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Hot Water Heater Temperature Changes

Does it seem to you that the hot water in your shower runs out quicker now that the weather has turned colder?  Well, it might not be your imagination. Cold weather can be hard on some appliances, and your hot water heater is one of them. With the dropping temperatures, the cold water coming into your home is also colder. This requires your hot water heater to work harder to get the water heated to your set temperature.

Here are some things to consider:

What is the environment around your water heater?  A lot of water heaters are located in the basement or garage.  What is the temperature in those areas?  Re-caulking any windows or doors to reduce any outside airflow may help. 12814721_1539557743041497_2945426110015825869_n

Insulating the hot water pipes with a foam pipe insulation can help the heat from dissipating while in the pipe. You can also cover your water heater with a blanket. This is a specially designed cover that wraps around your water heater to provide insulation. You can increase your hot water temperature by five to 10 degrees to help with this problem.  Although, if using an insulation blanket, you might be able to drop your temperature by five to 10 degrees.

If, after checking these areas, your hot water output is still not normal, your problems might be mechanical. The burner assembly could be malfunctioning and unable to properly heat the water. There could be sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank preventing the water from heating.  If you have no hot water at all, your problems could be electrical or the pilot light. You will want to call a professional to inspect your hot water heater to determine the exact cause of your problem.

At this time of year, many people have friends and family visiting, and the last thing you want to deal with is no hot water in your home. While at this point, your lower hot water output might not seem like a major issue, it can become one overnight with increased usage. So, take the time to do a little maintenance, even calling for a professional opinion, and mark one less worry off your list.

And remember we install instant hot water heaters as well! Read more here about the different types we install.

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!

Things To Consider When Hiring a Professional Plumber

Even with so many DIYers trying their hand at home repairs these days, there are occasions when it is still necessary to call a professional. This is especially true when it comes to plumbing issues. Unless you are dealing with a simple clog, calling a professional to deal with most problems is a smart move, and can save you money in the end. But how do you choose a good, reliable plumber? Below are a few key things to look for when hiring one.

Find out if he or she is certified. Plumbing is regulated by the government, so plumbers are required to meet state regulations and be certified. A licensed plumber will be current on state codes, and have the experience to deal with whatever issues arise. It is important that they not only be licensed, but be bonded and insured.  No matter how knowledgeable or experienced a plumber may be, mistakes can be made by the best, and accidents are just a part of life. Therefore it is critical that they are bonded and insured so that any expenses will be covered in the event of an peteontruck-547x620accident.

Check reviews and/or get referrals. In this technological age there are several online sites that provide reviews and feedback about companies. By contacting your local Better Business Bureau, you can find out how a company is rated, whether there have been any reports filed and how the company resolved those issues. You can also ask companies directly for customer referrals which can give you insight into a company’s reliability, experience, and customer service.

Seek out estimates from different companies. The next step is to make certain you secure between two and three estimates from reputable companies. Most estimates will require an onsite visit to determine the work that needs to be done to provide a proper estimate. Note that phone or online estimates — or simply viewing a photo of the problem — can result in an inaccurate estimates.

Dealing with a plumbing problem, or a remodeling project can be stressful on its own. So, take the time to research area plumbers before making a final hiring decision. Be certain you find a professional that you feel comfortable working with, and trust to do the best job possible.

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 Plumbing! by GoGreen Plumbing

We can all get a little crazy sometimes when cleaning up around the house and forget that our plumbing system is not a “whole house” disposal system.  Here are some reminders of what not to put down your water drainage pipes and some care to take when dealing with a plumbing issue.

  1. Don’t pore grease down your sink. This is a big reason for clogged sinks in your kitchen.  Instead, allow grease to cool, then pour into a jar or can and toss into your garbage.peteinshower-547x620
  2. Misuse of your garbage disposal. Overloading and putting the wrong items down your disposal can jam the blades or overheat the motor.  Avoid melon rinds, onions, celery, and fibrous items.
  3. Flushing improper items down your toilet. Your toilet is not a trash can.  You should never flush any paper or cloth items, only official toilet paper.  Any other items can lead to clogs and backups.
  4. Not removing hair from drain traps. The drain trap is designed to catch soap scrum and hair.  This needs to be cleaned on a regular basis.  Otherwise, you will have poor drainage and risk clogging.
  5. Using the wrong tools to clear a clog. A drain snake should be used on sink drains.  If your toilet is clogged, you should try a plunger first.  If that doesn’t work, try a toilet auger.  If that doesn’t work, then it is definitely time to call a professional.
  6. Twisting or pulling too hard on faucet handles. Turning a faucet on or off is a simple thing.  Twisting or pulling too hard on the handles can cause the washers to strip resulting in a drippy or broken faucet.
  7. Putting construction materials down your laundry sink. Don’t clean up from that drywall or paint job in your laundry sink.  Joint compound and paint can harden in your pipes causing them to clog.  And, if you are on a septic system, theses items can clog and damage your septic.
  8. Turning on a water heater too soon. If you install your own water heater, make certain to allow the water heater to fill completely before turning it on.  Otherwise, you can burn up your brand new water heater.
  9. Turning a blind eye to small plumbing leaks. Avoiding small leaks will only cause them to worsen, cause damage to your pipes, waste water, and provide mold a perfect environment to grow.  Get leaks taken care of immediately to avoid bigger problems later.
  10. Stripping threads. When doing plumbing repairs, remember not to over tighten the plumbing components.  Over tightening can cause the components to strip or break.

 

Hope these reminders allow you to keep your plumbing in good working order, and preforming as needed for you and your family.

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!

Noisy Faucets – What to do!

 

Do you have a faucet that is absolutely driving you up a wall with the noise it makes?  Maybe it is a high pitched squeal or screech.  You’ve probably tried to ignore it – after all, maybe it will go away on its own – right?  Unfortunately, it likely won’t go away on its own.  It is a sign that there is something broken in your plumbing and you will have to repair it in order to save your sanity!

So, what do you do?  If your facets are making noise, there is something broken.  Most problems with faucets occur in the stem, which controls the flow of the water through the faucet.  In order to replace the stem by taking off the handle.  You can do this by removing the set screw with a screwdriver or Allen wrench.  Next, unscrew the stem which is right under the faucet handle.  Remove any nuts with a regular wrench.  If it is an old fixture, consider replacing the seat, or changing out the faucet.   Seats will age over time and may benefit from replacement if you are hearing noise out of your faucets.

Insert the seat in the handle pipe, tighten it with the seat wrench until very tight, and then screw the seat on with the bath socket. Tighten the seat and stem securely.  Test the repair by turning the water on.  If it is still making noise remove the handle again and retighten until you test it without hearing anymore noise. If in doubt or if this repair is too daunting, consider calling in a professional like the ones at Go Green plumbing.

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!

Does Your Economy Setting Really Save You Money?

Tankless-Water-Heaters-Electric

If you have purchased a water heater, dishwasher, dryer or washing machine recently, you have probably seen that most models contain a setting that promises more economical operation. In fact, most of these appliances purport to save you money through decreased water consumption as well as lowered electrical or gas use.  But, does it really save you all that money that you think?

First, consider that while economy settings may reduce water and electrical usage, if they are ineffective in cleaning your clothes or dishes and you have to run the cycle twice in order to get the items clean, you won’t actually save any money – in fact you will spend more. So, how do you sort through all the noise and determine which appliance will best suit your needs and your wallet?

First, check out the reviews from other owners.  They can tell you whether or not the pots and pans cycle actually cleans those pots and pans.  Many users will share photos as well so you can gauge how well they work.  Read reviews from multiple sources.  Brick and mortar stores usually have an online presence that you can use to see their consumer reviews.  If you have a model number recognize that many big box stores have model number that are only available in their stores, so you won’t be able to directly compare across sites.  Instead make a list of key features to compare across sites.  Second, look at the energy guide labels.  They will guide you in term of the amount of money required annually for a ‘normal’ household to run the appliance.

Finally, recognize that you determine how well your appliances work.  It all comes down to scraping the scraps off your dishes before loading your dishwasher, don’t overload the washing machine or dryer and maintain your water heater.  Simple measures that determine you appliance’s performance.

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!

 

Don’t Buy a Home Without Inspecting the Septic System

Your home is one of the biggest investments you make.  For most homeowners your mortgage accounts for over 30% of your monthly income.  So, you know you need to get an inspection before investing that kind of dollars. However, most homeowners overlook one often overlooked, but really expensive piece of equipment crucial to the smooth running of your home – the septic system!

While city dweller and those lucky enough to live in the suburbs who are hooked up to the municipal sewer service, many of those who live in rural areas or some suburbs may not have that option.  For those folks the septic tank is the only option. Checking out the septic system early on in the home purchase can save a ton of money in the long road.

A septic tank system consists of a septic tank into which waste flows, a distribution box into which excess water flows, and a drain field which is made up of a series of buried pipes that are perforated.  When waste flows into the septic tank, it accumulates with solids sinking to the bottom (this includes solid human waste and paper products and other refuse.  Water than floats to the top.  There is an outlet above the in flow connection that decants the excess water into the distribution box.  This distribution box then serves to distribute the excess water to the drainage field.  The drainage field will distribute this water across a large area of lawn or field so that it can either evaporate or be absorbed my surrounding plants in the soil.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Start by asking the current owner what maintenance, if any, they have done in the past, including any pumping of the tank.  Next, hire a professional that knows how to evaluate the system.  Often systems can be overwhelmed when to much water volumes is running through the system.

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!

 

Preparing Your Plumbing for a Vacation

Mixing Valve

Are you planning a long weekend in the Bahamas?  Maybe a week in Mexico or the Catskills?  While you are busy planning your action packed (or nap packed) vacation, take a minute to care for your home as only you can.  The last thing you want to happen after your relaxing vacation is to come home to a damaged home.  So how can you prevent this from happening?

First, when you leave your home recognize that the water in your home still maintains its pressure in your pipes.  This can potentially lead to leaks, and the damages that they can cause.   One easy way to prevent this damage is to shut the water off at the main control valve.

In most homes, the main shutoff valve is located right next to the water meter. Sometimes this valve is a knob that can be turned by hand, but other valves may require a wrench to turn on and off. If you’re having trouble locating or turning your shutoff valve, you should contact a plumber for help; even if you’re home in the event of a plumbing emergency, knowing where the valve is and how to shut it off may help you prevent thousands of dollars in damage!

This simple step will prevent future problems from leaks.  When you get back home simply cut it back on.  Do take into account that it will also shut down your irrigation system.  If this is an issue ask a neighbor or landscaper to come by, cut the water on and give your lawn and plantings the irrigation they need before shutting it back off.

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!

 

Why Install a Vent in a Bathroom

 

Bathrooms accumulate lot of moisture. When the shower is running or you are drawing a bath, the water vapor has to go somewhere and since the bathroom door is often closed when you do that, it can build up quickly, especially if there is no window to open in the bathroom.  Add to this all the moisture that accumulates when you are running the sink to brush your teeth, wash your face or your hands and you can easily see how moisture can be a problem.  So, what to do?

Consider installing a vent fan in your bathroom to help get the moisture out.  This will actually help you in a  number of ways.  First, it will reduce the moisture in the room and therefore reduce mold, milder and strong odors that come along with that.  Second,  it can make the space more comfortable while you are in it.  While it does not cool down the air, by removing the excess humidity, the dryer air can cool you by allowing the water on your body to cool you through evaporation.  Finally,  you won’t have to wipe the mirrors off each time you get out of the shower as they are less likely to fog up with the fan running.

One caution though – always run your vents to the exterior of the home.  You don’t want them to vent to an attic space or another room.  This would simply take one moisture problem (your bathroom) and move it to another area of your home (your attic or your bedroom).  Call a professional to help you install vents if there are no existing ones.

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!