bathroom with grab bars

Plumbing Updates to Age in Place

Adapting Your Home for an Older You or Parent

The U.S. population is aging. Today, there are more than 46 million older adults age 65 and older living in the U.S.; by 2050, that number is expected to grow to almost 90 million. Nearly 90% of Americans 50 and older want to “age-in-place” and remain in their homes.

bathroom with grab bars

Aging-in-place will necessitate making some modifications to your bathroom.

Modifying Your Home as You Age-in-Place

Aging-in-place will require you to make some adjustments to your home, especially in the bathrooms.  With basic modifications you can lower the risk of injury and continue to live in your home for several more years.

Here are six plumbing modifications you will need to consider.

Switch to a Walk-In Bathtub
When you have mobility issues, getting in and out of the bathtub can be difficult. Walk-in tubs have built-in doors that allow you to enter the tub without the high sidewalls to catch your feet on.

Walk-in bathtubs offer a comfortable seating area that provides safety and stability while you bathe. The seal-tight door gasket prevents leaking.  The whirlpool function of your walk-in bathtub can help alleviate the discomfort or arthritis and other aches and pains.

Install a Zero-Threshold Shower
For some, even stepping over the elevated threshold of a shower can be difficult.  Zero-threshold showers require no shower pan, which provides a smooth transition into the shower area. This also makes it easier to use a shower chair or bench.

Add Adaptive Toilets
As you age, your risk of toilet-related injuries increases. Many of those injuries occur when sitting down or getting up from the toilet. Mounting a grab bar near the toilet can help in maintaining your balance.

Installing a toilet with a slightly higher toiler seat can make using your toilet easier. Comfort-level toilets are 2 to 3 inches taller than standard toilets.

bathroom diagram with aging in place updates

There are some relatively minor updates to your bathroom that can make it safer and easier to use as you get older.

Install Grab Bars Where Needed
One way to avoid injuries in your bathroom is to install grab bars next to the toilet, near the bathtub, and in the shower.

Properly installed grab bars will provide a secure and stout object to hold on to when using any of your bathroom facilities.

Install Motion-Sensor Faucets
Motion-sensor faucets allow you to activate your faucets without the use of your hands. This is very beneficial when you suffer from arthritis or other issues relating to finger and hand dexterity. Foot-controlled faucets are also available for bathrooms.

Anyone aging-in-place should also consider modifying the faucets in their kitchen.

Add Multi-Level Dual Sinks
The sinks in your bathroom will also need to adapt as you age-in-place. Your standard height sinks may be a comfortable reach right now, but that might change as your mobility changes.

Multi-height dual sinks allow for one standard-height sink while adding a lower sink that accommodates someone in a wheelchair or a person who is unable to use a standard height sink.

Don’t Wait to Get Started

If your goal is to age-in-place, now is the time to prepare your home for the transition. Give Brenneco Plumbing a call today at 765-448-6190 to discuss the modifications that will allow you to remain safe and comfortable in the place you call home.

frozen faucet

Winter Plumbing Prep

An Ounce of Prevention … Can Keep the Plumber Away

frozen faucet

Take a few easy steps in the fall to prevent cold temperatures from causing plumbing problems this winter.

There’s starting to be a little nip in the air which means colder winter temperatures are not far off.  Now’s the time, before it gets too cold to make the rounds around your home, to check for potential plumbing problems that could occur later.

  1. Make sure you do not leave any hoses connected to your outdoor faucets. This can lead to your faucet freezing and breaking causing significant water damage.
  1. You will also want to check your faucets for any leaks and drips, and fix these prior to cold weather setting in.
  1. Drain all hoses of any remaining water and store them in your garage or shed. This will keep them from freezing and the plastic hose from splitting.
  1. Close and insulate crawl space vents. Check for any air leaks where cold air can enter a crawl space and lead to pipes freezing.  Add insulation where needed.
  1. frozen hose

    Don’t forget to disconnect, drain and store your hoses this fall.

    Check the insulation of pipes in your crawl spaces and attic. Insulate exposed water pipes with spray insulation, heat tape, or wrap insulation around the pipes.

  1. For those with water heaters and softeners in their garages, make sure the seal around your garage door is tight, and put insulation blankets around your appliances.
  1. Clean out your gutters of leaves and other debris. This ensures that water flows away from your home and prevents water from causing mold and foundation issues.

Brenneco Plumbing Can Help

For those repairs that you can’t handle yourself, Brenneco Plumbing is happy to visit your home or commercial property to make any necessary repairs. Please give us a call at 765-448-6190.

Don’t get caught in the middle of the winter with frozen or broken water pipes.  Water damage from broken pipes can be extensive.  Check now to avoid bigger issues when the temperatures drop.

Roots in Your Sewer Line

Roots In Your Sewer Line, A Common Problem

Do you have these early signs that your main drain/sewer line could be partially blocked?  These include . . .

  • Gurgling sounds coming from the toilet when you flush.
  • Slow drains – including your toilet – that tend to backup.
  • Clogs that keep returning after you’ve cleared them. This is because you haven’t taken care of the real problem: holes or cracks in your pipe. The roots just keep coming back.
  • Obnoxious odors.
Roots in drain line

Tree roots will find their way through cracks and holes into your drainpipe.

If you suspect your sewer line has some level of blockage, now is the time to address this problem before your line is completely blocked or your sewer line breaks due to the pressure of the roots. This can lead to an expensive repair.

It’s Best to Catch the Problem Early

Over time cracks and small holes form in your drain line. Roots are naturally attracted to these openings because they are searching for water and nutrients.  As the root mass expands in your sewer line it will cause a blockage.

Two Options to Eliminate Tree Roots

Option 1:
One approach to cleaning out your sewer line is to use a variety of products including rock salt, sodium chloride, copper sulphate or commercial products like Root X to kill the roots and prevent them from continuing to grow.  This fix is fairly simple in that you just flush these compounds down your toilet and wait 6- 8 hours. This process does not remove the root mass.

Products like RootX can kill roots in your pipes but can’t remove them.

One word of caution. It is possible for salt to kill not only the roots but the tree as well, and any other vegetation growing in the area. Salt also has the potential to corrode and weaken your pipes.   Because copper sulfate can harm animals, it has been banned in certain areas. So, before you use it, check with the local authorities.

Option 2:
Secondly you can run a power auger or water jet down your sewer line to cut out the roots and open up your drainpipe.  This is very effective in eliminating the blockage but does not prevent the roots from growing back.

What’s the Most Effective Approach?

Both of these options work on their own and can eliminate the problem temporarily for smaller blockages due to roots.  Depending on the size of the root blockage, which can be determined by a plumber using a sewer line camera, using chemical products may work and be less expensive.  If the blockage is large, then using the power auger or water jet will be necessary.

The most effective approach for larger root problems is to first cut out the roots with the auger or water jet and then apply a product like Root X to kill the ends of the roots and prevent them from growing back.

Think You May Have a Problem?

Give Brenneco a call if you suspect you have drain line problems.  We can be reached 24/7 by calling 765-448-6190.  Let us know if we can help.

Iron Filters for Outdoor Water Supply

How to Keep Rust Stains Off Your Home, Driveway and Sidewalks

Eliminate unsightly rust stains on your driveway by installing an inline iron filter.

There is nothing worse than having the curb appeal of your home ruined by the unsightly iron stains on your driveway, home, sidewalk and patio caused by your sprinklers or irrigation system.  These stains are the result of using water directly from your well to water your lawn and plants.

The red discoloration caused by your unfiltered water is common where the iron content is high in the water supply.  Adding an iron filter between your water supply and your irrigation pump and outdoor faucets will help mitigate this problem.

Filters are Very Effective

Filters are extremely effective in removing high levels of sulfur and iron commonly found in well water. The systems use air-injection to oxidize sulfur or iron into precipitates that can be readily filtered and removed.

Filters use different media to remove various contaminants.

The filter’s media bed works in combination with an air charge chamber within the tank to oxidize and filter the elements that cause sulfur and iron. At the programmed time, the system will regenerate using ordinary water to backwash the system clean of sulfur, iron and other well water contaminants.

A control valve handles high flow rates without dropping household water pressures — like when showers, toilets and faucets are all in use at the same time.

Air filtration is environmentally safe — no toxic chemicals are used. The result is water that will not discolor any surfaces that it comes in contact with.  To learn more about filtration process go to How Iron Filters Work.

Adding an Iron Filter

Installing an iron filter between your water supply and irrigation system may require some additional plumbing to get it set up correctly.  Let Brenneco Plumbing walk you through the process and answer your questions.  In the long run your home’s appearance will improve greatly and those unsightly iron stains will be a thing of the past.

Well Water Testing

Does Your Well Water Need Testing?

clear-water-being-poured-into-a-glass

Test Your Water to Ensure Its Quality

Many of us who reside outside the city limits depend on private wells for our water supply. Well water can sometimes not taste or smell the best, and if it has high sulfur or iron content, it can be a problem down the road with our plumbing.

Even with these conditions well water is normally very safe to drink. But there are times when we have had a great deal of rain and flooding that we need to be aware of potential contamination of our well water supply.  Also if you live near an industrial area or large farm, the odds are higher that your water supply may be suspect.

Test Your Water Supply

Having your water tested periodically can identify if any harmful bacteria or pollutants are present.  It is recommended that you test your private well annually for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect the presence of other contaminants in your ground water, you should test for those also.

water testing

Water Testing is Easy and Quick

You may want to test more frequently if small children or elderly adults live in your house, or if someone in your house is pregnant or nursing. These individuals are often more vulnerable to pollutants than others.

You should also test your private well immediately if:

  • There are known problems with ground water or drinking water in your area
  • Conditions near your well have changed significantly i.e. flooding, land disturbances, and new construction or industrial activity
  • You replace or repair any part of your well system.
  • You notice a change in your water quality i.e. odor, color, taste.
  • Members of your family have recurring gastro-intestinal illness
  • Live near areas of intensive agriculture
  • Smell odor of gasoline or fuel oil near buried fuel tanks

Brenneco Plumbing Can Help

If you suspect problems with your water supply, Brenneco Plumbing will test your water at no charge for a number of compounds and other substances.  If a major issue is uncovered Brenneco Plumbing will direct you to your local health department. Additional information can be found at https://www.in.gov/health/eph/water-supply-information/.

Brenneco Plumbing can be reached at 765-448-6190.

Reverse Osmosis Water Systems

Pure, Clear Water for Those Really Hot Days

reverse osmosis water systemLately it has been hot … real hot! Regardless of what you are doing, working, playing, or just hanging out, these hot days make us thirsty.

Our bodies use water in many different ways. Along with quenching our thirst, it also lubricates our joints, nourishes and protects our organs, keeps our body temperature normal, and plays a large role in removing waste from our bodies.

So when our bodies crave water it is important to give our families the best drinking water possible. With the water in our area not always smelling or tasting the best, we often reach for a bottle of water purchased at a local store.

This option is not always convenient and can be costly to our wallets and well as to the environment. Not purchasing bottled water saves money and means less plastic to discard.

Home Water Filtration System

reverse osmosis drinking water

Reverse osmosis water filtration systems provide clear, clean water free from impurities.

An alternative to bottled water is to install a reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system which is designed to filter salt, deposits, minerals, and even odors from the water entering your home.

The water passes through the filter’s membrane into a tank where it is stored and ready to drink. It becomes clean water free from impurities. Whether your home utilizes city or well water, a RO water filtration system provides cleaner, better tasting water.

Reverse osmosis systems are compact, fit under the kitchen sink, and provide 50 gallons of drinking water each day. The water flows through a dedicated dispenser, installed next to your kitchen faucet. It is easily accessible to anyone in your household.

Benefits of Clear, Clean Water

Having clear, clean water with no offending odors and tastes, will encourage you to drink water more frequently which is important for our overall health. Not purchasing bottled water reduces the amount of plastic we need to dispose of and lessens the environmental impact of producing and recycling plastic bottles. Installing a reverse osmosis water system will also eliminate the need to buy bottled water saving time and money.

Learn More About RO Water Systems

To learn more about how your family can benefit from a Reverse Osmosis water system, give Brenneco Plumbing a call at 765-448-6190.

sump pump

Test Your Sump Pump Regularly

Testing Your Sump Pump Regularly Can Prevent a Big Mess

sump pumpSump pumps are absolutely crucial in some homes because they are used to stop water from entering your basement. For homes with finished basements, this can prevent significant losses due to flooding.

Sump pumps work hard to move water away from the home’s foundation, ensuring that your home remains free of water damage from built-up groundwater or an abundance of rainwater.

How Often Should A Sump Pump Be Tested?

Sump pumps require regular testing. How often varies depending on how often it runs and the amount of particulate that is found in your ground water.  In most cases, sump pumps should be tested every three to four months. This should involve opening the inlet screen and cleaning it, as well as, inspecting for any worn electrical cords.

The pit in which the sump pump sits should also be inspected for size and depth, as well as for evidence that the pump is working well. And the discharge location should be inspected to make sure the system is draining properly.

backup sump pump system

Sump pumps protect those important items we keep in our basements.

Do You Need A Back Up System?

Unfortunately sump pumps are mechanical devices that will eventually fail. Most are also electrically powered and do us little good when our electricity goes out in the midst of a severe storm.

To address the somewhat inevitable event of the primary sump pump in your home failing, or not working due to a power outage, backup sump pump systems are available. They come in different configurations and varying degrees of capability.

What to do if your sump pump is not working.

If you find that your sump pump is not working properly, it is important to have it repaired or replaced quickly.  Not knowing when Mother Nature will strike again, you want to make sure your sump pump is ready when it is needed.

Give Brenneco Plumbing a call at 765-448-6190 if you need help replacing your sump pump or want to look into installing a back-up sump pump system. We’ll be happy to discuss your options.

iron water filter systems

Iron Water Filters

How to Remove Iron from Your Water

A common question we hear is “Will my water softener remove iron from my water?” The answer to this is, “Yes, but very little.” Water softeners are designed to treat hard water by removing minerals, including small quantities of iron. In most cases a water softener alone is not an effective solution for removing iron from water.

Iron Filters Offer a Number of Advantages

Since a water softener alone will not solve the problem of excess iron in your water, installing an iron water filter will capture the iron precipitate, leaving the water iron-free.  This has a number of benefits including ….

Read more

spring cleaning pix

Drain Cleaning Tips

Don’t Forget Your Drains When Spring Cleaning  

Spring cleaning is a ritual many of us take part in every year when the temperatures warm and the days get longer.  This often entails cleaning windows, dusting everything, and making sure our homes smell fresh. But what about your drains?

Don’t Wait for a Problem to Clean Your Drains

Cleaning your drains may not be an item on your traditional spring-cleaning list, but taking a little time to clean your drains thoroughly can avoid some major problems down the road. Read more

bathroom sink faucet

Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Upgrades

Easy, Inexpensive Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Upgrades

Let Brenneco Plumbing help increase the comfort and value of your home by updating your bathroom and kitchen with new faucet sets, sinks and toilets.  Brenneco Plumbing can also install new dishwashers and garbage disposals.

kitchen faucet filling water glass

New kitchen faucet sets can instantly raise your home’s value and appeal.

Is Your Kitchen or Bathroom Showing Its Age?

Are your faucets in your kitchen and bathroom sinks and showers encrusted in lime deposits?  Are your kitchen and bathroom sinks, tubs, stools, and shower stalls streaked with rust stains?  Shower heads and faucets that are covered with lime scale do not work very well and don’t look the greatest either.  Rust stains also detract from the appeal of your home.

In areas with water that is particularly filled with iron and lime, these unattractive situations are going to occur.  It is just a matter of time before replacing your interior faucets, sinks and other plumbing fixtures will be needed. Read more