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Keeping Your Drain Clog-Free (Part One)

 

Preventative maintenance can go a long way in avoiding a clogged drain. And it can pay huge dividends down the road. Fortunately, it’s not that hard. There are just a few key things to remember when it comes to keeping your drain running freely.

Use drain-cleaning bacteria on a regular basis. The most common clogs are caused by organic matter like hair, grease and food. To break down this organic matter, bacteria-based drain cleaning products are one of your best choices. You can find these types of drain cleaners at your local hardware store.

Dump the grease in the trash or a jar. If you are ever tempted to pour that dirty cooking grease down the sink drain, don’t do it! Pouring grease down your pipes is one of the worst things you can do for your drains. When the grease is warm, it will run through your pipes but eventually it will cool and congeal. And wherever there is congealed grease, you have a trap for every other thing that runs by, creating a serious drain clog.

Stop the hair and food before it hits the drain. To keep hair and food from creating a clog, mesh screens designed and suited for kitchen sinks and tub or shower drains are available in most home improvement stores. Another option to consider is a drain stopper that includes a screen. These are made to replace the screw-in drain stoppers. These too can be purchased at your local home improvement or hardware store.

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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 Clean Your Jetted Tub

 

If you have a jetted tub you know how relaxing and de-stressing they can be after a long, hard day.  They can help with pulled or strained muscles during healing as well as reduce arthritis pain.  However, nothing can put a damper on a nice, warm soak like concern over bacteria growing in your jetted water lines.  Studies have shown that bacteria can grow in these areas causing infections and disease.

So, does this mean you can no longer use your jetted tub?  Of course not.  It just means you need give more attention to keeping your jetted tub nice and clean.  This means more than cleaning just the interior of your tub and wiping around the jets.  It requires a few more steps to ensure the jetted water lines are cleaned as well.  Below are the steps you can take to make certain your jetted tub is bacteria free.

  1. Refer to your manufacturer’s manual for recommendations first.  Then begin by removing any dust or dirt from the interior of the tub, and filling it 2 to 3 inches above the jets.  For a more natural clean, add 2 cups of vinegar to the water.  Vinegar does a good job of dissolving buildup without potentially damaging your jets or plumbing.  If you prefer something stronger, then use a 1/2 cup of bleach and 2 tablespoons of a low-sudsing dishwasher liquid.  There are also commercial cleaning products you can purchase.
  2. Before activating the jets,  make certain the air induction valves are turned off (unless the manufacturer recommends they be on during the cleaning process).  Closing these will allow water to circulate through the internal tub plumbing providing a deeper clean.  Then run the jets for 10-15 minutes or until no debris is coming from the internal plumbing.
  3. Drain the tub and refill, again 2-3 inches above the jets.  You will want to run for another 10-15 minutes to flush any remaining debris and rinse the jets thoroughly.
  4. Now comes the interior cleaning part.  You can use a soft cloth and baking soda (or any commercial cleaning product) to remove any grime or buildup.  Use a soft toothbrush or Q-tip to clean around the jet nozzles and trim.  For really hard to reach places, try dental floss.  Remove the air-intake cover, clean with soap and water, then replace. Give the tub a final rinse.

Keep in mind that for a jetted tub that is not used frequently, cleaning quarterly would probably be enough.  But, if used on a regular basis, you will want to following these cleaning steps once a month.  Now that your jetted tub is squeaky clean, inside and out, you can reward yourself with that much deserved long soak.

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!

Helping Your Garbage Disposal Survive the Holidays

At this time of the year many people are planning for parties and large family meals in their homes. With that in mind, give some consideration to how all this might affect your garbage disposal. The best way to kill a festive mood is to have a stopped-up sink with a house full of guests.m2850070

However, large meal preparations can mean a bigger strain on your garbage disposal. Below are some tips to help you avoid overworking or straining your disposal and kitchen plumbing:

  1. Don’t pour fats or cooking oils down the drain or into the disposal. These greasy liquids will solidify in your pipes and cause blockages. Allow a pan with grease to sit and cool, then remove with a paper towel. If you have a lot of grease remaining — after cooling — pour into a plastic container with a lid and dispose of the container.
  2. Never overload or force large quantities of food into your disposal. By forcing too much food into the disposal it can cause the motor to lock up. Put small amounts of food into the disposal and process through before adding more.
  3. Stringy, fibrous foods like onions, celery, asparagus, and artichokes should never go into your disposal. The fibers can tangle and jam the blades causing the motor to lock up.  Any fibers that might process through can block drains.
  4. Be careful of putting too many potato peels through the disposal. The starch in the potatoes can turn into a paste that can cause the blades to stick.
  5. Never put pasta or rice into your disposal. These expand with water and can clog and jam pipes.
  6. Don’t put glass, plastic, metal or paper in your disposal.
  7. Avoid putting coffee grounds into your sink or disposal. It won’t harm the disposal or pipes, but they can accumulate in the drain traps causing clogs.
  8. Never use harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners. They can damage disposal blades and water pipes. Borax is a natural cleaner that can be used to sanitize and remove odor from your disposal.
  9. Always run cold water, not hot, when using the disposal. Start the water before turning on the disposal, and run the water during the entire disposal process. Leave the water running for 10-15 seconds after turning off the disposal to flush out any remaining particles.
  10. Use ice to clean and sharpen the blades. It can help with removing grease build-up and sharpening the blades. Do this once or twice a month to keep your disposal in good working order. You can also freeze vinegar in ice trays and put through the disposal to clean and eliminate odors.

Putting these tips into practice can help keep your disposal working well throughout the year, but especially during these busier times of the year.

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!

Household Cleaners:  Taking Control of Their Impact on You, Your Home and Environment

It’s no secret that we all enjoy living in a clean, germ-free home.  That’s why we’re always looking for household cleaners that will effectively disinfect surfaces and keep our homes free of harmful organisms while removing dust and big and small stains.  But beware. Many household cleaners can also negatively impact your family’s health and environment.clean-counter

From watery eyes and skin rashes to chemical burns and respiratory irritation, reactions to certain household cleaners happen all too often. Even bleach — though a popular cleaner and disinfectant — if not handled carefully, can be hazardous. For example, if bleach is accidentally mixed with ammonia, chlorine, lye or acids, (all of which can be found in oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners) the combination can be toxic.

While cleaners can impact homeowners’ health, it’s not surprising that some can cause incremental damage to our home and its surroundings as well. Harsh drain cleaners — while effectively unclogging your drain — can also damage your pipes.  Even the suds and residue from cleaners, soaps and shampoos can build up over time, causing clogs while weakening your plumbing.

Unfortunately, even when the best efforts are made to limit exposure to our environment, it’s difficult for even the most conscientious homeowner to prevent some of the cleaners from entering community water systems. For example, chemicals from drain and other household cleaners are washed or flushed down our drains into our water system each time we clean.  Although most pollutants are removed by waste treatment facilities, nitrogen, phosphorus and ammonia remain. The result is an overgrowth of vegetation and algae in our waterways that can harm wildlife.

All that said, there are times we may need to use some of these powerful chemicals for cleaning. The goal though, is to be aware of the effect they can have on us and our environment so that you can benefit from their strength while limiting their negative impact on your family, home and environment. By limiting their usage, it also encourages you, the homeowner, to identify more natural ways to keep your home spotless.

Wondering what some of those natural cleaning remedies are? Make sure to check out our next blog where we will be touching on natural, effective ways to keep your humble abode clean!