Monthly Archives: October 2013

Carbon Monoxide Safety Part 2: How To Detect Leaks In A Home

The most dangerous aspect of carbon monoxide is that it so prevalent, and yet, so hard to detect. In colder climates such as Canada, most homes have some type of furnace or heating system that uses a fuel that can produce carbon monoxide, making it a concern for almost everyone. Since there is no way to see, taste or smell this poisonous gas, it is important to know how to detect a leak in your home to protect you and your family from harm.

Signs Of A Carbon Monoxide Leak
Although the best way to detect carbon monoxide is with detectors throughout your home, you should still be aware of other signs. Although this gas is poisonous, you will have personal symptoms you as well as environment changes that can alert to danger before it is too late. All members of the household should be aware of these signs to protect their safety.

- Body symptoms: When your body first begins to encounter carbon monoxide, it will give you warning by having symptoms of toxicity. These can include headaches, flu-like symptoms, nausea, feeling light-headed, drowsy or a burning sensation in the eyes. It is similar to being exposed to other gases that have an odor or color such as paint fumes or smoke. Those with poor health are usually affected the quickest.
- Changes in home: Even if you cannot smell carbon monoxide, there are physical signs to look for. You may smell gas when your furnace or other fuel-burning appliances are turned on. The air may seem stale or stagnant. The color of the pilot light can change form blue to yellow or orange, or may go out altogether. Look for condensation or moisture on walls or windows.

The best cure for carbon monoxide poisoning is prevention. Make sure your fuel burning appliances are well maintained and that you have working carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home. Do not let this silent killer hurt you or one of your family members.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Part 1: Why You Should Be Concerned

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is all too common, especially during the winter months when fuel is used to keep our homes warm. It is estimated that almost 90% of homes have some type of carbon monoxide source within them, making it a concern for most Canadians. This toxic gas is formed from the burning of carbon fuels such as wood, charcoal, natural gas, oil and propane. Most home heating systems, except electric, have the potential for carbon monoxide leaks.

Why Is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous?
Carbon Monoxide is known as a silent killer. It is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas that is difficult to detect without a warning device. Once this gas is breathed into the body, it poisons the body by replacing needed oxygen and blocking oxygen to our vital organs, often resulting in disability or death. It can happen when a family is sleeping, quietly poisoning them before they even know they are in danger.

Any appliance or heating system that uses a carbon-based fuel can be a possible source of carbon monoxide. However, most are completely safe as long as they are well ventilated and properly maintained. All appliances and heating systems that use oil, gas, wood or other types of carbon fuel should be inspected and serviced at least once a year to ensure that they are in good working order. This includes wood burning furnaces and chimneys.

In addition to annual inspections, every home should have a carbon monoxide detector. These devices should be located on all levels in a home, especially outside of sleeping areas. Make sure they are in areas that are not blocked by any furniture or anything else that may hinder their access to the air you breathe. These detectors should also be inspected and maintained regularly according to their owner manuals to ensure that they are working properly as well.

Broken Or Leaky Pipes? Fix Them Now!

There are some things you can wait on getting fixed or replaced. You can wait to replace your television or to upgrade your cellphone. You can put off repairing your ATV or dirt bike. But when it comes to the pipes in your home, at the first sign of trouble, you need to get them repaired or replaced. A small leak can quickly turn into a busted pipe that is pouring water or worse, sewage, into your home or yard.

Damage Caused From Broken Pipes
The damage and expense that can be caused by procrastinating on fixing a pipe is not worth the risk. If you have a leak, yet instead of having it fixed, just wrap the pipe or put a bucket under it, you are asking for trouble. The best scenario would be that it breaks when you are at home and can shut the water off in time to stop flooding. However, pipes rarely break at a convenient time and you may come home to find your home seeping with water. A broken pipe can lead to:

- Extreme water damage. Walls, floors, carpeting and even furniture may need to be removed and replaced. This can cause thousands in home repairs.
- Mold problems. Moisture can seep into crevices and cause mold to begin growing in your home. This can be dangerous to your family and expensive to get removed.
- Contamination. If it is a sewer pipe that breaks, you can have serious contamination issues. Anything the sewer water touches may be contaminated and it may even leak into the water supply.

Most pipes burst due to freezing or damage caused from being frozen previously. The best way to prevent broken pipes is to insulate them properly. However, once you see a leak, or even a drip, call a plumber and have it fixed before it costs you much more than a broken pipe.

Maintaining and Servicing Your Building’s Plumbing

Maintaining and servicing plumbing in a commercial or apartment building is much different than residential plumbing services. Building managers must consider how a plumbing issue in one area of their building is going to affect other areas and how best to handle it. There are specialty services that some plumbing companies can provide that can address the unique needs of commercial building that building managers need to be aware of.

Camera Inspections
Finding the source of a problem in a large building can be time consuming and expensive. Use plumbing services that provide camera inspections to locate the clog or issue and get it fixed fast.

Water Damage Restoration
If a pipe breaks or your building is subject to a flood, you will need a plumbing company that can do water damage restoration fast and efficiently. You will need details of the damage for your insurance company and a plumbing service that will get your building clean and dry quickly.

Confined Spaces
Many times fixing plumbing in a commercial building requires a plumbing service that is familiar with the techniques and procedures for working in confined spaces. Make sure the plumbing service you use complies with all permits and procedures for working in these hazardous areas.

Line Freezing
If you have an plumbing problem in one area of the building, often freezing only the affected line can allow the water to remain on in the rest of your building. Building managers can reduce the amount of irate tenants by using a plumbing service that can use line freezing techniques when possible.

Being a building manager means knowing how to deal with problems and get them handled fast. By keeping a good commercial plumber on speed dial that knows how to handle these large scale problems, you will have an ally on your side that will make your job easier.

Not a Fish Tale: Derksen Plumbing Employee Raises Money for Charity

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Here’s a heart-warming tale to read as we head into the weekend.

Paul Duncan, a beloved Derksen Plumbing employee is making news today that is far from fishy.

Duncan’s story isn’t about catching trophy-sized fish, rather, as written in today’s Winnipeg Free Press, “it’s about the thousands of dollars that went missing from a fishing charity for kids with cancer and his generous friends who helped him reel in replacement cash.”

Duncan reeled in some friends and supporters who together raised more than $11,000 to replace the more than $7,200 that mysteriously disappeared from  the fundraiser, Kids Fishing For A Cure, last winter.

After hearing of this tragic story, Duncan said it broke his heart, and felt something should be done to give the children the money they deserved.

“I just started making calls to people I know and the money just started rolling in.” Duncan said.

Jim Bais, treasurer of Kids Fishing For A Cure, said what Duncan, a volunteer with the organization, has been able to do “is unbelievable.”

The money raised will help the kids, and their families, who are facing cancer. As for the extra funds raised, laptops, iPads, Wii games, big-screen TVs and parking passes will be purchased for the Children’s Hospital, where many of the children reside full-time.

Although Duncan has already surpassed the amount of what was stolen, he’s confident he will raise even more money in the coming days.

“A couple of buddies are out of town and I’m sure they’ll donate,” he said.
“We all wish this had never happened, but I hope to turn something bad into a good thing.”

Story referenced from the Winnipeg Free Press

Why You Should Schedule Annual Service of Your Home Heating

We sometimes take our furnaces and heat sources for granted, that is until they breakdown. Of course your furnace is not going to go out in July, most likely it will be in the dead of winter when you need it the most. Having annual service performed on your home heating is the best way to prevent expensive and inconvenient breakdowns as well as save you money in the long run. Here are five good reasons to have an annual home heating service performed before winter is here:

1. Prevention is always better than cure. It is almost always less expensive to have preventative care done than repairs. Having your heating serviced annually can fix issues before they cause big problems.
2. Lower fuel costs. When a heating system is clean and running efficiently, it will use less fuel. Just like maintenance services can increase your fuel efficiency on your car, your heating system will use less fuel when it is working properly.
3. Reduce wear and tear. A clean, well-lubricated heating system will reduce the wear and tear on the components. This can extend the life of these parts as well as prevent breakdowns.
4. Protect your investment. Heating systems are one of the more expensive pieces of equipment in your home. Regular maintenance and service can extend the life of these systems and protect your investment.
5. Even heating. When your heating system becomes dirty and clogged, it can be difficult for it to heat your home evenly. One room is cold when another is hot. Regular service can improve the comfort level within your home by ensuring that the heat is distributed evenly.

By doing annual service on your furnace or home heating, you will save money and possibly prevent any interruptions in service when the weather gets chilly. It is the best way to prepare your home for the winter ahead.