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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!

 

 

 

 

Trending Kitchen Faucet Types and Features

 

What’s the latest in kitchen faucet trends? Read below for some great ideas for your kitchen.

Hands-Free Faucets. The faucet gods have delivered a solution for any person who’s ever made hamburger patties and didn’t want to touch the faucet handle to turn on the water with their raw-meat slathered hands. Yes, it’s true. The hands-free faucet is motion activated and will turn on with the motion of your hand in front of the sensor. If you’re in the market, look for hands-free faucets that a) have placed sensors at the front of the faucet instead of underneath or behind and b) have an option to switch to manual.

Tap-Only Faucets. Its name says it all. Meet the kissing cousin to the hands-free faucet. These tap-only faucets require just a tap to get the water flowing, making your time in the kitchen not only more convenient but more sanitary.

Pot-Filler Faucets. This is the faucet for those who are serious about cooking or for anyone who dreads carrying that big pot of water from the sink to the stove for fear there will be an accident – whether from tripping over your four-year old’s misplaced toy or your own feet. Basically, it’s a wall-mount faucet placed strategically over the stove to enable you to fill pots with water without leaving the stove.

Bar Faucets. These faucets have become much more popular with the rise of the kitchen island. A bar faucet in your island, or in a corner can be a huge help when more than one cook is in the kitchen, or if you need that extra space for food prep.

In-Faucet Filters. Tired of filling filtered pitchers or purchasing water bottles? This may be your answer. The In-faucet filter is exactly what it says – and will deliver filtered water to your cup or pitcher from the kitchen sink.

Soap Dispenser. Every sink has to have soap, the question is from where. If you want to reduce clutter around your kitchen sink, a soap dispenser may be something to consider. You can refill the dispenser under the sink, allowing you to keep product packaging out-of-sight and out-of-mind.

Hot Water Dispenser. With water dispensed at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a cup of hot tea is just moments away with a hot-water dispenser – what could be better?

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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!

 

Buying a Kitchen Faucet

 

You probably use your kitchen faucet every day yet it’s easy to take this mini appliance for granted. The fact is, the right faucet can make your life easier  in the kitchen. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time considering your options before purchasing one for your new home, or replacing your existing faucet.

The first thing to consider is how you plan to use your sink. A higher faucet arc is a win for homeowners who need more room to maneuver large pots and pans in the sink. For those moms and dads who plan to bathe your infant in the kitchen sink, the type of sprayer you use will be an important choice.

Once you’ve determined what  you need in your faucet, think about whether you want a deck-mount or a wall-mount. A deck-mount faucet attaches to the counter using water lines from below, while a wall-mount faucet requires water lines to be installed behind the wall.

Next, how do you want your water to be delivered? With one handle that you can move forward and back for warm or cold water? Or do you prefer to manage your water temperature with two handles, one for warm water and the other for cold?

Regardless of how many handles you choose, make sure to find out how many holes your existing or new sink has in it. For one handled faucets, you’ll need one hole and for two-handled faucets you’ll need three holes. The number of holes in the sink you are working with may help determine your faucet choice. However, know that you can purchase base plates or deck plates which attach to the counter or wall that can cover additional holes if needed.

And don’t forget to consider your sprayer. Manufacturers offer faucets with sprayers placed on the side of the faucet and others that are pull-down. If you choose a pull-down sprayer, try to find a faucet with a magnetic catch. This will make things even easier for you in your daily routine.

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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!

Preventing Hard Water Stains on Granite

 

Granite countertops have become the standard in kitchens across the country for good reason: their beauty and durability. But it’s critical to take good care of your granite so that it will continue to possess the qualities that you love so much. One issue that can wreak havoc on the beauty of your granite is hard water stains. Thankfully, with a little regular elbow grease, it’s relatively easy to prevent stains from occurring.

First and foremost, don’t allow water to pool around your faucets after use. Whether from water splashing while doing the dishes, or from a leaking faucet, water at the base of your faucet can make for unsightly hard water stains that can become difficult to clean. Always have a dry, absorbent cloth at the ready to wipe around your faucets regularly.

Next, seal the sink and faucet atleast one to two times a year if possible. It’s easy to forget that granite is a porous material that will absorb water. That absorption can cause dark spots in your granite, ultimately harming the beauty of the granite. If the granite appears darker after getting wet, or if water absorbs into the granite rather than sitting on top of it, this is your sign to re-seal.

If you’ve already noticed some hard water stains caused by lime buildup, grab a plastic putty knife and gently scrape the stains to lift up the buildup. Once you’re done, clean the granite with a stone cleaner specifically formulated for stone and a soft, clean microfiber cloth to clean the area thoroughly and bring back the natural beauty of your granite.

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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!

 

Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heater

 

 

Tankless water heaters have become more popular over the last several years with individuals focusing on making their homes more energy efficient.  A standard hot water heater can use up to 20 percent or more of a home’s annual energy due to maintaining a standard water temperature when not in use.  Whole house tankless water heaters have helped to reduce these energy costs.  However, there a way to reduce these costs even more.

 

A point-of-use tankless water heater may be the answer.  A point-of-use water heater is placed directly where hot water will be needed.  With a whole house tankless water heater there is still some delay in hot water traveling a distance to the faucet resulting in the water cooling in the pipe.  Placing a point-of-use below a kitchen or bathroom sink, next to a tub, or in the laundry room near the washing machine, gives you a more true “instant hot water” reducing water waste.  This can also save time from waiting on hot water to make an appearance.

 

That said, there are more upfront costs installing any tankless water heater, even a point-of-use heater.  Whether gas or electric, special pipes and wiring will be needed, most likely requiring a professional plumber and electrician.  However, the purchase price for a point-of-use tankless water heater is less than a whole house tankless heater. And, keep in mind that the monthly energy savings will last for the life of your heater.

 

There are several models of point-of-use tankless water heaters available, so take the time to decide exactly what your needs are to ensure you find the one that will work best for you and your family.  Then you will be able to have “instant hot water” at just the point and time you need it.

 

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!

 

 

Under Counter Ice makers

 

Do you have a large family that uses a lot of ice?  Or, love to entertain and tired of carrying home large bags of ice?  The solution to your problems may just be an “under counter ice maker”.  Designed to fit under your countertop like a dishwasher, it can be worked right into your kitchen design.  If having a constant supply of ice sounds like a good choice for your home, here are some things to review before making your purchase.

Location:

First and foremost, determine the location for your ice maker.  This will allow you to purchase the correct size for the space available.  Remember that access to a water line and 110V-120V 3-prong outlet is needed.

Capacity:

Capacity of the ice maker is related to the size of the ice maker.  A smaller space means a machine with a smaller capacity.  However, an ice maker with a high production rate will allow the machine to remake ice faster.  Different types of ice machines make different shapes of ice (i.e., nugget or pearl ice, cube ice, crescent ice, or gourmet).  Built in water filters are another feature to be considered, along with whether or not the machine comes with a warranty.

Installation:

Installation is another consideration.  An experienced DIYer might be able to manage the installation. However, there are several complicated aspects to be considered, so having a professional handle it might be worth the additional cost.  Proper installation ensures your ice maker works at its best and alleviates leak concerns that can damage cabinets and flooring.

Having an under counter ice maker means you’re less likely to run out of ice right when you need it — an important asset to your family on a daily basis, and when entertaining.  You’ll be able to sit back, relax, and never worry about having enough ice on hand.

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 A Kitchen Prep Sink In Your Design Plan?

 

When deciding on a design for your kitchen remodel, give some consideration to multiple sinks.  Having a smaller bar or prep sink, along with your regular double bowl kitchen sink, can make your kitchen run more efficiently.

A bar or prep sink is a singular, smaller sink that is available in square, round, or rectangular shapes.  Due to the size of these sinks they can be placed in a strategic location to meet specific needs.  For example, a bar sink (or a longer trough sink) installed in a side counter area creates a space to hold ice, iced drinks, or chilled hors d’oeuvres during a party.  It also makes a great location for a coffee or tea station.

If you find yourself sharing your kitchen space with another person, or persons, a second prep area is very beneficial.  A prep sink placed in a kitchen island where the majority of food preparation happens can be a lifesaver.  An island sink is the natural place to wash fruits and vegetables, so while you’re at it, install a garbage disposal to help with cleanup.

And, of course, don’t forget the design appeal of having a bar or prep sink in your kitchen. Without a doubt, it provides a touch of luxury. And with the different shapes and textures available today you can match your personal design, ranging from modern to rustic.

This additional work space will have your kitchen looking great even as it works hard.

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!

High Tech Your Kitchen Remodel

When it comes to a kitchen remodel, most people think of outlets and lights switches as an afterthought.  While they are a necessity, they can sometimes be unsightly and detract from beautiful kitchen designs.  Thanks to some great new items, outlets and light switches can now become an interesting part of your design that will add to the overall functioning of your new kitchen.

Light Switches –  There are now flush mount switches that are as stylish as they are functional.  These range from a simple push switch (no flip switches here), touch switches that require a touch of your finger tip, a tap switch that turns on/off with a tap of the finger, and even sensor switches where you wave your hand in front of the switch.

Outlets – Once something that could ruin the look of a gorgeous backsplash, outlets are now something to build in as part of the design. Pop-out outlets, for example, have smooth flush features enabling the outlet to remain hidden until you push it to reveal three plugs.  There are also USB outlets that can make it easier to charge your devices while working in the kitchen.

Under-counter Tracks – These attach under your cabinet area and can be used to provide lighting, extra outlets, USB ports and iPad/iPhone cradles.  They can be installed using an existing outlet to provide electricity to each cabinet section, or can be hardwired in for a completely smooth, unmarred backsplash.

Bluetooth is also a feature that can be added to allow you to control not just the lighting in your kitchen, but throughout the rest of your home.  So, if you are updating or remodeling your kitchen area, remember to check out the new tech items available to make your kitchen high functioning, as well as beautiful.

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!

Upgrade Your Coffee — With a Built in Coffee System

 

Many people wouldn’t know how to get their day started without a “cup of joe.”  But, making that first cup happen can be a little challenging sometimes. How many times have you stumbled around the kitchen, half asleep, trying to fill the coffee pot and get that wonderful aroma going to wake you up? Wouldn’t it be wonderful not to hassle with filling the coffee pot with water?  Well, take heart, because there are real solutions for you on the market today.

You might think that only commercial coffee makers, or very expensive ones (over the $10,000 mark), can have its own plumbing system. But, that’s not the case anymore. There are now more affordable coffee makers for the home that are plumbed in to make your morning routine easier and faster.

Research is important to find the exact built-in coffee maker you want. Since there is a variance in price, you will want to look around to get the best deal with the features you want. Some makers come with built-in water filters, which may be an important feature if you have hard water. Other specialized features are built-in coffee grinder, separate hot water dispenser, auto on/off, and auto rinse/clean.

The next thing is to consider the location for your unit. If you are remodeling it may be easier to make the transition to a built-in unit. Your cabinetry can then be designed to have specific cabinet allotted for your unit. The plumbing and electrical can also be done before cabinet install.

However, if you just want to upgrade your kitchen with a built-in coffee unit there are still ways to make this happen. Brew Express makes a unit that sits on your countertop, while it connects to your water supply just like your refrigerator. Brewmatic has one that mounts under an upper cabinet allowing you to keep your countertop free unless brewing a pot of coffee.  Both  units still require some plumbing and electrical, so speak with a professional installer on how to retrofit to your counter space.

Making life more efficient is important to everyone. So, finding ways to make your morning routines simpler and smoother is always a plus. Having a built-in, plumbed-in coffee maker might be just the right step to improving your mornings in this new year — and get you that caffeine fix even faster.

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!

Flooring for Kitchens and Baths

Choosing flooring for kitchens and baths can be a little intimidating, largely because both areas are affected by water and moisture. The kitchen is also a significant design area, so choosing a flooring that complements the rest of the home is important. To help you in your selection, we have listed some of the top choices for your kitchen and bathroom flooring below.

  1. Ceramic and Porcelain Tile – Tile comes in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and patterns allowing you to create your own specific look and style. Both types will take a lot of wear and tear, and are great at handling water issues like spills, splashes, and leaks.  Although good for water areas, tile can be cold and hard underfoot, so using rugs or cushioned mats may be necessary to offset the discomfort especially in the kitchen. Since tile can crack as floors settle, make certain the proper sub-flooring is used to reduce the likelihood of cracking.  Choosing a non-slip or textured variety is also important as tile can be quite slippery when wet. sp0243_tub-and-floor_s4x3-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-616-462
  2. Vinyl – This is a resilient flooring that offers a softer, cushiness underfoot. It is easy to clean, completely waterproof, and stain-proof. Vinyl comes in a large variety of colors and styles to match any decor, including some styles that have the appearance of tile or real stone. Vinyl also has a wear layer making it scratch and scuff resistant. Textured vinyl, in particular, also provides good slip resistance. Keep in mind that if covering a large area you may have seams that can collect dirt and moisture.
  3. Cork – If you are looking for eco-friendly choices, then cork may be for you. Made from tree bark that’s harvested every eight to 10 years, cork is a nice sustainable material. It provides a soft, slip-resistant surface that is waterproof, making it great for kitchens or bathrooms.  It’s important to note that cork requires resealing every 3 to 4 years to prevent scratching and moisture getting through the seams.
  4. Solid Wood – Although not an option for bathrooms, solid wood flooring is still a favorite for kitchen areas. Wood provides a look that is timeless and creates visual warmth in an area.  If your home has an open floor plan, wood floors throughout can give it a unified look. Solid wood is extremely durable and low-maintenance while on-site-finished hardwoods, rather than factory finished, provide a little more protection against moisture since the finish gets into the seams to help protect the wood underneath.
  5. Other Options – While all of the above are great flooring options, there are many other choices for flooring. Laminate, bamboo, concrete, marble, and granite may also be considered.  Based on your design, life-style, and budget, you can create space that works for you, and gives your family a warm and inviting place to live.
  6. Heated Floors- check out our post here regarding adding wonderful heated floors for your bathroom!

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!