When it comes to plumbing, there are plenty preventive measures that can help you avoid unnecessary water, energy and money loss. From cutting down on daily water use, making sure taps and pipes are in good condition to conserving water and reducing bills – it’s easier than you might think.
Turn off those taps
A dripping tap is more than just an annoying sound; it can cause the waste of up to 15 gallons of water per day and add approximately $100 to your yearly water bill. To avoid wasting precious water, make sure you turn your taps off completely. If fully closed taps continue to leak, have them repaired or replaced. nvesting in plumbing maintenance now will help you save money in the long run.
Go for low-flow
Installing a low-flow showerhead is an easy way to significantly reduce water consumption. Even a 10 minute shower with a conventional showerhead can use up to 42 gallons of water. Low-flow showerheads are easy to install and use far less water. Go the extra mile and set a household shower-time limit. The teenagers in the home may be less than impressed but your reduced water bill will be worth the complaints. There are also low-flow toilets as well as low-flow aerators for any faucet that will furthermore lower your water consumption considerably.
Expose hidden leaks
Not all water leaks can be spotted with the naked eye. Some leaks are hidden and require some detective work on the part of the homeowner to be found. To determine if your home has any hidden leaks, check your water meter before and after a specific period of time when no water has been used. If the meter has changed, there may be a leak lurking somewhere in your home.
Don’t neglect your drains
Drains are often overlooked until they become clogged and no longer work effectively. To keep your drains in working order and avoid unwanted build-up, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down them on a monthly basis. In the bathroom, use strainers in the sink and bathtub drains to keep hair and soap out of your pipes. Avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners as they are harmful to the environment and can damage your pipes.
Listen to your toilet
If your toilet is making a gurgling noise, your home might be experiencing main drain problems. If the main drain was installed prior to 1980, there is a good chance it is made of clay and therefore easily penetrated by tree roots. A ‘gurgling toilet’ and wet marks around floor drains are early indications that underground roots are growing and placing pressure on your pipes. Listen to your toilet and have an experienced plumber fix the problem before your pipes break and must be replaced.
Check your toilet for leaks
According to the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, the toilet is considered the home’s biggest water waster, with toilet flushing accounting for almost 30 percent of daily home water usage. To test your toilet for leaks, drop some food coloring into the tank. If the color seeps into the toilet bowl within 10 to 15 minutes, your toilet has a leak. Check around the base of the toilet for signs of water damage (rolled vinyl, black or white stains, etc.) Prevent unnecessary water-loss by ensuring your toilet is leak-free.
Keep your valves moving
Exercise water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking. This will ensure you will be able to shut the water off quickly in an emergency situation.
Follow garbage disposal guidelines
While garbage disposals might seem like indestructible incinerators, certain items can lead to their demise. Poultry skins, celery, fruit pits and bananas are not garbage disposal friendly – they can cause a build-up of debris which can lead to blockages and offensive odors. Also, bones should never be put in the garbage disposal as they can damage the sides of the grinding chamber.
Keep fats and oil out of your drains
Too many people think it makes sense to pour hot cooking grease down a sink or toilet. After all, you can’t pour it in the garbage bag. But when that grease cools it solidifies and sticks to the insides of your pipes. Over time, it will build up and block the entire pipe. Rather than dumping grease into your plumbing system, pour it in a heat-resistant container, let it solidify and then throw it in the garbage. If you must put some grease down a drain (last remains of a greasy skillet) follow it with a lot of hot water to clear the drain pipes.
Yes, you should floss, but no, you shouldn’t flush your floss. Today’s dental floss is shed-resistant and won’t break down. When dental floss enters the sewage system, it bonds with other waste and forms large clumps that block pipes.
Hair and Tissues
For some, it’s common practice to flush discarded hair from hairbrushes or haircuts down the toilet as well as tissues, which is why there is an enormous market for anti-clog products. If you don’t want a backed up toilet, don’t flush tissues or hair.
Know the location of your home’s main water valve
In case of a major incident – such as a pipe bursting – where you might need to immediately shut off all of the water in the home, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is located. This valve is usually located next to the water meter and should be kept in good condition. To maintain your home’s main water valve and keep it in working order, open and close it once a year.
Pay a little attention to your Water Heater
Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
Whenever you leave town turn the dial on your water heater to “vacation.” That will keep the water temperature at a lower point and reduces the use of energy. Make sure you remember to turn it back to the original setting right after you come home.
Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater.
Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.) Newer water heaters are more energy efficient. Make sure flammables are not stored near the water heater or furnace.
A rusty water tank is a sign of pending problems.
Slow floor drains should be snaked to make sure they will carry away water fast if there is a flood.
Standing water in a yard is a common problem caused by a leaky or broken pipe. Excess water in a yard might come from a damaged sewer line and contain waste from the home. This is unhealthy for children and pets, and is a breeding ground for insects and germs.
Winter preventative measure: outside water valves
To protect your pipes and keep them from freezing in the severe cold, turn off the valve that controls the tap for your garden hose. This will avoid water entering the hose and freezing, causing the pipes to burst. If in the spring an outdoor faucet drips or if it leaks inside your home the first time the hose is turned back on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.
Hire right the first time
Your home is typically one of the biggest, most important purchases you can make – the result of a painstaking search that might have taken months or even years. Therefore, when it comes to home plumbing maintenance – it only makes sense to hire someone who is qualified and will do the job well. Call “Green Apple Plumbing” toll free at (888) 315-5564
Plumbing problems, we all have them and they are awful. They smell bad, flood our houses and destroy a lot of stuff. So when the worst happens, who do we call to fix it? Green Apple Plumbing NJ! However, the average person does not know much about the noble profession, so we assembled some facts to enlighten us all about where our modern plumber comes from.
A Brief History of Plumbing
“Plumbing” comes from the word for lead, which is plumbum. People who worked with lead were called Plumbarius, which was eventually shortened to the word we use today. Plumbing dates back to roman times when the Romans used lead pipe inscriptions to prevent water theft. After that virtually no advance in the profession was made until the 19th century when actual sewage systems were created to eliminate cesspools. More recently, technology has taken off and resulted in the modern piping and water treatment that we enjoy everyday.
10 Crazy Facts About Plumbing and its Rich History
- Albert Einstein was made an honorary member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union after he had announced that he would be a plumber if he had to live his life all over again.
- In the technology capitol of the world, Japan, some urinals have voice activated flushing mechanisms. The urinals respond to several commands, including “fire”.
- Over $100,000 were spent on a study to determine whether most people put their toilet paper on the holder with the flap in front or behind. The answer: three out of four people have the flap in the front.
- 90% of pharmaceuticals taken by people are excreted through urination. Therefore our sewer systems contain heavy dose of drugs. A recent study by the EPA has found fish containing trace amounts of estrogen, cholesterol-lowering drugs, pain relievers, antibiotics, caffeine and even anti-depressants.
- President Richard Nixon had set up a White House Special Investigations Unit to plug intelligence leaks in the governmental processes associated with the Vietnam War. The members of this convert group were popularly called “plumbers.”
- The toilet is flushed more times during the super bowl halftime than at any time during the year. We imagine the 8 million pounds of popcorn, 28 million pounds of potato chips, and 1 billion chicken wings really get to you at halftime.
- Who are the most famous plumbers ever? Mario and Luigi of course! They have been in over 200 games since Mario bros was created in 1985.
- King George II of Great Britain died falling off a toilet on the 25th of October 1760.
- The “Bathroom” has been named many different things in many different places. Here are a few of my favorite ones: The Egyptians named it the House of Horror, the Romans named it the Necessarium for obvious reasons. The Tudors who ruled England for a period of time called the bathroom the privy or house of privacy. People of France call it “La Chambre Sent” meaning the smelly house, self-explanatory of course. Israelis call the bathroom the house of honor, this one confuses us the most.
- The average person spends three whole years of their life sitting on the toilet. We hope you brought a good book.
Hope you enjoyed these facts and don’t forget to say hello to your friendly neighborhood plumber!
Are you a homeowner who needs to learn about maintaining your plumbing system? If so, it’s important that you learn how to do so effectively without trying practices that may damage your system or your pipes. Here are five myths about home plumbing you’ll want to avoid.
Myth 1: Lemons Clean Your Garbage Disposal
While a running a lemon rind through the disposal may make your drain smell better, it won’t actually get it clean. To disinfect your garbage disposal, you will need to use a cleaning solution that includes a mild soap and warm water. Before you attempt to use it, however, make sure you disconnect the disposal from its power source. Spray the cleaning solution into the disposal, give it a few minutes to work, and then use a cleaning brush to scrub the disposal itself.
Myth 2: Running Water While Using The Garbage Disposal Helps The Waste Travel Smoothly
Many homeowners believe that they can put just about anything down their garbage disposals as long as they run water. The truth, however, is that some things do not belong in a garbage disposal no matter how much water you run. Hard or thick food items, such as banana peel and eggshells, can damage your disposal, which may require an expensive repair or drain cleaning. If you’re considering putting thick foods down your disposal, you’ll need to break them up thoroughly and mix them with water beforehand.
Myth 3: As Long As Things Keep Going Down My Drain, It Isn’t Getting Clogged
Even when your garbage disposal is operating, it may still be at risk of a serious clog. One of the early warning signs of an impending problem is a slow moving disposal, or waste fragments that remain on the discharge pipe. If you notice either of these signs when you use your disposal, it’s developing a clog, even though it may still be working. Stop using it right away until you have the clog removed.
Myth 4: You Can Clean Plumbing Fixtures With Hand Soap
Depending on the type of plumbing fixtures you have, hand soap may actually be damaging to the surface. Brass plumbing fixtures, for example, should be cleaned with gentle solutions such as cut lemons and baking soda. Toilet bowls, however, need to be cleaned with an effective disinfectant to kill germs and prevent infection.
Myth 5: Plumbing Fixtures Require Little To No Maintenance
This is one of the most dangerous home plumbing myths of all, because homeowners who believe it may run into serious problems later on. Pipes may be obstructed by clogs, wayward tree roots, or shifting home foundations. Homeowners should also inspect their sewer cleanouts for obstructions. All of these issues may lead to expensive plumbing repair, such as a sewer line replacement or a pipe replacement. The fixtures inside the home such as sinks, faucets, and tubs also need regular maintenance to avoid serious drain clogs.