Some DIY Bathroom Improvement Ideas

Sink Faucet - Professional Plumber in PhiladelphiaAs a full service plumber serving the Philadelphia area, we often get asked what are some Do-It-Yourself bathroom updates that can give it a fresh look. While we’re not a home remodeling company, we do quite a few bathroom updates. Utilizing our experience in the Philadelphia area in combination with suggestions made by home improvement experts; we’ve compiled some simple DIY ideas to help your Philadelphia bathroom have a fresh look.

Shower and Sink Faucets

Depending on the water supply (hard chemical deposits), age of the fixtures and how often the sink and shower faucets are used, can get pretty grungy. If you’re looking for a clean, fresh look for your Philadelphia area bathroom, this is a great place to get started. Before you to run to the hardware store and grab the cheapest thing you can find, consider investing in sink and shower fixtures that use better quality materials and have a more modern appeal.

While polished aluminum sink and shower fixtures are more expensive than the plastic ones you find at the box stores; they will last longer and function better. In addition, updating the sink and shower faucets can help save on the utility bill, as most modern fixtures have water saving technology built into them; which provides better pressure with less water. This is an area where you might consider hiring a professional plumber; fixtures not properly installed can cause leaks behind walls creating quite a mess.

Light fixtures – now there’s a bright idea!

Lighting upgrades - Professional Plumber in Philadelphia

Poor lighting and cheap looking fixtures can really give an unimpressive look to your Philadelphia area bathroom. When people are looking to sell a home they often skimp on the lighting fixtures leaving the new homeowner with inexpensive or cheap look in an otherwise good looking bathroom. You should also consider choosing light fixtures that provides more of an ambient, warm light rather than a direct white light. Using warmer/softer colored bulbs rather than the stark white or florescent can really give your bathroom at transforming look.

Electrical upgrades – a must!

Another inexpensive and necessary upgrade for your Philadelphia area bathroom is to swap out the electrical outlets with GFCI outlets. These ground fault circuit interrupter outlets provide a modern safety feature to older bathrooms. These types of electrical outlets are designed to trip before the wiring in your bathroom becomes overloaded from small appliances such as hairdryers and curling irons that draw excessive current. With these types of appliances working closely around water, this is a safety feature that should be in all Philadelphia bathrooms. In older homes, this is not only a great idea; it should be considered a necessity.

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Dated Bathroom - Professional Plumber in Philadelphia

Lose the plush toilet seat covers!

Let’s take a moment and detach yourself from the day project at the senior center where you made those tissue box crochet covers; or that your grandmother gave you the plush toilet seat cover for Christmas in 1983. We might also mention the attachment to your ninja turtle toothbrush holder doesn’t exactly fit now that you are 48 years old.

What we’re really trying to say is that there are many items within your bathroom that can give it a cluttered, dated look. Consider removing these items or replace them with modern, fresh items that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Hinges, knobs and handles

A perfectly simple way to give a modest, clean updated look to your Philadelphia area bathroom is to replace all the hinges, knobs and handles. Over a period of time these engines, knobs and handles can get chip or get painted over making your bathroom look old and cheap. By putting shiny new hinges, knobs and handles it can really add a little sparkle to your bathroom.

A new shower rod and shower curtain set

While many may consider this the last part of an update the shower/ bathtub in your bathroom is one of the main points, setting the tone for the look and feel of Philadelphia area bathroom. If you have an older, dingy shower rod and curtain, or worse yet; frosted glass sliding doors on rails… It frankly adds a drab, dated look to what is otherwise a nice looking bathroom.

Home improvement experts recommend a lighter colored shower curtain set up with a polished aluminum rod; for smaller bathrooms, this gives the feeling of a larger bathroom. With the appropriate combination of the color for the shower curtain with protective liner and proper lighting it can really change the overall feel of the bathroom.

Here when you need us

In the Philadelphia area, trust ifixdit,llc -Plumbing and Drains as your local expert for all of your plumbing needs. For years our reputation has been developed due to our high level of customer service combined with extraordinary plumbing experience. We back that up by making sure that our plumbing service company here in Philadelphia has all the proper licenses and insurances necessary to protect your investment as well as our reputation. When you contact ifixdit,llc -Plumbing and Drains  you will get a licensed master plumber on every single repair visit, we do not farm out our repairs to trainees; but rather take steps to make sure that your plumbing needs are taken care of by qualified & certified professionals.

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What type of plumbing material is best for my Philadelphia home?

Living in a city like Philadelphia presents unique plumbing challenges as the plumbing system itself dates back to the early 1800’s. Many older homes in the Philadelphia area have seen multiple repairs with different materials which, in some cases, has created a collection of patchwork that simply is a problem waiting to happen. For many Philadelphia residents that are looking to upgrade or correct this plumbing patchwork or simply upgrade the plumbing to a safer, more efficient system; there are many options to consider. iFixdit, LLC master plumbing services can provide you with the best options to keep the plumbing in your Philadelphia home flowing safely for many years to come.

Pipes; you never realize how much you need them until they stop working - Plumbing Repair in Philadelphia

Newer technology and newer materials

Over the years the plumbing industry as seen many materials used for the plumbing in your Philadelphia home. In the early 20th century materials for plumbing that were available were: cast iron, terra-cotta, copper and galvanized steel. While these materials were all long-lasting materials they have a tendency to develop a pinhole like deterioration over 50 to 70 years of use. With the Philadelphia water system using more aggressive chemicals in the water treatment process the estimated lifespan of these types of materials drops significantly adding to the problem and need of replacement.

Newer technology and newer materials was not always a good thing; in the late 70’s polybutylene was introduced to the Philadelphia market which quickly began to see significant failure when exposed to chlorinated water. This now banned material is still occasionally seen by the installation professionals at iFixdit, LLC, but fortunately it is rare.

Through careful research and development, the plumbing industry in Philadelphia has stabilized to the use of standardized materials that can be chosen to best fit the application. Residential vs. commercial, house vs. apartment, agricultural vs. industrial are some of the variables considered when choosing the correct material for plumbing. Some of the standardized materials are PEX plumbing, CPVC plumbing and copper piping.

PEX Plumbing

Introduced into the Philadelphia market in the early 80’s, PEX is an excellent choice for new homes and homes that are going under a remodeling project where the plumbing needs to be updated. PEX is affordable and acceptable in nearly every building code seen throughout the Philadelphia area. Some additional advantages of PEX plumbing are:

  • Available in longer lengths so less splicing needs to be done
  • Very flexible so it can be curved through certain wall openings rather than having multiple connectors
  • It is easier, faster and cheaper to install than copper and is a little bit faster than CPVC because of the flexibility factor.
  • PEX piping will not corrode like copper.
  • PEX piping is unaffected by acidic water and chemical treatments seen from water treatment plants.
  • Because of its flexible nature it can resist bursting due to frozen water lines unlike copper and CPVC
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CPVC plumbing

After seeing all of the benefits of PEX plumbing you might be thinking why you would need another option. Any professional plumbing service in Philadelphia will tell you there is a time, place and need for different types of materials. While PEX has its advantages, CPVC has some advantages of its own:

  • CPVC is one of the least inexpensive materials available for plumbing so its use can cut down on the overall costs for installation or remodeling.
  • CPVC can handle temperatures up to 180°F, which makes it an ideal option for hot water service lines.
  • CPVC can be exposed to sunlight without any effect such as warping or fracturing seen in PEX exposed pipes.
  • Resistant to acidic chemicals such as bug sprays or cleaning chemicals.
  • CPVC is a time honored and tested product that’s been used in residential homes since the late 50s with very few defects or measured problems.

Copper plumbing can be a good option - Plumbing Repair in Philadelphia

Copper plumbing

The original standard for indoor plumbing for your Philadelphia home, copper plumbing has been around almost as long as plumbing has. It is a proven, long-lasting option for your remodeling project or upgrade of your current service lines. Depending on the application, copper is still a great choice however careful consideration should be made when choosing copper over PEX or CPVC.

  • Copper piping last extremely long with a proven 75 to 100 year lifespan. This makes it a perfect choice for apartment complexes where the accessibility of the plumbing is restricted needing more durable materials that last longer without service.
  • Copper piping does not expand or contract under pressure or temperature changes meaning that it is very versatile for both hot and cold water service.

Keep in mind when choosing copper for your Philadelphia home that it is also the most expensive to install and repair.

iFixdit, LLC is your local professional plumbing service

For years Philadelphia residents have trusted iFixdit, LLC for all their master plumbing service needs. Whether you’re needing plumbing repairs, plumbing upgrades, drain repair or fixture replacements we are available 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help. Give us a call today and find out the difference that using a locally owned and operated company can make.

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The most common reasons people call a master plumber

One of our master technicians  - Plumbing Repair in PhiladelphiaOn a national level, research shows the average homeowner will call a plumber once every three years; here in Philadelphia that number is a little higher. One of the things that we often get asked is “What’s the most common plumbing problem that you see in Philadelphia?” Our answer often surprises people when we say… “Neglect.” Most of the common reasons people call a master plumber are due to residents not taking care of small problems why they still are small. By overlooking the warning signs of a larger problem -the standard appointment often turns into an emergency visit.

Taking a look back at many of the service calls that we perform in the Philadelphia area; we have compiled a list of the 3 most common reasons that people call a master plumber.

Running Toilet

At the top of the list is a constantly running toilet. This is one of those problems that can creep up on residents in Philadelphia, then before you know it; the water is seemingly running all the time. (Wasting hundreds of gallons of water) There are many reasons for a toilet running, but the reasons we find to be most common are:

  • Hard water deposit buildup in the components keeping them from properly sealing.
  • A resident will add detergents or chemicals to the water to help clean the toilet. (the famous blue water) This may keep your toilet sparkling clean but, these chemicals over a period of time can cause a deterioration of the seals; even making the rubber itself turn into a gelatinous substance that loses its integrity and shape.
  • Mis-adjusted handle chain. The toilet handle is not a lawn mower pull cord… So when someone slams down on the flush handle it can cause the chain to separate or get tangled causing the flapper valve not to seat. While it is a quick fix for your plumber its still a service charge to come out and take care of it.

Clogged Drains

Chemical drain cleaners, unfortunately can’t fix every clogged drain. When the “self help” methods don’t work… we get the call. However, most of the clogged drains that we come across in Philadelphia are because something, other than water, went in them (which they weren’t designed for). Grease, hair, beauty products, bits of food, plastic and chemicals all can create a build-up that retail level cleaners just are not aggressive enough to dissolve.

Proper use of the drains can make for trouble free use. Avoid pouring anything down the drain that is thicker than water. Foreign debris (anything other than liquid) should not be placed or washed into the drain. Depending on how the plumbing in your Philadelphia home was routed, it typically goes through 2 to 4 – 90° turns before it exits the home; giving the drains plenty of opportunity to develop a clog beyond the reach of drain cleaning chemicals.

Call I*Fixdit, LLC Today – (267) 979-4517

You don't realize how much you rely on your water heater until it doesn't work - Plumbing Repair in PhiladelphiaWater Heater Repairs

Water heaters are the silent helper in your Philadelphia home, usually installed outside of the visible common areas of your home, it’s easy to forget about the water heater until it fails. With most water heaters having an average of 10 years of useful life, we have received numerous service calls from Philadelphia residents where the water heater was 15 years or older.

Here are some warning signs that your water heater may need to be replaced:


  • Age: The life span of a water heater is 8 to 12 years. Occasionally you can see them last longer but will generally have reduced efficiency.
  • Rust in the water: Because most hot water heater tanks in Philadelphia are made out of steel; if you begin to notice small pieces of debris or a rust color to your water you need to replace your hot water heater.
  • A popping noise when the water heater comes on (gas units): This occurs when large amounts of sediment has built up on the bottom of the tank from interior deterioration. This is a sign that water heater should be replaced soon.
  • A visible leak: While some water heater leaks can be repaired by a master plumber, if the leak is coming from a seam or out of an area that is inaccessible; it will probably need to be replaced.
  • Visible signs of rust and corrosion: When you can see heavy rust build up around the connections or base of the water heater, its smart to go ahead and replace the water heater. While surface rust does not affect the functioning of the water heater at first; it can quickly develop into a leak. Often times premature rust can develop when a water heater is installed in Philadelphia homes to sit directly on a concrete floor exposing it to moisture, a properly installed water heater will be placed on a stand of sorts (depending on the available space) to help prolong this concern.
  • The hot water is lukewarm or cold: There are several components of a water heater that would cause it to not function properly including the heating element. However, if any of the other conditions are present in conjunction with it not functioning properly, then the water heater should be replaced.

Master Plumber Serving Philadelphia

iFixdit, LLC is your local Philadelphia registered master plumber that can take care of all of your plumbing needs. iFixdit, LLC is a fully licensed, bonded and insured plumbing service providing protection for our company as well as giving you peace of mind. Every plumbing repair, maintenance or installation will have a licensed master plumber on the property to work and supervise. This not only helps us ensure the quality of our service but also make sure that we get your plumbing problem fixed the first time.

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Plumbers, not the reputation that TV has made us out to have…

The three stooges - Plumbing Repair in PhiladelphiaNot too long ago, on a service call for a Philadelphia customer, she said: “you’re not what I imagined you’d be.” So I started thinking about how Hollywood and the media portrays this industry and perhaps how misunderstood the career of a plumber really is. iFixdit’s Master Plumber, Tony, doesn’t play a plumber on TV, he’s a master plumber in real life serving the great residents of Philadelphia for years. This article will highlight, and perhaps try to present a better understanding, of the tasks, risks and career of a licensed master plumber in Philadelphia.

Being a plumber in Philadelphia is hard work and at times, risky

If you compare the job of the plumber to some other jobs you’ll find that the conditions that we work under sometimes can be very difficult and hazardous. Take a look at some of these key points and explanations:

Most plumbers work alone: While this sometimes has its advantages; hauling equipment, tools, air tanks and plumbing materials up and down many flights of stairs to basements, apartments and rooftops in Philadelphia can take its toll. For some larger repairs a plumber may need to haul 300-500 lbs. of materials to get a job done.

Plumbing work is physically challenging: Aside from the physical demands of hauling tools, materials and equipment; to access many areas requires some flexibility: maneuvering underneath sinks, down crawl ways, through attics and sewer access points means a plumber must work in awkward positions to be able to complete the task. These awkward positions can cause muscle strain and musculoskeletal injuries according to numerous medical and legal articles on this subject.

Additionally, these injury risks are magnified when working in wet environments that can increase the chances of a slip and fall. Working with water heaters, boilers and other pressure vessels adds to the chances of being scalded or burned. Because many plumbers work alone, a serious injury may not be detected immediately compounding the risk factor for serious injuries.

Plumbers are exposed to extreme bio and chemical hazards: Everyday your friendly, neighborhood plumber in Philadelphia is exposed to chemical and bio hazards from raw sewage, harboring bacteria such as: tetanus, leptospirosis, hepatitis, E.coli, giardia, salmonella, cryptosporidium and dysentery, to animal droppings that can be infected with psittacosis, histoplasmosis and hantavirus.

A large risk factor is being exposed daily to toxic mold, especially in older Philadelphia homes and apartments where a slow leak has permeated the walls. Don’t forget about chemical hazards from toxic drain cleaners, lead exposure in pipes and asbestos in insulation, pipe covers and walls.

Call I*Fixdit, LLC Today – (267) 979-4517

The three Stoges - How to be a plumber - Plumbing Repair in PhiladelphiaSome things you may not know about a Professional Philadelphia Plumber

Again, the perception given by the media and Hollywood is that a plumber is just a worker (often portrayed as uneducated), but that’s actually, quite far from the truth.

Plumbers are extremely knowledgeable and skilled: In addition to the certifications and training necessary to work in such a diverse industry; a plumber is also skilled in reading blueprints, electrical schematics, diagrams and must be a master of local and federal regulations as well as building codes.

Choosing the career of a plumber means hundreds of hours of licensing & certification training, years of apprenticeship and dedication. A master plumber/ small business owner spends, on an industry average, $500,000 in training, tools and equipment to be able to perform the services needed for their customer. This does not mean that the master plumber will be successful; successful small business plumbing services must add to that a desire and commitment for customer service, safety and integrity of business in order to last more than a few years in the Philadelphia area.

iFixdit is your Local, Licensed Master Plumbing Service

iFixdit’s master plumber and business owner, Tony; has made the investment of time and money because of his love for the diversity of this industry. No two days are the same as each project in this Philadelphia market is a little different; bringing about troubleshooting skills and job satisfaction for each customer that he serves. Philadelphia is a great city but, it is only great because of how terrific the residents and citizens are. It is a privilege to serve this great community as a master plumbing company.

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