Oct
04
2017

Drafty Room Fixes

by Nicole Stevens

drafty BostonOlder houses come with a certain charm, but sometimes that also come with a cold chill. Drafty rooms are a nuisance in older home owning, and it all usually starts upstairs in the attic. Most old homes equip with attics don’t have completely proper installation causing a “stack effect." This is when all the warm air travels to the upper level of the home and finds small cracks or holes or any out of the ceiling and the warm air escapes. Thus creating a vacuum effect and sucking all the chilly outside air in as the warm air leaves.  This can happen with older homes that are one story as well, though the stack effect doesn’t apply in the same way, holes or cracks in a home can cause drafts to occur. So, what can be done about a chilly, drafty room beside burning up your heat bill by cranking up the thermostat? Here are a few helpful tips to keep that chilly room much toastier come winter!

  • Fill in the cracks! Use a caulking gun to fill up any open cracks or holes found alongside trim on the walls, especially in gaps between plaster and trim.
  • Cracks in the door are always tricky, until now. Recycle an old pool noodle from summer by cutting it in half (or quarters) and attaching it to the base of the door.  Cover the cut noodle in a fabric and bolt or seal it to the door, covering the cracks.
  • Grab that old itchy wool blanket from the closet and use it as a makeshift “thermal curtain” over windows.
  • Using a thin plastic sheet (think cling wrap) or even bubble wrap over windows can show a drastic difference in temperature by keeping up to 55% of the warmth in the room.
  • For bare, non-carpeted floors, rugs are a good addition to tie a room together and also keep your feet warm! Layering rugs is also a good idea if applicable in the room’s décor.
  • A plastic shower curtain can also be used to block drafts from larger/longer windows.
  • If you’re mostly trying to keep the draft out of certain rooms, a bedsheet barrier is efficient. Using pushpins, attach the sheet to the ceiling on both upper corners to block draft from entering certain open rooms/areas.
  • Styrofoam sheets make good, cheap insulators. Especially good for basements windows or blocking drafts from fireplaces.
  • Most of these ideas can be picked up at a dollar store, or even found in spare closets/drawers. It doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to stay warm in the harsh winter! 

SOURCES 1, 2

Aug
31
2017

Is Filtered Water Really Better Than Bottled Water?

water filter bostonThe first question to ask yourself is whether or not your home  needs better drinking water. A water filtration system is only useful if it takes bad stuff out of your water without putting any bad stuff back in. If it is not doing its job, it could become a bed for bacterial growth or chemical treatments. This could be worse than just drinking the tap water. Don't rush out and buy a water filtration system simply because it is trendy. Research is important.

Let's take a look at water filtration system options for cleaner, softer and tastier water.

Carbon Filtration

If you have concerns related to taste and odor, a carbon filter may be your best solution. Carbon filtration relies on carbon adsorbing contaminants onto its surface. During the manufacturing of activated carbon, the surface area is maximized. Consumer Reports recognizes the Sears Kenmore 38454 Undersink Water Filter with the Best Buy Award this year. [Source]

Water Softening

If you have extremely hard water, softening the water is your best choice. The energy and material costs associated with water softening are offset by longer appliance life. You’ll use less detergent for effective cleaning, and your clothes will no longer be at risk of discoloration from hard water. A cation exchange softener is usually installed at the point of entry to your home.  It removes  "hard" ions calcium and magnesium from the water. It then replaces them with sodium and potassium. 

Risk of Disease

Have your home water tested regularly? Test results could show the presence of harmful levels of bacteria or parasites in your water. These include Cryptosporidium and Giardia. If these are present, you need to take action. Chlorine and other chemical treatments are somewhat effective, but they have side effects. Filtration of these pathogens can be difficult due to their tinysmall size. However, Ultraviolet treatment is effective for killing unwanted bacterial organisms. The NSF has certified the Trojan UV Max and the UV Pure Hallett systems as the only two technologies for Class A Disinfection Performance. This is vital in the battle against disease-causing bugs. UV systems will not remove heavy metals and other contaminants. 

Aug
01
2017

How safe is the tap water in the Boston area?

boston skylineIf you’re already in love with Boston for our unmistakable accent and “nail biting” baseball team, consider replacing the top of your list with our tap water. This year, Boston made it to the top of the annual tap water competition hosted by the American Water Works Association—a network of more than 50,000 water professionals charged with keeping our water supply healthy. 

Daniel Moss wrote the following article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions:

The honor was particularly fitting since the association’s conference was held in Boston this year.

Boston’s secret ingredient? Watershed protection. Between 1985 and 2012, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority—from which Boston buys its water—purchased conservation land in the watersheds that feed the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs to the city’s west, the sources of Boston’s water.

Forests in the protected area clean the water naturally so that by the time it gets to the city it requires only limited filtering. There’s no need for the cocktail of chemicals most cities’ water utilities use.

Not surprisingly, the city’s path to its current water purity was no walk in the park. In the early ’80s, the filthy state of the Boston Harbor made national news and the Conservation Law Foundation sued state agencies for violating the Massachusetts Clean Water Act. One result of the litigation was the formation in 1985 of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

On top of the billions the authority spent on restoring the Boston Harbor and Charles River—resulting in some of the cleanest urban beaches in the country—it invested $131 million in land preservation around Boston’s drinking water sources. Four hundred square miles of forest makes a protective ring around the city’s two major reservoirs.

Utilities aspiring to win the prize next year might borrow a page from Boston’s playbook and collaborate with state conservation agencies to protect their watersheds. With improved source protection, consumer confidence in tap water is likely to rise—and could spell trouble for the bottled water industry.

Jun
22
2017

High-Tech Toilets!

Technology advances every day and reaches into every area of our lives, and our bathroom toilets are no different. With so many new innovations, even your toilet can become a more convenient part of technology in your home. Here are just a few of the newest high-tech toilet trends:

  • Veil™ one-piece elongated dual-flush wall-hung toilet with Reveal® Quiet-Close™ seat and 2"x6" in-wall tank and carrier system - With its concealed tank and minimal footprint, the innovative Veil wall-hung toilet saves up to 12 inches of precious bathroom space over larger floor-mount models. The mounting hardware is completely concealed, giving Veil a sleek, seamless look that is incredibly easy to clean. And with dual-flush technology, this high-efficiency toilet can save as much as 6,000 gallons of water annually over a traditional 1.6-gallon toilet.
  • San Souci™ Touchless Comfort Height® one-piece compact elongated 1.28 GPF Toilet with AquaPiston® flushing technology, concealed tramway - The San Souci one-piece toilet offers a sleek, contemporary design combined with touchless flush. Just hold your hand over the tank sensor to activate the flush. No handle to the touch means fewer germs to pick up or leave behind. This toilet features innovative AquaPiston technology, a patented flush engine that delivers a fast, powerful, and virtually plug-free flush. A 1.28-gallon flush provides significant water savings of up to 16,500 gallons per year, compared to a 3.5-gallon toilet, without sacrificing performance.
  • toilet plumber massachusettsCimarron® Comfort Height® one-piece elongated 1.28 GPF Toilet with AquaPiston® flush technology and left-hand trip leverWith its versatile, fresh design, this one-piece Cimarron toilet matches a range of contemporary and classic decors. The elongated bowl offers extra room, with seating at the height of a standard chair for ease of use. A 1.28-gallon flush provides significant water savings of up to 16,500 gallons per year, compared to a 3.5-gallon toilet, without sacrificing performance. This toilet features innovative AquaPiston technology, a patented flush engine that delivers a fast, powerful, and virtually plug-free flush.
  • Numi® Intelligent Comfort Height® skirted one-piece elongated dual-flush toilet (less remote)The Numi toilet combines unmatched design and technology to bring you the finest in personal comfort and cleansing. KOHLER's most advanced toilet now offers personalized settings that let you fine-tune every option to your exact preferences, from ambient colored lighting to wireless Bluetooth®* music sync capability to the heated seat and foot warmer. Play your favorite music and podcasts - simply stream wirelessly with any device enabled with Bluetooth technology, store MP3 files to the SD card, or plug in your device using the auxiliary cable. Other upgrades include Power-Save mode for energy efficiency, emergency flush for power outages, and an intuitive touch-screen remote (sold separately). From its striking form to its exceptional water efficiency, the Numi toilet marks a new standard of excellence in the bathroom.

Source: us.kohler.com

May
16
2017

Is your home ready for the hot Boston Summer ahead?

hot boston summerWith the ushering in of the hot Boston Summer, comes the inevitable heat, humidity and higher energy bills associated with the assumption that the air conditioner is the only solution for staying cool. So, what are some alternative measures for staying comfortable inside while the temperature climbs outdoors?

  1. Open up windows and doors and point box fans or oscillating fans outward. This old fashioned trick uses a sort of reverse “technology” than an air conditioner by sucking the warm air out of a room and blowing it outward while keeping the warm air from the outside from entering the room through the open doors and windows. With a retractable screen, these opened windows and doors are protected from insects and prying eyes and can immediately be rolled up when not in use.

  2. Unplug appliances and other electronics when not in use. A surprising number of electronic appliances in your home drain electricity and raise energy costs even when they’re not in use. Taking the time to not only turn the power off - but unplug your coffee maker, television, or computer keeps the appliances safe from power surges and reduces their constant pull on your home’s electrical system.

  3. Use ceiling fans and be sure they’re rotating in the most beneficial direction. For peak performance in the Summer, your ceiling fans should rotate forward (or counterclockwise) forcing air from the ceiling down and providing the wind chill effect that makes you feel cooler.

  4. Keep vents, and doors closed in areas of your home not often used. If you and your family spend most of your time in the living room, consider closing the air conditioner vents to guest bathrooms and bedrooms to reduce the unnecessary cooling of these rooms while not in use.

  5. Add insulation. A lot of cool air escapes from homes by way of space between the walls not protected by insulation. A simple spray foam purchased at a local home improvement store can work wonders when sprayed through drilled holes into the area between the walls.

What Others Say About Pilgrim Plumbing

I wanted to switch to a tankless water heater. Pilgrim Plumbing came by and installed it quickly and I was up and running in no time.

As always, I am very happy to have Pilgrim Plumbing as my plumber!

I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with your service tech who came out to repair the leak I had in my Jacuzzi plumbing. He was dedicated to doing a good job, and I appreciate that.


Cities We Serve

Pilgrim Plumbing & Heating services the South Shore area including, but not limited to, the following areas:

Norwell

Hanover

Scituate

Hingham

Weymouth

Marshfield

Cohasset

Rockland

Plymouth

Plympton

Latest Blog Posts

Drafty Room Fixes

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

by Nicole Stevens

Read more...

Is Filtered Water Really Better Than Bottled Water?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The first question to ask yourself is whether or not your home  needs better drinking water. A water filtration system is only useful if it takes bad stuff out of your water without putting any bad stuff back in. If it is not doing its job, it could become a bed for bacterial growth or chemical treatments. This could be worse than just drinking the tap water. Don't rush out and buy a water filtration system simply because it is trendy. Research is important.

Read more...