June is National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month, and while we want you to put safety first every day, we hope by focusing on safety this month we can help spread the word and awareness. We have a few simple tips that could help keep you and your family safe. Here are some things to consider…

1. Add non slip materials to the tub or shower: Bathrooms can be very dangerous because of the water, moisture and items on the floor. Tubs and showers can also create tripping and falling hazards. Consider adding non slip mats, tiles or strips to your shower or tub to help prevent accidents.

2. Find out where your main shut-off valve for you home water supply. If it is a dark or hard to reach spot, keep the tools you need close so when you do have emergency you can shut it off quick.

3. Water Heaters: If your shower heats up too quickly, or the water is too hot in general, check the settings of your home’s water heater. If it’s set higher than 120 degrees, consider lowering it to avoid injury.

4. Easy upgrades: Consider easy upgrades to your shower like a handheld or adjustable shower head. You can maneuver it easily and minimize your movement in the shower. Most of these are easy to install, but if you need help call a trusted plumbing professional.

5. Find out where the shut off is to all you water using appliances, like toilets, sink, refrigerators.

Safety doesn’t stop with these tips. Contact us today for a whole home plumbing inspection. We can offer other tips that can help keep your family safe at home. 507-645-4037
www.benjaminfranklinplumbingnfld.com

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No April Fools…

No April Fools… Did you know according to the EPA, the average American family of four can use 400 gallons of water every day, which is considerably more than our foreign friends!

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In honor of Earth Day this month, we want to educate the community on how easy it can be to conserve water, help the planet and save money!

1. Turn the water heater down. Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees when installed, but they should be set at 120 degrees. Double check yours. Turning it down 20 degrees can help save energy and money on your utility bill.

2. Be mindful of laundry. Only wash your clothes if you have a full load to do. Also, washing in cold water will help save energy that would have gone to heating the water (and it works just as well!).

3. Don’t leave water running. Remember to turn it off while brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your face, washing dishes, etc. Every little bit counts!

4. Don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Every flush wastes gallons of fresh water.

5. Take shorter showers. If you’re already showering as quickly as possible, consider investing in a high-efficiency shower head. You’ll be able to enjoy the same water pressure and amount of time in the shower, while saving water and money.

www.benjaminfranklinplumbingnfld.com
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507-645-4037

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Happy World Plumbing Day!

Happy World Plumbing Day

Did you know in the United States that it was only a little less than two hundred years ago that plumbing was still not considered a necessity? Only fancy hotels and mansions had indoor plumbing. In fact the White House didn’t even have indoor plumbing until 1853. And even then, “…there were no toilets, showers, or tubs for the servants.

“Running water, not yet considered a necessity, was available only where it could increase the servants’ efficiency—in the pantry on the main floor, in the hall of the basement, in the upstairs hall.”*

Plumbing is still a luxury in some parts of our world, so when you turn on the tap today be thankful! It provides us with clean water, and keeps our houses and streets free of waste! Thus stopping the spread of disease.

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And Happy Whimsical Wednesday! Here are some our favorite blog posts about plumbing to honor World Plumbing Day….

Did you know that The Indus Valley Civilization (what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India) were the first peoples to use plumbing 2700 B.C? They used earthen pipes with asphalt to prevent leaks for their bathhouses and potable water. Later the Romans would use lead piping and aqueducts around 300 BC.

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To Read more…
http://benjaminfranklinplumbingnfld.com/blog/indus-valley-civilization/

Who had the first bathtub in the White House? Well that is greatly debated, Madison, Monroe, Fillmore, Pierce….?

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To Read more…
http://benjaminfranklinplumbingnfld.com/blog/bigbill/

 

Did you know that people used hollowed logs for pipes?

 

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To Read more…
http://benjaminfranklinplumbingnfld.com/blog/hollowed-logs/

*http://www.whitehousehistory.org/history/white-house-timelines/workers-1850s-1890s.html
World Plumbing Day Facebook
World Plumbing Day
Indus Valley photo credit
Lead Pipes photo credit
Hollowed Log photo credit 

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Spring Cleaning Tips

We have compiled a list of items home owners should add to their “to-clean” list this spring that take only a few minutes. Using simple household items such as vinegar, tweezers and a toothbrush, you can potentially prevent future plumbing headaches:

 

  1. Shower head. Mineral deposits can build up, likely causing the shower to run inefficiently. Clean it by soaking the shower head overnight in vinegar. Gently scrub with a toothbrush to remove the mineral deposits.
  2. Drains. Use tweezers to remove hair visible in the shower drain, and clean underneath it. Use an old toothbrush to scrub soap scrum.
  3. Pipes. Pour half a bottle of white vinegar down your drains, leave for 20 minutes, and flush with hot water. This is an all-natural remedy that will help prevent clogs from forming without damaging the pipes.
  4. Garbage Disposal. Pour a cup of baking soda down the kitchen sink, and wait 20 minutes. Pour boiling water down to flush it out. The combined natural solution of hot water and baking soda will not only clean your garbage disposal but leave it smelling fresh.
  5. Washing Machine Lint Trap. If a washing machine has a lint trap, it should be cleaned, just like the dryer’s. The lint trap will either be attached to the washing machine’s drainage hose, in the agitator (the large plastic piece in the center of the tub), or at the top of the washer on the rim of the tub.
  6. Floss your faucet (yes, you read that right). The stringy stuff is perfect for tackling that narrow, grimy space where the base of the faucet and the taps meet the sink.
  7. Water Heater Flush. Corrosion causing sediment can build up in your water heater tank, likely reducing heating efficiency. We can help you flush out your water heater today. Call 507-645-4037

If you need any help cleaning these items, or if you’d like to schedule a maintenance check for your plumbing system, give us a call today at 507-645-4037

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Resolve to Improve Your Home in the New Year

Happy New Year from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Northfield! With a New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions, and almost half of all Americans make their resolutions. If you haven’t made one yet, We is invite you to resolve to improve your home in the new year.

  • Using a water filtration system can help improve the taste of the water while helping remove contaminants and parasites which can be harmful to you and your family.
  • Make sure to get your water heater checked to make sure it’s clean and running well. Or consider swapping out for a new energy-efficient water heater, like a tankless water heater.
  • Replacing a shower head with a water-efficient model can help make showers more enjoyable and save money on your water bill.
  • The best way to get rid of a clogged drain is to prevent it from happening. BioBen is a natural biological drain, septic and grease trap maintainer that performs without all of the harsh chemical and additives that are damaging to our environment, ask your technician for more information.

Call us today at 507-645-4037 to learn more about simple improvements you can make to your home in the New Year. And as always we offer 24 hour emergency service.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/faq/pdfs/fs_healthseries_filtration.pdf

http://ecowatch.com/2013/11/12/save-water-and-money-by-replacing-your-shower-head-with-a-watersense-model/

 

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Holiday Tips! Less Stress….

The holidays can bring stress for only you, but also your plumbing. Here are some tips from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Northfield, MN to help keep things running smoothly:

  • Never pour cooking oil or fats down your drain. Oil can solidify and clog your line. Pour oil and fat into a container or jar and then throw it in the trash.
  • Use your garbage can instead of your disposal to get rid of drippings and leftovers. Fats, bones and fibrous foods can clog or damage your drain and disposal.
  • Have your kitchen drain line and plumbing lines maintained by a professional plumber regularly to prevent problems during heavy usage.
  • Bathrooms can get a lot of extra use. Try and wait 10 minutes between showers and consider a tankless water heater to have hot water when you need it. Remind guests not to flush paper towels or large, bulky items down the drain.

To find out more about how to best prepare your plumbing for the holiday season, visit www.benjaminfranklinplumbing.com or make an appointment with a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Northfield, MN at 507-645-4037. And remember we offer 24 hour emergency service.

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“Big Bill’s” bathtub

Who had the first bathtub in the White House? Well that is greatly debated, Madison, Monroe, Fillmore, Pierce….?

Some say Pierce because he was the first to install a bathroom with hot and cold running water.

But, I think we can all agree the most famous bathtub was that of William Howard Taft nicknamed “Big Bill,”. Our 27th President was a large man weighing in at around 330 lb and was 5’11”. If was rumored that he got stuck in the bathtub and that is why he had a custom bathtub brought into the white house. It was so large it fit four grown men. It was 7 feet long, 41 inches wide!

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http://www.potus.com/fpierce.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Howard_Taft
http://www.whitehousemuseum.org/floor2/master-bathroom.htm

If there is any delay it’s you we pay. We offer 24 hour emergency service. No job to BIG or too small!

Thanksgiving: How not to invite your plumber over

Winter is here. Make sure your plumbing systems are not only prepared for the cold weather, but also for the influx of family guests this month.

With the holidays coming down the pipe soon (pun intended), families and friends will be traveling from around the country to share meals together. As you’re cooking and disposing of leftovers, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Northfield encourages you to be mindful of what you’re throwing down the garbage disposal. Surprisingly, many typical holiday dish remnants including cooking oil, grease, bones, veggies, pasta, coffee grounds, and fruit pits can hamper a disposal and back up a drain.

Additionally, as a host for holiday celebrations, it’s important to be aware of what guests are flushing down the toilet especially if you have an older or weaker plumbing system. Let them know what your toilet is capable of handling. Some of the most common items that should never be flushed include cigarette butts, sanitary napkins, baby wipes, cotton swabs, and facial tissues.

 

  • Did you know that starchy or stringy veggies should NOT go down the garbage disposal?
  • Pasta or rice can expand with water and clog up your garbage disposal. It is best to throw it in the trash.
  • Some toilets aren’t even made to handle facial tissue. Keep it to regular, ol’ TP.
  • Bathrooms can get a lot of extra use. Try and wait 10 minutes between showers and consider a tankless water heater to have hot water on demand when you need it. Remind guests not to flush paper towels or large, bulky items down the drain.
  • Never pour cooking oil or fats down your drain. Oil can solidify and clog your line. Pour oil and fat into a container or jar and then throw it in the trash.
  • Use your garbage can instead of your disposal to get rid of drippings and leftovers. Fats, bones, and fibrous foods can clog and damage your drain or disposal.
  • Have your kitchen drain line and plumbing lines maintained by a professional plumber regularly to prevent problems during heavy usage.

 

And don’t forget, we offer 24 hour emergency service. If you run into plumbing trouble during the holiday season, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Northfield is always here to help. 507-645-4037

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Thank You Veterans!

Thank You Veterans!

In honor of Veteran’s Day we would like to share with you our two favorite quotes and our two favorite veterans!

“How Important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelou

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

Did you know…
The owner of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Northfield Gary Kes’ father Myles served in Japan as an MP for the United States Military during WWII? – such a good looking guy (picture below) but we might be bias! Also Gary’s brother Ron served as an United States Marnie in the Vietnam War.

Did you know….
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Many other counties celebrate the day still as “Armistice Day” including Canada and Great Britain.

Thank you to all who have served.

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Winter is Coming: Tips for Keeping Your Plumbing System Safe

 

 

Yes you read that right! Snow this weekend!

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Each season puts different demands on home systems. Regular maintenance and upgrades are necessary throughout the year to ensure you stay safe and your home equipment works as efficiently as possible.

 

For example, frozen pipes are one of the most common plumbing problems in the winter, and without proper preparation, can lead to costly repairs. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Northfield, Minnesota recommends taking precautions both inside and outside of your home to protect your pipes.

 

For starters, disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected during freezing temperatures, water in hoses could freeze and expand causing connecting faucets and pipes to potentially break. Also, inspect the faucets that are outside to make sure they’re not dripping, and then cover them with an inexpensive insulation kit.

 

Inside your home: check out pipes in basements, attics and other sparsely-used areas of the house to make sure frost or ice hasn’t accumulated and cracks haven’t developed. Also, be sure to run water from every faucet or valve in your house regularly during the winter. This will help provide relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage if freezing occurs.

We are always here to help! Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing today at 507-645-4037. And remember we do provide 24 hour emergency service and answer the phones live!  Have a great weekend.