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Thermohydraulics

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Most of us would probably point to a bathroom or frequently used outside entrance if asked to name the dirtiest area of the house—but dirt lurks in some unexpected places. Here’s what to tackle during your next cleaning session.

The inspiration for this column came from two different friends of mine who live in Los Angeles but who don’t know each other. Yet they do know I'm a master plumber, and so each got in touch with an interesting tidbit on a favorite topic: drains.

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Over the weekend I got Steve out of a big jam. He lives near Pittsburgh, and his wife decided it was time to tear out an outdated platform bathtub. She wanted a new sleek soaking tub shaped like an elongated giant vessel sink. I must admit, they look amazing; I installed one in my daughter’s new home two years ago. They’re also very comfortable.

The bathroom is one area of the home that you shouldn’t put off cleaning. Unlike living areas or bedrooms, bathrooms are exposed to much more than everyday dirt or dust and the occasional spill. Surfaces like sinks, toilets, bathtubs and shower fixtures can collect bacteria, hard-water deposits, mold or mildew, soap scum and other gross buildup over time, so it’s crucial to stay on top of regular bathroom cleaning.

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Once you’ve experienced the trauma of frozen water pipes, you take extremely cold weather and your home’s vulnerability more seriously. The low temperature freezes the water inside the pipes. The pipes can then burst, causing extensive damage. Take some precautions to prepare for water pipes freezing and avoid waking up on a cold morning and turning on the faucet to find no water coming out.

We have the uncanny ability to find our bathtub drain clogged before we have a busy day and not much free time. Our solution to unclog the drain works sometimes, but not always. Most clogs in a tub drain occur from a buildup of hair in the drain; the choice is unclog it yourself or call for help.

The trend in remodeling continues, reports the recent Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) from Harvard’s Remodeling Futures Program. Any upgrade even replacing a bathroom faucet won’t go unnoticed if you decide to sell your home, so don’t hesitate to make the upgrade and enjoy using it.

Toilets are a pretty important part of your life is my guess. They may appear simple to you, but in reality, they’ re quite complex. I’ m going to try to demystify the porcelain pedestal in an effort to minimize problems you might have with one in the future.

TikTok creator @jessicahaizman shows you an easier way to clean calcium, lime, and mildew out of your shower head and sink by putting a vinegar filled bag over the opening of each. Letting it soak before you scrub saves you a ton of effort.

TikTok creator @shaynateresetaylor uses a natural method to get rid of weird odors in the kitchen sink. First, fill the sink with baking soda and let it sit. Then pour in some distilled white vinegar. The reaction will break down old grime and food particles for a deep clean without scrubbing.

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In general, grass needs 1 to 2 inches of water a week for a healthy root system. Keep an eye on the daily temperature and make sure you water the grass before the first frost. This will strengthen the grass and protect it from cold damage.

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The average gasoline price jumped six cents to $2.96 over the past week, and it's expected to continue climbing because of the pipeline closur…

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