May 12, 2013
World Health Organization sets international norms for drinking water quality requirements. There are many criteria to evaluate the quality of water, among them are taste and odor, color, dissolved metals and minerals, pH, dissolved organics, microorganisms, etc.
The drinking water supply can be divided into 3 major parts: source water, treatment system, and distribution system. The plumbing inside houses and apartments can be considered as an extension of the distribution system. The treating water for drinking purpose may include such processes as, solids separation, filtration, aeration, disinfection, removing heavy metals from water.
In 2005, in response to changes to the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines, Greater Vancouver Water District approved the combination of ozone and UV treatment to primary disinfect water. Compared to chlorine, ozone significantly reduces the by-products that may have health safety implications, provides faster and better disinfection, reducing the need for a big infrastructure. But chlorine is used as secondary treatment because the disinfectant used during the primary treatment stage gradually becomes ineffective in the distribution system.
Anyways, it is a good idea to run the water before drinking or using it for cooking, especially, if the tap system has not been used for long. Also it is better to use cold tap water for drinking or cooking since hot water may contain more dissolved impurity from distribution system. And make sure to deal only with reliable certified plumbers
April 13, 2013
Around 70% of human body is water. Water has a simple chemical formula but tap water is not a pure water. Normally, available to us water contain dissolved minerals and gases of the natural environment. In fact, some impurities are not bad, they need for human body to function properly. Water should contain clinically important levels of calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), sodium (Na+), and other minerals otherwise their deficit may lead to health problems. Although scientists still argue what water is ideal for healthy living, most forms of life would be impossible without water. Annually, World Water Day is held on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater.
Water is a complex chemical solution. Its another characteristic is pH, which measures the hydrogen ion concentration. pH of 7 is neutral, pH values less than 7 is acidic, while alkaline water has values greater than 7. Human biochemistry usually performs optimally around a biologically weak alkaline level pH=7.4. Our Metro Vancouver’s water is supplied from three mountain reservoirs – Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam. It is naturally low in mineral content, so-called “soft”. Tap water in most cities of Greater Vancouver, BC is acidic although pH is slowly increasing every year.
Now about bad impurities. In the past, lead alloy was often used to join and fix copper pipes and it could enter the water supply from lead solder in plumbing. Normally, these days lead has been replaced by health-safe soldering materials. Anyway, it is better to use cold tap water for drinking or cooking since hot water may contain more lead or other non-healthy dissolved substances from piping. Also make sure to deal only with certified plumbers. If you are looking for reliable plumbers in Vancouver, please call Papa Plumbing at 604-437-7272. It is a licensed plumbing company with professionals. Services are available 7 days a week 24 hours a day.
March 14, 2013
We all know that furnaces and boilers are used for heating our houses. However, many people do not know the difference between these two types of heating devices. Even homeowners can confuse them.
Generally, to heat homes a furnace uses warm air, boiler uses hot water. To heat air a furnace uses the electricity or natural gas. Then warm air is distributed throughout the house.
Boilers heat water or make steam. Water or steam travels through pipes to radiators that are used for heating purposes. Optionally, steam can be used to heat a fan coil unit which then heats circulating air.
Major parts of boiler are tank and water heater. Heater uses electricity or natural gas (also it can be heating oil) to heat the water. Cold water enters to the tank and pushes the already heated water out through another pipe. In a steam system, the boiler turns the water into steam.
Normally, the purpose of a water boiler is to heat a house. Additionally, houses have a water heater to heat water for washing and bathing although there are combination or combi boilers that combine the central heating with hot water in one box. Any boiler, furnace, or heater is a complicated system which consists of many parts, including controls and safety devices.
All heating system products should be repaired and installed by licensed and certified technicians. If you need a help with heating, furnace, or boiler (or have questions), call 604-437-7272. More info about heating…
February 14, 2013
What if you can see puddles and standing water in your yard after a rain for too long? When you walk on grass in some areas, you can feel rainwater coming out from soil. Also if grass and trees in your yard do not look green-healthy, it might be a sign of over-watering. Over-watering can happen itself here in British Columbia without a proper functioning drainage because of rainy climate.
During Spring seasons overflowing of water onto land can happen additionally to standing rain water. Too much water can kill plants and cause damage to house. That is why having a sufficient drainage system is important. The reason can be just a clogged up drain. The solution can be perimeter drainage cleaning with high pressure or the repairing (or replacement) of drain tiles.
Anyway, if you have any drainage problem, need water damage restoration or flood restoration, call Papa Plumbing. The drainage team provides a professional drainage services in Vancouver and Greater Vancouver area (Richmond, Langley, Surrey, White Rock, Burnaby).
January 11, 2013
As history evidences, water supply systems were invented and first used several thousands years ago. It was clay, copper and lead – the first materials that were used to make pipes. Initially, water supply was used in limited areas and the technology for cleaning water was not applied. Nowadays, running clean water delivered to our homes, businesses and public buildings. Modern pipes made of iron, steel, copper, or different types of plastics that are able to carry a sufficient water supply for all our needs.
Not many know that the word “plumbing” derives from the Latin word “plumbum” (that is word for lead) because, for centuries, lead was the major material for water pipes. However, as it was discovered at the beginning of the last century, exposure to even a small amount of lead can cause different health issues: anemia, kidney problems, nerve disorders and developmental effects, especially, for young children.
Some time ago, lead alloy was often used to join and fix copper pipes and lead could enter the water supply from lead solder in plumbing. As a rule, these days it has been replaced by health-harmless soldering materials. Homeowners can check the pipes: when scratched with sandpaper, a pipe or junction with lead has gray color. Anyways, it is a good idea to run the water tap before drinking it, especially, if the system has not been used for long. Also it is better to use cold tap water for drinking or cooking since hot water may contain more lead. And make sure to deal only with certified plumbers
December 25, 2012
A special greetings to you from the Papa Plumbing family: We wish you a joyous holiday season and a new year filled with peace, happiness, and hope! Warmest Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May your plumbing and heating problems will be fixed in 2013 (if you still have ones)!
December 10, 2012
From a health point consideration, in winter time, it is advisable to keep indoor temperature slightly colder than in summer time to minimize the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors. What are optimal indoor temperatures? Normally, in summer time 23 – 25 C (73 – 77 F) is good, in winter time 21 – 23 C (70 – 73 F) is the best. A day and night temperatures also can differ. Many researches have found, in general, the optimal temperature for a healthy night sleep is quite cool, around 16 – 20 C (60 – 68 F)
Another important factor of healthy environment is humidity. A relative humidity lower than 50% can cause some discomfort, on the other hand, a higher humidity is even more dangerous. Too high humidity not only can make your home or room feels “stuffy” but it can contribute to the development of different bad types of bacterias, not to mention it can be damaging to the building. As studies show, an optimal relative humidity is in a range of about 50% – 60%. The temperature and humidity in your residence depend on how your heating system is well-maintained. Besides, any problematic pipes or seals can introduce a higher humidity to your living space.
If you have any problem with your heating system, unable to set optimal temperature schedule for your healthy living, or worry about high humidity, please do not hesitate to contact a plumber-heating company. Papa Plumbing is always at your service to provide you with best solutions.
November 10, 2012
If you have a big house to heat, it means you have a big heating bill. If you live in condo or apartment, the heating cost might be relatively insignificant. Even so, there is always a room to lower your heating bill.
Houses may lose heat due to a weak roof insulation. The easiest way to check is to wait for a first snow. Some roofs will hold the snow and some will melt it. If the roof of your house holds the snow, it is an indication of a well-insulated roof. Otherwise, consider improving – add or upgrade roof insulation. Also, as research shows, heat loss from windows can account up to 25% of your heating winter bill, if you do not have efficient energy saving windows.
It is a good idea to close the doors and vents in unused rooms. However, it is recommended to heat the basement for energy saving. Closing the curtains and blinds on windows, especially, during nights helps to save heat in. Due to a simple law of physics a warmer air escapes up. So that if you have a ceiling fan, it can help to push the hot air down.
If you still do not have a programmable thermostat, buy and install it. It allows you to optimize heating during 24 hours and 7 days a week. No need to heat rooms if nobody stays at home during the day. Besides, it is much healthier to sleep at low temperature. You can set it to follow your regular schedule – to turn off when you are out and turn back on around one hour in advance before you return home.
And the last but not the least of importance. It is a health of your heating system. Get your furnace or boiler and a whole heating system regularly serviced. A well-running, clean heating system is a save and efficient one. If your system is old and inefficient, think about replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model.
October 15, 2012
Depending on the type of heating system, furnace or boiler, heating problems, as well as, their troubleshooting can differ. Most heating systems have similar parts, for example, thermostat or gas heater. Even if you can easily fix many possible problems, it is a good idea to have your central heating system serviced regularly by a licensed professional.
No heat. The first thing to check is thermostat. It can be set too low. If it is a programmable (digital) one, the timer or other settings can be wrong due to power outage in the past. Also it may be not working. Other possible reasons can be in furnace (boiler) module: circuit breaker or fuse is blown; the pilot light does not work; unusual flashing lights inside furnace or boiler, etc. If you do not know how to check and fix listed above, call experts.
Boiler problem: Noise. If your house is heated by conventional boiler, then there may be a lack of water in the water tank. Water gurgling. It indicates air in the pipes or radiators. Lack of water, as well as, air in central heating system can cause more serious problems that is why it is better to call heating specialist as soon as possible.
Boiler problem: Water leaking from heating pipes or from water tank. To avoid house flooding, immediately shut off the water supply and the water heater, and then call professional plumbers.
August 23, 2012
Most heating systems look simple. Normally, they have only three major components: heat source, distribution system, and thermostat. Nevertheless, the malfunction of any of components can cause the lost of energy efficiency and may eventually lead to a costly repair. The good news is that annual servicing can prolong the life of heating system. As well as, regular maintenance keeps it functioning efficiently and saves the cost in case of replacing the system.
However, cost saving is not only the reason to have the regular servicing. If a furnace or boiler is not well-maintained, it can stop working anytime during a cold weather. It can interrupt a normal pulse of everyday life, cause a discomfort and frustration. And again, it is naturally that in emergency and when most contractors are busy, it could be more expensive to fix.
That is why heating systems should be serviced once a year by a professional heating contractor. The professional contractor has the tools, instruments and training necessary. The contractor is able to professionally inspect the system, complete necessary maintenance, and adjust the system for optimal performance.
The best time to order heating system maintenance is during the warmer months because most technicians have open service schedules during these times that makes it easier to get an appointment. It is important to have the system ready when the cold comes. Heating system maintenance should be part of a home owner’s priorities during the warmer months. Call a heating contractor early before the start of the heating season.