I saw my neighbor outside yesterday with a normal garden hose and what looked like a weed killer sprayer.   Curious, I asked her what was going on.  She said she was going to "clean" her air conditioner. I  walked away more confused than I was before.  Is this something that needs to be done?  How do I do it?  Why do I need to clean something that does not seem to have dirt on it?  Please help!

Cleaning your outside air conditioner (Condensing Unit Coil) once a year will save you money, and make your house cooler at the same time!   Most people do not realize the unit needs to be cleaned, or how simple the task is.  When a condenser coil is dirty, the dirt prevents the coil from releasing the heat that it has removed from your home.  Imagine sitting in the sun on a 95 degree day wrapped in a thermal blanket.  The blanket will keep the heat trapped around your body, and not allow you to sweat and relieve the heat.  The same is true with a dirty coil on your condenser, the dirt acts as a blanket that blocks the heat from leaving the coil.  So what do we do?

 ITEM ID: CAM 22873As you already know, the first two things you need are a garden hose and a sprayer.  We sell both items in a professional grade here at BR Supply (CAM 22873) and (WAL 128430).   Before you begin, you must first turn off the electrical breaker at your unit.  Water and electricity do not mix!   Once you have the sprayer and water, you need to get the cleanser, which does mix with water!  We sell several different types of coil cleaner at BR Supply.   The most popular is the DIV Pro-BlueITEM ID: DIV PRO-BLUE

 

This cleaner is acid based and foams as it cleans your coil.  Follow the directions on the cleaner and mix the chemical with water.  Next, spray the coil with clean water from your hose to get rid of obvious loose debris.  After the initial water spray, use your garden sprayer to soak the coil with the coil cleaner mixture.  Leave the coil cleaner on the unit for 15 minutes to allow the foam to penetrate and clean inside the coil.  Lastly, rinse the coil off again to remove all the dirt from the inside of the coil. 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Other popular coil cleaners we stock include: DIV Pro-Green (a rinse free cleaner that is not acidic), DIV Pro-Kleen (a stronger, high-acid based cleaner).   For smaller ITEM ID: DIV 358-20units and window hung Air Conditioners, we advise you use the aerosol based DIV 358-20, which is 19 oz. and does not require mixing.  Once the coils are clean, turn back power to the unit and prepare to have a more efficient and better performing unit.

As always, if you have any questions, call or stop by your nearest BR Supply store.  Click the "Locations" tab to find the store closest to you.

 

My toilet will not stop running.  I jiggled the handle, lifted up on the ball floating thing, adjusted the chain, and cleaned the sludge off of the flapper thing.  Nothing works!  It still keeps running.  Do I need a new toilet? Can I fix it myself?  Please help!

 

The running toilet is a problem that every homeowner will experience at some point in their lives.  Over time, the plastic, rubber and metal parts that are constantly immersed in a toilet tank will fail and deteriorate.  Depending on the age of the toilet, and the height, it may be time to buy a new HydraPro Comfort Height commode for $99.  This will include the tank, bowl and seat.  This will solve all the problems, and give you a more comfortable 17 inch throne to reign upon. 

ITEM ID: HydraPro Toilet

 

 

Fortunately, you can also just replace the parts inside the tank for a quick and inexpensive fix as well.

 

 

     ITEM ID:  KOR 50BPThe most common reason for a leaky toilet is a worn out flapper.  Korky makes several different flapper and balls, depending on whether you have a 2 inch or 3 inch throat in your commode trap.  Most of these flappers are universal and simple to change.  BR Supply stocks most of the common flappers and should be able to order any other flapper you may need   When changing your flapper, make sure to turn off the water supply and drain all the water our of the tank.  Then, remove the faulty flapper.  At this point, take fine grade sandpaper and work it around the throat of the flush valve assembly.  This will assure a tight seal and removal of built up sludge when you attach the new flapper.  Next, attach the new flapper and turn on the water supply.

   

 

 If this does not fix your problem, it could be the fill valve is faulty.  We stock a few different fill valves, including the most popular Fluidmaster 400A.  Fluidmaster also provides handles, gaskets, bolts and full flush valve assemblies.  Fluidmaster has everything you need for 2 inch and 3 inch throat commodes.  The handle on your commode is also easily replaced, and can be done to fix a problem, or just to refresh the look of your bathroom.  

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 As always, if you can bring the part in with you to any of our 12 BR Supply stores, or take a picture on your cell phone, it will help us to diagnose and solve your problem with the correct part.  A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water in a 24 hour span. This is paid for by you in your water bill, and is a waste of precious clean water.  Take the time and repair your problem today.

What tips can you provide to help get my house winterized?

 

There are two stages to winterizing your home safely and securely. 

1)  The first area that must be addressed is the outside of your home. Identify the main emergency shutoff valve for all water entering your house.  Whether it is at the well house, or at the street, or in your basement, all members of your family should know where this valve is and how to shut it off.  You may need a street key to turn the water off at the street (JON M25-536).ITEM ID:  JON M25-536

Next, go around your house and visually inspect.  Are there any cracks or bends in your siding?  Do you see daylight between some bricks?  Are all foundation or exterior vents sealed and closed?  Don't just walk around, look and identify your problems.ITEM ID:  JON M25-536

 

One problem almost always missed is your hose and hydrant connections.  ALL HOSES MUST BE REMOVED FROM OUTSIDE WALL HYDRANTS.  If a hose is attached, the water can freeze inside the fixture and cause damage to your home and the hydrant.  Remove the hose and attach a Hydrant Cover (WAL 686042) to keep your home safe.

ITEM ID:  WAL 686042

2)  The second step to winterizing your home is to look at the inside of your residence.  If you have pipes that are located in an unheated garage, crawl space under your house, or near a less insulated area in your home, take the time to insulate those pipes and faucets. We have several tapes, insulation kits and pipe insulation that can be used.

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Lastly, when the cold weather arrives and days of freezing are predicted, its time to keep water dripping from your faucets and keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets open to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. 

Pay attention to your home and you should not have a problem keeping her warm and safe.

 

 

 

Our lavatory sink drain is constantly running slow.  My wife and daughters brush their hair over the sink, and also use hair care products that get washed into the drain.  I use LIQUID-PLUMR, but it never fully clears the mess.  Any Suggestions?

 

You are not alone with your slow drain issues.  Over time, all drains in your home will become clogged with grease, hair, food residue, and other slime.  LIQUID-PLUMR can not resolve or dissolve these issues, it takes something stronger. 

TRFSP32

 

 

THRIFT is the professional plumber's secret.  Hot water activates THRIFT's dry, odorless crystals.  THRIFT liquefies hair, grease, and all slime stuck to the side of the drain so that within 60 seconds the drain is clear.  THRIFT is so potent, you can actually hear the sizzle of the residue being burned inside your drains as it works. 

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Because it is so potent, we advise that you wear rubber gloves when using THRIFT and make sure your room is well ventilated.  THRIFT is also a great way to maintain drains that are not yet running slow, and provides a great benefit for grease traps and septic systems.  THRIFT Crystals are stocked at all of our locations in three sizes; 1 pound, 2 pound, and 6 pound.  THRIFT is also available in a liquid state in one quart bottles.  Try THRIFT, you will not be disappointed or clogged!

 

My electric bill just arrived, and it's up 35% over last year! What can I do to help my house become more energy efficient in the winter?

 

Depending on how cold the temperatures go, your electric and gas bills can skyrocket!   If a long cold snap settles in for a two week stay, your monthly bill could jump even higher than 35%.  There are a few things you can do to help.

boss 333 foamFirst, seal up all the possible openings you may have throughout your home with Boss 333 Foam Expanding Sealant.  Cold air coming in makes your heating system work harder, increasing your bills and lowering your ambient temperature.  

Second, change your air filters.  If your system is running more frequently in the winter, the filters become clogged and reduce the airflow and efficiency of the system. 

ITEM ID:  FIL 20201

Changing your filters will provide you with more airflow, cleaner air, and lower energy bills.

Lastly, consider buying a new thermostat.  Getting a programmable, or even better, a WiFi-enabled smart thermostat, will automatically lower the heat when you're asleep or away from your home.  This can save you a tremendous amount on your energy bills.  Even changing your older thermostat to a new digital non-programmable thermostat by Pro1 can help you keep the energy bills lower.

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Do not forget to keep all doors and windows shut and sealed when not in use.  You would be surprised how much money can be lost by leaving the door open while talking to a friend, or opening the window for some fresh air and forgetting that it's open when you leave the room. 

Follow these tips and you will see your energy bill drop again soon.