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Know Which Plumbing Projects Need a Pro

Lifestyles - 6 min 37 sec ago
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Plumbing projects can seem daunting to many homeowners, and when done incorrectly, they can be messy and disastrous to your property. In addition, poorly performed plumbing repairs can be expensive. You may spend more money on a plumber who has to fix your mistakes in addition to repairing the initial problem.

Most homeowners are capable of fixing a simple leak, at least enough to prevent further damage until a plumber arrives. Early detection is the key, and several products are available that are designed to help identify small leaks before they become big problems. One such product is the FloLogic System, which monitors the water supply in your house from a single location in the main. If the water flow exceeds a preset limit, indicating a possible leak, the system acts like a circuit breaker, shuts off the water, and sounds an alarm.

There are several other plumbing projects that an energetic do-it-yourself homeowner can tackle, including:

* Hoses and shower heads. Replacing shower heads and washing machine hoses isn't difficult, but make sure you know which replacement parts to buy before getting started. If you need to replace the shut-off valves in a shower or tub, however, it's best to call a professional plumber, because an incorrectly installed valve can lead to a flooded bathroom.

* Pipe insulation. If you have the time and inclination, seek advice from the experts at your local home repair store so you have the right jackets, boards, moldings, mats and tapes. Once you have the right items, and if you are prepared for cramped spaces, you can take on insulating your own pipes.

For a major installation, such as a water heater, don't try it yourself. It's an expensive project, but once it's in place, it should last for 15 to 20 years, so it's worth having it done by a professional.

And, of course, small leaks can turn into big problems, so once you have identified and temporarily contained a leak, call your plumber to have the leak evaluated and fixed.

To learn more about FloLogic, visit

Light Up Your Landscaping Like a Pro

Lifestyles - 8 min 44 sec ago
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Summer months are quickly approaching, and many homeowners are getting lawns prepared for cookouts, family gatherings and entertaining late-night porch hangouts.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), proper outdoor lighting is just as essential for a beautiful landscape as are a lush lawn, bright flowerbeds and manicured shrubs.

Jeff Dross, corporate director of lighting education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, recently explained that homeowners are opening up to new ideas with landscape lighting.

Use Indirect Light

Dross says homeowners have begun to shift toward indirect light for their landscaping, which essentially uses a source to reflect the light emitted by the light fixture. This creates more of an atmospheric tone, allowing the light to spread across a wall off the side of a house more effectively. Indirect lighting will illuminate flower beds, gardens, bushes or other decorative landscaping art. Additionally, the light will bounce off the ground and create a nicely lit walkway around flowerbeds.

The Shift Toward LEDs

LED light bulbs are beginning to dominate the landscape lighting industry. For the majority of homeowners, outdoor lights and landscape lighting are typically left on longer than other home lighting, which makes LEDs the more affordable and logical option.

Additionally, LEDs can be manufactured in much smaller sizes, which give homeowners more options to use them in unique spaces. Dross explains that LEDs are so small, they can be used as application lighting, as well as for aesthetic purposes. Hardscape designs are easy to mesh with LEDs, because the style creates both a passageway lighting source and indirect lighting for stone or brick landscapes.

Go Simplistic

One significant trend in landscape lighting is simplicity and cleanliness. What this means is more homeowners are choosing to go with fewer ground fixtures to illuminate their entire home. According to Dross, residents who simply align their light fixtures along a walkway in a very orderly and organized fashion are providing a lot of unnecessary light and wasting energy.

Going for a more simplistic design can still highlight plants and flower beds while giving just enough light to illuminate a backyard or around a patio. Also, homeowners are moving toward fewer lumens in light fixtures. This allows the light beam to spread more efficiently and even out the overall light sources.

To learn more about landscape lighting, visit a nearby ALA showroom, or go to

Manage Emergency Plumbing Leaks With Ease

Lifestyles - 10 min 59 sec ago
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Water problems top the list of many homeowners' woes, especially water leaks. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency suggest that repairing a faucet dripping at two ounces a minute can save 11,000 gallons of water a year.

Catching a small leak immediately and identifying its source are the keys to preventing water waste and water damage, and a few simple tips can help keep a leak under control.

The FloLogic System, developed by FloLogic, Inc., is one way to help identify leaks early. The FloLogic System works by monitoring the water supply in the home, and when the flow through the system exceeds a limit that is set when the system is installed, the system shuts off and alerts the homeowner via an alarm system. This early warning means that homeowners can take some do-it-yourself action as soon as possible and control problems from leaks until a professional arrives.

When a plumbing emergency strikes, don't panic. Follow these steps to help contain your plumbing problem.

* Location, location, location. Find the source of the leak. Sometimes the source is obvious; in other cases it is necessary to trace the water flow to find the problem.

* Selective shut-off. A system such as FloLogic will automatically shut off the water in the event of a leak, and turning off valves for the specific fixture may be enough.

* Drain and dry. Drain out any excess water and dry the pipe once it is empty.

Then, try these quick fixes:

* Go for glue. If a leak is located at a joint between two pipes, pressing flexible epoxy into the hole might do the trick until a plumber can assess the problem. Work the epoxy in your hands, press it into the hole, and allow it to set.

* Pencil tip. If the hole is small, stick a sharpened pencil into the hole, break off the tip so the tip plugs the hole, and wrap the hole with duct tape or electrical tape.

* Screw and washer. For larger holes, try placing a washer around the hole, then drive the screw through the hole.

Visit for more details about the FloLogic water monitoring system and more information about water management in the home.

How to Protect Pets From Fleas and Ticks

Lifestyles - 13 min 10 sec ago
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - With the arrival of long, sunny days, people and pets alike are eager to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors. However, pet owners must be especially vigilant during the warmer months of the dangers fleas and ticks can pose to their four-legged friends.

Flea bites can cause pets to scratch excessively, and their saliva can transfer tapeworms, while ticks can spread Lyme disease in pets and cause tick paralysis, a condition that can result in death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.

The following tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) can help protect pets from fleas and ticks this summer:

1: After walks or playtime outside, inspect your pet thoroughly. Brush their coat to remove any debris or insects, especially if your pet has been in wooded areas or high grasses.

2: Bathe dogs regularly, using a shampoo that can kill pests.

3: Be on the lookout for skin irritations on your pet, such as bite marks, red, itchy skin, or excessive scratching.

4: If your pet has long hair, consider having him/her groomed in the spring and summer to help to prevent insects from latching onto the long hair and help you to spot any that do.

5: Consult with a veterinarian to determine if a preventative medicine is recommended for your pet.

6: If you notice a change in your animal's behavior, such as lack of appetite or decrease in energy, take your pet to the veterinarian ASAP. This could be a sign of Lyme disease or other health issue caused by pests.

7: Wash your pet's bedding, crate, toys, food bowls and sleeping areas on a regular basis.

8: Keep your home clean and clutter-free to deter pest infestations and make it easy to spot any pests that do find their way indoors. Vacuum frequently and wash linens on a regular basis.

9: Keep your lawn cut short, and gardens well maintained, to prevent breeding grounds for pests. Fleas and ticks often hide out in tall grasses.

10: If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately, being careful to extract the head and mouthparts completely. If your pet has fleas, bathe them and seek the advice of a veterinarian.

For more information on fleas and ticks, or to find a pest control professional in your area, visit

'Today' show celebrating back-to-back ratings victories

Business News - 54 min 22 sec ago
The "Today" show is staging a comeback.
    Tonight's final Northeast Hoosier Conference baseball game will go a long...
    FORT WAYNE— The Braves used a big homerun late in the game from Brett...
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