Request Appointment
X

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.

###

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!

Clogged Toilet? Is There A Toy in Your Toilet?

As a parent, if you haven’t had a toy stuck in your toilet causing a clogged toilet, (spoiler alert) it may be only a matter of time. Unfortunately, when dealing with a lodged toy, a plunger is typically not doing to do the job. So what to do? Here is one way to attempt to handle this common problem:

  • First, if you don’t have one, go to your local hardware store and purchase a toilet auger, also known as a plumbing snake, that can move through the drain of the toilet to remove obstructions. It is constructed of a long flexible shaft that has an auger bit at one end and a crank handle at the other.
  • Insert the open end of the auger into the toilet bowl and push the cable down while cranking.
  • Use a pair of pliers or another similar tool and separate the last turn at the end of the cable. This will make the hooking mechanism bigger to help grab the toy or other object.
  • As you run the auger through the bowl, stop feeding the cable in as soon as you have enough cable in to reach through the drain passage in the toilet and you begin feeling resistance.
  • Crank it a few times and then pull the cable out while maintaining the pressure on the crank. You’re basically trying to grab the lodged item and extract it.
  • Once you have secured the lodged object, pull it out through the toilet bowl.

 

Success?? Or no? If that didn’t work, the next best option is going to be removing the toilet entirely and accessing the toy or lodged object from the base of the toilet.

If you are an experienced DIYer, you may consider attempting this yourself. That said, it can be a dirty and somewhat complicated process, so it may be best to contact a professional plumber to handle this delicate process.

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!

 

Dealing With a Clogged Drain

 

Clogged drains are a nuisance any time of the year, but especially when family and friends are visiting. Even the most conscientious homeowner will most likely deal with clogged drains at some point, so below you’ll find some steps to remedy the situation:

A Plunger – Sometimes the best fix is the easiest. The plunger has been around for a long time and should still be your first step in dealing with a clogged drain. Fill the clogged sink about a quarter of the way with water. If you have a double vanity sink, block the opposite sink drain with a towel or rag. Next, place the plunger over the clogged drain, move it up and down quickly until the water starts to drain. Doing this should remove any small blockage.

Baking Soda and Vinegar – If the sink remains clogged after plunging, move on to the next tried and true method, baking soda and vinegar. You may remember these items being used in creating a volcano science project. The same premise works here, just in the opposite direction.

To do this, you will need to remove as much water as possible from the clogged sink. Then pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and use a handle from a spoon to pack it down into the drain pipe. Next, pour a cup of vinegar into the drain, replacing the stopper immediately. This will force the mixture down into the pipe. Allow the mixture to work for five minutes. If the drain is still not cleared, pour four cups of hot water into the sink.  At this point, if the drain is still clogged, then a more advanced step is required.

A Cable Auger – This next solution is more difficult and is best handled by a professional plumber. A cable auger (sometimes called a snake) can be used to remove the obstruction. Place a bucket under the sink to catch water, then detach the trap or J-joint underneath the sink that connects the pipe to the sink. Next, remove the pipe going into the wall. The cable auger can now be used to slowly slide down the pipe by spinning the crank clockwise. Once you reach the clog, turn the auger counter-clockwise to grab the cable, and hopefully, the obstruction. If all goes well, this will take care of your problem.

A Professional Plumber – At this point, if the drain cannot be unplugged, then it’s definitely time to call in the professionals.  Calling a plumber is important to avoid causing any damage to your pipes.

Remember that the drainage system in your home is a complex, engineered system.  Trying to clear a clogged drain from a small obstruction is something most homeowners can do.  However, it’s always best to leave it to the experts for the more complicated issues.  They know how to remove the problem while keeping your plumbing system in good working order.

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!

Helping Your Garbage Disposal Survive the Holidays

At this time of the year many people are planning for parties and large family meals in their homes. With that in mind, give some consideration to how all this might affect your garbage disposal. The best way to kill a festive mood is to have a stopped-up sink with a house full of guests.m2850070

However, large meal preparations can mean a bigger strain on your garbage disposal. Below are some tips to help you avoid overworking or straining your disposal and kitchen plumbing:

  1. Don’t pour fats or cooking oils down the drain or into the disposal. These greasy liquids will solidify in your pipes and cause blockages. Allow a pan with grease to sit and cool, then remove with a paper towel. If you have a lot of grease remaining — after cooling — pour into a plastic container with a lid and dispose of the container.
  2. Never overload or force large quantities of food into your disposal. By forcing too much food into the disposal it can cause the motor to lock up. Put small amounts of food into the disposal and process through before adding more.
  3. Stringy, fibrous foods like onions, celery, asparagus, and artichokes should never go into your disposal. The fibers can tangle and jam the blades causing the motor to lock up.  Any fibers that might process through can block drains.
  4. Be careful of putting too many potato peels through the disposal. The starch in the potatoes can turn into a paste that can cause the blades to stick.
  5. Never put pasta or rice into your disposal. These expand with water and can clog and jam pipes.
  6. Don’t put glass, plastic, metal or paper in your disposal.
  7. Avoid putting coffee grounds into your sink or disposal. It won’t harm the disposal or pipes, but they can accumulate in the drain traps causing clogs.
  8. Never use harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners. They can damage disposal blades and water pipes. Borax is a natural cleaner that can be used to sanitize and remove odor from your disposal.
  9. Always run cold water, not hot, when using the disposal. Start the water before turning on the disposal, and run the water during the entire disposal process. Leave the water running for 10-15 seconds after turning off the disposal to flush out any remaining particles.
  10. Use ice to clean and sharpen the blades. It can help with removing grease build-up and sharpening the blades. Do this once or twice a month to keep your disposal in good working order. You can also freeze vinegar in ice trays and put through the disposal to clean and eliminate odors.

Putting these tips into practice can help keep your disposal working well throughout the year, but especially during these busier times of the year.

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 It Time to Replace Your Toilet?

 

Although it is used on a daily basis and is an indispensable element of their homes, most people give little thought to their toilets. However, like other items in your home, age and usage can take its toll. So, how can you know if your toilets are in need of replacement? Here are some signs that will help you determine if a new toilet should be in your future.

  • The majority of toilets are made from porcelain, which over time can develop small hairline cracks. Even a small crack will leak leading to damaged flooring and subfloors. Sometimes the bolts that hold the bowl to the floor will deteriorate due to a leak, causing the toilet to rock. While this can signal a need for the bolts to be tightened, it can also mean that the floor beneath the toilet has been damaged by a leak. An experienced plumber can help determine if a repair or replacement is needed. toiletring
  • If you have an older toilet in your home, it may not flush quickly or efficiently. If that is case, updating your toilet may be worth considering. Because new regulations require toilets to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, upgrading an older toilet can help decrease your water usage, saving you money on water bills. Furthermore, the new dual-flush toilets uses even less water for the majority of flushes reducing your water usage even more.
  • If you decide to replace your toilet, there are many options to consider, so do your research and read reviews before making your selection. Think of your family’s needs and lifestyle when choosing from the broad variety of new designs. Toilets styles today range from the standard two-piece toilet to a one-piece. Also, your decision to go with a concealed base versus an integrated base style can effect your cleaning process, so be sure you understand what you are buying.
  • As you are probably aware, you can still choose from a round style seat or an elongated style seat. And though white is still the most popular toilet color, there are many other color options to consider, depending on the other materials used in your bathroom.
  • Seat height can also be a consideration. The majority of toilets sold are a standard 17-inch seat height, but there is also a “comfort height” available at 19 inches. These are beneficial particularly for anyone in your family who has problems getting into and out of sitting positions.

 

 

Giving a little thought and TLC to your toilet can prevent damage to your bathroom flooring and floor structure. So keep an eye out for small leaks, or movement of your toilet, to know when it’s time to replace your toilet and you’ll be more apt to avoid bigger and more expensive problems.

Get Your Home Ready For Winter

 

Fall is such a pretty time of year. Beautiful sunny days with low humidity make it an enjoyable time for outings and get togethers. With all that sunshine and blue skies, you might not want to think about the winter days to come, but its important that you do.

Getting your home ready for winter not only provides you with a more comfortable home when those cold days begin, but it can save you a lot on your energy bills.  But what are the best things to do to prepare your home for winter?  Below are some suggestions to get you started on winterizing your home.qtq80-lZpED3

  1. Start outside.  Disconnect and drain any garden drip systems or water hoses.  If you have a rain barrel you will want to drain the water, clean and remove any debris, then store the rain barrel or turn upside down.  Reconnect your gutter downspout to keep water directed away from your house.
  2. Clean out your rain gutters.  If there are trees near your home, you will want to wait until all the leaves have fallen.  Keeping the gutters clear of debris will prevent a buildup of ice on your roof and damage to your gutters.
  3. Check for leaks around doors, windows, switch plates, and under sink plumbing.  You will want to insulate, caulk, or use spray foam around any drafty areas you find.  This keeps heat from escaping and will help reduce your energy bills.
  4. Check your furnace filter, and replace if needed. A clean furnace filter will help your system run more efficiently, and again save on your heating bill. If you don’t already have one, installing a programmable thermostat can also save on your heat bill.
  5. Make sure your water pipes and hot water heater are insulated. Doing this will protect the pipes during really cold spells. And since insulating your hot water lines can raise your water temperature 2 to 4 degrees, it allows your system to be more energy efficient by giving you hot water at lower settings.
  6. Insulate your attic and crawl space.  Making sure your crawl space is properly insulated will keep floors feeling warmer.  Because a great deal of heat can escape through the roof, having adequate insulation in your attic is a necessity.
  7. Have your chimney cleaned.  This will allow your fireplace to work better and help keep your home and family safe. A buildup of deposits — as well as animal nests in your chimney — can lead to chimney fires.

You can complete several of these projects on your own, but some other projects, like chimney cleaning, will require a professional.  While winterizing your home can be time consuming, completing these projects will keep your home in good working order, and save you money along the way.  Happy winterizing!

Heat Your Water Fast! by Go Green Plumbing

Who doesn’t get tired of waiting for the hot water when you turn on the shower or faucet?  Ever add up those minutes in a week to see how much time is wasted watching perfectly good water go down the drain?  Speaking of “water going down the drain”, studies show that billions of gallons of water are wasted each year by households nationally while waiting for the hot water to show up.  But what can we do to change this?  None of us really love taking cold showers, unless its 95º and our air conditioning is out. hotwatersystem_std

Well, there is a solution.

Installing a hot water recirculation system will get the hot water to where you need it without the long wait.  Rather than waiting on your home’s water pressure to get the hot water to you, a hot water recirculation system uses a pump to move the water quickly from the water heater to your sink or shower.

There are two types of systems to review. A dedicated, or demand, loop recirculating system has a hot water line looped throughout the house near each plumbing fixture.  At each fixture a short pipe connects the loop to the hot water valve.  A circulation pump is installed on a pipe near the water heater that keeps hot water continually circulating through this loop.  So when you turn on your faucet or shower, you have hot water within seconds.

The second system is an integrated loop system.  This system requires a pump that is installed at the water heater and a special manifold under the plumbing fixture farthest from the water heater.  This system returns cooled water sitting in the hot water line back to the water heater through the cold water lines.  This can raise the temperature of the cold water slightly, but will return to normal temperature quickly.

Some systems keep water recirculating constantly, or can be set up on a thermostat or timer.  Since there are different options available, talk with your plumber to determine the best and most energy efficient for your household.  Then enjoy the experience of no longer “waiting around” for hot water, and feel good that you are contributing to saving energy and our water supply.

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!

Freshen Your Garbage Disposal

Do you have a funky smell coming from around your sink?  Does it get especially bad overnight? You may need to freshen up yourdouble bowl stainless garbage disposal.  Food and gunk can collect in the intricate pieces that make up the disposal and lead to some pretty significant odors.  So, how can you brighten that up and make it smell fresh?  Deodorize!

Start by cleaning it up! Clean and sanitize your drain and disposal by using a disinfectant and abrasion tool.  This is really simple!  Put some large ice cubes down the drain, along with some salt and dish detergent.  Turn the water on and run the disposal.  The ice will serve as an abrasive when the blades slice the ice into bits and will sharpen the blades. The salt will also serve as an abrasive.  The detergent will disinfect any remaining gunk.

 Next, deodorize.  Start by boiling 4 quarts of water on the stovePlace baking soda in the disposal unit.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Turn on the disposal unit and add an equal amount of white vinegar to the drain.  The mixture will bubble up.  Follow with boiling hot water to clear any remaining residue.  Now your drains and disposal are completely clean.

 Finally, give it that fresh smell you love.  Cut lemons into quarters  and place in the drain.  Add a small amount of salt to act as an abrasive.  Feel free to leave them in there until you run the disposal again, or run the disposal for a shot amount of time until you can clear the lemons.  This will also work for limes.  The acid in the fruit will help to prevent future accumulation and build up.

Have a plumbing issue and need some 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 Leaks Can Make Pests Feel Welcome

Plumbing leaks may seem like a nuisance problem that can ‘just wait’. However, did you know that water leaks can also attract pests?  Just like all animals, cockroaches and mice need three basic things – shelter, food and water.  In fact, they can go without food for an extended period of time, but just days without water.

So, how do they get water?  It can be a leaky pipe, a dripping faucet, cracked fixtures, even the condensation tray under your refrigerator.  Check the shut off valves under the sink to make sure they seal properly.  Replace them if you find water leaking from them.   If you have an open water source you can bet the pests will find it.

In your bathroom check the grout around your tub or shower to ensure that you don’t have water leaking behind the fixture.  Also make sure that the caulk ring where the pipes come out of the wall is intact.  If the wax ring around the bottom of a toilet isn’t sealing properly, you could create a watering hole for critters every time you flush.

In fact, most mouse poison baits cause the rodent to seek out water.  This is good for your if your home is leak free because it will force the rodent outside in search of water.  But, if you have leaks, it will cause them to die in your house, and likely in places that you can’t access like inside of the walls.  And that can lead to a whole separate set of problems.  By fixing leaks proactively, you not only reduce the chances of an infestation, you also save water and money.

Have a plumbing issue and need some 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!

When Should You Replace Your Sump Pump?

group with truck

If you have a basement with sump pump, you have likely spent the last few months worrying about its stability in the face of the heavy rains we’ve had lately.  So, how do you know when it is time to replace your sump pump?  There are a few key tip offs that the time is close.  Consider these scenarios:

  • Do you have a pedestal style sump pump? These are the old style pumps that have since been replaced by the submersible sump pump.  If you have one like this consider going ahead and replacing it before your find your holiday ornaments floating in Lake Basement.  You will find newer models to be more dependable, with automatic battery backups and warning buzzers that can alert you early to any troubles.
  • Does your pump seem to run forever? Pumps are rated based on their ability to clear needed water volume over distance.  If you either have more water than would be expected, or have to pump it further than expected, your pump may be undersized.  Consider a replacement.  Pumps should run no more than just a minute or so in any given cycle.  And it shouldn’t cycle every five minutes.  Consider your basin depth when looking for a replacement.  You want to protect your home and your new pump, so invest in determining the proper size.
  • Does you pump fail to turn on when needed? It may be a float problem, but it also maybe the result of a faulty pump.  Consider replacing if you can’t easily reset the float or if you are unable to monitor it closely.  Better safe than sorry.
  • Does the pump wake you up at night? A mere annoyance during the day because of the noise? Noise is a sure indicator or trouble.  Even if it is not particularly annoying, any noise is a sign that there is a loose, worn or lost part.  You don’t want to find out the hard way that your pump isn’t working.  Replace it now to save you restless nights later.

Have a plumbing issue and need some 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!