Is Your Home Heating System Safe?

maple-1069423_1920There’s a nip in the air!

Fall is here and everyone is in the mood for beautiful falling leaves, pumpkin spice, and marshmallows by the fire!  As the cool weather blows in, you might be tempted to turn on your heating system during the first nippy night in the forecast.

Is your heating system in tip top shape?

Before we launch into the cold weather season, it’s a good idea to have a safety check done on your heating system by a professional.  Carbon monoxide leaks, improper refrigerant pressure, and electrical issues are all problems that you should have your system checked for on a regular basis.  Heating system inspections should be completed annually to ensure the safety and comfort of your family throughout the winter months.

 

We’ve got you covered

At Philbrick, we are ready to meet your home heating inspection needs.  We are offering a complete inspection for the just $59.  Here are just a few reasons that you need to consider having your heating system inspected annually:

Reliability

Much like your automobile, regular maintenance on your heating system is a must.  We suggest having a qualified technician check your system to verify that everything is operating within specifications.  Doing so will help to catch a small problem before it becomes a “No heat” situation.

Peace of Mind

A predominant step of our preseason inspection is verifying that the equipment is operating safely and that all safety controls are functional. We perform a digital analysis of every gas or oil furnace to verify that it’s operating safely and efficiently.

Energy Efficiency tablet-2471184_1920

A preseason inspection allows us to verify gas pressure, combustion efficiency, refrigerant pressures, amp draws, and voltages to ensure that the equipment is operating at peak efficiency. A heat pump with low refrigerant or a gas furnace with low gas pressure can easily add excessive hours of unnecessary run time sending your energy costs through the roof.

Longevity 

Routine maintenance and proper equipment operation has been proven repeatedly to lengthen the life of heating and cooling equipment. Proper refrigerant levels, gas pressures, and other measures are needed to allow your heating unit to operate at peak efficiency.  A proper functioning unit will last much longer.

Carbon Monoxide 

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that can be produced by an improperly operating gas or oil furnace. We perform a combustion analysis on every gas or oil furnace that we inspect to ensure the furnace is operating efficiently and not producing carbon monoxide. We also print out a report listing each unit’s operating efficiency and combustion results and provide them to our customer

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You just can’t put a price on peace of mind

We know that the safety and comfort of your family is paramount to you.  Bundle up and enjoy this fall season and move into the cold winter months with the peace of mind that a heating system inspection can give you.   Give us a call at Philbrick.  We’ll take good care of you!

Meet Suzanne Rahall, Office Administrator/ Customer Service Representative

IMG_0066A hard working lady with a huge heart

Suzanne has been an integral part of our Philbrick staff for over three years.  “Zan” works tirelessly to provide impeccable customer service and improved customer relationships.  In addition, she performs a multitude of administrative tasks for our team with a dedication to excellence.

Belief in the Philbrick way

Zan definitely exemplifies the “Philbrick” approach to customer service and delivery.  She passionately believes that Philbrick’s focus and attention to conscientious, family driven service is something that should be practiced in all aspects of our business.  Zan would love for people to know that the people at Philbrick work tirelessly for the better of our clients as apposed to the bottom line for us.  It’s the Philbrick way and a concept that she embraces.

 

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The very best of Zan

Outside of her job, Zan loves spending time with her 11 year old daughter, Madison.  She is definitely a music lover and enjoys traveling.  Zan’s best qualities are her quick wit and spontaneity as well as her dedication and multi-tasking abilities.

A woman of integrity

Zan admires those who treat others as they would like to be treated.  She believes in making an effort to build others up before serving self.   In addition, Zan lives by the adage…..

“Always be humble and kind” – TIM MCGRAW

Would a Tankless Hot Water Heater Be For You?

fire-and-water-2354583_1920Hot water is usually automatic

Convenient hot water is an expected staple in our lives.  Jumping into a steaming hot shower in the morning is a mindless ritual practiced daily.  We don’t even consider the amount of energy that it takes to produce hot water.  Keeping that water hot is an additional layer of the process needed to make it readily available with the twist of a faucet.   Traditional hot water heaters can get the job done, however, are not without limitations.shower-1502736_1920

 

 

 

Water heater tanks can get pretty gross

Water heater tanks can become tainted and leave us with water that is rust colored, smelling like eggs, or even foul tasting.  Oftentimes the capacity of a traditional water heater is inadequate for larger homes and families.  In addition, these water heaters can leak around the base, become noisy,  and fail to provide water that is hot enough for our needs.

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A tankless water heater could be the answer

Tankless hot water heaters, also known as “on demand hot water heaters”,  could be the answer to your woes.  Tankless water heaters are more space-saving and energy efficient.  They supply an endless supply of hot water through the use of a heat exchanger that heats the water only when you need it.  This alleviates the necessity to keep water hot until use.

Using a tankless water heater can provide you with an endless supply of hot water for use with showering, laundry, dishes and all of your everyday needs.  In addition, they can reduce your energy bills by up to 40%!

 

 

We can help you sort it all out

Philbrick can you help decide which hot water heater is more suitable for your needs. Our representatives will help you to understand the differences between the various models that we carry.  Let us guide you with choosing the best hot water heater for you!laundry-963150_1920

Fall

Gearing Up For A Fantastic Fall

bench-560435_1920A time for new beginnings

Fall is a beautiful time of the year.  While the leaves start to turn and the cool weather rolls in, it’s also a time for new beginnings and a fresh start.  Many of us are getting the kiddies ready for an exciting new school year.   For some, it’s about closing out the vacation season, finishing up with summer gardening, and the end of the lazy days of summer.

Staying on schedule

During this change in season, it is so much fun to get excited about fresh, new possibilities.  Fall is a time to create new routines, nutritional goals, and organizational pursuits.  Oftentimes though, we can get so bogged down with the reality of a new school year and added responsibilities, we can forget all of the good intentions that we had in mind at the start of the season.

 

Go-to habits that will keep it flowing

Here are a few tips to keep you focused and on track this Fall while getting your kids in a great back-to-school routine:

  • Start backing up your kids’ bedtime a little each night so that when school starts, they’ll be on a healthy sleep schedule and ready to roll!
  • The start of a new Fall season can be precarious as we send our little ones back into the germ pool of school. Create a list of nutritionally dense, family favorite meals that you can default to during week nights,  Go to this list instead of ordering in pizza or grabbing other unhealthy, more convenient options.
  • eat-2371065_1920Cook in bulk on the weekends so that you can have quick easy meals in a hurry at the end of a busy weekday. You may also want to create a separate list of healthy favorites for lunches.  (we grab for what is familiar and easy)  Optimal nutrition is key to keeping our little ones’ immune systems strong.
  • Create a family calendar that is visible for everyone and that includes the goings on of all in the family. It will make it much easier to figure out where everyone is,  and where they should be, at a moment’s notice.

Routines for your family

checklist-2077018_1920Commit to routines and create visible checklists that work for your family and can make the daily grind happen automatically. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Morning routine checklist – teeth, breakfast, grab lunch, homework packed, papers signed, supplies are packed, and after school plans and activities for the day are discussed.
  • After school checklist – unpack lunchboxes, backpacks in designated storage areas, snack, chores, and homework completed at specified daily time in the same location.
  • Bedtime routine checklist – make sure homework and papers are packed, brush teeth, lay out clothes for the following day, bed on time.

 

Plan ahead

Pre-planning is everything when considering a smooth transition into the new school year.  Consistency is key and easing into the routines in the weeks before school begins can be helpful as well.

norway-1990256_1920Don’t forget to enjoy the cool breeze, beautiful leaves, and the enjoyable activities of Autumn!

 

HAPPY FALL!

The Importance of Having a Back-up Generator for Your Home

windmills-2263325_1920Summer is here and Hurricane season is on the horizon.  If you live in an area affected by severe storms and power outages, you know that there is nothing more miserable than to be without power for extended periods of time.  Days without air conditioning or power for your refrigerator in sweltering heat is something that no one wants to deal with.   It can be expensive, dangerous for babies and the elderly, and can make life just plain unbearable.  Even winter storms can create outages that can result in intolerable conditions for you and your family.  Having a generator ready to go could be the safety net that your home needs.

Financial benefits to having a generator

It’s important to have a back-up plan for when these outages occur.  Home generators are the key to keeping your home comfortable and safe when dealing with inclement conditions.  The purpose of a generator is to power your home in the event of a power outage. Today’s generators offer more than just an alternate source of power because they can be installed in a way that suits your lifestyle. There are also critical financial benefits as well.

  • Ya gotta eat, right? If your appliances are kept functioning, your food and other perishables won’t be lost. refrigerator-1619676_1920
  • If your heating and cooling systems are still functioning, you won’t have to evacuate your home and pay costly hotel fees and accommodation expenses.
  • While you work from home, your computers, printer, and other business equipment will be kept running and you will be able to continue to earning.
  • frequency-949236_1920In the event that severe or even dangerous weather is happening, you will be able to keep TV and radios working so that you can stay up-to-date on conditions.
  • If you have a sump pump, you can avoid a possible flood on the inside and outside of your home.
  • Generator’s increase your home value.

Necessity or luxury?

electricity-705670_1920Generators are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury these days.  The cost of repairing damage to your home as a result of an outage can be astronomical.  Frozen pipes, ruined appliances, and flooding can be expensive.  Start-up costs for a whole house system can range from $2,500 to over $10,000.  The benefits, however, can more than outweigh the costs when considering repairing damage, discomfort, and safety.

Assessing your power needs

There are many factors to consider when figuring out the size of generator that you might need.  The more watts you need, the bigger the unit, and unfortunately, the higher the price tag.  Things to consider can include:

  • Determining the wattage usage for your home. You may want to have a local electrician do a wattage assessment on your home.  You might also opt to try out an online calculator.  Colorado Standby or Electric Generators Direct are great options for finding out general guidelines.
  • The next step is to figure out how much of your home and which features you would like to power. You can have an electrician create an emergency panel with only the items you would want to power.  This could include the refrigerator, sump pump, AC, etc.  Afterward, you would determine the wattage needed to accomplish this and purchase a comparable generator.
  • You may want to purchase a generator that will power your entire home.
  • Another alternative would be to consider a “load-management” system. This option would allow you to power everything in your home, just not all at once.

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The decision to purchase a generator for your home can be very confusing.  With a few simple steps, you can determine the size of the generator that you need and can keep your home comfortable, safe, and free from the internal damage that can occur in a power outage.

Summer; The Best Time to Just Be A Kid

flower-399409_1920The summers of old

Gone are the days when summertime meant skipping in rain puddles, riding bikes up and down the street with friends for hours, or having a monumental pretend game of war in the back yard.

Jars of butterflies, lightning bugs, and tall glasses of lemonade were all staples of the dog days of summer.  Summer was whimsical, magical and a time when kids were able to lie in the grass and stare up into the clouds creating imaginary figures and characters that fit their own internal fairy tales and adventures.  cloud-1627385_1920

 

 

 

The modern day kid brain

Today, kids are tech savvy, quick thinkers looking to plug in that creative energy in any way that they can.  As society has become more conscious of the ramifications of the “couch potato” summer agenda, parents are scrambling to find ways to keep kids entertained without going broke in the process.

Thinking of activities to keep them busy

While hitting the movie theaters, malls, or ice cream shops can be fun and take up some time, it is important to allow kids to unwind, explore, and tap into their creative energy during the summer months.

Fostering independent learners

Parents don’t always have the time to entertain kids all day long, nor should they.  Learning to explore, imagine, and create independently is all a part of becoming a self-learner.  Kids need this, thrive on it, and can gain an incredible amount of confidence by engaging in activities that allow them to stretch their imagination.  Kids need to engage in activities that will take them places that they just never had time to explore during the school year.

Independence and creativity

The following are some summer activities that will allow children to engage in expansive ways independently:

  • Puzzles – kids love puzzles. Having a puzzle going on a table that the whole family is working on can create family unity as well as increase concentration skills for kids.
  • Build a fort – Blankets, blankets, and more blankets. Outside over the clothes line, indoors over a table, where ever……kids love building forts and creating adventures with friends and siblings.  These forts/tents can be as elaborate as they want.  Imaginations run wild!
  • Paint with water – on the sidewalk, on a brick wall, or just about any place that water will leave a mark. Kids love creating murals wit h water.
  • bare-565017_1920Sidewalk chalk – drawing designs on the sidewalks, streets, or even on the deck is an activity that kids of all ages enjoy.   When the rain comes and washes it way, the canvas is clean and ready for the next creation!
  • Clay sculptures – grab a tub of clay from the art store and let them create. You might be surprised when you see what your kids can create from some simple clay.  You might just have a sculptor in your midst!ceramics-490822_1920
  • Scavenger hunt – Send your kids on a scavenger hunt! Create a competition from it and turn them loose!
  • A look into the future – Have your kids create a newspaper article featuring themselves as they imagine they will be in the future.  The article should tell about the wonderful things that they have accomplished, the career that they are involved in, and should include a self-portrait of them in all of their greatness!
  • Journaling – Have your children write a summer journal, talking about feelings and the experiences of each day. At the end of the summer, they will really enjoy reading about how their summer unfolded.  For younger kids, parents could jot down thoughts as dictated by their little ones.
  • Fun in the water – running in the sprinkler, with or without water balloons, is a great way to cool off, get in some exercise, and laugh all at the same time.sprinkler-926779_1920

When there is a grown up handy to join the fun, kids can:

  • Tie dye – t-shirts, shorts, sheets, or whatever can be a fun and creative way to spend an afternoon out of the heat.
  • Make some slime! There are multiple recipes on the internet and kids just love this stuff!

baking-1951256_1920**Speaking of recipes……cooking classes are amazing! Kids love to be helpful in the kitchen.  Kids who grow up cooking with their parents tend to grow into adults who love the creative outlet of the culinary arts.

  • Go rock hunting with your kids – finding beautiful and unique rocks, rock painting, and rock hiding are new activities that kids are always up for.paint-1167786_1920
  • Make some money – give kids jobs to do to help them make some money. Set goals and help them reach them by completing various chores for their own family and for neighbors.
  • Volunteer work – help kids to understand the importance of community, contribution, and helping others. Find ways within the community that kids can help out with things like assisting the elderly, walking dogs, cleaning up trash or even helping a shelters.  Learning the value of altruism at a young age can set the stage for children to become more compassionate individuals for the years to come.

Keep it simple, keep them busy

Summers can be stressful, long, and irritating when kids are left to figure out the days on their own.  Our children are hyper stimulated throughout the school year these days as standardized testing, increased technology, and higher learning standards are compressed into them more each day.  When the summer arrives, it takes some time for them to unwind and become self-directed when entertaining themselves.  Helping kids to tap into their own creativity, giving them time and space to stretch themselves, and allowing them to explore unhindered are all ways that parents can keep them busy while allowing them to build character and confidence over the summer months.  Independently or with parents, kids deserve to take the summer month to just be!

Enjoy this summer with your kids!!

 

How Important is Your Home Air Filtration System?

The air in your home

A report by The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that, “There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building industrial-1221885_1920 (1)materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution.”

The cost is high

The arwoman-698948_640ticle goes on to tell us that the effects of these contaminants can include the following:

  • Asthma
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory illness
  • ….and more

Without our knowledge, our safe haven can become the worst place to be when considering the safety of the air that we breathe.

Philbrick has the solution

At Philbrick, are dedicated to helping you ensure that your family is breathing the cleanest, healthiest air possible.  It is with this vision that we stand behind and install the Accuclean Air Filtration System.

The Accuclean difference

The makers of Accuclean realize that cleaner air starts with better air flow.  “Traditional filters force air through dense mesh screens to trap particles. Over time they become clogged and hamper airflow, which results in lower airflow and efficiency, also known as “pressure drop.” But with AccuClean whole-home filtration, our unique design gives you long‑lasting, consistent performance with the lowest pressure drop and highest efficiency of any filtration system on the market. “

The Accuclean system provides air that is 99.98% cleaner including the removal of irritating allergens.  This system can even reduce your need to dust by up to 50%.  The Accuclean system will provide  your family with cleaner air day after day, year after year.  In addition, the Accuclean Air Filtration System is engineered to run silently and carries a 10 year warranty.

summer-957286_1920Guarding our homes

While we can’t eliminate all of the toxins and pollutants that we breathe in everywhere that we go, we are the gatekeepers for our own homes.  The CPSC states that “It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.”  At Philbrick, we are dedicated to ensuring that your heating and cooling system not only provides the temperature control that you need, but the cleanest, healthiest air for you and your family.

 

 

 

Meet Our Office Administrator, Dixie Huggins!

20 Years of DedicIMG_0066ated Service

Meet Philbrick’s very own Dixie Huggins, our long-time Office Administrator.  As a matter of factDixie has been with the Philbrick family for over 20 years.

Keeping Our Office in Check

Dixie works diligently to keep things running smoothly in our office.  Wearing a smile every day, Dixie makes working at Philbrick such a pleasure.  Her meticulous, conscientious work ethic helps to keep our company running efficiently and on point!

An Atmosphere of Family

Dixie would love for people to know that working at Philbrick Heating and Cooling is like working with extended family.  Philbrick’s atmosphere evokes a feeling of camaraderie and friendliness found in few places of business.  The people at Philbrick work hard to extend that consideration into the field as customers experience the same attention and dedication.  The Philbrick team team is second to none and Dixie stands behind their work.

 

DixieA Family Person With A Huge Heart

Outside of her workplace responsibilities, Dixie loves to read books and also spends a lot of time with her niece’s children.  She says that she is like a 3rd “grandmother” to them and that they “light up my world!”  Dixie is a lady that always brings a joyous smile into the room and definitely loves fiercely.

A Woman Of High Values

Dixie states that the character traits that she values most in people are loyalty and integrity.  It is no wonder that Dixie finds herself right at home working with the team at Philbrick.

An Integral Part Of The Team

Hard working, loyal, and dedicated are traits that make Dixie an amazing asset to the Philbrick family.  The owners at Philbrick are definitely blessed to have someone like her holding down the administrative duties on the frontline of Philbrick Heating and Cooling!

 

 

The Business of Setting A Healthy Example….

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A chance meeting

While working out at the gym the other day, I was exercising alongside a gentleman who seemed to be happily giving it his all. He looked to be a healthy gentleman approximately in his mid-50’s,  This guy was really enjoying himself!  He commented to me that he was “trying to keep this old body limber.”  I replied, “yeah, after 50 it isn’t so easy”……… as this was my own experience! His response was, “yes……well, I’m 83.” I almost dropped the dumbbell in my hand. I couldn’t believe it. This man looked amazing!!

Healthy living starts earlyweights-642573_1920

We struck up and conversation and my curiosity got the best of me.   I decided to dig deeper into his wellness history. I asked him if he had always worked out and eaten healthy. He shared his lifestyle story with me…. and it was amazing. He said that in his younger years, when his friends would head out to the local bars after work, he would head to an underground gymnasium to exercise for a few hours. In the years that followed, he worked to remain mindful of his eating habits and worked out diligently. He and his wife, (who are now celebrating 64 yrs of marriage), went on to have 4 children.  He very proudly told me that all of his children graduated from college. The good news?  He didn’t even have to pay for two of them.

Consistency has a trickle down effect

Through the years, this man’s family followed his lead by eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of themselves.   As a result, two of his children went all the way through college on athletic scholarships. His grandson had also been awarded an athletic scholarship. His entire family had been influenced by his example of self-care, fitness, and healthy eating.  This lifestyle became the cornerstone of their family story.bicyclists-1405997_1920

The trickle-down effect of this man’s life choices on his family are further proof that healthy living can be a generational choice that can continue to enrich the lives of loved ones. In an article on the PBS website by Food & Fitness,  author Len Saunders states that “By setting the basic foundations of life, parents are the number one source affecting the way children feel about living a healthy lifestyle.” “The bottom line: children are watching their parents’ every move, mirroring their every action; if a parent is sedentary, there is a good chance their children will be too. However, parents who eat healthily and exercise with their children on a regular basis are teaching them many valuable lessons.”

Healthy eating habits, exercise, and a positive mindset are practices that can not only give us the best chance for a strong, healthy, and long life.   It’s important to note that these choices can also have a profound effect on the health of our families for generations to come!

Are Liquid Drain Cleaners Your Best Option?

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We’ve all dealt with it.  A clogged drain when we are trying to shower, brush our teeth, or use the kitchen sink.  Our first inclination is to grab a chemical laden drain cleaner to offer a quick fix.  Our top priority is to get that drained cleared and the water flowing PRONTO!  But are toxic liquid drain cleaners really the best option?

How do drain cleaners work?

Sitting on the shelves of grocery stores and big box stores, liquid drain cleaners seem like a bargain and a quick solution when a drain in your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room plumbing backs up. But not so fast!

Household chemical drain cleaners clear the drain by dissolving the clog using caustic or oxidizing chemicals. These chemicals either give or take away electrons to the stuff blocking your drain, creating a reaction that breaks down and loosens the clog.  But unfortunately, there is a price.sink-1335476_1920

Disadvantages of using chemical drain cleaners

The toxicity levels in off brand, inexpensive drain cleaners are particular high.  The fumes are extremely unhealthy to inhale and will sting and irritate your nose and eyes. These fumes hang around wherever the chemical was used, long after it goes down the drain.

The hydrochloric acid and other acidic ingredients in these cleaners can “eat away” at your pipes as it sits in your drain. In fact, older pipes are     more susceptible to this kind of erosion. Even if you think your safe with copper pipes, think again! Liquid drain cleaner can damage any pipe material overtime.

water-783355_1920The chemical reaction that takes place in your PVC pipes can soften the material and create a breakdown over time.  This reaction can also cause corrosion in older pipes.  The problem gets worse when the drain cleaner doesn’t work.  You now have chemicals sitting in your pipes leaving them even more prone to damage.  After this, every new attempt to clear the clog can cause you to accidentally burn your skin. Remember, this stuff’s purpose is to instantly eat away at whatever it comes in contact with.

Here’s something else to consider … Chemical drain cleaners are just plain bad for the environment. The residues left in the bottles ultimately end up in our landfill and create toxicity in the earth.  In addition, these chemicals make their way into our groundwater poisoning fish, wildlife, and can further pollute our waterways.  So not only can these products ruin our drain pipes and fail to fix the problem at hand; they also damage the beautiful world we live in- um… I think I’ll pass!

Natural Solutions For Your Clogged Drain

Baking soda and vinegar

The most commonly used natural method of clearing a clogged drain is to use one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar.  Let this sit for a bit as the foaming action works away at the clog.  Follow this by running plenty of hot down the drain.  Do this on a regular basis as a preventative measure as well!

Lemon juice and vinegar

You could also use lemon juice and baking soda in the same manner.  Lemon juice provides the same reaction when paired with baking soda but smells a lot nicer.  This would be a great combo to use in the kitchen.  Remember to run plenty of hot water down the drain after use.

Boiling water

Many clogs develop due to various types of fats and oils that can solidify and create a blockage in your drain.  Sometimes, the answer is to just pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain.  You can use boiling water with the above combinations as well.  Just be sure to pour directly  into the drain to avoid damaging plastics or cracking porcelain.

Use a plunger

There is also the use of a good old fashioned plunger for unclogging drains.  Using a plunger in the proper way as well as one that is a good fit is key.  For safer and quicker unclogging methods, check out how to pick the perfect plunger and how to use it properly.boy-909552_1920

Dealing with a clogged drain is an annoyance none of us want to have to deal with.  Our knee jerk reaction is often to grab a caustic chemical drain opener.  The choices that we make can have a profound impact on our plumbing, our health, and most of all, the environment.  Take a few moments to consider a better alternative that will be safer.  When none of these methods work, it might be time to utilize a snake to open the drain or call your local plumbing service.  Your Philbrick Family is always here to help!