Rhode Island Plumbing Blog

Buying a House

July 9, 2020


I imagine that one of the of most exciting events in life is buying a home. There in the new homeowner’s heart must be a feeling of accomplishment and a winsome countenance, like how an athlete feels when they cross the finish line, or like how I felt when I ziplined down a waterfall in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. Only with a home, it’s different. The tradeoff is tangible. The new homeowner can finally say, “Come see my new house!” and “Look what my hard work accomplished!”


There must also be this sense of joy in anticipation in setting up your home. Painting this and changing out that. Placing all the furniture in the right room and in the right place. Purging what doesn’t work, and buying new things to further enhance the space. I imagine that new homeowner possessing that good feeling of proud ownership.


It must be disheartening to learn weeks or months later that there is a problem with the heat, electricity, or plumbing system. The homeowner is left wondering, what exactly was that inspection fee for? How could he or she have missed this? Feelings of accomplishment are replaced with buyer’s remorse and embarrassment. How could the previous owners not share this? Perhaps, they didn’t know.


After working for just a short while at a plumbing company, I am learning that this is the plight of many homeowners. In my heart of hearts, I want to believe good things about others. I want to believe the seller didn’t know. Yet, much of the time, evidence points to the fact that, they most likely knew. I’m led to ponder such questions as, where is common decency? What happen to being kind? Do people really think this is ok? Isn’t this a form of theft?


In the end, the disheartened homeowner is left with the cost of fixing the job or the headache of figuring out where the responsibility lies.

From what I can gather from my experiences here at G.W. Wagner Plumbing and Heating, the home inspector is only required to do a cursory investigation. They think it wise to hire your own service professional to inspect his or her craft, be it plumbing, electricity, engineering, roofing, etc., before actually moving forward with the purchase of the home. The specialty inspection would be more extensive. G.W. Wagner Plumbing and Heating provides inspection services on plumbing and heating systems. They say unequivocally, "If the perspective home is an older home, at the very least we would hire a plumber to perform a camera video inspection of the sewer main.”


If you’re buying a new home, I’d want your experience to be just as I had imagined. I can’t promise you that all those involved will be goodhearted neighborly folk. So, I say all this to suggest hiring your very own inspector. If you don’t already have a plumber, we’d be happy to be of service. Call us, G.W. Wagner Plumbing and Heating, at (401) 228-8950.


Maintenance Plans???

March 20, 2020

I don’t know about you folks, but I don’t like to be caught off guard. As much as is it humanly possible, I like to plan for potential problems, be prepared in case of emergencies, and establish preventative measures before disaster starts. Let’s face it folks, things happen at the oddest times and sometimes all at once, like a cavity that reveals itself while you’re on vacation, or a pipe that bursts when your out of town, or car that breaks down on a Sunday evening. Like I mentioned before, I don’t like getting caught off guard. I want to be on the offense, not the defense. Yet, as much as I don’t like the latter, I find myself there because I don’t prepare.


I personally want to strive to be that person who thinks proactively. I want be the one that plans for retirement, has an “emergency only” bank account, and keeps her house stocked with extra toilet paper.

One way that I can begin to prepare for emergencies in my home is to look into purchasing the Maintenance Service Agreement offered by G.W. Wagner Plumbing and Heating.


Okay, I know what you’re thinking. And to be completely honest with you, I didn’t think this was a great idea either. Why? I don’t like to spend money unnecessarily. I have the mindset, “If it isn’t broke, don’t touch it.” Bottom line, I want my hard-earned dollar to match the service being provided. Why spend money on something that is not broken?


I feel a bit differently now that I've been working for Wagner Plumbing Services. I am acutely aware of the number of things that can go wrong in a home. Whether it be plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, they all need maintenance. Just as your car needs a tune-up, your home systems need maintenance check-ups. Your pipes and connections need to be inspected. Your heating system needs to be checked for sediment build-up, rust, or mechanical malfunctions, and your air conditioning system needs to have the filter replaced.


I can’t begin to count the number of service calls that could have been avoided if a maintenance plan was in place. Many times, these emergency calls are far more costly than the maintenance fee itself. This, in and of itself, is a motivator for me. It seems my dollar would be well spent on a maintenance plan. We, at Wagner Plumbing Services don’t stop there though. Our Maintenance Service Agreement offers many more benefits. We waive the diagnostic fees for remodeling estimates and emergency service calls. We identify and label main lines and valves. In addition, we apply the value rate for all service fees. We also identify and communicate any concerns we may have. Now, that’s a lot of bang for your buck! The clincher for me though... the benefit that provides the most value... is having peace of mind that my home systems are being superintended by professionals. Join me in my venture to plan ahead. Let’s grease the wheel before it squeaks. Check out our Maintenance Service Agreement and sign up now.

Flushable Products

Feb 28, 2020


A few years ago, I was asked to watch my friend’s pets while she and her family went on vacation. I visited their home prior to their departure to understand the pet care routine and become familiar with the home. They have three pets and one of them is an orange tabby cat.

I love cats, but not everything about cats. Where there’s a cat, there’s a litter box. And where there’s a litterbox, there’s a disposal method. On this day, I learned that someone had invented flushable litter. Initially, I exclaimed, “Give that person a gold star!” It was about time! What did this mean? It meant I didn’t have to cycle through several grocery bags to find one without holes in order to dispose of the cat’s feces. Nor did I have to deal with foul odor from the trash. It was great news. Yet, as I followed through with my friend’s disposal routine, there was some trepidation on my part in flushing the litter-caked fecal matter down the toilet. My friend has since moved away from this home, but I wonder if the owner of my friend’s house had some plumbing issues down the road.

I had no idea I’d be working for a plumbing company a few years later. Not just any company, but G.W. Wagner Plumbing and Heating. The service crew here rescued many clients with clogged toilets. They pulled many effects out of commodes and sewer lines; the least of which is toilet paper. Things like cotton swabs, toys, bottle caps, string, tape, kitty litter, dental floss, feminine products, and flushable wipes have been the cause of many clogs. Did you notice, I said flushable wipes? Did you know they are not flushable? I know the label states they are, but according to our plumbers, they are not. The service crew here at G.W. Wagner Heating and Plumbing say, “Only toilet paper is flushable.”

Only toilet paper? Hmm? Folks, why do we sometimes insist on learning the hard way? My husband and I suffered the loss of our pet fish during the busy Christmas season. He was white coy, with a red nose. Because of his markings, we named him Rudolph. When we purchased him, he was about two inches long. In eight months, he grew to be five inches in length. As we readied ourselves for a busy shopping day, we noticed Rudolph didn’t look so good. We stopped everything and followed the recommended steps to nurse him back to health. There was nothing to do, but wait at this point, so we started on our day. Upon returning home to freshen up and grab the dish we prepared for a Christmas dinner outing, we discovered Rudolph had passed. We were sad, because it was the first pet we bought as a couple. As our Rudolph lie on the counter, we shared some words on his behalf. After our short prayer, we began to talk about how to dispose of our pet fish. I know you’re thinking, “No, you didn’t!” But yes… Yes, we did! I know it was wrong! I am embarrassed to admit it for two reasons. It seems a heartless thing to do to a beloved pet. Not to mention, I work for a plumbing company! How many times did our servicemen have to say, “Only toilet paper is flushable!” Now, our toilet is clogged, Rudolph is stuck in the pipes somewhere, and we are late for dinner. All I can think of that night as we gathered with our friends was where exactly was Rudolph in the toilet plumbing system, and how I was going to tell my coworkers at G.W. Wagner Plumbing and Heating that I flushed my 5-inch fish down the toilet.

With that being said, I think it’s a bit ironic that I am the one relaying helpful plumbing suggestions to you. I am aware that my little story may make you think twice about reading my Plumbing 101 blogs. Yet, I like to think I represent the PCC, the Plumbing Challenged Community, out there, who like me, just needs a little nudge in the right direction. I hope my blogs appeal to those of you out there who are experts in all things except plumbing. So, for what it’s worth, here’s some information and suggestions on toilet maintenance. One of the things I learned is that the toilet plumbing system is not a straight line. It’s more of a sideways S. That means that for some of the journey, the objects are moving in the opposite direction as gravity. It takes a whole lot of force get keep things moving. I also learned that toilet paper is made to breakdown chemically. That’s why, ‘only toilet paper is flushable.’ Friends, even if the label reads, it’s flushable, it’s really not flushable, unless it’s toilet paper.

An Important Little Fact

Jan 30, 2020

HI Folks!

Renee here… Back to share some very useful information. Actually, this one is for all the dads out there with little girls. My Dad imparted a lot of wisdom to his children, but there is one little tidbit of information he left out. I did not learn this little factoid until I was…. Well, let’s just say I was well into adulthood.

How helpful this little fact would have been as a child, teen, or young adult. For more than half my life, I did not know it. I can only wonder about where this information would have taken me.


Are you ready dads? It’s just four little words.
“Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty.”
Yup. That’s it! I’m embarrassed to admit it. Oh, I turned out alright, I suppose. I don’t mean to be so hard on my Dad. He’s great, and I wouldn’t trade him in for the world. I probably should have figured this out on my own. Right?

I now share this great important fact to support those who are plumbing challenged. There’s no judgment. You’ve been doing so many other grandiose things. Besides, I have your back. If you have to turn off that hose, water valve, gas valve, anything, remember, “Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty.” Turn it to the left to open, or to the right to close.


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