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As we all know the recession, has affected everybody. Our plumbing company has noticed a decrease of activity in some of the services we provide. In an attempt to save money, a homeowner will attempt to do plumbing repairs themselves or call a handyman. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have done my share of DIY improvements in my own home and I encourage others to tackle little projects, but you must know your limitations. I have met a few handymen that were exceptional in a multiple trades, but what made them even better is that they also knew their limitations.
Beware! Anyone can call themselves a handyman, so you must be very careful when choosing one. Make sure he or she has the correct credentials and that they are insured in case an accident occurs. You may have a handyman that you love and has been working for you for years, which is great because you have built a business relationship and most likely have found a good one.
Once, a property management company called me to one of their properties. They wanted me to repair some leaks under a kitchen sink. He informed me that he would usually have his handyman repair the leaks, but it would probably cost him more money and the problem most likely would not be fixed the first time. I asked the man, “Aren’t handymen supposed to be much less expensive than a plumber?” The manager responded, “The handyman would be at the job all day and make multiple trips to the hardware store and probably would have to come back to the home because there was still a leak somewhere. You, the plumber, will be done in 1-2 hours. If you have to come back, that would be under warranty and there would be no additional charge, so if you add up the charges from the handyman and the charges from your plumbing company, I would say the plumber is much less expensive.” This proves that if you put logic before convenience, a professional plumber is a much better route than an inexperienced handyman.
My opinion about handymen. I have found through the years that if a handyman has all the credentials and insurance needed to operate a legitimate business, he probably has the same amount of overhead to operate his business as a plumbing company has to run their own business. The hourly rate or flat rate is most likely going to be close to the same, so why not just hire the licensed expert in that particular field such as a plumber, electrician, HVAC tech, or general contractor? In many cases due to the expert focusing only on his or her field of expertise, the job will most likely go quick and smooth. For example, the expert may have the part or specific tool needed for that repair in their truck or may even know of the newest technology to repair that particular problem. All can result in a less expensive and better repair overall.
In conclusion: I am in no way saying hiring a handyman is a bad idea. I know of some handymen that I would definitely have no problem letting them do some projects at my house. But I would not let them do all projects. If a handyman is working for very little pay, then there is a reason; they probably do not have any licenses or insurance and are working for cash under the table, which is all breaking the law in which case you will have no warranties or recourse if a disaster was to occur. I have seen many disasters at the hands of a so called “handyman” leaving the customer with a mess, who then have to pay to have the job done correctly by an expert. Beware and don’t forget that old saying, “Pay now or pay later.” No matter what the job, always get at least three bids and always check references. You can’t be to careful these days.
Nuvo H20 is a whole house water softening system. The great thing about it is that it does not need electricity, drain discharge , or salt. It is simply a citrus filter that needs to be change every 6 months. Our company installed some of these filters and our customers were happy with them and the installation charge. First of all, our customers loved the fact that you don’t have to lug heavy bags of salt from the store into your car and then from the car into the home. Also, some people don’t have a place to store five large bags of salt. With a salt system, we would have had to do quite a bit of plumbing work to isolate the hose bibs and install a drain pipe so the salt system could regenerate. The Installation of the Nuvo H20 took about four hours and was relatively inexpensive. I called the Nuvo customers about two weeks ago and they are very satisfied with the quality of water they are experiencing. To find more information about the water softeners, simply type in “Nuvo H20″ on your search engine of choice and thousands of adds will appear. If you purchase the equipment from the web site, you will save around 100 dollars but the removal and replacement of the system, but if you were to have to send it back it would not be under warranty, so it is a good idea to purchase the system through your plumbing contractor so that you not only get a life time warranty on the equipment, you also get a lifetime warranty on installation. So, overall, we give Nuvo two thumbs up.Read More
Today we finished up a Coit restoration job in down town Modesto Ca. Performed a leak detection and repair in Riverbank Ca. Went up to Lodi Ca. and performed a leak detection and repair for one of our Insurance Company clients. Thanks to our customers you have kept us in business for 22 years and we really appreciate it.Read More
Wirsbo Pex Vs. Zurn Pex Applications
Pex tubing has become very popular with handymen, plumbers, and even the DIY crowd.
Zurn Pex and Vanguard use a crimp system. A fitting is placed in the tubing and a crimp ring is compressed at the connection to provide a water tight connection.
Wirsbo uses an expanding tool to stretch the pipe and sleeve around the fitting and relies on tubing memory to compress tight around the tubing and create a water tight seal.
I used the crimp system for years and have made the switch to the Wirsbo expanding system because it made more sense to me and the fitting connection is easier in tight applications. The reason that the expanding system is the more logical way to go is that the tubing and the expanding rings are made of the same material and as the temperature in and out of the tubing changes and the tubing and sleeve expand and contract at the same rate, whereas in the crimp ring system, the crimp ring is made of metal. When the temperature changes occur, the Pex tubing being made of plastic will want to expand and contract at a greater rate than the metal ring and will cause friction at the connection, which leads to wear and tear. The second reason mentioned was that connecting the fitting in tight location is easier with the expanding system. I found this to be true because when crimping a fitting in a wall, the tool must be installed in the area where the fitting is to be connected, such as wall cavities. In many cases the tool will not fit. With the expanding system the pipe can be pulled out of the wall cavity. Once the tubing and ring are expanded the tubing is quickly maneuvered back into the wall cavity and pushed onto the fitting.
One important thing to keep in mind when installing a Pex water systems. I have found that rodents will eat through the tubing, which can cause a large amount of property damage to the home. I think that the use of Decon type product may be a big factor in this occurring. I will cover this subject in a future blog.