Whether you are building a new home, tackling a renovation, or have a plumbing issue, a plumber will be a key player in your project. Shawn from our ToolBoxExperts team recently had a conversation with Brad MacAulay, Owner and Operator of High Valley Plumbing and Heating in Stratford, PEI, for some advice on common plumbing issues and questions.
Shawn: Can you tell us about the services your company offers?
Brad: Our team of licensed red seal plumbers offers a wide range of services, ranging from service calls to major commercial projects. Examples of services we provide include: plumbing services for new builds and renovations, water treatment, boiler installation and service, burner service, cottage opening and closing, and furnace cleaning. We also do service calls, including emergency and after hours service. We are pleased to be one of PEI’s only certified and licensed back-flow prevention tester and installer.
Shawn: Given the issues you see on your service calls, do you have recommendations for Islanders to help avoid the need for a service call?
Brad: Absolutely! Obviously, in many instances, there are issues that cannot be prevented, like if there is no water or a burst pipe, when it is best to contact a licensed plumber to address. Having said that, there are some preventative measures homeowners can take that may avoid having to call a plumber. For instance, when responding to a service call for a clogged drain, we often find that there has been a lot of debris (e.g. small particles of food) washed down the drain – and even grease! Grease and coffee grinds are likely two of the worst items to flush down the sink and will inevitably lead to poor drainage and eventually a clogged drain. As a general rule, try not to wash any debris down the drain, especially grease!
Shawn: What about toilets?
Brad: Regarding toilets, toilet paper is the only item that should be flushed down the toilet. I strongly recommend against flushing feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, Q-tips, paper towel, etc. down the toilet as we’ve seen these will undoubtedly cause a clogged toilet and you will need to call a plumber.
Shawn: You also do a lot of bathroom renovation work. What considerations would you offer for an Islander considering a bathroom renovation?
Brad: The plumber has an integral role in a bathroom renovation project but it is also important for the homeowner to talk to other contractors that will be involved as well. Plumbers can provide advice as to what can be done from a plumbing and plumbing design perspective, but it is also important to talk to your carpenter, for example, to get their advice on what can be done from a structural/construction standpoint.
Shawn: When significant rain is expected, we often see reminders to check our sump pump – what does this mean?
Brad: If people have a sump pump in their home, they should treat it like smoke or carbon monoxide alarm; that is, it should be checked regularly to make sure it is operational and maintain as needed. A few key elements to check are the electrical connection, that the float is able to move freely (not stuck), and finally by pouring some water into the basin until the float rises and the sump pump kicks in. By performing regular system checks, it should mean the sump pump will operate when it is most needed. It is also important to ensure your drainage hose can drain freely away from your home.
Shawn: Any final thoughts?
Brad: If homeowners take preventative measures like some of the ones I mentioned, it will likely reduce the likelihood or frequency in which they would need to call a qualified plumber. Having said that, our team of red seal licensed plumbers at High Valley are always eager to tackle plumbing issues that require a professional. If Islanders are planning a home renovation or new build, or simply require plumbing or heating service, I invite them to contact our office at 902-569-5212.
You can learn more about High Valley Plumbing and Heating and read customer reviews here: https://toolboxexperts.com/pei/plumbing/high-valley-plumbing-heating/
About the Interviewee
Bradley MacAulay entered the plumbing trade when he was 18 years old. He began as an apprentice at Hynes & Smith before moving on to work in Calgary at Hoover Mechanical. Bradley then moved back to PEI to become a foreman for Mr. Plumber before embracing a role as a plumbing instructor at Holland College for two years. In 2012, Bradley opened High Valley Plumbing and Heating, along with his wife and four boys. With a dedication to customer service and a reputation of quality workmanship, High Valley Plumbing and Heating has become one of the most trusted plumbing companies in PEI.