tests first to make sure that the problem can’t be solved with a quick fix. Regardless of what’s causing the odor, know that prolonged exposure to certain sewer-based gasses — methane and hydrogen sulfide in particular — can cause health and safety issues if left unimpeded.

With a lot of gas hanging around, the air can become combustible, so you’ll want to avoid turning on electrical switches or using lighters and matches. If you’re working in a room with a strong smell, you should try to open as many windows as possible; if this isn’t feasible, grab a ventilation mask to avoid respiratory problems, wooziness, or being knocked out (or worse). A mask that fits over your eyes will also prevent severe irritation.

Always conduct a very thorough clean of the room to make sure there isn’t something obvious causing the smell. Then you can begin searching in earnest.

Pipes In Your Bathroom

Pipes from your sink, bathtub, and toilet lead to the main line that runs from the sewer through your bathroom and then up through the roof of your house. Stinky air from the sewer rises up and escapes into the air above your home, and is prevented from entering your bathroom through a nifty little well of water that rests in the U-shaped pipe under your sink.

Each time you run the bath or sink, a little bit of water stays in this section of pipe (called the P trap) and acts as a barrier between you and the sewer. The water that sits in your toilet bowl does the same thing. So if the foul smell is coming from the sewer, it either means the water in the P-trap has evaporated (often the case in infrequently used bathrooms), you’ve got a crack in the main line that runs up to the roof, the roof vent is blocked (by nests, debris, or leaves), or it was improperly installed. Conversely, the P trap could be cracked and leaking, allowing the stink to come through.

Foul smells don’t always hail from the sewer, though. Biological slime (composed of hair, soap, shampoo, skin, and other bodily and cosmetic residue) can clog drains and pipes and become a real stinky problem that not all snakes and drain cleaners can fix. Your drain pipe can also stink if its wax seal becomes cracked; moreover, if your floors are cracked, water can seep below and make the damp wooden floorboards start reeking to high heaven. On the other hand, you could have a leak somewhere in your toilet …

Call A Professional

To help you discover the source of the offending odor and to get rid of it for good, always call our licensed and insured plumbers. We’re used to awful smells, gunky buildups, and cracks, clogs, and blockages of all types. There’s nothing we haven’t seen, so stop suffering with a gross, possibly harmful gas: call us today and we’ll have you breathing fresh air once again.

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Ensure Satisfied Tenants With HY-PRO’s Preventative Maintenance Plans

Posted by on April 30/2015 | 0Comments

Get Satisfied Tenants With Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance starts with maxims like “the best defense is offense,” “measure twice, cut once,” and “a little prevention is worth a lot of cure” — the best way to keep your large properties adequately maintained is through a Preventative Maintenance Plan (or PMP for short). If you’re looking for a way to cut down on costly emergency repair bills, keep your tenants happy and satisfied, and stop playing perpetual catch-up with plumbing and drain systems malfunction, then implementing a solid PMP is the way to go. When it comes to property plumbing services, think prevention, not reaction!

As a property manager, you’re legally obligated to stay on top of the water systems in each apartment, studio, storefront, or other dwelling in your building. As many will tell you, being a landlord means getting familiar with how plumbing and drains really work — one look at a water bill from a large apartment building or shopping mall will give you a swift, immediate lesson in how important it is to be efficient, conservative, and eco-friendly. If you want satisfied tenants, then you have to respond to even small problems quickly, and with courtesy. Staying apprised of every drain and pipe in your building will also mean that tiny, seemingly irrelevant hitches don’t blossom into full-blown plumbing disasters — when something major goes wrong, both your pocketbook and approval rating can take a major hit.

If you’re not used to proactive work, then switching over from a desperate game of catch-up to a responsible, orderly PMP can be difficult. As an end goal, preventative maintenance should account for 85 to 90 percent of work orders. Obviously, this won’t happen overnight, but taking baby-steps—and focusing on one aspect of your property at a time, like your plumbing or your HVAC systems—will get you there eventually. You’ve got to start working consistently, performing regular inspections every week, and start keeping accurate and easy-to-read records of your observations and tests. That way you can stop a particular valve, drain, network of pipes, faucet, or other key component from causing huge problems down the road. Committing to preventative maintenance inspections now will save you money, stress, and improve your relationships with tenants and guests.

Our Preventative Maintenance Plans

Of course, not all property managers are equipped with the knowledge to carry out these inspections themselves. Luckily, that’s where we come in! Our licensed and insured plumbers are here to provide a No Cost, No Obligation Preventative Maintenance Inspection whenever you want to start. We’ll conduct a multi-step inspection of your entire premises, bringing to bear our years of experience, honest assessments, and advanced technology.

We can see where and how drains become blocked, how roots can infiltrate your system, how to moderate water temperature and softness, and so much more. In fact, we’re eager to become your regular PMP inspectors—why not schedule a weekly or monthly visit, where we’ll be able to save you untold costs in drastic, last-minute repairs, and show all your renters how responsible and safe you really are?

Given the statistics of self-induced problems and the savings to be had, it makes sense to start up a great PMP today. Invite HY-PRO to your property and you’ll never think of repairs in the same way again! Contact us today, and let’s get our plan together!

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Always Hire Licensed And Insured Plumbers, No Matter What!

Posted by on April 22/2015 | 0Comments

Hire An Insured Plumber!

To maintain the health of your plumbing systems, make sure to hire an insured plumber if you are in need of a plumbing service. You might hear of a dirt-cheap local service or a handy friend or neighbour who claims to be able to handle all manner of plumbing issues. It’s always tempting to save money, but hiring unlicensed and uninsured workers can make your problems much, much worse. There’s never an excuse to cut corners when it comes to property maintenance and plumbing and drain cleaning. Remember the old saying: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is …

All licensed plumbers in the province of Ontario must first serve as an apprentice. Students earn their license by first completing a year’s worth (or two semesters’ worth) of classes in plumbing techniques, principles, tools, safety, documentation, and mechanics from an accredited college. All those who attend college courses must have a Grade 12 education and possess the physical and mental ability to conduct demanding and complex plumbing repairs. Those who’ve received an Offer of Training Letter from the Ministry of Training can meet requirements while working in the field as an apprentice, learning their trade in a practical, hands-on way on the job. These students must be 16 years or over and possess a Grade 10 education to qualify.

Qualifications?

Either way, there’s a great deal to learn, study, and understand before you can start making house and commercial calls. On average, insured plumbers-in-training spend between 6,000 and 9,000 hours learning their craft. After up to five years of work and a passing mark on the final exam, these students finally become legitimate insured plumbers. Understand that all this training means these insured plumbers have a firm, comprehensive grasp of the industry and won’t let you down. Unlicensed plumbers simply can’t provide the same kind of guarantee of skill, acumen, and up-to-date technological knowledge, and will likely cause you some kind of grief down the line.

Licensed plumbers will also carry adequate insurance in the case of accidents, damages, injuries, and other hazards of the job. If you opt to go for an uninsured, local plumbing service (or get help from a friend or other supposedly ‘handy’ sort) and the unthinkable happens—to your home, person, or to the worker him- or herself—your insurance claim will be rejected. Don’t cut corners or try to save a few dollars now by working with unlicensed, uninsured workers. Chances are it will cost you dearly if something does go wrong!

Licensed And Insured Plumbers

So how can you tell if a company has both properly licensed personnel and the right insurance to cover any and all eventualities?

First, ask to see the company’s plumbing license, and double-check to make sure this is valid. Request that all personnel who visit your home (aside from apprentices shadowing their mentors) possess and can show you their Certificate of Qualification. Ask them how long they’ve been in business, how many homes and properties they’ve worked on, and when they started work as an insured plumber. Ask if reference and background checks are made on each employee—if these people are going to be entering and exiting your home, you want to feel confident they’re trustworthy and courteous representatives!

If you’re looking for more proof, you can also check out various Ontario registries to be sure! Read this Toronto Star article to get a sense of what’s out there.

Second, plumbing companies should be able to tell you all about their insurance policies. Most have General Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance to protect against accidents, lawsuits, medical costs, and lost wages due to injuries and illness. Insurance is there to protect them as much as it exists to protect you, so be sure your prospective plumbing company is responsible and forthcoming about their policies.

We’re proud to say that HY-PRO Plumbing and Drain Cleaning is a fully licensed, comprehensively insured organization that employs only fully licensed, responsible service teams. We’re your professional alternative to the sketchy and seedy, and we’re available around the clock to provide quick, quality service for whatever your problem might be. Always invest in experience and safety, and never roll the dice when it comes to your plumbing systems!

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