OPERATING IN A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY
The Precautions We’re Taking and Some Silver Linings
W hen I think back to the start of our current crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t seem like a big deal to me. Obviously, that’s since changed. The first indicator to me that the coronavirus would become a huge deal was when I saw all the empty shelves at the grocery store. Even then, I don’t think anyone could have predicted just how big this crisis would become. So far, not a lot has changed regarding how Plumb Smart does business on a day-to-day basis. However, because the facts and circumstances surrounding the outbreak are always changing, I guess there could be some changes at Plumb Smart by the time you read this. For now, though, because we’re a repair business that’s been deemed essential to stay open, we’re still ready to fix any leaks, blocks, or other plumbing problems you might have. One thing I have been asking of our customers is to describe as much of their plumbing problem over the phone as possible before we get there. That way, we can honor the call to practice social distancing as much as possible. We can get an idea of the problem on the call before we get to your home and stay out of your way as much as possible while we fix it. Since a lot of people are either not working or working from home, I’ve noticed customers have been a lot more patient with us. Instead of having to mine a few spare hours out of a weekday for us to fix their plumbing, they’ve got all day to stay home and wait for us. It’s been pretty easy for us at Plumb Smart to abide by the proper health and sanitation guidelines, considering the line of work we’re in. Because we deal with plumbing systems and all the nasty stuff “Because we’re a repair business that’s been deemed essential to stay open, we’re still ready to fix any leaks, blocks, or other plumbing problems you might have.”
that fills them, we were already used to the idea of constantly washing our hands. We’re all about maintaining good hygiene, now and always, and we’re taking the proper precautions for dealing with your plumbing issues and interacting with customers.
While I definitely don’t want to downplay the seriousness of everything going on, I have noticed a few silver linings during this crisis that I think are worth mentioning.
Because so many people are working from home, there’s a lot less traffic on the road, which is great for the people who do have to commute still as well as for the environment. Atlanta has
historically had some of the worst traffic in the country, but not right now. It makes me wonder if more businesses should make working from home an option for their employees. More people might save more time and money, and that sounds like a win-win scenario for everybody. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing during this season of uncertainty, I sincerely hope you’re all safe and healthy. And who knows? By the time you read this, the coronavirus might be on its way out and things might be back to normal. But until then, if you’re having any problems with your plumbing at all, make sure to give Plumb Smart a call.
–Pa u l Little
Meet Cycling Legend L THE WOMAN WHO RACED 4,200 MILES IN 18 DAYS AND WON
Picture the distance between Oregon and Virginia on a U.S. map. Now, picture crossing that distance on a bicycle. Odds are you either can’t imagine it or you conjured up a monthslong slog, but in 2016, ultra-endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox crossed that distance in just 18 days and 10 minutes — the second-fastest time in the history of the Trans Am Bike Race. As hard as it is to believe, the 4,200 mile stretch from Astoria, Oregon, to Yorktown, Virginia, is actually a racecourse. Every June, roughly 50–100 cyclists undertake the journey, pedaling through a total of 10 states. It’s an insane obstacle course of cars, mountains, and weather events that riders go through alone, without required checkpoints or designated rest periods. When Wilcox won the Trans Am in 2016, she became the first woman and the first American ever to do so. According to NPR, the victory came down to a combination of endurance and luck. In the final days of the race, she was in second place behind Steffan Streich when exhaustion sent him pedaling out of Bumpass, Virginia, in the wrong direction. When the two met on the road
at 3 a.m., a panicked Streich turned around and sprinted neck and neck with Wilcox toward the finish. After a few miles, she pulled ahead and won.
In response to those who said a woman could never win the Trans Am, Wilcox told NPR, “If you beat ‘em, you beat ‘em. That’s what happens. And then everybody has to change the way they think.” Perhaps the most impressive thing about Wilcox, even more than her 2016 win, is that she didn’t start cycling until she was 20 years old, when her boyfriend at the time gave her a bike. Since then, she’s competed all over the world, logging a total of 100,000 miles in 35 countries. When she’s isn’t racing, Wilcox encourages teenage girls to try cycling with scholarships and group events. In November 2019, she even starred in “I Just Want to Ride,” a 38-minute film following her quest to win the 2019 Tour Divide Race. To learn more about the film and what makes Wilcox tick, visit LaelWilcox.com.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR WATER PRESSURE IS TOO HIGH
And How You Can Fix It
A s a plumber, I trace the source of many plumbing issues back to high water pressure. When customers call to report a problem and they explain what’s going on, they often say something that makes me realize it could be related to high pressure. Things like drippy faucets, running toilets, pressure surges when faucets are opened, banging noises in pipes, leaky ice maker lines, and water heater leaks are several things that could mean you have a faulty pressure reducing valve. A pressure reducing valve (PRV) is located within a few feet of where your water line enters your house, usually located right after your main water shut off valve. Pressure from the city water mains in our area can range from 100 pounds per square inch (psi) to over 180 psi. This pressure varies during the day. During high-usage times it can be lower, but in the middle of the night it can spike way up. Your PRV is designed to keep your house water pressure between 55–60 psi. A residential PRV can be adjusted between 25–75 psi. If you maintain your pressure around 60 psi, your plumbing will be happiest.
screws onto an outside hose bib. They cost about $12. Screw it on tight and open the hose bib valve. That will tell you what your water pressure is. If it reads over 75 psi, you need a new PRV sooner rather
than later. Like I said, high water pressure will cause a lot of plumbing problems if not corrected pretty quick. A worst-case scenario would be a
burst washing machine hose, (which you should replace every few years anyway), among several other unfortunate scenarios.
If you have any questions or concerns about PRVs or your water pressure, don’t hesitate to call Plumb Smart at 404.427.0302.
So how do you know if your PRV is operating properly? Go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and buy a pressure gauge that
LOOKING FOR AN EXTERMINATOR? CHECK OUT EXTERMIFORCE As is true with a lot of businesses, I don’t know that you really appreciate exterminators until you need one. Many of you reading this might still be confined to your homes and, therefore, much more attuned to any pest problems you might be experiencing in your garages, basements, kitchens, or other rooms of the house. If that is the case, then I would like to recommend that you call Extermiforce. Extermiforce has been doing its part to keep the areas in and around Dallas, Hiram, Acworth, Rockmart, and Power Springs pest-free for several years now. I’m sure all its customers, myself included, can attest to the incredible work it does. Extermiforce knows how to take care of all sorts of unwanted pests in your home and yard including, but not limited to, termites and mosquitoes. While I could go on about its ability as an exterminator, I think its greater dedication to serving its community deserves some attention. Back when the coronavirus outbreak started to really take the country by storm, Extermiforce offered to buy groceries for its elderly, disabled, and immunocompromised customers and deliver them to their doorsteps free of charge. Many people might still be working from home or just now getting back to work after a long season of working from home. Any business that can help its customers have pest-free living spaces, while also getting them desperately needed groceries and supplies, is a business that deserves to stick around in the community for a long time. With mosquito season on the horizon, I recommend anyone looking for the right exterminator to check out Extermiforce. You can count on them to do the job right, whatever that job may be.
SPRINGTIME CACIO E PEPE
Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of cacio e pepe , which is Italian for cheese and pepper. This dish combines a wholesome flavor profile with fresh, seasonal ingredients to satisfy any craving.
• 6 oz multigrain spaghetti • 8 oz fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 1/2 tsp black pepper 1 cup baby arugula
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a large pot, cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of water before draining and put spaghetti in a covered pot to keep warm. 3. Line a 15x10-inch baking pan with foil and toss in asparagus and olive oil. 4. Cook asparagus for 5–7minutes and sprinkle with lemon zest. 5. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved water, Parmesan cheese, and pepper to the spaghetti. Stir until creamy. 6. Toss in asparagus and arugula before serving.
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
175 Goldfinch Path Acworth, GA 30101
Precautions and Silver Linings Around the Coronavirus 1
Meet the Woman Who Biked 4,200 Miles in 18 Days
High Water Pressure — How to Fix It 2
Springtime Cacio e Pepe
This Month’s Local Business Spotlight: Extermiforce 3
Bird-Watching for Beginners 4
Why May Is the Best Month to Start
Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started.
as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other thing you’ll need is a pair of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later.
Your very first birding excursion is important because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field guide to home in on a single bird and go find it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that
Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries.
comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest.
Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!
One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long
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