Can’t view this email? See it online.
To ensure you receive our emails, please add to your address book.

The Diamond Certified<sup>®</sup> Consumer Report masthead
In This Issue
Diamond Certified® Resources
Savvy Consumer Tips

Chris Bjorklund photo
Dear Savvy Consumer,

All of us at Diamond Certified are wishing you happy holidays with some holiday consumer tips from some of our Diamond Certified companies. You can expect more great consumer advice from us throughout 2010!


Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer
Join me on Twitter & Facebook

Holly artHolly artHolly art

Holidays mean tougher weather. Have your gutters cleaned and inspect the outside of you house for any caulking failures or other places water can get in. Also, run a lemon through your garbage disposal to freshen it – it’s going to be working overtime! —Harvey Bondar, HouseWorks, Inc.
•  •  •Breathe. Pay attention to your breath whenever you can. Remember it's about love and family, not stress and presents. —John Gorman, Save Energy Company•  •  •As the nights are longer we drive in the dark more often. Check out all the lights on your cars -- brake, turn signals, driving lights. Matthew W. Johnson, General Contractor
•  •  • If you want to take your fitness to another level, working with a personal trainer can make a huge difference. Work with a certified and experienced personal trainer to help you reach all of your health and fitness goals, especially during this holiday season where weight gain can increase. Bradley Buchholz, The Big C Athletic Club
•  •  •Foul weather is a time to check the condition of your tires – especially tread depth – to avoid hydroplaning. If tires need to be replaced try to stay with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) tires, as non-OEM tires are 9% less fuel-efficient. To save money purchase online and drop ship to a local tire dealer like Big O – or use Costco where they fill the tires with nitrogen (among other factors the tires run cooler and therefore last longer). Dave Sutch, My Car Guy
•  •  • If you want to spruce up your home for the holidays or restore it after holiday wear-and-tear, consider recoating your hardwood floors. More than just a surface polish but less than a full refinishing, recoating makes your floors look great again in just one day—exactly what you need before or after a season of entertaining. Peter Visalli, Visalli Floors
•  •  •Holidays should not just be a spending time, but a time to save and plan for the future as well. The sooner you get started with your financial planning, the better chances you have of achieving financial abundance during the golden years. Daven Sharma, CPA & CFP, Davis & Company
•  •  •
Christmas is a great time for kids, adults and pets. Please be aware of the dangers of the tree trimmings and packages under the tree.

  1. Candies, especially chocolate
  2. Food – they smell through the wrap and will eat the wrap including what’s in it
  3. Tinsel and other trimmings
  4. Electrical cords
  5. Poinsettias and mistletoe, if eaten, can cause gastrointestinal upset

Also, be aware of bones, onions and other foods from the table. George Walters, D.V.M., Northbay Animal Hospital
•  •  • If you have aging parents, and you travel only during the holidays to see them, take special notice of how they are doing. Are they cooking and eating well? Are they taking their medications? Can they still drive O.K.? It may be time to provide professional assistance for them. Bob Londagin, Quail Garden

Holly artHolly artHolly art

Ask Chris graphicDear Chris,
This refers to the subject article, “Should You Flush Your Water Heater?”, which appeared in our local Marin County newspaper.

I wanted to ask a question about another part of most residential water heaters. There is a sacrificial rod in the heater called the Anode. Its purpose is to prevent electrolysis in the tank by slowly eroding itself away. Since my current tank is more than 24 years old, is there any point in replacing this Anode which in all probability has completely eroded away and replacement of the tank may be required any day?
D.S., San Rafael, CA

Dear D.S.,

According to Frans Cartwright, owner of Better Water Heaters, any attempt to repair a water heater over 10 years old should be avoided. Messing with it could create a bigger problem and may result in a leak or a failure of the unit. Anode rods are meant to be worn away slowly – replacement is very rarely a good idea. Best thing to do for a water heater is flush it regularly and then replace it when it's old – BEFORE it ruptures and creates bigger problems.

Need advice on a consumer problem? Send your questions to me at Due to the volume, I cannot respond to each question personally, but will answer one every month in this column.

Kudos from Diamond Certified® Consumers
Kudos graphic

This customer called in to tell us how pleased he was with ABS Home Pro.

“They did a wonderful job and I wanted to pass that on. Price was really good and the leader of the two-man team was great. He does work far beyond gutters. They do general contracting work as well.” —Alan S.

And here’s a letter I received about another company.

"We would just like to give a big thumbs up to Valley Heating and Cooling. Their technician, Michael Z., just saved us hundreds of dollars by eliminating an expendable part that had failed, whereas another company could have easily said our only option was to replace an expensive valve. Valley Heating and Cooling is at the top of our list of service firms to call." —Bill & Luann S.

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified®

Alameda County
A - Z Autotech, Hayward
Bay Area Body Shop, Newark
Golden Gateway Financial, Reverse Mortgage Brokers, Oakland
Hansen Landscape Contractor, Castro Valley
Whipple Auto Body, Inc., Hayward

Marin County
City Carpets, San Rafael

San Francisco
Balla Construction & Design, San Francisco

San Mateo County
Code Construction, Redwood City

Santa Clara County
Silicon Valley Auto Body & Tow, Sunnyvale
Sousa's Garage Doors, Inc., Santa Clara

Sonoma County
Jerry and Don's Yager Pump and Well, Petaluma



Read this newsletter and prior issues at Diamond Certified® Newsletters

Copyright 2009 American Ratings Corporation