What are some tips for prepping my home for fall and winter?  Thanks!

  • * Check outlets for loose plugs, which can overheat and cause a fire.
  • * If you are frequently resetting circuit breakers, have the circuit inspected by a professional.
  • * Make sure electrical cords are in good condition. Never use tape to fix a damaged electrical cord; instead, you need to replace it.ITEM ID: WAL 714852
  • * Don’t overuse extension cords as they were never meant to be a permanent solution. If you have one or more in continuous use, now’s the perfect time to have more outlets installed.

 

 

 

ITEM ID:  FIR FG250B* Check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms and put in fresh batteries. These are very important detectors to have in a home. A smoke alarm can save lives in a house fire. A carbon monoxide detector can also save lives if a home has oil or gas-burning appliances, like a furnace or water heater.

Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

ITEM ID: WAL 686042

* Check your outside pipes - Before the weather gets too crazy outside, take a little time to check your outside pipes for any leaks or drips. Disconnect and drain those exterior hoses and store them in a safe area away from freezing temperatures. If hoses are left on, you run the risk of them freezing and expanding, which in turn can lead to damaged interior pipes. You should also add a frost protector to any outdoor fixtures following that.

  • * Garbage Disposals - With all those big holiday meals, our garbage disposals get a lot of extra use throughout the season. No one wants to end up with a clogged sink due to a poorly functioning garbage disposal. Do yourself a favor this season and get a professional to inspect your system sooner than later. This will also allow you to perform upgrades if necessary before the family arrives!

Question:  School is back in session for my three amazing children.  Our entire house is trying to get back into a routine. Could you offer some "Back to School" tips to help us streamline? Thanks so much!

Answer:   I appreciate your desire to improve the operation of your home, and as always, I'm glad to help.  Showering and bathroom time is usually the hardest battle to face.  My first tip is to check that your bath fan is working correctly.  Over the years, a bath fan will slowly become less effective.  Check yours, and replace if needed.  We sell several different vent fans from Broan, and can order dozens more if you do not find one in our stock.   Broan 688

 

 

 

 

While changing out the bath fan, you might want to upgrade your wall switch as well.  The Leviton 5601-2 is a fresh, easy to clean, and modern switch that is available in white and other colors.  Your new switch and fan will make your bathroom feel like a spa instead of a water closet.

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 School also means more technology and less charge for your many devices.  Now is the perfect time to install a brand new duplex USB charger and tamper resistant outlet. (Leviton T5632-W).  This amazing outlet replaces any existing wall outlet and gives you not only two tamper proof 110v receptacles, but two 110v USB ports ready to charge phones, tablets, or computers.  Change several around the house, and be ready to charge anywhere you need it!  Good Luck with these changes, and have a wonderful school year!

LEVT5632 W

 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is here! Is your plumbing ready?

Here are some tips for keeping your plumbing in great shape this summer:

Whether your summer fun involves sand and surf, hiking trails or ATVs, it’s a good bet that it comes with an extra dose of dirt at the end of the day. When you're washing up after your adventures, make sure you keep the worst of it out of your drains. They weren't designed to handle large amounts of sand, gravel and mud, and could become clogged or damaged.

  • Playing outside means more dirty clothes. Make sure you check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks, and cracks.
    • Be sure to clean out your dryer lint regularly.
    • Finally keep in mind that your washing machine hoses should be replaced about every 3 years!ITEM ID:  JON J04-005
  • Make sure your washing machine has plenty of space around it.
    • Move it about 4 inches from the wall to prevent hose kinking and damage, and don’t leave your home when your machine is running.
  • Also check your ductwork for condensation. This can cause a backup if the drains are not clear. Leaks in seams can also cause condensation.
  • BBQs in the summer can mean lots of food that could end up in your disposal.
    • Be careful what you put down your kitchen disposal after your cookout. Most are not equipped to handle celery, cornhusks, banana peels and other 
    • ITEM ID:  INS BADGER5fibrous or “stringy” foods. Other items to stay away from are fats or cooking oils because they can form clogs in the pipes.
    • Make sure you run cold water at full pressure for 15 seconds before and after you put anything down the disposal to flush it.
    • And NEVER put instant stuffing, potato mixes or similar “just-add-water” foods down the drain. They’ll create an instant clog when you add water.
  • Summer also means TRAVEL!
    • A great way to save money and energy while on your vacation is to turn down the temperature of your water heater and turn up the temperature of your refrigerator.
      • But if you do turn down your refrigerator, make sure you remove highly perishable foods like dairy, produce and meat first.
  • Heavy summer rainfall can overwhelm your gutters and other drainage. If basement flooding is a problem in your home, install a sump pump to collect and dispel the water that collects.
  • ITEM ID:  MYE S33V1

 

  • As it goes every season the best defense to ensuring your plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule annual maintenance inspections, and keep on top of your systems before it’s too late, or when you need them most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.