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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!

 

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!

 

10 Ways to Save Water Outdoors – Part Two

 

Conserving water doesn’t always have to be hard. The last post itemized five ways to reduce water usage outdoors around your home this summer. Believe it or not, there’s more where that came from. Below are five more creative ideas to help you be good to the planet and your wallet.

Mulch around trees and shrubs. Mulch is a popular choice for helping create a beautiful yard for many reasons. It not only looks nice around your shrubs and trees, it discourages weed growth, reduces evaporation and keeps the soil moist.

Select yard plants carefully. Landscaping decisions can be overwhelming. The good news is that if you’re really working to reduce your water usage, your options are very straightforward. Talk with your local nursery representative to help you identify and choose native and drought resistant plants, grass, trees and shrubs as they will typically require less water. And then get planting!

Use your broom. There’s no doubt that it’s tempting to use a hose to wash off your driveway or walkway, but if you want to save water, the smarter choice is to use a blower or broom.

Set your timer. When you’re using a sprinkler or hose of any kind (soakers, etc.), make sure to set a timer to remind yourself to cut off the water. If you need to water while you’re away, purchasing a valve timer from your local hardware store is a great option to explore.

Wash your car in the grass. Washing your car is a necessity, it has to be done. So how can you reduce the amount of water you use? The most efficient choice is to go to a commercial car wash that recycles its water. However, that can get expensive and may not fit into your budget. If you choose instead to wash your car at home, park it in the grass rather than the driveway. This way you’ll have a clean car and a watered lawn.

Think twice about water features and fountains. This one’s easy. Water features use water, so limit or eliminate them from your yard.

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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!

 

 

 

Maintaining Your Water Heater 

 

Did you know that most water heaters last for more than ten years? The key to making it last even longer? Keeping yours maintained properly. So, two questions: first, how do you make sure yours is in good condition and second, how to know when you need a new one?

Dial it back. To keep your hot water heather working smoothly and efficiently, dial the temperature down. Besides saving you money each month, keeping your water temperature lower is an important safety precaution if you have small children.

You will find the temperature setting dial on a knob on the gas valve or thermostat behind an electric water heater panel. Once you have located it, turn it to between 115 to 120 degrees. With that simple adjustment, you’re not only reducing your energy output, but also protecting your tank from overheating.

Test the Temperature and Pressure (T&P). Simply lift the lever part way and let it go so it will snap back. When you do this, you should hear the water being released into the drain tube. If you do not hear this water release, your water heater probably should be replaced.

Perform a mini flush. It’s a good idea to perform a mini flush annually—just add it to your spring or summer cleaning list. Why? Any sediment that has gathered at the bottom of the tank can lead to rust and/or inefficiency. Simply place a bucket under the drain valve (located near the bottom of the water heater tank) and turn the valve counter clockwise. When you do this, the water heat will release a few gallons of water into the bucket. If you prefer, you can do a full flush, but know that it requires more time and work as well as shutting down your water heater.

Assess your costs. Ultimately, if your water heater does not heat efficiently and/or you find yourself constantly calling a professional for repairs, look for a new one. While a new water heater is typically about a thousand dollars or less, if your current water heater isn’t working properly, it’s probably costing you more than you realize.

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!

Caring For An Outdoor Water Fountain

 

 

With warmer weather, most of us look for ways to spend more time outdoors.  Relaxing on your patio or deck can be a perfect way to unwind after a long day or week.  Many have found that adding a water fountain to their deck or patio can add to the calming effect.  But once you have it all set up and installed, what do you need to do to keep it working well for a long time?  Here are a few suggestions to help you maintain your water fountain:

  • Keep an eye on your water level. When the heat rises more water will evaporate, so you will need to add water to your fountain regularly.  This might be required daily during the hottest parts of the season.  This helps in keeping your water fountain cleaner.  It is best to  completely change out the water in your fountain every month if possible.
  • Your water pump is really the life of your water fountain, so take steps to keep it in good working order. Remove any leaves or debris from your fountain to avoid damaging the pump.  Placing a protective cloth screen over the pump is a good idea to keep debris out of the pump.  Keeping your water level at the proper level is also necessary to keep your pump working properly.
  • If the water is not running properly from your water fountain, and the pump is working good, then you need to check your water tubing. Use a water hose to flush out any debris that may be stuck inside.
  • To remove algae or buildup on your fountain, drain all the water, then using a mixture of white vinegar and warm water scrub until clean. Rinse thoroughly before refilling.  There are also commercial cleaners available.  Check to be certain that any cleaner you use is safe for any birds or wildlife that visit your water fountain.  An algae removal or inhibitor can be used where the water is not changed every day to keep it clean and non-stagnant for your feathered friends.

Following these few steps will keep your water fountain clean and working well for a long time.  Then you and your family can enjoy the relaxing, soothing effects of your water fountain for a long time as well.

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!

Keeping That Stainless Shining

 

 

If, like thousands of others, you are a lover of stainless steel in your kitchen then you are aware of the time and elbow grease required to keep it looking its best.  To help make stainless steel cleaning chores a little easier, we have gathered some helpful information for you.

A few basics – Never use anything abrasive to clean your stainless (i.e., steel wool or other metal scrubbing pads).  Use a soft cloth (microfiber are good) to clean and buff; paper towels will work as well.  Avoid any harsh cleaners that can damage the stainless.  Read the manufacturer’s instruction to ensure you are following any specific guideline for your appliance brand.

A little training goes a long way – Train yourself and the members of your family to use the handles when opening and closing stainless steel appliance doors.  This will limit the amount of fingerprints and smudges on the stainless itself reducing the amount of cleaning required.  Wipe off spills or water drops right away to limit water spots.  Don’t use tape on your stainless to hold pictures, reminders, etc.  This will also help reduce smudges and residue.

The actual cleaning – There are some general household items you can use to get your stainless to shining again.

1) Vinegar (regular vinegar has 5% acidity, cleaning vinegar has 6%) – Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle, mist the stainless, and use a soft cloth or microfiber cloth to wipe down. Buff dry to shine.

2) Oil (mineral, baby oil, or other like olive oil) – Apply oil to a dampened cloth and wipe your stainless following the grain until clean and shiny.  Some like to wipe down with vinegar first, then follow with the oil to give the stainless a real sparkling shine.

3) Window cleaner or rubbing alcohol – Spray on or apply to a dry cloth or paper towel and wipe away smudges and fingerprints.  If you previously used any stainless steel polishes a couple of applications may be necessary to remove the top polished layer.

4) Commercial stainless steel cleaners – These are a little more costly than using your normal household items, but companies have formulated these specifically to clean stainless.  However, some do work better than others, so you might need to try a couple of brands to find the one that works the best for you.

Your stainless steel appliances are a big focal point of your kitchen, but keeping it looking good shouldn’t take hours.  Using some of the above suggestions will hopefully get your stainless at its shiny best, and give you time for more enjoyable things.

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!

 

 

Getting Your Sprinkler System Up and Running for Spring

After winter, we all get excited at the first signs of spring.  We start making our lists for all the outside projects we want to begin working on and those we want to complete.  However, many might not remember to put their sprinkler or irrigation system on the to do list.  To ensure your system is running efficiently through the warm seasons here are a few things to prevent problems down the line.

  • Make certain the ground is completely thawed.  Use a shovel or spade to see if the ground is still frozen, at least a foot down.  If you encounter ground that is still frozen, wait a week or two and recheck before prepping your system to prevent damage.
  • Inspect your sprinkler control panel.  Remove any dirt or cobwebs from the controls, confirm the date and time is current, and that your water settings are correct for your landscape. Replace your backup battery if it older than 6 months.
  • Locate each sprinkler head and clean away any dirt or rocks that could block the water flow.  Inspect each spray head for damage.  You will need to replace any broken or worn heads, nozzles, valves or pipes.  Sprinkler heads that are damaged or not working properly can result in too much water in some areas and not enough in others.
  • Avoid a water pressure surge—which can cause a break in your water line—by opening the main water valve slowly so water fills the pipes gradually.  For systems without air pressure relief valves, remove the sprinkler heads at the highest point of each zone.  This allows the air to be pushed from the pipes when the water starts to flow.
  • Make sure your water pressure is at a safe range for sprinkler systems.  Too much water pressure can damage the pipes, valves and sprinkler heads.
  • Once all the water lines to your sprinkler system are full, run a test to determine all sprinkler heads are working and covering the needed areas.  Adjust or repair as necessary.

Now your system should be ready and set to keep your landscape looking beautiful and lush throughout the spring and summer season.

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 Cabinet-Sink Leak

 

If you have experienced a leak under your sink, you now know all too well the mess that can be left behind.  Even after the excess water has been cleared away, and the leak fixed, you may now be dealing with damage done to your cabinet floor.  However, don’t stress that you have to replace the entire cabinet.  There are a couple of things you can do to fix the problem.

If the leak was a small one that was caught quickly and repaired, all that may be required is to wipe up any standing water and keep the doors open to allow the area to dry out.  Setting a fan in front of the open doors can assist with this process.

Once the area is dried completely, inspect the cabinet floor for damage.  There may be some slight bubbling or discoloration of the area where the water stood.  If you are concerned about how this looks, you can line the bottom of the cabinet with a sink shelf liner.  You can also use peel and stick tiles that will not only cover the effected area, but help provide protection if you have a future leak.

But what if you had a bigger leak, and the cabinet floor is completely water-logged and sagging?   Not only is the cabinet floor beyond repair in this case, but you will want to have it removed so that any mold issues can be addressed.  You still want to begin with drying out the area as much as possible.  Clean up any remaining water, then leave the cabinet doors open and use a fan to circulate air.

Replacing the cabinet floor will require that the old floor be cut out, and a new base and floor installed.  Since an oscillating saw is needed for this process, you might want to have a professional handle this for you.  Once the new base and floor is installed you can decide whether you want to just water treat it, paint it, or add another treatment.  Besides the items mentioned above, you could also consider using formica, vinyl or ceramic tiles.

Having a water leak is never a fun thing.  But having some ideas of how to deal with the resulting problems can make it less painful.  You may also end up with a nice, updated look for your cabinet floor to show off to your family and friends.

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!