Beware Of This Common Plumbing Danger

Wet wipes are marketed as “flushable” and “septic-safe,” so there should be no problem with flushing them down the toilet, right? Wrong! Even though these wipes do eventually break down, they take a longer amount of time to do so compared to toilet paper. Since the breakdown of wet wipes isn’t as rapid, clogged pipes and blockages occur more frequently. Putting your home’s plumbing at risk for serious clogs translates to hefty plumbing bills for you.

If you still want to use wet wipes then fine but just don’t flush them. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by avoiding this problem. We are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns you have regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call us toll-free at 888-315-5564

How You Can Get The Most From Your HVAC System

You invested thousands of your hard earned money in your home heating system. Proper, regular maintenance is an absolute must to keep your heating system in proper working order. If you neglect this vital tasks you will most likely experience unexpected breakdowns, an increase in energy cost, a poorly performing unit, and frustration! Ignoring regular maintenance can end up costing you a lot more money in the long run.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs, please feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical toll-free at 888-315-5564

How To Get The Most From Your Heating

  1. Schedule Professional Heating Maintenance

First, make sure to schedule an annual furnace inspection from a Green Apple professional as soon as possible. Dust and dirt can build up in the warm months when you don’t use your heater, and worn parts probably haven’t been replaced since last year’s heating season ended.

A tune-up from a trained professional can fix all of those little problems, which reduces strain on the system and lowers the amount of energy it uses to warm your home. Your technician will also make sure dangerous combustion gases, such as carbon monoxide, are safely venting outside.

Think about setting up a maintenance plan so you never forget about the important task of scheduling tune-ups for your heating and cooling systems.

  1. Seal Common Air Leaks

Instead of heating the whole neighborhood, you’ll want to close common air leaks around the home to keep the expensive heat inside. The most common air leaks are found around doors and windows. The more air leaks you have, the harder and longer your heater has to work to get the job done. The more your house is sealed, the better it will retain all that cozy warm air.

If you have any questions or concerns or regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs please feel free to call your friends at Green Apple toll-free at 888-315-5564

Call Green Apple When You Need A Fix

Call Green Apple Plumbing NJ when you need a fix. We always place a high emphasis on customer service. We have been serving the New Jersey area for years with professionalism and expertise. We are the professionals you can trust. Whenever you need a fix with any of your plumbing concerns big or small, please feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Plumbing NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564

When Winter Takes Aim At Your Plumbing

Homeowners in traditionally frigid regions have learned by necessity how to avoid burst pipes. But with temperatures plunging to record lows recently, people in otherwise temperate areas have heard horror stories of frozen plumbing and the watery, expensive aftermath.

William B. Rose and Jeffrey Gordon, senior researchers at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, spent two years studying how, where and why pipes burst. Mr. Rose, who also wrote “Water in Buildings: An Architect’s Guide to Moisture and Mold” (Wiley, 2005), recently spoke with a reporter. (This interview has been condensed and edited.)

Q. O.K., so I live in the Connecticut suburbs in a normal house, and it’s ridiculously cold outside right now. How worried should I be about my pipes bursting?

A. Not nearly as worried as someone in Nashville. Northern plumbers put water supply lines in rather protected areas, but Southern plumbers have been much more careless about that. If the frequency of freezing-pipe incidents surpasses the institutional memory of the area, you’re in real trouble.

But still we hear the horror stories even up north — or at least here in the northeast, where really severe cold isn’t the norm. How do I avoid becoming the star of a horror story?

It helps to understand how pipes burst. The way that happens doesn’t follow conventional wisdom, which says water turns to ice and pushes outward against the wall of the pipe and causes a rupture. The blockage grows along the length of the pipe and acts like a piston, causing elevated water pressure when the faucet is turned off, and that’s what causes the rupture. So if you can relieve the pressure downstream of the blockage by allowing the tiniest little drip at the faucet, then the ice blockage can grow and it won’t rupture the pipe.

So when it gets really cold I should turn on every faucet in the house?

You can be strategic about it. If the water is being fed from the center of the house and you’re not abandoning your home, those pipes are O.K. But if a pipe goes into your crawl space, or if it’s close to an outside wall or especially a vent, it’s a real good candidate for bursting in really cold weather.

So if you’re concerned about your pipes possibly bursting and you have a faucet with a gearshift lever, when you turn it on so it trickles, make sure it’s warm water so you’re getting both the hot and cold. If you run it overnight on a cold night and lose a quart of water, nobody will complain.

The trickling-water idea is obviously for when I have good reason to think those pipes are in danger. If I insulate those pipes, I can breathe a little easier, right?

Yes, but a poor pipe insulation job is worse than no insulation. If you’re going to insulate, don’t leave blank spots, especially at elbows and T’s, where pipes can be more vulnerable to freezing. And make sure all the fittings are insulated as well. There are also thermostat-controlled heating cables you can buy at the hardware store.

You want to hear something really juicy?

Nope. Well, O.K. Go.

Ask a plumber whether hot or cold pipes burst more frequently, and they’ll all tell you it’s the hot water pipe.

And that’s because . . .

They’ll give you a whole bunch of different answers, but the real answer is the toilet. The guts of a standard toilet actually function as a pressure-relief device. If the water pressure rises in the pipes, the ball cock allows a drip of water to leak out into the tank. Hot water systems don’t have anything like that, so they’re more at risk.

What if I forget one faucet in the house and I wake up and no water comes out of it when I turn it on, but the pipe hasn’t blown yet?

O.K., here’s an important thing. If that happens, it’s critical not to close the faucet. Ice has created a blockage and it’s still growing toward the fixture. If you shut the faucet, there’s nowhere for the pressure to go, and it can burst. If you leave it open, even slightly, you’re O.K.

And then what? Grab a propane torch and pray I don’t burn down my house while I’m warming up the pipes?

I wouldn’t recommend anything stronger than a hair dryer. And the nice thing about leaving the faucet open is that you can hear it running once you’ve got it going again.

Are there any areas other than crawl spaces and exterior walls where I should inspect the pipes more carefully?

The hose bibb.

I’m not sure I know what that is.

The thing you hook up the hose to on the outside of the house. If cold weather’s coming, make sure there are no hoses attached, or they can do a real number on the house. With the newer style of bibb, if the hose is attached, you have water in the cold part of the wall, rather than air. This is much more a problem with new frost-protected hose bibbs, because people think frost-protected means they can leave the hose attached, and that’s a big mistake.

And be aware of cracks or gaps where cold air might come in and hit a pipe. Get a few cans of foam insulation and look for things that are really cold, then try to foam every gap or seam in that area so the cold air isn’t leaking on the pipes.

It usually takes more than cold temperatures to freeze a pipe. More typically you need really cold temperatures, and cold wind blowing on it. There’s a lot of forgiveness in a plumbing system. Just don’t say that to someone whose pipes burst.

Let’s Talk Energy Efficient Plumbing Fixtures

For those who may not know, climate change is the significant change of global temperature to the point where it affects the natural habitats and species of the Earth, which also serve as resources for us as humans. The causes of climate change lead right back to each individual’s household and how we use our water and energy. As one individual it may not seem like we have much of an effect on the environment, but when we all do the same thing, then collectively we have an impact. So, the more of us that change our plumbing systems, the more we can reduce global warming, and save money at the same time! One way to start reducing global warming is to lower your energy and water usage wherever you can – read on to find out how changing your plumbing fixtures can help.

So how do I go about changing my plumbing system?
You can begin this by installing water efficient fixtures and appliances that use less energy and water without you even noticing the difference in water pressure. Many of these are known as “low flow” fixtures because they have limited water flow thresholds. There are three main fixtures that you can change in order to save. Call Green Plumbing NJ to help you do the job quickly and correctly:

1) Toilets
Toilets account for about 30% of a household’s water use. Most average toilets use more than 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). There are a few options you can consider when wanting to change to a green toilet – a high efficiency flushing toilet that reduces the gpf every time you flush, and uses no more than 1.28 gpf; a dual flush toilet that has two flush buttons (one for liquid waste and using less water, one for solid waste and using slightly more) as opposed to the average toilet that uses the same amount for liquids and solid waste flushes; or a composting toilet that uses chemicals to break down waste and uses almost no water. Another nifty trick that won’t cost you a thing is to insert a plastic bottle filled with water into your toilet flush tank – this will ensure that when you flush, there is a smaller volume of water is available in the tank to be used.

2) Shower heads
Showering accounts for about 20% of household water use. By installing low flow showerheads, the amount of water flowing through the showerhead per minute is reduced significantly so that the gallons per minute (gpm) is not wasteful – a moderate flow is about 2 gpm. At the same time, you will be saving on electricity bills because less water needs to be heated. You should probably also watch how long you spend in the shower as an extra precaution.

3) Faucets
According to the UN, 783 million people do not have access to clean water! Many of us tend to forget the blessing of clean running water flowing out of a faucet. Most average faucets are also more wasteful than they should be, exerting more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. A reasonable faucet need not exert more than 1.5 gpm. So, by installing a flow restrictor to your faucet, or an aerator (a device that causes air to be mixed with the water when flowing out, so that less water flows out while still retaining a strong pressure), you can reduce your faucets gpm by a significant amount.

There are many other little ways that you can save water, but by making these 3 simple changes you can make a big difference. At Green Plumbing NJ, we are more than happy to give you some more tips and help you choose and install the most water wise fixtures in your home!