How to Prevent Your Pipes from Bursting (Video)

 Low temperatures greatly increase the risk of water a pipe bursting. Broken pipes caused by cold weather can cause significant property damage. Always protect your pipes, especially in unheated interior spaces like basements and attics. Interior water damage can cost you thousands of dollars to repair after the fact. For the best protection and peace of mind, apply the following tips to defeat the cold. Investigate Pipe Insulation Options: Pipe Insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at the hardware store Keep Garage Doors Closed: Keeping the cold away from water supply lines in the garage helps to protect pipes. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors: This allows warm air to circulate and around the plumbing. Let the cold water drip from a faucet: Even a trickle of water through the tap can prevent cold pipes from freezing solid. Keep the thermostat set at a fixed temperature: Avoid turning the thermostat down at night even if it saves you a few bucks. Add insulation in the long term: Insulating attics, basements, and crawl spaces help maintain a safe temperature for pipes. If you have frozen or busted pipes, make sure to: Turn on the faucet Apply heat until the full water pressure is restored. Remember that an extra expense or effort often outweighs a hefty repair bill. For more information on protecting or repairing pipes, call the experts at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview,...
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Pros and Cons of a Gas Pool Heater

In-ground pools are an amazingly convenient and beneficial investment, as long as they are well functioning and usable. A natural gas-powered heater is one of the most common and potentially profitable pool features worth investigating. The water temperature of your pool can significantly drop during the winter months, or even cold evenings. Unless you are keen on swimming in brisk water, a heater may be worth investigating. Like any major investment, installing an in-ground gas-powered pool heater certainly presents a range of pros and cons that you should be fully aware of before making a decision. Rapid Heating: Natural gas pool heaters are significantly more powerful than electric or solar pump heaters. If you want your pool to heat up as quickly as possible, natural-gas heaters are the best and most efficient option. Rapid heating is especially handy if you don’t use your pool regularly. Not to mention the freedom it allows when welcoming guests or throwing an unplanned pool party, independent of weather and climate conditions. Purchase Price: Purchasing and installing a natural gas-powered pool heater can be less expensive than competing electric, solar, or heat pumps. That said, gas heaters come in a wide variety of sizes and models that can cost anywhere from $900 to $2500. Electric and solar pumps can reach much higher prices, running anywhere from $2000 to $4000. Be that as it may, depending on the use, operational costs linked with gas-powered pumps can make them less cost-effective in the long run. Energy Cost: It’s essential to assess and consider all costs, including the price of running a gas-powered heater compared to other industry alternatives. Natural gas heaters are generally more expensive to operate, however, this depends on the fluctuating market price of electricity, compared to gas at the moment. Solar heat is certainly the most energy-efficient option, next to heat pumps which, utilize existing warm air to heat the water. Lifespan: Natural gas heaters are durable, however, in the long run, they tend to accumulate more wear and tear than other heating options. They typically last five or more years, requiring some minor maintenance along the way. That said, the lifespan of a gas heater depends on average use, weather conditions, and the desired temperature of the water inside your pool. Heat pumps and electric pumps tend to last 8-10 years, while solar can last up to 20 years in comparison. Hopefully,...
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Must Haves for Every Outdoor Kitchen in Longview, TX

 As you may already know, outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular. However, choosing what features to install and where isn’t always easy. From grills to sinks to outdoor seating, there is no shortage of decisions to make. If you’re interested in redesigning your backyard space, Or installing a new outdoor kitchen, the following tips and tricks should come in handy. First, plan the different zones of the kitchen. Cold areas, hot areas,  wet areas, and dry areas should work and fit together.  Consider potential exposure to the elements. Select materials and equipment designed to withstand the outdoor elements. Create a kitchen layout with access to essential utilities.  Keep in mind access to the necessary gas, water, and electrical hookups. Carefully consider the overall aesthetic design. An outdoor kitchen should complement the home’s architecture and landscape. Decide on a functional and connected kitchen layout. Avoid isolating the cooking, lounging, and serving areas from each other. Create a comfortable outdoor entertaining area. If your budget allows for it, install heaters, shade, and rain shelter. Plan for outdoor entertainment features. Plan to install speakers or a multimedia system beforehand. Lastly, factor the use of light into the design. At the end of the day, remember to make the project personal. Understanding your needs, the available budget, and equipment is crucial. For more information or a plumbing estimate, contact Bird Dog Plumbing...
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Is It Better to Have One or Two Sinks in the Bathroom?

Whether you are designing a new bathroom from the ground up or remodeling an existing space, it’s essential to consider what style and size of vanity best fit your needs. With an expansive array of available vanity designs, it can be difficult to determine the most suitable and affordable option for you. The key to installing the most functional and visually appealing centerpiece in your bathroom often depends on your preference of sink style, and the amount of storage space/countertop surface area you need. With that in mind, the following guide should help to highlight the important pros and cons to consider when installing a bathroom vanity. With more than 13 years of professional plumbing experience, the Bird Dog Plumbing experts know a thing or two about bathroom remodels. A single sink bathroom vanity includes a cabinet and sink, normally extending anywhere from 16 to 70 inches in length. Single vanity sinks come in both freestanding and mounted styles. They are normally easier to install, fit nicely in small bathrooms, and provide ample storage space. On top of that, installing a single sink and faucet lowers the overall cost of the project. On the other hand, installing a single vanity limits the amount of available sink and counter space for more than one person. Sharing a master bathroom sink can be awkward and bothersome for all parties, even with enough storage space underneath. A double bathroom vanity includes two sinks installed into one larger cabinet. Having two sinks means that more than one person is capable of using the bathroom at the same time. The ability to use your sink and counter space whenever you want is hugely beneficial, especially during busy hours in the morning and at night. Not to mention, two sinks, more counter space, and cabinet storage significantly help to eliminate overall bathroom clutter. On the other hand, a double vanity may increase the price of remodeling and take up more physical space, which may make the bathroom feel cramped and small. Before you make a final decision, keep the following things in mind. Scale: Just because your bathroom space allows you to install a double vanity doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Make sure to choose a vanity that will complement the bathroom layout, not overwhelm and crowd the space. Remember to leave enough room to move around with ease. Cost: Be sure to establish...
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The Advantages of Having a Laundry Room Sink

s a homeowner, it’s common to assess the value and utility of different features within your home. The bulk of homes include or accommodate installing features like washers, dryers, bathtubs, and showers. When it comes to the laundry room, however, the advantage of installing a utility sink depends on your personal preferences and particular situation. At Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX, we’ve seen all kinds. For some people, installing a utility sink in the laundry room is a no-brainer. However, many others are unaware of the potential benefits that adding a utility sink can offer.   If you plan to renovate or upgrade the laundry room in your Longview, TX home, consider the following advantages of adding a utility sink before you begin the project.  Trapping Lint and Hair. The ability to drain your washing machine directly into the laundry room sink helps to filter out hair, fabric, and lint. Laundry sinks may be equipped with wide sink strainers which are designed to catch hair and lint that otherwise accumulate in the sewer line, potentially creating flow issues. If adding a laundry sink to your home in Longview, a professional plumber can advise on whether a wide sink strainer is recommended for your system. Pre-soaking & Hand-Washing. A laundry room sink affords a space to soak particularly stained or dirty clothes that require special attention and care. It additionally provides a convenient location to hand-wash delicate clothing items. Using buckets of water, small sinks, or bathtubs can be a painfully time-consuming alternative compared to a utility sink. Washing Pets. Many pet owners know that bathing their pets in the bathtub can be a difficult and messy task. Washing your pet in the bathroom often requires not only cleaning your pet but the bathroom area as a whole. The difference with a laundry room sink is it doesn’t need to be spotless all the time. It can quickly be wiped down and cleaned when needed.  Houseplant Care. Houseplants often require frequent watering and cleaning, the same way they would outdoors. The laundry room sink is an ideal space to temporarily store, water, and care for your indoor plants. In a utility sink, you don’t need to worry about plant debris or dirt, like you would when using the bathtub to water plants.  DIY projects. At-home art and DIY projects like dying or bleaching clothes can be unpredictably messy and damaging. Even...
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The Do’s and Don’ts of a Bathroom Remodel

A professionally remodeled bathroom can be a luxurious addition to any home. The process, however, can be painstakingly expensive and timely if done incorrectly.  When the time comes to start a dream bathroom remodel, make sure to contact the experts at Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX. Until that time, consider the following Do’s and Don’ts of bathroom renovations: Have a Realistic Budget. The bathroom is a significant and frequently used space, so before planning a major renovation, establish a budget. Establish a firm and mutual understanding of the costs associated with installing items like a new shower or toilet. In certain cases, establish a budget for unexpected repairs and potentially unnoticed water damage. An experienced Bird Dog plumbing specialist will do their best to explore the area and provide an accurate quote or estimation of the associated costs. Choose the right toilet. If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with the different brands and models of toilets. There are plenty of different brands and toilet types which offer different levels of water consumption and performance. Some of the best residential toilet brands on the market include TOTO, Kohler, and American Standard. After deciding on a suitable brand and model of toilet, consider its placement. It’s never a bad idea to partially conceal the fixture behind a half wall or piece of furniture. Decide on the best surfaces for space. Carefully ponder your choice of tile, countertop, sink, and flooring. Consider the price, color, size, and durability of the material, whether that be marble, granite, quartz, porcelain, or natural stone. Decide on the most sensible material that best suits your interests and needs. Don’t skimp on the shower. The shower is an essential part of the bathroom space. Depending on the size of the area, determine the right number and style of showerheads you want to install. Try your best to align the fixture finish to the color or style of the bathroom as a whole. The decisions you make here will be significant and long-lasting, so go all out. Think about water efficiency. In recent years, toilets, showerheads, and sinks have all become increasingly water-efficient. To save money in the long run, research and install the best low-flow appliances. Replacing older, inefficient toilets, showerheads, and sinks can save thousands of gallons of water and more than hundreds of dollars per year. Of course, this is not a complete list....
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