Tag Archives: plumbing

Ok, I Give Up! What ARE those?


Ahhh, there is nothing more relaxing than sinking up to your chin in a tub full of hot, fragrant bubbles or standing under a shower of hot water – luxuriating after a hard day’s work.  Did you ever give a thought as to what bathing was like before now?

The Romans had their public, heated, open-air, baths that were available to anyone to use – rich or poor.  (Let your imagination run on that one – common laborers bathing with the upper echelon!  At least they were all clean, I guess.)  Some of the upper echelon of society did have hot baths in their homes.  However, bathing in the next centuries was not so common.  Fast forward to the beginnings of this country.  

A hot bath? Nope.  You took a dip in the nearest creek, stream, pond, river, etc to get clean.  Refreshing in the summer, but not so much in other seasons – which meant much less bathing.  How in the world did they stand to around each other?  No Zest or Irish Spring or Dove or Ban or Degree!  Use your imagination!

For the settlers moving out across this country hot baths were, most of the time, a once a week event, if then.  And, an event it was!  It took hours to get an entire family bathed.  The family wash tub was hauled into the kitchen and placed in front of a wood burning stove.  Water would then have to be lugged from the nearest creek or pond, bucket by bucket, put into large pots to heat either outside on a fire or inside on the stove.  How long would it take to heat up enough water to fill up that wash tub?  Use your imagination again!

To the first person into the tub, usually the youngest family member, it was sheer luxury!  Was it then emptied and then refilled?  Uh, no.  One person out, the next one in; that one out, and then next one in and so forth until the entire family had had a bath.  What was the tub water like by the last bath? Use your imagination! 

Taking a shower inside the house was unheard of until William Feetham came up with an indoor shower.  The bather would stand in a basin and over their head was a tank full of water – cold water. One tank was not enough and had to be refilled – by climbing a ladder next to the shower.  Bathing was definitely NOT done in private.  Use that imagination again!                                                                                                             

With the development of indoor plumbing it now became possible to get water to where you wanted to use it – but the water was still cold – until 1868.  In 1868 Benjamin Waddy Maughan, a painter in the UK, invented a heater that used natural gas to heat up the water.  The heater was located next to the bathtub allowing the water to go directly into the tub.  Nice!  However, the gases created by the burning natural gas were not vented out of the room causing illness and occasionally, an explosion!   Needless to say, this heater, called “The Geyser” by Maughan, never really caught on in popularity. 

Following Maughan were others who took his idea and began working to improve on this indoor water heater.  One such inventor was Edwin Ruud, who in 1889, developed the first safe, automatic hot water tank to be used inside the home.  These heaters were still located in the bathroom, but with more and more homes having indoor plumbing and utility companies running gas lines to homes, it became possible to have one heater and have the hot water piped throughout the house.                                                                                                                                

I wonder if pioneers and others ever tried to imagine what it would be like to take a bath or shower without all that work?

Thankfully, we don’t have to imagine – we just luxuriate!

By the way, those pictures at the beginning? 

Those are early water heaters!



What Do Aaron Kramer Plumbing Customers Expect From Their Local Plumber?

E –  Expect quality work at a fair price.

X Xplanations of work to be done.

P Prompt arrival time with a call a head that the plumber is on his way.

E Experience and expertise in our field.

C Customer Service that is second to none.

T Thanks from US for your business, your loyalty, your referrals, and your reviews!

This is what we know you expect, and we do our best to fulfill those expectations. 

It is a full-time job – a job we are more than willing to do and want to do.

Aaron Kramer Plumbing 

Your Local Dayton, Ohio Plumber

Working To Fulfill Your Expectations! 

Call us today!  937-898-0008


These are the last few random thoughts from your plumber’s secretary.  (If we aren’t your plumber, you don’t have to read this; but, on second thought, maybe your plumber doesn’t offer such enlightened information.  So, go ahead and read it.)

  1. Do ask your plumber questions. We like it when people ask questions about the problem and the solution.  What is difficult to handle is when people snort at the answers when they don’t like them.
  1. Don’t tell your plumber, “It’s an easy fix and shouldn’t take too long, right?” That is a hint that you expect the bill to be small. Remember that you have hired a licensed professional, not Uncle George, to fix the problem and our services are not free.  We also need to put food on the table!
  1. Never use wrenches or pliers to force a faucet to close. If you break the faucet, the water pouring out on your feet has now created a bigger problem.  Make a squishy run to the phone and call us. (937-898-0008)
  1. Don’t be surprised if we ask you to take a picture of the part you are referring to. We don’t know what thing-a-ma-bobs, do-hickeys, or thing-a-ma-jigs are.  The pictures can then be texted or emailed to us for identification.  Aren’t cell phones wonderful!?
  1. Do remember this – we enjoy talking with and helping our customers. After all, without you, we have no way to support our families.  We do our best to please and serve you; however, there are always some, who no matter what we do, are not satisfied or happy.  In that case, we say ‘I’m sorry – please feel free to call someone else. Thank you for calling (someone else. ) Did I say that?  Not out loud!

With sincerity and a few chuckles,

The Plumber’s Secretary

Aaron Kramer Plumbing







First Edition

Just a few random thoughts from your plumber’s secretary.

(If we aren’t your plumber, you don’t have to read this; but, on second thought, maybe your plumber doesn’t offer such enlightening information. So, go ahead and read it.)

  1. Do disconnect your hose in late fall from the exterior faucet to prevent freezing and the potential bursting of the piping. If you don’t, your insurance company will love the business.
  1. Never put your hand inside a disposal that has the power connected to it. Fingers are a necessity.
  1. Don’t attempt a DIY repair unless you know exactly what you are doing.  The initial repair will probably now cost more to fix than in the beginning.  Thank you for your business!
  1. Don’t pour drain cleaners into any drains. When plunged, some of the remaining acid could be pulled out of the drain and onto your skin or the plumber’s.  Ouch!
  1. Don’t crank harder on a faucet to get it to stop dripping. You may be left holding a faucet handle and now you have more to deal with than a drip.

With sincerity and a few chuckles,

The Plumber’s Secretary

By the way, look for future editions of ‘Do’s, Don’ts, Nevers, and Chuckles’ from the ‘enlightened’ plumber’s secretary!




Normally, when we write our blogs, we try to give them catchy titles and start out with a little humor. This one, however, deals with a very serious and potentially deadly problem that may exist in your home, and you may not realize it until it is too late. This potential problem is the presence of carbon monoxide (CO).

In the last two years in our area three children and an elderly husband and wife have lost their lives to this ‘silent killer’.  Carbon monoxide is an invisible, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is produced by fuel-fired appliances, generators, space heaters, and automobiles. When CO is inhaled, it replaces the oxygen in the blood, preventing oxygen from getting to our organs.  The gas can first cause flu-like symptoms, followed by disorientation, then unconsciousness, with the end result being death.

If a household appliance malfunctions, the gas could be allowed to dissipate throughout your home. Generators and space heaters can also produce CO.  For this reason, if you are using a generator that burns gas or propane, the generator should be at least 20’ from the house, and NEVER be used in the house or in the garage. You may have an all-electric home, but if you have an attached garage, you may also be at risk. Leaving a car running in the garage with the door up or down will allow the gas to seep into your home.

Potential harm to your family can be prevented with the installation of CO alarms. These alarms emit a loud, beeping pattern that goes off when CO is detected. The loud beeping doesn’t stop until the CO level has been decreased.  These alarms do not prevent or correct the problem; their purpose is only to alert you to the presence of CO.

The Residential Code of Ohio stipulates that the CO alarms be located outside the bedroom group in the home.  If there are bedrooms on every floor, then a unit should be installed on each floor outside these rooms.  Kidde, an alarm manufacturer, has in their manual to install one on each floor, regardless if there are bedrooms on the floor.  Kidde also stipulates that the unit should not be installed within 5’ of an appliance; and in the case of a water heater and/or furnace, it should be no closer than 15’. Deep cell marine batteries such as those that are used with battery back-up pumps, also produce CO, and the alarm should be located 5’ or more away from these batteries to prevent nuisance alarms.

Once an alarm has sounded, open the nearest window and/or doors, and/or leave the house immediately and call 911.  If you are unable to leave, stay by the open window.  If you leave the house, do not return for any reason.  Once the CO level has gone down, the source of the CO must be found. The first responders may be able to determine the source, but the repairs will need to be made by a plumbing and/or HVAC technician who is licensed, bonded, and insured.  They should check any fuel fired appliance in your home.  Do not turn on any appliance until it has been evaluated by a licensed technician.

Alarms for just carbon monoxide can be purchased, and there are also combination alarms for both smoke and CO. No matter which unit is purchased, it is the home owner’s responsibility to read through the entire manufacturer’s manual and follow the directions to the letter. Test the units weekly, and keep track of their age. They can be purchased on-line, at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and local hardware stores.  Some communities also give away free CO detectors to their residents.  Call your local fire department to see if such a program is available in your area.

The best way to protect your family and keep them safe is to be knowledgeable about the effects of carbon monoxide and install alarms in your home.    Your family is depending on you.

Your family also depends on you to make sure they have hot water, working toilets and faucets, a quiet garbage disposal, plus all of your other plumbing needs. You can depend on Aaron Kramer Plumbing to make sure that your plumbing is in working order.  Give us a call today at 937-898-0008





My grandchildren, all eight of them, love fortune cookies – both to eat and read. They always want me to read the fortune to them, and then give me a blank stare – they understand nothing of what it says. Personally, I usually ignore them – until this last one. It read as follows: Business is lot like playing tennis; if you don’t serve well, you lose! In tennis, that opening volley, the serve, is everything. You miss that first shot, you’re done. This same thing applies in business. The opening ‘serve’ is everything to a business, that first impression. That ‘serve’ must be done right from the beginning; there is no do-over.

For seventeen years I’ve been the primary voice on the phone for this company, and I realized the first day that the ‘volley’ that I left with the person on the other end of the call had to be a favorable one. If the caller was not ‘served’ well, we would lose. We would not only lose them as a customer, but if they said anything to anyone else, we would lose again, and could keep losing – like a ripple effect in a pond. Customers have called crying; wives angry with their DIY’er husbands have called; and some have called who not only have diagnosed the problem, but they also tell me how long they think it will take to repair it – so it isn’t going to cost much, right?

No matter what the situation, they all have to be handled in the right way, or we lose. You want that customer to tell others that the people at that company are friendly, cheerful, accommodating, knowledgeable, and they listened to me when I explained my problem. You must give that customer the feeling that at that moment they are the most important thing you have to deal with, and that you are there to ‘serve’ them. As in tennis, if you don’t serve well, you lose; that same thing is true in business.

Aaron Kramer Plumbing would like you to be our next customer. Our services include repairing/replacing faucets; repairing/replacing toilets; replacing garbage disposals and sump pumps; repairing/installing water heaters; installing laundry tubs; locating and repairing pipe leaks; and diagnosing high water bills. Please call Aaron Kramer Plumbing today and check out our ‘serve’. 1-937-898-0008


Count down? To what? Actually, there are a few things that we are ‘counting down’ to. We are probably all counting down to the first day of summer, kids (AND TEACHERS) are counting down to their last day of school, and families are counting down to when they leave on that long awaited vacation. Aaron Kramer Plumbing would like to offer a ‘count-down’ list of things to do prior to being away from your home, even if it is just for a day or if it is for an extended period of time.

1. When leaving for a day at the lake or park, a long weekend, or for an extended vacation, we suggest turning off the main water shut off valve to the house. (Recently, a family who was gone for just the day came home to find that the supply line to the toilet had ruptured. The water ran most of the day causing major water damage to two stories of their home.)
2. Have a trusted neighbor or family member check your home daily by doing a walk-through making sure doors and windows are (still) locked.
3. Don’t allow mail and/or newspapers to pile up thus alerting someone that no one is home.
4. Leave a couple of lights on or on a time along with a radio or tv giving the impression that someone is home.
5. Keep the yard mowed and flowerbeds weeded.
6. Have a neighbor park their car in the driveway, especially at night.
7. Alert your local police that you will be gone and supply them and a neighbor or two your contact information.

Begin your ‘count-down’ now and enjoy your summer with family and friends knowing that you have done all you can to protect your home. For information about the services offered by Aaron Kramer Plumbing, your local Dayton, Ohio plumber, please browse our web site at www.aaronkramerplumbing.com and/or call our office at 937-898-0008 or 937-434-7470.


Word games have always been popular – crossword puzzles, Jumbles, acrostics, Wheel of Fortune and now, Words with Friends. So, what is your GPF? If you know what GPF means, you win 12 rolls of toilet paper! If you didn’t know what it means, you get um, a catalog.

Your water bill is a total of your water usage for bathing, washing clothes, dish washing (whether by hand or dishwasher), hand washing, flushing toilets, and outside work such as watering your lawn and plants, and washing your vehicles. Oh, and don’t forget kids playing in the sprinkler or filling up swimming pools. Of that list, which one uses the most water? Bathing? Washing clothes? Outside work? Actually, it is the same thing for almost every household. According to the EPA, flushing our toilets accounts for nearly 20% (some say higher) of the total water used in our homes.

Knowing the GPF could help greatly lower your water bill. GPF means ‘gallons per flush. Frankly, most oF us aren’t too concerned with the GPF – we just want to make sure that what is in the bowl, leaves the bowl.

Most toilets made prior to 1970 used over 6 gallons of water in a single flush – a 6.0 GPF. Due to droughts, water shortages, etc, some states began setting water usage standards. In 1978 California enacted legislation that set a 3.5 GPF standard for toilets. Other state soon followed California’s lead. In 1994 the standard was lowered to 1.6 GPF and now, in California, beginning January, 2014, the standard has been lowered to a 1.28 GPF in all newly built homes and in any home being remodeled. As before, once California made their move, others were quick to follow. The lowered water use sounded wonderful; however, consumers were quick to complain. Why? Instead of flushing once, consumers were flushing their toilets multiple times, thus negating any savings on their water bills.   Pressure began to mount on the manufacturers from consumers and legislatures to modify and redesign their toilets to provide what the consumer wanted – one flush per use. Further pressure then came from the EPA when it developed its ‘Water Sense’ program. Under this program, all toilets wanting to earn the ‘Water Sense’ label must have a 1.29 GPF. Manufacturers heard them loud clear, and they responded.

Today you can find a list of over 2000 different toilets that have earned the ‘Water Sense’ label. To earn the label, a toilet is tested by an independent agency using the MaP Testing program. (see prior blog – Not All Toilets Are Created Equal) The testing is voluntary and the manufacturers pay for the testing themselves. There is pressure from all sides for the manufacturers to have their toilets tested.

Do ‘Water Sense’ toilets cost more? Yes, they can; however, with rebate programs that have been offered in some states and the savings on the water bill the extra cost can be recouped in a few years.

If your family is considering replacing a toilet or toilets, may we suggest that you go to the EPA web site to look at the list of toilets (and other plumbing fixtures) that have earned the ‘Water Sense’ label. When shopping, be sure and look for the ‘Water Sense’ label on the product you are considering and choose wisely for the sake of your wallet.   Contact Aaron Kramer Plumbing for further information on ‘Water Sense’ toilets or for any of your plumbing needs such as toilets, faucets, water heaters, garbage disposals, or pipe leaks. (937-898-0008) (Oh, and if you knew what GPF meant, send us your mane and address for your 12 rolls of toilet paper! Quality not guaranteed; use at your own risk.)


Written by Bruce Kramer


Poly what piping?  Never heard of it!  I know what copper piping is, what galvanized piping is, hey, I even know what Pex piping is; but, poly something piping?  What is that?  I can’t even pronounce it, let alone spell it!  Attention class, let’s answer some questions – What is it, What are the potential problems with it, Was there a lawsuit over it, and What should I, as a potential homeowner or existing homeowner, do about it?

What is it?

A polybutylene water piping system is a potable water supply system containing polybutylene pipe and either acetal (plastic) or metal insert fittings.  The piping is usually gray, but can also be silver or black.    The insert fittings used to join the PB piping are either copper or brass, or are made of acetal, a hard, gray or white plastic.  The crimp rings used are either aluminum or copper.  (per the settlement)  Please Note:  Crimp rings used with Qest plastic fittings were only aluminum.

What are the potential problems with it? 

The problems have primarily been with the acetal insert fittings, not necessarily the piping itself.  These acetal insert fittings were made with an acetal resin that, over time, deteriorated due to the reaction of the acetal with the chlorine in the water.  The deterioration in the fittings caused leaking at the joints.  No problems can be detected until the joints and/or piping begins to leak potentially causing major water damage in the home.

Two factors need to be considered in regard to the piping.  One factor is that it is suspected, but not proven, that the chlorine in the water causes internal deterioration of the piping.  The second factor, which is proven, is that sunlight causes internal deterioration of the piping when stored outside by either the wholesaler or the plumber.  Internal pipe deterioration cannot be detected on the outside of the pipe and only becomes evident when the pipe fails, potentially causing major damage to your home.

At this point, there has been no recall of the polybutylene piping itself.  The recall applies only to the acetal insert fittings used with the piping.  (Th1s per Viega-800-976-9819, a former supplier of the piping.)

Was there a lawsuit over using it?

Yes, there was a lawsuit, the Cox vs Shell Oil er all. Settlement.  The Settlement was a national class action settlement involving certain polybutylene plumbing systems and service lines installed between January 1, 1987, through July 31, 1995.  The Settlement provided for a one billion dollar fund to claimants who qualified under the terms of the Settlement Agreement.  The Class Action eligibility was for those homeowners who had this type of system installed between the dates above.  If the system was installed using acetal fittings, the claim was to be filed within 14 years of the installation date; if metal fittings were used, the claim was to be filed within 17 years of the installation date.  All leaks had to be verified with plumbing repair receipts, work orders, and/or submission of the actual part(s) itself.  Filing for the Settlement expired in 2009.  As a result of the lawsuit, this piping was banned in  some municipalities and states; however, it was never banned on a federal level.  Another result is that the polybutylene piping is no longer produced nor is it available in the United States.

What should I, as a potential homeowner or existing homeowner, do about it?

If you are purchasing a home, ask the real estate broker and/or home inspector to inform you of the type of piping installed in the home.  Ask them to be specific and to put it in writing.  “There are currently no laws specifically regarding the disclosure of polybutylene piping on a property, but some real estate brokers have been sued for not disclosing its presence in residences that they sell.”, this quote according to the web site ‘whodoisue.com’.

Should this type of piping system be found in a home you are purchasing or that you own, it is Aaron Kramer Plumbing’s opinion, and our policy, that the entire piping system be replaced.  The unexpected and sometimes undetected leaks could cause so much damage that the cost to make the repairs could supersede the cost to replace the plumbing system.

Aaron Kramer Plumbing suggests and encourages that before making any decisions, the consumer do further research and consult with a local plumber, such as Aaron Kramer Plumbing, who is knowledgeable about polybutylene piping.  An informed consumer is an educated consumer who can make informed and educated decisions.  Thank you, class, for your attention.

Further information concerning polybutylene piping can be found on the internet or by calling any of the numbers below:

1.  Viega – 800-976-9819

2.  Vanguard Plastics – 316-241-6369

3.  Aaron Kramer Plumbing – 937-898-0008

All internet sites pertaining to the Settlement have since been closed.


Written by Bruce Kramer

Melting Snow, Spring Rains and Your Sump Pump

Has it been a while since you have heard your sump pump come on?  With all of the melting snow and the spring rains, is it ready to handle all of that water?  Now is the time to make sure that the sump pump is in working order.

Routine maintenance on your sump pump will go a long way in protecting your home from water damage.  As part of that routine maintenance, we suggest cleaning the sump pit at least once a year to prevent your sump pump from becoming clogged with debris, and we suggest that it be run manually periodically to make sure the internal parts stay lubricated and in working order.  Simply add water to the pit using your garden hose and let the pump run for a few minutes. If your basement has been turned into useable living space, a battery back-up pump may be of consideration to prevent flooding.  It doesn’t take much water to cause extensive and expensive damage to your home.  A battery back-up pump can give you peace of mind knowing that your home is protected from water damage. The time to be concerned about your sump pump is NOW.  Give Aaron Kramer Plumbing a call today to find out more information about either a primary pump or about the installation of a battery back-up system. Aaron Kramer Plumbing will also repair, replace or install water heaters, faucets, garbage disposals, ice maker lines, sinks, toilets and clear clogged interior drains. Please see our coupon section for money saving offers on our plumbing services. Our customers in the North may call 937-898-0008 and our customers in the South, may call 937-434-7074.


Written by Bruce Kramer