Basement water backups?

backwater-drain
Installing a backwater valve may be the answer to your troubled waters. Recently, we came home to a major problem in our basement shower – bits of toilet paper and raw sewage had gurgled up from the drain while we were away. "Yuck" is a major understatement. "Gross me to the max" is more fitting, even if it is straight out of 1983. When unmentionables are oozing into one's shower, pride runs right...
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Do I Need A Water Softener In Cincinnati?

Cincinnati-water-softeners
water-hardness-calculator
We recently heard a local radio station running an ad for water softeners in the Greater Cincinnati Area. Having long been under the impression that Cincinnati water is among the finest in the country, we did a little checking. If our household runs on city water, why do we need anything more than a charcoal filter on the faucet? Just What is Hard Water? The experts at http://www.hometips.com stat...
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Today's Toilet Choices: Making Thomas Crapper Proud

Thomas-Crapper
Thomas Crapper (1836-1910) , the London plumber frequently credited with inventing the flush toilet*, knew a good thing when he saw it. Crapper became an apprentice plumber at age 14, and launched his own plumbing business at the age of 25. A big believer in the advantages of sanitary sewage approaches, Crapper received several patents for forward-thinking plumbing innovations (including improveme...
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Hot Water Heaters, Drinking Water & Power Outages

hot-water-heaters-allied
It’s not if, it’s when. Be prepared.  For some reason, power outages in our urban Cincinnati neighborhood are common. Seemingly, our household power relies on a transformer that is frequently knocked out by traffic accidents. Outages typically last from a few minutes to hours, but have been known to last for days (THANKS, Hurricane Ike). With winter on the horizon, a good ice storm can put my...
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Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Tank-vs-tankless
Changing an American paradigm is tough. We've all experienced (and likely adopted) "disruptive innovations" -- inventions that create a new market and eventually revolutionize an industry. Common examples include the mass-produced automobile (so long, Ol' Paint!) , indoor plumbing, the Internet, Spotify, the Drudge Report, ebay and so on. In the world of plumbing, disruptive inventions are fairly ...
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Freeze Alert? Frost-Free Faucets are the Business!

Allied-frost-free-faucet
Frost-free makes winterizing exterior plumbing a snap. I realized last week, while scraping frost off the car windshield, that we had completely forgotten to put the garden hoses away for the winter. DOH! A total rookie mistake. A garden hose holds "leftover" water, which can freeze, expand, split the hose and also back up into the exterior faucet causing splits in the water lines. Luckily, we rec...
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