WHEN IT COMES TO PLUMBING KNOWLEDGE
You Should Know This 1 Thing
I’ve been in the plumbing business for decades now, so I know pretty much any plumbing tip or trick that exists. Naturally, people who aren’t plumbers won’t know everything I know, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things everyone should learn about their plumbing systems. Feb. 27 is National No-Brainer Day, and that got me thinking about some of the plumbing knowledge that should be a no-brainer to the average person. When you get down to it, the most important thing someone can know about their plumbing system is the location of their water shut-off valve. A couple of months ago, I had a client with a burst pipe below her bathroom sink. She called me to fix it, but I was about 45 minutes from where she lived. She didn’t know where her water shut-off valve was, and her entire apartment got flooded. She had to take out an insurance claim to redo the carpet and flooring in her bathroom. Before you ever have a flooding situation in your home, the water shut-off valve is the single most-important fixture you should be aware of. Just knowing where it is can save you thousands of dollars in damages. The valve could be in a few different places, depending on the layout of your home. If your house is on a concrete slab, it’s usually near the water heater. Your shut-off valve might be in your basement, and if it is, 9 out of 10 times, it will be on whichever wall faces the street. If you have a crawl space, there’s a chance you might have to crawl down there to find the valve. “Naturally, people who aren’t plumbers won’t know everything I know, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things everyone should learn about their plumbing systems.” If your shut-off valve is in the basement, I can’t stress how important it is to make a clear path to be able to get to it if you need to. I’ve had to spend 30 minutes at client’s houses just moving all the stuff they store in their basement to get to their shut-off valve. If you can find the valve and make sure it’s easily accessible, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money.
If you can’t find the valve, I have a few recommendations. One is that you get a meter key so you can shut your water off at the meter. If you can’t find the valve, you don’t have a meter key, and I’m really far away, I recommend calling the county or city water department. They’ll sometimes
get to your home faster than I can to shut off the water. Once you take care of that, give me a call and I’ll be right over to take a look at the problem.
There are a few different kinds of shut-off valves. If your house was built
within the past 10–12 years, you might have a lever valve. With this type of valve, you just have to give it a quarter turn to turn off your water. In older homes,
chances are you have a gate valve that you have to turn multiple times until it closes. If it is old and has never been turned since it’s been installed, there’s a chance it won’t completely close off your water.
If you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can shut your water off whenever necessary, Plumb Smart sells an automatic shut-off valve. It uses smart technology to send a message to your phone if it detects leaks and allows you to turn your valve off remotely. That said, I promise you that just knowing where your main shutoff valve is and how to turn it off will save you from a lot of trouble until I can get there to fix the problem.
–Pa u l Little
A World of Yogurt A LOOK AT 3 If you walk down the yogurt aisle of any store today, you’ll see more varieties than ever before:
Skyr , often referred to as Icelandic yogurt, has a lot in common with Greek yogurt in terms of consistency and protein content, but it’s actually not a yogurt at all. It’s a cultured dairy product classified as “fresh sour milk cheese.” But don’t let that put you off. It’s thick, smooth, packed with nutrients and probiotics, and lower in sugar than traditional yogurt. Skyr is most commonly made with skim or low-fat milk, but since it has gained global popularity, you can find varieties made with 2% and whole milk, too. Yogurt (dairy and nondairy) is a rich source of gut-healthy probiotics, and while there are some differences in terms of texture, flavor, and nutritional content, any of these three types are a great choice for your diet.
as well as fewer ingredients overall. A high- quality Greek yogurt will typically only have 3–4 ingredients: milk, live active cultures, and any flavorings (vanilla, honey, fruit, etc.). If you see any fillers like corn starch or corn syrup listed on the ingredients label, it’s probably not the real deal. Australian yogurt (or Aussie yoghurt) is newer to most stores, and one of the biggest brands in the U.S. is Noosa. Because it’s typically made with whole milk, it’s rich and creamy — you won’t be saving any calories here. It’s not quite as thick as Greek yogurt, but it’s not runny either. It’s often described as silky smooth and sweeter than other varieties of yogurt, thanks in part to the whole milk. Honey and fruit mix in exceptionally well, and like Greek yogurt, this variety is packed with protein.
Greek, Australian, Icelandic, whipped, and probiotic-packed — not to mention yogurts made with soy, coconut, and almond milks. And, of course, you have all the classic yogurt brands and tons of flavors to choose from. But what’s the difference between all of these yogurt varieties? What sets Greek apart from Australian? What is unique about Icelandic (Skyr)? We’ve gone ahead and broken it down for you. Greek yogurt is one of the more common varieties on the market. It’s typically a thicker consistency with roughly double the protein of traditional, strained yogurts. Most brands of Greek yogurt have less sugar and fewer carbs,
THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY AT PLUMB SMART
What Is a Flex Shaft Drain Cleaner?
In the past, the best way to clear a clogged drain was with a cable machine. Cable machines are still very effective but not against roots. The cable cutter head will clear a passage through the roots and clear the drain, but it will not completely cut out all the roots. Once the line is clear, a camera can be inserted in the sewer drain and can pinpoint the exact location and depth of a cracked or broken pipe. The customer can see the problem and decide whether to have the pipes dug up and repaired or schedule regular appointments for drain cleaning to keep it from backing up. Now we have a Flex Shaft drain cleaner. The woven steel wire shaft spins at 2,000 rpm inside a protective sheath. The cutting head is made of chain links that will spin outward to the inside diameter of the pipe. Spinning at 2,000 rpm, the chain-link head shreds roots completely from the pipe. Plus, our camera can be in the drainpipe at the same time, recording the action in real time.
If you have a broken or cracked pipe, roots will grow back in no matter what. But if we can clean your drain with our Flex Shaft machine, the roots will be thoroughly cut out, and you can go longer between cleanings — saving you money. Nobody thinks they have a problem with their drains until they’re suddenly blocked up. Your drain problem actually started some time ago, and the culmination of the problem is the blockage. For the next 60 days, we will offer a free video inspection with every drain cleaning. So, even if you’ve never had a clogged drain, taking advantage of this offer is a no-brainer.
Visit our YouTube channel at PlumbsmartPaul to see our Flex Shaft in action!
Or type TinyURL.com/RQVSUBL into your web browser search bar.
TYPES OF YOGURT
APPLE CIDER CHICKEN AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS
AQUARIUS ASH CHOCOLATE CUPID DONOR
GROUNDHOG LOVE PISCES PRESIDENTS ROMANCE
ROSES SKIING SNOWBANK SUGAR VALENTINE
• 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved • 2 gala apples, cut into wedges • 1 red onion, cut into wedges • 2 sprigs rosemary • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper to taste • 4 boneless chicken breasts
• 1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped • 2 tbsp butter, divided • 2/3 cup apple cider • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. On a baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts, apples, onion, and rosemary sprigs in olive oil, salt, and pepper. 3. Roast vegetable and fruit mixture until tender, about 25–30 minutes, flipping halfway. 4. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary. 5. In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter. Add chicken and cook 6 minutes on one side. Flip and cook 2 more minutes. 6. Pour cider onto chicken. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and let it rest on cutting board. 7. Return skillet to stove on medium-high and simmer sauce until reduced by half. 8. Swirl remaining 1 tbsp of butter with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slice chicken and divide among plates with roasted vegetables and serve.
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1 Thing to Know About Your Plumbing System 1
What’s Your Favorite Yogurt?
The Latest Technology at Plumb Smart 2 Apple Cider Chicken and Brussels Sprouts 3
Learn All About Leap Year 4
Facts About the Leap Year
Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. Why To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth
and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. Where
Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in
takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. Who
1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big.
The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only
Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.
about five million of them are “leaplings.” The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule,
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