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Everyday Wisdom from your Plumber – Part One

 

Go Green Plumbing, Greensboro, NCMost people only talk to their plumber when there is a problem that needs fixing. But few take advantage of the wealth of knowledge he or she can provide regarding how to prevent those very issues before they start. To that end, below you’ll find several nuggets of wisdom from Go Green Plumbers to help make sure you’re doing what is best for your plumbing system and your home .

EVERYONE in your home should know where the main shut off valve is located. If there is a leak, or a pipe bursts, the first thing you need to do to minimize damage to your home is to turn of the water. This can be critically important to protecting your home.

Never, ever, ever flush “flushable wipes” … or any wipe other than toilet tissue for that matter. They will clog your toilet-even though their marketing information says otherwise-causing you expensive plumbing repairs. Toilet tissue is the only tissue that should be flushed.

The cost of a yearly plumbing inspection can be worth its weight in gold. These annual check-ups for your plumbing system are equivalent to your annual physical. An inspection is the perfect opportunity to find issues that could grow into bigger, more costly problems, ultimately saving you time, frustration – and money.

A water heater is only meant to last a certain number of years, it will not last forever. After the manufacturer’s “life expectancy” has been reached, it’s reasonable to expect expensive issues to arise. Thus, purchasing a new water heater in a timely manner is often the more economical choice if you begin running into larger repair expenses.

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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!

Holiday Home Prep (Part 4): Electrical Systems

As you prepare for holiday house guests, it’s important to remember your home’s electrical systems. Carving out some time to ensure all your systems are functioning safely and properly can mean a more comfortable visit for your friends and family.

Furnace Check Up. If you haven’t already done it, schedule your annual furnace check up with your local heating and air service provider. Once complete, you can enjoy your guests with confidence, knowing you’ll be warm and toasty as you sip your mulled cider this holiday season. In addition, take a few minutes before they arrive to change your air filters, especially if family members or friends staying with you have allergies.

Lamps and light fixtures. Do you have any bulbs out? Or maybe a switch that’s not working correctly? Take some time to fix these so that you and your guests aren’t bothered by unnecessary dark corners or closets.

Child-Proofing Outlets. If you guest list includes small children, make sure that you’ve gone through your home to child-proof your home as much as possible. While no home is completely child-proof, a handful of safety plugs for your electric outlets and rearranging furniture to avoid easy climbing are small tasks that your guests will be ever grateful for when they arrive.

Fire/Carbon Monoxide Alarms. With the holidays come flickering candles, fires in the fireplace and cold weather that requires cranking up the heater. And while all of these are simple pleasures, they can bring dangers if not monitored properly. If you’ve been meaning to get those carbon monoxide detectors and just haven’t done it yet, put it on your to-do list and make it happen.

Also, grab extra batteries for your fire alarms and schedule some time this weekend to test and replace batteries to ensure your alarms are fully functioning. (Daylight Savings is this Sunday, Nov 5, and is a good time to schedule alarm checks and battery replacements).

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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!

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning for Your Plumbing

 

Spring cleanings isn’t just for windows and closets. Though it’s easy to forget, your plumbing system needs regular checks and maintenance to be sure everything is working well for you and your family and to save costly repairs down the road.  Below are a few tips to get you started:

  • Check faucets for drips or leaks.
  • Add strainers to the drains in your home to prevent hair, soap and food from clogging your drains.
  • Inspect toilet tank and bowl for cracks or leaks. To find hidden leaks, add several drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If you see the coloring in your toilet bowl after 30 minutes, you have a hidden leak and will need to get it fixed promptly.
  • Observe how your toilets flush. If the handle has to be held down for a thorough flush or you need to play with it to stop the water from running, your tank parts may be worn and need to be replaced.
  • Set the temperature on your hot water heater no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
  • Drain several gallons from the water heater tank. This will flush out sediment which can cause corrosion and reduce your water heater’s efficiency.
  • If your water heater is more than 15 years old, you may want to replace it with a newer, more energy-efficient unit. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.)
  • Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
  • Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out and free of debris.
  • Check outdoor faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely.

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!

 

Removing Lime Build Up From Bathroom Faucets

 

Lime buildup can make the prettiest sinks and faucets dull, spotty, and unattractive.  Why? Because water has minerals like calcium and magnesium that can be the culprits for hard water deposits or lime buildup.  As water dries on a surface, these minerals remain, causing spots and buildup on and around faucets and sinks.  Although there are commercial cleaners available, there are also some natural  choices that may take care of your problems.

One option to try is a lemon.  Start with a clean, dry surface.  Then, using a fresh lemon that’s been cut in half, or a rag soaked in lemon juice, wipe the corroded area.  Promptly rinse and dry the surface and your sink or faucet should be clean and shiny.  You may use lemon on chrome, brass or copper fixtures without any issues.

If you have more stubborn lime buildup, then white vinegar may help.  Use a rag to apply the vinegar, or pour a little over the area.  Allow the liquid to sit for a few minutes, then wipe the surface clean.  Or, if you’re in a hurry, just soak a small towel in vinegar and lay it around the faucet base.  You may leave the towel in place for a couple of hours and when you return, remove it to rinse and wipe away any deposits remaining.

If your faucet aerator is coated with buildup, remove it and use an old toothbrush to scrub any loose deposits before rinsing.  Next, place it in a small bowl or cup and cover it with heated vinegar (heat just before boiling point).  Let it soak for up to an hour, and then rinse and return it to the faucet.

For your shower head, pour vinegar into a plastic bag, place the plastic bag over the shower head and tie a rubber band around the bag to hold it securely in place. You may then leave it for two to three hours to do its work.  When you return, remove the plastic bag and scrub away any remaining deposits with an old soft toothbrush.

Hopefully, these steps will remove any lime buildup issues you have.  If not, then the commercial cleaners can help, but remember these have pretty harsh chemicals.  Always use rubber gloves and protective eyewear to prevent harm to skin and eyes.

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 Washer with a Little Care

 

Laundry day may not be your favorite day, but if your washer breaks down, it won’t take long for you to discover how important it is to your household. That’s why routine maintenance is not only  important for extending the life of your washer but also for avoiding down time and expensive washer repairs.

Maintenance actually begins with installation. When installing your washer remember to properly level your machine. Laundry room floors are rarely completely level, so washers are made with adjustable feet with this in mind. Use the level to adjust the feet on the washer to ensure it is perfectly level. Even being a little off level can cause the drum to spin off balance putting stress on parts causing them to break.

If you have a front load washer, make certain you are using the high-efficiency detergent. Using the wrong kind can result in serious damage to your machine. Be sure to remove wet laundry shortly after washing because leaving wet laundry too long can produce a musty smell, and even progress to mildew and mold. After your final load, dry off the door, inside the washer, and particularly around the door gaskets. Mildew can start to grow very quickly around the gaskets.  Leave the door open a few hours to allow air to circulate and dry any remaining moisture.

Every couple of months check all hoses and connections for any that are loose, cracking or showing signs of wear. Tighten any loose hoses and connections, replacing ones with cracks or worn out. Giving your washer a thorough cleaning periodically is also a good idea.  There are special cleaning products designed to remove residue build up that can cause odors.

For detailed information specific to your washer, check your manual for filter locations and cleaning procedures. Following the recommended schedule will help your washer work more efficiently. In addition, sticking to a maintenance schedule can prevent undo stress and problems with your washer. So, take a little time to show your washer a little TLC and it will serve you faithfully for years.

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!