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My Place Minder Dairy
Like many homeowners I didnít know very much about caring for homes when I purchase my first one. My education came as things began to break, not function well, and especially when I decided to take on home improvement projects.

Being associated with My Place Minder for the last few years has accelerated my learning curve and brought me to an understanding of the importance of preventive maintenance. In this series I will take you through my journey of home maintenance. I will focus on critical and often overlooked issues that can cause major damage to your home and significant inconvenience.

I will also explore when and how I use My Place Minder to help. As with any blog the value is in all of us sharing our knowledge. So, I invite you to join me as we embark on this new dialogue. I look forward to all of us making and keeping our homes safe secure havens for ourselves and our families.

 

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Controlling Water Pressure
Recently a plumber performing routine service of my drinking water system commented that my water pressure seemed high. While I completely appreciate the significance of water pressure in the pipes it never occurred to me that my homeís water pressure could be anything but fine. I have city water and assumed the city would regulate the pressure appropriately.

After completing the task at hand my plumber attached a pressure valve to the hose bib where the main water line enters my house and discovered that the pressure was 95 PSI (pounds per square inch). I was advised to install a pressure regulator that would reduce the incoming pressure to somewhere between 60 and 70 PSI. Wanting to make sure that I was not being sold something I didnít need, I did some checking. It turns out that the city water pressure where I live can spike to over 100 PSI.

This can be a problem because plumbing fixtures, washing machine hoses, toilet fill valves, yard watering systems, etc. are designed to work within a certain range of pressure. If the pressure gets too high, the fixtures can become damaged, leak, or even be dislodged, resulting in a free flow of water in your home. Indeed, such an incident flooded the basement of one of my friends. The cost of a pressure regulator will vary slightly based on the specifics of the installation. Mine was installed for about $200. Without a fortunate find during routine maintenance, I may never have known to take this preventive step. Iím wondering how many of these types of ďgotchasĒ exist in my home and yours? Does anyone have other ďgotchasĒ to share?

 

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Water Valve Woes
Continuing on the theme of things that can flood your home, I want to discuss bad valves. The events chronicled below demonstrate the importance of having good working water valves in your home.

One of the most common causes of damage in the home is a rupture of the hoses that connect the washing machine to the water supply. When these hoses rupture you have a free flow of water into your home. After learning this, I decided to shut off the water supply to my washing machine, only to discover that the valves had corroded such that they could not be moved.
If the washing machine hoses had ruptured I would have had to shut off the water to the entire house.

Be prepared in case you have a leak. Check that all your valves are working properly. Also, my experience is that the traditional gate valves that are commonly installed in most homes are prone to problems. Two years ago I replaced every valve in my home with ball valves. Ball valves require only a quarter turn to shut off and have a more reliable mechanism than gate valves. If replacing all your valves seems too extreme, then I encourage you to make sure that you have a high quality ball valve installed on the water line into your home. That way you will be able to stop water from flooding you home if you ever have a leak. What experiences have you had with water leaks in your home?

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Safety Tip
Dispose of your Christmas Tree before it gets too dry. As the tree dries out, it becomes more of a fire hazard: The entire tree can be consumed by fire in as little as 30 seconds, and quickly spread fire to the rest of your home. Many towns have tree recycling programs.

 

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