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Some Common Plumbing Issues

 

Ever wonder if what you’re dealing with regarding your plumbing system is common? Below you’ll find the most common requests plumbers receive — and you can rest assured you’re not alone.

1 –Your toilet is leaking. Without question, this is one of the top issues that homeowners face with regard to plumbing issues. And because it can be a sign of a larger issue, it’s not one to be ignored. If your toilet is leaking at all, give your plumber a call so you can

2 – Your water lines are broken. Again, another frequent problem amongst home owners. What’s important to remember here is that you are responsible for issues affecting the main lines from your yard to the street. The city, however, is responsible for issues affecting lines from the street outward.

3 – Your sewer is clogged. This is trickier to diagnose. Homeowners don’t often notice a broken sewer line. However, if the clog is severe, sewage will begin backing up into your home. That’s why, if you do have a clog, it’s important to act fast.

Call your plumber immediately, and he or she can enlist a variety of options that best address your particular situation. First, they may pull the toilet or go through a “clean out drain” in your yard to loosen the clog. Or, they may use a sewer machine to try to clear the clog. If they can’t find the clog, your plumber may want to run a camera down the line to assess the situation. However, if the sewer is full, the camera cannot be used. That’s why, especially if you’re on a septic tank, that you have it emptied every 3-5 years.

Also, when a plumber can’t clear a clog completely, they may clear it enough to send a camera down to see if there is a break in the pipes. In addition, they may offer a service called “hydrojetting,” which is like an intense pressure washer hose being channeled down a drain to clean It out or to push out the clog to the line to the city where it can be dealt with.

4 – Your water heater is leaking. If this is the issue you’re facing, a few important questions are: How old is your water heater? Is it under warranty? Is the tank rusted out? Or is it just a valve issue? Why so many questions? Because most water heaters are only meant to last 7-10 years. If yours has passed its warranty and is older, it may be less expensive to purchase a new one than to fix it.

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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!

What Not To Flush

 

While some toilet clogs are accidents – maybe a toy or other object was flushed accidentally – others are from lack of knowledge regarding what is appropriate to flush and what is not. Below, you’ll find a thorough list of items that are frequently flushed that can cause serious damage to your plumbing system or even the environment.

Feminine products – There’s a reason that commercial buildings’ restrooms are lined with, “Please do not flush feminine hygiene products” signs. The damage these can do can be very costly to business and homeowners alike.

Cooking grease/food – If it’s grease or oil or food, it doesn’t go in the toilet. Period.

Baby wipes/Wet wipes/Cleaning pads – It’s tempting. They look like toilet paper, but they’re not. Reality is that wet wipes are not designed to disintegrate like toilet paper.

Dental Floss – Floss is not biodegradable and can knot and tangle to cause seriously clogs.

Q-tips and Cotton Balls – They look like they should flush easily, but cotton balls can build up and clog easily, especially in the bends of the pipes.

Bandaids – The non-biodegradable plastic bandaids are made from means a potential nightmare for your plumbing lines as well as the environment.

Diapers – Though you can flush their contents down the toilet, a flushed diaper is a big no-no. If you actually manage to flush it, it’s next to impossible for it not to become lodged at some point in the plumbing lines.

Cat Litter – There are multiple reasons why this is a bad idea. From the toxicity of the litter to the potential contamination of your water supply by your cat’s feces, take the time to put it in the trash instead.

Prescription medication – So many homeowners look for a “safe” way to get rid of old medications. And while “out of sight” is safe for little ones, flushing medications is definitely not safe for ground water supply or wildlife.

Paper Towels – Paper towels are just not made to be flushed. While they may make it out of the toilet bowl when you flush them, the likelihood that they will cause a headache for you in the future is significant.

Cigarette butts – If you flush your cigarette butts, you’re creating potential toxic issues for septic systems and ground water supply.

To keep your toilet and plumbing lines in good working order, the best thing to do is flush toilet paper only. Anything else has the potential to create costly and sometimes embarrassing visits from your plumber.

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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 Conserve Water Indoors This Summer – Part Two

 

While many homeowners make a point to install water-conserving features in showers, faucets, toilets and even dishwashers and clothes washers, there are everyday processes that can either use or conserve significant amounts of water. This post, which is a continuation from the last, offers 5 more ways to reduce your water usage indoors with suggestions for new processes.

6. Thaw meat in the refrigerator. If your dinner plans require you to thaw meat, make sure you’ve taken the meat out of the freezer the previous night. This way, you can avoid wasting water by running cold water continuously to thaw your meat.

7. Begin composting. While garbage disposals are convenient, they tend to be water-hogs. The fact is, to keep them running efficiently and properly, a great deal of water is required during their use. Instead, start a compost for your food remains – not only will you save water, but you’ll be creating your own fertilizer too!

8. Limit your water usage when washing dishes by hand. When you are washing dishes, it’s tempting to let the water continuously run to rinse each dish. However, this is a big water waster. If you have a double sink, fill one tub with soap and water and the other with clean rinse water. If you have only one tub, wash the dishes and set them aside on a dish drying rack. When you’re done washing, place the dish drying rack in the sink and use a faucet spray to rinse them all simultaneously.

9. Pay attention to your toilets. Is your toilet leaking? Is it running constantly? Or do your children tend to use the toilet as a wastebasket? By staying on top of needed repairs and maintenance ¾ as well as monitoring what goes into your toilet, you can save a significant amount of water. Call your plumber immediately if you suspect that your toilet needs repairs or a thorough checkup.

10. Wash Rover outdoors. While the weather is warm, wash your pet outdoors in the sun and on the lawn, giving you a clean dog and a green lawn!

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixing Your Kitchen Sink Sprayer Hose

Having a sprayer hose at your kitchen sink is a handy thing to have, until it no longer works.  Then you find out how much you really do use it.  Below are some issues to troubleshoot before purchasing a new one.

  1. If your sprayer hose isn’t spraying evenly some of the small spray nozzles may be clogged.   Mix together 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 1/2 cups hot water in a bowl or glass.  Place the sprayer hose head in the mixture and allow it to sit for an hour.  Use a soft toothbrush or cloth to clean away any buildup that may remain.
  2. For a leaking sprayer hose, first determine the area leaking.  Do this by turning on the water and watching for the area leaking.  If the hose is leaking where the head connects to the hose, try turning the sprayer clockwise to make certain it is tight.  If it continues to leak, remove the sprayer head and check that the washer is firmly in place.  Replace the sprayer head and see if it continues to leak.  The washer will need to be replaced if the leak is still present.
  3. A leak under the sink where the sprayer hose connects to the faucet will require tightening the connection with a wrench.  If the leak continues, make certain the hot and cold shut-off valves are turned off.  Remove the hose from the faucet connection then use wrap thread sealing tape and sealing paste around the external connection.  Replace the hose and tighten with a wrench.  Turn on the water to test for a continued leak.  If the hose still leaks then a new sprayer hose is needed.
  4. To install a new sprayer hose, turn off the hot and cold shut-off valves.  Install the decorative sprayer holder in the hole near the faucet.  Feed the sprayer hose through the hole and connect to the faucet underneath the sink.  Be certain to use the thread sealing tape and sealing paste on the external faucet connection to ensure the tightest seal.  Turn on the water and check for leaks.  Tighten the connection as needed to stop any leaks.

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!

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!

Plumbing Inspection When Buying a Home

Buying a home can be an exciting, yet stressful, experience. Finding the house you want to make your home is often overshadowed, albeit temporarily, by the stress of making sure all is well with your wonderful find. Fortunately, thorough home inspections can provide peace of mind. However, some areas, like plumbing, can be costly if issues arise. So how can you be certain that everything is okay and covered in the inspection? Knowing a few things you can discuss with your inspector or plumber will help.

Some things to ask about:

1.  Water Heater(s) – Water heaters are usually an afterthought to most people, but it’s an appliance workhorse. Because of how dependent we have become on them, making sure that the one in your new home is in good working order is key. An inspector will check for leaks and corrosion, as well as ensuring the PRV valve is working properly.

2.  Toilets – Another item in our homes that get a lot of use, but can be neglected, is the toilets. Small leaks at the back of a toilet can cause big problems if not found and fixed in time.  The water stop valve should be checked for leaks, and the toilet itself checked for stability. A rocking toilet can also cause leaks. TIP: Signs of leaks can be found in the flooring. They include vinyl turning purple from water damage, and grout lines turning white or darker at the toilet base.

3.  Sinks – Kitchen and bathroom sinks should be inspected. The hot and cold stop valves should be checked for leaks or corrosion. TIP: Water stains on the bottom cabinets can be an indication of a water leak.

4.  Showers/Tubs – For enclosed showers, the baseboard and drywall that butts up against the shower pan needs to be assessed. A leak at the base of the shower can cause the baseboard to swell and the drywall to be soft. Shower and tub combos that use shower curtains, can produce problems as well. A shower curtain not properly closed during showering can allow water to run over the tub corners, causing damage to the flooring. TIP: Vinyl flooring lifting or discoloring, or a softness when stepping on or touching the area, can be an indication of damage.

5.  Basement/Crawl Space – For finished basements, the inspector will look for wet spots, or water stained areas, pointing to a pipe leak. Unfinished basements and crawl spaces enable the inspector to assess the water pipes directly for leaks. This is the time they can look for subfloor damage under kitchen and bathrooms caused by leaks.

Knowing these things will ensure the house you are purchasing is getting a thorough review.  Then all that’s left is to relax, and enjoy getting settled into your new 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!

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!