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Dishwasher Efficiency Can Save You Money

 

Having a dishwasher today is one of the modern luxuries that many Americans take for granted. Just rinse and load the dishes, add the detergent and turn on the washer. It’s that easy. And while it IS that easy, there are a few ways that you can change your dishwasher habits to save yourself some money.

First, is your dishwasher and Energy Star dishwasher? Energy-star.gov explains that the US Energy-Star program is a government-backed labeling program that helps you save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by identifying home appliances that have superior energy efficiency. If yours is not an Energy Star rated appliance, it may be worth investigating a newer model if you want to save some cash long term.

So now that that’s established, the next thing you can do is to scrape and rinse your dishes. Not only does that help ensure your dishes will get clean in the wash, you will save some water and ensure your dishwasher drain doesn’t get clogged—saving you big bucks down the road.

Next, wash the dishes only when you have a full load. It’s not always possible, but when you can it’s worth it. Are you worried that your dishes will smell? Or that food will cake to your dishes? Then see if your dishwasher has a rinse and hold mode to manage these issues until you wash the bigger load. If your dishwasher doesn’t have a rinse and hold mode, then simply run a short rinse cycle.

And when do you typically run your dishwasher? Right after dinner? Did you know that energy companies typically charge more during peak hours?  Run the washer right before going to bed if you’re a night owl, or, if you’re an early riser, run it very early in the morning. If your dishwasher has a delay mode, you can use it to run the dishwasher overnight when energy costs much less.

And last but not least, you can always let your dishes air dry rather than using the drying cycle in your dishwasher. This will cut down on the heat and energy needed to dry your dishes.

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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!

 

 

 

 

Protect Your Pipes

Protecting your pipes from freezing this winter is no small matter. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, from 2005-2015, total claims for damage due to frozen pipes exceeded four billion dollars. The good news though is that frozen and burst pipes can be prevented with some regular maintenance and preventive action.

Keep in mind that your goal is to keep your home warm and thus your pipes warm, using your heating system supported by good insulation. This is yet another reason to have your HVAC checked each fall to make sure it’s in top shape. Also, each year about this time, take a walk around your home to determine what areas need the most attention, be it more insulation or a little extra insulation around pipes.

Keep your garage doors closed, especially if you have access to water lines in your garage.

If you expect a hard freeze, let your faucets drip and open lower cabinet doors to let the heat in under your sink to keep those pipes warmer.

Wrap exposed or vulnerable piping with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves that you can purchase at your local hardware store. Remember: any piping that runs through unheated areas like attics or basements are especially vulnerable to freezing.

Drain and disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets and store them for the winter. Next, wrap the outdoor faucets with foam or fiberglass sleeves. If you don’t have either of these on hand, grab an old t-shirt or towel, wrap it around the faucet, cover with a plastic Ziploc bag and duct tape it closed around the base of the faucet.

If you are going out of town and you expect temperatures to dip below freezing while you’re gone, turn off the water to your home and open all faucets to drain.

Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night.

If you do find yourself in the position of dealing with frozen and/or burst pipes, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we will send one of our expert plumbing technicians over as soon as possible.

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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!

 

 

 

 

Help for Your Holiday Water Bill

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, the holiday countdown has begun. And like many families, you may be hosting several friends or family members over the next several weeks. While your preparation list likely includes gifts, food and cleaning, have you prepared to absorb the additional water expense that comes with extended house guests?

If your answer is “no”, you’re not alone. With all the activities happening at this time of year, homeowners rarely think about ways to save money on utility bills – until they receive them in the mail or their inbox in January. The fact is that extra guests mean an extra demand on your plumbing system and in your hot water needs, resulting in a greater impact on your wallet

To help you get through this holiday without a whopper of a water bill, here are just a few things you can do right now to save you money.

If you don’t have them already, you may want to consider installing low-flow plumbing fixtures. They can be a great asset in slowing down the water flow in your home. These nifty fixtures use a special high pressure technique that creates a flow that is equal to or greater than the flow on traditional flow faucets but using less water. You can find low-flow shower heads, toilets and faucets at your local hardware store.

Did you know you can buy a blanket for your water heater? To keep your water heater insulated and your water warm longer, stop by your local home improvement store and ask for an insulated blanket for your water heater. These are made especially for your water heater and can make sure all of your guests have a warm shower in addition to saving you money this holiday season.

With more guests comes more laundry. When doing laundry, especially guests’ towels and sheets, make sure you have a full load and that your water level matches the size of your load.

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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!

 

 

 

 

Plumbing Myths

Webster’s defines a myth as “a popular belief that is false or unsupported”. While myths may seem harmless, when it comes to your home and the systems that run it, it’s important to be certain you are making decisions based on reality and not myths.

So, the natural question to ask is, “What are common plumbing myths?” Below you’ll find a few of the most popular ones debunked for you.

MYTH: Ice cubes sharpen garbage disposal blades.

TRUTH: Ice cubes don’t sharpen disposal blades, but they can help clean them. Experts recommend using ice cubes once a month as preventative maintenance for your disposal.

MYTH: Lemon peels will clean my garbage disposal.

TRUTH: They may make it smell good, but the skins can clog your disposal while the corrosiveness of the citric acid can wreak havoc on the disposal’s mechanisms.

MYTH: Cat litter is flushable.

TRUTH: In theory, yes, it is possible to flush cat litter, but don’t do it! Cat litter can carry a parasite called Toxoplasma, that can cause a condition called toxoplasmosis, which can be harmful to pregnant women and marine life.

MYTH: Lightening can’t travel through plumbing pipes.

TRUTH: If your home still has metal pipes as part of your plumbing system, then you possess the perfect conductor for lightening (if it were to hit your plumbing system outside). If you have PVC pipes, then you are much better off. However, water can be a great conductor of electricity especially with a little help from various impurities that are commonly found in public water systems.

MYTH: Toilet bowl tablets are safe for my toilet.

TRUTH: In reality, if the toilet bowl tablets contain bleach this can me very harmful to your toilet and the mechanisms supporting it over time. While using bleach to clean your toilet is ok, the fact that these tablets are designed to stay in your toilet bowl 24/7 is the issue.

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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!

 

 

 

Cleaning Your Fireplace

So cold weather has finally arrived. That means you can now curl up with a warm cup of java in front of your fireplace for a little R&R. Before you do though, there are a few tasks you’ll need to complete to ensure that your fireplace is in good working order. For a wood burning fireplace that means something entirely different than for a gas fireplace.

First and foremost, ask yourself what type of wood you’re burning. Properly seasoned wood that has been stored dry is the best and safest choice. Why? Dirty wood can escalate the potential for the buildup of a chemical called creosote that is often a primary cause of chimney fires.

If you’re burning good wood, now you can get down to business – and get dirty. If you haven’t cleaned the ashes from last season, grab a bag, and a small spade. You’ll need to shovel the ashes into the bag and throw them away. Whatever ashes are left can be vacuumed up.

If you have any buildup of smoke or soot that’s evident around the frame of your fireplace, you’ll need to grab some gloves, a good stiff brush and some masonry cleaner. Typically, build up is caused by a clogged flue, or maybe you forgot to open the damper once or twice. Oops!

Last but not least, if you use your fireplace regularly each year, having a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean it each year is money well spent. The reality is that soot and creosote can build up quickly and easily – and both are culprits for chimney fires. In addition, a good chimney sweep will find potential cracks in your chimney wall are a danger to you and your home.

What about gas fireplaces? The good news is that gas fireplaces are much lower maintenance than wood-burning fireplaces. However, it’s still important to have them regularly cleaned and inspected. You can clean the glass doors with a good household glass cleaner and use a hand vacuum to clean up any trash or debris around your heat exchanger (if your model has one). In addition, having a professional check your pilot light every other year is a good practice.

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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!

Teaching Your Children To Use Toilet Paper

When it comes to toilet paper, a little good judgement goes a long way. While most adults have a sense of how much is too much, young children can have a harder time discerning the proper amount of toilet paper to use.

Thankfully toilet paper isn’t that expensive, but using too much can add up over time. To make matters worse, too much toilet paper can lead to problems like clogged and overflowing toilets. It can also create bigger problems for your septic system down the road which can mean costly repairs.

To help teach your child the finer points of toilet paper use, consider trying one of the following tactics.

Count the squares. This one is pretty straightforward. Determine a number of toilet paper squares that you and your child decide is appropriate and let them count out the squares and then tear them off.

Draw a line/Mark the Spot. This is as easy as it gets. Take a pencil and simply draw a line on the wall under the toilet paper roll to show your child how far to pull the toilet paper out. When they reach the line, tear the toilet paper. If you prefer, you can mark the spot with a small arrow sticker.

Make a measuring ribbon. This one takes a little more time, but it is probably the most aesthetically pleasing. Either purchase an attractive ribbon, or find one that you have at home. Measure the length that represents the number of paper squares that you’ve agreed on and cut the ribbon, leaving about an inch to an inch and a half extra on each end. Then affix the ribbon to the toilet roll holder and slip a small bead on the opposite end of the ribbon to add some weight. Finally, tie a knot adjacent to the bead and let the ribbon hang. Voila!

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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!