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22 Articles

The War on Germs

by bplusw 0 Comments

It’s about that time of year again! The time of year when we purchase tissues and Lysol in bulk. The time of year that we head into battle armed with flu shots and vitamin C. It’s almost here – it’s almost flu season!
Stocking up on germ killing supplies is helpful, but there is a way to decrease the spread of germs in your home that doesn’t involve a yellow can and a sore arm. Consider installing touchless faucets and toilets in your kitchen and bathrooms.
Touchless, or hands free faucets use a sensor to dispense water, activated by the motion of your hand. Your family and guests never have to touch anything, so your faucet won’t become the transferring point for cooties.
Likewise, touchless toilets also involve a sensor that is hand activated. Simply wave your hand above the sensor and it flushes, sparing you contact with the millions of germs found on a toilet handle.
In addition to cutting down contact with germs, touchless units use less water, which will cut down your water bill as well.
Many names you can trust, like Kohler and Delta make touchless devices. Kohler even sells a retro fit kit, which can turn your current toilet into a touchless one!
Begin your journey to a healthier home today. Call us at (317) 243-3581 to find out more about installing touchless faucets and toilets in your home.

Recall Information

by bplusw 0 Comments

WRTV6 recently featured a segment announcing a recall of Trane and American Standard brand accessory heaters, concerning a potential fire hazard. As you can imagine, this has caused worry among our customers and prompted several concerned phone calls! The facts are this – there was a recall on select accessory heaters made by Trane and American Standard between 11/2014 and 3/2015. The issue with these heaters was identified and corrected early this year. B&W has not purchased or installed any of the heaters in question, so our customers can rest easy!

If you have any question concerning this recall, feel free to call our office at (317) 243-3581. The complete recall notice can be viewed at www.americanstandardair.com.

New Years Resolutions for your Home (Part 2 of 2)

We hope you are on your way to achieving your New Years resolutions and goals.  Earlier this month we encouraged you to add home maintenance into your New Years resolutions.  We are now adding ways to increase your home safety as well as  recommendations to save money on your home.

Increase your homes safety.

  • Check your smoke detectors and ensure you have a carbon monoxide detector.  Carbon monoxide detectors should be located where your family sleeps.
  • Schedule maintenance for your furnace and AC units.
  • Consider a home management system such as Nexia Home Intelligence.  http://www.americanstandardair.com/products/nexia-home-intelligence.html This wireless technology can manage your home from your computer as well as your mobile device. Adjust temperature, lighting, and even security with the added  Schlage® Home Security Kit.
  • Schedule a “Homeowners 101 Inspection” inclusive of “Home Comfort Audit” and “Plumbing Inspection”. The more you know about your home the better especially in cases of emergency. Call 317.243.3581 for more information.
  • While vacationing

    • If your water softener regenerates on a timed schedule, and not demand, consider putting it on bypass.
    • Most water heaters have a vacation mode. This will keep the water heater pilot lit, but it will not continually heat water you are not using.
    • Use light timers inside and outside. (Nexia Home Intelligence has this feature)

Reduce costs and/or save money on your home:

  • Check that your homeowners insurance is up to date. Here are some issues that our customers have had in the recent past.   Some policies have added basement back up or sump pump failure exclusions.  You may have had the same policy for 20 years but the insurance company sends updates and policy information periodically. If you are like me you don’t always read the fine print. Pull the policy or call your agent and check.  If you are currently renting your old residence , be sure your agent is aware of this change. We have had  more than one customer that did not realize renting out a house you could not sell changes everything to the insurance company.
  • Vow to install a programmable thermostat and save money. Why heat or cool your home when you aren’t there? Adjust the temperature back to your comfort level when you’ll be there.
  • Increase your home value by making upgrades such as a bathroom remodel or new kitchen sink. (Be sure and consult with your homes insurance provider as many upgrades may cause adjustments to your policy.)
  • Contact a home comfort expert to compare the energy costs of your current heating system to a new energy efficient system. For many systems there are utility and manufacturer rebates that can reduce your initial investment.

We hope you found this article helpful. Don’t hesitate to contact our team at 317.243.3581 with any questions you may have.


New Years Resolutions for your Home.(Part 1 of 2)

With a new year comes New Years Resolutions.  While health goals top many lists don’t forget to set some goals for your home.  It is probably your largest financial investment anyway, so protect it.  We’ve included 3 major areas and will divide them into a two series blog.  Below we cover many plumbing and heating maintenance tips that go unnoticed.   Later this month we will add part 2 sharing many cost saving and energy efficient goals for your home as well as increasing your homes safety.


  • HVAC filters should be checked.  Filters 1” or less should be changed.  Depending on conditions, in your home, the larger media filters may last 3-6 months.  Did you know burning candles can plug your filter in just a week?
  • Every home owner should know where to find the main water shut off, water meter pit (if on city water) and natural gas shut offs.


  • Test smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries.  Carbon monoxide detectors should be located where the family sleeps.
  • Clean all shower heads. (Simply tie a bag of vinegar and let sit, when removed, lightly scrub with small brush or an old toothbrush.)
  • Check your plumbing shut off valves so that they open and close properly.


Winter – 

  • Prevent your pipes from bursting by leaving a slow drip (of warm water), when temperatures outside are freezing, and open your cabinet doors.
  • Make sure your humidifier is working. An HVAC tech can test the humidity in your home.

Spring –

  • Check for plumbing leaks inside and out.  A slow trickle can increase your water bill.  You can also turn off the water and look at your meter.   If you see activity then call a plumber.
  • Your humidifier should be off.
  • Prepare your AC system by scheduling a service/maintenance.
  • When you use your outside faucet for the first time in spring, carefully check inside your home to verify it did not freeze and burst over the winter.
  • Test your sump pump, make sure there is nothing in the pit. Dump water in the pit and verify the pump clears the pit.


  • Unhook your hoses outside to prevent freezing.
  • Test your sump pump.
  • Schedule maintenance on your furnace.

Upgrades to consider.

  • Consider a home water softening system.  Your hair and skin will appreciate it.  Also, sediment build up on your fixtures and in your toilets and water heater will be greatly reduced.
  • Just changing the kitchen sink and faucet can make the entire kitchen look new.
  • Contact a home comfort expert to compare the energy costs of your current heating system to a new energy efficient system.  For many systems there are tax credits and utility rebates that can reduce your initial investment.
  • A whole home humidifier greatly reduces static and improves comfort.  Besides the benefits to your family did you know a whole house humidifier extends the life of your wood furniture?

We hope you found this article helpful. Share your comments on any other tips you include in your home maintenance.  Stay tuned for part two later this month on home safety and money saving tips for your home.

Happy New Year!

10 Tips to Welcome your Holiday Guests

Tis the season to entertain.  Since comfort is our speciality our staff put together tips to ensure your guests are comfortable, while visiting, during the holidays or winter season.  Have your family members help you prepare by dividing this list along with your home cleaning, organizing and holiday meal planning.  The more you can get done in advance means the more time you’ll have to enjoy your guests and the holiday season.

Welcome Guests
(Image source: addicted2decorating.com)

  1. Ensure your pathways  are clear of ice and snow and light the way by checking that your bulbs are in working order.  (If using salt on your sidewalks, consider walking your pet in the snow as to not irritate his/her paws, or consider dog boots.  Check your local hardware store for pet safe products.)
  2. Roll out the red carpet, or shall we say the welcome mat?  Offer a place for your guests to kick the snow off of their shoes outside and inside your door.  If you have a guest in a wheel chair look into renting (or purchasing) a portable ramp. http://www.accesstoday.com/
  3. Inside your home create a drop zone by having a coat rack or closet, with empty hangers, nearby.  Consider placing a bench or chair, for boots, to be removed.  Also, plan an area for purses and gift bags.
  4. Appeal to the senses.  Wether you have a candle burning, a pot of apples and cinnamon, or a plug in scent, nothing speaks holidays and warmth than a pleasurable scent.
  5. Warm your guests from the inside out by offering coffee, hot cider, cocoa or more as they enter.
  6. Adjust your programmable thermostat a few degrees down when you anticipate the oven heating up and a full home of added guests.  Plan this ahead as you may forget with last minute preparations for your guests.  Lay out a few throw blankets, around your sofas or in a basket, in case your guests prefer a higher home temperature. It’s hard to please everyone, but it’s much easier to set a few degrees low and offer a blanket to Granny than to cool down others.
  7. For overnight guests prepare a basket of towels and travel size necessities that may have been forgotten, like a toothbrush, shampoos, lotion, etc. (Consider adding a mint on the pillow before bedtime or a welcome note from your kids.)
  8. Check that your water heater is ready for the extra guests. If not, consider a larger capacity unit or make a shower schedule to ensure warm water for everyone. If you want to impress guests add one of our wireless Moxie Speakers to your shower head.
  9. Prepare a warm and welcoming breakfast in your crock pot for your overnight guests. We’ve tried this one and it’s fantastic (healthy too).  There are many online versions depending on your health goals and restrictions. http://www.theyummylife.com/Slow_Cooker_Apple_Cinnamon_Oatmeal
  10. Wrapping up our list. Keep some extra wrapping paper and tape accessible for any guests who bring a last minute gift without wrapping. (You may even want to plan an extra gift or two in your closet in case you forgot someone.)

We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season, and hope you find our tips helpful. Feel free to post any of your comments or suggestions, for getting through the holidays with guests, here or on our facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/bigblacktrucks


Combination Primary and Backup Pump Systems From B&W Plumbing and Heating

by bplusw


With the recent thaw and rains in Central Indiana your sump pump is probably working overtime.  Is it keeping up with the amount or water that is coming?  Every time a storm knocks the power out to you home are you hoping it will come on as quick as possible so your basement doesn’t flood?  Have B&W Plumbing and Heating install piece of mind with a Combonation Sump Pump system.


The new PHCC Pro Series, “Pair of Pumps” combination systems, couples an energy efficient primary sump pump and battery backup sump pump into one compact system. The primary pump operates off AC power. If the power is interrupted, or more water is coming into the sump than the AC pump can handle, the backup sump pump will begin pumping automatically.


The combination systems also contain unique monitoring features that warns the homeowner if the power goes out, battery fluid is low, backup pump was activated, or if the battery is discharged, defective, or battery terminals need cleaning. In addition the PS-C33 pump controller can send an alarm signal to a home security system or auto dialer.



  • Energy efficient permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor
  • Continuous duty rated
  • Dual float switches on primary and backup pumps
  • Automatically switches to battery power when AC fails
  • Backup pump will assist primary pump if excessive amounts of water are entering the sump
  • Detects irregularities, sounds an alarm, and pinpoints problems and solutions on control panel
  • Maintains and recharges battery automatically
  • Alarm can be silenced during a power outage
  • Output terminals for connection to a security system or auto-dialer (PS-C33 only)
  • Can accommodate two (2) B2200 batteries for 16 hours of continuous pumping (PS-C33 only)
  • 3-year warranty
  • Water cooled (no oil to leak)


Call 317-243-3581 and have your Combination Sump Pump System installed today.

Outside Spigot

by bplusw


Remember to remove your garden hose or hose reel from your outside spigot before it freezes outside.  Leaving the hose attached during freezing and thawing conditions will damage the faucet.

The Water You Lose Could Cost As Much As The Water You Use

by bplusw

So you have a leaky faucet or toilet and you tell yourself you will have it taken care of later.  Leaking fixtures sends your water and your money down the drain.  It is much better to have the leak repaired rather than let it continue to waste your money.


From the EPA website:


    The Facts on Leaks:

    • Leaks can account for, on average, 10,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year, which is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.
    • The amount of water leaked from U.S. homes could exceed more than 1 trillion gallons per year. That’s equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined.
    • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
    • Common types of leaks found in the home include leaking toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.
    • Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners more than 10 percent on their water bills.
    • Keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet valves, and showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don’t require a major investment and can be installed by do-it-yourselfers.
    • The vast majority of leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.


    Leak Detection:

    • A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.
    • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
    • One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.


    Faucets and Showerheads:

    • A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. A home with WaterSense labeled toilets could use that water to flush for six months!
    • Leaky faucets can be reduced by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary. If you are replacing a faucet, look for the WaterSense label.
    • A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
    • Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.



    • If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day.
    • If your toilet is leaking, the cause is most often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It’s usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper—a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
    • If you do need to replace the entire toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model. If a family of four replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save more than 16,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family approximately $2,000 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.



    • An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
    • An irrigation system with pressure set at 60 pounds per square inch that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.



For more information on water leaks, visit the EPA’s website:  http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/fixleak.html


Call B&W Plumbing and Heating at 317-243-3581 and have your leak taken care of today!

April Showers Will Be Here Soon…….

by bplusw


Will your sump pumps be ready for the rain?


Here are a couple of tips to help you make sure that your pump is operating properly. 

Check your float switch.  The float should rise and fall freely as your sump pit fills and empties.  Make sure that it does not get hung up on along the pit wall or discharge pipe.  Another thing to check is that the sump pit is free from debris.  Since most sump pits are open and they are on the floor, it is not uncommon for debris to fall or be accidentally kicked into the pit.  If you have two sump pumps controlled by an alternator, confirm that both pumps are operating.

Another thing to consider, if you haven’t already, is installing a battery back up sump pump.  You will have the piece of mind knowing that if your power goes out during a heavy rain storm, the ground water will still be carried away.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please give us a call at (317)243-3581 or if you would like, you can submit your questions online by clicking on the following link:  http://bplusw.com/expert.html