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diy bathroom maintenance

Plumbers can be expensive, that’s no secret, and many plumbing jobs can be done yourself if you have the proper skills and equipment. Lots of do-it-yourself (DIY) jobs are easy, like changing a shower head, unclogging a drain, or even replacing a toilet if you’re experienced, but there are plenty of jobs that are simply too large or too complicated for anyone but a properly trained professional plumber. Only true professional plumbers have the skills and tools needed for a lot of jobs around your home. Here are just 3 plumbing problems you should never attempt on your own, be it because of the plumbing code, access issues, or just to get the job done quickly and properly the first time. Read more

woman answering door to see salesperson selling water heater

We don’t like to generalize here at Absolute Draining & Plumbing, but door-to-door salesman can be a problem for homeowners. Some of these salesman rely on high pressure sales tactics, misinformation, and exploiting of recent events to coerce people into buying things they do not need. Today, we want to warn people about one particular door-to-door sales scheme that’s been costing people a lot of unnecessary money: hot water tank rentals. These salesman offer hard to imagine pricing on an expensive item, a hot water tank, by renting instead of buying outright. The idea is good for some people who need a new tank now and can’t afford one, but the door-to-door sales route is harming consumers.

How It Happens

Here’s how they do it: A salesman shows up at your door offering water tank inspections. They get into your home to look at the tank and deem it unfit for further use. The “inspector” then offer an alternative to out-and-out replacing your tank with a rental agreement using high pressure tactics to convince people they need a new tank. Then, once the deal is made, the company starts charging hidden fees while steadily increasing the rental price, sometimes by as much as double, leaving homeowners with mounting bills they cannot pay. The tactic works surprisingly well. One company blamed for this sales strategy is currently being purchased by a competitor for over $500 million.

Thankfully, a recent article in the Toronto Star brought door-to-door hot water tank rental salesman into the limelight. One such company was revealed to target seniors specifically. In some instances, the prices doubled inside two months without reason, and senior citizens on fixed incomes were seeing their already small incomes drained by unfair business practices. Other homeowners are reporting inheriting water tank rental agreements from previous tenants without their knowledge, or being responsible for money owed by their landlords after they’ve moved away. All of these are instances of fine print contracts that people do not realize they are agreeing to. After all, who has time to read the contract when a salesman is breathing down your neck?

Regulations Are Difficult To Enforce

The fact of the matter is that door-to-door sales is hard to regulate and control, even with the Government posting consumer alerts. The services and items provided often operate outside the usual means, which gives particularly dubious and greedy salespeople an opportunity to pressure people into unnecessary purchases. These salesmen often come during the day as well, so anyone at home doesn’t have their partner around to discuss the matter. These salespeople rely on two factors for their sales: fear and isolation.

Always Do Your Research

But there are some things you can do to avoid these salespeople. As with any big purchase, it’s important to research what you’re buying before agreeing to anything. Always discuss the matter with other people in your household and never sign anything without doing your own due diligence. If anything seems fishy, or the salesman is especially eager to push for a sale on the spot, ask them to leave and shut the door. It’s not rude, it’s saving yourself time and peace-of-mind down the road. Especially with hot water tanks, always consult a professional first to see if you need to replace your tank.

plumber accessing drain pipe underneath sink to clear blockage

A clogged drain is one of the most frustrating things we can have in our own Toronto homes. They slow everything down and make us worry about the inner workings of our homes. We can take drain cleaners to them, but that is sometimes a very unsatisfying temporary measure. For those extra stubborn blockages, you’ll need a drain snake. A drain snake fits down your pipe and loosens up any and all materials that could be blocking your drains, helping your water flow better and plumbing system run better. Here are three reasons to ditch the drain cleaner and call a local City of Toronto plumbing professional to deal with your clogged drains using a drain snake. Read more

sump pit in the basement of a Toronto home

Sump pumps are surprisingly complex little devices that keep water away from our homes to protect against flooding and potential water damage, particularly in the basement flooding prone City of Toronto. They are constantly taking advantage of the latest technology, from battery backup power to some models that will text you when an error is detected. While this latter feature is pretty cool, it’s also fairly recent and most of our sump pumps won’t actually tell us when they’re needing a professional inspection. But they do “talk” to us in their own little ways. Here are some ways to tell if your sump pump needs maintenance. Read more

plumber recording information on a clip board as a backwater valve inspection takes place

A backwater valve is an important part of your home’s anti-flooding system, responsible for keeping sewage out of your home and where it belongs. They require regular inspections, at least once every few years, but this can increase depending on what your habits and the weather. Today, we’ll discuss how you can give your backwater valve a quick spot check and some factors that mean you should get your backwater valve checked sooner rather than later, just to be safe. Read more

fall day in forest

Autumn is here and that means preparing for winter and, believe it or not, spring as well. Getting work done during the winter can be a little bit harder, so you should focus on getting your home ready now, in the fall, instead of when disaster strikes. Canadian homeowners report nearly 40,000 incidents of basement flooding ever year at the average cost of around $4000. If you want to be proactive instead of reactive, you may want to inspect your home for signs that it’s basement is less than watertight. If you discover any of these signs, be sure to call a professional basement waterproofing expert who can help you prevent a flood before it happens. Read more

snow-ontop-of-water-meter

Winter is coming. For many homeowners, this means getting everything ready for winter. This is no small task, everything from exterior painting, window inspections, and basement inspections should be on your list, but so should calling a plumber. Just about everyone in Toronto should be familiar with how hard our winters can be. Winter is hard on your pipes, especially since water expands when it freezes and melts everywhere come spring. Calling a plumber for a pre-winter inspection is the best way to ensure your home is absolutely ready for whatever winter has in store, here are just 3 reasons why. Read more

large pipe with extensive water leaks

Leak detection is one of the more fascinating aspects of plumbing that uses all sorts of technological innovations to detect and locate leaky pipes. These methods are diverse and come with their own pros and cons, so we’re offering a two-part guide to the general types of leak detection methods out there (see part one). Read more

man catching water in pot, wife calling plumber to find a leak

Leak detection is one of the more fascinating aspects of plumbing that uses all sorts of technological innovations to detect and locate leaky pipes. These methods are diverse and come with their own pros and cons, so we’re offering a two-part guide to the general types of leak detection methods out there.

In part one, we’re focusing on internally-based leak detection systems, methods that use field instruments to analyze the inside of pipes and plumbing systems. Read more

man working on his sink

Plumbing is like most other elements of your home, it’s much better to be proactive than reactive. A burst pipe, for example, is much more expensive overall than a pipe inspection because one involves water damage and then other does not. There are many inspections and measures you can take to be proactive with your own Toronto home. Drain cleaning is just one of these services, one that will keep your pipes clear and working at maximum efficiency. Today, we’re going through just a few of the services available, and a few quick things you can do on your own to make sure your plumbing system is working at its best. Read more

 

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We service the entire Greater Toronto Area including Mississauga, Etobicoke, and downtown Toronto. Somewhere else? Please see our full service area for more information.