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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!

Does Your Economy Setting Really Save You Money?

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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!

 

Garbage Disposal or Compost Bin?

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At some level I think all of us want to minimize our impact on the earth.  Maybe it is because we care about our children, and their children, and their children, and so on and so forth.  Maybe it’s because we feel compelled to care for this planet that has been entrusted to our care.  Maybe you just like living the eco-friendly life.  Either way, whatever your motivations, taking care of the environment can lead to nothing but good outcomes.

So, as a part of that what do you do with your kitchen scraps?  Some advocate having a garbage disposal that grinds all matter to smithereens before sending it to the septic tank or wastewater treatment plant.  Others contend that it is better to corral that organic waste and use it to create new, nutrient rich soil through the use of a compost bin.  But which is best?  Turns out the decision is yours.  Both methods keep organic waste out of landfills.  But each method has different benefits and drawbacks.

Consider these things when deciding what works best for you and your household:

  • Compost bins can stink. While compost is great for growing vegetables and flowers once it has matured, it can take a long time to reach that stage.  Are you prepared for the vermin that will visit your compost bin if you can’t completely secure it?  If not, a garbage disposal might be just the thing for you.  In addition to mice and snakes, bees often seek shelter in compost bins.
  • Compost bins require attention to perform optimally. You can’t just set up a bin and walk away.  They have to be watered during dry periods, their performance slows during cooler weather periods, and they often need to be ‘fed’ some type of enzyme or worms to help with the process.
  • Garbage disposals will not give you the rich, organic soil you can expect from a compost bin. If you want the best dirt available, composting is your best option.  Or making friends with someone who is a composter!

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!

Choosing a Dishwasher

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What did we ever do before automatic dishwashers?  Sure, there is the occasion where items have to be hand washed, or you travel to a secluded cabin that doesn’t have a dishwasher, but most of us rely on this kitchen workhorse every day.  So, if you are installing one for the first time, or looking for a replacement how do you pick the right one for you?

First, consider whether you need a compact or standard sized dishwasher.  While the compact models fit in smaller spaces and use less water and energy, they also hold fewer dishes.  If you have a small home and don’t do dishes often a compact might be just the ticket for you.  However, if you have a large family and are constantly doing dishes this may not be the best choice for you.  You will also want to look for cycle selections.  Depending on how you use your dishwasher you may want to have the option of using a light cycle for crystal and a heavy cycle for when you are doing a lot of cooking and have really messy dishes to clean.  Some models even offer energy saving cycles.

You will also want to consider whether you need drying versus air drying cycles.  While the drying cycle uses electricity the air dry does not.  This means it takes longer for dishes to dry.  Noise level is also an important consideration.  If the kitchen is the hub of your house, you may be off put by the amount of noise your dishwasher makes.  Most models will list a decibel level on the label that you can use to compare models.  Finally, always look for the energy guide label.  It will allow you to compare the costs of operating each model.

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!

 

How to Use Rain Barrels to Keep Landscape Green

Want to keep your lawn green this summer without using so much of that clear, clean water?  Consider a rain barrel.  There are many different types of rain barrels on the market, whether you want to make one on your own with a reclaimed plastic barrel or if you want to purchase a ready to use model.  Rain barrels can collect the rainwater that falls into them, or they can divert water from your gutter system, and hence your rooftop surface.

Rain barrels are usually equipped with a gravity fed spigot that you can attach a hose to in order to use the water.  Other models may have a pump integrated to give you additional water pressure options.

If you choose to make your own, here are the steps you will want to follow.  First, secure a container.  While the container can be made of wood, plastic or metal, consider that it will be exposed to significant amounts of water and sun.  Most are made of plastic since it does not break down in the elements.  Hint:  we like in North Carolina, home to Mount Olive Pickles.   Consider riding over there to get one of their used pickle barrels for your rain barrel.

Next, you will want to drill a hole in the bottom to outfit with a faucet kit to allow you to pull the water out for use in your flower beds or on the lawn.  These kits can be purchased at most home improvement stores.  Second, you’ll want to find a way to fill the barrel.  You can divert your gutter into the barrel, or install a diverter that will allow the barrel to fill, and any water beyond the fill will divert back to the gutter system.  These are also available at most home improvement stores.

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!

 

Maximize Tax Deductions Next Year

Tax returns are due on Monday, April 18 thanks to Washington D.C.’s observation of Emancipation Day. While many of us appreciate the extra few days, the fact is that they will still be due on Monday!  You probably are still thinking about the taxes you are filing this year, it is a great time to start thinking about your taxes for next year, and for the coming years.

Certain Energy Star certified electric water heaters and gas water heaters qualify for a tax credit of$300!  If you purchase an electric water heater with an energy factor of greater than or equal to 2.0, you will qualify for purchases made in 2016.  For gas, oil or propane water heaters the energy factor must  be equal to or greater than 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90%.

For water heaters, the energy factor is based on three factors: 1) the recovery efficiency, or how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water; 2) stand-by losses, or the percentage of heat lost per hour from the stored water compared to the content of the water: and 3) cycling losses.

The tax credit does not apply to rental properties or newly constructed properties.  The water heater must be installed in your primary residence before December 31, 2016, so this  is the last year to claim this deduction.  Unfortunately, there is no tax credit for electric storage tanks or electric tankless water heaters and the can not earn the energy star.  You earn these credits when you file your tax return next year by filing form 5695.

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!

Add a Pot Filler for the Ultimate Luxury

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Pot fillers are a great luxury addition to a gourmet kitchen. Not only do they add visual appeal, they can help save you time and energy, especially if you cook a lot. Pot fillers will allow you to fill your pots right on the stovetop. They can fold up to fit closely to the wall and save space.

Pot fillers can be installed in new construction very easily. They can also be added as part of a kitchen remodel. This is not a project for the faint of heart as there can be a lot of work involved with tying into existing plumbing and running a water supply up the wall near the gas/electrical lines. If you choose to install this yourself, consult the instructions that accompany your fixture.

There are many different types of faucets in a variety of finishes, from oiled bronze to nickel to stainless steel. Choose a finish that complements the color of your other fixtures as well as the warmth of other finishes in your home.

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!

Update Your Bathroom for Less Than $100

 

Do you want to refresh the look of your bathroom? Just want a change to brighten your day? Want to save some money on a new look? This blog is for you!

There are many ways to freshen up your bathroom without breaking the bank. Bathrooms are small and therefore require a lot less of everything. In addition, your bathroom has a lot of soft décor items rather than hard (and more expensive) items. Here are a few ideas about ways to freshen that look without spending a fortune:

  • Change hand towels, bath rugs and shower curtain
  • Use towels as a decorative accessory – roll them into decorative rolls and place in a basket for a pop of color
  • Consider washcloths as a tabletop décor item that also provides for a handy dispenser
  • Paint! Most bathrooms are small and require less than one gallon of paint
  • Use collected natural items like cones, rocks or shells to make a bold statement in a bathroom and provide a grounding element
  • Change fixtures – this is more expensive, but nice faucets and towel racks can be had for less than $100
  • Use inexpensive frames and images from photo magazines to add color to your walls

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!

 

Irrigation System by Go Green Plumbing

 

Is an Irrigation System Right for You?

With spring just around the corner, you may be daydreaming of that beautiful emerald green lawn and how wonderful it will feel to finally sink your bare feet into that nice lush carpet of grass. But how are you going to ensure you have that luscious yard? Maybe an irrigation system is right for you.

If you find that the trouble of getting out the hose and sprinklers keeps you from taking care of your lawn like you should, you may want to consider an irrigation system. Irrigation systems can free you from worrying about your lawn by being set up on timers. This way you don’t have to remember to water the lawn, but you also can set it up to water in the early morning hours when water loss is minimal.

Irrigation systems do require some maintenance. Systems need to be checked to make sure there are no breaks in the lines, must be winterized and don’t plan on parking on your lawn with an irrigation system. Sprinkler heads can and do break if you run over them with the car.

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!