RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

How to Prevent Flooding from an Appliance Failure

July 22, 2015 1:18 am

According to Roto-Rooter Plumbing and Drain Service experts, accidental flooding in the home is typically caused by an appliance or plumbing failure, not the weather. If flooding occurs when no one is home – or worse, when occupants are on vacation – the results can be catastrophic. Most incidents can easily cost the average homeowner more than $5,000 in repairs!

To prevent accidental flooding caused by appliance or plumbing failure, conduct a thorough inspection of the:

Basement Sump Pump
– Once a month, ensure the sump pump is free of debris and discharging water properly. To test the system, pour a few buckets of water into your sump pit. In a matter of seconds, the pump should discharge the water and shut off by itself. If your sump pump operates frequently, consider installing a battery back-up that will operate in the event of a power outage.

Washing Machine Hose – Many homeowners leave washing machine water supply lines turned on, so if a hose bursts, water can discharge at up to 500 gallons per hour. If you’re machine hoses are more than five years old, replace them with stronger, steel-braided hoses, which last twice as long.

Ice Maker Water Line
– Ice maker water lines usually fail because the refrigerator was moved and the line was pinched. Vibration can also damage a water line over time. Inspect lines once a year to ensure the water line is unobstructed. Additionally, consider replacing plastic or copper lines with steel-braided lines, which cost about $10.

Dishwasher Water Supply Line – A dishwasher’s water supply line usually leads from your kitchen sink’s supply faucets beneath the sink. The dishwasher drain hose also runs between the appliance and the sink or disposal. Inspect the line twice a year for signs of wear and tear or evidence of a leak.

Water Heater
– Whether failing slowly or suddenly, water heaters are known to rupture. Inspect the tank and all plumbing fittings twice a year, keeping in mind that life expectancy averages 11 years. Check on your water heater more often if it is more than eight years old.

After inspecting, place battery-operated flood alarms (which retail for about $15 each) on the floor near each of these appliances. If water is present, the alarm will sound and allow you time to act sooner. Automatic shut-off valves with their own audible alarms (which retail for about $100 each) can also save thousands in flood cleanup costs. For the best outcome, have a plumber install valves produced by the appliance manufacturer.

Source: Roto-Rooter

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Don't Get Taken to the Cleaners by Your House Cleaner

July 22, 2015 1:18 am

The home cleaning industry is rife with companies that outsource work to contract laborers in an effort to control expenses and maximize shareholder earnings. This type of business model puts the homeowner at risk. Why?

Home cleaning companies using contract labor do not have to provide workers compensation. While it assumed the contractor maintains his or her own policies, many gamble against the odds of injury on the job.

“In the unfortunate event that injury does occur, contract cleaning workers may seek (and get) medical reimbursement from the owners of the home they were cleaning when the injury took place,” says Maid Brigade President Bart Puett.

Homeowners may also be liable for Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes and penalties for the contract workers who do not make accurate and timely payments to the IRS themselves. Since the contract worker is not employed by the housecleaning company that dispatched them, the IRS may deem that the homeowner is the employer of that cleaner, and therefore responsible for these taxes.

Though the risk of finding a surprise tax bill in the mailbox is slim for most homeowners who hire cleaning help, it is best not to take chances.

When hiring a cleaning company, do your homework. “Homeowners should do their due diligence before hiring a house cleaner or professional cleaning service,” says Ernie Hartong, CEO of the Association for Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI). “To avoid the pitfalls that can occur when someone is working in your home, ask to see a copy of the company's business license and insurance policy before hiring. A professional company should gladly provide these to any consumer who asks."

Source: Maid Brigade

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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