Request Appointment
X

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!

###

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!

 

Cleaning Bathroom Mold & Mildew

So how do you prevent mold growth? The first step is to be vigilant about keeping your bathroom dry and well-ventilated. When you take a shower or bath, turn on your vent fan or even open a window. After bathing, make sure any accidentally spilled water is off the floor and your towel is hung up so that it can dry thoroughly. Don’t throw it down and let it sit in a corner – that’s asking for trouble. In addition, wiping the water around your sink up on a regular basis can help keep the moisture at bay.

But what to do if mold and mildew are already growing? There are several different options from borax to bleach, but one of the most natural and effective methods is using white vinegar. Believe it or not, vinegar reportedly can get rid of up to 82 percent of molds. So why not give it a try before bringing out the harsher chemicals?

If you’ve discovered mold growth in your bathroom, fill a small spray bottle with undiluted vinegar. Spray the area that you want to clean with vinegar and let it sit for up to two hours, but no less than one hour. Next, take a soft clean cloth and scrub the mold. If you need something stronger, a scouring pad or old toothbrush are great for this task as well.

After you’ve scrubbed away the mold, rinse the area thoroughly. If you can still see a few spots, mix a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water. Next, apply the paste to the hard-to-remove and hard-to-reach areas, then spray with white vinegar. Scrub with old toothbrush or scouring pad again and then rinse.

At this point, unless the mold is severe, you should have a clean area. In the case that you still have mold that’s not budging, it may be time to break out the bleach for further cleaning. If you do this, make sure that you’ve thoroughly rinsed the area with water so that the bleach and vinegar do not mix.

###

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!

Is Your Toilet Leaking?

Toilet leaks can be difficult to identify. Consequently, they can continue for a long time without being noticed. During that time, hundreds of gallons of water and money can be wasted and damage done. The good news? Most toilet leaks can be fixed without too much of a hassle. So what should you do if you suspect your toilet has a leak? Here are a few tips for you to try.

To detect a leaking toilet, remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in the back of the toilet tank. Wait 30 minutes and check to see if any food coloring has entered the toilet bowl water. If the water is clear, the toilet is not leaking. If you see food coloring in the bowl you have a leak. So, what now?

There are a few common toilet leak issues that are relatively easy to fix. First, a leaking toilet can be caused by a worn or cracked flapper, which is the rubber valve in the base of the tank that lifts up when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper is damaged, water can flow from the tank into the bowl without flushing.

Second, if your flush handle is not functioning properly, your toilet will run continuously, wasting gallons of water daily. Typically, this is because your flush level bar and chain or the flush handle are sticking. Simply adjust the nut that secures the level bar and chain in the toilet tank and/or replace the flushing handle.

And third, you may have an issue with your overflow tube. In a perfect world, your toilet water level should even with the fill line on the back of the toilet tank which is about half an inch below the overflow tube. If the toilet water is too high in the tank and is spilling into the overflow tube, you can adjust the water level by turning the adjustment screw or by gently bending the float arm downward so that the water shuts off at a level below the overflow tube.

If you find that your leak is not resolved after checking these issues, you should call a professional to assess the situation quickly and ensure that no further damage is done. It is critically important to resolve any water leak issues quickly and effectively so that they do not lead to much larger issues.

###

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!

 

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!

Beware Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

brizo-potfiller-faucet

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can be deadly.  Most people know that cars emit carbon monoxide, but forget that any fuel burning items can produce this gas. Gas burning furnaces, water heaters, stoves, ovens, dryers, fireplaces, propane stoves, portable generators, charcoal and gas grills can all turn from useful to dangerous if you’re not aware of how to manage them.

Statistically, more carbon monoxide poisoning cases are reported during the winter than any other time of the year. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are common (i.e., headache, dizziness or light-headedness, and nausea), so many people don’t realize the cause of their sickness. Below are ways to ensure your family is protected.

  • Have your heating systems, water heaters, and other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances inspected by a professional
  • Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors. These should be placed near the fuel burning appliances. Remember to change the batteries once a year.
  • Never use generators, camp stoves, charcoal grills, or any other gas or oil burning items inside your home. If using any of these outside make sure not to have them near a window.
  • Never run a motor vehicle inside the garage, even with the door up.
  • Make certain that all your fuel burning appliances are properly ventilated.
  • Never heat your home with a gas oven.

 

 

By following the above guidelines, you can help make certain your family is protected not just during these wintry months, but year round.

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!

Hot Water Heater Temperature Changes

Does it seem to you that the hot water in your shower runs out quicker now that the weather has turned colder?  Well, it might not be your imagination. Cold weather can be hard on some appliances, and your hot water heater is one of them. With the dropping temperatures, the cold water coming into your home is also colder. This requires your hot water heater to work harder to get the water heated to your set temperature.

Here are some things to consider:

What is the environment around your water heater?  A lot of water heaters are located in the basement or garage.  What is the temperature in those areas?  Re-caulking any windows or doors to reduce any outside airflow may help. 12814721_1539557743041497_2945426110015825869_n

Insulating the hot water pipes with a foam pipe insulation can help the heat from dissipating while in the pipe. You can also cover your water heater with a blanket. This is a specially designed cover that wraps around your water heater to provide insulation. You can increase your hot water temperature by five to 10 degrees to help with this problem.  Although, if using an insulation blanket, you might be able to drop your temperature by five to 10 degrees.

If, after checking these areas, your hot water output is still not normal, your problems might be mechanical. The burner assembly could be malfunctioning and unable to properly heat the water. There could be sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank preventing the water from heating.  If you have no hot water at all, your problems could be electrical or the pilot light. You will want to call a professional to inspect your hot water heater to determine the exact cause of your problem.

At this time of year, many people have friends and family visiting, and the last thing you want to deal with is no hot water in your home. While at this point, your lower hot water output might not seem like a major issue, it can become one overnight with increased usage. So, take the time to do a little maintenance, even calling for a professional opinion, and mark one less worry off your list.

And remember we install instant hot water heaters as well! Read more here about the different types we install.

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!

The Laundry Room/Utility Sink Dilemma

With the remodeling of laundry rooms on the rise, some are wondering if a laundry room utility sink is a necessity. Homeowners’ questions include: “Wouldn’t that space be better utilized as storage?”, “What are all the uses for a utility sink?” or “Will not having a laundry room effect the resale value of my home?”  All of these are great questions.  So, let’s breakdown the full use of the laundry room and utility sink. download

Having a separate laundry area is a big plus for home owners or those looking to buy a new home. Laundry can be a messy, untidy business, so its nice to have a separate space to keep this confined. Having storage in a laundry room is also an important feature.  It gives you a place to keep not only your laundry supplies, but other household cleaning items. But what about the utility sink? Is it necessary to have a utility sink in your laundry room?

It really comes down to space and what other chores you do in your laundry room. A utility sink is a great place to spot treat stains or hand wash delicate items. You can use it to fill up watering cans and mop buckets, as well as clean up after other household chores. It gives your family another place besides the guest bathroom to wash up after all those dirty outside jobs and gardening projects. If you have a pet, you can use the utility sink to bathe them or wash their food and water bowls.

There are many more uses for a utility sink, but what if you have limited space?  If you have to choose between storage or a utility sink, which should it be? Again, your lifestyle will have to determine this. If you have limited storage throughout your house, but you don’t have room in your laundry room for both storage and a utility sink, you may want to choose more storage.  Storage is something that can always be used, and is considered a good selling point if you put your house on the market. Not having a utility sink does not seem to effect the resale of a home.  However, if you decide to not have a utility sink in your laundry room, you might want to consider adding one to your garage if you have the space.

If you are remodeling your laundry room and are putting in a utility sink, there are a few important things to know. Utility sinks are not just your old, ugly plastic tubs anymore. There are other choices, such as an all-stainless steel sink. Some homeowners are installing nice cabinetry in their laundry room with a deep, stainless steel sink similar to their kitchen, or even an apron sink. Others are looking for old farmhouse sinks that will give their laundry room a more rustic, farmhouse appeal. Antique single and double sinks can also be used.

Whether you choose more space or a utility sink for your laundry room, make your laundry room work for you and your family. It can make doing an unpleasant chore more enjoyable.  And your laundry room can help reduce dirt and clutter throughout the rest of your home.

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!

Things To Consider When Hiring a Professional Plumber

Even with so many DIYers trying their hand at home repairs these days, there are occasions when it is still necessary to call a professional. This is especially true when it comes to plumbing issues. Unless you are dealing with a simple clog, calling a professional to deal with most problems is a smart move, and can save you money in the end. But how do you choose a good, reliable plumber? Below are a few key things to look for when hiring one.

Find out if he or she is certified. Plumbing is regulated by the government, so plumbers are required to meet state regulations and be certified. A licensed plumber will be current on state codes, and have the experience to deal with whatever issues arise. It is important that they not only be licensed, but be bonded and insured.  No matter how knowledgeable or experienced a plumber may be, mistakes can be made by the best, and accidents are just a part of life. Therefore it is critical that they are bonded and insured so that any expenses will be covered in the event of an peteontruck-547x620accident.

Check reviews and/or get referrals. In this technological age there are several online sites that provide reviews and feedback about companies. By contacting your local Better Business Bureau, you can find out how a company is rated, whether there have been any reports filed and how the company resolved those issues. You can also ask companies directly for customer referrals which can give you insight into a company’s reliability, experience, and customer service.

Seek out estimates from different companies. The next step is to make certain you secure between two and three estimates from reputable companies. Most estimates will require an onsite visit to determine the work that needs to be done to provide a proper estimate. Note that phone or online estimates — or simply viewing a photo of the problem — can result in an inaccurate estimates.

Dealing with a plumbing problem, or a remodeling project can be stressful on its own. So, take the time to research area plumbers before making a final hiring decision. Be certain you find a professional that you feel comfortable working with, and trust to do the best job possible.

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!

Are Your Outdoor Faucets Ready For Winter?

With cooler weather right around the corner, we all are thinking about what we need to do to get our homes ready for the dropping temperatures. Unfortunately, many people forget about their outside water faucets, resulting in bursting water hoses, hose bibs, or pipes when freezing weather arrives. So, what can help prevent this from happening?

First and foremost, you have to disconnect and drain water hoses and hose bibs. Even if you turn off your water source, you can still end up with a burst water hose or pipe if you forget to unscrew your hose and drain the water.  Water expands when it freezes, so if it doesn’t have a way to drain as it freezes the pressure will build in your water hose and water line causing a rupture. If the cold temperatures last for a while, you may not realize you have a burst water hose or pipe until the weather warms. And, depending on where your hoses bibs are located, you might not notice the broken water line right away — leaving you with a high water bill. images

Second, you can install frost- or freeze-proof hose bibs. A regular hose bib has a supply connection cut off outside the house leaving it directly exposed to freezing temperatures. A frost- or freeze-proof hose bib has a longer pipe (ranging from 8 to 24 inches) that goes into the basement or crawl space. The cut off valve is then located in the crawl space or basement where it is protected from the colder, outside temperatures.  Remember, however, that the water hoses still need to be removed and drained.

Another thing you can do is install hose bib covers. Hose bib covers are square or dome shaped, made from a think foam, and fit over your outdoor faucets.  Even if you have frost- or freeze-proof hose bibs, you can further protect the gaskets and washers inside them by using a hose bib cover. Adding an additional layer of protection is always a good thing.

So, although we are still having some warm, sunny days keep in mind that winter is right around the corner. Don’t forget to add your outdoor faucets to your winter-prep punch list once temperatures start to drop. A little upfront work and prevention will save you headaches and money in the future.