Your Thanksgiving Plumbing Checklist

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers? While you are enjoying a good meal with your family, watching relatives doze off before the pumpkin pie is served or watching the football game, plumbers are hard at work at homes all over the country.

The Disposal

The garbage disposal will be the origination of most Thanksgiving and holiday plumbing problems. The problem is during the hours and hours of cooking, either too much waste gets thrown down the disposal or items are discarded that cannot be broken down. No matter what the reason, if you call an emergency plumber during the holidays, they will likely head straight into the kitchen without needing to know the exact reason for your call.

Here are some tips: First, even if you aren’t going to be the actual cook for this meal (we know how pushy your mother-in-law can be), make sure that everyone who is going to be using the disposal knows what shouldn’t be put in there:

  • No corn husks
  • No grease
  • No bones
  • No potato skins
  • No eggshells
  • No lettuce
  • No metal, of course

Second, don’t stuff too much down the disposal at once. Do a little at a time. If you see a problem, pay to have a Green Apple plumber fix the disposal before you find yourself standing in a flooded kitchen.

It can be a tricky hoop to jump through since this meal is often a group effort, but you either need to marshal everything that will go in the disposal or put out a mandate of how to use it. Everyone will, of course, feel insulted, but it is better to be safe than to have your kitchen flood just as everyone sits down to eat.

So Many Guests

On a typical Thanksgiving, a normal household of 4-5 people can swell to more than 20, what with both sides of the family and all their kids. So consider that there might be 4-5 times the amount of hands being washed, glasses of water to fill, and trips to the bathroom, which is going to distress your plumbing in general.

While there is nothing you can do to force people to use the bathroom less or cook less, you can make sure that everyone (mainly the kids) knows what can and can’t be flushed to avoid paying for toilet bowl repair during the holidays. You might even say to your guests the plumbing has been acting up so keep a close eye on it. This will ensure your guests are mindful when they use the garbage disposal or visit the bathroom, and it might just keep your plumber off your guest list. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always your number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your plumbing or HVAC needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Choosing The Best Filter For Your Furnace

Fiberglass

The most basic type of filter on the market, fiberglass filters check all of the essential boxes. These filters are flat, made with fiberglass, and have a metal structure as support. They don’t offer much in the way of cleaning the air in your home, but they do protect the HVAC system from large particles and some bacteria. Fiberglass filters generally have very low minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings between one and four.

Keep in mind that even basic filters like these won’t be effective if you don’t change them regularly. Most HVAC technicians recommend changing air filters every two to three months for most of the year and replacing them every four weeks during the winter months when you are constantly using the furnace. By changing the air filter as often as possible, you’ll ensure that it helps the HVAC system run as smoothly as possible.

Pleated

A step up from fiberglass, pleated filters are made with polyester. With a pleated format, these filters boast more surface area, which allows them to trap and capture more airborne contaminants. More than just a protective shield for the HVAC system, many pleated filters can also help clean pollen, dust, and mold from your home’s air supply, which contributes to quality indoor air. Most pleated filters have an MERV rating between five and 13, with the higher-ranked models offering superior filtration capabilities. In general, these are a good, affordable option for most furnaces.

Like fiberglass filters, pleated filters must be replaced regularly. Mark, your calendar to change the filter yourself every 60 to 90 days during the off-season and every 30 days during high season. Alternatively, schedule preventative maintenance for your HVAC system to check both filter replacement and system checkup off your list.

High-Efficiency

Air filters that boast high-efficiency ratings look and operate much like pleated filters. Their MERV ratings are even higher, and most have a rating between 14 and 16. These also tend to be expensive, with an average price tag of $100. Before splurging for one of these filters, make sure it will work with your furnace. Some high-efficiency filters are thicker or offer too much air resistance, so they’re not the right choice for every system.

Note that HEPA filters are often considered a top choice for air filtration since they can capture nearly 100 percent of airborne particles. Due to their unique construction, however, HEPA filters won’t work with most HVAC systems which can’t provide the high air pressure that these filters require.

Reusable

Most air filters are disposable, which means that while they might be effective, they’re not always environmentally friendly. When you’re looking for a greener option, consider a reusable air filter, which is made to be removed, washed, and reused regularly. These filters create little waste, but they do require maintenance about once per month.

Most reusable filters offer moderate efficiency, with MERV ratings between six and 10. Keep in mind that many reusable filters have higher price tags, but since they don’t require a replacement, the cost balances out over time.

Electrostatic

Made with self-charging cotton or paper fibers, electrostatic filters are able to trap some of the smallest airborne particles. While most filters can trap medium and large pollutants, electrostatic filters can capture bacteria and odor particles. The ability to trap such small particles makes these filters a good choice for homeowners working hard to manage their indoor air quality.

Electrostatic filters come in both disposable and permanent varieties with mid-range price tags. These filters generally have MERV ratings between eight and 10. While they’re not the most efficient models on the market, they do offer advanced air cleaning properties. Since the permanent filters can be washed and dried, they’re also an environmentally friendly option.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free @888-315-5564. We are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority.

Don’t Wait to Call A Plumber When This Happens

You Have No Water in the House

In instances when water stops flowing within your house, it is localized around one area, such as a bathroom sink or shower. But rarely will water stop flowing to your entire house.

Check all water outlets within the house to confirm that none of them are receiving water. Be sure to check both the hot and cold water supplies. Often, if there is a problem with the hot water heater and hot water is no longer being delivered, the cold side is still operable.

If you still cannot get the water to run, you may have a serious problem. It is possible that the buried water pipe leading from the streetside water meter to your house has burst or has been severed, diverting water intended for your house. Or the leak may be centered around the water meter.

You Have a Rapid Drainage Line Leak

If your kitchen sink or bathroom sink leaks from the trap directly below the counter, that is a fairly common issue that most homeowners can fix with simple tools and materials. Simply turn off the water, get under the sink, and replace the trap. In kitchens, the leak may be emanating from the garbage disposal. In this case, fix or replace your garbage disposal.

But drainage lines extend far beyond the sink cabinets and are not always so accessible. When a drainage line is actively leaking and is sealed up behind a wall or under a floor, you need to take immediate action. Calling a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ plumber is the most expedient way to fix this problem and prevent further damage to the drywall, paint, subfloor, or floor covering. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

How Water Quality Affects Your Plumbing

Hard Water Is a Big Issue

If you were hoping for something really dramatic, such as information about water quality so bad that it will burn through copper pipes like acid, then we’re sorry to disappoint. And honestly, if you ever do encounter a problem like that, maybe a plumber is not the first person that you should call. While hard water may not be quite as exciting as that made-up scenario, it is what we’re going to talk about today.

There are a lot of issues that you may encounter with your water quality that may not result in problems with your plumbing itself but could pose health threats. Hard water is the exact opposite type of problem, though. While hard water is characterized by its high levels of mineral content, including magnesium and calcium, it is not a health risk. It is, however, something that can prove very problematic for your plumbing system.

As hard water travels through your pipes, it can leave deposits within those pipes. When that happens, the pipe is basically getting narrower and narrower. That’s a problem because constricting the flow of water through the pipes like that can result in increased pressure within those pipes. It’s not all about that ugly buildup that you see on fixtures in homes where hard water is an issue. This is a more serious problem than that!

But You Can Solve It!

How? With the use of a whole-house water softener. It’s just that easy. A water softener swaps out the minerals in the water causing hardness with sodium ions, and it treats all of the water running into your home. You don’t have to worry about hard water deposits restricting water flow through your pipes, nor do you need to worry about deposits building up on your water heater’s heating elements, in your washing machine, etc. Contact Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ today. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

What Is Causing Your Clogged Drain?

Clogged drains can damage your home and severely slow down your everyday routine. Simply hoping that the water eventually drains out of your bathtub won’t fix the issue, but calling Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ professional plumbers will! We can assess what is causing your clogged drains and capably resolve the problem, at an upfront, flat-rate price.

Common Causes of Clogged Drains

Over time, there are a number of common factors that can contribute to a need for drain cleaning. Soap by itself is not a problem, but soap combined with hair can become an issue. Another common problem is quilted toilet paper, which doesn’t break apart as easily as non-quilted brands. Believe it or not, clumped cat litter can also become a major source of clogging if flushed down the toilet. Starchy vegetables, oils, fats, grease, and hair can also be common items that lead to unwanted drain clogs.

How Do I Know If I Need Drain Cleaning Services?

Some clogs are easily remedied. In some cases, you can simply remove the item that is clogging the drain and go on with the rest of your day. However, many drains need professional cleaning in order to regain their usability.

Check out common signs that mean your drain needs cleaning:

  • Drains that are slow to empty after normal usage
  • Garbage disposals don’t eliminate effectively
  • Problems with normal toilet flushing

If this is the case, experts recommend trying a bio drain cleaning solution as a preventive measure, This may work for organic clogs, but if you have foreign objects or hair in your drains you may require additional drain-cleaning service to fix the problem.

Tough Clog? Leave it to the Drain Cleaning Experts!

If you have tried everything you can, but your drains just won’t get back to normal, call the professional plumbers at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ. We have the skill and expertise needed to provide innovative solutions to your plumbing problems. Schedule an in-home estimate with us today! Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

What Is The “Stack Effect”?

 Furnaces have long lives

There are many factors that determine how long a furnace will last, but overall, they average lengthy lifespans. Conventional and mid-efficiency furnaces last about 18-25 years. High-efficiency furnaces last about 15-20 years.

 The “Stack Effect” describes how air moves through a building

The Stack Effect principle refers to the movement of air through spaces, most specifically, the rising of heat in buildings. In the cold winter months, the warm air in the building is less dense than the cold air outside. That warm air bubble wants to rise up and out of the building.

This rising air causes cold air to be drawn into cracks at the bottom of the house. This is why your basement is colder than your highest floor. This is also why leaky houses consume larger amounts of energy.

 In Britain, “furnace” has a whole different meaning

In Britain, the term “furnace” only refers to industrial metallurgical furnaces used for smelting iron ore, lead or copper. In America, we call this type of industrial furnaces “blast furnaces”. The Brits call their heating systems “central heating”.

 The word “furnace” has Greek origins

It’s said that the name comes from the Greek word “fornax” which means oven.

 They really do require maintenance

Did you know that a 6 room house collects an average of 40 pounds of dust a year? You can see why regular maintenance of your HVAC is so important! A Well working and maintained furnace will produce cleaner and healthier air.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns call us toll-free @888-315-5564

Protect Your Pipes While You Are On Vacation

Ways to help avoid frozen pipes while on vacation

Traveling in the winter months might be a break in your routine, but don’t forget to think about your plumbing before you leave. What can you do?

  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C). Also, be sure to replace the battery in your thermostat.
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing.
  • Shut off and drain the water system. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it may be deactivated when you shut off the water.

Your pipes freeze, what might you do?

What if your pipes still freeze, despite your best preventive measures? First step: Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do:

  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical plumber.
  • Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water. You could be electrocuted.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house!
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hairdryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of the pipe.
  • If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Your Essential Furnace Checklist For Very Cold Days

5 ways to help your furnace deal with extreme cold weather

  1. Keep your air filter clean. When it’s freezing cold outside, your furnace needs all the help it can get in order to keep your home warm. That’s why it’s extremely important to ensure that you have a clean air filter installed during extreme cold weather in order to stop your furnace from working harder than it needs to.
  2. Hold off on setting back your thermostat. Normally, it’s a great idea to lower your thermostat’s temperature setting. during the hours that you’re away from home in order to conserve energy. However, this can cause more trouble than it’s worth when it’s excessively cold outside because it will be harder for your furnace to bring your home back up to your desired at-home temperature. Keep your thermostat set at a consistent setting until the weather warms back up to normal temperatures for this season.
  3. Be prepared for colder indoor temperatures. Your furnace can only maintain a differential between outdoor and indoor temperatures to a certain degree. During extremely cold weather, some furnaces might not be able to bring your home all the way up to its desired temperature level. Instead of cranking up your thermostat (which won’t help the matter), try wearing warmer clothes and blankets around the house to stay warm.
  4. Keep vents clear in high-efficiency furnaces. The vents that are used in high-efficiency furnaces lead outside of your home and are located near ground level. This leaves them vulnerable to getting clogged with ice and snow. When it’s extremely cold out, check to ensure that those vents stay clear so that your system doesn’t develop performance or safety issues.
  5. Ask a neighbor to check on your house when you’re gone. If your furnace goes out during severely cold weather, it can leave your home more susceptible to other potential problems like frozen pipes. If you’re going to be away from home for a while and you know that we’re expecting colder weather than usual, have a neighbor check to make sure that your heat is working so that you can catch problems before they get worse.
  6. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll free @888-315-5564

8 signs Your Toilet Needs To Be Replaced

1. Constant Clogging

Nobody likes to deal with a clogged toilet. While they’re not uncommon, random or recurring clogs can indicate an issue. If you have an old, low flush toilet, you may experience stoppages far too often. If you experience clogs more than once a week, or the clogs seem random and odd, you should probably replace your toilet.

If you don’t want to lose the water-saving benefits of a low-flush toilet, simply replace your current toilet with a more efficient and effective commode. Modern technologies have come a long way, and low-flush toilets are much better than they used to be.

2. Cracks

When you notice puddles of water around your toilet, you may want to check for cracks in the porcelain. While the toilet may work fine, leaks can waste a lot of water, and that water exposure can damage your flooring over time. It can also result in mold or mildew growth.

Look for cracks in the bowl or the tank of the toilet. If you notice any, or if you hear constant running from your toilet, replace it right away before the situation gets worse. If you can’t tell if there’s a crack, put dye in the water of the tank or bowl and see if the dyed water makes it to the floor.

3. Plentiful Repairs

Toilets shouldn’t need to be constantly repaired. If you find yourself regularly calling for a plumber to fix the toilet, replace it. Frequent repairs can add up, and you can save yourself a bit of cash over the years if you invest in a new toilet.

Or, if your toilet requires numerous repairs all at once, it may be cheaper to replace the toilet instead. Discuss the situation with your Green Apple plumber, and they can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

4. Excessive Age

Even if your toilet is a little old, it may work just fine. But older toilets are often more inefficient than the newer models, so it may be a good idea to replace your toilet and save some money and water. Consider a toilet with a dual-flush feature. It allows you to partially flush for liquid waste and fully flush for solid waste. That way, you can maximize your savings both in water use and utility costs.

5. Wobbling

If your toilet wobbles, it may be a simple problem of loose screws. A Green Apple plumber can easily tighten the bolts and ensure everything is properly placed. But wobbling can also signify a bigger problem. The floor beneath the toilet may be rotting away or water damaged, so if you notice wobbling, call a Green Apple professional to check it out.

6. Inefficient Flushing

When you find that your water bills are high, investing in a new, water-efficient toilet can help you keep your bills down. The average toilet uses three to five gallons of water with each flush, while a low-flush toilet uses about two gallons for every flush. If you have a large family or are environmentally conscious, such a change can help lower your water bill and water usage.

7. Surface Damages

If you have a lot of scratches on the surface of your toilet, you may want to replace your toilet for cosmetic reasons. Excessive scratches can make it difficult to keep the fixture clean. This damage is more common with older toilets that have been scrubbed numerous times over the years, so if you find that you’re cleaning your toilet more often than you should, it could be time for a replacement.

8. Built-Up Mineral Deposits

In areas with hard water, the minerals in the water can collect in the inlet holes and siphon tube. Such buildup can keep water from flowing effectively, making the toilet inefficient. In some cases, you may be able to clear some of the deposits away by chipping at the buildup, but this step is not always successful. If the buildup gets bad enough, your toilet may need replacement.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your plumbing or HVAC needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Heating Tape For your Plumbing Pipes

Apply Heating Tape

Heating tape works like an electric blanket for pipes, supplying heat directly to the pipe to keep it warm during cold spells. This can be a good solution for short sections of pipe that are at high risk for freezing and are easily accessible so you can install the tape and can monitor it for problems.

There are two types of heating tape. One type turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type must be plugged in when the heat is needed and unplugged when not in use; it does not have an automatic or manual on/off switch. Much like a space heater, these products can be dangerous, so you must follow the product’s direction and safety procedures exactly.

 Add Extra Insulation

Pipes that are located in areas that do not have enough insulation such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.

Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors, or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

Insulation can help keep a pipe closer to the temperature of the water inside the pipe, but it does not add heat to the pipe and will not prevent freezing if the pipe is exposed to prolonged freezing temperatures. Green Apple Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free