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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!

 

Common Summer Plumbing Issues To Avoid

Now that summer has arrived, the last thing you want to deal with is plumbing issues. Unfortunately, there are some issues that arise more often during the summer months than others. Below you’ll find a list of those most common summer plumbing issues and how you can avoid them – and move on to more important issues – like vacation.

Clogged Disposal. With fresh produce at the ready during the spring and summer, homeowners can put extra stress on their disposals and not even know it. To avoid it clogging, limit – or avoid altogether – disposing of hard produce such as melon rinds or corn cobs in your garbage disposal. Also, be sure not to pour used cooking oil or grease into the disposal.  When you are using it for appropriate biodegradable items, run cold water briefly before and after you use it help flush the food through the disposal.

Sewer Line Backups. Summer is the time for late afternoon thunderstorms and rain. While we need rain to make our flowers and gardens grow, an abundance of rain can enter into sewer pipes through cracks and cause the sewer line to back up. Tree roots that spread underground can also cause cracked pipes. If you see any signs of sewer line trouble such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call a qualified plumber right away. He or she may recommend a sewer line replacement if the damage is extensive.

Washing Machine Maintenance. Your washing machine may get more of a workout during the summer as well. With children out of school and more time spent outside, including days at the pool or the beach, there’s more laundry to wash, consequently more stress on your washer. And note, it’s best to stay at home while the machine is running, so that if a problem arises you can stop the cycle immediately and call a professional if needed.

Clogged Toilets. Household toilets are also used more regularly in the summer, thanks to children using the bathroom during the day. Most clogs are fairly simple to clear with a plunger, but if you need additional help, call in a professional.

Sprinkler Issues. If you have sprinklers embedded in your lawn, be sure to inspect and clean the heads before the season begins. When you are mowing the lawn, be careful to do so when the sprinkler heads are lowered to avoid damaging them.

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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!

 

Keeping That Stainless Shining

 

 

If, like thousands of others, you are a lover of stainless steel in your kitchen then you are aware of the time and elbow grease required to keep it looking its best.  To help make stainless steel cleaning chores a little easier, we have gathered some helpful information for you.

A few basics – Never use anything abrasive to clean your stainless (i.e., steel wool or other metal scrubbing pads).  Use a soft cloth (microfiber are good) to clean and buff; paper towels will work as well.  Avoid any harsh cleaners that can damage the stainless.  Read the manufacturer’s instruction to ensure you are following any specific guideline for your appliance brand.

A little training goes a long way – Train yourself and the members of your family to use the handles when opening and closing stainless steel appliance doors.  This will limit the amount of fingerprints and smudges on the stainless itself reducing the amount of cleaning required.  Wipe off spills or water drops right away to limit water spots.  Don’t use tape on your stainless to hold pictures, reminders, etc.  This will also help reduce smudges and residue.

The actual cleaning – There are some general household items you can use to get your stainless to shining again.

1) Vinegar (regular vinegar has 5% acidity, cleaning vinegar has 6%) – Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle, mist the stainless, and use a soft cloth or microfiber cloth to wipe down. Buff dry to shine.

2) Oil (mineral, baby oil, or other like olive oil) – Apply oil to a dampened cloth and wipe your stainless following the grain until clean and shiny.  Some like to wipe down with vinegar first, then follow with the oil to give the stainless a real sparkling shine.

3) Window cleaner or rubbing alcohol – Spray on or apply to a dry cloth or paper towel and wipe away smudges and fingerprints.  If you previously used any stainless steel polishes a couple of applications may be necessary to remove the top polished layer.

4) Commercial stainless steel cleaners – These are a little more costly than using your normal household items, but companies have formulated these specifically to clean stainless.  However, some do work better than others, so you might need to try a couple of brands to find the one that works the best for you.

Your stainless steel appliances are a big focal point of your kitchen, but keeping it looking good shouldn’t take hours.  Using some of the above suggestions will hopefully get your stainless at its shiny best, and give you time for more enjoyable things.

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 in a Tiny Home (Part 2)

 

Our previous blog discussed some of the choices to get water into your tiny home.  But, how do you handle getting rid of your waste water?  First, take into account the difference between black water and grey water.  Black water is the sewer waste from your toilet, while grey water is from other uses (i.e., showers, sinks, washing machines, etc.).  Most areas have strict regulations on the disposal of waste water, so check with your local state and county offices for the necessary guidelines.  Now, let’s talk about getting grey water out of your tiny home.

Disposal of Grey Water – Grey water contains soap, bacteria, food and grease, household cleaning products, and anything else we put down our sink drains.  Although clean enough to reuse for watering shrubs and plants, grey water cannot be drained into lakes, streams or ponds.  Plants can filter and break down the components in grey water, but draining into fresh water can pollute the water and harm fish and wildlife.  Here are some ways to properly dispose of your grey water.

  1. Hooking into a public sewer system is the simple way to deal with grey water.  If you plan to keep your tiny home stationary, this can be the perfect choice for you.
  2. The next simplest plan is placing a container under your sink and shower drain to catch the grey water.  Then it can manually be emptied onto surrounding trees, shrubs and plants.
  3. You can also set up a water tank that catches grey water then slowly drains from a hose in the bottom of the tank.  The tank will need to be slightly elevated to help with drainage.
  4. The tank system can also be turned into a longer irrigation system if you plan for a permanent tiny home location.  By using multiple lengths of hose you can have a system that drains the water between several planting beds.

Some really like the idea of tiny home living.  But in order to do it right, and prevent problems later on, you need to give the proper attention to the big areas like plumbing.  Our next blog is going to finish out your tiny home plumbing with finding the best ways to deal with Black Water.

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!

Getting Your Sprinkler System Up and Running for Spring

After winter, we all get excited at the first signs of spring.  We start making our lists for all the outside projects we want to begin working on and those we want to complete.  However, many might not remember to put their sprinkler or irrigation system on the to do list.  To ensure your system is running efficiently through the warm seasons here are a few things to prevent problems down the line.

  • Make certain the ground is completely thawed.  Use a shovel or spade to see if the ground is still frozen, at least a foot down.  If you encounter ground that is still frozen, wait a week or two and recheck before prepping your system to prevent damage.
  • Inspect your sprinkler control panel.  Remove any dirt or cobwebs from the controls, confirm the date and time is current, and that your water settings are correct for your landscape. Replace your backup battery if it older than 6 months.
  • Locate each sprinkler head and clean away any dirt or rocks that could block the water flow.  Inspect each spray head for damage.  You will need to replace any broken or worn heads, nozzles, valves or pipes.  Sprinkler heads that are damaged or not working properly can result in too much water in some areas and not enough in others.
  • Avoid a water pressure surge—which can cause a break in your water line—by opening the main water valve slowly so water fills the pipes gradually.  For systems without air pressure relief valves, remove the sprinkler heads at the highest point of each zone.  This allows the air to be pushed from the pipes when the water starts to flow.
  • Make sure your water pressure is at a safe range for sprinkler systems.  Too much water pressure can damage the pipes, valves and sprinkler heads.
  • Once all the water lines to your sprinkler system are full, run a test to determine all sprinkler heads are working and covering the needed areas.  Adjust or repair as necessary.

Now your system should be ready and set to keep your landscape looking beautiful and lush throughout the spring and summer season.

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!

 

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!