If you are currently thinking about selling your home or are wanting to invest in improvements for your forever home, here are a few plumbing upgrades to increase the value of your home. The most used rooms in the home are typically the kitchen and baths and they are worth investing the time, money and energy into. But don’t forget about the not-so aesthetically pleasing HVAC room and sewer lines. Today’s buyer is not only looking for a modern and current style in the fixtures and finishes, but they are also becoming increasingly more knowledgeable and concerned about the home’s fit and function as well.
Upgrade to new eco-friendly toilets. If you have any older toilets (10-15+ years old) in your home that seem to constantly run, leak or clog, consider installing new high-efficiency & water-conserving toilets that won’t sacrifice flushing power. We recommend Toto brand toilets. And you will save you $$$ on your water bill which is always a plus!
Replace your outdated or failing kitchen and bath faucets & fixtures with a style that fits your home’s décor. We recommend replacing two-handle faucets with single handle faucets as it’s becoming more difficult to find two-handle style replacements and parts – manufacturers simply are moving away from this type of production. Also, re-piping your older home’s galvanized and cast-iron piping with PVC, ABS, PEX & copper will instantly improve your home’s plumbing system. Old leaky faucets and piping not only add to your water bill but can lead to larger and more expensive repairs.
Slow drains? Increasingly, homebuyers are opting to perform drain line and main sewer line inspections as part of the whole home inspection. Don’t get caught off-guard with a time-sensitive main sewer line issue that you may not have been aware of. We suggest having your main sewer line and floor drain cleaned on an annual basis. Keeping your main line clean and in decent shape can help you retain top dollar during negotiations.
Consider installing or replacing your water softener. If your existing unit is 10-15+ years old (depending on how well maintained), it may be time to call Ken’s for our professional assessment. Adding a water softener to your home is always our recommendation. Soft water has whole house plumbing, appliance, cleaning, hygiene and long-term money saving benefits and will always add value.
Replace your water heater if it’s beyond the normal life expectancy and/or showing any signs of leaking and corrosion. Some of the components of a water heater that are failing or broken can be replaced or repaired. But, if the pipes inside are corroded, they will eventually leak, fail and the unit could possibly burst. No one wants an emergency flooding situation in their home, and no one wants to be without hot water for too long. Having new or newer mechanicals in your home supports and/or increases the value of your home.
Ken’s Sewer Service is here to help with all your home improvement needs! Please reach out to us today with any questions and to schedule your services.
There are many benefits of keeping a clean and organized home. Many say it helps to improve your mindset and mood, reduce stress and anxiety, reduce allergy symptoms, contributes to a more restful sleep and saves money. I find a light cleaning of at least one room a day or completing a much delayed task is a bit therapeutic, and it always helps to keep the daunting task of a deeper cleaning of the whole house easier and less time consuming. It’s important for the reasons I listed above to get into or continue the good habit of picking up after yourself. And, if you can somehow and miraculously get your kids to do the same, I’m sure you’ll start to see all of the positive effects! Keeping dirt, dust, water spots and grime at bay prolongs the life and look of your fixtures and faucets, floors and appliances.
We all know the kitchen, bathrooms and high traffic areas need the most regular attention, so please use this list to implement into your daily routine.
- In the morning, make the beds and bring any cups or trash to the kitchen
- Pick up clutter from the family/living room, dining table and kitchen – organize or toss
- Unload the dishwasher and/or load the dishwasher from any previous night’s dinner or late-night snacks, and wipe down the counters/sink/faucet
- Do a once over on the bathrooms – pick up towels/clothes (typically from the kids), wipe out sinks, wipe down faucets and counters, wipe the toilet and empty the trash, if needed
- Dust any neglected surfaces you see as you move around
- In high-traffic areas, run the vacuum and dry clean hard surface floors
- Check to see if you need to throw at least one load in the wash
While you are moving around from room to room, please make sure to pay attention to how efficiently your sink, bathtub, shower, toilet, floor drain and laundry tub are draining. And, check your plumbing pipes and valves to assess any leaks or corrosion.
If you are experiencing a clogged or slow drain, main line back-up or leaky pipes or fixtures, please contact us without delay.
I talked about an exterior Spring Maintenance List in a previous blog about a month ago, so make sure to check that out for some great suggestions as well. Today, I am going to follow up with a few additional tasks to think about in the coming weeks. It’s difficult to predict exactly when our nicer Minnesota Spring weather will begin (hopefully soon!), but please read through my checklist below so you’ll be ready to garden, entertain, relax and enjoy.
First, head to the basement and check for any signs of water intrusion from snow melt and spring rain storms. Glance around your hot water heater, boiler or HVAC for signs of leaking water and change/clean your filters, check to make sure your sump pump and back-up is working properly, pull out dehumidifiers and clean out the tank, take any lawn/garden items out if you keep them in your basement storage, turn on the exterior water faucet – check to make sure there are no leaks in the piping and shut-off valves. If you have any issues with plumbing leaks, don’t hesitate or ignore these issues as they will not fix themselves and only worsen over time.
Plan your shopping list for new or replacement lawn/garden tools; soil, compost, organic mulch, wood chips; fertilizer/grass seed; starter plants and flowers; yard waste bags.
- Attach garden hoses (assess if you need any new hoses, sprinkler heads or exterior spigot repair/replacement).
- Check the gutters and downspouts and clean out any debris.
- Sweep the patio, deck, walkways, garage floor and driveway (address any minor or major cracks).
- Wash/wipe off and/or hose down any outdoor furniture, kid’s playsets/toys, decorative items.
- Wash out your garbage/recycling bins.
- Wash exterior windows and storm doors. Install your window screens. Pay attention to cracks and damage.
- Give the charcoal or gas grill a good cleaning. Check the gas grill burner jets for clogs or obstructions, make certain your gas line is connected properly and there are no leaks, see if you need to replace the propane tank.
- Remove/clip dead leaves/stalks from perennials and ornamental grasses. Weed invasive growth. Prune away dead and damaged tree/shrub branches.
- Pick up sticks/branches, rocks, dog waste, inorganic materials.
- Check for any insect/pest infestations and rodent nesting.
- When the temps have exceeded 50 degrees for at least 5-7 days, rake the lawn / dethatch, aerate and seed/fertilize/sod, if necessary.
- Perform any necessary lawn mower maintenance – change oil, clean/replace air filter, treal old fuel with a stabilizer, check/sharpen blades, change the spark plug, clean the underside. Buy gas or charge up the battery and start up the mower to make sure it’s in good shape.
While you are working diligently to prepare your yard for Spring and Summer enjoyment, contact Ken’s Sewer Service for your annual drain cleaning, plumbing repairs or replacements. We serve all of the Twin Cities Metro Area and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Have you ever wondered what type of main sewer line you have at your home? Probably not. If your home’s plumbing and drain lines are all working well, it’s not a question most people seek the answer to. But, if you need to have your main line cleaned a couple times or more every year due to back-ups, it is a good idea to figure out if there is a larger issue going on. Knowing what type of material your sewer line is built out of could be determined by a camera inspection. A camera inspection can also identify if your pipe has any issues such as extreme scale and corrosion, heavy roots and debris, breaks, bellies, back-pitch, collapse.
Most older homes in the Twin Cities area that were built prior to the 1950’s have a clay sewer pipe, a cast-iron pipe or a fiber conduit pipe called Orangeburg. Beginning in the 1950’s and until the 1970’s, clay and cast iron were still being used, and piping made from an asbestos-cement product called Transite was also an option. Before we knew the dangers of carcinogens like asbestos used for Transite and lead-poisoning, sewer lines were also constructed out of lead. New or newer homes constructed since the 1970’s tend to have plastic sewer pipes called PVC or ABS.
Clay Sewer Pipe: Vitrified clay pipe is still a viable pipe used today and can last up to 50-60 years. Clay is highly resistant to chemical degradation, but it is porous, so it is more susceptible to invasive tree root growth.
Cast Iron Pipe: One of the best things about cast iron is that it is immensely strong and can survive 75-100 years. One of the worst things is that they are prone to scale build-up, rust and corrosion.
Orangeburg Pipe: Orangeburg pipe was used from the 1860’s until the early 1970’s and typically lasts or lasted only a few decades. They were constructed out of wood pulp/fibers bound with adhesive and lined with a liquefied coal tar pitch. If you still have an Orangeburg pipe, chances are it has deformed or deteriorated.
Transite Pipe: Original Transite or AC (asbestos-cement) pipes had 15-20% of asbestos fibers added to a cement base to provide tensile strength, and it is relatively resistant to corrosion. If you have a Transite line, the technology today to repair/retrofit these lines has greatly improved.
Lead Pipe: Prior to the serious findings that Lead piping adversely affects your health, this type of material was commonly used in homes built before the 1930’s and has a sustainability of around 100 years. If you have a Lead pipe, please consider replacement as a break or blockage can leach lead into the groundwater and/or into your basement.
PVC Pipe: Polyvinyl Chloride (typically a white pipe) is most commonly found in new and newer homes. It is a cost-effective choice, is highly resistant to chemical degradation, has a smooth interior which is ideal for the carrying capacity of solid waste matter and the plastic material helps prevent root growth.
ABS Pipe: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (always a black pipe) is also used in new and newer homes since the 1970’s. ABS is another cost-effective choice, it is a bit stronger than PVC and has the same smooth finish, it will not flake/peel, rot or dissolve. It’s an ideal choice for underground use with our colder climate.
If you are curious about your main sewer line’s material, need to investigate a potential issue with your main line if you are having frequent back-ups or unusually wet areas in your yard, please reach out to Ken’s Sewer Service today.
Various minerals naturally occur in your home’s water, and hard water is classified by having a high mineral content, primarily consisting of calcium and magnesium. The high or low measurement of these two main minerals typically contribute to your home’s water hardness level. A water softener, if properly maintained, removes the calcium and magnesium in exchange for sodium or potassium chloride. Make sure to have your water tested, and contact your city directly to learn more about how and where your water is sourced and its hardness level.
If you’re thinking about installing a water softener in your home, use this quick list to help you make the best decision for your needs.
Advantages of home water softening:
- Helps keep skin softer and hair softer and stronger after bathing, while reducing the amount of cleanser and moisturizers needed
- Cleaner and softer clothing, towels and bedding, with a significant reduction in the amount of laundry detergent needed and prolonging the use
- Reduces or prevents mineral spots on glassware, flatware, kitchen sinks and faucets
- Reduces or prevents mineral spots and soap scum on glass shower walls and bathroom sinks and faucets
- Reduces or prevents scale build-up on shower heads and faucets
- Lengthens the life of some appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and hot water heaters
- Potentially reduce your water consumption and water bill because soft water reacts more efficiently with a smaller amount of soap that lathers better and washes away easier for less cleaning time and water usage
- You can choose to only soften what you need to – showers, sinks, dishwashers and laundry hook-ups, as well as only softening the hot water; Toilets, hose bibs and other cold water fixtures typically don’t need to be connected
When you ponder the many benefits of installing a water softener system, you also need to take into account the reality of installation cost, regular maintenance costs, monthly salt or potassium chloride pellet costs, the difference to each person in taste of soft water, the environment and health.
Living in Minnesota means we all deal with dry environments, whether at home, work or out and about. Raising your thermostat on cold days and experiencing low humidity during the winter and spring climate unfortunately leads to dryer air. The dry air combined with hard water can cause drier, flaky and itchy skin and hair. For this reason alone, I think a water softener is worth its weight in gold.
Nowadays, while it may seem obvious to attribute your increased monthly water bill to working more from home, your kids’ virtual/hybrid homeschooling, or a week-long houseguest, there could always be an apparent or underlying water leak that needs attention and repair. First, check to make sure your water rates haven’t increased. Then, a bit of detective work could save you money and frustration if an untreated plumbing leak worsens. Check out the list below to make sure all of your home’s systems are continuing to function – leak free.
Check Your Water Meter
When no one is using any water in the home, your water meter’s flow indicator (needle rotating clockwise) will stop rotating. The leak indicator (small spinning rectangle or cog) measures the very slow flow of water. If the leak indicator continues to rotate when no one is using any water, it presumably indicates a leak. Write down the meter register number of gallons used and wait 10-20 minutes. If this number has increased, you may have a hidden water leak or running toilet.
Checking For Leaks
Shut off the valves to each of your plumbing fixtures one by one, and check the leak indicator and register number after each shutoff. If closing a valve stops the indicator from moving or slows even more, you have found a leak. Once the leak is repaired, use the indicator again to check for additional leaks.
- Running toilets can waste up to 200 gallons a day. Use the sound check method to hear for a sporadic or continual flushing noise, water dripping/draining or hissing noise. You can also add food coloring to the toilet tank & wait 20-30 minutes to check to see if dyed tank water is leaking into the toilet bowl.
- Leaky faucets & fixtures that leak about one drip per second can waste 5+ gallons a day. Simply do a visual check of your faucets, showerheads, washing machine, dishwasher and shut-off valves. Also, check the tub/shower plumbing behind the wall through your access panel. And, don’t forget to step outside and make sure your hose bibb & spigot aren’t leaking. If necessary, place a cup underneath the fixture and check back to see if any water has accumulated.
- While you are outside, check your irrigation system. A loose joint or line crack could allow water to leak even when the system is off. Check for pooling water or patches that are lusher than its surrounding.
- If you have a water softener, the system periodically backwashes with fresh water to regenerate. Your backwash valve can get stuck in the open position which causes water to be continuously wasted into the sewer system.
- HVAC malfunctioning – faulty furnace humidifiers, leaking water heater and boilers, disconnected ducts and incorrect thermostat connections or lack of maintenance can add to your water consumption.
- Compromised plumbing inside walls causing water damage. Check for visible puddles and/or wet carpet near a wall, mold and/or mildew, water spots or discoloration on walls/ceilings, peeling/bubbling paint or wallpaper, musty smells.
- Faulty water meter.
If you are experiencing any issues with any of your plumbing, please give us a call or click on the correct link below.
Iron ore is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. To extract the bits of iron in the ore, it is smelted. Smelting is the process of heating up the ore until the metal becomes spongy and the chemical compounds break down. The presence of iron in everyday life began in about 1200 BCE. Iron encompassed a wide variety of uses from farming implements to tools to weapons. Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range has one of the largest open pit mines in the world called the Hull Rust Mine in Hibbing. Iron ore has been mined there for over 125 years. Today, we use iron in multiple applications, and one of the most common is the formation of steel. Steel is made by mixing carbon and iron at very high temperatures (above 2600 degrees fahrenheit). Whereas, cast iron is formed by smelting iron ore, or melting pig iron (an intermediate product of iron ore extraction), and mixing it with scrap metals and other alloys. The liquid mixture is then poured into molds and allowed to cool and solidify. Look around you right now and notice all of the everyday items made from iron – your car parts, kitchen appliances, sinks, cutlery, washers and dryers, hammers and nails, magnets on your fridge and magnets in your smartphone and computers, work-out equipment, home decor, plumbing, and the list goes on.
One of my favorite items on that list are my cast iron pans. It holds its heat like no other pan, providing even cooking and perfect browning. I use it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We love to cook eggs, hash browns, frittatas, paninis, biscuits and cornbread and all the meats and vegetables. It’s so versatile and durable, it adds delicious and deep flavor, yet sometimes it’s so difficult and time consuming to clean. I still highly suggest investing in a good cast iron skillet or two, or cast iron bakeware, or both. Continue reading about the best way to care for, clean and season your cast iron cookware.
How to Clean Your Cast Iron Pan
1. Clean your cast iron skillet after each use
Use a paper towel to wipe the interior surface of excess food and oil when the skillet is still warm. Rinse under hot running water, scrubbing with a non-metal brush or non-abrasive scrub pad. Use a small amount of mild soap, if preferred. If this method isn’t cleaning the pan well enough, fill halfway with water and return it to the stovetop. Let the water boil long enough so it begins to release the stubborn, caked-on food bits, discard water, let cool enough to handle & repeat the previous steps. You can also try an oil and salt mixture to achieve a semi-abrasive paste. There are a few products out there that are specifically made for cast iron applications like scouring and stainless steel pads, brushes, pot scrapers, soaps and salts.
2. Lightly oil after each cleaning
Make sure your pan is thoroughly dried with a soft dishcloth. Over medium-low heat, allow all traces of moisture to evaporate. Add ½ teaspoon vegetable or canola oil (for a medium sized pan) and use a paper towel to lightly coat the entire interior surface. Continue to wipe the surface with the oiled paper towel until it looks dark and smooth and no oil residue remains. Let the pan cool completely and store. I prefer storing my skillet covered with a tight fitting lid.
If your pan is in need of some extra TLC because it’s looking a bit blotchy or it’s just time to re-season, use one of the methods below to bring your cast iron back to life. If you regularly wash your pan, with or without soap, I suggest seasoning your pan on maintenance a couple times a year. It will prolong the life and prevent sticking, rusting and residue issues.
How to Season Your Cast Iron Pan
Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Using paper towels dipped in 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil and held with tongs to prevent skin burns, wipe the surface until the oil smokes (turn on the vent hood fan & maybe open the windows!) and there is no remaining oil residue. Repeat this step 3-5 times, making sure the oil smokes and letting the skillet cool slightly after each application.
Heat oven to 500 degrees. Using paper towels, rub vegetable or canola oil over the entire surface. Use 1 tablespoon for a medium size pan and 2 tablespoons for a large pan. Using a clean paper towel, wipe away all of the excess oil. Place the pan in the oven for one hour. Using potholders, remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool completely. If you have a cast iron pan with an enameled bottom, handle and sides, only coat the inside exposed cast iron with oil.
I hope you enjoyed reading this entry that isn’t all about plumbing and drain cleaning. As always, keep in mind that any appliance or household system, no matter how large or small, requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it functioning at its best.
While most of us are anticipating the spring thaw and appreciate the change of seasons in Minnesota, the weather undoubtedly has an impact on our homes’ exterior features. Maintaining each of these items is essential for your home to function properly. And, even if you don’t end up putting in the work, it’s a great excuse to get outside after a cold and snowy winter. Check out this short list of suggestions, take a walk around your property to assess any major or minor repairs and projects… and, as always, contact Ken’s Sewer Service for all of your plumbing and drain cleaning needs.
Main Line Preventative Maintenance
So, for this one you don’t exactly need to go outside. When the snow melts and the ground temperature is above freezing, tree root growth becomes active again. This means it’s possible for the roots on the move to grow into your main sewer line. Roots trap all sorts of debris that slows the water flow and potentially could cause the line to fully back-up. Don’t get stuck in an emergency back-up situation that could cause your basement to flood with sewage and/or toilet and tub clogged. I always suggest being proactive and having a scheduled annual main sewer and drain line cleaning.
Outside Water Line
Typically, each home has at least one exterior spigot. Test to make sure there are no leaks or cracks. Consider replacing your sillcock faucet if there are any issues.
Roof and Gutter Inspection/Cleaning
Harsh winter storms can cause damage to all types of roofing material. If even one or two shingles are missing or damaged, spring and summer storms only exacerbate the issue, potentially causing interior damage from leaks. Make sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts. Leaves, sticks and dirt can clog the gutters causing roof leaks and water damage both inside and outside of your home. Clogged gutters and downspouts also attract rodents, insects and mold. Reattach sagging gutters, caulk any holes, or consider replacement if they are beyond repair. Also, make sure to clear debris out of the egress window wells.
Air Conditioning Unit
Remove debris from around the unit, replace filters and clean ducts and vents. If your filters are clogged, air won’t pass as easily through and your unit must work harder to cool your home. Clogged filters can lead to lower air quality. These steps may be able to lower your energy consumption and prolong the life of your air conditioning unit. A yearly tune-up is always recommended as well.
Inspect wood decking, railings, stairs for repairs and resealing, not only for safety but for maintaining the longevity of your deck; inspect wood fencing for damaged or loose panels and boards.
Exterior Siding / Materials
Walk around to make sure there are no holes or gaps in your siding, cracks in stucco or crumbling brick. A visual inspection of your chimney for the same potential damage is also a good idea.
Please give us a call or click on the correct link below to schedule all of your plumbing and drain cleaning needs. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Whether you’re a self-diagnosed germaphobe or not, this topic is kinda gross and experiencing an unfortunate situation like below can be even grosser. Not only is a major sewer line back-up a head-ache to deal with while it’s happening, the after affects and clean-up could also be risky to your health and safety. I hope this gives a bit more insight into what you may actually be dealing with and that there are services and products to help restore your contaminated water damaged areas.
An antimicrobial agent is designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms and especially pathogenic microorganisms. Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, protozoans and fungi such as mold and mildew. There are three types of public health antimicrobials: Sanitizers, Disinfectants and Sterilizers.
When a main sewer line, toilets and bathtubs back-up, they can leave a small or large amount of sewage or blackwater on your surfaces. Blackwater is the most dangerous type of contaminated water and may contain any of these microorganisms. In any of these situations, we always recommend that our clientele contact a restoration service. A restoration service will assess your situation and damage, and will offer a specific mitigation plan based on the severity of damage. This could include, but not limited to, water extraction, drying, cleaning, sanitizing, deodorizing. If necessary, some companies offer antimicrobial applications, which are possible to apply to a variety of surfaces, including unfinished concrete basement floors.
If you experience a back-up on any of your exposed surfaces that you can come into contact with, it’s always a good idea to reach out to a restoration company for their expertise in mitigating these microorganisms. It’s possible you may have a contaminated surface that you don’t realize, and as you walk on it and move around the house, it’s being tracked along with your steps and/or in the air when microorganisms are disturbed. These microorganisms are not always visible by the naked eye, so use a professional to assess ‘the mess’.
If you are in need of a restoration company referral, please reach out to us today and we will put you in contact with a trusted affiliate.
Maintaining proper cleaning and regular maintenance of your drains is an essential and crucial aspect to keep your home’s plumbing system working well. By understanding a little bit more about your main sewer line and drain line plumbing, how they can easily become clogged or compromised, you may be able to notice the first signs that you either have a stack pipe, floor drain issue, main sewer line issue, or a combination before an emergency back-up occurs.
Anywhere water runs throughout your home, it exits down an internal and vertical wastewater drain pipe or stack/vent pipe that connects to your main sewer line. Each bathroom tub/shower, sink, toilet, kitchen sink, dishwasher and laundry tub/sink has a horizontal pipe that connects to a vertical stack pipe. All types of debris such as hair, food, grease, sanitary products, lint, or the occasional kid’s toy that has been flushed away can cause a clog in any part of these drain lines. If your drains are slow or your toilet starts gurgling or doesn’t flush completely, a clog is most likely the culprit.
The floor drain is located at the lowest point on your basement floor, and the drain line runs underneath your basement floor and connects directly to your main sewer line. Your floor drain is a plumbing fixture designed to remove possible standing water from heavy rain, condensation from an HVAC unit or leaking water heater. It typically consists of a drain grate/cover. Make sure to keep this cover clean of any debris.
The wastewater drain pipe (stack pipe) and the floor drain both connect directly to your mainline, which is your home’s main sewer line that runs underground and connects to the city’s main sewer system. All wastewater eventually makes its way through your mainline and out to the city connection.
It’s always recommended that a homeowner locates what is called the ‘sewer cleanout’. A clean-out is an accessible opening or cap in your home’s sewer line, which allows for maintenance of your private sewer system. Clean-outs are often found in the basement on the floor, on the sewer stack or outside the home along the private sewer’s lateral plumbing. If you don’t have a main sewer line clean-out, it’s possible that maintenance can still be achieved, but it may need to be accessed through temporarily removing your basement toilet. The toilet clean-out involves more time, work and snaking line. In most cases, a main clean-out can be retrofitted to your existing main line for future ease and accessibility.
Clog prevention tips:
- Use a hair and soap scum catcher for your bathtub/shower; brush your hair and dispose of it in the trash before you wash it; if you bathe your pet, put a washcloth down over the tub/shower drain to collect hair. Also, don’t wash hair down the bathroom sink.
- Only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Don’t flush any type of wipe or personal sanitary products (even if they are labeled as ‘flushable’), only dispose of these in the garbage. Don’t flush hair, dental floss or any other stringy or dense/bulky materials.
- Never dispose of food, coffee grounds or grease in the kitchen sink.
- Keep a disposable lint trap over your washing machine hose.
If you’re in need of a main line or drain line cleaning from a clog or back-up, or would like to schedule a preventative maintenance cleaning to keep all of your plumbing working it’s best, give Ken’s Sewer a call or click on appropriate link below to schedule any of our drain cleaning and plumbing services.