When it comes to plumbing, there are plenty of preventive measures that can help you save water, energy, and money. From cutting down on daily water use and making sure taps and pipes are in good condition to conserving water and reducing bills – it’s easier than you might think.
Our Green Commitment
We’re committed to providing environmentally conscious, sustainable plumbing solutions to conserve our community’s natural water resources and preserve the planet for generations to come. We make plumbing greener by operating responsibly, offering sustainable solutions for our customers, recycling materials, and avoiding the use of harsh and dangerous chemicals within your home or business.
Green Plumbing Solutions chooses WaterSense approved products that are great for the environment and your wallet. At the time of service, we can provide you with a list of water and energy saving devices, with options from simple, low flow faucet aerators to the most efficient, state-of-the-art water heaters.
Check out our useful tips below, and the Green Plumbing Solutions Blog for more knowledge and news!
TURN OFF THOSE TAPS
A dripping tap is more than just an annoying sound; it can cause the waste of up to 15 gallons of water per day and add approximately $100 to your yearly water bill. To avoid wasting precious water, make sure you turn your taps off completely. If fully closed taps continue to leak, have them repaired or replaced. Investing in plumbing maintenance now will help you save money in the long run.
GO FOR LOW-FLOW
Installing a low-flow showerhead is an easy way to significantly reduce water consumption. Even a 10 minute shower with a conventional showerhead can use up to 42 gallons of water. Low-flow showerheads are easy to install and use far less water. Go the extra mile and set a household shower-time limit. The teenagers in the home may be less than impressed but your reduced water bill will be worth the complaints. There are also low-flow toilets as well as low-flow aerators for any faucet that will furthermore lower your water consumption considerably.
EXPOSE HIDDEN LEAKS
Not all water leaks can be spotted with the naked eye. Some leaks are hidden and require some detective work on the part of the homeowner to be found. To determine if your home has any hidden leaks, check your water meter before and after a specific period of time when no water has been used. If the meter has changed, there may be a leak lurking somewhere in your home.
DON'T NEGLECT YOUR DRAINS
Drains are often overlooked until they become clogged and no longer work effectively. To keep your drains in working order and avoid unwanted build-up, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down them on a monthly basis. In the bathroom, use strainers in the sink and bathtub drains to keep hair and soap out of your pipes. Avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners as they are harmful to the environment and can damage your pipes.
LISTEN TO YOUR TOILET
If your toilet is making a gurgling noise, your home might be experiencing main drain problems. If the main drain was installed prior to 1980, there is a good chance it is made of clay and therefore easily penetrated by tree roots. A ‘gurgling toilet’ and wet marks around floor drains are early indications that underground roots are growing and placing pressure on your pipes. Listen to your toilet and have an experienced plumber fix the problem before your pipes break and must be replaced.
CHECK YOUR TOILET FOR LEAKS
According to the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, the toilet is considered the home’s biggest water waster, with toilet flushing accounting for almost 30 percent of daily home water usage. To test your toilet for leaks, drop some food coloring into the tank. If the color seeps into the toilet bowl within 10 to 15 minutes, your toilet has a leak. Check around the base of the toilet for signs of water damage (rolled vinyl, black or white stains, etc.) Prevent unnecessary water-loss by ensuring your toilet is leak-free.
KEEP YOUR VALAVES MOVING
Exercise water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking. This will ensure you will be able to shut the water off quickly in an emergency situation.
FOLLOW GARBAGE DISPOSAL GUIDELINES
While garbage disposals might seem like indestructible incinerators, certain items can lead to their demise. Poultry skins, celery, fruit pits and bananas are not garbage disposal friendly – they can cause a build-up of debris which can lead to blockages and offensive odors. Also, bones should never be put in the garbage disposal as they can damage the sides of the grinding chamber.
KEEP FATS AND OILS OUT OF YOUR DRAINS
Too many people think it makes sense to pour hot cooking grease down a sink or toilet. After all, you can’t pour it in the garbage bag. But when that grease cools it solidifies and sticks to the insides of your pipes. Over time, it will build up and block the entire pipe. Rather than dumping grease into your plumbing system, pour it in a heat-resistant container, let it solidify and then throw it in the garbage. If you must put some grease down a drain (last remains of a greasy skillet) follow it with a lot of hot water to clear the drain pipes.
Yes, you should floss, but no, you shouldn’t flush your floss. Today’s dental floss is shed-resistant and won’t break down. When dental floss enters the sewage system, it bonds with other waste and forms large clumps that block pipes.
HAIR AND TISSUES
For some, it’s common practice to flush discarded hair from hairbrushes or haircuts down the toilet as well as tissues, which is why there is an enormous market for anti-clog products. If you don’t want a backed up toilet, don’t flush tissues or hair.
KNOW THE LOCATION OF YOUR HOME'S MAIN WATER VALVE
In case of a major incident – such as a pipe bursting – where you might need to immediately shut off all of the water in the home, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is located. This valve is usually located next to the water meter and should be kept in good condition. To maintain your home’s main water valve and keep it in working order, open and close it once a year.
PAY A LITTLE ATTENTION TO YOU WATER HEATER
Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
Whenever you leave town turn the dial on your water heater to “vacation.” That will keep the water temperature at a lower point and reduces the use of energy. Make sure you remember to turn it back to the original setting right after you come home.
Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater.
Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.) Newer water heaters are more energy efficient. Make sure flammables are not stored near the water heater or furnace.
A rusty water tank is a sign of pending problems.
AVOID SLOW FLOOR DRAINS
Slow floor drains should be snaked to make sure they will carry away water fast if there is a flood.
RED FLAG: STANDING WATER IN THE YARD
Standing water in a yard is a common problem caused by a leaky or broken pipe. Excess water in a yard might come from a damaged sewer line and contain waste from the home. This is unhealthy for children and pets, and is a breeding ground for insects and germs.
WINTER PREVENTION MEASURE: OUTSIDE WATER VALVES
To protect your pipes and keep them from freezing in the severe cold, turn off the valve that controls the tap for your garden hose. This will avoid water entering the hose and freezing, causing the pipes to burst. If in the spring an outdoor faucet drips or if it leaks inside your home the first time the hose is turned back on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.
HIRE RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
Your home is typically one of the biggest, most important purchases you can make – the result of a painstaking search that might have taken months or even years. Therefore, when it comes to home plumbing maintenance – it only makes sense to hire someone who is qualified and will do the job well. Green Plumbing Solutions offers the following tips for finding the right technician to make repairs to your prized possession.
Make sure the technician is licensed and insured.
Use a technician who will provide an upfront explanation of the entire repair process.
Ensure you have an itemized work order that shows exactly what is going to be done and how much it will cost – in advance!
We guarantee all of our work and use only the highest quality materials. That means brand-name repair parts, pipes, and fittings, and other materials that often exceed the quality required by code. Our mission is to perform at our best, for all of our customers, every day.