Quick Facts & Tips
- Don’t flush anything that doesn’t break down easily, such as paper towels, facial tissues, cotton balls or other sanitary products. And avoid quilted toilet paper.
- Make sure you know where the water shut-off valve is and how to use it in case of a plumbing emergency.
- Don’t leave small objects on the top of the toilet tank that could fall in and cause clogs.
- The average American uses between 80 – 100 gallons of water per day!
- Leaks are among the biggest sources of high water bills in the home. A Whole House Plumbing Inspection can help detect hidden water loss in your house, including slow leaks, running toilets or other problems.
- The Environmental Protection Agency reports a 90% increase in the U.S. population over the last 50 years, but a 209% increase in demand for water! You can conserve water by installing ultra-efficient faucets, shower heads and low flush toilets in your home. The initial cost of installation is offset over time by savings on your water. A low flush toilet can reduce water usage by 50% or more! An efficient shower head can also reduce the water used by 20%.
- Reducing your shower time by two minutes will save 700 gallons of water in one month!
- Sources say a leaking faucet that loses two drops per minute will waste more than 100 gallons of water a year!
Water Bill Mysteriously Rising?
- It could be a leak in your toilet. Improperly sealed flappers can cause water to leak out of the tank and increase your water use. Water damage around the floors or walls of your toilet could also be a signal that it’s time to take a closer look.
- Heating water accounts for approximately 15% of a home’s energy use.
How Old is Your Water Heater?
- If it’s more than 12 years old, you should think about replacing it with a new, more energy efficient water heater. You may be able to find out the age of your current water heater by checking the serial number. Often, the first four #’s represent the month and year it was manufactured. You can also see if the manufacturer identifies their date code system on their website.
What’s Clogging Your Drain?
Lots of things.
- Soap all by itself is not a problem, but combined with hair, it can plug your drain.
- Quilted toilet paper doesn’t break down as well non-quilted brands.
- Clumped cat litter that’s flushed down the toilet – we recommend throwing it in the garbage.
To keep your drains clean, we recommend using an environmentally friendly drain cleaner on a regular basis.
- Kitchen drains often run directly into laundry drains. That means grease from the kitchen sink can combine with lint from the washing machine to plug up your drain. One simple way to avoid the problem is to attach a filter over the hose that drains the washing machine into the laundry tub. Available at any hardware store, it’s cheap to buy, easy to attach and can save you a lot of trouble.
Drain Care that’s Environmentally Friendly
- To keep your drains clog free, we recommend environmentally-friendly drain care products. These products are biodegradable and far less caustic to work with than chemical drain cleaners. They’re also much easier on your pipes and as a result, can be used more often for regular maintenance.
How to Avoid Burst Pipes When You’re Out of Town
- If you’re leaving town for a long trip, you may want to turn off your water before you go. Just shut off the main water valve and drain the system by opening faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Make sure the heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees F. These simple steps could save you from the disaster of returning to burst pipes and a flooded house.
- Ask someone to check your house every three days. If your heat isn’t working, it takes at least three days for the house to get cold enough for the pipes to freeze. If someone notices it’s cold inside the house, they can take action. You can also purchase a temperature sensing system that turns on a lamp to alert a neighbor if the temperature inside the house drops below 55 degrees F.
Garbage Disposal Tips
- Halloween – When carving your Jack O’ Lantern, don’t dump your pumpkins seeds and pulp down the garbage disposal. Pumpkin pulp hardens and clogs in drains rather than breaking down like most foods. The best way to get rid of pumpkin innards is to throw them in the trash.
- Don’t dispose of grease down the drain. Liquid fats, including cooking oils, can solidify in your drain and create clogs.
- Never put poultry skin, potato skins, celery or other stringy, hard-to-grind waste into the garbage disposal. They can’t be ground up sufficiently and will clog your drain.
- Run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposal and always turn on the disposal before adding food debris.
Preparing for Winter
- Disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
- Make sure outside faucets aren’t dripping or leaking when winter comes. When pipes freeze, water pressure builds causing cracks – no matter if the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Just a tiny crack can unleash more than 250 gallons of water in a single day.
- If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from the lines.
- Make sure flammables are not stored near the water heater or furnace.
Check Plumbing When You Remodel
- Think of your plumbing like an iceberg – 80% of it exists behind your walls and out of sight. When you have a remodeling project, pipes that were hidden are often exposed. It’s a great time to check for any problems and make any necessary repairs or replacements before your seal up that wall again.