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Flush Out Your Worry with a High Efficiency Toilet

Did you know that every time you flush your traditional toilet, a stream dries up in Minnesota? Well, that’s clearly an exaggeration, but these old school latrines are no friend to the water conservation movement.

With each flush we are consuming more water then we need to. With all this talk about going green, saving the environment, and considering water scarcity in California and other states, a priority should be finding ways to make the most of the water we have and consume less overall. Just as with most technologies, we have options to decrease the amount of water we use from our flushes, and these options start right in the heart of it all; your hot seat, your toilet.

There are three high efficiency toilets we can choose from that will make going to the bathroom a more environmentally conscious experience thanks to the new options available:

  • The Gravity Toilet: The traditional toilet that we all know and love… except, this toilet is now revamped to fit the high efficiency standards. Thanks to its new technology, a siphon pulls water through the trap way. This lean, green, water-saving-machine now uses only 1.28 gallons of water per flush instead of the usual 1.6; reducing water use by 20%.

 

  • The Dual- Flush Toilet: This potty has (you guessed it) not one, but two flushing options: one full flush for solid waste and one partial flush for liquid. Being mindful as you choose is the key to making this daily choice for water conservation.

 

  • The Alternative: This 1 gallon per flush pressure-assist toilet is the same as regular toilets, except that it contains a vessel inside the tank designed to use water line pressure to “push” the water through the trap way. The water line pressure comes from the local water municipality. The vessel delivers the water to your toilet bowl at three times the standard flow rate of the siphon-driven technologies making quicker yet louder flushes.

 

What do these three commodes have in common, is that they all save water, which is a small step in each of our households towards saving the environment. If you find yourself wanting to go green and save some green at the same time, give Jim Bennett’s Plumbing a call at 850-878-3178 to upgrade your toilet today.

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Tips for When your Toilet Gets Tanked, and you Don’t Want to Telephone a Technician

Jim Bennett’s Plumbing is here to help you out anytime your toilet starts acting with a mind of its own, however we know that sometimes folks will want to DIY.  Whether your toilet is just making weird noises, it is leaking or it is having a full blown waterfall pouring out of the bowl, there are ways that you can solve these problems yourself, with tools you already own, or want to pick up. Yes,  you can be your own plumber with these tips. (Feel free to wrest your pants down low on your hips and dive in!)

1. Water Trickling Into the Bowl, or “Phantom Flushes”:  In plumber lingo, a “phantom flush” does not involve a ghost, but occurs when a toilet cuts on and off by itself. If you hear the toilet randomly refilling as if someone is flushing it, it is because there is a slow leak from the tank into the bowl caused by a bad flapper. Your tank and bowl will need to be drained and replaced. (GIVE SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS HERE HOW TO DO THAT).

 

2. Water Trickling Into the Tank:  Although it may sound like a snake, this constant hissing noise coming from your bathroom is the result of water trickling into the tank via the supply line. If you hear this, your first step is to check the float to see if it needs adjusting. Next, make sure the refill tube is not too far into the overflow tube (too far would be more than 1/4″ below the rim). If neither of these are the problem, that’s when you can call Jim Bennett at 850-878-3178 to come replace the ballcock assembly to meet these required standards.

 

3. The Bowl Empties Slowly: Also referred to as a “weak flush”, this can occur when your bowl when there are clogged holes underneath the rim. In an attempt to handle this yourself,  find a curved piece of wire or bend a coat-hanger wire and gently poke into each flush hole under the rim to loosen material that may potentially be blocking the siphon jet in the bottom of the drain as well.

 

4. The Dreaded Clog: Did you know that clogs are the most common toilet problem? If you have young children, you may have already experienced army men or doll clothes surprising you as the source of a clog when your plumber pulls it out. But for those occasions you plan to have a large party in a house with few bathrooms, be sure you own a force-cup plunger. Much more effective than the standard flat saucer type plungers for loosening a plethora of toilet paper buildup, it can make the difference between an embarrassing bathroom flood and a quick fix. Once you have this handy-dandy plunger, insert the bulb into the drain and pump down directly and forcefully, maintaining a tight seal. Release the handle slowly while letting a little water in so you can see if the drain is clear. If the clog is a little more serious than a plunger can handle, but you still aren’t ready to call in the pro, try borrowing or buying a closet auger. Insert the end of the auger into the drain hole and twist the handle as you push the rotor downward.

 

5. Leaky Seals: A standard toilet has 5 seals, all with the potential to leak. If you come in to find the equivalent of the Mississippi River is coming from your toilet, your first step in action is to identify which of the 5 is the faulty seal, and then tighten it or replace it.  Here’s a fast reference to those 5 seals:

  • The largest seal is the one between the tank and the bowl. If there is a break here, a monsoon leak is in the near future with water shooting every which way with every single flush. To replace this seal, turn the tank upside down, drain and remove it, remove the old seal and plop on a new one.
  • The smaller seals 2, 3 and 4 are at the mounting bolts and the base of the ballcock.  Replace these smaller seals just like the large one. Be aware that just tightening the bolts likely won’t stop the leak.
  • The 5th seal is the wax seal that is mounted on a plastic flange under the toilet base. If the wax fails, any leaking water under the base will eventually rot your pretty floor, so to repair this leak, remove the toilet and replace the wax seal. Obviously, this might require you to ring-a ding-ding Jim Bennett’s Plumbing, as most folks aren’t used to unseating a whole toilet.

If any of these 5 problems are testing your temper,  give these tips a try before you call up the plumber. If your attempts just aren’t working though, do not hesitate to call Jim Bennett Plumbing – we are experts in taming your toilet.

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Don’t Flush Me!

Don’t Flush Me!

Besides scarring your kids for life by flushing the recently deceased beloved goldfish down the toilet, there are some items that should also never enter the bowl.

  1. Bathroom wipes: So you’ve been told by the major toilet paper companies that TP just isn’t enough anymore and you need to add moist wipes to your routine.  The problem with this is that these aren’t for flushing.  Although marketed like toilet paper, these suckers have been causing clogs from Seattle to South Beach and the general consensus from plumbers is they are unflushable, contrary to what the packaging says.
  2. Paper Towels: They’re made of paper…what’s the difference? Paper towels are not designed to break down in water the same as toilet tissue.  Much like the bathroom wipes, these guys can cause major backups and major damage.
  3. Cotton Balls: One of our favorite items in the bathroom can be a nightmare when in the pipes.  Cotton balls do not break down in water, instead, when wet they get caught in the bends of pipes and stay there.
  4. Condoms: I’m sure you’ve been told this one a time or two, but these latex child-protection devices can wreak havoc on your septic tank and septic systems.  Non-degradable, condoms can cause blockages by getting filled with air or worse…needless to say not only Twinkies and cockroaches will survive the zombie apocalypse.
  5. Band-Aids: Continuing down the non-biodegradable route, these plastic wonders can get stuck on other things besides your skin.
  6. Dental Floss: This dental hygienic tool can cause more damage than good once it hits your pipes as it gets caught around every and anything that is already headed that way.
  7. Cigarette Butts: I’m assuming the only one flushing cigarette butts down the toilet is your 16 year-old daughter, but there are consequences besides a grounding at stake.  The chemicals in the butt can seep into the water table and end in the bodies of people and animals that aren’t even smokers! How rude!
  8. Prescription Medication: I know you’re trying to keep your excess prescription meds out of the hands of that 16 year-old who sneaks the cigarettes by flushing them, but this can cause some adverse effects you didn’t count on.  First, the meds can breakdown the good bacteria that feeds off waste, and they can also contaminate groundwater that drank by both your family and wildlife.  Look into programs that will dispose of your meds in a safe manner.
  9. Disposable Diapers: Ok, we know there’s poo in there and you don’t want the house smelling of it, but seriously, you’re trying to flush these down the toilet.  If you can even get it to go down, you’re in for a bathroom flooding that will be 10 times worse than the diaper.

The moral of this story? ANYTHING THAT ISN’T TOILET PAPER = NO FLUSH. But if something happens despite your best efforts…Jim Bennett Plumbing Since 1969 will make it right, and we are only a quick call away: (850) 878-3178.

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Thinking About A Remodel?

Thinking About A Remodel?

You’ve reached the breaking point! Your kitchen looks like it’s straight out of the Brady Bunch and the color tiles in your bathroom are an unnatural combination of bright yellow and avocado.  It’s definitely time for a remodel and for your house to join 2014.   Before you book your appointment with Jim Bennett’s to jump right into the project, take a minute to read this article and to be better prepared for our meeting.

 

  1. Money, money, money! There’s a reason why the first thing potential homeowners do is look at the kitchens and bathrooms of a house; these can be the most expensive remodeling jobs that come with the purchase. With the average cost of a kitchen being between $20,000-$30,000 and bathrooms between $10,000-$20,000, the first thing we suggest you do is to decide what kind of budget you’re working with and whether or not you’re utilizing savings, or headed to a bank for a loan. This will determine if the project is a total gut-job and we bring in all new items, or if we need to recycle some of the materials.  (Also, put a little bit off to the side for those unforeseen circumstances that you know will arise!)

 

  1. Neo-modern with classic contemporary accents? Traditional with vintage touches? Beach paired with shabby chic? These may sound like random words strewn together, but they are pretty common design terms that describe your preferences for your personal style.  If you don’t already have a strong leaning, deciphering your style may actually take a bit longer than you expect.  Taking a clue from your own closet, homes you admire and through researching, looking through photo galleries and saving pictures of styles, finishes and color palettes you’re drawn to, will make your consultation go much smoother. Magazines like HGTV, Country Living, Southern Living, or any home design magazine might just start to be an exciting and fun activity in your free time, as you can start to envision your new space!

 

  1. One final piece, and this is one that some may forget, is to take a look at your calendar.  This may seem like an odd step, but it’s one of the most important.  Many people don’t realize that on top of the financial commitment they are making, this is going to take a time commitment that may render your home without a kitchen or bathroom for weeks, (or in the event of unforeseen circumstances), months! If you have any major life events in the future that will require you to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, this might not be the time to have a construction crew in your home.

 

Once you’ve determined a budget, you have marked off a time block in your calendar and narrowed down your style, it’s time to make the call.  These three key points can help your first meeting with Jim Bennett’s successful! Let us give you a new space that increases the value of your home, and areas that reflect your personal style – we are only a quick call away (850) 878.3178.

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TIPS TO UNCLOG THOSE DRAINS AT HOME – DON’T GET FRUSTRATED!

One of the most rage-inducing plumbing issues anyone can encounter in their existence is a clogged drain.  It’s like waking up at 6 am on a Monday and realizing you’re out of coffee and the line at Starbucks is 40 cars long. Although Jim Bennett’s Plumbing would love for you to call us for each one of these plumbing problems, here are some maintenance tips to keep your drains drama-free.

 

#1.  Drop it like its Hot: Yes, you’ve been scolded like a schoolboy about pouring grease down the drain.  We get it: grease = bad! But let’s be honest, even if you’re wiping down your frying pans like a baby’s bottom, there’s bound to be a layer of grease remaining.  When you’ve concluded that the inside of the pipe is lined with more grease than John Travolta’s hair, we have a simple and rather ingenious solution for you: a heating pad.  Wrap a heating pad around the pipe, turn it on and let the heat from the pipe liquefy the grease.  It should go without saying, but, WARNING: don’t touch the hot pipe after, or you’ll have a whole different problem all together.

 

#2. Science Friday: This is not only easy, but also reminiscent of your 7th grade science project! Step 1: Dump about half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Step 2: Add half a cup of white vinegar. Enjoy the sink volcano. Step 3: Wait 30 minutes and rinse with boiling water. This simple cleaning once a week will help breakdown the gunk and grease that builds up in your drains.

 

#3. Take the Plunge: In case you didn’t know, plungers are for more than just clogged toilets and for chasing a naughty dog.  Take one of these bad boys over to your clogged sink, add some hot water and plunge away. (Placing a rag over the drain will increase the effectiveness of the plunger) In case you didn’t already figure this one out, we don’t suggest you use the plunger from your toilet. Enough said.

 

#4. Hair Raising: The biggest culprit for a shower or bathroom clog is hair. For the bathtub, we suggest you fill with hot water and pull the stopper and let it drain, the force created by the hot water will break up and flush the debris.  As for the shower, the trick we learned earlier with vinegar and baking soda works wonders! If your stunning partner has really long hair, take off the drain cover to remove the rat’s nest.  Resist gagging, this isn’t for the faint of heart. And purchase one of those little cup-shaped mesh drain inserts to catch the hair and other particulate that has no business going down your drain, empty daily.

 

#5. Call in the Pros: Even with all of these easy DIY tips, it’s always good to call Jim Bennett’s Plumbing in for a professional inspection to clear those pipes if these tips don’t work, and to take care of all of those not-quite-smoothly running drains that drain your patience.

 

To have a professional head over to your home, call Jim Bennett’s Plumbing at 850-878-3178 or check out  www.plumbertallahasseeflorida.com to see what services we provide.

 

 

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Your faithful household and office toilets – Out with the old, in with the new

We’ve all been there. That time you flush the toilet and it doesn’t quite clear everything down into the unknown abyss of the sewer systems.  Or there is that day when you walk into your bathroom and there’s little puddle of liquid around your toilet and you’re dreading the thought of it being your spouse’s poor aim.  What about that time where you try and try and try to remove the ring around the toilet and it just won’t budge?  All of these “wonderful” powder room moments can be pointing you to solution; it’s time for a new toilet, and Jim Bennett’s Plumbing Since 1969 can help!

 

How can you assess the situation and make the final decision as to whether or not your John needs to be replaced with well, a new John? Take a gander at the following points and if you’re saying yes to one or all of these, we suggest you take the plunge (pun intended) and get Jim Bennett’s Plumbing on the phone and a new potty at your place.

 

#1. The Unclog able Clog: Do you have a note in your water closet for your guests saying, “Flushing Twice Makes it Nice?” Or is there an expected time every day when you have to get out the latex gloves, pinch your nose with one hand and start plunging with the other? These aggravating, agitating, and downright annoying recurrences can mean it’s time to say bye-bye to your potty problems and hello to a new functioning flusher.

 

#2. Repair and Tear: Does the magic combination of jiggles on the handle sound like futuristic Morse code? Is there a crazy contraption connected to that ‘floaty’ thing in the water tank? Has your family developed a dance to the porcelain gods so the leaky seal doesn’t create a wading pool in your bathroom? If a toilet is requiring repairs so often you see your Jim Bennett’s plumber more than your kids, the solution is simple, terminate that toilet!

 

#3. Skid Mark City: Ever notice how your throne always looks as dirty as a frat house on a Sunday morning? Are you apologizing about that weird discoloration that looks like, well,… you know.  This is actually caused by small scratches on the surface of your porcelain, and we hate to break it to you, but that stain and a Twinkie will be the only two things to survive the apocalypse.

 

#4. Chips and Dip: Much like the teeth in your mouth, a chip or a crack in your toilet is something that instantly needs to be fixed.  You don’t want your friends to think they’re part of an elaborate prank when they end up with their bums on the floor because that chip, lead to a crack and it ended up causing your toilet to break in half. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get where we’re going with this.

 

Now that you’ve probably regretted ever letting anyone use your current commode, it’s time to give Jim Bennett’s Plumbing in Tallahassee a call or head over to www.plumbertallahassee.com so you are no longer the subject of your friend’s bad bathroom humor.

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PLUMBER or PLUMBING CONTRACTOR?

Outside of the fact that everyone thinks they’re a professional plumber when it comes to home repairs, there are those times when you’ll actually need a plumber… or, do you need a plumbing contractor? Now you’re saying, “Shoot! There’s a difference?” That’s why we’re here, let Jim Bennett’s Plumbing Since 1969, here in Tallahassee, Florida guide you through your decision making process. (You’ll be surprised how simple this is.)

 

Plumber

 

In short, a plumber takes care of your run of the mill issues: dripping faucets, backed-up toilets, clogged garbage disposals, leaky pipes and other basic plumbing issues. When deciding if you only need a plumber, assess the severity of the situation, and if you think it’s not a major overhaul, than a plumber is who you call!

 

Plumbing Contractor

 

The first step in a receiving a swift and proper resolution is knowing when and if you ought to call a contractor.  A plumbing contractor is needed when you ascertain that you’re in for some serious work, and believe you me, you’ll know when it’s a big project ahead of you. For example, you come home to find a front lawn full of sewage (the smell alone should have you on the phone), chances are you’re either in need of having your tank pumped or replaced.  THIS is the kind of work that requires a licensed contractor.  Think of it this way, if the thought of your husband taking a crack at fixing the issue frightens you to the bone…you need a contractor!

 

Plumbing contractors take on a variety of projects and searching local websites is a great way to research the right fit for you. The task at hand could be something along the lines of a total pipeline replacement or new septic system install, to mending a radiator heating system to hot water heater installations.

 

One thing to take note of when dealing with a contractor is to understand that the majority of their work performed is on large-scale projects such as a full replacement or new installation for new construction, home remodel or addition.  The reason they focus on these areas is that they are specifically trained for these multi-dimensional jobs. Some of those specialty areas of training are: gas connections and flues for heating systems, water heating systems, safety shut-offs for gas valves (including earthquake valves), back flow prevention units and water conditioning systems.

 

A Match Made In Heaven

 

We’re going to reiterate this again, finding the proper contractor may take some time and research. And  seeing how you’re going to be making a little larger investment in this project, it will be well worth it.  First and foremost, you want to be sure that the person you hired is licensed in your state to complete the job. For our Florida readers, the following link is an excellent resource: http://www.myflorida.com/licensee/.

 

Next, we suggest finding three contractors who fit the bill and request an in-person consultation, estimate and references.  You’d hate to hire any old Joe Schmoe, only to realize that your expectations and personalities clash. Finally, pick a contractor.  We know it may be difficult to say no to that low-ball offer, but remember you’re looking for a quality, highly recommended contractor with experience and expertise. Jim Bennett’s Plumbing Since 1969, is not just a tagline – it’s a reflection of years of doing large and small jobs for people just like you in our community – residential and commercial..

Now that you know the facts, take a look at the plumbing problem you’re facing and call Jim Bennett’s Plumbing for a consultation or visit www.plumbertallahasseeflorida.com to learn more about everything we can offer you.

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Testify Tallahassee Article

Testify Tallahassee.com

Hello, I want to introduce myself. I am Jim Bennett with Jim Bennett’s Plumbing in Tallahassee; also with Advanced Builders and Remodelers in Tallahassee, Florida.

I was born in Waxhaw, North Carolina in 1945. I am the baby of nine children. My mother had lost a daughter and prayed for God to give her another baby when she lost her little daughter, and I came along.

As a young child my mom never did get up and say Sunday morning, “Jimmy, do you want to go to church this morning?” She said, “Jimmy, get up. We’re going to church this morning.” It never was my choice. It was momma’s choice. Coming from a very, very poor background like I did, we didn’t have a vehicle, so we walked to church every Sunday and every Wednesday night.

My daddy was not a Christian. He was a drinking man, so because of his influence in our life we came up very, very tough at an early age. My dad was the town drunk, and growing up in a little, small community as we did, and in the school and in the community – when your dad was a drunk you got mistreated. You were looked down upon.

Because of that I grew up fairly bitter at a young age because people would look down on me, and I would rebel. But anyway, I came up very, very poor.

I got into some trouble, went to reform school, stayed in reform school for one year. After I came out of reform school I’d walk around town and, I was a little shoeshine boy and I had my little shoeshine box, and I’d walk around town with my head down. I’d never look up at people. I’d never have eye contact with people. I felt like I was not worthy of being able to look up.

This group of missionaries moved to Waxhaw, and they didn’t treat me like the other folks in the little town where I was at treated me. They treated me special. I knew there was something different about them. They had a relationship with Christ that was real.

They mentored me and loved me and cared for me. I would spend everyday, just about, helping them build radios. After a short time they led me to Christ, and let me know that there was something important in my life, and that was a turning point.

Now after that I went in the Army, and stayed in there for three years. Did a tour in Korea, then ended up in Ozark, Alabama, where I stayed for 18 months.

When I got out of the Army I came to Tallahassee. I had a brother that was here and I came here and went to work with him.

I married in 1966, but after 21 years of marriage my wife and I divorced. And then I remarried three years later to a Godly woman, and I’m still married to this lady today. We’ve been married for 18 years.

During the process of all this happening I realized in my life I had a void, and that I needed to make a real change in my life. I recommitted my life. It wasn’t something that I had to go up in front of the church and say, “Hey, I’ve made a turning point in my life.” It was a commitment that I had with God in my life, that I had to make a conscious decision to rededicate my life and put God absolutely, 100% first in everything that I’ve done. From that day until now my life completely turned around. I mean, God made a difference in my finances. He made a difference in my marriage. He made a difference in my business.

When I went in business in 1969, I borrowed a 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck, and I didn’t have any money. I was living in a little rental house on Appalachee Parkway.

One day a guy came knocking on my door. I had mustered up enough money to buy me a little “bum” jacket, because it was cold. And this guy knocked on my door, and we invited him in, and we fed this guy. But the guy was very strange looking in his eyes. To this day, right now, I know that the guy that knocked on my door was an angel that God sent by my house. There’s no doubt about it.

He knocked on the door and I gave him my bum jacket, and I went and bought him a bus ticket and sent him to South Florida. And God just kept putting these people in my life. Because, see, I think God’s got to figure out whether He can get it through you to know whether to get it to you.

At that time I was making $35-$40 a week in my business. Shortly after that I started making $50 a week – $100 a week – first thing you know I was making $1,000 a week. And it was just a God thing. I mean, there’s no doubt about it.

Jim Bennett’s Plumbing – I remember the first time it did $100,000, and then I remember when it did the first million dollars a year in sales. Then I remember when it did two million dollars, then three million dollars, then last year – in sales – now that’s not in profit. There’s a difference between sales and profit. But between Advanced Builders and Jim Bennett’s Plumbing our sales last year was in excess of 15 million dollars.

And I’m still convinced today it’s the Christ Factor in my life. I mean God saw a little old nobody and made a somebody out of him.