Archive for June, 2011

PostHeaderIcon How To Take Care of Your Water Heater

Is there any maintenance required for a water heater?

Yes, you should test the pressure relief valve regularly and replace it if it fails to operate.

At least once a year you should flush out the sediments. As long as a tank has a functioning anode, it should not rust. Therefore you should check the anode about once every two years. The fitting is usually on the top of the tank and it’s often tight, so a torque multiplier is a useful tool.

If you find 6” or more of the steel core wire exposed, or if the rod formed a hard, adherent calcium carbonate coating that prevents further corrosion of the sacrificial metal, replace the rod. There are segmented rods if overhead clearance is limited. Or you can call us and we’ll check it out for you.

Heating Richmond – 604.283.2383

PostHeaderIcon Enbridge Ride a Success

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, two-day cycling event took place on June 18-19, 2011 and was a great success.   I want to immediately thank all those who sponsored my ride and I am pleased to say that our team, the Titans raised over $75,000.   Collectively, all the participants raised over $11.1 million for the BC Cancer Foundation. Thanks to your outstanding support, we have surpassed our hugely successful 2010 Ride and will be able to substantially increase funding for breakthrough research at the BC Cancer Agency, throughout British Columbia.


The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is a powerful movement of hope, healing, celebration and optimism where thousands of cyclists join together to raise funds and awareness in order to conquer cancer.

It is a unique fundraising event benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation, a B.C.-based charity that raises funds for the BC Cancer Agency – a province-wide, population-based cancer control organization. The funds raised stay in B.C. and benefit cancer patients across all of British Columbia.

Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls along into Washington State

More than $16 million raised for cancer research through this event

SEATTLE (NEWS1130) – The Ride to Conquer Cancer continues to roll along this weekend.  Riders took off from Vancouver yesterday and are expected to reach Seattle by this evening.

Doug Nelson is taking part and took a break from the route to call News1130 from Washington State.

He says that every one of the over 2, 200 cyclists have been somehow affected by cancer and the ride gives them a great chance to help find a cure.  “It’s been amazing to see the number of people and the number of personal stories of how cancer has touched people’s lives and how people are taking control of that by doing this ride this weekend.”

This is the second year the ride has been held on the West Coast.  Overall through this event $16 million has been raised for cancer research.

PostHeaderIcon How to Fix a Leaky Toilet

Toilet keeps running?

Now, the “smarty pants” answer is… Well catch it! But the practical answer is to do something about it.

Most people jiggle the handle and the running water stops. The problem is; it’s only a short term solution. The sensible answer is to have a plumber check inside the toilet tank to see why the water is escaping from the tank into the bowl when it shouldn’t be.

The problem could be as simple as debris under the flapper, and the solution as simple as changing the flapper or the flush valve as the seal is worn out. Or, we may make adjustments to the fill valve or any combination of the above.

A licensed plumber can take care of this for you, solving an annoying problem as well as conserving water and money in the process.

If this is happening to you, give us a call @ 604.283.2383

PostHeaderIcon 13 Guidelines to hire the best Contractors for Home Renovations:

Homeowners are back to tackling home improvement projects this year, but too many are skipping two important steps in the hiring process. In a recent  survey, one-third of the consumers who responded admit they don’t verify a contractor’s license status. Plus, 16 percent confess they don’t fully read the home improvement contract before they sign it.

These two items are crucial to a job’s success. Trade licenses are important indicators of quality, reliability and the ability to cover any unexpected injuries or other problems. Contracts literally spell out what the contractor and the homeowner are obligated to do — if a job goes poorly, you’ll know what was agreed upon to help protect yourself from financial loss.

Follow these 13 hiring guidelines to help make sure your project is problem-free and high-quality.

  1. Clearly define your project: Before you begin talking with contractors, read remodelling magazines, search the Internet for information on designs and materials. Even rough ideas on paper give a potential contractor a better sense of what you hope to accomplish and what is required to make it happen.
  2. Management issues: Large projects, especially those that may involve more than three different specialists (i.e. plumber, electrician, carpenter, mason) will go better if you have a general contractor to manage all the various tasks and timelines.
  3. Structural issues: Projects that eliminate walls, add rooms or otherwise impact the structural integrity of your home, should involve an architect or a structural engineer.
  4. Ask around:  Ask neighbours and friends  about good, local contractors, but don’t hire based on only one conversation.
  5. Check references: Get names of previous customers and find out if they were pleased with the work and the timeline of the project, and if they’d hire the contractor again. Get the names of subcontractors and ask if they work with the contractor often and does he pay on time. If your prospective contractor balks at providing references, find another one. Check with trade associations or Better Business Bureau to learn how your contractor stacks up among his or her peers. ( )
  6. Get estimates: Get at least three written estimates. Documentation is often the best ammunition you have if things go wrong.
  7. Where can I reach you? Be cautious of contractors who give you a post office box with no street address, or use only an answering service. Never hire someone who comes unsolicited to your door and can’t provide you proof of qualifications – especially if he or she pressures you to hire fast and pay cash up front.
  8. License for hire: Some provinces or cities have no licensing requirements for contractors, which can make it difficult for homeowners to check up on contractors before they hire. Don’t rely on the contractor’s word to know whether his or her license is valid: verify it through appropriate agencies.
  9. Insurance and bonding: Check the status of the contractor’s bonding and liability insurance coverage, too. A good contractor will come prepared with proof that he or she is covered.
  10. Budget and payment options: The typical pre-payment is typically between 10 and 15 percent of the total value of the project. Even the most carefully planned project can change, especially if hidden problems are found. Never pay for a project with cash; always use a credit card so you have recourse in case something goes wrong. Before you sign off and make the final payment, check that the work is complete to your satisfaction.
  11. The contract sign: Don’t assume your contract covers all your needs. Know the details of the contract, as well as how any change orders will be handled. Check that your contract includes a lien waiver, covering payments to all subcontractors who worked on the project. Never sign a blank contract.
  12. Punch list: This is how the contractor will deal with the list of small items remaining to be completed at the end of the job. A good rule of thumb is to determine the cost of those items, double it, then withhold that amount from the final payment, until the list is complete.
  13. Prepare your family for the stress: This is one of the most overlooked, but critical considerations. How will the project change your routine, especially if it’s a kitchen or bath? Where will materials be stored? What are the working hours for the crew?

 Contact Ashton Service Group at 604-283-2383 for your upcoming  Home Renovations needs in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland or click here for no obligation quotation . Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, Gas & so much more !

PostHeaderIcon Conserving Water Saves Money

What is the advantage of a low flow toilet?
In today’s environmentally conscious society, conservation has had an impact on just about everything — including home improvement. Homeowners are building and remodeling their homes to conserve energy and save money. One such product is the advent of the low-flow toilet.

They have been a part of the home building process since the early 1990s.Both low-flow and ultra-low flow toilets use only half the amount of water.The main difference between the low-flow and ultra-low-flow toilets has less to do with cosmetic appeal and more to do with efficiency.

Since low-flow toilets first came on the home improvement scene, there have been numerous technological advances made to enhance convenience and performance. Redesigned bowls and tanks have more efficient, decorative designs.Many bathroom remodeling projects have added the low-flow plumbing fixtures, such as shower heads and faucet aerators. In most cases, the combination of low-flow and ultra low-flow toilets in your home is just one step in remodeling for energy efficiency.

Many changes, including this one, are not usually too costly up front and can save you a great deal of money over time. We can help with installation, one of our plumbers will come over.

Check with your City Hall for any rebates  available off your water/sewer taxes with proof of installation.

Call for more information: 604.283.2383

PostHeaderIcon When do Rusty Pipes Need Replacing?

Homeowners should prepare a list of questions to ask a plumber to ensure he completely solves the rusted pipe issue and so that you understand the scope of the necessary repair work.

Rusty pipes usually need to be completely replaced if you find rust in your drinking water. In some cases, water coming from the pipes may appear rusty but the rust is coming from the water tank, not the pipes themselves.

Instead of replacing all of the pipes, the plumber can replace smaller sections of rusted pipe. If you’re living in an older home, you can take the opportunity to ask a Surrey plumber to switch the water supply line to plastic or copper piping to prevent future rust issues.

If your water is discolored, call us at: 604.283.2383

PostHeaderIcon How Your BBQ Can Be More Fun

We’ve been asked if we know how to can get more use out of the barbeque? It seems people are always running out of briquettes or propane.

Haven’t we all!

Instead of having to call a taxi to take you to fill that propane bottle, (I mention the taxi because beers and barbecues seem to go hand in hand) consider converting your barbecue to natural gas and never again run out.

Call a plumber to get a no charge estimate to do the conversion. Could be a great summer fun thing to do!

Click Here to talk to a Richmond Plumber about your BBQ

PostHeaderIcon Going Green with Residential Plumbing

How can Eco-friendly plumbing save you money?

It seems like everyone is talking about ‘going green’, and your plumbing is no exception. But aside from just helping the planet, eco-friendly plumbing can also save you some serious cash. If you’re building a new home, doing some remodeling, or just need to replace some old plumbing fixtures, consider green plumbing.

With the right green plumbing supplies, you can potentially save a huge amount of money. Some municipalities are offering cash incentives for replacement of your old high capacity toilet with a new low flow toilet.

What can you do to take advantage of eco-friendly plumbing? Call us at 604-283-2383


PostHeaderIcon How To Reduce Water Usage & Save Money

Do faucet aerators conserve water?

Faucet aerators help to direct the flow of water and, especially in the instance of homes where water is provided by a well, help to trap particulates before they enter your cup, bowl or pan.

The market has many environmentally friendly low-flow aerators that restrict water flow to 1.5 to 2.2 gallons of water per minute. In addition, ultra low-flow aerators are now also available and allow 0.5 to 1.0 gallons per minute.

For more information or a free quote call Ashton Service Group at 604.283.2383.   Richmond Plumbing and Heating

PostHeaderIcon Ride To Conquer cancer

Many of my friends and colleagues have been touched in some way by cancer. Twenty years ago I joined the ranks of those who fought and survived. We are all either survivors; we are fighting our way through the disease; we have lost loved ones, or we are caring for loved ones with cancer. No matter where we are in this picture we know a cure has to be found.

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 260 kilometer cycling adventure through the Pacific Northwest to raise money for cancer research. I am writing you because I believe that you would agree with me that even modest headways in research give us hope for the future.

I would like to share with you my thoughts and invite you to check out my webpage at You will see a description of The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. I want you to know that I so appreciate those who join with me in this small effort to help. We all do our part when we can and when were able, therefore even good wishes are appreciated. For the next few weeks I will be riding my bike to get into shape and hopefully raise the money promised as a participant. My thanks for anything you can contribute.




Brian Williams