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Holiday Home Prep (Part One: The Kitchen)

 


Believe it or not, Christmas is just a little over four weeks away and Santa and your house guest will be arriving soon. What does that mean for you? To avoid unnecessary stress, now’s a good time to start preparing your home for holiday gatherings. Where to start? Below is a list of items to include on your “Holiday Home Prep” schedule:

Declutter your countertops. Set aside an hour or so to eliminate excess and put unneeded items in storage.

Clean out the pantry. Throw away expired items and give away unused canned and packaged goods. When you’re done, your pantry will be ready for your holiday baking and cooking ingredients.

Clean out the refrigerator. Take an afternoon to clean out food, wash the shelves and drawers, and check lightbulbs, etc. With kitchen helpers in abundance around the holidays, you’ll be glad your refrigerator sparkles.

Prepare utensils and serveware. Do you have enough? Is it clean? Chipped? Cracked? Do you need to replace anything? Take care of those issues now and you won’t be running around at the last minute.

Sharpen knives. If there’s one thing you don’t want during the holidays, it’s a dull knife. Either have them sharpened or do it yourself and mark this off your list.

Disinfect trash cans. No matter how tidy you are, trash cans just have the propensity to accumulate dirt and grease. Take yours outside and give it a thorough clean.

Polish silver, iron table linens, wash plates and glasses. If your family celebrates the holidays using silver, china or crystal, schedule time in the next few weeks to wash all of your serve ware and polish your silver. And don’t forget to iron your linens and hang them so that they are ready to make a beautiful holiday table.

Check small appliances. This time of year, there’s not many small kitchen appliances that don’t get used. Check your coffeemaker, crock pot, food processor, blender, etc. for any issues and either have them fixed or replaced pronto.

Clean and check your larger appliances (dishwasher, stovetop, oven and microwave) for missing or damaged parts and unsightly dirt and residue.

Clean your garbage disposal. Make sure your garbage disposal is free of unwanted debris and that water flows freely through it. You can also use some lemon juice and vinegar to freshen it up!

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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!

 

Some Common Plumbing Myths

 

Indoor plumbing and access to water is one of the great luxuries of the modern world. However, it’s easy to take for granted the complexity of the plumbing mechanism unless it stops working. Below are a few common plumbing myths debunked to help prevent problems for your plumbing system now and in the future.

 

Myth: Flushable wipes are perfectly okay to flush down your toilet.

Fact: The truth is that “flushable wipes” can cause stress to your plumbing system. These wipes do not disintegrate properly and can cause blockages over time. The bottom line is that whether they are for your face or for your baby/toddler, it’s best to trash them and not flush them.

 

Myth: Normal to have low water pressure occasionally.

Fact: If you have low water pressure, you have an issue somewhere. Whether it’s a leak or a growing clog, any low water pressure should be investigated. It’s better to find a leak early, before it has time to cause greater damage, including mold growth.

 

Myth: Citrus peels are good for your drain and disposal.

Fact: Peels from lemons, limes, etc. may reduce bad odors, but they are not necessarily good for your disposal. Reality is that sometimes disposals don’t handle citrus rinds or peels very well and you then create a problem rather than fix one. The only thing that will really do the job without harming your disposal is an appropriate disinfectant and soap and water.

 

Myth: If water is going down your drain, then everything is functioning properly.

Fact: There can be a buildup down the line that will grow over time that you are unaware is present. If you are putting things down your drain, such as grease, oil or other liquids or foods that are not friendly to plumbing, beware. Your plumbing will at some point “bite back.”

 

Myth: Wire hangers are a good alternative to a professional “snake”

Fact: Wire hangers can damage your plumbing lining. While many people have used this method over the years, wire hangers can absolutely damage the inner surface of your plumbing.

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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!

Common Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

 

Your home’s plumbing system is one of those items you usually don’t pay too close attention to until something goes awry. And then, well, it’s no fun to deal with plumbing problems — and unfortunately repairs can be costly. So how do you help prevent issues that can stop your home’s plumbing system in its tracks?

Clean your drain traps regularly. During these checks look for simple clogs and potential drainage problems which are frustrating now but can be debilitating in the long term. When you’re cleaning your pipes, be gentle when it comes to using harsh chemicals, especially if you have a septic system.

Keep paint out of your drains. As you’re working on those summer home projects, make sure not to put paint or any other construction materials or fluids down the drain. Contact your city or town hall and they will be able to tell you the proper procedure for disposing of these materials in your area. Typically, there is a specific waste location that deals strictly with these items.

Manage your cooking grease. If you’re cooking and tempted to watch that grease out of the pan into the sink — don’t do it! Instead, allow the grease to cool, pour it into a jar or aluminum can and throw it in the trash.

Handle your garbage disposal with care. Everyone loves this modern-day convenience, but if you overload it or if you unload things into it that aren’t good for it — such as rice, coffee grounds and melon rinds — it can wear out and not do the job that it needs to, thus causing potential plumbing problems.

Be good to your faucet handles and they will be good to you. Twisting or pulling on them continuously to stop a small leak can strip the washer and complicate matters. Also, if you’re doing your own plumbing, make sure not to over tighten the faucets.

Don’t delay plumbing repairs. If you discover a problem that needs to be handled by a professional — don’t delay. The problem can get worse, creating more of an opportunity for even greater problems such as mold to take hold.

Have you purchased a new water heater? Make sure to allow it to fill completely before turning it on. Otherwise, you could do irreparable damage.

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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!

Clogged Toilet? Is There A Toy in Your Toilet?

As a parent, if you haven’t had a toy stuck in your toilet causing a clogged toilet, (spoiler alert) it may be only a matter of time. Unfortunately, when dealing with a lodged toy, a plunger is typically not doing to do the job. So what to do? Here is one way to attempt to handle this common problem:

  • First, if you don’t have one, go to your local hardware store and purchase a toilet auger, also known as a plumbing snake, that can move through the drain of the toilet to remove obstructions. It is constructed of a long flexible shaft that has an auger bit at one end and a crank handle at the other.
  • Insert the open end of the auger into the toilet bowl and push the cable down while cranking.
  • Use a pair of pliers or another similar tool and separate the last turn at the end of the cable. This will make the hooking mechanism bigger to help grab the toy or other object.
  • As you run the auger through the bowl, stop feeding the cable in as soon as you have enough cable in to reach through the drain passage in the toilet and you begin feeling resistance.
  • Crank it a few times and then pull the cable out while maintaining the pressure on the crank. You’re basically trying to grab the lodged item and extract it.
  • Once you have secured the lodged object, pull it out through the toilet bowl.

 

Success?? Or no? If that didn’t work, the next best option is going to be removing the toilet entirely and accessing the toy or lodged object from the base of the toilet.

If you are an experienced DIYer, you may consider attempting this yourself. That said, it can be a dirty and somewhat complicated process, so it may be best to contact a professional plumber to handle this delicate process.

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 Flooded Basement

 

For individuals who have basements, dealing with water problems may be something you have dealt with, or something you worry about dealing with. Whichever may be the case, there are a few things you need to know to help prevent flooding in your basement, in addition to understanding what to do if or when it does happen.

Below are some preventive measures to implement:

1.  Keep water away from your foundation by keeping gutters cleaned to avoid overflow that can pool around your foundation.

2.  Make sure your yard is properly sloped to drain water from your foundation.

3.  Insulate water pipes in your basement to reduce condensation.

4.  Use a sump pump to keep unwanted water out.  A well maintained pump is necessary for it to do its job correctly.

5.  Waterproof your basement floor and walls.  This will stop water seepage.

And what should you do if your basement does flood?  Here are some suggestions:

1.  Turn off the water to the basement immediately. This might require cutting off the water to the entire house. download

2.  Next, disconnect the power to the basement.  Water and electric don’t mix, and you want to avoid anyone being electrocuted.

3.  Call a plumber to determine the cause of the water problem, then call your insurance agent.  Most homeowners policies will cover basement flooding damage.

4.  Remove all items from the area. If carpeted, pull up carpet and padding.  You might be able to have the carpet cleaned and disinfected, but keep in mind it could shrink.

5.  Get rid of the water.  Using a wet/dry vacuum is the easiest way, but mops and towels will work also.

6.  Dry out the area. a) If you have doors or windows, open them to get air circulating.  Using fans and a dehumidifier can speed up the process. b) If you have a finished basement, trim work, sheet rock and insulation will also need to be removed. Wooden trim work might be saved if removed quickly and dried before warping.

7.  Make sure to disinfect the area properly, especially if the water came from a backed up sewer.

8.  Treat all surfaces that were wet with a good mold prevention spray. This can be sprayed on most surfaces, and kills mold spore roots preventing new growth.

Hopefully, you will be able to take the steps to prevent any water problems in your basement.  But, if you have the unfortunate happen, act quickly to reduce damage and prevent mold problems.

Do Water Filters Matter? by Go Green Plumbing

Do you know how often to change your water filter in your refrigerator?

If not, check your refrigerator manual which may say to replace the filter every 6 to 12 months.  You will want to check your specific product manual for a general guide for replacement.  However, what if you have a household of 5 instead of the 2 in my household?  As with all filtering systems, replacement is not based on a number of persons, but the amount of usage.  My husband and I are big water drinkers, so we would need to consider changing our filter more often than a larger family that doesn’t consume as much water or ice as we do.maxresdefault

But what about that “water filter indicator light” on the refrigerator door?  Again, that indicator is based on time, not on usage of the filter.  Water filters help to provide us with cleaner drinking water, so it is important to replace them when needed, but since they are not cheap we don’t want to replace them before necessary.

One way to determine if the filter needs changing is by the taste of your water or ice.  If you notice a difference in the taste of your water, or start to smell an unpleasant odor, your filter is probably not removing all contaminates and will need to be changed.  Another way to know is if your ice maker is no longer making single ice cubes, but producing larger cube junks.  Your water filter being full can also cause a reduction in your water flow.

One thing to remember when putting in a new water filter is the need to flush out the new filter.  Small particles from the filter can become dislodged during manufacturing or shipping, and come through in the first glasses of water consumed.  You would just want to run 3 to 5 gallons of water through the dispenser before consuming any water yourself.  If you have just an ice maker, then discard the first couple of batches of ice.  You can again consult your refrigerator manual for their specific recommendation on this procedure.

Have questions about water or plumbing issues in your home?  Give us a call. We’re happy to discuss.  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!