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What Not To Flush

 

While some toilet clogs are accidents – maybe a toy or other object was flushed accidentally – others are from lack of knowledge regarding what is appropriate to flush and what is not. Below, you’ll find a thorough list of items that are frequently flushed that can cause serious damage to your plumbing system or even the environment.

Feminine products – There’s a reason that commercial buildings’ restrooms are lined with, “Please do not flush feminine hygiene products” signs. The damage these can do can be very costly to business and homeowners alike.

Cooking grease/food – If it’s grease or oil or food, it doesn’t go in the toilet. Period.

Baby wipes/Wet wipes/Cleaning pads – It’s tempting. They look like toilet paper, but they’re not. Reality is that wet wipes are not designed to disintegrate like toilet paper.

Dental Floss – Floss is not biodegradable and can knot and tangle to cause seriously clogs.

Q-tips and Cotton Balls – They look like they should flush easily, but cotton balls can build up and clog easily, especially in the bends of the pipes.

Bandaids – The non-biodegradable plastic bandaids are made from means a potential nightmare for your plumbing lines as well as the environment.

Diapers – Though you can flush their contents down the toilet, a flushed diaper is a big no-no. If you actually manage to flush it, it’s next to impossible for it not to become lodged at some point in the plumbing lines.

Cat Litter – There are multiple reasons why this is a bad idea. From the toxicity of the litter to the potential contamination of your water supply by your cat’s feces, take the time to put it in the trash instead.

Prescription medication – So many homeowners look for a “safe” way to get rid of old medications. And while “out of sight” is safe for little ones, flushing medications is definitely not safe for ground water supply or wildlife.

Paper Towels – Paper towels are just not made to be flushed. While they may make it out of the toilet bowl when you flush them, the likelihood that they will cause a headache for you in the future is significant.

Cigarette butts – If you flush your cigarette butts, you’re creating potential toxic issues for septic systems and ground water supply.

To keep your toilet and plumbing lines in good working order, the best thing to do is flush toilet paper only. Anything else has the potential to create costly and sometimes embarrassing visits from your plumber.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Some Common Plumbing Myths

 

Indoor plumbing and access to water is one of the great luxuries of the modern world. However, it’s easy to take for granted the complexity of the plumbing mechanism unless it stops working. Below are a few common plumbing myths debunked to help prevent problems for your plumbing system now and in the future.

 

Myth: Flushable wipes are perfectly okay to flush down your toilet.

Fact: The truth is that “flushable wipes” can cause stress to your plumbing system. These wipes do not disintegrate properly and can cause blockages over time. The bottom line is that whether they are for your face or for your baby/toddler, it’s best to trash them and not flush them.

 

Myth: Normal to have low water pressure occasionally.

Fact: If you have low water pressure, you have an issue somewhere. Whether it’s a leak or a growing clog, any low water pressure should be investigated. It’s better to find a leak early, before it has time to cause greater damage, including mold growth.

 

Myth: Citrus peels are good for your drain and disposal.

Fact: Peels from lemons, limes, etc. may reduce bad odors, but they are not necessarily good for your disposal. Reality is that sometimes disposals don’t handle citrus rinds or peels very well and you then create a problem rather than fix one. The only thing that will really do the job without harming your disposal is an appropriate disinfectant and soap and water.

 

Myth: If water is going down your drain, then everything is functioning properly.

Fact: There can be a buildup down the line that will grow over time that you are unaware is present. If you are putting things down your drain, such as grease, oil or other liquids or foods that are not friendly to plumbing, beware. Your plumbing will at some point “bite back.”

 

Myth: Wire hangers are a good alternative to a professional “snake”

Fact: Wire hangers can damage your plumbing lining. While many people have used this method over the years, wire hangers can absolutely damage the inner surface of your plumbing.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Is There a Downside to Salt Water Pools?

 

Are you considering building a salt water pool at your home? If you are, you’re not alone. Thousands of homeowners are now enjoying the aesthetic benefits of salt-water pools that were traditionally reserved for guests of luxury spas and resorts. While there are many pros to installing a salt water pool, there are a few things that you need to consider before taking the plunge.

While chlorinated pools can get a bad rap for being high maintenance, the reality is that because you control the amount of chlorine going into your pool, you have greater control over the end result – especially when you have sanitization issues. If your salt water pool does have any sanitization issues (such as after a party), it will more likely require the help of a professional to rectify the situation.

Further, the upfront costs of a salt water pool are without question more expensive, but many owners rationalize that expense with the fact that their ongoing expense of chlorine is eliminated. That said, some argue that owners can recoup their costs in the absence of not having to buy chlorine.

And don’t forget the electricity required. While all pools require pumps, a salt water pool’s life is dependent on salt chlorinators, which require additional electricity. Last but not least, many homeowners report that the salt water, though estimated at 1/10 the salinity of ocean water, has a tendency to damage other pool accessories such as the pool liner, underwater lighting fixtures and even the masonry.

While there are definitely reasons to install a saltwater pool, a chlorinated pool may be more suited to you and your family. Alternately, you may decide to join the throngs of those who are installing salt water pools in their backyards.  Read more about saltwater vs chlorinated pools here.

Either way, a new pool is definitely something you and your family can enjoy for years to come. Enjoy!!

 

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

 

 

Chlorinated or Salt Water Pool?

While chlorinated pools have dominated the marketplace for decades, salt water pools have found their way beyond luxurious spas into the backyards of many Americans. If you are considering which type of pool to install in your back yard, below you’ll find some frequently asked questions about salt water pools that may help you as you explore your options.

What exactly is a salt water pool? It’s a type of pool that uses the process of salt water chlorination via a chlorine generator. (You may also hear the generator called a salt cell, a salt generator or a salt chlorinator.) Essentially, rather than dumping chlorine into your pool directly, you are feeding pool salt to the chlorine generator which produces chlorine as it is needed.

How does a salt water pool stay clean? The chlorine generator uses electrolysis via dissolved salt to produce hypochlorous acid (HClO) and sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), which are the sanitizers traditionally used in chlorinated pools.

Why is a salt water pool better for your skin than a chlorinated pool if they both contain chlorine? The salt water pool’s generator creates chlorine only on an as-needed-basis, therefore, there is typically significantly less chlorine in the water. And lower chlorine levels translates into happier skin and eyes.

What are some benefits of a salt water pool? Besides the fact that they are easier on the skin and eyes, you don’t have to store or transport chlorine, which is a more unpleasant substance to handle than salt. In addition, owners often report enjoying the soft-water feel of these pools.

Which requires less maintenance, a salt water or chlorinated pool? Hands down, a salt water pool requires less maintenance because you don’t have to deposit chlorine into the pool regularly. For example, if you have to leave your home for a few weeks, it’s doubtful you’d have to worry about returning to a pool laced with green algae. That said, you must still keep a somewhat regular check on the salt levels, etc.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Considering Building a Pool? 

It’s July. It’s hot. And having your own pool is beginning to sound like a great idea. While some homeowners prefer public or community pools, others desire a pool in their own backyard. If you find that you’ve begun calculating yardage as you gaze at your backyard while doing dishes, you may be one of them. To get beyond dreaming and begin assessing your options, below are some key considerations to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

What is YOUR primary purpose for the pool? While this may seem like a ridiculous question, you should ask yourself how you see the pool being used. Were you or are your kids competitive swimmers? If that’s the case, you may want the pool long enough to do laps. Is it primarily for you and your husband? Or do you see a future full of birthday parties with countless kids and teens? The answers to these questions will begin to help you assess the size, depth and shape of pool you may want or need, as well as the amenities you’ll require.

Do you have the space? After getting an idea of the size and shape of the pool you want, you’ll need to align that information with your available space to determine the best location for your pool. Keep in mind that most rectangular pools are about twice as long on one side as they are on the other, with an average depth of around 5.5 feet. Typically, pools measure 10 x 20, 15 x 30, and 20 x 40.

How much will it cost to install a pool? According to homeadvisor.com, the cost of installing a pool in 2017 can range from $20,000 to $80,000, with the average cost landing around $40,000 depending on the type of pool, the amenities included and landscaping choices. That said, keep in mind, you’ll need to develop an annual maintenance budget for chemicals or salt, etc.

Is your family ready for a pool?  Are you retiring and looking forward to having a personal retreat just a few steps away? Or are you newly married and planning a family. Regardless of your season of life, a pool can be a lot of fun but it can also be a lot of work so be prepared to set aside time and money to maintain and make repairs.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Do You Have a Break in Your Sewer Line?

Unless a homeowner is a plumbing professional or has taken time to specifically learn about plumbing issues, it can be difficult to know when your home has a potentially serious plumbing problem.

One such issue is a breaking or broken sewer line. If you begin to notice the following issues around your home, it’s a good idea to take those signs seriously to prevent further or severe damage.

Easily clogged drains. While every home is bound to deal with clogged drains every now and then, drains that consistently clog in various areas of the home–even after attempts to clear them–could be a good sign that it’s time to call a professional to do some investigative work.

Slow draining sinks, tubs, dishwasher, etc. If you’ve previously cleared a sink or tub drain and it continues to drain slowly, or worse, it stops draining altogether, it may be time to call a professional.

 Soggy spots on your lawn. When a pipe in your sewer line breaks, the water will escape into the surrounding soil, thus creating a wet spot in your lawn. If you step into the wet area, it sometimes will make a “squish” sound.

Increase in your water bill. An average home’s water bill may fluctuate $10-15 dollars a month. However, if you find that your water bill has increased significantly and you have no specific reason to point to, it’s worth having a professional explore the issue.

Foul odors. If you are noticing frequent sewer gas odor in your home, it’s likely you have a problem, especially if the odor is combined with any of the above signs.

Are you breathing a sigh of relief, or have these items confirmed that you may have an issue? If it’s the latter, don’t wait to call a professional. Especially with plumbing and sewer lines, it’s much easier to fix a small problem before it becomes a bigger problem resulting mold or pest problems.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

10 Ways to Save Water Outdoors – Part Two

 

Conserving water doesn’t always have to be hard. The last post itemized five ways to reduce water usage outdoors around your home this summer. Believe it or not, there’s more where that came from. Below are five more creative ideas to help you be good to the planet and your wallet.

Mulch around trees and shrubs. Mulch is a popular choice for helping create a beautiful yard for many reasons. It not only looks nice around your shrubs and trees, it discourages weed growth, reduces evaporation and keeps the soil moist.

Select yard plants carefully. Landscaping decisions can be overwhelming. The good news is that if you’re really working to reduce your water usage, your options are very straightforward. Talk with your local nursery representative to help you identify and choose native and drought resistant plants, grass, trees and shrubs as they will typically require less water. And then get planting!

Use your broom. There’s no doubt that it’s tempting to use a hose to wash off your driveway or walkway, but if you want to save water, the smarter choice is to use a blower or broom.

Set your timer. When you’re using a sprinkler or hose of any kind (soakers, etc.), make sure to set a timer to remind yourself to cut off the water. If you need to water while you’re away, purchasing a valve timer from your local hardware store is a great option to explore.

Wash your car in the grass. Washing your car is a necessity, it has to be done. So how can you reduce the amount of water you use? The most efficient choice is to go to a commercial car wash that recycles its water. However, that can get expensive and may not fit into your budget. If you choose instead to wash your car at home, park it in the grass rather than the driveway. This way you’ll have a clean car and a watered lawn.

Think twice about water features and fountains. This one’s easy. Water features use water, so limit or eliminate them from your yard.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

 

10 Ways to Save Water Outdoors – Part One

 

Summer is often the time of the year when many homeowners work to find ways to conserve water usage. Ideas to save water indoors are relatively easy to come up with and apply, but outdoors takes a little more creativity. Below are the first five of ten ideas in a two-part series to help you save water outdoors this summer.

Be careful not to overwater your lawn. For a healthy lawn, experts recommend watering every 5-7 days. If your lawn gets a good soaking rain, you may be able to go up to two weeks without watering your lawn.

Strategically plan your watering times. For best absorption and the least waste, water your lawn in the morning. The cooler air in the mornings can reduce evaporation, which means you won’t need to water your lawn as long.

Carefully place your sprinklers. Though it may seem picky, placing your sprinklers “just so” is critically important to reducing your water usage. The fact is that any water that lands on your driveway, sidewalk or adjacent road is wasted and not working for your lawn.

Raise your lawnmower blade. A beautifully manicured lawn doesn’t have to be cut super short. In fact, a little bit taller grass not only looks lush, but it also helps your grass grow deeper roots and hold soil moisture better.

Don’t over fertilize your lawn. Everyone loves deep green grass, but a little bit of quality fertilizer can go a long way. If you limit the amount of fertilizer you use, you can save money on fertilizer as well as water because the more fertilizer you apply, the more water it requires.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

 

10 Ways to Conserve Water Indoors This Summer – Part Two

 

While many homeowners make a point to install water-conserving features in showers, faucets, toilets and even dishwashers and clothes washers, there are everyday processes that can either use or conserve significant amounts of water. This post, which is a continuation from the last, offers 5 more ways to reduce your water usage indoors with suggestions for new processes.

6. Thaw meat in the refrigerator. If your dinner plans require you to thaw meat, make sure you’ve taken the meat out of the freezer the previous night. This way, you can avoid wasting water by running cold water continuously to thaw your meat.

7. Begin composting. While garbage disposals are convenient, they tend to be water-hogs. The fact is, to keep them running efficiently and properly, a great deal of water is required during their use. Instead, start a compost for your food remains – not only will you save water, but you’ll be creating your own fertilizer too!

8. Limit your water usage when washing dishes by hand. When you are washing dishes, it’s tempting to let the water continuously run to rinse each dish. However, this is a big water waster. If you have a double sink, fill one tub with soap and water and the other with clean rinse water. If you have only one tub, wash the dishes and set them aside on a dish drying rack. When you’re done washing, place the dish drying rack in the sink and use a faucet spray to rinse them all simultaneously.

9. Pay attention to your toilets. Is your toilet leaking? Is it running constantly? Or do your children tend to use the toilet as a wastebasket? By staying on top of needed repairs and maintenance ¾ as well as monitoring what goes into your toilet, you can save a significant amount of water. Call your plumber immediately if you suspect that your toilet needs repairs or a thorough checkup.

10. Wash Rover outdoors. While the weather is warm, wash your pet outdoors in the sun and on the lawn, giving you a clean dog and a green lawn!

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Conserve Water Indoors This Summer – Part One

 

With the exception of an infrequent drought, most US homeowners have water readily available for all of their watering needs. However, with water shortages in states like California, many people are looking for creative ways to decrease their water demand. Other homeowners are driven to conserve water to lower their water bill. Whatever your reason, your family can begin conserving water today by implementing as many of the following practices as possible.

1. Turn off the tap during your daily hygiene routines. Whether you are washing your hands or brushing your teeth, you can reduce water use by wetting your hands or toothbrush and turning the faucet off until it’s time to rinse. When shaving your face, simply plug the drain and fill the sink slightly with water, then wet the razor as needed.

2. Take a shorter shower. Experts suggest water usage ranges from 2-12 gallons of water per shower. That said, if you just can’t give up your long shower, place a bucket in the shower to catch water as well as while you’re waiting for the water to warm. This water can be used to water flowers, plants or fill your pet’s water dish.

3. Wash full loads only. This is pretty self-explanatory. Only wash your dishes and clothes when you have a full load. This way you’re saving water AND energy.

4. Fill up a pitcher. Each day, fill a pitcher or gallon jug of water and place it in your refrigerator. When you want a glass of cold water, just pour from the pitcher instead of running the tap until the water is cool each time.

5. Recycle Water. Rather than pouring that leftover glass of water down the sink, use it to water your indoor plants or those on your patio. In addition, when you cook pasta, set the hot water aside to cool. Once it has cooled, you can use it to water your outdoor plants or flowers ¾ just make sure it’s cooled so you don’t harm your plants.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!