3 Signs You Need A New Water Heater

Home Improvement|

A fully functioning water heater makes your life easier: bathing, washing dishes and doing laundry. So when it takes a bit longer for your water to warm up, or worse, it doesn’t warm up at all, it’s time to consider a new system. 3 Clear Signals Your Water Heater Is Past It’s Prime [...]

Avoid These 5 Food Types in Your Disposal!

Plumbing Safety|

A kitchen sink’s garbage disposal is handy when it comes to cooking a meal and disposing of your food scraps. But you may not realize how helpful it is until it’s out of commission. Not to mention the fact that when your garbage disposal gets backed up, it can make the smell of delicious [...]

Do I Need a Pressure Reducing Valve?

Home Improvement, Plumbing Safety|

Most people share the opinion that the more water pressure, the better. A warm, cascading shower certainly feels better than a light, misty trickle, and a robust stream coming out of the sink makes life easier in countless ways. Certainly, it would be hard to immediately think of a time we've heard someone complain about [...]

How to Conduct a Home Water Audit


Whether you’re trying to go green, prevent a future plumbing disaster, or simply shave a few bucks off of your utility bills, it’s crucial to understand how much water you’re using on your property. Knowing and monitoring your water usage is key to spotting the warning signs of an impending leak or flood, and [...]

Why Does My Toilet Sweat, and How Can I Stop It?


Why Your Toilet Sweats Ah, the sweating toilet. This is a damp, drippy, and all-too-common problem for Chicagoland homeowners, and it is one that can escalate and do major damage to bathroom floors if left unchecked. So, why exactly is your toilet sweating, and what can you do to stop this nuisance before it [...]

Our Favorite Fictional Bathrooms


Our passion here at J. Blanton is plumbing, which means we’ve always taken a shine to bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms. Wherever there’s a fixture or an appliance in need of some TLC, you’ll find us. Our fascination with plumbing and bathrooms puts us in good company; in fact, plumbing has been the cornerstone [...]

Get to Know the Parts of Your Plunger


“So I put the, uh, the rubber doohickey into the hole, but then I couldn’t get a good grip on the, uh, the stick-y part there.” Plungers are some of the most common – and most effective – DIY plumbing tools out there; in fact, we’d recommend that each household have two. But while [...]

Why is My Faucet Dripping?


Drip... drip... drop.... drip... More than just a nuisance, an endlessly dripping faucet can, sometimes, be an early indicator of an array of other problems, perhaps with your faucet itself or buried deep in your pipes. And besides being annoying, a dripping faucet wastes a substantial amount of water over time - in fact, [...]

Using the Dishwasher Vs. Hand Washing


Today is the day. Yep, no one is going to stop me. I watched my parents do it most of my upbringing and now I am bringing it back! I mean, do those dirty things truly need my hands to do the work? Plenty of older Chicago homes and apartments come without dishwashers; even among [...]

The Low-Down on Bidets

Home Improvement|

While most Chicagoans are comfortable with their standard toilet, plenty of other homeowners are looking at their bathrooms with fresh eyes for the first time. “Why,” they ask themselves, “must our bathrooms be so different from others around the world?” So while that old toilet is all well and good – assuming it’s in [...]

7 Crucial Safety Tips for DIY Plumbers

DIY, Plumbing Safety|

Do you secretly harbor dreams of becoming a plumbing pro? It’s not always the most glamorous life, but it is a vital job, and we love doing it. And even plenty of people who aren’t plumbing pros still love to tinker with their systems, performing the DIY jobs that a homeowner can reasonably tackle [...]

How to Recycle Your Old Bathroom Products

DIY, Home Improvement|

It’s springtime in Chicago, which means everyone is thinking about two things: Going green, and doing a little bit (or a lot) of spring cleaning. Why not put those two things together and turn your attention to your bathroom? We’re willing to bet you’ve got plenty of old or unwanted products taking up valuable [...]

How to Find and Use Your Shutoff Valve

Plumbing Safety|

It's essential that you are able to locate and use the water shutoff valve in your home. You'll need to use this handy mechanism whenever you have plumbing work done on your home, or in the event of an emergency, or to help protect your home when you leave for a vacation. Every home [...]

The Age of Your Toilet – How Old is TOO Old?

Home Improvement|

Ah, the humble commode! It's the centerpiece of your bathroom, and the plumbing fixture we're willing to bet you use every single day. But is it operating at peak efficiency? Is it time to give up that beloved old model for a spanking new one? When it comes to toilets, many homeowners aren't sure [...]

Here’s How to Go Green for World Water Day


Can you imagine a world without water? It’s impossible. Not only does it make up the bulk of our planet’s surface, but it’s the very essence of life; we use it to cook, clean, and stay hydrated every single day. That’s why days like today – World Water Day – are so important; they [...]

Should You Opt for a Smart Shower?


In today’s digital world, it seems like we have more options to do more things than ever before. Case in point? While going to the bathroom or taking a shower used to be simple affairs, now there are a whole mess of apps and gadgets designed to make the process greener, faster, or just [...]

How to Recycle Your Old Plumbing Items


You’ve swapped out your old brass kitchen faucet for a stainless steel set. You’ve upgraded your old pipes after a leak. You’re ready to get a new toilet and you don’t just want the old one gathering mold in the garage. For the sake of our planet, it’s important that our old plumbing materials don’t [...]

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3rd Generation Family Business

J. Blanton Plumbing