Are you making plans to redesign your bathroom or do you just want to expand your “green” living plans?
Here are some ways to upgrade your bathroom space by bringing eco-friendly elements in.
Consider recycled glass, ceramic or porcelain products for an updated counter top or tiles for walls.
Efficient ventilation can help to create a healthier bathroom. Look for the Energy Star when selecting new windows or ventilation systems.
Look for safer, greener alternatives for paint and caulking with low or no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).
Newer toilet models could save nearly 4 gallons per flush (GPF) compared to older models. Dual-flush toilets save even more by allowing you to select the amount of water needed for each flush.
If replacing cabinets, consider sustainably harvested woods bound with resins free of VOC’s.
Design your bathroom for longevity, which will equate to less maintenance and fewer repairs.
For more information, go to http://greenhomeguide.com.
It appears as though a class-action lawsuit has
been filed against Zurn® regarding brass fittings
installed in Pex piping systems. The reason for this
lawsuit is undetermined at this time. Speculation
has it due to the brass content of the fittings. Some
believe it’s either due to the thickness of the fittings
while others think it is because of the “Made in
China” label. Here is what we can provide as
information to date:
The Zurn® fittings that are in question have “Made
in China” stamped on them. The brass alloy
mixture had problems and caused the fittings to
split and crack. Zurn’s brass Pex fittings can be
identified by their “Q” or “Q Pex” stamp. The “Q”
stands for “Quest,” which is a trade name Zurn®
used for its Pex systems. There is not necessarily
a “Made in” stamp on these fittings.
NPI was informed that Zurn® changed the
thickness of its fittings to increase the inside
diameter of the fittings to help increase the flow of
water. This is another reason why the fittings
started to fail.
Zurn has also stopped selling the brass fittings and
is now touting its plastic Pex fittings. NPI
recommends staying abreast of these plastic
fittings, which was the reason behind the second failure with PB pipe installations.
There has also been speculation of a problem caused by lack of zinc called dezincification
that has caused excessive buildup in the fittings.
Zurn’s fittings are identified by a “Q Pex” or a “QPex” stamped on their side. The homeowners who brought these cases claim that Zurn’s brass fittings were incorrectly designed and manufactured. As a result, the homeowners allege that the Zurn® Pex fittings fail prematurely – sometimes only months after installation. Substantial water damage may occur when the fittings fail.
Zurn® has acknowledged that it has seen an increased number of premature failures and leaks in its QPex fittings but denies that it is liable for those failures. This case is intended to determine who is responsible for the premature failures.
The problems associated with Zurn® Pex fittings cracking and leaking are so severe that one of Zurn’s own representatives calls the fittings a “ticking time bomb.” The following is an excerpt from a 2005 e-mail from that Zurn® representative:
“We are all sitting around watching a ticking time bomb, why do we wait for fittings to fail when we know there is an existing problem!”
Zurn® Stops Selling Brass Pex Fittings:
After selling approximately 200 million brass fittings for its Pex systems, Zurn® stopped selling brass fittings in May 2010. It will now sell only plastic fittings for Pex systems.
We believe Zurn’s withdrawal of the brass fittings from the market is strong evidence that the brass fittings are defective.
Because there are more than a dozen class actions filed against Zurn® in numerous states, the cases were transferred to a single federal judge for coordinated handling. The federal judge recently granted class action status to the first case presented for class certification.
The class action status means that the claims of all owners of Zurn® Pex systems that use brass fittings in the state of Minnesota will be decided in a single lawsuit. Class action status will be sought in the other cases.
For more information, go to http://www.zurnclassaction.com.
The bathroom can be the most expensive room in a home to repair, so maintaining the condition of it is essential.
A qualified professional will assess the condition of your bathroom(s) during an interior inspection of the home.
Here are some key things to look for in your bathroom:
Moisture damage to room or metal fixtures
Noisy or non-working exhaust fan
Loose wall tiles
Missing, mildew-stained or cracked grout
Cracks in toilet tank, bowl, seat or lid
Outlets not GFCI protected
Toilet not flushing properly
Toilet not secured to floor
Your heating equipment should be routinely checked by a qualified professional on an annual basis.
There are also key routine maintenance checks you should perform on your heating equipment. (Note: Turn off power to the unit before inspection or maintenance.)
Maintain records to keep track of maintenance checks and requirements.
Change the filter as required, once every other month or more frequently, depending on the variables in your home.
Look for water leaks or changes in the system.
Check the drain lines to make sure they are clear and draining properly.
Listen to the furnace operate and follow up on any unfamiliar sounds.
Check flue pipes and vents for rust, water leaks and loose connections.
Switch high/low returns at the start and end of the heating season.
Contact a qualified service technician if you don’t feel comfortable performing these tasks on your own.
Each year there are about 21,800 residential fires associated with space heaters. Demonstrate care when using space heaters this winter. (Source: www.cpsc.gov)
Combustion appliances or mechanical systems, including fireplaces, gas stoves and gas heating systems, produce by-products that need to be removed using a system of vents or flues known as an exhaust system.
To function properly, exhaust systems must be free of holes, cracks or rust.
Exhaust systems should be installed so combustion products are carried out of the house before cooling and condensation occurs.
High air pressure outside the house, low air pressure inside the house or improper appliance operation can sometimes impact the effectiveness of vent systems.
An NPI professional will evaluate the condition of the heating system, the location of master switches, functionality, the type of energy source used and the method of conducting heat throughout the home or business.
When inspecting a home here in Rochester NY I discovered a problem with the homeowners installation of a second floor laundry room which caused a major mold problem. Watch this video to see the problem that I observed.