Monday, August 23, 2010

PEX Plumbing Grows in Popularity

Today’s New Plastic Piping Can Be a Smart Alternative to Traditional Plumbing Solutions!

PEX piping is fast becoming one of the most widely used and affordable plumbing solutions on the market. PEX is an acronym for “cross-linked polyethylene”. It is a bendable, plastic plumbing pipe that was first developed in the 1960s but has become extremely popular in recent years for residential plumbing purposes.

PEX plumbing has many advantages over traditional plumbing and piping materials – including copper and other plastics. It is easy to install, more affordable than copper and other metals, and has a reputation for great performance. PEX pipe is made through a special chemical process that gives it great strength. PEX piping is able to withstand a wide temperature range – from sub-freezing temperatures up to 180 degrees F. PEX piping is also quieter than most traditional pipe systems. PEX connections are much simpler to make and don’t require soldering or gluing like fixed metal pipes. Plus, PEX pipes can bend around corners, reducing the need for joints – which is where most leaks and pipe failures occur.

PEX is a Great Value:
One of the biggest benefits of using PEX pipe in your home is the cost. From materials to installation, PEX is by far the most cost effective plumbing you can buy. The pipe itself is cheaper than other materials, and you’ll also save big on installation and labor costs because PEX comes in longer, flexible sections with fewer fixings. The light weight and easy fitting of PEX makes the entire installation process much shorter than traditional plumbing, so you can outfit your whole home with PEX in dramatically less time than it would take to re-plumb conventionally.

PEX Delivers Performance:
PEX pipe has so far proven more durable than traditional plumbing, too. There’s no need to worry about potable water delivery because the plastic is resistant to most of the chemicals commonly found in water systems. The smooth interior of the pipes means less corrosive build-up and mineral deposits to clog the plumbing over time. The flexible material resists freezing and bursting much better than traditional metal pipes.

PEX Provides Maintenance Savings:
The convenience of PEX installation carries over into maintenance, too. PEX is much easier to repair or replace if something goes wrong, speeding repairs and saving you money on what is often the most expensive part of plumbing repairs—hourly labor costs.

PEX Has Some Drawbacks:
The one drawback of PEX pipe is that it’s not appropriate for outdoor use. Though it does resist damage from freezing when installed indoors, it won’t stand up to harsher outdoor temperatures. UV light can also break down the plastic, which can lead to big problems.

PEX Myths Debunked:
Plastic plumbing was popular in home construction in the 1980s, and it had lots of problems. Some holdouts continue to insist that PEX plumbing hasn’t changed much in the past 30 years. This simply isn’t the case. Today’s PEX is made of completely different material and has been proven reliable and low-maintenance for many years. Plumbers all across the country use the new, innovative PEX time and again; its reputation these days is much different than that of plastic pipes in the past.

If you’d like to learn more about PEX plumbing, talk to a Horizon Services plumbing technician. You’ll be able to compare costs, get information about what installation will entail, and determine if PEX is right for your home. Chances are, no matter where you live or how your home’s plumbing is currently set up, installing PEX piping can help your plumbing system work more efficiently and can save you money on expensive plumbing service and maintenance costs.

More Plumbing Information from Horizon Services...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inji Puli /Pulikachal - Ginger in tamarind sauce ~ Kerala Special

Today is Uthradam, the day preceding Onam and it is as important as the Onam day. The last minute shopping rush on Uthradam, to get every thing ready for Onam is termed as "Uthrada Paachil ". All those who will be celebrating Onam will be busy shopping for veggies, bananas, chips and Onakodi ( new dress to be worn on the day of Onam). The streets will buzzing with people. At home, preparations of the Sadhya/feast will be going on full swing. As I mentioned in my last post, apart from the vadukapuli achar, inji puli is the other star pickle for the sadhya. This will also be prepared in advance and it tastes better as it ages a day or two. 

The preparation of inji puli is quite easy but there is some amount of cooking time involved since the tamarind extract has to be simmered till it is half of the original quantity. As the name suggests, inji is ginger and puli is tamarind. So this is essential a harmony of these two tastes complimented by green chilly, salt and a bit of jaggery too.

You need

  • Tamarind - lemon sized ball
  • Green chilly - 5 nos
  • Ginger, finely chopped - 2 tblsn
  • salt to taste
  • Grated jaggery - 1 tblspn
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tspn

To season

  • Gingely oil - 1 tblspn
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
  • Chana dal - 1 tblspn
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Red chillies - 2 nos, broken into two


Soak the tamarind in 3 cups of warm water for 10 minutes. Soaking in warm water helps to  fully extract the juice easily. Extract the tamarind pulp and keep it aside. If you need add some more water as you squeeze but let it not exceed another half cup. If you add too much of water,then you will have to simmer to longer to thicken.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add chana dal, broken chillies and curry leaves. When dal turn light brown, add finely chopped green chillies and ginger. Saute for a minute. Add the extracted tamarind water, turmeric and salt. Let it simmer and reduce to half the quantity. Add red chilly powder and grated jaggery. Let it simmer to a thick gravy. Check the salt and tanginess and add more spice accordingly.
It will stay good for a week if kept outside.

The measurements need not be very accurate and you can go by your instinct and add accordingly. If you like to have a bit of sweetness to taste, then increase the jaggery.

Wishing all my readers and friends a very happy and colorful ONAM.


This recipe is a very different version on chicken fry and tasty too! Even boned chicken pieces will have a more delicious taste !

கோழி தக்காளி வறுவல்


Boneless chicken pieces- 750 gms
Turmeric powder- half sp
Big onion-1
Shredded coconut- 3 tbsp
Red chillies-10
Cinnamon- 1” piece
Curry leaves- 3 arc
Fennel seeds- 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds- 1 tbsp
Cardamom- 5
Ripe tomato-2
Peppercorn- half sp
Small Garlic flakes- 15
Chopped coriander- half cup
Salt to taste
Oil- 3 + 1tbsp


Bake the onion with the skin on slow fire until the skin becomes black and nice aroma fills in the air.
Let it cool down.
Remove the skin, wash and cut it into big pieces.
Heat a pan and pour a tsp of oil.
Add the cardamom, fennel seeds, cinnamon, curry leaves, red chillies and the poppy seeds.
Fry them to golden brown.
Then add the coconut and fry for a few seconds.
Let them cool down.
Grind them to a paste along with the onion.
Mix this with the chicken pieces adding enough salt.
Let it stand for 15 minutes.
Mash the tomatoes coarsely with the garlic and the peppercorns.
Heat a pan and pour 1 tbsp of oil.
Add the tomato mixture with the turmeric powder and cook until the tomato becomes a paste and the oil oozes out.
Allow this to cool off.
Pour the remaining oil in a pan and heat it.
Add the chicken and cook until it is almost done.
Then add the tomato mixture and cook for a few minutes until every thing is mixed well and slighted roasted.
Add the coriander and mix well.
The delicious tomato chicken fry is ready now!
This is a nice sdie dish for sambar sadham, kurma, briyani varieties etc.