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If you’re a homeowner chances are you’ve been there. There’s a problem with your plumbing. Or your air conditioning. You just can’t see where it is. You get the flashlight. Then you look for batteries for the flashlight. Then you start looking in the dark corners and crevices, hoping for a glimpse of what’s

causing the noise. Or the leak.

Professional plumbing and heating experts know how to track down hard to trace problems. When they do, it sometimes involves cutting and probing and digging to locate the trouble until someone points and says, “There it is.”

There’s a common technology that almost everyone carries in their pocket that can make home repairs easier during the time you’re in your home. It’s the camera on your cell phone. Taking pictures of the repairs made to your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems can be a good resource. My

wife and I would pay a lot to have photos of what’s behind our walls. We are in the middle of a remodel on our fixer upper home built in 1965. It started out as a small lake cabin and was added onto several times as the years went by. Everything is patched together. The result is we never know what we’re

going to find when we open up a floor or knock down a wall. And when we do open it up, wow are we surprised.

So how can we “think ahead” about “what’s behind” the walls?

* If you’re building a new home, take pictures of the final runs of plumbing, ductwork and electrical systems BEFORE the drywall goes up. In the future should any repairs or remodeling be done, you’ll have a picture of exactly where the lines run. That can save you a lot of time and money in guesswork about where to cut or open a space.

* If you’re remodeling a home, do the same thing. Having a pictorial record of the positions of pipes and wires can save you a lot of frustration.

* Take pictures of repairs made in your existing home. In the event the repair doesn’t hold or that area becomes part of a future remodel, you’ll have something to reference.

* Label your photos! These aren’t family pictures where you can tell the difference between your Uncle Fred and Aunt Freda because he’s bald and she’s wearing the funny hat. Electrical boxes, 2×4 studs and PVC pipe can look the same from room to room. So be sure to label the pictures. If you’re

printing them out, write on the back. “Billy’s bedroom – north wall”, etc. If you’re keeping them on your computer, give the image a description.That way you have a reference point should that part of your home need attention in the future. It’s much easier to look at a picture and say “drill here” instead of cutting out a chunk of drywall to peek inside.

The pros at Sinclair are more than happy to help you outline the best plans for plumbing, heating and air conditioning in your new or remodeled home. A visit with them before you break ground or crack into a wall can save you a lot of time and money. Call them today at 806-749-COOL (2665)

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