How to Find a Qualified Plumber

July 6, 2011

What should I look for in selecting a plumber?

The choice of plumbers can make the difference between a good experience and a disastrous one, so it is important to do your homework. And it is best to make the selection before an emergency occurs. A good way to start is to ask trusted friends and neighbors for local recommendations of plumbers they have liked. In addition, plumbers should be licensed and insured.

Ask whether they provide 24-hour service, and what sort of response is offered in emergency cases. Do they have all of the parts they would typically need on the truck to save a return visit? While you can compare prices, it is not always the best way to make your selection, but do ask what payment methods they accept. It is more important to have a positive feeling after interviewing a plumber or company, as that professional will be working in your home at a particularly stressful time.

Check out their service warranty and confirm that they remove replaced fixtures. Plumbers are great sources of advice, so listen to the voice of experience — the plumber who has been in business for a while, and has solved many problems, most likely offers all kinds of additional services to complete your job.

When it come to heating Richmond homes or any home for that matter, you can count on Ashton to deliver.

Call for free consultation 9 – 5 weekdays @ 604.283.2383

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What to do When Your Pipes Freeze

July 4, 2011

What’s the best way to thaw frozen pipes?

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you might suspect a frozen pipe.

Locate the suspected frozen area of  the water pipe. Likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation or call us for preventative measures.

Keep the faucet open and use a hair dryer to warm the pipe. As the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through. You can also use a heating pad or even hot towels wrapped around the pipes. None of these methods should be left unattended for any Richmond heating problem.

Do Not Do This

Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. Remember, if one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

If you are unable to locate the frozen area; if the frozen area is not accessible; or if you can’t thaw the pipe, call us at 604.283.2383.

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Getting Your Furnace Repaired:

If you notice that something is wrong with the functioning of your furnace, then you would surely want to get it repaired as soon as possible. It is important to get the furnace fixed by a proper professional, so that you can avoid getting it further damaged. A proper professional who repairs furnaces will be able to analyze the problem in a short period of time, and can help you get the furnace fixed soon. You should be on the lookout for such a professional, who can guarantee that you will be getting the furnace fixed quite soon. Given the energy efficiency of new furnaces, sometimes it is prudent to replace the furnace rather than costly repairs for years to come.

It is not quite hard to find such a person. In fact there are entire companies which have such people working for them. These companies will be able to send over a professional to fix your furnace whenever you need them. All you need to do is to choose the right kind of company to hire and you will be assured of getting a good service from them. Check the Better Business Bureau and  spend some time looking into the sort of companies which offer furnace repair services, and you will be able to find a suitable company soon, which will help you get back your furnace to normal in a short period of time.

For furnace service in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, give us a call @ 604-283-2383.

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How To Take Care of Your Water Heater

June 30, 2011

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

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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.

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How to Fix a Leaky Toilet

June 21, 2011

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

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13 Guidelines to hire the best Contractors for Home Renovations:

June 20, 2011

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 !

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Conserving Water Saves Money

June 17, 2011

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

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When do Rusty Pipes Need Replacing?

June 15, 2011

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

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How Your BBQ Can Be More Fun

June 13, 2011

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

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