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Kost's Korner

Irrigation System Tips

irrigations tipsMaking sure your grass stays green while your wallet remains fat can seem almost impossible. That is unless you know a few top tips and tricks for your yard irrigation system that keeps a beautiful lawn on a budget. Here you will find just those tips for making your lawn flourish on a dime.

  • Switch out your sprinkler heads! Replace your old nozzles with a high-efficiency nozzle instead. Designed to decrease water usage (by 30%!) and even distribute water throughout the yard.
  • Move to drip irrigation techniques. This system includes the use of micro-sprinklers and spray jets, as well as bubbler irrigation. This allows for a slow and even distribution of water, paying specific attention to the roots and minimizing runoff significantly.
  • Make sure your system has a rain shut-off switch. This will prevent your irrigation and sprinkler system from going off while raining, wasting water.
  • Check all valves and ensure they are in proper working order so there are no cracks or uneven threading that could spring leaks.
  • Time your water. The best time to water your lawn is at dawn, afternoon risks burning plant-life due to the rising sun, and evening time has a chance of collecting fungus and unwanted bacteria.
  • Go light! Deep watering techniques are not necessary. Light and frequent waterings are the way to go, rather than drenching the plant-life with liters at a time.
  • Call in the professionals! Make sure you have your irrigation system checked by a qualified irrigation specialist at least once every three years.

Following these tips can ensure you keep your lawn looking pristine and your irrigation system in check, as well as keeping those bank figures untouched. Preventative action with checking and replacing valves, monitoring for cracks, and keeping an eye on water usage can prove to save you significant time in the long run.

What plumbing items to inspect before purchasing a home?

plumbing inspectionWhen you are shopping for a new home in Florida, it is smart to have everything inspected. You can also examine any plumbing concerns yourself before you finish the deal and move in if you know what to look for. 

If you are intending on doing the plumbing inspection yourself, make an appointment with the owner or agent that is showing the home and show up ready. Be sure you are dressed for the occasion - clothes that you don't mind getting wet or dirty - and don't forget to bring a flashlight. 

A genuine seller will not mind you taking a peek around to be sure you are verifying the accuracy of the home's state of repair (or disrepair). So once, you have set up the appointment and are prepared to do your inspection look for the following points:

Find the home's water meter and be sure the shut-off valve to the water supply to the house is in solid working order. If the home is supplied with well water, the shut-off valve should be located inside the home, probably under the kitchen sink, but could be found elsewhere. 

If the home was built before 1986, find out if there is any lead or galvanized plumbing. Lead no matter how helpful it may seem, is an environmental toxin. If you have kids, you may want to avoid living in a house with lead pipes.

Find out the size of the water pipes, which will define the water pressure you will have. For adequate water pressure, the lines should be ¾" to one inch from the primary water source. The pipes should be at least a half inch in diameter for sufficient water flow.

Always inspect the home's water heater. Be sure to decide if it is big enough to meet the needs of your family. For a family of four, you need to search for at least a 40-gallon tank. Look at where it is located and determine it's age. Look closely to determine if there is any mineral buildup if possible. Corrosion of the elements of the tank can cause shorter life. If the water heater is old or visible signs of corrosion are noticed, request a new one be installed before buying the home.

Find out if the home is on a septic system or on a municipal water system. For a septic system, find out where the septic system is located and ask the owner when the septic tank was last serviced. Look for signs of seepage or standing water and any odor.

Check for drips and turn on all faucets to be sure they are working correctly. For these and other plumbing inspection tips or a professional and thorough plumbing inspection contact Kost Plumbing today.

 

Should I use PEX piping or copper piping in my home?

pex piping floridaUnless you’re a plumber, you may not even know the difference between PEX Piping and Copper, or which piping is better for your home. Here, we hope to increase your basic knowledge of these plumbing options  to help you know what you’re getting and if it’s what you truly want. Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll know what to request from your plumber and why.

Let’s start with what PEX Piping is. PEX Piping is basically cross linked polyethylene pipe. What this means is that after the material goes through several processes, it becomes durable enough to handle extreme hot or cold temperatures and what’s called “creep deformation” (that occurs from extended exposure to stress). It also resists chemical attacks from alkalines, acids and other toxins. These factors all make PEX piping an excellent piping solution for cold and hot water plumbing systems. PEX piping is also very flexible and adapts effortlessly to temperatures from below freezing all the way up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

PEX Piping is also better for your budget. It’s an easy material for your plumber to install and with its crack resistance and fewer joints, it brings your plumbing costs down. It has fewer fittings, less chance of leaks can be used along with metal or PVC Piping, and can have a pressure balancing system.

Now Copper:  On the beneficial side, Copper resists corrosion and is not affected by ultraviolet rays, which means it can be useful for outside plumbing needs. This differs from  PEX pipes, which can be affected by ultraviolet rays and therefore should usually not be used outside. On the downside, however, copper will corrode from the pH of the water if the water becomes too acidic or too basic for the copper pipes.

Copper piping can freeze and break during winter weather, it has become more expensive and more difficult to install, raising your plumbing costs and with corrosion, the higher levels of copper seeping into your water will give your water a metallic taste.

ourWe hope that these comparisons have given you a better basic understanding and knowledge of the differences between PEX and copper piping, giving you the opportunity to make the best decision for yourself. If you have any questions about PEX, please give Kost Plumbing a call.

Why & When to Clean Gutters

by Nicole Stevens

gutter cleaningHome maintenance is a required part of owning and renting a home. One of the most overlooked things is something that’s often out of sight, out of mind; it’s your gutters! Here you will discover just how regularly to keep your gutters clean and why it’s so important to keep them that way. This will insure you never have to worry about fixing any faulty, too-stuffed gutters again!

When is the right time to clean my gutters?

A good rule of thumb is to make sure you clear your gutter at least twice a year. Best times to do this would be springtime and then near the end of summer/beginning of fall. After the rainy seasons hit, you’re going to want to clean out your gutters. Different types of trees in the yard may require a bit more maintenance, such as pine trees being present could result in cleaning your gutters every three months rather than twice a years.

What’s the big deal about cleaning gutters anyway? Isn’t the rain supposed to flush it all out eventually?

Your gutters work like any typical drain type system, and if a backup is present, it can cause issues for your gutters and even your roof. A backed-up gutter can cause weight to build up on the roof and trap moisture, potentially starting a leak in certain parts of the roof. This type of debris build up in your gutters can also cause water damage to the interior and exterior of the walls, causing lifts in paneling or other wall fixtures and creating unsightly future issues that could have easily been avoided with a biannual cleaning.

Keeping your gutters clean can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. It can be a pain, but thankfully it’s a pain that only has to occur twice a year in most cases. A clean gutter keeps a home happy!

Running Toilet

by Nicole Stevens

running toiletA running toilet can strike a mild panic in any homeowner, worried that a repair may be soon to follow. Chances are a running toilet can be easily fixed without making an emergency call to a plumber.  Here you’ll find a few quick tips to stop that constant running of your toilet before it becomes a bigger problem.

  • Check your tubes. Sometimes the fill tube can become loose or come out of the overflow tube. Checking the tubing makes sure the fill tube is fastened tightly to the valve and is placed inside the overflow tube.
  • Along with the tubes, check your flapper. If the flapper isn’t closed, water will continuously leak into the bowl. The cause of this could be something obstructing the closure of the flapper or a chain that is too short to allow it to fully close.
  • Adjust the fill height in the tank. If this height is set too high, it causes an overflow in the tank and creates that nonstop running noise. Adjust your levels until the noise goes away and make a note of the fill level mark.
  • Replace old flappers and chains, and you’ll notice a world of difference. A universal model will be the best bet, and all that’s needed for the installation is a pair of pliers and the new pieces.

Following any of these steps will save you from calling a local plumbing service. But just in case none of the above can fix your problem, set an appointment with a plumber as soon as possible to get to fixing your porcelain.

What Others Say About Kost Plumbing

We had Kost Plumbing come out on weeknight when we had no water and he fixed the problem THAT NIGHT! We were amazed at his great work ethic and honest prices that he will be our Plumber for Life!!

Susan J., Ocala, FL

Thank you so much for all the help and support you provided when we had that leak! I couldn't have asked for a better job or price and the fact that you got it fixed so quickly that we were able to keep up our busy schedules without hardly missing a beat was AWESOME!!! Thanks again.

John D., Citra, FL

Thomas has done numerous jobs for me, and his work is always exceptional. He is very dependable and is willing to go out of his way to make sure the job is done right. In my opinion you could not hire a more professional or honest person.

Barbara A., Ocala, FL

I do now know where to start, your prices and plumbing expertise are exceptional. I also appreciate your deck building and carpenter skills, not to mention that outstanding kitchen remodel. With your card I do not need anybody's "List" or any "Referral Program". Keep up the good work!

Chuck F., Reddick, FL

Kost's Korner

Irrigation System Tips

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Making sure your grass stays green while your wallet remains fat can seem almost impossible. That is unless you know a few top tips and tricks for your yard irrigation system that keeps a beautiful lawn on a budget. Here you will find just those tips for making your lawn flourish on a dime.

Read more...

What plumbing items to inspect before purchasing a home?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

When you are shopping for a new home in Florida, it is smart to have everything inspected. You can also examine any plumbing concerns yourself before you finish the deal and move in if you know what to look for. 

Read more...