Posts by Sean Riviera

Replace Your Water Heater’s Element Yourself With These Simple Steps

If your home’s electric water heater has stopped generating hot water, then it is very likely that its heating element has stopped working. Heating element replacement is something that you can do yourself with some easy-to-use tools and some simple-to-follow instructions.

Before you start on this project, first gather the following tools and materials:

  • a garden hose

  • an appropriately sized ratchet and socket

  • replacement heating element(s)

Your water heater’s element looks like a hexagonal bolt that protrudes out from the side of the hot water tank. The socket you use to remove the element needs to fit snugly over its protruding end. Your water heater may have two heating elements, and if so, then you should replace both of them using the same procedure outlined below:

Turn Off the Electricity and Cold Water Supply Lines

Before you replace the heating elements, first you need to turn off the power to the hot water heater at the panel. In addition, you need to turn off the cold water supply line on the top of the water heater.

Connect a Garden Hose and Drain the Water Tank

Connect your garden hose to the outlet valve on the bottom of your water heater and place the free end into your bathtub. Open the hot water tap closest to the water heater and the air entering the system will force the water out of the hot water heater. Continue until the tank is empty, then remove the hose and close the water tap.

Remove and Replace the Failed Heating Elements

Place the socket over the end of the heating element and turn the ratchet counterclockwise to remove the failed element. Once it is loose, then simply pull the element from the tank and dispose of it in your household trash.

Place the new element into the hole, and turn the ratchet clockwise to secure the new element in place.

Refill the Tank and Restore Its Power

Once the new heating element has been secured in place, then you can open the cold water valve and let the tank fill with water. After you hear the water stop running into the tank, then can restore the power and the new elements will heat the tank of water. Never restore the power to an empty tank, because as the cold water comes into contact with bare hot elements it can cause them to immediately fail.

Finally, if you need additional assistance with replacing your hot water heater’s elements, then you should contact a licensed plumber in your local area. If you are interested in more information, click here to continue reading more about plumbing. 

Read More

3 Signs That Ready-Mixed Concrete Is The Best Choice For Your Project

If you are thinking about tackling some sort of construction project that involves concrete — whether you are pouring a slab, a patio, a driveway or just about anything else that is made out of concrete — you could be debating mixing up the concrete yourself. Although this can be a good option for some people and some projects, you might find that ready-mixed concrete is a better choice for you. These are three signs that you should consider calling a ready-mixed concrete company to assist you with your project.

1. You Don’t Have Concrete Mixing Equipment

Mixing and storing concrete is pretty easy if you have the right equipment. However, concrete mixing equipment can be very costly. If you don’t already have it and choose to mix up your own concrete, you have to worry about the laborious process of mixing it up yourself in a bucket. Plus, you have to worry about storing it without allowing it to become too thick, which can be a tough job in itself.

2. You Need to Get Your Project Done Fast

If you need to get your project done fast, calling a ready-mixed concrete company to bring you the concrete that you need can be well worth it and can help you stay within your deadline. Mixing up batches of concrete can be more time-consuming than you think and can take a lot of time away from your project. If you choose to have your concrete delivered to you, however, you can skip this process and get to work with pouring and working on your project as soon as possible.

3. You’d Prefer a Consistent Batch of Concrete

Mixing up your concrete so that it is consistent can be tough if you don’t know what you are doing. Even if you think that you have carefully measured everything, each batch can turn out a little differently. Plus, it can be tough to get your concrete thoroughly mixed. If you want optimum results from your project, it is best to opt for consistent concrete for your entire project, which you can enjoy if you use the services of a ready-mixed concrete company.

As you can see, ready-mixed concrete can be the best choice in a lot of concrete-pouring projects. If any of these three things apply to you — or if you just want to make the process as easy as possible — consider contacting Hanover Concrete Company or other ready-mixed concrete companies near you.

Read More

Homeowner Tips for Helping Storm Damaged Trees to Recover

Looking outside to see your tall landscape trees still standing can be a relief after a major wind storm. Yet, just because the trees are upright doesn’t mean they are undamaged. You need to perform a careful inspection to ensure that there is no hidden damage that could lead to problems later. The key is to assess, remove, wait and watch. The following guide will show you how.


Not all damage is immediately obvious. After the storm has passed, carefully go out and visually inspect the tree. You are looking for broken or cracked branches inside the canopy, or for branches that have come off but are still hung up in the remaining branches. Also, check the trunk carefully for any signs of splitting. Finally, check the soil around the roots. Does it look lifted or disturbed? Even a minor amount of root lifting can indicate a major problem.


Removal refers to either individual branches or to the entire tree, depending on the severity of the damage. It’s best to wear head protection when removing branches. You can carefully disentangle or cut free any broken branches that are caught within the canopy. Trim back remaining branch stubs and broken branches so they are flush with the collar – which is the raised ridge of bark where a branch joins the trunk or a larger branch. If you find the task too daunting, consider contacting a tree trimming service for a little help.

Trees with split trunks can sometimes be saved, but you will need to consult with an arborist or tree service to ensure this is the case. A tree with lifted roots usually requires full removal if it is mature. Young trees can be staked until they develop a deeper root systems.


Don’t be tempted to rush out and fertilize or begin over-watering the tree to encourage a quicker recovery. Too much fertilizer too soon after damage may lead to weak, twiggy growth around the base of the trunk or from the current branches, but it isn’t likely to encourage the growth of new branches. Overwatering can be even more harmful, since it can lead to root rot and overall weaker root system. Most trees get sufficient nutrients from your lawn fertilizers to fuel recovery, and your previous watering schedule is probably sufficient unless a tree service recommends otherwise.


Keep an eye on the tree until it’s wounds from the damage have recovered. A broken or removed branch is an open wound, which can give access to pests or diseases. If you notice insect activity on your tree that wasn’t present previously, or if the tree begins to suffer from wilt, bark loss, or other problems, bring in a tree service to diagnose and treat the problem.

Read More

Going Natural With Your Pool Project? How To Keep Unexpected Boulders & Rocks From Slowing Your Progress

Digging a natural swimming pool in your own backyard is not only a way to improve your property, but also a fun project that can involve family members of all ages. Most natural pools look nothing like standard swimming pools, which are usually encased in brightly colored tiles and filled with chlorine-laced water. Instead, a natural swimming pool features distinct areas with differing water depths, many of which are filled with aquatic plants, stones, gravel and sand to add beauty and help filter the water naturally. 

Occasionally, however, the process of digging a natural pool will come to a halt when the work of removing the soil unearths a portion of a large boulder or boulders. If you are building a natural swimming pool, the following information will help you deal with those unexpected boulders and prevent them from throwing your pool project off track.

Using the Boulder within the Design

Because the goal of this type of project is to end up with a pool that looks as if were designed and created by nature, finding a way to incorporate a troublesome boulder into the project can result in enhanced beauty.

To accomplish this, review your original design and the location of the boulder in question. If it lies along a border or in one of the areas that will be filled with aquatic plants and used for filtration, it may be possible to leave it in place for use as a natural decorative element. If you plan to add a solar fountain or waterfall to your pool, the naturally occurring boulder may be able to serve as a base surface for these features.

If it is boulder is located along the edge of the water and does not extend above the water level of the completed pool, it may be possible to conceal it easily by building deck surfaces or walkways over the top of it.

DIY Boulder Removal Options

If the boulder you uncover during the digging process is located in an area that will make it difficult or impossible to install the liner on the bottom of the pool and it cannot be easily incorporated into the design in other ways, it will likely need to be removed.

A do-it-yourself method of removing boulders that are small enough to handle is to continue to remove any soil, clay or gravel found around the base of the boulder until it has been completely unearthed. If the soil is dry or difficult to remove, soak the area around the base of the boulder with a garden hose for several hours prior to digging and repeat as needed until the soil is removed and the boulder is able to be rolled. (Please note that this method only works well when the boulder is small enough to be easily lifted or rolled from the site by hand, cart or wheelbarrow.)

If the boulder is too large to consider DIY removal techniques or you are working to meet a deadline on your project, it will be best to defer the problem to your local boulder or rock removal contractor (such as DyTech). They have the equipment and expertise to remove most sizes and types of boulders or rocks so that you can complete your project on schedule and begin enjoying your new natural pool without additional delays.

Read More

Why Ground-Penetrating Radar Is Important to Contractors

When construction is scheduled in an area that has gas lines running underground to a neighborhood, contractors need to first employ the services of utility locators for marking the locations of the gas lines. The same is true about several other underground anomalies aside from utility lines. The safety of contractors and construction workers many times depend on the accuracy of ground-penetrating radar for avoiding serious injury and unnecessary, expensive property damages and service interruptions.

Avoiding Communication Interruptions

With the rise in cable and Internet use, the number of cables running underground has also became prevalent, which is important to know when it comes to a contractor and crew preparing to dig with large machinery like backhoes or excavators. The cost of locating cables underground is a lot less than the repairs necessary for repairing them if they are severed by a piece of digging equipment. Not only is a contractor faced with fines and the cost of line repairs, the customers receiving the cable, phone, or Internet from the severed line also suffer, especially if some of those customers depend on an Internet connection or phone service for their work.

Locating Natural Gas Lines Is Vital to Safety

A gas line only needs one spark of static electricity to cause an explosion capable of taking out an entire neighborhood block. For this reason, knowing the location of underground natural gas lines is essential to the safety of construction crews and the surrounding community near an ongoing project. Even if an explosion does not occur right away, a compromised line can cause a leak into homes that could lead to explosions. For example, if someone in a home with a gas leak was unaware of it, all someone would need to do is turn on their toaster to cause a huge explosion. Locating underground gas lines is vital before digging anywhere to avoid serious injury and devastating property damages.

Construction Crew Safety Depends On the Location Underground Power Lines

If a tractor hit an underground power cable, the results could be deadly, especially for the tractor’s operator. Always making sure all underground power cables are clearly marked is vital to the safety of you and your crew. Hitting a live power cable with a tractor can create an arc flash that can cause huge explosions and fire. Laborers working with hand digging tools like shovels are also at risk of hitting live power lines, especially if the lines are not buried deep enough. Never dig without first employing the services of an experienced, highly qualified locator.

One of the responsibilities of lead contractors is ensuring the safety of their workers on job sites. By taking the time to enlist locators and mark underground lines and cables, you greatly minimize the risk of serious injury to your workers and other people in the area where you are working.


Read More
Page 5 of 12« First...34567...10...Last »

July 2017
« Jan