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Maintaining Your Hot Tub

Have you just installed a hot tub? Or are you considering purchasing one? Many homeowners like to add a hot tub or spa to their homes as part of creating their own private retreats. While hot tubs can be a wonderful addition, they do require necessary maintenance to keep it clean, and thus safe for your family’s health.

If you can carve out just a little time each week to keep your Jacuzzi or spa in good shape, the task of maintenance is not as overwhelming and it will serve you well for a long time. Here are a few tasks to add to your calendar to help keep you and your family maximizing your time in your hot tub.

Each day, especially after storms or windy days, it’s a good idea to just take a peek out your door to make sure no debris has fallen and damaged your cover. If so, remove the debris and repair any damage immediately.

A few times a week, schedule a time to check the water temperature, which if too low can signal a bigger problem. In addition, check sanitizer levels and the pH balance to make sure all is well. The pH alone is an important gauge of your hot tub’s health, and thus your family’s health.

Once a week, add a chlorine tablet and clean your spa filters. If you don’t use your hot tub too often, then you can change filters less frequently, but it’s recommended that you not go more than three weeks without changing filters. In addition, especially if you use the hot tub frequently, shocking, or super chlorinating, the water is a good idea.

Each month, take some time to give your hot tub cover some love. The cover is your first line of defense against the elements among other things, so cleaning and conditioning it regularly will pay off over your hot tub’s lifetime.

Finally, be sure to drain your Jacuzzi every 3-4 months and clean the shell and jets. Once that is complete, you can refill with fresh water, chlorinate as needed and continue to enjoy your own spa retreat.

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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!

 

 

 

How To Reduce Your Water Heating Bills

 

Did you know that the water heating system is the second largest user of energy in most American  homes? The good news is, according to the US Department of Energy, there are a number of ways that you can reduce your water heating bills. Many of its suggestions[1], found on energy.gov and highlighted in bold below, will impact your bill incrementally but when used together, can begin to make a notable change in your bills.

Use less water. This seems obvious, but it’s an unescapable fact. Use less water and you pay less money.

Install low flow showerheads and faucets. If you prefer a higher flow for showers and can’t see giving that luxury up, you may want to consider installing low flow faucets throughout your home.

Buy a more efficient model. Do your research and take a look at newer options such as tankless water heaters, heat pumps, tankless coil/indirect and last but not least, solar hot water heaters.

Purchase energy star appliances. Energy star appliance have come a long way in recent years and the options are endless. From hot water heaters to dishwashers and clothes washers, this choice can no doubt make a difference in your bills.

Wash your clothes in cold water. If using less water isn’t an option, using cold water can also take your bill down an extra notch. While sometimes you need to use hot water, if you make cold water washing your everyday choice, you will see your bill come down incrementally.

Turn down your water heater thermostat. Lowering your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees will not only impact your bill, it will keep your family safer from potential scalding – especially if you have young children in your home.

Fix leaks and make sure to turn off that tap. Energy.gov estimates that even one drip per second can cost you a dollar a day.

Insulate your water heater and pipes. Especially in the winter months, this tip can save you some real dollars. That said, make sure to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for doing so.

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!

 

[1] Source: Energy.gov, “New Infographic and Projects to Keep Your Bills Out of Hot Water,” https://energy.gov/articles/new-infographic-and-projects-keep-your-energy-bills-out-hot-water, April 19, 2013.

Plumbing in a Tiny Home (Part 3)

 

As a final part of our blog series on “Plumbing in a Tiny Home,” we are now going to deal with the subject of Black Water.  Black Water is simply the sewer waste from your toilet.  Since most people have always had public sewer or private septics, this is new territory for most.  However, if tiny home living is your goal, then you will have to give some thought to your choice of toilet and the system installed.

Disposal of Black Water – A flushing toilet is something most of us take for granted; and if you plan to keep your tiny home stationary, your solution may be a regular toilet connected into a sewer or septic system.  But, if mobility or living off grid is your choice, then you may want to consider one of the choices below.

  1. Toilets made for RVs.  This requires a holding tank that the waste goes into and then is emptied at a disposal site or hooked into a sewer.  Some may not like this system due to the work and chemicals required to maintain them.
  2. Composting toilet.  Requiring no water or energy, they allow you to live off grid and look after the environment at the same time.  You can purchase composting toilets, or make your own.  Each time you use the toilet, you simply add fine wood shavings (pine works well) to the toilet.  This prevents odor and helps the waste to break down.  Adding coffee grinds will keep things smelling fresher, and composting worms can help break down waste faster.  You will need a compost area to dump your toilet waste, but once broken down, the compost can be used around your planting beds.
  3. Incinerating toilet. These use electric or gas (natural or propane) heat to burn waste that can then be dumped into your trash.  The electric toilet has a liner to catch waste and a pedal to release the liner into a sealed compartment where waste can be incinerated after each use.  The gas toilet has a holding tank and incinerates once full.  There may be some odor with the incinerating toilet, but the process sterilizes the compartment requiring no cleaning.
  4. Dry Toilets.  These toilets also require no water to operate, but electricity is needed to charge the motor.  Dry toilets are lightweight and moveable.  The toilet bowl is a bucket with a liner cartridge on top that the toilet seat rests on.  After each flush the motor turns the bucket so that the liner tightly wraps the waste, and a new liner releases from the cartridge.  When the liner cartridge is empty, simply remove and dispose in your trash, and install a new cartridge.

Adjusting to tiny home living may take a little time, and making sure you choose the best plumbing system will make the adjustment easier.

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!